It features a traditional potager garden, kitchen garden and open art studio. While new, the garden has the feel of being well established, with old railway sleepers repurposed into garden bed edges, rusty corrugated iron and tin drum planters, and tossed out pieces of wrought metal that have been retrieved and given new lives as pieces of art.
There are no rules to follow when you establish a cottage garden - no right way or wrong way, as there is when you're planning the shape of a formal garden where order, symmetry and perfect tidiness reign supreme.
A cottage garden such as Hartvale is relaxed, colourful, fun and a little bit messy. the informal crowding of flowering perennials and annuals, with dollops of fat shrubbery, creates an intriguing tangle of colour, texture and shapes.
You can create a profusion of flowers with their haunting perfumes and exploit the romance of their dainty prettiness. Indulge in the imbalances of height and movement, and revel in the allure of their wanton wildness. It's a place of real freedom - and one where you'll absolutely want to linger!
Cottage garden design tips
How you lay out your cottage garden is entirely up to you. But these tips will help you make it cohesive.
1. Curve your paths
Soft, curving paths add to the relaxed feeling and invite you to explore further. Use hard surfacing such as pavers, old bricks or stone, or soft paving such as wood chips and gravel. Or, you could lay turf.
2. Mix and match
Don't worry if colours clash - anything goes in a cottage garden.
3. Vary heights
Add tall plants for visual interest - and not necessarily at the back of a border - so your eyes move up and around. You take in a lot more this way.
4. Add fun elements
If you find garden art that is quirky or delightful, put it in. It adds character.
What: Hartvale Gardens
Where: 49 Sunray Ave, Little Hartley, west of the Blue Mountains, NSW
When: 17-18 April and spring 2021
Cost: $10. Children under 16 free
For more info, go to myopengarden.com.au