Before you get your shovel out, it's important to plan what you are going to put in your garden first. Try sketching out a plan of everything you will include in it. Decide where things such as statues, water features or even a garden gnome or two will go. And make sure you consider where paths will go through the garden. The most important tip is to plant for your soil rather than changing the soil to suit your plants. Find out your soil's pH level and whether you have sandy or clay soil, and then choose plants to suit.
Check out our planting guides for these classic cottage garden plants: