The English Cottage Garden

The English Cottage Garden

by Jill Black

The English cottage garden is often favoured by people with plenty of time to garden, who are romantic at heart, artists or photographers as a ready source of subject matter, or by anyone who enjoys a densely planted informal mixed garden that looks natural and unstructured filled with interesting shapes, textures, fragrances and colours from a wide variety of flowers, shrubs and herbs.

If this is the style of garden you envision, then you have a wide variety of flowering and fragrant plants from which to choose. Some of the more commonly grown ones are:

* Roses – a favourite amongst cottage gardeners with a mix of bush, climbing, tea roses and carpet roses to choose from.

* Lavender – Along walkways, in containers or set amongst other plants.

* Old-Fashioned Flowers – Stock, Delphiniums, Violets, Asters. Verbena, Calendula, Daisies, Cosmos, Pansies, Love-in-the-mist, Poppies, Foxgloves...

* Shrubs and small trees - Geraniums, Hydrangeas, Lilacs...

* Bulbs – Daffodils, Tulips, Jonquils, Gladioli, Lillie's...


Culinary and medicinal herbs can often be found growing mingled with the shrubs and flowers, or in grown containers ready for use by the home gardener in a number of ways:

* For adding colour, texture and flavour to culinary dishes

* For making herbal teas

* Homemade skin care products and lotions

* Homemade medicines and ointments


Along with mass plantings the English cottage garden will often include several of the following structural elements within the garden setting. This could include:

* A birdbath

* A Sundial

* Wishing well or other water feature

* Gazebo

* Trellis or archways

* Picket fences

* Plants in terracotta pots or hanging baskets

* Garden seating

* Brick or cobblestone walkways

Caring for your Cottage Garden

To keep your cottage garden looking good regular dead-heading of the spent flowers is required to prolong the blooming period. Leave some flower heads for the purpose of re-seeding your garden for next years growing period. Cut back the foliage of perennials to the basil foliage when it is past it's best and destroy any diseased plant material to keep your garden healthy. Allow plants to self-sow and intermingle removing any tree seedlings while they are small or plants that spring up in unwanted corners of the garden.

Copyright © J Black 2006.

About the Author: Jill is a freelance writer and photographer based in New Zealand. You can visit Jill for more Home and Garden Articles and Ideas at her website.


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