Monday, March 16, 2015

Cottage Garden Plans

We discussed the things to consider with a Cottage Garden design back on March 5.  Now we have the plants for you.

The earliest cottage gardens were more practical than their modern descendants with an emphasis on vegetables and herbs, along with some fruit trees, perhaps a beehive, and even livestock. Flowers were used to fill any spaces in between. Over time, flowers became more dominant. The traditional cottage garden was usually enclosed, perhaps with a rose-bowered gateway. Flowers common to early cottage gardens included hollyhocks, pansies and delphinium, all three essentially 19th-century flowers. Others were the old-fashioned roses that bloomed once a year with rich scents, simple flowers like daisies, and flowering herbs. A well-tended topiary of traditional form, perhaps a cone-shape in tiers, or a conventionalized peacock, would be part of the repertory, to which the leisured creators of "cottage gardens" would add a sun-dial, crazy paving on paths with thyme interspersed, and a rustic seat, generally missing in the earlier cottage gardens.

Cottage Garden border
When designing a cottage garden whether as an entire front or back yard or just as a border or entrance, you can use fences, walls and other things as a focal point and build your cottage style around that.

The Plans

This plan uses a house as the background and a walkway as the front border, then the plants are placed cottage-style between the two items.

Herbs, flowering perennials and a focal point of a bird bath complete the design.  You can use a sundial or piece of sculpture instead of  a bird bath, but you want something permanent as your focal point.

For this design I used a mixture of plants, not all of them herbs to give color and texture.

A = Lady's Mantle
B = red flowering Verbena (might need 2 plants)
C =  Black eye susan (3 plants)
D = Day lily (yellow or orange)
E = Russian Sage
F = Hyssop
G = Yarrow, yellow or red
H = Lemon Basil (for the contrast)
I = Purple Ruffled Basil (3 plants and cut frequently to make them bushy)
J = Golden Oregano (Origanium vulgarus 'Aureum')
K = Smokebush (Cothus coggygria 'Royal Purple)
L = Comfrey 
M = Lungwort
N = Gialnt Allium (Allium giganteum)
O = Lavender (6 plants is perfect)
P = Japanese Spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Goldflame’)
Q = Sedum 'Autumn Joy' or sprinkle in Nasturtium Seed
R = Winter savory  shaped to a ball shrub
S = White Yarrow
T = Tarragon as a back drop the colorful flowers or you can put in a shrub with large foliage
U = Jewel Blend Nasturtium (the orange and cream flowers will anchor the corner.)

The second plan uses a fence as a center point.  You can place this along the front of your property or the back or even the side.  The fence becomes the anchor and you plant herbs and flowers and even vegetables on both sides of the fence.

A= Dwarf purple Basil (used as a border plant)
B= White yarrow (or if you do not have children Tansy)
C= Iris, Siberian (purple or yellow)
D=  Pine apple Sage (can be in containers)
E= Anise Hyssop
F= Pineapple Mint
G= Nasturtiums (use a traditional mix with red flowers)
H= Lavender (might try white for contrast)
I= Foxglove
J= Parsley, curly (used as a border plant)

I grow Yellow Flag Iris, because the root can be used as a fixative in potpourri.

Stop back in a few days and we will delve into Four Square Gardening.

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