async defer src="//" My Enchanting Cottage Garden: January 2014

About Me

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Gardening is my middle name. I have been an avid gardener for 50 years.  My goal is to help anyone who wants to start a Cottage Garden, be able to do so without the expense and frustration of beginning gardeners. I hope to encourage readers to share their thoughts and experience and help make this blog a knowledgeable and fun read.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Through the Garden Gate

A Garden Gate welcomes guests into your garden or home. The Garden Gate can either say “Welcome” or “Go Away” depending on how you design and plant around it, also a garden gate is the perfect way to let visitors know what to expect from the garden. Is it romantic? Enchanting garden? A hidden secret garden? 

The right gate tells as much of a story as the flowers inside. Whether it opens into a garden or riotous flowers, or a low key desert garden a beautiful and functional garden gate is a great curb appeal addition to any home.


Gardens are made even better, too, when they're accessible through a gate. Framing a garden  like a giant peephole, offering an element of surprise and excitement. Everybody wants to know what's on the other side of a wall.


When it comes to the look of your gate,
 the options are nearly limitless. Your gate can be simple or ornate, large or small, open or solid, wood or iron. Stone walls and a wildly flowering arch promise a garden that's full of romance and sweetness.


This gate is an entrance into the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It says "whimsy" and 
I love the antique garden implements.

What is lovelier in the picture? The gate? Or the beautiful riotous flowers?

This gate definitely suggests mystery garden, and it excites 
You find out what's on the other side. The pink roses are 
a beautiful enticement to enter the gate.


 I love the simplicity and colors of this gate. It is not overly planted so you eye is 
drawn to the design and art of the gate itself.
 Green Gate Image courtesy of

This white shabby chic gate tells a story of a romantic
 English garden behind the gate.

This gate is certainly every one's dream fence and entrance gate.
The flowers beg you to come inside and smell the roses!

Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Steps to Creating a Quaint English Garden

Plan a Cottage garden today and enjoy a spring floral show. Planning a Cottage Garden does not take a lot of work, but will take any inspiration and creativity. A Garden Cottage is whimsical and naturalistic, and it speaks to you, “Come, stroll, stay awhile.”

A good cottage garden plan will incorporate many elements, including a butterfly garden, a small water feature, curved paths, quiet sitting areas, seasonal plants and a herb garden. Cottage Garden’s tend to clutter plants, and they have a burst of color from traditional cottage garden plants, hollyhocks, foxglove, four o’clock, delphiniums, daisiesconeflowers, Echinaceas and last but certainly not least is the lovely roses.


The first steps in planning your cottage gardens are listed below:

1. Make a list of the elements and ideas you want in your cottage garden and draw your cottage garden on paper (it is easier to erase than transplant) 
2. Make a list of trees, plants and seasonal plants to buy 
3. Garden by thirds, evergreens, deciduous plants, seasonal plants 
4. If you have room for it, add a small garden shed. 
5. Add some visual interest such as large pots or flower containers 
6. Add sitting areas or quiet spots
7. Add yard art, such as Birdhouses.  Clubhouse Birdhouse

 Step One: Plan the Design

The Quaint English 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. Plan your Cottage Garden to meander with curves. A curving walkway delivers more photographic interest than a straight path and accentuates the garden around it. Create curves around points of interest like a scented tree or bush, boulder, and a lush floral container planter.

                                            Step Two:  Buildings and Structures

If you plan to add a Garden Shed, building, wall or any other permanent structure, now is the time to add it. Garden Sheds can enhance the appeal,  interest, and usability of your Garden. They can be a simple design or a whimsical Cottage structure.  Walls and fences can frame your property beautifully and use them is such a great backyard landscaping idea because they will just accent all of your other wonderful backyard landscaping ideas. They will frame your yard as picture frames a gorgeous painting. Look at this kind of backyard landscaping idea as well in your search for the one.

                                                           Step Three:  Sitting Area
All Cottage Gardens should have a quiet spot for reading and relaxing. A single bench or chair at the end of the path suggests “takes a seat and smells the roses” Wicker furniture popular in the 19th century remains as charming today as ever. A Cottage Garden essential is the Trellis or Arbor. Climbing roses or clematis will add height and scale to your Cottage Garden plan.

                                                     Step Four:  HardScape

    Another good backyard landscaping idea is to use hardscape. This is the use of things like gates, Trellises, large rocks, fences, and walls. These can make your yard look fascinating during all of the seasons. You can have climbing plants on it in the summer and spring and pretty trees around it that will look great in the winter. When looking for a good backyard landscaping idea you need to look for other options besides just plants. There is much more to landscaping than just plants and trees. 

Step Five:  Plant the Large Trees 
good backyard landscaping idea is to use trees and stout bushes. They will add a stately nature to the feel of your home while keeping it welcoming and warm. They will give the yard the structure and the stability that it needs for a good backyard landscaping idea and design. A small dogwood tree or weeping cherry lend height and width to landscape and in the spring delight with visually spectacular blossoms.  Deciduous shrubs such as lilacs and tree peonies lack winter leaves, but their wooden structure holds interest and form in the winter and in the spring they excel.

Step Six: Seasonal Plants   

These plants are typically the flowering plants of spring and summer, and a garden would not be a garden without them. They are considered the lifeblood of the garden border.  These seasonal plants come in an array of color and heights. When selecting these plants, consider their overall contribution to the garden in regards to duration of bloom, when they bloom and their sense of place in the garden.  If your aim is to have a naturalistic garden, then vary the seasonal plants along the garden as to shape, height, and foliage to give it a true cottage garden appeal.


Step Seven:  Decorative or Antique  Ornaments   
This is where you can let your creativity soar. Birdhouse and Birdbaths are an eye appealing yard art, but you can also use an old wheelbarrow, butterfly house, Urns, Statues, Armillary-Sundials and old watering cans. The ideas are too numerous to list.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Stroll Along the Garden Path

A garden path is usually constructed to get you from point A to point B in the easiest possible way. However, no one said it can’t take a curving, meandering, charming stroll.

A well-thought out garden path will entice its visitors to uncover what lies ahead while enchanting and mesmerizing you along the way. If you want your guest to linger along the “yellow brick road” then turn that path into a creative inspirational walkway.

Construct curves around points of interest like a scented tree or bush, boulder, and a lush floral container planter. A curving walkway delivers more photographic interest than a straight path and accentuates the garden around it.
A solitary bench at the end of the path suggests “takes a sit and smells the roses” A gate at the end of the path creates mystique and intrigues the visitor to discover what's on the other side.

A focal urn offers a visual respite from the compactly planted yard. A large flowering Chaste tree at the end, next to the path adds wonderful fragrance and color. 

A leading garden paths ends with a quiet spot for reading and relaxing. Pavers set in a horizontal pattern create visual interest on the walkway. Large pavers vividly mark the end of the path, leading to an arbor and a comfortable chair. A potted container garden lends to the overall peaceful and serene setting.

  This Garden Gate welcomes its visitor to a warm garden sanctuary. Aromatic herbs planted between the flagstones releases an enticing aroma as you leisurely meander along the path. 


 primeval garden path with visually stunning white on white ending with a white stone planter creates a subtle peaceful English garden venue.   
This classic design has all the elements needed for a balanced garden path. Trees, flowers and a herringbone path, create interest, scale and structure.

 The latticework fence conceals the garden from passerby’s. Lush planting with perennials create color and texture.  


A streamlined, simple yet elegant path creates a quiet beauty. A gravel path leads to a large container to mark the end of the walkway.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Winter Garden Solace

The winter garden is unique in that it bring you as much joy and satisfaction as a noisy, vibrant summer garden.  The winter garden is subdued, less luxuriant but in its own quiet way can exude beauty, strength and passion.

Who doesn't feel the thrill of the first leaf unfurling it's soft green coat and the excitement of that first bud beginning to bloom. It springs hope eternal within us all.

While the garden chores are minimal in the winter, this gives you the time to take a leisurely stroll through the path and not have to stop every 2 minutes to disbud, or pull a weed here and there. Winter garden strolls are a time to reflect, take a good look at the bare bones of your garden with a keen eye on improving the beds, adding new plants and if the overall look of a bed is not pleasing, this is a good time to rearrange plants and trees without damaging the roots or putting the plant in shock, because it is already in a dormant state.

I took a few pictures of my garden, I hope you enjoy.

Hollyhock seedlings in the bed

The first strawberries on the year, it is January 18th

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This is one of my first rose cuttings taken late last summer
I was trimming Westerland  CL rose and decided to plunk this little
piece in the ground, in the worst caleche soil,right by the block wall. It has certainly surpassed all my expectations.

One of my baby roses

My new baby rose cuttings. I started these in Oct. and put them outside in a raised bed and covered with a Diet Coke Bottle

The first bloom January 18th 

My hardy oregano bush




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Onion bed

Bok Choy

Herb bed with artichoke, rosemary, sage, oregano and a 
rose cutting or two.

1 Year, 6 issues - Fine Gardening Magazine brings you breathtaking design ideas, helpful techniques, and the know-how to get great results in your own garden

In my unfinished greenhouse I have started
 rose cuttings in pots

Blooming stock in my unfinished greenhouse

My outdoor hotbed

A look at what's growing in the hotbed
this is a row of hollyhocks

My rose cuttings in the hotbed covered with 
whatever I have on hand

A closer look at an established little rose cutting

A close look at the rose under glass

Inside the greenhouse rose cuttings in a
 pot with my Lemon tree

Rose cuttings in pots under plastic

I took nips off my succulent plants, this is I start new plants

Succulents in the make shift greenhouse

1 Year, 4 issues - Discover the secret behind glorious gardens! Perennial, meadow, butterfly, herb gardens of all kinds. Country Gardens Magazine has beautiful color photos, easy-to-follow planting diagrams, helpful how-to gorgeous results!