An English Country Garden – Photo by Paul Sandham
Having a garden full of pretty and beautifully scented flowers gives great joy and pleasure to all those who can experience it. The reason we give flowers on special occasions is because they make people smile – and so, choosing the right blooms is a very important task.
English Country Garden Flowers
English country houses are famed for their magnificent and well-tended gardens and lawns. People travel great distances to spend the day in the country’s best grounds, to relax amongst the tranquil old-fashioned roses and read under the shade of an old oak tree – all for a moment of peace and the delight of the scent in the air.
Many of these great estates have full time gardeners, but it is possible to create this tranquility in your own backyard, with a little time and effort. Once you have designed and landscaped your garden, you must decide on the varieties of flowers that you will grow – daffodil, heather, nasturtium, red hot poker, snowdrop, lavender, anemone, peony, roses, etc.
Choose pretty garden flowers that will thrive in your soil conditions and climate, but also, choose flowers you like looking at and whose color and scent is pleasing to you. Remember that some flowers take more time to look after than others, so ask your local garden center for advice when you are choosing – they will have a good idea of the soil conditions in your area.
How about this exotic Black Magnolia? – Photo Courtesy: Tatiana Gerus
These are some of the most useful plants to grow in your country garden, as they will grow abundantly and create dimension in your borders. Opt for a variety of colors to stimulate the senses, welcome in the wildlife and capture the imagination of all your guests.
Some great options are: honeysuckle, magnolia, wisteria, yucca, buddleia, cherry laurel, deutzia, Japanese quince or kerria. This is by no means an exhaustive list of names, rather just an example of the sort of flowering shrubs you could use on your patch. Remember also beautiful herb shrubs that you could plant, and then use in your cooking too!
Every cottage property with an acre or two deserves a wildflower meadow – not only is this great for the soil, but it is fantastic for the country wildlife. It is also a good way to spread color and life onto poor soil, as wildflowers thrive in poor conditions. They are also great for pond edges, orchards and garden borders in city areas.
See what sort of wildflowers grow in your area by taking a walk to nearby parks and seeing what’s there throughout the year. Or try some of the following varieties: dog rose, forget-me-not, primrose, common poppy, hedge mustard, ox-eye daisy, violet. You can often buy specific packets of wildflower seeds that come with full instructions and are selected to work well together.
It may take time to establish a wildflower bed in your own garden, but persistence is key, and it will be very low maintenance in the future. Prince Charles has advocated the use of wildflowers due to their decline in number across the UK and the threat of extinction.
Country Flower Arrangements
A bunch of roses on the kitchen table looks rather beautiful at any time of year. Yet, real fresh garden flowers placed simply in a glass vase, or an old bottle can look prettier and be far less expensive.
Why not grow flowers specifically for use inside your home? Sweet peas are easy to grow and look stunning in all their multicolored glory, marigolds bloom throughout the summer and chrysanthemums are perfect for lasting through the first frost. Try and grow your own flowers, so that you can be a little thriftier and enjoy bouquets in your house more this year. It’s also a wonderful gift to be able to give someone – your very own hand picked flower gift baskets.
Country Style Wedding Flowers
The art of floral arranging is rather complex, and for a special occasion like a party or a wedding, it is a real treat. Take your time about finding a great local company that can provide you with the perfect displays that suit your personality – just like you would match the wine to the food, it’s very important to choose flowers that enhance the atmosphere.
Take a trip to your local florist to see what country style bouquets they can create for your special day. Try to go for something original and different, something that is unique to you. So instead of orchids or roses, choose the ranunculus, lilac, sunflower, hops or delphiniums for a more vintage look. See the Flower Design blog for inspirational photos of bouquets and arrangements of pretty country flowers.