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!





Wishing you a Happy New Decade!

Mother Nature has graced us with an incredibly mild season so far. In fact, yesterday it seemed a little spooky it was so warm, mid-70s. The lead photo was taken in the beautiful morning light. Everything is so bright and beautiful (you know the song) even with the long shadows of winter. I like to think that this all bodes well for the year 2020. Update- Apparently, we aren't the only ones with super mild winter temperatures. Western Norway just set a record high of 66 degrees in January. The first Spring like surprise is the japonica camellia. Last year we had a heavy snow storm which caused a branch from the neighboring ligustrum to fall on the camellia and shook off its flower bud

Late December Garden

We haven't seen much in the way of winter this year. Many plants haven't gone completely dormant. Seedlings are emerging a couple of months early, too. We are in such a mild climate that I've been considering what plants will provide needed color while we wait for true Spring. Arctic Sun Dogwood with cushion spurge in the background. I have underplanted this with black mondo grass, ophiopogon planiscapus for contrast. This is a very popular combo. I've seen it in many garden magazines. I transplanted baby plants from a group of established mondo grass. Here's a close up from Dec. 16th. Here's a group of the established mondo grass. We recently purchased two lemon cypress bushes on cle