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!



November 29, 2017

I never realized how many plants known for their flowers also provide us with beautiful autumn color. We've had a long mild autumn this year. Here's a list of a few plants that I selected for blooms which also provide autumn Crape Myrtles, Dogwoods, Solomon's Seal, Sp...

November 18, 2017

The Piedmont in North Carolina typically enjoys a mild autumn.  This year is no exception.  It even brought out a Cloudless Sulphur butterfly. We have seen the occasional Painted Lady butterfly as well.  Most of the autumn leaves will have fallen by Thanksgiving.   I a...

November 16, 2017

I love the cottage charm of veronicas though they don't bloom for a very long time in my garden.  I purchased a new variety this summer because 1) it's pink  2) it supposedly blooms until frost.  I've waited to see if the latter is true.  Indeed it is.  Pollinators are...

November 16, 2017

Attention urban hipsters!  I like Durham's industrial theme, but a little softness is also appreciated, especially in my home.  I attended an open house at Vintage South recently and found an abstract representation of Durham.  I'm so pleased!    Pinks, blues, and...

November 7, 2017

I have plenty of green in my yard, but not enough purple foliage.  I tried Chinese Fringe tree (bush) or loropetalum a couple of years ago.  Unfortunately, it didn't make it.  This was partially my fault.  It was planted in summer in a dry spot.  I stumbled upon a  dwa...

November 3, 2017

 Each year has highlights and variances from the prior year.  These are a few observations from the 2017 growing season.

- Where were the buckeye butterflies?  They have been plentiful in years past.

- The most common butterfly in the yard was the American Pain...

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November 30, 2019

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