If you are interested in creating a beautifully designed garden, English gardens are a popular source of inspiration. This type of garden design can be divided into three main styles, namely the classic English garden, the English country garden, and the English cottage garden, each with its own distinctive features, advantages, and disadvantages.
The English cottage garden is adequate for beginners because it’s easier to design and maintain, while still looking elegant and organized. Here are some tips that will help you get started with a cottage garden.
Main features of an English cottage garden
Unlike the classic style, the cottage garden doesn’t have a formal design, because its initial purpose was a practical one. Families with fewer resources were not interested in a purely decorative garden. Instead, they combined edible plants with flowers and medicinal plants and the result was a very colorful and joyful setting.
There are certain elements that make an English cottage garden instantly recognizable. One of them is the traditional white picket fence. It can be placed on a small area covered only with grass or behind the flower beds. It can also be light blue. Wooden benches are also present in cottage gardens, strategically placed in front of a great view.
Walkways are also very important in a cottage garden. They are usually narrow and quite simple, with borders made of bricks or hedges. A cottage garden combines flower beds with shrubs and trees. Various urns and a birdbath can complete the look and add interest.
What to plant in an English cottage garden
Perennial plants are a must-have for an English garden that looks beautiful throughout the year and that is manageable. When choosing your perennials, summer-bulbs, and edibles, remember that they will also attract different pests, from insects to rodents. For rodent-control solutions that are not harmful, here is a well-written review. Also, it’s best to invest in good-quality soil.
The main element of your English cottage garden will be the flower beds. Choose flowers with various colors and textures, as well as different heights, for an esthetically pleasing outcome. Add several herbs and vegetables, to complete the vintage look. English Lavender, lilies, and bleeding hearts are traditional choices.
Also, a cottage garden would not be complete without iron garden structures, such as arches, covered with climbers. Climbing roses are an excellent choice for any English-inspired garden design, but there are several other climbers to choose from. Honeysuckle, Wisteria, and Climbing Hydrangea are gorgeous flowers that can embellish a traditional garden arch.
For a beautifully designed English cottage garden, you can mix perennials such as violets and pansies with annuals such as foxglove and larkspur. Rosemary, sage, basil, and mint are just some of the herbs that you can add, together with various fruit trees. Be careful not to overcrowd the plants in your garden, as this looks messy and it doesn’t allow them to grow.
Finally, adding mulch is not only beneficial for the soil, but it also completes the vintage cottage garden look.