42 responses

  1. Sarah
    June 24, 2010

    Lisa! What a wonderful post– this is perfect timing! I just started making my very first garden yesterday after walking by (for three years) an unkempt flowerbed in my yard– barren in patches and overgrown in others. I have weeded, and the planting and mulching will take place this weekend. I'm very excited about making my little corner of the world prettier. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

  2. Deja Pseu
    June 24, 2010

    While our new plantings aren't quite as haphazard as a cottage garden would demand, I'm hoping that some randomness will ensue. Meanwhile, my herb garden is doing it's wonderful and irregular part.

  3. Deja Pseu
    June 24, 2010

    Lovely pictures too. Sigh.

  4. VA Gal
    June 24, 2010

    I love the garden pictures! I like my gardens a bit on the wild side and am thrilled to finally have a jumble of flowers winding up to my door now. It took a lot of work to make it look so effortless. :-)

  5. metscan
    June 24, 2010

    Lovely pictures and a great post! With shame I admit, that I have very little, if none interest in gardening. Maybe later.. I do wish to keep places neat though, and favor wildflowers more than exotic ones. Agreed, the house and the surrounding nature must live in harmony!

  6. That’s Not My Age
    June 24, 2010

    The balcony is my cottage. I live in London so I like to arrange my random collection of terracotta pots and plants in an English country stylee!

  7. J.W.
    June 24, 2010

    Sluggo Plus rocks! Great post; thank you.

  8. Worthington
    June 24, 2010

    Agreed, agreed, agreed. Love English cottages. Their gardens are my favorite. Future in-laws have almost lost their original ones entirely, but grandmother-in-law at the bottom of the hill is holding strong in her carriage house. I may get involved with the fixer-upper just to return the gardens to their former glory!!

  9. Belle on Heels
    June 24, 2010

    ooooh i adore a good cottage garden! there is a darling one that i pass every morning on my walk with the puppy and i always slow down a little to admire it.

  10. Marcela
    June 24, 2010

    Oh I so want one!!!! But I live in an appartment…any ideas on how to plan a little garden in a balcony?

  11. Belle de Ville
    June 24, 2010

    What a fabulous post, you've inspired me to pay a little more attention to my plants.

    While I'm more of a fan of formal gardens and a muted color palate, I do believe that everyone should have a cutting garden where they can grow flower, herbs, vegetable and preferably all three. And, if you have the land an orchard as well, perhaps not with apples and walnuts, but at least here in Southern California, citrus trees.

  12. Ms. Givens
    June 24, 2010

    I have the perfect front lawn for a cottage garden. It's perfect, but I am no good at gardening.

  13. agirl
    June 24, 2010

    How absolutely wonderful to find that my garden is that preferred by High Wasps. I might have to rethink my self-definition. :)

  14. Dani @ Weddings Fresh
    June 24, 2010

    Sold! I'll do it. I have no past experience in gardening but it would seem the Cottage Garden is perfect for my skill set. It is finally sunny and warm here in Portland, so I have the itch to something outside!

  15. Tania Kindersley
    June 24, 2010

    Have been following your lovely blog for a while, but was too shy to comment. Then, today, I saw your delightful post on gardens. I kept squinting at the second picture, it looked so familiar to me. Then I suddenly realised: it was my old college. I actually walked in that garden, and now I find it, years later, on your blog. For some reason, this gives me keen pleasure.

    Also: I tend to refer to my own garden as a mess and a muddle. Now I realise I have been doing English cottage all along (even though I live in Scotland). I am vastly reassured. Thank you so much.

  16. Beth Dunn
    June 24, 2010

    Love them all, wish I was better in the green thumb department!

  17. Faux Fuchsia
    June 24, 2010

    I love to garden and have a true cottage garden-it's tiny, it has gravel paths and I grow things to eat. I also have no sun so I've had to use tropical shade tolerant plants, not traditional sun greedy perenials and annuals. I also garden in drought so succulents are my Friend.

    A cottage garden is so easy because it can be messy and a bit unkempt and still look fab.

    Everyone knows that gardening teaches you patience and makes you happy. This is why universally gardeners are always the nicest people you'll ever meet.

    It's also such a soothing thing to do in times of stress and grief.

    Your parent's gardens are LOVELY.

  18. Jan
    June 24, 2010

    EVERYTHING around our house is haphazard…


  19. Nellie
    June 24, 2010

    Developing a cottage garden is my dream, even at this age. Currently, however, we are making use of a 30×60 foot vegetable garden and are enjoying yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, beets, tomatoes, and radishes, with corn soon to come. Blackberries have ripened, and blueberries are nearly ready. Our energies seem to be geared toward food.:)

  20. L
    June 24, 2010

    Thank you so much. I really enjoyed this post.

  21. L
    June 24, 2010

    Seek out the PBS documentary "Gardens of the World" it is hosted by Audrey Hepburn. It is wonderful & I am sure you would appreciate it.

  22. Vintage Simple
    June 24, 2010

    "Dignified chaos is a lot of work." Indeed.

    I love cottages – and cottage gardens by extension. Wonderful post, from beautiful you. Thank you.


  23. Lisa
    June 24, 2010

    Oh my gosh! What a fantastic post. You really did your homework. I'm afraid I like things a bit orderly but this has always been because of lack of acreage.
    Believe me….if i had the land i would be planting cottage gardens and wildflower meadows with wild abandonment!
    I was doing good by pruning my hydrangeas like mad this morning to beat the heat & managed to bring in many bouquets for all to enjoy.
    Great to visit with you. Lisa

  24. Christina @ Fashion’s Most Wanted
    June 24, 2010

    Great to have found your blog via BHB. I love the English cottage look. Mine has gone slightly Mediterranean which won't work with the weather for long. The pictures are beautiful. You have inspired me to do some planting xx

  25. Preppy 101
    June 24, 2010

    I would love a cottage garden! Come help me do it!!! xoxo

  26. LPC
    June 24, 2010

    Sarah – I love serendipity. I hope your garden turns out beautiful. I looked at your blog. Will follow your story:).

    Deja – I think randomness over time, having the luxury of time in one place, is the best of all.

    VA Gal – I know! So much work.

    Metscan – You have horses…

    That's Not My Age – Absolutely pots on a balcony are a cottage.

  27. LPC
    June 24, 2010

    J.W. Sluggooooo! And diatomaceous earth!

    Worthington – Carriage houses. Cottage gardens. Former glories:). Yes.

    Belle – I bet the owner loves to see that.

    Marcela – Yes, I would have ideas. The first step is, how much sun? The next is, ooooh, let's look at planters on the internets. The third is, will you water? The fourth is, let's buy some plants and paint a picture with them. The fifth is, herbs? But that depends on sun…

    Belle – Oh, yes, orchards are to die for. My mother has an avocado orchard, up above:).

  28. LPC
    June 24, 2010

    Ms. Givens – How so? You have a good sense of design. Other than that, gardening is just about digging good holes and watering correctly…

    agirl – You, Obama, all the good people:).

    Dani – Yours will be gorgeous. Send pictures.

    Tania – How wonderful to hear from you. So glad you chimed in. Yes, that pictures is Oxford. So, so, so beautiful. My dad was there in the mid-50s…

    Beth – You have other fish to fry:).

  29. hostess of the humble bungalow
    June 24, 2010

    I have just come in from the garden…had a hellious day stacking hundreds of textbooks in the bookroom at school and after 3 hours out deadheading and weeding I feel content and relaxed.
    The cottage garden is what I have here at the bungalow…I cannot wrestle with nature…only be a steward and hope for the best!
    The gardens of your parents look so lush, colorful and well kept.
    I have a sneaky feeling that your garden is lovely too…don't be shy, show it off.

  30. LPC
    June 24, 2010

    FF – I love your garden. I hope mine is teaching me patience, I could sorely use some. And if you come to California, let me know. My dad is quite good about letting us camp around his pool.

    Jan – OK. But you eat really well.

    Nellie – I'm particularly jealous of your berries.

    L. – Thanks. I will keep my eyes open.

    Vintage Simple – You're welcome:).xox back.

  31. LPC
    June 24, 2010

    Lisa – Your posts on gardens are just gorgeous! Thank you so much for the kind words.

    Christina – Yay, plantings!

    Preppy 101 – Be careful, I do have a suitcase you know:).

    Hostess – Yes, I will show mine. But it's diminiutive, so one post will suffice:). Thanks for asking.

  32. Maggie
    June 24, 2010

    I'm definitely nailing the "Oh, this ole thing?" approach… but give me a couple of years to get my winding path down, would you?

  33. the gardeners cottage
    June 24, 2010

    hi lpc,

    what a wonderful post for me to read. i adore gardening and am so very lucky to actually live in a true gardeners cottage built 120 years ago for a large estate. the bones of my garden were fantastic, put in place long ago. they had just fallen in disrepair until we came along. it is truly joyous returning it to life. your parents gardens are beautiful and i look forward to seeing yours.


  34. WendyB
    June 24, 2010

    Sigh…wish I had some outdoor space. I do have two potted plants. Do those count for anything?

  35. Shelley
    June 25, 2010

    Gardening is one of those things I wish I enjoyed. I keep trying it now and then. Dirty fingernails and clumsy gloves are one obstacle. Squatting and kneeling are another. I can get down and up again OK, but I ache the next day like anything. Still, the beauty (and the food) are worth the effort, so I'll keep on. Bill always says those perfectly aligned floral arrangements are 'so working class'; we strive for elegant disarray…

  36. Anonymous
    June 25, 2010

    Atlas garden gloves.
    My SummerInTheGarden success barometer is based on how many pairs of gloves I blast through per garden season……..Successful used to be 4 pair….that was before wearing Atlas.
    They last FOR-ever.
    2 pairs at most, per Summer, with the 2nd pair still in fine shape for the next season…….

  37. Tabitha
    June 25, 2010

    I've always loved cottage gardens, I hate the fashion here ( Scotland) for replacing lawn with pebbles and adding bamboo and other immigrant shrubs to gardens.

  38. Patsy
    June 25, 2010

    I don't like gardening at all, but I love gardens. I wish one would fall out of the sky and land in our yard. I also wish I had an avocado orchard and that I could spend the day lounging around your Dad's pool………

  39. Miss Cavendish
    June 25, 2010

    My house is ancient Italianate, but it still has an English cottage garden. Am going to Google *Sluggo Plus* right now to see how it can help me!

  40. LPC
    June 26, 2010

    Maggie – You bet:).

    Janet – I love your cottage.

    WendyB – Yes, potted plants count, as long as you let them get a little tangly:).

    Shelley – Have you ever noticed all the old lady gardeners? I think all that bending is good for us.

    Anon – Huh. Didn't know. Thank you for the tip.

  41. LPC
    June 26, 2010

    Tabitha – I agree, I'd rather replace lawn with other plants.

    Patsy – Ha! I told my dad he might have to start up the High WASP bed and breakfast….

    Miss Cavendish – I love the sound of ancient Italianate – trying to parse the meanings now.

  42. Saskatchewan flowers
    June 29, 2010

    Great post……..
    Flowers are perfect for any occasion. Different flowers have different meanings and they come in variety of colors. Thanks for sharing nice pictures with us…

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