Wednesday, July 30, 2014

20 Cottage Gardens that Inspire

All the wars of the world, all the Caesars, 
have not the staying power of a lily in a cottage garden. 
~ Reginald Farrer

Dear Cottage Friends,

It's been far too long since I've had a cottage garden.  I miss the reunion with my perennial friends each spring.  The tending and pruning and coaxing of each one into glorious blooms.

I long to get garden dirt under my fingernails again.  Hopefully, next year we'll be in our new cottage and I'll have a real garden.   For now I must be content with red verbena, purple petunias and white lobelia in a hanging planter outside our apartment.  

This month we've been partying outdoors at Every Room In The House.  Before the party ends, I thought it would be fun to join in with a Cottage Garden Tour.  So, put on your walking shoes and let's go.

Cottage Butchart Gardens photo by Ian Some Rights Reserved

This first cottage in British Columbia seems to be growing up out of the garden.

You'll notice I'm including the cottages in our tour.  Can we ever get enough of real cottages and the gardens that go with them?

Outside the South Cottage at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent, England photo by JR P
Some Rights Reserved
The colors in this garden echo the cottage brick.    

Main Garden and Cottage, Hamilton House, South Berwick, Maine photo by not on your nelly  Some Rights Reserved
Purple and orange steal the show in this South Berwick, Maine garden.

Tigers and Phlox photo by not on your nelly  Some Rights Reserved

Cottage Garden, Cregneash, Isle Of Man photo by Jim Lindwood Some Rights Reserved
Overgrown is perfectly acceptable in a cottage garden.  Stone walls and rugged wooden gates too.

Suffolk Constable County, Bridge Cottage photo by Sunchild57 Photography Some Rights Reserved
Of course a thatched roof works equally well.

Hoveton Hall walled garden cottage photo by Angie & Chris Pye Some Rights Reserved

Does this qualify as a cottage garden?  Typically a cottage garden spills over the walkway, and this one has a bit of a formal feel. Still, there's no denying that's a cottage and it has a garden.

Sudborough, Cottage Garden. 78/365 photo by Sunchild57 Photography Some Rights Reserved
Here's what I mean by spilling over the walk.  Love the hodge podge look of this cottage garden in the spring.  You just know there are flowers coming for those containers.

Williamsburg VA 5 12 13 photo by Andrea Schwartz  Some Rights Reserved
Every cottage garden needs Foxglove, Delphinium and Bachelor Buttons, as this one in Williamsburg, Virginia has.  I've been to Williamsburg several times.  The gardens there are wonderful.

Clematis1 photo by Chris Armstrong Some Rights Reserved
Clematis Humongous.  I guess it's happy in Wale's climate.

Cottage Flowers  photo by Jett Brooks  Some Rights Reserved
Pretty posies line a white picket fence outside this Washington state cottage.  

Little House photo by Jonas Tegnerud Some Rights Reserved
Yellow and green is the theme of the cottage and its accompanying garden.

Picturesque Alpine style cottage photo by Sue Hasker Some Rights Reserved

Here's a cottage and its garden in Derbyshire.  Would you classify this as a cottage garden?  Though it looks a little too planned for a true cottage garden, the arbor and wagon wheel give it a whimsical look.  Anyway, it's quite charming and deserves to be included on our tour, don't you think? 

A Cottage In The Country photo by Andrew Stawarz Some Rights Reserved

No denying this is a cottage garden.  There has to be a bunny in there somewhere.  

Wild Cottage Garden photo by Dana Some Rights Reserved 
Wild flowers make up this Washington state cottage garden.

Prospect Cottage photo by Mark Dyer  Some Rights Reserved
A cozy cottage with vibrant blooms in Kent, England

Lock-keeper's Cottage photo by Phil Norton Some Rights Reserved
This French cottage is bathed in ivy and flowers.

Jo's Garden Bampton, Oxon photo by Nik Stanbridge  Some Rights Reserved
A cottage garden just outside the back door of this English cottage.

Jo's Garden, Bampton, Oxon by Nik Stanbridge  Some Rights Reserved
It wouldn't be right not to show you its front.

English Limestone Cottage with Garden in full bloom photo by F. D. Richards Some Rights Reserved
The lush "Rose Cottage" garden.  Interesting side note:  Henry Ford purchased the Cotswold cottage in 1929, had it dismantled stone by stone and shipped to the U.S., where it now resides with its barns and fences in Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan.

Cottage Garden photo by Maia C
Here's another view of the garden and cottage.

Traditional Landscape by Boston Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Maria Hickey & Associates Landscapes
Imagine walking through these gorgeous blooms to the door of this Boston cottage.

We end our cottage garden tour with this voluptuous garden in Philadelphia.

Thank you for joining me on this little cottage garden tour.  Which one is your favorite?

You'll find me partying here:
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Feathered Nest Friday

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Cottage - Is This It?

Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.
~ Robert Montgomery

In my last post I left you with Captain's question to me:
"You wake up in your new cottage.  Now walk me through your day. . .what do you do next?"

"Well, I'd start with coffee with you," I said. 

"And if it's fair weather, we'd be outside on a porch or patio.  And I'd putter between sips.

Photo taken at our local nursery.
"I'd pull a few weeds from the flower bed.

Not my garden.  This is my neighbor's plot.  I can dream, though.
"I'm a farmer's daughter, I like to make things grow.  In the summer months I want to spend most days tending a garden.  Or reading under a shade tree until I fall asleep."

"So far," Captain said, "everything you've mentioned is done outdoors."

"Yes, I like to take advantage of the warm days."

"Winters are long here," I said.

"During the cold months I'm quilting or doing other creative things indoors.

"And the flowers I grow are in pots in front of a south window.

"Of course, all year long I write and blog."

"You need your own space for creativity," Captain said.

"Yes, I really do."

After asking a few more questions and running some ideas by me, Captain began sketching, and in a few hours he had a schematic of our cottage. Over the next few days we tweaked it until we had the cottage design that satisfied both of us.

A Joyful Cottage Rendering

This is a 970 SF, single level, 2 bedroom, 1 bath cottage, with a study.    

This is the street view.  The French door on the far left is the study (my studio).  The three windows and French door in the center is the living/dining room.  Two windows with a flower box under them give a view from the kitchen.  There is a front porch, and the window you see behind the railing is Captain's studio.  We moved the cottage farther back on the lot to allow for more landscaping on this side of the cottage.

The window on the left is at the end of the kitchen, and the window to the far right is Captain's studio. The double stair porch frames the entrance.

Here you get a side view of the porch on the far left.   The casement window is on the north wall of Captain's studio.  The French door gives access to the bathroom from the vegetable/flower garden. (More about this later.) The two windows on the far right are the master bedroom.

The extension on the west side is my space (the study).  You can see the two windows, and the little steps on the right that give me direct access to the south garden through a French door.  

We enter from the porch into a small foyer.  Captain's art studio is on the right (Bedroom 2),  and includes a bar sink for clean up.  The proximity of his studio to the front door means he can bring art customers in and have privacy.  There's a guest closet at the entry.

I'll take you into the kitchen first, and then we'll look at the rest of the cottage.  I've included some inspiration pictures for your viewing pleasure.  Be forewarned, though, there are a lot of photos.

This is a galley kitchen.  You may be wondering why I chose this particular style.  Most people don't want a galley kitchen.  Well, I'm the exception to the rule.  

Kitchen in our previous cottage
Our last home had a galley kitchen.

Can you tell I have a thing for French doors?

I loved that kitchen, except for one thing: it was the traffic lane from the back door to the living room.  It's how the cottage was originally built in 1926. (Some day I'll post the before and after photos of our top to bottom remodel of that cottage.  No comparison between what we bought and what we sold.)

I've had kitchens ranging from one wall in a tiny apartment to a big kitchen with a huge island, and I find the galley kitchen to be the most efficient and enjoyable in which to cook.  I like to have things close at hand, and I don't like having to take a lot of steps to get from one work space to another.

NY Times Domains: Craft House

Tom Colicchi, the founder and co-owner of the Craft restaurants and head judge of 'Top Chef' cooks in a small galley kitchen in his NY rental apartment.  He says, "I can’t open the refrigerator and the oven door at the same time. But you don’t need to have a Rolls-Royce kitchen to make a great meal."  


The key for me is having a kitchen with plenty of natural light, at least one 4' work surface and good storage.  The galley kitchen we designed has all of this.

I  have no idea what the reddish marks are on this image.  It could be I spilled salsa on the plan.  Oops.

There are two large windows over the sink.  The pantry on the far left is a scaled down version of my inspiration pantry.

Free-standing pantry with chicken wire front. Cote Sud, Fev-Mars 200514-Cote Est, Sept-Nov 2001
 Linen and Lavender
I love the raw wood and chicken wire.

I've always wanted to do a kitchen with shaker cabinetry. Simple, understated. . .perfect.

Upper cabinets will have glass front doors.   

Country Living

A shelf will be built on the cabinet tops that will run over the windows -- the full length of the wall.    This will give me room for display, baskets for extra storage. . .whatever.

DOMSJÖ Double bowl - IKEA

I already have the Ikea farm sink.  A friend was going to Portland and offered to pick it up for us.  Since we live 5 1/2 hours from the nearest store and Ikea doesn't ship this sink, I jumped at his offer. He's so very nice.

I will have a skirt under the sink.

The opposite wall will house the range, otr microwave, and the refrigerator. 

Traditional Spaces by Morrow Kitchen & Bath Designers The Workshops of David T. Smith
Remember my "hutch" inspiration photo from the other plans?  It's moving with me to this plan.  We'll be using beadboard behind the range, continuing on the soffit wall above, and we'll use the same beadboard on the sink wall.

There will be a wall between the hutch and the refrigerator.  Now here's why you should have an architect like Captain design your home: he pushed the wall behind the refrigerator back a foot so that the refrigerator face will be flush with the wall's edge. See why I love this man?  No detail escapes him.

He also gave me a window on the end wall, and that makes me really happy.  Having natural light  at the end of a galley kitchen keeps it from looking like a cave.  The fact that all the kitchen windows have flower boxes on the exterior gets him extra points, too.

I don't know, it's getting late. . .should we continue the tour? Yes?  Okay.

The dining and living room is one open space. Three windows and a French door provide plenty of natural light.  In the summer this room extends to the outdoors.  I can picture al Fresco dining just outside.

Yes.  The little gas stove and mantel is back.
Jøtul GF 300 IPI - BRM

Ambience and an alternative heat source.  Ahhh.

The master bedroom is off the living room.  His and her closets separate the bedroom from the study.  I have to tell you that I absolutely am in love with this layout.  I get my own space away from the daily activities in the house, it has lots of natural light and a French door to the flower garden, and it makes the small master bedroom appear larger.  

And now the bathroom.  We're building a one bathroom home, for economical reasons, and how we design this bath is extremely important.

This is a home designed for the way we live. I want to emphasize this because I believe the bathroom is designed very differently from what most people would want.  As I mentioned earlier, there will be a working garden behind the house.  Captain and I are both avid gardeners, and we want to be able to come into the cottage from the garden without making a mess in the entry and living space.

Many years ago I saw a beach cottage featured in Country Living that had one bathroom. There was an exterior door in the bathroom that allowed the family to come right in from the beach and bathe.  I thought that was brilliant.  So, when Captain approached me about designing the bath with an exterior door I was completely onboard.  For us it makes perfect sense.  A utility area with a closet separates the exterior entrance door from the bath.  Dirty gardening clothes go in the washer, gardener steps into the shower, gardener comes out clean, dresses and there you have it.  No tracking dirt through the house, and we have a lovely view of the garden from the bathroom when we don't need privacy. 

The French door has privacy blinds, and the bathroom is tiled, so it's easy to maintain.  

Of all the plans Captain has drawn, this is the one that quickens my pulse.  I feel like we've hit the jackpot.  

Now we're waiting for the bid from the contractor.  

Thanks for your interest and encouraging words.  I feel like you're taking this journey with me.  I do hope you're enjoying it.

(If you'd like to see the first 3 cottage plans we considered, type "new cottage" in the search box for the posts.)

I like to party at these lovely blogs: 

Lavender Garden Cottage

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