Idyll # 322 Summer is a coming in

deanneart(z5Southern NH)June 18, 2007

Good morning everyone,

Incredible that we are already almost at the summer solstice!

We are going to have a gorgeous day here and I get to spend it in the garden. Horray! Im going to be dragging hoses today though as things have dried out pretty quickly in the last few days since the temps warmed up. IÂve already got the sprinklers on the front and will start the back yard as soon as IÂve finished this. IÂve got some happy stuff and sad stuff in the gardens this week. Yesterday I FINALLY fixed one of the leaks in the darned ponds. The waterfall from the middle smaller pond into the large bottom one is now free of leaks. Horray! I also leveled the lower pond so the water stays at the top of the rim instead of four inches down on the shelf. IÂve got the pump diverted to the stream bed instead of the upper pond and nothing has leaked since we filled it yesterday afternoon. IÂm so happy I can hardly stand it. Now I just have to fix the chute from the upper pond into the stream and then reset the big waterfall rock at the top. This has been a huge job and the fact that it leaks has been a thorn in my side for years.

Now the sad stuff, IÂve got to cut down my beautiful Sambucus ÂSutherland Gold this week. It started dying off about four weeks ago. First one side of it went and then one branch at a time until now it only has one branch left and IÂm assuming that that one is going to go this week as well so IÂve got to cut it down. That is a huge bummer as I just adored that shrub and it was such a Âstar in the driveway garden. IÂve got to figure out what to plant to replace as IÂm assuming I canÂt put another sambucus there. If anyone has any thoughts IÂd appreciate them.

Cynthia, lovely red geraniums! and I love the glimpse of the inside of your house too. That looks like a beautiful marble topped stand the lamp is on. ~~ Love the pics of Monty and Katie! Too cute that Monty has to travel with a ÂstuffieÂ.

Kathy, I canÂt believe that Cape Fuchsia is invasive there. It is such a beautiful plant. Would love to see photographs of all your salvias. Do you get a lot of humming birds in all those salvias? ~~ Bummer about your Climbing Hydrangea getting scorched but they really donÂt grow very fast in the first few years so six inches isnÂt bad.

HI T! Great to hear from you. Yep, ÂJust say no is a good thing but a VERY difficult skill to learn. ~~ How are the critters? Hopefully no more health woes with Bo and the goats.

Saucy, great plant list!!!! CanÂt wait to see what you do with all of those.

Bug, IÂm anxiously waiting for news about IttybittybugÂs arrival.

Mary, how wonderful DavidÂs recital went so well. Good for him! ~~ So what was the surprise for DH?

Sue, canÂt wait to see pics of the shed! Sounds colorful. ~~ Maybe we can do a road trip up to that place in VT next year. IÂd love to go.

Chelone, the awning looks great! IÂd love to have a set-up like that for our patio. We canÂt use it in the evenings as it just gets too buggy out there.

OK IÂve got to get to the gym and get that over with so I can get into the gardens. Have a great day everyone!


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We have had temps in the 90s several days lately, so it seems like summer is already here. The wind blew like the dickens again yesterday. It will be a miracle if my containers look like anything this year. More rain is supposed to be on the way and we still need it. Id just as soon not start watering.

I had h. Maple Sugar last year too and havent found any this year. I did try to winter it over with no luck. It was doing ok but Im too lazy with watering in the winter.

Deanne, the wireless rain gauge was purchased at a hardware store. You and Doug amaze me with your bike riding. Sorry to hear about he sambucus, I thought they would be bullet proof as they are a native shrub here.

Cynthia, I loved the peek out your windows.

Chelone, the urns all go in the garden shed for the winter. I have a 2 wheel cart that I move the larger containers around with.

I would say that Ts 2 little guys are the most recent Idyll babies.

have a great day

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:59AM
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Here's a few recent garden shots:

Happy Belated Birthday Martie!

Morden Centennial in its glory

Potager beginning to show life

Butterfly Garden(I'm making this one a thumbnail as not to mess up the thread - click on it to enlarge)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 1:38PM
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Happy Birthday Marti!!!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 2:42PM
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Hi everyone! Eden, when I was at the Botanical Garden show a few weeks ago, they had these miniature gardens, and I thought of you. I took a couple of views, one so you could see the detail, and another so you could see the perspective.
Hope you like them.

Michelle, your garden is so pretty! That butterfly bed is awesome, and I really like your potager, too. How talented that you can do a thumbnail. It is all I can do to post any kind of pic:)

Happy day all!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 2:50PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Wow 'bug, how exciting - can't wait until you can fill us in. Thinking of you and your family; what an exciting time.

Deanne, how great that you finally straightened out the pond - I know it has been bugging you for a while. So sad about your sambucus, it was a beautiful tree. I know you'd find something stunning to replace it.

I was getting frustrated because I couldn't see Chelone's pictures, then Cynthia's and Drema's were invisible to me...the Idylls aren't as much fun without the pics! I could see them at work, but not at home. I finally figured out that the parental controls on the Norton software were blocking Picturetrail for some reason. The parental controls are a pain, but necessary when a 12-year-old wants to surf the web. DH gets cranky sometimes when he gets blocked from things like the Mass Lottery website, but we have to play it safe.

Drema, those miniature gardens are stunning, I love that stuff but I don't have the patience or the fine motor skills to accomplish anything close to that. They have similar displays at the Boston Flower Show every year, really fascinating stuff.

Another early-to-bed girl here - in my young and foolish days we'd still be getting ready to go out at this time!

Good nite all, and I'll be checking back for baby news!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 9:32PM
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Good evening

Drema - love, love, love the miniature garden! Thanks for sharing. When are you going to Watkins Glen? Only 2 more days of work for me then the freedom of summer.

Michelle - your gardens seem lovelier every time I see them.

Deanne - how satisfying to have fixed the leak in the pond. Here is DH's Father's day present - he has a huge smiling mouth and DH got as big a kick out of it as the kids when they chose it.

Kept thinking about GB today and wondered if there was any news.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 10:15PM
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I wondered if there might be some news from the western part of Canada... but no.

Congrats. on solving the leak issue, Deanne. Things like that really annoy me, too. So stupid, so tricky to locate, and a hassle to fix. Your fish will be thrilled.

No patterns for awnings, T.. It's just good ol' geometry and accuracy with a tape measure. Well, that's not exactly true. I did pattern the clear baffle, because there are a variety of compound angles, the result of the pitch of the roof and the way the canopy frame returns to the deck. Awnings are really a snap to make once you get comfortable with measuring.

Monty is looking pretty good, Rex is the same way about a ball... anytime you go anywhere he grabs one (usually two), "just in case". Rex has a knee issue, apparently a torn ligament. The orthopod. said it happens all the time with dogs, all they have to do is wrench it the wrong way; as with people the knee is the most unstable joint in the body. The repair is surgical with a 95% success rate and (get this) an 8 wk. recovery period. Looks as though we'll be doing more obedience work since he'll have to be "on a string" during that time. Or maybe we'll just gas him and replace him with a "new model".

Kathy, I listened to a great series on NPR's Morning Edition last week, focussing on the issue of water in the west. I was appalled at the amount of such a precious resource sqandered by Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tuscon, etc.. But there is hope; in particular the program that actually "buys back" lawns and the movement to xeriscaping, using the marvelous variety of plant material native to the high desert and arrid places. Water is also a huge issue here, too. Coastal development means more wells when municipal water is not available... where I live many wells near the ocean are now contaminated with sea water.

I have to bandage up my "fingy" and head on out to work. I raked it across a nail on Sunday. Bled like crazy (a good thing) and I scrubbed it out with disinfectant and Hydrogen peroxide. I now have a diagonal slash that runs from the outside of the first joint on my pinkie to the top of the palm. It's pretty tender and in one of those places that is affected whenever I use my hand (the right one, of course). What a dope. I'll take the disinfectant soap with me today. :)

The scent of diesel and sound of equipment is now a thing of the past. They finished up the backfilling and the grading yesterday. We're pleased with the overall height and grade to the driveway. We'd been nervous that it would be really high... looks good. The framers are going to come by today to come up with their first lumber order and give us a tentative start date. Once it's framed we'll have the excavator come back to dig the trench to the house to bury the power the rest of the way and clean up the driveway curve and possibly relocate the entrance further south on the road.

Enjoy your day, kids.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 5:35AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well I patched the chute from the upper pond to the stream and that appears to be fine now as well!!!! Woohoo! I also changed the level of that upper pond so that it tips forward. In the past the waterfall rock tipped the pond shell backwards so that the pond leaked out the back side, under the rock where we couldnt find it. I had to remove the pond shell and add fill in the floor of depression on the back side. Now I just have to deal with the humungous waterfall rock at the top of the system and it will be finished. I tried to move that sucker myself last night and its really impossible with only one person so that will have to wait. Yes Chelone, the fish are going to be thrilled! They are going into their summer digs today. Now hopefully that heron Ive seen around here will leave them alone.

Chelone, what a bummer about your finger! Im assuming you have an up to date tetanus shot? Hope it heals up soon.

Mary! That Fathers Day present is absolutely a hoot!!!! Love it thanks for posting a pic for me. I knew it had to be creative and fun.

Wendy, no kidding you have to be careful with a 12 year old and the internet. Im glad that wasnt on the list of things I had to worry about when DD was little. The things some children are exposed to are terrible. I agree with you 100% that its better to play it safe.

Michelle, gorgeous photographs! Your butterfly garden is just gorgeous. Id love to see more photographs of that one? Cant wait to see the pottager filled in. Every time I see pics of your shed I get potting shed envy. That is just so fantastic. I keep asking Doug to find me a place I can use as a permanent potting set up but I really dont have a convenient place for that here. ~~ Sorry about the continued wind and heat. I cant think of worse conditions other than a hail storm.

Drema, I love, love, love that mini garden!!!! Thanks for posting that photograph.

OK must run and get my day started


    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 7:05AM
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My fingy is sore (but less so than yesterday!). But that's because it's in one of those multiply articulated spots and I use my hands aggressively at work. My tetanus immunization is definitely "on the wane" and this has hastened my resolve to get a booster. Only drawback is Tetanus shots HURT. :(

Michelle, your gardens are so, so pretty! But what really astonishes me is HOW FLAT the countryside is. It reminds me of looking out over the ocean, only it's green. ;) .

I spoke with the vet.'s office this afternoon. The surgery required to "put him right" is scheduled for 7/6 and he will be dropped off bright and early (and hungry). I have just over 2 weeks to change my mind and have him gassed (for considerably less money, I might add; had I had my wits about me I could have had the excavator dig the hole for him, before he took the backhoe away.).

The site work guy dropped off the bill this morning. I was blown away by the amount of sand and gravel required to do what needed to be done. Yikes! We've chuckled several times at how "nice it looks" right now. And I thought of you, Kathy! Water is certainly not an issue for us... at least the sort of water that keeps lawns green with no supplemental watering. The water table here is high; the water in the bottom of the footing hole was ground water. Clearly, I live in a totally different climate/environment than you do... and I love reading about the differences.

That miniature garden is so cool! Reminds me of Da, who was "into" miniatures, too, if I remember correctly. I'm constantly amazed at how creative people can be; just the simple way they look at the world around them and the ways they interpret it. No way would I ever get into miniatures, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate and marvel at them.

Cynthia, there is truly something glorious in the simple, red/any color "germamyum". I just love them. They're so easy-going and they flower so nicely (even in an easterly orientation). Best of all, they will flower all winter long in a sunny window! How can you beat that for versatility? How about some shots from the outside now...

I'm not finding what I want in garage doors (thanks for the link, Cynthia). I don't want something with too many "horizontals". Northern New England barn doors were made of tongue in groove wood, there was a strong vertical aspect to them. They were tall and they worked on horizontal rollers, stacking to the side of the door opening. I want overhead garage doors that operate remotely, but have the solid, VERTICAL, tongue and groove look when they're down. I don't want that dreadful, CHINTZY fake woodgrain embossed on metal or fibreglass; any painter worth his salt sands the grain down before applying paint! I have checked site after site and there is virtually nothing I've found so far that fits the bill. I have some time left, but fear I'll have to settle for something "too carriage house-y" and that's not the "look" I want, at all. Enough angst for today...

Would that everyone's day was as "angst filled"! ;)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 5:21PM
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just a quickie post from me tonite---

Deanne, I will for sure do a few photos of my salvias this weekend, or late this week. The light when I get home from work is not vey good for photos, and I usually leave home at 6am or before in the morning.

Chelone,water here is such an issue ! We had about 12 inches less rainfall this year than average normal,(30% or so) and it effects so much of ones garden world, including which bugs show up and which pathogens drop in. I have never seen so many cucumber beetles ,nor so little black-spot since I moved here in 1986. I will post my editorial comments on lawns in a few days...

So has anyone seen The Painted Veil ? Interested in opinions- a bit of Idyll Film Review action...

Later all !
And hello to everyone, especially Martie..

Kathy In Napa

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 11:30PM
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I was in the city today for the Dr. appointment. Tests were run and I go back on July 31. She seems to think that it isnt RA but one of several similar things. Hopefully, the tests will show more. While there I scored some plants. 2 hellebore Ivory Prince for ½ price - $6 for a gallon size, a musa bajsoo for a mere $6.25, and an ornamental pepper Black Pearl. Ill add the musa to the tropical garden, Im sure I dont stand a chance of overwintering it, but for that price it will be a great annual addition. Somehow I am accumulating annuals that I have no containers for.

I had dinner with my son on the patio at Bostons. It was such a lovely day. It was nice to have a one on one visit with him. We dont see him nearly enough. He works 6 days a week right now and his girlfriend is fully as busy. In fact she was working so she couldnt join us.

Drema, I love the miniature, thanks for sharing the pictures. I have saved them, as I know that it would be such a fun project with Kenzie some day.

I have a hosta that I grew from bare root that appears to be a mini, mini and not what it was supposed to be.

Chelone, you just have to look the other direction and we have rolling hills in our pasture and towards the river. We sort of live up on a hill where things flatten out. You know you will probably find the perfect garage doors and they will be so outlandishly expensive. Good luck on the search.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 11:38PM
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Good morning, everyone. The forecast is for some possible thunderstorms today, the air feels sort of heavy and still this morning. I'll wager the ocean is flat, "bathtub" calm.

The fingy feels better this morning. I have paid particular attention to keeping it clean and giving it a rest. So much for my plans to weed the terrace beds! In hindsight I probably could have had a stitch or two. I'm still finding drops of blood here and there on the floor leading to the bathroom. ;) I could used Annie's help, I think...

My car now has air conditioning.

I have to water a couple of things this morning and get to work. After something to eat, though.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 5:19AM
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Woo-hoo - my last day of work. I can't wait to be able to spend time with the kids, eat lunch with DH, garden, perfect my skills at money origami, play the violin, keep the house spotless (nah - forget that one), read, cook, see friends I haven't seen for ages, bike ride, make a minature garden, go strawbery picking, swim - the list is endless. One more day......


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 8:15AM
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Good Morning, the humidity and heat finally broke here yesterday and the weather's back to being beautiful. Jenni, Bella and I spent the entire day yesterday cleaning up Jen's front garden beds and planting her window boxes. It looks much better. We'll work on it again on Saturday. I haven't had much time in my own garden, but yesterday while at the farmer's market picking up flowers for her boxes I did manage to snag one of Cynthia's avacados(aka artichokes) and a new, to me, coleus called pink chaos. My car died last night, Brad says it's something about the ignition, so we have to deal with getting that fixed today. I hate car repairs!

Drema, the little miniature garden is so cool! Thanks for posting it. I saved the pictures for future reference. I've been hunting for a little mini arbor like that for a while.

Michelle, neat that you've got a banana now too! I enjoyed your garden pics. I'd like to see the potager as time progresses this summer. I would just love to have room for one myself!

Mary, your list sounds like the makings of a great summer. Don't you just love summertime?

Chelone, I haven't had time to check out the garage thread yet but it sounds like it's really coming along. I can't wait to go over there and see the progress pics! Good you're hand is starting to heal. That sounds like a nasty wound. Glad you found out what's bothering Rex too and that the Dr. will be able to "fix it".

Kathy, I'll be interested in seeing your salvia pics too. I've gotten a bit of a collection going the last couple of years. The only downside is that most of them have to be overwintered indoors here. I do love them though!

Deanne, do you know what caused the demise of your sambucus? You had me out inspecting mine. What a bummer for you to lose it! Glad you got the pond issues solved.

Cynthia, loved the pics of the pups. Monty's head looks just like Buds. Bud's is totally white now too. Bud always has a toy in his mouth too or laying next to him, usually a ball or his nylon bone.

Sue, I couldn't find h. maple sugar this year either but have one called hibiscus haight ashbury that's really pretty.

I have to run. Bella will be here today and as usual I have a list of a million and one things I want to get done. The progress on the bed painting is moving along slowly and I do have before pics of Jenni's garden to post when I get a free minute.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 8:45AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good rainy afternoon! I'm not complaining mind you, we need the rain. I'm wearing out the grass in my yard walking back and forth with the watering can...

Just wanted to share this with you:

My brother brought home a new puppy yesterday. He is a 7-week-old black lab/pointer cross. My brother had another dog named Butchie for 13 years, and he passed away a few months ago. My DD loved Butchie - she had known him all her life, and has been heartbroken - she misses him terribly. She has been having a hard time visiting my parent's house because she says it is not the same without Butchie.

We are trying to think of a name, any suggestions? Oreo was suggested, but DD's friend's dog already has that name. DH suggested Bessie and Angus due to the resemblance to a cow. Domino was another thought.

Chelone, look away - I know you hate dogs.

Have to run to pick up DS for the LAST TIME until fall! The last day of school is tomorrow, but my mother will do the honors.



    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 12:38PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

OH, my gosh!! A new baby AND a new puppy!?!? The Idylls are just the coolest :) I think I know what mix Sarah is now-she looks just like that puppy, only she's mainly black.
Just in for a quick break. I'm getting lots done a dork, I posted on the wrong thread the other day, but suffice to say I taught some Anemone 'Robustissima' what's up. Have a feeling I'll be dabbing some round-up on pop-ups for the rest of the season.

Chelone, I'm glad to hear your finger is getting better. Nothing worse than a wounded hand during gardening season!

That mini garden is very cool!

I know there was other stuff I wanted to comment on, but it escapes me at the moment...and my behind is getting way too comfy in this chair, so I'd better get back at it.

Howdy to everyone!
PS..we finally got some rain. 4/10ths Monday. Enough to keep stuff alive. DH was grumbling some that we needed more. Lol, I asked him if 2/5ths made him feel any didn't ;)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 3:29PM
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Wendy, what a cute little puppy. My first thought was how great that your kids get to enjoy him but you don't have to deal with puppy training at your house, lol. As far as names go, we always seem to give out pets 'people names'. My parents had a black standard poodle named Angus. Over the years we've had a Martha, an Alice and now Bud. I do like Domino. He sure is a cutey!

Brenda, I've got some of that anemone robustissima in a rather small area that I'm starting to worry about. It's trying to grow out into the only small patch of grass that we can call a lawn. I keep seeing it pop up here and there. We could use a good rain here too. We got a little yesterday but we need a good soaking. It's been a couple of weeks now.

Marie and her new grandbaby have been on my mind. I bet she's having a ball with the new little one! Wonder if he has a name yet?

Michelle, I saw your post over on Home Dec with the pics of your new counters. I love them! Your kitchen remodel turned out great!

Time to start getting Bella ready for the idea of bedtime. She's decided that she doesn't like night-night, in her words. Even so she's out within moments of her head hitting the pillow. Have a good evening all!


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 7:19PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Eden-I had moved some of the A.R. to the stump bed, where I don't mind a mass of it. Given the experience yesterday, I'm going to start digging it out when it's about a foot away from the farthest I want it to go. It went under a carpet rose that I've had for a good ten years, and made itself at home smack dab in the middle of it :( That poor carpet rose has taken more punishment-moved a bunch of times, and usually at a BAD time..and just keeps right on going. Yesterday, I found out you can apparently cut it back, dig it up, surgically remove the A.R. from it and end up with FOUR nice, happy looking carpet roses potted up! There's not one leaf even the least bit wilted. Not something I'd do on a whim, but it had to be done. So...yeah, watch that robustissima-they don't call it that for nothing :)
Good luck getting Bella to bed. Are you on the crazy time where it seems like it's light out until midnight?? My kids always argued if it wasn't dark out when I sent them to bed.
Time to eat!
PS..Wendy, I like Domino AND Angus. I know-play some Van Morrison and some AC/DC and see which one he seems to like best ;)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 8:24PM
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Wendy, He looks like a dog named Bill (or Billy) to me. I'm with Eden and like basic names for dogs and cats. (Audrey Heburn Alloneword was adopted in the midst of menopause, so I will be excused for that.)

Michelle, I hope the medical conditions that are 'similar to RA' are easier to deal with in the long run. Side trips to garden centers on the way to or from strange places are de rigeur you know!

Deanne, can you chop your S.Racemosa SG down to 12"? One of mine had starting dieing off from the bottom last summer. It was in too much shade this year and looking ugly. It would have lived after I chopped it (new growth was coming) but I dug it up and moved it and the roots were octopus formation and thick as branches. Two others I have not messed with are fine, but both loose a branch or two each summer, but otherwise fine.

We had 90+ days earlier this week and it's 80s today, maybe less now and feels wonderful. I went into the dining room to turn that AC off this morning and there was a block of ice on the front of it 2" thick and 18" wide. Saucy will be along to tell me I'm going to start an electrical fire or something. I do have a dehumidifier somewhere.

The evenings go so quickly when it stays light so late.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 8:54PM
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Nick says, "sounds like she had it on max cool all day and the temps dropped but she wasn't there to turn it down/off." Meaning, if you had a thermostat that could read the heat/humidity it would've cut out where the human didn't :)

I know nothing about window shakers...all the knowledge is relateable, but I'm not one to put 2 and 2 together :)

We received rain today. I am happy. No garden time today.

Wendy, Sarah saw Micky's picture (Micky "blue eyes" even though they aren't blue, he sucks you in!) and now she's asking if we can trade the old one in for a new model!

Chelone, happy for your a/c :) Nick said he'd wish he'd known, he would've fixed. I'm slow on the uptake lately.

Brenda, I love digging up, dividing, and killing the blasted bindweed in my neighbor's gardens! Good for you today! That's a tough tackle.

I'm off to bed. Have a tough day ahead. At least the weather has cooled (Cynthia's cool front - no fires).

'night all.


I keep meaning to ask Michelle if she is close to Paoli Peaks and have it in my head that I already asked her months ago!? (insert interrobang)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Saucy, I did a google and found that Paoli Peaks is in Indiana, I'm in Iowa, but Brenda is in Indiana.

I'm making this weeks goal - weeding! I get so busy planting, dividing, getting seeds in the ground and potting up the containers in the spring that weeds get out of control.

Wondering how the new gramma is doing. Having a ball I'm sure.

I better get to bed before I crash.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 12:34AM
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I suspect 'bug is contentedly fussing over her family, too. Do you think they sqaubble over who gets to hold him, or do you think they simply stand by and watch him snnoze? ;)

I really need to weed here, too. And then the lawn needs mowing. But it's my 15th. wedding anniversary and none of those things will happen today. We're going out for a meal tonight. And to the theatre tomorrow night.

Wendy, how about Percival, Percy for short? We have "human names" for our fleet, too. I do like Domino, though. It's been a long time since we've had a puppy and will probably be a long time before we have another, lol. ;)

Yesterday two birds flew in the open back door of the shop and one hit the window pretty sharply. I think they were probably mating, "caught up in the moment". I moved quickly and put my sweatshirt of them when they fluttered to the windowsill. I scooped one up and the open beak and attempts to peck me were proof positive he wanted OUT. The other one was pretty dazed and I put it in the lilac bush taking care to help it get its feet around the branch and making sure it was steady on the perch before leaving it. I went out about an hour later and it was gone, I found it nowhere on the ground nearby, so I hope it dodged the grim reaper. They were pretty things, buff-beige with distinct black masks, and quite petite. And very, very soft. I miss Larry.

I wish we'd gotten some rain yesterday. We could use it. But not for a few more days, I understand. I need to get going and very much want to finish up a torturous cushion job (big ones with knee rolls requiring a seperate inside compartment to contain the thicker piece of foam). A drag.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 5:25AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

So today we get to welcome the first day of Summer 2007. The gardens here are bursting with growth and all the lilies and hemerocallis are setting buds at record speed. The Stella dOro are opening their first flowers. (this seems late for them this year) The fuchsias I over wintered are now opening their first flowers and a couple of them are going to be gigantic this year. I have this one Fuchsia Beacon that is about three feet tall, a bush not a standard, and is just opening its first flowers. I cant imagine how large it is going to get by the end of the season. I FINALLY got the fish outside yesterday! Woohoo! I cant tell you how happy I am to get my scaly buddies outside. Of course the minute I got everything pristine around here the pine trees started their annual shedding of the pollen bearing thingies and everything is covered with the da ned things. Grrrr. The fish couldnt figure out what was fish food and what was pine debris And so it goes..

Yesterday I put together a couple more containers. Yikes! Somebody stop me!!! I found these gorgeous Cuphea and an amazing coleus called Othello that is almost black, then there was this other coleus that had the black color of the Othello and the hot rosy red of the cuphea Well I had to put that together. I just love it! I went on an expedition a couple days this week to find a new nursery that sells water plants and instead I found a place that carries a beautiful selection of nicely grown coleus. Deadly!

Kathy, Im looking forward to seeing pics of your salvias. How neat you can grow all those wonderful plants that are tender here. ~~ thats just dreadful about the rain deficit! 12" less than normal??? Thats terrible.

Michelle, good news that the Dr.s think you dont have RA. I hope you get a diagnosis soon. Not knowing must be awful. ~~ Im so jealous about the Ivory Prince that hellebore is indeed a Prince and Id like to get a few more for the gardens here but they are pretty expensive. ~~ LOL I guess you are going to have to get a couple more containers What does your mini hosta look like? Ive been looking for one for a spot here. Ive seen this one called Mouse Ears that Id like to find.

Chelone, Happy Anniversary to you and Helpmeet! ~~ Glad to hear your finger is healing nicely and that you have AC in your vehicle. Years ago I never thought I needed AC and then I got it and would never want to be without. Im spoiled I guess.

Horray for Mary! Yippee! You are now officially on summer vacation. LOL about housekeeping. My house picks up way too much dirt in the summer and the strange thing is I only care about it if Im going to have company. So maybe you can come for a visit sometime????

Eden, Love that coleus! It looks like a deeper colored version of The Flume. ~~ Jens house is just darling and the potential for the gardens there is marvelous. I cant wait to see how it progresses. ~~ I have no idea what killed my sambucus. Its always lost a branch or two every year but this year after leafing out and looking great it started losing branches one at a time until they ALL died. The foliage became black on the edges and then started wilting and dying. ~~ That hibiscus is to die for! I NEED one of those.

Wendy! Oh my! That puppy is a cute as it gets. Almost makes me want one, almost. I do like Domino.

Brenda, glad you got some rain. ~~ I have my AR in the middle of a border but I keep it surrounded by those lawn edging strips that are about eight inches deep. That keeps it from migrating to areas I dont want it. I do that with any plant that like to travel too much. Takes work in the beginning but saves tons of work later.

Cynthia, I had to chop the SG to 12" because every bit of the top growth died off. I guess Ill leave the stump for a bit and see what happens.

OK Im off to get the containers watered and then get to the gym. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 7:31AM
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It looks like we got a little rain here overnight. We could use more. The lawns are starting to brown. Today will be a day of moving the hose and sprinkler around the garden. My container gardens are starting to fill in nicely and I was thinking last night that I should get some pictures of them today so I'm try to do that too.

Deanne, I can't believe that you're still putting together containers. Well really, yes I can. I really didn't do as many this year. Being busy with Bella I just don't have time to take proper care of them. I've had that Othello coleus and I like that one too. I have only bought the one coleus this year. I started out the season with around 50 varieties that I overwintered. One of my favorite nurseries has a big selection and they usually go on sale later so I'm waiting until then to stock up on ones I don't have. I've been tempted when I'm there to start throwing them in the cart though.

Chelone, Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your nights out!

Michelle, I could devote a whole week to weeding. Before Bella I never allowed weeds in my garden but that's changed. Now I just yank them when they get bigger than the plants they surround, lol.

Brenda, I do think the that it getting dark later has something to do with Bella not wanting to go to bed. She has an 8pm bedtime and it's still very light out. We got her a toddler bed a couple of weeks ago and just being free to get out on her own has something to do with it too. I always find a stack of books next to her bed when I get her up that wasn't there when I put her to bed. She only sleeps a couple of hours here until Megan gets off work anyway.

Cynthia, I think the evenings go quickly in summer too. I always think they should seem longer since it's light out later. After working over at Jen's all day Tuesday I did go to bed just a little after 8pm that evening. I guess I'm not used to that heavy kind of gardening these days. Hope Monty and Katie are both feeling well!

It's nice a cool here today and would be a perfect day for gardening but I have Bella. She's allergic or has something going on with mosquitoes. When they bite her she gets a big welt and it makes a mark that lasts for months. So I don't like having her out with me unless I'm watching her closely. There are lots of mosquitoes in my densely planted garden to bite her. So I'll probably do some inside cleaning. For some reason all that cleaning I did last week just didn't stick, lol.

Have a great day Idylls!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:06AM
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It really does feel like summer with highs yesterday in the upper 80s. 97 is predicted for the weekend. Rain is predicted for this afternoon, Im keeping my fingers crossed. Last night the fireflies were flitting around and the frogs were singing. It was gorgeous the last couple of mornings, no wind! It is just so enjoyable to wander around.

Mary, your summer plans sound divine. I have job envy ;o)

Deanne, the mini hosta is supposed to be Frances Williams but the leaves are the size of my pinky fingernail. It has been that way several years. I bought a couple of unnamed minis last summer at a local plant sale.

I noticed that something has been munching on my hosta Remember Me which isnt extremely big to begin with. I sprayed Deer repellent last night, but see that some of the Bright Lights chard in the potager was munched to the ground.

Wendy, the puppy is adorable and quite fashionable. I was surprised when we were at the Mall of America that there was a "Black and White" store. Domino is a very cute name.

Chelone, happy anniversary to you both. Enjoy your evenings. I have had barn swallows lately that want to be in my garden shed. I need to remember to shut the door even when Im in and out.

Eden, thanks about the kitchen. Im thrilled with the countertops, they are just so dramatic compared to what I

I've included a link to my kitchen in case anyone else is interested.

I hope your day includes sometime in the garden.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:32AM
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Deanne, I've got lots of mini hostas. There used to be a lady at one of the farmer's markets I go to that specialized in unusual hostas and I would pick them up from her. This went on for a few years so I ended up with quite a few. Blue Mouse Ears is one of my favorites. And the slugs don't seem to like it so that's an added bonus. I did run across a new one last week that I couldn't resist, it's called Country Mouse. I can't resist much of anything that comes in miniature :)


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:59AM
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I decided to ditch the vacuum and set up some sawhorses in the kitchen so I could paint the cupboard doors for the bed and keep an eye on Bella at the same time. I have them primed, 2 coats, and maybe I can squeeze in a coat of paint after dinner. I'd really like to get this project done. I got a nice surprise this afternoon, a package of epimediums I'd ordered from Garden Vision, and then forgot about. The mailman said he didn't need to look at the address to know which house they went to, lol. I need to at least get them potted up and watered for now. At present they're sitting in little aluminum foil packets.

So where is everyone? I just noticed that the last post is mine too. Guess you all will just have to listen to me babble on today, since I have time to for a change.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 4:28PM
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Hmm... I apparently wrote something that was "unacceptable". And the post I thought would be entertaining has been banished... . I sure didn't think I'd written anything that could be "construed as profanity" or was inappropriate, but WHO KNOWS? maybe I'm on a "watch list". LOL, sure hope so, I know I'll be in good company! :)

I agree with you, Eden, about tearing down old homes and erecting starter mansions. Have any of you read any of Susanka's books on building smaller? I heard her speak on NPR several weeks ago and was most impressed. How much space do two people really need if the space is laid out thoughtfully? In my community zoning is very strict. To skirt the letter of the law, people have snapped up less expensive homes, and essentially levelled them, leaving ONE WALL. Doing so accords them the more lenient permit of "renovation". Sigh. Effectively, this has turned my town into a community that excludes "working people". Like us.

I had nearly finished the lawn when I noticed an important looking plastic part lying on the mown portion of the lawn. I pocketted it, and sure enough! two passes later the handle of the mower came loose. I looked for the bolt to no avail. My mowing mission was aborted... 5 passes from the end. RATS!

I am stoked about the gift I purchased for the helpmeet. I bought him a pocket watch with a nice cover that will attatch to his belt/beltloop. he's been carrying around a pathetic remnant of a long dead wristwatch for a couple of years now. I have high hopes he will like it and it will serve him well.

Gotta go.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 5:38PM
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Bella and I are just back from a walk, well I walked, she rode on her bike, to the Dairy Queen. To celebrate the first day of summer we had hot dogs, chips, pop and ice cream cones for dinner. It was a perfect day for it, not too hot or cold, with a beautiful clear blue sky. I love summer!!!

Chelone, oh how could he not love a pocket watch. My grandpa always carried one. Brad has one that was his dads, but he only uses it on special occasions. I've heard of the Susanka books. She has one called 'The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters' that I would like to read.

Time to get Bella ready for bed and then I think I'm going to watch some mindless tv, something I don't often do, but I'm really tired tonight. I wish I had the energy of a two year old.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:05PM
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I've completely lost my mind this year. I know I already asked and received a response from Brenda (I'm guessing :)

Michelle, I love your kitchen remodel! I especially love the spot where I'd come over and sit in your kitchen and chat with you! ....then we'd go out and chat over the garden :)

Deanne, how nice to have your pond ready and with fish! I hope to pick your ear for advice! The more plants you buy, the more plants I buy....stop it already :)

Chelone, often my birds will dart about the house frantically sometimes flying into "things"...they always seem dazed but bounce back....there must be something to being bird brained. My birds hiss at me when I go to stick them back in their quarters.

Eden, my neighbor/boss has lots of hosta minis - they look so out of place amongst the regular sized perennials!

Chelone, you and Babs are always urging couples to conserve water and shower together...I can't believe they censored you :) The helpmeet will love his present...HAPPY 15th!

Lightening show! Free Fireworks!

'night all


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 8:47PM
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In memory of Chelone's missing post we could end this Idyll at #99. For goodness sake, who has nothing else to do but object to something Chelone would have to say. I do like the tone of the idylls much more now and it keeps me around. Strife is not why I come here :-) I don't usually get to listen to Diane Rehm, but was down stairs letting dogs out and the radio is always on in the kitchen. The topic was 'Happiness' and I emptied the dishwasher as an excuse to listen to it for a bit. Check it out online if you have time and missed the show.

Thank's for the dx on the AC ice Saucy! It does have a thermostat, but I should probably use the timer instead.

I thought of lightening bugs when Saucy said 'light show.' They are out in force and it just seems so SUMMER (all caps) when they perform! The air is cool tonight - 65F.

We had a crashing storm here right around 6PM. The lights flickered and of course I was trying to get something out, so saving madly between screen flickers and hoping no complete disconnection. When it stopped, Dannie was in the tub, (not showering with anyone), so I put a piece of cheese on her paw and took Monty and Katie for a walk. When we got back, the cheese was still on her paw but she was feeling better and leaned her head on the edge of the tub. She came downstairs for supper voluntarily at 8 :-)

I forgot to say how much I loved seeing Michelle's potager. It looks wonderful in the early stages of growth. Sign of a great design!

Eden, Dairy Queen! Hot dogs, fries and chocolate shakes and off to the rocky beach. Nice memories.

Chelone, that sounds like a great gift. Something he can actually use but it will last a long long time. Nice idea. Happy A, and enjoy your celebration. Keep it green.

'gnight, Cynthia

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 9:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I have not but skimmed a bit. Life is full. We are working on a photo to post, but there are many errands (you know, nursing bras and such, also the chiropractor to get DD's back aligned.) Lots of visitors each day, the midwife visits, tomorrow a group of mothers gathering with the midwife here.

Everyone wants to hold the little one. Tonight we attended dear grandson's soccer game. All the children were in awe and it was very touching.

Finally, the first name has been chosen. Drum roll please.. He is Reed. The middle name begins with A, but still some deciding to do. I hope to share his sweetness with you soon.

It will be forever before I catch up fully...I don't even know how my gardens are doing, how the kittens and bunnies are doing. I DO know that Woody will be adopting Charlotte from our kennel this weekend until our return. She'll be spoiled rotten, and love every minute!

Very best wishes to all and I see an adorable puppy Idyll has joined us! Terrific!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 2:44AM
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I've only seen one or two fireflies this season. They don't usually show up unless it's quite warm and humid... maybe it's the sea breeze that blows them back into the woods. Dunno, but aren't they fun to watch? The Junebugs are out in force, though. There's a great deal of buzzing on screens in the evening. :)

If Dannie leaves cheese on her paw for any extended length of time she must be freaked right out by thunder. I love that she emerged for a late supper at 8 PM; true to the roots of her native land... eat when it's cooled off.

The watch was a hit, causing some embarrassment, though... "I didn't get you anything". He better at Valentine's Day and birthdays that I am. ;) He paid for dinner!

I believe it was my crack about "mowusinterruptus" with regard to the lawnmower handle that was eyed with suspicion. I think that's pretty funny, personally. LOL. I'll have to remember to pick up a new bolt so I may finish it this weekend. Of course, as soon as I buy it and put the handle back together the old, original will surface in the grass. It always works out that way.

I'm sure Charlotte is going to have a wonderful time with Woody! it must put your mind at ease to know she's well fussed over and taken care of. I can only imagine DD's house is well trafficed these days... nothing like a fresh baby to pique everyone's curiosity. I like Reed, it has a nice ring to it... definitely preferable to Cletus. ;)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 5:14AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Another beautiful day here. It was 58 degrees out when I got up at 5:00AM and its supposed to stay in the high 70s low 80s. Perfect. Youll never believe this one. We got a thunderstorm yesterday and it flipping hailed again!!!! Not much damage this time though because the hail stones werent as large and it didnt last as long. I freaked out when it started though. LOL

Well Im teaching to day and have to hit the road in a couple minutes so Ill have to read and comment later. I just wanted to share this pics I snapped yesterday evening.

A few containers

Eden this is the one I put together the other day with the neat cuphea and Othello

The newly operating, non-leaking stream/pond

This is the neat Sansevieria I got a few days ago. I thought Cynthia would like to see this one.

The Campanula Sarastro is marvelous this year

The terraces and patio

I planted a begonia and ferns in the square container in this grouping

OK Ive got to run and get to class. Have a great day Ill check in tonight

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 7:44AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I'm on the run this morning but didn't want to miss popping in for my weekly greeting.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 8:57AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hey, everyone! I've been pretty much living outside, and thought I'd better get caught up around here!

Cynthia-LOL @ Audrey Hepburn Alloneword :) And, I totally agree about ending at 99. Censor Chelone?? I think NOT!

Saucy, don't even get me started on bindweed! I'm very close to having it eradicated from a huge patch of peonies on the west side of my porch. To make it more entertaining, there is a Sweet Autumn Clematis on that side of the porch, too. I know I look like a crazy woman in there with my butt in the air, but I've made good progress on it. Lol, I dive right in there at the first glimpse of bindweed and track it down to it's roots.
Oh, I had to hunt up Paoli Peaks. It's way south of us. We're about an hour south of the "GOLDEN DOME" at Notre Dame. Lol, you have to say it in captial letters,'s a very big thing around here. BTW, if you already asked me and I answered you, I've forgotten too so we make a good pair.

Chelone, congrats on your 15th! Jim and I celebrated ours in December. I think the pocketwatch is awsome! I've always thought they were cool. Percy is a good dog name-that was the dog's name in Uncle Buck :) You handled the birds way better than I would. Birds inside freak me out. LMAO..."mowusinterruptus"!

Deanne, not only do I not care about dirt unless there is company coming.....the list of people who are actually considered company gets shorter and shorter every year ;) It's actually a compliment if I don't clean my house for you-it's means you're family. Your pictures are, as always, stunning! I'm wildly in love with the pond!
Wish I had thought abou the edging when I moved the AR to the stump bed. I was looking at that clump today, and realized that it's more than likely crawled it's runners under a HUGE log and will likely pop out on the other side somewhere.

Eden 8:00 was my kids' bedtime when they were little, too. Even if they weren't tired, I was, lol! Ew, painting cupboard doors! Is there a more torturous task???

Michelle, your kitchen looks great! I agree about the backsplash. Seems like too much pattern with the countertops. Lol, there's nowhere to stop, is there?? I especially like the sitting area. There are two barstools at my island, and they get used a lot. Lol, I've said I kinda feel like Lucy VanPelt in the psychiatry booth...that's where the kids sit and tell me their woes.

BUG! So good to see ya, and can't wait for a picture! You have a great time!!!

Wendy-This is Sarah when we got her. Wonder if they're the same mix, they look similar.

I need to run, we're going to one of my DBs to spend the afternoon at his lake cottage. YAY, another day that a man is grilling and I don't have to cook! I cut up a watermelon and am providing the veggies.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 12:55PM
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Yeah, yeah, yeah... Deanne, enough with the pictures already! I'm still waiting for the warm nights to coax my planters into "high gear". I LOVE that square planter! Drool.

Larry was remarkably atuned to the windows. He would swoop, scream, and dive with seemingly reckless abandon. There were only a few times he left the characteristic cockatiel "dust print" on the glass. Saucy, what sort of birds do you have? Aren't they just SO cool? I particularly love parakeets... there is just something about their diminutive size and cheerful twitterings that touches my heart. But cockatiels are pretty cool, too. :(

I made a point of stopping by the hardware store to pick up the carriage screw required to repair the defunct handle on my mower. SURE ENOUGH, I found the missing "link" on my 4th. fly-over... $1.79 down the drain... lol. I knew it would be so!

Censorship... I don't believe in it, personally. Whatever one feels needs censoring only perpetuates curiosity, or is so much a part of the vernacular that it garners little more than derisive laughter. Case in point: I used a trade name for a cleaning product: Spic'n'Span... the first 4 letters were replaced with asterisks... took me a few minutes to "get" why it was censored. I laughed aloud and now hold the attempts to "sanitize" communication as wholly pathetic. JMO. Weaned on "Blazing Saddles" and "Saturday Night Live"... what can I say?

I was unable to nap today (I can't nap!) and know I'll be stuggling by intermission, esp. if the play is a bore. But, by god, I'll sleep when I get home! :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Bella and I went shopping today. She's kind of like the ivy on the other thread, I need to keep her contained or she's all over the place, lol. One of the places we stopped was Barnes and Noble. She loved it there and didn't want to leave. We did manage to pick up a dozen or so new container plants too. Bad! I'm tired and so is she so this will be a short post.

I just wanted to tell Deanne how great her pictures are. I love, love, love the begonia container! And the one with the Othello isn't too shabby either. It's all just beautiful.

Brenda, love Sarah's baby pic.

Chelone, have fun at the play!

Marie, Reed seems like a nice strong name for a boy. Sounds like you're thoroughly enjoying him!

Saucy, I have my minis either in containers or along the edges of paths, kind of like a ground cover.

It's 8pm and time for bed for Bella and I both. I LIKE nite-nite!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 8:01PM
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"Warren Reed Terry" is my grandfather's brother's name, I believe. I like's good and strong, and earthy to boot!

More puppy pics! Will we be able to resist? (all I have to do is open the bank statement or gaze at Zeus' bald spot, LOL, I'm cured!)

Chelone, I have two cockatiels - bonded to each other, not humans. I treat them like tropicals....they go out on the porch in the summer and I overwinter them in the house. I like them about as much as you like dogs.

Eden, we just went down memory lane with pictures here and saw both kids at toddler age....Oh boy, how did I (do you) do it? They were terribly cute, which is why I suspect I didn't up and leave pulling my hair out :)

Jake and I are doing better, BTW. I'm letting go of control, or so he thinks :)

Brenda, I'm almost sure that I must've run into someone from Indiana and asked the Paoli question....don't know where or who, but who cares? LOL....I went there when I was Jake's age....had a good time :)

Remember when Idyll was new? I had just started a garden:

And here it is today. That planter from the first picture is still there and has always featured some portulaca, but this year I found an ant hill had moved all the way up to the planter! I'm still placing my annuals, as they provide color all season. I have lots of other gardens and should start to document.

Sue skis on snow and I ski on water :

I hope to ski and garden tomorrow :)

Hope all Idylls have a nice weekend!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 9:10PM
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Wow, Saucy, great shot of you behind the boat. You shoulda shot for Cypress Gardens. :) My father's eldest brother was a big boater (lived on Cape Cod) and was sort of a jerk to the younger brothers. Mum loathed him (a "pompous ass"). He brought his small boat to my other uncle's cottage on a NH lake one summer when I was rather young. Mum was a poor swimmer and rather afraid of the water, but she was very athletic (ballet, tap, figure skating in her youth). Uncle Herb tormented her for hours to try water skiing. He finally badgered to such an extent that she donned the life vest and put on the skis. He started the boat and she not only got up on the skis, but did an entire circuit of the lake (pretty large) without falling once. She returned to the beach waded out of the water, turned to Uncle Herb and said, "are you satisfied with my performance, Herb?". He never hassled her about anything again. LOL

What a beautiful morning! clear, bright, nice breeze... perfect for sailing. I did not, however, say that to the helpmeet who is facing a full day of customers, dust, and wouldn't have liked the reminder. ;) It's perfect day for garden tours!

Theatre was great last night. We saw "The Full Monty" and were amazed at how honest the movie was to the theatre performance. We laughed and laughed, the house was packed, and the audience very appreciative. I love theatre! this is either our 14th. or 15th. year in "our seats". I can't remember exactly, but do recall that the season tickets were an anniversary gift from the helpmeet and we've "re-upped" every year since.

I have to get the windowboxes watered (as if that will coax the languishing plants to put on some growth). I fear this is not going to be a really successful season... I've lost several things and will have to do a picky cruise through the "mark down bins" shortly.

I have taken very good notice of the Anemone robustissima caveats. I've always admired them but have never planted them. Are all the Anemones as aggressive? The other thing that's caught my attention are the really teeny-tiny Hostas! I can't miss with Hosta here. And the little ones might just fill a nice niche as a sturdy groundcover in and around the Hydrageas, esp. paired with smaller bulbs. You think?

I have to get some bills paid and make a quick trip to the bank this morning before the hordes descend on the town and the roads get clogged. Saucy, you're right! summer in New England really is the best of all things... sadly, everyone seems to want to enjoy it here. :(

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 8:59AM
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Good morning

What adorable puppies!! Wendy - did you decide on a name?

Deanne - love the pots and Sarastro is a winner. Are the fishies happy? I managed to come up with some nice combinations for some of your lovely coleus - when they fill in I'll take some pictures. New territory for a monopotter like myself but quite exciting.

Saucy - awesome pic of you waterskiing! I've never tried if but always thought it looked fabulous fun.

Chelone - we LOVE theatre too - all of us. Next week we are going up to Toronto to see Camelot with Michael York. DH had business and theatre tickets and we are all really looking forward to it.

The last two days were busier than most work days so I'm feeling as if vacation really starts today. We had David's first bass lesson, a sleepover party for Annie using DH's points at a hotel (the girls loved it), strawberry picking, orthodontist, vioin lesson and I had to interview someone for a position at work. I felt as though I was on the run the whole time.

Today started with a 6 AM trip to the market then on to a favorite green house for their "everything must go" sale. Tropicals and unusual annuals were $4 for a tray full (yes, at least 12) and perennials $1 each. I could imagine some of the Idylls swooning - needless to say my friend and I had enormous fun filling the back (and middle) of her van. I'm hoping to spend the rest of today at home with some time for planting. I might need to borrow a shoe horn LOL!

Need to run as the kids are patiently waiting to swim.

Till later


    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 12:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

2 am, 6am, 10am. Not planned, but perfect! We'll see how things continue.

SIL and friend are off donating blood now, Sarah and Reed went along too. I got to shower at last! Tonight the masses descend to ogle the baby...lots of family and fancy food.

Love the Saucy photos..yes, the garden before and after too! Would like an update on the kids with photos...if you are up to it.

I hear things are still dry at home so fear I'll lose so much.... Here it rains hard at night and we wake up to sunshine. That's my idea of perfect weather.

I'm trying to keep up with the most recent postings, but not much time to contribute. Puppies and coleus photos are FUN!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 2:46PM
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Its going to be another scorcher today. I had yesterday off and spent almost the whole day in the Welcome garden. I weeded, edged, mulched and expanded the one end to include the physocarpus Diablo that I planted there last fall. I laid cardboard down and mulched. Eventually, I will fill it in. The weeding is finally getting under control.

Wendy, you asked about the plant in the front of my container on the container thread, its a Cretan Brake Fern.

Chelone, cute story about your mom.

Saucy, youve got me jealous. I grew up on water skis. My parents no longer have a usable boat, and Im afraid with my back these days, it wouldnt be a good thing.

Brenda, what a cutie Sarah is.

Deanne, I absolutely love that begonia and the container is perfect for it. Your containers make mine look the poor relatives. Some of the coleus lost almost all the leaves in the wind, but the are filling back in. I do have some extras that I might do some replacing today.

Rick and I just got back from the field, he got the trailer loaded with rocks stuck in mud. Together we got it out. Kenzie just called and said she wants to come to the farm. She wants to see her gramma. Im trying to save the gardening chores that she can help me with until she gets here.

Mary, isnt that fun to shop when the prices are so wonderful?

bug, it sounds like fun in babyland.

I'm snapping some pictures, I'll try to post some later. I must finish mowing before my "helper" arrives.



    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 3:14PM
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Sounds like a busy summer weekend for many. We've had a busy day...heck who am I kidding? It has been a busy year around here and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.

DH & little James are outside walking the property looking for elk poop (an important 'walking through the woods ritual in a 3 year old's mind) and he took along his shovel in case they find any fresh mole hills. Those make for easy digging once the mole has done all the work of excavating the dirt into a powdery mound. The elk poop is classified as to how 'fresh' it may be. A 3 year old boy's way of determining freshness? Squat down, stare at it, stand up and stomp on it hard with your rubber boots. Freshness is then determined. "Grammie, this is old elk poop" or "Grammie this is new elk poop". I about busted a rib trying not to laugh out loud the first time I got a 'freshness review'. DH had told me about it....but the first time I watched/heard it for myself was priceless. I need a video camera for times such as that.

I'm not sure if he's going to have a meltdown before bedtime or not. He wanted to come spend the night but once he was here for a few minutes he decided "I want to go home to be with my mommy, daddy and little brother, they need me." I'm hoping he'll be fine once they've done their walkabout and gotten his mind off of going home. I'm too tired to deal with a sad (and whining) little one.

Happy Belated Anniversary to Chelone & her DH.

Deanne, good news on you getting the pond fixed. That must be a huge relief for you. It looks very nice and your containers are so lush.

Michelle, your garden photos were beautiful and the new kitchen countertops have me envious!

Saucy, art for sure and you look very comfortable on that ski.

Mary, your life still sounds incredibly busy! Neat about going to watch Michael York in his play! I imagine you'll be heading backstage, too. Exciting! It sounds like you and your friend made a huge score on the plants!

Eden, Jenni's house looks great and when you guys are done on out here.... ;o)

Well, I hear a little boy coming back inside so I'd better go see what the mood is and if there is cajoling or cuddling needed. Hopefully neither.

Hello to all....


    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 9:15PM
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Ok, GB, Here are Mutt and Jeff sharing a drink @ Disney World (our last trek there :)

....and here they are at a softball game....Jake was assistent coach for the team:

Here they are on the boat last November....we had a mild winter :)

GB, I'm so happy for you and family.

I had a nice day spent running around for "things" and then spent the rest of the day right up until dark in the garden - got lots done!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 9:53PM
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A few shots from today. The first is the newly weeded, edged and mulched Welcome Garden.

It was very hot today so I let her "help" me water. Give a kid a hose and they will be entertained for quite some time. Pretty soon she thought it was funny to try to get grandma wet.

The next 2 show how much she likes to pick flowers. She had to have the basket to carry them in. Seriously that's all she wants to do when we are outside.

Night all from one tired grandma.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 12:12AM
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What an entertaining and informative morning. I now know about determining the freshness of elk droppings, the proper way to pick "fowers", and how to get one's garden watered while watching a toddler... . It's good to be so well informed.

Michelle, your welcome garden looks terrific! I have a lot of weeding to do today and then some watering (VERY dry here), and then some mulching.

Saucy, your kids have gotten so big. I'll bet you had a great time out in your garden yesterday; it was a beautiful day for it. I mean to comment on the evolution of your garden from the shot taken when the Idyll was young to the present. Isn't it amazing how much things grow and fill in in a few years' time?

Wendy and I went on the Garden Conservancy tour yesterday. We pretty much overdosed on lush plantings and seaside vistas. What really struck me was the similarity of plant materials from one garden to another; Wendy observed that in all liklihood the plants were those that were most likely to prosper in windy, seaside gardens. I'm certain she'll have some great shots to share with you today. It was a fun afternoon and reminded me that I need to "get out more".

They were having a "yardsale" at the helpmeet's workplace the other day. He returned home with a belated anniversary present: two pair of workgloves! one is a pair of "foxgloves", the other is a heavier duty pair with leather palms and fingers, a "breathable" back, and an adjustment strap that runs over the top of the wrist. Best of all, on SUPER mark down, $3-4! He was "some proud". My torn fingy is mending beautifully, a day off has done it good. I will tape it securely today and there will be no more excuses about weeding.

My brother called last night. Mum fell twice last week and now has pneumonia. Greee-aaat. Evidently one fall was the result of a collision in the hall with someone in a wheelchair. The woman in the wheelchair got all pissed off and yanked the walker out from under Mum. I have to deliver the hearing aids next week and some other sundries and will get the details. I know that things like that happen, but it really does make me wonder what kind of show they're running. ;)

Time to rustle up some grub now.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 6:34AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good beautiful-day morning! The sun is out, temps promise to be in the mid-70's - looks like a great day!

Chelone and I had a wonderful day yesterday, and saw some gorgeous properties in her neck of the woods. There were 7 gardens on the tour, and we managed to see all of them. The first 6 were all ocean-front properties, and the last was an in-town garden. All I can say is WOW - definitely worth the trip. I'll post pics on a separate thread.

Saucy, what a transformation in your garden! I've come to love taking pictures in my gardens often to see how things change, even from week to week. The water skiing pic is a great action shot. I tried water skiing once when I was a teenager. I can remember falling numerous times, never able to get completely upright. On my final try before calling it quits, I managed to get up and complete a circuit of the lake - it was a lot of fun, but I was surprised at how much work it is too. Your kids are adorable, and they look like they are really close.

Mary, a sleepover at a hotel - what fun! I'm sure you are looking forward to the slower pace of summer.

'bug, love hearing about your IttyBittyBug. You've reminded me once again though how much work an infant can be. I remember those constant late-night feedings - I couldn't go back there now! I'm sure you are enjoying every precious minute though.

Michelle, love the welcome garden! That stone is fabu, and you've set it off to perfection. Thanks for the plant ID - I've never heard of that fern.

T, love hearing about your little tracker - such a scientific method of freshness-dating the poop!

I'm going to put up some pictures for you guys, then get outside and tend my meager, suburban garden and dream of a home by the sea.

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 8:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I love the photos on this thread! I must be at the "picture book" phase of quick reading. Saucy, thanks so much for the update on the family. They are just perfect! (I know...I didn't say easy!)

Kenzie is a doll in the garden. Bella on Auntie's steps is so sweet too.

Here we had yet another family gathering last night and I never need look at food again! This morning DH and I leave for Banff and perhaps Jasper. DD has a conference in Banff which he didn't expect to be able to attend, but Reed's early arrival changes that. I'm going to be lonely without my little leech! ;-) Expect to return around Thursday. I'm still taking photos but am unable to resize them for posting here. He changes daily and is very good...of course. So new and perfect, beautiful and full of hope and dreams...sigh!

Thinking of all!
Be back soon,

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 10:28AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

We went over to my parent's house this afternoon so the kids could swim in the pool. It was a spur-of-the-moment visit, and the puppy wasn't there - DB took him off someplace. The kids were very disappointed, and DD left him a sweet note instructing him to be sure the puppy is in residence on the days she and her brother are scheduled to be there!

The puppy has been named Skipper Domino, Domino being the middle name. Domino is the name my kids picked, so DB felt like he should include that name. Now we just have to get Skipper a captain's hat a la Bob Hale in Gilligan's Island...uh oh, that theme song just started playing in my head...

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 6:39PM
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So many enjoyable posts to read through today- I decided to come in, grab a beer and spend some quality time with the computer. I actually did some inside chores todaymy gardening has segued a bit from the projects/planting phase to the maintenance phase. That should stay in a holding pattern till the fall renovation urge hits. (and it invariably does hit ).
Chelone, I have never seen a firefly "in person" only the fake ones in the Pirate ride at Disneyland. Pretty sad huh ? I would never be brave enough to plant a mini-hosta I must say. I can only imagine what the snails would make of them. I did however go out on a limb and plant 3 of the larger ones in a spot that I felt good about having the ability to control mollusk invasions. Gloves---I have not actually bought gloves and many years, I always seem to get a sample from "Bob The Glove Guy" who is our glove vendor at my work establishment. I have a whole basket full of them, some never worn. Sorry to hear Mum is under the weather.

Michelle, your Welcome Garden is so pretty . I cant imagine what it would be like to live with all that open space around me . It would cost me small fortune to pay for the water bill on all that lawn ! It looks so lush and inviting .. Well youve got Kenzie all trained to water, now if you can teach her to pull weedsthink how much closer to the ground she is !

Deanne, the containers are looking just grand- I love that begonia . Im having one hell of a time with my tuberous begonias this year. They are just growing at an absolute snails pace, and one of them didnt come up at all. At the rate they are going I wont have blooms till August. The begonia in your pic does not look to be tuberous you know its name ? If I saw that somewhere I would buy it in a hot minute ! Also the Campanula-fantastico . I found it in Forest Farms catalog. the water-ski action shotI grew up a couple miles from the Pacific so I evolved on ocean water sports.Never did much in the way of water skiing. We were into surfing. What a transformation in your b-4 and after shots! You must be really pleased with how it has turned out..hope you will post another pic once the annuals has been put in.

Mary-jeesh, no one around here does sales like that ! Perennials for a buck ? Id have some serious over-buying issues ..It would probably take me the rest of the summer to figure out where to put them all.

Ok , I have some pics to contribute..

This is Salvia 'Black and Blue'. I took pics of some other Salvias but don't like the way they turned out so I will re-do.(I learned some things about my camera today) This is one of my faves.

The Dahlias are in thier prime right now. This is Mary Jo.
The next one is China Doll.

My front garden this morning. I still have to paint the arbor-I have some vacation coming up and will likely do it then..

Doobie in one of his Sleeping Contortionist poses..

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 8:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Before leaving Ontario, there were several evenings of fireflies. I love them as well as star filled nights away from city lights. Trouble is, they come on hot humid evenings. I also enjoy watching the bats flying about.

I am here in Banff tonight, having driven through Jasper today. Charlotte seems to be giving Woody a hard time by not being enthusiastic about her food. She's fine with less food, but really needs her medicine. I gave it to her directly in the mouth until she began eating again, then put it on her food. The reason I'm sharing all this is that DH was not able to speak to them on the phone this late and i don't want them worrying!!! We'll phone again soon during decent hours!

On the baby front, watch out world:
Reed Azlan J.
This is the decided upon name. Who will be first to recognize the middle name? It works perfectly for them, and we like it too!

I have many photos to share of course, upon my return. In addition to the adorable boy, I took wildlife pictures today, including wapiti for Just T, longhorn sheep, a black bear that reminded me of Charlotte....etc.

Love to all!
Sleepy bug

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 12:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No sleep....:( baby withdrawal I guess.

So Cindy, I miss you! Thinking of you.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 8:44AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hi Idylls! Pardon me for popping in to 'talk' to GB....

Rest assured that Charlotte is getting her medicine! That has been our priority in these settling-in eating difficulties. Because she seems to be avoiding her raw food, we have given it to her on human food - which she doesn't seem to have any difficulties with! Saturday night she got it on beef stew with rice (leftovers from our supper) and last night she got it on herbed chicken and rice leftovers. I don't want to give it by mouth as I'm pretty sure from Chelsea's time on it, that it should be taken with food. Yesterday she ate about half her food once it had been 'gently cooked' - i.e. not raw/not cooked. This morning, with her appetite primed with three of the homemade low fat cookies, she also ate the'gently cooked' portion of breakfast but ignored the raw. I'm hoping that as she relaxes more about being here, I can wean her back to all-raw.

Other than the food issue, Charlotte is settling in well. She's still a bit restless - missing her mommy no doubt - but settling down. Her little buddy greeted her like an old friend and is very relaxed with her. Randy is captivated.

If you're in Banff, drop by the Louis Vuitton store and say Hello to Lisa (Randy's sister) from us if she's around. Maybe she'll give you a discount :-)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 9:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So sorry that Charlotte is being fussy! I am comfortable with however you try to solve it Woody. She is not underweight, so will manage fine. Rascal! The university service was down for 2 days due to a cable being cut by a backhoe. Idylls to the rescue!

I'm just back from breakfast where I gorged myself on bacon, something I never buy at home, but love. ;-)

I hope my gardens are surviving, and that my salvia black and blue will bloom until snowfall!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 11:38AM
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Kathy, I was quite taken by that very Salvia on the tour Saturday! the color was arresting, the shape of the blossom pretty neat, and I like the upright habit. Wendy identified it for me and it's fun to see it happily growing in your garden. The Dahlias are sumptuous; they're nothing I've ever tried, either... unlike Deanne, and too disorganized to deal with their "special needs". ;) And, of course, there is the irresistable Doobie in the "Pompeii Cat" pose.

The forecast is for hot and humid today. It will be stuffy in the shop, but it won't kill me. My less than motivated co-worker was out yesterday and the "forecast" is that she'll miss the rest of the week, too, making a quick appearnance on Thursday to get her paycheck. Evidently, her brother (extremely unpleasant to everyone and long estranged) is ready to "check out". Lest you fancy me too cruel in my assessment bear in mind that this is not the first time the scenario outlined above has transpired... .

The GC, the salesman/liason from the lumberyard, and the framer arrived yesterday morning to go over the plans and put to gether their "plan of attack". If all goes well, they will begin framing next Monday. We bit the bullet yesterday and combined a trip to the overhead garage door company with lunch out. It is impossible to find an insulated, metal door without the dreadfully fake looking embossed "woodgrain". Evidently, one of the properties of "embossing" is that it adds strength and rigidity to the sheet metal. I looked longingly at the "custom" wooden/wood product selections. I had the guy work up a price on that option, too. Now I have to decide how much the price difference really means to me in the long run. It's $2500 more, which isn't huge, but every little additional choice takes a toll on an establish budget. I don't have to make the choice today, so will mull it over carefully in the next week. :/

Woody, your shed looks terrific! and even though you appeared only to "talk" to 'bug it was nice to "hear your voice". I'd have complete confidence in your ability to take care of Wrecks, too. ;)

I think next year we'll have to pay more attention to scheduling garden events, my friends! I would have loved to have seen Sue, Monique, and EGO's yard, but it was the same day as the tour Wendy and I went on. And I would have loved to see Tower Hill and Saucy... . Oh well, NEXT YEAR, right? or maybe late summer/early fall here "on the compound" when I'll need some serious help with the selection of material for a mixed planting to screen the road?

Time to give the "prisoners" a drink, and get to the gas station before running out of fuel completely. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 5:18AM
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Good morning

Woody - hope you find time to stop in again. The colors on the shed are perfect adn the dogs look so happy together!

Saucy - what a treat to see your children! They both have great smiles:0)

Michelle - Kenzie is the cutest garden helper imaginable!

Kathy - how pretty your front garden is looking. I bet the neighbors gain a lot of enjoyment from it! My black and blue are just starting to bloom too.

GB - I think David would love to have Aslan as his middle name! I wish I were closer and could pop over and water for you. There should be some rain tomorrow which might help but I can imagine your concern. Charlotte is obviously in excellent hands.

Yesterday was a rare day simply spent at home enjoying summer. Apart from Annie's violin lesson in the evening we didn't have anywhere to rush off to and it was wonderful. I gardened early before the heat hit, Annie and David payed their instruments, read, we made devilled eggs together for lunch and spent the afternoon by the pool. After the frenetic pace at the end of the school just hanging out together felt sooooooooooo good.

Chelone - Here is David with his new bass. He had his first lesson and is enjoying his first assignment - making "bass burps".

have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 7:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well as Chelone said it is supposed to be very hot and humid here today with bad air quality and temps in the high 90s. We have the distinction of being the only city in the NE area that officially got to 90 degrees yesterday. I LOL at that one. For some reason we usually are a bit warmer here than the forecasts predict. Yesterday I got back to Lake Street and bought a couple more water lilies as the down time in the pond killed off two of the plants Id had for a while. I bought a lovely dark pink one and a large light pink as well as a mini with splotched leaves and tiny yellow flowers for the middle pond. The fish are a bit safer now that they have some cover. They really are exposed in that pond without plants and I was worried the heron would stop by for lunch.

Chelone, I hear you about missing the garden tours. I didnt even get to do a tour on the 24th I had to work (interject whine here) Oh well its those seminars that keep my plant budget at a healthy level. No work no play as they say. BTW, RE garage doors, my advice is that you get the wood ones. From what youve said you HATE the embossed ones, you would HATE them every day you looked at them and regret not getting the wood. The doors are the most prominent thing on a garage and you need to do what is going to make you happy looking at it for the rest of your life. We did that with the upstairs bathroom, spent way too much money on the tiled shower instead of a fiberglass surround but I dont regret the $$$ it cost for a second.

Woody, great to hear from you. I love how your shed turned out and nice to see Randy and the puppies.

Kathy, Doobie is a hoot! Love your front garden. So beautiful! Is S. Black and Blue hardy for you? Its an annual here which is a bummer as its a gorgeous plant. Ive tried to winter it over but have never been successful with it. ~~ RE that begonia in the square pot, I dont have a name as it came from HD with one of those generic Tuberous Begonia tags without any cultivar name. It very well could be something else. I never trust the labels from there. The plant is a trailer and interestingly holds its flowers for a very long time. Im in love with it also! I wonder if I could do a cutting for you? Ill give it a try.

Saucy, your garden looks marvelous! Great photographs. Ive never been able to water ski. Looks like youre having a ball!

Wendy, you did better than I, I never could get up on a pair of water skis and got tired of the jokes aimed at the fat lady trying to ski! LOL

Michelle, those photos of Kenzie are precious! It never ceases to amaze me how fast they grow. What a sweetie! Your Welcome Garden is lovely!

Hi T great to hear from you. I LOL over the freshness test. I dont know how you kept a straight face!

Wow Mary, it sounds like you are busier now than you were during school! The sleepover sounds like it was a lot of fun. You think of the neatest things for your children. ~~ Oh yes, the fishies are VERY happy to be outside, almost as happy as I am to have them outside. Cant wait to see what you did with the coleus.

Brenda, what a cute puppy! LOL about company and dirt! Im getting to be the same way, especially this time of the year. The second I vacuum stuff gets tracked in again so whats the point except for getting the chunks off.

HI again Mary! You posted while I was writing this. What a fabu-fabu picture of David with his bass! Love it, thanks for posting that. Dougs up in your neck of the woods again this week and planning to go for a nice long bicycle ride tonight.

OK Ive got to water and get to the gym, have a great day everybody.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 8:02AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Morning, all -- I've decided I need to pop out of my slumber -- sadness of loss and dysfunctional family crapola has overtaken my life too much -- and I need to snap out of it! That's one reason why I chose to move to Virginia long ago...

I have started to look over the photos -- what a wonderful site -- my own gardens have taken a licking and look dreadful; but I hope they will recover.

So, do I read that 'bug's a grand-mom now? And Reed is the latest potential mini-bug? Many congrats!

I love all the photos of kids and family and pleasures of life -- it's so life affirming to see these -- now if I can grab some time here at work to look to see what all I've missed in the last month. Thanks, guys - for just being positive and creative -- what life should be all about.

I've been too exhausted to work much in the yard except for all day on Saturday and paid for it on Sundy, LOL - the back is aching -- it's amazing how quickly one gets out of shape.

I think I saw a thread w/ a new house for Eden to work her garden magic on, and some garden tour photos? Im going to have hours of pleasure catching up here, I can tell. I stopped on the way to the ofc this a.m. and bought about 8 garden magazines - just to give me something to feel positive about too.

I hope to see whose birthday I have missed and perhaps locate a shot or too from earlier in the spring. June is a total blur and mystery to me, LOL - can anyone give me a rundown in 75 words or less?? Heehee.

And Im sure I missed some great shopping tips - I'm having withdrawal!

I hope everyone has a terrific, wonderful day - Im going to work hard to have one too - even at the ofc! Who ever knew one could be excited to be overwhelmed w/ work at the ofc? I love the normalcy of it. How many days to IU?


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 8:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Enjoyed catching up with my Idyll friends this morning.
I'd forgotten about the markers I see on David's bass, but remember them now from long ago when I was learning violin fingering. I began with a mid-sized instrument and was so proud to graduate to a "full sized" adult instrument later on. In high school I played in "Ensemble" and Marg Martin was the girl who enjoyed being the bass player. The things one remembers from long ago...That was in the 1950s!

Last night's outing for dinner was pleasant. It was at a fondue place where each course was prepared over a chafing dish or heated rock. I chose the sea food entree, but the 17 year old next to me selected the "exotic" menu which was made up of shark, alligator, snake, venison, frog legs, etc. He loved it all and claimed alligator to be the tastiest. Uhhhh, no thanks!

I am suffering from major baby withdrawal and wish DH would check out of this conference. He's not even enjoying it, so I don't get it. At least I have knitting and a book. I've begun The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which I picked up when shopping with DSIL when he showed me my first Costco the other day.

Not having email or the ability to work with photos is hampering my style. I have no idea what is transpiring in my gardens, the progress (or demise) of my clematis. Sigh.

Here it has been very cool and dry, so I am not envious of the New England weather described above. It does help the plants grow though. It is amazing to see that evergreens are weeds here. I'll have to take a photo to show you!

All the best!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 8:52AM
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Good Morning,

Busy morning at my house, as usual. I don't have time to do a chatty post but wanted to welcome Cindy back and tell her she's been in my thoughts and I've missed hearing from her.

I've got to get some watering done before Bella gets here so I've got to run. I'm hoping to have time to get back here to Idylls maybe later tonight. Enjoy this beautiful June day,


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:22AM
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So glad you were able to pop in. It sounds as though things have been very tough:0( 8 gardening magazines sound a good pick-me-up! Hope today brings some simple pleasures.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:35AM
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For Cindy

I love this tree woman - thought you might enjoy it too.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:42AM
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Hi Cindy! Nice to see your post. Don't be too preoccupied with "catching up" and just jump right in. You sound like you need to be here :)

Mary, David looks so proud! Isn't it funny how they love to choose instruments twice their size? Funny thing is it won't be long until he's bigger than it is!

I have to run, just wanted to say hi! It's hectic and humid here today :) Been going for a dip in the local town lake every afternoon and hope to ski before bed tonight.

Nice to see everyone checking in this morning :)

(I'll check in later, I keep thinking of things I want to say!)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 10:04AM
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75 degrees at 6:30 this a.m. when I was in the garden, its going to be another scorcher. More of the Asiatic lilies opened over night. I couldnt resist putting some of the pink ones along with the pink fairy babies breath and pink yarrow in a white and pink teapot to put on my desk. Its nice to have a bit of my garden with me all day.

Cindy, good to hear from you. Ive been concerned about whats been happening in your life.

Woody, we need to see more pictures of the shed, it looks great.

Mary, what a wonderful shot of David. His smile is just precious. The woman tree is awesome!

Saucy, your kids are adorable and I love they way they pose so nicely together. It appears like they get along well.

T, the poop patrol story is a hoot.

Chelone, sorry to hear that your mum is sick and has fallen. Bummer that you cant find what you want in a garage door. Ours is metal without woodgrain, but pretty plain (I didnt pick it out)

Kathy, we dont water the lawn, it can get somewhat brown in August, depending on the rain for the summer. Wow, your front garden is looking great and not a spec of grass to be seen ;o) That shot of Doobie could be on one of those funniest cat calandars.

Thanks for the kind words about the Welcome Garden. Its one of my earlier gardens that evolved when Rick dumped that big rock there after he dug it out of the field. I got sick of trimming around it and decided to make a garden. It is truly a zeriscape garden as it is too far from the water faucet. Its either live or die out there.

Have a wonderful day

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 12:22PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Wow, have I ever fallen behind on my reading!!

Saucy-great pictures. I love the shots of the flower bed. I ran across some pics I took of the stump bed when it still had a tree in the middle of it. Amazing how much things change..don't always notice it on a day to day basis, but when you look at comparison shots like that-wow! EXCELLENT pic of you skiing! Lol, did you have to pay your kids anything to get that shot of them in the boat?? I don't recall my two ever getting that close to each other unless someone was about to get clobbered ;)

Chelone, great story about your Mom--I guess she put Herb in his place, and good for her!! How is she doing?
I don't know about the other anemones and whether or not they travel as freely as robustissima. I planted Andrea Atkinson a year or two ago, and it's in three clumps just like I planted it, but I'm keeping an eye on it just in case. And, AR is beautiful! The leaves look like grape leaves, it flowers for quite a while, and I do love it. Just needs room to play :)
Your co-worker just gets more and more interesting!

Michelle, the welcome bed is just lovely! How do you do your edging? I really need to do my beds. I just keep hoping I'll find a really easy way to do it, but I don't think there is one. Kenzie is just a little doll! That last shot of her smelling the fowers is so precious!

Wendy, I like Skipper Domino! You realize he's going to have to have a "Little Buddy", right??

Kathy, I wish you could see the fireflies here-it's magical. We have a really open view from our porch, and you can see them hovering over the corn and soybeans for a quarter of a mile, at least. One of the simple pleasures that I take for granted. I'm SO envious of your dahlias! Beautiful, beautiful! Mine are only about a foot tall at this point. I have only two, and have promised myself that this year, I will get them dug and stored for the winter. Lol @ Doobie! I don't know if I've ever seen a cat look more relaxed.

Woody, it's good to hear from you! Looks like Charlotte is in good hands :)

Mary-great shot of David. I dont' remember having seen him before. I probably have, and have since forgotten his face, but he's a cute! Lol, bass burps...great way to get a boy to practice!
The tree woman is cool!!

Deanne-you answered the question I was going to ask. If YOU can't overwinter 'Black and Blue', I'm not even going to pretend that I could, lol! I saw one at Lowes yesterday..not marked down or anything. It was gorgeous, but at the price they had on it, it just wasn't going to happen.

Cindy, it's good to see you, and I sure hope things look up for you soon. Gardening magazines and keeping busy help most anything. Hang in there!

It's hot and humid here. I'm hoping it kicks up some rain for us. Yesterday, we had to bit the bullet and go to the grocery store. Yuk! We stopped at Lowes to get some cement. I'm watching my great-niece (6 years old) tomorrow, and one of our projects is to make some stepping stones. I'm trying to collect all the little kids' handprints in heart shaped stepping stones. DGN loves dirt, bugs, flowers, and all things gardening, so she's coming here to hang out tomorrow while her parents take her little brother to Indy for a checkup. He had a tumor behind his ear when he was little, and they have to keep an eye on him. He's doing just fine, it was benign, but it did cause him to be deaf in one ear. Anyway, her parents, little brother and big brother will be joining us for a cookout and s'mores toward evening, and will get all three of their handprints while I've got them all in one place. I've still got a half flat of purple petunias and some moss roses hanging around on the porch, so I thought I would let her borrow my self watering window boxes and she can plant the annuals in them and take them home so she has her own garden to tend. She told me she's going to bring her bathing suit. When I told her that we didn't have anywhere for her to swim, she said, "Oh,'s for in case I get to play in the mud!!" I think she may have plans for the garden'd have to search far and wide to find any mud around here.

While at Lowe's, we went through the greenhouse..imagine! I like to pop in from time to time, and see what they've got on the 75% off rack. I got 4 gallon sized Russian Sage for $1.22 each. I need them for my hot southwest corner bed, and for that price, why not. I've got some rooting on the porch, but this way I get more of the instant gratification thing. All they needed was a little trimming. A bunch of the branches had gotten broken over, and they did look pretty bad. They're trimmed and looking just fine now. Also scored a yellow Carpet Rose. My pink one has taken so many years of abuse, I just had to grab the yellow one. I think they had it marked down to $2-3. Again, a few broken stems, and it got pitched onto the "almost dead" rack. Cool!

Gotta go. The pot ghetto on the porch needs watering. I had been getting it whittled down a little, but between new purchases, online orders I had forgotten, and the cuttings I've's outta control again :)
Have a great day, all!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 12:44PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Mary -- that is an amazing "Tree Woman" - how cool - that's one of those "how did they do that????" - w/ the interrobang. Major intriguing. David looks great & proud w/ his bass cello...

All the mentions of the plant "steals" of the month make me think of my poor plant ghetto that had about 3 flats of things languishing there -- they spent about 11 days without water; needless to say, they're toast - so I dare not buy anything else just yet - Im trying to get rid of all the "tropical weeds" I've managed to grow in the yard instead. Talk about a jungle. Yikes.

My salvia black & blue is starting to bloom though; along with those return dahlias from last year -- kind of neat to see that they managed to hang in there. I love that campanula Sarastro, Deanne -- unfortunately mine did not make it thru the winter; I will be looking for it again though 'cause it sure is lovely. My c. Kent Belle has managed to thrive and is doing pretty well right now though. I think I missed most of the lilies blooming - and seem to have a problem w/ a lot of buds dropping off - critters or water or something?

It's nice to see all these plant beauties and that you've had some new faces popping in too! Never too many plant idyllers and more photo ops!


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 1:06PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all

Well, I'm inside and as much as I'd like to work in the gardens right now I'm not into dealing with this heat. I did my hour on the Stairmaster machine so got my cardio in today. I'm having to water as we've not had rain in the last week or so and the lawn was starting to burn in these temps.

Cindy, great to hear from you!!!! Sorry for the difficulties. I know just how dreadful it is to deal with that kind of garbage. Hugs to you!

Brenda, great deals on those plants. I love the carpet roses too. ~~ LOL about bringing her bathing suit to play in the mud. I love the idea of the window boxes so she can have her own garden.

Michelle, did you take a photo of your pink arrangement??? You always make the most beautiful flower arrangements. I've got that pink babies' breath and love it. My Asiatics are starting to open here too and I'll bet I have a ton of flowers tomorrow after the heat today. Do you grow that trumpet lily 'Regale'? I've got some in the diveway garden and they are over six feet tall this year.

Mary, that tree woman is amazing! Did someone prune the tree that way or is it an accident?

I had the funniest thing happen. Doug said I had a box come and when I checked it I saw it was from Parks Seeds. Well I told him emphatically that I had no idea what it was as I hadn't ordered any plants. I didn't open it until yesterday evening and whoops! I'd ordered a dozen calla bulbs because they'd been marked down by half. One of them is a very dark black/purple. Too funny that I'd completelly forgotten that I'd ordered them.

OK must be off. I think I'll go out in the garage and get them potted up so they can enjoy this heat and get growing.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 1:25PM
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It's hot here. Not too bad inside the house (no "ice" in this house), the awnings are delivering their "green" goods! There is a very nice breeze, too, mostly out of the south (hot) and the helpmeet is nowhere to be seen and Wrecks is parked on the "launching pad", the bed in the southeast bedroom. Something tells me the man of the house is out on his boat today. YIPEE! he needs the time alone and he needs to spend that time doing whateverthehell he pleases.

There was a message from the GC when I returned home; a final decision needed to be made on whether or not to go with storage trusses or the non-storage sort. I called him back and told him to go with the storage variety... he seemed a bit nonplussed that the onewithboobs was calling the shots; give me a break. I told him to skip the preprimed window sashes and he ran through the reasons why we should have them. I coolly told him I'd painted the entir interior of our home and nothing about paint, brushes, sandpaper was all that odious to me... silence. He's good at what he does, but I don't really like him all that much. Too quick with platitudes for me and the presumption that the helpmeet makes the decisions. WRONG. So it's time for me to don the velvet glove and let him know the hand within it is iron. ;)

Deanne, you're right about the doors, of course. And I know it. But I keep thinking about $2500 and the nice, mature shrubs it could buy. I know you will understand. And you've basically called it... I know what I'll order. :(

Cindy, you've been on my mind for a long time now. It was so nice to see your post when I logged on this afternoon. Loss is tough, no two ways about it. And it certainly does bring out all the garbage to the surface. This is a good place for you be... I know the camraderie helped pull me out some pretty major dumps on more than a few occasions. 'nuf said.

Mary, the "woman tree" is terrific. As is that enchanting young man with the bass. I'll have to ask "Mr. Bass man" if he knows how to make bass farts. Priceless.

Wonder of wonders, the co-worker was at work today... she evidently received an earful from her SIL about not "being there" for her brother and it made her feel terrible. I felt bad for her and reminded her that he'd been a major dink for many years and who wants to hang out with a dink? I told her that guilt was counterproductive and she shouldn't waste too much time on it. I told her to remember the fun times and try to ignore the guilt trip bein' applied. I was SHOCKED she worked today.

I know there's more I wanted to say, but I have to get some things together for my brother and get them ready to mail out.

Ta ta.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 3:30PM
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Since it's been a while since we had a good bum shot I thought I'd share this:

Hot, hot, hot here too. We just came in from swimming and I'm processing the last of our laundry in the cool of the basement. I'm psyched as tonight I'm playing quintets with a viola friend I haven't seen in over a year. He is a fabulous musician and it is always fun to play together.

Speaking of which: Deanne - have you had a chance to dust off your guitar?


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 4:47PM
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Well, I guess this is what happens when I have spare time on my hands. I end up laughing myself silly over things like this. I guess it's a green pepper....

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 4:58PM
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LOL Mary! I love it when you have a little time on your hands. Why am I reminded of our visit to Ei's garden? I hope Babs sees these pics. I know she'll get a kick out of them.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 5:18PM
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OK, Mary. More than one can play THIS game. Check out the "home grown":

"Good chit, man"


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 5:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I had an eggplant photo that deserves being here.....Put politely, it had an amazing nose.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 6:37PM
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It's hot here. We don't have AC either, well we do have a window unit, but we haven't put it in. I'm not a fan of AC and prefer to have the windows and doors open. Bud's not handling it well today though. Someone in the neighborhood keeps lighting firecrackers and for some reason this year they are really bothering him. He won't go into the basement and keeps barking at the noise. He's overheated himself and is really panting. Anyone got a rubber mallet?(just kidding). I don't know what else to do for the poor old guy. I wish I could jam some earplugs in for him.

I've gotten mysef behind here on Idylls once again. I did see some pretty pics of gardens and children. Michelle, Kenzie is such a sweetie. And Saucy your two look like a couple of great kids too. Sarah looks so much like you!

Saucy, great action shot of you skiing. I'm another failure at it. We used to have a ski boat in our younger days. Brad loves to ski. I would drive the boat and I didn't even really like doing that. What I liked doing was riding slowly around whatever lake we were on and looking at the houses and gardens, lol.

Oh I almost forgot to mention David and his bass. What a great picture. He seems to be such a neat kid, Mary. As does Annie too. Sounds like your family is really enjoying your summer. Good for you!

I know there was so much else I wanted to comment to when I was reading but for the life of me I can't remember what now. My brain's scrambled between the heat and chasing Bella around in it all day. Think I'm going to go sit out in the garden for a while. Hopefully the firecracker guy is done for the night. Have a good evening!


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:12PM
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I just thought of what else I wanted to tell you. I got an email back about the wine cork problem today. I'd forgotten all about sending it. Here's what it said...

Hello Laura,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us, we apologize profusely for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The subject of wine closures is a very hot topic in the wine world! Casella Wines, the winery that makes [yellow tail] wines, pride themselves on over-delivering on quality, price value, and great packaging. Initially, our wines had natural cork, and have since changed to synthetic. Our winemaking staff had done extensive research into the corks prior to making this decision. Research institutes around the world are constantly carrying out studies to try and scientifically determine the best closure for wine whether it is natural cork, synthetic, or screw cap. No matter how careful wineries are, approximately 2-10% of all wine with natural cork ends up corked. There are also risks that the cork will dry out and let air in to spoil the wine, or worse, it will have contaminated the wine with that distinctive musty aroma known as cork taint. As for putting the cork back in the bottle; try turning the cork upside down and do it immediately after you are done pouring your wine. This way, the cork doesn't expand any more than it already has.

Our primary reason in making the decision to use synthetic corks for [yellow tail] was to deliver the freshest possible wines for our consumers. Our wines travel significant distances, and we want to make sure that they reach you in the same premium condition they leave Australia.

In addition, we hope you will judge us by the quality of [yellow tail] wines that you have come to expect, and the care we take to make sure that this quality is maintained. I would also like to send you some [yt] goodies. Please send me your address (no PO Box please) and telephone number so I can send them over to you right away.

Thanks again for your e-mail. If I can assist you further in anyway, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Not much of a solution offered huh? Maybe she'll send me one of the wine stoppers that Cynthia suggested.

Also forgot to tell Kathy that I loved the picture of Doobie. What a great kitty!

OK I'm really going now. Good night,


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Update for GB....
I'm feeling hopeful that progress is being made in the eating department with Charlotte. She ate about half her raw chicken dinner - served on a bed of rice, garnished with about 1/2 cup of chicken stew and a tablespoon or two of grated cheddar cheese! Plus lots of 'good girl' as she ate and 'come back here!; eat up...' when she started to back away. When she had ate half and seemed more determined to stop, I let her move away, washed her face/beard, ears and top of her head. (She was NOT impressed with the washing but she was a mess - and probably a raw meat health hazard! She literally gets into her food :-) Then I gave gave her cheese as a reward. Five minutes later I gave her the Metacam on some rice, chicken stew and cheese which she ate down quickly. Hopefully we can build on all that to get her to eat more each time with treat rewards at the end as a bit of an incentive (i.e. if you want 'dessert, eat your dinner.... :-)

For those who asked about the shed, I haven't taken a lot of pictures of it but here's one from just after we finished painting the door a week or so ago. (Why do I always take pictures that make it look like it's tipping over?!) This view is looking at if from the end of the south alley entrance to the backyard.

If we ever get some rain, I'll be able to start planting around it. We did come back from a brief holiday in Niagara last week with a 'Waterfall' Japanese Maple which is now planted on the north side of the shed.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:34PM
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We just got home from a trip around the lake. I am liking this as we all fall into a routine. It can be painful if every man doesn't have a job to fullfill as they all seem to fall back on me :) We brought our neighbor tonight and dined on Parmesan Chicken Salad pita pockets (new recipe, yummy - had pecans for crunch!) and our neighbor brought all kinds of sides and snacks.

Eden, I'm happy they wrote back to you even though you didn't get a solution! So many inquiries just go unanswered (at least when I'm asking :)

I can't stand fireworks (unless they're a professional display). You ought to have to live at least 5 miles from any other neighbor before ignition!

Chelone, I would like to learn about sailing. I have a real dream to ride on one of the sailboats that go to far off destinations where you have to pull your weight on the ship to contribute. I think I'm probably too old now as they hire 20-somethings for the job, but I think I'd love it. I'd like to see how you manage a small sail boat, too :) I always forget about you and your helpmeet on the sea!

Deanne, I order things and look out the window at the UPS man and wonder why he's walking toward our house? At least I'm always pleasantly surprised.

Cindy, I have plants languishing in the ghetto, too. I just can't do it all and some things are suffering. I am planning to get up at the crack of dawn, but that's not gonna happen :) I'm going to try to let it go :)

Mary, LOL! I am just like you, those pictures tickled my funny bone....I had to invite Nick in, and Sarah loves a good bum shot! She couldn't believe there was such a rock formation. Poor thing bruised her tailbone and I think she took the photo personally :)

Jake may get his cast removed tomorrow. Sarah and I plan to surprise him by taking him to the town lake for a dip if he comes away with just a compression boot. We'll see.

GB will be home tomorrow to find that her clematis were extra resilient, Charlotte ate her supper like a champ, and the house is in tact!

Kathy, I keep meaning to comment on the surfing! I'd love to learn to surf. I'm a bit scared of ocean life (had a hard time skiing in the Gulf because I could see the grouper underneath me), but I think I could give it a go. I do like to body surf with Jake :) and when we lived in So. Cal., I really liked to body surf (warmer water, more waves!).

I guess I'd better go so I can get up and do it all over again. We're the cobbler's kids who have no shoes....HVAC kids with no A/C....but since I live in NE instead of TN, I'd feel kind of wimpy if I complained :)

'night all!


    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 10:02PM
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Nothing like coming home to find that the Idylls are indulging in a bit of Plantus Eroticus ! What would Spike think?

Cindy, how nice to see you again ! Good vibes to you in your troubled times; there is nothing like a walk in the garden to revive the spirit.

Deanne, Black and Blue is indeed hardy here, thought it dies back to the ground in winter and takes its sweet time coming back up in spring. Fortunately it grows fast and quickly regains its size once the temps warm up. That would be awesome to have a cutting of your begonia ! I agree about some of the plant tags at the box stores, there are so generic .

Mary, how big is that tree woman ? Its wonderful ! And I enjoyed the nice young man with the bass too ! How nice to be able to spend a day at home enjoying summer.

Michelle, was I ever happy the day the lawn in front went bye-bye ! For me its all about garden space. I still have some in the back but I only water once a week or so and it has to sink or swim on that..

Brenda, glad you enjoyed the dahlia shots. Ill have more soon. We are in a zone that does not require lifting them in terms of cold, however I will occasionally lose a couple to rot because of our wet winters and occasional standing water. I mounded them a bit this year, hoping that will help with the rot issue. I lose lilies that way too. Are there still fireflies in fall ? 1.22 for 1g Russian sage ---that would not happen here!

Chelone, just tell the guy that onewithboobs is in fact shewhomustbeobeyed. I work in a very male-centric industry , and I am happy to say that after 20 years I am totally accepted, and my gender is irrelevant. Im with Deanne by the way on the doors. Get what you want, can the cheesy stuff. Well send you some cuttings !

Eden, the cork issue is a hot topic here in Napa Valley. Many ultra premium wineries are going to synthetic corks for the reasons described to you, but it is still controversial.I have AC in my house and have only used it once this year. It is really expensive to run and has little effect upstairs-they put in the cheapo units when they built these houses. I have a window fan in my upstairs bedroom which works quite well for me-as long as I can sleep Im ok !

Hello to all..Saucy, Woody, Cynthiawhere is Ei, Norma, V, ,Honey ??? Babs?

Here is a pic to share..this is the garden of a fellow MG from Calistoga, the northern-most town in our valley. Her lawn is not lawn at all, but creeping that cool or what ?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 10:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from a Lake Louise jaunt and tiramisu dessert.

Saucy, we return to Edmonton on Thursday (perhaps) and still not sure about when we make it back to the farm. So don't expect photos any day soon. I sure hope your clematis prediction is right on!

Yesterday I tried meeting up with Woody's SIL in Banff but it was her day off. :( Oh how spoiled Ms Charlotte is going to be.... :-)

Good night friends!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 12:52AM
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The thunder's been really rumbling her for the last half hour but no rain so far. We could sure use some, it's been at least 3 weeks. After these storms push through it's supposed to cool down and stay in the 70s. That'll be great! Bud's having another bad day. He doesn't like the thunder anymore that the firecrackers these days. And the heat isn't helping.

Marie, tiramisu, YUM! Bet you can't wait to get Reed back in your arms!

Kathy, I love that thyme lawn. I'd love to have more thyme in my garden for ground cover but it doesn't like my clay soil much :(.

Saucy, I've gotten so I really dread the July 4th holiday because of all the fireworks in the neighborhood. Here they start up at least a month before and progress until it sounds like a war zone here that night.

It's getting really dark here. Looks like we're in for quite a storm so I'm going to get off.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 1:21PM
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Very hot and sticky today. It's thunderstorm weather! I made a set of V-berth cushions this morning, and completed one of the two rigid inserts that are stapled on before "baggin' it". My boss is working on 4 awnings and essentially told me to get lost. I merrily obliged. :)

I arrived home to find two extremely L O N G cats sacked out in the "dooryaHd" awaiting my return. Two more were equally long but on the cool floor inside. Cats are an amazingly accurate measure of the relative heat and humidity. Wrecks is maintaining a "low profile". He isn't too bad about thunder, but does get a bit antsy... appreciates it when we simply sit and give him a "down stay" and occasionally give him a rub with our feet. The bathtub and cheese on his paw isn't part of his plan for weathering the storm.

I hadn't realized how terribly dry it's been for Eden. It's dry here, too, about 2 weeks, but 3 is really, really dry! Living on such a low lot I tend not to miss the rain nearly as quickly as those on more sharply drained ground do.

The Thyme lawn is just wonderful, Kathy! The whole xeriscaping thing offers so much opportunity if people would only try harder to knock out the "preconceived notions" we ALL harbor. Sometimes the best solutions are right in front of us, if we'd only make the time to open our eyes and SEE. I am hopeful that the price of oil and the state of world affairs and the many voices/commitment of the next generations will have an effect. Saucy nailed it for me; it IS hot and it IS sticky but overall, days like today are not that common in Maine. I don't really need air conditioning, even though it would be nice sometimes. So I "suck it up". And sweat. ;)

I am thinking that I ought to water the circular bed out back. The languishing Rhodie and the Astilbes would be appreciative and Rex would like to settle down in the cool grass.

Well... hope Jake makes it to the lake today; what a nice surprise that would be. :)

Hi to 'bug (wherever she is), and Woody made me laugh with the comment about the shed about to tip over. I can relate.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 2:55PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Love that thyme lawn, Kathy, but I confess I've got it between stepping stones & it just doesnt cooperate re choking out weeds -- I dug more crabgrass & other things out last weekend from it - I wonder how your friend keeps hers so "weed free" looking? Im so disgusted w/ mine after 4 years (trying different types of thyme) Im about to rip it all out.

I remember V's lovely looking woolly thyme amongst her stairs -- that was gorgeous too - but it doesnt like my winters here....

it's stinking hot & stormy looking - I wish we'd get the rain - we need it!

ok, back to work here -- got stuff to work late on.

Am enjoying the Plantus Eros....- Babs, definitely needs to check in!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Good afternoon

It's 92F here and I have fingers crossed that we get Eden's thunderstorm later tonight, or at least the rain part of it. The lawns are crispy and the farmers must be concerned. Perhaps I'll leave the cushions or a book by the pool - that usually ensures some precipitation.

I just finished a fascinating book about the cut-flower industry by Amy Stewart called Flower Confidential. It was quite an eye opener and very readable account of the breeding, growing, harvest, transport and sale of cut flowers. Did you know roses are routinely dipped into fungicide before packing for transport? or how they are coaxed into bloom in a conveyor like production line. Or that there is one company that alone grows over 250 different colors or gerbera daisies? I couldn't put it down - a perfect summer read.

Kathy - Hortus Eroticus - LOL! The thyme lawn is very cool. There is a wonderful thyme lawn at Sissinghurst castle in England which is a carpet of purple and pink when blooming.

Chelone - carrot guy is a gem. Did you somehow preserve him for prosperity or chop him in a salad? And yes, where is Babs?!

GB - hope you're soon back to holding little Reed. Tiramisu is a distant memory for me of pre-gluten free days but a pleasant one:0)

Wondering if Jake is cast free, if Cindy had a better day, and how the missing Idyllers are.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 6:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Last night we saw a wapiti with a huge set of soft antlers. I tried some photos, but they look mighty shaky. Maybe I can fix them when I return home. It is so strange to be able to take photos at 10PM! Here the time drags as we plan our departure for tomorrow. Perhaps I can persuade an early start tonight?

DD had a thyme lawn with an excess of flagstones in her new garden. The thyme did not return well after harsh winters, lacked sun, generally looked a mess. It is mostly gone now. Back at the farm the thyme grew well but yes, the weeds infiltrated it and it was "time" consuming to keep it tidy.

Today I found a swing on campus and used it til I got dizzy. Haven't done that in years.

So sorry to hear about heat and drought. I'll have to face all that upon my return. :(

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 6:58PM
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Carrot guy was steamed and served over vegetables. :) The book on the bottom of that pile is about "etiquette", lol. It arrived from my late aunt's home and we'd been having some good chuckles with it and the grammar book atop it... .

I really miss Babs., but know she is probably very busy. I miss Da, Honey (more recently absent), but really miss Taryn. I re-arrived on the Idyll scene to see the shots of the wonderful new home they'd just purchased. I read with interest her thoughts on what to plant and where to plant it. I would really like to see some of this season's labor. Really!

It was brutally hot in the shop today, but now the front seems to have moved and it's cooler, though still humid. I grabbed one of the mondo chicken salad wraps from the local "convenience" store, along with some white wine. I figured the helpmeet would be hot, sweaty, cranky, and tired after a long day in the heat and humidity. We had chicken salad, cold rice pilaf, and salad for dinner. He's happily messing around in his garden now... . I am resolved to have ingredients for cool, NO COOK meals on hand at all times. I can handle roasts, but that's the extent of it... I'm an hors d'oeuvers kinda gal. I prefer to "graze". At a leisurely pace. Given a couch I'd likely make a perfect Roman... ;)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 7:10PM
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Chelone, I remember how impressed I was when I dined with you :) We eat alike :) You'd like the parmesan chicken salad. I'll let you know how the carrot/cuke salad comes out tomorrow :)

Jake got his cast off....compression boot (which we had to wait 1:30 for it to be ok'd by our insurance - "she" was in a meeting!). No lake, had a friend with A/C problem. Went over to fix, she has a pool....problem solved for both :) Jake seems comfy and the doc says he can walk as much as he feels like. She says to take it easy for the next month or so, but it's his discretion.

Mary, I'm hoping for the same rain. Can't wait 'til Friday when this is supposed to break. I've been away from TN too long, I admit, I'm a wimp :)

I have so many things undone for the kids and others and so many things I want to do. I just can't seem to get it together and just feel overwhelmed. I hope I can pull it all together soon.

I love the thyme lawn! Use preen early in the spring for crabgrass (and other seeds)! It works great. Personally, I'm having trouble with a patch I let go, but I'm committed! OR, maybe I'll be committed :)


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:14PM
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Well, I hope all you eastern folks get the rain you are hoping for ! Since we get none here from about May to November, Im used to dragging hoses around and watering feverishly. Though I know mentally that it would be prudent of me to plant a more water-wise landscape , I must have my roses, lilies, dahlias etc etc.. And I have taught many a water wise gardening class what a hypocrite! Do what I say, not what I do..I have found that heavy mulching (4 inch deep at least) helps a lot.

On the thyme lawn: Its not huge, maybe 15 ft by 10 , and Karen (the owner) told me that her biggest challenge is with the oxalis-the brown patch in the middle was ripped out because of it. When I have had weeds in my creeping thyme, I pull it up, pick out the weeds, and lay it back down. Good thing I only have about 2 square feet of it , huh ?

Chelone, I find it interesting that you experience that heat you describe so close to the ocean. Here if you are within a mile of the coast it is very rare for it to get hot-the marine influence moderates. I grew up in L.A. , about 4 miles from the ocean ,(zone 10) and we would have a heat wave usually in September, but if you drove the four miles to the beach you would typically get temps 20 degrees cooler than those few miles inland. So when mary mentioned chopping up Mr Carrot, I envisioned the menu reading " Ensalada Bobbit"

Mary, I met Amy Stewart when she came to speak to our master gardener group last year. She did a lecture for us and a slide show on worms, which was the book she wrote before this one (The Earth Moved) ..she was a wonderful speaker , and I cant wait to read the cut flower book. I wonder if all those flower growers down in SD north county are still there , or if the imports have shut them down ? I remember how many there were in Leucadia, Encinitas etc.

bug, a wapiti? Im clueless on that one ! Hope you can post the pics.

Ok, some more pics..

Dahlia 'Sayonara'

One of my fave Daylilies, 'Bela Lugosi' is not as dark this year.It's interesting how variable the colors can be on Daylilies.Oh yes, the ubiquitous Doobie appears in the background. He does wake up upon occasion.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:38PM
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We ended up getting quite a good rain. It was a pretty intense storm at first but then settled down and rained for a couple of hours. The heat broke too. It's still a little humid but much better. I hope those of you who need rain get some too!

I planted up the rest of my tropical leftovers this morning before the rains came. I still have cannas and dahlias that are in their starter pots and need to be moved into more roomy quarters. I put together a collection of duplicates and cuttings of tropical things I have sitting around for Jenni. There ended up being quite a lot. She wants to put together a few containers for her patio.

Bud's finally settled down. The cooler weather's helped and firecracker guy must not be home tonight because I'm not hearing any.

Saucy, good news that Jake got the cast off and was able to go swimming. When I start feeling overwhelmed by too many things to do I try to just take one thing and try to block out the rest and just finish that, then move on to something else. Otherwise I'm flitting from one thing to another and don't feel like I've accomplished anything at the end of the day. Would you share the parm chicken salad recipe if you get time? I'd like to try it.

Babs? Oh Babs? Where are you???

Megan's working later than usual tonight so Bella's still here but sleeping. I'm hoping she's not too much later. I'm ready to go to bed.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:47PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well there were thunderstorms all around here last night but not one drop of rain touched down in our gardens. Oh well, maybe tonight. They are predicting storms again today and this evening. Well I can tell July is almost here because the lilies are beginning to open up and put on their show. I just love going out for my morning garden walk and seeing whats happening. When the weather gets hot like this every day brings changes.

Yesterday I got my new 20" hanging basket and bracket so thats going to be a "this weekend" project. (yes I did say 20" hanger LOL) I need Doug to hang the bracket for me as the whole thing is going to be really heavy. The coco fiber liner has holes cut in the sides so you can side plant the hanger also. Should be fun to get that going.

Kathy, I just love that thyme lawn! Incredible! Also love the Sayonara dahlia and Bella Lugosi daylily. Is that dahlia foliage as dark as it appears in the photograph??? I just adore dahlias with dark foliage. I LOL when I saw Doobie in the pic. He reminds me of our Luke. Always in a comfy snooze position.

Bug, I just cant wait to see your photographs from you trip. Ive never been to Lake Louise but Ive heard its spectacular.

Eden, Im with you on fireworks in the neighborhood. There are some folks here who are so irresponsible. One of these years they are going to hurt someone or cause some serious damage. Makes me crazy.

Mary, That book sounds interesting. Im going to have to look for it. ~~ On a sad note, Doug told me this morning about that terrible accident with those High School graduates. Thats just awful. Makes me count my blessings.

Chelone, I dont know how you work in a shop with no AC in this weather! Id be melted down to a puddle!

Hi Cindy! Great to hear from you. So where is Babs anyway?

Saucy, good news that Jake is out of the permanent cast. How long is he going to have the compression cast?

OK must get some watering done and get to the gym. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 8:47AM
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Good morning

Yes, Deanne, that accident was terrible. 5 high school girls were killed in a car accident just a few miles from us. Their community is in mourning. Is Doug here at all next week? We'd love to have him over especially when DH is in town.

Kathy - The Earth Moved is on my list of books I want to read this summer. I imagine Amy Stewart is a very engaging speaker.

Woody - we are heading up to your neck of the woods this afternoon. We're driving to Toronto and looking forward to theatre tomorrow night. The weather looks as if it will be perfect.

Have a good rest of the week everyone. I need to throw some clothes in a suitcase and dig out our passports. Talk to you all Sunday.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 10:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Mary, Have a great time in Toronto!!! ~~~ Doug is actually going to be home next week but will be back out in Rochester the week after.

Here are a couple pics from the gardens early this morning.

A couple views of the driveway garden....

You can see the stump from where I had to cut down the Sambucus....

The white astilbes are opening in the terrace garden

I just love this time of the year!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 5:34PM
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I've been checking in every couple of days to read and see photos. What beauty surrounds everyone. It was wonderful to see posts (and photos) by Woody as I've missed her a lot.

The twins have been ill (gastroenteritis) so I've been at their house this week helping take care of them. They seem to be a bit improved today, still feverish, weak and lethargic, but at least they've stopped spewing. Poor little things. It is awful when the little ones feel horrible and cannot tell you what is wrong. They just melt into you and whimper.

Kenzie is a beauty! She and Bella are going to be excellent gardeners like their g'mothers.

Today is overcast and dreary, a perfect day for staying indoors to catch up on laundry and other chores. I ran errands this morning and now have decided the rest of the day is 'free time'. LOL Kind of like giving myself an extra recess. ;o)

There was a gold finch drinking from the bird bath a short bit ago. I didn't have the telephoto lens on my camera and it was gone by the time I did get the lens switched.

'bug, so you saw some wapiti? LOL I had some bedded down in the front yard this morning. They stood up and mosey'd off when DH backed out of the garage. (wapiti=elk for those not familiar). I look forward to seeing your photos.

Well, better go fold clothes if I don't want to be pressing things later....

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 6:02PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hi folks - another update for GB so she can be comfortable that her other baby is doing OK... - a bit of back-sliding by Charlotte at dinner tonight... Last night and this morning she ate about 75% or her meat (I've given up on the veggie for now until I can get her eating the full amount of meat and then will gradually introduce them again. I serve the meat on top of rice with a garnish of grated cheddar cheese...) I was hopeful that we'd hit 100% at dinner tonight but instead she probably ate less than 10%! I give her the Metacam separately on rice and (cooked, boneless) chicken which she always eats completely so you don't have to worry about her not getting the medicine. Other than the eating, she seems very content, cuddly and affectionate. She tried to go rabbit hunting on our walk last night! It's been hot here the last few days - almost 32C yesterday! She only went outside as long as it took to 'do her business' now and then; otherwise she stuck pretty close to a cooling vent! We've only been able to walk in late evening once it cools down a bit. No rain here still - thunderstorms all around yesterday but completely missed us. Your area might have got some but I think most of it was somewhere between here and your place. There was actually flooding in a few places in Burlington/Hamilton but not a drop here!

Mary - what show are you seeing in TO?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 7:24PM
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Hello Everyone, Thought I would pop in and say hello. I have been staying clear of the computer for the most part. Reading the Idylls when I'm not to exhausted but usually to sleepy to respond after I read.
I was pretty discouraged with the gardens earlier because of the damage from the late freeze and the vole damage. Also My back was dealing me fits. Anyhow My back is somewhat better and I have been determined to finish the front gardens this year. I have been making progress but still a long way to go. This is daylily season here and that really slows me down as I so enjoy just walking around looking taking pics and deaheading them. I also like to move them around when they are blooming and I can see what goes well together. If I'm careful with them they hardly miss a lick.
We have been getting some rain this last week and it has helped so much. I have been able to weed several areas so much easier.
I've only did a few containers that are pretty much a standard part of the garden anyway. I have been working on a couple of pathways and that is helping to designate differant areas making it a little easier to do some companion planting in smaller areas rather than trying to see the whole thing at once.
I have company coming for a week now so that will slow me down again. But if I can keep my back in shape I have plenty of time to work on things.
Mary that is a tragic loss of five young lives. I always hate to hear of things like that.

T, sorry to hear the little guys are sick. Hope they are better soon.

I would like to talk to each of you, but as usual I'm getting sleepy and have a long day ahead tomorrow trying to whip this house into shape for company.

Lovely pictures from everyone. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing one of Reed. Love that name.
Later Gaters. Norma

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 10:25PM
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Countdown to Friday.. and Im on vaca next week ! My family has a 4th of July tradition of trekking up to Humboldt County and spending the holiday in the redwood forest. We have been going there (Miranda) since my children were quite young, and now we have revived this tradition after a few years of staying home. We stay at one of those hokey little forest cabin places that started life as a Motor Court in the 30s.I will certainly come home with pics . If you are ever in Northern California, the redwoods are a must see.

Normaglad you dropped in. I can really relate to your evening walks deadheading the daylilies. I still have three that have not bloomed and they are new for me this year so Im antsy to see them ! I do a dahlia-daylily-rose deadhead walk every evening when I get home from work.

Deanne, what is beyond those trees to the rear of the terrace garden ? Looks like there is open space ? And what is the direction? I need to compare this pic with the one you posted earlier. Yes, the Sayonara dahlia foliage is very dark . I got it from Swan Island Dahlias in Oregon (they are mail order) and had them before but they rotted in out torrential rains of 05.I love em ! They stay 3 to 4 ft tall and bushy. I have another called Moon River that I got from McConnells in Washington that has very dark foliage and orange flowers. The blooms have not opened yet, but I will be sure to take a pic when they do .

Mary, enjoy your trip !

T, glad to see another pacific time Idyller checking in ! What a chore to take care of two sick babies at the same time ! And thanks for clearing up that Wapiti thing for me ! Ive never heard that term before. I was envisioning some new kind of exotic beast !

Time to go watch a couple of innings ..nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 10:56PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning! I'm sure glad to see the end of this week. On Tuesday I was at a walk in clinic because I've got this skin/bone/muscle irritation going on on my shoulder and neck. It looks like a sunburn but hurts to touch and is spreading. My regular doctor is out on maternity leave and the back up has limited office hours so I chose the clinic route. The diagnosis is reaction to some sort of insect bite but I haven't seen anything that looks like a bite site. They have me on a taper pack of prednisone and benadryl and that is making me very tired. Today I stopped the Benadryl. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be getting better so I may have to track down a real doctor next week. What next?

On Tuesday night I woke up at 1:15 AM to yelling and what amounted to a real live episode of COPS going on in my yard. They were arresting someone in back behind the plaza (yes they do yell "On the ground! Get on the ground!") and another cop was crawling around my garden searching with a flashlight. Jeeshh! Like I don't have enough trouble sleeping.

Wednesday I had an all day company information/training session down at one of CT's famous Indian casinos. Afterwards a co-worker and I went down to the shore and had drinks and food at a couple of beachside bars. It was a gorgeous night to be at the shore. Hot as hell at my house and almost downright cold down there. If I only had money...

The nasty heat has finally left although we only got about 5 drops of the torrential downpours that were predicted. No loss there but a day of real rain would be nice. Watering is at the top of my list of activities for the weekend. That and perhaps finally finishing the pots and planting out all the annuals and tropicals. This has not been a good garden year for me.

So, off to slay whatever dragons appear today. Enjoy!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:04AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi, all, - yes, we finally got some rain last nite here in my part of the world - thank goodness.... But unfortunately it appears the deer have invaded my front yards - and they've chomped just about everything they can - platycodon, lilies, you name it... I guess now I know what Chloe was having a fit at nite aobut (I thought she was just getting neurotic as soon as the bedroom lites went out, barking & running downstairs, & carrying on).... but she's not enough of a deterrent.

Mary, have a nice time on your trip. Sounds like you and Kathy both have pleasant times ahead to count on.

T- nice to hear from you - Im so sorry your little "chicks" are under the weather again - yikes, it makes me tired just to think of it.

Sue -- Im sorry you're ill again -- the thought has occurred to me - do you think it could be shingles you're getting? (It popped into my head because a friend just got that -- I know a lot of times after some major stress on our bodies (i.e., operation, severe illness) those of us "eligible" for shingles come down with them... just a thought but you better get it checked out quickly. If it is, I think there are drugs that when taken early onset really make a difference to how severe the bout is. Sure hope you figure it out. That sure was disturbing w/ the Cops in your 'hood, uh? I've had it happen a time or two & it definitely ruins the sleep mode.

Great to hear and see from you, Woody - I meant to remark on how lovely your shed has turned out - a little getaway in the woods look - really really charming. And it sounds like Charlotte is enjoying her stay w/ you just fine!

Im soo tired -- but have to work late tonite & then go back to PA for some court/estate business on Monday - Im really hoping this will be the last weekend shot to heck for a while -- I can't tell you how horrible the inside and outside of the house is! And no time to shop -- getting really low on toilet paper at my house -- that shows how bad the shopping routine has gone to, LOL.... (McDonald's doesnt sell t.p. - what a shame, hehehe).

Norma, great to hear from you as well - Im really missing the times after work to deadhead daylilies and things - I think the deer have done that for me so I dont even know what bloomed - it's breaking my heart this year! I hope your back has healed sufficiently for you now.

Deanne -- great shots, as usual -- you'd never know you're missing that Tiger Eye in the driveway; it's still so lush and gorgeous looking -- it must be a full time job every day to keep up with all your containers but it shows - they are truly grand.

Well, I better get to work here and hope I dont fall asleep at my desk. I am happy it's at least cooler here and we should enjoy a few days of great weather - I will only be able to grab tomorrow a.m. in the garden.

O, p.s. -- Michelle -- I love the shots of your garden & Kenzie -- she's such a sweetie & rightfully is enjoying G'ma's wonderful garden.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 8:53AM
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I have a 4 day weekend, whoo, hooo! This the 2nd week in a row where I only worked 3 days, I could get used to this. Actually, my vacation needs to be used up by July 1.

I stopped at the farm store where they are clearancing all the plants. I scored a hibiscus Maple Sugar, a copperleaf plant and a fuchsia 'Shadowdancer Violette',some fiber optic grass and a few other things. I have no containers to put these in, but we are going to the city tomorrow. I think the hibiscus will need to go in the place of the canna pretoria that didnt sprout. I was going to repeat the container that was in the magazine, but no Pretoria to be found locally and the 2 I had saved didnt sprout this spring.

Youv'e heard about a little birdie coming to sit on your shoulder, well add an "h" to sit and you know what the birdie did on my shoulder yesterday.

Brenda, the Welcome Garden and Butterfly garden are the only 2 that I have that arent edged with brick or raised stone beds because it is a pain to keep them looking sharp. I actually have a gas powered edger that I run around the bed, then I take a spade and flip out a trench. After that the edger will do pretty well for the rest of the summer. I dont have to do it often.

Sue, I must know, when the cop was crawling around your garden, did you yell out to him "stay on the paths"?

Deanne, your gardens are always such a treat to see. I have one astilbe that is actually blooming good this year. That is one plant that I cant seem to grow well.

T, I hope the little ones are feeling better, nothing more pathetic than a sick baby.

Norma, great to hear from you, but sorry to hear that you are still dealing with back issues.

Cindy, sorry to hear about the deer damage. This year they have decided that they like my Bright Lights chard. I am trying a blinking light along with the deer spray.

I must really get in the garden and get something done. Have a wonderful day.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Cindy, I can so empathize with you on the deer destruction. The very same thing is happening here. I have finally resorted to erecting fences around the most vunerable beds. It's not pretty, but the Balloon Flowers and Purple Coneflowers 'will' rebloom. The lilies of all types are goners for this year...:-(

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:41AM
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