Idyll #321 June is bustin' out all over

honey_mi(Z5 MI)June 7, 2007

I'll fix it, Mary. No biggie.

Hi all,

Monday when I went to my dentist to sand down a chipped crown, he found trouble between my 2 front teeth in a routine x-ray and sent me to the periodontist for surgery. It hadnt started hurting me, so I was unaware of it. I had it done yesterday pm and am glad itÂs behind me. IÂm sore and tired, but otherwise OK. The stitches come out next week.

Between Monday and yesterday, I rushed around here trying to get stuff done before the dirty deed, knowing IÂd be out of commission for awhile. I finally got one of our subdivision entrance's planted with annuals. The landscaper bot the wrong cultivars for that area so it's still unfinished. We did spot where the shrubs will go, so it's progressing. I also gave him the info for the planting at the other entrance. Hopefully, he'll get that done this week so the annuals can be installed this weekend. He's a nice guy, is cheap but does this part-time so is slow.

ÂBug, I have a friend who used to work in the OB at a local hospital and she says they always had an overwhelming amount of deliveries during a full moon. So, youÂre probably right about the babyÂs arrival!

Kathy, wonderful pix. That one view also reminds me of JainÂs garden and view.

((((Deanne)))) So sorry about the hail damage. ItÂs so frustrating. IÂm sure in a couple weeks, you wonÂt even know it happened. I agree, whatÂs with the Âfreeze Âem, roastÂem bizaare, weather anyhow?

That's it from me this am. I need to go lie down a bit.


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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We've had the excitement that accompanies the cold nights:
1 mouse toyed with by 3 cats in DH's study.
1 toad in the back room, probably came in with plants.
This morning two of the cats have been studying an air register for the past hour. Must be another mouse, indoors for warmth. Arghhh.

Lots of new blooms, but no time to photograph now: iris, poppies, more lupines and a few clematis.

Well, off to give Charlotte her meds and then I'm out of here as I have the car today. The sun is shining!
Later folks!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

June Is Bustin' Out All Over

March went out like a lion
Awakin' up the water in the bay;
Then April cried and stepped aside,
And along came pretty little May!
May was full of promises
But she didn't keep 'em quickly enough for some
And the crowd of doubtin' tonuses
Was predictin' that the summer'd never come

But it's comin' by dawn,
We can feel it come,
You can feel it in your heart
You can see it in the ground

You can see it in the trees
You can smell it in the breeze

Look around! Look around! Look around!

June is bustin' out all over
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds're bustin' outa bushes
And the rompin' river pushes
Ev'ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill!

June is bustin' out all over
The feelin' is gettin' so intense,
That the young Virginia creepers
Hev been huggin' the bejeepers
Outa all the mornin' glories on the fence!
Because it's June...

June, June, June
Just because it's June, June, June!

Fresh and alive and gay and young
June is a love song, sweetly song

June is bustin' out all over!
The saplin's are bustin' out with sap!
Love hes found my brother, Junior,
And my sister's even loonier!
And my Ma is gettin' kittenish with Pap!
June in bustin' out all over

To ladies and men are payin' court.
Lotsa ships are kept at anchor
Jest because the captains hanker
Fer the comfort they ken only get in port!

Because it's June... June, June, June
Just because it's June, June, June!

June makes the bay look bright and new
Sails gleamin' bright on sunlit blue

June is bustin' out all over
The ocean is full of Jacks and Jills,
With the little tail a-swishing'
Ev'ry lady fish is wishin'
That a male would come
And grab 'er by the gills!

June is bustin' out all over!
The sheep aren't sleepin' anymore!
All the rams that chase ewe-sheep
All determined there'll be new sheep
and the ewe-sheep aren't even keepin' score!

On acounta it's June! June, June, June
Just because it's June, June, June!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

We have a gorgeous day on tap here and I'm going to spend it out in the gardens trying to finish up some heavy work before the heat arrives again. Originally they predicted 85 but now it is 75. I don't think the weather people have a clue this year. Doug went for his follow up visit for his eye this morning and all is progressing well. They put in a blank lens in his glasses until everything settles down and they can figure out what he needs. Should only be for reading anymore. It will be incredible to see him without glasses on as he's always needed them and has never had contacts.

((((Honey)))) so sorry about the periodontal work. That is my worst nightmare. I think the next time I have any work done they'll have to knock me out. LOL HOpe you are feeling better soon.~~ It sounds like you are making some great progress with the landscape project for your neighborhood.

Great Idyll tydll btw! June really and truly is 'busting out all over'. Things are beginning to put on some extravagant growth after the heavy rains the other day. The fuchsias did something strange. They seemed OK after the storm except for some flowers that got knocked off but yesterday a couple of plants dropped off almost every flower that was on them. It must have been the pounding they took. The plants are OK just the flowers fell off. Lots of buds coming on so they'll be fine in a few days.

Michelle, thanks for sending that tape. I can't wait to get it fixed. ~~ I'm so happy this morning. When I did my morning walkabout the gardens I noticed that both of the pelargoniums you sent me are beginning to open flowers. Such pretty ones. I have them in an arrangement with a coleus cutting I got from Wendy and a fuchsia and coleus cutting I got from Monique.

Cynthia, beautiful photo for Sue's BDay photograph. Does this mean you have a camera now??? Marvelous! I took this pic this morning for you as I know you like Hydrangea petiolaris. This specimen is just beautiful this year and has lots of flowers.

OKie Dokie, time to mosey and get some work done.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:22AM
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bean_counter_z4(Zone 4, Rkfd,IL)

deanneart, thanks for the tip on the framing program. It's fun.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 11:40AM
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Aha! so it WAS Kathy that "supersized" us. That luscious view was worth it (but don't pull that crap at the very beginning of an Idyll, OK?) ;) . I have to say, I was fascinated by the contour of the land, Kathy. Very different from my area, much more rolling; around here there is much more in the way of pronounced rock formations, and pine trees, in all, much more "jagged". It's such fun to see the beauty that abounds in all areas of our country... without these fun threads, I'd not have the opportunity to soak it all up.

It was chilly this morning! I thought of 'bug and the pot moving exercise (that doesn't sound so good, does it?). I KNOW the annuals are not loving the night temperatures; poor things! I have to take some shots of my "containers", but am too tired and too lazy to take the screens out to do it. I have a long day tomorrow (until 4PM) and I will be "toute seule", actually, I rather enjoy that. I will overdose on NPR (Diane Rehm!) and if I want to listen to Handel, I damn well will! Yee-haa!

The "rail" (car) went into the shop to have the (non-existant) air conditioning checked out; no leaks that were immediately discernable, but there is dye in the system and it must go back for a "follow up" on Tuesday. I walked the scant 1/4 mile to work this morning and was bowled over by the scent of the Locust trees. Just heavenly. And the earliest of the beach roses were pretty great, too. I love this time of year.

Not much more to say, right now...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 4:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A funny day here. DH stayed home so we managed to do some odds and ends and then went out for errands. He got his whiskers trimmed and I bought yarn and some baby things (towels and washcloths and a "onesie". Also found a better paper towel holder than the flimsy thing we've been using. Then it was off to the grocery store where we bought lunch which we took to a park by the Shand Dam and picnicked.
Once back home I cut dead stuff out of the roses on the bridge and mowed the paths on each side of the creek, avoiding a bunny and a baby groundhog. Then somehow it was already time for dinner!

It seems DD had an "experience" today. Because she's being hired for a full time position, she had to be investigated. It turns out that they found she had a record! Seems another person with the same name and the exact same birthday has a record for theft. Everyone was very nice about working this out because they knew she didn't have the same last name 12 years ago when the theft occurred, nor did she live in Alberta then. Anyway, having a common name can be a nuisance and this kind of thing could bother her again in the future.
At least she knows the problem.

Someone (Chelone?) asked what I was going to be called by my grandkids. This is still up in the air because DGS must decide. He has tons of grandmothers and they are "Grandma Jean, Grandma Marian,etc..." I'd rather not be part of the list. So I suggested Nanamarie, and we'll see how it goes. So far I'm Marie, which is OK too. First though he must decide what to call DD because whatever he chooses will likely be what Ittybittybug calls her too. He can't call her Mom because the ex can't deal with that.

DGS has been quite the kid lately. He has progressed so much with them in the last year! He eats well, whines less, is independent, reads a year beyond grade level, adores music, etc. Unfortunately this progress is not taking place at his mother's place where he is clingy and whiny. I fear she encourages it because she is needy. Anyway one funny story is this. DD bought him some books about babies being born and he really likes them, but the questions started coming! "I thought the baby came out the belly button!" Well that one was explained easily because he now has the vocabulary for body parts. The next one made me laugh. "How can I tell if it is a brother or a sister? I mean, it will have clothes on!" DD explained that no, it will wear "its birthday suit, nothing at all" and that he will be able to tell right away. The misconceptions that we all can have....

24 days....maybe!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 8:48PM
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Weird weather day here. It started out cool, 60s. By mid-afternoon it was in the low 90s and it's been very windy. We're supposed to cool down again tomorrow after some thunderstorms roll through. Bella's spending the night tonight and I just put her to bed. I let her stay up an extra hour and play because we spent a couple of hours in the car and at the nursery earlier. I give up on conquering the pot ghetto. I had it down to 7 pots and then got a mixed flat of 8 really cool salvias at the Farmers Market on Sat along with the banana. Three hydrangeas have made there way in this week, also the w. my monet and then tonight I went out for a bag of potting soil, I ran out while potting up those salvias. The lilies were 1/2 off so I ended up with 4 of them, a chelone hotlips to replace one I lost in the front garden and a tricolor sedum for good measure. Oh and there's that kousa heart throb tree still sitting in the pot too. I'm hopeless. I also have a dozen cannas in nursery pots sprouting and as many dahlias. The ghetto is alive and well, lol!

Marie, it's getting really close now! I like Nanamarie too!

Deanne, that hydrangea vine is spectacular!

Mary, love the Idyll tydll! I have a friend who says June is like a Friday night. I think that's a good comparison. The whole summer lies ahead like one long weekend. Guess that would make January like a Monday, huh?

I'm beat. Two year olds will do that to ya. Time for bed for me.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 9:35PM
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I have had the best day that any woman should be allowed to have :)

My neighbor (that I work for - those who remember) is our area bee keeper. She's injured her shoulder which means more garden time for also means she's unable to take care of her bees as she normally would.

I think I have pictures of my very exciting day! I put my camera to good use - I am a beekeeper "under study" for lack of better words.

We were weeding when she told me I should back out (the hive that swarmed is the last picture - I could describe it as background noise - a very loud HUM/Buzz - entrancing!

Then they settled in the old pear tree on the property (I stood amongst them - very docile). Notice the leaves covered with bees:

They formed a mass (and then later left for a more suitable "hive"):

And then my neighbor suited me up and let me play in the hive instead of the garden! Only one sting and it was my fault (I bent my finger while he was checking me out!):

To top it all I heard from a friend who I have been missing terribly!

Today is one to go down in the records.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Saucy! Fantastic! (except for the one bite)
So glad about the call too...
We need to store these perfect days for January, February and March.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 10:59PM
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Good evening everyone, not much time today, just a few quick notes..
Saucy , I love your bee pics. I don't think I've been stung for years, but I have bees all over the place in my garden. So glad you had such a great day--heres to many more of the same .

Hey Deanne, thanks for posting that tip to beancounter on the free software for frames etc. I'm going to check that out myself this weekend. Your Hydrangea petiolaris is just awesome. I have one that has yet to take off-I'm waiting for the third-year-leap thing to happen.

So many commented on this garden , here is another pic.(properly sized this time !!!) The Nefertiti head is in a bowl of succulents and the rock trimmed bed underneath is a combo of low growing herbs and succulents. Upper left is where the vinyards start. And take note Martie:the eucalyptus in the left background.

Nite all...Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:03AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Saucy, I got stung by a bee yesterday too. It was my own fault as I stepped on a big honkin' one as I rushing around last night trying to get a few things done outside while dinner was cooking. Ouch, ouch, ouch!

We've had a couple of nights of fabulous sleeping weather here. I've had the windows wide open and been snug in a down comforter. It may be all about to change but I agree, you can't beat June. Tomorrow we've got tickets to a garden tour in one of the shoreline towns. It's one we go to every year. Great gardens and usually a great lunch. One of these days I'll get something done in my own garden. On June 24th I'm having a mini open garden tour for some people on the New England forum. Monique is opening her garden also. Hopefully I won't be too

Welcome bean counter! We've got a few of those who hang around here. Speaking of which, I've got about 100 pages of monthly financials calling me name.

Later folks!


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 7:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

June is one darn busy month this year...
The sprinkler is running already today.
Outing tonight
Friends tomorrow
Doctor appointments and mammogram (joy...)
Our trip to Alberta-which requires finding pet sitters and garden caregivers...I'm worried already. (I don't even trust anyone with my mower.)
The local festival guys keep the staging in our barn. They come AFTER we leave. It really requires supervising...
Am I a worry wort? You bet!

It is a scorcher already today! Can't plant things from the ghetto in this weather. Oh, now they say thunderstorms. In an hour they may say something else, right? Well the delphiniums look fantastic and so a thunderstorm is really NOT welcome.

I hope your week has been going well everybody and that the weekend will be a fun time.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 8:09AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just popping in to say hi...lots of irons in the fire today. My best pal, Diane is coming over for a cookout and possible bonfire-weather permitting. The cold front hasn't decided when it wants to wander through, so I don't know if we'll get rained out or not.
DH went and got me another load of mulch, so I've got the stump bed all weeded and mulched. Need to mow, and hope to get some pics while everything looks halfways decent. Then, there are all those Bluestone plants that need potted up. Keep not getting to that, but it really needs done. It's almost impossible to keep them watered in those little three packs. Maybe I can talk DH into mowing, and I can get the little suckers potted.
Saucy, what a day you had-that is just too cool! I'd love it, even if I got stung :)

'bug-Nanamarie sounds really cool! Lol, my one great-niece always called my Mom "Grandma Thanksgiving", cuz that was Mom's big holiday. Kids are just a hoot, aren't they?

I gotta get moving. I'm still in PJs, and while I don't mind watering in my jammies, it's a sure way to get pop-in visitors, lol!
Have a good day, all!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:34AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Thot I'd idyll a bit while taking a brief break to let the throbbing subside. I've been trying to get something done outside before we get hit with the T-storms they're predicting for today.

I'm so glad to read that most of you still have quite a few things on your to-do lists, especially potting things up. I also have 6 30-gal bags of shredded grass/leaves to use as mulch, once I get my patch weeded. I'm usually done with all this by June, so I feel really behind.

This am I scrubbed the scummy birdbath and refilled, planted 3 replacement Knock-out roses and watered the pot ghetto. The pot ghetto is also filled with subdivision plants! Yikes, like I need more plants.

'Bug. Nanamarie get's my vote, too. It has a nice sound to it.

Eden, as I read your post about buying more plants I'm shaking my head up and down. Everytime I've gone to the nursery for the subdivision I've come home with more plants for me!

As a last ditch effort, I'm trying systemic and another leaf spray insecticide to try and save my Brugs. I just hauled them into the garage to protect them from the high winds we're expecting this pm.

Waving hi to all. If it's not storming, I'll try to be back online later.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:55PM
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The winds have died down, but nearly destroyed the 4 containers that I had done. I'm glad I hadn't done any more. We didn't receive any rain or storms out of it luckily.

Deanne, that tall tree is perfect for the climbing hydrangea. What a wonderful backdrop your trees make for your garden.

Brenda, I always plant my Bluestone plants right in the garden. They take off so well.

Honey, I hope the mouth pain subsides soon. DH was in the dentist chair yesterday and the experience was far from pleasant. Another root canal is required.

Nanamarie, I don't trust anyone else to mow. Not so worried about the mower as I am the garden. LOL


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 2:33PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

I wanted to pop in and issue a 'heads up' for anyone looking for Colocasia 'Illustris'. I've been looking for that since April and haven't been able to find it and today I popped into Loew's looking for a square pot and they had some HUGE plants for $11.95. I think they were in a 12" pot and well grown. The plants are about 20" tall or so. What a kick, that's about the price of one bulb from a catalog and it would take half the summer to get a decent sized plant. They also had 'Black Magic' the same size and price.

Michelle! Oh no!!!! So sorry about the damage to your containers from the wind. I feel your pain. ((((Michelle)))) ~~ So happy you like the hydrangea. I wish you could see it in person. It's such a kick to have something you planted years ago finally come into its own.

Honey, I must have missed what the problem was with your brugs? What's up with them? Mine had a terrible problem with mites last year and I never really could get rid of them so in the fall I sprayed them within an inch of their lives, waited a week then did it again before bringing them in last fall. Crossing my fingers here and hoping I don't have a problem with that again this summer. ~~ Sure hope you feel better soon. DD had a tooth extracted this morning and is not feel the best at the moment either.

Brenda, a bonfire sounds like a lot of fun. Wish I could join you. ~~ I've still got a bunch of cuttings to pot up here as well.

Eden, ROTFLOL over your pot ghetto increasing its size.... we are incurable you know. Not only did I buy the 'Illustris', I also picked up a few tuberous begonias, some Cordylines, Pennisetum rubrum, this knock off your socks coleus called 'Othello'. It's almost black it's so dark purple. Well that just leapt into my cart, like I need another coleus. Could not help myself. I also found some Crossandra at Loew's. Another plant I've been looking for since April. Woohoo! It's hopeless I tell you! ~~ So happy you like the Hydrangea too. Wouldn't it be great if we could just all pop in to visit each others gardens?

Bug, my vote goes for 'NanaMarie' also. I like the sound of that. I hope those storms miss you. They are predicting storms later on here as well and I'm hoping we don't have a repeat of the last storm that came through here.

Saucy!!! Wow how cool is that? definitely worth a bee sting to see that swarm and work with the bees. Those pics are amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Bean counter and Kathy, glad you are enjoying the framing software. Lots of fun to fool around with.

OK I've got to go and help Doug with his eye drops. He's having some problems adjusting to the new vision after the surgery but says that each day has gotten better.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 3:53PM
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Hi guys!
Waiting for life to slow a I can enjoy summer: ) BUT since I've been this working gal thingy(gee only part time;imagine if it were more!)I have nine months worth of purging to do to this house. OH it has been FUN. I have two large garbage bags full of broken toys,incomplete games and general stuff that the kids will suddenly ask about for which I will have to develop mother's amnesia in the meantime: ) The good stuff they have outgrown will go to our church's trash and treasure sale. It's so funny-I keep reading that the church is specifically stating, 'no bowling balls'-what,is it a hazard or something? I would have bought out all of them now that I am on Michelle's gazing ball craze. Chris better look out,I may just jewel encrust the exterior of the house(he wouldn't be surprised).

I have been feeling way out of the idyll loop and now I know how people who post sporadically feel-it's like I'm not worthy of saying I'm an idyll-sheesh: ) I miss y'all so much.

I feel for you Michelle as you mention how the storms got your containers. I was gulping as the weather geeks talked about baseball sized and golf ball hail...I figured if I changed the channel it would erase those dirty words they talked about. I had visions of actual baseballs sailing through the hosta leaves and smashing the rest of everything else. IT didn't even happen-NO hail but frightening nonetheless. Are your containers salvageable?? I hope it'll be OK.
Deanne-I did see your hail damage pics-I shuddered since it happened to me a couple years ago. I would hope that since it's early in the season that at least there's a chance the hail will be a distant memory and teh plants rejuvinate? Have you gotten enough rainfall? We had the driest May on record and were something like 2.6 inches below normal. Luckily we've had a few decent downpours that made up for the loss and my gardens are happy. (that da*n hail always seems to show up at these very moments).
That climbing Hydrangea is AWESOME(I do sound like a thirteen yr. old). I never knew they got that tall! Now I know I need to try that. With a move for us on the horizon I keep telling myself not to buy anything plantlike...not sure I can listen to myself.

My big experiment is propagating stem cuttings of Calicarpa japonica and two out of my three cuttings seem to have taken. Also I was amazed that I also have two seedlings from last year that self-sowed. I was sure since this is a southern native that the seedlings would bite the dust over winter. It's just very cool that they made it.
Eden I am trying rooted Clerodendron cuttings in the ground too-I sure hope they bloom.

Talk about VERY COOL-Saucy the bee pics/documentary are fascinating!! [Made mental note not to bend fingers while bee is stalking them; )] You are so lucky to have experienced that! I'm happy you enjoyed your day.

BTW I am bummed terribly to be missing the IU4-this may be the best one yet too. Drema,Honey,& Deanne thanks for sending your condolences regarding my absence; I appreciated your thoughts and you bet I will miss seeing you too.

On the school front Aj has a strange year ahead. His class size has dwindled to only FIVE students! They didn't resign his teacher from this year and they are not replacing her. They are merging the 5th grade with the 6th grade. The problem is that AJ is a straight A student and the rest of his teeny class are very low achievers plus the younger class they merge with is pretty unruly. I am so sad about it all. I was wondering if any of you idylls were in a combined class during your schooling and do you think it was a positive or negative experience? My biggest concern is that AJ is an above average student. We even looked at a new school just to get prepared in case he gets lost in this merge. I fear that his school will close as many Catholic schools have been.
Should he make it to 8th grade I wonder if he'll be the only one in his class-but then for the 8th grade dinner/dance he could feasibly have a lobster dinner though he'd have to dance

Hi to everyone I didn't mention-Happy bday to Sue! Hope it was happy.I will get cards going as soon as I have a second to take pics.

Must find wine....: )yeah

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:42PM
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Good morning. I was pooped when I got home yesterday... 10 hrs. along in the shop makes for a pretty busy day. I finished stapling on the covers for two slip seats, made the cushion and top for a covered lawn swing, cut out two more cushions, and replaced a zipper in the canvas for a pop-up camper. And I cleaned (I'm the one who caves in first).

I vote for NanaMarie. I like that. It hardly seems possible that it's down to 3 weeks, does it? And I smiled at the questions asked by DGS; it takes time for all the pieces to fall into place even with age appropriate information. Good to hear Charlotte is perking up, wish I could say as much for the huge dog. He sees the orthopedic guy on the 18th.. While I don't envy you the blasting hot weather it might be nice if we'd top 70 degrees here for more than two days in a row.

Saucy, the bee pictorial was sensational! They're such interesting creatures. What fun you must have had (aside from the sting) tending the hive. And then to come home and hear from your friend. Made me smile. We have the doors open at work and there are always some bumblebees that manage to cruise in. They buzz around on the windows and I've become expert at capturing them in a glass and releasing the outdoors. :)

Containers... I have to water the windowboxes today and if we don't start getting some warmer weather I'm not sure some of the transplants are going to make it. The poor pinched Browallia and Impatiens are looking particularly unhappy. But the weeds... now THEY'RE thinkin' this pattern is just great. I am amazed at how quickly things take hold. I haven't mulched anything and if I don't get honkin' on it I may never see the perennials.

The foundation guy is supposed to come on Tuesday to get the footings poured. Then they have to be inspected, and then the walls are poured and inspected. The trusses have been ordered (the 8/12 pitch we originally agreed on, so no expensive changes, Kathy! whew), and the framers are eager to get going. But right now, I'd be content with the footings. The place looks like hell, the only thing missing is a junk car on blocks.

I never was in a mixed grade classroom (until HS English); my classes were all large (30 kids) and there was one teacher and NO "aides". We sat at individual desks (not bolted the floor, however!), had a dress code, and discipline ruled (there were a few teachers who would use a ruler on your palms and standing in the corner was not uncommon, nor was missing recess). That was a public school. Kids with difficulty in certain areas were sent down the hall for specialized help, and failure to master basic skills meant they weren't moved to the next grade (no one really worried about wounding egos). In Jr. High, classes were broken into categories (Remedial, Below Average, Average, Above Average, and Honors), curricula were crafted for ability... and I knew several kids who "caught up" and were moved to levels requiring more; I don't think that sort of thing is permitted in public schools any longer! Later, when we moved to a very rural community, the elementary school had 2 classrooms. Grades 1-3 were downstairs and 4-6 were upstairs. The teachers were older, very experienced and there was a lot of student tutoring; older kids working with littles. But again, that was a very small school (40-50 kids) and the community was always very involved in the school; retired people in the community often tutored kids with difficulty or exceptional ability. Several of my younger friends are now struggling with worries about the quality of education in their public school systems; several have opted for private schools, and a few others now home school. Interestingly, their prime concern is nearly always discipline, something I find quite sad. It must be a huge worry for you and Chris, Babs..

I know what you mean about not adding any more plants. I have bought a few, but until the garage is finished and we've got a handle on the landscaping that will be required I have to "just say NO". Deanne, your CH is beautiful. Mine is just starting to open now and I'll be certain to get shots of it. I have opted for the heavy pruning and more espaliered approach with mine. How big is the base of your's?

Brenda, did you get rained out?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:18AM
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    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:45AM
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Yes, I'm a day early for Martie's birthday. That gives the rest of you slackers time to get it together. Ha! No, I have just been so behind on idylls lately, that today may be the only chance I have to catch up.

Saucy, Bee careful. (Cringe). Loved the photo series, how great that you took pictures for us!

Deanne, that is an awesome hydrangea. Mine will never catch up, but one has had a few blooms the past two years. The other is larger but too much shade I think. Still, I'm happy with the foliage and stems and I'm sure the next hurricane will drop more of the neighbors trees and let more light in.

So sorry about the hail damage, but your plants still look better than mine! I have some sort of bugs eating holes in my plectranthus. Usually those plants don't attract creepy crawlers, so this is a mystery to me.

I had to go into office a few days this week, and the travel sure does eat up time. I remember now why I don't commute: cost of sedatives and brakes mostly. If there were an express lane for 'nice drivers' it would certainly be empty.

Chelone, what's wrong with Wrecks? Katie has her neurologist appointment next Wednesday. There aren't many vet neurologists in Maryland, and of course the one who is here in town didn't pass my interview. So we're taking a hike, but I'd rather see the best first.

My vacuum is back from it's 4 week vacation at the shop. Yeah. I've got the downstairs under control again, but still need to dig out the upstairs. I think they turbo charged the thing. It's never worked so well before! Should check the bag for cats.

Eden, I lost a chelone or two this winter too. Thought those were bullet proof, so kept waiting and waiting and waiting. One that I thought was a goner sent new growth out a foot away, so I wonder if it was wet grown that killed the crown this winter. Meanwhile Salvia black and blue in the same area came back no problem. And that's borderline for this area. Go figure!

It's comfy today, after near 100F temps yesterday. So I have no excuse to avoid garden work or housework. Both of which should be approached with a garbage bag in hand.

This is Katie's outdoor crate in front of gate to side yard. There's an arbor there so she gets 3 sides of protection from errant feet of other dogs. Sometimes she shares her space with them :)

I need to mow while it's still cool.

Best to all!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 9:24AM
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I would be permitted access to the "express lane for polite drivers"! and I'd bet you guys would, too. Driving a 40' bus with over 70 passengers gave me a whole new perspective on driving. Once you've put a bus into a skid and tried to steer out of it, you think twice about "over driving" conditions, esp. when you see how many milk jugs ended up on the floor... . I leave the house at 5:30 AM and return mid-afternoon. I don't "do" rush hour and when I find myself stuck in traffic I take a deep breath and accept it. Being polite and kind makes acceptance easier. Life in the "slow lane" is fine with me. :) (so... that means I'm goin' nowhere fast? !)

The huge dog is lame in the left hind leg, Cynthia. This has been an on-going condition for some months now; present one day, gone the next. We suspected Lyme disease, no. It began as a "favor" and one vet. said it was a hip issue. Another said, no... a knee issue. Both used the same set of X rays. The third said, KNEE, but to be sure we have to see the orthopod.; on the 18th. . At present, he hops on 3 legs when he first gets up, but "works out of it" in a few minutes. It's a worry and I can't wait for a more definitive diagnosis. THEN we'll "gas him".

What's up with Monty and Katie. Is the twirl girl back or... ?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 11:43AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Well I just got back from HD looking for some small heucheras for a container Im putting together and we no sooner got in the car and the sky opened up again. Pouring rain here and it looks like its going to rain for a while. The pond we drained last weekend is full again! Jeesh.

Cynthia, beautiful, beautiful photos! Im so happy youve got a camera again. I had cut worms eating my plectranthus last year and they went after the coleus as well. The damage would happen at night and it took me weeks to figure out what was doing it. They eventually stopped but not through anything I did. Crossing my fingers here, Ive not seen any of that kind of damage this year.

Chelone, that Hydrangea completely encircles the base of the oak tree. ~~ I know what you mean about the baby plants not liking this weather at all. My plants that came from GlasshouseWorks were in poor shape to begin with and between the hail damage and this cold weather Im probably going to lose half of them. ~~ Sorry Wrecks has had lameness issues. I think that isnt uncommon with large dogs to have hip problems. Hope it can get resolved soon.

Babs, great to hear from you. I lol about the house purge and mothers amnesia. When Heather was around that age there was one time I had to clean her room out with a shovel and giant trash bags. Shed been told repeatedly that if it didnt get picked up it was going to the dump and I made good on the threat. I guess I was a mean mother.

I took some pics yesterday and this AM before the rains started and thought youd like to see a few photographs of whats happening here at the moment.

The containers by the front steps. Im liking this arrangement this year and cant wait for things to fill in a bit more. Im hoping I can get some nice growth out of that strobilanthes in the upper pot but if this weather doesnt get out of the 60s nothing much is going to happen with the tropicals.

The first roses of the season. I wasnt good about feeding them early on so they arent as large as they normally are for the first June roses but still pretty anyway.

The driveway garden has filled in nicely this year and Im going to have to divide some things in the fall to prevent crowding next year.

A closeup of those soft blue-violet iris. Im glad I took this photo because the rain has ruined them for today.

The terraces in the back

I just love Globemaster. My personal favorite of all the allium

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 12:16PM
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The wind is back. I am potting up containers today and keeping them in the relative shelter of the potting area. Maybe they will stay there all summer. At least they won't be ripped apart. Rick is pretty crabby with the wind too. He needs to continue spraying corn and its just too windy today.

Deanne, your containers look fabulous. I like they way you raise them with the cool pedestals. I believe I need to copy that idea.

Cynthia, what a sweet picture of Katie. It looks like a girly setting.

Babs, my DD went to a small private school with combined classrooms when she was in 5th thru 8th grade and it was good for her with lots of individual attention. In a small school, there are lots of opportunities to be involved even if you are the quiet type.

I'd better get back out there. It really takes some of the fun out of it when its so windy. Why do I live on the prairie????


    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 2:38PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all-another fly-by :)

Michelle-I've had mixed results putting the Bluestone plants straight into the beds-in no small part because I'm terrible about watering :( By the time I get any serious yard time in the spring, it's the middle of June, weeds are usually WAY out of control, so I just keep them on the porch, and that gives me all summer to figure out where everything is going. The exceptions are things that I don't seem to have much luck putting out in the fall, like Heucheras. So sorry about your containers..there has been some crazy weather all over the place this year. We had horrible winds..I think it was Thursday. One of the days I was trying to spread mulch. Eventually, I figured out how to pitch the stuff around and make the wind work for me.

Hm, Babs...don't know how I'd feel about a mixed class like that. I hate to see so many of the small schools phased out. It's happened a lot around here, and was a big loss.

Chelone, no we didn't get rained out. The front formed a line of rain just east of us. We heard thunder, but by time to light the fire, it was a gorgeous evening. Cool, clear and lots of stars.

Jim grilled steaks and salmon, steamed asparagus, fries, and we had a cucumber salad that I always make in the summer. Just cukes, onions and colored pepper with Italian salad dressing. My main contribution to the meal was the salad, and opening a couple of bottles of White Russians. Lol, life is just too good when you can just open your White Russian :) Must have been around 2:00 a.m. when we started packing it in. I'm officially old. I've been worthless all day from staying up so late, lol! And, it was a picture perfect day to work outside. Tomorrow is supposed to be, too, so better hit the rack early tonight and get at it tomorrow.

Jim's out rustling around in the kitchen, we're finishing off the salmon and cuke salad and calling it a day. He's been out side-dressing corn all day, so I should lend a hand.
Have a good one, all, and I'll talk to ya later!

PS..Bug, are the storms all over with for you yet??

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 6:57PM
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Wow Deanne, I just love the reflection in the bird bath - such an artistic eye :)

Babs, I am a victim of the split class - here's my take on it (please remember that I am telling it from a 9 y.o. point of view, I'd have to ask my mother what she thought): I had Mrs. Dismuke for the 3rd grade, summer came and went, and I found myself in her class again which was two groups of desks for 3rd and 4th grades. She did not like me, and I felt the same about her. I had a poem at one time that had a verse, "Misses Dismuke makes me puke" mom helped me make it up. She went to the school and got me transferred to another class. I remember nothing about the class except that I loved school/learning and she made it unpleasant.

I feel terrible for your situation. I have real heartaches over school and my kids. I want the very best. I am grateful that I live in a community with great public schools and parents that volunteer in every way.

Michelle, the prarie has always fascinated me. I do not like wind at all - my lips chap and my face turns bright red. The wind whipping my hair into my eyes drives me nuts! Do you have an un-windy season?

Cynthia, your fur kids have the best kennel I've ever seen...most dogs don't get to hang out in such a beautiful garden! I wish my vacuum were on the fritz - the dog hair tumbleweeds require constant attention.

Today was hard. I'll tell you, all I really want is some ME time back. Call me selfish, but I really need a lot of quiet time in order to be sane. Right now I have heavy demands and I am not getting my normal peaceful time and I am feeling pulled in all directions. I wish I had the energy to do everything expected of me with a smile on my face. I do know that I am blessed that I have a healthy, happy family, and that makes me feel bad that I can't seem to handle the extra pressure....

Jake fractured his ankle and since it's on the growth plate it's a bigger deal than usual. More trips to the orthopedist as well as the orthodontist, and now a therapist for me :) I just wanted to cry. Sarah had a birthday party at a skate rink, so Jake suggested that he could "free" skate while she had her party. I thought, "hmmm....a couple of free hours, I could shop for clothes since I have one outfit to wear." He called me with the music blarring to tell me of his injury....he couldn't hear me, so here I am in the store yelling like a weirdo into the phone (I HATE CELL PHONES), "I WILL BE THERE IN 15 MINUTES!!!" but he kept saying, "HUH?!?!?! (insert multiple interrobangs).....and the rest of the afternoon was spent in the ER since we missed our doctor's Urgent Care hours by minutes. this really going to make me stronger?

I know I missed lots of idyllers, but I smiled, nodded, and thought of all of you. I am happy to be back amongst friends.

'night all


    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:34PM
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What a beautiful day we had today. And it's supposed to continue through Wednesday. I won't have Bella for the next three days so I'm hoping to get some weeding done. Not my favorite chore, but I don't really mind it.

Michelle, we had that strong wind for two days. Living in the city it didn't get going enough to damage any plants but I just hate being out it it. Hope it dies down for you!

Deanne, I so enjoyed your pictures. Your garden is just lovely. Thanks.

Cynthia, how great to see Katie! Your garden pictures always leave me wanting to see more. I just want to get in there and explore all of those plants! I ran across some interesting pots of grasses today at the nursery. Since I already have my container gardens put together I could hear you talking in my ear saying to just put them in their own individual pots. So that's what I did. I have five new pots of grasses now!

Babs, my kids weren't in mixed classes but they did all go to private school and their classes were small. Their school was K-12 and their graduating classes were all around 50 students. I always liked the smaller school and classes and the individual attention they were all able to receive. I know you and Chris will figure out what's best for your boys. You're great parents. And please don't feel left out because you don't have time to post everyday. I'm always so happy when I do see your name and glad to catch up with what you've been up to! Oh, I've got some of those cuttings potted up to. I hope I get some blooms on the mother plant this year!

Chelone, good thoughts to Rex from me!

Saucy, I totally understand needing alone time. I'm just like that too. I think that's why I don't mind Brad working afternoon shift. I get my evenings to myself most of the time and I always look forward to a whole day I get to spend by myself. My kids call me 'the hermit', lol. Unbelievable that Jake's broken another bone. I'm so sorry to hear that.

Brenda, your dinner sounds so good. Can you tell I haven't had dinner and I'm hungry?

Honey, I'm glad to hear you can't resist more plants either, lol. Bummer about the bugs on the brugs. That's one problem I haven't had but I lost most of mine due to lack of watering over the winter.

Another slow and I like to think, polite driver here. I don't like doing expressways and try to avoid driving at night if at all possible too. Just point my car in the direction of the greenhouses and nurseries, lol.

Megan should be here to pick up Bella in about an hour and then it's bed for me. I need to get a few chores wrapped up around here between now and then so have a good evening.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 9:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning !

It's another lovely day and I know I'll not accomplish everything that needs doing...but at least some progress is bound to be made.

I'm caring for my friend's cats (at her house) while she's away: two 20lb fellows. So I drive over there twice a day to give them food and attention.

Yesterday friends came over to visit the farm and try out our nice Indian Restaurant in town. It seems to have passed inspection! DH and friend practiced on their guitars while the women folk studied flowers and spoiled Charlotte with a body rub. It may just turn out that they are able to care for Charlotte when we travel to Alberta. We'll soon find out if that is possible. Unfortunately there aren't too many clematis in bloom here yet.

I too have been thinking about Bab's problem with AJ's school. I went to a public school straight through to 8th grade. The continuity was good for me, even if the teachers varied in quality and the classes were 30 and above in size. Our kids went to a private French School which was strong academically, but weak on other activities, but at least they were good at what they were required to be and we could handle the music, sports, art, etc on our own. Their classes were always small.
My own mother attended a one room schoolhouse for a while before being sent to boarding school. She loved the one room school and spoke of it a great deal. She was miserable being sent away to school, but (later on) realized that her parents had no parenting skills, so that it was probably a good thing. My mother was a private person who loved learning until her dying day, so I think she would have excelled anywhere, in her own fashion.
Bab's, I'm confident you'll make a wise decision for AJ, no matter which way you go! There's no right or wrong.

Cynthia, I think that photo of Katie is marvelous. I agree with Eden about wanting to see more and more of the garden as well. Only one photo is a tease!

Deanne, super fab photos once more! I have similar iris. I'll try for a shot today to compare. Mine are called Silverado.

Hugs to Saucy! This is life I'm afraid my friend. So it's all in seeing the humor of it all. Keep looking for it!

Brenda, no storms or frost, this week at least! The corn is growing inch by inch, but the weeds are growing foot by foot...and I MUST attack them!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 7:27AM
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Good Morning, Beautiful day on tap here and Brad has the day off. It's so nice to have a whole day ahead with no obligations, plans for the day will include grilling, weeding and later, most definitely a bottle of wine.

Marie, I wish we could do our weeding side by side so we could pass the time chatting.

First order of business for today is going out to pick up one more bag of potting soil. I have some begonias that need repotting. I think I spend more on potting soil than most people do on plants, lol. Deanne, I bet you do too! I wonder if anything else will follow me home from the nursery???

Hope you all have a great day and have time to post something today since I'll have time to drop in here periodically and read. Be back later,


    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 8:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, this is Silverado-

And here is Baptisia...

Persicaria polymorpha with Sanguisorba Menziesii

Allium bulgaricum

Clematis Recta with lupines and poppies

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 8:49AM
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Tired, but satisfied! I spent the day deadheading roses, weeding perennials (yes, pulling them out like weeds), and even planted a clem, and a couple of other things that have been in the 'waiting room.'

My tiny avacado in the biggest pot I have! Check it in two months, I'm hoping it turns out gorgeous!

Goodnight from Monty, Dannie & Katie....

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lost my post...

Avocado? Looks like an artichoke to me Cynthia.

The sleek elegant doggies are top photo today, but those roses put on a marvelous show too. :)

Sleep tight all!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:40PM
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In my garden, many of the alliums are finished, except allium moly, christophii and oreophilum. Most of the roses have started along with the clematis. Theres something new to see each morning.

Saucy, we can have wind any time, but definitely not all the time. It just seems to do the most damage to the plants in spring. Our farm is somewhat open to the south and has a windbreak on the north and west sides, which helps immensely with the cold wind and snow in winter. Sorry to hear about the broken ankle. No fun to have just as the summer fun is beginning (no fun for mom either)

Im another who needs "me" time and I enjoy my solitude.

I just bought a new weeding tool Fiskars Big Grip Garden Knife. I usually use a bulb trowel to loosen the soil as to get the roots, I thought this might be easier on my hand.

How enjoyable to see Cynthias furbies and garden again and the lovely shots from bugs garden.

Im betting that Cynthia has an artichoke as well. Will she let it bloom or eat it????

Thats all from here.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 11:28PM
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Ha! Told you I was tired Grammabug. Artichoke/Avocado (and I didn't even spell it right.) I've napped and now sitting here with wet hair getting organized for tomorrow.

Deanne, your garden looks stunning as always, but I don't think I had noticed that trellis next to the front door before? Is that new, or it usually so covered in clems that I don't notice it?

GB, the thing about northern spring in gardens is that so many things bloom at once there that are spread out over months further south. My baptisia and alliums are long gone, but Persicaria polymorpha is just starting here while yours is in full glorius bloom! How does that happen? Your gardens always wow me, all that space, beautiful setting and gorgeous gardens.

Michelle, knife tool sounds smart, let us know if you give it the little gardener on the prarie seal of approval. I used a shovel in some spots today to get roots on stuff like ...oh darn can't remember the name of that awful weed with a root like a turnip. I think I'll just call everything 'avocado.' !

Eden, 5 pots of grasses?! Pictures would be best of course, but if no time for that do tell what you got! I love grasses in pots, glad you took me shopping with you.

Saucy, I don't have any clothes either. So I can just see you in that store when you'd rather be in the garden, and not being able to complete your mission. You do have a good sense of humor :) Hope Jake heals quickly, sounds like a complicated (meaning many visits) injury. Here's a link for you, tall as you are you need Lands' End for the 'pick your own inseam.'

Oh ick, look at the time and tomorrow's a work day!

Night all,


    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 12:46AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

I had a terrific weekend in the gardens and got a few more large containers potted up. Ill have to grab a photo of the container garden-garden. The brugs are growing like mad in their large pots and the salmon pink one I got from Mary is setting buds. I finally found a large urn to pot up my HUGE Lantana Tropical fruit. It was enormous at the end of last season and Id read you could overwinter them in the same manner as fuchsias so gave it a try. Well the good news is that is a true story. The plant sailed through the winter in great shape and I wanted to give it roomy accommodations so it could expand its horizons. Cant wait to see what it does in its new home. This is a pic of it from last July

Michelle, sorry you are still dealing with that wind. It would make me very cranky. ~~ Thanks! Ive been collecting pedestals for a long while now. Those square ones are actually planters I got at HD. ~~ So youre teasing us with the descriptions of whats going on in your gardens. Pics would be marvelous????

Saucy, good grief! Another broken bone to deal with???!!! What a bummer. So sorry. Sure hope he heals up really soon.

Eden, you are totally correct in that I buy and unbelievable amount of potting soil. Ive started getting very large bags of ProMix from Blue Seal. The bale is the size of a large bale of peat and is much less expensive than the Miracle Grow potting soil.

Bug, gorgeous, gorgeous pics!!! That iris does look a lot like mine. I bought that variety a long while ago before I started keeping track of varietal names. ~~ I cant believe your Persicaria polymorpha is in full bloom! Mine is budding up and will probably begin opening this week sometime but yours is way ahead of mine.

Cynthia, fabu eye-candy!!! Oh my, your gardens are so lush and bursting with color! Gorgeous and the lovely Greys are marvelous. ~~ That trellis by the front door was made for me special by my marvelous DH!! Doug is such a clever man. I drew him a picture and he figured out how to make it for me. What a guy!

OK Im burning daylight and have to get a move on here. Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 8:57AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Fly by! Just popped in to say hi! I'm getting some of the pot ghetto stuck in the ground today. And, pondering the big questions of life.....was I more let down by the series finale of Seinfeld, or the Sopranos?? That'll teach me to get all wrapped up in a show, lol!

Saucy, I'm really sorry to hear about Jake's ankle :( How do they deal with a break on the growth plate?

I need to get back to work..have a good day, all!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 5:09PM
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Hi everyone

A quick peek from me too - crazy busy here with end of year activities. Lots to tell y'all about when things calm down.

Our big excitement today was taking delivery of the double bass David will be playing in school next year. He'll continue with classical guitar privately but will have a lesson and orchestra each week with the bass. Although only a 1/4 size instrument it is enormous! and has a wonderful deep tone. We've all had fun playing it and David is already sounding proficient on Twinkle Twinkle and some jazzy pizzicato.

Saucy - how rotten about Jake's ankle. Does that mean not swimming this summer?

Deanne - I'm loving the photos and can't wait to see your lantana by the end of this summer. I buy those big bales of pro-mix and actually prefer it to any other. It's great having one on hand for any spontaneous potting up.

Cynthia - your greys are the most elegant addition to any garden and makes yours even more refined:0) I have a cardoon that is in its 4th year - I can;t wait to see it bloom.

GB - what lovely shots from you - some of my favorite flowers. My persicaria polymorpha was really battered in the latest storms:0( How many days to go?!

Michelle - how are your knees and hands feeling? Let us know how the knife works out.

Babs - much to ponder on with AJ's class situation. I'll throw my 2 cents in as soon as I have some time. meanwhile, enjoy your summer!

Need to run as things still to do before bed. A big wave to all I missed


    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 8:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A busy busy time, but I'd like to share photos of my neighbours for Father's Day-

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 9:24PM
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A gracious good evening from the left coast. We are certainly having mild weather here-OK by me. I dont care much for heat. This past weekend I did lots of weeding and clean-up , so things look pretty good right now. I guess I need to take some pics. I have lots of dahlias and daylilies opening up right about now.
I had yet another dentist appt today (I asked them when I was going to get my own personal parking space) and they did the pink goop mouth mould. My two dentists are going to rendezvous and come up with my plan, and a financing program. Looks like Im in for a few implants and some bridge work. There go the new windows for the backside of the house. Oh well.

Cynthia, wonderful pics of your roses and the greys. So elegant they are !

bug, loved your posting of the libretto from Carousel. I keep the soundtrack from the film version in my car and listen to it often. I used to play the LP to death when I was a little girl-along with the Broadway cast album of My Fair Lady.

Deanne, some of your containers actually look farther along than mine do ! I guess its possible to catch up in the zone wars ! I think some plants react with a bigger "burst" when they live in a colder winter climate.

Saucy, hope things settle down for you a bit !

Michelle, I wonder if your Fiskars knife is similar to a tool that I am pondering . There is a Japanese name for it that I cant remember but it is shaped like a slim trowel but with serrated edges.

Okay, this is all for me tonite.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 11:41PM
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Quickie hello.

I've just finished reading 2 days worth of Idylls... the cable repair guy is coming today to find out why it is becoming increasingly difficult to get on-line (takes several tries).

We have footings as of yesterday morning.

I spent the day weeding the front bed and carfully cleaned out around the Hydrangeas. The Tokyo delights have some buds on them, but the Nikko was insufficiently protected and is "toast" for another year. That'll "learn me"!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 5:34AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning everyone!

Another day where they are threatening rain here but as long as it doesnt come with hail I dont care. Yesterday the weather channel flashed on the Severe Thunderstorm Warning on the bottom of the screen with the beeping thing and said there was a storm in the area that had 60MPH winds and penny sized hail. Eeeeeekkkkkk!!!! I flipped out. The plants are just recovering from the last hail damage and couldnt face another round. Well, it missed us thank heavens. I went over to Lake Street Gardens yesterday and they still have a nice selection of tender plants in their greenhouses. I picked up a couple hyacinth bean plants, cuphea, a really nice Acalpha, Ipomoea Blacky, some ivies a variegated morning glory vine and a couple salvias. The only problem with the tender plants in the greenhouse is that they pretty much all had spider mites, especially the cuphea so I had to take them all home and hose them off and spray with miticide.

Honey, I dont know if you remember the neat wire basket I found at Home Goods a couple years ago? Anyway I finally made a liner for it and got it planted. I found that sweet upright fuchsia at HD last weekend and of course it leapt into my cart. Im loving it in that basket.

Here is a shot of the Container Garden from yesterday. I think there are about 25 pots in there now. I cant wait until this really fills in. The exciting thing is that both of those brugs are already setting LOTS of buds. I guess its really worth keeping over the large, mature plants.

Chelone, congratulations on getting your footings in. It must feel like you are making progress. Bummer about the Nikko. I cant even consider growing them here except as a foliage plant LOL. Sorry Ive not made it up your neck of the woods yet but with Dougs surgery Ive needed to be home (he has a real difficult time doing the eyedrops by himself) and hes having the other done next week. I WILL get up there as soon as I have a day available.

Kathy, what a bummer about needing so much work in your mouth! I swear one could buy a nice car for what it costs for major dental work. DD is going through having to have an implant and crown right now and the price tag for that one tooth is staggering. ~~ On a happier note, Im looking forward to seeing new pictures of your gardens. I was thinking of you yesterday when I was taking photographs of my pansies which still look pretty good. They dont really toast up here until July or so.

Bug, marvelous photographs! Those boys are as cute as it gets.

Mary, how great to hear from you! Its so terrific that your children are so involved with music. I cant wait to visit again and have a concert.

OK time to be off this computer and get to the gym.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:10AM
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Good morning! It is a cold 39° here this morning, so I cranked up the heat to 74 in the house when DH went off to work. I'll probably get too hot and have to turn on the a/c later... ;o)

Nothing new here -- same ole, same ole stuff. We had to have the vet out last night to lance a goat's cheek because of a large abscess. We did ask the vet if he visits others' goats as often as he has to 'visit' ours and he said 'not usually---you guys have just had a run of bad luck with them'. We were questioning what in the world we're doing wrong (thinking that others may let the goat die of 'lead poisoning' instead of calling out and paying a vet when they become ill? or are we just buying sickly goats). Vet said as he drove off "well, take care and maybe I'll see you another time" and our reply was "with our horse, goats and luck? Yeah, you'll see us again." A good laugh all the way around. The goat seems to be doing well--he's got a hole in his cheek big enough to put your finger tip into and we're to irrigate it out daily with salt water.

I love having animals.


So...yep, I live an exciting life----watching g'babies and waiting for the vet. What else would I do with my time? ;o)

I've been loving the pics of the containers here and seeing everyone's gardens burst out in beauty. I was very pleased with the flowers I do have blooming so far this year, but haven't planted anything new. I hope to get lots of bulbs in the ground this fall along with some shrubs.

Well, boring post but just wanted to check in instead of just lurking reading every few days. Norma hasn't posted for quite awhile....I hope all is well in her life.

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Got up at 5:30 and did some weeding. Hardly made a dent. :( Tied up a few clematis and have the sprinker going. Dry Dry Dry here.

Off to check on the BIG cats and feed them. Their owners return tonight.

Just read about sextuplets born in Arizona. Now THAT's a job I don't think I'd ever be able to prepare for! 3 boys, 3 girls.

Well, this from DD:
Have I ever mentioned how great DH is? He spoils me rotten. I'm so lucky! I wish everyone could experience a relationship as perfect as the one I'm in. :)

19 days~.....

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:45AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Another drive-by on my way outside. I've got a pile of mulch on the west side of the house to spread, and want to do it while it's still shady over there. Supposed to be in the mid 80's here today.
Just had to comment on some pics. 'Bug, those boys are just adorable :) I especially like the one of them at the fence..too cute!

Deanne, your containers just blow me away! Lol, it's all I can do to keep a pot of petunias alive and deadheaded. Can't imagine the time you spend tending and watering. Just beautiful, every one of them!!

T-sorry to hear of the bad luck with the goats. Lol, your life sounds just about as exciting as mine, actually MORE exciting because I don't have twins to tend to. Every dull day is a good day, in my book ;) Around here it seems that excitement=crisis, and I can do without!

Time to get moving. The pitchfork looks awful lonely stuck in that big pile of mulch.

Have a good day, all!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:46AM
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Warm and windy here today. Its hard to get nice garden pictures when everything is horizontal and battered. Well, not every plant takes it so badly, but some do. You should see my ES hydrangea's foliage.

Deanne, a package is on its way to you. The fuchsia basket is gorgeous. Your containers are looking so good already. Mine are pretty sparse and scrawny. You have some of the most wonderful containers.

bug, how nice that your DD is so happy. Gosh I still feel that way after 10 years with Rick. Cute pictures of the boys.

Kathy, the tool you are thinking of is probably a hori hori. Basically the same thing, but most I have seen have a wood handle, this is rubber and appears to be fairly comfy and it was only $10. It appears to be very sturdy.

Mary, thanks for asking. Im doing fine, just making a few adjustments in the way I do things. Id love to see a picture of David with his new instrument.

I really havent had time to weed lately. Last night was spent mowing. Tonight we need to clear out the kitchen cabinets, as the new countertops will be installed tomorrow. Saturday I did all the containers and ended up with around 35. Some are combos and some are solo plantings.

I received the $100 check today and a copy of the magazine that my container was in. Hmmm, what to spend it on.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 4:29PM
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Footings have passed inspection, the forms for the walls are now in place and the pour will occur tomorrow morning. After that inspection the excavation guy will come back and finalize the site's drainage and begin backfilling the foundation. Time for me to get crackin' on selecting garage doors.

Mum's new hearing aids are in and I will pick them up and pay for them tomorrow or the next day. Then I'll gather up the financial things, put a "care package" together for her enjoyment and go for a visit (I have to assess her wardrobe). Maybe to a nursery/garden center and some lunch out or ice cream?

I finished up some cushions at work, and am now working on a gazebo cover. It's busy and my boss is still edgy.

The containers look terrific, Deanne. The helpmeet looked over my shoulder at the "group shot" and said, "Wow, looks like a garden center display... where are the price tags?". :)

I wonder when Saucy will resurface and give us more details on young Jake... my first boyfriend suffered a broken femur when he was in 7th. grade (hot dog on skis!), it affected the growth plate, too. But he mended well and was none the worse for wear years later (was wiser on skis, though!). I'll bet he's sore and disappointed about the coming summer. A kiddy pool and one of those low beach chairs should lift his spirits and keep him cool. Bummer.

Great photos from everyone. Rex "disappears" the way Katy does when he retreats to the shadows. I have to go now... I'm tired.

The new modem has increased speed and ease of access to "America's information highway" greatly. A relief.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 6:08PM
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Only 4 lilies, 3 sedums and 2 clematis left in the pot ghetto! Lots of planting has been going on here the last few days. Brad also built me a new bed and now I'm busy painting it. I saw a bed I liked in the Pottery Barn catalog with storage underneath, it had baskets though and I wanted doors so we modified it.

Saucy, when Brad was 15 he broke his ankle and they were afraid it would affect the growth plate too. He was horsing around the night before Halloween and jumped over a tall chainlink fence around a cemetery. I think he was jumping out and he came down on the street curb and crushed his ankle. The reason I'm telling you how it happened is so you'll know that all boys do stupid stuff and break bones and they still grow up to be responsible men, so don't worry! Like Chelone's friend his break mended fine. Hope you and Jake are doing ok?

Chelone, so the garage project is in full swing now. Do we get to see pictures as it progresses?

Deanne, beautiful container garden! And those brugs too! My containers are starting to fill in. I should get some pictures. I just need to find the time. I love the basket too. So pretty!

Cynthia, what a great pictures of the pups! I saved that one! Also I enjoyed seeing some more glimpses of your garden. The grasses you talked me into buying for the pots are 4 sedges, red rooster, prairie fire, bronco, amazon mist and a pot of strawberries and cream ribbon grass.

Marie, I love that allium bulgaricum! Those boys are so cute. Are they the same family you showed us pictures of last year? It's so great that your dd is so happy! Like Michelle, even after 29 years I feel lucky to have Brad too!

Mary, the BIG bass for David huh? That's very cool!

Michelle, I'd probably spend the check on a special tree, shrub or plant as a reminder of winning the contest. Let us know what you decide to get. Isn't it about time for a new Kenzie pic to be posted?

Hi T! I like it when my life's uneventful too! I know you're having fun with those grandbabies! Hope the goat's ok and the vet stays away for a long time!

Brenda, so did you get all of the mulch spread. I hate that job but it always looks so nice when it's finished that it's worth it.

Kathy, too bad about the dental work and especially the $$$!

I'm posting a link to the bed we took our idea from. When I get mine finished I'll take a picture for you to see too. I'm still searching for something to use for a headboard.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 7:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi Idylls!

I'm so tired today. The heat was up to 90F here and I've been dragging the hose for days it seems.

This morning DH investigated cars on the web...and I think he'll be getting a Honda FIT ordered tomorrow. I was the color consultant: Very little choice. I chose "Storm" (gray) while he chose red. I'm no fan of red, but I'll allow him his "over 65 crisis". I'll get to keep the antique van, so unless it up and dies immediately, that will be my first car ever. Then before lunch he went to work...I thought! Instead he came home in a Honda to test drive it. So we went around for a half hour to see if it was OK. There were a few things that we had to ask about, but everything seems OK except for the clearance, which is a problem with any of the small cars. Anyway, not every day this family gets a new car!

In the afternoon DH had a doctor's appointment and was kept waiting over an hour while the doctor arranged his summer holiday! Good grief.

Well of course I'm delighted by DD's happiness, but I think it was accentuated by the fact that she saw her former BF the other day when collecting her GPS system he had not returned last Fall. She says she was hit by this wall of angry, unhappy, uncomfortable energy from both him and his roommate. They never made eye contact. She wondered why she ever dealt with it for so long, and is very happy that she got out of that relationship! I think having lived through a poor situation helps people to appreciate the kind and good.

I knitted a bit, then began more watering after dinner. Some of the mini trees we planted seem to be very stressed, but others are looking OK. I fear when we go out west that things won't be watered and I'll return to a very discouraging sight. But all for a good cause!

And YES! I want to see progress at Chelone's!!!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I like that bed a lot Eden! I even like the baskets, but the cats would demolish them here. Looks pretty useful to me. I'm sure you guys will make a wonderful room with this, knowing your taste! Isn't it great that Brad is so multi-talented!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 10:04PM
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Best wishes to T for the continuation of an uneventful lifestyle; eps. with regard to caprine capers. ;) I'm with Eden, I'm all for "uneventful", too.

Love the bed, Eden... I would want doors on that stuff, too. It rather reminds me a "Captain's bed" on a boat (except your's doesn't have sides to keep you from rolling out of it in rough conditions, any chance that could prove useful?). Can't wait to see the final product. I saw two of those nifty moulded metal chairs at a junk shop last week and immediately thought of your pink one. So clever.

Mary, how come you hardly ever see a girl playin' the double bass? When I was a kid, Mr. Greenjeans on Cap't. Kangaroo used to play the double bass, except he always held it like a guitar, lol. Double bass always reminds me of the smooth as silk, drivin' Kansas City ryhthm section of the Count Basie band... as the Count used to describe it, "pat your foot". Or... the magnificent building introduction of the Ode to Joy in the 4th. movement of the Ninth Symphony. (The helpmeet plays bass... the "plug in" kind ;) ).

I can't wait to see what Michelle selects for her winnings. Something that will look great in the wind, huh? I would love to hear the story behind that wonderful urn, too. (hint).

And just remembered I wanted to tell Cynthia that the urn in her last shot (with the dancing Muses) is "to die for". Antique, real or fake? Just beautiful.

Have to shove something into my craw, pack some later on vittles and get about the day's toil. Have a pleasant day, my friends. And I'll get some shots together... still looks pretty rough around here.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 5:12AM
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Good morning

Early one here for me - I just can't seem to get caught up on laundry to I decided to bite the bullet and get up early to run a few loads. We were that desparate! It still feels like a race to the finish getting through these last few days. Yesterday was a retirement party for one of the ladies I supervise. I think we gave her a good send off - we had a drop in lunch for anyone in the building to wish her well. I made a chopped salad with a great salsa verde dressing that was perfect for a 90F day. We all swam blissfully for an hour after school before starting homework and music practice.

While ahead of the game I'm going to try to put in an hour on paperwork before getting everyone up.

Deanne - you have elevated a pot ghetto to dizzying heights! Stunning!!

T- I could do with some "uneventful" right now so enjoy:0)

Eden - fabulous bed. What color is yours going to be?

Have a great one everybody


    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 5:39AM
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A few foxglove pictures - they are a little soft but give the general impression. I think I fell in love with foxgloves as a child reading Beatrix Potter, especially the Tale of Jemima Puddleduck. I let them seed everywhere and particularly enjoy the whites.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 6:48AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

I woke up at 4:00AM today and could not get back to sleep. Of course it didnt help that Rahjii decided to purr and march on me for a half an hour until I got up. Oh well, I can always nap later on if I get sleepy. Maybe. Ive never been one to sleep in the daytime unless Im pretty sick. ~~ I think I only have a couple more containers to pot up here and then I can turn my attention back to the gardens. Im at the point where I think Ill just stuff all the leftover plants in a pot and call it a season. LOL Im thinking of putting a very large hanger on one of the trees in the back and I was wondering if anyone has a supplier for a really heavy duty bracket??? I want to put up at least an 18" hanging basket there and that is going to weigh a ton.

Thanks everyone! So happy you like the container garden-garden. Chelone!!! LOL about it looks like it needs price tags. The neighbors ask me that frequently. The pots will hardly show in a month or so when the plants fill in.

Mary, I dont know how you keep up with work, house, music lessons etc. etc. etc. let alone laundry. It amazes me what you can accomplish in a day. ~~ I just LOVE the foxglove pictures! How lovely and isnt that your Buddleia in the background of the second pic? Your gardens are beautiful!

T. nice to hear from you. So sorry the animals are still having problems. Thats a bummer! How about some pics of the boys?

Eden, I love the bed! Cant wait to see the finished product. ~~ How about some photos of the gardens and containers????

Bug! Wow, you are going to finally have your own car!!! Thats great!

Here is a photo of the terrace gardens I snapped from the second floor yesterday. There isnt a whole lot blooming except for the Salvia May Night and alliums but the foliage is still so fresh looking this time of the year.

OK time to get myself motivated and get to the gym.
Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 6:58AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning all!
It's a beautiful morning, so I decided to actually get up when the alarm went off at 5:30. I was falling into the habit of shutting it off and going back to sleep. I need to get up and outside while it's still cool out.

Kathy, sorry to hear about the implants. I got one a couple of years ago. Going through it was no picnic, but I'm really happy with it. My dentist and oral surgeon had a few lunch meetings to discuss the plan of attack. They went to The Boat House...a restaurant I've never been to. I'd have to give up too many plants to be able to afford to eat there, lol! It's a lot of money, but like I said, I'm happy with the tooth. Mine is pretty much right up front, and you'd never know it isn't a real tooth. But I sure did get sick of going to the dentist-they didn't give me my own parking space either!

'bug, it's so nice to hear that your DD is so happy :) After 15 years, I still know that Jim is "my lobster", and we're as happy as the day we wed. Not that there aren't days when I'd like to bean him one, but I'm sure he feels the same way sometimes. Only 19, no, make that 18 exciting!!! New baby and a car-YAY! Had to laugh when you said he wants red....we've been talking about buying a different vehicle for me, and all I asked was that it not be a pickup truck (we now have 3) and that it not be red-two of the three trucks are red, and the car I had when I married Jim was red. We won't buy anything new, but different is new to me!

Michelle-it seems like this is the year of the big winds. It seems like it's been windy forever, and very little rain here. I feel a little guilty watering the flowers and looking at the fields that could use a drink. I bet the corn is going to have roots to China this year. Good time for it to be dry, though. Those long roots will be a good thing during the heat of July and August! New exciting! I'd love to do something different with ours. I've painted them twice...yes, you can paint countertops, but only when you know the only other alternative is to rip them out and buy new ones. The main reason we haven't done anything with ours is fear of what will happen when we try to take out the old ones. You can't pick up a paintbrush in this old house without it turning into a major renovation.
You have fun spending that $100!!

Chelone, sounds like the garage is coming right along, how cool! So, will the nursing home be reimbursing you for the new hearing aids?

Eden-WOW-you've got your pot ghetto whittled down to almost nothing! So, are you going to buy more plants?? Lol, I'd feel lost if there wasn't something sitting on the porch waiting to be planted!
I love that bed! Great place to stash reading material! I've always got a pile of books and magazines on my side of the bed. I can't fall asleep without reading.

Got most of the mulch spread. I'm down to the point where I need to pitch the excess onto the wheelbarrow and cart to move it to some of the tighter places. Jim's really good about doing that for me. I think he learned to use a pitchfork as soon as he could walk, and he makes pretty short work of it. Most places, there were big enough empty spots that he could back the dumptruck up and make a big pile for me to spread. Now, it's just a matter of picking up the last of the piles and distributing it. Guess my next task is to figure out how I'm going to edge the beds. Seems like a long way to go with a shovel. My MIL has one of those little tillers, and I'm wondering how that would work.

Mary-thanks for the link. The salad sounds great! Perfect for summertime. Love your foxgloves! I think I'm ready to try them again. I've never had a lot of luck with them, but I love them so, I just gotta keep trying!

Deanne, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has a bed with nothing blooming. If it weren't for the larkspur, the stump bed would be pretty much all greenery. This is always my "dead time", just waiting for something to be spectacular. I think Jim and I have come to an agreement on the larkspur. It can seed itself (up to a point) if he will not wander all over the place tossing seeds. Maybe I'm too much of a control freak, but from what I've seen, I think keeping them in one general area might be prudent.

Okay, gotta go do the bend and twist, and then get outside to work. Have a good day, all, and 'bug I hope you get a good rain soon. Dragging the hose around is.....well, a drag ;)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 7:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woke up at 3:30 (???) and GOT up at 5:30. The cats were roaring about and making noises. They found a shoe box with tissue paper inside and had to root about inside it . DH sleeps through that kind of stuff but not me.

So out I went to start the sprinkler. Then tied up 4-5 clematis that were out of control, then planted up three containers. Still lots to plant. I feel everything must be in the ground and well watered before we leave.

This has been firefly weather: hot and muggy. I just love watching them and the stars at night. We've also enjoyed the bluebirds nesting along our laneway.

Goodness, how can I be tired already? Maybe breakfast will push me forward.

It is so nice to hear that Chelone's helpmeet plays base! Honestly, Idylls are a wonderful musical bunch! I wish Brad, Ric, Mary, Deanne, Helpmeet and others would have a JamminUnion sometime when I can come!

Mary, my Buddleia alternifolia died mysteriously a few years ago and I cried. I've never seen one for sale since! I NEED ONE!

May the 13th be your lucky day!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 7:56AM
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Bug - I'm with you. Quite a bit has been accomplished including my day's watering but I too am starting to feel tired. Time for more coffee!! (I've had two breakfasts already). Yes, Buddlea Alternifolia is a wonderful plant and I would miss mine enormously.

Brenda - I also always read before going to sleep and have a pile of books at the read for nocturnal wakenings.

David has been playing bass day and night with guitar fitted inbetween. In fact he is playing now in his PJs. He is giving a recital on Saturday with 3 classical guitar pieces, one of them quite difficult. However, he has a perfomers temperament and loves to play to people so I won't need to feel nervous.

Well, enough of me for one morning - I'm off to work.


PS We drive a red car:0)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 8:33AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Quick drive-by today - I've been reading along, but not much time for posting. Things are busy here with the end of the school year. Last day is one week from tomorrow! I'm looking forward to it too, I'm getting tired of the morning rush hour at my house!

Loving the foxgloves Mary!

Saucy, so sorry about Jake. My DD's friend had a fracture that involved the growth plate, she missed a soccer season but she is fine now.

T, good to "see" you and yes, some pics of those boys are in order please!

'bug, so nice to hear that your DD is doing well and counting down! How exciting!

For Deanne: I have purchased a hayrack and a hanging basket from this company, the quality is good.

Must run now, duty calls!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 10:01AM
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I talked to DD on the phone last night and she was telling me how when she takes Kenzie outside all she wants to do is collect flowers. Even if they go to the park, shes more interested in flowers. Of course the "flowers" are dandelions and other "wildflowers" LOL My dad who is big on nicknaming the gkids has give her the new one of "Energizer Bunny"

We have a 90% chance of rain today, which is needed. Weve been having temps in the mid to upper 80s and wind.

We were up until 1 a.m. cleaning out the lower cabinets, moving appliances and unhooking the sink.

My parents are contemplating selling the family home and buying a ranch :o( I hate the thought of it, but am trying to be supportive of their desire to downsize and have fewer steps. They have lived there for over 40 years and its a beautiful craftsman style home with oak floors, french doors, fireplace and many memories.

Chelone, are you referring to the container that I posted on the container thread? It was a clearance item from Walmart. I second the request for garage progress pictures.

Brenda, theres a gal on the decorating forum that just painted her countertops and it looks great. I have larkspur that self-seed in one area, but mine arent blooming yet.

bug, I agree with your DH on the red. Of course Im a fan of anything that isnt dark because of the gravel road we live on. My white car doesnt show dust nearly as much as DH dark gray pickup does.

Mary, I love your foxgloves. I grew some from seed this year and just planted them out last night. Id love to see more of your garden.

Deanne, I had a container last year that I put all the leftovers in and I just always thought of that pot as looking like a clown threw up LOL

Eden, that Brad is so talented. My DB builds a lot of furniture. He likes the mission style and has built most of their furniture.

Im thinking the $100 should go towards a fountain. When and if we ever get a new front walk and curve it away from the garage, we will have a larger planting area and Im thinking a fountain there.

Enjoy your day

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 11:59AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Michelle, I think putting the $$ toward a fountain is a terrific idea! Water features of any kind really add so much to the landscape. ~~ That will be a difficult time for you and your parents when they sell their home. It's hard to let go of places that carry so many memories. ~~I ROTFLOL!!!! 'Like a clown threw up' Love the 'visuals' on that.

Thanks Wendy for that link. I've actually bought from Kinsman frenquently and like you love their product. My reservations about their brackets is that they don't give a weight rating. ~~ So how is that new garden growing??

Bug I simply cannot believe it is hot and muggy up in Canada and here it is 55 degrees out and I'm wearing a turtle-neck shirt with a sweat shirt. ~~ I'm getting tired now as well but I had a strenuous workout at the gym. I hadn't done my ab workout for a couple weeks and today I did the whole routine with the 500 crunches then I spent an hour on the stairs. Between that and waking up at 4 I'm really out of energy at the moment. Even my Starbucks 'Black-eye' isn't perking me up.

Brenda, one of the reasons I love my 'Nora Leigh' phlox is because that variegated foliage really sparkles the bed up regardless of what is blooming. My rugosa standard is opening up some flowers on the right end of that middle bed and the standard fuchsia is also just about to open up tons of flowers so that will perk things up in a couple days.

OK, time to have some lunch and get a couple things accomplished here.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 12:28PM
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Brrr! I'm with Deanne! it's COLD here (low 50s, with the wind right off the water).

They poured the walls today and the forms come off tomorrow (I think). I've accounted for all cats so none of them have "cement shoes". 3 were indoors when I got home and one was very eager to get inside.

Lovely shots of gardens, everyone. I love foxgloves, too, but my experience with them wasn't very successful and I weeded out the next generation... they won't be on my list again anytime soon. I'll just enjoy Mary's. :)

I've just spent a rather frustrating 1/2 hr.+ with Verizon... going through endless "menus", listening to endless options, and FINALLY getting a voice (with an accent so thick I couldn't understand her and asked to be transferred to someone else). I was finally transferred to engineering and was AT LAST able to get the spec.s required to bury a telephone line. But the mission is accomplished! Now I'm waiting to speak with the cable office, where I left a voice mail.

I think it's time to lie down for bit. (after I put on my wool socks and slippers!).

How very exciting that 'bug will have her own wheels. Watch out! Cha Cha Muldowny is on the loose. I've never had the option of selecting the color of my car, come to think of it. Red sounds rather exciting for a Grampy. ;)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 4:47PM
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It's a hot one here today. I've been moving the water sprinkler around the gardens all day. I'm also trying to clean up around the inside, my mom and dad are coming down Friday for my niece's graduation openhouse on Sat. They'll be here through the middle of next week. Jennifer and her fiancee close on their house tomorrow. They won't be moving in for a month or so because they're redoing the kitchen and bath first. She wants me to come over Saturday morning and look over the gardens. I'm excited that one of my kids will finally have a permanent place to start gardening and she seems very interested too!

It'll be a while before I finish painting the bed. It's in 3 pieces and I have the first piece mostly finished but no painting goes on when Bella's here so it'll be a slow process. I liked the look of the baskets too Marie, but the my cats would like them more. With doors I think it will look less cluttered too. LOL Chelone, my house is about the size of a houseboat, so I'm always looking for ways to add storage. You're right, it does resemble a captains bed. Mary, I'm painting it 'cottage white".

Deanne, the terrace garden is looking good. Nice and filled in, just the way I like 'em! I like Nora Leigh too. I think I buy most plants more for their foliage rather than their flowers these days.

Michelle, Oh I like the idea of a fountain. We put one in a couple of years ago, just a cheap one from Home Depot, but it really does add a lot to the garden. LOL on the Energizer Bunny nickname for Kenzie. That one would work for Bella too!

Mary, I love the white foxgloves. Nice to see pictures of your gardens! They're beautiful! I'm catching up on laundry today too.

Brenda, NO I'm NOT going to buy more plants. If I'm tempted I can just buy them for dd Jenni's garden :)

Chelone, hope the visit with your mum goes well!

Bella's asking for an afternap snack so I guess I'll go slice her up an apple, her favorite snack food for the time being (unless she can talk me into a cookie which she always tries to do). She's getting the apple though :)


    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 5:05PM
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Meant to mention that one of our cars is red too. The other's silver. Congrats on the new car Marie!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 5:11PM
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Spent better part of the day (9 to 2) carting Katie to Neurologist and back. Picking up and returning x-rays. It's an only an hour away, but I wish I had taken my camera, it looked like Michelle's Iowa! Corn fields and cows and so soothing, just wonderfully peaceful out there. Who would imagine a state of the art neuorology facility at the end of a mile and a half driveway in the middle of farm country.

I stopped at a place called Meadow Farms on the way home, and Katie enjoyed greeting and sucking up to people at the garden center, but she was really tired so I couldn't do a complete tour. I picked up a sedum angelina and a muhlenbergia capillaris (both huge) in gallon pots for 8.99 each. Very good price for Maryland. I tried the muhlenbergia a few years ago, planted three small ones in fall and they didn't make it.

I was beat when I got home, and wanted to address a wild area that needs some digging but never got out there. 20 minutes ago I decided to take Katie and Monty for a short walk - that's all they're allowed - but the skies opened up and the thunder was fearsome. Instead I decided to take a bath.

Unfortunately, the tub was already taken:

Dannie has made great progress with her thunder phobia in just a year, but it still frightens her and she has several safe places. The tub is one of them :-) (those are her muddy footprints in there by the way, not mine!)

GB, the photos of your neighbors seem like a different place and time. They are wonderful! Congrats on having your own wheels whenever you need them.

Deanne, your container garden is glorious! You are such a perfectionist, you must pick those pots over daily? And what a great use of a bench you never sit on anyway :) That HG wire pot with fuschia is just perfect combo.

Mary, I just love foxgloves too, and yours are beautiful. They are such good seeders. I started some of the camelot series this year but they're still in they're pots on the patio waiting for me to plug them in the ground.

Michelle, I think you should bribe one of your co-workers with that $100 and take off for the Idyllunion in July. It is so neat that Kenzie loves flowers like her grandma does. Does gardening skip generations?

T, when I was out in the 'country' today I was enjoying handmade signs in front of farms. One said 'small donkey for sale.' And I thought of you! Another said 'BGE, don't cut these trees'. (BGE is the utility company.)

Chelone, I wonder if the Verizon person was in India or Mexico. All of that 'customer service' stuff is outsourced globally now.

Eden, that's amazing that Brad is going to build you the custom bed. No wonder you kept him! Agree nice doors will be even better instead of open cubbies. But if you left the cubbies open you could put florescent lights in and start seeds! Ok, a little messy with the kitties I guess :-)

I am hungry and haven't snacked today, so with the dark cool, I guess I'll check the freezer for something to warm up. Steel cut oatmeal might be nice and easy. Yes, I buy it prepared and frozen!

As always, I'm behind and forgot what I really wanted to say! But read every word over the past few days and completely enjoy what everyone shares. Hi Wendy, Brenda, Kathy, Saucy & everyone else I've missed.

Best, Cynthia

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 6:33PM
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Hi everyone, happy Wednesday ! Its a hot one here today so I came home from work and started watering. I bought more plants today- I was up at one of my employers facilities that has a garden center. One cannot resist the attractive employee discount..
Deanne. I think we need a weekly shot of that container area-Ill bet it changes a lot in just a few days. Im still working on getting all mine planted.

Michelle-yes, hori-hori ! thats it. I have access to a company in Berkeley that sells these , and I can get my employee discount. We buy Japanese back-saws from them.

Very cool bed Eden !

Mary, love the foxglove I used to grow that every year without fail-it actually perennializes here . I really need to figure out a spot for some. They need to be in at least part shade here. I love the Digitalis lutea too, with the soft yellow flowers.I printed the salad recipeits similar to one that I like to make in summer, it has black beans , cucumber and fresh jalapenos in it as well.

Brenda- I hope my dentists arent lunching to discuss my teeth! Napa has a very large population of excellent restaurants. You could come on vacation here for two weeks and not hit them all. I did buy my Sonic Care toothbrush this week, recommended by my dentist. He told me If I am going to spend the $$s on implants I need to commit to upgrade my dental hygiene. Even though I have been flossing for years there seems to be something about my mouth chemistry that creates problems for me. We all have our crosses to bear I guess !

Whats up with that weather there Chelone ? Sounds like the Northern Calif coast where 70 degrees is a heat wave ! God, I just hate that off-shore phone bank stuff.

Cynthia, your bathing beauty shot is just priceless.

Must be off, I need to pay attention to the ballgame !

See ya !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 11:44PM
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Happy Flag Day everyone!

The whole thing with Verizon really bothered me. The heavily accented woman was Hispanic. IMO, she did everything right (and I told her so!), but I really had to struggle to understand the words of my native language. I found myself repeating things to make sure I understood what she told me. After 5 minutes of it, I simply told her the call was taking too long for BOTH of us and would she please transfer me to another operator. I thanked her for her patience and told her that while her English was excellent the lilt and cadence of her native accent was difficult for me follow with out being able to see her speak. Why is that large companies fail to understand the frustration of their customer base when they run into this sort of thing? (they don't care!).

I felt so sorry for poor Dannie in the bathtub! The Springer we had was bothered by thunder, too. Rex is generally OK, but if it's a particularly strong storm he gets a little weirded out, too. He likes to stay close to us; is happiest lying down with my foot idly rubbing his side intermittently. The cats don't care.

The air conditioning on my car has a leak. I find out today how much it will cost to get that repaired. While I don't use it much day to day, I will need it for the BIG TRIP. ;)

They'recalling this weather pattern a "Maritime air mass". I call it cold. And raw. It's 39 degrees in Houlton (very northern Maine)! It's supposed to clear up some today and get a little warmer. Good thing, we're putting up the awnings today if the weather holds. Last year they were up in the beginning of May!

It's going to be a busy day today, so I'd better quit grumbling and put on my happy face (things go better that way).

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 5:20AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Well the weather is exactly the same this morning as it was when I came in last night. It is a very heavy, gray overcast with 55 degree temps. Brrrrrr Supposedly it is going to start warming up today, I certainly hope so. I was actually cold yesterday with a turtle neck and heavy sweatshirt on. What month is this anyway???? The brugs want to have sweaters on. I can practically see them shivering. Seriously though, the growth on the brugs has come to a screeching halt in the last few days. Prior to that they were putting on an amazing growth spurt but now its all come to a stop. I guess next week it will finally warm up.

Bummer about the AC leak Chelone. ~~ I totally agree with you about companies hiring customer service people who can barely speak English for their US customers. Makes me crazy. The other thing that bugs me is having to push a button to ASK for English.

Kathy, I have a friend who has exactly the same problem with her teeth. She takes scrupulous care of them but still has to have them cleaned every three months because regardless of how scrupulously she takes care of her teeth she still has problems. ~~ Ill make a point to update pics of that container garden-garden weekly, youre right it does change fairly quickly and should look like a jungle by the end of July.

Cynthia, poor Dannie!!!! ~~ Thanks, yes I do groom those pots daily. Puttering about with the plants is my very favorite thing to do so it isnt really a chore.

Eden, how exciting that Jennifer and fiancée are closing on their house! Marvelous and congratulations to them. How neat she wants your opinion on the gardens! What fun!

Ok Im off to start my day. Have a great one everyone.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 6:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mornin' Idylls!

Today it is 88% humidity and down to only 82F instead of yesterday's 90F. By Saturday we'll be back to 90 again. No rain for ages...

Eden, I just loved it when Sarah and her husband moved into their house. He is the energizer bunny in our family and just loves working on things. He'll try his hand at ANYTHING and is planning on installing a new water heater before baby is born...among other things. He paints walls, installs floors, repairs toilets, lays sod, removes bushes, plants perennials...everything! Even does dishes and vacuuming and sings and dances while he works! The fact that Sarah enjoys gardening is a real joy now. It was slow to come about though!

DS arrives this weekend with friends but will only spend one night with us before heading to a conference in Toronto. (Hardly worth all the making up of beds!- my least favorite task.)Although we email back and forth and occasionally speak by phone, we see little of each other. I last saw him at Sarah's wedding. There were years when I thought we'd never see him any kind of relationship is rewarding to me these days!

I managed a bit of weeding & edging in the shade yesterday and really need to do way more...but today is the mammogram day and other boring stuff which prevents me from doing what I want most.

As to the new car, DH ordered it yesterday, in silver! I asked why silver and he said because it was such a hot day that he thought it would be cooler. Well, I suppose there's an element of logic in there somewhere, but since it is winter here for 7-8 months of the year...oh well, I really don't care. The new car is his, the old van will be mine. Maybe I'll request a massive interior/exterior cleaning of the poor old thing. Chelone, it recently has had the air conditioning leak "glued", the muffler too. Well when you only replace cars every 10-12 years, what do you expect? It appalls me that they are a throw away item! Our poor planet!

On the grandson front, now that Skyler has turned 8 he has scored his first soccer goal AND has learned to whistle. We chatted on the phone last night and he is excited about his talent show at school on the 25th. He's very musical and is going to sing.

I guess I should be starting the sprinkler...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 8:01AM
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Good morning

I had one personal day I was going to use if I didn't take it so I'm off today - yippee! The down side is I promised myself I'd spent it getting the house in order. It's been a while since we've had company which means even longer since a thorough cleaning. I'm about to attack the family room - wish me luck! Meanwhile, it's the most beautiful day outside and the garden keeps calling me. Hopefully if I'm productive indoors that will be my reward ( I need the carrot on a stick approach). At the moment I don't even know where the vaccum is:0(

Why wasn't I born one of those women who loves to do housework? Does anyone know if there is a pill you can take?


    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:18AM
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Mary, I'm in the same boat. I want to be outside but I need to catch up on the inside. I worked on it yesterday and will again today. If you run across the 'I loved housework' pill send me a couple please. Be careful if the vacuum's hiding. It might jump out and attack you, lol!

It's hotter here today than yesterday. Yesterday it hit 90F. It's hard for me to believe some of you are experiencing such cold temps. I could use a little cooling down.

Marie, you sil sounds like he's an all around great guy. Brad's easy going like that too. It makes life easier when you don't sweat the small stuff. I try...

I like our silver car best.

Cynthia, lol on Dannie in the tub. What a cute shot. My little black cat, Monty, is the only one afraid of storms. He wraps himself up in an afghan, head and all until it passes.

Deanne, Oh how I wish I had the time to fuss with my containers like that. Someday I will again... Can't wait to see the weekly progression of the containers.

Laundry, dishes and the vacuum call. I wish mine would go hide somewhere!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Oh, I want to be outside today too! The wind finally died. Last night was a delight to be in the garden. I also spent about 20 minutes for the garden walk this a.m. I could actually hear the birds again. I could also hear the mooing of the neighbors cows. The wild flowers are blooming in the road ditches and all the animal babies are emerging. The other night a mother deer crossed the highway and following her was the tiniest fawn. I actually stopped right on the road and let it cross. This is a sparsely traveled highway. The other day I looked out the window at work and there were 3 ducklings about to cross the street, I could see that they were going to be hit. Of course I was helpless, then suddenly one turned back and ran and the others followed. Whew!

Jaden becomes a big baby when the skies begin to rumble.

The countertops are in and look great, but everything is a mess. I'm not real crazy about how the countertops look with the wallpaper that's on the backsplash, so I guess that will have to go too. Rick had a meeting last night so we didnt get the sink back in. So I decided I would work in the garden and ignore the whole mess. I did get another garden in shape for the most part, mulched, weeded and deadheaded. It was probably the one that was in the worst shape, so it was quite an accomplishment, but as I walked around this a.m. I took stock of which area needed me the most next.

Mary, I actually feel sorry for women whose love is cleaning. Id much rather have a love like gardening:o)

bug, your weather sounds just like ours. There was rain around us yesterday, but we didnt get any. 90% chance was the prediction. Check out the link below on auto recycling. My dad has been in this business for over 40 years and my grandpa before him.

Chelone, we have the same frustrations with some of our customers, many who speak very poor english.

Eden, a first home is always very exciting. More exciting for you is the expressed interest in gardening.

Deanne, Ive planted Nora Leigh twice and Becky Towe once and still have no variegated phlox in my garden.

Kathy, I got a Sonic Care a couple of months ago and really like it. Its a bummer when you really work on your teeth and still have issues.

Ahh, Cynthia if it were only that easy.

I wonder how things are going for Cindy.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 10:34AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Michelle-did you get some rain? It sure looks like it's going to be a weird weather season. There is talk of a cold front and rain sometime toward the weekend, or beginning of next week here. Let's hope so! I was really happy with the way my countertops turned out. I sponge painted them both times. I've got a few chips in them-youngsters tend to bang the bar stools into the edge of the island, but no big deal, and they still look far better than they did before they were painted.
A fountain sounds like a great idea for the money!

Deanne, I've never seen Nora Leigh, but just bought Becky Towe this spring. It's also variegated. My 'David' is really bad with powdery mildew this year. First time I've had any problems with it, but they are getting pretty big, and I may need to move some stuff in that area so they get better circulation.

Chelone, SO sorry you had to interact w/Verizon. We have them for our landline, and we have had a lot of problems. The lines in our area are so old, we used to lose our phone every time it rained. Never failed, they guy who responded always said that it didn't make any sense that we lost phone service because of rain. Lol, whether it made sense or not, that's what happened. They must have finally replaced the right thing, because it hasn't happened since. Or maybe it has and I don't know it. I'm about ready to eliminate it, because we usually use cell phones, and the computer is now a dish connection.

Eden-How cool to have a kid with a garden! I'm figuring my DD will, once she's in a house.

Aw, Cynthia..Dannie looks so sweet. Gus used to be afraid of thunder, and I felt so bad for him. He finally got over it, but it took a while, and he spent more than a few nights curled up next to me in bed. I had no idea you could buy prepared frozen steel cut oatmeal! I'll have to look and see if they have it around here. Lol, prolly not....unless it's smothered in some kind of gravy ;) It's serious meat and taters country.

Kathy, I apparently have a "bad mouth for teeth", lol! There's always something going on in there, that no amount of brushing, flossing or mouthwash will ward off :( I switched to "Tom's of Maine" toothpaste, and my teeth feel cleaner, we'll see if it makes any difference in my checkup. Even if it doesn't I really like it much better, it's not such a strong hit of mint.

'bug-Such a BIG thing when a youngster learns to whistle :) And a soccer goal, how cool! Lol, I remember trying to teach the kids to whistle and snap their fingers. Christina is still a pretty pathetic whistler...she can't get either of the dogs' attention. I guess as long as your DH's logic works for him....that's the main thing.
BTW, I wasn't crackin' on red cars...I picked my car out brand new and red. Just didn't know I was going to turn around and marry a guy with a red vehicle fetish, lol! At this point, I'd be thrilled with anything that wasn't a red truck ;) Of course, I wouldn't turn down a brand new red Mustang, but I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

Mary, I've often wondered if my MIL takes pills, or what her diet consists of, because she LOVES to clean! I can ignore housework pretty much forever. MIL even loves to detail vehicles inside and out. One year, she took both our trucks and did them...armor-alled every surface she could get to. I hopped in, braced my feet to slide in, and she had even done the floor. My foot slid and jammed my shin into the emergency brake. Apparently, the layer of dirt I had maintained in there WAS good for traction, lol! I'm DD borrowed my vaccum, so I have a good excuse. Most of the downstairs is Pergo, but that's beside the point :)

Wish we could mix up the weather and even things out a little for all of us. We're looking at upper 80's today. We could send a little heat to Chelone and Deanne, and all be comfy!
I gotta go water the pot ghetto, and get a little straightening up done. We're having company on Saturday, so I at least need to bale up the dog hair. One would THINK the dogs would be about done shedding their winter coat, but.....
Have a good day, all!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 11:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is breezy out there and warm. But I was indoors doing laundry. :( The super domestic housewife gene skipped my generation.

Well between errands that old van of ours just happened to pass the local nursery. There I found Coreopsis 'Pinwheel', Gaillardia 'Orange and lemons', Solidago Leraft, Malva sylvestris 'Purple Satin', wallflowers, and more. I haven't even planted the other stuff. Maybe this evening?

Michelle, neat about your Dad's recycling business! Both DH and DS love prowling such places for parts. (Didn't see your link) DH used to have a model A Ford.

Now for lunch and then more errands.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 1:01PM
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Hi All!

Things have been pretty crazy around here, but they seem to be easing up. Boy, life is handing me lemons and I'm sick of lemonade :)

Jake's ankle has turned out better than the ER doc made me fear: he separated the growth plate which runs across a growing boy's bone - he just needs a couple of weeks in a cast (which he can walk on as soon as he feels like it) and then some time in a boot (which you can remove to bathe, swim!). Yeah!

Zeus then proceeded to lick a "hot spot" about 6" X 4"! It's infected, he's running a temp, and his "wrist" is swollen (who knows, don't ask!) so he can't walk on that front foot! I'll swear he looks like I just picked him up off the side of the road, hobbling into the vet! They proceeded to shave him and charge me $300 for all the various tests/meds/etc. Good Grief!

I hope that it's all over now. I was on my last nerve :)

Dannie has an expression much like Zeus! He has that same slender face. He doesn't seem to bat a lash at thunder. Sorry to hear so many pets are fearful. I don't like to see them in pain!

Deanne, I love that basket! One year I took two of the half rounds and lined them with peat, filled with soil, then quickly put them together and wired shut. I think plugged it with my plants. It was one of my finer creations, but I haven't done that one since - I don't really have the right front porch for that.

I took a trip to a special nursery and can't wait to share my finds with you. Been too busy, but I think I can sneak in some potting tomorrow.

I did get my 'tufa potted up with alpines! I'll snap a picture.

I have to go and cook others, my house is such a mess. I declare this coming Saturday field day and all hands will be on deck!

Twice daily on the ship the announcement would be:
Sweepers, Sweepers, man your brooms. Give the ship a clean sweep down both fore and aft! Sweep down all lower decks, ladder wells and passageways! Dump all garbage clear of the fantail! Now sweepers!

I don't think a broom is going to help....might need a shovel for this job :)


    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 6:31PM
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Anyone in New England area want to go? The gardens looks very interesting in the full brochure that I received.

Email me if you're interested. I'm close and can take care of the details.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 9:57PM
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Hey, great news on Jake! while you'd still probably rather have nothing broken you have to be relieved. And a removeable boot and swimming has to beat the hell out of a low-rider lawnchair in a kiddie pool. I have a 3 legged dog, too, Saucy. Monday can't get here fast enough for me. :(

Why do garden tours always come on the same day/weekend?! there's a big tour in my area that weekend, so I'll have to sit out Tower Hill (never been there and would love to see it, though), and CT. (Sue, Monique, Ego, etc.).

The forms came off the walls yesterday morning and we paid the foundation guy. There is some confusion about whether or not they will need to inspect the walls, so the helpmeet will call today for clarification. Then the drainage must be set in place and the backfilling begins. I promise to get some pictures together and want to ask your opinions about whether or not we should have some of the "soil" carried off and replaced with loam, or not. But that will keep for a bit.

The awnings are finally up! My awning buddy and I put them yesterday afternoon. I had them on the frames, the screwdrivers, shears, and tie-wraps all laid out. I had the step ladders on the terrace. We trooped over the BIL's and carried back the two extension ladders. We had them up in an hour. My project for this afternoon or tomorrow is the lay out the canopy and give the sides that shed the water a quick scrub (really grimey looking... ewww). Tomorrow I will put it up and lace it in place. I've never done it alone, but if I get some help with the hoist, I'm certainly capable of lacing it down. It fits really well in the first place and that's a help. Maybe putting it up will hurry summer temperatures along? (it's 45 degrees this morning).

Here's an old-fashioned, very fragrant Iris from my yard:

Have a great day, friends, I've gotta scoot.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 5:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


No sleep for the wicked I guess.
3am: frogs woke me.
4am: birds chirped away, loudly!
4:30am: cat wars, Charlotte woofs
5am: DH snores and talks in sleep.
I get up. What's the point?

So 89% humidity so far with mist rising from the pond. Sunny with cloudy periods expected. High 28.(82.4F) UV index 9 or very high. This means that while I'm staking, weeding and edging, the gravel pit will be very audible. But work needs to get done, so I'll be outdoors and save the guest room prep for tonight, groceries and cat litter for tomorrow morning...

Nothing exciting here, but just to say that yesterday's mammogram was the first time it was truly uncomfortable and painful. I always thought folks were wusses, but I guess that's just not so. I'm actually bruised. I'm sure you needed to hear that...

As for plants, clematis are finally starting to show and my white baptisia is just lovely! So exciting to see the first blooms! My B. 'Carolina Moonlight' has its first bloom too. Maybe I'll find time to take a few photos one day soon! Chelone, your iris shot is so beautiful! A calming sight to start my day.

I need to make a list for my friends caring for Charlotte. Nothing complicated, but still needed. Then somehow I need people to water things and mow...but it may just all die while I'm gone because there is NO ONE AT ALL around here to help. :( They're wall working on crops or away at cottages.

Off to get the show on the road.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 6:50AM
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Quick and chilly good morning! I've been skimming when time allows and feel for and with all the ups, downs, lefts, rights that this group inevitably encounters.

The Park is screaming!!!!! I'm thrilled and plan on posting a thread this weekend to take you on an updated tour. You Know I couldn't have done it without all of you!!!

Celebrated my 50th last weekend with a really nice "surprise" party thrown by Rich, Kyle and DSD Jen. About 30 people, incredible food made by chef BIL, all garden based gifts, and some "am I really 50?????? moments" which my 83yo Dad scoffed at :-)

My sister topped the day with a gift of 50 pink roses cut from the garden on land where we grew up. How they got 50 matching roses is a mystery, but it was obvious that none came from a florist. Through the tears, I think I was gracious with my thank you.

Did you know, 'bug, that Foxglove are where the fairies sleep at night??? There are still friends of Ky's whom remember peeking while trying to be cool :-)

Can't wait 'til I can catch up this weekend and share the fruits of our labor.

Best -


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 6:52AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Happy Birthday Martie! Sound like you had a fun and memorable day. That's what birthdays should be about.

Saucy, that garden tour looks intriguing but I've got a deal going through the New England forum that day where my garden will be toured at some point-probably later in the afternoon after everybody troops up from Monique's. In the morning we'll be in southern CT touring George's(EGO45) garden and attending the annual sale at Oliver's nursery. For those of you in the area, come join us! Details are posted over at the NE forum. This weekend I've got to get my butt in gear and get things spiffed up in preparation.

I'm going AWOL from work this morning at around 11:30 and heading up to Brattleboro, VT to a garden center recommended by Steve Silk called Walker Farm (website link below). Supposedly it's a great haunt for unusual annuals and I've been having a heck of a time finding what I want locally so I'm hoping to score big. If not, on the way home I'll swing by another place in Amherst, MA that he also recommended. At any rate, I'm looking forward to some quiet driving time.



    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 8:43AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

Well, the sun in finally out here - we are promised warmer weather to come finally. My mail carrier cautions us not to complain about the weather since it is one of the few pleasures in life on which we are not taxed!

I've been studying the 50 states and their capitals all week with DS, his big test is today - go ahead, ask me any one! He studies much better orally, so we've all been helping him. He actually had a choice whether to take the test today or Monday - he chose today, which is a good thing; I'm not sure I could take much more!

Sue, I just briefly clicked on the link for the place in VT - WOW! I only checked out the A's on the container plant list - they have 18 different abutilons! I haven't found much good stuff for containers either, and the few things I mail ordered from Avant Gardens I've seen larger specimens of locally. My brugs are starting to take off too, though I haven't seen any buds. I keep talking to myself (DH and the kids are tired of hearing me say it) about how they were sticks in the basement all winter with a few sickly leaves, and now look at them. It really is amazing!

Saucy, so glad Jake's ankle is better than you'd originally thought. That removable boot is a drag (I had one in the summer when I broke my foot a few years ago) but it is so much better than a cast. I'd love to come visit Tower Hill sometime this summer - I've never been there.

Martie, nice to see you! Happy belated 50th - the roses sound lovely. Looking forward to pics of your park.

Chelone, I couldn't help but sigh when I read of your bout with Verizon. We deal with a lot of those automatic switchboards here, and it is so frustrating to spend all that time pressing numbers only to finally get a real person you can't understand! You handled the situation with more tact and grace than many people would. I've actually learned to decipher many foreign accents during my years of working here between dealing with people on the phone and our own clients - I joke that I speak many forms of broken English. It is much easier to understand people in person than on the telephone - the hand gestures and facial expressions go a long way.

I do have a funny Verizon story though: a few years after we bought our house, DH accidentally cut the phone wire that brought the service into the house - he thought the wire was no longer in use (I think he watches too much DIY TV, but that's another story...). We were without a phone all weekend, and though I'm usually the designated phone person in our house I delegated this one to him, for obvious reasons. He was in the process of making the call from work to have the repair done, when one of his co-workers overheard him. Turns out the guy's wife works for Verizon, and he called her - they not only replaced our cut line for free, but all the lines on the street got replaced too! Oh yeah, and there was the time that lightning struck a tree in the neighbor's yard and somehow travelled to the phone box on the side of the house and blew it to pieces. The Verizon tech that came out to fix it was amazed, he took the remains of the box to put in their "hall of fame".

Well anyway, time to start the day - duty calls. I was really tempted to play hooky today, but when you work for family you are only one step up from being an indentured servent - no sick days here!

Waving hi to all I missed - enjoy the day everyone!


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 9:29AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Saucy-Heck with it....switch to lemon meringue pie ;) I feel your pain, girl. I've had runs of luck that just made me wonder what the hell I ever did to anyone. Glad to hear that Jake's ankle isn't as bad as originally thought. Great that he can "do some time" in a boot rather than a cast. Good luck with the cleaning crew...mine usually leap overboard when I try that, lol!

Chelone, I say anytime you can get rid of "soil" and have loam, go for it :) Of course, that could just be my bitterness at gardening a lump of clay that has had about 1 1/2" of rain all season. DH is listening carefully to your progress with the garage. We need to build soon as he comes around to the idea that it needs to be connected to the house, and a few other finer points.
Hey, I have that iris, too! One of my favorites!

'bug-sounds like you're off to a great start. Well, if not great, at least early...and ya got sore boobies, so you have THAT goin' for ya :( Hope your day improves!

Martie-Happy Birthday!

Wow, what a sister! I can't imagine the time it took to gather those roses, and what a sweet gesture-puts tears in my eyes!

Yay for you, Sue! Have a wonderful time!!

Wendy, I lol that you're a zone warmer than me and hoping for warmer weather. We've got near record breaking heat here. Not much humidity, though. Makes it more comfortable, but the fields are losing moisture FAST :(
Ah, yes the State capitols! I love reading what's going on with everyone's kids. Reminds me of stuff I haven't thought about in ages. Spelling words and multiplication tables were always fun around here. Neither of my kids can spell, and text messaging certainly isn't helping. Have you ever heard the Animaniacs song of the state capitols? It's really cute. I was LOL at your Verizon story. I'd have made DH make the call too. The DIY network can be pretty hazardous!

Okay, I'm going to have to attempt to make the house presentable. We're going out with the farmers for Mexican tonight, I have to take DD to the eye doc in the morning, and we have company tomorrow afternoon. Guess it's now or never!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:00AM
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Still cleaning here :( I'm presently waiting for the 'scrubbing bubbles' to do their job in the tub. It's certainly been summer here for the last week. We've had the heat without the humidity too and that's been great but the muggies are supposed to start creeping in for the weekend. Busy weekend of family obligations ahead, grad open house tomorrow and Father's Day bbq on Sunday. Brad and I are thinking about getting up early on Sunday and taking a trip out to the flea market. I haven't been this year.

Martie, sounds like you had a great bd. I'm right behind you on the 50 thing. I've only got a few weeks left. I'm wondering where the last decade went. Seems I was just turning 40.

Sue, oh I'm glad I'm not close to that nursery. I was drooling looking over the plant list. I was also surprised at how much of that stuff I have, lol. I'd like to get my hands on some of those salvias though.

Wendy, I remember studying the state caps with my kids too! Wonder how I'd do on them now?

Brenda, Mexican sound so good! Have a margarita for me!

Saucy, wish I was close. I'd love to go on the tour with you. Glad Jake's doing ok too!

Chelone, beautiful iris! Thanks for sharing it.

Marie, I've had nights like that. You'll sleep well tonight. Enjoy your time with Adam

Well, I'd better go check on those bubbles and see if they have their scrubbing done. Have a great Friday!

Wendy reminded me of this game of placing the states I'm linking below.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:54AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Eden, I got an 84%, placing 42 out of 50 states correctly. I've had the atlas glued to me for the past week - ask me again in a year I'd probably fail!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 12:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh my goodness, you HAVE to see these! Tell me if they don't bring tears to your eyes...

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 3:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)
    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 6:49PM
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Good Saturday Morning, I'm on my way over to Jenni's to assess the gardens and start doing some cleanup. I'll take the camera and get some pictures. We'll need Idyll input! Just wanted to say 'hi' before I get going.

So Sue, what interesting goodies did you come home with yesterday???


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 8:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, happy Saturday!!! We are getting some better weather here the last couple days and Ive gotten most of the plants in the ghetto in containers or in the ground. I only have one last major project to tackle with the containers and its something new that I need help with so thats going to take a while to get to. I want to plant a huge basket and hang it on the pine in the back corner of the yard. I need to make sure to find a bracket thats strong enough to support the weight. Doug thinks we can design something and pay someone who does wrought iron to make it for me.

Saucy, I love the idea of putting two half rounds together!!! Neat. Do you have any pictures of it? ~~~ I really wish I could do the Tower Hill tour on the 24th but Im working that weekend. Bummer. I cant to down to CT to see Moniques and Sues gardens either. ~~~ Glad to hear that Jakes injury isnt as bad as you initially thought.

Chelone, you must be really happy to get those awnings up. ~~ Love that iris photograph. What a lovely blossom and I love the out of focus chairs in the background. Beautiful!

Bug, Bummer that they bruised you when you had your mammogram. Good grief! Thats never happened to me but I know its not uncommon.

OK Sue, inquiring minds need to know what you scored for plants in VT yesterday. Im jealous, that plant list is out of this world. Im going to have to check that place out at some point.

Wendy, LOL that your DH cut the phone line. And the lightening story is unbelievable. Weve been lucky that weve never had any lightening damage here although some of the tall pines around have been hit.

Brenda, gorgeous pic of that clematis!!!!

Eden thanks for the link to that state test. I got a 90% but they cheated me out of one that I actually had right but I didnt drop the darned thing in the exact location. Those states in the middle with nothing around them are difficult to place exactly on the spot. It was fun to do though. ~~ Will you come and clean my house when you are done with yours???? I absolutely cannot seem to bring myself to do much more than wash the toilets lately. I figure if the bathrooms are clean the rest of the dirt can take care of itself. LOL

Michelle!!!! Thank you so much!!! What a fantastic surprise! Those geraniums are terrific. I was surprised when the UPS man dropped off such a large box. Ill snap a pic of them when I get them settled into their new pots. Thanks for the tape too. Ill be able to have Doug fix my humming bird now.

Martie, how great to hear from you stranger! A very Happy Birthday to you. Sounds like you had a marvelous time. It also sounds like your gardens are making great progress.

Ok Doug and I are going to go for a bike ride so Id better get my bike clothes on and motivate.

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:01AM
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Hello to my far flung Idyll buddies. I've been a workin' fool this mornin'. I disassembled the pump we had set up in the foundation hole, clearing the way for the backfilling that is to occur today (is now underway). I waterproofed the deck canopy and have it drying in the (dwindling) sunshine. I will attempt to put it up today (alone). I have cleaned the kitchen, the catbox, and my person. I have paid bills and have to go to the post office since the stamps went to work with the helpmeet... :( (I was rather hoping I wouldn't have to leave the compound today).

The garage project seems to be rolling along nicely. I'm almost a little frightened by it, frankly. I check the building forum periodically and the horror stories abound. THUSFAR, we've had no problems. We've hired local guys who've been in the trade for years, we've followed the town code and have paid attention to setbacks and details. It must be different when you hire a large GC firm and are just one of many, many projects underway. To a one, every guy we've hired has been here when they said they would (weather permitting!) and they've done exactly what we wanted them to do. Maybe it makes a difference when they know they may run into you in the Post office, bank, or coffee shop? but overall, I think pros are pros.

Michelle, the urn I want to know about is the one with your prize winning arrangement in it. What's it made of? how old is it? where did you get it? I love it. I applaud the fountain idea. I've wanted one for our "pond"/muckhole/wallow for several years now, but it always falls off the bottom of "the list". ;) We have, what the helpmeet optimistically refers to as "wasserspiel", but in reality its only an outlet from a 1 1/2" black plastic pipe forced through a smaller fitting. It can sound like an extended bathroom trip, if you know what I mean... :)

Deanne, my photography needs some SERIOUS help. I still can't figure out how to reduce amount of thingys (detail) in the pictures. I used to be able to take 30+ shots, now I'm down to 17-18 and can't find the "rosetta stone" in the tome they call a manual. Oh well, I'll keep trying and maybe I'll hit paydirt. One day, perhaps, you'll be able to give me some advice on a tripod and some basics to consider when composing shots. Until then, I'll marvel at your handiwork (alliums reflected in birdbaths, etc.) and 'bug's. Thanks for the compliment... the chairs "just happened". ;)

Wendy, I still haven't potted the Brug. or the... what the hell is it? (braincramp). I want to get that done this weekend, it's too much of a "score" to leave unfussed over.

What were the results of Katy's exam? We'll know about Rex on Monday.

Belated birthday wishes to Martie and Da... (from both of whom I'd really like to hear more!).

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 9:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Chelone is ahead of me by far. Still not sleeping well here, but up at 7 to do the cat box, set up the sprinkler, (no rain in sight through next Wednesday, but 90F will hold. Ugh), then the dishes started in the DW, then 2 beds made up for company. Now I'm off to shower.

DH has a birthday event for a hockey buddy today, then DS Adam arrives with some friends. I wonder how many!? Bought steaks and corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes and salad and ice they should not starve. Charlotte got brushed so she'll be presentable. :-)

Can't wait to see Jenni's garden. You saw the befores of Sarah's, but I think things are still at the "during" phase though I haven't seen photos lately. Here's the back from end of May, with sod. I think the lollipop tree is gone along with some of the weedy shrubs and perhaps the waterfall ugliness improved upon somehow. (??!!**??)Lots more to do though....

Then the front. She planted a hosta garden under the windows and DSIL installed soaker hoses there. I'm supposed to do the circle. The red rocks have been removed recently. Input please!!!!!(much shade...not sure how much though)


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:15AM
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Happy Birthday Martie! I will follow with a pic on Monday. I need to work on resizing, and sometimes it doesn't quite work for me. It sounds like you had a great celebration for a momentous occaission!

Deanne, I have to tell you that your climbing hydrangea is awesome! So beautiful. The year before last, Skip accidentally mowed mine down so I moved it out of the line of fire, then he weed wacked it in its new spot last year. So my poor little guy is pretty beat up. But, he hasn't given up hope. I have pointed it out to everyone so they know just where he is situated. Hopefully he can put on some new growth this year, without incident.

Brenda, I love your pic of the clematis and roses. So pretty!

I hope Cindy is doing okay. Hopefully she can check in and let us know how things are going.

Mary, I passed a group of red Shirley poppies this morning and thought of you....I hope mine grow next year. I planted a bunch of seeds, but I think I did it too late.

We are going on vacation the last week of the month. I am pretty sure we are hanging around the house. Or we might go camping for a couple of days.. we were sort of thinking about the Bruce Peninsula in Canada by the Georgian Bay. This morning my daughter Jen ran in a 5K race, so I went out early to cheer her on. This is the first time she has entered a race and hopes to do more in the future. She said it is a lot different running on the uneven pavement that this particular race was on and the sidewalks and paths of the local park where she usually runs, and a LOT different than the treadmill at the gym. She has worked really hard this year to get fit. She exercises everyday and has so far lost about 35 pounds.

Bug, best of luck while you are gone. You must be so excited. I know I am getting excited about my upcoming little one. I got to see the sonogram, and she is getting a 3 D one next. Amazing.

That's about it from me.. not much else going on. I am just enjoying this lovely weather, my garden is probably the best it has ever been. Some of my plants are getting to a good size, spreading out like they are supposed to, and it is beginning to head in the direction I want to go. Next year I want to plant some trees, including fruit. I am also planning out my soon to be, maybe next year potager. I think I am going to put some blueberries in there.

Chelone I am glad that everything is going so well with your construction. Nice when that happens.

Hope you all have a great Saturday! I have floor duty and an open house, but fun fun fun tommorrow! One more week till my vacation. Can't wait. This is my first time off since I took this new job 16 months ago. I am soooo ready for this:)


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 11:24AM
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OK, back in for a quick break. I've had to leave the compound twice... err... bad planning on my part. Once for the post office and the second for more line. I am in the process of lacing the canopy on the frame over the deck; such fun I've not had in great while. ;)

You'd be amazed at how much piece of Sunbrella in excess of 13' x 22' can weigh. I fan folded it strategically and then hoisted it over my shoulder. I then ascended the 8' step ladder and managed to get it over the ridgepole of the frame, 3 1/2' over the top of the stepladder. PANT. I secured the corners with tie-wraps, then began lacing the 18' side of the deck (this is the gable end of the canopy), starting in the center and working my way out the corners. Then I went up on the roof and began lacing that part (opposite the 18' side), it was at that point that I ran out of line and had to go to the hardware store. So far, flying solo, I've spent an hour on the lacing. (It would take two experience installers about an hour to get it on and laced down tightly.) Lacing isn't brain surgery, but you have to be organized, methodical, and patient to get the canvas in proper alignment over the frame and laced tautly. I've never tried it all by my onesy.

The weather is glorious today! the sunshine I worried was on the wane is still here, in glorious abundance. What a nice change.

I have meant to inquire about Cindy, too (thanks for the reminders, guys!). It's been awhile since we've heard anything and you've been in my thoughts on an off in the past week/so. Warm thoughts for you at this tough time. Here's a peaceful shot from my garden that I hope you'll enjoy:

(Wendy, that's the Primula I bought the day we traded plants. I LOVE it and it seems to like the site very much. Your teeny-tiny Polygonatum is right in that vicinity, too.)

It will be such fun to see Eden's daughter's garden. 'bug, how do you think Polygonatum commutum would fare in your daughter's zone? I just love it in combination with Hostas. And what about Asarums? Faced, as I am, with so much shade/partial shade I've really come to appreciate the subtle grace of leaf form and stature juxtaposed one to the other. Don't get me wrong, I love flowers, but have long thought the simplicity of foliage contrast is every bit as fun and interesting. Oh, and don't forget the ultimate survivors... FERNS. (ferns are rather like whipped cream).

And here's a belated birthday wish for Martie (and Da):

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 12:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from a lunch by the river.

Thanks Chelone. I love ferns and greenery, foliage too. I also like grasses. Will have to see what DSIL's thoughts are. He's NOT a fan of grasses...YET! DD loves them. I don't want that area too elaborate. Simple and soothing is my take on it.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 1:38PM
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i am not an idyll ... & i am sure you would welcome me if i *asked* to join (grin) ... however, i would never keep up my part of the bargain as far as all the pleasant conversation you share with each other ... with that said ...

chelone, your pictures were sooooooo perfect for the stressful day i'm having, i just had to say thanks a bunch!!! ... phyl

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 5:03PM
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A quickie from me. I'm waiting for DH to finish getting ready. We are taking my Dad along with my mom, DD and Kenzie out for dinner for Father's Day. We will go and eat at one of the resturants that over look the lake. Unless we get rained out. Yes, we finally got much needed rain. About 1/2 inch. It was fun to stand in the house and read the amount with the wireless rain guage that Rick got for Christmas. I didn't get much gardening done since I am still reloading my cabinets after the countertop install and I needed to make food for tomorrow's company.

Chelone, oh, that urn. LOL I bought 2 of those at Sam's 2 years ago to use at my DD's wedding. I put silk ivy toparies in them. They are cast cement. I can't afford the antique ones. You should have been at IU3 last summer. We went to one place that had alot of antique garden art. There were some of they coolest urns I have ever seen, but the price tag would knock your socks off.

I'll be back when I can.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 6:26PM
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Michelle: "It was fun to stand in the house and read the amount with the wireless rain guage that Rick got for Christmas"


That's why I like this group.

But I'll spare you (most of) the details of installing the new window box brackets. Each bracket was 4 piece parts, so I had to assemble them sitting on the steps first, then drew a picture and took them apart before I started the 'job.' I have zero spatial skills, so that's my approach when dealing with something that has no instructions. Apparantly it was supposed to be intuitive. Of course the screws on the old brackets were all rusted in, and I figured the house would collapse with all the body language I was putting on them to get them off. Needle nose pliers finally did the trick after I got purchase by using a screwdriver as a LEVER. I won't tell you how long this all took, but not much else was accomplished today! And then I had to trim the azaleas in front of the window boxes so that I could see them.

Red Geraniums carried over from last year and variegated plectranthus. The geraniums have been putting on growth on the patio and have dozens of flowers and just as many buds. I like to have things a decent size before I put anything out front :)

So Martie, happy 50th! I liked turning 50, much less traumatic than 40, and I don't mind looking towards 60 cause that puts me closer to retirement.

Deanne, love the birdseye view of your garden. You must be so happy you planted that climbing hydrangea. How old is it anyway? It's a stunner.

Brenda, your clem is gorgeous! I didn't even notice the rose until Drema mentioned it. Hi Drema!

Chelone, your property looks so lovely, I'm soothed by your photos too. I'm always happiest with my shade gardens than my sun gardens. (My pretend sun gardens, they're really shade, but not as deep as the others.)

I don't know where Eden and GB and Mary get the time and energy to work on other peoples gardens, I can't even keep up with my own. I'm in awe. Eden, we need pics of what's going on at Jenni's.

Sue, what did you find in Vermont. When I read your comment about 'unusual annuals' I wondered what was meant. Thinking maybe I can solve my own obssessive need to grow things indoors in winter, by growing for the Idylls and then bombing your homes with unexpected packages in spring.

I have to rustle up some dinner. The dark chocolate caramels I just ate were satisfying, but I think I need to find some cold veggies for dessert.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 8:58PM
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I love to hear from Cynthia, don't have an explanation, but I do. I often wonder if you're a vegetarian, but I often tell myself not, that you're just eating as I would if I were you. I find myself envious of your life many times - please be flattered :)

I am very tired. I had a long day - dressed for outdoors at 7 a.m. While I can't tell much was done from eye, my body says otherwise.

Our birds, much like tropical plants, have suffered from the weather, but today I deemed it summer and cleaned their cage and set them up on the front porch where they happily exchange musings with the other local birds....or so it seems.

I have so many plants to share with you! I have impressed myself with my containers - it's fun to keep up with the Jone's on Idyll....I think you've all taught me well :)

I am so happy that Phyl dropped in. I am just as soothed as you....and if you have a chance to visit, the stroll is wonderfully set out and just as relaxing.

I hope everyone is having fun in the garden this weekend! Thanks for all who coulda/shoulda/woulda wanted to visted Tower Hill with me, but I just got notice that I have family flying in from Colorado....not even a chance! What's with the popularity of the 24th?

Can't wait 'til Idyllunion....thought about everyone today!


    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 10:02PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning to everyone in Idylland,

We have a beautiful day here for Fathers Day and Im wishing all the Dads out there the happiest of days.

Doug and I went for a little 16 mile bicycle ride yesterday and had a lovely time, then off to Sams Club to get some more potting soil (yes I know Im really finished with the containers but one never knows) then off to the neighbors house to celebrate their daughters graduation from High School, then back home to fix dinner for some friends. Phew! We conked out at 9:00PM! What a couple of old farts we are. Cant party until the wee hours anymore. RE the bicycle ride, that was my first of the year and if wed gone any further I wouldnt have been able to sit down for a week. Id love to go out again this morning but Im going to wait a couple days. Doug and I want to be able to do a 100 mile ride before the end of the summer.

Im so happy we are finally getting some warmer weather so the tropicals can start growing again. The brugs put the brakes on when we had those 55 degree days. I cant wait to get flowers on them this year.

Cynthia, I love the story about the window boxes! Youre a hoot. Im the same about spatial things. Doug says I have no mechanical ability at all and he cringes when he sees me with tools in hand, especially sharp tools. LOL Please post photographs of the planted window boxes???? Also, Id love to get a care package of unusual annuals from you in the spring. A woman can never have too many plants. ~~ I thought of you this week, on one of my trips to Loews I found this gorgeous specimen of Sansevieria trifasciata moonshine. Have you ever seen that plant? It looks a lot like an agave. It has beautiful sword-like leaves that are a gorgeous silver color. Well it was tucked in amongst these ficus and sorry looking ferns and begged me to take it home. How could I refuse? Ill have to grab a pic of it for you. It looks like a plant that would live happily ever after at your house. If you like it Ill have to divide off a pup of it for you when I repot it. ~~ Re the hydrangea, you bet Im delighted I planted that beauty! I had to dig out some old photographs to figure out when I actually planted it and Ive figured it was in 1995, so twelve years ago.

Saucy, I cant wait to see all your containers! As you can probably tell Im addicted to container gardens. LOL

Michelle, thanks again for the geraniums! I love them! ~~ Where did you find a wireless rain gauge? Id love to have one. So happy to hear that you finally got some rain.

Hi Phyl! Nice to hear from you, hope you stick around.

Chelone, another beautiful photograph!!! Love the statue in the greenery. Right up my alley. ~~ Did you get your awning finished? It sounds like it was a huge job to tackle by yourself.

Drema, I cant believe your DH mowed down your CH!!!! Good grief! Thats just the sort of thing Doug would do. One year I carefully planted ferns along the back foundation and in a couple weeks Doug came by with the week whacker and mowed them down! I was NOT happy. LOL ~~ Congratulations to your Jen for losing the weight and getting fit. How fun to be able to cheer her on in a race. You must be so proud of her.

Ok time to motivate, well get another cup of coffee anyway, have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 8:28AM
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Phyl., here's hopin' today will be less stressful than yesterday was. pleased am I that my garden shots lifted your mood for a bit; that's the point of sharing them!

I've spent an eventful morning up on the roof of our home. I managed to get the canopy in place and laced down securely yesterday (my fingies are a bit stiff this morning) and today I am going to make a baffle to deflect rain spatter when it comes down in torrents. It's hard to explain, but the actual ridgepole of the frame extends over the slope of the roof about 24" and the "gable" ends of that part of the frame return to the deck on a sloping angle; the part of the canopy that extends over the roof is actually triangular when it's layed flat:

Rain dripping from the frame onto the roof, and a hard driving rain creates spatter and that spatter tends to miss the gutter and puddle in the piece that closes off the opening from the roof to the deck:

My "mission" today is to take the pattern I made and make a clear plastic "curtain" that will hang from the frame and act a first line of defence, thwarting spatter and permitting rain to sheet down the roof into the gutter. The design of the canopy is complicated, but I wanted more height under it than could have been achieved with a simple shed roof arrangement. I am pretty fussy when it comes to aesthetic considerations (an expensive trait, my friends). Once I have the kinks worked out of the clear baffle I'll zip on the screen panels and we'll get the furniture set up.

I mowed the lawns yesterday afternoon. They look so pretty when they're freshly mown! You know, it's funny, but I don't object to lawn mowing one bit (I resent moving things the helpmeet's left "out", but I get over it pretty quickly). I clap on the ear protection, sunscreen, sun glasses, and I CRUISE! I regard it as aerobic activity. I love watching the birds move right into the newly mown territory in search of insects that have been disturbed. I truly believe that keeping the lawns in good condition without resorting to heavy applications of chemicals actually improves the stock of wildlife and that, in turn, keeps the lawns in good shape. I try to mulch when I mow, but sometimes the grass gets too high and bagging is the best solution. I was gratified to see all the time spent with the dandilion fork is paying dividends. My goal is to refine the perimeter of the lawns and eliminate interior obstacles (read: highbush blueberries).

Cynthia, I want to know about the urn with the Muses dancing around the basin. I just love it! I am a complete sucker for anything Classical/Neo-classical... and would dearly love to conjure some sort of really formal garden arrangement. The logical candidate would be the helpmeet's vegetable garden, but he's having no part of my hare-brained schemes. Sigh. ;) As one with rather "paste-y" skin I naturally gravitate to shade, pity I didn't learn that lesson earlier in my 4+ decades circling Old Sol!

Michelle, what do you do with your urns in the winter? they look as though they're BIG (= heavy). We have 2 in cast cement that I love and they come indoors when the temperatures begin to hit the freezing point reliably. I'd love to be able to leave them out and develop the lovely moss patina, but don't want to risk cracking.

I have to get going on the baffle. Talk atcha later.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:08AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Cynthia, here's one to put on your growing list, Hibiscus acetosella 'Maple Sugar'. It's a staple in my container and tropical gardens and I can't find it anywhere this year. Other plants in short supply this year are tender Salvias and a vaiety of Fuchsias. I haven't seen one S. coccinea or a leucantha for that matter. Monique finally found the tender purple leaf Cotinus at Avant Gardens on Friday and picked one up for me.

I did manage to spend a few bucks at this place in VT on Friday. Some of the stuff I got...Melianthus, Salvia 'Hot Lips', a few Coleus, varigated Colocasia, this really cool Gynura 'Royal Velvet, variegated Cuphea, bat faced Cuphea, Pentas 'Stars and Stripes, double purple Datura, a neat Fuchsia called 'Coachman' and a bunch of other plants more common but just around in my neck of the woods. It was worth the trip but getting picked over. Next year I'll try to remember to go in May.

Tom finished painting the shed yesterday. It's very Caribbean. I'll try to get the area cleaned up and the window box planted and take a picture.

Well, I got chased out of the garden yesterday by torrential thunderstorms and today it's suppoed to be 90 so I'd best get cracking and get the patio cleaned up and the rest of the containers planted.



    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The heat is just oppressive..and much as the garden weeding MUST be tended to, I simply can't get out there. The mosquitoes are there in full force too. The lawns everywhere are crunchy brown. The delphiniums are huge and tall, so I would expect fierce winds and rain soon. ;-)

For the third night in a row I've not slept beyond 3 I don't feel on top of things. DS & friend Julia left at 7:30 after a run around the block (8 miles)and waffles with strawberries and whipped cream in their bellies.

DD phoned yesterday to say that they are buying feeder fish for the pond and that she wants to go canoing today. As a very active person, the bulging tummy has been limiting, not to mention that her DH discourages it. Nevertheless, she manages to play goal in SS's soccer games and also puts in some street hockey time with the neighborhood kids. This coming week her DH will be out of town in Manitoba, but at the first hint of being needed at home, will be on the next plane.

In the garden I am particularly fond of the white baptisia still blooming. Clematis Niobe is looking fine too. Gillenia is covered in star shaped blooms. These are a comfort given the weed situation. I hope for a few cool days before heading out to Edmonton for hard work, particularly in the vegetable garden..

Today is DH's voice recital, so I had best try to locate something to wear for that.

Welcome Phy. Do join us and send along some photos of your own too!


    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 10:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DD called...maybe a grandchild TODAY. I told this baby to wait until the 26th!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 10:41AM
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Good morning

Martie - Belated Birthday greetings. Glad you have fun celebrating as that's what birthdays are for.

So Ittybittybug was thinking of making an appearance on Fathers Day?! Keep us posted!!

Sue - next year you just have to come here in spring to plant shop. I saw Hibiscus Maple Sugar, tons of unusal Salvias, tropicals and hard to find annuals at several of our local nurseries. As you say things are getting picked over, otherwise I'd send you a care package with Doug.

Hi Phyl! Stop by any time - you don't need to post reguarly, just when the spirit moves you. We have everything from daily contributors, once a week to once in a blue moon. It's great to hear from everyone, no matter what the frequency.

Last night was David's guitar recital and he played beautifully. One of his best friends came with us and the boys had a sleep over after. They were up at 7 AM and I sat while they swam and built a fire to grill their own sausages for breakfast. Fun boy stuff.

Poor DH took the red-eye from CA Friday to make it to David's reciatal but he seems a little better rested this morning. I'm making his favortie Moussaka for dinner and we have a surprise to give him.

TIme to check on everyone - hope to be back later.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 11:05AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just popped in to say Hi, and Happy Father's day :) Bug, we'll all be on pins and needles until we hear about IttyBittyBug! I imagine your SIL will be proud as a peacock no matter what day the great event takes place, but what a cool Father's Day present that would make!
Take care, all and have a good day!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 11:21AM
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TODAY, 'bug?

How's your blood pressure?

(hey, is Ittybittybug going to be the first "official" grandchild the Idylls have welcomed? forgive me if I'm wrong, there was a huge hunk of time when I was AWOL and several regulars "signed on". :) )

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 12:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I can only leave at 8PM...but leave home in an hour. Time is dragging even though lots still to do!

Chelone, heavens no! Bella and Kenzie were way before Ittybitty! Maybe even more but I'm not thinking straight.....

Bye for now!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 4:21PM
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Oh JOY! I can't wait to hear more about the itty bitty one! Those OBGYN's predict birth dates about as well as the weatherman predicts the weather :)

Sue, I got a melianthus, too! I love this plant so far.

Here's the rest of my finds:

Thunbergia "african sunset"
Golden Cape Fuchsia
Solanum "variegated" - green and yellow sweet pot. vine
ornamental millet "Jester" - lime w/burg. stripe - all burg later
Abutilon "variegated salmon"
Coleus "glennis"
Dichondra "silver falls"
Carex flagellifera "Toffee Twist" (looks like I already killed it)
A couple of Saxifraga, agave, sempervivums for the 'tufa

And there's more, but I haven't planted it yet. Lots of fuchsias still left.

Chelone, I think your idea is a good one. You have a really good set up that makes this season very enjoyable! New England summers can't be beat! I say that as a true southerner. Summer there is only enjoyed indoors or in water :)

Nick had another Father's Day like the one we had a couple of years ago....remember the canoe trip we planned that went awry? This year it was the water skiing/picnic trip that went awry. Threatening clouds and torrential rain sent us home for what promises to be a delicious Surf 'n' Turf - including lobster, shrimp, and scallops!

Gotta go! Happy Father's Day!


    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 5:19PM
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Just logged on to see that 'bug's g'baby is going to be here soon!! I hope she gets there before the little one arrives so she can be one of the first to welcome him/her into the world. Exciting times!

Mary, it sounds like your home has been incredibly busy these last couple of months. I hope you have some long restful days this summer.

Saucy, congratulations on the new business. I hope it continues to be a huge success for you and your DH. Rotten about the broken bone....poor guy!

Cynthia, I enjoyed seeing the photos of the dogs in your gardens (and in the tub---poor Dannie!).

Deanne.....gorgeous photos.

Chelone, I saw your garage pics on the other thread. Impressive amount of work and changes going on in your world. I'm impressed with your pattern making abilities for your awnings....clever and a lot of thought went into planning how that would turn out best.

We've had a busy weekend and are just enjoying some quiet time this evening. The upcoming week is pretty booked and I just wish I understood how someone who doesn't work a 9-5 job could have so darn little 'free' time on their calendar. I think I need to learn to say 'no' at some point.......soon. ;o)

Hello to all (Brenda, loved that you appreciate uneventful/boring times, too LOL)....I am enjoying keeping up with everyone by reading, just haven't had much to share lately. OH! A Happy Belated Birthday to Martie (big 50!!! It sounds like you had a very nice b'day celebration)...and I hope Da had a great day too.

Sending my best to Cindy.......


    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 8:52PM
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Hi Everyonewow , am I behind or what ? I was going to cook enchiladas tonight, but its too hot out to consider turning on the oven so its shrimp cocktail (I love, love, love shrimp) and fresh farmers market veggies for me tonight. So, since Im not cooking an opportunity to try to catch up here-such a lot going on with the Idylls !
Ive loved reading of everyones plants purchases this weekend- Ive bought a ridiculous amount of plants in the last month. Glad to see Im not alone

Sue, interesting that you cant find a Salvia leucantha; that plant is ubiquitous here . Arent salvias great ? I only have about 6 or 7 different varieties, some of my favorites get so huge, I just dont have room. This week I bought 4 Salvia sinolensis , which is a small (1 ft ) very tender salvia with bronze foliage and bright blue flowers. Im also trying to decide what to do about my S. Argentinean Skies , which is proving to be somewhat invasive. I guess I could dig it up and put it in a pot, which is what I had to do with the damn Cape Fuchsia.. Cant wait to see the pics of your Caribbean shed

Deanne, no partying till the wee hours for me either ! That happened when I became a serious gardener- I like to get up early. My climbing Hydrangea has fallen on hard times..not quite the same issue as D had ; mine is water related, because of where it lives its very dependent on my hose-dragging , and I forget about it. This week it got up to 100 degrees plus , and the poor thing got scorched. Its hardly grown 6 inches since I got it last year.

Chelone, you are one industrious lady- what a lot you have going on at the compound .I enjoyed your garage pics ! It was interesting to see the foundation and how different it looks from one here- our building codes are very earthquake oriented and there is lots of rebar involved in foundation work. Re: lawn mowing ..I have a miniscule bit of lawn left-I retired the trusty Snapper power mower and bought a Great States reel mower. I love the sound it makes ! It takes me less time to mow than it did to gas up and empty the bag on my Snapper. There is a movement away from lawns out here since we get no rain in summer and they guzzle lots of water.

Cynthia, good job-you prevailed over the window box brackets ! I hear you on the 50 is closer to retirement thing ! Im thinking 60 , and then a totally mindless retirement job to pay for the health care premiums. Hope all your canine kids are doing well

Nice of you to stop by Phyl..

Saucy, Brenda, Michelle, bug, eden, Wendy, Mary,Martie etc ..hi to all..and T, V, Honey, Babs???
Time to whip up that shrimp cocktail

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:06PM
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Deanne, too HOT to go outside. Here are geraniums from inside and I wasn't going to move the couch so I could move the stand so I could move the lamp....I'd end up cleaning!

They're red!

And my Monty man turned twelve this week!! Here he is with a birthday monkey. Monty can not go anywhere without a stuffie in his mouth. When we head downstairs, he'll dart back to grab something to carry. It's sort of like a woman not leaving the house without her purse. Monty can't change rooms, floors, or go in/out with out a stuffy.

And hamming it up with Katie :-) I think that circle over Katie's head is the bad karma :-(

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 9:48PM
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Okay, friends. Due to technical difficulties there will be no Park Update thread in the near future. Our old, cantancarous (?sp) hard drive quit when I tried to load only 223 more pics. No, the thread wouldn't have been that long, but wanted to get just the "right" shots.

Suffice to say that we have 102 herbaceous perennial varieties, 32 shrubs out of the nursery, 16 more still in the nursery, 13 rose varieties (better get some more for luck :-), 19 herb varieties, and I've lost count of the annuals.

Now that we've hit third year, I'm looking forward to the 5th when the shrubs are full in. It's been really hard to discipline myself to plant wide as I'm taking 'bugs really good advice and thinking "when I'm 60 will I want to maintain this???" But, I'm okay so far and plant swaps will certainly benefit down the road :-)

Don't think I told you that I was invited to the Select Seeds Clean Off the Benches sale in their new greenhouse. Came away with 78 plants and have a newfound love: "Martha Washington" type geraniums. An ancient (with respect) woman told me how to overwinter them: "Yank 'em, throw 'em in a paper bag and keep'em dry in the root cellar." I can do that!!

Other than the Brugmansia cutting, have kept everything alive so far, and at $1.25 per plant (clematis were $4) could afford to zap in some very cool color.

I still want a dog :-)

We mourned the loss of the Stewartia put in last year. A huge disappointment but my own fault for not watering it in well enough last year. On the hunt for a replacement.

Today will be gorgeous again. Love having several nursery clients to go visit on days like today!! Work is hopping to say the least, but I'm still loving it.

Hope to be here more often since the summer just wouldn't be summer without all of you.

Best -


    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 7:14AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all! Been busy the last few days..sneaking in from time to time to see if there was news from 'bug. How cool is that...the baby bug has arrived :)
Just wanted to pop in and say howdy. I'm taking a break from wrestling some anemone. Planted 'Robustissima' in WAY the wrong place-it was eating up everything in it's path. Had itself imbedded in my pink carpet rose. I thought I could pull it out, but no such luck-gotta dig. I got carried away and ended up digging up the rose. It's soaking in a bucket of water while I figure out what the crap I'm gonna do with it now. I just KNOW that anemone is going to pop up again, so I guess I'll add the rose to the pot ghetto until I see what's what. You'd THINK with a name like ROBUSTISSIMA, I'd have known better than to plant it where it couldn't run free :(
Back to the battle, I guess. Have a good evening, all-

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 5:02PM
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