How to Create a Cottage-Style Garden
If you like an abundance of plants — and visits from birds, bees and butterflies — this may be the style of yard for you.
You don’t need a quaint old cottage to create a cottage-style garden. Just pack a lot into the borders by blending old-fashioned flowers, useful herbs and vegetables, climbers, self-seeding annuals, and productive fruit trees for an informal, “just happened” natural look. With so much seed, birds will love your yard, and the bees and insects will be in heaven.
Get the basics right. There are so many flowering plants to include — forget-me-nots, geraniums, lupines, poppies, primroses, roses, stocks, sweet rocket and sweet William, to name but a few.
Add an old brick path, a discarded farmhouse sink, a bit of topiary, wooden or woven pergolas, an arbor smothered in roses, Terra-cotta containers, rustic fencing, vegetable cloches, rhubarb-forcing pots and a beehive, and you’ll have that magical blend for the perfect cottage garden.
Choose your blooms. Aquiline, commonly known as columbine, produces nodding, spurred flowers with delicate leaves. It self-seeds and comes in many colors: deep blues, pale mauves, pinks, creams and bicolors, as well as double forms, such as the lovely pink ‘Nora Barlow’, above. The deeper, double ‘Black Barlow’ looks stunning teamed with border grasses, such as Luzula nivea.
Hardy geraniums are a cottage favorite, too, and make good ground covers, especially under roses. Peonies (Paeonia officinalis) and poppies (Papaver) are other herbaceous plants associated with cottage gardens. They have blowsy blooms in vibrant colors and soft shades. A favorite of mine is Papaver orientale ‘Patty’s Plum’.
Prop up your climbers. To support climbers, you can use arbors, pergolas and arches. Allow plants like beans, clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine, roses, sweet peas and wisteria to scramble up these structures. They’ll add height and create a natural doorway to another part of the garden.
Another plant to consider for an arbor is golden hop (Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’). It’s a vigorous climber and needs space to spread. In autumn, when its broad leaves turn golden yellow and it’s covered with dangling cone-shaped flowers that turn to hops, you can cut the long tresses for a lovely addition to indoor decorating.
You can also underplant the bases of supports with self-seeding nasturtium. A cottage favorite, this annual will even scramble over fences and through gates with a mass of trumpet-shaped orange flowers and round leaves throughout the summer.
Say hello to a hive. A beehive always looks romantic in a cottage garden. You don’t have to buy a real hive if you don’t intend to keep bees. You can now buy a look-alike hive, which is actually a small storage box or compost bin, or try making one using seasoned wood. You can paint it and secure a roof on top to stop water damage.
Position the hive on a brick path or grassy area where you can allow buttercups and clover to nestle against its legs for a natural look.
Other feature ornaments to include in a cottage-style garden are seats and bowers (shaded, leafy shelters), Victorian forcing pots, cloches and old chimney pots. Traditionally, the cottage garden was often full of discarded or found objects that were reused as decoration among the beds or on paths, or even as a focal point.
Clip to perfection. Topiary is an important element of the cottage garden, adding structure for the winter months and providing a backdrop for many of the perennial plants. Although holly has traditionally been widely used, other evergreen shrubs can be trained into fashionable cottage garden features.
The classic English yew (Taxus baccata) and common boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) can be bought as cone-, ball-, spiral- or pyramid-shaped plants, and if you’re feeling creative with the clippers, you could create your own squirrel or peacock topiary!
Another good plant to clip is Lonicera nitida, which is slow-growing and has a small leaf. It can also be used as a low hedge between the borders or along a path.
Planting a native hedge along the fence will encourage wildlife and year-round interest.
Beside the plants, mosquito prevention is also important in create a beautiful garden. Nobody would like to see many mosquitoes fly around the flowers. Use IT04 mosquito trap to prevent small bugs fly around the garden. Female mosquitoes have special sensors that are able to trace Co2 back to their origin (up to 50meter). So these new mosquito traps release CO2 to specifically attract female mosquitoes.
One of these new mosquito solution developed by QM is called the IT04 outdoor mosquito killer , by using photo catalysis of TIO2( titanium dioxide). When a titanium dioxide surface is irradiated by light, the photo catalytic effect and hydrophilic are activated together. Any organic chemical in contact with the surface will undergo decomposition to CO2 and H2O and thus releasing a smell that attracts female mosquitoes. Comparing the old heavy propane mosquito trap, the IT04 mosquito killer (for outdoor) and the MBOX mosquito killer (for indoor) of QM is more convenient and affordable.The IT04 mosquito catcher is combine with solar panel so that it don’t need to lay the wire. QM’s tech is more ecofriendly and increases the chances of catching more female mosquitoes. http://mbox-qm.com