The romance of the cottage gardens wins the heart of many designers around the world. This is mainly because of the profusion of color and planting used in the English style. At its best, the cottage garden features coordinated flower and foliage color within small areas.
Often appreciated by their abundant planting and apparent confusion, cottage gardens are generally simple and regular in layout. With a central path to the door and rectangular beds on each side.
Key design elements of the cottage garden style
- Abundant planting: the art is in the ability to associate the plant partners and control the species that become dominant in a space;
- Aged paths: stone, brick and gravel pathways provide contrast to the complex planting on either side allowing the plants to soften the edges;
- Rustic furniture: as with the aged paths, the rustic furniture should blend with the plants, that may be encouraged to grow over it;
- Rose abours: these make perfect places for seating and relax;
- Herbs and vegetables: herbs and cut flowers are often seen in cottage gardens.
The scale of the cottage gardens is generally intimate, sometimes even restrictive to usage and movement, as dense plant is allowed across pathways. Plants that can occupy the gaps in pavement are welcome as self seeding plants. Hedges are usually used to divide the garden in smaller areas with different planting schemes.
The soft informal planting contrasts with clipped hedges and decorative topiary creating one of the most successful combinations in this design. The hard materials to use in cottage gardens are brick or natural stone and objects and materials aged by the time. Gravel is also used as it permits the self seeding. The geometry of this style is rarely clear due to the dominance of the plants.