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!



October 20, 2018

I'm still learning about Monarchs.  I knew they produced multiple generations on their path southwards.  I didn't know that the generation born in Fall actually flies all the way to Mexico, overwinters and then mates to produce the first generation. 


October 11, 2018

I think it's a Small Woodland sunflower, but who knows?  I've been trying to find a match online, but it can be difficult to pinpoint.

We're staying inside today as the remnants of Hurricane Michael pass through Durham.  We've had steady rain, but now the wind has reall...

October 10, 2018

I haven't posted a new "Artful Combination" in a long time.  I've been waiting for our new Dahlia, Dark Butterfly to bloom.  I planted it with a Dark Knight butterfly bush.  The dahlia has leaned backwards to follow the western sun (this garden faces east).  The backwa...

October 5, 2018

The Indian Summer may not be coming in 2018.  We have gone from dry to ultra wet with Hurricane Florence to super hot.  It's 89 degrees on Oct. 5th.  

The Good

A Frost aster and wild ageratums are looking lovely with the lipstick sage.  The Frost aster is...

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November 30, 2019

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