Idyll # 476 - Spring has Sprung

saucydog(z5MA)March 19, 2010

It looks like Spring has sprung for all of us! I'll be looking for my Spring moment in time today!

Carry on Idylls!


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Ah yes, the early days of spring. IÂve been very busy doing clean up, wondering how so many bits and pieces of debris accumulate over the winter! And how ironic IÂm trying to get rid of the grass along the property line and transfer mulch to that area (from the tree stump removal) so I can level and reseed where the tree used to be. Make sense? DH tested the huge mulch pile and itÂs still partially frozen!

I can imagine all the IdyllÂs busy with a variety of early chores, assessing things in need of repair, list making and planning. After a winter of confinement, now everything needs done at once! The squirrels went ballistic this year with their gnawing. HereÂs a sample of their work, just about every birdhouse had the opening enlarged.

The gourd hangs from a tree and originally had a small hole which they thoroughly vandalized. Darn tree rats can cling like a (shudder) spider.

Not a good picture of the condo but you can still see that enormous opening on the bottom unit.

For the third year, sparrows have already taken over the bluebird, and every other birdhouse. They are dominating the whole yardÂsparrow gangs! Any suggestions on how to discourage these aggressive little birds? Such determination. Already they are packing the large entrance holes, flying in with astonishing long ribbons of dry grass material and bits of torn plastic.

Just a quick pop in before I begin to prioritize outside/inside/shopping and errands. We are entering into the season where there doesnÂt seem to be enough hours in the day! Hoping everyone has a pleasant, productive weekend and finds a few minutes to Idyll :-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 11:45AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marian - the blood test I had yesterday will check blood sugar - I think. But just in case, I'm making a boiled raisin cake with maple icing for dessert tonight :-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 1:01PM
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Very apt Saucy, spring has sprung here and is full speed ahead. We have had very warm days (upper 70Âs) and I have had to water containers !. I do have a couple barrels full of rain water so at least no hose dragging was involved. DonÂt care to be watering in March, but IÂll take the lovely temps without complaint. I hauled home 4 1x6 rough redwood 10 ft boards for my very rustic raised beds in my community garden plot, which I hope to assemble on Sunday. Lots to do this weekend, and I have allotted a very miniscule time frame for indoor stuff.

Enjoying Maries ÂMoments thread ! I hope we continue to get more participants ..

Well Candy , IÂm afraid I have no advice on your sparrow issueÂI bet Deanne might though if we could find her , lol.

IÂm thinking of moving all the tenders outside this weekend- frost becomes rare the closer we move to April, and when it comes the duration is short.

All for tonight ..perhaps an update from V upon her return from down under will be in the cards this weekend ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 9:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A mix of emotions for me today: Seeing Kaveh post on the This Moment Thread, a successful trip to the hospital for my pianist friend's checkup, finding a secret garden behind the hospital, a bit of shopping for my trip, an email from a long ago friend, a message from DSIL who was very pleased with his birthday gift, finishing The Help which brought back many memories of special people in my life, talk with DD about Skyler's report card, hearing Ms Ivy screeching when her mommy leaves the room for an instant...etc.

Little girl is so different from Reed in her interests. She loves to get into cupboards, open the oven door, open the backyard door, thread and unthread shoe laces. She must DO DO DO and CLIMB CLIMB CLIMB whereas Reed observed a great deal, was calmer. Ivy protests loudly and has many opinions about things like her high chair and car seat, changing clothes, using the toilet. What a going concern!!

Thought of Chelone today when my pianist friend was talking about his workplace. He says people assume Swiss people are neat, clean and organized in all things. He says he does not think he is excessively so, but at his workshop he feels an obligation to be organized, to have his tools in their proper places and sharpened etc.

I am saddened by "progress". Our bowstring bridge that we cross daily when running errands in town is about to be replaced, not repaired, REPLACED. They need to make it stronger and wider so the gravel trucks can use it. (They aren't paying for this, I am!) I will miss the rural ritual of deciding which car will cross first, the polite decisions when driving there, the kind wave of thanking the other driver, the caution when slowing down and passing a fisherman there.

I too am enjoying your photos. Please feel free to post more right through the weekend.

Happy weekend!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:21PM
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I just got off the phone with the post office. I have had a problem in the past and again recently with a box of seeds that they delivered to a woman with a similar name as mine. Her address is totally different though. We both live in the rural area so it isnÂt easy for her to return them to the PO. So she has given me the box at church in the past, but that might be days later. DH didnÂt think I should call and voice my complaint. I think they need to know that they are making this mistake multiple times. I was nice. IÂm sure you all would understand.

I also just ordered a fairly large order from High Country Gardens and I really donÂt want them sitting around for days after they are delivered. Maybe theyÂll come UPS and I wonÂt have to worry ;o)

Yesterday we had a dusting of snow and there was a very brisk north wind. I felt sorry for the robins, but it does seem like there is always one snow after they arrive. IÂm hoping that itÂs the only one.

Âbug, thanks so much for the offer of the ammi seeds, but I probably have ordered way more than what I can get planted already this year. As the seed orders arrive I wonder  what I was thinking.

I think we will hit some thrift stores today to look for some garden stuff. You know, cool stuff for floral arrangements or for containers. We are to meet RickÂs brother, SIL and nephew for dinner in town.

Kathy, a raised bed sounds like a good solution for the weedy garden, especially if you can get the same plot next year.

Candy, too bad about the squirrel damage. We donÂt see many on our yard, they tend to live in the grove.

Woody, I hope that you can get some answers for the issues that have popped up. Hopefully, its still part of the healing process.

IÂm glad that the quotes are being enjoyed. I just find them on-line. Emily Compost is one site. Lots of cool stuff has been said about gardening and nature in general in much better words than I can muster.

IÂm enjoying The Moment pictures  such an interesting group we have.

IÂd best get the house cleaned.

Happy Spring!


"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden." ~Ruth Stout

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 10:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here's to Ruth Stout, the garden I discovered yesterday beyond the hospital parking lot.

And here is Spring, indoors:

And here is the bowstring bridge I will miss...

Yes Michelle, I would try to clarify the post office delivery issues as well. They are the ones who should be embarrassed, not YOU!

At the moment it is snowing. Brrrrrrrrr. Haircut at noon, trip to the dump, packing...all on the agenda.

Smiles to all!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 10:34AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - I'd complain about that too. Sometimes our mail ends up and a neighbour's on the next street or we get theirs - not because of similar names but similar addresses - they have the same house number as us. It's odd that guys seem reluctant to complain about things like that - I'm sure Randy wouldn't either.

gb - nice windowsill for spring! The hospital here has quite an elaborate garden. I think it must be an 'in' thing for hospitals that have the space for one.

It appears that my shaky incident(s) are likely due to my medication levels needing adjusting downwards. I was looking for information on side effects and trembling is listed as one that indicates a need for a lower dose. Several other side effects listed are ones I've been experiencing so we'll call the doctor's office on Monday. It would be nice to be on a lower dose - as long as it doesn't bring back the problem that got me on it in the first place! So we'll wait until Monday because I figure the surgeon's office has more experience with adjusting this medication than, for instance, a doctor at a walk-in clinic that would be open on the weekend.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 11:45AM
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An ironic smile at Woodys mention of Âwalk in clinics open on the weekendÂ.. that would be called an emergency room here, unfortunately the only place available for such days, at least in my town, and big things going on in the medical arena here in the US this weekend. Nice to have a potential answer for your worries Woody, hopefully the correct adjustment can be made and you can proceed into spring feeling better !

And Happy Spring to all my Idyll friends ! Though a light frost was dusting the rooftops this morning the day is warming up and very pleasant at the moment. I have let the Zinnia seedlings go outside and play for the day, they are growing fast now. IÂm going to start a couple more packs this weekend for my Âallotment and more Delphs too. Determined that I will plant everything that is in a nursery pot or bag today without fail .

Michelle, what a tease telling us about your big High Country order with out divulging the all important details ! This morning I woke up at about 4am and them dozed off again , and dreamed that Chelone , Wrecks, and I were at your house wandering around upstairs looking for things that we had seen photos of. There were very large windows with gardens seen out of all of them, and Wrecks was interested in a cat that sat on an end table, lol.

Love the window display bug ! It will be mighty festive when they open. I have a couple just opening outside, and it reminds me that I had intended to plant more of them this fall but never did.

Have contacted our missing Cindy , and can report that she has been living in Âflu-city thus her absence ; but is starting to feel better . Hopefully she will feel up to a visit soon !

OK, time to get back outside , waving to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 2:28PM
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Happy Spring here

Another beautiful day and more lettuce, purple sprouting broccoli and Arugula were planted in my hoophouse. Norma - it is only a little bigger than a cold frame - 5 x 5 feet. However, it gives me a place for early plantings and makes me happy. It was also fun to make - one of those projects where a few materials from HD can be put together to make something functional and frugal. The delivery today of seeds which included some unusual lettuce also made me happy.

Beautiful window display GB!

Tonight Annie, DH and I are going to our local theatre to see Arthur Miller's "The Price". I really enjoy his plays and this is a new one for me.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 5:20PM
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Good morning

So quiet here - is everyone outside in their gardens? We've cooled off a little but I'm still hoping to get some clean-up done later this morning. Our patio is knee deep in pine needles so that will be my first task.

The chickens had a good day yesterday. I scored a whole box of lettuce leaves for them at the market. I offered the vendor a dollar for some of the scraps he was tossing. He wouldn't take my money but filled the box to the top with greens. I think I'll bring him some eggs next week and there could be more fine dining in the henhouse. I also tossed the girls worms and any of the nasty Japanese beetle grubs I unearthed as I dug. What a wonderful use for those horrible pests!! The chickens fought over them, running away if they were lucky to snag one. Chickens are so fun!

The play "The Price" was fabulous last night. It was powerful and thought provoking and I found myself thinking about it long after the curtain fell.

Hope you are all having a great day


    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Checking in before I head off to the grocery is the annual spring clean-up day at the community garden, so I will load up my redwood boards and head over there this afternoon. Hope to spend an hour or two in the garden here before hand, I was abit over-enthusiastic about what I was going to accomplish yesterday. One does tend to SALAT quite a bit when in the midst of garden chores in spring.

Mary, I love your tale of the grub-eating chickensÂI could use a couple of those ! Last weekend when I was waiting for the doors to open at the college theater there was a very vocal rooster perched up in a redwood tree greeting the patrons !

OK off to the store-see yÂall later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:43AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Quiet around here lately...

Kathy - have fun cleaning up that plot! I wish it was time to do that sort of thing here but still too cold and damp.

I keep forgetting to say... - Eden - if you find a tagine recipe you particularly like, post it for me please. We have been largely disappointed in the ones we've tried. The best one has been an apricot almond chicken one that had clearly been adapted for not a tagine so I adapted it back. The preserved lemons turned out well but we didn't like the chicken recipe we made using them. However I made a lemon blueberry loaf and used some of the preserved lemon instead of zest. That worked nicely so I suspect we'll use the lemons mostly to make lemon desserts!

We haven't had a dog picture in awhile so here's one:

Dawn is a beautiful dog that lives down the street. She adores Randy in particular. When she arrived last spring her owner was convinced she would kill Misty! She had been kicked out of a breeding program for aggression because of some incident with another dog. I didn't think she looked very aggressive and insisted that we walk together every time we met up. She quickly settled down and now is good buddies with Misty and us - although Misty is very disappointed that Dawn is more interested in Randy and I (particularly Randy - she's a dreadful flirt :-) She mostly ignores Misty after the preliminary nose and butt sniffs! When Dawn arrived in the neighborhood she was a very light color. She shed that coat in the fall and the new coat came in very dark. Malamutes are a very high energy breed and her owner - who is a cancer survivor - walks her five times a day for an hour or so a time!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The second day of spring at our house:

More fell after I took that pic, and is still falling. It is over 6 inches deep now. with an icy covering on the vegetation beneath the snow.

Needless to say, we are going nowhere for a couple of days, at least. It is supposed to be warm by Tuesday. again.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 1:07PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello Idylls!

Spring has sprung indeed! It has been so nice and warm here the last few days that I have mostly raked and cleaned up lawns and gardens. Trimmed all the Clems and planted seeds. Already growing in my solarium window: five varieties of Tomatoes, Dichondria, lime Basil,Parsley, Rosemary from cuttings, and Mimulus. I have a pot with Banana seeds in it (after seeing Deanne's and hearing about Saucy's, I really want to try one) and also a Calla bulb. Downstairs I have literally dozens of Pelargoniums and several
Elephant Ears. In the sunroom I have a huge pot with a Hibiscus, another large Pelargonium, Clivia, monster Mandevilla, large Aloe and a Pelargonium standard that I started in the fall and that is looking pretty good now. I am waiting for a bunch of Cannas and Callas from Vesey's - soon I hope - and I have a prodigous amount of veggie seeds to plant directly when the weather is much warmer. I am surely ready for the gardening season!

Good thing I got all of that done as I broke a toe yesterday and can't wear any shoes right now. A container of frozen pumpkin fell out of the freezer and landed on my toe. Of course I wasn't wearing any shoes then either!

Next person in line for the computer is at my elbow, so I better be off!

I kinda wish we could have chickens....



    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 1:59PM
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Another beautiful sunny day. ItÂs not exactly hot, but sunny at least.

The High Country Gardens order was place mostly to get Rosa ÂMorden Sunrise which I spotted several years ago at the Duluth Rose Garden and loved the color. I added Rosa ÂMorden BlushÂ, Agastahce rupestris, Pulsatilla vulgaris ÂAlbaÂ, Panicum virgatum ÂCheyenne SkyÂ, Panicum virgatum ÂHeavy Metal and Schizachyrium scoparium ÂBlazeÂ

My tape to DVD transfer this afternoon is our 2001 trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. ItÂs fun to revisit  it really is quite a place.

Gosh, Julie you sure are having a rash of injuries lately and this latest sounds painful. The pelargonium standard sounds neat, IÂd love to see a picture. I should really try that.

Kathy, what fun it would be to have you, Chelone and Wrecks at my house. Maybe Chelone and Wrecks could teach Jaden a thing or two.

Cindy, if you are reading along, sorry about the flu  yuck! Hopefully, with springÂs arrival we can leave all that nastiness behind.

Âbug, that windowsill must make kitchen cleanup much more enjoyable. YouÂll have to revisit that secret garden again in a couple of months.

Mary, what fun you are having with your chickens. I think the gift of eggs is perfect and may result in more goodies for the chickens.

Marian, is that unusual for you to get that much snow? In fact I tend to think you donÂt get a lot of snow at all.

I found about a dozen baskets yesterday at the thrift stores. I have a number of people that IÂd like to give a floral arrangement to this summer as thank you for various kindnesses. The baskets are perfect since none were more than .50 and some were even .25. Quite a few of them have the liners in them.

I potted up 2 dwarf pink cannas yesterday and put them under the lights in the basement. They may go into the pillar containers.

I think IÂll go and have a walat. I really should winter or should I say spring sow some seeds. The Select Seeds order arrived yesterday.


"Spring is nature's way of saying, let's party!"
Robin Williams

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 3:18PM
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Whew, I put in a 2 hour plus stint of heavy duty manual labor at my plot todayÂbut am happy with the result ! I was pleasantly surpised by the relative ease of pulling the vacant lot-style thigh-high weeds and got about 30 % done . Once the weeds are out the soil is digable, though it is heavy clay. IÂm going to try to get over there one day this week after the awfice to pull more. There is mucho compost on site and I think if I get the soil loosened just a tad I can forego the topsoil and fill the rest of it with the compost.

Freesias, tulips, daffs all in bloom here, and it looks like I will have a daylily flower tomorrow , the stellar ÂMoonlit Madness ..seems early , but there are a few of them sporting scapes. Last fall I ordered Nepeta ÂKit-Kat and as soon as it broke dormancy Doobie was all over it-heÂs not eating it at this point, but he rolls and rubs his face on it. I hate spoil his fun, but IÂm going to have to fence it somehow it I want it to grow at all. And I report that it appears the new snail product I bought actually works  I can say that my Delphiniums are leafed out fully on the bottom and as long as I squirt some of the stuff on the lower leaves every few days they remain untouched. This is a major breakthough ! Take that you slimy **!##*s !!

Michelle, thanks for sharing your plant list Âare you victimized by those yukky Japanese beetles on your roses where you are ? That Morden Blush is a pretty thing . I am going to direct sow the Celosia spicatas you shared with me you think they need very warm soil temps to germinate ?

Stay warm Marian !

Ok, IÂll leave you with a few photos I took yesterday, enjoy my spring with me and in a few weeks IÂll enjoy it again with you ! From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 7:20PM
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Kathy, no JB here. I have one other Morden rose and its such a great performer, blooming all summer. Is your hellebore "Golden Sunrise"? I planted one last year and I see one fat yellow bud on it.

A few shots from the garden walat. There is color out there! You've got to love plants that stay evergreen. The first one is up for guessing. I know that 'bug will know.

Jaden and I walated far into the pasture and found these things of interest. My photography skills don't do the first picture justice. It's hard to get a sense on the scale. The snow banks on the right were probably 10' tall. It was really cool looking. My thought was "The Grand Canyon of Iowa" ;o)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 10:40PM
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Michelle, these are wonderful photos ! Who knew there was a Grand Canyon of Iowa ? We Idylls often get exclusive info .

The Hellebore is called 'Painted Lady', and I also have 'Dark Lady', which is a uniform maroon-y color.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bug raises her hand on photo #1. Gonna send me your favorite recipe Michelle?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:52PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Michelle, Woody, Kathy and Marian-love all the pics. Love that we are going from all those spring blooms to snow and back!

Cindy, hope you are feeling better. Hope you were able to enjoy our fabulous weather over the weekend.

Chelone, how are you????

Had my second round of gum surgery-no big deal, but am on soft foods again for a week. I can say with authority that chocolate can be considered a soft food if you let it melt in your mouth.

Heading to bed. I think I am still trying to get past the time change. At least, that is my excuse.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 8:30PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cyn - careful with the chocolate... When I had a facial surgery a number of years ago and Randy brought chocolate to the hospital, my surgeon wouldn't let me eat any. He said chocolate causes blood vessels to constrict and that is not good for circulation/healing with the small blood vessels in the face.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 9:02PM
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Interesting assortment of pictures on this Idyll.

Bug I like the view out your window as well as the one on the sill. Sad to see the bridge go.

Woody Dawn is a beautiful dog. Is her coat a reddish color?

Marian that snow stayed away from us.

Julie sounds like you are on the ball with the garden stuff. I'm still waiting for my enthusiasm to kick in.

Mary, I think you have got the barter gene. ThatÂs great.

Michelle , good call on Grand Canyon of Iowa. Amazing that so much can happen in the garden under all that snow.

Kathy those tulips are gorgeous. My daffs are blooming now too. I had a yellow helebore but it didn't survive. Only pink ones now. Not many tulips anymore either.

It did warm up this afternoon, but I wasn't going to sit around on the wet ground to weed. Took a walk with the dogs instead.

I think what I need is a good ol sugar high. I have cut back on carbs and caffine and don't have a lot of energy. I am able to move with a lot more ease with less weight though and that feels really good. Probably just need some regular exercise to speed up the metabolism.

I noticed that a lot of the dogwoods here don't have buds on them. Must have been our crazy weather last year. The show won't be nearly as good this year.

ThatÂs all for tonight. Take care all. Norma

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 10:27PM
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I spent 45 minutes at my garden plot this evening right after work, and got more weeds out. I think that about 3 more hours of work, maybe 4 will have the the prep work done. I have a 4 day weekend on the horizon, but DD and Mr B will be here so there will be limited time for gardening, and Sunday is the SF Garden Show . Busy times.
Got avoice mail today that my Photo class this Wed is cancelled due to under minimum class size. Bummer. I looked through the catalog though and found an alternative, which might even be better than the one I picked out originally, itÂs 3 nights instead of 1 so maybe more in depth. ItÂs in May though, and I had hoped to go up to Oregon for a few days that month so IÂll have to study the social calendar. And once May is done itÂs all about prep for IU.

Cyn I hereby wish you well from the sisterhood of oral surgery. I have a pending procedure that I have put off due to other financial obligationsÂhoping this fall , after my trip to New EnglandÂnotice that travel takes a back seat to teeth, lol.

The production of man of La Mancha that my DS is acting in at our local college has proved wildly successfulÂthey have had 2 sold out weekends in the row, a first in the history of the Performing Arts program there.

Hi Norma !

OK, all for me tonightÂ

Waving Â

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:03PM
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A pot of chicken soup is cooking as I write. That will keep us fed for a portion of the week. Friday and Saturday is our Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my side of the family after being cancelled twice due to weather. Now where did I put those gifts?

I found I still had some cut out Christmas cookies in the freezer so IÂll bring those along. I believe prime rib is on the menu.

Today was in the mid-fifties and sunny. I spent a little time in the garden cutting back some grasses. There is still some snow about here and there.

I keep an Excel spreadsheet of each garden and the plants in it along with the year each plant was planted. Its handy to check what I planted last year so that I can see if all survived. I think with all the snow we had so early in the winter I should have had a good winter.

For those who havenÂt guessed, the first picture is rhubarb just breaking ground. Sad to say I never make a whole lot other than crisp.

The DVD project of the night was our wedding. It made me kind of sad when I saw the family members who were at our wedding and are now no longer living. A lot has changed in 13 years. My kids were in 4th and 8th grades.

Norma, IÂm surprised that you didnÂt get snow. I believe southern Iowa did and Marian did also.

Time to put my feet up for a bit.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 11:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The mornings are downright bird-noisy these days! Fun!

I'm sliding into travel mode, laundry and packing going on. Need to make lists for DH on pet care and plant watering.

Last night was book club, discussing Champlain's Dream. A very nice group of people. My main problem was that because the book is big, it intimidated many. I know of people with math phobia, but didn't realize how many have History Phobia. So 5 out of 7 members last night had only listened to an abridged version of the book on tapes. Whatever works I guess, but frankly that disappointed me. It was a VERY readable book.

Michelle, 13 years is a very nice amount of time to have under your belts. The first few years of marriage are all so very new with everything requiring special effort and understanding, times of trial and error. It is nice to have smooth routines, things exchanged without words, those special jokes and phrases that others can't share. Yes, I think 13 years is a great time.

I'll be off creating "Moments" until about the 6th of April. Don't know if I'll be able to post or not, so keep the home fires burning!
Little Drummer Girl-


    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 8:32AM
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Kathy, great you can have a raised bed at the community plotÂnot so labor intensive. Have you met many of the "neighbors" out there? It should be fun sharing ideas and information with fellow gardeners nearby. Loving your colorful spring photos, they remind me real spring will be here soon. Right now weÂre experiencing temperature fluctuations every few days, a typical Midwest March.

At least weÂre back to grilling out more regularly. Nice to pass the dinner torch to DH most nights. This evening was marinated chicken breasts, baked potatoes and spinach salad with grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. And yipe! tomato prices have really shot up.

Michelle, that first picture got meÂdidnÂt have a clue. So glad itÂs harmless rhubarb instead of a glistening alien pod, lol. This was a great set of photographs, I hope youÂll go back out and take more. Wishing you a Merry Christmas with your family over the weekend! I think itÂs wonderful everyone can finally get together to celebrate.

Marian, did you get that warm up today? I am to the point that if it snows here again, I will go back to bed until it melts. Enough already!

Hi Cyn, glad your can say the second gum surgery was no biggie but it sure sounds gruesome!

Woody, interesting how Dawn favors Randy. IÂve wondered how dogs select their favorite humans. Do you suppose itÂs a combination of voice, scent and touch or some other factor we arenÂt privy to?

Lol about the sugar high, Norma. Congratulations on the weight loss and healthy eating but, yeah, time to put a little zip in the diet. How about a bagel with cream cheese, strawberry preserves and fresh blueberries on top? ThatÂs my new favorite lunch.

ÂBug, youÂll just have to post a lot of photos; every moment will be special. Have a great time and a safe trip! I see Ivy has two pearly white teeth in her smile now. What a busy, active little girl sheÂs getting to be.

One more nice day, then a 20 degree drop. I had hoped to move mulch but found out weÂll have company this weekend. Going to be a mad shuffle of priorities the next few days. Just thinking about it makes me want to dig in the pantry for a crème egg but, IÂve already brushed and flossed so IÂll just tuck into bed.

Oh, almost forgot!ÂKathy, did you get Arabella planted with the spiral thingy? Hinting for more pix :-)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:21AM
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I did hear something about tomato prices going up, Candy, but I don't remember why they're going up :)

GB, it is bird noisy in the mornings. I heard my first peepers last week when it was warm...of course it's been cool and rainy now, so I wonder if they're still peeping when I'm not listening?

The chicks must love all the goodies, Mary, and great score on a lettuce source! I agree that it would make a good barter for both parties.

I am excited about working with concrete again, and have been reading about some new techniques I wish to try. SunnyD's husband gave me my first welding lesson the other day and we made a stand for one of my leaves! I found myself very comfortable with the whole situation, and it brought back a lot of what I used to do when I worked in the Machine Shop in the Navy. I guess it's like riding a bike. I really need a workshop, that is not taken up with bicycles and snowblowers....a girl can dream, no?

Kathy, smother those weeds at The Plot. I always choose smothering as my weapon of choice. Smother and then find some corn gluten meal to sprinkle over your mulch to prevent new weeds! We can get a plot here, too, and I am thinking about those giant pumpkins...

I know GB is going to have so much fun visiting grandbabies...enjoy yourself!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 8:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I heard rumors of that Spring might be showing its face here so I decided to show up too.... Kathy -- what glorious shots -- I am particularly enamoured of those tulips!!

Things are greening here too, as Cyn has likely mentioned -- I've managed a couple walats in the wet yard and worked furiously last Sunday on cleanup. It was great to see the bulbs arising and the earliest things blooming happily. Sadly, no photo shots yet -- just not enough arms.

Trying to catch up here and elsewhere -- being laid low w/ a couple of ailments in the last few weeks has put me behind - but I guess there's nothing new about that.

Cyn - I do hope you recover quickly from the latest stages of the gum surgery... we could compare menus and I suspect have similar ones in our diet lately....

Saucy - so neat that you're welding for your sculptures -- you'll be the Idyll Inta and we can say we knew you before fame.... Cant wait to see what you do.

Okay, gotta get crackin here; it may be sporadic for a bit still checking in - I've got to zip off to PA this weekend for a duty visit...


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 9:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Enjoy your gardens!!!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 4:09PM
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'bug, have a great trip. Make sure to get lots of hugs and kisses.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 4:17PM
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It was fun to see that old thread with the pics of Sues garden surface, back from the good ole TGIF days ! My Friday comes tomorrow, and DD and Aiden will arrive in the afternoon.
My visit with my tax lady last night was full of unpleasant news, and in effect put the lid on any big ticket purchases in 2010. The concrete removal, new windows in the family room, major dental, adios to all of it . Better times next year I hope.IÂll give up just about anything except the plant budget and the trip to NE in the fall. I can pinch pennies to make those happen.

Glad to see you regain enough strength to post Cindy ! I hope you are on the mend, always a good sign when can arise from the sickbed to WALAT !

Bon Voyage Âbug, hope you have a great trip , and can check in from time to time.

Candy, Arabella was duly planted in the spiral thing-y a couple weeks ago and I would be happy to provide photographic proof this weekend. I placed the second one against my beanpole in the back garden. I wonder if I will get a flower this year.

So right Saucy, smothering is way easier than digging! I am almost to the smother stage ; some of the stuff just had to be pulled.

A pleasant evening to all with a wave out yonder to Chelone .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi everyone,

A fly-by post here to say that I am back from New Zealand after having a wonderful trip there. But life has been flying by at a rapid pace and I've hardly caught my breath since getting home. And now I have 25 baby chicks in my basement bathroom, happily peeping away and falling over each other!

I promise to read the threads, post photos and post a more informative thread this weekend!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:45PM
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Nightly walats are occuring here. I was pleased to see growth on my caryoptris 'Summer Sorbet' which I found out after I bought it is listed as zone 5 by some and zone 6 by others.

Saucy, I'd love to see a picture of the leaf stand. DH welds and has all the equipment and room. The problem is that as soon as the weather straightens out he's too busy.

Kathy, we had a similar tax experience :o( You probably will see some blooms on 'Arabella' she's quite the performer. For me she didn't display the usual clematis behavior.

Candy, how nice that your DH does the grilling. Here its an occassional thing.

Cindy, I'm glad to hear you're on the mend and could even get in the garden.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 10:56PM
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Cindy, Sorry to hear you have been so sick. The sight of spring blooms is a welcome sight isn't it.

Kathy and Michelle, sorry you guys got hit by uncle sam. I was expecting the worst this year but was pleasantly surprised that we didn't owe anything.

Bug , have fun.

V, do you have a coop ready for the chicks when the weather warms?

Saucy, I think tomoto prices were going up because of the freezes they had in Florida.

I took advantage of nice weather the last two days and accomplished some weeding and cleanup. Raining this morning and grocery shopping on the list for today.
I was awake very early and the spring peepers are loudly peeping.
Time for another cup of tea.
Have a great day. Norma

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 7:07AM
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I was thinking of Inta while I welded my first peice, and I kept thinking how talented she was to find each different peice of metal and put it together into one complete is not easy to get metal to bend to your will, but there are tricks, and I will learn them! There is a lot of engineering that goes into teetering a big hunk of concrete on top of an ethereal stand, lol!

My husband is being a pain this morning...he's been stressed about work for about 2 weeks now, and it is getting really old. He used to do this all the it's back again. I wonder what he gets out of it? It wears me out just looking at it!

I miss Chelone's morning posts. I really do.

Michelle, I just drew a stand on paper an ran with it. I'll try to get some pictures.

I entered a leaf (a giant's about 2ft by 3ft) into the local art and music festival. I saw lots of things I was interested in and all in all, my leaf was well received. I think I am almost ready to go live with my own little website and share! Almost.

I'll be in the garden!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 7:19AM
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A little color

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 7:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sneaking in before work for a little more chat, but am foiled from seeing Norma's photos - I hope to have time tonite to see.

Golly, V - you are a glutton for punishment arent you? Dealing w/ chicks in your house after a return from an exotic vacation - I hope the chicks dont become anyone's meal before they get their own home, LOL....

Had a similar tax experience here altho I did my own taxes and got the sad news... but I was half-expecting it - I think we all must steel ourselves for paying more taxes; Im trying to be grateful for just being able to do that.

It was a bit premature to be doing the chorese in the garden on Sunday and spending most of my time bent over, the nose and throat seemed to be a continual spigot but I was very determined... I spent a lot of time removing leaves and debris and weeding - a neighbor offered me his rake and then even leaf blower at least three times - he just could not comprehend why I would be in removing the stuff by hand, LOL -- I tried to explain how rakes and blowers can hurt/remove new growth and bulbs - I knew he would not appreciate that I really was also secreting inspecting everything to see what was popping up, LOL.... the eccentricities of a gardener's obsession (well, I know that is all spelled wrong, but dont have time to recall the proper spelling).

Saucy -- a 2 x 3 creation - cant wait to see -- I imagine you have to establish some sort of silent mantra in your head when spouses start their old habits up that pain one... great forebearance and nodding of head is likely necessary....

It's chilly and windy and typical March right now - wow... Is it Friday yet?


    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 9:02AM
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Pouring rain, cold and windy here. Plodding along this afternoon preparing for the weekend. DHÂs brother and his wife are staying a few days as they head home from FL. Much as I enjoy them, visits that extend past Sunday require schedule adjustments and extra planning. IÂm looking forward to the Home and Garden show weÂll attend. After this rain, the ground will have to dry yet again before I can even think about touching my shovel. And just when the soil about to be workable!

Cindy, nice to see you back! Sorry you got hit with a nasty spring virus, they can really leave you feeling poleaxed. I hand clean many leaves around some of my hosta because the emerging eyes are not always easy to see at first glance. I know the neighbors wonder what on earth IÂm staring at so intently while IÂm out there Walating. Then when I drop to my knees for a closer look at the ground, they must really think IÂm a bit theatrical. Yet another reason IÂm working hard to establish a shrubby property line for privacy.

Michelle, so glad to hear your Summer Sorbet made it over winter. Last year I decided against purchasing one as per the zone 6 listing. I am zone 5 so I wonder if yours had the advantage of protection or is planted in somewhat of a microclimate area? Very encouraging to hear that though and I canÂt wait to see a photo of it!

Saucy, welding sounds very coolÂis there anything you and Mary canÂt do?! Please do post a picture. You sound cheerful despite DH so you must be feeling healthy and have all your ducks in a row. Good for you, way to go!

VÂlots going on for you, but what great photos and stories youÂll have to share. Did the chicks arrive shortly after you did? Lol, what a homecoming!

OK, break time is overÂHi Norma, thanks for the pretty colors! And Woody, hope those symptoms have lessened or cleared up. Waving to everyone, have a good weekendÂI sure havenÂt had what IÂd classify a "special moment" to photograph as of yet. Just one of those slow, gray, uneventful weeks, I guess.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 4:29PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cindy - I hope you recover well from your nasty bout of whatever - the drippy nose stage isn't much fun is it?! There's been quite a few people around here with nasty bouts of flu or watever and a couple of nursing homes closed to visitors. There was speculation that the flu would return for a spring bout that could be worse than the fall one that turned out to be relatively mild. It seems like that might be happening.

V - NZ is one of those places I've always wanted to visit - I hope you post lots of pictures....

Saucy - it sounds like you're making some impressive leaves and adding lots of interesting skills to your resume :-) We need pictures of the leaves and their support...

Norma - Dawn is an unusual shade of red-brown. I've never seen a dog that color before. It's not 'liver' and not 'chocolate'. Her owner is a man and I think that has a lot to do with her preference for Randy. I've noticed before that dogs seem to favor 'outsiders' who are the same sex as their owners. Misty is highly suspicious of strange men but will warm up fairly quickly to women.

Today was a fairly productive day here. Randy's making a lot of headway in clearing years of junk out of the basement. In the morning Barb and I went to see Mario about having the iron obelisk/tuteur built. Timing was good - he's semi-retired now so if I had left it too long, I'd probably have to find someone else to do it. I'm waiting to hear back for the quote to see if I'm willing to pay the price! If the price is in the right range, I'll probably go back and change the size/shape of the center vertical piece. We had looked at several there and selected one, but I changed my mind after I got home :-)

In the afternoon Barb and I gave Misty her first haircut of the season. Misty has LOTS of hair by the end of winter - it took us 2 1/2 hrs.! I need more powerful clippers! And of course it's supposed to get really cold tonight... We leave Misty's hair quite long for the first haircut because it's always followed by a cold spell!

I'm still battling side effects of the medication but life goes on...

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 5:36PM
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My leaf won first prize in the sculpture category! There is a ceremony tonight with a $100 prize. I can't believe it.

I just had to share with you as there aren't too many people who even know what the leaves are or what to use them for...

I'm on my way to SunnyD's for tea! TTYL


    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 9:45AM
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Saucy, congratulations!!! The first time I saw a photo of one of your leaf castings, I was astounded at the beauty and high visual impact of detail. When you mentioned entering the contest, I remember thinking how could she not win!? So happy for you and a feeling this is just the beginningÂ.

Glad I popped in and caught Saucy's great news. IÂm about to jump into a busy weekend with company but thought maybe V had posted some photos and didnÂt want to miss a quick view. Imagining all those little chicklets, lolÂwow! Seem to recall Mary named hers Buff, perhaps one of VÂs will be Orprah?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 10:45AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Congrats, Saucy!!! I too cant imagine how you could not have won - it's incredibly wonderful. I hope its the first of many prizes and lots of $$$$...

Happy Friday, folks.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 1:53PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

What happened to my post?! I know I posted earlier to congratulate Saucy and reqest a photo...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 4:18PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Woody, thanks for the advice on chocolate. I cut way back just to be safe. Didn't have any all week. Feeling a little testy-lol.

V., can't wait to compare notes and see your pics of NZ. I am determined to return within the next five years!

Cindy, glad you are up and about now. Are you covering plants tonight? We are supposed to get a hard freeze. I don't know what to do-too many things to cover/protect. I am so bummed!

There is a stupid squirrel on my little magnolia eating all the buds. Off to chase him away. Maybe squirrel stew for supper...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 6:16PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Huge congratulations to Ms. Saucy on her first place showing!

And just for Candy, here's Orprah (and a few of her closest friends)

Shortened work day today as DD returned the car borrowed as part of last month's breakdown adventure, and then I drove her back to school.

However, the short day only gave me hours in the car, not hours at home!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 10:06PM
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Good evening Idylls, and happy Friday . I am in the opening chapter of a 4-day weekend; I was sure ready for it. DD and Mr Baby arrived yesterday afternoon, and they are off to spend the night with an old friend tonight. I spent the afternoon performing a demolition project, and can report I have removed about 10 feet of leaning fence, a task which also required me to move half of the woodpile. Tomorrow I Âm going to visit my garden plot and hope to get a couple hours in there . Spittle bugs have been seen here today .

Yay to our Saucy, we knew her when ! How great to have affirmation of your creativity .

Norma still have daffs here too; mine were up late Âthey were newly planted and donÂt think I put them in till December. Next year they will probably be a done deal by mid-Feb as is often the case here.

Awaiting VÂs NZ pics, a check in from Chelone (and any other of the absentees) wondering where Martie went , and hoping Âbug had an uneventful journey , and is enjoying Ms Ivy .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 10:23PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Can't stay, but a big congratulations, Saucy!

Cheers, Julie


    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 10:24AM
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Saucy, well done, girl! And welding now too? So very proud and excited for you.

Photos are great, bright shiny spring photos of plants, sky, seeds, doggie, haircuts, mini Grand Canyons, and
Ms. Ivy herself. Happy travel to those hitting the road and welcome back to V from NZ -- lots of photos sure to come from that direction, right?

There you are, Cindy. Seems some bug has cycled through every last member of the household here, with Duncan the last to get it and now get over it.

Busy spring for you, Kathy, and what luxuries that veg plot will reap for you this summer. I'm tempted to take on another public garden plot too, but the waiting list is long.

Sorry to hear tax season is not ending well for some. With my dad's illness I worked much less so we actually got a refund, a rarity for us.

Off to my mom's for chorizo and eggs. Happy Saturday to all. Below is a photo of Mathiasella bupleuroides, a plant I've long wanted to see "in the leaf," big and sprawly, leaves like angelica, so I doubt it'd like my zone 10 garden.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:40AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So where did everyone go?

Me, I went outside and got a lot accomplished this weekend. Did some garden cleanup (maybe 10% of what needs to be done), helped burn some of our prairie, walked the front woods looking for signs of spring. Also went to the Saturday morning men's breakfast (all welcome) at church and heard a great presentation on veggie gardening and attended a bittersweet Palm Sunday service - our Pastor's sister lost her battle with breast cancer Saturday night.

Add in a little laundry, general house control and some chick duties, and it was a productive weekend. Right now I'm waiting for a brisket to finish in the oven and the smell is making me crazy. DD went to the grocery store last week to buy a corned beef for our delayed St. Patrick's Day celebration and bought a regular brisket by mistake. She went back and got the right thing, so now I'm cooking what I have dubbed "The Accidental Brisket" and I won't have to cook the rest of the week!

Life has charged ahead full speed since I got home from NZ. I went back to work the day after I returned, and had my evening writing class that same day. Then DD came home for spring break, the chicks arrived, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! Work is in good shape, DD had a nice break and is back at school without an extra car, and the writing class has one more session and I'll be sad to see it end. And the chicks, of course, are doing well. My DDIL is thrilled with the birds and is willing to assist in any way that's needed. They're currently residing in the basement bathroom in a large stock tub and they will stay there about four weeks. Then they'll move to the garage for a couple of weeks (depending on weather) and by the time they are ready to go outside the coop should be all set. We finalized plans yesterday and ordered the lumber. It will be delivered on Friday and the carpenters (DS and his cousin) will be out on Saturday.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite signs of spring - the elongated catkins of our native hazelnuts. Hope you have a great week!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 7:42PM
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ItÂs been a busy weekend with much time spent with siblings, parents, nieces and nephews. It was good. I did feel a little bummed that neither of my children are close enough to join us.

I have done very little outside. This week is supposed to get up as high as 70, but weÂve got commitments for at least 3 evenings.

Saucy, congratulations on the well deserved first prize. Having made a few I can definitely see how well done yours is. Do you plan to sell off your website? I believe Lewis & Little get $335.00 for hosta leaves.

Wow, Kathy, tearing down fencing and moving woodpiles sounds like quite a workout.

Good to have V back. IÂve not had a chance to view the pictures, but plan to take some time to enjoy them.


"Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade."...Rudyard Kipling

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 11:23PM
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Last day of my 4-day weekend, and disappointingly itÂs raining. My grandiose plans for the community garden plot and the continuation of the fence-removal and wood pile project is on hold for a few days-the weather pundits are warning of a week full of the stuff. No excuse can be found for avoiding housework today, and maybe some IU organizing this afternoon. DD and Mr B headed back home this morning. We had a great day at the SF garden show yesterday , and I will try to post some pics later. I was pretty happy with how they came out this year as opposed to the dreadful results last year-still, there is no easy way to get good photos with the lighting in those places. DidnÂt go hog wild on purchases either. This is the second year for the new venue , and they made a few improvements , but the place is still too small in my opinion. One cool feature though, when you buy a tickets you can get into the show as many times as you wish, useful for folks who live closer .

Laundry continuesÂ

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 3:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Jumping in to say hi from Edmonton. Lots going on and of course having fun.

V's chicks in the basement remind me of several years with turtle hatchlings in our main bathroom....

Michelle, enjoyed your latest quote.

Pictures when I get back home next week...I hope.

In the meantime, howdy to Misty and the entire gang...which includes Kaveh with his lovely poppy photo!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 12:43AM
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Kathy, I love the photo of Mr B and Doobie.

Garden clean up and weeding continues here. A few hyacinths blooming and more daffs and helebores. The forcythias are starting too and the Quince. I'm plugging away but without my usual zip. Where did it go? I need it.

Nice weather for a few days if it doesn't get to windy.

I hope everyone is finding time to enjoy spring.

I have another book going and want to read some before getting to sleepy. So waving to all.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 8:17PM
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I think an early night is on the agenda- going back to the awfice after 4 days is such a rude awakening ! It always takes me about half a day to get oriented. Stormy weather continues here , but no comparison to what our friends in NE are experiencing.

My second batch of Zinnias have come up- this group is intended for the garden plot ; IÂm sure it will stop raining at some point so I can finish my prepwork there.

CÂmon out to IU Norma, weÂll give you as much touring around as you can take !

Hi Âbug !

Missing Chelone..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:50PM
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I miss Chelone, too.

Not much going on here. I have a bit of a cold, but it's raining and gray, so not much to do outside anyway. I am wanting to play in concrete, so I am planning to make a workspace for myself today...that is a big hurdle to being creative. I wish I had my own space. Someday....someday!

I am getting excited about IU this year...I really need a vacation. Thank you for all your hard work, Kathy!

I think I've decided to make macaroons for this year's Easter dinner. I'm in charge of carrots and a dessert. Sarah and I are trying to figure out how we want to do our eggs this year. Last year we blew them out and Sarah made Egg Heads...she made each one a different face with hair.

Waving hello to everyone!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 7:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi, folks - been a very busy and traumatic last number of days here...

I congratulate you again, Saucy, on that contest win -- I hope it's the first of many.

Im longing to be outside but we've had windy windy here -- the trip to PA was stressful but things seem fairly good there.

I cant believe we're going to see 80 degrees here this weekend - in fact by Friday.... that should blow a lot of bulbs up and gone... Mother Nature is full of energy.

V - it sounds like your life is full of jammed packed stuff -- I hope you're taking vitamin pills every day.

I will try to be more faithful in checking in here as it's so lovely to see the spring photos.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 8:59AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

((Cindy)) -re your post on the Moments thread...

Sunny but still chilly here. We did manage an hour yesterday in the garden to start clean-up in the front. I hope to get clearance tomorrow to start reducing this drug or the fatigue is going to be a serious problem in the garden!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 9:48AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello, friends!

At last I have put the "must do's" aside for a bit so I can spend some time here with you. Managed to browse through this whole thread - what a treat! So much to see and comment goes!

Candy: for the first time in years we have had no damage from either squirrels or voles. I can guess a couple of reasons why: fishers, dogs in a fenced yard, little snow. I didn't know anyone other than DH referred to them as tree rats *LOL*

Kathy: Hey! My weather this week is the weather you should be having - warm and pleasant, for the first time in history for this date. The garden plot is a definite score, and I would certainly use the raised beds. I have mine fenced in with a couple of feet of chicken wire to keep out the bunnies. No weeds either. Mr. Baby is so cute! And you must be working yourself into a frenzy now that IU 7 is imminent. Wish I could come....

Have a great trip Bug! Ivy is at a fun stage now. My empathy to Sarah re: the report card blues. What a drag about the bridge. We are in the throes of old bridge repair. We are considered a historic area, thank goodness. Our main street is being widened for the trucks. Many of the people who live there are losing half of the front lawns. What a shame!

I hope your recovery is continuing well Woody. What an inspiration you are!And Cyn too. The thought of these surgeries gives me the heebi-jeebies. As does the thought of any surgery *LOL* Let us know how you're progressing.

Oh Mary, a hoop house and chickens! Sounds like such a nice combination. Getting back to basics in food production on a personal scale must feel so rewarding!

And V - with the bathrrom chicks! I too recall Bug's adventure with the turtles. I want to raise tadpoles in my little pond this year if I can find some. Not as much work as chicks or turtles, but you can't eat them either -hahaha! The NZ trip looks and sounds amazing thanks for the great photos!

The tax man was good to us this year for the first time in recent memory. Plantation shutters in the Living Room (saw Kathy's in a photo and have longed for them ever since) and, for me, a real find: an old rusty wrought iron fence that will grace my perennial bed and hopefully discourage the beasts. DH is going to spend some time this weekend figuring out just how to set it up. I am very excited.

Still can't wear real shoes on the broken toe, but have gotten out in Crocs as our weather has been reasonable.

And one of my banana seeds has sprouted! How do I look after it? Saucy? Deanne? Hey, maybe you could cast banana leaves, Saucy!

O.K. back to the "must do's".

Check in, Chelone!



Marian, your second day of Spring definitely does not look inviting. Hope you have passed that stage by now.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:12AM
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((((Cindy ))))

So wishes out to you ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:13AM
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When I left work last night the car thermometer read 77° I could hardly get outside fast enough. I used the edger and went around the Welcome Garden and then made a trench, pulling out all the quack grass that has crept in. There was also a fair amount of raking to be done since Rick blows a lot of our snow that way. Lots of rocks land on the lawn. It looks so good when itÂs done. I decided this year IÂd make a priority. This is basically the only bed without some type of edging.
Do any of you get the daily email from Fine Gardening with their Photo of the Day? I find it quite enjoyable to get a new garden related photo each day.
I miss PM2 and the beautiful National Geographic photos she posted.
The weekend is filled with lots of activities involving DHÂs family and church.
IÂd best return to my work.

This quote is for you Cindy, I'm sure that Chloe will be missed dreadfully, but I hope you can find a measure of peace and comfort in your garden this spring.

"In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends." ...Kozuko Okakura

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:24PM
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Thinking of Cindy this evening.

I am so tired tonight, but I put in a real good day. cleaning beds and raking the yard. Your right Michelle it looks so much better. It probably got close to 80 here today with some wind. First day with short sleeves. Sure need to get a little color on these wrinkly old arms.

Julie so good to hear from you.
Saucy I hope the sun shines for you soon. I'm not sure if I congratulated you on your leaf sculpture win. It sure is nice. I would love a fountain with a leaf like yours, but with two ponds I guess I have enough water features.

I miss Chelone too. I guess she needed a break.

Hopefully PM will show up again too.

The problem with hard work is it makes you really hungry. DH grilled and it sure was good.

Kathy, I wish I could come to IU, but it's not in the cards this year.

Bug, Enjoy those Ivy hugs. That is if she can stay still long enough.

Over and Out. Norma

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 7:40PM
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Good evening friends, and a cold and rainy one here in the mystical land.

Nodding towards Iowa; getting the trenching/edging done always feels so good doesnÂt it? I did sign up for the FG pic du jour several weeks ago, but used my awfice e-mail. Every morning I pour my coffee, sit down and look at the photo- a nice way to ease into the work day. IÂm thinking about submitting one !

Hiya Julie, I must say the plantation shutters are one of the best things I ever did, right up there with the hardwood floors and new windows, though they cost a small fortune. I only put them on the front of the house and the master bedroom.. I would love to do a couple more rooms upstairs but itÂs not in the cards for this yearÂwish you could come too !

Bittersweet to see posts from Chelone and Ei over on the Moments thread, and in that vein, my first rose to bloom this year was Bolero, a beautiful white posted here in memory of a sweet little white dog. From Garden 2010 Spring

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:36PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Thank you for the many lovely thoughts and gestures -- I dont want to bog this idyll down with sadness, so it seemed fitting to post on the memories thread - I am trying to hold tight to the many wonderful memories I have - one of my many regrets however is that this is the season and kind of days that were the most beloved by my faithful gardenbuddy and it is bittersweet not to be able to share them with her - I seem to have "if only one more day" in my head....but it was not to be.

That's a beautiful, beautiful rose, Kathy - maybe I should plant something like that for her. When Im more able to think positively I will contemplate that.

That's a great tip re the FG photo, Michelle -- I will have to try taht - nothing better than sitting down w/ a cuppa in the a.m. to see some beauty!

Again, thanks for the thoughts - I knew you guys would understand and recall her fondly.

I do hope to get out in the garden this weekend and do some of these chores that so many folks are already ahead of me -- I've wanted to edge my beds but never get to it - I did manage to fertilize the clems and roses; altho I want to try that Bayer this year to see if it makes a difference re pests and I read somewhere that it helps prevent Iris borer too -- I would dearly love to be able to keep Iris.

Onto staring around the awfice, and signing up for FG photos.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:02AM
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It was pure luck that I spied Cindy's sad news about dear Chloe's departure for the Happy Hunting Ground. I haven't been following along, I'm ashamed to say. I'll try to get it together and post something; every time I've thought I'd like to something has gotten "in the way". No other reason.

(special nod to Woody. I know I promised you my very own turban shot and I've not forgotten... if fact, it has haunted me at rather strange times! I promise I will share it for your enjoyment.)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 2:47PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Sunny but still a fair bit 'cooler by the Lake' here today. I hoped to get some garden work done this morning but the morning somehow slipped away...! In the afternoon we were in Toronto. This is what we sent to our 'update list' :
'Today we met with the surgeon for the first post-surgical check-in. There was good news and bad news. The good news was that the pathology report confirmed that the tumor was benign and that IÂm doing well for this point in recovery. The bad news, from my perspective, is that I have to remain on the anti-seizure drug for 6 months. I will have an MRI in Aug. or so and, if that shows everything normal and I havenÂt had any more seizures, then I can start weaning off the drug.

I need regular blood tests between now and then to monitor things like liver function and indications of bone problems. Fatigue is the side effect that is killing me at this point. The itching side effect has abated quite a bit in the last week  I no longer feel like I want to rip my scalp off :-) so I hope the fatigue might diminish too. In the last 10 days or so IÂve been gaining ½ lb. a day! IÂm not sure if that is a side effect (certain body bits are prone to ÂenlargementÂ) or whether itÂs a result of fatigue meaning IÂm being more inactive. IÂve tried to step up the exercise IÂm getting and cut back on food intake or else IÂll be a bloated toad in 6 months!'

I forgot to include in that - the surgeon called the tumor 'sticky' - we're not sure exactly what he meant but gathered that it meant there wasn't as clear a separation between the tumor and the brain as he thought there would be from the pre-surgical MRIs and that is what accounts for the seizure problem. If the fatigue continues at the current level, garden season this year is going to be a bit of a hard slog at times unfortunately.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 8:20PM
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I popped in for a second in between coloring eggs with the little ones, Nina keeps cracking hers like she is frying an egg :) and Charlie throws his in the cup like a baseball. Luckily, I wore old clothes. Went outside, got some things done. Then they left, I paid some bills online, making my Easter dinner grocery list, just about ready to call it a day.

Woody, wanted to say I read your note above, and sure hope that you know we are rooting for you. Best thoughts headed your way from across the lake. Hope you continue to improve and your results are the best possible.

Nice to see Ei pop in:) come back, come back...

Kathy, that is a beautiful rose, and Mr. Baby is adorable. Glad you had a chance to be with them for a few days. Looking forward to IU7!

Hi Chelone, hope all is going okay, and that your weather is as nice as ours has been the last couple of days. Although 80 degrees first of April is really a little too hot for me...

Have to run, Devin is on Spring Break and he is spending the night, so they are calling me to watch a movie..

Hi Norma, I don't know if I mentioned it, but your garden is beautiful.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:13PM
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Drema, I can just picture the scene Of Nina and Charlie coloring eggs. Too funny. Hope the weather stays nice and we get to see pictures of them hunting the eggs.

Woody, I hope the side effects will continue to rebate. I know it must be frustrating to you. Maybe this will just have to be a summer of sitting back and enjoying what you have accomplished so well in your garden. I know you would rather be out there doing,but hopefully you will have many more years to do that.

Cindy,No doubt you will miss Chloe for a long time to come. When I run across pictures of Keebler while looking at garden photos I still think Awww Keebie I miss you. I love my Rebel too but he does not stay by my side as much as Keebler did.

Chelone, good to know you are still out there, just busy with other things.

I had to go buy a new pump for the pond yesterday. There goes my garden budget for the year. The daffs have been so nice this year, With expanding clumps and cooperating weather they have put on a show. These 80 degree days will probably put a stop to them soon. The daylily foliage is growing by leaps and bounds and the hostas are budding up. Bound to be some cold weather yet which won't bother the daylilys but might be hard on the hostas. I read a tip on some home remedy to spray on the hosta now for slug control, but can't find where I wrote it down. Rats!

Not much going on here this weekend. Hope to see Wyatt and Jake on Sunday for dinner.

I am waking up early these days. Hence the morning post.
Enjoy the weekend.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 6:26AM
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This clump of hyacinths has been here for many years. Unlike so many others I have planted. I guess it likes the location

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 7:19AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I cant wait to see your pictures tonite, Norma -- locked out at the awfice from them... I hope everyone is getting the lovely sunny weather that's in this region tho. That's rough re the garden budget being blown on one item, Norma -- it's always something isnt it?

Woody - I think gaining lbs is not a bad side effect, all things considered.... all in all it sounds like the good news definitely outweighed any "bad" news... I do hope you just take it easy if you have to this Spring re the energy/fatigue - maybe it's your body telling you (besides the meds) that you've been thru an awful lot and your body needs to have time to heal. The gardens will be there waiting for you.

Drema - I love the stories re the egg decorating -- kids are always so inventive both in preparation and execution of things, LOL....

I wish to all a very lovely sunny Spring weekend to enjoy whatever festivities and events they are partaking in....


    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 1:02PM
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    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 8:15PM
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IÂve spent the last hour WALATing, taking advantage of the break in the rain that has fallen all day, and will continue tonight. Everything is sporting that bright fresh green that spring presents. I fear that work at my garden plot will not be in the cards this weekend, the ground is back to mud stage . I will go out there and maybe shovel some more compost, but that stuff will be soaked too.

I also hope to do a bit of IU reconnaissance this weekend here in the Valley- I got a response from one of the winery gardens who advised me that their gardens peak in spring and he feared that there would not be enough interest there for Âserious gardeners in late June. Glad he was so up front about this, so I have another option to investigate to replace this one.

Cindy, that white rose (Bolero) was a total impulse purchase 2 years ago . It was a new introduction , blooming at the nursery and I was sucked in (no surprise there) bought it and it sat in a pot for about 6 months as I had no clue where to put it. I do not regret the purchase at all , and hope a bloom will be available for sniffing at IU because it is intensely fragrant as well as beautiful. Do you get those nasty beetles there ? I hope you arenÂt feeling too blue, and that you can get out into the garden to revive your spirits.

Norma, I canÂt remember when the last time I planted Hyacinth was..our mild winters arenÂt very conducive to naturalizing of that particular bulb. I sure would love to see a photo of how the pond looks right now--!

Drema, we had fun here last weekend , and I discovered I am immune to Âterrrible two scream-fests.. guess itÂs less annoying when you arenÂt the mom, right ? I found it very easy to ignore .

Woody, the word Âbenign is one of the best in the good news category. As far as the fatigue goes , I agree with Cindy and heal ! I know I would be chomping at the bit , I get very restless if forced into inactivity .

Waving at Chelone and hoping to see check-ins this weekend .

Nite all !

Kathy in Napa From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 10:15PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I have to share this with you all. As someone who has continued my mom's tradition of baking a lamb cake for Easter, I was a little nervous when I saw that the Cake Wrecks blog had taken on Lamb Cakes as their subject today. I mean, I'm not a professional cake decorator, you know?

But I have to say that I now feel really, really good about my lamb cakes!

Enjoy the link.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cake Wrecks

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 11:00PM
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Ok V, you know that a photo here is a must. Cough it up , girl.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 11:24PM
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    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 11:57PM
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    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 6:40AM
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Drema, I hope you have a very special day. You are a brave soul to color eggs with such little ones, but what wonderful memories you are making and they will think of you as a really cool and fun grandma.

My 20 year old niece was telling my mom last weekend how she was such a cool and modern grandma and not a "trinket" grandma. I thought that was so cute.

Kathy, what a lovely rose and scented to boot. IÂm really enjoying your spring garden shots.

Here things are just starting with crocus, scillia, iris reticulata and chionodoxa all opening up just yesterday. I noticed it all from the kitchen windows since we were expecting guests for dinner and it was extremely windy last evening. The temps dropped drastically last evening as well. On Thursday it was 82ï° We still have snow in the hilly areas and on the north side of the grove.

I think I must be losing it as we got so busy talking that I forgot to serve dessert.

V, I second the vote for a picture of the lamb before itÂs eaten.

Norma, I can almost smell the hyacinths. IÂve planted them several times and have just a few that return. As for your misplaced slug remedy, I keep a journal on my desk and use it to jot down things such as that, plants I read about and would like to add to the garden or anything else I read on line and want to remember. I also have a picture folder on my computer where I place inspiration photos.

Woody, you seem like such a doer. I think like most gardeners. IÂm sure itÂs hard to take it easy and heal. Your benign news is great and hopefully the other issues will be ironed out in the healing process.

Cindy, donÂt ever worry about bogging down an Idyll with something that saddens you. True friends, which I believe we all are, can handle the good with the bad and truly want to support each other.

Have a fabulous Saturday and hopefully you each get a chance to spend a little time in our garden sanctuaries.


"Well pleaseth me the sweet time of Easter
That maketh the leaf and the flower come out." ~Bertran de Born

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A wonderful warm day with lunch on the deck. Yesterday as I walked the dog I saw butterflies too, mourning cloaks. I certainly didn't expect that as there's still snow about in places.

Lots of sore throats going on here...poor baby is quite unhappy and wants to be glued to mommy. Certainly NOT to Nana.

Skyler is back with his Mom...

Tomorrow it will be a lamb dinner here. YUM.

I am antsy to get back and start seeds and hit the garden work. I miss my Phoebe and the kitties too. I've finished Three Cups of Tea and the sequel for my book club and need to start the next book, the final one for this season. (The Art Instinct)

Happy Easter to one and all!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 6:06PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy birthday, Drema. This is my Prairie Smoke, Geum triflorum, blooming today.

I started this morning in the rain, but I got the whole front garden cleaned up today! My son, his wife and my nephew came and started on the chicken coop construction. One of the chicks exercised her wings today and flew to the top of the tub. We'll need to get them covered ASAP!

The lamb cake just has come out of the oven. I will post a photo when it's all decorated, but that likely will be tomorrow. DD and I offered to help ring some bells at the Easter vigil service this evening, so I'm about due to get in the shower.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 6:09PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Happy (belated) birthday Drema. Hope it was a grand celebration.

Kathy, too funny about the ability to ignore the screaming of Mr. Baby. I think it is easier when you aren't the mom, but then again, I was pretty well able to ignore it with DS all those years ago. Now, he ignores mine! Teehee. Hope your rain has passed and you are back to your usual heavenly weather.

Norma, I love hyacinths. What a fragrance-I have a few, but always wish I had more. Maybe I'll finally plant some more this fall.

Cindy, how are you doing, lady? Getting to be time to plan a meet-up now that is is warming up.

V-another vote for a picture!

Woody, so glad to hear the word "benign" in reference to your tumor. Think of all the planning you can do during your forced R&R-visions, projects and ideas...oh my!

I know there were so many other things to say-I think I never congratulated you Saucy on your first place-forgive me and congrats!

Waving to all and wishing you marvelous weather and spring scents.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 6:09PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We spent two hours in the front garden this morning and got most of the main bed cleared out. I'm worried about this abnormally warm weather - if it brings on too many things too early, the inevitable frost will do a lot of damage. The spring trees are loaded with buds and I'd hate to lose the display!

R&R is a fairly active event here. One thing I have learned from previous experience is that it is not a good idea to lay around not doing much. Once you stop doing something active it's very hard to start again. Better to keep going even if it has to be at a slower or more inept pace... Inept is a very apt description...:-) The garden is a very healing place to be.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Hola Idylls..Saturday evening is bringing the next rainstorm , but so far the sun is bright and the only hint of what is to come is the steady breeze coming in from the coast and the faint clouds seen to the west. IÂm cooking spaghetti sauce tonight , and plan to watch some pre-season baseball-opening day on Monday !. Today I ordered my Armenian cuke seeds and 2 types of filet beans, both for my ÂallotmentÂ. I await two dry days in a row, I figure I will be able to finish the weeding and raised bed construction if it happens.

Glad to see you Cyn !

Woody, we are having a very cool spring here too. The wind machines are working overtime in the vineyards , and mornings continue to be frosty. The rain coming in will warm the temps a bit. I bought a tomato plant today, but will keep it in a protected area in itÂs pot for at least another 2 weeks.

I can report nice progress with the $$ Dowdeswell Delph seeds. My existing Delphs are budding up now, and I worked on some staking today.

Waving at Chelone, Âbug, and cÂmon Marian , we need a post from you !

Spring flowers today

From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:36PM
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Thank you all for the BD wishes and photos:) I really appreciate it. This weekend is a big one for us, Devin, Sean and myself have birthdays, Skip and I have our 34th anniversary. Where did that time go??? When you add in Easter, it is pretty jam packed with chocolate and cake.

Hope you all have a lovely day:)


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 8:53AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Easter!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 12:12PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a fly-by to say "Happy Easter and Peas on Earth"!! Back to my reading, and photo gawking :)


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 2:05PM
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I spent an embarrassingly inactive day here  though I did 2 loads of laundry and cooked chicken mole . Rain all day, and gazing longingly out the windows at the sodden spring garden was a frequent (but unproductive) pastime. I think the drought is over.

Brenda, that has got to be the most adult looking expression I have ever seen on a baby, lol.

Lotusland coming up in a week and a half- snuck up in me for sure it was so long ago I made the reservations. IÂm going to include a visit to the Santa Barbra Botanical Garden, which specializes in California natives. Extra memory card will be one of the first items in the packing-staging area.

Off to read the Sunday papes..waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 10:13PM
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Kathy, thats what I was thinking about Judes picture too. I think he is a grown up in a babys body. Looks like he is smirking. I just love him and I'm not his grandma.

As for ignoring two year old scream fests, that might be easier than bad behavior from seven year olds. Wyatt must have had to much sugar today and was about to get a spanking. How can they be so sweet one minute and make you want to smack them the next. The sweet was that he gave both me and his other grandma a beaded necklace he had gotten from somewhere. Even matching the colors to what we were wearing. The bad was just plain not listening when he was told to do or not do something.
He doesn't look like he could be bad here does he.

Happy Birthday Drema.

Michelle I love the pillar planters. I just bought some pansies and alssyum(sp?)too.

Hi Cyn.

V, your cake wins hands down.

Brenda, I love Judes pretty brown eyes.

Kathy, your spring garden looks inviting. You do seem to be getting quite a bit of rain.

Theres more, but I'm fading so I'm off to bed.

Oh yes , Woody, I like Randys Easter picture on the moments thread.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Yesterday was breezy but I had a very productive garden day. I was beat at the end though. I think my undoing was trying to get the quack grass out of the Butterfly Garden. That is the worst garden for it.

Today was dinner at RickÂs daughterÂs house. With both of my kids out of state it was very different. Even after Laura moved, Jeremy would come for Easter along with my parents. His birthday is the 12th so we usually celebrated that as well. He will be back in the area next week though.

Norma, actually those were the pillar planters from last Easter. IÂve yet to find any cool season annuals yet. I love watching kids having an egg hunt. IÂm sure Wyatt has his moments, as do all kids.

V, the cake is great. I like your geum. I should have added one to my High Country Gardens order. IÂm always looking for early bloomers.

Brenda, you must just love having that little sweetheart around. He is just adorable!

Kathy, IÂd love to see a close up of the hellebore (at least thatÂs what I think it is) in front of the birdbath. What pretty form. The whole combination is lovely.

Âbug, sorry to hear that little Ivy and others arenÂt feeling well. ItÂs tough to see the little ones sick.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 11:29PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

brenda, I had the same thought when I saw Jude's picture. I bet he'll be one of those like my DS (now 30) who, at his worst moments, will turn, give you that look and break into a grin and you're a goner!

Norma, pictures like that make it hard to believe that they could ver be anything less than wonderful. What a handsome kid Wyatt is! And already buying jewelry for the women in his life-that is to be encouraged! LOL.

Kathy, the bird bath looks so pretty. Your gardens always inspire me (am I always saying that? Think I am.). Anyway, I think I will pick myself up and head to the nursery for something blooming. My birdbaths only have small, newly-emerging stuff around them at this point. Maybe a pansy or ten will help. Never did plant any last fall.

V, that lamb is the best! I'll bet everyone oohed and aahed and smacked their lips afterwards!

Michelle, it is different once they are grown and gone, isn't it? Won't it be grand to have Jeremy home next week?!

Guess I'll check out Randy's picture on the Moments thread and then go buy something cheerful. I do have some bloodroots to plant, but they aren't blooming yet-just got them in the mail. Hope they survive and spread.

Smiling and waving...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Spirea Mellow Yellow

Texas Quince


These are all blooming today along with the redbuds and one dogwood just opening. Everthing seems to be in a mad rush.

I am not happy with the way my pictures are turning out when I resize them. The are losing quality. I need to work on that. It was pretty cloudy this morning.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 6:19PM
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IÂm wrapped up in fleece tonight- the sun is out but it is not warm, and I fully expect frost on the rooftops in the morning. Mr postman delivered a box from Rosy Dawn this evening, and the new babies are unpacked , watered and sitting in the kitchen. Very excited I got Lancelot Mocha Velvet , which I have drooled over at Deannes .

Cyn, I bought yet another birdbath this spring, which I donÂt think IÂve shared a pic of as yet. Employee discounts are a fine thing. Happy that you find anything I have going on here inspirational ! I sure try to do what I can with a very small lot .

Yes indeed Norma, the rain has been a frequent visitor this year. I always worry about the first bloom flush on my roses, most of which are not even cracking and showing color yet. We have been in drought conditions for the last couple of years so this rain is really a good thing; it fills the reservoirs and contributes to the snow-pack in the Sierra which in turn supplies water to Northern Californians. That Wyatt is a very handsome young man !(for a kid, lol) Fabu pics posted today ! I learned in my photo class about re-sizing or even opening and closing pics and how it can degrade the quality . I hope to learn more about this in my class IÂm taking in May; I have noticed the same thing.

Michelle, The Hellebore is called Painted Lady. Really happy with it, it is quite Âupward facing as Hellebores go, and has been blooming for a very long time. Here is a close up pic that I took a couple of weeks ago. From Garden 2010 Spring

All for me tonight ..

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 9:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Home again but haven't yet investigated the garden....

Much catching up to do on many fronts.

Here's a taste of little Ms Ivy, up to no good:

Likewise, Skyler:

A busy week ahead for us.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:01AM
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Our traveling Idyll has returned! And with photos! Ivy sure is getting big, and Skylar looks like he's doing exactly what a boy does at his age :)

Norma, every year I say that I need more Spring interest around here...your garden has lots going on! I think the pictures are great, so I can't imagine what they looked like before you resized them :)

I need some bloodroot, too, Cyn. My neighbor's is blooming now and it'd be perfect in my Goddess Garden. I need to get on the ball this year and plant bulbs (especially if I buy them, lol!). That time of year just seems too busy with school and holidays.

I am going for a walk this morning...I went yesterday too. I was to be restful and lay off the heavy workouts and finally I'm starting to feel antsy, which I think is a good sign. I think I was really worn out! Something Woody said really hit home though...if you take bedrest too seriously, you can find that it's really hard to get started again! So I'll start walking again.

I need to be in shape for gardens in Napa :)

Okay, so I guess I'll put on my shoes and start now! Have a great day.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 7:50AM
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Falling back into the computer chair with a sigh. I feel like I lost the last 10 days in some kind of time warp. BIL and his wife arrived the 27th and ended up staying an extra day due to a bolt embedded in their car tire. DH and I then worked two days moving mulch from the tree stump removal, raking old pin oak shells from the yard and reseeding. Then on to preparations for Easter weekend which was at our house this year since MIL and FIL were leaving Monday to visit her sister. Just been way too hectic lately.

Garden clean up has been a little here and there, turned over soil today along the shrub border and relocated a few perennials. Tomorrow itÂs supposed to rain and IÂm treating myself to a day off and spending it at a couple of local nurseries.

Cindy, so sorry to read that you lost ChloeÂI know how it hurts to lose a beloved pet.

Drema, happy belated birthday wishes! I donÂt seem to be able to get into photo bucket tonight to post a card for you, darn it.

And VÂso you DO have a little Orprah, LOL! Please keep documenting with photos as IÂm sure they grow fast and have changed already. The lamb cake really caught my attention, it turned out very well. And I have to tell you right now, the New Zealand photos are every bit as wonderful as I imagined. Everything looks clean and fresh from the skyline to the architecture and even the hiking trails. Thanks for sharing and I hope you post more.

Loved all the photos as I caught up on reading. A good assortment of the little ones, too. Mr. Baby Blue Eyes, and Norma, Wyatt appears to have incredibly blue eyes, also. Ivy and Skyler striking a pose and Jude! He was a handsome baby the day he was born and already he looks quite the little man. Brenda, I think you are going to have great fun with him!

I am whipped from digging but itÂs a good kind of tired. Waving good night to allÂtime for bed!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 11:56PM
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It seems like it is taking the whole Spring to get through this lets wrap it up with birthday wishes for Kathy!

And Babs, too! Come out, come out, wherever you are!!!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 8:54AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Spring seems to only have started for us here, so Kathy, here is a second spring for you!

Drema, I missed your party, so here's some bloodroot for you!

And Babs, since you are the token female at your house, I thought you needed some PINK!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:28AM
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It's a busy birthday day!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Denise, you are celebrating too? Happy Birthday!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:45PM
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Almost missed you!!! Have a happy day, Denise!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 1:28PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I knew it was a big birthday week(s) -- so :

Happy Belated to Drema:

Happy to Babs:

Happy to Denise:

And Happy to Kathy!:

I do hope to get back in later -- Cheers to all.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 1:38PM
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You guys have been busy as bees with the birthday wishes! I was emailed Cindy's facebook b'day wishes so popped over here to find festivities in full swing.

Happy birthday to all the idyll spring lambs. What beautiful glimpses of spring -- all from this year? My mom called early this a.m. and sang the happy birthday song into the answering machine.

Many happy returns of the day!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 2:23PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

To all the birthday ladies-I hope your day where you are is as beautiful as ours is here. Oh and ignore the date on pics-took them just now. have no idea what happened to date thing! HOWEVER, so proud of myself for adding text. It has only taken me an hour to remember how to upload to my drop box in order to post them here. *sigh* From Drop Box From Drop Box From Drop Box

That said, I could do with somewhat cooler temps for working in the yard-it is due to hit 90---that is 9-0---today. UGH.

I am planning to transplant some of the violets that are popping up all over onto the hill where nothing seems to grow. The liriope and mondo grass I put in in the fall are looking pretty wretched now. I know a lot of people hate violets, but I think they are lovely and much nicer than grass. With luck, since we no longer have grass in the back-the galloping gardeners have taken care of that-I will have violets in all those empty spots.

Okay, back out into the inferno. Groaning and waving.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:16PM
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Happy birthday, everyone (who the hell is Babs?!).

I'm outta here. (Way too overwhelmed by the height of the bar you guys set!)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 4:42PM
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Well, I guess itÂs a week of birthdaysÂwow!

Trying to remember if Babs has been here since I arrived but drawing a blank. Maybe sheÂll drop in to say hi on her birthday.

I do not have that much spring color yet; hoping the shrubs pop after this rain to brighten things up. Cyn, I canÂt believe youÂre going to reach 90 today! My neighborÂs violets are spreading into our yard. ItÂs not that I hate them, itÂs more that I hate not having a choice about getting them, lol.

Trip to one nursery was a bit disappointing. They have a display of plants they grow in their greenhouse so everything is still young. More variety will be offered when shipments come in and I realize itÂs still very early in the season.

Thought youÂd want to know that I bought a new pair of rockers in honor of all your birthdays! (snicker) They are sooo comfortable, Drema, that toe knuckle doesnÂt even have to bend! Supposed to help tone your calves and bum, too, but they just feel great. DD loves hers and suggested I might like them. No problem getting used to the curved sole either, I put them on and wore them home. Just noticed I was so anxious to start walking I forgot to lace the top eyelet! HereÂs a pic standing in the garage doing a contortion act so you can see the side sole.

Must start thinking about dinnerÂpossibly meatloaf and scalloped potatoes. DH wonÂt get home until later this evening so itÂs my turn to cook. Anything I donÂt have to stand at the stove gets my vote.

Hey, Chelone!...waving you back here :-)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 5:47PM
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What a great batch of photos here tonight, and a stealth fly-by from Chelone to cap it off ! Thanks to all ! At the awfice I was entertained with quiche, strawberries, fresh pineapple and carrot cake. I came home to a perfect evening for an extended WALAT.

Time for a new Idyll I think !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:51PM
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Nope,I didn't forget you,Drema!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 4:44PM
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