Friday, 29 April 2016

Cottage Gardening by the Book

I have several gardening books from which I take barrow loads of inspiration and snippets of advice. The one book I favour though is smaller than all the others, has no glossy photographs and was not written by a celebrity gardener but the information within its pages is specific to the cottage style of gardening I love and to the area in which I am growing my garden. 

 My favourite gardening book.

In a Brisbane Cottage Garden by Denise Horchner is a little book with big lists. Lists of hundreds of plants that Denise and her husband Henk (whom she affectionately nicknames "The Treasure") have grown successfully in their own cottage garden in a suburb not very far from where I live. There's lists for specific colours, different aspects, tricky spots, seasonal flowering, and my personal favourite, Plants for the Rotten Gardener! So, when I'm working on an area in our garden, and thinking about what might possibly grow well in that space, I open this little book to see what the Horchner's might recommend. Their localised advice offers me a much greater chance of success than would a gardening book written for the gardens of the Northern Hemisphere or even the southern states of Australia.

 Lavender grows in my cottage garden.

My own Brisbane cottage garden certainly doesn't look like impressive English cottage gardens and it probably looks nothing like the Horchner's garden either. Still, there are many plants growing in my garden now that give it a cottagey feel and that I found out about in the pages of this little local book. 

Salvias are another cottage garden favourite.

I'll be out in my cottagey garden this coming weekend. There is light pruning to do, mulch to lay down, weeds to keep in check, lettuce leaves to harvest and flowers to pick too. All of which will leave me happy and content:)

I hope you get to spend some time enjoying a garden over the coming weekend. 



  1. omg, i love cottage gardens! beautiful lavenders & salvias there!
    i don't have one though, it's way too dry here to do a true to type cottage garden but am working on my own style (if i can get anything to grow!) it's all a work in progress, whether i end up with it looking anything like a cottage garden is anyones guess :))
    thanx for sharing

    1. Hi, Selina. I think gardening to suit your local climate and soil gives the best chances of success. There is a little list of Drought Resistant Plants in my Brisbane Cottage Garden book. Things like Agapanthus, Gazania, Mondo Grass, Rosemary, Sea Lavender, Star Jasmine, French Lavender, Society Garlic and Salvias too! Perhaps you could try a couple of these plants in your garden. Thanks for stopping by! Meg:)

  2. How wonderful to find a book written by a local gardener. Weather can be really local can't it and it can really effect what you can grow.

    1. Yes! Our Summer was long and hot which meant a delayed Autumn planting for us. It's wonderful now though to go down to the veggie patch and see fresh and green and thriving plants. If I'd planted earlier, at the "official" start to Autumn, these seedlings would never have coped with the very hot days were were still experiencing back then. Meg:)