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My Late Summer Flowers Blooming in the Cottage Garden

Have you enjoyed your summer garden this year? Come explore the vibrant late summer flowers in my cottage garden, from the bright black-eyed Susans to the stunning dahlias. And there’s still so much to enjoy!

I’ll take you on a tour to see the cottage garden flowers. You’ll also get a look at the cut flower garden where you’ll see zinnias, yarrow, and strawflower.

Late summer is a magical time in my Pacific Northwest garden, where the colors are vibrant, and there’s a soft hum of bees dancing from flower to flower. You can definitely start feeling the seasonal transition beginning.

strawflowers in the garden with greenhouse

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I’m a self-taught hobby gardener, not a Master Gardener. Everything I share with you on my blog is my personal opinion and things that have worked for me.

late summer cottage garden: stone pathway to the greenhouse

A cottage-style garden is a type of garden design that is more informal and nostalgic. The beauty and charm of a cottage-style garden is its lack of formality. These outdoor spaces tend to be more of a natural and unstructured look.

Flowers spill over pathways and a variety of plants grow freely. I love the stunning mix of colors and shapes that come together in perfect confusion. I like to call my garden organized chaos.

pink zinnias with bees sleeping

Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are constant visitors. My favorite overnight guests are the bumblebees sleeping inside the zinnias.

  • Informal Layout: a free-flowing garden that appears to be spontaneous and unplanned.
  • Diverse Plant Selection: a variety of plants including perennials, annuals, biennials, and self-seeding plants are grown
  • Abundant Planting: a wide range of flowers, shrubs, and even vegetables are often grown together
  • Climbing Plants: often include climbing and trailing plants like roses, clematis, and honeysuckle, which add vertical interest to the garden.
  • Garden Paths: informal and irregular garden paths made from gravel, stepping stones, or bricks.
  • Mix of Colors: Flowers of various colors, shapes, and sizes are planted together.
  • Wildflower Feel: a sense of wildness and informality that may include native plants and self-seeding plants to spread and fill in gaps.
  • Rustic Elements: vintage or upcycled containers, trellises, and arbors create interest in the garden.
  • Seasonal Interest: selecting plants with different bloom times and foliage colors to create interest throughout the seasons.
late summer cottage garden: view of the garden and bay

Late summer marks the transition from the heat of July and August to the crispness of the autumn air. The days may still be warm, but there’s a hint of coolness in the air that signals the changing of the seasons.

This transition affects the garden as well. Some cottage flowers have faded, like daisies and gladiolus while others, such as asters and mums, are just beginning to show their colors. It’s a time when the garden prepares for its final show of the year.

late summer cottage garden:

Soon the leaves on the trees will start falling and the heavy frosts will set in. But for now, we still have this late summer garden view to enjoy.

late summer cottage garden:  yellow sunflowers and black-eyed Susans

Here are some of the flower favorites that are growing in my garden during the late summer season. I hope you find some of your own favorites to plant after seeing some of mine.

In my cozy cottage-style garden, you’ll find many of my outdoor garden spaces with Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) growing. These sunny blooms have a special charm with their dark centers.

Among the relaxed mix of plants, Black-Eyed Susans stand tall and show off their bright petals that look like cheerful daisies. They not only add a burst of color to the summer garden but pollinators love them.

cafe au lait dahlia

As I continue my summer stroll through the cottage garden, I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of the stunning dahlias. These are some of the most popular flowers for a cottage garden.

Dahlia blooms come in a variety of colors and shapes. Their stems stand tall and add a touch of elegance to the laid-back vibe of my garden.

late summer cottage garden:  pink dahlias along the white picket fence

Don’t let your guard down just because it’s late summer. Keep your dahlias upright by supporting them with stakes or other methods.

Another reason why I love these summer flowers is that dahlias are one of the last ones blooming until the first hard frost or heavy rainfalls.

late summer cottage garden:  white  and purple coneflower purple blazing star

I have a very special fondness for coneflowers, also known as echinacea. The pollinators in my garden love them. My goal is to grow every color available.

This is the first year I grew coneflower colors other than purple. Check out the white, red, orange, and yellow flowers in my late summer cottage-style garden.

purple coneflowers in the late summer cottage garden

Coneflowers’ daisy-like blooms with distinctive cone-shaped centers are perfect for an informal cottage garden.

purple shades of hydrangeas

There aren’t many late-blooming perennials in my garden that grow in part shade, but hydrangeas are one of them.

Hydrangea plants have big, round clusters of flowers and come in various shades of blue, pink, and white. They bring a touch of nostalgia to the garden’s easygoing vibe, fitting right in with the mix of plants and adding timeless charm to any outdoor space.

I have been loving my hydrangeas this summer. These are perfect plants for a cottage garden. They’re just getting to the point when I can take them inside to dry and use them for my fall home decor.

late summer cottage garden:  sunflowers

I grew a few different varieties of sunflowers this year in the garden.

  • Frilly
  • Greenburst
  • Pro Cut White Lite
  • Ruby Eclipse

The presence of sunflowers in my cottage garden brings an undeniable sense of cheerfulness.

late summer cottage garden:  Sedum Autumn Joy

These unique hardy perennial succulents have clusters of tiny flowers that transform from rosy pink to rusty red as fall approaches. Its succulent leaves and changing colors effortlessly blend into my garden’s natural spaces.

Sedum Autumn Joy will grow in dry conditions and hot climates, making it a great addition to gardens in regions with limited water resources. Its thick, fleshy leaves store water, allowing the plant to survive periods of low water availability

late summer cut flower garden with bright zinnias

Now that you’ve had a chance to see my cottage garden flowers, let’s hop over to the cut flower garden and see which late summer flowering plants are blooming.

Most of the cutting flowers I grow are annuals and thrive in the full sun and in well-drained soil

I think you’ll agree that the bright zinnias in the cutting garden are the stars of the show. These vibrant flowers come in many hues from fiery reds and oranges to pretty pinks and sunny yellows.

Butterflies and bees are drawn to zinnia flowers’ nectar-rich blooms and even sleep inside their petals in the evening. It is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed.

late summer cut flower garden featuring zinnias

Zinnias are the life of the late summer party, and their diversity never fails to amaze. I’m saving my zinnia seeds this year so I can grow the varieties in my garden that aren’t available.

pink cosmos

If you’re looking for a flower that embodies the essence of cottage style, cosmos are a great choice. These late summer blooms have an effortless beauty, with their delicate, daisy-like petals in shades of pink and white.

Cosmos are one of the most relaxed flowers in my cut flower garden, swaying gently in the breeze and adding a touch of whimsy to my outdoor space. Their tall, slender stems and feather-like foliage add an extra layer of interest to my flower arrangements.

orange and red tropical milkweed
orange and red tropical milkweed

This is the first time I’ve grown milkweed, but I was really excited to try this plant.

With their red and orange flower clusters, they’re like magnets for butterflies and provide essential habitat for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

late summer cutting garden

I planted my tropical milkweed seedlings in the same raised bed as the vibrant zinnias, yarrow, and strawflower and loved the entire color scheme.

apricot and white strawflowers

Late summer in the cut flower garden wouldn’t be the same without strawflowers.

white strawflower flowers

These unique blooms resemble paper-like petals of apricot, pink, white, yellow, and more and are a perfect transition from late summer to fall.

apricot strawflowers in the cut flower garden and greenhouse

I’ve cut a lot of strawflowers to take in and dry for fall. They really do hold their color and shape well. The flowers I dried last year are still hanging on my pot rack and look like they were from this season.

pink yarrow

Yarrow

With its feathery foliage and clusters of tiny flowers in shades of white, pink, and yellow, yarrow is such a charming flower in any late summer arrangements. They are also a great bloom to dry.

Yarrow is a great attractor for beneficial insects like butterflies and bees in the garden.

berry colored yarrow flowers

I grew the summer berries mix this year and the colors were even more vibrant than I imagined.

dark pink statice in late summer garden

Speaking of drying flowers, statice is a fabulous option. Statice blooms are like clusters of delicate, papery jewels and are deer-resistant.

pink and apricot statice flowers

I’ve grown white, purple, and apricot colors in my cut flower garden. Seeds can come in some great mixes that are stunning in any gardening space.

late summer garden with cutting flowers in raised beds

Late summer can be a challenging time for plants, with heat and occasional drought. Regular watering, especially for potted plants, is crucial.

Provide a layer of mulch that helps retain moisture and keeps the soil cool. Continue to deadhead the spent blooms and watch for pests and disease.

a bundle of white statice flowers

As the days grow shorter, and the first hints of autumn appear, I’m enjoying the late summer’s beauty in the garden. To keep these gorgeous flowers alive after the season fades away, think about drying and pressing flowers.

Use dried flowers in wreaths and other DIY craft projects, or hang them upside down on a pan rack for a more casual display.

yarrow and zinnias growing in the late summer garden
  • Deadheading: Remove faded or spent flowers to encourage continuous blooming and prevent the plants from diverting energy into seed production.
  • Watering: Water deeply and consistently, especially during prolonged periods of heat or drought.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of your plant to help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and moderate soil temperature.
  • Fertilization: Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer if needed, following package instructions.
  • Support: Some late summer flowers, like tall asters or daisies, might benefit from gentle staking or support to prevent them from bending or toppling over.
  • Pruning: Trim back leggy growth or any diseased or damaged foliage to maintain a tidy appearance and improve airflow around the plants.
  • Pest and Disease Management: Keep an eye out for common pests and diseases that might affect your specific late summer flowers.
  • Division: If certain perennials become overcrowded or stop blooming as profusely, consider dividing and replanting them to rejuvenate their growth.
  • Support for Climbers: If your cottage garden includes climbing plants like clematis or morning glories, make sure they have proper support.
  • Yarrow
  • Coneflower
  • Sedum
  • Lavender
  • Black-Eyed Susans
  • Verbena
  • Globe Thistle

Several late summer flowers are perfect for cutting and using in floral arrangements.

  • Dahlias
  • Cosmos
  • Zinnias
  • Sunflowers
  • Asters
  • Black-Eyed Susans
  • Celosia
late summer greenhouse and cottage garden

As I take another look at my late summer garden, I’m filled with gratitude for another amazing and rewarding year in the cottage garden. The sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, strawflowers, and all the other blooms brought great joy this summer.

As the garden prepares for fall, there’s always something new to look forward to in the cycles of the seasons. And of course, I’ll share it all with you here.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who loves cut flowers and cut flower garden flowers.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!

cottage style garden late summer tour

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One Comment

  1. Kim, I get to live vicariously through your photos of your summer garden. The extreme heat has fried mine, but I am looking forward to planting my fall garden in a few weeks. Your pictures are always so inspiring!

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