For many of us, the image of the cottage garden with its warm colours, its links to a time gone by, and its self-sufficiency is idyllic. Yet this style of garden is in reach of us all, however small or large the plot. While the romantic image of the cottage garden may have certain defining features, the beauty within the design is there are no rules. With a little planning and minimal upkeep you can create the garden of your dreams.
Features of a Cottage Garden
This traditional style of garden was born out of practicality and most people will want to incorporate many of the original features used in bygone eras.
Traditional pastel colours and fragrant flowers such as peonies, foxglove, clematis, pansies, hollyhock and roses add warmth and calm to the garden. The flowers help attract bees in to the garden to pollinate the choice of vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs that you wish to grow.
Gardens of this style would typically have fencing or a wall as a boundary. Picket fences are common, as are taller lattice fences which help support climbing varieties of plants like clematis and wisteria.
This style of garden would not be the same without the meandering paths which invite exploration and help emphasise the feel of a garden left to its own devices. Furniture and fun elements dotted around the garden add a personal touch as well as a burst of character and old-style English eccentricity.
Tips to Consider
This style of garden sees an informal crowding of plant beds with a variety of plants containing a mix of perennials, annuals, vegetables and herbs. This relies on good, rich organic soil, with a decent quantity of compost incorporated too.
Mulching the beds is also key as it helps retain moisture and soil temperature, while compost can be added each year.
Make your paths, border fences and garden features fit in with the traditional feel of the garden. A rustic style fence or wall is common in this style of garden, but look for vintage or antique items and materials. This holds true for the garden furniture, too, as contemporary seating and tables may spoil the effect you are after.
If starting from scratch, spend some time considering the type of planting for your soil and the aspect of your garden, as well as how much maintenance it may require.
Professional advice from a garden designer can be beneficial in preventing planting errors and ensuring a design which is easy to maintain.
Their expertise and advice can help you avoid costly mistakes and save you time having to redesign or replant if the garden does not work out how you envisaged.
Your garden is your haven, providing natural beauty on your doorstep. A garden designer helps bring all your ideas to fruition to deliver the garden you always dreamed of owning.