Idyll#478- The Plants we Covet

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)April 21, 2010

Some of us have been talking about Asarum europaeum lately. What items are on your list this Spring?

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Today is another near perfect day. I think mowing needs to be on my to do list for the evening. Rick started the other night but now is too busy with field work to finish. The grass is unbelievably long.

Sheesh Kathy, a turtle neck? We arent even wearing them here.

Denise, is Marty excited for retirement. Will he be looking for another career? I think I recall that he is still quite young.

Deanne, IÂm extremely jealous of the Tower Hill visit and with Saucy no less. Have a great time. Pictures would be great too.

I will be at a family event in Madison WI this weekend and my mom and one sister plan to go to Olbrich Botanical Gardens. It should be fun.

I remember the Asarum from EiÂs garden from the Chicago IU.

IÂm not sure about my wish list. I do have one at home. I know I really need to work on more early bloomers. I have focused a lot in the past on fall interest and I think I have made quite a bit of head way in the aspect. Early bloomers are still lacking though. I need more bulbs and hellebores. Any suggestions for very early bloomers?

I was excited the other day for the first blooms on some miniature bearded iris. I had dug these up last fall from an acreage that had been bought by the state for the highway to go through. RickÂs son was buying one of the garages and we went along to look things over. Of course I spotted these little irises and dug a few up. They are only about 4" tall from the ground to the top of the bloom. They are very cute.

Back to work

"getting a garden together requires a measure of ruthlessness."
Pamela J. Harper, "Designing with Perennials"

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Hmmm, where do I begin??? The list is long, but I will give the short list.

1. I want to focus on plants that produce something either for us to eat, or for wildlife to eat. (This does not include deer and/or groundhogs, they do fine fending for themselves around here)
2. More shrubs, because I am getting older, and they give year round interest.
3. Specific plants I hope to get, maybe not this year, but on the list... Abies Koreana Nanaimo (Rich's Foxwillow Pines, fell in love with this conifer, bought one, killed it)

Some sort of Stewartia

Paperbark Maple and or Birch

Lotus (bought that last year, killed it)- may have to let it go, I don't have enough sun

Graham Thomas rose (a big one)

Sweet Bess Rose (killed it)

Angelica Gigas and Lauren's Grape poppy from Annie's Annuals

Pear trees for the babies. I already got the Apple (Honey Crisp) and McIntosh, and Cherry- North Star and can't remember the other one, but now I read I should have gotten the Montmorency. My great-grandma used to can and give me one jar of cherries and one of blackberries when I went to see her. They were mine to eat all by myself if I wanted, and I loved them, and her:)


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:26PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marie - I think we'll leave going to Whistling Gardens until a bit later - I most want to see what the garden is like, rather than make a garden center visit. Yesterday we went back to Taylor Nurseries in Milton (where I got the greenman heads last year). They carry the Myke planting supplement I use; it's getting hard to find it now. Taylor's an interesting place. I love the entrance archways:

You can see the rainbow theme that was going on. They had a lot of colorful furniture and things like hangers and tomato cages in bright colors. Thay were all arranged ROYGBIV (Actually, ony ROYGB since there was no IV :-) A closer view of the rainbow chairs

And I thought of Mary and V when I saw this:

Deanne - of course you'd be in award territory with your bird photos!! My Chinese wisteria is loaded with buds this year too. And my Japanese one appears to have flowering wood and flowerbuds too - but I'm holding my breath on that one since this is only its third year in the garden. And the lows for Thurs. and Fri. nights are predicted to be in frost territory...:-( The Henyi clematises we planted a few years ago to grow into the Chinese wisteria are now up to the top of the tree so it'll be interesting to see what kind of show they may put on after the wisteria is done its major bloom.

We've been spending hours almost every day in the garden and aren't nearly finished spring chores yet! Today we started refreshing the paths with a new layer of pine mulch/concrete sand mix. The front paths are down but need compacting. Randy is out at the moment buying a roller. We used to borrow the neiighbour's but they threw it out last year! (We didn't notice or we would have swiped it!)

I'm hopefull that I'm making progress in getting Vyvyan Pennel to climb. At the moment however she mainly looks like a goose!

We did some reshaping of the rectangular lawn in the back to make the top and bottom edges completely parallel. The benefit of that is it gave me some planting space so I can make one of the beds near the shed bigger. Since I've run out of room to make new garden beds (and I really don't need any more!) a little new planting space is welcome. We wen to Connon Nurseries on Monday and had to go to the whoesale area to get what I wanted. Incredible place! 40 acres of plants, particularly trees and shrubs. They have a fleet of golf carts and trucks to go and get what you need and bring it to you (or you can go with them to select it yourself if you want.)

Isn't spring a wonderful time of year!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 3:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It was wonderful seeing my friends appear today to prune the ninebark, the smoke bush, crab apples and apple tree. They also divided the Rachel heucheras and cleaned out some euphorbias. I finished weeding the asparagus patch and hope to move on to more vegetable garden work tomorrow. I removed more caging too.

This afternoon DH and I managed to get the photo album off to be bound and mailed to Skyler and Ivy. Satisfying to have that completed!

I spent a while studying trees at a Mennonite nursery in the late afternoon. My friends bought a sycamore tree but I held off for a while. I need to finish weeding before I make purchases. So far I have a few things on my planting table: more sedum angelina, a hellebore, a corydalis, 3 echiums and some blue phlox. What I'd really love is a Katsura 'Red Fox', but like Cercis Forest Pansy, is not really suited to our zone. :(

Must go make a stir fry for dinner now. I'll leave you with this NG photo for today:

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 6:14PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Lovely day here-rain, but just the right sort-good soaking rain.

What's on the list? I, too, want to plant more Asarum. I put in a couple plants last year and they are a beautiful shiny green as you all said. I do need to expand their numbers, however. Also, would love to get a weeping cherry for the back yard. I am not sure we have quite enough sun, but I may risk it. The hosta in my new bed out front at the side are coming up and look great-except for the snail holes. Now, I need to add more around them. I have a few Heuchera and Astilbe there, but need to fill in more. Oh, and I need to replace a climbing hydrangea that the galloping gardeners apparently didn't like-that along with two rhododendron that they obviously believe have been placed in the wrong spot and have dug up four times. I have not replanted since the last big dig. I just wish they would move them where they want them rather than leave them lying on their sides. Oh well.

Happy Wednesday all.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 7:03PM
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Now bug, how did you know we had lists ?? Very intuitive I must say !

I have been working on mine since last fall, and have made progress , although oddly, the list never seems to get shorter. Most of the items on the list at the moment involve having more of a plant I already acquired . I also want to increase my Salvia collection, and Gaillardias too, though I will likely need to remove concrete for the latter and that may not be in the cards this year. I have wanted Martagon Lilies in the worst way for a few years now, and the only thing that has held me back is feeling comfortable that I have a good location.

Got the turtleneck going again tonight Michelle, but starting tomorrow it looks like things are going to warm up. You must remember that I am a wimpy zone 9 resident, and as such, 50 degrees is cold, 40 is freezing, and under 40 is dont go outside unless you have to.

Drema, that Annies list of yours may get bigger after you visit her display gardens this summer !

Woody, those are indeed great archways. I wonder will they be planted this summer ? Lol Vivyan the Goose..I think Im going to miss her sprawling ways though, they sure made for some nice pics.

Waving at all, need to cook up some dinner !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 8:55PM
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We have a chance of rain on Friday and I do hope its the gentle, soaking April showers sort! I will add yet more grass seed to the barrens and hope it fills in the remaining areas. County extension service says this has been the worst month for seeding grass in decades and I can attest to that.

Michelle, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens sound like a fun excursion, dont forget your camera! Nice to see Deanne back and hear about the rendezvous with Saucy at Tower Hill. I must google it to get an idea of the gardens and landscape.

Cyn, I had to laugh about the galloping gardeners believing the rhododendron were placed wrong! Seriously, how do you ever keep anything intact and in the ground?

Woody, it sounds like you and Randy have been very busy! Hoping either the fatigue issue went away or your body has made adjustments and regulated itself. Vyvyan the Goose will morph into one beautiful clematisits a double isnt it? Im curious where and what you have it tied to the lattice with as it looks very well supported. Oh yes, and please tell more about the path of pine mulch, concrete and sand. Im intrigued with the composition and end result.

Love, love the dangling frog! Incredible photographyand patience to capture a moment in nature we rarely see with our own eyes.

Im being quite conservative this year in regard to a wish list. My first priority is amending the soil in the shrub borders with the composted stump mulch. Also shuffling perennials to accommodate the new growing conditions from loss of shade. Its like musical chairsone move leads to another, etc. I dare not buy impulsively at this point until I have most plants settled where I hope theyll be happy. I would like to try Phlox again but despite open, sunny exposure I couldnt keep them free of mildew. And ditto what Michelle said, I need a few early bloomers even though I garden on a much smaller scale that most of you.

Kathy, when you mentioned "peel up" the Sweet Woodruff it hit home. Two days ago I was doing that exact same thing. The mat was so dense with roots it looked like carpet. Two years ago I planted two tiny plugs, last year Iwell, I transplanted a shovel full of the darling little stuff. Yes. Yes, I did that and this spring it came up in over half my shade garden.

Today I wrestled a 7 year old beast of a hosta out of the ground and to a new location. Normally I dont move the giants, however, it was enormous, growing too close to the house and I wanted instant mature for another area. So! Heres a picture of the wide load coming down the garden path, resting regally on an old bed sheet (I highly recommend twin size with fitted corners for containment) displacing mulch in its wake as I pulled it along. This one has so many large eyes it takes awhile for them to unfurl; only a few outer ones had completed the process otherwise it would have been more difficult to move. It was a beautiful day to be outside :-))

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 12:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is 4:45am and I am not sleeping. Grrrr. So I thought I'd add to my list and see what my gardening friends are considering at this stage.

First of all, I ***LOVE*** the hosta on its striped twin sized fitted sheet! I use tarps a great deal here, usually to move things to the fire pit.

On my list for today is sheep manure and top soil. On Saturday I hope to go to another nursery a bit farther afield. There I'll pick up an inexpensive obelisk (to match another I already have)as well as a kirengeshoma koreana and yellow lupines. I know this place carries lupines separated by color. We'll see if other things call my name...

Flowering early here are Brunnera Jack Frost, mertensia, epimedium, hepatica, corydalis, hellebores, wonderful Fairy Bells, spring bulbs (including daffodils, hyacinths, muscari, squill, and tulips. The anemone blanda are amazing this year!) The bloodroot is finishing and then some early primulas are out too. Two large lathyrus plants have been blooming for over a week already. I enjoy the neat rounded clumps they form.

Back to bed...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:54AM
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We saw Lathyrus vernus at Tower Hill yesterday, and for some reason I thought it was a terribly invasive perennial sweetpea? No? I like the idea that it stays in clumps.

Deanne and I had fun yesterday snapping pictures and yakking it up. I got the most phenomenal picture of a yellow magnolia (but I'd bet Deanne's is better!). I can't wait to show it in my class (and I'll put it here as well).

Jake is trying to get his learner's permit and is learning all about the registry in the process. "No, you'll have to come back tomorrow between 10 and 5" was the reason he didn't get it yesterday even though we were there at 3:30. It's a strange place but I told him to get used to it!

My outdoor workspace is almost finished. I am adding some new touches this year to make production more comfortable and neat. I got a new bench top and I'm painting it with a can of "oops" paint today. I am watching yard sales and Craigslist for a good plastic shelving unit. This morning I was thinking that cheap shower curtain liners might make a good "wall" to keep the rain out, but maybe I will take rainy days off, lol.

I have a big list of wants, too, but I have European Ginger thanks to Chelone :) I have two clumps and I report that they are extremely slow growers!

Time to figure out where this day is taking me! I see painting a bench top in my future...


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 7:40AM
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And guess who holds the FG picture of the day? Deanne!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:02AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its looking like another fine spring day but they are predicting thunder storms for later in the day. I hope they hold off for a while. My new garden helper starts work today and Im hoping to be able to get the entire grotto area behind the shed garden cleaned and sorted out today. Ive been talking to Lisa and have asked her to make me a set of her beautiful cast leaves with Frances Williams and Sum and Substance leaves so I can make an arrangement on the side wall of the shed, which is right next to the area I grow those hostas. Can't wait to see LIsa's art next to the growing hostas.

Bug, Im wanting to make a good sized planting of Echinacea Coconut Lime. I saw a beautiful patch of it at White Flower Farm last year and its really lovely when well grown. I agree that Asarum would be beautiful in the grotto area next to the shed and will probably use it to under plant the Oak Leaf Hydrangea there.

Michelle I love the quote and totally agree with it. Aggressive "Shovel Pruning" makes for a better garden. ~~ Epimediums are wonderful for spring color and of course Brunnera, Dwarf Iris, I also have several clumps of Hyacinths and they come back really well for me. The pink ones with L. Alexander make a great combo. ~~ Im working on the photos from Tower Hill yesterday. It was quite a shambles as they are doing some major construction but the conservatory was FABULOUS! They have the best collection of unusual plants. They also have a field of daffodils that is beyond spectacular!!!!! It was worth the drive to see that alone. Gorgeous!

Drema, I bought Aibes Koreana aurea last fall at The Farmers Daughter and it is a spectacular conifer.

Woody, love those pics of that flower center! Wonderful, love especially the rainbow Adirondack chairs. Cant wait to see the wisteria/clematis combo blooming. Should be fabulous. Ive tried for years to get a clematis to grow into the wisteria but for some reason cant get one to grow well there. And yes indeed, spring is WONDERFUL! ~~ Thought youd like to see these two pics that won the monthly comps. The theme for the first one was Birds and Man so any bird with a man made object or setting was acceptable. I titled this photo, "Arrivals and Departures at the Peanut Terminal"

And this second one was monochromatic birds, titled, "Anticipation"

Cyn, what type of Weeping Cherry are you looking for? Ive one in the front and love it. Hope you can find a sunny enough spot for one.

Kathy, LOL about 50s being cold to you. We a re out in shorts and tank tops in 50 degree weather.

Candy, that is one ENORMOUS hosta, is that Sum and Substance? What a beauty. Youll have to show us a photo of it settled into its new location. Love the bed sheet container. LOL

Saucy, Ill bet your pic is better than mine! You spent more time and planning shooting against that dark cloud. Cant wait to see your photos. Werent those daffodils the most amazing thing?

OK time to get a move on if Im going to be dressed and ready by the time my garden worker is here. Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:56AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I wondered when FG would post a Deanne masterpiece -- Congrats, Deanne -- sooo gorgeous!!! That's one of your many many incredible combinations.

Sounds like folks are making much progress -- it makes me feel like Im wasting a lot of time at the awfice, LOL - I know it's for a "good cause" (as in it keeps the roof over my head and the plant list ever growing but attainable), but golly -- if only I could take Spring off.....

I have 2 lists -- the Covet that is Impossible in this Garden (i.e., cornus controversa variegata, tri-color beech, Cercis Silver Cloud) -- none of which are plantable for my small yard.

And the second list is the Covet & Cram Into This Garden List: -- this year, it's a lot more variegated things to supplement the purples I added last year -- I am working to branch out into "other colors" of shrubs, etc. - I seem to have much green green, dispite there being so many shades of that most favorite color -- so I have Helleborus Mrs. Betty Ranicar (no not variegated, but gorgeous), Clethra Creels Calico (hard to find), sanguisorba Dali Marble, Deutzia Charonnay Pearls, Pulmonaria Diana Clare (to replace those that died over the winter), Hosta Trifecta, Sedum Samuel Oliphant..... it's a mishmash of shruts and perennials. Now those are some things still on the list, LOL.... other items have had their wish fulfillment satisifed with new arrivals.

Sadly, it's supposed to rain most of this weekend - I just cant get it right for event planning -- so behind in weeding, planting, mulching... I better roust myself out of bed early Sat to see if I can accomplish anything before the rain hits.

Denise - congrats on the retirement date for Marty (I think... assuming you're happy about it too, LOL), and I hope Ein adjusts well to his new middle-age events - it's so hard to believe how quickly time flies isnt it?

Michelle -- 'bug has listed lots of earlish bulbs -- squill, galanthus nivalis, ipheion, muscari (I keep adding more every year) and Im very enamoured of leucojum aestivum Summer Snowflake - they just finished up here and seem to be multiplying in leaps and bounds - I get many comments on them from folks.

Cynthia -- it must be a real challenge to keep those 4-footed marauder re-decorators corralled -- I wonder if anyone teaches garden obedience classes around here, LOL?

Well, time to get back to the alligator pit...


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 9:00AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Deanne and I were posting at the same time so I missed her post....Your bird photos are incredible -- I think that jay is the one that I saved to my desk top as a screen saver for months - they are truly remarkable.

I think your comment about aggressive shovel pruning being a good garden habit is spot-on - likely one reason Im not a very good gardener - I have a hard time disciplining myself to do that - I guess Im a hoarder - as I am inside my house - and both places reflect that failing.... I need to redouble efforts to become more disciplined and critical.

Candy - I meant to comment on the traveling hosta -- great shot by the way - it looks like it has grown wings and is getting ready for takeoff! That's a gorgeous specimen.

'bug - I like lathyrus vernus a lot - I've gotten a couple of them for early spring color (& Saucy so far it's very neat and contained)- but the one I'd really like to own is a purple one -- a German cultivar whose name now I cannot recall; but Helen Dillon mentions it in one of her much reprinted articles on Spring plants - havent seen it grown or sold anywhere here in the States. It's too darn hot too quickly here in this region to grow sweetpeas with any success so that neat plants satisfies my legume desire.

Woody, that Pennell "goose" doesnt look so bad bare, right now -- quite tidy -- but I know she isnt so tidy once the blooms come in for you. That garden center is amazingly differnt looking from last year! Lot the technicolor -- I think that's happening a lot with garden furniture/ornaments this year.

Saucy - I hope Jake is successful with his registration -- here in VA, it's very much a large waiting room where one takes a number and the numbers and tellers are all very strangely numbered so one cannot figure out where one is in the scheme of things or the time -- it reminded me a great deal of the scene in the movie Beetlejuice where folks and "things" are all waiting in the waiting room to go onto their next resting place -- when I got my license renewed a few years ago, it was over 2 hours later that I finally got it - but they refuse to give you a clue/hint as to the time for waiting - one watched a lot of characters in the meantime.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 1:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

From NG:

This morning I picked up some saxifrage and campanulas as well as the sheep manure I needed. I bought a veronica I have not seen before but I do like it! See below. Then I planted them, moved some phlox and am thinking I should move some clematis as well. I mowed a lot too. A beautiful day!

I did get a response from Sam, my Nigerian friend! What a relief!!! Poor soul was kidnapped and blindfolded with others and not fed for 12 days while his family scrambled to produce a ransom. UGH. (Next time I go on a diet I'll look at things entirely differently!)

Today is Skyler's 11th birthday and next Monday will be Ivy's first. Last night she discovered blackberries and she turned her shirt reddish purple as a result. That girl loves her fruit!

Cheese fondue for dinner tonight with excellent bread and fresh tomatoes. Mmmmmmmmm.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 4:42PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

candy, wow! That is a great hosta and how clever to use a sheet to move it. you also reminded me of the other thing on my list-Sluggo! I am furious that the slugs are already wreaking havoc on the hostas.

Deanne, There is a magnificent weeping cherry at a house down near the Potomac. It is a pink flowering(single flower, not double), huge tree. I truly covet it and, given the chance, would be fool enough to buy the house just for the tree out front-not that we could afford it! I will be long dead before anything I plant has a chance to get as large as that one, but I'll enjoy watching it every spring nonetheless. What kind is yours? We used to have a white one out front, but it had been really poorly placed (by me) between the drive and the walkway, so we ended up having to take it out. Also, those photos of yours are astounding. The jay is spectacular and I am a huge fan of B/W photography.

Candy, at this point, I just keep adding plants out front. Over the weekend, we had the grandpup here, too. I decided to put in a couple of hosta in the side yard which is inside the fence I got one planted and then, coming to my senses, I moved to the outside of the fence to put in a few more. Koda came up to the fence all eager to just be near me. So cute. Walked right on the hosta. Cut to me yelling , "no..move...get off!" and moving over to lure him away. My raised voice must have scared him, so he sat-right in the middle of the tender new leaves-completely flattened and/or broke them. Served me right for yelling.

'Bug, that squirrel is too funny. Happy birthday to the wee ones. Two Tauruses-good sign (like my sister and me). 11 is such a great age. I remember when John was 11 and it was a grand year! And what fun to be one! We'll expect those first birthday pictures of cake-covered hands and face! Oh, and good to hear you heard from Sam. We certainly are lucky compared to most of the rest of the world, aren't we? I cannot imagine living with such terror on a daily basis.

Cindy, I bookmarked the site you posted on the past thread about underplanting choices. Very cool link. I do wish we could have Spring off-then again, fall would be nice too...both???

Kathy, I am with you on these temperature fluctuations-heat turned off, heat turned back on,sweaters away, sweaters out-ugh. Worst thing is we will go from these unpredictable temps straight into hot and humid DC summer-double ugh.

well, need to get some laundry done and then to bed. So glad it is almost the weekend. My little darlings at school haven't been, so I am pretty worn out tonight.

Singing lullabies and wishing you sweet dreams one and all.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 7:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

HONESTLY! 24F tonight. *&^%$#@ And of course very dry still too.
I covered a few things that I planted today. Wonder if it helps at all.

Cyn, unfortunately DSIL's ex is also a Taurus which colors the picture a bit. I don't think there will be a birthday party for Ivy, but maybe I'll be surprised. I suggested a cupcake.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 8:08PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - ooh - the peanut photo is fabulous! The hummingbird is nice too but I'm partial to blue :-)

Candy - fatigue is still a big issue. I have a 'daily doze' before supper usually! But I try to spend a couple of hours in the garden each day both because the exercise is good for me and because it just makes me feel better. The mulch/sand mix for the paths is what seems to work best for us and is easy. The sand is 'sharp' and packs down well; the mulch helps keep it looking natural; the sand is heavier so it help keep the mulch from floating away. We really need to mix it properly using something like a concrete mixer to make it come out a consistent color. All Randy does is fill the wheelbarrow by alterniating two shovelfuls of mulch to one of sand. He dumps it along the paths; I spread it out as even as I can; he goes over it with the roller to compact it. The color comes out a bit blotchy but it makes a good path. We ordered 3 cubic yards of pine bark mulch and 1 1/2 of concrete sand. That usually is enough to do the paths.

Vyvyan Pennell is a double and quite showy. This picture is from 2006. She was on her way to the top of the lattice, but she kept trying to leaf out in February and got killed back each year by frost. She gave up after this and never goot above about a foot or so. I really want to get her all the way to the top. The lattice is part of the shelter/disguise for the porchlift on the front porch so it's fairly sturdy - but a bit tacky; I'd like to re-do it sometime but that would definitely do in the clematises!

Randy has been carrying his new camera with him when we go for walkies. This picture was from today when we stopped at Zoe's - she's a real cookie monster and likes to do kissy-face but is a sloberer :-) I was rather shocked to see this picture - I still think of myself as blonde!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 9:21PM
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Deadheading some roses on tonights WALAT..and more close peering at the ground as I near the drop-dead weekend for un-emerged plants. Still no sign of S. Wendys Wish or the Park Princess Dahlias. Thinkin the Zinnias will have thier first overnighter this weekend too, time to get those little guys hardened off and into the ground. And with the rain gone for the time being I hope to get the clean-up finished at my allotment. So a full weekend on tap here on the left coast.

Cindy , I hear you loud and clear on the hoard factor..I have really tried to be a bit more ruthless in the last couple of years with underperformers and moved a ton of stuff around last fall..I think I had some epiphany moments after IU last summer. Having a small garden is challenging sometimes.The keys for me has been to pick a plant to repeat to knit all the individual vignettes togther. In the front I used Salvia 'May Night' and also Rozanne. In the back I'm not quite so organized yet .

Love that Hosta procession Candy ! Last year a large Magnolia in an adjacent neighbors yard bit the dust, and like you I had some shuffleing to do with the new lighting conditions. It has been nothing but positive so far, though I have variegated lacecap Hydrangea that I just could not bring myself to move, and it seems to be adjusting . It gets a reprieve this summer and Ill decide its fate in fall.

Jealous of the Idyll lunch at Tower Hill..I may just have to pay a fall visit there if all my plans align !

Saucy, there is a product that contractors use that might work well for your rain protection-its basically a giant zipper that you attach to plain poly sheeting that creates a wall with a zip up door. Note the link below.

Deanne, really remarkable pics ..and cant wait to see what you and Saucy come up with from Tower Hill. I still have the photos I took there on my digital picture frame in my kitchen. Coconut Lime is on my want list too. Ive been looking for it since fall to no avail. I think I will ask the plant buyer at the garden center to see if she can find it for me. Might as well have an employee discount.

Thanks for posting Vyvyan Woody ! She is one pretty gal. I like your path procedure. I use small cedar bark for mine. My dream is to have a real brick path put in someday. Its quite short so it probably wouldnt be to expensive, but I have other things that take priority with the fix-it budget.

Ok, signing off hereFriday is around the corner !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:48PM
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Forgot to do this !

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:53PM
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A couple of things that came to mind that Id like to add to my garden is a fothergilla (had one died) persicaria polymorpha and tanacetum vulgare Isla Gold I actually just acquired a Morden 'Sunrise' rose that I've been coveting for several years.

As for shovel pruning, its hard for me since I have such a large area, theres always somewhere else I can put it. I have dumped lots of extras such as sedum Autumn Joy, bearded iris and cat mint. Many try to live on in my compost pile.

In my butterfly garden Ive used sedum Vera Jameson and "Matrona to knit things together.

My mom is spending the night before we drive to Madison. My dad is working else where in the state and my other sister will pick him up along the way. Rick will stay home to farm. We spent some time walating and sitting on the patio enjoying a lovely evening.

Woody, that Vyvyan Pennell is lovely.

Im trying to stay away from the type 2 clematis as Ive lost a couple to clematis wilt the last 2 years. Any suggestions for favorites.

Cindy, leucojum is on my list, but for some reason I cant get inspired in late summer to get a bulb order together. I guess the garden is quite full at the time and bulbs dont seem to be all that important.

Deanne, spectacular bird pictures! The jay picture really strikes me. Congratulations on the FG picture of the day. I think it could easily be the FG Idyll picture of the day. So many great gardens here with so many great combos.

Saucy, I have an outdoor work space that I love. There is a cement area on one end of my garden shed. I keep my pot ghetto there, winter sown containers an old metal table and old cabinet along with some old garden chairs and lots of pots of pelargoniums that like the sunny spot. It has actually turned into a fun area. You will have to post a picture of yours.

bug, thanks for the list. I do have quite a few of those.

Right now Im enjoying lots of tulips, some daffodils, pulmonaria, creeping phlox, the cool season grasses especially calamagrostis Eldorado, hellebores, pulsatilla and all the emerging foliage that is so fresh and new.

Today was Friday for me and a good thing. Its been a long week.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I can't resist. I too have very few clematis of type 2. The viticellas are later bloomers but always fun. I prune them in April and they're ready to take off! I need to feed them today! I'm late with that. For all of these, check out this web site for photos and size of plants. (I think they are having site problems today, but it will be fixed soon)

Here is a sample of clematis plants that do really well for me. Not all are climbers.
Blue Rain
Etoile Violette
Forever Friends (new)
Maria Cornelia (new)
Jan Fopma
Little Bas
Blue Pirouette
Blue Belle
Blue Angel (Blekitny Aniol)
Betty Corning
Duchess of Albany
Amelia Plater
Hagly Hybrid
Romantika (needs an open area or may get mildew)
Prince Charles
Blue Boy

The early atragenes that bloom on old growth also do well for me in our cold winters and cool springs. Here are a few:

Constance (usually the first to bloom)
Markham's Pink
Joe Zary
Blue Bird
Blue Dancer
Alpine Willy

Joy Creek Nursery is a good source. If you find something locally, check it out on the site above and feel free to ask me about it. I may be familiar with it.



    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:35AM
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Ooo La La, GB! A list of clematis! I can't wait to pick over the list (as I have a couple of new vertical places that need addressing).

I LOVE the zipper! I will have to think about a possible rain enclosure...but honestly, I do need to come in and clean the house every once in a while.

I wish I could get to the shovel pruning stage. It seems I will never fill all the spaces with plants and that I will never live to see the maturity of shrubs and trees. I am thankful for my deck which affords me a space that I can fill each year with tropcials and containers and have that lush garden feeling. Someday the "garden" might actually become a garden, lol, though I suspect the kids will be gone and I'll be looking to move somewhere warm...

I love the hosta riding on the bedsheet. I like tarps (and sheets), too. My boys like the wheelbarrow for some reason.

We were not sucessful at the registry. Jake missed by one question about vision impairment. He answered that a magnifying glass would help the scenario the question posed. Back to the registry this morning to take the test again. A 2 hour wait in line. Again. My garden days have been nil this week.

Okay. Off to go for a walk and get ready for lies ahead.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 7:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

TGIF to all!

Today was a super day for progress in the garden. I managed to move ahead on weeding in the vegetable garden and plant some clematis as well. (Trikatrei, Kermesina, Princess Diana (a texensis)and Minuet) More another day.

My friends showed up once again and moved two enormous clematis, Paul Farges (Summer Snow). They had been growing horizontally from shoots from the base and pruning them 3-4 times each summer was becoming a nuisance. Off they went to a wild area by a tree near the creek. Then my friends began weeding work in the flats. YES!!!

Yesterday Ivy received a trike. DSIL says that she beamed with delight when he pushed her on it. First though, I think i need to see photos of her walking! Maybe she'll do that on May 3rd for her birthday?

Can't post photos now or start a new "This Moment" thread. :(

Enjoy your garden!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:13PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Well a very busy two days here for me. My new garden helper came over yesterday and worked for six hours and cleaned out the entire back of our lot including the grotto area, around the shed and compost bins behind the shed, the whole back of the hill and up to the leaf composting area, bagged all the debris, separated all the downed tree branches from the assorted wind storms weve had and dragged all the debris and bags to the street for the city to haul off this morning. I spent the six hours rebuilding seven feet of my rock wall on the path up the hill that surrounds the left side of the terrace gardens. Ive still got to rebuild several more places but things are really getting cleaned up around here. With her help Ill probably be ready for the garden tour in June.

Today I taught in the studio so am enjoying an adult beverage and a nice mellow Friday evening.

Goodness Cindy, that is an impressive wish list. What fun! And love the "Covet and Cram Into This Garden List" I LOL over that. And I have to tell you that the older I get the more aggressive I get about shovel pruning stuff that isnt performing. I used to baby stuff that didnt do well and now its just out of here. Sometimes it gets a reprieve and Ill try a different location but if that doesnt work its good-bye non-performers. Except

Woody, I covet and crave a specimen of Vyvyan Pennel like yours, it is such a beauty and Ive killed three plants over the last four years and will probably break down and try it again. I just love the color and form of those wonderful double flowers.

Cyn, here is a pic of my cherry from a couple years ago. I dont know the name as its been in there longer than Ive been keeping track of plant names. Its on its last legs as the bark on the back of the trunk has now completely peeled off and Im just waiting for the top to die off. It keep surprising me so who knows how much longer it will live.

Bug, how did you make out with that predicted below freezing temps? Hope all is well.

Kathy, I cant believe you are deadheading roses already. Amazing. Love your using S. May Night and Rozanne to use as repeat plants to tie in your vignettes. They are terrific plants and definitely worth their place in the gardens.

Michelle, love Fothergilla! Here is one from Tower Hill

You will love, love, love Persicaria polymorpha, its a fabulous plant. One of my favorite perennials. Im just like you in the fall trying to get any bulbs in the garden. I just seem to be so tied up with getting my containers dismantled and the plants in the house that I cant get into planting bulbs as much as I regret it in the spring.

So Saucy Im tapping my foot waiting to see your magnolia shot?

Here is a link to my gallery of pics from Tower Hill, hope you enjoy


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:04PM
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Wow, awesome pics from Tower Hill Deanne..that daff display is spectacular ! Glad the helper is working out..I am investigating someone to do some hauling for me..I dont have enough debris to justify another dumpster weekend, but what I do have is way more that I can dispose of in my trash totes.

I drove upvalley after work to the garden center original plan was to go first thing in the am tomorrow, but the weather is going to be so nice I know I would rather WALAT with my coffee ! I also want to hit the local garden centers , and continue to check things off my listunplanned purchase today was Haloragis Wellington Bronze ..never seen it before but had to have it.

Extra sleep on the agenda for tonight , though no nice hotel mattress and bedding like I had last weekend.

Kathy in Napa

Ramona From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:35PM
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Finally, we have April showers! All day a drizzle, mist or gentle rain and the weekend promises more. I even got out at the start of the pitter patter and shuffled 2 more plants before the ground would be too wet. Cant pass up a window of opportunity! So glad it was one of those weeks where I had enough free time and could enjoy working in the gardens, that will not be the case this next week what with various commitments and must dos.

Deanne, those bird photos are so magnificent I cant even do them justice without repeating myself! Truly, they never fail to give me a quick intake of breath as they appear on the screen. The weeping cherry is gorgeous, too, with those blossoms it looks covered with lace. Cyn you should go for it!

Tower Hill is much larger than I had imagined, I especially love those pale yellow blossoms!so different from the pink Im used to seeing. Thank you, Deanne, for sharing more fabulous photos!

Saucy, I do hope you intend to post pictures of your work area and you too, Michelle! How neat to have such a place set aside for a specific purpose.

Woody, somehow I had the impression you mixed concrete with the bark and sand for your path. Boy, I was way out in left field on that one ..thanks for the clarification on the concrete mixer. With your activity outside a little before dinner snooze sounds reasonable to me, youre still recouping! Spring weather, fresh air and exerciseall good, and rememberonce a blonde, always a blonde :-)

Cindy, hope you can manage to get outside this weekend if the weather is decent. After being in the awfice all week, youve earned it!

Kathy, yesI would definitely find space for Coconut Lime, if I could find it. I thought the local nurseries would have plenty of stock. Not so. The one who did said they had a failure to over winter properly but did not elaborate, hmmm. Well, around here its still early in the game at the nurseries so Ill keep it on my very short wish list.

Time to grab my book and read a bit before bed.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:37PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Candy - a little clarification might have helped... Concrete sand is just the sharp sand that is used in making concrete. It compacts better for the paths than, for instance, brick sand used in mortar or 'play sand' used in sand boxes. Concrete sand has pieces in various sizes and they are sharp/jagged pieces so lock together to make a firm path better than the even, more rounded pieces of brick sand or play sand.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 9:19AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Nothing too spectacular going on here right now...

I am loving this volunteer Jacob's Ladder. It is lots bigger that the mother plant.

The Asao in the Maackii tree:

An almost empty woodshed:

And the 'pink' dogwood after the heavy snowfall:

The branch running out to the right is broken at the trunk, and we will remove it as soom as the blooms are gone. There will not be much left ! Maybe time will fill it in again....

Dispite all the damage that the trees and shrubs have suffered, the new leaves are so lush, all is looking very lovely. I chose to just ignore the breakage that we cannot remove....such as the top limbs hanging down in the pine tree. Unless I can find someone to prune them out, at an affordable rate, they will just remain as a reminder of nature's vagaries.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 10:33AM
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No time for a long post,but Niki says I don't need any new plants. She thinks she looks just fine in my new container.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:45PM
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Of course she does,'s her color, lol

there goes the phone, right back I hope

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

After much assurance about hardiness, I am now the happy owner of small Katsura 'Red Fox'. My friends will bring it next week and help me decide on a location. YAY!!!!
In the meantime I have some yellow lupines, a Kirengeshoma koreana and a very small golden variegated kousa dogwood. Rain last! My plants do not like water from our hose.

Our university is working on the computer system this weekend, so I am unable to attach photos. I'll try to catch up Monday or Tuesday on this. I am so enjoying the daffodils, mayapples and waterfall you have posted on the other thread! I wonder when/if my mayapples will appear? It is such an exciting time of year. I love watching things appear, like gillenia, gas plants, lilies, solomon's seal, sweet cicely, thalictrum, and more. We have our first red and white trilliums in bloom now. I wonder if we aren't about 2-3 weeks earlier than usual. The fact that we didn't have a serious spring flood means that I am ahead because I don't need to clean debris out the creekside areas. :) I remain a bit nervous about weather until the end of May though when frost threats should be over. So far so good!

On our way back from errands and our nursery visit we stopped for our first ice cream. Seems like a real declaration of the opening of a new garden season!

I have bought liver for dinner tonight. Once every so often DH enjoys it with bacon and onions. I know some people shudder at the word alone though.

Happy gardening weekend to all!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 3:54PM
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OK, so first it was the phone, then the neighbor came to borrow computer paper, followed by a package delivery which took me through the kitchen reminding me I was hungry. One deli turkey sandwich and three Girl Scout cookies later, Im back. And darn it, that was the last box of cookies in the freezer.

Unexpected Idyll time, how nice! It seems Im much too wordy for quick pop-ins as general rule and tend to wait until the timing is right. Whats the "right" time? Nothing urgent needs doing, Im not coming and going, its reasonably quiet without likely interruptions and DH is otherwise occupied as he is today. Although Im pretty darn adept at multi-tasking, I prefer to Idyll at my leisure.

Today we have cloudy skies and more rain predicted. Still sopping wet from yesterday so Im inside catching up on laundry and light cleaning. A pork roast is in the crock pot for BBQ tonight, Ill doctor up some store bought potato salad, make homemade baked beans and call it a quick dinner. Cooking is not high on my list of favorite things, it just seems to interfere with my evenings and I dont find it at all relaxing after a long day.

Woody, very clever formula for the pathis the appearance noticeably different? Sorry if I already asked you that, but I didnt go back to *reread. Id be interested to see a visual to compare with my small bark chips that scatter so easily.

(* I need to start jotting notes to refer to while I write! There are times I accidentally omit someone, forget a comment, repeat myself. Or even worse, realize I worded a response very similar to another Idylls. Perhaps that is just the hazards of fast typing when the words are flowing spontaneously!)

Marian, I was so happy to see you had posted with photos! Since you shared that link with your albums I really enjoy hearing from you. It gives me a better sense of the region and what you observe living on property without the confinement of nearby houses, traffic and other irritating factors. You get a first rate view of nature creating beauty her own way. Just like the Jacobs Ladder seedling, growing like it was supposed to in that very spot. Absolutely love the woodshed photo! It has that seasoned look that saysI belong here on this piece of land. I imagine over the years you and Nolon have wandered the property studying all things growing, wildlife habits and made interesting discoveries that others would never notice. Already hoping youll take more pictures very soon!

Norma, Im guessing you have a more tame version of nature than Marian doesand more rocks? That little waterfall you posted on the special moments thread is so wonderful and natural looking. What a lot of work it must have been to get it just right! No more stingy with the picturesyouve got lots of photo ops, lol. Niki is a subject all her own, she just cracks me up every time and I cant really explain why.

Julie, glad the arm has improved! So, it must have been a pinched nerve? They can be very temperamental when flared up and slow to settle down. Im sure the neck brace is a drag but will be better at stabilization allowing the injury to properly heal.

Hi bug! I must google Katsura "Red Fox" sounds intriguing. DH is another fan of liver and onions, about once a year. Ive been known to taste a bite or two. More important, what kind of ice cream did you have, lol?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 4:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Rasberry sherbet! LOL

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 4:24PM
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Great White from Lost Coast Brewery today, and behind schedule too, a full day in the garden has been had. Skipping the grocery shopping in favor of digging holes and mulching, dinner will have to be scavenged from the pittance left in the house. The exploratory dig in the region where Park Princess Dahlias were planted revealed rotted blobs as expected . On to Plan B for that area. I also fear that I murdered my Abutilon savitzii , after a very insensitive repotting a couple weeks ago, involving a pruning saw, a knife, and believe it or not, my cordless drill. Hard to imagine how the pathetic top growth came from such a robust root system. Rotted Casablancas were also found-no surprise there as all of the lilies are up and some are 3 ft already. In view of that I decided to take a chance and plant some of my Michelle seeds (thank you Michelle!) ; the Zinnias, Scabiosa , and Delphiniums spent their first night outside last night so I feel good about trying some direct sowing. I have been to no less than three nurseries in the last 24 hours , and got lots of stuff crossed off the list.

Norma, that waterfall is fabu ! I infer that this is a 2nd pond for you ?

bug, I must have that Veronica goldwell. I would have bought it too! Its on the list. Cross 4 things off, add 5, lol. Hard to believe that our Ms Ivy is almost a year old. I love reading your plant listswonderful trees and shrubs that would eat up too much space in my tiny garden , but fun to think of and I know we will have photos too. I look forward every year to the magnificent Delphinum display at the farm. How is DHs voice ?

Marian, I have never been able to grow Jacobs Ladder, though it has been some years since I tried. They are sold here, and I suppose the water is the issue- not enough. That Asao is nice color- I should think about something like that as all my clems are in the purple family. Ive always wanted the big white "Henryii.

Lol Candy, one should indeed Idyll at leisure !

Its rose season here , here are a few I took this morning..

Gruss An Auchen From Garden 2010 Spring

Jean Giono From Garden 2010 Spring

Mary Rose From Garden 2010 Spring

I do love my roses.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 7:54PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Looks like we dodged the rain for today so perhaps the pond will finally get its spring cleaning and we can put the fish in their winter quarters. I wish you all could see the fishies, Big Bertha (who lives up to her name) is quite beautiful and is about 12" of goldfish. She is now 12 years old and going strong. Uncle Fester, the Blue Oranda is quite a pretty fish but getting old at 10. Im thinking that perhaps the comet body type goldfish are hardier and live longer than the fancies. Well probably keep him in the house as he almost didnt survive the transition from the pond to the aquarium last fall.

Ive only got a few more perennials to move in the gardens and then Ill be able to concentrate on mulch, edging and getting the billions of annuals and tender perennials outside and hardened off.

Kathy your roses are gorgeous!!!! Do you have a pic of the whole rose area, or an overview of your gardens?

Candy, I lol over cooking not being on your list of favorite things to do, me neither. I just cant seem to develop any enthusiasm for it anymore. Im curious how you do your pork after you take it out of the crock pot?

Bug that Katsura is gorgeous! ~~ I absolutely love chicken livers with onions sautéed in butter with a bit of sherry. Then add a few green peppercorns just before you finish cooking .divine. Of course Ive not fixed or eaten that for eight years as there are just tooooo many calories and fat grams in it. Perhaps its the constant battle to eat low fat stuff that has killed my desire to cook.
Norma, that pic of Niki is just too cute!

Julie, hope you are all recovered soon.

Marian, lovely spring pics, My Asao is still just budding up. No flowers for another couple weeks I think.

The good news is that I broke down yet again about a month ago and bought some of those cheap caladium bulbs at Home Depot. Id never had much luck with them in the past but this year they are growing really well and I have a few plants that will be good sized very soon.

All righty, time to motivate and get outside and get to work. Have a great day all

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:46AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - I would guess that the soil is fairly acidic in your area..? Vyvyan seem to like lime. Where she is is only inches away from a concrete curb in the front and a few more inches from the concrete platform under the lift and a few inches to the side is a concrete support pillar for the porch! So, if you're giving Vyvyan another try, I'd suggest putting her as close as possible to some concrete - maybe put one or more of those square concrete slab things around her roots and/or top-dress regularly with horticultural lime.

Julie - great that there's improvement in your arm. That must be a big relief!

Marian - I would be happy to have even half that dogwood! I don't think there will be much or any flowers on mine again this year.

Randy was the Energiser Bunny yesterday and got all the paths done - most of it while I was out walking Misty so I only did a little bit of spreading the mulch/sand. It'll be hand to have our own roller now. The paths shouldn't need refroshing for another 4-5 years but it'll be handy to run the roller over them each spring after the frost is out of the ground to flatten them again. Here's what some of them look like this morning - you can see that they're a little blotchy where the sand and mulch aren't evenly mixed.

I expect to soon lose the big ash tree that you can see in the picture. Emerald Ash Borer has been found closer to us this year. The tree is always late to leaf out and shows no signs of it yet. The bark on the base of the trunk is looking white in places so I suspect it is doomed soon, whether from EAB or just old age.

I like this picture Randy took of 'cookie time' on yesterday morning's walkies (three-way bum shot :-):

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Deanne those caladium bulbs just don't like to grow unless they have heat. Maybe your basement was warmer this year with the classroom down there. I bought some bulbs too and they aren't even showing leaves yet.(they are outside). They had some nice sized plants in 5 inch pots for a decent price, at WM the other day so I bought a couple to get me started.
I really enjowed your Tower Hill photos.

Candy, there really aren't many rocks in our yard except for deep down. All the rocks you see in my pictures were hauled up from the creek. My name is Norma and I am a rockaholic.

I am really happy with the waterfall out front now. We view it from where we sit in the house so it gives year around pleasure. That pond is also the automatic dog waterer.

Bug that Katasura tree is going to be gorgeous.

Kathy that is my second pond. I think I lived by a stream in a former life. Flowing water puts me at peace.
Your roses are so pretty. I hope to get a first flush on my Knockouts before the JB's hit them. Then I am going to shear them back and hope for a fall bloom. They just look so bad with the beetle damage.

Marian, nice picture of the mayapples. I am envious of your Jacobs ladder. I have tried growing those several times with no luck.

Michelle I have a hard time shoveling pruning too. (I just used that term with Bob the other day and he thought it was funny). I usually try to move stuff to some unobtrusive spot, and many times it does much better there. I have plenty of spots to fill just to keep the weeds down if nothing else.
Hope you had fun with your family outing. And I was happy to see you had a visit with Kenzie.

Saucy, your activities always intrigue me. You never let any grass grow under your feet. Good to hear you and Deanne had a fun day.
Our GS Jake still has not taken his driving test. He has a truck but is in no hurry to drive on his own. Strange. The only thing I can think is that several of his cousins have had serious accidents. That may be in the back of his mind.

Woody, I wear down most days around 3 o'clock. Sometimes a brief nap gets me back on track. I am just so happy you can still have some garden time and walkies with the dog.
Your garden is better kept than mine.

Cindy, hope you had some garden time over the weekend. You better get lots done this year because there will be a grandbaby next year. LOL

Hi Cyn and Drema. V must be swamped with work and garden.

Chelone, has the wrecking crew returned home?

I need to venture out and pull weeds between rains. Can't say I am really in the mood but housework is the alternative. Or maybe we should go visiting. Anyway I am out of here for now.

Later. Norma

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:23AM
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Woody the paths look great.

I love the cookie time photo too. I bet Rebel and Rocky would love to be on your route.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:28AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma - I forgot to say... I love those pond pictures too, especially the waterfall. It's one of the best of that sort that I've seen. You've done some marvelous things there and you should post pictures more often! My garden, especially the backyard, is not 'well kept' in terms of what most people would expect. We do not mulch at all; the previous year's dead leaves etc. are the mulch. The woodland plants in particular thrive on it. The somewhat formal layout of the paths front and back fool you into thinking it's neater than it really is...!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 12:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Something unheard of happened today. After a meeting, DH took me to a nursery. I didn't buy a single thing! Then I went to a different place later on, still found not a thing!!! Very strange indeed...

We had a gentle rain all day, which is great for the garden. I hope I can get more weeding done during the week.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:39PM
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About to do a bit of Sunday evening WALATing to assess my progress this weekend and pick up tools that are strewn about (tools in one hand, wine in the other). DS had a choir concert this afternoon so I took a break for that. This morning I went over to my community garden plot and did some more work there , we are to have yet more rain this week , and it does interfere with trying to get that thing prepped. If it rains too much this week, or too late in the week, progress will stall again for next weekend.

Deanne I had to chuckle when you asked me about my rose area ..the rose area is basically my whole garden. I do have one spot that was an existing rose garden when we moved into this house 20 years ago or thereabouts. Every rose that was there has been replaced with a different variety and I have interplanted with dayliles geraniums and now now my sedum tapestry. The soil there was basically dead when we moved was clearly never composted, round-ed up frequently ,and it was hard as a rock.It literally took me years to fix. There are 12 roses in this bed but the others(lost count, 40 plus ?) are placed within the mixed beds. It works out better that way, because the down times and disease issues are better disguised. I will try to get an overview pic in the next couple of days.

Woody, will that Ash tree removal change your exposure quite a bit ? Lol 3-way bum shot !

Ok, off to WALAT catch you guys later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:42PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathy - when the ash comes down - sooner or later; not sure when it will happen - there will be a lot more sun in the backyard, especially on the side of the woodland garden shown in the path picture above and against the back of the house. However, I have been trying to prepare for that eventuality for a number of years now. I have planted a few small trees (white redbud, serviceberry, dogwood) to help mitigate the change in light, plus a lot of the perennials there can take either sun or shade. The biggest adjustment will actually be in the house! The tree shades the livingroom window in the summer so we'll now likely have to put blinds or curtains on the window. The ash also cools the backyard/back porch by up to 10 degrees on hot days, so it'll be quite an adjustment in that regard. The big white pines and the younger oak, which has now gotten quite large, will help a lot, except late in the afternoon when the sun beats directly on the house. I'm actually quite looking forward to the change and am begining to plan the replacement tree planting. I think I'll stick to smaller, flowering trees for their ornamental value and because the town now has a by-law restricting removal of large old trees. I don't want to handcuff a future homeowner. In my opinion the by-law is going to accomplish the exact opposite of what they intend! I just hope the tree doesn't come down on the house before we get a chance to remove it safely!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:08PM
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About to do a bit of Sunday evening WALATing to assess my progress this weekend and pick up tools that are strewn about (tools in one hand, wine in the other). DS had a choir concert this afternoon so I took a break for that. This morning I went over to my community garden plot and did some more work there , we are to have yet more rain this week , and it does interfere with trying to get that thing prepped. If it rains too much this week, or too late in the week, progress will stall again for next weekend.

Deanne I had to chuckle when you asked me about my rose area ..the rose area is basically my whole garden. I do have one spot that was an existing rose garden when we moved into this house 20 years ago or thereabouts. Every rose that was there has been replaced with a different variety and I have interplanted with dayliles geraniums and now now my sedum tapestry. The soil there was basically dead when we moved was clearly never composted, round-ed up frequently ,and it was hard as a rock.It literally took me years to fix. There are 12 roses in this bed but the others(lost count, 40 plus ?) are placed within the mixed beds. It works out better that way, because the down times and disease issues are better disguised. I will try to get an overview pic in the next couple of days.

Woody, will that Ash tree removal change your exposure quite a bit ? Lol 3-way bum shot !

Ok, off to WALAT catch you guys later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I will try to touch on a little more than "just me" ....
Kathy I love your Ramona. That is one of my favorite colors.I have a Henryii. It is one of my better growing clems. I am in awe of all your beautiful roses. I am unable to grow them here.

Norma, I love the pic of Niki in the pot.

Woody, I wish I were able to share all my dogwoods with you. The one I pictured is the only one that I bought. Our place has dozens of them all through the woods, and in our yard. New seedlings show up every year.
I love yor paths. They are neat. I could sure use a bunch like them.
I am sorry about your ash tree. I love our ashes.
Cute doggie pic.

Marie, I understand your ability to go to a nursey and leave empty handed. I have cut down considerably on the desire to buy more plants. I realize more and more than I am not able to take care of all that I already have. So now I am concentrating on what is closest to the house. I do want to get some cladiums, and an elephants ear. Probably not much more.

Candy, you are quite right about our wanderings and studyings on our place. I am so glad we had enough time to do that before we both got pretty much unable to. I did a lot of research on all the plants, animals and birds. Now most of my time is limited to our yard, and this computer.
I still enjoy taking pictures, but I am not keeping up with the yard work very well.

I must have hit the wrong key...and lost my task I will close. and reboot....


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:23PM
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Sorry about the duplicate post and not sure how it happened.
Marian, Ramona has been my best Clem for several years; it reblooms a bit too. The biggest issue is the rose that it lives with (Reine des Violettes)who usually smothers Ramona by June, in spite of my draconian pruning efforts. I'm afraid my roses lack discipline !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:08AM
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Oh wow, Kathy, your roses are beautifulluscious colors, too! Although I dont grow roses I adore inhaling their perfume and gazing upon them. These look absolutely flawless! Looking forward to seeing more photos.

Deanne, I had no idea fish could live that long. Have you ever photographed them?that would be awesome! Oh yes, about the crock pot pork roast: I take it out about an hour and a half before serving and cut or shred it on a plate. Pour the broth out of the crock into a large measuring cup. Then I put the pork back into the crock, add the BBQ sauce of choiceif its too thick I add small amounts of the saved broth until the consistency looks right. Then I put the lid back on, leave it on Low for another 60 minutes. There are so many different brands of crock pots, slow cookers and roasters on the market now that cook times vary, but thats how I add the sauce once its tender.

Lovely paths, Woody! Thats a great view for taking another photo later in the season. Also, interesting comment about Vyvyan liking lime and close quarters with concrete. Do you grow other clematis that enjoy the same conditions?

It has rained for 3 days/nights and I have literally watched the grass grow. The second application of seed looks so water logged I hope it doesnt rot. Come back, sunshine! Its going to take two days to dry out enough for DH to mow.

Time for bedbusy week looms ahead for me.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:41AM
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Oh dear. Was it something I said?

Or maybe...HAL! I order you to open the pod bay doors immediately.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 4:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The weather is perfect here, but I am not feeling great. (dizzy and strange...)

The computer system at the university is still mixed up, so no photos yet.

Last evening Ivy took her first 2 steps, kindly waiting for a moment when Mommy, Daddy and Skyler were all watching. I imagine DSIL has had a busy day with her today!

This morning I dug up a few Japanese anemones, a long term losing battle!

Plans are proceeding for our 50th class reunion in early June.

DH will BBQ some lamb for dinner tonight. I do love lamb!

Hope you are all surviving Monday and will get to WALAT soon!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:06PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB - the air pressure was very low today which always makes my balance go badly out of whack. I was bumbling around like a drunk most of the day! We didn't get much rain yesterday. The radar showed that the rainclouds got hung up on the Escarpment. Did you get much rain?

Misty had quite a social walk this afternoon. Cookie time with Baxter (who usally tries to eat her cookie too!)

Misty looks like such a scruffy mutt next to the elegant Tess:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 7:06PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Woody, what is it about collies? We have a neighbor with two. They always look so perfect-much different from my two scruffy pups. Now that I think of it, the reason my darlings don't look so well coifed is due more to my failures than theirs-lol. Hope the pressure issues are past and you aren't bumbling-no fun especially if you weren't able to enjoy the manner of getting to that point!

'bug, hope you are feeling better, too. Sorry about the tree. We just lost another oak. Just hate that.

Kathy, those roses are just incredible. Wonderful pictures.

Norma, love Niki's picture in the pot-too cute!
Oh gosh-just saw the time. Waaay past bedtime.

Will be back soon-very busy at school. Have been writing IEPs all weekend and having meetings this week and next. Ugh.

'night to everyone I didn't catch up with and to everyone I did

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 9:53PM
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Good morning!

Yesterday we put in a full day setting up display tables in the neighbor's garden and preparing a new area in the greenhouse for hanging pots.

This morning we're going shopping! She's good about following up a demanding day with a shopping day :)

I got cut short...gotta go! Have a great day, Idylls!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:35AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its a gray day out there today and the weather people are predicting temps down to 34 tonightGrrrr. So do I bring in all the plants or not? What a pain, I get lulled into this false sense of security this time of the year and out of the blue the forecast changes and Ive got to bring in all the tender stuff yet again. or be lazy and risk losing it. Ill see how I feel about 6 tonight.

Saucy, have a great shopping day! Sounds like fun.

Woody, love the pics of the paths in your back garden. Looking great. ~~ Thanks for the information about Vyvyan. Im going to have to pay attention to keeping enough lime in the soil when I try it again.~~ I know you love White Pines but the trees here are driving me nuts. Pitch everywhere this spring from all the wind damage to the trees over the winter not to mention the billions of pine cones that came down and there are still plenty left to come off the trees. Also, the bumper crop of pine cones created billions of seeds that are feeding the resident rodent populations and what arent getting eaten are germinating so I have baby White Pine trees coming up everywhere. I could create a whole forest from the seedlings in my yard right now. OK, end of rant, LOL

Bug, hope you are feeling better today. I sometimes get like that in the summer for some reason that no one can figure out. I do believe it has something to do with my thyroid but there is no telling exactly what it is.

Candy, yes Ive taken photos of the fish from time to time. Ill have to see where I put those pics. Its been a while. ~~ Thanks for the info on the pork. Interesting because I thought BBQ had to be cooked on the grill and I had no idea how you grilled the pork after slow cooking it for so long.

Kathy, I find it interesting that you grow roses throughout your gardens. Ive not ever had luck with that method and the couple I have outside of my designated area never do too well. You are in rose climate heaven out there though so I imagine that they can be really strong growers.

Norma, love your pond shot. That waterfall is quite beautiful. ~~ You are completely correct about the basement growing area being warmer than in past years so that is probably why the caladium bulbs are doing well this year. Im thinking Im going to keep them indoors until June this year.

Here are a couple pics from the orchid window, they are so pretty right now!

This is a new variety I found at HD this spring and it will probably become one of my favorites. Love the peachy pink tones of this one.

Ok time to get my day started here. Waving hello to one and all,

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 8:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Very gusty outdoors today and it was noisy all night from the wind as well. We expect a HIGH of only 48 today, and a second night of 33F tonight. So Deanne, I expect you may have several cold nights in your future, sorry to say.

I really hope I feel up to more weeding today. I just want to keep ahead so badly! Instead of sleep last night, I thrashed about trying to plan where my new Katsura will be planted... There are a few other things to find good sites for too.

I really wish the university would shape up with their computer woes so that I could deal with my photos. Grrrr.

I'm excited to hear what Saucy returns with from her shopping expedition. So far here I haven't seen much new or exciting, mostly bleeding hearts and pulmonaria. Mind you, it really is way too early to plant most things. Our last frost date is at the end of May!

So far this spring I am enjoying the combination of daffodils with blue anemone blanda. I recommend it to everyone who wants more bulb interest in their spring gardens.

Later friends,

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:10AM
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Ooo-la la Deanne ! The orchid window in all it's glory..just stunning .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Deanne, I've never put the effort into orchids here so continue to be mightily impressed by yours! That peachy pink is gorgeous!

Managaed a bit of weeding today, but it is so cold that I ended up at a nursery instead. I picked up a white chelone. I'd bought one last year but it turned out to be pink like what I already have. I also found a gentian (that had been sold out from a catalog) and picked that up. Collected a few other small things too. In the mail were a few crocosmia bulbs so I'll plant those up in a pot for later outdoor planting.

Here are a few photos.
This is the lathyrus for Saucy:

And here is the return of sedum autumn delight.



    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:37PM
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The orchids are beatiful Deanne. They must give you great pleasure this time of year.

Bug Autumn Delight is delightful. I have Autumn Charm but it keeps wanting to revert.

It's clearing here this evening, so I hope to get back outside tomorrow. I have some really weedy areas to try to conqure.
Feeling drowsy since Bob has a fire going, and we just ate.

Have a good evening all. N

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:48PM
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Hi everyone, I was out trying to garden but it's cold today! The upside is that gives me a bit of time to visit with you all. The usual going on here, gardening and grandkids. No grandkids during the week though, except Bella a couple of evenings, so lots more time for gardening. I'm loving having time and have been doing all the more involved things I couldn't do when she was small and here all day. Lots of redesigning and shuffling around going on in the garden. So much fun! As for the grandkids...Bella's began a new ritual of spending Friday nights each week. We usually watch a movie of her choice with a snack of her choice too. That's usually popcorn or chocolate chip cookies but we did make pizza a couple of times too. We've also been working on collecting things to make a pretty good sized fairy garden in one of my old raised beds. It will be Bella's creation and we're having fun finding things for it. We're going to a Fairy Festival at a local Herb Farm on Saturday that we're both excited about. As for Kate, we celebrated her 1st birthday last Sunday with a big Elmo shindig. I forgot my camera, (dumb,dumb), so no pictures from me but you can picture her in her pink party dress and her hair up in a little ponytail "Pebbles style" with a pink bow. Her gift from Papa and me was a play kitchen. She had big fun with her little "smash cake" and needed a good hosing down when she was finished.

I don't have an idea of what's going on with those of you not on FB so I'm going to take the rest of my time and read back through the last couple of Idylls to catch up.

There is frost predicted for tonight so I need to go scout the garden and make sure I don't leave anything out that will be damaged. I am loving spring and most thoroughly enjoying it this year! Hope you all are too!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:58PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Greetings, folks -- wow, amazing photos for a couple days' absence -- I can practically smell those roses, Kathy!

Norma, your waterfall is so lovely - you are a master at creating peaceful and dramatic water views -- your addiction to rocks serves you well! I've had the slumps myself w/ fatigue and other things and likely slept more than I should have over the weekend -- the weather confounded me but did manage to get some things planted and the winter wardrobe put away... so of course it's going to be 36 degrees tonite -- and I'll have to dig out the winter woolies again and cover plants! Sheesh...

Deanne -- those orchids are so amazing -- that looks like the most lush exhibition yet you've had -- I cant get one to rebloom no matter what. In fact, I think Im going to cut down on houseplants as they're not getting enuf attention and continue to get pests..

'bug -- what luck to get your wish list fulfillment with that katsura red fox - what a beauty it will be.

Have had computer issues at the awfice and I think they followed me home.....been rebooting and getting various weird msgs here....

Eden - how great to see you here - I have somehow missed that you are creating a fairy garden with Bella - I cant wait to see what you two creative wonders come up with in the concept.

We found out today that Im going to have a little girl for my first grandbaby so I can imitate many of your creative wonders found here on the idylls -- Im so excited. DD and DH hoped for a boy but they'll get over it - I think it has more to do with that they cannot agree on a name for a girl but had settled on a boy name, LOL.... Now, if only the baby would arrive here in a month instead of 4, I wouldnt have time to dwell on other things. Maybe I'll be babyproofing and dogproofing at the same time in a few months, LOL....

I am so amazed at the incredible photos being posted on the moments threads -- Gardenbug, Candy, Deanne, Saucy, Kathy, V -- I know I havent mentioned all but wow - they're amazing!!

Kathy, that Ramona clematis I know I've commented before -- it does so well for you - it's a type 2 too I think isnt it? so you have a great "thumb" for them! I've got several really budding up now and a few little blooms of roses starting up - another week or so of warmer weather and things will be popping here too.

Will try to check in tomorrow - home for dentist and other things and looking forward to sleeping in and getting to do some stuff in the yard if it doesnt blow up too windy! Yeaha. Golly, they're talking 80s this weekend.... bizarre.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:03PM
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Ive finally had a chance to pop in here after a busy weekend and equally busy work days.

We stopped at the farm of a lady and her daughter that sell perennials in WI. We had stopped 2 years ago when we were at my sisters. They have a nice variety of plants and I can always find something I dont have. We stopped on the way and then had to stop on the way back as well. Since my mom became enamoured with hellebores while we were at Olbrich Gardens. I remembered that they had some there so back we went. I found some trollius, bloodroot, alchemilla erythropoda, drumstick allium, frittalaria, variegated oat grass and hens and chicks.

Olbrich Gardens was a smallish but extremely well designed and interesting garden. There was a lot blooming and I got a few more ideas for early bloomers. Ill have to put some pictures on a separate thread.

Cindy, only 4 months huh? Patience my dear. What fun to add another little Idyll baby girl.

Deanne, while at Olbrich I wondered about your orchids since they had some in the conservatory. Yours are as lovely as ever. Thanks for posting those.

bug, I have sedum Autumn Delight and really like it. I even took some cuttings last summer to put some in my front door garden. Thanks for the clem list. Ive saved it. Ive got several on your list.

Woody, Misty may not be elegant but is sure cute.

Norma, your pond is just grand.

Marian, Ive killed quite a few Jacobs Ladders. Although, Touch of Class has returned this year.

Kathy, Im so glad you grow such lovely roses so I can enjoy them long distance.

Saucy, your magnolia shot is fabulous. Id say framable.

Im enjoying all the interesting shots on the Moments thread.

I came in from the garden and it was 8:50. I love the longer evenings. It was lovely today after a light rain yesterday.

Im noticing lots of seedlings from my clematis this year. Ive not had that much in the past.

Im off to enjoy Tower Hill.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:23PM
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Phew, the some-assembly-required file cabinet has been completed. It took me all evening ! No dinner, no WALAT, just inserting tab A into slot B , and not too many mishaps, although the very last step involved an ill fitting part, which fortunately is optional. So just a brief hello here,

It rained most of the day today, so all my newly planted stuff from the weekend got a nice drink-as did the items still languishing in their containers. We had some wind too, but for once in my life I had the Delphiniums well staked and they came through just fine.

bug, I always forget about anemone blanda. Another bulb that is inexpensive and easy to tuck in here and there. Youll have to remind when we nag each other about planting bulbs this fall. Lovely photos ! I just picked up Autumn Delight last weekend. I will pull up a huge grove of Borage to make room for it- the Borage will prevail eventually anyway !

Hi Eden ! We better get a whole photo-essay on the fairy garden

Cindy, I would not feel guilty at all about extra sleep if I were you, if you need it, you need it ! Im afraid I have no clue what type Clem Ramona is. I do whack her back quite a bit in January. She gets a lot of thatch and gets entwined in neighboring plants . She does re-bloom , which is nice.

Ok I really need to cal it a night, Ill leave you with a photo I took yesterday..

Prospero and Delphiniums

From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here I am at 3:40am checking the Idylls. Wish I could be more like Cindy!!!

Kathy, that Prospero is one amazing healthy rose! Won't see anything at all near that lush in my northern garden. I'm hoping for a good delphinium year though, but I can't tell yet how things will go.

Michelle, I remember your visit to that small nursery. It always seems to delight you. Glad you found some special plants for both you and your Mom.

I'm afraid the computer may be attacked by a virus or else the system isn't working once more. Things are taking entirely too long... so if I disappear, that is the cause.

This weekend we travel north where DH gives a talk and we visit a friend with a 12 year old Bouvier. Phoebe will not be joining us though because of complications at the friend's house. Our friend will be watching over her at home.

It turns out that DS may be dropping by for a few days as well. Never know with him....

Enjoy your gardens!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 3:50AM
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Marie, getting up early this time of year isn't such a bad thing, but maybe 3:30 is just a bit too early:) You can get all of your indoor chores out of the way and be ready for the garden later. And there's no reason you can't go to bed early or nap later, right? I love getting up early (more like 5am though). I haven't been able to do that for quite awhile because Bella was here until anywhere from 9-11pm and I'd get too tired staying up that late.

Ivy took her first steps! How exciting. Kate's still crawling though Bella was walking by her first birthday. They all do things in their own time. Speaking of birthdays, Miss Ivy's will be coming up very soon won't it? Is a party planned? Have you decided on a gift for her yet?

I see european ginger mentioned at the top of the thread. I have lots of that in my gardens. It reseeds everywhere. I've never considered it a ground cover so much though as it mostly grows in 12" clumps here, more like the habit of a clumping sedum. A really pretty plant though with it's glossy leaves. Some of my ground covers...I love my sweet woodruff, a good spreader but easy to yank out if it goes too far and dense enough that the weeds don't grow in it. Also I have an astilbe that's low growing and spreads like a ground cover, love the foliage on that one. Ajugas are great ground covers for me, ornamental oregano Kent Beauty I love, geranium dalmaticum has grown into quite a nice clump of ground cover for me, assorted dianthus, and of course, the lamiums, Ann Greenaway is a favorite, nice bright foliage. Some of the miniature hostas make a nice patch of groundcover, one that comes to mind is Green Eyes. Creeping sedums...I have lots but they're not really my favorites. They have a hard time spreading in my clay soil I think and get weedy.

Woody, seeing the picture of your nursery visit I have to tell you we just purchased a couple of those colorful chairs. Purple ones for us. I also saw the brightly colored tomato cages. I use upside down tomato cages alot in my gardens to keep plants from flopping but like them to disappear into the plant so none of those for me.

Woody, love the picture of your freshly mulched paths. Really nice layout. I'm thinking of forging a new path through my back garden. We'll see.

Cindy, congratulations on the baby being a granddaughter! I secretly always hope for a girl. I think they're more fun but of course we love the baby boys too.

Kathy, your roses are always so pretty. They just amaze me. I'm glad I can gaze upon yours because they're one of the things I've mostly gotten rid of to make room for other plants that do better here. Too much work in my climate and even then they never look like yours. I'm down to an Eden climbing rose, a Heritage and a few minis. And the Heritage's days may be numbered, lol.

I gave up on Jacob's Ladder long ago. They don't like me. Marian I can't believe you have such a beauty that was a volunteer!

Deanne, those orchids! Ohlala! Very impressive!!!

We'll be sure to let you all know how the fairy garden turns out. It should be interesting. So far Bella has collected everything from a mini Eiffel Tower to sea shells to gnomes to put in it. I'm sure it will have many of her little animals as residents too. Should be interesting. I've got lots of miniature plants she can use but I'm going to let her pretty much put things where she wants. Should be interesting...and fun! Bella's very excited about it.

I've been at this for over an hour. Lots more I could comment about but I have to get going and do some chores so I can spend the nice part of the day in the garden. Have a great Wednesday all!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 6:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH is outside using a friend's power saw to cut down a dead tree. I'm using his computer because, as predicted, mine has a horrid virus. He's taking it in for repairs tomorrow.

The wind here is fierce and there is only one protected area where it is pleasant to work. My friend Ann has claimed that spot..which is great. I have an overflow of purple sensation alium growing there as well as some garlic mustard creeping in, so she is attacking those. I weeded a row of the vegetable garden, so not too much left there except for spreading raspberry plants. A nasty job!

My katsura is planted! That was a great start to the day!

Eden, I don't think Ivy will be having a party. Her birthday is Monday, and that's the day she begins day care and her Dad returns to work. I'm sure it will be a tricky week for them. First of all, DSIL will have to shave off his beard! LOL!

I saw the colorful tomato cages this weekend for the first time. Very cute...but I too like mine to blend with their surroundings.

That's it for now!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 2:29PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Well the cold weather has chased me in the house. Its FREEZING out there. Its currently 41 degrees with a very stiff wind blowing. Im sure the chill factor was well below freezing. I stuck it out and stayed outside working until it started spitting rain and sleet then threw in the towel. My garden helper came over today again and spread a yard of bark mulch while I spent several hours rebuilding the rock wall around the dogwood tree and rhododendron. So although it was a shorter day than planned we got a lot accomplished. Yesterday I rebuilt the stone steps up to the area behind the pond. Hopefully we will finally get the pond cleaned out this weekend so the fish can get outside. I wanted to get that accomplished over last weekend but it never hit the top of the "to-do" list.

Bug, love that lathyrus! What a pretty plant. And that S. Autumn Delight is beautiful,. How tall does that get? ~~ bummer about the computer virus! Hope it gets well soon.

Eden, love the idea of your Friday evenings with Bella. You both must love it. ~~ How interesting that you dont have good luck with Jacobs Ladder, I dont either. I just love them but they simply dont do well here and I gave up on them.

Cindy, if your orchids are not re-blooming try putting them in an area where they will get more light. They like very bright diffused light. Mine are in a south facing window with a sheer curtain. It lets in lots of light but no direct light on the leaves. ~~ Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of your Granddaughter. ~~ RE the strange weather, low 40s here today and 80s on Saturday.

Michelle, sounds like you got quite a haul at Olbrich Gardens. Do you have a spot planned for all those goodies or are you just going to tuck them in where it seems appropriate?

Kathy, that Prospero Rose is absolutelygorgeous! Not to mention its fantastic with those delphs. Ive never had really good luck with delphiniums, they dont come back well for me (probably due to rodents) and I never get them staked before a wind/rain storm and over they go. So glad others grow them well so I can enjoy!

Okie Dokie, must run and think about cooking something for dinner. Thought youd enjoy this Am. Goldfinch shot I got yesterday.

Have a great evening all,

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Cindy, I didn't know the baby was due so quick. Although four months is a long time when you are pregnant. A little girl will be just fine. I hope you will be feeling much better for the coming weekend.

Michelle, nice score on new plants. It must have been dark by 8:50. Nice that you have the longer daylight to work in the garden now.

Deanne, I wish I could find someone I would trust to help me weed and such. The finch shot is outstanding.

Eden It's good to have you stopping by here again. It will be fun to see Bella's Fairy garden evolve.
You have been doing a lot in your garden. Looking forward to pictures of what you have done. I have found that putting in more paths in the gardens really helps me with knowing where to place plants and makes for easier weeding.

Kathy I agree with everyone else . That rose and delphinium shot is spectacular.

It was sunny today so I weed eated for six hours. Things had really gotten out of hand. Fortunately some of my outlying beds don't get viewed up close very often so I just weed eat around the clumps of plants. No way can I weed all of that by hand. Unfortunately I probably spread a billion more weed seeds around. Wish I could have gotten to them sooner. I expect my arm and shoulder muscles will be really sore tomorrow. I noticed a couple of first Clematis blooms today.
I'm hoping to plant a few things tomorrow. But I think we have rain headed our way again. I think we have gotten about two and a half inches of our four inch deficit now

Time for a check in from Julie, Denise and V. All others too.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 6:55PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Okay, Deanne and Norma - you put us to shame -- sounds like you guys have been working like a chain gang all the heavy labor type things you've been doing - between slinging rocks in wind and sleet to weed eating (nasty noise & smell of gas) for that length of time. It was horribly windy here too, Deanne - felt like it was 30 degrees; I was afraid to plant anything w/ more frost warnings and the wind has been so fierce... and then threats of 89 degrees for the weekend.... talk about extreme gardening - plants that survive these swings are mighty strong!

That goldfinch photo is spectacular -- W O W ......

I love that lathyrus shot, 'bug - just the color Im looking for - I've got the roseus and alba, but hope to have that lavendar some day. It sounds like you're getting lots accomplished with helpers and your own hard work.

Not much to report here -- didnt get the garden day as I hoped but Im almost getting used to that - it just doesnt seem to work out if I try to plan for it any more... well there's always the weekend! It was a good day - any day not at the awfice is!!!

Im going to get to work on uploading a few photos of the tulips and Asao and other things if I can tonite....

By the way, I actually usually order my fall bulbs by July 1 -- I think it was Cynthia W who used that deadline and it seems to work well for me -- while it's the middle of summer, I stop and look over my list and place some orders - that way Im assured to get what I want and get it done.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 8:33PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Here are a couple of the Asao from a week or so ago....

And my favorie tulip, Mariette:


    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 9:04PM
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Love the Goldfinches Deanne..I have had them visiting my garden heavily for the last few months. They are one of my faves along with the black-headed Juncos we have here. The Goldfinches are funny about their feeding habits; I have a dedicated finch feeder with thistle seed and they may go a week without visiting it and then all of a sudden they are all over the place , fighting it out for ports etc. This last week they were all on my regular platform feeder that has the sunflower hearts, sometimes a dozen of them at a time. I just cant imagine a garden without birds.

Cindy, I love those tulips in the last pic ! I might need to copy you..can you ID for me ?

Norma, I am totally impressed with a 6 hr weedeating session. The vibrations from those things always make my hands and forearms numb after about 30 minutes.

All for me, Im still trying to organize the new filing system and all the damn cords from the computer equipment..

Im glad you all enjoyed Prospero and the Delphs, this is a view from the opposite of the island bed they live in. From Garden 2010 Spring

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

YES! Cindy shows off her Asao, all color coordinated with her tulips! Lots of wonderful textures going on there too.

I hope you have all checked out the spectacular (Reed) moon tonight!

Norma, six hours of weed whacking sounds like too much to me! I hope you soaked in a nice bath for a while this evening.

Deanne, so far my Sedum Autumn Delight is not very large. Michelle, how tall is yours?

Eden, we contributed money to cover Ivy's music lessons, her tricycle and a family dinner out. Long distance grandparenting stinks!

I managed to get back on my treadmill this evening, so I must be feeling better. ;)

Yoo Hoo! Where is V???
Nite all!
'bug & Phoebe (who is tired from chasing her buddy Morgan all day long)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:22PM
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I drove home from my photo class under the Reed moon and wondered how to get a shot of it :)

My magnolia shot was well received last night. He's a great instructor and my classmates are fun, too. Some of us are meeting on Friday to take photos in Petersham (I don't even know where that is...guess I'd better look!).

The instructor lives on a farm with angora goats. I want to live on a farm with angora goats.

I got a fabulous package from Drema - she's sharing plants with me. I received some Butterbur or petasites and a hosta. I am putting the petasites somewhere away from my cultivated gardens, don't worry....I have just the spot!

My neighbor and I are working furiously toward opening day: May 1st. Yesterday I built extra purlins for the hanging plants in the greenhouse from galvinized pipe. I am proud of my handiness :) We must have 40 hanging plants in's quite colorful.

I haven't bought much on our shopping sprees: an agastache with gray/green foliage and red flowers (says it's hardy to 4, must be a lie!), 2 poppies, one peach, one white. I really like shade garden plants this time of year, but we haven't done that kind of shopping yet. I like shade gardening now because the mosquitoes have yet to make an appearance.

I love the goldfinch, Deanne! I am so happy to hear that your garden help is working out. She sounds like a gem! Tell her we all say hello and give her a scare :)

Cindy, I always love your garden when you post pictures! And your color coordination is fabulous. You're weeks ahead of us up here.

I like to weedeat, Norma, I think everything looks so neat afterwards.

Waving hello to everyone! I think V. is probably herding chickens or tending bees...she's a busy one these days.

Hopefully donning shorts,


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 7:44AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well I decided to bring in all the plants last evening because it was supposed to go down to freezing and then of course it didnt go below 40 The fluctuating temps this time of year make me nuts!!!!! LOL Now I have to get the whole lot of them back outside this morning as it is supposed to be up in the 60s today. Saturday is supposed to be in the 80s. Yikes. It sounds like the weather has been just as crazy everywhere. Hope everyones plants survived the freezing and wind.

Kathy, love those delphs with the roses in the BG. Gorgeous!!! Not to mention how lovely it is to see your pristine lily foliage in the foreground. We are already battling lily beetles this year.

Cindy, Asao has to be the prettiest early blooming clematis. Lovely shots with your perfectly color coordinated tulips. Beautiful!

Norma, good grief, six hours with a week whacker! Yikes, my hands would be numb for days. Id love to see more photos of your pond if you get a chance?!

Hey Saucy, of course your lovely magnolia shot was well received. Its a beauty! Love the idea of red flowered gray/green foliage agastache. Id love to see a pic of it. Do you have the name?

OK time to get to work, have a great day all,

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:00AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Kathy - could you please ask your dephiniums and Prospero to pause in time for us til about July 1??? Those combos are looking just luscious.

Sorry for the horrible photos - I need to adjust something on my camera from when someone recently borrowed it -- and Im such a doofus w/ it I know the light settings are off, but she played around with it but I havent had a chance to remember to go look up the info in the manual and re-adjust. I usually am in a hurry to pick it up & run outside to grab a few shots but always in the worse light.... maybe I can pick up some hints from you folks - as I have from my gardens.... I totally think I've picked up so many hints and knowledge from studying idyll photos or other personal gardens.... I have a long way to go, but it helps to creat a more "critical" eye toward one's own and learn to emulate the "masters" here!

Saucy, your neighbor's garden sounds amazing - I think I've missed out on its background somehow - is it open to the public where she sells her divisions, etc., during the season or is it a more pre-eminent place I should know about but missed the info? In any case, I would be in plant haven having someone with a big garden offering up her divisions each year -- I'd be trading that blood, sweat and tears in plants I suspect.

I cant wait to see your poppies either, Saucy -- I have about given up -- none of the numerous numerous oriental types have survived - most never even come up, no matter whether bare root or plant. I've got one success -- Raspberry Queen that seems to come back but doesnt seem to multiply either -- it's the Sole Survivor, LOL. I ordered about 6 different types of agastache too this year -- they seem to do well for me; but I was afraid the harsh winter had killed off the others - but I've found several managed to overwinter in the microclimate areas.

Eden, you use so many interesting things as groundcovers/front of the border plants -- and I know that Bella is going to have a discerning eye like her g-ma when it comes to the fairy garden. I'll be taking notes for my future one when there's a grandgirl in my gardens. Cant wait... but I guess I should wait til she walks, right?

Cold again but inching up here... I guess I'd rather have the 90s than the 30s if I had to make a choice tho... My small clematis order arrived yesterday, and a couple other little things -- they are sitting in their boxes til the warm-up of today. I dearly need more topsoil this yeawr too - for some reason I had terrible runoffs during the snow melts - I guess there was just too much water melting at once. So that's on the critical to-do triage list for this weekend. I seem to only get to the triage part, never the maintenance and routine!


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 1:34PM
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Cyn, sorry its late. I think I'm about to be fired as keeper of the Idyll birthdays. Actually, for some reason Hotmail no longer emails me when I have a calendar event.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 3:26PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 5:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 7:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Cyn, you are going to have to use your imagination this time! No photos from me for a while I suspect. Just imagine a huge epimedium with white blooms and purple centers, OK?

I hope you enjoyed your special day!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 8:33PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, Cyn - Happy Belated Birthday!


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 8:48PM
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Happy Birthday Cyn,


    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:13PM
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I'm the worst, Michelle...the absolute worst!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 9:41PM
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    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 11:15PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Michelle, Woody, Deanne, Cindy, 'bug, Kathy, Saucy, and Norma---Oh, how lovely-an extended birthday celebration! All those pics are absolutely marvelous. "bug, I CAN see the epimedium and it's beautiful :) (should that have been plural?). Thanks all. We went into the District with John and Kelly (DS and his sweetie). Lots of fun-Greek tapas place. We don't go into DC often these days, so it was fun. Cindy, it is down near the Marine Corps barracks at 8th and I. Neat little place called Cava Mezza.

I am heading to Bryn Mawr this weekend for 40th HS reunion. 25 out of a class 66 are coming. Should be fun. I just realized that I have gained almost that same number of pounds in those years-uhoh.

Six hours of weed eating Norma??? Wow-I am very impressed. I am trying to talk myself into seeing all those dandelions and other assorted thugs as really very pretty and desirable. So far, I am not convinced. I am also not getting out there to do anything about them. :( It is incredibly inspiring (embarrassing?) to see everyone's perfect gardens.

Deanne, our temps are all over the place, too. Frost warnings Wednesday night-in the 80s today. I am guessing you will get into those shorts, Saucy!

Saucy, I want to write a book with the first line being, "I want to live on a farm with angora goats'! That is a wonderful line.

Time to move stuff out to the curb for our clean-up day. DH will NEVER put anything of his out. He has more doggone junk, but there is always some reason we need to keep it. I mentioned a fluorescent light that has been in the garage for 15-yep, that's 15-years, but why oh why would I want to get rid of that or the $300 worth of electrical stuff that he and a friend were going to use to light the deck-15 years ago!!! Shoot, I didn't even know that was there. Most of the time, everything is actually gone by morning because people drive around with trucks grabbing anything they can find. I would much rather have people using these things than have it sitting wasted in our garage. Oh well.

Thanks again for all the happy b-day wishes.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 7:09PM
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Friday night at last , and not raining! We had one stretch of weather this week, rain here with chains required in the Sierra for two days, a tad of thunder and lightening, and then to top it off, frost on Wednesday night . Glad I didnt put the coleus out, but the begonias held their own. Tomorrow I am going to drive over to a neighboring town to preview a public garden that I have not been to in eons, to make sure it is suitable for IU viewing .

Saucy, I have another photo class in May, its only three sessions , but I hope to get a lot out of it.

Lol Cindy, I usually get three blooms a year out of the Delphiniums, but whether they will cooperate with late June is anyones guess. I bought a couple of white one yesterday Sir Galahad , to add to that grouping. I think it needs a splash of a light color.

All for me tonight, still prime WALAT time, so outside I go !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 8:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I've been working the past few days to repair-relevel- some of the bricks in the narrow bed we put in last year. I obviously did a lousy job because a lot of them tilted over the winter. I've got the garden side fixed now and neet to start woking on the road side next. Fortunately it's much easier to fix them than put them in the first time!

I've asked Randy to take close-ups of some Japanese wisteria buds for me to follow their development over the next few weeks. The buds look quite different from the Chinese ones and I don't know how to identify which ones are flowerbuds. Since I only planted the Japanese wisteria in 2007, it might be a bit too much the expect any blooms yet. But it does have flowering wood now. Most of the growth in the expanding bud seems to be leaves but there does seem to be something different at the center... It's probably a case of wisful thinking....

He also took pictures of the trunks so I could sort out what 'clockwise' and 'anti-clockwise' means as it is one of the main distinguishing characteristics of different wisteria species.
Japanese - clockwise:

Chinese - anti-clockwise:

(The leaves you see in that picture are from the Henryi clematis that is growing into the wisteria tree.)

And some cute dogs...

Cookie monster lying in wait...:

Sammy a.k.a. little bug-eyed cutie (a beagle x pug):

We were hoping for a good rain today but it missed us again. It's getting pretty dry around here.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 5:22PM
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Warm temps and clear skiesmore stuff to plant ! The visit to the public garden in the county next door was kind of sad, the place seemed a bit run down from the last time I was there (probably 20 years ago) though it is bigger and had some wonderful designs, hardscaping etc. Im hoping all the weeds and somewhat unkempt appearance was a result of our rainy winter- Im going to go back later this month to see if its looking better. They have weddings there , so I cant imagine it staying in that condition. I found myself pulling weeds as I walked along the paths-the soil is fantastic and they came right up. I just couldnt help it yknow ?

I think Im going to plant out my Benarys Giants tomorrow, they have spent well over a week outside and endured our frosty night on Wednesday just fine.

Woody, always enjoy the doggie pics, and interested to see the documentation of your Wisteria as it continues to develop.

Everyone must be out in the garden---thats where Im going right now ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 7:37PM
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Horribly windy again. Kenzie is spending the weekend and would like to spend all day outdoors. We hoed in the veggie garden, took a tractor ride and helped grandpa pick up rocks.

Kenzie walked into her garden and said "my garden is a mess! Look at all the weeds" She didn't really want to help me weed though LOL Its a good thing I have lots of tulips in my gardens as we have had at least 4 flower picking trips around the garden. I had bemoaned my spring garden earlier, but for some reason this year it really has a lot going on. I'm quite pleased with the epimediums that I put in last year. The candytuft looks fantastic, better than in years. Brunnera 'Jack Frost' which has been kind of a dud for me is actually blooming. Of course all the tulips help also.

Which reminds me, last weekend we stopped by my sister's neighbor who had an absolutely huge bulb display. He is really into bulbs and digs them up each year, composts them and plants all new. Expensive and labor intensive in my book. He was out when we stopped with a measuring stick and a notebook which I got a kick out of.

I have nothing in my pot ghetto which is just amazing. I'm a little disturbed by the deer footprints right by the house, a munched hosta and a few other things that have been nibbled. The Liquid Fence has been hauled out and I will have to take care of that task asap. In the past I've never had much problem. Last year they ate my Bright Lights Chard to the ground every time it would send out new leaves, but left pretty much everything else alone.

I posted a few days ago but I don't see it now. I wonder if I only previewed and never posted.

'bug, 'Autumn Delight' is probably 12-15" tall for me.

Speaking of poppies, of the perennial kinds I have some reds that of course do fabulously. All the others have failed. I do see the "Princess Victoria Louise" poppies that I grew from seed last summer look like they may produce this year and "Ruffled Patty" which I bought last year survived but is very small. I have lots and lots of annual poppies that seed everywhere. They all live around my garden shed except for "Lauren's Grape" which is in the butterfly garden.

A couple of shots from the raised stone garden that is right outside the windows in the dining area. Spring is this gardens best time by design. I figure when the weather is cool and rainy I can still enjoy this area from indoors.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 12:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We had a very productive day yesterday and finally got the pond all cleaned out including the bio-filter which is a huge task I need Doug for. The fish can finally go outside in their summer quarters. Doug and I also got the rest of the giant plants out of the basement so his shop is now plant free again. I started putting coleus outside on the back deck in the shade as this warm weather looks like its going to last a while now. I really cant wait to get everything outside so I dont have any more indoor watering chores to deal with.

I got in a wonderful order of caladium bulbs from Caladium Bulbs 4 and they are super looking bulbs! Im really thrilled because they had some mammoth Miss Muffet bulbs and they were indeed MAMMOTH! I cant wait to see the size plants they produce.

Heres a pic of a couple rock walls Ive rebuilt in the last week. Im also in the middle of building another rock wall to surround a small bed for Hosta and Astilboides.

Ill get a photo of the new bed when its finished, hopefully today. I cant believe that its already May and I know the garden tour in June is going to come up very fast.

Michelle, we had some terrible windy days this past week and it did a lot of damage to the newly emerged leaves. There was debris strewn everywhere. I was pretty discouraged because Id already gotten the back yard totally cleaned up and mulch spread next to the shed area and it all has to be cleaned up again. ~~ Sounds like you had a great time with Kenzie. Did you take photos of the bulb display? Id really like to see that. ~~ My Jack Frost is really loaded with flowers this year and sooo very pretty.

I so hope the liquid fence works and the deer go foraging somewhere else. Id be crazed if I had deer in my garden! ~~ Your spring garden is sooo. Beautiful! Love the combination with Candytuft and the daffs/alchimilla. My Candytuft winter burned this year and I had to cut most of it back so only have a very few flowers.

Kathy, lol about pulling weeds in the public garden. I find myself doing the same thing. As you said, cant help myself.

Woody, love the doggie pics and wisteria photos. Those buds you took pics of on the Japanese wisteria look like leaves to me. The flower buds on my Japanese Wisteria emerge before you see any leaf development at all. There arent yet any leaves on mine that I see in your photograph. Ill try to get a closer picture of the buds for you later.

Cyn, I lol about your DH and his collecting stuff. Mine does the same thing and I just had a discussion with him about his saving the wood from the deck we tore down ten years ago. He just had to save it for projects but of course it is just taking up space and a pain to clean around in the back corner of the yard.

Cindy, I guess you are going to get your 90 degree weather today? We are supposed to hit that temp today as well.. So we went from a full day of 41 degrees and windy with freezing chill factors to 90 degrees in the space of a few days. I wish the weather would make its mind up.

OK time to get outside before this day heats up and chases me in the house because its too hot outside. Have a terrific day everyone!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 9:11AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - I was afraid that was the case... It does have the flowering wood/spurs that match what my wisteria book says will be there before it flowers. But I wondered if they would need to mature a few years before flowering. I guess that's going to be the case :-( I was hoping the fat buds last spring might be flowers but they weren't. On the Chinese wisteria, it is easy to tell the difference even the previous fall. The Japanese one has two sizes of buds but so far they have both turned out to be leaves, which is sort of odd.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 9:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from a weekend away. It did rain during our absence, thank heavens. I am hoping for gardening weather this coming week.
I am waiting for news about my computer being repaired....
In the meantime, DS is here for a visit!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 3:40PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

In for some respite from the 90s temps -- egad - yesterday it hit 94, and today it's like 92..... so much for any work really getting done. Cyn picked a great weekend to go away - hard to do much garden duty. I did plant a few things yesterday before the heat drove me inside and watered them heavily today, with hopes that there really might be showers late today. Other than emptying pots and tying some things up, it was hard to move in the 60% humidity and temps...

Deanne, what gorgeous walls -- you've been working like a yeoman on those things - they are gorgeous. Your beds look beautiful and immaculate with all the lovely foliage.

Michelle -- your gardens are looking so gorgeous -- you have plenty of pretty bulbs from what I can see -- LOL re Kenzie advising you to weed her garden - they're great for giving out orders arent they? What fun to have her the whole weekend to do g-parent stuff with -- what a treat for all of you.

While I might never own wisteria, Im finding the education re Japanese vs Chinese, buds/leaves fascinating... and who would have ever thought whether a vine grew clockwise or counter clockwise would distinguish what it was!

Kathy -- wouldnt you love to have taken some of that great soil home with you along w/ the weeds? I imagine a lot of public gardens are suffering this year due to budget cuts and/or lack of donations.

Well, back to shoveling inside instead I guess.... the first of the roses are starting but my Zephrihine got broken in the 2 bad windy days - snapped right to the ground - I should have had it tied more carefully... there are some new shoots coming up so it's not dead, but no May showing over the gate this year....


    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 4:07PM
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The "Peagle" cracked me up, Woody. So did the pre-cookie crouch. A posture I know well! The Wrecking Crew has long since departed, Norma. But, like a bad penny they're due to return on Friday. Rex will be thrilled... wish I could say the same, but I hate dogs.

So many wonderful photos, but my nod goes to the lovely Miss Niki in her planter. Nothing comes close, sorry!

A fully mobile Ivy is indeed a milestone... I thought about her new found mobility as I surveyed the Reed Moon on my way to work the other day... the sun just cresting the horizon while the Reed Moon was fully visible gave me wonderful pause. Sad times linger, but hope springs anew, yes?

Kenzie is around a lot, Michelle. I suspect I've mangaged to miss something significant... yes?

Magnolia "Butterflies" has several lovely blossoms, though not "loaded" by a long shot. It's a very pretty shrub, but be prepared to wait for a nice display. The gardens are woefully overlooked, but that's part and parcel of the nature of the marine canvas and awning business.

Still waiting for my new machine, which is definitely on "the slow boat from Japan". I hope Denise and Marty will salute every freighter from Japan and wish it's contents God's speed. I need a compound feed machine!

That's all.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 4:31PM
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A belated happy birthday, Cyn!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 11:08PM
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Our neighbor's cows escaped this past week. His brother stopped by to warn Rick to watch my garden as they tried to herd them home. I'll bet most of you don't have that problem!

Cindy, don't you just hate it when spring is so short because of premature summer temps. Our temps were no where near the 90's this weekend. It was windy and cool again today. It was my parents first weekend at the lakes so we had lunch with them and dropped Kenzie off after that. My mom, Kenzie and I took a walk down to the lake and skipped some stones. Kenzie loves swinging and spent quite a bit of time on the little swing set there. I'm trying very hard to think of a creative way to incorporate a couple of swings in my garden. We don't really have the right kind of tree in the right area. Rick bought this huge swing set at the auction a couple of weeks ago of a small school in the area that closed. Its much too big for our yard, but I wanted the horse swing that is made from tires. It also came with a couple of other swings.

Deanne, I commend you on your wall building. They are so professional looking. I know how hard the work is. I'm sorry to say that I didn't have my camera with me when for the bulb display.

Chelone, its a long story but at the moment Kenzie is here in Iowa until things can be settled in court.

Got to go, this grandma is worn out.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 11:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Denise! How I love Lysimachia atropurpurea 'Beaujolais', but it is definitely an annual in my gardens! If I see any for sale at all - early in the season - I think it is worth it!

Michelle, my heart goes out to you and Kenzie and your situation. I have an inkling of some of the challenges, both now and ahead. Court is not a perfect solution, but it is a tool that works for some people at times. Skyler's parents are still going through various processes..and it has been years.

I see some blue sky on the horizon this morning. We have had rain again last night and what a relief! It certainly was needed. I need to work on our hoses soon though. I've put in new washers but somehow they still leak everywhere. Very annoying. Last night DH and DS installed the small dock on our pond. It is so nice to get small jobs accomplished with an extra pair of willing hands!

With DS visiting I feel the need to actually put some effort into meal preparation. His work is all consuming for him and he is a driven man. His eating habits are terrible. So when he is here he does some running which is good! Last night we had asparagus from the garden as well as some home grown sorrel in our salad (with mango!) I made a quick cheese, onion and red pepper omelet to go with. That son of mine needs greens and vegetables in his system! I also made a crustless cranberry pie for dessert. All the meals means less time for gardening...but I still manage to sneak in some mowing time. With all the rain, the grass (and weeds)keep growing!

I hope to hear from Ivy's family today, especially since this is her first birthday! Wouldn't a photo be nice? A Nana can only hope...

Happy Monday to all!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 6:49AM
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I've made castings of your sorrel, GB, and I called it dock....but sorrel is much nicer. I'm thinking of trying to do a veggie theme, such as a carrot, a head of cabbage, etc. and sorrel would fit right in.

Sarah's home with me today as she's been sick with Strep and is contagious for 24 hours after starting the antibiotic. She just had a sore throat on Sunday it was so much more. She's a pitiful patient :) but she's on the road to wellville.

Deanne's rock walls are fabulous! It's amazing to me that you've mined all the rocks as well as building the walls.

Say hello to your son from Mass, GB. It must be nice to feed him well :)

Michelle, I don't have any worries about cows grazing my garden here! I wonder what they'd eat first?

It looks like it rained overnight, which was needed, but now I wonder what the day brings? A return to Spring would be nice as I've not finished all that I wanted to get done before the mosquitoes become too annoying.



    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 8:05AM
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Too many things needed doing last week and encroached into my Idyll time. I see I missed Cyns birthday altogether since I failed to even keep up on reading. Honestly, I have to cheat and use a photo from last season for your card, Cyn, how bad is that? Just havent been taking many photos since my lack of spring color is so pathetic. Nevertheless, glad you had a good one and hope your reunion was fun!

Cindy, congratulations on the baby granddaughter youre going to welcome in just 4 months. With all the Idyll grandmas, youll have advice and experience at your fingertips! Your garden will be perfect for a little girl with the wonderful shades of pink and pastelsbeautiful Asao!

Nice youre enjoying a visit with your son, Bug. Feed him well and if he stays any length of time he might develop a taste for those veggies. Hope you received a newsy communication (and photos) from the family to celebrate Ivys birthday. Im sure shes going to take off now that shes taken those first couple of steps!

Saucy, how do you find enough time to work with your neighbor and then in your own gardens? Especially now when everything needs done at once!

Those orchid photos have such a romantic quality about them, Deanne, or thats just my perspective. Something reminiscent of Victorian times with delicate colors, urn amongst the vases and soft fabric of the window treatments. Youre correct, I certainly did enjoy the little Goldfinch and I never noticed they have that little area of speckling on the head. Always fascinated by rock walls but I cant imagine how you make them look soright. I mean, Id be constantly thinkingthis one here, or should it be that one?and it would take me forEVER!

Woody, the cookie monster lying in wait is a perfect caption for that photo! Is he as good natured and cuddley as he looks? Sammy caused me to do a quick double takefirst time for me with the breed!

No matter how many times I look at those Delphs, Kathy, the color just blows me away Wow, they are out of this world! Ditto what you said on the weed eater. Even after the numbness wears off I feel twitches and tiny tremors in my forearms or have the sensation they could float right up in the air. Norma, how in the heck do you manage to use that thing for so long?!

Michelle, you have such a fantastic display of spring color and what a great idea to build the raised garden to be seen from the DR window. Your gardens appear so well planned and thought out I find it hard to believe you described yourself as a "plopper" in a previous post, lol! Good that you are able to spend more time with Kenzie in spite of the situation; my fingers are crossed things will even out and the intervention be of help.

Weve had three days of high wind, gusting up to 40 mph without rain. Im feeling quite fractious watching the endless assault of helicopters coming down. What a cursethey are everywhere. Ill never get them out of the new grass seed and mulch areas, aaargh. And then, of course, I spent three days putting down top soil where the stump was ground out getting it level, raking it smooth, applying more seed only to have a tree three houses down let loose and across they sailed. Today at the store, the checker told me I had two helicopters stuck in my hair.

I think Id rather have a wandering cow stroll through the gardens than 12,452,000 helicopters.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 11:48PM
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Candy, the answer is that I don't get everything done in my garden. Luckily perennials show up (well at least most of them) every year whether the chores are done or not. I do find time to come throw a new plant in here and there, and usually I mulch with rotted manure every other year (this is the year!). I get bored with my immature garden and like to poke around in the finished ones (but are they ever really finished?).

In fact, I got up early to play in the garden (mine) before it gets too hot! I even made a pot of decaf to make it more pleasureable.

Sarah's had Strep over the weekend. That was no fun. Luckily a day of antibiotics and a day out of school have made her right as rain. She skipped around the kitchen this morning while getting ready (she loves school).

She's gone now and I want to get outside and enjoy this morning I have planned for myself. It was nice to see what V.'s been up to on the other thread...I've been reading another bee book and thinking of peeking inside to see how things are going this Spring.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 7:29AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylls,

We are supposed to have a beautiful day here with temps in the high 70s with a chance of T storms later. Im hoping we get rain and no wind. Ive about had it with the wind debris here. It seems that every time I get things picked up we get another bout of strong winds. Yesterday a front coming through pushed some 40 to 50mph gusts through here so my first task this AM is to get it all picked up yet again. Its wreaking havoc with the plants Im trying to harden off outside. Ive got them in a protected spot but they just arent ready for winds that strong and frankly most of them are never ready for 50 mph wind gusts. My poor dracenas are a mess and Im going to have to cut the tops off a couple of them and hope to root them. They are so wind burned the whole tops are blackened. Bummer after getting them in good shape through the winter. But Im looking at this as an opportunity because I was going to have to top them after this summer anyway because they are getting way too tall.

Yesterday I potted up the Charles Grimaldi brugmansia and the large Cordyline australis and have started putting the Cana pots in the container border. Today my garden helper is coming over and well get that area mulched, edged and ready for the season. The one good thing this unseasonably warm weather (it was 87 here on Sunday) has done is give the brugmansias a jump start on the season so hopefully theyll bloom earlier than normal.

Candy, I feel your pain re: the winds and tree debris. Here its pine cones. The trees produced an enormous crop of them last year and not only do I have to pick up pine cones on a daily basis, I have baby pine trees coming up everywhere. The rodent populations have exploded because of the readily available food source. What a pain. ~~ Yes indeed the rock walls take a lot of time to put together and my hands ache for a couple days after I work with the rocks.

Saucy, hope Sarah is feeling better. ~~ How are you doing with this unseasonable heat? Ive been feeling pretty yukky by the afternoons and I dont imaging you are doing much better. Im just not accustomed to the heat yet.

Bug, have a great time visiting with DS. Must be a treat to have him home. ~~ thanks for the link to those photos they are indeed WOW!

LOl about the cows Michelle, no that is not a problem Id ever encounter here.

Chelone, hope your machine comes soon

Cindy, Im with you on trying to get anything accomplished in 90 degree weather. I feel like Im moving through a sea of molasses when its like that.

Woody, so were those buds on the wisteria? You should know by now. Mine has started opening flowers in the last few days because of the hot weather.

A couple pics for the day, my coleus stash. These were all wintered over under lights

And my very large Cordyline potted up for the season.

OK time to get motivated and get my day started, have a great day all.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 7:30AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Candy - The cookie monster is a 'she' (Zoe) and yes, she's friendly/cuddly - as cuddly as 100 lbs. or so of rambunctious young dog can be! There's a picture earlier on this thread of her doing 'kissy-face' with me. She is a big slobberer though so I often don't see well after a stop at her place - because she's slobbered all over my glasses!

Deanne - it looks definitely like the buds are all leaves :-( But, thinking back, the same thing happened with the Chinese wisteria for a few years before it bloomed. There would be big, fat buds where the flowers were supposed to form. I'd watch them daily with my hopes high - and then they'd turn out to be leaves! So obviously it takes the flowering wood a couple of years to 'ripen'. Patience is not my strong suit but I obvously have no choice but wait another year or two... One consolation though is it looks like the Chinese wisteria will be doing another spectacular bloom this year like your Japanese one. I'm impressed with your neatly tree-form wisteria - mine are miuch more 'free form' to put it politely :-)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 8:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, you know who Ed Lawrence is? (The elder statesman of environmentally-responsible gardening in Canada. He is the author of the best-selling book "Gardening Grief and Glory" and former Chief Horticultural Specialist to six Governors General. Eds career at Rideau Hall spanned a period from Jules Leger in the 1970s to Adrienne Clarkson in 2005. As head gardener, his responsibilities included oversight of the 85 acre historic grounds and greenhouses of Rideau Hall, the homes of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and the four other official residences under the authority of the National Capital Commission.)

Anyway, I heard him answering wisteria questions on the radio the other day and he said a wait of TWELVE years is not uncommon for first blooms, and that he shudders when people do root pruning etc to rush things. I had a white wisteria in Toronto that never bloomed before we moved. I wonder if the new people even kept it long enough to find out what the blooms looked like.

Lots of threats of rain here...but fortunately it is sunny and 13C out at the moment. We'll see if I get any gardening accomplished later on.

Seems my computer could NOT be fixed, so everything is on a different old machine which DH will pick up today. I'll have to learn new versions of everything and see what I can recover. (Addresses, photos, etc)

I did receive photos of Ivy yesterday, but I'm not sure that I'll be able to re-size or post anything for a while.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB - I think the extra-long waits for wisteria to bloom are for seed grown ones (that are often never pruned!) My Chinese one started blooming in its fifth or sixth year in the garden. It is a grafted plant. The Japanese one I have is 'Lawrence' (no connection to Ed Lawrence :-) 'Lawrence' is supposed to be very hardy and floriferous. It is obviously not a grafted plant (no graft union) so is likely to be a rooted cutting. If the variety is as floriferous as its reputation, the cutting would likely be from a plant that had already flowered, making it likely that the plant I have should flower early. It definitely has the 'flowering wood' stubby growths and had the fat terminal buds in the position that flowerbuds are supposed to appear. Given my experience with the Chinese wisteria, I expect it should flower in the next year or two. I planted it in 2007 so 5 years would be 2012. I knew it was overly optimistic to expect flowers this year, but one can hope...:-)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:05PM
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I swore to myself that I would plant a couple things every day after the awfice till everything had a home ! Not the ideal time for planting, but I managed to get a couple in . No complaints about wind here thoughyikes Deanneit must be scary with all those pine trees whipping around. I cant imagine what those type of gusts would do to my delphiniums-all the staking in the world would be pointless Im sure and poor Lancelot Mocha ! What a crappy development after all the training etc. I bought one this year after seeing yours-though I have no plans to train it as a standard I love the color and the texture and shape of the leaves. So sorry about that-

Not sure Id want to deal with trampling cows here- reminds me of T and her marauding Elk.

Lol Saucy, the whole point to me is for the garden to never be finished! Im continually digging up stuff, moving it around or changing the shape of the beds. I guess its just as well that I have a small garden lest I overwhelm myself. I do long for a cool shrub border like Les and Monique though! Anyway, I guess I enjoy the process , and when the results get too mundane I start over .

All for tonight ..waving to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 8:32PM
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