When we plant our cottage garden we can use an English cottage garden theme of old or we can create our own with numerous ideas. Most English cottage gardens are small and in a confined space and every inch of space has something planted on it, this is the best way to keep away the weeds.
Some of these gardens can be vegetable gardens with flowers planted here and there. We can plant tall flowers in the back of the garden with the vegetables growing in the middle and the shorter flowers in the front of the garden. Some cottage gardens are made up of flowers and flowering evergreen plants, this way when the regular flowers die out we still have a garden of evergreen plants or shrubs.
Maybe we can even try a succulent garden as part of our cottage garden. This way we would be water wise at the same time, as these plants retain their own water and don't require much maintenance. This garden is probably best suited in a very dry climate, but could also be planted in the sunniest part of any garden.
An unusual cottage garden could be an island garden with stepping stones, or small pebbles going completely around it. This garden has the tall flowers or even tall vegetables in the center of the garden and the smaller ones encircling the perimeter. This island cottage garden can be round, square or rectangle; if it were a diamond or triangle shape it would be difficult to maintain the corners.
In the days of old, in Europe, many people did not have the money to purchase the plants that they wanted to grow in their gardens. Most people had family, friends and neighbors who were willing to share the crops and clippings from their gardens for the well being of others. Most of the clippings and seeds from fruits and vegetables were acquired in this manner. Hence, the name cottage garden came about, the sharing of one cottage plantings to another. In this way many of the plants, fruits and vegetables lived for many centuries and were enjoyed by many people.
Many English cottage gardens were grown in very small plots of land and many plants and vegetables need room to spread. Since there wasn't very much room, some were planted and trained to grow on fences and up homemade trellises, this left more room for them to spread out. The gardens that we have today have a lot more room, but we can still train our plants and vegetables to grow up trellises, even an arch to provide a beautiful entrance to our garden. Growing vegetables up on a trellis will give us more room in the garden to plant and enjoy more vegetables.
Another area of your cottage garden can be with trees, either deciduous or evergreen, fruit or non-fruit bearing, with a small sitting area in the middle for relaxing, just enjoying your garden or reading a book. These are only just a few the ideas that can we can incorporate into an English cottage garden.
Barbara Volkov and her husband are happily retired and enjoying a lot of gardening in a small backyard. I have several articles pertaining to the garden and its many accessories. Come and visit us at http://www.gardenersgardensupplies.com/ for more interesting ideas and ways to plant.