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Make your own cottage garden

A lifetime ago, when we lived in England, I fell in love with gardens. Gardening was more than a pastime in the towns and village. It was serious business with a long history. Roses, perennials, vines, even fruit trees, graced the fronts of most houses. An ideal mix of sunshine, rain, and temperate climate makes English gardens flourish. Cloud cover and gentle sunshine soften and blur the hues of flowering plants and the edges of structures.

The English cottage garden was born of necessity centuries ago. Families had to grow their own fruits, vegetables, and medicinal and kitchen herbs. During the Victorian Era, the cottage garden gradually morphed into an extravagant display of flowers, shrubs, and other ornamentals. The Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century advocated a return to a more informal style of garden planning, and the cottage garden has continued to develop and change up to the present time. Today, a cottage garden can be just about anything the gardener wan...

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