Martha Stewart gives a 'chaotic' cottage garden masterclass – our garden expert explains how to plant yours

Complete with roses, alliums, lupins, and more – Martha's 'disorganized' garden encourages us to be a little more carefree this season

Martha Stewart
(Image credit: GettyImages / Alamy)

As one of the most influential figures in the homes and gardens industry, when Martha Stewart posts on social media, she can kickstart – or reboot – a trend all on her own.

Located in Bedford, New York, Martha's farm is the source of much of her – and our – inspiration for everything from color schemes to garden planning. And this week, she brings us both in one single post, sharing her 'chaotic' (her words) cottage garden

'The farm is ablaze with color, complex in numbers of varieties, and utterly charming in a chaotic and disorganized way,' Martha says. 'The old roses have never been better, the wisteria did not forget to bloom, and the lupines have gone wild!' 

Loving her ode to the traditional English garden? Us too, so we spoke to our gardening experts to find out how to recreate it.

How to recreate Martha Stewart's cottage garden – in any size yard

As Martha mentions, roses, wisteria (note: this one is banned in some states), and lupines feature somewhere amid the colorful chaos – but they're not all we spotted. Also seen in the 10 photos above are alliums, Sweet William, and poppies – all of which create an eclectic, maximalist garden that embraces 'wild' planting. 

Alongside its aesthetic qualities, this floral wildlife-friendly garden comes with eco-friendly benefits – creating valuable shelter, habitats, food, and water for pollinators and local animals through its imperfections. 

So, how can we create our own? H&G's resident garden expert, Drew Swainston, recommends beginning by mixing perennials, annuals, and bulbs together.

'It's a fantastic way to give your backyard interest throughout the year,' Drew says. 'Don't be afraid to allow annuals, like poppies, to self-seed throughout the garden; you can remove them as seedlings in some areas quickly and leave them to bloom in others.'

Drew Swainston
Drew Swainston

Drew qualified as a journalist before studying for a horticulture qualification, after which he worked as a professional gardener for several years, specializing in kitchen gardening. He's now bringing his expertise and passion to Homes & Gardens as a member of our team. 

Martha Stewart

(Image credit: GettyImages)

We love how Martha has embraced disorganization in her garden – but it is possible to practise more maintenance in your own space.

'If you would prefer some control, you can always remove the heads to collect the seeds to sow for next year,' Drews suggests. 'While poppies look stunning in bloom, their seed heads can also be elegant and structural if left in the border – or you can take the stem and seed head to dry and use them in arrangements.' 

We're picking up our poppy seeds, as well as more Martha-inspired picks below.

When it comes to maintaining our gardens, the process is equally as simple. 'All plants in beds or borders will benefit from a good mulch of compost or well-rotted organic matter in the spring,' Drew continues. 'This will give them access to more nutrients to help them grow big and strong, and it also boosts the soil's moisture-retaining ability.'

Meanwhile, when it comes to achieving roses as healthy as Martha's, Drew suggests applying a layer of mulch (around two inches thick) this springtime. 'They will benefit from all those valuable nutrients to help them put on a stunning display of blooms.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.