Think English cottage garden and you are sure to conjure images of a quaint, thatched cottage surrounded by an assortment of bright colored flowers.
Creating an English cottage garden in your own yard is not as difficult as you might think. Here are some guidelines for turning your backyard into an English cottage garden.
Decide on a focal point
Even though an English cottage garden is an unstructured garden, you will definitely want to have a garden focal point. If you have a shed, a detached garage, or even a children’s playhouse (not the plastic variety) you could create your garden around that structure.
First, I would suggest painting the structure in a color that would make it look like it belongs in an English cottage garden.
Perhaps painting it a lovely light purple with a yellow door, would work. Your palette should include soft pinks, creams, light blues, greens, and purple.
Think cozy and romantic. If you do not have a structure such as this you could build a garden pond and use that as the focal point, or perhaps structure your garden around a large tree.
Be creative here, but do not skip this step as, without a focal point, your English cottage garden can look a little too wild.
Pick your plants
The wonderful thing about an English cottage garden is there are so many plants and flowers that you can include. The best English gardens are a mixture of flowers, shrubs, and herbs. You should feel free to mix your herbs with your flowers.
Adding a cutting garden is also a lovely addition to your English cottage garden.
Some flowers commonly used in an English cottage garden include bleeding hearts, foxglove, hollyhock, peonies, delphinium, roses, and black-eyed Susans.
Herbs such as English lavender, catmint, feverfew, and Echinacea are also common in an English cottage garden. Feel free to add herbs and flowers that you love. Snapdragons would be a wonderful addition, as would herbs like parsley, thyme, and sage.
Make your English cottage garden unique
Adding a pebble path to your English cottage garden is one way to add additional charm. Creating a small pebble path is not very difficult. Instructions can be found online.
Once you have a meandering path cut through your garden you can line the path with low growing flowers like marigolds, pansies, lavender and forget-me-nots. This will be an enchanting and practical feature for your garden.
You may also want to consider adding a birdbath to your flower beds. Not only will it help to attract wildlife, it will add additional English charm to your backyard garden.
One of the nicest features of an English cottage garden is that because it is essentially an unstructured garden, it is remarkably easy to add to each year. You can begin small and allow your garden to grow and take shape over several years.
This is good for those with smaller gardening budgets and for novice gardeners. An English cottage garden makes a great oasis in your backyard to be enjoyed for many years.