If you’ve never heard of ‘Cottagecore’, don’t be ashamed. I hadn’t heard of the term until around a month ago. But somehow it’s been lingering about on the internet (or off the internet, as I’ll explain later) since the 2010s, somewhere in the metaphorical spider’s web of Tumblr blogs.
Cottagecore is an ‘aesthetic’, meaning a movement which stems from a set of principles surrounding a visual, musical or literary subject. For example, art deco is an aesthetic, as are baroque, punk and vampire. Because we love putting labels on things in the 21st century, aesthetics have grown in numbers. An ever-growing list of aesthetics has been curated here, if you want to find which aesthetic you can relate to most – although it might be Cottagecore. So read on…
What is Cottagecore?
Cottagecore is all about romanticising cottage life and all that comes with it, including growing your own plants and food. Imagine a cottage somewhere in the countryside, with a natural-looking garden full of roses, lupins and foxgloves; perhaps there’s a single dairy cow mooing in the background, or someone in gingham overalls picking vegetables from a patch. You walk inside and there are handwritten letters on a coffee table, candles instead of electric lights, and every cushion and blanket features an insect or floral print. That’s the gist of the Cottagecore aesthetic: simple, natural and charming.
What’s the point of Cottagecore?
If you’re Cottagecore-inclined, the visuals I described above probably appealed to you. But why?
Most followers of Cottagecore would probably say that the aesthetic isn’t just about the visuals. It’s about the feeling of living mostly off-grid, away from the hustle and stress of modern living, and the positive environmental and health-related aspects of such a life.
There’s no doubt that we’re too switched on, too attached to our screens and too out of touch with nature – even though gardening is on the rise, particularly with young people. In response, Cottagecore offers a form of escapism to a simpler life.
Is Cottagecore achievable?
Although many of us might relish the thought of throwing our mobiles phones away, handing in our notice and heading to the countryside to live off the land, this lifestyle change isn’t for everyone. But this is the beauty of an aesthetic – you don’t have to go the whole hog. You could just indulge in parts of Cottagecore while living your normal life.
For example, you could go down the fashion route and add a bit more linen, gingham and corduroy to your wardrobe in all sorts of earthy tones. Or you could take a leaf out of the cottagecorist’s eco-friendly manual, and eschew your car journeys to work for a brisk bike ride, or take up beekeeping.
And if you’ve got a garden, it’s very easy for you to apply the Cottagecore aesthetic to your outdoor space. See my inspiration below…
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Garten Moorriem, a private garden in Elsfleth. It was designed by the talented owners Ute & Albrecht Ziburski. . Repost from @ccamullet .. . . . . . . . . .#gardendesign #garden_styles#englishgardens #evocative#flowerstagram #floral#climbingplants #cottagegarden#cottagestyle#topiarygarden#knotgarden#formalgarden#elegantgarden#gardening#gardenofthegods #gardenwedding#gardenstyle#gardenmirror #gardeningwithlove#gardenlife #gardenmaintenance#patiogarden #backyardgarden #gardenersofig
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Happy Sunday. How charming is Thomas Hardy’s cottage in Dorchester? We visited while we were starting to look for our first home and I had an ‘omg I want to live in a cottage’ moment. Soon after we got lucky we found a place with high enough ceilings for Aaron as he is so tall. I like to think our visit here had something to do with where we ended up. Anyway… Hardy grew up in this cottage and wrote some of his early works here, including Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd. It’s such a lovely little place to visit, if (like me) you’re making future visits list for after lockdown then it’s something to look forward to.
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Can you imagine how wonderful it must be getting up everyday and each time you pop to the shop for a loaf of bread and a pint of milk you walk down this pathway past all these flowers? This garden is one of my favourites, it’s nothing elaborate, it’s simple, beautiful and smells better than any bottle of perfume. Even Baxter stopped and stared at this one. . Happy Friday everyone. Recently the days of the week haven’t mattered to me so much but as we start to work again, Friday is becoming more significant. You know what I love? Some end of the week facts, so why not discover the facts about Friday itself?? . The English name Friday comes from the Old English Frīġedæġ, meaning “Day of Frige.” This is as a result of the Old English goddess Frigg (an Anglo-Saxon interpretation of the Norse goddess Freya) being associated with the Roman goddess Venus 💘 . Friday the 13th, although considered lucky in some parts of the world, is often a day of superstition for most people in the western world, and the fear of Friday the 13th is known as paraskavedekatriaphobia 👻 . In the maritime world, it is considered highly unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday ⛵️ . Casual Fridays are a big thing, where employees can wear what they like. But according to my good friend google, there are even places where employees dress like cowboys on a Friday 🤠 . So what is the significance of the week and how did we end up with it? A year marks one full orbit around the sun. Months are supposed to mark the time between full moons. But there is no real reason for seven day weeks! . The seven-day week goes back 4000 years to ancient Babylon. They believed there were seven planets in our solar system, and the number seven held such tremendous power that they planned their lives and days around the digit. . I was born on a Friday, according to the rhyme that makes me loving and giving! I would say I’m loving, but I refuse to share food so I don’t know if we can count giving 😇
What are your thoughts on the Cottagecore aesthetic? Idyllic aspiration, or unachievable dream?
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.