If you want a real cottage garden, don’t tame it, it is supposed to be wild, messy and overgrown, sort of jumbled together without too much focus on height hierarchy and perfect color schemes.

Many of its traditional plants are tall, broad and thick and spill over railings, fences, trellises and retaining walls with reckless abandon. Hollyhocks, giant delphiniums, bell flowers, lupines and snakeroot can and frequently do grow taller than six feet.

A cottage garden is a place of whimsy, where hidden artifacts wait to be discovered deep into the thicket of exuberant plant growth, a place where one can get a little lost, even if it’s smaller than a room.

In the middle of summer it spoils you with decadent bloom and also gives you a lot of mess to clean up, it will not, for any reason, behave itself or display moderation. If you are an obsessive putterer, don’t worry, it will keep you busy non-stop from March till November.

Cottage gardens are the reason why gardeners have gotten used to wearing clogs, gloves, hats, long sleeves and pants in the middle of July, when temperatures make asphalt melt. You can’t venture into the depth of their unruly clumps of knotted stems without coming out scratched from head to toe like you’ve been bested by a clowder of cats.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.