We were engaged to design the planting for this charming cottage garden whose hard landscaping had already been installed. The old cottage shows up on the tithe maps from the early 19th century, and the garden wall is a lovely, warm antique red brick with mature trees at intervals along its length. This garden is secluded, sheltered and shady, yet enjoys a few weeks of brightness in spring before the leaf cover grows.
We exploited that early sunshine by incorporating spring flowering bulbs: snowdrops, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. In keeping with the age of the property we introduced a rare and ancient medlar tree, whose winter fruit was popular in the Middle Ages but had fallen from favour by the 18th century. To bestow height we placed planters into the borders, along with old chimneys, pots and urns sourced from a reclamation yard. Climbers such as Clematis ‘Dr Ruppel’ and Clematis ‘Perle d’Azur’ bejewel the old brick wall. For sustained appeal throughout the summer and autumn, other planting comprised plants which thrive in dry shade. Adjacent to the steps in the beds where there were stones, we added lush ferns and ground-cover plants. Foxgloves, roses and several varieties of geranium complete this gorgeous little English garden.
Our clients are delighted with the spring flowers and successional planting which ensures there are always flowers in bloom. They loved learning about plants they had previously never encountered, and then developing the garden with their own additions.