Country cottages conjure images of rustic getaways. Central to that idyllic tradition is the garden. The essence of the cottage garden is a sense of artful disarray that stems from its informal design and dense plantings. No matter your home's style, create a traditional cottage garden to add elegance and charm to your landscaping.
A cottage garden should inspire you and your guests to linger awhile. A bench helps your garden achieve this purpose. While a rustic wooden bench is the classic in such a space, any garden bench will do. The idea is to surround the bench with beautiful, fragrant blooms. For instance, consider locating the bench next to a fragrant shrub such as mock orange or classic gardenia. Next, include traditional flowers around the bench such as daylily, daisy and iris. If desired, include hardy thyme as groundcover to release scent with every step.
One of the hallmarks of a cottage garden is a rose-covered arbor, according to This Old House. Your arbor can be located over your bench for shade. However, the arbor can also serve as a gateway between flowers and an herb garden. While climbing English roses are the traditional plant for training over the lattice sides, don't discount the charm of morning glory or honeysuckle.
Cottage gardens were initially developed in England as a counter to the formalized gardens found at manor houses. As such, they commonly included practical plants. Most cottage gardens featured medicinal herbs since that was the most useful. However, consider planting a mini-garden with the herbs that you love to cook with. Bay laurel and rosemary shrubs make good anchor plants for an herb garden. Likewise, mint tends to be prolific and easy to grow. Calendula and bee balm will provide both fragrance and blooms in addition to their utilitarian qualities.
In the end, what's really going to make your garden feel like a cottage retreat is planting a dense selection of heirloom plants. In addition to the above-mentioned flowers, rose geranium, garden phlox, delphinium and lavender are traditional blooms for the cottage garden. Plants such as lady's mantle, hosta, lamb's ear and tickseed add greenery and texture to your garden.
When planning the layout, avoid planting in regular rows or clusters. Instead, while the plants are still in their pots, lay them out in a random pattern. Try to keep them close together to create that effect of colorful profusion. Once you've achieved that, go ahead and plant. Finally, keep the border of the garden irregular with a few groundcover plants that creep slightly out from the rest.
A cottage garden filled with serene nooks and heirloom plants is a charming addition to your yard. For more help creating one, contact a company like Creative Landscape Designs.