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Welcome to My Cottage

I’d like to invite you to step through the gate and join me on a tour of my cottage garden. It’s both a refuge for me when I need to be alone and a welcoming place to share with special friends and family. Today I’d love to share it with you.


English cottage gardens are my absolute favorite; therefore you’ll find most of my perennial borders are characteristically unpredictable (I adore surprises). The blending of herbs, flowers, and even vegetables adds a charm and flavor I can drink in for hours. Our property is also divided into rooms. Rooms for privacy. Rooms for growing vegetables. And rooms with sunny spots for reading a favorite book (or hosting tea for two).


In the especially cottage looking areas of my garden I’ve allowed flowers to reseed and spill over onto paths and lawns. Some classic English garden flowers, such as Foxgloves, like to choose their own place to bloom—usually it’s outside the edges of a flowerbed. And this happens to reflect the changes that have happened within me over the years. I’m a recovering perfectionist who used to grow everything in a predictable and linear fashion. But my journey on earth has been as unpredictable as our coastal weather, and I have become more flexible due to the ebb and flow of life’s tide.


A more relaxed approach to landscaping has washed up on the shore of my cottage garden. I’ve embraced the casualness of allowing fern fronds to age and fall to the earth as a cozy skirt around each plant. This helps conserve moisture and keeps down weeds (and labor). Even autumn leaves are left to blanket the perennial borders while the lawnmower and my rake gather the ones from the lawn to feed my compost piles. There’s no room in a cottage garden for green-thumbs with control issues.

When my husband and I first viewed our present home, while shopping for a new place to live six years ago, the landscaping was the first thing we looked at. The house would have to have been a derelict to scare us off once we’d been smitten by the trees, shrubs, perennials, and overall ambiance of the property surrounding the forties-something house.

It’s one of the original homes on our road. At one time it was considered a farm house and was encircled by fields of cows and trees. It’s now down to ¾ of an acre and is walled in by a subdivision and retirement complexes. The homes around us have teeny tiny lots with gigantic homes planted in the center of them. Our old magnolia tree, alone, would take up most of one of their backyards. And that’s one of the joys of older gardens—they have room for plants to roam, grow, and flourish.

My creative heart definitely flourishes here, and I hope I’ve inspired you to appreciate anew your own garden space. To tend a garden is a gift, to tend a cottage garden is a joy.

Blessings ~ Wendy


About the Author:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGardener/writer Wendy L. Macdonald has been gardening since childhood. Her favorite thing about gardening is fragrant old-fashioned flowers and fresh vegetables. When she’s not gardening she’s writing poetry and inspirational mystery/romances. You can learn more about her at http://greenlightlady.wordpress.com Her twitter and Facebook links are listed on her blog.