Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Flowers in the Late Summer Garden

Hello Friends, with summer moving 
so swiftly, I thought I would take 
you on a little walk to meet my flowers
before it is too late! 

As the sun was setting last evening, the clouds
were moving in and today we are 
expecting showers. 

I am happy about that, as it saves
me from watering! 

So come along with me and we will 
see what is blooming in my woodland gardens,
 here in the foothills of the Cascade mountains
of Washington State. 

Here we have Butterfly Bush, 
against a backdrop of tall trees
with Tansy and Sedum in the foreground. 

The garden is in the front - side of the house. 

This Butterfly Bush is very old
and extremely fragrant, scenting
the whole property from one end to the other. 

The Sedum has not 'colored' yet, 
but it will soon turn a beautiful, 
rosy hue. 

The Butterfly Bush flowers are so large
and so strongly scented that I am not 
able to bring them inside. 

They make Ramblin' Man sneeze! 

But the butterflies and hummingbirds love them! 

And the snails seem to love the Tansy! 

Another very strongly scented plant;
the leaves are gathered for drying
and used in herbal moth repellent sachets. 

Nikko Blue Hydrangea blooms in front of the house. 
It seems like they are right up against it, but 
there is actually a picket fence behind them
and space for more gardens against the house
with a pathway in between. 

On the other side of the house, 
I have woodland Phlox blooming, 
alongside more Nikko Blue Hydrangea. 

I have just recently added these, and 
they seem to like living under 
the drooping boughs of the large Hemlock tree. 

At their feet bloom creeping Campanella. 

A large Bleeding Heart (not in bloom)
floats above. 

The Hydrangea lives in the barrel planter. 

Pink roses and blue hydrangea make a pretty combination. 

I've added a birdbath, too.

There is a cement garden turtle inside,
as the birdbath is deep with slick sides.

The turtle allows any creatures to safely escape. 

Next to the birdbath is the rose arbor. 

A view from the back deck. 

You can see the Hemlock tree
and how it dominates the garden. 

I love this tree <3

Once, there was a young Mountain Lion
perched there, chased up the tree by my dogs.
I was standing beneath, giving sympathy,
as I thought it was a large, lost house-cat -
until it turned and looked at me with large, golden eyes
while its tail fell down - all three feet of it! 
I quickly retreated to the house, bringing in the dogs,
and it eventually jumped down to join its mother. 
Oh, my - its mother! I wonder where she was the whole time ?! 

Yes, I live in a wild place! 

The beautiful Rugosa Rose I planted 
in memory of my parents. 

Down in the back corner, 
we have our fire-pit. 

The forest lies beyond. 
I've never been brave enough to 
sit back here after dark, 
but in the evenings it is lovely. 

It sits in the corner of a large lawn, 
bordered on both sides by woodlands, 
with the house to the left and 
the mountains and wilderness to the right, 
beyond the viburnum hedge. 

You can understand why I wouldn't want to 
be here at night, although if the whole 
family were with me, I wouldn't mind. 

Even during the day, I am cautious....

Once I ventured out onto the deck
early one spring morning a few years ago, 
to see a very large 'blonde' black bear
standing on his hind legs, trying to get over
the fence there. (Hidden by brush)

Both my cat and Whitey Bear saw it, too. 
They flattened themselves onto the deck
and literally crawled back inside the house!

I knew if he got inside the fence, we might have
a big problem, so I ran in to wake Ramblin' Man. 
But I couldn't get the words out of my mouth.....
I kept stuttering....B....Be......
finally I screamed, 'Bear!' and Ramblin' Man woke up
with a startled expression, grabbing his robe and slippers. 

The only thing we could think of to do was to 
grab some pot lids to bang together, 
and so out we went, running and shouting,
banging those pot lids, and that poor bear
thought twice about hanging around! 

By then, Whitey Bear and my other dog, Little Bear, 
who was quite old at the time, decided to join us, 
barking and growling hysterically. 
We made quite a team and must have looked 
hilarious! We never did see that bear again!
(Although I've seen others) 

I do keep a large canister of bear spray with me
when I garden 'down back'. 

I've planted some bright Black-Eyed Susan 
along with Day-Lily (not blooming yet) in some
large tubs. 

Tiger Lily blooms behind. 

Here, Ramblin' Man holds one up to see.
Arched sections of fencing work beautifully
for staking. 
I have fond memories of Tiger Lily growing
in my Mother's garden as a child. 

These make a lovely combination. 

I also planted orange Crocosmia alongside the lilies, 
but they have not bloomed yet. 

This is a rather wild little corner, with blackberries
bordering all. 

In springtime I have Narcissus that bloom behind the lilies. 

I would like to expand this garden with more bright flowers.
This area gets lovely sunshine. 
Perhaps sunflowers and more lilies for next year. 

Lots of berries to snack on!


I hope you enjoyed meeting some of my flowers, 
Dear Friends, and hearing my crazy 
wilderness stories. 

We are always reminded that we are simply 
temporary guests  
and that this land truly belongs to nature. 

We try to coexist peacefully and respectfully, 
and our motto is 'Do No Harm'.


"I have a garden of my own
But so with roses overgrown,
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness."

- Andrew Marvell -
Occasional Poems (1681)


Today I am linking with:

Flower Wednesday

Won't you join the fun? 


  1. Thanks for showing us some of your lovely gardens, Karen. Using fencing as you are to support some flowers is an idea I have never tried, but will keep in mind in the future. I hope I can plant a Butterfly bush someday, too. Here in Boring, OR, near Portland, we have found having coyotes, raccoons and deer trekking through our yard to be exciting, but I hope we do not have to contend with mountain lions and bears as you have!

  2. Gardening in your part of the world is quite different to mine! Not sure what I would do if I saw a bear. Love all your flowers, particularly the phlox. Interesting that your day Lillies aren't out yet. Ours are well under way. Like the sound of your fire pit. Definitely a good place for a family gathering. B x

  3. Wow you do live in a wild place mountain lions and a bears, but it is also a very beautiful place.
    I do like tiger lilies.

  4. You do have to respect nature and wildlife. They are usually more afraid of you...I'm always saying...but you still have to be careful. We see a lot of critters here in Florida that you have to watch out for. Hydrangeas are my favorite flower. Hugs, Diane

  5. Dear Karen,

    You live in a beautiful place and your garden is amazing. How frightening seeing a mountain lion and a bear. Love the Rugosa rose planted in memory of your parents. I have fond memories of the tiger lily we had them growing in the garden when I was small and remember when we were dressed in our Sunday best we had to stay clear of the stamens which would stain our dresses.
    Happy week

  6. Karen, it is late in the evening and your post has left me with such a peaceful beautiful feeling. I will surely have sweet dreams tonight. Your gardens are lovely.

  7. I always love seeing your flowers, and those hydrangeas are spectacular! I also like to hear about wild animal encounters, but that bear one was scary! I can see why you carry the spray. I'm not sure I would go outside at all by myself:)

  8. Great post, Karen. I loved seeing your garden and the stories about your wildlife. That was scary about the bear, but kind of hilarious how you and Rambling Man handle it. Do y'all have snakes up there?

    1. Hi Laurie, so nice of you to come for a visit! We do have snakes, but only non-poisonous garter snakes this side of the mountains. The other side does have rattle-snakes as it is 'high desert'. We soak up all the moisture this side of the mountains :) xo Karen

  9. You've created a lovely garden oasis in the forest. I'm sure the bears and mountain lions are just coming to look (but I wouldn't be too swift to invite them for tea).

  10. Your posts are fascinating, Karen... I love your flowers here and there and I envy those beautiful hydrangeas!

    I remember your story about the Mountain Lion. Even with repellent I would be so afraid. Okay. City girl here. I have dogs, too, and my 11 pound mutt chased an opossum under the shed. She might meet her match someday because she's fearless!!!

    Thanks for a great post. Love, love all your flowers!


  11. I love your old big trees around the garden, would be frightened with the BIG wild life though :) That pale lilac phlox with white in the middle is very beautiful. And the first photo / sunset breathtaking. Enjoy your week - And stay safe! :))

  12. So beautiful! I just love butterfly bushes, one of my favorites. A bear would have had me running and screaming,lol although I know they tell you not to run! Hopefully I will never have that encounter, lol.


  13. Dear Karen, your late-summer-garden is beautiful! Love your hydrangeas and the white Rose and the blackberries look so delicious! I have cut mine completely this year, because they made wild shoots with thousands of thorns, and it seemded, they came out everywhere. So I now have to look after this area for a while, and then perhaps plant a new, thornless Blackberry ;O)
    Have a wonderful rest of the week, my dear friend, sending Love and Hugs and blessings, Claudia xo

  14. Certainly a big difference to what I am used to. You have a gorgeous garden I would be a little worried about the wildlife. Stunning hydrangea.

  15. Very beautiful photos flowers.

  16. Just beautiful!! I got a break from having to water my little garden because over the past 4 days we got 6 1/2 inches of rain. It has been so hot here, in the 90's, but a break is coming this weekend!! I am looking forward to Fall which is my favorite time of year! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  17. So beautiful! Not sure about the wildlife though! x

  18. Wow....your garden is beautiful.....must smell divine too!

  19. The word that comes to mind is LUSH!! I know you've had a lot of rain and what a difference in how healthy all your beautiful flowers look. I am so taken with your hydrangea...mine have not bloomed in 3 years! Time to take them out and replant. I love my visits to your pretty yard and home....reminds me of the summer cottage of my youth :-)

  20. I believe that I've said it before but it bears saying again... I love your garden! Lots of hard work I am sure, but what enjoyment.

  21. Hello, your yard is simply beautiful. I love all the gorgeous flowers. I am glad you are safe from the wild animals, making noise is smart. The bears can be spooked easily sometimes. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  22. Wow, such beautiful photos of your lovely yard and plants! I just found your blog and love it!
    Blessings from South Carolina

  23. I'd like to say that it must be nice to have company as you garden, and I'm sure you know I DON'T mean the four legged sort with three foot tails!
    I loved the tour of your bright summer garden. You've done an amazing job!

  24. Hello Karen, your flowers are still in abundance and so beautiful! Loved the butterfly.
    Your wild animal stories are very entertaining, stay safe and have a wonderful August :)

  25. It's like the Secret Garden, my friend. Around every corner there is beauty to behold. As I read your words and looked at your beautiful pictures I could hear the birds singing outside my window and I could just imagine the birds sweetly singing there in your glorious garden. Thank you so much for making my day even lovelier.

    Hugs to you!

  26. The flowers are really beautiful ♥


  27. That first picture took my breath away! The colors, the view - simply stunning.

    What a glorious garden you have. It's always a treat when you give us a tour.

    Here in Texas, our gardens are in survival mode. Temperatures in the 100's every day plus inadequate rainfall causes so many things to stop blooming and just concentrate on staying alive.

    Your garden is a wonderful sight for my parched, dry eyes. :-)

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  28. What beauty you have all around you! Your bears make my raccoons look tame and small in comparison. Although, I don't want to mess with either one.

    Thanks again for sharing your part of the beautiful world that we live in.


  29. Your garden is beautiful, every area is delightful. I would be very nervous wondering what was lurking beyond the fencing! :-)

  30. Such a beautiful garden and so many lovely flowers, especially first photo is stunning. It's very exciting but I'm so glad we have no bears or mountain lions around here. Nevertheless, exciting to see them in the wild.

  31. Hi dear Karen !! Tu jardín es realmente espectacular !! Adore esa foto de la puesta de sol al atardecer .. Lindas flores amiga querida

  32. I always enjoy seeing your little corner of the world, Karen! Of course, your views always are awe-inspiring, and your flowers and plants are so pretty. Your fire pit area is wonderful! I can just picture you with the mountain lion up in the tree and the blonde bear and rattling the pot lids! Thanks for the stories and the beauty!

  33. Love our strolls through your gardens and would go everyday if you asked me to my Friend. ;)

    I love your stories too! We live in a bit of wilderness as well....and I have my own tales of Ruby chasing bears up trees, and needing to bang pots of our own when they've wandered too close passing through. We've also had issues with coyotes and fox too. But I wouldn't change it a bit. I think when you love and respect nature as we do - it all balances. The caution and apprehension are worth it. And I have so many stories of amazing and beautiful sights and encounters too. ;)

    I LOVE your flowers so much!! You've done such a beautiful job with all of your gardens. I could linger for hours. ::sigh::

    Blessings on the rest of your week my dear Karen! xoxo

  34. Karen, I am always amazed at your beautiful gardens and view...a slice of paradise...

  35. HI Karen...
    How blessed are you to wake up in this beautiful place every single day...The Rose for your parents is so delicate and beautiful...almost lit from within...its soul.
    Your Bear story is hysterical...but, I am sure, not at the time!
    Beautiful gardens...beautiful pictures...that first shot of the Mountains is incredible...
    enjoy the rest of your week...
    Linda :o)

  36. Bear is definitely scary!Lovely!

  37. Holy Cow, Karen!!I have read your blog for a long time and don't think I ever realized before how remote you are and how surrounded by wildlife you are. That is funny about the BEAR but kind of scary about Momma Cat somewhere close by watching baby cat in the tree.

    Your gardens are just gorgeous---truly gorgeous! xo Diana

  38. What a lovely and beautiful garden...so many flowers! Love your pictures!
    Have a great day now, take care!

  39. I can imagine seeing your house surrounded by all these beautiful flowers from your garden. When you shared about the mountain lion and bear story, I can feel the excitement and trembling! The jungle is what I am afraid of. Everything seems to grow so well in your garden.

  40. The scent of Butterfly bushes is lovely, and your garden is thriving ... Enjoy the beautiful flowers and the days, the rain has showered them so you are free from watering them :)
    Such a wild life - a mountain lion is something new to me, I need to look more about it's looks and whereabouts. Mt. Rainier looks gorgeous in the evening setting sun.
    Have a lovely August, Karen!

  41. Critters, mountain lions, and bears, oh my! Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden blooms.

  42. Dearest Karen,
    When being positive about the rules of Mother Nature, this IS paradise indeed!
    Your garden is yielding such beautiful flowers and the rose in memory of your parents is so special...
    Enjoy the remainder of summer for as long as it lasts and especially the Tansy; wish we had them here...

  43. I think woodland gardens are my favorite. There's something about them that look more random, but in a good way, sort of like cottage gardens, another fav of mine.

    You seem to have a lot of property, and you have certainly made the most of it. I don't know how long you've lived in your home, but most of your plantings seem to be very mature. Certainly the hydrangea along the front of your house are! My goodness, they're gorgeous!

    We have our fair share of wildlife, but I wouldn't change a thing. We had a bear break through our screened in porch because doofus me left garbage out there one night. They don't really frighten me but I'd rather not have them on my porch.

    I need to do the side of my house next and am going to keep a close eye on the sun exposure for the next few weeks, then I'll ask you what I should plant :). It's definitely a shady spot but parts get afternoon sun, so it can be challenging. Definitely some hostas and ferns, maybe astilbe, but not sure what else.

    We had butterfly bushes in our last house and I love them, but currently we have none at the cabin. I should fix that!

    I love that you planted a rose bush in memory of your parents. Very touching Karen.


  44. Your flowers and woods and all of the beautiful scenery are breathtaking. The air must be so fresh there. It looks like a paradise. The big cats would scare me a bit, and the bears would scare me a lot. It would make me a bit nervous sitting in the far reaching areas of your backyard at night alone.

  45. Gorgeously beautiful your woodland garden Karen! Enjoy the rest of the season my friend.

  46. Karen, your woodland garden looks like my ideal. However, I can do without the bears and such! :D They make for great stories and blog posts, though.

  47. Wow you do have a lot of things in bloom right now on your property, how fun to be able to walk around and enjoy all the lovely fragrances. My hubby can't take any to strong of smells either. I don't blame you for not wanting to be out that after dark, it scares me because my hubby will go out and do night time star photography and he says that he can hear things walking around him and such but he can't see what is actually out there. So enjoyed your beautiful pictures!

  48. What a marvellous natural garden! Thanks for sharing the walk, I have enjoed it.
    A butterfly bush have too, verry scented... but not wild animals. Only racoons, a lot of them -
    Greetings from Germany

  49. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting your flowers and reading your wilderness stories. As I was looking at your fire pit area, I was thinking that I wouldn't have the nerve to sit there at night with all the bush behind, knowing there are bears and mountains lions, etc. there. I then moved onto the next section of your story and read that you felt exactly that way. I thought that was cute! What a beautiful area you live in though. Enjoy your weekend!

  50. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting your flowers and reading your wilderness stories. As I was looking at your fire pit area, I was thinking that I wouldn't have the nerve to sit there at night with all the bush behind, knowing there are bears and mountains lions, etc. there. I then moved onto the next section of your story and read that you felt exactly that way. I thought that was cute! What a beautiful area you live in though. Enjoy your weekend!

  51. What a gorgeous post, Karen! Your woodland garden is truly worth it's name. Even the snails are prettier there than elsewhere. :)
    Thank you for sharing. Have a happy and safe weekend! xx

  52. All of your flowers are lovely but I especially liked the rose you planted in memory of your parents ... so special.

    The photograph of the snail on the tansy is amazing.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend

    All the best Jan

  53. You certainly live in a wild yet wonderful place, your garden is glorious, your butterflies enormous! Enjoy the rest of your summer.
    Wren x

  54. Your garden is very beautiful ! That's a lovely place to relax !

  55. Dear Karen, I loved the stroll to your summer garden! Your blue Butterfly Bush is so beautiful and I like your mature hydrangeas very much.
    Wow, you really live in the woods, where humans sometimes meet untamed nature, besides that you have to be a little cautious, it sounds totally wonderful to me!
    Enjoy the last summer days, autumn seems to be already right around the corner!
    Warm regards,

  56. Karen, or Bea? I have Tanzy growing along the road, have to dig some up.,I have not had luck with Butterfly, bought 3 and no luck. You have such a wonderful Garden. Many plants like we have. Tiger lily's are so pretty,
    no luck there either, they grow wild like lady slippers. yvonne

  57. Absolutely beautiful,...in every nook and cranny of your yard!!!
    I remember as a child we had several butterfly bushes...and the fragrance was something I can still smell in the back of my mind.

  58. Your garden is so lovely and beautiful - God bless it!
    The sky in the first picture looks like a painting - fabulous!

  59. Your garden is so lovely and beautiful - God bless it!
    The sky in the first picture looks like a painting - fabulous!

  60. Your garden looks wonderful, the hydrangea edge is stunning!


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

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