The cottage garden’s gardener

Visitors who linger in the cottage garden may have come across a gardener,hard at work, often hidden behind a large hat. Hazel Ward has been taking care of the cottage garden since the very first day that weeds were cleared from the site.

Flowers fill the shot and a lady stands in the background

Hazel Ward at work in the cottage garden.

Here is Hazel’s description of how the cottage garden grows…

“The plan was for a naturalistic planting of both wild and cultivated flowers around the walls, which would then blend seamlessly into the wild flower meadow behind it. Self-seeding was always encouraged but this has always meant a lot of weeding out of the more vigorous wild flowers such as Campion and Ox eye daisies.

As the perennials have established there has became less open space for annuals such as field poppies to thrive I have got round this by sowing them in pots and then clearing spaces for them and then transplanting them in the spring. Over the years I have added other native annuals such as corn marigold, cornflower and corn cockle to the mix.

I have always loved the naturalistic style of planting and have been happy to leave wild flowers amongst cultivated plants especially as they attract such a lot of butterflies and insects.”

It’s a pleasure to be working and the view is magnificent

“If members of the public don’t like the cottage garden they never tell me but plenty of visitors do tell me that it is their favourite part of the garden and they like it because it looks so natural and unmanicured , often that they are trying to create a more natural area and a wildflower meadow in their own garden at home. In the summer it is a pleasure to be working in the cottage with the bonus when you look up the view is magnificent. I have become very attached to it as a garden over the years which is why I still come back a day a week to work in it although I now live the other side of Launceston.”

This year, as in every other, the cottage garden is an orchestrated riot of colour and variety. It’s down to Hazel’s eye for detail, her skill and the passion she still has for this single spot of land.