High WASPs plant cottage gardens even when the cottage is, well, a little grand.
You might well wonder, “What is a cottage garden?” You might well consider, “Do I want one?” I ask you in return, do you like:
- Mixed and crowded plantings whose final architecture you can’t quite predict
- The Fibonacci curves of nature
- Dedicating space to growing plants to cut, either flowers, or food, or both
- Walking amongst your plants, and the paths to walk upon
- Honoring the geography where you live?
As you can see in the photos above, cottage gardens should be planted every which way, as though they might have chosen to grow in situ of their own accord. The effect you are looking for, which might in fact be the High WASP credo, is, “Oh this old thing?” Even though you or your landscape architect might in fact have spent at the very least a lot of time, if not money, planning and designing. And then spent a lot of time planting, watching plants fail, and replanting. Dignified chaos is a lot of work.
You should also remember that cottages sustain themselves. You will need to plant things to bring inside, flowers, or herbs, or vegetables, even when you don’t have an acre for a cornfield. I remember the cornfield, next to the barn, opposite the cottage, where we stayed on my father’s family place. And the deer that would walk out at night, as we held our breaths and waited. But I digress.
Your cottage garden should have paths, to wind through the greenery, to conceal and reveal. Even if the only path you have is the one leading from the sidewalk to your front door, or up the stairs to your apartment, let it meander just for a minute, if you can.