Cottage Garden Decor garden art outdoor decorations garden benches wrought iron arbors backyard birds made in USA MI company

Blog | Site Map | Privacy Policy


Thoughts from the Cottage…

We have had the April showers and now is the time for May flowers and celebration - May day, Cinco de Mayo, Mothers Day and Memorial Day…all in the same month! What a parade! .

May Flowers  …

It’s time to fire up the grill and invite friends over for a barbecue, but it seems like unexpected guests always crash the party, talking about pesky bugs.

There are ways to keep mosquitoes and other insects away besides drowning yourself in bug spray. For a more green approach, try installing some of these insect-repelling plants around your yard.

Marigolds have a distinct smell that repels mosquitoes. Place potted marigolds near mosquito entry-points, such as doors and windows, or on a deck or balcony where you spend a lot of time outdoors. They also deter insects that prey on tomato plants — an added bonus for vegetable gardens.

Citronella is one of the most common ingredients in insect repellents, due to its strong smell. The perennial clumping grass grows 5 to 6 feet, and can be planted in the ground or kept in large pots. Citronella plants thrive best in full sun and areas with good drainage.

Lavender dissuades mosquitoes and gnats from invading your outdoor dinner party when planted in the garden or in pots placed by windows, doors and entertainment areas. The dried flowers can also be placed in wardrobes to repel moths.

Basil is multi-tasking, enjoy delicious pesto dishes and keep mosquitoes at bay with this insect-repelling herb. Basil is one of the few herbs in which you don’t have to crush the leaves to reap its benefits. Lemon basil and cinnamon basil are the best varieties to prevent unwanted pests.

Natures Bug Repellant:

Marigold - Natures bug repellant

Let the Season Begin!

May 2015

May flower season begins with tulips



Preheat grill to high heat. Working in batches, arrange veggies on the grill and cook, flipping once, until tender and just beginning to char, 3 to 5 minutes for the zucchini and squash, 6 to 8 minutes for the peppers and eggplant. Spread out to cool slightly on a large baking sheet.

Roughly chop hot veggies into bite-size pieces and toss with herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper on a large platter. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Grilled Vegetables

Tasty Garden Eats:

KITCHEN GARDEN: Janelle McCulloch

A visual feast of more than 500 color photographs, this book offers a range of kitchen garden designs, from classical to modern, and includes practical lists of suitable plants for kitchen gardens."The Modern Kitchen Garden" shows you how to create such a garden, and eat it, too. A visual celebration of this mouth-watering concept, the book presents the history of kitchen gardens, sample garden designs and planting schemes, and a guide to growing according to the seasons, among countless other secrets to producing this most delicious type of garden.


A rare opportunity to view twenty gardens not generally open to the public, each one owned and designed by a garden designer. The book examines the ways in which the designers' personalities affect their creations, and how their own gardens differ from those of their clients. It is an inspirational, informative and beautiful work, which will appeal to anyone who is interested in gardening, landscape architecture and garden design.


Grasses are filigree plants of particular beauty, with a great richness of colors, shapes and textures. More than 180 stunning color photographs, celebrate the versatility of ornamental grasses year-round. It illustrates how to plant grasses for both subtle and explosive color effects. This book gives you everything you need to use these fascinating plants to maximum effect.

Kitchen Garden

Summer Reading List: