Cottage gardens embrace charm and character, but they rely on the same basic principles as any other style of garden.
Start by creating a basic shape of hard landscaping, then add ‘core’ trees, shrubs and perennials that give the garden its personality. Leave the fine detail until last.
Cottage gardens conjure up small gardens full to the brim of plants, so much so that the plants dominate the garden — and why not? Mix every colour and shape and pack them all into a small space to create a sense of fun.
These gardens offer somewhere to potter about in and lose yourself for a while. All those little nooks and crannies to hide gardening objects, like those that you see in the small Flower Show gardens. Objects like old bikes, wheelbarrows, bird baths and terracotta pots can add fun and personalise your garden.
Anyone who has ever attempted to create a cottage garden has probably already discovered that the concept is somewhat hard to define in an exact and precise manner. I do, though, disagree with people who insist that you cannot have a cottage garden without a cottage. While there are many elements that may be present in the majority of cottage gardens, as the term is more widely applied, it is also true that some ambiguity applies as to whether certain items and design characteristics are required as essential features.
The cottage garden is an adaptable style and one can easily venture away from the mould of the traditional. One could easily create a cottage garden of only native plants or use only the new and exotic. This style is especially suited to the plantaholic that is continually searching out the rare and unusual and would definitely lead to the creation of a non-traditional cottage garden.
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