There’s something about an English cottage garden that makes us go gooey inside – which is why they often feature on special boxes of chocolates. The Victorians loved it as a symbol of ye olde England, an imaginary idyllic time when rural working classes were clean and and happy and morally upright in their pursuit of healthy hobbies such as gardening. The artist Helen Allingham (1848-1926) made a name for herself painting scenes of rural bliss in picture perfect cottages and gardens.
What exactly is a cottage garden? In reality there was no such style but, inspired by images like Allingham’s, a self-conscious template developed. Old fashioned flowers in mixed profusion, a bit of topiary, a trellised arch dripping with roses, rosemary and thyme, an apple tree and the odd vegetable mixed in – all work together in joyful disorder.
The thing is, you don’t have to have a cottage to make this style work – a small urban garden is perfect if you want a bit of everything and a splash of romance too.
If you’re looking for plants for this style we can’t go wrong with Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants – a lovely family company who have worked hard to provide excellent quality plants and a good service. http://www.hardys-plants.co.uk/