Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Late Summer

We've had unsettled weather this week. 

And glorious rain! 

I stood out under the raindrops with my face upturned. 

I could hear the collective sigh of relief from the whole forest. 

And I can finally rest easy, no longer worried about wildfire. 

For now. 

The rain isn't enough to quench the thirst of the suffering trees. 

So I am hoping for more. 

I have spent countless hours watering my precious gardens and potted plants. 

Just to keep things alive. 

I must be a true Northwesterner now. 

I cannot live without rain. 

Hot, dry days are not for me. 

Give me a gentle rain and cooler temperatures and I am happy. 

I love a misty day. 

Of course there is always too much of a good thing and I have to be careful what I wish for! 

But for now I am happy. 

Every day for the last two months,  I have made my rounds with endless watering. 

Here under the large grove of trees at the front of the house, 
very little rain escapes under the tree canopy. 

So I will have to continue watering here. 

Very little sunlight comes through, so I have a shade garden growing here. 

Some are in pots. 

 'Plum Crazy' Oxalis is in front.

Behind is an unusual tuberous begonia. 
It has no flowers and I am not sure it will survive the winter. 

This pretty golden variegated ivy survives on the stone bank with late afternoon sunlight. 

It is slowly spreading, but I have had to put a small garden fence around the bank to keep the dogs out. 

Not only do I have dry conditions, deep shade, but also two doggy diggers. 

They have respected the boundary of the little fence, though. 

Seeing me come after them with high pitched shrieks is no fun. *grin*

Yes, I am talking about you, Champ. Who me? I didn't do nuthin'! 

Tell them why you are all wet, Champ. 

Uh - because I love to play in the water from the hose. 

And then come in and shake. 

What's wrong with that? 

This area gets brighter light, but no sun, so I am able to grow impatiens and hosta. 

And lots and lots of ivy and arch angel. 

Too much. 

As we walk through the gate we unfurl another hose to water the gardens in the front yard. 

It gets very hot here and only drought resistant plants can survive. 

This is a southern exposure on a slope. 

Tansy grows tall against the Mr.'s tool shed. 

I will harvest the leaves this fall for moth sachets. 

The scent is very pungent. 

They make bright and attractive late summer flowers that are very drought resistant. 

Another plant that is very drought resistant is butterfly bush.

These scent the whole yard. 

I never water them because they are nestled into a little gully that collects rainwater and stays damp,
 even in drought. 

The same situation applies to the hydrangeas growing near the house. 
These I do have to water, but not very often. 

Dappled sunshine keeps them happy. 

This summer I went to too many plant sales! 

Taking care of all the potted plants was a job in itself! 

This end of the deck sits in shade most of the day, 
but the little bit of sun it gets will fry anything not well watered. 

These were a lucky find - Fuchsia 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt'. 

I bought 4 of these lovelies and they have kept the hummingbirds happy. 

I am hoping these are 'hardy fuchsia' which will winter over. 

The tag was stingy with details. 

Time will tell. 

The rest of the deck gets unrelenting sunshine. 

It sits on the south side. 

We are at 1200 ft. Not too high, but I do think the higher elevation adds to the intensity of the sunshine.

My petunias are looking a little 'long in the tooth', except for the hanging basket on the left. 

I just potted that not too long ago. 

These velvety blossoms caught my eye. 

I planted them with tiny yellow daisies,  purple verbena, and pink bacopa. 

The roof drops down low here and I grow strawberries, grasses and succulents 
under the eaves to keep them dry in the wet, rainy months. 

My little vintage ladder holds pots by my potting table, tucked around the corner. 

This is where I do my potting all summer. 

Soon I will be potting up winter pansies with ivy. 

The beautiful bright blooms of summer will be fading away. 

Double impatiens, bright orange begonias, pink and purple fuchsia will be a distant summer memory. 

So in these late summer hours I am savoring every blossom. 

And cradling every rose, breathing in the heavenly scent. 

Because I know fall's fiery beauty is soon on its way. 


Thank you, Dear Friends for your kind birthday wishes for my daughter. 

She is not only my daughter, but a true friend. 

'Love links two lives inextricably, like Siamese twins. Friendship lets you walk comfortably side by side.'

Pam Brown

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Birthday Celebration

Over the weekend we celebrated our daughter Heather's

Plans were made to gather at her backyard patio to celebrate this special day. 

I knew exactly what I wanted to give her and spent the week sewing and crafting. 

Burlap was the theme. 

 Lavender sachets made from purchased burlap bags with hand made felt flowers. 

A table runner with vintage crocheted medallions and buttons.

And four ruffled pillows. 

I found working with burlap surprisingly easy. 

Raw edges must be zig-zagged. I used the largest setting. 

 Sturdy, matching thread was used to gather.

My basic Kenmore sewing machine sewed just fine. 

It pressed very well with a hot steam iron and a little spray of water. 

I used sturdy thread to hand sew closed. 

She loves Sunflowers. 

And four linen napkins tied with woven ribbon. 

All packed and ready to go with battery powered LED light chandelier.

Fleur de lis door stop

The sweet birthday girl with her new gifts. 

Ready for the festivities. 

A beautiful late summer evening.

For a special celebration.

Happy Birthday, Dear Daughter

You light up our lives.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Simple Things That Make Me Smile

On a little drive during these late summer days, I happened upon this darling pink cottage. 

It made me smile! 

It looks like someone has been testing out some trim colors up above. 

I love the white wicker on the porch. 

Sunflowers always make me smile, too. I haven't grown any this year, but once I had them growing everywhere because my daughter loved them.  Lots of smiling that year! 

The corn is getting high and this farm has a corn maze every fall. This is a pumpkin farm and soon the fields will be full of happy families, choosing their favorite pumpkins. 

This makes everyone smile. 

The Rowen trees are full of bright orange berries. 

This makes the birds smile. 

I happened upon this little pond on the way to visit a dear friend. 

I asked if she played here as a child. 

Yes, she said. 

This made her smile. 

This beautiful gate caught my eye. 

Salmon swimming upstream. 

A Northwest treasure. 

Both the gate and the vintage trailer made me smile. 

White fences and red barns always make me happy. 

As do farm stands. 

And wide, open fields. 

Bright flowers always cheer me up. 

Storm clouds and silver leaves are a dramatic sight. 

Rain would make me happy right now - it's been so dry...... 

This scene makes me smile, 
even more so in spring when these lovely trees are filled with pink flowers. 

These beautiful roses from my sweet Mr. make me smile. 

And the beautiful full moon has made both of us smile, 
as we stand together in the mellow, evening twilight. 

What is making you smile in these late summer days, my Dear Friends? 


There are red-letter days in our lives when we
 meet people who thrill us like a fine poem,
people whose handshake is brimful of unspoken
sympathy and whose sweet, rich natures impart
to our eager, impatient spirits a wonderful
restfulness.........Perhaps we never saw them
before and they may never cross our life's path
again; but the influence of their calm, mellow
natures is a libation poured upon our discontent,
and we feel its healing touch as the ocean feels
the mountain stream freshening its brine......

Helen Keller

Linking with Friday's Fences
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