In search of an English cottage garden — a few more nots

Of course I have more vacay pix — who goes to England and doesn’t come home with a memory card full of flowers?

Here’s just a few more from those wacky Brit gardeners.

The stoop garden

I strolled some alleys in Marlborough, a beautiful market village of centuries-old stone buildings. (We stayed in an inn built 1452.) I saw mostly narrow, not-so-well-tended backyard garden spaces behind rows of attached homes. But one alley was all front doors of row houses, and that’s where I found this.

Violets growing between stone front steps at a home in Marlborough, England

A zero-effort garden, I suspect. If my patio weeds were this pretty, I'd keep 'em.

 The yarny garden

Not so very nutritious — and probably more work than the real thing — but you gotta love this little veggie garden harvest in a storefront in Tintagel.

Tiny, knitted vegetables, part of a display in a Tintagel, England storefront, advertising knitting classes.

Knitting classes -- upstairs!

The ancient-as-heck garden

We trekked through the woods to the ruins of a centuries-old chapel that was totally unprotected and unmolested, with no sign people even knew it was there. Amazing! But what thrilled me most was seeing foxglove growing from the crevices of those old stone walls.


You can see the foxglove plants sprouting from the crevices of the wall -- most weren't blooming.

lavender, bell-shaped blooms with white speckled interior foxglove southern england

A close-up of the blooms you see in the upper, righthand corner of the photo at left.


  1. Very nice, Penny. I’m so glad you’re sharing these wonderful England photos and the experience. Love the plants growing out of the cracks in the old stone. There’s just something so comforting about the *life* plants exude ~~ especially when mixed with lifeless (old) structures. Meems

    • Glad you stopped by, Meems, thank you! I must have 300 pictures of old stones, stone walls, even gravestones, oozing with life. Strange how attractive we find that!

  2. Love your new blog Penny. The photos from your England trip are fabulous. Have always wanted to visit there.

    Best of luck with your new ventures. Can’t wait to see what’s coming up.

    Mary (Garden Whimsies by Mary)

    • Thanks so much, Mary. If you get to England, head to the southwestern area, including Cornwall. It’s jaw-dropping beautiful — like jumping into the pages of a picture book.

  3. Trying this out on my phone waiting on my load. I just think of the irony of it all. I have a friend at she lives in England and she has a cottage garden but really loves and wants tropical plant and garden! Good luck.with your new blogg. Penny not that you need it your writing skills will make this a success ……Chip

    • Funny, I saw a lot more tropicals than I expected there, Chip. (And btw, congrats on commenting from your phone. I’m impressed!) One place we stayed had a row of tall cordyline trees. Of course, I didn’t know what they were, just that they looked very familiar — I’ve never seen cordylines as trees. The owners said they came from New Zealand.

  4. Susan Gillespie says:

    Congratulations on your blog, Penny. I love the England pictures. It really is interesting what flowers make their mark all around the world. And the people who grow them.

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