As well as more soft fruit, I want to add some flowering shrubs. I've recently planted peonies, which die back to the ground in the fall, and next, I want to round up another cottage garden classic: the hydrangea.
I do love them, in all their casual, falling over gracefully style. I love their large mopsy flower heads in ranges of pinks and blues. I love how they are influenced by the chemistry of the soil. And I love how they seem to thrive on benign neglect. They are so much less flighty than roses (which I do love...and plan to have a few more of in the garden as well...) and respond to half-hearted pruning once a season in fine style.
Plus, I love how easy they are to propagate. Check out this video demonstrating the simple technique: