Tasha Tuesday: Cottage Gardening

Every year like clockwork, I find myself taking out one particular tome from my book collection and hoping high hopes. Oh, to have a real English cottage garden. Or one like Tasha Tudor. I try each year with varying degrees of success, but here where the sun bakes and things get all wilty and crunchy come August, it’s a hard goal to attain. But I keep dreaming.

One of my favorite gardening books is English Cottage Gardening for American Gardeners by Margaret Hensel and forward by, perfectly enough, Tasha Tudor. The book is packed full of gorgeous photos of the greenest, rambliest, bloomiest gardens you ever saw. On both sides of the Atlantic. Tasha’s Corgi Cottage garden is featured, completed with a detailed map of the grounds, and it makes it all seem within reach.
However, this year, I’m determined to be more sensible about my cottage garden. I’m going to plant more things that are drought resistant and sun tolerating. I admit, I did have a weak moment yesterday and bought some fox glove hoping just maybe they’ll take. But I’m thinking things like lantana, zenias and other more hot loving plants will be my base annuals this year. Because there’s nothing more sad than an English cottage garden all burnt up.
Do you have big plans for your spring planting? Do you have a favorite type of garden? Is there something you wish you could grow but can’t seem to get it going?
My garden-mania has even spilled over into my latest reading, I picked up The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton yesterday and can’t wait to get lost in it. It sounds intriguing. And the Arthur Rackham illustrations inside the cover sold it for me. Love him.
Well, next for me is to clean out the vegetable bed and get a few things put in. Our frost date in Oklahoma is April 15, so we’re nearly in the clear!
Happy Tasha Tuesday~

14 thoughts on “Tasha Tuesday: Cottage Gardening

  1. i have not yet responded on your e-mail… it happens when i do not respond immediately.your garden plans sound lovely. my parents have a such a large yard ( the previous owners kept strawberry field in here) and i am able to do whatever i want in there. so i am waiting that the snow would melt that i could do garden works! i planted some seeds and other plants in pots last autumn and during the winter i added over twenty pots with seeds on balcony, so they will have a quick start in spring. still i have such a large quantity of seed packets waiting, but i am so happy that i have a large garden where i can make many flowers beds as i like.hopefully in my next home i have a garden of my own. i just read Forgotten Garden last summer, and thought to begin it again. i love that book! you have such a good taste :)i will share later on my garden blog plants i have chosen this year. i even ordered Hellebore, Auricula and other seeds from England. I just have to wait patiently with Hellebores…


  2. Oh to have an English garden. I think one of my most favourite is one I saw in Stratford England….Anne Hathaway's Cottage. I was there in August one year and I was in awe…so beautiful:)


  3. At our old house we had our own well and I could water the garden as often as needed.Here on city water it's just to expensive.I have a huge yard and do sq ft veg gardening which is easier and requires less water.I love big lush gardens those who have their own wells are truly lucky.


  4. My husband is the keeper of the flowers and landscape. Alas, I have no green thumb! This year, I have planted a tiny vegetable patch with some green beans, tomatoes and my favorite basil, lemon thyme, and lavender. Maybe I will be more successful?? Not a cottage garden effort, but perhaps a salad extraordinaire?? I am starting small and seeing how I do. Looking forward to pictures of your garden efforts this year!


  5. I love an English garden, and did have one at a rental house a few years back, boy was it a ton of work! Still, I would like to have one again some day. I have started on my container garden by picking up a few terracotta pots that I plan to paint with a moss growing concoction.


  6. Oh your going to love The Forgotten Garden! And if you haven't yet read An Island Garden you may want to give that one a go as well….some versions even have an introdution by Tasha Tudor!Every year I too endeavour for a cottage garden. Not everything I try works out but bit by bit I'm learning to appreciate what does bloom well. Fairy roses and morning glories have proven tried and true but I would be most delighted if our apple tree would ever flower….every single one around our property does yet not ours…go figure?Enjoy your reading,natalie jo


  7. I adore English gardens, too! Our gardens are kind of wild and whimsical. Right now we're getting our tulips out and the hyacinths smell soooo sweet. I have that book by Kate Morton – I can't get to read it. I have quite the backlog. 😉


  8. Mary Ann– I just saw Anne Hathaway's garden on an old episode of Rick Steves' Europe! It was beautiful, those gardens and old cottages are amazing!


  9. UpAndAway– A private well would be very handy! This past summer it got so hot and terrible we were on the brink of water rationing. Ugh…hope that doesnt happen again!


  10. Natalie Jo- thanks so much for the book recommendation, I'll have to look for that! And yes, some years are better than others, I try to remember that and not get discouraged. Hope we're headed to a good year!


  11. Ooo I love that book! I do have plans at this new garden and that is to help all the things that are revealing themselve through the soil along, and I am slowly bringing things from the other house here 🙂 (my daughter is buying that house, so I can dig anything I want)! Some one once loved a garden here before, and although it was neglected for more then five years I hope I can bring it back 🙂 Blessings Linnie


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