Having Fun with Pesto!
Sorrel, from the Garden to the Table

In and Out the Garden Gate - A Cottage Garden Transformation


The New Cottage Garden

Mary Lynn Fruit, Western Reserve Herb Society

September 2020

New Garden Flag

            As I recall now, it all started with a suggestion that the boxwood hedge which surrounded my Cottage Garden, was finally getting the best of me.  It would take me days to prune in the early summer months only to need pruning once again before the fall season.  So, in the fall of 2019, after serving faithfully for twenty years, the boxwoods were dug out - and a beautiful fence with towering arbors was installed in early 2020. 



What greeted me in the spring of this year brought tears and determination - a sweet garden in desperate need of rebirth - new soil, dreams of perennials for the pollinators, and  - of course -  delightful herbs.


            And so my journey began - in the midst of the pandemic and the uncertainty of what was happening to all of us - terribly missing my fellow gardeners of WRHS - I immersed myself in designing and planning the new cottage garden.  Clematis plants that had been dug out and wintered over in pots were once again planted around the arbors (and they took off!); peony shrubs that were moved to the back of the property (we have an "orphanage" for our plant residents that we just can't give up) are now situated around the fence; the sweet climbing rose that survived the installation of the fence is once again coming back to life; new teuteurs installed…and so on.




 Ah - the delight in buying new plants - the thrill never fades!  Pollinating plants and herbs - oh my! - Zinnias (which the birds and bees absolutely love!) as tall as me!  Hollyhocks and borage - foxglove and stachys, scented geraniums - sweet Dagmar Fraus; catmint and cosmos - how wild and carefree and beautiful! Wonderful thyme, basil, lovage, lavender, tarragon, rosemary…and the smiling faces of pot marigolds splashing color all around!   

Fairy Roses

            Believe me - a lot of trial and error this season (sometimes a lot more error I think), but most important are the small moments and memories that remain with me now.  The garter snake coming out the potting shed door that I almost stepped on; the kitties that come in the early morning to hunt; a sweet garden flag from my sister; the resident mouse; and the traveling Mr. Toady who returned at last - the birdies who nest and visit the birdbath - bees and butterflies and spiders, oh my! …

Fairy in the Garden

      If I could just for a time become a garden fairy with a small house of my own in the midst of the cottage garden…

Garden Visitor

  Cottage Elf

So as most of you gardeners know - gardens protect us; welcome us with open arms. They nourish our spirits and souls; heal us physically and emotionally.  I am so grateful for the many blessings that I have experienced this summer season.  I believe that gardening has the power to make this world a better place for all.  Time is so very fast and fleeting - don't let go of the moments that touch our spirits - those moments that are rare and beautiful and true.

Copyright: Mary Lynn Fruit 2020.
May not be reproduced or photocopied without written consent from the author.


Our organization, at its heart, is all about sharing our passion for herbs. We have worked tirelessly for 75 plus years to promote and inspire the use of herbs in our gardens and our lives.
Your support is vital in continuing this important mission. Your gifts support education through our public gardens, our education outreach programs, and our scholarships.
Through your donations, The Western Reserve Herb Society is preserving our legacy of expanding and sharing knowledge of these wonderful plants and their impact on our lives, our culture, and our environment.
To make a donation in honor of the “No Fair Herb Fair!” please go to https://www.westernreserveherbsociety.org/support-our-organization/




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Barbara Newton

Beautiful wanderings with memories and words! Love seeing all the pictures. Love, B

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