we spend time with each other out in our front yard, enjoying the time we spend tending it and each-others company. But our back yard is a weed's paradise! Soon, I hope our back yard looks as wonderful as this painting. And this is what I want, a cottage garden!
With chickens. That is really what started me on the kick to finally get our back yard into shape.
When looking for paintings and photos for this article, I got to thinking - what is it about the cottage garden that fills us with such wonder and romantic notions? Romance was not the original intent of the cottage garden to be sure, because it was a functioning necessity for those that planted them. I have heard cottage gardens described in many ways. Some define them as unplanned patches of chaos, while others say they are an orderly planned garden containing flowers, fruits, and vegetables. So which is it? Who cares?! All I know is that they are simply divine to behold, and a joy to be in, and I want one!
But on second thought, with most things in this life, a plan is a good idea. A good plan can prevent expensive errors by making you think about what your needs are, by observing what will work in your space and it will give you direction of what needs to be done to accomplish your plan. Planning. Are your palms starting to sweat? I'm a strange mix of a planner and a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda gal. But really, this is not hard to do, making a plan that is. We all have a measure of common sense. Ooookay, some more than others, but if you are still daunted by the thought of planning and designing a cottage garden, thankfully there are a myriad of books on the subject, and videos to aide you in your quest to gain some knowledge and a plan, before jumping in head first and going hog wild.
perfect place for our semi-formal cottage garden! This inspiration garden could be considered formal because of it's squarish shape, and it doesn't have many informal curves. This holds true for our back yard. It is decidedly square. And with the apricot tree in the center, it makes it difficult to get those lovely mysterious curves that lead to those secret little nooks, where you can sit in quiet reflection on an inviting bench, surrounded by soothing sounds and nature's splendor. Yes, I feel that this painting perfectly illustrates what will be aimed for in our garden. Not quite the picture one gets in their mind regarding cottage gardens, because it seems more formal, but if you notice, the side plantings are quite informal.
This is known as contrast in the design biz, and this plan is what will fit our back yard best. And like all good gardens, ours will have a surprise or two! One surprise we will be working in an area for chickens, and some subtle curves here and there, and even planting a Secret Garden! It will be located behind our garage, where there is a wonderful Meyer lemon tree. The secret garden will be small, but really cool, and I'm hoping- functional.
However, a whole heck of a lot of work will have to be done on its entrance to achieve that air of mystery I'm after, but more on that later!