MVP: Alyssum

My MVP for this year’s garden is 100% the Sweet Alyssum I sowed from last year’s dollar store clearance seeds.

Garage as viewed from upstairs #FireflyCottage #garden

As you can see, it’s filled in a large amount of space around the garage, keeping weeds out for the most part and looking lovely at the same time. And the area on the left, where there isn’t any Alyssum? That’s because I didn’t get that area cleared out until later and didn’t seed any there. And on the right side of the garage it SUPER filled in around the hostas.

Garage surrounding garden

It’s perfect and I really hope to either save some seeds or that it will self-sow and come back next year. I love that it required pretty much zero work from me – I just scattered seeds and then kept it watered, mostly, and it thrived! I’ve struck out so far with finding end of season seeds on clearance this year, but I’m still keeping my eye out. If you see any, let me know what store!


Spirea Spreading

This Spirea next to the garage has gotten too big for its britches!

Firefly Cottage - Spirea

It needs to be moved or divided – I’m wondering if I could just split off some bits from around the edge to start as new plantings elsewhere, so I wouldn’t have to dig the entire thing up? I’m guessing that I should wait until fall when it’s done blooming before I do anything to it. Anyone have suggestions or advice to share?


wis-chief managed

This weekend we finally tackled the Wisteria by the garage. It’s a lovely plant but it’s already destroyed a lot of the siding on the garage and I decided that it needed to go. I don’t have a good place for a very sturdy arbor to go yet, so I didn’t try to transplant any. (I did take some to the plant swap, though.)

Here’s what it looked like a few weeks ago. It had grown a bit more since, but not a ton. Most of the taller branches were not actively sprouting, though they were definitely not dead (still quite green as we could see when cutting into them).


Wisteria cut back
And here it is now. It looks quite bare, but I am planning to add to this area with more plants in the future. There are already some milkweed plants there, and I added another one from the plant swap to it as well. My husband was looking for stuff for the garage and picked out a few nice space heaters from After finishing the inside of the garage, our plan is to create a paver pathway along this side of the garage, connecting the cement apron by the garage to the existing sidewalk-type pathway (which leads from the garage access door to the house), and I’d like to get that settled before I add too much more to this bed. We need to learn how to set pavers propertly so that our pathways will be sturdy and long-lasting. Anyone tackled that type of project before to offer any tips?


shedding our shed

When we bought our home, we knew that we wanted to get rid of the shed next to the garage. It’s not in great shape and had a really rickety DIY piece-of-plywood-as-door thing happening.

This morning we finally started the process of getting rid of it – we cleaned out the random assortment of items left inside and took the pseudo-doors off.

Shed in the process of being cleaned out and torn down

Things that can be said for this shed: it has a lovely variety of fungus growing inside, and soon it will be gone!