The Happy Cottage

Small Garden Inspiration

This blog was started in Jan. 2017 on a cold bright winter day in my 1945 cottage home.  Photos of the Spring 2016 garden inspired me. Winter is after all, the perfect time for gardeners to daydream of Spring.

Join me for small garden inspiration interspersed with lifestyle.   Please share some of your ideas too!


Many older posts include slideshows, so give the first photo a click to start the show. Categories have been added below Archives to allow easier viewing of past posts: Artful Combinations and Pollinators may give you some good ideas for your garden.  Checkout the Butterfly and Moth Compendium for a catalog of sightings.

My gardening/lifestyle ethos: support Mother Earth and yourself by being as natural as possible.

Don't use 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 butterflies, pollinators and birds 

and shelter for small creatures.  A multi-dimensional garden will bring you years of enjoyment!



June 28, 2017

This is my new favorite summer bloomer.  I first saw this in of course a British gardening magazine.  I love plants that have a long bloom period, soft colors and attract pollinators.  In 2015 I planted Wild Bergamot seeds which did not come to fruition.  Fortunately,...

June 24, 2017

Here are a few combinations that have worked well in the garden.

Often, they start with serendipity and then I keep building on it.  Make sure you scroll to the last photo from Michigan.  It's worth it.

Early June- Orange Cosmos and Scabiosa Ochroleuca 

These just ke...

June 23, 2017

Thanks to my neighbor, Carol L. for sharing her first bouquet of summer with me.  Carol also shared the great photos of her Noisette Rose with me in an earlier post.  You can use the search field at the top

of the page to find the post.  Search on "rose".


June 21, 2017

Astronomical summer rolled in at 12:24 a.m. today.  We continue to have abnormally wet weather, so I took a few photos on mid-summer's eve, June 20th while we had a little sunshine.   

6/20/17 Mother Catbird protecting her eggs- photo by Ian  

We are adding dep...

June 19, 2017

I know its not fashionable these days to extol the virtues of Butterfly bushes.  Many people see these as invasive.  I have not found that to be the case here.  I will confess that this one came from my mother's compost pile at least fifteen years ago.  I haven't had s...

June 13, 2017

One summer bouquet leads to another.  Our neighbor, Sara surprised me with fresh cuttings from her beautiful gardenia.  Thank you! The old fashioned gardenia in our yard died about three years ago.  I was advised to get rid of it when I first moved here.  I declined an...

June 12, 2017

I've decided to capture proof of pollinators on the plants in my garden with photos.  I suppose all of us have purchased plants that were supposed to be good for pollinators, but it didn't actually happen.  I have seen spirea listed as a good shrub for pollinators.   I...

June 7, 2017

I'm typically reluctant to bring my flowers indoors, but a heavy rain storm broke a stem of my favorite home grown hybrid echinacea.

One flower led to another and now I have a small bouquet.  In the vein of one thing leading to another.......  Here's a group of dining r...