cottage garden under appreciated grr(15 Posts)
I live in a very garden orientated street...think all neat as a pin, manicured lawns and bedding plants. I prefer a more cottagy feel...lots of roses, lavender, salvo as, heucheras etc. Basically lots of perennials etc.
I've had several comments from my ndn about how I surely must want to get a bit order etc. It's driving me slightly nuts ha ha.
I honestly think my garden is a vast improvement on the over grown masses of hebe and conifers that I am systematically digging out and replacing with beautiful plants. I've put in nearly forty gorgeous David Austin roses so far. But it seems if it isn't a begonia or a dahlia it's bringing the street down.
Tell them if it was good enough for Gertrude Jekyll it is certainly good enough for you (and it is them who don't know what a good garden is!)
Think: Sissinghurst, Hidcote, and our local favourites Dartington and Coleton Fishacre.
Check out BBC Christine Walkden's Glorious Gardens from the Air. (series ended, but should be on i-player)
I feel your pain. Our front garden is very shady from a massive quince tree, but I opened a bed under it and after lots of trial and error, improving the rubbish soil (buried under weed proof matting for years) etc etc I finally have the soil pretty much covered with living healthy plants. It's not exactly a riot of colour except in spring, but good foliage (pulmonaria, cyclamen, campanula, hellebores, etc) and usually something in flower: cyclamen at the moment, for example, liriope due soon, anemones (and weird out of season cowslips) just finished, cyclamen coum before that, etc. So not exactly a wilderness and a lot better than the gravel that was there before.
However, the last time she left my MIL (who is generally a kind and nice person but does suffer a bit of foot in mouth disease) looked over it sympathetically and said "I don't suppose the baby gives you much time for gardening does she?"
Ho hum. I like it. OH claims likes it when asks. The worms and birds like it. That's what matters.
Your garden sounds lovely OP
I like rambling perennials personally.
Although sometimes when I see a brilliant garden at Chelsea or Hampton court I think there is something to be said for genius. You know: the perfect juxtaposition of colour and form. The problem is they cheat because all their plants are in pots in the ground. Thus one cannot hope to recreate them. I only mention because Jekyll isn't everything.
My favourite gardens, Sissinghurst apart, are the Oxford college gardens. I used to really love the perennial border at Regents Park opposite the open air theatre, but the current gardener has ruined it. Great Dixter is lovely in the spring and Wisley is beautiful.
I love it and when I look at the before pictures I feel really proud! Just wish my neighbours appreciated my style
Ive been enjoying the garden in the air programme and many of the gardens mentioned are on our visit list
Order? No no no!
We are just about to go the whole hog, rip out our ordered beds, put a curving grass path in and turn our canalside gatden into a rambling perennial woodland garden. My neighbours always ask when is it that we do all the planting and apart from the perennials, I point out that most of the ground level planting is self seeded. I just dig it up if i dont want it there and reposition.
Stick to your guns and ignore them. It sounds lovely.
Would you share your photos? I'm just setting up a garden with a cottage garden feel and would love to see.
Your garden sounds delightful.
It does seem to be a very English thing (I'm making a big assumption that you are in England) to have a very formal front garden reliant on regimented bedding plants. For very small front gardens, I like the look that is mostly paving, box topiary and potted bay trees and the like but, where the front garden is big enough for a lawn, a cottagey garden like yours is lovely.
We're in Scotland. I don't have any pictures on this phone but if I get a chance at the weekend I'll have a look for some.
Your garden sounds lovely. Much better than ours. We have a massive evergreen tree which makes the area beneath pretty barren. We had some grass that got a bit long there and our neighbour politely enquired whether we were setting up a nature area. I was pretty embarrassed.
Pico, if you dislike the tree and it spoils your garden, get it removed. I know that cutting down trees is anathema to some, but honestly, there are too many gardens sporting too-large conifers that would be much better removed.
In its place you could grow flowering plants that would be of benefit to a variety of insects and other wildlife.
I don't dislike the tree - there aren't enough big trees near us and it has lovely red bark. I'd plant more large trees at the back of our back garden if we could, but it probably wouldn't be neighbourly as the neighbours houses are right on the boundary.
A good trick to keep the manicurists happy is to add some formality eg clipped box hedge or balls then let the perennials flop over them romantically during the summer (very G Jekyll). The 'topiary' will give some interest during the winter when the perennials die back.
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