I want to plant perennial borders of Queen Anne’s lace or Baltic parsley, fox gloves, hollyhocks and cosmos. All of these plans remind me of England, and I Especially like the wild look of Queen Anne’s lace which reminds me of playing in English fields when I was a child. I’ve seen Queen Anne’s lace all over my neighbourhood in Toronto but I know that it can be unruly and spread. I’m wondering if there is a particular variety that is preferable to plant in a flower bed, perhaps Baltic parsley instead? I Have full sun, partial sun and shade areas in my garden. I am fine with the wild look, but don’t want to completely crowd out any other flowers. Also not sure about whether these plants will do well in Toronto.I would be grateful for any and all input! Thank you for helping me create my English cottage garden :-)
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
There is nothing more beautiful than the drifts of colour , pathways and hidden surprises in an English garden. Although the end result may look whimsical, careful consideration should be taken in planting an English Garden. When designing the garden start with the tallest plants at the back until you reach groundcover at the front of the garden. Be sure to plant in drifts and densely to help keep weeds out, and to help the plants hold each other up as they grow. The trick is to ensure that there is always something blooming throughout the growing season.
Baltic parsley, Cenolophium denudatum like Queen Anne’s Lace is in the carrot family (Apiaceae).This plant is a hardy vigorous perennial which flowers from mid summer to mid fall. And like Queen Anne’s Lace can become unruley.
The first thing one needs to consider when selecting plants is your site location. Does the area receive full sun, part sun, part shade or full shade. What type of soil do you have ? Is it sandy, clay, loamy or a mixture? Does the area have adequate drainage?
In order to give you a few suggestions I will make the following assumption: the area receives full sun, has rich organic soil with good drainage. The following list of plants are the most common plants found in an English garden.
Phlox, Foxglove, Hollyhocks, Delphinium, Hardy Geranium, Daylily, Roses, Clematis, Snowdrops, Lupines, lavender, purple coneflower, Asters. This combination of plants will give you full succession of blooms through the growing season and are all hardy perennials.
You will also find additional information on English gardens on our website. Simply type English Garden in the Find It Here located to the right of the page. You may also find this article of use : The Basics of an English Cottage Style Garden