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Lake Cottage Landscaping Plans

Ahh I have been waiting for this day all summer long! I finally got to play in the dirt over at the guest cottage, which is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve been landscaping my bootie off over here the last few days. Well, more accurately landscaping my arms off…but 70 some odd plants and 22 bags of mulch later things are looking good! I had a lot of help from the people at Walters Gardens. They made me a great landscaping plan, and provided me with all the awesome Proven Winner plants. Most of our yard at our house is in the sun so I’m not as familiar with the best plants for shady areas. They were so great in helping me figure out everything I needed!

white cottage with fall mums

I’ve had a few questions on Instagram about planting in September like this. Fall is actually a great time to plant in Michigan. The colder temps and soil are easier for the plants to adapt to, and everything should come back up beautifully in the spring. I can’t wait! We just need to survive the winter first.

white cottage with shady landscaping

Let’s do a little before and after action before I share all the plant names.


white house siding remodel


best plants for shady areas

sun garden with catmint russian sage and juniper

Ahh I never get over these photos, so fun to look back!

Lake Cottage Landscaping Plans

So here is the landscaping plan that Walter’s Gardens made for me, which lists all the plants. I figure that’s the easiest way for you to see the different varieties I used. We switched a few things around based on availability, but overall this is pretty close to what I planted.

Lake Cottage Landscaping Plans



A plant in a garden

A pile of green plants


An exterior white house with a door and window

A dog sitting on an outdoor couch

I wanted a lot of purples and pinks mixed in amongst the green. I’m so happy with the choices we made.

Lake House Landscaping Plan

A garden with water in the background

We also put in this new gravel drive and sun garden. It really changes the look of the place from the road. Everything in here the Catmint, Junipers, and Russian Sage should get nice and tall and cover up our ugly utility pole in the next few years.



A house with bushes in front of a building

A large purple flower is in a garden

A close up of a garden

I couldn’t resist adding some purple mums for fall out on the patio.

lake house with gray french doors and mums

Charlie apparently couldn’t resist them either. He has been loving “his” new office spot.

I still have plans to add window boxes, house numbers, and exterior lighting but landscaping made such a huge difference! I can’t wait to see these Proven Winner plants mature over the next few years.

It feels like a brand new place!

See more of the guest cottage below –

Guest Cottage Design Boards

Guest Cottage Kitchen

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  1. Wow it is a new place! It looks sooo good. Charlie thinks so too! Hes so cute. You did a great job

  2. Just stunning Kelly! All of your choices are perfect! Glad to see Charlie approves 🤪🐾💙

  3. Kelly,

    Absolutely amazing transformation. I have a home close to you that could use your magical touch!!!!!

  4. Ooooooh my goodness – if I were you I’d stand on my deck and gaze at the transformation all day long. It truly doesn’t even look like the same place. I’m sure your neighbors LOVE what you’ve done to your area of the Lake. Bravo Kelly!!! It looks AMAZING!!!

  5. Hi Kelly,
    You said you used 22 bags of mulch. What kind of mulch did you uses?. It looks almost shredded.
    Everything looks beautiful.

  6. Amazing how plants and flowers add the perfect finishing touches!! Looks so beautiful! I’m sure your neighbors are thrilled with this entire makeover! Great job!

  7. You make it look easy. It’s beautiful. I love the way the exterior windows are framed. I’ve not personally seen that before. Inspiring!

  8. What a transformation! The landscaping is beautiful, Kelly, but I found myself smiling over and over because of your furry little sidekick. I love the way Charlie watches over his ‘Mom’. ;)

  9. Simply stunning, the complete cottage Reno and the beautiful new gardens. Charlie is a lucky little pup to live there! Love Michigan!!!

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