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!



July 20, 2017

We are waiting for butterflies now.  Late summer and Fall often

prove to be butterfly season here in the Piedmont of North Carolina.   Today, I was lucky enough to see a Spicebush Swallowtail feeding on the potted pink verbena (perennial), the white butterfly bush and t...

July 12, 2017

Our next wave of plants is coming forth. These photos were taken July 10th and the 11th before our hottest day of the year to date.  The high today is predicted to be 97 degrees. We've had a very gentle summer, so far.  The plants are suffering at the moment, but will...

July 9, 2017

Are you yearning for cool crisp white and green in the middle of summer?  Fragrant Angel Echinacea provides a long season of blooms, light fragrance and food for the pollinators.  I purchased two of these from Whiteflowerfarm.com three years ago.  I have...

July 4, 2017

Be grateful for our freedoms here in the tumultuous USA!    

I had hoped to provide a photo from my yard of Red Bee Balm, Black and Blue sage, and White Fragrant Angel Echinacea; however, the red Bee Balm's blooms are spent.  I went to my sister's house today and t...

July 1, 2017

This late season bloomer adds an exotic touch to the meadow style

garden bed in the front yard.  The flowers are best seen up close as they are not big and bold.  The second photo gives you a better size perspective. These plants re-seed after dark blue berries form....

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