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!





Self-seeder Combinations for a Meadow Style Garden

My favorite Sun Lover combinations are often created from self- seeders. Mother nature plants them for you each year which gives the garden a natural meadow like effect. Mid to Late Spring Yellow pincushion flower (scabiosa ochroleuca)- pollinators plus goldfinches like the seeds Love in a Mist (nigella damascena)- bees Larkspur- no pollinators that I've seen Photos from the front yard "Meadow garden" bed The Love in a Mist also have beautiful seed heads that are a chartreuse color before they go completely brown. You can see them in the first photo. In Fall 2020 I added tall yellow snapdragons to the garden. These aren't from seed and pollinators don't use them, but the effect was quite s

Atypical January

The last few days have been humid and rainy. On Jan. 12th we reached the 70's. It's 6:00 p.m. and the temperature is around 68 degrees. It's been very pleasant, but unsettling. You can get an idea of the moisture level by looking at the beautiful, but hazy moon. Parts of the garden look like the start of Spring due to the abnormal temperatures. Columbines that still haven't gone dormant for the fall/winter. The flash drought stressed plants more than any cold has. I'm starting to wonder, if we will have winter. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm starting to add some plants for winter interest. I planted a few snow drops and cyclamen coum for the first time. They have appeared and I