Cottage gardens have always fascinated me. I've never lived in a home that could be described as a cottage, but if anyone asked me what my favourite style of gardening is, I would have to say cottage gardening.
While SH and I are a little over the top tidy in our gardening habits, I still love the profusion of a cottage garden within tidy boundaries. I love the self-sufficiency aspect of cottage gardening which incorporates vegetables, fruits and herbs along with flowers and ornamentals.
In our gardens over the years we have tried to incorporate the beautiful with the useful - the edible and the ornamental. I love reading about gardens of old - secret walled gardens, magnificent castle gardens, monastic herbal and healing gardens - and I want a bit of all of these in my own quarter acre.
I adore the folklore of plants and herbs. The stories, the magic, the legends and the ancient history of all of these wonderful plants that can still flourish in Aotearoa in the 2020's.
To be growing a bay tree, a rosemary, a foxglove, a fern, a rose and so many more plants that have been around for centuries is a true miracle... and a privilege.
The picture is of a flower I have attempted, but failed, to grow from seed for the past couple of years. Finally I have succeeded to grow one of my favourite cottage plants. This is our gorgeous Canterbury Bell.