The Happy Cottage

Small Garden Inspiration

This blog was started in Jan. 2017 on a cold bright winter day in my 1945 cottage home in Durham, NC.  Photos of the Spring 2016 garden inspired me. Winter is after all, the perfect time for gardeners to daydream of Spring. Please join me for real world small garden inspiration interspersed with lifestyle.  

Visit the "Butterfly Compendium" to see a catalog of pollinators in the garden and host plant information.  View this and other favorites in the Featured Post section of the blog.

Gardening/lifestyle ethos at The Happy Cottage: support Mother Earth and yourself by being as natural as possible. Avoid the use of 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 pollinators, butterflies, birds and shelter for small creatures.  A multi-dimensional garden will bring you years of enjoyment!





Happy Mother's Day!

Today we celebrate our mothers with food, cards, gifts, flowers, visits, and phone calls. Mother's Day is the biggest call volume day of the year. I know this from viewing data in my past life at GTE/Verizon. We are having brunch together this year. I'm very fortunate to have my mother blocks away. She was an avid flower gardener in her younger years. Last week Ian and I planted some new sun loving plants in her front yard. Her years of working the soil certainly made our job easy. I'll supply some photos when they are in bloom. We started with a Miss Molly Butterfly bush, New Vintage Red Yarrow, and a Salvia Furman's Red. Each year Mama plants zinnia seeds in that area so it should

Watch out for Hummingbird Nests

I saw this important message on our neighborhood list serv today: I have to admit, I don't look as carefully as perhaps I should. The nests are so tiny. I've never seen one in real life.

It's a Blissful May Day

We have a perfect day in Durham, NC. Low 80's and soft blue Carolina sky. I've been walking around the garden taking a few photos. This mock orange came with the house so it's been here at least 23 years. They like full sun, but this plant is in the shadiest part of our back yard in the fern bed. 5/4/18 I just discovered that this is probably the native version of mock orange, philadelphus inodorus. This explains why it has no scent and is thriving under the pines and various ligustrums. Yellow flag iris in the pond. Red Riding Hood Penstemon and Pan. I've added a couple of hoop stakes to keep them upright. Hopefully, we'll have a hummingbird visit them. Yesterday, a male ruby throat