By: Divine Plants Online
12 Jan 17
Build your own Traditional English cottage garden
We’ve all seen beautiful traditional English Cottage Gardens, and breathed a collective sigh of envy over their unstructured, colourful splendour. It’s easy to become enamoured by their appeal, and we’re going to help you step by step to build your own cottage garden, complete with the list of plants you’ll need for that welcoming, homely feel at your house.
You’ll want to assess how much useable space you’ve got to work with before beginning with your planting. If you have limited space to work with, don’t panic, there are plenty of ways to get creative with what you’ve got. If you have a fence or wall to work with, you can get a trellis for some climbers; we like Jasminum polyanthum and Pyrostegia venusta, or nail / screw some punnets into place on the wall / fence. There are some great vertical gardens out there, and if you don’t even have one fence-line / wall to work with outside, you can also do this inside the house too! If you’re renting and want something less permanent, get an old book shelf, place it alongside a wall / fence outside, and use that for all your potted plants. Stack plants on each shelf, and screw some punnets into place either side of the book shelf. Also, don’t forget to use some hanging pots to utilize roof space, think Native Violets (Viola hederacea) and Scaevola aemula Purple Fanfare. Just grab yourself some hooks (or those stick on ones for all the renters out there) : ) and place them along an edge of your patio roof.
You can buy vertical garden kits from Bunnnings (left) and VersiWall (right).
To begin, it’s important to know that most traditional English cottage gardens are a mixture of function and fashion, meaning that you’ll want to start off with a few edible plants. Herbs are a wonderful addition to any cottage garden, for the smell, bug repelling capabilities and of course the delicious edible benefits that they provide. We stock different varieties of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Mint (Mentha spicata) and Sage, which will give you that lovely touch of being able to wander out into the garden, pick a few fresh herbs, and use them in your cooking!
Secondly, every enviable cottage garden has a selection of closely planted colourful flowering and ornamental plants. These plants are not only selected for their glorious foliage and flowers, but also the pleasant aromas they produce. That’s part of the reason a lot of cottage gardens utilize Lavender (Lavandula avonview), offering both beautiful fragrance as well as pretty flowers. Some of the flowering cottage garden staples include Lavender, Agapanthus, Geraniums, Hydrangeas, Plumbago, and Double White May (Spirea cantoniensis lanceata) (all available in our store!). In the first picture growing over the gate, the Yellow Banksia Rose (Rosa Banksiae Lutea) is a perfect addition to any cottage garden, as a sprawling climber resembling a rose bush without the thorns! We also stock an abundance of ornamental plants just perfect for edging, hedges, groundcovers, climbing, and to plant in between your flowering plants. Some of our favourites are Ajuga Burgundy Glow, Gardenias, Scaevola, Westringias, and Japanese Box (Buxus microphylla japonica). You can also plant Camellias and Viburnum tinus, and shape them into small, ornamental flowering trees as a pretty feature plant, like you can observe in the third picture above.
Every cottage garden is a unique and beautiful thing, with only the common staples guiding the gardener in the right direction. Due to its unstructured nature, this means there’s really no right or wrong way of doing your own cottage garden, so pick what appeals to you out of the ideas mentioned above, and create as you see fit. Congratulations on your progress and happy gardening!