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I know, people say “be careful what you wish for” and I know that is very much true when wishing for warmer weather here in Yakima. We all know it is definitely going to get warmer, and then hot as blue blazes, but I am wanting to know “when“. Right now, as I write this on 06/15 at 10:00am, it is only 62 degrees. So far in June, we have only had a few nights over 55 degrees, and most of the nights have been in the mid-to-upper 40’s. We have had one or two days where Linda and I had to shed our hoodies in the afternoon, but those days have been few and far between. I am still using an electric blanket on my bed at night! For someone coming from the South, this is not how late-Spring, early-Summer should be. We should be sweating by now. You would think that I’d be used to it since we have lived here in the PNW for 15 years, but I can assure you that the mindset of 55 years living in a very different climate is not easy to overcome.

Along with the cooler temperatures has come an abundance of moisture in the form of rain. I say that because just about any substantial rain here in Yakima is an “abundance“. As a result of all that extra moisture, our plants have been going wild.


In the front yard out by the road we have a huge bed of Salvia and Catmint plants. The bees have been going crazy on these plants because they apparently love the nectar they produce. You can just see the mother Peony plant (which has 3 blooms this year) peeking out from behind our Spruce tree.

Here is a picture of what the Peonies looked like on June 10th. One was almost open, one was just starting to open, and one was still pretty much closed.


The next day, the one almost open decided to go ahead and open up. It was displaying the pretty yellow center of the flower much more prominently than the Peony I transplanted over to the driveway last fall.


This morning I took a picture of all three of the flowers since they have all now opened. They are so beautiful and I am so glad that this plant is doing well in the shady spot it is in. The wind has blown hard for the last four days and I am so surprised that these flower petals aren’t in the next county, but they have hung in there. The flower on the plant beside the driveway has not faired as well…it lost its petals a few days after it opened. There is one more baby Peony plant near the mother plant that we are going to move over near the one by the driveway. The mother plant is quite large and I am afraid it would not do well if we tried to move it, so it will likely stay where it is.


Here is a shot below of the front garden from the road.

Linda has been busy moving some of the Salvia plants from the front yard back to the flower bed at the back of the house. When they all bloom it is going to be a mass of flowers out there. I will take pictures of it once everything gets settled in and starts blooming. It is going to be a real English garden!


The rain and cooler temperatures have also helped the seeds that I planted in the side yard. Also, several volunteer tomatoes have come up, which I always enjoy. We never know what kind of tomato we will get when they are volunteers. Usually they are the cherry-type tomatoes, which is fine by me because they are so good in salads.


The lettuce bed is doing very well, with the only problem being the plants are all on top of each other. When I went out there to scatter the seed, it all came out of the envelope in one spot, and since lettuce seeds are so tiny, I just had to leave them where they fell. Here is how it looks, I am sure I will have to thin it out quite a bit.


The same thing happened when I was spreading out the beet and Swiss chard seeds. And I didn’t label anything, so I don’t know which plants are beets and which are chard. It will be a pleasant surprise, whichever they turn out to be.


I also planted a bunch of zucchini seeds over beside my two tomatoes out in the garden proper (AKA “the back 40”). They have come up with a vengeance. I will be thinning those, too, once they are bigger.


A week or so after I planted the zucchini seeds I found some yellow squash seeds, so I decided to put those in the ground as well. They have finally started coming up.


Here’s the latest picture of my tomato plants and my Jalapeño plant that are out in the back 40. The Jalapeño actually has a tiny pepper on it already. The tomato blossoms keep falling off because the nighttime temps are not above 55 degrees yet. Hopefully that will come soon.


Our roses across from the lettuce bed are all covered with buds and a few of them have started to open up. Here is a picture of one of the buds from the Mary Rose.



Linda and I were doing some trimming of our Thundercloud Plum tree the other day, and Summer Girl graciously came out to help us.


Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest


Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.


  1. Summer Girl is helping out? Of course, she is! 😉 You’re right about leaving a mature peony in place as they DON’T like to be moved. Your “baby” may do all right if it was set out earlier this spring and therefore has not had long enough to settle in. I have three small peonies that a yard man (not a gardener) whom I had hired to clean out the English borders for fall; he didn’t know anything about woods versus real plants, so he pulled out these peonies and tossed them onto his truck load! It’s a good thing I discovered the mistake before he drove off!! Ever since then, those three little peonies have remained small, but they do bloom every spring.

    I’m glad you’ve embarked on creating an English-style garden. Once it’s established, it will bring you pleasure every year. Gertrude Jekyll, among other garden writers, is a great guide to follow.

    Gertrude Jekyll at Munstead Wood (A Pimpernel Garden Classic) Hardcover – August 1, 2015

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been a pretty miserable spring for sure but at least your plants are loving it! We used to say here in Seattle that summer doesn’t start till after th 4th of July and that certainly rings true this year. Can’t wait for sunshine! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We chatted with friends in Portland yesterday who mentioned that the weather in the PNW has been especially cool and rainy, which isn’t too uncommon for Western WA, but certainly not for Yakima! Very odd. Did the hummingbirds ever return? Summer Girl looks about as helpful as Neville! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amid all the fussing about cool, damp June, let me butt in to say I’m rather enjoying this lovely month, especially after last year’s horrendous heat dome. My lawns are recovering – the rose bushes are bushy – the very air smells sweet. On the other hand, the herb could do with more sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, well, it’s warm enough now, right? 😉 As I’m sure you know, spring was cool and wet over here, too, and though I did begin to wonder where the heat was in July, overall I’m really happy about it -everything is so lush! There are more flowers by far and some plants that suffered from too much heat and drought are looking great. Your peonies are gorgeous! By now you’re eating great veggies from the garden, too, I bet. So here’s to spring, cool and wet, and here’s to summer finally arriving. 🙂


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