My Gardening Tips

COPIOUS COSMOS – Make your summertime garden sing

Baby Elephant

If you're looking for flowers that will bring you joy all summer long, are easy to grow and transform your garden into a sea of blooms, it’s time to take a closer look at cosmos. Cosmos are the perfect flower for beginners, both in terms of growing and care. They flower in abundance from May (if they've had time to germinate indoors beforehand) through to October, make delightful cut flowers and, simply put, just make me happy. A bit of history: they found their way to our shores around 200 year...

My Gardening Tips

DELIGHTFUL DAHLIAS – A sea of color for your garden

Baby Elephant

It’s confession time! I never used to like dahlias. I felt they were somewhat old-fashioned and a bit ‘stuffy’. Fast forward a while, and I’m now one of their biggest fans. Sure, it could be that my taste has changed – a little like I used to loathe the avocados I now adore. I’m pretty certain though that it’s more down to the incredible range of new varieties bred over the past few years. There are over 30,000 to pick from! And I, for one, am utterly smitten with these vibrant, late-summer bloo...

My Gardening Tips

PRUNE YOUR ROSES WITH CONFIDENCE | Top tips from an expert that anybody can try

Baby Elephant

An interview with Christian Schultheis – owner of Germany's oldest rose nursery Every year, without fail and right before the forsythia starts to flower, I have a short but intense panic attack. It's time to prune the roses. With over 60 roses (and three kids, a job, a household to run and all the rest of it) you might think it's the amount of time involved that has me in a state of frazzle, but that's not it. In reality, it's that feeling of standing in front of my colorful medley of proud, whi...

My Gardening Tips

MY COTTAGE KINDERGARTEN | It's seed(l)ing time!

Baby Elephant

It's time to get sowing! I know, I know – it's only the end of February and there are many who would call me a hopeless optimist and remind me that it can still snow at Easter... buuuuut just look outside: The days are getting that little bit longer. I'm waking up to happily chirping birds. Snowdrops and winter aconites are poking their little heads out of the ground. Not that it’s a good thing but I’ve encountered the odd person (those suffering from hayfever) sneezing. It’s seed(l)ing time! Bu...

My Gardening Tips

EARLY SPRING & WINTER BLOOMERS | Bye bye dreary days

Baby Elephant

Who needs early bloomers when you look out the window right now? That's what you would have heard me say last week. Up until then, our world wasn't the muddy sludgy brown mess it is right now, left behind by melted snow. Instead, it was swaddled in a thick and beautiful white blanket. Every noise muffled and the (few) persistent colors popping brilliantly against their white canvas. At least that's how it was down here in the South of Germany. Of course, things were even better in the good old d...

My Gardening Tips

11 TIPS FOR A LOW-MAINTENANCE GARDEN | Less work, more fun

Baby Elephant

Mowing, hoeing, weeding, fertilizing – a garden can keep you wildly busy. Isn't it a shame when the very place you're supposed to go to for rest, relaxation and inspiration starts to occupy your daily to-do list – and even worse, when the work starts to feel too physically demanding. If all of this sounds familiar then it might be time to rethink what you're doing with your little patch of land. Photo: Syl Gervais I love gardening! For me, it's incredibly satisfying. And taking time out from the...

My Gardening Tips

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ROSE | Or which rose will work best in my garden?

Baby Elephant

A good cottage gardens needs roses. Lots of roses. And for those of you who say: they have thorns. And diseases. And I just don't like roses. Side note, who doesn't like roses??? Message me immediately – we need to talk! Seriously though, there are loads of different types, some of them thornless and most of them exceedingly healthy. There's going to have to be one or two you like! I guess in some ways, that actually makes it more difficult to choose a rose though. I mean, there are over 30,000 ...

My Gardening Tips

PRIVACY SCREENS FOR YOUR COTTAGE GARDEN | 11 Ideas

Baby Elephant

There's one thing I get asked all the time. That's aside from how to get rid of slugs and snails, which I'll have to write a whole article on one day. So, what do people always want to know about? Privacy screens that work in cottage gardens. Whether you're looking to block out on an unpleasant view, hide your garden from prying eyes or make things feel a bit cozier – screens offer a sense of security and even provide some protection against harsh weather conditions. But what kind of privacy scr...

My Gardening Tips

PURE ROMANCE FOR YOUR GARDEN | 'Creeping Gypsophila' (Gypsophila repens)

Baby Elephant

When Natalie from the German blog Wildes Gartenherz (Wild Garden Heart) asked me if she could write a profile about this plant for My Cottage Garden, I was forced to take a closer look at it for the first time. And I ended up hugely impressed by both, the plant and the wonderful suggestion from a guest writer. And after reading it, I'm even more than merely 'impressed'. All I've been able to think about for last couple of days is where I'm going to find space in my garden to plant Gypsophila rep...

My Gardening Tips

QUINCE CHEESE, JELLY AND QUINCE JUICE | Three delicious recipes made from the same batch of quinces

Baby Elephant

I'm from Provence. At least on my mother's side. My French grandmother always used to make quince cheese (pâte de coing) in the fall. Although, I always think 'cheese' is a strange word to use. Quince candy is really more accurate. The quince cheese would be dried in the attic and served as one of the traditional 13 desserts at Christmas. Fortunately, my grandmother wrote all her recipes down in a little notebook and, as our quince tree spoiled us with a particularly generous harvest this year, ...

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