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Bursting with colour, gradients of heights and whimsicality, it’s no wonder the cottage garden is growing in popularity. From the overgrown enchanted fairy-tale cottage in the woods to the coastal picket fenced Devon Holiday Cottages from Lyme Bay Holidays, there is certainly no shortage of inspiration to get that perfect look.
Creating an outdoor space which looks rural and unruly however, is not simply just letting your garden grow out of control, but rather carefully selecting the perfect plants and nurturing them to add that edge of personality to your home. Here we explore how to achieve that perfect cottage garden look.
Plan the Plants
Start your cottage garden small by planting your hardiest and easiest growing flowers and shrubbery and work your way outwards. Whilst a cottage garden traditionally incorporates a wide variety of flowers, trees and shrubs all entwining to create a maze of overgrowing flora, it’s important when starting your garden to have a plan and direction in mind.
Placing plants next to each other which will compete with each other for light or nutrients, for example, wouldn’t be beneficial for their growth and longevity. Once you have carefully nurtured and grown your base plants and understand their needs, you can start to add to your garden. Just remember that much like any other growing garden, you will need to regularly tend to it to ensure it doesn’t become unmanageable or too unruly. Having an initial plan will help your garden to thrive in the future and help you to achieve your perfect cottage garden look.
A cottage garden isn’t complete without a beautiful selection of bright flowers. Try mixing and matching a variety of colours and styles to create that perfect overflowing rural feel. Popular plants include lavender, hollyhocks, geraniums and of course the traditional rose.
When selecting your plants consider their flowering seasons and the length of time they are in bloom, as you’ll want to get as much floral time from your cottage garden as possible.
Along with a huge variety of colours, cottage gardens are known for their gradients in height. Try planting a mix of low lying shrubbery, small trees if you have the space, and tall flowers to intersperse the greenery. If you don’t have space to incorporate taller growing trees or shrubs, why not use a trellis to encourage climbing plants to give that added height.
Decorations can be a brilliant way to add your personal touch to your cottage garden. If you’re wanting to create a fairy-tale style garden why not include windchimes and other whimsical ornaments in and amongst the plants. Or perhaps for a more modern take, decorating your garden with lanterns and including seating to give maximum enjoyment both day and night.
No Rules for your cottage garden
The number one rule for starting your cottage garden however, is that there are no rules! Choose the flowers and plants that represent your personality the most, and just have fun. It doesn’t have to be picture perfect to begin with, and remember a cottage garden takes time to establish, so be patient and take time to enjoy it as it flourishes.