It isn't an easy gene to carry with you to Texas. In the words of Penelope Hobhouse, 'Well, I just think that if I were a plant, I wouldn’t want to live in Texas.' Not true. There are plenty of plants that like living here in Texas and even though their flowering may be short they are happy enough to return for another year. The problem is more to do with their success during a long growing season. They don't come in quietly in the spring, flourishing through the summer and fading into the fall. They just keep growing.
This year many plants didn't even go dormant and the penalty is that they now have a very long growing season to look forward to and they will keep on growing and growing unless they are cut back.
|Engelmannia peristenia with Verbena bonariensis|
So what are the features of a cottage garden. The first is that they are usually enclosed by walls or hedges. The garden is not meant for the person passing by. Plants are crowded together so there is little soil showing. The plants generally come from neighbors and friends, cuttings and seed. The plants are a veritable jumble with flowers growing alongside the vegetables.
Plants put themselves where they want to be.
And even the most weedy plants are welcome.
|Pink primroses among the Dicliptera.|
And when the annual plants fade the cottage gardener goes out and collects their seed to save for next year so she can spread the flowers everywhere.
It's in the genes.