Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gathering Storm and Flowers

Yesterday was hot and humid with gathering storm clouds. 

Mt. Rainier peeked in and out of the moving clouds all day, with the occasional rainbow to lighten the mood. 

I just planted a new garden and knew I had to go out and do some staking before the rain. 

The heavy flowers would surely fall when waterlogged, so I spent the morning propping and tying and fussing over them. 

My hydrangeas were so full of heavy blossoms that I had to temporarily prop them up on rolled sections of fencing. 

I will remove the fencing once I harvest all the blooms for drying in a few weeks. 

You can see the fan propped in the window, pulling the cool air in from the Northwest side of the house. 

You can also see The Mr.'s sawhorses in the loft window above. We are still under construction up there. 

Coral impatiens and variegated ivy spill from the window box above a large leaf variety of hosta. 

This area gets no sun. 

My sweet Mr. placed this bench here for me to admire my hard work! 
Bright crimson elderberries hang from above. 

The trees are alder with holly and thimble berry growing beneath. 

But there was no time for rest, the flowers needed staking before the storm! 

As you can see, I had plenty of interested onlookers! 

This is a new garden of cutting flowers. 

I have not finished planting yet, so it is still a little sparse. 

I planted several varieties of hirta and rudbeckia for cutting. 

I just love the bright colors. 

Bright colors stand out against all the green of the natural landscape. 

Sweet William is also blooming along the edges of the forest and in my wildflower garden in front of The Mr.'s tool shed. 

After completing my task, I cut some flowers to bring inside. 

I gathered some vases and crocks to make some arrangements on the deck as I watched the storm clouds rolling in. 

It was so still, even the birds were quiet and I could hear distant thunder. 

So I hurried with my task. 

There! All ready for adding some cheer! 

Bright yellow for the mantel.

Matching flowers and vase. 

Do you see my new bottle - 'Big Blue' on the closed lid of the wood box? 

This beautiful bottle once graced the front porch of my Dear Mother and Father's home. 

I had enough flowers to fill my enamel coffee pot, too. 

A cheerful place to enjoy some solitude and watch the storm coming in! 

And a whole crock of hydrangeas to grace my table! 

A nice cup of Starbuck's ground coffee to reward my hard work. 

As gathering storm clouds glow in the late evening sunset. 

The last rays forming a beautiful streak of red in the clouds. 

Wishing you beauty even in life's storms. 



  1. Oh Karen, it's like a tropical paradise! Your flowers, trees, and bushes are lovely :) And I really like the way you displayed your flowers in small vases - your home looks so sweet and welcoming. Have a beautiful evening.


  2. I felt like I was right there with you hurrying to stake up all the beautiful flowers before the storm. Your garden is lovely and I really like the way you bring some of them inside to enjoy.

    I think it would be so nice to sit on your deck with you with that fabulous view and chat and have tea....I hope the storm didn't do any damage to your flowers.

  3. Such wonderful scenery and beautiful fruit of the work in your garden! Love the colors of the flowers and the rainbows.

  4. just gorgeous gardens, blooms, view, home. :)

  5. Did the storm ever arrive? It looked as though we would have a storm and it never materialized but we sure did have some chunky rain drops which were delightful. I think your flower arrangements are beautiful, especially the hydrangeas in the crock. I sure have a long way to go before I can bring in cut flowers ~ so glad that you share your flowers with us!

    1. Hi Stacy, thank you for your sweet visit and yes, the storm arrived very late in the wee hours with thunder and lightning and some rain. I am happy to say my flowers are all still upright, too! Hugs xo

  6. Karen this all looks totally amazing. What a beautiful garden you have in such beautiful surroundings. Love all of your shots, and they rainbow is quite a capture

  7. Thank you, Karen! You work a lot to show us your life and I appreciate it very much. I love your garden, it's amazing how after the hard winter you can get a garden like that one. I admire you. And you have a so sweet way of show it that I have to read every word you write, (and look for in the dictionary the ones I don't know)

    Hugs from Spain ( where my plants envy your garden)


  8. Your cutting garden looks so pretty and such a good idea! For once, I'm getting a good crop of hydrangea flowers. I've brought a few in for vases, but when do you cut them for drying so the colors stay nice?

    1. HI Cindy, thank you for being sweet and dropping by! To answer your question - cut the blooms when they feel papery, usually in September. Leave them in a big container with an inch or two of water and let them dry in a dark, dry place or hang them in loose bunches. I like to use large plastic storage totes. When they are dry after a couple of weeks, I transfer them to big baskets for the floor or on top of hutches and cabinets. Hope this helps! xo

  9. Hello Karen
    Great image series you show from your beautiful garden ..... and beautiful animals. Wish you a good Thursday :) Hugs Hanne Bente

  10. Your flower beds and deck are beautiful. And the flowers you picked - how lovely to have such big bouquets in the house and on the deck. Even though it was a stormy day it was beautiful.

  11. Beautiful flower beds, Love all your vases & containers... your home looks fabulous full of wonderful blooms....I loved your furry onlookers too... Have a great weekend Hugs May x x

  12. Dearest Karen,
    Such a storm is a scary thing especially when having long-stemmed cut flowers out in the open air! That's the way we all figure out why commercial growers use those shade cloths for roofing and they do have them staked. Here with all that rain, everything has been flat on the ground. We don't have that many cut flower but still. They also get very muddy...
    Your hydrangeas look beautiful in that huge crock; you do have the space available for displaying them beautifully. Also your deck is very spacious.
    Enjoy the remainder of summer and stay safe.

  13. It's been incredibly humid here in the SE as well! Sticky and hot! I love the hydrangeas and the rainbow is absolutely gorgeous :)

  14. Your flowers are sooooo pretty! I love cutting gardens and yours looks great. One of my favorite things to do is cut flowers and arrange them in different containers like mason jars and vases. I love your enamel coffee pot with the flowers in it. Everything is just so gorgeous! I'm glad you got your work done before the storm rolled in :)

  15. You can send some of your beautiful flowers my way:-) Your hydrangeas are gorgeous...they're all gorgeous.

  16. hot and humid -- here too... Number 14 is my favorite today and the close up of what's on the table.. And my most favorite flower (Hydrangeas)you show cased it beautifully -- thanks for posting and being my far away friend... Just LOVE your place...

  17. Love the rainbow - not always easy to capture with a camera.

  18. Karen, you do post the most wonderful posts! I so enjoy them. Such lovely flowers. I need to plant some cutting flowers some year. You have inspired me.
    Much love,

  19. what a beautiful bounty of flowers you have growing and how wonderful it is that you are able to cut and bring them indoors to enjoy both in and out...I love the zinnias and rudbeckia for cutting flowers...gorgeous!!

  20. It's just great Karen. I wonder where you find the time to make your garden as beautiful as it is. I envy you ;-)

    Greetings from the Netherlands,
    Gert Jan

  21. Oh, Karen, you live in Paradise! Everything is absolutely gorgeous ... your gardens, flowers, home decor. And the sentimentality you attach to your belongings like the blue vase is what makes it all so special. xxoo

  22. Oh Karen, What a beautiful garden, everything is just so gorgeous!
    xx Greetings

  23. Hi Karen, your hydrangeas are exceptionally big and beautiful with lovely blue hues- and your cutting garden flowers are stunning as well.
    You have a wonderful eye for design- I adore you selection of flower holders.

    Thanks for sharing the beauty of your home, gardens and magnificent views.

  24. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
    Such a bounty of flowers.

  25. About three days ago I came to visit you here, and made a very long and chatty comment on the post just prior to this, only to have it get lost! I'd been off the computer for about a week, partly because I moved it from the bedroom to the livingroom and then didn't know why I couldn't have access to my email and other sites. Turned out all I needed to do was update the date and time. DUH! :-) Also, it had been a busy week. I was ready for a chat, and then the whole thing got lost! :-( So, I'm back. I don't have the foggiest notion what we were chatting about either. Too sad.

  26. Oh, and because I went on and on in that comment a minute ago, I forgot to tell you how BEAUTIFUL your flowers are! Your yard is so stunning!


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

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