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.