April Showers, bring....May Flowers, of course!

prairiemoon2 z6 MAMay 12, 2008

I bet that one has been done before...



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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

First bud on the irises! Sorry, not very clear and no sunshine out there today.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 2:07PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi everyone,

Jerri, yes I meant the invitation. The nearest airport to us is MHT and if you fly into Manchester, NH I can come and pick you up. The other large airport nearest here is Boston's Logan airport. They have shuttle service available to Nashua from there.

I'm still running around here trying to get all the plants out of the house. I've completely filled up the two twelve foot cold frames and the shelves in the garage are packed in as well. I only have one more rack in the house that needs to come out then I need to get all the brugs and large pots upstairs.

I'm dealing with some nasty wind damage today. It's wicked out there and must be gusting over 40 or so. It blew the new growth off the top of my tree peony and split the trunk. Grrrr... Then four of the large fuchsias on the shelves in the driveway got blown off and are now only half the size they were this morning. I quickly put the shelves back into the garage after that. What a pain. I can't get over how strong the wind is gusting though. There is new oak growth blown down all over the yard so I'll have to pick that up tomorrow when this wind dies down.

Ok back to schlepping up and down the stairs.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 2:35PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Deanne, that's Oklahoma speed wind! :)
You have mail...


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 3:39PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

OK, I need some Idyll truth and common sense. Last week I received an email from the friend of a rescue friend. I met him onced and like him a lot.
The guy is VP of a successful (from everything I can find out) business that does humane wildlife control. Think relocating a raccoon family and preventing them from returning to your home/property, keeping deer and bunnies out of the garden, crawling through the attic looking for squirrel babies...

They are now located in a neighboring area and the calls from OKC are warranting opening an office here. It will be working outdoors sometimes, with contractors and clients.
I told him my age and that I was not physically capable of spending the day on the roof anymore - as a matter of fact it's not my idea of a fun thing to do. Although I was once offered a job as a carpenters apprentice, so I am quite handy! LOL

I just got the following - he edited the job specs:

Ms. Jerri_okc (edited! LOL)

Please review the revised "join our humane team" page on our website. If our (your/my) bodies cannot handle roof tops every day, all day, it does not take us out of the running that is what contractors and employees are for. The busier I get, the most I personally get to do is shake hands, kiss babies and train people. I want to make certain that you do not discount yourself if you can run a crew to do a lot of the hands-on. We envision the OKC business growing very, very rapidly. This would require a monetarily prepared (What does that mean?) individual launching a time consuming and rewarding OKC empire.

I have to say I was very excited last week. I love rescue of all kinds and growing up in the country I'm familiar with most all critters.
Did I mention how much I hate this job??? I also like the thought of being able to control my income in some way. Even if it's 'time consuming'.

Thoughts and input requested! Now I'm thinking I'm too old to even consider doing this.

Opportunity or nightmare???

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 4:13PM
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Well, we've laid out the paths and I'm not really thrilled with the one that will run between Sanitary Ridge and the bahn and over to my BIL's home next door and connecting to the path around the north side of SR.

In the past we made the paths 4' wide but time has proven that to be too narrow, especially when we've hired a guy with a small tractor to help us move materials and shrubs. The helpmeet has requested that the new access paths be 6' wide and I agree wholeheartedly. The area between SR and the bahn is not particularly wide and the 6' path eats up a lot of real estate. There isn't much area left for planting next to the building and I'm having trouble picturing things that will prosper there, not impede snow removal, and help "tie" the building to the surrounding area and existing garden. We have to get this stuff laid out though, because when the driveway line is redone we plan to reuse the gravel that is dug out as the base for the new paths. Suffice it to say, that my respect for landscape architects is profound and I am gaining a new appreciation for the money required to render the sorts of hardscaping that really "grabs" me; you know, the kind that looks "easy" and doesn't require a huge amount of hired help to maintain. :/

The painter finished the front of the house today and is going to start the south side tomorrow. I'll be interested to see what the final result of the pressure washing is... I'm beginning to think we may simply coat the house with straight bleaching oil as the pressure washing has left the shingles not too, too different than those on the bahn.

Good news on the windowboxes, too. I mentioned them today and the helpmeet was perfectly amenable to making new ones... has an alien taken over his body?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 4:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Jerri, sounds like he respects you for what you are good at and would like you on his team. That alone must make you feel good. I can't advise if this is wise or not, or if it means abandoning your other job..which you are also good at. I know you have been taking courses recently too. Lots to consider.

Chelone, at my age, not having large areas for plantings sounds like a very wise approach! DH was recently lecturing me on how he wants narrow, less obvious paths in our wilder areas. I'm not sold. I think 6' is about right. You can walk WITH a dog or friend, not march Indian file.

The wind was nasty yesterday, but better today. The serious rain predicted is nowhere to be seen. A rose breasted grosbeak appeared today at last and now I'm waiting for the indigo buntings. Frost is expected tonight...so that means covering at least about 10 things...I certainly don't have my coleus out! Here there are iris buds as well on the short pale blue early guys.

I had a very short conversation with the insurance lady. She's very annoying, slow and talkative. I asked her to email DH with her comments and solutions. My email is not working for some reason, so that was a good excuse. The deadline is Wednesday/Thursday and DH returns Wednesday, late. What a pain. Seriously, I even know more about this than she does...and I am HOPELESS on this. It's her manner. UGH.

I just planted some seeds: eggplant, tomatoes, foxgloves, Ammi, sunflowers, primula etc....It's about time really, but frost continues for a good 3 weeks at least. I've already begun a garden ghetto for '08!

Chelone, photos on the house project?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 4:53PM
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I finally found a copy of Fine Gardening! Deanne, you look as good as your containers :) When I told Sarah that my friend was in a magazine, she said, "if my friend were in a magazine, I'd circle her, cut her out, and hang her on the wall." LOL, Deanne, whaddya think? Want me to pin you up? I can't wait to peruse my new mag at bedtime tonight.

Jerri, I don't think they would pursue you if they didn't believe in your abilities! Do you really want to do the job? He sounds willing to help you achieve your work goals with the appropriate tools - that speaks volumes to me.

Chelone, your problem is perplexing to me without a visual. I'm a fine one to ask someone to take a picture, aren't I? What about an archetectural detail to take the place of plant material? An arbor to mirror your other one, perhaps? Just throwing a wrench in the works :)

I did not go on a canoe ride, but a family bike ride! I enjoyed a peddle rather than a paddle.

I enjoyed seeing Cynthia's place :) and GB's long walk to the mailbox (I like the way silver maples look when a storm is brewing).

I've gotta run - we have softball every M-W-F during the time that used to be known as dinner :)


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 5:13PM
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GB, I seem to have a knack for posting at the same time as you :)

Your bird pictures were pretty - my finches don't seem so vibrant yet!


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 5:16PM
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The battery for the camera is rechargeing. It wimped out as I was taking some shots for you guys. When it's revived I'll finish the series and do my best to get some shots up. Also want to start the pet thread... (and no damned babies allowed! you memes listening?).

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 5:17PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

jerri - 'a monetarily prepared individual launching a time consuming and rewarding OKC empire.' Check that out in detail...! My first reaction is that either he expects you to put up some of the capital and/or expects the initial income to be low. If he's planning some sort of partneship arrangement, there's a whole lot of business issues you need to work through about such things as who owns what share of the business? what capital is required? cashflow prejections and general business case etc. It sounds like you could be exchanging the relative security of being an employee for the uncertainties of being a small businesswoman - which is fine if that's a direction you'd be comfortable with. You'd really want to check out the guy's business credentials, reputation and finances.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 7:00PM
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New Englanders (and transplanted Southerners, Hi Saucy!) get your canoes ready, the rains are headed your way. I was on the highway tonight and the overhead signs said 'surfs up!'. Or maybe it was 'High tide warning, watch for flooding.' That road was a good three miles from ocean. So got my oil changed and had the flotation devices inflated. That's actually why I had the oil changed. Front right tired looked soft and there are no gas stations with air pumps anymore and I didn't have time to by new tires.

Then I headed up to Joanne's fabric (the only remaining fabric store in this state I belive) with my 40% coupon. I've been trying to find something in pink similar to Mary's so cool retro apron, and think I hit it today. Black background with orange and fuchsia flowers. Grabbed orange piping and hot pink bias tape for edging. This is for Katie's nakedness, not for me. Also found lime green fabric with little pink flamingos, and denim with embroidered small flowers on it. The denim will be fun as I bought orange thread so that it would be more 'jeans' like and suspender buckles for the closure. I'm going to roll up the edges like jeans. These are all sundresses. The dresses hide her mishapen body and she's less scary looking when I take her to open houses.

Drat, I stopped at Trader Joe's too and there's a B&N right next door that probably had a copy of 'Garden Deanne's' (sic) container issue.

Jerry, That sounds like a franchise opp. 'Montetarily prepared....launching empire...' = pitch. :)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Hello everyone

Darn - I've fallen behind again and am unable to comment in full.

I did want to tell Dreama how sad I was to hear about her brother. Hugs for you and your family.

Ei - at first I thought that was the mag our Deanne is in. In our Barnes and Noble hers was on a separate stand with some other Fine Gardening specialty publications. Interesting about the felt dogs fetching those prices on Ebay. I actually thought I would do a series for our local Humane Society to auction off as a fundraiser. What do you think Jerri?

Deanne - thank you so much for the fabulous and generous delivery from Doug. I have just spent the last half hour ooohing and aaahing over my new babies and arranging them by color and type. I can't wait to get them into containers - our patio is very bereft at the moment but will soon be decked out in glory.

On Saturday Annie turned 15 and her BFF and Mom (who is a close friend of mine) threw her a surprise party. It was so much fun - we pretended we would celebrate with a family dinner but had to drop something off at her friend's house first. After a call on my cell phone that "the Eagle had landed" (ie all the girls had gathered) we swung by and Annie carried in a dish I said they needed to borrow. It was a fabulous and total surprise when her friends all jumped out of their hiding places and I'm sure something Annie will remember forever. The girls played badminton, Capture the Flag, churned homemade icecream, ate tacos and cake, played a murder mystery game (very fun) and ended with charades at 11.30PM phew!!

As a thank you for my friend for hosting such a great party I made another retro apron which I'm looking forward to giving her. Here it is being modelled by the dogwood.

A local home furnishings store was selling samples of fabric for a buck each and some had just the Grandma's attic look I was after for my pinnies. It was fun finding ones that coordinated and making it involved some creative cutting and piecing. For some reason I find it very satisfying - I'm working on others for future presents.

Hope you all had a good start to the week. I'm done to a turn and am heading to bed with my latest book.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:23PM
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Agitated here ! My post vanished out of Word of all things-no idea what I did. Operator Error no doubt. Anyway, I will just say Jerri , I agree with Woody,and the phrase 'monetarily prepared' raised a big red flag for me. A franchise maybe? Is thier website a .com or .org?? .

OK, if I recover from the lost post I'll be back, otherwise see y'all tomorow !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:31PM
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Look-I found my post ! How come it took ma an hour and a half to write this ? Must have been the SALAT break....

I think Chelone has made some impressive strides for a Monday. Here in tract home heaven , I have a sideyard area that has a 3 ft sidewalk with about 2 ft of planting space on each side. This is a typical canyon effect as well with a fence on one side and the two-story house exterior on the other. Fortunately I dont have to consider snow removal!

Jerri, Woody expressed my thoughts exactly a red flag went up for me with the term monetarily prepared. I would look to see if this is in fact some sort of a franchise operation, and whether they have a .org url or a .com ?

Saucy, maybe we all need to put Deanne on our refrigerators, lol. Im sure I have a garden inspired magnet that will fit the bill.

bug, we have nursery here that I thought grew just about every Heuchera on the planet, but I have to say I have never see or heard of Midnight Rose. I have found that the worst performer for me is Amber Waves, puny weak growth.

Okay, Ive been distracted so Im going to post this with apologies to unspoken to Idyll pals.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 9:41PM
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I would prefer to remain on the compound today, but work is now very busy and my wish cannot, alas, be granted. I have a series of window covers to make for a very large Grand Banks trawler (they've put over 80K into it so far), then there is a piddly cushion modification for the local porch and patio shop, and something else complicated after that... (wish I was making "pinnies" that were as much fun as the one Mary posted!).

We lost a local lobsterman on Sunday. Rough water, a capsize, and cold water did him in. The sternman and his 16 yr. old son survived, managing to swim to an island where they lit a fire to stay warm overnight. The missing man's body has not been recovered so far. Very, very sad. :( They had gone out to get lobsters for Mother's Day.

The helpmeet has today off and I do so hope he will spend a significant portion of it playing around in his garden. He's been making noises about that for a couple of weeks now and it seems a profitable way to spend his day off.

And, my Idyll friends, make your days profitable, as well!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 5:09AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone...very sorry to hear about your local lobsterman. Such a shame. Surprising, we were looking at the ocean on Saturday and although the waves did seem to be coming into the beach pretty strongly, I wasn't seeing any white caps to speak of, out in the ocean. I guess what is happening on the shore is not a good indicator of what is happening off shore.

Lots of work going on there at your house. I hope you are taking a lot of before and after photos. I completely understand your struggles with hardscape and related garden planning. It is not as easy as it looks. I think with all the talent in this group there might be one or two ideas that might help you, once you post a few pics of the area you are working on. I know last fall I posted pics on one of the forums of an area I was thinking through and it amazed me how much information I still didn't have after having thought about it and googled ideas and plant material already. I received a few ideas that I never would have thought of. It really helped me make decisions I was happy with and now that project is almost done and I am really enjoying it. Of course, you have to be ready for someone to say something about your project or photos that is not as helpful too....lol. If you can filter out what you don't need, you might get a gem or two, which I am sure you are quite capable of doing.

Gardenbug....I do not envy you the insurance negotiations. High on my list of least favorite jobs. One I need to move closer to the top of the list. We are due for a review of our policies.

I planted Ammi, winter sown this year and one of the few things that I managed to get planted out already. I have never tried it before and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do. No frost here, but fairly cool for May. Looks like this week is going to be more of the same. Have to try to get out there and really finish up the work because it is perfect working weather. Had to hold my new little plants in the house all day yesterday, it was so cold and windy. Hope I can get them out there today, once it warms up a little. Coleus and Begonias among them so I am trying to be careful.

That's a lot of work on your property, even with equipment. Wonderful space though and sounds like you wring every ounce of pleasure from it. I bet Phoebe has grown since the last photo. Due for an update. :-)

Mary, loved your apron! Want to start a little business for yourself and do mail order for those aprons? [g]

Managed to get to the Pond last night. Brought the camera in case we saw baby swans. Not even one swan in sight, which is unusual. Maybe they are busy nesting. We did see some beautiful swallows though. Maybe about a dozen or so, swooping and diving above the water. They were so adorable. I love the sharp points of their wings and they are like little acrobats. I didn't even attempt to get a photo, since they are so fast moving. It was freezing and windy there and nothing short of a baby swan would have enticed me to take my hands out of my pockets..lol.

Planning to try to make some head way in the garden today. Things are getting bogged down, since the neighbor boy is not really working out. Disappointing.

That's all the news that's fit to print from here. Happy Tuesday!

Remember that Butterfly Bush photo on my spring thread...this is what it looks like now. I think it is going to have a good year. Had to be that thick layer of composted cow manure we spread in the fall.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 6:54AM
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Sunny good morning.

Chelone - If all decisions could be so much fun as deciding where a path would go ..... LOL. Have fun with it!

Jerri - Well........maybe. Is this an LLC? Inc.? National? Personal investment? Training for you and staff? Vehicle provided? Who's *your* boss? Competition in the area? Advertising in place? 24/7 service offered that will cut into real life? First thing I'd do is check with some local animal control folks to see if they know anything about this guy. If he's in business he's in it for more than rescuing animals -- increased $$$ are also a motivator, I'm sure. Hey, it can't hurt to check him out and if it seems even 51% doable, invest in a good small business attorney to look everything over.

Just a pop in today. Work and home are each bringing their challenges and the mental energy involved only seems to be replenished in the gardens. So that's where I'll be for the next bit of time, with my cuppa, thinking about years worth of Idyll pics I'd like to replicate :-)


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 6:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Like Martie says...Work and home are each bringing their challenges. Issues with DSIL's ex-wife are never going to go away, but they are so wearing and senseless. The latest one involved Mother's Day. Skyler made a card at school...and wrote it to DSIL and Sarah, from himself and Reed. Sarah was emailed and told to give the card to HER! Anyway...once she spoke to her son and figured it out, she then scolded him and told him stepmothers are NEVER to receive cards and that his father is not allowed a card for Father's Day this year. She told him he was thoughtless and a bad child. OOOYYYYYYY! There's more to it of course, but I was (and am) livid. These issues will never disappear, but what a terrible confusion for that child! I do feel (a bit) badly for her not getting a card if it means so much to her. But really! Sorry, I had to vent....

It is a gorgeous day out there! So much to be done PM, you are right! And yes, Phoebe has grown a great deal. I must take some photos if she stops moving for a sixtieth of a second sometime!

Deanne, your course with DH and DD sounded like a great opportunity. It is good to hear that you are doing things together! This one seems useful to you all.

So nice to hear about Annie's surprise party. The apron...so special!

Tomorrow DH returns from Leipzig and the house is the pits...but somehow the exterior is calling my name! Even with black flies!
Later friends,

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well I had wicked wind damage yesterday. Branches down everywhere and some of the soft new growth on the perennials snapped off. New clematis growth blown to the ground then broken where it joins the stems. Boohoo. After all the rain the weather people have predicted for the last week and a half we havent gotten a pic of moisture so Im going to have to water the back gardens under the trees as they are dry as dust at the moment.

Poor Luke (alias Buda) is going to have to go to the vets as hes got a nasty sore on his face. Hes gotten in a fight with a feral cat a few days ago and even though Id carefully cleaned the wound and watched it carefully it now appears to be getting infected. I think he must have scratched it open again yesterday. Always something it seems.

Cynthia, unfortunately we didnt get any of that moisture, it all went south of us. And that new system moving east is also going to stay south. ~~ I cant wait to see Katies new outfits.

Mary, Annies birthday party sounds perfect! What fun!!! So glad the delivery arrived safely. I know youll enjoy them. ~~ You apron is awesome!!!!! I ought to hire you to make me my painting aprons. That one is such a wonderful creative piece of work. Ill have to show you the design of our painting aprons which are a wrap around deal.

Jerri, I agree with Kathy, Cynthia and Woody, when I saw the monetary thing it sent up all sorts of red flags.

Saucy, Thanks for your kind words re the mag. I LOL over being a pin up girl on peoples refrigerators. (As a warning perhaps. Too funny.)

Chelone, that is so sad about the lobster fisherman. The ocean is unpredictable and unforgiving. I watch the Deadliest Catch program about the crab fishermen on the Bering Sea and am constantly amazed at the dangers they face to earn a living. Its unbelievable how life threatening situations are business as usual for them.

Kathy, I agree about Amber Waves. That just faded away over a couple seasons and I shovel pruned what was left of it. Looked great in the nursery but didnt perform.

PM2 That Butterfly Bush looks fabu! Lovely growth on it. Mine is looking good but not that great.

Bug, yes the workshop was a lot of fun for us. I was happy to spend a day doing something so positive with DD and DH. ~~ What a drag about Skylers mom. She sounds like she has some mental illness issues. The behavior you describe is irrational, erratic and manic.

OK Ive got to get my day started. Have a terrific day everyone!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:13AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning!

Lots of wind here too but no damage that I can see. No rain either. Guess mowing the lawn is on my agenda tonight...lol.

Jerri, you've received some good advice already about this "opportunity" but I'll add my two cents. It sounds vague to me. If it involves animal rescue or some sort of humane society work, I can't imagine there is any financial reward. As you know, the bulk of that type of effort is performed by overworked volunteers and/or underfunded municipalities who lack sufficient facilities and resources. Where would the money come from?

Still no luck on Deanne's magazine. I looked for it at Lowe's the other night. They had just about every other Fine Gardening publication but I didn't see that one.

Happy Birthday to Annie!

The trenches are calling.



    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Jerri, Sue's comments reminded me of my experience in a school in Nigeria. Schools were popping up everywhere. The owners felt that collecting boarding fees would be a fine thing and so when the poor kids arrived they had no windows in their dorms and no qualified teachers, no equipment, etc... It rained on their mattresses and books. There was no electricity for lighting to work by, no bathrooms. The kids "mowed" the compound by hand before classes each day with machetes. I enjoyed working there with the kids and some of the staff, but the owner was a real creep and he is one of a very few people in life I can say I actually hated. All of this to say that I too believe caution and research are advised. I initially fell for the compliment of course, but the fact that he contacted you a second time after your first reservations makes me feel he is desperate more than enthusiastic. The evasiveness about money is just plain strange.

I've removed a slew of dandelions and other stuff growing where a neat edge was desired. Now to go fill a hole with gravel before someone twists an ankle there. It may be my imagination, but I believe I see some grass seed sprouting at last. I also need to disassemble my primitive benches so that I can mow under them...I seem to be all talk, no action!

I'm off!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:48AM
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I am hopelessly behind and this week will be wild, with the boss and his wife are both out of the office until Friday.

Last night DD brought Kenzie over. She stayed over and I delivered her to my mom on my way to work. All in an effort to save gas (plus we got some time with her too) DD and her DH have a convention to attend. We had a wonderful time last night, Ill put together some of the exploring pictures and post later. She says the most adorable things these days. She heard some birds singing and told me they were singing for her. All of a sudden she hollers "thank you birds"

This weekend was fun. My oldest niece graduated and I am particularly close to her.

Drema, my deepest sympathies on the loss of your brother. Congratulations on the new little life as well. What a lovely name.

We had some ferocious wind yesterday too. It did die down in the evening so we could enjoy the outdoors with Kenzie. Rain predicted for today and Thurs. Work really digs into gardening time and it seems like Ive really spent little time in the garden this spring either due to yukky weather or obligations.

Mary, your model is nearly as pretty as the apron.

I know that there were some fabulous pictures on the last thread including Cynthia and Sues tropical patios, bugs views from the indoors, Kathys gorgeous roses, Eis inviting porch, Mermaid Bella and Deannes wonderful closeups. Keep them coming girls. Things are getting started here, but we are several weeks behind. My fern leaf peonies are commonly known as Mothers Day peonies and most years they do bloom around Mothers Day. They certainly didnt this year and they wont either for a week or maybe 2.

Kathy, thanks for sharing your little man with us. He is adorable and wow a baseball fan too!

I must get at it. Enjoy your day!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:37AM
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drema...I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. How great, though, that his last weeks were filled with family time and love. You will treasure those memories. Congrats on the baby. Is this your granddaughter? Beautiful name.

I still haven't found a copy of FG, either. I've only checked at two grocery chains, but am going to Borders tonight.

I've been busy with garden cleanup still, but things are finally starting to grow and fill in. I always hate the transition between winter and spring in the yard, a dreary time for sure. May is the turning point, but June and October are my favorite garden months.

chelone...I was touched to hear how well you look after your elderly neighbor. I bet it's a mutually satisfying relationship.

jerri...Have you heard anything more from the rescue guy? I agree with everyone else about the money comment sending red flags, and am hoping for the best for you.

cynthia...congratulations on Aiden. Such a cutie-pie. Nothing quite like being a grandmother.

deanne...high winds and tall plants do not make good partners. I hope the damage was kept at a minimum, and knowing you, all will be in tip top shape in no time.

Gotta keep this short...have the grandsons today. I'll be back with more.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:48AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

You guys are just impressive. :)
I think I'm finally on the same page as this guy. It is indeed a franchise. Part of my confusion in the beginning came from a fellow rescuer who was talking about the position as being a salary position. I believe it tainted my view for a bit.
That being said, it seems the guy is still very vague, but we have not actually met to discuss things. We agreed that if this would be something I am interested in I will call and talk personally.
It is a local business who has done very well. They are looking to expand. Obviously this would be a BIG commitment with lots of research involved.
Not to mention a complete lifestyle change. I want a change but I do not want to jump into something I am not prepared for. My parents had a small business and it can take over your life.

Mary, the donation of felt puppies is a wonderful idea! Any rescue would be very appreciative. :)

I know I've missed a lot I want to comment on but I suppose I should do a little work here today!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh, I did a little research on the guy. His business won a couple of local 'small business' type awards. He was involved in humane rescue before he started the business and continues to support rescue.
Now... part of reason I like rescue is NOT having to deal with people too much. Not a good thing for a businees person. LOL

Later gators,


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Just got an email from Mr. Wildlife manager.

"I just got a call from the OKC zoo you have feral peacocks running all over OKC?"

You have to admit, that is a much more interesting morning than I am having! LOL

What exactly do you do with feral peacocks? Life is very interesting isn't it! ;)


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Will someone email me the name and location of the IU hotel? I have it at home but I can't see it from here. :)



    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh geez, did I run ya'll off? :(

We're having babies here! Five and counting. AHH!!!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:35PM
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Jerri, the Romans were rather fond of peacocks as a decorative entree at their leisurely meals. I think such artful display at banquets for the homeless/hungry could be a wonderful draw... . "PC", I ain't. To me, in fact, "dem's fightin' words". ;)

You're forgiven the "hopelessly behind" excuse, Michelle, since we know you used your time "profitably" with Kenzie. :) We had a young vistor, today. Just 2 and absolutely a "2 speed model" (conked out or run); he ran everywhere and poor Rex was out of his mind trying to keep him in his sights, lol. Cracked me up that young Jack had NO fear of the towering Huge One and the Huge One was so delicate in his investigation of the tiniest humanoid he's encountered in a long time. :)

Here are some some shots of the compound, taken yesterday:

Looking at the west facade of the bahn, facing northeast. Sanitary Ridge is to your left. If you look closely you'll see orange lines marking the proposed path to my BIL's home. The small path in the left foreground will be incorporated into the the planting area, as the pitch is steep and the Juniperus procumbems is happy and looking for more real estate.

This is the straight shot to BIL's home. Note the new path will move to the right, so what is presently path will increase the Sanitary Ridge garden. The slope of the SR garden will be softened (good) but this means the plantings next to the bahn will have rather meagre space... . And avoiding the "bowling alley" look is going to be tough as there isn't much space to add a softening curve. I'm not thrilled, but will probably have to "deal with it". Snow removal can be an issue (last year!) but not always. Fence posts in the background will go "bye-bye". I'm debating big, bold grasses along the bahn or maybe trellises and vines. I'm not pleased with either, but know woody shrubs will be destroyed in a tough winter and won't have room to grown in pleasant shape without impeding use of the path.

Here's a shot of the area looking toward the house (southwest) taken from the Salon.

Here's the present driveway viewed from the south windows of the Salon. Note the old driveway entrance to the left (with the 2 piddly evergreens). Stakes with ribbons on them denote the new inside curve. The driveway will be 14' wide and the outside curve will be roughly where the tiretrack is in this shot. Stakes in the background (look carefully, at about "noon-1") will soften the hard turn when one drives the circle counterclockwise. We will bring the driveway closer to the arbor entry to the helpmeet's garden, and shave away the grass to the right of the bed with the emerging JM in it.

And here are two shots that are just plain pretty.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 7:53PM
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Im pretty sure the baHn is bigger than my house .I think your layout is very thoughtful Chelone, and if I was the garden-master there I think I would put either vines or a tall thin evergreen between each window on the skinny side. Yews ? Can you do those there? This would soften the wall and as you traverse the path the interesting view would be on the Sanitary Ridge side. Someone suggested an arbor-that would be very cool at the start of the path an excuse for more Clematis if there ever was one. Will the path be concrete ?

Michelle, nice to see a long-ish post from you, and that you are enjoying quality time with Kenzie. Has there been a resolution to the wet issue in Kenzies garden ? The raised bed approach might be something to consider. Since we get no rain in summer our swamp areas here are winter related. It is not uncommon to loose certain types of bulbs and medit plants that dont care for standing water over the winter. Our problem this year however is lack of winter rain. When we flew over Lake Shasta last week it was really shocking how low it was for springtime. I can only imagine what it will be like in August.

bug , I just loved your out the window pics in the last thread. Very artfully composed as usual!

Deanne, wind damage is so disheartening ! Mother Natures Felcos without the nice clean cuts . Thanks for that camera info-I am discussing with DS.

Mary the Dogwood looks stunning in the apron. Perhaps it need a green one for high summer , and a nice red number for fall ! I remember the one and only surprise b-day party I had vividly to this day, and Im thinking it was my 20th bday? That would be a few years back. The perpetrators were very clever and I had no suspicions at all- and surprise parties are fun for the givers too !

Jerri, keep us posted on the puppy deal !

Time for some baseball-its warm tonight , baseball weather.

Where is V ????

Look, I have other plants besides roses-love this blue Penstemon...Oh yeah, the yellow rose is Happy Child , an Austin.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 9:08PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

6 puppies and counting. The XL crate is too small for everyone so DH is out buying a kiddie pool!
This will take up too much room in the kitchen, I won't be able to cook for weeks. LOL

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 9:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ahhh, blue and yellow! :)

Just back from a movie, (Run, Fat Boy, Run) time to walk Phoebe some more.

Thanks for the pictures Chelone! I like the idea of grasses...but they too require work. I should try for some doggie shots demain.
Bonsoir a tous!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 9:47PM
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I forgot to tell you that we are going to rob the gravelly fill from the old driveway for use on the new paths. That will kill two birds with one stone; it will allow us to dig out and reclaim the old driveway entrance to increase the width of the shrub border that will buffer the road, and it will get a good base started for the SR path (we like reusing stuff). I think ultimately the paths will have large pavers on them (I would love to use broken concrete for its irregular shapes) and I'd like to introduce the tough, creeping "in between" plants to soften the interstate look. The SR path is going to be really hot in the summer (faces due west and the sun just beats down there, hence the contented evergreens, grasses, Bearded Iris, etc).

I have toyed with the idea of using evergreens along the building, but am not sure I want anything that rigid growing that close to the building and the space is tight. As we've now entered the "maintenance" phase of homeownership I'm appreciating the fact that we can maintain the siding without battling woody shrubs to do it! Tall grasses could be cut down to accomplish work, and vines on hinged trellises (as we have on the house) could be flipped forward and out of the way. The painters were absolutely thrilled when we showed them how our trellises work. :)

I wonder how many puppies there are in the kiddie pool, now? Jerri, I have to tell you, the idea of a kiddie pool is brilliant and it did elicit a pre-dawn chuckle. I see sleep deprivation is the order of the day at your house.

I meant to comment on that handsome dogwood in Mary's photo. We planted one last fall and it's starting to really set leaves, I'm really looking forward to some flowers. There are a few in and around town that are farther along than our's is and I've been deliberately driving by them to enjoy their elegant flowers. Flowering quince is in full bloom right now, too (I love that color!). Mostly, though, we're still struggling along in the transition to spring (agree with you, Anita on the "in betweens").

It was windy here on Monday, too, Deanne. But not much damage that I noted. There was plenty of it earlier this spring, though. Spencer mixed it up with the neighbor's kitty the other night. He has a couple of cuts on one ear, but other discernable damage that I noted. Hope Buda is OK. Cats heal fast and oftentimes seal up a wound and infection right along with it. Keeps life interesting for their humans and stimulates the veterinary economy.

Off to enjoy more fun with canvas. :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 5:19AM
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Wow! The compound is a mess, Chelone, LOL! I am going to break out some before shots and see if I can figure this out :) I'm so excited to see the transformation. I'm leaning towards hard additions, such as your trellis, at this time....

Hope Fat Cat is better today. Hope you are, too, Deanne - no fun having a pet who needs to be doctored.

Jerri! Fun, fun, fun. Now you'll have to tiptoe around and give those babies the dark quiet place that their mother has in mind :)

Mary, the range of your creativity never ceases to amaze me! I love the apron, and the model :)

Kathy, is that Penstemon Sour Grapes? I have that one in the garden and it has been a surprise favorite for me.

My yard is looking so nice with the removal of all the branches from that tree. Today I may attempt to move some of my wood chips over to the path to the canoe launch. I still have several shrubs to remove and Nick assures me that I can pull them out myself (with the pick up)....so I might get brave and do that, too, since planting depends on all the removal first and foremost. Say goodbye to the overgrown forsythia (right next to the foundation) and an awful barberry that the birds like to seed around! They will leave the perfect spot for some Aronia and the larger, wilder viburnums :)

This weekend is my getaway to Maine! We've planned a foot soak - looks interesting! I'll include a link :) in case anyone nearby is interested (Chelone!). I'll follow up with a review next week :)

Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 7:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

As promised...Big Sur, California...

No time...have a wonderful spring day today!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 7:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, wish Maine were closer....I could deal with a get-away with you and Chelone right about now!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 7:49AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well a beautiful day will be on tap today and I will have to spend half of it in the basement. Grrrr I received an order the other day and when I went to fill it I was missing two of the pattern packets. That means making a run of the two missing packets and one of them is a laminated and bound workbook so that takes even more time. I just hate it when this pesky work gets in the way of my gardening. LOL

The lilacs, dogwood and brunnera are blooming up a storm and the dwarf iris are beginning to put on their show. This is such a wonderful time of the year.

Eileen, the Molly has four lovely flowers on it this year and Im going to have to get pics of it for you. Also, did you send me those lovely blue and white iris? They have made quit a carpet and are just beautiful this year.

V. sends her greetings to everyone and asked me to tell you that all is well shes just very busy at the moment.

OK gang, when are we going to VT?

Saucy and Chelone, Fat Cat (alias Buda) (nee Bamboo Luke of Askari Bengals) is doing better and the wound is looking clean and healthy with no heat or swelling in it. Im keeping my eye on him though as you mentioned Chelone, oftentimes those punctures heal with the infection inside.

Chelone, Im looking forward to visiting the compound sometime soon and see the new salon and all those interesting paths around and about. If I was a painter Id love those trellises too.

Jerri, love the kiddi pool for the puppies. Too funny.

Kathy, gorgeous Penstemon! What a fabu color of blue. And of course the rose is divine. I cant get over how none of your roses seems to have any insect damage or disease at all. You must be in the perfect climate for roses there.

All righty, I really need to get off this computer and get some work done, have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:10AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Deanne, I am toying with the idea of taking a run to Walker Farm this weekend. Next weekend is Memorial Day and my mom will be here on Friday and possibly Saturday night on her way home from FL. Then on the 31st we have the Tower Hill spring plant sale and trip to Saucy's local specialty place-Mapel Plants. And of course we need to fit a party of some sort in that time frame as well...lol. Too many activities and not enough weekends...

A foot soak and massage sounds perfect right now but I guess I'll have to settle for physical therapy tonight.

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 8:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A morning tale...

This morning Phoebe and I did our walk up to the road where our mailbox stands. It was 8:10 and the children were on their way to school just across the road from us. It is a Mennonite schoolhouse and many of the kids walk while others ride their bikes. In nasty weather their families drive them to school in horse drawn buggies. I am trying to get Phoebe adjusted to the kids, the horses, and bikes.
It was a particularly sweet morning. The two older boys in front were walking, wearing their formal hats and carrying their huge lunch pails. Behind them, younger kids were holding the smallest one's hands. The girls wear dark navy bonnets. The children on bikes wear helmets these days...a more recent feature since we moved here 11 years ago. One braided girl on her bike was struggling to drive one handed, carrying a huge bouquet in the other, obviously for teacher!
It is a two room schoolhouse, about 4 years old now. They have a nice set-up there and DH and I love to watch them as we pass during their recreation time, the girls in their flowered dresses and braids, playing a vicious ball game or game of tag with the boys. They are shy, but a dog works wonders!

Thunderstorms are predicted for lunchtime and beyond, so I also managed to tie up some of the largest delphiniums and hope that does the trick! (Then I did my week's worth of dishes as DH returns tonight!)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:04AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Having 11 puppies is hard work! The pool is in. It has a sheet, a 62# Mom and 9 puppies. Two died or were born dead. :(

Mom was not happy with us moving her babies but it had to be done. She liked the crate better, it was enclosed and darker since I had it covered with a quilt.

I forgot how noisy newborn puppies are. Sleep deprived is right. :)


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:32AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Back with a minute to try to catch up a little. Seems like the roll call keeps getting lighter each morning. I am wondering if gardening season keeps everyone busier? The weather is glorious out there and none of the rain we were due here either. Have the sprinkler going this morning for the first time. I managed to get a couple of photos of one new epimedium as it is filling out and the trillium did bloom!

Martie...would love to figure out some way to exchange plants...I haven't seen any way to email you. You can email me through GW if you get a chance.

Sorry about the wind damage, Deanne. It was quite windy here too, blowing chairs over in the yard.

Still haven't found a copy of FG Container issue. Going to try B&N this week.

Woody...how have you been feeling lately?

Mary, I just had time to read your account of Annie's Birthday party and I can't tell you how much fun it sounded like. For 15 year olds, it sounds like a very innocent list of activities and I have to think that the parents planning it must be doing a great job with their kids. Very lucky kids to have such great memories of growing up.

Hi Michelle...nice to see you. Your Kenzie's thanking the birds brought a smile to my face. Did you ever watch Art Linkletter on 'Kids Say the Darndest Things'? So sweet!

Nice to see your photos of the new bahn and future pathways and beds. If you are definitely moving the pathway closer to the side of the building and reducing the size of the planting bed and have to be concerned with snow removal too, I like the idea of things that die down to the ground in the winter vs evergreens that you wouldn't want to pile snow on top of. I agree with the idea of a Trellis with clematis and maybe you could add grasses/sedums/coneflowers/native liatris in front? Spring bulbs for the spring which would be disguised by the grasses later. You are so lucky to have so much space! White dicentra is one of my favorites.

Kathy...How pretty! Love the combo of Happy Child with the blue penstemon. Those blooms are huge!

Saucy, I like the sound of your viburnums and Aronia combo.

Gardenbug, that really did sound like an idyllic morning.

That's it from here...have to go shut off the sprinkler...


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:49AM
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jerri...What an exciting experience you've had...nine puppies. Sad about the two that were lost. The pool is a great idea. Does the mom take over now? What do you have to do to help, if anything? Did you take pictures?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Congratulations on the new arrivals Jerri! Nine is a lot of puppies, sorry about the lost two. Well, you will have your hands full for the next couple of months. lol Hope we will see some photos soon. :-)

Chelone...I left your name out..sorry. [g]


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:53AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM2 - I love that epimedium! Gotta get one of those....:-) Your butterfly bush is looking better than mine but, for the first time ever, Black Knight made it through the winter! I love the color and scent of it but it always dies out. Even though we had a brutal winter and the bed it¡¦s in is on the north edge of the lawn, it made it!

I'm feeling OK most of the time. I'm starting to get a bit more energy although I still have frequent pain in the right side of my head. But I'm spending a fair bit of time in the garden and that always makes me feel better! I'm in the process of reshaping the back lawn into a rectangle, expanding the woodland beds, making new beds for the shed, and adding some paths. Yesterday morning we were at my samosa-making friend's place teaching her how to trench-edge beds. This is her first spring in a house with a garden so she's got lots to learn. The previous owner put in lots of everything - too much for a small - very small - property (three pine trees in a backyard about the size of my patio?!) So far I haven't been able to convince my friend that she has to remove some things!

Drema -condolences on the loss of your brother. It sounds like he was living with zest to the end and that is a good way to go I think.

Jerri - congratulations on the puppies! (Sorry two were lost but 9 is going to be quite enough for mama I'm sure :-)

Deanne - I forgot to say... congratulations on the Fine Gardening showing! I picked up a copy (after sorting out which magazine was the right one!) I'll be watching for the next article....

Chelone - I hadn't really realized how big your place is until you posted the pictures above - how much land do you have? I envy all of you with large, but manageable, sized properties (like Martie - and you...?) Realistically, I know my suburban 1/4 acre is probably all I can actually handle but one can dream.... I'm not usually a fan of ornamental grasses but they do seem to be a logical solution for that space. I think they would look good with some Russian Sage and gaura weaving through them, with purple coneflowers also peeking through.

Mary - cute apron but I like the model better! I'm hoping my dogwood flowers for the first time this year but am not optimistic...

Kathy - Mister Baby is cute, but I prefer your roses º

gb - that sounds like a very peaceful scene at the end of the walk to the mailbox. Does it sometimes make you feel lost in time¡K? We need a good dose of Phoebe pictures soon¡K.
I was thrilled on Sunday to notice that my Clematis montana has a few flowerbuds again this year! It has only blossomed once before - in 2006. Given that it's very marginally hardy here and also only 4 years old, I'm not too unhappy with that. Given the brutal winter and spring we had here and some rash 'I thought it was dead because the bottom stems were bare' pruning late last summer by my helper Arlene, I didn't have any expectation of bloom this year at all. When the clematis bloomed in 2006, so did my Chinese wisteria so, when I noticed the montana buds, I double-checked the wisteria. The buds had looked brown after several days of frost at the end of April so I had written off the chance of bloom from it too. Sure enough, yesterday there were big fat flowerbuds on it too! I'm not sure how much a show either the C .montana or wisteria will be able to muster but any flower at all will be very welcome!

This is such a great time of year, with so much in flower and so much more to look forward to! Most of the pale pink magnolias that are beautifully common in our neighbourhood are starting to lose their petals now. Our 'Randy' and 'Susan' varieties are later blooming. 'Randy' has been open for a few days but 'Susan' is just starting. A few years down the road, this combination is likely going to cause some problems with space and/or shade part of the front bed too much, but I love the three of these together. The picture foreshortens the view a bit - they aren't as close together as they look in the picture:

Very frustrating... I copied this post from Word and a lot of my punctuation maks got converted into weird symbols. I fixed most of them but I may not have got them all. I've had that happen before. I'm not sure if it's because I use a Dvorak keyboard layout or what... It's very irritating when it happens!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 2:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I only have time for some photos now. Will try to get back later... But a speedy congratulations to Jerri on the babies. Heck, my grandson was born in a pool, so why not pups!

Spring Green tulips with camassia buds



And Phoebe...my little tank!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 2:57PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Woody!

I just came in from the garden and what a nice surprise to see a chatty email from you. Yes, I am crazy about that epimedium too. It is all it was cracked up to be. 'Bandit' is the name of it. You should have seen my BBush last year, I had just moved it from another location and hadn't pruned it back hard but left it about 3ft high in the spring. By the end of the summer it was about 7ft all around which is a lot for me. It was sort of spindly though and I think I will like it better this year, smaller and bushier. I lost a few BBush in the past, but for some reason, this particular one likes my garden. Even the winter before with no snow cover it still came back. It has never looked this good, I am sure it must be the compost added in the fall. So happy for you that your Black Knight made it through the winter. That is one of my favorites. Not sure what the name of mine is, but it is a light lilac I think and fragrant too. I added Pink Delight this year and I hope that will do as well.

I am very glad to hear that you are feeling a little more energy and able to get out in the garden. I understand how getting out in the garden has that effect on how you feel. Just lifts your spirits so much, doesn't it? Lots of good work planned in your garden then...hope you will take a lot of photos.

Your friend is lucky she has such an experienced gardener for a friend to help her. A lot easier than figuring it all out yourself and more fun too. Fun for you too, I am sure. I have to laugh at your friend not wanting to take out any plants..lol. I am that way too. I also have a 1/4 acre suburban lot and I have been accused of having too many plants. I still have room to move things though.

Love your magnolias! Smart to get varieties that bloom later. I had heard those that bloom earlier often succumb to early frosts. I am trying to figure out a place to put a magnolia tree. I saw a yellow one for the first time this spring and I am in love...lol.

Gardenbug, that Phoebe is getting so adult looking, losing her puppy looks already. Thanks for the photo of the camassia and the tulips. Love it!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 3:28PM
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Today is a stellar day! Unfortunately Im stuck working indoors, but I do have my desk in a corner with a window on each side and I have one open. I have started my routine of walking the gardens at 6:30 a.m. What a peaceful stroll it was with sunshine, blue skies, no wind and the birds singing.

Gorgeous epimediums gals. Why is it that Word doesnt recognize words like epimediums? LOL

I was able to find the Fine Gardening issue at the local grocery store. Which was interesting because they only had a choice of 3 gardening magazines. Now that Deanne has been discovered, she will probably become a regular contributor.

Kathy, my container was featured in Backyard Living and one of their special publications. Not as prestigious as FG. Id like to know the name of the penstemon too, its a pretty combo.

Woody, I have had that same problem with the funny punctuation. I think your little smily face is causing it. Try making one with the lower case "o" instead of the dash. Neat that you have namesake magnolias. I dont know if there are plants named Rick and Michelle, other than heuchera Lime Ricky and DH wouldnt appreciate that.

Phoebe is really hard to photograph isnt she? About all you see is white teeth and a little beard.

Chelone, Im all about reusing. My family is always asking could you use this in the garden and I usually take it figuring Ill find a use eventually. Id love to see just how you have your trellises hinged. I have 3 trellises that Id like to add to the house but would like some space between them and the house. Nice to see some compound pictures. You really have a lovely property. Are you in a city, small town or on the edge of town?

As for the Secret garden, DH thought that the water was coming from the ditch and tried to "fix it" yesterday. He made a muddy, rutted mess of the grass by the blue spruce hedge. He as bummed and so am I. He thinks he will bring more dirt in the one end of the ditch so it drains the opposite way of the Secret Garden.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 4:42PM
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This week is whipping by so quickly-already Wednesday and we are entering our first official heat wave of the season .87 in my kitchen and 95 outside , just a bit before 6pm. I came home and did some quick watering of the newly planted zinnias, and my roses look like crapola-they dont mind the heat but dislike going from 70 to 95 in one day. The more gradual approach is preferred. Think there will be lots of deadheading to do this weekend.

Woody, the same thing happens to me if I put smileys etc in my posts in word and then cut and paste. I now put them in after I have pasted the post in the GW text window. Yep, I dont like babies, but I LOVE roses. Maybe the thing for your friend is to get some string and outline on the ground what the shade canopy of those pines will be in 10 years (or more) . Even experienced gardeners have a hard time visualizing the mature specimen, dont you think ? Im famous for planting things too close together, but I have no problem with moving or discarding my errors.

PM , I would love to have some Epimediums. I would also love to have ¼ acre like you and Woody ! Im jealous. Anyway, I know Epimediums do well in the PNW, Dan Hinkley had a nice collection at Heronswood. I look forward to growing them .

Saucy, the Penstemon is I believe Rocky Mountain Blue" . It only gets about 18 inches tall, and re-blooms throughout the season if deadheaded.We used to be able to get one called Blue Bedder that was grown by a local wholesaler but have not seen that one for years. It was the same true blue as mine. Interestingly, there are two different plants out here that are sold as Sour Grapes. One is a lavender-ish color with a white throat and the other is a dark burgundy. I favor the latter, but it is harder to find.

Michelle, too bad that little girl got in the way of all your farm pics :-) Good thing there were no dogs included or Chelone may have hit the roof ! Backyard Living okay I remember now. Its hard to keep track when you either buy or subscribe to every single garden magazine there is. I think Chelone posted photos of her hinged trellises last year now that I think about it. I hope you and DH are able to come up with a viable solution for the secret garden.

Deanne, thanks for the update on V. Can I ever sympathize with getting stuck doing indoor tasks when the garden beckons ! My roses are only disease free this year because we had no rain this spring-I usually have quite a bit of blackspot. As far as bugs go, since I have not sprayed for many years I have a nice balance of predator insects . We dont have Japanese Beetle here ,but we do have Rose Curculio and I had quite a bit of damage on Honey Perfume.

Time for me to sign of, Im having a nice Monterey County artichoke for dinner.

Isnt it about time for Denise to come back ? We need a check-in from Honey, Babs and T as well.

Ta ta all
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 9:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy...I do remember that Heronswood had some nice epimedium. I know you will enjoy having them. They are just about indestructible and will grow in dry shade under maples, which amazes me. I didn't realize you had less than a 1/4 acre where you are. You make it look larger than that. Are you going to be looking for larger when you move? How is the annual bed coming?

Michelle...don't you just love walking the garden early in the morning? My favorite time...well, except for in the really hot weather, I like to go out late at night to see moths and night visitors.

Gardenbug....I am amazed that you found an apricot epimedium, so i went looking for it and found it on Probst site today. It is a beauty!

Ok, so where are all the May flowers? Need more May flowers on the thread. :-) May is the best month!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 10:31PM
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PM, my lot is a bit over 6000 sq ft. 1/4 acre is about 11k sq ft, rounding up a little. I am hoping for at the very least another 1000 sq ft of lot, and hoping for 8k plus. The neighborhoods I am looking in are somewhat hilly (I don't like flat places) so the issue will be useable/plantable sq footage.

Note to self: Need to find more May flowers that aren't roses for pm2 !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I bought more plants and got more containers put together yesterday :) It was a gorgeous day and I put my foot down where work was concerned....if I had "sick days" on the books, I would've used one :)

No wood chips moved.

PM, I think June is when my garden shines. Sometimes July. I need more May flowers and lots more early Spring bloomers. I hope that a garden will take shape so that I can begin to plan bloom times....that would be great! Seems there are always too many things to do - things besides planting.

Time to order mulch.

WOW! I just saw the swans fly by outside my window! For some reason they're hanging out up river (near my house) rather than their usual "in town" hang out. People usually give them no privacy while they nest and then wonder why we have no ducklings (or is it a gosling?). Maybe they'll stay up my way :)

I guess I'd better get off this computer and get moving. Lots of packing to do. Which means laundry to wash :) I hear whispers of secret projects planned for the weekend....I'm kind of scared!

Oh Yeah! My Bee Equipment arrived yesterday, LOL! It's the biggest box I've ever gotten from UPS and he left it right on the front walk - I nearly tripped over the darn thing! My bees arrive this weekend (fingers crossed).

Geez...everyone else in Bee School is months ahead :)


    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 7:15AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy, as I get older, 1/4 of an acre seems quite enough. I keep trying to plant in a low maintenance manner, or at least that is what I tell myself...lol. I have yet to get to a point where it feels like low maintenance, but we are still in the construction stage. I think it is enough space to be creative but not get out of control and get yourself in trouble. [g] Changes in elevation are great. I love terracing and I love being high up and looking down. When we moved into our house 30 years ago, we were expecting to move in a couple of years but never did. Our property is completely level with no change in elevation at all. Pretty boring but very easy to work in, so it is a trade off.

Please keep posting Roses and more roses...because around here, there really aren't any May roses and they are the best May flowers!

Saucy....our garden hasn't started shining yet, just a glimmer here and there. Every year it gets better though and I am trying to get to that point where the framework and the structure of the garden is in place, so I can play with the bloom times and color combinations etc., which is my favorite part and what I do all the rest for. [g]

It was so curious that there wasn't a swan to be seen our last trip to our local pond. Last time we were there, we counted five pair, which is a lot for our Pond. Most years we have only had two pair. I keep finding it hard to fit the time in to get there this time of year, because every spare minute is in the garden trying to finish before the heat starts. I think they call baby swans, signets?

I bought annuals for containers from a greenhouse, so I am trying to harden them off a little before planting out. I think I am going to try to start putting them out tomorrow after looking at the forecast of cloudy/overcast/showers for the next 7 days and above 50 every night. I think they should be ok. Just a little hesitant about the coleus and begonias.

I think I missed what is going on for the weekend for you, Saucy? So will you be home for Bee Arrival? Photos of box and bee equipment?

Kathy....did you say you liked it hilly? [g]

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Hi Everyone

Here was something I couldn't resist sharing with you. At Annie's orchestra concert the group played one contemporary piece - an arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, and students were invited to get up and improvise on an electric violin. About 6 students did so and Annie's was such a surprise. She stood up with so much confidence and was really jamming. Her conductor sent me this photo calling it 'Rockin' Annie' and what makes the picture are the expressions on the other students faces. I love it when your children surprise you (in a good way that is).

Woody - great to hear from you. I too love this time of year.

Jerri - does the possible venture continue to look promising? We have something rather large scurrying about under our eves that has been keeping me up at night - we could do with those services here.

Love the recent Phoebe photos.

Saucy - are bees shipped UPS too? How exciting.

Time to throw a pork tenderloin on the BBQ and hope to be back to finish my comments.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 6:54PM
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Mary, Annie seems to be enjoying the improv as well as the other students. She must be getting over her shyness of being in the spotlight. You will treasure that picture for sure.
I've been meaning to tell you how much I enjoyed your apron on the dogwood shot too. What a creative way to display it.

Michelle I also enjoyed Kenzies exploring the farm thread. She is at a wonderful age. It's good to hear that you are getting to be outdoors again.

Marian the moth was pretty neat also.

Chelone , those pictures of the compound are enlightening as to what you are trying to accomplish. And I imagine they are a help to you as well to visualize what you would like. How about a shot of the other side by the road where you transplanted the shrubs?

Saucy, how exciting that your bees are coming soon. I haven't even thought much about containers yet. To much other stuff to do and it's been to rainy and cool for the annuals yet anyway. The few I have bought are languishing in the cell packs. Not good.

Sounds like evrybody is staying busy. I know I have, except today I only worked outside awhile this morning moving a couple of daylillies. I was getting to wet and it was a little to chilly so I never went back out, although I could have done some potting up. I have been a slug all the rest of the day. Took a nap and browsed garden mags. Guess I needed to rest. I am feeling a little spoiled by all the nice rains and the plants are looking lush as they haven't for at least three years. I have not been creating any new beds so have been getting around to finishing up some stuff which is sorely needed. I had several daylillies that were being smothered by expanding shrubs to move, and I have a lot that need dividing. I hate to mess with them now before bloom but in the fall the ground is always to hard to dig.

I don't know why but I missed a day or two of reading the last thread and then I could never get it to open, so I missed a few things.

I have enjoyed everyones pictures and posts.

We have activities three nights each for the next two weekends so it's going to be a busy time.

Keep on gardening! Norma

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:30PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Mary, what a great picture of Annie!

Love PM's cliff house too. Not a place you would want to get home to and realize you forgot to buy milk...lol.

Geez, and look how big Phoebe is getting. She looks like a Charlotte mini me.

This week is flying. Maybe things will calm down once I get a routine going but right now I feel like I almost need to stay in perpetual motion in order to keep up with everything. Lots of list making going on. I've always been perfectly happy entertaining myself but it's going to take a bit more time to get used to living alone.

At least I've got my 93 year old neighbor to hang out with...lol Last week I had to go over and change the battery in her smoke detector. Tonight I came home to a note in my mailbox from her daughter asking if I could bring over my phone number so it could be programmed into her phone in case of an emergency (my neighbor is blind due to botched macular degeneration laser surgery). So over I go. She meets me at the door with the instruction booklet to the phone. You want me to do the programming? Thankfully it was easy. My cell phone is now #3 on her speed dial and I spent half an hour chatting and eating chocolates while she told me how much she likes having me come over. Guess I have a new appreciation for someone who lives alone and is basically housebound to boot. Hopefully someone will do the same for me in 30 years.

Nick is continuing with his early morning yip fest. This morning it started at 4:45. Yesterday at 4:15. I've been ignoring him but persistence has always been one of his personality traits so this could be a long process...lol. Maybe he's getting back at me for forgetting his eighth birthday yesterday. How bad is that?

OK time for dishes, calf stretches, then ice and bed. I have another physical therapy appointment at 8 tomorrow morning. The therapist is starting to suspect that I might have a slight stress fracture. What next?


    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We had a horrible time last night. So glad DH was home! I don't know the full story yet, but there were electrical company (Hydro) emergency vehicles flashing their lights at 3am. The power was off and our computer surge protectors were blown and the smell was horrible. I thought there was a fire! We got things somewhat organized, the clocks restarted, etc went back to bed. Then the power went off again...
After we woke up, DH removed the surge protectors, got an old one to start his computer again. The microwave and phones are presently working without protectors....

All this of course happened just after midnight when our home insurance was no longer covered, due to the ineptness of the 2 companies vying for our money. This eventually got solved today.

DH went off to meetings and other emergencies at work. He brought home a new surge protector for my computer. YES!

He brought me a giant hazelnut chocolate bar from Germany and I fell ill. So now I believe the dizziness I've been experiencing is a reaction to chocolate or sugar. It is a fantastic day though and I did a bit of gardening and playing with Phoebe after breakfast.

Skyler had more medical tests today. Soon there will be a joint meeting of his 4 specialists and likely heart surgery will take place quite soon after that. He has outgrown his artificial mitral valve. Wonder of wonders, DD received an apology from his Mom this morning and so she is at least trying to work on her behavior. Apologies are difficult things for some folks. I hope she apologizes to Skyler too, as he needs it most.

It was pizza here for dinner..out. Sometimes you just have to. ;)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:32PM
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Horrible hot weather here- it was 85 at 6 am when I went to work-never seen it like this in the 20 years I have been here. Reminds me of when I lived in Arizona. DS turned on the A/C today ( we only use it maybe 6 times a year if that ) and thank goodness. Its 8pm right now and it is 90 outside and 86 in the house. It was mid-90s in San Francisco today-those of you who have spent any time out this way know how unusual that is. It is supposed to get up to near 100 again tomorrow and then gradually get to the high 80s by Monday. We went from spring to summer in a hurry !

PM, is that a fake photo you posted of the Shangri-la-ish looking place ? if not, please advise where it is. I was very taken by the photo.

And Mary ! What a wonderful pic of Annie, and how proud you must be.

Hi Norma! Is it almost time for the next pond shot ?

Sue, one does bond a bit more with the neighbors when the spouse is no longer around-that was certainly my experience. Excellent that you spent that time with the elderly neighbor. I have on of those too, though she is still quite spry.

A wave to everyone, think Ill go watch the Diamondbacks and then take a cool shower..welcome to Calcutta !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 11:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mary, yes the expressions on the other students faces shows a lot of what they are feeling and Annie's expression tells a lot too. I think she surprised herself! How exciting for you to see her feeling so happy and confident and involved. How considerate of the conductor to send the photo along to preserve the memory and involve you in her happiness and success.

Norma...your rain sounds wonderful. We had a lot of snow over the winter but not very much rain at all this spring. You're dividing daylilies, we've been dividing Sedums. Matrona especially seems to get too large very quickly.

Sue...it is so nice to see you posting! I think you are doing amazingly well with all the changes coming at you. When you could be perfectly justified to be in a tailspin with this latest challenge, here you are picking yourself up, reaching out to your neighbor and obviously putting in a lot of effort to make the adjustments. Now if Nick would just make his adjustments as gracefully. [g]

Gardenbug...So sorry that things are in an uproar at your house. Never a dull moment.
Was the power problem with your wiring or was it a community problem? You must be relieved that the home owner's insurance straightened itself out. What bad timing. I didn't realize Skyler has an artificial valve and is facing heart surgery soon. What a lot for a little boy to have to deal with. We have a family member who had a valve replaced in their teens and then had to have it repeated twice since then. The first time was probably 40 years ago and they were still using pig's valves. The hospital stay was a month. The last time was about 10 years ago and it was a mechanical valve and they were home in a week. Amazing what they are able to do and how far they have come over the years. Happy for all your sakes, that Skyler's Mom is making the effort. Hopefully it will make a difference. You could all use a little peace and stability with everything coming up soon. So are you due for some testing for the dizziness soon? Good thing you have Phoebe and the garden! :-)

Kathy...I saw the weather reports about your heat wave. They mentioned a 20 degree increase over normal temperatures in Oregon. We have actually had fairly spring like weather this year, but I think this weekend is time to put the air conditioners in.

I forgot the caption for that photo...sorry. I found it amazing too! Here it is...

'These huge monoliths in the region of Meteora, Greece, are a very rare geological phenomenon. Between the 11th and 14th centuries, 24 monasteries were built on the top of these rocks to be protected from the bandits and pirates. Today, only six of them remain renovated in the region, while the rest are abandoned and ruined.'

Photo by Karolos Trivizas

A Delacroix Print of Four Seasons in Paris...

Where did you go, Chelone? [g]


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 4:30AM
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Good morning

Well, I think I'm heading to Meteora Greece:0) What a stunning place for monastic life.

PM - I have become very enamored with epimediums though I only own a couple. Your white one is stunning. I believe I have the same purple as GB as I remember making notes on hers one time she posted pictures - Lilafree perhaps?

GB - I too had not realized Skyler was due for more heart surgery. Thank goodness his mother was able to reflect on her behaviour and offer an apology to DD. I imagine there will be many times both sets of parents need to be together with decisions and upcoming surgery. I was wondering, what does Skyler call your DD? I remember when they were thinking of suggestions. Hope you have a calmer day at home today. (We can give a home to any chocolate you cannot eat LOL!)

Sue - still laughing at Nick and his birthday! So many big changes but you seem to be taking them all in your stride. I'm sure you are a real comfort to the elderly lady - its wonderful to hear that sort of neighborliness is alive and flourishing. We're lucky we have that on our little corner of our street as it seems rarer and rarer these days.

Norma - enjoy your flurry of activity over the weekend.

Kathy - mid nineties - yikes. I treasure the cooler damp weather we're having now as it gives me a chance to catch up garden chores and get the beds in order (garden that is).

Well, having been awoken by the critter in the attic I need to make tracks for an early meeting at work. It is my short day though and I plan to zip home and make some serious inroads into mulching the front garden.

Have a great day


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 6:26AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well the gardens are just exploding into growth right now. Youd think Id be used to it after thirty years of gardening here but Im still surprised at how quickly the gardens fill in this time of the year. We had a lovely sunrise this morning so I guess that means bad weather for the day? If you believe in the "Red sky in morning, sailors take warning".

The terraces are looking great this year with not too much winter kill on the ground covers in the rock walls. The Iberis sempervirens is looking good for the first spring in a long while. I almost pulled it out last year but got distracted by other projects and now Im glad I did. It looks so pretty with the Brunnera blooming with it.

I really love the color of the newly emerging foliage on the deciduous trees this time of the year. Its such a fresh, light, yellow-green. The hills go from looking gray/brown with evergreen colors to all the beautiful spring greens. Its marvelous. Its as pretty in its own way as the fall colors are in theirs.

The Hydrangea petiolaris is an amazing plant and has matured into a beauty.

And of course May would not be complete without our lilacs. I only have this one tree in the back and one in the front foundation plantings. It is really worth the rest of the year dealing with a not so attractive shrub to have this glorious scent and color in the spring.

A pretty spring vignette

Mary, that photograph of Annie is a treasure! How wonderful! You must be so proud of her.

Kathy, good grief! Please keep that steam box weather in your section of the country! Your poor roses! I know mine fade away in a couple days when the temps are that hot.

Bug, thank goodness you had surge protectors. Do you know what happened yet? Youre lucky you didnt have an electrical fire. Love the photos, especially the Epimediums. Gorgeous.

Sue, good for you for looking out for your neighbor. Too little of that going on these days.

Hi Norma, enjoy your busy weekend.

PM2 do you have the name of that beautiful white Epimedium? Gorgeous!

Great to hear from you Woody. I love that magnolia combination!

Jerri, how is the puppy motherhood going?

OK time to get a move on and get some gardening done. I went out yesterday and picked up a couple Hellebore Ivory Prince, an Iris pallida Aurea Variegata for the front garden. Im still looking for a astilbe with dark wine colored emerging foliage to replace the one the rodents ate out of the driveway garden last winter. I want to get the rest of the back gardens mulched and edged today.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 7:12AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Love the many greens of May.

Off to PT, then to work. Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 7:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This forum is such a delight in spring! Loving ALL the photos.

I think if I had a choice, I'd live next door to Chelone and Sue. I'm feeling about 90 some days, and they'd be fantastic caring company! I'd try not to be too demanding, honest.

Skyler calls DD "Sarah". It seems awkward given the strong bond between them, but it makes sense. He already has someone to call Mom, and Reed does too. Skyler has an artificial metal mitral valve, a constricted aortic arch, deafness in his left ear, 20% loss of hearing in his right ear. He nearly lost his life several times as an infant. He is nine years old and has many tummy scars. DD & DSIL try to treat him as an ordinary kid, which he is in many ways. The friction between his mother and her ex and Sarah is really sad and mysterious, but a daily part of their lives. I give them so much credit for their approach to working things out with her, but it is extraordinarily stressful on a daily basis. There is constant fear that she will administer supplements to him that could be disastrous to him.

DH is walking Phoebe right now, and then our day begins. Music lesson for him, stuff of all sorts for moi.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 8:35AM
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Good morning all! Last you'll hear from me for a couple of days (did I hear a collective, "whew!"?)....I'm headed off for the first annual women's weekend getaway :) Foot soak has been scheduled :) PM, we're headed to Maine just to hang out, talk alot, eat good food, and get a foot soak, of course :)

Mary, bees do get shipped US Mail, but mine are coming in a minivan :) A friend of a friend sort of deal. She picks them up from the seller in Maine and then rides around with them buzzing in the back until they get here. It's a funny sight.

Annie must've been proud of her accomplishment. That is quite the photo! Worthy of a frame, for sure!

It's nice to help out neighbors, no matter what their age. I think it's a smart idea for the neighborhood in general :) I learned quickly to just skip the house next door when making my rounds :)

I'll second the motion for pond pictures!

Deanne, those are some gorgeous shots! I love peeking into the garden room through the climbing hydrangea :)

Phoebe grows double in size each time I see her! Skyler's condition explains some of his mother's behavior for me...not that it's acceptable, but a little more understandable. She must be worried sick, as well as your DD and DSIL. I didn't realize he'd need future surgeries, either. My best to your family.

Woody, garden therapy is the best, isn't it? I need more therapy, me thinks :)

Well, I've been going back and forth to this posting for some time now....time to get in the shower and get the car pointed north - we're all taking off at lunchtime so the kids won't be home to beg us not to go :)

Talk at you next week! Have a great weekend, hopefully with a plant or two in your days :)


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:27AM
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OK I'm assuming this is Idyll #379? Computer problems here. I'm posting from Brad's laptop, mine's in the shop for repairs. Just a quick skim and pictures of Annie, Deanne's place, all of Chelone's hard work and Marie's wonderful photography stick in my mind. I'll be scarce for the next week or two until I get my computer back. I'm off coleus shopping this morning. Rain forecast here for the weekend. Hope you all have a good one!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:50AM
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WooHoo! I was packing up and it dawned on me where my camera charger was! I remembered putting it in the camcorder bag (smart, huh?)! Now I can take pictures again.

Just thought I'd share my little ray of sunshine...can't wait to show you my pots and my bee hive - before I paint flowers all over it :)


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 10:54AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

GB, I missed the issues with Skyler also. How tough for a kid his age. Hugs to all involved.
Sue, how great you were able to go visit with your neighbor. Hope the PT helps with your injury.
I finally got the battery charged for my new camera. If only it guaranteed photography skills like the Idylls! ;)
I will give it a 'shot'. A beginning photography class may be called for, in my spare time. Yea, right!

I was quickly reminded that I am not cut out for any business involving furry babies who die. The puppies were a timely reminder how hard that stuff is for me. A couple of childhood issues make it worse than 'normal'. Two puppies were dead this morning. I'm not sure is they were accidentally smothered or got underneath the edge of the sheet. Even DH was crying. There will be no more linens in the pool until puppies are much larger. :( :(

I did come away from the whole job possibility experience with a reminder that people might value my skills. Being valued is not a perk of working in the government! LOL

TGIF indeed!!! I'm going back to read more and enjoy the wonderful photos!


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 12:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from grocery shopping here. Of course their plant section was the first stop and I picked up chives and parsley for the veg garden. My rosemary made it through the winter in our front hall, and I also have oregano.

The first of 2 surge protectors arrived today. The second will come in a few weeks. Eden, I certainly sympathize! PM, I think the power problem was a community thing...but still no details.

I'm sharing in the excitement of the arrival of the bees. Expecting photos of it all, decorations included. Have a wonderful weekend with the your friends! Saucy, I wish the problems over the years with Skyler explained his Mum's behaviour. I could be way more sympathetic if that were the case. She's a real piece of work. People have survived worse though, so I am hopeful for the little monster! ;)

Has anyone heard of baking soda helping get rid of ant hills? Unlikely sounding to me, but I'm giving it a try. Came home with 4 boxes of Arm & Hammer just now. The boiling water technique did nothing.

I have a cluster of lilac bushes (modestly called a grove of them) and only one looks set to bloom soon. I guess it is a good thing to have bloom times spread out. Gorgeous po\hotos of yours Deanne! (No sign of your FG magazine here...yet.)

Beautiful shot of Annie. Of course you'll save that! Any chance of a summer trip this way?

Loads of asparagus these days in our garden. It is so good, but it gets tedious when you eat it daily. I should do something with the rhubarb too.

Cloudy day, but I'm hoping to get a few things in the ground.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Note: This is not an endorsement of anything illegal!

Maybe it's my increasing slowed brain, but I find this interesting! ;)


Is Marijuana Less Dangerous than Email ?

Researchers at the University of London Institute of Psychiatry recently released a report showing that workers bombarded with phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss in IQ than marijuana users.

Glenn Wilson, a psychiatrist at King College London University, and his team of researchers monitored the IQ of 80 volunteers while they performed problem-solving tasks, first in a quiet environment and then while being distracted with e-mails and phone calls. The study found that people balancing a steady inflow of messages while attempting to work experienced a 10-point decrease in IQ , more than double the four-point drop caused by smoking marijuana.

The most damage was done, according to the survey, by the almost complete lack of discipline in handling emails. Dr Wilson and his colleagues found a compulsion to reply to each new message, leading to constant changes of direction which inevitably tired and slowed down the brain.

Christopher Kimble, from the University of York, UK, adds that the quality of information contained in communications can also be a major problem for workers. His own research, carried out within a large multinational company, shows that key employees, such as secretaries and IT support staff, can be particularly affected by misleading or incomplete emails. These increase the time required to complete the task, when a short phone conversation would have been much more efficient.

Wilson's research is no flash in the pan. Computer technology in its modern, interconnected form is dumbing down the population more rapidly than television. A study of 100,000 school children in over 30 countries around the world testified that non-computer using kids performed better in literacy and numeracy schools than PC-using children. Education experts have dubbed it the "problem solving deficit disorder".

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 12:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

The epimedium is called 'Bandit'. I love the way the flowers really stand above the foliage. I have had a couple of epimediums for a long time, but what convinced me I wanted more, was when I discovered how indestructible they were. I had dug them out of where they had been for 10 years and divided them up and potted them and left them in the shade. Most of them sat there all summer. We were ripping out a 100ft of shrub border, so I was too busy to care. I had thought they would be there temporarily but they were there most of the summer. One very large one, I didn't divide, just lifted it and put it on a layer of mulch in a very large rubbermaid 'under the bed' plastic container with out even filling dirt around it and with no drainage holes. It filled up with water and they sat in water for quite awhile. I thought they must be dead once I discovered it but I drained them and they came back. By the end of the season one was left in a pot and had not been watered in awhile and it looked dead, so I left it there all winter. I threw it on the compost pile the next spring, upside down and covered it with yard waste etc. Halfway through the summer I noticed epimedium leaves sticking out of the side of the compost pile....lol. So I dug it out and replanted it and it came back like gangbusters, planted about 6 inches away from the base of a Silver Maple. I have a lot of my yard that is in the root zone of four neighbor's silver maples, so I really need a plant like that. The other thing I love about them, is that most of them clump and increase slowly and you can leave them alone for years.

Deanne....love that photo of the sky! Beautiful! Your garden is off to a great start. I love your climbing Hydrangea. The lilac photos are very cheerful too! I saw an Astilbe at Lowe's yesterday of all places, that really tempted me to get it even though I have enough astilbe. It was called Visions of Violet? or something like that and it was in bud. It had the prettiest color buds. I may go back and get it. I did pick up a container of Salvia Black and Blue, fresh off the truck, looking great for $6. I don't really shop at the box stores much, but my daughter has started a new job and I have been dropping her off at the train station in the morning and I have to drive right by a Lowe's on my way home.

Sue...a TGIF and a rhyme too! lol
Eden....sorry your computer is on the blink.
Jerri....waiting for photos of the pups. :-) So sorry about losing another two puppies. What an awful surprise to get up to this morning.

Gardenbug...do you buy expensive surge protectors or are they the ordinary strips? I'm just wondering if I should be checking mine out, after hearing what happened to you. Ants make hills all over my yard and I have not found anything that got rid of them. Repeated hot water down their ant hole has gotten them to move on and find a new location though.

Kathy hope it cools down there soon. How is baseball season starting off this year?

Hope everyone is busy with good things...


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 4:00PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

This is a notification that I AM OFFICIALLY ON VACATION for the next 10 days!!!!!! despite the begging, pleading and mild threatening (read irritation) of ignoring an atty's pleas to come in one day next week to accommodate his work, I stood firm and said No - at least 5 times.... I think i see lite at the end of the tunnel approaching -- despite many glitches, hitches, work-arounds re carpet, contractors, etc... next week I am starting to get my life/house in order... I am not be free to play or nursery jaunt til the end of the week, but w/ all the rain, cold, etc., I suspect there will be plants still around, LOL.

enuf about me -- I see others are off to a jaunt or two; gorgeous photos from Deanne (it's creepy how our tastes might be similar, Deanne - I think I see an obelisk type I mailordered a few weeks ago plunk in the middle of your stupendous back border.... so beautiful just w/ all the foliage and then to see lilacs, etc. -- wonderful!

Im going to go have a decadent bad dinner & kick back w/ a Heineken's and hope to peruse the photos and news and tidbits at leisure....


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 8:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I won't even pretend that I'm trying to catch up. I've been overwhelmed by work and too many other things going on in life. But I got to spend time at a garden center tonight and found the Nemesia Sunsatia Mango that I fell in love with at Butchart Gardens last fall. Remember this photo?

Overall everything is fine here, just too many things going on at once. We have a large group coming for dinner tomorrow night, my 77 year old cousin passed away unexpectedly this week, and I received approval to start a green committee for our church. Other than that, I'm bored silly - during the thirty seconds or so when I can stop and breathe.

So I'll say hello and good night, and I will try to get back into the swing of things by the end of the month.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 10:40PM
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Me too.

But I found a copy of the FG Container issue and had time to check out Deanne's pages :-) !!!!

Katie's blue jean dress is done.

I got a little creative :-)

And then a rollup bed for travel seemed like a good idea.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 11:43PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Wow! Katie's in designer jeans! Very cute Cynthia!

V...yes, I *do* remember your nemesia...such a *beautiful* flower.

Deanne...I'm so tickled Molly is going to bloom for you! :-) Your pics are so stunning...and *wow* on that red sky... I totally agree...I couldn't be without some lilacs...that perfume! Lots of scentimental reasons for loving them (pardon my pun). Your lilacs are lovely and I can smell the fragrance from here! :-) I have a few too that I absolutely love and hope to do a separate post with my spring...before spring is over...LOL!

Congratulations Gramma Jerri!

Sue...that really is the sweetest thing. I won't get all sappy on you, I know you probably wouldn't like that...but I was really touched by your kindess and generosity. You probably don't even realize how much just having someone like you pop in to say 'hello' really means to her; well, on second thought, you probably do...that's why you did it...LOL! :-)

Mary...I *love* the pic of Annie and I agree the looks on her fellow students faces says it all. You have such a lovely family. But, I'm not surprised...look who they have for a mother. BTW, I think that's really neat about the Humane Society. How lucky they are to have you! It will be their best fundraiser ever...everyone is going to want to bid! :-)

Chelone...I love seeing the progress at your house...you are one busy girl! I love all the names you give to areas of your property....like Sanitary Ridge! :-) I give areas of my property names too...but not as clever as yours; 'The Honeymoon Swing' area, the 'Island Bed', etc., etc.

PM...I love your epimedium. My favorite of my epimediums that I have is a white one too...very dimunitive. Yours is really special...I *love* the variegation on the foliage.

I have so much I want to share and comment on, but I am in a rush...have exciting news to share, so maybe I can get back before the week-end is over and post my spring garden pics too.

Here's the music I've been listening to today. Thought I'd post them, in case you would like to join me! And if you don't want to join me, then you can just ignore them...LOL! You'll have to copy and paste most of them:

I've been playing my old Seals & Crofts album...I don't know, just been in the mood....but maybe rushing things a bit! :-)


And here's a hopper dedicated to my Idyll Friends: :-)


And in the mood for a little Donovan:



and Down to the River to Pray:


Sugar Ray (Chelone...now I know why I like this song so much...it uses Malo) :-)




And a little Grass Roots:


And finally:

My favorite...the *original* *first* version with Bob Welch...from the Bare Trees Album.

Fleetwood Mac - Sentimental lady Bare Trees Album
You are here and warm
But I could look away and you'd be gone
Cause we live in a time
When meaning falls in splinters from our lives
And that's why I've travelled far
Cause I come so together where you are
And all of the things that I said that I wanted
Come rushing by in my head when I'm with you
14 joys and a will to be merry
And all of the things that we say are very
Sentimental gentle wind
Blowing through my life again
Sentimental Lady
Gentle one
Now you are here today
But easily you might just go away
Cause we live in a time
When paintings have no color, words don't rhyme
And that's why I've travelled far
Cause I come so together where you are
And all of the things that I said that I wanted
Come rushing by in my head when I'm with you
14 joys and a will to be merry
And all of the things that we say are very
Sentimental gentle wind
Blowing through my life again
Sentimental Lady
Gentle one
You are here and warm
But I could look away and you'd be gone
Cause we live in a time
When meaning falls in splinters from our lives
And that's why I've travelled far
Cause I come so together where you are
Yes and all of the things that I said that I wanted
Come rushing by in my head when I'm with you
14 joys and a will to be merry
And all of the things that we say are very
Sentimental gentle wind
Blowing through my life again
Sentimental Lady
Gentle one
Sentimental gentle wind
Blowing through my life again
Sentimental Lady
Gentle one
Sentimental gentle wind
Blowing through my life again
Sentimental Lady
Gentle one
Well sentimental gentle wind
Blowing through my life again
Sentimental Lady
Gentle one

It's been a very eclectic day! :-)

Hope everyone has a wonderful week-end!


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 1:48AM
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I found Deanne's Fine Gardening debut too, just scanned it quickly at the newsstand. Wondering, of all the gorgeous pots, how the selection was finally made, whether by Deanne or the mag editor. Big congratulations, Deanne!

I've been skimming but haven't come across more news of Katie adjusting to the new wheels, but what a clothes horse! She seems to like her new outfits just fine. V. is being run off her feet and will require serious decompression. Too much solid family time can mimic a case of the bends, I find.

Good work withstanding the boss' pleas for a mid week interruption in vaca time, Cindy. What are they thinking??

The internet time on the cruise ship was hideously expensive and a slow connection, but I skimmed and enjoyed:

A description of a procession of Mennonite children en route to school.

Kenzie shouting Thank you, Birds!

Mary will be home for summer, what a relief.

New photos of Bella. Imminent arrival of Saucy's bees. (Greece has recently added apiculture to its economy, which is 70% tourism, then olive oil.)

Pix of Aiden. (Kathy, the roses in Italy and Greece, and we're not talking manicured gardens, are the lustiest I've ever seen, shockingly healthy, and there's a red climber that must have naturalized because it's everywhere.)

Rex and Phoebe recovering from surgery, albeit a tad cabin-feverish.

Cynthia's acquiring melianthus and duranta. Under my Grace smoke tree sprawls a golden duranta, and it's throwing a few of those sky blue, mini wisteria blooms now. Before the time of duranta and Grace, a melianthus grew in this spot. They get massive and woody here and need constant whacking back, but I do want another for summer pots. I envy those who can grow manageable 2-3 footers.

Martie's park photos are so fresh and lovely.

I did read onboard that Woody's MRI was okay, such good news.

Congrats on the puppies, Jerri.

The spring photos have been so enjoyable. What a treat to see so many kinds of epimedium.

Been catching up on sleep and Tivo'd Lost episodes. The garden got on its hind legs while away, and I've been busy settling territorial disputes, like the wisteria next door that has its sights on my little patch of earth. Duncan did a splendid job with the watering. Temps in the Meditt were lovely, 70s, whereas today at home we reached mid 90s. Ein's new-found hobby seems to be catching flies, so he was probably bored senseless while we were gone. Today he seemed more his old self. Cats all accounted for.

Warning: The rest is cruise news, nothing crucial, so feel free to skim and/or ignore entirely.

I haven't spent that much time with my folks since I was 11, on a cross-country road trip in a Verdugo green Pontiac Grand Prix, sandwiched between my brothers, eating Fiddle Faddle and reading the Hobbit. It was a relief to deposit them safely at their door Wed afternoon. My mom's a peach to travel with but my dad's health issues were a bit nerve-wracking. Very similar to traveling with a toddler. He's difficult in the best of conditions, and traveling pushes him out of his narrow comfort zone. Marty and I walked miles on the guided shore excursions and my folks did the bus tours that required the least walking. I even managed to lose a few pounds! The ancient ruins are uneven cobblestone, so those with gait difficulties (like my dad) had to forego those tours and stick to a more general bus tour. The ever-changing 24/7 buffet seems to be a stumbling block for many, but even I can't take dessert three times a day. One dessert a day, after dinner, is more than enough, thank you very much. Still, some people did soldier on, plates piled high morning til night. My dad did go a bit nuts with the food. We settled into a rhythm of seeing my folks mainly in the morning, breakfast before shore excursions, and at dinner.

We flew into Rome, where we had an unscheduled whirlwind bus tour, stopping for a stroll in St. Peter's Square, before heading to the ship to sail at 5 p.m. After the 10-hr flight, many folks were grumbling at the detour in Rome, expecting to go straight to their state rooms on the ship, but the ship and crew were behind schedule, hence the tour of Rome. Any chance to see the Eternal City is okay in my book. Those grumbling loudest were the ones who flew into Rome a few days earlier, to sight-see at their own expense, because the tour book explicitly stated that we would NOT be spending time in either Rome or Venice, the embarkation and debarkation points.

First stop was Monte Carlo/Monaco, walking the principality with an afternoon bus ride thru some of the French Riviera. This first day in Monaco is where we realized my dad would be unable to participate in walking tours, so theirs were changed to mainly bus tours thereafter.

Sunday for Marty and I was Livorno, the port to Florence/Tuscany (where we opted to see the Cinque Terre, five villages unreachable by car, only by small boat, instead of Florence or Pisa. Lots of hard choices but only 8 hrs in every port.) Then Naples to see Pompeii. Tuesday at sea all day. On Wednesday, off to Santorini, the conjectured site of Atlantis, now a caldera chain.

On Thursday it was up to the west coast of Turkey to Kusadasi to see the Roman ruins at Ephesus where storks soared overhead like pterosaurs. (Foolishly succumbed to hard sell of rug merchants and am now owner of a Turkish carpet due to arrive in 6 wks or so. Very beautiful but an unlooked for expense.)

Next was Mykonos, where we took a ferry boat to the island of Delos to see the Temple of Apollo. Saturday we were in Athens, where we walked our *sses off all over town with a wonderful tour guide, a ringer for Alan Rickman, up the Acropolis, great lunch in a taverna, walked the ancient Agoura, shopped in the market/Plaka. Next to Katakolon, the site of the first Olympics, the ruins wet with previous night's rain.

Last stop was Corfu, a very lush island, like the Pacific Northwest, not arid, with a coastline rivaling Big Sur in beauty, really astounding place. Pencil-thin cypresses have naturalized on Corfu, which creates an amazing, ink-drawing quality to the landscape, thrusting skyward among the olive trees and pines. This is where Marty said he wants to come back and rent a sailboat to sail through the Greek Islands. Ended in Venice at 10 o'clock at night, went ashore and walked St. Mark's Square for 30 mins, back at 1 a.m. or so, up at 4 to leave the ship head home, etc.

Never having taken tours before, I was a bit skeptical, but the guides were amazingly erudite, some were professors, and their depth of knowledge of culture, history, food, botany was astounding. Many were born and lived in the regions we toured with them. With the dollar being hammered these days, tours make a lot of sense. Downsides: I never thought I'd be one of the tourists herded like cattle, but it's the fastest, easiest, cheapest way to see most of these sites. My boys would've hated it, as would I at their age. Pompeii was so crowded we shuffled as on a chain gang. I stared longingly out bus windows at trucks passing us on the roads filled with gorgeous local pottery but never found any for sale to tourists, only the narrow range of hats, t-shirts, jewelry. The ship had game shows, gambling and Vegas-style revues for entertainment, not my cup of tea, but I would wake early at 4 a.m. anyway to see the ship arrive in each new port. Best time on the ship, everyone sleeping, the promenades empty, the ship quietly gliding into new harbors.

Kathy, we made a valiant attempt to sample the local beer wherever possible, which wasn't very often, but we did enjoy a couple bottles of Mythos on Mykonos with a plate of calamari. Greek wine was very good too, made only for their own consumption, not for export.

I think Cindy mentioned fear of seasickness. I did see some people with the patch behind their ears, but the stabilizers on these giant ships really make for a smooth ride.

The red poppy, the Flanders poppy, was in bloom everywhere. On Santorini the grapes are not espaliered but trained to grow in a basket shape to protect the grapes from winds and preserve humidity. Large swathes of phlomis in bloom on Corfu. The horned poppy, glaucium, oleanders, prickly pear, umbrella pines, the ever-present silvery olive trees, cistus, easter lilies in bloom, fig trees, agaves, buckeyes in bloom, pomegranate, kumquats, loquats, honeysuckle, of course bougainvillea, pepper trees, artichokes, mulberry trees, fennel, berberis, genista, oaks, geraniums, echium, wild snapdragons, malvas, Serbian bellflower seeded into rock walls, Queen Anne's Lace, statice. The air smelled indescribably sweet. In many ways, it was a familiar landscape to me, but more lush than So. Calif. Yes, I scribbled away in a notebook, which perplexed my fellow travelers. One lady assumed I was a schoolteacher.

Seasick yet? Waving goodnight to all.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 4:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Heading off to a Plant Sale this morning, that I have been looking forward to for awhile. Nice to see a flurry of posting last night! Hope to see more later today.

No time to post, but I did want to apologize for naming this thread incorrectly. I guess there is no way to change the title now? Eden, I read your post and it didn't even occur to me what you were talking about the first time I read it. The only thing to do is to name the next three, so I will get in the habit and stop forgetting. I hear that is how many times it takes to start a new habit. [g] Plus, I have to do penance, right? lol

Have a great Saturday! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 5:04AM
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It's one awesome morning in the house. Sun is out, Rich and I are headed to local hardware/garden store for "stuff" and then container prep can begin, tomatos will go in the ground with their covers (aka "boobs") so that we can eat heirlooms sometime before Thanksgiving, and Kyle is home for the summer bearing tales of taxidermy shops' ideas of going away for the summer parties.

Seems like most everyone's news is better than lousy, other than V's cousin. Hang in there, friend!

I think Cynthia could start a cottage biz which would undoubtedly be gobbled up by those that appear on celebrity websites.

Seems also like the Idyllkids have it all together, each with their own things happening but all loved and able to love back. "It ain't easy being green" (Kermit), especially in this day and age, but our littles do a great job keeping it together.

The difference between a sales rep and law firm indespensible person is negotiation tactics. "Just what is it worth to you for me to interrupt my time off and come in and get cranked back up just for you to do something that probably should've been done weeks ago? A cruise? A five-figure check? An extra week off some other time?" LOL Good for you, Cindy! 10 days sounds like pure luxury to me.

Rich is ready to go (!!!!!!) so we're off.

More later.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im am truly truly impressed with not only the trip report, Denise, but your reporting of Idyll happenings -- you've got an amazing memory! Ahhh, that cruise sounds like one I would be willing to take a chance on -- I love, love Greece -- but it would be so interesting to look at it thru the eyes of a "gardener" -- to see the naturalized wonders -- you have really done a stunning job, even without pics!!

Boy, V - sounds like you need some down time, woman -- do you just reach a point where you collapse totally in exhaustion? that's about where I am but no where do I do anything in small portion of the things you do.

Cynthia -- you are such a trend setter -- I hope CK doesnt come after you for trademark infringements, LOL -- or maybe you'll give his company new marketing ideas? That is one coool outfit - it almost makes me believe in clothes for dawgs....

It feels as though it's about 45 degrees here today - really chilly - luckily the patio door guys are to show up shortly; so I'll wait til the p.m. to do some gardening -- but in my morning SALAT, I was excited to see that the Zephrihine rose has climbed its way voluntarily into the crepe myrtle and is happily blooming -- which gives me wonder and satisfaction to see a dream come true - im probably the only one who notices it -- but it's a happy, serendipitous surprise.

All this talk and pics of epimediums makes me wonder if it would be the plant Im looking for to grow under the chamaecyparis that I've limbed up & planted w/ a few hosta - Im still looking for something that would twine amongst but needs to be able to clamber over the tree roots that are almost a barricade.

I have to go back and look at all these pics!! Yummy.

Jerri, Im so sorry about the puppy tragedies - how sad; that would break my heart too -- you are still a special soul to be able to take care of them though.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:39AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a pop-in n fly-by HOWDY to all the Idylls! Did you all feel good vibes today?? I was thinking about everyone while I was cruising in the tractor, wondering what you've all been up to.
We got off work early to go to a cookout and DD's possible intended, so I thought I'd do a pop-in while I was thinking about it!
Take care, all.......I'll be back ;)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 5:25PM
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Having a grand time this afternoon with the Idylls-Deannes latest pic-o-rama of the terrace gardens, Denises travelog (welcome back !) and Katie in her Calvins.

Still hot ! But only the 90s today , after breaking 100 the last two days. I spent the morning deadheading crispy roses, and had to leave for an hour for a viewing..this one was a return visitor who looked yesterday , had some finalists and viewed them all today again. No word from anyone , so one of the others must have been the choice-just as well because my agent said this buyer was looking for a 30 day escrow and there is no way in hell I can do that.
Think Im going to buy a laptop tomorrow-Office Cheapo is putting a nice little Compaq unit on sale for a very attractive price after the rebates etc, nets out to under 350.

Denise your trip sounds FF. With the myriad beers Ive sampled I really dont ever recall having a Grecian brew. I have often wished I had the financial abilty to go on some of the tours that Horticulture mag and Pacific Horticulture Society offer. They are extremely expensive , but very plant oriented. I hope we get a pic of your rug when it shows up ! My BILs collect them and theyve got some lovely ones

Deanne, the terraces are coming along beautifully-before long Im sure you will have that behemoth basket you hung off the tree making its debut. Wonderful lilacs too- cant wait for the next installment.

Cindy, what I wouldnt give for a whole week off ! I am going to take 4 day weekend over Memorial day , and plan to spend it very unproductively . Can a person actually SALAT for 4 days ?

So Jerri, I wonder what happens if you text , email and talk on the phone while smoking a fatty at the same time ? Would this infer a total 14 point IQ drop ???

Maybe back later..here are photos I took this morning while watering. Sometimes they get frighteningly close!

Kathy in Napa

PS. As I live and breathe! I refresh and there is Brenda !!!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 6:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Only took 40 minutes to spend some cash this morning at the plant sale! It was raining when we left the house at 6:30am. First one at the sale at 6:45am. By 7:30 they decided to let people in to the sale and it had stopped raining but it was pretty cool and dark still. We had a list and milk crates to bring home plants.

Dragged home another Viburnum Doublefile for $10. Not too small, but it will take awhile. NOID Hellebores for $4. a piece, Japanese Painted Ferns for $4. a piece. Dicentras, hens and chicks, three Pennisetum 'Hamelins' for $3. a piece that were a pretty good size. Three more epimediums and three hostas. One was 'June' and another was a mini that I don't have the name of and the third was my favorite that I brought home...Hosta 'Fire Island'. See the link below. We were in and out of there in 40 minutes and the street was packed with cars all up and down the street when we left. Home again by 8:45am. lol We were able to get a few of them in the ground later in the day. Very productive day and managed a nap too!

Beauty of a Nemesia ...V.
Cynthia.... that outfit with the matching bedroll for Katie...well, she doesn't know how good she has it to have you! :-)

Ei...I never watch Youtube, unless someone links to one here. I did click on your link and found that tribute to the man's wife very sweet.

I am going to have to do a search for Fine Gardening tomorrow, still haven't found it!

Denise...what a great trip you all had! It is nice to get away and exciting to see new places, but I am always happy to get home and sounds like you are the same. Glad your garden was still in one piece...lol.

Kathy...happy to see some activity in the house department. Nice shot of the balloon over your house! lol I guess you must be near some open space?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 7:10PM
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PM, I forgot to thank you for the ID on Meteora - very interesting stuff, I looked at several websites. The balloon in the 2nd pic is over my neighbors house across the street-behind those houses is the Napa River and across the river is a vineyard. There were lots of balloons out this morning.They used to land in the park around the corner when we first lived here, but the trees have gotten too large and they don't anymore. Some mornings there will be 10 or 15 of them over the valley.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 7:44PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy...that just cracks me up....lol. What an interesting seasonal interest to have in your neighborhood. I think it must be fun to look up and see those colorful balloons floating above you. Like being in the middle of a perpetual Birthday Party...lol.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 8:03PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

PM2, what a wonderful score of plants! now, to get them in the ground, right?

Kathy -- what a wonderful photo - that must be like a fantasy land to see those bright bubbles floating around! Great shot -- your exterior shows so lovely too -- I'll keep my fingers crossed on the returns...

It was a lovely day here - I have a pretty new patio door -- and it was so cute -- the 2 young men who came to install, were enthralled with the garden -- we probably spent 40 minutes walking around, chatting, me identifying things for them -- they were particularly intranced w/ the alliums and the one guy has apparently already discovered sedums -- so I have him a few cuttings -- but it was so nice to have unexpected "visitors" impressed and interested -- you just never know, LOL..... they were probably late to their next job!

Kathy - the contractor said he would need 4 days to do the work and paint; the carpet folks needed a day; so I really had to take the week off - Im just not trusting enuf to leave strangers keys to my house, belongings, and dog -- it was interesting to see how many people tried to pressure me to do that -- but I just can't -- and I really, really needed the break -- no thoughts of work for a week -- YES. I'll pay when I return, but it will be worth it. I also have a bunch of other stupid things I have put off doing because of all the earlier inspectors, adjusters, etc. -- so I get to go to the dentist, the squish test, etc... Im pretty heavily scheduled for the week! It was a feat to get it all worked out -- as it is the carpet installers are coming tomorrow at 8 a.m. because the stupid contractor refused to let them have Thursday to come lay the carpet; so the contractor's going to have to bring a lot of plastic to lay over the new carpet instead... guess he'll be surprised!

I wasnt as energetic as I thought I'd be -- work has taken its toll lately, so I took a nap late in the p.m. - what a luxury. But tomorrow, I'll be inside (rain likely) to move furniture, organize clothes, etc., while the carpet goes down.

Can't wait to hear Eileen's exciting news she wants to share -- and hear what goodies Deanne & Sue might have gotten on a sojourn to Walker Farm today, maybe?

Wouldnt it be cool one year for an IU to go abroad? maybe on a plant safari of some type to Greece or the Mediterranean, or England? ok, I can dream!


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Good evening Idylls

A very pleasant day here has just wrapped up with dinner at our neighbors. The young folk are watching Robin Hood here and I thought I could sneak in a quick Idyll before hitting the hot tub with DH.

PM - that sounds quite a plant sale. I think I could have dropped quite a few bucks too.

Denise - loved reading your travalog. Santorini is somewhere I would love to visit. I did make it to Epheses during college with an old boyfriend and have wonderful memories. Hope you enjoy your rug when it arrives.

Cindy - have fun on vacation. Good for you for sticking to your guns - you certainly deserve some time off! Hope you have some great gardening weather.

Cynthia - Love the greyhound couture. It must be a lot of fun sewing something that is so pretty and practical at the same time.

Ei - how fun to share some of the music you are listening to. It brings us that much closer! I'm looking forward to checking out your Youtube links.

Hi Brenda - hope you can stop by again with more news. We miss you!

Hi V - looking forward to catching up later in the month.

Kathy - have you ever been up in a balloon? Cool photos.

Today I spent a good part of the morning spreading leaf mould. As David had wanted to help I paid him 50c to load my cart and bring it to the border. This gave me time for coffee and potting on seedlings inbetween speading. We made a great team;0) A newly mulched bed has to be one of life's great pleasures. Since I seem to post pictures of everthing but my garden here are a few of my horticultural endeavors:

Driveway bed

Border along front path

Pansies in the window boxes

Hawera daffs - so delicate.

Amsonia getting ready to pop.

Blazing orange Azelea - lacks refinement but I just love it. Far more orange in real life.

The hot tub (and the hubster) call. Have a great evening


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 9:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm mighty tired, but am caught up on my reading. LOVED the travels but would be one of those on dramamine. I too would prefer the walking excursions. I have done the 4am rising on board to watch the views in silence and awe. (Along the Labrador coast there were Northern Lights) You managed to see soooo much!

Enjoyed your garden tour Mary. I too am waiting for my amsonia. What a wonderful plant! Your window boxes are so sweet.

Loved your shopping spree PM! After lots of morning errands, DH, Phoebe and I went for a drive and ended up at 2 nurseries. I brought home a few things, but really must weed lots more before they can go in the ground. (Nothing too unusual...lupines, a globeflower, a perennial geranium.)

Was that V and Brenda whizzing past???? I think it was! Bzzzzzzzzzzz. Maybe it was Saucy's bees though.

Kathy, we too have hot air balloons fly overhead. Charlotte dog used to bark furiously when they came near because of the sound. She never actually looked UP and was very agitated. It is hard to protect your home against something you don't see! Once they landed in our back field. They usually give the owners a bottle of champaign for any trouble, but around here the Mennonites generally don't accept this. You have way more balloons than we do! They are usually very pretty.

DD is off canoing with a friend today in Alberta. DSIL was to meet them tonight with Reed and camp and paddle too.

Cindy, just enjoy every moment...
Katie CK too.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Beautiful morning here, in the high 50s and the sun is shining. Have to get out to get some plants in and spread mulch today. Have to check on the new little babies on the back steps. [g] Sure wish you all could have come to the sale with me yesterday! :-)

What has happened to Chelone, does anyone know? Haven't seen anita either. Hoping to hear from all the missing.

Meant to say hello to Brenda...sounds like you are too busy to post. When things slow down a little, I hope you will tell us what you've been up to and share some garden photos. :-)

Kathy, I keep meaning to ask you how the implants are doing?

Cindy would love a photo of the Zepherine Rose. I think I just planted one of those last year, but I don't know what I am going to do with it yet. That was a funny story about the patio door men. Everyone around us gets used to the garden, it's nice to see it through new eyes.

Denise...your last paragraph describing what was growing sounded so exotic to me and a lot of the plants you mention did remind me of what I would expect in California. 'The air smelled indescribably sweet.' Ahhhh....I would have loved that part! I would just love to live somewhere that the air smelled sweet everywhere at least once a year. :-)

Mary your weekend is sounding lovely. I enjoyed your photos. Is that the first time I have seen your garden? I think it is. You also seem to have a nice large property. I love orange and apricots in the garden, with blue, but not easy to place because I have a lot of pink too. Your azalea is very pretty. I have never tried amsonia, does it reseed a lot or spread a lot? Hawera is one of my favorite daffs. I have a soft spot for window boxes and your pansy filled white wooden boxes would certainly give me a smile if I could walk past them every day. :-)

I wonder if Saucy's bees arrived yet.

Gardenbug...you may have come home with 'nothing too unusual' from the nursery yesterday, but I bet it is one of the few times you have...lol. Wish you were closer, I have half flats of lupine seedlings left over after planting out. Band of Nobles and Tutti Fruitti. They will end up at the plant swaps if no one takes them off my hands before then.

Nice that DD had some time off, I imagine she needed it. DSIL is holding the fort down I suppose and doing a marvelous job. :-) Our DD has been at her new job a month and is doing very well. She took the day off to drive to the shore for the day with a friend yesterday. Turned out to be a lovely day once the morning rain cleared up.

Well...that's it from here. Out to get something done. Maybe bring the camera with me.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 7:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Oooo la la! I just love spring on the Idylls. Great photos everyone! Kathy, what a hoot to see balloons overhead and that being a regular occurrence. Fun, fun!

Mary, I agree 100%, there is nothing quite a satisfying as a newly mulched border. Beautiful photos! Love the pansies in the window box. How lovely! I did a bit mulching and edging myself yesterday and am hoping to finish up my back gardens today. They just love our home cooked leaf mould. Today we are planning on cleaning up the back corner by the shed and then the entire back yard will be finished. Huge job with all the areas and trees we have.

Wow, Brenda! Nice to see you!

PM2 great score on plants.

Denise, thanks so much for taking us along on your trip. Wonderful reading! Sounds like you had a fabu time. ~~ the editors and art directors of FG chose the containers. Id have probably picked the huge one with the Mariposa coleus and Black Magic Colocasia/

Cindy, enjoy your vacation! You really deserve some down time.

Eileen, Im looking forward to your spring pictures!

Cynthia, I absolutely LOVE Katies new jeans dress!!! You are so creative and clever. Fabu-fabu!

Hope Saucy is having a great weekend away and that Jerri is doing well with the new family.

OK Ive got to have a soak in the hot tub to loosen up my stiff old bod and then get outside and get the days list done.

Have a terrific day everyone!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 7:43AM
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Mary, I have now spent hours searching for a fat pink teapot fabric on-line. The apron is just beautiful, and I think I see ruffles down the side? (If you have a yard and 1/4 left over, Katie will buy it from you :-)

That photo of Annie looks like a Norman Rockwell cover for the Saturday Evening Post. The expressions and the heads leaning in different directions ~ just really captures a special moment.

Denise, what an entertaining travelogue! If Idylls were on a ship together would we all be on deck avoiding each other at 4AM? Wondering why these 'other' people were up and invading our quiet time? I did check out all of your links, and had to google 'candera chain' thinking some sort of spicey fast food pastry franchise. It would have been 'foolish' NOT to indulge in the rug. You can't just swing by a turkish rug merchant in situ on way home from work.

Everyone's spring gardens are popping I see, but the best ornament must be the hot colored balloons over Kathy's house. Or maybe the charming 'Phoebe in the grass'. Now I'm torn.

V, the nemesia reminded me of Catalpa blooms, same colors and just as splashy in my memory, but when I google for images they're not as raucous. I wonder how many of my memories are over embellished.

Chelone, I enjoyed seeing the plans for your new paths, and it gave a glimpse of areas of the compound that I hadn't seen before. My vote is for grasses against the garage. No worries of shrub damage from plowing or snow banks, and will have a relaxed look that seems to fit.

Yesterday was a good day in the gardens for me. I've shifted my adopter app home visits to Friday nights now that it stays light in the evenings. This was the first time in at least a month that I've had the entire Saturday unscheduled. Not as good as a 10 day vaca like Cindy, but it was fun not to have to worry about how dirty I was getting and how much time it would take to clean up and get somewhere. I'm still moving things and wishing I had pruned more in late winter. The roses are in the first third of bloom and when they're done with this round, I'm going to brutally chop them back so that the rest of the gardens are visible. I finally planted a Miss Kim Lilac that sat in a pot all winter. I got it at Lowe's for $5.98 this time last year. The same pot at this year is 12.98. How's that for justifying the pot ghetto?

All the rain has made weeding a breeze. The ground is so wet I can just pull up treelings with two foot tap roots.

Hi to all I've missed! Off to putter....


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 9:30AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A calmer good morning from me this a.m. Last night's dinner is now behind me, and the house got itself into reasonable shape well before the guests arrived. The only disappointment last night was that the rain showers came right along with the guests, so there was no dining around the firepit. And I finally smacked my attitude upside the head and got it adjusted. One of the guests at one point thanked me for opening my home for a large group of people, most of whom I really didn't know. She made me think of the hospitality I had been treated to last summer in Philadelphia, when so many hosts were so gracious to me and the rest of our group, and I realized that what I was doing was paying back that gift in a very small way.

This afternoon I get to play in the garden all afternoon! The weather forecast is good and the distractions are lacking. I can't wait!


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 9:57AM
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Good Morning Idylls, I felt like having my coffee with you and put off reading the paper for awhile-
Mary I loved seeing photos of your beautiful borders , all tidied up with the spring growth pushing up. You are now obligated ala Deanne, to snap photos from the same perspective at suitable intervals so we may see the progress !
Speaking of which, I almost was going to take a pic of the corner annual garden I planted a few weeks ago, but Im going to wait another week-It was so cold at night the first two weeks they were in they really got off to a slow start. Ive also been yanking out my snapdragons, which are covered with rust as usual. They are being replaced with Zinnia Dreamland Mix.

Think I might be needing to copy V and look for Sunsatia Mango- I love all these great new Nemesia hybrids theyve introduced over the last few years ..

Okay, out to WALAT with the coffee- later all ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 10:39AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Soggy good morning to all! After breakfast I drove into town to buy sugar so that I could make up some rhubarb compote. Somehow thew car ended up at our nursery (weak at that) but i came home with a rose and yet another heuchera. I've plunked my plant ghetto into the trunk of the car though...frost warnings again tonight. :(

Off to stir the rhubartb!
Later folks!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:29AM
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You'll know the tune -- Ei got me motivated!!

"On the first day of frost free
My true love gave to me
A 3.6 cf bag of peat."

"On the second day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Two bags of compost
and a 3.6 cf bag of peat."

On the third day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Three bags of top soil
and a 3.6 cf bag of peat."

On the fourth day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Four empty hangers
and a 3.6 cf bag of peat."

On the fifth day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Fiiiiiiiive green squash seeds ....
and a 3.6 cf bag of peat."

On the sixth day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Six begonia tubers
and a 3.6 bag of peat."

On the seventh day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Seven petunia seedlings
and a 3.6 bag of peat."

On the eighth day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Eight bags of grass clips
and a 3.6 bag of peat."

On the ninth day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Nine rabbit babies
and a 3.6 bag of peat."

On the tenth day of frost free
My true love gave to me
10 Liquid Fence sprays
and a 3.6 bag of peat."

On the eleventh day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Eleven chives in salad
and a 3.6 bag of peat."

On the twelth day of frost free
My true love gave to me
Twelve sincere 'thank yous!'
And a garden place like I've never seen.

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:40AM
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The greeeen of the garden photos is such a balm. Here's the color I've been looking at since getting home:

"Blue rain" from the two jacaranda trees in the parkway. The time of year when we're approached by various neighbors and implored to reconsider removing the bane of our collective existence. Mature shade trees are just too valuable, those these two would try the patience of Job. Upside is the street parking spots under the trees are usually available this time of year ;) While vacuuming the rugs and mopping the hardwood floors, then resweeping the petals this morning around 4 a.m., third time in two days (still on ship time), I formulated some Jacaranda House Rules for summer: No use of the front door. Taking the long trip to the back door will hopefully knock off any loose petals from shoes. Then take your shoes off at back door. No exceptions, Ein!

After the petals drop, the next phase, even more annoying than the petal drop, is the tree "spits" a sticky mist for weeks, supposedly an excretion from the zillions of aphis flocking to the newly leafed-out trees, unlikely as that sounds. Windows on cars are gummed shut by the gluey goop. Nature at her most fiendish!

I've got a new appreciation for slower internet connections, so just one last photo, the new rug with the triumphant rug dealers who tag-teamed me. First, they plied us with turkish coffee and sweets. Someone had the bright idea to take a picture so we'd know if the same rug arrives in 6 wks or so. It is an "Usak" carpet, and the botanical/thistle pattern rendered me helpless. The rugs were so beautiful it gave me a stomach ache to look at all of them, truly. Resistance weakening with each new rug they'd unfurl, I kept telling the salesman, "One second, I've got to run this by the DH," hoping Marty would walk me safely out of the building, but he kept throwing me back in the ring. The showroom is supposedly a co-op that kicks money back to the individual women who make the rugs, in their own bank account, a nice idea if true.

Wishing all a quiet, happy, broomless Sunday.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 1:42PM
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Hello all,

Cynthia - the teapot fabric was a sample only 24 inches square from a discontinued line. I have another 24" square in pale yellow which I checked to see if there was a manufacturers mark. Unfortunately there was nothing. Next time I'm in the store I'll ask if they remember who made them and I'll pass the word on to Katie:0) The side of the apron has a border with a scalloped edge as I didn't have enough fabric to ruffle.

PM - we have close to an acre with a slope and mature trees at the back. There is a fairly large patio and in-ground pool too. It's a wonderful sunny spot to garden and I have put in quite a few beds and borders. Given my work shedule, activities with the children, running the household with DH gone and other hobbies, I have probably created more gardening areas than is really wise. However, the garden is a source of constant pleasure and learning and I am quite comfortable accepting that it will never all be perfect at any one time.

GB - I made Rhubarb Crumble last night to take to our neighbors for dinner. It was a big hit with everyone except their 2 year old who pulled the funniest face at the tart taste.

I did a bit more mulching this morning before it started raining. David wanted to help again and decided I should call him "mulch boy". When the rain hit we went to Dicks Sporting Goods (don't Google that one if you are looking for their phone number) to look at bikes for David and found one perfect in every way except for the price tag - he has expensive tastes in bikes. Instead I was drawn to a clearance bin of socks marked down to 24c each. With some determined searching I got a great deal on some ski socks, basic boys and no-shows for Annie. Over $100 of socks for less than $3 - Yowsa!!

This afternoon I'm visiting a friend for tea then David is playing his bass in a recital this evening. I should probably start cleaning the house in earnest as my book club is meeting here on Thursday but motivation in that area is low. I imagine I'll end up doing it at midnight Wednesday instead. Annie and David havve asked me to play a game with them and that takes precedence right now.

Enjoy the day everyone


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 2:03PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Time to close the history books on another weekend. Good grief-I was productive this weekend and still need them to be at least twice as long!

I'm pretty beat up and off to bed but just wanted to share this story of today's escapades. Monique, Les and I decided to go to a nursery in southern VT that is known for it's selection of tender container plants. It's a little over an hour and a half drive from my house. The plan was for them to pick me up at 11, hit the nursery, then have lunch somewhere.

A few miles into VT we decided to stop at the welcome center for a bathroom break. As I was getting out of the van I noticed this nasty foul smell that I didn't recognize but figured it was coming from somewhere else. When we came out the smell was only in the van. It smelled like something was rotting. So we get out and start sniffing. Lo and behold the smell was coming from the exhaust pipe. OK, between the three of us we don't know a whole heck of alot about cars but it starts so how bad could it be? Starts yes, but won't go forward or back-must be the transmission. Guess a call to AAA will be in order.

We try to call on cell phones and it's a no go. Plenty of service and I could call other numbers but not the AAA 800 number. Les trudges into the welcome center to use their phone. Now we're waiting with the hood up and a good gear head samaritan comes over and starts poking around. He informs Les that the transmission fluid is almost empty. Now we're hopeful. All we need is some transmission fluid and we'll be on our way, right? Tow truck guy shows up-flatbed truck actually. He doesn't have transmission fluid and only advises that the van get towed to a service station (none of which are open on Sunday thank you very much). And he only has room for two people. So how do we get home? Well the Red Roof Inn in Brattleboro is an Avis dealer-maybe they'll have a car.

So off he goes with the van and leaves us like bag people in the parking lot of the welcome center to call Avis. Once again cell phones don't work so it's back inside where the people working the information booth can make fun of us...lol. it must be our lucky day because Avis has a car but we have to get there. Hello, Brattleboro taxi? If you've ever driven through a rural area and wondered who would call a taxi or rent a car, now you know.

At any rate, it turned out the rental car was only three miles from the nursery where we had intended to go. So even though it was now overcast, windy, spitting rain and mid afternoon we decided to make the best of it. Thank goodness for large trunks in mid sized cars because we filled it with all sorts of cool plants. Lunch was after five and I didn't get home til around seven but I think the day turned out well considering. Guess you could call it making lemonade out of your lemons. Only gardeners, right? lol

OK, more I'd like to say, but that's it for tonight.

Nite nite!


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 10:12PM
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A very windy but warm and sunny day, and I mean windy! It was a productive day as well. Jaden had her annual vet visit, after I dropped her at home I went to the nursery thats on farm near our place. I picked up a few things that seemed interesting. She really has a nice selection and strives to find different things. Once home it was much too windy to plant anything. I played around in the potting shed and came up with the beginning of a miniature garden. I got a fair amount of weeding and rose pruning done. Numerous trips were made driving DH from this field to that and bringing tractors here and there. I did plenty of WALATing today as well. Now that we have actually had decent temps this week things have just exploded. I noticed the hostas the most. I think they grew 3 or 4 inches in just a few days.

Katie looks absolutely adorable in her new duds. Cynthia, you are so creative.

How wonderful to see some pictures of your garden Mary.

Cindy, Im extremely jealous of your vacation time. I need some!

Kathy, the balloon shot is cool. We dont see them here but used to at our old house, most often it was my childrens pediatrician and they were always excited to say they knew whose balloon it was. We quite often went to the annual hot air balloon race held near here. Kids eat that stuff up.

Mary, lovely picture of Annie. It would be wonderful framed.

Deanne, your gardens are so lovely and really show your level of care no matter what time of the season.

Denise, your trip sounds so interesting. The rug is my kind of "souvenir".

I am now on day 2 of this post. We had a nice lunch at the lake with my parents, Kenzie and her parents. I was holding the little squirt after lunch and I heard that burping noise that all mothers recognize, I put my hand by her mouth and sure enough my guess was correct. Poor little peanut. I hope I dont catch it though. Then we made our way to a graduation. After we got home I had a nice walk around the farm and gardens.

Theres much more that I could say, but I need to end this while my eyes are still open.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 10:57PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Looks like we will be starting a new thread today. Could someone else start it? I was planning on doing it, but abscessed tooth started Saturday night and off to a root canal or extraction this morning, yet to be determined. Oh, joy. I'll check in when I can...


    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 7:52AM
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Wow! What a fun read. Denise, I enjoyed your trip - it was beautifully written and I was able to visualize every thing that you described. Now I have to go back and check out all the pictures.

Mary and Cynthia make me want my sewing machine back out into the open where it can be used! I'm always thinking up better curtain ideas than I ever see in magazines.

My weekend was so fun and Soakology was the most relaxing hour I've had in a long time! Downtown Portland is very walkable and was fun to window gaze and munch on foods here and there. The soaking was done in large pottery "bowls" from Italy, Denise. I asked because I wanted one. I did a lot of walking and talking in one weekend....lots of laughs in there, too.

I came home to find a happy household. The kids were sipping milkshakes and Nick came out of his freshly organized garage. I asked if it'd be okay that I make a little mess in the garage and got my bee hives assembled! Pictures will be taken at it's placement.

Sue, that was quite the trip! I remember wondering who used the taxi in our small town :) Can't wait to see your finds!

Hello to everyone! I've got lots of work waiting for me, but I'm gonna try to play outside this morning. Hope you find some time to play in the dirt, too.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 8:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OY, root canal, transmission trouble, Kenzie sick,...time for that new thread. We want pictures of Cindy's new carpets, Jerri's babies, shots from Denise's trip, a few more words from Brenda, and how about Bab's? She must be out of school SOON!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Does anyone know if lilac and roses will bloom in Venice during the spring and summer months?

Thank you

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 3:56PM
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