entering our English Cottage style garden
even the most seasoned gardeners can be left speechless as they are
bombarded with color and fragrance. There is such an abundance of
flowers that one immediately finds it difficult to take it all in. It
seems there is no room for just one more plant. You will not find
individual plants occupying large
spaces surrounded by mulch in a very formal style. Each plant
seems to be
growing on top of the next. The window mirrors strategically
placed on the fence only increase this
visual experience making the garden seem even more abundant.
English cottage-style gardens include such perennial favorites as
delphiniums, foxgloves and hollyhocks all grown somewhat informally.
This random style is what gives an English cottage garden its appeal.
Add to this the fragrance of roses, especially the David Austin english
roses and what more could you want? How about a few water features,
curved borders, varying levels of plants and viola!
- You can
access the upper garden via the Sloping Border, or through the
grey arbor. Growing on the arbor are the red clematis, Ville de Lyon
which we also grow by the house. This clematis does well here,
especially by the house. To the right of the grey arbor is a small
pre-formed pond which is part of our lower deck. To the side of this
pond is a custom made Japanese bridge. We have added a collection of
Every square inch is
planted. Annuals are planted in the spring to fill in any
empty space between the perennials. As the
plants grow, they battle for space and nutrients and in the most
tradition it really is survival of the fittest.
- The colors of plants appear
almost artificial as if
painted by an artist, especially the lilies:
Arena, Latvia and Suncrest.
You will see specific color schemes in different parts of the garden.
There is a white border in the tradition of Vita Sackville West. The
Back Border is made up of the complementary colors of blue and yellow
with purple and orange. The Sloping Border mixes the rich colors of
red, purple, and blue.
will experience every color of the spectrum
from the darkest red lily, to the purest white, to
vibrant orange, to subtle peach. There are delphiniums that don't just
come in blues and purples; there are also creams and dusky pinks. The
heavenly blue Himmalayan poppy appears translucent and the magenta
geranium psilostemon swarms everywhere.
garden offers a plethora of perfumes. There is the spicy
scent of stocks, the jasmine fragrance of nicotiana, the mid summer
perfumes of the primula florindae and peonies, the
scents of the oriental and trumpet lilies, and culminating in the scent
of phlox and sweet
peas in the fall.
roses provide the
garden with a multitude of perfumes such as
citrus, myrrh, even guava and white wine. These scents
begin in early summer and carry on through the fall. The scent of many
fragrant plants intensifies at night. This is especially true
with the stocks, nicotiana and hesperis, as
well as the night scented stocks and phlox. Last but not least numerous
fragrant lilies fill
the autumn air.
Dynamic - The
garden is changing constantly; a visitor to
the garden will never encounter the same plant in the same place
because everything is moved at least once. Nothing is spared: from a
six foot shrub rose to the smallest garden gnome even the
Japanese bridgehas been moved once. Therefore, the
garden is dynamic in the sense it always offers something new.
The Garden Beds - The Back Garden is
divided into separate borders each with its own
specific theme. The Back Garden is also fenced which means
many plants can
be grown and enjoyed by everyone except the local moose
three foot high retaining wall divides the Back
Garden into two distinct areas, the Upper Garden and the Lower
Garden. You can get to the Upper Garden either through the grey
rose-covered arbor or up along the gentle Sloping Border.
Border - runs
along the side fence and joins the Upper and
Lower Garden. At the beginning of the sloping border to
the right is a pond edge with day lilies, alpine primroses, and marsh
sloping border provides the back garden with a richness of royal colors
and tall plants. It
is planted with many hybrid red monarda, purple delphiniums, lychnis
chalcedonia, and hardy rugosa roses. Sumptously smelling stocks are
added to this border as
well as other annuals.
slowly including red lilies to this mix.
On the right of the sloping border we have a few choice delphiniums. We
are slowly lengthening the right-hand side to give the whole upper
garden a more circular feel. Last fall we removed the Canadian Cherry
tree because we felt it obscured one's view of the upper garden as as
whole. This year, we will see if this decision was correct.
- is about ten feet in diameter and is centered in the
Upper Garden. It is edged with pieces of used brick from a nearby
construction site. Surrounding the circle is a 1 foot nepeta
hedge that from a distance
be mistaken for boxwood. In the middle of the circle are clematis. We
are experimenting with different delphiniums here, as well as lupins,
and fragrant stocks. Also we add different fragrant roses each year
such as one of my favorite David Austin roses, Gertrude Jekyll. These
roses are dug up in the fall and stored for the winter.
White Border - The
White Border is approximately 120 feet long and
30 feet wide and runs along the eastern edge of the Upper Garden.
The White Border had its beginnings on the west side of the back garden
but limited space and the color scheme, white, conflicted with the
surrounding beds. Three years ago, we moved the White Border to
its current location.
It is bordered on one side by the hardy
rose, Haidee. This rose suckers freely and in time will turn into
quite a large hedge defining the White Border boarder even more.
At the other end of the White Border is a spruce tree that provides
shelter and acidic soil for two hardy PJM azealas. Originally the idea
behind the white garden was to have a
moonlight garden. However, with Alaska's long sunny days of nearly 19
hours this will never happen.
plants in the White
Border features white flowers or silver
foliage. An espaliered apple tree sits regally in the center of
the White Border surrounded by the roses: Marie Bugnet, Lac Majeu,
Kakwa, and Polar Star. The perennials include campanulas,
delphiniums, lilies, lupines, verbascums and late blooming
phlox. Inter-planted among the perennials are lavatera,
hesperis, foxgloves, nicotiana, and stocks. This selection of
plants provides color and fragrance from June through September.
Back Border - As the name
implies the Back Border runs the length of the back of the
Upper Garden. It is approximately 180 feet long and 25 feet
wide. To balance the contour of the Rose Circle the Back Border
is curved making it appealing to the eye. At one end of this
border is a bear cache built by a local Indian chief. At the
other end sits Harrison's Yellow Rose also know as the Yellow Rose of
features of the Back Border are its
varying heights and color scheme. The dramatic visual effect
begins with the tallest plants at the back primarily delphiniums,
thalictium, and verbascum. Centaurea Macrocephala gives the Back
Border some intrigue with its pineapple shaped flowers. The
middle part of the Back Border features every trollius imaginable from
early to late bloomers from vivid yellow to glowing orange.
Complimenting the trollius are the vibrant blue Himalayian
poppies. A peach colored LA hybrid lily grows vigorously along
side apricot foxgloves. The front is dominated by the fragrant
primula florindae, and calendulas. The
color scheme uses
the complimentary colors of yellow and blue with
orange and purple.
The Inner Border
- On one side of
the gray rose covered
arbor, is a bed that in winter tends to get icy or waterlogged.
Therefore, many perennials planted here do not survive. Instead we
plant fragrant annuals and some biennials that might make it through
the winter. Planted
here are stocks, hesperis,
nicotiana, and wallflowers.
scents of these fragrant plants
waft across the deck, especially after dusk when their sultry perfumes
fill the air. The perennials that do survive here are the fragrant
primula florindae, crimson monarda, the odd lupin, and the heavenly
blue Himalayan poppy. The rugosa rose, Mrs. Doreen Pike, has yet to
prove herself here. A water wheel acts as a focal point at the corner
of the Inner Border while providing a soothing sound as well as a
welcome refreshment for visiting birds. We have added the golden mock
orange, philadelphus coronarius, more asiatic lilies, and this year we
will move the small lilac, Miss Kim there too.
© David Goodgame. Any part of this document may be
utilized in any given form or by means provided proper citation and
credit are given for the work and no cost dissemination is intended.
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