I have to admit to being a plantaholic although, to be fair, if you are going to be an ‘aholic’ in anything plants are far better for you than any of the others, although writing this I have to confess to having a conflict of interest, being the President of the Cottage Garden Society. However, gardening is not about categorising people it’s all about enjoyment, excitement, satisfaction and pride. There are many different styles of gardening with the cottage garden style just being one of them. I love it because it’s all about the plants, there is no pretention, there’s formality if you want it, but best of all the scope to plant whatever you fancy wherever you want. I love the fact that by using perennials and hardy annuals as mainstays it means that the garden or border will naturally change every year when some of these plants gently seed around. This leads to great excitement when one pokes its head out where I wasn’t expecting it and then reminds me that, no matter how expertly I design a garden or border, nature will always do it just a little bit better. Although I like to use a range of plants, which give interest all year round, I feel that it isn’t important to have the whole garden in flower all year round, just to have enough interest in a garden at all times of the year. Summer will be the time when I have most choice, but all seasons can be just as interesting. This means planning is the most important part of any garden or border, but even best laid plans sometimes don’t work as I think, so I never worry about moving plants around. Although I plan I will never be able to escape the curse of the cottage gardener – if you see a bare piece of earth then there is an unstoppable urge to plant something in it.