Planning your native cottage garden
Traditional cottage gardens usually consist of seemingly random flowering plants, which have been allowed to spread naturally, without severe shaping into borders, hedges or topiary. The ‘rules’ for a native cottage garden are no different.
- Choose plants for the foliage colour and shape, not just the flowers. Flowers may only last a week, but foliage can last all year.
- Put plants into pots for moveable colour. Plants in plastic pots can be popped inside larger, heavier pots and swapped out as the seasons change.
- Fruit trees and herbs can be added without looking out of place.
- Garden beds should be well-prepared and mulched.
- Add natural rocks, rusted look metal edging, white picket fences
- Let ground covers intrude over paths.
Choose your colour palette
Anything goes! Use a few colours which complement each other or choose a mix which will give a riot of colour. The key to achieving a cottage garden effect is to plant densely and informally.
Native flowering plants
Here are just a few suggestions for plants which would suit an Australian native cottage garden:
- Grey Cottonhead (Conostylis candicans)
- Kangaroo Paw ‘Bush Gems’
- A few dwarf varieties are ‘Bush Ranger’, Blue Illusion’, ‘Dwarf Delight’ and ‘Regal Claw’
Red and Pink
- Everlasting Daisy (Rhodanthe chlorocephala – rosea) for a quick splash of spring colour
- Pink Rice Flower (Pimelea ferruginea) Thomasia (Lysiosepalum involucratum)
- Sturt’s Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa)
Blue and Purple
- Blue Leschenaultia (Leschenaultia biloba)
- Purple Fanfare (Scaevola aemula)
- Native Violet (Viola hederacea) will create a living mulch in shaded areas
- Flannel Flower (Actinotus helianthin)