Country Cottage Gardens

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Informal garden along north side of farm house. Semi-shaded narrow garden is perfect for bleeding heart, coral bells, golden lion sedge, and wormwood.

Informal garden along north side of farm house.

A small pond surrounded by shade loving plants brings a peacefulness to the backyard of the farmhouse

A small pond surrounded by shade loving plants.

Side view of the ornamental garden of the office. Humming birds often frequent the red crocosmia, scarlet dahlias, and orange wallflower blossoms.

Side view of the ornamental garden of the office.

Country Cottage gardens at Jug Handle Farm and Nature Center add an element of refinement  by softening the connection between the earth and the buildings. The diversity of plants offer seasonal color, attract birds, beneficial insects and add to the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Originally a cottage garden was defined as a style of garden using an informal design, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants. English in origin, the cottage garden relies on aesthetics, dense planting, harmonious elements, and incorporates traditional materials.

Modern-day cottage gardens vary depending on the region and personal tastes similar to the more traditional English cottage garden. They embrace plant materials such as ornamental grasses or native plants; both were never seen in the rural gardens of cottagers.

Traditional roses continue to be a cottage garden favorite. Casual climbing plants, whether traditional or modern hybrids, are commonly used. Self-sowing annuals and hardy perennials continue to find a place in the modern cottage garden, just as they did in the traditional cottager’s garden.

Guests and visitors can view two types of Country Cottage gardens.

  1. Cottage gardens planted with only traditional horticultural favorite plants
    1. Beds are planted with flowering perennials, annuals, bulbs, and a few shrubs.
    2. Nativars* are chosen that complement horticulture favorite plants.
  2. Cottage gardens planted with horticultural favorites and native plants
    1. Native plants and horticulture favorites planted together have been highly successful and provide year round diversity of color and foliage.
    2. These garden beds are educational and demonstrate the harmoniously benefits of planting natives and horticultural favorites together.
Delicate pink flowered Dicentra spectabalis, bleeding heart brings color to the shaded bed in the spring and early summer.

Delicate pink flowered Dicentra spectabalis, bleeding heart brings color to the shaded bed in the spring and early summer.

Plant selection focuses not only on color and balance, but also on plants with a reputation for longevity and minimal upkeep. The gardens are organic and mulched to conserve water.

Effort is made to identify all the plants in all gardens. Guests and visitors can access a list of plants used as well as photos on Jug Handle’s website.

Jug Handle caretakers, Sherri Fabre and Galen Schlich along with Jug Handle’s Education Director, Helene Chalfin collaborate with volunteer garden director, Ariane Arlene Fuller to implement garden plans and provide maintenance.

Volunteer participation is a major component of the garden’s upkeep and success. Guests and visitors can make arrangements with the caretakers to help out during their stay.

* World renowned horticulturist Dr. Allan Armitage coined the word ‘nativar’ to describe a cultivar and/or hybrid of a native species.

Jug Handle Creek Nature Center, California lodging, Mendocino retreat, Casper educational - 15501 N Highway 1 Caspar, CA 95420
(707) 964-4630 | © 2005-