Idyll # 483 - Summer Solstice

saucydog(z5MA)June 21, 2010

It's all downhill from here :) Just kidding!

Happy first day of summer. Carry on!

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Or, in the words of my great aunt, Aunt Fan, "The back of summer is broken."

Beautiful day today, quite warm (mid 80s), low humidity, and lovely breeze that shifts from south to southeast (sea breeze), keeping it quite pleasant. I'm wearing liberally applied sunscreen in celebration.

Kenzie definitely has the right idea. I'm quite certain a swing (better yet a jolly jumper) would make me smile, too.

How much sun will the Pagoda Dogwood for the centre of the GG get over the course of the day, Saucy? I would dearly love a variEgated shrub for a shaded corner of the south lawn; any ideas from the Peanut Gallery?

The Stewartia is just beginning to flower. It's covered with buds. The Kousa was lovely this year, too and is just starting to go by. Hydrangea "Tokyo Delight" is smothered in buds and several of the more aged canes have layered themselves so I could have as many as 4 new plants if I so choose. Any one know when's the best time to dig them and move them on? Nikko Blue is a dud again this year... definitely requires winter protection in my yard!

On the infrastructure topic, the Toro "personal pace" mower went on strike yesterday. It's been running roughly for some time now, has been cranky about starting on one or two pulls. Yesterday it lived up to its name, perfectly... it was entirely this person who dictated the "pace" when the cable that activates the drive wheels frayed and broke. I finished the area I was cutting and then called it quits. I am using BIL's mower to finish the job (one area left to go). El Toro is in the back of the car on its way to the lawn mower spa for some rehab. of its own.

Good to hear positive things from you, Cyn., sucks to be collateral damage. But how great to rediscover some one you like so much. Baby steps. :)

The Ben. Moore paid guy offered up some excellent suggestions about the poor adhesion of the paint on the bahn doors; not nearly as dire as I feared. A good scraping in the worst affected places, some spot priming, and recoating should do the trick. (Uh, when I have time, that is.) I'd probably like Mr. Gonzalez... lol. I imagine the dark colors probably fade out pretty quickly in the relentless sunshine of Fantasyland.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 12:39PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Thought you'd like to see pics of my new Lisa leaves. She was kind enough to get them made for me in time for my garden tour and brought them up on Wednesday. I got them painted on Friday, hung on Saturday morning. In the nick of time!

Chelone, I feel your pain, all our appliances are more than 15 years old and several are now in need of replacement. The mattress and boxspring are probably more than 20 years old. Yikes..... Also the nine year old roof is falling apart and we have to put in a claim with the shingle company and replace the roof. Don't even talk about the driveway..... Never ends.

Nite all

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 9:05PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - you're sounding perkier today - that's good to hear... Your comments on aging infrastructure in the home - matresses particulaly, struck a chord. We definitely need to consider replacing ours soon. It's in the 20 years old range...!

Deanne - have you recovered from the tour yet?! I'll bet you 'knocked their socks off!'

Welcome Chele! Tell us a bit about yourself...

Saucy - GG is looking great. Do you have a special leaf for there - show us a picture...? I want to see more of your leaves!

V - I'm glad the coop didn't fly from the chickens in the storm :-)

Denise - we loved the picture of the fuel dock dog - what a happy-looking beastie!

gb - what clematises did your friend give you? Where will they go? I'm getting opptimistic that Vyv is making a come-back. There are a couple of stems now actually at the top of the lattice, so she's one tough cookie :-) I second the idea that Chelone should visit 'up north' and bring Wrecks - Misty would love to make a new big friend - me too!

Cyn - that sounds great re your DH. I hope all continues to go well. Hugs to you...

Randy repainted the shed door for me today in BM 2141-10 Artichoke green. We really like this one. We also moved an Autumn Magic chokeberry that had been languishing under the pines to the bed in front of the shed. I think it softens the look of the shed nicely. Next spring we'll probably dig out the hosta that stands alone on the left side of the front of the shed and replace it with a Saskatoonberry that is languishing elsewhere in the yard.

From the back porch today:

From the living room window today:

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 9:16PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - we were posting at the same time... Saucy's leaves are amazing! Saucy - have you done a Bressingham Blue hosta leaf? They are nice and big and very quilted.

Driveway... another thing in need of replacing here too...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 9:51PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Woody, I love the finished shed! You did a great job of making it blend into the background. Now you just need to hang a Saucy hosta leaf painted by Deanne over the door. :)

The leaves look stunning, ladies!

We have another thunderstorm rolling in - just too much fun! We all mentioned after Friday's double header that, as much as we miss Sunrise, it was a relief not to have her fusing over the thunderstorms. Mystic, who had started to show a little bit of anxiety when Sunrise would melt down, now does not bat an eye during storms.

Chelone, good to see a peppier post from you. Our house is 14 years old this year, and you're right, things start to go wrong. We've had shingles come off the roof, the stove exhaust switch has broken, the deck railing needs repair... le sigh!

Cyn, glad to hear that rehab seems to be going well. I hope for you sake that it lasts.

Too much lightning - gonna post and duck!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 10:19PM
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Im busy ! Still printing maps . Menu plan for kick-off is dialed. Frenzied vaca prep at the awfice , and enjoying Sues updates from SF Ânice to have another Idyll in my time zone !

The mattress thing- mine is over 30 and between the dentist and DDÂs financial woes I keep putting it off. Every time I stay in a nice hotel I come home resolved to get rid of the thing. Before next winter I swear ! Need new carpet in the boudoir too. The mattress comes first though-I can always get an area rug to hide the crappy old carpet if need be.

Woody the shed looks great  I think we need a photo of the inside however ÂwhatÂs stashed in there ??

Good vibes out to Cyn ..

I have more maps to print Âlater friends

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 10:46PM
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Good morning!

I am so excited about this trip. I have high hopes for this 5 days being just what I need.

Sarah and Jake are off to their last day of school. Both are very excited. Sarah is ready to start her summer reading. Jake found his birth certificate and is ready for the learner's permit (though now he's afraid he'll fail it and has cold feet). Ahh Summer.

I love the leaves! I stay away from painting them realistically because well, I can't! I knew Deanne would be able to pull it! They look great.

Woody, I do not have a specific leaf picked out for the GG. I do think it will come when the garden progresses. I would like to embed things in the decomposed granite "fossilied" leaves. We'll see.

I love the shed...even like the name of the door color.

Chelone and V....I live in a hundred year old's nice because if something still works, it's a bonus :)

Kathy, I feel frenzied here too...wrapping up work (she's trying to get ready for a Strawberry Festival and doing 3 weddings!) ...but it will all be worth it in the end!

So GB...I was sold this clematis as Arabella (I think...can't find the tag) what do you think?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 7:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, I think not. (That doesn't mean I'm right!)
The color is very intense, unlike Arabella. Also, look at the shape of the sepals (petals). Those in your photo are pointed, Arabella's are rounded. The habit of the plant will also be a clue. Does it climb and attach itself to a support? If so, it isn't Arabella which needs to be supported.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 8:18AM
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No, this clematis has to be weaved in and out of the fence and would crawl across the ground if I let it. GB, no one else who looked thought it was Arabella, either! I don't know what I got. I do like it, though, and that is the important thing :)


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, it is the rich blue that people crave and can't seem to find. You lucked out! I don't know why we want a name for everything... People even find comfort in naming whatever disease they have. Sheesh.

I just came in from playing musical's a rainy day, a good time for that.

Still not feeling up to snuff, but better at least.

In local news, some guys returning from a show stopped for the night at a motel and had their vehicle stolen. They were carrying a lion and some camels in a trailer. You can imagine the concern.... Time has run out for watering the lion now. :(

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, you asked about my clematis gift.
So now I have:
Hagelby White
Jorma &

I'm curious about this last one with very fine foliage. I've already planted Hagelby White near Walenburg and have yet to decide where Jorma will go. What a treat!

DD just phoned and so I tried to catch up on all the family Fair activities of the past week. I hope photos will be coming soon. Her disc from her camera isn't working in their home computer these days. Don't know what's up with that...

I need to read more for book club and think about a meal for tonight. I made more strawberry soup, so at least I know what dessert will be.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 3:58PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB - I looked those up on COTW - I like the white one best. I'm trying to decide on a color theme for the south alley arbour and swag for after we take down the New Dawn rose. There are so many clematises that I need to have some basis of chosing one instead of another! I think I'll probably grow honeysuckle on the shadier side and clematis on the sunnier (house) side, although I might also grow some shade tolerant clematis into the honeysuckle... Then there is the issue of do I try to keep the C. montana and, if so, how badly does that complicate pruning issues? The Jackmanii superba that grows on the arbour now I treat as a group 1 or 2 to avoid damaging the C. montana. The Jackmanii doesn't seem to mind at all and looks good spilling down from the top of the arbour. I may end up only pruning down ones that I plant/train on the poles/swag chains and treat any that grow on the arbour as no-prune regardless of what their type is. Does that sound workable to you?

Saucy - I love that blue clematis - whatever it is! I think clematis are awfully prone to being sold with the wrong tags. I have been trying for years to get a Huldine and none I've bought have even been white! I like the idea of stone leaves in the path - if you've got flat leaves!

Kathy - you don't want to see the inside of the shed! The walls are just the chipboard stuff. There are some storage shelves acress the back, hooks for hanging tools, the roller thing for the paths, wheelbarrow, and other miscellaneous stuff. The base/floor is big concrete paving stones (3'x3' or 4'x4' - I can't remember which...) The shed is 10' wide but only 8' deep so it's not very big. It's in the same 'footprint' as the old one we tore down, so the survey remained valid. Plus, any larger and we would have needed a building permit...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 5:32PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Ive not been up to snuff today either for some reason or other. Really, really tired and even took a nap and that is unheard of for me. Still tired after nap so I guess its going to be an early night.

Woody, cant wait to see that swag smothered with clematis! Should be gorgeous! Cant believe you can grow a Montana up there. Not hardy for me at all.

Bug that Hagelby White is so pretty! Looks like a white Betty Corning. ~~ Good grief, why on earth would someone steal a tiger and camels? Poor critters. Thats terrible

Kathy, Ill bet you cant wait for everyone to arrive! Cant wait to hear all about it.

Bug, the lilies started blooming in that combo today

OK Im off to rustle up some dinner. Have a great evening all

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 6:08PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Just a quick comment on the fly: the camels and tiger were found safe this morning after someone called in about an abandonned looked like they had been well cared for during their adventure, and are now safe in the Granby zoo....



    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 8:39PM
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Hi Saucy
I think your clematis is Rhapsody. It has that electric blue colour and the pointed sepals. Here is a picture of mine (not a great picture, I'm afraid), which I have growing (sprawling!) through a euonymous.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 9:22PM
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That's pretty, Patsylr1! It might be Rhapsody! I am pretty sure I bought it labeled Arabella because I wanted what everyone else was talking about :)


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 9:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

After dinner computer time here!
The subtle back shed is charming. I'm so happy Randy worked through this adventure and the door color is wonderful!

So Woody, about clematis: I feel that shade tolerant clematis are a myth...except that some of the pink and white combinations fade in full sun. In my experience, the sunnier it is, the more blooms you get.

The decision about your Montana I can't really help with because I think it involves sentimental attachment as well as the possibility of "off" years. It IS beautiful!

Talk of pruning is complicated by whether or not you keep your Montana, whether your new choices will be group 1, 2 or 3 or a combination of those. The more you combine types, the trickier things become.

If you do not prune Group 1 clematis, they look just fine...until the following spring when their foliage is a brown mess. Picking off brown leaves is tedious. They should not be pruned though or they will not bloom. They need caging at the base against critter damage.

If you do not prune Group 2 clematis, they too can have brown leaves to deal with each spring.

If you do not prune a Group 3 clematis it simply means it will have the blooms higher up.

Remember that combining Group types makes spring cleanup terribly complex.

Decide what colors and choices you favor for the posts and try not to make your gardening life too complicated. How many posts do you have? How high do you want your clematis to reach? What is readily available? (Saucy, Rhapsody was making the rounds about 3 years ago, so that is a likely option!)

Deanne, your lilies look perfect there...of course! The leaves, WOW! What a team you and Saucy make.

Julie, that's a good surprise. I did not predict a happy end to that tale!

I must be feeling better! I mowed a little after dinner and edited a bit of stuff for DH.

PS: Romantika is just beginning to bloom. :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 9:59PM
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Ok, Ive made a list of stuff I need to do before 5pm on Thursday. Many tasks are minor. No awfice tomorrow so I am hopeful ! The Box is sitting on my dining room table. I still have not peeked. What strength of character.

Deanne. you need to take a couple of days off my friend-no wonder you are beat-up and feeling low .. getting run-down is my diagnosis. I think you need one day of not doing a damn thing , and then paint .

Hey there Patsylr1 ! Thanks for stopping by with that ID , looks very possible. Come see us any time. We like new Idylls.

OK this is all I have tonight , more maps to print.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:10PM
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Bug, I agree with you on the myth about clematis in the shade. I think that is why I have no luck with them, and the ones I had still hanging on by a thread have all been moved to the potager or a little area next to it, which are the only places I have anything close to sun in my garden. Crossing my fingers that they make it through this year, and start to do something next, because I just love them.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:43AM
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Hearing lots on the news about a 5.5 earthquake up north! How are Woody and GB? People here felt it, too.

Packing feverishly and trying to help Sarah and Jake prepare for their weekends (Jake's camping, Sarah is going to her Nonnie's).

Okay...back to work. It's quiet here today as I imagine others are doing the same as I.

Talk to you from Napa!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 5:33PM
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I have my bendy straw close by, and I will do something silly to party along with you in my own special way. But I wish I was going to see all of you; the laugh factor is always pretty high. :)

I visited a nursery today; it was very muggy but the place was just immacuate and the help as friendly as ever. Wish I didn't have to focus quite so hard on intrastructure, but there's no sense in adding more until I reorganize the present mix successfully.

Today was pick-up day, wasn't it, Cyn.?

The shed looks wonderful, Woody. I love that the colors are echoed in the adjacent foliage.

Kathy must be about out of mind right now, lol.

I'm glad the lion and the camels are OK, too... good thing they weren't abandonned in the trailer during the earthquake! The "north of the border" crew is OK?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Fine here! DH felt it at work, I was oblivious.
Be back later.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:07PM
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Takin a break ! IU prep has been an all day event here, DD will be coming over tomorrow morning to help with all the final details-like the cooking . The house is semi-clean and the garden is passable. I got great news today, totally unexpected, that we will be able to visit Digging Dog after all, which I had taken off the roster. They are closed both days that we are on the coast, but they have graciously agreed to have the Idylls visit none-the-less . I was so disappointed that I was not able to take the group therebut now hooray ..good things happen sometimes !

What a color on the Romantika bug.

Big waves to this time tomorrow IU7 kick-off will be in full swing fabu !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 9:05PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I didn't notice a thing re earthquake...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 9:14PM
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Finally got the last dish washed and the last sock folded. I am packed and ready to go, I booked an early flight, so will be up and at 'em in 4 hours. Looking forward to seeing everyone, and missing those who can't go.

Bug, glad you and Woody weren't affected by the quake. I didn't feel anything here. Brandon felt it in Cleveland at work.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 12:17AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The bag is packed, animal care arranged, work finished. In a few minutes I will get in the shower and then be on my way!

I had drinks with friends last night and they were asking about my trip. Someone asked if the Idylls were the people who always commented on my Facebook page, then she said, "oh, you'll have so much fun with them!"

Looking forward to seeing everyone later on today in California!


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:08AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today is travel day for many! What fun! I'm looking forward to some west coast postings tonight and through the weekend. :)

Lots of weather drama here last night. I do not dare look outdoors yet... An 11pm phone call about tornado red alerts had us concerned of course. Then at 4am lots of thunder, lightning and upset cats. Then there was DH trying to find flashlights (no power), towels to mop up water from open windows and so forth. Anyway, all is well now, but I'm tired.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:35AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Grrr,,,just lost my AM post, Oh well, time to mosey along and get downstairs to the painting studio. Have a great day everyone! And safe travels to everyone heading to CA!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 8:34AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I hope all the travellers have safe journeys and I'm looking forward to lots of interesting pictures!

I thought I'd post New Dawn's swan song. In a couple of weeks, this will all be gone:

Looking up the soth alley along the swag:

outside the gate, looking back at the arbour:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:19AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow, Woody,that swag is gorgeous! it will be sad to see it go but I'm looking forward to the clematis creation you are going to put in.

Bug those storms are working their way through here at the moment. HOpefully it will cool things down. It got up to 94 degrees here again. Pouff, the perennials are going by at light speed. It's still June for heavens sake/

Can't wait to get IU updates from the big get together at Kathy's tonight.

Thought you'd enjoy a pic of this driveway urn. It is knocking my socks off this year! I'm loving that Pennisetum Purple Prince and when the Hidecote Beauth Fuchsia gets going in between the cuphea and euphorbia it's going to be even better.

OK back to work for me


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 4:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I do love that urn Deanne, especially with the smoke bush behind. I'm very into oranges again this year. My poor bird bath has a top that is malformed somehow and does not lie flat. Grrr. I keep trying things to level the water in it! You can see here (Reed's garden) that the water also turns a rusty color withing minutes of changing it. I wonder if it could be lichen of some sort...

I wish the grasses and new plants in this special garden would take off as fast as the weeds do! There's really LOTS of stuff packed in there believe it or not. May have to make some changes for next spring. At this point I think it will be strictly a Fall garden, not exactly bad, but not what I hoped.

I'm thinking of Cyn a great deal now, and hoping hard that things go well. Here's a little flower for that didn't get blown down by the winds last night. By the way, instead of wine in your stew, buy a plant when the urge arises. LOL


    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I bet Kathy's DD is passing around appetizers just about now! The chatter has begun!

Well I'm off to bed soon.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 9:48PM
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9 little 4 & 5 year olds for 3 hours a day are wearing me out! I havent even swam my 2 days this week as I cant seem to get out of bed. Tomorrow is the last day. I have Saturday to myself, but there is a chance of rain. The weeds seem to be getting the better of a few of my gardens. I have to get that situation under control. I get home at 7:30 each evening and water my pots and try to weed a little.

Last night I felt just like I was a kid again. At dusk I got on Kenzies swing and started swinging and watched the fireflies over my patio garden. Ahhh, summer!

I have at least gotten the asparagus weeded and mulched before it gets too tall. The sugar snap peas are plentiful these days.

I suppose the laughter, plant talk and wine tasting has begun. I wonder if Kathy bought a large package of bendy straws? Ive never been to CA and would have loved to make this one.

bug, Im curious as to whats in Reeds garden. I have a birdbath that has an issue with being level and I spend time each year trying to get it to look good.

Deanne, that container blows me away. Im always amazed how great your containers look so soon. What a fabulous team you and Saucy make! Those leaves are so realistic! I made a few last year from Sum & Substance leaves.

Its hard for me to find time to make the leaves but Id like to try a few more.

Woody, your New Dawn is magnificent, but it will be fun to see what you do next with the area.

Ill leave you with a few clematis shots from my garden and per Woodys request the gothic arbor.

'Ville De Lyon' which is in a very shady spot. I like the way it looks with the garden shed.

'Pink Fantasy' & 'Brocade' close up and the next shot is the distant shot showing the gothic arbor.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:34PM
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No bendy straws tonight Michelle! I'm beat, but my east coast buddies are up way past their bedtime. And I have my very own Saucy leaf !!! I'll get a pic to post of it in the next day or two.

This is all I have for tonight, Idylls gather at the Kathy house ..always so great to see everyone again. From Idyllunion 7

Kathy in Napa..

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 12:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, I believe it really is happening! Thanks Kathy! I only recognize 3 people so far... This won't do. Skipping even one reunion and I'm losing touch! But the leaf! That is a fantastic well deserved treat!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:30AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - I love that gothic arch trellis!!

Looks like lots of fun set to happen on the west coast....

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 8:35AM
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I'll take a stab at ID's. The lone male is Sue's friend from SF who is joining the fun, then Sue, next I'm not sure maybe Denise? Saucy, and the next one I'm not sure either, a couple are hidden then V and her DD. Finally Drema and Cindy.

I know Les & Monique are there, but not in the picture.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 11:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Those bum shots had me confused! Drema and Cindy, of course! Good job Michelle!

I will try to tell you about the contents of the Reed garden:
I began with various grasses and "reeds". I also planted sedum angelina. Then I added anemone blanda for spring interest. There is a hydrangea which is supposed to gain height...I am hoping for blue, but I fear it will be pink under the conditions that are there. Some amsonia with fine needle-like foliage is there too. I have added orange agastache, orangy yarrow and orange/red echinaceas. Then yesterday I added a new ceratostigma which has yellow foliage. It may be too sunny there for it though. I was aiming for orange and blue with grasses to unify things. I think this will end up a longer term project than anticipated.

I think Woody's project will also be long term because it takes clematis a good 3-4 years to establish themselves. Exciting though! ;)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Hi guys, I think the hidden two may be Brenda and her friend Diane. Thought I'd stop in and try to keep the home fires burning while everyone's away but I've run out of time reading to catch up. Bella will be here soon and is spending the night but I'll try to get back later tonight. Big news at our house is...we got our new baby! Wallace Bradford born June 21st. He's a big boy, 9 lbs.9oz. and 22 inches long. He was good to Jenni, only 2 1/2 hours of labor from start to finish and he's sweet as he can be!


    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 2:28PM
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I'm back...Bella's amusing herself while we wait for dinner to finish cooking so I have a little chunk of time. I've been out working in the garden off and on today. It's been a beautiful day, perfect temps and not much humidity. Seems the older I get the more the humidity bothers me and since we don't do air conditioning here it slows me down which I think is a good thing. That's how I remember summers as a child. If it was hot, everything slowed down. That's the way it should be I think. Bella's been spending a lot of time playing in the sprinkler and her fairy garden and we've been drinking lots of lemonade this summer.

Michelle, I've seen those tire swings made into horses at craft fairs. They are so cool. Swinging is one thing that Bella doesn't like though. She never has. We hung one of those baby swings from a tree when she was just little and she didn't like it even then. I was like Kenzie and have always loved swinging. Sounds like you've been really busy. Your gardens look so pretty even so, as always!

Woody, the shed looks great in the green tones! I really like the way it now fades into the background and the lush, green back garden you've created. Some of us were talking over on FB about how we think it may be that as we mature as gardeners the foliage in our gardens becomes much more important that the flowers. I also really like the idea of clematis on your swag. I took out all but a few of my roses when Bella started playing in the garden. A little secret...roses have never been my favorites anyway. Beautiful but primadonnas I think! I still have Heritage, Eden, The Fairy, three or four miniature roses and the angel rose like yours. That's it for me now days.

Julie, we had a similar neighbor/fence dilemma years ago. Ours involved his vicious dog and my fear for my young children. He put up a privacy fence but we were fortunately able to take down our chain link that was about 4 feet in on our property. I gained a whole area where I was able to put in a lilac hedge. Too bad you have to deal with the between fence strip. I'd probably put up a privacy fence of my own on the other side of the chain link :)

Looks like the California Idyllers are having fun from the pictures I've been seeing. Wish we could all be there! Dinner's about ready and then it'll be a movie with Bella. It's become our routine that she spends Friday nights and we always have a movie, and a treat, usually popcorn or chips and her favorite, POP!

I'll leave off with photos of the grandchildren, lol, we're getting quite a collection!




    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 7:57PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - wow! That's some big baby! It's hard to believe that labour was so short - but good thing though :-)

I doubt the foliage will ever become more important than the flowers for me. I do, however, effectively have two different gardens - the green, cool and serene backyard and the over-the-top flowery front garden, So I get to indulge in both styles. But I am working towards making the flowers parts easier. The back garden is where we spend the most time; the front is the 'public' face of the garden. Hydrangeas and some other flowering shrubs, probably with clematis companions, will be the replacements for the roses in the front garden. I'm definitely aiming at minimizing thorns, but trying to keep the same overall effect.

GB- yes, I figure the clematis swag will be a long process.... I'd like to start planting them by the end of July - so I have hopes of finding them in bloom in the garden centers so I know what I'm really buying! If I get them planted this summer, will that count as 'the first year, they sleep' or will that still be next year?! I'm increasingly thinking that the group 3s will not be cut back in spring. I'm visualizing the stems below the swag chain level will be 'old' wood, leaving the flowery growth to billow along the chains, cimbing from lower chain to the upper one to to make a wall of flowers when they bloom. I'd use the perennials and small shrubs in the alley garden beds to 'hide' the bare legs of the clematis. I'd cut back/off the previous year's flowery growth that is along the chains, leaving the new growth to start from the older stems that go from the base to the chains. That's sort of what I do to Paul Farges on the south fence and it blooms and grows well - mind you, nothing would probably stop that one from doing well! I think, if I did it that way, I could mix in a group 2 (e.g. The President which grows so well here) to give early bloom before the group 3s start. And even the C. montana would mix in reasonably well in that regime I think. Am I nuts on this do you think? :-)

If there's enough light on the shady side of the swag for the ND roses to bloom, is it safe to assume that clematis would bloom there too, or should I stick to honeysuckle? What do you think? I want to get the basic planting plan worked out this week so I can start collecting the clematis. We'll probably start removing the roses the second week of July.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 8:47PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I just love your descriptions Eden, and your lazy summer day in the sun sounds wonderful, whether from a child's viewpoint or a Grannie's! Thanks for shots of all three! :)

An amazing moon out my window tonight. Not a Reed moon exactly, more orange like a Halloween Harvest Moon with clouds drifting across it. Arabella grows in the 'crow's nest' mess I have allowed there...

Woody, I don't know honeysuckle very well. I have one that scrambles over the stone wall by the basement entry. I just hack at it, never guide or train it in any way.

As to Paul Farges, those are MONSTERS. I dug my two out this year and moved them to a wild area by the creek. I wonder what they are up to. I haven't checked on them for weeks.

I think the President does very well here. Mine was supposed to be something else though... I noticed at the local nursery that all their clematis are blooming now. That means only about 4-5 varieties though. Other places may have more exciting options. You really need to check around. If you do go to Lost Horizons, ask Sarah (Swany) there to help you. She's a fried of DD's and has picked up LOTS of skill in this area.

Check out Madame Julia Correvon, Negritjanka, Gazelle, Honora, Mikelite, Etoile Violette, Venosa Violette, Polish Spirit and Aotearoa. People also like Ashva...but I have not seen it bloom yet. I love Semu as well. Certainly Perle d'Azur is a beauty if you have the patience for it to establish itself. It can be treated as a 2 or 3. Just some ideas...Does Randy have opinions on choice too?

I was anticipating the first blooms of Clematis Tie Dye tomorrow, but with rain in the forecast, that may not happen. :(

More tomorrow!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:53PM
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Eden, Wally is a handsome boy! I'm happy things went so well. Looks like summer is in full swing at your house. I'm with you about summer being a slow down time. I do still try to get things done early and relax in the hammock in the afternoons. Is Kate talking much yet?
Bella has the right idea playing in the sprinkler.

Michelle, keeping up with kids can really tire you out.
Has Kenzie left for Florida yet?
Weeds can sure grow fast in this heat. I'm dragging hoses already here. I think it's going to be challenging to keep things going this summer.
The daylilies are in full swing right now. I love the morning walats. Not getting many pictures because my point and shoot doesn't do a good job and I'm way to busy to use the other one and have to transfer pics from the old computer. That card won't work in my laptop.

Deanne, I wanted to tell you your painting and the leaves look great on the shed. You really captured the markings on those hosta leaves.
Saucy I wish I could take one of your tuffa classes to see how you do them so nicely.

Bug I wish I could grow clematis the way you do. Our summers just aren't the greatest for growing them.

Much more I intended to comment on, but it eludes me at the moment and I'm getting sleepy.

Idyll on and party down in Napa.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 10:18PM
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Hello to all, and congrats to Eden ! Just a quick stop by here this morning to post a pic of my Saucy leaf (the first Saucy leaf in California and the only to have ever taken a plane ride !) From Idyllunion 7

And another pic from Thursday, with Les and Monique From Idyllunion 7

Day 2 begins...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 9:44AM
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still neither Ted nor Doobie...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 9:49AM
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I'm in for a cool down. It is 85 degrees and very humid. I think I need to find a shady spot to work for a bit. We had some storms last night. We happened to be in town when the down pour and hail came. We pulled in the a bay at the car wash to sit it out. I tried not to think about the hail that might be pummeling my gardens, but I see no damage so maybe we didn't get it. There were tornadoes in the area as well.

Kathy's garden looks fabulous and the Saucy leaf is gorgeous.

Eden, Wally is adorable and a little boy will add a different spin to grandmahood. (I know that's not really a word but it fits LOL) Kate has gone from baby to little girl so fast.

I think I venture out again since they are predicting late afternoon showers and with this humidity I suspect storms.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:33PM
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Brad's working tonight so it's just me and Isabella. We moved mulch, she filled a pot with soil for a small container garden I wanted to put together and she filled some 4" pots with soil for some coleus cutting I took. We went to the grocery store (Meijer) and besides groceries picked up a black knight on a horse figure for her fairy garden. We read three chapters of our latest book, The Marvelous Land of Oz. We're hoping to go through the series by L.Frank Baum. This is book #2 about the adventures of a boy named Tip and his friends Jack Pumpkinhead and the Saw-Horse. In the last chapter we finished they've made it to the Emerald City which has been overtaken from the Scarecrow by an army of girls. And...we just finished two games of Monopoly Jr. a new game for us that Bella is begging to play again. Busy day but that's nothing new. She's a busy girl!

Woody, I too like the idea of different kinds of gardens in front and back. I try to keep my front garden more restrained but the backyard is my garden playground. I also like the fact that no one can see it unless I let them in. My sanctuary!

I'm going to go back and take notes on all of the valuable clematis information Woody in drawing out of Marie. Thanks for being so willing to share your knowledge Marie! I remember how much I enjoyed your "Clematis of the Day" back in the early days of Idylls. Remember when you did that?

Hi Norma, to answer your question Kate is saying lots of words, not stringing them together yet, but definitely understanding what we tell her and pretty good at listening and doing what she's told. Bella was more of a free spirit that way, still is now that I think of it. Haha!

Chelone, Ted and Doobie have probably run for the hills or are at least hiding out from all the Idyllers invading their territory.

I really, really want a Saucy leaf! In fact I think I NEED one!

Time to feed Bella. No rest for the weary! Have a great evening everyone. I know those California Idyllers are :)


    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I agree that we need to live much closer to each other so that we can garden hop...and garden help as well! Today was wet and cool here and there was so much I needed to do, but basically it was a wasted day for me. Hard rains knocked down most of the delphiniums and I need to deal with those as well as huge numbers of weeds. Le sigh.

I had forgotten about Clematis of the Day. Yes, that was fun. Why don't I show a few again as they emerge. Besides Tie Dye which I posted on This Moment, here is another from today:

Also some roses, this one is Crocus Rose with C Blekitny Aniol.

I bought some frozen sour cherries in the hopes of recreating a soup I had in Hungary back in 1987. I need a warm day for that though. I'll post the recipe below in case you want to give it a try on a summer's day.

Oh, Eden, no photos from my gang these days. They are busy with all sorts of problems, one of which is DD on bed rest. But Ivy is using a fork for meals (her idea...) and also says UP and DOWN when being changed. She shrieks when displeased though and what a temper! She also began sleeping in her crib and has slowed down on nursing which will give DD a break for a few months.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 8:20PM
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Marie, I'm sorry to hear that Sarah and her family are having a rough time. So hard for expectant/new moms these days. I feel like they're pulled in all directions and so busy they get no rest. I noticed such a difference in Jennifer the month she wasn't working before Wally was born. She just seemed so much more centered and relaxed. I hope things settle down for Sarah. Bed rest has to be next to impossible for her I'd think. It does sound like Ivy's doing her best to be a helpful little girl though :)

I found my c. Tie Dye hiding next to Physocarpus Diablo

A tropical that I'm liking this year... it's tall and kind of reminds me of delphinium but with much stronger stems, Brillantaisia(giant salvia).

The cherry soup sounds different and delicious. I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your clematis, Marie.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 9:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wowsers! Would you look at all those blooms on your Tie Dye! Eden, this is the second year only for mine and I think there will be about 20 blooms total. OK, I suppose yours is the same age...

Yes, work and babies is a super tough job. Sarah also has a sinus infection, DSIL was out of town and she had to fly out to an oil sand's project for work right after returning from building the playground at the Fair. It's been a crazy few weeks for them...not to mention dealing with Skyler's Mom. While on bed rest, Sarah had to take him to and from school and to soccer practices too. Poor girl. At least DSIL is back home to help out now. I hope she gets some sleep. I'm glad her midwife is super attentive.

Tomorrow we have a Gravel Watch phone meeting. Never a dull moment. DS's birthday is coming up as well. It's a shocker when your kiddo turns 39!


    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 10:21PM
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Whew! We made it home. This was the 2nd night in a row that we got stuck out on the road with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes on the area. Apparently sitting under and overpass is extremely unsafe. Last night about 10 miles from our place 3 cars were parked under an overpass and were severely damaged when the tornado sucked them out. I think there were 10 tornadoes in the area last night and for sure a couple tonight. All is well here though. We were without electricity when we got home last night so I went to bed. Amazing how dependent we are.

Eden, we have Monopoly Jr from when my kids were small. I actually enjoyed playing that version of Monopoly.

Woody, I thought of you today as I dug out one of my New Dawn roses. I wasn't sure if I would get it out of the ground. The main trunk was 3" in diameter and had a massive root system.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 11:03PM
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I meant to add a couple of shots from today. Larkspur do really well and bloom a long while on the east side of my shed. The Asiatic lilies are in full swing. These are with physocarpus 'Diablo'.

Eden, I lol about you not knowing where your Tie Dye Clematis was. Very cool clematis.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 11:18PM
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I meant to comment on that plump little blob you're now calling, Wally, Eden... by my calculation when you finish your last baby-sitting gig you'll be ready for the pine box and interment. Personalities emerge early, don't they? and it must be great fun to watch it happen and watch them gel before your very eyes. I know what you mean about having a private sactuary; mine is the backyard; surrounded by woods and low, lush undergrowth it supplies privacy and a cool retreat on a hot, sticky day. The gardens are utterly overgrown with Alchemilla mollis at this point in time... but I'm working my way around the house. Lord knows I have plenty of time to work on it, lol.

I did many piddly chores yesterday and have more to do today. Nothing terribly exciting but necessary and the sorts of things that look nice when you've finished them. I am tired of spending every weekend all by myself, though. Our work schedules give us one day off together, this week no days off because the shop will be closed on Friday and I have to work tomorrow to maintain a full work week. (Was told on Thursday afternoon). Next weekend I will have 4 days in a row and spend 3 of them alone. Lesigh. I feel petty griping about it, too.

Michelle, do you have a storm cellar on your property? How frequent are tornadoes in your area? They're not very common in New England, although there have a more than just a few over the past few years... very creepy. There was a line of severe thunderstorms (complete with damaging hail) on Thursday evening and one area of town was very heavily damaged... the golf course reported trees down everywhere, power was still out for folk in that area yesterday morning. Your gardens look smashing. You don't have the dreaded Lily Leaf Beetle, do you?

I've already been out with the dog, had a cup of coffee and methinks it's time for a refill. And then I'll fold yesterday's crop of laundry.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 5:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning one and all,

What a great day we are going to have again today. Yesterday was beautiful and perfect for Doug and MichelleD (my garden helper) and I to go on a round of Garden Conservancy Open Days tours. We were able to tour five beautiful gardens, all beautiful and unique. I took several hundred pics and Im wading through them. These were out in the Peterborough/Hancock area of NH which is about my most favorite area of our pretty state. Ill post a gallery of shots later for those interested. Not as exciting as the great pics coming in from the west coast but interesting nonetheless.

Michele, thanks for posting those beautiful pics of your June gardens. Oh so lovely! I cant get over that photo of the lilies with the physocarpus! Wow! What a show! Which Ninebark is that? My Diablo is overwhelming the lilies I have it planted with and Im about to cut it back to the ground to start over again. Im thinking I might move it and try Summer Wine. Although Ive heard Summer Wine doesnt stay as small as they say it hopefully will be smaller than that behemoth Diablo. ~~ What do you have planted at the back of that container? ~~How very scary about the tornados and hideous T storms youre dealing with. Stay safe!

Bug, sorry for your DDs hectic life right now. Not the best thing for a pregnancy but shes a resilient, tough lady so I know shell be fine. ~~ Im just loving all your clematis pics! You have so, so many beautiful varieties Ive never heard of before.

Eden, Im growing that salvia this year too and Im not yet convinced I really like it. Its gone into a lull right now and I dont want annuals to have a rest period. They need to earn their keep. LOL ~~ That Tie Dye is gorgeous!!!!! Where do you have room, for Diablo in your garden? I cant place it. ~~ It sounds like Bella is turning into a real garden helper for you. What fun! ~~ My back garden is the same Eden, no one can see it unless I invite them in. It is my own personal space and yes, I liked your reference to garden playground.

Kathy, that Saucy Leaf is WONDERFUL!

Norma, thanks, so happy you liked my paint job. And of course Saucys leaves are perfect. I wish you could come up, she is going to come and do a leaf casting workshop for me.

Woody, I'm a flower person at heart but surprisingly, Im becoming more and more interested in growing for foliage color and texture. It keeps the gardens more interesting in all seasons. It seems especially with the driveway garden I take out a few more flowers and add a shrub almost every year. Im probably going to remove some of my David phlox and put in a physocarpus as the renters next door have turned that property into a major eyesore and I especially want to mask the huge, decrepit panel truck they have parked five feet frm the garden.

Have fun in your gardens Chelone. They can be a real balm to the spirit.
OK Im going to get my day started. Have a good one everybody.


A pic for the day

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


It's a foggy wet one here, but there's hope of things clearing later on. I hope so because I NEED to clear up the delphs and the worst of the weeds at some point. The weather forecasts are incomprehensible these days with talk of drizzle, thundertorms, clearing and fog all in the same sentence. I'm hoping Michelle's weather goes away and doesn't head this way! One day of earth quakes and tornadoes was plenty of drama for me.

Monopoly is great if kids enjoy it. I was the kid who hated it...but my best friend's family spent hours with it. I'm still not a game person at all.

Having the gardens utterly overgrown with Alchemilla mollis has a certain charm. Chelone, you'll get around to fixing that...or not, but in the meantime it looks OK. Here the actual weeds are huge and ugly: ragweed, burdocks and loads of big nasties that are hard to remove. And 10 acres of them... DH has been removing choking vines from young trees along the creek while dog walking. That's a big help to me.

Deanne, sorry about your neighbor woes! When beauty is so important to us it is hard to fathom those for whom it doesn't even register. And you get it from both sides too! Even if they were simply neat and polite it would make a huge difference.

A photo of the day? Great idea. I'll go find one.

Astrid Lindgren:

Perhaps when things dry out a bit I'll find a clematis to post later.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:46AM
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Boy, that comment about beauty "not even registering" strikes a chord with me. I work in a place that is cluttered and subsequently disorganized and downright filthy. I seem to be the only person who even notices, let alone does any sort of cleaning. It sucks the life out me, esp. because I see clearly how much more difficult it makes the simplest of tasks and how it contributes (unnecessarily) to the seasonally high level of stress. It's what precipitated my scornful return volley on Friday. I returned home to find all manner of clutter and debris in the helpmeet's garden... I patiently asked that he please clean it up since it's in our front yard and is what my customers see when they arrive! I stressed that clutter really has "me down" these days... and the dear man went right out and tidied up. I don't have to deal with the proximity and the lack of control you have to, Deanne, but I certainly understand the feeling and I definitely sympathize. I'm fine with "half done" and/or "in progress" but I'm definitely not fine with sloppy, "half-assed", abandonned, and overlooked. Lately, though, it feels like that's all I see...

How long is your resilient and active daughter going to be confined "to bed", 'bug? I can imagine no worse sentance for someone so vibrant. Poor dear. And while I admire Ivy's spirit and ability to vocalize her likes and dislikes I'm glad she doesn't live in my house, lol. (Bathtime would be fraught with peril). ;)

The awning for the bay window was summarily relieved of its grime and primitive life forms yesterday. Looks much better today, as do the tassels. I water-proofed it first thing this morning and hope to put it up tonight or tomorrow afternoon when I get home from work. I still have to plant the window boxes under it, but until it's up there's no point as any rain will deluge them. The Browallia and white Impatiens are very leggy and looking longingly for a secure home until Jack Frost decides to steal a kiss.

Thinking of Cyn. and hoping that all is well with her. Wondering about Miss Mary, Marian, and generally wishing all well, in spite of my glum self.

Time to deal with some too leggy Browallia, Impatiens and dirty windows... (I think).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:49AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - a clematis of the day would be good about now... Concentrate on rich, dark colors and companion colors for them! I hope to get out to make the rounds of garden centers this week, looking for things in bloom so I can verify colors before buying!

Bed rest for Sarah? Yikes, I'll be that goes over well with her!

Michelle - our New Dawns have substantial trunks on them but not quite as big as 3"... Ours are in an awkward place for digging because of the arbour structure. We'll probably have to dig out as much as we can and then be prepared to do battle with any suckers that reappear.
Wow! Those lilies...!

I need to go take some pictures soon out front - the Chinese wisteria has its summer bloom underway. It's been relatively cool here this month so the summer stuff seems a bit slower than usual coming on.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:19AM
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For some time now (since it was warm enough to leave the windows open at night) I've been hearing the pitter patter of itty-bitty feet on the filon roof outside the bedroom window. In my worst scenario the noise was coming from inside the walls... or the attic area. I never heard any noise during the day, however, which would be expected from rodents inside the house.

Mystery solved! The windowboxes outside the bay window on the north side of the house remain unplanted until the awning goes up. In the winter months we have wooden "deflectors" that fit inside the windowboxes and have a sloped surface that deflects rain and accumulated snow away from the siding of the house. I removed them today and lo and behold! Mrs. Mouse and her 6 freaked out babies ran in circles in the east most windowbox (which was dry as bone). I used a bottle brush to shoo them out. And quickly put the screen in the window as soon as I'd finished planting, lol. They sure are cute little things, but not so cute that I am willing to allow them continued tenacy... I suspect with their "cover blown" and the feline units on the job they will not be back.

Awning goes up tonight! and summer will officially be here.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:23AM
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What nice morning conversation I've found here this morning. Not to mention the beautiful photos that accompany it!

Michelle, those lilies are to die for! Both shots are just beautiful! I've tried larkspur, I love it, but I don't think I have enough sun for it or maybe it's my clay soil. There's something it doesn't like in my garden because it never does well. We've been lucky so far in the storm department. They severe ones have been staying south of us for the most part. Hope they're over for you now. And yes, stay safe!

Chelone, yes, those tiny little people do develop their own personalities very quickly. Not sure about this little guy quite yet but Jen says he's pretty laid back as is big sister Kate. Wally kept them up his first night home but has since been sleeping from about midnight until 6am in his crib. He's sharing a room with big sister for now so Jen figured she'd get them both used to having a room mate right from the start. Brad's job requires that he works lots of 12 hour days and most weekends. He's also got lots of hobbies, racquetball, golf, bikeriding that take him away from home for hours at a time. Maybe I've just gotten used to it over the years but I like my alone time. Granted I do usually have family around. If it's not the grandkids, it's the kids or my sisters and nieces. My kids always tell me that for my birthday they'll leave me alone for the day. They like to call me the hermit. One thing that's nice is that when Brad is home for the day it feels special like a holiday and we most always do just fun stuff.

Deanne, I'm looking forward to seeing your photos from the tour. They're always wonderful and almost like being there in person. I have the Diablo against the side fence in the back garden. That garden is quite deep and can take larger shrubs in the background and like you I want to screen out the views from the neighbors. I really like the giant salvia, but then I've never met a salvia I don't like. They're one of my favorite plants to collect and I end up with many every summer. I wish more of them were hardy here. How's it going with the painting for your upcoming class? That's coming up soon, isn't it? The urn in your photo is spectacular. Is that cotinus 'gold spirit' behind it? That whole vignette is wonderful!

Marie, sound like Sarah has alot to cope with now. When life gets that hectic for my girls my advice to them is to prioritize and also to just take it one day at a time or maybe even one hour or moment at a time. They can only do so much and must let the rest go, especially expectations and obligations to others outside of their little families. Sometimes just sitting and rocking a baby or reading a child a story is the most important thing. I know Sarah has work obligations that she must meet but maybe the rest of it needs to be handled by others for now. Good that Wayne's back to help now too. It must be a worry and hard for you too, Marie, being far from Sarah while she's having these difficulties while pregnant. Your Astrid L. is beautiful. If I could get my roses to look like that maybe I'd have more. I'm not big on games either, Marie. I'm not competetive that way and don't really care if I lose but Brad loves them and so does Bella so I play.

Picture of the day from me...

Melica altissima atropurpurea and Asclepius incarnata cinderella just beginning to bloom

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I grew up working every week end and holiday. So did the helpmeet and so he has for the past nearly 20 yrs.. I have the weekends off and have for the best part of 15 yrs. now. I hate it, frankly. What fun is it to be home on busiest days of the week when traffic is incessant (as is the noise), any local businesses you'd like to frequent are packed with people, and you find you have no time with the person you like most in the world? "Hanging out" is really not in the cards with this schedule. I've broached the subject of working Saturday and Sunday with my boss... NO WAY. If she can't be there to micromanage it will never happen... (wouldn't you think after 18 yrs. in the field I'd have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done?). scoff. Like you, Eden, I love being alone. But for me, "being alone" isn't incompatible with wandering over to see what the helpmeet is up to in his gaHden or his private "club house" where all his music stuff and his studio is.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about why my very good friends committed suicide and when I winnow it down to the least common denominator I arrive at the fact that they were alone too much. Didn't matter that they were surrounded by people, the fact remains they were "alone". I'm 51 yrs. old, and I'm sick and tired of squeezing the joy I find in the helpmeet's company into one stinkin' day every week.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm back, mostly for therapy. This morning's Gravel Watch phone meeting has me anxious and agitated. I need to calm down.

The problems DD faces are also one of the reasons I don't sleep. Thank heavens she is a strong and competent cookie!!!! Yet no one, especially my child!, should have to deal with standing back when someone is harming the development of a child. I'm sorry that the boy's mother can't be diagnosed as a case of Borderline Personality Disorder. It would work against his father to do so. Every attack she produces conflicts with the previous one, and is in fact an accusation of what she herself has done, not what others do. I just want to run away with the child. This will never end, and they know it, and do their best to create a happy family in spite of it. I am very concerned about Sarah resting now. She did decide against the helicopter ride at work that was organized for her and did take off even more days from work at her midwife's request because of contractions and other stuff, but she could not manage bed rest because of picking up and dropping off Skyler and taking him to soccer, etc. They still plan on going by van to the Yukon in July though... I so wish they'd postpone that for another time. Ughhhh. Yesterday's 'bedrest' involved buying a few clothes for Sarah and cleaning out Ivy's room and packing away her clothes for the new baby.

You see why I garden? Here are a few from today:
Madame Julia Correvon


A pale but beautiful one, Odoriba.

Our native Turk's Cap Lilies.

OK, back to reality now for a while....

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:21AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB -I think those first two would look great on the swag - particularly the Romantika against the house... Where do you get most of your clematis from?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 12:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Now that is the hardest question to answer Woody! I get them here and there..slowly, whenever I spot one. It might be lost Horizons, Belgian Nursery, Wild Things...just about anywhere. I have friends who send me things out of the blue, and there are clematis of interest if you just look anywhere. I find them even at the Saint Jacobs Nursery I wrote you about before. I used to find things at Sheridan Nurseries and Humber Nursery...but haven't been there in years. Basically, you need to keep a list in your pocket or your head...and just look everywhere. The other day there was Jackmani Superba at the local Nursery called Littletree in Fergus. They usually have about 4 kinds only.
Romantika is one I warned you about as getting mildew if planted too close to others. So there's lots to consider. Take your time and look about. I wonder if Terra might not have some of interest. You just never know.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 2:14PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

'bug and Chelone, thanks for the picture and thoughts. Actually, I have posted on this thread several times. Only problem? I must not have hit submit, but rather the back arrow, so they are gone forever. Obviously not focused.

Anyway, I said lots of nice things about all of the pics :) Imagine I am repeating all that-teehee. I am so pathetic...

Whew-temps in the mid-90s today and lots of humidity. I should be out working-pulling weeds, planting stuff that I didn't get in in the spring. Oh well. All I am doing is moving the sprinklers. Yesterday, I did do a little, but it was just too miserable. Our next door neighbors with the pool (who come to EVERY neighborhood party we give) have yet to suggest we come for a swim-in eight years! Hmmpphh. They did, however, suggest that we and their other neighbor get together to discuss sharing the cost of replacing their fence which is falling down and rotting at the bottom. Needless to say, we declined their kind invitation.

Eden, Wally looks like he is resting up to cause great mayhem in the near future-in a fun, boy way!

'bug, that lily is magnificent. I am finding myself drawn to oranges and apricots lately, although I have none in the house or garden. Oops, not true-I do have a couple of daylilies that are a lovely apricot color.

Chelone, I know exactly what you mean about being alone even when surrounded by people. Even that one person can make a difference. I am 58 now and so wish I could retire and spend more time with DH (as long he continues in recovery-very nice change!) and the galloping gardeners who, with the aid of the grandpup, just dug up for the second time one of my large azaleas which now has practically no root system, but which I keep replanting just in case (added stuff for root development this time). Is going part-time an option? One day a week just seems like so little. Better than nothing, but still... At any rate, it sure is good to see you back more often. Your posts were a good part of the reason I found myself coming back so frequently. Well, that and the fact that I must be somewhat masochistic, so I just HAD to see everyone's beautiful gardens compared to my weed and dirt collections-ha.

Thinking of all our revelling idylls on the left coast...

I will try to remember to hit submit, but don't hold your breath. Of course, you won't have any clue if I don't, will you????? Sort of like asking the class members who are absent to say so.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 3:36PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - I think I might take a trip up to Taylor Nursery in Milton tomorrow, weather permitting. They had a hoop house full of interesting ones ones last summer - when i wasn't looking for any....

Jackmani superba is supposed to be what is growing on the south gate arbour. Given that many of my clematies names are more than a little suspect (!) I'm not sure what it is but whatever it is, I like it... I was walating with camera in hand earlier and here are pictures of a few of my current clematises today:

On the north alley fence and gate - one of these was supposed to be Huldine to make a blue and white combo...!

on the tripod - I think it'll take another year for the whole tripod to get covered. I think I won't cut the clematis back all the way next spring:

Cute little bells I'm trying to grow into the Japanese wisteria. If it succeeds, it should make for an interesting summer bloom on the wisteria:

When we dig out the Blanc Double de Coubert rose and it's Angel rose companions in the next few weeks, I hope we can save the x durandi which is starting to do well. I want to replace the rose with 'White Moth' hydreangea and I think the clematis would look good with that.:

This one grows around and sort of over the viburnum and hydrangeas along the garage, near the driveway:

I think the clematis swag will be planted with strong, rich colors like those dark ones, but I need some cooler reds and some white-ish or bicolors to thread through them. I'm confusing myself trying to collect names for a list I think. I know roughly the effect I'm looking for so I may just 'wing it' and look around to see what I can find that fits the image i have in my head...!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 4:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, don't forget to look at the Gardenimport website. They have a very good dependable selection! Home Depot's selections vary from store to store. Their tiny choices back in May were amazing. (In Guelph) They are all blooming here now! Tiny, but healthy. The larger ones HD sells don't do as well as those tiny ones with the strong roots. At $4.99 a shot, what's to lose? (They are very tricky to remove from their pots...full of staples etc. I had to cut the pots too.)
From Gardenimport's choices I would most highly recommend the following (if you like them!). I'm not sure they have any left now, but you could phone and get Barb or Randy to speak to them. Or email them.
Avant Guarde
Blue Belle
Black Prince
Maria Cornelia
Gravetye Beauty

Don't feel rushed and buy any old thing in the right colors.

YEAH! Cyn remembered to press the submit message button! Good to hear from you, even if you have crazy neighbors too.

Thunder starting now...time to turn this machine off.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 4:39PM
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Does my heart glad to know that Cyn. is on a enough of an even keel to to post. Hurrah! I know how reading the Idyll and "imaginary" posts can be. It's OK; do the best you're able and shrug off the rest. We "get it". :)

Part time is not really an option... full time on my own is more likely... but I am important enough o wield significacant leverage. But I'm not sure how to present my desired package to a boss who is so disorganized that the mere thought of an EMPLOYEE alone in the shop could be benficial for both worker and "boss".

Cyn., I wish you well. I know how hard that BS is to deal with. And it's no picnic for the afflicted, either. Set a comfortable routine, stick to it, and keep rewarding the positive. Accent on the positive... always.. it works.

Eyes on the prize, baby!

(it's how we train dogs and kids, right?)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 5:04PM
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I thought all was well last night, but this is what I discovered this a.m. So Deanne, like it or not we will be cutting a branch down over my garden once again. This is the same tree that we took quite a few branches down earlier. Rick's chain saw is broken at the moment so I guess it will remain this way. See how the bird bath is holding the branch off the garden?

We took a drive through the countryside and were saddened by the wide path of destruction left by the tornado. We saw at least a 1/2 dozen farm places virtually destroyed and as many hog building sites as well. The crops were ripped from the ground in its path also.

Chelone, did you see the picture I posted on last weeks "Moments" thread? It was a pillow in my garden shed with a quote similar to: Its a law of nature: The more dirt that gets under your fingernails the higher your spirit gets lifted. That's why most days after work I head right out to the garden.

Eden, the larkspur just reseeds each year so it must like it here.

Deanne, that is 'Diablo' I have 2 and neither one is very large after 5 years. They probably stand 4' tall. I must admit that the combo was one that was inspired by 'bug. Believe it or not that is 6 lily bulbs planted 4 years ago. So far lily leaf beetles don't see to be in my garden.

'bug, I particularly like the birdhouse shot and the hazy background.

Cyn, great to hear from you. I wish you and your DH all the best. My parents went through a similar situation about your age and with some hard work they succeeded.

I too like my alone time.

The patio garden today:

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 5:34PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello all,

How lovely to have so many posts to read this evening. Doug went out for a 32 mile bicycle ride and I went to Lake St. Gardens to use up my $40.00 worth of garden bucks. A promotional thing the nursery does in the spring so didnt want to lose them. Of course they made out on the deal as I spent a great deal more than $40.00. I found another good priced cement container and a lovely blue one that I couldnt resist because they were essentially half price, then found a very cool variegated Eryngium Jade Frost that I just had to have and a beautiful full container of Phlox Blue Paradise that I have no idea where Ill plant it but will tuck it in someplace, an on and on.

Michelle, so so sorry about the tree branch and all the tornado damage. How dreadful It makes me sick to see that branch on your lovely garden.~~~ I cant imagine Diablo only being four feet tall as mine is so HUGE. Im seriously going to cut more than half of it to the ground very soon. It needs to understand how much room it is allowed to have. LOL

Chelone, sorry for your situation. Id be crazed. I like and need to be organized and need that in my environment. If I had to work for or with folks that werent I'd be nuts. Hope you can launch your business and not have to deal with the cranky boss anymore.

Woody and Bug, Im just loving all the clematis pics! So very beautiful! ~~ Woody, Ive tried in the past to get a clematis in my wisteria without success but I might just try again. such a great idea.

Hi Cyn, great to hear from you! Bummer about the lost posts. We are very humid here too but it only got up to high 80s and not in the 90s thank heavens.

Bug, absolutely love the pic of Odoriba with the fog in the BG. Soooo lovely!

Eden, Im getting more and more in love with salvias, especially the coccinia varieties. The hummers love them all.

So here are the first set of pics from the garden tour yesterday. The Fry gardens were unbelievable re the hardscaping but I found the plantings themselves to be pretty unimaginative but the vistas these folks have are unbelievable.

The back view of the house

Anyway Ill post a link to a gallery below. Have a great evening all

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 6:42PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Yikes Michelle! It's images like that that drive me to say 'bye-'bye to the ash in the backyard if EAB is confirmed next month. Randy wants to try the chemical treatment, but the tree is old anyway and overhangs the living room roof. The neighbour to the south's big old, clearly rotting, ash is about 10-15' from where I'm sitting at the moment. If it came down when the wind was from the S, SE or SW, it would come down on the room I'm sitting in!

GB - I've gotta have that Black Prince! Yukikomachi and Rebecca appeal a lot too. I'll see what I find tomorrow but maybe a Gardenimport order is going to happen too...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 6:43PM
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I forgot to answer a couple of questions.
Chelone, we have a basement as do the majority of homes around here. Tornadoes that touch down aren't extremely common, but quite often the storm spotters will report that they've spotted one that never touches down.

Deanne, I forgot to answer your question about the container. That container is all plants that I've wintered over. In the back is alocasia 'Illustris' and a dwarf papyrus. I really enjoyed your pictures of the Fry Gardens. It appears to be a very formal garden and lots of bucks into the hardscaping. I'm assuming there may be a gardener or two involved also. It does help to have money ;o)


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:40PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It looks like an overcast morning but we really could use some moisture here so Im hoping we get some precipitation today. The weather people are predicting T-storms so well see what happens. It was pretty funny yesterday, I went plant shopping with MichelleD and it poured over in Salem, NH (about twenty miles east of here) and I told her it would be dry as dust at my house and she didnt believe me and sure enough as soon as we got within a mile of home the streets were dry and not a drop had fallen here. This is the third or fourth time the region has gotten rain but none has fallen on my gardens. Crossing my fingers today we get rain.

Michelle, so glad you have a storm cellar. My sister lived in OK city for years without one and had tornados come within a half mile of her house twice. Theyve moved and now have one at their new home. ~~ How very neat youve wintered over all those plants! I managed to get one Illustris over the winter last year too. ~~ Yes, that Fry estate was amazing for the hardscaping and Im sure its the full time job of a fleet of gardeners to keep all the shrubs pruned. Big $$$s involved with that place. I couldnt afford the property taxes on the guest house. LOL

Here is another photo gallery of some of the other gardens we visited. Much more to my scale and liking. Lovely and lovingly tended gardens. My favorite was the Stokes gardens. She is a bird photographer and she and her DH publish bird field guides. They have 45 acres that is primo bird habitat and the views were so beautiful.

One of my favorite combos of the day, this beautiful honeysuckle with Clematis Ville de Lyon. Theyd repeated it in several spots along the fieldstone wall. So pretty!

What a nice surprise when Michelle spotted another guest at the tour and said, "Jeesh, that looks like Roger Swain" and by golly it was.

Link below to more photos of the Stokes gardens and two others.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 6:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We have just returned to computer access after an evening of storms. We also kept busy emptying out a window well which leaked water into our old basement. (We're talking a stone walled basement from 1871.) Lots of fun reading here to catch up on now! But Michelle, I am so sorry about your tree!

You Idylls all have me rethinking the Diable Ninebarks. I have two that have been pruned back several times. They are so huge and have started seeding around a bit too. I wonder if I could ever get their root systems out and plant my dark leafed elderberry there instead.

I think because it has been so wet lately and that I can't be out there working, that my thoughts turn to how to make the garden more appealing. My first thought is to have way fewer kinds of plants and bigger areas of color. More like a Piet Oudolf garden...though I understand they are not as easy as they look! Still at the pondering stage.

Woody, as to your update: Black Prince and Yukikomachi have been very successful here. Blue Belle also. But Rebecca I have heard some disappointing reports on. I think I am going to be very fond of Maria Cornelia too. Here she is, my new baby, in yesterday's rain. I love the habit of the blooms.

I think you might also like Royal Velours and Warsawska Nike. It is good to have some lighter clematis to set off the very dark ones.

Deanne, it's a good thing that a huge estate does not appeal to me. My friend Lynn just returned from a tour of 9 gardens, including several estates. She was horrified at what big money had produced, namely lots of crammed spaces with no unity or plan.(My garden?) The smaller country houses, those without hired help, had lots more imagination and charm she felt. I liked the wide spaces of the Stokes gardens very much indeed.

OK, some photos from the wet weekend.

Pamjat Serdsta

A little guy...

Aconitum Stainless Steel

Negritjanka in Elderberry

The Alexandra Rose


Betty Corning

Better get moving...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 9:56AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Deanne, love the conservancy pics. I could certainly live in the Fry house, but I agree the other gardens are more to my taste. Of course, were I living there, it would probably be as hired help! Our son used to go to camp up in your area-as do so many. It was always a joy to be up there. Not sure about winters, though. If not for that, I would be there or Maine in a heartbeat. If I ever hit the lottery, I will have the best of both worlds-LOL. I want one of those pink honeysuckles! The clippings I was sent didn't root. So sad. :(

Michelle, that is a drag about the limb. I have a tree guy coming today to look at (and trim, I hope) a couple of branches overhanging our neighbor's yard (yes, she is the lawyer with the pool-grrr). Here in VA the laws changed and the tree owner is responsible for damage caused if a limb or tree comes down on a neighbor's property. I really am glad to remove it because I would hate for it to come down on one of her two children, but it does stick in my craw to do anything for her at this point. Did I mention that even after I told her about the previous owner flooding our yard when she would drain the pool with the hose aimed at our side yard-which is illegal anyway-she did the same thing. Her response? "Oh, I thought it would be okay since I had it going into our backyard." Idiot-that is right next to our side yard. Ah well-deep breaths. Okay, I'm fine. :) Anyway, Michelle, with luck, a not-too-violent storm will bring yours down gently and not hurt anything below. Fingers crossed. Also, thank for the kind words-it continues to amaze me how prevalent issues with alcohol are. As Chelone says, eyes on the prize and staying positive!

'bug, I think I may need to try to get some clems to climb through trees as some of your do. So pretty.

I think I will head out for 15 minutes or so of weeding-after I look at the new RU photos. Not sure I will last, but that is so much more to my liking than the cleaning/organizing I need to do inside. Still, I will feel so much better once everything is put back to rights. Hate clutter, although you'd never know it if you stopped by today!

Hoping for rain which seems to pass by our little corner of the world, too, despite storms everywhere around.

Hope you all have a calm, easy day. DS and sweetie picked up the cute little monster, so mine will be just that.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:52AM
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Just a quick pop in to offer up a memory of last year's IU. (Not that I was there) If you don't get Fine Gardening's picture of the day emailed to you, you should sign up. It's a nice way to start the day. This week will be all pictures of Maine gardens.

I'll be back later to check out Deanne's latest garden tour.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 12:53PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - do you grow Piilu? It was too hot to hit all the garden places I planned to do so we just went to a couple in Waterdown. I got a Piilu because it looked so adorable! It has single, relatively small, flowers at the moment but it looks like it's a Gr. 2 with double ones earlier and a long bloom season. I think it sounds like a good combination to grow through a hydrangea to replace the Therese Bugnet rose at the end of the driveway. Do you know anything about it from personal experience?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

People have different experiences with Piilu. Part of the problem is that it depends on the season's temperature, rainfall, etc...on whether or not you get the double blooms or not.

Personally I'm not a fan of double blooms, but others really enjoy this clematis. Piilu was recommended to me so I tried it..and after a couple of years it died from root competition from wild grasses..because I didn't weed around it. It grew with a wild rose. But remember, you are in a warmer spot than me! :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:11PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks gb - I'd be quite happy with just the single flowers - I didn't like the look of the double ones either. But if it's growing through a shrub to replace the rose, the two types of flowers might make it look like there was a funny pink rose early in the season, followed by a hydrangea with a clematis. It might make for an interesting show....

Have you heard of any problems with wilt associated with it?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

There's always that risk I'm afraid Woody. I think mine wilted the first year and was OK the next.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 4:47PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

oops, RU????? What the heck..meant IU. Seriously, no one will see any difference when I do become senile.... ;)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 7:11PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well the gardens here are in full swing with all the daylilies bursting with color. So beautiful and soooooo early! It will be a quiet August except for the containers this year. An interesting progression of bloom this year and it makes me really happy that Ive been concentrating more on foliage and texture the last few years. Bug are there any other later blooming clematis other than Sweet Autumn? Im thinking Id like to tuck a few of those in here too.

Woody, I grow Piilu and never knew it had double blooms! Silly me! It is such a beauty. I love the way it carries its flowers. Mine doesnt get very tall though but that might just be because the rodents root prune it every year. Mine has never had a wilt issue.

Cyn, I knew what you meant with RU, I thought you meant reunion. LOL ~~ I love that honeysuckle too and Im not usually a fan of them. When grown well they are superb but I've never been able to get them to grow well here. I was really taken with growing it with that Ville de Lyon Clematis on the rock wall.

Michelle, I just love the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and want to get back up there this year. It is so lovely! ~~~ I do get the FG pic of the day. love it!

Bug, beautiful pics and I cant believe youve got Aconitum blooming already! Is that an early blooming variety? Also love that Pamjat Serdsta! Is that a group three?

The Jolyene Nicole daylilies are blooming a couple weeks early here and are so beautiful right now. What a show they put on.

Have a great day everybody and safe travels to those returning from the west coast.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:08AM
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Deanne, I am really taken with that rock wall combo too.
My Joylene Nichole has finished blooming already.
I have finally moved her from a poor spot. Been promising to do that for years now. The estate was neat but I love the second place. Thanks for sharing.
Bloom time here has been different this year too. Everything rushed to bloom at the same time.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 7:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Had a good Book Club meeting last evening. Lovely outdoor dinner with cold fresh pea soup. She's such an amazing cook! A berry and rhubarb crisp for dessert. Good discussion too.

Things are very early here as well...about 2 weeks I'd guess, and the weeds are flourishing too with all the rain. ;)

Deanne, there are a few later clematis, one is called Madame Baron Veillard which is very pretty. Generally though, I find late blooming clematis to be thugs that reseed everywhere and are hard to remove. (the yellow ones for me) I just enjoy the ones that last as long as possible. (Good old Arabella!) Paul Farges (Summer Snow) is very beautiful and lasts quite a long time, but for me it was a monster with trunks and so my plants got moved to the far wild ends of the property. They say Lady Betty Balfour is also a late blooming variety but I have never grown that one and have no first hand experience with her. Lady Betty is darker, so maybe Woody would like to consider this one, though I've never seen one for sale.

Must start my day...Supposed to be a cool one. What a relief!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 8:00AM
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I feel much better about the garden now that the potager is under control weed-wise. We always lay down newspapers and grass clippings. This keeps the weeds down quite nicely. It was a 2 night project with Rick mowing and me laying the papers and grass. Well worth the effort. On Saturday I put down newspapers and mulch in the tropical garden now that those plants are big enough. It looks so much better. Bare dirt is just so hard to keep weed free for me.

The tree branch was gone when I got home from work yesterday. Rick took care of when I wasnt home, as he knew Id be stressing. There was relatively little damage.

The Polish Spirit on my 2 trellis in the patio garden have started blooming.

Deanne, that is a beautiful daylily. I highly doubt that your containers will be the only thing blooming in August. I love what they did with rocks in that garden and wow on the borrowed views! I havent taken a look at your slide show yet. Interesting running into Roger.

Im enjoying all the clematis talk. I need to shovel prune at least one on my clematis tuteur as this is the 2nd year that it wilted.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:46PM
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Wow, trying to catch up to this Idyll was like chasing a runaway train. Now Im fairly up to date only to be leaving again for the lake and our annual family E-vent for the holiday weekend! We all enjoy this yearly gathering for fun, relaxation and time to visit without schedule conflicts. DS & DD have a chance to reconnect with their cousins while hiking, boating and fishing with the Dad's. I intend to laze around the beach area or chill on the pontoon beside my SIL's, do a little solitary rock hunting and otherwise be slothful. (Vacation was too darn much driving from one point to another) And, Im taking bendy straws with me, lol. The plan is to surreptitiously slip one under my arm while were sitting around the fire pit under a dark, star filled sky and then, when theres a quiet lull in the conversationBrrrrt! Since Im self taught, lacking proper Idyll instruction, Im debating the sudden short burst or a longer drawn out trumpeting. No doubt Im among the last to learn this trick but it will surely take them by surprise!

Enjoying all the photos! Bug you are most definitely the Clematis Queen with Woody following closely in your footsteps. I had no idea there were so many varieties out there. Do you frequent the clematis forum? Your information would be invaluable, not to mention the photography!

Woody, the shed looks great and I think the color will weather nicely.

Deanne, I do love those hosta leaves!what did you use to hang them? And is the painting your work? I really like the idea to use the shed wall as a backdrop for display. Most anxious to see a photograph of your new Blue Paradise phlox! After several years of avoiding phlox, I purchased a young but healthy looking BP and it bloomed a marvelous purple blue color. Upon our return from vacation I found it wilted and hideous with yellow lower leaves. It had good air circulation and weve received rain every few days for three weeks, however, during our absence the temps were in the 90s with both high humidity and dew point. I cut it back in a fit of crankiness when it failed to revive with watering and am sooo disappointed. Do tell your growing conditions for BP as your plants are always well behaved!

Gosh, Michelle, youve had some rough weather! Did I miss how close the tornado was to your farm? Always a blessing when there are no personal injuries but they cause so much destruction to the farmers livelihood. I hope theres not much damage to the plants under that treeit kind of looks like its at the edge of the garden? That larkspur is so vibrant, it must love that fact everything you grow seems to love where you plant it!

Finally, a photo of Wally :-)) looking quite content and sure enough, hes got a lot of dark hair! (It still amazes me years later as my two kids had minimal blonde fuzz and appeared bald) Congratulations again to your family, Eden, hes a sweetheart!

Norma, I caught your update on Niki..very glad to hear she's OK.

My ceratostigma plumbaginoides is blooming! I have never seen this happen so early in the season.

Chelone, this work situation is most irksome. I'm thinking your boss has some sort of stubborn mental density and therefore, the best way to present your package is with the metaphorical cluebat ;-)


    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:04AM
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Good evening friends..
Sue, Cindy and I were the last IU stragglers and had a really nice low key day of wine tasting and visiting a few small gardens , all close to home . Cindy treated us to some great salads from a local restaurant ( IU7ers will recognize Pizza Azzuro here in Napa) .We carried out and brought to my house salad was good after several days of seemingly non-stop eating ! I downloaded a boatload of pics .
What a great time we had ---thanks to everyone for being great guests and a flexible and easy to please tour group, and also thanks for all the fantastic hostess gifts !. I hope to see all of you back someday .. 2 more nights in Mendo , right ?

Waves to all, and hoping the travelers will check in ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:12AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its going to be an absolutely gorgeous day here and Im stuck in the studio. Yes Im whining but Im done now. A friend of MichelleDs (my garden helper) came over for a garden tour yesterday and we finished up the tour with wine on the patio and had a terrific time last evening. Im making a point to spend some quality time just looking and enjoying the gardens this year. The season is so darned short I want to soak in all the beauty to store in my memory banks for the winter season.

Kathy, sounds like you had the most successful IU ever. Kudos for all the hard work you did and the time you spent to put a great tour together. You know I wish Id been there but its a good thing I didnt go as my painting still isnt done yet and Im teaching it in less that two weeks. Yikes!

Candy, I absolutely cannot believe your blue plumbago is blooming already! Thats amazing. ~~ No the painting isnt my work, I bought the print on line. Lisa puts a wire hanger in the backs of the hosta leaves when they are still wet so a sturdy nail will do to hang them. ~~ RE the Blue Paradise, that is one of my favorite phlox. Id suspect that it is dealing with transplant shock. My guess is that is went though a period of too much dry with those 90 degree temps in between the days it rained. I actually grow it in the terrace gardens that only get a half day sun and the driveway garden that gets a full day sun and it grows well in both locations. I did notice the patch in the driveway had a bit of mildew but that isnt the norm for that plant.

Michelle, glad to hear youve gotten your mulch down. It really makes for more enjoyment of the gardens if you dont see weeds that need pulling every time you go out for a WALAT. So fantastic that the branch disappeared while you were at work. Hooray for Rick! That was really thoughtful. ~~ Dont you love Polish Spirit? One of my favorites after Arabella.

Bug, thanks for the info. I used to grow Lady Betty Balfour on the arch where the Polish Spirit now grows but the rodents destroyed it. Might try it again. I dont remember it being a late bloomer though. Ill have to check my archived pics.

Norma, so glad to hear your kitty came home safely.

OK time to get my day started here. Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 6:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, today is DS's 39th birthday. I guess it is official, I'm old! What do you get a 39 year old as a gift? So far, a card is all I can come up with.

It is an absolutely beautiful sunny day with a high temperature of 64 expected. Just what I like!!!! There's tons of weeding to catch up with. Yesterday I deadheaded 9 roses, weeded the eggplant patch and mowed the laneway for over an hour, losing my glasses somehow in the process!. Today, the beet area and other stretches of weeds need to be attacked..

It is anxious times here with major political activities going on for us regarding or Gravel Watch organization. This means tension and little sleep for me. But onward!

From Sunday to Wednesday we will be dog sitting for friends. Phoebe can hardly wait!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 7:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Trying to post some photos, but it is too sunny! Here are some tries from this morning.

Tie Dye:

Black Prince was in the sun and the photo turned the blooms red rather than their very dark hue.

Semu has a lovely form and I love the way it enhances darker clematis.

Japanese Little ones...


Back to business for me!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 8:52AM
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SunnyD and I flew all day yesterday, but I arrived home to find my house clean, my garden watered, a stocked refrigerator and everyone alive...though they're missing a few pieces here and there :) Sarah lost a tooth and Nick got a nasty gash while mountain biking. The dog is even happy to see me.

I can't wait to get my pictures out and give them the once over before I tag on to Kathy's threads and update you all on the land beyond the Mighty Miss. I felt a yearning to come home. I do love it there.

Okay...a little more coffee and a tour of the garden are in order.



    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 11:05AM
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Hi all.

Dreadful week here; but the week before a holiday usually is, so it's not unexpected. My general affliction has less in common with Clematis wilt that it does with Fire Blight, lol.

Was so irritated yesterday, in fact, that I visited my ace sewing machine guy and ordered 4 (count 'em!) bench extensions for the 4 machines I use most frequently. Then I went on-line and priced a couple of rolling racks that will make storage of oft used items easier. Kept my head down and my mouth shut today, and noted glumly that Bossy will be in the shop all day tomorrow... all I have to do is endure 6 hrs.; clam blue ocean, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean... It will all be over in under 24 hrs..

Time to go buttonhole a shirt.

I'm no fun these days, you guys. If you piss me off I may just spit, and where I spit, no grass grows. Watch your ass.

Good that Niki is home and is "doing drugs".

Figured out the bendy straw yet, Candy? :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 3:05PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Saucy, welcome home! Waiting for those pics!

Chelone, a friend sent me a card once-picture of a lovely, calm, bubbling stream picture perfect...front of card said (as best I can remember it), Feeling stressed? Someone got you down? Picture yourself by a relaxing mountain stream surrounded by, picture yourself holding his head under water...there now, don't you feel better? It was actually much funnier in real life. Okay, dodging spit...

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 6:26PM
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Deanne, that Jolyene Nicole is stunning! What a beautiful flower.

Chelone,hope the rest of your week goes smoothly.

I had such a wonderful time in CA with the gang. I really loved the area, felt like I could stay forever. I especially enjoyed meeting Denise and Brenda, whom I had not met previously. Plus we had Sunny D, Katherine (V's daughter), Dianne came with Brenda, so we made lots of new friends, too. Hope I didn't forget anyone.... I also had not met Kathy, and she made a fabu first impression with her wonderful planning. I don't know how she picked what we saw, because there are so many things to do and see out there. I think we could spend a month.

Bug, love the clematis pics and descriptions. Do you grow Roguchi? I saw one in Cali and I think if your zone can handle it, mine could. I love the downward facing ones.

Well, I must go do some paperwork and head to bed. Have my days and nights mixed up.

Take care

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 7:56PM
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Good evening Idylls..

The balloon has popped ! It seems odd to spend an evening on my own, but Im admittedly a little worn out. Thank god only two days at the awfice and then a 3 day weekend for the 4th of July-could not have planned that better. I have plant purchases , hostess gifts, and post IU garden furniture arrangements to deal with.

And what fun we had ! Have I said that ? Dont want to sound like a broken record here , but I really hope that some who have not participated in awhile will consider IU8..
This reminds me, there has been much discussion re: Buffalo Garden Walk for IU8 ..we got some insider info from Drema who went last year (was it last year Drema ?) and it was lukewarm. We discussed researching the post-event reviews from some of the garden bloggers who are heavily involved, and if anyone knows someone who attends this year it would be great to get feedback.

And , it was great to meet Drema, Denise, Brenda and her friend Dianne..I hope you all put IU8 on the calendar for next year .

Ok , gotta go , waves to all,

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 10:18PM
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As soon as I finish this coffee I'm off and running...busy day, much to do and we leave early (gaaah!) in the morning.

Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed the IU7 commentary and photography. Thanks so much for sharing! I especially enjoy seeing views from different Idyll another perspective whick is an added bonus. This trip certainly gave the opportunity to tour gardens on a grand scale!

Deanne, thanks for the input on my Blue Paradise. Hope I didn't do it too much damage by cutting it back but I couldn't stand looking at it any longer! I'll look forward to photo updates on yours. Here's a shot of my plumbago...seeing is believing, lol. Seriously, I've had it for at least five years, planted in various light and growing conditions and never have blooms until August.

I'll add another photo while I'm here. The hostas are having a very good year; this is one corner of my shade garden.

Chelone, I'm going with the Bendy Straw Big Blast (sounds like something off the DQ menu) because the fire pit is a pretty big circle of rock and I want to include everyone ;-)

I have to get moving! If I can't get back today...wishing each and all a happy 4th of July and safe weekend!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 10:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi Gang - I just wanted to say this lone straggler idyller has landed back in her own reality... altho it appears that I managed to hide some California weather in my suitcase -- I got home about 2 a.m. and Im feeling "shakey" at the knees -- drat it. The weather is incredible and I need to find some energy to get out in the garden!

I'll check back in later to see what's been happening - I know some folks gave updates and I see the California hostess has already been providing luscious updates of the trip -- it was so much fun to meet Denise finally and Brenda and some other friends of friends!

A most fabu-fabu trip!!


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 12:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cindy, the thing about an Idyll holiday is that you KNOW it will be great in every way...except the return. You know there will be laundry!

It is a lazy Canada Day holiday here today. I weeded the beets this morning - at last. I think I'll have some weeding help tomorrow. I sure hope so. There's way more than one old lady can handle.

More photos of the day-
Field of grain behind the barn

Catalpa tree blooms. (I planted the seed to this tree!)

Clematis Myofuku

The class of 1960!(Check out that dogwood behind us!)


    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 1:40PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

'bug, great class photo-looks like a Kousa behind you? Mine didn't flower as heavily. Seems to be sort of a pattern in my yard. I have never seen a Catalpa bloom-how pretty! Your picture of the field is spectacular. What I wouldn't give to look out and see space like that! I am going to have to have a talk with my one clematis. Really, it's not doing the same job as all of yours. Maybe a replacement or a challenger for the space is what is needed.

Cindy, ah, so you are the one who brought us this weather! Well done and many thanks, friend! I have been enjoying it and getting some weeding done. That is an exercise in futility around here, I'm afraid. Oh well.

Candy, I think your plumbago and hosta look great. Is that Tradescantia next to the Hosta? Mine is much more leggy and sparse. Are you beginning to get a sense of how pathetic my garden is at this point? :(

Kathy, glad you are able to ease back into things this week. Enjoy that long weekend. BTW, I am going to start a savings account-special fund: IU8! Where have you all gone in the past?

Guess I should get back to weeding. I really need to add more plants or have the ones already planted grow more quickly. Or maybe it is just that I never got mulch down this year. If I can get everything cleaned out a bit, maybe I can convince DH to lug some bags to the car and then around the yard so I can just open and dump. We'll see.

Chelone, hope the end of the week is better for you.

Drema, a month-long IU sounds marvelous-especially out there with Kathy. All those pictures are so enticing.!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Really brief tonight, Im determined to achieve 8 hours sleep - I sure was dragging at the awfice today. I did manage to address my 177 e-mails and the 21 voice mails tomorrow I can do some real work . lol. To think that the kick-off party was one week ago tonight., and what a packed week it was .

Cyn, this was my 3rd IU , last year was Maine, the year before was upstate NY, and Philadelphia area, Illinois, Michigan, Conneticut have all been visited. If I had to guess, it will be Buffalo Garden Walk next year, the last weekend in July.

Really enjoying all the pics in this thread , but hard pressed to comment individually.

Drema, I found Roguchi at Joy Creek, and Im going to order one this weekend. I think I have a spot for it , but Ill move it if need be. I hope you enjoyed your journey on Sundayplease contact me if you are out here again, Id love to show you the places we went after you left usand that goes for all Idylls .

No blame for the shakey stuff Cindy, I think sleep deprivation is the culprit. Im going to try and walk 5 miles this 3 day weekend, I think it will get the blood goingsure seems strange not to have an IU preview to visit.

All for now waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 12:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Roguchi often gets mildew. [This year mine does. :( But I wouldn't be without it.] It was featured last year at the Idyllunion organized by Chelone. You may remember the man who received us so kindly at his home and served us lemonade? He had Roguchi climbing up his entryway. It was well situated,(on an arbor? a post?) not a bit crowded. No trace of mildew there!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 2:45AM
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