A little of this and a whole lot of those- today it is all about the plants we put into the new garden paths.
When planning for the garden pathways that lead to the new potting shed- I wanted that beautiful quintessential English cottage look. Rambling flowers mingling together and creating a mish-mash of beauty. Not a carefully curated flower bed- more like one that had been growing in over years and years and had sort of found itself all mixed together.
I chose favorite cottage garden plants and I am adding more as we go. This area is just above the greenhouse- you might notice that we also have an area below the greenhouse – it is planted with peonies, roses and we are also planning to plant about 1/2 an acre of grapevines.
Cottage Garden Plants
Newly planted in this area this season :
Peonies, Lavender, Foxgloves, Salvia, Sage, Garden Roses, Lilac, Stock, Catmint, Allium, Lambs Ear, Lamium, Penstemon
and a few others tucked in here and there.
We started first by creating those beds lining the pathway. We simply just started digging and turning over the soil and mixing in a good potting soil with nutrients. The first things we planted were the peonies since that was what we found at Home Depot first. Of course- lots of foxgloves. Foxgloves are favorites of mine and in the greenhouse garden area- we have a lot of them in the greenhouse area already so they were a natural addition to continue the pathway. We also planted bulbs – like these allium that popped up and added some beautiful ‘floaty’ height to the lower plantings.
Foxgloves, Peonies, Lilacs on Repeat
Probably the 3 flowers you notice the most right now would be the foxgloves, peonies and the lilacs. We brought home about 25 peonies, 25 foxgloves and 15 re-blooming lilacs for the garden for that over full look- and planted them in several areas. There is a mix of foxgloves in several shades of purple and whites and peonies in whites and blush in this pathway area.
Side note- has anyone grown re-blooming lilac? We bumped into these at Home Depot while shopping and apparently they bloom 3x a year which is a dream! But I am not familiar with growing them or any special care they might need.
Since most of these plants are early bloomers and deciduous- we are also including garden roses behind the beds along with more French & Spanish lavender.
What about cost?
When creating an ‘instant’ garden in a few weeks- that means loading up and planting a whole lot of beautiful plants and blooms. We spent close to about $500 on both Peonies & Foxgloves and about $350 on the re-blooming lilacs. We also planted a dozen garden roses that have not bloomed yet and Eden roses that we recently just added to the area by the potting shed. The rest of the plant budget went into the lavenders, salvia, sage, stock and underplanting like herbs, etc. These were mostly gallon and 2 gallon sizes though we did include some larger 3 gallons when we found them. Probably total in this pathway and potting shed area was around $2800+ range currently (because I keep adding plants haha)
Behind the pathway plants- we have naturally growing Sweet Peas and wildflowers popping back up from last year. We also added some more cosmos in this area. It is a mounded hill so a lot of things don’t necessarily grow really well here unless they are low water, grass or wildflower type plants.
The Design Plan
We literally started with not much direction here. We knew that leading from the greenhouse to the potting shed- there would be a path full of blooms on each side. We planted the peonies and some of the salvia/sage and some of the stock first.
The path was just natural ground when we started- we brought the pea gravel in after the plantings were done. You can see what this view from the wisteria looked like when we were just starting- no path, no finished siding, not too many plants yet. And the same view below from the wisteria when it was leafed out- looking a bit different.
The pea gravel path was lined with landscape fabric first. Because there is some natural grasses in this area and we know what that means when you are watering often. That grass grows like crazy. We have already been plucking grass tufts out of the greenhouse garden path quite a bit and that was a bare ground area without anything growing before. So this time- landscape fabric down first and then the loads of pea gravel.
We always get a lot of questions about the pea gravel we have. And we have A LOT of it. We have some gravel that was from smaller bags in the greenhouse area but the larger areas are from a local quarry. A tip is to look and see if you have commercial landscape supply places or a rock quarry locally. They will deliver usually but you can also have them load it right into the back of your truck (up to a certain weight) and you can unload yourself. For this new path area- my husband picked up 2 truck loads to give you an idea.
Method to the Madness Planting Details
Truth is- there isn’t really a method to my madness- – the madness is just plant alllll the plants. haha. Though- I tend to subscribe to the more the merrier when it comes to plants- and so, I love to layer them to fill the beds in and allow for enough room for them to grow in. We have learned that when it comes to plants like foxgloves- which bloom and then dry out- you can crowd them a bit since they won’t be there all season.
I wanted the garden to feel abundant and full and inviting and rambling and inspiring – but also restful. The key with that look for me is that I keep to a simple color palette and stay within those colors in various shades.
Honestly, I pretty much lined up the peonies along both sides of the path. Tucked lavenders and sages in front but in between and then filled in the direct fronts with some of the salvias and lavenders. Kind of in a zigzag style of planting if that makes sense. (front and back and in between) Of course- the foxgloves were tucked everywhere I could get them haha and they were a bit more heavily layered to create a full coverage look. They were more like the top and bottom lines of the ‘z’ (does that make sense?) In the very front near the path- it was all about the smaller in size plants like stock, verbena, scabiosa, lamium, lambs ear etc.
You can see we used mostly shades of purples, blush and whites in the flowers and the greens are mostly soft sage color greens. I come back to these same colors over and over again in the gardens. And I really appreciate those layers and the colors mingling together in various blooms all season long.
I hope this helps answer some of your garden planting questions! If you have any other questions- please let me know and I will try to answer and update the post. We are adding a few more plants to this area. And we are waiting on some of the garden roses we ordered to arrive at the end of June. Also bringing in some more year round foliage and blooms to fill in. Stay tuned for an update on the garden as it grows in over the coming months- including an evening walk through tour that is coming your way soon.
Happy gardening all!