A classic cottage garden, with vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers growing side by side, was formerly an essential source of sustenance for the family. Today, it’s a popular romantic fantasy, replete with overflowing flowerbeds and a few veggies and herbs. It’s a garden style that works well in most settings and types of property, while it’s not ideal for a shady plot.
Cottage gardens rely on perennial plants for shape rather than shrubs, with climbers covering any bare walls. Choose tall plants for the back of the border, such as hollyhocks, poppies, dephiniums, and foxgloves. Pinks, aquilegias, lavender, hardy geranium, and candytuft are good choices for mid-level appeal. Begin the border with creeping jenny, violas, and lady’s mantle.
There’s no need to be very precise when arranging plants by height because the effect is relaxed and casual. Check out specialised nurseries like Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants for more plant suggestions.Grow herbs and veggies among the plants in your herbaceous border for a truly casual look. Runner beans are perfectly content climbing up a cane wigwam in the centre of a flowerbed.
Herbs with appealing leaves, such as thyme, oregano, and parsley, would look great in a border. Otherwise, if you like to keep beautiful plants and veggies separate, set aside a sunny place for a vegetable patch.Leave annual plants to ripen at the end of the summer so you can gather the seeds to distribute directly on the soil or sow in trays the following year.
Plant seeds such as aquilegia, calendula, love in a mist, cornflower, and poppies are easy to harvest – plus they’ll probably do a fantastic job of distributing their own seeds! Cut down perennials once they’ve flowered and are looking scraggly in the autumn. Then, lift and separate huge clumps to rejuvenate the plant and produce more.