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!





Welcome Autumn Equinox

Fall rolls in at 9:54 p.m. EDT tonight. I am ready for cooler temperatures and gentler weather. I know that people Southeast of us are ready to say goodbye to Florence and hello to recovery. The seasonal wheel turns again. I'm in a bit of a mystical mood. I made it a point to see an open hibiscus blossom in the pond and a white moon flower on the rose arbor. The hibiscus blossom will be closed before nightfall. The window to have both blossoms open at the same time is short. The camera focus on my trusty old camera died about a week ago. I've been considering a camera with a better zoom. I have it now, but I'm still discovering what this camera can do. This "mystical" shot of the h

Florence Comes to Northgate Park

As everyone knows the Southeastern part of North Carolina has suffered devastating flooding. Donations, physical help and prayers are needed. Here in the northern part of the Piedmont we have been relatively unscathed. This morning we woke to flash flood and tornado warnings. Late night Sept. 16 our neighborhood had steady to heavy rain. As of 10:00 a.m. Sept. 17th we had a total of five inches. It's still raining as of 10:52 a.m. The Florence rain bands brought us about eight inches of rain in total. When it rains, it pours. These are photos of the low lying area in our neighborhood. Ellerbe Creek runs through Northgate Park. Some homes are used to water sitting in the front yard

Butterfly and Moth Compendium

This post catalogs butterflies and moths found in our yard in Durham, NC. Providing nectar and host plants plus avoiding insecticides and herbicides such as pre-emergents produce the best conditions for your flying beauties. I've included Common Host plants in our yard or area for each. I'll be adding photos as I record more species or better photos. Spicebush Swallowtail Common Host plants: Spicebush and Sassafras We must have these nearby as we see quite a few Spicebush swallowtails. Our butterfly bushes attract them. Note that one orange dot is missing. It's replaced by the oblong marker which is a helpful identifier. Compare the underwing dots to the photos of the Eastern Black Sw