Early cottage gardens were used to plant for food in humble homes of common folk . The gardens were started for practical as well as aesthetic purposes. Gardens were designed to grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs that the homeowners could eat or sell. Over the years, families added bright spots of color at the front door by using hardy plants that multiply easily.
This wild and quirky garden style became very popular in the Victorian era. In the mid 1800s rich travelers would bring back exotic plants and flowers for their conservatories and “cottage gardens” .
They placed kitchen herbs next to exotic flowers and masses of perennials that had reseeded from the year before.
What makes a cottage-country garden?
I picture a thatched-roofed cottage surrounded by masses of tall flowers and plants.
But most of us don’t have actual cottages – so the cottage garden style that has emerged today is determined by other things like the types of flowers that are used, an informal garden design, and location of the garden to the house.
Other terms evoke the same inspiration- Country Garden , or English Garden .
This garden style can be a combintation of blooms with color all season ,mixing herbs and flowers together in a garden bed close to the house .
Think of a garden that’s a bit busy ….packed with blooms and garden objects and structures. Wild and unkempt.... playful,fun and interesting should be the gardne design goals.
Often this kind of garden is designed to mix herbs and shrubs in with all of the flowers; even small fruit trees.
Using lots of different kinds of flowers, trees, and shrubs in your cottage garden can be challenging to design and sustain.
It takes some skill and work to maintain all of the plantings to keep the wild cottage look ,and not become a messy nightmare. Follow these tips and you can create a cottage styled garden of your own.
Traditional cottage plants are usually native to the area; hardy, easy to grow perennials and reseeding annual flowers.
These are my favorites below. Create the combination of color and texture that speaks to you for a colorful and simple garden plan.
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