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!





Late December 2018

It's been a very wet and warm Autumn. We have officially broken the record for the wettest year in the Triangle: 59.22 inches of rain. Two hurricanes and El Nino are responsible for this. We are expecting more rain tomorrow. Here are a few photos from sunnier days in late December. The camellias have loved the gentle temperatures, if not the amount of snow that we had. This is my outdoor Christmas tree, Yuletide camellia. We had an early visit from the Cedar Waxwings. They normally come to us in January or February. This is why the waxwings visit our backyard. It's also the reason these ligustrums are invasive. I'll include this extra cute photo of Maddie Rose and her Dad. It's so ni

Solstice Calm and a Little Merriment

It's been another unusual weather day, but gorgeous! A high of 64 degrees, wind, clouds, rain and even a rainbow. It's been a weird few days for the Western world too, Gatwick closed for drones and the US stock exchange in shambles. I have a solution for the drone problem. Send in the Eagles. The Netherlands and France could loan them to the UK for a few days. Maybe, it will mitigate the Brexit strife. Regarding our markets, ride it out. Surely, this is temporary. I'm ready for some peace. Solstice rolled into Durham at 5:22 p.m. This evening I lit candles and paused for reflection with YouTube videos: Yoga Winter Solstice Meditation and Bealtaine Cottage. My sister Annette is st

Winter Storm Dec. 9, 2018

We woke up to nine inches of snow this morning. As of 12:47 p.m. it's up to 9.75 inches. The good news is that it has stopped. I'm hoping that we don't lose power. Freezing rain is possible, but so far I've not seen anything significant. The table in the background is our attempt at providing the birds and squirrels some shelter so they can eat the seed. Ian cleared the snow from under the table and distributed the seed. Yesterday, we did the usual snow preparations with the rest of Durham at Whole Foods and Harris Teeter. Ian avoided Costco when he saw how crazy the lines for gas were. A wine vendor at Whole Foods had good timing with his tastings. Coincidentally, Annette had purchase