Outdoor Front Garden Ideas

7 old-fashioned flowering plants you need in your garden

Granny was right- these are gorgeous!
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A flowering garden is a thing of joy and with these tried and tested favourites, it’s not as difficult as you’d imagine cultivating these beautiful old-fashioned flowers.

If these flower varieties make you think of your grandmother, it’s because classic cottage garden blooms have always been popular. Perhaps it’s because they are hardy, simple to grow and, once established, with regular watering will pop up to delight you year in, year out.
What’s more, these varieties are enjoying a renaissance in our gardens as we spend more time at home to care for them. Give them a go and you might find you’ve inherited Grandma’s green thumb.

 1. Hydrangea

Nanna’s favourite and easy to grow from cuttings, hydrangeas need plenty of water daily. A position in full sun to semi shade helps to avoid these summer flowering beauties getting hit too hard by brutal midsummer sun.

It may be old fashioned, but new varieties of hydrangeas are released every year.
Pink hydrangeas
Hydrangeas are a classic flower. Landscaper Matt Leacy says they’re especially suited to Hamptons-style gardens. (Photo: Getty)

2. Sweet pea

Delicate and sweetly scented, plant sweet peas in a sunny spot on St Patrick’s Day (17th of March), the saying goes, for a bumper crop in Spring. Support with trellis, climbing frames or against a fence as the tendrils grow thicker. Pick the sweetly old-fashioned flowers as they appear and more will follow.

3. Larkspur

A classic cottage garden favourite, this old-fashioned bloom is more delicate than its bigger brother delphinium and looks beautiful planted en masse. Flowering in spring and summer, once planted it will reseed itself and reappear each year.

Blue larkspur in full bloom
An elegant flowering plant with tall stems of blooms, larkspur colours range from white through soft pinks and mauve to pale and darker blues. (Photo: Getty)

4. Poppies

Who can go past a poppy? Enjoying a resurgence in popularity, commercial growers are experimenting with size and colour blocking to produce some incredible blooms. In your garden, their gently nodding heads blowing in the breeze like paper to add a bright pop of colour from late winter into spring and summer.

How to grow poppies
(Credit: David Hahn)

5. Love-in-a-mist

Now this is an old-fashioned lady. Nigella damascena produces delicate star-like pale blue and white blooms atop ephemeral-leafed stems, in contrast to its hardy nature and strongly scented seeds that can be harvested and dry roasted for salads and curries.

Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena)
(Photo: Getty)

6. Hollyhocks

Another cottage garden classic, the hollyhock adds wow factor to your garden, growing striking flower-covered stems up to 3 metres tall. Great to add height to your garden, they’re easy to grow and flower in full sun.

7 old-fashioned flowering plants you need in your garden | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
Hollyhocks can grow up to 3 metres tall!

7. Rudbeckia

Rudbeckias or cone flowers are tall, bright yellow flowers, similar to an Echinacea with a black centre, surrounded by soft petals. Also known as “black-eyed Susans”, Nick Vale of Sydney’s Garden Life is a fan – “I love rudbeckias!” he says, “They work well planted all in a big drift, then you can interplant with other flowers like lilies, all growing up on top of them.”

(Photo: Getty)

Top tips to keep your garden tip top

  • Give it a little care, often
  • Watering is key – daily if possible and before the heat of the day
  • Feed a couple of times a year – a simple scatter of slow-release fertilizer does the trick
  • Check instructions on the tag or seed packet of flowers you purchase and make a note in your diary of when to feed or prune
  • Keep it simple – if you’re not prepared to put in the time, opt for easy-care plants
  • Be patient – trial and error can be half the fun!
7 old-fashioned flowering plants you need in your garden | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia

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