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Cottage style garden

Hello, I am a complete gardening novice and have recently moved house, we now have a west facing front garden (and an east facing rear garden but that is more for the dog and children to play so I have claimed the front garden to try and develop my gardening skills!)   So I have decided I would like to make my front garden into a real "cottage garden" but I have no idea where to begin, the front garden is currently mainly laid to lawn with a plant border just to the front of the house with a few shrubs and bits in, I would love to grow a climbing plant around the front door and also have lots of purple/pink colours in the flower bed. I have also decided I would like a lavender hedge to the front of the garden. If anyone could give me ideas on reasonably easy to keep alive plants which would suit please let me know! 


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    Track down a copy of Geof Hamilton's book on Cottage Gardens. That will give you plenty of ideas and a place to start.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • To help us help you, it would be good to know: whereabouts you are, what your soil is like and how big a space are we talking about?image

  • Cann1Cann1 Posts: 2

    The front garden isn't overly large, it is approximately 6 meters deep by 5.5 meters wide. We live in Devon and the soil is well drained, I don't have a clue about the PH or anything though.  We are quite exposed here so it can get quite windy as well. image

  • hi  you could go down  the perennial route you can get books on this subject that would mean you would not have much to do until winter this is again on your ph  there are also books on small gardens i hope this helps image

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    Cann1, with that size, you should think about areas for you to walk to, so you are able to tend and divide over the years. Think about a pathway, or some area where you are able to work from. Maybe divide the space into two so you are able to work all the way round of from the middle. Keep a strip of the grass if you want to save money. Laying gravel for a path is another option

    I believe in working the soil well and yearly dressing of compost or manure will be sufficient for most herbaceous plants, in fact, excess feeding results in floppy growth and encouragement of some pests and diseases. Many plants in a cottage garden should not need additional watering and sometimes care, apart from pulling out excess plants or dividing if they take over or fail to thrive due to over-crowding.

    The classic easy to care plants are Hellebores, Alchemilla Mollis, Aguilegias, Nepeta, Digitalis, Geraniums, Salvias, Scabious, Campanulas and roses. There are so many to choose from. To add to the seasonal changes, place a collection of pots of all sizes for Daffodils, Violas and Cyclamens. For climbers, Honeysuckles, Sweet peas and Summer Jasminum Officifinale adds height with trellis and obelisks.

  • Mark56Mark56 Posts: 1,653

    I would keep an eye out for a season if you have just moved, you may have lots of hidden perennials yet to come up in Spring. If you need any shrubs identified then just pop the pictures on here. image

  • image image image 

    My garden was filled with colour last summer with the Cottage Garden bulb collection, £3.99 from Aldi.  Add a few Cosmos and Verbena Bonariensis for a garden bursting into life!

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