Monday, July 15, 2013

English Cottage Garden Style: Update for GBBD

Two years ago on this date I described the elements of English cottage-garden style (click to read the posting). I discussed "planting for 'abundance,' using old-fashioned flowers, adding structures to create 'privacy,' utilizing lots of pots of plants, making informal pathways, and including 'whimsy' to give a sense of enchantment." At that time, I came to the realization that I had achieved my garden vision. The hard work didn't end there, however, because all gardens are a work in progress. Let's tour my English cottage garden for an update.

Planting for 'abundance' -

I widened the perennial border along the kitchen garden fence which gives a greater feeling of 'abundance.'

The widened border is on the right; the kitchen-garden border is on the left.

Looking from the other end of the fence, the widened border is on the left ...

 Old-fashioned flowers

Some old-fashioned flowers I added are: another variety of phlox (don't know the name), verbena (an annual here), and hollyhocks -- the latter given to me by my dear friend Katharine.

New phlox with yarrow 'the pearl.'

 There is a variety of annuals in a new bed that I will describe in detail in an upcoming posting ...

Purple verbena dots the space above cleome and zinnia

 I have two colors of hollyhocks ...

Alcea. Red hollyhock

Alcea. Pink hollyhock

... they tower above the new picket fence-

Structures -

The fence that you can see behind the hollyhocks is new. We built it in front of the ugly pasture fence. The pasture fence's ugliness bothered me for years -- when taking photographs of the pond I would try to exclude it from my pictures. Now I don't have that problem ...

The fence behind the pond sports a new arbor leading into the shade garden.

We also added an arbor to the kitchen garden's entrance ...

Plants in pots - 

This is one element that changes every year. I move containers of flowers around to areas of need throughout the season. I sometimes take the hangers off a hanging basket and place the pot in a bed if there is a bare spot to be filled. 

Calibrachoa in hanging basket.

I used various types/colors of fuchsia in containers this year ...

Fuchsia, begonia, and ivy in stone container.

I hang baskets of flowers on gates and fences ...

The five window boxes along the tractor shed are stunning this year. And the best part is they require no deadheading ...

Supertunias, bacopa, and purple fountain grass

Whimsy -

I am always on the lookout for whimsical items that will enhance my garden. This was purchased last year from a local nursery ...

Praying fairy in the hydrangea bed.

Followers of my blog know I use mirrors in my garden. Here is my newest one acquired by H.H. from a flea market ...

My latest mirror in the stone garden.

I am sure my garden will continue to evolve. It changes every year and I enjoy looking at photographs and making comparisons. It is difficult to work in the garden this week, however, with a sweltering heatwave in progress. The daytime temperature is expected to stay close to 100 degrees F. with high humidity for the next 5 days. I do my daily gardening chores very early in the morning in an effort to beat the heat. I hope you are experiencing more comfortable weather.

I am linking with Carol who graciously hosts this meme at May Dreams Gardens.

Wishing all my gardening friends a Happy Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day!
Pamela x

'Tie dye' clematis -- abundant as always.

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Your garden is just what I would imagine a cottage garden to be. I love your choice of flowers, and everything is looking so bright and happy!

  2. I like your hints--especially planting for a feeling of abundance. What lovely combinations you have chosen! We're slowly building our little piece of ground to what it could be. Yours gives me something to aspire to!

  3. Thanks for the breakdown of what makes an English cottage garden! I would love my garden to look more like yours but wasn't quite sure how. Now I think maybe I need to work on Abundance. A lot of my beds are quite narrow. Since they are curved around a lawn it's difficult to widen them and keep the nice curve... but I will have to think a bit more on that matter! I'll refer to your pictures for inspiration.

  4. Love your garden.
    Beautiful flowers.

  5. I envy your groups of Echinacea Pam, your cottage garden is lovely. Even in our country it is very hot this week and indeed I do my gardening too very early in the morning. You really can be proud on your windowboxes they look so beautiful!

  6. Your garden is delightfully lovely. It must be a real joy to walk around in it.

    Have a great week and continued happy gardening ~ FlowerLady

  7. Your garden is beautiful. I love the fact that we're able to go back to what we've previously recorded on our blogs to see how our gardens have evolved.

  8. I love people who arrange their fence so they can plant on both sides. Beautiful garden. I should try and plant some 'the pearl' near my pink phlox. Great combo.

  9. Wow, your garden is gorgeous! What a beautiful cottage garden! Your hollyhocks are truly impressive, and I love your window boxes. I love how you use mirrors in the garden, too - a nice touch!

  10. Pam, I love your garden. Love it! Wonderful use of elements to achieve a whole. That mirror is fun. Whimsy indeed, where would we be without whimsy? Your plants look fab. You're obviously a great gardener. Happy Bloom Day.~~Dee

  11. Everything is looking top notch. I love using old style flowers...ones that my grandmother grew. They've stood the test of time, haven't they?
    A hundred degrees? Oh my.
    You could garden here in Texas with that kind of weather! I hope it returns to cooler temps soon.
    happy GBBD!

  12. Great pictures, wonderful flowers, I love gardens and nature :) Regards

  13. So beautiful - your garden looks sweet and truly abundant!

  14. I would include that lovely fence in all your photos now! Looks absolutely wonderful and I'm quite envious of the towering hollyhocks beside it. I pulled all the hollyhocks here due to rust.

  15. I adore your garden, everything is lush and abundant blooms everywhere. The new fence is perfection! There is beauty everywhere you look.

    Gardens are always a work in progress, I agree heartily!

  16. Beautiful garden! Love the fun.

  17. I think you've definitely nailed it...your garden is the picture of loveliness!

  18. Your garden looks great despite the heat or hasn't it been hot in the Poconos. It is boiling in Maine.

  19. Boiling here, too, Carolyn. I'm amazed how well the garden is holding up in the heat.

  20. Your gardens are beautiful! I love the cottage style myself. The fence is lovely, the pond is lovely, and the flowers are too!

  21. Love the look of the white picket fence surrounded by your beautiful flowers. You have so many pretty flower filled containers as well. You garden has an artistic touch.

  22. I too have been gardening in the early morning hours. By 9:00 it's already too hot and I retreat inside to the air conditioning. I felt the need to water everything the other morning (and I RARELY water the rock garden!), and it took two hours.

    My house isn't at all cottage-y, but I do try to utilize some of the precepts of cottage gardening. I use a lot of containers, and have been known to move pots to fill in bare spaces. I can't grow some of the flowers you use in abundance, thanks to the woodchucks, but I have over time learned what they don't mess with, so I do have a lot of coreopsis, balloon flower, and monarda in my gardens.

    I was going to say I need to work on the "whimsy," but I guess that would take the whimsy right out of it!

    I love your echinacea and hollyhocks--two flowers I've repeatedly tried to grow without success. And your picket fence is a beautiful solution to an unsightly problem.

  23. The horrible heat kept me out of the garden until today...Pam your gardens are just beautiful....I need to think mine out abit as they are getting overgrown and wild...

  24. Your garden is a dream to me, so large and full and lush! I'm glad you have achieved your dream there. I have had a similar feeling this summer, because my garden finally feels "done" to me. Of course there will be work, but the big projects are all done. For now.