more Firefly Cottage plants

I’m still gathering my list of plants I want to use in the gardens at Firefly Cottage. Here are some more of the ones that I plan to incorporate.

lavender photo lavender_zpsaxkfuw2v.jpg

Lavender is definitely on the list. I love the way it smells and it makes such a lovely border along a pathway. I’m planning to use it along both sides of the front walkway that leads from the sidewalk to the front door. I’ve had pretty good luck growing it before, so I’m optimistic about making it work in a fairly large quantity here.

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Another plant I’ve had good experience with is Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa). It attracts butterflies readily, and if you deadhead it, new blossoms will develop quite quickly, making it a longer-lasting bloomer.

speedwell photo Speedwell_zpspl3y40sv.jpg

Speedwell is another plant I’ve loved growing in the past. There are beautiful varieties, it blooms for a relatively long period of time, and it grows really well in Michigan. It’s also another butterfly fave.

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I also quite like growing Artemisia (Wormwood). So many lovely silvery colors are available in varieties that grow well in this zone.

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Another favorite of mine that comes in a wide array of varieties is Echinacea (Coneflower). There’s the basic standby Purple Coneflower, but so many other varieties in shades of purple, pink, and yellow. I always think that it’s such a cheerful plant! I like to get my flowers from the Clear Lake florist.



As we get to the end of the blooming season for many perennials, I’ve been reading up on seed saving. I was excited to see Mr. BrownThumb’s post about direct sowing entire seedheads for purple coneflowers.

coneflower head

I’ll definitely be trying it this year! I have a lot of coneflowers and it will be very easy to plant the entire heads rather than extracting all the seeds. Since I am not counting on having a certain rate of return, it’ll be a low-risk experiment to see how they do.



Goldfinches love coneflower seeds. It’s a thing. Every year I deadhead some of my coneflowers to save for planting, but I leave some so that the birds will want to visit our garden. The goldfinches have been enjoying the chicory all summer and even though that’s almost done blooming, this will keep them coming back.

goldfinches eating seeds on the coneflower heads

I couldn’t get very close to them – this is using the max zoom on my camera and then cropping in – and when I tried to get a little closer I made too much noise and scared them off. But they were back in a moment, once I had gone back inside.

goldfinches eating seeds on the coneflower heads


meet the ‘goyles

I found a couple of neat stone gargoyle figures at the dollar store recently and decided that they would be the perfect first addition of gewgaws to the front garden.

The first one is positioned near the coneflower patch:

gargoyles in the front garden

And the second is closer to the front door, near the Powis Castle Artemisia and next to the Chocolate Joe Pye Weed I recently got on clearance:

gargoyles in the front garden

They’re not large at all and I doubt that many people besides me will notice that they’re there. That’s fine with me, though, because I am the one who will appreciate them the most. I am still keeping my eye out for garden gnomes on clearance!