Idyll 262: Woodpecker---FREE to good home.

just_tApril 18, 2006


Woodpecker---male, in his prime, strong, capable, determined, industrious, crafty, hard worker, strives to make a nice home for his family,......... We can no longer keep him so wish to find him a good home...........far away from here. :o)

Please respond quickly, before my house falls apart.


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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well, it is cloudy and 52 degrees outside today but is supposed to turn into shorts and tank top weather later on; sunshine and up to 75 degrees. Today I have no appointments, no commitments and come heck or high water I'm going to work outside the entire day. WEll, I just have to water the plants in the basement, I cannot wait to get them outside. Soon! I have a Pretoria canna that is a bout four feet tall in the dark in Doug's shop. I think I get the message. That is going to come upstairs today cold or not.

I have another surprise for you guys but I've been waiting for it to open a couple flowers. I have this 'Berliner Kleene' dahlia that I just left in the pot from last year. Anyway it started really actively growing about six weeks ago so I threw it under the lights. It has buds and a couple huge flowers. I don't think I've ever had dahlia flowers in April before. Too cool! I'm going to grab a picture of it today for you guys.

Bug beautiful pics. ~~ Would you please tell me what you use to fertilize your clematis? Thanks.

Michelle, it sounds like you had a great day yesterday. I can't wait to see MacKenzie with all her garden gear. I've had to break out my 'Buzz Off' clothing because the black flies have made their annual appearance.

T, that woodpecker sounds like a real nasty problem. I found the below link with advice on how to deal with this. Also there is a whole thread on GW House Disaster's Forum on woodpecker damage

Best of luck with it. Sounds like they can be a real nuisance to get rid of.

Have a great day all,

Here is a link that might be useful: Preventing Woodpecker damage

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 7:02AM
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Hi guys.

Someone sent me this in an email, and I thought it was cute.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 8:34AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oh, how cute!

Much cuter than T's woodpecker. T, I'm sure that's a west coast woodie and he would be very unhappy here in the midwest.

I've felt very sluggish all week, both physically and mentally. I keep thinking we should be a bit busier at work and I'm just a tad worried that we're not busier. Or maybe it's just all that leftover emotion that was so bound up in worrying about DD and college, and now that emotion has nowhere to go? (Did that make any sense?) Oh well, stop rambling, V.!

'bug you hepaticas are lovely. I have *one* that is in bud and should bloom today. My marsh marigolds are budded, and one pasque flower is almost open.

Deanne, I hope all your medical tests come out okay.

T., we have problems with starlings at our house, and DH was going to try the same solution as your DH, but he was thwarted by a door that was too noisy when it opened. He tried leaving the door cracked open, but the only thing that happened then was that Mystic snuck out the door a couple of times.

Okay, I need to get cracking at work. I need to get up and move because I'm still yawning way too much.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 8:58AM
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Good morning!

Drema, that flower doggie is very cute. I love seeing your updates, your life sounds so busy with the wedding planning, new(ish) job, exercising and your real estate job. You are another of our Idyll super women! :o)

Deanne, thank you for the link to the forum....found out that Mr. Fudd cannot shoot the bird (protected species). I received a link a few days ago from 'bug & then one yesterday from Woody (I miss her!!). All the links tell pretty much the same story....they are persistant & determined to continue, but they can be deterred if you don't give up (before they do, lol). One thing suggested was a bobbing ball called Terror Eyes that bobs in the wind and it has eyes that move. Suppose to scare the bird off better than a plastic owl will (they soon figure out the owl isn't real). Price was $45 or $ I decided against that one. I did see the woodpecker while I was outside working last night, he lit on a step ladder I have set up by 'his' corner, looked at the foil windsock/chime that I hung up and then flew off to a nearby maple tree. He is a beautiful bird, his entire head is a bright red and his back is dark gray/or black with occasional white spots. Some pictures online have shown a wide band on their backs in a sort of wide 'v' shape, but I haven't seen that on this guy the few times I've actually gotten to view him. Gorgeous bird.......and protected. :oP I really don't wish him dead (except when he's activly decimating the house)..... but I'd sure love to rehome him. :o)

Well, I was told not to give up on getting a load of bark chips until this Friday. I've pretty much given up already. I will stop today, look at what is available at what price and order me up about 10 yards. I still need to finish & dress the new front bed plus I want to do curvy stuff in the backyard. I stood at my kitchen sink yesterday and thought how neat it would be to look out and see some color, texture, interesting plants against that back wall. So....the work will continue, soon.

'Bug, your photos were gorgeous! I loved Betty Corning, too. I remember reading that name before, but do not remember seeing a photo. Amazing how large it is/gets and you have such beautiful plants.

As I was pulling weeds and clearing around some plants, I noticed that my Sum & Substance is sticking out of the ground almost 2". It hasn't done well where it is (north side of the house, damp area, within 2' of the heat pump and in almost constant shade). I have another unnamed hosta nearby that is showing some new growth along with a rhododendron that doesn't look too happy. I've been scratching my head over what to do on that side of the house for a long time...I'll have to bite the bullet and take a isn't an attractive area at all and I could use some ideas.

Today I've an appointment with an oral surgeon (doesn't that sound scary & like it would hurt? lol It isn't and it won't). I'll then go over to my mother's and work alongside one of my daughters to help get mom's yard and orchard area mowed and back under control. The grass is just growing at an amazing rate --- I'll be in trouble here soon if I don't get on top of ours......DH will have to get out the tractor & brush hog if I don't.

Speaking of new tractors.......'Bug's new mower will be making an appearance soon, if it hasn't already. I'm still envious over that new machine.

Michelle, your new purchases for your garden shed sound wonderful. I'm eager to see the how it all turns out.

V, you doing okay?

Mary? are you & Nolon?

Sue, how is the hot tub project coming along?

Taryn, news on the house(s)?


Eden? Are you outside already? ;o)

Hello to everyone! (I need a coffee refill....)


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:02AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

T - such a vision of DH sitting to get that "varmint".... whew -- if he does, I guess we'll have to say it wasnt a woodpecker after all (I see from Deanne's link they're "protected") -- maybe that chickenwire idea might work til he finds a new home?

Deanne - Im sorry you've had some health issues pop op - you've been so good eating healthy though and havent been rash in the weight loss so hopefully it's another issue -- Im sorry to say as we age, we all seem to have more of these problems - some especially genetic that we can't seem to escape - I know I have that problem - and ultimately we can just try to be as "fit and healthy" as we can and the chips are still gonna fall where they may.... I can never decide if it's good to get all the tests done & out of the way at the same time of the year (but it consumes all that time) or space 'em out thruout - then you feel like you've got a "test" every month!! Enjoy some peace & "relaxation" in the garden today.

GB - I love those hepaticas - so gorgeous - wish I had some woodland space (unless I start planting in the public park woods behind my house -- now there's an idea....)

Michelle, Kenzie sounds like she's ready and willing to help out this year!!

Im greedy for another wonderful Spring day - 75 or so today in D.C. - even if I have to work - Im determined to take a walk at lunch today. Should be wonderful. It's amazing how my mood is so more uplifted when we have wonderful weather....

Drema - someone sent me that email w/ those mum animals too -- very creative, isnt it? Whew.

Hope it's good Spring weather for all today.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:11AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

T, love the tydll. Your woodpecker sounds like ones we have around here called Red Bellied. Don't ask my why they're called red bellied when it's their heads that are red. Beautiful birds...but I probably wouldn't think so if they were pecking holes in my house.

Tom ordered the hot tub last night. It takes 3-4 weeks for delivery. In the meantime we need to get an electrician, Tom needs to build the platform and I need to move the rest of the plants out of the way. I'm taking a half day off from work today and will hopefully get that done as well as a few other things.

Mackenzie is back at my house. She went to the vet yesterday for her shots and the vet told Denise (another one of our volunteers) that she was in heat. Well Denise is still fostering one of her "brothers" who isn't neutered so I got a call. Apparently she'll be in heat for about a month and then she can't be spayed for two months after that. Now you know why I usually don't get involved in fostering. The funniest part of this is that Nick is acting like a nut, happier than hell and he doesn't know why. He runs over to Zoe, sniffs her butt then kinda goes, "No, it's not you" and goes dancing over to Mackenzie...lolol. Pudge gets neutered on Tuesday so Mckenzie can go back to Denise after that if need be.

Gotta run...hi to everyone else!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:47AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

T, *spew material!*, lol, sans wood that would make a pretty good personal ad and I'd be tempted to answer it. ;) But, er, will pass on the bird. Maybe you need a new cat or two...

D cute flower pup! We have a tacky dollar store 'flowers in a vase' from my dusty rose phase back in the late 80's from our first appartment. Can't quite bring myself to declutter it after my sister pointed out that the blooms look like a doggie's face. It has been relegated to the garage though.

Drema, Wendy, Michelle and Cindy--many thanks for the nice comments on my video. Glad you enjoyed it. I think it's so cool that the technology exists for us to be able to share action as well as pics with such immediacy (3 minutes to upload) and for free. Picturetrail hasn't even announced anything like it to my knowledge, and Photobucket is not charging anything extra for videos. So that is $36.00 a year for unlimited photos and at this point videos too. Everyone else, no worries though, I won't be doing it again any time soon.

Deanne, yes it is fine, completely legal, to send houseplants across the border. They worry about soil though, so roots in damp paper towel and plastic would be best. I'd love a box of your plantlets, thank you! Will send some oxalis triagularis and maybe a couple of baby pregnant onions if you like. Not much else that you either don't have or that I've kept alive, though possibly a bit of white butterfly ginger if it's enough to split.

Sue, I'd love some Carmencita castor beans if you have extras. I have a neat unnamed one that is green with pink stems and veins, and deep purple-grey pods, and also the large green-grey one. Can send a few oxalis corms too if you wish to try it. No, they're not winter hardy but houseplant-killer proof if they survive the winter with me. I had some in a pot in the window which are blooming now, and the rest of the corms in a paper bag. Tough as nails, and they spread fast. Great in containers and also I like them as edging plants.

Re starting castors, they will rot if the nights are cold, learned that the hard way. I soak in very hot water until you hear them split open (metal or ceramic bowl works great), then plant and keep warm. Don't set them out until the nights are 50F. I usually do my hyancinth beans the same way, but noticed lots of pods near my lilac I didn't collect and wonder if they will self-sow. I thought they would probably freeze and rot, but maybe not. I know they don't take off until it's warm, so would do the same as with the castors.

Drema I hope you're right about selling soon, and congrats on selling another one! I had a showing yesterday and they were here an hour, but the phone hasn't rung yet with an offer. Still, we haven't put an offer in on the last house I linked either, though we are very interested. Offer is pending hearing the foundation report. I made a few calls last week and think we are going to be the featured home on the front page of the Homes section of the paper that comes out each Friday, in a few weeks. I hope the garden isn't past it's spring bulb and flowering shrub glory by then--everything is ahead this year. It should move things along though, generate some interest.

I'm loving this flylady stuff and am getting so organized!
My house is spotless and ready to show, my groceries are done (exactly what I need for the week, from a list yet!), and I know what's for supper tonight even though I haven't had breakfast yet (lemon garlic pork chops with veggies and salad for me, veggies and potatoes for the clan). Am trying out the low carb/add a side for the clan menus I mentioned earlier, and if they go over well will subscribe.

Though I must say I don't see where the HE-flys and WEE-flys do much of anything--it ALL seems to be left to the SHE-flys. Well, I'm buzzing a bit about that, and plan to drop a note to Flylady to find out when she plans for the rest of the household to participate, though in mine they already do. Not healthy for WEE-flys to grow up not knowing how to wash their favourite jeans or make anything more complicated than toast. They won't attract the best future SHE-flys if they're really slugs and not flys. And the HE-fly might die of remote-itis if I allow him too much tv time, again, not healthy. It's my job to keep everyone healthy. :) And, as the song goes, "I-I-I-I just want to Fly", but I have no aspirations to be a SUPER-FLY! So in my family we are learning to fly together. Okay, off the soapbox...

Rant aside, I am really, really enjoying and very grateful for my new-found energy and must drop GirlGroupGirl a note and let her know what a profound difference her naturopathic doctor friend in Toronto has made for me. The power of the internet to bring people together for good, and the power of herbs and vitamins as the ancients practiced for centuries to restore one's health. Amazing...

In weird garden news, I was stunned but thrilled to see my Salvia argenteas (2 plants) back for a fourth season after blooming the past two! Yes, this supposedly biennial plant I grew from Cynthia's seed originally came back to bloom again last year, and is back yet again. It seems to want to be a perennial here and I am happy to oblige. I grew a couple more last year so will leave one 4 year old and one 2nd year plant here and take one of each with me. Love those big fuzzy silver leaves! Wish my Seseli gummiferum decided to perenialize but no such luck. Too early for self-sown seedlings though, so I'm hoping it reappears.

On that note, breaky, workout, and shower are calling, then I'm going to play in the garden all day! It is going to be 75F and gorgeous and I'm going to move plants around, do some dividing, pressure wash the greenhouse windows to remove hard water stains, pot up a few more lovelies to take with me and generally putter and enjoy. Hope you all get some garden time too.

L8R folks,


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:53AM
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It is sunny now, but they do predict rain for later and tomorrow too.

Taryn, I did think the video was pretty cool, but I think my video camera is too old to connect to the computer or I dont know how. LOL Post a picture of your problem area. IÂm sure there will be some great ideas from the Idylls.
Thanks for the info on the castors. I read on the wintersowing forum that they can be wintersowed. Maybe IÂll have to bring them in and stick them under the lights.

T, although what heÂs doing isnÂt a bit funny, I did get a good laugh out of your "ad" for the woodpecker. We have crappy wood siding on our house, maybe I should take him and then we could get new siding. Hey, maybe insurance would pay.

Deanne, it sounds like your indoor plants are crying for spring. Enjoy your gardening day.

Drema, I love that little puppy. Someone is sure creative.

Have a great gardening day

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 11:28AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all.....I am still around. I just get rather overwhelmed by all the activities you all are involved in. :-(

I just don't manage to get much done. The weeds are taking over, and the 'lawn' needs mowing again. At the price of gasoline, I wish it wouldn't grow so vigorously!
My first clematis bloom is open > it is Asao. There were more, but something damaged them. Several other varieties will be open soon.
Thank goodness it has cooled down. Yesterday was 87F. Today is not supposed to get out of the 60s, but I think they are wrong with that is already 66. We are getting awfully dry again.

Teresa, I love your opening post, but I feel your pain. I hope you can find a solution.

Taryn, you have e-mail. I am rejoicing because all the agastache have sprouted that you sent me! I haven't tried to watch your video. From past experiences I know my connection is not able to bring on such sites.I'm sorry, for both myself and you.

Drema, that flower dog is so cute. Thanks for sharing.

V, I'm sorry you are feeling so draggy. I sure can empathize with that feeling!

Marie, I love the hepatica pics. I had one plant and it was doing fairly well...until I tried moving it to a 'better' location. It died. :-(

Deanne, what a bummer! I imagine you are feeling like I do...."what next?' . When I was your age is when my fibro was beginning to be at it's worse. My biggest physical problem now is the fatigue, and the equilibrium problem. Mentally, it is the cognitive and short term memory woes. The first is more tolerable than the latter. :-(
All I can advise is, "Hang in there...this too shall pass".

Hi to everyone else. I'm going to nurse this dorky headache that has hit me.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 11:43AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Wow oh wow, it is just stunning outside! Feels like June, not April. Between the weights and the yard work I'll be sore tomorrow. :)

Michelle I took that video with my digital camera, and just transferred it to my computer like I do with photos. My last three digicams have all had video capability, so figured it was pretty much standard now, though maybe not. I would have no idea how to transfer from my old Sony to the computer.

Problem area, hmmm, not moi who posted that. LOL, unless you want to count below the neck I don't have any. And you won't be getting pics or videos of that, lol!

Marian, sorry you are feeling badly. Feel better soon...No worries about the video, it would take forever with dial up. It was just a happy Easter message to show the new video capabilities of Photobucket, which I thought would be neat for IU3. I think I must have scared everyone that I'd be videotaping my posts instead of typing them out. Not bloody likely, lol!

Glad the Agastaches are sprouting. Neat thing about those is that now you have Blue Fortune from me, Golden Jubilee originally from Janie and Pink Pop originally from EP. Idyll A's in the garden...

Time to get the boys, then get the misters going in the greenhouse to cool off. Enjoy what's left of the day...


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 3:12PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Nice to see some posts from Taryn!

Cindy, I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed your spring photos. I looked at your album - it's always fun to see spring that's ahead of mine.

I finally decided that I was feeling so sluggish due to spring allergies. The maples are in full bloomright now and I'm pretty sure that's what set me off. Tomorrow I'll throw some sinus stuff in my bag.

I treated myself to a new book tonight - "Outside the Not-So-Big House". I couldn't pass it up because it's a beautiful book, the design ideas are wonderful and I was fortunate enough to have had dinner in one of the gardens featured in the book.

Now I just need an extra 10 hours a day to do all the reading I'd like to do...

Mystic just climbed into my lap, so i think i must go. Nitey-nite!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It seems we are all very busy with Spring these days. For me, the weather has been perfect for gardening, and LOTS got accomplished yesterday. The tree sprayer applied dormant oil to the fruit trees. My fiend Ann came and helped me prune the roses. Three of the David Austin ones were pitched. I guess I don't live in England! They really are 'iffy' here. It surprised me though because our winter and spring were very kind to most plants.
Then I tidied up the three island beds, seeded some spots in the grass where the snow plow scraped things badly, added soil to an area messed up by flooding, and then planted my new hellebores and a Morden Sunrise rose. Just a really good day it was. I hope to get more done in the shade gardens today.
This morning an electrician comes to repair a vent under the laundry room floor...and then all the work indoors will be officially over until next winter!
So why am I here at 5:30am and doing a maxi-blab? You guessed it...DH was snoring again. He is so busy and worried about many things these days that I just let him be. He needs all the rest he can get.
Well Deanne, I certainly hope the medical tests clear up things for you! It always seems that I go for a physical but that it is only the beginning of a long series of tests that spread themselves out over another two or three months. I guess that's why I try to do those things in winter, 'cause I hate chunks of garden time being taken from me.
I dropped in at a small nursery the other day and they were loaded with coleus plants that I haven't seen before. Imagine that they said they weren't for sale yet! Anyway, it gave me ideas for summer containers later on.
Yes, the riding mower arrived yesterday. I practiced using it a bit last night but the manual is still on order and I need it! I can't seem to keep the height adjustment mechanism in place. This will work itself out soon.
I hope everyone is busy-happy.
Enjoy your garden!



    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 5:53AM
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Good Morning, Looks like another perfect gardening day. I keep waiting for a cold or rainy day so I can get some inside work done and it's just not happening. The house is a pit but the garden's looking good, lol. I have most of the cleanup done and will start planting and moving things around this weekend. What a great spring it's been! Things are still appearing daily. Yesterday I spotted the double bloodroot that a gardening friend gave me last year. I thought I had lost it so it was a welcome sight. I hoiked a few things yesterday, a Mr. Lincoln rose, an old potentilla shrub, penstemon husker red and carex ice dance. I just couldn't convince myself that I liked that grass. It was too coarse and seemed to crawl away from it's spot in the garden. It always looked messy and unkempt to me. I'm finding it easier this year to yank out plants that don't suit me to make room for new and better ones. My canna order from Karchesky arrived yesterday and I potted them up. I still have another order from Brent and Beckys and I really need to get going on potting up my dahlias too. I've spring sown alot of annuals using the wintersowing method this year and was thinking of doing my hyacinth beans and castor beans that way too. While on the subject of the ricinus, I've never had to soak them to get them to germinate. They are usually up within days under the lights and grow on like gangbusters. Well, that's about it for whats been going on around here. Between the garden and having Bella 3 or 4 days a week time is flying by. I've been meaning to post in the evenings for the last few but am so tired when I get inside that I don't have the energy to think let alone type.

Deanne, sure hope all of the tests come out ok. I know from past experience it's no fun, especially at this time of year.

Drema, what a cute flower arrangement!

Taryn, glad you're feeling great and getting so organized.

Michelle, can't wait to see all your new purchases in the new potting shed. Sounds like Kenzie's ready and willing to be grandma's helper in the garden this year.

Marie, I'm so glad you're having a great spring. Your posts are so upbeat and full of energy. Can't wait to see some of those new coleus you've discovered in container gardens. Great news that the new mower has arrived.

Cindy, I really enjoyed going through your garden pictures. Just beautiful!

Sue, I'm seeing some green shoots on my m. basjoo now too! I'm wondering if anything will shoot up from the original stalk though, so far nothing there.

V, your book sounds interesting. Hope your allergies leave you in peace today.

T, I can't believe how much trouble that woodpecker is giving you. And you're adding even more curvy beds? See how it is once you get started, lol.

Marian, sorry you're not feeling well again. I hope things improve.

I've got to get started around here. I've got Bella today and would like to get the back fenceline tidied up a bit. The neighbors grass (and weeds) like to start creeping through back there if I give them a chance. Dishes and laundry are on the list too so it's going to be another busy day. Hope you all have a great day. TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 7:55AM
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Good Morning!

It is a lovely day outside. Sunny and crisp. I have had a couple of really great days here. Last night one of my sons took me to dinner at a really cool restaurant, run by some of his friends. He goes there all the time, and so I got off the train at an earlier stop. Neat atmosphere, and fun to meet his friends. Very artsy. Then when got home, I had a treat waiting. In my foyer were Honey's absolutely fantastic bows for the church pews. She also sent me a liner for my car trunk, since she and I had/have the same car, but hers got crunched. Thank you so much! Turned out, my other son was up in her neck of the woods, and he picked them up for me....I mentioned to you guys that I ordered the Dahlias, thinking that feed my need to buy plants. Well, I think it just opened the floodgates, because yesterday I couldn't help it, I ordered lilies from Fogbelt. I got an Elegans (loved it at Deanne's last summer, and have been thinking about it ever since), and one called Set Point. I am going to try to get it to bloom early, because the colors are perfect for the bridesmaid dresses. It is white, edged in cherry red. Then, tommorrow, if it doesn't rain I am going to get dirt and mulch, and plant my seeds outside on Saturday. Can't wait.

T- hope the woodpecker goes away. You know you said that I do so much, but I really don't. My house is a wreck, my gardens are full of weeds..Dishes are in the sink...

Gardenbug... I LOVE the Hepatica. Wow, another one for the list.. Speaking of which... you mentioned Golden Seal. You know I have been trying to find that ever since we went to Michigan and saw it in the hosta garden we went to. I found a place to buy it from, and from your experience, how fast, and far does it spread? I just wondered how many I should get, because this guy is 2 hours away from me, and he doesn't ship. I am making a list, and going down there for one trip next month. By the way, the Petisites I got at the variagated nursery is going nuts! And it is under a black walnut. I can see how it could take over.

That's about it from me. Hope you all have sunny days!


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 8:51AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad fog on the drive to work today. At one point, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was going to hit someone and I really slowed down. At the next intersection, there was a truck stopped to make a left turn; he had yellow taillights that were very hard to see in the fog. Had I not slowed down so much...

I had two deer in the yard this morning. Mystic spotted the first, and the silly boy was jumping so high in front of the french door that I thought he would hit his head on the ceiling! The second was a little ways behind, and I spotted her when I went out to the car. So it was time to call on the crazy lady, who made an appearance in fine form, yelling, waving her arms and racing across the yard. The deer took off for quieter realms. Da** it, those tulips are almost blooming and I want to see them this year!

I'm trying to decide if I should change the photo on my computer background. Right now it's a picture from my controlled burn and the photo bothers an annoying coworker. But 'bug's hepatica is awfully tempting...

Saturday we have scheduled another workday for the morning. My agenda is to have a couple of the guys help me pull the hepatica from the woods (we yanked a bunch last year and really made a dent in it) and then clear the last straggling honeysuckle and buckthorn in that area. I'm hoping that I can then get an hour or so weeding in the house beds as well - they need it!

Hey T., one of the ads at the bottom of the page offers a woodpecker birdhouse. Do you need one?

In fact, we could have an idyll contest here. The part of the ad that is shown says, "Downy woodpeckers will often use these boxes both for nesting and to escape..."

Complete the sentence as you see fit!


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 9:04AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

One way you know you have too many can create a whole new garden without going to the nursery. Yesterday afternoon I did just, like I need another garden to take care of. Anyway I had sort of an unsightly area on the far side of my driveway in front of a low stone wall I built. Last year I cleaned it up a little for IU2 with some mulch. Once the oak tree leafs out it's pretty much all shade. Well on the east side of my house I had a bunch of shade plants that have been burning up since we took the hemlock out a few years ago. I wanted to move them last year but never got around to it. Sooooo, using some of the soil Tom dug out of the new hot tub area, I built up the new bed, removed any stray weedy grass and moved a bunch of plants. Voila! Instant garden. Now I have room on the east side for stuff that would appreciate a bit more sun. I needed Tom and a wheelbarrow to move one of the hostas. Eeesh, I've got some monsters out there. The plant shuffling continues...

Eden, my Musa basjoo is growing from the 18" or so of one of the stems left from last year. If this warm weather keeps up I should have a leaf in a few days. I have to keep my eye on the weather though because any frost at all will probably do it in. In that same bed I have a Salvia guaranitica 'Argentine Skies' that seems to be running by underground shoots. I looked it up on line and found out it can act somewhat like a stoloniferous plant. It needs to be moved though so I guess I should mosey over to the Salvia forum and see what would be the best way to do it. Oddly enough the Leycesteria formosa 'Golden Lanterns' I have planted in front of the Musa appears to be dead. People on the shrub forum are telling me it's late to sprout-we'll see. Last week I tossed a crepe myrtle in there to maintain the zone pushing theme.

V, I just printed a list of deer resistant plants off for my boss. He said he saw about 15 of them in his yard the other morning. He lives on the shoreline where deer are overunning residential neighborhoods. He enjoys putzing in the yard but gets discouraged because the deer eat everything.

Marie, I have one little Hepatica and it's blooming now. Are these easy to move? It will soon be smothered by a hosta.

I guess I need to get off my fanny and start potting canna tubers and starting whatever seeds I want. The cannas are sprouting out of their bags in the dark downstairs. Taryn, I only have, I think 10 of those Carmencita seeds and they are over a year old. Will they all germinate? I only need a couple of plants. If I keep 5 and send you 5 will we both get plants?

OK, time to hunker down and get some work done. Tomorrow I'm taking another half day.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 9:43AM
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Hi everyone

Enjoying the most gorgeous Spring weather I can remember here. My back/hip is still twinging but seems a little better every day. It is just so hard resisiting the urge to dig!

We've been outside every moment we can so my computer time has dwindled to nothing. Many wild flowers are out in the woods and the banks by the creek covered in wild ramps. The children eat them by the handfull!

Yesterday I came across the most enormous warty toad in my bed of thyme. He was fantastic! We put him in the pond where he basked half in, half out of the water for the entire day.

Deanne and Sue - if you are still up for a visit at the end of April it would be fab. It would be very much take us as you find us! The garden will be far from perfect (and even at its best is not a showcase), the house looks as though a messy family lives there, but it would so much fun to see you.

Taryn - I loved the video. How cool it will be to make one this summer.

T - great tydll for such a pesky bird!!

Hi V, GB, Sue, Michelle, Cindy, Marian, Babs, Wendy , Martie, Drema, Eden, Honey, and anyone I'm missing. Just wanted to call out hello!

I need to scoot as a friend is coming over for a wild flower walk adn the sun is shining.

See you all later, hopefully with some pictures


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 9:54AM
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Im jealous of you all that have been having such great weather. It has been rainy, cold and windy here since Sunday. It looks like sunshine and warmer temps for the weekend which makes me smile. Since it was nasty yesterday, I pushed and got the whole guest room painted. Now just to move the furniture back into both rooms then that will be it for indoor projects.

Taryn, how funny about the video. My camera has that option too but I never think to use it.

Mary, good to hear that the back is getting better.

V, its good to hear that you are a cautious driver. Fog can be nasty and I cant believe the people that drive in it without their headlights on.
Those who pot up their dahlias and cannas, do you put them under lights? I have quite a few that Ive collected and now what??? The few that I have grown in the past, I just planted out when the weather was warm enough. How about calidums, do you pot them up?

Eden, what kind of help do you see Kenzie being? LOL I too have a few ws containers sitting on my patio and still have more seeds to sow. The coleus that I grew from seed are under lights along with all the various cuttings.

Marie, Id like to see a picture of your new mower. I get excited over new garden equipment. How big is the deck? I plan all the garden paths according to the size of our mower deck.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 11:50AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yikes! I had a major brain cramp in my last post.

I will be yanking HESPERIS (Dame's rocket) from the woods, not hepatica!



    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 12:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

V, I am SO glad you cleared that up ! :-)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 2:25PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Me too - I was gonna ask for a garbage bag to be sent to me (of the hepaticas).... hmm, hesperis I can do without, thanks.\

Michelle, - I think the East Coast will soon be sharing your bad weather -- it sounds like a rainy gardening weekend here (gosh, I guess that means I get one of Honey's bad days to clean my own house "pit" - blech). I still haven't done anything about the dahlias I bought either - maybe I can try to pot them up this weekend in rain or not...

In the meantime, it's about 80 or higher here -- a tad too warm for me, but still nice for the walk I took at lunch.

Sue, it sounds like you and Tom worked like demons - a whole new garden in a day - wow!!! Such opportunities to have a new sun area too, now -- maybe you can put some more of the Salvia Argentine blue there? I love the Black & Blue (it's been coming back for me in one proteted area) -- I just wish the agastache tutti fruitti or others like that would return as well - Im lucky if I get 1 plant to over winter (probably too heavy clay, wet soil in winter..). Even though I add compost, it seems that so much soil when there's no rain just turns hard, hard, hard... I really need to shuffle some plants but may only get the opportunity (if lucky) on Sunday if the weather improves.

D- sounds like you got some nice lilies from Fogbelt - I hope they bloom right on time for you and the big event!

Okay, gotta get back to woik.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 2:41PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

(image courtesy of and Walter Lantz)

T, is this the culprit? Sorry, couldn't resist. I keep hearing his idiotic laugh when I look at your tydll. Seriously, I hope you can get rid of him soon. I have an island bed that is in the middle of my backyard. I didn't make it, but is is a perfect view from the kitchen sink - I think the former gardener intended it that way. Hosta 'Sum & Substance' is one of the more sun-loving hosta, probably would be happier in a brighter spot.

Taryn, I agree that the rest of the household has to participate. I refuse to "do it all" - I expect DH and the kids to help, which they do most of the time. I will not let my son (or daughter) grow up thinking that Mom is a servant - they are learning to take care of themselves.

'Bug, your hepatica pics are gorgeous. V, I gasped when you mentioned having the guys pull hepatica out of your woods - glad you made the correction!

I don't see the ads, but it is creepy the way they follow the conversation...

Sue, how cool you were able to make a new garden with your own plants. I have a few hosta like that to tackle soon, too many in one area and they are taking over. Martie, are you there? Do you need any hosta??

Well, have to run. Happy gardening all! I have to work tomorrow, but I'll be ducking out early to meet Sue and Deanne - yea!


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 7:40PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Wendy I have a whole area that has been a hosta "holding" garden now for a couple of years. None of the hostas I moved yesterday was from that Unfortunately I've lost track of the names with the moves. One of these days I'll have to print off the list I have and go around and try to identify everything. I have two 'Sum and Substance' and both are monsters-5-6' across. Now is the time to move them-once they leaf out forget about it. I'm getting out at noon tomorrow and will head up Deanne's around 2:30. Too bad you're going to miss dinner.

My Brent & Becky's order arrived today. I was able to get a red abyssinian banana from them for $10. It's a decent size, not huge but if it grows as fast as the one I had last year it will be good sized in no time. This year I'll give it some afternoon shade and hope it doesn't burn as much. It's supposed to rain Saturday so I've earmarked the day to pot canna and dahlia tubers. As much as I don't want rain on the weekends we really need the moisture. Drought in April is not normal. With all the plants I've been moving I'd like to see more regular rain.

Lately I feel like I'm losing control of everything-maybe I need that flylady. Can she add more hours to the day?

Cindy, no Salvia in the newly opened area. It's mostly morning sun and very seasonal-too much for hostas and ferns but great for stuff like perennial geraniums. Sun lovers that bloom in late summer and fall generally don't do well. Salvia 'Black & Blue' has never overwintered for me. Luckily most of the greenhouses around here carry it in 4" pots every spring for 3 or 4 bucks so I just buy a bunch every year and treat it as an annual.

Mary, we're still planning to come and see you on the 30th. Tom is even planning to join us. Hopefully the weather will hold out that day so Doug can fly.

It was beautiful here today-mid 70s. My new crepe myrtle is starting to leaf out. The weekend we're supposed to be in the 50s F. I still have a couple of woody plants to move so rain and 50s should be perfect.

OK, time for bed. Mackenzie is snoring on the other chair. She's been passing the stranger test with flying colors. Today I brought a co-worker home at noon and my neighbor and her kids were over again tonight-no growling or slinking. Hopefully this means her forever home will be in Rhode Island with two little girls, 8 and 12 and a 4 year old Irish Terrier dog brother. She's too cute and deserves a nice home. Much to Tom's dismay too many people are saying that home should be


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 9:52PM
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Thanks for the pecker offer,T. I've got quite enough of those here though...yeah I can't believe I said that either; )

I've just been so busy I haven't been in idyll mode. It's AJ's spring break so Chris took off too and we've been on the go. Yesterday we took our annual pilgrimage to the Mertensia hill. They are only just beginning to bloom so I will have to go back. Picnicked at the tadpole ponds,flew a pocket kite and been bumming around in the garden. I've naturally done something to my hip-most likely it's sciatica and I'm trying to take it easy but you know how that goes.

The weather has been phenominal! I've got the hummer feeders up and the screened porch scrubbed down. Michelle I am sorry you are stuck with nasty weather...I do wish we'd get your rain though-the plants are looking saggy here. The warm temps have done in the Star Mag blooms and now the Serviceberry is beginning its show.

Sorry this is another quickie: )Hi everybody!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 9:54PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

What a night last night. I apparently caught some nasty bug at the doctors office on Tuesday and Ive been down for the count since I woke up at 4:00AM. Im a bit better tonight so Im hoping this was just a 24 hour thing. Doug keeps telling me to stay away from the doctors office because they make you sick. LOL

I dont have a lot of time here but wanted to take a minute and post the pic of the Berliner Kleene dahlia. I can't get over this is blooming like this under lights. What a hoot.

And look at this beauty. Brunnera Jack Frost. Thanks Sue!!!! This was a division from Sues beautiful plant last spring. Im in love with this plant.

Look at the trellis the brilliant Douglas whipped up for me!!! Is this fantastic or what? I just love it and he is going to make me another one for the east side of the house.

Sue, oh dear it seems that McKenzie has moved in lock stock and barrel. LOL ~~ The good news is that Wendy is going to be able to join us for dinner tomorrow night. Im so looking forward to seeing you and Wendy tomorrow night. I got your plants all put together in one spot and they are ready to go home with you tomorrow. ~~ Sounds like youve gotten a lot done lately.

Mary, we are still planning on coming the last Sunday of the month. Cant wait to see you.

Drema sounds those lilies are going to be perfect. I hope they bloom on schedule for you.

Eden, my house has passed the pit stage and has arrived at the sty stage. Im glad Im not entertaining Sue and Wendy in the house tomorrow night.

Bug, gorgeous pics!

Taryn, Ill try to get those plants to you. Im going to have to start some new cuttings because I dont think the coleus that are potted up will do well with rinsing the soil off and then stuck in an box to go snail mail. Ill let you know when they are ready to go.

Hi everyone else, Im turning into a pumpkin and have to get to bed. Ill try to check in after the lecture tomorrow night.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 10:34PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Not much more to add here. Deanne and Wendy, I'll see you both later on this afternoon.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 8:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just collected a plant order at the post office from a nusery in British Columbia. Really nice plants that I must find homes for today!

Michelle, I don't have the brochure handy, but I think it is a 48" deck on the new mower. It is just slightly wider than the previous one, which is a pain as you know, because it can't mow in the veg garden where there were grass paths and the other paths on the property are trickier to deal with now. I am still learning how to drive it, everything being a bit different. I go SLOWLY!

The groundhogs have returned and are already road kill in the area. This morning a raccoon greeted me on the front porch.:-(

Cloudy with rain predicted, so I'd best get outdoor things accomplished fast.

I sure wish I was going out to dinner with you gals tonight!!!! Report back on the evening's events, OK?


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 9:10AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Dinner with Deanne, Wendy and Sue would certainly be a treat! I do get my own dinner out tonight; we are attending a benefit dinner for the local "free clinic". Last year we had a ton of fun - well, really a half-ton, because this was where we bought the half-ton of horse manure. I've heard they don't have any good s*** this year, though... But it will be a fun evening with good friends and we'll definitely find something to spend some money on to support a good cause.

Deanne, dahling, your dahlia is delish! And Doug's handiwork is fabu-fabu!

Sue, this week deserves an additional TGIF - it's been a loooooong week here.

Babs, how nice that you have spring break when the weather is actually nice enough to do things outside!

Cindy, sorry I won't be sending you a garbage bag full of hepatica! I still can't believe I did that. I have only one tiny little hepatica in a pot, and it's actually putting out lots and lots of flowers this year. Anyone know anything about growing hepatica from seed?

I'm anxious to get up to the front woods tomorrow, not just to work but to see what may be coming up there. The trillium should be pushing up by now. We're hosting a walk for a local conservation group in mid-May, and I'm hoping the trillium will still be blooming then. The tour isn't listed on their website, but I'll put the link below. There's some interesting reading there.

It's way too nice to be sitting inside at a desk today, but we don't get days off this time of year :(

Have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 10:34AM
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Good morning

Another glorious spring one here, though we might have showers by the end of the day.

One of my woodland favorites:

Our warty visitor:

Have a great Friday everyone


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Just a couple more - for V!

(At least I think its Hepatica?)

The children fording the creek to reach the ramps on the far side. They called it "Ramp Paradise" and sat and ate handfulls of them.

They also swam and had a mud fight. It must have been chilly in the water - our pool is reading 44F and while the creek must be warmer, I'm not sure it was by much. Brrrrrr.... Cloussea was delighted to have swimming companions!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 10:49AM
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A wet, cold evening so I spent it in the shed. You all probably wonder how I can spend so much time cleaning this silly shed. I cant begin to tell you how much was in there. I spent some time sweeping down the ceiling and walls. Theres an accumulation of 60-70 years of cobwebs. It is a dirty job. I did take some "before" pictures.
It sounds like our weather is shaping up. The sun is supposed to be out by afternoon and we arent supposed to have so much wind. Mid 70s for the weekend. We actually havent gotten that much accumulation of rain this week, so I might be able to work in the garden.

Marie, the good thing about a bigger deck is how much faster you get done mowing and back in the garden.

V, ½ ton of manure sounds like an interesting auction item. Id buy though.

Deanne, I almost cried when I saw your Jack Frost. I havent seen any sign of the 5 I planted last summer. Although, I believe that Marie mentioned that hers is slow to emerge. I had bought one last spring and then got 2 big pots on clearance sale that I divided, but I was so pleased with the pretty foliage. Even when we had the late season hail, I cut them back and they put out all these new leaves. I know you are ahead of me here. My hostas are just peeking out of the ground and the golden tiara you sent is unfurling its leaves. I just had to mention how cool that is that your dahlia is blooming. That trellis that Doug made is fabulous.
What a sweetie.

Sue, its good to hear that MacKenzie is coming out of her shell and handling new people well. She is adorable and deserves a good home.

Babs, take care of yourself. Sue and I have both had bad bouts with sciatica and you dont want to go there. See a Dr. if it doesnt get better pretty soon.

Mary, that is one ugly visitor. He is definitely different than the toads we have here. Its nice to see kids having fun that doesnt involve TV or video games.

How fun that Sue, Deanne and Wendy are having an Idyll get together.

Have a fabulous Friday


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 11:31AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Good'ay mates! I have an Australian seed trade in the works and have down under lingo on the brain...

Marie I forgot to mention how pretty your Hepatica blooms are. I too was scratching my head wondering why V would want to yank them all out until she corrected her plant latin, lol!

Deanne, don't go to any special trouble please--I'll be very happy with whatever babies you have already rooted and needing a home. Do you think coleus cuttings (without roots) would be fine in moist paper towel until they got here? They root so easily, I can always do that here. Love your new trellis, and gorgeous dahlia! I always just put them right in the ground, but I also always ran out of room under the lights. Hope you, Sue and Wendy have a blast later...

Sue, re castor beans, I have had great germ rates, probably 90% if I didn't let them get cold and rot, and after soaking in hot H20 'til they split. But since I don't even know what garden they would be growing in, why don't you just save me some for next year? Or at least, start yours first and send me a few seeds (3 would be plenty) after you have viable plants. Do you want to try the other castors? Or just the oxalis?

Mary, great pics! Love Mr. Warts and the children ramp-picking. I had to look up ramps, as the only ones I'm used to are the ones my guys skateboard off of, lol, definitely NOT edible! Link below for other's not in the ramp circle about what they are and how to prepare them to eat.

Wendy, I heard back from flylady re the rest of the family participating. Nothing of substance though. More like, "now that they know that this time *you're* SERIOUS about keeping everything clean and tidy you need to talk about having them help KEEP things that way". Not exactly what I had in mind. I think the kid's evening routines are even MORE important than mine for keeping things running smoothly around here, especially in the morning. Homework is done, planners and school forms are signed, lunches are made (by them) the night before. Bath night is every other night. They know in the morning they need to 1) eat breakfast 2) pack their lunch & planner in their backpacks 3) change their clothes before they can read or watch TV. Glenn too makes sure leftovers for his lunch are in tupperware right at supper time (before the kids eat them, lol!) and the coffee maker is set up for one quick one in the morning, amongst many other household chores he does around here. I don't get why flylady doesn't have kid and DH routines set up. I sure do!

Sue et al it has definitely taken the panic of trying to keep up with everything away though. KEEPING things tidy and clean is so much easier than letting them go then getting them back to spec again. And so far the saving meals have been a hit too. Chicken Dianne with garlicky mushroom sauce yesterday was divine, and I'm making crock pot Tex Mex stew to have with tortillas tonight. 20 minutes of prep and 8 hours of slow cooking while I do other stuff is my kind of cooking!

Hi Babs! Hehehe, I've got quite enough here too...More Mertensia pics please!

Where the heck is everyone? Julie hasn't checked in for ever, Jane, Yeona, Barb, Da, Brenda? I've been in touch with Janie privately and know she isn't getting online as much now that she's on straight days (but is loving days!). I hope Brenda is just busy with the farm and her mom and sis are okay. Yeona's sis too. Please check in you guys, if only briefly...

End of an era here soon. We are selling Christine TTTFH (the tent trailer from h*ll for the newbies) on Ebay. Of course I didn't list it in quite those words, lol! Listed it last night at 8:35PM to run for a 10 day auction and already have 7 watchers and 450 hits! 'Tis a good time to sell a tent-trailer, even if it is circa 1974. We are moving up (????) to a 1969 Glendale hardtop we found for cheap and which won't need putting up and down, and can store kid's bikes, etc while we're on the road. I'm hoping the sale of Christine will essentially cover the purchase of the hardtop. Maybe I should put our house on Ebay???

In other unsettling news, without getting political, things are getting ugly between police and native protesters in Caledonia, Ontario. Google for info if you like, it's national news here. IMHO the police were way out of line, but that is neither here nor there. What is most troubling to me is that Caledonia is about 25 minutes from the house we are looking at buying (if the water issues are fixable), which is very close to the reserve. While I don't have any reservations about the Reservation per se, I would be worried about getting caught in the crossfire when incidents like this happen, though they are rare. Food for thought...

Well our weather sounds like Mary's, partly sunny but calling for thundershowers later, and rain all weekend. On that note I'm going to overseed the lawn in the back yard now, and move a few plants around before the deluge hits.

Happy Friday all!


Bye bye Christine! Here she is all decked out for Xmas the last time we camped in her, August 2005:

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 12:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well I've planted the new arrivals in their homes and also potted up baby hellebores for a friend. I received a white baptisia and still need to decide on its permanent home.

I expected rain this morning, but so far, nothing. Tomorrow DH takes an exam and Sunday he has a meeting. This means I'll be without wheels all weekend. On the bright side, since I can't grocery shop....out to dinner I'll have to go! Mary, I believe your "hepatica" is in fact a bloodroot. Hard to tell from the photo though. Hepatica flowers are about 1/2" across and bloodroot blooms more like 3 inches across...if that helps!

This really is the most amazing spring! Every day something new popping up and plants doing what they should! I have a Forsythia Kumson in bloom, Abeliophyllum blooming in pale pale pink, Corylopsis ready to pop, and so on. Lots of violets in the lawn too. Now that the snowdrops have finished, I am feeling the days of spring passing though...

For V:

A very happy weekend to all,

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 1:43PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

'bug, I suspicioned that Mary's hepatica was a sanguinaria also, but after my last hepatica boo-boo I didn't want to be the first to say something! I noticed that it appears that the flower stem is rising from between two upright leaves, which is the habit of sanguinaria. My hepatica foliage looks more like a little mound of leaves.

What two words are better than TGIF this time of year? "Plant giveway"!!! I can't wait for the end of the day - the potential for mucho cool plants awaits! I'll try and post the results sometime tomorrow.

V. (suffering from plant lust at the moment)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 3:00PM
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:oD On the Woody the Woodpecker gif. I've been thinking this is one of his offspring......same attitude as the Woody Woodpecker I remember as a kid. He was working on the downspout at the opposite end of the house this morning. I went outside twice before seeing his little red head peeking around the corner. Yep, another Woodpecker raspberry at the homeowner. No wood drilled away at that end of the house, but he is still around and being a pest.

Lovely photos being shared. I don't have much color happening here. Daffodils have pretty much finished, tulips are winding down and the rhododendrens are starting to bloom. No woodchips arrived and this was the last day, so I guess I'll phone next week to order some to be delivered.

It was a lovely day here. About 55 degrees, a little wind but otherwise nice. Tomorrow is expected to be in the mid 60's and Sunday all the way up into the low 70's. Wooo Hooo! Doesn't touch the 80 degrees some of you have already experienced (thankfully) but this is just fine with us webfooted west coast folks.

Hope everyone gets lots of time in their gardens this weekend......


    Bookmark   April 21, 2006 at 11:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Goodness! FOUR sponsors for woodpecker damage control at the bottom of my page!

Well I think it must have been a late evening for the ladies. I was expecting a nice long read this morning, but will need to wait.

Last night a nursery I know of was open until 8pm so I managed a quick trip there. Came home with 2 roses. ;-)
This morning I ran off to the dump and snuck in a quick race through the nearby nursery. Things look pretty grim there except for the pansies. I did manage to come home with two neat primulas though. I'll try to photograph them later.

Well it is rainy outside today, so I fear I'll finally have to wash the kitchen floor. But there are some roses waiting to be planted! I wonder if I can fit in both jobs? Going out to dinner tonight, so I need to prepare for that as well.

So V, did you get any freebie plants???


    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 12:10PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Just a quickie-I'm in for lunch and trying to get as much garden time in today as I can before the "up to 3" of rain" starts. We desperately need the rain but why can't it rain during the week?

We had a great time at dinner and the lecture last night. Deanne won the door prize raffle-an autographed copy of Dan Hinkley's book. I didn't get home til 11 PM and after the round trip 4 hours of driving I was beat. Dan, as you might expect, is an entertaining speaker.

OK, gotta run-more later.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 1:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

As promised, the 2 new primula pictures:

Tie Dye:


Way to go Deanne! Congratulations on the neat door prize.

PS: Deanne, you asked about clematis fertilizer. I use whatever is around that is low in nitrogen: Tomato food, rose food. I also can buy clematis fertilizer here.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 3:32PM
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Just a quickie here. 69 degrees, sunshine and no wind. I'm in paradise. This a.m. I got up early to go to a country nursery that is closing its retail portion. They also install and maintain gardens in the resort area that we have here. Anyway, I'm sad to see it close. Perennials were 40% off, shrubs 30% and garden art etc. 20%. I got some good stuff. A neat obelisk that I planted my Arabella on. Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold', Paeonia 'Kinkaku', some nice huecheralla and tiarellas. H. 'Amber Waves' and more. What a fun day.
All the gardens except the butterfly garden are cleaned. Some of the garden furniture has made its way out too. It's just so hard to know what to do first.
On Easter DD and my mom both asked me to design a garden for them. I've been thinking I should start dividing perennials for that. Sheesh they won't even need to buy anything. Well, I think I'll go sit on a bench and drink my Dr. P.

Happy gardening

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 5:17PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Saturday! It's been a great spring day, but I keep changing clothes every 15 minutes - when the sun is shining it's tee shirt temps, but when the clouds come in and the wind blows, you need a sweatshirt.

The plant give away was too much fun! I got 3 Coreopsis Creme Brulee, 3 Coreopsis Heaven's Gate, a Heliopsis Summer Nights, an enormo 3 gallon Echinacea Razzmatazz, a Heuchera Lime Rickey, a Heuchera Cinnarbar Swirl, a Heucehra Color World (I'm a heuchera slut, LOL!), a Tiarella Mint Chocolate, a Geranium Jolly Bee, a yellow Dicentra, and 2 Geranium Dusky Rose in large pots. That one's not hardy here, so I'll plop them in containers and try to overwinter them in the garage.

Gotta run, but I have to share about the fundraiser we went to last night. We had a wonderful time and I got a fun garden basket to boot. More later!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 5:31PM
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Evening all, We had another beautiful day here again. I just can't seem to get anything done inside but that's ok. Brad and I went and picked up my roses from Great Lakes Roses this morning, about a 2 hr round trip. I got a pink knockout and souvenir de la malmaison. Now I just need to figure out where oh where to put them. I have all of the gardens cleaned up now and am ready to start the plants on wheels routine. I'd like to get everything moved around before it's time to start dealing with the tropicals and container gardens. It's raining lightly here now so I'm thinking maybe I should clean up the kitchen this evening before it's condemned. Sounds like everyone's been out plant shopping today. It's been fun reading about all of your plant purchases. Sue, I picked a corylus avellana red majestic this afternoon. I'm thinking of going back tomorrow for the yellow twigged dogwood I saw a couple of weeks ago. I'll use it to replace an old variegated red twig that I don't like the shape of that needs to go. Shrubs and small trees are what I seem to be gravitating toward this year instead of perennials. That's not necessarily a good thing in my small garden though. The restaurant where Megan and David work wants me to design a small garden out front and have it done before Mother's Day. It would be fun but I'm not sure I have the time so I haven't committed to it yet. I wish there were more hours in the day at this time of year. I've also decided a want to eliminate all of the plant id tags throughout the garden and keep a diagram of the garden instead. Nothing fancy, just something that will let me know what's where. So that's another project. Hope you all had a great gardening day too. I think I'll crack open a bottle of chardonnay to help me through the kitchen clean up so have a nice evening everybody and see you tomorrow.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 7:40PM
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A couple of things I forgot to mention earlier...

Deanne, I just love your new trellis. Doug did a fantastic job. I also loved looking at the bed it's in with the topiaries and the brugmansia you have out also. Just beautiful!

And guess what? The begonias I took the leaf cuttings of have sprouted tiny new leaves at the base. It looks like they all took. What a very cool way to propagate a plant! I've got a few more varieties rooting in water now too. Now that I know the leaf cuttings method works for me, I'm going to start some others. So Deanne, I'll let you know what I've got when I get them all growing and you can choose what you want. I haven't forgotten. I have to warn you though, they're like the coleus, quite addictive, lol.

OK that's it from me. It's starting to thunder and lightning here. So G'nite. Eden

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 9:32PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Morning all! Chilly, gray day here, but we had some much-needed rain, and should get more later.

Had a great time Friday night - a wonderful dinner, and an informative lecture. Dan Hinkley spoke about "Plant Marriages; Combining Foliage, Form and Flower". He stated that "foliage is primary", and showed how a bold leaf can anchor a plant combination. He actually had slides that were digitally altered to show combinations with the bold-leaved plant, and without. The differences were striking! He used things like phormium and agave as exclamation points in borders. Some great ideas there.

Deanne, I have to tell you how pleased I am with the plants you gave me. A lovely selection of coleus, and many fuchsia too. I had to google some of the fuchsia, I had never heard of them. I am having fun deciding where to put them all, and with what companions. I have them under lights in the basement now, but I think I'll start bringing the fuchsia and abutilon out next week when things warm up a bit.

V, sounds like you got some nice plants. I am a heuchera slut too, and I now need to go find out what 'Cinnabar Swirl' looks like! I bought H. Marmalade and H. Key Lime Pie so far this year, and 'Peach Melba', 'Creme Brulee' and 'Venus', which I had in containers last year, all seem to have survived for me. Still deciding whether to use them in containers this year, or put them in the ground.

'Bug, that burgandy-leaved primrose is stunning!

Taryn, I'm glad you posted the link for ramps, I had no idea what those kids were eating...

I think it may be time to put the winter boots and some of the heavier clothes away, maybe that will be my project for this rainy afternoon. DH and DS were actually wearing shorts a few days last week, I better dig out some more warmer-weather clothes.

Enjoy the day everyone!

For Taryn:

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 9:29AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Where is everyone? Not gardening if they live around here-it's pouring. We need the rain but I just can't afford to lose a whole Sunday of gardening in the spring. It's cold too-only in the mid 40s. If the spirit moves me I may go pot canna and dahlia tubers in the garage. Also all my so-called houseplants could use a change of soil and I have all my plants from Deanne now so I can get going on that container design. At least I got some decent garden time yesterday in just drizzle but by 4 PM I'd had it-I was cold and wet and my gloves were soaked so I changed into dry stuff and went for a walk.

So the Dan Hinkley lecture was very interesting. He basically spoke on the garden design approach I've been using for years-foliage, not flowers, and the essential use of bold foliage and height variation. To illustrate he had slides of plant combinations. Most were creative vignettes or border scenes made up of the usual suspects but also containing large foliage plants like Hosta, Gunnera, Astilboides, Phormium, Canna. Then he would show the same view with the bold plants removed. The effect was underwhelming to say the least. Great topic, great speaker.

Eden, you can cut that variegated red twig dogwood right to the ground. I did that with one of mine this year. The other one I just cut out a third or so of the oldest stems at ground level. It grows right back and you can tweak the form. I have high hopes for the purple leafed Corylus. Purple foliage plants are my favorite.

Marie, I love those primulas. Are they both hardy?

Michelle, I agree on it hard knowing what to do first. I do know that I need to move all the rest of the woody plants ASAP but in some cases I have to move other things to make room and when I go to do that I get distracted doing something else that could easily wait another week. I have two Caryopteris and two Calamagrostis left to move before starting the big perennials-Eupatorium 'Gateway', Persicaria polymorpha...where am I going to put all this stuff? lol If I don't divide the Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Walker's not so low) soon it will be too tall and a real pain to deal with. Lately I've been waking up in the middle of the night thiking about things I have to do.

OK, time to motivate. The dogs are all waffling about going out because they're wimps about getting wet. Their back teeth must all be swimming, not to mention other Zoe has a bladder infection so I'm surprised she hasn't broken down yet. The key is to not let any of them out of sight in the house-Mackenzie especially. Something tells me she was not encouraged by her former owners to do her business outside when it rained.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 9:42AM
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Good morning

We had a day of rain yesterday which was much needed. My leaf mould was also delivered which always gives me great pleasure. I haven't taken a fork or spade out yet as I'm still getting some odd spasms and twinges but its nice to have it there ready and waiting. Its amazing how much joy a big steaming pile of dirt can bring!! (DH I'm sure will beg to differ)

Deanne - the trellis Doug made are fantastic! I was also mighty impressed with your gorgeous Dahlia blooming under lights. Were those your high intensity bulbs? What fun to win a door prize. Can't wait till next weekend;0)

It sounds as though Friday night was fun for all the North East Idyllers - is there a picture?

V and GB - yes, I'm sure now that is a bloodroot. There are a few other woodland wild flowers I should post for ID help.

V - the plant give away sounds a dream. Was it in honor of anything special?

Michelle - Sambucus Sutherland Gold is high on my wish list too. Hope you enjoy yours.

Taryn - I guess Ramps don't grow as far north as you? Thanks for the link. Getting so organized must be extremely satisfying and making life much easier - well done!!

Hi T - enjoy your lovely weather his weekend.

Eden - I put in some Knockout roses last year, the original, a double and a pink. I'm very pleased with the way they've all come through the winter adn am planning new combinations for them. I'll look forward to seeing yours.

Wendy and GB - lovely spring blooms.

Babs - how nice to have Chris off this week too. I bet you all had fun. DH was travelling the whole week which was a bummer for him and us, especially missing the gorgeous weather we had.

As it is our last day of Spring break and I need to do laundry and generally get everyone (myself included) ready for school tomorrow. Despite my back we've had a lovely vacation and its hard seeing it come to an end. I'm not feeling terribly motivated right now - perhaps another coffee will help.

Have a great Sunday everyone



    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 10:03AM
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Hey Sue - it sounds as if we both need motivating this morning! Good luck moving your Persicaria Polymorpha. I moved mine a couple of years ago and thought I'd completely butchered it. The fleshy hollow roots went for miles and I had to leave most of them behind. It survived though, and enjoys its new quarters with room to show off.

Hope Zoe gets better soon.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 10:09AM
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A few pictures from my garden this morning, a work in progress...

See my new stewartia there behind the statue?

Here's yesterday's purchase, the corylus avellana still in the black nursery pot...

Clematis Mrs. Cholmondeley on the trellis and climbing up the tree...

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 11:41AM
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Another fabulous sunny, windless 70 degree day here.

V, Id sure like to know where I can go for a free plant give away with such great plants.

Eden, What a delightful look at your garden. I have very few plant tags in my garden. I have an excel spreadsheet that I have each garden listed separately and then list the plants in that garden. I also add the description from the plant tag. I have found that you can also add a picture next to the plant. With moving plants around I know a map would be soon outdated. How cool about the begonia cutting. The angel wings that I have in water still havent rooted, but are growing happily.

Taryn, we tore our popup camper apart and made a flat trailer to pull behind the 4 wheeler. It is very handy in the garden.

Pretty primulas Marie. I bought some this spring. They say perennial on the tag, so Ill plant them out when I change the container and will wait and see.

Mary, add me to one who had never heard of ramps.

Another of my purchases was Yucca filamentosa 'Color Guard'. It looked like an interesting architectural plant.

Well, Id better find something to do.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 3:45PM
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Since its so quiet here today, I'll share a few spring shots that I took this afternoon.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 6:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The creek is still rising but I think it should be OK soon. Lots and lots of rain today. It is good to have all the rain barrels full!
DH took his exam yesterday, had a meeting this morning and is now recovering from it all. I managed to get things to the dump and do the grocery shopping- which included a Zephirine Drouhin rose ;-)
The gardens are just amazing with things popping up every day. A lovely spring it is too, even though things are moving along almost too fast. If Spring began in February then everything could come along at a gentler pace. Any votes on that?

Here are a few things from yesterday:

Fritillaria raddeana


Lady Greer primula

Lathyrus vernus

Sue, I hope the primulas that I posted yesterday are OK here. They say zones 4-5. My forsythia Kumson is in full bloom today and the Corylopsis spicata (?)is doing its lovely thing too. Supposed to go below freezing this week. The farmers plowed almost all the fields though before the rains began.

Good night all!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 7:39PM
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Boy, it's been quiet here all weekend. What are you all up to? The weekend's when I have the most time to spend Idylling since Bella's not here. It rained here most of the day but I did make it out to pick up the yellow twig dogwood, took in a soil sample from the back garden to be tested and spent awhile this evening at Borders. The big news around here is that I think Tim may be pregnant, which would make him a her. If that's the case I can just see the whole squirrel family showing up here for breakfast every morning.

It was nice to see more spring flowers when I checked in tonight. Michelle, I just love the pot o'primrose with the bunny. Your garden looks like it's coming along very nicely. The spreadsheet sounds like a good idea to keep a plant inventory but I know I'd still forget what was where. I agree that a diagram will become outdated quickly though with all of the shuffling around I do too. I really need to come up with something though, the plant tags are annoying me more that usual this spring.

Marie, you have been collecting alot of roses lately. Zephirine Droughin is one I'd like to have someday. I love all of your spring flowers. Please keep the pictures coming. I hope everything went well with dh's exam and meeting.

Mary, you're sounding brighter so I hope that means you're feeling better. Don't overdo with that leaf mould now though.

I guess I must be a heuchera slut too. I've bought many over the last few years but probably have maybe 10-15 different ones that have thrived and they all seem to be the purple varieties, except for Lime Rickey which is far and away my most vigorous. I also have quite a few heucherellas and tiarellas. I think I may like the tiarellas the most of all.

Sue, I tried cutting the variegated dogwood to the ground last year but it still doesn't look right to me. I plan to use the take out a third method on this new one.

That's all from me tonight. I hope everyone checks in here soon. I'll close with a picture of one of my total of two trilliums in my whole garden.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2006 at 9:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've been enjoying your garden photos so much Eden! Your clematis is really going to town. I met a lady who grows Mrs. Cholmondeley with a darker clematis, perhaps it was Etoile Violette. It was a pretty combo too!

You must have been on my mind the other day because a rose "Eden" popped into my wagon. Once I got home, all the hype turned into dismay because I will need to protect it in winter after all. Wish me luck- or quick global warming.

This coming week the night time temperatures will go down to the mid thirties and then down to the mid twenties by Friday. It is tough on the spirit after having had summer weather for a week or two.

Not sure what my activities will be today. It is wet and gloomy out there.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 8:10AM
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Good morning

Eden - what a lovely walk down your garden path! I remember it so well from its summer blooms, its neat to see everything at the beginning of the season. I am more myself - being in pain and feeling weak physically also made me feel weak emotionally. A hard cycle to break. I did move one shovel of leaf mould yesterday as an experiment and I seem OK but the rest will be done VERY slowly.

Michelle - such pretty spring blooms and new growth in your photos. The little bunny is a nice touch - better that than a real one!

GB - your Lathyrus Vernus is so lush and full of blooms. Mine has only a few whispy leaves so far. The other flowers are lovely too. We're following the same weather pattern and the gloomy cold is hard right now. We're into the 30's tomorrow though I'm hoping we don't get a hard frost. My two apricot trees were full of bloom and I'm hoping this will be their first year to set fruit.

The clock is ticking and I need to head off for work in a few minutes. Hope there will be some posts to read when I get home tonight.

Have a good start to the week everyone.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 8:41AM
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Monday, Monday.... don't know about you guys, but it is cold here. And now I read Bug's forecast, I'm thinking maybe I need to bring my ficus back in and the Brugmansia, too. We had a really productive weekend, but I can never get as much done as I want. I am so excited because Friday I got 4 yards of compost delivered, and have about half of it put into the beds. I have never gotten a big pile of dirt before, so this is new to me. Do you guys ever look at your garden and wonder if it is all wrong? I am looking at my yard/garden thinking, maybe I have bit off more than I can handle. And I must have the local nursery for garlic mustard. It is absolutely everywhere, and I am not sure what to do about it. Then I started questioning my whole design idea... which I really don't have one of:) My grouping/cominbations are non existant. I originally just sort of started out sticking in plants to see if they would grow. Then I put in shrubs, ones that were supposed to make berries, following advice for winter interest and berries. But my shrubs really didn't grow like I thought they would. I don't think I have enough sun. Oh dear, I am having a panic attack. Best to just keep focusing on each grouping, and it will all work, right? I think I need major design help.

Babs, I moved the Beauty Berry on your suggestion.. and then I moved my hydrangea paniculata, because it underperformed last year too. And I thought what the heck.. I will move my viburnums ..another plant that didn't get any flowers, berries, or anything else... moved the Othello ligularia and Britt Marie Crawford...I put them all in a spot where they will get a little more sun. I don't have any full sun spots...

Bug, I love your new those primulas. And the Laky Greer too! Very interesting. This weekend, I bought Clematis Betty Corning this Saturday. I hope I can grow it. Does it need any special care? How much sun?

Eden, I have never seen a varigated trillium before...your garden is springing to life. Congrats on the soon to be additions to your squirrel fam. How cute. I hope he/she lets you take pictures of the babies. I really like your statuary!

Michelle, your pictures were very cheerful. Keep them coming!

Well, must get busy. Hope you all have a great week!

Can some of the missing people check in? Hope everyone is fine.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 8:53AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good rainy, Monday morning,

Well Im a bit on the tired side but it was a good, though busy weekend. I had a three day seminar Friday, Saturday and Sunday. What a rush I had getting all the plants out of the garage, getting all the indoor plants under the lights, all the outdoor plants and the orchids watered then getting ready to be out the door and get to my seminar at 8:00. (I dont know how you full time people keep up with it all every week five days a week.) Then I taught until 4:00 jumped in the car, got home by 4:30 to meet Sue and Wendy. We had about five minutes to put the plant babies in Sue and Wendys cars, take a quick look at the Driveway Garden then off to the restaurant. My friend Mary who was taking my class joined us for dinner and the lecture. Im surprised that Sue and Wendy didnt tell you guys all about our fabulous dinner at Surf Friday evening. We all started with salads. Wendy and I had the spinach and shrimp salad with peanuts, thin sliced, sweet, red peppers with soy shallot dressing. Mary and Sue started their meal with the Surf salad of fresh spring greens with tamari-ginger vinaigrette. Then for our entrees, Mary and I had potato encrusted haddock with fresh green beans. It normally comes with a lovely hollandaise sauce but I asked for mine without. The fish was cooked to perfection and the shredded potato covering was perfectly browned and crisp. Yum! Sue had grilled sea scallops over roasted apple-sweet potato smash with a spinach, fruit and nut salad finished with a shallot brown butter vinaigrette. Wendy enjoyed the Salmon Osso Buco; salmon steak braised with white wine, salmon fumet, herbs, and butter over potato gnocchi and finished with tomato concasse, gremlata and a drizzle of veal stock reduction. What a fantastic dinner! I so wish you all could have been there. One of the funnier moments in our dinner conversation was when I was complaining that things were so dry that I had to water everything even a couple large containers in the corner where I had my pot garden last summer. The waitress kind of perked her ears up at that one then I realized what Id just said. Jeesh, I corrected myself loudly after that and said Container garden. Te he!

The Dan Hinkley lecture was really great as Sue and Wendy have already told you. I kept thinking as I was watching the lecture that his style of garden design completely reminded me of Sues gardens. Lots of great and unusual plants with large, tall, bold foliage accents.

When we got back to the house on Friday evening I checked the weather and sure enough the temps were going to go down to 34F so I had to get myself back outside and haul all the plants into the garage. By the time my head hit the pillow Friday evening I was toast. I had a list of things to accomplish for my students before I left for class on Saturday morning but I just was too tired to get to it so I got up early on Saturday morning, took care of printing up the photos the students wanted, watered all the indoor plants under the lights again then off to the shower and off to class. I remembered why I never, ever schedule anything on a class night but it was such an enjoyable evening I wouldnt have missed if for the world.

GB, I love your corydalis photograph. Do you have any secrets to growing it successfully? Ive never been able to get it to come back or bloom well for me. ~~ Do you have a photo of your Forsythia Kumson? I dont remember seeing that in your photos before. Where do you have it planted. Im in awe of your primula!!! That Lady Greer is incredible. How long has that plant been there? I wish I had a damp area where I could grow them. Everything here gets bone DRY anytime we are without rain for a few days because of these huge white pines. ~~ If you keep up with the plant purchases we are going to have to have an intervention for you. I think you are as bad as I am. LOL That Jessica is absolutely gorgeous and Ive never seen it anywhere. Do you think I could grow that somewhere here????

Mary, I love your photos of the children in the creek. That is one WARTY toad! He looks huge too. Incredible. I dont believe Ive ever seen one like that.~~ How great you got your leaf mould delivered. Make sure to wait for your back to be at 100% before you start shifting it. The compost will keep. I so know what you mean about how much joy a pile of compost can bring you. LOL I scored several huge bags of used coffee grinds at Starbucks over the weekend and it was like getting a great gift! ~~ Yes those dahlias are growing under the high intensity lamps. Ive never had that happen before and I attribute the success with that to the lights. I also found that the fuchsias that were growing under the lights that I brought outside havent sunburned as much as usual in the hardening off process. ~~ I cant wait until next weekend also. Doug was checking the long range forecast this morning and so far things look good. I think Tom is going to join us as well.

Taryn, Ive got a bunch of new cuttings cooking at the moment and as soon as it looks like they are throwing some nice roots Ill package them up for you. No worries and no trouble. My only concern is I dont know how to get them to you in any kind of expedited manner. In the States I send all plants by Priority because it isnt too expensive and it is quick. Im afraid if I just send regular snail mail they coleus will be mush before you get them. ~~ So did you sell Christine yet?

T, how was your weekend weather. From the forecasts here it looked like you had a beautiful, sunny weekend. I hope that was the case and you enjoyed some lovely weather for a change.

V, where the heck did you have a plant give away where you got such amazing and fantastic plants. Here youd only see things like Becky shastas and Rudbeckia fulgida! LOL Im totally envious of all those heucheras. Mine just did not winter over well this year. And a three gal Razzmatazz????? I think you could divide that up and send us all a piece of it? LOL

Eden, my house is an armpit at the moment and I have absolutely NO interest in sprucing things up. Im more concerned about getting the rest of the garden cleanup and perennial moving about finished before it is too late. The window of opportunity for moving stuff is rapidly closing and we arent expecting any outdoor working weather until Wed. or so. ~~ Im so excited that your leaf begonia cuttings are doing well. That would be the avaricious plant collector in me talking. Te he. ~~ So pleased you like that trellis. Im over the moon with it. It frames that garden beautifully and I just cant wait until the clematis grow to the top and the roses are blooming it is going to be fabulous. Im planning another one for the east side of the house. I need to grab Doug for these projects while he is enthusiastic about them. He needs a new router and I was thinking of going out to HD today and picking up one for him as a surprise. That would make him want to get started making the other trellis right away. ~~ I so love your garden photos. Thanks for taking the time to post them. The pic with the sun shining on the new foliage of the clematis is wonderful! So very pretty. I always love to see the structure under the plants.

Michelle, You are going to love your Sutherland Gold. Mine is going to bloom soon and Ill have to post a photo for you. ~~ It sounds like you are making real headway on garden cleanup and also with your garden shed. Im soooo. jealous of your shed. I think I need an addition on mine. LOL ~~ That pot of primula with the bunny is just darling!

Wendy, so happy you like your babies. I love my coleus you brought too. Such a sweet thing. Im thinking of turning it into a mini standard. Wouldnt that be the neatest thing? ~ You can bring those fuchsias out to harden off any time. The Beacon uprights are really tough. This is the mother plant from your cuttings. The large left plant is Beacon Rosa and the darker plant on the upper right is Beacon.

I was LOL about your putting the winter coats away yesterday. It feels like you are going to still need them today. It is so cold and raw outside. ~~ Your mertensia is just gorgeous!!!!

Sue, did you get those cannas potted up yesterday? I still havent touched mine. Ive got to get that banana out of the pot and into larger quarters now too. Yikes, TOO much to do and not enough time. ~~ This is what that Coleus Moonglow looks like grown in full sun.

Drema, great about getting that compost and getting half spread already. Good for you. I think we all have the 'bit off more than I can chew' thing going with our gardens. I know I'm always pushing the envelope of just how much I can take care of and I never do keep everything as well as I'd like. Especially with all the container plants but I just can't pick something to leave out so I just have to make myself focus on one area at a time and quit having panic attacks over what I'm not getting to. This is a hobby after all! LOL It is supposed to be fun.

OK I think Ive caught up from the weekend and absolutely MUST get myself to the gym. Im feeling like a slug and have to do some abs, pump some iron and climb some stairs. Have a great day everyone!!!! The garden season is HERE. Even though it is rainy and dreary out today things are growing at light speed. The rain we got over the weekend has made the garden green up and all the plants are happy.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 9:44AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! We had an absolutely gorgeous weekend here and Im totally exhausted now!

Wendy, I posted the wrong name for one of the Heucheras. Its Cinnabar Silver. Ill post the link below.

Mary, the only "special occasion" for the giveaway was to clear out one of the greenhouses. As these trial plants accumulate over time, they start to take up a lot of space, which is always a precious commodity. By the way, tell Annie that when I was in the woods Saturday, I dug up and ate a ramp. Id never done that before and it was yummy! We dont have very many right now, so Im hoping that they will spread and multiply a bit more. Then I will enjoy thinning them out in the future!

All of the spring photos are wonderful! Our camera battery finally got charged, so maybe this week Ill get a couple of photos. Dont hold your breath, though, you know Im not a prodigious photographer.

Friday night we went to the benefit dinner for the local health clinic that serves the uninsured. We had a fabulous time and gave them a healthy dose of support. One of my "scores" in the silent auction was a garden basket. I didnt look at it too closely when I bid, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got it home and started to tear it apart. Everything was in a small decorative wheelbarrow, which went out on the deck with a couple of Heucheras plopped into it and it looks just lovely. There was a set of two solar-powered garden lights, a metal candle lantern, a decorative frog, a decorative bucket, and a great sign- "Garden Queen" which is now above my potting bench.

Saturday morning we worked in the woods and got most of the second year hesperis plants pulled. Unfortunately, there are about sixteen bazillion seedlings coming up, but we will keep after this and win the battle! At least there will be no new seeds added this year. Then I got a few of my new plants into the ground and a very few of the many, many weeds pulled. Finally put my stinky bod in the shower late afternoon. DH, DS and his girlfriend took off to go camping overnight and then rock climbing and I went to dinner with at a Tex-Mex restaurant with a group from church. I was back home and in bed shortly after 9:00 pm and sound asleep soon after. Oh yes, the dogs gave me a good laugh that night when they charged the backyard "intruders" the new solar lights!

Sunday was interesting. I went to a program on restoration at a local center that featured an Ojibway speaker and a Native American flute player. After their presentations we cleared more buckthorn in a conservation area.

Now Im hoping that I have enough energy at the end of the day to spend an hour on weeding when I get home! Today looks like another lovely day. Were supposed tog et some rain tonight, and I hope that forecast is correct we need it.

Drema, I can sympathize with your feelings about your garden. I often have the same thoughts about mine and Ive invited the whole idyll gang to come see my efforts! (gulp) I do have some areas that I ma pleased with, but other areas never seem quite right. And then things happen, like all my Aster Purple Dome" has up and died this year, leaving me with huge gaping holes.

As for your garlic mustard (and I spent some time yesterday at the conservation area attacking that!) the best advice I can give you is to not let it set seed. Be aware that if you pull plants with buds and leave them on the ground, they still may flower and go to seed! The plant is a biennial, so if you can stop it from seeding eventually you can control it. If its an entire bed of garlic mustard, you can attack it with a weed whacker before it starts to flower.

I was about to ask about Deanne, but I just refreshed and she has posted. This can get to be a vicious cycle. If I read Deannes post, the "good morning" at the top of my post will no longer apply! So Ill post this and then read.

Have a great day and sneak into the garden for at least a few minutes.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 9:51AM
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HI!!!!!!Did you miss me as much as I've missed you? I have been DYING to get here.

Misc./jumbled thoughts:

V-the Echinacea'Razzmatazz' you gave me is ALIVE: )I'm SO excited!

I stole a chunk of heuchera(don't know what cultivar yet) from my MIL-so now I can say I have some(I suppose I would need several more kinds before I can earn slut status-EDEN you cracked me up!)
BTW I had a nun in elemen. school named Sr. Tim can keep his,uh-her name: ) Is it Ok to congratulate you on your possible grandlitter? lol
I so enjoy seeing your garden pics-it really is fun to see the early season pics since I've actually been to your place in full growth. I can't wait to see more as things bloom!

Deanne-beautiful pics-that moonbeam is stunning! I need to pot up the plants you send me-all the fuchsias are looking so vigorous-I hope I can keep them looking as good as you always do.

MAry-that toad is fabulous-so bumpy and lumpy!! Sounds like you had a similar romp in the woods like us-though I don't know that we have ramps-lol I am more familiar with the skateboard ramps that Taryn mentioned!Hearing of your kids chomping on the ramps reminds me of when Aj was little and he found it very amusing to freak me out by chewing on the chives to get reeky breath so I'd get grossed out(he never knew I wasn't really repulsed!) You guys were so brave to go wading in the creek-it sounds very chilly!

Drema-it's so good you are dropping in here more! I'm glad we've gotten more rain so now all the plants you moved will settle in well-for a while there I was worried we would start out the season in a major drought and I've been doing the plant shuffle as well. I see so much impact from not having snow cover during winter. My Buddleias both died down to the ground unlike other years but I know they'll make it.
That garlic mustard is scary-I have a very eco-oblivious neighbor who blew me off when I told her how agressive that stuff is-she of course left hers alone and now it's all around here too-when I see it in my yard I just yank it and it stays away but people all around me have it. I was sad to see so much of it in our woodlands during our mertensia trek.Maybe you'll need to invite the idylls over for a mustard garlic pulling party like they do in the metroparks.

Michelle I love your primulas and garden progress pics. I think I have those very same primulas in your bunny planter. Thery do really well in the garden-I need to get more(naturally; )

Gb I like all your plant pics.I need to look into primula 'Jessica'. Eden's variegated(!)red trillium is lovely.

Wendy-is that Mertensia growing in your yard??I love that blue!!!

So here are pics from the last few days-much warmer then than now-it's coat weatehr again!
MOst of the pics are from the woods and the quince is from an abandoned horse stable-they had a gorgeous mag there too.
That little guy(Ryan)is a reflection of what it's like to be spend a whole day at a track meet every he wasn't happy and the pic taken was very spontaneously snapped as he moaned about when we could go home: )

My star Mag at home:

In the woods-Mertensia was only beginning to bloom-we'll make a second trip on Sat.

Check it out-a lone variegated Mertensia!


Quince at the stables:


WHAT? Taryn you're selling Christine??? But I always love to hear your tales from can you part with her? : )


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 11:15AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Deanne, you did a far better job describing dinner than I would have. That restaurant was delicious-right up my alley-I enjoyed every single thing I ate. I'll bet dessert would have been scrumptious. Love the coleus and fuschia combo.

Pretty much a crappy weekend weatherwise. Yesterday I spent the afternoon in the garage potting cannas and dahlias. What a mess! I kept having to go out in the rain and root through piles of pots or get water. By the time I was done I closely resembled a drowned rat. Some of the stuff I stored over from last year dried up or rotted but if all the tubers I planted end up sprouting I'm going to have alot of cannas. None of my caladiums made it-they all disintegrated. I found a bag of sweet potato vine tubers that look healthy. Do I just pot these up too? All my plants from Deanne are in the basement under the one light I have. I'm counting the days til all this stuff can go outside where chance of survival increases exponentially. lol

Eden, do you have a wire cage around that tree to get the Clematis up into the branches? Great idea-I wish I could be more creative when it comes to growing Clems.

Gotta duty. Hi Babs and others who have been making themselves scarce.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 12:13PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Drema - I feel in the same company when it comes to plant combinations -- and such a "failure" sometimes... but then I know a lot is just trial and error...
Talk about feeling a failure -- I have 2 "token" dwarf hostas (Im not a big fan of hostas) and would you believe they appear to have both died over the winter? I mean, how can anyone kill hostas???? They were fine for 2 years and then - gone! Im wondering if a hungry deer? or something had some dessert over winter - very peculiar...

Gardenbug -- love those photos!! that primula especially -- I've got common Miller's Crimson, Deanne -- they have been quite hardy despite the area becoming bone dry in summer -- maybe you should give some a try (I realize the Millers are supposed to be pretty rugged).....

It was so wet and rainy here all weekend I only got out in the yard Sunday for about an hour to pull weeds that I could reach without stepping into the beds. But managed a fly-by to one nursery and, o dear -- Clematis Gravetye Beauty (that was blooming & dripping wonderful red flowers & buds) (from Donahues apparently) just had to come home w/ me (despite me remembering that it was a bit "difficult" and needs excellent drainage) - what a sucker I am - no sense, and no money! But it sure is gorgeous.

& Yep, we're supposed to go down to the 40s and only high of 60 or so later this week....Guess I'll be glad I dont have all those pots & tender plants like you guys for containers after all.

Eden, love the early spring shots of your garden - beautiful -- everything looks so fresh. (Deanne, that trellis DH built is gorgeous!!!!)

Too much to comment on right now - have to jump back to work -- But, keep those photos coming, they're luscious.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 12:52PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi y'all. Computer is finally up and running and we're reconnected. It took almost all of yesterday to clean out our email!!! I've missed you all! Did you hear me? I carried on many conversations with you in my head particularly during a couple stops at nurseries. The pot ghetto has started. DH is wondering how long he'll be able to park in his spot in the garage. I think his days are numbered even tho I've sworn to "be good".

Meanwhile back at this ranch, I've been super busy researching, interviewing contractors, determining what work we'll do, etc., to solve some water problems we're having in the basement walls under the stairs, the lake by our front door and severe icing in winter on the front walk and driveway.

Any minute now, I'm expecting the roof and gutter guy. The water from the downspout from the second story dumps onto the garage roof and overflows when it dumps into the garage gutter. It results in an unintended pond next to the front porch and has killed several plants and caused minor wall leaks in the basement under the steps. So we definitely have to address the problem pronto.

There are also some other gutters that overflow and we want this guy to build a dam in several spots to prevent it from happening.

Lastly, in addressing the rest of the "lake" by the front door we need to replace the sidewalk that has sunk substantially. When it's warm after a rain we have to wade to the front door. In winter, that whole area and the one by the driveway is a skating rink from roof runoff. It also is contributing to the leaking problem under our stairs to the basement.

DD's boss is coming out again this pm to take some measurements for installing a new paver walkway to the front door and a retaining wall using existing stones to hold back the raised bed for the pear tree in front. I've had several other bids and his was the best. We're also having him install piping from the 3 front downspouts under the walk and out into a pop-up that will sprinkle the runoff onto the lawn. Hopefully, all these steps will solve the excess water problems in the basement, the walk and driveway as well as be a real aesthetic improvement.

This is "plants on wheels" again this year. Not only to move misplaced or forgotten plants but to get some out of the way of the work over the next few weeks. The new brick paver walkway will be a meandering, serpentine-like path to the front door and will be graded properly. It will replace the typical builder "L" that we have. Therefore, I'll have a whole new planting area! B/c of the water problem, we've lost quite a few evergreens. Thus, we're kind of forced to update the landscaping, at least on the garage side.

Meanwhile, the deck contractor finally showed up. Yup, at the crack of dawn -- 10 am. Must be nice! Ennyhoo, we've determined that the back side of the deck next to the house has sunk and the front or garden side has heaved. There's a 6" difference in height from front to back tilting toward the house. So he has to jack up the back side, and lower the front side by installing new posts. As he uncovered the deck framework, it's obvious this deck was built by amatuers. Jeez, is it crooked! Also, it looks like a couple of large critters have a home next to our foundation, perhaps a very big fat groundhog. As much as we'd love to replace the deck with a raised patio, the $ don't work at this time. We're forced to do the front walk b/c of the water problems, but we're hoping to get a couple yrs. more out of the deck before we have to replace it.

Ennyhoo, that's what I'm up to. If I don't check in it's because I'm super busy -- 3 contractors today, dropping of car at dealer and perm tomorrow, appt. Wed, another contractor Thurs. and sometime in there visiting sick friends and the usual errands and grocery shopping.

Hope all's well with everyone. Thinking of all I'll try to catch up piecemeal. Now I must grab some lunch. TTYL,


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Deanne and Sue, where do you put your cannas and dahlias after you pot them up. Under lights? I potted up some cannas yesterday and put them in the south windows of the garden shed. Will they be ok there? If we get a freeze could I cover them? Help! Deanne when are you potting up your box of Sams calidums? When I have grown these tenders before, I always waited and planted after the frost date.
Thanks for the picture of Moonglow in full sun. It is stunning with the dahlias. Now I know what to do with mine.

Honey, my pot ghetto has started too. I was so proud of myself that I only overwintered 3 pots.
You will have to post pictures of your new sidewalk. It sounds a lot like what Id like to do for our house.

Babs, what an adorable picture of Ryan. That 2nd Mertensia picture is stunning. The stems look almost black and the flower color is stunning. Great photography.

V, I had to laugh at your comment of sixteen bazillion seedlings, I made a very similar comment to DH after I spent several hours digging out shasta daisies out of one of my garden.

Drema, I have those same feelings all the time, but I figure if I am having fun, what the heck.

Eden, I love the trillium.

It sounds like the mini Idyllunion had great food and conversation. My leftovers for lunch just dont compare. LOL

Have a great Monday

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 1:50PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Nice to see so many posts today!

Honey, so I wasn't hearing voices in my head; it was really you? I feel better now...

I had leftovers for lunch also. I'm now remembering why i only had half of the Jalapeno beef tips Saturday night.



    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 2:02PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Michelle, I pot mine up and put them in the basement next to the furnace. The tubers don't need light until they start sprouting but they do need warmth or they may rot if the potting soil is too damp. It usually takes about a week for growth to start. Then I move them either into a window or outside if it's warm enough-right into the sun. You can also wait a few more weeks, pot them up and put them outside in the sun. Take them in at night if frost threatens. We may get frost here later this week. I'll have to toss a blanket over my Musa basjoo.

Hey Honey, I was just wondering about you.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 2:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Betty Corning...I heard that name several times here! Absolutely plant Betty in your garden! Choose as sunny a spot as possible and water it well. Make sure it has LOTS of space to grow because this is a BIG one, eventually. It would be perfect for a pergola or a free standing structure that is VERY SOLID. If you are lucky, you will notice a scent to her blooms. It isn't too fussy about soil but you can feed it as long as it isn't in bloom. If you feed a blooming clematis it will rush through its blooms and be over within no time. Also, if you give it lots of nitrogen (a no-no) it will be all foliage and no blooms. Remember, it takes at least three years to get a pretty healthy plant going- so start NOW.

So Deanne, which clematis is (are) going on Doug's new trellis? Is it strongly bolted in the ground? Sue, did you find a home for Mrs Robert Brydon? Cindy, I am waiting for my Gravetye Beauty to return this spring. I never buy anytrhing red...but this is the exception....Some people tell me that it isn't a true red. We shall see, I hope.

Monique, I am curious to know when your yellow Cotinous leafs out. My baby shows nothing yet. I hope it is alive! It looks pretty silly right now with its two skinny twigs.

Glad to read that Babs is becoming a heuchera slut too. I was given a start of H. Mardi Gras by a friend. I hope it will be happy here. If you were nearby I could give you lots of Heuchera divisions. They increase fast and dividing is easy. There are almost as many kinds of Heuchera and Heucherella and Tiarella as there are coleus.

Honey, it is so satisfying to get those necessary jobs under control. I'm glad to get the kitchen project over with, but how do you get the crazy guys to bill you? I hate not settling the bill right away. I want to know if there is money left for my outdoor project in the veg garden.

Off to achieve something with the rest of this afternoon.
Then get DH to BBQ some salmon kebobs for dinner before he leaves for yet another conference.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 3:05PM
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Sue, thanks for the info. Since we are predicted to have cooler weather until the weekend, I hauled them into the basement. Another question, how big of a pot do you use? I used plenty big ones as I wasn't sure.

Add me to the heuchera, tiarella, heucheralla sluts.LOL I added heucheralla 'Burnished Bronze', Tiarella 'Iron Butterfly'and heuchera 'Amber Waves' to the collection on Saturday.

Honey, your deck sounds like our siding. We are replacing some of the pieces that look bad. We just aren't ready to reside our house. It is a big house and would cost quite a bit even if we did it ourselves.

It is raining here so I think I'll get DH to help move the furniture back in the rooms upstairs. Right now it is all piled in another room and I can't get at my spring/summer clothing.

Have a relaxing evening

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Why would any of you want to be called this?:

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 10:29PM
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Hi Everyone. Just a fly by to say how much I have enjoyed everyones pictures and postings. I try to read every day but have been super busy and it doesn't show any sign of easing up for a while. I'm usually just to tired to comment at night after I read.

We have had quite a bit of sunny dry weather this past month and all the spring flowers and shrubs have put on a show. I've been doing a little of everything. Weeding, transplanting, trying to finish the beds I started last year and getting ready to have the floors done. Lousy timing on that. What was I thinking. No time for home improvement when there is gardening to be done. Duh!

I wrestled a huge Hosta out of the ground the other evening and moved a butterfly bush tonight. Still need to move a Knockout and some daylilys. These are things that were holding me up for finishing other things. On top of that I think I have been in my low energy cycle the last few days and have had to push myself to get things done.

Once again, you all have posted some great photos. Thanks for sharing. I will try to catch up some day soon. We are supposed to be rainy and cool for a couple of days too.
Take care everyone. Norma

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 10:42PM
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P.S. Babs that picture of Ryan is so cool. Looks professional. N

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 10:51PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Quickie to Marian: In this scenario the term "Heuchera Slut" (or more commonly used "Plant Slut") simply means that one has a shameless love affair going on with Heucheras (or plants in general). You adore it, you can't get enough of it. It has none of the ugly connotations of the actual definition of slut. This is garden slang, and not something you'd pick up from a dictionary. PLEASE don't be offended. I know that wasn't the intent. I'm a Heuchera Slut too (and proud of it, lol!)

Taryn :)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 11:18PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls! OMIGOSH...What I have been missing?!! *Gorgeous* pictures everyone! The eye candy here is terrific! :-)

Weve been having beautiful weather here...spring has definitely sprung! The skin on my index fingers have turned to cowhide; plant debris is trapped in my hair; my knees are aching and Ive already squished at least a couple dozen grubs...I couldnt be more thrilled! :-)

I havent caught up with all the reading, but loved all the beautiful pics and have really enjoyed seeing all the woodland plants too! Marie you are so talented with that camera...wish I could do such justice to mine. I take pictures of the sweet little ephemerals every year, but have never been able to capture their charm the way you have!

Deanne your gorgeous Dahlia was a joy to behold too (Wow! My dahlias are *just* forming leaves under the lights!). I see a second career in Dougs future... Is he planning on doing woodworking when he retires? He should. What a gorgeous trellis! I just love the way you put vignettes together too...the pots look so lovely against the trellis and the trellising really brings out the beauty of your chair too! You are so pulled together... What an eye! Deanne, I have to apologize...I just saw your note about wanting to know who wanted what! I was one of the people who wanted a fuchsia. I am sorry I didnt get a chance to email you, but dont worry about it, my loss! Oh well, looking at the jungle I have going downstairs right now, I probably wouldn't have a space for her anyway...LOL! BTW, hope youre feeling better! P.S. Your fuchsia standards make me weep! :-( Think you can give me some lessons when you come out this way? :-) Oh, and I *love* that Coleus Moonglow combined with that dahlia...what an artist!

Im going to have to try Sues banana overwinter burying technique. So far the only thing shooting out of my banana plant is white fly! Yikes! Ive been trying to give it some time to resurrect, but I dont think thats happening and Ill probably toss it tomorrow. Definitely dont need a white fly infestation! Its a shame though, cause I really love that plant. Maybe Ill buy another this spring and try over-wintering outside this time. Speaking of Sue, I know Ive told you many times before, but I just *love* the colors of your is *so* beautiful and has a real "New England charm" feel to it...I get a happy feeling every time I see it. And those tulips are gorgeous! Who are they? Tuliphiles need to know! And the, so sweet! Are you getting attached to little Kenzie? BTW, could you send that rain my way? I cant believe it, weve had some rains, but my soil is still dry as a bone (at least on the surface). I dont know if my garden will ever recover from last years drought!

Hi T! Excited to read about the new baby on the way thats so exicitng! :-) Do you guys know what it will be or does DD want to be surprised? Sorry to hear about the peckers...LOL that Babs is a hoot; isnt she?

Mary you always capture the neatest subjects! I love that little erythronium? I use to have Pagoda, but over the years they slowly disappeared! :-( I dont think my soil was rich enough back then...would love to try them again. Is yours Pagoda? I never noticed what a strking contrast the filaments make against the lovely yellow of that flower...very pretty! And that worty toad...he is the *cutest*! I *love* toads and frogs too. Frogs and toads and creeks! :-) Loved the pics of the kids playing in the creek too. Seeing them was like going back in time! Annie and David bring back lots of wonderful memories from my childhood summers in Wisconsin...what fun! :-)
Boo Hoo Taryn! Its hard to believe that Christine could be so awful...especially dressed in her Christmas finery! I just loved that pic! :-) Well, I guess I should say good luck with the Ebay listing...that is, if you really *do* want to sell her! :-( Glad to hear you are feeling better. The power of the internet *is* amazing isnt it? So cool that you were able to connect with GGG and that she was able to lead you to someone right in your area! It *is* amazing and Im so happy that you are finding some relief! BTW, I seem to be having an email problem, so I dont know if you received my email or not, but I wrote you to tell you thank you for the Cardinal Vine seeds! :-) Im so excited! I bet all the Ebayers who purchased seed from you were very happy *and* impressed! Your instructions were wonderful! Thanks again for remembering me. Yikes on the spider bite! Thats horrible and is a secret fear of mine, every time I reach into dark spaces in the basement or the shed. I knew a woman who had a nasty bite from a recluse. It took the longest time to heal and she actually had what looked like a hole in her leg for the longest time - though I assume it finally went away! Glad you caught it in time and glad that you are healing! BTW Im so tickled that you like Sugar Ray too! I love "Fly"! :-) Sugar Ray is one of my guilty pleasures. I saw them interviewed once on T.V. and they seem to be fun loving, happy guys! Ill confess another "guilty pleasure" and a secret fantasy of mine. I have always loved soul music from the 20s up all the way up until the 70s and often listen to this station called Soul Street...LOL! My fantasy is that I would love to be a back up singer for someone like the OJays or Smokey Robinson & The Miracles! :-) No, not the lead, I think it would be way more fun to be a back up singer and do the little dance movements and hand motions! :-) I know, its a guilty pleasure...LOL! I just *love* music...*all* of it!

Speaking of email...I think my computer is on its last leg. Im having so much trouble with it these days and I dont think *anyone* receives email from me anymore! I cant figure out what the problem is, but I think it may have something to do with my version of Microsoft,that, and the fact that my computer is pretty old now. So anyway....

Michelle I know you probably didnt receive my email, so Ill have to thank you publicly...I got your package on Friday! Thank you *so* much! The geraniums are *gorgeous* and the special surprise really tickled me. Hope you dont mind, but Im posting a picture for everyone to see! I just love it!

Not sure if this will be its permanent home, but I like the way the hummingbird's beautiful shades of blue co-ordinate with my husbands gazing globes! And also, the way you curved the stake makes it *so* graceful. Shes a real beauty and my pictures dont do her justice. I am always amazed at all the talent here at the Idylls! So thanks again Michelle. I will cherish it! BTW, those tulips are gorgeous! I love that shade of yellow... Do you know the name of them?

Eden your spring containers are so beautiful and I *love* the pink you painted! You have such a creative, whimsical way of thinking...I love the way your mind works! :-) BTW, If all the varieties of Knockout are the workhorses my original Knockout is, you will *not* be disappointed! Ive had the original for a few years now and they have been so dependable, constantly in bloom, no maintenance and totally winter hardy! If I had the room, I would definitely try the others, especially the pink ones (Pink Knockout & Blushing Knockout) and probably even Double Knockout too. The original is a little bright, but I love it anyway. I mean how could you not love a rose that is always smiling, happy to bloom its head off all summer, and never asks for a thing in return? BTW...I *loved* the magical tour through your garden too...that fairy is enchanting and just perfect under those delicate flowering trees (apple? cherry?...not sure) but its perfect! And your path is great and I *love* your pond. All these pics are just *so* fun and uplifting you guys! Thanks!

Hi Babs! :-)
Sorry to hear about the tree choppers! I think you showed great restraint, especially since they were being paid for their service. I winced when you mentioned your poor astilbes! I wanted to cry for you and made me think of the time this sweet little older lady from the garden club I belonged to came to see my garden. She wandered up to the shady island bed to get a better look at a plant, when I noticed she was standing on my Arisaema sikokianum! Omigosh I wanted to cry! It was the plants first year here and it was doing so beautifully! But I just couldnt bring myself to tell her...I didnt want to upset or embarrass her, so I just gritted my teeth and waited for her to step away from the area. After she left I went back to look at my poor little Jack and he was total toast! I had two of them, but now I only have one! :-( Boo-hoo! Oh well, what are you gonna do? Still, no comparison to having your astilbe bed destroyed! Hope the damages werent too bad and that your astilbes will recover. Oh...a Halesia tree! I love that little tree! I lost one a few years back when we did the house addition. I replaced it a few years ago with another that was a teeny tiny little seedling...*maybe* a foot tall. Im very excited because this year I think its about 6 feet tall! Of course, when your looking from my eye level, *everything* looks to be at least 6 feet...LOL! Anyway, I think its a sweet little tree and I hope I get some blooms this year. If I do, Ill have to post a pic! :-) BTW, "micro" or not...I love to hear your "blab"! :-) I *love* your Magnolia pic too! In my next home I definitely plan to include a place for a magnolia. Fleeting or not, it is just the prettiest spring tree when in bloom! Is that your very own woodland area? Its fabulous! And what a gorgeous color on that quince...makes me want to have one again...I need more room...LOL! And OMIGOSH that Ry-guy...will you look at those big eyes and that sweet little face? No wonder you love him so much! :-) He is absolutely precious (but dont tell him I said he was precious even though he is)...tell him I said he was handsome!

V I havent forgot or phone conversation. What do you think of the Morton Arboretum and/or Cantigny and Planters Palette for an outing? Deannes Cantigny Royale comes from our Cantigny I believe! :-) And, the Morton Arboretum did a major renovation, especially with the childrens garden and Planters Palette is a neat nursery...but there are so many places to consider...any opinions/suggestions?

Speaking of the Morton Arboretum, Anita and I went there last week while she was in with her daughter. I think I told you guys her daughter is moving back here? She did find a house and will be moving in sometime in June. It was *wonderful* to spend time with Anita *and* Elizabeth, even if they were very busy house hunting as well. Its sort of ironic, I mean Im lucky when I get to see Anita once or twice a year and here Im going to be flying out to see her this week-end! We purchased our tickets months ago, before Elizabeth had decided to move back here. Oh well...Ill take any and all the time I can spend with Anita. She already has plans for us (she is so good at planning). Saturday we will hear her husbands band play at his regular gig and then Sunday we will be seeing one of her husbands, friends, girlfriend (got that?) in a play that Anita says is hilarious....something about Confessions? I cant remember the name of it, but its stars this funny nun (their friend). I guess she played here in Chicago too. Anyway, that should be fun too. She also wants to take us to the London Bridge? In Arizona? I dont know the whole story behind that (Im sure Ill find out) but its also suppose to be a place with a lot of shops that model shops in England. It will be a short, whirlwind week-end, but lots of fun Im sure!

Cindy - *loved* your spring pics! Those purple tulips are *especially* gorgeous! But, I think there should be a rule, I think you guys need to tell me the names of the tulips you post...a Tuliphile needs to know these things! :-)

And OMIGOSH Norma...your bergenia and phlox pic...what a color combination! I love pink and blue, but your combo is especially lovely...I just love those shades of pink and blue you put together and I swear it looks like there is just the slightest hint of the bergenias pink in the phloxs flower! Was that planned or a stroke of luck? Either way, its just lovely!

Marian, you say it so casually and simply, but you have *such* a way of putting the beauty in your garden into words. I *love* the way you described the spring happenings and I almost feel like I am there with you. Your home sounds like a nature wonderland! :-) Would love to see it for real! I think you are *very* observant. I loved hearing about the Wippoorwill too. I want to hear one! Just saying the *word* "Wippoorwill" sounds magical to me! :-) Funny about the Dutchmans Breeches. Im having just the opposite problem this year. Mine have spread and spread...lots of foliage, but not so many flowers this year? Wondering, could it be possible the area they are growing in has become too shady? I cant figure it out. I know they bloomed lots more in previous years. I have a bergenia called 'Pink Dragonfly' (not sure, Id need to look it up) anyway, last year it bloomed wonderfully and its a real beauty in bloom, but I dont think Ill have any flowers this year. It was a small plant to begin with and in my anxiousness to get it spread around I divided it into three last year. They are all still alive, but very small. I wish they would spread faster! I cant believe your clematis are in bloom are so far ahead of me! Sorry about the tics! Thank Goodness that is one pest we dont seem to have here (although in the woods out here I know we have them). My frustration these days is over the bunny rabbits who have eaten so many of my tulips down to the ground that Im just about ready to give up my tulip love affair...Well, just about ready...Im going to give it one more year...LOL! BTW! Congratulations to Nolon on his "clean" test! :-) Oh, I have to take sis for chemo again tomorrow, but when I come home, Ill take some close up shots of myosotis so you can see if you have any growing.

Drema and Cindy...secretly I think we *all* feel that way. Well, at least I know I do. Sometimes Ill look at my garden and think *everything* is wrong, but then those times when everything seems to be behaving and blooming as they should (Im thinking of my summer two years ago) I think, "Okay, for this moment alone, its all worth it!" And I agree even though I did take horticulture in college, I think just about everything Ive learned about my garden has been from trial and error...theres nothing like "hand on"!

Hi Honey! Good to see you! Watch out for those plant ghettos...LOL! Did you buy a new computer? Whose is it? Are you happy with it? Looks like a new computer will have to be in my future soon too.

Hi Wendy! Thanks for the good thoughts on my fact, thanks everyone! Sis seems to be doing pretty well. Last Friday was a hard day...we went to get a wig and some hats and we held hands as they shaved off her remaining hair. She really is trooper and working very hard at keeping a positive mental attitude. Im trying too, but sometimes Ill catch a glimpse of her in a moment of frailty and its *so* hard to keep smiling and being strong...I just want to throw my arms around her and hug her and tell them they cant do this to her anymore! Of course, they are doing what needs to be done to get her healthy and I remind myself of this often. Actually, she has been doing very well no vomiting or nausea and the muscle weakness has gone away. After tomorrows treatment she will have 1/3 of her chemo treatments over with!

Well, I guess I should be going. This is a long one, but I had lots of catching up to do....

BTW, does anybody know who this sweet little thing is?

It just "appeared" in my garden this year. Maybe it hitched a ride in the pot of some woodland plant I purchased? Although I haven't purchased any new woodland plants in years? Anyway, it's a very sweet little thing and delicate looking. The flowers remind me somewhat of hepaticas, but the foliage looks like an Aquilegia or a Thalictrum...any ideas?

Well I better sign off now...guess I'll post a little soul to relax you and help you to fall asleep. it's probably only going to help *me* fall asleep...LOL! Anyway, Good Night All and Sweet Dreams! Ei

Otis Redding - Sittin' on the dock of the bay

Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' comes
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch 'em roll away again,
I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time
I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the 'Frisco bay
'Cause I've had nothing to live for
And looks like nothin's gonna come my way

So I'm just gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

Looks like nothing's gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can't do what them people tell me to do
So I guess I'll remain the same,


Sittin' here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone
It's two thousand miles Ive roamed
Just to make this dock my home

Now, I'm just gonna sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Oooo-wee, sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time

The Skyliners - Since i don't have you
I don't have plans and schemes
And I don't have hopes and dreams
I don't have anything
Since I don't have you
I don't have fond desires
And I don't have happy hours
I dont have anything
Since I don't have you
I dont have happiness
And I guess I never will have it again
When you walked out on me
In walked all misery
And it's been here since then
For I don't have love to share
I dont have one who cares
I don't have anything
Since I don't have you
You, you, you, you,
You, you, you, you

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 1:41AM
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Good Morning, Wow it was busy here on the Idylls yesterday. It's overcast, cold and looks like rain here today. It doesn't look very promising for gardening. Yesterday I checked all of the wintersown containers, well really springsown, since I just did them a couple of weeks ago and I have seedlings galore of all of my annuals.. It's such an easy way to start seeds, pretty much no maintenance and no hardening off. I added to my heuchera collection yesterday and succumbed to the h.mardi gras I've been eying for the last couple of weeks. That brings the new heuchera total to 4 for me so far this year. I've acquired Mocha Mint, a new Peach Flambe, Black Bird and now Mardi Gras. I found a couple of nice witch hazels yesterday too, Arnold Promise and Jelena, but they were huge and too big to fit into the car. There was also a cute little oxydendrum. I think I'll get my sister and her truck and go back for them. I bought Bella a Little Tikes Climb and Slide yesterday. On the box it said you could put it together in 10 minutes. I brought it home, took the pieces out of the box, there were only 5, and spent the next half hour trying to get the first two to line up so I could attach them. Then I threw it all back in the box and it's waiting for Brad to do it today. I'm just no good at that kind of stuff, lol.

To much went on here yesterday for me to comment on it all right now but I did love hearing everyones news and all of the pictures, especially the sweet one of little Ryan.

I've got lots on my list of things to get done today since I'll have Bella for the next three days so I have to get going. Have a great day everyone. I'm starting by taking a quick tour of the garden. So much changes everyday out there at this time of year.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 7:45AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Eileen! Your flower is Rue Anemone, Anemonella thalictroides.

I'm so glad your sis is progressing well with her chemo. I am hoping for many good years for her, and for the two of you together.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 7:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ei, I think your little white flower is Anemonella thalictroides. The 'thalictroides' part means it has foliage like thalictrum, or meadow rue.

Cold and wet here. I'm frustrated by not being able to get my garden work done. I have a long list that is getting longer! I too am lacking energy these may have to read a good book today rather than do housework. ;-) DH is away until tomorrow night.

Later folks!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 8:00AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good sunny 47 degree morning all,

I just love it when I get up and the sun is shining in my dining room! What a treat. The weather guys are saying it is supposed to get up to 70 today but I have plans to paint with my friend Mary and finish the class samples I taught with this weekend. Im not unhappy with the large one and I want to finish it and get it up for sale on my web site. If it sells that will be money for plants you know. So I guess Im really going to be working on the gardens in a round about way. I was a bit disappointed yesterday because I wanted to get out to The Mixed Border. They opened for the season yesterday and I wanted to see what needed to start saving my moola for. LOL

Eileen, Yea!!!! Soooo. Happy to see your posts. I always feel like I have a treat in store when I see one of your long newsy, photo filled posts. ~~ So here is the deal about the fuchsia, I have a couple plants that have YOUR name on them so you arent going to get out of it! LOL I also have a nice Moonglow for you. I know you are going to be hugely successful with these Beacon fuchsia and will love them as much as you loved Felix so you need me to send you these plants. If you dont have space indoors Ill wait another few weeks until you can put them outside. Please do send me your address. I know I have it somewhere but cant for the life of me find it at the moment. ~~ Funny thing about that dahlia, it decided when it was going to come out from the dark and get under the lights. Not me. It now has four flowers opened if you can believe that. Im a bit in a dilemma with figuring out how in the heck Im going to bring it out and harden it off. ~~ Doug used to do woodworking for my business years ago but only infrequently makes prototype wood pieces for me. He really is a talented woodworker though and Im sooooo happy hes decided that making trellises is a good thing. Hes already thinking on how to improve the design. Im really happy you noticed how it makes the little vignette with the chairs even nicer. I was surprised at that when we got the trellis set up. I could say I planned it that way but it was only a happy accident. ~~ So the good news is that my Molly has five buds on her and I cant wait to see her shining face!!! Thanks again.

Norma, I so know what you mean about having tasks in the garden to do before finishing other things. Ive got to dig and divide and perhaps move a Six Hills Giant nepeta that is taking over the second tier in the terrace garden and also want to move my Hellebore Ivory Prince but have to move some hostas before I do that. We are also getting the garden where the wisteria is enlarged so I can move it after it blooms. I surely hope I dont kill it. It has lots of lovely buds forming at the moment and I cant wait until it blooms this year.

Michelle, you are too funny! Three more heuchera and tiarella??? Im going to have to go shopping to catch up with the bunch of you. LOL ~~ Funny you should ask about the caladium. I potted mine up yesterday. I have a couple long, shallow trays that came with some seedling flats. I poked holes in the bottoms and filled them with a small amount of potting soil, placed the caladium on the soil, covered them with a thin layer of more soil then set them six inches under a light fixture. This fixture is also above another so there is quite a bit of warmth generated by the fixtures. Ive never started them before so Ill see how they do. I believe Eden is the expert and Im wondering how she gets hers started. Cannas and dahlias I used to start in the house but I simply do not have the room this year because of all the other stuff Ive got. I ordered a cold frame and it hasnt come in yet. Im going to have to see if Doug can come up with something so I can get them started outdoors. Id think your cannas in the south window of your potting shed will be just fine. Even if you get a frost outside it shouldnt bother them in there.

Bug I currently have Proteus and Arabella on the trellis along with a rose Carefree Delight which sends out long canes that look great against the trellis with the clematis.

Honey, great to hear from you. Sounds like youve been busy as usual. How are your dahlias doing? I sure wish you lived closer to me. Weve got a project going here I could use your help with.

Cindy, never, ever feel like a failure. My thinking about gardening is that anytime you can put something in the ground and it grows that is a success story. Combinations are nice but not the main reason you grow things. There is a real satisfaction to nurturing something to grow to its potential. RE the missing hostas. Ill bet you had some meadow voles in your gardens. One year I had some mature, enormous Frances Williams hosta almost disappear. They went from being five feet across to about 20" across. I was devastated, especially because that was the year the voles also ate every single clematis I had on the property. Grrrrr.. ~~ Thanks for the info re the Millers Crimson. Ill have to give them a try.

Sue, all my caladium from last year turned to mush here too. I can over winter most things now but this is the third year Ive tried and failed with caladium so Im not going to try again. You are ahead of me with potting up cannas and dahlias. Ive not done any yet because I was waiting for the cold frame which was supposed to arrive on the 15th. If it doesnt come soon I wont need it.

Marian, did you want to try any of the Beacon fuchsia or any of the coleus Ive got here???? Ive got so many they are looking for homes and Ive got to make another trip to the post office to mail off Eileens so it would be no trouble to get a package out to you.

Babs, beauteous photos! I love that variegated Mertensia. How neat is that? Also love the photograph of Ryan. Superb!

V. Im still so jealous of your loot in the greenhouse cleanout! That is just too cool. OK my friend Mary is supposed to be here at 10:30 and I still have to go to the gym so must get out of here for now. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 8:14AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Marie, I'm afraid I'm a poor Betty Corning grower. The plan this year was to swap out the obelisk with something larger but I didn't get around to it. Betty isn't cooperating either-she's already shooting 3-4 foot growth into the old support. Oh-oh. Mrs. Robert Brydon will be a groundcover on the part sun end of my retaining wall. Perhaps she'll eventually swirl around the feet of some japanese maples.

Michelle I start the cannas in fairly small pots-just enough soil under and over the tubers to cover them. As they grow I step up the pot size. One guy on the tropicalesque forum starts his in gallon sized plastic zip bags-no soil at all. I also sent you an e-mail, BTW, through Gardenweb. Let me know if you didn't get it.

Ei, I don't often keep track of bulb varieties (I know, bad me). Usually I only plant early blooming tulips because they're more perennial. Last year was the first fall in a long time that I didn't plant any bulbs. One of the items on my to-do list right now is to make a list of all the spots I need more bulbs. Now is the time to do that when I can remember where all the existing ones are planted. I hope your sister continues to do well. I think of both of you often. Mackenzie is very comfortable in my On Thursday night my groomer will be treating her to a "spa" night. A family is supposed to come by to meet her on Saturday but I haven't heard back from them so maybe it won't be that exact family but another.

I broke down and made an appointment for a pedicure at a new place that just opened in town. It's right where I park for my walks and I watched them get ready to open for months and figured what the heck? The appointment is tomorrow night at 5.

Time to trot...


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 8:39AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Deanne, I could use the coleus, but not the fuchsia ( it just 'will' not grow for me..:-( ). Thanks for thinking of me.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 8:41AM
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Good morning!

I saw the tree trimming crew yesterday on my way to town and asked them how much longer they'd be in our area as I was curious when I should stop hoping for a second load of chips. They said to give them this week and asked for my address again. No one wrote it down so I don't know if they are just teasing & playing with this old fat lady or if some chips will appear this week.

It has been wonderful to read everyone's posts and see the photos shared. I'm thankful to be an Idyller.

Here are some pics from a few minutes ago. I'm not smiling.

He has moved over to the other side of the garage, near my sewing room and is continuing his destructive ways.

DH was cutting branches off of a cedar tree near the house and didn't realize he was cutting off a branch with a Robin's nest. We placed the nest in an old hanging pot, hung it back in the tree but, disappointingly and sadly, the Robin never returned.

Boo is waiting impatiently for his breakfast.......

Sorry about the quality of the photos, I was using my old Olympus 2.1MP C-700UZ and I just cannot seem to hold steady when I take the zoom pictures. It isn't the camera's problem so much as it is the owner. Jello effect....I quit moving but the body jello just keeps on shaking which makes the camera move enough to cause blurry pics................

My best to all............
T. and Woody the pecker

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 9:36AM
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Well, It's official I'm mechanically challenged. Brad was
able to put the slide together in no time. Good thing I keep him around I guess, lol.

T, I know it's not funny but the first w.pecker picture really made me laugh. Looks like he's quite the character, peeking around the corner at you like that.

On the subject of caladiums, I've found I don't get any further ahead by starting them early. They sprout up in no time once the weather is consistently warm. I've only had luck with overwintering the corms once. Most years they disintegrate into dust when I try to save them so I just buy new ones every year now. I really do need to get my dahlias potted up today though. I sure wish my Brent and Becky's order would show up.

I bought a new book the other day called Shocking Beauty by Thomas Hobbs. This morning was the first chance I've had to really check it out and it has beautiful, beautiful garden pictures. So now not only am I a heuchera slut but I'm looking at garden porn too, lol.

Back to my laundry...Eden

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 11:29AM
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Cloudy here yet, but they do promise sunshine.

Eden, I havent seen by Brent and Beckys either. I think Sue got hers though. Those sound like some good heucheras. Ill have to google Black Bird I havent seen that one yet.

Heres hoping that T gets her mulch and gets rid of her red head.

Deanne, I hope to get your box out tomorrow.

Ei, Im glad to hear that things are going as well as can be expected for your sister. I sent you an email. You wont believe where I found your emails. I wont admit it publicly. LOL I dont know what your flower is, but it is cute.

Norma, it sounds like you are in the full swing of the garden.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 12:15PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Garden porn, LOL - I love it -- do you think they 'net police will be after us? What a hoot! Yep, Hobbs has garden porn - have you see his later book called "Jewel Box" I think.... I think of all you "tropical freaks" whenever I look at it.

O, T-- I agree that 'pecker is something else -- he was just waiting for you to take his pic dont you think? What a sly guy.....

Love that photo of Ryan too, Babs -- quite professional looking -- so woebegone.

Michelle - that is a lovely stained glass piece - it really is very graceful w/ the bend in it & looks terrific near that gazing ball, great colors.

And love the Spring walks Mary & Babs have given us -- wildlife, kids and flowers -- all together. Beautiful and clever.

Just passing thru to catch the latest Spring "eye candy" -- dont want to get this thread pulled calling it "porn"!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 1:09PM
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Michelle, I was just looking through the latest issue of Garden Shed magazine and there's the cutest little garden shed in there. I thought of you as soon as I saw it. It's not really set up for work but like a little sitting room. If you run across it look at pg 74-78 of the Spring 2006 issue.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 2:53PM
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YAY! I'm so happy that the idylls are coming out of the woodwork-I guess I was in the woodwork too but life has been so busy it seems for all of us lately.

Eileen-it tugs at my heart the way you describe holding your sister's hand as the last of her hair was cut-that must have been tough since you want to be strong for her. I just really admire your devotion. BTW where do you find scarves for your sister? I ask because one of Chris' colleauges has lost her hair to chemo and I was thinking of making a scarf for her but I wasn't sure of the right dimensions or what the best fabric is to use especially for warm weather. I was naturally thinking silk but then thought of the need for easy laundering of the scarf-maybe that's not a big issue. If I could find time I was thinking it would be cool to actually paint a silk scarf-who knows maybe I will.
I'm glad your sister is so far dealing well with the chemo treatments.I always have good thoughts for her.
It's good to hear you being spunky again!

Norma for someone who is worn out-you do accomplish so much....maybe you aren't realizing that moving those plants certainly is tiring! I've learned to pace myself and do a little each day so I'm less achey and not so exhausted. I have six flagstone slabs to lay and so far I can only do one per day because it's such back breaking work when I do it myself. Chris always asks me why I don't wait for him to help....hmmmm good question lol.

Did anyone hear my screeching shreek this morning? The horned and hooved rodents hit the hostas last night! My bad-I hadn't applied repellant.

When the heuchera piece I planted perks up I'll take a pic so you guys can ID it for me. It gets reddish blooms but I figure the leaves will be more helpful to see.

I am SO glad to hear the info about caladiums-I was going to buy some corms but stopped because I am so lazy about lifting and storing stuff like that(I am less diligent than Deanne and the rest; )Good to know they typically don't hold up after a growing season(I would assume it was my own ignorance). Eden has a good method-at least for me I can get very cheap caladiums at our Marc's store each season.I hope they aren't out. Excuse me I need to go to the store right

Hey Michelle now you need to make garden stakes for the rest of us: )...I've added 'stained glass stakes' to the "to do" list that also has 'paint silk scarves' on it lol.

Thanks for the nice comments about my woodland pics...and Ry-man: )
Eileen the woodland pics are from nearby woods(I only WISH and pretend they are my own: ) As a matter of fact the fall leaf pics I sent you were from that area-it belongs to the Cuyahoga Valley Metroparks. It's about a half mile from my house. If you ever came to visit at this time of year I'd twist your arm and make you come for a walk-except I know I wouldn't have to twist! ALL the idylls would love it there. I always want to get a vista pic to show you all but you just can't get a good feel for the scale of the area with a camera!(I tried)

Good gracious,it's SLEETING here.

T-I can just imagine you slinking around trying to get pics of that bird. Did you toss any rocks? Wield a stick? He really does look like he's copping an attitude in that first one!

Deanne-I meant to say yesterday that Doug did a really nice job on the lattice trellis-what a nice backdrop for your fuchsias! I love when husbands want to help out like that. You really are lucky(and I know you know that: )
Did you say 70F? I sure hope you don't get what we have anytime soon! I even had to get out Aj's winter jacket for school today-yuck.

T I have a pile of woodchips in my drive if you want some: )

On Sat. Chris and I finally did what I was afraid to do years ago....I can only imagine what Taryn could be thinking right now....LOL no not *that*. He took a chainsaw to our old(as in decaying) Hydrangea PG standard. The thing had huge gaping rotted holes in the trunk but bloomed prolifically each year. I can't believe it was able to stand after seeing the hollowed out base. I know it will rejuvenate but it's scary to chop everything but a couple
stems and hope we can get it back to it's former splendor.

Taryn is your spider bite better yet? Everytime I lift piles of debris out in the yard I check for spiders-after hearing what keeps happening to you.

Sue is the hot tub installed yet?: )


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 2:55PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

OK just a really really quick lightening post here.

T, It looks like you have a Red-breasted Sapsucker there. They feed by drilling rows of parallel holes in tree trunks and then come back and eat the sap and insects it attracts. He doesn't know that your house isn't a tree. Oh dear!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 4:29PM
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Hi everyone

Great to see so many lively posts!

Ei - that is wonderful that your sister is doing as well as she is with her treatment, and keeping such a positive attitude. You are a wonderful pair of ladies! I can only imagine how hard it is for you both. The love and tenderness you show when you write is touching.

T - I hate to say this, but that is one beautiful bird! (even is what he is doing is far fom beautiful). I've never seen a woodpecker like that. I love patient Boo and your beautiful German Shepherd.

Babs - all the pics were great but the one of Ryan was particularly adorable. What woeful eyes!

Honey - good luck with all your contractors!

I don't think I can ever be accused of being a Heuchera Hog (I've come up with a new term for Marian!). I only have a couple as they do spectacularly badly for me and usually die over the winter. They seem to be foiling my attempts at a garden full of intersting foilage.

Cindy - Hobb's Jewel Box Garden is a fav book of mine, I love those colors. Interestingly another of my favorite English Writers, Monty Don, has a book with the same title describing the making of his Organic garden in England. He used to be a jewelry maker before turniing to gardening, and I love his description of choosing the palette for flowers adn weaving things together. I too am shuddering to think what adds the phrases sl-t and garden p-rn will bring up - eeek!

Tonight is my book group. I missed last month so I'm really looking forward to getting together tonight. I might have mentioned the book we read - The Namesake - a fascinating story about the immigrant experience and different cultures in modern America. Should be a good discussion. I'm also rather looking forward to a mid-week glass of wine!

Must go fling soemthing together for supper


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 5:37PM
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It looks like our abnormally warm weather is over for the time being around here. We're got a frost/freeze warning for tonight so the greenhouse is zipped up tight, I've covered the banana and put nursery pots over the alyssum in my container gardens. Looking at the 15 day forecast it looks like we're in for more of the same for the next couple of weeks. I did get ALL of the laundry done today so that's my big accomplishment. Exciting huh?

Cindy and Mary, I have the Jewel Box Garden too. I got it out this afternoon for another look and both books have just beautiful pictures. If you like Jewel Box and you haven't read Shocking Beauty seek it out because you'll like that one too.

Michelle, the garden stake you made is just beautiful and I love where Ei has placed it in her garden.

Ei, I can only echo what everyone else here has mentioned about how lucky your sister is to have you helping her through this rough time. She sounds like a pretty strong lady herself and I'm also keeping both of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Here's a picture of heuchera black bird Michelle. It's one of the darkest heucheras I've seen.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 7:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, V and Mary- I so enjoy knowing what you ladies are reading. As for me, it is a mystery tonight while DH is away. The latest Fine gardening magazine has parts of the book "Outside the Not So Big House" which may be next on your list V! By the way, there is a section in FG on clematis too. Winners of the container contest appear in this issue and might just give you some ideas. I certainly liked the winning entries!

I've been enjoying some Corydalis these days. A friend gave me some tiny bulblets last Fall as a birthday gift and I am seeing tiny blooming plants NOW! They come from Latvia! Here is the first to bloom.

Tonight I have covered as many things as possible. On 10 acres, that's not very much! Cross fingers that I don't lose all the budding plants to frost over the next few days! Then the box with a new Reine des Violettes rose arrived. Sometimes I wonder about the timing of things...

Following along with the tales of the rascal woodpecker, heuchera aquisition, pedicures, Six Hills Giant take over, bark chips and more. :-)

Enjoy your evening,

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 7:36PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

T, I hate to say it but that woodpecker appears to be thumbing his beak at you.

Thanks alot you enablers-I just zipped over to Amazon and bought both Thomas Hobbs books along with another called "A Year at North Hill" by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd. North Hill is a renowned private garden in southern VT that Monique, Les, Deanne and I will be visiting at the end of August.

Babs, no, the hot tub is on order. It should be another few weeks before we see it here then the electrician has to make an appearance. Just as well...I have enough other things to do right now. Tonight Tom dug out the second dwarf white pine that was on the demo list. Nothing like a clean slate...hehehe.

How vigorous are all these new Heucheras? Many of the new introductions I've tried the past couple of years have been weaklings. One of my favorites is 'Amethyst Myst', an old standby and for good reason. Another I've been impressed with is 'Molly Bush'. It has a nice heavy leaf and somewhat upright growing habit (for a Heuchera anyway). 'Obsidian' has great color but seems to be a slow grower. I tend to prefer the purple leafed varieties over the others.

It's official...Mackenzie's new family (hopefully-if all goes well) is coming to meet her on Saturday afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't growl at the kids-or that I don't. Right now she's curled up with Nick on the dog bed probably wondering why she just can't stay here.

Enjoy what's left of your night!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 9:27PM
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Rick and I put up some of the replacement siding on the garage. Im sick of home improvement projects. Although, I do admit that this was my idea as the crummy siding was making the garden look bad. LOL I did spend a little more time cleaning in the shed.

Babs, thats a great idea. Ill probably have them finished by IU10. LOL Eileen had sent me such a huge box of goodies, I just wanted to thank her and maybe brighten her day a little.

Sue, funny but I bought 3 h. Amethyst Myst last summer and I dont see any signs of life on them but do all the others that I have. I thought that h. Peach Melba didnt seem to be a strong grower, but at least it made the winter. I really like Keylime Pie for the bright spots that it adds to the spring garden. That one is very vigorous.

Eden, Black Bird will be very pretty in the right combination. Im sure you will know what that will be. Thanks for the info on Garden Shed. Ill have to look for it. Things are moving slowly in that dept.

Mary, LOL "Heuchera Hog" I like that. I hope you have an enjoyable evening.

DD called and my poor little Kenzie has another ear infection. She did get on the phone and as clear as a bell said "bye bye" to her grandma.

Night all

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 11:39PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well it was 36 degrees out here this AM and is apparently going to be this cold in the mornings for the next week or so. We got that cold weather all you guys west of here were complaining about. As I bring all these fuchsias up from the basement the collection I have to bring into the garage at night gets larger and larger. Well, I woke up at 4;38AM and zipped out of bed so I can tell the longer days are finally affecting my sleeping patterns. There is nothing better than getting an early start to the day. Im hoping to be able to hit the gym by 6:00AM or so.

Michelle, Id like to know what kind of vitamins you are taking. I cant believe how much you accomplish in a day. That is terrific you are making progress on the garage siding but that would be the last thing Id want to be doing this time of the year. Thanks for the information on Keylime Pie. My Amber Waves are toast. They did well the first year then faded away each subsequent year. Im going to replace them with either Marmalade or Keylime Pie. What do you do to mulch your heucheras over the winter? ~~ Hope Kenzie is all better soon. My DD was prone to ear infections and it seemed we spent the first four years of her life in the doctors office until I figured out she was allergic to milk. It was the allergies that caused the constant ear infections. Once we got her on milk substitute the infections got down to infrequent to rare.

Sue, best of luck with MacKenzies meeting on Saturday. Will they take her home if it is a fit? Hope so. I know you are ready for your household to get back to normal. How is Zoes bladder infection? Did that clear up?

Babs, so did you chop the PeeGee to the ground and it will grow back from suckers??? So happy you like the trellis. Doug is one clever dude. Lately he has become the bread baking expert and has decided to take over the new Zoijirushi bread machine. Hes tweaked our whole grain recipe to the point where it is a lovely loaf with a good rise for a whole grain bread. My bread was always heavier so he is pretty proud of his bread baking skills. The only problem with this is Im probably eating too much bread! LOL Ive been having a couple slices a day and I used to only have one slice a day. I have eliminated any carbs from dinner though to make up the difference.

Eden thanks for the info about over wintering caladium. If you cant do it consistently Ill assume that it cant be done and will just opt to buy new ones each year. Im going to have to check out that Thomas Hobbs book. Ill probably end up buying it for my garden book collection. Im sure I dont have enough gardening books. LOL

Marian, Please email me your address again. As Ive told the others, I put those addresses in a safe place and cant seem to locate them. Ill try to get your coleus out to you by Friday or early next week. Are there any of the varieties I talk about that you already have or anything you particularly would like?

Mary, so far the weather looks like a go for Sunday. Woohoo!!!! This is going to be so much fun.

OK so Id really like to get myself to the gym by 6:00AM so to that end Ill say bye for now. Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:42AM
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It got down to 30F here last night but I just took a quick tour of the garden and none of the plants look worse for the wear. It's bright and sunny this morning but still chilly, 52F. The birdbaths are still frozen over from last night too. My biggest goal for today is getting some dahlias potted up. I have Bella today too.

Deanne, I too love getting up early, especially at this time of year but for some reason this year it's been 6:30 or 7 before I'm waking up. You really need one of the portable greenhouses for this time of year so you can quit lugging all of those plants in and out of the garage. You wouldn't believe how much you can cram into one. In fact I think I'll go out right now and take a picture of the inside of mine so you can see. Be right back...

The floor...

The shelves...

See how much you can fit in there? You need this!

Michelle, I'm another one who's amazed at what you fit into your days. You are a very productive person and an inspiration to me! Hope Kenzie's ear infection goes away quickly. Poor baby!

I'm so glad that I'm not the only one here who's not only a plant collector but a garden book collector too! Sue, I picked up A Year At North Hill and another book by Joe Eck called Elements of Garden Design, both used copies, over the winter, but haven't had time to look at either of them yet. They're in a stack on my dresser though so they're in the lineup, lol.

I agree that I find not alot of the new heucheras are very strong growers. I bet 20-30 varieties that I've bought over the last couple of years have faded away. They are hard to resist though. I'd have to say my favorite heuchera is snow angel.

Marie, I agree that I really liked some of the winning container gardens in FG this issue. Sounds like you're getting the same cold weather as us.

Babs, we had a pile of woodchips in our driveway for a couple of weeks but it's finally gone now.

FYI, I've never had a pedicure. I don't know if I'd like someone messing with my toes.

Gotta run and get a few things done before Bella the Ball gets here.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 8:54AM
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Ei, I believe you asked if I was coming to IU3. Rick and I both plan to come. The motel charges hit my credit card this month so we are committed. I cant wait to meet everyone. By the way I wanted to mention how cool I thought your street name was.

Eden, I like your greenhouse. I think I need one. You guys wouldnt think I was so productive if you could see my house right now. Cleaning is not a gardening season thing. LOL I picked up a Snow Angel last summer and it is also a vigorous grower. It stayed evergreen for me and the rabbits left it alone.

Deanne, LOL about vitimans. Its not that, Im just crazy! The siding project shouldnt take long and Rick will want to be in the field as soon as it dries up. Im not real crazy about it right now, but it will look so much better. Its the side that faces the road too. Im thinking about taking Monday off and then I will have the whole day to myself. Although, I still have a gift certificate for a massage that I may try to use.
I actually dont mulch the heucheras. How cool about Dougs bread experimenting. Rick used to do that too, but we havent used ours for quite a while. I am actually not that fond of bread.
You have been a bad influence on me. Yesterday I was a greenhouse and saw a nice big fuchsia Gartenmeister. I just couldnt help but pick it up. It was pretty cheap too.

I think I need to adjust my sleeping schedule so that I could go out into the garden for a bit in the early morning. Im a night owl, but lately Ive been waking around 4 and then sleeping poorly after that.

I am so jealous of you easterners with all your get togethers. What fun that must be.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 11:48AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Deanne, I e-mailed you from your GW page. I HOPE I sent the right address! :-(
I forgot to answer your question as to which coleus I prefer. Actually any will be fine, but I am espacially partial to the orange one, and any variegated ones. I can't remember the names of any that you have posted about. I do remember the pics of the orange ones.

I kid you not about sending the wrong address..... I am 'really' losing it! But I am certain it is the right one. I checked and rechecked before sending it. It would have been better if I had used the address that I have, but I think I remember you telling me that you don't use that one very often.

I bought a 6pack of mixed coleus, and a 4pack of the really dark leaved ones. I also bought 2 beautiful dark-leaved New Guinea Impatiens, a Fiesta 'Ole' Peppermint Impatiens, a 'Soprano Light Purple' Osteospernum, and a Euonymmus japonicus ' Aureo-marginatus'. I hope to make a beautiful combo with some of the dark-leaved plants and the Osteospernum. They look lovely in the tub that I have them setting in, waiting to go into their permenant places.

Marie, that Corydalis is soo pretty. I wish they would be happy growing here.

Eden, I love your greenhouse, but how in the world do you get in to it to tend the plants? How I wish I had such a greenhouse, butI really need a full-sized one.

Hugs for Eileen and sister, and for Mary...... and everyone else that need them.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:14PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Eden, pedicures are WONDERFUL! Don't knock it 'til you try it! Love your greenhouse, you enabler you. Deanne you DO need one of these! If mine wasn't glass I'd bring it with me.

Babs, no not WHAT? LOL! Hope PG survives the hack attack. Loved RY-guy, Mertensia and other spring lovelies. Wendy thanks for Mertensia eyecandy too!

Loving all the pics here, ain't spring grand! Only I put my back out Sunday shoving my stepper under the pinball machine to make our family room appear more spacious for a showing. Or maybe it was lying on the ground trying to get Hellebore pics yesterday that pushed it over the edge? I don't know, but it starts at the base of my skull and goes right down to behind my left knee, so needle doc is seeing me at 3:30pm. That plus Devin is home with stomach flu today along with half his school so I'm sucking back green tea with yerba matte and ginger.

Deanne, thanks re plantlets! When I traded garden plants many times before APHIS came along I just mailed them via air with roots moist in papertowel and baggies and foliage free to breath. Airholes in box and a note saying please don't leave in the sun and they always got there fine, even it if took 7-10 days. Would think it would be the same with houseplants.

T that red-breasted PEST looks mighty cocky as he peers around the corner at you! When I told Glenn he was moving to the other side of the house to continue his pecking DH said, "That's when you bring out the specially-marinated grubs". I would balk at that, he's soo pretty, but there has to be a way to stop him, humanely. Good luck.

Yes, we're really selling Christine! She was a great little camper once we figured out & addressed her quirks and foibles. We bought her, having never owned one, then 6 days later took her several thousand miles and back for a 3 week trip to Montana~~it was a learning curve to say the least, lol! She's great now, even has air conditioning, but we've bought a hardtop which will be less hassle and store more kidstuff. Will decorate it for Christmas in August too...:) Chrissy is doing very well on Ebay, though has until Sunday 'til auction end. We are popping her up today for the afternoon and I'm expecting several potential buyers. Follow C's fate here: BYE BYE CHRISTINE

Drema and Cindy, listen to Ei and Deanne--we all feel like that sometimes when things aren't working the way we thought they might, but that is part of the challenge and the joy (when we get it right) of gardening. Cindy I forgot to comment on your pics, which were lovely! I really like the combo with the true blue flower with the pink tulips--is that an Anemone? I'm feeling really weird with my garden right now. I mean, what is still in the ground won't be *mine* much longer (though there are still a few I'm going to pot and move). And half my combinations are gone, in pots in the greenhouse instead of their usual homes. It's a bit overwhelming to think I'll be starting over again somewhere else, but I'm ready for a fresh start and a clean slate. If we ever sell. May have to dig out and pot up all my plants and sod everything over with grass if we don't attract a gardener to buy it soon.

Actually, got a call from my agent yesterday saying we had a signed offer on this place last week, but it didn't even get presented because the DH hasn't been at his job long enough to qualify for financing. So he's on some kind of financial probation period. Maybe they'll come back once he's put in the time required if we're still on the market. I'm tired of these *almost* deals, and want the real deal soon!

Ei how great to see a nice long newsy post from you! Like Deanne, I feel your posts (and many others too) are a verbal treat, so get myself a tea and settle in for a good read when I see your name. Best wishes, prayers and all good blessings going out to you and your sister. She sounds like a trooper, and attitude is half the battle. No I didn't get your email re the seeds, have only heard from Babs re seeds. But so glad they got there safely & hope they do well for you. Mary did you get my email about Lakota? Or am I in a spam filter somewhere, lol! There's been a few times I've emailed and not heard back so wonder if other's emails are acting up too?

Well, just got the other boys, half day today, and Devin has miraculously perked up now that his bros are home. :) He has seemed pretty unsick all morning so while he missed some school I'll be thrilled if he's fine and we don't have flu to contend with. I can't imagine worshipping the Goddess of the White Porcelaine with spasms and sciatic pain radiating down my leg at the same time--too horrible to contemplate for long!

Time for lunch, laundry, and getting Glenn's dinner ready for him to take to work tonight, before people come to see Christine. Hi to all I've missed and have a great day all!


Heuchera (unknown, grown from seed) & Forget-me-nots foliage for Marian:

I'm a Hellebore Hound too:

And a Corydalis crone (this one's C. cheilanthifolia):

And a Salvia Salivator: (4 year old S. argentea looks mighty happy to be entering a new season a few days after potting! Me too!):

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 12:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Taryn, thanks for the foliage pic. I'm not sure if I have anything like that in the bed, and it is too wet to go searching today. At least I know I haven't pulled anything that looks like that, but if I remember right, there are plants in there that look like that.
I do have a Salvia argentea like yours. I dug it out of the crock pot ( looks like a literal chamber pot, only smaller) that it has been growing in for the past 3 years, and planted it in to the ground. It has been raining off and on ever since, so it is very happy.
Oooo, I have Corydalis envy!

My earliest peony ( other than 'Molly') is opening, and several iris. A differant type of iris is blooming in the front yard bed. I couldn't remember planting them, and when the bloom stalk first came on I was thinking:"The plant looks like a Spiderwort, but the bud looks like an iris". I finally discovered they are Dutch Iris, and I had bought a Wal Mart package of 12 bulbs last fall. I see about 4-5 more plants,
( no more flower stalks), and am wondering where I stuck the rest. :-(

I bought a hardy clyclamen awhile back, and planted it on the north-west end of our house. I hope it grows, and that I remember that it is there!

I met up with one of Nolon's cousin's wives in WalMart tuesday. She asked why I was buying She said she wasn't going to buy any. ( Sure)
I said ," Maybe I could sneak over and plant stuff in your beds like you used to in mine." She just grinned.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 1:20PM
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It's turned out to be a really beautiful day and an unexpected 70F. My cercis canadensis covey came in the mail today from Roslyn Nursery. It looks like a 4 ft. stick, lol.

Taryn, loved your pictures. Your heauchera looks like h. cathedral windows to me. It's one of my favorites. Sorry about your back and sure hope you don't get the stomach flu.

Marian, the greenhouse isn't usually quite that packed with plants but I threw everything in there last night because of the freezing temps.

Here's a couple of pictures from our playtime this morning

Hope you're all having a good afternoon. I just put Bella down for a nap and I think I'm going to take a quick one too. She can sure tire me out.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 2:56PM
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What a beauty Bella is!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 3:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Shhhhhhhhhh...I promise not to make noise while Bella and Eden are napping...but I wanted to show Michelle my mower. Here it is after I took it around a section of the property today.

And now I know why I've been humming this song all day! Eden's Brad sang it so nicely for us at last year's Idyllunion and it is the name of her new Heuchera. I'm sure Eden knows the words by heart, but for the rest of us:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of a dark black night.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of a dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

When I returned from my trip I asked DH to learn this one and he said it was too hard! Way to go Brad!

Here is a neat plant just surfacing. It is called Gillenia and has tiny white star shaped flowers later on.

Taryn, I love your photo of the Corydalis cheilanthifolia. I see mine is surfacing, but it looks so tiny! I hope I didn't lose it to the voles! Marian, sorry corydalis don't grow for you. I think they need winter cold to grow. But you get to grow all those wonderful dogwoods that don't make it here, so I guess things are fair for once! ;-)

A bit windy, too cold at night, but a very beautiful day nevertheless!

Off to pay some bills-

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 4:42PM
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Wow Marie, that's one snazzy machine. Tell Ric not to feel bad, Brad learned how to play Blackbird probably 25 years ago but it took him a long time and lots of practice from what I remember. I'n going to have to google Gillenia. I love the emerging foliage.

Hi T, what's going on with you? How's your w.pecker today?

I must be on a picture posting binge today but I wanted to show you all the baby begonias. It just amazes me that they propagate this way.

Isn't that just the coolest thing?


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:00PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi everyone! Very busy at work all of a sudden - what a surprise. This will be a quickie-I'm-still-alive post.

Eden, I realize now that your garden was only missing one thing when we visited - an adorable granddaughter! What a sweetheart, and you must enjoy her so much. And aren't those begonias amazing? I think two of the most amazing things in the plant world are the flowers of the various dicentras and the way a small fragment of begonia leaf will create a whole new little plant.

'bug, I thought for a moment you were naming your mower Michelle! Not a bad idea, though.

Last night we had a frost warning with a predicted low of 34, but in the middle of the night they changed it to a freeze warning and it dropped to 30. I would have moved more things into the garage had I known. I only did the briefest of glances this morning since it was still 30 when I left. I hoping a lot of things bounced back during the day.

That's all for now. Good reading today! Marie, you've guessed correctly on my next book to read, but I'm running shy on reading time right now. I'm hoping to get started this weekend. (yeah, right!)

Bye for now,


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:12PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

That's some heavy equipment, Marie!! A grass "hog"!! Neat.

O, Eden, Im jealous - I've been lusting after the Cercis Covey (aka Lavender Twist) for couple yrs. now & decided to spring for one next year (after figuring out a place for it). You'll have to tell me how yours does -- Roslyn's did seem to be more "reasonable" in price on theirs in the size/price ratio ($ per inch?).... I can't wait to hear about it. Looked locally but couldnt find. Bella is the princess - what a cutie.

Okay almost time to skeedaddle...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:23PM
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Oh Mary, look what I found.....your toad in cement.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:32PM
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Eden, What size is your greenhouse? It looks like it holds quite a bit.
Those begonia cuttings are fun aren't they?
Is your walkway made with one of those concrete molds? I have been wanting to try one of those for a couple of years now.
I really enjoyed seeing the bones of your garden. It looks like a great little space. I imagine you enjoy it so much.
And now Bella will too. She looks very happy to be sailing away in grandmas garden. Too cute. Is that the jacket she got for her birthday?

T, I hate it that Woody is wrecking your house. I hope you find a solution soon. Any sign of wood chips yet?

Ah ha GB. A Kubota even. That should get the job done. We have a John Deere that is twenty years old and still kicking. Knock on wood. I don't want to jinx it. It has a lot of worn this and thats but it has been a workhorse.
Have been enjoying all you pictures of spring flowers. Our trees have been really leafing out and the pollen has been flying like crazy. Do you have your Tiger Eye Sumac planted in sun or shade? I thought I might have lost mine but it has leafed out. It isn't getting much sun where it is. I may have to move it.

That Gillenia is a neat little plant. How big does it get?

V, I guess being busy at work is a good thing. When I worked I would rather be busy. The time passed faster that way. Unless of course, things weren't going well.
I was happy to hear your DD was accepeted at the college of her choice. I really didn't have any doubts.
Your auction purchase was pretty neat.
I brought plants in last night. But everything else seem to be alright, so I didn't tonight. Will I be sorry?
I put together four big containers today and still have seven more to do.

Cindy and Drema, I get really overwhelmed sometimes with all I have started but can never seem to get finished here. Thank goodness most of it seems to bloom in spite of my never getting it all weeded or mulched or divided. And I'm always needing to move something that I shouldn't have planted in that spot. Like I told DH tonight,"some year I'll get it done,if I don't run out of years" LOL. It's the journey that counts. Right?

Marian, Lol about your Dutch Iris discovery. I hope you find your for get me nots seedlings. What exactly is "Molly"? I'm thinking a peony from hearing everyone talk. I know it was from Ei. What kind is it? I can't wait for my Buckeye Belle to bloom. It is my favorite. Of course I stuck it in a spot that is not visible from the house. So I will move it this fall.
I am seeing several of my Jain iris bloom for the first time this year. Some of them bloomed last year already. Hi Jain if you are reading here at all.
If anyone notices Jain posting pictures in the gallery, give us a heads up. I love seeing her gardens.

Deanne, Doug did a fantastic job on that trellis. It sure dresses up that area. Not that it ever looked bad. And he bakes bread too. And flys you to see GW friends. What a guy. Not to mention he helps dig out rocks for those lovely flower beds.
I hope all your tests came out ok.

Taryn, I'm happy to hear you are feeling better these days. Except for messing up your back of course. Hope Christine and your house sell quickly. I know you would love to get settled somewhere in time to get your new garden going. How do the boys feel about this probably being their last year at this school?
I notice I have a couple of volunteer seedlings from the burgundy salvia that I started from your seeds. I will have to move those as they are in a pathway.
I'm guessing you won't be working at the "Weedy Place" this year?
Bet you can't wait to try out the new camper .

Michelle sorry to hear Kenzie has a ear infection. Wyatt has had a lot of those. I'm hoping he will outgrow them soon.
I need to pick him up soon for a day at Mimi's house. I haven't done that for awhile. He is growing up to fast.
I divided my heuchera Crimson Curls. I thought I had wrecked it as it didn't divide as easily as my Plum Pudding one does. I wound up with several pieces. I'm not sure they will all make it. But most look like they will. I really just wanted to make two but it didn't work that way.

Sue, I lost one of the light color varigated heuchera over winter.(can't remember the name right now). But what really makes me mad is I lost my "Sunrise" echinacea. I loved that flower color. I don't have any problems with other echinaceas so why that one? And I had it planted in a nice combo.
I hope Mackenzie gets a good forever home.

Ei, You ask if I planned that Bergina-phlox combo. I didn't. I think some of my best combos just happen. I try, but not everything works right.

Ok, my eyes are getting heavy, so hi to anyone I missed. Babs for one, I know there are others. Later Norma

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'll put this at the end of the idyll so I don't have to see it at the beginning of the new thread. I checked the gardens tonight and I have heavy freeze damage to my Anemone 'Robustissima' (or not-so-robust-is-it-now?) The new growth was up to 10 inches long on some plants and it looks like it's all dead. Not what I would have expected to take such a heavy hit. And the bad news is this is the garden that the Aster 'Purple Dome' had decided to abandon, so I may end up with rather large holes.

It's not supposed to get as cold tonight, but the plants are staying in the garage for the night. The stinky part is that when they go in for the night, they have to spend the day inside as well, because I leave for work at 6:30 am and it's still pretty cold at that time.

I'm still up because the farmer in the field east of us is out in the field with his tractor and the dogs are very disturbed by the noise. It's not very loud; it's just that the dogs don't hear this very often so they're not used to it. Much growling and barking going on!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 10:25PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Morning Guys!

Poor T! That rotten woody! I'm sure you've probably already did a web search, but I'll post a few links I found anyway. They suggest using mylar or bird netting to discourage the woodpecker. They say he may be staking out his territory and in that case you want to try to discourage him as soon as possible or you may not ever be able to get rid of him. Anyway, you can read it for yourself...hope *something* will work for you. It seems like I can only post one in the optional link section, so here is the other site:

You can copy and paste into your web address and it should take you to the link. BTW, really enjoyed seeing sweet, beautiful Boos pic...I *love* his name too and thinking if I ever get another pet, Id love to name him Boo its so cute! :-)

Im not feeling too well this a.m. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling nauseated and after about an hour had projectile vomiting...sorry about the visual guys! It was just awful. Im wondering if its something I ate at the Taco Bell. Dotty and I stopped there as we were both hungry. We were going to Sunrise Nursery (which is in the middle of nowhere) so we didnt really have any other choices. Or, it could be from the Mucinex which I tried for the first time. It says you should drink a lot of water with it and I tried, but Im not a big drinker. Im going to have to ask Dotty if she had any problems last night. In any case, I sure hope its not the flu, as were leaving for Arizona this week-end!

Well Marian, I tried to get pics the other day, but we also had Babs sleet! I see Taryn posted the myosotis for you (Thanks Taryn for picking up the ball). Im still going to post a couple too, since I already had them loaded...LOL! One is in full bloom:

and the other is still a tiny baby:

Hope it ends up you do have some of these. I think they should be blooming by you now though, as mine are just starting and I know your season is earlier than mine. Also including a pic of that bergenia I was talking about. It *is* called Pink Dragonfly and I think it may prove to be a pretty reliable bloomer. Here is a pic of it last year (its 2nd year in the garden):

I abused it last fall and divided it into three and look, here is one of the tiny divisions already trying to flower! :-O Poor pitiful little thing...shame on me for being so greedy and dividing it last fall. But look, below the flower I *do* see teeny tiny leaves beginning to form:

Anyway, it might be a bergenia you want to try if you have problems with them not blooming.

Eden! What a delight it was this morning to see Bellas smiling face! :-) She is adorable and it seems to me she is growing really fast now. I know toddlers can be a lot to keep up with... they are so *full* of energy, but Im sure she brings grandma a lot of joy too! :-) Really enjoyed seeing your Begonia adventures and very clever to use a plastic tub like that. I think I will try them from leaf cuttings next *is* very cool to see!

BTW, thanks guys! You are so sweet to say those nice things, but honestly, I am not doing much; certainly not more than sis would do for me if the situation were turned around and I know not more than any of you would do for your sister too! Anita has always been the most supportive, kind, generous big sister a girl could ever hope for.

Sue, ditto on the Obsidian. I *absolutely* love the foliage on that heuchera and it always amazes me how well it holds its gorgeous, shiny dark foliage, even in full sun! But you are right, it is *such* a slow grower. I would like to buy more and cram them all together to get the full look I want. I have three and spaced them correctly and unfortunately, they are *still* about the same spacing apart! :-( Lime Ricky seems a *little* better with getting some size on it, but the other one I *love* Peach Flambe, looks like it will be another wimp in the size department. I have three from last year. They all came back, but dont seem to be any larger than they were last year.

LOL Michelle! Glad you found my emails. Im only laughing because it sounds just like something I would do. There are just too many things to remember when you are busy and you are probably the hardest working woman I know! :-)

Hi Babs! :-) Youre wouldnt have to twist my arm at all! You sure do come from a beautiful part of the country and how nice to have that gorgeous place so close to your home! I think that is so neat that you want to make a scarf for Chriss CW. And a hand painted one sounds lovely and so personal. Im sure she would be touched that you would do that for her *and* it would be so unique! They had a pretty good selection at the store, more than I thought there would be, but nothing like what you describe and Im sure with your talent it will turn out beautifully! We got siss at a place out here called Naturally Yours. The scarves are kind of hard to describe. They are not "flat". They are formed in a way that reminds me of Amish hats, but you take the "tails" and tie them to the back...does that make any sense? Im not good at describing things. If you would like, I could get you one and send it to use as a prototype?

Taryn I have been perusing Ebay for about a year now and I can see why you do so well! Your posts are wonderful and I love your sense of humor...Heck, if I were an Ebayer Id bid on your stuff for sure because you are so honest, funny, creative and it really comes across in your listings. Christine looks great BTW! There seems to be a lot of interest in her and I hope she gets top dollar and a happy home! :-) Count me in as another hellebore hound yours is gorgeous BTW! Thanks for the link to your pics. Does that gorgeous deep pink one have a name? Have you tried the stinking hellebore? I had one out front before the addition, which is gone hoo. Not sure if it was caused by the move or just that it isnt hardy enough for here. I *did* see them at Sunrise Nursery yesterday and was tempted to buy. Maybe Ill get one the next time we go there, which will probably be next week...LOL!

Cool plant Marie! And congrats on the new mower...shes a beauty!

Deanne thank you for being such a sweetheart! :-) Well, Im certainly not going to say "No" if you really dont mind sending me a fuchsia! :-) BTW, I have a little confession to make. I have been holding out sending you your plants because I was *hoping* Freckles would be a little better groomed before sending him along, but Im afraid I just dont know how to pinch properly. Oh well, I know you will make him look like that happy fellow he really is; besides your Illustrius is getting too big and am worried about waiting much longer to ship him. I will send both next week when we get back from Arizona.

V sorry to hear about Anemone Robutissima, but it is a very hardy plant and Im sure it will send up new shoots very quickly if it is an established plant. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

You guys are such enablers and really hard on my pocketbook...LOL! Now Eden has me nearly convinced that I need a portable greenhouse and should buy some begonias just so I can start doing those cool leaf cuttings and Ive already placed my order for the Hobbs books...LOL!

Okay, I guess I should be going now. Ive got lots to do to get ready for our trip, so best to get to it...TTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 11:57AM
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Hi Ei: ) Thanks for mentioning about the type of scarves you were looking at. what you describe is exactly what I found when I looked online. I wondered if that shape was a better one than using a regular flat scarf wrapped on the head-maybe the type you talk about is easier to apply. No no-don't send me a prototype I most likely can find a pattern for the formed type-I was just curious what type your sister was interested in and what type was easier to manage.

Eden you are amazing: ) I love how you dabble in all kinds of propogating-those begonias are so cool! So do you just stick the sliced leaf into the medium and mist them till they sprout growth(do you cover them during the initial planting period?)?? What I love about the idylls is that I try so many different things because I get the ideas from you all. Fun!Gotta go buy me some begonias; )
Bella has just a sweet face! I'll bet she's not getting more teeth at the moment-she looks SO happy: ) It's neat to think of all the great stories she'll have about playing in her Grandma's garden.

Has anyone had their Buddleia fried by a freeze? The basal foliage is blakened but underneath I still see green so it's alive at the roots but will this affect it's growth much?

I actually meant to comment two days ago but lost my post when I went to check the heuchera link-I always forget to not do that when I have a post being composed: ) Oh well.

Deanne-yes-the stems left from the H.Pee Gee would be basal suckers. H. paniculata is a shrub so I expect a surge of new stems to appear but I will try to develop a standard. I will be really sad if this whole idea flops.

Taryn-I enjoyed reading up on Christine's life on ebay-you are the ebay queen: ) That is wonderful that people are so interested in her-I hope you get big money for her! She really does look good. Hmmm maybe I should sell my house and my family of four could live in her; )...and live off the land(!)
Ow-your back! Be careful and take good care of yourself. Crossed fingers that everybody stays healthy at your do you think Devin just wanted to play hookie? Amazing what healing qualities siblings can offer lolol.

Yeesh Ryan had his 5yr old check up. He needs his eyes checked by a specialist for possible lazy eye! And he had blood in his urine-even though they said it's not a problem I want to know why that happens. We go back in four weeks for a second hearing test so I'll ask then. AND Ryan had to get two shots...poor guy. He was brave though. He was sure the order for two shots was a mistake and didn't think they were necessary!(He's so funny when he tries to justify things he'd rather not do).

I don't mean to leave abruptly but I need to go buy food. Also, I might be here less because it's coming upon crunch time for the art show,I have some sewing to do for a neighbor,and I tell ya, track season just eats up my quality garden,idyll and bon bon eating time lol. I want my life back; )


    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 10:28AM
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I just arrived on this message board and was wondering if you really have a woodpecker that needs a home?
Also, was scanning computer to find out what the proper name is for "red tips" that grow prolifically in Alabama.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 11:39AM
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I had to check this out. I wondered where our feathered friend had landed. He moved out back in '04 - it appears he did not appreciate the many wind chimes we had placed around the outside of the house. Oh, they (the wind chimes, silly) are lovely with many different tones but not overwhelming.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 2:05PM
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