Take a tour of what is blooming in my cottage garden this month. See all the flowers that I started from seed. Everything seems to be blooming in my zone 5b/6a New Hampshire garden!
Summer Cottage Garden Tour
What a month July was out in my garden!! After what seemed like a slow start out in my cottage cutting garden this Summer everything seems to have started flowering at once.
I mean here was a picture I took in June outside my cut flower garden! All the raised beds look empty because the plants were all so teeny!!
…And a month later…BAM…look how much everything has grown!!! We had an unseasonably dry and hot July for New Hampshire with so many days in the high 80s and 90s. The seeds that I planted thrived in the warm soil.
This part of my garden is still fairly new…I expanded my existing garden by about 15 feet to make room for a cottage cutting garden last year. It was a ton of work but it has been my favorite all-time garden project!
In the Spring, I prepared all of the raised garden beds by adding more compost and some fresh garden soil and working it all into what was already in the beds.
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Grow With Me Gardening Series
This is part of the Grow With Me Gardening Series here at Cottage On Bunker Hill. I want to teach you ways of starting, maintaining, and enjoying gardening. I will share all the tips & tricks that I have learned over the years growing both vegetable and flower gardens here in the Northeast.
What I Planted In The Cottage Garden This Year
This year I planted 8 different zinnia varieties. There are so many beautiful varieties and although I loved all the ones I planted last year I wanted to try a few new types and colors.
Zinnias are one of the flowers in my cottage garden that I started directly out in the garden by sowing the seeds. I didn’t even put the seeds into the ground until mid-June when the soil had really warmed up here. We had a very cool late Spring here in coastal New Hampshire and zinnias love to be warm!
But once the temperatures heated up all the zinnias grew so rapidly! In a little over a month, they went from seedlings to starting to set buds.
Zinnias are a favorite of garden pollinators as well! There are always bees and butterflies in this patch of my cutting garden.
Peter Rabbit garden patch
This little patch near the front of my cottage garden is new this year. In fact, I just added it in June. On a trip to a local antique store, I found the vintage shoes and the red children’s shovel. You can see how I DIY’d the Peter Rabbit inspired jacket out of felt (no-sew because this girl can’t sew!!)
Around the scarecrow, I planted mint, carrots, and bush beans, & I threw in a few flower seeds. Everything filled in so quickly!!
It adds the perfect amount of charm to the garden.
center garden beds
In the center of the cutting garden, I have 2 of my 8 ft long beds back to back. When I was planning this garden last year I was originally going to make my own but the price of lumber was astronomical! What I ended up doing is ordering raised bed kits from Amazon and I really love them. They came unfinished and I stained them with a gray stain to give them an instant cottage garden feel.
Down the center, I made a simple trellis out of garden stakes and chicken wire for my sweet peas to climb up on.
If you notice I have a patch of volunteer sunflowers growing right dab in the middle of the snapdragon bed! What I am guessing is that chipmunks must have buried seeds in here…I have a few areas and planters around my garden where I have sunflowers popping up.
Snapdragons are a very easy flower to grow and are one of my must-haves for a cutting garden.
This is one flower that I do start indoors under grow lights and transplant into my garden once the frost threat has gone by. In my area that’s the end of May.
You can download my cutting garden free ebook to see my top flower pics to grow:
what to grow
Cutting Garden Guide
Here are The Snapdragons I Grew This Year:
This is my second year growing sweet peas. Honestly, I haven’t had great luck with them overall…but I’m not a quitter!!
Last year I started the sweet pea seeds indoors and transplanted them in the early Spring. Most of them died! I did direct seed after that and had flowers near the end of Summer.
So this year I direct sowed the seeds, which means planting the seeds right in the soil. They are all growing…slowly!!
I didn’t get the seeds in the ground until May and I should have planted them in April around 4 weeks before our last frost but it was COLD here and I don’t like to garden in a winter coat!!
Trying poppies again!
One family of flowers that I do not have luck growing is poppies. Last year I tried a few different seeds from Floret and didn’t get a single flower.
But I think I know what happened this year and what I need to do to get a better turnout next year!
Poppy seeds need to be planted near the surface of the soil, you just tap them down or lightly sprinkle soil on top depending on the variety you are trying to grow. There were alot of little sparrows hopping around the beds after I planted and I am guessing they were munching on the poppy seeds!!
Out of the 3 different varieties I planted in this bed I only had 1 plant each from 2 of the varieties. I’m super bummed because they really are lovely flowers. But by the time I realized the other seeds weren’t going to come up (I’m always hopeful and wait in case they were germinating extra slow!) it was too late to replant so I am going to throw some quick-growing flowers like small sunflowers in the bed for a late season crop.
A newcomer to my gardens is Calendula. The seeds were started right in the garden and I think every seed I planted germinated too!
Very low maintenance flower to grow and would be a great option for a new gardener.
When you are planting a flower bed make sure to check the size of the mature plant and then decide on your layout so you can keep the shorter flowers in the front of your beds.
Well, I’m glad I didn’t pull out the volunteer sunflowers that popped up in the middle of the snapdragons because they have the prettiest little faces and are on the smaller size…plus they are a haven for bees.
potager style beds
First, what is a potager garden?? It’s a fancy name for a French-style kitchen garden where you mix ornamentals in with vegetables to create a colorful and visually pretty garden space.
My fenced-in cottage garden area is split into 2 parts, the front half is my cutting garden and the back half is my vegetable garden. The vegetable garden section has rows of metal raised beds where the front I use the wooden beds.
When I was planning out my garden this year I knew that I wanted to create a potager-style garden to change things up. Normally I do add marigolds and nasturtium to the vegetable beds but wanted to incorporate more varieties of plants and flowers.
At the farm down the street from me where I buy my tomato plants, she was selling artichoke plants for $4 and they looked so interesting! It hasn’t flowered yet but the leaves add so much interest to this bed.
Two of the ornamentals that I added to this garden bed are statice and cornflower ‘Black Gem’. The statice is perfect for adding to cut flower bouquets and also makes a great dried flower.
Now, I was watching an English gardening video on YouTube and he was saying that every gardener has a favorite bed in their garden each year…and I think that is definitely true!
Here’s my winner for this year! This bed has so much going on in it but everything looks so lovely growing together.
Potager garden bed
- 2 Marigolds
- White Eggplant
- Climbing Spinach
- Bush Beans
- Sunflowers (Sun-Fill Purple)
- Volunteer Cherry Tomato
Have you ever heard of climbing spinach? I hadn’t! This was also a find at my local farm stand along with the white eggplant. The spinach leaves are thicker than regular spinach but have a nice flavor and the plant develops deep purple berry clusters.
You have to grow these Sun Fill Purple Sunflowers! They are a smaller size single flower stem variety of sunflower and have the prettiest purple-tinged sepals.
Dahlia garden Bed
To fill in an empty area in the garden I moved the 2 raised beds with trellises that I built a couple of years ago from my back patio area.
Along the back, I planted morning glory plants but I had morning glories growing in these beds last year and had so many plants pop up! They ended up filling the entire trellis and it reminds me of a romantic English garden.
This is also where I planted my dahlias.
Isn’t this pollinator house adorable?? I found it at Walmart.
here are a few similar ones from amazon
The red amaranth that I had in this raised bed last year reseeded itself and filled in the bed again…so that was easy to grow!!
All the work earlier this season…and the sore muscles… is definitely worth it when I look out my window and see this!
Although I have a pretty big space for this cottage garden you could take some of my ideas and do it on a small scale too!
With just one or two raised beds you can grow all kinds of flowers, herbs, and vegetables!
what are some easy flowers to grow?
There are so many flowers that are perfect for a new gardener that you can start directly in the garden!
how do I start a garden?
The most important things you need to figure out are 1) What plant hardiness zone do I live in? and 2) How many hours of sunlight does the space I want to have a garden get?
You can find out your hardiness zone HERE.
Both a cut flower garden & vegetable garden need 6 hours or more of direct sunlight a day.
I wrote a guide on Starting a Cutting Garden too!
I only have space for 1 bed, what should i grow?
Well, as you saw in one of my beds I squeezed lots of different plants into it!
If you have only 1 bed I would suggest a Sungold tomato(use a support), basil, zinnias, bell pepper, small sunflowers, and another herb and flower of your choice.