cottage garden with stone retaining wall and flower bed with catmint and salvia
Photo: Jerry Pavia
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2. Walls and Hedges

While landscapes and houses should always relate, with a cottage garden each supports the look and purpose of the other. Space is tight and every inch counts. So, more than just a backdrop, the cottage is another garden surface, ideal for overflowing window boxes and trellises for vines to climb. The garden in turn extends the home's lines outside, sometimes in walls that echo its textures while enclosing areas for living. As a less-expensive alternative, Moseley recommends clipped hedges, which can define space and provide "bone structure" for sprawling plants. To maintain order year-round, choose evergreens like boxwood, wax myrtle, or yew for hedging. Along with small trees and other shrubs, plant these early in the process to give them growing time.

Shown: A rustic stone retaining wall edges a bed overflowing with fragrant catmint and salvia.
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