Enjoying the Simple Pleasures of Life, While Living in a Complicated World

Creating The Garden of Your Dreams

"English Cottage Gardening for American Gardeners" by Margaret Hensel

Gardening in Minnesota  presents gardeners with a myriad of challenges, especially if your dream is to have a lush, flower filled English garden. Most of the information I found while researching English gardens for our particular growing zone was bleak with dire predictions for success.  Certain plants which are the backbone of many English gardens, are not recommended for Zone 3:  Boxwoods are difficult, or rather-close to impossible to grow in Minnesota and creating a tea rose garden involves a great deal of back breaking work to protect plants through winters that can reach -30 F in winter.

Several years ago for my anniversary, my husband and I began working on my dream garden: an English Country Garden for my front and back yard. Choosing our  plants carefully, we started growing plants from seed  during February and March to not only save money, but grow many plants of a particular perennial in order to create large drifts of color throughout the garden.

Serendipity is described as: “Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something fortunate, especially while looking for something entirely unrelated.

One day, I experienced serendipity while waiting for the noon weather report on a local television station. An author, Margaret Hensel, was scheduled to give a presentation on growing English Gardens in Minnesota and discuss her book, “English Country Garden for American Gardeners.” Immediately, I went online and researched her book and realized I had stumbled across the definitive book on creating English gardens. After a visit to the local bookseller, I left the store-book in hand, and have used this book ever since. Once I was home, I read through the book and found stunning photographs taken by the author. The breathtaking photography incorporates vivid text that provides a remarkable amount of information in the design and layout of an English garden. You’ll find detailed  descriptions of  perennials, plants, layout and placement information, along with: edging plants and visually stunning pairings of a wide variety of perennials found in English gardens, she discovered in her travels in Britain.

If you’re dreaming of creating a special garden as a welcome retreat from the pressures of life and as a source of relaxation and serenity, this book will prove to be an invaluable resource in creating your ultimate English garden.

If you’ve created a garden space that is a haven from the stressful trappings of the world, please share your experience with me!

May your garden give you pleasure and solace!



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