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London Cottage Garden Cottage garden plants doing well right now – London Cottage Garden

    London Cottage Garden Cottage garden plants doing well right now - London Cottage Garden

    June 4th, 2019 – small garden ideas, Spring gardening

    Today I am writing about cottage garden plants that here in London are doing really well.

    I wrote about some really useful garden plants a while back and you can read that here

    I have a few more:

    Ivy is definitely a cottage garden plant

    Useful and common garden plants

    Lovely bright green where very little else will grow, a fennel and a bluebell too

    This common ivy has planted itself somewhere nearby and it’s kindly creeping over this dusty dry patch under a huge conifer on our boundary with the street. It’s not rooting in the dust but is taking its nourishment from wherever it’s planted. Amazingly a fennel and a bluebell have self-seeded in the crack.

    Euphorbia mellifera.

    Useful garden shrubs

    A big bold scented shrub – euphorbia mellifera

    This huge euphorbia mellifera shrub has masses of sticky golden flowers smelling of honey. I usually hack it back but last year I let it grow and now it’s massive and fabulous. I’ve seen an even bigger one at Chelsea Physic Garden but if you need to reduce it you can just chop it back and it recovers well. It’s hardy in London and is fantastic for feeding wildlife.

    a different ivy

    Useful plant to cover a fence

    Ivy fantastic for nesting birds with berries in winter

    ivy in a London cottage garden

    The newest leaves are golden yellow

    Our back fence is completely covered in this huge sprawling ivy called “Sulfur Heart”.

    It’s been there 15 years and is probably holding the fence up. It’s fantastic for birds who nest in it and rely on the berries in winter. I ought to shear it back a bit sometimes but it’s very hard to get to and a devil of a job. The new growth is shiny and golden which is a plus for the look of the garden. Very worth having.

    Are nettles cottage garden plants?

    Really useful garden plant for wildlife

    Nettles are worth encouraging in the garden

    nettles in a London cottage garden

    There are flowers on them now so food for butterflies and that’s great for the garden

    I think so, yes. Nettles have planted themselves behind the small pond and whereas I used to pull them out, now I leave them and am happy to have a patch of flowering nettles which are very useful for the wildlife they support. Why not? I’ll just need to stop them taking over the border. I’d never get rid of them anyway even if I tried.


    This incredibly common cottage garden plant grows out of walls and concrete paving and is considered a weed but I’ve actually bought it to get the good red/pinky color and here it is looking fabulous.

    weeds in a cottage garden

    Common centranthus rubra, known as red valerian, also known as a weed

    Here it is growing out of an old wall at Gravetye Manor in Sussex, a world famous garden.

    Gravetye Manor Hotel and Garden

    Valerian growing out of a crack in a wall at Gravetye Manor

    Lastly, here’s the back garden on a very sunny day. Lots of green with splashes of colour.

    London cottage garden

    The back garden on a sunny day in Spring

    If you’d like to see more pics do follow me on Instagram at londoncottagegarden.


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