Gain a competitive edge with your landscaping business or be the envy of your neighbours with our Certificate of Cottage Garden Design. Ideal for landscapers, horticulturalists, garden maintenance staff or even green-thumbed garden lovers, this professional development course will teach you how to design a cottage garden and create landscapes focused on visual appeal and contemporary forms, designs, colours and textures.
You will learn about the history of cottage gardens, landscape features and components, design techniques and drawing plans, and what plants ideally suit a cottage garden. You will also gain insights into the heritage of formal to semi-formal designs with an emphasis on vegetables, flowers, archways, statues, arbours, picket fencing, gazebos, rustic elements and sundials.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a cottage garden design course include:
- Learning what defines a cottage garden
- Exploring how to use plants in cottage gardens
- Studying plant names, the binomial system and plant families
- Gaining insights into cultivars and monocotyledons vs. dicotyledons
- Understanding the principles and elements of landscapes
- Learning about plant review worksheets – how to name, describe and illustrate plants
- Exploring the history and concepts of cottage gardens including Australian gardens
- Studying botany and medicine
- Gaining insights into plants in ancient, Greek, Roman and Renaissance times
- Understanding the rise of modern medicine and botany
- Learning about how alchemy came of age
- Exploring design techniques and drawing plans
- Studying garden rooms
- Gaining insights into where to position garden features
- Understanding frame views and the design procedure
- Learning about scale and landscape graphics
- Exploring landscaping plans and how to represent plants
- Studying how to appraise the site and collect data
- Gaining insights into developing a preliminary concept plan and a final plan
- Understanding climate considerations
- Learning about the ideal plants for cottage gardens and how to get timing and colour right
- Exploring perennials, compatible plants and long-flowering plants
- Studying bulbs, garden borders, tubers and corms
- Gaining insights into scented plants, fragrant foliage and plants with fragrant flowers
- Understanding twiners, creepers, climbers and shrubs for cottage gardens
- Learning about perennial and herbaceous borders
- Exploring scented geraniums and pelargoniums
- Studying annual and herbaceous plants
- Gaining insights into preparing planting designs to incorporate a wide range of plants
History of Cottage Gardens
As you’ll discover in our cottage garden design course, the modern-day concept of cottage garden dates back to the 14th century. At this time, more emphasis was placed on herbs, vegetables and fruit trees for household consumption, and flowers were typically only used to fill spaces and add decoration.
In later years, cottage gardens were admired for their dense traditional plantings, informal design and a mixture of edible and ornamental plants. During the 1870s, cottage gardens became an extension of formal estate gardens. This was illustrated in the boxwood hedges and masses of roses and annuals that were enclosed in “garden rooms”.
During the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century, cottage gardens focused on a return to the informal planting style, and well-know authors like Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson helped to popularise these.
By the early 20th century, the term “cottage garden” was described as a large and sophisticated garden in which harmony and colour were carefully planned and controlled. The famous Hidcote Manor in the UK is one of the best-known Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain, with its linked “garden rooms” of rare trees, hedges, shrubs and herbaceous borders. In France, the cottage garden was partly inspired by artist Monet, and these spaces were sprawling landscapes full of rich colours, water gardens and varied plantings.
Flowering Plants For Native Cottage Gardens
In modern times, the term “cottage garden” has been used to describe a variety of informal garden designs using plants and features that are often far removed from the traditional English garden origins. This is particularly the case in Australia, where our hot summers can take their toll on traditional European flora. The solution? Go native!
Native plants are colourful, drought-hardy, easy to care for and they attract plenty of wildlife. Here are some of the ideal choices that will provide you with even more motivation to undertake our cottage garden design course.
- Thomasia purpurea – Growing up to a metre tall, this is a fantastic shrub that has vivid green foliage and clusters of stunning bell-life flowers that appear from autumn to early summer.
- Large-flowered guichenotia – This plant has grey-green foliage that is similar to rosemary. However, its magenta coloured, lantern-shaped flowers make this shrub ideal for a native cottage garden.
- Heart-leaf ﬂame pea – This scrambling shrub will bring your garden to life with its brilliant bursts of orange and hot pink pea flowers.
- Correa – The blooms of this shrub are bell-shaped and nectar-filled and a particular favourite of birds. There are also a huge variety that flower throughout the year, so are ideal for a cottage garden that blooms year-round.
- Grevillea – A versatile plant with a beautiful palette of coloured flowers including the cream and red “Little Drummer Boy”, the creamy-yellow “Moonlight” and the pastel “Misty Pink”.
- Boronia – Bell-shaped, sweetly scented flowers are this plant’s highlight. Plant close to pathways or cut a pretty posy for an indoor feature and enjoy inside and out!
- Lechenaultia biloba – This plant is hardy and can handle sunny exposed spots and sandy, gravelly soil. Its divinely dainty blue flowers appear in spring and summer.
- West Coast Gem – Known as the native hibiscus, this shrub produces spectacular purple flowers from spring to autumn. It’s also a favourite of butterflies and birds.
- White Solitaire – Also known as the rice flower, this plant has glossy, dark green foliage and divine white pom-pom type flowers that you’ll love as much as the butterflies.
- Isopogon – Commonly known as “Drumsticks” because of its globe-shaped flowers, this plant reveals its yellow and pink blooms in winter.
- Eremophila nivea – Add some colour contrast to your cottage garden with this plant’s stunning silvery foliage. Then in spring and summer, prepare for its lovely splashes of purple flowers.
- Banksia spinulosa – The “Cherry Candles” variety of this compact shrub produces impressive flowers from summer to winter. It’s also salt-tolerant so ideal for a beachside locale.
- Geraldton wax – This flowering shrub will add colour and a sweet smell to your cottage garden from late winter to spring with its pink or white flowers.
- Leptospermum – The “Pink Cascade” version has a weeping habit so is ideal for retaining walls. In autumn and spring, it also produces masses of small pink flowers.
- Kangaroo paw – A super-hardy plant that produces a dazzling flush of flowers from mid-spring to early autumn. The “Bush Pizzazz” and “Bush Pearl” varieties flower all year round.
- Flannel flower – With its silvery foliage, this plant produces white daisy-like flowers that are oh-so-velvety to touch, hence its name.
- Hardenbergia – This plant can be grown as a climbing plant or groundcover, and has deep green leaves and pea-shaped clusters of violet, white or pale pink flowers appearing late winter to early spring.
- Native daisy – Also known as the Australian Daisy, this plant has a big flush of flowers in spring and summer so is ideal for mass planting or as a groundcover.
- Fan ﬂower – “Scaevola” is a spreading perennial with bright green leaves and it produces pink, white or lavender fan-shaped flowers for most of the year.
- Dampiera diversifolia – Also known as “Kangaroo Lobelia”, this plant produces a wonderfully rich coloured batch of indigo blooms in summer and spring.
- Pink paper daisy – This plant’s flowers (which range from shades of white to deep to pale pink) appear any time of the year as long as the weather is warm and sunny.
Enhance your landscaping skills and gain unique garden design insights that are original and inspiring with a cottage garden design course, such as our Certificate of Cottage Garden Design.