Cottage Garden Guide

If you want a timeless and elegant garden you can’t go past a classic cottage garden as seen on HOMEmade. The more plants and less structure the better to create a beautiful garden full of character, colour and charm that will forever be in vogue.

Shopping list: Roses, lavender, star Jasmine, a selection of other flowers of your choice, Tui Sheep Pellets, Tui Rose & Shrub Mix, and Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic.


Choosing plants for a cottage garden

The main elements in cottage gardens are flowers, colour and fragrance – the bigger the mix the better. Roses, climbers, flowering annuals, herbs and hedging are must-haves. Below are some plant suggestions for
creating your cottage garden:

  • Flowers: plant a mass from the following for a mix of colour and height: allysum, cosmos, delphinium, dahlia, foxgloves, cornflower, poppies, hollyhock, lavatera, stock, echinacea, salvia, and achillea.
  • Wildflowers, and herbs including borage, Lady’s Mantle, rosemary and thyme.
  • Shrubs: lavender is a great evergreen filler to pair with roses. Hydrangeas are also a wonderful filler with big, long lasting blooms.
  • Star Jasmine will happily climb over a picket fence or up the front porch for a rustic cottage look.
  • Old fashioned roses: look for classics in white, pink and purple for a touch of whimsical romance. Read our Rose Guide for help choosing the perfect rose.
  • Climbers: clematis.
  • Hedges: beech, escalonia, buxus and honeysuckle.

Once you have selected your plants, it’s time to prepare the soil – the better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and compost to your soil.

Then you can add a layer of specially blended planting mix designed for what you are planting like Tui Rose & Shrub Mix for roses, hedges, and flowering shrubs and plants. If planting in pots and containers, fill with
Tui Rose & Shrub Mix.


The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away.

  • Choose a spot that gets sun - roses for one need at least five hours sun a day.
  • Soak your plants in a bucket of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic before planting and allow to drain. This will help prevent transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole, approximately twice the depth and width of the root ball of your plant and partly fill with Tui Rose & Shrub Mix.
  • Gently loosen the root ball of your plant.
  • Position the plant in the hole, and fill in with Tui Rose & Shrub Mix, ensuring the plant is no deeper than it was in the container or bag.
  • Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
  • Water your plants well.

Sow flowers directly

  • Sow seeds directly into your garden bed (as per directions on the pack). Some options include snow peas, poppies, borage and wildflowers.
  • Cover with soil and pat gently.
  • Keep moist while they germinate.


Feed your plants and they will reward you with beautiful colour and fragrance. Select a fertiliser specially blended for your plants like Tui Rose Food, which contains high levels of potassium to promote large, vibrant, healthy blooms. Or use an all purpose variety such as Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser – both flowers and roses love it!

Feed in spring and summer, when they are actively growing. Well watered, well nourished plants will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.

Some of your plants will need regular pruning to keep them healthy. Roses require an annual cut back in winter, shape your small shrubs to the size and shape you like. Click here to learn how to prune your roses.


  • For best results, regularly apply sheep pellets to condition soil and feed plants.
  • When planting roses, if there is a graft on your plant, ensure it is above the soil level.
  • Planting garlic under roses helps keep aphids away.
  • Protect your plants from the elements with layers of Tui Mulch & Feed, to help keep their roots moist.

Click here for more floral inspiration >

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