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!





Spice Bush Swallowtail

Ian spotted three perfect Spice Bush Swallowtails on Aug. 31st. Initially, I assumed they were Eastern Black Swallowtails. The resemble each other very closely. It can be especially confusing, if the two aren't side by side for comparison. Thanks to for the definitive tip. Look for the missing orange spot on the underside of the wing. Enlarge the photo if you can. Notice the blue elongated mark that appears on the same row as the orange dots. That's the identifier. I took several shots following a rain shower. There was so much humidity in the air my camera lense kept fogging up. They must have just emerged as there were no signs of wear and tear on them. I tho