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How to Create an English Cottage Garden

Is there anything more picturesque than an English cottage  garden? The flora typically found in these gardens are soft, romantic and bursting with life. These gardens encourage images and thoughts of charm and whimsy, making them a perfect retreat from our hectic everyday lives. The flowers also tend to be great for clippings, which means that you can easily bring your garden indoors. In order to make your backyard look like an English flower garden, there are a few key plants that you'll want to consider:


Delphinium
The most prominent plant of the English cottage garden's charm is the delphinium. Delphinium can be a little more challenging than other plants in your flower garden because it will absolutely need to be staked in order to keep it standing up. Reaching up five to nine feet tall depending on the variety, these beauties do best in full to partial sun with well-drained soil. Delphinium can be grown as perennials in zones three through seven.

Lavender
Beautiful and functional, lavender is a must-have for any cottage flower garden. Lavender thrives in full sun with well-drained soil and is perennial in zones five through eight. Sprigs of lavender can be dried and brought into your home to chase away gloomy days with the scent of your garden.

Peony
Peonies are an old-fashioned flower that can give a flower garden an instant feeling of romanticism. With each bloom overflowing with petals, they are very fragrant and do very well in full sun. These bushy plants can grow up to five feet tall, depending on the variety, and are perennial in zones three through eight. Peony colors range in shades of pink and white.


Rose
What would a cottage be without a bed of roses? Not the large red Valentine's Day roses, but delicate miniature rose bushes, or a climbing rose vine. While there is nothing wrong with red roses, think of pinks, whites or yellows for a quaint English feeling.



Violet
For another shorter flower with which to adorn your garden walk, be sure to add violets. Violets grow to be only about a foot tall and prefer partial to full shade in well-drained soil. These fragrant flowers prefer cooler weather and will bloom in the spring and again in the fall, giving your yard color while some of your other flowers may be out of season.


reprint BHG.com

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