Friday, February 5, 2010

Cottage gardens are all about plants.

So often the cottage garden tends to be glorified, as if it stepped out of the pages of a fairy tale or a Thomas Kinkade painting. In reality, along with being beautiful, it is a highly useful style of garden. It can be, and has been, adapted to fit our modern life styles and its appeal is truly global.

Cottage gardens reflect your own personal mix of plants — whether flowers, fruit or vegetables. The emphasis is on the year-round pleasure of enjoying their form, flowers and scent - not to mention picking your own salads, herbs, fruit and vegetables.

I am currently working on a new section for my website that will deal with concepts for cottage gardens, the plants that are most appropriate, the use of hard and soft landscaping and so on. Looking back at the many plant profiles I have posted on the site, I suddenly realised how many of the plants are suited to cottage gardens. I have subconsciously gravitated towards writing about the plants of my childhood, the plants that my own father favoured in the garden.

Two of my most recent posts to my website deal with what are quintessential cottage garden flowers — Hollyhocks and Delphiniums. What gloriously reliable plants these are.

You can never have too many delphiniums. They are glorious plants with flower spikes that can grow up to 180cm tall. Normally, they are a range of blues, but are also available in white, pinks, and purple. They are standouts as background plants.

Hybridisation of delphiniums has resulted in many new colours and attractive flower forms and growing heights. Flower colours range in shades of blue from palest sky, through to gentian and indigo; rich purple, lavender, pink to purest white.

The resurgence in Hollyhock popularity comes from several factors. Renewed interest in cottage gardens, a desire for drought and heat tolerance in garden flowers and the introduction of many new varieties are all helping fuel their new popularity.

Hollyhock plants are a fun and easy to grow flowering plant. It’s an old time favourite. Hollyhocks are a large plant with big leaves and big blossoms. They produce a profusion of big flowers from summer through autumn. They are perfect to fill large areas, and the back of a flowerbed. Hollyhocks can be used in perennial, biennial and annual applications depending on the type and treatment.

If you would like to know more about these venerable cottage garden plants visit for information about hollyhocks and for the low-down on Delphiniums. It really will be worth the effort!


  1. I too love Hollyhocks and wonderfully old-fashioned and romantic in a garden!

  2. Thanks for the feedback Kirsten. I think you will enjoy the full feature on Cottage gardens I have just posted on my website. Go to