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Walk with Me (A Tour of My Garden)

Updated on February 10, 2019
Carb Diva profile image

Linda enjoys searching for fascinating travel destinations, seeking relaxation and fun, and (of course) eating great food.

Welcome

A few of you have asked for a "tour" of my garden, 1 1/2 acres in a quiet corner of the oldest town in the State of Washington, in the northwest corner of the continental United States, North America. Let's begin.

Ferry dock and old, abandoned train station
Ferry dock and old, abandoned train station

The highway begins one mile to the north, at an aging ferry dock. But today you are not taking the ferry; we'll stay on solid ground. Look to the south (left of the photo), uphill.

The roadway is narrow, just two lanes separated by a faded white line of paint. On either side are single-family homes, a few are newly-constructed, but many were built more than a century ago. After a mile the homes fade from existence; driveways and sidewalks are replaced with towering redwood cedar and Douglas fir trees.

If you drive by too quickly you'll miss the turnoff, the quiet dirt road that explores deep into the forest. At the end of that dirt road, you will find my home.

old dirt road leading to...me
old dirt road leading to...me | Source
(Not to scale)
(Not to scale)

A long, broad porch stretches across the two-story farmhouse. Welcoming pots of flowers change with the seasons. In winter there are dark pink cyclamens. Yellow-blooming daffodils greet visitors in the spring. With summer come pink zinnias, blue lobelia, and cascading drifts of fragrant sweet alyssum. When the last of the summer blooms fade, asters and chrysanthemum contrast with the brilliant colors of the autumn trees.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
cyclamendaffodilssummer plantingsummer plantingsummer plantingasterschrysanthemums
cyclamen
cyclamen
daffodils
daffodils
summer planting
summer planting
summer planting
summer planting
summer planting
summer planting
asters
asters
chrysanthemums
chrysanthemums

Walk the length of the porch. On the large expanse of wall between the window and front door, you will always find a seasonal wreath or a brightly colored hand-made banner. For summer it's a picture of 4 birdhouses (...or is it?). Our clever little tabby has disguised herself in hopes of snaring an unsuspecting bird.

We won't step inside, at least not yet. You're here to view the garden, so let's continue back at the garden arch. A path just to the left of the arch leads one through a shade garden. Hazelnuts provide dappled shade, just enough sunlight to allow rhododendrons, azaleas, hellebores, and pulmonaria to flourish.

a garden arch leads back to the forest, but take the path to the left or you'll miss the shade garden
a garden arch leads back to the forest, but take the path to the left or you'll miss the shade garden
Click thumbnail to view full-size
the path through the shade gardenrhododendronazaleahelleborespulmonaria
the path through the shade garden
the path through the shade garden
rhododendron
rhododendron
azalea
azalea
hellebores
hellebores
pulmonaria
pulmonaria

Beyond our house is a forest of cedar, redwoods, and hemlock. Sword ferns, huckleberries, and salal abound in the understory. At the edge of the forest the trees clear, giving way to wetlands, the home of countless birds, rabbits, possum, fox, black-tail deer, and even the occasional black bear.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
forestsalal hedge
forest
forest | Source
salal hedge
salal hedge

During the winter several large fir trees fell, blocking the path that winds through the woods, so we won't be able to journey there today. Perhaps another time. Instead, let's focus our attention on the giant rhododendrons (rhodies for short) on the east side of our house.

rhody at the east end of our  hose
rhody at the east end of our hose

In front of that massive Rhody is an expanse of lawn. (As the years pass I find that I am expanding the surrounding flowerbeds so that the lawn becomes less and less).

Imagine that you are standing in front of that huge pink Rhody. Now, look to your right. There you will see the sun-lovers garden. I love to cook, so you shouldn't be surprised that in the midst of all of these tall trees I would find at least one sunny spot, one place where I can plant raspberries, rhubarb, and herbs, and that's just what I did. I don't have a good pic of the raspberries, but here are the rest of my kitchen clan.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
rhubarbrosemarychivesoregano (oh goodness, it's everywhere. Even popping up in the lawn. (Sure smells good when we mow)oregano blossoms, late in the season (the bees love it).
rhubarb
rhubarb
rosemary
rosemary
chives
chives
oregano (oh goodness, it's everywhere. Even popping up in the lawn. (Sure smells good when we mow)
oregano (oh goodness, it's everywhere. Even popping up in the lawn. (Sure smells good when we mow)
oregano blossoms, late in the season (the bees love it).
oregano blossoms, late in the season (the bees love it).

Look again at the map of my property. Notice the position of the "blue garden", so named because of the flowers planted there.

blue garden
blue garden

Yes, those of you with a keen eye or inquiring mind will wonder why in the middle of the blue garden there is the pedestal for a birdbath. A thirsty raccoon knocked the cement bowl from its base and it broke into a hundred (give or take a few) pieces. Oh sigh!

Another view of the blue garden (taken before that naughty raccoon did his damage). Do you see the little chicken coop in the distance?
Another view of the blue garden (taken before that naughty raccoon did his damage). Do you see the little chicken coop in the distance?

Next, we will wander down the path that heads east. A cedar grove is on the left, and the wildflowers are on the right.

garden path through the wildflowers
garden path through the wildflowers
more of the wildflowers. These are foxgloves
more of the wildflowers. These are foxgloves
and more wildflowers. Luminaria
and more wildflowers. Luminaria

And we end the tour with a look at our sweet little chicken coop. Almost 100 years old and still going strong. Do we raise chickens? No, but once upon a time someone who lived here long before us did just that.

I've heard stories from some of the "old timers" that the forest was not always so tall and deep and lush, that where those trees now stand cows once grazed. When I dig in the earth I occasionally find bits and pieces of barbed wire, so I guess those stories are true.

I wish I could have a glimpse of what it looked like then. And, if those who lived here a century ago could see it now, would they approve of the changes I have made? I hope so.

© 2018 Linda Lum

Comments

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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      9 months ago from SW England

      The chucks are great fun! Yes, the children are such a joy!

      Ann

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      9 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Ann, you have chickens and I think that's just the neatest thing ever. If you are close to your children that is the greatest blessing.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      9 months ago from SW England

      Thanks for sending me the link, Linda. Your garden looks beautiful, with lots of lovely little nooks and crannies to hide away in! What a superb area for your house to nestle in. I would love to have more room to have such pathways etc but I've compromised by being in an area I love, close to the sea and not too far from the children. As it is, my garden is a reasonable size without being hard to maintain.

      I appreciate you sharing your wonderful space, Linda.

      Ann

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Brian, you are correct. No vegetables because I don't want the expense of putting in a 10-foot fence. Deer are daily visitors, not just occasional passers-by. I have had to be very selective about what I plant. Herbs are left alone, but any vegetables, or pansies, roses, tulips will be gobbled up overnight.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      2 years ago from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

      Such a delightful place to live. So you don't have a vegetable garden?

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      Perhaps we can visit the palace; talk to Meghan and Harry. Come again!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Manatita, I have visited the U.K. several times but never got out as far as Devonshire. Nevertheless, I view all of the Isles as a piece of Heaven, so this is a lovely compliment. Yes, the green, the scents, and sounds, all of it are very calming and comforting. I am glad that you enjoyed it.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      Extremely beautiful Linda! You know so many flowers! So nature will help you to meditate and be inspired by the wonders of creation.

      The chicken coop looks cool and the flowers too.

      And you walk through a beautiful arch made by overhanging trees, that reminds me of Devon and Somerset. Great scenery!

      Thank you so much!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Shauna, plus we don't have to worry about hurricanes. The weather is pretty mild, no insects, low humidity but we do have the occasional earthquake. Please feel free to visit as often as you'd like.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Linda, your property is amazing! From the quiet road leading to your house, the woods, and all the themed gardens you've created, you are in absolute paradise. No wonder you love it there! Looking at the area, the majestic trees, lush plant life, your farmhouse, and proximity to water, I'm thinking I'm on the wrong side of the continent!

      Thank you so much for sharing. I just might have to come back every now and then for another visit!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Rinita, yes maintaining the garden does take quite a bit of time, but I count it as an exercise routine. Thankfully I have an adult daughter who lives with me and she is invaluable. Such a great helper, and fun to be around. I am truly blessed.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      I came back to take another look, and leave another comment. I live in an apartment in the middle of a big city, surrounded by skycrapers and vehicles. Whatever gardening I do is limited to my three balconies, so this place of yours is like Eden to me!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      2 years ago

      My God! Breathtaking is an understatement! It must be a full time job to manage this garden! I am so glad I read this today. Looking at such vast greenery even in pictures makes one's day.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Peggy, I do love it here. Thank you for the visit. It's good to hear words of encouragement; far too often I notice the weeds and fail to see the flowers. I need to sit back, relax, and enjoy my blessings.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You had my full attention with that first photo of the "old dirt road leading to...me." That was magnificent and your photos kept getting prettier and prettier of your yard and gardens. It must be wonderful to get to live in a place like that surrounded by so much beauty. Thanks for the virtual tour.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Bill, perhaps that explains why I don't get out much. I love it here. Thank you for your kind words my friend.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Alicia, I feel truly blessed.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I took this tour Tuesday, but it took me this long to comment on it. If I lived on that property I would never leave it. I would be the old recluse people whispered about....simply beautiful, Linda...truly beautiful!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a beautiful garden! I loved reading your article and looking at your photos. You live in a wonderful location.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It is like Bill always mentions, you take "Food" articles to a higher level. This is no different.

      I will scoot over and thank Manatita the lantern.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I am so happy that you stopped by today for a visit. Like good spaghetti sauce, this article has enjoyed a long simmer on my back burner. You can thank Manatita (the Lantern Carrier) for giving me that final nudge.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Of course I am pleased to be invited in. I feel as an overwhelmed warmly greeted guest. Such beauty which reflects you.

      But LInda I am sorry a different beauty overshadowed the space. This writing is just fantastic. I was turned by near every word.

      I get your comment about doing more on a seasonal, this clearly was a lot of hard work combined with your artistry with words.

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Verlie, that's a great suggestion, but I don't know if I have the stamina for a "seasonal tour".

      But perhaps I need to hit the reset button and focus on taking photos of the garden through each season and post those so all of you can see the timeline. Maybe weave in a bit of poetry (because with each changing season, there is a change of mood).

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. You've given me new, fresh ideas.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      2 years ago from Canada

      So lovely Linda! You could do a tour for every new season? Everything changes so fast!

    • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Lum 

      2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      Flourish, I love you and would welcome your kitties, but I doubt that our resident Mr. grumpy pants (aka Pumpkin, the 7-year old black, formerly feral male cat of questionable parentage) would think of it. He is very protective of his turf.

      I don't know that I am as much a master gardener as I am of just finding a way to use the beautiful place that God created, but just tuck in a few adornments here and there.

      Thank you for visiting and, as always, for your kind words. You are a dear friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      How absolutely gorgeous! I’m ready to move in if you have an extra room? Of course, I will be bringing my 8 cats with me for company and all of our bird feeder gazebo — a perfect accent to that garden. This place of yours is utter paradise, Linda. You are a master gardener and should consider some gardening articles, perhaps garden to table type articles integrating cooking somehow.

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