Design 101: Slide 2

Flowers and Freedom

The cottage garden style is all about individuality. Basically, the only rule is to have lots of color. Blooming annuals, perennials, shrubs, and vines party together like revelers at Mardi Gras. Seedling flowers sprout where they wish. Curves replace straight lines. Mulch or gravel is used to form paths. Paint is allowed to peel. Whimsical art, such as gazing globes and pink flamingos, is often a part of the show.

Keep in mind, though, that in order to work, even a cottage garden needs some structure. This can be a picket fence that encloses the space or an evergreen hedge that serves as a backdrop. Structure gives a cottage garden form, which is especially important in winter when flowers are dormant.

What type of architecture complements this style? Definitely not anything formal, such as Georgian or French Colonial. A bungalow or unpainted saltbox is a better bet.

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