Wednesday, May 24, 2017

English Cottage Garden

I believe people should do what they can to grow some of their own food. I also believe that a garden without flowers is missing an important element.
The English Cottage Garden fits perfectly with both these beliefs. The plant options the gardener can select from are numerous. If the garden was mine there are plant that would have to be included.
For me, the ideal cottage garden would include hollyhocks and cosmos. These two add a majestic and ethereal beauty to any garden. There are also bee attractors.
The hollyhock takes me back to my boyhood and the cosmos with its feathery foliage speaks of ancient times and a sense of mystery.
After our long and sometimes, seemingly endless winters, a bit of early colour is welcome.  Thus, tulips, daffodils and crocuses belong in this garden.
Lilies can bring beauty throughout the season due to the wide variety available Lavender, thyme, dill and basil will be there to add fragrance and flavour.
Of course, tomatoes, strawberries and beans are all essential elements of this landscape.
Picture a sunny summer morning, you step out the back door and into the garden, which is alive with the sight, sounds and smells that only a thriving garden can bring.
The bees are busy pollinating the various blooming plants and the butterflies are flitting from flower to flower. The fragrance of lavender gently floats across the tranquil but active scene.
It is a bright sunny morning, the garden an ideal place to enjoy the first coffee of the day and to pause before going on your way.
The cottage garden provides not only food for the eyes and body but a place to retreat from the daily world, a place where you reunite with nature and rejuvenate.
The garden reawakens our primal connection with the earth and engages us in her ever-turning cycle
The garden I am describing is based upon the English Country Garden. Outside of the backyard food forest, which I will discuss in an upcoming article, the English Cottage Garden is be one of the more holistic and environmentally sound garden styles.

The backyard food forest is, without question, a better way to meet all your food and other needs, but not everyone is going to turn their space into a food forest so the next best thing or rather a choice that any gardener can select is the cottage garden.
The Cottage Garden traces its origins back to the 15th century and the English villages of the time. The gardens are a mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables and can meet many of the residents’ daily needs, such as, medicinal teas, herbal balms, insect repellents and food.
The size of the garden depends upon the time the gardener has and the space that is available for a garden. The English Country Garden can start small and gradually grow over the years, as space, time and interest change.
Next week because we are coming close to valentine’s day, a look at flowers for that special someone, until then happy gardening.

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