Just Like That, It’s Summer

June Blooms in the Bird and Butterfly Garden

Blooming Ditch Lily

Remember last week when I showed you the foxgloves and roses, but said the “next wave” was coming? Well, it’s here! The new flowers are starting to come into bloom, bringing brighter and wilder colors.

The first thing that always appears is the orange ditch lilies. It’s funny, because every Spring I’m so in love with the pinks and blues and I swear I’m going to tear out all the orange and yellow that’s coming down the pike, but as soon as summer starts and the orange and fuschia and purple and indigo take over, I fall in love with the brighter colors all over again.

I wish I could take credit for all this, but I didn’t really do it. I mean, yes, I built this bed and planted these plants (there was nothing here when I moved in five years ago). But it was mostly just a matter of answering two questions. First, “What didI bring with me from the old garden that attracts butterflies?”, and second (to be repeated several times each season), “What do I have on hand that I stuff in that bare spot?”

This bed evolves every year. I add things, things die. It’s a great bed for tinkering.

Bird and Butterfly Garden in June Bloom

Verbena bonariensis and Catmint

I love how the orange mixes with the pink and blue as summer starts to heat up.

Blooms of Ditch Lilies - Hemerocallis fulva

This adorable little rose is an Apothecary’s rose, and is a recent gift from a friend. I have them in the herb bed right now, but this fall I will move them to a better home. They’re going to get way too huge and swamp my cooking herbs! The little blooms are so pretty, aren’t they?

Bloom of Apothecary's Rose - Rosa gallica var. officinalis

The gazebo “thing” is right in the corner, between the butterfly garden and the not-yet-defined-bed-that-I-haven’t-figured-out-but-is-full-of-foxgloves garden. I do love the foxgloves. I’m going to have to transplant a bunch of them, though, because I’m going to have to fix that bed one of these days.

Gazebo in Corner of Garden

OH yes, and lest you think I am some kind of superwoman who can keep her garden picked up at all times, I will remind you that I do, indeed, have children.

Children's Toys on the Back Garden Lawn

While there’s still gray skies more often than not here in the Pacific Northwest, summer is definitely here.

What about you? Do your gardens change their colors for summer?


~Angela :-)

P.S. For the fellow plant enthusiasts, here’s the main things pictured:
Ditch Lilies: Hemerocallis fulva
Rose Campion: Lychnis coronaria
Yarrow: Achillea millefolium ‘Cerise Queen’
Catmint: Nepeta x faassenii ‘Walker’s Low’
Brazilian Verbena: Verbena bonariensis
Apothecary’s Rose: Rosa gallica var. officinalis
Foxgloves: Digitalis purpurea

P.P.S. Linking up to Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.

September Sunshine in the Gazebo

Sun Shining in Backyard Gazebo

Fading Bloom of Hydrangea Nikko Blue

Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve been trying to get the garden cleaned up for fall. I don’t deadhead everything because I like to leave some seedheads for the birds, but I try to get the undergrowth and other detritus out to keep things aired out over the winter.

The other day I was out there, looking around to see what else needed to be tended to when I noticed this lovely sunshine spilling across the little table in the (thing-I-euphemistically-call-a) gazebo. You may remember the gazebo “thing” from when I swapped it’s chairs back in July.

I wished I’d had a quilt to cozy up in that shaft of sunlight and read for the afternoon.

Of course the table is dirty and there are weeds everywhere (don’t look too closely!), but I still love this little corner. I think I might actually have room for one more hydrangea, too, between the climbing ‘New Dawn’ rose and the Geranium phaeum.

Sun Shining in Backyard Gazebo

The hydrangeas are still lovely, though. I planted three ‘Nikko Blue’ hydrangeas across the back of the space, so that in the summer it’ll make a wall of pretty blue blooms. They are all fading into their fall colors now, but I still think they’re lovely.

Fading Bloom of Hydrangea Nikko Blue

I won’t deadhead them until they’ve gone completely brown. Sometimes not until Spring. I just make sure to watch and prune above the new buds, and I always have plenty of flowers.

We often have a fairly sunny autumn, but this year seems like it might go straight to winter — for us that means rain. I don’t know if I’ll get another chance to sit out in the sun this year. That’s okay. I’ve got plenty to work on inside, and besides, that’s what rain gear is for, right?

Do you have a cozy spot in your garden that beckons on a sunny fall day?


~Angela :-)

Gazebo Chairs Before & After

Backyard Gazebo Chairs

Backyard Gazebo Chairs

As you may or may not know, I have a space in the back garden I optimistically call “the gazebo.” It was originally going to be a real gazebo, but have you priced those lately? Yikes!

So… I thought I’d build one, and I’ve only gotten so far. But even unfinished it creates a lovely little area to be in and enjoy the butterflies and hummingbirds in the garden. In fact, it’s so nice, it might just stay this way forever!

But that’s not what this post is about. Ha.

This post is about the chairs in the gazebo. Or gazebo like thing. That I have.


Earlier this year I threw some random chairs in there just to have something in there, and I thought it looked pretty charming, sort of mixy-matchy, you know?

Like so:

Backyard Gazebo Chairs

In practice it didn’t really work. It was very crowded in there and I couldn’t get to the beds behind, and it was kind of busy looking. Too many shapes jumping out at you. So last week I go this great idea to move the wire chairs that were on the front porch back here. You know, the ones that looked so skimpy on the front porch?
Well, guess what? They look great here! See?

Backyard Gazebo Chairs

So much calmer, and the focus is on the flowers and the structure, not the chairs. I love it.
Here’s another view — before:

Backyard Gazebo Chairs

And after:

Backyard Gazebo Chairs

What do you think?

I really like this little nook. It’s a great place to retreat to and just hang out with the birds and the butterflies.

I’ll probably finish buliding it someday.

Backyard Gazebo Chairs

Of course what you’re not seeing is the pile of trucks that I stashed behind the plants on the left so I could take this serene picture. Usually there’s a mini-construction site going in the gravel pretty much full time. I know what you’re thinking… apples and trees… what can I say? We’re DIY types here, folks.
Oh yes, and the wooden chair and rocking chair? They’re on the front porch, and I think they work really well there! More on that in a week or two, when I finish my latest outdoor project.

What about you? Any secret nooks in your backyard? Do you let your children in them?


~Angela :-)