I prefer to use white flowers as an accent colour, but I know that many people love all white gardens (sometimes called moon gardens because of the way the flowers reflect the light). Here are some of my favourites – I hope you like some of them too. If I’ve mentioned where I photographed them, the gardens are well worth a visit. Continue reading
I picked this small posy of flowers from Mum’s garden. She grows plants on heavy clay soil she’s worked hard to amend over the years. Her garden, shaded for part of the day, supports a selection of fruit, roses and other cottage garden flowers.
I overstuffed a tiny milk jug with flowers of the right scale to fit: ‘Harlow Carr’ roses, a sprig or two of lavender, two forms of geranium, bellis, viola and some campanula. I’ll never make a florist, but it looked (and smelled) sweet. I only needed to raid the back garden, leaving the fine foliage plants and shrubs at the front for another day.
As so often in a private garden, there’s a little story behind each plant. Some arrived as presents from family or friends: others were grown from seed or acquired on a trip to her favourite garden centre, Bents. Continue reading
We were about to leave the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show when we stumbled upon my garden of the day. Lovers of the quintessential English Romantic garden style read on – this one’s for you! Continue reading
I often post about cottage garden plants, more rarely about the homes themselves. These beautiful thatched cottages (neighbours of Hidcote Manor Gardens) show the love owners of traditional homes often have for climbing and rambling roses. Continue reading
It’s been a real treat for us to spend time with friends visiting some of our favourite English gardens, including Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Rousham House, Powis Castle and Wollerton Old Hall. I’ll be sorting through pictures for a few more days yet, but wanted to share a glimpse of some classic cottage garden plants that seemed to be enjoying the sunshine: roses, delphiniums, clematis, verbascums and foxgloves.
I always leave Hidcote wishing that it was pretty much on my doorstep: I’d love to visit more often so I could watch this oversized, hundred year old cottage garden move gracefully from season to season.
Described by the British Cottage Garden Society as an informal, abundant, diverse planting, this well-loved gardening style is always in fashion with ’real’ gardeners. If you’d like to create a cottage garden at home, follow this recipe. Add an extra dimension by including as many highly fragrant cultivars as you can from the plant lists below. Your challenge (should you choose to accept it) is to have no soil visible from year three onwards. Simple!
- Patch of earth (ideally cultivated and enriched for hundred years, though it’s never too late to start)
- Some form of enclosure: hedge, stone walls, wooden fence
- Path, winding
- Garden gate
Peonies are some of my favourite cottage garden plants. It was a pleasure to be able to catch Arley Hall’s collection of plants in flower in the twin borders of the kitchen garden during early to mid June.