Have you ever taken one of those quizzes that tell you your personality type — you know — choleric, sanguin, crafter, composer, etc.? They’re pretty fun, huh? But, have you ever wondered what your garden style is? Do you know? Do you even care? I got curious about mine, the other day, so I took a garden style quiz online. After answering a series of questions, it was revealed that my style was “Cottage Garden”. Well, what do you know? That’s the exact style I’ve been crafting all of my garden beds in around our homestead! I’m so glad to know that I won’t be needing to make any changes!
Although I enjoy strolling through formal gardens that are perfectly manicured with specimen plants that stay in their proper places, at my own home I find that I am consistently drawn to the the informality, eclecticism, and unpretentiousness of English Cottage and American Country garden styles, with their white picket fences, latticed arbors, modest clay pots, faded wicker chairs and porch swings, birdhouses, birdbaths, wheelbarrows, stone walkways, and sprawling, haphazard plants that spring up from everywhere.
I love the simplicity of the Cottage garden style, where there are no formal design rules, and flowers are chosen for their history, diversity, beauty, and usefulness rather than their ability to fit into a particular color scheme or rigid style.
My favorite plants are not rare, and exotic species, but ordinary, beloved heirlooms –traditional cultivars that have graced the soil around simple abodes for centuries.
Not only do pretty flowers bloom here, but so do vegetables and herbs.
Not everything has been planted “on purpose”. Many of the plants growing in my cottage garden just “showed up”, either from flower seeds blowing into the garden area, taking root, and flourishing, like these native sunflowers…
…or hitch- hiking in the soil of another plant I purposely transplanted, like these morning glories…
What appeals to me most about Cottage-style gardening, is the diverse mix of plant life I get to enjoy and experiment with. With cottage gardening, I’m not limited to one singular color-scheme, or garden theme. This makes it easy for me to accept “pass-along” plants from my friends and family, without having to worry about whether they’re going to “fit in” or not. I simply put them in wherever I think they’ll work. If one doesn’t look right, or flourish in a particular place, I simply transplant it to another location and try again. I love being reminded of my dear friends and family every time I work out in my garden and gaze at the beautiful plants they’ve given me.
There are a lot of different garden styles that appeal to me. By far, though, my favorite is the Cottage-garden style. Some people say it’s too “high maintenance” or “chaotic” for them, but I wouldn’t feel as relaxed or at home in any other garden. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love for me!
I had a lot of fun taking the online Garden Style Quiz. It confirmed what I already suspected about my gardening style. Nevertheless, I was a little apprehensive waiting for the results. I wonder what I would have done had it been determined my style was, say, …formal? I’m so glad I don’t have to even go there, now!!!
Are you curious what your gardening style is now? Take the short quiz at Monrovia, then share your results with me. I’d love to find out what you think!