History of the Cottage Garden

Ref: C2226614

A course exploring what makes a cottage garden. We`ll trace its fascinating development from medieval garth to modern cottage style garden. Along the way, we`ll discover sayings and superstitions; old cottage flowers; vegetables and fruit; bees, chickens and pigs; companion planting; and florists' flowers. The course will explore and discuss the difference between the romantic idea of the cottage garden and the severe reality.

Additional information about this course

Half term break on 20/02/2020

Course aim

A detailed look at the history of the English Cottage Garden, tracing its development from the medieval peasants' plot through to the present day. The flowers, fruit, herbs and animals will be investigated together with companion planting.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identity the elements that constituted a medieval garth.
  • Name 10 favourite plants cottagers considered useful.
  • Understand the meaning of various cottage sayings and superstitions.
  • Name a number of 'new' introductions of vegetable vital to the cottage economy.
  • Explain why the cottage garden has simply become a garden of cottage flowers but little else.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

History of the Cottage Garden

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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