Today is a big day in the cottage garden! A lot of catch up chores are on the “To Do List.” Several areas need tweaking…but first let me show you around. Enjoy this impromptu cottage garden tour.
A Look Inside the Cottage Garden
As you walk down the path to our garden and enter through the gate, I’m reminded of how this gate came to be. My husband built it from an old wood spring door. The door was broken and falling apart, so it had to be removed.
It always feels good to reuse something.
As you enter the garden, a path continues down the middle for a bit and then splits. There is a strawberry patch that’s beginning to grow a little wild. Their neighbor is oregano, which has encroached it’s borders into the strawberries.
Cottage Garden Trellises
“Mortgage Lifter” tomatoes are growing up a trellis about 5 foot high. They are held in place with twine and clips, a new trellis system we are loving and highly recommend.
Interplanted with the Mortgage Lifter are basil plants. Basil helps repel aphids and other pests from the tomatoes.
Cucumbers are also trellised. We planted Beit Alpha from Baker Creek Seeds. Let me just say, “They are our new favorite!” After a few weeks of harvest we discovered we do not have enough cucumbers planted to make pickles for the year.
This plunged us into action to make room for another row of cucumbers. Alas, more chores…sigh. Enjoying pickles in the Winter will make us glad we tackled the job.
Cantaloupe grows on a sloped trellis. This will allow more growing room on the trellis and keeps the ground area from becoming a jungle.
You can see our cottage garden tour on our Youtube channel: Cottage Time
A Special Row in the Cottage Garden
One row in particular holds special meaning. The star of this row are the speckled butterbeans. These plants are grown from seeds that were passed down from my grandmother, Maimie. I think of her often when I see this row.
Companion planted with these special butterbeans are dill, fennel, and tulsi basil. The tulsi basil is self seeded, but I let it stay. The tight planting helps with pests and keeps grass at a minimal.
Flowers in the Cottage Garden
One area not mentioned in our Youtube video are the flowers. Sunflowers grow along the back fence and on one side. Some were planted, but a lot of them are self seeded from last year. An enjoyable sight.
Zinnias fill in the back part of the garden. They are located near the cucumbers, squash and sunflowers. Flowers are not only aesthetically pleasing in the garden, but attract a multitude of pollinators. Bumblebees, honeybees, and butterflies are all frequent visitors to the garden.
Why Do Boxes Cover the Garden Ground?
The ground is covered with cardboard boxes! This is not our trash. This keeps grass from taking over and they decompose, which builds healthy soil.
Then several inches of hay, that has not been sprayed or fertilized, is applied to the garden. The boxes are a permaculture gardening trick. Hay is Ruth Stout Gardening. Our soil has greatly improved since using these two methods.
How Can You Enjoy a Cottage Garden?
You can enjoy a cottage garden, no matter where you live.
There may be challenges, but the effort is worth it. For those of you with a balcony, add potted plants. Plant some vegetables, flowers and herbs in those pots and up your growing game.
If you have any land at all, you can begin with boxes and mulch. Mulch can be hay, woodchips, or pine needles.
To get growing, check out the Food Security Series. A FREE 5 day growing event that walks you through gardening.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little cottage garden tour! Thanks for stopping by.