Idyll # 439 I'm in the Garden

saucydog(z5MA)May 8, 2009

I think it's safe to say that we're all spending a fair amount of time in our gardens now :)

Carry On (and don't forget to show us pictures of what you've been doing....)


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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB - great picture of Sarah and Mae Surprise - Sarah has a very strong resemblance to you in that picture. And baby looks like she's seeing the resemblance too in her close inspection of you! There's a picture missing... There's baby and daddy but no baby and grand-daddy...?

PM - nice lilac! The flower buds on mine are just extending now so bloom is still a few days off. The Chinese wisteria buds are extending now too - just in time for the weekend temperatures with lows predicted in the frost range!

Saucy - you need to get an Astilboides tabularis leaf to cast. They would make a great cast I'm sure. This isn't the best of pictures but they're the big leaves that you can see here:

No progress on the new bed since late Tuesday. I needed to wait until Randy removed some rocks that we hit while trying to pound in the support stakes for the metal edge. One of the rocks is the biggest we're found here. It took a very large pry-bar to get it out. I think I'll have to incorporate it into the bed because I sure can't move it!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 7:41AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Happy Friday everyone! Just a quick pop in here. I've got tons and tons of stuff left to do in the gardens and the window for moving things is closing fast. We got some significant rain this week and between that and the heat frm the week before things are growing at light speed! OK that's as much time as I have on this computer this morning. Just wanted to say Hi and check in with my Idyll friends! Have a great day!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 7:59AM
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Good morning

Wonderful family shots GB! Hope Phoebe is happily welcoming you back right now.

Saucy - that sounds fun but back-breaking work.

Anyone with teenagers will probably know the latest X-men (Wolverine) movie opens today. David will be there with friends this evening. A fun take from a favorite artist:


Happy Friday


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes, so much to do outdoors and in!!!!

There ARE photos of Grandpa with Her Pinkness, but they need scanning in. Here is one, but you only see his sweater.

With Skyler and Uncle Brad.

And just a few more...(blush)
DD BEFORE baby's arrival:
Organizing teams for the birthday party scavenger hunt.

Baseball!(in PJs no less)

"Grand Turismo" with Dad. Ridiculous!

The gardens are lush with buds and blooms...and weeds. I hope to be able to mow later today when things are dryer. I was ill last night...and suppose it was the sandwich I ate on the airplane. Feeling weak.

DH is at a conference today already, Phoebe is glued to my side and the cats are yowling for attention.


OK, enough play, time for grocery shopping.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:52AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday -- Chelone -- I contend that Fridays are not days to be brilliant in -- one is too much focused on getting thru the day and onto the importance of weekends when one can enjoy one's life and be brilliant there, LOL... it would be nice to saunter thru Friday in a gentle state of anticipation for WALATs...

There is indeed an orb in my region shining some sort of light this morning -- newscasters suggested it might be a UFO but it seems to be something called a "sun"... I suspect it will be gone by the time I go home and more squishiness... Sunday is augured to be a drying out day -- at long last!

Hope Kathy has a ton of fun tomorrow at Bancroft - I can hardly wait to see what photo delights she comes back with.

Mae Surprise is a cutie -- we will need some updates from Eden to keep us comparing Kate w/ "Mae" on the cute-o-meter.

Have fun all - enjoy Friday.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:53AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Speaking of 'defecters', where is Sue and her TGIF ?????

Marie, Sarah was certainly getting her exercise. Was she trying to hurry up the delivery?? So, Little Missy is a two finger sucker? My Tim was born with his thumb in his mouth! Yep, she is Pink. :-)

Tornados to the north of us, in Missouri! Prediction of very high winds, including in our area.

I sloshed around our soggy yard and took more pics. The Earnest Markham Clem has several open blooms. Nolon was the first to see it starting to bloom, and reported to me.

The native Azalea that I transplanted from down in the hollow has several blooms.

And my latest Orchid.

The Springfield Mo. weatherman is predicting winds up to 70 MPH! And it includes our area. I am hoping all that will happen here is more hanging limbs down. Places to the west of our are having windows bloom out!

Our lights have blinked a few times. I will post while I am able....


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 9:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Amazing Moroccan Spiced Soup
For 8 servings

1tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh gingerroot
1 pinch hot red chili flakes
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
tsp cinnamon
2 carrots chopped fine
4 ribs celery, chopped fine
1 796 ml tin plum tomatoes with juice
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup dried or 2 cans of green lentils
500 ml caned chick peasÂdrained
1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Pinch of saffron
¾ cup of raisins
½ cup of slivered almonds

Roasted pine nuts and cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in a large saucepanÂadd onions, garlic, ginger root, hot pepper flakes, cumin and cinnamon. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until very fragrant. Add carrot and celery and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 9:53AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Friday morning to you all! 10:10 a.m. and I am just is certainly different being here at DD's instead of dealing with the early morning chaos of home with a small boy and two dogs!

The deed is done, DD was delivered here two hours later than I was told to expect her, and barely conscious. I could not believe that she was released in such a state, but we were told she had to have a strong companion with her and someone to be with her all day....Pumped full of pain pills and antibiotics, she has hardly been seen since I got here....

The day is beautiful outside. The forecast was for crummy cold and rain...After a qucik shower and a coffee, I will go out to do Knotweed battle. DD estimates this war will continue for at least twenty years. I agree!

What great photos of the happy family! Little Mae S. just has to be beautiful...look at her forebears! Gorgeous, and delightful!

Everyone seems to be enjoying their gardens so much these days...the payoff for surviving a long cold winter! I am not sure there would be quite as much unbridled joy if one lived in the tropics and had lushness all year long. As it is, we North Americans seem to relish the work of getting our gardens off the ground, as it were, or should I say, in the ground!

I do not know if I am going home today, have to wait to see how DD is faring. I think Kathy was undergoing dental treatment as I came on the scene here, and I now have a brand new appreciation for it. Not fun for sure, but at least it's done!

Have a wonderful day and week-end all! I will catch up when I am home again!



    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 10:21AM
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Happy Friday! So busy in the gardens these days and loving every minute.

Marie, beautiful baby, beautiful family! That child needs a name! I know she was Baby "Surprise" but surely not that much of a surprise was she? :)


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Ive been plugging away with spring spruce up in the garden. A lot of shrubs need reshaping after being eaten this winter. Last night I was pruning a miniature rose and saw the jaw bone and teeth of some animal. I thought I would use my pruner to pick it up and discard it in the wheelbarrow. It was a little too much for me when I realized that the fur was still attached and hiding under the mulch. I know Chelone Im a sissy. DH came to the rescue and got rid of it.

This weekend is my nieces first communion so I will be going to Mpls. My parents will ride along.

Im sure the Phoebe and the gardens are glad to have Marie back home. What wonderful family shots with the little pink one.

Mary, the chicks are adorable and it sounds like a really fun project for your family. We had issues with DD when she would name all the calves. Thats when she quit eating beef.

Kathy, I love the blue of that penstemon. I really like blue in the garden and Im quite excited that my corydalis elata returned this spring and I even see a few seedlings.

Drema, Im excited to see and hear what will be going into your potager.

PM, I can almost smell the lilac from here.

Woody, the Astilboides tabularis is a cool plant.

Marian, the native azalea is quite nice. Lucky you to have such pretties to dig up.

Have a great weekend.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lost my post. Geeee...


Eden, I totally agree about names!

Michelle, we learned from the error of our ways. Our first year here we named the groundhogs.

Did I say groceries? I came home with foxgloves, clematis and annuals. Big surprise. NOT

DS sent this crazy YouTube. Enjoy the energy and spirit and be glad it is not your child! (It isn't mine either, but close enough!)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 1:58PM
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So behind here on Idylls...

We've had a strange day today. One minute the sun's shining, the next it's pouring rain. We're having a downpour right now with lots of thunder.

Mary, I love your chickies. I couldn't order the execution of the quails though I know.

Drema, pictures of the potager please! And a couple of Charlie would be nice too!

Off to read 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' to Bella.

This picture of Kate should make you all smile. It made me LOL!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 7:07PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What a hoot, Eden -- Im LOL for sure - is that gas or was she practicing her winking? Thanks for the smiles and chuckles....


    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 8:01PM
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Friday greetings.. what a plethora of baby pics we have.. fear not Chelone, Im going to be taking photos of cactus and succulents tomorrow ..we will not be defeated , by god ! Im not sure what to make of that pic of Baby Kate it sure gave me a giggle at the awfice today.

I am totally stoked about my visit to the Ruth Bancroft Garden tomorrow- I had numerous uncomprehending looks from business colleagues during the normal Friday afternoon "What are you doing this weekend ?" conversationsthey just dont get it !

Chelone, the blender situation has been duly reported and Sue was particularly relived.. lol ! I think the menu plans should come together with ease- Im ready to contribute whatever the needs are be it monetary or labor. Re: FB, all social networking sites are blocked at the awfice so I only can access FB at home (probably a good thing) and of course I am 3 hours beyond most of you. I usually check in there when I get home, the fun part is that many of our more infrequent posters are there daily- I enjoy it even if I only spend 10 minutes a day there. The Idylls however , is quality time !

PM, if I left my soaker hoses on for hours I would have one big flood. Soil , drainage , evapo-transpiration all an issue. Remember, we have literally zero rain here from about June to October . I still water only once a week. Here is a test you can do : Use a bamboo stake or the like, run the soaker hoses for an hour. Go out and see how easily and how far down your stake will go. If you can push it down a foot with no effort , you probably dont need anymore water. If my soil is dry I can barely get the stake to go down a few inches.
That white Lilac is beautiful ! You can imagine the media frenzy over the Manny thing . The Dodgers are having a great season so far ( we have the best record in baseball ) so the hope is that we can keep up the level of play till July when he comes back.

Im very partial to white Phals Marian. The pic you posted is lovelyand I couldnt help but notice the donkey tails in the background a fave plant , so why dont I have one ?

bug, I loved the link on the bike guy and sent it along to DS !

Okay, this is it for tonight, I need to WALAT one more time before first pitch..

Waves to all !!!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 10:10PM
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I'm way tired after a super busy day, but have to comment on baby pictures.

Bug,It's wonderful to see those beaming faces. Sarah does look a lot like you. And Baby certainly likes her fist doesn't she?

Eden, Kate's picture is so cute. She looks like she just told a good joke.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 11:22PM
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I looked at Kate's picture and noticed her hands. I think it looks as though they're poised over a keyboard, lol. A real chip off the old block. I want to see your ivy swags, too, Eden. You and I share a marked fondness for formal things like that. I think of you whenever I gaze on the Tree Peony, too. It's looking quite healthy so far, but I really wish to relocate it later in the year. When should I attempt that? late summer/early fall?

Oh my, I was rather hoping for a window of opportunity to address the lawn today. But it's not looking terribly promising. I will need a side mower and a baler if it is allowed to grow much longer. Our lawnmower is in pieces on the bahn floor, apparently a certain someone neglected to take it to the lawnmower spa last fall. Methinks I shall be in charge of that chore in the future since I've always been more dialled into machine maintenance than the helpmeet. If it looks as though it may dry out a bit perhaps I'll borrow BIL's mower today.

I got a coat of pickling on all but one side of the bench pieces yesterday afternoon. I plan to scurry out and finish up that side this morning and then move on to the final coat. The legs are chamfered and I have to fill them and sand them today. I'm not sure how far I'll get with the pickling on them, but there's always tomorrow which is supposed to be soggier than today.

I have lots of lifting and dividing to attend to, as well. But the prospect of crawling around on wet ground and working in pretty wet soil is not very appealing. Like several of you I know the window of opportunity is closing for such activity.

Marian, your orchid is beautiful. I am amazed at the diversity they offer and the length of bloom time. I know Deanne has also long been an advocate of them, repeating that they are really very easy to grow and providing big bang for the buck.

Meant to tell Deanne that Rex had ANOTHER vole the day before yesterday and yesterday, as well. He's unbelievable... cruising around the gardens sniffing around, flushing them out of their hiding places and pouncing with deadly accuracy. We've decided he is a marvelous representative of a nearly extinct breed: The Downeast Vole Hound. Perhaps we should schedule a day to "release the hound" at your house, yes? ;)

I love Astilboides tabularis and am delighted to see that my 3, forced to live in pots for over a year! are all sending up little teeny-weeny leaves. How old are your plants, Woody?

Kathy, I can't even imagine no rain for months on end. But it really drives home the point that plants are amazing... there is something for nearly every single environment out there. Wise indeed is the gardener who learns to work WITH the environment and finds joy in those plants that exist happily within it. I can see, also, that with your conditions it's necessary to build your soil so it is able to hold water, mulch heavily, and keep on a regular schedule of judicious watering. Once you fall behind you're really porked, aren't you?

Julie, I hope DD is more alert today and the pain meds are doing their job for her while you deal with the knotweed. That's some tenacious stuff... huge stands of it around here.

Woody I keep thinking of your rose swags and how pretty they will be. I recall be amazed by ivy swags in one of the Paris parks and thinking I'd like to try something like that here. And your tutorial on how to lay a proper base for your brick edging is great, too. It's gotten me thinking about building stonewalls again. The importance of a good base is stressed over and over again in the book I have on the subject. From all I've read I suspect you would make an excellent seamstress! ;)

OK, helpmeet is about to feed the dog and disconnect the stove this morning. The new RANGE is slated to arrive sometime between 11 and 2 PM today. I've already named it. I've decided to call it "Bruce", for Bruce Hornsby and The Range, favorites of mine. ;)

And now I must needs away to the bahn for some pickling.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 7:07AM
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Marian, I think the native azalea is prettier than any you buy at a nursery! I love it!

It looks like Zeus snuck into the pictures...he's in the background of the picture where Sarah is organizing the troops!

I'm not sure whether to send the bike video to Jake or not...he's at an impressionable age :) I enjoyed it!

Norma, what are you doing to keep super busy? Are you out in the garden?

Julie, hope your daughter has a speedy recovery! People have different reactions to husband says I hiccup while I'm asleep (now imagine the dentist pulling my wisdom teeth while I hiccup)....have fun with the knotweed!

I heard about poor Manny. Mind you, I have not read/seen the news, so I don't know the whole story, but my first reaction was that 50 games seems like a strong punishment. I think the Major League should just say we're beginning testing from X point on, and let the chips fall where they may. But that's me - a non baseball fan!

Astilibodes Tabularis is on my short list of wants for the garden....and yes, they'll be perfect to cast!

I am up early to cast the last of the leaves for a while. That will give them time to cure by next weekend and give me time to focus on my staging. I painted two sides of the garage yesterday, and need to make progress on the other two sides, too. It looks like a million bucks even if the paint is the only thing holding it up :) I painted it because I wanted to hang those cast iron stars I bought last year on the side with a sun/moon that I bought the other day. Funny how that happens.

I weeded the garden in the goddess garden. That will be the project I move to after the plant sale. I have some ideas to fix the things that I found discouraging last year.

I will take some pictures as the things come together. My plan is to put together a portfolio of work and take orders if necessary. I need to quit casting leaves because I have a garden to install! I'm nervous about that, too....but I will just try to trust that it will all come together - plus it's an easy install, she's got great bones and the bed is already there - she just used to use it for annuals (marigold soldiers!).


    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 7:33AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yes, it's been the annual May disappearance of V. Long, busy week at work and far too much to do after work. At the moment, it's spitting rain and howling wind outside, which will make the morning jaunt to the farmers market not too pleasant. But then I will meet DS and fiance for a small portion of round two of house hunting, get my dress for the wedding fitted, and then head north into the land of cheese for the wedding of a friend's son. It's a couple of hours north of here so we will be spending the night. If the weather is nice there tomorrow, we may drive another hour or so north to see the town the DH's great-great grandfather founded. He's always wondered if the building with the family name on it is still there.

Hmm, the spitting has progressed to actual rain. The plans for the early morning may be rethought.

Baby Mae Surprise is darling! I've only done the quickest of scans and am quite behind, but I am thinking of all of you.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 8:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Where are my thoughtful comments I thought I posted?

I was concerned for Julie's daughter. I had a two year old to care for when I had my wisdom teeth removed. What were they thinking when they said I'd be fine and could walk home?

Tiny Kate is adorable and has a super sense of humor! Would it be rude to ask what she weighs now?

V, your posts make me tired just imagining the activity! We too are experiencing rain, in fact thunderstorms this morning. BUT, DH managed to have the mower tire repaired for me in the late afternoon yesterday and so that job was completed last night along with help raking up the mess.

Eager for Goddess Garden updates and photos, but I guess that will be in a while.

Gee Chelone, your range even has a name...and you haven't had nine months to anticipate its arrival either. Oh well, perhaps baby will get to select her own name...

Many errands to complete regardless of thunderstorms here. I hope to plant some seeds sometime this weekend. The black flies are a real nuisance though outdoors.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 8:57AM
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Saucy, among the many things that need doing in the garden I have been busy weeding and mulching paths to lessen the need to weedeat so much during the heat of summer. A job that takes alot out of me as I get older. (I don't take the heat as well as I used to). With a garden the size of mine there are always so many things that need doing at once. Yesterday morning I had to hurry up and muck out the house because my buddies were coming over in the afternoon to play guitars. After that DH and I went to the mexican resturaunt for supper. As soon as we returned home Oldest son and wife arrived bearing a mothers day gift ( a large selection of treats from I B Nuts ,The chocalate amareto coverd pecans are to die for) They stayed for a long chat. So I was wiped out last night.
I got up rearing to go this morning but it is chilly and very wet out there so I am not to anxious to be crawling around in the mud.

Chelone Rebel and Rocky got another mole in the same spot the other day. I still see one working there though. I hope they get it soon. This morning first thing I saw Rebel with something in his mouth and he found a bare spot in one of the flower beds to try to bury it. I said " Rebel what have you got?" and he took it up the driveway and dropped it. I went to see thinking it might be a rabbit but it was a possum. I made DH go get rid of it because I have found those burried in the garden before when they were quite ripe and dissgusting.
I have lots of iris blooming and my Buckeye Belle peony is gorgeous. It does'nt last very long but is so worth it. The pictures I take of it show it as bright red when in fact it is a very dark red.

there was more I wanted to say but I need to get moving.

Later Norma

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Saucy, I meant to say,your garage wall plan sounds great and I hope we get to see the whole collection of leaves when finished.

As far as mowing goes, we have an area below the pond bank that is very slippery when wet and it was full of overgrown weeds yesterday. I had to run the mower full speed ahead and be very careful not to get stuck. But it had to be done.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 9:15AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

WE are having a dampish Saturday with intermittent sprinkles but its 65 so not unpleasant and the plants are loving it. Ive been potting up a few containers here and there and wondering why I have so many plants! LOL But then I get going on the potting up and those big containers can use up a lot of plant material so Im sure Ill find room for all the babies. Of course, ask me where the heck Im going to put another dozen abutilon?

The lilac are in full, glorious bloom and it is truly a lilac year around here. The air is redolent with their perfume. If you step outside here one is enveloped in their marvelous fragrance. My sister has viburnum, wish I knew the variety, but WOW they are also marvelously perfumed.

We went to Lake St. Gardens yesterday and I was again disappointed with the plant selection and prices. Everywhere Ive been this year the prices of things have gotten out of sight. I need to go shopping with Michelle and get some of the bargains she finds.

Chelone, how wonderful you have your very own Vole Hound! My kitties get a few but dont seem to dent the populations. My large hostas in the shade garden really suffered from vole damage over the winter and I have one Frances Williams that is half the size it was last year.

Saucy, Astilboides is one of the plants on my must have list. Ive tried it twice and killed it twice. I dont have quite the right setting for it here but Im thinking if I made a micro wet area like I did for the ligularia on the hill it might fare better. I just love the plant and need to make a spot where it will thrive. That is exactly the shape leaf Id like for my casting too!

Mary, love, love, love the chickens! you are going to be a self sufficient gardener. Have you thought of rabbits?

Lots and lots of lovely photos here. The new wee ones look like they are settling into their families and bringing joy. I thought of Marian the other day when I noticed that my Asao is covered with blooms this spring. Did yours bloom already?

OK time to get back outside, looks like the rain is done for a bit. Waving hello to all!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:04AM
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Crazy weather here, changing from moment to moment. It's only supposed to get worse throughout the day. Brad and I are taking Bella to see a theatre production of Charlotte's Web this afternoon so no gardening planned anyway. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better weather day.

Marie, Kate was 8 lbs. 6 oz. at birth. She has a checkup scheduled for this coming Tuesday I think. I'll let you know how much she weighs then. She's growing, that I know!

Chelone, yes, tree peonies are best moved in autumn. I moved one about three weeks ago though. I had wanted to do it last fall and with everything going on, didn't get to it. It seems to be doing ok so far, time will tell.

I'll get some pictures of the window box with the ivy swag once it starts to grow. Hopefully that will happen. The window box is sited in a difficult area with not much sun at all and I have a hard time growing in it every year no matter what I try.

I have a nice astilboides that I got when we went to Arrowhead during IU1. Saucy, do the leaves used for casting have to be pretty substantial? The astilboides ones are thin and really easy to tear in my experience.

Norma, sounds like a busy but fun day yesterday!

Bella has just arrived so time to cut this short. Have a nice Saturday all!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:53AM
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Bruce arrived at 11:30 punctually. He now stands in front of the sideboard awaiting final installation. I have put on the burners and burner grates. The oven is huge and there are more than 3 possible placements for the racks!

Pickling on the stringers for the work benches has been completed. I've sanded and filled 4 legs, so far. It's not taking as long as I'd thought it would. The helpmeet surprised me by going out to the bahn to chamfer them last night. I am getting excited about this now. :)

But, I broke the coffee caraffe this morning and have to go out now to find a replacement. Whaddya wanna bet I have to buy a whole new unit?

I want to hear about Charlotte's Web. Theatre is a very, very fine thing!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 2:11PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon.... :-)

What a great group of photos today. Baby Kate is a hot ticket! Is she winking?! I am scratching my head trying to figure out how an infant knows how to Baby Buglette is amazingly alert and 'tuned in' to everyone. Amazed to see Sarah playing baseball. Did she play organized softball?

Eden, how is Bella doing with Baby Kate?

Marian...Earnest Markham and your native azalea are very pretty! New orchids, are blooming their heads off. Glad you are able to get out and enjoy the garden!

G'bug....I'm going to see if I can talk my DD into making that soup. She enjoys spicy, but not a big fan of beans. I keep trying to find a recipe that she will eat. .... Fascinating bicycle video! Thank DS for us. :-)

Kathy....thanks for the soaker hose tips. I hadn't thought of testing like that. I will give it a shot. No sense wasting water and time. My soil is pretty much clay but not too bad. I think it leans toward the loamy side and with a little amendment is pretty good. .... I haven't been keeping up with Baseball so far this year yet. I probably will catch up at some point. That is really great that the Dodgers are having such a good season, I hope they can keep it together.

Julie, hope DD is feeling better. Wisdom Teeth fun at all. She must really appreciate your help.

Saucy...are we going to see any photos of your castings?

Michelle...what's news from Kenzie?

Nice progress on the tables, Chelone. Maybe we'll see a photo of the new stove? I wonder how great the baked goods are going to come out with the new oven. Exciting. :-)

Love that 'Wolvert Bean' Mary. [g] I'm not hearing good reviews of Wolverine, but I do enjoy Hugh Jackman. I've heard rave reviews of the new Star Trek movie. DH and I will need to see that.

Cindy, Deanne hope we are going to see garden photos from your neck of the woods soon. How is Chloe, Cindy?

Enjoying reading everyone's accounts of what is going on in the garden. Norma...nice you are finding time to garden too. V....such pleasant activities you are up to your ears in. I am going to guess that there are not many photos because everyone is trying to get their gardens into 'photo condition' :-). Have any more, Kathy?

I'm beat. We had the opportunity to get out to the Rock Edge and expanded bed this morning. We made quite a bit of progress and are stalled again with needing a handful of additional rocks and waiting for some soil to dry out for filling the gap. A lot of work, but good exercise, right? [g]

Did I mention I found someone giving away organic soil for free? We had 25 5 gallon buckets of it and two larger recycle bins full. Soil that had been composted with leaves for a long time and nothing else. The only problem was he reported suspected Japanese Beetle grubs and roots of a perennial weed in the soil. So DH, DS and I used a screen over the wheelbarrel and sifted all but 8 buckets this morning. Now that's what I call true love. [g] It looks very good, dark and fine. But I think I am going to run out.

After layering chopped up leaves and almost finished compost, we started topping it off with the sifted soil. We are about half done. Progress is great! I am getting a view of something really nice starting to take shape in the garden. I think it is going to be a big improvement and that is encouraging.

The small little vegetable patch is all planted. Our four tomato plants are in the ground, surrounded with Wall of Waters for a warmer start and I'm very pleased to get them ready so early. Strawberry plants are coming up in the whiskey barrels and pansies are filling out their spots. Getting there.

No photos here either. Looks like the babies will have the run of the place for awhile longer. :-)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 2:18PM
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I took 299 pics at Ruth Bancroft. Think it would bog down the thread if I posted them all ? I took Deannes advice (may as well listen to the expert, right ? ) and took lots and lots, expecting to delete half of thembut Im really happy with how about 90% of them came out . Im still on the baby slopes when it comes to the settings on the camera so I let it do a lot of the work for me I will post a couple here , but will do a separate thread with a slideshow over my coffee tomorrow. Im thinking now about going to UC Berkeleys botanical gardens in a couple of weeks, I havent been since 06 I think and they have some fabu plants there .

I got home about 1ish watched the ballgame,(while uploading pics!) and then went out and started getting the numerous plants that came home with me into the ground and or pots . All Coleus are also being installed this weekend as our frost season is over .

Saucy, Im having a hard time keeping track of your activities ! Re:the Manny thing, players know what drugs are banned and being tested for, and others have had 50 game suspensions, just none as high profile as Manny. Its disappointing as a lot of people thought he was clean(flaky, but clean) . I guess the good thing is that he didnt try to weasel out of it . The bad thing is that the Dodgers were on the way to a golden season and this really took the wind out of their sails. Ah well, at least I didnt have him on my fantasy roster. Do we get a pic of the garage wall and art installation on same ??

Wave to V ..another who seems to be in a perpetual whirlwind !

Deanne, my observation is that most of the prices around here for plants are holding steady. Shockingly , some people dont think plants are a necessity-(lol, what the hell do they know ?) and since discretionary income has dropped I think the growers are very hesitant to raise prices. When I placed the order last week for fountains an birdbaths for the garden center I bought mostly stuff that sold for under 200 bucks and skipped most of the 500$ and up items.

Welcome Bruce ! May you be all broken in by late July .

PM , I have some free compost too-my next door neighbor has more that he can use and told me I could have as much as I want !

Sneak previews From Ruth Bancroft Garden May 2009 From Ruth Bancroft Garden May 2009

From Ruth Bancroft Garden May 2009 From Ruth Bancroft Garden May 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 9:11PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Nice agaves, Kathy!

I was just heading to bed and noticed the date. It is a full moon tonight, although it is too cloudy here to see it. The first full moon for Baby Kate and the Buglette. :-)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:51PM
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I ended up with a new coffee maker. I am less than thrilled by its purchase. But it beats the hell out of no coffee, know what I mean? Seems I can't stimulate the economy nearly enough these days.

Bruce is still sitting in front of the sideboard. In spite of providing all the necessary information I was "blown off" by Mr. Knowitall. And "we" didn't have the necessary supplies to get him hooked up last night. Sooo, we took a family jaunt to Orange (in a torrential rainstorm) to procure them. After we located the parts I decided to go to the car to see if that fool dog was OK. Sadly, the OWNER'S MANUAL didn't make it into the bag of purchased items and its absence went undetected until we got home. We called the store but it's gone. No directions for anything. I was not amused, thoughwas able to see the humor in it all. So I get to clean up the trail today, calling the store again to see if it surfaced and then calling the stove store to see if they can get me another copy of it. Just how I wanted to spend my day.

I am going out to the bahn to put some pickling on the legs. I've filled all the knots and cracks and they're all sanded. I could conceivably finish them today... IF all goes well with the hunt for the range manual.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 6:43AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone....we have lost a few manuals and surprisingly, have found them online. Much easier and quicker then having to wait for them to mail you one.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 6:57AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - definitely try on-line for the manual - lots of manufacturers keep them there, which is very handy.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 7:41AM
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What a fun sneak peak of our upcoming garden tour, Kathy - I can't wait to see the rest! I'm over to view Woody's garden when I'm done here. So fun to WALAT virtually :)

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers here. I'm not sure how they plan to torture me this year, but I know it will be fun :)

Chelone, I checked online and found a website that lists most owner's manuals - give it a try (link below).

I was trying to take shots of the casts and the garage but only took a couple of photos before I got interupted (story of my life...) so I'll leave you with this to counteract any baby shots that might arrive :)

The picture distorts the green, to my eye. The garage is the same color as the house but the guy in the paint department sold me INTERIOR paint! I didn't look at the can until I had used the entire gallon! We discussed the project at lenght, so I feel like I deserve a replacement - we'll see how it goes. I have 4 more gallons of useless green paint if they won't take it back.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:32AM
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Manual has been procured, but the conversion for propane was not done on the stove. Upshot? I have to wait until Monday to call the gas company for installation... whenever that will be. I am extremely tired of people saying they'll "take care of it" and then never really "getting around to it".

So to hell with it, I'll go back out to the bahn and continue working on the table bases while the wind dries out the nearly foot high lawn for me. ;)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:37AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

DD had a huge swollen face yesterday and lots of pain, so I stayed until late afternoon until she could see her doctor and get more meds.

DH and TCS came to drive me home - noticed that DH was walking painfully - sore swollen feet. On the way home we ran into a horrendous storm with lots of hail; we had to pull over for about twenty minutes. Garden stuff is slow to pop here so I haven;t seen any dmage. At 1:30 a.m. DH got up and took himself to the hospital - systemic infection; IV antibiotics for an hour and has to go back today for another go at it. And I looked out the window ten minutes ago and it's SNOWING!!!!

I have not had the best week....

Theoretically going to Ottawa today for a family get-together with DH's step-family for Mother's Day....I am tired already. The cold spell is supossed to be gone by Tuesday so I will be able to get out in the garden again by then.

Loved the walkabout, Woody. I agree, Mother Nature doesn't rake up every peice of debris, and Her plants do great! I usually rake out the leaves (we don;t have many), run over them with the lawn mower, and put'em back.

I hope I have some stuff to take pictures of next week - you guys are putting me to shame!!!



    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - that leaf cast looks great! I'd buy one of those....

Julie - we use the lawnmower to chop the leaves that fall on the lawn and then dump the chopped leaves in the garden. Randy uses the mulching leaf blower in the spring to suck up and chop the oak leaves that have been blown into the south alley, and then dumps the chopped leaves back on the south alley beds. No leaves go out for curb-side collection here!

I hope the antibiotics take care of your DH's scary infection very fast! and that your DD's post-traumatic-tooth-withdrawal woes go away quickly too.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 9:37AM
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Good Morning, Sunny here but chilly. A bit more plant arranging planned in the garden today.

Charlotte's Web was lots of fun. Bella always enjoys going to plays. It was done by a company called Theatreworks USA that tours all over the country doing children's theatre. They'll be doing Seussical The Musical among a few others here next season. In July we're going to a local theatre company's production of Willy Wonka. Can't wait, I enjoy these too!

Saucy, I'd love to have one of your castings in my garden. It's beautiful! Are you shipping?

We have a leaf shredding machine that fits over a trash can and we use that in the fall.

Wondering if Baby Girl has a name yet and how she's doing?

Chelone, congratulations on Bruce's delivery!

Here's my contribution to the discussion of astilboides tabularis, taken this morning.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:01AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - wow! Your garden is far ahead of mine! I've been meaning to comment of the cute Kate picture but keep forgetting... Actually it made me wonder - how's Jen's Bell's Palsy? Is it starting to ease yet? (It may seem like an odd thing to say but I did wonder if Kate's expression was baby imitating mom! One of the things you become very aware of when you no longer have a bilaterally symetrical face is that 'babes in arms' are very aware that this face is not the norm.... It's surprising how they seem to be born knowing what is unusual and what isn't. So it did make me wonder what Kate's reaction would be. Since babies learn, in part, by imitating what they see others doing, the picture did make me wonder if Kate was making a baby inept/extreme attempt to look like mom...:-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 11:25AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning and Happy Mother's Day to all! :-)

What a lovely day we have here! The sun is out most of the time after downpours and thunder in the night. Comfortable temps and very breezy. Of course, we spent time in the garden this morning. What else would you want to do on Mother's Day? [g] Didn't do anything exciting, just weeding, mulching and fertilizing, but it was so pleasant and relaxed. Last night two cats we didn't know, were screaming and fighting under one of our shrubs. This morning, while DH was adding mulch to the border near the bird feeder, two Baltimore Orioles flew into the yard. One of them flew about a foot over his head. I have been hearing a different bird song lately but couldn't see what it was and that was what it has been. They are so neon Love seeing them in the neighborhood. They usually show up every year but don't stick around long. More excitement...I found baby Hellebore seedlings! I am so glad I recognized what they were before DH weeded that bed. [g] First time they've produced seedlings. I've discovered a Variegated Honesty plant in the garden. I remember vaguely winter sowing some, but I don't remember getting any germination. So it's a mystery.

It's not a good photo, it was starting to fade and I only got the one shot before my batteries died. It was standing up straight a few days ago and looking really pretty, but it's been windy.

Iris Reticulata 'Navy Gem' just opened....I'm very happy to see it since I divided it and moved it last fall. I see I still have a little where I moved it from, so now I have three batches. :-)

Julie, what a week you've had! I hope in a few days DH and DD turn the corner. The snow you had was a few flakes and didn't collect, right? Snow in May is just not right!

Saucy....what a great job you did on that leaf casting!! Very pretty! I like the colors you used. I predict you aren't going to come home with any. :-) Is it heavy to hang on a wall? We have vinyl siding and it keeps me from hanging anything. I do have a blank garage wall too. I don't suppose they are deep enough for a bird bath.

Deanne....I have been to Lake Street this spring and came home with everything but plants. I've yet to find a local nursery that I'm excited to go to. disappointing to have to wait on the stove install. Great excuse to be taken out to dinner though. :-) How was the coffee this morning?

Kathy, nice score on the compost and so handy only having to lug it from next door. :-) I like the second from the bottom agave.

We chop our leaves with the mower and never put a bag of leaves to the curb here either. Our next door neighbor usually sends all theirs over to us too.

These Astilboides photos are really different looking. Do they bloom at all, under the leaves? Reminds me of May Apple.

Our kids enjoyed Charlotte's Web when they were little, Eden. Seussical the Musical sounds like fun. DH and I always enjoyed films and performances for children. We usually will watch something without the kids, when a new animated movie comes out, like Wall E etc. [g]

Enjoy your Sunday! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 1:12PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM - Astilboides has big white fluffy plumes like a giant astilbe or a rodgersia.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 4:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is very cool here this late afternoon with below zero temperatures predicted for the next few nights. It seems so long ago that Marian showed us her serviceberries in bloom. Well finally today ours is showing off its glory. It looks great with narcissus Thalia, pulmonaria, erythronium and hellebores underneath. I hope frost does not spoil the effect!

Out front there are lots of tulips. Of course that one red one in the cluster of whites annoys me...and reminds me of Deanne who shares the same problem. There will soon be Purple Sensation Allium in bloom, perhaps even some lupines. The marsh marigolds are blooming along side the creek.

In the flats and next to our patio there are epimedium of different kinds and corydalis as well. Corydalis elata blooms later, but the lavender and yellows are looking good this week.

Saucy, your leaf is fabu-fabu! I have some rhubarb leaves here that remind me of you. Maybe I'll do some rhubarb cake tomorrow...

Julie, we need to make some travel plans soon! :)


    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 6:07PM
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A full gardening day today- It dawns on me that I never visited the grocers this weekend . Food will be in short supply, I might have to take a break from the awfice tomorrow. I never even took the vehicle out of the stall today , kind of nice not to go anywhere at all sometimes. I planted almost all my plants-in-holding, except for the Nicotiana langsdorfii that I grew from seed-Im not sure yet where I want to put it . And last week I bought an African basil, which I copied from someone in this groupmaybe Eden or Michelle ? I made an executive decision concerning S. Argentinan Skies - I really will have to dig the thing out, its just way too invasive. Ill select a more polite Salvia to take its place. I saw some really cool selections at the garden center this week.

Saucy, your leaf casting is awesome ! What a professional looking job you did I hope you have good success finding buyersIf the Idylls all lived on your block theyd likely be long gone by now ! Just FYI, Ive noticed that our statuary and fountain vendors use a combination of burlap and cardboard for transport.

PM, very pretty the variegated Honesty Im not at all familiar with that plant, Ill have to look it up.

Julie, I hope things calm down for you rapidly IVs for DH and DD with dental woes (I am extremely simpatico on that one) and crappy weather in between. I hereby wish you a warm evening on the wine deck with all worries in a sealed envelope.

Hope everyone who does the Mothers Day thing had a pleasant one , and Ill end with a couple of pics from this morning.

I like this combo , Silene uniflora has become one of my faves From Garden 2009

More snapdragons! These are mostly 'Rocket'-one I haven't planted since the 80's. I'ts done so well this spring it gets a contract extension for 2010 ! From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:36PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A busy weekend with lots of exciting events. Biggest news is that DS and his fiance bought a house this weekend! He even was brave enough to take his grandma to walk through the house and she approved.

I've got lots of photos to share, but my upload crashed halfway through. Too greedy, I guess.

BUT! I did find out where the garden gnomes go:


    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:59PM
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To the outhouse of course. LOL V, thats cute.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 5:48AM
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Nice combo with the silene Kathy. You are giving me snap dragon envy. I haven't tried those for years. I may have to do that.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 5:53AM
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Saucy, that leaf casting is awesome. You really should demand a good price. What will happen with the wall paint? Will it have to be sealed before exterior can be applied to prevent peeling? Maybe you could just use the rest and then put a clear sealer on the whole thing. I don't know. Thats aggravating.

Hi Deanne, I miss your regular posts here. How did your tuffa trough turn out?

If everybody is as busy in the gardens as I am, I know it is hard to find time or have the energy to post.

Woody nice walat through your garden.

A big hi to all. Norma

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 6:09AM
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Eden, I just noticed the kitty romping through the astilboides. Cute.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 6:14AM
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I see that even gnomes like to read the paper, too.

So much to comment on this morning! Saucy, that leaf casting is just terrific, I love the way you've tinted it. I'd like to hear more about that, actually. Is it in the goop you mix up or is that an applied finish? I'd be willing to bet the place that sold you the paint will help you out by providing the proper formulation for outdoor work. How many different sorts of leaves have you used thusfar and is it strictly one leaf, one casting or can you use a rugged leaf more than once?

Julie, you are not having very much fun right now, are you? DD should be on the mend shortly, but the discomfort must be a real drag. But just the mention of DH's foot issue set the alarm bells ringing in my head. My room-mate's father was diabetic and I know that circulatory issues are common and that paying particular attention to good care of the feet is very important. I hope that worry has been eased for you and everyone in your family is feeling better today. (the snow won't last very long).

V., DS and fiancee must be over the moon right now. It's just so exciting and I can't think of a more wonderful thing for them. I can't wait to hear more about what they've chosen. I would also like to hear about the fitting for your dress... you did manage to replenish the failing stock of "foundations" BEFORE you went, right??? (I gracefully sidestepped requests for a prom dress alteration and a veil for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.) Oh, is the "one holer" at the new house? and does it still count as a "half bath" even in this deflated real estate market?

PM, I love the variEgated Honesty and the reticulated Iris. Very, very pretty and they make me want some, but the goal is to simply rearrange the ingredients here before adding more. Your edging must be coming along nicely and what a nice score on the soil! it never goes quite far enough, does it?

Eden, your gardens are much farther along that mine are. My garden seems to be most in line with Woody's, greatly influenced by a very large body of water that warms up slowly but cools down slowly, too. My Astilboides is just breaking through the ground and the largest leaf is about 3" across. This will be its first year in the ground and I hope it takes to the site because big, bold foliage is a particular favorite of mine.

Deanne should be gratified to learn that one of the kitties managed to sneak into the house with a dead vole yesterday. Rex knows how to open the screen to the slider with his nose but isn't so good at closing it behind him. I waltzed into the boudoir, ready to hop in the sack and nearly stepped on it. Michelle will be relieved to know there were no guts and no visible blood so I just picked him up by his little tail and carried him out to the "30 yr. pile". We're up to 5-6 of the little desctructos this week alone. Go kitties! Go Rexie! death to Voles!

The virgin mowing was accomplished yesterday. I mulched one or two mice and one Kinglet (dumber than Robins by a lot). It looks great and I love the smell of freshly mown grass. It always surprises me how much a newly cut lawn does for the overall neatness of a property, even makes the weeds look nice. We have quite a crop of dandilions to address, I'm sad to say. But I was gratified to note the progress of the clover and the newest area of grass that was planted to clean up the area closer to the road. It took me a little over an hour and I mulched, though I did buzz the terrace area down very low so we may address the influx of white violets. They're a pain and are quickly getting out of control.

I've gotten all the table supports completely pickled and under one coat of clearcoat. I've put the first coat of pickling on the legs and plan to finish that up today, though I'm not sure I'll get all the clearcoating finished today; depends on the level of motivation and how quickly things dry since it's humid. Yesterday's high pressure and wind was excellent for drying. The helpmeet and I have to spend some quality time coming up with the assembly plan, which involves buying the MDF and finding the melamine edging that will be glued over the raw edge of the tops. I think they're going to look nice when they're finished. And I'm excited to finally have adequate tabling to facilitate the larger projects I've been wanting to do for some time now.

Time to lose the morning pompadour hairdo (my "crest"), wash my face and set about the day's chores... time's a-wastin', you know.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 6:37AM
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GOod morning

Yesterday was both Mothers Day and Annie's 16th birthday. We celebrated both with a family brunch, a driving lesson in the school car park, the new Star Trek movie and dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Annie made me a lovely GF coconut layer cake and she has requested Illes Flotante (sp?) for her special dessert which we are saving for today. David also had a guitar lesson where his teacher taught him for 2 1/2 hours - he is starting to prepare for a big competition and we hadn't met for a couple of weeks. I was made fresh coffee and was so enjoying the music I had no idea the time had flown by. A busy but fun day.

Saucy - the leaf is amazing! Too bad about the paint mix up - hope they remedy it promptly at no cost to you.

Julie - it sounds like a horrible week. Hope this one is tons better!

Love the photos, gnomes, giant leaves and baby pics. Hope to be back later today.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 8:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So much talk of voles here and another thread on the NE Gardening forum, that I looked it up on YouTube and found some funny videos. [g] Nothing on voles, but a few on moles. See what you think...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:44AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

And a second one....

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You have to watch this one to the end, to get it. Notice what his lawn looks like. [g]

That's my contribution for the morning, I'm heading outside.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well PM, here's some vole "research" that you missed. ;) A divorced friend really liked the comparison of male humans to voles. LOL

I'm so sleep for me. I think I'll go plant zinnia seeds this morning.

Last night we managed to set up Baby Girl's first photo album. I hope to add to Skyler's collection tonight.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:20AM
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Hi everybody! I've missed you all, but am so glad to see two new members! Babies, oh so sweet. Congratulations to Eden and Bug and their families, I've thoroughly enjoyed the photos of happy healthy faces. Precious and adorable.

Sounds like spring is in full force in everyone's gardens, but Kathy, you are so much farther along than most. Thanks for the pictures of plants I can only enjoy from afar. You have things I've never heard of, but I never tire of seeing them.

V...great news on the home purchase for DS and his fiance. Hopefully it's a good sign for the real estate market in general, too. Cute photo of the gnomes...I guess they have to "go" too!

PM...looking forward to seeing the renewed border. You've been busy.

Woody...things are looking great your way. What work it takes to frame the borders, but so worth it. I have some edging to do and am saving up the muscle to do so. are the bees? Can't believe you are catching swarms now. Remarkable! Love the leaf castings, so beautiful and something I would buy for sure. make me tired just reading about the work going on in the salon. You're making tables? Wow! Your new stove sounds great, hope the hook-up goes smoothly. Can't believe the story of the cat and vole! I would have died if I found one in the bedroom, you are so much braver than me. But one less vole is a good think no matter how it gets dead, right?

All this talk of astilboides sent me to google to look them up. I have the space, now just need to find them. A beautiful plant.

It's been muddy here for weeks, so have only had small gaps of time for spring cleaning in the garden. I did do some Mother's Day plant shopping yesterday, and will get outside today for a while. I was able to score a ceramic cobalt blue pot for five dollars yesterday that wasn't marked, so the cashier just made up a price. It's at least a twenty dollar pot, so that made me happy.

I'm on a hakone grass kick this year. I've bought six so far this year and a few last year. The ones I got from Bluestone two years ago are struggling, so I like to get them bigger, since they're slow growers.

It's getting warmer out there, so will make this a short visit. Hi to everyone I missed, too much to say, too little time. Have a sun filled day.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:23AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

So much to "wow" about -- Saucy that leaf casting is to die for - I love the coloration -- you're quite an artiste. Im sure all idyllers would clean out your stock -- so you're taking custom orders, eh? well, we'll have to see your portfolio!

Beautiful garden photos -- Im of course drooling over so many agave mediopicta alba, Kathy -- and your gardens are such a delight. Interesting the snaps are doing so well for you this year.

I dont think I've seen those iris reticulata navy before, PM -- I'm going to have to put them on my list....

Hope Julie's DD is feeling better by now.

Worked really hard yesterday on the patio doing clean up and assembling a potting bench -- my DD came over and slaved for me -- her DH got caught by a bug so we had to re-arrange our meal plans w/ his parents -- so I got lots of free labor instead - it was worth foregoing a meal - no dressup required either.... I wish I'd gotten weeding and planting done, but one can only do so much -- we were both dragging by the time we labored all afternoon.

Wow, Mary -- Annie's sweet sixteen now -- and the car is a reality -- I wish you peace and sleeping pills to rest at nite, LOL....

I truly am glad to know where the gnomes' homes are..... banished, LOL..... we may encounter them at Chelone's, eh?


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:30PM
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Happy Birthday to Annie! I can't believe she's 16. Yes Mary, now the sleepless nights begin. I've was never able to sleep until they were safe and sound, back home at night.

Marie, how's Baby Girl doing? Kate's growing so much, she's just about outgrown her newborn wardrobe. This girl likes to eat! She has a weigh in at her check up this afternoon. She's doing really well, sleeping 4-5 hours a stretch at night now so Jen's only having to get up with her once. She's so good. Jen feeds her, puts her back in her crib and she goes right back to sleep.

So Cindy, show us a picture or two of your spiffed up patio and new potting bench?

V, lol on the gnomes. Great news that the soon to be newlyweds have found their first home!

Julie, hoping for a peaceful, stressfree week for you!

Kathy, I'm loving all of your pictures this spring. You're garden is really beautiful this year.

Woody, Jen's face is just about back to normal now. Her eye is fine now, just a little droop of her mouth when she smiles. Thanks for asking! She's on a mission to get back to her pre-pregnancy size now, about 15 pounds to loose.

PM, love the iris reticulata Navy! I'm not farmiliar with the honesty plant but it's really pretty too!

Chelone, you have many irons in the fire these days. Such a busy girl you are!

I'm going to try to get out in the garden a bit. It's pretty chilly today, only in the 50s. The lilacs and myosotis are both blooming now and along with all of the spring green it's all so pretty. May make a visit to the nursery later this afternoon to use a Mother's Day gift certificate. It's burning a hole in my pocket :)

Have a great Monday everyone!


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:56PM
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Well what do you know, theres Anita !! Hi Anita, great to see you again , I hope you can stick around for awhile. Im only ahead by virtue of geography. Zone 9 is a good place to be..

PM, lol I enjoyed all your mole/vole flicks. That is a problem I just dont have here thank goodness. Honesty is also Money Plant right ? Ive never grown them and when I think about it I dont see them around here . Bet Annies Annuals has them though.

Cindy, I have been ripping out Snapdragons in frustration for years , and swearing to never plant them again. I kept hearing that Harmony was a rust-free cultivar , but that was certainly not the case in may garden. I planted three varieties this year-all the Harmonys have been ripped out (with gusto I might add) and the La Bellas and Rockets are doing great. I see some rust starting on them, but they will be pulled up in another month or so anyway to make way for the Zinnias so its all good.

Thanks Eden, not having my house on the market has been kind of liberating and Im really having fun packing things in. Glad to hear that Jen and little Miss Kate are both doing well.

So V, do the gnomes come with the house ?

OK, time to skee-daddle, got to fix some dinner and settle down for some baseball , and more rose dead-heading too ,

Waves to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 9:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It was a lovely day but my engine is only going at half speed. I did manage some vegetable garden weeding, just not enough. Tomorrow is another day! The zinnias are planted indoors, both pinks and greens. We'll see how they progress. I spent time carrying plants outdoors this morning and back in again tonight. Frost warnings happen often for us!

DH and I finished the Birthday Book for Skyler tonight. All he has to do is print it out at work and then have it spiral bound. He'll do the first Baby Book as well.

Baby Girl is now called Peanut until further notice. Skyler calls her Pikachu. She has regained her birth weight as of yesterday, sleeps well too. Last night she slept for 5 hours straight! Reed was about 6 months old before he did that! Baby Girl has begun using the toilet already using the EC method they used with Reed. DD can tell already when she needs to go and she responds to turning on the tap. Here she is at 2 days of age.

And here is the pirate birthday boy shooting down a tower of empty pop cans before proceeding to another station of a scavenger hunt.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:08PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good evening all...It has been a busier than usual day for me. I got all the soggy lawn mowed, and did some pruning. Not a lot of sunshine, but at least no rain. It was cold enough to start a fire in the heating stove this morning.

Of course I took more pics, and was very disappointed to miss getting one of the hen turkey that strolled through our yard. Nolon saw it, and called to me, but by the time I got my camera it had gone into the underbrush in the woods. I am hoping it is nesting nearby, and that I will see it again. I am going to put out corn, in the morning, near where it went through.

I had Nolon prune more of the dogwood which was supposed to be pink . He took out the fractured limb that was making making noises when the wind blew. It had broken more, and was hanging down so low it interfered with my mowing. I had him take off three more limbs that were so low I had to bend way down to mow under them. Now I will not be banging my head on it! It also made it look better.

Michelle, I don't dig anything that I may endanger the future growth. If there are a lot I may take some for my beds, from our own land.

Eden, that winking pic of Kate is so funny! LOL.

Kathy, I am partial to Phals too, but also have two other species, and would like more, but am running out of space!
You are getting as absent minded as I! Forgetting to get groceries! I was so busy today, I almost forgot to eat my evening snack. :-) More beautiful pics of your flowers.

Thanks, Chelone...I was looking at all my former pics and discovered I had already had an orchid like that one, only it was never that full of flowers, and I think it is one that expired. I have two that look very sickly and have not bloomed for some time, so one may be that one?
LOL..."Bruce". I never knew anyone to name their cook stove! Or any appliance, for that matter. Bummer on the draw-backs with Bruce.
We could not survive without a way to make coffee! :-)

Good heavens! Now I want an Astilboides! ( Smacking self on forehead.)

Saucy, the native azelea is so much more delicate looking than the cultivated ones. I am so pleased that it is growing well.
Goodness, you sure do have a lot of irons in the fire! And you are so talented at making those leaf casts! Sorry about the mix up on the paint. The cast in your pic is lovely!
You may become famous for your leaf castings. I presume you will have a web site?

V, one of the members of our small congregation is getting married soon, so her family is busy preparing for that. It is not planned to be a big wedding. She is a very dear girl, and I think she has chosen a nice young man. He is in the Navy, so I don't know what their living plans will be. As I have mentioned before, I never had the experience of helping a girl get ready for her wedding, so have little understanding of what all it entails. How great that your DS and fiance have bought a house. It was many years after we were married that we bought our first house. We had a trailer house for awhile, but it is not the same, by any means, unless it is on you own property.
LOL..."where the garden gnomes go".

Marie, You are sure having a time posting! Sorry...I know how discouraging that is. How nice that your Serviceberry is gracing you with blooms. And what a blessing to not have varmints eating your tulips! It sounds like you have all kinds of beautiful things coming on.

Norma, you are ahead of me with the weeding and weed eating. That MUST be my next jobs! How well I can identify with your statement about summer, although I did quite well last summer. At least the mowing generally slacks off then. And speaking of slippery mowing, every now and then my rider would spin on the wet grass and leaves, and I would have to coax it to continue.
I also spun in the driveway with my car, and threw mud up on the hood! It is a front end drive.

No special thing for me yesterday, but Tim did call me, and we chatted quite awhile.

I have not seen any moles that were eliminated, but there are at least three less chipmunks! The last one ended up inside the livingroom! Nolon had let Trubby in, and apparently he brought his 'toy' with him. Thankfully, it was not mobile! Neither he nor Tommy will eat them,but the crows remove the carcasses....

BTW, the peas are still surviving, and the Corolla-top- boxes are filling in...:-)

Julie, how scary about your DD's swollen face! And your DH's feet! I do hope they are both much much better by now.

Eden, I totally missed recognizing the cat by the Astilboides! I thought it was brown leaves! So glad to hear that Jen's almost over the Bell's palsy.

Pm2, I have Honesty too, and seem to recall a variegated one at one time. They reseed in the same location every year. I enjoy them.
We have Orioles too, and they must be Baltimores, but are not too orange, I think they may be young males. They are not dark enough to be Orchard Orioles. They are trying to feed from the hummingbird feeder, and some are not too successful at it. I put out half of an orange, and they have been feeding on it. Beautiful pic of the Iris reticulata.
I enjoyed the links about moles. And bookmarked them.

I am fizzling out...

Good night all...


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:31PM
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Marie, such a sweet snuggly picutre of little Peanut! And love seeing big brother too!

Kate weighed in at 9 lbs. 5 oz. She's gained nearly a pound in three weeks.

Good night all.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 11:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Le sigh! too busy at work, too busy at home and so much to share. I'll do a Reader's Digest version of some of the highlights.

Sunday morning after the wedding, DH, his sister, her husband and I set out to visit the town that their great-great-great-grandfather had settled. We had downloaded a 1970's newsletter with a photo of the house he had built along with a general description - "on the hill above the river...". Fortunately, it was a very small town and eventually we discovered the house, which is still standing in reasonable condition:

It was quite exciting to see the house!

On our way home, DH and I forced ourselves to visit a garden center.

Look familiar to anyone?

Those of you who went to IU3 would remember Northwind Perennial Farm. We had a wonderful visit and I took lots of photos. I love their display gardens, and this particular purple and yellow combo really struck home with me.

And it's well past my bedtime, so I shall abruptly end here. I am glad to see that Anita's back!


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 11:09PM
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I'm whiney because IU3 was before my time. Waaah! What a beatiful house V, the square footage must be vast !

Wish I could sleep as peacfully as Peanut !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 11:47PM
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I'm sorry, I will not call Mae Surprise "Peanut". We had what was perhaps the world's most disgusting little dog named Peanut. She was a Llasa Apso the helpmeet picked up on the road where she was wandering aimlessly, minus tags. She was a mass of matted fur (the mats completely encased her paddy paws), had grossly infected ears, and was a nightmare. Unspayed, too. We had her for about 4 yrs. I'd bet, and she's buried in the Sanitary Ridge garden. I'm sorry but even I can't refer to such pink newness by that name... the connotations are too grim to contemplate. ;)

Anita, I think of you every time I go to get my hair cut. :) Nice to see you pop back in for a visit. How're things shapin' up in your garden these days?

I have enjoyed part of the extensive slide show on Agaves but haven't had to time really reflect on the amazing diversity or put together a list of favorites. But that's a very cool garden, Kathy.

Nor have I had time to check out the v/mole videos, though I could probably contribute nicely if I had a way to film things. ;) There was another one yesterday. But it was outdoors.

I've overslept this morning and will not be hurrying to "catch up", either. No point because I really don't care that much, lol. Time for a reload on the coffee. New Cuisinart coffee maker does and adequate job, but naturally requires the cone shaped filters, not the abundant sort left over from the old Mr. Coffee. Better stock up on the new shape on my way home today.

Bruce is scheduled to be gassed some time today. It's not so much fun not having anything to cook on, though we could have lit the woodstove and had a couple of omelettes, I suppose. I'm contemplating what sort of cake to make for Bruce's inaugural baking run.

I've finished the pickling on the work bench components and all the pieces are under at least one coat of clearcoat, some are even now complete. Next step is to lag the frames together and put on the casters. Then we'll go get the melamine tops and apply those. There is an outside chance I could be "in business" by the weekend, but that may take require a good deal of coaxing of a tuckered out helpmeet. I'm really getting excited about the prospect of being able to do some of the things I've had in my head for some time now.

In between clearcoat and pickling coats yesterday I finally cleaned out the Hydrangea bed. That's the bed where I found the big salamander earlier this spring, and I was very careful cleaning out the accumulated leaves and debris. Sure enough! I found another one, but it was one of the russet colored ones with the purpley racing stripe... only it was about 1 1/4" long; teeny-weeny! I lthought I'd killed it unintentionally until I set him down next to the narcissus and he scuttled away at blinding speed. Yesseree, I love my little amphibians. ;) I've decided that Asarum europeaum is really a handsome groundcover and it looks a lot nicer with all the fallen leaves removed from the environs.

I have my very first ever case of poison ivy, too. It started with a couple of "bites". I thought a few blackflies had gotten inside my sleeves (they leave a nasty weal on me) and inadvertantly scratched them. It's very localized and the helpmeet confirmed it as poison ivy. I went back out and sure enough it's begun colonizing the fern dell along the edge of the lawn. I must've tangled with the stems as the leaves are very tiny (and a lovely red) at this time and there was no way I could have detected its presence when I planted the fern rhizomes. I'm washing it thoroughly daily and hittin' the calamine lotion. I've got it on the run. "You're gonna need an ocean, dumdedum, of calamine lotion... ".

V., that's a great lookin' house. I love the Queen Ann detail of the swept out gables and the decorative shingling. There's a lot of that style around here and predictably, it's made a recent "comeback" with the well-heeled who buy older homes, tear them down, and put up something newer and grander to suit their tastes. There are two lovely examples on my road. I'm trying to avoid nursteries at this time.

OH! there are blossoms on Magnolia "Butterflies"! they smell nice, too. I will try to get a picture of them today because there aren't too many of them in the pipeline. This is another reminder to download the service pack for my camera, I must have nearly as many pictures in the camera as Kathy or V. do after a day out prowling around. But nowhere near as many as Deanne would after a day in the blind.

Gotta go. Cindy, how's Chloe these days?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 5:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....

Anita, hello stranger! I wondered where you went off to. :-) Sounds like your spring is the opposite of ours. We had a rain deficit, but we are caught up now, I think. My DS came home with a big blue ceramic pot for Mother's Day. We could post dueling blue pot photos, once they are filled. [g] $5.?!! I hope you will continue to pop in and bring some photos of your garden with you. I would like to see how you are using your Hakone grass. :-)

V....Congratulations on DS/DILTB's new house!! That is very exciting! Look forward to when things calm down there [when will that be? (g)] so we can hear everything that is going on.

Cindy...What a treat you had, having DD come over and help out. Does she enjoy gardening? Hope DSIL is feeling better. So you have a new potting bench? Would enjoy seeing photos. I have one, that is in the garage covered with junk. That job keeps landing at the bottom of the priority list unfortunately. One of these days.

Happy Birthday to Annie, sweet sixteen seems so long ago. :-) So how was the Star Trek movie?

Gardenbug...Awwww, ain't she sweet. Don't we all wish we could sleep like that. Five hours at a stretch is a lot for her age! I got a kick out of Skyler with the tongue out the side of the mouth. Such concentration. [g] That 'vole research' comparing men to voles, it was funny, but so odd, when you think about it, where people come up with this stuff. lol

Eden....Another amazing baby with one feeding in the night! The newborn outfits just don't last long enough, do they? Imagine, Kate is three weeks old today. Jen must be so relieved that the Bell's Palsy is clearing up nicely. Have you been able to spend much time with them? What did you come home with from the nursery?

Honesty, aka 'Money Plant' aka Lunaria. A biennial It is the easiest plant in my garden. Never needs staking and usually remains upright no matter what. Blooms in shade. Self seeds. Is easy to pull up if it goes where you don't want it. Gives lots of color early. No insect or disease problems. It seems once I planted it, I never had to think about it again. Here is an old photo of one of my best spring displays with them.

Kathy, Annie's Annuals has a white variegated. Link below. I received my purple variegated in a trade. And they can be grown in zone 4-11.

Marian, you and Nolon seem to be staying pretty busy. Actually, I think it is amazing that you both were able to take care of all that tree damage. So you took more pics but didn't post any? [g] Gee, I didn't realize Orioles would visit Hummingbird feeders. How do you put out oranges for them? The squirrels don't run off with them?

Chelone...the first mole video is 12 seconds long and the 2nd one is only 25 seconds long. Coffee filters, did you know there is a permanent one you can buy? Great progress on the work bench, almost there! Salamanders sound fun. My Mom spent winters in Florida for awhile and they are all over the place down there. That's probably the last time I saw one. Eons ago.

Nothing new or interesting going on at my house. It may rain today and I am planning a slow day. I may spend some time today figuring out what I am going to plant in the expanded border once it is finished.

Enjoy your Tuesday....


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 6:37AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Tuesday morning everyone!

Another lovely morning here. Yesterday I mowed the front lawn and did a bit of garden tidying; like Marie, a little bit of my time is spent ferrying plants in and out this time of year. I get impatient to get stuff planted!

Both DD and DH are having a terrible time. DD's male friend, who is an army seargeant, finally went in to the dentist and said "LOOK! Something is not working here!" so then brought her in and it was discovered that she isn't healing. They asked her if she was following all the instructions on "the sheet". "What sheet?". She wasn't given the instructions and had been doing a few things wrong, particulary in terms of medication. Once she got things going right, yesterday, she was feeling much better in a matter of hours. So I guess she is on the mend. I would love to be there to offer her some help.....but then there's DH.

He has a blood infection, a serious one, that requires him to spend an hour an a half in the hospital every eight hours. Of course one of the eight-hour deadlines falls at 3 a.m....After a couple of days of this he appears to be responding. His dotors tell him he will be on this routine until the infection goes away. Home care is starting today, so at least the schedule will be a little better. But it does mean that everything fall to me - cooking, cleaning, laundry, looking after TCS and the dogs, outside work...TCS is a little unhappy that I am not able to walk across town to beautiful Stewart Park with his class today - but I just can't be gone for four hours just yet.

Le sigh.

On a brighter note though, if I have to do everything, I set the priorities and the garden is getting number One! So today the back lawn will be cut, the stone paths between the veggie boxes will be weeded, what will go where will be planned, and plants will be ferried back and forth without haste. Everybody here feels badly that I am shouldering the load, but the upside is that I cancelled all appointments for the week and we are ensconced at home.

I did mange tp browse through some of the posts this morning. You all have such gorgeous gardens! And Saucy! I want a leaf cast! That is just beautiful. However, I do not want a gnome home in my yard....I also watched the mole/vole videos. A live trap (commonly known as a cat or a dog) works best. This year we had very little damage, but we also had Merlins which, although noisy, eat their weight in vermin every time you see them!

Hmmmm...haven't seen them yet this year....

And of course the babies! Kate and Peanut are both gorgeous little girls, I love the wink and the snooze!

Bug, I have done a bit on travel arrangements already - I'll e-mail you to let you know where I'm at. Crossing my fingers that DH's scary illness can be brought under control...



    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 7:32AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

((Julie)) best wishes for a speedy recovery for your DH! (and DD...)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 8:18AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yikes, Julie - sounds like it's your "turn" w/ the family issues -- soo sorry re your DH; I hope the ventures for the treatments ensures that he responds quickly to a serious problem - at least you can feel DD is on the road to recovery and has someone looking out for her! I will hope things go really well for DH.

Nice to hear from you, Anita -- we look forward to hearing more about your gardens too!

Egads but it rained again here last nite - so we only had a short walk before it poured again. I've got so much stuff that is soggy or drowning - drought tolerant plants arent too happy doing the swamp thing. Neither am I. So no chance of pretty photos of the little bench before it gets cluttered up and Im sure I'll be cluttering it quickly as I did buy a few annuals on Saturday (I was pleasantly surprised to see the Big Orange had some items that were really cheapo and in good shape -- dichondra Silver Falls for one -- $2 a pot (that I've paid $5 for last year at my fav nursery - or one of the few places that usually stocks it)....Im trying to be good and just buy a few year or there this year as there seems little time for potting up (read dry weather!).

Chloe is so-so - they added another med that's so stupid - I have to give her an hour before she eats -- well, that doesnt work for a working person and she thinks Im betraying her by not letting her eat at the times she's used to - I am starting to wake up an hour early to give her so she wont be forlorn about not getting fed on time - but the evenings are more of a chore and Im not succeeding so well there... hopefully this will be a short-term med; ha - that's what they always say, right? Plus the med seems to make her feel not so good and it takes a few hours for her to perk back up....hoping that too will be short-term.

I think I too like Mae Surprise better than Peanut, LOL - glad things are going smoothly in the newborn direction, 'bug.

Wow, V- I did indeed recognize that place from the first shot -- they have the most wonderful combos - wish I were near them. That purple red/yellow is fantastic and I love the small bird basin. They were one of the first places too that I thought had the most creative accessories - refurbished and original -- I still think of the concrete pillows with fondness (saw them recently in a tv show)... Im glad you forced yourselves to stop! I'd be broke all the time if I lived near that nursery! That is a wonderful house -- Im sure in keeping with the town and times and it looks like it's been well maintained.

Well, gotta get to work - Im trying to finagle some days off around Memorial Day but the boss has other ideas and Im peeved -- he can take a week off for his spouse's birthday but I cant take 2 off (because they fall right when he returns); then I offered to take the 2 after the holiday - and he wants me to split them up so a routine chore gets taken care of -- sheesh -- that thwarts the whole concept of "extended weekend" -- sometimes, they just dont get it.... Then I kick myself because I didnt just march in and say "Im going away and need these days off" - but Im not a good liar... but I figure I'll take a longer time off at IU and that should annoy him sufficiently so maybe I better be "smart" about these other 2 days -- LOL -- the never ending psychological warfare of the awfice.... well, I'll just keep IU in my mind... it will be coming soon enuf!


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 9:19AM
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Julie, hope today is going better and dh and dd are both on the mend.

Cindy, poor Chloe. I hate that they can't tell us how they're feeling. Healing thoughts for her! Also hoping for some nice dry weather for you to garden in.

Chelone, you're Peanut story reminded me of something I'd forgotten. We once, probably 20 years ago, found a little toy poodle in similar condition. It even had a broken chin that had healed so it sort of hung open in a weird sort of way. We named him Peanut because he was so small. No owner could be found so we took him to the vet, got him groomed and then after a couple of weeks he disappeared, never to be heard from again. I'd forgotten all about him.

Marie, Isn't Pikachu a video game character? Typical for a little boy to choose that for a nickname I think :)

It's an absolutely beautiful day here today. Sunny and warm, but not too warm. I've spent quite a bit of time just gazing upon the garden from a chair on the deck. Not much work done, but very relaxing. Bella's coming over later for the evening. Taco's for dinner.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 3:38PM
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I had a great time this past weekend with family. I took my parents to the MN Landscape Arboretum on Mothers Day. My mom really enjoyed it. My dad not as much ;o) He did enjoy the 3 mile drive that is lined with all the different tree collections, especially all the apple trees that are in bloom. We were able to get in on the second day of their plant sale and even though things were probably picked over I got some great plants and my mom did too.

The vegetable garden is nearly planted after spending last evening there.

Cindy, Ive been on those kinds of meds before that require all the clock watching and I agree with Chloe its not fun. Poor little puppy.

PM, lovely shot of the lunaria. I have the white variety but its not variegated. Mine has never reseeded that much.

V, Northwind Perennial Farm was a favorite of mine. The purple/yellow combo happens to the best of us.

Eden, it looks like little Kate has developed a sense of humor already.

bug, my solution to the one red tulip among the pale yellow ones is to cut it and enjoy it indoors. There is nothing sweeter than a sleeping babe.

Chelone, I was wondering who Bruce was and what he had done to be gassed LOL Im assuming that youve named the new stove (I dont use the term "range")

I know there is much more I could comment on but lately time seems so scarce you should see my disaster of a house LOL


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 5:04PM
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Peanut was the name of the children's last hamster, so named because he was exactly the size and shape of a peanut when he was born. I'll be thinking of baby bugette as Mae Surprise too until her name reveals itself.

Hi Anita!! Nice to hear from you.

Marian - I bet thats a nice feeling to have all the mowing and pruning done.

Poor little Chloe - give her a hug from me.

Julie - what a tough time for all. Healing thoughts going your way.

V - what fond memories of IU3. Your photos also made me think of Ei and hope she will pop in sometime soon.

David had his first day at school with no crutch and he was fine. He has a very unusual gait and slow walk due to the drop foot but being independently mobile is thrilling for him. He and DH are golfing right now!

I have Clousseau's annual check up in 30 minutes. I love our vet but Clousseau is always so stressed (drooling, shaking, peeing etc.) the whole thing is something of an ordeal. At least he has lost some of his winter weight and is looking rather trim which will please our vet. Did I mention Clousseau also gets car sick - I think I should don some old clothes. I think DH got off very easy trading the vet visit for a round of golf:0(


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 5:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sounds like I am lucky to have never had a pet named Peanut. ;)

Today has been a lovely day with sun. After lunch it got warm and the bugs came out, which was not so great. but I did get more weeding done. My friend Ann came and pruned my roses for me. Her husband John cleaned up many things and edged. They have a new puppy, Morgan, who gave Phoebe lots of exercise. They rolled in something. Pee UUUU!

I was able to get out and bought a zucchini plant (ONE, that's all!) and a tomato plant too. Also bought some coleus, salvia black & blue, and a hanging herb basket once again.

Dinner is now cooking in the oven for an hour, so I'll add a few photos to a separate thread. I hope your day was at least as good!

I do miss Cynthia and her menagerie...but her beautiful gardens as well.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 5:42PM
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Hi all. I can't remember at the moment what all I read.
I do remember Cindy is getting to much rain and Julies DH and DD are having a rough time. Julie I do hope things get better soon.

Annie has turned sixteen.

Michelle has planted garden and Eden sat and enjoyed hers.

Lots more from everyone. I did read them all and nodded my head.

Dh helped me accomplish a couple of major landscaping projects. ( making steps on the back of the pond bank which will save me from weed eating those steep slopes. Plus it looks much nicer.) I have been wanting to get that done for years. The new tractor is earning its keep.

So thats what I've been doing. I did manage to take some flower photos. I'm going to try posting a link. Norma

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 9:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

How funny that Mary took Clouseau to the vet today - Sunrise and Mystic had their checkups today! Good reports for both, although Mystic has to lose 10 pounds. Little piggy dog!

DH was quite excited to tell me he had found a new patch of wild asparagus in our back field. I had to burst his bubble and tell him that it was a baptisia - glad he didn't eat it for lunch.

Julie, hope your DD and DH mend quickly. When my DS had his wisdom teeth removed, they were giving him the aftercare instructions and making a follow up appointment when he was still quite out of it.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:31PM
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Norma ! fabu-fabu photos where have you been hiding the camera lady ?? Your Irises are beautiful and so many wonderful combinations..and musical accompaniment on the slideshow no less ! I so hope you will continue to share the unfolding scenes in your garden . My nagging about pics of the pond is laid to rest, lol. We will need some high-summer pics though

Lots I would like to comment on but no time tonight, wave to all and will have more to say on the morrow.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:51PM
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Norma...I love your photos, especially number five. What a wonderful setting. I also enjoyed the music while perusing the photos. You made it even nicer to view them. the shot of your honesty plant. It reseeds well for you. The white one is neat.'s DH and DD today? I've never heard of that treatment your DH is getting. Wow, every eight hours? How do you sleep? Take care of yourself, too.

v...That house your DGGGF built is neat, and how cool that you were able to locate it. I've been wanting to visit Northwind Perennial Nursery for a couple of years, but get sidetracked every spring. Thanks for mentioning it. I looked it up and it's only 53 miles from me, according to

chelone...Did I ever mention that your haircut suits you well? Your hair is thick, right? Bet it falls right into place with that cut. Did you decide what goodies you are going to try out on "Bruce" first? Hope it's not vole pie. LOL. You do have an endless supply of them it seems. Loved your peanut story. old is Chloe? She's a Maltese, right? We have one, too. A year old in April. Did Chloe ever suffer from patella problems?

Mary...that's great for David to have his first day without the crutches. Bet he was happy about that. Happy birthday to Annie.

I got the grass cut, but it was slow moving since the self propel part of it broke. Ugh. I never noticed how hilly my yard is. Other than that, no time for the garden, since Tuesday is DGS day. The ones I watch, (I have four total) on Tuesdays, one is in first grade, so I only have the four year old all day. But summer break is upon us. He's a breeze, and I'm trying to turn him into a little gardener. He seems to enjoy it. Enjoyed the seven year old's baseball game tonight...he got the game ball! Time to watch DWTS that I taped, so have a good night all.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 11:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Norma, so many different beautiful iris!!! Is that you playing the guitar accompaniment? ;)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 11:08PM
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Wow Norma! what a nice treat for me to view over my egg this morning. I love the red peony, do you know the name of it? I've been wanting to add one for a few years now, but it's the purchase and planting that always falls by the wayside. I'm assuming the dogwoods are in the background, and the effect of the flowering trees and then the focus shifting to the perennials must be really exciting to watch. Beautiful! (was Rebel in one shot behind the flowers?).

No Vole on the menu last night, Anita (though I did "serve" one to Mum for a laugh one morning... she asked for a serrated knife, lol). Bruce was received with awe and wonder... I heard several low, very drawn out "wowwww s" coming from the galley and it took the helpmeet some time to figure out that the flame is adjusted so you may lower it to the lowest simmer without turning off the burner, lol. The grates that cover the range top completely were a hit, too... you can slide the pans anywhere you want, imagine that! As with any new purchase here in "Frontierland" everything adjacent to it looks really crappy. And so it is with resplendent Bruce's arrival. The helpmeet immediately began nattering about a range hood and new lighting... . All very positive, but my focus is now directed to the bathroom. :)

Anita, my hair is not particularly thick, but grows in adequate quantity to cover the top of my head. ;) And it grows fairly quickly, or maybe I just think it does because I like my hair short and looking neatly clipped. I put a little bit of some paste stuff on my hands and run them through it after a shampoo and that keeps it cooperative and out of my eyes for a couple of days. I don't shampoo daily and can refresh the 'do with wet hands and a comb. Quick, easy, and it works for me. "High maintenace" hair is definitely NOT my style.

I will have the painting/clearcoating finished today! yippee! I may just pick up the lags on the way home and see if I can't get the helpmeet to lay out one of the bases tonight. I'm really getting excited about having a good work area and I really want to see how much floorspace the 3 tables will take up. Right now the impact on the room is still sort of abstract for me.

I've managed to forget everything I wanted to comment on and now it's time for me to head on out to Chaos Gulch (I feel solidarity with Cindy). So I'm outta here until the afternoon. Beat a dog, beat the kids, and make sure to enjoy your gardens. Toodles!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 5:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning.....

Nothing new today either. I didn't even step foot in the garden yesterday. I'm hoping to get to the rock yard this morning and pick up the last of the rocks needed to finish the border. I did come up with a good start to a plan for what to do with it, yesterday. At least what is staying and what is going and what needs moving. It was supposed to rain yesterday and nada. That seems to happen here a lot for some reason. I may drag the hose out again today in places and may try to take a few more photos if it's not too cloudy or windy. Fascinating stuff. [g] are still ahead of me. My one Peony has tiny buds still. Gorgeous, Huge, Red Peony blossoms! Also no geraniums open. I don't know which is my favorite, the purple and white or the yellow and white iris. Very pretty! Your hostas/Pansies are also huge and my favorite colors of pansies too, burgundy & pale yellow. I think I spy Deutzia Nikko? Everything looks so healthy and that gorgeous woodland background! You have so much privacy. I also enjoyed the guitar accompaniment. Good thing someone mentioned it, I had my volume all the way down. [g]

Julie....How long before DH will be finished with his treatment? Do they have any idea how he got this blood infection, or is it something diabetics are prone to?

Anita....Another grandma helping with the grandchildren. You and Eden are in the same boat in that regard. So you are watching DWTS? DH and I watch that too. It has been a good season. I am a sucker for most any kind of dance. My favorite though, is SYTYCD which starts in the next couple of weeks.

I think the Honesty reseeds well for me, because the solid fence behind it keeps the seed from flying out of the yard and the post and rail fence to the West has frequent breezes coming through.

Hello Michelle... :-) Did you take any photos at the Arboretum? Sounded like a lovely way to spend a Mother's Day. LOL....your take on Bruce getting gassed.

Eden....Gazing from the deck? How did you manage that? :-) I am waiting for my garden to be worth gazing at in every direction. Until then, I don't seem to be able to sit and look around without seeing something that needs doing. [g] I don't imagine Bella will get to spend much time with Kate for awhile. I wonder has she had much to say about her new cousin?

Gardenbug....what do you do to bribe your friends into working in your garden? [g] What kind of puppy is Morgan? Thanks for reminding me, I need to start ONE zucchini plant too. How are you feeling? Did you pick up a bug?

I miss Cynthia and her grays, too. Does anyone keep in touch with her? And what happened to T, who I thought was going to start posting again?

Wonderful that David is getting back to normal, Mary! What a milestone to lose the crutch! Imagine how far he's come.

Cindy....Poor Chloe! I hope the new medicine is actually helping her. Hard to get medicine right when they can't tell you how they are doing.

Kathy....I missed your longer post last night. :-)

Woody....still working on the edging? When are the new plants scheduled to go in?

V....your DH sounds like he has plant identification skills about the same as my DH. [g] of Butterflies and Bruce? Maybe you will start a separate thread with all those photos in the camera?

Saucy....see link below for you.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 5:50AM
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That was great, Norma! I really enjoyed the tour. I agree with everyone else that the musical accompaniment added to the enjoyment!

Julie, I hope your husband is on the mend soon - that sounds scary - and exhausting for the caregiver. Take care of yourself!

I'm in panic mode - too much to do and not enough time or energy. I keep telling myself that rest is important. Today I am installing the garden, and I am worried that there is more shade than I had anticipated. I may have to make a few substitutions. Another lesson learned.

I just unmolded a couple of hosta leaves and still need to color them. There is a base color in the cement mixture, and then I have to add a topical staining/color. Painting is hit or miss for me and I can ruin a leaf. I figure the more I practice the better. I don't want to end up with a garden of the ugly leaves, lol!

Well, that's all from me! I have fun checking in here in between sleep and plants. I hope this plant sale is a big hit so that there are no plants to bring back to my neighbor's. I never get tired of plant shopping, though, and I have accumulated quite the hoard this year!

Have a great day, Idylls!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 6:02AM
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Fabulous tour Norma!! I love the musical accompaniment:0) Lovely to see thing in full blossom while we are at the mere bud stage.

Clousseau's check up did not go as hoped. The weight loss I was pleased with is actually of great concern to the vet - he dropped 15% of his body weight - far more than can be accounted for by reducing treats (his regular deit has remained constant). Combined with a mass in his stomach or spleen there are a lot of questions. Clousseau seems fit as a horse but a tumor might not affect his general health at this stage. The vet is running tests and we will talk Thursday. Maybe 2009 just isn't going to be such a good year for us. But until bad news is delivered I'm trying to remain positive.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 8:03AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma! Great pictures! Your garden is WAY ahead of here if your peonies are in bloom! Mine still haven't spread their leaves yet let alone have any flowerbuds to show!

Mary - Happy birthday to Annie. It's great that David is operating under his own steam again - kids heal fast! (although I'm sure it feels like it's been an enternity...)

Cindy - poor Chloe - I hope she gets well soon.

Zoe, the young Rottweiler in the neighbourhood, has hip displasia and is now not putting weight on one back leg. She's still bouncing around fairly happily though and just about mowed me down yesterday in her efforts to get at the cookies in the walker basket! (Her supply at home ran out so she was cookie-deprived... I restocked her home supply last night.)

PM - I have about 2 more days work to get the line of bricks finished on the road side of the bed. When they're done, I'll take a picture. Hopefully next week I'll be able to finish the other side. I'm anxious to get it all done and planted!

Chelone - where are the work-in-progress pictures of the tables?!

Hi Anita!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 8:05AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, burst my bubble - I cant see Norma's show at the awfice - that's just plain awful!! I too tired and lazy (& paying attention to the furry baby) at nite to check in here -- gonna have to mend that bad habit. I was all set for a great lift to see your show, Norma, as so far my irises look wan and clems that were full of buds have drooped and are mildewed -- too much rain here -- I had a wonderful 5 blooms on a new Omoshiro (enabled by 'bug) that was gorgeous and the vine is now almost non-existent... pifle... well, I'll have to catch the Norma's show before Lost tonite.

Mary -- I'm crossing the fingers for Clousseau -- sheesh, this seems to be another idyll contagion -- I'd much rather my range/oven, etc., die than the sickies with our pets... I will hope it is okay news such as something benign. Im glad to hear David is really on the mend and Im sure you both feel like there is sun and normality for him at the end of the recovery road.

Anita -- Chloe luckily never had patella problems (but I bought her from a breeder after much research because my first maltese had all sorts of ills all her life, including the patella issues) Frosty (the first maltese of our household) had the knee operations done one at a time on both of her knees eventually - we used to call her the million dollar doggie - as we all know, all kinds of speciality operations, etc., these days are enormously expensive - even for pets... But Frosty did survive and thrive even for a petstore dog (despite me knowing better than to buy one) -- the first knee issue & op was about when she was a little more than 3 as I recall. Then the other happened about 2 years later. Luxating patellas is enormously common in small dogs; just as hip dysplasia is in larger ones I think...

Saucy - Im comforted to hear you feel some panic and stress too -- Im feeling it too and I dont have near the garden chores you do -- but somehow I guess it will all get done - or not -- and we'll still survive, right? Right now I think I've developed an entire garden devoted to violets -- they're taking over like mulch; it's bizarre...

Well, have to try to earn the pay today. Awfice chaos here I come (thanx, Chelone -- feeling the power - we shall overcome or at least prevail!!)

Eden -- I'll try to get some photos this weekend of the bench; it's the usual - and small -- but I've got a gorgeous geranium Lily Lovell putting on a show at least that is the most gorgeous shade of purple Im now in love with, so I hope to share pics of it.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:21AM
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Norma, your gardens are just beautiful and I'm enjoying seeing more of them this season. I love all of your iris especially. And that pond is really something!

Mary, oh no, not another Idyll pup in distress. Good thoughts for Clouseau! I'm so happy to hear, on the other hand, that David's doing so well!

PM, Bella has taken having Kate around in stride. She thinks Magglio is much more fun! She sees her quite often as they only live a few minutes apart. Jen and Meg are spending the day together today. Taking the girls to the park, lunch and then back to Jen's for some gardening while the girls are napping.

I dropped in on Jen and Randy for a bit last evening and got to spend some time snuggling Kate. "Sweet" is the best word I can think of to describe her.

Seems all Idylls are busy, busy with gardening chores being squeezed in whenever possible. Same here, I'm off to do some house stuff so I can get outside and enjoy the day. Thunderstorms forecast for later this evening...


    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 10:25AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Norma, your gardens are beautiful. Either you have very good soil, or you add good fertilizer. I am thinking you have good drainage also.
The slideshow is a great idea.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 11:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all, Im working like a demon and have been zonking out by 8:30PM or so every night. Ive gotten about forty or so containers planted and all that hauling around of large pots and dirt is taking its toll. Im pooped! LOL

Lots going on here and Ive just been able to skim and look at the pretty pics. Everyones gardens are looking so beautiful.

Wow Norma, gorgeous pics of your spring gardens. You are about two weeks ahead of u s here. If peonies would perform like that for me Id grow them here. Yours are fabulous!

Mary I empathize with you over your vet trip. My Rahjii sings the whole entire time and it so sets my nerves on edge I refuse to drive him anymore. Doug has to drive when we take the kitties in. Sorry to hear you have concerns over Clousseaus health. ~~ Cant believe Annie is 16! Goodness, time goes by so fast.

V. lol over the asparagus. Ill bet it wouldnt have tasted too good!

OK Im out of time. Must run to HD to pick up a few annuals I dont have here. Ive got to run over to my Moms later and plant a window box for her for her Mothers day present.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 12:45PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

40 containers, Deanne, and it's only May 13?!! -- Intervention, Intervention!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 1:17PM
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Norma, what a wonderful slideshow! I don't believe I've ever seen so much of your garden. The trees are fabulous and make such a wonderful backdrop. Gorgeous irises too. I make a picture DVD each year of my garden pictures and always use instrumental music and I just think it adds so much.

Mary, sorry to hear that there are concerns about Clousseau. Hopefully its not serious. Wonderful news for David though.

PM, I didnt take many pictures since Ive been there several times and since my parents were along. If I think of it Ill put some up.

Deanne, Im not sure if anyone answered your question about verbena bonariensis seedlings, but they do come up late. They are long ovals with serrated edges. My mothers day gift to my mom every year is a bouquet of tulips and planting two large containers for her.

Last night was extremely windy and overcast, not the best night to be outside so I swam and then did some needed shopping. I bought tomato, eggplant and pepper plants. Somehow a couple of clematis jumped in the box. Clematis Willy and clematis Jan Lindmark.

I got such a kick out of my 7 year old niece this weekend. We drove to a restaurant and she wanted to ride in my car. As we passed one of the neighbors house she commented "shes really into spring" This lady has a nice front garden with tulips and bleeding hearts. When we got back to their house she said "Id like our whole front yard to be a garden" Another budding gardener LOL



    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 4:15PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Farmer fly-by! We had a rain delay today. That gets me out of the tractor..and off to the grocery store, odds and ends of town errands, and of course, laundry. The rain came just in time-I'm wearing my last pair of clean socks!
Just skimming through, but had to comment on precious babies, and Norma, the slideshow was wonderful! All of my iris and peonies are still in bud, so you quenched my thirst for some actual blooms.
Eden, that picture of Kate made me laugh right out adorable!

Bug, hang in Mae Surprise Peanut will get her name. When DD was born, none of the names we liked "fit" her, so it took a couple of days. She turned out to be a Christina. She's never been a Chris, a Tina or a Christie..always Christina. Tho, I have a niece who couldn't say that when she was little, so she called her Teenie, and that has stuck with most of the family.

I have to confess, I was skimming along, and my eyelids were getting heavy. Lol, no reflection on the Idylls, I've been running on very little sleep. Anyway, I came to the snuggly sleepy pic of the little buglette, and that was it! Put my head down on the desk and did a 10 minute power-nap. Time to get my fanny up and get some more laundry processed. We're clipping right along with the crops, so hope to see more of you all soon!
Take care,

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 4:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes indeed, verbena bonariensis is one of the latest plants I've ever known to emerge. I'd think it would be a hard one for Deanne to wait for as she'd be so eager to plant something in the space before they came up. ;)

Michelle, Willy and Jan Lindmark are both really lovely clematis. The problem, for me is that I must cage them each winter so that the rabbits don't demolish them. They bloom on old wood. I love growing eggplant. Their flowers are so sweet too! They need a long hot season so I cross my fingers every year! Sometimes I'm lucky!

Deanne, yesterday I saw a beautiful window box of herbs mixed with flowers. That's an idea for another year's Mother's Day gift. They contained pink flowering strawberries and violas as well as sage, thyme, etc.

Eden, you are so lucky to be in driving distance of your kids! I'm jealous.

PM, my gardening friends can be bribed with plants, money, groceries,...almost anything. But I am not the only one so must stand in line at times. DH wrote up a contract for them years ago that said they could not smoke or bring us more pets when they visit. LOL. Morgan is a mixed breed, Australian Shepherd and Blue Heeler I believe. A well behaved and very cute dog. He already stays out of garden beds.

Mary, I'm so happy for David! Let's hope good things for Clousseau. Hope the vet has a "clue" soon!

I imagine Chelone has made it home by now to unwind from the chaos, and hope that Saucy is pleased with her goods for the sale this weekend!

That's all she wrote for now!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 4:43PM
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Hi all, I've been run in by a rainstorm. I did manage to get a few things finished, but as you know theres always more. LOL

Thanks for all the comments on the slideshow. It's kinda of nice to see things all put together instead of individually while walating. I like being able to look at them again once they are gone by too.
I had to stake some of the tall iris because of the winds we are having. I brought one bouquet in from a large stand that I couldn't get all staked. They are a lot of bother ,but worth it I think.

Chelone, The peony by the house is Karl Rosenfeld , and the one in the garden is Buckeye Belle (my favorite although it doesn't last long.) I think what you thought might be Rebel in the background was probably my tiller. Good thing it was a shallow depth of field. Sometimes that is what stops me from posting pictures. I always have stuff lying or sitting around. I am trying to be better about picking up.

Mary, It's good to hear David is freestanding again. Not so good to hear about Closeau. It's probaly a good thing all of our gardens have a good show at different times, so we get to see more pictures.

V, I love that old house. How neat that a relative lived there and founded the town.

PM, my Bowl of Beauty Peony is blooming today. It is a single pink one. I think things may be blooming a little earlier this year because we had more sun early on before the trees leafed out.
Your rock border is looking good, I hope you found enough rocks to finish it.

Kathy, I didn't include much of the pond because the water is kind of scummy right now from all the tree pollen flying around. My hostas are catching the brown stringy things from the oak trees too.

Anita, how nice to have you posting again. I was wondering if you were still watching the boys. Our Wyatt has kindergarten graduation tomorrow night. Hope to see pictures of your gardens sometime too.

Bug, I wish I could play the guitar that well. LOL

Woody, I imagine the rottwieler could easily knock you over unintentionaly.

Cindy my clematis vines are starting to look bad too. It's just so disapointing sometimes.

Eden, tiny babies are so fun to cuddle, enjoy it while you can.

Marian, my soil is not great, but I have been working on it a long time. The drainage is good because I am on a slope and most of the beds are built up.

Deanne, good to hear from you. The peonys are having a good year. Most years they just get beat down by rain or something.

Michelle, I always try to get the house or shopping done when it rains so I won't miss my outdoor time when it's nice out. Yup, I think your niece is a budding gardener.

Well, the rain didn't last long and theres a break in the clouds, so I think I will go back out for a while. Norma

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Good evening Idylls, nice to have arrived at the down side of the work week. Its windy tonight so I cut the WALAT short till the sun sinks a bit, at which point the wind usually abates. Stepping up the watering is on the horizon. I am making strategic plans for some garden visits, there are Garden Consevancy open gardens in Marin County this weekend and I might just go visit a couple- like many of you the interior housework seems to have gone to hell in a handbasket and if I spend the day in Marin the only thing that will get done this weekend is gardening. I expect to make a last minute decision on the issue, depending on how many plants I score at the garden center tomorrow.

PM, thanks for the link, I have plans to visit Annies , but will probably not do so till the 1st week of June, or possibly the upcoming holiday weekend. If I plan the time of day well I miss the Bay Bridge traffic jam and can get to Annies in about 40 minutes. I have a morning sun only area that I think the Lunaria would be great for .

Julie transferring some good vibes up your way, and hope your DH is quickly on the mend. Is there a theory as to how he contacted this malady ? It does indeed sound scary.

Cindy, I can sure relate to the bog issues you are having. Weve had some horrible spring rainy seasons (which include flood evacuations and sandbags) but we certainly have nothing close to that this year. Those are the years that I will typically lose Dahlias and Lilies to rot from all the standing water. I hope things dry out for you soon ! I know you will provide us with the potting bench pic even if clutter ensues-I promise to post an offsetting pic of mine in similar condition.

Well Mary, not liking to add your name to the pet-woes roster ! I guess the positive note is that he is feeling fine ? Fingers crossed for good news for you..

Woody, isnt it fun to be on the side of a garden project that involves planting ? This always infers that the worst of the manual labor is done.

Saucy, sounds like its time for a facial and a pedicure for you ,my friend. There are always things in our lives that can go on the back burner . Im jealous of all the Idylls that will be traveling to IU in cars that will have space in the trunks for leaf castings .. Maybe you need to set up a booth at the compound ! What a bunch of sitting-duck customers we would be !

Deanne, I concur with Cindys comments- I havent counted how many containers I planted so far this year, but dont think its near 40 ! We await the pics ..

OK the wind is gone so Im off to WALAT

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:30PM
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I do believe Deanne's 40 containers (so far) constitute extreme gardening. Probably time to ask her to stuff 2 of mine as window dressing for IUVI, huh? I can see you now, smiling, fussing, and artfully arranging your wintered over bounty. Makes me smile. :)

Here's hopin' the weather will be perfect for the Mistress of the Swarm's entree into the world of 3D art. I'm confident you will come home with full pockets and an empty truck. I can't find the Idyll group you helped me set up, Saucy, so I'm going to require some assistance with e-mails in the near future. I'm thinking it must've gotten lost in the transfer to the new computer? dunno, don't care, just know it has to be rectified.

I tride to get shots of "Butterflies" yesterday, but the camera battery was dead. Ditto shots fo the table bases under construction.

Norma, I've looked at Karl Rosenfeld a number of times. I like the nice, tall peonies particularly well and the red of that one is especially nice. All the peony talk reminds me that I still have 2 left to get staked because, as you pointed out, downpours and windswept rain usually coincides with their flowers. ;)

I don't like reading about ailing pets, even though they're only dogs. I've read with interest the comments on patella abnormalities in small dogs, I know rather a lot about ACL injuries in large dogs now. ;) Woody, I work so hard with Rex to make sure he won't trample people. I'm not sure which I loathe more, being accosted by an OOC large model or having an OOC small one bouncing around my feet, jumping and pawing at the area up to mid-thigh. Either way, I don't like it and work like hell to make sure my own fleabag doesn't do it.

Bruce makes excellent pizza.

Thrilling news on David's recovery, Mary. You must be so relieved and he must be thrilled with summer and its attendant activities just around the corner. I'm certain that his musical training has long since taught him the benefit of working and practicing through the tough times when progress seems incremental. So it is with physical therapy, too. Can't wait to hear more about your flock, too.

I hustled out of the shop yesterday and picked up the requisite lags for the table bases on my way home. I ordered the melamine for the tops, too. I finished up the last bit of painting and when everything was dry schlepped the pcs. back up to the Salon and had everything ready for the assembly. Helpmeet was tuckered out but bless his heart we put one together last night true to his promise. It rolls like a dream, smoothly and EASILY. I think this is going to be a winner, you guys. Today I have to get the plugs to cover the 5/8ths. Forstner bit holes and I think it will require a trip to a woodworking place. It's my hope we'll be able to get another base put together tonight, though I'll use my judgement with respect to level of spousal exhaustion. It was great to flee chaos and return to an organized and fulfilling project. I even cleaned up the garage bay that had been the painting station when I was finished!

'bug, my co-worker brought in amazing shots of a huge snapping turtle yesterday. She and her BF are really into fishing and they see the turtle all the time. (S)He's beautiful, we've wondered how long it's been watching spring arrive.

I need to do what Brenda did yesterday, as I'm wearing the last pair of clean underpants today. I do not relish the prospect of turning them inside out to avoid laundry still further... on that humorous note I'll bid you fond farewell until my release from the dysfunctional workshop.

Ta ta!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 5:24AM
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Kathy, I was wondering if I could fit a pedi in on my way home from my doctor's appointment this morning - I think every person selling leaf castings should be sporting freshly painted blue toenails - it helps the customer remember who you are :)

Just poking my head in quick this morning and wanted to send my best wishes for Clousseau. Fingers crossed for the best possible outcome.

Better get moving....I have invoicing to do this morning (the new person doesn't start until next week).

Have a great day, all!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 5:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So windy, wet and dark out! Not sleeping well, so I get to say good mornin' to Chelone!

Anyway, I took this photo of the Amelanchier yesterday, before the weather removed the blossoms. Or so i imagine as it is still too dark out to tell.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 5:44AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a lovely night for sleeping last night. Ahhhh! Winter seems a long way off, and air conditioners aren't in yet. It was sunny off and on yesterday and no rain again so sprinkler duty today. I managed to drag home rocks yesterday and when DH came home from work, we made an attempt to finish off the rock edging. I can't seem to make myself happy with this last five foot run and of course it is the most visible and walked by section of the border. After an hour of playing with it, I was cranky enough to quit for the day. Maybe a good night's sleep will make a difference.

My poor pathetic pot of It really was more for decoration and I have a lot of pansies stuffed in there. It looks crooked in the photo but it's really straight. Next year I'll have to get serious. :-)

Not a very good photo. I find I am not taking very good photos lately. I have had a full memory card w/o a back up for a couple of weeks and DH brought home a 2MB 2 pack last night. :-)

Gee, all these early risers this morning. Sorry you are not sleeping Gardenbug. Are you feeling well? Lovely photo of your Amelanchier tree. It always amazes me how quickly the blossoms fall. Mine was so eaten by winter moth caterpillars last year I didn't get a crop of berries, but this year, it looks like it is full.

Gardenbug....I am jealous of Eden and V. having kids close by, too. I do have two nearby, but I miss our DS who lives away. It isn't that long a drive, about 4 hours, but he works weekends which makes it very hard for us to plan visits around. ..... Where did you find so many gardening friends? I hardly know anyone that gardens in 'real life'. [g]

Brenda....nice to see you! Hope you will get a break to come have a good long visit soon. And get some sleep too. [g]

Chelone....exciting stuff! Pizza in the new oven and tables nearing completion! You are having a very productive 2009 so far. :-) are having a very concentrated gardening season this year. Between all your plantings and garden trips, you must be very satisfied. Seems different than last year, when you were in 'house selling limbo'.

Deanne...I don't know how you do it. I only have about 8 large and 4 small containers to fill and I am not looking forward to it. It feels like too

Michelle....what fun to have a niece that is interested in gardening. She must love your garden. How is Kenzie these days? I bet you are missing her like crazy with gardening season starting. ..... Where are you going to put all your Clematis?

Eden....Well, that is not surprising that Kate is no fun yet for Bella. That will change soon enough. It is wonderful that they live so close to each other and can spend quality time together. Lots of changes for your family the last few years. Did you say whether you will be helping Jen with Kate at some point?

Pet woes I'm very sorry to hear. Poor Chloe and now Clousseau?!

Saucy....I hope you can find the energy for the week you are having. Maybe a lot of coffee will help? Or chocolate. :-) Next week will be better.

That's it for me this morning. Enjoy this 'winter free' day! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 6:16AM
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Good morning

Something fun is happening in June - Crosby, Stills and Nash are playing nearby at the Fingers Lakes and we all have tickets. DH is friends with one of the band and we will probably have a chance to meet them. It will be a late night for the school week but sometimes when an opportunity presents itself you just have to grab it (I'm humming Teach your Children as I write). Fortunately Annie and David's finals are not till the following week and they are as excited as me.

The little chicken flock continues to thrive though egg production has dropped as Red Betty is molting. She'll resume laying when her new feathers are in. Everyone is intrigued by their personalities and friendliness. The bigger chickens love pecking cracked corn from your hand and the little chicks jump out of their cage onto you. It is unbelievable how quickly the peeps have gone from fluff balls to mini chickens. They are still inside under a heat light but if we ever get warm weather we'll start giving them time outside. Baby quails are due to hatch in the next few days and I will pick up day old chicks from the farmer. As much as I'm looking forward to a steady supply of hens eggs, the tiny quail eggs we used to buy in England will be such a treat too. They are just so much fun - I guess I love anything miniature:0)

Thanks for all your good wishes for Clousseau - I have my fingers crossed that perhaps today's news from the vet will not be so bleak after all. But it really, really helps to know I have so many understanding friends here.

Love the Amelanchier GB!

PM your pea pot (that sounds wrong doesn't it?) is at about the same stage as my big pot of sweet peas. I used prunings from our white birch to make the trellis which I hope will look lovely covered in bloom.

Deanne - as ever I'm impressed by your industry. Isn't it a fun time of year?

Saucy - I was thinking fo making deep mauve my toe nail color this year. We'll compare at IU6. Good luck at the sale.

Oops - time to run. Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 8:25AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I am sneaking a quick post -- I got to enjoy Norma's lovely show of her spring gardens last nite w/ the lovely music - it was like watching a terrific garden show on tv! Norma, I love how you've designed the swales/berms of the beds (whether devised or happenstance), and your combinations of plants is simply gorgeous. I suspect this is as good as I'll get to see peonies and irises this year - mine dont seem to be looking too happy or too full of buds; they're almost open and it's raining more -- and showers/t-storms for the next 4 days... some springs are just a wash out, as Kathy says.

I note on the front of my local paper today (in the Home section) a story I have yet to read but it says "HOT CHICKS -- legal or not, chickens are the chic new backyard addition...." Mary is right in the trendy backyard biz!

Im hoping for great biz for Saucy's venture this weekend -- and I'd love to custom order something to bring back in my u-haul (er, car) at IU time.... but I suspect she's going to be taking lots of orders at her booth and be swamped.....

'bug I love that amelanchier shot - I especially love its placement next to that gorgeous chamaecyparis nootkatensis (Im guessing)... They are both a majestic combo. Guess you're getting lots of rain too, uh?

Well, have to get serious here....


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 9:38AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good morning Idllys!

Just dropped in to let you know that I will MIA for a while.

DD is recovering well now, but DH's condition is quite serious.

He has had 6 IV antibiotic infusions at the hospital and two at home, but did not respond well. We spent all day yesterday at the hospital again and his bloodwork, heart and lung tests were all found to be fine. His antibiotic has been stepped up and is infused now at home 24/7 with a pump, and is supplemented with a strong antibiotic by mouth. A nurse was in last night at about 9 p.m. and will be back today at 1 p.m. and every day after to monitor the pump and to report on his progress. I am, as DD says, "keeping the home fries burning", and brewing up cups of green tea several times a day as that has been shown to increase the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy. I read that in Good Housekeeping, how lame is that?

Anyhow, he is quite terrifed as he has never been terribly sick in his life, and this is every diabetic's nightmare. I am hanging in there, and this mornig we both feel there has been some improvement.

I may drop in to read now and then, but may not get to post. And time in the garden? Forget it!



    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

HUGS Julie!!!!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:32AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh, dear Julie! My prayers are for your DH, and for you.

Marie, I hope your Amelanchier still has it's blossoms this morning.
We had a brief, but strong, storm go through about midnight. No damage, but I was up monitoring it on TV, and through the front and back door windows.

Pm2, your pea structure reminds me of what I built 2 or 3 years ago to grow Moonvines on.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Julie and DH... ((((Hugs)))) Take care of both of you. Good thoughts being sent your way.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

HI all
Kathy, housekeeping can wait, gardens wait for no one! Garden touring in Marin County sounds like a good plan to me.

Cindy the count this morning is 58 containers, 28 of which are combination pots. The singles are things like the brugmansias, fuchsias, cannas and the big banana that had to get lugged in and out of the basement and repotted. What do you mean intervention?

Michelle, thanks for the info on Verbena B. I think I have a whole patch of it growing in the edging strip in front of the terrace border. Ill have to transplant them. ~~ Your neice sounds like a gem.

Bug, you are so correct. I bought a couple flats of the verbena at Walker farm last weekend and now that Ive found some seedlings Im going to have to find a spot for them too! LOL

Chelone, toooooo funny "extreme gardening". I really love to plant combos so if youd like me to do a couple for you just bring them on down to NH.

PM, love the peas pot. 12 containers doesnt seem like so many! LOL

Julie, so sorry about your DH Hopefully the treatment will work and hell be well soon.

Mary, yes indeed, I do just love this time of the year! Im having way too much fun ~~ Glad to hear your chickens are doing well and you and family are enjoying them.

Bug your Amelanchier is just lovely!

OK got to run. I need some torenia and have to go on another scouting mission.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 12:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(((Julie and her DH)))

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 2:50PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA sorry to hear DH's struggling with this infection. I hope they can get it under control soon.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 3:16PM
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