The Cottage Garden at Greenbank Farm

Program Contact: Loren Imes
360-639-6059 •

Characteristics of the Cottage Garden are indicative of the 1920 era: a combination of casual, whimsical, and useful.

As you enter the garden from the west, on your right are viburnum shrubs that provide foliage and a canopy for the understory plants. On the left are plants that show their beauty in the winter: Yellow Twig Dogwood, Beautyberry bush, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis), and the contorted look of the Weeping Cedar.

In the middle of the garden is a child-resistant waterfall providing the sound of a waterfall without the danger of a pond. (Plans are available.) Across from the pond are some unusual trees: a Smoke Tree, a Peanut Butter Tree, and a Strawberry Tree (the last two trees were chosen for their name interest for children).

An apple tree fence (espalier) was designed to create the effect of a room and to produce fruit. We have also added some fruit trees and vegetables to the flower beds to show an ability to have color as well as food.

In the center of the garden, a grass bed was created as an experiment to stop the wind. The windbreak works for eight months of the year. The only time it does not work is during the spring, when the grasses are cut down, and which is of course the windiest time of the year.

Within the Cottage Garden are several micro-climates, so a shade area, a rock garden area, and a xeriscape area have been planted to take advantage of varying conditions.


Cottage Garden Plantings

  • Campanula (Bell flower)
  • Corylopsis (Winter hazel)
  • Dianthus (Pinks)
  • Dahlia
  • Filipendula
  • Paeonia (Peony)
  • Perovskia (Russian sage)
  • Persicaria
  • Phygelius ‘Moonraker’ (Cape fuchsia)
  • Rosa ‘Pierre de Ronsard’ (Pink climbing rose)

Shade Area Plantings

  • Alchemilla(Lady’s mantle)
  • Carex elata ‘Aurea’ (Bowles golden sedge)
  • Geranium (Cranesbill)
  • Helleborus (Hellebore)
  • Hosta
  • Humulus (Golden hops)
  • Hydrangea quercifola (Oakleaf hydrangea)
  • Polystichum (Sword fern)
  • Sarcococca (Sweet box)

Xeriscape Area Plantings

  • Agastache (Licorice mint)
  • Buddleja (Butterfly bush)
  • Crambe cordifolia
  • Centranthus (Red valerian)
  • Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower)
  • Lychnis (Rose campion)
  • Monarda (Bee balm)
  • Penstemon (Beard tongue)
  • Philadelphus (Mock orange)
  • Salvia (Sage)

Garden Tips

Outline your planting beds with a hose or rope to use as a digging guide.

Plant in drifts.

Use drain rocks under the eaves of a building to prevent backsplash.

Add old farm tools, implements, or other “found” objects to the garden to provide interest, focal points, and whimsy.

Variegated foliage and chartreuse plants add brightness to shady areas.

Drought tolerant plants still need water.