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How do you start an English garden?

After having been to a few countries I have to say English gardens are one of my favorites but I'm not exactly sure how to put one together myself? What flowers, lay out and technique are used?


  1. Gertrude Jekyll's (1843-1932), this woman was responsible for initiating the true Engllish Garden genre. If you were to follow her advice then you cannot go wrong. Good Luck I have provided a link below: http://www.gertrudejekyll.com/
  2. The heart of an English garden has got to be the rose bush. There are many varieties to chose from depending on the size of your garden space and the colours depend on personal preference - red and white are the classical ones. When you have your roses in place, the spaces in between can be filled with annual bedding at varying times of the season. Winter/ spring will have primroses and pansies . Summer bedding will have aubretia and alyssum for example . Bulbs can also be used to brighten a spring garden - daffodils for instance with tulips later in the summer.
  3. The first English cottage gardens enclosed spaces (by shrubs & sometimes picket fencing) & had many useful herbs & flowers used for medicinal, cooking & fragrance purposes (even vegetables were included in the garden). Roses & small shrubs were used as the backbone of the garden. Planting these will give your garden an instant boost. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzdQfcR-jeA&feature=related Plant perennials like columbine, lupins,& daylilies; herbs such as lavender, sage & rosemary, plants that take more than one season to flower such as foxglove & annuals for color. Besides evergreens & old-fashion roses, shrubs can include lilacs, forsythia, magnolias, azaleas, & butterfly bushes. A small fruit tree or grape vine on an archway or arbor would add charm. http://www.landscape-design-advisor.com/english_garden_landscape_design.html Here's a list of plants that can add fragrance: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art51662.asp Growing lupins in a cottage garden (video): http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/lupins-growing/ You can combine a formal & informal layout as shown in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlBIdwB9Ybo&feature=related A newly planted English garden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4_6cDweoh8&feature=related Many English gardens provide a quiet spot with a bench & even some statues, a birdbath or fountain... adding personal touches & a place you can dwell in a little longer & take in the beauty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqgRbpgM6qI&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWxOLLhYTbA&feature=related An English garden in August: Black-eyed susans, echinacea, snapdragons, etc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGYRCBxWSeQ&feature=related If you can find a place for them...consider planting some bluebells... they can be spectacular grown in masses & tucked in spaces near trees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjFMuncakFg&feature=related This English garden, along with the upbeat 'In the Summertime' music should put you in good spirits of what's to come once you get started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocN9zq9yt4s&NR=1 From one gardener to another...Good luck...and Happy Gardening!!!