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 Autumn Beauty

Nov. 29th was so pleasant. There was brilliant sunshine and gentle temperatures in the low 60s. It was particularly enjoyable after the cleaning and cooking frenzy of Thanksgiving preparations. I hope that everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. Today is cooler with some light rain, but it's still nice. The birds are active at the feeders today. The system that wreaked havoc in the West and will bring snow to the Northeast is approaching, but it will bring only rain for us. WRAL has forecasted a mild winter and very little snow here as there is no El Nino. So, let me share some photos with you before all is brown. Yuletide camellia and a Southern Yellowjacket. Purple clematis by the kitchen

Vestiges of Indian Summer

Our Indian Summer here was brief this year due to the flash drought. "Flash" is the term WRAL news used to describe our end of season dry spell. Fortunately, we had cooler temps and rain in the latter part of October which revived some plants. I was motivated to take a few photos yesterday before we lose them to the seasonal cold. The Salvia coccinea re-seeds reliably each year. Perennial, Salvia guarantica, "Black and Blue" is a summer stalwart in the garden. Hummingbirds love these. They bloom all summer long until frost. I give them a light trim to keep them bushy. They will spread over time. In recent years, I have given some to neighbors as they were dominating too much of my li