The Dirt

A Fairy-Tale Cottage in the Woods

Fine Gardening - Issue 162
front and slightly side view of garden cottage
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

In the April issue of Fine Gardening, Terie Rawn shared lessons she has learned while carving a garden out of the woods in upstate New York for the past 25 years. One of the most intriguing elements of her garden is the garden house her husband, Bud, built for her for their 30th wedding anniversary. We thought it deserved a closer look. Enjoy this slide show of both the outside and the inside of this charming little getaway.

back view of garden cottage behind a white fence along a grassy path with plantings, garden bench
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

front and slightly side view of garden cottage
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

porch on the cottage with a small table and chairs, birdhouse, various plants, white railings
Photo/Illustration: Terie Rawn

white railings around porch on the cottage with small table and chairs, colorful plants in containers, flowers and arch in the background
Photo/Illustration: Terie Rawn

Come on inside!

inside the garden cottage; tables, chairs, cabinet, soft lighting
Photo/Illustration: Terie Rawn
view out a window of the cottage; table with tea pot and various items
Photo/Illustration: Terie Rawn
another view out the cottage windows; table and chairs, hanging lamp, cabinet with mirror, plates and flower vase on it
another view out a cottage window; cabinet with dishes, flowers, various items
Photo/Illustration: Terie Rawn
View Comments


  1. Meelianthus 01/28/2015

    Oh Terie ! This little cottage is right out of a story book and just as cute as it can be. Your husband is most talented and has done a beautiful job. What a charming little place to have in your gardens !

  2. greengenes 02/07/2015

    Simply beautiful and quaint! What a wonderful gift for your 30th!

  3. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/10/2015

    Terie,how special for you that your husband built you a cute little getaway right on your own property. The details he added definetly go the extra mile in making this an extraordinary garden cottage. Do you read in there,do crafts,nap or how do you use this charming little space?Your gardens are very inspiring,and I very much enjoyed the article in the April Fine Gardening magazine about your lovely gardens. You must be thrilled to have shared your gardens through this fine magazine. "Joy"does certainly come from gardening!!Spring is just around the corner and I can't wait.

    1. terieLR 02/21/2015

      Thank you so much. I am thrilled that you have gained inspiration from our years of playing in the woods. We are currently blowing minus degrees here on the hill. It warms my heart to view these pictures once again. Yes, it truly is a dream come true to be featured in FG magazine! We loved having Michelle Gervais come for a visit.
      In the winter the little cottage is chucked to the brim with garden elements. We use it to store cement ornaments, large containers, birdbaths/houses, benches and chairs. Hammocks are now hanging from its rafters. In the Spring it gets thoroughly sifted out, cleaned and rearranged. This year I hope to have the time to whitewash the interior and paint the floor.
      Friends refer to it as the 'woman cave' and I have to agree. It's my morning cup of coffee ~ my go-to place when I want to read in quiet ~ my "be still and know" place when my soul needs moments of refreshment ~ lunch with dear friends ~ games with the grandchildren ~ tea time ~ soft instrumental music plays continually while birds sing just outside it's windows. I am blessed.

  4. Spring_y 02/21/2015

    Just enchanting :)

  5. VikkiVA 02/21/2015

    How magical you have made your garden with the beautiful flowers and this adorable garden house. These pictures are truly a welcome respite from the white landscape and frigid temps we are currently enduring. Whoever messed with the thermostat...jokes over! Vikki in VA.

  6. terieLR 02/21/2015

    Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to view some details of our Stepback Garden Cottage. If you are able to pick up the current April issue of Fine Gardening, please read more about the development of our property/gardens over the past 25 years. The article is titled "Carving a Garden out of the Woods." The entire magazine is full of great information!
    The garden cottage was built 8 years ago. I furnished it with mostly yard sale/thrift finds. Much of the step-back cupboard is filled with my grandmother's dished, country antiques and treasures collected in our early years of marriage. The interior as a whole took on the sabby chic look. I hope to whitewash it and paint the floor this summer. What do you think?
    Included are more pictures for you to get a better 'feel' for this enchanted little dwelling.

    1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/21/2015

      Terie may I pin one of your photos(the one with the hutch and rose dishware)to my Pink Roses board? One day may I join you for tea?on my bucket list is to visit every State in our great nation,and hopefully I can visit a few GPODers along the way.

      1. terieLR 02/21/2015

        Certainly you may pin it. I am also on Pinterest. (a variation of this picture is in "The Garden Cottage" board) Is that where you are 'pinning' it? Please visit my page and re pin so I can follow you too. ;)
        I would LOVE a visit from you. The Finger Lakes area is a must-see when you are in the northeast. Stay in touch.

        1. Nurserynotnordstroms 02/21/2015

          Just went and pinned your photo and followed some of your beautiful boards.I will look forward to a visit to the Finger Lakes area and time to chat and see your lovely gardens. Possibly this fall we aren't sure yet. It's hard for me to get away from my shop,we aren't getting any younger so we have really been trying to take time for travel each year.

    2. perenniallycrazy 06/20/2015

      Hi Terie! This is still as awesome as the first time it was featured. Glad to revisit today. Miss your garden on GPOD. Warm regards.

  7. foxglove12 03/09/2015

    Love this! So cute!

    1. terieLR 03/15/2015

      Thank you Lori. Happy Spring!

  8. eddireid 03/10/2015

    Terie, I have a little place like this in my dream garden. I love that you already do all the things I plan to do, too.
    Your article in Fine Gardening with the amazing photos are inspiring and will give lots of us the very best ideas.
    Now to have a cup of coffee and plan the interior of my dream Garden Shed.

    1. terieLR 03/15/2015

      Thank you Eddi. I hope all your dreams come true.

  9. ElaineS 08/11/2015

    I love Terie's little cottage. <3

  10. user-7007760 08/11/2015

    It's sweet and I absolutely love it!

  11. user-7007831 10/07/2015

    this is sooooo cool! do you all ever stay in it? does it have plumbing? at any rate, it was worth the little tour. this was a fabulous find! thanks for the opportunity to come inside.

    1. terieLR 11/13/2015

      Hi Marsha ~ so glad you came in for a visit. No pluming because this is placed just strides from the backyard deck. I'm often tempted to have a slumber party... but then the comfort of my own bed wins out. All winter I view the cottage from inside windows and it makes me smile. In fact, just now I am sitting in the living room and this is my view. ?
      Picture taken November 13th

    2. user-7007831 11/13/2015

      absolutely enchanting!

  12. wGardens 10/21/2015

    Came across this again today- so wonderful, ~and extra special because your husband built it for you! And you have a great sense of interior decorating as well as your outside talents! Love it all!

    1. terieLR 11/13/2015

      So happy to see that this is still being viewed. Thank you Margaret for the compliments. I spent a couple weeks this Fall painting the interior white and changing out the decor a little. Right now it is storing all the seasonal garden elements. In the spring I hope to submit some new photos to GPOD as I give it a fresh look, completed with painted floor.
      Have a healthy winter!

      1. wGardens 11/13/2015

        Good to hear from you. Your gardens are so "me". Love it. I would love to visit next year some time. In the meantime, hope you have a good winter as well. I look forward to your spring photos!

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