The Creation of our "Southern Cottage Garden"

We had decided that next to the "Italian" garden we would like to put in an "English cottage garden", but we had to resign ourselves to the fact that our southern climate makes it impossible to grow one, so we settled on a "Southern Cottage Garden".  In it we will have mainly a mixture of perennials with some herbs and a few annuals that will grow and prosper in our Southern heat.   Late in the winter of 1999 Bruce borrowed a rototiller and turned over an area  20 ft. by 12 ft. several times, each time adding more soil conditioner and compost.   By spring 2000 we were ready to start planting.
At the end of  March, Rolf and Barbara Cammisar from Germany visited us.   Barbara couldn't wait to get her hands into the dirt, so together we put in the very first plants in the perennial garden. Here is the very young garden at the beginning of April. We have placed stepping stones and planted the front half. Those are George Tabor azaleas next to the bench in the background. The plants are beginning to grow and this is how it looked by mid May, 2000.

Some of the flowers we planted:
Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'. Common name: Pincushion flower. Close-up of the scabiosa Veronica 'Giles Van Hees'
Columbine Columbine Salvia Nemorosa 'Blue Hill'.
Stokesia 'Blue Danube'
Stokes Aster
'Moonbeam' Coreopsis in the center.  In the back that's Echinacea (purple coneflower) on the left  and shasta daisy in the middle. Here's the same view in June, 2001
The garden in July, 2000 One year later, the garden in July, 2001 A closer view in July, 2001
The columbine in 2001 Some of the phlox and soapwort in August, 2001 This is October, 2000 and the 'Venus Pink' Chrysanthemum is in full bloom (It looks white in the picture, but its flowers are tinged in pink.)

In addition in the spring of 2000 we planted Lamb's Ears, Purple Sage, Lemon thyme,  Dianthus 'Firewitch',  Dianthus 'Mountain Mist',  Yarrow, Garden Phlox, Shasta Daisy, Geranium sanguineum 'Max Frei',  St. John's Wort, Veronica 'Sunny Border Blue'and Pentas.

From the very first year, the sedum Autumn Joy has delighted us with its metamorphosis of color, displaying a  wonderful range of shades as autumn progresses:
Here is the Autumn Joy early in the summer. Now it is late August and the flower buds are taking shape. In early September the flowers have formed
By mid-September the flowers have turned to soft pink. A couple weeks later they have turned  a warm deep pink. And finally in mid October to bronze

In the spring of 2001, we added pink scabiosa, catmint, balloon flower, soapwort, pink phlox, false indigo, salvia Victoria Blue, Hillside Pink chrysanthemum and Russian sage.
Platycodon - Balloon flower Saponaria - Soapwort Part of the perennial in 2002

To see the "Italian" garden, click here

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