If you are interested in plants, or enjoy exchanging gardening ideas and experiences with fellow gardeners, why not join The Cottage Garden Society?
You don't have to live in a cottage, or even in the country. Cottage gardens can be created in the small plots of modern houses or in the narrow gardens of older terraces. The traditional, informal style lends itself to any situation, rural or urban, large or small.
Originally, the purpose of the cottage garden was to provide food. It contained livestock, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Flowers were an optional extra and tended to be ones that had some practical value, such as seasoning food or repelling bugs. The cottager's small plot did not allow for any wasted space, so the garden was abundantly packed, but well tended.
The cottage garden later moved away from being an utilitarian space and became an area to be enjoyed. These days, food-crops and chicken-keeping are returning and environmental concerns are being incorporated by the conscientious cottage gardener.
Although there are no hard and fast rules as to what should be grown, the hallmarks of this style are informality, abundance and diversity. That means lots of colour, scent, bees, birds and butterflies, not to mention fruit, herbs, vegetables, frogs and hedgehogs!
Would you like to write an article for our magazine? PLEASE send contributions to Julia Boulton - articles for September will be needed by July 6th.
Wed 18th Mar 2015, 12:24
CGS will have a stand at Hatfield House Garden Show on Saturday and Sunday May 30th - 31st. Do go along and support us there. Our Garden Weekend and AGM takes place on 20th-21st June, with a talk on Sunday by Andrew Humphris, headgardener of Wollerton Old Hall, raffle and a plant stall, followed by a trip to Wollerton (pictured above). For more details see the Events page. We will also be at the RHS Tatton Flower Show on July 22nd - 26th.
Many other events are also taking place - please let Caroline Harcourt know if you are organising anything and it can be advertised here.
Our Cottage Garden Recipes booklet will give you lots of ideas for cooking up all the wonderful seasonal fruit and vegetables from your garden. Why not order a copy? Meanwhile you can click here for the recipe for Nettle Soup (growing thickly and quickly at the moment!) and click here for a delicious recipe for Rhubarb and Orange Meringue. Both recipes, like all those in our booklet, have been sent in by members.