Introduction; what are cottage garden flowers?; growing cottage garden flowers; cottage flowers in the garden; choosing cottage garden flowers.
The Chairman of the Cottage Garden Society is an apt choice to write this Royal Horticultural Society Wisley handbook to cottage garden flowers. Sue Phillips has long championed this attractive method of gardening so typical of the English countryside - the billowing, overcrowded, colourful medley of summer flowers redolent of old watercolours and overly popular with chocolate box manufacturers. An easy option many people think but without a little care and attention in the planning stages, an overgrown mess. This is an attractively produced, informative guide to this enduring method of gardening. From initial design to choosing the correct plants, propagation and aftercare along with a wealth of helpful hints, Sue Phillips offers a great insight into the history and ongoing pleasure of cottage gardening. Shrubs, climbers, bulbs, annuals and perennials are all looked at, the best varieties suggested and planting uses explained to give even the smallest container a cottage garden feel. As Sue says in her introduction, cottage garden plants are not only found in the country but in towns and on flat balconies too and here she demonstrates this most ably. Part of the RHS Wisley handbook series, this is a comprehensive and concise look at cottage garden flowers, fully illustrated and clearly written. Aimed at both the amateur and professional grower, this is an invaluable addition to any serious horticulturalist's bookshelf. - Lucy Watson