The English Country Garden is designed to look natural, a place to relax, combining flowers and garden crops.
Flowers and vegetables have been grown side by side in English gardens since the Middle Ages. But only in the second half of the 19th century the style was formed – the English country garden (cottage garden). Its peculiarity is a harmonious combination of flowers and garden crops. Developed almost 150 years ago, this principle is still relevant today.
Country Garden in English
The popularizers of this style drew ideas and inspiration from household plots in English villages. The villagers traditionally kept a small subsidiary farm, which had not only a vegetable garden, but also an apiary, and even a pigsty. And in the remaining free corners, they planted flower plants. An idealized version of these gardens formed the basis of the concept of a rural garden. Only it was no longer intended for the villagers, but for the representatives of the English middle class.
In this poetic version, of course, there was no place for a pigsty, but the main principle of the traditional rural garden – the seemingly disorderly and arbitrary joint planting of flower and vegetable crops – was preserved. True, the emphasis has shifted towards colors. “A vegetable garden overgrown (captured) with flowers” – this is how this principle can be briefly described.
The largely country garden, with its romantic relationship to country views, is in the mainstream of the English landscape tradition. In late 19th century Victorian England, a growing middle class was actively involved in landscaping their gardens.
Of course, their estates were far from the estates of the English aristocracy, such as Stowe, Stourhead or Claremont, where stunning landscape-style gardens and parks were created. This is where the concept of a rural garden came to the rescue, allowing landscape romance to be adapted for more modest gardens.
The success of the business in creating an English rural garden is a preliminary thought of plantings as a system of organized layers. Trees and bushes will become the skeleton of the garden, and hedges or fences will become a noble frame. Vines and climbing annuals will tie the large elements of an English garden together, casually sitting on an arch, arbor or trellis.
The soul of the whole composition will be old-fashioned flowering annuals: mallow, foxglove, marigolds, nasturtiums, bindweed, petunias, cosmos. Perennials will also play the same role: dahlias, peonies, bells, delphiniums, yarrows, bleeding centers, lupins, phloxes, chamomiles. Among or along them, vegetables and aromatic herbs will be placed in a businesslike manner. Indispensable participants should be undersized annuals (petunias, pansies, lobelias) and bulbs (daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, muscari).
The basic principle of the organization of the English countryside garden is “organized disorder”. Mix flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and aromatic herbs. This is exactly what the English villagers did, managing to grow something for the kitchen and even more for the soul. In our time, a large number of varieties of food plants have appeared, which have a very decorative appearance. So, there are varieties of salads with lush corrugated, red or purple leaves, bush dill, a variety of cabbage, beets.
In decorative food plantings, marigolds and nasturtiums, which drive away many pests, will come in handy. Beans and pumpkin can live peacefully on the same supports with decorative climbing annuals. Small fruit trees will decorate the English flower garden with flowers in spring and fruits in autumn.
One of the key elements of a rural garden is a picturesque mixborder. To achieve the greatest decorative effect, place tall plants (veronica, sage, delphiniums) in the background, gradually lowering the planting height towards the path or lawn. In the foreground, place undersized and ground cover species (geraniums, lungwort, cuffs, parsley, thyme). To soften the contour of the mixborder or garden bed, plant “spreading” herbs (Heuchera, Erigeron, Osteospermum, Gravilat) along the edges.
Roses are especially popular in English country gardens. As a rule, more old-fashioned varieties of bush and climbing roses are planted. It is important to note that, like other crops, they are not planted in isolation, but mixed with other flowers and groundcover.
Plant plants of the same species in groups of an odd number of specimens, try to place the same species in several places along the mixborder. This will give the plantings a continuous and balanced effect. The same can be achieved by using different plants, rhythmically repeating the same color of flowers or foliage. Arrange individual specimens in plantings randomly, scattering wide strokes, achieving a mixture of colors and shapes on the future bright canvas.
The English country garden is so overflowing with flowers that they can be cut and placed in vases without damage. Remember this and be sure to add species to planting that can be used in winter bouquets (statice, calendula, physalis, montrebtia, immortelle, various cereals) and for cutting (dahlias, lilies, gladioli). Don’t forget about aromatic flowers (cloves, sweet peas) and melliferous species (honeysuckle, scented tobacco, mattiola).
Only use objects or structures as decorative accents that maintain a uniform rural style. Avoid modern urban and avant-garde materials. Greet everything old, weather-worn and time-worn.
For example, old millstones, a cart wheel, a simple wooden bench, a sundial, and a bird drinker can be added to the garden composition as decorative elements. Such a garden will perfectly decorate a traditional well, which will also have an economic function.
Fold the supporting walls in the garden from wild stone or old-fashioned bricks, sprinkle paths with gravel or pave the same brick. Lined with wood cuts or grass paths are good. If slabs cannot be avoided in the coating, choose small ones. Place them randomly, planting thyme, saxifrage, sedum and rejuvenation in between. Limit the beds with logs, low wattle fence, bricks dug into the ground at an angle. Use plain clay pots without glaze, old wooden tubs and barrels, and other suitable containers as planters.
An English country garden does not require much effort. Let the plants grow naturally, letting their stems fall on paths and lawns, hanging from a hedge. The feeling of intactness, a riot of vegetation, overcrowding of plantings is the main note of such a garden. published by econet.ru
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