Some like it minimalist and modern, others value naturalness. Either way, the natural garden has become very popular again in recent years and is preferred by many amateur gardeners. You feel closer to nature and even do something good for all the insects and animals. One garden that is becoming more and more popular and is really nature-friendly and useful is the so-called cottage garden. Today we would like to introduce you to its advantages and also explain how you can create a cottage garden.
Table of Contents
What is a cottage garden?
In principle, this type of garden is a mix of ornamental and kitchen garden . Here you combine the plants in a jumble, so that a great variety of colors is created. At the same time, the garden emits pleasant fragrances and provides the gardener with delicious fruits thanks to the useful plants. Sounds like a classic mixed culture, actually, so what’s so special about it? Well, the whole thing is grown on a fairly small area, and in earlier times, this very small area was used by farmers for self-sufficiency.
What does it look like today?
Little space, but it had to be used very well – how to create and plant the peasant garden for this purpose? The garden is characterized by two intersecting paths, so that each area can be easily reached. In the center of the peasant garden gardeners usually planted vegetable plants. Around them are herbs and medicinal plants , while the outer areas served the flowers. In the case of crops, great importance was also attached to benefiting from year-round yields. So the plants were placed so that there was always something to harvest and eat.
Of course, in today’s world, the abundant and permanent harvest is no longer the main focus. Now the mixed garden has another purpose – and that is to look good aesthetically, while also doing good to nature. The fact that people today attach more and more importance to growing their own crops comes in handy, because this fact can be combined with cottage gardens just wonderful.
Create a cottage garden – planting plan
So, with the help of the paths, you divide the small garden into four squares, which you can now plant. There are various options for this purpose and you do not necessarily have to follow the classic design of the farmers, but can create the cottage garden with a plan , which is completely in line with your ideas and preferences. For example, one way to design the four squares/beds would be the fertilization needs of the plants:
- Heavy growers (both useful and ornamental plants mixed).
- Medium growers (both useful and ornamental plants mixed)
- Weak growers (both useful and ornamental plants mixed)
- Herbaceous plants
Equally well you can create a cottage garden with raised beds. Decorative items such as fountains or a basin that collects rainwater can also be an element in cottage gardens. For example, the fountain is preferably placed at the intersection of paths, creating an interesting focal point.
Popular ornamental plants are perennials and dahlias, and summer plants are also a common choice. On the whole, however, you can choose any flowers that remind you of a wild meadow and bring many splashes of color to the garden – the bees will thank you. Of course, you also have free choice when it comes to vegetables and fruits, and you can plant whatever you like. However, we recommend that you make a plan to be able to harvest fruit regularly throughout the season, in accordance with tradition. Those that you can not immediately consume fresh, you can freeze or preserve and then use in the winter. The same goes for herbs and medicinal plants that you can use fresh or dry.
Create a cottage garden – floor plan to divide the beds.
It is important that they visually separate the beds and create a geometric layout . The entire cottage garden is fenced, for which, for example, wicker fencing or a simple picket fence is well suited. At that time, the plants were protected in this way from the roaming farm animals, today it remains a typical feature. It is also best to additionally border the beds themselves with simple wooden boards, which you stick vertically into the ground. The raised beds already mentioned are also very suitable for this purpose.
The paths in the cottage gardens
A cross of paths divides the garden into the four squares. Since the goal of the cottage garden is a natural look, you should keep this for the paths as well. Instead of choosing paving stone or even concrete, be sure to go for natural, but one that stays clean even after rain – gravel is very popular and allows water to seep through beautifully to avoid puddles. It even becomes more natural with grass.
Create a cottage garden – ideas
Of course, you not only have free choice when it comes to choosing plants. You can also implement your own ideas when it comes to the layout and design. For example, instead of two intersecting paths and four squares, you can also design several paths and thus get several beds. The garden also does not necessarily have to be square, but is welcome to vary in length. Below you can see a few pictures for alternative variations to the classic and gather inspiration.
Bordering beds with stones
Plant mixed cultures
Minimalist variant for cottage gardens
Combine ornamental and useful plants
Put herbal and medicinal plants like vegetables and flowers in the beds