There is a wild and romantic
image associated with cottage gardens and English Cottage Gardening for
American Gardeners gives us page after
page of incredible photos that inspire us to create one of these intimate
spaces of our very own. Opening photos of Tasha Tudor's Vermont garden
draw us into the continuous flow of picturesque gardens that range from
photos of simple doorway gardens to massive perennial borders.
Credit is given to the architectural
elements in the garden such as an ornate gate or a brightly painted arbor.
These aspects are important in establishing the depth of the garden and
are often overlooked. Straight lines and hard surfaces help to add
dimension to overflowing and seemingly out of control plants. There are
lots of examples of this throughout the book and they are defined not only
by the gorgeous photos but by Ms. Hensel's thorough treatment.
Of course, the plants are the main focus
and there are plenty shown and discussed. Roses take a whole chapter and
it is not by chance that many of the plants are herbs. These have always
been the carefree backbone of most cottage gardens. The emphasis, though,
is not on becoming an expert with plants, but rather to start with a
single idea and a few cherished plants and let the garden begin.
Margaret Hensel set out to create an
interesting little book with photos of picturesque thatched cottages and
became intoxicated with the gardens she found. The beauty she discovered
as she explored country lanes and city streets led to the creation of this
extraordinary book that showers us with the loving creations of many
gardeners, both amateur and professional.