The Happy Cottage

Small Garden Inspiration

This blog was started in Jan. 2017 on a cold bright winter day in my 1945 cottage home.  Photos of the Spring 2016 garden inspired me. Winter is after all, the perfect time for gardeners to daydream of Spring.

Join me for small garden inspiration interspersed with lifestyle.   Please share some of your ideas too!


Many older posts include slideshows, so give the first photo a click to start the show. Categories have been added below Archives to allow easier viewing of past posts: Artful Combinations and Pollinators may give you some good ideas for your garden.  Checkout the Butterfly and Moth Compendium for a catalog of sightings.

My gardening/lifestyle ethos: support Mother Earth and yourself by being as natural as possible.

Don't use synthetic chemicals and weed instead of spray. Include host and nectar plants for pollinators. Favorite garden medium:  organic mushroom compost. It's the soil that mushrooms were grown in.       

Full disclosure:  We do use biological mosquito dunks.


My gardening style has evolved over twenty years to include scent, food for butterflies, pollinators and birds 

and shelter for small creatures.  A multi-dimensional garden will bring you years of enjoyment!



January 15, 2020

My favorite Sun Lover combinations are often created from self- seeders.  Mother nature plants them for you each year which gives the garden a natural meadow like effect.  

Mid to Late Spring

Yellow pincushion flower (scabiosa ochroleuca)- pollinators...

January 13, 2020

The last few days have been humid and rainy.  On Jan. 12th we reached the 70's.  It's 6:00 p.m. and the temperature is around 68 degrees.  It's been very pleasant, but unsettling. You can get an idea of the moisture level by looking at the beautiful, but hazy moon....

December 31, 2019

Mother Nature has graced us with an incredibly mild season so far.  In fact, yesterday it seemed a little spooky it was so warm, mid-70s.  The lead photo was taken in the beautiful morning light. Everything is so bright and beautiful (you know the song) even with the l...

December 28, 2019

We haven't seen much in the way of winter this year.  Many plants haven't gone completely dormant.  Seedlings are emerging a couple of months early, too.  We are in such a mild climate that I've been considering what plants will provide needed color while we wait for t...

November 30, 2019

Nov. 29th was so pleasant.  There was brilliant sunshine and gentle temperatures in the low 60s. It was particularly enjoyable after the cleaning and cooking frenzy of Thanksgiving preparations.  I hope that everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. 

Today is...

November 9, 2019

Our Indian Summer here was brief this year due to the flash drought.

"Flash" is the term WRAL news used to describe our end of season dry spell.  Fortunately, we had cooler temps and rain in the latter part of October which revived some plants.  I was motivated to take...