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I had become brainwashed by the chocolate-box impression of a cottage garden — billowing blooms and pastel shades, a minutely planned chaos of voluptuous beauty that needs painstaking attention to each individual plant to pull off the effect successfully. But the original cottage gardeners were not flower gardeners at all. In the Middle Ages, poor English labourers supplemented their meagre wages with edible crops grown in their own gardens. Alongside these staple vegetables, fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, plums and damsons would be grown, as well as wild strawberries. Various herbs were essential too, for medicinal uses. A pig and some chickens would be part of the garden ecosystem, providing meat, eggs and fertility.
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: 10 Country and Cottage Garden Decor IdeasContent:
- Best country gardens to visit in the UK
- The ultimate list of cottage garden plants
- Diarmuid Gavin's top advice to achieve cottage charm in your garden
- My top 10 plants for the modern cottage garden style
- Cottage garden ideas – create a charming country-style garden in any setting
- English country garden style – what it is and how to achieve it
- English Cottage Garden Border Design
Best country gardens to visit in the UK
Search Search. Menu Sections. Diarmuid Gavin. Gardens are artificial creations and we determine what they will look like. Anything we do other than pure neglect is as a result of following, either by chance or accident, a fashion or style. G arden design has evolved and been refined slowly over centuries as a result of philosophical, religious, mathematical, climactic and practical reasons.
Styles have travelled, been adapted to regional conditions and the most loved and revered have survived. Over the next few months, we will take a look at garden styles which remain relevant - ideas that we recreate, reinvent or reinterpret.
This week, let's start with a style we've always loved - cottage gardens of the English tradition:. The original cottage garden has, at its heart, a simple style, born from utilitarian needs. The cottage dweller in rural England was often an agricultural labourer and planted the plot of ground in front of their home with turnips, cabbage and onions alongside hollyhocks, poppies, daisies, sweet pea, roses, honeysuckle and lavender.
Together with an apple or pear tree and some soft fruit, the often smallish gardens were packed to capacity. Walls were created from local stone as transporting other materials any distance was prohibitively expensive. Pathways ran straight from wooden entrance gate or archway to the front door and were either paved with the same stone, sprinkled with gravel or consisted simply of rammed earth.
Design and overall planning often appeared to be non-existent. Overall, the plot was easy to look after as, due to the crammed planting style, there was less opportunity for weeds to flourish. The overall effect was very natural, all elements seemed to 'belong' and a distinctive local look emerged which could differ from village to village. The style evolved and was refined until the s when, due in part to the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement, an idealised Chocolate Box version of the cottage garden suddenly became trendy.
The vast collection of newly-arrived flowering plants from foreign outposts fed the trend and soon cottage garden genes mutated to the elaborate borders of society's new aristocracy - the city stockbroker.
For over years, these harmonising styles of flower gardens held sway with both the influential and chattering classes. They defined what an English garden was, what it had to be. Then, in the s, new ways of living in city, urban and suburban situations, greater choice of interesting materials along with exposure to other outdoor lifestyles on TV and through travel, helped to challenge the status quo and the dominance of the flower garden.
However, during our recent economic travails, many have found comfort in older garden styles. So, cottage and flower gardens, along with the craft of gardening, has had a resurgence.
The pure cottage garden is an enduring style which has become a world favourite, adapted from place to place. In Ireland, old tractor tyres adorned with paint and planted with begonias can add a different flavour to the style, while similar plots in parts of America will be bordered by white picket fences.
Get the best home, property and gardening stories straight to your inbox every Saturday. Enter email address This field is required Sign Up. The look is easy to achieve and can be inexpensive to create. The cottage garden style works best when complemented by a sympathetic use of materials - wooden archways, woven willow screens, stone or kiln-fired brick pathways and paving can work well.
The flowering plants are often pollen rich, making them attractive to wildlife, and the sheer abundance of plants provides plenty of cover and therefore, great habitats.
Butterflies, bees, bird life and hedgehogs will thrive along with less glamorous creepy crawlies. This combination helps to ensure a healthy eco micro-system, lessening the need for intervention with slug pellets or other chemical warfare.
The downside of this garden style is that it often heavily relies on herbaceous plants, annuals and biennials, which can result in an unsightly desolate look in winter. Introducing some evergreen 'bones' to your plot, such as mounds of yew or box, along with evergreen holly surrounding hedges, can help overcome this.
Wexford last week and watched as they prepared for the spring invasion of plant lovers. The nursery, run by husband and wife team Paul and Orla Woods, has developed a wonderful reputation at home and beyond for its excellence of production and choice displays at flower shows.
Orla told me about a fantastic service they offer. Often customers love the idea of buying plants from Kilmurry, but don't have a notion of how to use them in their own gardens. So, Kilmurry can be commissioned to oversee the preparation of the soil, place the plants and advise on their care - allowing the sometimes vague vision of the client to become a wonderful reality.
And, if needs be, they'll do the actual digging! The nursery's plant catalogue is at kilmurrynursery. Kilmurry doesn't restrict its range to perennials and grasses. I have my eye on an unusual bulb, an African lily called Black Pantha, which is topped by spheres of deep bluey-black, trumpet-shaped flowers. These benefit from a full sun position in a moist but well-drained soil and they make a great show in a large pot. I also love primula beesiana, whose flowers hang in tiers on upright stems.
Beesiana has rose purple flowers with a yellow eye. In , I began working on a commission from Donegal County Council with the community of Carndonagh on the Inishowen peninsula. Part of my brief from Donegal County Council involved consultation with local people, from mum-and-toddler groups, to schoolchildren, local gardeners and elderly members of the community.
Their requirements were varied Last week, we gathered in the new facility as a local schoolgirl, Sarah Brophy, officially opened Carndonagh Town Park. I was astonished at the tenacity of the local people which ensured that this much-needed facility was created during some of the State's toughest economic times.
Special mention must go to Aideen Doherty, area manager for community and enterprise, who gathered enthusiasm, support and funding from wherever it could be found and the park's de facto curator Stephen McGirr, a passionate gardener whose skills in planting and educating the local children will, in time, turn out to be the park's best asset.
If you'd like to cheer yourself up this Saturday, take a photographic tour of Aultaghreagh Cottage Garden, in Dunmanway, Cork, at youtube. The garden includes flowering borders, a pond and a 'secret garden'. It's filled with perennials, mainly grown from seed, including oriental poppies, Noble series lupins, thalictrum, campanulas, asters aconitum, agapanthus and choice crocosmias like 'Emily McKenzie'. Aultaghreagh also enjoys the Nowen and Shehy mountains as a backdrop. To book, call or visit aultaghreaghcottagegarden.
The gardener's cottage at Glenveagh Castle in Donegal is a good example of a cottage garden. I can't remember the last time I allowed a red flower in my garden.
Whenever a red poppy opens its petals, it's swiftly taken out, never quite feeling a part of the scheme. Then I came across the blood red anemone.
This series of early bloomers, which I found at Homeland homeland. The best place to find God is in a garden," George Bernard Shaw once said. The celebrity garden designer on the loves of his life, including the smell of a new Mistubishi pick-up truck. IT won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show but sparked a spectacular falling out between celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin and an Irish council.
I'm delighted to say hello to the readers of Weekend and introduce myself to you as your new guide to all things gardening. I do not expect to be talking to Diarmuid Gavin about ballet. Coloured balls and concrete pods and gardens suspended from a crane, yes, but ballet and romance? It doesn't exactly fit with his image as the bad boy of gardening. Diarmuid Gavin's top advice to achieve cottage charm in your garden.
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The ultimate list of cottage garden plants
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Hollyhock Photo: Shutterstock · Foxglove Photo: Shutterstock · Wisteria Photo: Shutterstock · Catmint (nepeta) Photo: Shutterstock · Rambling roses.
Diarmuid Gavin's top advice to achieve cottage charm in your garden
Our Feedback Thank you for the fast delivery of the vines I ordered, they were very well packed. I look forward to gathering my first next year. Supplied as a packet of approximately blended seeds suitable for an area of approximately 15 square metres. The picture herewith is of little Molly who was three years of age when she sowed these in AprilThey flowered all Summer and well into September with no attention whatsoever. A picture of beauty both her and the flowers. We have since improved the sparkle to include white Gypsophilla such a useful, dainty in appearance, cut flower and Scarlet Flax one of grandad Shirley's favourites when he was a schoolboy. Recommended by the RHS to be an excellent attractant and nectar source for bees and other beneficial insects. How To Plant Out Ornamentals Detailed advice on how to plant out ornamentals, including information on recommended planting distances. Also details on Victoriana's seed guarantee.
My top 10 plants for the modern cottage garden style
The cottage garden is a distinct style that uses informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, it depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure. Homely and functional gardens connected to cottages go back centuries, but their stylized reinvention occurred in s England, as a reaction to the more structured, rigorously maintained estate gardens with their formal designs and mass plantings of greenhouse annuals. The earliest cottage gardens were more practical than today's, with emphasis on vegetables and herbs, fruit trees, perhaps a beehive, and even livestock.
The cottage garden planting style combines a romantic jumble of bulbs, annuals, perennials and flowering shrubs and climbers. In contrast to a more carefully manicured herbaceous border, a cottage garden is an informal affair — a mix of closely but informally planted brightly coloured flowers.
Cottage garden ideas – create a charming country-style garden in any setting
When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Touch device users, explore by touch or with swipe gestures. Log in. Sign up. Cottage garden. You can create your own romantic cottage garden style wherever you live.
English country garden style – what it is and how to achieve it
In this guide, we are going to look at 10 ideal plants that you can use to create a whimsical English garden. If you are looking for flowers with some height, delphinium is a plant that can grow to be up to six feet in height, depending on the variety that you plant. You may need to stalk the taller varieties so that they stay upright in the garden. The blooms come in shades of pink, purple, and blue, so they can add quite a bit of color to your outdoor space. Delphiniums like full sun, but they can also do well in partial shade.
A typical English cottage garden is small and compact, full and brimming with flowering plants. Typically this is in the surrounds of a country house, of.
English Cottage Garden Border Design
Cottage gardens are having a revival. Annuals and perennials are jostling for attention in riotous borders up and down the country, plants are spilling over winding paths and veg is being grown within ornamental borders. Traditionally, the land around cottages was used as a small farm, designed to grow fruit and veg for the family who lived there.RELATED VIDEO: 5 Plants for a Cottage Garden
Many gardeners crave the cottage garden look and the secret is in the plants.
Everyone loves this design as the traditional flower border compliments every style of home. I have created an old-fashioned planting scheme with blousy peonies, fragrant lavender and elegant foxgloves in a harmonious colour scheme. It also contains perennials and shrubs for year-round interest and colour. If you have no clue about plants or which plants go well together, these kits will help you easily create the WOW factor in your garden. I have designed them so you can rock your inner Monty Don and be the envy of all your friends with a fabulous garden!
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