Post 6: The Cottage Garden Room


Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional  experience as though you were  actually there with  us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to  different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were  really there looking at the actual  scene. You are an arm chair traveller with us.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The cottage garden is a distinct style of garden that uses an informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, the cottage garden depends on grace and charm rather than grandeur and formal structure. Homely and functional gardens connected to working-class cottages go back several centuries, but their reinvention in stylised versions grew in 1870s England, in reaction to the more structured and rigorously maintained English estate gardens that used formal designs and mass plantings of brilliant greenhouse annuals.

The earliest cottage gardens were more practical than their modern descendants — with an emphasis on vegetables and herbs, along with some fruit trees, perhaps a beehive, and even livestock. Flowers were used to fill any spaces in between. Over time, flowers became more dominant. The traditional cottage garden was usually enclosed, perhaps with a rose-bowered gateway. Flowers common to early cottage gardens included traditional florist’s flowers, such as primroses and violets, along with flowers chosen for household use, such as calendula and various herbs. Others were the old-fashioned roses that bloomed once a year with rich scents, simple flowers like daisies, and flowering herbs. Over time, even large estate gardens had sections they called “cottage gardens”.

Modern-day cottage gardens include countless regional and personal variations of the more traditional English cottage garden, and embrace plant materials, such as ornamental grasses or native plants, that were never seen in the rural gardens of cottagers. Traditional roses, with their full fragrance and lush foliage, continue to be a cottage garden mainstay — along with modern disease-resistant varieties that keep the traditional attributes. Informal climbing plants, whether traditional or modern hybrids, are also a common cottage garden plant. Self-sowing annuals and freely spreading perennials continue to find a place in the modern cottage garden, just as they did in the traditional cottager’s garden.



The view from the arbour  where you look down into a small amphitheatre. On the topside of amphitheatre is the cottage garden area. We have only fully put this in July 2015. Before that, we were dependent on a weekly supply of sullage water which was limited to once a week for one hour or so. Since September  2015  we have put down a bore to 36 metres and struck abundant water. With a  branching irrigation pipe, bore water can now be brought to taps on the topside and bottom side of our house.  Sprinkling can be left on different areas for several hours at a time for minimal cost. Having abundant water for our garden has greatly changed how we do gardening.


Since September  2015 we have put down a bore to 36 metres and struck abundant drinkable water.

001Different areas of our cottage garden shown above and below.




Specific  Cottage Garden Plants:

Specific plants are not named but the photos show the rich changing colours and the low growing plants.





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Storm Lilies out a the base of large stone obtained from the demolishing of the old Cobb and Co. site in Brisbane = 1866 stone. It was retrieved from the foundations of the old Cobb and Co. Depot in the Stage Coach days of Brisbane from 1866. I obtained two truckloads for $75.00. These stones (I bought two truckloads) were being dumped otherwise.

Harriet has made a garden creation out of an old board with a wooden lip. Old shovelheads from my past landscape construction days of the late ’80s and early ’90s have been used as a feature.

Storm Lilies out the upside of the stone block.

 …. Storm Lilies closeup ….

Storm Lilies out on Garden and Land: (as from the Land Post)

In December 2018, we had three days of heavy rain. We have many Storm Lilies planted in our garden around the house.  Storm Lilies are beautiful lilies to about 300 mm high and have a swirl of dull green narrow leaves. During dry times of the season, the lilies are just a swirl of dull green narrow leaves.

They respond very quickly to rain and within two days send up swelling pink flower heads. Within two more days, the swelling pink flower heads burst out as open expanding tubes of pink lily flowers. Suddenly from nowhere, there will be hundreds of beautiful lily flowers throughout the garden and down our driveway.

When we built the house in 1981, I suddenly found these pink-flowered lilies in a clump under some small trees coming down our extensive driveway. The lily bulbs are very easy to transplant into another location.

Within about a week of flowering, swelling heads of seeds develop which then break open to release many flat winged seeds within another week.  These seeds then fall to the ground or blown by the wind to more distant areas. This is why Storm Lilies are in small clumps or single lilies out the middle of the lawn.

In December after the rain, there were hundreds of pink lily flowers out every wherein our extensive garden and down our driveway. In the garden, they are everywhere whereas, with our extensive driveway, I planted bulbs on either side of the driveway for viewing the flowers after rain.

Flowering can be several times a year after rain. It is wonderful when we come home or visitors come to our house and are greeted by hundreds of beautiful pink-flowered lilies. Our house as a hand-made house vs. machine-built house is a very welcoming house.  We have a huge community of people we relate to.





Pansies in a big clay pot in the middle of winter = June in Australia.



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Sweet Peas as sprouted seeds had been given to us by a friend in late August 2018. I had planted them out as a line of planted seedlings. At the same time, I constructed a frame of wire I had leftover from another job.  With my new battery-powered drill, I was able to drill holes in the existing post for screws that I could screw in with the drill.

Fastening a braced post at the other end, I then built a wire-frame between the post and braced post which the sweet peas could grow as hanging colourful flowers. You would see these sweet peas as you walked up the steps to the house. In mid-October 2018, they were still growing to the point they had eye-catching Sweet Pea flowers on the bushes.

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Petunia Flower Pot



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In mid-2018 I placed this piece of sculpture in the garden made from small logs and cross members.  I have been doing a lot of sculpturing of late. See this post on this website:  Post 12: Birdsnest Sculpturing

In November 2018 there was a council (Logan City) cleanup in our area and people were dumping many items on the side of the road for a date for the cleanup. My son Anthony was driving by one area in his utility and someone had dumped these metal birds … an orange flamingo and a blue peacock (see the post: Post 8: The Dry Australian Bush Garden Room at the very end.

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Agapanthus: (From this website)

The commonly grown agapanthus flower, often called Lily of the Nile, was introduced to Australia from South Africa. There are now more varieties of this genus than ever before, so if you’re like me and summer goes hand in hand with these happy blue sparklers, you’ll be delighted to discover the new varieties are as easy to grow as the common sky-blue form.

The genus name means flower of love, from the Greek agape, meaning love, and anthos, meaning flower. Agapanthus has long, fleshy leaves that form dense clumps of evergreen or deciduous foliage (choose evergreen forms for all-year action). Tall stems tower above, bearing heads of bell-shaped or tubular flowers, in shades of blue, purple, or white. In frost-free climates, flowers of evergreen varieties appear over a long season; in cooler zones, summer is the principal flowering season. Agapanthus ranges in height from 20cm for dwarf forms, while giants can be up to two metres.

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Storm Lilies as part of Cottage Gardens:

For months on end, there were numerous storm lilies planted amongst the low garden plants. They were whorled grey-green straplike 300 mm long-limped leaves. It had been many months between heavy rain. A big summer storm came and in a week the whorled grey-green straplike leaves suddenly became very erect green straplike leaves. A central flower stalk emerged with a bulbous flower head. In several more weeks, the bulbous flower heads burst open into the pink trumpet-like flowers shown below. In another couple of weeks, the flower heads formed into rounded seed pods. A month later, the seed pods split open and released many flat windborne seeds. These seeds then produce an abundant supply of new storm lilies wherever they fall.





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See this website: Images for storm lilies Australia


Roses in the Garden:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears.[1] There are over three hundred species and tens of thousands of cultivars.[2] They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing, or trailing, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles.[3] Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds.[4] Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa.[5] Species, cultivars, and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Roses have acquired cultural significance in many societies.[6] Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach seven meters in height.[7] Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of a wide range of garden roses.[8]

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Dietes in the Garden:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dietes is a genus of rhizomatous plants of the family Iridaceae, first described as a genus in 1866. Common names include wood iris, Fortnight lily, African iris, Japanese iris, and Butterfly iris, each of which may be used differently in different regions for one or more of the six species within the genus.

Most species are native to southern and central Africa, with one (Dietes robinsoniana) native to Lord Howe Island off the coast of Australia. A few species have become naturalized in other parts of the world.[1]



See the next post: Post 7: Permaculture Garden Room