Idyll #266 Here Comes The Sun

lmcilhargieMay 18, 2006

OK Babs? Let's hope this title works as well as the last one did...


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Good Evening, I know it's been raining too much because my house is clean and that never happens at this time of year. I'm supposed to be outside gardening. I received the last of my plant orders today. I have plants stuffed everywhere, waiting for this cold weather to go away. It's supposed to get down in the low 40s tonight and is raining now.

Taryn, I'd probably take the offer if it was for an acceptable amount. That's me though, I'm not very adventurous about that kind of stuff, not much of a risk taker. I know you'll make the right decision. So sorry to hear about Bruce. You're a good and true friend.

Deanne, oh no, not the coleus! I got my Rosy Dawn order yesterday. I can send you any of the ones I have as soon as they're big enough to take cuttings. Let me know. I decided after the wet and cool spring we had last year that I would hold off on planting containers until later in the season this year.

Michelle, so nice seeing the picture of you and Kenzie. She does look like she's getting tall. You look more like you would be her mom that her grandma.

Hi Yeona, been missing you. And you too Barb. And Wendy's back! Good to hear from all of you!

Thanks, for the responses to my pruning question Michelle, V and Cindy. I think I'm going to try it.

Marian, great news that you will again have an oven. That will make things a little easier for you. Hope you're feeling ok.

I'm going to have to end this. Bella has worn me out yet again today. I'm going to go veg out in front of the tv until Meg gets here, hopefully in the next 1/2 hour, and then I'm off to bed. Later,


    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 8:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good evening all!

Eden, I am fine! I feel as though I have been given a new lease on life. I got the laser surgery on my right eye this morning, and I am amazed at the differance in how everything looks! It is astounding....the sharpness of everything.

The nurse that took my BP was really upset at how high it was. After the surgery she took it again, and it was even higher! 200+ 0ver 100+ !!!! She had me set awhile,and went and got another nurse. It had gone back down to the first reading, but they both lectured me thoroughly on the dangers of it being so high. The first nurse said that it was in the range of a stroke. She filled out a report and had me promise that I would get medical treatment. She had me sign the promise. I went directly to my medical Dr., She prescribed 2 meds at my suggestion, one for anxiety, and one for the high BP.

I have to return to the eye dr in the morning to have the pressure checked in the eye.

I still haven't got it cleaned out behind my old range. Too many other irons in the fire. Saturday I want to go to an auction sale and see if the refrigerator that's listed will fit my needs. It is a 2 family sale, at 2 homes 100 yards apart. It is one of our church member's parent's and grandmother's stuff. The mother died awhile back, and then the grandmother died. The father is moving to town. She says the refrigerator is in very good condition. We'll see what is bid on it.

My new range should be coming next week. Who-ever thought I was already using it was premature...:-) I can't read the last thread this afternoon. It won't load. I do remember that Honey cautioned me about burning everything. It will be the other way around. The old range's thermostat is hay-wire, and it burned everything! I will retire the roaster oven until Thanksgiving...:-) It is great for turkey.

Our April temps are a thing of the past, and tommorrow we will start a string of summer temps....from one extreme to another!

I got three containers planted yesterday. The long one that I had the dark coleus, begonias, and hypostes in last year have a similar arrangement this year, only differant colored begonias and hypostes; mOre reds this time. The brug from Deanne is in a large pot with marigolds and pansies at it's base. I've still got gobs of plants to put in combos, including all the coleus.

I've *got* to get another computer! This one keeps growling at me !


    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 9:15PM
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I was on the garage roof tonight (that sounds like its something that I do often LOL) and brought the camera with me. Here is an aerial view of my perennial garden and patio. I love spring, everything is so fresh and new.

This is looking towards the raised rock garden and beyond to our pasture and fields. It is such a challenge to take pictures without farm equipment in the way, but you get the idea what its really like here. LOL

Have a good night

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 11:04PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Well I can't believe I am up posting at this hour, but I can't sleep or even lay down at the moment because I have a monster migraine. I hate migraines. This is a bad one for me, worse than usual. Hopefully in a while I will just be exhausted and can go sleep it off.

Took the cat back in for his checkup today. He's still dizzy and the vet said the infection in his ear is in the inner ear, and affecting his balance. Put him on another round of antibiotics, a different one, for 10 days this time. I gave him his first dose a bit ago and he hates it worse than the other stuff. This one must really taste bad, he gagged horribly and then several times more after getting it down. It's going to be a lovely 10 days.

Still raining here - night before last we had 4 inches, and rained off and on all day today. Squishy yard. I guess when I feel like getting out, the weeds will just slide right out of the ground.

Taryn, I don't know what to tell you about the house. I hate moving and hope I don't ever do it again. I'm sorry about Bruce, I know Gigi appreciates all that you are doing for her. A sign of a true good friend - there are not many people we can count on like that.

Thinking of you all. Maybe I will feel human tomorrow.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 2:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Michelle you have a lovely spot of "heaven"  and your gardens are just right for their locations  beautiful  thanks for daring the "eagle eye" shots a la Deanne  you guys are intrepid!

Suzy  sorry to hear about your migraine  they can be horrible  I suffer myself  usually I just want someone to chop my head off but havent found that remedy yet...the meds make one feel terribly sleepy, etc., donÂt they?

Taryn  re your house  you are getting good advice from the idylls  Sue put it well, I think  you really should consider any offer seriously  I imagine you could still hold the open house to uphold that obligation couldnÂt you?

I do believe this tytle may work  weÂre supposed to have 2 wonderful days this weekend of sun and 70ish weather  I am champing at the bit to get out and do some real work  got lots to deadhead, clematis to tie up and things to move.

IÂve even got Asiatic lilies budding & coloring up  IÂve never had them bloom this early!! It should be very interesting to see what they are. Then itÂs onto the containers to start. So  bring on the sun to all!!!!!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:06AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Posted by: vtskiers z6a CentralCT (My Page) on Fri, May 19, 06 at 8:46


Well I have the day off and it's raining here again. Oh well, that won't keep me out of the nurseries.

Last night Monique, Les, Tom and I had a delicious dinner at the Pond House Cafe. The weather was gorgeous so we were able to eat outside on the patio. After dinner Monique, Les and I went to the CHS meeting to hear Tony Avent speak. As you might imagine if you've seen the Plant Delights catalog, he's an entertaining character. I now have a list of new plants on my "must have" list.

Gotta run but I just wanted to offer my non professional opinion to Taryn. Most real estate people will tell you that an open house doesn't usually generate offers. Your house has been on the market for quite some time. My guess is any serious buyers are working with agents and are familiar with the inventory in their market and are already aware of your house-especially if it's been listed in MLS. You may want to stall the couple who are currently interested but be careful that you don't lose them because you may not end up with a handful of multiple offers after the open date. Just my opinion.

Later folks!!


Good Morning Idylls!

Sue Hope you don't mind, but we couldn't be TIGF-less! Sorry I couldn't copy your colorful TGIF! :-) Have to run right now, but be back to post in a couple of hours....Ei

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:27AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

LOL...that's TGIF-less! Ei

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:29AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Quickie to say thank you all for the advice! After debating the pros and cons last night we decided honesty is the best policy and emailed the couple late last night:

"Dear XXX,
Got your phone message earlier and we are absolutely
*THRILLED* you would like to put an offer in on our
home! We had hoped you were "the ones" when we met
last Friday, and feel you will cherish this home as we

Sorry to have taken so long to respond. We have a
dear friend in Georgetown who is in the final stages
of brain cancer and we've been consumed with that
since Saturday. We have both been taking turns going
to visit them, and expect to continue that for a
while. So Glenn and I haven't had a chance to discuss
this yet, though of course he listened to your message
and is excited as well.

I've had requests for more photos of our house, so
took some and put them on a link like the home
inspection. So here are a bunch of photos you can
show the boys, and they will also give you a better
sense of the back yard in daylight:

We have a busy long weekend ahead, with our Georgetown
friends uppermost in our minds and plans, but hope we
can set something up with you next week some time.
What is your schedule like? Very much looking forward
to getting together...

Best Regards,


So we are hoping that we can set it up late enough next week, Saturday preferably, that it overlaps our previous commitment with the feature and the open house. We can't in all fairness back out of that now that the deal is done and the reporter has come and done the work. We've had 3 deals fall apart, so while we are hoping this is *the one* we don't want to be limited to just this one in case it falls through, not with the exposure the feature will bring us, especially from out of town buyers. Open houses with a sign at the end of the street don't bring a lot of people, but the feature should generate a lot more traffic than usual. Thanks everyone for the advice!

Ei that was just absolutely the most wonderful poem and pictorial! Thank you so much for sharing those lovely sentiments, so true! Love wee Paul and your family and garden photos~~Hi Scout!

Deanne, if the coleus aren't completely dead I would think they would recover. They definitely do not like to be below about 55F. Hope there's hope for them...

Yay, Marian got a new range! I predict well-cooked pies and turkey on future menus!

Michelle I love the bird's eye views of your garden! Everything looks luscious!

Eden, your idyll tidyll is working for me! Supposed to rain today and the next three days (figures, first long weekend of the season!) but the sun is shining, though it's cool and they're still calling for rain later. On that note, gotta go plant some impatiens in the bare spots around the greenhouse. (Shhh, the future owners don't need to know that Hellebores used to reside there!)

Happy Friday!


P.S. Thanks for the continued good thoughts for Bruce. He's coming home this weekend, at least for a trial. Will take turns with Glenn visiting, and have set up an email campaign with our friends so we can all rotate and keep him company and give Gigi a break...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:51AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well, this is just the strangest thing, I see you guys were posting to this last evening but I opened up the forum this AM and this thread was NOT here which is why I posted on the last thread. Very strange indeed.

It is absolutely pouring buckets outside at the moment. It isn't supposed to last too long though. I'm thinking of zipping out to a little nursery out in Milford and see what they have for annuals in their greenhouse, you know, to replace a couple things I lost. LOL

Anyway, Wendy, and Eden thanks very much for the offer but I'm still good re the amount of plants I've got here. I'll just have more fuchsia and less coleus. I'm just so ticked at myself for not bringing them in after the second or third day of drenching rain. I've had my 'Gay's Delight' and 'Dappled Apple' outside in the garage since the beginning of April and they are still fine. They were hardened off but the new babies from Rosy Dawn weren't used to the cold cruel world yet. I haven't put my dahlias, or cannas out yet because it is really too cold still and they just sulk or rot with the wet/cold and I should have known better with the coleus. The good news is that the fuchsia are loving this! LOL

Michelle, I just love your aerial shot of your garden. Those tulips are fabu-fabu. ~~ No kidding I need to learn patience! That has never been a quality I have in abundance and I'm paying the price.

Taryn, best of luck with the house sale. I hope it all gets resolved soon.

OK I'm off to hit the shower. I spent an hour of quality time on the Stairmaster and I'm beat and messy.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 11:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm keeping up with all the postings.The weather is already cool and overcast, the ground still soggy, rain predicted. I have SO MUCH TO DO IN THE GARDEN and am feeling frustrated by this. DH is away and I could be accomplishing something! Guests are coming tomorrow and I guess I should tidy up for them, but outside is where I want to be!

I have a friend with a son who is an alcoholic. His wife has removed herself and their 2 children from their home. He is still in the house somehow, though not making payments. No electricity or heat.... Needless to say my friend is miserable. She is dragging, and dragging down her husband as well. For this reason I think she would benefit from Ei's beautiful contribution on the previous Idyll. It is our attitude through life's events that carries us all along.

And Taryn. I'm following along and care...just not super at expressing it. I'll "say it with clematis"...



Macropetala species

Alpine Willy

Good luck to all and enjoy your weekend!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Happy Friday! It's raining here again today. But the good news is that starting tomorrow we're supposed to have a week of NO RAIN and a gradual warmup to get us back where we're supposed to be temp-wise. I'm just doing some stuff inside today, laundry, organizing a drawer or two and playing with Bella. I've always read to her but up until this week she would last through a book or two and be done with it. Now she's wanting me to read one after another and is just heartbroken if I try to end a reading session, lol. We read 10 books in one sitting yesterday.

Ei, your photoessay was just so special. I felt like you gave us all a little piece of your heart with all of those precious pictures that must mean the world to you. Thanks for reminding me of what's important in life too. I really do try to live that way but what a great reminder not to get caught up in all of the day to day stuff that's just not important when it's all said and done.

Sue, Tony Avent is a funny guy isn't he, very entertaining. Did he do his talk on his favorite 100 plants? Have fun crawling through those nurseries today.

Deanne, I've left my dahlia and canna tubers out and exposed to the elements through all of this. Hope I don't end up regretting it. I probably should have lugged them all back downstairs and not risked a bunch of rotted tubers.

Suzy, the migraine sounds just miserable. Hope you're feeling better today.

Marian, glad you're eye surgery went so well. Also relieved you went to the Dr. for some blood pressure meds. Nothing to fool around with there.

Marie, beautiful clematis pics. Mine have really come into their own this year and many have lots of buds. Can't wait to see their show here. I just hope it doesn't get rained on like the peonys and irises have.

Michelle, loved the aerial shots. You live in such a beautiful place. I can't imagine having all of that open space. Everything is so closed in where I live here in the city.

I need to get a few things done while Bella's still napping so that's all from me for now. Glad it's the weekend. Hope we all have a good one with lotsa sunshine!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 12:23PM
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Hello Idylls

Ei - that was the most beautiful photo essay at the end of the last thread. It made me tear up, especially the photo of the 3 Cabelleros. It was also a perfect example of the generous sharing that makes the Idylls so special. Thank you for giving us something so lovely.

Taryn - here's hoping the offer you need comes through in one form or another.

Deanne - how miserable about the Coleus. Do you think their soil was just too waterlogged? Mine were outside last night as the temps snuck into the mid 40's but they all looked perky this morning so perhaps I lucked out. I hope they either make a agreat recovery or you have a lot of fun replacing them.

Sue - last night sounds a great night out. have fun at the nurseries.

GB - gorgeous clems. Hope you can say some more with them soon. I still think about the Clematis a day you did a year os so ago and wished I'd saved it for reference.

Marian - hope you are following the sage advice about your BP. My mother just lost one of her closest friends to a stroke and its terrible aftermath. Enjoy the new range when it comes - will you cook a celebration dinner?

Michelle - your yard is beautiful from above. It must be a lovely place to sit though with the farm I doubt you have a lot of time to do so.

Hi Cindy and Eden - enjoy the sun!

Suzy - hope you manage to medicate your poor kitty - I remember that game too well. Our Russian Blue was put on Thryroid medicine for the last 2 years of his life. He become remarkably good at hiding the pill then spitting out when you're not looking.

I had a couple of productive parent conferences this morning (the children I work with not Annie and David), a pleasantly short staff meeting and I'm free for the weekend - Yippee!! Garden - here I come.

I did want to ask if anyone has any experience with Chiropracters. I'm still getting hip/back pain from the Sacroiliac sprain 6 weeks ago. Its a different sensation, not the sharp pain but more like an internal bee sting, often in different locations. At my annual poke and prod at the Ob/Gyn this week I mentioned it to my Doc who thought it was the nerve being irritated and recommended seeing a Chiropracter. It turns out my Dr is an osteopath herself though now working in ObGyn, but goes regularly to a Chiropracter she recommended highly. I've booked a session for next week, but I'm somewhat skeptical and nervous. I hate the sound of joints cracking;0(


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 1:40PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow! Im not sure if the idylls are flying or if the days are flying, but in either case I feel like Im behind! Hmm, flying idylls now theres a vision for you.

Im swamped at work today but am making use of "on hold" time at the moment. Im ready to go home and crawl into bed, but that wont happen for a while. I went to a new dermatologist last night. Hes switching my meds for my eczema, so Im hopeful that that situation will improve soon. But I also had him look at a dark spot on the back of my leg, and He thought it was worthy of taking a sample to investigate further. It was just a little speck that he removed, but my leg now thinks its been through major surgery. Okay, thats a slight exaggeration, but I am surprised at how sore it is today.

Now, stand by for Mother V.s "Lecture of the Day". I had been watching this spot because I friend of mine had a melanoma in the exact same location, and she warned me to keep an eye on it. The dermatologist told me that the back of the leg is the most common spot for women to develop melanoma. So everyone keep an eye on the back of your legs, okay? EOL

Babs, a huge congratulations to Dr. Chris! Can he look at my leg? ; ) Happy anniversary to both of you also!

Ei, your photo essay was lovely! I got your email and just havent had a chance to reply or to call. : ( Youre on my list!

bug, what great photos! Im still suffering camera woes. I got a new rechargeable battery and now I think that its really the charger that is bad. Sometimes Im ready to through all the technology into the dustbin! I have a whole freakin basket of chargers in my kitchen now

Im sure the Tony Avent lecture was great. Stop me if Im repeating myself, but I saw him do a short presentation several years ago and his slides had been lost in transit. He actually did his speech with blank slides flashing on the screen, and had the audience rolling in the aisles.

Taryn, Im weighing in late but I think your email was brilliant. Good luck; I have faith that you will get the house issue resolved by the end of this month!

Marian, I bet you cant wait to get the new range in! That will be so nice for you.

Hello to Suzy, Yeona, Barb, and Lauren in StL! Its nice to hear from some of the quieter idyllers every once in a while. Now we need to get Da to come out of the woodwork.

Deanne, I went to browse the suggestions forum the other day, and there were only 4 threads there! So the powers that be are still messing around with their servers, which Im sure is why the new thread went missing for a bit.

Im off my long phone call and probably need to post this. Im taking a major cellular carrier to task for their "bait & switch" offers they are always mailing us great promotions that turn to dust when we try to redeem them, and I told them today Enough! Well see what they say when they call back if they call back?

Heres hoping that the sun shines on all of us this weekend!


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 5:00PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hello, everyone. Busy here so this will be a drive-by. Tonite is supposed to be the end of the monsoon. Were supposed to have lovely weather for a whole week. Yeah! Hope its the same for the NE.

I spent the last two days weeding and putting together my containers (of course I had to go back to a nursery a couple times!) in between the raindrops. Most are done, but I still have a few to go. The deck will be stained tomorrow so we can start putting out our patio stuff and the containers on it either Sun. or Mon. The lake and mote out front is starting to dry up. DH will use the shop vac to drain some of the big holes to help speed the drying process. Our soil is just saturated. I still have a huge pot ghetto to deal with, plants in the kitchen to harden off and plants in the garden I havent had a chance to move yet.

I just came in from the garage. Since 7 am, Ive been working on gathering up, cleaning and displaying our garage sale items for our subdivision sale tomorrow. Even tho I purge every yr, I still have a ton of stuff good stuff at that. There are slalom water skis, cross-country snow skis, shoes, poles and car top carrier; fishing poles and net, a portable gas grill (from the boat) a Casa Blanca ceiling fan, brass light fixtures, home décor and many nice gifts that were never opened or used. I hope it sells! Everything is priced and set out. I made upteen dozen trips up and down the basement stairs. Im exhausted! The only thing I have left to do is tonite set up my "bank" in my fannypak and, make up my master list, and tomorrow, put out the signs. The sale starts at 8 am!

If were not busy or have lulls, perhaps I can read and/or jump in tomorrow from my laptop.

Gotta get into my jammys. Im fallin down. Thinking of all. TTYL,


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 8:54PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Whew, what a day! It probably wasn't the best day to take off but what are you gonna do? It poured all morning and showered off and on all afternoon. I persevered and slogged through nurseries til lunchtime. As it turned out, I made out pretty well. At Acer Gardens I found the two japanese maple cultivars I was looking for in decent sizes and for reasonable prices. At the other places I got mostly tender stuff for container combos. The only perennials I bought were another Heuchera 'Molly Bush', a Sanguisorba menziesii, and a gallon size Thalictrum 'Elin'. This afternoon I worked in the driest parts of my garden and moved more plants. It's way too wet to dig in normal gardens so I weeded a few of those areas. When it started raining on me again around 5, I gave up and came in and worked out-treadmill, stretching and weights. I feel your frustration, Marie. The bottom line though is even a so-so day at home is better than a good day at

V, what does a melanoma look like? A mole, a wart or just a spot of dark skin? Yes, Tony Avent had the older hort society ladies chuckling at his descriptions of plant breeding practices...he's quite animated and not that bad looking either.

Mary, my experience with Chiropractors is they are not all created equal. They often have very different approaches. My from any who try to convince you you need to come to them regularly for weeks or months. Some offer alternative therapies now like massage. Back pain is debilitating-I hope you can get yours under control soon.

Taryn, good response to the potential buyers. Hopefully you'll have a signed contract soon.

Michelle, what an absolutely gorgeous shot of your patio and gardens! I just want to jump into the picture and sit on that bench. I'll take your farm equipment backdrop over my neighbor's houses, cars and other junk. I have views of the garden that I never photograph because there is just too much "background noise".

Marian, I've heard that laser eye surgery can work wonders with certain types of problems. Glad to hear it worked so well for you. Keep your eye on that blood pressure. Do what the doctor says. Jeez, it seems like everyone is getting their containers planted but me. Maybe tomorrow....

Suzy, how is your migraine today? I can't even stand regular headaches so I can't imagine dealing with that sort of pain.

Did I tell you all I got an e-mail from Mackenzie's new family? She's doing well-sleeping with the oldest daughter, dealing with pajama parties, going to the dog think she made out. I'm glad a decided to take a chance on a home with kids.

OK, I'm done. Time to get ready for bed. Drier weather weather tomorrow would be nice. Maybe I can make some progress on that 7 yards of compost piled up in the driveway.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well like Honey and Sue, I did the best I could with on-and-off rain. First I mowed the entire least an hour's job. Of course I ran out of gas and had to haul the container in the wheelbarrow to where the mower quit. I wish there were some sort of warning!

Although things were damp, I managed to edge the front island bed. I hope the visitors tomorrow don't walk any farther than that! My friend's sister is a Master Gardener from Michigan and wants to go exploring nurseries. I'd better hang on to my wallet...

Well once it began raining again, I had to hit the housework. Mopped the kitchen floor, did a load of laundry...cleared off a few horizontal surfaces, dusted off the vacuum and so on. The second floor is being ignored until the day before DH returns!

Sue, I grow the Sanguisorba menziesii and really like the foliage. It DOES seed about and spread though, so be firm with it! Don't worry about the containers either. This business of lugging them indoors at night is the pits! Monday night they are calling for 33F! Gads...

Got my first ever legitimate email from Shanghai. DH arrived safely and all is well. He is having his hernia checked the week after he returns and I just hope he doesn't need hospitalization in Beijing or Shanghai!!! Now why did he tell me about this AFTER we dug in the 18 posts? Men! ;-)
Here is how the front entry looks while I wait for decent weather to continue our project:

Look carefully! These are 'yellow' bricks I was told, to match our home. The label even says so! Ha! Gray is fine, I just wish they were truthful.

Woody has begun planting her pathway area. Things are looking good! She even has a Montana clematis in bloom, the rascal. NEVER has one put forth even one blossom in my cold area.

Good luck with your sale Honey! Wish I could send each one of you a batch of asparagus tonight. I'm sick of it!
Off to read...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 10:34PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Bug keep talkin' clematis to me please....yeah, baby!!LOL!
Love asparagus, my fav detoxing veggie! (but why does it make your pee smell funny??? curious minds want to know...)

Susy, so sorry about your migraines, that sounds very hard to bare. Have you looked into the newer feverfew products? I'm also experimenting with castor oil packs for different problems but have read they help with migrains too. Google for more info.

Mary, I had 12 years experience with 3 chiropractors after a double whiplash in 1988. The first two helped somewhat but ONLY enough to get me back to the next adjustment. The last guy really, really, hurt me! He would do me the 'favour' of coming in on a Sunday for an adjustment, but I got worse and worse with him. Total reversal with acupuncture, to the point that I have NO symptoms at all now from the original problem. Which was severe neck pain/headaches that nothing (meds) would even touch & nerve damage down my left arm that left it too weak to even hold a glass of water. (And this with a baby of 12 months!) I was 12 years into the damage and in very bad shape when I went to acupuncture as a last resort, and she told me the sooner the better after the damage, but she knew she could help at least somewhat. She totally cured me! Rather, she allowed my body to heal itself and the human body has an innate ability and NEED to do this, if you give it the chance. I still thank God for this lady and my now pain-free life and remember my life before with severe pain every day very well. I think there are good and bad, positive and negative, with everything, and many different ways to get the body to heal itself. But I'd be very, very wary about letting anyone adjust my spine again after such negative experiences, particularly if you don't BELIEVE in it. Acupuncture on the other hand has been practiced for CENTURIES with no known side effects. Get well, but please be careful...And I truly believe that if you have faith in it you have much better chance of it working. If you don't, don't bother. Mind and body work together, so find something that you have confidence in and get your head helping your body...

Got another phone message from our potential buyer today. Left my own message reiterating the above. Thanks V! I thought, how on earth can they challenge/ask me to cancel THESE plans? And it is true, unfortunately all true.

My sis & her beaux (same lovely guy, 8 months later!), my Bro & SIL & the 3 girls, my Mum, two other friends with family will be at Gigi & Bruce's tomorrow celebrating being able to be there with each other. Bruce is being released at noon. Food is being prepped, camera batteries are being charged, kids are excited to see their young friends again, adults are wondering how it's going to go...

Carrying on with the Idyll/Tidyll here:

Here Comes The Sun (George Harrison)

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Little darlin' it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darlin' it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Little darlin' the smiles returning to their faces
Little darlin' it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Little darlin' I feel the ice is slowly meltin'
Little darlin' it seems like years since it's been clear
Here come the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it's all right
Here come the sun, here comes the sun
It's all right, it's all right

Too old to stay up and watch the sun come, lol, g'night...


    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 11:59PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Guys...Well a couple of hours sure last a long time - don't they...LOL! Long story. I *did* intend to be back in a couple hours. Anyway, wanted to send my best wishes to Babs & Chris and Taryn & Glenn. I imagine there is a lot of celebrating going on in Bab's household. Too cute about Ryan...well Daddies can do *anything* through their little boys eyes and that's just the way it should be! :-)

Taryn - I think you made the right decision about what to say to the potential buyers. The spread in the paper sounds like it will really be nice and enjoyed seeing the pics of your beautiful home. It looks wonderful! Hope all goes well this week-end.

Thanks you guys for all the nice things you said. I'm glad you guys enjoyed it and *really* glad that I have you guys to share with! Funny Mary that you should say that about the Cabelleros...I think that may be one of my favorite pics too. It's a wonderful memory of a special family get together. The one and only time all of my parent's children (including the two cousins who lived with us) were able to make it down to Tennessee together to see my parents. That's my beautiful dad, my oldest brother, and one of the cousins that lived with us in the pic. I *love* the way their affection for each other and the joyful time we all had shows in their faces! :-)

Marian! I am so *thrilled* to hear about your new lease on life and just so pleased that the surgery went so well. Exciting too about the new stove; isn't it? I can't wait to hear how it works out for you when it arrives *and* can't wait to hear about the delicious things you will be whipping up on the new stove! I'll just reiterate about the blood pressure - please take care of are very special to us all! :-)

Deanne - sorry to hear about your coleus. I know it's disappointing, especially because you nutured such beautiful plants. Glad you have your gorgeous fuchsias to pick up the slack. The offer holds here too...if there is some coleus I can send you, I'll be happy to send them along, though of course they won't be anywhere near the size your own were. I lost a few coleus too. I'm most disappointed about 'Apollo', which was new to me this year. 'Sedona' is hanging on by a thread and 'Kiwi Fern' is none to happy with me either. Actually, I'm hoping that Sedona and Kiwi will make a comeback, at least they have a few fresh looking leaves left. A couple of my elephant ears are none too happy either, but they are sending out new shoots, so I'm hoping they will be okay. It also appears that my 'Tiger' ferns took a hit and I may have to end up replacing them. What I'm most disappointed about though is the loss of my fish! If any of you see some herons flying overhead with a satsified look on their face and a big belly...tell them "Eileen says Bon Appetite!" Well, okay, those weren't *exactly* the words that came to mind when I first discovered what they had done. I'm especially disappointed because my fish had become like pets, growing very large and becoming very friendly. They were very skittish for me the first few years. But in the last year or two they came to know me and I got such a kick out of how they would rush to the surface when they heard my footsteps. Okay, so it was only the food they were looking for, but I liked that they looked forward to my visit! :-) Anyway, I hope that it was all quick and relatively painless for them. Only one remains and he's just terrified...poor thing! He won't come out of his hiding place...even for food. After the initial shock and anger, I realized that the Herons were just doing what Herons do and it's really my fault for not keeping the cage up. I lost some fish a few years back to the herons and I should have realized when I spotted them recently, flying over head in the neighborhood, that it would be only a matter of time before they spotted my fish and I should have put the cage up until they moved quickly we forget! I did go out yesterday and splurge on one pretty big fish which dented my pocket book by $25.00! Well, I really had to buy him...poor Alvin was all alone in that pond. I've named the new guy Freckles. He's very cute...all white, with just the tiniest little spots of orange on him. The spots are barely noticeable and look just like freckles, hence the name. The cage is now up again...kind of like "closing the barn door". Oh well, that's the life of a's never dull, isn't it? Here's a little quote from one of my favorite authors, Henry Mitchell. I figure we are all in good company:

"Wherever humans garden magnificently, there are magnificent heartbreaks....I never see a garden (even in my mind's eye, which is the best place to see great gardens around here) but I think of the calamities that have visited it, unsuspected by the delighted vistor who supposes it must be nice to garden there." "It is not nice to garden anywhere. Everywhere there are violent winds, startling once-per-five-centuries floods, unprecidented droughts, record-setting freezes, abusive and blasing heats never known before. There is no place, no garden, where these terrible things do not drive gardeners mad." "So there is no point dreading the next summer storm that, as I predict, will flatten everything. Nor is there any point dreading the winter, so soon to come, in which the temperature will drop to ten below zero and the ground freezes forty inches deep and we all say there never was such a winter since the beginning of the world. There have been such winters; there will be more."

He always makes me smile and makes me laugh at myself too! :-)

Marie - those clematis pics are just *gorgeous*! I'm particularly partial to your 'Constance'. Are those all species/small flowering varieties? I'll have to add them to that list you suggested I make! Glad to hear about Woody. I've been thinking of her. In fact, I've got two container plantings in her honor...I call them my "Woody Containers". One is a planting she did with lobelia and osteospermum and the other was her gorgeous "green" planting with the elephant ear and acidanthera. My plantings are too puny to give a show yet, but once they get big enough I will post them here.

Michelle - those arial pictures of your garden are just gorgeous. I love your color scheme. You and Deanne are tempting me to climb up on my roof! :-)

Eden - I did the same with my dahlias and am worrying now too. BTW, I keep on thinking about your son and what a sweet and generous thing he did for his sister! Didn't your other daughter give her sister a car last year? You have wonderful kids Eden, so very kind and thoughtful and I think I know where they got that! :-)

Speaking of dahlias, Deanne, I was wondering if you knew whether dahlias will bloom all summer long? My dahlias don't usually start until August, but I bought two this year that were already flowering and I was wondering if I can count on them to flower all summer? It's okay if they won't, but if they won't, then I am not going to put them in the containers that I had planned for them and instead put them in the ground.

Sue - so glad to hear Kenzie has found her home! :-) Ugh...compost, you reminded me of yet another thing I need to make some time to do. I don't think I will be able to mulch this year, but I sure would like to be able to spread some composted cow manure around...maybe after I get rid of all the helicopters...LOL! Yes, Henry, I know, I know! :-) the deck is finished? Bet it feels good to get that completed. There always seem to be so many projects in the spring. I still need to do something with my's a pitiful thing, but just can't seem to get motivated to do anything with it, with all these plants in my driveway...LOL! Garage sales...that's another thing I always mean to do, but never seem to get around to. I don't have a ton of things left to sell, but a few nice things that I don't need and probbly will never use. I was thinking of asking one of my neighbors if I could join in one of their garage sales, since I don't have a lot to sell, but enough that could help fund my plant obsession. BTW, hope you will share your container plantings when they are ready. I always enjoy your beautiful containers!

I was also thinking I could sell the few things I have on Ebay. Taryn, is it worth selling on Ebay if you have little things to sell? For example, I have some plates that are collectible and probably worth a little bit of money, but don't know if it's worth it when you figure in shipping costs and Ebay/Paypal charges...especially when you have multiple things to sell. What do you think?

Suzy - hope your migraines are easing up and the soggy gardens will be getting some sunshine soon!

Hi V! No worries...I figured you were just busy. Just write me when you have the time.

Okay, here's a pic I had to share!

What a smile this little guy put on my face. His parents made a nest in my New Dawn rose...on the 2nd level...LOL...and I guess mom thought it was time for this little guy to try his wings! He is *so* tiny...those are only little seedlings of larkspur next to him. I almost didn't see him as I was walking down the driveway. He's just a little sparrow, but babies are adorable, no matter what kind they may be! :-)

Looks like we are to have a nice *warm* and sunny day tomorrow, though it will be cold again on Sunday. Oh well, they are promising warmer days by next week...maybe up into the 80's! What goofy weather! Well, it's getting late, so I guess I should be hitting the sack. I'm going with Dotty early in the a.m. to check out a few plant sales that some local garden clubs are having. Like I really need another plant right now...LOL!

Okay, in keeping with Eden's positive title. Here's a few sunny songs for you all before I go to bed...

Walking in the Sunshine Roger Miller

Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song
Put a smile upon your face as if there's nothing wrong
Think about a good time had a long time ago
Think about forgetting about your worries and your woes
Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song

La la la la la dee oh,
Whether the weather be rain or snow
Pretending can make it real
A snowy pasture, a green and grassy field

Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song
Put a smile upon your face as if there's nothing wrong
Think about a good time had a long time ago
Think about forgetting about your worries and your woes
Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song

La la la la la dee oh,
Whether the weather be rain or snow
Pretending can make it real
A snowy pasture, a green and grassy field

Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song
Put a smile upon your face as if there's nothing wrong
Think about a good time had a long time ago
Think about forgetting about your worries and your woes
Walking in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song

Walking in the sunshine, singing a little sunshine song
Put a smile upon your face as if there's nothing wrong

Gale Garnett - We'll sing in the sunshine
We'll sing in the sunshine
We'll laugh every da-a-y
We'll sing in the sunshine
Then I'll be on my way
I will never love you
The cost of love's too dear
But though I'll never love you
I'll stay with you one year
And we can sing in the sunshine
We'll laugh every da-a-y
We'll sing in the sunshine
Then I'll be on my way
I'll sing to you each mornin'
I'll kiss you every night
But darlin', don't cling to me
I'll soon be out of sight
But we can sing in the sunshine
We'll laugh every da-a-y
We'll sing in the sunshine
Then I'll be on my way
My daddy he once told me
"Hey, don't you love you any man"
"Just take what they may give you"
"And give but what you can"
"And you can sing in the sunshine"
"You'll laugh every da-a-y"
"You'll sing in the sunshine"
"Then be on your way"
And when our year has ended
And I have gone away
You'll often speak about me
And this is what you'll say
"We sang in the sunshine
"You know, we laughed every da-a-y"
"We sang in the sunshine"
"Then she went away"

Hair - Good morning starshine
Good morning sunshine
The earth says hello
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below
Good morning sunshine
You lead us along
My love and me as we sing
Our early morning singing song
Gliddy glub gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song
Good morning sunshine
The earth says hello
You twinkle above us
We twinkle below
Good morning sunshine
You lead us along
My love and me as we sing
Our early morning singing song
Gliddy glub gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song
Singing a song
Humming a song
Singing a song
Loving a song
Laughing a song
Singing a song
Sing the song
Song song song sing
Sing sing sing sing song
[Extra verse, London 1993]
Good morning sunhine
The universe rings
With milky way music
Our blue planet sings
Good morning sunshine
And someday so strong
They`ll hear the song we sang
Our early morning singing song

And perhaps a little Brady to round it all out! :-) LOL!

It's a Sunshine Day (Everybody's Smiling) The Brady Bunch
I think I'll go for a walk outside now,
The summer sun's calling my name, I hear it now.
I just can't stay inside all day,
I've got to get out, gimme some of those rays.
Everybody's smiling (sunshine day),
Everybody's laughing (sunshine day),
Everybody seems so happy today in the sunshine day.
Oooh. Can't you dig the sunshine?
Feel the sun and the rays.
Can't you hear it calling your name?

Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 1:20AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all. It is a warm morning...64F for the low, That was our high a few days ago, for several days! I'm sure it will be well into the 80s by afternoon.

Eileen, I did enjoy your quotes and pictures on the last thread. The only problem leaves out the very most important part to that equation. All that know me, know what I am refering to. Those who don't know me can go to my member page, and find out.
I would love to post the song I associate with the title of this thread. It is "Heavenly Sunlight", but I won't, because it would offend too many. I'm sure the lyrics can be found on Google.

I have developed a side effect from the laser surgery that is rather distracting. I have lots of dark stringy floaters. I didn't see the eye dr yesterday, just the nurse that tested my eyes for pressure. She wouldn't answer my question as to how long the floaters would last. My pressure was fine. I am to return for a follow-up in 2 weeks.

Deanne, I am so sorry about your coleus. Yesterday I went to a family nursery that is open only briefly every spring. THey have a coleus that is even more orange than Sedona. I forget it's name.:-(
I didn't get one, but I did get 3 Heucheras; 'Amber Waves', 'Amethyst Mist', and 'Dolce Key Lime Pie'. I also got a Colocassia variegata, and was given a 4" pot of a geranium ( Pelargonium) of my choice. I chose one with red and white striped blooms.

Taryn, My thoughts are with you, both with the home sale, and with the concern that you are bearing on the behalf of Bruce and Gigi. AS all have told you, you are a wonderful friend to them. Bless you !

Eden, (and others who have a clean house) I am envious of you. Mine is awful! And now I can see the dirt even better !
I *must* get some cleaning done on it before the kids come in June. I always enjoy hearing about Bella, but I sure do understand the fact that not much can be accomplished while babysetting a toddler. When mine GDs are here I feel as though they require my undivided attention.

Michelle, that is a lovely view from your garage roof.....
:-). I am too cowardly to attempt that anymore. I rather enjoy seeing the farm machinery in the pic, and I espacially enjoy the wide open spaces in the distance.

Ohhh, Suzy, I sure hope your Migraine is better today. I know how bad my headaches can be, and ( as far as I know) mine aren't migraines. Do you get nauseated ? That goes with that type of headache doesn't it?

Cindy, sorry that you get them too.
I have Asiatic lilies getting close to blooming also.

Marie, your Clem pics are lovely. I do not have any of those types, but would like to add some. So sorry about the sodden conditions there (and elsewhere). We are drying out here. It goes from one extreme to the other.
So sorry about the friend with the alcoholic son. That is so very sad. One of Nolon's nephews was an alcoholic. He was found dead in his home about a year ago. He was just a little older than our Tim. They were friends in their younger days.

Mary, I liked my most recent Chiropractor very much. He was very gentle, and yet effective. I have encountered some who were too rough, and one who was too gentle. As Sue said, they are not all created equil. There is a great difference from one to another. Since your medical dr recommends this one, I would be comfortable trying him/her out.

Well, I don't have time to 'talk' to everyone. We are going to the auction that I mentioned, and I must get ready to go. Nolon is already ready!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 9:05AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well the sun is shining and we are in for a pretty nice weekend. There is just a chance of rain tonight and some squall lines of T-storms for tomorrow afternoon. That leaves most of the day today with primo gardening weather. The breezes are brisk enough to blow away the black flies which have made their appearance.

Eileen, I just love that quote from Henry Mitchell, especially the "magnificent heartbreaks" part. Isnt that the truth that there is ALWAYS some disaster or other with gardening that we never expect. ~~ Im so sorry about your fishies! That really is such a shame. I had a heron here in our little pond a few years ago and the darned bird took off with my favorite koi. ~~ I lost my large Sedona coleus also. I was hoping it would revive and put out new leaves from the stems but it really is too far gone to rescue. I dont know why that particular one suffered worse than some of the others. I also lost one very large Kiwi Fern but still have three other good sized plants. I just lost the best one. Oh well, worst things have happened. ~~ RE dahlias, absolutely, they will bloom all season just dont crowd them too much and keep them fed after theyve been in their containers for a few weeks. ~~ Those tree peony photographs in the anniversary photos are just gorgeous and I just love your little bird baby photo. What a cutie.

I hope the anniversary couples had lovely celebrations!

Taryn, hope the day with Bruce and Gigi goes well. Ill be thinking of you guys.

Bug, love, love, love the clematis photos. Ive got to find some of those beauties. Ive also got to find space to plant them. LOL Ill have to get some photos today my Asao and Miss Bateman are just opening up their first flowers and are ready to be gorgeous.

Sue, sounds like you had a successful day regardless of the rain. I ran over to Milford to Ponemah Farms and didnt find much of anything to buy. Im not seeing much of anything unusual I want for my containers or gardens,

Honey, I cant wait to see what youve done with your containers. ~~ Best of luck with the garage sale today. I hope you sell a ton of stuff and make lots of loot so you have lots to spend at the nurseries.

V. I had a friend who had a melanoma on the back of her right leg and by the time they caught it she lost a good part of her calf muscle. Speaking of cancers, I just found out one of my neighbors died in April. I was shocked because I didnt even know shed had a relapse. She had colon cancer but everyone thought she was recovered. We are the same age and our DDs went to school and were in Brownie Scouts together.

Mary, yes I do think that the soil on the coleus was just too wet for too long. Ive had them tolerate colder temperatures than we had and not die off. I think it was the combination of temps under 50 and the excessive rain that did them in. I had a few plants in the garage and they are all fine. It was the plants exposed to the rain that died. ~~ Cant help with chiropractor advice. Ive never been to one so I dont know what to tell you. So sorry you are still having back trouble. I know how miserable that is.

Eden, I think we are on exactly the same weather track. Our forecast is the same as yours and it is supposed to get up around the mid 70s by Friday. ~~ Eden, I hope your tubers are all OK. Ive had them weather the cold nasties without rotting but last spring I did lose some and some were seriously set back so I kept them indoors this year. It is pretty frustrating not being able to get stuff out any earlier than June for crying out loud! I wish I could put heat tapes in the ground for the dahlias so I could get them up and growing sooner. I dont want to wait until August for flowers!

Suzy, I hope your headache is all better now.

Marian, sounds like you made out great at the nursery yesterday. I've been looking for H 'Key Lime Pie' here and haven't found it except for some pitiful specimens that weren't worth the $$.

OK time to get outside. As Doug says we are burning daylight here.

Have a great Saturday all,

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 9:27AM
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Ei - I'm so sorry about your fish, I can understand exactly how you feel. Just two days ago I was sitting in the hot tub and saw a huge heron atop one of trees at the bottom of our yard. He flew off towards the creek but I had that sinking feeling. I went right out and stretched fishing line 12 ins high around the pond. This is supposed to trip the bird as they come in to feed but is almost invisible. It also has the advantage of not trapping frogs the way the net I tried did. I'll let you know if it works. What does your cage look like? I've just trained the Koi to eat from our hands and the kids would be distraught to have them become a birdy breakfast. Fingers crossed.....

Just had an early morning run to the nursery where I found a beautiful Betty COrning and Purple Smoke baptisia. I splurged. We're cold and rainy here and temps will hit 36 F Monday night so I'll be ding a lot of draggin of pots. I too am ready for some warmth.

have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 10:30AM
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Happy Birthday Yeona....hope you have a wonderful day!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 12:24PM
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Happy Birthday Yeona!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 2:26PM
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Well, it's not raining here but is still cool and windy. The temps are supposed to get down pretty low the next couple of nights but then it looks like it just might be safe to start planting the container gardens maybe about Wednesday. I did a little nursery crawling this morning. I got some things to plant my front window box. It's always a problem, northern exposure, and under the roof overhang. I've yet to find anything that does really well in there. This year, I'm doing pink caladiums, coleus wizard red velvet(which are really a deep, dark pink), pink tuberous begonias, white double impatiens and a variegated ivy, keeping with my pink theme out front. I also picked up a yellow epimedium and a lady tatting fern to replace the one I lost over winter. I'm not feeling very motivated today and I have Bella for the 5th day in a row, which could possibly have something to do with why, lol. I do hope to get out and do some plant shuffling tomorrow but the weather isn't looking great so we'll see. Brad and I do need to go pick out and have delivered some patio pavers for our, or should I say his next project so maybe we'll do that instead.

Sue, I picked up a thalictrum elin a couple of weeks ago and the nursery guy couldn't say enough nice things about it. I also just threw a couple of sanguisorbas, officinalis and menziesii, in the ground last week that I wintersowed winter before last. I was inspired to grow them after reading about them in one of Piet Oudolf's books. He used the sanguisorba officinalis in a combo with echinachea purpurea. Question for you...just where are you putting all of these Japanese Maples you're picking up???

Deanne, glad to hear that you do have some coleus survivors. It is hard to wait until June for things to warm up enough to start planting the containers. I think my dahlia tubers are ok. Most of them have shoots peeking up now but not much action going on with the cannas.

Marian, hope your eyes clear up. Sounds like you made out with a good score on the heucheras. I wish they would sell more of them in the smaller pots around here. I love using them in my container gardens.

Ei, sorry to hear about your fish. I too liked your Henry Mitchell quote. How true! Love your cards with the peonys. Beautiful!

Taryn, have my fingers and toes crossed for your openhouse this weekend. Sounds like you're handling things just right.

Mary, I've never been to a chiropractor. There have been times I've considered it but I've always chickened out. My dad swears by his though. I hope you find something that works for you and relieves your pain.

Marie, looks like you have your work cut out for you with that big pile of bricks. Are you laying the path yourself?

Enough babble from me for this afternoon. Hope you're all out enjoying your gardens!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 3:45PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

We're home...and I scored great at the auction. I got a 2 year old, well kept, refrigerator for $140. The husband of the 'young' woman who's in charge of the sale, ( it was her grandmother's estate), will deliver it to us when he gets the time. He is in the hay fields now. There is no hurry.
I bought some more stuff, including a glider chair. It needs recovered , but I got it for 10 bucks. Actually I was kind of hoping someone would run it up , but nobody did, so my first and only bid got it. We had a good time. So many of the people there are our neighbors, and the autioneer is a man we've known for years,( and a former neighbor). One of the neighbors wanted the refrigerator,too, but wouldn't bid against me.
Now I am all hyped up to go to more estate sales!

The Heucheras were are in 4" pots and cost $4.95 each. They look great.

We just went through our boxes of goodies and found all kinds of good surprises..what fun!

Happy Birthday Yeona...


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 5:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi Folks!
Like Marian and Nolon, I had an interesting day out. Much too cold and windy for starters, but now clear sunny skies.
My friends wanted to hit the Farmer's Market so that was our first stop. Of course I gravitated to the plants area while they bought food and came up with a nice yellow aquilegia and a huge pot of purple and orange violas. Well when we got together after that, I found out that they had bought asparagus! Good grief....Oh well, onward to shop some more and we all bought fudge and horseradish!(NOT to be mixed!) Then we moved on to the antique's market where Jim bought lots of old architecture books and I tried to find something old and neat as a container for plants. No luck though. We came home again to walk Charlotte and take a bit of a garden tour. The camassias are out and look so nice with the spring green tulips and woodland phlox. Then off to a nearby nursery for...imagine that...coleus! I only got one, but some grasses and trailing stuff too...for a planter, but still no container for it! My friends got about 4 -5 different coleus and some nodescript perennials (as far as I'm concerned.) They're happy though!
We then went out for an early dinner at the vegetarian restaurant and came back here. Shared some sedum with them too. They're on their way back to the big city now and Charlotte and I are relaxing together. She was a bit lonely I think, so we took a nice walk around the pond and studied the progress of the lilacs. Oh, OK, and I tested the fudge. Blush.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 7:09PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, I ended up with 2 containers for plants. One of the boxes I bought because it had a strawberry jar in it, and ended up with a metal planter also.I also got a couple of nice tables to set plants on. One is plastic, the other is sturdy low wood table with formica on it.
In one $1 box was three rechargable phones with the chargers. Before I got to the car with that box a man came and asked to buy one of the phones. I doubled my money on that deal ! There is also a very good portable GE radio/cassette. In another group that I bid one Dollar on, there was a toaster oven that isn't all that new, but is better than our old one.
In another $1 group was a metal bathroom shelf that is an exact mate to one that I have that was my mothers.( It is the reason I bid on that group). Other than the glider chair,and the refrigerator, I only spent $4 and got oodles of good stuff!
Can you tell, I really had fun, and am so pleased with my purchases. Another happy thing was the abundant help we had from several men. Whenever we had something to carry to the car, they would practically take it from us to help us.

What a day. I wouldn't trade it for any outing of wining and dining! The 2 teenage children were serving food and drinks all day....Hot dogs and sandwiches with soda pops.

I thought sure that we would end of with a bunch of junk to dispose of, but very very little of it is not usable.
I guess you can see, it doesn't take a lot to please me. LOL


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 8:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Marian, sounds like a day to remember! As the old song says, "Little Things Mean a Lot". It is so nice to hear your delight. Your writing really spreads your joy around!

KITTY KALLEN lyrics - "Little Things Mean A Lot"
Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz)

Blow me a kiss from across the room
Say I look nice when I'm not
Touch my hair as you pass my chair
Little things mean a lot

Give me your arm as we cross the street
Call me at six on the dot
A line a day when you're far away
Little things mean a lot

Don't have to buy me diamonds and pearls
Champagne, sables or such
I never cared much for diamonds and pearls
'cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

Give me your hand when I've lost the way
Give me a shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or gray
Give me your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven't forgot
For always and ever, now and forever
Little things mean a lot

Give me your hand when I've lost the way
Give me your shoulder to cry on
Whether the day is bright or gray
Give my your heart to rely on

Send me the warmth of a secret smile
To show me you haven't forgot
That always and ever, now and forever
Little things mean a lot

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 8:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I like that song, Marie.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 8:53PM
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Happy Birthday Yeona. Hope you had a wonderful day filled with good things.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 9:49PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi ya'll. I'm bushed but thot I'd just pop in to say Hi. All in all, it was a successful day. I made a decent amount on the garage sale and unloaded lots of "stuff". We had a steady stream of lookers and I got to read thru some papers that have been accumulating. Altho I made decent $, I don't think I made enough to cover what I spent at the nurseries so far, tho, lol. I was amazed at what people bot and didn't buy. I sold lots of $1, $2,$3 items AND some expensive stuff -- 2 Slalom waterskis, a couple light fixtures. The mid range stuff went begging. Strange. And the customers were strange, too. I can't tell you how glad I am to have that behind me.

We broke down the tables, carted what we're going to keep to the basement, have stuff set aside for charity and a box of stuff for housewarming gifts for our neighbor's son. (They got word late this afternoon that his offer on a condo was accepted and he's moving out on his own.)

We went to dinner with these same neighbor friends and then took a little jaunt to see their son's condo from the outside. They're all excited but a little aprehensive about their first-born being launched.

As soon as I got home I headed for the shovel and the garden! I got a couple things planted. It felt so good to do just a little something in the garden -- finally.

I'm so sorry to hear, Deanne, that you lost some coleus. I'm panic-ing - I've got Dahlias and coleus outside in containers. I've "tented" the containers with stakes and sheets -- I hope it keeps them warm enough. I also think they're too wet. I'm going to look at them in the am and might just drag everything back to the garage! I've tented the Japanese Morning Glory in the container with the oblesk but think I might have covered it too late. It looks like it might have gotten too wet, too. I used the plastic zippered cover from my portable greenhouse. My yard is really a sight!

DH used the wet-dry vac and removed all the water from the lake and mote out front. After he was done we noticed that some of the holes refilled from the ground oozing out water. I hope we get enough sun in the next couple days to help dry that out so the new walkway work can proceed.

The deck, bridge and bench are stained. Yeah. One spring project completed. Tomorrow we'll clean the patio furniture up and put it out. We'll also deliver all the left-overs to charity and our neighbor's son.

Happy Anniversery to Babs and Chris and Taryn and Glen! And Happy Birthday to Yeona! Marian, I'm so glad your surgery went well. V, I'm sorry your calf is stinging! Ouch. Hope all is well. Taryn, good luck to you on the house. I hope this one is the charm! And have a lovely visit with Bruce, Gigi, friends and family.

Sue, in response to your question about the difference between a usual mole and one that is suspect, usually a mole or discoloration with irregular borders or multiple colors should be checked out. The mole Tom had removed was no larger than the "o" in these words, but parts of it were black and it had an irregular border. He was very very lucky he had a nagging wife and had it removed to shut her up! Just ask him! Ennyhoo, I've provided a link below.

I just can't comment more now. I'm bushed. Thinking of all. OH, and BTW I loved, loved, loved all the pix! Great gardens, wonderful photos, the very best group of special friends. That's it from me tonite. I've turned into a pumpkin!


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 11:02PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)


    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 11:16PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hope you had a great day Yeona...with *no* paperwork! :-)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 11:37PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Evening Idylls! Will have to keep this short, as I'm bushed too. Went plant shopping today with Dotty, but I didn't buy a thing! Spent the rest of the day trying to get the plants I already have into the ground. Next will be the rest of the containers, cleaning up the helicopters and then hopefully, getting to spread some cow.

Marian - Don't worry, I do know what's the most important thing to be happy about and of course that's tops my list, but was not part of the quote! :-) Sounds like you had lots of fun today and really did well. I can't believe you got a 2 year old refrigerator for $140.00...that is amazing. And what fun I bet it was to go through all your surprise boxes! Glad you had such a good day. How is your eye (the floaters) today? Is it getting any better? That's a beautiful peony for Yeona! I love the color! Your auction today reminded me of something I want to do with mom. Friday when I took her to the doctor, she kept commenting about all the garage sale signs, but we couldn't stop in because we had to get to the doc and then grocery shopping after. I had forgot how much my mom loved a good garage sale. I've made up my mind to take her this coming week and will be watching our local papers to see who has one going. I know she will really enjoy it. She doesn't really need anything, but she just enjoys the hunt....actually I do too! In fact, I have always thought the perfect day would be spent up in someone's old attic, just rummaging through all their old mementos. I find that fascinating. :-) How nice it was that you were able to share the day with neighbors and friends. Sounds very warm and comforting...there's a lot to be said about small towns!

Gorgeous pics from every one. Marie I love all your gorgeous clematis - so many varieties that I have never seen before. I too liked your song. Very pretty. The little things sure *do* mean a lot! :-)

Thank you about my tree peonies Eden. Your tree peony is gorgeous too! I love all peonies, but I think tree peonies may be my favorite. One thing I really appreciate about them is their woody stems, which helps them get through the rainy days better than the herbaceoous ones! Sounds like you've been doing a lot of babysitting and I'm sure Bella is a joy to be around, but I can imagine it can wear you out too. I hope my son doesn't wait *too* long to make me a grandma...I'm already feeling pretty worn out and I'm not getting any younger! :-) I guess I'll just have to try to stay in shape, as he says he doesn't plan on any children until he is at least 30.

Mary your birthday pic is stunning too! Looks just like something Christopher Lloyd might dream up. I love the colors! You are going to have to tell me more about the fishing line you are using. Sounds just like the kind of thing I am looking for! Where did you find the fishing line? I would like something that I could keep over the pond, but that would not be noticible. Is it below the water surface or just above? Do you have plants in the pond? If so, how does the fishing line work around them? My cage is basically poles that my husband formed to the shape of the pond and then covered with chicken wire. It sits tall and above the pond. It works great for keeping the critters out, but sure doesn't look pretty, which is why I keep it off most of the time.

Hi T - What a pretty African Violet! There is another houseplant that I can not grow. My mother was always very good at it, though she doesn't grow them any more. She tried to help me grow some, but I really do think that I am just not cut out for houseplants.

Hi Taryn! What pretty columbines! We must have been thinking in the same colors today. I think maybe it had something to do with Yeona's name...Yeonasky! Just got me thinking of beautiful blue skies!

Honey - thanks for posting the melanoma pic. I have always wondered about that. Sounds like you had a nice day and did well with the garage sale too!

Well, off to catch some shut eye...Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 12:10AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:09AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Just a quickie before I throw on the garden clothes and head out for weeding. I haven't read yesterday's posts but in [aging down I saw that Mary bought a Baptisia 'Purple Smoke. Mine is just gorgeous right now and I'll try to get a pic if it isn't too windy.

Yes, I can take pictures again!

Happy Birthday, Yeona! This is my "Spring Corner" on the deck:

It was a lot prettier a few days ago when the Polemonium was in full bloom, but the camera wouldn't cooperate.

And here's just a corner of the growing pot ghetto:

Finally, last night was prom. I happened to be at a meeting at the same hotel yesterday morning and had a chacne to scribble a little note to her on the inside of her place card! Here she is in her $10 dress.

Okay, that's all for now! TTYL, I'm going to grab some sunshine.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:30AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Well I see I'm not the only one who's been busy. Yesterday I worked outside all day right up to almost 8 PM. I'm still shuffling perennials-trying to get everything moved into position so I can compost, mulch then play with annuals and containers. Right now the sun is out but I don't think it's supposed to last all day.

Tom got the fence section that we needed to screen the hot tub from the street built and installed yesterday.

It came out perfect-just what I wanted. Today he will stain it and start working on getting the area around the tub dug out and leveled so we can start installing bluestone. The walkway will need to rerouted a bit. I'm looking forward to getting this area cleaned up.

Eden, if you choose your cultivars carefully, you can tuck japanese maples just about anywhere. I'm getting upright varieties that will stay in the 10-15' range. The beauty of them is they are fairly slow growing and tolerate shade so I can plant them in places where most trees wouldn't be happy. A few weeks ago I ripped out an overgrown Miscanthus and one of my floppy Annabelle Hydrangeas in the front garden and replaced them with a Golden Full Moon maple-A. shirasawanum 'Aureum'. Yesterday I planted 'Katsura' next to the patio in a spot where in time it will shade our table. Hopefully I'll be able to fit 'Shishigishira' in front of the fence section Tom just installed. Look around your garden and ideas will

Bird season appears to be in full swing around here. Yesterday I saw my first Hummingbird checking out the tender salvias I bought for the containers. We have a pair of Orioles courting in the trees-what beautiful birds. I keep coming across fledglings hiding in my gardens-robins and grackles. They are quiet til you get too close then they jump and squack-almost gives me a heart attack every Unfortunately the fledgling activity is attracting the local red tailed hawks who from what I can see must raid the grackle nests. On Friday I had a hawk almost right over my head being chased by 20 or 30 angry grackles. I wish they'd focus on the voles and leave the birds alone-although maybe they have because I haven't seen any voles around lately.

OK, time to hit the ground running. If it rains this afternoon I may take a drive out to Variegated Foliage nursery. I can surely get into some trouble there.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:35AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 10:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So I passed up the 8" tall Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' with 4 skinny stems. Was that a mistake? I couldn't figure out where to put it! I have blue, yellow and white ones already. What do you think Mary and V? All I came home with were cheap plastic containers and soil for them. I potted up 3 containers and planted nasturtium seeds in peat pots.

It is brutally cold and windy- and frost is expected tonight. I'll need to start covering things soon, but perhaps I'll finish my book first. What a lazy day, rather pleasant in fact! There's so much that needs to be done though outdoors...

Lovely daughter V!

Super fence Sue! We had an oriole here this morning too.

Great clematis Deanne and Sue! Lovely columbines and iris too, as well as the rich pot display Mary! I like the spring corner with the wobbly pot on the right! ;-)

Time for something warm to drink,

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 5:08PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 5:37PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thank you everyone for the gorgeous birthday cards. Yes it was my 49th and I had a great day. It's not so much what we did, plant shopping, or what we ate, crab with ginger and onion, but who I was with. Just my little family! And you Idyllers are a big part of making my day, with your beautiful cards. Thank you for remembering me even though I'm a bad, bad Idyller.

My DS Dorthe was admitted into hospital Friday night, and is being treated for deep depression and suicidal thoughts because of feeling so lousy since she got the heart problems. It was mostly due to pain and lack of sleep and those things are being addressed, so she feels better about things today. She will be released on Tuesday, just to make sure that she is completely stable. I think she will be well on her way now that they adjusted her meds. Already she is feeling much better with two days of medicine induced sleep. I'm very optomistic that her prognosis is good. I'm going to visit her this evening so I'd better get going on supper and chores.

Take care and thanks again for making me feel special.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 7:32PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Yeona good thoughts going out to Dorthe. Glad you enjoyed your birthday. I've been enjoying all the cards too! V your prom queen is lovely.

Yesterday was bittersweet~~it went very well though of course there was an emotional undercurrent all day that was quite close to the surface and several of us had our moments. Gigi too of course, though she held up remarkably well considering and looked wonderful as always. But it was a lovely, sunny but cool day despite the predictions of rain which never happened, and Bruce enjoyed the company and the food, the conversation and the smoking immensely. The steroids he's on make him hungry a lot and he ate well yesterday.

I brought Gigi a bunch of perennials and planted and labelled them for her which was very theraputic (along with a few bottled Bloody Caesars!) for me. She had smashed her toe dropping a hammer on it the night before, trying to build a ramp for the wheelchair, so we didn't want to risk infection having her help plant. Glenn, my brother Jerrold, his friend Tony and Gigi's brother James are meeting at her house to build a ramp tomorrow. Poor Gigi will definitely lose the toenail and might have broken the toe. Like she needs that on top of everything else! Unfortunately Bruce is back in the hospital today after another seizure. Hopefully just the excitement caused his Dylantin levels to drop.

A few pics, more linked below:
L to R, Jerrold's wife Angeline, Gigi, my Mum:

Some of the gang:

Me and my buddy Bruce:

This was a particularly poignant moment. 4 year old Jessica says, in her most precocious voice, "So, how're ya feeling Bruce? Are ya all better now?" He says, "Feeling great Jessica, but what would really make me feel great is if you would come and plant me a big kiss right here on my cheek." I missed the actual kiss, but got the before and after despite my camera seeming pretty blurry:

This little gal Ricky (short for Richochet) provided comic relief all day:

I think Glenn's in love (and we've found our next breed once we're settled somewhere):

Glenn is taking the boys to the neighbors to set off fireworks in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. Happy May 24 weekend to my fellow Canucks! I'm getting laundry and dishes done because the city is flushing the water lines the next two days and we'll have no water from 10:00am until
6:00pm TUESDAY! What a pain! We wanted to fill the pool but it was too cold today. Will have to be Wednesday now.

Talked to our potential buyers yesterday and they'll be coming on Thursday to present an offer! So that worked out well, with the feature running the next day, and and the open house two days after. Will tell them we'll need until after the weekend to have our lawyer check the offer over and respond. Hopefully it works favourably for us, as we're putting in an offer on the blue house with the 2.5 acre property in the next day or two. Will be so nice to settle this moving thing finally. Well that's all for now. Must catch the finale of Desperate Housewives then get in a shower while I can.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:03PM
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Good evening

Yeona - glad to hear you had such a nice birthday and are optimistic about your sister. The crab sounds delicious!

Ei - here is my pond with the fishing line, the rain drops make the closest line stand out. So far it has worked. I think you can buy a roll of monofilament (fishing line) at sporting goods stores. We had one knocking about in the garage. If you search under "heron" at the Pond Forum here at garden web you'll find a lot of people who have tried this and various other methods.

GB - my Purple Smoke plant wasn't much bigger than the one you're describing but looks very healthy. I put in a very small Baptisia Australis 5 years ago and it is now the size of a large shrub with foliage that looks great all season. I love anything in the legume family. It tolerates drought well which is always a plus as once established my borders get no supplemental summer watering. The purple smoke was 25% off as it was stock from last year. I paid for it with dimes and quarters from DH's loose change collection so it felt like a free plant:0)

Marian - the sale/auction you went to sounds a lot of fun with some great buys. I love getting something we needed second hand for a good price. The best sort of recyling!

Thanks for all the input on Chiropracters. Its always so interesting to get viewpoints from the Idylls.

This afternoon was cold and miserable with sleety rain - yuk! I managed a bit of potting up inbetween showers but it was not a day to enjoy being outside. Annie and I went to a friend's house for tea and she lit a fire in her fireplace to warm us all up. I made coq-au-vin for supper, usually a dish I save for winter evenings. I've just finished bringing in the coleus and am heading for the sofa with a book.

Have a good evening.


    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:03PM
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I'm home after spending the weekend in Minneapolis, MN. I'm tired and the sore throat I've been fighting seems to be developing into a slight cold, so I'll just post a card for Yeona. This from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum that I visited this afternoon.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 11:12PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well, we managed to avoid any damage from the straight line winds we had with that squall line that came through last night. Boy has the cold weather come in though. The temps were 46 when I went to bed and 47 when I got up but my Ipomoea were all wilted this AM so I have no idea exactly how cold it got overnight. Im suspicious it had to have dipped down into the 30s though which was not predicted. The coleus all seem OK it is just the sweet potato vines that took a hit last night. I think it is supposed to get cold again tonight then warming for the rest of the week so hopefully tonight is the last night I have to bring stuff in. I think of Eden and her little greenhouse every time Im trekking into and out of that garage with the plants. Next year I WILL have a better set up for hardening off the plants.

Michelle, I cant believe how far ahead the iris are in the photo than they are here. Lovely photo! I hope you fight off that cold. Im feeling a bit like Im coming down with something myself at the moment and hope it is just allergies.

Taryn, It looks like Bruces party was a success. I dont know how you all held up though. Id have been a mess. ~~ Hope the house sale goes as planned and you have everything finalized before too long. ~~ The last time the Pennichuck Water Works flushed our lines I didnt realize theyd done it because Id been out of town when the notices went out. I had a whole load of whites get ruined because the water was so dirty. Im a bit more careful these days.

Mary, when I was watching the weather yesterday I noticed the frozen precipitation on the weather radar in your area. How nasty! ~~ Your pond area is looking so nice! Is that a variegated dogwood in the upper right of that photograph? ~~ I just love that photo with all the containers. Gorgeous!

Yeona, glad to hear your sister is doing better and also very glad to hear you had a great birthday! The crab sounds delicious.

Wendy, great to see you. I hope you have time for a post soon. As I recall I have some pink daylilies here you wanted. Well have to get together soon before they throw scapes.

Bug, how cold did it actually get there last night? I dont know about you but Im pretty sick and tired of these nights dipping down into the lower 40s and upper 30s and it isnt even as cold here as it is there. Did you get those thunder storms we had here last night? ~~ Tooooo funny your friends bought asparagus!

Sue the fence came out great! Sounds like you got a lot accomplished this weekend. ~~ Where oh where did you find tender salivas? I havent seen a one around here yet. ~~ Did you get out to Variegated Foliage Nursery? ~~ BTW what is that clematis in your BDay card for Yeona?

V, your daughter is lovely! Do you ever wonder how she got so grown up so fast? I know when DD got to be that age Id catch myself being surprised as just how fast those years went by. ~~ Love your containers on your deck.

Honey, I thought of you yesterday when I noticed my Thomas Edison dahlias are putting up the first bits of green growth from the tubers. We enlarged the mailbox garden over the weekend so my large dahlias will have more elbow room than they had last year. ~~ I sure hope all your plants are OK. I sure know what a sick feeling it is when your realize that you should have brought them in out of the rain and or cold and it is too late. My new Rosy Dawn order is supposed to arrive today or tomorrow and Im going to watch these plants like a hawk.

Marian, sounds like you had a great time at the auction and got some good stuff cheap. One of my favorite things! How terrific about the refrigerator and they will deliver it as well. Neat.

Eden, glad to hear your dahlias are OK and yes it really is hard to wait until June for things to warm up. Ive gotten a couple emails from Pam from Rosy Dawn Gardens and she says she doesnt put out one single coleus until the first of June. Im going to have to make a deal with myself for next year and do the same. I do have a hard time keeping track of stuff when Ive got the lights downstairs and in the spare room and things in the garage and the driveway. It is just way too many areas to think about keeping watered. The very best thing about the fuchsias is that they are really tolerant of cold and wet weather and all of mine are looking really great right now.

OK it is way past time for me to get to the gym and get my day started. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 8:43AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Deanne! Thanks for the info on the Dahlias. I plan to do all my containers today, as it looks like we are finally out of our cold spell. BTW, the fuchsias you sent me are looking wonderful and I was thinking what a great nursery grower you would be! :-) You have so many talents that you excell at; orchid grower, photographer,artist, gardener, that I can't choose a permanent career for you...LOL! Seriously, you are so talented Deanne, I am in *awe*!

Mary thanks so much for posting your pond pic. Your pond is looking lovely. Thank you for showing the fishing line, I was having a hard time imagining what you had done. That looks great and you really don't notice it at all. I will go to the pond site to get info on how to lay it out.

Taryn the pictures are wonderful and looks like the party was a big success. I can imagine how hard the day was for all of you, but also such a special gift too. I'll be thinking of Bruce, Gigi and the kids and praying for peace and strength for all of them.

Yeona - glad to read that your sister is doing better and glad to hear you had a nice birthday.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 9:11AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Monday (yeah, right). We had near-frost (is that an official term?) this morning; I think there was just enough cloud cover over night to hold the temperatures a teensy bit higher. Im hoping I didnt lose the Lemon Basil plant that I left out on the potting bench all night. Its in the house now, kind of like Eis fish cage.

Heres the upbeat word on gardening in the Chicago area from yesterdays Tribune:

Gardeners off to a soggy start
A warm spell, followed by rain and hail, has caused many to rethink their planting plans

By Kayce T. Ataiyero
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 21, 2006
The soggy ground had prevented Buffalo Grove Garden Club member Donna Firman from planting. A dazzle of geraniums, pansies and impatiens that she hasn't been able to get in the ground take up space in her living room, bathtub and kitchen sink.

"My son came in the other day and said, "Nice garden in the living room, Mom,'" she said.

An unusual convergence of weather events--ranging from gentle rain to cloudbursts and hail--over the last few weeks has forced many Chicago area gardeners to come up with new planting game plans.

The unseasonably warm start to 2006 prompted late bloomers such as crab apples--which normally sprout around Mother's Day--to make a special Arbor Day appearance along with the tulips and the forsythia. May brought cooler than normal temperatures that caused those blooms to stick around longer than usual.

Then came the rain, nine days in a row, that drenched the soil and weakened waterlogged flowers, molded hanging baskets and multiplied the slugs that came to feast on the leaves that didn't blow away.

Then Wednesday, heavy rain and hail pounded area plantings.

"There was thunder and lightning and I was out there, running around, trying to save my plants while my husband is screaming at me to come in the house," said Liz Kilpatrick whose Prospect Heights garden took a hit from the hail. "I was trying to move them under shelter, whatever I could do. Oh, it was not good."

Doris Taylor, plant information specialist at Morton Arboretum, said the situation "kinda got wacky" but that, in a way, the weather has been good for plants.

"The lightning fixes with the atmosphere adding nitrogen to plants. Nitrogen keeps plants happy and healthy," Taylor said. "Cool temperatures are good for keeping plants around."

What's good for plants is not necessarily great for people, she said.

"Mentally, we are really ready for some warm weather," Taylor said. "Too many days in a row without sunshine, everyone gets crabby."

Bernard Jacobs, a partner in landscape architecture firm Jacobs/Ryan Associates, said this is not the best year to get into gardening as the spring is shaping up to be a challenging, and gooey, season.

"Between the cold and no sun and a lot of rain, it has made for a lot of messy conditions," Jacobs said. "You get out there and dig and you are up to your you-know-what.

"The hail didn't help. It was the height of insult to injury. My hostas look like they have been shot with buckshot. I stand in my garden shaking my fist at the sky saying, `Thanks, God.'"

Though the weather has been peculiar, Jacobs said he couldn't say this season has been worse than normal. Truth is, Chicago area gardeners haven't had it easy for a while. Last year, a drought lingered for months and this year, according to the National Weather Service, we are an inch or so above average rainfall totals.

"I can't honestly tell you what normal is anymore," Jacobs said. "Every year, it's something different. You don't know what to expect."

Neither does weather service meteorologist Tim Halbach. He can tell you it should be mainly dry through Tuesday with temperatures getting back to May norms of about 70 degrees for the next week or so.

"We are in the transition from La Nina to more normal weather patterns," Halbach said. "The forecast for the next few months is kind of up in the air."

So are the chances for survival for some plants in Helga Girkins' Buffalo Grove garden, which bountiful rain has turned into an expanse of lush green gentility, a postcard-worthy picture of lavender and burgundy blooms.They "have been growing like mad" because of all the rain but she is concerned that the plants grew too quickly. She worries that her flowers and bushes will wilt and be vulnerable to heat if the weather warms quickly.

If it were Girkins' call on garden futures, she said there's no contest between dry and wet.

"In a drought, you can water," Girkins said. "But you can't stop the rain."

I did get a lot of weeding done yesterday. The dang things really are over a foot high. I thought I had lost a lot of my liatris, but I found out yesterday that they were totally shaded out by a lovely combo of prickly lettuce, Canada thistle and bedstraw. Most of those nasties are now history.

Mary, Ill weigh in a little late on the chiropractor question. I went to one several years ago for a very specific problem and she did a great job. But in line with what Sue mentioned, this chiro really focused on the complaint that I came in with and didnt try to sign me up for a years worth of visits for other maladies, real or imagined. I would get a recommendation and not be shy about looking for someone else if the chiro seems to be more interested in repeat business rather than your specific problem.

Sue, a typical melanoma looks like a mole gone bad. It gets much darker, bumpier and irregular around the edges. "Age spots" usually are flat and a lighter brown. I would strongly encourage you or anyone who has a dark spot that has shown any change to have a dermatologist look at it. It is so much easier to make the time for a doctors visit early on than for chemo visits later. And moles dont need to be "compressed" to be checked, if you catch my drift! Okay, I read on and see that Honey provided some info too. Thanks!

Marie, keep an eye on your mail. Im shipping you some asparagus. I will try to get a picture of my Baptisia Purple Smoke in the next day or so. The winds were just too strong the other day. Mine was small when I planted it in late summer 2004 and it didnt impress me too much last year, but this year its growing great and is a stunner. It was worth the wait.

Yeona, glad you had a lovely birthday, and good to hear that your sister may be getting the help she needs. Good thoughts to her!

Marian, you auction sounds like it was fun and what a great deal on the fridge!

Taryn, the gathering looks like it was a fine time. Bruce doesnt stop smiling, does he? Lots of good thoughts and prayers headed your way also.

Ill close this lengthy post with a cute story. We had a family birthday to celebrate yesterday, and my SILs SIL was watching her 2nd grade daughter serving herself food. She pointed out that there were red peppers on the veggie tray, saying, "Those are your favorite, Sam!" Sam replied in a very serious voice, "But theyre not my favorite today."

But you ladies are my favorite idylls, today and every day!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 9:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks V....more asparagus....hmmm. For Popeye it was spinach, for me asparagus I guess!

Just received this from my nursery: (some useful hints I think)
Dear Gardener:

While it is Victoria Day and many of you might not receive this in time, we thought it important to try to warn you about some weather related problems that you might see over the next little while. We apologize to those of you who have elected to receive this notice at work only, as it may not be as timely as we had hoped.

Daytime temperatures over the last two days (Sunday, Monday) have been rather cold, and with the clearing skies forecast for this evening, there is a very good chance of frost overnight. We wish to warn you that, in the unfortunate circumstance that you have planted tender annuals, hanging baskets, perennials or even perhaps a frost sensitive soft plants like hydrangea, roses, mock orange, clematis or butterfly bush, that it would be in your best interest to cover them, or move them indoors, this evening. We hope our earlier warning (in our mailed newsletter) about using patience in planting annuals may have given you pause to reconsider your timing, but if not - then it is far better to cover rather then replace.

If your annual plants (with the exception of pansies) experience frost it may kill them outright. In the case of perennials, the roots of the plant will still be viable, but you may see some damage to the foliage above ground. This damaged foliage should be removed as soon as possible to permit the plant to send out new growth. This removal of damaged leaves should also be considered for any woody plants that experience injury as well.

An old nursery trick worth considering, should you find a woody plant in leaf with crystals of frost still on it , is to try and 'wash' the frost off with a hose in the EARLY MORNING (before 9:00 am). While not a perfect solution, it may help the affected leaves on your woody plants. This technique will be largely ineffective for your annuals and perennials. Damaged leaves on your plants can often be easily removed, with latent replacement leaves bursting forth to replace those damaged in a very short number of weeks (with normal temperatures).

Three other weather related issues that we might just briefly mention.

Firstly, the abundance of rainfall over the last couple of weeks has some ramifications to plants planted on heavier clay soils. Fruit trees, yews, red maples, Japanese maples, lilacs, mountain ash and a number of other species are fairly intolerant to sitting in very wet conditions for long periods of time. The cool weather, so far, has meant that the plants themselves may not have had the means or opportunity to 'use up' the water that is there - and the soil is also not draining it quickly enough away from the root zone. Should you suspect that this may be the case with your plants, take a trowel and dig a narrow hole adjacent to the root ball. If the ground 1 foot down in the ground is very wet, (you can wring water out easily when squeezing it in your fist), then your plant MAY BE experiencing this condition.

This is an additional warning to you that if the weather turns rapidly to windy and warm the plant foliage may appear to be doing some strange things. It might be droopy, perhaps dark brown and slimy on the edges, or yellowish. When the root system is under moisture stress and LOOKS like this, it is not an uncommon reaction to attempt to 'cure' the problem by adding additional water. This may make the problem even worse. BEFORE applying additional water, verify with the 'trowelled hole' OR with the use of a moisture meter exactly how wet the ground is 1 foot down. You may be surprised to find that the moisture content is more than adequate. Under extreme circumstances, pruning the foliage or branches somewhat may help to 'balance out' the plant so that the damaged roots can 'get a chance to grow back'.

Secondly, should you have already purchased annual plants from us, it is a real tricky experience to try and maintain them in the flat or pots in the garage. One little tip we can give you is to be very careful as to the amount of water applied, if the flat is being kept somewhere where it is cool. The plant should be 'almost droopy' before watering, and care should be given to making sure it is just 'a little bit'. Too much water and cool temperatures will result in rot very quickly - and this may set your plants back a little bit. Particular care must also be given to hanging baskets as too much water can destroy a New Guinea Impatiens, Fuchsia or other annual basket in a very short period of time.

Finally if you are considering the possible application of a herbicide for the control of common broadleaf weeds, this coming week would be a very good time to be applying it. The moisture and increasingly warmer temperatures that are forecast will be a huge boost to the growth of weeds, and herbicides generally work best when weeds are growing rapidly. It is still not too late to apply a crabgrass preventer like Parkwood Crabgrass Control to your lawn to alleviate this common weed as well.

Well I did go back and pick up the B.Purple Smoke. You probably guessed that anyway. Of course a few other small items landed in my wagon too: a hosta, more wallflowers, lysimachia Beaujolais (a replacement) and some tiny iris heavily in bud.

I am impatiently waiting for the temperature to rise above the 45F mark and get some mowing done. It is a holiday here, Queen Victoria's birthday celebration. With DH away, I am beginning to unwind from all the upkeep pressures of laundry, ironing, meal prep, etc. Finished a good mystery last night by the fireplace with Charlotte at my feet. Today I will water and feed houseplants and enjoy myself. :-) Hope you can do the same.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 12:40PM
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I didnt get any gardening other than watering in this weekend, but I did have a fun weekend anyway. I ended up hitting 3 nurseries in Minneapolis, I visited 2 of their neighbors gardens and spent 3 ½ hours at the Arboretum. Oh, all us siblings were together and that is always fun. I also came home with a couple of coleus, Tilt-a-whirl and Gays Delight and a pulmonaria Majeste.
The Arboretum was very nice. Its 1000 acres so theres lots to see. Maybe Ill make a separate thread with some pictures.

Sue, the fence turned out well.

Vs daughter looks lovely.

Glad to hear that Yeona had a great b-day, and that things are looking up for DS.

Marian, that is great that you got such a new fridge for such a reasonable price. What a deal on the heucheras. I got Keylime pie and Amethyst Myst last year at the grocery store in 4" pots. I went back this year and they had decided not to have a greenhouse this year.

Ei, what an adorable birdie. I enjoyed your photo essay on the other thread. How creative you are. What an appropriate quote from Henry Mitchell.

Deanne, the iris that were blooming were miniatures. No coleus out until after June 1 huh? I am finding that not all coleus react the same. I love 6 of 7 Kiwi Ferns, but many of the other kinds were fine. I also took cuttings of Plum Frost and the took off just wonderfully and all rooted, but the cuttings of Show and Tell dont look like any will root.

Taryn, it was nice for friends to get together for Bruce, although Im sure it was hard too. Best of luck with the house offer. What a lovely mom you have.

Mary, I love your pond. I didnt get a chance to mention that I occasionally go to the Chiropractor and it seems to be beneficial. When I had a lot of pain with my sciatic he did refer me to the medical Dr. and I was put on Mobic an anti-inflammatory that really helped.

Suzy, I hope you felt better for the weekend.

Bug, what a nice load of brick. Have fun! I brought asparagus to my DB he was thrilled.

Honey, Im sure its a good feeling to get a few things cleaned out and to make money to boot.

Hi to all I missed. I must get back to work. Mondays are heck.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 1:55PM
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Have you tried roasting the asparagus Marie? Just coat with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and put in the oven on high heat until tender-crisp. That's how I usually cook it. I'm not a fan of boiled asparagus. Thanks for the info above. I've noticed a few droopy perennials, especially the brunneras and I'm thinking their roots are probably waterlogged.

I just got back from ordering the supplies for our paver project. They'll be delivered Thursday, just in time for Brad to work on them over the holiday weekend. I would like him to get this project done in short order since it's right outside my back door. I'm done running errands for the day and am off to the garden to pop in a few perennials. We're still under a freeze warning for tonight so no containers yet.

Deanne, is Rosy Dawn replacing the coleus you lost? I've been hauling things in an out too because the little greenhouse is full. I think I may need two of them, lol.

V, your daughters looks like a princess in her prom attire. Very pretty!

Mary, loved the picture of your container garden.

Sue, I've seen a pictures of a couple of peoples gardens over on that other forum where they've used alot of Japanese Maples the way you're describing. They do look nice here and there tucked into a small garden as do dwarf conifers too I think. I just don't have much tucking room left.

I'm going to get out and get planting now. I've got to make some room in the driveway for the paver delivery, which translates to getting some plants moved out of the ghetto and into the garden. It's a beautiful afternoon to spend in the garden here.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 2:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Well Im in for a bit of an afternoon break and to get out of the wind for a bit. It is horribly windy here today and I absolutely HATE the wind. When I was little we lived on Chincoteague Island, VA and it was windy like this all the time. That was not a good period in my life. Way too many things happened in those years and the wind brings back memories Id rather forget. But, it isnt raining and the temp is 62 so Im done complaining about the weather. The good thing about this is it is going to dry up the rivers and flooded areas at a good clip with this dry Canadian air were having.

Eden, LOL about your needing two greenhouses!!!! You made my day with that remark. I was feeling a bit grumpy when I came in the house and the Idylls have cheered me right up. ~~ RE the Rosy Dawn order, nope, they are not replacing my plants nor would I want them to when the coleus died from my mistake. I bought the replacements but they did include several bonus plants in with the order that I really appreciated. As before, the new plants are all gorgeous and in great condition and I intend to keep these in good shape. Im going to pot them up when Im done this post.

Michelle, thanks for clarifying the iris question. I was wondering if that was the case but Id never seen the minis in some of those colors. ~~ No kidding about the coleus, I lost two Kiwi Fern also but my Felix and others are just fine and they were in exactly the same conditions. Ive found that Sedona is pretty tender as well and needs a bit more coddling than others. I only have one large Sedona left and a group of cuttings that arent looking too good. I also lost all my cuttings I took off my Plectranthus Vanilla Twist and I was pretty bummed about that. Im going to have to find some of that locally. The P Lemon Twist seems to be much hardier than the Vanilla Twist for some reason. Go figure?

Bug, sounds like youve been having a good time. I liked those tips from the nursery. ~~ Id like some advice on pruning my Clematis Asao. It was nicely entwined on the obelisk Ive got it on but one of those wind storms we had earlier blew it off and it is just hanging there and Im surprised the stems havent broken off yet. The woody part of the stems is about two feet or so and I was wondering if I can prune it right back to the first two nodes from the ground after it is done blooming. Do you think it will die if I take off all that top growth? Oh yes, remember that pretty blue-violet clematis we never did ID positively that is on that same obelisk? Well, that has bit the dust and is gone entirely. Im wondering if it will show up next spring. It has done that in the past and I never know if it will reappear. Also the Henryii you pruned for me in the Shed Garden., which wound up completely dying off last summer, has come back too. Im just waiting for it to keel over again. What a pain. Ive got another large Henryii next to the front steps and that just lost a whole stem covered with buds for no apparent reason. These large flowered varieties make me crazy with the wilt thing. Ill never again buy another large flowered clematis. They just dont like me and they ALWAYS wilt.

V, loved that article from your paper. I read it to Doug and we both thought your weather sounds exactly like it has been here this spring.

Eileen, so glad to hear that your fuchsias are looking good. You really are going to love those varieties. You are so sweet and I think youve figured out my problem and that is I just dont know what I want to be when I grow up! LOL

OK break is over and Im going to try to get a bit more work done outside before I call it a day here. Enjoy the rest of the day all,

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 4:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Deanne, there you are with the lovely Asao, another group 2 clematis! Are the bent stems still healthy? Are the leaves wilted or healthy? If anything is limp and not looking good, for sure remove it. Anything you prune back will put energy into the root growth. It won't harm the plant at all. The hardest part for you is that it will delay blooming, and I know that patience for blooms isn't our strong point! Remember, many experts prune back their clematis for the first 2 years! That I cannot do. Heck, I'm 63, how long must I wait??? ;-) The wind can really do damage to our gardens. At times I want a glassed in biosphere over the 10 acre property-LOL! Today it never went above 45F. Tomorrow they say 60F, so I guess I'll be moving bricks!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 4:29PM
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Hi everyone

V - I didn't tell you how lovely your daughter is in her prom dress. It looks as if it were made for her! Also, your pot ghetto plants are pretty enough to form a nice container garden.

Speaking of container gardens, I can't take credit for those in Yeonna's birthday photo, they belonged to Christopher Lloyd. Ei - you have a great eye!! I'm aspiring to something like that for our patio, and Deanne has put me well on the way.

Taryn - so glad the party for Bruce was such a success. The photos are very special. Hope his return to hospital is brief. I don't think I've seen photos of your Mum before - she looks a neat lady and a lot of fun too.

Deanne - I stopped in at a local grower today and thought how much you would have loved it. The greenhouses were filled with unusual container plants including dozens of different coelus. Perhaps you should plan that driving trip next year! I picked up a Salvia Discolor, Salvia Leucanthia, a red lotus berthelotii, a variegated plectranthus with blue flowers and just one more coleus. (I couldn't help myself, it has curley red leaves). I was able to pay for all of them with more of DH's loose change though it took me a while counting out all the dimes and nickels LOL! The nicest lady runs the greenhouse and she took me into her special reserve area to choose the new coleus.

GB - asparagus on the grill is also good. Same treatment as Eden's for roasting. It comes out smokey and sweet.

Hi to everyone else, I need to check on homework progess and decide what's for supper.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 4:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A drive-by post...

I came across this bit of insight the other day, attributed to Mrs Ruth Levitan:

"Working with a piece of land is like a marriage. You think you're going to make him over. But you learn that what you marry is what you've got."


    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 5:47PM
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Good morning

GB - love the quote and very true!

Our weather is starting to warm today and we might hit 80F by the weekend. Sure beats 35F at night. I'm hoping to finally get some of my tropicals outside to begin hardening off. The one inch lengths of various gingers I brought back from Hawaii are well rooted and now have some nice top growth. I'm looking forward to seeing how they do once things warm up.

The cool has been good for some things. My spring lettuce has been the best ever - we had a delicious salad last night with fresh arugula, Little Gem Cos lettuce and Red Salad Bowl. Even better, we've been able to eat it before the bunnies found it.

Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 7:28AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi, all another drive-by post brrrrrr, was it cold enough for everyone last nite? I resorted to sheets over the annuals that were waiting for containers & houseplants that had mistakenly been put out last week grrrr.... but on the other hand, I prefer cooler spring to upper 80s-90 theyre now predicting possible for the weekend consequently, there are lots of drooping plants this a.m. I noticed a number suffered over the weekend too and Ive actually got a blooming Asiatic in the garden and its um, Red I suspect its something that was sent mislabeled luckily its blooming all by its lonesome so its just looking extremely tropical at the moment. Had a few dahlias starting to pop up no telling what they look like this a.m. O well...... I cant afford that biosphere!!

Had busy weekend DD & her hubby came over to be "slaves for a day" as a present and we went to see the DaVinci Code. DD brought lunch & baked a homemade pound cake w/ strawberries & whip cream (I had to laugh -- for me whos been on a diet, could she have chosen a worse cake? but she was so proud of it and rightly so as it turned out lovely). So I just indulged & made them take most of it home but boy that fat, fat, tasted soo good!! Now its back "on the wagon" to work on getting all those fat grams off this week!

We liked the DaVinci Code movie -- but preferred the book and wondered what people who had not read the book thought of the movie -- I suspect it was easier to understand if you had read -- a friend said she realized if you didnt follow the dialogue closely (that explained so much) you really got lost quickly..... Anyone else contribute to the movie industry recently?

Taryn good luck w/ the open house love the photos of your gathering for Bruce and family looks like everyone had exactly what you hoped for a great, cozy time.

Would love to see your photos, Michelle, of your visit to the Arboretum you know we love virtual garden tours!!

So, GB are u up & at em moving those bricks? They look lovely despite the color not being quite "yellow" & are going to make fantastic walks.

V your DD looks like a princess just lovely. And great steal on that dress!


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 9:01AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Good morning, Idylls. This will be another drive-by for me. Yesterday, the contractor came and rigged up a temporary drainage system in case it rains before his crew is able to work. Sunday, DH used the wet-dry vac and removed 60 gal. of water from the front lake, again. Were hoping it dried out enough for them to work. Theyre going to try to do something this afternoon. I have a haircut scheduled for today. Of course, on the way is a nursery I must at least stop and look. Usually, they dont have much exciting, but

Marian, congrats on the new refrig! What a buy! Your kitchen will really be stylin with those new appliances. Itll be so nice for you to have appliances you can depend on. What a difference my new frig has made for me. I now dont have to worry about freezing my produce.

Ei, I love your posts and quotes. Bug, great pix, thanks! Mary, what a fabulous pic a kalidescope of color! Its exactly what I aspire for my garden! V, your DD is so pretty and what a lovely dress! Hope she had a wonderful evening. Taryn, what a lovely party you had! And so special for Bruce and Gigi. Sorry about her toe. And Congrats on the house sale and purchase plans! Ive got my fingers and toes crossed that all goes well for you! Michelle, gorgeous photo! Sorry about the sore throat. Sue, your fence came out great! What a talented hubby you have. Please post pix of those Japanese Maples in situ. Id love to incorporate more here. Yeona, Im so glad to hear your DS is doing better. Your dinner sounded yummy.

Deanne, I think my Dahlias are too leggy. They prefer to be outside in the sun. Dont think they got enough light in the kitchen. I had to bring them back in the house last nite b/c it went down in the 30s. Im not sure the things in my little portable greenhouse didnt suffer, too. This cold snap is the pits!

V, thanks for sharing that article. That couldve been my house theyre talking about! I have plants everywhere. Bug, thanks for the one you shared. Very useful info. BTW, Im going to try to rescue my Clematis from under the deck today. I hope I dont injure them trying to get them to climb on the deck lattice. Theyve already budding.

Thanks, Mary, for your comments on my containers. Here are a few pix. Theyre not the best light conditions its been either too cold, too wet, too windy for them to be outside.

I decided that the Acontium that I used 2 yrs. ago in this container was too hard to winter over and too expensive to replace. So, this is my combo this year. These plants are staged in their original pots, not planted. Thus, its been easy to pull the tender ones to keep them safe and in the fall the perennials just go in the ground. Ill be able to get them staged better when I dont have to continually bring in the tender ones.

I used: Pulmonaria Majeste, Begonia Capricorn, Brunnera Looking Glass, Stained Glassworks Rose Explosion, Coleus Dark Star with Hemigraphis alternata Purple Waffle as filler.

I really love, love, love the Rose Explosion, but it is really fragile.

Heres another: Fuchsia Autumnale, Heuchera Key Lime Pie, and Coleus Wizard Scarlet.

I cant tell the difference between Key Lime and Lime Rickey. I have both. Anyone know?

Im hoping to be able to get the other containers out tomorrow, make some changes and will take some pix if theyve survived. Im afraid even the garage may have been too cold for them last nite. Sheesh!

Well, gotta run. Im going to try to move up my haircut appt. appt today. Hope its sunny and warm where you are. Hi to all.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 9:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cindy, I'm up but it is awfully windy and cold still. There's SUN though!!!!! I need to go to the bank, then I'll get started. I've removed all the decorative sheets and pots(ha!) from the garden this morning. They are still thinking it will freeze again tonight! Guess I'll hold off on planting a day or two longer. Sigh...

Off I go- later 'gators!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 9:19AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Its another cool but sunny morning here. It would be a great day for weeding the garden, but life has other plans for me at the moment. Ill sit here at my desk and "back at the ranch" the weeds will get just a little taller.

Marie, thanks for the link to the Biosphere. It sent me on a little trip down memory lane. When I was 12, we went to Montreal to visit Expo 67. It was part of a classic 1960s over-planned road trip vacation. When we arrived in Montreal, first we got to see an enormous motorcade headed the other direction. It was Charles de Gaulle, prime minister of France, headed to the airport after an historic visit to Quebec. At our motel, we found a message waiting for my father. His brother had dropped dead of a heart attack, literally as he walked out the door of the doctors office. Suddenly the carefully scheduled trip and hard-to-get reservations were out the window. The owners of the motel were incredibly helpful as they juggled our room reservation, gave us a space to leave our packed car and made arrangements for a flight back to Chicago. It was our very first plane ride! I saved the placemat and salt and pepper packets for a long time. Anyway, Expo 67 was worth the delay and I still remember Buckminster Fullers incredible dome, the raw industrial atmosphere of the USSR exhibit and the strange foreignness of the Thai exhibit.

Honey, I bought the same Begonia as you have in that first pot.

Thanks for all the nice comments on DD. She had a great time at the prom. Today is the senior awards assembly, Thursday night is the Honors Banquet and Friday is the Thespian Banquet. Not a lot of serious school left (nor much serious cooking in our household!)

Okay, I should go deal with the bigger issues of the day. Hosta manana, friends!


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 11:46AM
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Hello everyone!

V, your daughter looked lovely. It sounds like a very busy time for her (and you) in the upcoming days as she winds down her high school years.

Mary, your pond turned out so nice. I cannot remember if you took photos as you built it.....if you did, I'd love to see them.

Marie, some of your bricks appeared to be 'floating' in mid air in the photo......did anyone else notice it? I kept looking at the picture trying to see why & how...I never did figure it out.

Marion, great score on the refrigerator & other goodies. I don't go to garage, estate sales or auctions.....always find things I 'need' that I truly don't 'need'. It is best if I just stay away from the temptation.

Deanne, sorry to read that the weather killed some of your coleus. You definitely need a greenhouse or 3......or 5.... (just trying to enable as much as you might need).

Sue, Tom did a very nice job on the privacy fence. You will have the area around it looking like the fence & hot tub were always do have a green thumb, fingers, hand, arm....................

Honey your containers look great.

Michelle, I enjoyed seeing your gardens from up high. It is pretty neat to be able to see the entire garden and what the scale is of the plants, walkways and surrounding areas. I liked seeing the farm equipment and the fields/pasture.

Have you guys ever noticed how many things are 'great', 'wonderful', 'lovely', 'gorgeous', 'perfect', etc, etc, this group?! Amazing talent.

We spent the weekend working on getting some trees cut down and split into firewood. What a fun time (not), but it is good to have the chore done before the heat of summer hits.

It began raining here about the time that it stopped there. The grass, briars, weeds and flowers are doing very well in the warm, rainy days. I have some Jain iris that are blooming for the first time......gorgeous colors. I'm in the process of moving them, so hope that doing it, as they are blooming, will not kill them. My Calla lilies are blooming and the Hostas (I only have 3) are looking lush & healthy so far (slugs will get them, it is just a matter of time). A couple of rhododendrons are done blooming but a few more are in their prime. The blooms do not last long, but they are sure lovely for those few days. I have one rose (Therese xxxxxx? can't remember the entire name) that has had one bloom on it so far, all the other roses are still just producing their buds.

Well, I'm sure I'm missing commenting on lots.....I enjoyed seeing Taryn's pictures and hearing from those who've been gone/quiet from the Idylls.

Hello to all....


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 4:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Not one of my better days, but I want to tell Honey that her old refrigerator sounds like mine. I have it on the very lowest setting to keep it from freezing everything. We will move it into the utility room and use it in place of our 42 year old freezer. The 'frigerator is 32 years old!

I think the reason I am not at my best today is because yesterday I first mowed almost all our yard, then we moved the old refrigerator so I could clean under and behind it. What a mess! Besides just a normal accumulation of dirt, there is a round spot in the vinyl that is apparently the fluid from it's motor. It is soaked into the vinyl... dark reddish-brown, and 6" in diameter.Thank goodness it will be hidden by the new one. It should arrive tomorrow. We set the old one in the breakfast nook, and will leave it there until getting the freezer moved out of the utility room.

The new range will come this week also, but the gal at the store didn't seem to know what day.

Honey, your pots are lovely ( and so are everyone elses). I am you plant the heucheras in the ground in the fall ?

Bye for now...while I nurse my headache...:-(


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 6:12PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hi folks! Just a quickie from me-my laptop at work had a hard drive failure and the temporary set up IT gave me doesn't have internet access. So....hopefully tomorrow I'll be back in business but who knows.

I've been working in the garden every night after work trying to get caught up. With any luck it won't rain again this week and the upcoming three day weekend will prove fruitful. Last night I moved compost out of necessity because the trash needed to go out and the driveway was blocked. Tonight I planted a pile of stuff. Monique was kind enough to tip me off to a nursery we both frequent that had Abelia Silver Anniversary. I snuck down there at lunchtime and got that and a few other things-another Stephanandra incisa Crispa, a variegated Cotoneaster to replace the one that died this winter, another Azalea Westons Lemon Drop, a couple of annuals and a Phlomis russeliana. Lately I hardly ever score the plants I want at nurseries anymore so this was a fruitful trip. On Sunday I finally found the Hydrangea Blue Billow I've been looking for. Unfortunately it was in a White Flower Farm pot and overpriced (that seems to be the latest thing at the nurseries around here this year-a line of WFF plants-usually fairly common stuff at outrageous prices) but every so often I pay more for something than I want to.

Honey, your containers look great. I don't even think to use hardy plants in containers-I guess there are too many tender and tropical things I want and I figure the hardy stuff can grow in the Tonight I "staged" a few more empty pots and started playing around with combinations. Hopefully I can get more serious about that this weekend.

Has anybody sprung for one of those new Sambucus Black Lace? That is one sweet looking plant. I'm a sucker for dark foliage but have been reluctant to get this one because Black Beauty basically got panned on the shrub forum a year or so ago and I can't grow Sutherland Gold to save my life.

Tom did do a nice job on the fence. Tonight He finished digging out the area and plans to order a ton of stone dust tomorrow for the patio base. It would be nice to get that done this weekend. It isn't in the plans for this year but next year I want to extend the patio out there and redo that whole garden-maybe build a small pergola.

OK, the dinner bell is ringing. Tomorrow night I have a pedicure appointment after work and on Thursday it's off to the hairdresser. Goodbye week.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 8:32PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Wow I can't believe it's been several days already since I posted. Thanks to everyone asking about my headache - it finally did go away although I was a bit groggy for a day or so. I felt good enough on Friday evening to go see the DaVinci Code - I thought it was very good. I'm the only one in the family who has actually READ the book, but everyone else liked it also. One of our local churches ran an ad in the newspaper asking people to boycott the movie. I find that to be so silly since the whole thing is just a work of fiction and I can't believe they are so threatened by it.

I didn't actually get out in the yard until today. I've been feeling like I just didn't want to get out there and do anything. I finally figured out why - it's that one bed that I've neglected for about 3 years now staring me in the face. I had it in my mind that I should tackle that first, but was dreading it so. Everything in that bed needs to be divided or moved. My honeysuckle in there is going crazy. The bed is full of 3 or 4 foot high persimmon suckers - did I mention how I hate that persimmon tree? Actually the best thing would be to dig it all out, revamp the ground, and then replant. A huge undertaking I don't want to face. After realizing this was the root of my problem, I decided to tackle something smaller - the rose circle out back that I ignored last year (I have been a BAD gardener for a couple of years). So I went out today and dug the dandelions and such out, used the scuffle hoe on the rest of it, cut out the dead canes and then filled it in with mulch. It looks ever so much better and it was a job accomplished. Some of my beds have filled out such that there are actually few weeds and little room for mulch now, which is how I want them, so I'll tackle another one tomorrow. Maybe the roses out front, they just need hoed again and mulched. Maybe if I can tackle the smaller ones and get those done, I'll feel more like going after that monster out there on the corner.

While I was out picking up DS2 from school, I stopped in Walmart (and of course I parked near the garden area). I hit it lucky again! I think they just got in a new shipment of annuals - and at a nice price of $1.68 a pot - and you wouldn't believe what I got! Three Dark Eyes fuscias, two white Lisa dahlias, three Lanai Peach verbena, three Margarita sweet potato vines, two Non-Stop Pink tuberous begonias, and a white begonia. These were such nice plants for the price, I couldn't believe it. Mom and I are going back in the morning before everything is gone so she can get plants for her containers. I'll probably pick up a couple more. I also got a bag of new potting soil for the containers and a nice cocoa lined hanging basket for the fuschias. After finishing up the rose bed I planted two concrete urns and the basket, and ran out of soil already. So another trip is needed... I've probably made a horrible mistake putting the dahlias and begonias in the same urns, but I guess time will tell. I can move them easily enough. The look pretty good for me, you all inspire me with your beautiful containers.

By the time I quit I was a mess. I had to shower before cooking dinner. Honestly if it were just me, I'd have continued working, but the guys think they need to be fed. What's up with that? I'm tired and a little bit achy, but it's a good ache.

I've been having a night visitor - something who not only raids my seed cakes but also last night chopped off the tops of a bunch of daylilies. Didn't eat them, left them on the ground right there, but really chopped them up. I guess for a while the seed cakes will have to be taken down at night and put back out in the morning.

Tomorrow I also want to get my concrete cherub back upright. A mole undermined her base over the winter and she fell over. I'm going to stick a couple of bricks under the low side before hauling her back up.

T - I don't think you'll hurt the iris. They are pretty hardy. We have a local grower (crosses his own, I have many gorgeous unnamed varieties from him) and he has people come to his field as they bloom. Digs them up as they are chosen and sends them home with you right then. I've never had a problem with them - sometimes it's been a couple of days before I got them replanted and they were fine. I just keep them in a shady spot and don't let them get dried out.

Marian don't you love a good auction? I've gotten some real treasures at auctions. I love the hunt.

Well I had better call it a night and get some sleep. We're supposed to have good weather all weekend so I hope to spend a good bit of time shaping this place up. DS the soon to be graduate wants a Japanese cherry tree, so I'm trying to picture where to plant one. Of course, there will have to be a bed around it, with some plants. Wonder if I can get him to dig it for me? I guess if he wants it, he'll dig it. LOL

Night all!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 12:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Love your containers Honey! The colours all look fantastic with the pretty pots. I just happen to have planted one of mine with C. Rose Explosion too. The pulmonaria is a great idea...I'd never have thought to include it for some reason.

Suzy, your tale of the huge difficult bed was like me looking out my window. For me it is always the vegetable garden that is the big trauma. If I take it piece by piece, I eventually get there...and so will you. Nice purchases too!

Today I am headed out on a big plant adventure. Wish me luck! As most of you know, I am a reluctant driver. I have never driven to a location I am not familiar with. But today that is what I am doing. I am off to collect my clematis order from my buddy Chris.(of Kathy Renwald fame) He had the nerve to move an hour's drive away and I must now explore unknown territory. I tend to fall asleep when I will take it slowly, perhaps take pictures for you along the way, eat an apple, sing loudly! It is a beautiful day out there. First though, I must remove the sheets from the plants and walk Charlotte.

Hope you are feeling cheerful again Marian!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 7:39AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Morning all. It's a glorious, mild, sunny morning -- finally! I'm a bit out of sorts b/c we dnd't get a newspaper this am. Hate when my am routine gets messed up.

My contractor showed up yesterday afternoon! He better be careful, he might give contractors a good name! Seriously, it's DD's boss and I'm sure she'd bug them to death if Mom and Dad weren't taken care of. They're due in a few minutes and hopefully will get the drains dug and installed and the walkway base in today. The Bobcat kept getting stuck yesterday even tho they excavated down about 18". The soil is absolutely awful. I'm going to try to get them to take away a good portion of it today and will backfull with better soil.

Funny stories: When DD's boss and his crew chief were here last week, the crew chief's phone rang and he appeared really annoyed. After the call he mumbled several explitives about that 'b****' in the office. DD's boss calmly looked over at him and said, "BTW, meet her mother?!" :)

Then yesterday, DD phoned to ask for a check for half of the $ to order materials and told me to speak to her boss about it. When I did, he said, "Oh, that's between you and her. That's her decision. I don't get into that." I practically had to beg him to take a check back to the office. That's why DD runs the office and sets up the crews.

Sue, I used the 3 perennials b/c of the color and light req'mts. The color scheme was determined by the Begonia Capricorn that I bot with Eden. Until that lecture, I never thot to combine tropicals, annuals and perennials. What's interesting is that that color scheme seems "peaceful" and appropriate for my "Asian inspired" theme here.

And yes, Marian, the perennials will be pulled from the containers in the fall and planted. I really like the idea of reusing them. In one of the demo containers that gal showed us, she used a small dk blue hosta as an accent in a yellow/white themed arrangement.

V, what's interesting is how similar everyone's taste is here. How funny you bot that begonia, too. Please post of pic of how you used it.

Another busy day ahead. I think I can safely drag my containers out of the garage and perhaps plant some dahlias before my appt this pm. Hallaluja! The only bad news is it's supposed to rain tomorrow. My poor plants are still waterlogged. Hopefully they'll dry out some today.

Marian and Suz -- hope your headache's have gone away. I'll bet it's allergies with all the pollens coming out at once. Marian, so sorry to hear the old frig damaged your floor underneath. I hope the new frig works like a top for you. T, how's DD doing and have you gotten to see another ultrasound of her precious cargo? You and they must be getting excited.

Hi to everyone! Gotta get back on schedule here. TTYL. Honey

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 8:54AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Honey your containers are *gorgeous*! I am in love with that begonia and I love the Japanese ornament in the really does make it special! And I love the way the lime green and red are picked up in the fuchsia in your 2nd pic...great combo. Will you move the heuchera into the garden in fall? Re 'Lime Rickey'...I only have 'Lime Rickey'. I scanned a pic of a leaf from it, hoping that there will be enough of a difference, that you'll be able to tell, which one is which in your garden:

All of my heucheras are very small this year, I'm sure the drought had something to do with it. My lovely Obsidians are the most disappointing. I swear the clumps have *shrunk* since last year. Does anybody have a heuchera they can recommend for vigor that is either black like Obsidian or a nice deep plum color?

Marian - I hope you are feeling better today. Do try to take it a little easy. Wish your son lived closer so he could help you and Nolon. Mowing a whole lawn and then moving a refrigerator is a lot for anyone to do in one day.

Mary - too funny about Christopher Lloyd! :-) Well I am sure that you will have an equally beautiful container garden on your patio this year! :-) It really bums me out when I think of the fact that Mr. Lloyd is no longer with us...such an inspiration! BTW, were you the one who recommended Shocking Beauty? I just loved that book. I finally transplanted your columbines into the garden! :-) Thank you! I can't wait to see them bloom, though I imagine it won't be until next year. I love lettuces too, but I was really late in getting them out this year....hope they will still taste good! How cool about the Gingers! I brought plumeria tubers back when I went to Hawaii and they grew in the garden, but when I tried to bring them back into the house in fall, they just up and died on me. I probably should have left them in a pot and just brought them in and out. Well, if I ever get back to Hawaii! :-)

Sue - If you like black foliaged plants, have you tried Physocarpus 'Diablo'? I have that one in my back yard and it's doing just fine and not a sign of distress from last year's drought. I have had my eye on Sambucus 'Black Lace' too and another Physocarpus called 'Coppertina', but so far have not succumbed. Actually, I don't know where I would put them in my garden anyway, I've run out of room for the big things. Although, my two Miss Kim lilacs look like they are on their way out...the drought of last year I think finally did them in! Oh well, they were very old and finally reached a size that is too large for the area anyway...enough room, but they just looked too out of balance for the other things in the area. Oh well, I'm kind of glad in a way, it relieves my guilty about removing healthy plants. I just have to find the energy to dig them out. I also lost a Rose of Sharon shrub.... can you imagine? Luckily they are pretty easy to remove. I dug the dead one out and then moved another from further down the line to fill in the empty space....looks like it will take! How do you like Stephanandra? I saw them in winter many years ago at the Morton Arboretum and I think their skeletons looked so cool. What do they like; sun or shade and how big will they ultimately get?

Hi T! I love to hear the words "Jain Iris"...sure do miss her and all her *gorgeous* pics! LOL about the "lovely, wonderful, great, gorgeous" thing! I notice I use those words a lot here, how can you help it? This is a very talented group! :-)

Suzy - glad to hear you are feeling better. Do you think the night mauauders could be raccoons? I had a rather large raccoon that could stretch himself enough to reach my suet feeders and they were his favorite snack! Luckily I haven't seen any raccoons this year....lots of bunnies though!

Hope you have a safe and pleasant trip today Marie! Count me in as someone who doesn't like to drive in unfamiliar territory either...I am also not so big on doing expressways!

Well, I'm off to get a haircut and maybe a little plant shopping...I need *more* basil. LOL! I will *always* need more basil...must be the Italian in me. I can pick it fresh and just eat it right there in the garden. I have about a half dozen purple ruffles (which are only for decoration) and then about a half dozen sweet basils too...but I think I may be woefully short in the sweet basil category! Another dozen ought to do it! :-)

Well, I better be moving I have a goal to get everything in the garden today. We are to have rain ths afternoon, but actually I'm glad of it. Worked in the garden all yesterday and you are not going to believe this, but even with all the rain we had last week, my garden is dry, dry, dry! Hope those who need rain get it and those who don't, don't! Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 8:57AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well "Hi" Honey! We must have been posting at the same time. I just came back to check and make sure my post went through...just realized by reading your post that Marian had asked you the same question...LOL!

Hope you have a great day too!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:00AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Honey wow another container winner altho I think the lantern is part of what makes it so special the color combos are terrific.

Sue I bought Sambucus Black lace from Song Sparrow last year I love it its lacy like a Japanese Maple, and has kept its color which I think is why Black Beauty got panned but the texture is much more refined it has not grown a lot & Ive probably not got it in the best spot well see how it fares this summer but so far I have to give it a big thumbs up esp. since I cant really do Jap. Maples in my yard.... and yes, I love your fence for the hot tub!

T maybe its Therese Bugnet rose? Ive got her she is giving a wow performance this year 2nd season in the ground

Marian sorry youre feeling not so good re the spot under refrig just remember, wht you find below the frig, Stays below the frig !! only you will know!!

I too am looking forward to the long weekend must get things done inside as well as out bummer.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:05AM
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Good morning!

'bug, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable time traveling today with plenty of opportunities to stop to take photos to aid in keeping you awake & alert. Look forward to you checking in when you are back home.

Eden, you were first in my thoughts this morning. I very much admire your children's attitudes towards each other. They sound like wonderful, caring adults.

Once again a rainy day but the barometer shows a sunny trend coming. The weather forecasters said showers for days yet, but perhaps we'll get some clearing along with the rain. It is looking pretty messy outside with the grass, weeds & briars growing as you watch (well, almost that bad, lol).

I need more coffee....

Hello to everyone.......


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:07AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well it is finally going to be a sunny day and in the upper 60s without gale force winds and I dont have anything scheduled so I can get outside and get some things finished up that have needed attention for a while. Yesterday I finally cleaned out and re-planted the huge hayracks on the fence and that makes me a much happier camper. I can see them from my chair here in the family room so every time I looked out the window it bugged me. Last year Id bought some large hangers and divided them up to fill it but the hangers are way too expensive this year to do that so Im just using smaller plants and some coleus I had here already to fill them. They arent as full as they were first off last year but Im sure theyll fill in when the weather warms up. I also planted a couple more containers for the patio and potted up a few more dahlias. Today I want to get the window boxes on the shed cleaned out and planted then I can get to the container grouping in the corner of the front yard by the bench and theyll be done. Woohoo!

Well, re the DaVinci Code movie, I didnt read the book. I tried several times to get into it but found as usual that I dont care for Dan Browns writing and just could not read past the first couple chapters and I probably wont go see the movie either so I have no opinion .

Bug, here is what the Asao looks like on the side facing the sun

And this is what it looks like on the back side. You can see those heavy stems all bent and twisted. I cant figure out how they havent broken yet. Id like to get it to grow back inside the obelisk after it is done blooming. So where do I prune it to? Should I just take off all that top growth? There isnt anything wilted at this time.

Best of luck with your excursion today. I know you are going to have a great time.

Mary, no kidding we need to do a road trip out your way. Id have loved to see all those luscious coleus varieties and container plants. Sounds like you had a great time. Ive not found much interesting up here this year and am itching to get to a good greenhouse that sells tropicals.

Honey, your new containers look wonderful!!! Love that C. Rose Explosion and that begonia is to die for. I sure wish I could find begonias like that around here. Im insanely jealous youve gotten that Fuchsia Autumnale. Ive been looking for it and cant find it anywhere. Im going to go begging for a cutting of that come the end of the summer if Ive not found one yet. My Fuchsia Golden Marinka are similar and dont need any flowers to add to their beauty. The foliage on them is just a knock out and Ill be curious to see how similar the Autumnale is to the Golden Marinka. ~~ Too funny about the guy complaining about the b ---- in the office and it was your DD. How funny. ~~ We are finally having a good day here also and Im planning on getting some dahlias planted too. It is supposed to warm up into the 80s over the next several days so the ground will be warm enough to get them out of their pots. Yea!

T, I told Doug you said I needed three or five greenhouses and he just laughed at me. He thought I was kidding and I was serious! LOL A girl always needs an enabler. Te he.

Marian, youve reminded me that I need to clean out behind my refrigerator here also. Not my favorite job in the world but I really should get that done soon.

Sue, sounds like you are getting a lot accomplished there. Ill have to pop down there sometime and see your gardens and containers. RE that S Black Lace. I tried a Sambucus Black Beauty and it just withered and died on me under the same conditions the Sutherland Gold was enjoying so I probably wont try the Black Lace until I hear rave reviews from someone like yourself. I agree that it looks to be quite the beauty. Oh yes, I wanted to tell you that I bought these double hoop supports for the peonies that are really doing the trick. They are a couple feet in diameter and so large enough for the clumps. I put them on a couple weeks ago and they are completely hidden by the foliage.

Suzy, sounds like you really scored at WallMart. Those prices are the best Ive heard anywhere. Everything here is a minimum of $3.99 for a four inch pot. ~~ I so know what you mean about not being able to work on something because you are putting off a big job you just dont want to face. But just think about how great it will feel when you get to it and it is all ship shape again. My beds here have also gotten to the stage where there isnt a lot of weeding needed because the perennials fill in nicely. The really big jobs are the digging and dividing in spring to keep the things like the asters, phlox and nepetas in bounds.

Here are another couple pics from yesterday

Im loving this combination with the azalea in the background echoing the color of the Asao clematis. Im also really liking the Wegelia Wine and Roses in the middle terrace. It picks up the color of the Heucheras in the foreground and the dark purples really make that Brunnera Jack Frost accent sparkle. Yummy!

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:09AM
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Hi everyone,

It couldn't be a more beautiful day here today. More demolition work going on this morning. We're still removing concrete and asphalt. I keep telling myself it has to look worse before it can look better. What a mess! I'm hoping to squeeze in some planting today too. Looks like this weekend will be perfect for putting together the container gardens, if I can only find the time.

Honey, I love your containers! I wouldn't have thought to use a pumonaria, but it's the perfect plant for that container. Can't wait to see more of your creations.

Sue, I have the sambucus black lace. I got it from Song Sparrow last year. I've been seeing them for sale everywhere this year though in small pots in the greenhouses with the tropicals strangely enough. Mine's still a baby, I didn't get it in the ground until last October, but I do love it. I also love my Black Beauty and Sutherlands Gold though. Curious as to what they said on the shrub forum about the black beauty? Mine's been a great addition. I think my favorite dark foliaged shrub this year though is my cotinus purple smoke. It's gotten big enough that it's really looking like something this year. Great color. I have that phlomis too, started it from seed a couple of winters ago. It looks like it's just getting ready to bloom.

Marian, doing all that you did would make me feel sick too. I wish you could take it a little easier. Great score on the stove AND refrig!

Marie, bon voyage today! I feel the same way about driving in unfarmiliar territory. Clematis is worth the risks though!

Gotta run. Lots to do today!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:18AM
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It hit 91 here yesterday but extremely windy as it is supposed to be today too. There were severe thunderstorm warnings, but we only got rain. We got .6" and Rick was very happy as he just finished planting beans. I potted up some caladiums last night since the temps are supposed to be very warm for the next week or more. I think they are talking 95 on the weekend. I got this box of 60 from Sams but they are mixed. I really want to know the colors so I can better know where to put them.
Im slowing getting the potager garden in shape. Even though I have one path left, I decided to plant. I have lots more room than I had before. We dont need that many veggies so I guess Ill have to fill it will annual flowers.

I looked at Black Lace but decided against it for now. Maybe if I see a reasonably priced one.

I dont know if any of you get the magazine Country Gardens, but it was fun to the spread that they had on the gardens at the Iowa State fair that we visited last year. They even featured the tropical garden that I had posted pictures of.

Deanne, your gardens are looking very lovely. I havent done even one container yet. I did plant a built in planter on the patio. You should have seen all the fabulous iris colors that they had at the arboretum.

Honey, I think I may have that same begonia. Very similar otherwise. I got it along with the copperleaf plant and fuchsia Gartenmeister at our local farm stores greenhouse. For a seasonal greenhouse, they get in some very nice plants. RE: Lime Ricky and Keylime, I only have the Keylime, but what a vigorous grower. It makes all my other heucheras look wimpy except Palace purple.
Your container is absolutely fantastic. The lantern is such a great touch. Did you just get the pulmonaria? I just bought that one this past weekend. I planted it though.

Bug, I laughed and can identify with your comment about the vegetable garden being your trauma. The other night we had pasta alfredo with shrimp and asparagus. I tried the roasted last night with a little garlic salt and it was delicious.

T, funny but I too see floating bricks in Maries picture.

Ei, have you grown Opal basil? I planted some of that by seed. It is purple in color also.

Suzy, our local Walmart doesnt have anything good this year. It sounds like yours does.

V, I really like your vignette of containers.

Hi to all and have a fab day.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 11:56AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Duh! I just realized Honey that you *know* which one is which in your garden, you were just asking if anyone saw any difference in the two...LOL! Guess I'll take the leaf off now! :-)

Just back from getting my haircut, a quick pop in here and then off to do some gardening before the 2nd rain shower starts this afternoon.

Deanne your gardens are looking lush and *so* beautiful! That Asao is stunning! What a color! BTW, what is the problem with some they have a definite culture requirement? I have 'Southerland's Gold', which is facing north east and has been doing great for about 3 years now. Last year I hacked it way back and I noticed this year it's even more lush with a much more intense gold color. I would like to try 'Black Lace', but don't want it to die on me.

Eden all of them seem to grow well for you too...where do you have yours planted?

I see you grow Black Lace too, Cindy. Have you tried the Japanese Dissected Maple called 'Garnet'? I think it must be a particularly hardy variety. I've had mine for over 10 years and it does wonderfully and I'm a zone colder than you. It didn't even show any stress signs from our horrible season last year.

Oh well, gotta go...Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 11:56AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

LOL! I seem to keep posting at the same time as someone else....Hi Michelle! I don't get Country Gardens, but when I see it at the newstand, I usually pick it up...I'll have to watch for that it the May or June issue?

Hmmm...Pasta Alfredo with aparagus and shrimp sounds lovely...Think I'll put that on the menu for next week! :-)

I have not tried 'Opal' Basil, but I will look for it the next time I'm out at the nurseries. I like another Basil too; called 'Thai'. It's another just for ornament and has the prettiest long lasting purple "spikey" flowers...I don't know how it tastes.

Okay, now I'm really off....TTYL! Ei

P.S. V - I'm glad Michelle mentioned your containers...I had meant to comment on that before. They really are lovely and so is your daughter! Love the fabric and color of her dress and those long dangly earrings. I love long dangly earrings, but they always look awful on me. I think you need a long sleek neck, like DD's to pull it off. She looks wonderful!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 12:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is most unfortunate that bricks do not levitate. It would have saved hours of back breaking work. ;-) But what you saw in the photo I posted before, certainly gave that impression! What actually happened was one of those aggravating things,. The truck that delivered the cubes of bricks was not able to cross our bridge because it was too tall and would have wiped out our willow tree...if not the bridge itself. So the driver placed them on the grass on the far side of the bridge. This was totally unsatisfactory, as it is a long stretch to get them to the vegetable garden from there. So I asked the company from whom I purchased them to get themn closer to the site. After much sighing and begging for extra money (I don't think so fellows....) they came and got them hoisted to the near side of the bridge, closer to the house. They did not do a careful job of it and simply dumped them from a front end loader. The center bricks of the cubes fell out, leaving the exterior ones in tact. So that is what you saw, a shell of bricks so to speak. Anyway, they are all placed on a pathway now, waiting for more finishing touches. The driveway is once again functional.

I am back from my adventure and all was just wonderful. I was unfamiliar with the countryside route, but the good news is that I did not fall asleep en route, something I often do in cars. I obviously selected the best roads! I saw a total of 4 cars over the 45 minute scenic drive there and only one vehicle on the way back! This was the first time I have ever done a solo drive in uncharted territory.

Chris, my clematis friend, and his new partner have lived in their red brick former schoolhouse for about a year now. She is an artist with a studio incorporated into the house. The studio used to be a garage/shed, but they built a large entryway between the house and shed and this has resulted in a great feel to the place...and it is a very useful and artistic space. No more gale force winds blowing between the buildings. This is a view from the back of the house:

Chris loves unusual trees and over the years has begun quite a collection -on the cheap- from discards at nurseries. Now that he is my age, he has even begun spending money on a few trees as well! Here is one of the more ordinary ones.

We had tea in the garden, chatted away...until we realized it was 12:30 and time for lunch and me to leave!!! So we had a thorough look-see at his collection of for sale items.

The above photo is only part of what is available, but many are things that are not usually available in Canada.

This is my new Buckland Beauty:

On my way home I munched on olive bread and an apple, bought lumber for my arbors-to-be, and came home a happy soul.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 4:06PM
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Boaters are nearing frenzy when it comes to getting their canvas repaired... all the repairs that could have been done over the winter! all of a sudden they are "emergencies". ;)

Hope all are well in "virtual land"; not much time to read, frankly, even though I may wish to.

I am witnessing a true "slug fest" here. 15" of rain in 4 days and cool temperatures have bouyed their numbers. Yikes! they're even going after German iris and Oriental lilies. What's a girl to do?! Lily leaf beetles have been present but the "squishing rock" has thusfar proven satisfactory; though I am not confident it will be all that will be required as the temperatures warm. Aphids on the New Dawn, too. eh!

Wrecks is coming around, assailing passersby only when he's out with Daddy (lol). I am truly the "iron fist in the velvet glove"... or something like that! Cats are all fine and the kill ratio is down... must be the weather; but Polly has taken to "sharpening her claws" on the PeeGee standards... she's worn them down to the green... so I guess it's time for some protection for the poor things. Whodathunkit?

Mum is becoming increasingly dependant. Some days are fine, others are pure torture... it's so sad to see the essence of a person drain away before your very eyes. She still enjoys going outdoors for a stroll with the feline escort, but more routine things like emptying the urostomy pouch require reminding. It doesn't bode well for the future, frankly. But for now it's OK, and I have the summer to deal with her home and its CONTENTS. (Can't wait! NOT).

Tree peony is just beginning to blossom, the bulbs were lovely before the deluge, and other things that like cool, moist are faring quite well. I tried to must some enthusiam for annuals the other day but my mind wandered back to Mum and reading tags was only a reminder of greater responsibilities, it provided no "escape". So waiting for a more opportune moment will be required.

Again, hope all are well and the Idyllunion (number 3?!) is a rousing success and joy to you all.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 4:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Still no deliveries. I kept the computer off all day to await incoming calls. The only one that came in was a next door neighbor needing to borrow a tool from Nolon. :-(

I spent the day piddling around indoors. The only outdoor thing that I did was to plant the small strawberry jar. Not a very artistic job, but I chose sun-lovers.....put 4 Marigold "Aurora Yellow Fire" in the holes, and an Angelonia "Serena Purple" in the top.
I think I will plant one of the lovely coleus from Deanne in the copper pot.I think Sedona would be a great choice. I was surprised to find it *is* a solid copper pot that came with one of my auction lots.

The heat and humidity is very oppressive here today, but I am pretty much over the headache. Just draggy from the heat.
The possibility of severe weather is in our forecast for later today.

Hi Chelone! Good to see your post. I have snuck ( sneaked) over to the New England Forum and kept up with your reports and pics on the flood waters.

Marie, I am just like you when it comes to driving to unfamiliar sites. A few years ago I was not that way, but I get more and more cautious as I age. Otherwise I like to drive, on my good days. I'm so glad you had such a good and successful trip. What is that " more ordinary" tree? It is gorgeous.

Eden, I wish I *could* have help with the yard work, but a body has to do what they have to do, as long as they can. I can see the time coming when I will have to have help. or move to a less demanding place.

Oh My ! Deanne. I sure need to move one of my Asaos into the sun! How old is yours?

Hi to all that I didn't *speak* to. I am reading your posts, but am overwhelmed by trying to respond to each one.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 7:02PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good evening Idylls!

Beautiful weather today, finally got some work done outside this afternoon. Newly divided and moved hostas are sulking though, they grew too large during all that rain! I like dividing them before the leaves unfurl. After digging and dividing some of those monsters, I think I can finally bring myself to allow space for plants to reach mature sizes. I have hostas that I grew from seed in December of 2001 that are reaching 2-3 feet across this year.

It is literally raining poop in my yard - the winter moth caterpillars are munching the trees and doing what they do - it sounds like a light rain hitting the leaves - a virtual s#!tstorm! Pretty gross, but it should only last another week or two until they pupate.

Hi Chelone, glad you stopped by. I saw your pics on the NE forum, and they were striking - mother nature at her worst. Your pic of the bridge was better than the one in the local newspaper (we have family that live in that area). Good to hear that things with your Mum are okay, and that you are keeping that biggie boy in line. I'm still not sure if I'll make it to the NE swap, but I'll see you there if I do.

'Bug, your road trip sounds like a great time. Are those cones really that pinky-red color? How many clematis did you come home with? I never realized there was so much variety in clematis until you started posting your pictures. Keep 'em coming! Good information above in that memo from the nursery.

Deanne, love that combo with 'Wine & Roses' and 'Jack Frost' and the color echo with the clematis - did you plan that? I forgot about the pink daylily until you mentioned it, thanks for remembering. Maybe sometime in June we should get together.

Ei, some of my heuchera and tiarella are looking small this year too - I think it is a combination of the drought and the crazy winter weather we had.

Suzy, you did well at Walmart - I think the key thing with the big box stores is to get there right after the shipment arrives, before the "skilled" employees have time to "take care" of the stock. I know what you mean about gardening and your family; they are always wanting things like a hot meal, clean laundry and a ride to and from school when I'd just rather be gardening. My kids have agreed that I can pick them up in my garden clogs and dirty jeans as long as I don't get out of the car.

Honey, beautiful containers. I like the one with the lantern best - especially the begonia. I'm glad your contractor is showing up and making progress.

A few of you mentioned Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' - I just bought one this weekend too! There is this great local plant sale here, in a woman's backyard, and they have an incredible selection of perennials. I was able to sneak over there on Saturday AM before we went to Maine for the wedding. Many of the plants are small, but the prices are really cheap. Along with the usual suspects, I bought some things that I had never heard of - Salvia azurea, campanula takesimana and gynmasta savatori variegata. Have any you grown these? I've googled them, but personal recommendations are always the best.

Well, DS is behind me now waiting for his turn on the computer. I have to fight for computer time around here, the kids use it for schoolwork and for games, and even DH who didn't even want to buy a computer years ago, spends a fair amount of time using it.

Hi V, T, Cindy, Mary, Marion, Eden and anyone else I missed.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 7:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Evening all!

Just came in as the last bits of light are fading. Good to be able to mow after dinner until almost 9PM!

Marian, I believe my friend said that the tree was a weeping spruce. They are fun with their new yellow growth and red candles. I think the colour is accurate. It was quite a sight! He tends to like trees with contorted shapes, interesting, even exfoliating bark, oddly shaped leaves. Quite fascinating things, but some took a beating over the winter. There are lots of rabbits there and the snow is deep. It is even colder there than here. YUCK. Lucky for him, he managed a trip to France in April.

Deanne, I'm really unsure about giving advice with group 2 clematis. I asked a friend to help out, so maybe she will answer here or privately if she knows.

Wendy....OK, I'll tell. I came home with 10 more. (BLUSH!) I have so many I still need to plant from last year too. But Chris gets some wonderful things and I have little will power when it come to clematis! Because he's a friend I get extraordinary prices too. It's funny, people who really adore something tend to not care about the money aspect of things. So he 'gave' me 10 clematis for $100- which is an amazing bargain considering not one of them is normally sold in Canada. We used to have an artist/carpenter friend who made a table and 4 chairs for us. They were sensational and he even cut the wood for them! When it came time to pay him, DH realized he was asking less than the cost of the wood alone! DH paid him what he thought was fair and the fellow was so delighted! He'd spent weeks working on them too. Not only that, his work is featured in the National Gallery in Ottawa. Just no business sense.

Chelone! There you are worrying about the beetles and slugs etc. Today I can safely say my hostas are looking super! Who knows tomorrow though... I am so sorry about your Mom and the work and emotions involved. What you said, "so sad to see the essence of a person drain away before your very eyes", is a heart breaker for me. I know it was less hard on the parent than the guardian in my case...but it's a corker now to even see it happening to friends. Still near the surface i guess. I have a friend in England who is dealing with his Mom...and it is a horror for him...even though his Mom is well tended to. He is doing a saintly job of things...but resenting it, even though he cares immensely. I'm glad the kitties are up to their antics. I found some baby bunnies munching on one of my Latvian corydalis tonight. Not the plain old lutea of course, the ones that were a birthday present from a friend abroad. KILLLLLLLLL,Charlotte! ;-)

Tonight I'm leaving all the plants outdoors. I hope it goes well! There may be some showers, but the temperature low should be about 50F.

Tired now and off to read and rest with my mutt and kitties. Hardly any space for me in bed.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:52PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Well I for one am bummed tonight (this morning). First of all, despite a lovely trip for more container plants with my Mom (and she really loaded up, I was proud of her!) I got nothing else done. No planting, no cleaning up of beds, no setting up of the statue. Ugh. It was just one of those days.

This afternoon the Tupperware boxes came, so I had to sort all that stuff out for everyone. Still have one lid that I can't figure out who it goes to (it's a warranty replacement lid). I put a call into the consultant but no reply yet. I did get lots of goodies for myself however, it worked out pretty well. But I'm sure I won't be doing it again for a long while, if ever. It was definitely an experience.

I'm also worried about my kitty. He's on day 5 of the new antibiotic and that stuff must be AWFUL. When I give it to him (and he really hates it) he salivates horribly and looks like he's just miserable. Sometimes he even retches. About the only thing he will even attempt to put in his stomach is the gravy off the moist food I've tried spoiling him with, and milk. I know milk isn't good for him, but he isn't eating. I finally looked up the med on the internet and it sometimes causes gastrointestinal upset - well I think this has gone on long enough and I'm calling the vet in the morning. He's been on one antibiotic or another for 12 days now, and barely eaten. He needs to be able to eat. I'm a bad mom, I didn't have the heart to make him take the medicine tonight.

We had some gentle rain tonight, and it looks like a little more is on the way. It will make the gardens easier to weed.

I'm off to bed - poor Licorice has been sleeping on my pillow the last few nights, just above my head. I think he needs a little more TLC. And food.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 1:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ei I think Sue has previously recommended Amethyst Mist (& Ive happy to second after her rec) you might give that one a try. Funny you should mention the Acer Garnet it almost came home w/ me last weekend from Lowes they had cute pots of them & I thought, hmmm, a container plant but then I would have needed a nice pot, etc., so I didnt my problem w/ Jap. maples is the sun is so harsh in my garden in summer (mostly full sun all day) & I also have so little space for things that are going to be 8 or taller in 10 years (ha, assuming Im still there then I guess I could make it someone elses problem....). I keep looking but havent "bitten" the sambucus Black Lace was my attempt at "faking it" Im also very partial to the tri-color variegated acers like "Butterfly" yummy but need even more shade.... sigh.

Deanne your garden is looking lovely as usual that Asao has such a beautiful color I have one in a container but it has yet to bloom. Id defer to GBs recommendations on when to prune but I think usually after they bloom you can cut down as far as you want if youre trying to regain control of it

My sambucus Black Lace is doing fine so far but I cannot say that about the sambucus pulvulerenta its got horrible spots like scorching or something probably in a spot where its not getting enuf sun...

Yikes, Michelle 91 degrees! yuck altho I think I heard it might hit 90 here this weekend too and its hard to believe w/ all the torrents of rain everyones gotten (including here in this area) but I heard the weather guy has were UNDER 4" of rain for the year so far!!! I actually had to do a bunch of watering last nite because its supposed to hit 80 today & things (esp. the clematis) were looking parched already. I do have the County Gardens mag but havent seen it all yet Ill be sure to look for that article.

Gardenbug Love that Buckland Beauty! Wow. Worth driving for wasnt it? And the price for 10 unusual, hard to get clematis thats a true Friend!! Neat which ones are they?

EEEw Wendy how nasty to have to endure that re the winter moth caterpillars!

Chelone nice to hear from you & Im glad things are "okay" I too have elder parent issues but you are a saint to have to attend daily to her care it is indeed heart-wrenching to see them disintegrate before our eyes....

Baptisia Purple Smoke is so pretty I saw it in bloom at a local nursery & almost bought it but I have 4 others already and running out of room not sure where it would live Im learning to hold off a bit now re enriching the plant ghetto I do have. But its still on my wish list it is really unusually striking I think. Id love to see some plant combos with it in them.

Suzy Im sorry to hear about your kitty I hope hes doing better this a.m. but it is certainly worth calling the vet when they stop eating & drinking its so easy for small pets to get dehydrated quickly.

Ok, off to work gloomy day but has prospects of t-storm this p.m good for the gardens.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:00AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

'Morning all. The drama continues. The soil out front is so horrid -- blue clay -- that the contractor didn't want to lay the pavers on top of it b/c it's so spongy even with 18" of limestone base. It moves as you walk on it. So they had to remove the clay and replace it with limestone. No wonder I can't get anything to grow out there. It really was the worst spongy stuff I've ever seen. The contractor said that in his 16 yrs. of doing this type work, he's never encountered this problem with soil.

So, while I went to run an errand last nite, DH made an executive decision thinking he was helping. He told the contractor to remove the clay from the planting beds also, line it with the crushed limestone for drainage and cover w/topsoil. The idea was good, the mat'l used was not. They put in the limestone just before they quit last nite. So this am, I reversed the decision. They can reuse alot of the limestone for the path base, but I told them to dig out the rest and dispose of it. There is no way I'd ever overcome all that alkaline from the limestone. I told them to line the bed with gravel instead and then add a topsoil/compost mix and grade.

Thanks for all your nice comments on my containers. The others are a mess. I've never had dahlias and coleus look sooo bad. Might just have to replace some stuff.

Gotta run. I need to finish up my list for the other landscape designer I'm meeting w/today. I'll have to catch up with y'all later. Hi to everyone.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:06AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idyllers,

It is a scrumptious morning here and it looks like the weekend is going to be a real summery one with temps in the 80s. The night temps for the coming week are supposed to stay in the 50s so I can get those coleus back outside and get the lights off. Im past ready to get all those plants outside. Last night Doug and I went to Sams and he bought me this fabu cast aluminum bakers rack. It will fit perfectly against my little deck on the patio and it is just the thing for housing the house plants for the summer. It has a powder coated finish and goes with the patio set so Im over the moon.

Im finally making some real headway on getting the pot ghetto in the driveway dealt with. The piles of plants are finally going down. I do have to say however, I think I have too many fuchsias! ROTFLOL and maybe just maybe too many coleuses. OK now Ive said it and its off my chest and Ill just deal with it. One of my problems is that Id really like to grow all those lovely Rosy Dawn coleus as specimen plants to see what they are going to do instead of putting them in combinations. Ill have to see. My brain is still mulling over what to do with them all. What a great problem though, dont you think? Te he!

Suzy, so sorry your kitty is not well and not dealing well with the meds. That would upset me too. ~~ I dont know how you dealt with doing a Tupperware party. Id have to shoot myself. LOL I cant even stand to go to wedding or baby showers so you can imagine how much I enjoy Tupperware parties.

Bug, it really sounds like you had a wonderful day and came home with some prizes. I cant wait to see them blooming in your garden. Good for you for doing the road trip by yourself. It always gives me a sense of accomplishment when I do something outside of my comfort zone. I dont like driving somewhere Ive never been to when I have passengers. ~~ So what is that conifer with the lovely red cones? ~~Thanks very much for sending along the info for pruning my Asao. ~~ I so wish you could see my Miss Bateman on the mailbox. She is blooming her fool head off at the moment. Everyone is most impressed and I tell them that is what clematis are supposed to look like!

Wendy, Some of that combination with the Asao/Jack Frost etc. was planned but some was not. I did plan for the color of the Wine and Roses to make a large dark area to go with all the dark purple heuchera I have in that garden. It has turned out better than even I thought it would. Right now I have some wine colored iris that are just coming into bloom and they also pick up that color and it looks great. Ive got a large patch of emerging astilbe in between the iris and the wegelia so the iris flowers are seen against the lighter astilbe foliage. ~~ Definitely we should plan to get together sometime in June. Maybe you can come for lunch or dinner and finally have some time to see all the corners of this garden. I know every time youve come up it has either been winter or no time to see the back yard.

Marian, I think that Asao has been in that location for five or six years. The second year it didnt come back and I planted something else there and then the third year up pops this plant and I had no idea what it was. I think you IDd it for me if I recall correctly. It has been just lovely the last couple years. That spot gets about six or seven hours of sun a day. It is shaded by the canopy from the oak tree around noon time and is shaded in the late afternoons but other than that it gets sun. ~~ I hope you didnt get any of that predicted severe weather. Also hope your appliances come today.

Chelone, how GREAT to hear from you! Ive been thinking of you and your situation often. Glad to hear you are OK after our biblical deluges. Ive got hordes of slugs here as well and I dont think there will be anything I can do to stop their wreckage this year. Im thinking of getting rid of any plants that they find too tasty and replacing with slug resistant varieties but now youve noticed that they are after everything so as you said Whats a girl to do?" We have lily beetles here as well and so far their numbers are under control but Ill see what happens after a weekend of 80 degree temps. That will bring any dormant beetles to the surface so Ill have to do beetle patrol in the Am.

Michelle, I gave up veggie gardening years ago. For some reason I can somewhat deal with the bugs on my flowers but on my vegetables it just made me crazy. ~~ Id have loved to visit that arboretum with you and seen all those wonderful dwarf iris. ~~ Youll have to post pics of your containers when you get them done. Ill bet you have time to work on them this weekend?

Eileen, you are so sweet! I agree that Asao is a beautiful thing. I also like that it blooms early then is done for the season because that color would so clash with other things I have blooming there later on. ~~ I dont know about Sambucus because my only experience with them was the Black Beauty that died on me and the Sutherland Gold that is doing beautifully. I really have no idea why one is doing so well and the other died off with the same exposure and culture. Go figure? That Black Lace sure is a pretty thing though and Id love to have a spot for that somewhere.

Cindy, hard to believe you are needing rain there although with the windy weather we have been having and the high temps they are predicting for the weekend Ill probably be dragging the hoses around myself this weekend. ~~ So how large is your S Black Lace and how long has it been planted. Wish I could see a photo of it.

OK time to get motivated and get my day started. Ive not been going to the gym this week because Im fighting off a cold. Zicam to the rescue again. For some reason lots of sleep and taking Zicam as recommended totally diffuses my getting really ill with an upper respiratory infection. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:07AM
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Hooody hooo!
Ack-no that's not a tornado, that's my head spinning round and round: ). Way too busy here to idyll these days and I'm hoping there's end in sight.

Today Ryan has his hearing retest and I need to pick up snaps for my latest costume creation-I LOVE this one-pics to follow.

The art show was a hit. I somehow got stuck as the punch bowl lady. I was dubbed 'the punch patrol'.
AJ's second band concert of the year was precious from a mom's point of view anyway. Amongst the squawks and sour notes I could actually hear him(only four kids in beginner band!)and he had no obvious jitters.

MIL came to the concert and then over our house for dinner after the concert. This was the first time here since her surgery last August. She did just fine.

I have an interview Tues. morning with the health service company that trains and hires school health aides...I haven't had an interview in over TEN years(gulp). I am so nervous lol! I'll be fine but I feel like an out of the loop stay home mom; ) Hopefully I'll be trained in time to serve as the official IU3 medic by July...

Yeona I owe you a bday pic! Things should slow down here by tomorrow-that's when I'll have the costume finished.

Take it easy~happy gardening!


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:14AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning. This will be a drive-by downer post, but I so want to reach out to my friends here because I know you'll have great words of encouragement.

We were supposed to go to my brother's on Saturday for my nephew's graduation party, but I had not heard any specifics from them so I called last night. (My brother is not real good about calling me; I'm always the one to call him.) Well, the first piece of bad news was that the nephew had failed a class and would not be graduating this week. He needs to go to summer school to make up the credit. But the bigger news is that my brother has just been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He still doesn't have all the questions answered, but the general outlook is not good becuase it's already spread. It's very surprising as he doesn't have any of the major risk factors (he doesn't smoke, he's not over 70, he's not African-American unless there are some HUGE family secrects I'm not privy to...) He will be 48 on Saturday - way, way too young.

This way, way overshadowed the news that the spot on my leg is completely benign.

So please send some of your good thoughts and prayers to my brother and his family. They've got some tough times ahead of them. Thanks, friends.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:31AM
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I'm not sure if she reads Idylls ..... but I miss her posts and wanted to wish her a very Happy Birthday so......

Happy Birthday Woody!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:41AM
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V, I am so sorry to hear all the sad news concerning your brother's family. Disappointing about the son's graduation, but the cancer news is just the worst. I hope and pray that he is able to find the best possible treatment and that the outcome will be a good one.


P.S. Great to hear your report was good. That kind of skin cancer is nothing to fool around with. I know of a man that recently died of it because he ignored his spot as "nothing" for too long.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:42AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

V! I'm *so* sorry to hear the must be beside yourself! There has just been way too much of this kind of thing going on - it's very scary. I pray that there will be a better outlook for your brother than his initial diagnosis. I wish there were something more I could say... You will all be in my prayers. Ei

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:45AM
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Oh V!!! Will be thinking of you, your brother & his family. Words aren't sufficient at difficult times as this....

We're here for you!


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:47AM
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V- I have been working on a longer post, but happened to pop in and saw your most recent one about your brother, I will say prayers for your brother and your family. I am so sad for you all that this has happened. I hope he can keep his spirits up, because they can do amazing things.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 11:17AM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Oh V - I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. I'll be praying that there will be good treatment for this and things will come out well. Sometimes life just gets so hard for us. I know it's said God doesn't give us more than we can handle, but sometimes I just want to yell STOP! ENOUGH! Hang in there, we're here to listen.

A quick update on my Licorice. Last night when I went to bed, he was laying on my pillow and seemed so weak. I took him to the kitchen and finally found something he wanted to eat - raw ground chuck. He ate two big spoonfuls (hand fed, of course), then purred loudly and washed and back to bed purring loudly. I called the vet this morning and they said I was right to not give him any more of that medicine, they are putting him back on the other one that he tolerates better. He just ate some more ground chuck and is laying on the deck. He's pretty weak, I think, with not having eaten, so if I can get him to eat a few times I think he will feel better. I'm going to get him some of that cat milk this afternoon and give him that instead of the regular milk, if he'll drink it.

Forgot to tell you that the night before last, after I planted the urns, something came in the night and dug them up and threw out the plants. I replanted them and they weren't bothered last night. Hopefully the mysterious night stalker will go elsewhere.

OK, off to putter in the flowers and baby the cat.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 11:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh V! This is going to be a tough time alrighty. Even talking on the phone may be physically painful. 48 is VERY young! I know! Also, whoever said that "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" ...hasn't lead my life or that of other people I know. There have been several times that were definitely beyond unbearable. I hope this is NOT one of those times for you. I will be thinking of you and your brother and his family, and hoping that there is better news around the corner.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 1:30PM
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We had more rain last night. Warm and windy predicted for the weekend. Figures the nicest day is Friday.

Babs, good luck with the interview. Im sure youll do just fine. I remember the days of those first band concerts. Music to the parents ears at least.

Deanne, Im using Zicam as well. I wasnt as faithful over the weekend because I was gone and was feeling pretty good, but now I have it a little worse than I should have. It still isnt nearly as bad as some of the colds I have had. I hope you can keep yours under control. Some of the people at work have been sick with a stomach bug. Id rather have my cold, thanks. Funny, but Rick seems to think that if I do all this gardening, I should have some veggies. Actually, over the years the veggie garden has become more of a perennial holding bed. I also grow only veggies that are no fuss, easy to grow kinds.

Ei & Cindy the issue of Country Gardens is Summer 2006 since it is a quarterly. The tropical garden is shown on the front cover as well as in the article.

Chelone, great to hear an update from you. Im sorry to hear that your mom is getting more dependent. I think of you often.

Bug, it looks like you had an interesting and productive trip.

Honey, it sounds like quite a project that you have going on.

I came home from work yesterday and saw 3 rabbits lounging on my front lawn. Of course like a silly fool I get out of the car and chase them away (for the moment at least)

If you are still reading here Woody, I wish you a special day. Happy Birthday Woody!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 1:48PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

V- just read your news -- thinking of you and your family - how tough & hard to hear that news. As others have said here, though, determination & positive attitude as well as cutting edge advancements always seem to make a difference - hope these things all count for your brother!!

Michelle - that is an especially gorgeous shot of your garden!! Uplifting to us all.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 2:06PM
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V, I'm so sorry to hear that your family has gotten this terrible news. I'll be keeping you and your brother in my thoughts and prayers. I'll be praying that when all of the questions are answered the news will be better.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 2:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

(((((V))))) , that is such sad news! I do hope the prognosis isn't not as dire as first thought.
I'm sorry about the nephew's graduation, too, but happy that your leg is okay.

Suzy, the raccoons dig my newly planted plants out of my pots,and out of the ground. I have to put cages around them until they are established. I'm glad your kitty is better.

Honey...what a drag! I think a lot of our yard is overlying bedrock, with just a thin layer of soil. I hope I never have to suffer through what you , (and others), are/have, with yard renovations. I hate such messes.

Babs, great to read your positive report. I hope Ryan gets a good diagnosis.

Deanne, we didn't even get a sprinkle.....:-(
I was hoping for a nice rain. Oh well, there is still rain in the weekend forecast.

Marie, thanks for the id on that pretty tree. I love those red cones!

My 'new' refrigerator is 'home' and chilling! The friend came this morning and got Nolon and they had the 'frig back in no time. The friend and Nolon also moved the old side-by-side down into the utility room. Now, we will eventually move the old freezer completely out and put the side-by-side in it's place.

Home Depot called, and the delivery of the new range is scheduled for Saturday forenoon.
Soon all will be back to normal at our house...and I can leave the computer on! :-)

I got the rest of my plants into pots, except the seedling agastaches.I don't think any of my combos would win any prizes...:-(
Maybe they will improve as they grow.



    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 3:01PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

((((((((((V)))))))))) and ((((((((((Brother)))))))))). So sorry to hear about your DB. I will be sending good thoughts and prayers for him and all the family. I wish we could do more. I found some info on a treatment which I know nothing about, but thought I'd pass it along anyway. You never know what might work. I searched (Canadian Google) using the words esophagus cancer herbs.

More research.

Great to hear that the spot on your leg was nothing. I wonder if we should all just get those spots taken off, no matter how small.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 3:46PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Birthday Yeona:

Happy Birthday Woody:

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 4:36PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

OK, I haven't gotten any puttering in the flowers done yet. By the time I got ready to do it, it started to rain outside, and it still is. Typical hot humid afternoon thunderstorms in Indiana. Darn it, DH is gone for the evening so I was looking forward to a long patch of gardening without interruption (When's dinner? Where's X?).

A funny thing happened on the way home from the vet where I picked up the medicine for Licorice (and got some more suggestions for food for him). I stopped at a local feed store. They always have a small garden area with the occasional nice perennial. Today they had 7 nice perennials. They all came home with me, begged me to take them away. I felt sorry for them so of course I obliged. I'd tell you what they all are, but of course it's raining...


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 6:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody tells me that she received TWO birthday cakes for the big day's celebration. One was from the longterm care facility where she volunteers in the garden, the other from family. She also received several gardening books and from her DH, a dwarf Japanese Maple that she loves. She managed to see the good wishes from Idylls also and expressed concern for V and her brother. Her oldest dog appears to be declining. The vet has given them a second pain drug to see if that will bring some relief. The dog is 15 now. There may be tough decsions to be made one day soon.

It has been a blah morning and a lovely hot afternoon. I managed to plant a few ghetto items and moved the Caryopteris Snow Fairy to a spot where we dug out the Golden Wings Rose. I really loved that rose except it was grafted and constantly had thorny suckers that needed to be removed. I MAY have started an own root cutting last Fall, but it will be a while before I can tell how well it is doing. Planted hosta 'Striptease'(should have put that near Black Lace LOL) more blue woodland phlox, a geum, more tiarella to spread about, etc. Tons more to do but I also need to weed and ammend soil and work on my arbors. I simply don't know where to begin so do bits and pieces as I feel up to it. Right now I ache!
DH wrote me from Shanghai that yesterday he visited with a student's family in a Shanghai suburb. The suburb has a population of 10,000,000! Anyway he had an amazing time but I guess I'll have to wait another week to hear details. Tomorrow he visits a university, then Sunday he heads to Beijing for another university inspection.

That's all she wrote...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 8:27PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday Woody...I hope you had a lovely day! Ei

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 8:34PM
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V - I am so very sorry to hear the sad news about your brother. What a shock to go from anticipating a happy family celebration to contemplating a battle with cancer. I hope that with the best medical care and the support of your family things are more hopeful than seem possible now. My thoughts are going out to all of you.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 8:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I wish to give the entire quote in reference to God giving us more than we can bear. It is : " No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it."

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 9:36PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

V, I'm so sorry to read your news. Cancer is such a nasty, non-descriminating disease...Heartfelt prayers and positive vibes going out to all of your family members. Doctors are human and therefore fallible, so I'm hoping they aren't right about his prognosis. Here is a link to the site that my acupuncturist said would help Bruce's immune system to produce more natural killer cells, which are what fight cancer. I'm seeing her for hormone balancing currently and saw 2 cancer patients (both no hair from chemo) at her office last week buying these supplements. She has had much success with them, even with advanced liver and colon cancer,and brain cancer. I wish I could have convinced Bruce to try them, but he wouldn't hear of it. Maybe it could help your brother. Thinking of you all...


PS Happy Birthday Woody! Will be back tomorrow with a pic for you

pps Offer came in but is low. It is all his bank would loan him, but SHE owns a house as well. Neither will be ready to sell until the fall. They know our bottom line and LOVE the house and I think are going to TRY to swing it.

ppps Got our copy of the home section spread, which some newspaper carriers deliver early. He couldn't have praised our home any higher! pics tomorrow...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 10:26PM
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