Cottage Garden Help!

First of all, thank you to those of you who have given me advice and ideas on how we can salvage the original pine flooring at Mint Green Gables. I will definitely come back to these ideas when we are ready to tackle the floors.

Now I would like to ask for your opinion on the front door color and landscape ideas. Let me preface this by saying I love the color of the house and have no plans to make changes there, but I am thinking about painting the front door to give the front a nice pop of color. If you remember, this front door is the one we found at an antiques store and it is currently shabby white.


I am leaning toward a soft coral color for the front door because I think coral and mint look beautiful together. I have also considered a soft yellow or a stronger chartreuse, but Phillip thinks that may give the house more of a beach cottage look.

You can see some examples of both coral and yellow front doors (and other random things) on my Green Gables Pinterest board.

So what are your thoughts? Should I keep it white or paint it coral, yellow, or maybe consider another color?

(Note: We are in a historical neighborhood, but there is not a specific color palette I have to choose from. I have already contacted someone from the board and she gave me the go ahead.)

Next up, landscape.

Unfortunately there is not one tree or mature shrub in our front yard.

My someday dream is to have an eclectic overgrown cottage garden with a white picket fence. I have some beautiful cottage gardens pinned to my Green Gables Garden Pinterest board.

Here is the current view of the front and side of our house.


I would like to plant some taller flowering shrubs around the porch and then continue working my way out with smaller shrubs and flowers over the next few years. I don’t have much of a green thumb so I would prefer landscape that is pretty low maintenance.

Should I plant pale pink Knock-Out Roses broken up with Fox Gloves around the porch? Other ideas?

I have also thought about a small tree at the pictured right corner of the porch. Maybe a Hibiscus tree or a Crepe Myrtle? Or perhaps I should do climbing roses? The pictured left side of the porch gets more shade so I thought about planting a Hydrangea over there.

For reference, we live in Coastal Virginia and our house faces west. The front of the porch gets morning shade and full sun the rest of the day. The pictured right side of the porch gets full sun all day and the small part to the pictured left of the porch is shaded. Also for reference, the porch rails measure 54 1/2″ high from the ground and the front bed to the pictured right of the porch steps to the front corner of the porch is approximately 16′ across.

I truly have no clue where to begin and would appreciate any advice or suggestions you may have. Help!

I can’t wait to hear your ideas.



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  1. Kelly S says:

    It depends on your cottage garden to match your front door. If you look at a color wheel the direct opposite on the color wheel to mint green is lavender or a pastel pink depending on how much yellow base you have. So if you go pale pink on the door you could do lilacs which bloom in the spring and definitely the pale pink knock out roses. SO low maintenance. A hot pink or fuschia crepe myrtle will give you heighth in front. Dianthus is always a nice perennial low growing plant that comes in all shades of pink. It has a green blue base and will bloom all summer if you pinch off dead blooms (dead head). phlox is a low growing and weeping looking plant type ground cover that grows in clumps. Both purple, pink or white in color. Russian Sage is also a pretty light and airy plant that grows tall but does not need a lot of attention. If you decide on a lavender door you can go with all the above mentioned flowers but add some lirope which is a low growing grassy looking plant with purple blooms. Foxglove and irises. tulips in the spring. If you want a big contrast plant some black eyed Susans for pop. Hope this helps. I think I would stick with pastels.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Kelly, You have given me so much to think about! I never thought much about coordinating the house colors with the garden, but it makes perfect sense. And you have introduced a whole new idea to me with the suggestion of a lavender or pink front door, which also both make sense because pastels are very Victorian. There is a pink house one street over that I adore! I can’t wait to look up all of these plants tonight after the kids go to bed. Thanks again!

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