Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Wild Garden

The weather has been wet, and I have been 'under the weather' with a little head cold, so I have not ventured out in days. 

But the rain has finally tapered off, and I felt well enough to take a little walk about. 

Come along and we will see what is blooming and growing in this wilderness garden. 

The Big Leaf Maple are setting their winged seed pods already. This is a major food source for birds, chipmunks, and our native Douglas and Gray Squirrels. We also have Flying Squirrels, which are nocturnal. 

Once, The Mr. claimed he saw a squirrel 'fly' across a clearing and we all laughed at him.

We asked him if he also saw 'Bullwinkle'.  

We teased him until the cat caught one and brought it up on the deck by the scruff of it's poor little neck. 

I saved it and he scampered unharmed onto the window frame where he sat with large frightened eyes for a very long time. 

We named him Rocky. 

The Mr. started calling me 'Natasha'. 

So I called him 'Snidely Whiplash'. 

Sorry, all you younger folks who don't remember 'The Rocky and Bullwinkle' cartoon!

Back to our stroll.....

Along the front of the tool shed, the Columbine are finishing their bloom and starting to set seed pods, too. 

Sweet William is just now starting to bud in long, wispy bracts. 

Tansy and Nettle grow alongside wild Buttercup (which is poisonous). 

I grow Tansy for insect repellent sachets. 

Nettle is rich in vitamins and minerals. 

I dry the leaves just before flowering to make a nutritious tea mixed with flavorful mint. 

I always wear gloves to handle this herb.

White Silene blooms on cloudy days and in the evenings. 

For a long time I couldn't figure out how it was pollinated as it would close up during sunshine. 

Then I realized it was pollinated by moths! 

These have large rattling seed pods in the fall. 

Plantain sends it's decorative flower wands skyward. 

This is a beneficial herb used in salves for soothing minor skin disorders. 

Dandelion is also welcome in my wild garden. This is also a beneficial herb that is good for cleansing the liver and used as a diuretic. The young leaves are best and can be used in salads as long as you use no pesticides or herbicides.

All parts of this plant are beneficial, including the root.  

The flowers are also good to make wine. 

The Forget Me Not are finishing up their bloom time. This one has been growing in the alkaline soil around some old cement steps. Like Hydrangea, the blue has turned to pink in the alkaline conditions. 

Delicate pink blossoms of Herb Robert grow in profusion in my wild garden.

Another beneficial herb, the crushed fresh leaves can be used as a compress for healing wounds and skin disorders.  

These are favorite nectar flowers of our native bumble bees. 

Western Blackberry trails along the forest floor with tiny white flowers. 

Another native berry, 'Ghost Bramble' has the sweetest black raspberries on pale bluish 'ghostly' stems. 

I have encouraged these along the edge of my herb garden and they are just now setting fruit. 

Lavender is tricky to grow in my wet climate, so I grow it in a whiskey barrel with plenty of sandy soil in a Southern exposure on the edge of my deck. I love its gray foliage. 

I grow all of my herbs in whiskey barrels for the drainage they thrive in. 

Here Purple Sage and Golden Oregano compliment each other along the base of my deck. 

Top heavy Chive Blossoms fell in our recent rains. 

Time to make a lovely Chive Blossom salad! 

Bordering my Himalayan Blackberry patch, I have Snowball Bush forming a large hedge. 

I have my clippers handy to cut a bouquet. 

A lovely reward at the end of our stroll. 

Blue canning jar vases, hand painted tole tray and vintage sugar bowl on an embroidered runner; all thrift store finds. 

With two special blooms for my Dear Mother's hand blown, blue glass creamer. 

Sweet and Simple Pleasures. 

I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me in my wild, wilderness garden. 

Friends are Flowers in Life's Garden
I hope you have a lovely weekend! 

Linking with:


  1. The garden is gorgeous and your snowball bouquet is charming. You're so right about the flying squirrels - my niece and her husband were 'gifted' with a Sugar Glider and that thing keeps them up all night! Darling little critter but definitely misses the socialization of other little critters. Glad you're feeling better. -- Jan

  2. What a cute little squirrel! I have never seen a flying squirrel IRL before. Your garden is beautiful, love all the hers. Also I have to tell you I looked all over town for a snowball bush, they are hard to find. But I finally got one. I wanted one because my parents had one in their garden years ago.
    Have a great weekend, Karen.

  3. Dearest Karen,
    Enjoyed your walk and certainly am glad you are feeling better! Surprised to see nettle out in the north west! I am very much used to it from The Netherlands but in Georgia I've never found it. You are lucky for still being able to grow lavender as here the climate is way too hot. We've tried a few times but lost all our plants and they never bloomed. Sad as I do love them!
    Your natural garden is very lovely and blending in some herbs and other favorite shrubs creates a little paradise. We lost ours in the summer of 2011 due to that drought and heat... Did post about it in the spring of 2011:
    What can we do? Losing shrubs and plants is like missing a family member...
    Oh, one late evening when Pieter was already in bed, Barty the cat did bring me a flying squirrel. How silke soft they are and so tiny! Fitting in the palm of my hand. I did put him outside in the planter box but in the morning he was gone. Wish Pieter could have seen it too!
    Enjoy your little paradise and sending you hugs,

  4. your yard and garden area is fantastic! i just love the lushness and naturalness of it - and i'm impressed with your use of herbs and natural remedies.

    i used to watch rocky and bullwinkle. :)

  5. The garden beautiful as always. and the chipmunk is so cute! I wish I could have one here.

    hope you have great day! :)

    I was thinking of you other day.


  6. A lovely walk in nature. I like wild things in the garden, so worry about if they will do well, this is their home. One side of our lawn is covered in buttercups right now - and the deer graze through, nipping off the little flowers. I almost got a picture of one of the deer with a buttercup hanging out of its mouth.

  7. Thank you for taking us for a walk around your garden and I am sorry to hear you have had a head cold, I hope you are now feeling better. Rocky looks so darling! Your herbs are doing so well in the whiskey barrels along with the french lavender (lavender scones...yum!). In fact, everything looks so perfect yet again. Have a wonderful weekend Karen. Chel x

  8. Indeed, I did enjoy this walk with you, Karen. I hope you are feeling a little bit better now....and I did understand your Bullwinkle references! <3

  9. Thank you for a wonderful trip. I love wild flowers ..... on ikkeså long flowers of wild flowers on the roadside. Looking forward to picking a fresh bouquet every day. Wishing you and your a good weekend :) Hugs Hanne Bente

  10. I enjoyed the walk with you dear sweet friend -- head cold is NO fun - sorry - get 100% better okay == drink more water and eat you yummy soups you make.. Number 8 photo is my favorite today -- but then that Snowball Bush caught my eye, I've have a soft spot for these cause I've always wanted to have one in my garden..awe beautiful walk.. and that wild thing - look at those eye - I captured a rabbit today on my walk early this morning I'll be posting and I'll show you it there -- I focused on his eye and you can barely see me in his eye - anyway super wonderful photo walk - THANKS..

  11. Thanks for the virtual stroll! Loving your photos a lot.

  12. Very beautiful wild garden ~ I loved your photos! Snowball bushes are always spectacular and yours did not disappoint. They are wonderful flowers to bring indoors. New follower :)

  13. Karen it is stunning!!! Oh my are your blooms just super awesome! The columbines are beautiful as are your snowball bushes...WOW! How perfect to use your mom's hand blown creamer! I'm glad the rain has let up and you were able to take us on a stroll! Oh and how do you make the chive blossom salad???

    1. Thank you, Nicole, you are so sweet. xx I will show you how to make the salad in my next post! Hugs, xo

  14. I love a bit of wildness in the garden, it gives a sense of freedom .
    Rocky and Bullwinkle is my favourite cartoon, as a kid I always liked it and Mr peabody and his boy Sherman I think thats right it's a long time since I seen it.
    It's raining lots here too but we are now in winter.

  15. Hi Karen, Your Garden is Gorgeous..Beautiful snowball bushes...Sorry to hear you are not feeling your best... Wish you better.. Hugs May x x x

  16. I always appreciate being taken for a wee walk by you on your blog, Karen! Your garden is so beautiful, because you know and love all the plants, and you work with nature. Also, I never knew there were flying squirrels in the Pacific N.W. Adorable! I hope you are feeling very, very much better by now. x

  17. Rocky is a cutie pie. Your garden is spectacular!

  18. What a lovely garden to stroll through, thank you for taking us along. Hoping you feel better soon, it's time to enjoy summertime and not sick time.

  19. Your garden is stunning, thank you for a wonderful stroll.!!!

  20. I'm glad you are feeling better. I just have allergy issues. I'm thankful for the warmer days were are having in OR. Didn't have time to plant my foxglove in the new pot I bought the other day. Maybe tomorrow evening. Thanks for sharing your garden with your readers. Hugs!

  21. Your little squirrel is adorable and "Rocky" is a cute name for him. I enjoyed my stroll through the gardens and your snowball bush has quite the blossoms! I do hope your head cold gets better soon. We have received a lot of rain too.

  22. Dear Karen,

    much thanks for your so kind words on my blog. I love flea markets and I´m lucky to live very near to the alsace region (france) where are some very beautiful markets. Yesterday we were on a large antique market in france and I will make a posting about it.
    Your garden is very large you must be really lucky about that. I wish our garden would be bigger but we live in a small city and space is very expensive. Love all your flowers and the nice squirrel which is really cute. We have some squirrels too but my doggies hunt them. I have two tiny biewer yorkies and they only want to play with the squirrels.

    Have a nice week and enjoy the sun,

  23. Your posts make me feel as if I am right there with you strolling around your property and gardens!
    Love that photo of the flower vases and sugar bowl on the tray.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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