Monday, August 15, 2011

Some Pics of my Cottage Garden

Just for fun, I'm posting some pics of my cottage garden because some readers have asked (southern Ontario, Canada, Zone 5b). It's very full and very closely-planted, but there are gravel paths separating the beds. It's a square garden set out in four quadrants with a 3-foot wide border all the way around. It's filled with all the romantic flora I love – roses, perennials, flowering shrubs and herbs like sage, lavender and creeping thyme which is creepy enough to pop up in the walkways.

This was uncultivated farmland when we bought it. There was never a house or garden here, and the garden grew out of pasture and meadow that I am forever trying to tame. But you can't tame the wild, as it turns out. You can only make lemonade and convince yourself there is beauty in the chaos. When we put a stop the neighbour's cows pasturing on our land, trees began to grow in the meadows and wild places beyond the garden wall and are now thriving.


I began building the stone wall at the back of the garden about 20 years ago. It's just the rubble stone I pulled out of the garden beds. Every spadeful of soil dug out of the beds required effort to get these rocks out and each bed became empty pits because of it – at least 18" deep. I bought a lot of black earth, manure and peat moss to mix with the original clay. But I got a garden out of it as well as a garden wall nearly 4' high,. built over five summers.


I love the "Regal" lily  (right) and one day I'll plant several and have them poke up through a bed of lavender like sentinels. The key to doing that sort of thing is not to shadow the surrounding soil of the lily. The lily dies back to the ground completely and all but disappears in fall. The new growth needs sun.










 
 There are lots of old roses in the garden, but of the hardier varieties like damasks, albas, centifiolias, gallicas and musk. I can't grow the bourbons or noisettes here, sadly, as they are too tender for my garden.


31 comments:

The Sage Butterfly said...

Your garden is indeed befitting of the description of a romantic garden with fields of blooms and secret spots to sit and ponder. It is a very beautiful garden. Welcome to Blotanical!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

The colours, types, shapes and heights of plants blend so well. I have a section of my garden for such creative outlet.

flaneurgardening said...

Stunning garden; definitely something to aspire to... Maybe in 20 years my garden will be that beautiful!

Donna said...

What a beautiful, romantic garden. You can feel the light and colors everywhere making me want to explore...lovely

Lorraine Syratt said...

Thank you all for your comments. We gardeners do love to share. :)

Bernie said...

You have my dream garden. It's a beautiful garden and obviously a labour of love. That stone wall is just fantastic and the plantings are very pretty.

Sunray Gardens said...

Your gardens are lovely. Nice plant choices and pretty blooms. I am your second follower. :) Would love for you to stop by and follow also.
Cher Sunray Gardens

greggo said...

I just read a blog post from my good blogger buddy, Professor Roush at Garden Musings. He is growing a bourbon rose in his zone 5 garden. He too thought these bourbons wouldn'g aclimate either. The variety he has, has survived 5 years I believe. You need to check out his post. Here is the link http://kansasgardenmusings.blogspot.com/2011/08/bountiful-bourbon.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FqItrH+%28Garden+Musings%29

Lorraine Syratt said...

Thanks greggo. I'll do that. But I'm on a hill and we get strong west winds in winter that could dry out those more tender varieties. I can grow just about anything, at least I'm not afraid to try. It's dependent on how much winter prep I want to do come late October/early November. I don't protect my roses, not even with a mound of dirt. If it needs coddling, it's not for me. I like my plants to have independent spirits. :)

PlantPostings said...

"You can only make lemonade and convince yourself there is beauty in the chaos." Wow, those are powerful words! I feel like that a lot, too. And sometimes I think it's best to leave part of the garden to the wild anyway, even if you can tame it. It makes the transitions easier. I'm glad I found your blog!

Cathy and Steve said...

Your cottage garden is the epitome of anyone's idea of what a cottage garden should be. I love all the little touches too.

Wife, Mother, Gardener said...

So glad I stopped in! Pleased to hear about you from Sage Butterfly.

Looking forward to seeing more of your garden this year!
Julie

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Such a beautiful spot you've created out of the pasture land :-) Happy blogging!

debsgarden said...

Welcome to Blotanical! I love your not quite tame garden full of roses and lavender and creeping thyme. With 'Romantic Gardening' for a name, I am sure i will enjoy your blog and look forward to exploring it further.

Pauline said...

Glad I stumbled across your blog, beautiful garden with stunning flowers. I will now spend some time happily exploring your blog.

Lyn said...

Lovely, romantic garden, and the wall is great.

Indie said...

Your garden is gorgeous! I'm at the beginning stages of such a garden - digging out lots of rocks and clay! I have been collecting my rocks for edging and a raised bed. Hopefully someday I'll get there. I love your stone wall!

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

Your cottage garden is lovely. I also line my paths with rocks from my beds. One of my customers told me how lucky I was to have the rocks, but I don't feel like it when I am digging them out.

hurtlingtowards60 said...

What a fabulous garden, thank you for sharing it.

Foxglove Lane said...

I love your garden, it is definitely the kind of garden that I love too. I can just imagine sittin gin it and listening to the birds singing...

Jordyn said...

Your garden is beautiful! I hope to have one as full as yours one day when I get my own house.

Stephen Drummonsy said...

Wow! what an absolutely stunning garden. I am very interested to know how long it has taken you to produce this dream garden. I work for a company called Landscape Gardener London, but I have never seen a garden looking so fantastic.

Joan said...

What a lovely garden!

Cathy and Steve said...

You have achieved such a wonderful haven!

You should be able to grow the treasured old world roses if you just give them a bit of winter protection in the form of mulching. Also, plant them very deep so the root ball is better protected. Especially if you get more snow than ice storms, they should do okay for you as snow is a great insulator.

You might also look into species roses (wild roses). Rosa virginianis has the most amazing fragrance.

Crafty Gardener said...

I found my way to your blog from Blotanical. It is always nice to meet new garden bloggers, especially those from Canada. Lovely photos of your cottage garden.

Julie said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Wish I was sitting in that chair drinking tea and enjoying your garden.

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Glad I found another Zone 5b Canadian gardener, useful in comparing hardiness of different plants. My garden is in Owen Sound, and in a town, so much more protected then the windy open spaces of the country. Love the formal design, gravel paths with the overgrown cottagy abundanance of the planting, reminds me of Sissinghurst.

Anna said...

Your blog and your garden are both gems that I'm so happy to have found. Thank you for sharing this. So lovely.

Daylily Soup said...

What a beautiful cottage garden! I am working on one too, but still have a long way to go. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

Beth @ Daylily Soup said...

Hello, I’ve nominated your blog for The Versatile Blogger award because your blog is inspiring, entertaining and a true joy to visit.
http://www.daylilysoup.com/2012/04/versatile-blogger-award-nomination.html

shabby chic og lavendel said...

What a beautiful garden you have. Do you have a blog? I would really like to see more of it :))

Have a really nice day!

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