2021 Garden Designs: Vanderperren English Cottage Garden

By Janelle Fisher, Marketing & Communications Intern

Whether you visit the Green Bay Botanical Garden in spring, summer or fall, our horticulturists have been working hard to make sure there will be a beautiful assortment of plants and flowers for you to marvel at.

This year, each garden space has been carefully planned to include designs inspired by events happening at the Garden as well as some personal-favorite plants of the horticulturists.

Here’s Lindsay Hendricks (Horticulture Manager) to share a bit about what she’s been working on in her garden spaces!

Q: How would you describe your garden spaces?

A (Lindsay): “The Cottage Garden is a Wisconsin interpretation of the English Cottage Garden tradition. You’ll find a vibrant mix of ‘old fashioned’ flower varieties, herbs and vegetables (as well as some ‘on-trend’ annuals). Stepping into this quaint cottage garden might make you feel like you’re no longer in present day Green Bay, Wisconsin.

flowers in a cottage garden
PC: John Oates Photography

The South Terrace is the first garden space visitors walk through as they enter and exit the Garden. Tropical plants and colorful annuals mingle with existing perennials, trees and shrubs for maximum impact. The Schneider Terrace is an American perennial garden and the perfect way to start your stroll through the Garden.”

Q: What inspired your designs this year?

A: The Cottage Garden was inspired by the traditional/heirloom plants of the usual Cottage Garden theme with the addition of new plants to connect it to Washed Ashore and the Garden’s 25th Anniversary.

The Kaleidoscope Bed (a part of the Cottage Garden) features plants with colors and forms inspired by The Little Mermaid. The containers along the upper and lower paths were inspired by sea life and will be filled with bright, tropically-colored plants.

Blue Wings blue butterfly bush (Clerodendron ‘Blue Wings’)

Q: Do you have a favorite plant (or plants) this year? Where in the Garden will visitors be able to find it?

A: The Blue Wings blue butterfly bush (Clerodendron ‘Blue Wings’) caught my eye with its unique, blue butterfly-shaped flowers. The Arctic Summer mullein (Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Artic Summer’) has fuzzy foliage and bright yellow flowers and was featured in the first ever Cottage Garden. Both the Blue Wings blue butterfly bush and the Arctic Summer mullein will be a part of the Cottage Garden design this year.

Arctic Summer mullein (Verbascum bombyciferum ‘Artic Summer’)

The Tiger Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Tiger’) and Stingray elephant ear (Alocasia ‘Stingray’) have very unique foliage. You can see these plants in the containers along the upper and lower paths.

Tiger Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Tiger’)

In the Kaleidoscope Bed, you won’t want to miss the bright, tropical colors of the Hawaiian Sunset Mix Compact Sunpatiens® (Impatiens hawkeri ‘Hawaiian Sunset Mix’).

Hawaiian Sunset Mix Compact Sunpatiens® (Impatiens hawkeri ‘Hawaiian Sunset Mix’)

Q: When would be the best time to visit your garden spaces?

A: “In general, the garden changes weekly (even daily) as to what there is to see… so no matter when you visit the Garden there is always something (different) in bloom!

I cannot recommend a specific time of year that any one area looks better than another, but there are certain times of year to visit if you want to see specific plants in all their glory.”

flowers in front of meredith b rose cottage
PC: Teresa Hilgenberg Riehl

The Cottage Garden, Schneider Terrace and South Terrace will all have something different to offer depending on what season you visit. If you want to see spring-blooming bulbs and tulips, you’ll want to visit in spring. Annuals will come into bloom in the summer and perennials will start to show their colors in fall.

Q: What advice can you offer to someone starting a garden at home?

A: “If you feel your thumb is more black than green, I disagree! My advice to novice gardeners is to pick one plant and see how it grows for you… if it dies, try something new next time… if it lives, great! Continue to grow that plant and try another new plant next time. You might be surprised how many things you can actually grow!

Get some garden design tips from Lindsay!

Keep in mind that what grows well for your neighbor might not grow well for you, it’s all about finding what grows well for you in your garden (every home has its own microclimate… light, soil, moisture, environmental growing conditions).

Whether you have a lavish garden or a few pots on your patio, everyone can be a gardener… all it takes is trying your first plant! You never know, sometimes all it takes is a packet of zinnia seeds from your dad and you’ll end up pursuing a degree in horticulture and a career at a botanical garden!”

Make sure you check out Lindsay’s designs during your next visit to the Garden and be on the lookout for more interviews with the rest of our horticulturists!