7 Steps to a Romantic Cottage Garden

Every Cottage Gardener, myself included, wants a pretty setting with emphasis on flowers and diversity, but  also little venues to sit and relax, read a book, watch the fish in a pond, share a glass of wine. Above all, this garden must appeal to you personally, filled with the plants, flowers, scents, and colors you love. It is a garden of the heart, of the hearth and of the home. With a little planning, and the purchase of a few necessary items we can achieve that soft romantic ambience desired in a Cottage Garden

The Cottage Garden style is free form but there are certain consistent elements in every cottage garden.  Take a long look at your yard then draw a sketch of the perimeters and put your thoughts on paper first. It is a lot easier to use an eraser than re-digging with a shovel.  Try to incorporate some soft flowing curves so when you are walking each little turn should bring a surprise.




       Curved paths


1. The white picket fence in a Cottage Garden is essential.  In early American gardens, this fence kept children in and farm animals out of the dooryard. Pointed pickets discouraged chickens from roosting on the fence. In Victorian times, many gardeners upgraded from pickets to cast or wrought iron. This makes both fence types suitable for the style. My favorite use of a fence, of course, is to plant roses and have them lazily drape over.

2. White lattice  An elegant way to screen a view or offer privacy without sacrificing air movement. For outdoor living, or in the era before air conditioning, this was a common and welcome building material and, today, provides a backdrop for many cottage gardens.

 



3. The Arbor Gate   Before automobiles, visitors tied their carriage horses at the front gate to the dooryard. The vine or rose shrouded arbor made it more comfortable for the animals to wait in the shade or protected from the rain. My all time pick for an arbor climber is the Bourbon rose Zephrine Drouhin. It is so fragrant and gives a hearty welcome to any quest.

 

       


 
4. Containers  The modest lifestyle of cottage gardeners did not afford luxury items. Inexpensive red clay flowerpots became the standard of the day. Containers can do double duty for the cottage Gardner by bringing height into the garden and architectural interest. Homemade wood window boxes were a popular decoration for simple, functional homes at minimal cost. 

                                 

 
5. Furniture     Comfortable old-fashioned rocking chairs are always a big part of this style picture. Wicker furniture popular in the 19th century remains as charming today as ever. Tables and chairs come into the garden off the front porch. The picnic or harvest table and accompanying benches remain the most common of all for outdoor seating and dining.
 
 


 
 





Classic Slatted Low-Maintenance Eucalyptus Rocker 

 





 
     
6. Paving          You can make a path or sitting area out of any material but a hard surface adds a bit of whimsical to your garden. You can use brick, decomposed granite, wood or slate.
7. Decorative or Antique Ornaments    This is where you can let your creativity soar. 
You can use an old wheelbarrow, birdhouses, Urns, statues, armillary, and old watering cans. The ideas are too numerous to list.


                           
 
 
                  
 
 
 
               
 

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41" x 17" Weather-Resistant Outdoor Classic Swing/Bench Cushion Our porch swings speak of an unhurried way of life.
 
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