Spring Garden at The Firs

Alchimella in the cottage garden

The structure of the garden is clear in Winter and early Spring, but it slowly becomes blurred as the months pass by and the planting takes over.

Now we can see a double gravel path, with an old wrought iron arch spanning one of them; somewhat chaotic borders in between the paths; standard roses at the head of a neat bit of lawn with wide borders at the sides of the garden, and what - or should I say who? – is that reclining on a welcoming bench at the bottom of the garden?

Elgar in the Sun
Elgar in the Sun
Elgar in the Sun

The garden at The Firs was the Elgar family back garden – providing playground, vegetable bed and flowers for the house as well as riot of colour outside. After the early snowdrops, the daffodils start pushing though and bringing a bright splash of yellow to the garden after the dun of winter. Tulips of all colours come around Easter and columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) takes the opportunity to push up through the gravel and anywhere else its’ seeds landed last year.

The appeal of cottage gardens is often the organised chaos of various colours and forms, so annuals play a key role in the planting intermingling with the stalwart perennials; bright cosmos, orange marigolds, tall blue cornflowers and fluffy the foliage of nigella will come and go almost as they please from year to year, but in amongst these itinerants are the hardy perennials; pink sedums, striking purple Russian sage which produces a wonderful fragrance when a leaf is crushed, big blousy peonies, beautiful roses and bright ox-eye daisies all holding their place year upon year.  

Lavender in the cottage garden
Lavender in the cottage garden
Lavender in the cottage garden


There’s always something to catch your eye and draw you down the garden path to explore the colours and scents of the Spring garden. Sit a while on a bench in the sun to soak up the atmosphere and recline just like Sir Edward at the bottom of the garden.