CREATING A COUNTRY GARDEN
A cottage garden can bring the feel of the country into any space and with the right plants and layout can be easily created around any style or age of property
Informal in looks and packed with plants, cottage gardens are ideal for anyone wishing to grow lots of plants in a small area. Although relaxed and unstructured in appearance, there are some golden rules that apply when creating a cottage garden.
• Keep it relatively small in size
• Avoid straight lines – so have curved beds and winding paths
• Let plants spill over onto paths and walkways
• Choose path materials that complement your home and garden so traditional materials such as brick, stone and gravel
• If you can, give the garden a backdrop with hedges, rustic fencing or a wall
• Make it your own with structural focal points such as arbours, obelisks and small trees and shrubs
• Have a good mix of plants and repeat plants and colours to create a flow and harmony
When it comes to plant selection pick ones that are robust and tough as there is lots of competition for space in a cottage garden and don’t forget to add in scented plants like honeysuckle, roses and lavenders. Also, a cottage garden looks amazing in summer but will have a quiet season in winter so make sure you plant winter and spring bulbs to give colour all year round.
Classic cottage plants include ones that provide a bit of height such as delphiniums, lupins, foxgloves and hollyhocks, which are usually scattered through the borders. Roses are also essential – both bush and climbers – and the more highly scented the better.
Try using perennials rather than annuals. Perennials come back each year and are much less work – which is why roses, geraniums and lavender are popular choices. And don’t forget to deadhead – every couple of days in the summer – to keep the garden looking fresh and colourful and to help plants to produce more flowers.