Small stone cottages often evoke images of wildflowers waving in the wind, vines creeping over a nearby wall and winding pathways engulfed in colorful blooms that almost encroach on the walkway. If you're fortunate enough to live in a stone cottage, use landscaping to soften the look of the stone and add a splash of greenery and color.
Stone cottages almost beg for a winding path. Even in a postage stamp-sized yard, installing round stepping stones that are spaced a footstep apart is a doable way to create an attractive path. Choose stepping stones that match the color of the stone of the house for a cohesive look. Install a small fountain or statue at the end of the path as a pleasant surprise for those who are exploring the yard for the first time. Alternatively, use crushed rocks or pea gravel to create a path that produces a delightful crunch as you walk along it.
No stone cottage can be complete without the pop of color that blooming flowers bring. A lovely contrast to the grays and browns of the stones, flowers add a touch of warmth to the picture. Opt for wildflowers like Japanese anemones (Anemone hupehensis), which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 8, or Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), which grow in USDA zones 3 to 8. Alternatively, use flowers with a more manicured look such as Calypso tulips (Tulipa greigii "Calypso"), which grow in USDA zones 3 to 8, or delphiniums (Delphinium elatum), which grow in USDA zones 2 to 7. Leave some empty space between flower beds to avoid overwhelming a small cottage with too much color.
Creating a cloak of privacy around a small stone cottage is a cinch when you plant one or more rows of shrubs. Create a hedge across the front of the yard to block out passersby or install a row down each side to separate yourself from the neighbors. Select a flowering shrub such as French lilac (Syringa vulgaris "Henri Robert"), which grows in USDA zones 3 to 7, known for its gentle scent, purple blooms and attractiveness to butterflies and hummingbirds. If you prefer shrubs without blooms, try boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), which grows in USDA zones 5 to 8, as an evergreen, either in shade or full sun.
One way to soften the look of a stone cottage is to allow vines to grow up one side of the home or to cling to and cover a low-lying stone wall. A typical English look, climbing vines add a touch of whimsy to the already picturesque stone home. Choose English ivy (Hedera helix), which grows in USDA zones 5 to 11, a deep green climbing ivy that will trail beautifully over any surface. Another option is the trumpet creeper, which grows in USDA zones 5 to 9, with yellow trumpet-shaped blooms and the ability to grow well in poor soil. Both plants can grow aggressively, and are considered invasive, in certain parts of the country. Avoid allowing the ivy to cover too much of a small cottage so it doesn't diminish the appearance of the home.
- Lowe's: Lay a Stepping Stone Walkway
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Anemone Hupehensis
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Mertensia Virginica
- Fine Gardening: Tulipa Greigii "Calypso"
- Fine Gardening: Delphinium Elatum
- Fine Gardening: Syringa Vulgaris "Henri Robert"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Buxus Sempervirens
- Fine Gardening: Hedera Helix
- Fine Gardening: Campsis Radicans
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