A country garden design is really and truly what it says on the tin. It is based very much on the dynamics of the countryside from which it is derived. That being said, like the cottage garden, you don’t have to live in the country to make yourself a country garden. I’ve seen small and large country style gardens deep in urban areas, and I’ve been present when many of them were born!

Rough stonewalls and timber fences embody the essence of the country garden. The overall mood is unsophisticated, perhaps rather unkempt, with a mosaic of colour. Beneath the apparent randomness there should be a strong framework controlling and unifying the whole effort.

A country garden showing tree, vegetables and an upturned horse cart.

Often the trees and shrubs in the wider landscape are repeated or echoed in this kind of garden. You can often find hedges consisting of White-thorn and Black-thorn which provide secure enclosure, and in the case of the Black-thorn (Prunus Spinosa), fruit that can be used to make delicious sloe gin for the long winter evenings.

This type of garden usually contains a large quantity of herbaceous planting as well as culinary herbs and a vegetable patch. It is usually very functional as well as providing a vast display of colour and variety. You will sometimes find that there is no clear distinction between areas that are decorative and those that provide food, although it is probably better for you to make you country garden in way that allows you to see the amenity part from inside your house.

The colour and texture of key ingredients such as walls and fencing echo those of the house and the landscape from which the garden has evolved. This garden may even open onto woodland, farmland or may be near the sea. Allowing that the country garden is usually much more successful if it is firmly based on the landscape within which it is set, you are free to experiment.