Dating in this country from colonial days, the first cottage plots provided needed food and cheering beauty in the face of hard times. Today, still eclectic and naturalistic, the garden is closely bound to the house it frames, which guides its layout and materials. In fact, says Moseley, with all its color-mad chaos, a cottage garden needs a bit of order to look its best. Planning before you plant will ensure it is cohesive, despite the wildness at its heart. Here are some elements to consider.
Shown: An energetic mix of columbine, iris, and roses sprawls beside a tiny cottage.