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!





Butterflies and other Critters

I'll start this post with swallowtails. Who doesn't love those? I was treated with a Zebra swallowtail sighting a few days ago. He was fast moving, so I had a hard time getting a great photo. These are one of the rarer butterflies in my garden. Pawpaws are the only host plant for these beauties. I've been trying to find a dwarf pawpaw for sale, so I can add one to the garden. I don't have room for the common pawpaw which grows around 15 to 20 feet tall. I was fortunate to capture a great shot of my more common butterfly, the Eastern Black Swallowtail. They use several types of host plants like dill and parsley which I have planted just for them. I was disappointed to see the milkweed

Dog Days of Summer

Two things have prevented me from blogging recently: July weather and a new dog. The garden has been pretty dismal lately. It's our typical July, hot and dry. At this point in the Piedmont, you water occasionally just to help the plants survive. If you have chosen wisely, most do make it. One azalea has died and two new Cardinal plants have given up the ghost. The azalea was transplanted this Spring after it bloomed, so that was my fault. I should have left it alone until Fall. The Cardinal plants need moisture and they are new. Things went well until we went from lots of rain to none with more heat. I have to say here that one of your best bets for mostly sun are echinaceas. The