cottage garden/ wild flowers.

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bunty39 | 14:10 Fri 07th May 2010 | Gardening
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I'm hoping to bring some colour into my very bare garden. It's quite a large area, surounded by hedging of the usual hawthorn, beech, birch and other unidentified species. we cut the hedging down to a managable height to let more light in ( the lawn had become almost entirely moss ) but all around the bottom of the hedging it is very bare . We're retired so don't want anything that requires a lot of work, just something that is easy, attractive and suitable for a country cottage garden. The lawn which we are in the process of improving takes up the entire middle of the garden with a path 1/3rd of the way in from the left, going from top to bottom. Phew !! does anyone have any ideas please.


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If you set aside an area of your Garden where just wild flowers and grasses can grow it will encourage insects and Birds and will also be colourful when the wild flowers are in bloom. You could also plant a few low shrubs to add variety and colour to the area.
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thank you redman
Is it possible to buy wild flower seeds? It would suit perfectly at the foot of the garden where there are still a few large trees. In the area underneath them I could just imagine bluebells, primroses etc and anything else you can suggest. What do you think?
Go along to your nearest Garden Centre and have a browse among the seed packets to see what they have on offer.
My Grandfather used to get seed Catalogues years ago from a couple of Companies, I think one of them was called Bees but there are others as well.
Speak to someone at the garden centre as you may get some good ideas as to what to grow ......
A good place to start is with plants that like dry shade as they will thrive when the tree canopies are at their fullest. Low maintenance shrubs such as Euphorbia (over a thousand varieties), Laurel, Viburnum (a bit of a thug that will need pruning but gives flowers in winter/spring. Ferns love shade and are beautfully sculptural. Evergreens such as Hellebores give flowers in winter/spring. Creeping Phlox is an evergreen ground cover that spreads freely, suppresses weeds and gives beautiful flowers in spring. Some combination of these with spring bulbs will give your garden a real lift.
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thankyou both, redman41 and zita-green. you've both provided inspiration. I'm actually looking forward to it now., now that I have a more definite plan.
You're welcome, Bunty. I've a few revisions after thinking a bit more. Viburnum will grow too large, so maybe not a good idea. Periwinkle is an evergreen shade-lover and gives beautiful flowers in spring. I prefer perennials when it comes to summer planting as they are such good value compared to annuals. Delphiniums (watch for slugs), Lupins, Aquilegias, Hollyhocks, Red Hot Pokers and Liatris are all favourites for a country garden. Roses, too, if you have the space.
Honesty is lovely, smells sweet and seeds itself profusely and then you get the lovely seedpods.

I have cultivated a garden full of wild flowers and cottage garden flowers, shrubs, etc and it's not high maintenance after the initial few years. Also fabulous for wildlife and birds.

Good luck.
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thankyou LoftyLottie., I love this site. I couldn't wait till tomorrow to go to a garden centre so we visited b&q this afternoon. didn't see too much to my liking but now that I know what i'm looking for, we'll visit more garden centres on Monday. I had some periwinkle in a container but it was killed off this year, however there is still some of it growing over a wall at the front of the garden, I'll put some of it down beside the trees. Aquilegias and honesty, wonderful. wish me luck, thanks again.
Keep periwinkle contained! It can get very invasive .. up through grass, lawns, in walls, etc.
Wild flower mixes on ebay!
Question Author
thanks ALBags, I'll have a look at ebay. I'll keep an eye on the periwinkle,
Yes, Periwinkle is invasive but it doesn't mind being chopped back and gives more flowers the following year if you do so.
Hi Bunty. Keep us informed.

This is my garden, taken in June with Aquilegias. The blue flowers are Nigella (love in a mist. They seed profusely and look lovely in a cottage type garden.

Give yourself some height and lovely smells. Roses and honeysuckle look lovely together

Honesty (purple and white)

Once you get going it becomes quite an obsession. I am retired too and I just love my garden. The nice thing about cottage gardens and self seeding plants is that every year the garden seems to change and be full of surprises.
And don't forget to include poppies. The ordinary field ones, welsh poppies, californian. They all look lovely dotted around and seeding themselves.
What lovely Pics LoftyLottie and what a lovely Cottage you have. It must be a real pleasure waking up everyday and seeing all the colour.The local wildlife must love coming to visit each day !!
Thanks so much Redman. I adore wildlife and must admit my garden was planned with wildlife in mind. Didn't much like the rabbits eating the crocuses and tulips this year though!!
It has obviously taken a lot of hard work and forward planning to get the surrounding gardens into the condition they are in now. Used to have 3/4 Acre of Garden years ago and the local wildlife, especially the birds used to visit in numbers all year round.
It was such a pleasure then and I miss it as I now live in a Flat where although I'm happy, it is not the same.
It's half an acre Redman and there is quite a large part that is not so lovely! We have been here for 30 years and rebuilt the cottage with our own fair hands (except for the roof!). The garden was our last priority but it's now very mature. There are still things I would like to change. It certainly isn't a high maintenance garden we let a lot of things go their own way.

Another picture for you of my front area which is quite shady and North Facing.

No doubt we will have to move on one day. My arthritis and back probably will force the issue! Still, you can do lovely things with very small gardens, balconies and window boxes!!

Nice 'talking' to you. x
Superb Lofty.
I have posted a link on Bobbisox's thread in Chatterbank so she and others can see pics for themselves as it's so nice.
Ahhh! x

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