In his introduction to The Cottage Gardener’s Companion: A Seasonal Guide to Plants & Plantings for Informal Gardens, Douglas Taylor said that cottage gardens are like horses. They are easier to recognize than they are to describe:
“Perhaps the chief hallmark is informality.”
He observed that the old cottage gardens did not have lawns because there were no lawns when the cottage garden tradition began.
“As to plants, there are of course the traditional old favourites which have been grown for hundreds of years–roses, hollyhocks, honeysuckle, hellebores, columbines, foxglove, feverfew, lavender, thyme, mint, pink, geraniums and many more. …
“One certainty about cottage gardens is that every available square inch of ground was used. Vegetables and flowers crowded happily together….” pgs. 6-7.