While it might seem that it isn’t important, understanding your soil’s PH level is very important, and I have discovered that most cottage garden flowering plants need soil that is more on the alkaline side of the spectrum.

Little Dorrit, Alyssum, Lobularia Maritima


“Lobularia maritima syn. Alyssum maritimum, common name sweet alyssum or sweet alison, also commonly referred to as just alyssum (from the genus Alyssum in which it was formerly classified) is a species of low-growing flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae…. It will flower more profusely if spent blooms are trimmed. When grown in gardens, it is typically used as groundcover, as it rarely grows higher than 20 cm (8 in) tall. It is also grown in cracks in paving and walls, and is especially associated with coastal locations. It prefers partial shade, and is resistant to heat and drought. Plants with darker-colored flowers do better in cooler temperatures.” From Wikipedia

Anemone hupehensis var. japonica 1.jpg

Anemone – Wind Flower

“These plants thrive best in shady areas and under protection of larger plants, and in all but the hottest and the driest conditions in the United States.[3] They are especially sensitive to drought or overwatering.” From Wikipedia

Aster novae-angliae.jpg

New England Aster – Michaelmas Daisy

Bachelor’s Button – Centaurea – Cornflower

Balloon Flower, Platycodon, Blossom, Bloom, Purple, Sun

Balloon Flower – Plantycodon

Balloon Flowers can also bloom in neutral and acidic soil.

Baptisia – Wild Indigo

Grows to a Height of 4′

Bee Balm, Red, August, Flower

Bee Balm – Monarda

Bellflower, Nature, Blossom, Bloom, Spring, Close

Bellflower – Campanula

Bleeding Heart – Dicentra – Dutchman’s Breeches

In a moist and cool climate, it will grow in full sun, but in warmer and drier climates it requires some shade.
Aphids, slugs and snails sometimes feed on the leaves.
Clumps remain compact for many years and do not need dividing. They have brittle roots which are easily damaged when disturbed. Root cuttings should be taken in spring. From Wikipedia


Showy periwinkle blue flower spikes adorn the fragrant mounds of gray-green foliage. Excellent for cascading off walls or container edges and as groundcover that is somewhat drought resistant with time. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Herbaceous

Reaches 24-30 in. tall, spreading to 36 in. wide

Echinacea, Coneflower, Flower, Perennial, Garden

Coneflower – Echinacea

English Daisy

English Daisy is a short plant that can be grown as a groundcover.
It can be grown in soil of almost any ph level.

Natural, Plant, Flowers, Cosmos, Autumn Flowers, Autumn


Crocus, Flower, Spring, Purple, Blossom, Bloom


Dahlias, Dahlia, Geothermal, Plant, Composites, Pink



Dianthus, Flower, Pink, White Flower Edge, Garden

Dianthus [Including Carnations & Sweet Williams]

Forsythia, Shrub, Blossom, Macro, Inflorescence, Flora


Foxglove, Flower, Plant, Nature, Summer, Purple


Cranesbill, Flowers, Flower, Blue, Close, Nature

Geranium [Hardy] Cranesbill


Hibiscus Fireball [Hardy] – Jacki Kellum Garden 2015

Ile De Re, Hollyhocks, Summer, Stones


Honeysuckle – ph from 6.1 – 7.8Hyacinth, Flower, Nature, Spring, Hyacinthus


Iris, Fleur-De-Lis, Bluish-Violet Flower Spring


Flowers, Lilac, Lilac Flower, Close, Spring, Violet


Marigold, Flowers, Blütenmeer, Flower Meadow


Morning Glory, Flowers, Garden, Climber, Climbing Plant

Morning Glory

Pink Peony, Blossom, Fuchsia, Paeonia, Paeoniaceae


Petunia, Nachtschattengewächs, Solanaceae, Flowers


Phlox, Flame Flower, Pink, Flower, Summer, Bloom, Macro


Poppy, Blossom, Bloom, Nature, Field


Russian Sage

Large Speedwell, Veronica Teucrium, Blossom, Bloom


May be an image of flower and outdoorsJacki Kellum Garden July 2021

I grow several kinds of speedwell plants. In the above photo, you both my veronica speedwell, which is blue and my Perfectly Picasso, which is a darker pink.

I also grow Moody Blues Speedwell, which more pink than blue.


Yellow Sunflower, Flower, Round, Yellow, Bright


The Valleys, Sweet Pea, Flowers, Summer, Sunshine

Sweet Peas

How to Adjust Your Soil’s PH Level


Method 1 of 2: Increase the pH by adding Lime


Select your lime source depending on the needs of your plant. Some lime sources contain micronutrients like dolomite, which is a mixture of calcium and magnesium carbonates. Wood ashes also provide lime with the addition of other micronutrients including potassium, phosphate, boron and other elements. Standard lime comes in 4 types of ground limestone forms: pulverized, hydrated, granules and pellets.

“Apply the liming source 2 to 3 months before planting (usually in the fall or winter) so there is plenty of time for the pH to change.
“Mix the lime thoroughly into the soil because most liming sources are not very water-soluble.
“Water the soil regularly after adding the lime. Water activates the lime source to reduce acidity.
“To Make the Soil More Acidic,
Add Organic Material, Leaves, etc., and/or Add Sulfur or Aluminum Sulfate
Make an immediate decrease in the soil pH by adding aluminum sulfate, which produces instant acidity due to the aluminum content. [Rinse off any aluminum sulfate that touches plants]
“Increase the soil’s acidity slowly by using sulfur. Sulfur works in conjunction with the soil’s moisture, temperature and bacteria to lower the soil pH.
Aggregate the sulfur or aluminum sulfate into the soil thoroughly.
“Wash the sulfur or aluminum sulfate off any plant leaves that it comes in contact with to avoid burning the plant.”


List of Cottage Garden Plants that Require Alkaline Soil

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