The primary elements in cottage gardens are flowers and colour. Modern day design is all about clean lines, with a less is more approach to plants, furniture and furnishings. Cottage gardens are the complete opposite, the more plants the better. The mix of plants are captivating with their myriad of old fashioned looking flowers, perfume and variety.
Part of the appeal is the unstructured, romantic and whimsical look, almost like Mother Nature created it herself. Once established, plants readily self seed and multiply, covering all available soil, becoming almost a blur of foliage and flowers. The cottage garden style has been evolving for centuries; its origins are traced back to working class Victorian times, where the workers lived in cottages. At that time, growing food was the priority, as time went by, flowers started to creep into the vegetable garden along with chickens, fruit trees and herbs.
Cottage gardens don’t really have any rules, its up to the individual; they tend to suit those who don’t like to be restricted to plant choice, straight lines and formality. Some may say, a more casual approach, but on the other hand a well thought out and carefully planted cottage garden will have all year round seasonal interest and it can pretty much manage itself once planted.