Welcome! I began this online gardening journal in March 2014 with the goal of chronicling these gardens on Coppertop Trail while learning to care for them. The gardens are what first drew me to this mountainside home.

We purchased these five acres on the northern Olympic Peninsula in Washington State in late 2013 and moved into our home in early 2014. About half of the land is wild forest, and the other half was beautifully landscaped by the original owners/builders since 2001 with an abundance of perennials, bulbs, trees, native plants, climbing vines, shrubs, herbs, groundcovers, vegetable and flower beds, berries, and a small orchard. A stream bisects our land, flowing into a pond, then out through a wild, marshy area. The soil toil is continuous, but the joys are never-ending as well. This view eases the labor.


Hubby and I lived half of our life together all over the globe, as he served those years as a pilot in the US Navy. We give thanks to God for adventures that developed in us and our three adult children a love for exploration in many forms. We entered a new, slightly more settled phase of life together in 2013 in the Pacific Northwest, a gorgeous place we both have ties to, and we are developing roots 😉 while maintaining our love for exploring.

22 thoughts on “About

    • Hi Steve. Thanks for stopping in! The climbing hydrangeas, Anomala petiolaris, were already planted when we moved in last year, so I don’t have a source. I have two growing well against fences and poles, and the effect they give with their white blooms, then peeling bark in winter, is lovely. Not knowing your area, have you first tried some great local nurseries? or the online giants like White Flower Farm, Wayside Gardens, or Bluestone?


  1. I’m thoroughly enjoying all your blog entries, which I’ve started to read beginning with the first in March 2014. We seem to have a lot in common. You mention you lived in Italy, where you bought some of your flower pots. I lived in Italy for over 30 years, and I, too, have brought back some of my terracotta pots. I currently live just north of you, near Vancouver, BC. And I am a passionate gardener (but on a smaller scale), learning daily, planting herbs, flowers and vegetables that will feed me and the beneficial insects and birds that visit (unfortunately there are also some thieving intruders, who have devastated most of my vegetable plants this year). I would love to be in touch by email, if that were at all possible.


    • Hi Florence! Not sure if that’s your name, but I’m certainly glad you’re enjoying reading about Coppertop gardens! Sounds like we have a connection. I was able to visit Vancouver for the first time this summer. You live in a beautiful area. Isn’t learning about plants great fun? It’s my favorite hobby and one I’ll never tire of. Please do email whenever you have an opportunity at pickerfam@hotmail.com. All the best to you.


    • Hello, Peggy! Thanks for the encouraging words. Yes, we think Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is a bit like heaven on earth. There is so much beauty throughout our state, and it seems you know how to reflect it well with your gorgeous photos! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Much of our garden in the UK is “wild forest” too! I do rather envy you also inheriting a “beautiful landscaped” area – shame we missed out on that bit. Lovely to find your blog anyway through SOS. I will enjoy keeping up with it 🌳👩🏻‍🌾🌳


    • I am so impressed with your home and the life you’re making off the grid. Before you know it, you’ll have your own beautiful garden-of-sorts. I know you raise chicks, and I’ve found that they and the landscaped parts here don’t always peacefully coexist, but the eggs are worth the extra effort fixing up the plants they scratch at.


    • Thank you, Amy! I’ve enjoyed seeing pieces of your Nebraska life through instagram and your blog. As beautiful as winter is, you and I have been surrounded by loads of snow, and I know we are both ready for spring!


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