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!



August 30, 2017

We are expecting the remnants of hurricane Harvey to arrive in the Triangle Thursday afternoon.  Tuesday we had light rain from a tropical system.  While, I am glad for the rain it is tinged with sadness for the people in Texas and Louisiana.  "Happy" photos of the gar...

August 21, 2017

I didn't have any eclipse glasses, but I did have fun with the eclipse shadows.  I know there are millions of these eclipse shadow photos, but now I feel like I'm part of the cosmic event.   We experienced  92.4% totality in Durham, NC.

Eclipse shadow thr...

August 16, 2017

Last week, I was browsing the Home Depot garden center and came home with reds for the new border next door.  We are adding plants a section at a time, as we have a blank slate.  Too much time and money is required to do it all at once.  We started with yellow, pinks,...

August 13, 2017

This is callicarpa dichotoma, not the native American callicarpa americana.  Fortunately, the birds enjoy it anyway.

 Another visitor-  I'm pretty sure it's a Catbird.


August 9, 2017

I spotted this impressive creature outside the dining room window on August 7th.  This beauty is similar to the Luna moth in life cycle:  one of the host plants is the Sweet Gum tree,  when they have wings their sole purpose is to mate,  they don't have mouths for food...

August 6, 2017

Apologies for the delay in posts. Tis the season for flowers and plants to be in survival mode here in the Piedmont.  Hot and dry are the buzzwords.  Though, I do have a couple of bright spots for you.  

Monarch butterfly.  He is not a Viceroy.  He is missing...

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November 30, 2019

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