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A cottage garden can provide a lot of benefits. For starters, it can make your property stand out from the neighborhood and can even increase its value over time. For some, tending to their cottage garden can even become their stress-reliever and avenue to bond with friends and family.
Cottage gardens can add color to any property but only if you’re able to properly take care of it. You need to make sure that all of your plants are free from any weeds and pests so they can thrive. With so many annual plants available in the market today, do you know what to include in your cottage garden?
If you’re still starting with your traditional cottage garden, here are some annual plants to consider:
Marigolds can be considered as low-maintenance plants because they can bloom easily even with direct sunlight, heat, and low-quality soil. And because they’re known as nectar providers, you can expect your cottage garden will be full of butterflies once your marigolds are in full-bloom. These plants also have several medicinal benefits and are actually a natural repellent from pests.
Here are some tips to remember when planting and caring for marigolds:
- There are about 50 species of marigold, so take the time to do your own research when choosing what to plant. Aside from asking recommendations from people you know, Gardener’s Path has a great guide on marigolds.
- Marigolds can also be used to keep deer, rabbits and other rodents away from your plants – all thanks to its pungent smell!
- All plants need water. When it comes to marigolds, you have to be careful whenever watering them; you have to make sure that you’re watering them from the base of the plant, not from the overhead.
Cornflowers are usually grown as weeds in corn fields, hence the name. Cornflowers usually come in blue, but it also has varieties in red, pink, purple, and white. Most people just scatter the seeds on a specific area and wait for it to bloom during the mid-spring until early summer period.
If you’re eyeing to plant cornflowers in your cottage garden, take note of the following tips:
- When planting cornflowers, dig a depth of 8 inches and level the soil using a rake. Make sure to remove clumps of stones and grass, as well.
- Weeds should be a big no-no in your cottage garden. Once you see these growing near your cornflowers, immediately pull them out. Weeds can compete with your cornflowers for space, soil, water, and nutrients.
- Cornflowers should be fertilized during the late winter to early spring.
If you’re living in California, you might already be familiar with this plant. As the name suggests, the California poppy is the state flower of California. This plant is also called a flame flower or la Amapola by many.
If you think blooms of vibrant orange are missing from your cottage garden, planning California poppy can be an excellent choice. Make sure that you keep in mind the following facts before planting:
- Ideally, California poppies bloom during the early summer until early fall.
- The seedling should be planted in rich soil, where sunlight is full. When deciding where to plant California poppies in your property, consider the shadow being cast during different times of the day.
- California poppies only require minimal watering and can survive even without fertilizers.
Regardless of the overall theme or structure of your property, sunflowers can certainly make it look and feel better. With its bright yellow blooms, sunflowers can be the perfect representation of summer and happiness. Aside from its beauty, its seeds can also be harvested and eaten.
If you’re looking to plant and grow sunflowers in your own cottage garden, keep in mind the following:
- Sunflowers grow best when they’re placed in locations that are most exposed to the sun.
- These plants can grow well with any kind of soil as long as it doesn’t have too much moisture or waterlogged. Sunflowers can even thrive even when planted in a soil that is slightly acidic or alkaline content.
- Sunflowers usually emit substances that prohibit other plants from growing. Because of this, make sure that you plant your sunflower seeds away from other plants.
Having plants on the ground is already common in almost all cottage gardens. Property owners will just have to pick a seedling to plant, dig a hole on the ground, and they’ll just wait until this blooms at the right time. If you want your cottage garden to have unique and beautiful blooms, plant morning glory. This annual plant is one of the most popular vines that can grow in arches, fences, and even trellis.
Here are some tips to remember when planting this beaut:
- Contrary to popular belief, planting morning glory isn’t hard. All you have to do is place the seedlings in well-drained soil, and you’re good to go.
- Morning glory should be well-watered. Although these annual plants grow well in fertile soil, you shouldn’t go overboard with the fertilizers as this can lead to lesser flowers and more leaves.
- Since morning glory has vines, make sure that you’re not planting these near other plants. If you want to add a lot of colors in your cottage garden, plant different colors of morning glory in one area instead. You’ll be surprised how picturesque your property will look once you see trails of red, blue, and white morning glories.
If you’re looking for an annual plant that can provide more than just aesthetics, consider planting mallow in your cottage garden. Its flowers can be used for gargling and even as a natural mouthwash. Mallow can bloom from spring until late summer. Unlike other types of shrubs, mallow can grow until four feet tall.
Here are some tips to remember when growing mallow in your cottage garden:
- When planting mallow plants, make sure you’re doing it after all the frost from the winter is gone. While you’re at it, put some slow release fertilizer in the hole with the plant. This will expedite the development of the plants, and make the blooms bigger.
- Mallows should be watered once a week during its growing season. To ensure that the roots will grow deeper, water them with one cup of water.
- This plant isn’t attractive to pests. Although Japanese beetles might chew on its leaves, so pay attention to any leaf bites.
Have you noticed how glorious the shades of yellow and white are when you poach an egg? This is exactly the same colors you’ll see in the poached-egg plant. Once this annual plant blooms in your cottage garden, expect to see a sea of lush yellows and whites.
Poached-egg plants can thrive well with other plants such as endive, mizuna, and lettuce. This plant can look really good once planted in pathways, edges of flowerbeds, or near tall plants like tomatoes and sweetcorns.
You can enjoy all of these benefits once you follow these tips when growing poach-egg plants:
- Young seedlings can tolerate light to moderate frost. But once it grows, it can easily get damaged by cold climate or hard freezes.
- Before planting poached-egg plants, regardless if it’s seeds or seedlings, always add a balanced and organic fertilizer in the soil.
- You won’t have too many problems when it comes to pests or diseases with poached-egg plants. However, it might be tough for this plant to thrive once placed in extreme humidity and heat.
Love-in-a-Mist is one of the most traditional and classic annual plants that bloom during spring until early summer. With its delicate-looking and feathery blooms, you might think that growing this plant is challenging – but actually, it’s not. This annual plant can grow in different weather conditions and doesn’t require too much maintenance.
To drive the point home, here are some simple tips to grow love-in-a-mist:
- Aside from your cottage garden, this plant can also be planted in garden beds, planters, and hanging baskets. These plants can also look good indoors, especially when they’re in full bloom.
- As mentioned, love-in-a-mist doesn’t require too much maintenance. You can plant them in areas that have full sun. Nevertheless, these plants can also tolerate minimal shade. For the soil, love-in-a-mist can grow well in rich and hard soil.
- When planting them, make sure to include a general purpose fertilizer. When they start to bloom, fertilize them once a month.
All of these precautions are more than enough for your love-in-a-mist to healthily grow with minimal to zero problems.
Be Ready for the Responsibility
Regardless of the annual plant you decide to plant, you should be ready for the responsibilities required from you. Aside from keeping it free from any types of weeds and pests, your cottage garden should receive a sufficient supply of water, sunlight, air, and fertilizers.
All of these things are essential, so your cottage garden will bloom and look aesthetically pleasing!