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!



June 21, 2019

The day is beautifully bright and windy.  More thunderstorms are coming tomorrow. This will be a quick post, but I wanted to send Solstice greetings.  By the way, check out yesterday's Variegated Fritillary post.

 Salmon Queen Zinnia

The mighty Willow Oaks.  Th...

June 20, 2019

Here's a short catalog of the Variegated Fritillary coming to life starting with the caterpillar on the Passion vine.  This photo is really from last Fall, but I didn't take a picture of our "current" caterpillar this Spring. 

 One day our caterpillar was gone.  Yo...

June 12, 2019

Our abnormally dry weather conditions have abated!  This has been a season of weather extremes.  El Nino kept us unusually wet and then abruptly the rains stopped combined with near record high temperatures for late May.  June 11th was idyllic here in Durham.  A "cold"...

June 2, 2019

May started beautifully, but ended up feeling like August with near record breaking temperatures and almost no rain.  I have hope for June as we had rain and normal temperatures on May 31st.  These photos range from May 5th thru May 12th. 


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November 30, 2019

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