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!
With the festive season approaching, forget the usual gifts and give a gift subscription to the Society or a copy of the Cottage Garden Companion book.
Sat 14th Nov 2015, 15:40
Regional Groups and individual Cottage Garden Society members regularly hold events locally to promote the society. Members of the North East Group recently spent a day at a Dobbies Garden Centre handing out leaflets and talking to customers. A picture of this event can be seen here.
The 2016 Garden Weekend and AGM will take place on 4th-5th June, at Brownsword Hall, Plummery Square, Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 3GW (shown below). On the Sunday the Betty Sheppard Memorial Lecture will be given by Neil Lucas, followed by visits to local gardens.
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 Autumn Chestnut pie, and here for a delicious recipe for White Stew. These recipes, like all those in our booklet, have been sent in by CGS members.