Ava Middleton is a garden writer and garden coach who maintains a cottage garden on a small lot in historic Midtown Memphis, Tennessee. Her postage-stamp front cottage garden is an ever-changing tapestry, taking on new characteristics each season. Her garden Zone is 7B. She is an avid plant collector and is a featured garden writer for The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis. She is a member of The Garden Writer's Association and travels to visit gardens whenever possible. Some of her favorite plants include hydrangeas, heucheras and long-blooming perennials, such as salvia and coreopsis.

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Modern Cottage Gardening
by Ava Middleton - posted 04/19/12

Vita Sackville-West described cottage gardening as plants growing in a jumble. Others define it as informal, dense plantings in a casual design. I refer to my style of gardening as cottage, often saying that  it allows me to buy one of every plant. That is always tempting, especially during spring plant sales. I do, however, try to pull the varied plants together by using a color scheme and by repeating plants and colors throughout my tiny front-yard garden. Each season does bring a never-ending experiment of combining annuals, perennials and grasses, always creating new looks. Constant are the colors: lavender, purple, pink, light yellow and a little white. The urn and planter baskets provide areas for seasonal plants. Since my space is so small, I like plants that bloom for a long time. Some of my favorites are coreopsis, salvia, cone flowers, yarrow, reblooming daylilies and allium.



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