Roses are the epitome of cottage gardening.
"What is the secret of the cottage garden's charm? Cottage gardeners are good to their plots, and the in the course of years they make them fertile ... But there is something more and it is the absence of any pretentious "plan", which lets the flowers tell their story to the heart."
I love this quote by William Robinson for it truly expresses the essence of the cottage garden. As I sit here watching big fluffy flakes of snow softly drift down to blanket by gardens I dream about my cottage garden sleeping quietly under its cozy quilt of white. Not only do I live in cottage country but I have always been drawn to the relaxed nature of a cottage garden. Perhaps that is why I have so many pictures of quaint English cottage gardens.
As Robinson says, the cottage garden lacks any prententious plan and although I do tell novice gardeners it is best to start out with a plan, my cottage garden has simply evolved over time. I guess my plan has always been in my head and not dedicated to paper. It is a loving collection of mostly common plants telling their story to the heart, since many of the plants came from friends gardens. I received them as gifts of love and when I walk around my garden and view the flowers I am instantly reminded of the relationships that I have with the gift giver or the occasion for which the plant was given.
I am not a plant collector but instead I love a variety of flowers, herbs, veggies and foliage that make up the style of a cottage garden. For me, a garden has to be not only pretty but productive. Aromas, textures, flavours and colours all combine in a delightful mix that is pleasing to the eye in an informal way. Each garden is a unique reflection of the gardener that created it and serves as a sanctuary, providing a restful respite for our daily cares.