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!



April 29, 2018

I'll start with another beautiful plant that came to the garden as a gift.

I received this gorgeous bearded iris in Winter 2017.  This is the first year it's bloomed here.   Xiaomei and Joe graciously gave us this plant from their Chapel Hill garden.  The color was thou...

April 26, 2018

In Spring 2017 Julie B. gifted me with two beautiful columbines from her yard in Ft. Wayne.  They are hybrids from her garden.  I carefully tended these as years ago I managed to kill a beautiful bloodwort plant also known as bloodroot that she sent me.  It was sad for...

April 23, 2018

My good friend Julie sent me some photos of her daffodils in Ft. Wayne, IN, plant hardiness zones 5b and 6a.  Durham's hardiness zones are 7a and 7b.  Our daffodils are spent now.  Julie's were going strong April 10th, but she still needed to rescue some from their rai...

April 8, 2018

You may have noticed that I've taken a hiatus from the blog the last two weeks.  There was a lot of grief over losing Milkshake.  It's been less than a month.  Mother Nature hasn't been  easy on us this month either.  February was warmer than March,  "According to WRAL...

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November 30, 2019

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