I still consider myself a fledgling gardener and as such, I’m open to ideas and inspiration from other, more experienced gardeners. I admit I have an aesthetic preference for gardens on the wilder end of the spectrum — country and cottage gardens, woodland walks, open meadows. I’m not a fan of the contemporary or modern look with its straight edges, manicured shrubs and often minimalist plantings. Instead, I love mixes of color and texture and lots of it. I love the tried-and-true cottage plants: shrub roses, climbers, hollyhock, foxglove, sweet rocket, daisies of all types, pinks, and peonies, all interspersed with herbs and other edibles.
My goal is to create a garden that melds into its natural surroundings, not one that is in a constant battle with them.
To that end, I have a couple of go-to favorite gardeners. I’ve written about both earlier in this blog. The first, Tasha Tudor, an eccentric, American illustrator who spent 20+ years creating a wondrously wild garden on a mountain top in Vermont. The second is a more recent discovery – a fortuitous one – that added the concept of permaculture to my vocabulary and introduced me to a new way of gardening for nature, not against it. Colette O’Neil, owner and creator of Bealtaine Cottage, in Ireland, has also created her own little slice of heaven from 3 acres of once barren, over-worked land. Follow the links to learn more about both.