Idyll #479 'All things seem possible in May'

michelle_zone4May 4, 2010

We are supposed to have cold temps for the next little while. ThatÂs not so bad as long as the wind doesnÂt blow. Unfortunately it is blowing today. Here in the country we get a lot of corn stalks and leaves that blow in. I wonÂt be taking any plants outdoors until things warm up some and we have less wind.

Thanks for the comments about my raised bed. I took a picture this morning as it just gets prettier. The dwarf irises are starting to bloom. Candy, the reason the bed is raised is there is this big cement enclosure for a well and the pit for the rural water. The dirt of the garden insulates it from freezing.

When we had cows they did escape several times and mostly trampled my garden not so much eating. IÂm sure they do less damage than deer.

IÂve order seeds for Rumex sanguineus aka bloody dock. HowÂs that for a yucky sounding name?

Happy birthday to little Miss Ivy!

Candy, I may not have the 12 million helicopters, but I do have 12 million ash seeds that have germinated.

Deanne, I think the coleus police should arrest me for the mistreatment IÂve given them. Yours look so happy and healthy. I do have a cordyline though that does look pretty nice. Yours is a beauty. There are a few other things that look exceptional as well.


"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May." -- Edwin Way Teale

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Edwin Way Teale gives me all kinds of hope Michelle!

First: that my replacement (used) computer will be easy enough to install and figure out...
Second: Friday is DSIL's first 2h meeting with the parenting coordinator  to put together a parenting plan, discuss school, medical, etcÂwith Skyler's Mom. IÂve got my fingers & toes crossed that it comes out well!

I too hope the coleus police can't find me...I already planted wallflower cuttings from late last Fall and hope they increase well.

The grass and dandelions just grow and grow and I just mow and mow!

Happy walating to everyone!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 5:21PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well I could just chew iron and spit nails..... We are in the middle of a terrible T storm and the weather warnings said that this storm produced gusts of 70 MPH west of here. Well I believe it because I saw some branches break off the tops of the pine trees on the back property line and they landed in the front yard. There is again tons of debris and damage and the worst casualty this time is my beautiful Lancelot Mocha coleus standard, it is smashed to smitherines. The dracena and a pine branch landed on it. Grrrrr.... I've really had about enough of this hideous wind.

So Woody, my Wisteria took seven years before I saw the first bloom and it only bloomed indifferently until it was ten. It was certainly worth the wait though. It's been spectacular the last several years and this year is the best yet. I do prune it severely all the time to keep it off the neighbor's side of the property line. If I don't he rips off the errant branches and throws them over the fence onto my flowers. Anyway, it looks pretty nice from this side of the property line but is flat on the fence line. Oh yes, thought you'd get a kick out of this, he hates the smell and the bees. Can't please everyone.

LOL about the coleus police Michelle and Bug.

Michelle, bummer about the wind you are dealing with. I absolutely detest it. I seriously didn't expect to deal with 50 and 70mph wind gusts two days in a row. It seems that I no sooner get things picked up and looking good and we get another bout of wind. Oh well, que sera, sera. Mother nature will throw a wrench in the works every time.

So Candy has twelve million helicopters, Michelle has twelve million ash seedlings and I have twelve million White Pine seedlings. Are the trees trying to tell us something?

Bug, bummer about the computer. I surely hope the replacement works out fine.

OK storm is over and I've got to go and assess the damages.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:01PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Just a quick fly-by to thank Denise and Candy for the birthday pics! Absolutely marvelous-even if yours wasn't up-to-date, Candy. I had not seen it before (or I have forgotten which is always a possibility), but even if I had it was worth seeing again!

Reunion was wonderful. Amazing group of women.

Off to work on IEPs. Ugh-hate paperwork and this time of year is the worst!

May do a quick WALAT before dark, though.

Cheers, all.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 6:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

An attempt at posting a few photos of Skyler and Ivy...
New Birthday bike

YUM! Blackberries!

With Mommy

Ivy, writing? Drawing? Only she knows.

Hammering toy

Learning all this new computer material is killing this old lady! Thank goodness DS is around!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 8:23AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi all! I am feeling quite a bit better but have daily headaches - probably the result of the neck brace pressing on my jaw. I keep telling myself to count my blessings, at least I can move and breathe....

I have 12 million Amur maples from my neighbour's tree. We are not on speaking terms so I know just what Deanne is dealing with.

Oh the wind is awful. We too have had T stoms and wind, but not as sever as Deanne's or Michelle's. All of my large plants are outside. If I lose them, well, so be it. I just couldn't navigate around them any more so I took advantage of willing visiting muscle to relocate them.

Happy Birthday to all I have missed, good luck to Saucy on the leaf casting venture, can't wait to see Deanne's garden tour photos, the grand kids all look wonderful.

I have given up onthe EAT program and am back at the JulieJobs as I am still quite limited in what I can do outside. Main floor of the house looks fine, haven't been downstairs for a month so what I don't know can't hurt me *LOL*

Can't type much longer, but really enjoy reading along!

Cheers to you all,


    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:31AM
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The wind seems to be a constant companion these days. Fortunately it does die down in the evening. Although, it was raining when I got home last night. It cleared up later and I spent some time getting all the containers out of the shed and placing the larger urns in their spots in the garden. The rest are stacked in the potting area.

I'm enjoying a pretty cobalt blue vase of yellow tulips with a streak of red on the petals. When I saw them bloom in the garden I wondered what possessed me to plant that color. Then I remembered they were freebies. So I cut them all. They just didnÂt fit in with all the light and dark pinks.

I think that Deanne, Candy and I could grow a forest with all our seedlings.

Deanne, how awful about your standard. I know how frustrating that is. I had one bite the dust because of wind last year. I do have to say I had 4 standards in the basement and 3 are really looking great.

Âbug, IÂm glad to see that you were able to figure out how to post pictures from the new machine. The blackberry picture is my favorite. IÂll bet Skylar loves his new bike.

I was looking through some pictures the other night for DIL. It reminded me how great the pictures are of our children and grandchildren these days even over 25 years ago.

Julie, I feel so bad for you. My DH has had several neck surgeries and has had to wear one of those awful braces. Do you know how much longer you have to wear it?

Lunch break is over so back at it.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 2:05PM
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Hi, all, Thought I better at least say hi,before I get out of the habit of posting.
We have had a few nice days here and I have been making them count outside. The inside? well thats another story.
I've been enjoying lots of iris blooms. No storms to knock them down. And some have multiplied enough to put on a show. I think I only get really good bloom every other year as I don't dig and seperate them I just cut them back when the foliage gets ugly.
Julie, I really feel for you not being able to do much. And headaches are no fun . I miss your posts.

Nice to see Ivy and Skylar with their birthday gifts.
And Kenzies visit to the farm too.

I've been to busy to take any pictures. My Clematis Haku OOkan has been so pretty but I can't seem to get a good picture of it. It is purple but always shows blue in my pictures.

My honeysuckle is in full bloom too. I think everything is a little early because of april being warmer than normal here.

Don't know much else.

Enjoy spring. Norma

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 8:39PM
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I thought I'd share a few shots from Olbrich Gardens in Madison, WI. I'm not sure how this will work.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:37PM
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A quick post here, almost bedtime .

Michelle, I could play the slideshow right in your post, but if I clicked on it I got to your album and could view it full screen- beautiful photos ! I loved the layout-sometimes it's nice to see the bare bones of a garden so one can fully appreciate the design . Thanks for putting these up for us.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 12:00AM
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Michelle that was really cool! You'll have to share your trick.

Nice to see Ivy and family. Skylar sure has grown. Glad to see green in their neck of the woods, too :)

Last night's photography class was on Macro. This is my favorite, so I should be able to find lots of flowery subjects, and maybe some bee subjects. I was too tired for last night's class...

Things are busy at work with the first plant sale that we buy for coming up this weekend. Today I will have to dig plants from the field, divide them, and pot them up to send to the sale. The large flowering baskets (mostly geraniums and petunias) have to get pulled, too, and all neatly arranged for pickup. I hope that we'll have more room to work once the plants are picked up as I am having trouble watering everything! There is just too far as my eye can see!

I thought I'd post my neighbor's wisteria for smells heavenly. It had one bloom last year. She's waited about seven years...last year she cursed it, pruned it hard, and trained it further down the fence:

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 7:28AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - that's lovely! Do you know what variety it is? It looks like it could be Laurence - the one I have, although I think Lawrence is supposed to be a bit bluer. I was doing some checking around the Internet yesterday. It appears that 3 years or so is the usual wait for it to bloom, so maybe next year.... I found one reference to occasional summer flowers. My Chinese one does that all summer but I gather it is rare in Japanese ones. Deanne - has yours ever produced summer flowers?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:22AM
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Ivy as "Scribe" is my favorite. Hands down. Rapt attention, complete ignorance of "modesty", talk about "in the moment"! Rock on, you sticky little urchin. :)

Hi everyone. Esp. Julie and Woody who still rank as officially, "under the weather" in my pea brain. Sucks not feeling 100%.

Machine is due to arrive on Saturday. I'm learning about air compressors right now, in unpleasantly unexpected "preparation", I might add. :Wrecking Crew will greet me when I return from work tomorrow... Vera will be horrified, but will "get over it" by the time it's dark and the temperature has really dropped, lol. Wussy-pussy.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 4:33PM
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So you are impressed with my computer skills LOL Actually it's nothing savvy on my part, I made this album in Picasa and you can choose to link to an album and choose embed in website.

Norma mentioned not having time to take pictures. That's one thing I like about my little point and shoot is that I can keep it in my pocket when I work in the garden and shoot when I see something I like.

Last night as I walated I carried a spray bottle of Liquid Fence and sprayed about and mostly the things that showed signs of deer nibbles. Rick bought a revolving yellow light and thinks the movement will startle them. I'm not so sure.

Saucy, that is a fabulous wisteria display. I've never seen or smelled one in person.

I'm trying to enjoy spring Norma, but the weather isn't cooperating. Cool and cloudy today but at least no wind.


"All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar."
Helen Hayes

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 4:41PM
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My best spring garden. I should really concentrate on some of the other areas for spring interest. Ignore the gates and other farm paraphernalia in the background - such is my world.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 6:39PM
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I like seeing the farm things Michelle but my eye is really drawn to that raised bed. It's lovely.
I bought a point and shoot camera for that reason too. But forget to take it with me. I'm not real happy about the colors it produces either.
Nice slide show. I want to do like Kathy and go see it full size.

Hi Chelone!

I spent the day pulling weeds and was feeling so good about what I accomplished until I walked around a corner and saw another mess of them. LOL Oh well I'm still pleased with what I got done.

We are headed into some rainy "cooler" weather again. Has it's good and bad points, so I will just go with the flow.
Makes for good transplanting.

For some reason my picture trail uploader isn't working again. I may have to reinstall it again.
Well I need to go pick up some tools left strewn about, so TTYL. Norma

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 7:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It has been a chilly cloudy day with wind but with a few sunny moments.

Michelle, would Rick let you use those gates to grow clematis on? Just an idea of mine... Think of what you could hide!

I met with a guy today who will give us an estimate on a new & quieter & larger vent for our bathroom, along with a repaint job. At last I convinced DH that I am beyond the painting stage in life...

DH and DS had a nice 2 hour walk this morning before DH went in to teach a class for a friend (who went to a conference in S.Africa). Ms Phoebe joined them on the walk which was nice!

Chelone, I am fond of that particular photo as well. I think it shows what is uniquely Ivy. I have hopes that, unlike Skyler, she will enjoy detail and using her hands. Time will tell. The hammer toy belonged to Reed. Yesterday she really enjoyed her Day Home so much that she never napped, until 10 minutes before DSIL picked her up. She also used the toilet each time the bigger kids went, so only 1 wet diaper all day. Smarty pants.

I am rambling and sharing here, nervous about what tomorrow will bring on the parenting front. I so wish it were possible for things to improve for DSIL. As one friend said,"It takes time to turn around a tanker ship.. and so too, it takes time to shift behavior." Five years has not been enough so far. DSIL tends to compromise too much- if that is possible- and X takes advantage of that.

Lots of asparagus here and it is time to share the produce with friends.

Off to chew my fingernails.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 7:41PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - if your DH was teaching a class, I assume that means the voice problem has gone away - or at least lessened? That's undoubtedly good news for you all. If you mentioned it before, I missed it.

Julie - I'm glad to hear that things are improving for you. Has the source of the problem been identified? It's an odd sort of accident and I'm curious what the specific damage was. Last year Barb's car was rear-ended and she's been battlihg pain and numbness in her right arm/hand ever since that has got worse over time. She is still making the rounds of doctors trying to find a cause and solution. Just recently she's started wearing the wrist brace at night and arm strap during the day that someone with Carpal Tunnel problems would use. It seems to have stopped most of he pain and numbness but why would a whiplash type injury cause Carpal Tunnel problems?!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, "lessened" is the answer. It worries me still as I imagine it will be a permanent feature from now on. It varies from day to day, but never a comfortable clear voice. He'll try to see the specialist in another week or two as was suggested. Next Monday he sees the dentist once more to have his tooth screwed back in for the 3rd time. They "forgot" about him and he had to phone in for the appointment. Very sloppy of them IMO.

Aging is such a treat! ;)

Tomorrow is yet another full day of talking...very tense stuff about aggregates in Ontario.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 8:48PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi there, remember me? Life is moving far too fast at the moment. We are having a record-shattering spring at work, which is really good and long overdue. It was do-or-die time and the weather has finally been in our favor! The only downside is that I'm just worn out! Honest to goodness, I've lost five pounds just from running around the office.

I'll try to recap a few of the highlights here. First and foremost, DD graduated from college last Sunday. It was a wonderful day. Here she is, on the left, with her best friend since 3rd grade.

She has made a decision on graduate school, and is now off backpacking through Europe. She'll be home in time to go to Napa!

OK, now for the chicken update. The chickens are flourishing - so much so that we have gone from 25 to 34! It seems that the local farm store has no qualms about selling baby chicks to folks who live in town, so we have received two batches of "rescue" chicks in the last few days. All are doing well and I need to get some photos of the newcomers this weekend.

On the bee front, I got my package of bees from the P.O. on Saturday and installed them in the hive late that afternoon. So far, so good!

In the theme of 'All things seem possible," we have found a red trillium in our woods; not a rare flower but one that we have never seen on our property. I continue to be encouraged about our restoration efforts.

On a sadder note, as I drove home from work Tuesday evening, I saw that a house I pass every day was on fire. The back of the house was engulfed in flame, the wind was roaring and the fire trucks had not arrived. I have an image etched in my brain of the railing on the deck collapsing in the flames. The family was out for dinner, but the lovely Wrecks-sized dog that I would see the son walking did not make it out. Go kick your dogs now, will you?

Mundane things such as the dishwasher and the laundry are beckoning me, so I'd better run. I miss my idyll time!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 9:12PM
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Posting at bedtime again, but many things to comment on Â
Michelle, lol, it takes me about 3 seconds to go from the furthest point in my garden into the house to get my camera. No need to carry it with me !

I like seeing the farm things too Norma. I have my next photo class starting next week, trying to improve my mastery of the manula settings on my SLR, but I still have my nice little point and shoot for for those times when the big camera seems a burden. I have to say those times are becoming few and far between. Get that Picture Trail stuff fixed Norma! We need monthly pics of your pond(s) !

Âbug, I fully support you in your quest to give up house painting ! DSÂs room needs it desperately- the room is so small that we could easily do in a day, but my living room is beyond my capabilities- cathedral ceilings and that damn popcorn crapola. ItÂs a hire job for sure. Fingers crossed for DSIL. My god, bug, Skylar will be an adult in a few years and it will all be moot. Hope they can get the show on the road.

Hi Julie! I sure miss your posts and hope you recover soon.

V, lovely pic of the charming DD on her graduation. How lovely to think of the world unfolding in front of her.

Gotta go, but to all my east coast friends itÂs already


Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:14AM
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What a nice time I've had reading Idyll this morning.

Woody the thing that stood out about Barb's accident was that possibly she injured her wrist (since it is usually on the steering wheel)? Doctors are no help sometimes...sometimes they perform miracles. I hope she finds a solution.

Michelle, that is a great Spring display! I'd say you've nailed it. I really like the background. I think it's an amazing feat to garden in such a wide open space - I think I'd be overwhelmed by where to start.

I drove by my old house the other day, and it was a garden that I could spit on from the house (that small)...but how easy it was because everything only had one place it could possibly go :) Sometimes I really miss that small garden.

It looked good, by the way!

V., you certainly are busy this Spring. I've told my neighbor that all the good weather here is pushing everything earlier and ealier...she's selling basil already (and warning the customers of wayward frost!). I hope it's a good year for all in the industry.

I also hope it's a good year for the plant hunters :) I'm going to Variegated Foliage today after my doctor's appointment in CT. I've got some lovely new disease, which should be easy to treat, but it sure is bringing me down and making me tired. I'm looking for that Pagoda Dogwood that I wanted to buy with my prize money from my leaf. The leaf is nagging on me too, as I've yet to put together a syllabus to teach classes. I might just put that on hold until later in the season. Too many things crowding my head these days!

I hope you all have a great Friday, and if you're working you come home to find delightful gardening weather all weekend :)


    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 7:20AM
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Horrible morning at work + no patience for being the default whipping boy = leave work early on a beautiful day before saying something mean in a state of righteous indignation.

The Wrecking Crew was certainly happy to see me and I think getting them outdoors for some running, smelling, and swimming will be just the ticket to turn my frown upsidedown. Afterwards I'll beat them to within an inch of their lives for getting all wet and icky.

I love that V. has become the local "Chicken Rescue"... not sure why that makes me smile but it does. So does the notion of picking up a package of bees at the post office. Warm congratulations to the graduate... "Plastics"!

Time to wander into the kitchen and see if there's anything quick and easy to reheat... I think there's some Lo Mein, and I'd better jump on it before it's recycled through the maws of the Brains Trust courtesy of the helpmeet.

I am thrilled that all nursery related businesses seem to be thriving; let's hope they go public and add some bouyancy to the market! :) Last frost-free day is Memorial Day... but here in the banana belt I will sometimes push it to the 15th. for the window boxes.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Congratulations to V's lovely daughter. It sounds like a fun summer for her. How sad about the house fire.

Chelone, sorry to hear that the work woes continue. I've been thinking about you and the situation over the past few weeks. Good thing you have the mutts to take it out on ;o)

Saucy, does your little garden still exist at your old house? I often wonder what will become of all this when I'm gone.

'bug, those would really be some clematis supports. Problem is they are actually quite heavy. I hope things turned out well today for Skylar.

I'd best get back at it.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Rise and shine! I'm up early today as the thunder and lightening pass through. Sarah and I are off on another photography field trip - this time to Magic Wings, one of those butterfly houses.

Michelle, my old garden looks really good. It has been reworked many times since I left, but it is beautiful. The basic gardens are still all the same.

We are getting a much needed rain now. I hope that it turns to a good soaking for the garden.

Well, the thunder woke Sarah, too (as well as the cat jumping on her, she says) so I'm going to go. Maybe we can find something on t.v. to soothe our nerves...probably not :)

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 5:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We had dramatic thunder and lightning last evening. This morning the creek is VERY high. There are presently wind warnings in effect with flurries expected this afternoon. This is March, right??? OYYY. Nothing I can really do about below zero (C) temperatures throughout this coming week. Poor little plants...

Here's from yesterday-

Off to make pancakes for the troops...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:48AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB - same sort of forecast here too: -2 and flurries for tomorrow night! The wisteria is just about in bloom - I fear that it's going to get zapped. I've got my fingers crossed for winds end lake effect to get us through the weekend!

We went to the RBG plant sale on Thursday. I bought 'Blue Angel' clematis amonst other things (Also 'Perrin's Pride'). I have no idea where I'm going to put it! It's all your fault gb :-)

Saucy - that idea re Barb's problem makes a lot of sense. You should have been a doctor :-)

My latest problem with this cursed anti-seizure drug is that it seems to be decimating my bones! My last two blood tests (doing them monthly now) shows the marker chemical for bone diseases up ~2.5 x my normal rate. Broken bones was on the list of rare side effects for the drug. IÂve had a bone density scan which confirms IÂm in the osteoporosis category, especially my left leg. My family doctor is making an appointment with a bone specialist for me. If I break a bone  anywhere but especially arms or legs  IÂm in deep trouble because I couldnÂt use crutches or the walker. Back in the early 1990s I broke my left leg and it took 6 months to heal. For the first few months it looked like it was going to be a non-union break (i.e. would not heal at all). It was put down to my NF2 creating problems, so now IÂve got a new problem on top of that. IÂm very nervous!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:21AM
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Cold, windy and no sun. DoesnÂt sound like a great day to spend in the garden does it? House cleaning could be done, but I have a few other ideas, as well that might be more fun. I may have to run over to our local rural nursery and see whatÂs available. IÂd like to take Kenzie there soon, but then itÂs harder to really check things out. Things are much more whirlwindish when sheÂs along. We had rain but no thunder and lightning. Last night was equally nasty so we went into the city and did a little shopping. My momÂs birthday is this week along with MotherÂs Day. I really hate to buy her "things" anymore as she does enough of that herself and really doesnÂt need anything. I did find a very large pink double impatien in a pink pot. I know she just loves these. Plants donÂt fall under the category of "things" do they? Maybe lunch out will be part of the celebration as well.

Kathy, love the relaxing cats along with all the interesting things going on in your garden.

Âbug, your son is the spitting image of his father. IÂm sure youÂve never heard that before. I agree with Woody, you really are an enabler  ÂConstance is gorgeous.

Woody, sorry to hear about the bone problem. That isnÂt good. Hopefully, the bone specialist can find the correct mixture of meds to work together well. I have my fingers crossed for your wisteria.

Saucy, I love how you and Sarah do so many things together. You are a great mom. Neat that your garden was taken over by another gardener and still lives.

Deanne, IÂm always amazed by your bird shots.

V, the delphs are lovely and give such an English feel to the nursery.

Have a great Saturday and stay warm


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:34AM
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Sorry to hard about your continued worries Woody ! I hope the bone specialist has some helpful recommendations.

I'm off on a field trip this morning too..another garden preview for IU..a garden about 30 miles from here that I haven't visited in many years and have scant recollection of. I's much more mature now so I hope it will be a good one to keep on the list. Got the commuter mug loaded with french roast , and a fresh battery in the camera.

Enjoy the day Idylls !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:42AM
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I always tend to forget May is filled with hustling about with one thing or another. Garden labor, nursery trips and purchases, graduations and MotherÂs Day all crammed into the month. DH and FIL have made reservations to take me and our mothers to breakfast so IÂm contemplating a sinful strawberry waffle or a huge omelet stuffed with goodies. CanÂt decide!

V. sounds like you whittled off those 5 lbs. without much thought to calorie intake. Congratulations to your daughter on her graduation, that is such a milestone! Looking forward to a photo update on the chickens.

IÂm a bit pressed for time to comment today but just wanted to say IÂm loving the variety of pictures on this Idyll. Everyone keep your cameras handy and batteries charged! We are slowly getting the 12 million helicopters under control either through mowing, sweeping (they are so resistant to the broom!) light raking (to avoid removing mulch) and the ever tedious hand picking. Thank goodness we havenÂt had much rain for them to germinate and many are drying up. They irk me to no end and I donÂt enjoy taking pictures until the majority are gone.

Colder temps are back with the dastardly high winds whipping trees, shrubs and tender new leaves every which way. We are going to hover just above freezing for the next two nights so thereÂs a frost advisory. Everything is up and too big to cover so IÂm just going to hope for the best with one exception. IÂm getting ready to rig up a quick easy solution after I hit submit. Busy, busy day here.

Waving to allÂoh, Woody! IÂm sure you are using extra caution moving about but IÂm certain the Dr. will be quick in prescribing something to offset the bone vulnerability. Especially since youÂre getting in to see a bone specialist promptly. Take care, though!

More thoughts are tumbling aroundÂbut IÂm out of time for now. Wishing everyone a good weekend!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:27AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Woody, what a conundrum-hope the doc can prescribe something for the bone issues. Better living through chemistry...??? Hang in there, go gently, and no rock jumping.

Lots of wind here, but no storms and it is sunny and warm. Tomorrow, it is supposed to be much cooler-dropping to 40s overnight. DS is supposed to come by to do some digging and planting-with the pup in tow. His sweetie is swamped with papers, but this is the end for her graduate program. I know she'll be so happy to be finished.

Saucy, can't wait to see pics of your outing. Sounds like fun.

Ditto, Kathy.

'bug, that was a great photo of DH and DS on the Friday page. I hope the cold doesn't get all the flowers.

Michelle, speaking as one who has told DH and DS "no more things," I can state unequivocally that plants do NOT fall into that category! :) Lunch is always nice, too! Sounds like a wonderful plan for your mom.

V, congratulations to your daughter and how lucky she is to have such an 'old' friend-they are the best kind-if you don't count the imaginary sort ;) Also, love the chick and bee news.

Chelone, I am picturing you taking possession of the long-awaited machine.
Happy day.

Have to run Clouseau to the vet. Think he may have an ear infection.

Love all the pictures. Have a marvelous Saturday, Idylls,

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 12:35PM
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Woody, I'm sorry you now have bone density issues to add to your list of worries. Scarey stuff, indeed; this from one of the fair-skinned, light boned tribe. By all means exercise all due caution (as should we all). You have too much on the line to do anything but.

The Wrecking Crew is here... we've had a few tense stand-offs with Spencer and Polly who tend to be braver than Vera with respect to the Crew. But the Crew seems to have pretty good handle on the parameters of acceptable canine behavior. "Cats rule, dogs drool". Simple.

My poor boss is a victim of inability to take control of a predictably busy time of year. That inability is not going to become my problem. I will not be a whipping boy for frustration over things that are easily addressed in spite of the immediate discomfort. Boss's problem, not mine. I will help out in whatever way I may but only when asked to do so. If the thinly disguised contempt and condescention triggers my BS alarm then I will simply clock out and go home. Maybe I get "fired"? big deal. I worked in the trade before accepting my present job and I'll work after it, too.

The new machine is here. I have played with all morning long. I am still waiting to wake up and find out it's all been just a dream. Guess who doesn't want to go to "work" on Monday and have to work on poorly maintained "dinosaurs"?! lol. (not mention the shop is complete -hit hole). Any bets on how long I'll "last"?

I'm sad about the upcoming Idyll that I will miss. But I"m warmed by thoughts of such fun people getting together and laughing until tears roll down their cheeks. And I'm delighted by your pictures. They're great.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 2:01PM
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At the Quarryhill Botanical Garden today From Garden 2010 Spring

And at the Kathy garden From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 5:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's been a cold and damp Saturday here. We hit the farmers market shortly after it opened and got bratwurst, a french baguette, a whole chicken and asparagus. And a nice warm Starbucks for the ride home. We worked outside on the chicken coop most of the day until we were wet and chilled to the bone. We've got a fire going inside now!

Tomorrow I have a "date" with my son. He's picking me up at 11:45 and told me not to eat a big breakfast. Can't wait to see what he has in mind!

Chelone, I'm thinking it will be sooner rather than later. The salon is such a pleasant space; I'm sure it just wears on you to go to the hole every day!

Woody, sorry to hear about the new worries. I'm also hoping that Cyn's recommendation to avoid rock climbing did not start you laughing so hard you broke a rib!

A local farmstand that had it fields "pushed out" by housing now has their fields along my drive to and from work. I've been enjoying seeing the different crops being planted and starting to grow. Too soon to know (at 60 mph) what is growing but you can tell it's not corn or soybeans. It would be fun if they had a small stand to buy from later this year! Their store is a few miles east of their fields.

Time to get dinner rustled up. That baguette is going to be sliced into some buns for those brats. Maybe throw some of that asparagus on the grill as well!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:28PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

What crazy weather weÂve been having. We got BugÂs T storms this morning and are currently getting another round of winds and heavy rain. The temps are supposed to get down to 37Â. Hopefully the coleus will forgive me. They donÂt much like cold but IÂm not going to take them back in unless they predict temps below freezing. I canÂt believe it was 90 degrees a few days ago. The weather doesnÂt know whether it wants to be March or July. Oh well at least it isnÂt acting like January. I seriously donÂt remember a May with such violent winds before.

My garden helper is such a great worker and weÂve gotten 50% of the mulching and edging done. IÂve also finished another wall and enclosed a new bed in the shade area. IÂm hoping to get the rest of it finished in the next week and start getting the containers potted up.

V. love the chickens and bees. Sounds like you are going to have a great MotherÂs Day! YouÂll have to fill us in on what your son plans for your ÂdateÂ. Sounds like fun. ~~ HUGE congratulations to your family and your daughter! WONDERFUL!

Kathy, your gardens are spectacular! FABULOUS roses. I surely wish I could grow them that well. Wish I could come to IU. IÂll be whining and sitting in a corner feeling sorry for myself next month.

Chelone, congratulations on the new machine! You must be thrilled.

Cyn, hope Clousseau is OK, for some reason I didnÂt remember that you had a furbie with the same name as MaryÂs pup.

Candy, we are having the same wind issues. What a pain. Glad you are getting control of the 12 million helicopters.

Michelle, no, plants definitely do not fall in the category of ÂthingsÂ. They are the perfect MomÂs day present. So happy you like the bird shots. ~~~ Michelle your garden is so fabulous. What a great show of color for this time of year. ~~ really love the slide show, thanks so much for sharing that.

Woody, IÂm crossing my fingers that your wisteria doesnÂt get zapped from the cold. So very sorry about the bone density issues. Hugs! Sending positive thoughts.

Saucy, we got that wake up massive thunder storm here too. Looking forward to seeing the results of your photography field trip.
Norma, Did you get any pics of the honeysuckle? IÂd love to see t hat.

Julie, glad you are feeling better. Hope you continue to improve.

Here are a few pics from the last couple days.

Wisteria update

I was pretty thrilled to finally get a good pic of a male Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Have a great day and enjoy your MotherÂs Day all the Mothers out there.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:43PM
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I lost a post yeterday basically saying the same things others have written. I am to tired to try to reconstruct it tonight.
I did take advantage of the cold windy weather(the rain missed us) and cleaned house today. Also I feel just a mite yucky for some reason.
Woody, I dislike your latest woes with the bone issues. I hope something can be helpful. More clematis Huh? I have a love hate relationship with them, but it doesn't stop me from buying them.

V,good to see posts from you. Congrats to your DD and friend. The backpacking trip sounds fun.
How sad the people lost their dog in the house fire.
Nice to have a visual of the nursery and the bee gear.

Kathy both the quarry garden and yours are very nice, I especially like seeing lounging cats. Will you still have lots in bloom for IU?

Would like to comment to all but am thinking of heading to bed early.
Enjoy the weekend everyone.
No special plans here. Oldest son came and ground stumps for us and wished me a Happy Mothers day. Works for me. He also gave me a knife a couple of weeks ago when he went to a gun show. I had requested a pocketknife that opened without having to use your thumbnail. ( I hate that). It even has a clip that clips on my pocket, and I have used it everyday since he gave it to me.

Nite all. norma

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:46PM
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Deanne I did take a pic of the honeysuckle but my picture trail uploader isn't working right now. I need to work on that.
DH was excited to see a Rose Breasted Grosbeak at our feeder too. Nice shot.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 9:53PM
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Omigosh, more beautiful photos! I will hurry back first chance to savor them in detail. Right now, we are watching a movie and I dashed in while DH paused it to make popcorn.

Time for a pop quiz!

This is my fast, good size rig (yard waste bag) for an absolutely stunning annual that I was foolish enough to plant two days ago. I will not risk losing it, the nursery only had a few and I felt lucky to find it again this year. Lost all photos of it from last summer when the computer crashed, so I can't wait to see it perform again.

Care to guess whoÂs under the bag?Â.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Deanne I wish I could get a nice photo of the Black-headed Grosbeak I have here. I just donÂt have a good enough zoom on my camera. They are a favorite with me, but I seem to only have one pair each year..they have a very distinctive song and I always know when they are at the feeder. Love your rose-breasted ! I looked it up in my field guide  I have to come out your way if I ever want to see one. That Wisteria is fabu ! There are several in my neighborhood, and I have always avoided them because of the size, though I see many that are kept in bounds. I have no fear of X-treme pruning. Sad that you are not going to be joining us this summer, but you know you and Doug are welcome any time if you feel like taking a wine-country respite. Once I get IU7 under my belt IÂll be an old hand at conducting wine country garden tours !

Chelone, I hope for a photo of The Machine . I hope even more that you are able to find a way to escape the confines of The Sweat Shop. Only you can decide if itÂs worth the aggravation. I would have a hard time tolerating any sort of disrespect, or the chaotic workflow that you describe. As stressful as my job can be , I am in a very supportive team environment, and we try very hard to communicate , and be part of the solution, not the problem. A cliché , but very apt in my opinion. I support your quest to use your considerable skills in a way that gives you the most satisfaction. Life is too short. ItÂs a damn shame that finances seem to intrude on our dreams !

It seems like forever since we heard from Mary ..if you are reading along I hope you will check in ! I miss you.

Norma, the roses are really the scene stealer in May ; there will be different things going on here for IU- there will be roses but not the overwhelming display I have at the moment. Lilies ,Daylilies, Salvias, Lavender, and the first Dahlias will be all in bloom in late June, with a second flush from the roses.

V, looking forward to more chicken and bee reports ! Glad to hear that business is good; our garden center is doing very well this year , partially because of the demise of a competitor.

All for tonight ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:37PM
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Happy Mother's Day, friends. Sarah baked me a cake last evening. Thankfully she allowed us all a slice for dessert and didn't make us wait until today :) Jake is going to dig me a hole for my new Katsura (GB!) that I found at Variegated Foliage. Nick is helping wrestle the banana onto the deck. I love garden helpers :)

It's very windy and cool here today. I woke to find that the kitchen door had blown open and the dog looked cold (though it's hard to tell since he's wearing a fur coat). The themometer says my front porch is 48 and my kitchen is 58, so it couldn't have been open long.

I can't guess what's under the bag, but I love a challenge. The hint reveals that it flowers....hmm....maybe a Potato Bush plant? That is seriously the first thing that came to my mind...

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 7:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This game will be agitating me! Candy had better return with the answer before too long!!! I'm not very knowledgeable when it cones to annuals though. The bag isn't tall enough for a coleus standard I don't think...Hmmm. Maybe a sweet pea? I bet Saucy nailed it on her first try!

Congratulations on the Katsura Saucy! What variety is it? Variegated???

24F expected here tonight and I'm going crazy. I have no idea how to protect anything....Waaaaa!!!! Any suggestions? I have visions of black hostas and kirengeshomas. BLARGHH!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 8:05AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB - frost in the forecast for tonight here too. It didn't get as cold last night as predicted and the winds stayed high so we didn't get frost. But when we walked Misty at suppertime last night there were bits of purple in the ditch in front of the wisteria! So even if I don't lose the flowers to frost, I might lose them to the wind! I'm afraid to go look at it this morning!

We had T-storms Friday evening and got a very welcome 1" of rain.

Deanne - I'm wisteria obsessed at the moment. I fear that the only wisteria I'll be seeing this year is your beautiful one!

Candy - I'm not an annual person either so I wouldn't even attempt to guess... come back and tell us soon!

V - chicken photos needed soon... I was so sorry to hear of the loss of the neighbours dog. Good thing no people were injured but I always hate to think of pets/animals in that sort of situation. I still have vivid memories of a fire in a barn at the local racetrack when I was a teen. A friend of our family lost all his horses.

Kathy - what are the roses on the fence?

Time to go walkies and see what damage the wind did to the wisteria last night.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 8:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Filled the bird feeders once more a little while ago. One oriole sighting here this morning! So cheerful.

DS has departed. :( But the first session for DSIL has gone well. :) The issue of child custody is out the window. Big relief. Other things need to be reviewed in 2 week's time.

Likely a nursery trip today. Poor nurseries must be frantic about the frost tonight, with today being their biggest sales of the year...on Mother's Day. At least I can keep new items indoors for a few days.

My friend has done the major work on my potting bench, but still plans on adding wheels for easy indoor storage in the garage over the winter. He doesn't quite understand that NOW is the time I use it, but I can make do for now. It is exciting to have an almost new working area.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:30AM
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Maybe it's a Dahlia?

Woody, that is Sally Holmes, with Eden to her left-only a few flowers of Eden are visible. Below is a closer view--you made me think of your New Dawn swag , I'll bet it will be splendid this year ! From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathy - your picture made me think of our New Dawn swag too, which is why I wondered what rose it was:-) I'm hoping for good things from the swag this year too. Some year soon I'm going to have to cut the whole thing down and start again I think. New down is likely to take down the arbour soon if I don't. There are several feet of canes on the top of it! I'll try to get a picture of the top of it - it's just outside the pantry window. The window can only be opened an inch or two as it is a casement window that opens outward.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:57AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The view from the pantry windew:

In addition to New Dawn, there is also Clematis montana and C. Jackmanii Superba

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:10AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

why do you never see your typows until after they're posted?! window...

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 12:58PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Haha, Woody, I'm with you! TypoWs indeed! Sorry to hear about your potential bone issues, from another of the fair-skinned little-boned tribe. My last scan was nothing to worry about now, but a gentle warning about the future was issued. Obviously o.k. for now or my neck would have broken.....Shiver....

Speaking of shivering, our weather is impossible today. Woke up to SNOW, yes the white stuff was on the roofs, cars, and of course, the buregeoning gardens. My beautiful Lime Basil is toast. And add me to the list of those whose standards are now decimated. And one whole shoot of my Clematis Durandii is broken off. Not to mention that the blooms of the Iris Reticulata are done before they even really got going....

DS is here for Mother's day. He has little cash so his contribution was to be a lawn cutting and trimming and moving plants. Bless him, he went out there and did it all anyway, with snow blowing in his face as he cut the grass....but the lot looks great. Once it warms up again things will be fine. Trimming off the broken and blackened leaves will give me something to do....

I have now been in the neck brace for about seven weeks, and the movement is coming back into my left arm very well. I have very little pain but I do get a headache by the end of the day, every day. I think my arm issues were probably the result swelling which has now largely gone. Hopefully the specialist will be pleased on the 7 of June when I visit and something positive will ensue for the summer months.

Oh Chelone I feel for you in the lousy work situation. How I wish we could all be together for IU7 - laughing our heads off over bendy straws, visiting awesome gardens (Kathy's looks wonderful!) eating local delicacies and just chatting away about jobs, kids, chickens, dogs, and of course plants. Do you still have a computer in that little nook off the living room? I picture you there every time you post...

Bug, it sounds as if the news on the family front is good. Your DH and DS are definitely alike! I know the feeling about height - I think I used to be taller....

I bought a Henryii clematis yesterday. My Hagley Hybrid, Sweet Autumn and Lady of Bejing (I think that was its name) all croaked through this winter. Sad, but now I have room for more...

Just rambling here, waiting for DD and her SO to arrive to make the quesidllas that I requested for dinner...

V your daughter looks so lovely and happy. As do you with the bees *LOL*

Where's Mary, anybody know?

Thinking of Deanne and Saucy as I check my banana plants every day. They visibly change in a day. I might let all the big plants go the way Mother Nature intended and only keep a babnananb...banana, sheesh, Woody at least I saw this one. It was kind of funny so I decided to leave it.

So what amazing annual is under the bag???

Well, should push off now and give the computer to the little guy.

Happy Mother's Day all, see you soon! ...

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 5:10PM
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Happy Mothers Day all the mothers of both human and fur-babies.

A few things did get nipped last night. It must have been patchy. Cold, dreary and blustery today but at least no snow like Julie. That must have been quite a site to see your son mowing with the snow blowing.

I made a trip over the little rural nursery. She specializes in interesting annuals and perennials. Although, you can get petunias also. If you are so inclined. I got a cordyline ÂChocolate QueenÂ, Ipomea ÂEmerald LaceÂ, a couple of new varieties of pelargoniums, a couple more miniature hostas for my miniature hosta bed, a variegated fountain grass for the pillar containers which will have a pink/burgundy theme this year and darmera for leaf casting,

Deanne, was it you that had the ÂChocolate QueenÂ?

Does anyone here have the ornamental rhubarb? I looked at it but it sound like it gets huge. IÂm not sure where the darmera will go either. Moisture and size may both be an issue.

Âbug, 24ï° really??? I know itÂs really hard when you have a large garden. Maybe you could cover the ones that you would be devastated to have damaged. We were at a big box lumber the other night and they were trying to put big tarps over their annual racks and the wind was blowing like crazy. On of the things that appears to have gotten hit last night was hosta ÂJuneÂ. Hopefully, she will rebound.

Candy, I don have a clue. The part that puzzles me is that it is somewhat hard to find.

Kathy, Quarryhill certainly has a nice backdrop. Your garden is looking marvelous!

Deanne, the wisteria is absolutely stunning! The shade garden isnÂt too shabby either. I had a red breasted grosbeak at my feeder just this a.m. not a common occurrence for me.

Julie, its good to hear your arm is moving again. Hopefully, you can lose the brace soon.

I had my parents stop over on their way home from the lake for turtle cheesecake. My mom loved her double impatien as well as the asparagus that I sent along.

Off to relax a bit.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 5:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I looked at the history of Quarryhill Botanical Garden and was interested to read about the collection as well as the woman behind the project. My jaded outlook on things marvels at gravel companies expecting individuals to clean up their messes. This seems to happen in many areas. Butchard gardens is another famous example. Yet of course, thankfully there are people wealthy enough and both excited and enthusiastic about creating lasting places of beauty. Starting a vineyard first and then moving on with an outstanding Asian collection...well what an interesting spot to explore.

Also marveled at Deanne's grosbeak! He has such personality. Photography is such a strange business. It often makes things more beautiful than they are...and tells lies. In this case no! I find bird and wildlife photography so much fun because you get to study things that you can't in real life because they move so quickly.

Sally Holmes! Well I adore her but lost her after several years. I really want to try her again...but with today's outrageous weather should really just learn my lesson and say "NO!" This cold spell, 24 degrees, is breaking my heart. I spent several hours covering things...but it won't be enough. I'll have to learn to deal with black hostas and leafless shrubs and trees. I'm so distraught!!!

I picked a huge bunch of asparagus for a friend tonight. It is fun to share!

This afternoon I had a very successful nursery venture, thanks to DH who celebrated Mother's Day with me. Like Michelle I'll share my purchases: Trollius 'alabaster', Veronica Erika, Angelica gigas, Epimedium sutchuense, Amsonia hubrechtii, Disporum smilacinum 'Aureovariegata', Purple Avens 'flames of passion'!!!, and yes, 2 clematis. At least I can protect these for a few days indoors...

Chelone, I think of you and your work situation...and wonder how I would handle it myself. I think you are quite capable of handling things either way. At least the way things are, once you are home, work is far away!

Off to cover a few more things I just remembered. ARGH, this is killing me.

A few "before the frost" shots:

Good Night!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:27PM
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DS brought me ice cream- mint chocolate chip ! We donÂt do M-day here, so this was just a friendly gesture . HavenÂt had ice cream in ages-not a winter thing yÂknow ?

We had a cool showery day today, but I managed to finish getting almost all my planting done, and new plant lists have been created for filling in the gaps. I am agonizing over what will replace the Rocket Snapdragons in front; I will have to pull them out in a couple of weeks as they are covered with rust, and will start to look progressively crappy. The flowers are huge and beautiful right now, which serves to distract from the foliage. I usually plant mid-size Zinnias in these spots but I am feeling like I would like something different this year. Food for thought.

Âbug, a few more pics from Quarryhill below. It is an interesting story , and a beautiful setting too. I have opted not to include it in the IU itinerary- it is more of a hiking place that an Âidylling place, and I fear the posted Ârattlesnake warnings might be off-putting. I want to go back in the fall, there are some wonderful trees there and I think I could get some great photos. I hope your weather forecasts are dead wrong !

7 weeks in a neck braceÂyikes Julie ! Really glad to hear that the healing process is going so well. YouÂll be hoisting a glass on the wine deck before you know it.

Only 4 days at the awfice this week, I am off Friday to do my test run to the coast and back for IU, with a couple garden previews. And Thursday night is my first session of photography class..

All for tonight, sweet dreams wherever you may be !

Kathy in Napa

Lots of Columbine From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:28PM
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Ah, a peaceful Monday morning with lots to read and photos to boot :)

My front porch temperature read 44 degrees when I woke up. I have my brugs and cannas there, and all the tropicals came in for the evening. GB, I hope you wake to find that the weather forecast was off by 15 degrees!

I don't know what today holds...I do know that I need to water the greenhouse, but I enjoy that job as I find it peaceful. You're forced to look at each plant, too, rather than seeing them as a mass.

I hope to make some leaves and other concrete creations this week. I have a couple of new concrete stamps of fossils, and I thought I'd make a concrete table top for the garden. We'll see.

The Goddess Garden got some great new additions over the weekend. A couple of new big hostas, chinese mayapple, a hosta that Drema shared with me, shredded umbrella plant, and a ligularia with the same shredded leaves. There's more but I don't have plant tags in front of me and it's early :)

I need to organize my plants onto a map, I decided.

I hope that I will be able to finish my GG paths this year. I think I have some help lined up and found a source to deliver the decomposed granite. Problem is the the mosquitoes get bad soon. Luckily I can see the GG from my bedroom window.

Well, it is time for me to figure out what's on the menu for today. I hope the frost stayed away from each of your gardens :)


    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 7:55AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I've been reading along but feel like I dont have much positive to add -- it seems we've all be suffering very odd temps and weather conditions - that make it very challenging this Spring -- is that an understatement or what? The winds and the frosts/temps can be downright dispiriting....

Saucy -- did you by any chance get a fossil stamp for an ammonite? I've been looking and looking for one to do some stepping stones with - it seems that's one of those quirky things that struck my fancy in the last year and I keep thinking Im going to make some somehow - for some reason they're horribly expensive....

Sounds like folks have made a bunch of great scores in the plant department - I agree that plants do not qualify as "things" that one can have too much of or be too materialistic about.

Love your photos, Kathy -- and of course, Deanne's are to die for for birds and wisteria "wishnics"

Norma - I laughed at the love/hate relationship re clematis - I so totally agree -- I've been hating the ones that seem to never flourish and disappeared in the ground; the new ones ready to burst forth with color this week (if unfrosted from last nite) Im dying to see -- and I start making another list of ones I think I want to order (again) or anew....

Julie - Im so glad to hear you're making some progress and that the neck brace seems to be helping - keeping fingers crossed!

Woody -- I hope hope the bone density issue can somehow be laid to rest for you -- any chance of getting of the drug earlier than later?

Well, back to contemplating the sad fact that it's Monday here (again) somehow and too darn chilly for May.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 1:27PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - did you escape the frost last night? Thank heaven for the lake effect - no frost here. There is still a frost warning for tonight but not in a red banner so hopefully we can miss that one too!

Cindy - The surgeon had said at the post-op follow-up visit that, if need be, I could switch to a different drug. If the blood test in a couple of weeks shows continued deterioration, we will try to go that route (assuming the side effects on the alternate drug aren't any worse!) I gather the alternate drug has to be in the same family as this one so I'm not sure if that also means it would have similar side effects!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 3:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just erased my own post. How dumb!!!

Last night's frost was serious and I had to cover plants tonight because of widespread frost warnings once again. Sigh... I am eager to plant things...vegetables included!

Did a great deal of mowing today because the rest of the week is likely to be rainy.

I've been practicing with DH's camera. I find it produces "yellow" pictures when I use the zoom feature. I need to practice some more obviously!
Some shots from today- tulips, clematis, etc

Pamela Jackman
Blue Dancer

Carl and Carlotta


Sleep well!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 9:37PM
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Oh so pretty Âbug ! We actually had frosty night last week, later than I can remember since living here. Rain off and on today and cold too, itÂs 51 now, which is low for May when the sun is out. One the plus side, all the stuff I planted over the last week got a nice rain soaking, and all my rain collection buckets are full again.

Glad that there are options for you Woody, I hope you can find a med regimen that will lessen all these side effects.

Cindy, I sure have had some setbacks this spring too, we have had really late frosts and the rain is turning my roses into blobs. That does however make is easier to do early and extreme deadheading to push new blooms in time for IU ..I started hacking them back this weekend.

Ok folks, this is it for me tonight..sleep well .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:00PM
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'bug, things are looking very pretty at your place. Did you have some frost damage?

I've not even been out to check things out today as it's rainy, cold and extremely windy.

Cindy, I had to do an on-line search for those stepping stones you mentioned. They are really cool.

Kathy, the Quarryhill pictures are quite interesting. Thanks for sharing those with us. Its always nice to see different types of public gardens.
Your mention of snapdragons reminds me of the 'Black Prince' Snapdragons that I planted in the Secret Garden 2 years ago. Last year they reseeded like crazy. This year even more.

Thinking of reseeding in the garden, I find it interesting that some things I think, oh, no more seedlings and others I get excited over a few seedlings. I've noticed a couple of seedlings from my gas plant and one from my pulsatilla which excite me. Then there are the reseeding annuals that I depend on such as poppies, larkspur and love in a mist. Then there are the annoying ones such as morning glories, ash seedlings and german chamomile. There are also the things that I'd like to reseed that I don't see yet such as the angelica gigas and only a few nasturtiums.

Good night

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 11:46PM
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What a lovely day I had yesterday! DD made a surprise visit home and thanks to a comp day, stayed until this afternoon. DS sent flowers and we enjoyed a long phone conversation. Both kids are getting excited about our annual family vacation coming up in June. We seem to be a bigger crowd every year with the kids and cousins usually bringing a friend.

Julie, I bet youÂre counting the days to get the brace off. Do you attribute the daily headache to the weight and immobilization? I canÂt recall if you have to sleep with it on?Âsure hope not!

Deanne, that wisteria is spectacularÂwow. It looks so well formed and symmetrical, just dripping in frothy white blooms! Must ask about your fencing in that second photo, is it bamboo? Very curious as to how it weathers and how you have it anchored. IÂm always making mental notes on a quick solution to privacy if my neighbor in back decides to trim her overgrown shrubbery, yikes.

Chelone, sorry the workplace continues to be stressful. IÂm not sure I would be able to muster the self control you show in this situation. Gotta be taking a toll on you, though!

ÂBug, from your photos, IÂd never guess you had frost damage! Did you use sheets to cover many of the plants? I know how you feel about the hosta, I have quite a few. With so much beauty coming strictly from leaves, itÂs so disappointing to see them damaged. And sometimes with frost itÂs not immediately visible, only to show up later. Hoping for the best and an update soon!

Woody, that swag is a terrific idea..canÂt wait to see it later. You and Kathy make roses look so easy to grow!

Oh, yes! The annual under the bag is Cleome Senorita Rosalita and she is a must have! Pink-lavender, blooms like crazy, branches up and no deadheading! And wouldnÂt you knowÂsterile. I so wish it was perennial or self seeded. Anyone grow it? Michelle, didnÂt mean to mislead you about being hard to find, but I only stumbled onto SR by accident last year. Supply (and it was small) was limited to one local nursery and the same held true this yearÂso far, anyway. I was surprised several of the long time employees werenÂt familiar with it.

Kathy, great photos as always. I do love the little bridge; too bad I canÂt think of a way to incorporate one into my yard! Oooh, just had a thoughtÂSenorita Rosalita probably IS a perennial in your zone for you and Denise! Mine got 2 ft. tall last year so it might be too big to replace your snapdragons but heyÂa little shuffle here and thereÂ

Waving at Saucy, Norma and Cindy and all IdyllÂs reading along.

We are getting a nice gentle rain tonight with more predicted throughout the week. Good thingÂstill very dry and all the wind didnÂt help. Right now IÂm more than ready for bed, up too late with DD last night.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 12:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The cats were up early this morning muttering at the now I am too. A peek out the window shows that there is frost here and there....less than the night before, but still there. As Candy mentions, it is hard to know yet how much damage there is. Some of the foliage on the new Katsura was affected yesterday, even though it was bundled up. I have a great many hostas and was only able to spread sheets over a few of them, so that is a "wait & see". I also used burlap and empty pots of all sizes for protection.

I believe I first saw Cleome Senorita Rosalita at Deanne's house at an Idyllunion. She sweetly sent me some seeds to try. I had no success that time. :( I think it is a wonderful plant though and if I found it locally early on, it would be well worth buying for a whole season!

Lots on the agenda for today...before the rain arrives!

Happy Tuesday one and all!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:53AM
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Well the frost got me. I can see mushy leaves on the phlox and nepeta from my window. Oh well, they'll recover. It is depressing though.

I spent the day working in the Goddess Garden yesterday and she's looking pretty good. I am working on a neglected section where I hope to make an area for a small bistro set. I think it would be nice to be able to sit in the garden this time of year. Later on, when it's hot, the mosquitoes are unbearable. I have often wondered if one of those mosquito magnet machines would help me. It'd be a nuisance to deal with, but great if it worked.

I love that cleome Candy! Deanne looks for it, too, I think for her fabulous containers.

Shopping trip today to the herb wholesaler. This is where we'll get African Blue basil for my bee garden (and other goodies).

Cindy, I do have an ammonite in the mix. I think I paid 30 dollars for a set of 6. Not cheap. I'll bet you could find one at a museum store. I'll let you borrow mine after I give it a has a couple of different stamps that you might like. You and I must have the same idea in our head :)


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

GG photo request Saucy!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:45AM
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From what I've read the lovely Senorita is sterile.

Saucy, how big are your stamps? They sound very cool. I've made stepping stones for many years with stained glass and I've made one with Kenzie's hand print the first year of her garden.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It was very fortunate that DD made handprints of Skyler and Reed for DSIL's Christmas gift one year...

It is windy again so although it is 48F, it seems like below freezing to me. Time for hot tea, maybe some lunch!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 12:07PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

A bit of frost on the roofs this morning but I don't think it's done much damange to anything. The wisteria flowers seem to have gone into hibernation since the cold arrived. They haven't opened anymore in the last few days although the leaves have continued to develop. I like this picture that Randy took last night as the sun was going down - Sleeping Beauty...

I was hoping to get a good rain today but it looks like the raid clouds are hung up on the Escarpment again. I hope that doesn't become a pattern for this summer or it'll be a very dry one here! Air quality was dreadful here this morning. The approaching rain was obviously pushing some very nasty stuff ahead of it. I had intended to work outside but decided it was healthier to stay indoors!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 1:34PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good afternoon everyone!

After last night's heavy frost I have a lot of sad looking plants in my garden....the Frances Williams Hosta is pretty mushy, the White Feather is just a sad pool of slop, all of the bleeding heats, red and white, are droopy, the Greater Fairy Bells are lying on the ground....and the list goes on. I feel even more frustrated because I am unable to do anything - but what would I do anyway? Just wait it out - it is likely that most things will rebound. Tomorrow I will trim what I can, I had put out one very large pelargonium and it will be trimmed almost to the ground - and will water and hope for the best. Mother Natuyre must be able to handle this, right?

On Mother's day I got the cutest card from DGS - have to share:)

A kid needs a Grandma
To share in the fun
To spoil you a little
And love you a ton.
To laugh at your jokes
And admire your art
And to tell everybody
You're darling and smart. (I especially liked that line!)
To take you neat places
To see different stuff,
To make sure you're bear-hugged
and cuddled enough.
A kid needs a Grandma
a whole great big lot
That's why I love
the neat Grandma I've got!

After this lovely sentiment, I am off to supervise the Homework Wars.

I hope you all have a pleasant Tuesday evening!



    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 4:38PM
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Today I had the strangest encounter in my shade garden where a simple WALAT became extraordinary!

Although I never heard a sound, some ancient reptilian instinct made me turn quickly and there coming slowly between an evergreen and large hosta was this positively alien looking thing.. I literally froze while the brain scrambles to identify what the eyes see with something it recognizes. In the flash of a secondÂbeast, creature, brown, black nose, small eyesÂno ears! OMG what is wrong with that poor animal? hit by a car but whatÂs he dragging with him?!! Then it veered away and I saw the paddle tailÂbeaver! I could not have been more shocked if IÂd seen a monkey in the garden. Run Candy, runÂcamera way up on the patio, run back with it only to see him disappear far into the density of the neighborÂs overgrown shrubbery which extends into the adjacent property. I have no picture to document this unusual sighting! There is no river within a dozen miles, no streams or wooded areas and while thereÂs a small creek in the neighborhood it is blocks away through busy streets and normal landscaped property lots.

Quickly I called DH to share this unheard of event. He was of the opinion it wasnÂt possible for a beaver to be in our vicinity (no kidding) and since I was so startled the image of a beaver came to mind (oh pleeeez!) probably just a large cat (not unless he was dragging a huge piece of tire tread behind him!) camouflaged by foliage. (No, no and no.)

After ending that conversation rather abruptly I called the county forestry extension for an explanation or information regarding this usual occurrence. I might as well have told this guy IÂd seen a UFOÂseems beavers live by the water (really?) as they canÂt walk distances with their little legs (this one did) so what I saw was probably just a large dog in the bushes. (Uh-huh, IÂve already heard the cat version)

IÂm doing a slow burn, itÂs a wonder my hair doesnÂt ignite. DH was a little busy when I called so heÂs going to hear it all over again tonightÂnot a cat. Not a dog. It was a beaver.

Â"all things seem possible in May" Âhow true!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 4:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5) friend saw a BEAR in her back yard. NO they all said.(husband, wildlife officer...) We don't have bears in our area! YES said Marion, it was a bear! She phoned the police. Same story. Then she phoned the media. They wanted photos. A neighbor had a photo. They said it was not from the same area. In the end, it seems they did not want the public to be frightened. Oh great! So, the bear appeared in the school yard! All the children were required to stay indoors of course. The police came and shot the bear right in front of the children's very eyes. NOT SMART! The children wrote letters to the newspaper angry that they had killed the bear instead of relocating it. I think their teachers did well to turn their outrage into action.

"all things seem possible in May"...well not ALL. I can't imagine DH and Mr Conservation Officer backing down. I hope your trees are safe!!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 5:11PM
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Candy, it's like the time I came home and told my dad I had seen a bald eagle in the tree top. He lectured me that it couldn't have been as there were none in the area and went on and on about the different birds it could've been.

Later that night on the news, we were treated to a story on the release of several bald eagles in our area.

I hope you get the same vidication :)


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 6:27PM
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Candy, I bet that startled you at first. Starnge things do happen and I hope something comes up to verify your sighting a beaver.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:25PM
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Julie what a cute poem from DGS card. Sorry about the frost. Good to hear you are getting some use of your arm back.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:29PM
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Simpatico with my cold-zone friends, more frost here this morning ! I guess itÂs just a well that I havenÂt gotten around to planting the Âbasil grove yet. Really, this had to be the last. No damage, I think it was short lived and settled mostly on the rooftops, just like Woody .. I absolutely refuse to turn on the heat in May !

Well Candy, since weÂve had no prior reports from you about UFOÂs, Nessie, or Sasquatch, IÂm taking your beaver sighting as legitÂas long as you confirm you arenÂt on pain medication ..and we can rule out Âflashbacks too ? Sure am glad I read your post while I was having my lunch at the awfice..very entertaining !

Saucy , we do have mosquitoes here, but it was a revelation to me last summer in NE ..I never really Âgot the screened-in porch thing, but I sure do now. We carry the Mosquito Magnet at our stores, but donÂt sell too many of them. Pricey ! If I lived in Mosquito Alley I think it would definitely be worth it, providing it actually works. IÂd want to invite myself over to dinner at someoneÂs house who has one (MosqÂs are never around in daytime here) to give it a test run on their nickel.

Hi Julie.. you sound chipper in spite of it all. Hope you are back to 100% soon.

Michelle, I direct sowed the Celosia but I thinkl we have been too cold, no action after 2 weeks. I only planted about a third of the seeds, so I think IÂll re-sow over the weekend after I get back from the coast. We are supposed to get consistent low 80temps which should warm up the soil some. I was also hoping my Amaranth viridis would re-seed , but no action there yet either, and I didnÂt start any .

All for me, waving to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bright spots on a gloomy day...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 7:48AM
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Oh bug! That is a sight to behold.

We are gloomy here to. Bad storms during the night and more predicted.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Just got back from San Antonio, Skip had his Marine Corp reunion, so I am a little behind on the idylls, but I wanted to comment on the unusual visitors. When we lived in Pittsburgh, we saw a baboon in the yard of the neighbor across the street. Apparently it escaped from the zoo, which was about 45 minutes by car away from us. That year it managed to live in freedom for about 2 or 3 weeks before they were able to capture it and return to the zoo.

Bug, where do you think I might be able to find the interesting clematis that you have? I just love them, and we don't seem to have anything like that around here. I do have a Betty Corning that I just love, and it grows very well for me. The others, not so much.

Hi to all, I am going to post some more later. I have some fun pics. Right now I need to try to clean up this house. It is a wreck, and the weather outside is cold, rainy, yuck. Good day to do it.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Interesting Clematis... annoying because regular nurseries, at least near me, simply do not carry clematis that don't bloom during their peak times. Even if they do, like Constance and Blue Dancer right now, they consider them "difficult" which they are NOT. Another problem for them is that these clematis grow so well that it requires a full time staff person to keep them pruned and staked so that they don't get tangled together. They also take up space and get their tags confused.

Nurseries need to become educated about clematis and teach their customers as well. They need to know how to care for the different varieties (not hard!) and realize that it is a 3-4 year process of care before the vines will leap ahead into glorious bloom.

Drema, my experience is to simply stop and look at the clematis section of every nursery each time I pass by. Over the years I have found things at surprising places. Last week I saw Huldine, Purpurea Plena Elegans and Perle d'Azur at a nearby place. So if you find one or two each year, your collection will certainly grow.

If all else fails, check out the Joy Creek website and order a favorite from them. Not free, but good guys for sure!

Here is a link that might be useful: Joy Creek

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 10:46AM
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'bug, just curious if your clematis seed around. I have tons of seedlings this year from nearly all my clems. Do you pull them or leave them?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, certainly they do! It would be interesting to see how they develop because they intermingle and you never know what you might get! On the other hand, there are just too many to deal with. I give a few to friends. Same with hellebores.

I have a friend starting a nursery next year and she hopes to use some of the seedlings for a "Gardenbug Collection". (Not the actual name) We'll see how that goes. But she is welcome to all sorts of things that spread: Lady's mantle, bloodroot, tradescantia, corydalis lutea, asters, and lots of other things.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, were you the person asking about Rheum, the large ornamental variety? I have grown it for the past year only, by the barn where I want something large to help suffocate the weed seeds. I have 2 reds and a white. I bought them at the end of the season last year and I expect them to be HUGE. Love them though!
White on the left, red on the right.

I also see that my Persicari polymorpha has babies. Those have to go. One plant is glorious, but more than one is like having a field of zucchini plants! LOL.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 12:14PM
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It sounded like the rhubarb get large and I really don't have the room where I'd like to have them for something huge.

Most of the nurseries around me carry the type 2 clems and I swore them off.

'bug, nice picture with the finches. They are thick at my feeders these days.

Drema, you will have to tell us more about your trip. Maybe a few pictures.

Kathy, amaranth seeds generously for me, celosia does as well.

Tonight my DS and GF will be over for dinner. He's back from TX for about a week.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 4:40PM
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Thank you Âbug, Saucy and Drema for sharing your own creature stories!Âbear, bald eagle, baboon, beaver, amazing isnÂt it? Last night I backed DH into a corner for a little further discussion on the matter and he apologized for misunderstanding on the phone. He thought I was looking Âinto the shrubbery instead of watching the beaver waddle along in plain sight. So now heÂs made several trips out to the area (with the camera) hoping heÂll catch sight of it, too. For now it remains a mysteryÂ

Been raining off and on since last night and more expected tomorrow. Strong storms possible with the 4 letter H wordÂnooooo, please not H! The high winds have already done enough damage to the hostas with large leaves. I think it will be the weekend before the soil dries out for me to finish planting some new purchases.

Julie, looks like we posted a minute apart yesterday. That is the neatest grandma card you received from TCS, such sweet words! Sorry about the frost, I was hit two years in a row during the last few years. Most rebound but, we wait all winter for fresh green growthÂnot green mush, right?

ÂBug, I am envious of the fact you can buy so many plants and not worry about where to put them! I know the farm is spacious but do you fit them in or start a whole new garden bed each year? I have to plan and choose so carefully otherwise it creates endless shuffling. Not that I donÂt buy a few things on impulse but I do feel as though IÂm on a short leash, lol.

Have a wonderful visit with DS, Michelle!Âis this your first meeting with his GF?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 7:29PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ok, Drema - I do believe a baboon in a suburban neighborhood is the top odd animal visit/sighting! What a riot-- Im sure the first people reporting that were hooted far and near - so as Saucy says, there's something in being vindicated! If you want another possible mail order place, Drema, for clems - check out Silver Star Vinery -- I've been immensely happy with what Debbie sends - the folks on the clem forum as well - very strong roots, well packaged and mailed; she tries to keep ship costs down and while the cost has gone up a bit; they are well worth it - I cannot say enough nice things about the place. I suspect she's sold out of most things now (like Joy Creek, where you have to order early to get some of the unusual ones) -- but you can find lots of amazing stock. So make your wish list, and order in the fall or early next winter/spring.

Im about to send my small deposit off for a new pup - I went round and round and came back to Maltese and have been on a hunt thru a bunch of breeders.... so early August I should be bringing her home -- Im nutz but I'll be a happy nut. I am not a well person without a dawg... I will get to go pick her out (there are 2 females in this particular litter) in another 7 weeks or so. I did buy my first little g-baby thing tonite too -- some little socks w/ frogs and another little sunsuit w/ flamingos. I've been informed by DD that she dislikes pastel pink, LOL -- so this baby will have to learn to love coral, magenta, salmon, fuschia, etc.....

'bug - how in the world did you get those finches to perch in that particular tree?? Amazing combo of colors!

Candy - I love that Rosalita too - Deanne indeed is the one who had some incredible combos of that -- it's odd how it's hard to come by -- I got it last year, but havent seen it yet this year. I like it because it stays small too, which is good for my gardens.

I agree re the g-son card, Julie -- such a sweet, wonderful thoughtful card!

It's gotten warmer here but w/ the storms that rolled thru it's now quite humid -- squish squish.... The annuals are not liking it!

And someone tell Mother Nature to stop it with the winds all over the nation - enuf is enuf!

I know I've forgotten many things/folks here.... hope to check back in t-morrow!


    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Hola Idylls..

Idyllunion 7 continues to gel, after this weekend I should have an almost nailed itinerary. Have had some disappointments (closures and the like) but overall I think it will be an enjoyable trek. Tomorrow is my Friday, and then I am off for my Âtest drive to the coast. Taking the camera and the laptop so will be sure to provide updates from the road.

I submitted a sneaky post from the awfice today, but it seems to have vanished..I wanted to add a testimonial for Drema re: Joy Creek. Have been very happy with everything I have ordered from them, most recently my 2 ÂArabella Clems , received in March and blooming away now in May. Lovely root system, sensitive packing, etc. I am dying to visit their display gardens ÂI hope to go up to Oregon for a few days in August , and it will be on my agenda for sure.

Waving again, I need to find some dinner and watch some baseball..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 10:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm off to Toronto in an hour or so. Surprise me with some This Moment photos for my return!

We had frost AGAIN last night. What's new....There's sun at the moment but hard rains are predicted.

Oh, and a big YES to Silver Star Vinery! Debbie is great too!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 6:27AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What a roller-coaster the weather has been lately. IÂm so terribly sorry to hear about the frost and freeze damage Julie, Saucy and Bug have dealt with! I feel your pain. IÂve been doing the Âin again and out again shuffle with all the tender stuff and I have SO much tender stuff it takes me an hour and a half each way. GrrrrrÂ. Crossing my fingers that IÂm done with that now. IÂve gotten a few combination pots assembled and am hoping I donÂt have to move them again.

The wisteria is still blooming and so pretty this year and my tree peony has finally bloomed well after being relocated a couple years ago. The ÂAsao clematis is also blooming but not putting on the best show as I lost a big piece of it over the winter but the flowers that are blooming are soooo pretty! IÂm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment with getting ready for a June garden tour. Just too early for this garden to show at its best.

Kathy, you are doing such a fabu-fabu job with organizing the IU7 and IÂm so sad I wonÂt be able to come this year. ItÂs a huge amount of work and IÂve only done it as a team event with Sue and Monique and Les. Kudos!

Oh Cindy!!! How fabulous that you are getting a new puppy! Congratulations canÂt wait to see the new addition. And yes IÂm in love with the beautiful S. Rosalita. Wonderful plant

Candy, how interesting about the beaver. Funny how some members of the opposite sex decline to believe if the information doesnÂt fit into their belief systems. LOL "IÂve never seen a beaver there so you must be seeing things."

Bug, love all your photos, you really have fabulous spring color. I need to plant more tulips.

Drema, incredible about seeing a baboon in the yard next door. That must have had you doing a double take.

Woody, more wisteria pics please?

Saucy, bummer that the frost got your garden. Hope everything recovers OK. Would love to see some photos of the GG?

Candy, yes indeed, the lovely ÂSenorita is a beauty and must have. It blooms its head off and looks great all season. ~~ The reed fencing you were asking about came from Home Depot. It comes in a roll and is pretty inexpensive. IÂve actually attached it to my chain link fence. It makes a great privacy screen and has held up pretty well.

Michelle, I thought of you yesterday when I planted up your Crocodile geranium. Thanks again for sending that!

OK must run for now, busy day ahead. Have a good one everyone,

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 7:44AM
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Out of curiosity I went online to see if I could find any mention of the escaped 'baboon' in Pittsburgh. There was an article that mentioned it, it is in the last paragraph, and I tried to post a link. As you can see, some of my facts were a little off, it was a maque, not a baboon, and it escaped for 6 months. But the part I got right was seeing it across the street in the neighbor's yard. My memory was a little off, but 1987 was a long time ago. Wish I had gotten a picture:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Article mentioning escaped Zoo maque. Last paragraph

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 8:59AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - we've been under frost wardings of varying severity since Sunday night. We've had light frost of the roofs but no severe frosts. The wisteria seems to have gone into hibernation! It hasn't changed much since I had Randy take this picture Sunday night in case all we got to see this year was this purple haze!

I liked the picture I posted the other day that Randy took as the sun was setting. I thought it made the wisteria look like enamelled gold jewelery!

Has it been cool lately at your place too? Maybe that's why your wisteria has lasted longer than usual...? Question for you... I've read that the Japanese wisteria produce more seed pods than the Chinese ones and that the pods are more ornamental because they form dangling pairs of pods. But I also gather that they ripen and disperse seeds later in the summer. (Chinese ones seem to disperse their seeds the following spring.) So I assume you have a fine balance of the timing of the ornamental value of the pods vs the need to cut them off before they seed around. What do you do?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 1:24PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can) 1968 a three year old African Hippo escaped from a zoo near Brockville Ont. and hid by day in a creek running into the St.Lawrence River. One night it crossed Highway 2 trying to return home and was struck by a car. The hippo was unhurt and continued on its way, leaving a very confused motorist with $1000 damage to her car. Now imagine living in Ontario Canada and calling 911 late at night to report that you had struck a took the whole summer to lure the big baby back to its home in the zoo.....



    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 4:26PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Yes Woody, it's been very cold here as well and we had 32 degree temps in the mornings two days this week but no damage thankfully. Love your Chinese wisteria! so very beautiful! I wish I had room for a Chinese one as well as the Japanese.

Re Dangling pairs of pods, Ive never noticed pairs before but probably because I deadhead everything here. LOL... the ones I've missed that do produce pods aren't pairs so I don't know what that would be. The pods are pretty large and look ok but I wouldn't plan to leave them because of the pods. I've never had a wisteria seed germinate here either but again, probably because I deadhead everything. When the pods do ripen they split down the middle and curl leaving the two halves of the pods I wonder if that is what they mean by pairs.

Still blooming

Asao has only a few flowers this year but still so pretty

Drema, pretty cool that you found the newspaper article.

Must run, have a great evening.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 5:32PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - re paired pods - no, the book seemed to be saying that the pods are paired like the florets on the flower raceme, which, of course, makes sense since the pods are the end result of the flowers being fertilized. Since the Chinese ones set pods far less frequently, the pods are't ornamental at all. Other interesting facts from the book include:
- because the Japanese wisterias set seed more readily, the root stock for grafted Chinese wisterias is often a seed-grown Japanese wisteria (I'm not sure if that is true everywhere or just in Australia where the author is from...)
- apparently it is common in Japan for taverns (pubs) to have a wisteria growing over a pergola to shade the outside dining/drinnking areas. The dregs of glasses of sake are commonly dumped on the roots of the wisteria to fertilize it!

Sone of the pictures in the book are amazing! There are some very beautiful white ones that I'm sure you'd like :-) Much of the book is rather dry descriptions of cultivars but the pictures will make you drool! I picked it up years ago at a second hand bookstore. You might want to see if your local library has it.

I am very anxious for my 'Lawrence' to mature enough to bloom! I will probably follow your example and deadhead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wisteria book

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Really looking forward to my little trip to the coast tomorrow morning, as it happens the last couple of weeks at work have been very stressful as we have been crunching down to a deadline on a huge project . How nice it will be to crank up the car stereo and drive a scenic back road to the ocean, and spend the night in a nice Inn.

Deanne, I canÂt say itÂs been too trying a task to line up the itinerary for the Idylls..I have no one to disagree with about what I have set up , and if I want to change my mind about something I can , just like that! And I really started thinking about this thing way last summer after the idea was discussed at IU. So I had a long time to ponder , and plan. We sure will miss you though.. the photos just wonÂt be he same ! Your garden looks beautiful ; I can only imagine what kind of reaction your visitors will have. Do you pinch Purple Emperor ?

Lol Julie, love the hippo story !

Ok, IÂm going to close up shop here and finish packing. Pleasant dreams all, and I will check in from the coast.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:12PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What a lovely scene -- Deanne - your gardens are looking mighty spiffy and immaculate to say nothing of luscious. Even with Asao not throwing out huge amounts of blooms for you it looks gorgeous - espc. w/ that heuchera and the red iris that I always comment on! We will surely miss you and others at IU this year...waaa...

Kathy - I do hope you enjoy your little trip - sounds wonderful getaway - I've been tempted to try something like that for next weekend but then I keep thinking of what I need to do in the garden, LOL -- sounds ideal to unloadng that stress and awfice tension -- I've had heavy dose myself late - as have others here -- maybe that's why we garden - to keep ourselves sane. Im starting to think of myself here (& call myself snarkily) by my employee # - "1234 reporting for duty" -- and live for the weekends...

Hope everyone has a mighty fine Friday and terrific weekend. Some nursery crawling is in line for me tomorrow!


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 8:59AM
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Had the nice surprise last night of getting chatted up by our Saucy as I prowled around Facebook, first time in a long while. Nice to see it humming along, as are the idylls. Marty is now officially retired, and I think we're all still a bit dazed by that fact. Very unreal and huge hit on the finances to boot, but it opens up lots of possibilities. I'm pushing for a houseboat on the Seine ;)

Julie's neck has been a topic of conversation at home. What a freak accident, and thankfully it sounds like the ordeal is almost over.

Woody, I hope the med situation is sorted out by now. What wisteria scholars you all are!

Our spring weather has been wonderful, more in the 60s, coolish, which is what we like, but what a roller-coaster ride it's been for many.

Cindy, so happy to hear you're going puppy shopping. That's such a big compliment to Chloe. I'm always surprised when people say no more pets, which some friends have done after their elderly corgi passed away recently.

Wonderful photos, and can't wait to see more clems!

Not sure if this video has been circulating, but since unusual animals seems the idyll topic du jour I'm linking it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mystery creature

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 5:52PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh, yippee, Cindy! A new puppy and a new baby to anticipate-joy, joy, joy (forgive me, Chelone)!

Loving all the photos as always.

No strange creatures around here, although the morning walk with the pups often gives me a chance to spot our neighborhood fox. The other day, we saw two deer walking across the road and down the sidewalk. I hope they stay at that end of the neighborhood or my front gardens are doomed-deer smorgasbord and I doubt Alexandria will let me put a solid fence all the way around our property-alas.

Thunderstorms now. I can hear the thunder, but what we are getting is a lovely steady soft rain and no wind. Perfect. So happy because we really do need the rain AND it will do my weeds a world of good, I'm sure! I am planning to attack them this weekend in between trips to nurseries for hanging baskets and replacement perennials for the one the pups defeated. Some actually have made a comeback. Surprising.

I am off to clean tonight, so I can concentrate on garden stuff this weekend.
would much rather have a glass of red, but we aren't keeping anything in the house these days-very depressing for me! I may need to hide a little something that I can nip into now and then.

Hope everyone is feeling well, healing up, etc.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 6:52PM
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Greetings from the road..
Have a wood fire burning here in my room at the inn, and spent a pleasant day garden scouting. I can see the water but the fog is coming in-pretty in it's own way.

Some pics from today.. From Mendocino May 2010 From Mendocino May 2010 From Mendocino May 2010 From Mendocino May 2010

Kathy, on the North Coast

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 8:56PM
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I brief good morning to my virtual friends. The animals stories are great. We saw a lone turkey hen neatly picking her way along the edge of the south lawn this morning. She carefully headed off between the emerging ferns without inciting any response from Wrecks. Every morning I see evidence of the "night shift"... usually a turd/two left in a conspicuous place to let everyone know that someone claims this piece of ground while the "owners" slumber. I like that.

Jack Frost stopped by briefly on Monday morning. Tender growth on the Kirengeshoma was nipped as were the buds on the tree peony. I've long been underwhelmed by the latter, so this year I will likely look on it with greater dissatisifaction that usual. ;) I have yet to finish cleaning any of the garden areas entirely but nonetheless I am filled with a sense of calm and ease about it all. Where does that come from, I wonder?

Same feeling I have about work, actually. Not that the general tension and periodic unpleasantness doesn't bother me, but somehow I seem to be more able to shrug it off quickly with a wry smile. Perhaps it's because I know I do a good job, I know I am present for the hours I'm able to work, and that when able I will go the extra yard to help out. I am an employee, not a green recruite recently inducted. C'est ca.

Thoughts of hives, chicken rescue, and your industry in your gardens warms my heart periodically. Know that. I think of you often over the course of the day.

Wishing all well and now about to pay some bills, toss some laundry into the washing machine and think about dealing with returnables (a "ride" for the huge one!) and a trip to the bank.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 7:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, another animal story.

When we first arrived in Toronto we rented an upstairs apartment in a home. Next door there lived a retired animal trainer who it turned out kept a cheetah that had been injured so could no longer jump. The cheetah paced around the backyard. We had a confrontation a year later when the neighbor told us to keep our cat away from the fence. We suggested it was HIS problem to deal with because we also had an infant son who would soon be grabbing on to the fence to look at the large cat! He did deal with it! The fence was totally covered in wood so that you could no longer see inside. The mailman was also nervous and refused to deliver mail. Worried about his hand being chewed off I guess! They moved away...

Burning wood fires here in the evenings. Very pleasant. Tomorrow I think things will heat up outdoors and the bugs will return...

We too recycled things and did errands this morning, including buying dog food. Also DH is investigating making a CD of his old college band in action. He made contact with a guy who does reel to reel work. I'm not sure how fantastic it will be. ;)

I had a successful trip to Toronto where I overspent. My annual shopping for clothes venture...all done at one store. Also went to a sculpture gallery show in which a friend took part. Interesting!

Once home again, I planted a few perennials: iris, a gentian, an angelica gigas and amsonia. I just love amsonia!!!

Happy weekend!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 9:38PM
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Just a pop in to say hello.
We have a weather system parked on top of us and it has been wet and dreary for days and will continue a few more days. I'm afraid of what I will face when this is over.
I am getting restless too. Time to be in action again.

Kathy, I enjoyed your trip photos.

Enjoyed everyone elses photos and animal stories as well.

I have bought several fish for the little pond. Fantail goldfish and Shubukins. They will have to grow a bit before I can move some of them to the bigger pond with the large fantail in their now.

The knockout roses are blooming but they took such a beating from the Jap Beetles last year that as soon as the first flush is done I am going to shear them back. I need to buy a cordless shears. I have electric ones but the extension cords get to be a pain to deal with.

Not much happening in my world, but I like it that way.
Enjoy your day. Norma

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 9:19AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Finally! The wisteria is in full bloom this morning and dispensing its heady sweet-clovey fragrance.

Here you can see the Japanese wisteria that disappointed me by not blooming!

gb - yesterday we planted our purchases from the RBG plant sale last week. One of the things I bought was a Blue Angel clematis. I planted it on the south side of the driveway on the north side of the Angel roses. I'm hoping it will climb over/through the roses and bloom with them. They have their big flush of flowers in June but then continue blooming all summer. They are mostly pale pink. Do you think that will work as a nice combination?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lovely combination Woody! I'm not sure they will bloom together always, but some years for sure! Because things are warmer near you, you'll have good luck. My Blue Angel grows upward on the vegetable garden fence and then I spread it sideways along the fence top. It works! (Sometimes earwigs attack the blooms at night and this really irritates me!)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 11:21AM
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ItÂs been a truly lovely weekend. Lots of gardening was accomplished. Most of the veggie garden is planted and IÂm moving on to direct sowing flower seeds. I enjoyed listening to the brown thrasher with his varied song as well as the orioles while I worked. The frog course was in competition with the birds. I put a dish of grape jelly out and this morning was treated to a close up of one of the orioles.

RickÂs grandson had a graduation party last night and then the ceremony today.

This morning when we arrived home from church, there was basically no wind and the 4 ash trees near the house were raining leaves. After a little internet research I came up with Ash anthracnose which is a fungus caused by cool, rainy weather and is fairly harmless.

I hauled the first 2 plants from the basement. Hopefully, the weather cooperates and they can all move out this week.

Kathy, I think you are quite enjoying the IU planning.

Woody, IÂm so glad your wisteria has bloomed  it is gorgeous!

Deanne, IÂm glad you are able to keep ÂCrocodile going. ItÂs not the easiest one. Everything is looking great in your gardens.

Cindy, it sounds like there will be lots of excitement in your life in the coming months.

Candy, I hope you dodged the hail bullet. That would be so discouraging.


I rearranged the mini hosta bed and added 'Dragon Tails' and 'Cracker Crumbs' but it seems to be lacking something. So I added a piece of a Japanese Painted fern. I'm thinking it needs some other small plants.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 6:02PM
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Woody, your wisteria is pretty and when the other one does get around to blooming they will be awesome together.

Michelle, which one is dragons tail, the one on the left maybe? Do you have any birdsfoot violets to put with the hostas. Maybe just placing a few of your border rocks individually among the hostas?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 6:56PM
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I google birdsfoot violet and this was one of them.


Here is a link that might be useful: Birdsfoot Violet

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 7:02PM
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