The beauty of an old-fashioned cottage garden can lend an Old World feel to your landscape. Cottage gardens are designed to be a riot of colour and texture, with very little space between the plants. Traditional cottage gardens included fruit trees, vegetables and a mix of flowers, many modern cottage gardens comprise flowers alone. To create your own cottage garden, start with a mix of traditional favourites.
Plant a climbing rose in your cottage garden to provide a plethora of colour and sweet scents. Considered a traditional cottage garden favourite, you can choose the variety of climbing rose to match the colour of your other cottage garden flowers. Or you can choose a more vibrant colour to draw attention to your climbing rose. Prepare the planting area carefully. You should plant the climbing rose in an area of your garden that will receive at least six hours of sunlight during the summer growing season. Always choose an area that offers good drainage. Avoid heavy claylike soils since roses do not like their roots in soggy soil.
Delphiniums are a true old-fashioned cottage garden favourite. Typically known for their brilliant blue blossoms, the hybrid versions of the old-fashioned delphiniums now come in wider variety of colours including pink, magenta, red, rose, white, violet, and even yellow. Flowers are produced in clusters along erect spikes, which make attractive additions to cut-flower arrangements. Depending on the cultivar, delphiniums range from 2 to 6 feet. Taller varieties require staking to prevent damage to the tall stalks.
Foxgloves are self-seeding biennial flowering plants originally from Europe and Northern Africa, but their popularity have allowed them to become naturalised throughout the United States. Typically found growing in shady and semi-shaded woodland areas, foxgloves can grow to 6 feet tall. The flowers are produced along tall 1- to 2-foot stalks. Flowers usually come in the pink colour range, but hybrid varieties come in white, yellow and purple.
If you're going to plant climbing roses, plant from bare-root plants purchased in late winter. Keep taller cottage garden plants towards the back, and shorter flowers towards the front. Before planting your cottage garden, prepare the soil so it is free of rocks, sticks, weeds and roots.
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- Texas A&M Extension: Designing the Country Cottage Garden; Henry Flowers
- Today's Garden Ideas: Designing a Cottage Garden
- Mighty Garden: What to Plant in a Cottage Garden
- Iowa State University; Information on Delphiniums; Sherry Rindels
- The National Gardening Association: Planting Climbing Roses
- Cornell Gardening Guides: Foxgloves