[Thanks for the illustration above to garden historian, lecturer, and writer Dr. David Marsh from…
Cottage gardens finally recognized.
Everybody loves the cottage garden. It holds a mystique of a garden, limited in space, but with plants galore, mostly flowers.
There were cottage gardens in England for centuries. If you define the term as the garden of the worker, at the time of the monastery garden in the Middle Ages, for example, the townspeople who knew the monks probably received plants from them for their own gardens. That was a cottage garden.
During the time of the landscape revolution in eighteenth century England, it was only the garden of the aristocrat, or wealthy landowner, that was discussed in poetry, articles, and books.
The term ‘English garden’ meant at that time the landscape of the gentry.
It was not until the beginning of the nineteenth century that the cottage garden began to be seen as an essential form of garden.
Edward Hyams writes in his book English Cottage Gardens that the two garden writers “John Claudius Loudon and his wife Jane can fairly be said to have created the nineteenth century suburban garden which, in the long run, influenced the shape and planting of the country cottage garden too.”
The Loudons opened the door to an appreciation for gardening by social classes other than the aristocracy.
Hyams says, “The Loudons, the horticultural press, and the horticultural societies brought the cottager gardener into the modern age of gardening.”
It was no surprise then that the magazine Cottage Garden began in 1848.
It was when the Loudons wrote for suburban gardeners and cottage gardeners that gardening changed forever.
Garden writers learned from all styles of gardening including the middle class and the worker.
They wrote for anybody who gardened.
Cottage gardens finally became an important topic.