Friday, July 29, 2016

Late Summer - Five on Friday

Can you believe that July is almost over, Dear Friends? 

I'm sure that many of you are looking forward to
 some cooler temperatures! 

For us, in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, 
we are just getting started. 

It has been a very cool July, but the weather has changed
and now we are finally getting some much needed sunshine. 

I have been making the most of this time of year, 
so let me show you what I have been doing. 

A couple of months ago, Ramblin' Man 
cleared some woodlands of damaged trees
and leveled a site for a new tool shed that
he wants to build. 

We were so surprised to have all kinds of wildflowers
pop up in the clearing, including sunflowers!

No doubt the seed was buried by some
enterprising rodent, carried from the bird feeder! 

I am letting them go to seed
so I can grow more next year. 

One thing I always do this time of year, 
is save seeds from my favorite plants. 

Sweet William is one favorite plant 
that is easily propagated from seed. 

This pretty flower is biennial, blooming
the second year after planting. 

An added bonus - slugs and deer don't like it! 

Whenever I find a plant like that, I am very happy! 

It has a long bloom-time from early May to the end of July
and can take full sun to partial shade. 

Another plant that is easily grown
from seed are Foxglove. It's also a biennial
and is not bothered by slugs or wildlife, 
but is deadly poison. 

Just remember that there are many plants
that are poisonous and all young children
should be educated. 

Another plant I propagate from seed is Forget-me-not. 

It all started with one tiny plant that I bought from 
a church sale. 

Now I have them growing everywhere in early spring, 
including the most surprising places. 

We have found them growing along all our woodland
paths, in the lawns, and under trees. 

They make excellent potted plants, too, 
and somehow find their way into 
my plants on the deck every year. 
The little seeds stick to my garden gloves :)

Of course, seed gathering requires seed packets! 

It's fun to make pretty Seed Packets to share 
with friends and loved ones. 

Click on the link for my tutorial.

Another favorite activity in late summer
is pressing flowers and leaves.

Here I have some Dusty Miller
all ready for the press.

These Dusty Miller plants are several years old
and bloom with pretty yellow flowers.

When picked and placed in water,
the flowers will last a long time.

They can even be dried in place.

The leaves make wonderful pressed 'trees'
for Christmas cards!

Here I have some pansies from earlier this spring.

Ramblin' Man made this large press for me.

I cut corrugated cardboard as 'spacers'.

This allows air to circulate.

Thin, flat flowers and leaves are best.

I use artist's sketch pad paper, cut to size,
to place the flowers on to 'blot' moisture.

I try not to overlap the flowers.

I cover them with a second piece of artist paper,
then a piece of corrugated cardboard.

I label each batch with name and date.

I use sticky notes and tags.

Pressed flowers will last for years
if stored flat on their papers
in a cool, dark drawer.

All put together tight. The flowers will be
ready in about 3 weeks.

I use them to make note-cards.

A little bit of scrapbook paper, bits of
burlap, ribbons or buttons,
some ink-stamps and pressed flowers
make mixed media cards.

Dusty Miller is featured on the top card.

Scissors with a decorative edge
cut borders.

Simple cards with keepsakes
from the garden <3

Another thing I love in late summer are berries!

Blueberries are so plentiful and inexpensive
in the markets right now, so I have
been freezing them on trays and bagging
them for baking and smoothies.

They are wonderful fresh in shortcake!

Blueberry - Lemon Tea Cake

I have a new recipe to share with you
next week - Blueberry Peach Crisp.

I can't tell you how good this is!


Summer is also a time for drying my roses. 

There is something so romantic
about dried roses.

They are so pretty as they dry.....

And as they are gathered in baskets
waiting to be used.

I use them to fill baskets and urns,
adorn packages, make wreaths,
and make home-made potpourri
from the petals for jars and sachets.

But by far, my favorite thing to do
this time of year, is taking woodland walks.

With my best friends.

Every evening we
take a little walk to discuss our day.

A time for reconnecting.....

And as the shadows get long at the end of the day
we count our blessings
for having this time together.

Each day a precious gift.


What are your favorite thing to do
on these long summer days, my friends?


Today I am joining Amy at Love Made My Home
for Five on Friday

Won't you join the fun?


  1. It must be wonderful to have so much space to dry and press all your flowers. I have absolutely no space to spare.
    If slugs don't like sweet williams I think I might plant some next year. The slugs eat everything in my garden.

  2. I don't want to think of late summer at all. And indeed we have the whole August and even September can be beautiful... It's good to preserve the summer in dried and pressed flowers. Thank you for your beautiful summer photos. Wishing you a great August!

  3. Karen, how many wonderful things. Walking together is so cute.
    Enjoy your summer.
    As for me; I do love travelling and in this period I'm out of office for 3 wks...

  4. Such a lovely post - I really enjoyed reading all this and plan to take a look at your homemade seed packets too

  5. Karen, you have such a beautiful woodland garden. It reminds me of a fairyland paradise. Thank you for sharing the flower press. I was thinking of buying one but maybe my hubby could make one. Wishing you all the blessings, Pat xx

  6. You are one busy beaver. I love all those flowers, fresh and pressed and the things you do with them. And, your place is just a paradise!

  7. Beautiful photos from your Summer. It great to see and to enjoy. I love this Berries, great. Have an nice Weekend and best regards

  8. Hello, what a wonderful post. Your flowers are gorgeous. I love the cards. The shadow shots with your friends are some of my favorites. Great photos. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

  9. The dried flowers are beautiful....the roses are such a gorgeous shade of pink! I love the cards and art you make with them. Enjoy your day sweet lady. Hugs, Diane

  10. Great ideas for enjoying the summer! I love the idea of making seed packets for your favorite seeds. And your drying roses are so pretty! Have a wonderful weekend, Karen!

  11. Great photos and ideas. I love the drying rack for the roses! Looks so beautiful and romantic! Have a great week, Lynn

  12. Oh Karen, I didn't know how talented you are! I love your notecards and that you use flowers from your yard to make them. Looking forward to your blueberry peach crisp recipe.

  13. Another beautiful post. I love your seed packets such a great idea. I was also so impressed with your pressed flowers for cards so pretty.

  14. Sweet friend, how charming your post is! I just loved seeing your flower hanging as they dried and those pansies are stunning! And oh my, your handmade cards took my breath away...such beauty, dear Karen.

    It's hard to believe this is the last week of July. Before we know it my son and I will be back to our schooling.

    Love and hugs to you!

  15. What a wonderful post! I love the shadow pictures of you and the Ramblin'Man. Separate, closer and as one! Beautiful!

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  16. What a lovely post, Karen...makes me smile! It's been years since I pressed flowers...I love the note cards, and the seed packets are fun, too! Your gardens are so beautiful, I really love the Sweet William! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  17. I must have s go St growing sweet William next year, I love the colours. I wonder if your sunflower came from some bird seed, a lovely surprise. Lovely to see your dried and pressed flowers too. x

  18. You are so creative, love how you used the dried flowers. I didn't know Sweet Williams were a biannual.

  19. I always think sunflowers are so lovely and cheerful.
    What a lovely post to read and look at.

    I agree with your last words 'Each Day Is A Precious Gift'

    Wishing you a lovely weekend

    All the best Jan

  20. What a beautiful post! I love the pops of color the sunflowers lend to a garden. Your berry pictures have me craving all things sweet and tasty. I'm looking forward to your blueberry peach crisp recipe. Have a wonderful weekend :)

  21. My husband made me a flower press very much like yours but I hadn't thought about corrugated cardboard for airflow - good idea.
    We have seed saving classes at our library, to learn and share.

  22. Oh, how I love sunflowers! Yes, let them go to seed and next year you will have a field of sunny yellow to greet you each morning.

    Please send some of your cool weather and rain our way. :-)

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  23. I love all wildflowers! You have a beautiful garden, you really do. Happy weekend.

  24. Oh you've captured late summer so perfectly Karen! As if I could bottle it and uncork it when I want and smell it like lovely woodland perfume through your photos and words. Just love it!!

    I so want to press at least a few flowers this year. I may get a press one of these days, but for now I use waxed paper and my good heavy bible (maybe they get extra blessed along the way). ;)

    Such a great idea about the blueberries!! I have some wonderful fresh picked from the farm strawberries still in my freezer. I'm going to get some good strawberry daiquiris out of some of them before summer is over - but the rest will be for sticky sweet we can taste summer when it's below zero!

    Blessings to you dear Friend. xoxo

  25. I was okay until I got to #5 and then just teared up, Karen. I just miss having those walks and talks in the evening with my guy. We used to do that almost every evening before he couldn't do it any more. I'm glad that you and your Ramblin' Man take the time to connect that way. xo

  26. Hi dear Ksren !! Que buena idea la de pensar flores .. Muy bellas fotos

  27. Dear Karen, there is so much to love in this post. From your garden to your dried roses and pressed flowers. It all calls to me. What a beautiful way you have with everything. Love, Mimi xxx

  28. Foxglove are a favorite of mine. So beautiful and unique!

  29. You definitely use your land well and the things that grow on it. I need to throw some forget me not seeds and other seeds out and about! Blueberry Peach Crisp sounds real good! It is good to know what plants are poisonous.

  30. I love all your favorite things because I don't do any of them (except enjoy berries!) and I want to! I just love how you plant seeds, dry the flowers and then press them into cute cards.

  31. You do a lot with your garden, Karen. The seed packets are so pretty. I like Sweet William and don't know why I don't have any in my garden - next year, perhaps. Your note cards are lovely.

  32. So busy and so creative. You have a wonderful life. How nice that you have someone to share it.

  33. A beautiful post. Your seed packets are delightful. I have fond memories of pressing flowers when I was younger. I haven't done it for years. X

  34. Such a lovely post. I love Sweet William, Foxglove and Forget-me-Not flowers to. I can't wait till they burst on the scene down here in a couple of months. I love your pretty seed packets and your cards with the pretty pressed flowers are so creative.

  35. Such lovely flowers you have growing all around, we started a whole line of sunflowers along our fence and the rabbits came and ate them all down so there were just little stems sticking out, so sad. Your cards are just gorgeous!! I too think the roses are very romantic all dried and such great ideas you have for them!. It is great to have those times to connect away from all the electronics and tv :) We take our walks in the morning together. It has been so HOT that we have missed out on some here lately. I love working out in the yard in the summer and visiting the lakes, Love the water!

  36. I always used to press flowers with my Mum growing-up, so the flower press took me back! Ilove the cards and the seed packets with seeds, what a great gift. It was fun to see your sunflowers - you know I have a soft spot for a sunflower!
    Bye for now!
    Wren x

  37. Hi Karen, my dear friend, what a wonderful post, my Dear! Your garden is wonderful and I love your cards with the pressed flowers and plants, they are georgeous! The seedpockets are lovely too, such a wonderful idea! I have grown sunflowers too, but the don't flower yet ....
    Wisihng you a wonderful new week, sending Love and Hugs and Blessings, Claudia xo

  38. Your flowers are so beautiful ♥

  39. Hello Karen, you are lucky that it's been cool by you. We've had very hot weather for weeks now. I love your pressed flowers and the dried roses. How nice to have that press and make the cards. What a fun old fashioned craft. It must be so nice taking you nightly walks around. I just love that mountain and it's beauty. Hope you have a wonderful week. Julie

  40. Hi Karen. you sure live with a lot of beauty. I love your cards. I also enjoyed seeing your drying rack with the roses...oh joy. I love the look of dried roses. I sat outside a few nights with my daughter who is visiting and we just talked until it turned dark. That was my favorite thing this past week about the long summer days.

  41. Hi Karen...
    you certainly have a lot of lovely pastimes, and you are so good at them! Your cards are beautiful...I am sure anyone would be thrilled to receive such a treasure...your flower pressing is a true art...and I must ask you, as I have a lot of Sweet William or Dianthus in my do you save the seeds? Are they in the spent blooms??
    Enjoy your week...
    Linda :o)

    1. Hello, Linda, thanks for your sweet visit! Oh, yes, you have to let the flowers 'go to seed' as my Mother used to describe herself sometimes. Lol! When they are good and brown and the seed casings start to open, carefully snip them and shake them into a paper bag. Store them in a dry and cool place and you can plant them in early Spring by sprinkling them over some good garden soil, lightly covering them. Keep them moist. They will send up a multi-branched stalk the first year and bloom the next. xx Karen

    2. Thanks so much Karen...I will do this!!

  42. Five wonderful things of summer!!! Flowers, the garden, friends, berries, I mean, what could be better than that! Hope you have a wonderful summer for what remains of it! Thank you too for joining Five On Friday. I hope that you have a great August and I look forward to seeing you again in September! xx

  43. Dearest Karen,
    Lots of activity going on for your husband!
    Yes, your climate is just perfect for growing from seeds and grow it does as evident in your photos.
    Loved the long shadows, very special looking!
    Drying flowers is great if you have such an abundant yield.
    We were swimming at our friends' place yesterday, near the river and got rained out by a sudden heavy thunderstorm. How we would have loved all that rain as we struggle to keep our plants alive... Only 4 miles distance in birds eye view but such different weather.
    Enjoy your moderate summer; you have such a bounty because of it.
    Also the time spent together...

  44. Karen, your post was like a breath of fresh air to me today, as I just got back from the service department with car issues. It's been a long morning, and your post gave me some tranquility. The sunflower and bee picture is lovely. The Sweet William plant is, indeed, sweet. And the forget me nots are sweet as well. A blog friend sent me a packet of seeds (forget me nots). What a special hobby this is, pressing flowers. Your note cards are so creative. Aaahh, dried roses, aren't they beautiful? I still have a few dried roses from loved ones that I've kept for many years.

    Well, it looks like you are enjoying the last of the summer days, Karen. It's been pretty hot here, but supposed to be cooler this week. Thank you for your post today, it is just what I needed.


  45. The cards you make from your own pressed flowers are just beautiful. I've never saved seeds from flowers, I must start doing this.


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

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