Cottage gardens were originally planted to provide small dwellings with the necessary vegetables and herbs that were needed to feed the families who lived within. Like modern cottage gardens, the early gardens often appeared to be unruly. While there was no pattern or plot for these gardens, they were always maintained and well-tended. Due to their location, homeowners often added fences to keep the family’s livestock from devouring the growing plants. The best cottage gardens are those that take advantage of and enhance the stark beauty of the wild. Perennial Geraniums, also known as cranesbills, are the perfect cottage garden plants. Another perfect fit for cottage gardens are Sedums. This family of plants is extremely varied with species that will thrive from full sun to semi-shade. They are incredibly durable, well suited to poor soil conditions and come in a veritable rainbow of colours.
Meanwhile, modern cottage gardens have evolved from their predecessors, allowing for variables such as geographic location, soil conditions and dissimilar weather patterns. In a modern cottage garden, flowers are more frequently seen than herbs and vegetables, although they may make an occasional appearance. Often when planting a cottage garden, the gardener will choose to plant both annuals and perennials to ensure a variety of blossoms every year. It is also not uncommon to see roses play a part in today’s cottage gardens.