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cottage garden or too haphazard?

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

This is my front yard as of June 2010-A few of the largest plants have been removed, but I love the look of cottage gardens. It is difficult here in Michigan to get that "English Garden" look, but I am a plant collector at heart, so I am trying it. I don't have any idea about plant color combinations, and have difficulty planting with any continuity, due to the great variety of plants.
It is partly sunny, and the only place I can grow roses. There are 22 of them in there!
What do you think?This is obviously the garden at its best, so this is as good as it gets.

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Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

It's great ! I'm sure it's really spectacular when all the roses are blooming.
The thing you have to remember is that a cottage garden theme can vary greatly depending on your zone, sun exposure, etc.
Your knowledge of plant color combinations will increase as you "play with it" over time...some people follow strict "rules" as far as color pairings, others don't. The main thing is that YOU like what you plant and that YOU derive pleasure from your efforts.

Gardens are always "evolving" as you discover new plants, colors, combinations, etc.
It's a learning process and it looks like you've achieved much success. Do what makes you happy and have fun with it.

Keep us posted with more pictures as it blooms. You're definitely on the right track.

Newnan, GA(Zone 7b)

I don't think a cottage garden can get too haphazard. In my opinion, the "messier" and more profuse, the better. I love yours.

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Precisely !

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Oh, thanks for the feedback. looking at the pic I do see a few color combos that work, purely by accident. I guess I can continue to have fun playing with it, and maybe a thing or two will work. I figure anything I can get to bloom is a bonus! I'll see what it looks like this year, as the climbing roses should be much larger.

Orrville, OH(Zone 5b)

I love your house! The color and style is perfect for a backdrop for a cottage garden. You're not just trying, you're succeeding with you plantings.

I agree that haphazard is the definition of a cottage garden. Just make sure you have balance. I would probably add a good size plant with a chocolate or dark green leaf behind the bunny. You might add flowers that bloom over a wide range of times so that the garden is always at its best.

mao

Lake Charles, LA

Looks like a cottage garden to me!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I agree with mao - and I too have found color combinations purely by accident. That's the joy of a CG ... I just wing it and usually get very lucky.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I have a small house, picket fence and I even planted flowers on city property, all around the water meter and hydrant. I got tired of cutting grass there, so I guess they are ok with it, nobady complained. Every year I have different color coordination, last year was purple, blue, yellow and orange. this year I will have to figure it out, it is still early.

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Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Mao, I like your suggestions on a chocolate leafed plant behind bunny. There is a fairy rose there, but it didn't bloom last year (I finally solved that problem in October!). But I could move that rose. Any suggestions on a good plant? Glad you like the house-it didn't look at all "cottagey" when we moved in-just a beige tract house with square shrubs. Believe it or not, we've been there 13 years, but only started to make any headway in the garden the last 4 years.
Kiseta, love your colors!

Orrville, OH(Zone 5b)

There's a weigela that fits about every purpose. "Midnight Wine" is one possibility, or find another variety that's just a bit larger. A smoke bush or elderberry "Black Lace" or "Black Beauty" would work, but only if it was coppiced (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coppicing) every spring. Pinch back again in late May-early June so it only gets about 4' tall. You want to call attention to your front door, not to hide it. A dwarf evergreen shrub with darker coloring could also work.

Daylilies and hosta are the number one and two most popular perennials for a reason. They're both very easy and they'll both work in part sun. I think either one or both would add a little texture to your predominately small leafed garden. I find different leaves add interest even when plants aren't in flower.

I love fairy roses. There's nothing more romantic. I have too many Japanese beetles to grow roses. You're going to have to post a picture when your roses are in their glory.

If that was a plain tract house than you deserve congratulations on such a fine make-over. Seeing it, I know you'll have a fine garden once you do a little tweaking.

Kiseta- That's a very nice spot of color. I plant my hell strip too. Someday I expect the town will come in with a backhoe digging up utilities and I'll lose my perennials but in the mean time I take my garden all the way out to the road.

mao





Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

Beautiful!!!!

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

I ordered a couple of black leafed huechera, and a shorter black sedum (my favorites), to try. I'll post pictures of this year, hopefully the fairy roses will be blooming, too! They had midges (I think) that I finally killed with neem oil. Those things didn't bloom for over ten years, and I thought it was me. Finally found the answer on this site! hurray! Thanks everyone for the input, this has been really fun and informative.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Museumgirl, your garden is a welcoming sight. My idea of a cottage garden is that there is always something blooming. Once the spring bulbs are gone, the peonies start up. Besides lilies, lilies and lilies, which are pretty tall, we have a baptisia, an amsonia and bee balm. We've also got centaurea montana (blue) and centaurea amethyst in snow. Once the balloon flowers come out (platycodon), you're in full swing.

Princeton, KS

I think it is lovely.

This message was edited Apr 20, 2011 6:52 PM

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Thanks for all the nice comments! We got to sort of start over two years ago when we had the drive and walk replaced. When we bought the house almost 14 years ago, it had an aging garden of overgrown shrubs, and no flowers. It has taken me this long to figure out what I want, and how to get it. I love experimenting with new plants, so cottage garden was the perfect fit for me. I love that, with gardening, you never get to the point where you know it all! (That's when I lose interest) Can't see that happening with my gardens, even if I ever did become a master gardener! This picture is the garden mid-April this year - hope for another year!

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Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

It looks nice already. Your trellises add a nice amount of dressing. They change the exterior from plain like the other homes, and they're perfect for the cottage look. You've created a nice little feng shui shape I can't seem to achieve.

We've been here since 2005, and the previous owner had several plantings, but the gardens will never be finished. They're always a work in progress. (If I could only stay out of garden centers, it would be ok.) We use a lot of metal trellises for support because we also grow tomatoes, and the trellises are much more attractive than wooden poles.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Glad you like the trellises, Mr Husband would be pleased-he made them for me! He started with the one on the porch, and then I got demanding! (He's a saint).
Gardens are always a work in progress, that's what I love about them. No mistake is ever permanent! :) I too, have a Plant Acquisition problem, but I suppose that is one of the less damaging addictions!

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

I love the way it looks in your June picture. Looks like a cottage garden to me. My thought when I looked at the April 21st picture is that you could add some spring bulbs for a spot of early color.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

There are a lot of bulbs-they just weren't doing much last week! Here's a picture I took Monday, when things are just getting going. You can't see it too well, but the whole left side is now covered with daffodil blooms! Took them a while this spring, but we are finally getting flowers.

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Athens, PA

Gorgeous! You are achieving the look I have wanted for my front yard. Keep the pictures coming. I'd love to see the different seasons in your front garden bed.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Don't you love the blue tarp on my neighbor's house!! He is re-siding it.

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I was gonna ask about that -- hope it comes down before summer. what a horrible view.

North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

I see the bulbs now, or I should say the flowers from them. You have done a great job with the entiregarden bed!

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

the tarp is still up on his house, but at least it is an improvement over the peeling paint! He built a suite for his mom last year, and is just getting around to fixing up the rest of the house. I do hope it won't be in all my pictures this year, but I don't have any control over that! I'll post more border pictures as it goes along, always interested in suggestions!

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I would rather see a blue tarp on the next door house, instead I am looking at a small house that have 10 people live in it , partying every night, trash all around the yard and they are sitting on the porch all day next day. I have a feeling if I said something to them, they would mow down my front yard full of flowers just for the meanness of it. It is very unnerving to leave the house every morning and all of my neighbors are all at home watching me come and go. Sorry to change the subject. My front yard is starting to look very nice, I hope it will stay that way. This a picture from last year.

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Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

that picture is beautiful - at least the bums next door have something nice to look at from their trashy porch! I feel for you! I actually have great neighbors, on all sides, except for a guy kitty-corner behind me. guess I am lucky. Blue tarp isnt really so bad, and it means the place will look nice when he is done.
As for your "neighbors" ,kind of creepy them watching you come and go-maybe you can plant an enormous hedge to block their view!

Princeton, KS

Gorgeous bed, Kiseta!!

Sorry about the neighbors! :(

Athens, PA

I love that front bed too.

Salem, OR(Zone 8b)

Kiseta---that is beautiful. As for the neighbors......2 houses ago, I had some teenagers who were regularly congregating on my lawn. Then I saw them picking flowers from one of my gardens. I was horrified. I yelled out the window, and I asked them to stop. The next day, every flower in my bed had been snipped off and was gone. (lots of delphiniums) It was heartbreaking, and I cried. The house went on the market the following spring after some local foster children threw eggs at our window, while my husband and I were literally standing there. Luckily, this was before the housing crisis, and we sold the house a month later with a profit. I've never been so happy in my life to move. Flower bed terrorists---some of the worst people! So my rec---keep the peace so as to not endanger the flowers.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I'm afraid you are right, Kosk.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

This area I am living at is a older neighborhood. I have kept eye on this house before I bought it, it looked like 4-5 houses around it where geting rebuildt so I tought it was a upper moving neighborhood. We got the house for good price , fixed it up so did the neighbors. But slowly we found out the rest of them where rented out and I ended up being the few of the people living in our house. It is still a nice area, but people move in and out, so I never know what is happening. Some people stop and complement the flowers, I said you can have a nice yard to, they say it is to much work. I am frendly to anybody, but it is supprising how people do not care where and how they live. But Spring is here and that is the best time for me to keep busy with the flowers. This year I am starting to grow clematis and I hope to heve a lots of new growt soon. This a picture some of my flowers last year.

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Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

So pretty. Even when we rented, we have always gardened. My prince did the square foot thing with vegetables, and I bordered our walk with marigolds and celosia. We were young marrieds (100 years ago) and enjoyed working in the yard together.

He always tells the story of how he got off the train 1 block from home and followed the smell of garlic to our house. I had made an insecticide of sorts by throwing 2 garlic bulbs and oil in the blender with something else I cannot remember. The smell lasted a week and it got rid of bugs, but the story lasted forever.

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Cathy, I love that story!
Here's a photo of today, tulips doing their best!

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Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

And another! I think it may finally be spring?

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North Shore of L. I., NY(Zone 6b)

Looks great. Looks like spring to me, Really nice.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Looks like spring to me, too. So pretty and inviting. Love the dog's tail and your border of smooth stones. You've done such a lovely job, I cannot wait to see the next installment of photos and flowers.

Marcia

Columbia City, IN(Zone 5b)

museumgirl,Your garden looks like a Cottage garden to me,and your house perfect cottage...you need some Larkspur ,Delphiniums,Zinnias,columbine..

I have the same problem,going from rock garden to tahdah Cottage Rock Garden ...LOL...For what ever reason i thought i couldnt plant tall plants ??? for years !!! NOt anymore anything Goes,if it grows it goes in...

I too have the same issue,cant walk out of any garden center empty handed...

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Athens, PA

huggergirl -

that is really pretty. What are the small orange flowers in with the blue columbine? Love the combination.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Carolyn -- those look like Marigolds to me. the French ones. Nicer Combo Tam!! very pretty.

all we have blooming up here is Daffs. it's been a COLD spring... i'm hoping it has finally 'broken' and we will warm up a bit.

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