If you are looking for cottage garden ideas to create a charming, characterful plot, then start with your own vision of what the space could be. Is it tumbling climbers creeping up walls, romantic drifts of softly colored perennials, or vintage containers bursting with perfumed flowers and home-grown crops?
More so than in any other gardens, cottage garden ideas are guided by nature. Full of self-seeding plants, tumbling blooms and rambling vines, a cottage garden is more an act of editing rather than planting.
'The cottage garden approach is ‘slow gardening’, allowing self-seeding to establish, curating the plant display and relying on plants that might be found on country roadsides like foxgloves and ferns to self-colonise. It’s really the opposite of planting in that you either leave a plant in that’s found its own way to you or you take it out,' says Claire Masset, author of Cottage Gardens.
'As a concept, a cottage garden is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Cozy, snug, informal, profuse, the cottage garden looks entirely at home in its surroundings, as though it has slowly evolved over time – and often it has,' adds Clare.
If you want to channel your inner Gertrude Jekyll and go big on cottage garden ideas, the trick is to create an intimate space packed with color and scent, with dense planting spilling over pathways and framing windows and doors to create a serendipitous vibe.
BY SARAH WILSON. CONTRIBUTIONS FROM HOLLY REANEY, MELANIE GRIFFITHS