The Cottage Garden uses an informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mix of ornamental and edible plants. When planning the Landscape Design a certain amount of thought needs to go into creating a garden that looks entirely natural. It is more of a re-creation of times past. So consideration needs be given to its origin. Once you understand the nature of those who lived in and cultivated a Cottage Garden, then you're able to duplicate that look.
In the late 1800's stylized versions grew to become a means of providing sustenance to the working-class with typical English Cottage Garden Designs being maintained by the women of the house. Therefore, they provided cut flowers for the dinner table and food for the parlour from spring to the first hard freeze. These were typically made by and maintained by those who did not have a lot of money.
Initially, created for crops to sustain families, Flowers were few or established by blown in seed. The garden was full of grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure. These gardens were once a common sight behind each home right next to the kitchen garden. It is all about creating something on a limited budget rather than going to the local garden centre and picking up a tray of petunias. New plants were obtained from friends - from cuttings, divisions or seed.
Traditionally Cottage Gardens were a random mixture of useful and ornamental plants, with more emphasis being given to the useful plants. Plants needed to provide food, be used for medicinal purposes, or as animal forage, with ornamental plants being an afterthought. Every square inch of ground was precious and had to be used for the benefit of the household.
Cottage Gardens do not look designed although much forethought is needed when trying to create English Cottage Garden Designs particularly when using such favoured plants as Roses. They're usually exuberant, free-flowering, and sometimes even unrestrained. Planting was usually random rather than straight lines or defined patterns. Plants cascade over paths and weave between each other adding to their charm. Self-seeding plants pop up in unexpected places. This type of garden is all about plants. Paths, seating areas and containers were just there to enjoy them.
In a Cottage Garden, plants are grown very close together and meant to look as if there was no real plan behind them. Planning a succession of bloom with different areas of the garden lighting up the garden throughout the growing season offers a glorious show with wild abandon. There was also very little weeding as weeds cannot become established in the thick mass of garden flowers. There was usually no room for a Lawn as a Lawn offered no intrinsic value.
The concept behind creating a cottage Landscape Design is 'do whatever you think looks best'. After all, you can always dig plants up and move them around.
There are several enclosures that could be used to frame the garden such as;
In each case, the enclosure serves to contain, protect, and separate the garden from its surroundings.
The creative reuse of recycled materials such as; chimney pots, earthenware land drainage pipes and bottomless metal buckets add to the charm and romance as well as Landscaping Sustainability.
Click Projects below to view details
COTFGD001 - Formal Cottage Garden & Kids Fun Features
COTCDY001 - Transformation of a Cottage Garden Wall with a Brick Path & Flower Bed