What Types Of Flowers Make Up An English Garden?

Sloane and Sons Garden Benches are an inspiring contribution to an English Garden. It is an excellent way to sit and smell the flowers – but what is an English Garden?

What is a typical English Garden?

Well, the fashion of the English Garden was created by the landscape architect Capability Brown, who designed well over 100 parks and gardens in England. The English Garden is a mixture of luxurious planting and formalised architecture. You would expect to see walled gardens and topiary, spans of manicured lawns and the odd archway. However, in contrast to this formal structure and focus on control – the very picture of English – the planting is random, and some would say untidy.

The tip with an English Garden is to not get fooled by what appears like random and ill-considered planting. The planting of flowers in the English Garden is as considered and well-designed as the sweeping lawn. Random beauty does not come without planning, careful choice and skilled placement and planting.

What types of flowers should you choose for your English Garden?

With the right mix of perennials and annuals, with the odd accessory added, you can create the style of the English Garden. The most important choices are what should be in your perennial borders. The annuals you choose will simply fill in the gaps. Here are the ten essential perennials for your English Garden.


It is not essential for the English Garden to include a rose – but if you aspire to the cottage look then you would want to include these classic flowers. Roses are notoriously high maintenance flowers, but they do repay you with a beautiful display. If you want roses that show all the summer through then you need to go for repeat-flowering roses such as The Times, which is a vibrant red flower, or the Pat Austin rose if you want a more delicate coppery orange.


In direct contrast to the high-maintenance rose, the daisy could not be easier to initiate and maintain in your garden. They show from spring, even when there is still the chance of a light frost, all the way through the summer. They are easy to grow from seed, division or from nursery stock.


Lavender is one of those shrubs that helps to give the English Garden its chaotic appearance. With purple fronds spouting from all directions. The lavender is renowned for its fragrance and its ability to attract bees and butterflies. You won’t need to maintain lavender – just water deeply and prune in spring or at harvest time.

Lilly of the Valley

The perfect thing about an English Garden is the fragrance – an important part of this fragrance is Lilly of the Valley, a flower that has long been the inspiration for perfumes. It is an excellent groundcover plant – best planted in moist, humus-rich soils. It will spread quickly – and along with lavender – add to the carefully crafted chaos that is an English Garden.

Chrysanthemums tend to flower from mid-summer until the frosts of autumn. Coming in a variety of colours, you can arrange bursts of bright blooms. They need a sunny but relatively sheltered site – and the soil needs to be well-drained. Once planted, make sure you water them generously for the following two weeks until established.


Peonies are wonderful for cutting, as they create big scented flowers. When planting these bursts of colour, you need to give them full sun – but somewhere where it won’t get too hot in the summer. The soil should be well-drained and preferably neutral to alkaline. The classic English Garden has pockets of shrubs – so you would be best seeking out herbaceous peonies such as Bowl of Beauty or La France.


You would choose primroses to get some early blooms in your English Garden. These delicate flowers punch above their weight – as they still bloom even in the dark and when the ground is frozen. You can grow these are annuals or perennials – but they offer some cheerfulness to your space.


The power of the violet is to send the message of your heart to your loved one. Plant a white violet and you speak of your innocence. If you offer a white and purple violet, then your thoughts are completely occupied with love. There are nearly 600 species of violet – so you have a lot of choice for communicating your feelings.


If you choose the Hensol Hareball then you will be adding an erect herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 90cm. This offers some much-needed height to your borders. These flowers will bloom in the late summer and last into Autumn – with divided purple leaves and violet-blue short hooked spurs for flowers.


These are spiky, woody plants that can grow up to four feet tall. They will add colour and texture to your borders. They are beautiful flowers – with clusters of pea-like purple flowering blooms densely clustered on stalks. Don’t panic when you plant your lupine seeds, in the first year they will not bloom until late summer or autumn. If you want summer blooms, then you will need to start the seeds indoors.

Making your English Garden perfect

Remember the point of an English Garden is to create a sense of planned chaos. This is harder than you would imagine. Obviously, you need to first find your place for your Sloane and Sons Garden Benches – and then from here, you decide where you are going to position your sweeps of colours. You will need to consider the timing of the blooms – to make sure there is colour from early spring to late autumn – and you need to think about offering height and texture. By placing a mixture of these plants in exactly the right place – you will get the perfect English Garden of your dreams.

*Collaborative post


  1. I’m trying to grow a typical English garden. But we moved mid summer so I didn’t manage much planting and then the heat wave struck! Hoping to really work on it next year :)

  2. We have a bit of a cottage garden but don't have any lupine's at the moment, I think I'll have to get some too!