async defer src="//" My Enchanting Cottage Garden: 7 Steps to Creating a Quaint English Garden

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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.

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.


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