A cottage garden! Who cannot picture one or more, the memory of which are linked with far-off childish days, and the remembrance of the sweet smelling, brightly colored, old-fashioned flowers is wafted across the years with a delightful fragrance? Flowers woven together with love make the garland of the poets, especially of the English poets—for the people of England adore flowers more than any other nation in the world. The passion for flowers and the love of their color is to be seen more than anywhere else in the English Cottage Garden. The small gardens associated with the quaint architecture of the English cottage often feature finer results than in the great gardens cared for by the best of paid gardeners and planted with seeds and cuttings of the most expensive kinds.
People often wonder what magic power causes the lovely blossoms to bloom so profusely when crowded in the small corner of ground belonging to the English Cottage, the same flowers proving very ordinary under a trained gardener's care. Love of gardening is the magic power, which the flowers, with that exquisite generosity for which they are renowned, repay a thousand-fold by blooming with a lavish abundance and beauty.
In large gardens the flowers are tied up, straight, and tall, and left as decorative features in the whole effect, while in cottage gardens the pretty buds are tended with a loving care and grow unfettered at their own sweet will.
Flowers for an English Cottage Garden
The love of flowers, "the cottager's treasurer," as Ruskin called them, is not a love of years, but of centuries. In the English Cottage Garden the following flowers are frequently found and easily grown: Crocuses, Double Daffodils, Snowdrops, Christmas Roses, Wallflowers, Forget-me-nots, Primroses, Grape Hyacinths, White Arabis, Violets, Flags, Snakes' Heads, Solomon's Seal, Stonecups, Columbines, Thrift, Tulips, Foxgloves, Woodruff, Leopard's Bane, Peonies, Polyanthus, Hose in Hose, Monthly Roses, Hollyhocks, Lilies, Monkshood, Borage, Phlox, Evening Primroses, Sunflowers, Snapdragons, Candy-tuft, Periwinkles, Heartsease, Lavender, Rue, Rosemary, Lad's-love, Love-in-a-puzzle, Love-lies-bleeding, Marigolds, Poppies, Honesty, Honeysuckle, Fuchsias, Cornflowers, Everlasting Peas, Sweet Peas, Valerian, Rochet, Carnations, Pinks, Sweet Sultan, Canterbury Bells, Ribbon Grass, Michaelmas Daisies, Everlasting Flower, Jacob's Ladder, China Asters, Double Dahlias, and Stocks. Plants are preferred for the edging of borders in the English Cottage Garden. Thrift, Box, Daisies, and London Pride are the most easily grown and need least attention.
Tending the English Cottage Garden
All gardens need much care and tending, and one of the chief charms of a Cottage Garden grows out of the loving care of its owner—its cultivation is a labor of love, and repays its possessor a thousand-fold. However tiny a Cottage Garden may be, it needs endless time spent upon it, and the old saying "one year's seeding, seven years' weeding," is only too true.
People often think that cottage gardeners never weed, but this is a great mistake. Weeds are looked upon by them as great evils. This patient labor of the Cottage Garden owner, who so often starts to work in their garden at the end of a long day’s work, produces in the onlooker a feeling of the deepest admiration and amazement. Author: M. R. Gloag
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