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A romantic plot; Bulbs, perennials and flowering shrubs are key to creating your cottage garden just do it Get the retro look and create a garden like Granny's.

It's easy to recreate the romantic style of a traditional cottage garden filled with familiar flowers that were your granny's favourites. BORDERS The secret to the cottage garden look is to pack borders with annual and perennial flowers like lupins and delphiniums, with roses, fruit bushes and vegetables and herbs in between.

Expert tip: Seed is a cheap way to fill gaps and create borders. pounds How much? Six eco-friendly plants from pounds 29.60 (www.hairypotplants.co.uk, 01962 776910) GRANNY'S BONNETS Aquilegias, granny's bonnet and columbines give borders a cottage garden feel. Try the Magpie variety.

Expert tip: Fills the gap between the last of the spring bulbs and the main flush of summer perennials. pounds How much? Plants from pounds 2.95 (www.gardens4you.co.uk, 0808 234 7223) POT MARIGOLDS An essential plant for any cottage garden, this will brighten borders.

Expert tip: Sow these and others, such as love-in-the-mist (nigella) and larkspur, among herbaceous plants and shrubs. pounds How much? Two packs pounds 2.59 (www.thompson-morgan.com, 0844 248 5383) HOLLYHOCKS Hollyhocks are stately plants, often growing 2-9ft tall, that will bring colour to your summer garden. Sow in mid-summer for the next year.

Expert tip: Most varieties will only live two to three years.

pounds How much? 4 plants pounds 5.99 (www.vanmeuwen.com, 0844 557 1850) HONEYSUCKLE Use scented flowers. The pale gold and cream Graham Thomas's flowers are borne all summer.

Expert tip: Roses are essential, too, so try David Austin's New English Roses.

pounds How much? pounds 4 (www.burncoose.co.uk, 01209 860316) PINKS To line paths, choose low-growing plants like the ever-popular pink, Dianthus Mrs Sinkins.

Expert tip: The reflected heat from paths also suits lavender, which makes a fairly neat edging plant, and also catmint or nepeta and alchemilla, or lady's mantle. pounds How much? pounds 6.99 (www.crocus.co.uk, 0844 557 2244) PEONIES Peonies are generally easy to grow providing they are in soil that does not become waterlogged. They can take up to three years to flower Expert tip: Peonies bloom in May and June and come in a range of colours, from white to maroon. pounds How much? From pounds 5.95 (www.kelways.co.uk, 01458 250521) DESIGN Tall sunflowers are brilliant for creating a privacy screen around a patio, or for concealing untended areas. Plant two rows. Make the back row a tall variety and the front at least 12 inches or so shorter. Combine a mixture of single, semidouble and double flowers in a range of colours from yellow to red.

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Top, granny's bonnet and marigold, above are perfect for a cottage garden Try creating your own traditional cottage garden by growing plants such as these colourful delphiniums and lupins,above
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 15, 2012
Words:465
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