Cottage Garden

Billowing roses, hollyhock, delphinium and flowing lavender lining walkways is the epitome of what we imagine cottage gardens to be. Historically, the cottage garden was a simple plot of land where the British working family grew vegetables, herbs and an occasional fruit tree. As prosperity improved, homeowners along with the local gentry took great pride in surrounding their homes with overflowing gardens that included both edible and ornamental plantings.

The appeal of a cottage garden is its captivating and inviting feeling. Even though the overall design appears to be light and easy, the cottage garden is quite well organized in terms of height, scale, proportion and succession of bloom. Since there is almost always something in flower, it takes an overarching and controlling hand to make this garden come alive!

Climbing plants, especially roses, honeysuckle, sweet peas, and clematis were trained to cottage walls and clamored over fences– softening and framing the garden. Many of these original plants proliferate today as tried and true remnants of a bygone era. Shoreline garden echo the beauty and ebullience of these historic gardens. Optimum growing conditions with well-drained soil and a constant breeze make these gardens thrive.

Hollyhocks, poppies peonies, primoses, daisies, sweet william and sweet-briar and centifolia roses were traditionally planted and remain today as mainstays of the cottage garden.

With the backdrop of water and a vivid sky, the cottage garden resplendent in all its glory flourishes in a waterside environment.


M.J. McCabe Garden Design
Northford, CT 06472


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