he plants and flowers used in an English country garden design, are generally common varieties of plants, as seen in gardens throughout the United Kingdom. These country gardens conjure up thoughts of romance, bumble bees, butterflies and lazy summer days.

o recreate such a garden is not particularly difficult to achieve, but to be successful you should choose your plants and flowers wisely with regards to colour groupings, taking account of heights, and considering plants that will thrive in your particular climate and soil conditions.

A typical English cottage garden is small and compact, full and brimming with flowering plants. Typically this is in the surrounds of a country house, of cottage, with a small lawn, and often with pathways boarded by garden plants and flowers. However, in recent times many such gardens have been recreated ‘in part’, out of the country environment in the city, high on roof terraces and balconies.

Design Elements for an English Country Garden

Choose simple cottage flowers for your cottage garden design and make sure that they are old-fashioned varieties. Try and choose a colour scheme like pinks and whites, or blues and yellows. Where you choose to have a whole spectrum of colours then make sure that the palette is soft.

Warm brick paths, rambling roses and other climbers, pastel perennials and self-sowing annuals such as allysum are characteristic of a cottage style garden. Choose fragrant flowers for both garden, arbors and houses.

Let your garden show your personality. Choose your plants for personal preference and meaning rather than for design. Plant flowers and plants in small pockets rather than in large drifts.

Steps to Creating an English Country Garden

1. Choose Feature, Filler and Anchor Plants

You need feature plants that will create interest to your garden. Roses are the ideal feature plant. Hydrangeas could be considered filler plants including others such as hollyhocks, lavender and viburnum. Your anchor plants are those that create a backdrop to your canvass and are placed at the back of the beds due to their height. These are usually evergreens and could be conifers, boxwood and other small trees.

2. Create Different Areas

Create different areas of your garden so that you don’t view the whole of your garden at once. Instead you create different areas for added interest. The sizes of these areas will be in direct proportion to the size of the garden as a whole.

3. Grow Living Dividers

In order to divide each area from the other you need to plant hedges of some sort to form a division. A flowering plant like weigela, boxwood, or any tall growing evergreen hedging should be planted to create living dividers. These should be encouraged to grow 6-8 feet high to create this effect.

4. Build a Fence

Fences, particularly picket fences, should be built to allow your space to be defined and to protect your garden. If built correctly, it will add to help creating the typical English country garden that you are making.

5. Add an Arbor

Arbors can help lead your visitors to your house, from the gate and up the path. If covered in climbing roses one evokes an element of romance. Arbors also define that feeling of entering a space.

6. Build a Gate

Gates not only keep out unwanted visitor, be that either the two-legged or the four-legged variety, but depending on what you choose will help create your cottage style. Many of you will opt for the white-washed gate to go with the white-washed picket fence. However, it doesn’t have to be just white. You could have a plain or painted iron fence, an unpainted wooden fence, or even a wrought-iron fence. It really remains up to the individual, and your choice of gate will further help to show your personality.

7. Plant your Pathways

Whether you choose a straight path or a curved path, this pathway should lead your visitors to your home from your gate. The pathway can be constructed from reclaimed stone or brick to shells or pebbles. It can be made from just about any material other than concrete. By allowing the plants to grow onto the pathway you are softening the edges and are one step closer to creating a wonderful English country garden.