How an Overgrown Exterior Became a Charming Cottage Showplace

See how this weedy wreck became a gorgeous cottage garden overflowing with idyllic landscaping touches.

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Before: Patchy with Potential

home exterior before

Overgrown weeds and bare dirt patches overtaking this yard would be a scary sight for most passersby, but two ambitious house hunters saw it as a chance to grow their green thumb potential.

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Good Foundations

home exterior

Using the original wide flagstone path, planting beds, and large American elm as starting points, the homeowners better defined the space by adding several large boulders and lighted walking paths. Fortunately, the bald lawn was an easy fix, though it required patience.

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Fountain Focal Point


Fountains are a popular way to bring the sights and sounds of water to the garden. This large stone statue fountain anchors one side of the property with classic beauty.

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Sunny Blooms


Instead of a formal garden plan, the homeowners aimed to cultivate seasonal color starting with soft purples and pinks in spring and moving to bright, bold yellows in summer. Here, a jolt of yellow from black-eyed Susans provides a bit of sunny color to the front garden among all the pink and red flowers.

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Symmetrical Statement

home exterior

This front door proves bright colors aren't necessary to turn heads. A striking black door and symmetrical urns make the home's entry sing.

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Signature Details


A few well-placed window boxes spilling over with blooms crank up the home's cottage appeal. This colorful arrangement gives a great view from both inside and out.

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Before: Plain Patio

home exterior

A shabby patio at the front of the house was an outdoor oasis waiting to happen.

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After: Flagstone Patio

home exterior

A new flagstone patio was created when the homeowners built the dining room addition. A bench, a low table, and pretty containers make the area a welcoming perch enveloped by garden touches.

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Secret Garden


At the edge of the property, this rustic garden gate adds antique charm. The gate was there when the couple moved in, and they kept it in all its weathered glory.

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Workbench Revival


An old bench was unearthed from the garage for a multipurpose work surface. After a good sanding and staining, the bench stands in as a drink station, buffet, or potting area.

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Painted Deck


The deck was painted black for a more formal look in keeping with the home's black-and-white exterior color scheme. Ample seating arranged for conversation makes the deck a comfortable spot to gather and entertain.

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Hip Hangout


A hammock slung between two trees is a peaceful hangout spot in the backyard. Simple landscaping touches like a flagstone path and retaining walls make the space feel semiconnected to the rest of the garden and outdoor living areas.

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Cottage Garden Style

See how easy it is to capture the charm of cottage gardens in your own landscape.

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