|Tuesday, 02 March 2010 00:00|
The Cottage garden or a garden that surrounds our holiday homes, homes where we stay from time to time, and where we gather the spiritual and physical strength for the efforts of life, just as the holiday house itself, must correspond to precisely this purpose. Maybe it was described in the most picturesque way by Nikola Gucetic, who was seven times the Duke of the Republic of Ragusa (Republic of Dubrovnik), and who in the preface of his reflections on Aristotle's work "About the Soul" in which he mentioned this specific space that frees the soul – "to remove myself from all town worries and to arm myself against all thrusts of fate ... I have chosen my village Trsteno, the place of all my consolations." And then, that well educated man, swamped with social commitments, drew his force from the beautiful nature of the spot where many noble men from Dubrovnik had their summer houses and beautiful gardens. Today as well, many residents of the town gladly find their break from city turbulence and business commitments find in places where they have built their holiday homes.
Whether it is a small wooden cottage or a huge villa by the sea, there is usually a garden or al least a piece of the enriched part of nature. In fact, our intervention in the environment that surrounds our holiday homes, especially those that are surrounded by the untouched nature, should not be too blatant and disturb the harmony of the nature.
Just that is the point of leaving the city and going to the holiday home – returning to nature and its beauty that amazes us with its perfection each time. One has to, therefore, think well how one can enrich that space with amenities and will not disturb too much the harmony of nature surrounding it, but will give pleasure and a sense of inner peace. The look of the garden, its elements and plants that you will include in your garden will certainly depend on the climate and other characteristics of the region in which the garden is located. Unlike the urban gardens where many things are allowed since every city garden is a small separate, the cottage garden should be just ennobled nature that surrounds it. Human touch in the environment should contribute to it being visually interesting and create an acceptable relationship with the surroundings. It must be harmoniously integrated into their natural space, not differing from it neither by choice of the plants nor by choice of the garden elements or building materials.
The Cottage garden style is actually a traditional or regional garden style. If you really want to create a place for yourself that will provide you with mental and physical rest, then do not spoil it by bringing in too much of the urban of foreign elements in that space. Use natural materials available at the place where you build your country house and plant plants available in the surrounding gardens or the nearby plant nurseries. Do not plant exotic plants that look odd or too domesticated plants that will make their appearance unnatural contrast to all the other plants. Garden elements shall be in accordance with the traditional elements of local gardens and their natural environment.
Thus, in the Mediterranean countryside, garden paths, flower pots or garden fountains built from stone from the local quarry or from stones which are abundant in the Mediterranean environment will look nice, while in some forest area wooden garden elements would look best. Any of your garden projects should be a true enriching of the garden, in accordance with the nature surrounding it, and not its separation from the natural environment. The same goes for the choice of plants that you will plant in the cottage garden. Over a certain period of time you will see for yourself that it is best to plant plants that are also grown by your first neighbors, i.e. the plants that already fits the surroundings and grows well in that particular climate.
While doing so, keep in mind the amount of time you plan to spend in the country house during the year and if the plants will survive without you watering them for the duration of your absence. Accordingly, choose the plants that will be the best fit of all the requirements. Let the pictures that accompany this text be an inspiration in selecting the plants and decorations that will, with their appearance and in accordance with the local tradition enrich the look of your garden. The garden will be, once you escape from busy city life, a place to rest your body and mind, and a place where you will search for a life more perfect and natural, and find the strength for the awaiting strains of life .