Idyll #377 Spring hopes eternal.

anitamo(5)May 2, 2008

I haven't posted much, or in a while, so I hope it fine to start a new Idyll. Spring brings forth so much to look forward to. Everyday in the garden brings another discovery, adding excitement to even the most dreary day.

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There has been so much happening here in the Idylls, that it's hard to comment on all that is new.

First, my sincerest thoughts go out to Woody and Eden. I hope for only the best news for you both and your families.

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos of spring. I love seeing what's growing in different parts of the continent. I need to get busy taking pictures of what's growing here so I can share, too.

chelone...I applaud your hard work with the salon and can't wait to see the finished results. It sounds beautiful.

gardenbug...I love seeing Phoebe growing up. I think I remember reading she had an injury? I hope that's healing up fine. It's amazing how fast your land recovered from the flooding and so much is in bloom already. You have a special property there.

Mary...good thoughts going out your way as you are in "limbo" awaiting news on the move.

I know this is short, and there is so much I want to comment on, but just can't remember all I read on the previous thread. So I'm going to go back and take notes. LOL. Then be back with specific comments and questions. I have a lot.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:47AM
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Anitamo, nice that you could drop in again. It really doesn't seem like spring here, but I have hope ;o)

Last night we were in a tornado warning and tonight they are talking rain mixed with snow. That tells you what a crazy spring we are having. The garden is definitely behind other years.

I called DD to make sure she knew about the weather (worrier that I am) Kenzie got on the phone to inform me that "its May day Gramma" Pretty exciting stuff when you are 3.

I was able to get out a little last night before the weather started. It has been so windy this week, which is annoying to me, but then thereÂs always a spot out of the wind to work. I cleaned more branches out of the Secret Garden and cleaned the potting shed. A few perennials got moved as well. I put a couple of clumps of yarrow ÂParkers Gold in for Kenzie. When I told her that I had planted some flowers in her garden, here response was "oh, yea" I was quick to explain that the flowers were still "sleeping" and it would take a while and some rain to grow.

Sue, it was nice to see a post from you. You must be so ready to get on with your life and get some organization to your home. I canÂt imagine what these past months have been like.

Mary, I have to admit I had to Google Jack Sparrow. LOL I can certainly tell I donÂt have kids at home anymore. You are so creative and patient!

Martie, I certainly enjoyed your snake story. I feel the same ;o)

Eden, IÂd love to do a wee garden with Kenzie. That website has some very cool pictures.

Deanne, I immensely enjoyed your spring garden. I hope you can find another sambucus. Mine is leafing out nicely.

Âbug, Red hats are pretty active around here as well. Poor Phoebe!

T, the thought of your project with 2 little helpers gave me a good giggle for the day.

Honey, sorry you are having family issues. What a pain!

Happy Friday!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 11:41AM
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Ei, that did make me smile :)

T. those little giggles make up for their sticky fingers, don't they? I actually used to think some of Jake's tantrums were quite comical and would have to leave the room so I could crack a smile.

I am pretty p.o.'d. Those who have heard me say that my neighbor is crazy - today I got a call from an irate debt collector. Apparently she gave them my phone number :) Oh this is going to be fun....a couple of days ago a truck came and moved all her belongings out and changed the locks. It's sad, really, but she hasn't made it easy for me to empathize since she keeps up with the shenanigans.

I honestly hope she has someone. She has to be in a pretty miserable place right now.

I am enjoying watching a fresh-out-of-the-nest bunch at my feeder. Seems they are immature red winged blackbirds, and LOL, they're not redwinged or black at all! The only way I figured it out was that I noticed the baby calling to the mama and saw her call back. Sure enough, my bird book shows the odd match up.

Thank you anitamo for starting a lovely new thread....hope you'll check in more often :) You, too, Ei.

Off to grocery shop and start the weekend! Sarah and I are watching LOST tonight and going to become LOST, I'm sure :)


PS, well wishes from Zeus to all the pets laid up on bedrest.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 3:13PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ei - I got a chuckle out of the little green guy too...!

We got the results of the MRI on Wednesday afternoon. They concluded there is no brain swelling; that, while it is too soon to tell for sure, the tumor doesn't appear to have grown; that my symptons are side effects but they can't say if they will progress, stabilize or abate. So we're back in wait and watch mode with the next MRI at the end of August. Looking back at the radiation I had in 1996, the first side effects showed up within 6-8 weeks but the serious one didn't show up until 7 months after the radiation and it was 12 months before the full extent was evident. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the uncertainty this time. You forget a lot in 12 years!

It's still nasty cold here - spring would be a nice change! We acidified and fertilized the blueberry pots, fertilized the roses and clematis in the main front beds and limed the delphiniums there this afternoon. But it was cold, my boots were leaking and showers started again so I called it a day by 2:30. I'm sitting here with my feet on a hot water bottle!

I hope Phoebe is feeling better soon. Misty was very happy to have Copper here yesterday afternoon and spent all this morning in the front of the house watching and waiting in hopes one of her buddies would drop by again today....

T- I always enjoy your grandmother tales :-)

Saucy - that sounds like a quite audacious neighbour you have!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 3:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phoebe is on the mend, but a terrible patient. Thanks Zeus and Wrecks! It's hard to hug a lampshade....

DH leaves for Germany next Wednesday for a week. A work holiday for him, a holiday for me too! :)

DD is searching for raised bed patterns for a front yard vegetable garden along the driveway. Anyone who can share attractive designs that would keep hockey players, pucks and pets out of the beds? Her very DH has offered to do the building. She wants mixed flowers and vegetables because DSIL does not want it to LOOK like a front yard veg garden. Ideas gratefully accepted!

We expect cool weather with rain/thunderstorms through Monday. Then sun & warmth! Glad the grass seed is down! I'm sure the weeds are loving the weather too though.

Saucy, so awful for you to have neighbor problems once more! I wonder if your neighbor is the same one who camped out at Cindy's?

Great to see Anita and Ei show up at last!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 3:37PM
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'bug, check out these gardens. They aren't raised, but are front yard potagers. Could your DD have a picket fence along the driveway?

click here

click here

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:17PM
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'bug, I meant to mention that by interspersing flowers throughout, most people won't even know its a vegetable garden.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:30PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I have a lot to laugh at today, peeking in here (not working) --

Ei - that was too funny! I've been thinking of you and wondering how your great garden is going -- Im anxiously awaiting hopeful blossoms from the wonderful daylilies you graciously sent me.

Saucy -- I had to laugh about your neighbor (no, it's not funny but ...) as 'bug inquired I am still dealing w/ harrassing phone calls and voice mails left by collection agencies looking for the former guest at my house - I particularly like the ones that leave an automated msg on my msg machine that says " this is a msg for __; if you are not __, please hang up and do not listen to this msg...." -- then they leave a long winded phone #, etc.,... like they're bugging my voice mail to see if I listen or not? I've gotten to kind of think they're funny.... they leave a "important personal msg; pls call this phone number" - who the heck would ever return such a call?

Waving at Anita !! How nice to see you pop in as well.

Hope PM2 feels up to sharing a daily photo with us -- Im missing them greatly - they are always so thought-provoking and wonderful. I hope it's because you're out in the garden SALATing.

Re the privacy of these discussions, I try to keep in mind there are many many lurkers out there -- I truly think most just want to see the pics and gloss over the other stuff -- what we choose to share here just has to be under advisement that anyone can see it.... hey, if they want to be interested in the trivia of our lives, what does that say about theirs, LOL? And I would truly have missed the opportunity to join you all and to also see other members PM, Anita, Denise, Kathy - who knows what other wonderful folks are just too timid to jump in and try the repartee out.

Hey, after all, you have to admit we are one interesting, dramatic group of people, dont you think? But I do dislike brush fires as Kathy calls 'em...

Woody, that sounds like pretty good news after all -- side effects are gruesome though and I firmly believe the med profession discounts their discomforts too much - they tend to brush them aside as if they're nothing -- but the patients are the ones who have to endure 24 hours day after day of them, right?

Sue, let me assure you - you and I will help our economy no doubt about it.... gotta hold up our end of it!! Glad you are going to get some p.t. for the ankle; I too feel stressed about being behind in the garden - hoping to make up for that this weekend -- but again, more rain in the forecast.... grrrr...

But today is a bright sunny 80 - I have had a tummy bug this week though and havent done a thing at nite; just gotta watch what I eat for a while I guess (boy is that hard for a gourmand...)so Im going to have to make up for lost time all day tomorrow.

I will try to look at all the photos and threads this weekend -- locked out of them here at the ofc as usual - flickr and picturetrail seem to now be verboten somehow... hope they dont find photobucket!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

THANK YOU Michelle! What motivation those are!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 4:51PM
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Anita, you didn't tell us what's going on in your corner of the world, silly! :) Thanks for leading us into yet another Idyll.

Woody, probably a good thing that so much is forgotten in 12 yrs., huh? Here's hopin' the side effects are temporary only. I think Cindy sure nailed it with respect to the medical profession. And it's some cold here, too. Overcast and very raw. I've wimped out completely and started a fire in the stove! We were joking at the beauty parlor that we may not be able to bring our parkas to the cleaner's until June.

I filled the tank on my wagon today and noted with some relief that it cost the same as it did last week. Hmmm... wonder why that cartoon reminded Ei of me... ?!

Good move on the PT, Sue. I figured you'd stall for another week/two, anyway. I think being "proactive" is smart for someone as active as you are... spring and summer is no time to layed up, as you know well.

Another one chuckling over busy, sticky little fingers reaching for the TV. Considered putting them in a cabinet and duct taping it shut? ;) And the idea of assembling anything with them in the vicinity clearly shows you to be a very courageous grandmother.

Your dingbat neighbor gave the bill collector YOUR number, Saucy? Isn't there some sort of sheltered workshop where she could spend her days at some quiet activity? Wow.

Michelle, you could come here and help me wade through the accumulated debris in the gahdens and the house... it would be easy on your injured paw, too. Isn't May Day the day that you used to hand a little basket of flowers on your best friend's door knob? I'm not familiar with Jack Sparrow, either.

We will be stimulating the service economy in a week/week and a half. I called the painting contractor today and gave him the go ahead. Have to call the gutter company to have the old ones taken down and replaced with new, seamless one. We have to take the windowboxes down and the awning hardware on the south side of the house. And there are a few cracked shingles that need to be replaced.

the forecast is OK for tomorrow, but rainy on Sunday. Looks as though I'll have a day for outside and one for inside. And I'm wondering if we ought to cancel the backhoe guy for Monday.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 5:39PM
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Hello everyone

Ei - Your joke made me chuckle and I will share it with the kids who can never get enough fart jokes. DH too for that matter.

Anita - it's nice you could pop in.

Saucy - I'm stunned at the gall of your neighbor. HOpe it is resolved smoothly.

Hi T - whatever you feel like sharing here it's nice to see you post. We each have our own level of comfort when it comes to details from our lives and I just enjoy seeing friends pop in to chat.

GB - good to hear Phoebe is on the mend.

Sue - hope your ankle responds to PT. It sounds like a whole new start inside your house.

At the risk of becoming tedious here is how I amused myself yesterday while watching TV. They might be easier to identify than Jack Sparrow - can anyone identify them all? They are each the size of a quarter. Annie is now addicted to making tiny characters too and is working on a set from her favorite movie.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 6:44PM
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Thanks for the input. Looks like we're happy right where we are. That's fine with me too. I'll be more careful and aware of what I'm sharing now though. It's been a nice rainy day here today and I can almost see the gardens growing before my eyes.

Woody, glad you got your report back and that's behind you for now. I hope it gives you some peace of mind for the time being. I'll keep thinking good thoughts for you!

Loved the cute and funny pictures posted by Mary and Ei! Both made me laugh!

Great to see Ei, Babs, and Honey. Hi Anita, I remember you but I think we had a few new people join in when you did and then drop out and I'm confused exactly which one you are (I'm sorry). Welcome back though!

A few pictures from yesterday

I have a little nursery hopping planned for tomorrow morning and I'm hoping to find time to start setting up the bog garden. Have a great weekend everyone.


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 7:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I love mayapples! I'm glad you are getting out tomorrow Eden. I hope you get to share some garden work from DD's one day.

Mary, sure looks like Harry Potter et al!

I thought May Day was the day you put Lily of the Valley on your true love's door! It is barely making its way above ground between the patio bricks less blooming. I wish it wouldn't do that. No sense of moderation that plant.

Groundhog, mallards, kingfisher, muskrat, geese and various spring birds were here today. I actually need to mow the grass once things dry out. I fear raking will be necessary too. I never feel on top of things in the garden. I always intend to be a bit ahead, but it never happens! I need live in garden helpers...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:01PM
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Syneilesis aconitifolia in the second pic Eden? I love those even more than may apples :) I need to check my little patch tomorrow. That fern peony is gorgeous too. I'm not a peony fan, but love the fern type. If I ever see one... :)

I am clueless on Mary's little people. I hope someone solves that.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:26PM
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Marie, my lov are just poking up too. I don't think I've ever felt ahead of the game in the garden but have learned to just enjoy the process.

T, meant to mention that we went through a time when Bella was in the early 2s when we kept the tvs unplugged. It was easier. Now she knows to flip the switch on the surge protector though. They learn fast!

Yep, Cynthia, shredded umbrella plant. I love it too!

Here's one last pic that I meant to post, darmera peltata. I think it's interesting how it blooms before the leaves come up.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Marys quiz
Harry,Hermoine, Ralph, the big giant guy in the woods, the creepy kid from the other team and Alan Rickman.

K in Napa, watering and packing

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:15PM
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Bravo Kathy - almost:0)

For those not as familiar with Harry Potter the little figures are:
Harry Potter, Hermione, Ron Weasley, Hagrid, Malfoy and Severus Snape (who was so wonderfully played by Alan Rickman). Annie's latest clay creations were Condoleeza Rice and George Bush. It's really fun to try and capture a person with a few features on a blob of clay less than an inch high.

Eden - Cool pictures. I've read about darmera peltata but never actually seen it in bloom, only the foliage. Is it very invasive? I have a vague recollection it's something to plant with care.

Woody - I hope hearing your report was a relief even though the future remains an unknown. I too will continue thinking about you and sending good and healing thoughts your way.

Hope you all have a good evening


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 9:46PM
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Hi Anita.

Mary its good to have you posting. I do still play guitar. I try to play a little everyday but have been hitting the garden pretty hard since I was so tired of being in the house.

Not up to posting much tonite. This head cold or whatever it is has me miserable. I did manage to get some paths mulched today.

Goodnite all. N

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 10:32PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls! :-)

Glad you thought my little joke was funny. *I* thought it was funny, but Paul says I'm easy...LOL! He's probably right, but I have a lot of fun! :-)

Woody...I'm so glad to hear that there is no brain swelling and I hope the side effects will abate soon. I think you are quite a woman...I admire your strength and will...and I mean that *sincerely*!

I have a lot of catching up to do to get up to speed on what is going on in all your lives, but I did want to tell Eden I think of you often and am sorry to hear about your sister. I'm sending my good thoughts and prayers for your whole family. LOL about the tattered umbrella plants. I have just a few little patch never seems to grow any larger. Your patch is lovely and reminded me of the first time I ever saw a mayapple. I was working for another garden design service and there was a customer whose property butted up to a woods. The "field" of mayapples was not to be believed...the sheer number just took my breath away. You know; one of those "aha" moments when you realize the beauty and magic that this world really holds. It's a memory I will never forget. I think your darmera peltata is so cool...the flowers remind me a bit of bergenia flowers. Can you tell me about darmera? I've never heard of them...I don't think. Are they the plants that get the *huge* leaves? Or are they some kind of bulb? What does the foliage look like? Your fern peonies are stunning too!

Mary you are just the most creative person! :-) I so enjoy seeing what you are "up to", though I have to confess I'm totally clueless, I don't know *who* Jack Sparrow is.

Hi T...what a cute story about the boys "helping you"!:-) And Hi Cindy...Bug...and well *everyone*! :-)

I can't stay too long, but will try to be better about keeping in touch. Life has been pretty busy. I've been working for a temp service. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either...LOL! The good thing is I can turn down jobs that don't fit my schedule...the bad thing is I have no schedule...LOL! Well, you all probably know I've been in and out of work for a few years now, which doesn't give potential employers a lot of confidence in me - that and my age....I *think* that's what the problem is anyway! Well, whatever, I realized that I had to start building up some work history if I ever wanted to get hired for a job I really want. But it's kind of the tail chasing the dog thing. Can't get hired cause I don't have a recent (decent) work history, can't get a decent work history cause I can't get hired...LOL! Oh well, I'm hoping this temp thing may lead to something. I was offered a job with Phillips Florist out here doing interiorscapes for their customers, but unfortunately they give mileage, but no gas and I would have to use my own car (which has turned out to be a gas hog). We sold our other car, so we only have the one now and it has to last a looooong time, so between gas and wear and tear, Paul convinced me that the job wouldn't be good for us right now.

Did catch you all talking about "being green". It's been a part of my life for a long time now, as it is for all us gardeners (I think). But in the last year we have made some serious changes too....including changing over to mostly all CFL lights. I really don't mind the looks of them, but does anybody else have a problem with them being slow to "fire up"? Mine start out so dim...but get brighter after they've been on for a few minutes. I don't have the CFL's in any of the stairways or halls for just that reason. I have definitely been more recycle conscious and remember to turn off the lights *every time* and trying to get use to brushing my teeth *without* the water running and same with showers, though I have to say I *miss* my long hot showers! :-( I also joined a suburban green society. Lots of fun, kind, intelligent, involved people, who I greatly admire, but they are light years away from me in their consciousness. They introduced me to raw food. Have to wasn't for me (the food that is). But I'm sure it is very good for you.

Anyway, I'd love to stay and chat more, but I'm pooped. Been a gardening and "plant start" growing full (Deanne would be proud of me)! :-) I did get the gardens all cleaned up...wish I had taken pics of the daffs blooming...they were phenomenal this year. Mom is doing pretty well all and all, the mind (I don't think it's my imagination) seems a little better since she started with the Aricept, even though her old doctor said it wouldn't help her. Unfortunately she is losing her eyesight and we're not sure what can be done about it. I take her for a 2&1/2 hour test next Thursday. Sis is doing well. She gets bad blood tests now and again, but everything always seems to turn out okay when she goes for scans. The biggest news is that she has started a diet! I'm so happy for her and so proud I could bust my buttons! :-) I hope she loses some weight she doesn't get discouraged.

Oh...and the other old thing I've been doing is a little film with Johnny Depp...LOL! Okay, so our eyes only met a few time...but I'm almost *certain* the smile and wave he gave was meant just for me....LOL! Seriously I was just an extra, but it was a blast...even if they did shoot about 25 takes and we had to stay on the set until almost 2:00 a.m. *and* if I'm *really* lucky I may even get to catch myself for a second on the screen! :-) So...I thought you guys might enjoy a preview (just in case I end up on the cutting room floor). Wish I had a pic with the coat was so cool looking! :-)

LOL...there I am with my mouth always!

P.S. LOL Chelone, I guess I always thought that you and Sue were especially fond of gas jokes! :-)

Good Night All! TTYS...I promise!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 11:49PM
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Yes, I have to confess that I've never really outgrown a fondness for what Mum used to call, "bathroom humor". Must've gotten that from the old man who was particularly fond of, "pull my thumb", even suckering the helpmeet once (to Mum's horror). One more reason I'm unfit for parenthood. Anyone need a babysitter?

Eden I love the Fern Leaf Peony, the buds look as though they've been burnished! And I've been interested in Darmera peltata for years, too, being the sucker for interesting foliage that I am. But, like Mary I've cast a wary eye on it (like the varigated Petasites), fearful of its reputation for wandering ways. I'll be interested to note your experience with it. And I, too, love May Apples. Some years ago a woman in town offered me as many of her's as I wanted, but I had to place ready for them, and couldn't beat the backhoe to her yard because Mum was with me. Another missed opportunity, rats!

Lookin' pretty natty, Ei. Love the pheasant feather in your "lid". I think the concept behind Aricept is to slow the loss of memory, isn't it (I forget, lol)? Mum's excellent doctor didn't think it would help her because it was believed most of her mental damage was stroke related, but the nursing home was quick to tack it on (what a surprise).

I have a special sympathy for those facing dementia in loved ones. It exacts a heavy toll and until you've walked that path you have no idea how crippling it can be and how insideously it invades the private side of your life and colors your view of the rest of the world. It has taught me to be more patient and forgiving, but much less tolerant of meanspiritedness and cruelty, lessons I hope will never leave me. It's difficult to maintain a sense of humor but it's the only way you'll survive, at least that's how it was for me. Hang tough.

There is much to do today. I am going to start by emptying the windowboxes, so they may be taken down for the painters. Then I'm going to try to get the terrace gardens cleaned up. Not sure how much will get done, the weatherlady was unwilling to commit as to whether or not it was going to be showery today. Plenty to do indoors, though. (this place is a HOLE).

I watched the weather last night and the poor folk in the center of country were getting slammed... I watched the footage of the tornado and the golf ball sized hail with amazement. I'm some glad I'm not in South Dakota, too.

I found the first Lily Leaf beetle yesterday. Mercifully, it was dead, floating in a flooded pot saucer. But I dutifully checked the emerging lilies and found no others. They sure do a lot of damage for such a handsome beetle. :( .

Time to turn on the classical hour and wait for Weedend Edition. The Today show is a pretty poor excuse for a "news" program, they ought to be ashamed of themselves. ;) Tom Cruise is NEWS? yeah, right.

Time to hang some laundry. (another "green" thing we do... no dryer or dishwasher, or is that just a poverty thing?). Later, gators.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 7:12AM
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Ei, I had so much fun reading your post with my coffee and ending it with Kermie :) (said in my best Miss Piggy voice). We used to cozy up to the tv as a family to watch The Muppet Show. I remember it being fun for everyone to watch. Now I need to know which film to watch for you! I'm sure Johnny was directing that smile right at you - you look fantastic!!!

Temping was how I found a great job for myself when I first moved to MA. I think it's a good way to fill up the resume and shop for employers :)

Mary, I knew who most of them were! Sarah, Jake, and I often play with modeling clay - are you using Fimo? I need to watch for a sale. Sarah and Jake like to make "creatures" with odd colors and funny faces. Sarah's into giving everyone a uni-brow these days :) I really would like to try making beads.

Eden, how fun to see your garden - my favorite is the JM and tulip combo! You always have the most interesting plants. We saw a display at the nursery we visited that reminded me of the deep sink garden you have. I'm really happy that I have seen your garden in person!

My whole day is taken up with Softball Opening Day. I know I'll have fun once I get there, but I'm dragging my feet this morning!

Jake went to a school dance last night. Sarah and I went to go pick him up in the car with Zeus in the backseat. Everyone got a kick out of seeing Zeus and it gave Jake a good laugh.

So, the latest in the neighbor saga: The house is a duplex, and she's been a bad landlord all along....a family showed up last night. Turns out she took their first and last months rent knowing she was being foreclosed upon. The police were here. I wonder what else is coming down the pike?

I'm okay. When this first started happening, GB, I was having panic attacks thinking about the old neighbor! This one really is crazy though, and there is no reasoning with her. I just avoided her and did not engage in anything she tried to do to me (she would call to tell me how she hasn't been able to rent the house because of me). I think I have made it through and I AM OKAY!


I'd better get this show on the road....Sarah's gotta wear white pants in the mud! LOL, they might be "tan" for her next game :)


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 7:40AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good damp morning!

Figures, don't it - another rainy weekend. I guess I'll finish up some indoor chores, like putting away the snow boots and winter coats. It will snow now for sure...maybe we'll be safe if I leave the snow shovel by the back door a while longer...

So nice to see spring at other Idyll gardens, just loving it. Maybe I'll get out there with the camera when things dry up a little. Was I whining about lack of rain just last week? Our mail carrier wisely says we shouldn't complain too loudly about the weather, it is one of the few things left that is not taxable.

Mary, all the minis are great! I recognized the Harry Potter crew right away, but I did have to google Jack Sparrow. The lemon and his mail-order bride cracked me right up.

Ei, nice to see you - and in a snazzy outfit too! What were you doing in shot that you filmed?

Sue, I'm glad you opted to try physical therapy. I've done it twice; once for a pinched nerve in my neck and once when I dislocated my shoulder. The therapist I had for my neck told me that knowledge is power, and knowing how to move and what not to do etc. is the key to preventing re-injury. I'm sure it will help you.

I'll leave you all with a picture of my DS - he volunteered to don the Clifford costume for the kindergarteners at the school book fair - he was given strict instructions not to talk, just like the characters at Disney World. He commented that it was hard to see inside that head.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 7:50AM
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Hey, I missed you while I was typing about myself....HI CHELONE!

You always have such a way with comforting words :) My grandmother's dementia often hurt feelings, but I will always remember walking up her front walk and she looked at me and said, "Saucy, is that you?" She remembered me at a different part of my life, but she remembered me. It was hard for my dad, and hard for me to watch!

She's buried under a buckeye tree :) I have some of the buckeyes and carry one for good luck.

I might do a thread on my grandmother, if you all can stand it! She would have liked this forum. She was a very public woman, LOL - always put on a show! She liked for our family to be in the paper (in a good way, of course, LOL)! She was someone to look up to.

I haven't thought about her in a while....I am bad to store things "away" in my mind.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 7:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Saucy, I would LOVE a grandmother story!!!!

Hi Clifford! :)

Chelone, that's how it was and is for me as well....

Today, May 3rd, is a special awareness day. People don't think of kids when they think of stroke, but there are thousands of kids out there who are stroke survivors. So here's to all those kids and to all their parents for everything they do for them.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:21AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Once again I am behind. And not enough time to post a lot, but I wanted to share a picture with you. DD took this at school before she came home.

And she also told me that she taught the straw trick to the members of her sorority. I love that girl!

V., off to pick up her Aesculus parviflora!!!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Don't forget Bayer Tree & Shrub (systemic) is effective against the lily leaf beetles. My sister in Mass has hundreds of oriental lilys and it works for her. Imidacloprid is the active ingredient. These buggers haven't migrated to Maryland yet but I'm sure it's only a matter of time.

Green. I've been using Trader Joe's cloth or insulated bags for years now. I have a big collection of them that always seem to be hanging by the kitchen door and no more than two in the car when I get to the store. Results in less shopping or more reusable bag buying. I do use the CFLs in most of the downstairs lights and some upstairs. But agree they haven't come up with a bright enough one for reading lamps, so I still use the incandescent 100 watts where I need to be able to SEE. Trees to keep the house cool are always a good idea, hows that for enabling gardeners.... Does vacumming as little as possible conserve lots of energy ?!

Harry Potter people. I was thinking they must be characters from an opera. Thanks Kathy & Mary for the IDs there. They do look like fun Mary, I'm always impressed by the way your crative juices flow.

Eden, I managed to kill my Darmera Peltata some years ago by moving them to the 'wet' part of the yard. They were doing fine in dry shade and I thought the move would kick them up a notch. They never came back after that. Mary, they're supposed to be invasive at stream side. But in typical gardening conditions should be innocuous.

Overcast here today and should be good gardening weather, but I have to get dressed first and coffee in my nightclothes is much too comfy. I split the pot of Eucomis a few weeks ago, moving the Sparkling Burgandy to a larger pot and putting the plain green variety in the ground. Or so I thought. Now I see I have burgandy in the ground and green potted as if they were precious. Drat.

I had to cut down the Hoopsi blue spruce yesterday. The back of it was just too pathetic. But knowing how slowly my brain works, I just cut off all of the branches and then the top of the tree leaving a 6 foot pole in case I think of some use for it. Any ideas? If not, I'll chop down the pole next week-end. The trunk isn't large enough to support a high altitude bird bath, and bird house is too typical I think. Hmmm.

Ok, time to make good use of this precious 'day off.'

Later, Cynthia

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:25AM
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Good morning

Ei - your posts are always so much fun too! Love the Johnny Depp outfit. DH, who moves in higher circles than me for his work, has had dinner with Johhny and his wife. I don't think he appreciated the opportunity as much as I would;0) Hope the temping leads to something perfect for you.

Hi Wendy - as another mother of teenage daughter you might identify with this. For Annie's birthday I am taking her and BFF to hear the band Panic at the Disco. Unfortunately the concert is on a Tuesday night but hopefully won't run too late. I'm rather dreading going but the girls are so incredibly excited I will put on a brave face, a pair of ear plugs and try and smile my way through the evening.

Saucy - we use either Fimo or SCulpy or whatever is on sale. Everything I make is so tiny a block lasts forever. I too would like to try bead making.

A grandmother thread sounds a wonderful idea!

Time to get going on the day. David is having an early (8.30 AM) guitar lesson here at the house and I should check and see how they are doing.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:04AM
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Idylls have sure perked up a dreary morning! Too wet to garden, not enough rain to stay inside, what's a person to do???? LOL

Marie -- Another take on raised beds. This one faces due south so the tripods will hold tomatos and won't shade anything else. Something colorful will go in the pot, and marigolds will be on the outside edge all around as a rabbit resistor:

A few more signs of spring hope. Particularly good year for seeding:

Off to the Garden Club plant sale. I hope lousy weather = good selection!

Later, friends ..


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:37AM
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Alternate ID for Marys jack Sparrow : Keith Richard with a facelift.

No time this morning, we head for the airport shortly, waiting for DS to finish his toilette'. Thought I'd just say hi , welcome back to Ei (jaunty chapeau and all!)and hope I can drop in from time to time from the Northwest ..
Hope all Idylls enjoy their weekends !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:59AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well, big surprise, the weather people made a mistake again. Originally we were supposed to have just a cloudy day and now we are having a rainy day so I wont be able to do the outside work originally planned. Doug decided to take a week off so we can get the rest of the spring projects finished including cleaning the pond and getting the fishies outside. (cant wait Im tired of the weekly aquarium cleanup). Yesterday I finally got that painting shipped out to my customer so my time slate is clean for a week or so also. Can you see me rubbing my hands together in anticipation over having a week of dedicated garden time.

Yesterday I made my first trip over to the Mixed Border in Hollis and was over the moon because I found a Cotinus Golden Spirit to replace that Sambucus. They also had some nice full pots of Echinacea White Swan so I bought three to replace what the rodents ate over the winter. Im probably going to go back and pick up some Platycodon Fuji Pink as mine still hasnt emerged so I guess the rodents got that too. I picked up a Betty Corning to plant at the base of my Buddleia Pink Delight Ill see how that goes. They both are really strong growers so hopefully will pair up well. I also found my alyssum at HD so bought a couple flats and have that all planted. I also was able to plant the Echinacea and Cotinus too so Im a happy camper.

Speaking of HD, they have some lovely new containers in their designer line this year. They have some really huge ones that are a bit pricy but I think are worth the price.

Hi Anita, nice to see you again.

Michelle, I decided to skip replacing the Sutherland Gold because it was always having parts die off right from the get go and almost everyone Ive spoken to about that Sambucus says that they all do it. Sooo. I think that Cotinus will be a better choice for me as it has that lovely chartreuse foliage and can be kept pruned to whatever size I want to keep it. Im hoping it works out the way I want.

HI T. great to have a post from you!

Eileen, ROTFLOL! Love the joke. I cracked up. ~~ love your pic! Great to see you. Hope you can find a job youre happy with. Im in the same boat as you RE finding a job after being self-employed for so long. There just isnt anything out there I could get because of not being in the work force since 1982. Ive decided to continue with my teaching and painting as long as I can get customers. LOL

Saucy, unbelievable about your crazy neighbor. How did you get such negative next door neighbor karma? Thats really strange about the debt collector.

Woody, glad to hear you got positive results from you MRI. I hope you dont get any more side effects from the procedure.

Cindy, I can totally empathize with you about the harassing phone calls from bill collectors as we are still getting them from DDs mess of a couple years ago. I get the exact same msg about if youre not so and so, hang up the phone, then if you dont pick up you get the long winded message about it being IMPERATIVE that you contact this number. Ive gotten so used to the darned things now that its just trained me to not answer my telephone.

Mary, love the Harry Potter minis! You are way too clever. Love the Harry and Hagrid ones. Too cute!

Eden, thank you, thank you for posting those shots!!! Beautiful! I especially love the fern leaved peony. What a gorgeous plant. I think I need to find a location for one of those here. ~~ LOL that Bella knows how to throw the switch on the surge protector for the power to the TV. Clever girl!

Safe trip Kathy, take lots of pics for us!

Norma, sorry youre feeling under the weather. Here is that promised photo of the plant support my DB made for me

The unit behind it is a piece I bought at Sams a couple years ago. It came with glass shelves but I just like the structure of it in the garden. At some point Im going to rig a base for the three tiers and line them with coco fiber so I can make a planting in it.

Wendy, oh no! dont you put away those boots! You are going to make it snow! LOL Doug and I were just talking about doing some major house cleanup on the second floor. (He needs to clean up the piles of stuff on the desk upstairs as they are nearing critical mass and will topple onto the floor sometime soon) I think Ill work with the indoor plants a bit after my gym duty. ~~ Love the Clifford pic!

v. gorgeous photograph! Your DD did very well.

Cynthia, thanks for the reminder about the Bayer for the lily beetles. I need to treat soon as Ive seen quite a few of the beasties around and about although if the rodents have their way I wont have any lilies left for the beetles. LOL

Martie, great pics. Love the veggie garden with the urn in the center. I really enjoyed seeing your babies under lights.

OK I guess its time for me to get off this computer and get something productive done with this day. Later all

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 10:45AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oh, the heartbreak of Aesculus! It was canceled from my order yet again...

V. :(

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 1:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Spring hope indeed. I see SUN!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:29PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What a bummer, V-- they get you all excited but dont tell you ahead of time? Poo...

Cynthia - it's interesting what a few miles distance makes - I got up about 8 a.m. this morning (unusual for me on a Sat as I do love to sleep in) but it was gloriously sunny and I had to run to the vet to get a Chloe med - I was picturing you hard at work in the wonderful weather -- I managed to work about 4 hours before it started getting pretty warm -- it only got cloudy later about 4 -- if I hadnt been so tired, I'd have worked more; but the body was at its limit....

Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean -- of course, Kathy already knew that...

Martie, that potager looks lovely. Michelle - those links re same you posted are really really special -- really clever. You're so organized to keep that info "filed" somewhere.

Love your outfit, Ei - how special to be an extra in a movie!! Glad to hear your sister is doing so well too -- my MIL has been taking aricept for about 4 years now - it definitely helped her w/ her dementia and ability to do some voluntary decisionmaking (like remembering she loves to bake bread and how to do it...). Altho there's been some decline -- she's also 89 now.... so you have to expect a decline. I hope it helps your Mom.

Im actually hoping we might get some rain tonite to help those thirsty plants I planted today -- tomorrow the agenda hopefully is to deal w/ the clems and a couple of trees I ordered... I am sad to see that for some reason a lot of my peonies do not seem to have any buds on them this year... dont know the problem -- piffle; maybe I didnt fertize in the fall (my guess would be yes on that as i did so little gardening last autumn) - well, im paying the price now..

Deanne - you made a nice score at the nursery! boy, Im so tempted to hit a few, but i need to be strongwilled and get the stuff I've got in the ground.

The roses are getting ready to pop; a few first blooms already; several clems are starting or have fat buds; the iris are coloring up -- if it doesnt turn 85 or 90 quickly, there might be some great color in a week.

Hope Kathy comes back w/ the requisite babe pics and newly smitten g-ma pride; but that's okay there are so many here who hate kids and dawgs....

Well, have to rustle something to eat together..


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Always sad when a racehorse breaks down and is euthanized (Eight Bells). :( Horse racing may be the sport of kings, but it is a business, first and foremost. And sometimes tragic things happen.

Deanne called it, it rained intermittantly all day long. Everything is soaked so I bagged any thought of messing arund in the gardens. I bagged emptying the windowboxes too, opting to scour the bathroom instead. And I do mean scour! I sorted and threw out all sorts of unused hair products, lotions, etc.. I have yet to figure out where the Preparation H came from (Aunt Betty's apartment?). I spent nearly 4 hrs. on it, which speaks well of my thoroughness and ill of our daily maintenance. :)

Thinking of softball and tan pants, Clifford the Big Red Dog, recently mailed artwork, all the nice shots of hard work and garden hope, and the disappointment of a missing Aesculus And the beautiful photograph of fallen Magnolia petals. Also thought of little boys failing to pack underwear as I carried the helpmeet's waterproof boots down to him this morning. ;)

Now I'm thinking about flossing, brushing and toddling off to bed and some time with Eleanor of Acquitaine and my Little Missy Squarekins (Vera).

I'm pooped!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:59PM
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The tree came down today. I'm pooped too. It was unexpected, but had to be moved to today because of several different circumstances, including inclement weather.

I wanted to post a grandmother thread and became upset at my lack of photos. I remembered that I left them all in TN with my sister. I do have a photo to share that is my favorite (maybe 2) but I don't have the photographic story that I wanted to tell :)

This is Elizabeth canoeing my favorite lake:

And here she and R.V. are on their wedding day....which one do I favor (or not)?

Chelone, that is a job that I need to do. LOL, my mother has taught me to try to use up products instead of tossing them (ie, use the eye cream for a great foot massage, etc.)...not sure what I'd do with the prep H!!!

Martie, that is quite the seed operation there! Nick and I know what you and yours are going through....lots of our friends are seeing the same times.

Cindy, I did find some humor in the call since it wasn't directed at me or someone I really care for :) I hear you on getting current plants in the ground.

I took lots of pix of the newly naked backyard! Had to get a "toss away" camera for the job!

I've gotta go help everyone get out of the house....they're just now finishing up outside.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 7:55PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh cool, pictures! I'm so tired I can barely see straight.
This weekend is the annual PetSmart adoption weekend.
That means instead of killing ourselves one day over the weekend we get to do it for 3 days!! :-\
It went well, 2 adoptions, 2 application on dogs requiring home visits. We'll do it all again tomorrow.

I barely started reading and I saw the comment below. "Doug decided to take a week off so we can get the rest of the spring projects finished "

Now I have to ask Deanne, does Doug have a brother???! LOL


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Calling all dog Mom's. My 'new' foster Annie is an 18 MO Shep mix. She is very energetic of course, but she also BARKS at every dog that walks by her in PetSmart. You can imagine how this goes over. People think she's 'aggressive' and she's really not. Just wants to play.
Any ideas? Chelone, do you have room in the doggie boot camp? I need to take some training classes but who has time? :(


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:12PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

OK, the deal is done. With the exception of a few odds and ends, Tom has moved out. I am officially single and living alone. Can you say yahoo? Although the garden was calling I spent the day overseeing the move and trying to put rooms back in some semblance of order. Living in squalor is not high on my list. Probably more of the same tomorrow.

Now it's time to sleep. Enjoy what's left of it.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 10:09PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Unfortunately, no real time to chat, but wanted to pop in and say how much I'm enjoying all the great pics...I agree Saucy...I *love* that pic of Elizabeth too. What a lovely, flirty smile. I really love that time period. I mean look at Elizabeth, she's in a swimsuit and rowing a boat and she *still* manages to look glamorous and feminine.

Mary...the DH didn't take you with him to the dinner! :-(
Well, I guess business is business, but I'm so sad for you. I love his daughter's name...Lily Rose! :-)

As to the's called Public Enemies and takes place in the 1930's. Depp plays John Dillinger. I think the film comes out next summer? I'm not really sure. The scene I play in is I'm sure, just a very minor scene that may not even make it to the screen, but anyway, it takes place at night outdoors on the streets of Chicago. Our part was to come off our porches and step onto the street when we see the police motorcade coming by and stare into the police car holding Johnny Depp. The directors instructions were that the woman should "swoon" when we see him (as you can imagine it took all my acting skills to swoon when I saw Johnny Depp...LOL!). Anyway, we were to swoon, smile, wave, and then chase after the motorcade down the street running and waving at his car. Apparently, we were told that during that time, John Dillinger was a bit of a folk hero. I was lucky enough to be right in the front when his car came down the street, so I *might* actually make it in the scene. Anyway, he's in the car in handcuffs and raises his hands, smiling and waving to the crowd. It was a lot of fun...not just seeing Johnny Depp, but just being there with all the cool old cars and all the woman and men looking so dapper. As I said...I *love* that time period (the fashion of it I mean). Anyway, some of the extras on the set were regulars and we had a lot of fun hearing about their experiences during breaks in the scene...quite a lot of characters...LOL! One thing I was bummed about is absolutely "NO PICTURES ALLOWED!*. We were given 4 rules that under no circumstance were to be broken. #1) No cameras. #2) No phones. #3) No talking to the actors. #4 No asking when you will be able to go home. They repeated those rules over and over and yet, there were still some people who brought their cell phones onto the set. Anyway, that was my big excitement.

Well today was a red banner day! I saved some goslings!
:-) Me and sis were out shopping for some patio furniture for her and we were on this *very busy* street when traffic just seemed to stop for no apparent reason. Well I look and I see 5 baby, baby geese (barely walking) in the middle of the road. My heart was in my throat and without thinking I turned to Anita and said "I'm getting out". I ran to the street trying to gather the little ones and trying to keep them in a group and away from traffic. As it turned out another lady stopped too and she was helping me try to gather them. One by one I was scooping them up and putting them on the grassy meridian. They were so tiny they couldn't even make it up the curb without help. Anyway, when I had them all gathered it finally came to me "I can't leave them here either...they'll end up back in the street!" Mom was *nowhere* to be found. So I look around for just a second, trying and figure out what to do. When I look back down there is only one gosling left! I mean it happened that quick! My head was spinning and I was heart sick, but what could I do? I scooped the one little thing up and held it to my chest as I made my way back to my sister's car....with a very heavy heart. I turned to Anita and said, "I don't care...I can't leave him here...I'm taking him home with me!" We start driving and I have him pressed against my chest and he's making his little baby goose cries and I'm just wondering...*what* am I gonna do? I tell Anita thanks for stopping for me...she laughs and says "Well, I didn't have much were halfway out the door before I stopped!" Anyway, she looks in her rearview mirror and says..."isn't that the lady that was helping you?" So we turn the car around and I yell out the you know what happened to the other babies? She says "yes, I found their mom and another lady helped me get the babies across to her and she points in the direction of "mom". So Anita turns the car around again and sure enough we see mom and a couple other geese standing in the grass near a pond...with four little babies standing around her. So I jump out of the car bend down and put my baby in the grass and I tell you it was the *cutest* thing....he waddle runs to her all the time making his little baby sounds. I could almost hear him saying..."Momma, Momma". Too cute! Of course mom was also adorable and very appreciative, I could tell, by the way she opened her mouth stuck out her tongue and hissed at me...LOL! Anyway, I scolded her and told her to keep her kids off the street from now on. I can't tell you the song in my heart to see them all safe and reunited. There was just *no way* I was going to let anything happen to those babies if I could help it. Just last week I saw the most traumatic thing (for me anyway) and the whole incident just haunts me and makes me want to cry everytime I see a duck now. I was driving down another busy street when I see this male duck standing at the edge of the curb, just staring down. I follow his eyes and I see his dead mate laying next to the curb...I tell you I could cry...I *did* cry in fact. I am not kidding you...I *swear* I could see the grief in his broke my heart! I had heard once that ducks mate for life. Anyway, I'm driving home and I'm thinking..."What can I do?" I'm imagining him just standing there all day long, grief stricken, waiting for his wife to stand up and go off with him. I can't stand it. I drop Scout off at home and decide I'm going back. I will get a box and a pair of gloves, pick up his wife, take her home and bury her and then *maybe* he will go off when he no longer sees her. I'm sick at the thought of doing it, but I'm determined. Anyway, someone else must have had the same thought as I, because when I get back (about 30 minutes later), the female duck is gone and so is the male. I like to think that some kind stranger had the same thought as me and took care of the body. I *hope* so anyway. Anyway, that image still haunts me and I know it's not always the smart decision, but I've sworn myself to do whatever I need to do to spare an animal...otherwise I'll never be able to live with myself. Some how saving those little goslings has eased the painful memory a bit. glad to hear the daylilies are doing well for you...I hope they all bloom this year and if they do, I'd love to see a pic. Remember my promise, if I gave you lyrical presence instead of swirling waters, then let me know cause I'll mark swirling waters this year and send you those.

Well, that's about it for me tonight...did I say I was in a hurry? LOL! Looking forward to gazing at all of Deanne's garden pics and Paul's blog tomorrow with a warm cup of coffee...what a pleasant thought...can't wait until tomorrow.

P.S. Pooh V! :-( Now I really wish I had got you that end of the year pretty sad looking Aesculus that one year at Sunrise, at least by now it would be looking good under your care. Anyway, I was so bummed to hear that you Aesculus didn't come through that I did a little research...and guess what? Sunrise is carrying them again this's the link:

They are $50.00, but from what I remember they were a pretty nice size. I probably won't be going to sunrise this year (though I really love the place) as it is so far and with the cost of gas and my gas hog car it's just too frivolous for me...but a girl on a mission like you should get over will find lots of things to spend your money on! :-) Also, here's a link to another place maybe a bit closer to you...

I don't know if they sell retail, but I'm sure *you* could probably work something out.

And finally, if all else fails I can tell you another place to find them, but I don't want to post the nursery here because there's some "heads up" information I have to give you about this place that I don't want to make public. Just email me if you're interested.

Oh...and speaking of ducks...I thought I'd share this funny pic with all of you....

These three ducks (there's a 3rd one not in the pic) have been hanging around my house for about a month now. Perhaps it has something to do with the cracked corn I put out for them every morning...LOL! But anyway one Saturday Paul calls me outside to look on the roof and there they were getting a "bird's eye view" and a suntan! :-)

Isn't the white one odd? Do you think it was maybe someone's pet at some time? I've never seen a "wild" white duck...but she is a real beauty and very healthy looking....

Okay, I would tell you the other reason today was a red banner day, but I'll have to save that for another day...I'm off to bed now as we have to get up very early tomorrow...Goodnight All!


    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:00PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Just checking my post and see you Sue! Thought I'd say "Hi" and let you know a friendly face is seeing you and thinking of you...Hope tomorrow will be a more pleasant day...Ei

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Jerri, I'll look up barking control tomorrow. I'm off to bed now, POOPED!

Sue, I'm so glad you can move on now. I want pictures of the new rooms if you can...before and afters. Are the dogs confused?

Here's a new addition that followed me home:

And here's my pathetic little Phoebe feeling a bit better.

And, after the rain, so green!!!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:07PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Wow Bug! That "after the rain" pic is just the most serene and picturesque I've ever seen...that calls for a frame and a spot of honor on the wall...LOVELY!

Poor little Phoebe...she's such a doll, but does look unhappy...poor little girl. How long will she have to wear the collar?

Cool fern!

Okay, I'm off now...I've got to get to bed! Good Night!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

May 4th...

May the 4th be with you all!

I know, but it was fun...

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 11:29PM
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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.

Chelone...LOL...your "admonishment" has been heard. I got caught up in the excitement of starting a new Idyll, I forgot to mention what's happening here. Tonight, I'm tired. DH and I babysit on Sat. nights for our two grandsons, 6 & 3. Adorable and energetic, but I'm tired when they leave. LOL.

Weather here has been up and down for weeks now. Friday brought 1 1/2 inches of rain in less than an hour (official reading at O'hare airport.) It left standing puddles of water everywhere. Today was misty, but I was at work all day so didn't mind. Need to get outside tomorrow and mow for the first time this year. I actually like mowing, but love to work in the borders much more. I haven't taken any photos this spring yet, but will do so tomorrow before all the spring beauties are gone.

I have made progress on ridding my beds of excess Campanula "Glomeratas." They were a "gift" from my MIL. They didn't get aggressive until their fourth year...then look out. Same with LOV...I have someone coming to dig them out. He wants them for under his pine tree. I'm saving him a lot of money, but he's doing me a big favor.

Wendy...great DS you have to help out with the Clifford costume. Sending special thoughts out for your mom.

V...too bad about the cancellation of your Aesculus. Are they hard to find at nurseries? Do they sucker a lot? The pic your daughter took is amazing. Cherry blossoms, right?

'bug...WOW...your "After The Rain" photo is stunning. Ei summed it up perfectly.Love your new fern. Is it an annual for you? I've never heard of it. Phoebe looks adorable.

eden...Love your mayflowers. Mine look the same with their droopy heads. Beautiful pic of darmera. I need to look that one up. Very interesting looking. I especially love your tulip and j.maple photo.

Mary...adorable Harry Potter clay figures. I'm a huge fan of the books. I can't believe DH didn't invite your along for his Johnny Depp dinner. WOW, how exciting for him, though.

cynthia...sorry you're losing a tree. Do you know any carvers in the area? A neighbor of ours had a tree trunk carved into a bear and is it ever gorgeous.

ei...great picture of you. Very retro looking. How exciting for you to have seen J. Depp in person. Can't wait to see you in the movie...of course they wouldn't dare have you end up on the cutting room floor. It's neat that you have a sister named Anita. Great "duck on roof" shot.

chelone...No dryer of dishwasher? I am impressed.

cynthia...thanks for bringing up reusable grocery bags. I feel guilty every time I use plastic bags, and try to remember to get the reusable ones. But I'd need a lot. So I was toying with the idea of just bringing in a large tupperware. I can empty it out onto the belt and put it back in after it's rung up. Sounds okay in theory, but not sure if it's practical. I do use the CFL bulbs, but hate how long it takes to "light" up...especially the outside ones.

triple creek...hope your head cold is getting better.

saucy...looking forward to hearing how the crazy neighbor saga unfolds. I commented on the other thread, but wanted to repeat it that I'm impressed with your navy service. How great that must have been.

sue...It sounds like you are adjusting well to all the changes in your life. Good thoughts going out to you.

deanne...great plant selections. I've tried Sambucus twice, and they both died. So no more. I like the smoke trees better, too. What a great DH to help by taking off a week to garden. Looks like DB helps too...great looking support he made for you.

Regarding is so sad to see a loved one slowly fading away. My grandmother was a big part of my life and to "lose" her two years before she died left a huge ache. She lived to be 102, but the last two years were so hard.

Well, you must all be getting sick of me, so 'nite for now.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 12:50AM
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Jerri,I recommend frequent and severe beatings, it's the perfect solution (for so many things). Our Wrecks is a "barker". Very vocal, with an astounding array of sounds from little whines, to resigned sighs, to low growls (that are more vibrations than growls), to the real growl, and excited yips to full on alert barking. He doesn't carry on too long, but it is disconcerting for many people; esp. when we encounter another dog on walks. I have had limited success with, "Quiet", mostly (I think) because the helpmeet does not use or enforce it regularly. As 'bug knows it's important that everyone who handles the dog be on the same page and use the same commands. The trainer we worked with mentioned that Shepherds are a vocal breed? I do not believe I will ever be able to silence our brindle orator, so use the "down stay" to enforce obedience and then work on "Quiet" when we meet other dogs. The "down stay" demonstrates obedience and control to others and gives me a chance to wave and speak to the other person. I've found that to be a tough aspect of Wrecks' training, frankly.

What do you do for work, Anita? if you told us I either missed it or have since forgotten. Kids are little perpetual motion machines as "t" can testify, no doubt. I'll bet your tired; can't be easy answering all those questions and keeping little minds suitably occupied.

Saucy, I see the family resemblance... I also see Sarah in your grandmother's wedding shot... the eyes. How old are those photographs? If I recall correctly your Gramma has a beauty parlor, didn't she? I love that you carry a buckeye for good luck. :)

Oh brother, we have people up to their eyes in dog rescue and now we're moving into GOSLING rescue? where will it end? I saw a similarly sad sight a year ago, Ei. when there was a Mallard drake milling around the body of his mate on the yellow line of Rte. One. I wonder at what point they give up and move on. I think removing the hen and burying her was a good move. I hate to see animals rot away by the side of the road, too. :(

I will be joining you inside today, too, Sue. Another rainy, misty, utterly sodden day in the forecast. But I'm OK with it. I have plenty that really needs doing indoors and I'm rather in the mood to "feather the nest" a bit. Hope the "nesting" bug has infected you, too. Mum always used to tell me not to fret about housework because, sooner or later, the bug would strike and the necessary cleaning would get done and it would be fun. It was good advice. I'll bet you're relieved to have your own space now. Happy for you.

Cindy, I hope the insurance wars are settled soon. I often wonder at the inability of adjustors to look at something with practical eyes. For Pete's sake, what difference does it make that you chose a soft yellow for the walls instead of white; prices for paint vary according to the tint in the base and the tints added; he should look at the formulae for some of the many "whites" out there! And painting 1/2 the stairwell wall? even if you had painted white there'd be a line of demarcation. Penny wise and pound foolish... it's wise to treat good, long-term customers with some respect and a nod to their common sense, I'd think. Your garden is so much more advanced in the season than mine; reading Idyll descriptions is sort of like watching a movie preview. :)

Gotta get outdoor and WALAT with the helpmeet and the Huge One.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 7:45AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

Well, Hmmmppppfffff.. Another pouring, wet, cold, miserable day outside. There will be no gardening work accomplished today. I wish I felt as motivated to get some of those household time projects done. (You know, the projects you say youll get to when you have the time.) Unfortunately, Ive no motivation whatsoever to paint any trim or wash toilets. My bathrooms could use the kind of attention Chelone paid to hers. LOL They are clean enough to be healthy but the cabinets need to be cleaned out of all that stuff that accumulates and shower could stand to be re-caulked etc. but alas, Im not even a little bit interested in pursuing those activities. I think Ill go and make a few more cuttings. Te he.

So Cindy, Ill send you some rain if you send me some of that warm weather?

Saucy, I just love the photos of your grandparents. There is definitely a family resemblance. ~~~~ So how does the yard look with the tree gone?

Jerri, LOL, yes, Doug has two brothers but they are both married and neither of them are anything like him. I dont know how I got so lucky but he really is a peach.

Sue, Yea!!!!! Glad to hear that book has closed and you are going to be able to move on.

Eileen, now you are a Goose Whisperer! LOL Love the ducks on the roof pic.

Beautiful pic of the barn Bug. ~~~ Poor Phoebles! Those collars are a nuisance. ~~ LOL about the 4th!

Anita, my DB and his wife have made all sorts of neat stuff for their gardens. The obelisk was a Christmas present. They are both great woodworkers and I have another trellis they made me for a gift as well. ~~ Im hoping that C. Golden Spirit works out in that spot. I loved the Sambucus and was very sad that it died but it seemed that ever year I had it a part of it would die off so I wanted something tougher. There is nothing quite like that shrub though. Its a beauty.

Ok time to get dressed and get to the gym. Have a great day all.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 8:34AM
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A seriously downcast day on the weather front. Think I'll be downstairs sorting though containers and deciding which ones I just can't live without in the garden. Not only are plant prices through the roof (completely understandable given greenhouse costs) but so are container mix prices given the diesel it takes to get them to the store. Will probably end up mixing my own which definitely has its benefits.

I'm so glad you've reached this point, Sue. The anticipation of having things done is more wearing than the actual activity, I think. Do something to celebrate today!

Love those pics, Saucy. As one who absolutely revered both grandmothers, I love that you're keeping these folks "alive" in your own life. Kyle became really interested when I explained his maternal great-grandma (the grandma that saw my love of plants and took it to the enth) hopped on a train at age 21 in 1919 and went to Arizona to teach kindergarten on a Reservation. My dad dug out her baskets for him, and being a history kid it suddenly connected. In this age of quick communication and instant entertainment, I'm glad we have people in our past to give our kids a sense of their own history. Very, very cool.

Bumped into the whippet and owner yesterday for a moment and was truly impressed when a rabbit shot across our lawn, the whippet started literally trembling, but stood still on a "stay" command. A cookie didn't hurt. They are such compact dogs! Are they related to greyhounds?

Jerri -- You and my BgardeningF should get together somehow. She routinely feeds feral cats and has been known to drive several hundred miles to rescue dogs no one else wants. Right now she has 240 pounds worth of rescue Golden Retriever in two bodies. Since they're never apart it's like one big orange glob heading toward you LOL. You'd like her :-)

Ei! I'm sure Johnny was waving right at you! Did they supply the costumes? What an experience if only for fun.

I need to go food shopping and have been procrastinating for an hour. Today is can return day. No signs of any youth group collections soon, and we need the room in the garage. Umph.

Smiling at all and hoping everyone's day is bright.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 8:47AM
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I am thankful for the rain this morning, as everything in a one mile radius is covered in sawdust, LOL! I needed the free wash....

Deanne, I woke, went to the bathroom as usual, sat on the throne next to the window, and did a double-take! I can't explain the difference! I'm excited at the prospects. Sad because this tree was a focal point from every room on the back of the house, even the throne, LOL - there is a big hole waiting for something will have to be 4 season exciting.....hmmm....

Thank you all for the kind words on Elizabeth. She was a real pioneer, I think, someone to admire and look up to. She came of age around WWII and started her own business, bought her own home and car, and was pretty independent before she married my grandfather. She sewed all her own clothes (and taught me) and used to be involved in fashion shows where she'd die the poodle pink or green to match the model's dress :) She lived on top of Rebel Hill and was full of family history, some of which I'm finding to be true as I put together my family tree :) Jake is the one who is interested in his family history, Martie, and he likes to help me explore and listen to her stories.

Ei, the ducks on the roof remind me of my favorite movie (that I think Mary should illustrate in clay) - BABE! I wanted a pet pig for a while after that one :) LOL at the Duck Whisperer! I love movies about gun slingers and will definately watch for my famous Idyll friend!

Sue, you picked a perfect day for redecorating the temptations from the outdoors today :)

I've gotta get motivated here. Nick's friend's father passed away and we're attending the wake. I'm a little concerned over my formal wear since I can't remember when I wore it last....lets hope the fit is on the loose side and not the squeeze-me-like-a-sausage side.

Poor Pheobles....


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Saucy what a great idea to do Babe in clay. I did a series of tiny flying pigs once that were rather cute.

Anita - my DH spends a lot of time out in LA so I would have had to fly out there for dinner. I love hearing about his work but to be honest, I'm just as happy with a home cooked dinner with friends and family here.

Martie - I hear you on the cost of plants and potting soil this year though understand what has driven it. This has been a funny spring for me not knowing where the summer will find us. I have not bought a single plant, instead I've been dividing and moving what I have, trying to focus on design and lower maintainance. It has been very satisfying in a different way and I'm sure I've saved more money that I realize.

On the question of grocery bags, I keep canvas bags in both cars and at work and love being able to come home without any additional plastic. The Saturday market is the best as items go straight from the farmers baskets into my bag. Even though everything might not be organic, produce has fewer air miles which I believe can be almost as important.

Ei - love your goose story!

Deanne - we have the same soggy weather here. I know I could profitably spend time decluttering our bathroom cupboards but somehow the motivation isn't there. I'm thinking of making a mosaic for our powder room and might work on that instead.

Hi to those I missed - I feel I'm getting a little better about commenting but am not quite there yet.

Enjoy your Sunday


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good morning all! No time to write but I had to do a drive by.
It was probably the long tiring day yesterday but I was almost in tears after hearing the Derby story. :(

Well, meet Molly - you have to read her story.

Life is good. :)


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:30AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

Cloudy, rainy here since Friday. Yesterday it was downright raw to be out in the garden. Managed to still fit in a few small projects between raindrops. Mostly putting in seedlings and mulching. That's it out there for the rest of the day though. Good day for a trip to the mall for some badly needed new eyeglasses.

Feeling a little out of the loop, but I am sure I will have time later to go back and catch up some. Nice to see Anita and Ei and Sue dropping in.

I had a few spring photos that I didn't want to clog up the thread with so I posted them separately.

Hello to everyone and a special hello to Marian. :-)

Have a great Sunday...


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 11:38AM
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I'm procrastinating this morning. Mowing is on my list, and with the new blades installed, I've run out of excuses to put it off. Even though I like mowing, I'd rather it be a sunny warm day. It's not quite 60 here, with a nip in the air. They're calling for rain all this week.

chelone...I'm a hairdresser. I work in a salon with two of my sisters (one is the owner) and my niece. My daughter (youngest of four) graduates high school this month with a dual diploma in cosmetology. It will be fun working with her, too. She's got the fashion bug way worse than me. I posted after the grandsons way would they let me stay on the computer for that long. You should have seen me with my yellow post it notes laying all over the desk. LOL. I'm sure I forgot someone, but please know, it was not intentional.

I'm loving everyone's grandmother many memories are had there. I'm trying to make some for my grandkids, too.

okay...out to cut some serious grass. Have a great Sunday everyone, indoors or out.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 12:54PM
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I have passed the point of no return, a good thing when one is cleaning. I've pulled all the furniture away from the walls and I've removed the baseboard covers. I've blown all the dust off the hot water pipe and the inside of the fins. I've gone over it with the vacuum brush and vacuumed the the mopboards, the chair rail, the hearth and stove. I'm leaving the windsills until I wash the windows (when, eh... ? ).

Gotta get back at it lest I lose the "thrill of the chase". If you're lurking, take a nap for me, willya Marian? ;)

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 1:09PM
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I have solved the mystery of why a pot of Wyoming cannas (dark leaves) has turned green, and also what happened to the pot of ginger rhizomes that I started last year. Seriously, this took weeks of subconscious noodling. Good thing I figured it out before I dumped those green cannas.

Saucy, both you and your grandmother could be movie stars. You look just like her, though I suspect granpa's height may have passed to you?

Cindy, gorgeous weather here today and I think the sun was out here yesterday afternoon. You seem to get an earlier spring than I do, and I've long noted that closer to the ocean means later spring and later fall. I sometimes don't get hard frost until Christmas.

Front lawn mowed this morning and should be doing back now so that I can play in the gardens. I bought a ton of variegated liriope for the sloop at rear of property behind the gardens. Can't grow grass back there, too dark, but liriope is bullet proof and the yellowness will light it up and keep the weeds down. Going to break 18 four inch pots of it into individual strands and should get about 60 plants out of it.

Jerri, teach him 'bark' and 'no bark.' Do this at home when he barks at some stumulus. The trick is to 'capture' the action and name it. Then teach 'no bark' starting with 'uh uh' and reward silence. 'Good Quiet'. Greyhounds are typically quiet but Katie is a mouthly dog and I taught her to say 'please', 'thank you', 'I love you', and for quiet: 'shhh the baby's sleeping.' :) Because it's really the last syllable or your tone that dogs learn, I know the word 'sleeping' is what cues her. The power of cookies should NEVER be underestimated.

Enjoy the empty house Sue, can't wait to see what you do with it. Kind of fun to start from scratch on the decorating.

OK, back out to this perfect day!


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Yesterday I went to the city because the weather was supposed to rainy. Once I got there it cleared up and was a lovely day. Although, we had around 2" of rain on Friday so Im sure it was rather muddy in the garden. I was able to go to several nurseries and find some new stuff. I had lunch with my son. He started his new job this week and is pretty excited about it. The building is historic firehouse and is very neat. He will be working on cars such as Lamborghinis and performance cars, which is right up his alley. This is a new business and he was recruited for this job and will be the lead tech.

At one nursery they had fern leaf peonies for $62 for a tiny piece, I figure I must have at least $1000 worth.

Problems have arisen in the progress of the Secret Garden. It appears to be a very wet area. Rick thinks there could be an underground spring and we should tile it.

Eden, you have the most interesting plants.

Ei, the movie set sounds like fun. What a great experience to have. So far my big debut was on Captain 11. Yesterday I was a Lowes checking out the garden center. They had a big sign that said "Caution Ducks Nesting" sure enough there was a nest with 3 eggs nestled in the wood shavings that they had around the shrub area.

Deanne, the cotinus is a perfect replacement. I was able to find a fuschia sunray and some other cool annuals which I promptly took cuttings of ;o)

Martie, I like your raised bed, be sure to put up pictures of it later in the season too.

Saucy, I love to see old family photos. The one in the canoe is really fun.

bug, nice fern. I had a brake fern last year that was variegated. I really enjoyed it. It didnt like life as a houseplant this winter though.

Anita, I havent had a problem with that campanula, but I noticed a huge area of artemisia that I received as a "gift" that will need to be beat back into bounds or removed.

Cynthia, depending the diameter of your tree, you could secure a pot up there. I saw a garden where they had columns with pots of draping type plants on top of them. They added nice height to the garden and were just interesting.

This past week a young man of 31 from this area died of a rare form of dementia that he had for several years.

Im off to enjoy the beautiful although breezy day.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 4:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

For Saucy and other pig lovers. This, from a bakery:

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 4:49PM
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I'm finished! I'm pooped! and it feels great. :) I was thinkin' it's a pity you guys aren't coming over for a viewing. It's big room, L shaped, and there is a lot of stuff in it. Add to that the fact that it's been a long time since it's had a thorough cleaning and you can understand my relief. There are a few thises and thats remaining (need to dust my and organize my desk, deal with the forced bulbs that are hitting dormancy on the windowsill, and I have to shampoo the upholstery in the helpmeet's chair) but the place "cleans up nice".

I have to tackle Mum's room next. :( For some reason I just haven't been able to do it since she moved down with my brother. I have her clothes to go through (the ones that weren't lost/stolen by that "nursing hole") and take to the thrift and there is the last of her correspondence to sort and cry over. I think I'm finally at enough peace with her sad end to do it.

I mow the lawn, too, Anita. And I love doing it, too. I put on the ear protection and basically go for a walk. We have a self-propelled mower so it's more a question of aiming the mower than actually muscling it around the yard. Smells so nice and looks so good when it's all finished. I'm not much of a consumer, but the one thing I do every 4 weeks is have my hair cut.

The gal who cuts it is always taking classes/seminars in cutting and shaping. She's really good at it, the cuts grow out so well that even though it's long it's still easily manageable. She was wonderful with Mum, too, patient and pleasant. And Mum's hair was tough to cut. It was thick and had a bunch of unruly cowlicks and she gave Mum short, chic cuts that required minimal styling by working with her hair instead of against it. It really is an art to be able to cut, color, and style hair. My hair is pretty grey and we have a running joke that I'm about to join the blue rinse club. :)

Exciting about your son, Michelle. It must be great for you to see his excitement. You don't think Kenzie would appreciate a water garden? ;) It will be interesting to see how you decide to work with the area.

60 pieces of Liriope is a lot of planting. I love the stuff but I've had minimal luck with it and haven't tried it in several years now. I chuckled at you stewing moderately over the Cannas, Cynthia. Funny how things like that stick in your brain until you solve them.

Interesting story on Mollie, Jerri. If I remember correctly from 4-H, horses carry the bulk of the weight on the front legs, rather like a loaded wheelbarrow. So a prosthetic limb up front has to bear considerable weight and concussion. It's that aspect of their conformation that makes a racehorse so vulnerable to injury. Figure a 1,000-1200lb. animal galloping at about 40 mph and all that weight coming down on one foreleg (the circumference of a cannon bone is about 9-10") with the ankles and delicate bones of the hoof absorbing the shock. It's a lot to ask, especially of immature animals. It's a wonder there aren't more fatalities.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 6:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just close your eyes Chelone, this won't take long!

So Michelle, perhaps Reed is following your son's example? No Lamborghinis to practice on though...

The little guy has teeth now but yesterday decided to help in the garden by eating MUD. Then he got sick.... But he's a happy guy who enjoys playing with his big brother.

OK, all done. Hope it wasn't too painful.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 10:51PM
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Ei, how exciting! I want to be the first to know when that movie comes out and if you are in it.
I liked his pirate movies because of the comedy in them.

The gosling tale is to funny. You are a hero. So sad about the male duck though. Thank you for caring.
And now ducks on your roof. Too funny.

Bug Ei said exactly what I was thinking. All the pictures you show of your barn and lane look like calendar shots. Chuckled at the 4th be with you. LOL Somebody is really creative, love the pig.

Wendy I thought your DS deserved a pat on the back for doing the Clifford costume thing too.

Deanne thanks for the shot of the obelisk. LOL Goose Whisperer.
I potted up a few cuttings today. I am sad that I lost my Sedona and Alabama Sunset ones. I hope the nursery has some when I go. They were big players in my containers last year.
It is hard to get started on those "time" projects. DH calls them round tuit projects.

Martie I hear you on the plant and soil mix costs. Last year I had a good size pile of compost I used in the pots. I think it is time to visit the large animal humane farm up the road and restock.

Good mystery solving Cynthia. Also good problem solving with the liriope. You certainly have a lot of patience training the dogs.

Michelle, what a wonderful new job for your son.

Congratulations on a clean abode Chelone. It always feels good to get some deep cleaning done. Sadly the dust returns in a few days time.

Count me in as liking to mow too. Today I backed off the heavy work in the garden and just puttered. I've been moving some stuff from areas that just haven't worked out, into the newer beds to fill in. It was nice to just step back and look at things too.

I would like to see a post from BRENDA are you out there lurking or farming? Later Norma

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Bug both shots are cute. I bet Skylar likes having a little brother to play with.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 11:19PM
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Jerri, thanks for sharing the story about Molly. She looks like a POA and a pretty one to. How unfortunate for her. But it does seem she has bigger things to do. Norma

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 11:27PM
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michelle...sounds like a great job your son found. Kudos on his being recruited for it, he must be good.

chelone...what a great client you must be. I love my four week clients, their hair always looks good since they keep up with it so well. LOL on the blue rinse club. I always get chills when you speak of your mom. I can feel the compassion you had for her coming right through the computer screen. Glad you've found the peace to deal with her belongings. the pig. Talented baker. How old is Reed now? Is he walking yet? Such a beautiful toddler. Skyler looks like he's thoroughly enjoying playing with him.

michele...great idea with attaching a pot with trailing plants to a tree stump. I have a couple areas where that would work well. Scary about the young man getting a rare form of dementia.'re lucky the more colorful liriope grows in your area. I can only get the plain green kind to overwinter here. It's not an especially pretty plant.

All of the talk about taking cuttings is making me wanti to finally attempt it. What does everyone root it in? Perlite? Or sand? Are you doing this for annuals only, or perennials, too? With the prices of plants (and everything else) escalating, it's a great money saver. I worked outside today for five hours...with mowing taking a large chunk of it. Then tonight, went to the salon to do hair for three family members. Now I'm off to watch Desperate Housewives. What would I do without DVR? I can hardly stand to watch regular TV anymore. It's great to skip through all the commercials.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 11:56PM
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Today's the day, you guys. The backhoe guy is coming at 9 AM and we're going to move the blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) to begin the screen along the road. I'm nervous about it, two are rather large and all 5 are fully budded and just waiting for the next round of warm days to really get rolling. I'd have preferred to do this some weeks ago, but you know how that goes! At the worst, they may die, or will have to be pruned really hard, but they are very tough plants and perfectly suited to the site in question and we're willing to coddle them to get them established. Cross your fingers for us.

I am hoping to underplant them with some of the many native ferns that seem to share their preference for conditions; the wild card being the mixture of more sun and therefore more variable moisture levels. I want easy care stuff that WANTS to grow in that site, favoring native plant material seems prudent.

The thing about establishing a living barrier along the road is how many plants are required to actually accomplish an initially lush and visually meaningful presence! Even with 5 Vaccinium of large/moderate size it's a drop in the bucket because they are to be planted in more of a grove-like setting, rather than strung along like little Redcoat soldiers in Revolutionary War formation. So what will the next "grove" be? I'm still reading about appropriate material that will get tall (8-12') for seasonally soggy, acid soil. It doesn't have to be evergreen, it just needs to grow thickly and reliably. I've been doing some reading on Magnolia viginiana, which I think could be a nice introduction. As well as Ilex verticillata. Anyone have any good suggestions?

I think the sun is trying to come through the clouds! And it's probably time for me to haul on my work clothes and think about getting some "before" shots and refining the sites for bounty.

Hoping for continued productivity for me and YOU.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 6:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning... :-)

Very busy, tiring weekend and too pooped to pop this morning. Lots I would like to comment on, but hope a photo will do..

Blooming fields of rapeseed plants weave around hills near Luoping in Yunnan Province. Photograph by George Steinmetz

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 6:47AM
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Bright sunny morning! Yesterday afternoon at about 3pm the skys cleared and temps shot up about 15degF. Layers came off and so did shoes, then lots of eyeing what might have been lost in the freeze. So far only the Chionanthus buds look black but not too far down.

Inquiring minds want to know what's INSIDE that pig?? Sweet or savory?? Wish I could do stuff like that and have people other than me know what it is. LOL

Chelone: A gentle warning about going through your Mom's things -- it hit me hard when I sorting through my Grandma's stuff -- her scent will still be there, even after all this time. It blindsided me so whenever I can, I offer a heads up. Olfactory sense is one of the strongest when it comes to memory. You will have fun, though, remembering things that happened when "that piece" was in the picture. Enjoy the time. And, when can you come and work on MY office? LOL

Great liorope plan, Cynthia! It'll be filled in in no time. Also easily identify with "toss it or not???" decisions.

Lots of purple Siberian Iris sounds in order, Michelle. And perhaps some of the variegated willow to soak up the water? I have one in a pastelly yellow/peach/green that does the trick.

This is going to be a cruise week. Boss is in LA and great as he is, this means there's only a four-hour window of communication time a day. Friday afternoon he left us all with a "have a great week, but don't forget to work." LOL

Not much else at this point. It's been so fun reading about everyone's activities and learning of interesting ancestors. The pics have been great and I'll bet that Michelle's DS and Reed would really like each other. Continued good wishes are being sent far and wide for all the good, bad and inbetween health news filtering in.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:06AM
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Good morning

GB - love the latest Reed photos! Mama pig is very cool but I couldn't imagine plunging a knife in.

Michelle - your DS' new job sounds fantastic!! Does he get a company car to go along with it? I've fallen behind on reading and wasn't sure if McKenzie moving was still a possibility.

Cynthia - I love reading about how you train the greyhounds!

PM - your photo is so very soothing - ahhhhh...

Chelone - hope the Vaccinium enjoy their new home.

Anita - I've had limited success with cuttings (Deanne is one of the masters!) but do manage Brugmansia, geraniums, plectranthus, coleus and succulents. I use either perlite, potting mix or for the easiest to root, just water. The book Making More Plants by Ken Druse is a fabulous resource and one I turn to often. Nothing beats the satisfaction of plants you have propogated yourself!

Yesterday started out grey and rainy but turned into the most beautiful day. I spent the afternoon in the garden, finishing cleaning up the beds farthest from the house and completing the plant moves. The air was cool and crisp, the sun shining and working outside was heavenly. Everything is so green and fresh and full of promise, I fell in love with my garden all over again.

While I was working Annie made me an early Mother's Day cake (next week is her birthday which we celebrate over Mother's Day). Completely independently she made the most delicious lemon layer cake with lemon curd filling and cream cheese frosting. It was such a treat to have a slice with my afternoon cup of tea. It must have taken close to 3 hours with all the steps which included a complete clean up afterwards. Isn't that the best Mother's Day gift anyone could have?

Hope you all have a great start to the week.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:27AM
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Here's a link to a hardy shrub that I'm considering, Chelone.

Hi to all! Off to read more and get Sarah off to the bus. No time to linger today!

Have a great day, everyone!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm not sure of the conditions Chelone...I guess acidic if Vaccinium enjoy it there. Semi-sunny? Cornus alternifolia grow really well for me..they are wild on the property. Perhaps they grow too tall for you? They'd need something at the base to block the view though. More ferns?
But best of all are the cranberry bushes. (Viburnum trilobum) I got mine on sale for $4 each at the Fall sales! They are huge and glorious in bloom after several years! Excellent for screening. Tolerant of wet. I'm not sure if they are the European or American ones- hard to tell the difference. 3-4 meters tall, zone 2.

The pig was made by a bakery to decorate the no filling or slicing was involved!

Reed is now 10 1/2 months old. He has teeth, and that makes him look quite different! He walks holding on to furniture, climbs UP stairs but not down, has various styles of crawling.

Thanks for the photo PM2! Your photos are a part of the Idyll experience for me, just life Sue's TGIF!
I hope to accomplish outdoor work today.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:47AM
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The site is on the east side of the house, between 12 and 24" below the road grade. There is a lot of runoff into an area that is already on the moist side. The big change in the site is the availability of SUN throughout the summer months. It can very hot out out there until the sun begins to set and the shadow of the garage provides shade. It's over 6 hrs. of sun at the height of the growing season.

We have staked the sites for them. All the plants are tied up now. We have marked the rootball of all of them and chiselled in under the lawn blueberry and removed the sod from the base of it. The large one next to the garage we're going to leave for the backhoe guy (who's late). Next up is the huge Lilac in the circle. That ain't gonna be any fat lady's dream. :/ .

Gotta go back to work and think about your suggestions. Fun!

(Reed really is a beautiful baby. Love shines right through, doesn't it?)

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 9:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A large lilac was a failure in the relocation program here. I wish you much better success Chelone!

So backhoe guy, shape up and show up! There's time a wasting!!!!! I;m tired just reading about what you've accomplished so far. All I've done so far is breakfast, dog soothing, some clematis inspecting and shooing DH out the door with my minivan to take to Charlie the mechanic...

Still no serviceberry blooms here. Amazing that Marian's were glorious so long ago.

Off to try to start the day once more!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:13AM
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We've moved the two biggest ones. I'm feeling pretty good about the one moved from the lawn, not so sure about the one that was next to the bahn. The other 3 little ones in the circle were too enmeshed with the big maple's roots that extraction was impossible. We killed on them in the attempt.

Now it's on to the Lilac. I am secretly hoping it doesn't make it... powdery mildew every single season.

I have sunscreen in my eyes... stings.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 11:36AM
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Eden, I wanted to thank you for the link to the Wee Garden website. I've spent some time viewing all the fun stuff there. I think I've found a new love LOL I picked up a few miniature garden items when I was shopping this weekend.

Oh, look at that big boy with the toothy smile.

Kenzie is sick today. When they called me she told her mom to tell me that she wanted to "lay on grandma's couch" How I wish she could, but I was on my way to work already.

1:00 time to get to work


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Chelone -- Any of the Viburnums? Or did someone already say that? Oh, well. At Bluestone you can get a bunch of them and plant'em tight. I'm breaking up the line with annuals this year and in a few more years spread them out,leaving a place for neighbors to visit :-)

Michelle - (((( your heart for Kenzie))) Hope she's great, soon.

'bug - just when you think he can't get cuter ....

PM2 - We need to get together soon! Digitalis is 3" tall.

Bopping to old Santana, tonight :-)



    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 7:50PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hack! Wheeze! Sniff! HONK! ZZZZ!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh no Woody!!!!!Get well FAST! Spring is NOT the time for that.

I think Santana was at Woodstock when we were there....but they say if you remember, you weren't really there. I remember eating Oreo cookies there though!!!

I mowed and mowed today, too short, but hey, hair grows! Also cleaned up the nepeta. Walked the long suffering pooch, who is really antsy to get rid of the darned cone. She's not had any training since last Wednesday, so next Thursday when the lampshade comes off and the stitches are removed, she'll be a real challenge for me. Of course that's when DH is off to Leipzig for the week.

We expect a wet end of the week...

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 8:50PM
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Woody, I know that song, LOL.
I think I am on the downhill side of mine, but DH is just starting to cough and feel miserable.
Michelle is Kenzie's a cold or tummy thing?

It was a nice day here. I watered grass seed and pulled weeds. Ain't that a bite? One I want to grow and the other I don't. N

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Exciting newsflash - head out to your nearest magazine store and in the Fine Gardening Container Planting issue there is an article on our very own Deanne. As a featured North East gardener is a very nice photo, description of her style and two fabu-fabu containers. I felt as proud as if it were one of my own family - BRAVO!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Saucy, I have several aronias and am very pleased with them. The birds leave the berries alone for a long time - supposedly they are high in lipids and so the birds wait until it's really cold before they eat them and then get the most advantage from them. Lots of bloom, shiny leaves, dark berries, and I've had no problems. The ones planted on the west side of my house love the evening sun and are a little taller than advertised but still within my needs.

So here's my question to the group shrink - do you ever have trouble letting go of small slights? I have a couple that keep gnawing at me and I'm not sure how to get rid of these issues. I hate to be sort of cryptic, but the latest issue is over new "family traditions" that seem to have sprung up after I passed a certain milestone. I'm definitely in "ungrateful wretch" mode as I put a lot of time and effort into something and I guess I was looking for a little more recognition for my effort. I feel slighted and I also know I shouldn't feel like this - but I can't stop myself. Maybe it's just the accumulation of work stress and other issues? I'll stop whining, but I just want to say that it isn't anyone/anything in this group that has me upset. It's because you guys are all so supportive that I feel like I can vent a little here.

DD started her summer job today, which means I'm now sharing my office for the next couple of months! She has decided to ride to work with me and bring along a book for those days when I stay a little longer to wrap things up. Works for me!

The saga of the bottlebrush buckeye is such a struggle for me because not every nursery carries them, and I have little time to get to many nurseries during the height of spring. By the time I do get out and about, what's left is usually pitiful looking and overpriced for the quality. I don't mind paying $33 for a 5 gallon plant and waiting for it to grow, but when you want to sell me a half-dead 2 gallon plant for more than twice the money, I refuse to play. And then there's the guy who wants $250 or more wholesale for his! Oh well, at least I have a ready answer when I'm asked what I want for Mother's Day.

We took a walk this evening and enjoyed the trillium. The camera, alas, stayed in the house.

Sorry for the missed photos!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 10:20PM
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Oh, how exciting about Deanne and the magazine article. I'm sure it will be excellent. I will go out tomorrow and get a copy.

Anyone looking forward to Barbara Walter's book? There's been so much publicity on it, most of it from her.:) But it's supposed to be a no holds barred-tell all.

Take care of your colds everyone. Wonder if it's more allergy than virus, though. Take honey and cinnamon for the sore throats, if any.

V...I know the feeling you are describing. I've experienced it myself many times (I'm ashamed to say.) No advice, just commiseration. It's perfectly normal to feel this way at times. We all just want to be appreciated, darn it. LOL.

'nite all,

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 12:14AM
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I did some computer searching yesterday afternoon. I followed up on the Aronias (great suggestion, Saucy, and good to know V. has done well with them), Viburnum trilobum, and the Cornus suggestion from 'bug. I did a little more "digging" on Magnolia virginiana, and Ilex verticillata. I am going to visit my favorite local nursery and ask some more questions (we bought a number of very tastey trees and shrubs there last fall). I'm rather in a pickle, Martie, I will have to plunk down the cash and get decent size plants, since we are below road grade in the area requiring screening we're already at a disadvantage.

The net move yesterday was 2 Vaccinium corymbosum (both are pushing 8'H) and a very large Lilac that was rescued from the oblivion of the greenhouse's compost pile in 1992. We were surprised that it came out of the ground so willingingly and it hasn't show any sign of flagging yet... we'll watch her and wait. It doesn't seem like very much, but it was a lot of work and we were pretty tired afterwards.

I was thinking of Kenzie longing for "Gramma's couch". And what a nice place that would be for a 3 yr. old who doesn't feel well. Snuggling up with a "bankie" and having a story read to you... sounds pretty good to me, too. Maybe you could take in Woody and Norma, too?

Letting go of little things... sure, V., there are times I really like to "stew in my own juices", too. ;) Usually, I get the, "wanna tell me what's wrong, or would you rather remain pissy?". Then I spit it out and that's the end of it. Funny how the little things can really be the hardest to get rid of... like papercuts and itty-bitty splinters in the pads of your fingers. Clearly, the remedy to your woes is a Bottlebrush Buckeye. Appreciation and recognition are universal human needs.

I'm going in later today, will be solo and staying until 4PM. :( Then it's race home, meet with painting contractor and then the excavator guy to finalize the final sweep and line of the driveway. Maybe empty the ground floor windowboxes and remove them from the side of the house? (pushing the ambition limit).

Hope Phoebe endures the remainder of the week and doesn't explode into puppu revolt at its removal. Rex is pretty sick of the leash and being forced to w a l k (not what the boogie dawg likes to do). I sympathize.

And Deanne, I can't wait to see the article, think of the millions who will be drooling and buying the plants you use so skillfully. Many a greehouse will laud you, while others will curse your inventiveness. ;)

Gotta get rollin', friends.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 6:14AM
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Very quick good morning but wanted to say:


V: I get it. Write it down, rip it up, burn it, and see if that helps.

Chelone: I hear you on the wait for plants. Might be worth a trip to a particular nursery in MA (probably a two hour drive from your house) that specializes in large-sized shrubs and reasonable prices. Email me if you want to know more.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 6:44AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....lots of birds chripping outside the window this morning. Great to listen to after a long winter.

Well, tried to catch up, and had such a long post that it was just awe It was so long....that I decided to break it up into parts and post a little here and

Michelle, hope your weather has improved and would like a photo of your Sambucus

Mary wondering when you will know about the move? I haven't been following the Harry Potter series, but I do think your figures were very recognizable. What really impresses me is the way in which your fun little crafting endeavors are stimulating your Annie to explore her own creative tendencies.

Saucy...I must have missed something, because not sure what happened with your crazy neighbor, but from the sounds of her behavior, something is seriously wrong there. I can imagine how stressful it must have been. You must have a bird friendly garden to have babies. Sounds lovely. DH and I watch Lost...and this week's episode was particularly I enjoyed your memories of your grandmother and would really enjoy a separate post on the subject. I never knew any of my grandparents and really felt I missed out. My Mom was the youngest of a large family and I was next to the youngest of her children, so I missed out on a lot.

Wendy, that is a cute photo of your son to be able to add to the scrapbook.

Woody....It sounds like your MRI results were encouraging. Still leaving you in limbo about whether there will be more symptoms from the treatment is a pain, but at least knowing that nothing is stemming from the tumor has to be a relief. I would like to share with you that I deal with neurological problems sometimes and I see a Naturopath in addition to my mainstream doctors. Right now he has me taking Lipoic Acid to help with healing nerves. None of which are as severe as yours and not to say that there isn't more than just the Lipoic Acid, but thought I would throw that out there for you to be aware of. about using rocks or stones as a material for raised beds in the front yard? P.Allen Smith had a very formal four square vegetable garden that was very visible in his open side yard. It was a simple four, six foot square beds I think in a square. He would keep them immaculate and plant with precision and changed them with each season. His were wood. His old episodes usually had something about them in most of them.

On the topic of lurkers. I have heard they are there but haven't had any first hand experience so I will just accept that all of you who have been here longer than I have, must have first hand knowledge. But I have had a few chuckles this morning, thinking about garden fairies and garden gnomes and for some odd reason leprechuans popped into my Finally, I had a mental image of that series of books, Where's Waldo? Please don't bother trying to follow my reasoning sense of humor is unfathomable at times. [g] Seriously though I don't have a problem with lurkers at all. I am sure on every forum on GW there are lurkers.

To be continued.... :-)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 7:37AM
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WooHoo! Congratulations Deanne! I will be scooting out to find my very own copy today!

Woody, I hope the sneezes/sniffles pass you by quickly - feel better soon.

V., I sort of do what Martie does....I write it down. I read it a couple of times until I solve the problem in my head....paper gets shredded.

I hope it passes soon....for me it is the worst kind of agony :)

So glad someone can tell me that they like the Aronia. I found a good source and am going to place them with the 8' tall viburnums around the property. I figure they'll make a good transition from lawn/garden to woods.

Today is personal trainer day. Week 4. Today is the first day I'm not excited....but I guess that moment had to come :)

I'm off to the bus! Have a great day!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 7:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I love the aronia/viburnum talk....

V, I have trouble letting go...of letting go of small and large slights both. Bearing a grudge is an ugly painful business, especially when you think of yourself as a thoughtful good person. Well, I think of YOU as an especially kind and thoughtful soul, so I am already annoyed that anyone could slight you. It doesn't help to have a good memory sometimes either. OK, now that that is committed to the screen, it's time to press the delete button and move on I guess. I think a Bottlebrush Buckeye and a sensitive & sympathetic husband to take you out (to dinner?) would be a great approach to this.

Deanne, I must say that over the last few years I not only check the craft magazines but Fine Gardening to see if you are featured there. I have certainly spotted your painting work but not yet the FG. At last! It had to be....I'm also waiting for Sue's garden to appear...and Monique's - and others' too.

PM, you are such a thoughtful poster! I look forward to your comments to all.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:13AM
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For Chelone -- Bluestone shrubs (the deciduous ones) going into their third year.

What a day outside!!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 9:36AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Catchup Part 2....

Cindy...hope your feeling better. There is a lot of that stomach bug going around. Were you able to do anything in the yard this weekend?

Norma, hope your head cold is better.

Ei...temp services are great. A family member was temping and was just offered a great job. It also seems to be a popular way of supplementing your income when you have extra expenses. Glad to hear things are at least looking up with your Mom and Sister. You seem to handle it all with a lot of grace. :-) Loved your photos! The hat especially! Sounded like a fun day for you. Now I will know who I am looking for in the next Johnny Depp movie. :-) That Kermit the Frog song is on my iTunes My favorite of his, though is The Rainbow Connection. seem to have as much to do at your house, as we have at ours, but in your case you are getting yours done. lol I envy you your clothes line. I hope it is outdoors. I used to bring all the laundry outdoors, but can't keep up with it any more. We hang a great deal of our clothes in the house because most of them are cotton and shrink in the dryer anyway. Really miss that wonderful fresh smell on the sheets when they have been out in the sunshine. Gee, I have to really get back to hanging clothes outdoors. I did enjoy it. I just remembered that I have an extra old fence post that I could use to attach one of those retractable clothes lines to. Maybe I will ask for my son to help me do that.

Martie, Love your tripods and planter with paver access in your veggie bed. You're going to have some serious 'cool' going on when everything is growing! If you email me through GW, I will email you back so we can figure something out about the foxglove. All your seedlings look so healthy! How did the Garden Club sale go?

Kathy....sorry I missed saying good luck on your trip. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you come back and to see a ton of Mr Baby photos!

....there's more...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 11:02AM
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We woke up under the rainbow this a.m. literally. The sun was coming up and there was a full rainbow right over our farm. I tried to photograph it, but I really couldnt get back far enough to get a good shot. I would have had to traipse over the neighbors newly planted cornfield to really get it.

I got up a little early since the temp was 52 I thought a garden stroll before work would be nice. I tried for the rainbow shots and then it started to rain. We are supposed to get to nearly 80 today. I suppose we will go right into summer and skip spring :o(

Congratulations Deanne, its about time FG notices some of our fine gardeners.

Chelone, would your site benefit from a berm?

Norma, Kenzie seems to have a cold with a fever.

Heres a YouTube video of one of the area tornadoes the other night. This is near where one of Ricks sons and his family live.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 11:11AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Scenic Hwy. 7 Foggy Sunrise (AR6)
Ozark National Forest, Arkansas
Mike Boyd

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 11:18AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Part 3...

Deanne...a week in the garden sounds very exciting and I think you will have great weather for gardening this week too. Waiting to see Cotinus 'Golden Spirit'. BTW, I have the Dart's Gold Ninebark that is also a lovely Chartruese color shrub that is also a native for anyone looking for anothe choice. Nothing like the Sambucus though. The Cotinus sounds very interesting. Thanks for the tip on the HD pots. I usually go to the Lowe's which is closer but will check out the HD if I get a chance. The photo of the plant tripod your DB made...he did a great job! Nice rhododendron behind it too. Lovely black metal tripod too. It would be really great filled with plants.

Cindy, sorry to hear about your MIL. My MIL is also experiencing severe short term memory loss. She is in her late 80s as well and hasn't been living on her own for a long time now. I am pretty sure she is on a med for it which really helped bring improvement but not sure what the name of it is. Looks like there are lots of us in the same situation.

Chelone...we watched the Kentucky Derby on Sunday as we usually do. What an awful turn of events to see that horse down on the track. Really horrible and I have always wondered why these race horses are bred with such very thin legs instead of trying to breed heavier support for them in their legs. I found it impossible to celebrate with the winner after such a tragedy. I see you are sorting Mom's things soon. Maybe on a Saturday when you can plan brunch out with DH on Sunday? :-) Maybe you will find some things you can incorporate around the house in memory.
Plantings with Blueberries? Acid lovers I guess...rhododendrons, azaleas. Ilex glabra is native, not sure of the needed conditions, but they are evergreen. There is a Magnolia that I read good things about on one of the other forums. Bracken's Brown Beauty. Link below. I second a Viburnum. Lots of year round interest and potential berries for birds. The maresii gets about 12 x 15 feet and fairly quickly with that horizontal layering effect. I added one to my border in part shade and it is doing very well. Also likes moisture. 'Ghost' fern is a native cross and my favorite. NEWFS has it. I agree with G'bugs Cornus alternafolia and there is a variegated form that is quite lovely. Cornus racemosa is a native that has great fall color and grows anywhere. My lilacs with powdery mildew I am getting rid of soon too. Sadly, I have held on to them for a long time because my Mom loved lilacs, but I am going to try to replace with mildew resistant varieties if I can find any. I agree with Martie...Bluestone has small inexpensive sizes for shrubs. NEWFS has them a little larger, for about $25. each. Very reasonable.

Saucy...I have had that happen to me, going looking for the photos and not finding them where I thought they were. Very upsetting. I hope your sister can make up some copies and share them with you. Loved the old photos. I can really see a family resemblance. Maybe your eyes from your grandmother? What do you think, do you look like your maternal or paternal side of the family the most? We just bought a new printer/scanner with the new Apple and have that on my list to get to of going through old photos to try to put them on files. Maybe in the heat of the summer when I am staying out of the garden. [g] Sorry about your Tree! I missed what kind it was. What are you thinking of adding in it's place?

I seem to remember mentioning to someone that I didn't know any of my grandparents, as they all died either before I was born or when I was little. I do have a couple of stories that my Mom shared about her parents that I will share some time when I have less catching up to do. Even not having met them in person, I still feel a connection to them through the stories my Mom told me about them. must be resting today after the weekend you had. [g] That was an unbelievable photo of Molly! I had never heard of a horse having a prosthetic leg. Amazing! must have been a surreal weekend, despite sounding ready for it. Glad it is at least behind you. Would love photos of the new couch. :-)


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 12:59PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, since no one else is posting, I might as well finish my catch up....

Ei...what a harrowing day you had with the goslings! So sad. I think these things must happen all the time without our being aware of them and despite the pain it caused you to see it, if you hadn't been there, maybe the goslings would have been more victims. I don't know about Geese, but the swans we watch at the pond are a really tight family unit. The parents are very protective of the signets and one swims in front, one behind. I watched a family all through one season a few years ago and I found myself crying in the fall when the signets which are adolescents at that point, separate from the family to go and establish themselves. Just was so upsetting to see just the parents every time we would go and wonder where the signets were. Glad you were able to help. That is some 'odd couple' on your roof. lol Oh...I see someone has anointed you 'Goose Whisperer' LOL

Here were our Swan parents with their adolescent signets...

GBug...poor Phoebe!! Ooops! I don't believe I almost said Charlotte. :-( I have never seen a variegated fern. Glad everything is drying out on the farm. Lovely view! My serviceberries are just flowering the past week. Laughed at the Pig/Piglets. Reed looks quite comfortable on that car. [g] How lucky is he to have a big brother to play with! How is Skylar doing these days?

Cynthia.... I don't envy you the job of separating lirope.

Eden....Your Bella is adorable sitting under the umbrella reading to the dog!! :-) So very sweet. She must get a lot of enjoyment from your garden. Looks like you have done a lot of work there and hope you will post more photos as everything blooms! I love that sitting area in the middle with the green umbrella and the curving walkway!

Norma...I had a Sedona Coleus I lost a couple of years ago. My tastes change so often though. I am on to Light, yellow coleus now. I tried for three years to overwinter coleus and stopped doing it this winter.

Michelle...congratulations on your son's new job. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. On the secret garden...There are lots of plants I would love to grow that enjoy moisture, any chance you could plant a wet garden? Kenzie...'Grandma's couch' Awww! I hope she feels better. My doc told us there is still a lot of bugs going around.

Mary...I can second that Ken Druse book. Although I do more seed sowing then cuttings. I have enjoyed cuttings too. Sounds like you do a lot more than you are giving yourself credit for. My mouth is watering for that lemon cake! Good daughter! So nice to hear you express how much happiness your garden is giving you this spring. :-)

V...letting go of little things and big things...I find it easier to do when I am doing well, well rested and not under stress. When is that? lol Talking it out and being able to express my hurt, although not always necessary or advisable. Not always helpful if you don't receive any understanding of how you feel, then you might feel worse. Basically, remembering my own shortcomings and how hard life is for me at times and how much that effects how I respond to others, and how very much I appreciate when I am given forgiveness at those times. I have to remind myself that life is hard for everyone and even when I don't understand or identify, I just remember how many times I have felt unfairly judged and misunderstood and I try not to do that to other people. Remembering how sincere my good intentions are even when I fall short and how badly I feel when I do, I guess I project that to others and it makes me feel better. Effort and intentions is more important to me than results I guess. DH is a very big Santana fan. We used to go to his concerts when he was in town.

Anita...I am ridding my bed of a weed that seems to be Campanula related. Looks like 'Lady Bells' if you have ever seen it. I do enjoy campanula but they are like candy to groundhogs, and I don't want to attract them. Another person who has experienced dementia with a relative. I guess we are all of that age. You were so lucky to have your grandmother as long as you did. Wonderful! I have a DVR box from the cable company and I also hate to have to watch anything in real time. I love zipping past the endless commercials. We are all spoiled with that here.

Woody...sorry you have a cold, hope it is short lived.

Marian...I miss your photos of spring at your house. Wondered if you might post another thread with more?

Wow, Deanne! Fine Gardening magazine!! I am going to have to check that out. Would enjoy hearing the story of how that came about. Congratulations!

Well, I consider myself officially caught up, we'll see how long that lasts. [g]


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 1:20PM
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Congratulations Deanne! Well deserved and I'm so proud of you!

Hope Woody and poor little Kenzie are both feeling better today!

Michelle, I'm glad you're getting inspiration from The Wee Garden. So am I.

Marie, such a sweet smile on Reed and I love those little baby teeth. He's looking less like a baby and more like a toddler.

On the subject of sambucus... I haven't yet had any die back on my sutherland gold. I planted it in 2004. I do have a cotinus golden spirit that I planted last spring that had a lot of die back over winter and is just now starting to leaf out later than about anything else in my garden. I have a little physocarpus nugget in that same color range that I planted last year that I'm really loving. It's supposed to stay small. As for other sambucus I have a native one that grows like gangbusters and I'm constantly hacking on to keep in it's area. It's beautiful when in bloom though. Of the dark ones black beauty is my favorite. I have black lace too but it always seems floppy to me. I'd rather use a japanese maple for pretty much the same look. Here's a picture of my sutherland gold from a few days ago. That fence is 6 ft. tall. to give you an idea of the size.

Inspired by Chelone, I'm scrubbing the bathroom today. The interior of my house is at the point I have to stop gardening and clean it for health reasons :)

I started work on the bog yesterday. 5 parts spaghnum peat moss, one part perlite and lots of water. Also required was lots of muscle, for me at least, to mix it all up.

Back to my scrubbing. My plan is to thoroughly clean one room a day this week. During gardening season I'm glad I don't have a big house.

It's a beautiful day here today. 60s and sunny. Hope it's nice at your house too!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 1:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I expected a warm sunny day,

Some of the flood damage is now seeded. A good day for it.

Once again, my all white tulips played tricks on me.

All white here...

But here:

Every year I think I have the problem solved...


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 1:36PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just sneaking in at lunch - it's another "fun" week at the awfice.... that leaves me too tired for much but wanting to crawl in bed at nite! I did manage to SALAT a couple minutes but that was it - of course, it could also have something to do w/ the 2 days of hard labor I put in the yard last weekend.

So many lovely photos and things to comment on -- PM2, you did such a good job responding to everyone -- I see something & mean to mention and then forget...

Chelone -- re shrubs - folks have given you a ton of ideas but have you looked at any of the evergreen hollies? some of them grow really big really fast....I've had them be pretty rough and tumble too, altho I only have a couple at my present house.

Eden, what a great pic of that sambucus... you know Im a latecomer to appreciating that color -- yellow & charteuse are not big on my "enjoyment" meter, but I love it all combined - but have a hard time deciding to incorporate it in my own yard. You and Monique are the masters at that I think - those combos - so gorgeous.

I had another "tiff" w/ another service person on Sunday - after discovering no air conditioning working & putting 2 calls in - one to the company that has my a.c. contract and the other to the furnace company that installed the new furnace in December (somehow I had this feeling they might not have done something) - it ended up costing me $175 w/ my contract a.c. folks because they furnace company had not hooked a wire up... then the furnace co. owner refused to reimburse me for that amount because I should have waited for them to come take a look -- the next day.... like I have extra time to futz with someone else and take another day off -- short-sighted -- because I was going to change my yearly contracts on both a.c. and furnace to the new guy - and he could have recouped that $175 in the new contract... but not now - I told him that but he was not moved... all because they were incompetent to begin with... Yes, I know you're wondering why I had the a.c. on (or attempting that) -- it was over 85 in my bedroom and I stifled -- and my allergies make it impossible to leave windows open so Im an a.c. freak... the weather hits over 77 and I've got it on! Nothing comes easy these days w/ things related to the house - is that an understatement or what?

There are so many great threads going over idyll gardens and walks - I am going to have to take 1/2 day off to look at them! Pls. dont think I dont like 'em if I dont get to post a comment!!!!

Chelone -- it's the time of year when I start to reflect about this time last year and Mom's last illness and death -- Im trying to push it out of my mind but not very successfully -- I think of all the stuff that needs to be cleaned out and I am sad - altho my sister probably has taken it all by now -- and that upsets me because there are some photos and sentimental things I would have wanted to reproduce for each of us or divide equally -- but I guess it's part of that process of letting go to go thru things, so the plan of cleaning, sorting, weeping, and then going out someplace w/ your helpmeet sounds like a brilliant idea.

Well, I think I've got a contractor set up for the week of the 19th -- gonna take that week off and get the basement painted, hopefully carpet installed as well -- but even more, I just want to stay home and garden and get some garden therapy in... Sounds like you need some of that too, V....

Ok, break is over. Back to grinding.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 2:05PM
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Cindy, I like "back to the grinding". That's a good one. Sometimes that's how it feels, huh? With respect to home ownership, the helpmeet's fond of repeating, "The infrastructure is collapsing!". Feels like it sometimes, I know. Sounds as though a week off spent gardening while the worker bees hover around your hive will prove profitable in more ways than one.

Eden, add my voice to Cindy's with respect to that chartreuse/yellow foliage thing. There's something about it that initially sets my nerves on edge, yet when I see it skillfully placed in combination with other things it can be quite attractive. I'm inching my way into using it more. We have a theory about why we are rarely sick and it involves our cavalier approach to cleaning. No way could the contageons of the outside world survive on the compound! ;)

Forget it, guys. I'm out of steam and this is going to have to be it tonight. I need a cat and my book. Talk atcha in the AM.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 7:43PM
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Is this National Clean Bathroom week or something? LOL. I scrubbed the bathrooms today, too. It's great to have that out of the way. As long as the beds are made, baths are clean and no dishes in sink, I feel ready for company.

eden...Beautiful sambucus. When I see healthy ones, it makes me want to try again. But I paid too much for the one that died on me, that I'm afraid to try again. I'll content myself with cotinus and ninebark. Are those peonies growing next to the sambucus? Or something else in the hoops?

'bug...rainy or sunny, your photos (and gardens) are enchanting.

cindy...hope you get the a/c and furnace situation straightened out soon...and to your satisfaction. Poor customer service seems the order of the day lately for a lot of companies. So when someone does a job well done, I want to jump for joy. [g]

pm2...boy, bet your tired from typing. Where do you find the photos you post? I look forward to seeing what you come up with...all amazing. are you feeling today? have been getting great suggestions on what shrubs to plant. Looking forward to see what you decide on. are you?

I didn't get to the store for the FG magazine, but tomorrow for sure. Had the grandsons today (every Tues.) then weeded for a while after they left. No energy left to drive anywhere.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:37PM
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Good evening

Gorgeous photos here today - Martie's well groomed park, GB's spring, Eden's fabulous Sutherland Gold (mine went the same way as Deanne's), PM's swans and a lovely foggy morning.

This evening I was given a break. DH offered to take Annie and BF to her birthday present rock concert. It was a generous offer as although the band are acceptable, the whole event is way outside his comfort level. However, I know Annie will really appreciate it. DH just called to tell me that all was going well, and that contrary to his prediction, he is not the oldest person there - he just saw someone in a wheelchair with oxygen.

I compensated by giving the kitchen a thorough and much needed clean and decided I need to try Eden's approach of one room a day. I think my approach fits Chelone's description of 'cavalier' too! I too am convinced that the immune system is like a muscle, and only through use does it get a chance to develop. I think ours get a regular daily work out.

Other news of the day is that the possible move is now off, at least for the immediate future so I am free to breathe again and start planning the summer. The job DH had been invited to apply for has undergone a change and is not being created after all. Easier than someone else being offered it I guess. This afternoon I had my annual delivery of the town's leaf mold and it is steaming and fragrant on the driveway. Clousseau thinks he's died and gone to heaven, luxuriating in its warmth and aroma.

Hope you all have a good evening

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 8:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm exhaling for you Mary!
Also feeling for ya Cindy!

This afternoon the new neighbour next door walked over to ask if her plant was a weed or not. YES, crown vetch! Two hours later she left. I guess she wanted to visit...

We just returned from the gas station...cost $100!

Phoebe chewed through her cone...and so I had to pay $10 for a second one. Sigh.

My days are filled with nonsense. I feel as though I'm always taking backward steps.

Off to find reading for DH's trip tomorrow and do a load of last minute laundry for the helpless male.

Feels like Friday..

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Let's hear it for clean bathrooms. Even the helpmeet has paid attention to the glistening status of that "most private" of rooms. He's been wiping the counter and the inside of the sink! the urge to do so will likely wane with time, but for now it's great and a nice change of habit. I'm all for a room/day. That way it's not completely overwhelming and the cause of paralysis.

And three cheers for knowing you can safely plan the summer, Mary. Idling in neutral is no fun even though one can always Idyll here. I have a great image of Clousseau contentedly lounging atop the steaming, aromatic pile of leaf mold... that's precisely where Wrecks would be. (the cats would have wee-weed in it, too). I love the smell of rotting leaves, it's one of those olfactory treats I look forward to after a long winter.

Interesting you should bring up the idea of a berm, Michelle. The area I'm working on is rather too narrow for one the size required to bring the plantings up to road grade (50' between road and bahn) and the cost of the fill would be prohibitive. But we have used the berm idea on a smaller scale away from the road, where we've planted several choice items "higher" than natural grade and have bermed around them and contoured the backfill down to grade level. It gives a little character to a very flat expanse of nothing. I think it will be quite appealing once the plantings are in place and we've "pimped it up" a trifle. I fear, Cindy, the lovely big Hollies would balk at the level of sogginess... I love them, too, covered in red berries at Christmastime they are breathtaking.

We still, however, have the naturally wet area to address. No matter what we do it will always be the natural place for road runoff and snowbank melt and it will be seasonally soggy regardless. So, in the spirit of Ken Druse, Garden in the Woods, etc., I've decided to use the area to support a natural barrier of moisture, soggy soil shrubs and go WITH the natural inclination instead of trying to fight it. All along our road there are huge stands of Ilex verticillata, Sumac, Chokecherry, etc., and they're really quite handsome. In the late fall after the leaves drop they are full of bird nests, and that's the sort of activity we want to encourage. The present vogue for so many newer homes is to yank out all the native things, regrade, drain, fill, and replace with the usual array of industrial park shrubbery. I'm finding it more challenging than I thought it would be to follow a more "natural" inclination. Martie, if you'd send me an e-mail with some nursery "name dropping" I'd be obliged... I think I know which one you're referencing, but can't be sure until I hear from you! It may well prove worth the drive.

I gave the painting contractor some money yesterday and today have to begin moving things away from the building so he can easily access parts of it that have been pretty well blocked for years. Window boxes are a priority, and so is the delicate operation of tilting the south trellises away from the building. Is it time to leave work yet?

"Shine on, you crazy diamonds".

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 5:22AM
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A big steamy pile of leaf mold is a perfect way to celebrate, Mary! I'm glad your summer is no longer on hold.

Chelone, I think your plan of working with Nature will produce great results!

PM, the tree was a 100 y.o. maple (of some sort) and it died a slow death beginning with the hook up to town sewage. The large equipment running over the roots was the culprit. It has actually been fun to watch the changes overcome this big tree - lichens and mosses began to grow and attracted bugs and then bug eaters, such as nutchatches and woodpeckers :) It is just a big pile of branches waiting to be chipped now. I am going to plant red oaks in it's honor (since it seems to have plenty of maple offspring around here).

I really want my bees and am kicking myself for not going the quicker route, but I will trust that everything will work out fine....I've noted no bees (except bumbles) in the garden. My neighbor lost her hive over the winter (long story, the queen got killed in a honey extracting accident, LOL).

I've gotta get moving or I'll be at the bus stop in my robe :)


    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 7:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good sunny morning all,

Doug and I have been busy bees here in the gardens this week and getting lots accomplished. Yesterday we emptied out the huge leaf compost bin, shredded all the leaves in it, raked the entire northeast corner/top of the hill and the area we store the trailer in, shredded all those leaves. Mixed about half the shredded leaves with the first couple mowings of grass clippings, watered it all in well and put it back in the big composter. Then we turned in several bushels of already cooking leaf compost then mixed that in well. (my arms are sore today LOL) I've got a batch of leaf compost was put together last Sept or Oct and it should be ready to use in a couple more week. Woohoo! Today Doug and I are going to tackle the pond project. (Have I mentioned I cant wait to get the fish outside) LOL

Anyway, THANKS everyone for your kind remarks regarding the Fine Gardening article. I was so excited and cant believe that really happened. You know how if something seems too good to be true it probably is? Well I kept thinking that this really wouldnt happen and had to pinch myself when my magazine came in.

PM2, I was contacted by the editor of this issue in February. Shed seen some of my pics on another garden forum I participate on. Shed asked to use some photos of my mailbox garden from 2005 for a garden design piece they do in the regular magazine. (That is supposed to be in the Sept. issue if all goes well, there were some image resolution issues to be resolved) Anyway, she asked me to send her some more pics so I sent links to my on line photo galleries and she contacted me a couple weeks later and asked if Id be in the container issue. Ive just been bursting with this news since February but wanted to wait until it actually happened before sharing.

Mary!!!! Great news, Im so happy that you wont have to move but sorry for your DH with the continued travel. That is really a tough way to live. Doug only has to be out of town ever other week and it gets old at times. ~~ Thanks for mentioning the article! But you are "family"!

So, OK all you folks out there sterilizing your bathrooms. Will you send a bit of that energy my way???? I just cant be bothered with indoor stuff right now and the interior of this house seriously need attention.

Eden, so jealous of your Sutherland Gold!!!! Im really missing mine and now am worried that the Cotinus wont be hardy. Id heard it did well in this Zone. Bummer yours had so much winter kill.

Well I just saw my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the season!!! He was checking out the little fountain in the bird bath. Woohoo!!!!

Michelle, how neat about that rainbow!!!!! They are pretty difficult to photograph effectively. I dont think the neighbor would have been thrilled for you to be traipsing through his newly planted corn. ~~ Many, many years our weather here does the winter to summer thing and one feels a bit cheated.

Woody, surely hope you are feeling better soon. This is no time of the year to be getting a cold.

Saucy, how did your workout with the trainer go yesterday???

V. Vent away any time you need to. Sometimes that really helps. I can feel pretty ill used by my immediate family at times. They can have some pretty unrealistic expectations.

Anita, how old are your grandsons? Are they old enough to help you weed yet??? LOL

Cindy, more spring pics please???? I just love your garden vignettes.

OK Ive really got to run and get outside and take advantage of this lovely day. Off to drain the pond and other pursuits. Have a GREAT day everyone!


    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 8:03AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all,
I'm going to be a 'Grandma' any day now! The babies will have 4 legs and fur but I know the Idyll's won't discriminate. I'm so nervous. I took Ebony to the Vet this morning and she is having 9-11? puppies. She's just beautiful and one of the nicest, calmest fosters I've ever had.
I just picked her up last night with her sis Checkers. SO cute...

Gotta' run. I'm making a birthing crate.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 1:55PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

See - I told you I was nrevous! LOL Moving this to the right thread.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2008 at 1:56PM
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