General Discussion:

New cottage-style garden


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Karen04-Jun-00 11:15 AM EST   
Carolyn04-Jun-00 04:53 PM EST   
Toni04-Jun-00 09:38 PM EST   
Toni04-Jun-00 09:40 PM EST   
Laurel10-Jun-00 10:49 PM EST   
JDB11-Jun-00 02:47 PM EST   


Subject: New cottage-style garden
From: Karen
Zone:
Date: 04-Jun-00 11:15 AM EST

Hi everyone. This is my first summer in this house, and we've completely re-done the backyard. Ripped up the patches of grass that were there, put down a stone patio, a flagstone path and erected some trellises. Now it's time to plant. Ultimately, I want a lush cottage garden. I have placed my herbs and vegetables, as well as hostas and some impatiens. I still have the main bed (20'x10') to fill. I'm slowly but surely picking out perennials and planting them. My questions are these: 1. How long can I expect to wait until the perennials are mature? 2. Should I be buying more than one of each variety and planting them in groups, or is one enough to achieve a lush look? 3. For the cottage garden effect, should they be planted close together, or am I better off following the directions on the tag?

Thanks for any help, The impatient gardener.


Subject: RE: New cottage-style garden
From: Carolyn
Zone:
Date: 04-Jun-00 04:53 PM EST

Your plans for a cottage garden sound lovely. I'll attempt to answer your questions.

Answer #1: Perennials mature in about three years.

#2: Yes, you should plant more of one variety of perennial so the area fills in quickly--you can divide them up later. There are many perennials, however, that will grow quickly and look lush by their 2nd year. These include: Monarda(bee-balm), Daylilies, Suncups, Tall Phlox, Hollyhocks(essential for a cottage garden) and Daisies, to name just a few.

#3: A cottage garden looks best full and lush--place plants closer together to achieve this. As I stated above, you can always move them around and divide them up when they appear too crowded, in the years to come. I've never really adhered to the spacing directions on the tag---I like a full look where I can't even glimpse a bit of soil in the garden bed.

Height is something you may want to watch closely for in your planting. Place tall growing perennials like Hollyhocks(can grow up to 6ft tall)in the back of the border, with other plants descending in height to the front where you have short plants like ground covers. You don't want to end up with a pretty short plant completely hidden by Purple Cone flower, for example, because it was planted behind it.

Good luck and be patient! Ho!


Subject: RE: New cottage-style garden
From: Toni
Zone:
Date: 04-Jun-00 09:38 PM EST

I have also found that planting the same perennials at different intervals along your border is essential for a cottage garden. Some perennials like shasta daisies, sundrops and achillea grow very quickly. They can sometimes even be divided in the second year. These ones need not be planted in 3's. Purple coneflower takes longer to grow into a large clump but along with rudbeckia (black eyed susan) will reseed if floweres are not dead headed. This helps to fill in the spaces and give that lush cottage garden feel.


Subject: RE: New cottage-style garden
From: Toni
Zone:
Date: 04-Jun-00 09:40 PM EST

I have also found that planting the same perennials at different intervals along your border is essential for a cottage garden. Some perennials like shasta daisies, sundrops and achillea grow very quickly. They can sometimes even be divided in the second year. These ones need not be planted in 3's. Purple coneflower takes longer to grow into a large clump but along with rudbeckia (black eyed susan) will reseed if floweres are not dead headed. This helps to fill in the spaces and give that lush cottage garden feel.


Subject: RE: New cottage-style garden
From: Laurel
Zone:
Date: 10-Jun-00 10:49 PM EST

Carolyn,

Great response! We'll learn from that too as we are just starting our cottage garden. Looks like we selected many of the same plants your suggested so off to a good start!

BTW, we have had poor luck with peony tubers. Any suggestions?


Subject: RE: New cottage-style garden
From: JDB
Zone:
Date: 11-Jun-00 02:47 PM EST

One major problem with peony is the height of planting. Make sure they are at exactly the hieght they were at previously. Mix in a bit of manure, a bit of bone meal, and kelp meal, and let them go.

Good luck!!


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