porches + pretties | building a cottage garden

cottage-garden: /n/  “a distinct style that uses informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, it depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure” from Wikipedia

When we moved in over a year ago, there were some goofy things going on in the front yard, lots of plants had been landscaped, but nothing seemed to be thriving.  Despite not knowing much about general gardening nor what had transpired in this particular landscape before us, we decided to start small on a long-term plan.

As long as I have been looking after plants + growing my green thumb, I have marveled + dreamt of having many of my favorite flowers growing at our home for the purpose of making dreamy arrangements to enjoy anytime.  This is my main motive for tending to a “cottage garden”.  I believe what we end up with will be a bit more tame than a traditional one; my vision is but a starter after all!

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Through our first four seasons of “gardening” in Georgia, we have learned a lot!  I’ve come to appreciate how fertilizer makes a notable difference in garden growth, that it’s okay to be unsure about things + take a few risks when pruning shrubs.  I have learned the names of almost every plant growing in our yard + have started to learn that the seemingly small details like sun + water conditions can be the difference between a beautiful garden + a so-so one.  It’s amazing the way plants can tell their needs + whether or not they like the spot they’re in!  I am slowly warming up to planting in clay, but thank goodness for a gardener’s assistant!  It’s nice to have found that discussing plantings + landscape + yardwork is a fun topic for discussion among neighbors, friends + family!

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Back in June, we exchanged temporary stone pavers with cypress mulch to create a meandering path + put down some pinestraw in the newly re-worked flower bed.  The walk is a nice element in our humble starter garden that spent most of the summer in bloom!  The flowers we planted are mostly classic garden perennials + lovely to look at everyday.  These are a couple of favorites that double as wonderful cut flowers to bring inside on the occasion of guests coming to stay or just because. The veronica (above) is proving a bit tricky to tend, but I am comitted to trying again.  The lavender + coneflowers are excellent for welcoming pollinators (a variety of bees thus far) as well as the occasional hummingbird.

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Nurturing a small host of flowering plants has proven a pleasurable hobby for our whole family.  Both of our girls love to help water “the pretties” + ask to take little strolls outside to have a peek at how the blooms are doing.  Surprisingly sometimes, then stop to take a few minutes to watch the bees + butterflies enjoying a taste of nectar.

In these late-summer weeks, we have made little changes here + there to bring the garden to it’s next phase.  I hope to have more updates to share after next weekend!  I’m excited to share what’s new in the garden with you.

Thanks for stopping by for a spell.  Come back soon, please!!

from our porch to yours

 

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