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Cottage style garden

An informal garden, nodding to the countryside 

Purple wisteria flowers on a green plant

In the early 1900s, as a reaction to the rigid Victorian style, gardens became increasingly informal. They were heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, which encouraged relaxed planting using native British plants.

Large borders with drifting colours and soft forms became popular. Gardeners looked to English history for inspiration, and 'old-fashioned' plants were used to create the appearance of a cottage garden. 

Pergolas, covered with wisteria and roses, fountains and formal ponds were common features.

Although influenced by the countryside, this casual style could be replicated in smaller urban gardens.


Angustifolia 'Hidcote'

Lavender Photograph by Harriet Maxwell

Lady's mantle

Alchemilla mollis

Alchemilla Mollis Photograph by Harriet Maxwell