Cottage gardens were big news at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, with pretty, muted pastels and natural, organic looks taking precedent over more formal, neater gardens. “The cottage garden is pretty and organic looking, offering a relaxing alternative to tidy flower beds and neat rows. If you like your garden to be fun, colourful and inviting to wildlife, this is a great way to do it”, says Marylebone estate agent, Kubie Gold.
- If you’d like to create a classic English Country Garden or cottage look in your own outdoor living space, here are a few tips and ideas.Start little and grow with it. Country Gardens are beautiful, but they still require a lot of work to keep them looking that natural. Denhan Guaranteed Rent advises it’s best to start small and then add more as you go- “Start with a small space to begin with so you don’t overwhelm yourself, then work your way up as you grow in confidence and your garden takes shape organically. “
- Understand different soil types. Different plants do well in different types of soil, so it pays to do your research and then invest in the best soil you can afford. Good fertiliser can make a huge difference to the overall success of your garden, so read as many gardening books and blogs as you can and ask for help at your local garden centre if in any doubt.
- Know where to place your plants. Like soil type, the position of your plants is really important if you want them to thrive. Read the labels thoroughly and do your research to ensure that your colourful additions to the garden will be happy where they are and have plenty of room to grow.
- Pick some strong plants. It’s really frustrating if you invest a lot of money in plants only to find they’re not sturdy enough to withstand different weather conditions. Classic country garden plants like Echinacea, asters and foxgloves are all pretty hardy and shrub roses can create a carpet of colour and scent in no time. Avoid anything that’s too dainty or high maintenance until you grow in confidence and your fingers become greener.
- Avoid weeds. Weeds always seem to manage to grow in gardens no matter how hard you try to get rid of them, so it pays to put some good quality mulch down to prevent them from taking root. Mulch also provides a natural, organic look which is well suited to cottage gardens and breaks down into the soil, providing extra fertilisation.
- Layer it up. English cottage gardens are really interesting to look at because there’s such a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. The key is to have groups of plants of different heights growing together to create an illusion of space and mystery that will make your garden feel magical in the summertime.
“The English Country or Cottage Garden has been popular for centuries for its lovely colours and heavenly scents, and it’s now more sought after than ever.” says Andrew Reeves. If you’re looking for a really natural, relaxing and wildlife friendly garden, you can’t do better.