As I recently discovered the ubiquitous English Cottage Garden style is heavily influenced by 19th and 20th century garden designers William Robinson (1838 – 1935) and Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932). Fortunately they introduced the idea of informality and naturalness as opposed to strict bedding schemes. I want to include the following Cottage Garden Plants in my various flower beds:
ASTRANTIA MAJOR – grows anywhere, is good as a cut flower and is great in any border.
ERIGERON ‘Profusion’ – the name says it all, it provides a non-stop display of small daisy flowers.
ANEMONE x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ – enjoy a late season burst of colour from the tall, white flowers.
CATMINT (Nepeta) a perennial producing a profusion of usually lavender-blue flowers over a long season from late-spring to late-summer.
PHLOX is a low-growing species that works excellently as a ground cover. It spreads slowly, growing in mounds that get 4–6 inches thick.
ROSES: have upright, arching, scrambling or trailing, usually prickly stems. Their leaves are glossy and mid to dark green but occasionally grey-green. Flowers vary in shape and include flat, cupped, rounded, urn-shaped, button-eye, pompon and rosette.
LAVENDER: are easy to grow and associate well with other shrubs, perennial plants and roses.
FOXGLOVES (Digitalis purpurea) but be careful – it is highly poisonous and a ingestion of any parts of the plant can result in nausea, headaches and diarrhoea, or even heart and kidney problems.
AQUILEGIA - clump-forming herbaceous perennial is easy to grow. Grow in part shade in well-drained soil; combine beautifully with hardy geraniums and will freely self-seed.
DIANTHUS: drought tolerant and will thrive in sun or part sun in well-drained soil.
ALCHEMILLA MOLLIS: An indispensable foliage ground cover for fringing paths, scrambling over slopes, underplanting roses or growing in gravel. The plants produce sprays of tiny flowers and have rounded, velvety soft olive-green leaves, which catch and hold water drops making them sparkle in the sun in early summer. Grows in any soil in sun or part shade. Trim back from late summer.
HOLLYHOCKS: Perfect for the back of a border, they grow up to 2m in height. Each stem bears masses of open, bee-friendly flowers measuring up to 10cm in diameter, from July to September.
DELPHINIUMS: Also known as larkspur, delphiniums are traditionally a cottage garden staple, bringing height and colour to borders. The flowers are also loved by bees and are great for cutting.
CAMPANULA: drought tolerant once established and self-seed readily. Favourite for bees and butterflies
PEONY: herbaceous perennials - pest resistant and drought tolerant once established.
GERANIUM: Geranium [also known as cranesbills) and pelargoniums divide into two groups: many types of geranium are hardy, and pelargoniums are half-hardy.
DAISY: belonging to the aster family (Asteraceae).
Cottage Garden HERBS include bay, angelica, lavender, fennel, rosemary, chives and sage.