Cottage garden design is based around the principle of dense planting in the garden, originating around workers cottages the style has now become one of the most used garden ideas in the UK. The best designs or plans for this style of garden also follow a few other rules.
In this style of garden plants are encouraged to grow right up to and even flow over informal. pathways. Plants spilling over the edge of a narrow pathway create an informal and easy going, 'natural' feel.
Traditional Designs tend to avoid straight lines, paths tend to have curves and meander through the garden.
Plants in these gardens are allowed to 'self seed', so species tend to mix and mingle together.
Outbuildings or sheds tend to act as a climbing frame in cottage gardens. Fences often have a rustic look, arches and trellises tend to be made of timber.
Traditionally some of the most important parts would have been located at the rear of the house, near the kitchen. Here it is easy to go outside and gather fresh produce, or flowers. These gardens were originally around workers cottages, they were small and filled with as many vegetables and flowers as was possible.... cottage gardens were originally very practical, working gardens, perhaps the type of garden we should be looking at today.
Cottage Garden Plants
We are often asked for a 'list' of Plants, almost impossible to give a complete list, here are some general ideas for Cottage planting lists.
Climbing and Rambling Old fashioned or Heritage Roses, preferably those with a nice perfume. These can be grown over arches, fences. or against buildings, no garden should be without them.
- Lavender, a favourite.
- Delphiniums and Hollyhocks, these add height to the garden as well as wonderful flowers.
- Fruit Trees, yes a plum tree or similar can make a great garden plant
- Liliums, old fashioned lilies that will produce a great show of flowers every year.
- Geraniums, these hardy plants are another favourite.
- Just about any perennial plant that flowers and is easy to grow, agastache, daylilies, iris, achillea, phlox, cosmos, clematis, lilac and so on.
- Vegetables, no real cottage garden is complete without them, grow them among the perennial, or in a separate garden bed if you wish, but grow them..
Urns and planters, ponds and fountains all have a place, they just need to 'blend in'
Cottage gardens are a very popular style of garden in the UK. Relying on what seems to be an almost random planting or perennials and other plants the best are actually cleverly designed and planted. A traditional style would be extensively planted with herbs, vegetables and fruit trees as well as a good collection of flowering plants.
Today we tend to separate the Vegetable Garden from the Flower Garden, however even in modern design fruit trees and vegetable plants are beginning to appear between the primulas, perennials and roses in cottage gardens.
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