Idyll # 440 And I'm STILL in the Garden.....

prairiemoon2 z6 MAMay 14, 2009

Start over.... :-)

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Copied and pasted, the first 5 posts...

I'm Still In the Garden. :-)
Posted by prairiemoon2 zone 6/MA (My Page) on Thu, May 14, 09 at 15:18

Carry on Idylls....

Follow-Up Postings:
RE: I'm Still In the Garden. :-)

Posted by gardenbug Canada zone 5 (My Page) on Thu, May 14, 09 at 16:17

Well I'm still visiting nurseries! ;)
Of course I should be weeding and so on, but frankly it is too windy and the threat of frost is still with us.

RE: I'm Still In the Garden. :-)

Posted by deanneart z5Southern NH (My Page) on Thu, May 14, 09 at 17:59

Bug are you getting these terrible winds???? its been gusting up to 40mph plus. Damaging stuff... Grrrrr a huge branch from the large oak tree landed in the middle of the terrace garden. At least it only took out greenery and didn't land on the Clematis 'Asao' that will be blooming in a bit. The annuals are NOT happy and are getting broken and wind burn. Sigh....
So what did you get at the nurseries??? I did a shopping trip today myself. I was looking for Torenia and E. 'Diamomnd Frost' and a couple flats of 3" pots of annuals came home with me. Most of them weren't on my list but I couldn't resist a few gorgeous tuberous begonias. And then there were those delicious ivy geraniums and I did find four different Torenias I couldn't live without....


RE: I'm Still In the Garden. :-)

Posted by eden12 z5MI (My Page) on Thu, May 14, 09 at 18:18

OK Deanne, even I am thinking you may need an intervention:)
I can't wait to see what you do with all of this new plant material though, I'll admit. It's going to be a beautiful summer at your place! And it makes me happy to hear how happy and excited you sound.
Julie, You and dh are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope when we next here from you that dh is doing much better. Hang in there and do try to find a little time in the garden, even if it's just a few minutes to WALAT. It's good for the soul :)

Brad and I had breakfast with Jen and Kate this morning and I got to hold my sweet girl and feed her a mid-morning bottle. It's been very windy here today, so I've been, as Brenda says, a house elf :) Bella's here this evening. She showed up dressed in a cat costume and ready to dance.


RE: I'm Still In the Garden. :-)

Posted by chelone (My Page) on Thu, May 14, 09 at 18:28

Ahem... without trying to be too picky I feel I must point out that the title is not quite right, PM... where is the notification that this is, in fact, Idyll #440?
Deanne, I would love to have you concoct something lovely in two urns I have. It has to be pretty easy, no way am I going to fuss over them the way you do. ;) It would be fun to get together, too, and talk about color and art. AND, we have Indigo Buntings here! We've seen them for about a week now and don't know if they'll hang around, but they sure are pretty birds.

It was windy earlier today, but now it's just chilly, raw, and raining. We've started a fire in the stove to keep it cozy in the house overnight and also help dry the laundry. I've done 3 loads and should have plenty of underpants for some time to come.

Thinking about Clousseau and hoping things are not as grim as feared.

But really thinking about Julie and her beloved DH. I can't imagine the worry that accompanies something systemic in an already compromised and vulnerable body. It's just a question of following the care directions to the letter and paying strict attention to the minutest of details, I suppose. I wish you well and will be sending good thoughts out to the cosmos for a speedy and complete recovery. Drop by when you need a dose of silly and support. Hang tough!

I fear I may've missed the window of opportunity to photograph "Butterflies". There are 4 blossoms (up from 1 last year, lol) and the rain and wind may just well send them to oblivion before I get out there. We have a spectacular Dicentra spectabilis making a living atop the 30 yr. compost pile, too (must be the dead voles, mice, and chippies out there). :)

RE: I'm Still In the Garden. :-)

Posted by prairiemoon2 zone 6/MA (My Page) on Thu, May 14, 09 at 18:42

Oh.....I didn't do it right! Well, I am out of practice and I was waiting for someone else to do it but everyone was busy. [g] Ok...I will start it again. Thanks for catching it Chelone before we had too many posts on it.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 6:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH leaves for Vancouver tomorrow. After his conference he will stop off in Alberta for 2 days. Of course I'm jealous as can be. I may be able to go again in June when DD's family camps at the North Country Fair. I hope so! I also hope this does not make DH think I should not Idyll with the bestest later on! Money is such a nuisance...and so is this environmental footprint issue.

This evening DH & I walked along the Grand River with Phoebe before dinner. Then I mowed for about 45 minutes and now DH is raking up two piles of wet clippings. He was motivated to do a load of laundry too for his trip! Amazing.

Deanne, I too bought E. 'Diamond Frost'. I have nothing specific in mind yet for it, but it is so useful as a filler! I brought home 3 more coleus and some annuals too. Why do I do this? It is too early for planters here and so I lug things in and out daily. :( Yes, the winds are fierce and the branches flying all around.

The zinnia seeds I planted the other day are up already! The package said it would be weeks so I'm confused. Some seem to be a bit moldy already too. I didn't even think to look at them but I noticed that a fluorescent light had burned out on my plant stand and there they were! Picked up some bamboo stakes as well as I use them often here and there. What I really would like is about 8 obelisks...but the ones I saw and liked were in the $175 EACH range! I don't even want to multiply that out.

Eden, does your dancing cat purr and meow?


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 7:31PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, Eden's magic is a wonderful way of compressing numerous posts into one, LOL - more to run on this one now!

Thinking good thoughts for Julie and her family - and hoping they whip the wicked infection - I know you all must be very stressed and worried. Thinking of you.

Eden - that's so sweet you get to do morning duty like that -- what wonderful memories to create.

Deanne -- Im just kidding you, you know! I love hearing your excitement and your time you take to share it with us -- I suspect all your enthusiasm and energy stems from having such a stressful worried winter -- there's something so wonderful about having the worries off your shoulders and being able to endulge in the Spring wonders... I cant wait to see it all in person; Im betting you will once again outdo yourself.

I was going to ask how you compose your containers, but I guess you've answered that -- you sometimes plan and you sometimes work w/ whimsy or what's jumped into the car... I imagine that is like working both your left and right side of your brain! Me, Im lucky if one side works - and it's likely to be the "what's handy" look.

It's thinking about raining here again; it dried up during the day while in the awfice - winds are kicking up too. But Chloe let me do some weeding and WALATing in the back tonite -- getting her fed and meds and attention competes w/ the chores, LOL - you can see who runs the roost - my furry one. Im happy to endulge it - I figure the weeds will be there any ole time.

I was slow to figure it out but finally tonite it dawned on me that all the zillions of violet seedlings I've got apparently were in my expensive bought Leafgro.... they are Everywhere I threw a handful around a plant or where I spread it like mulch - I've never seen so many.... not sure how to get rid of the buggers either as pulling w/ knive doesnt seem to get 'em all... me o my... well, a project for the weekend.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 7:56PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I was disappointed that I didn't get any bricks done on the new bed today. I'm doing a garden plan for friends and I thought I had until early June. But they e-mailed today to say asap would be better! So a rough layout of the spaces took the rest of the day! I'll scan it and e-mail it tomorrow so it cen be used to generate further ideas to refine it.

I tried to WATAT in the backyard garden around 4:00 but the mosquitoes came out of hibernation en masse today! I beat a hasty retreat out of the garden... The forecast for Monday night is a low of -2C. Very unusual for here at this time of year. My Chinese wisteria is dripping with flowerbuds this year and I will be VERY unhappy if the frost gets them - but I won't be at all unhappy if the frost gets the mosquitoes!

Chelone - Zoe (Rottweiler) is actually very well behaved - but she LOVES my cookies. I hadn't seen her in a week or so and she had run out of her cookie supply at home so she was very focused on getting cookies. She's very smart. My walker is one of the ones where the basket is under the seat and you have to flip up the seat to get into the basket. She knows that, so she got between me and the walker and used her nose to lift the seat and start rooting around for the cookie bag! I told her to 'get out of there!' and 'sit', both of which she did. Then she got her cookies and started playing with Misty. That involved much getting tangled in Misty's leash so she got banished to a 'down' on the lawn. Usually when I see her coming I tell her to 'sit' and 'wait' and she does but I wasn't paying attention and she got carried away because I hadn't told her to sit. She has recently gone through a growth spurt so she's now big and blocky and not quite in control of all her extra size so she's somewhat clumsy at the moment. I think you'd like her if you met her. Her owner is a very good trainer and doesn't let her get away with much. Her owner it 6'6" and makes Randy look shrimpy. A dog Zoe's size looks very 'right' with him. :-)

Randy is out with his co-workers tonight for a retirement get-together. Five more days to go....

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 8:38PM
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(((Julie))) and a hearty hello to my other imaginary friends. Julie, adding my well wishes and hopes that all will be resolved. Well miss you while you are Âaway .

What a pleasant surprise today when I made my weekly trek up to the the outlaying awfice facility, to find that the fountain-statues-birdbath order I placed last Thursday was being delivered as I pulled in the parking lot. The rep told me it would be 3 weeks- I think these places that sell expensive fountains etc are so glad to get an order these days they ship it out lickety split. So, I got to pick up my new birdbath , and I have duly placed it in itÂs new home. In spite of my best efforts with the level , itÂs still a tad crooked (water doesnÂt lie) which drives me insane. IÂll resolve that issue this weekend. And of course I realized as soon as I stepped back to observe the scene that I would have to re-do all the plantings around it. Funny how that happens. This will naturally involve buying more plants. What the hell, you canÂt take it with you. Photo below.

Well Âbug , if the environmental footprint is an issue, perhaps you should come to IU on horseback ! If you leave next week you may make it there on time, lol . IÂm going to head over and look at your pics some more later. I am very taken by them.

Chelone, IÂm glad to hear that Bruce is performing well and that helpmeet is enjoying the wonders of Ârange technology. It sounds as though you are making great progress on the tables .

Mary ,cool that you will get to visit with CSNÂdo you suppose there will be reefers involved? Just asking , lol. Not to be nag or anything, but we Idylls have yet to see a pic of BettyÂs digs .

IÂm going to do a container count this weekend. Since I have them all over the place IÂm thinking there are more of them that I think there are Â

Ok, all for me tonight .

New birdbath, ItÂs a small one a little over 2' tallÂ

From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 9:35PM
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My favorite kitty cat...

See her ears?

And her tail?

Her best cat face, lol.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:19PM
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Very windy here on Tuesday and Wednesday. I had high hopes of a little gardening time tonight. My cell phone rang about 3 miles from home. DH was requesting a trip to the ER. He was cutting trees that had seeded in amongst the spruces in the grove. The tree was around 6" diameter and when he had cut the trunk it wouldnt fall because it had grown up through the spruces so he thought hed pull on it. Anyway his pinky got caught between the falling tree and the trunk. Nothing was broken and no stitches even though the bone was exposed. He had planned to plant the plants at his DDs house, so we headed there. 2 shrubs and 17 perennials were planted. Im not sure if I mentioned this project or not. They have a large rock, a flagpole and several old plows. They wanted some landscaping around them. In particular they wanted some grasses to give a prairie look with the plows. Certainly a farm style of landscaping.

Julie, my thoughts and prayers are with your hubby and yourself. Im sure its extremely stressful.

Kathy, I really like the style of the new birdbath very classy. One of my birdbaths is leaning but its such a heavy one that DH will need to help. I even had a stepping stone under it, but that has settled. I have a couple of shorter birdbaths and Jaden thinks that they are her personal water dishes.

There seems like a million little jobs Id like to do, hopefully this weekend.

We stopped at Ricks sons house on the way to his DD. Their neighbors huge and I mean huge St. Bernard was there. He has no manners at all.

Deanne, do you overwinter E. Diamond Frost? Its very easy.

Eden, Im sure you are enjoying a baby in the family again. I'm glad I refreshed before posting. Bella makes a pretty fancy cat ;o)

Night all

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 11:44PM
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I was able to use the rest of my Mother's Day gift card on more plants. Got out of work early , and that's always a good thing when the sun is still shining. Lots of rain last night, so everything looks green and lush. I try to enjoy it now because it won't last when the summer heat rolls in. I'm attracted to yellows, pinks and purples in plants, even more so this year. I'm talking foliage, too.

Mary...Have you been getting a lot of eggs from your hens? My sister and BIL have chickens, so I get a steady supply of delicious fresh eggs. My maternal DGr had a farm, but I never liked those eggs as a child. There is a taste difference depending on the hen, I guess. How was Clousseau's vet visit?

chelone...I'm looking forward to seeing the finished table.

deanne...I love the 'Diamond Frost', too, and use it every year in pots. Wow, 56 pots already? You are the planter queen, for sure, although kathy said she was going to count hers, so there may be some competition. LOL.

eden...that is by far the cutest kitty I've even seen. :)
I love the shot of your garden, too. How precious Bella looks strolling through the garden.

woody...You must be so excited about Randy's upcoming retirement. I'm sure, though, that there will be some adjustments to be made at first. Do you have a long "honey-do" list ready for him?

bug...that serviceberry picture is absolutely stunning. The setting it's in looks so restful.

kathy...I love the birdbath. I'm sure the birds won't mind if the water's not level. LOL. But I know what you mean, crooked things drive me crazy, too. I'm the one that can't pass a crooked picture on the wall without straightening it. My husband says I have "an eye" for seeing if something is level just by looking at it. That is definitely a good trait to have in the hair business. was Wyatt's graduation? I'm sure it was adorable.

cindy...too bad about the excess of violets everywhere. For such a cute flower, they can get ugly. I had to google Leafgro since I never heard of it. Have you ever experienced an overgrowth of violets before when you've used it?

Hi to all I missed.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 12:12AM
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Spousal exhaustion precluded further assembly of table bases. The melamine is in and can be picked up any time, I hope to do that this afternoon. And 5/8ths plugs are an unusual size, so I may just splurge and get a plug cutter for the old man, too. ;) I am holding out thin hope for completion of at least one this weekend, but even with that relocating commercial sewing machines is no fat lady's dream, and I have at least 3 to move immediately, the other's can wait as I don't use them very often. The heads alone weigh between 75-100 lbs., the benches less; clearly I cannot easily do that myself. Oh well, it'll be a good excuse to work in the yard, right?

Bella looks mighty cute all suited up in her feline finery. I love the baby in the stroller, too. It must be fun to watch her as she picks up the finer points of infant care and incorporates them into her play. I like the way she's accessorized with beads, too.
Definitely, "stylin'". :)

I meant to comment on Annie's birthday, too. I was thinking what a nice "gift" it must've been to have her braces removed just in time for it. And now to be learning to drive, too! I'm certain you must beam with pride every time you look at her and see her grow and mature before your very eyes. 16 seems such a long time ago for me, but I remember my father calling me from the store and singing Happy Birthday to me... I was (of course) mortified that he did in front of everyone. ;) And I would like to hear CSN, too. I've always been partial to Stephen Stills' music. I was introduced to it by my brother (I was still in grammar school!) and whenever I listen to it I think of those years and later episodes of my misspent youth, too. Hope you update us on Clousseau soon so I'll be able to say something suitably callous. ;)

Oh my, I have to go already! I'm glad it's Friday and I hope I don't have to stay late today, though I'm fully prepared to.

I love the bird bath, Kathy... very "tasteful".

'bug, after the year you've had your DH had better not give you any static about IUVI! In fact, he should stuff your pockets with gold doubloons and wish you a wonderful time. Tell him that for me, willya?

And now, I must needs away to the awfice. In solidarity with Cindy I bid you fond farewell until later on.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 5:34AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Happy Friday everyone,

Loads to do today. I want to get the large hay racks on the back fence by the pond planted up and do another purple/chartreuse one for the front walk. I found that pretty yellow and purple torenia yesterday that will look great there. Then Ive got class this weekend so Ive got to do a serious house cleaning at some point as well.

I agree with everyone that Diamond Frost is about the most useful annual going. I put it in the beds and in containers.

Michelle, yes Ive overwintered it but it really does get messy. I overwintered one large plant that Id planned to take cuttings from but I never got around to the cuttings. ~~ Did you take pics of the landscape project at your DDs? ~~ Ouch! For your DH Glad nothing was broken.

Woody, the black flies are out here in force right now and theyve chased me in a time or two.

Kathy, Ill bet you find that you have more containers than you thought Also I firmly believe that they mate and multiply when you arent watching them. Tricky devils. ~~ The new birdbath is lovely! I put all my urns and birdbaths on cement squares that I level with a level before I put the urns etc in place. It saves a lot of moving around and they stay level once they are set.

Chelone, Indigo Buntings? Wow! Id just love to be able to photograph those beauties. ~~ re the urns, Ill need to know how large they are and what their cultural requirements are. Full sun? shade?

Anita, I love purple leaved plants! And especially love it with chartreuse leaved plants

OK Ive got a ton of stuff to do today so Ive got to run, have a great day all

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 7:38AM
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Good morning

Kathy - nag away! Photos of the coop will appear after work. Love the bird bath. LOL on the reefers.

Kitty Bella is adorable.

No news on Clousseau yet - the vet didn't call yesterday so I will give them a ring today. I'm hoping no news is good news, but DH and I were commenting that Clousseau does seem rather "subdued".

Anita - before Red Betty started molting her eggs were delicious. We buy free range eggs anyway for their flavor but the freshness of an egg laid only hours ago makes them taste even better. I have a family of egg connoisseurs:0) and had to laugh when David was lending some to a neighbor hearing him explain that the regular eggs were fine for baking, but for a fried egg you really had to have the cage Sometimes I think he might be a food critic when he grows up, the sensuous way he describes food. Serving chicken (store bought) as a meal has become a little harder, and when I announce we have roast chicken for dinner a cry of "Not Betty!" rings out.

Both Annie and David have had a ridiculous amount of homework this week. Annie is completely independent but David likes me to help him study before a big test. This week we have become experts on all the systems in the human body (circulatory, cardiovascular, skeletal, endocrine, yada, yada, yada.) And also on the physical geography of Europe. Add in all the other subjects, music lessons and practice, another chorus concert last night plus a big audition this afternoon for an orchestra - it has been totally exhausting. I can't wait for tonight when we can all flop down on the sofa.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 8:27AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I saw our first Indigo Bunting of the spring a few days ago. There are always a lot of them here, and they line the road sides. According to the books, they are not really blue...but to our eyes they are.

Michelle..Ouch! for your Rick's finger. So glad it was not worse.

I had a phone call from my sister, Evelyn, yesterday. In our conversation she told me of the motorcycle accident her son had monday. He slid on loose gravel, and added up with the cycle on top of him! Other motorists lifted it off of him, loaded it into a pickup, and drove him and it to his folk's home. He was very fortunate in that no bones were broken, and he did not require hospitilization. His experience at the Va hospital was a horror story! He suffered a lot of skin loss on his arm, his leg, and his derriere. I sent him a message on facebook, and got one back. He said he hoped Nolon's experience with the VA was more fun. I told him Nolon gets 5 bucks a month from them, and it gives us a good laugh every month!

So much bad news all around, not only here, but in my family. My niece in Washington has the worry of her DH having a series of mini strokes. The drs have not determined the cause. My sis's DH is no longer receiving chemo, and the dr does not recommend any more, although the cancer has grown. I suspect the dr just does not want to tell them it is no use....:-(
I am surprised Evelyn has not pried the truth out of him. He just says, lets watch it for 2-3 weeks! He just had his 79th birthday.

I am going to town today to restock the larder, and do a bunch more shopping. I want an oriole feeder, and big oranges to feed them. The little "Cuties" are all I had, and they go through one in less than a day. Nolon is enjoying watching them from the bay window. He can see them, and the hummingbirds at their feeder.

Cute 'kitty' pics Eden, and your yard is so lovely.

Add me to the purchasers of Diamond Frost. I also kept one over winter.

Good to see Anita back...

Woody, just 5 more days....I feel that Randy will be a very big help, but then, he always has been.

I did some more pruning yesterday, and have lot more to do. I want my trees and shrubs to do what I want them to do! I am sort of like Huxtable( Bill Cosby) about his children..."I brought them into this world, and I can take them out." LOL

Well, I'd better get 'cracken'...:-)


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 8:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

We had a little rain late yesterday and in the night and it's still overcast, but the sun keeps peeking out once in awhile. Has anyone noticed that May fragrance drifting in the windows? I never have been able to identify what the source is, but I just love it. Not really a plant per se, but just the earth and growing things I think, or maybe something wild? It's very strong this morning.

An amazing amount of containers there Deanne! I look forward to seeing photos once they are all finished and in given their spots for the season. I wonder, do you increase the number every year? Where did you finally go to buy your annuals?

Julie....thinking of you and hoping you and DH are seeing some improvement. Encouragement and relaxation can really increase the body's ability to heal. Look forward to hearing better news.

Kathy...really like your new birdbath. I enjoy the shorter ones that fit right into the garden so well. My birdbaths are not as level as I want them but I haven't taken the time to correct that yet. I think I will have to try Deanne's method.

Eden....that Bella! :-) She just loves dressing up. I wonder if she will grow up to be an actress or a model? [g] With gardening on the side of course. Love her frilly socks and maryjanes and that cat face with the Has she ever seen 'Cats'? The garden photos make me want to take a whole tour. How do you keep your walkway and patio so weed free?

Michelle, so sorry to hear about DH's injury. It doesn't sound very comfortable, despite no stitches or breaks. Whenever anyone in the house has the power equipment out to do heavy work outdoors, I am tense the entire time until it is finished and all tools are put away. Hope it mends quickly.

Anita....thanks for the reminder to enjoy the green lushness while we can. I was just looking at some photos of last August in the garden and I had too many plants looking scorched. I hope I can keep up with the watering better this year.

Marian....nice to see a longer post from you. Sorry to hear there is so much bad news in your family. Trouble often seems to come in waves, it seems. Awful about your nephew's accident, but you are right, he is very lucky, it could have been so much worse. When I was dating DH he had a motorcycle for awhile. I was fascinated as most young people are. No accidents, thankfully. Of course, when my oldest son bought a motorcycle, it was such a worry, every time he went out the door. Thankfully, he doesn't have one any more and the other two have never seemed to have an interest. I hope for some better news for you soon. ..... That was a very funny joke about your shrubs I wasn't expecting that from you. :-)

Time for me to get busy, so waving to everyone not mentioned.... :-)

A new Hosta last year, Fire Island.....

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 11:20AM
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Today started out bright, sunny and warm. It's now cloudy, rainy and a bit chilly. Not much got done in the garden today. I baked Bella chocolate chip cookies and made a nursery run for some annuals, one of which was snapdragons, thanks to Kathy's.

The nursery I was at today isn't carrying E. Diamond Frost this year. Instead they have E. Silver Fog. It doesn't look much different to me but I didn't have the two side by side to compare. I did pick one up. I usually overwinter my Diamond Frost and did this year but it's pretty sad looking. Waiting to see if it recovers now that it's outside.

Michelle, glad dh's accident wasn't worse. I agree there are so many little jobs to be done in spring. Best just to chip away at them I guess.

Chelone, can't wait to see one of the completed tables. Are you going to give Bruce a spin and bake something this weekend too?

Marian, so sorry to hear about the ills in your family. Seems sometimes when it rains it pours in that regard. How neat that you have the orioles!

Mary, anxious to see the coop photos and hope you include a few chick ones too. Enjoy your concert. Sounds like lots of fun!

Kathy, I really like your birdbath. Simple but so pretty! I have a few but my favorite is the one that was in my grandma's garden when I was a child. Brad's the leveler here. I can't stand to see things crooked but I'm not a good leveler. He is.

PM, I love that hosta. I have so many but I will keep an eye out for that one! Yes, Bella loves Cats. We have it on a dvd and she's watched it more times than I can count. That's what she does her cat dancing to, in fact. You asked about me watching Kate. I will be doing a bit of that when Jen returns to work in mid July. Just a few hours a week though. She and Randy will try to juggle their work hours as much as possible so one of them can be home with Kate.

Welcome back Anita. I really like unusual foliage too. Pink is really a favorite of mine.

Thinking of Julie and dh and hoping he's feeling better.

Since I posted Bella pics yesterday I'll give fair time to Kate and post a couple of her today. Jen took these to show off her pink tennies and I like the close up of her little chubby legs.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 6:32PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhhh, Kate is a sweetie! So funny that there are tennis shoes for newborns!

I spent several hours in town today. Started out getting my B-12 shot, and blood drawn for lab work. Then I went to the battery shop and bought a battery for Nolon's pickup. After that was the most important part of my for plants. LOL. I got quite a few.
Black and Blue Salvia (8"pot)
Angelonia, Serena Lavender, 4"pot
Angelonia, Angel Mist, 4" pot
Pelargonium, Rocky Mountain Coral, 4"pot
Kong Coleus....a gorgeous one!
Salvia, Victoria Blue, 6 pack
Salvia, I failed to get a labeled one. :-( 6pack
Oenothera berlanderi'Siskiyou' 8"pot
Petunia, lavender hybrid 4"pot
Petunia, pink hybrid 4"pot
Vinca, catheranthus rosea, lavender, 6 pack
Impatiens walleriana,some pink w/white eye, some red w/ white eye, 6 pack
Impatiens walleriana , red w/white eye. 4"pot
Hosta Patriot, 8" pot
Hosta Whirlwind, 8" pot
Hosta WM Week, 6" pot ( pretty charteuse w/ dark geen edge)
And last, but certainly not least:
Chelone lyonii, Pink Turtlehead! 8" pot
The very first Chelone that I have ever had!
Did I have fun ...or what?

As I was returning to town from an out of town nursery I noticed that the yearly Crawfish Festival was ongoing. I wanted to stop, but there was no place to park within reasonable walking distance for me. So, I went on to the Country Mart grocery store. It was nearing noon, so I checked out their deli menu. One of their specials was froglegs! So...guess what I ate! LOL

I found an Oriole feeder at Tractor Supply. It has places for jelly, a place for an orange half, and a reservoir for syrup. All that any self-respecting oriole could ask for!
It is now hanging out, prepared for guests, except for the syrup. Guests have already sampled it, both Northern Orioles, and Orchard Orioles. We are happy campers. :-)

Chelone keeps us updated on her kitchen, my new one is a pizza cutter. LOL. Sorry, Chelone, but I bought the cheap one. :-(

Tomorrow is the funeral for an elderly lady (94) that I used to know quite well. One of her younger relatives is married to one of Nolon's neices. I am planning on going.

While in town, I may attempt to go to the Crawfish Festival. I have wanted to for years, but have never made it. Watch it rain buckets while I am in town.....

Oh, I almost forgot! I got a white Dendrobium at the out of town nursery.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 8:21PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Im sitting in my favorite chair with my feet up sipping a much deserved Margarita. Im bushed! I worked outside from 7:00AM until 5:00PM with just about a half hour break for lunch. The container count is now up to 103.. Big ones, small ones, mono pots, combination pots, hanging pots, urns, and everything in between.. I only have a few "must get done" projects left to do and Im feeling a bit less frantic about getting it all done. Ive still got to plant the hay racks on the back fence. They need new liners this year and thats going to be a big job. I wanted to get it done today but I just ran out of time and energy. I also need to plant some begonias in the square pot in the urn grouping in the shade garden and also get the cannas potted up. I did manage to get all the dahlias planted today so Im not fretting about that anymore. I didnt get them planted until after the first of June last year and I didnt have flowers until late July. I wanted to get them in early to make sure there are flowers for IU.

I so wish you all could see the wisteria this year. Its just covered with flowers! What a treat and it smells divine.

PM that is one fabu hosta! You enabler you, now that is on my must have list. Do the leaves stay that chartreuse? Im trying to figure out how I can find a spot for it on the hill so it can be viewed from eye level. ~~ LOL about increasing the numbers each year. I dont plan to do that and in fact dont think Ill have as many this year as last. ~~ Ive bought my annuals all over hill and dale. I went to Lake St. Gardens in Salem and they didnt have a good selection this year. I also went to a place in Groton MA, Riverdale Gardens (I think) and a couple places in Hollis NH, Lull Farm and Brookdale, then of course the annuals at Walker Farm in VT were fantastic.

Eden, Kate is one Cutie-Patootie!

Marian, Im a firm believer in being strict with my plants. I agree with you that I put it there and if it doesnt perform I can shovel prune it. ~~ That's a great plant list!~~ How neat you've already got Orioles on your new feeder. I've always wanted to try one of those but have never gotten around to it. Maybe this year.

OK Im out of here for now. Time to get ready for some shut eye. Im teaching this weekend and Ive got a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Ive put a link to a gallery of some pics I took tonight.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 8:29PM
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Julie, How awful for your DH. I am hoping there has been some improvement. Keep giving him the green tea along with the meds. Diabetes runs in our family too. So it always worries me. I hope DD is mending too.

Michelle, I imagine your heart skipped a few beats when you got that call from DH. I hope his finger doesn't get infected. I hope we get to see pictures of the landscape around the plows when it matures. It sounds pretty neat. I have a rusty old corn planter that I have sitting under a cedar tree. I would like to see it in a sunny area with climbing roses or clematis climbing on it.

Anita, Wyatts graduation went pretty fast. They sang a couple of songs and handed out the certificates. It was crowded and noisy as well. We were rushed out as they had to have two sessions. There were a lot of kids in the kindergarten classes.
Today has seemed like saturday to me all day since we were out last night.

Chelone, good thinking to not push the helpmeet when he is overtired. I can feel the excitement building for the finished tables though. The whole bahn thing has about come to fruition hasn't it?

Eden, Bella's cat costume is so cute. What an imagination that girl has. It's wonderful that you have given her so much music, books and plays to entertain her, and enrich her mind.

Kate is styleing in her pink tennies. I keep thinking she favors Bella in looks a little bit.

I like the way your cobble path borders the pavers . Has any painting been done on the conservatory?

Cindy, I bet you are fumeing about all the violets that showed up in that mix you used. Is DD's hubby still thinking about relocating?

Deanne, you are as busy as Saucy is.The containers are looking great already. I've barely started on any, but you are inspiring me. I especially like #s 20 and 24. What is the blooming plant in 24?

Marian, you got a lot of plants. Your deck should be looking pretty good by now. Are you still having problems with the rodents digging in the plants?

Woody, Is Randy adjusting to the idea of retiring? Are you doing pretty well or having more symptoms? I am still in awe of how well you handle things. That clem you posted is a lovely color.

Bug, How are things going at Sarah and Waynes. Does Peanut have a name yet? Nice that DH gets to drop in on them. Even if you can't for awhile yet. I wish they were closer for you.

Mary, how exciting that you all get to go to the CS&N concert. Homework can be a bit much sometimes.

Kathy, how nice that you were able to get your birdbath already. I like it. One of mine is a bit to tall for my liking. I need to take the time to look up some open gardens to visit this year. There are some for pond owners coming up. I hope I can work that out.

Well there are some thunderstorms rolling in, so I better get off for now. Later, Norma.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:12PM
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No garden time today. It rained all day, so by the time I got home, it was too wet and late. I'm not sure how many inches of rain have fallen in my area so far this year, but it must be close to a record. I'm thankful, though, that there hasn't been any flooding. My older DS and his family left for Disney World today and a cruise. It was a gift from his in-laws, who will also be joining them. Hope they have fun. But I always worry when family is traveling. I of course know it doesn't do any good, though, but I am getting better. love that hosta. You captured it well in that photo. had an intensely productive day. Quite a haul on annuals, too. I love chelone and have several scattered throughout the gardens. Remember that they love moisture. I don't get blooms until late, so I like that they add to the fall garden. Sorry to hear of all the family woes. You've certainly gotten enough bad news to last for a long while.

Eden...Kate is adorable. It just dawned on me that you are surrounded by DD's and DGD' boys. Right? I don't remember you ever mentioning having a son.

Michelle...Ouch! on DH's finger. He got lucky. It's nice how you help out with the kid's landscaping. That's great.

Hi to all.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:28PM
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Came home from the awfice and dug up numerous plants in the environs of the new birdbath-this is the area I refer to as the entry garden, and I have never been satisfied with it. Im going to waste no time on the facelift I will do an early morning jaunt to the garden center before the hoards descend and pick up some green-kids to populate the empty spaces. From there I will head to Trader Joes as the wine inventory is dangerously low. I decided to forgo Marin County this weekend, but plan a Sunday morning visit to a nearby winery that has very nice gardens and take some photos there .

Deanne, loved the gallery and the combos you have put together thus far. I had to laugh at the mailbox garden with all the plant tags sticking up looked awfully familiar , lol. So I counted 53 containers last night, you are spot on-I have way more than I thought I did ! There will only be a few more , so I expect not to go over 60- several of mine are only partially planted pending the appearance of more Angelonias at the garden centers.

Michelle, Ted took a sip out of the new birdbath as soon as he noticed it- hes a very tall cat when on his hind legs and loves to drink out of watering cans, buckets, birdbaths, and of course toilets ! .. Well its not often that one heads from the emergency room to go plant some stuff at the DDs ! Sounds like DH averted an potentially ugly situation with the finger , huh ?

Eden, I couldnt help but notice Bud languishing in the sun as Bella strolled along the walkway.

PM, love that Fire Island Hosta I sure wish I had more, the snails just shred them to bits. I love seeing the foliage emerge in the spring.

Marian, my goodness what a bunch of plants you brought home ! You better get us a pic of that Chelone , and I bet if you posted your unlabeled Salvia someone around these parts will be able to provide a name. I love Dendrobiums but have never attempted to grow one.

Im going to go WALAT with the wine for a bit while the sun is still up.. waves to all, Hi Norma and Anita, Mary, Chelone and yoo-hoo Martie ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 10:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Anita, I know how you feel about traveling family. DS is off in Paris and such areas for the next little while. This is his report this morning:
" I am freezing in an ugly cement park, the only place in the entire city I've found free wireless internet so far (but at least the rain stopped. :) An old homeless guy just laid out his cardboard to sleep next to me and a dead pigeon as I wrote this email! Poor guy must be freezing w/o a hat, which at least I have.
Paris is in fact more full of bikes, pedestrians & life from ethnicities around the world than any city I can remember. Best of all, a massive fresh baguette and large German beer only cost 1Euro each!"

I am thankful he writes his Mom even though the content doesn't always make me feel comfortable!

DH is off to BC now and I enjoyed dinner out with French Club.

Today I received lots of photos of my favorite little family. I just love seeing DSIL so happy!

Last night DD & DSIL had a party and the invitations requested nothing PINK. ;) I guess I won't be getting her any pink tennis shoes Eden! We're hoping for a decision on a name by next week.

I got more mowing, raking and weeding accomplished today. Still doesn't make sense to plant up containers here. We are expecting 26F night time temperatures this coming week. That means more "in again/out again" activity for me...Thunderstorms perhaps tonight. Today Morgan came for a while to play with Ms Phoebe. Phoebe is sleeping soundly this evening after her play date!

Missing Sue.

Julie, my thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 11:04PM
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I'm reading....keeping up with you all!

I'm off to set up the water garden plants in a display. I'm going to mingle my leaves in amongst the buckets of water and plants! Another woman is selling koi. I might come home with all the ingredients for a pond, lol!

Time to hop in the shower and grab a quick breakfast.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ahhh...the babies are here this morning! :-) Kate is a vision in pink loveliness in tennis shoes! lol And Peanut is looking bigger actually. Still cold there? When does it warm up? DSIL looks very color coordinated.

Busy weekend starting in about 20 minutes so no time. Stuff to do this morning, a trip to the nursery & hopefully the rock yard later and DD is coming home about 4:30pm to stay over for the night and spend the day tomorrow. We are celebrating Mother's Day a week late as she was away last weekend. [g] I told her I didn't care, which I didn't but she would have to give me a big gift to make up for it. :-)

Anyway, what Norma said. lol Norma, you've done a great job of keeping track of everything going on around here. :-)

Yes, I felt the same about that Hosta when I saw it and scooped it up. I love the red stems. I had been looking for a golden hosta and this is pretty close. It did fade a bit last year, but I don't think it was by much. The leaves are thin so if there are snails, might not be the best. So far I have not seen many snails in the garden.

Ok...time's a wasting. Have a wonderful weekend all! I'm sure I'll be back later today sometime.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:28AM
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OK, so here I am sitting before the mighty flatscreen with my coffee and there are tears welling in my eyes... how can that be on such a perfect morning? Well, it has something to do with DSIL and Miss Mae Surprise, 'bug. It's the look of rapt adoration on his face as he contemplates his daughter's own studied gaze... all the pain and horror of the past year suddenly mitigated by the wonder of his armful. It's a mother's job to torture her children, 'bug, esp. daughters. I say knit something extravagant and perfectly lush in pink... you could mention casually that the color of the sunrise/sunset was your inspiration... .

Kate is looking rather nicely turned out, too, I must say. The pink tennies cracked me right up, they must be what? 2" long? lol. She looks healthy and has lost that "pickled" look the really fresh ones have. I was just thinking of some dumb song that was a dance hit several years ago... something about a "Cat Walk" and it was sung by some guy with a very gravelly voice... anyway I was just thinking about Bella strolling the garden in her cat accessories with that playing in the background.

Mercy, Michelle... at least there were no digits hanging off when you arrived on the scene to escort DH to the emergency room. I can be awfully squeamish about things like that in general, but when the chips are down I'm able tofind the resolve to deal with it. Bet there was a tetanus shot involved, huh? And I'll bet it throbs and is sore enough to remind his of his lack of caution. I hope you're able to get all the little gardening things you set aside for the hospital run finished this weekend. I can't recall if the house sale went through?

Another table base assembled last night and today's the day I'll take the roadhog to the lumber yard to collect the melamine, a few 2x4 hangers, and the glue on melamine edging. We are going to put together the shopping list before he leaves for work this morning. There will be no relocation of sewing machines until the tables are completed, though I could spend some quality time in the Lab. assessing what is going to moved immediately and what will be left behind or culled outright. Even the helpmeet commented that the bases are nice looking and how easily they roll. With the brakes disengaged I can move them easily with ONE hand, you guys. :)

I miss Sue, too.

Kathy, your bird spa is outstanding! I think, with your connections and nice eye for clean detail you should consider a business in garden accessories. I have the worst time trying to find things that suit my aesthetic... classic, but not "over the top" the way so much of what's out there seems to be.

Marian, you'll have to save some Chelone seed for me... the voles have definitely had their way with my stand of it. I'm going to have to replenish it this year. As Anita pointed out it likes moisture and I find partial shade suits it well, along with rich soil. It really is a super plant and I love it for the same reason Anita does, lovely later season color, beautiful foliage, and interesting seed heads. You'll love watching the bees pull into the little "garages" and then back out again! And such dietary diversity, too... I've never had frog legs before (they're a favorite of Bella's if I recall) nor have I ever had crawfish, so I hope your visit to the festival isn't rained out. I want the full gastromic report. If crawfish are anything like lobsters they're nature's little sanitation workers, cleaning up all the rotten stuff everyone else leaves behind (including drowing victims, lol).

Deanne, you make me tired just reading your list of activities, girlfriend. I'm still trying to get things cleaned up here. I've made a promise to myself to repurpose/reposition several items of plant material already on premises. None of it is terribly exciting, but it's rock solid hardy and that's key for me. It's great to hear the sparkle in your posts and know that you're officially "perked up", even before the coffee infusion. :) I'll try to get back and check out the progress on the gardens and containers today.

My thoughts are definitely with Julie who must be worried sick about DH and running between pillar and post with TCS and his needs, as well. I hope the far turn has been rounded and the "finish line" lies in direct line of sight. It's no fun to have that sort of worry hanging over your head; it never really goes away and sucks a lot of energy out of you in an insistant, insideous way. I hope a WALAT serves as some refuge.

I've been wondering about Martie, too. And Drema. And Honey, and T (who has once more evaporated into the mists of the PNW, I fear).

I meant to tell Woody that I've really noticed how differently Wrecks responds to the helpmeet and me. Even BIL commented on it, "he seems much calmer when he's with you". I suspect it's my hard-ass approach and the administration of frequent and thorough beatings. Troubling, however, is the way Wrecks will "challenge" the helpmeet by not responding immediately to "Come!". He does it with me, too, but not as often. I make a much bigger deal out of compliance, though, lavishing praise and encouragement on him as soon as he makes a move to come to me. But there is a critical sphere of "voice control" and once he's "locked on the radar" it can be nigh on impossible to break his concentration, so we continue to work on it and I try to "save him from himself" by being extra vigilant. I'll bet you'd like Rex, Woody; he is definitely a "thinker" (for a dog) and he's great to pat. I often wish I'd been able to begin his socialization and training when he was a puppy. It's hard work with the baggage he brought along when we brought him home, but rewarding, too. Dems da breaks when you take one more cast off pet off the welfare rolls. I believe I have the gene that makes refurbishing everyone else's cast off junk appealing. ;)

And yes, Eden, I will be taking Bruce for his inaugural baking run this weekend; I have a birthday boy in the house and I've purposely not mentioned the fact. I'm still contemplating the birthday cake... thinking chocolate, with raspberry preserves between the layers and whipped cream for the top... not sure, though. I'm actually hoping tomorrow morning is rainy so I can get it baked and shove the Kirby around without the distraction of sun.

Time to put together my plan for the day and perhaps check out some pictures. I'll check in later on.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 6:39AM
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Haven't read any of the new posts yet, but wanted to tell Marian something quickly before I forget. Here's a link to a post in the hosta forum talking about your new purchase 'Whirlwind.' One of the posters mom was key in producing it...

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 9:10AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks, Anita, on the history of Whirlwind Hosta. I remember Bruce,(if it is 'Bruce 3'), He posted here for awhile..... until all us females scared him off. :-)
None of my new hostas are the same as I already had, and they were marked down to $5 at WalMarts. They look really good.

I failed to mention another plant that I got at the out of town nursery, (Sunshine and Flowers). It is a beautiful orange tuberous begonia, in a 4"pot. So it is quite small, and I really do not expect it to survive...they never do for me. :-( But I could not resist. Any tips? My sis in Idaho always has lots of them, and they do great for her.

Yes, a lot of the MIAs are missed. I wonder if it is a combination of too much on their plates, and too many of us to keep up with? It *can* be rather daunting....

Chelone, since I have vole problems too, I had better take special precautions in my planting of the Chelone! And I must find an appropriate moist location. No problem with the 'partial shade', I have plenty of that!
LOL, you sure made the crawfish sound appetizing...

We are schedueled for lows in the 40s tonight and tomorrow night. I think it is what the locals call "Blackberry winter". I imagine Saucy is familiar with that expression? How about the rest of you?

Ahhh, Marie! No pinks? What a shame. Would Sarah refuse to put pink on her? The pic of DSIL and 'little darling' is great. I agree with Chelone's analysis of it, except I am not a 'teary' person.

Pm2, I want one of those Fire Island Hostas, but not at the 20+ bucks that I saw on a website! We are not generally too bothered with slugs on the hostas. ( Now they will probably devour them! )

Kathy, the salvia 6 pack has lighter leaves than the named one. I am pretty sure there were labels in some of them, and maybe even blooms, but not in the one I bought.:-(
I generally try to get a label.

BTW, I recall someone mentioning my Asao Clems. Neither had early blooms due to the freeze when they were in bud. There is one lower bloom on the one at the northwest end of the house, and more coming on both.

Deanne (was it you that mentioned my Asao?), I did not used to be so unforgiving with my plants, but I have gotten tired of fighting them. I am more forgiving with the indoor ones, and have many very pitiful ones.

As for the deck, it is not too pretty yet. The inclement weather has not been to good for all that I took out. And I haven't even started planting combos, except the old garden cart. I put the zinnias and marigolds in it, along with the few violas that survived my total neglect all winter!

Okiie doakie, I guess I will get ready and go to the funeral, and ( hopefully) to Crawdad Days. :-)



    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 10:15AM
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We have been having windy weather the last few days and it appears like again today. I was extremely displeased about this but it wont stop me. I cleaned up in Kenzies garden last night. The front garden is putting on a nice spring show with lots of tulips, creeping phlox, and miniature iris.

Chelone, no tetanus shot because he had gotten a few weeks ago when he met up with the rusty nail. The farm is a dangerous place! Fingers are crossed here that the house closing on the 22nd goes smoothly. I have one chelone and it has not been a performer for me yet. I think it may be too dry. I did notice that it seems to have spread quite a bit this spring so I have hopes. Maybe an extra quirt of water occasionally many help.

PM, I really like the hosta and you captured it perfectly. We have a lot of wild plum trees around here that give a nice fragrance in May.

The newest Idyllettes are looking quite fashionable. The sweater and pink shoes are as different as can be but both incredibly cute.

Anita, its great to have you back with us. Im sure your grandkids will love Disney and the adults should love the cruise.

Marian, the oriole feed sounds pretty neat. Ive never fed them, but I had one yesterday trying to eat from the finch feeder thats right by the kitchen window.

Deanne, I have to laugh about your fretting. Youd be a nervous wreck if you were here lol. Im so far behind.

I must run. DH has offered to help me in the garden. I have several things that either need 2 people or at least one very strong person. Later.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 10:41AM
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I laughed right out loud when I read your post, Michelle, because I'd completely forgotten about the racoon and the board with the nail in it! They should have given him a "booster" just to remind him to "safen up". ;)

I've wrestled the Viburnum sargentii from the muck near the road where I feared it was just too wet. I've replanted it, raising it above what is very wet soil, backfilling around the rootball, tamping it down firmly, and grading it off gradually to surrounding plantings. I planted two of these last fall and the other one is in a better drained location and is one/two weeks ahead in development. You can see traces of a drainage "ditch" at the foot of the stonewall and the helpmeet mentioned cleaning it out to facilitate better movement of the standing water so common in spring and after very heavy rains. I'm pooped!

I wonder if Marian is enjoying the crawfish fest?

I'm going into the kitchen and I'm going to fire up Bruce and make some tapioca... we are OUT of any sort of dessert item and it will satisfy the craving until it's time for birthdy cake. :)

Hope everyone is having a fun, relaxed, and productive day today.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 2:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks) crawfish feast for me. I did go to the funeral, then made a hasty trip to the plant place, and brought home a 2 1/2 foot Blue Spruce.

Nap time!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 3:33PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh my goodness, 15 minutes to myself, can I stand it???*LOL*

DH is improving s-l-o-w-l-y. He has one intravenous bag left for tomorrow but the homecare nurse thinks he will need at least another 10 days of treatment. He is going to Emerg tomorrow as his doctor is on call there. Legs and arm are a pretty normal colour now but still really swollen. He can walk around a bit without pain, and is much more "himself" now. We are slurping green tea like crazy!

It is hot and steamy here with a high of 24 C (75F) and thundering and pouring. Of course everything will grow like crazy in this weather - although we are supposed to be cold with frost for the next 4 days. Garden looks lush and unfortunately so does the grass....Amazing how the house and garden get ahead of you when untended for a week or so. I am sure Mary remembers the frenzy of a sickie in the house all too well!!

Who invented little boys and dogs anyway??(smile)

DD is pretty well again though.

Today was Perthmore (our subdivision) garage sale day. TCS invited a friend over at 8:30 to participate. They set up their stuff, 10 minutes later it poured, they disappeared, and I spent three hours cleaning and tidying the garage while selling off the odd thing. Oh well - a tidy garage and 80 bucks is just fine with me. Another boy joined them and they all had spaghetti and ice cream for lunch, we applied fake tattoos, and then, (I couldn't believe this) they spent the rest of the afternoon assembling and playing with an old Fisher-Price dollhouse that had been DD's. I had it out for the sale - it didn't go. The lttle lamps even light up! They made Lego furniture and weird people, made up whole scenarios, "hosted" a garden party and a barbecue (!), and generally cooperated and used great imagination all afternoon.

As I told DH, "Memories are made of this".

I haven't read up on everybody's doings or looked at photos - maybe tonight after Boston Legal, if I am still awake.

Carry on, Idylls!!



    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 4:55PM
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So, chelone, you'll be spending the day with your four favorite men...Helpmeet (Happy Birthday to him), Rex, Bruce and Kirby. What a great day you'll have. But it looks like you'll be doing all the work. The cake sounds delicious. Good luck with the tables, I hope they finally come together today. I was moved by the first paragraph of your last post. You have such a way with words, and it captured my thoughts too when I saw that photo of "surprise" baby and papa. You could be a professional writer, you know.

bug...Like I said above, the photo is precious. What a lovely family you have. What an email from DS, regarding the companion he had in the park. He shouldn't tell such things to his mother, though. LOL You'll have nighmares of worry.

Deanne...I almost choked on my coffee...103 pots already??!! Wow, busy lady. I will come back after work to check out your 5/15 garden link. I want to savor it.

Thinking of Julie and her DH. Hope all is going well for them.

Off the work. Have a sunny day, if only in thoughts.


PM...have a great visit with DD. A nice long visit is the best gift of all.

saucy...You sure have been busy. I miss hearing about the bees.

Update...I couldn't double post earlier, so now it's later and I've put in a full day of hair. I'm hairsprayed out!

I did get to look over Deanne's photos and love them all. They look great.

Glad to see an update from Julie and that her DH and DD are both getting better. The dollhouse story is so cute. Looks like you're stuck with it for at least one more year.:)

chelone wrestled with a Viburnum, and I wrestled with a ton of hair on a prom goer. The curls came out beautiful and we did it in an up-down do.

marian...another plant?! You are out of control. LOL.

Going out to plant the last of the stragglers. It's nice out, but just a tad cool.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:28PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Anita, some people have family plants are my 'family'. They probably hear me when I talk to them, as well as my DH does.(Or better!) LOL
Of course there are Tommy and Trubby....

Julie, the boys and the dollhouse is like my 3 DGs and a farm set. They spent hours playing with it. I think they have outgrown that now.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 6:12PM
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My day of digging , planting, mowing, weeding et al has morphed into a day out moving hoses around every 30 minutes.I managed to get a few things done in the early morning , and I made the observation that I might be the only person in my neighborhood who is likely to have a partially golden oregano lawn before the summer is over. My thermometer reads 95, and Ive retreated to the relatively cool house until the sun sinks a bit. Allegedly even warmer tomorrow. I probably will skip the photo-shoot at the winery as wilted plants dont make good subjects. However, a 3 day weekend is looming on the horizon !

Glad you checked in with some encouraging news Julie- and it sounds like the garage sale gig was your unscheduled JJ for the day ? Funny how the young set vanishes during a garage sale they like to be the store manager and the merchandiser, but prefer to leave the cashiering efforts to someone else mine were the same way . I gave up conducting garage sales some time ago though I will attend one upon occasion if I think garden stuff is to be had !

Chelone, I have my eye on a second birdbath for the back garden , that has a bit of pattern to it and if I do another fountain PO this spring Im going to order one for myself. The tricky thing about this stuff is ordering the right finish color- some otherwise beautiful pieces can look horrid and or cheesy with the wrong stain. I ordered mine in natural , no color at all which I like because it makes the carving, if any, more subtle. Im also dying for an urn, and the selection from these statue companies is vast . Your description of Helpmeets cake has produced perhaps not outright drool (only have had a sip or 2 of wine) but certainly mental droolI love chocolate/raspberry things. Sounds divine ! Rise, rise and seat yourself Sir Bruce. May you provide the Lord and Lady of the Compound with their just desserts..
And FYI, T is always around over yonder on FB ..

Its been a day, do you suppose Deanne is up to 200 pots yet ?

bug, I cant improve upon Chelones lovely remarks re- little miss surprise and doting dad ;how he deserves such a nice momentWeve not seem many photos of Phoebe lately a thinly veiled hint !

Marian what a score on those 8" Hostas at Wallys ! I was looking at the tuberous begonias too this morning when I was at the garden center. I have an awful time with them for some reason. I just loved that white hanging number that Deanne had in one of her containers last year. We have to grow them in the shade here , although if it is not bight enough shade they wont bloom. They do much better at the coast . I have only grown them from tubers, never have bought plants. Im thinking I should be starting the tubers early under lights and I might get better results.

Anita, do you have set up for hair-doing at your home or do you work at a salon ? I imagine prom time is busy for youwill we have pics of your garden soon ?

Im going to head over to the chair and watch some baseball for a bit-not ready to venture outdoors just yet-it looks hot out there..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 8:12PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Were sitting relaxing with our feet up enjoying a beverage after a busy day. Doug got a ton of stuff accomplished and installed the new coco fiber liners for the hay racks for me. That involved removing all the soil in them and then replacing it so Im eternally grateful for his help. He also mowed the lawn and cleaned up the rest of the ice storm debris behind the shed. I taught at the home studio today and had a great class. Super group of ladies.

Norma, so glad you like the containers! The flower you asked about is new to me and is called a Schizanthus. I found it at a little local nursery and it was so pretty it called to me although from what Ive read about it I think it will fade out with hot weather. I normally plant a cuphea in those same colors in that container and am still hoping to find it.

Kathy, LOL about the plant tags in the mailbox garden. Those are for the dahlia tubers that were only planted yesterday and I wont seen any green from them for a week or two. ~~ See! I knew you had more pots than you think. I probably do too as I realized that I forgot to count the ones on the front of the breezeway. Contrary to rumors being spread Ive never had more than 160 containers in any year. LOL (no seriously not more than 160) ~~ How awful about those temps, in May?!!!! Terrible. Hope that eases up soon.

Bug, a most beautiful photograph of DSIL and new one. A precious and lovely moment. Thanks for sharing.

Chelone, yes indeed, there is something so fabulous about this time of the year with all the fresh new green growth and the LONG, LONG hours of sunlight!

Marian, I used to kill tuberous begonias with great regularity and have finally figured out that the surest way to bring about their early demise is to over water them. Ive taken to planting them in more shallow containers and checking for dampness before watering. They seem to be one of those plants that dont like to dry out but hate to be over watered. ~~ yes I remembered that you have a lovely Asao. Mine just opened its first flowers today.

Michelle, I HATE windy days.. for some reason it makes me really cranky to work outside in the wind. ~~ Isnt it great when the DHs pitch in and help with the heavy stuff?

Julie, glad to hear your DH is doing better. What a worry.

Anita, thanks! So glad you liked the pics!

Okie Dokie, Ive got to get ready for bed and get some rest so I can be alert for the painters tomorrow.

Nite all

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Deanne, go for it! I think you get to 200 pots if you try. Think of it as stimulating the green economy. Besides, what are you going to do all winter if you don't have all those plants to tend?? I have a total of 4 containers to plant, two are plastic and not terribly large, the other two are cement. I've not replenished the soil in a year/two. Do you change the mix every year? and do you use the water saving crystals? For the most part, partial shade is the predominant light condition here, though the bahn area is full sun. I am not nearly as religious as you are with watering (I tend to forget), though I'm good about fertilizing. Plastic containers are easily portable, cement ones are not. I'll e-mail you and we'll get together. I need to get out more. ;) (and view your pictures!).

Julie, I was enchanted by the story of TCS, his buddy, and the doll house. I sound like such an old fogey (Marian needs company!), but sometimes I'm not so sure our "go-go" world and sound byte mentality is all that beneficial for a child's development. It takes TIME and participation to learn how to do things and learning to amuse one's self and engage native creativity and imagination is a SKILL that will open doors for all the years of any given life. I think its important to be "quiet", not perpetually stimulated by something like a TV, video games, or toys that requires batteries or "talk". I think life in the "slow lane" offers many advantages to young minds. I'm so glad to learn that DH is coming around, and also think of how fortunate he is to have someone like you to help him over the rough patches. How are Jaxie and Tucker doing? We had an excellent series of practice sessions for "good boy manners" yesterday. We went out in public (crowded!), we visited with people planting near a church, and we "stayed" when two dogs walked by the house yesterday afternoon. He has bolted across the road in the past to "greet" them (was pepper sprayed for his efforts last summer) and that's when I hit the roof with the helpmeet about the necessity of consistent training, compliance, and stepped up oversight when he's off leash in the yard. I'm trying very hard to establish his territorial boundries and tiring him with "ball" and stepped up vigilence takes a lot of time and concentration. (it's tiring!)

Marian, have you run out of room on your rooftop garden yet? ;) I've been thinking it might be time to get out and sprinkle some Sluggo around the bases of the Hostas here. The leaves are so pretty right now and this is the time to establish the rule of law with respect to mollusks, methinks. I'm pretty much a "live and let live" kinda gardener (read: lazy) but that doesn't mean I'm willing to provide a soup kitchen for them! Have you selected a site for the Blue Spruce?

I wished the helpmeet a Happy Birthday this morning and he immediately asked "will there be cake?". I asked if he had any special requests and he said, no the surprise would be nice. So it'll be Bruce and I working in concert to make dreams come true. I'm less than thrilled with the prospect of involvement with Kirby, however; a sentiment that will be shared by Rex and the Pride, too.

We put the last bench frame together last night, in record time I might add. I had everything set up and layed out and it was simply a question of assembly; that's my strong suit, the legacy of many years working at "piece rate" "in the line". The melamine is on sawhorses in one garage bay and the plan is to shave it down to a precise 48"x96" apply the cleats and then afix it to the frames with a few screws. I'm not sure how far we'll get tonight, but I did say I'd like to see them completed this week as there are projects I'd like to complete that require them.

Proms and weddings... Anita, I'll bet this is a busy, busy time of year for you. You're going to have to explain an "up-down 'do" for me. Was the promster suitably thrilled? and would the 'do betray backseat rompings? hehehe...

OK, time to wrap this up and plan the assault on the house... should come up with something simple enough for me to serve for a birthday dinner, too. Swell... my favorite thing to do. ;/

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 7:50AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

We had 44 for a low this morning. Chilly, but not a record. I kept all my new tender purchases indoors,and will put them out monday atfer our second chilly night.The long range forecast is for warmer sunny weather. I hope to get my combos planted. One of my purchases at Sunshine and Flowers is a large (40 lb) sack of their good potting soil.
My total containers will fall short of Deanne's, and not nearly as gorgeous.
Chelone, the three boxes of peas on the Corolla rooftop are filling out nicely. I have not added anything, but am planning on having a pot of cucumbers up there, too. :-)
The surviving peas in the huge tub that the EE was in last year are doing fine, too, and the early started boxed ones with the brush to grow on. The first should be blooming soon. I may have to move them into more sun.
I am with the parasite birds as you are with the slugs. There are undesirables amongst birds just as there is amongst bugs. Not everything is a blessing!

Deanne, when I hear that you have a problem growing certain plants it gives me courage...:-) If anyone cannot grow a plant, I do not think it would be you! I will try to follow your example for tuberous begonias.
And even Kathy in Napa has a difficult time with them....
I feel much better. :-)


    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:46AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Well goody - sun outside. Still cold though, too cold for planting veggies or baskets. Good thing too *sigh*...

Yesterday a new homecare nurse was in and set up the intravenous. At dinner last night I noticed a large ever-growing puddle on the floor....first thought: Where are those bad doggies!" Second thought: OMG, the antibiotic for the next 24 hours is on the FLOOR!" Sunday night of a long week-end, of course. Toss the dogs outside (drinking antibiotics off the floor can't be a good thing), call the homecare company, unhook DH, take the battery out of the pump....wait wait wait for a nurse (an hour and a half)...Good thing we had one bag of stuff left - for Monday. This morning DH's feet are red and he really can't walk more than a few steps. So it's get ready, call a cab, and head over to Emergency. I told him: :We will crack up over this at this time next year:. His sombre reply: "I hope I'm here."

If they keep him in (my hope) then I will get everything caught up hereand be ready to take him on again in a few days. If they don't keep him, I am going to hire the local garden friend (like the ones Marie has) and maybe a House Magic person (Remember those?) and just tend to my family. (BTW, the local magic person here is called Madge and her car says "It's Madge-ic" on the side. Cute eh?)

So I'm off. Thanks for vent.



    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:54AM
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I've cleaned the kitchen, melted the chocolate, water, and sugar in a small saucepan on the smallest burner on the lowest simmer setting and it's cooling to room temperature now. I have decided that the variety of burner sizes and the grates that cover the entirety of the stovetop are the balls, you guys! All dry ingredients have been measured, sifted, measured again, and stand ready. Butter, eggs, and milk are warming to room temperature, and the cake pans are greased, floured, and waxed paper rounds are in the bottoms of them. All is ready for assembly. (that piece rate thing, again!).

Time for the gross cleaning... meaning the general decluttering of items out of place and then the full frontal assault with Kirby. The steady beat of spring rain urges me ever on, just in case Old Sol decides to show himself later on. But, as you can tell, I'm none to eager to get the process started. Frankly, I'd rather be reading about Saucy's busy weekend, hypertufa, and leaf castings. Even baby pictures would be a suitable diversion...


    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 9:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh man Julie...Sounds like a repeat of the "care" Chelone's Mom received! That stuff can really wear everyone down, not just the patient. I hope immediate attention brings everyone's spirits back!!!!

No consolation, but I could use Madge here too, even without a crisis.

And for DH. remember this:

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 9:11AM
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Though I've been checking in waiting for Surprise's given name and going up and down with everyone's health and their loved ones as well, not to mention the addition of new creatures and kitchen appliances, and most importantly watching Kate love life, it's been hard to sit down and spend the time I'd like to catch up. Run on sentences is me and my pace these days!!!!

Rich and I have been plugging along doing what we need to do (or not do) to stay afloat, and taking advantage of work trips to get outta Dodge. Have been to Oyster Bay Long Island (right next to Planting Fields -- will go back!!) and The Oranges in New Jersey. Pretty places, all, but the combos of pollen from three different zones has done a number on our heads!!

Yesterday we splurged and rolled change and went to get what Rich calls "cupcake gardener" annuals. He's using Latin a bit and it's beginning to scare me that he "gets it." "The Helianthus [formerly 'big tall yellow fluffy plant] is growing unevenly, and the Clematis [formerly vines with bright flowers] need more mulch." Who is this man?????? LOL

Simple stuff seems to be the most comforting this year, as challenging plants would only add to the mind's busyness. Overwintered stuff is all still alive! Seeds damped off and they won't be restarted, and, well, Petunias and New Guinea Impatiens and the like just seem the way to go this year. Of course, Zinnias, too!!

Without further ado, here is a brief look at the Park's progress, taken yesterday with my lousy camera, but know all of you will see that at 4.5 years, the Park is beginning to look like the vision.....we're pleased :-)

Welcome!! If you park in the parking area this is your first view....

Turn around before you go into the garage to grab a drink...

Take a path to the main entry area:

Take a peak and breathe in!! My pineapple mint is thoroughly established (gotta love plants that snub their noses at zone numbers) and some of PM2's Digitalis is mixed in:

Around the corner for a long view of the house's front:

A bit into the lawn (don't worry -- Rich won't yell) and looking down the south side of the house:

Lavandula x intermedia 'Provence' is a full 4' wide:

Clematis getting its legs but properly pruned and budding like mad!!

All grown up Tree Peony:

Long view across the front yard to the light posts and what was the nursery and is now the shrub holding area -- you all know the different, right??:

And for our Woody -- true canes on the Rosa chinensis started from seed:

Thanks for coming along!!


    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 10:59AM
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Darn, darn, darn!!! I meant to post the above separately so the thread wouldn't take forever to load!! if anyone knows how to move this, please have it!! Martie

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 11:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I was just noticing my rose from Woody this morning as well. :) Things are looking really good Martie. I just have green, not "lawn".

Why am I smelling chocolate? mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Here the laundry is drying, the dishes are washing themselves, Phoebe and I have WALATED. I am waiting for warmth before attacking a section of garden weeds. It is up to 44F now but very windy. A very pink balloon blew into the garden and Ms Phoebe is terrified of it!

I received this today and thought I'd share:
About 2 years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room. I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters, busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady.

I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told that she owned the line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back-to-back.

As we left the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, "I understand you've been on this ship for the last four cruises". She replied, "Yes, that's true." I stated, "I don't understand" and she replied, without a pause, "It's cheaper than a nursing home".

So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations on a Princess Cruise Ship and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast-in-bed every day of the week).

3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.

5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days.

7. T.V. broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.

8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for them.

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip, you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don't look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.

PS: And don't forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side -- at no charge.

And then DH emailed me this:(below)
"Seems we're all the world's worst moms :-)"

Guess I'll deal with errands while I wait for warmth!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 11:27AM
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That's great, 'bug. Good thing I don't have kids, huh? Lol.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 12:05PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Martie - watch out for 'Woody's rose' - it's on its way to being a very prickly thicket! Is yours doing well gb? They are supposed to be hardy to zone 5 so could be marginal for you.... I was very disappointed that I didn't succeed in getting any seedlings from the hips you provided. I've been neglecting my seedlings this year so that probably didn't help any! Martie - the park is looking great! And it sounds like you are training your DH well... :-)

gb - I forgot to say what a lovely picture the daddy-daughter one is!

Chelone - yum! the cake is sounding good.... I cook the way you do - get everthing measured and prepared, all the tools etc. assembled and then just put it together - very efficient way to do it. Randy brought home a big box of Green and Black dark chocolate to make the chocolate truffle cake for my birthday next weekend. Make sure you take a picture of the cake you make - I'd like to 'sample' it too.... :-)

Deanne - ummm... you're nuts! :-)

Julie - how frustrating and scary re the screw-up with the IV! I hope the situation reverses pronto!

I was out walating this morning and thinking we should start a cross-continent WALAT... maybe some of the lurkers would contribute....

I'm just heading out to work on the bricks on the inner side of the new bed. Here are two pictures from this morning - the new bed looking north from the end of the driveway (note how narrow it gets in the middle - I can't move the outer edge because it's right along the top of the ditch):

The dogwood is more or less in bloom - do the flowers open more/grow bigger and whiter? The flowers are smaller and greener than the ones Marian and Norma have posted pictures of.

I was reading a design book recently and it quoted a lot of French poetry (with translations fortunately!) Here is a lovely line that is very appropraite for today:

'I live in the tranquility of leaves, summer is growing.'

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 12:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, here is this morning's "tranquility of leaves" around 8am:

The rose is small, but I think doing well so far. :)

A change of plan here. Two friends have decided to bike over for a visit. Charlotte hated bikes, but I'm hoping Phoebe will tolerate them!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 1:13PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello :-)

Long weekend and feeling tuckered out and couldn't do justice to catching up with everyone. Did want to let Julie know I was sorry to hear of the set back for DH. I hope things will get back on track quickly. Never heard of a 'House Magic Person'.

Glad to see everyone is getting some gardening in and loved all the photos. I look forward to hearing more about the weekend....Later. :-)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 6:36PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

OOooohhhhh, everything looks so lush and beautiful! Here we are freezing, below 0 temps for the next THREE nights, so everything is inside and there it will stay until Wednesday at least.

Did the WALAT today for the first time in new weeds - too cold for them to germinate I bet...and everything is looking good, albeit tiny yet. The "garden friend" will cut the grass and trim tomorrow night in the frost. I did the Magic myself today so things are cool.

Took DH to the hospital this morning, saw the doctor, he told us that DH would be on antibiotic intravenous for another week, but only once a day, not every 8 hours. I was not pleased with this as this didn't work last week and he is not better, although he was until the great Bag Leak. (But boy! You can REALLY eat off my floors now *LOL*). So the meds arrive by courier and they say: Every 8 hours. Meanwhile I have picked up a prescription as requested by the doctor to enhance the 24 hour meds. The nurse arrives, gives him the enhancing stuff, goes to set up the intravenous and reads the 8 hour direction. would appear that the left hand is not congruent with the right hand. She absolutely must hook up the 8 hour meds as he has nothing else and he can't be calls two hours later...forget the enhancers, that is for 24 hour meds and he is to be on the 8 hour ones. Already took the enhancers? Oh well he will be super medicated for the next 24 hours then. Suits me. Sheesh.

Finally get to take the doggies for a walk tonight, then TCS will be read his chapter of Harry Potter, and I will veg in front of Boston Legal with a glass of wine. No worries. House is clean. DH has meds. Grass will be taken care of. Lots of food in the house and the fireplace is on. I am serene.

I have quickly viewed all of the photos, read a little, laughed a little, teared a little (Bug's SIL and baby) and smiled at the thought of Spring around the corner. Loving it.



    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 7:40PM
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I keep meaning to ask how the term "walate" came about? I'm sure there's an Idyll story attached to it. I spent a few hours weeding. I don't mind it at times, especially in the spring when the beds are damp and spongy. The weeds almost slip right out. The main one I tackle at this time every year is a type of grass or sedge seedling. Not sure what it is or where it comes from, but it drives me crazy. It won't come back now until next year, though, so other than oxalis, I keep up pretty well with weeds in the beds. The lawn is another story. I'm having a problem downloading photos, so until I can get my nephew (son gave up) over to help, no garden pictures. I'm taking them, so I will have an abundance to show you at a later date.

Martie...I loved taking a stroll through The Park! This is the leaping year, isn't it? It shows. Everything is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Thinking of julie and her DH. Hope all is well again.

woody...I like how the yellow in the house gets picked up in the dogwood leaves. The beds are edging up nicely.

bug...I love that nursing home story. I'm wondering if it can actually work? As long as the health is okay, hmmm. As for the other story, I'm in the over-protective category. When I think of how much freedom I had as a kid, (and I had very strict parents), it amazes me that I'm still alive. LOL. I'm not alone in this thinking, though. We live in fear, I guess. Good for that subway mom. I saw her on The View, and liked what I heard.

PM...Glad you had a chance to pop in for a second. Is that a dogwood in your photo? Which one? I was looking through my garden notes and came across my hosta wish list. 'Fire Island' is on there. No wonder I liked yours so much.

Enjoy the evening everyone,


    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 7:49PM
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Well, here I am still stuck in the house and gazing out at the heat blasted garden. The forecast was for 103 , but its 98 right now and a breeze has come up so maybe it will cool down a bit in the next couple of hours. I stayed outside till about 10 this morning but mother natures oven was already pre-heated so I came in and watched baseball read the Sunday paper , and went to Alberta with bug and DH. Whole Foods was visited this afternoon , where the first cherries of the season were seen (but not purchased at 6.99 per LB) and the fridge was cleaned out with any and all slimy and/or fuzzy stuff interred in the garbage can.

I must say that my friend George and I went all over LA on the bus when we were kids-I dont think anyone gave it a second thought. We walked the 5 blocks to school, walked a little further to the Rexall that had the soda fountain (we were fond of malts) and took the bus to LAX at a least once or twice a year and spent the whole day there.

Martie, the Park is looking lovely-deserving of its moniker. I must say that I was feeling extremely envious seeing all that expanse of lawn (and you know what I do with lawn, lol) and imagining what I might want to plant. I expect when faced with all that real estate it would be quite tempting to either become totally overwhelmed or go completely overboard and madly plant a bunch of stuff that one has no hope of being able to maintain. I admire your studied approach and long view ..The red Japanese Maple is spectacular by the way ! Thanks for checking in and posting the pics. And thumbs up to the new botanical creds of the spouse !

Julie, you just cant catch a break can you ? Setbacks in illnesses are just plain crappy. I hope this one is short lived and you are back on track post haste. And by the way, you have great attitude friend- enjoy that glass of wine !

Anitia, 1st came SALAT = Standing Around Looking At Things. Next came WALAT=Walking Around Looking At Things. The WALAT seems to be a very popular activity with Idylls!

I took these two last night I have not been out to see what the Delphs might look like after todays heat, but Nigelia seems impervious to anything . From Garden 2009 From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 8:20PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'll see your Nigella and raise you a Papaver 'Ruffled Patty':

I had a very stressful week at the awfice, partially relieved by a bachelorette party yesterday. But the real fun came this afternoon when I got out to the garden center and then got home to play. I planted five matching pots that will go to the reception site on the wedding day. Here's a close up of one:

And all lined up in a row:

The petunias are very purple but look blue in the photos. There's a Helichtotrichon 'Sapphire' in the back that should get taller in the next month, two Heuchera 'Mocha', the purple petunias and the ubiquitous Euphorbia Diamond Frost.

Here's my current favorite garden combo from the white garden:

And there is more to be planted:

I'm waiting one more day before I plant any annuals out away from the house. When I got up this morning it was only 36, and tonight's low is supposed to be 42. I don't want to take a chance. Someone forgot to tell Spring that our frost-free date is supposed to be May 15th.

I see that I haven't missed any updates on Mae's final name.

Julie, sorry to hear of DH's roller coaster ride. I hope he improves for good very soon!

Marti, Cornfield Park is maturing well!

Chelone, I hear you are having some hot times with someone named Bruce. What are you two cooking up?

I'm off to bed early, as I will try to get a jump-start on the awfice tomorrow morning. Hope to be back before the weekend!


    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 9:50PM
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I'll raise you one extremely gaudy Lily From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 10:44PM
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We got quite a lot accomplished yesterday. Some of it wasnt exactly in my plan for the day and I left a few things go undone that should be done asap, but you cant turn down muscle when its available. We had some left over pavers from our front walk and we used them to make an edging between the spruces and the Secret Garden. We also worked on some picket fencing that DH picked up curbside. The plan is to add a few of the panels to the front of the Secret Garden with the butterfly gate in the middle. We also dug out 4 dwarf Alberta spruces that had browned on one side. We placed those in the Secret Garden as well with the brown side facing the back. These had been in the bed along the east side of the house. We replaced them with Gold Cone junipers. It was quite cool and windy. I started the day with a hat and muffler. I shed the muffler quite soon but wore the hat quite a bit of the day. Toward evening it got really beautiful. Today was windy, cold and wet.

I used to grow tuberous begonias at my former house with great success, but here I dont. I dont really have great success with the rexes either. I think I probably neglected them at my old house since I had little kids.

Julie, Im glad to hear that your DH is improving.

Deanne, the gardens and containers are looking fabulous. Are a lot of the plants ones youve overwintered? If so I think I will cry. You have some great plant material and an incredible talent for putting it all together. The wisteria is stunning.

Ive been messing around with the plants under lights, discarding, trimming etc. They need to go out soon, of course last night there was a frost warning and with all this wind, Id best wait. I had very poor success with the coleus in general. I only have a few decent ones left. The pelargoniums and succulents did great.

Martie, everything is getting such a mature look to it. I especially like your tree peony.

V, the pots for the reception look very nice. Your comment to Chelone cracked me up.

Kathy, nigellas can be such a pretty shade of blue cant they?

Anita, we will be patient and wait for the pictures. Computer issues are so annoying.

News from Florida is that Kenzie can now swim under water. She has goggles and told me that it was cool to see under the water. Coming up out of the pool she fell and cut open her chin. Mommys job at the hospital had a little perk when they took her up to the floor she works on the nurses told her it wouldnt need stitches just to use the liquid skin stuff. Kenzie says it just like fingernail polish for your chin. I mentioned to her that grandpa and I worked in her garden yesterday and her response was "yoo hoo" She found it quite interesting that grandpa got hurt and had to go to the hospital too.

I will put a few pictures up from the arboretum last weekend and a couple from my garden on a separate post. I havent actually taken many of my gardens with all the wind, I dont like it when the plants are leaning in the pictures. Hopefully, things will calm down this week.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 11:03PM
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Idyll headlines: Wind in Iowa, Boiling Temps in CA, Sub-Zero Temps in Ontario. How diverse we are, but that's what makes it such a great group.

Kathy...thanks for the WALAT explanation. It makes perfect sense, and I do it all the time. I do the SALAT, too, and that's what makes the neighbors wonder about me at times. :)
I actually like the colors on the lily, how could a purple/yellow combo ever be bad?

Julie...Like Kathy said, you do have a great attitude. That's what struck me while reading your post. Your DH is lucky to have you at his side right now.

michelle...poor Kenzie getting hurt, but sounds like it was an easy fix. Maybe you can send her some special nana band-aids for her cuts and scrapes. Good job that she's going under water already. the pots. You did well! And I'm liking the idea of identical pots all lined up in a row. Now to think of a spot for them......

'nite for sure this time,


    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 12:52AM
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Happy Monday and thanks for the encouraging comments.

Way to many hospital visits amongst Idylland of late. Thoughts for all involved.....

Yes, Kath, the lawn provides challenges. We had two choices when we moved in: decimate everything in sight and plant, plant, plant; Or, Decimate half of everything in sight and plant, plant, plant. Chosing the latter was tough for the "purist" gardener in me, but the realist knew that farm/country/carefree wouldn't work on the lot nor be true to the house, and more formal would require way too much daily labor to keep looking spicy. So, This is what we have.

Besides, the lawn has kept Rich mostly sane with its organic upkeep this year. Something to do that isn't a necessity is a truly important part of his life right now.

So good to hear about everyone and so good to know that support for just about anything is a click away no matter what.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 6:51AM
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V.'s pots look like bridesmaids! but without the awful dresses, lol. Nothing like some quality time with plant material to banish the awfice tension, is there? I share your caution with respect to chilly temperatures and annuals. It's cold here, too! The helpmeet is perpetually shocked at the number of people who think a few warm spring days mean it's fine to plant out tender annuals. Is that Fothergilla in your favorite white garden combination?

Michelle, that's pretty cool that they use the equivilent of "super glue" to close wounds. I have a friend who uses it to close cracks he gets on his fingers in the dryness of winter. And VERY cool that she's now swimming under water... one of the "tests" we used to give was to have the kid put his/her head under water and tell us how many finger we were holding out... no goggles because it was lake water and not chlorinated. I prefer to wear goggles whenever I'm in a pool, too. She's becoming quite a young lady now! I'm with you about not turning down muscle power. :)

Bruce and I played well together yesterday. "Delicate Chocolate Cake" turned out beautifully. I had it on the cooling racks by about 1PM. It was a hit with the birthday boy, who asked where his birthday present was. I replied that since he welched on MY birthday gift he was going without, too. "Oh yeah... I was going to do something for you, wasn't I?". Ummm... yeah. ;) Pork chops, asparagus, brown rice (for colo-rectal health), and Pinot Noir for dinner. Nothin' fancy, but tastey.

Martie, I had composed a post yesterday that vanished into ether but I was quick to mention how terrific the Park is looking this year. There really is no substitute for a few years worth of growth, is there? Your Jap. Maple is just gorgeous; I love the weeping form of those terrific trees and want one for the Compound. And I love the rose from seed... what a nice accomplishment. Cracked me up that Rich is picking up the "lingo", too. Isn't it great when the important people in our lives get "into" the things we enjoy, too?

I did clean the house yesterday, too, two-timing Bruce with Kirby. I was very thorough, too, because heaven only knows when we'll have another round of rainy weekend weather to inspire me. My JulieJob for the day included cleaning out the closet where Kirby lives. It was chockablock full of all manner of the helpmeet's tools, extension cords, assorted plumbing/gasline/electrical supplies, and left over vacuum bags from a long dead Kenmore unit! Felt really good to address it. My goal is to systematically work my way down the stairs and into the dreaded Board Room, which still lowers in the lower NW corner of our domicile, threatening to entrap anyone who enters...

Not quite sure exactly what I think about that Lily, Kathy... a little too gaudy for me is my gut reaction. ;)

I think I need to finish staking the peonies that have been growing visibly every day for the past week. And V.'s Poppy reminds me to get out and offer some support for Victoria Louise in the Sanitary Ridge bed. I've actually got some seedings from her, wonder if they'll be true to the warm, salmony-pink color of which I'm so fond? And there is plenty more to do, too.

Spencer had the first Chippie of the day this morning, within 15 minutes of going outdoors. He opened his mouth to mew at me, dropped the Chippie who fled, hurling himself off the deck and falling 10' to the ground below. I wonder if he'll live to gather acorns another day? (don't really care that much, however).

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 7:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yesterday's plan to garden was changed when two friends decided to bike over to gather asparagus for their dinner. I decided to invite myself over to share the asparagus crepes that were on the menu. I dared not smile as the husband and wife team bickered over how to prepare crepes. Two chefs in the kitchen does NOT work well in their house! Pretty funny. Their daughters are very vegetarian and picky too. The oldest, 17, has applied for a scholarship to study arctic environment this summer. $9,000!!! The younger girl just had her birthday and received a bunny as a gift, much to her delight. They are an interesting family. They built their own home and barn, have a horse, donkey, dog etc...and raise special chickens for their business which involves extracting part of the egg for use in medical research. Of course they keep all the chickens too which would impress Mary no end. It was a beautiful evening and there were orioles and hummingbirds about. It is nice to see their property taking shape once more after being devastated by a Tornado several years ago.

Yesterday I also picked up more yarn for a new project. Yes, there's a hint of pink in the wool too. ;)

The flower photos on this thread are truly impressive as are the containers. Kathy has reminded me to get the bird bath installed once more. It is still parked in the barn. Maybe when I finish the mowing I'll get to that.

Book Club tonight and I only skimmed the read this time. It is garden season and I cannot concentrate on a 400 pager. Should I confess?

I'm enjoying my solo time at home with no need to prepare food or stick to a schedule. I should tidy up the place, but then again, I should enjoy myself too, right? Think I'll dig up something un-breakfast-like to eat now and just postpone the fridge clean-up for another day.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 7:55AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Up before the chickens - well, probably not up before Mary's chickens...) I had time to slowly peruse ALL the posts between #439 and #440. All the photos and discussions were like a breath of fresh air - sometimes one can get so wrapped up in one's own circumstances that the rest of the world kind of disappears. Then one resurfaces with amazement! Such varied and gorgeous gardens.

DH was up in the night and I was instantly awake...he said he was feeling much better. The combination of super meds and green tea perhaps? And DD informed me that she is going back to work on the night shift tonight - she says she feels "almost normal". DH and I cracked up over that - "normal" does not describe our smart-hyper-funny DD at all!

I am glad that I organized the garden friend for the lawn. This means that I might have an hour or so in the gardens instead of pushing the reel mower around for that time - good for the soul for sure!

To catch up:

Gee Deanne, my four pots are coming along well...

Kathy - believe me, the JJobs have fallen by the wayside. 103 degrees F? No thanks!! But I love blue in the garden, and of course don't have very much...true blue is hard to find!

Chelone, I cracked up over Marian's Rooftop Garden! And "cooking up a hot time with Bruce and two-timing with Kirby". What a hoot! Mmmm the cake sounds wonderful. Dessert is a rarity here as DH's diet doesn't really allow for much in the way of sweets, but we would really relish the birthday meal!

Wow Martie - what a landscape! Looks amazing - and I can just imagine the effort it takes!

Gee 'Bug, that sounds like a neat retirement plan, but with the amount of Gravol that I would have to take, I'd sleep my way around the world!

V. I love the planters! What super memories you are creating..

And Kenzie has a split chin! Ouch! I remember all too well the "first blood" of DD's childhood - a split lip from front teeth after a fall. Kenzie gave a great description of the super-glue "Nail polish for chins". How cute! I use Krazy Glue on the thumb splits in the winter...

And a heartfelt "Thank you" to you all who have sympathized with my trials of late...It is nice to have some broad shoulders to cry on once in a while!



    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 8:00AM
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Good morning!

I'm so happy to be home this morning - and I have the house all to myself to boot - the kids are at school and Nick is at work.

I did not sell a leaf, but there was a lot of interest and I got asked to a better venue later in June. I think most of the people were there to look for bargains. I did get lots of interest in custom orders and my business cards were taken.

I'm reading and keeping up with you guys. For now, though, I'm going to hop in a hot shower and whip this house back into shape. I have been working at the plant sale starting at 6:30 am each morning for the past 4 days. It was a very good cause, though, as all the money goes to the community harvest project - people work in the fields (from seed to harvest) and all the food goes to the food bank.

Today is all mine :)


    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 8:23AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im suffering idyll withdrawal... had good intentions to check in but the home internet connections deemed otherwise -- so annoying....

Deanne -- your gardens are looking incredibly lovely - as always that wisteria -- if only photos had smell.... and your containers -- I will have to try to study some for inspiration, which I seem to have little of.

Martie, your Park is amazingly filled in now and that luscious tree peony to die for.... I think it's wonderful that Rich is now into the lingo, LOL.

V, Kathy, and Michelle -- I cant tell you how gorgeous all your combos are -- the poppy makes me sad -- I had a luscious one ready to pop until the rains and wind came Friday nite and pow -- there it went along w/ peonies, roses, etc.....

I did work hard over the weekend sqishing amongst things to weed at least and plant a few more offerings from the plant alley but Sunday was incredibly cold and windy and I lost any enthusiasm. Golly, listening to Kathy having 100 degree temps and it was a high of 60 yesterday in my area w/ lows tonite of 40ish, possibly 30s.... So much for the last frost dates as V notes.

V-- gotta say, those pots are terrific looking and such a fantastic money-saving idea!

Im going to try to come back at lunch time to gaze at all the gardens and photos longer -- what a great way to spend one's lunch visiting all the gardens!

Julie - hope your DH is truly on the mend; it's a good thing you listen to the Dr and can supervise; it's downright scary how medical instructions are so easily mangled.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:17AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning... :-)

We had an enjoyable but tiring weekend. It was rainy and cloudy both Saturday and Sunday and we never did one lick of work in the garden. It was a treat for DH. Saturday we did fit in some plant shopping. I did my part to help out the economy and still didn't get enough for all my containers. I came home with a 'Stainless Steel' Aconitum, another variegated Iris, Heuchera 'Frosted Violet', another try at a yellow Echinacea and too many to plant! With lows in the 30s tonight everything is sitting in milk crates waiting to be planted out, we are leaving everything as is, to be carted in and out at least one more night. Supposed to hit 90 degrees Thursday and Friday. Time to get the air conditioners in the windows.

I was happy to have DD home this weekend. She was happy to sleep in on Sunday morning, since they have been waking her up at 7am with a jackhammer outside her window all week, redoing the sidewalk outside her place. DS had to work yesterday unexpectedly, so we made plans to all go to see the new STar Trek film tonight instead. It's playing at the IMAX theatre and it's the only way to see it. [g]

Chelone....the assembled table bases sound like they have worked out just as you wanted them to. As usual, the fact that you and the helpmeet would tackle installing melamine to the tops, is impressive. I imagine since you will be working with fabric on the tops, the edges will have to be smooth as silk? I'm trying to picture how you will accomplish that. Wondering if you sorted through the Lab and figured out what is being relocated to the Salon? Are you planning any new purchases? .....I've never seen an Indigo Bunting, I bet they are gorgeous. You and Marian are lucky! We now have a pair of pigeons visiting. lol I've given up trying to chase them out of the yard. They seem to have adopted us.

Mary....did I miss news on Clousseau?

Norma....what did you do this weekend?

Kathy....did you finish the renovation around the new birdbath? nice for DS and family heading to Disney. We took the kids when they were little. One trip we managed to get my mother and DH's parents along and it was so much fun! I always wished that we could have the entire extended family on a trip but it never did happen.

Deanne....Thanks for posting photos of your newest creations. :-) Always impressed with the condition of the plant material you have wintered over. Love your first pot, with the cream variegated abutilon and such a pretty colored coleus and the apricot primrose. I see a few new plants that I am unfamiliar with. The elongated leaves edged in red in photo #5. I like #12. Very different shaped pot and like the combo of fuchsia, begonia and that pretty variegated Penta. I enjoyed your yellow combinations last year and I see #17 looks like another great one. Is that Datura and what is the variegated trailer? Is one of your purple pots made of the new biodegradable material I recently saw at the nursery or painted concrete? Very pretty color and the golden color plants are going to be wonderful. What is that bright trailer in #19? #23 is going to be smashing too! Love that really white abutilon in that bright blue pot. #24 Your Elephant ear wintered over well for you. Was it difficult? Is that a Regal geranium? The red and black is striking! Do you grow that container in part sun and water it a lot? I see you have a visitor to your low water basin already. [g] Lawn and wisteria looking gorgeous too! Off to another hit season, Deanne. I really hope I will be able to get up to see it in person in July. :-)

Gardenbug....I am planning on getting some obelisks too at some point. They are expensive. Maybe later in the season you can get them on sale and buy three each season until you have what you want? Or.....if you have any saplings you could cut down, you could make your own out of twigs. .....I enjoyed hearing about DS's report from Paris. He certainly has an adventurous spirit. [Easy for me to say, I'm not his mother. (g)] Where does he get that? I can imagine the twinges of worry that report triggered. I hope he sends you a better update next time around. I'm looking again at the photo of DSIL and the peanut. Definitely happiness beaming on that face!

Cindy....'Me, I'm lucky if one side works.' lol I can identify. Did you ever explain, what Leafgro is? tomorrow the big day for Randy?

How is Rick's finger, Michelle?

Eden....DD and I were looking over a few of the Idyll photos yesterday and she loved the photos of the babies of course and Bella in her cat poses. She had a good laugh hearing about how she enjoys watching Cats. She also commented that your garden path looked very inviting. I always want to see more when I see photos of your garden. :-) I bought a Krossa Regal plug over the weekend due to a photo you posted of yours last year. ....I will wager that you are really looking forward to having Kate for a few hours every week. Will you have Bella and Kate together?

Marian...what a great list of plants you brought home! I'm trying Angelonia for the first time this year, too. I tried that B&B Salvia last year but I don't have the sun or the drainage and it didn't winter over for me. Hosta 'Whirlwind' has been on my list. ....Never heard of a 'blackberry winter', what does it mean? ....that Hosta 'Fire Island' cost me $10. at a local plant sale last year. I was very happy. :-)

Loved everyone's photos and wish we could bottle up fragrances and post them Kathy's roses, Deanne's wisteria, Michelle's plum trees and then some.

I am only halfway down the thread! So many interesting things to comment on. More catching up later.... Have a marvelous monday... :-)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 11:23AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2. "Blackberry winter" is what the locals call a cold spell at the time the wild blackberries are blooming.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 1:55PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

What an interesting day Ive had. Im getting new orders every day lately and cant figure out why. Jeesh, this work thing is getting in the way of the gardening. This morning I received a phone call from a person who knew a painting friend of mine and she wanted to come over to buy a painting shed seen for sale on my web site. She is a most interesting person and is a professional vocalist and artist. She wound up buying two paintings. Very cool!

We are supposed to have a frost tonight and Im trying not to freak out. There is absolutely no way I can get the tender stuff covered or under a roof so Im going to just have to cross my fingers and hope for the best. Then they are also predicting temps in the 90s on Thursday!!!! So Tuesday a frost and Thursday 90s? I dont recall ever seeing that extreme a temp change in that short a time.

Thanks so much for all your kind comments about the photo gallery! I appreciate it!

Woody, the dogwood flowers open and get whiter and larger with time. Love your pics! ~~ Ummm. I think Im a nut-ball as well.

Julie, sounds like you are having one thing after another to deal with your DHs problem. They need to get their act together.

Bug I read the nursing home/cruise ship story to Doug and he loved it. Thats the way to go.

V. love the pots for the reception. Really lovely combinations. And that Fothergilla/Tulip/Artemisia combination is fantastic!

Michelle, loved reading about all your work in the gardens. I know what you mean about putting off things that must be done in favor of things you can get help with. Same thing happens here. ~~~ Most of the plant material is stuff I over wintered, all the coleus, abutilons, plectranthus, pelargoniums, hibiscus, most of the fuchsias well most of it. Dont cry! It really takes WAY too much time to take care of it all over the winter. Im glad I did last year though because my pots wouldnt be this full. The dollar sure doesnt go as far at a garden center anymore.

Martie, the park is looking fabulous!!!! Love those tree peonies!

Cindy, sure wished you lived closer so you could come and visit the wisteria! It does smell divine! I just stand about looking at it and the neighbors think Im cracked. Maybe I am? LOL

PM, that red edged plant in photo#5 is a variegated Peperomia clusiifolia. Yes, that is a double yellow Datura in photo #17 and that vine is a Solanum jasminoides variegata. That purple pot is a stone cast container I bought at Sams a few years ago that I painted with spray paint last summer. The golden trailer in #19 is Jasminum officinale 'Fiona Sunrise. The abutilon in #23 is Savtzii. I have to confess that the Elephant Ear in #24 is one I picked up in VT on Mothers Day. My Black Magic didnt survive the winter, nor did my Hilo Beauty. I need to figure out how to save them as they are pretty pricy. That flower in that pot is new to me this year to and is a Schizanthus. Yes Mr. Rahjii keeps following me around when Im outside and is just too funny how he keeps showing up in the pictures. I really and truly am NOT trying to take pictures of him. Hes just there.

OK Ive got to get back to work here. The lady who bought the paintings wanted a custom mat and Im off to get that done for her.

Have a good afternoon all

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 3:24PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Nolon had a routine doctor's appointment today. We were't sure if there was to be lab work, so he went in fasting.He did have blood drawn, and was given some sample meds for his increased shortness of breath. I did not eat breakfast either, then we both eat at our favorite cafe'. We look forward to the eating out. A neighbor lady works there, and she waited on us today.

It was much warmer today, and sunny, with no wind. I removed the ugly fence from around the front flowerbed, and Nolon cut down a serviceberry branch that the ice storm left in an awkward position. It not only looks much better, it turned more much needed sun into the bed. I mowed the yard in front of the house, which included around that bed.
After my afternoon rest, I worked some more on pruning dead stuff out of shrubs, and did some more piddling around outside. This evening I strung ropes around the bed, and hung aluminum pie plates on it. That should deter the deer for at least one night. :-(

Oh my, Julie! What a scare! And what a mess. I have to agree that you appear to be holding up quite good. I hope so. I am so glad to hear that the massive dose of meds made him feel better.

Martie, I love all the pics of your place. It is beautiful! Wonderfully planned. I love the way your red tree echoes the neighbors's . Did you plan it that way?

Marie, I like that story about the old lady on the cruise ship. I had heard it before.

Pm2, someone asked what kind of Dogwood, I did not see an answer, so I will...It is a Cornus kousa, isn't it?

Kathy, your heat sound horrendous, but is the humidity very high? To me that would make a big differance.
I love your Nigella pic. I used to have them, in my island bed, but the vinca crowded them all out. :-(
Maybe I will grow some in pots, and set them on top of the vinca, like I do a lot of things.
I am another who is not to taken by that Lily. I would like more yellow, and less purple.

V, the wedding pots are very pretty. Great idea!

Too much for me to try to comment on! Just suffice it to say: I read all, and enjoyed reading it all....


    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:31PM
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The heat wave made a hasty retreat, thank goodness and we are back to more spring-like conditions. I am deadheading roses like mad- the heat pushed them to bloom out in many cases and they arent lookin too spiffy. My deadheading after the first flush is more like a mini-pruning-I dont follow the First 5 leaflet-leaf " thing-I cut back to a kind of rounded and unobtrusive size and let the other stuff in the garden become the main act. And just so you all know that I do indeed have some issues with the roses, I noted a disturbing amount of blackspot (not expected with our dry spring) and way too much rust. Another justification for draconian deadheading-its way faster than stripping foliage and since I dont spray those diseased leaves have got to go some way or another.

Saucy, what a busy time for you- Its great that you got an invite to a venue appropriate to your product- that is so key especially with high-ticket items and art. Hope you get some time to hang around with us this week !

LOL PM, there is no way I could do much planting at all this weekend in that dreadful heat. I didnt even try to reposition the birdbath . I did get the demolition part done, but not the re-build. I dont have all the plants either. I have 3-day weekend coming up though and the weather forecast is very good-mid 70s- so I hope to get it completed then. So far I have Campanula glomerata and Oxalis Charmed Wine" I need at least one more Campanula g. and I am also going to dig up some Cape Blanco Sedum from my back garden and move it to the entry garden.

Chelone, I know what you mean about that Lily- ironically , I bought three more bulbs this spring , quite by accident. When I got them home I realized I had purchased more of the same. I have them right next to the sidewalk so if nothing else the passers-by are taken a-back . Naturally they are extremely healthy and vigorous.(The lilies, not the passers-by)

Marian, humidity is quite low here , though not like Idaho, Az. New Mexico etc.

Deanne. how nifty that you had an interesting customer turn up- more $$ for plants ! What you need is to keep a big roll of Remay (floating row cover) in your garage and unfurl it over everything in one giant sheet if frost threatens. I see that the National Weather Service predicts 36 as a low for your area-hopefully that is as low as it goes !

Okay, going to deadhead a bit more and settle down for some baseballHi to all..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:54PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Catch up Pt 2....

Woody.... Your brick edging is looking good. Do you already have your plant material that you are adding? What are you going to put in the narrow area? How did you do in the frost Thursday night? I liked that garden quote.

I never get the performance I am looking for from my tuberous begonias. Seems a fine line between watering enough and not too much and sometimes no matter what I do, I end up with some ugly leaves from mildew or some such. I love them though and keep trying them. I will have to try what Deanne is having success with. Have never tried shallow containers.

Glad your peas are hanging in there Marian. Sounds like you had a nice day and productive too. My Dogwood is a cross between the kousa and the florida, I think. A Rutgers hybrid, 'Constellation'.

The Park is looking good Martie. I like that side view of the front. Your porch is nice and huge hostas under that tree.

Funny cruise story, gardenbug. [g] Makes perfect sense to me. Very pretty photo of your trees.

I had not heard the other story of the Worst Mommy. I read the link and I was surprised by some of the statistics she quoted by which she assesses the risks to children. I had the impression it was a lot higher than that. I still have the feeling that risks for children today are a lot worse then they were when we were kids. I had an enormous amount of freedom when I was a kid. We could come and go as we chose at very early ages. Lots of kids in our neighborhoods and we would be out all day until after dark playing. We could walk down to the 'square' which was a fair amount of walking. Kathy, we had a drugstore with a soda fountain too and Sundaes were a quarter. [g] I am amazed when I think about it. I don't think it was that unusual then. Parents did not have the worries they have today. I am very grateful that I had that freedom, it was a wonderful sense of living in a world where trust was taken for granted, I guess.

I have my share of weeds. I've gotten rid of quite a bit, but now I am battling something that looks like Adenophora. Pulling it doesn't help. I've tried smothering it and that isn't working either. Not sure what I am going to try next.

Anita, yes that is a branch of a dogwood tree. We planted it in 2006 maybe? It is a Rutgers hybrid that is supposed to be resistant to the disease that is so common in the native Cornus florida. I have 'Constellation'. .

Kathy...glad it cooled down for you and yes, I understand not getting your garden done around the birdbath. I go into hibernation when it gets hot. ....I can't wait for cherries and peaches. Jealous of your Delphiniums. :-) I lost all of mine over the winter. Your camera is taking gorgeous photos. Look at the detail on that Nigella! I've been in the market for new birdbaths for about three years now. I just haven't found one I have to have and can afford. [g]

V....I love your Wedding 'bouquets'! :-) The wedding must be coming up soon. I would love to see that poppy after it opens.

Michelle....Kenzie must be so proud of herself that she is swimming now. My DB and I used to spend a lot of time swimming growing up. Loved it. Looking forward to photos of the changes in the Secret Garden this year. Is a visit from Kenzie planned yet?

Saucy....I'm shocked that no one bought your leaves! But, of course you are right, everyone was probably not prepared to buy anything that was not a bargain. All that carrying to and least you are building muscle. :-) I love that community project the sale was for, what a great idea. Hope you enjoyed every minute of your day to yourself.

Deanne....thanks for answering all my questions. :-) I'm sad to hear your EEar didn't make it over the winter. If you couldn't keep it, there's no chance I could. [g] The Shizanthus is such a great shot of red! That name makes me want to call it 'Shazam' lol. ..... Congrats on selling your artwork! The more you sell, I imagine, the more your art will be seen and word of mouth, you can build up a 'clientele' :-)

Wonder how Denise is doing these days?

Have a good night. :-)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 10:22PM
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Lots to read this morning. :)

I've been wondering about Denise, too. And her Dad.

Great news from Julie, re: DH, let us hope the infection is on the run and things continue to improve with no repeat performances. I don't believe there is anything more nerve-wracking and frustrating that becoming grist for the medical profession. I am terribly jaded about it all now, with no real confidence in most of it, the result of what happened to my mother over 5 yrs.. Whenever I hear "the finest medical care in the world" or irrational fears about "healthcare rationing" I want to throw up. It IS rationed, it always has been, and it always will be. Best to take bold steps to ensure your health (diet, exercise, etc.) and just hope for the best. All lessons you and your family know very well, Julie! It's nice to hear the lift and lilt in your voice. (ignore my crabbiness on the subject).

Still have yet to view Deanne's pictures which I'm certain are perfectly sumptuous. I hope the containers have not succumbed to Jack Frost. It's 35 degrees at my house this morning.

I spent all day yesterday cleaning up two loam piles that were remnants of the driveway relocation and the subsequent lawn that we added last fall. Both were infested with Equistetum and a variety of other noxious weeds so there was a fairly thorough weeding involved, too. I have decided there is no way to eradicate Equisetum without nuking the area with copious amounts of lime, so I have determined to achieve a level of tolerance with respect to it. Anyway, I shovelled, raked, picked out weeds, and graded the area all day long. I was bone weary by the end of it, but the helpmeet's, "Wow! hon., it really looks nice" made me feel good. Not sure what to plant there, but it will suffice as a "holding pen" for things to be relocated. I want to try the "lasagne method" that Saucy recommended to me a few years ago. Maybe that and lime with put a dent in the force of Equisetum.

Melamine is cut to size and the cleats to afix it to the frames is all cut, too. The helpmeet will put the cleats on tonight and then I'll put on the edgeing. It's melamine and looks like tape. There is heat activated glue on one side of it and one uses an iron to activate it and apply it to the raw edge of the MDF. I have reservations about the security of the glue bond in our humid marine climate but we'll see. Life has no guarantees, after all. ;)

"The Worst Mommy" cracked me up. I had all sorts of freedom as a kid. Mum and Dad were huge on "idiot-proofing" my brother and me. Teaching us HOW to do things, planning and considering possible outcomes was part of our daily life. They wanted thinkers for kids, and could be brutal about whining and cling-y behavior. Until her death, Mum loathed kids like that. I don't share the common perception that it's any more dangerous "out there" for kids that it used to be. I think the fear mongering of the past decade/two has only made us THINK it is and provided another opportunity to sell us more crap (video games to keep kids "safe" indoors, monitoring bracelets for kids who haven't been required to come when called or stay nearby in crowded places, etc.). Sure, technologies change and present new challenges, but it's always been that way. Better to teach kids to use their active little brains by introducing age appropriate decision making and perpetually asking the questions that require them to use their innate intelligence. It takes a lot of time to do that... and it's not going to get taught in day-care/elementary school when one person is required to mind several kids and make safety decsions based on a group. I have several friends with kids that grew up on sailboats, in and out of foreign ports, and never setting foot inside a public school until they were 9-10 yrs. old. Lemmee tellya, they're leagues ahead of most of what I see at the grocery store most days. And this why the helpmeet and I have adopted the "refuse to live in fear" motto. I'm glad she's challenged her "accusers" and the common perception that DANGER lies behind every rock and shrub. Power to her!

I'm late and I'm outta here.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 5:51AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It never got below 41 degrees here this morning so I'm off to put all the plants where they belong. Of course, if I'd left them outside and unprotected it would have been the 35 degrees Chelone got with a frost. But I'm really happy we didn't freeze here as I don't imagine the bearded iris and the tree peony would have liked that too well.

Pm I'm with you on Tuberous Begonias. I adore their extravagance and colors but have limited success with them but like you I still keep trying. I've actually wintered a couple over this year. I don't know how far you are from Groton MA but there is a nursery there that has some gorgeous, large plants in 3" pots for $4.00. Some of the best I've seen for the price. RE culture I think I need to add more compost to the potting mix to lighten it up some and try that as well. I never used to be able to grow fuchsias either and have persevered with it until I can. Some things are worth struggling with. LOL

Wow, Chelone! Sounds like you put in a long and hard day's work with that loam pile. Good for you! Don't you love it when you finish a big job like that?

Kathy, I'm interested in your pruning methods, so do you prune the shrubs back to half size??? How far back do you cut the canes? ~~ I lol about selling paintings = more $$ for plants. That was exactly what I was thinking.

OK I'm off to get my day going. Have a good one

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 7:26AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Glad to hear Deanne is replenishing her plant piggie for more shopping -- to keep us idyllers in fascination and amazement. Not that your paintings arent wonderful too - they are incredible and deserve good $$ -- but the plants will always win out for me I fear...

My 4 flats of annuals that I scored on Sunday spent last nite in the car trunk -- seemed the best spot for them w/ any likelihood of frost, LOL -- the other few were covered w/ sheets and all have escaped. So I'll have some projects (assuming I get some potting soil) for the holiday weekend - at least that's the goal.... I was pleasantly happy to find some bargains at a couple garden centers - early clear-out maybe - they were almost as good as Michelle's but mostly for annuals.

I got a really cute Sedum Sea Urchin that I'd not heard of before -- will try for a shot of it this weekend - it's cool looking.

Chelone - I have to strongly disagree w/ you re it not being a more dangerous environment for children these days -- drugs of all kinds, alcohol, family dysfunctions, etc. -- and there are definitely predators out there -- I was rudely alerted to reality when my DD was about 8 -- and a salesman accosted her and her lovely blond friend in a shoe store -- right in the next row over (where I could hear them and see their torsos) -- not to go into detail -- but the sicko fondled DD's friend and we ended up calling police & getting into a big mess. But folks need to be aware and smart about their kids and certainly supervise them appropriately. Heck, look at the chaos caused by cell phones and internet & social networks -- it's hard for adults to handle - let alone children and teenagers.

Oky, on a better note -- it is lovely and sunny here and maybe to hit 70 -- Im hearing noises about more squishing on the weekend but Im going to be optimistic and hope that changes.

O, PM - you asked abou the product Leafgro -- it's commercially produced (state of Maryland makes it from gathered leaves) leaf mold - it's almost like compost and I've had good success w/ it in years past - but this horrendous violet thing is making me thing I'm going to lay off it a year or two.... Certain nurseries in the area sell it (and it t'aint cheap) but I've found it worthwhile...

There's a great article in Country Gardens Mag, Saucy, about a woman who has a garden full of troughs that she makes -- it made me think of you -- they're truly neat looking... I have the itch to do some of those but no space!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Good Morning Idylls!

Beautiful and sunny here today. The garden is really growing by leaps and bounds with all of the rain we've had. Hoping for some quality gardening time later this morning. Tomorrow Brad and I are going over the Jenni's to help her prepare a new garden area toward the back of their property. Brad's job will be sod removal and Jen and I will be taking over from there. Hopefully pictures to follow soon.

Martie, I loved taking the tour of your Park. It's really come into it's own this year and is coming together beautifully.

Mary, I love your chicks and coop! You are a very resourceful girl putting together that coop. You always amaze me at the things you're able to accomplish.

Glad to hear that Chelone and Bruce are bonding so well.

Michelle, that Kenzie is truly a water baby! Ouch on the chin though. Poor baby!

My opinion on the Worst Mom link...she came across as a kook to me. Children are too precious to take such risks with.

Hoping Julie's dh is continuing to improve!

Time to hit the garden! Have a good day.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:03AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Heeheehee, Eden - I think it's so cool your family gardens together in multiple spots!

I did manage to get a few pics and there are things blooming besides mushrooms, altho I had a problem w/ glare and still cant get a good shot of Clematis Arabella that is already blooming away ....

Cl. Gravetye Beauty -

The Zeph. rose is starting up:

I believe this is Juuli (or Miranda) - I keep them confused...

The potting bench already filled up:

-- okay - back to employment.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My front flowerbed. as of this morning...:-)

It looks better than the ugly fence. It does not look exactly like the pic now. I removed the pieces of bird fencing from over susceptible plants in the front of the bed.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 1:32PM
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Hi Idylls

Julie - what a rough time you've had. Too bad we're not close enough to exchange hospital stories and support over a glass of wine. Hope things continue to improve.

ALL the garden photos are wonderful.

Martie - things are looking fabulous at your place!!

Life is full of new things to learn right now. Did you know that chickens love tomatoes and strawberries, that baby chicks instinctively know to did themselves a dirt bath on their second trip outdoors, and that 14 baby quail are one of the cutest things you've ever seen?


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mary, I gave some thought to having quail after we moved here. I think I would have enjoyed them, if I could have kept them safe from predators.
And speaking of quail, we used to see them here, but they have been missing the past 2-3 years. Maybe too many predators?

I just opened, and planted, the bag of Caladiums that I bought at WalMarts. It said 15 tubers. I planted 26! They were all sprouted and had roots! What a deal!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 5:30PM
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Marian, I love your new innovative deer deterrent. Good thinking. Hope it works! That's alot of caladiums. They're expensive here. Won't those all be pretty when they're up and growing? I love caladiums!

Cindy, cool potting bench. Looks like lots of interesting things are going on on your patio.

Mary, I don't think I could look at the cute baby quail knowing what their fate will be.

It feels like summer here today. 80s for the next few days. I'm going to have to drag around the hose a bit I fear.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 6:20PM
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Anita, change your headline to wind and boiling temps in Iowa. OK this weather is crazy! Do you remember I mentioned wearing a muffler and hat on Saturday. Today we hit 97 and the wind is outrageous. Of course the plants I divided and moved on Saturday are weeping. Im not sure Ill spend much time outside tonight. It isnt even supposed to die down over night. By Thursday cold and rainy. Its interesting to see how the weather I have now will soon travel to the Idylls east of me. Three finches sit on the feeder hanging from the eave by the kitchen window and are having the ride of their life while they try to eat. I grilled steak, asparagus and garlic toast, luckily the grill is on the north side. Im eating with the Idylls since DH is in the field.

Last night wasnt bad and I got most of the seeds planted in the potager. No tomatoes, peppers or eggplant until the wind and heat settle. It is chock full this year, in fact I think more tomatoes will go in the Secret Garden than the 2 cherry plants I put there last year. In the cut flower quadrant Im planning to eliminate all the rudbeckia hirta seedlings. Last year they took over. They are a nice cut flower but good grief! So far Ive planted 3 kinds of zinnias in that area, Ive got a couple of rows of asiatic lilies and I plan to add some of the ws plants. Several of the varieties of zinnias will go in the gardens as well. They make a great cut flower also.

Cindy, your garden looks so interesting, so many things to see. The potting bench is great.

Cindy mentioned c. Arabella Im so excited to see at least 2 of my cuttings came back strong this year. Im planning on trying both as a cascading ground cover. The name sedum Sea Urchin even sounds cool. I really like sedums. I was just reading the article in Country Gardens last night hopefully I will be inspired. Im a little intimidated to try the tuffa and not sure why. I need Saucy for a class.

Eden, how fun that Jenni is interesting in gardening and that it can be a family effort. I was encouraged this winter when we went to the garden in Florida that my DD took such an interest in the plants and was even taking close-up pictures.

Deanne, great news on the painting sales.

PM, thanks for asking about DH, it is looking pretty nasty yet. Kenzie told me shes coming in August, although I havent hear any specific dates. You mentioned obelisks. I would love more nice tall ones. So many you can buy are so short.

Julie, that green tea is really supposed to be good for you. I drink it daily.

bug, you sure are sneaky with your hint of pink. My DD never wanted to dress Kenzie very girly either. She has more of an Old Navy type of taste. Now Kenzie has an opinion and she likes dressing like a princess.

Id best go out and use some fishing string to tie down the finch feeder before those poor buggers get sick.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This is from another forum, but I thought you gardeners might also enjoy this woman's day:

Yesterday I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off - usual behavior for any Mom - and we stopped off at home for a quick lunch before I had to go run more errands. I get my 2 y.o. out of the carseat and say, "Okay, lets get inside for a diaper change and some lunch," and she says, "Mommy, I want to pick lellow fower." So, exasperatedly, I say, "Okay, pick a flower." So she picks a weedy, dandelion flower. Okay, great, let's get inside 'cause you have a nap coming up and I gotta get things done.

Then, she says, "Mama, I sit on da gwass."
"No honey, we have to go inside."
"Peez Mama, sit on da gwass?"
"No baby, we have to change your diaper and eat lunch."
"Mama, sit on da gwass?"

So I think to myself I can take a minute and sit on the grass with my sweet, little girl, or I can sweep her up the stairs screaming and shove some cheese in front of her... which would it be?

I sit down on the grass.

She says, "See da bird?"
"Yes, I see the bird."
"See da green leaves?"
"Yes, I see the green leaves on the trees."
"See da blue sky?"
"Yes, isn't it pretty?
"So pwetty!"
"Yes, sweetheart, it is so pretty."

So we end up sitting out on the front lawn of our house together for about 15 minutes, just enjoying the beautiful, sunny day and the cool breeze. It was so quiet and peaceful... We probably looked like we were locked out of our house, but who cares?

We talked about the wind and the sound of rustling leaves and how nice the sun felt. Then she said,
"It's just you and me, Mama."
"Yes, it's just you and me, sweetie."

The things we learn from our children. My toddler taught me to remember to slow down and enjoy the pretty day. The pretty birds, the pretty green leaves and to sit on the grass for a few minutes here and there.

This is a moment with my child that I will remember always.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:22PM
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PM - I'm not sure I mentioned but Clousseau's blood work came back with nothing out of order. This is certainly. good news, but something like a tumor might not show at this stage. As everything looked good our vet suggested a wait and see approach to determine if his weight is still dropping before undertaking more tests. This is fine by me - Clousseau is back to being himself and readily stealing anything he can get his snout on.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:41PM
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What a sweet story Marie. It's true, there's no better way to spend time than with a child. I remember when my mom passed away we had a day, a Sunday, between the viewing on Saturday and the funeral on Monday. My parents live on Lake Huron and Brad an I took Bella down to the beach and spent hours playing with her and watching her play. No toys, nothing but the sand, water, and some sticks and stones. Just being in nature. Watching her running back and forth chasing the waves coming in and digging in the sand. That was a more healing experience for me than anything else during that time, seeing things through a child's eyes.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:49PM
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I'm reading and looking and apreciating all the posts and pictures, but words just aren't flowing from my brain to my fingertips.
I'm staying busy outside. I'll be back. Norma

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 9:52PM
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Hello my friends, a pleasant Tuesday evening to all. The Grosbeak is at the feeder with my pair of doves (I think of them as mine- I support them right? Food and board) and I have named the Grosbeak Bill. Seems to suit him. If Chelone can name her stove, I can name the birds , lol !

Home from the awfice today I entered the back garden and saw that the dying Magnolia of the back neighbor has been cut down. I have a new micro-climate, just like that ! A couple of weeks of observation will be needed before I start changing things, and I think it is mostly a positive thing- the casualty might be my variegated lace cap Hydrangea. I might try to move it, but its a mature (10 years) shrub and my moving technique is definitely on the meatball surgery side.

Cindy, its fabu to see more views of your garden. I love your potting bench, and it looks way tidier than mine at the moment. I also like the half-baskets on the gate.

Marian, you sure have made some great bargain basement plant purchases this spring. Cant wait to see how the Caladiums turn out.

Eden, has there been an executive decision on the color of the conservatory yet? Lovely story of the day on Lake Huron. :-)

Deanne, I would say that I am pruning down the roses about 25% , depending on the variety and its growth habit. Out here in zone 9 our winter pruning is typically pretty light. I have roses that are still waist high when pruned. After the first flush instead of deadheading to the first outward facing 5 leaflet leaf, I cut to create a mounded shape that is unobtrusive . I still always cut at an outward facing node though. I will sometimes cut off non-faded branches in the interest of creating a balanced re-bloom. (they come in and get put in a vase.) Right now the Delphiniums, Daylilies, Nepeta, and some of the Salvias are budded and blooming so the roses can lay low while they build their second flush.

Michelle, it sounds like our heat wave moved out of here and bee-bopped over to Iowa . Sure glad ours was only a two day thing. Its coming to the time of year when we have the famous west coast marine layer a June pattern here.. The plants love it.

Chelone, do you know we have yet to see one single photo of the tables ? Whats up with that ?

PM, I am having a great time with the camera . Who knows how many photos Ill end up with over the three day weekend. I was thinking about going to UC Berkeley botanical gardens this weekend but I think Ill stay home and get all my planting and mulching done (maybe even clean some bathrooms) and go to Berkeley when I take a full week off early next month.

Time to queue up the ballgame---later friends !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:12PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, Hydrangeas root easily. I put cuttings in the soil in my cold frame, and they always root.I am sure it would work just as well if you put them in pots, and kept them moist.

Re: the caladiums...I am looking forward to how many differant colors of caladiums that grow. It is supposed to be a mixture.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:41PM
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Today was a little better than yesterday. I was frustrated with the weeds, thinking how every spring I spend the first few weeks picking out the evil interlopers. Then I read chelone's post, and in her infinite wisdom proclaimed she will learn to live with some weeds. So, I will try to adopt that approach. We'll see. I had DGS today. I gave him the option of a visit to the zoo or Borders. He chose the latter, but maybe I was sending out subliminal messages to choose that one. hehe. I get a zoo pass every year, so quick visits are great, and we can go anytime. We stopped for plants after Borders, and I picked up two small hydrangea "QuickFires', three phlox subulata, three salvia nemorosa 'Marcus' and a veronica 'Royal Candles.'He takes an interest in plants, and I'm encouraging it big time.

michelle...Can't believe your weather! It's moving east? I hope it passes me by, because I'm loving the slightly breezy mild temps we're having right now. With all the rain in the past month, and some areas still pretty damp, you'd think nothing in the ground would have to be watered. But I just noticed an hour ago my canadian ginger drooping. Probably the only dry spot in the whole garden.

kathy...I work in a salon, owned by my sister. I try never to do it at home...can't stand the hair all over.

Chelone...An up-down do is what most of the prom goers want lately. It's just a curly style with the sides pulled back. Hundreds of ways to accomplish that. The time consuming part is ironing the entire head in curls first. I don't like updos, color is more my passion. LOL on the hair holding up to the backseat romps. With the amount of hairspray we need to use, it would stand up to EL Nino!

V...meant to tell you I like the fothergilla/tulip combo. I have two dwarf fothergillas and plan to add more.

deanne...Great news on the paintings selling so fast. More money for plants, and more pictures for us. :)

bug...does baby have her name yet? Love the story on slowing down. Good reminder for when life gets bogged down with unimportant details.

eden...I loved hearing your story on how you shared that weekend with Kenzie at the beach. Just watching her "be"! Kids are delightful in so many ways. Having DGC is like having a second chance to get it right. How nice of you and DH to help jen out in the garden. Take lots of pics.

cindy...loving your garden. I have a feeling all those pots will be full soon. That side yard is so peaceful looking. A perfect spot for WALATing or SALATing.

I took some more photos of the garden, and will share as soon as I can get them downloaded.

Time to watch DWTS. It's the finale.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 10:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, I'm all for Bill Grosbeak. Here we have Carl & Carlotta. (cardinals- we're all for alliteration!)

I don't know who I'll blame for the weather that's moving eastward here, but we are expecting 30C (86F) for the next few days. After having frost this comes as a surprise. I wish we'd have some in-between weather. The black flies are horrendous. I have friends who want to come paint scenery here but who are deterred by the insects.

It seems that baby Girl's name has not been top priority. Soon she will need a passport and I imagine a name will be necessary? DD was thinking they might need to put names in a hat...It is pretty serious when government offices phone and start suggesting names so they can fill in the blanks on forms!!! Baby now weighs in at 7lb 15oz...a big gain from 7lb 3oz at birth 16 days ago.

My new knitting is moving ahead fast as my schedule is freed up with DH away. This morning the farm equipment service department sent a guy here to repair the mower once again. This time the mowing deck was falling off. How that happened I don't know but it took about 10 seconds to attach and things are all set to go again.

OK, time for some sleep...I hope! Otherwise I'll be yawning in the dawning.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:10AM
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'bug are Carl and Carlotta identifiable ? Or generic ?
Hoping Ms. Pink gets a name soon-DD took about a week to name Aiden. Do we have parental dissagreement on the name or is it more in the mode of developing personality and then namimg appropriate to same ?

My weather went to Michelles house and now its landing at The Farm.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 12:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Early morning hello....*yawn* I fell asleep with the TV on and woke up when I turned over and the remote hit the floor. I never saw the end of DWTS and now I don't know who won. lol AND I'm wide awake now. And hungry. At least there was a bunch of posts to read. :-)

Our weather seems to be pretty good this spring. Not too hot, not too cold. Not too much rain, almost not too little, but that last storm did a good job of catching me up. We worked on the rock edge again last night for an hour and made some progress. I'm working at accepting less than perfect. [g] I have about 60 plants sitting around waiting to go in the ground so I really need to finish that rock edge and get going. I'm hoping to work on containers this weekend after we finish the rock edge and the border is backfilled. That leaves all the weeding and laying mulch for another weekend. I would have loved to have it all finished by Memorial Day, but I've yet to do that any year.'ve had your share of miserable weather. For a change I've gotten my tomatoes in early with Wall of Waters and they are doing great. Already putting out new growth. It was 38 on the back porch this morning but they were fine. But I do only have four tomato plants. [g] I had Rudbeckia hirta in my front garden years ago and in three years it had overtaken everything else in the bed. I ripped it out and disposed of it. I have had luck with Rudbeckia 'Indian Summer' It does not run but reseeds gently. ....I am sure it will be good for Kenzie to be away from Florida in August and the Secret Garden should be full by then. :-).... DH really did a job on that finger I guess. Maybe another week will make a big difference. are amazing, the trips you take for plants. I would love to do that and should actually try to do more of it. It sounds like fun. Thanks for the encouragement for the fuchsias and begonias. :-)

Eden....Jenni's house is the white house that you were working on the garden when she first moved in? I hope to see photo updates. ....I always loved having little ones around. It's the next best thing to being a kid again. How is your Dad doing btw? Are you seeing him more often?

Cindy....what a cute potting area you have. I like that head on the top shelf. [g] Very pretty Clematis too!

Marian...Are those pie plates on string around your front bed? How is that working so far? All those caladiums....will have to see a photo when those start coming up.

Gardenbug....very sweet story and very true about children helping to slow us down. .... I suddenly am wondering if missing baby name has some significance? Some mental block. Poor parents. Poor little girl with no name. [g] We had names chosen for both boys beforehand, but DD's name was decided in the delivery room. We had it narrowed down to two names and it was finally determined by her hair color. [g] But basically, I ended up giving up my choice and letting DH have his. I'm very happy that I did, too. If they could get it to two names, they could flip a coin. :-)

Mary...I'm glad to hear Clousseau is more like himself. Since he is back to stealing, it must be a good sign. I still remember the tomato sauce all over the kitchen. [g] That was Clousseau wasn't it?

Kathy...enjoyed your very upbeat post and smiled often while reading it. :-) Photos of the new microclimate? Kitty photos too. .... I am going to drag out the bag of alfalfa pellets this weekend. I was reading about making alfalfa tea over on the Organic Gardening forum and I'm not thinking I am going to make a smelly mess with I'm afraid to lay it on the top of the ground for fear of attracting rabbits but I thought maybe under some mulch or work it into the top few inches of soil? How do you use yours?

I was thinking maybe it was time Chelone named her camera. Maybe then we'd get more photos. [g]

Anita....I've eyed that Salvia 'Marcus' for awhile. Will be interested to hear how it does for you.

Waving to Norma and Denise. :-)

Does anyone ever hear from Ei?

Still wide awake. I see a nap in my day.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 3:58AM
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I've only had time to quickly skim this morning. But copious amounts of hairspray to withstand El Nino made me lol, shattering the pre-dawn silence. :)

Great story about the kid, 'bug. Slowing down, taking and MAKING time is how the process of "idiot-proofing" kids begins. That's what encourages thinking and that's the basis of safety for a lifetime. ;) The helpmeet and I are devotees of "life in the slow lane". Or maybe we're just lazy.

Two benches are complete this morning, the third is a casualty of carelessness on the part of the helpmeet. He assured me he had it all "figgered out" and boldly screwed through the cleat into the melamine without drilling a pilot hole. And then he did exactly what I begged him not to do... he torqued down on the screw forcing the tip of it through the melamine on the top, leaving a crater. I went through the roof after he casually told me "it will be easy for you to fill". It was the perfect ending to what had been a dreadful day at the awfice. The top will be replaced, the ruined melamine set aside for use on another smaller bench, and next time maybe he'll listen a little more closely. Or maybe not. ;) They look great.

As to pictures, I still have to find the service pack for the camera's software that jives with this computer and then get it into the computer without all the attendant crap they sneak in with it. I don't know how to do that and can't be bothered to learn right now. But I'd better get cracking on it as there are probably over 200 pictures on the card that is presently in the camera!

I have to go now. This is crunch week, tensions are running high, and there is more snapping, sniping, and exasperation than I'm really willing to endure so I'm counting the days until Friday. Chaos tends to breed tension and creative solutions to mitigate it are not valued. Everyone must be unhappy and "put in their place", that's why they call it "work", right? I'm working double time to remind myself that all the drama is actually there for my amusement. But I can't wait to get home. I suppose I could always tell her pound sand (I've done it before), but that probably wouldn't be very productive, or particularly helpful, huh?

Have some fun for me today, willya?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 5:39AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! I had an excellent night's sleep and actually feel up to posting this morning. It finally was nice enough to sleep with the door to the screened porch open, so I fell asleep to the sound of toads trilling and tree frogs calling, and woke up to the sounds of the birds.

Things at the awfice are slightly better this week. The tension of last week is dissipating ever so slowly.

We had quite a scare with Sunrise yesterday; about mid morning she tried to get up and couldn't walk. DH took her in to the vet's office, and it turned out she had an inner ear inflammation that older dogs can get for no reason. After reading about it, I realize that's why she wouldn't eat a few days ago. She's already doing much better.

I'll wave to everyone. Hope you have a great day.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 7:01AM
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Marian...tell me more about hydrangea cuttings. When do you take them, and how long before they can take up permanent residence in the garden? How's the caladiums doing? It sounds like it will be beautiful when they're full.

chelone...when will the men in our lives learn that we're smarter than them, and it would make life so much easier if they would just listen to us?!! LOL! Too bad about the bad vibes in the awfice lately. Are you planning to go into business for yourself? Is that what the salon is for? How wonderful for you if it is.

v...poor sunrise...glad you caught the infection in time. If only dogs could talk!

Off to do laundry before work. It's going to be a beautiful day out there, and I'll be inside. I need to bring the sunshine in somehow.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Anita, right now would be fine for taking cuttings from your hydrangea. You want to use cuttings that are about 6-8 inches long. Cut just below a joint. Strip the lower leaves off. Stick at least 3 inches into the soil. The remaining leaves will most likely wilt at first. If they are large leaves, you can cut about half of the leaf off. They should be well rooted and ready for either planting into pots/larger pots to grow larger, or set out where you want them. I usually pot mine up and grow them on for a year or two.

I just planted the caladiums into pots yesterday. So, it will be a while before I see much growth from them :-)


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, Carl & Carlotta are generic because they were called that when we lived in Toronto as well. Our Great Blue Herons are all Frank. ..because their screech is a loud Fraaaank!!!! (Before we got to know the sound they were referred to as GB for George Bernard Heron.

Honestly, I don't read anything much into the long naming period for Baby Girl. Just a matter of getting around to it and making a decision. Lots going on there. Baby is well loved, no worries there. Skyler is a better helper now that he is two years older. Yesterday he was allowed to hold her and walk around indoors with her. He asks if he is holding her properly just to make sure. Very sweet. On the phone, I asked Skyler if a decision on a name had been made yet. I LOL at his reply: "Capital 'N' Capital 'O', exclamation mark! SEND!"

While up at the North Country Fair Skyler was asked to help paint the slide for the playground. (oil based paint) No one ever gave him instruction, so he and another kid were busy making a terrible mess of things with bright red paint. Finally DD decided to give him instructions and he began to do much better. Odd how I never was taught how to paint, but I guess some folks need to have instruction! The other kid whined and said he couldn't learn because "I have a lot of anger". Oh brother. DD told him he was making excuses and he had to learn along with Skyler. He did improve a bit, but no one ever tells these kids that they are doing things wrong or poorly. Teachers and parents seem to often say "Good try Johnny" even when things are very sloppily done. Sigh.

Today was the first day here for lilacs. How nice too! Very hot out with bugs, but while getting gas for the mower and doing banking I was lured over to the nursery where I found an obelisk and some great foxgloves(orange), a goatsbeard, a gaura, a delphinium and a pink lupine. Tea with a friend under a tree was a real treat!

I made a Wheat berry salad for the first time. I've enjoyed it from the deli before. Nice lunch! Full of dried cranberries, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Yum.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 3:27PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gee Gardenbug, composing posts in the middle of the night is dangerous. Of course, Baby Girl is very well loved and I never thought any different. I guess they must be getting it from all sides about no name yet. Sorry, sometimes I open my mouth before I engage my brain. :-)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 4:43PM
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Well, V.'s post about sleeping with the door to the porch open reminded me that I'd better fetch the screens from the attic. Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be quite warm, hot even, and the mosquitos are beginning to make their presence felt. MIchelle's warmth is due in some time tonight, I noticed the air beginning to change as the afternoon wore on.

I had to laugh at your description of the finches getting the ride of their lives as they tried to eat; conjured terrific images. :) You must really get socked with wind as it's open where you live. It's not so much like that here, with the rocky and more rolling terrain blocking much of it. Of course if you go out on the water, it's a very different story! And I smile at the thought that Kenzie has decided, all on her own, that she is going to be a "girlie-girl", lol.

Today was not appreciably different at work, but it was OK. I just tuned it out and concentrated on the work in front of me. I have my marching orders for the morning and that's just fine with me. Two days until the weekend. No immediate plans to make any drastic moves to self-employment but I can read the writing on the wall and know that the only certainty is change, so it's best to have a plan BEFORE so the transition isn't too stressful. Besides, I happen to love what I do for a living and have a ton of "projects" that I've wanted to do for years now but haven't had a place to really set up to do them. The Lab. is fine for clothing, and smaller drapery and cushion work jobs, but I can't really rip down upholstery with ease or work on floorcloths in there.

I have not been very successful with the solid surface countertop for the bathroom, so that project has been stalled for some time. I was again disappointed this afternoon, returning home feeling sort of defeated by everything in general. I beat up on the dog for awhile and then turned my attention to some weeding. It was a profitable way to while away the remainder for the afternoon. I am now reminded that we need to get some mulch pretty soon or all my thoroughness will be for naught. ;) The area I worked on Monday has become the world's largest catbox, lol.

Cindy, your garden is so pretty. The clematis are super and I chuckled at the comment that you keep them confused. I noticed what I think is a hose container, unless you keep cobras in it, I've always thought those were clever storage ideas. Fear not, I'm not naive enough to believe that the world is bereft of dangers for kids, but neither do I agree that things that dysfunctional families, drugs, booze, molesters are late 20th. century phenomena. ALL those things have been around for time immemorial. What I liked most about the Worst Mommy's approach was that she refused to be persuaded that it was MORE prevalent now than in the past. I've encountered a perv. before, too. Threw rocks at him. ;) My friend had better aim, she nailed him. How's Chloe doin' these days, got her feeding times all squared away?

Marian, I'm impressed with the way you've accessorized your garden. I hope the deer are appreciative and respectful. I've found Hydrangeas very easy to root, too. Only thing is, I've never actually INDENDED to do it. And this is the year I have to seperate them from the "mother plant" and move them to new locations. Can't wait to see the Caladium assortment you'll have this summer.

OK, I'm all in and have to recruit the helpmeet to receive the lowered screens. Nighty-night.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 7:37PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Not one of my better days. I got only about 4 hours of sleep last night. I layed there and 'planted' things over and over in my mind...:-( I finally got up and took an antihistamine, and was asleep in no time. Whether the pill did it, or if I just finally tuned out my thoughts, I don't know.
Anyway, I have been bushed all day.
I went to another funeral, this time for the 100+ lady that I went to her 100th birthday party last September. She had planned out her entire services, and it included congregational singing. My closest friend called, and e-mailed, that I needed to be there. There was a good turnout.
I probably shouldn't have driven today, but, thank goodness, I did no harm, either to myself, or anyone else.

I did a little needed shopping, which did not include more plants. LOL
I got home too late for my afternoon nap, but layed down on the couch during Jeopardy, and dozed off briefly. I think an early bedtime is needed. :-)

I am too brain dead to make many comments, but I too got a big kick out of the wind blown finches on the feeder, espacially the last sentence about " before the poor buggers get sick" LOL. That was a good one , Michelle.

Good night all...


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 9:53PM
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Only 2 awfice days left , nice weather is holding steady, and I continue to make lists of what I want to get done this weekend. If I accomplish half of it Ill be happy ! On my WALAT today I noted how well my Amaranth viridis is doing. I planted them in various locations and they are growing fast- Ill get a pic this weekend. The Zinnias all look ragged, snails have had their way with them.They need to put on some height so that the ground level crappy foliage is invisible. My Celosia spicata Flamingo Feather is still in the 6 pack and has basically stopped growing. Im going to plant them out this weekend even though they are only about a half an inch tall. Well see how they fare against the elements.Sink or swim. Also on the agenda is the removal/eradication of the lovely but rampant Salvia Argentinean Skies. Its just horrendously invasive. Ive been chipping away at it every evening this week and I have almost all of it out.

Marian, thanks for the heads up on Hydrangea cuttings. Thats a great idea, and I will take a couple this weekend.

Weeding is an excellent stress reliever here at the Kathy House , particularly as I have no dog to kick. There are neighbor dogs, but not everyone can appreciate the value of corporal punishment . Youve accomplished a lot Chelone ! Defeat does not belong in your vocabulary IMHO. Viva la Compound !

V, glad your canine woes were short lived. Did I say how much I liked your white garden pic ? I hope you will take the fancy camera out and provide us with more shots as the seasons progress.(In between weddings, the awfice, and all the other stuff you have going on )

PM, Ill get some pics this weekend of the treeless area. Rabbits are not an issue here , and I use alfalfa meal in any case which is kind of like dried thyme in its consistency. The meal is marketed through horticultural channels and is way more expensive than the pellets, but since I have my employee discount and a small garden the cost is not a problem. I buy one box a year and use it all in March . After that I switch to Dr Earth.

Heres a pic:

I am really looking forward to this combo when the Trachelium starts blooming . It will insert purple right into the middle of the scene , which should look very cool. From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 10:55PM
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The garden much like life is full of disappointments. The 90+ temps and strong winds for 2 days have really taken a toll on a few plants. Mind you most seem to handle it well. All the lovely tulips are decimated along with the Thalia daffolils which were so thick this year. The ligularia and a few sedum Matrona are pathetic. Actually its interesting how some things fare so well and others not.

I ran around tonight in the near dark watering newly planted, divided or moved plants. The wind had let up a little and I could actually stand to be out in it.

Locally there was a huge fire last night that took a barn full of sheep and a machine shed. The fire trucks were called back twice. I'm sure it was extremely hard to fight with the wind.

Tomorrow will be better I'm sure.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:02PM
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A long, but successful, day at work, baked Atlantic Salmon for dinner, and now the Idylls. Does life get better than this? LOL. Hearing about all this wind, and it's plant victims, makes me glad it passed me by. It was still 80F out at 8:30 pm. Beautiful day, but one spent inside. Hope Michelle's plants will recover. I LOL at the bird feeder story, too. How awful about the fire. I feel so bad for those sheep.

Marian...thanks for the hydrangea cuttings tip. Sounds easy enough, and a great way to get all the H. 'Limelights' I want. I'm going to try layering, too. I'm sorry to hear of the passing of your friend. I remember you talking about her 100th birthday last fall. Hope you get a good night's sleep tonight.

chelone...only good things can come to you regarding moving from the awfice to the Salon. You've poured your heart into building it and it will reward you for sure. Can't wait to hear about all the projects you challenge yourself with. I'm impressed with people who sew, something I could never quite get a handle on. My Singer has been collecting dust in the garage for the past nine years, but I just can't get rid of it yet. that photo. I had to look up trachelium, as usual with your plants I'm not familiar with it. It reminds me of a miniature joe pye weed. It will look great against the yellow. Is that a perennial for your zone? nice to hear that Skylar is enjoying his baby sister so much. Two years does make a big difference in maturity level, and in his appreciation of sharing parent's attention. I know what you mean about coddling kids, as in the comment Skylar's friend made. I doubt he came up with the anger excuse all on his own.

How's sue? I hope she'll be here with a TGIF post.

'Nite all,

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:35PM
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Happy Birthday Cindy ! From Ruth Bancroft Garden May 2009

Hope those awfice people take you out to a very nice lunch, and let you bail out at one !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 12:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry about your day. I'm not used to your being in a down mood! The fire sounds ghastly! I just love barns and it makes me so sad when they are left to fall to pieces or burn down.
We continued to have wind and heat today. Tomorrow I expect more of the same. The black flies are horrendous and even Phoebe prefers to be indoors!
I managed to fill 3 containers with coleus etc, and plant 2-3 things, but there are more things to plant out and many weeds to deal with yet. I just can't handle those bugs! I also need to do major work on the raspberries which are taking over beds and pathways these days.
I think tomorrow will be a hose day....
Tonight (midnight) the farmers are still out in the fields with their machinery lights on. Then tomorrow they have their day jobs too. What a busy time of year for them!

Hope Marian is asleep!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 12:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The Swallows are back!

Happy Birthday Cindy!!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 12:42AM
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Happy Birthday, Cindy. (will have to scare up a shot of something later today).

I've overslept again and had to shovel in the Cheerios while Vera tried to get her head in the bowl for the dregs of milk. It's one of our special activities. :)

I managed to forget all about Sunrise's woes, but it's always nice to know troubling things like that are so easily remedied. Ditto for Clousseau and the policy of just keeping an eye on things for a time.

Screens are in the windows and the birds are trilling up a storm outside them. 'bug the Swallows must be having a field day with all the bugs; they really are handsome birds. We have some blackflies but not the clouds of them I recall from my childhood, I don't envy you one bit. I think they are oftentimes more difficult to endure than mosquitos. The painting story is pretty funny, but typical. I don't understand why people are so reluctant to tell a kid their work, well... just plain sucks and they need to do better. Good for DD! The prevailing notion that "little spirits will be crushed forever" is simply foolish. Having "your spirit crushed" periodically is not the end of the world, in fact it builds character and often yields a better result. Sad that no one bothered to show them the the basics of painting (grainline, how to avoid drips and "sags", etc.). And explain that oil-based paint will adhere to everything for rather a long time so some care in applying it makes cleaning up the trail a helluva lot easier, lol. (as me how I know this).

Marian, I remember the birthday party for your friend. I like that she had her funeral all planned out and I hope it was what so many aren't, a celebration of a life long and well lived!

OK, gotta saddle up and swing into the saddle for another day on the trail. As the week winds down before a holiday weekend the tension tends to increase and there could be fireworks today, as it will be hot, too. I'm wearing short sleeves and sandals today, but no shorts as I was too tired to get the alabaster gams shaved and I'm too vain to do the arachnid leg thing.

It's my hope to replandish the windowbox soil this afternoon in preparation for planting on Friday/Saturday morning. It will be an excrutiatingly traditional assortment, to guarantee everyone's camping experience.

T minus 9 hrs. and counting! Be brilliant my friends.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 5:30AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy birthday, Cindy - Ruffled Patty is opening in your honor!


    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 6:55AM
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Cindy...Hope your day is fantastic in every way. Enjoy it! No flower photos yet, but thought you'd enjoy this...

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 11:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O my - just on this thread - 3 of my very favorites -- agaves that look to be from under the ocean, a poppy to die for (and lust for... Im never going to get the durned things to flourish), and of course.... a precious photo of the best kind of dawg in the world (& no it's not a stuff animal, LOL)...

Thanks so much idylls!


    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 3:42PM
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