How to Choose the Best Plants for Your Garden Style

Recommendations for the Top 10 Flowers for Different Garden Types

Gardening is a dynamic art that allows you to create beautiful and functional spaces using nature's plants and palettes. With so many garden types to choose from, how do you achieve the unique charm, look, and purpose? Make the right plant selections.

Whether you're a fan of lush cottage gardens or the serenity of a Zen garden, there are specific plants that we expect to see in each type. Find definitions for different garden types, their unique characteristics, the stories behind their names, and tips for the top 10 most popular flowers for each type.


Chaos or Cottage Garden

Cottage gardens have a romantic and informal appeal, often reminiscent of traditional English countryside homes. These gardens are characterized by a mix of colors, textures, and fragrances. They often include a blend of perennials, annuals, and self-seeding plants.

Top 10 Flowers for Cottage Gardens

Roses, lavender, delphiniums, peonies, hollyhocks, foxgloves, sweet peas, lupines, columbines, campanulas.

Mediterranean Garden

Inspired by the landscapes of Southern Europe, Mediterranean gardens are drought-tolerant and filled with plants that thrive in sunny, dry conditions. They often incorporate gravel paths, terracotta pots, and architectural elements.

Top 10 Flowers for Mediterranean Gardens

Lavender, rosemary, bougainvillea, agapanthus, oleander, kniphofia, salvia, shrub rose, penstemon, euphorbia.

Container Garden

Container gardens are versatile and can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of space limitations. By planting in pots, containers, or hanging baskets, you’ll enjoy portability and the ability to adjust the amount of sunlight exposure if needed and you can showcase your creativity with plants and containers.

Top 10 Flowers for Container Gardens

Petunias, geraniums, bleeding hearts, calibrachoas, begonias, verbena, nasturtiums, pansies, marigolds, alyssum.

Pollinator Garden

Pollinator gardens are thoughtfully designed to attract and support bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. They focus on providing nectar-rich plants and habitats for these important creatures.

Top 10 Flowers for Pollinator Gardens

Bee balm, butterfly bush, coneflowers, zinnias, sunflowers, liatris, salvia, asters, coreopsis, phlox.

Native Garden

Native gardens celebrate local ecosystems and support regional wildlife. They feature plants that naturally occur in the area and require minimal maintenance.

Top 10 Flowers for Native Gardens

Black-eyed Susans, milkweed, cardinal flower, goldenrod, columbine, purple coneflower, lupine, Joe Pye weed, penstemon, indigo.

Organic Garden

Organic gardens prioritize natural methods of pest control and soil enrichment. They promote sustainability and harmony with the environment.

Top 10 Flowers for Organic Gardens

Marigolds, nasturtiums, calendula, sunflowers, sweet alyssum, cosmos, borage, chrysanthemums, daisies, phlox.

English Garden

An English garden is known for its structured layout, lush greenery, and a blend of formal and informal elements. These gardens often include neatly trimmed hedges and intricate pathways.

Top 10 Flowers for English Gardens

Roses, delphiniums, irises, poppies, hollyhocks, foxgloves, peonies, campanulas, aquilegias, Canterbury bells.

Vegetable Garden

Vegetable gardens are a source of fresh produce and a rewarding way to supplement your diet. They combine edible plants most often in well-organized beds or rows. These flowers are popular and beneficial for companion planting in vegetable gardens – and some are edible, too.

Top 10 Flowers for Vegetable Gardens

Marigolds, nasturtiums, calendula, sunflowers, sweet alyssum, cosmos, borage, chrysanthemums, daisies, zinnias.

Flower Garden

A classic flower garden showcases an array of blooms, often focusing on aesthetics and a wide variety of colors and shapes.

Top 10 Flowers for Flower Gardens

Roses, tulips, lilies, daffodils, peonies, irises, gladioli, dahlias, cosmos, zinnias.

Springtime Garden

Spring gardens highlight the elegance and beauty of flowers that grow mostly from bulbs, often featuring large swaths of one or more varieties in a spring garden. Try lasagna planting, too.

Top 10 Bulb Varieties for Springtime Gardens

Allium, narcissus, starflower, tulips, crocus, colchicum, hyacinth, anemone, galanthus, freesia.

With so many garden types to choose from, there's a style that suits every gardener's preferences. Use these flower recommendations a starting point for your favorite garden style. Be sure to verify your growing zone and choose plants recommended for your area.