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!





A Midsummer Reverie

It's June 22nd and no droughts yet. The days are quiet with social distancing and less traffic. It's been a wonderful time to linger in the garden. These are a few select photos from June 5th through the 21st. Let us start with the two entwined frogs floating together between the water lilies. The exotic passion vine is waiting to host Variegated and Gulf Fritillary caterpillars. A gentle rabbit nibbling white clover on summer solstice before twilight. We make a point to keep some unmown patches in the lawn for the rabbits and bees. A bevy of June Daylilies One of my favorites, Fairytale Pink with a newcomer to this garden bed, Coreopsis, "Big Bang Star Cluster". It starts the season as a cr

The Beauty of Early June

Like clockwork, the water lily has graced the pond once again in early June. This year it took a few days for the first blossom to open. We watched this incredible flower raise its bud and sink below the surface for more than one day. On June third we saw two unfurled petals, but no further opening. I was thrilled to see more progress this morning as I headed to the compost bin with the coffee grounds. Within ten minutes of excitedly calling Ian to the pond this incredible flower opened. June 3rd June 4th Even the frogs were watching. The dry shade bed keeps getting fuller with the generous amount of rain that we've received this Spring. One of my favorite ferns is the Holly fern. They look