This week I was in Rutland for two days and took photos of some authentic cottage gardens, but not so much the gardens as the road verges in front of the cottages where plants had self-seeded and created a lovely natural jumble in the tiny space between the wall and the pavement.
Here are some examples, and they show how some plants will take their chance to thrive in the poorest of soils and in places which may not even be gardened by anyone.
This plant above is called valerian and pretty much grows out of walls, in either red, pink or white. It grows in very poor soil and in my garden with very rich soil it struggles to stay upright because the growth is too lush and floppy. When it is neglected it thrives and here it is growing in the tiny space between the house walls and the pavement.
Here below there are two wonderful simple little plants which have taken their chance to spread. The spiky one is a euphorbia and the lower one is a hypericum (St John’s Wort). Both are quite common but I think they look lovely spreading around this bit of paving in front of a cottage between the wall and the street.
These daisies were coming through the pavement presumably from a tiny crack where some soil had landed and their seed had found it.
Here we have some kind of thistle and again some valerian hugging the wall creating a lovely natural soft planting area where perhaps no one had thought to consciously create a garden.
Here is a hardy geranium of some variety growing out of a wall -they are such just great plants.
Here a pelargonium and some creeping Jenny are sprouting through a crack in the pavement.
All this naturally occurring planting reminds me, when I am getting too fretful about gardening, that some easy common plants will always find a place to thrive and look lovely for people who can appreciate the simplicity of them. Of course this also means that unwanted weeds can do this too but nature does not differentiate between wanted and unwanted – only we gardeners do that.
Lastly here is a great example of the mixed jumble you can achieve in a tiny strip of soil between a sunny old wall and the street – a real cottage garden scene.
This blog is part of a meme called Six on a Saturday which you can see more of here