Idyll 260-Pieces of April

lmcilhargieApril 2, 2006

Remember this old Three Dog Night song?

Pieces Of April

April gave us springtime and the promise of the flowers

And the feeling that we both shared and the love that we called ours

We knew no time for sadness, that's a road we each had crossed

We were living a time meant for us, and even when it would rain

we would laugh it off.

I've got pieces of April, I keep them in a memory bouquet

I've got pieces of April, it's a morning in May

We stood on the crest of summer, beneath an oak that blossomed green

Feeling as I did in April, not really knowing what it means

But it must be then that you stand beside me now to make me feel this way

Just as I did in April, but it's a morning in May.

I've got pieces of April, I keep them in a memory bouquet

I've got pieces of April, but it's a morning in May

I've got pieces of April, I keep them in a memory bouquet

I've got pieces of April, but it's a morning in May

Carry on Idylls...

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Good Afternoon, The weather's just not cooperating with me again today. I went out this morning and started working on the front beds but it was too cold. I guess I'm just a fair weather gardenen. 42F and windy just doesn't make it for me. So I went garden shopping instead. First stop at Home Depot where I scored a few cute little quart size urns for the new fuschia babies. Half a dozen rex begonias followed me home too. I couldn't pass them up at under $3 each. Then I swung by Home Goods where I found a cute little mosaic table and another container. Now that I'm back home I'm thinking maybe this would be a good opportunity to get my annual seeds going since I can do that inside. Looking at the weather report it doesn't look like the weather will be improving tomorrow either. It looks like rain starting later this afternoon and continuing through tomorrow night.

Marian, I hope Nolon's feeling better today. I'm so sorry you both had such a terrible day yesterday.

T, those curvy beds are looking spectacular. That's alot of work you've been doing. Bet you're feeling a little sore today. I know I would be.

Deanne, I had Firecracker last summer but didn't save it. I'd be interested in a baby fuschia standard but let me see how I do keeping the ones I have now alive before you go to the trouble of sending one out. I don't yet have much confidence in my fuschia growing abilities.

Sue, hope your back's feeling better today. My problem with achieving a balance of activities during spring garden season is that there just aren't enough hours in the day. I know I would have to scale way back on the gardening which would probably be a smart thing to do but I'm lacking the discipline to do that.

V, hope everyone made it home safely last night and you didn't have to stay out too late picking them up. You sure got a lot accomplished yesterday, garden cleanup and housework!

I'm thinking about making a trip to the grocery store this evening. My least favorite shopping. We'll see...

Hope you're all having a relaxing Sunday afternoon.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 2:01PM
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Pieces of April the theme song for our Jr. prom. What memories. Thanks Eden.

Another rainy day here. We have had over 3" this past week. Yesterday didnÂt turn out as well as predicted. The high was probably 45 and no sun. We did get all the siding on the side of the garden shed. We also cleared out about 1/3 of RickÂs calf crates and decided where the new windows will go. Although, it was a little cold I was so happy to accomplish so much on the shed. ItÂs nice to get it done while it is too wet to be doing much garden cleanup. I thought I would be sore today with all the lifting (including Kenzie) but I must be in better shape than I thought.

T, how neat to see the progress your curvy beds are taking. WeÂd love to come help.

Deanne, do enter the Fine Gardening contest. You do such great containers.

Marian, I hope Nolon is feeling better today. What an experience

Here's a picture from yesterday. She loves the cat and the cat likes her too. She looks out the window and says "hi ke ke"

Happy April


    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 4:11PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What a beautiful photo, Michelle! How sweet - good enuf for a poster or card.

I have always liked that song - thanks "for the memories" - LOL....Great song to go for a fantastic gardening weekend -- 3 whole days of decent weather (but not a drop of rain here).

Marian, I hope Nolon (& you) are both feeling better today. That sounds like a terrible time at the hospital. I hope he's on the mend.

T -- I love the look of the new garden beds -- that's a lot of manual labor -- sheesh all that big equip. and can't use. By mid-summer or so those beds should be ready for planting, wont that be exciting.

Well, guys - I wish you'd send some of that rain my way -- nary a drop -- things are so dry and dusty I've been afraid to move plants - I've dragged out the hoses and watered beds today but they turned back to dust within a couple of hours. But I managed the spring prep work - tying clems & roses up, throwing some compost out, weeding (they thrive no matter what!), and trying not to step on too many things (altho I think there were 3 or 4 casualties from my clumsy feet).

It is really hard at this time of the year to think "moderation" in all things -- I'm trying to only work about 3 or 4 hours max outside - otherwise there are parts of my body that feel like they wont survive! groan, groan....

Im anxious to divide and move some things but it's just too dry -- hoping we will really get some rain Monday nite as they've forecast - hoping too that some plants are just being "late" - but no signs of several things -- and definitely some "new" Siberian iris planted last year did not make it -- totally dried out at some point... and definitely some bulbs have come up that are the wrong color - dont you just Hate that? when they send the wrong ones - grrr -- dont know whether to rip 'em out & toss or try to foist them off on someone...

I second the notion, Deanne, that you enter the F.G. container contest - you're sure to place if not win!!

Sounds like you scored some good stuff, Eden! Im torn between nursery & Home Goods hopping, to more garden clean-up -- but in fact, I better do some laundry to face the work week properly.....

Did anyone else have problems sleeping w/ daylight savings time? I think I tossed & turned all nite -- and after 4 hours in the gardens, you'd think I was sufficiently tired. Well, Im hoping for a good nite's sleep tonite.

Better go in search of some food & check the next load of laundry...


    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 6:21PM
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It's 8pm and just beginning to get dark. How great is that?

Michelle, what a cute picture of Kenzie and ke ke. You can tell they're great friends. Bella likes the cats too. Lately she's been more interested in the dog though. She likes feeding him her food instead of eating it herself. We've gotten so we have to put the dog out when she's eating. We've taken to calling him Hoover instead of Bud because we let him in when she's finished and he has anything she's dropped on the floor cleaned up in a flash. Great that you're still making progress on your garden shed.

Cindy, reading your post reminded me that I needed to do a couple of loads of laundry too. I have one in the washer and one in the dryer now. I have a hard time practicing moderation when gardening too and really need to work on it. I could stay out in the garden puttering around all day everyday.

Deanne, Do enter the FG container contest. With your eye for color and knowledge of plants you would have an excellent chance of winning. I can't wait to see what you come up with. You know these days when I look at garden magazines it often crosses my mind that I see just as nice if not nicer gardens here on the Idyll threads. I think we're spoiled here. When I think about how much I've learned from all of you over the last couple of years and how much my garden has changed for the better I'm so grateful to know you all and be a part of this group of such talented and very nice people.

Marian, I hope you check in tonight and let us know how Nolon and you too are doing. You've been on my mind today.

It's raining again here. It supposed to be rainy on and off through the night and tomorrow morning. We've been lucky and had quite a bit of rain here this spring. It seems like we've been having more thunderstorms than usual though. We don't usually get thunderstorms this early in the year.

Desperate Housewives is on in a little while so I think I'll veg out and watch that then go to bed. Good night all.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 8:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all, we are still hanging on. Nolon has done much better today. I think I was the puniest. I surely must have some sort of infection that is making me feel so terribly bad. I have GOT to get to a Doctor. :-(

I am reading all your posts, and enjoying hearing about the little ones. One of our youngest was at A.M. services. She is a real cutie. I am amazed at how soon she has reached the stage of holding her head up without bobbling! It seems babies advance faster than they used to.

I'm feeling too bad to get excited about gardening projects, or any other projects for that matter. It seems that I am just marking time. I miss hearing from EP. I hope she is okay.

Spring is really busting out all over since the good rains that we had, and warm weather.I had the house all opened up today, and still have a couple of windows open. A cold spell is on the way, and by Tuesday morning it is predicted to be back down to around freezing, then back to warmer again. Our usual yoyo weather.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 10:03PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all, well here it is almost 8 and Ive only just finished breakfast and got the laptop opened up. I did get up around 6:30 which is good, I guess. But I wish I could get into my summer wake up time of 5. Something to work on. Somehow I need to get myself into bed and sleeping earlier at night. Yesterday we worked outside until 7:30PM or so (Isnt that great that it stays light enough out to do that now?)and didnt finish dinner until 8:30PM so there was no way I could be in bed sleeping at 9:30PM.

Yesterday Doug and I went for our first bicycle ride of the season and did a nice, short, nine mile ride. We are both in better shape than last years so it was actually a lot of fun except for the nu-nu who almost ran me down when she pulled through an intersection right into my path. We averaged about 14 miles per hour for the entire ride which isnt bad for the type of bikes we have. It was a real treat to get outside and get my cardio in the sunshine instead of in the gym for a change.

I managed to dig and divide one of my asters and my huge patch of Helianthus Lemon Queen. Boy does that plant spread! (Monique, do you and Les dig and divide that plant every year?) The soil in that garden is nice and loose so it was pretty easy to pop that baby out of the ground and divide it. I also planted five of the pots of hyacinths I bought at the flower show last weekend. Instead of letting those bulbs mature in the pots then dig and store the bulbs for the summer then replant in the fall I decided to just plant them in their permanent homes. I also got some pansies planted so it is starting to look like spring around here. I need to dig the camera out today sometime before the rain starts.

This morning it is 38 degrees out and supposed to go up to around 50 or so then tomorrow night it is supposed to snow again! Arrrggghh!!!! Im totally not into snow at this point.

Eden, I love that song. Thanks for the memories. ~~ Sorry your weather hasnt been conducive to working outside lately. That must be pretty frustrating. Ive been reveling in getting outside and actually getting something accomplished. Im pretty happy with a few of the perennial ground covers Id had in container gardens last summer that I popped into empty places in the gardens to winter over. I had several ajuga and a Heuchera Beauty Color as well as some lysimachia that I wanted to keep for this year. They are all doing fine. ~~ Im so cracking up at your buying new urns and more Rex begonias! Do you really think you are going to be keeping the count down to 50???? Te he! ~~ Im going to experiment to see if those cuttings harden off and make good standards. I think they will and it will be worth a try. The ones I did last year I started from three inch tall cuttings and the trunks are as straight as Id like. This will be fun to try. I can see it now, Ill have my driveway lined with fuchsia trees! ROTFLOL

Michelle, holy cow, three inches of rain last week??? We are supposed to get a half inch to an inch tonight and tomorrow and Im actually happy it is going to rain because things here are dry as dust. I dont ever remember a March this dry in my lifetime. What is it that we seem to either get too much or not enough rain? I dont know why the weather doesnt just cooperate and provide weather at night and sunshine during the day. LOL ~~ Love the pic of Kenzie and the kitty. What a cutie! I cannot believe how fast she is growing.

Cindy, I hope you get some rain tonight too. You must be getting part of that same front they are predicting for us tonight. ~~ Moderation??? What is that? LOL ~~ Bummer about those Siberian Iris and yes, I absolutely HATE it when bulbs come in a different color than they are supposed to be. Last year I bought a package of Canna City of Portland and half of them were bright yellow with orange splashes. They were supposed to be soft pink. Sue was pleased with the color but I was not because the arrangement I put them in needed pink. The yellow clashed badly so I had to cut the flower stalks off that plant.

Marian glad to hear that Nolan is feeling better but sorry you are still not up to snuff. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Eden youve echoed my thoughts exactly.
You know these days when I look at garden magazines it often crosses my mind that I see just as nice if not nicer gardens here on the Idyll threads. I think we're spoiled here. When I think about how much I've learned from all of you over the last couple of years and how much my garden has changed for the better I'm so grateful to know you all and be a part of this group of such talented and very nice people.

OK time to get the plants out of the garage for the day and see if I cant make some headway on the garden cleanup here.

Have a terrific day all,

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 8:26AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Back to work today-boo hoo! Well, at least I got a bunch accomplished this weekend and was able to maintain the workout schedule to boot. I still have some woodies to move and the window of opportunity to do that is closing so I may have to adjust my schedule somewhat a couple of nights this week. Yesterday I moved two fairly mature shrubs. The moves went well-hopefully they won't die from transplant shock. Not all of my perennials are sprouting yet so I have to be careful where I dig. How many of you come across stuff sprouting in your gardens every spring and can't remember what the heck you planted there? lol

My foster guest arrived yesterday. Her name is, sorry Michelle they came to us already named. We think she's around 5 but the people who turned her into us (as part of a group of 7) had absolutely no records. She's very friendly-almost starved for attention and appears to be completely housebroken and has good house manners. She slept in a crate next to our bed last night but I left her out with Nick and Zoe for the day. At lunchtime I'll take a ride home and check on everyone. One of her "sisters" is pregnant so rescue will have a litter of puppies available for adoption in a few months-a first for our group.

Deanne, if you come down for the Tony Avent lecture and stay overnight I'll take Friday off and we can go nursery crawling. The meeting is May 18th. I haven't checked with Monique but I would think we want to get to dinner somewhere around 5:30. The synagogue where they hold the CHS meetings is right near Elizabeth Park.

Marian, glad to hear Nolon is feeling better. I hope you're next.

Well work beckons and it's month end to boot.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 8:55AM
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Good morning!

Not enough coffee in the system yet to feel positive about the day. ;op So I'll just pop some pics up and then go about my business of reving up my system.

Here is one of the photos I posted of the new bed earlier:

Here is a photo of where we were last night (DH helped me for a few hours....the job goes much faster with someone who has muscle & endurance, lol):

To me it doesn't appear much different. I ran out of cardboard & heavy kraft paper so cannot continue until DH brings home some more heavy paper to put down. The pile of chips is about 3/4 of it's original size.

My thanks to those of you who responded, especially to V who made me feel much better about 'lasagna recipes', that eased my mind a lot. DH just doesn't see how this is going to break down fast enough to plant through. He reminded me that bark chips in a playground stay bark chips for a very long time..... I wanted to just plop myself down on the ground and have a good cry when he said that (tired, hormonal, middle-aged.....etc. lol). He had lots of questions...."why the cardboard?" "what makes you think this is going to breakdown?" ...playgrounds..." "aren't you worried about the cedar in this keeping things from growing later?" what about the laurel, the hemlock in here?" etc. etc. etc.

Oh heavens! He's reminded me that I'm too ignorant to be a successful gardener!!

We do have some old alfalfa that I can put on the chips as the next layer. It is about 5 or 6 years old and in too bad of shape (dust & some mold) to feed to the animals. We've been just breaking the bales and broadcasting it out on the muddy roads as DH is clearing the brush. Would that be a good addition or a really poor idea? I have quite a bit of it considering the size of what the beds will be and then I'd cover it with a layer of nice composted mulch so that it all looks 'pretty' as it breaks down & does it's magic.

I'm waffling between thinking "I'm doing some thing that is going to be great" and "Oh heavens, I'm making a horrible mess that will take forever before I can hope to plant". I do need to go back, find articles I've printed off, look up the FAQs at the composting forum and re-research this before I have a melt-down.

The tree trimming company is suppose to deliver another 5 yards late this week.....I still want to make a curvy island bed around the flagpole & the septic cover (where the birdbath has sat in some of my pics I've shared) and curvy beds along the back of the house. If I have enough chips, I'd like to also make a long bed (yep, with a curve) along that back retaining wall. An awful big plan and a lot of new beds for someone so unsure of themself.

Thanks for any & all feedback---even if it is a mental or cyber thump upside the head (I do need those on occasion--as unpleasant as they are).

Marian, I thought of you as I was working on this....I hope you can find someone with a pick-up that would be willing to haul you some chips from your relative's sawmill. Perhaps you can entice some one from your church to do it with an offer of a trade for some of your baking or cooking? Just a thought. I do hope both you & Nolon feel better soon.

I wonder if Marie & EP were able to meet up....wonder how Taryn's open houses are going and if she is feeling better. I loved seeing 'Kenzie with her friend ke ke. Deanne, 9 miles isn't a little ride.....I could feel the bike seat just reading about 9 miles!

This morning I have to take one of the little boys (dogs) to the vet for a recheck and then this afternooon is my opportunity to go 'see' the grandbabies. I'm excited about the babies and not at all happy about another trip to the vet as I don't think we're done treating this little dog's health issue yet.

My best to all this lovely spring morning (it is still too dark to tell if it really is lovely----but it is morning and it is spring.............)


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 9:33AM
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Well, I got about an hour in the garden before the rains started. The plants are loving it though. They're jumping up inches per day and the grass is starting to green up too. The dreaded S word is in the forecast for tonight though it's not supposed to stick. I'll work on annual seeds today and repotting the fuschia babies.

T, now don't you dare get discouraged. You've got a good start there. I think the alfalfa will be great. I know of people who spread alfalfa pellets from the feed store in their gardens. It should be fine as long as it's been sitting around long enough that it won't seed in your beds. You know layers of newspaper is another good thing to put down if you've run out of cardboard. Newspaper's what I always use. The shredded mulch will break down within the year if it's anything like what I use. In fact I ordered chips for my paths this year because the shredded stuff just breaks down too fast there. I can't believe you got all of that free says she who just wrote a $200 check for mulch last Saturday, lol. Just remember that it's all a learning process for all of us and the more you just get in there and do it the more you figure out. Just enjoy the process. It's all about enjoying yourself and having fun and like V said there are multiply ways of doing just about anything. It's all about what works for you.

Deanne, I'm so jealous of you being able to get so much garden cleanup done already.

Sue, McKenzie sounds like a sweet girl. Thank goodness for people like you and your group who help these poor little animals.

Marian, I'm glad Nolon's doing better but maybe you had both better get yourselves to the DR. asap. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

Well it's pouring outside so I'd better find something to do inside. What do you want to bet that when I have Bella for a few days at the end of the week and won't be able to get out in the gardens the weather will greatly improve?


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:22AM
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T-Nice job on the curvy bed! Don't second guess yourself-you did it right and it will work! If I was slightly closer I'd give you a couple bags of fall leaves to help the lasagne out--I'm sure it will still taste the worms: )
That scenery around your property is really beautiful!

Marian your trip to the ER with Nolon sounded exhausting/aggravating! If you feel cruddy it certainly makes sense to see the doctor. You've had a rough time!Hope you are better quick.

Deanne I don't doubt we'll be seeing a rolling fuchsia forest in your landscape this summer lol. For mailing your standards couldn't you secure them to a cheapo wooden ruler using twist ties for mailing? That's the first idea that magically appeared from my tiny brain; )

Michelle-Kenzie and 'ke ke' look so sweet together. I always enjoyed when the kids were learning their first words.

Deanne-that's great you and Doug like to bike together-exercise is so much more fun when it's doing something that can be considered enjoyable. I can't wait until the boys are old enough to stay home alone so I can do a bike workout or run with Chris on a regular basis.

Cindy-though I didn't toss and turn I was aghast that the alarm clock went off SO seemed unreal that I had to get up! I am dragging's so bad that when Ryan asked to go to the library I actually said no!(Bad Mommy) Coffee isn't even helping!
I'll bet that you do finally get this next batch of rain.

Eden so far we haven't gotten any of the storms you have-just rain showers.I do think we won't go unscathed this time-storms are on their way and yes the dreaded 's' word for tonight. I noticed my Almalanchier is about to bloom.

I wonder how Taryn is and the huge group that seems to be missing these days.

Yesterday we took MIL out to dinner to get her out in public using her walker. She really did well but she gets almost slap happy from the sheer appreciation of being out. I really hope she does get more active and back to doig things she's enjoyed. Ryan was so cute when it was time to order-before I could give his order he knew just what he wanted and ordered for himself in a very business-like manner-the kid is growing up!

Have a good Monday....


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:45AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im with you, Sue, re the "mystery plants" popping all over even worse, some things Im not sure whether they are weeds or not after I pulled a couple things yesterday, I went "oops, was that the agastache?!!" Cant decide whether to take a chance and nurse weeds or pull possible plant treasures! In the meantime, the little markers have managed to disperse themselves all over the place away from original spots. . . . LOL "mystery mice headstones".

The good news about being at work today is that everyone seems to feel that "lag" re daylight saving the only thing we saved was sleep (i.e., lack of)! And I managed to set the alarm clock 2 hours ahead by mistake so I woke at 5 a.m. (really the old 4 a.m.) this morning it was so dark outside, I knew it had to be wrong but it took me a good 5 mins. to figure out it was really the wrong time to get up! So back to bed for another hour. . . .

T you can use old newspaper instead of the cardboard (just make it about 5-7 sheets of paper thick & wet them down (helps keep them from blowing away til youve laid the chips) w/ a lot of green clippings on top over the spring, it will probably break down just fine I managed to do a large bed a couple of years ago (w/ no special formula other than brown/green mixes) and it was amazing how it worked... just be patient & add the green and some water if need be from time to time... Do I recall alfalfa is nitrogen -- and new wood chips "suck" nitrogen ? In which case it would probably help speed the "layer composting" just fine I would think.

Yippee, we got a bit of rain now t-storms (w/ possible 60 mph winds) are headed this way be careful what you wish for, right? Never thought Id be happy to have rain at this time of the year youd think it was July.

Deanne I took a number of photos at the Phila Flower Show that showed standards of fuchsia, geraniums, and other things I never posted them because I wasnt sure anyone else would find them as cool as I did (I tried a geranium standard years ago and people used to laugh at it. . . . .) Ill try to dig em out for "inspiration" for you!!! I personally find standards very cool probably because my garden is so challenged for space so anything "skinny" and vertical gets my vote.

Babs sounded like you had a nice little family outing w/ MIL at dinner Im sure that really helps her self-esteem to be able to do that.
Well, I better grab some lunch and think about possibly doing some work...


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 1:33PM
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Cindy, I would love to see the geranium standard pictures.

T, tell your DH that is will work because the Idylls say it will. Eden's right, it is a learning process. Just enjoy it.

Eden, LOL about Bud's new name.

Deanne, I'm so jealous that you are able to actually dig in the garden. Everything is so waterlogged here. We even have a little water seeping in the basement, which doesn't happen that often.

Rick is great. He just called me wondering if he should buy me an oak barrel he just saw. I want another rain barrel. He thinks we can make one like the one in the link below. Isn't he the sweetest? He's always bringing me things home for the garden or calling me to tell me about something that he has found.

Wishing rain for those who need it and sunshine for those who are too wet.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 2:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all, I thought it was around noon time and I didnt get in the house for a lunch break until 1:45PM. No wonder I was so hungry. Im pretty td off at HD. They were supposed to deliver my compost this morning but called to tell me theyd had a snafu with the delivery co and wouldnt be able to do it until tomorrow. I took the day off from the gym so I could be here when they delivered the mulch because I dont want any snafus about where they are going to put the 6,000 pounds of compost. So the woman keeps telling me that I dont have to be home when they deliver and I keep telling her I want to be here so there arent any mistakes. Then she proceeds to tell me that if I sign the paper that came with the order they can deliver it if Im not home!!!!! What part of "I want to be here when they deliver" is difficult to understand? I told her she was NOT listening to me and told her again that I wanted to be home when they came. She got in quite a huff with me and I got in quite a huff with her and almost cancelled the order on the phone. Grrrrr.. now they arent going to deliver it until tomorrow when we are supposed to be having torrential rains. Figures.

Michelle, I love that rain barrel. Rick is such a sweetheart! It would NEVER occur to Doug to see something and ask if I wanted it for the garden. His brain just does not work that way. Youll have to show us your finished rain barrel. That really is very neat.

Cindy, I love standards of anything. I think they are way too cool and would love to see your photos of the Phila Flower Show. Im so happy to hear there is another gardener afflicted with my love of standards. Ill have to dig out a photograph of my Rosa rugosa standard. My cousin told me about ten years ago that I couldnt make a standard out of that plant and that just made me more determined. It is really one of the neatest plants here because of the time involved in doing it and the difficulty of doing that with a plant that suckers so much. I just keep root pruning it and pruning off all the suckers and trimming the top and it really is a very beautiful plant now.

Babs, you are so right that it really is neat that Doug and I can bicycle together. We have a great time and enjoy it a lot. Im hoping to be doing more cycling this summer because I wont be getting ready for two garden tours. LOL ~~ That is a terrific idea about using the ruler to ship the cuttings. I think if I put them in a mailing tube as well that will be even better. I think Ive got more then a dozen good long cuttings I can work with and I dont want all of them so will definitely have extras.

Eden, glad to hear you got some good garden time in this morning. Ill bet things here really get going once we get some rain too. ~~ Ive gotten most of the front of the house cleaned out now. I just have to finish the shrubs on the right side of the front steps and a bit of the driveway garden and all Ill have to do is put the compost down and that job will be done. I also did the corner garden where the wisteria tree is in the back yard this morning. Im going to hoik out the golden hops vine today if there is time. It is just too aggressive even though I just love it. Im thinking of planting it in a container and see how it does that way. The foliage color is exceptional next to my Ville de Lyon clematis and Id like to be able to keep the combination. Well see how that works.

T, do not let disbelievers discourage you! The shape of that bed looks great and you are doing something positive. It will work out just fine. ~~ Seriously, nine miles is a little, baby, girly ride. Last summer Doug and I were doing 35 miles just to go out for coffee on the weekends. LOL

Sue, way cool!!!! That sounds like a plan. Ill come down for the lecture and we can go plant shopping on Friday. What a blast. Maybe we can all go for dinner on Friday night when Doug comes back down to pick me up? ~~ Youve done your transplanting at a good time with that rain coming in for the next couple days. Things should work out great. ~~ Yes, I have to confess Ive weeded out more than one of my perennials in my time.

OK time to get back to work and see if I can finish up a few more things before this rain arrives.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 2:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

We are back form the doc's. I feel as though Nolon had a good exam and treatment, and he is to go back Wednesday. I didn't ask for anything for myself, but think I will Wed. In the meantime I will continue dousing my nasal passages with a saline spray. I could pretty well tolerate the other pains if I could get my sinus's cleared.
At least it is a pretty drive at this time of the year. I will be keeping the road warm if I go in tomorrow to the class...that will make 3 trips in one week, at at least $6 for gasoline each trip! Yaaaargh!

Teresa, your beds are coming along great. ( Wish mine was).
LOL on trading my baked goods for help. My 2 blackberry desserts were a joke. Neither baked on the bottom. I tried one in my defunct range oven, with only a top burner that works, and one in the roaster oven. Both were nicely cooked.... on top. LOL I will be so happy when the VA refund comes. I will buy a new/newer range. The roaster oven works great for turkeys and cakes, but not for more moist bakery goods. But it's okay. This too shall pass.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 2:45PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Hello all, it's cold and dreary and looks like it could rain at any moment even though there is nothing on the radar. All of 42 degrees and windy to boot. I don't think we are supposed to hit 60 degrees again until Thursday. I don't mind it less than that if the sun is shining, but this dreary cloudy stuff is for the birds. Actually, I don't think they like it either, there isn't much singing going on today.

I haven't gotten anything else done outside. We had rain Friday afternoon/evening and it was too wet on Saturday, then rain again Sunday. So although it would be nice to pluck those old weeds from the beds while it is wet, and the grass too, it's just too wet to get out there and work.

T - I think you will do fine with your beds (I am envious). I decided one year to clean the junk out of a bed by covering it with newspaper and mulch. Actually worked pretty well. Now I need to do it again. The ground there is covered with fine roots from a nearby shrub, and I hate it, but the shrub isn't in my yard. So I'm stuck with that.

I'm making a pot of chili soup tonight - should help to shake the chill out of the bones.

Marian, I hope you are feeling better soon. Nolon too.

Sue I hope the new resident gets along well with Nick and Zoe. Pics! We love pics!

Deanne I don't know how you lug around all that composted manure. I admire you for it - and you can tell the good it does your beds. I have a small compost pile, need to start a second one so I can empty one while cooking more. Our dirt here is horrible, full of clay and nasty. I keep working on it.

Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 5:19PM
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Hi everyone

A quick peek in from me. Good thoughts going out to all - hope Nolon conitnues to get better and Marian to get some treatment too!

T - those are some fabulous curvey beds! They will be wonderful so don't worry. When I was putting the liner in the new pond last summer I had a sudden crisis of confidence and was ready to shelve the whole thing. The more I read the less I felt I was doing right. DH was the one to tell me to quit worrying, wondering what the worse could happen and he was right! Enjoy seeing those babies;0)

Babs - nice to hear MIL enjoyed her trip out.

Deanne - your bike riding sounds a lot of fun. I ride a lot with the children but we're not quite at a cardio work out pace yet. However, each summer we are able to go faster and for longer. Both Annie and David need new bikes this year which could be expen$ive. Time to check out garage sales. By the way, the last week in April is free for us.

Sue - my back has had some kinks in it too. Could it be our age? Up until a couple of months ago my back had never bothered me so I'm kinda bummed its acting up now. Hope your new foster is settling in.

Yesterday was gorgeous, sunny and warm and we were outside all day. We got more of gardens and lawn cleaned up, put up David's basketball hoop and helped a neighbor take down two trees. Three families and the children all worked together hauling away branches and logs - it was a fun communal activity. I also scored a great wooden bench next door were putting out for the garbage collectors. It is in good condition and I'm planning on enlarging one of the perennial beds around it.

We're battoning down the hatches for winds and storms tonight as we drop back into the 30's for snow but we're predicted to get back up to 60 by the weekend so its bearable.

Best to everyone


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 6:40PM
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Thank you so much for the reinforcement about the new bed construction and thank you for recognizing that I needed it. I didn't work outside at all today, just looked at it as I came & went on my trips into town. I'm still having to squint hard to 'see' the finished project, but I will dampen down the thoughts of not doing it right and just keep moving forward. I appreciate everyone's input......appreciate it a lot.

As for babies.......well, it looks like we'll be buying stock in Tonka & Matchbox. Yep, it seems that there are probably two little boys that will be added to our family this summer. The ultrasound took 2 hours and the babies were very active. It was fun to get to see 'them' and there were two techs that checked (tried) for gender. Both believed that Baby A is a boy and both guessed that baby B is also male. Not positive, of course, but that was the concensus. I was so hoping for a little girl....but am extremely thankful for the blessing that these two little guys will add in our lives. So you are in the know along with us. I thought "Nix the plan for pretty pastel quilts and start thinking of trucks, bugs & other more masculine patterns."

It sure sounds like some wicked weather hit Tennessee and other areas. I can't imagine weather changes like so many of you experience. Tee shirts and shorts then back to snow. Amazing. I noticed yesterday afternoon that we were getting to see the first glimpse of leaves unfurling on the trees. Not many yet, but probably within days we'll see entire trees with the fresh green of new leaves.

I think I'll go outside, feed the animals and walk about, looking at the new bed and maybe laying the hose out for the next area (around the flag pole & septic tank cover). I cannot think of how I can get a good angle of where I'm working and what I'm planning unless I can get up high somehow. I don't know if I can hang out the attic window far enough to get a photo or maybe if I get up on a tall ladder and take a shot down. I'd really like to take some photos so I can visualize it from another angle myself. I envision that it will be nice, but maybe I'm just fooling myself. ;o) Oh, I also made an error in this morning's post.......we've used up about 3/4 of the pile so far, not that there is 3/4 left to use. I do hope they'll deliver some more so that I can continue, if not then I'll just do the front beds and leave the backyard as it is for at least another year. I was eager to do it all once I got started.....but perhaps am aiming higher than I should with the amount of knowledge & experience that I have. Although with all of your minds and experience to pull from......................there is no end to what I could hope to accomplish.

Thanks again for the encouragement!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 9:58PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Upon request, am dropping a few "standards" from the Philadelphia Flower Show in. Here they are (they're thumbnails, so you can click to enlarge):

Took long time to upload to photobucket - if you want to see a few of the other photos from the show (with no descriptions) and probably weird shots, here's a link:

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 11:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well the predicted rains arrived last night and it is pouring buckets out. The temps are supposed to plummet later and the end of the precip is supposed to be snow. Like T said, shorts and T shirt weather to snow is unbelievable but not unusual for New England in the spring.

I got a ton of stuff done outside yesterday and am almost finished up with the front yard and gardens. I just have to do a bit more cleanup in the driveway border, the shrubs to the right of the front steps and spread the compost and that will be finished for the spring and I can start working on the back gardens. I did finish that corner garden where the wisteria tree is and that is all cleaned out. I also wrestled the golden hops vine out of the ground and put it in a large pot. Ill see how it gets along that way. It was 'traveling' to Massachusetts and places south and although I do really like it, I dont like it quite that much. Im really glad I did that yesterday because those roots were starting to get all wrapped up in the Persicaria polymorpha and that would have been a bear to deal with if it had gotten any worse.

The front corner where the bench with the containers is also all cleaned out and the front side of that fence where the the Physocarpus Diablo is planted is also good to go. I want to get the corner where the bench is dug out so I can plant the other half of the Helianthus Lemon Queen in the corner. I thought that would look great next to the ninebark.

Suzy, before I lost the weight I used to have to have Doug take every bag of compost and dump it where I was going to spread it because I couldnt move them without hurting my back. He and I are both amazed at how much I can do that I didnt used to be able to. I do top dress all the beds and borders with the compost every spring and wish I had the stamina to do it in the fall as well. It really does make an enormous difference in how the plants perform. I dont think Ill ever have enough of my home made compost to do all the gardens. I save that for special plants like my Endless Summer hydrangeas. Im pretty lucky that I dont have to deal with clay but I dont know which is worse, huge boulders or clay soil. Probably a toss up. LOL

Mary, Doug and I just bought new Treck bicycles a couple years ago and they are so fantastic. These bikes have 24 speeds and the shifters work flawlessly so it really is a lot of fun. They aren't fast but they really are comfortable to ride. ~~ Did you get the predicted snow? ~~ RE: visit end of the month. Ive got a wedding shower to attend on Sat. the 29th so wed have to shoot for Sunday the 30th. Ill have Doug see if we can reserve the airplane for that day.~~ How nice you have neighbors wholl work together with you on a project. That would never happen here. Great score on the bench.

T, that must have been so fun to watch the ultrasound. Sort of like meeting your new grandsons before they are born. ~~ I liked the visuals of your hanging out the attic window to get good pics of your new garden areas.

Cindy, I just love those photographs from the Philadelphia Flower show! Some of those standards look pretty big. That geranium is amazing and the wisteria! Holy moly, I have a difficult enough time getting my tree outside to bloom I cant imagine what it takes to get something like that to force flowers early. Thanks for posting those.

OK time to get my day started. Lets hope the compost shows up today.

Have a good day all,

    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 8:35AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Boy, Im feeling "hung over" today the time lag is hitting hard today means for some mean caffeine for me.
Well, Deanne, Im glad I gave away the Helianthus Lemon Queen that WFF sent me in error I knew it grew large (& I dont have much yellow in the garden anyhoo) so now Im double glad since you think its taking over yours along with the golden hops & hakonechloa! My gardens are too tiny to stand anything invasive or "vigorous" as the mailorder places prefer to understate.

6,000 lbs of compost? thats a lot of slinging, Deanne! Wow. I always wonder when the right time is to lay it in the spring if youve got seedlings coming up, do they grow right thru the compost or do they get smothered by the layers added? Course we wont talk about what damage my big feet do to those same seedlings. I think I actually have some papaver seedlings coming up which is very exciting as Ive struggled with them in years past so I dont want to damage them.

Re the flower show standards (can see better at the link), they are all at least 4 feet tall some were 5 or larger I took the close-up of the pelargonium because I was curious as to which type it was they grew the flower is a bit different. And the wisteria isnt that magnificent? I agree re forcing these things they all must come from very fantastic greenhouses. I did not see any fuchsia standards (altho theres a huge bush in one of the landscape shots). And as you can tell, I was mostly taken by the bulbs and took close ups to take a record of the names of some for future possible planting. Never been a fan of hyacinths but those Jan Bos caught my eye (they call that "red" in most catalogs but it is not red in person!) and they went on my list to try.

Sue, hope the guest doggie is still behaving herself! What do your Nick & Zoe think of her?

Michelle that rain barrel is really neat and even neater you have a DH who even thinks of things to suggest making like that!! We got a little bit of your rain (about 1/2 inch) which is better than nothing lots of wind today & Im wearing "woolies" again cold for the next several days. . . .

Marian, I hope your VA refund arrives soon so you can buy the new oven it would be a great addition to your day to get back to regular cooking and baking, I imagine.
Mary, I agree with Deanne thats really a special neighborhood that you have neighbors who pitch in and help with projects like that Ive lived in my place for 17 years and can count on one hand the times a neighbor has helped me with anything!! Most of us dont even know each others names how sad is that?

Well, I must go in search of more caffeine its going to be a very long day.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 9:23AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Morning! I seem to have a bit of the white zin flu and am somewhat dull this am. We hosted the sub board mtg last nite. Our intent was to help forge friendships to change the tone of the board from adversarial to friendly. Tom ran for the board last fall b/c it appeared that some members had been running high, wide and handsome w/the dues, among other things. Also, were concerned about future plans of the property behind us and want to have a say in it. It did turn into a social event and was a success.

Friday, the twp inspector came out and finally approved our furnace installation. Yeah! Then yesterday, we had a contractor out to quote on our deck repair and his price was so reasonable we scheduled the work asap. Itll take 3 days to fix. Hes going to jack up the backside of the deck and replace the supports that are sinking with new ones and reassemble it for hundreds of $, not thousands. Altho wed love to replace the deck with a raised patio, its not in the budget. This will hold us over for a while.

As Eden told you, I won the door prize Fri. nite. I not only get to pick out a rose bush of my choice, but also won a "Gardenopoly" game. We can play it at IU3! Tony Avent was great. During his slide presentation of great new plants, Eden, kept saying, "Have that one." Or "That one didnt do well for me." Or, "I think Ill try another one of those." Hmmmm. I think we have a plant collector in our midst!

Thats it from me this am. I need to take some Advil and veg a bit. Im on "slow" today and will read and catch up w/you later.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 10:10AM
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We have had many overnight guests lately. Not the people kind though. At this time of year the waterfowl that are heading north like to spend the night on our pond. Yesterday there were 2 kinds of ducks, geese and loons. The ducks are very skittish if you come too near and fly off. The geese just ignore you. I watch them through binoculars.
Things are very wet here. Jaden and I followed the creek through the pasture and it is quite far out of its banks.
Another sunny day here with mid 60's predicted.

A little more bragging about my wonderful DH. Last night he worked on the framing for the new windows in the garden shed. Im the assistant.

I looked around the gardens a little yesterday and was very pleased to see that all 3 Endless Summer hydrangeas have buds. Last winter I lost the one that I had. I planted 3 more last summer.

Deanne, it sounds like you are really getting things done. How neat that you are able to do so much more for yourself in the garden.

T, how fun the ultrasound must have been. 2 boys huh? What fun that will be for Jamie to have 2 boy cousins. Rick and I have 7 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. Be careful leaning out the attic window ;o)

Cindy, thanks for the wonderful pictures. I love standards and will have to try one with a pelargonium. Actually, when I used to think of geraniums, I thought of the red ones. I am finding out that there is a lot of them with really interesting leaves and flowers.

Honey, great that you can get your deck fixed reasonably. It pays to get several quotes. How cool about the prizes. Gardenopoly sounds like a perfect game for IU3.

If anyone is interested check out the link below. I joined the Proven Winners Circle. They send you updates about new varieties, they have a monthly giveaway of 20 plants to be delivered in the spring and they send you a Gardeners Idea Book. I just got it last night and scanned the pictures. It seemed to have some pretty container ideas.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 10:30AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Time for a fly-by post! Did I say last week that I thought I would be getting busy? Mild understatement. Yesterday was filled with way too many problems and I was getting a bit cranky. I'll spare the details but it does frost my pumpkin when someone else doesn't do their job and I catch the heat. (Is that a mixed metaphor?)

DD & DH got home Saturday about 11:00 pm. They had a great trip and I got a cool new basket and a beautiful necklace. DS headed home on Sunday and got off the road before the tornado came through his area. So everyone's safe and sound.

We've had some good rains and I'm starting to have high hopes for the growing season.

One last "tail" and I need to get back to work. We used tohave terrible problems with rabbits in our veggie garden, so last year we built a raised bed and added a short fence around the outside for additional rabbit proofing. It worked last season, but right now I feel like the bunnies are flipping me the bird! We took the fence down for the winter, so a rabbit has built a nest smack in the middle on the raised bed. How do I know this? The dogs found the baby bunnies. yes, the old mixed emotions of not wanting to have more pesky wabbits, but really hating the sound of screaming bunnies! It does look like they survived the attack.

Hi to everyone and see you later!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 2:21PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Yoo hoo, Idylls! Where did everybody go? Hopefully you're all just tired from working in your gardens-something I have to look forward to.

I've been on the run this week. Work is busy and with MacKenzie here I've been coming home at lunchtime. She has been loose in the kitchen area with the other dogs but I've been cleaning poop and pee accidents when I come home so tomorrow she's going in a crate. As it turns out she's only two years old but it looks like she may have had a litter at some point. She's very active and loves squeak toys. Zoe and Nick basically ignore her. We're having trouble getting vet appointments so she may be here for another month before she gets her shots then gets spayed (but don't tell The only problem I have with that is she's already bonding to us and doesn't even like to go outside unless you stand out there where she can see you. Hopefully as she gains more confidence that will change. For pictures check out her bio at our website-link below. Hopefully I'll get some better shots and write a less generic bio this weekend.

My Fairweather Gardens order arrived today. For mailorder you really can't beat the size and quality of the plants they send. I got an Clematis 'Etoile Violette', Acer dissectum 'Baby Lace', Indigofera heterantha, Lagerstroemia indica 'Dynamite' and Bergenia 'Apple Blossom'. I'm really looking forward to getting the Crepe Myrtle sited. It's a zone pushing plant here. My best bet is to site it in the patio bed in front of the garage wall but I don't have room. Hmmm...

Michelle I was just looking at the Proven Winners site the other day. It won't be long til I'm buying container plants. Usually I just buy everything I like, put it all on a table then select the combos based on what looks good together. Since I lost all my coleus cuttings I'll be basically starting from scratch.

Cindy, great pics from the Philadelphia flower show. Tomorrow I'll have to check out the rest of them. I've always wanted to go to that show but it always conflicts with my vacation. Maybe next year...

T, when I was planning all my front yard beds I spent alot of time setting up bricks then looking at them from second floor windows. You get a much better perspective. Keep up the good work.

Mary, pay attention to that back. No, it can't possibly be our age because we're not

Oh crap, look at the time. Where do the days go? I wanted to get started on our taxes tonight now that Mommie Dearest's are done but that isn't going to happen now. With the time change this week I'm having trouble dragging my lazy bum out of bed in the morning.

Nite all!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2006 at 10:05PM
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Hey Y'all. Thought I better pop in and say hi before I become a lurker again. I've been busy busy when the weather permits. The downside of being surrounded by woodland is the intensive clean up and just when you think your done a strong wind blows through and and your back to square one.
I cleaned out the small pond and still need to do the bigger one. I'm getting the beds cleaned up slowly but have quite a few to do yet. And there are still those nasty weeds. I love getting a bed cleaned up though, there are things under there that I forgot I had. I want to be done with the clean up so I can get on to the moving and dividing before things put on to much growth.

I was just browsing through some of the new plants on line and see lots I would like but plan to concentrate on what I have mostly. I need to make better combinations. Besides that, we are going for the new floors we picked out so there goes the budget.

I had a totally sleepless night Sunday for some unknown reason and didn't feel at all good yesterday. I was better today but had a lot of running to do. Hope I can get back outside tomorrow.
I have been reading at night and usually get so sleepy by the time I'm done reading I can't compose a post. My thoughts are with you all whatever you are up to though. So carry on. Norma

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 1:16AM
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Good Morning, Not much going on here. Can you believe the ground has a light covering of snow this morning? Not what I want to see. It doesn't look like we'll have any weather condusive to getting out in the garden until maybe the weekend and then it's still going to be cold. Next week looks warmer though. For some reason I wasn't feeling well at all yesterday and slept alot of the afternoon. Bella will be here today. She hasn't been here since last week and I miss her.

Sue, Have you uncovered your musa basjoo? I was reading over on the banana forum and alot of people in z5 and 6 have uncovered theirs already. I don't think it's warm enough yet here. I can't wait to see if mine made it through or not.

T, what exciting news about the babies. Twin boys will keep all of you busy!

Cindy, I loved the topiary pictures. Thanks.

Deanne, just how many bags of compost is 6000 lbs?

Babs, that was nice of you and Chris to take out MIL. I can just picture Ryan ordering all by himself. How cute!

Michelle, I signed up for the Winners Circle too.

V, Ohhh I didn't like that bunny story. I hope things calm down for you at work. Glad dh and dd made it home safely and had a good trip.

Hi Norma, glad you had time to pop in. I'm going to be doing some rearranging in my garden too this spring if it ever warms up and quits raining, lol.

Honey, good news on the deck repair!

Time's getting away from me here so TTYL. Have a good day.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 8:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, well we are back to winter with 28 degrees out when I got up and I heard that it is snowing in CT right now. Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to warm up again though and it is supposed to get up into the 50s this afternoon but Ill believe that when I see it. The compost finally arrived yesterday but it was just too yucky out to do anything so Im hoping to crack my first bag of compost today after I get home from the gym and the post office. (I absolutely hate it that I cant mail my Priority orders over 16oz from home but have to schlep downtown, wait in the traffic, wait for a parking space, wait in line to do something I used to just be able to put postage on and pop in my mail box.)

Anyway, the rain from yesterday was like instant fertilizer on the lawn and it greened up overnight. I guess it was just waiting for water. Lots of stuff in the borders has exploded into growth as well so Ive got to get the rest of the beds cleaned out pronto. Im looking at the terrace gardens and there is an awful lot of green there I didnt see two days ago.

Norma, so good to hear from you! I know what you mean about reading at night then being too tired to comment. It happens to me all the time. Ill even start writing a post then not even be able to finish it then decide to just post in the AM. It sounds like youve been really busy. ~~ Sunday night non-sleeping was probably because of the clock change. It disrupted a lot of peoples sleep patterns. You wouldnt think just one hour would make such a difference but the same thing happened to DD as well. Like Sue Ive been having a difficult time getting myself out of bed at a reasonable hour since we moved the clocks.

Sue, that McKenzie looks like such a sweet dog. She is going to make someone a great friend. I asked the boys about her but it was a definite thumbs down but you know how cats can be about sharing their space. ~~ Doug still hasnt finished the taxes here yet either. Im hoping we dont owe a ton of $$ this year. Shouldnt be a problem but one never knows. ~~ Im so jealous that you can even contemplate Crape Myrtle. I cant believe how many more things you can grow that I cant here. Where are you planning on putting the Indigofera? That looks like a gorgeous plant. Another Id like to grow but it just wouldn't survive here. Also, Im interested to see how that Bergenia Apple Blossom does for you. Im about ready to give up on Bergenia here. A friend of mine has a fabulous patch of them and they are really nice but mine have never done well.

V, bummer about the bunnies. I just wish the wildlife would stay out of the gardens but that is never the case. Ive got a bazillion rodent holes in the yard and gardens this spring and could just spit. Im hoping the voles didnt decimate the hosta over the winter. Well see what emerges in another few weeks. Sometimes Id just like to throw a stick of dynamite down the blasted vole holes and to heck what it blows up as long as the rodents were gone. LOL I do know that one of my patches of Angelique tulips is gone. The other is OK but out of a dozen plus tulips there are only two leaves coming up. Grrrrr.

Michelle, thanks for that link to the PW site. I had a ball browsing through all the beautiful new varieties of plants. I saw at least two dozen things I dont think I can live without! LOL ~~ Youll have to show us pics of the new windows on your garden shed when finished.~~ My Endless Summer are all alive as well but have died back almost to the ground. They were looking fantastic until we got that extreme cold weather right after those 70 degree temps in January. Cest la vie

Honey, sounds like you and Eden had a great time at the lecture. So what rose bush did you pick out? Ill bet it would be like me going to something like that with Sue or Monique. I think theyve tried about every plant that is hardy in their zone and then some. ~~ Good news on the deck. Dont you love it when the repair costs arent as bad as you thought theyd be? ~~ LOL about the white zin flu. Ive caught a variation of that illness from time to time. Usually either the champagne or martini flu.

Cindy, re seedlings coming up through the compost; basically they would not, so if I have an area I want to leave something to self sow I dont put the compost in that area. I put down a couple inches or more and it keeps the weeds down until the plants fill in the space. ~~ RE Helianthus Lemon Queen it is a superlative perennial and I just love mine. Thank you Monique! It just is a very large plant but I find it is so worth the space it takes for the color it provides in the late season. Here are a few pics of Lemon Queen in the Driveway Garden in Sept from last year. You can see how it anchors that left end of the garden. A very impressive plant.

I really love this with the asters and Russian sage in the fall

OK Im already running late and Ive got to get an order filled before I go to the Post Office so must run. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 8:46AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Gorgeous, Deanne - re the Lemon Queen & combos (as usual) -- but I still think my friend will appreciate it more - I just dont have the "volume" space that big Mama takes up! Thanks for the info about throwing the compost down - it's one of those little questions I've always wondered about - glad to know my instincts are right - I'll watch the seedlings a bit longer before I throw any compost in their direction.

Sue - I've got 2 Bergenia Appleblossom I got from Forest Farm last year -- so far they have survived & altho looking somewhat "tatty" I see that they're starting to put up blossoms, which is exciting; they were gorgeous all last year (& blooms lasted for a month or more) and while the plants seem to be smaller at present & had a lot of leaves to cut off from bad winter damage, Im hoping with the Spring they'll bulk back up. I'm hoping this is the cultivar that will stay; other bergenias (& smaller plants) have not held up or increased at all - but for me, it also seems to be that the larger gallon sized plants are better able to hold up their own in the yard. I've got a couple of tiny ones from Bluestone that haven't done a thing and are so miniscule Im really tempted to pitch this year. But I do love those leaves.

That McKenzie looks like a sweetie. I can't stand to look at the rescue or petfinder sites - I want to take them all home with me!

T - congrats by the way about the 2 boys expected. You'll have your hands full as a proud Grandma, wont you!

V- funny story re the rabbits -- some of these critters seem to be able to outwit us no matter what dont they?

It's chilly here as well -- I think we've got the March weather for April -- Mother Nature is confused, dont you think? I got my Crownsville Nursery order yesterday, but don't dare put outside to start hardening til these nite-temps of upper 30s go away!! They too send really healthy, lovely plants & Im always pleased, so Im anxious to get them in their spots - but that may have to wait if I got to do my monthly Penna. visit this weekend - never enough time in the week is there?

Ok, Michelle - you've enabled more of us - I signed up for the Proven Winners mailing too -- I swear I am NOT doing containers that I have to count on more than my 2 hands, however... but you guys are really bad influences!

Hope everyone is a tad more awake today -- I still need some more caffeine I think to get thru another day.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:10AM
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Wow Deanne, I love the pictures your h. lemon queen. It's so full and lush. That compose you're putting down really works. I meant to comment about it to Cindy but forgot. It's one of my favorites too even though my garden's small. I've come to realize in the last few years, mostly from you all, that even a small garden needs some taller and larger scale anchor plants and have added a few even though I've had to get rid of some other things to make room. In a small garden I'm learning that it's all about editing, lol. And lemon queen blooms at just the time when the garden's in need of color. I love the shade of yellow too. It's a very mellow yellow, not jarring at all. Just a great perennial.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:18AM
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Yesterday was a fabulous day and today is supposed to be even better. Tomorrow is a different story. They are talking storms. We worked on the garden shed again. The new window is in and the calf crates are out. I cant believe how much room I have to work with. It is 28 x 14. Im thinking of a relaxation area at one end. You know like a girly room. Rick offered to install lights and electrical outlets, which will be great. As soon as I can dig in the garden and he can get in the field though it will have to be put on hold.

Deanne, your picture of h. Lemon Queen is fabulous. That baby looks like a shrub. Ive thought of adding it to my garden, but havent done it yet. With my big areas, I always need more height. I always think I have too much yellow in my garden, but this is a very nice color.

RE: rodents in the garden. I have huge gopher mounds around the welcome garden. I can only imagine the tunnels they have made.

Come on Cindy only 10 containers???

Sue, Im like you with container plants, I pick what I like and then set them all out and make combos from there.
MacKenzie is awfully cute, but one McKenzie is enough for me. LOL

Enjoy your day

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 11:33AM
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Oh My Gosh, I thought I'd just have a little look at the Proven Winners site while Bella was napping. I had to get out of there. I found myself making lists, long lists. That's just not a good place for a plantaholic like me to be. A couple of cool things I saw though were the ajuga reptens 'black scallop' and a couple of heucheras in the dolce series 'licorice' and 'creme de menthe' and an annual I would love to get my hands on angelonia augustifolia 'dresden blue' can see why I had to get out of there!!!

Michelle, your garden shed is going to be so cool! I can't wait to see it all decorated up. I'm jealous!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 12:07PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Eden, Im ROTFLMAOPIMP! You are just too darned funny. I went to that PW site and had the same reaction. There are a bunch of plants there that I just absolutely have to have then of course the problem is how in the heck am I going to winter over even more plants than I already have??? The perennial dilemma, so to speakte he.

RE: Ajuga Black Scallop I used it in some container gardens last year and it was a show stopper. You can see in this pic the A. Black Scallop draping over the sides of the pot. It was absolutely stunning by the end of Sept.

Here it is again in the lower left of this pic with Coleus Felix and variegated plectranthus.

I have some in the gardens someplace where I plunked them in after digging them out of the pots last fall so if I can find it Ill send you a couple rosettes.

Michelle, you definitely have to have h Lemon Queen for your garden. I can send you some of that with the h Golden Tiara and whatever else Im supposed to be sending you. I think Im supposed to surprise you with some fuchsia and coleus? I really need to keep lists of everything Im supposed to send out. I had your address label all printed up last fall to send you the hosta and now I cant find it so Id appreciate if youd send me your address again? ~~ Hope you dont get any bad storms. ~~ Rick is a gem! How neat he is going to install lights and outlets too.

Ok must run to the post office and grocery store. Ill check in later to see if Eden buckled and bought another two dozen plants. Te he.


PS it is snowing like blazes here at the moment. Ugh!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 2:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


Well we made it back after 2am due to white-outs, snow plows, police cars, etc...

EP and I didn't have a chance of meeting because of delayed flights. What a great pity! We both had family gatherings, and I know I thought of her often during the weekend.

We had an amazing gathering to celebrate the life of DH's Mom. To share a bit, here are her 10 grandchildren:

Yours truly with 'kids':

Scout camp bridge built by my FIL in the 50s:

Our reflections from the bridge:

View from the bridge includes redbud trees in bloom.

Local scenery includes cattle

oil wells

and armadillos:

There was a tornado while we were there, even some rain. There had been no rain SINCE OCTOBER! But there was also sun and warmth and people got sunburned!

More later. I've skimmed what I missed while away...and wish everyone well. That means you too TOM!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 3:37PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

All I've done is look at 'bug's pics, but I have to tell her how much I love the shadows from the bridge photo! What an evocative picture.

It's been a very long week and there's too much to clean up here before I crash, so that's it for now. Things are fine here, just busy!


ps - someone look at the back cover of Fine Gardening for me and explain how those plants bloom together?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:07PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all, It is 33 degrees out this morning but is supposed to get up to 53 this afternoon. It looks like this is going to be the pattern for the next week and that works for me. I enjoy working outside in 53 degree weather but not 43. I'm hoping to start with my mulching today and if I really push myself I might just be able to finish the front yard. It is beautifully sunny out so Im looking forward to my outdoor time today.

V, Hmmmm. My Aconitum napellus blooms pretty early but not early enough to be open and at peak with veronica and Asiatic lilies. I just checked my photos from last year and my a. napellus started blooming the first of August. By that time the veronica and Asiatics would be finishing up.

GB I love all your photos from your trip but I agree with V that the photograph of the shadows from the bridge is wonderful!

Michelle, I spent a couple hours last night looking at the combinations on the PW site and was really inspired. I would like to have seen a few more spring arrangements with cold tolerant plants though.

Eden, I think Im going to have to get my hands on that Angelonia angustifolia Dresden Blue. What a beautiful plant! They have a pic of that Lantana Tropical Fruit that I got at the flower show. Those photographs dont really show how pretty the variegation is on that foliage though. It is kind of silvery. The plant I got is in a 14" container so is already a really large specimen.

Michelle, Id love to see pics of your garden shed project if you get a chance.

OK I guess Ive rambled enough for now. Ive got to get myself to the gym and get my day started.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 8:13AM
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Hi everyone

I too had to pop in to say how fabulous Bug's pictures are. It looks as if it were a wonderful and joyful celebration in a beautiful place.

Deanne - your containers and gardens are as inspiring as ever. I'm in love with h Lemon Queen too. Its not showing any new growth here yet.

We're busy here as well, my back is still acting up so I've made a Dr's appt for next week. I think however it has peaked and is starting to get a little better each day. Twisting movements seem the worst and I'm modifiying all activity. The hot tub brings the best relief and I've been taking quite a few soaks, a couple even in the middle of the night!

Need to head off for work now but hope to be back later.

best to all,


PS. On the Lasagne theme, after a Health class Annie was trying to explain cigarette addiction to David and why you should never start. He didn't understand the concept of beeing addicted but decided it would be like him trying to give up Lasagne (his favorite dish) and not being able to!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 8:29AM
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We have a nasty forecast for today. Possible tornadoes, large hail and straight-line winds. 5 years ago in June we were the victims of straight-line winds. They can be just as destructive as a tornado. We lost one farm building, had an 8x8 foot hole in the roof of our house, many branches down and much debris scattered everywhere. I should scan a few photos for you to see. So I dread this kind of forecast. I actually experienced softball and baseball sized hail about 15 years ago when I lived in town. The hail came straight down and actually went through the shingles and plywood right into the attic. This happened about 5 in the morning. It woke us up and sounded like someone on the roof with a sledgehammer.

Im glad that I have gotten everyone thinking about plants for their containers. LOL PW does have some neat plants for container gardening. Last summer I stopped at a grocery store that I dont normally shop. Their greenhouse was selling PW and I was able to pick up some of the heucheras for 1.50 ea. Amethyst Mist and Keylime pie. I bought all they had left. I planted them out, but could dig them up for container use.

Mary, its a good thing that you are going to see the Dr. before it progresses any further. Take it easy.

Deanne, I will get a picture of the shed, but it needs a little more work first. I just loved seeing the container pictures you posted. The a. Black scallop and the coleus Felix are both fabulous plants.

Bug, I agree that the bridge picture is very creative. I also thought the armadillo was interesting and how cool that your FIL built that bridge.

Have a wonderful day

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 11:26AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Good morning! Its officially spring here. Mama swan is sitting on her (usual) badly placed nest, the fox ran thru the yard yesterday and I officially installed the bed liner in the back of my truck. Also, after yesterday ams snow, by the afternoon it finally warmed up enough that I could play in the dirt. Yeah! I moved a couple dozen daffodils that I missed relocating last fall and cleaned up misc. plants. Im a little sore this am but I needed to use those muscles again. Today Im hoping to get out there and distribute the piles of wood chips I got last fall behind my garden and then pot up my dahlias. I feel Ive been let outta jail!

Also, while out on my run-around stuff, I stopped at a nursery and bot some plants Heuchera Peach Flambé and Key Lime Pie, Heliopsis Loraine Sunshine, some Pansies and Primrose. The perennials been in the greenhouse all winter so Ill have to harden them off, but they were in pretty good condition for leftovers. I remember Eden said she preferred Peach Melba to Flambé, so now Ill get to see which I like. I have Lime Rickey so Ill compare it to Key Lime Pie.

I was also able to check out prices of some landscape supplies for a possible project in the front of the house replacing the walkway to our front door. Since the deck repair cost will be substantially lower than anticipated, we may be able to do it. The existing concrete has heaved and settled and runoff from the roof gets dumped on the walk and the driveway, making for dangerous icy conditions in the winter. If were able to replace the walk, I want to redirect the runoff into a couple of French drains away from the house. I need to do more research on it to determine the depth and size well need.

Does anyone else have Caryopteris Snow Fairy? If so, do I cut it back or does it come back on the same wood? I do seem to remember that it comes out late so Im not worried yet. Its marginally hardy here. Any advice would be appreciated.

DH got some news yesterday. Good and bad. First he was told he is part of the group that will be sold off, but he has reason to think he wont be let go in the next round of reductions. The latter is good news b/c it gives him a chance to leverage himself into a better position. Well see. One step at a time and at least we have some information.

Cindy, Ive had problems adjusting to daylight savings. But Bullet is having a heck of a time. He frowns, moans and grumbles around when DH gets up. And hes quite upset about his dinner being late.

Eden, I, too, am loving that its light out later. One of the things I like about living here is that were at the end of the time zone and it stays light so late in Spring and Summer. I second your comments about learning so much from the garden gurus here. And about urging Deanne to enter the container contest. I just cant imagine Deanne not winning!

Michelle, I just love that pic of Kenzie. Its so sweet.

Sue, Im definitely one who hasnt a clue where Ive planted things and will have to be real careful where I dig. Im also notorious for stepping on stuff. Lilies in particular, shudder when Im nearby.

Marian, Im so sorry you and Nolan are going thru health problems. Hope you feel better soon.

T, I just love your curved beds! Im no expert, but can tell you that the chips will break down, probably not as fast as leaves and grass, but youll be surprized. I did a lasagna bed last fall for the first time using newspapers, leaves, grass clippings and some bone meal and its all broken down now. I sure like the idea and will probably do more of the same in the future. It was sooooo easy.

How cool that you got to see the babies. Just FYI, dont give up on the pastels and frills just yet. They do make mistakes, you know. Its still a mystery until the debut.

Babs, thats so cute about Ryan ordering for himself. Hes becoming so grown up. Glad you were able to take your MIL out. It sounds like she was thrilled you did.

Deanne, thats great that you and Doug really enjoy bike riding together. We should take that back up. We used to take our bikes on the bow of the boat when we traveled and really got to enjoy the outskirts of the towns we visited. It might help DH de-stress after work. Re rodent holes, Ruths kids put smoke bombs down the holes. It wont hurt your plants and smokes the buggers out.

Re my minor brush with the flu the other day, DH did to me what he did to you when you were here. He just kept refilling and I just kept sipping! Re the rose bush I won, I have two thots Id really like a double Knockout. However, Id also love to do a yellow climber and clematis mix but where? So Im still thinking.

V, glad your DS is OK! We had a similar tornado experience in Ohio just getting off the road in time as one came thru. We hid under a viaduct. I was terrified! Im sure you mustve been worried knowing DS was on the road with that forecast.

Oh Bug, thanks for the pix. I love, love, love the one of you and your kids. Its definitely one to blow up and put on display. And what a beautiful area that is. Glad you finally made it home safely. Im sure the drive was a nail biter b/c DH had to battle black ice all the way to work yesterday.

Im going to save the PW site visit for later. I have to get outside. Hi to all and I hope you are able to enjoy a beautiful day outside.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Hi there!

I just came inside from working on the beds. I've used up all of the chips, even to the point of raking the bits & pieces as I ran out of chips before I had all done that I wanted. :o\ I did hear the guys working down on the road yesterday morning so walked down there and asked for more chips but they just couldn't tell me a definite yes or no. He said "I'll try to get some more to you". I hoped that I would see the load they were working on.....but it didn't happen. I don't know how long they're working out here so don't know when to let go of hope and just bite the bullet to buy some to finish up the front beds.

Here is yesterday morning, hanging out the attic window (I'm a klutz so this attempt was impressive if not a bit foolish). Sorry you'll have to cock your head a bit to see it.

Same time yesterday morning......but I was standing on a tall stepladder in the driveway.

From the attic window a few minutes ago:

And on the stepladder in the driveway:

It isn't quite the shape I was hoping for straight ahead and I had hoped to have the flagpole island shaped a bit fuller......but the chips are gone. If I get more I'll see about filling it in a bit more.

The birdbath is sitting on top of the cap over the septic tank. I'm thinking that will be a lovely spot for some type of garden statue. Behind where the bed is from the house to the flagpole, that will be a tall fence which will be part of an enclosure to surround our apple trees & some raised beds for flowers, berries & whatever veggies we want to play at growing.

So many plans.....for so long......finally a start.

Mary, thinking of you today!

Michelle, I hope the horrible weather forecast is off and that you won't have the damaging weather. It sounds frightening. I love the Proven Winners site!

Deanne, lovely photos of the containers and I've written down Lemon Queen to look into for the new beds.

Sue, how are the dogs doing? MacKenzie doing alright in the crate? She sounds like a lovely dog other than being confused about going potty in the house.

My shoulders are burning so I'm going to hit send and then go take a hot shower to see if I can get them relaxed. A hot tub would be a good thing to have right about now.

Hello to all!!!!

T. :o)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 1:09PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Great job, T! Your beds are really coming along. I, too, ran out of wood chips and have stopped b/c my cheeks ache (not the ones on my face, lol) and my eyes are all itchy! I'm pleased w/what I accomplished today so I'll save potting up Dahlias for tomorrow when it's supposed to rain.

I have some really strange things happening in the garden. I have Alium coming up thru an azaelea, a delphinium coming up thru a peony, etc., etc. I think I'll be moving quote a bit around.

Well, our friend, Timmy, came to visit w/o his Mom this morning. Here's Timmy:

Timmy lives 1/4 mile away. Turns out that Timmy is on a diet. Since his Mom won't give him anything good, he slipped his collar and ran away from home. Of course, he came to visit us where he knows there are always real good doggie biscuits! He's a character.

Well, I'm off to put the chicken kabobs in the marinade and then to the shower. Oh, it's grand being outside again!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 3:47PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Wow, T, your new curvy beds look fantastic! I'd be itching to plant in that. At least you have time to do a little planning while you wait for the chips to break dowm. Sorry I couldn't get back to you today but the first week of the month is just crazy for me at work. Mackenzie is doing great in the crate-no more accidents during the day. She really is a great little dog. Tom and I were just saying if we were looking for a dog right now we'd keep her.

Marie, I thoroughly enjoyed your series of photos too. It looks like your family gathering was a success. Too bad you missed EP. I got a message from her through the other site.

And Deanne, giving me a reason to keep at the spring cleanup with the reminders of what will come. I decided to take one weeknight off a week to work in the garden and tonight was the night. With luck I should be able to finish cleanup this weekend but it's supposed to rain at some point on Saturday.

So, I did the taxes last night and much to my surprise we're getting a sizeable refund. Usually I fix things so it's a push a few hundred bucks one way or the other but for the past few years we've had unusual stuff so I totally lost track. Of course the first thing Tom said was he was going to put it towards the hot

Honey, I believe Caryopteris divaricata 'Snow Fairy' is perennial and resprouts from the roots so go ahead and cut off the past year growth.

OK, enough from me. I've been dragging all week. Every morning when Tom calls me to get up all I can think is I wish I had just one more more hour.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 9:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My bark chips break down over the winter really fast but weeds come quickly too. I hope to spread mine before weed season. Hahahaha. Fat chance.

Now if we each send one plant to T she'll have the whole curvy swirly garden in no time. I still think Idyllunion IV could plant it in no time flat! ;-)

Timmy doesn't like his diet? No one likes a diet, but it is cheating to run off to another Mom's for dinner! Good luck!

Glad that the new doggie is working out and enjoys the crate. Any idea how long it will stay Sue? The longer with you, the harder to part for you both I would think.

I'm just a lethargic blob since our return. Hope I'm not coming down with anything. And I brought some ticks home too! YUCK-O!!! It is only going to be in the mid 40sF this week and so hard to re-adjust to gardening. Cleaned up a bit of branch mess and checked the new things popping up: lupins, anemone blanda, iris reticulata, aconitum 'stainless steel' and more. Indoors: laundry and more laundry....

Tomorrow is French Club once again. Crepes seem to be the major activity for the evening there, so I'll force myself. ;-)

Hope all is improving for Marian and Nolon.
Make sure to watch for those new clematis buds! Mine are starting and everyone else must be miles ahead of me.

Sleep tight!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 9:46PM
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Sue, how nice that you get a refund. I can just picture you and Tom enjoying that hot tub. I sometimes wish we had one again.

Honey, Maybe Timmy did lose weight already since he was able to slip his collar. At least he knows where to go.
I know what you mean by feeling like you were let out of jail, being able to go outside for the day. It rained hard here this morning but cleared off enough for me to go out this afternoon. I made good progress in another bed, finishing up in the rain again this evening.

T, those beds are looking good. I hope they bring you another load of chips.
I would imagine with the amount of rain you get there they will break down pretty fast. It will be fun to see them evolve. Just be careful. Its addictive. LOL

Michelle, I hope the storms miss you. We had a bit of one today but the worst of it went north of us. I was looking out the west windows today and realised the screens have a lot of holes in them from the hail we got on sunday. More storms predicted later tonight.
I'm so happy for you to be getting the garden shed fixed up. I sure need one. A person sure accumulates a lot of stuff for gardening.

Mary, I hope your back gets better soon. I am trying to go easy with mine. I don't want a repeat of last fall.
I like Davids comparison of addiction. I'm pretty addicted to food myself.
Will you be working during summer break, or is your job school related?

Bug, I really enjoyed your pictures. A nice summary of your trip. As everyone else was, I was intrigued with the shadow photo.
I imagine you are enjoying your newly renovated kitchen.

Marian , I hope you and Nolan are ok. Take care of yourself.

Hope everyone else is doing ok too.

I've had a little glass of vino. Power of sugesstion you know. Plus I was up early this morning. The cat wanted out, and it is that time of year again when as soon as my eyes open I am thinking of what I want to get done today. Anyhoo I am ready for sleep. G'nite all. Norma

    Bookmark   April 6, 2006 at 10:51PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone, it is supposed to rain this afternoon but it looks like there is a band of showers that is going to come through here in another half hour or so. Im hoping it doesnt last long. Ive got to get outside today rain or shine. Yesterday I was pretty tired after my workout at the gym then I had lunch with one girlfriend and then had to meet another friend from out of town in Sturbridge, MA (one hour drive from here) for dinner so between being tired and my active social schedule I didnt get a thing done outside. I need to become more of a hermit. LOL The nights are still going below freezing here but days in the 50s for the next week so it is still perfect weather for spring cleanup chores. When it gets fifteen degrees warmer the black flies will start coming out along with the mosquitoes.

So what the heck is up with this back stuff???? I woke up with a back ache yesterday AM and am still on the sore side today. I havent had a back problem for two years and Im a bit cranky that this has reared its ugly head right when Ive got to start slinging all that compost.

So where the heck has Martie gone with her morning check ins? I miss her AM posts.

Norma, nice to hear from you. Im the same way when I wake up. The endless list of tasks to accomplish starts running through my head and then I hit the ground running.

Bug I sure hope you arent coming down with anything. It probably is just jet lag. I like your idea of everyone sending T a plant or two then her beautiful curvy gardens will be all filled up in no time.

T, I love what you are doing with the shape and placement of the gardens. Thanks for keeping us posted.

Sue, you must be a dynamo if you are almost done your spring cleanup. I have only barely touched the back yard so far. ~~ Congrats on the refund. That is always welcome news. Doug still hasnt finished our taxes but will do so this weekend. It is like this every year. He says he is going to get to it in January but never finishes until just before the 15th.

Honey, too funny about Timmy running away from the food police. What does Bullet think of him? ~~ So do you think the rodents moved some of your plants or did you plant things on top of stuff? Although how on earth youd get a delph coming through a peony I have no clue. ~~ Thanks for the update on Toms job. I was wondering how things were going there. Hope all turns out OK. ~~ BTW you are just going to love h Loraine Sunshine. One of my favorites.

Michelle, please check in and let us know all is well there. I cringe any time I hear tornados or straight line winds. We dont get them often or bad here but every once in a while and it is terrifying. That hail storm that sent hail through your roof must have been beyond awful! We had a storm with straight line winds here a few years ago and it knocked quite a few white pines down here in town. Thankfully we didnt have any damage but I remember seeing the Mountain Ash tree bending over practically horizontal before I realized I needed to go and hide in the basement. ~~ Id have been over the moon with buying PW heucheras for 1.50 ea. Cool!

Mary, I just loved the lasagna story. I absolutely love the way childrens minds work. They see things and think through things in ways that would never occur to us. One of my favorite memories from when DD was very little was the first time she saw clouds in the sky and was fascinated by them. It is a special time in our lives when we can rediscover the wonders of the most ordinary things through their eyes.

OK time to go and get my day started. Im hoping to accomplish a lot outside today.

Have a terrific day everyone,

So where the heck is Taryn?? Marian??? Bug have you heard anything from Chelone?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 8:44AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Tomorrow I go on my first nursery run-Quaking Grass in Brooklyn-but don't tell Monique or she'll get there first and buy all the good After that I'll probably pop over to lunch at the Vanilla Bean Cafe (where we went on Martie's Logees trip). It's supposed to rain-the best time to nursery crawl.

Back to the trenches.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:12AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Quick good morning -- Gardenbug, love your photos too - sorry you're feeling sluggish but you probably had too much fun and warm weather -- the change in time & temps are probably bothering you.

We have some gentle rain here which is most welcome and expect some more tomorrow -- so this is as good a weekend as any for my jaunt to Pa. - Much as I don't like driving in the rain, it means I won't miss any gardening time! But I'll also miss catching up on my sleep - groan.

Deanne, I thought everyone's back groaned at the start of Gardening season?!! I'm glad to hear that even you really fit people & gym rats are finding this! Seriously, hope everyone's backs smooth and ease out quickly. It's so hard not to overdo it though w/ all the things you see when you're out in the garden.

T - those are some great shots! It reminds me of Deanne's "daring-do" from her house roof, etc -- you be careful! Sounds like a great plan - if everyone sends you one plant you'll have those beds planted in no time -- that's the hard part, holding off until they're really ready.

Not much to say - got another box (this one from Forest Farm - a last minute "impulse" order) - I wish I had time to plant this weekend - altho some things need a bit of hardening off -- & while Im gone I hear things may go down to the 30s on Sat. nite - weird - those plants may be wearing a sheet for a day while Im gone.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:20AM
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T,so why haven't you gotten a shot of the curvy beds from the top of your flagpole yet? : ) lol.
Your bed looks fabulous-I would be going crazy waiting for planting time. I look forward to your transformation pics to come.

Mary-I somehow missed that you injured your back-ouch I'm so sorry! Good that you are having it checked out-you'll be glad you did. I know we're getting older but geez,yesterday after I was leaning over my hydrangea to prune out dead wood I tried to stand up straight and it took ages to do it! Not a good feeling to be stuck. Time to do stretches before yardwork.
Anti-inflamatories will help-like advil or motrin. If you take Tylenol it doesn't reduce inflamation(you probably knew that though).

Honey-Sending good vibes for a positive outcome regarding Tom's work changes.It must be tough to feel unsettled.
Say,the deer don't eat your heuchera? I thought I heard somewhere that they eat that so I never buy any....I would really like to get your feedback on that.
My Caryopteris'First choice'gets nice and full if I cut it back but I don't usually whack it to the ground. Maybe I'll try Sue's advice. If you like propagating-last year I stuck the pruned caryopteris stems into soil and they took!The ground was damp since it was spring so I don't think I even watered them. You can do this in midMay(or after danger of frost).

When it rains it pours? Yep. The city informed us that we MUST have a hardscaped driveway apron(Our drive is gravel)like the rest of the homes on our street. Initially they were giving us two months to do this(figures this came up after I ordered plane tickets for IU3)but now we have until fall after Chris objected to that short timeframe. Also,we have to cut down a severely declining/rotting sugar maple with split trunks. Since it's so bad they have to use a cherry picker so it costs more. Now I'm wondering what the third big expense on the horizon will be.

How cute that we have two McKenzies: ) Michelle-seeing how you've sucked my fellow idylls into PW...I'm afraid to look lol. You know I will though: )
I think I'm like you-I need to get taller plants in my garden designs.
I feel for you as you worry about the turbulent weather season-that hail pounding through the roof sounds so bad! We're back in weather worry mode with AJ. I do see improvement as he gets older but it's a slow process.He was in a dither today since it's very rainy and storms are possible later. I hope he has a good day.

DEANNE I love that Ajuga!! If it's possible can I have some?(never pushy am I) That stuff is HUGE! Is it naturally like that or did you pump it with fertilizer? Just gorgeous color.

(WINE)Hi Norma!!(PLANTS)It's amazing how these Idylls(WINE) do influence us(PLANTS). I'm suddenly very thristy(WINE)(PLANTS)(PLANTS)... ; )

Now that the tree is coming down my shade garden will be affected. It figures I just moved a hydrangea there a year ago too.I'll have to move hostas and ferns among other plants.

GB great pics of your family-I'm naturally liking the shadow figures too.

Marian-Are you there?

My 'baby' Ryan had his k-garten screening this week and did just fine-it's really helping that we do playground/lunch monitoring because he knows most of the staff by now. He should separate well next year.

Well I know my posts are always too long so I'll spare you more blabbing; )


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:29AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The stormy night has come and gone, and the day dawned bright and beautiful. As soon as I finished cooking Nolon's breakfast I went out to assess the damage. The car escaped unscathed, but the tulip tree lost at least half of it's newly forming leaves. They are scattered about one hundred feet across the top of the house and on to the deck and east yard.I could see no other plant damage except for a split leaf here and there. I was ready for bed, when I heard banging on the house. I briefly thought it was a cat wanting in, then that it was Nolon doing something. I flipped on the outside lights and discovered it was hail. Some of the stones were the size of ice cubes( the old fashioned large ones). I'm sure it only lasted a few minutes, but it seemed quite awhile. I don't remember ever hearing anything like that! BAng! Bang! Bang! I'm so glad we do not have a tin roof! ;-0
The lightning was continuous and the wind rather strong.

The third trip to a doctor for Nolon was yesterday afternoon. This time it was to a Urologist. After biopsies we returned home with his prescription. It will be next Friday before we know the results. Wednesday is a return trip to his family dr. It looks like my Golden Year's class, and my plant (& lasagne bed material) buying will be put on hold for awhile.
The good news is that the urologist said he didn't think anything else would have to be done.

I am better. My sinus pain comes and goes, and the meds seem to help a lot. I 'have' joined the 'back pain' group. It started Tues. after I did some rather minor yard work. I guess I just twisted wrong. My lower back is reluctant to let me stand up after I set down or bend over. :-(

Marie, those are neat pics of your trip. Sorry about the ticks. I have already removed several from my body. I also got into something that has caused itchy spots on one ankle, even though I had socks on.

Well, I previewed my post and now I can't go back and see what other's said. I will post this before the power pops off again ( it did awhile ago, and I lost what I had typed).


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:44AM
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Good Morning, It's raining cats and dogs here. Wouldn't you know it since I don't have Bella today. Yesterday the weather was beautiful but I didn't get much done outside because she was here all day. I hope this trend doesn't continue throughout gardening season. I may do a little nursery crawling today myself now that Sue's planted the idea in my head, lol. I doubt if there'll be much out yet around here though.

Deanne, those pictures of your containers with the ajuga black scallop made me want some even more. If you do find that you have any extra I'd love a little piece. I'm going to keep a lookout for it around here too but I never saw it last year.

I sure hope I don't join in on the bad back club that you've all started up. Funny but I used to have way more back problems back in the days before I started seriously gardening. My back rarely bothers me anymore, I say as I knock on wood, lol. Hope all of yours feel better real soon!

T, your curvy beds are really turning out great. How fun to have a blank slate like that to plant in. I bet you just can't wait for everything to settle in so you can get planting. It gives you time to plan everything out though which is a good thing and a lesson I STILL need to learn.

Marie, glad you had a good trip. I loved all of the pictures chronicling your trip.

Babs, I agree it's no fun to run up against unexpected expenses. I have to admit I'm glad you'd already gotten your plane ticket for I3 beforehand though.

Michelle, I hope you made it through ok with the bad weather. I think that you, like us here in MI, have gotten plenty of spring rains haven't you?

I miss Marty's morning posts too and also wonder where Brenda's gotten off to. I hope Brenda's mom is doing ok...

It looks like the rain may be letting up a little. According to my weatherstation we've gotten .57 inches so far and it's not supposed to clear up until 4pm. Well I'm off and I'll let you know what plants jumped into my cart and begged my to bring them home when I get back. Have a great day.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 10:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, it is 39F and flurries are expected this afternoon. Good grief....BUT, the good news is that my first plant order came this morning, a rose called Rose Marie. It is sitting in a bucket of water outside, as instructed, for 2 days. It may wear a sheet at night like Cindy's plants.

I hope you enjoy your excursion tomorrow Sue! Don't spend the entire refund in one place though. ;-)

Honey, I treat caryopteris x clandonensis like lavender and only prune it after new growth appears. But Snow Fairy is a different type, C divaricata. Here is what Google says.
Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:
Caryopteris grows best in full sun and loose, loamy, well-drained soil. It is very tolerant of heat and drought and detests wet soil. Flowers are formed on new growth, so the stems can be cut back at any time. In fact, the best time to prune caryopteris is just after the new growth starts to appear in spring. Fall pruning is not recommended.

All this talk of hail is not encouraging. Remember, it is SPRING! I did check out the PW site too. I saw many interesting things of course, but was horrified to see Creeping Charlie and Goutweed for sale. DON"T BUY THEM!!!!! I could easily be tempted by Coleus chocolate drop, Gaura Dauphin, Digitalis obscura, Cleome Merlot, and tons more!

OK, God made snowy and rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 10:58AM
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I think the worst of the weather stayed south of us. What a horrible night and now this a.m. The wind blew like crazy and it rained. The temp was 75 yesterday and todays high is supposed to be 45. If we had snow, it would have been a blizzard. This a.m. we found some water in the basement because the plug to the sump pump had been knocked loose when I plugged the dehumidifier in. I think we got 2-3" of rain. When I was leaving for work, there was a big branch down over the driveway. I thought Id just drive around it, but I got stuck in the mud. The wind was blowing so hard I had a hard time getting the car door open. The river that is a mile from our place is full to the banks. I have never seen it so high.

I picked up some primroses to plant in a container by the front door for some spring color. They were beckoning me as I drove by the store. They had so many along with pansies that I could see them from the road.

T, now those are some fabulous curvy beds. As for the shape, you can always tweak them. I do that all the time. When should we start sending plants? Seriously.

Honey, you are going to love h. Keylime pie. I got 3 last summer and they did wonderfully for me. H. peach melba though was pretty wimpy. We will see this year, I do see that it made the winter. I am zone pushing with those. Although, I can grow most zone 5 plants. We need to replace our front walk also. Id like to add a curve to it, which would make a larger planting bed between it and the garage.

Eden, I have that feeling too when it is beautiful on a work day and then rainy on Saturday.

Babs, sorry about the extra expenses.

Cindy, how nice to receive the much needed rain.

This must be the Idyll of sore backs. I hope none are anything serious.

I cant believe Sue is talking of finishing garden cleanup. I havent even been in the beds yet since its too wet.

Marie, I see on your link that Rose Marie looks great with clematis ;o) I also see that it is a zone 4 plant. Always nice to see. It reminds me of the Austin rose Shafira Asma which is a stellar performer for me.

Have a good day

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 11:40AM
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Oops-my bad. I forgot 'Snow Queen' was a divaricata.Oh well

Marian-glad you are feeling better in the schnoz; )
I must have missed what they were testing Nolon for? I hope he is OK.
Your weather sounds pretty intense-I guess that's coming up here. I sure hope we aren't going to have a tornadic kind of spring-I don't like the weather patterns that keep happening especially for you midwesterners. I do think the Great Lakes buffer us somewhat where I am.

Can you tell the weather is keeping me indoors?lol. OK I'll try not to hijack this entire thread..


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 12:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, it is a rainy day and these things do get sent to me....

A father and son went hunting together for the first time.
The father said "Stay here and be very QUIET!"

Moments passed and the father heard a blood curling scream and
ran back to his son.

"What's wrong?" asked the father "I told you to be QUIET"

The boy, bless his heart, answered "Look I was quiet when the
snake slithered across my feet. I was quiet when the bear breathed down my
neck. I didn't move a muscle when the skunk climbed over my shoulder. I closed
my eyes and held my breath when the wasp stung me, I didn't cough when I
swallowed the gnat. I didn't cuss or scratch when the poison oak started to
itch, but when the 2 squirrels crawled up my pant legs and said, "Do we eat
them here or take them with us?"

"Well, I guess I just panicked!!!"

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 1:07PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

He he he,'s the one that gave me my chuckle for the day...


Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride.

With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman.

The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail,

Until she noticed a white bag on the seat next to Sally.

"What in bag?" asked the old woman.

Sally looked down at the white bag and said, "It's a box of chocolates. I got it for my husband".

"The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said: "Good trade."

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 1:16PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi guys, a really quick drop in post here, I forgot to mention this Am that I was wondering where Babs was and she popped in. Yea!!! And do you all know why???? It is Ms Babs birthday today unless I miss my guess.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 1:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Enjoy and celebrate!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 2:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Babs, I thought I had mentioned what Nolon was being tested for, but it was in an e-mail to a close friend....not here.
The blood tests at his main dr's showed a highly elevated PSA. If you don't know what that means, it can be an indication of cancer. After some research, I find that in men his age, even if it should be cancer, nothing is usually done.

Happy birthday to you, Babs.

LOL, Sue. That's a good one!

Teresa, your curvy lasagne beds are looking very good!

Sorry that I am not commenting on much. But I just can't seem to focus on all that has been said. My brain is sort of drawing a blank! :-(

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 3:25PM
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Happy Birthday Babs!!! Hope your day was great!!!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 5:24PM
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Happy Birthday Babs

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 5:53PM
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It's stopped raining but is it's very gloomy out there. I hit a couple of nurseries this afternoon. The first nursery I went to had the primula tie-dye featured right at the front door. Their plants were half the size of the ones I got last week and twice the price so I guess Home Depot plant shopping is really worth it. My most interesting finds were a heuchera mocha mint, salvia purple knockout, and my second hellebore, blue lady, to go with the ivory prince I got a couple of weeks ago. I kept seeing ajugas but not black scallop. I did pick up a caitlins giant though. I was surprised how many annuals were out and picked up a few of those too. I got a nice sized fuschia gartenmeister for 5.99 and a euphorbia diamond frost, a variegated lysimachia and even some alyssum. I also got a neat fern, microsorum crocadyllus, that really looks like crocodile skin. The clerk asked me when she was ringing up my order if I realized the alyssum couldn't be put out yet and I said "maybe", lol. I think it will look great in my spring container gardens and I can always cover them or bring them in if it gets TOO cold. I will harden them off for a few days though. When I got home there was a package waiting by the door that contained the fancy leaved and scented geraniums I'd ordered. So the kitchen is looking a bit like a greenhouse at the moment. I need to get them all downstairs and mix them in with all the other plants before Brad gets home tonight. When I came home there was a dead squirrel lying in the street in front of the house and I was afraid it was Tim but I don't think so on closer expection. My heart was in my throat for a moment though. I'd really miss that little guy if anything happened to him.

Marie, I love your new rose. I have Heritage and love it but yours looks even better. I have a couple reserved at Great Lakes Roses that I have to go pick up in a couple of weeks. I'm getting an antique bourbon, Souvenir de la Malmaison and a pink knockout this year.

Michelle, oh no about the water in the basement. So did you get out of the mud and ever get to work?

Sue and Marie, thanks for the jokes!

Cindy, have a safe trip.

Honey, my snowfairy dies all the way back and shows up very late. So how'd you plant a peony and a delphinium in the same spot? That's some trick. Forgot to say how cute Timmy is. He reminds me of Bud but with longer curly hair. He's got the same graying face too.

I've got some housework to do that I've been putting off all day and if I don't do it now it won't get done today. So off I go.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 6:15PM
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Happy Birthday Babs!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 6:20PM
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Happy Belated Birthday Drema!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 6:22PM
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Happy Birthday Drema!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 6:46PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)



Took these yesterday, it's spring! I've had a weird, wild and wonderful week! But I don't have time to tell you about it right now! Hope to get some idyll time to both catch up and post a bit this weekend, and hope all are well...

Check out this place! We're going for a 2nd look tomorrow..


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 7:25PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Renamed the album and lost all the links. Try that again...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 7:32PM
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Taryn, your link takes me to a photobucket error page...eager to hear about what is happening in your life!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 7:34PM
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Taryn, WOW! Link is working now. I've gone through 1/2 the pictures and it is FABULOUS so far!!! Eager to hear more!!



    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 8:04PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Babs!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 8:15PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Drema

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 8:35PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Nothing like a few BD's to drag all the idylls out of hiding. I guess we need a new BD police now that Cynthia is gone :(. T, I nominate

Taryn, where do you keep finding all these great houses? What happened to the last one-the architect one? This one is better actually because it already has some cool garden hardscapes.

BTW, for those of you who were asking, Chelone has been posting a little on the New England forum so maybe she'll pop back in here again soon.

Tonight I got an e-mail from the coordinators of my rescue group. They have decided to allow us to place these dogs before the spay/neuters with an additional clause in the contract that requires the adopter to have the surgery done within 30 days. We'll either take a deposit or reduce their adoption fee. I was really pushing for this because it was taking so long to get all the vet appointments that it would be mid May before the dogs could go to their homes. In the meantime the dogs are bonding to their foster homes but worse than that, our foster homes are all full right now so it would be almost impossible to accomodate other dogs if the need arises. I actually have a possible home for Mackenzie right here in town with a retired woman who uses the same vet as I do. We've been back and forth on the phone a few times and I think she'd be a great home for any one of our dogs.

It sounds like everybody has back problems but me right now. Now that's a switch. The main reason I don't want to totally toss out the workouts, even though I could use the extra garden time right now, is I truly believe my back is OK today due to the stretching and Pilates I've been doing religiously since the end of October. Given the choice I'll skip the free weights before the Pilates.

Eden I planted an Ivory Prince hellebore last year and it is just gorgeous right now. Many hellebores leave me cold-they usually languish here but not this one. One of the plants on my list for tomorrow is the new purple leaf variety of Harry lauder's walking stick-Corylus avellana var. contorta 'Red Majestic'. Consider the possibilities. I'm also hoping to finally get my mitts on a Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey'. Ah, I just love plant shopping.

OK, it's been a long week. The dogs are all chilling with Tom in the TV room-a perfect opportunity for me to sneak upstairs and get into bed.

"See" you all tomorrow.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:20PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:21PM
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I've been cleaning the bathroom the lazy way all evening. I'm the only one home so I'll clean the tub, then take a break, put the rugs in the washing machine, break, clean the sink, break, etc. All I've got left to do now is wash the floor.

Taryn, WOW! Another really cool house. Can't wait to hear what's been going on with you.

I'll second the nomination for T being our new birthday alert person. BTW, I'm loving all of the birthday cards.

Sue, it was too rainy to scout out any trees or shrubs here today. Indoor nursery crawling only. I've got to get out and look for a stewartia and a couple of japanese maples. I would also love to run across a cersis hearts of gold. The purple leaved HLWS sounds interesting. I haven't heard of that one. I've about given up on h. little honey. The Avant order didn't pan out. They sent out an email that these plants didn't turn out to be little honey after all. I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't a good reason no one has them. I'll be interested to see how yours does if you find one. Good news on the foster dogs. Hope the home for McKenzie works out. I'm glad to hear that about Ivory Prince. I've never been a big hellebore fan either. They always look ratty to me. I'm just going to try these two and see how they do here.

I hope Drema drops in.

Back to my cleaning. I want to be done by 10pm. I still haven't had any dinner now that I think of it.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 9:50PM
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I have 4 paint colors on the wall of the guest room. I'm not sure any of them will work.

Taryn, another fabulous house. Nice lot size too. Weird, wild and wonderful week, huh? Youve got me very curious.

Eden, we left the car where it was and I took the other car and Rick took the pickup. H. mocha mint caught my eye on the PW website. You guys have me keeping an extra window open when I read here so that I can check out all the plants you are talking about.

T, I absolutely love those birds.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 11:28PM
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Good morning! 4:30 here and I'm disappointed not to log on and see all of you perky east coasters online & sharing what your weather & garden prospects are looking like.

It is just beginning to rain here, the day's forecast is rain....and no chips magically appeared yet. :o\ I've been told I'll be babysitting while DH & DD help out with a church clean-up activity later today---which is just fine with me and that is my day. Exciting times. ;o)

I hope the weather is kind to everyone who is itching to get outside & work in their gardens! I also hope we get to hear more about Taryn's new house prospect.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 7:46AM
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Good Morning T, Boy you're up early. It looks like it would be a good day for gardening here today, the sun's shining, but I have Bella today so I'm shooting for gardening all day tomorrow. Have fun with Jamie. I got Bella a little pink poodle purse yesterday that reminds me of Kenzie in her Halloween costume. Also picked up a Little People set for her with Cinderella, Prince Charming and even a little carriage. Oh and Prince Charming has a white horse too. Very cute! So we'll be playing "Once Upon a Time" today. I'm going to have to live vicariously through you all today so make sure you check in and talk about all the fun things you're doing in YOUR gardens! Have a great Saturday!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 8:10AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good wet morning!

T, I'm up, but no so perky yet. I need the sun to really wake up. Your curvy beds are looking great! What a lot of work you have done. The pic from the attic window made me dizzy though - I'm not a fan of heights. BTW, where was that pic of the stones in the water taken - it is stunning.

It looks like a gray, damp day here - it rained last night. Tomorrow will be sunny, but we are going to a family dinner. The weather next week looks nice, just in time for back-to-work. Can't complain about the weather though, nothing like what Michelle has been dealing with! Glad everyone is OK there.

I think it is too wet to be outside until later. The ground is very squishy in the backyard, to the point of leaving footprints when we walk. We let our lawn go "dormant" back there during the drought and water restrictions last year, I hope it will wake up! I'm thinking of checking out a couple of local nurseries - Sue is right, less crowds on rainy days.

That PW site is great, I love looking at the plants and dreaming up combos. Some of the new heucheras are very tempting!

Marian, good thoughts to you and Nolon, hope his test results show nothing serious.

Marie, it looks like you had a great trip. I like the bridge picture too, but my DS's favorite was the armadillo. He was impressed that you saw one in the wild. He is a real animal lover. He calls woods behind our house his "squirrelarium" and he is trying to catch one so he can pet it.

Sue, I enjoyed the box of chocolates story - will have to pass that along to my married friends. That MacKenzie is awfully cute, too bad we aren't in the market for a dog. Glad that the extra member hasn't disrupted your household too much. Deanne sent me a ticket for the Dan Hinkley lecture; I have to work until 5 so I'll miss dinner (Wah!) but I'll meet you guys there.

Taryn, what has been going on with you - you've aroused our curiosity. Updates on the house saga please!

Well, I should see if I can get something done in this house before I run off. "God made snowy and rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done..." or go plant shopping!

Have a great weekend everyone!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 8:54AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, it is a chilly 43 degrees this morning and isnt supposed to get much warmer until tomorrow. It is also supposed to rain later on so Im guessing there isnt going to be a lot of gardening around here today. Ive got a ton of stuff to pot up indoors so maybe Ill get to that today. Yes, you all knew it, I have to pot up a couple dozen fuchsia cuttings that are rooted and ready for soil. I also have three varieties of plectranthus, some coleus Plum Frost, Pineapple Wizard a couple iresine and various other odds and ends that I couldnt throw away when I pinched them. Maybe Ill just go to the gym, pot up the babies and then finish that painting I sold last week. Oh yes, wouldnt hurt to clean the fish tank either.

So we missed Dremas birthday and we really do need a new person to be the birthday police. Im adding another vote to make T the new keeper of the Birthdays???

So Sue, did you take those photos today or are they from your archives? If they arent last years photographs you are light years ahead of us up here in the frozen north. I LOL with all the crocus pics for Babs birthday because I did a crocus photograph last year for her birthday. ~~ So where is your Hellebore Ivory Prince planted? I might just need to find that variety. Im thinking Im going to add some to the gardens in the back yard where we could see them from the dining room. Did you mulch yours in any special way? Im wondering if I made a cage and mulched them with shredded leaves if theyd look better in the spring here. ~~ I agree with you about your pilates, Im sure that is why you arent having any back problems anymore. That is one of the reasons Im fanatical about my ab/back/core muscle workouts. ~~ Oh yes, is there anything in particular you want from my baby plant stores? Im going to get a couple boxes of plants ready for you to take home after the Dan Hinkley lecture in a couple weeks. Im assuming youd like to have the Alabama Sunset, Sedona and Mt. Washington coleus. How about Brugs? Were you able to save all yours? Ive also got a Fuchsia Firecracker with your name on it and any other cuttings from here you want.

Wendy, ditto what I said to Sue about your taking some plants home if you want. I can get a box ready and have it in my car when we meet at the lecture.

Taryn, great to hear from you. Im wondering what is going on with the house sale/purchase? Hope you find time to post this weekend. That new house looks amazing.

T love your Rainbow Lorikeets pic. Is that your hand they are sitting on? And is that your coastline in Babs pic? Beautiful!

Eden, your plant shopping day sounds like it was a lot of fun. Neat that you found a large Gartenmeister for $5.99. Babs sent me cuttings of hers and Im going to wait for them to get bigger as they seem to do around here. I LOL about your mixing all the new plants in with the old ones before Brad got home. Tooooo funny! I have Ajuga Caitlands Giant and that is another really great plant but I do like the Black Scallop better. I think I might have found the patch where I stuck it in the garden last fall so Ill dig some when it gets some size back onto it. The Black Scallop just was the most vigorous plant and I loved how it was so accommodating and draped over the sides of all my pots that it was planted in. In fact I gave a ton of it away last fall because it made such luxurious growth in the containers Id just snip off a runner and hand it to visitors who admired it.

So Mary, how does a visit the last Sunday of the month sound???? Doug has reserved the airplane and if all goes well well be up for a visit. Sue, are you still interested in joining us? I wish you lived closer so we could drive if we cant get the plane but well have to just cross our fingers and hope the weather cooperates.

Babs of course you can have some of the Black Scallop. Hope you had a great birthday. Did you guys do anything special?

Michelle, I sure hope your day today starts out better than yesterday. What a pain to get stuck in the mud. How are the gardens dealing with the deluges? Ill bet you are going to need several days of sunshine to dry things out enough to work outside.

Marian, hope all is well there. Those were some awful storms that went through down south yesterday. Were you affected by any of those? That hail storm must have been terrible the other night. Seems like youve been in severe thunder storm and tornado warning areas a lot recently.

GB that rose is just gorgeous and will look great with any and all clematis. The color reminds me of my Sally Holmes. Speaking of which, I need to try that rose again. So did you get your house cleaning done?

OK I really have to get to the gym and get my day started here. Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:12AM
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Belated Happy Birthday Drema!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:24AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Did anybody else get gobbledy gook a little while ago when they tried to read this idyll?

Deanne, the pictures are from last year. Right now there isn't much in the way of photo ops in my garden. I cut last years tatty foliage off Hellebores when they start blooming. Ivory Prince is in the foundation bed right next to my front stoop. I'll take whatever you're giving away for pot plants.

All my Brug cuttings rotted but believe it of not I got the mother plant of Charles Grimaldi sprouting. The only part that withered was maybe the top foot or so of the main trunk. New leaves are coming out all along the trunk and from the base. I think I'll plant it directly into the ground this year and let it grow into a

OK, I must run and clean up for my nursery crawl. Tom went into work so I'm not sure I'll lunch at the Vanilla Bean as I've never been one to sit and eat at a restaurant by myself. It's raining lightly here now-perfect plant shopping weather.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:42AM
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Hi everyone

Yes, can I second or third T as the keeper of the birthdays;0) We are obviously in need. Hope both our Birthday gals had a lot of fun celebrating.

The last couple of days were rather hard for me as it was the household sale at Susan's house. It was necessary to do, but I hated the thought of strangers picking through their possessions looking for bargains. I took different routes to avoid driving past the gathering of cars. The house goes on the market today.

Deanne - a visit the last Sunday in April would be fabu fabu!! DH has arranged his travel so that he can be here that day too. It will come after our week's vacation from school, so I'll have some time to get the house in shape, or at least remove the worst of the dust bunnies!! I hope Sue can join us too and will keep my fingers crossed for clear calm weather. What fun.

Taryn - another gorgeous house. Have you had a good offer on yours?

I've loved all the b'day cards and hearing about plant shopping. I'm still focused on seedlings rather than new purchases but some of those new Proven Winners sound very tempting.

I need to get going as I only have today to finish the baby hat and booties I'm knitting for our neighbor to give at her shower tomorrow. They are done in a suede wool and have white fluffy trim, making them look like shearling. I'll post a pic if they are finished on time.

Have a good day and take care of those backs! Mine is just plain weird right now and the pain has moved down to my right elbow. Can't figure it out.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:44AM
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Greetings! One chaotic job + one chaotic son getting ready for final Japan application + one good chance to get into the garden in two weeks + one major painting overhaul of our entire house has left -0- time for Idylling. I've missed you all!

Happy birthday Drema and Babs. Love the curvy bed. Hope everyone not feeling well is better. And most importantly: HAPPY SPRINGTIME! We got some snow and good rain so I'm staying off anything dirt this weekend, but am putting in the 6-8 week seeds and taking cuttings.

Tomorrow is the seed planting party with kids and we're down to only 13. Rich and Ky have eagerly "agreed" to go in search of the best mulch source and to get the first pallet of bluestone.

Cloched and containered spinach and lettace gave us an awesome salad last night of teeny 1" baby greens. The herb garden smells divine cleaning out last year's gross stuff. Bulbs are popping up in places I forgot I'd planted them and all in all, garden life is good.

Am making a concerted effort to stay away from nurseries -- a hard thing to do when there's one every five miles or so. The deal I have with Rich is that anything "free" can come home but $$ need to go into hardscape. Doing things in the "proper" order has never been my strong suit, but I'm not going to be doing much of the heavy labor so I'll play along.

Must run out for birdfood and more vermiculite. Have skimmed on and off. Where are you, Wendy????


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 10:19AM
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Its a chilly morning at 26 when I got up. The sun is shining though. The water seems to have stopped coming in the basement and we aren't supposed to have any chances for rain until Tues. The gardens are wet but no standing water. This rain is good for the subsoil and trees. We have to go to the annual fundraising auction at the school today anyway.

Eden, I'm sure Bella will love her pink poodle purse. Kenzie loves to carry purses around. Last time she was here I gave her DD's old Sesame Street lunch box and she carried that around and then took it home with her. (My way of cleaning house)LOL

I must get going and get a few things done.
I hope the sun is shining in your corner of the world.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 10:20AM
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Good morning again....

I still have hopes that Cynthia will miss us enough to come back and resume being our birthday alert person (hope springs eternal) :o). I miss her and the other Idylls who are absent. EP said she tried to get here again to post but just cannot get the system to work right so she's over at TGF and has been in contact with many Idyll friends there. I will attempt to keep up on the birthdays a bit better, (until Cynthia's return).....I feel badly when one goes by without us knowing. My list (from Cynthia) doesn't show any more birthdays this month....if it is wrong, let us know, so we don't miss celebrating with anyone.

Rain has increased along with some wind. It is a very good day for indoor activities, I think.

The coastline photo for Babs is in South Australia, the rock formations are a portion of the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road. Beautiful area!

The Rainbow Lorikeets photo (on my hand) were in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney....both photos taken in September 2004. There was a man in the gardens feeding the birds some bread. The Lorikeets and Cockatoos were flocking around him. When I asked if I could photograph him feeding them, he offered me some bread so I could feed them also. It was one of the many highlights of my time in Australia.

Well, guess it is time to begin the day in earnest. :oP

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 10:33AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well, I'm freezing my nose and other body parts off. I've been trying to work outside but with 44 degrees and a wind and occasional spitting rain I think I'm going to cry uncle and try again tomorrow. 40 feels a lot colder when the sun isn't out.

T thanks for the info on the Great Ocean Road. Beautiful drive. Reminds me of the Pacific coastal road between Mendocino and San Francisco.

Hi Martie, great to hear from you. It sounds like you are as busy as ever. YOu'll have to let us know how the seed planting day goes.

Michelle, glad to hear the water in the basement problem is getting better.

Sue, can't wait to hear what you scored at your nursery crawl today. Wish I lived closer and I could have joined you. It would have been a more productive day than what I'm doing here.

Mary, that is pretty strange that you are now having pain in your arm from the back thing. I've heard about it radiating down your legs but not in your arms. Hope you are feeling better soon. I was able to do my ab workout today without making anything worse. I think I might have set mine off when I was tossing yard waste bags at the dump on Monday. Probably the twisting with a heavy object is what did it. When I'm feeling good I forget to be careful. Maybe this was a good thing before I started slinging compost bags around. ~~ We are really looking forward to our visit. Glad to hear your DH will be there as well.

Sue, I've got four good sized cuttings from the pink brug in the above photograph if you want one of those. Neat that your Charles Grimaldi is coming along too. My mother plant that was a cutting from Mary is sprouting away in the basement right now too - also the Charles Grimaldi cutting you brought me last fall is actually going to bloom in a couple days. What a hoot! The plant is only 18 inches tall or so and has about seven or eight flowers on it. ~~ I can't wait to see what yours does in the ground this year. I'll bet it gets fifteen feet tall with the way you grow tropicals.

OK I guess I'm going to go and do a bit of potting up in the basement and save the outdoor work for tomorrow.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 2:24PM
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Here! crabby some days, content on others. Busy, in general. As "radical" and "wild" as ever. Someone has to be, afterall! ;) (no tatoos, though)

Crocus have gone by. Narcissus are just beginning. Perennial favorites are beginning to emerge from winter hibernation. I'm still wrangling urine every day... . Work is becoming increasingly hectic. Know what? I don't care. There is no way to predict where the mess will wind up when the s--t hits the fan, hehehe.

Just T, tell me about those glorious parrots.

"Wrecks" is doing really well. He goes into the bank with us, into any business establishment that permits dogs; we "push the envelope", too! He minds his Ps and Qs and has become a bit of a celebrity locally. I hate dogs, though... you needed reminding, of that, I'm quite sure.

Haven't done much reading but suspect things are as usual?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 2:43PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Sue, what did you buy at Quackin Grass Nursery? Were were planning on going tomorrow b/c we had carpet and tile shopping to do today and most places are not open on Sunday. Otherwise we would have been there today. BTW, I bought a Hydrangea quercifolia Little Honey at Broken Arrow Nursery last w/end-we were there the day they opened LOL! They had quite a few small pots of 'Little Honey'. I had called Wayne at Quackin Grass yesterday to ask if he had Hydrangea Quickfire and he had 3. When I read that you went today, I called tonight and left a message for him to call me back as to whether any of them were left b/c my friend Sue was coming by :o) He hasnt called back yet, but I would hate to go all that way for one plant and they are all gone. Of course, lunch at Vanilla Bean is on the itinerary of course. We went to Lenny & Joes today for a lobster roll, grilled salmon and salt potatoes. Yum.

Hubby won the Biggest Loser contest at work-he lost the most weight percentage-wise. The loot was $200 and he lost 20 lbs. I lost 10 lbs but would like to lose a little more or at least firm up. Weve been following Weight Watchers and counting points-it really cuts down on our portion sizes mostly.

T-just love all the curvy beds!!! Youve done a great job designing them-isnt it fun?

Taryn-the new house looks fantastic-how much land does it have?

Marie-Ill join the others in saying that the photos were wonderful. Ah, crepes-one of my favorites. We went to one of our regular lunch stops last w/end and both got the seafood crepe special then our usual Sweet Rachel crepe with lemon, butter and sugar. The crepes are so light that I didnt feel too full when I left-just right. What crepes did you have at your French Club social/meeting?

Marian, hope Nolon is okay and you feel better soon so that youll be in the garden again full blast soon.

Deanne, most of the plants you gave me are doing fine so far. Im trying to water everything at least once per week-sounds awful doesnt it? However, I put your plants in a closed tray and the water stays a bit in the bottom so it must be getting water from there b/c they are not drying out. I do have some other plants in the other room-2 rosemary plants, variegated fuchsia, Mandevilla, 3 Rex Begonias, Strobilanthes, etc that are alive from plants or cuttings from the fall. Amazing! A bunch did die though, Im not that good. One of the plants I bought from Logees died-a Hibiscus. The other 3 (2 Gardenias and 1 Rex Begonia) are alive still. So, you should have a plant sale in another month or so? You could fund your additional plant purchases for this year. BTW, your photos of Helianthus Lemon Queen were outstanding!!! Glad youre enjoying it.

Hi to everyone else!!! Have a great rest of the w/end!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 8:52PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all, Hi there Chelone, great to hear from you. Monique, love your birthday photos!!!! so pretty. Glad to hear you are doing well with all the cuttings and indoor plants. Neat! Congratulations to you and Les on your weight loss. Fantastic!

Look who dropped in today in range of my scope

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:27PM
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Happy Belated Birthday girls. I am late as always, but don't feel slighted I miss a lot of family ones too. Its just because I am a procrastanator. sp?
Anyway I hope you had wonderful days.

It was pretty darn chilly here today. I wasn't feeling very perky and DH wasn't either.
I finally decided to get out of the house and do something different for a change. So I went to some antique shops to try to find a couple more iron wheels. We used a couple I already had to make trellis between the post on the swing arbor we made. One above the other. Now I need two more for the other end. I have two smaller ones but would have to make some kind of frame around them.
I didn't find any at the shops today, but saw a lot of interesting stuff.
It is supposed to go down to 30 degrees tonite so I covered most of my hosta that are just starting to leaf out and a few other things.

Mary, I can only imagine how hard it has been for you to see Susan and the girls life disolve away from you. I know I would have a hard time losing a dear friend.
How fun for you to get idyll company though.

Hi Chelone, thanks for droping in. I miss your posts and Cynthias and many others too.

Sue do you have a picture of your Ivory Prince?

Eden where are you going to squeez all these new plants into your garden? From the pictures I've seen it looks pretty full already.

Martie I wish you could share some pictures of the seed starting party.
Thats all for now. Norma

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:27PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Martie, I'll be posting a list of what I have for the CT plant swap on the message thread at the NE forum. Just say the word and all get you all the free you want in the way of plants.

One word I have for today...BRRRRR. I was in northeastern CT and it was sleeting and in the mid 30s. I wasn't the only customer at Quakin' Grass but let's just say the place wasn't crawling with I forgot to bring gloves so carrying an umbrella and hauling a nursery cart around was not fun at all. We were joking that all the lightweights would be there tomorrow when it's supposed to be sunny and upper 50s. At least I scored some cool plants-Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic', Cornus stolonifera 'Arctic Fire', Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire', and a pot of Cornus canadensis. Good for a start. Tomorrow I'll hopefully get a few more things shuffled around and planted.

For lunch today I did go to the Vanilla Bean and sat at a table and ate by myself. As it turned out a few people were doing this-some with laptops so they must have wireless internet. I had a Southwestern turkey burger and a piece of Creme Brulee cheesecake. Next time I'm out that way and plan to eat I'll bring my laptop.

I also went to Comstock, my local nursery and turned in enough receipts from last year to earn myself a $50 gift certificate. That will surely be spent in the next couple of weeks and I still have enough receipts left to be halfway towards another $50 gift certificate. Nothing caught my eye there today but like most local nurseries they seem to be slow in getting stock in and out for sale. Next weekend should be better.

Here is the latest picture of Mackenzie...isn't she cute?

I updated her "bio" at our website today so maybe that will generate some interest. Right now she's curled up with Nick on a chair. I wish I could get a picture of them but I know if I get up to get the camera they'll wake up and move. She seems to be very happy here but as Tom says, "What dog wouldn't be?" lol

Deanne I may have trouble placing a pink Brug but I'll certainly try. I'd love to go with you to Mary's-what fun! The last Sunday in April should be fine. Can you pick me up at Brainard field? I wonder what the poor people will be doing that day? hehehe

Tom went hot tub shopping today. He got some good info and found a place with better prices than where he had been previously inquiring. My guess is we will start the required site work tomorrow. I want to draw it all to scale first. The plan is to build a level pressure treated wooden platform for the tub that will be basically flush with the ground and install a small bluestone patio around that. For privacy we'll install an 8 foot section of fence on the side of the tub that faces the street and our neighbor's house. We plan to do all the work ourselves to keep the cost down. You gotta have projects, right?

Hey Chelone...good to hear from you. Drop in more often.

OK, time for bed. Tomorrow needs to be a productive garden day. Sweet dreams.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:42PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Monique, so funny. I was teliing Wayne that I was surprised I didn't bump into my friend there today. I told him you were looking for H. 'Quick Fire' Then I told him the story about you buying all the Daphne caucasica 'Summer Ice' in the state. he said, "Your friend's name isn't Monique?" LOLOL! He remembered you calling. There should be plenty of Quick Fire for you tomorrow-I only bought one. I can't believe you got 'Little Honey'. Wayne has three but told me he wouldn't sell me one for about another month. The usual-shades of the Summer Ice indignities all over again. I really don't have time to go to Broken Arrow tomorrow...but to get a 'Little Honey'...hmmmm

How in the world did Les lose 20 pounds? Will a strong wind blow him away now?

Norma, funny you should ask about the Ivory Prince. Here is a picture from today-not great because of the gloomy weather and I haven't cut off the winter foliage yet but you get the idea.

Deanne, those poor Mourning Doves-they aren't the sharpest tools in the bird drawer. Before I let the dogs out I usually scan the ground around the patio to make sure there aren't any lounging around. Dead doves I don't need. They sure are pretty though.

OK, now I'm really gone.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 9:59PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Sue, I KNEW you were going to get that 'Quickfire'! Wayne didn't call me back so I hope one is left for me tomorrow. Too funny. Broken Arrow said they won't have 'Quickfire' until June. I also got a variegated climbing Hydrangea (H. anomola ssp. petiolaris 'Miranda') at BAN-they had quite a few pots. We should have coordinated this better-you could have bought me a Quickfire and I could have gotten you a Little Honey and we could've done the exchange thing :o) I wonder what's going on with Carol's Collectibles-the website hasn't been updated yet this year. Also, Variegated Foliage hasn't listed new plants yet. Uh-oh. I just checked VFN and he says that the new prices will be up soon but they will not be doing mail order this year due to severe illness. Hope Stan is ok. BTW, where is the hot tub going again?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 11:13PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all, well it didn't get down to the predicted 28 degrees last night and is 35 out so the plants in the garage are fine. I did take the two coleus from the flower show in though. They were shivering outside in the garage last night and I just love that Gays Delight and dont want to lose it.

Sue sounds like you scored. How cold tolerant is that H Quickfire? Sounds like a great plant. Im insanely jealous of your Ivory Prince. That is one fabulous Hellebore and is definitely on my must have list. ~~ That McKenzie is one cute puppy. I sure hope you find her a great home soon. ~~ Ill bet Doug would love to come down and help you guys build your deck for the hot tub. He did a great job on ours and always loves a building project. ~~ Brainard it is as we probably cant get the airplane down your street. LOL

Monique where are you planning on putting your Quickfire? You guys crack me up with who is going to get first to the nursery and scoop the best plants. WE should coordinate another May Idyll dinner get together in CT? Weve really enjoyed our roving dinner parties with you and Sue. I was hoping to zip over to The Mixed Border today but they arent opening until April 24th. Soon, soon. Im determined to buy and Picea Skylands this year. Im still not sure where Im going to put it but I must have that tree.

HI Norma! pretty birthday pics. Great to hear from you. I'm better at getting birthday cards out to people on this forum than I am at getting them out to friends and family snail mail.

OK Time to refresh my French Roast and get to the gym. Enjoy the day all. Today is going to be primo gardening time so Im outta here.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 7:58AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Happy Birthday, Drema!

Happy Birthday, Babs!

Im running behind this am. I want to get crackin in the garden. So Ill catch up on the last couple posts later.

Sue, thanks for the info on "Snow Fairy". I thot that was the case but didnt know. Hows the foster puppy doing? I cant imagine you being able to give him away after youve bonded and spent so much TLC on him. As for how I managed such unexpected plant combos, I moved almost everything in my garden last fall. Ive never divided or moved the bulbs in the back sine they were planted many yrs. ago. Many were so jam- packed that they had nowhere to grow but deeper in the soil. In some cases, some were as deep as 18-20" and I still missed some. As for the delphinium in the peony, I moved the delphinium and must have left a small piece and planted a peony on top of it.

Deanne, youre my enabler, lol. Ive admired your Heliopsis Loraine Sunshine for years and never saw it at any of our nurseries here. I was going to get one by mail order this spring, so when I saw it at a nearby nursery, I just had to indulge. I cant wait to see how it does for me. And you know Ive been in love with Heuchera Peach Flambe since I saw a pic of it last year. It looks to be redder than Peach Melba so Im anxious to see how it does, too. Oh dear, that Ajuga is incredible! Yep, I have to have some of those, too!

Re your question, Bullet has a hissy fit when Timmy visits. Timmy ignores Bullets "No other animals allowed" rule for our deck. So theres all manner of growling, hissing, spitting and batting the doorwall when Timmy visits. Timmy only wants to be friends.

Marian, Im so glad youre feeling much better. I worry about you being so far out in the boonies. Do you have friends and neighbors to check on you? A gal from the senior center calls to check on my Mom every day. Do you have something similar thru your town or church. I hope so.

Mary, hope your back is feeling better, too. Sheesh, back problems do seem to be the ailment of the season.

Hi Cindy, Norma, Martie, Wendy, Eden and everyone else. And,

Babs, I feel so badly for poor Ryan being afraid of storms. Honestly, Im a wreck during t-storms and tornado watches/warnings. Michelle, I cant imagine how bad that storm had to be to get hail thru the roof! OMG! We didnt have them where I grew up out east so they just terrify me. Its all I can do to keep from hiding under the bed with Bullet!

Thanks for the encouragement re Toms job. I think this is going to be a long drawn out saga. Whats so scary is that so many folks are also looking for jobs now and there are fewer and fewer of them. About the deer, Ive decided not to let them dictate what I plant. Ruth and I spray monthly with Liquid Fence and the deer mostly leave us alone. Occasionally, one will take a bite or two and spit it out. Theyre pretty much trained now. And LF also deters wabbits and groundhogs. However, a the home show yesterday, we saw these really neat battery run unobtrusive posts that lure the deer in with a great smell and then shocks them when they touch it. See link below. Theyre powered by 2 AA batteries and are placed every 20 or so. I might try them.

Later, friends. Honey

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Everyone must be out in the garden today. That's a good enough reason for me for lack of posts here on the Idylls.
I'm posting now because I'm so tired that if I wait it won't happen. I'll be turning in early tonight. Highlights of the day were that I got a beautiful stewartia this morning and I uncovered my musa basjoo. It looks good and the stem feels firm but time will tell. I'll be so happy if it survived the winter. I asked around at 2 nurserys that would be the ones to have h. little honey if it WERE to be had around here and so far no luck. Very frustrating! I did see a very cool shrub that I hadn't seen before. It was a yellow twig dogwood. The branches are a bright crayon yellow. Very different. It was so great to be able to work outside all afternoon. Couldn't have asked for a better day and the next 2 are supposed to be just as good if not better. I have so much to do but am trying to just take things one step at a time and ENJOY the process. I'm fading here so night all. Eden

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 7:17PM
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Wow-GREAT bday pics! Sorry I haven't had time to thank everybody for thinking of me. It's been crazy these last few days. Fri my actual bday was pretty quiet but we spent Saturday at Cleveland's West Side Market for all kinds of produce and meat. We also visited a nearby fish market to get some king crab legs,scampis,and bay scallops which we had for my bday dinner Sat. night. The market excursion took up half the day plus for lunch we went to a great place for Cuban sandwiches. Overall a fun day. Get this,I recieved a pedicure kit as a gift: ) Now our IU3 toenail painting party will be less scary~I'll have soft and supple feet. LOLOL.

On Fri. for some out of the ordinary reason I happened to catch Martha Stewart on the tube and she brain washed me into making a white cake but I opted for cupcakes-still it was all from scratch. Ryan(Mr. Independent)helped and made his own version that somehow were even edible!(he added raisins to his version).

Today was Aj's first track meet-this was the bigtime. He's in an older division and these meets last several hours(today's was more than FIVE hours!!). He did well and even finished third in one of the heats.Still,it was a L-O-NG day. So that's why I wasn't here sooner to comment.Funny how the idylls come out of the woodwork for bdays...we need to keep pics here for more than just bdays. Glad to see so many of you!

I smiled at all the crocuses-Taryn & Wendy-I love purple! Wendy that is a really neat shot.
Deanne & Michelle-gorgeous butterflies(michelle what kind of butterfly is that?)

Eden-I like the contrast of the fern and bright caladium in your pic!
Mary so...have you been to Hawaii?; )Those leave variegations are so striking!

T thanks for sharing Australia! At first I thought that was near your home. Just a soothing feel to that pic.(fun parrots too!)

Sue-Is that tree blooming now? Hey it's PINK! I thought you didn't do pink.: )

Nice to see you Monique-such pretty daffs.

Norma-hi! I really like those blooms-that pic almost looks like it's a painting! What is the name of that one?

Honey-thanks for the deer info. I use homemade egg repellant that does a great job so I'll probably still get a heuchera. OK guys what's the best performing heuchera??
I love those peonies(the traditionalist in me; )what name is that one? It's just beautiful.

Well guys-I need to run...the deer repellant reminded me-it's time to do it.

TTYL~those of you who have reappeared need to stick around we do miss you!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 7:36PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all, I'm with Eden, I'm pretty tired tonight but it is a good tired from being outside in the garden most of the day. I finished cleaning out the front of the house today which is a realy pain and a job I absolutely hate doing. Anyway, it is done and I finally was able to start spreading my compost this afternoon. Here are some pics from today.

The driveway garden is cleaned out and waiting for compost. The crocus put on a nice show this year. I planted a grass I'd gotten from the Keene flower show with some pansies in my big urn for some interest until I can do the big summer arrangement.

Here are some of my plants from the flower show a couple weeks ago. Can you believe I only paid $2.00 per plant for most of those huge fuchsia? too cool!

This is the Fuchsia 'Golden Marinka'. I just love this plant and can't wait to see the flowers. I wound up with four of these. (No idea where I'm going to put them yet)

And here is the coleus 'Gay's Delight' I keep talking about. What a beauty!

More 'loot' from the flower show. A Plectranthus 'Lemon Twist' and Iresine

And here is one of my groups of hyacinth that has been here for more than ten years.

OK I'm fading fast so I'm going to turn in for the night. Hope everyone had a great garden day.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 9:21PM
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Well, the afternoon was a great one for being outside enjoying springtime. I didn't get a lot done, but what I did do made me feel good. DH had me come out and run the excavator while he sat on the backside of the bucket. I lifted him up into the air so that he could cut off branches with the chain saw.

Yep, you read that right. The man perched on the backside of an excavator bucket, with a running chainsaw while his wife (better known as "The Klutz who fell down the church stairs this morning")lifted him up into the branches of a very tall fir tree. Sure, why not?! I couldn't believe he asked me to do it. I couldn't believe that he was willing to do it. I couldn't believe I agreed to do it. An amazing happenstance all the way around. End of the story is that all went well, he tied himself to the boom of the excavator in case his wife, who had really never worked the controls before, threw him off with a wild move. The wild move never happened, miracle of miracles. He cut off all branches that he wanted gone, I did a perfect job of lifting him up, moving him over, driving forward, driving backwards and bringing him back down. He needed those branches gone because he didn't like seeing them when he sat in his chair in his hobby room.........



Thankfully we did move slowly, carefully and were fully aware of how quickly this could turn into a nightmare. Imagine how I explain to the medics what he was doing perched on the bucket and how I moved things backwards of what he was expecting which tossed him into the tree or onto the ground. I probably shouldn't even admit to anyone that we did this.........they'll come lock us up. Intelligence! :oP Not.

Yep, I was also some of the coffeetime entertainment at church today. Going down the stairs and my knee decided to keep bending instead of holding me up. I was holding onto the handrail, thankfully, so all that happened (all?!) was that I ended up on my knees on the bottom step with my toes a step or two higher and my shins taking the brunt of my fall. Sugars but that hurt! I wanted to cry and everyone was looking at me. Gee, look at that lady..wouldn't you hate to be her right about now? I made some quip about liking to do something to get attention when I enter the room and tried hard to squash the tears that wanted to flow. Tears more from embarrassment than pain at that point. My son in law helped me up and I made a few more jokes about seeking attention then made my way to the coffee table. Mortified. Oh well, it was one of those moments where others were glad they weren't you.

So......that was my day. ;o)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 10:03PM
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Quite a nice weekend here. We were gone quite a bit though. I did clean out one area and do a little organizing in the garden shed. I ordered the book "The Potting Shed" I thought I might get some ideas. Its supposed to have great pictures. We did a little touch up painting on the house with more to do.

Babs, Im glad you liked the butterfly. Its a Red Admiral, which is fairly common in my garden. Sounds like you had a good b-day weekend.

Deanne, the coleus Gays Delight is a beauty. Id seen it for sale on some websites, but it didnt look as impressive as it does in your photo. Looking at the picture of your driveway, I thought I was seeing a nursery. LOL

Chelone, good to hear from you. Dont be a stranger.

Sue, I may have to look for Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire' as it appears to be fairly hardy. Your picture of Ivory Prince is quite nice. I havent grown any hellebores.

T, great job with the branch cutting. I never like running the controls. I envision dumping Rick out. It makes me terribly nervous. You guys arent the only crazy ones. We use our tractor or skidloader bucket to paint the house, trim trees and shingle. Bummer about the fall. Good to hear that nothing was hurt but your pride.

Ive been enjoying all the fabulous pictures the last couple of days. Im needing the garden to get going as I seem to be running out of pictures for birthdays.

Have a good night


    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 11:06PM
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Babs those flowers are ,
(Phlox subulata 'Candy Stripe' (Thrift, Creeping Phlox)
Zones 3-9 full to mostly sunny
Flowers early spring)
Did Ryan mix his own cake or just add to your dough.LOL
Congrats to AJ for doing so well at the track meet.

Sue thanks for showing Ivory Prince. I think that would be a good one for me to start with.
Mackenzie is cute and looks perfectly at home in that chair.

Deanne, nice shot of the dove. Yours look more brown than the ones we have here which are a light grey.
Nice score on the plants from the show. I do like Gay's Delight.

I wonder how well some of your cuttings would ship this far.

Ouch T, that had to hurt. Glad you are ok.
Good job on not droping DH.
We have done simalar dumb things. Dh is not afraid of heights but I certainly am.

After a very cold night it warmed up decent this afternoon. So I weeded until almost dark. DH cooked and cleaned up. I can live with that. He has a cold and didn't feel like being outside today.
I also cleaned up the patio area where I had pitched all the pots of things I had brought in for the winter and didn't make it.

I really need to start dividing some daylilys soon. And I want to move several things. So I hope I get done weeding soon.

I can still smell the lemon thyme on me from where I was weeding today. I love that smell.

Need to do some research , so will catch you all later. Norma

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 11:17PM
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Good morning! Couldn't sleep so am having a cup of coffee to soothe my sore throat and thinking of putting this Idyll tydll to bed so that we'll start Monday with a fresh one.

See you at the other one.......


    Bookmark   April 10, 2006 at 5:49AM
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