A Real Cottage Garden

When I lived in the States I attempted to transform my back lawn into a cottage garden.  I planted lots of trees, made wide flower borders, and laid used brick paths.  It was lovely but it wasn't really a cottage garden. To be honest, the phrase 'cottage garden' was indicative of a style. You really can't have an authentic cottage garden when you live in a modern split-foyer house.  That's certainly not the case here in Britain. 

Drive down nearly any country lane in Devon and you will soon find a tiny rural village filled with ancient cottages.  If those cottages have roses growing around the front door you can almost bet there are going to be some great cottage gardens, too.

The first time I saw a real cottage garden I was surprised at how many beautiful flowers were blooming in such a tiny space.

They always look so lush and colourful.  Every available inch is utilised.

When you can't grow out, grow up!  In a few weeks this wall will be covered in wisteria blossoms.

Look closely and you soon see that many of the flowers are grown in pots.  Only the larger trees and shrubs are planted in the soil to form the 'bones' of the garden. 

This is a row of three little attached cottages.  Each 'cottager' has landscaped the area outside their own front door.  Every tiny front garden is individual but there is still a sense of cohesion.  

And if you should have more flowers than space, you can always start a 'cottage industry' ... how about this for clever marketing?


  1. How lovely. I also love a cottage garden but have never managed to grow one, I think it needs more dedication than I can give to my garden. I was particularly taken with Geoff Hamilton's Cottage Garden TV series, I even had the video! Thanks for this little trip down the Devon lanes to the cottage gardens.

  2. So pretty! So glad summer is on its way!

  3. Beautiful photos friend! And you are so right about the type of architecture affecting the garden! I love the bursts of colors in these gardens and how there is that element of vertical here as well! There was a time when we were thinking of moving and I would seriously look at the house and check off if it could be a garden house or not. Thank you for inspiring me tonight! Wishing you a wonderful and creative week ahead! Nicole xoxo

  4. Yes it is suprising what you can do with a small space, I like your new header.

  5. So lovely. The flowers against the old stone walls are just perfect.

  6. I love cottage gardens, they always look so beautiful ….


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