Cottage gardens were first defined as land that was worked by
the owner. Fresh fruits and vegetables were often miles away.
Thus, these little postage stamp gardens were originally planted with
utilitarian plants like fruit
trees and vegetables. Sometimes the lowly herb was included, almost as an afterthought.
These herbs were often more of a medical necessity than the seasoning to make a
As life progressed and access to fresh produce and modern
medicines improved, these gardens started to include more flowers. Today, the image of a
cottage garden conjures up copious amounts of fabulous flowers flowing around
the garden gate and spilling over the arbor. Many old timer plants are free
seeders and produce babies for the next year in great quantity. These can be
moved or left depending on your desire and energy level! The six
flowers/herbs below are carefree and perfect to get your own cottage garden
up and growing. They will survive the winter in zone 5 and up.
SANTA BARBARA DAISY, HYSSOP, ENGLISH LAVENDER, GIANT CATMINT, CINDERELLA
ROSE, AND VERONICA
Santa Barbara Daisy
the garden with mounds of little white daisies, this plant starts
blooming early in spring and continues until frost. We like to cut it
back mid season to keep it from getting too straggly but it is not
necessary. It makes a nice under planting for miniature roses like
Cinderella. It can also be used as a ground cover. It is very tough and
can take some foot traffic without being damaged. Where winters are too
cold for it to survive, make sure to let it bloom and set seeds so it
can resprout the next spring.
used plant, Hyssop is makes a nice front of the border plant.
Both blue and pink varieties bloom for most of the gardening season.
Hyssop should be pruned into a little globe after bloom. Bees and
butterflies love this plant which adds great life to the garden. Both
colors look nice when planted near the Giant Catmint. It is also very
pretty planted next to tricolor garden sage. The slightly minty flowers
may be used as a garnish in salads or stir-fries.
English Lavender (Lavandula
Fragrant, beautiful, edible and easy to care for, English
Lavenders look good planted in mass, singly as a focal point., or, as in this
garden, with other plants of complimentary colors and textures. Lavenders like
good drainage and full sun. In humid climates, consider planting them in mounds
or raised beds and leave air space between it and its neighbor. Lavender wands
may be harvested anytime, but the best quality buds are harvested when the
flowers have opened about a third of the way down the stalk. By the second fall,
English Lavenders need to be pruned back into the leaves. Shaping the plant at
this time will produce a tidy bloomer in the spring. Never cut back into wood
that shows no leaves. The plant may or may not force new growth. Lavender can be
used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. A simple recipe is to make Lavender
sugar by taking several lavender wands and covering with sugar for a week. Keep
tightly closed and use for tea or coffee.
Giant Catmint (Nepeta
Not to be confused with its feline pleasing cousin, catnip,
Catmint is a
beautiful ornamental plant with a fragrance reminiscent of cinnamon stick. A
herbaceous perennial, the new growth of Catmint is some of the first to show
itself in the spring. With spires of purplish blue flowers in late spring and
again in early fall, this is a prime nectar source for butterflies. When the
first flush of flowering is through in the spring, cut the plant back almost to
|Cinderella Micro Miniature
Romantic roses spilling over and around the garden in their
carefree way provide mind's image that is often associated with Cottage
Gardens. However, many of our modern gardens are smaller which makes the
miniature rose the perfect choice. This rose
blooms early in spring and keeps on blooming its perfectly petite pale pink
blooms right up until frost. Since Cinderella can grow to three feet
and blooms so prolifically, it provides a lot of focus in the garden
which is what cottage gardening is all about.
Veronicas are straight spikes of pure color. A good choice for the front of the
garden, Veronica is a carefree long lived herbaceous perennial. Cutting the
spikes back almost to the ground after the first bloom, will encourage a second
bloom in the fall.
Additional Cottage Herb Garden Plants: Achillea,
Fennel, Digitalis, Gaillardia, Gypsophylla, Lovage,
Mullein, Parsley, Rudbeckia, and just about any other flowering plant or
BOOKS TO READ ON THIS SUBJECT:
ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBS
by Ellen Phillips
by James Adams
by Twigs Way
A COTTAGE GARDEN IN NORTH AMERICA
HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH HERB GARDEN
Kay N. Sanecki
VEREY'S GOOD PLANTING PLANS
by Rosemary Verey
THE LAVENDER GARDEN
Excellent information on varieties of Lavender
and cooking with Lavender
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HERBAL MEDICINE
by Andrew Chevalier
Hands on information for using Lavender
and Feverfew medicinally
by Phyllis Shaudys
Extensive crafting information for everything from
Lavender wands to Lavender sachet.
English Cottage Herb Garden Six Pack
Add a Kitchen Herb Garden Six Pack to these flowering herbs
and you will be close to the original concept of the English Cottage Garden.
by purchasing our English Cottage Herb Garden Kit!
Receive The English Cottage Herb Garden Six Pack and the book
Vegetables, Herbs and Fruits for one low price!
Or, if you have a lot of space to
grace, try our Thirty-Six Pack Economical English
Cottage Garden Assortment, a
mix of flowers and culinary herbs in the true tradition of English Cottage
Please note that we make substitutions in Herb Gardens when something is out