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At the beginning of the 18th century, cottages became popular as homes for some members of the lower landed gentry who were not able to afford a large manor house. But by the beginning of the Victorian era, in the mid-19th century, cottages had gained such a good reputation that wealthy members of the upper class, who yearned for a romantic bohemian life in tasteful, but relatively simple surroundings, were keen to move into them.
A traditional cottage garden has no stark lines, symmetrical beds, or cold materials. The order of the day is to make it as natural as possible! This concept can be felt everywhere - in the arrangement and composition of brightly coloured flowers, the choice of material for hedges and paths, and the individual selection of accessories. Romantic roses and gentle clematis climb aloft on artistically decorated wrought- iron plant supports. Ceramic or class spheres which glisten between colourful summer flowers and magnificent shrubs conjure up unique accents.
With a few tricks you can breathe some country cottage flair into any domestic garden. The first step is to clearly partition the beds. After all, what looks a little wild at first glance is usually a well thought-out and planned design. The lush planting of lady's mantle, crane's bill, lupins, delphiniums and daisies will provide plenty of scope for development within the confines of your beds. Whereas the focal point of cottage gardens used to be useful plants such as tomatoes, courgettes, cabbage and lettuce, these edible treats are now joined by plants which are easy-on-the-eye, such as marigolds, nasturtiums and sweet peas.
The lovingly created mix of shapes, colours, and heights is what makes a cottage garden so attractive. Nature is also reflected in the informal type of materials chosen for pathways which wend their way between the flower and vegetable beds - stone, gravel, or mulch.