10 Flowers I Love In My Summer Cottage Garden
The Peony is one of the most romantic flowers in the English cottage garden. Soft and fragrant with large overblown petals it is a pleasure watching it bloom every year in the garden. Writingnag
Do you dream of having a cottage style garden?
I did, now I have an herb garden in one part of the backyard and I planted a traditional English style garden in raised beds. The following flower pictures--both annuals and perennials have been my favorite to grow, not only because they are easy to grow in Colorado and specifically Colorado Springs but the flowers look beautiful together. Every year my garden changes and surprises me.
Unless noted otherwise all of these photos are my original photos taken over the years in my beautiful English inspired garden. Whatever your motivation for having a green space make sure that you fill it with beautiful easy to grow flowers, herbs, plants and accessories you love and that make you feel good. The healing power of a garden is too good not to share.
Accessorize with garden decorations that enhance the space and make you feel good. I like to use up-cycled items that need a second life. We've hung vintage garden tools on the side of the garage that faces the back garden, found weathered chairs make great spots for container gardens, old wooden boxes hold spades and other tools. Metal sculpture and wind spinners add visual interest.
There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.— Mirabel Osler
Use Reference Books for Inspiration
I've used this book to narrow down what I want to see in my garden. A good reference tool for what other gardeners are doing.
What kind of flowers should I grow in my garden?
Grow what you love!
I get asked this question a lot by friends who are just starting out on planning their garden. I always tell them to brainstorm on what their favorites are. Do you like fragrant or flowers that climb? Do you like showy displays or delicate buds? What are your favorite colors? What plants are native to your climate? Consider your soil and how much time you have to devote to your garden.
Every year my garden surprises me...I didn't think I wanted sweet peas without fragrance but the wild sweet peas that cascade over the weathered fence is one of my favorite spots.
Consider going against what all the gardening books tell you and grow the garden you see in your mind. Put tall flowers in the middle instead of the back, grow a space with all black flowers or a moonlight garden...this year I saw this beautiful salmon colored poppy on a walk. I will be sure to include salmon poppies in my garden next year.
The Most Important Thing
These popular cottage garden flowers have grown well in my Colorado garden...for your garden check with local gardening groups, your neighbors, local gardening supply shops or do some Internet research. Other flowers to consider: Asiatic lilies, climbing flowering vines, hollyhock, foxglove, gladiolas, lupine, flowering trees...and more!
The Cottage Garden
Much of my garden is inspired by the English style Garden.This includes: old fashioned flowers that are highly scented, cutting gardens, herbs, a look of abundance, trellises, fences and natural elements. I also like bird houses, wind chimes and bird baths interspersed with unique up cycled garden art.
You may like to accessorize with fairy garden accessories, lanterns, natural garden paths and other old fashioned elements. It helps to make a rough sketch of what you want your space to contain and then build upon your plan every year.
While many people like the look of formality with perfect rows and counts, I love how the outdoor rooms seem to find their own paths. While I do a fair amount of weeding and cleaning up of beds, generally speaking it is easier to care for. Birds, butterflies, and bees seem to love it too!
Bright colors, fluted petals, double ruffled petals, tall strong stems these are just a few reasons why I love colorful cosmos. Oh and did I mention they are easy to grow.
Cosmos are annuals and perennials. Looking for a native flower? Think cosmos! These meadow flowers are common in the southern United States and in Mexico. In many parts of the United States they grow wild.
These delicate border plants (tiny flowers with rounded petals) spread out throughout the growing season, with the seeds dispersing by the wind. have a honey sweet fragrance and come in pastel colors. With names like Alyssum Carpet of Snow and Aladdin's Magic Carpet alyssum make a romantic addition to your cottage garden.
Alyssum is an annual. So you will have to plant seeds or buy alyssum plants every year.
Although snapdragons are perennials, I do buy snapdragon plants every year to fill in sections that have not naturally reseeded. My favorite colors are The Rocket Mix shown here. Snapdragons need plenty of sun and water. In a good growing season, depending what part of the country you live in they will still be blooming into September.
I love Sweet Peas so much they have garnered their own article. I love their old-fashioned charm and beauty and the way they climb makes them perfect for adding a sweet softness to your cottage garden. Perennial sweet peas generally have no fragrance but they grow quickly and add color and depth to a fence, arbor or lattice.
I look for old fashioned climbing roses and cabbage roses that are highly fragrant. Wind the vines around trellises, windows, fences for a romantic old fashioned look. Or search out cabbage roses for their overabundant fully formed petals.
Sweet William (Dianthus)
Sweet William are traditional additions they are easy to grown but they are a biennial meaning you won't see any flowers until the second year if you are growing them by seed.
Also called dianthus barbatus, sweet william are a perfect addition to any border or rock garden. They are low maintenance and add a carnation like fragrance to your garden. Look for sweet william in different shades of pinks, mauves, reds, white and bi-colors.
The Pincushion Flower
My favorite color of Scabiosa is the Ace of Spades, I've only been able to grow these from seed, most garden places don't carry this color. The dramatic black or dark purple flower is worth tracking down and growing from seed.
An added bonus: hummingbirds and butterflies love this beautiful flower!
The Dinner plate variety can grow more than two feet tall so I place the taller variety of dahlias in the back of a planting bed.
Grow from tuberous roots or buy smaller plants from your local garden center. Your cottage garden will benefit from the beauty and old fashioned charm. If you love home-grown flowers these are a must for your cutting garden. The varieties, colors and beauty are endless. Easy to grow, they need rich soil and sun and as a bonus they are usually the last flower that blooms in the fall giving you a show of color until winter.
Named for German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn, these bright colored long-stemmed flowers are members of the daisy family. Native to the Southwest United States, zinnias flourish. I love the strong hues and they make beautiful long lasting cut flowers.
Multi-colored dahlias look beautiful in a cottage garden
© 2012 Writing Nag