Idyll #481 Three Gardening Days

saucydog(z5MA)May 29, 2010

For our American friends, 3 days of gardening. In New England this is the traditional weekend to plant all your annuals, free from frost.

I am off to Maine this weekend, and it is certainly hard to leave my garden, and pot ghetto, behind! I think I have taken every assurance that things will not die in the 80 - 90 degrees I'm leaving behind.

Have a great weekend all!


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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I will be checking back in several times to see more of what Eileen has been up to -- Love love your treatment of what for you was an eyesore -- it's just wonderful and I think you would love to paint the trim another color. The rooster was another ah moment. So wonderful to see and hear from you.

Well, Im leaping into the yard as this is the coolest day we're expecting.

Enjoy the day, friends.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:09AM
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I picked up 4 six-packs of Browallia this morning. They look great, which is important as this is a late season "comer". I'm delighted.

The white flowers on the clover need to be buzzed today. And there is much weeding and garden cleaning to do. Not sure how far I'll get, but it promises to be a lovely late spring day.

'bug, I think Claire de Lune is one of the prettiest peonies I've seen. I've lusted after it since you first began sharing pictures of it. But "full sun" is limited here and thus, it's not yet found its way here...

New Dawn is OK, still unfertilized, and in need of an insecticidal "bubble bath". But I've ruthlessly pruned wayward canes and decided that I'm going for "shape" this season. Or maybe I'll just shovel prune the whole friggin' mess...

Hi Ei!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:34AM
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Im pumped about 3 gardening days. I wonÂt be out all 3 but I still love long weekends. IÂve already been out walating. ItÂs 69 degrees already. We hit 91 yesterday. All I did last night was water all the seedlings that IÂve planted. Next week is supposed to be cooler so I think the wintersown stuff can go in then. I think this will be the container weekend. The clematis are just starting to bloom along with the iris, peonies, dictamnus and dianthus. My ÂArabella cuttings of a couple of years ago are getting to a nice size. I tried more last year and was unable to overwinter them.

Fabulous Eileen - I love the part about embracing the shed in its decayed barnyness - LOL You're thinking like a true farm girl. I have a lot of decayed barnyness around me that I either try to leave out of pictures or have embraced as the weathered, patina of something that's spent some time here. I always call my garden "country gardens" which seems to make it all look intentional.

Woody, I agree with the others on the fabulous picture of ND Â its got a nice romantic, cottage garden feel to it.

Deanne, great grouping around the sundial. I had a lysmachia ÂAlexander by mine too but it has died out. I really should work on that area.

Cindy, I was thinking about your granddaughter-to-be, IÂm sure IÂve mentioned that I take at least one picture each year of her on the same bench in the garden. I bought a child-sized cement bench. It might be something you would like to do. It doesnÂt get much better than that  grandchildren and gardens ;o)

Saucy, itÂs great that Nick has time and is willing to help you with the paths. My DH is willing but at this time of year he basically works about 12 hours a day.

I must get myself outdoors.



From the walat:

Peonies with black iris from Cindy.

Pink Fantasy


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 11:21AM
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Sun at last here ..this morning I got up early and drove over yonder to Sonoma County to verify a couple of issues with the scenic route on day 4 -mission accomplished on that front, and naturally I had to stop at a garden center (I mean it was right on the way, couldnt just drive by!) A major score, S. Wendys Wish was found at last , along with the variegated basil for the basil orchard. Life is good !

And Chelone has scored the Browallia at last ..I daresay you have become attached to ND as the threats to shovel prune never come to pass ! I SPd 2 of my roses this spring and one more is on the watch list it looks absolutely dreadful.

Woody, re: New Dawn I think what you are doing sounds fine, you should see what I and my BIL did to Cecile Bruner last winter if ND is as robust as you describe ,I expect she will recover nicely.

Eileen, Im firmly in favor of painting the trim, and of course I vote purple ! Ill bet you are thrilled with how it turned out, there is nothing better than ridding ones self of an eyesore . I have one myself but as it involves concrete it will be a hire-out job. Im working on a camouflage at the moment so I dont have to look at it every day while I accumulate the funding.

Saucy, everytime I have ordered certified birth certificates for anyone in this family, I always get 2..I likes Deannes idea of having Jake do the paperwork !

Lol Deanne, your new Abutilon, not having that variety sounds like an excellent justification to me ..I was looking at that lily thread that got bumped up yesterday and at first I was flabbergasted that you had so many in bloom when mine are just budding up..It took me a few moments to realize I was looking at an old thread.

Hope Saucy is having fun on her trip to Maine I am having 4 day weekend this holiday, taking Tuesday off too., Ive got a ton of PTO to burn up.

Time for an evening WALAT , in which I will develop strategic plans for tomorrow.

Later Idylls !

PS. So jealous of Michelles Dictamnus ! Waaaah !

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 7:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It looks like we are going to have a lovely weather day and we are having company for an afternoon of good food, beverages and lots of laughs on the patio. Im in need of a day off from the grueling schedule Ive kept recently. My old body is pretty sore and tired and in fact, I slept ten hours last night and I never do that. It will surely be a lot of fun to sit and enjoy the gardens instead of seeing every task that needs doing and run off to do it, LOL. Hope Saucy is having a great time in Maine!

Cindy, hope you are having a productive weekend in the gardens and share some more pics?

Chelone, I was thinking of you recently when I saw Browalia at a nursery and was wondering if you were going to use it this year. I agree 100% about Bugs Claire de Lune. I really must look for it and find a spot here for that beauty.

Michelle, sounds like you are going to have a great gardening weekend. I just love your dictamnus. What a beauty. That is another plant Id love to have here. Just love the peony reflection in the bird bath! Beautiful photo!

Kathy, LOL about thinking that 08 lily thread was this year! Things are blooming early this year but not that early!!! LOL

A couple pics from yesterday morning, I just did this container grouping on Friday.

Love this Florida Beauty Caladium. I bought the tubers from a grower in Florida and they came up quick and are beautiful plants

The shade garden flowing into the west container area

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:07AM
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Deanne I really like those new containers with the shed colors. Nice viganette.
Enjoy your down time.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:30AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Sorry guys...I *am* out of practice...I accidently posted this in the old Idyll #480, so am now reposting it here in Idyll #481. Anyway, by looking again at least I got to see new gorgeous shots from Deanne! I too love that Caladium *and* your planting of it. Have you seen the new (at least new to me) Elephant Ear called "Mojito" (I think)? I saw it yesterday for the first time at a nursery here, but they wanted $40.00 for it. Not in my budget, but it was a big plant. I will keep looking for it but in a smaller and hopefully less expensive size.

Anyway, here is what I posted this a.m.:

Good Morning Girls!
My salutation made me immediately made me think of that old song "Good Morning Girl, how'd ya sleep last night? You're sev'ral ages older now Your eyes have started showin' how The little girl's growin' now...Good Morning Girl¨. Lol, some things never change I guess. I still think of the world as one big musical. :-) I don't even remember who sang the song, but it's playing in my head now.

Anyway, thank you so much, I knew you guys would make me feel good. Idylls is definitely a place to find kindness, support and camaraderie.

Speaking of some things never changing...Deanne your gardens are as glorious as ever! I too love that sundial of my faves, but of course, all the pictures here at the Idylls make me are all fabulous gardeners & photographers; each with your own special style...I love that.

Lol Cindy, you know me so well. Yes, I *do* want to paint the trim. I'm just having a hard time picturing the color. Kathy's suggestion of purple has definitely made the list. I was also thinking of chartreuse or lime...isn't that Chelone's favorite color? :-) Hi Chelone..I'm so glad you're still here.

Seriously, I do want to paint the trim, but it will be tough choosing the color, cause I get so exuberant I'm afraid I will go over the top and instead of being glorious, it will be garish. I don't want it to scream, but I do want it to be cheerful. :-)

Kathy are you getting pumped about the Idyllunion? I'm all the vistors are...what a treat for all. It will be so much *fun*!

Cindy...did I read you have gotten yourself a new pup? I'm so far behind, I've just decided to start with "today" in catching up with you guys, but I'm happy to hear you have a new companion. Though no one will ever replace your sweet Chloe, I'm glad you have a new partner in crime. What kind of pup did you choose; a maltese? Is it a girl or a boy?

I did see V has started her own chicken ranch (it's fabulous V). Which of course made me think of Mary. I wonder what she is up to now (she's always up to some new creative thing) and wonder how all her baby chicks are doing. I'm sure they are all grown now. Speaking of which, I've been wondering why neither V or Mary have a rooster? I want a rooster *bad*. Someday I will move out to the country and get one and my own little nubby headed goat too.

Hope Saucy is having fun...will a visit to Chelone be on the agenda?

I love Michelle's beautiful garden pics too and your Dictamnus is *gorgeous*. Don't you just love that plant? I think more people would grow it if it just weren't so picky about getting established. I think it may be a propagation challenge? But once you have it you have it forever. My pink one has to be about 10 years old now and it always looks so perfect and healthy. Even in the worst growing season it is always healthy and fresh looking...I love it. I just started new babies of the white version last year. They are still pretty small, but one of them bloomed. I decided I had to have the white after GB mentioned guys really are enablers. :-)

Speaking of GB and enabling, Clare de Lune is on my list of must have peonies now too.

I should have realized you guys would have thought Clematis when I mentioned the Woodstock/GB shed wall. Actually I just always think of GB when I think of Woodstock. I think she mentioned that she went once and I like to fantasize about what it must have been like for her to be there with all those young and fresh and full of dreams of a better world people and all those positive love vibes. Yes, I guess I am a wannabee woodstocker. :-)
Anyway, the trellises on that wall only have your sturdy heirloom tomatoes fantasizing about getting big. Maybe I'll put a couple of clematis on the south wall of the shed could use a little more oomph.

Hi Norma...that's it did feel like an ah ha moment. I will love to show more pics later when it's finished, but in a separate post. I'd love to show you some close ups of the posters...there are some really cute ones in there.

Anyway, here I've babbled so much and never told you about my work and what's growing in the veggie garden. I always have too much to say (yes some things *never* but I'll be back later to chat more.

Hope you are all having a wonderful three day week-end...


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:35AM
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Time to hang the final load of laundry and then assess the day's activities. So much to do that getting started is proving daunting, lots on my mind, too, which doesn't help with motivation. I did squat yesterday.

Spencer is able to open the screen on the slider out to the deck and sure enough, he did it yesterday and later was able to bring in a dead chipmunk. I didn't even realize he'd one it until the helpmeet returned from work and asked if there was reason I'd left him on the rug in the bedroom... safari season is indeed upon us!

Lovely containers, Deanne; I particularly like the Caladium, preferring it to Coleus. I haven't seen much in the way of Fuschias in my garden centre tours. I wish I had more sun because I particularly like Thunbergia, too.

And fond wishes to departed Dennis Hopper. Wild man that he was I always liked his work. Maybe "Easy Rider" should go on the Netflix list...

OK, time to get movin'.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 8:10AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, I know that daunted feeling! Our combination of plenty of rain followed by lots of heat has my ornamental grasses quite large. Unfortunately, the quack grass and wild oats also have reached record proportions, along with some other weeds. And what is that thing growing outside my kitchen window? Some morning it's going to reach inside and kill me.

Eileen, roosters are very loud. VERY loud. I'm content with hearing the rooster that lives about a half-mile away. Also, having a rooster adds the complication of determining if the eggs are fertilized or not.

I had to work for the morning (not sure how "1/2 day" works out to 5.5 hours?!?) but spent the afternoon (aka "the hottest part of the day") clearing an area to expand my vegetable garden. Got my fancy tomato trellis sited and the rest of the tomatoes planted. I'll have to take a photo of the trellis today - too tired and sweaty after I was finished yesterday.

DH and I had dinner at a local sports bar so we could watch the Blackhawks game, which was a very exciting game. Today, I'm going to squeeze in a little more gardening time before we take off for my niece's graduation party. It could be interesting - she posted it on Facebook as a public event open to anyone. Hmm...

Last but not least, I booked flights for IU 7 for DD and myself. Long story, but DH dithered and dithered about his work schedule and finally decided that it wasn't going to work for him. It's a busy travel time for him, but I wish he had gotten off the pot a little sooner!

OK, time's a wastin'!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 8:47AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

ACK!! Disaster strikes! Vyvyan is wilting!! She was the first clematis in the garden and has had 10 trouble-free years. I can think of three possible stress factors that might have brought it on. 1- the cutting back I did this spring; 2- the virtually snowless winter left the porch bed very dry; usually there is snow piled on it all winter from clearing the driveway but there was very little of that this year; 3- Randy put compost around it from the Town free conmpost and maybe that had whatever causes wilt in it? I am not a happy camper! We desperately need a good rain - stready rain for days would be nice! I lost all the lamium against the house in the north alley and the Angel roses at the base of the Blanc Double de Coubert rose are mostly covered in mildew or something, which has never happened to them before. It looks like the rest of summer may be a disappontment compared the the promising beginning :-(

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 2:16PM
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Why, it's Ei! And I vote for color on the trim too. Ain't it grand when new life is breathed into what was once ho-hum?

Julie, that's awful news about the clem wilt. I can honestly say I've never experienced this yet, having failed to get one big enough to wilt.

V, I dropped Marty off at a pub to watch the Blackhawks game while a few blocks away I attended a Dan Hinkley lecture. Game over when I got back to the pub (congrats!) but my beer was poured and bangers and mash ordered. Hinkley's talk was all about drought-tolerant medit. plants. What a good speaker he is.

Retirement here has taken the form of cancelling the cable tv subscription, so now we have no tv at all, no news etc. Will have to watch the Stanley Cup in pubs ;) It's actually been pretty nice so far. I miss PBS but can get stuff online.

What a great day you have planned, Deanne. The garden looks ready for entertaining.

That's great news that you'll be getting help with the GG's paths, Saucy.

Love Michelle's dictamnus and the sempervivums on the stones.

All the photos are just wonderful. Such a rare treat to see photos of Cindy's garden. So beautiful, Cindy.

Temps here are into the low 80s this weekend, the warmest so far this spring. I made some pasta bean salad and used the Pesto Perpetuo basil that's been potted since last summer. Amazing staying power but I wonder if the flavor is running slightly bitter? Didn't need to use much, very concentrated flavor.

Paint color on the exterior is at an impasse, considered as too dark, which will shorten the paint's life considerably when beaten by the sun. These were the colors:

I wasn't sure of which color was going to go where other than the dark blue was for the siding and the orangy color was just for accent on the dutch door gate, but Marty pronounced it a "clown" color. Maybe less yellow and more brown to the orange? I'm going to give it all a rest for a bit and let it percolate but will have to buy something on Tuesday.

Speaking of color, this is the New Zealand Purple castor bean plant, almost looking like a red echinops.

Sounds like spring is a bit more cooperative for everyone. Keep a hat and a pitcher of something cold nearby and enjoy the long weekend for those who have one.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 3:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Even if Vyvian wilts totally, you will no doubt see more signs of life from her in a month or so. Wilt happens Woody. There is no easy reason for it. (That's why I pretty much stick with the non-wilters.)

Replaced a dead clematis this morning....sad to lose Kaiu but happy to have Maria Cornelia instead.

Yesterday we had a really nice time with our company and the dinner, though simple, was yummy. The dessert they brought was yummy too, and was the first dessert I've eaten in ages. Then I was sick all night... :(

I'm trying to print out schedules and instructions for my reunion next week. My computer's ability to print no longer this is an intricate process of mailing things to DH and having him print them. UGH. I also had to try on clothes and decide how much I'll need for Thursday through Monday. Shoes are an issue too with lots of walking through the art gallery, the waterfront, the beach etc...

Had a nice chat with DD on the phone this morning. DS seems to be out of touch this he is at his OLPC conference in the Virgin Islands.

Glad the Browalia found you Chelone! My spring search is usually for Salvia Black and Blue...and I found it too.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 3:39PM
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Bug, I'm so glad you mentioned your Black and Blue Salvia. It made me remember That I had sat a pot of it where I want to plant it and forgot to water it today,so I went out and took care of that.

And Denise, your castor bean made me think of where I wanted to plant some. I have seeds from several years ago. Anyone know if they would still be viable?

I have been working on a long neglected area under a big tree. Many years ago I planted a mismarked Nandina that was actually some other bamboo. It was only about 24 inches tall and stayed in a small area for years. But with the rains we have had the last couple of years it decided to run so it was time to eradicate it. What a job. It really wasn't to hard to pull excepet that it was tangled up in the tree roots. So now I am planting hostas and making a container area since it is pretty hard to grow much under there. It sits to high to retain much moisture in the ground.

Denise and Kathy, I think California has been cooler that all the rest of us this season.

Woody I had a Niobe wilt two years ago. So I dug it up and moved it. It had no growth at all on it last year, but is growing and blooming this year although it's not huge. Sorry about Vyvian. My Warsaw Nike and Jackmanias are blooming now.

We had a nice cool breeze today,but bugs are getting to be annoying. I remember many years of pretty chilly memorial day parades when the kids and I rode our horses in them.

Yesterday DS,DDIL,Jake and Wyatt were at the river fishing when some canoers, who had overindulged in beverages, flipped there canoe. DS was helping to get the canoe while they tried to recover some of their gear. One of them got winded and started to drown. Luckily DDIL was downstream fishing and threw him her life support and went in to help him. That river is tricky. You have to be careful on it.

Time to go shower off the bug spray.

Enjoy whats left of the holiday weekend.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 7:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Norma, I'm glad DDIL knows how to deal with such issues. You can easily be pulled into a bad situation if you don't know what to expect. Once when caring for little ones as a teenager I had to rescue two little girls from an undertow. They were panicking of course and I had a third baby on shore to deal with as well. Once I reached them, I made it clear that I would help them right away if they held onto me with one hand only...and they did.

This evening I planted yet another clematis, this time in a tricky area by the barn. Lots of soil amending was needed. Then I inverted a wire cage over the top until it becomes more established. I don't want critters munching it! Later I tied up another clematis into an elderberry. I'm going to need to get some mowing done tomorrow before storms arrive in the afternoon. Today I noticed a few more clematis in bloom, several iris, a pink peony too. The candelabra primulas are at their peak and so are the white dictamnus and our thalictrum ! Very cheerful.

WOW, it is 9 pm and still light out. :) Phoebe enjoyed playing fetch with her red ball, but then spotted a raccoon climbing into our barn.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 9:06PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow, Norma - a close call for those boaters -- good thing your DD was so quick thinking; I can't imagine your family having to witness something worse happening.

Woody - sorry re the wilt; I periodically have wilt or other issues - this year it's been the wind breaking many stems on the clems; the IIs for me are generally definite laggards -- but it could be I have them so smashed and mashed into every which spot. They usually grow back the ones w/ the wilt tho. Maybe it's time to move it?

Deanne -- such sweet combinations -- I love the euphorbia and have used a lot of it this year too; it looks great with the caladiums; the punch of delicate against bold...

Denise - that is another cool plant, the NZ castor very very cool - I love the color. And I like your colors - the dark blue for the siding would be great w/ the lighter trim -- maybe Marty needs to see the orange separately -- I could see it as trim or as a door - that would be neat - if he liked the other colors (it would be fairly easy to repaint the dutch door if he really hated it wouldnt?) It's not clown - it's "tropic"!!!! Think Key West.

Ei - so nice to hear from you and you've obviously been doing more creative, neat garden projects -- I like the idea of the lime as a trim color - it would go great with the plants you have blooming nearby I think... another great lesson - embrace the "weakness" and turn it to a strength - I just adore the farm implements hanging all over the shed!!

Well, it was almost 90 here today, and more horrid hot tomorrow; I doubt I'll last long in the garden - got some pots planted and a few things trimmed, but grass and hollies need cutting dreadfully - hope to lick that tomorrow a.m. before too hot. I was beset with that stupid vertigo from my allergies this a.m. tho and so I've been moving slowly - at least I could get out of bed; but Im overdosing on saline solutions and a med I have to keep it under control - aargh, so didnt need this on a great garden weekend!

Got a new suitcase for CA -- now to fill it, LOL....

Since this is the best time of year for my garden, here are a few more shots:

More clematis on the outside fence:

Jackmanii is out too:

The arches are a real tangle now:

My newest containers for the area where I cannot plant anything:


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 9:36PM
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Hola Idylls, a pleasant Sunday evening to you all. I still have 2 more days off ! And we have at long last had some warm weather sure is nice to be outside with short sleeves for a change, and the evening WALAT is pleasant indeed.
Our cool wet spring has resulted in a record year for blackspot, as I expected it would . I am taking a pro-active approach of stripping off the crappy looking foliage before it falls off on its own. Since we are rain free in summer the new growth should be clean.

Well Denise, it is a damn shame when practical considerations interfere with the artistic vision. I think the color scheme is splendid, and if one wanted a tone-down I guess you could mute the orange bit as you suggested. ..if it werent for baseball I could easily cancel my satellite, which gets very little use during the off season. Dan Hinkley is indeed a very entertaining speaker..I still carry a torch for the Heronswood catalog, and thank goodness, I kept several years worth.

Woody, is this the dreaded Clematis wilt that Vyv is experiencing ? Irrigation is a fact of life here, so when I see something wilt I assume its dry , especially as we get away from the rainy season.

Ei, Ive enjoyed the planning for IU , especially as it required me to visit gardens, lol. What a great excuse ! I just hope we dont have heat wave that week !

Time to rustle up some dinner , a main course salad tonight; briefly cooked asparagus, cherry tomatoes, avocado, fresh basil and gorgonzola in a mustard vinaigrette.

Later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 10:19PM
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Cindy, The clematis mix on the outside fence is charming.
I like your head planters too.

Hi Kathy, I had a salad for dinner too.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

What a terrific day we had yesterday, Sue, Les, Monique my garden helper Michelle and her husband Jim came over for an al fresco dinner on the patio. The weather cooperated and didnt reach the 91 degree temps they originally forecast. It got a bit windy later in the afternoon but that kept the mosquitoes at bay so no complaints there even though we started getting bombed by pine cones. It got pretty funny after a while.

Kathy, your asparagus/gorgonzola salad sounds delish! ~~ so sorry about the black spot issues. Im having a real problem here as well. I normally dont see it until mid to late June and several of the roses are covered even though I treated for it. What a pain. Black spot makes me threaten to get rid of the roses every year. If I stripped off all the leaves with spots Id have bare plants!

Oh Cindy! What a lovely set of photos of your garden. Just LOVE those head planters with the ferns and hosta and your clematis are fabulous! What a wonderful swath of color youve created. Absolute magic! ~~ bummer about the heat, hope you have a better day today.

Bug, sounds like you had a terrific garden day and I love that you keep planting more and more clematis! They are addictive and it seems one can always find a spot to shoehorn in another one.

Norma, those folks are surely lucky your DS DDIL were there to help. Scary stuff! Alcoholic beverages and boats dont mix for that reason. ~~ You must be relieved to have gotten that bamboo out of there. It can really take over the planet. ~ Thanks glad you like the shed container vignette!

Woody, OH NO! Im so sad to hear your Vyvyan is wilting! I look forward to seeing her show in your garden every year. I actually just bought her yet again because of your pics of the beautiful specimen you have. Hope she comes back for you. BTW, I top dressed the beds with composted manure and my Ville de Lyon had two large stems wilt. Im thinking they got cracked in the mulching process. Next year Ill make sure to mulch the clems a lot earlier.

Denise, just love that castor bean plant! What a beauty! ~~ I also really love the dark blue color for the siding. Striking color.

V, how are the chickens?

Chelone, not many fuchsias anywhere around here this year. I cant figure it out. Some years there are tons of beautiful plants and this year I cant even find a good specimen of Swingtime or Dark Eyes.

Eileen, so nice to see you posting again.

OK its time to get off this computer and out into the gardens. Have a great day all.


The climbing hydrangea is putting on its annual show. Got to love it!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:04AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

This is going to be very short...I am having cable/internet problems. It comes on and then goes off; on, off...very frustrating. Anyway, they are coming Thursday to have a look at it hopefully it will be fixed, but if I don't get back by then, at least you'll know why.

Anyway Cindy your garden pics are *gorgeous*! I love the colors; especially the fence clematis mix...yumm! Such a beautiful combo of color and contrast in shape. I love that ruby colored astilbe too...which one is it? And of course, I love the bust/head that he has that weathered I've been here forever look to him.

Don't worry heat wave could ever suppress the Merry Idylls! :-)

Love those colors'll have to show us what you ended up choosing. Clever to combine them on the wall to get a good taste of how it will work

Scary experience Norma *and* GB...I'm glad both situations turned out so well.

I'm worried that I will be cut off midstream with this crazy cable so the job & the veggie garden details will have to wait until all is well here.

In honor of all our service men & women (past and present) a big salute and a truly heartfelt *Thank you* to all of you, including my dad. Four years and I still miss him like it was yesterday.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:24AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Gulp, I just caught a looksee at your climbing Hydrangea's *fabulous*. I don't have the heart to show it to my DF who has had hers for 7 years and it has done *nothing*, barely grown, let alone bloomed. Any hints I could pass along to her?

Also, speaking of hints, I need your advice re my lambs ear. I love the contrast of the lambs ear in the garden, but mine always opens up in the middle and never looks as neat and roundy moundy as you have a secret you could share? :-) need to find an old nursery in your area. I have the farm here which I just love and they carry browalia every year and all the old time fuchsias too. I was happy to find them because I use to buy my plants from this sweet elderly lady and gent whose nursery was part of their home and they always had the old fashioned stuff...I just loved them and their plants. Rose was her name and naturally she just loved roses. My first rose was a recommendation from her. 'Angel Face'. Of course that was about 20 years ago now so my original 'Angel Face' is gone, but I bought another about 10 years ago as a reminder of them and the fact that I do love the rose too. I'll buy another when this one dies too.

Okay gotta go. TTYL!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:42AM
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Coffee with the Idylls this morning and pleasant virtual visit to Cindys garden ..We must save been simul-posting last night Cindy. How lush and colorful it looks ! What it the upward facing pink number in the 1st photo ? The heads are great too!

That Hydrangea is just spectacular Deanne ..wouldnt I love one of those on the side of my house. Fuchsia inventories are not what they once were around here either, I expect the gall mite is to blame for that. I sure wish I could find another Winston Churchill , one of my faves.

Eileen, are you growing Helen von Stein lambs ear ? I have found way less melting out with that variety.

Off to WALAT and plan the day..waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 10:13AM
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I managed to get the lawns mown yesterday. Through sheer force of will, lol. It was actually a rather soothing way to spend an hour+, vegging out with my hearing protection in place and enjoying the very breezy day. Rex hung out in the shade and watched me the entire time... except when he ran the car that decided to turn around in our driveway off! You wouldn't believe how fast they stuffed it into reverse, lol.

I finished a modification to the deck canopy this morning. There is a seperate piece that acts as a baffle to keep sun, bugs, and splashing rainwater from hitting the deck and it's never worked the way I wanted it too. In heavy downpours it collects splashed rainwater and the deck is deluged when the "tipping point" is achieved. This year, I've added a vinyl strip to act as a deflector to give rainwater an easy channel to the gutter. Not sure how successful the whole endeavor will be, but should find out later this week when a "rain event" overtakes our very dry corner of the world. On an interesting sidenote; this modification was the first "big" item I've worked on in the Salon. My rolling tables were easily reconfigured to give adequate supported cutting/set-up area and the work was nicely supported as I fed it under the needle of my new machine. The ease with which it was accomplished actually came as surpise, since I've grown so accustomed to "sucking it up" and dealing with a dirty, cluttered, and ill-conceived work area! Is that pathetic, or what?

Ei., the search for Browallia has become a bit of joke around here. As the "Proven Winners" sunami overtakes all nursery/greenhouses the old-fashioned annuals in 6-packs are falling by the wayside. When I checked out with the Browallia the owner said he could get Browallia in 4" pots... (the kiss of death to any good annual) "Let me guess, offered by 'Proven Winner', right?" He nodded. "Forget it! they're too expensive... their plants are great but I have no intention of paying that kind of money for a friggin' annual. They may look great, but they're too rich for my purse." He winked and smiled; "you are not the first customer I've had who's said the same exact thing".

I have alteration work to do today, but about zero motivation. Not sure what sort of piddly thing I can find to waste a few more hours. ;)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 10:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning!

It seems like afternoon to me because I do much of my gardening before breakfast and wait to eat until around 9-10! So today I cut back the alliums and sedum. I noticed that my "Helen von Stein" lamb's ears are huge and crowding things out. I'll deal with that in the Fall because I like the contrast of their foliage against my row of berberis. Then we filled the bird feeders and I mowed in several places. My fringe tree is looking perfect today and some new iris are blooming and look just the way I hoped they would: dusty purple falls with a peachy toned center. Looks nice next to my dark heucheras. I love mowing and seeing the changes each day. MALATing I guess! Today I enjoyed the pink peonies against the white dictamnus and in another area, some gifted red columbines from England.

This marks our 42nd year of "wedded bliss". Let me just say it has been far more work than bliss, but here we are today happy with our special interests and relatively healthy and very happy with our offspring and grandchildren. So where to eat dinner? If that's our biggest worry, we are lucky indeed! I think we'll try a new crepe place in town.

It seems like July weather here now, with thunderstorms in the afternoon. I hope they don't knock down all my garden efforts....

Enjoy your day and your gardens!

PS: My fringe tree is young still, but the great thing is they bloom even when small! I'll add some pictures from the web because my computer is incapacitated these days....

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 10:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, your talk of the salon reminds me that the repairs to my potting bench included wheels, with locks. You see, every spring and fall I need to move the table into or out of the garage and it is impossible as a solo job. Now it's a breeze! I'm a happy camper, even though the job was not done for beautification, strictly with function in mind. Frankly, it is a bit high for me, but that's what you get when you use the wood and hardware that's lying around the farm. I took a photo, but my computer is ailing as far as sharing those...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 10:54AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Good timing GB.. I'm considering adding either a fringe tree or a Japanese snowbell tree (do you have that too? ) to the backyard and am looking for information on them - anyone have any comment - good or bad - about them?

Happy anniversary GB!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:23PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Even though I've been here twice today, I don't trust my memory to wait to post this another day and I forgot today...

Woody...I'm so sorry for your frustration...believe me I feel your pain, as any good gardener would (we've all been there). But chin up girl...your lovely gardens will surely have many sweet surprises yet to delight you.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:23PM
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Yes, happy anniversary, 'bug. Marriage is not for the self-important and a good sense of humor is crucial to riding out the inevitable rough spots. May the crepes be delectible and provide you with the soul food to keep on "keepin' on'".

I just got off the 'phone with a very dear friend from my misspent youth. We were room-mates and in the chaos that follows moves, marriages, kids, etc., we fell out of contact. I've thought of her repeatedly over the years and Google searches revealed scant information. Repeated calls to her brother were not returned and her last address was an APO box in Germany. You can only imagine my delight to have spoken with her. She has managed to sidestep the electronic communication wave (silly girl)... to her great loss (as I was quick to point out).


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 12:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, not technical, but here's the scoop that matters. Keep in mind your zone is warmer than mine....

Fringe tree has presented NO problems for me. Both of mine are terrific! A third has never buy one that you have seen bloom or at least has spent blooms on it!

I have had 2 snowbell trees and I adore them. You might have better luck than we did. Both died from our winters, even though protected. I have given up on testing zone limits. But you are able to deal with redbuds where I am not, so perhaps the snowbells will work for you? There are several varieties I believe.

And yes Chelone, humor is necessary for life in general...not just marriage. You need it to deal with the awfice, the neighbors, politics, the nursing home, teachers and students, traffic, screaming infants, your personal trainer, income tax, doctors, fashion, dogs and so much more. Hahaha...ain't life a riot! :)


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 1:01PM
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Humor. I believe it's as essential to our well-being as oxygen and water, but that's spoken from a deeply personal point of view. All of my very dearest friends have a deep sense of humor, usually deeply irrreverent and "inappropriate" (esp. those who opted for suicide). So, I've come to believe that while we may have senses of humor that are "god"-given, I also believe that it's equally important to nourish and replenish that well of humor that resides in us all. I'm not quite sure how we accomplish that, frankly. And maybe the fact that the "humor" or "hope" tank ran dry was part of the reason my friends decided that being dead wasn't such a bad option. I will never know.

But I do know that seeing something that strikes me as funny is a big part of every day I spend "going through the motions" on this planet. A day without a good laugh is truly a day wasted. Perhaps that's why the mere sight of a bendy straw makes me chuckle...

Tickle your ribs, blow into the bendy straw, and celebrate life.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 1:33PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I am with you on that chelone!

Have been lurking and enjoying all the pics and news. Only have a couple of minutes-way too much to do these days. Had a medical (?) emergency with DH and checked him into an alcohol detox and rehab for 28 days. Now, I am cleaning, moving stuff out to paint master bedroom and his study while he's gone... trying to get out in garden some, too. I wish school were already over, so I could just concentrate on all that. ugh. Still, it is a good thing and I am still laughing every day! Also, I seem to have more energy since that stressor has been taken out of the mix. Now, if this darn cold would go away...

I'll be reading and will drop in now and then. Going out to buy some bendy straws...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 4:55PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks GB re the tree info - fringtree it is then. To support your experience... I found a university site that said this about the snowbell: 'a delicate plant that can thrive for several years and die abruptly.' Doesn't sound like my kind of plant...:-)

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 5:23PM
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Happy Anniversary Bug and DH. MALATING thats a good one too.
I sort of did that this morning, since Rebel wanted someone to go for a walk or tractor excursion with him. I was only going to drive to the creek and back but decided to mow a strip around the fields for walking. I enjoyed looking at the wildflower combos. Mother nature does it pretty well too.

DS and family popped over this afternoon and we had an impromtu cookout. Wyatt found a lost baby bird (almost ready to fly) on one of the garden paths. We had no idea where the nest was so we put it in a box and he fed it worms. Now I have to try to keep it going until it can fly. Niki or Jasmine would have it for sure if we just left it.

Cyn, hoping the detox is sucessful and you get some much needed time for yourself and regrouping.

Need to run out and water a few pots in the ghetto.

. Norma

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 5:53PM
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Hugs (((Cyn))). Nothing more I can offer, I'm sad to say. Sucks when life deals us such a crummy hand. Play it the best you're able and hang on tight.

We're here for you you if/when you need some support. Know that!

I'm thinking of you, I know how that crap can play out, even though it's been a lot of years.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 6:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Cyn, BIG hugs to you! Painting and cleaning and rearranging can be therapeutic, as can gardening. I hope it works for you!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:16PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Cyn - good to hear from you - I was wondering where you were -- Im sure it's a relief to get a little "space" after the immediate crisis is thru, while it's a disease that has a long recovery time and many ups and downs, it sounds like you've found some therapeutic ways to deal for yourself -- it's funny how cleaning and painting are great ways to heal oneself. Feel free to rant or whatever whenever you want here --

Deanne -- that is such another "signature" stunnning display of your gardens w/ the hydrangea and the magnificent cloak engulfing the tree! Wowser. Sounds like you had a lovely holiday weekend and you certainly deserve some time off to relax and enjoy your gardens.

I only managed the grass cutting and puttering today - too darn hot - and met a friend for leisurely lunch to play catch up. And here we are, back for the drill to our routines. Well, at least it was nice for garden time and a bit of down time! I bet that's how Chelone felt w/ playing with your equipment setup in the Salon.

Ei - I think you asked a couple of questions - I believe the astilbe near the head planter is Fanal; I've just never gotten around to replanting after dividing, LOL... I have good luck with the Helen von Stein stachys too; the regular does "mug" out on me altho I have both. No new pup yet - i've got myself on a list for a maltese female that's a month old -- and hope to get her in early August if things go right and I like her -- I should get some photos of her soon and get to visit her in early July.

Norma -- so now you're a foster bird mommy, eh? I am sure you will know exactly what to do.

Woody - I've got the chinese fringe tree and I love it -- totally low maintenance, I believe no major disease or pest issues - and slow growing.

Okay, off to start thinking about preparing for the new work week - and golly -- June has arrived!!!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

((Cyn)) I was skimming before and missed your post. Hang tough - the garden is a place of comfort for many things. I hope you find comfort and strength there.

GB - those lovely single peonies you gave me (thank you; thank you...) are half open today. Since there is rain in the forecast (VERY welcome but I'll bet it misses us...) I figured we better get a picture of them tonight before they become mush!

The red one is lovely!

The white one isn't bad either! :-)

Randy got the primer coat of paint on the shed today - the first stage of its transformation from blue-gray to olivey-green. Looking good so far. We're torn between wanting rain for the garden and wanting dry weather for painting!

And finally after 3 or 4 years in the garden my Cornus kousa dogwood is going to bloom! I had given up on it for the year - my neighbour's one has been in full beautiful bloom for more than a week - and was bemoaning another year with no bloom when my neighbour said 'of course it's going to bloom - look at all the flowers starting...!' So this variety is obviously VERY late! It's certainly not going to be a profuse bloom because it is in too much shade but anything is welcome. Actually the side that faces the neighbour is in more sun and has many more flowers than the side that faces us so she's going to have a better view that we will!

Yesterday I cut off all the bits of Vyvyan that had wilted and we gave her tons of water. Today there were no wilted bits so I'm not sure if I can hope for recovery or not. The wilted bits were black so it looked more like the disease problem that just lack of water. But one can hope...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:57PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A happy anniversary to 'bug and her DH.

The chickens are doing fine and seem happy in their coop and run. This evening we let them out to free range for a bit. All the room in the world, and they end up in a chicken pile!

The barred rocks think it is great fun to pull on the strings that dangle from my capri pants.

It was one of those mixed bag long weekends. On the plus side, it was graduation weekend. We had a really nice baccalaureate service at church yesterday. The grads all wore their caps and gowns, and they all came and sat on the floor at the front of the sanctuary for the children's sermon. There was a party for my niece last night (last of the cousins to graduate from high school) and another party this afternoon for a friend's son.

On the down side, the weather was uncomfortably hot, with one storm wicked enough to upstage a president, accompanied by a super-sized serving of mosquitoes. The weather just beat me down and I wasn't able to do as much as I wanted in the garden. But I did get some weeding accomplished.

Cyn, I hope that the results of detox will be positive. I'm sure it's a stressful time for all, but perhaps a good thing to start turning the corner? Good thoughts and prayers are headed your way.

I'm off to bed on the early side tonight. The short week will be a busy one!


    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks folks for the good wishes! The crepe restaurant was closed, so we ate at the old mill in town which was rather strange because two conferences were busy having cocktail hour while we ate. It was fun to people watch and laugh about the jargon being taken so seriously....

Woody, guess what I found! The names for your peonies! Thew sites below show photos of them, listed in alphabetical order.
Miss Mary:
White Wings:

Last night we had only a hint of rain in spite of threats of worse...I sat outside on our porch with Phoebe and DH for a while and I saw fireflies! :)

So many wonderful photos! Woody, is that your laburnum? I thought you didn't care for yellow? I miss mine from Toronto so much....
V, I love the Georgia O'Keefe poppies but the chickens seem to steal the show!

Much to do with this new day!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 6:14AM
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Happy Anniversary to GB and DH. Certainly a good model of how to make it work! And Chelone certainly has good advice, too.

Our weekend was fun, but smokey! All the smoke was from Quebec. At first I woke and thought someone had forgotten to put out their campfire.

My husband was very close with his cousins while growing up (his grandmother babysat them all often) and they were all up together with all of their children. I am so glad that the baby rearing days are over for me, but I had a good time testing out my skills at putting babes to sleep. I've still got it.

I'm a little bummed that I missed all the great weather and instead will have the muggies to contend with, but I'm happy to be home and ready to get started on some new leaves. My neighbor has been taking up all my time, and now I need to reset the priorities. The art gallery is calling asking for more leaves! I keep telling myself this is good...

I'm tossing around the idea of going to see Niagra Falls. Is there a better time of year to do this trip? Maybe I need to do a little research.

Happy to be home...


    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 7:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I think you should do Niagara Falls and then drive northward for an hour or so to visit Woody and 'bug!!! But to be honest, I enjoy the falls most in ice and snow when it is dramatic. I'm mot much on bumping shoulders with tourists...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 8:02AM
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How nice to find a flurry of postings this morning! Catching up on reading has left me little time to comment so Ill be leaving a small footprint here today. These long holiday weekends with company are enjoyable but always a bit of a scramble both before and after.

Eileen, hi!so glad to see you back. Your shed, oh wowlove it. Yes, paint the trim, the orange window begs for more color!

Cyn, sending good thoughts your way!

Drema, congratulations on another beautiful grandbaby! I think Charlie will have to graduate up to "helper" now when youre babysitting the gang :-))

Loved looking at everyones photosIdyll beauty and photography, great way to start the day! I need to get out my camera; Ive neglected spring color shamefully.

Humor, yesa good laugh works like a release valve.

Waving on the run...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - You got to it first - I was just about to suggest the same to Saucy! And if she crosses over to 'our' side, she should check out the Niagara Botanical Garden and Butterfly Conservatory...Thanks for the peony names. We got 1" of rain overnight. I haven't checked yet to see if the rain wiped out those peonies or not. No, I don't have a laburnum. That picture is from a neighbour's front yard. I thought the combination of two distinct plants that work so beautifully together was the perfect picture for a forty-second anniversary card :-)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today has been one of those crisp perfect sunny days, below 80F in the sun, but with a slight breeze. I only did odds & ends in the garden, no huge projects. Things like bits of weeding and edging where desperately needed, but not too much. I removed a few huge honking thistles, and generally checked a few clematis for watering. I mowed a tiny bit as well.

And then I did banking and groceries for while I'll be away. I came home via the nursery, picked up an obelisk, and annuals for containers. I've put those together, watered them and hope they perk up soon.

It has been fun seeing the first roses, new clematis each day (Lord Herschell, Cezanne, Arabella, Gillian Blades today) and my small Deutzia in bloom. My potting table still holds plants that need to get in the ground though... It never changes!

Time to find a suitcase with wheels. I'm sure glad someone invented the wheel!!!


    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 4:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Because I am unable to post photos these days, here is a site where you can view "Chasing Rainbows" my latest favorite iris.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 4:29PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

There is a fringetree sitting on the driveway, waiting to be moved to the backyard to be planted in the patio hosta bed...

Both sigle peonies survived the rain.
Miss Mary:

White Wings:

Our latest project is to paint the shed green to blend in with the background a bit better. Randy put the primer coat on yesterday (forturnately the rain held off until it dried!) This is what it looks like so far:

The final paint color will be darker - it's the darker stick in the picture below. The door will be an even darker green. We like it so far... (The color is a bit distorted in the shed picture because the sun is so intense today. The colors in the stick picture are more accurate.)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 6:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Well it looks like a busy weekend was had by all with lots of gatherings, graduation parties and gardening. We had a ball on Sunday with Sue, Monique and Les as well as my new garden buddy, Michelle and her husband Jim. What a terrific day! Lots of great food, great conversation and great friends, life doesnt get better than that.

Eileen, I was going to suggest exactly what Kathy did, I grow Helen Von Stein Lambs Ears and dont have that melt off problem. Ive actually gotten rid of all my regular Lambs Ears as Helen is such a superior cultivar its not worth growing the other one.

Kathy, I agree that Winston Churchill is a fabulous fuchsia and as discussed on FB will get some cuttings for you.

Bug, hope you had a great anniversary! Love the potting bench with the wheels! I use a steel shelving unit with wheels on it as a potting bench and it works out great. ~~ Love that iris!

Chelone, how great youve reconnected with a friend. Thats always so special. MJ and I lost touch for fifteen years or so and weve been in constant contact since we reconnected in 95. And yes, humor is an essential ingredient of life. Doug and I laugh about some silly thing (usually the cats) every day.

Cyn ((((Hugs))))) Alcoholism is a hideous, destructive addiction/illness. Hope this has a positive outcome.

Woody, hoping for the best for Vyvyan! Ive planted my third and hopefully last purchase of that lovely clem. ~~~ sounds like if you were hoping for rain and then not because you wanted to paint youd be happy regardless of what the weather decided to do. ~~ Love those peonies! ~~ Love the new shed color! Looks a lot like mine, LOL, especially in the pic of the samples.

V. Love the updates on the chickens. Bummer about the weather. Its looking to be a hot and muggy summer.

Saucy, definitely do Niagra Falls, especially the Canadian side, its lovely. Definitely make the time to visit Woody and Bug if you go up there. We all had such a great time when we visited. ~~ Cant wait to see more leaves from you! Your customers are lining up to buy.

OK time for dinner, must run. Just took a bunch of pics from my walating this evening. Will sift though them and post the highlights in the AM


    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 7:19PM
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Hola amigas, wherever you are. Back to the awfice tomorrow, but only 3 days till the weekend arrives again. I think I might hit the Marin County open days on Saturday , I feel like I have the ducks in a row vis-à-vis IU so a goof-off day is justified ! Hard to believe its June and only a few more weeks to go .

Cyn, thanks for checking in with us, and hope all progresses well for you. The Idylls are here for you when needed.

Deanne, thanks so much for the offer re: Winston- I hesitate to reciprocate with any fuchsia cutting in view of the mite-I would hate to be the perpetrator of its intro to New England ! Im pondering other alternatives .

Woody, the new shed colors are fabu .. kudos on the selection.

Why can I not think of where bug might be going ? Has my attention lapsed ?

All for now, but here are a couple of photos, this Daylily is Mort Morss , and was a freebie on my last order from Maryotts. The flowers are quite large, and very striking. I sure love these fancy-schmancy daylilies but they can be a major PIA with the foliage and deadheading issues. And of course the colors are incredibly unstable , so I have quite a few clashing combos.

Later friends, waves to all !

Mort Morss From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 9:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, no big deal, just shuffling off to Buffalo to my HS reunion. It's been 50 years...oh my!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 10:11PM
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After a busy gardening weekend with a little family and a small town Memorial Day service thrown in, Im back. Do you know how cute it is to hear 2nd graders recite the Gettysburg Address? Saturday was quite hot and very windy. Sunday was overcast and downright cold, Monday however was as lovely a day as you could hope for.

I planted out my 2 new clematis Blue Belle and Mme. Julia Correvon Im trying to get away from the wilters. I noticed that Arabella has started blooming today since she is right near the grill area.

Since we had a slight bit of rain and much cooler temps I used the opportunity tonight to plant some of my seedlings. Quite a few of the containers are planted and I dont think I will have as many as last year. I lost quite a few plants that I had under lights. No hibiscus Maple Sugar since all the cuttings bit the dust and of course Im unable to find any this year either.

Cyn, so sorry to hear that of your DHs problem. The first step is admitting you need help. My thoughts and prayers are with you both as you deal with this.

Woody, I like the choice in colors for your shed.

Candy, Im wondering how you are coming with your 12 million maple seedlings. I think Ive eradicate about ½ of my 12 million ash seedlings.

Saucy, great news on the leaves, perhaps the price is a bit low?

V, Im enjoying the chix pics.

Calling Mary, Id love to see your chix as well.

Deanne, Im just blown away by your climbing hydrangea. How many years did it take before it bloomed? The face is the perfect touch. Youve done wonderful things with the caladiums also.

Denise, I always love all the wonderful textures and foliage colors in your garden. Im growing some sore of purple castor bean this year too.

Cindy, your clematis are fabulous. You must have quite a few varieties. I love the head planters also.

Kathy, I really like that first shot of the daylily.

RE the dictamnus, it was a plant I wanted badly a number of years ago. Ive found the pink but have never seen the white. Someday maybe. They do take time to get established.

Funny how Helen Von Stein is being so highly praised. For some reason my looks like crap this year. I cut out a lot of dead stuff tonight.


Lupine time

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Great choices Michelle! Blue Belle and Mme. Julia Correvon live here as well. I like Blue Belle more than Polish Spirit, which is a favorite of many. Both have lovely dark blooms.

I have yet more picky garden things to deal with before today's thunderstorms. Then a haircut.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 6:36AM
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Wow! You guys are that close to Niagra? I'd definitely have to continue on for garden visits :) I'm having trouble finding time in our summer schedule. Things still need to get firmed up so I can actually plan.

There seems to be a big fire in the town where Chelone works. Hope she's safe and sound, oblivious to the chaos. I thought of you, Chelone, as we crossed the bridge on our way to Maine.

I wrenched my back yesterday trying to lift a soapstone sink. I want that sink so bad! I took Jake and a "strong" friend to pick it up (bought it from Craigslist) but we could not get it in the bed of the pickup. I want it for my potting shed (which I don't have yet). I guess I am going to give up. I'm sitting here propped up with pillows hoping I can make progress on some leaves today :)

My back was already sore from sleeping in a foreign bed over the weekend.

Dictamnus is on my list of wants. Guess I should start soon?

Woody, my neighbor has the most glorius Cheonanthus - it is a slow grower. It smells so good.

Old Zeus is not doing too well. I'm so worried about my kids. He's the dog that they'll always remember. I hope he's got a simple ailment. Cross your fingers.

I'm gonna go start this day. It's gonna be steamy out there today!


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its going to be a great day today with lots of sun and low 80s. A bit on the humid side but good for the gardens. Ive got some things to accomplish in the studio today but will hopefully get that done fast and soon so I can get outside and enjoy this beautiful day.

I had the cutest thing going on today, a little House Wren is stealing nesting material from the bird house the House Sparrows claimed The sparrows were bringing stuff in one door and the Wren was taking out of the back door. I LOL over this.

Kathy, absolutely no need to send anything in return. I sort of already have plenty of plants! LOL ~~ just love that daylily! What a beauty!

Michelle, my Arabellas are all blooming now as well. Its such a treat to know they will have flowers for months. ~~ I think that hydrangea was there for about five years before I got a decent bloom out of it. Its been in that location since 1995. ~~~ LOVE that lupine/iris combo! Just beautiful!

Hugs Saucy! Hope your back improves soon and that Zeus is going to be OK.

Here are a couple pics from yesterday evening.

Things are just getting started in the tropical container border. Hope things fill in a bit more before the garden tour.

The castor bean in this pot has grown a lot since I planted a week and a half ago

OK time to get my day started, have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:02AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - 45 min. - 1 hour to Niagara from here. We go down there a lot in the summer. Niagara-on-the-Lake is usually our base if we want to stay a few days. The B&B linked below is fabulous. The Alexandra room (which is actually a large suite with livingroom dining room and bedroom with bathroom) is beautiful and fully disabled accessible. The owners are very nice. The breakfast is wonderful and served in a beautiful sunroom. I highly recommend it for anyone travelling that way. Going to plays at the Shaw Festival used to be a regular event for us but not now. They do have a few shows each year with ASL interpretors on stage - I've never gone to one of those but will get around to it some day...

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:00AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

for gb - the fringetree added to the hosta bed - it's going to take a long while before that is up to providing shade! :-)

And a 'borrowed view' - gardening neighbour's backyard as seen from our back porch (Why do clothes dryers have to be so unsightly?! Couldn't they at least make the string bit in dark colors?! We looked and couldn't find any the right size...)

We've been having a nice steady rain since about 3:30. I'm hoping for a much-needed inch or more...

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:14PM
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I like seeing Deannes combos in their infancy state; you can really discern the vision, like seeing the bones of the garden in winter when the infrastructure is visible. I hereby request few succession shots of that last one with the castor bean.

Ah yes bug, I do recall mentions of the HS reunion. Hope you enjoy !

I was interested to see the clothes line they are making a comeback here. My neighbor to the rear had a square model just like that installed in her utility area when she moved in.

Saucy, I hope Zuess is feeling better- read the details on FB. One does want to protect the kids from the demise of pets, but it will happen sooner or later yknow ? Its a life lesson they will need to learn about . We have always taken these things hard here Sometimes my kids are stronger about it than I am.

Michelle, love the lupines ! If I lived 50 miles west I could grow those with no problems- they will live here, but the damper coastal climate seems preferable to them. We have a native lupine here that blooms on the hillsides in February. What I wouldnt give for a nice stand of Russell Hybrids !

Ok , time to go perform KP duty..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:14PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Great shots, Woody! It looks lovely and the fringe tree is a nice addition to that bed(yep,it's a slow grower I think).

Deanne -- I love your latest photos - it amazes me how you intertwine things along the front edges, and these photos show off that talent - to say nothing of the incredible container gardens, each a work of art!

Hot as heck here today (again) -- I was hauling hoses around - it does make the evening go quickly! Im tring to lug the succulents outdoors too, but it's hard to find places where they wont immediately fry; I seem to have had an infestation of scale on some of them too; aargh....

GB - have fun at your reunion!!
Saucy - I sure hope your back gets to feelin better quickley - who would have thought soapstone sink would have been so heavy, darn it? I love them - it would have been such a fun addition, but not at the cost of hiring heavy equipment (or Brenda's tractor) to get it to your place.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:16PM
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Oh Saucy, sorry the soapstone sink didn't pan out. I'd love one of those. For some reason hoeing in the veggie garden didn't agree with my back tonight.

'bug, I added 3 'Polish Spirit's' last summer to the patio trellises.

Woody, you are lucky to have such nice borrowed views.

Deanne, I think the containers look fabulous already. Gosh the fuchsia in the 2nd picture is gorgeous! Do you buy your castor beans as plants? Mine are just getting started. I've never see plants for sell around here.

Much cooler here and it is very welcome. I had errands after work so that along with watering makes for a short evening. Although, I can stay out until 9:30 before it's too dark. I had to chase away another deer tonight. She didn't seem overly afraid of me.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:54PM
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After 10 days of highs in the 80s and 90s today topped out at 78 but still humid. Thunderstorm last night produced a scant half inch of rain. Nothing seems to be suffering so the last month of hose dragging has been worth the effort. Grass seed is coming along where the pin oak was removed. About the time I get down to one or two pots of perennials I buy a couple more, therefore I continue to plant.

Michelle, Im still hand picking the helicopters and wondered if I was the only one still battling nuisance seedlings. Is there a better way to eradicate them? You mentioned hoeing the veggie garden, do you hoe the ash seedlings, too? Im not sure why but Im very inept with a hoeI feel clumsy and uncoordinated. Next spring Ill have to rake more thoroughly instead of trying not to disturb the mulch. And I thought many of the helicopters were too dried out from lack of rain to sprout, ha!

Vcant believe your chickens are that big already. Curious as to how you herd them up and back to the coop after they have free range time.

Denise, dont give up on that orange colorso many shades and one of them will be right. I can almost see it in my minds eye, just not sure how to suggest tweaking it.

Hope you have a good time at your reunion, bug!

Deanne, Ive never seen a climbing hydrangea that enormous. Ill have to backtrack and see if you said how long youve had it. Funny, I was thinking how interesting it was to see your containers at their "conception" only to read Kathys comment about their "infancy", LOL. Beautiful creations! Wish some wrens would come here to give the Sparrow Gang a hard time. They reign supreme in our yard, taking all the birdhouses and chasing off other birds. No idea how to discourage them and lately theyve taken to zooming in on the finch feeder. Aggressive little bullies!

Woody, really love yours shedreminds me of a small cottage in the woods! Looks like something Randy designed and built? Intrigued by the fringe tree and hope to see more photos!

Sorry there is concern with Zeus, Saucy. Hope your back is improved, too give it a few days before you resume too much gardening.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:36AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Candy - I designed the shed and we hired out the building of it. In general, Randy is not 'Mr Handyman' when it comes to construction :-)

Deanne - can you post a picture of your shed please? One of the pictures above had a glimpse of it. Since we're still working at getting the right greens, I'm interested in seeing how someone else has dealt with it. (Nice containers - as usuual :-), but I'm very shed-focused at the moment.... single-minded, that's me... We got a much-needed 1.4" of rain yesterday and hopefully more later today - great for the garden, but not good for painting.

Saucy - I hope your back is better and I hope Zeus hangs in there for a while longer - losing much-loved pets is certainly not easy, and is a hard life-lesson for kids. I still remember the first 'pet' loss in my young life - I was about 6. The 'pet' in question was Barney, my grandfather's last Percheron. He went to the 'graveyard' - rockpile at the bottom of a hill in a far pasture. The dog dragged a hoof home several years later. For a high school science project I took his lower jawbone to school on the bus! It was heavy!! For all I know, it's still in the biology lab there. A rural childhood has such interesting aspects :-)

Tomorrow the big Copper beast comes for a two week visit - possibly longer... Her 'parents' are heading out for a two week vacation in Greece. Given the current events in Greece, the risk of another puff from the Iceland volcano and pending stike on British Airways, there is a great deal of uncertainty around this trip! They've already had to scramble to re-book their flight out since BA strike had been planned for the day they were due to fly out. They are still booked BA to return so are hoping for the best - but bringing lots of food for Copper in case they don't make it home on time!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:07AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Woody - I love the colors of your shed - I think Deanne's is more bluish in tone but they both look the right colors to me in their settings -- I imagine tones of greens, etc., will look different among different types of foliage. Im not an artist nor am I particularly good w/ colors, but I think your shed might disappear more if you had the door look the same color - it would all disappear into the surrounding area -- but maybe you dont want it to totally blend in? After all, if you recall Sue's shed - hers is a tropical cabana paradise and looks just nifty too -- it's really great to see what fun different people do with their buildings. -- For instance, Ei's "embracing the barnyness" LOL -- I think it is wildly creative and turned wht she felt was an eyesore into a neat art piece - I cant wait to see what color trim she goes for.

Saucy - I meant to comment on Zeus too -- my short term memory has a very limited capacity these days -- you know, hugs, hugs on ailing beasts -- Im still missing mine ferociously...

Candy - Im pulling errant pin oak seedlings and mulberry as well all over the place -- I dont seem to get them til they're at least 4 inches tall -- big enough for me to see them, LOL.

I too am jealous of the lupines - they just wilted away in my garden the one year I tried them --

Kathy - that designer daylily is amazing - you and Norma are terrible enablers -- I almost ordered more daylilies this year, but I really, really dont have any room!! In fact, I should have divided some I think last year and it will be interesting to see what kind of show they put on - assuming they dont do it while Im in CA.

Re clotheselines - my parents have had the identical type, Woody, for decades at their house -- Dad still uses it regularly - the grass under it has been worn away after so many years of use -- it's a great idea to make a different color string - but then again, I imagine the white might help folks see it -- you would not want people having accidents and walking into them; but one does wonder what a creative genius would come up with as an attractive re-engineering in color for the backyard, LOL.

Okay - more swelter today and maybe some t-storms -- I really need to lug all the agaves, etc., out into the yard - I hope I get a chance tonite!



    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:25AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cindy - the shed door will definitely not stay blue. The painting is a three part process - the primer coat that's on there now; a paint coat (or two) in a the darker green shown on the two sticks; the door painted in a third, even darker, green. So stay tuned...:-)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:39PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Ive been pretty busy with getting some orders out and keeping the gardens up while getting the last few containers put together. I get to this point in time and I just want to throw all the leftover plants in A. a single huge hodgepodge pot, or B. the compost bin, LOL. Thanks everyone for the kind words re the containers, much appreciated!

We had some T storms blow though here but only a tiny bit of rain. We really need some moisture here. Im hoping the predicted showers give us some rain on Saturday. The mosquitoes arent suffering from the lack of rain though and are pretty ferocious right now and Im sporting an annoying collection of bites at the moment.

Woody, I originally took a leaf from my Frances Williams Hosta to the store and matched the blue green from that for my shed color. Doug thought I was a bit daft to paint a shed to match a plant. The trim is a warm gray color that is a nice contrast to the blue-green but is still a nice neutral.

Hope you have a great time with Copper. Glad you got some rain.

Candy, that hydrangea was planted in 1995 and took years to get going but is really an amazing specimen now. ~~ The Sparrows usually occupy that white bird house you see in the sundial garden but I normally remove the eggs before they hatch. Eurasian House Sparrows are pretty destructive to our native cavity nesters. I cant keep them out of the feeders but dont let them reproduce on my property. I know it doesnt make a dent in their populations but makes me feel better. Some people kill them but I dont have it in me to kill anything, let alone a bird that is only behaving according to its gene code.

Michelle, sorry about your back, hope its better today. ~~ I bought that castor bean as a six inch plant but its growing at light speed with the warm temps. I have to admit that the fuchsia you admired in the photo is a new purchase. Most of my overwintered specimens are still sticks with a few leaves growing off them. They, unlike the castor bean, dont like the hot weather.

Cindy, so sorry for the continued hot weather you are dealing with. Sounds dreadful. Weve been having pretty steady temps in the mid to high 80s but havent had any severe heat since that day it got up to 100. ~~ Hope you are able to get your succulents out.

Kathy, will do on the updates with the castor bean pot. Im probably going to have to do weekly pics with the rate that thing has been growing lately. ~~ I love lupines too but have limited luck with them here.
OK Doug just got home from work so time to rustle up some dinner and have our evening chat over beverages.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 6:53PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Thanks, friends! Just a quick drop in again to tell all of you how much I appreciate and treasure your hugs and kind words. Truth be told, I actually feel better now than I have in years-doing something definitely suits me better than just watching someone disappear into that haze. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works. Time will tell. On the 18th, I go to the "Family Wellness" weekend-lectures, etc. I am lucky that I am not an addictive sort, but sometimes it makes it hard to understand that it is a disease-I often fall into that "Make a different choice" attitude which is probably not helpful.

Woody, I think you discovered the way to make your fortune! A laundry line with dark strings! It could grow into a "designer" line with fushia poles and purple strings...turquoise with green...and so on! I would definitely buy one!

Time to get ready for bed. I want to respond to everyone's stories and pictures, but that will be later.

Hugs back to all of you.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 8:41PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cyn - I would not only make the strings dark, but the pole too. That silvery metal is equally as bad at drawing your attention to it! If it was black or dark brown, it would disappear. Green would not be a good choice as green often draws attention by being the 'wrong' green by being too out of sync with the natural greens around it. Last weekend we got a rain barrel that the regional municipal government was selling. If the color hadn't been right, I wouldn't have bought it... It's a nice dark brown. Randy set it up today and it almost entirely disappears into the shadows with the plants it's with. We did find dark blue strings for a clothesline which might have worked well but the line was too thick for that umbrella style dryer.

Deanne - matching the leaf was a clever idea! I played around with Photoshop, 'painting' the shed with various greens in the background of a picture of the shed to try to get a feel for what would work. On the principle that light colors draw your eyes, I'm aiming for a dark enough green that the plants near the shed will be lighter in color than the shed, so your eyes will stop at the plants rather than the shed. Your green is nice and dark. The primer color on mine at this point is too light. I'm hoping the paint color will be dark enough. The color we've got for the door should be dark enough so I think we'll paint the door next. Then, if the paint for the walls turns out to be too light, we'll already know if the door color is an alternative for painting the shed all one color.

Randy is not keen on dark colors and liked the blue shed so he's a bit iffy about this whole project! But I think he's begining to see what I mean about using the color to put the shed into the background rather than the foreground, because he can see how the dark rain barrel 'disappeared'.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:29PM
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Our week of promised highs in the lower 70s isnt panning out. It has been hitting 80 every day. Better than it was though. Right now the wind is blowing and its very dark in the west. We need rain badly. I spent the night watering.

Tonight Rick helped me with some thoughts on the design of my new desk at work. Im having a custom desk built. I call it my dream desk. Ive sat at the same desk for 27 years, so it will require some adjustment on my part.

As for the lupines, they come and go. I let them reseed or theyd have been long gone. You have to be happy with them wherever they come up.

Deanne, I think Ive mentioned my hodgepodge pot before. In my early years of containers I threw a bunch of leftovers in a pot and it seriously made me think that a clown threw up.

Candy, I only hoe in the veggie garden and there are no baby trees there. I mulch everything else and that doesnt work well with a hoe.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 11:08PM
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Michelle, I had an ergonomic study done on my work desk once and it was the best thing that ever happened to me! I'll bet you could google it and find some tips to add into your design. Important things were the height of the monitor and desk relative to the chair, I believe.

I need a garden shed and I hope to find a siding that I can let go natural, even if it needs a coat of sealer. I wanted that soapstone sink for the shed :) I don't think I'll be able to get it because I have no heavy equipment.

I hate to let that go.

This morning I'm going to get manure for my beds. I hope my back treats me well. I will bend at the knees :) Michelle, I hope your back is better.

Zeus got a diagnosis of being really old :) He got some meds to stop his immediate issue and he'll get arthritis meds next week (after the bloodwork is back).

The windows are open and there a birds in the hedge making a ruckus. We're enjoying a wren here, too, Deanne, and my Baltimore Oriole has returned so I've been capping the feeders with halved oranges. My friend from TN mailed me a finch feeder that I admired while I was there last summer and that made my day!

I guess I'd better be off. Have a great day, Idylls. I certainly am ready for a respite in CA :)


    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 6:31AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We are having a cloudy AM here with temps in the 60s and Im loving it after all the wind and heat weve been dealing with. The gardens are in their mid-June lull early this year. The iris, allium and Hydrangea Petiolaris came and went so fast youd have missed them if you blinked. I checked my photo records and normally I still have bearded iris this time of year along with the great show from the hydrangea which is now also finished for the year. Speaking of early, my Manhattan lilies are opening their first buds this morning!!!!! That is ten days earlier than last year! I was hoping to have them for the garden tour and they will probably be done by then. Jeesh!

Cyn, more hugs going your way. Hope you get some good information and support from the lectures.

Woody, terrific application of good art principals. Also, the more greyed or less intense the color is the more it fades into the background. One reason why so many green things for the garden are an eyesore, they are just too intense or saturated. I wanted the contrast for the trim on mine so painted it the color of the stones and granite.

Michelle, I almost spit out a mouthful of coffee from laughing so hard when I ready about, "made me think that a clown threw up"!!!!!! Way too funny, also too true with the hodgepodge pot. One never knows how its going to turn out. ~~ Wow about getting a new dream desk after 27 years. Youll have to take pictures of the before and after. ~~ Hope you get some relief from the heat and wind soon. We could use some rain here as well.

Saucy, bummer about not being able to get the sink. Id hate to let that go too. ~~ How lovely about the Orioles and finch feeder. ~~ Weve had a flock of Cedar Waxwings in the area for a few weeks now but Ive never been able to get the camera out fast enough to get any photos.

OK time to get my day started here. Have a good one everybody


    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 6:57AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The Copper beast is back, bigger and shaggier than ever!

She'll be here until the 19th - or longer if current events (Greek political/economic situation, Iceland volcano and British Airways strike) interfere with her 'parents' return from Greece...

On the medical front here, a change today. My blood test for May continued to show deterioration re bone loss indicators. My family doctor consulted with the surgeon and the decision today was to try a cold-turkey stop of the medication. If seizures return, I'll need to start it again. The drug was also accumulating in the blood so that should offer a bit of protection. So now we wait and see what happens, both re the seizures and whether the bone loss indicator starts moving in the right direction!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 6:07PM
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Happy Friday evening to my imaginary friends ..74% humidity here tonight not the normal deal ! Overcast, no rain, no breeze. A typical June-gloom day is on the agenda for tomorrow-ok by me, Im going to do the Marin County Open Days gardens and a little overcast is better for the pics , right ? None of the gardens open till 11am though .

Lol Cindy, trying to pawn off the blame for the daylily purchases on me and Norma..I advise you to stay far away from the GW daylily forum, because I hereby pass the blame along to them ! Ill tell you those people mean business over there ..

Saucy, I wonder if you can hire someone to bring you that sink ? Know anyone with a forklift ? I just hate uncooperative logistics.

Woody, hope the latest med-experiment is fruitful. Copper is looking a mite shaggy ! How nice for his humans that they have a nice home for him to visit while they travel.

All for me tonight..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 9:46PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

Well, the internet and cable issues are not quite resolved, although they did add all new cable outside. Will be coming back next week and hopefully everything will finally be fixed. I'm talking in brief for now...worried about internet shutting down midstream.

Anyway thank you all for the lamb's ear suggestion. I have too many spots to replace with Helen, but I'll cut all mine back real short and see if that helps.

Deanne, your photos are such inspiration. Cool idea using the hosta for a color match! :-) Loved your story of the nesting I totally understand your amusement! Want to share my funny bird story, but will keep it short. Anyway, the other day I came home from work and pull the car in the garage. As I walk out of the garage I see two ducks waddling down the driveway towards my house; a male and a female. They have their heads turned to each other and are talking away...."Honest honey, you're going to love the new lake I found, it's rather small, but so homey, I just know you're going to love it!" They were totally ignoring me and kept on walking & talking all the way up the drive, down the dry river bed and into the! I just sat there and watched them dive and come up and then just soak (not much room for swimming in my pond)...but they seemed happy. What a riot. I got the biggest kick watching them walking to the pond...I swear all they needed was a couple towels thrown over their shoulder. :-) Paul said I should have taken a pic and then photoshopped towels on their shoulder. I didn't have the camera though and was too busy getting my giggles out of watching the two of them.

Woody...I *love* the colors of your shed; soft & elegant and in tune with your natural surroundings. Very nice. I was going to mention my fringe tree experience, which isn't all that much experience as I've only had mine for about 2 years. It's still small (about 4-5 feet) and seems to be growing slowly, but blooms like crazy. I had read GB loving that tree and so that's why I bought mine. Seems like I'm always using GB's plants. Well you've never steered me wrong Bug! :-) Love your single peonies Woody and glad you are finally getting you rain! :-)

Cindy I love that astilbe's's now on my list.

Michelle your gardens are gorgeous. I took it as quite a compliment that you called me a farm girl. :-)

V your chicks are *gorgeous*!

Still working on the shed and will share more pics when I finally finish painting it (yes, I *did* want to paint the but this week-end is dedicated to weeding.

Chelone...I hear you on the PW prices. They do have some fabulous eye candy plants and I admire their efforts in improving & extending the annual options. But, a single pot of one of their annuals is the price of a small perennial. I only buy their plants when it's something I've really lusted over and then I always try to find the varieties from them that I can propagate for my own garden or can carry over to the next year. I love the old fashioned varieties too and sure hope they won't be edited out of our choices.

Well, that's it for me I've tested my internet long enough.

Just wanted to say that there may be not as many people posting here as there use to be, but there are sure a lot of people *reading* won't believe the number of hits I got on the pics of my shed.

Have a great week-end if I don't get to talk to you again before then....

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:19AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning and happy Saturday. I'm watching the rain starting to roll in from the South and trying to not get depressed about the fact that the only good gardening weather comes during the work week. Aarrgh!

It's been an interesting week here. Remember those two graduation parties that DH and I went to last weekend? Well, a stomach bug has been making the rounds of almost everyone who attended those parties. And it's not food poisoning because a couple of the kids got sick before the parties started. DH and I dodged the bullet, but almost all the rest of our family members got hit. It's the new question in town - Did you get it?

On Tuesday, DH was headed to O'Hare and got in an accident. Little Zippy car (some of you met Zippy at the first IU) became the roast beef in a four car sandwich. DH is fine, Zippy is not. DH had been eyeing a couple of cars that will not be available for another year or two, and had been hoping to make Zippy last until then, so he has no idea what he wants to do for a replacement car now. So we are limping by with one car for now.

That said, I've just been told the car is leaving! Gotta run!


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:36AM
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I tried posting this morning. I guess GW wasn't awake yet so here it is now. Gotta run. N

Yes Cindy, The Daylily forum is dangerous LOL. My daylilies are just getting started good with the early bloomers, and the other day I found a cute little orange and gold bitone seedling of Stella d oro. I need to get that moved to a better spot and see how it develops.

Woody, I hope getting off the meds is successful. Copper does indeed look like a shaggy beast. Is his coat soft or wiry?

The baby bird Wyatt found did not survive. I suspect he overfed it or it was just to young.
We have a pair of Summer Tanagers here. The male is a bright red like a cardinal and the female is a yellowish brown. I read that they like wasp and bees. especially wasp larva which is a good thing around here because we have an abundance of wasp.

Yesterday I was able to get most of the vegetable garden weeded. I have a few more hours work out there early this morning before the sun hits it.
Yesterday morning I was walating and of course I bent to pick some weeds among the pavers by the swing, which resulted in my sitting down to pull more and thus weeding was my day. While I was sitting on the pavers pulling weeds Rebel was lying there by me and Niki walked over for a pet. Rebel was jealous and crowded into my lap which tickled me. I don't laugh out loud very often (just my nature) but the more I laughed the more he wanted to play and he wooled me all over the place. I love that the animals like to be with me when I work around the yard.
On the other hand sometimes Niki is a whiner. She does not meow but has a little whimper sound she makes. Since she has been staying out at night and it is hot during the day she likes to nap in the house. While I was weeding she kept whining until I got tired of it and grabbed her up and put her inside. After her nap she was fine.
I am up early because my hip was hurting lying in bed. My body was complaining loudly last night.

Saucy, I would have been so disappointed not to be able to get the sink. I was thinking about you the other day as I was drilling some drain holes in some tuffa pots I had made a couple of years ago. I would like to find the time to do a trough. I hope Zeus does ok for awhile longer. The last years is so hard on them.
Candy, my tree seedling nightmare is ash too and there is an abundance of them this year. On the other hand there have not been many acorns for a couple of years. That is like walking on marbles in the yard.

Ei don't forget to come back and tell us about your job.

I better get moving so I can beat the sun in the veggie garden this morning.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 3:46PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Copper is greatly offended ladies :-) Copper is a girl! She has a definite Catherine Deneuve look about her face (Briards are a French breed...) and has a nice soft coat. Admittedly one description of the breed is 'German Shepherd in a clown suit'.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 5:03PM
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An interesting Open Days crawl today, into the high rent district of Marin County. There were 4 gardens open and I made it to 3 of them, unfortunately I likely missed the best one. I was a bit bemused by the lack of invention in these gardens, they were pretty but not a thing in any of them I would want to copyother than the views! It was obvious that the owners of these were not in fact gardeners , and the folks they are paying to plant and maintain their property are not designers. There wasnt a one that could even remotely compare with Deannes, Moniques , or Sues. I did enjoy the day though, the weather was great and Marin County was at its tony best ! Photos below.

Norma, I really related to the weeding experience you described ! I love to go out to my front garden in the early morning and plop myself down on the ground , coffee at the sideno one else in the neighborhood is out and about and its very satisfying to see the weeds gone though they do come back Im afraid.

Hoping Eis computer stuff is resolved, and that bug is enjoying her HS reunion..

Pics from today, with a wave. Mary ?

I guess no one ever sits here..

From Open Days

This garden had the view du jour..that thingy you see poking up from the fog is a span of the Golden Gate Bridge. From Open Days

San Francisco skyline.. From Open Days

An example of the non-gardener garden ..these were obviously popped in from one gallon plants, probably a week ago. From Open Days

A garden in Ross, I liked the way this hedge looked with the architecture of the cottage. From Open Days

A yellow Dogwood --awesome ! From Open Days

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 10:16PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well, the t.v. and the internet went out again with our thunderstorms yesterday, but Im back up again, but will have to make this brief as I need to get ready for church.

Kathy all the plant pics are beautiful the San Francisco skyline pic is just gorgeous. Im always amazed (though I guess I shouldnt be) at all the beauty in your area. My DH and his wife may end up moving to Calif. after he is finished with school...makes me a little sad to think of, but more Im so happy and proud for him that he and the DDIL are finding their paths to what I hope will always be joyful and fulfilling lives. Anyway, thanks for always taking the time to share your beautiful pics with us. As much as I enjoyed all the gardens I have to say that
"cottage" really got my heart going pitter patter. :-) Bummer Kathy...why did you have to disillusion me about the weed thought I would pick em this week end and be done with cracked me up.

I love the description of you working in the weeds Norma and imagining you and Rebel made me smile. Scout will do that to me sometimes too. :-) Simple joys...theyre the best! The job is wonderful...I think this may be the first time in my life where I felt like a job was just meant for me. My boss is a sweetheart; a soft gentle spoken, somewhat shy, but very competent and knowledgeable horticulturist. We get along great, though I do try to curb my tendency to babble around her, dont want to overwhelm her with my I work for a retirement village out here. The home base is a very old and beautifully maintained mansion on 35 acres of land. The mansion has an Alzheimers wing and a physically challenged wing. There are also apartments in the mansion for assisted living. On the 35 acres there are also townhomes and "cottages". It kind of reminds me of Biltmore Estates, though perhaps a little less glam. Anyway, I work in the hort dept. and my job is to maintain the containers & flower beds on the grounds, as well as work in the greenhouses (my boss is teaching me all kinds of things about propagation and maintaining a greenhouseI'm loving it!). But my *favorite* part of the job is doing Hort. Therapy with the residents. It's so rewarding and exciting and I love the residents - all for their own special ways. Some of them are real Lots of fun stories I'll have to share with you about my exeriences with the residents when I have the time. Anyway, it was supposed to be only a seasonal thing, but last week my boss offered me winter hours as well! Not as many as Im working now, but Im just thrilled that she wants to keep me. :-) Anyway, the job has been a real Godsend and a wonderful opportunity and experience for me. Cant think of a single negative, though maybe the pay could be better...but hopefully that will come with time.

I missed Michelle's description of the clown...I'm going to have to go back and re-read. :-)

Okay, gotta go take my shower, to church, and then out to weed some more, although Kathy has deflated my confidence...


    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 7:53AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

lol...certainly I meant DS & hubby will *not* bemoving to California with my DDIL!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:03AM
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I'm going to miss GB's photo moments thread this week :) Not that I am good at getting pictures uploaded in a timely manner.

Yesterday Nick dug out the remaining paths in the Goddess Garden! Yeah Nick! Now I have to find just the right edging. Woody, I wanted to use steel, but it's not an easy product to find here. I'm checking the wholesale catalog tomorrow to see if my neighbor can help me buy it.

Kathy, the views are amazing. I am little bummed when I get to a garden like that, especially having seen pictures of all of our gardens :) We're a bit spoiled for good gardens.

Mary must be fully submerged in school and garden life. Maybe I'll shoot her an email.

I put up a finch feeder and have been enjoying them this week. They fly in and want to land on the banana leaves, but they don't like the way it moves under them, so they're constanly flying about. I've put orange halves out for my oriole family, too. My neighbor has a wren family nesting in her window so she can just peek inside :)

I guess I'd better get moving. Today is a forced cleaning of the house as it's going to rain all day. My garden needs it, and my house needs the cleaning, so...


    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:00AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - I used aluminum edging, not steel. The stuff I used is called Curv-rite and should be easily found at any place that supplies the landscape trade. It's not cheap though! It was pretty easy to install and works quite well. Nothing is perfect though so you do have to keep an eye out for grass seeding across the edging or creeping grass sending a root across the top. But it's a heck of a lot easier for me than doing trench edging. The biggest drawback is that if you want to change the shape of a bed later, it adds a bit of work. When I made the narrow bed connecting the two wisterias, I had to dig up some of the edging and connect it with some new stuff - not difficult but added an extra step in the process.

Kathy - the pictures of the city/fog were certainly the best ones :-) It's a one of those places I've always wanted to visit. The yellow dogwood is interesting - sort of... My neighbour's dogwood is blindingly white and gorgeous. Mine, at this stage at least, is definitely on the cream side of white and does not look good paired with the neighbour's across the fence! Since this is the first year mine has bloomed and the flowers don't look like they're fully developed yet, I'm not sure whether they will whiten as they mature or whether they will remain this sort of disappointing color :-(

We got another inch of rain last night! Actually that just brings the April-May-June total to just over the average for the eight years I've been keeping rain records for the garden. Assuming we get some more rain this month, it's shaping up to be a good year re moisture. Mind you, all the peonies definitely need deadheading out there this morning! And the mosquitoes are very happy...!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 10:52AM
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Pleasant Sunday evening Idylls, it looks like the rain is over here and the typical June weather pattern is settling in. Our hills are taking on their summer garb of golden brown, and the Dahlias are budded . We are turning the spring into summer corner . Ill miss spring, but I love the summer stuff too- the Salvias, Lilys, Daylilys, Dahlias, Zinnias, Penstemons etc.

My roses look horrid ! Blackspot everywhere, and Im basically giving them a modified winter pruning to get all the diseased foliage off.

I love my finch feeder Saucy..the goldfinches prefer to feed there when it is full, if I let the level go down too much they hang out with the other birds at the regular feeder.

Ei, your job sounds like such a perfect fit for a warm and outgoing person like you ..I can see you making a positive difference in peoples lives. And the hort angle makes it all the better- I did assume that you had a typo moment with DH vs. DS ,lol.

Signing off ..later friends ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:14PM
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Ei, Your job sounds wonderful. If you have to, or want to, work it sounds perfect for you. Please do share your experiences when you have time.

Kathy those vistas are gorgeous. The cottage and the yellow dogwood are interesting to.

Saucy how good of Nick to help you out with those paths.
Now the fun can start.

Bob helped me pull those monster waterlilies out of the pond so I could divide them. What a shame when the were blooming nicely to tear them up but it had to be done.

I have been working in the veggie/flower garden, tilling and rearranging the paths to make it more accessable. I would love a pottager like Michelle's or Drema's but mine is to long and narrow.
I have lots of yellow in the landscape right now. All my Stellas and Happy Returns are blooming at the same time this year. I don't remember them doing that before. Thank goodness I have the Jackmanias and a few other clems along with the white daisies to break up all that yellow and gold.

After turning the air on yesterday because of the humidity we opened back up today because it was really nice out. A lot less buggy too with a nice breeze.

Hope Bug is having fun. My 50th HS reunion is coming up in Sept.too.

Saucy I need a rainy day to clean too.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 9:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back home after a very good weekend in Buffalo with OLD friends. It is odd and very VERY interesting to reconnect with people after 50 years! They have grown up well (thankfully) and had interesting lives and continue to do fascinating and wonderful things. Very few disappointments. One disappointment for me was that the chapel, which was a handsome wood paneled room in the school, (private girls school) had been whitewashed and the organ was missing. The present headmistress had no idea what happened to it either. But interesting architectural changes have been made where expansion would seem impossible.

I took part in a tour of one of the Frank Lloyd Wright homes which was guided by a former student of the school. I highly recommend the tour to anyone passing through Buffalo, but NEXT YEAR when more of the renovations are completed. (There are twilight tours, even "hard hat" tours where you can see the nitty gritty aspects of the heating etc.)There are gardening aspects to the building which are most interesting, such as self watering planters and window boxes which are built from the ground up, not hanging from the sills. There is a long narrow greenhouse of tropicals as well.

Certainly there are terribly sad stories of classmates' life experiences, but also fascinating tales of...well life and growth. And so what an experience it was, very worthwhile.

And now I am back, it is very wet out but the sun is shining, and I have yet to see my gardens. I do know that there is a great deal of clematis color out there which needs investigating at close up range! And then there is the regular stuff, DH's dentist appointment, tomorrow his throat specialist, and so on. It is a joy to see Phoebe delighted by my return. She's due for a haircut on Wednesday, but right now I love her woolly mammoth look!

I hope to catch up on reading throughout the day.
Sorry to add that I still will not be able to contribute photos because of computer issues as a result of the virus I had a few weeks back. Both computer scientists in my life have failed so far and I suspect it just isn't going to happen and don't know the outcome possibilities. :(

Happy Monday to you all!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:29AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Monday, everybody!

Well, you guys have done it to me again....

See, I have this chain link fence that my neighbour hates, so she put up a wood fence a foot higher than mine and 8 inches away from it - we fondly call it the Spite Fence, and we fondly call her...well, never mind, not germaine to the conversation...

So I have planted Tangutica clems and Virginia Creeper every three feet along on my side, hoping to have some fall colour there. But the grass is about two feet high in between the fences and looks crummy. The solution, OF COURSE, is a sixty foot garden , and we have agreed on it being the Daylily garden. So...this summer will be removing sod, installing edging, amending the soil, and SHOPPING for new plants. You are right, the Daylily forum is very dangerous.

Glad to see that Bug got back all right and had a great time. Fifty years - a lot of water under that bridge for sure! I bet the farm is a riot of clems!

Kathy, the blackspot is such a bummer, but I bet your home looks lovely all the same, if previous photos do it justice! Are you getting excited? I wish I could come there, but a family wedding the same week knocks that out of the question.

Deanne I love the photos of you and Doug at Monique and Les's place for Sue's birthday. I laughed when I saw the photo of Sue with the thumbs going on the Blackberry - fond memories of IU 6. But to me the real keeper is the one of you and Doug together. That is a wonderful shot of you both, just super.

Woody you have done so much with your gardens! I may try to find some of the aluminum edging...I remember your description of the work you did with the bricks, really professional. Good for you guys to keep enjoying the dogs. I hope your medication issues work out soon.

Loving all the photos and descriptions of places I have never been....

Off to see the neurosurgeon this morning - maybe the neck brace will be gone? Sadly I doubt it...

Miss doing my JulieJobs and the EAT program...will have to get back to that stuff next winter. Right now, just enjoying my gardens. Hopefully I will post photos this week...I have been so slack in that department!

I'll be checking in later

Cheers to all


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Julie - I hope you get the clearance to remove the collar! So far, so good on the cold-turkey on the meds for me. I did have several days of very bad headaches and needed to use ice-packs on my head constantly. But the weather has been doing flip-flops and that always sets my head off, so it's hard to say whether the meds had any impact on that or not.

The 60' garden... will you be taking down the chainlink to get rid of the grass? Are you planning 60' of daylilies?! It would be impressive in flower but, man! All that deadheading....! If I had 60' to start from scratch, and if there was also enough width, I'd try for a colorful shrub border - it would be a fun challenge to create a shrub bed with flower/foliage interest from spring to fall. There are so many really interesting shrubs these days, although perhaps less so in your zone. Shrubs would be so much easier to maintain too. My front bed is gradually moving in the direction of lots of flowering shrubs and vines.

The other border idea that appeals to me is a yellow border. There are lots of golden woody plants to combine with some herbaceous stuff. While I generally do not like yellow and have very little of it in the garden, I have seen some pictures of very luminous yellow gardens and have developed a hankering for one! But I have no space for one :-(

A new garden... I envy you (can you tell :-) ?! Have fun!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 12:35PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Grab your forks and knives girls...I'm here to share the bounty of the first crop of beans!

Lol...well, I'm hoping there will be more later, but they sure are pretty; aren't they? :-)



    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:31PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ei - I haven't even planted beans yet - soil's too cold even in the pots I grow them in. I'm hoping to plant them (pole beans) later this week. However we should be eating peas in a day or two. Those beans look great and are wonderfully displayed on that plate!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm feeling chatty today I guess...! :-)

I'm also pouting - the shed paint colors are not coming out as planned. The colors aren't matching the paint chips very well - not dark enough and too much towards the blue end of the scale. Randy painted the door green today and it only came out a sort of medium green - not dark and not olive-y. Tomorrow hopefully he'll put on the cover coat over the primer on the walls and then we'll assess what to do next if we don't like it. These are Benjamin Moore colors so we may have to use something different since there aren't any better choices in BM colors.

The green door:

Viewed from the office window - the shed should be darker than the greens in the foreground and I doubt that the finish coat for the primer will be sufficiently dark to make the shed a 'shadow' in the background:

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 8:33PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hola, idylls -- back after a 24 hr trip to PA for Dad's birthday -- I got off cheaply -- a dinner out and moving a mulch pile on his driveway that had been there two years waiting to be moved,LOL....another sibling was supposed to do that but never got around to it - I couldnt stand it any longer and it had sprouted weeds. I think Dad was more delighted by that than the steak dinner. Tried to buy him a grill but he didnt see one he liked and supposedly got re-enthused to fix his old one... sometimes ya just have to let them go their way, right?

Kathy, Im secretly glad to hear you're having problems with your roses - I know you treat yours better than I, but mine are looking pretty horrid. The MAC has some odd growth on it w/ silly litlle blooms - I saw a local garden show that showed such a branch and said it was a virus -- Im not yet convinced as he said you could still try to cut it back; and I see some normal growth very close by. But what a mess most of the stuff is - from black spot to dead soggy blooms..... they were pretty while they lasted.

Re daylilies -- o, I've been enabled a time or two over on the daylily forum -- when I get the urge for a new color from one of you guys, I end up there checking our their color threads.... it does look to be a good crop with lots of scapes going on in my yard - I think I've got the first two starting up -- Moonlight Masquerade is one I think; the other might be Deanne's recommendation, Joylene N.... can't wait! It's so very pretty.

It was hot and humid and nasty so I at least did not miss any garden days this weekend, but I sure am feeling behind -- plants to pot up, things to deadhead, still no mulch brought home or laid, egads, I better stop the list now!

Julie - I do hope you are released from captivity! Crossin my fingers for you.

'bug -- I forgot it was Buffalo you're from - that's the city that has the Garden City weekend isnt it? where everyone opens their gardens in maybe late June or July and they are magnificient - I'd love to go see them all one year; read an article recently w/ some of the highlights - it looked like so much fun!

Kathy - those views remind me of that one New York garden we saw that was obviously professionally done and maintained w/ the glass wall, remember? I read recently that estate is now up for sale - it could be ours I think it was about $5 mil !!! or maybe it was 3....Not one I would ever want to really own, altho that lily pond was pretty incredible.

I bet Denise is having her own issues re house paints, Woody - she could commiserate with you. So hard to get colors as one imagines they should be.

Well, some things to attend to here - waving to all -- Im sorry about your car, V - glad no one was injured; Saucy good luck with the paths - are you going to mulch them or lay gravel?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:23PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Drat - I forgot - Ei - that sounds like such a perfect job for you - I bet they love you there (obviously from the job offer) and you're learning fun hort stuff too -- what a dream job, for you!! Congrats. And love the green beans - Im envious!

Norma - sorry the little birdie didnt survive; piffle. Animals are a great recognizer of a loving person - Im sure that's why yours follow you around and want to be attached to you, LOL.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:37PM
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I like the way the shed looks Woody, but I see the effect you are going for. Does the paint store you are using have sample cans for you to use ? Colors always seem to look so different when they are installed , And what a shock yellow in the Woody garden ??? A radical departure for you I think ! I like yellow a lot, my favorite tone is on the pale side such as C. Moonbeam . 14 of my roses are yellow. I sure hope the med thing works out for you ..good vibes and well wishes to you !

Nice beans there Ei ! I am feeling guilty as I have neglected my poor allotment and have no beans planted there yet, though I have the seeds . I think I need to get beyond all the IU prep before I can focus attention there. I love fresh green beans .

Julie, good vibes to you and your neck brace issue, at least you are maintaining your humor , and always glad to hear that someone else has gotten sucked in by those people on the Daylily forum. They even have their own lingo over there, have you noticed ? I love looking at the pics while Im having lunch at my awfice desk. And yes, you are definitely a photo-slacker I think we need some pics of the spite fence for reference..!

Hope an update from the Compound is pending..

Off and away

Kathy in Napa

Took this yesterday, Niobe holds her own against the Jasmine. From Garden 2010 Spring

Here is Fairy Fanfare hanging around with Rozanne From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:02PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

FREE! FREE! I'M FREE! Well. sorta. I am to start weaning myself off the collar so that it will be gone in a week. So of course, weaning from the collar means tossing it the second one comes home from the doc's office, right? Well, right?????

I am wearing a soft collar now but have had the brace off for four whole hours. Just feel great. Except for the dizzy spells that I have been having for about a week. Apparently a common side effect from being bonked on the noggin. I say, it was a loooooong nine weeks.

Well now the daylily garden. No I cannot take down the fence to clean out the grass. That little 8 inch hell-strip is here to stay. It is my contention that daylillies look kind of grassy so the unruly junk behind the fence would either be hidden or fit right in. The vines will climb up to the top and crawl along and hang down and be beautiful. Right? Well, am I right???>? And the flowers that would be a by-product of this plan are a huge bonus hmmmmm.Deadheading I could do. The base for the wonderful green bin composter from the wonderful town of Perth sits right at one end of the fence = convenient for us and hopefully an annoyance to the neighbour (slap slap stop that Jules). I already have Stella D'oro (doesn't everyone?) Purple d'Oro (sorta drab IMO) and Many Happy Returns. I just dug through my store of plant tags and of course didn't keep any from my more showy ones in the back triangular garden.

O.k. If I can manage to cut the grass (doubtful) and get the plants whipped into shape, I WILL POST PHOTOS!!!!!

Well, I gotta take them first.

Wowzie, I wish I could make to IU VII!

Cheers, Guys, I think I will go and EAT something. Oh yeah, I aready did - THE ASPEN COLLAR!
A much more comfortable Julie

Yup sixty feet and not a lot of width.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 10:45PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

I feel so bad Cyn...I didn't catch your post until this a.m. re-reading here at the Idylls. I guess I've been sort of speed reading here of late and obviously missing a lot. Blame it on my unreliable internet and the fear of getting cut off. Anyway, I'm so sorry to hear of the troubles your family has been going through. My thoughts are with you both and sending positive thoughts that DH will have a smooth and successful recovery with brighter days in the near future. ((Cyn))...I know this is a tough one, but you seem to be such a strong and positive person and it's a good sign that DH has signed himself in. I just know there are brighter days in the future for you both.

Julie I'm sorry to hear about your neck problems. Sending positive vibes your way too, that you will have a speedy recovery. I can only imagine what it would be like to have to wear a neck brace all the time; glad that you have graduated to a more comfortable one. I'm in awe that you are planning a 60 foot bed, while wearing a brace...more proof of how strong the Idyll women are.

Woody, I think the shed looks lovely now, but I know when you are finished and it is the way you've seen it in your mind's eye, it will be perfectly beautiful then too. Keep in mind I'm green (no pun intended) when it comes to veggie gardening. Until I made my veggie garden this year tomatoes, peppers and lettuce had been my only experience with vegetables. I was surprised when you told me you don't even plant your green beans yet. These were from seed I ordered from Baker Creek called 'The Contender' green beans and so far I'm pretty happy with them. Anyway, since you haven't put yours out yet, does that mean that I could start another crop of beans? I have a spot where the radishes are finished and was looking for something to put there. Speaking of radishes, do you have a recommendation for a good variety? I grew Saxa II (I think from Johnny's Select Seed). Anyway, they were pretty hot...well *really* My hubby liked them but I was more looking for one not quite so spicy. Also, any tips on growing carrots? I over sowed and have a huge patch that are all crowded together and don't think I'll get any decent carrots because of it. What should I have done? Can you tell I'm aching for veggie you don't mind.

Boy the daylilies you girls have been talking about and all the beautiful pics are filling me with lust. Unfortunately my garden has reached the point where there *really is* no more room for new plants of anything! :-( Oh well, at least I don't have to mulch! Well, I might still try to find a place for Joylene that Cindy reminded me about. I remember Deanne's pics of that beauty...guess I'll have to edit or find a place to squeeze her in.

Welcome home Bug, glad you had such a nice time!

Will you go to your 50th reunion Norma? I'm sorry to admit that I've never been to any of mine...maybe when my 50th comes...though I'll have to count on my fingers now about when that will be. :-)

Deanne...I missed that you are having a garden fun! I remember the one you had waaaay back when I first started Idylling and you shared was fantastic! Wasn't it written up in a magazine or am I getting it confused with another one of your accolades? Well, you deserve all the accolades you get and I mean that sincerely.

I think that's a good plan Kathy to wait until after the IU...I'm sure the IU will be fantastic and everyone will love and appreciate all you've planned and done to make it such fun for all of them. I too love that 'Moonbeam' yellow color too. Speaking of which, have you seen Broadway Lights? I've added a link. I bought this one last year or the year before (can't remember now) anyway I've been very happy with it and so far it seems to be very hardy and healthy.

I'm loving all the talk about birds...I'm envious of your Orioles Saucy. They say they come here by me, but I've never seen them. How do you place the orange halves out for them? I've got oranges on my grocery list for this week, but don't know what to do as to putting them out for the birds. I'd love to see Indigo Buntings too. Didn't Deanne show a pic once? I'll have to find out if they come here. I have a finch feeder too and love all those little guys. Somebody (don't know if it's a finch or a wren) makes the most beautiful song every morning...what a lovely way to wake up! :-) I still love my robins best though, we are soul mates...maybe I was a robin in another Anyway, the other day when I was weeding the front yard I was listening to my robin friend and it sounded to me like she was saying "I'm such a pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty...*bird*!" I totally concur with her thoughts.

Cindy...sounds like a wonderful day with dad...I totally agree...ya gotta let them have their way. He sounds like a these moments in your heart. Well, I know you do...

Okay enough chat from me I gotta get moving...



    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:17AM
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Well, Ei, if it's robins you love, plant a cherry tree - I've been fighting them for a week over my neighbor's for me, one for you sort of thing except they clean the tree in a day or two!

The orange halves are speared onto the pointy top of a plant hanger (that I use to hang bird feeders). I have seen two males together this week, the females come separately to the oranges.

I like your paint colors woody, but I know it is not what you wanted. Is that still just the primer on the body of the shed? I think the door might be pretty dark, but that it is such a small area with that large sage-y green next to it. Is Randy tired of paiting yet? Last summer was my painting summer and I loathed it.

Congrats Julie! Don't overdo it :) What about ornamental grasses down the strip? You could burn them down each Spring...oops! There goes the fence! Ha ha...I am a bad influence. I think your daylilies would be fine if you really clear the grass first. Sounds like a hard job. I might be more inclined to use it as a compost bin ( the fence is composted! ha ha!)....or just mulch it heavily to keep maintenance down...maybe your lawn clippings?

I always smother things I don't like if possible.

The GG paths are dug. Now the hard part, it seems. I am going with stone dust, Cindy. I hope I can find a good product in my area. How can I find out what Tower Hill uses, because that is what I want!

The weatherman has blessed me with another perfect day and I'm going to use it to the fullest. Yesterday I cast a wild rhubarb leaf (nice and veiny!) as well as worked on getting plants planted. I want to have my garden ready for Jake to care for when I'm in Cali.

I was thinking today how this would be a big trip for will take me back and show me that I can fly to CA and everything will be fine. Maybe it'll spark other visits to Socal to see the old haunts and meet up with friends. I'm getting very excited about the whole idea and I usually don't get excited until I leave :)

Later friends!


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 7:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A quick fly-by "Good Morning" from Ontario...

Last night a friend brought us wood for our wood stove (for next Fall) and took me out to see 3 blue heron nests that he photographed. It is particularly exciting to view them since last year some idiot chopped down the heronry on our nearby road. So I think we may have found where some of them moved to. I'm not going to tell the location to a soul.

Bought some coleus and things yesterday for another container. We expect rain tomorrow, but today is glorious already, even though it was only 40F last night.

I'm annoyed about the necessity for house maintenance these days. The bathroom vent is shot, the hot water tank doesn't heat, our kitchen stove is only half operational...I guess this is so for everyone, but it really irritates me these days. I have things I'd MUCH rather spend my few pesos repair of this silly computer which can no longer post photos, getting Chelone to cover a couch and 2 massive chairs, refinishing floors, a new roof....But no, those will have to wait.

Spoke to Skyler last night...and he is VERY excited about going for a week of sleep-over camp at the end of summer, before baby is born. I'm so glad this is working out! He's 11 and it's about time he got to do some independent stuff.

OK, I hope you all enjoy this lovely day and I'm off to make a dent in the household duties.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 8:32AM
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A quick good morning, Idylls!

Things are piling up around here, could it be that I spend too much time in the gardens? Digging, amending soil, picking helicopters, plantingswitching plants, yesIm doing that already! Now that the pin oak is gone, Ive got 4 hrs. of hot morning sun on the porch and then full shade. No more caladiums and begonias, they stressed out quickly. What a trial and error season this will be as the new perennials in the shrub border are young and experimental also. Just this morning I decided to move the phlox after noticing the buds were bending toward more light. OK, somaybe over where the sun isnt hot enough for the cosmos seeds to emerge? Shuffle, shuffle, will I ever get it right?!

Julie, you sound downright giddy with relief on getting rid of that collar! Happy for you and Im sure you feel about 5 lbs. lighter. Like Saucy saidtake it easy now.

And Saucy, can you post some progress of the GG paths? Always fun to watch a creation in the step by step process. Ive never seen a path being dug out but can certainly imagine the hard work involved. Some years ago, I went the inexperienced and fast way by using landscape fabric to smother the grass. While it did work, I now find occasional shrub roots surfacing under the mulch.

Ei, congratulations on that wonderful job! How about a shed update?did you decide on trim color? Love the artful plating of the green beans.

Woody, just wondering if youd consider painting the shed trim a darker green instead of white? It might give the illusion the shed is set back deeper and help the greens meld together. I know what youre going throughsame here only with plantings. We have our "vision" and are determined to see it evolve!

Going to rain big time if the forecast is accuratemust get out there and take some photos. Should we get the 1-2 predicted inches I might clean house. Might being the operative word. It would also be a good day to shop what with out vacation two weeks away. Waving to all


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am now waiting for a call from a repairman. UGH!
Just returned from errands, and one of them was stopping by an ordinary old nursery which has VASTLY improved! What a treat! Their clematis (groups A,B & C!) are neatly arranged, spaced and labeled as are their delphiniums and phlox. They carry 3-4 kinds of Baptisia now. The Agastache that I love was plentiful and seen nowhere else! I found the very last Caryopteris from last year...large and healthy. They had about 8 kinds of lavender as well. Anyway, how fun to see a place doing so well!

I need to get outside for mowing and weeding and planting before tomorrow's rain and resent having to sit by the phone. Grrrr. This is one of those amazing opportunities when I am unable to do laundry or dishes because there's no hot water! Ah well, I'll figure something out.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 1:26PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Julie - don't neglect any neck exercises you may have been given to do. Your neck muscles probably deteriorated over the time you were in the collar and you'll need to strengthen them again. In the first months after my first surgery my head felt like a bowling ball supported by a wet noodle! (Some neck muscles were cut as part of the surgery.) I still do exercises daily to be able to support my head properly. So don't get carried away - do your PT!

I keep forgetting to say ... Ei - when I get old/decrepit and need residential care, I want a place like where you work! It sounds like a great place both to work and to live. (Do they have a facility in Canada?!)

Candy - I have debated with myself about the color of the shed trim. At this point I'm planning on leaving it white since there's a fair bit of white around the shed (hydrangeas, Persicaria etc.) and the general color theme of the backyard is green and white. If the wall color ends up dark enough, the white trim then might look like a child's drawing of a house floating on the green background :-) If it doesn't work out that way, we can always paint it next year.

I'm a bit more optimistic that the shed color might not turn out too bad. Randy didn't get a chance today to put on the final coat but did paint a test strip so we could see how much it differs from the pale primer. It looks like this:

So it might be dark enough/olive-y enough. But the door color may need changing since it's shifted more to the blue tones. It'll be a few days before the painting gets finished. Rain in the forecast tomorrow - plus it's colonoscopy day for Randy tomorrow!

Things are looking up for Vyvyan. But she's looking a bit pale still. We gave her some fertilizer a day or two ago but I think some Epsom salts might be in order too. Does that sound right to you GB?

The nursery you were talking about GB - is that Lost Horizons or somewhere else? If somewhere else, where? It sounds like somewhere I might like to check out too....

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 8:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Vivyan is looking fine to me! It is a funny year with things generally doing well, but so much rain for us! I occasionally fertilize things and have tried epsom salts too, but never noticed much difference. Just don't overdo things!

The nursery I went to, Woody, was St Jacobs Country Gardens on New Jerusalem Road near Elmira. It is quite new (3-4 years old?) and mostly annuals but now has perennials, some roses and a good grass selection. They have shrubs too. It is a Mennonite operation. They have some obelisks and pots. It isn't a bit like LH. Their clematis selection is small but they have surprises. For example they had tall thalictrum plants that were well staked. I'd give the place a B I guess, which means I'll keep checking back there as it is close by.

PS: We now have hot water! Progress!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 9:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Trying something new so I can post pictures again.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:55PM
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When Kenzie is here I just dont get computer time. Saturday was slightly rainy. We delivered over 100 gallon sized nursery pots to this garden we were at a few weeks ago. I was glad to be rid of them and they were thrilled to get them. I was somewhat shocked at the number of perennials that I have bought over the past few years. They just happened to be having a fund raising event and were serving pie on the terrace. We couldnt turn that down. We then hit a nursery and of course it started to rain harder. We persevered when we found the complimentary umbrellas.

Yesterday I ran over to the country nursery thats near our place and picked up some more annuals to fill out some of my containers. I have less containers this year.

I believe all the containers are planted, all the seeds in the ground and just a few wintersown plants left in the ghetto. Now I really need to concentrate on deadheading and weeding.

Ive not had much time to read, but do see that Ei has been frequenting and I like that. You brighten my day girlfriend! Im pleased to hear that Julie has lost the brace.

Kathy, the Niobe / Jasmine combination is wonderful. I really enjoy your California pictures. Thanks!

It looks like someone enjoys a good game of peek-a-boo :o)

Well, its nearly 10:30 and my day started early and was action packed, so Id best finish up here.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 11:29PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Just time for a very quick post this AM, I've been busy busy as our two day garden tour is only ten days off. Yikes! We are in pretty good shape though and I'm starting the polishing up and rearranging the garden art phase. My garden helper is sooooo fantastic! I'd never have had things this ready to go without her help.

Glad to hear Julie has lost the neck brace! Nice!

Woody, love the shed color and Vyvyan looks good after the wilt episode.

Kathy, really love the Niobe/Jasmine combo! beautiful. ~~ I'm going to grab an update pic of the castor bean pot today. You won't believe how much its grown.

Eileen, thought you'd like this shot from last fall.

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 7:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Rain no photos. I was planning a big clematis shoot today. So many clematis and roses in bloom, but alas...
Must go get Phoebe ready for her trip to the groomer.
Enjoy your Wednesday!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 7:52AM
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I've been following along with Woody's painting challenges, and Cindy's absolutely correct, it ain't easy! We've switched out colors, and Marty says he'll paint the same wall over again no longer (twice). I think I may have ended up with colors better suited for interiors -- blue-greys and an off yellow Marty calls "meconium." BTW, great news about the meds, Woody. If that dizziness goes away, even better.

The June gloom is taking the form of heavy mist in the morning, which interrupts the painting -- but there always seems to be a million other things going on anyway. Yesterday, at my urging, Marty drove south to check on a '62 Corvair van for a friend, to see if it was worth buying (no!)

Congrats about the neck collar, Julie. Nice to get it off for summer. How uncomfortable would that be! What a bonk on the head you had.

Cyn, so glad progress is being made.

Here's my Buddleia 'Silver Anniversary' that's really starting to thicken up. There's another one this size and a small cutting, so three in total in the tiny back garden. Love this shrub.

And a shot of the aerial bobbles of the Waverly salvia and calandrinia outside the office.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 10:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Never heard of Silver Anniversary before....but it's a beauty! I am fond of whites too...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 11:52AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

LOL, Denise - I do believe I ordered and planted that buddleia last fall after seeing yours - now Im wondering where the heck it is in the front landscape (I seem to recall that's where I plunked it)... golly - I need to start investigating more - altho I think it's my poor memory any more. I have yet to inventory what I planted last year - i put in a journal list that is usually my reminder any more for names, etc.... Geez.

Good luck to all on the painting choices -- Denise, that color combo sounds lovely - Im sure it will be fine. Geez, a Corvair? are there any still running? Wow!

Rainy drizzle here today and back to the hummmm-idity and nasties of summer.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:27PM
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Wow, Denise that buddelia is unusual. I always scroll from the bottom up and its interesting how I usually can tell from the pictures whose garden I'm viewing before I see the name. I don't envy the color choosing challenge. I'm horrible at it.

Deanne, the robin photo is fabulous! How nice that you found yourself a garden helper. Will she be helping more this season or was it because of the tour? Does she garden?

Cindy, I know the feeling about disorganized garden records. I have a plant that is growing in one of my gardens which doesn't look like a weed, I don't recognize the foliage so we will have to wait until it blooms to ID it.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 4:23PM
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