Saltwater Sounds Weekly: A Week in the Summer Heat

Welcome to Saltwater Soundsa collection of ideas, tips, and inspiration. This is where I share all that’s been happening in the world of Shiplap and Shells, what’s to come and the inspiration I have found from other bloggers around the web.

chocolate lace flower and greenhouse evening view

This and That…

After months of cooler than normal temperatures, we were finally given a small taste of what the rest of the country has been experiencing.

We have been in the 90s but haven’t made it to triple digits thank goodness.

We’ve been going through the same routine every day. The windows are all opened in the evening and in the early mornings and then everything closes up around 11:00.

This has really worked to keep the house cool without having air conditioning. Temperatures will go back down 20° to the 70s all next week. My poor flowers have no idea what is happening this season.

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links. As a Reward Style and Amazon affiliate, I earn commission on sales at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

yellow orange dahlia

A Walk in the Garden

Speaking of flowers, I do have many more blooms in the garden to share with you this week.

The dahlias, coneflowers, and black-eyed Susans have finally woken up and they are beyond beautiful.

purple coneflower
HS Date dahlia

The coneflowers, or echinacea, are about a month behind but I’m so happy to see them.

This peach dahlia above is called a single HS Date.

café au lait dahlia

The cafe au lait dahlias went from nothing special to spectacular literally overnight.

Don’t forget to support your heavy dinner plate dahlias!

greenhouse and a garden with yarrows

This is my first year growing yarrow and I really love this flower! The colors are so pretty. This variety mix is called “summer berries”.

purple, pink and white yarrow
purple petunias
fuchsia petunias

Pretty petunias are one of my favorite annuals for growing in our planter in front of the greenhouse. This is because they fill out so quickly.

They do tend to be a lot of work to deadhead and can get very leggy if you don’t keep up on them.


Here’s a sunflower from the garden. I will share more of them on my garden tour next week. I have 4 different varieties.

cottage garden with black-eyed Susans and daisies

It’s very rare to see both daisies and black-eyed Susans blooming at the same time in the cottage garden. The daisies were also a month behind blooming because of our cool weather.

cut flower garden in the summer

Here are some strawflower and sweet peas. I’m not sure how long the sweet peas will make it. They’re currently under the shade cloth, but the strawflower will be blooming through fall. They make the most beautiful dried flowers by the way.

blazing star

Blazing star is one of my favorite perennials in the summer cottage garden. They have such a unique look and the pollinators absolutely love them!

cut flower garden with shade cloth


This week was the first time we’ve had to bring out the shade cloth, which not only diminishes sunlight but diffuses the sun’s rays. The shade cloth material allows for air circulation and moisture to get through to the plants.

Read more about ways to protect your garden flowers from extreme heat here.

cut flower garden with shade cloth

It really seems to help.

cut flower garden with shade cloth
cut flower garden with shade cloth

My husband came up with a system that will enable me to put up the shade cloth whenever I need it, even if he isn’t around.

putting up metal posts for shade cloth

He attached 1/2 inch electrical conduit pipe to the corners of the raised beds and secured them with 1/2 inch conduit straps.

This allows me to easily insert the pipe into the straps or remove them whenever I desire. This will hold the cloth in place. Now when I don’t need to use the shade cloth I can just lift the support pipes out of the holders and store them for next time.

shade cloth covering cut flowers

Here’s the view of the cosmos and snapdragons from underneath the shade cloth. They’re so happy!

getting ready to go boating

Our Steilacoom Boating Adventure

On one of our hot afternoons last week I went on a friend’s boat to Steilacoom which is about an hour trip from Gig Harbor if you’re going at a leisurely speed or 30 minutes if you’re hauling to get back to the marina before dark (yes, we did both of those).

boats and houses in Gig Harbor

I have to say my friend has one of the best spots in the marina and here is the view from the back of the boat. We are in Gig Harbor here.

Gig Harbor Tacoma Narrows Bridge

We went under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which is always so fun.

concert in the park in Steilacoom

Here we are in Steilacoom watching the concert in the park from the balcony of the most gorgeous Victorian House.

Victorian home

This house!

sunset in Steilacoom

This is the most incredible spot for a summer sunset.

There’s usually a farmers market on Wednesday too but it was canceled due to the heat.

Pierce Country ferry

The public dock was right next door to the ferry terminal.

Victorian home overlooking the water

As we were driving the boat away we waved goodbye to our friends on the balcony where we just were.

sunset with a boat

And here we are heading home after the most fun evening.

kayaking around the bay

Kayaking Around the Bay

My hubby and I spent our Anniversary evening (which is also my birthday…who gets married on their birthday?) kayaking on the bay. Jax rode with me and Ollie rode with his dad.

a Victorian vacation home on the bay

Here’s one of the houses I always love to see. It’s actually a vacation rental property.

My Vintage Finds from Poulsbo

I told you last week that I ran out of time and didn’t include the pics of some of the vintage finds I picked up.

I have been looking for a vintage iron and glass table for so long and finally found one at Details Home and Garden. The chippy white step stool and French dough bowl are from Red Plantation. How cute are the vintage green wire basket and orange rolling stool from Saltwater Vintage?

Antique candle co. fall candle testers

Be a Fall Candle Tester

It’s that time again when you can become a fall candle tester! Here are the perks when you become a tester…

  • Test 4 brand new potential fall candle scents and give your feedback.
  • Help decide what the next fall candle will be.
  • Get awesome perks including a fabulous 30% off coupon code.

Testers will be available July 28th – August 3rd and run out quickly.


What’s Happening at Shiplap and Shells…

summer tablescape with daisies, candles and croquet balls

How to Create a Quick and Easy Summer Barbeque Tablescape

Who is ready to celebrate summer with a backyard barbeque? Today I’m sharing how to create a quick and easy tablescape that you can use for any summer event you host.

crunchy and healthy cabbage

A Crunchy and Healthier Homemade Coleslaw Recipe With No Mayo

Are you looking for a new summer side dish idea? Here’s a vegan crunchy coleslaw recipe that is not only delicious but is a healthier version without mayonnaise.

Plus, there are 5 other BBQ recipes in this post including a drink, appetizer, main dish, and dessert. They are ALL so yummy!

Christmas greenery and flowers in vintage galvanized bucket

How to Start Planning Ahead for Your Cozy Cottage Christmas Decor

Do you dream of getting a head start on the winter holidays and avoiding those last-minute headaches? Today I’m sharing ideas on how to start planning ahead for this year’s Christmas decor.

Coming Up…

  • End of July Garden Tour
  • August Gardening To Dos and Tips
  • Our Trip to Venice, Italy

My Favorite Inspiration Around the Web…

My 100 year old Home

Do you ever wonder what it takes to write a book? The lovely Leslie at My 100 Year-Old-Home shares a behind-the-scenes look at her book-writing journey. Her book, A Home to Share is now available for pre-order.

peach sorbet County Road 407

Are you looking for a refreshing dessert that will cool you right down? Cindy at County Road 407 shares a delicious and super easy summer dessert. You will not want to miss out on her 2 ingredient peach sherbet!

peach crostini Thistle Key Lane

And while we’re on the subject of peaches, check out my friend Michelle from Thistle Key Lane has shared the most amazing grilled peach crostini recipe.

More Inspiration

All your flower fall seed sale questions are answered here.

This stunning Southhampton surf retreat.

Crispy sweet corn wontons.

These tips for throwing a summer BBQ party.

This design project.

These beach decor ideas for any room.

Cooling down with an ice cream social.

This stunning she shed.

This refreshing summer cocktail.

This English cottage.

How to grow and care for ferns.

An Oldie But a Goodie

dahlias and greenhouse in the summer evening

An Enchanted Evening Stroll Through the Garden

I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and let me know what you’d like to see on the blog! Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead,


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  1. Wow! There are some stunning photos in this post. It looked like you had a wonderful time on your excursion. The houses are so beautiful and the view! If it’s any consolation, my garden doesn’t know what season it is either. It’s the middle of winter and some of my roses are flowering which makes me wonder if I should go ahead and prune them. We’ve had so much rain (1 day without in the last month) and so the ground is completely water logged. This year, my dahlias were still flowering in April when they should have been long gone. Crazy times. Your garden always looks so beautiful though. I love seeing your photos and hearing what’s going on.

  2. Oh how beautiful the garden looks Kim! That Dara is amazing and the cafe au laits are my fave too! Glad you joined us this week. Thanks for sharing my post! xoxo

  3. Your walk through the garden was absolutely stunning Kim. I just can’t imagine being surrounded by such beauty everyday. Thanks so much for sharing my sherbet recipe. I’m about to make a strawberry version! Happy Sunday!

  4. Kim, okay. I want your life. The water, that Victorian home (oh my!), your dahlias! I truly have flower envy (cannot grow them here and I would love a bouquet of the cafe au lait ones). Your links this week are so pinnable and will be going back through each and every one of them to do so. Thank you for sharing my ice cream social! You are truly the best.

    1. You are so kind Mary. Thank you. The cafe au lait dahlias are petty spectacular. But I will be wanting your life when we are freezing cold and wet and you are out in your outdoor spaces enjoying your sun, oranges, lemons, and hollyhocks. Hugs.

  5. Oh I’ll just sit here in our land locked home and live through you Kim. It’s just us and our 2 pups now but my hubby still works 7 days a week..nights. We are so trying to find a place we can retire to and enjoy some of the coastal waters or even a lake BUT give us some cooler days too as I’m not a fan of the humidity and hot weather. Your home looks great.
    I enjoyed your photos about your boat trip…oh…I wish. One day maybe:0)
    The flowers look spectacular! My flower garden has been my savior this year. I putz around enjoying the flowers and trying out new ones. I wish I had a larger garden to grow more things like yarrow and echinachea but I am growing dahlias (love Cafe Au Lait too!) in some large pots behind the rose arbor.
    Do you plan to add some outdoor lights for the winter season? Needing some ideas for our home that just may be a bit different than icicle ones? Ideas on front door pots that hold perennials or some perennial potted flowers/shrubs you’ve done that lived all season outdoors?

    1. Happy Sunday Lori! Thank you for reaching out, I loved hearing from you. I will say that Western Washington is probably the coolest area in the country during the summers. And because we have the Puget Sound, there are so many areas around the water. We love it here even though it rains so much during the first part of the year. We will most likely keep our bistro lights around the garden and greenhouse up for winter. So happy that this is now a trend and we don’t have to take them down after Christmas. I do like adding garland to the white picket fence and greenhouse with twinkle lights though. I may try the lights that I can stake in the ground along a pathway. I think you should go for the icicles! They are magical. Mini boxwoods are great for outdoor pots to create year-round interest and then you can add perennials around them. I plant white cabbage in the fall and they last through the winter and into spring. Depending on your climate you could plant pansies. I also get baby heathers to plant. Those look beautiful. Try adding fresh greens and holly and stick them into the dirt for the holiday season with bows. Hope this helps and thank you for giving me the idea to write a blog post with more ideas on winter pots!

  6. I just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog immensely and is truly the only one I actively read each week. I enjoy the beauty you capture in every picture and this week you taught me how to create a functional sun shade! I’m definitely asking my husband to make the adjustments on my flower garden. My blooms aren’t tolerating the sun and heat at all. Thank you for sharing your home and life with us!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Lorri! It makes me so happy that you read my blog regularly and that I can actually give you ideas that you can implement. The sun has really been hard on so many gardens this summer and any relief we can learn about is great. You have made my day with your comments! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

  7. Your blog is truly my favorite, you blow me away every week. Clearly, I need to take some lessons from you my friend.
    I enjoyed seeing what you have been up to and all the beauty you saw. Thanks for sharing my post today as well.


    1. Thank you, Wendy! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy yours as well my friend. I definitely need to visit your she shed one of these days!

  8. Of all the blogs that I enjoy each week, yours is my favorite. Your house is exactly my style, low-key, vintage, and beautiful. I look forward to the gorgeous views every week- thank you so much! I love boats and kayaking, too. For me, it’s like taking a little vacation.

    1. What a lovely thing to say, Hilary. Thank you so much for the kind words. I really do appreciate it so much! We’re hoping to get our boat back from the boatyard in the next couple of weeks. She’s been there since February! I can’t wait to share our adventures as we clean it up, decorate it and go on trips with the boys, Jax and Ollie. Thank you for your kindness…we all need a little more of it these days. Hugs.

  9. Every post is special. Thank you.
    Enjoy the vintage shopping and boating adventures also.

    Regarding Christmas in July – what is the vessel on the dinning table? What does it measure? What size pot would it hold when buying from garden center for an event?

    1. Thank YOU for reading my blog and reaching out. It’s always so nice for me to hear what people enjoy on the blog, so thank you for the input. As for the vessel on the table, it is a vintage galvanized 10’x10″ bucket that I placed mason jars filled with water inside as vases for the flowers so they would stay hydrated. The jars also help the flowers stay upright as flower frogs do. I would choose a gallon-sized garden pot to put in it. They can range anywhere from 6-8 inches from what I’ve read but don’t take my word for it. It’s only a guesstimate. Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friend.

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