Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Cottage gardening......

My father is a cottage gardener.......
His chaotic planting........

and lack of colour co-ordination......


irritate my mother. Neat rows and park like landscaping is her way.
As a child I would help Dad in the garden......
happy to dig in the garden that danced with bees and butterflies.
As I walked the garden today I realised.....I am without doubt.......following my fathers path.
What is the secret of a cottage garden's charm? Cottage gardeners are good to their plots, and 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.
William Robinson 1883.

29 comments:

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good topic. When I think cottage garden I think way back on people that were mostly given cuttings or divisions of plants and trees and shrubs and various food plants and just put them in as close to the house as possible. No design, just a combination of food and blooms that made them happy. That was my Grandmother's garden and I loved it.

I'm not attracted to neat rows and large drifts of color. I love variety and the unexpected. Not sure what you would call that, maybe informal.
Marnie

Liz said...

My parents are similar to yours, only the roles are reversed and it's my dad that's the main problem because he also rips up all the plants regardless of whether they're perennials, bulbs or not.

This deeply upsets me, and no doubt for my mum - but I feel her pain whenever I hear of what dad's done recently. I even occasionally have nightmares, or rather bad dreams about him coming round and pulling up all my plants and pretty much ruining everything!

ha ha!

He likes the victorian rows, plant.... soil......plant.... soil.... I can't cope with that.

Growing up, the front garden was dad's and the back 'ours' where cottage style most certainly dominated :)

Liz said...

With regards to planning - I know what it means... I have no plans as such, and even if I do when it comes to actually planting I rarely ever plant as planned.
All I know is what I'm aiming for, it's a feeling, a vision, it is innate.

Cheryl you have a wonderful garden, something I really dream to have some day... I'm unsure it'll ever happen though.

marmee said...

i love that quote...it says it all. i think i like both types of gardens. i recently saw an english garden with proper rows but it was filled with wildflowers. ummm! makes me think.
i love to see the way things grow naturally but i am always fascinated by the ways humans try to make things tame.
i love your gardens and am glad you have found your path. i was just sharing with a perspective daughter~in~law to be your true self is where you find your happiness. that applies in gardening too don't you think?

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....yes I think informal would be right........your Grandmother's garden sounds delightful.
A lot of my plants have been given by friends or relations. Of course I have grown much from seed ....I want to get as many plants as I can into this space.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....how did I know you were going to say!! Your style speaks of the cottage gardener....

Do you think your Dad should have married my Mum??

Cheryl said...

Thank you Liz.....I moved here eight years ago....this was my dream, I also thought it would never happen. When I stood in the middle of the lawn on a cold February day I can remember thinking.....what have I done, I will never be able to plant a garden this size. I am getting there. Hold on to dreams, they do come true......

Cheryl said...

Marmee.....I could not agree more. It is the only way to find happiness, to be true to yourself.

I love to see others styles....and I can appreciate them for the skills involved and the hard work....but I must in all truth say I could not live with formality....it makes me feel slightly uneasy for some reason.

We are all different....this is what makes life interesting.....

I always love to read your comments.....

Angie said...

Oh what a beautiful garden!! That is EXACTLY how I would love for mine to look some day. :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am sure your father is proud of you Cheryl. This is a perfect quote to go with your garden too. I wish I could see it in person. Cheers.

beckie said...

Cheryl, love the quote. It is perfect with your post. I think, too, you are your father's daughter. :) But the English have a way with the 'cottage' style that is all their own. It just looks so right when you do it.

Your photos are lovely and I enjoy seeing the larger areas of your gardens. Such great colors and textures. Heaven!

Q said...

You follow your heart!
You are your Father's daughter.
I love the way you wander through your gardens. They seem to lead and speak.
My gardens have changed over the years. Before I plant I ask myself, "Is it good for the bees and butterflies? Is it good for the birds?"
Seeing your gardens is seeing your soul! All you do is good for the bugs and the birds!
Sherry

Liz said...

I think your mum and my dad would have been fantastic together! He he. They could have all the impatents, pelagoniums and French marigolds in the world (I don’t like them, sorry) in their nicely weeded rows of soil…

;)

I must admit I am slightly dubious over completely doing the garden, because I only plan on being here another 5/10 years and will likely have to reduce the planting to allow for people less interested in gardening to buy it, but until then I’ll have to enjoy myself at least whilst I’m here!

Are most of your plants produced from your own seeds or cuttings? So far my propagation isn’t going too well… Oh well, it will come with experience.

NCmountainwoman said...

Nature does not plant in neat rows and neither should we.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

It's so cool that both your parents garden--are they both still alive?! That's great! I'm definitely a cottage gardener, not a straight rows kind of gal! :)

Rose said...

Even before I started gardening, I was always drawn to the photos in magazines of "cottage gardens." They always looked so romantic and evoked nostalgia to me. But then when I started my own garden, I carefully made plans, thinking about colors, heights, bloom times, etc. Now...well, the plans have gone out the window:) It's good to know I can call myself a cottage gardener and not a disorganized one:) Your garden represents everything I like about gardening, Cheryl. I, too, am my father's daughter.

ShySongbird said...

Your garden is just beautiful Cheryl and very clever as it looks so natural but has obviously been so carefully and lovingly created, it is a credit to you (and your father's influence). So sorry I missed your Sunday Safari, I have just enjoyed it very much, all the photos are lovely and you had so many beautiful butterflies visiting. Thank you for your concern in your recent reply, I have struggled to keep up with commenting on all the lovely blogs lately and posting has slipped completely. Things have been a bit chaotic lately (I don't like chaos!) and there have been lots of neglected jobs to catch up on, also we have been trying to have a few days out (between the downpours!). I do hope to be back on track soon and thank you so much for thinking of me, it is nice to know there are people who care.

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....amazing, how did you know they are my mother's favourite plants....

I have learnt a lot in the last eight years. A lot of my plants are grown from seed. I am also given sickly plants (I am good with them). Dogwoods, elder, lavender, rosemary are of course simplicity itself, so I have lots of them in the garden.
I tend to have plants given to me for my birthday and Christmas....which I most certainly am not complaining about.

I do buy......but only if something really jumps out at me....those being hellebores and wild flowers......

Cheryl said...

Thank you Beckie.....you are so kind....I, of course, love my garden but I do not expect others to feel as I do......I love the English cottage garden style....

But I can in all honesty say, I love prairie planting. It came to UK around five years ago....and I fell in love with it. I would not use it here....it would not look right, it belongs in your part of the world....vast and open and imposing....

Cheryl said...

Monica.....my parents are both still alive......and they disagree constantly over the garden. Mum thinks she is the boss....Dad listens, says 'yes ok' and then does his own thing.....it has always been the same.....

Cheryl said...

Thank you Rose....I to am a romantic....and a true cottage gardener.
Sometimes I look at the garden and think what a jumble......but then I walk it and I mellow......
I was on my knees the other day and amongst the marigolds was a tomato plant (self sown).....I have left it.....my Dad would to...

From one cottage gardener to another....it is a pleasure to know you.....

Cheryl said...

Dear Jan....please do not worry about visiting my blog......it is difficult to fit things in....when time is more available I shall still be here...

I am so very pleased to hear that you are well....I was very concerned you were ill.....

Tku re garden....you are so kind....I never plan Jan....I see a gap, I fill it. If the birds bees and butterflies like it, that suits me fine......

Wendy said...

Lovely quote. The flowers telling their story.. I like that! I like your way of gardening too. I don't think "colour coordination" is Mother Nature's way at all. Nor landscaping, although some landscaping does look pretty.

Gardening is so soothing, isn't it?

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

So luckly to have your Dad as inspiration.
Wow, he has beautiful gardens as do you.
Still thinking about your Dad gardening...must be great to share this special love.

Not fond of straight rows myself..too formal...not fun.

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl - I couldn't help but have a peak before heading to bed... this posting just made me smile - I love all the cottage garden plants and the life they bring to the garden and their informality too - if you're ever over in France you should drop by!

Tina said...

Well I think there is a plan in a cottage garden – let it look natural, a bit wild and out of control, let the plants be plants – that’s what is the most beautiful to me!

Terrie B x said...

Absolutly `stunningly` beautiful Cheryl...
Poppi is growing up `Blooming` Beautifuly...
she will walk in your footsteps and what a beautiful path to walk..TFS...
Enjoy the rest of your weekend:)x

Tootie said...

What a beautiful garden! :-)

I found your blog from a comment you left on another, about Sanibel Island. I read that you have a love for it. Now I see why...you love nature. If you want to have some more peeks at the island, stop by my blog for a visit.

I'll be back to read more and see more photos. :-)

Sue said...

I'm trying to remember if I've been here before. I love your blog! I am a hodge podge gardener, going for a cottage garden look. The gardens and blooms on your blog are all wonderfully beautiful! I like the critters and children, too.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. One of these days, I'm going to tell the story of Heidi in a post. She wears a shock collar when we are in the yard. Otherwise, she would be chasing squirrels, dogs, and who knows what. As it is, she seldom has to be shocked, and there is a warning sound we give her first to know she better change what she is doing to avoid the shock.