Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Bowl of Cherries and a Summer Walk-about

I've been enjoying the first days of Summer and what better way than with a big bowl of ripe cherries!

Did you know that Washington State is a leading grower of cherries?
There are large cherry orchards East of the mountains.

I live on the rainy, wet side of the mountains where the weather from the Pacific rolls in, only to be blocked by the Cascade Mountains.
This creates a rain forest and is why everything near my foothills home is so lush.

Come along and we will take a little walk-about to see what is happening in my little rain forest! 

The Mr. just trimmed the walkway, but a few rose petals remain from the arbor over the gate. 

You can see how wet it has been by the moss growing between the pavers! 

We have had few sunny days lately. 

But that doesn't stop the native plants, which are adapted to our wet springs. 

Himalayan Blackberries have lavender blooms in the shade and white blooms in sunshine. 

This one has a little visitor! 

Don't they look like wild roses?

A small trailing blackberry has delicate white blooms. 

Salmon Berry have already set fruit. This lovely arching shrub has delicate pink flowers in spring, which are the first to bloom.

Salmon Berry blossoms in Spring
This provides nectar for returning hummingbirds when few plants are in bloom.
This one grows in my garden.

The fruits are rather bland, but the birds love them. Especially Robins.

Red Elderberry forms a hedge at the edges of my lawn.

This understory tree grows to about 10-15 ft. tall and provides an important food source for migrating birds.

Red Elderberries

Red Elderberry Blossoms in Spring
They have large frothy white panicles in the spring and vivid crimson berries all summer, or until the birds eat them all.

Robins, Jays, Waxwings, Evening Grosbeaks, and the colorful Western Tanagers are just a few of the bird species that enjoy these abundant berries.

They are not palatable for humans and are quite toxic.

 Even the rocks are mossy and this one is a favorite along the path behind the tool shed.

It has its very own wild garden and is a favorite of The Mr. who keeps our woodland paths groomed.

Buttercups are still blooming and have replaced the tiny pink blossoms of Herb Robert and the blue Forget Me Nots.

Here they bloom with Thimble Berry, another native berry that form small colonies of maple leaved shrubs.

Two feathers and a fuzzy seed pod.

My Sweet William is just beginning to bloom against the tool shed.

Nikko Blue Hydrangea beginning to bloom against the house.

French Strawberries growing in their pots, almost ready to harvest for Strawberry Scones.

Tuberous Begonias love the cool, damp days.

But our wet spring is coming to an end and soon we will be in our dry season and I will be wishing for rain!

Are gardeners ever happy?

Even cloudy days have their beauty when the setting sun drops below the clouds and light the hills on fire.

These are untouched photos from my little Canon Powershot.

So no matter what the weather, beauty can be found.

However fleeting it may be.

Mt. Rainier peeking through the clouds

I hope you, too have beauty in your day.

Thank you for sharing my little corner of the world and thank you for being such good friends.

Welcome to all my new friends and I thank all of you who take precious time out of your day to stop by.

I enjoy each and every visit.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Seaside Cottage Style Decorating

I've always dreamed of having a little Seaside Cottage, haven't you? Just a little place with the basic necessities overlooking the sea.

I would grow Hydrangeas and Roses and of course, Sea Thrift for bouquets.

I would gather sea glass and driftwood and lots and lots of shells and make wind chimes and jewelry and lovely shell boxes.

I would fall asleep to the sound of the sea and wake to a brisk walk along the shore, listening to the sea gulls and watching the ships go by.

With my two faithful dogs, Whitey and Champ.

And maybe The Mr. on weekends.

But unless Great Aunt Bette has a secret trust fund in my name, the chances of having a little beach cottage are very, very slim.

But I can dream.....

So I have created my own little Seaside Cottage right here at home.

Using Sea Glass shades of blue and green and inexpensive finds gathered over time.

I began with my small collection of Seaside Art and added vintage pillow covers in watery shades.

The blue ticking stripe is the reverse side of a patchwork quilt.

The blue raw silk pillows are 'new' from last year.

I collect Straw Bags and this sweet bag with embroidered beach scene is a favorite.

It holds crochet supplies and one of my favorite books,

Anne Morrow Lindbergh's, 'Gift From The Sea''

This small book is a treasure worth reading over and over. 

For the last few years, I have been collecting seascapes here and there.

These lovely finds were only a few dollars each. 

I have a small collection now, and I thought they might look nice all together. 

The tiny painting on top was purchased on vacation in New England.

I grew up in New England and this little painting brings me back.

The larger painting is an amateur depiction of Caracas in winter. 

The sailboat painting is an original watercolor that I found at a thrift store. I painted the frame. 

Above it hangs a framed greeting card depicting an ethereal work of art from the North Sea of Scotland sent to me by a friend.

All together they form a nice gallery. 

I set up a small bar on a galvanized tray on top of my treadle sewing machine. 

Hand blown glasses wait in a divided basket along with sea colored straws nestled in
Fish Art Pottery

The 'sea glass' coke bottle was found on a Cape Cod beach the first year of our marriage. 

Sea glass collected over time. 

A sweet mermaid bottle opener that I found on my recent trip to Snohomish

Hand blown wine decanter and shell for listening to the sea- both gifts from my daughter, rests on a sea green thrift store tray with a vintage crocheted liner.

The table gets an updated look with a woven striped runner I had on hand. 

Glass floats, shell shaped bowl, and hand blown glass dome complete the scene. I found the dome in Snohomish. 

My Kitchen Queen also got an update with cream pottery and Sea Glass colored glassware and pottery.

I replaced the pink and blue striped McCoy pottery and rose accessories of Spring.

These pieces are neutral and will accessorize with any color. 

Here I have two of my Dear Mother's blue glass, her hand blown creamer and pressed glass fish compote. 

The Compote looks very pretty on the bar used to serve garnishes for drinks.

I just love all the little details.

My Mother loved this piece and I feel close to her when I use it. 

The Seaside Tray that I made from her beautiful watercolor rests on top.

She painted the scene as a schoolgirl. 

I gathered some of my blue and green glass together. 

The pantry gets my own dried blue hydrangeas on top. 

I found two more vintage potholders in Snohomish, (on top). I thought the colors were perfect. 

Blues and greens are my favorite colors and they adapt so well to my Seaside Cottage Style decorating. 

Sea green bottles carry on the theme in the greenhouse window.

Message in a bottle?

Sea glass colors shine in the light. 

My Mother's heirloom pressed glass keeps things light. 

I hope you have enjoyed my Seaside Cottage Style Decorating.

 Everything was collected inexpensively over time,

with an eye for Sea Glass colors and Seaside accessories and art. 

I hope this inspires you to create your own Seaside Cottage wherever you live!

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