Early Morning Rain

We awoke this morning to the glorious sound of real rain on the roof! Not just a shower, but a good downpour. Everything in the garden was grateful for such a deep drink after this very dry summer.



A Celia Thaxter Morning

Celia Thaxter in her Garden, painting by Childe Hassam, 1882

“In the Garden” (Celia Thaxter in her Garden), by Childe Hassam, 1892

Good morning, friends! I am reading Celia Thaxter’s classic gardening book, An Island Garden, and am loving it, taking notes as I go because there’s so much to learn from her! She was a beautiful writer of both poetry and prose, and her other passion was gardening. I’ll be sharing more about her soon, but for this morning, here’s a passage that I particularly loved from this joyful book:

When in these fresh mornings I go into my garden before any one is awake, I go for the time being into perfect happiness. In this hour divinely fresh and still, the fair face of every flower salutes me with a silent joy that fills me with infinite content; each gives me its color, its grace, its perfume, and enriches me with the consummation of its beauty. All the cares, perplexities, and griefs of existence, all the burdens of life slip from my shoulders and leave me with the heart of a little child that asks nothing beyond its present moment of innocent bliss. These myriad beaming faces turned to mine seem to look at me with blessing eyes. I feel the personality of each flower, and I find myself greeting them as if they were human. “Good-morning, beloved friends! Are all things well with you? And are you tranquil and bright? And are you happy and beautiful?” They stand in their peace and purity and lift themselves to my adoring gaze as if they knew my worship–so calm, so sweet, so delicately radiant, I lose myself in the tranquillity of their happiness.

~ Celia Thaxter (1835–1894), from An Island Garden

Joy Creek Nursery



We’re back to our “Wandering Wednesdays” after weeks of too-hot days that interfered with our motivation to wander. This week, we took our daughter with us and visited a special garden nursery in Scappoose, Oregon (about 18 miles north of Portland), called Joy Creek Nursery. We’re planning some changes to certain areas of our garden, so this was an ‘educational field trip’ for us.

The nursery is aptly named, “Joy Creek,” because it was truly a joy to walk through and experience. The display gardens were inspiring, and the selection of plants was wonderful. What a lovely learning and wandering day!


Our Goldflame Honeysuckle

Goldflame Honeysuckle, Lonicera heckrottii

Lonicera x heckrottii

The flowers on our Goldflame Honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii ) are just beautiful this summer! The vine really took off and climbed like crazy, so the top of the plant is gorgeous, but the bottom part is leggy with sporadic leaves! It’s one tough plant surviving the drought and heat of this summer, so I’m hoping it will survive some serious cutting back when we prune it. I’d love the lower part of the plant to look as beautiful as the top part!

I searched for info to help me learn more about how to take better care of this beautiful plant. Here are a few of the web sites I found:


The hydrangeas that are planted in front of our porch are absolutely beautiful this summer…just not as big as other years. I still have a lot to learn about how to prune them, what they need in terms of extra nutrition, etc., but I appreciate how they continue to survive [despite having a novice gardener/caretaker] and be so beautiful in the front of our house! Here’s a site that I am finding very helpful in learning all I can about Hydrangeas.