The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

A Cottage Garden

The cottage garden is a distinct style of garden that uses an informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, the cottage garden depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure.

I think my garden is about to be at it's best at last. So many of my plants are in bud, and any minute now, it's going to burst out like a firework. June is always a good month for many of my favourite flowers. Lillies, roses, fuschais and geraniums, and these are just my perennials! My hanging baskets, tubs, containers and pots are also about to explode into full bloom. Such an exciting time. Every day now I'm finding something new in flower, and I just feel compelled to share it.

This rose is called rosa Jacques Cartier. It's an old 'Portland rose'. I wasn't entirely sure it would bloom well this year as I've planted it a spot that is in shade for most of the day, but it's surprised me. It has such a wonderful scent that I cannot resist having a sniff at every opportunity. It seems very happy to grow among one of the hardy geraniums divisions we planted earlier in the year.

To succeed in my aim of a cottage garden, I need to really fill the spaces created by the losses I've had last winter. Some plants need only to bulk up and fill these spaces, but there are a couple of obvious areas that need reviewing. I don't yet know what plants I might actually want to fill these spaces yet. Any suggestions?
One plant I did manage to get my hands on, courtesy of the plant sales at the Botanical Gardens is Astrantia Major. Also known as 'Masterwort', this white variety, with it's pincushion flowers is quite happy on my clay soil. I'm going to let it self-seed around the plant, and plan to save some of the seeds to grow on in the greenhouse as a back-up plan so I can bulk them up. I also have a variety called 'Ruby Wedding' with dark red flowers, but it hasn't shown any signs of flowering yet. I suspect it just needs a little time to settle. I looks healthy enough.

It's an odd looking plant, but 'The Man that Can' has been wanting one for years. We did try to grow one in our previous garden, but it failed to thrive. With the harsh winter, we thought this one hadn't made it, but here it is. Eryngium. Also known as Sea Holly, it appears to be a metallic sculpture with an ice-blue tinge.

I know I've shown you these lillies, but I just wanted to show them off again now that the majority are open. I think they might make good bed-fellows for the eryngium next year.

Despite cosseting last year's plant in the greenhouse over winter, we lost Toad's Chocolate Cosmos. Not to be disheartened, he bought himself a new plant a few weeks ago after scouring the shelves for some weeks. This morning brought us the first of the deliciously scented dark brown flowers, famed for not only looking chocolatey, but smelling like it too. Not a calorie in sight!

Spring onions are coming up well so far

And these are the cuttings I took of the bedding plants. I haven't yet got around to potting them up individually.

Peas seedlings to the left, and various flower seedlings on the right.

The cucumbers and courgettes in growbags with twine to climb

And finally the large leaves are those of the first crop of radishes. To the left is another, younger crop and to the right is a feeble-looking crop of beetroot. I am disappointed somewhat so far with these as they were sown at the same time as the radishes. We'll see.

Right, I'm off to see if England can possibly win this game. Have fun in your gardens!

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