The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

A walk in the woods –Northeastern Washington State.


By weeds11


Early spring here brings buttercups first…sorry, this year those were covered with snow. Then there are usually shooting stars and dancing fairies, bluebells, yellow bells…sorry, those froze. Then come the camas and wild lupine, usually a sea of blue…sorry, we got nearly 90 degrees with 25 mile an hour winds that fried the blossoms when they were setting on. You are probably beginning to understand this narrative.
But, all is not lost. Nope. Come on with me. March and April were a dismal failure this year but consider May.

Wild Sunflowers, (Arrowleaf Balsamroot) everywhere. My mother used to tell us not to pick them cause they had ticks on them, but truth be known they were too stinky for the vase she always kept full of wild flowers we picked for her.

Wild hyacinth, just like tame ones only smaller. (They call them ‘wild’ but I have never been bitten by one.)

Kinnikinnik. I love this name, kinnikkinnik, kinnikinnik, kind of rolls off your tongue. Or if you want to bore all your gardening friends to tears, you can call them bearberries.

They are evergreen and have red berries in the fall. I have transplanted these very successfully around my rocks.

Meadow, various grasses, snowberries and weeds. The grass and weeds will turn a soft tan color by midsummer.

Oregon Grape. Barberry family, except the thorns are on the leaves instead of the branches. This is evergreen even here where it gets very cold. And Violets. A pretty combination. Whoever is ‘in charge’ of planting the wild flowers did a good job with this ‘arrangement.’

More wild phlox, these come in lavender, blue, pink and white and will grow anywhere…except in my yard.

I like pine cones; these are last years cones, with this year’s growth candle. Pondersosa pine.

These are called Prairie Star, Saxifrage family. The flowers are only about 3/4 in. across. Kind of cheery.

Thimbleberry, rose family. This was planted along with my alpine fir. The berries are ‘mealy, and insipid’ according to my wildflower book but the birds and I both like them. They’re a lot like a raspberry, only seedier.

This is looks like a serviceberry, sorry I don’t know for sure, the leaves are right but the petals are over long. These are little different than the ones we had farther north. We used to pick the berries for jelly. The Native Americans used to make Pemmican out of them, which was one of their staple foods.

Wild Strawberries are like tame strawberries, except sweeter and not bigger than a half inch. They make great strawberry shortcake if you have enough patience to pick them for hours and hours. My sister did. Here, the birds eat them without whipped cream, before they get ripe.

Fir trees and snowberry bushes. Snowberries have small pink blossoms and white berries in the late summer (duh, hence the name,) that stay through the winter. The birds and beasts eat them, but they are not recommended for human consumption. Eat a couple to cure an upset stomach but too many will make you wish you hadn’t.

“The Woods” belong to a family who live on the far side across this alfalfa field. We have his permission to walk and ride our horses there, but the area has recently been abused by people on four wheel bikes so the gates have been closed and locked. Yesterday lighting struck a pine tree down there and started a fire; we went down this morning to see what damage was done. The lightning peeled a three inch swath of bark from the top to the bottom of the tree. It burned about a half acre before the fire department put it down. It’s still smoldering a little this morning put they dug a fire break around it so it won’t spread, and we are getting some light rain.

More blog posts by weeds11

Previous post: Rhodies at Meerkerk Gardens on Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Next post: Killdeer



I loved taking this walk with you...too bad about the fence having to be locked up..isn't that where we went riding?
I have not got to see so many of the wildflowers pointed out before..and I like the idea of the cones and candle on the pine trees..had never heard it put that way before..
The thimble berrie bush looks just like what I have been told all my life is a Salmon Berry bush...I like to eat them too..almost like a raspberry but less sweet...
The snowberries we called pop berries because when you squish them they "pop" mom got after my brother and I not to call them that because she was afraid my baby sister would think they were soda pop and try to eat them....yikes..
love this...thank you...~Sis-n

14 Jun, 2009


~many thanks for the tour!We have snowberries growing wild near the house and the wild Hyacinth we call Muscari I have in pots.I also have the violets but mine are very small and seed absolutely everywhere.
I am sorry about the lightning does that happen often?
We have had a warm sunny day here and took Dexter across to the beach~Caz nearly had hysterics when he jumped into the river and went under as it was quite deep at that point, but he paddled to safety and seems none the worse for it.He may be a wimp as far as people are concerned but he shows no fear of heights water etc!
Crazy dog!

14 Jun, 2009


Lovely Weeds always great to see new locations plants - helps to paint a picture of where gardens are in the world and some of the things you have to contend with .

14 Jun, 2009


Thank youse, all.

Cat, Yes on the west side of the state I think they do call thimbleberries -salmon berries. "Pop berries' Haven't heard that before, it's true though, they really do pop. Kid's today have packing bubbles to pop so they probably would be less impressed with berry popping. :-) The farmer that owns the land will still allow us to walk and ride down there but we have to take a back way down, not quite so accessable to four wheelers.

14 Jun, 2009


Arlene, Hello,
That Dexter! Good thing he knows how to dog paddle! I can see why Caz was upset. Sometimes having dogs is like having children, you know they have to learn where their limitations are but it's usually easier not to have to watch them learn :-)
We have lightning storms quite a lot in the summer. We were fortunate that it was in a place that was accessible for the fire department. I doubt they were 10 minutes getting here after it hit. If it had had more time to burn uncontrolled it would have been a disaster. The old pine tree by the barn was hit years ago and is still alive and standing.

14 Jun, 2009


Bonker I think you and I agree on the pleasue we get out of visiting the GoY crew. I hardly miss a day that I don't learn something from all of you or one of you gives me a reason to laugh.

14 Jun, 2009


A great blog. Thanks. I enjoyed reading it :o)

14 Jun, 2009


Blodyn, Glad you enjoyed it.

15 Jun, 2009


Enjoyed the tour. Isn't there always somebody who abuses privileges and spoils it for everybody else.

15 Jun, 2009


So true, Wagger.

15 Jun, 2009


So glad that you still get to ride there...I would love to get to do that again...

15 Jun, 2009


We will. Two things... you have to be here and we have to saddle up.

15 Jun, 2009


Lets see..gonna have to make a plan I guess...

15 Jun, 2009

Add a comment

Recent posts by weeds11

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Sep, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    12 Feb, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Nov, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Dec, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Apr, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    3 Nov, 2008