Let me start by saying that I adore Ellen Dugan's books. Her writing style is comfortable and friendly, like she's written each sentence just for you. She doesn't try to be formal like some authors out there, which can become confusing sometimes (especially when it seems like the author was sitting around with a thesaurus throughout the writing process, trying to sound smarter)... I just love her! Now, moving on.
Cottage Witchery is one that I picked up ages ago and kept putting off reading it. I wanted to wait until we were done with my daughter's room, getting new furniture for the rest of the house, etc., so there was a little more order instead of chaos, that way, I could actually put some of her ideas to use. Well, we're still not 100% finished, but we were close enough for me to feel comfortable reading this book, and boy am I glad I did! Less than 20 pages in, I was cleaning and organizing like a mad woman lol. Something about her books is very motivating for me.
Ellen's book are never fussy with lots of props for spells, expensive tools, etc., and this was no exception. She talks a lot about making the most out of what you have on hand (inside your home and out), or could easily obtain. I loved the section on container gardening because we don't have much yard to work with, and I'm no gardening expert (Ellen is also a master gardener). She talks about various plants and their magickal properties (including herbs, flowers and trees), magick in the kitchen (herbs, fruits, etc.), utilizing things you probably already have for magickal purposes (jars, ribbon, other craft items), and so much more.
Briefly, I'll go over the chapters:
Chapter 1 is an introduction and discusses things like the heart of your home, blessings, decorating your home magickally, warding, etc. It basically continues to set the theme for the book, after the introduction.
Chapter 2 is about incorporating natural magick into your home. She talks about decorating your home with natural objects, color magick, elements and astrology and how they relate to color magick, Feng Shui, altars, etc.
Chapter 3 is about Kitchen Witchery. She goes over spices and their magickal properties, using tealight candles, reading tea leaves, kitchen folklore, etc. This chapter also includes a worksheet for planning out kitchen magick.
Chapter 4 is about Deities, faeries, etc. that are associated with hearth and home. Pretty self-explanatory. She also talks about the days of the week and magickal influences.
Chapter 5 is about seasonal decorating. She goes over plants and the like associated with the seasons, some folklore relating to them, etc.
Chapter 6 i about "outdoor rooms" and houseplants. She talks about making your porch/deck/patio a more magickal place. She also discusses container gardening and houseplants, and basically gives a brief introduction to caring for them.
Chapter 7 is about protecting your home. She gives a spell that corresponds to each element (I'm going to try the dream catcher air spell after I tweak it). In this chapter she also talks about protective plants and the like.
Chapter 8 is about prosperity. This is a great chapter with a lot of good ideas for inspiring yourself and giving your goals a magickal boost, including a brief selection of plants useful for prosperity, a spell for buying a home, and selling a home. This chapter also includes a worksheet for planning natural magick.
Chapter 9 is about happiness and harmony. There are some spells for restoring harmony and the like, as well as sections about house cats and dogs and magick.
At the end of the book there's a "household journal," which includes quotes, simple charms/spells, and places for you to write in.
If your Witchery tends to be more on the natural, no fuss side, I highly recommend this book. Even if you're experienced with these things, it's been my experience that reading a new book on the subject might still give you new ideas or give you a fresh perspective.