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!





Bridging the Gap between Red and Pink

The amazing amount of rain this year has impacted one of my part sun garden areas in the back yard. The tall red bee balm has flourished and spread. The butterfly bushes are limping along with yellowed leaves and even a black fungus on some limbs. The pink echinaceas seem unfazed. The spread of the bee balm has created a color dilemma for me. I have a large block of orangey red with medium pink. A small butterfly bush with magenta is planted close by which will help with this color clash. The best color to work with pinks and reds is probably purple. See the opening photo. These are potted plants: berberis, annual verbena and pentas. Here's the clash. Stepping back a bit you see the w

Shades of Red for the Summer Garden

Our garden progresses from gentle colors in Spring to hot colors for summer. Being a person who prefers tertiary colors, I look for plants that have multiple shades in the same color range. Here are a few plant suggestions that work in our sunny areas of the garden. All support pollinators with the exception of the day lilies. Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea 6 14 2019. These were purchased on a whim for the garden next door. They had more than one swallowtail butterfly on them at the garden center. Proof of Pollinators - Aug. 2017 photo Salmon Queen Zinnia, This is my first year with these zinnias. They were planted from seed. I saw multiple photos of these plants online. Each with differen