Create that cottage charm
Achieving that colourful cottage garden look is within your reach. Gardening expert Lucy Hewett helps out.
It may be some people’s idea of a colour-clashing nightmare but I love the higgledy-piggledy look of a cottage garden.
It’s meant to be an easy-going affair with plants grown close together to look as if they were put together at random and annuals and perennials that self seed and so not needing regular digging up and dividing.
If you’d like to achieve this look, there are some essential plants to get your cottage garden started.
How about foxgloves? Teamed with some alchemilla mollis, ladies mantle, or hardy geraniums at their base foxgloves thrive in moist, fertile, well-drained soil in sun or partial shade and reach up to 2m.
Lavender will look good at the front of the border and it’s worth having some for the scent alone. Combine with rosemary and salvias, lavender likes free draining soil in full sun. Bees will love you for planting some.
Delphiniums look great, growing up to 2m and preferring full sun. They prefer shelter from strong winds, or will need staking and look good at the back of the border with some peonies, daisies or iris in front of them.
Arching sprays of dramatic red crocosmia are a must in my cottage garden mix. Reaching a metre high its buds open into upright rows of devilish red blooms along with sword like foliage that adds shape and texture to the border.
Whatever you are growing this summer, keep deadheading.
I know it’s boring but a few minutes of removing dead flowers from plants will be worth it for the reward of continuous flowering.