My Favourite Cottage Garden Flowers
Most of us have a special person in our lives, who inspire and influence us greatly. That special person in my life was my Grandmother, whom I called my “Nan”.
My Nan - my inspiration
This is a restored old photo of me with my Nan. She is holding my younger sister and we are stood under an old apple tree in her garden.
My parents and I lived with my Grandparents, “Nan and Papa”, until I was about three years old. Twenty years later we became neighbours, and then I continued to live next door to her for seven years.
Nan lived in an old cottage which was nestled in a small village and surrounded by the beautiful English Countryside. I remember the cows going up the lane pass the window to the farm to be milked.
Nan’s world was very unpretentious. She never really went anywhere much, and her world revolved around her family, her home and especially her garden.
Nan had a big cottage garden full of flowers, and that is where she spent most of her time!
She grew many varieties of flowers, had a couple of cooking apple trees, a wonderful vegetable garden and kept some chickens.
Visiting Nan in the summer, the vegetable plot was very productive and I always made straight for the garden peas, delicious straight out of the pod!
When I was about eight years old, Nan said I could have my own bit of garden and she handed over the responsibility of a small patch to me. The patch measured a couple of square yards and was a blank canvas, full of potential!
Nan gave me two packets of seeds: Cornflowers and Love in the Mist.
My own garden
I took the responsibility of this bit of garden very seriously and had tremendous pleasure in digging around with my little trowel, planting and watering my seeds and nurturing them over the next few weeks.
Even now, many years later, I can still remember the enormous pleasure I felt when looking at those flowers.
All of my efforts were rewarded with a beautiful display of colour from the cornflowers and the dainty rich blue flower of the Love in the Mist.
Growing cottage garden flowers
I was enthralled then, and still am now, with the beauty of flowers. How the sheer simplicity of planting a few seeds can produce such a miracle still astounds me.
I have encouraged my children and grand children to plant seeds and enjoy the garden.
I would recommend introducing anyone to growing flowers for the first time to start, as I did with a couple of packets of seeds, Cornflowers and Love in the Mist.
They are just the easiest to grow! They will grow in any soil and need little attention, all they ask is a little watering if it is very dry and they will reward you just a few weeks later with beautiful flowers.
After flowering, keep some seeds to plant the following year (they keep well in envelopes) and the dried seed heads of Love in the Mist are beautiful in dried flower arrangements.
My garden now is very much like my Nan’s was; it is an old fashioned cottage garden, lots of flowers, a vegetable patch and a greenhouse.
I have a great love for the outdoors, gardening, flowers and photography. Isn’t it great to be able to combine all these passions together?
I am no expert gardener or photographer, but have great fun in enjoying my garden and taking photographs. I believe that you should never be afraid to give something a go, because you can still get great results! When we do the things we enjoy, we find so much pleasure in them, and I believe that is what life is all about.
These are some of my favourite cottage flowers from my garden...
The poppy seed head is beautiful, and can often be found dried in flower arrangements, especially at Christmastime when it is generally sprayed gold.
Petals can be almost any colour, and there are so many varieties available. Just scatter the seeds around your flower borders.
Nasturtium is another very easy flower to grow from seeds; they add so much colour to borders and pots.
Both the leaves and flowers are edible and add a sharp peppery taste to salads.
Lupin is known to be one of the first flowers of Spring.
I especially like the two colour variety displayed here in this photo.
After flowering, if you cut these right back to about six inches high, they will reward you with a second flowering in the summer.
The foxglove can be found growing wild in woodland or cultivated in a garden.
They grow easily from seed, but you need to be patient as you do not get any flowers until the second year.
There are at least 36 species of Dahlia, they grow from tubers and are lovely flowers to pick for arrangements.
The stunning deep red colour of this particular Dahlia was so breathtaking, and lovely to photograph.
Echinacea have some medicinal properties, the best known one is for warding off infections. US researchers say that taking the herbal remedy Echinacea can more than halve the risk of catching a common cold!
I grow them because they have a big “plus” for the garden! Butterflies love them, the cone flowers bloom all summer and the birds like the seeds.
The Sweet Pea is another flower that can easily be grown from seeds. It is quite simple to train them to grow up canes or trellis.
The Sweet Peas in this photograph just went crazy!
Thank you for Visiting
I hope you have enjoyed my favourite cottage garden flowers!
All of the photographs in this hub have been taken by me and may be viewed in full size by clicking on them.
Please feel free to redistribute them, all I ask is that you attribute them back to me by linking to this hub, thank you.