Idyll #387 A swarm of Bees...

gardeningmaryJune 29, 2008

"A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.

A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon.

A swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly."

Thinking of Saucy and her bees.


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Today we are getting a break from the thunderstorms and spending time in the garden has been blissful after all the scraping and grouting. Every day there is a new burst of blossom. Also, an unexpected treat - I counted 8 ripening apricots one my trees -the first they have produced in the 5 years since I planted them. I guess the bees were doing their work.

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 2:13PM
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Thanks, Mary, for starting this thread. I took a good long time reading the other one and was grateful when I refreshed as my creative brain is in hibernation and the only tydll I could come up with was "Lazy, Hazy....etc." I like bees better :-)

Sue, I told Rich you told me to get a puppy. He said next time we have lunch he'll set you straight. LOL So sad to hear about your leg, but aggressively rest and all will be well, I'm sure. I'd've let the guy pick me up. How often does that happen for a good reason????

I think your DH is jealous, Mary. I don't think he could've done it without: "Hey, Mary, I need this!! Hey, kids, I need that!!" Why IS it that men have a hard time with us doing real stuff and having it be good???? I'd go on strike at this point.

It's so good that you have a next-door neighbor good helper, Deanne! Passing along the knowledge to someone who knows what to ask is a pure joy. Give her the raise .... The begonia site was just enabling right backatcha!! LOL Really, they have superior material and are a great company to work with.

Keep showing us your favs, 'bug! I did way too much Clem research way too fast and am now totally askew about what I want to do. I NEED more. The shrubs NEED to have something growing through them for secondary color.

PM, I grew Multi-blue up through a Viburnum and just made sure the planting hole was on the north (non-sunny) side of the shrub. The tops go toward the sun and it's a perfect environment for the Clem. I plan to do more, as you probably have guessed by now.

Feeling for you, Cynthia. You had so much hope for Katie's wheels. Love the idea of lending them to Sue.

Gardening has been restricted to before 9am these past few days. I'm physically too drained to do much more and am running out of good iron foods to keep me going. Did snag a flat of annuals to fill in a few spots and need to get those in, but otherwise the gardens have what they will have for this year.

Personal family note to share:

My brother can go out with Rich for coffee next week! He's managed to not hit, scream, cry or fall on the floor for six weeks. He's routinely doing his laundry and is participating in group sessions. Every day he's asking for his toothbrush and to be shaved. Money is staying in his pocket rather than being given to other patients for Heaven Knows What. His Social Worker is confused. So are we, but the deal was (thought of and offered by Rich) that if he could maintain for 1.5 months he'd take him out for as many cigs as he could smoke (cigs are the currency of his life, I think) and for a Latte. Because of Rich's military training and the fact that he can floor an elephant if need be, they feel safe letting my DB go with him. This is HUGE!!! I'm incredibly grateful for these moments.

My other not-so-together brother found a job as a framer so is not hanging out at my parents' house with doors locked and checking windows every few minutes.

This is too much to believe!!!!! So, so, so grateful.

Have a good Sunday!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 2:36PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Mary - I made Randy sit down and read your post about the bathroom conversation with your DH! I asked him if he recognized himself :- ) He laughed ruefully and said 'yes'! It's one of those guys-of-a-certain-age thing I think...

Martie - It must be so stressful having two brothers with such problems - and such a relief when things get more normal for a while. I hope it lasts for a while. I hope your brother and Rich enjoy their cigarettes and coffee and plan for another break in another month or two. Having something positive and desirable to work towards is always a good incentive.

Deanne - more thoughts/details on VP for you... The bed it's in faces more or less NE. It is also under the roof overhang of the porch so it can be dry under there - I have to remember to water it if we haven't had a heavy rain in a while. The soil is unamended awful clay! The bed is only about 12-14" wide and the soil is just the backfill from the house renovation! The only organic matter in there is from the leaves of the clematis itself plus the rodgersia and some euonymus leaves that fall - I never clean anything out of there. I give the clematis some clematis fertilizer in spring only. The asphalt driveway runs right up to the curb that is hidden under the clematis foliage and flowers in the pictures. So there is lots of radiated heat in summer - and it gets salt in the snow that is cleared off the driveway in the winter. In other words, it's a minor miracle that VP grows there at all, let alone does this well! Actually, when you think about all that, I think that what has happened to it is that it has become a sort of quasi-bonsai! (i.e. it gets just enough of what it needs to stay alive but not enough to grow to normal size...)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 3:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sunday at the farm...

The wild Angelica is blooming away!

Monique and Kaveh (for those who remember him) encouraged me to try Cotinus Golden Spirit. Here is clematis Buckland Beauty growing through it.

Clematis Juuli in the barn garden

And a poppy that appealed to me.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 3:33PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon... :-)

Mary....I would be oh so grateful if my husband or any member of my family would get it into their head to redo our bathroom, take out and replace the toliet, refinish a cabinet, put up beadboard and retile the floor....well, I would just be so thrilled and so happy that I wasn't doing it and that I wasn't paying a contractor $20,000. to do it....that I would be bringing him coffee and fanning his hot brow and saying how great a job he was doing!! :-) And if I wasn't appreciating the willingness, the effort to do that, then I wouldn't be so surprised if he wasn't in any hurry to do another project around the house. :-) Oh...and congrats on your apricots, wow, five years to wait...give yourself a gold star for foresight and patience!

Not much new in our garden. We managed to plant two more plants from the pot ghetto yesterday and weed and mulch another small section of a border. Not our most productive day in the garden, but have to just keep chipping away. Did another small section this morning and trimmed back the Walker's Low Nepeta. On closer inspection, the hydrangea foliage was a mess from the hail and I must have cut off a third of the leaves. Pole bean seeds planted last Sunday are already a couple of inches tall. We usually grow Purple Beans and we are adding Yellow this year. Basil is in and we've started an asparagus bed. Lots of Shasta daisies blooming with plenty for vases and two Delphiniums are blooming.

The Farmer's Market was a bust yesterday. There were only about a half dozen stands and none of them had organic produce. I was really struck by the irony of the fact that it had been sponsored by a new organization in that town, whose aim is 'Sustainability'. They had a nice band playing and there seemed to be a pretty good turn out but we will try a different one next week.

Deanne...the research I have been doing is for ways to manage with ADD. A relative who has ADD is struggling right now and we want to learn how to be more supportive. I thought Astilbe 'Deutschland' was a white, is yours pale pink? Maybe I am thinking of 'Bridal Veil'.

Chelone....Having a portfolio of your work would not only be great for potential clients, but I am sure someday you would be glad you had one. Perhaps you can plan a small area in your workspace as a 'staging' area to take photos with some pizzazz. As for your statement that all sewing is pretty much 'simple straight seams'....that gave me a good laugh. We all know there is a whole lot more to it than that and it takes a lot of talent, which you obviously have. :-) I am also a Browallia fan, but I never see it available anywhere. I find it once in awhile, but it is not like the Browallia I used to buy back in the 1970s. The flowers used to be larger and so was the foliage now that I think of it. I keep looking though.

Gardenbug....when is your son due for his visit and how long will he be able to stay? Glad your delphiniums survived the storm. Very pretty vase full and I do enjoy that light blue color. I have the dark blue and a rose colored one that I enjoy, but I am still planning on adding the light blue and the white. Love those pink they have spots inside or are they solid pink? Really nice large blooms. I am enjoying seeing your garden every day. :-)

Hi Woody! :-) Glad to see you had such a good time on your trip. It took me a minute to figure out you weren't talking about Prince Edward Island. Thanks for the name of the Rodgersia. It does look really nice with your euonymus. I like the form of the flower on it. That is a bed in the front of your house, right? Which direction does it face?

Saucy...DH had a long stretch of struggling with plantar fasciitis. It has been doing really well for awhile and your case of it had us talking about what it was that turned it around for him. We can't I know he had some PT with a lot of stretching and he buys his shoes with the right support. I remember he tried the night splints but gave that up very quickly.

Sue...that YouTube link was a riot. I am going to have to send it to our son. He will really get a kick out of it. So, maybe what Nick needs is a clock radio that plays the oldies? [g] happy for you that you have something positive happening in both your brother's situations. Sounds like something has helped create some progress and I can't help thinking that you and Rich hanging in there and continuing to give your support and encouragement has made a huge difference and I would be willing to bet, more than you even guess. Enjoy every minute of it. :-) Thanks for the info on the clematis through the shrub. I wouldn't have thought of planting on the north side. So, if you are planning on adding more clematis, where are you going to look for yours and when would you be trying to plant them? I am thinking it is too hot until the fall and maybe wait for next spring....or is there a better idea?

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Hola, Happy Sunday afternoon to all. Im taking a break before I clean the inside of my car as a driving trip-prep measure. Dinner with the neighbors last night-ribs and zucchini from the garden lightly sauted in home made pesto Âvery tasty ! Wine of course.

Thinking of Saucys bees made me notice just how many I have around the garden right now. In the back I have 2 lavs and 2 Nepetas in full bloom that are buzzing with activity. I feel badly for people who are allergic to and/or frightened of bees.I can hardly imagine a summer garden without them .

Âbug continues to tempt us with more fabu Clematis pics. So weÂve got our Queen Bee , our Container Queen and Queen of the Clems.

PM , we have 3 farmers markets in Napa city, Saturday and Tuesday mornings, and the ÂChefs Market on Thursday nights, so called because it features food booths and demos as well, and wine tasting too.

I better get back to the car cleaning, itÂs taken me forever to type this !

Here are a couple more DLÂs for your considerationÂ

This one is called Mexican Magic


Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 4:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy...oh..pretty! Mexican Magic is very nice! Love that edging on it!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 5:22PM
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The tydll made me smile as my bees swarmed today.

I'm kind of sad since I'm unable to do much but watch. They're too high in the tree to retrieve. I set up a new hive for them, in case they liked their man made house. The hive left behind has been busy, which is good. A swarm is mother natures way of carrying on....but not much consolation for a first year bee keeper.

I don't like being without my "wheels" Sue. I can feel your pain. I actually feel less pain today, but I'm trying not to push it.

Mary, I'm pretty sure I'm married to the same man, too, LOL. Mine mentioned re-mowing the lawn earlier because he claims I missed a few spots. I'll swear I don't know how the house runs without him :)

I have bronze fennel covered in Black Swallowtail caterpillars.....I will try to photo and save a chrysalis for further investigation. Made me think of you, Marian, and your beautiful moth.

I hope tomorrow is more cheery than today. I'm really feeling blue for some reason.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 7:18PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Holy moly, we just had a monster T storm blow through here with wicked thunder/lightning and 60MPH gusting winds not to mention the two inches of rain in 40 minutes. The gardens are a mess but no major casualties. I almost lost one of my fuchsia standards. The stake had pulled out of the potting medium and the head of the standard was on the ground with the trunk bent in half. Yikes! I straightened it out, restaked it and am crossing my fingers that it didnt' sustain any permanent damage. It rained so hard the end of the patio and the lawn on that side was under an inch of water.

Monique, thanks for inspiring me to pick up a can of spray paint. I painted one of my old Sam's Club pots a lovely purple and its now in purple collection on the front steps. Very cool, and on top of that I have a Piilu clematis in it.

Oh dear Saucy, sorry you swarmed. How long does it take for the original hive to repopulate? What are the chances you can find where the swarm goes so you can retrieve them and just how does one retrieve a swarm of bees? How cool to be learning something new. Thanks for sharing!

Woody, (I just had a whoopsie and typed your name Woofy but thank heavens I caught it before I posted. Good grief)Anyway, thanks so much for the information about VP. That really helps me make a decision as to where to move her and just how to treat it. Mine has climbed to the top of a six foot obelisk. Can't wait to see what it does next summer.

OK I'm turning into a pumpkin, time to get my jammies on. I'm pretty tired as I didn't sleep well last night for some reason and it's catching up with me. Have a great evening all.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 8:19PM
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This weekend seems to have gone by too fast, however I will only have two days before I'm off to the coast. What a riot over there on the previous thread with Mary's critque-ing DH and the rally to her support.

Wondering about Saucys swarm- do some stay behind ? Shucks Saucy, you have empty nest syndrome and a bum ankle-that's why you're blue.Hugs and smiles to you !

Deanne, I can't imagine a storm like that -we get our share of deluges in winter time, but 2 inches of rain in 40 mintes ? What a mess that would create here. So what material is your new/old purple pot? I'm trying get a vision--a pic would help of course !

Martie, great to hear that things are looking better for your brother. I hope things continue to stabilize for you .

Browallia here is always sold in 6 paks.For some reason I never think of buying it, but Chelone has made quite a compelling case in it's favor ..another that is always on the shade tables here is Torenia, which I have tried with dismal results. I think the issue I have is that my shade areas tend to be either too shady or exposed to afternoon sun, and things burn up.

Hoping a few of the absent-ones turn up soon-Norma, Denise, Eileen, T, Marian,Babs, and I wonder how things are in Honeys' world ?

Time for me to sign off and close up shop around here. If the wind dies down in the next 30 minutes or so, I could get in a pre-bedtime WALAT--it's very cool tonite.

Later Idylls...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:36PM
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A quick WALAT reveals no major damage from the storms that rolled through yesterday and very early this morning. Some were downright scary and my volunteer fire fighter neighbor said that 70MPH gusts were mixed in. I believe it. An educated guess is that between 2-3 inches of rain fell. Needed, but not all at once!!

Rich's take on Mary's dialog: "I'd never do that." SNAGGED!! Perfect opening for the myriad times ..... We ended up laughing about it and Rich congratulates you, Mary, for having the "fortitude" to tackle the job. I'd take it as a compliment :-)

So does that mean Martie can finally put up the crown molding in the dining room? No. Steadfast: NO! I need to send him away for a few days.

Remembering George Carlin. Though not everyone appreciated his brand of humor, he was genius.

Thanks for the encouragement re: my brothers.

We were chiding Ky that if he passes his State Department exam and gets to step three: FBI background checks, that the investigators would have a field day with my family. He figures it could work to his advantage: If he made it through his first 21 years intact with this as his gene pool, he can do anything. Ditto his Dad's side. Sometimes you just need to laugh 'cause what else can you do?????

Very, very glad that you're getting outta Napa, Kathy. The reports on the fires were enough for a work friend to cancel his family's vacation to drive up the PCH. Can't say that I blame him. Airline gave him full trade on his tickets. That says it all to me!!

My list of seeds for next year includes Browallia. I think Pinetree has an heirloom type that might be more of what you're thinking, PM2.

Torenia never works for me, either, Kathy. "Treat it like a tropical" is the advice I got but it never takes no matter what the conditions. Maybe it's just a one-shot wonder?

It looks like a fairy land outside with raindrops glistening everywhere. One more quick walk with my 2nd cuppa before work.

Looking forward to hearing from those missing .....

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 7:23AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well things are looking all freshly washed outside and the damage is minimal, incredibly so as we got another bout of storms around 3:30AM or so. I had a ton of dead branches down from the big oak tree with the hydrangea on it but they didnt break anything.

PM were you asking about the pink astilbe in the shot with the allium seed heads or the astilbe in the Sarastro photos? The ones in the Sarastro photographs are the Detuschland. I dont know what the other pink one is with the allium.

Kathy, I just love that Mexican Magic! The edging on that is gorgeous. ~~ The container I painted is made of cast stone. Here is a pic of it in the grouping on the front steps. Its the one with the clematis in it.

And another close up of that one container. Its actually a little more red purple than it looks in the pic.

Here is another neat find. I was looking for a small trellis for the passion flower vine and couldnt find anything I liked. I went to home goods and found this metal candle holder on sale, cheap (yes that used to be a candle holder) I had Doug cut off the top part with the candle plate on it and voila I have the perfect support for the passion flower vine.

Then I was having so much fun with the spray paint I found these curly thingies at HGoods as well, painted them red and put them in that new container. What fun.

Bug, great combo with the Golden Spirit and that poppy is gorgeous.

Martie, my dad was mentally ill but scary brilliant. He worked on super top secret optics systems for combat helicopters at the end of his career. To this day I have no idea how he maintained his Top Secret status with his illness and drinking issues. ~~ Torenia is gorgeous when it does well and a dog when its not happy. Ive found the newer Proven Winners cultivars are really superb. I grow them in more sun than theyd probably like and feed them as much as my tropicals. Ive had better success with that than growing them in the shade where I tend to over water them then they turn to mush. ~~ Sounds like you got the same batch of storms as we got here.

OK time to head out to the gym. Have a great day

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 11:24AM
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The curly thingies are brilliant, Deanne, reminding me of a corkscrew juncus. Our server has been spotty lately, seeming to crash when I get a sec to post, but have been reading. Just got a Golden Moon torenia recently and hoping it hangs on. And noting all the clem photos, esp. Juuli, which will be coming in fall. Finally got a couple days off from work and semi-camped in the garden for the entire time. Mourning dove babies have hatched under an eave and are in preflight mode. The cats wait like crocodiles below. Better keep this short and will try again later.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 12:06PM
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Monday's are always hectic at work so I'll keep it short.

The weekend was enjoyable but short. I was able to get a little gardening done on Friday afternoon. Kenzie came Sat. a.m. and we went to the Fun Farm. They had every kind of farm animal you can imagine and she was thrilled. They were all friendly and curious of her. All the annuals were on clearance so I let her pick out some for her garden. That kid is going to be a plant nut someday. She wanted one of everything.

We went out in the field with DH and got caught in a rain shower. The rest of the afternoon and evening were rainy and windy.

We also went lawnmower shopping because the motor died on the one we have. We haven't made a decision yet.

Deanne, the purple pot and the curly things are fun accents and how clever you are to transform the candle holder. Wow, what a beautiful arrangement of containers on your steps.

Sue, so sorry to hear that you are having yet another health issue. I'm sure the Idylls will do what they can to have you attend the IU.

'bug, your poppy is a lovely color. The ones that are blooming for me are all pastel colors.

Kathy, I love the different daylilies you've been posting.

Martie, how nice that your DB can have an outing. I hope its enjoyable.

The Browallia I planted last year was a dude for me.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 4:25PM
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3 days left until the "holiday" weekend ( mercifully 4 days long for me!). Mary, your DH sounds about like by boss has for the past few days. ;) Send him to the Compound for a "reality check" and a swift kick in the pants by someone who knows how to deliver it efficiently. Today, told old my boss to -hit in a hat and pull it over her ears, she'd look great in brown. What is with the incessant, "what if" angle, anyway? as if it helps or makes anyone more productive/receptive to helpful observations? (Hmmm... looks as though we MIGHT have rain, and it MAY well retard the dry time of the mastick you chose to use (you read the directions carefully, didn't you?), and the delayed dry time MIGHT have a deleterious effect on the tiling IF the next 5 yrs. prove to be "wet"... (can't you just picture John Cleese delivering the sermon, lol?). You are infinitely more polite than I am concise. My reply would have required exactly two words... use your imagination.

I do not believe the painting will EVER be finished. ;) I have the new windowboxes painted, as well as the cleats that will keep them away from the shingles. They look OK, but I'm not really pleased with the rough cut lumber (wanted something a little more "finished"), but they're finished and they'll go up this week. Maybe tomorrow... if it doesn't rain. :/

The Delphiniums are lovely, 'bug. I've never tried them! frightened off by their fearsome reputation. And yet, I'm supposed to live the perfect place for them. I have enough trouble getting the peonies staked, so I'm not sure I have what it takes to deal with Delphs.

Don't give up on Browallia, Michelle! I've had mixed results with Torenia, too. It was spendid in one location and petered right out in another. But, gee, it sure is pretty... I like the tubular character of the blossoms and the bit of yellow in them.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 6:34PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Brain cells only have enough energy left to post a quick pic....


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 7:48PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'll give it a shot here, but I have a killer headache setting in and I'm not sure if I'll make any sense. Can't decide if the headache is sinus or tension, so I'm not sure what to take for it, but the jug of gin seemed tempting...

Chelone, Thursday can't come quick enough for me. I didn't quite use your phrasing, but I did tell a coworker's supervisor that when I figured out what his underling had stuck me with, I thought about packing up and going home for the day.

So tonight I had to run an errand in the next town over, and stopped at a nearby grocery store to grab a couple of things. This store had been a bright, shiny wonder when it opened a few years back, but tonight it looked rather forlorn right at the peak of the evening rush. I kept thinking I was getting a funny vibe there. When I got home, I was rather thirsty, opened one of the milk bottles and poured a nice glass. Yep! The milk had gone off - three days past its expiration date. The worst part is, it's close to a thirty minute drive (and gas!) one way back to the store, so it's not worth driving back to return the milk. Grumble, grumble - I should have known better!!!

This morning I dropped off my car at the body shop to get the rear end fixed. Went to pick up the rental car and they didn't have a compact on hand, so I got upgraded to a small SUV at no charge. It's roomy and it's bright red, so I won't lose it in a parking lot. I've been known to have that problem with more generic-looking rental cars.

Deanne, you are having way too much fun with spray paint. Stop before you get to the cats, okay?


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 9:30PM
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Im watering and packing tonight-an effort it seems..Im tired ! Even though Ive taken a few days off in the last couple of months I think the never-ending stressful 10 hour days are taking their toll. I think a few days at an ocean front beach house will be most welcome-too bad I have to drive 9+ hours to get there .

Deanne, lovin the purple pot. Perhaps its more aubergine in tone? So will you train the gardening helper in the fine art of deadheading ? I notice you have some Angelonia in the pot front and leftish of the purple guy. Isnt that a great plant? Ive put it both in containers and in the garden beds this year, all colors I could find. It never seems to look ratty which is a big plus for containers . The red curly things are Fabu-fabu plus ! Are they plastic or what ?

Denise-glad you showed up ..bummed that you have computer woes. Ive decided to take my laptop to Oregon with me , our beach house has DSL. Is this a bad sign ? I cant take a vaca from the computer ? Im using the excuse that we need to document Mr Babys first ever vacation, and see the pics right away. Oh yeah, I may need to read the Idylls too.

Michelle, Im sure you meant to say that your Browallia was a dud , lol. I was pondering whether Chelones did so great because they were the right gender but which gender would it be ?

Ok, Im out of steam for tonight..Hi to all

Kathy in Napa

Not a very good pic, but heres the little driveway corner annual bed I planted. Another couple of weeks and it should fill in pretty nicely.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 10:57PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Still immersed and going cross eyed with research but finding enlightenment. [g]

Isn't this full circle rainbow incredible?!

Happy Tuesday!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 7:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"we need to document Mr Babys first ever vacation, and see the pics right away."

This has been a very strange weather year so far but most of the clematis are doing very well. It is great to see new ones opening each day. Yesterday it was Hagley's Hybrid and Huldine...and many others are about to pop.

Today is Canada Day and the weather is fabu-fabu, at least so far. They say high of 75. I'm preparing for DS's visit and friend Lynn's visit and a Saturday wedding. Mix in a haircut, laundry, exercise, meals and weeding and you get the picture.

Happy Tuesday to all!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 7:50AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning, beauteous day on tap here and I can't wait to get outside. I need to feed a few things today (like about 100 pots) so I've got to get started.

Kathy, lovely corner planting. Those zinnias are going to make a terrific splash of color. I love zinnias but I've given up on them because of Japanese Beetles and powdery mildew. No matter how hard I try they look like garbage by mid to end of August. ~~ The red curly thingies are some kind of curly branch like a curly willow. They were in the silk flower section of HOme Goods for cheap. ~~ Yes, Angelonia is looking to be a must have flower for me. This is my first year trying it and so far it's a big thumbs up. . Do you know if you prune out a spike that is getting too tall does the plant make branching spikes? Just curious. I've got a couple plants I'd like a bit bushier. ~~ I've already given my garden helper her first lessons in 'deadheading' and she's a natural. Now if I could just afford her every day.

V. what a drag about the headache and the milk. I absolutely HATE it when that happens as I've often thought that places like that are doing it on purpose knowing that most people won't have the time to come back and return it. RE the jug of gin and the headache, it might take care of it short term but cause a new one on the morrow. LOL Seems that you've had more than your share of issues at work lately. So sorry. ~~ LOL I'll make sure not to get near the cats with the spray paint.

Now that is one impressive rainbow shot PM. Glad you are finding what you need from your research. I find it interesting that there has been an epidemic of ADD in the last fifteen years and getting worse. Culture, diet, lack of exercise in our children or all of the above?

Bug, Looking forward to scads of pics of your fabu clematis. My Betty Corning are just splendid this year.

Chelone, Good thing I'd recently relieved myself when I read the hat thing. I almost split my sides. I have to remember that although I don't have your ATTITUDE so don't know if I'd ever be brave enough to use it. (well except with Doug. te he)

OK must run and get things going here. Enjoy the day all. I sure wish our missing Idylettes would make a showing and say hello.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:08AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I have the day off -- a.c. inspection, and first visit to the dentist for the first crown of my life... I feel as though I've reached a milestone, LOL... but have managed to SALAT a bit this a.m. - we finally got some rain last nite and yea, no hose slogging needed.

Deanne -- you continue to raise the bar on creative and inventive -- I was at Homegoods on Sat & was shocked at almost no pots available - very weird; but while I try to use an eye for finding unusual things to convert to garden "decor" I am not enough "outside the box." I did manage to pick up 3 mosaic glass orbs that I think will be pretty outside but that was an easy stretch. Those red "juncus" (yep, I thought that too Denise) and the new holder for the passionflower are amazingly wonderful. The juncus remind me a bit of the garden sculptur Marcia Donahue I think her name is -- we saw her bamboo sticks at Chanticleer, remember? Very very cool. What pizzazz.

Kathy - glad to hear you're going to record vaca and Mr. Baby's family gathering -- look forward to seeing 'em. Lovely corner garden - what a nice, bright welcome that will be for prospective buyers. Hope all the smoke clears up soon to lure buyers back.

I think all we worker bees will be mucho happy to see that extra long weekend; I was thinking I should have planned a day off next week to make that a 4 day instead of today but I wasnt sneaky enough to think of that.

Torenia -- funny, I just planted a urn up w/ ajuga black scallop and torenia - so far it's holding up okay; but it's early days yet; it's a pretty blue. I'll give you the verdict at summer's end.

Mary, I had a huge laugh over your DH and bathroom inspection -- geez, it does make one remember some of those things that one does not regret being single for, LOL... jealousy over gender tool belts I guess. Funny what that Y chromosome does when feeling threatened, eh?

It's a beautiful day here, low humidity - Im going to SALAT a bit more and then off to errands and the dentist.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 9:47AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The garden is a monster out there with all the rain we had in June. Three days away meant lots of catching up required. Saturday I hacked down lots of Russian Sage and some of the baptista stems that were completely blocking one of the paths in the front bed. I also hacked down the early type of relatively low veronica Im not sure of the species - that flops open in the center after the blooms are finished. It will now be just a green edging for the center path. Saturday I weeded the paths in the backyard very much needed! Yesterday we decided the New Dawn rose on the arbour needed to be whacked back NOW! I had hoped to delay until after this flush of blooms had finished and then prune off the flowering laterals to find the main canes to tie into the swag. But it was a jungle up there and the canes had started to form a tunnel over the south alley path it was quite attractive in flower but anyone over my 51" or so could not walk upright and was in danger of severe mauling from the New Dawns very sharp, very vicious thorns! So a general hacking down was required. We did manage to save the canes already tied in and added a couple more. The rose gauntlets I got for Randy and I a week or so ago in anticipation of tackling the thorny monster worked wonderfully well fortunately!

Here are a couple of pictures taken before the carnage. This picture was taken from the office window and shows the New Dawn blooming in the neighbours purple sandcherry an attractive combination which the neighbour likes. They didnt want us to cut the rose out of their tree so we left these canes alone for now.

This is the view down the alley from just inside the gate. The roses were just skimming the top of my head as I walked through. That means they were at chest, neck and face level for Randy so they had to go.

This morning I was deadheading the big Blanc Double de Coubert rose and cutting back the culinary sage flowers that were blooming in concert with the VP clematis. VP is still flowering but dropping tepals fast. The Chinese wisteria is starting its second flush of bloom now there were a few flowers this morning. The variegated weigela I planted in the front bed last summer disappeared in the perennial foliage! I had to wade into the bed to be sure its still alive. Its there and so is a deep pink clematis that I planted with it. Im not sure what the clematis is it looks like its a non-climber. Ill have to try to get a picture of it for gb to identify. We bought both the shrub and the clematis on our vacation last year in Niagara. The tags were missing so I dont know what the clematis variety is.

Deanne woofy was probably a Freudian slip of some sort its an appropriate name at the moment with three dogs here. After Randy left this morning, I went back to sleep and woke up feeling a bit warm and discovered Blue had decided to occupy that vacant real estate on the other side of the bed. I woke up because Jasper nudged my face firmly to tell me breakfast was late and that it was past time I got up! Misty was snuggled into the pillows near Blue. Yes, woofy is not inappropriate The red wiggly things in the pot are perfect! I dont have the patience to maintain even a couple of pots of annuals so I cant imagine coping with all the ones you have additional help sounds like a great idea and it sounds like your helper is going to work out well.

Chelone the look good in brown comment cracked me up! Re delphiniums I never stake mine. I just grow Magic Fountains or Clear Springs ones that are sturdier and dont need staking. Delphiniums should do very well down your way Id think you really shouldnt be without some! Theyre easy to start from seed so I always add new ones to the garden each year. If any die out, there are always new ones coming on so they loss isnt noticeable.

V it sounds like youve had a rough few days. Hopefully things will improve soon!

gb it sounds like you have a busy day in store.

Have a good day everybody!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:32AM
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I finally got a coat of paint on the playhouse last night. I'm quite pleased with the main color. It's called "Not Butter". I still have to tackle the trim.

I've never been overly successful with torenia either.

Kathy, I'm assuming that you mean you will post pictures of Mr. Baby for us too.

PM2, I love the rainbow. We have seen alot of rainbows lately. Saturday we saw a large double when we were in town. I believe you asked if anyone had made a copper tuteur. I did a couple of years ago. The clematis are just getting going on it. I found the pattern on the internet and it was actually quite easy to cut the copper. Soldering was a learning experience. Here's a picture when it was new. It has darkened since.

This is one of the clematis that are on it, I can't remember the name though:

A few other shots from recent days:


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:54AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, possibly Clematis Marmori? Does that ring a bell?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 12:45PM
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Oh, Kenzie and the horse! Horse is all gentleness, lowering its great neck to the little outstretched hand. My scheme to grow alliums as grand as Michelle's & Deanne's is to start them in individual tall narrow florist pots, a project for fall. Onions hate my garden. The copper tuteur looks like a pro's work, Michelle, really nice.

The mourning dove parents have begun flight instruction in earnest, the cats are banished to the house, and I'm a nervous wreck. And I can't stop the mental processes of Aesop fabling the whole process. Spying on the brood from afar I mutter to myself, It's all about getting 'em to fly. All the stuff you wanted to rectify from your own childhood and save your brood the pain of is irrelevant. Just get 'em to fly. Now a dove has flown onto the pergola and stares at me through the office screen door, while Joe stares at the dove on the pergola through the kitchen window screen and makes that silent meow motion with the jaw, translated roughly, "Oh, please, let me eat you."

I'm wondering if technical failures come in threes. The internet server still shaky and will probably crash later today as it has the last week or so, the camera chip is defunct and I can't photo the purple glads in bloom nor the baby doves...I bought some glad bulbs with the smallish flwrs from Old House Gardens and, fearing they'd turn out like my grandmother's funereal glads, can say they're a success.

Woody, I've been hacking away and splitting and moving, so we're twins in that regard. Funny how plants grow wheels towards Julyish ;) The New Dawn and the purple sandcherries is lovely. That rose is gonna be something on the swag but what tough love it requires to cut such a beauty back!

What a mess up there, Kathy, with even the highway at Big Sur closed. Hoping you find a breath of fresh air up in Oregon.

Deanne, the pot photos are smashing. Thought of you when splurging on a large pale yellow varieg. acalypha. Still haven't bought any coleus and probably won't. They just need too much water, which the acalyphas really don't. I didn't realize the acalyphas were in the euphorb family!
I found a Baptisia leucantha for $2 in a large pot but now regret it. I only have room for one baptisia and don't think leucantha is the one-and-only for me. A native plant enthusiast down the street will take it in. If you could only have one, which would it be?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:20PM
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'bug, you are good! That's it. I will add it to my spreadsheet, on which I have myself convenienced that I have good records ;o)

Denise, I only have baptisia australis, but I know some of the others here have several kinds so can probably give a recommendation. Bummer about the technical issues.

Funny how dandelions are under appreciated by gardeners but not children.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Wonder if horses like dandelions too? (Being an incurable Googler, I find it's an equine liver cleanser!) Since I still have internet juice, walking by Ein cooling his "tool box" on the shady concrete reminded me to thank Cindy for her observation re "jealousy over gender tool belts," lol. Passed my first-crown milestone this year too. I planted out one of my varieg angelica seedlings last week, but it's awfully hard to stay committed to my onesies when I see stands of 'bug's angelicas! Also meant to thank V. for photos of Chicago's Lurie gardens, so magnificent. Massive civic plantings like that are just what the bees need instead of mown grass monoculture. Not bad on the human eye, either. I've been counting the bees on my agastache, and today was glad to find two. Wasps, carpenters bees, hover flies I've got in droves, tho...And the Turkish carpet finally arrived yesterday, what a beauty!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 3:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Denise, I'll probably be banished from this forum for saying it, but the white Baptisia leucantha in my garden is my favourite...or possibly Carolina Moonlight. is the white one for sure. It is just opening now.... I don't think the photo captures it well though.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 6:43PM
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There is a severe thunderstorm warning for a town about 15 miles west of me. I can hear distant rumblings. Although the day was warm, sunny, and pretty dry there was no sign of the pony-tailed painter. :(

Helpmeet washed the outside of all the road facade windows (east), removing the residual grunge from the pressure washing of the siding. He washed the screens, too and put up two of the second floor windowboxes. What a difference the clean windows make! all that after vacuuming the house! I fear he will not put up the remaining windowboxes until Friday, however. I know I oughtn't complain, but I am really feeling terribly discouraged about the pace of things around here... feels as though everything I want to do is "on hold" because of the damned painting. No awnings, no windowboxes, no trellises, chlorine burned plants, broken Oriental lilies, and (discovered today) grey speckled patio furniture. I want to cry, but it won't do any good.

I mowed the lawn on the south side of the house. The grass was 8" high and I had to bag the clippings, emptying the bag with every 1-2 passes. The gardenway cart was filled in no time flat. I rescued several little garter snakes, including a really teeny one (about 6" long), in the process. The place looks better with the newly shorn lawn, but it's done little to alleviate my generally glum mood.

I can't wait until Thursday afternoon. I'm not usually a "clock watcher", but the usual last minute "emergencies" (read: poor planning, too cheap in October) are annoying me more than amusing me. We've had a couple of rather complex projects and steep deadlines and the stress of completing them and dodging thunderstorms to install them has taken a toll, fraying usually steady nerves and good senses of humor. It's all par for the course and perfectly understandable, but my fuse is generally tough to light, but once ignition has been achieved the result is swift and very "bright". The "you look good in brown" comment was a very pointed warning (heeded, I might add). I really need some time off to focus on making some little part of the Compound look "spiffed up".

I probably missed it in the "turbo skim", Michelle, but what color are you going to paint the trim? I'm guessing purple of some sort? Your gardens are so lovely and the picture of Kenzie with the inquisitive equine was just great. I have loved horses from the time I was Kenzie's age. How long before you decide she'll have to have a pony? ;)

I've never tried Zinnias, Kathy! I've never lived anywhere where I had any place that was adequately sunny. It will be great fun to watch your corner garden mature and fill in with bright colors. I've listened to the stories of the fires and thought of you often. But then I've reminded myself that there really is no California... it's just a hoax, like global warming. ;) It will be fun to see the shots of Mr. Baby's first vacation... I hope you will opt for discretion! Funny movie recommendation for you, BTW, "Walk Hard, the Dewey Cox Story". We've howled over it, there are some great country music tunes, and even some intimate male nudity. Something for everyone (except Mary's kids and Marian). Bear in mind I loved, "Borat" and several bits from "Jackass, The Movie". ;)

I know the crocodile look kitties can assume, Denise, and the comment made me laugh. Right along with Ein cooling his "tool box". I read your descriptions of your water sipping gardens and can't even imagine. The lawn here requires mowing every 5 days, even with no rain... just from residual ground water! I could never grow a Shasta daisy and had limited places for Papaver for years... but couldn't kill Hosta, Astilbe, Chelone, etc. if I had to. It's just downright LUSH here, with mosquitos to prove it. I am always fascinated by that which you and Kathy report from that imaginary place you call California...

OK, it's getting dark here again and thunder is louder. "When will you make an end?!". And it's raining, again. sigh

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 6:43PM
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That is so lovely. It's decided. I'm going to put my B. leucantha in the front garden next to a little purple smoke tree. That's so funny about mythical Calif, Chelone, since the only thing I remember about Maine was arriving in Kennebunkport at night in the most other-worldy deep fog, visiting a relative of Marty's for about five mins and then onward to Canada, so Maine doesn't exist for me either, lol.

I've been catching up reading blogs, and I've noticed the young host of When In Rome really responds to an audience. He hadn't posted for a a while, then I left a little comment, now a flood of posts. Could be a coincidence. Whatever one thinks of bullfighting, his recent post does a wonderful job covering attending one in Spain. If anyone cares to leave a little comment just to give him the encouragement of a wider readership...

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi ! I am prompted to post after opening this thread and scrolling up from the bottom to see what all I had not read. As it came to the picture of the rose covered garden path, I thought to myself...."That's Woody's path". :-)
It is amazing how things grew while you were gone, Woody. It is beautiful, but I know what you mean about things hanging on your head. I frequently 'limb' low hanging trees and bushes that are in the way of my riding mower. It would be comical for someone to take a picture of some of the shenanigans I go through to mow under things. :-)
If it were possible, I would be practically laying down on the mower, but it shuts off if I release too much pressure on the seat ! :-( I freguently suffer scratches on arms, legs, and face.

Chelone, Chelone ! I should not even comment on the 'brown' remark ! LOL ! But I appreciate that you recognize that I would not care for the 'male nudity" . :-)

I read, and enjoy all the 'news'. And really enjoy all the pictures. My yard is not too outstanding this year. Lots of green due to so much rain, but not a lot of color. The deck plants are starting to put on a pretty good show.
I apparently planted one elephants ear upside down ! It took forever to start growing, and then sent up 4 shoots at the edge of the too small bucket that it was in. I had planted several cuttings og differnt plants around the edge of the bucket. Nolon brought me a large tub from his collection, and I transplanted everything into it. It is setting on the outer coner of the deck, back of the white flowering almond bush. I would have liked to have put it out in the yard somewhaere, but the fawns are big enough to come to the yard and sample things, spitting out what does not appeal to them. I have one elephants ear in the tub (that Trubby is pictured setting in), but have put a fence around it , after the deer nipped off the sweet potato plant that is growing with it. I figured the E E would be next. ( It is a drag having to fence things! )

I love the pic of Kensie and the horse. I was thinking it was eye balling the flowers in her hand. :-)

HI Denise. Hi Kathy. Hi Marie (love your flowers). Hi to all the rest of my friends... Pm2, Mary, Norma, Brenda....and on and on....


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:14PM
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Pre-trip watering continues. Pots have all been moved to the shade , and the kitty food bowls in moats will be prepared and put out 1st thing in the morning. Note to self to ask DS where the hell all my memory cards are for the camera. X-tra batteries already packed along with cool vintage 1940s-50s era tablecloths for a little ambiance. Gotta fill the hummingbird feeder. Might cut a bouquet of Dahlias to haul up too.

Deanne, the Angelonia does branch out when deadheaded .I have to say it just never seems to look bad no matter what.

Michelle, you have a small fortune in copper pipe on that tuteur at todays prices. I love the ornament on the top-is it wood ? Is that Mary Rose in pic 4? Your photos always look kind of exotic to me-wide open skies, glimpses of silos, barns and farm equipment , and now youve thrown in a horse !

Woody, how strong and brave you are to cut roses in bloom I guess one must consider the big picture right ? That swag is just going to look smashing LOL all your canine pals sneaking into bed after DH hit the road. I used to always have groups of cats with me, but Im down to 2 now and one of them likes to lay on the floor just below me. Ted, however is always next to my legs, or under the covers in winter.

Denise, I always mean to get some of those mini glads, I really like them and they dont look as awkward in the garden as the full size dudes can. For some reason I cant quite remember to do it.

Ahh, Chelone, fear not, the home improvements will in fact end one day, and lo and behold youll have a gem ! Maybe the highlight will have to be the fall garden for you this year ? I already have Walk Hard in my Netflix queue as a matter of fact. I am very partial to John C Reilly.hes up there with Albert Brooks, William H Macy,etc, formerly obscure actors who Ive always liked.

I vote yes too on the white Baptisia bug. I really love white flowers in the garden. I had a near while daylily that I had to shovel prune because after two years the flowers just would never open up all the way. I suppose my climate was not ideal.

Cindy, maybe you dont have a 4 day weekend, however, your 2nd Monday will also be your Thursday and your 1st Monday was also Friday.Ergo, you will have 2 Fridays! What lengths one will go through to compress the workweek ! Marcia Donahue s garden and studio is in Berkeley , and I always wait for it to be on Open Days. She has the faux bamboos in her garden too but some of them are rather risqué in nature.

Hi Marian !

Ok, thats all for now, and will try to check in while away !

Happy 4th to all the Idylls !

S. Black and Blue

Really jazzed about this, Pelargonium schizopetalum, purchased year before last from Robin Parers booth at the SF flower show. DS and I have waited for it to bloom all this time and never googled to look at a pic prefering to be surprised-she told us the flowers were a bit unusual.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 9:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WOW to Pelargonium schizopetalum

Marian, we are soul mates in our riding mower techniques! I must duck frequently and often get a torn shirt in the process. Have the same safety feature too. The darn thing turns off if you are not entirely on the seat or if you try to reverse without pushing a special button. All very wise, but at times inconvenient.

Today's clematis is Mikelite.

And where yesterday there were robin eggs, this is what I spied today. Mom gave me an earful.

DD and I got to speak a bit on the phone today. Reed has been saying Mumumum and Dadadada and Ndy Ndy (Indy the dog). But while they were camping, DD and Reed were being very quiet because DSIL needed to sleep after a rough night working security at the fair. That is exactly when Reed said his first real word very LOUD. It was FLASHLIGHT! He said it twice very clearly and then never again.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 10:25PM
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I love zinneas and always throw some in here and there. PM and bugs aren't a problem here. I especially like the Green Envy. I quite often grow some rows in the potager for cutting only, but this year I had so much reseeding of annuals there I didn't even plant anything.

Chelone, the trim color is a shade of periwinkle. Or should I say should be. I painted it tonight and it appears more light blue, but that looks good with the yellow too.

'Mikelite' is a goregous color.

Kathy, the rose is 'Therese Bugnett' The top of the tuteur is metal on top of a block of wood. I had found the top at Hobby Lobby cheap but needed a way to attach it to the copper pipes, so I cut a block of wood and drilled 4 holes that the pipes fit into. I am a little concerned when I hear about people going into vacant houses and stealing the copper pipes. I figure thieves probably don't pay attention to gardens, right? Have a great trip.

Marian, I have some netting over my ornamental kale, which I've planted at least 3 times. Rabbits are my culprits.

P.S. Kenzie asked for a pony on Sat. She thought the miniature horses were pretty neat.

Night all

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:31PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Well, I don't know where to start this morning, so many interesting things going on in Idyllville. :-)

Gardenbug....Mikelite is now another favorite clematis for me. I love the dark color, but the shape of the petals with the texture and the center is just gorgeous. Here I am seeing this 'lull' in the garden right now and I am starting to figure out that if I grew a lot of clematis, that would take care of that all together! Hope you had a good holiday yesterday. What do they say on that holiday, 'Happy Canada Day'? So, finally some conversation with DD and news of Reed. Isn't it funny the things kids say and do. They bring a lot of laughter into your life when they are little.

Does anyone remember that show 'Kids Say the Darndest Things' with Art Linkletter?

Marian....I had the same reaction to Woody's rose path! We seem to be in the same garden is not so outstanding this year either. [g] Oh well...there's always next year, right?

Woody....that is one of the nicest looking New Dawn roses I have seen. I always thought the blooms on New Dawn were small but yours look huge and so many of them! That second photo looking down the path with the roses hanging down is a great preview of what your finished project is going to look like. I'm loving it! :-)

Deanne...your pots on the steps are fantastic! Love the gray/black pot with the dark sweet potato and the red twirllys in it. I am glad to have yours to look at, because mine are doing nothing. I have started fertilizing every time I water with liquid Fish/Seaweed Emulsion full strength and they are still doing nothing. I mixed my own potting soil, with 1/4 old soil saved from last year, 1/4 composted cow manure, 1/4 perlite and 1/4 new MG potting soil. I am wondering if I would have different results with all fresh potting soil, or if it is just the weather. But if it were the potting soil, I would think adding the fertilizer would be making a difference. I am never happy with my pots anyway. One of these years! [g] Yes, I was asking about the pale pink astilbe that was in the shot with the allium seed heads.

As far as ADD goes...I understand your questions about it. It seems to be a 'diagnosis' that could easily be overused. We have had more than one person in the extended family with ADD for the past 40 years. I can tell you from personal experience, there is no question that there is an organic root to the problem and can be as disabling as a physical disability. Just not as easy to 'see'. We also have a neighbor across the street with a boy who has the other diagnosis that is being seen more and more...Asperger's. I feel very bad for them. They have gone to great lengths to get him help and gone into debt for testing and private schools. He is the sweetest boy, so innocent. It's very draining on their whole family. He has benefited from early diagnosis and treatment, but really it only helps to manage it, it doesn't change his limitations.

I'm sorry to hear that your Dad struggled with mental illness and alcohol. It must have made for a very sad life for him and had to be very difficult on your family. It is strange isn't it, how they can excel in an area while having the limitation in another area. We found the same with some of our ADD family members. One boy tested higher in math ability than they had ever had in the history of their school.

Martie...Thanks for the tip on Pinetree having the heirloom Browalia. I will have to look for it. You are already making a list of seed for next year? You are right on the ball!

Torenia....trying it for the first time this year and it is doing nothing. Blah. Not on my list for next year. Maybe I will look for some Angelonia that Deanne is having success with. A plant that has a similar flower is a vine called Asarina...I have that started in a container and so far it is climbing nicely but not blooming yet.

Denise...Mourning doves are my favorite backyard visitor. We have never had a nest of babies visible. How fun for you! Very disappointing that the camera is not working. Isn't that always the way, when you really have something you want to get a photo of...

Michelle....we changed over to an electric mower and we love it. I know you need a riding mower, so not sure if that is an option in that size or not. We wish we had changed sooner. Thank you for posting your photo of the copper tuteur. I have seen some home made structures that I thought looked okay, but you did a really nice job on yours. Looks professional! I am trying to figure out how you got the curves in so uniformly and what you used for the top? Are you liking it with the patina on it? Great shot of Kenzie with the horse. She looks so excited and I see as usual, she has flowers in her hand. [g] On are lucky to see so many, I rarely see them. I think one reason is because I can't see the horizon from our property at all. are SO lucky that this is your first ever crown! Wow! Hope it went well and you are happy with it.

Kathy, I am sure you have already left for Oregon, but hope you have a great time and get some relief from the smoke and the 10 hour days. Looking forward to photos of Mr Baby. I had to laugh at the photo of your Black and Blue Salvia. Compared to mine, yours is a I will try to get a photo of it later. Never would have guessed that was a Pelargonium. So unusual!

Saucy...hope you are feeling better. Waiting for more photos of your garden!

Time to get out before it gets hot....


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 6:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We're in for a scorcher of a day here. It is beautiful out at 7am though! I'm going to garden a bit now, before the exercise class, the groceries, the preparation for company. Yikes, all that today? Gotta run!

PS: Woody, do you want a huge naughty furry beast at the end of July & early August? May head to Edmonton then.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:12AM
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Bees have arrived en masse on the lavs and we'll see if they stay.

Lots and lots and lots of rain, here. We're right in "the line" this year and where 20 miles southeast of us got it last year, we're getting it this year. 6.5" in the past four weeks. No, I'm not complaining, but the flowers don't stick around for long upon repeated pelting.

Any Baptisia is good with me :-)

Seems like Kenzie's future is all in that pic: flowers and animals. Not bad to look forward to, Michelle. OOOO lala your copper.

While flipping through the local weekly paper, I came upon a welding course that's 10 weeks long, has two levels of teaching that can or cannot lead to certification, provides all tools and glasses as part of the cost, and you end up with an ornamental piece. How fun does that sound?

Chelone is to blame for this possible educational experience. I got to thinking about the fact that my manual skills really aren't those that are marketable, and with Rich's industry all but dead at this point, a backup plan may not be a bad thing.

Good excuse to spend $650, huh??? LOL It sounds like a lot of fun and something completely out of my realm, so just may do it.

Congrats to Reed! "Flashlight" is indeed an important word to know while in the woods. It'll be a literal flood of verbage from here on out, and at some point, Marie, I think your DD will be saying: "How do I get him to stop talking for a minute???"

I want a space like Woody's ally. It reminds me a bit of what Denise has, too. We are so open and little nooks of garden space is something I miss. So does that mean I need to plant a bunch of trees to create such a place?

Deanne and Sue -- if you guys get together this weekend or so let me know?? There's always the possibility of being able to leave the house. LOL

Muumus are hard to find these days, so will probably need to go to the fabric store and stitch a few up. Kyle suggested I take it easy on the print as a narcotic-induced dizzy spell may not be a good thing :-)

Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 7:19AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Believe it or not but even I've had good luck with the white Baptisia. Another favorite is Carolina Moonlight. The one on my shovel prune list is a native yellow-can't recall the latin. Even in full sun it's been a flop fest. Last week I cut it back to about six inches and will dig out soon.

Chelone, I know how you feel about the homestead being a mess and beyond your control. Check out my link below to an album of the 2004 garden-garage behind schedule, heavy equipment everywhere...erosion, compaction, trompled plants...I shudder when I think back. Fear not, it all eventually comes together.

For those of you who have less than stellar success with Torenia, try the "Wave" series. In my experience they are somewhat superior to the "Moons", although the moons have those cool purple and yellow bi-colors and I have had good luck with those. Stay away from the generic greenhouse varieties. Those are dogs. I love them and toss a few into the container gardens every year. Here's a pic from one of my favorite containers last year.

Kathy, enjoy your vacation. I'm looking forward to my CT shore cottage rental week in August.

Michelle, count me among your garden fans. You've done such a great job creating intimate spaces in what appears to be mostly wide open land. Oh what I wouldn't give to live plop in the middle of a bunch of acreage. Around here that would me having to commute too far to work right now but I have to admit, I have been scoping out the real estate sites.

Deanne, where are you still getting cool plants for containers? Actually I may take a road trip on Friday to a nursery about an hour away that usually has a 50% sale on all unusual annuals on the Fourth. Your pictures always capture the details of the container combos so well. I've tried to take pictures of mine and they never come out good. Lots of deleting going on lately.

Martie, there is a get together at my house on Saturday afternoon and you and Rich (and anybody else out there) are certainly welcome to come. Deanne, Monique and spouses will be there and possible a friend or two. Just let me know so I make sure there's enough food.

OK, staff meeting at 8:30. One of the divisional controllers gave his notice yesterday so I'm guessing most of the meeting will revolve around that.

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:20AM
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Flashlight is a pretty important word to know while camping ;o) I do remember Art Linkletter and the kids. I wonder what adorable things Bella is saying these days and I'll bet that the twins are talking up a storm as well.

We had our own garden mess year in 2001. We had straight line winds in late June that tore down many structures on our farm including my garden arbor. Alot of the debris landed on plants and shrubs causing lots of garden damage. I was fairly new to gardening and was heartbroken.

Gosh, I wish I could show up at Sue's on Sat.

PM, I like the copper patina, but the bars are too far apart and I had to add some vinyl netting for the clematis to climb. I'm not exactly pleased with that look. As for the curves, that is a more bendable copper that comes on a roll. It is somewhat tricky to work with as it kinks easily and once you have a kink you can't get rid of it. You need to make your bends very slowly and deliberately.

I doubt that they make an electric mower in a rider. The good news is that DH found a used motor that can be put in pretty inexpensively. A new motor would have been $1400.

Martie, the welding course would be interesting. I say go for it. What is the project? DH welds and has the equipment and I'm thinking he could get into it more now that he quit his job in town.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 10:12AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow to that pelargonium and wow to Michelle's garden pics!! (I suspect I would say the same of Woody's but as usual have to wait til homewardbound.).

Kathy, I have a very very newfound respect for all that you have gone thru readying your mouth for implants -- I am such a coward -- but I have to whine about the trauma of the crown -- it took the dentist 3 shots to get my mouth numb enough -- and I was probably close to blood pressure overload a few times -- I guess I need sedation dentistry for old age. I can't imagine what you have been going thru -- yikes o yikes. I now realize how lucky I've been over the years to need so little; I just hope it stays somehwere in that area of only a couple crowns or something. I hope you have a terrific vacation -- and I will keep your 2 Mondays and Fridays in mind the rest of the workweek here - which did not start off well -- the p.c. was DOA and took me more than 2 hours to get our fancy IT folks to give it up and get me a loaner so I could get on with the day as crises were erupting.

I find my baptisia australis and its 2 cultivars I have all flop eventually - but I hack them back and they look pretty good. I think I wrote I have flopping problems in big way at my place these days -- the sun has been overtaken by trees growing - the parkland behind has now made much shady for a lot of the day. The backyard that used to have full sun until about 2 pm now is only getting it from like 9 to 2 - that's really cutting down on sun exposure.

Michelle -- those combos of salvia and allium are magnificent -- is that salive May Night? just gorgeous.

Kathy - crazy, but my salvia B&B is blooming too (probably a week behind yours)- again, we're zones apart, but somewhat similar blooms times - interesting. But I confess Im less than happy w/ some of the daylilies - so many of them are either too just orangey for me or yellow or that they all look alike - I've got dozens of cultivars supposedly, but you'd never know it... I guess I need to get ruthless and rip more out and order some of the darker or purple varieties, which seems to be what I like best, as the "pinks" end up to be disappointing. I do have Joylene Nichole how that Deanne has and it's almost as lovely as hers is; I just dont have it situated well w/ other things.

Any invite to Sues would almost be worth the gas and mileage to get to!! Hope to see some pics - it's always such a treat to see what cool things you've done each year.

Denise - that sounds like that white baptisia near the cotinus will be smashing. I thought of you yesterday as I carefully placed my agave m.p. alba outside to get it acclimated (under shade before it gets thefull burst) - it was the last to go out and it still is probably my fav agave. I've been guarding it like gold (or copper, LOL). Funny how we get attached to these things; aside from clematis, Im afraid agave are the other addiction. I know we got thru stages, but those two may take a long time to get out of my system.

Well, back to catching up there -- hmm, by Kathy's calculations, this is Monday for me but it's better, because tomorrow will be Friday.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 2:02PM
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I hot footed it out of the shop at the first opportunity, 1:30. ;) (I was at "a perfect stopping point"). I went to the really nice nursery and came home with two Miscanthus sinensus "Strictus" to flesh out the openings between 3 Arborvitae we planted last fall. We planted them about 4' apart so they would grow and attain a "looser", more natural shape that would encourage birds to nest in them. The grasses will provide nice interest, good screening (in another year), and will be unaffected by the snowplow. Thanks for the encouragement with respect to the home "improvement" scene. I had not anticipated feeling this way.

I wonder if Saucy's swarming bees have been reading the Idyll du jour and decided that Martie's house is the "happenin' scene" these days?

Nice to hear from Maid Marian, too. I know what you mean about green. I was looking out the (very clean) windows last night and thinking about the imaginary land called California. Everything here is lush, full, and WICKED green. And I thought of Martie and her mention of how many different greens there are when you make time to really look carefully. Do you thinnk it's preferable to have mature deer who KNOW what they like to fawns who are still developing their personal tastes? ;) I'm thinkin' too, Marian, that you should perhaps suggest some "idiot-proof" houseplants for someone who doesn't have ONE. I know you are tantamount to royalty when it comes to houseplants.

And speaking of "royalty", I'm glad to see recently crowned Queen Cindy has survived the coronation! I have 6 (count 'em) and am a crown(ed) professional when it comes to the procedure. I, too, am a complete weenie when it comes to dental work. Fear was instilled early and effectively because we didn't go to the dentist regularly, for reasons unknown to me. Every visit sucked and it wasn't until I was in my 20s and "on my own" that I pulled up the "big girl panties" and conquered my fear of the dentist. The helpmeet's story echoes mine and it was I who got him into the regular visit routine. Even now, I am nervous, but our dentist understands and is FUNNY. So it's OK. I suspect you're wearing a "temporary" now? the worst part of it is over. You're definitely home free (until you write the final check). The most meaningful charitable donation we make is to the dental fund set up by Tom's of Maine.

I sleep with cats, not dogs. Let's face it, Wrecks is too big and while we're one big, happy family it can get crowded FAST. The cats gravitate to their human hot water bottles as the woodstove cools down, in the summertime they "sleep around", wherever suits their fancies. I just love that each of us has a special place for some sort of household beast... even the last few holdouts (you know who you are :0).

Would love to hear from Norma, Eden, Honey, Ei. ... and the ones I've spaced out, too.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 4:22PM
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Well, hello Idylls. I have finally decided to take the plunge and try to participate in this fantastic forum. I have been a consistent reader for a while, but was unsure if I could keep up with the conversations and so have been afraid to step out from the shadows. Well, Im going to give it a try. Just a short introduction to you to begin. I am married (23 years), have two grown children a son and a daughter. Ive been gardening for about 18 or so years. I recognize a few names from another gardening forum (Gardenbug and Deanne in particular, and I think Monique). BTW, I live in zone 8, Newnan, Georgia. My garden rests between many large trees, each spot only getting about 2 hours of sun a day, still I get a colorful garden and really appreciate the shade in our hot, humid summers! Anyway, just wanted to wave "Hi", and get started. Ill try to figure out how to do pictures and send a few your way.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 4:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yeah! A Newbie from out of the shadows! Welcome Leslie! Children do count here, but pets are super special. Got any of those???

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 4:46PM
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Weelll... looky-see! a new "voice from beyond". And from the "deeper" south, too. Welcome aboard, Leslie..

"Keeping up" can be a challenge! completely ovewhelming is what you will think IF you think you have to respond daily or to everyone individually (you are definitely on drugs if you think you'll do that). My advice? chime in on the things that really resonate with you and figure it out from there.

We need to know about kids (your son and daughter), PETS (some of us disdain kids and hate dogs), and overall interests. I hear you on the picture posting thing! It took me about FOREVER to "get it"; praise be Saucy who has helped me immeasurably with computer stuff.

It's humid and kinda hot here (Maine), and we've been doin' the thunderstorm thing for the best part of 2 1/2 wks. now. Reminds me of my year in VA (I loved it, the "South" is great).

Chime in when you feel like it. ;)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 5:44PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Welcome Leslie! My DB and SIL live in Georgia! Close to LaGrange I believe. Welcome and don't feel like you have to keep up. I've never been able to come close to that goal. ;)
I had a spinal nerve ablation this morning and was supposed to stay in bed for a day or two. Today was the only day the Vet could give the puppies their first puppy shots so you can guess where DH and I have been. I got to ride in the back seat with Ebony and her 6 'babies' who weigh about 10 punds each now. It was fun and I wouldn't have missed it but I am looking for suitable medication now. :P

Goodnight all...


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:04PM
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Welcome, Leslie, and how interesting it will be to get your input from living and gardening in Georgia. We're really starting to flesh out the U.S. map now, as well as dipping into Canada, so hopefully we'll make a believer out of Chelone in these "imaginary" lands, lol.

Tucking in early sounds like a fine idea, Jerri, what a day!

Chelone, if it's any comfort, we've also had some miserable, never-ending projects, and the ones that bleed over into summer are the worst. Very hard to keep the esprit d'corps going. The window/fence project has stalled out due to work schedules so we're not using that space. One of those things I try to file under C'est la vie...

Cindy, that a piece of my little agave is now dwelling on your patio gladdens my heart. Truly.

Dentists have one of the most unenviable jobs...

Kathy, the naming committee really nailed that pelargonium, schizo petals indeed, but what a beauty. I had a little trouble following that calendar of double Mondays, etc., but I've been in hiding all week from the girl that dispatches work assignments, trying to make it to Thurs without working, so I can't tell which end is up, workweek-wise. One of the perks of being freelance but the paycheck can get mighty thin if I hide too long.

A couple wks back Marty comes back from the grocery store and said he saw some big clay pots there for $4. I quizzed him on this, thinking he's gotta be mistaking dimensions, and at the grocery store? The next day he comes home with three really big, thick-walled clay pots, $4 ea. The checker at the grocery store asked him where he was getting these pots, apparently oblivious to what's in her store, so between the checker and me we cleaned out the lot of them. So I've been potting like mad lately, repotting agaves, a crowded sweet bay standard, playing with the glass mulch. Just made a large full-sun pot with tapioca/manihot, very fingery leaves, nice against the blue fence, with white Sweet Sultan, which I was shocked to find, not having seen it for yrs & yrs, since I grew this centaurea from seed. The thistle buds are like exquisite jewelry. Also found some really nice amaranths, not with big shaggy flwr heads but smaller spears -- no name tag but looks very promising. Tucked some Cleome 'Merlot' in some spots where I took out overgrown grasses.

Mourning dove babies have successfully taken to the skies. Three-legged Newt was doing her best to have at 'em, gamely climbing up the fringe tree in hot...well, warmish pursuit. The baby birds clung unmoving to their branch, either petrified in fear or registering stunned disbelief at the sight of her hobbling towards them on the branches, very MontyPythonesque. Birds are so inscrutable, it's hard to read their emotions, unlike corgies.

And the above paragraph is just an example to Leslie of stuff she doesn't have to respond to, lol...

Sue, I really enjoyed the photos you posted and now have a pretty good mental "lay of the land," especially seeing the garden beds unplanted, just bare ground. The breakfast room from the former garage was a great idea. Loved it all. We desperately need awnings here, which, strangely enough, are rarely seen in So Calif. Very odd, since we're the same latitude as Greece. In fact, Marty was taking notes of the awnings we saw in Greece. Yours look like just the ticket.

Michelle, when does Kenzie pick up the pony? He/she would be useful in the garden too, towing manure around for you. Very practical. I definitely take Kenzie's side on this issue.

I'm wondering if 'bug has grown Clematis x aromatica, which Chalkhill has sold out of, supposed to smell divine...oh, that naming committee again!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:29PM
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Welcome Leslie! No way am I gonna try to address everyone tonight. Mostly I comment aloud to the screen, nodding my head in agreement....

Kathy, you hit my feelings dead on. I was feeling really dumped by my bees. The kicker was that they got caught in one of our afternoon rain storms and were unable to leave! They had to stick around through the night and wait for the morning sun to hit them - about 10 am. I wanted to cut that tree down in the worst way, but my foot was so lame all I could do was watch helplessly.

My neighbor, still bandaged from her surgery, came and watched with me :)

Today I am finally feeling better. It is hard to give up the school routine for the summer routine and Sarah is especially clingy this year. Jake has spent much time fishing in the pond (his fish tales grow bigger by the day).

Camps and trips will start soon.

I wonder what Mr. Baby wears to the beach? I like the idea of the vintage tablecloths and fresh cut flowers from the garden. I have a collection of dish towels from some unknown era. The guy who owned the house before me was a collector. They're pretty linen stripes with the tags still on them.

Chelone, I totally understand your despair. My "compound" has been in a state of some sort of "improvement" for 4 years now! You need some time to put your magic touch on it....this will be your weekend my friend. Stock up on groceries because all the touristas will be out in full force, LOL!

I think I killed a Baptisia 'carolina moonlight' while it waited for a blew over in a storm and I didn't see it in time.

The bees that are left in my hive should have a virgin queen ready to "mate" any day now. I am watching for her to fly into the air with drones in hot pursuit....happiness lasts but a second and then the male falls to the ground dead....sometimes I think it might be good to be a bee :)

Leslie's description reminds me of my dad's shady gardens....they're full of Japanese maples and impatients that seed themselves. Mosses and that thick "damp" smell everywhere. It's a nice respite from the sun.

I'm working on an idea for a fountain in my pond that will require me to cast a concrete sphere....Martie, I signed up for a welding class that I had to bow out of, but you reminded me that I still have a course credit! I'll take it if you do....I would say that an arbor or obelisk is a good first project!

About bending the copper tubing: the flexible stuff can be wrapped with a spring (they sell the spring "tool") and bent to keep it from crimping. The HVAC industry affords me lots of copper scraps :)

Okay...I've gotta get to bed. It's obvious that my brain is mush :)

'night all.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 9:15PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL , Chelone ! "Idiot proof hoiuseplants". How about Sansevieria, a.k.a. 'Mother-in-law-tongue'? I have never had one of them die on me. Aglaonemas are nice and decorative. Dracaenias have various differant forms and are pretty. If you like succulents, Haworthias are interesting. For a vining plant Hoyas are easy, and H. carnosa has pretty fragrant flowers ( but they do drip nectar). If you want a large growing vining plant, a Split-leafed Monstera ( also called Philodendron) is easy, as are many other true Philodendrons. Scindapsus, also called Devil's Ivy is generally easy, but I have had problems with it. It is a hanging plant. It is also called Pothos.

This is Dracaena sanderana, Belgian evergreen :

Here is a bloom on the Hoya carnosa:


A Jade Plant is another easy succulent

I thought I had pictures of the others in Picture Trail, but guess I deleted a bunch to make more room. :-(
But you can google the names I gave you, and see if any appeal to you.

Oh yes, about the deer. I really do believe the fawns are the biggest culprits, in the summer time, when it comes to plant damage. But, since most of the dirty work is done at night, I could very well be wrong. They have waded all through the front yard bed and nipped off the tops of many of the plants and flowers. Of course, that bed isn't the only one that they did that to.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 9:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A quick post...lots going on and my computer isn't receiving incoming email. GRrrrr. Nor can I load photos.

Clematis x aromatica is blooming here. Very very small and I detect no scent. But very small is sometimes good!

No word from DS...typical. I need to go make up beds and deal with creating a special wedding card for garden friends. I've ordered iris (seven different ones) for their garden.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 9:23PM
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I believe it was Denise who conjured the image of virgin queens with little Elizabethan ruffs... I chuckled then and am chuckling now. Though I am sorry the rain postponed the departure and your pain at the parting. Bummer about your foot, the two of you must make quite a duo.

Awnings... near and very dear to my heart, you guys. They would be perfect on your little bungalow, Denise. And, they will cut your cooling bill by a lot. In the industry, savings of up to 30% are not unknown; we have noticed the inside of our home is hotter because they aren't up yet. If you're interested I will be happy to show you the requisite hardware for your home. And, I have to finish the new awnings for the south side of our home, so could even demonstrate how I make them!

It's the last day of an interminable week. I was asked to work on Monday (my usual day off) so my co-worker could have a day with her boyfriend. It won't kill me, but I was looking forward to 4 whole days in a row and I'll have to use the helpmeet's sled because mine will be in for its regular service. So the question now is whether or not I'll work 5 days next week or take an isolated day off mid-week.

Great houseplants, Marian. I am about to rescue some poor plant that's been languishing in one of the shop's windows for 5 years now. If I remember to bring it home I'll take a shot of it so you can have a good laugh.

I have a rather shady and lush yard, too, Leslie. And it suits my rather pale pallor perfectly. :)

9 hrs. and counting... be brilliant today, mes amies.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 5:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

A lavender haze creeps over a boat-filled harbor in Rockport, Maine. Maine's picturesque coastal towns are popular with sailors and summer tourists alike. Photograph by Ira Block

I realized this morning that I haven't taken a photo in my garden since June 12th. That has to tell you how I am feeling about the garden this year. [g] Blah.

Hello Leslie :-) Always happy to find a new Idyller in the group. I was the newest member, until Anita joined, but now Anita is not the newest either. Hmmm...before you know it, I could be like an old So, you've been reading along and you 'still' wanted to join in?! [g] Eager to see photos of your garden.

Chelone....I can only imagine how tiring it is to have your compound in a constant state of 'projectitis'. That's because we can't even get to the projects yet. So you are ahead of our house, if that makes you feel any better. :-)

Jerri...what happened to your back? I have a friend who just went through a double laminectomy and is doing well. I think she had that nerve ablation twice in the last year. No fun having back problems. I hope you feel better. I can't believe the puppies are already 10 pounds.

Denise...nice deal on the clay pots! Hope you will have a chance to take a few photos of the newly renovated pot-dom.

Marian...Look at the spider on the Hoya bloom. lol I am impressed that you have one. It is not easy to get a Hoya to bloom. Your Haworthia is a very graceful form.

Saucy...'Sometimes I think it might be good to be a bee.' LOL Glad you are feeling better.

Gardenbug...what is it with sons? They are definitely not as 'keep in touch' as the daughters. Is this another one of those Mars/Venus comparisons?

Happy Thursday! :-)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:06AM
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Happy Thursday or Friday or Monday depending on one's take :-)

I'll go for Thursday since that means three days off.

If we stop in, Sue, we won't eat. Promise :-) We have plans to go to Newington (pre-Bash is on at Syms) so may swing by but don't count on seeing us until late afternoon if that's okay. Plans are fickle this week .... If you want to email your phone # I can call and let you know for sure that afternoon. We SO appreciate the invite!!

Great score, Denise!!

Welcome Leslie! I'll need to Google where you are, but have been through Georgia many times and love how different it is depending on which way one is headed. Are you far south enough to have hanging moss in your trees?

That Hoya is outstanding, Marian. I've had a plant for several years that hasn't done a thing -- but it's alive!!

Exciting News!!! I Needed to Tie Up the Tomatoes!! Can you tell I've missed veggie gardening?????

If Kathy checks in -- My 'Aloha' is in full bloom and stunning. Thanks for the turn on :-)

No patterns out there for Muumus, Chelone and Cynthia, fabric creators extraordinaire. Any suggestions other than lying on the floor and have Rich trace around me to get the cut right the first time?

Off to work for an office day in jeans. Cool with me!!

Have a great Thursday, all.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:47AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all. Chelone, I could show you some pitiful plants in my collection, and I have had many that expired. The ones I posted are the easier to grow ones, as you requested. :-)
BTW, the Hoya hangs outside in the summer, and was outside when I took that pic. That wasn't this year, but it has blooms now. I have had it at least 33 years. It lived in a tiny 3" pot for years before I moved it into a larger one. It has been blooming for a good many years, every year.I have a variegated one too, but it has never bloomed.I have had it at least 15 years, probably longer.

Sorry for all that have back, foot, and hip, problems. I think feet and hips may be easier to fix than backs. :-(

Beautiful harbor pic, pm2.

Thunder boomers off in the distance. More rain may be in the picture for us. I think this will go down as the rainiest year we ever had, and maybe the coolest summer (I hope).

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:04AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday, all, LOL... Like Chelone, counting the hours -- sheesh, bummer to give up your 4-day weekend; I've learned to be contrary a lot about that thing; but know sometimes one has to give in too....

Welcome too, Leslie -- just chime in whenever you feel - you'll see us all pop in and out periodically, as Im sure you've figured out.

Excitement for Chloe and me last nite - she decided to treat herself to dessert -- a pack of sugarless gum (with xylitol) out of my purse -- somewhere between 6 and 10 pieces -- so after long attempts to get thru to the poison control center & the emergency vet, in between forcing hydrogen peroxide down a very very intractable jaws of steel, we paid (me, not Chloe) for her to spend the nite at the "doggie spa" -- the good news is while they didnt seem to get any of the gum and paper up (I've been assured it will pass eventually), her blood sugar, etc., stayed good all nite w/ i.v. drips, etc. -- fyi, the stupid stuff can be extremely toxic to dogs and cause liver damage, or produce insulin shock.... So Mommie has learned her lesson to pick up her purse; Doggies probably didnt learn anything except Mommie is no fun...and she still doesnt like the Nite Spa, despite the vet promising laughingly to provide her w/ mood lighting, music and a massage. Like kids, never a dull moment.

Jerry -- pls take all dr advice re your back - we want to see you at IU, I hope.

Denise - great score on those pots and sounds like they're being put to great use -- keep that head low and enjoy your leisure time.

Ok, a peak at the addiction:
The succulent corner (w/ those who are ready for full sun):

A couple others that I think are really appealing, the one on the right in the blue pot is Agave "Kara's Stripe":


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

Its not really hot out but the humidity must be up there because it feels dreadful outside, again. WE had two more significant T-storms yesterday. This is now three days in a row with big boomers and lots of rain. ~~ I went out plant shopping Tuesday with my friend Mary. The Mixed Border was all spiffed up getting ready for a TV crew. They have a lovely selection of perennials right now and they really do have the best selection of clematis Ive seen anywhere. I had another beautiful Piilu just leap into my cart. What was it to do except take it home with me? Then we went out to Ponema Farms in Milford then on to House by the Side of the Road in Wilton where I found some gorgeous Rex Begonias and a Talinum limon.

Sue, I found quite a few annuals at Mixed Border last week but they are all sold out now. I did find a few nice things over at Mahoneys in Chelmsford and Ponema Farms in Milford has some nice looking double purple datura that just came in. Love that container with the Gartenmeister, Freckles and Torenia. Looking forward to Saturday. How many should we make salad for? ~~ Wow, I looked through that gallery from 04 and it is beyond amazing what youve accomplished in the gardens since then. ~~ Sue, remind me to check out your camera on Saturday.

PM definitely try the Angelonia. Im in love with it. ~~ I use Algoflash fertilizer for my pots most of the time. The annuals love it. Your potting soil sounds like it should be fine. I used up a lot of re-used potting soil all the time. You might want to check if theyve been getting too much water? Most times when I have containers that are just lingering about like that Ive been keeping them too wet, they arent getting enough light or food. ~~ About feeling Blah about your garden this year, how about taking one small section and analyze it and give it a good cleaning out primping and pruning and then toss in a few new plants? That usually makes me feel better about things.

Chelone, Lol about virgin queens and Elizabethan ruffs. I had a great laugh this AM over that one.

Saucy, lol about the love life of bees! So the boys only get one chance in a lifetime. Interesting. I chose that adjective as I had to edit out four or five other comments that popped into my head.

Denise, great score on those pots. So do you have photos of all the plants in their new digs? Glad the dove babies made it into the skies.

Good grief Jerri! So sorry about the spine problems. Hope that doesnt impact our IU5 plans. Dougs taken that Wednesday off to got to the beach with us. Hope you are feeling better now.

Welcome Leslie!!! Great to hear from Georgia.

Cindy, I almost passed out in the chair when I had my first crown put in. Glad you survived your experience. Can you imagine some people have crowns put in for cosmetics? ~~ Yes indeed, hoik and shovel prune any daylilies that arent up to snuff. There are so many fabu cultivars these days and garden space is too precious for something that isnt wonderful. I got rid of several huge clumps last year and theyd been in the gardens for fifteen years or so but they just didnt do it for me anymore so I donated them to the compost pile. ~~ Jolyene Nichole is a gorgeous cultivar isnt it? Mine is just starting to bud up this year and should hopefully put on quite a show. Do you have Pastel Classic? Its another lovely Trophy Taker cultivar and re-blooms for me in some years but would probably reliably re-bloom for you in your zone.

Kathy just love that geranium! What a great cultivar. I NEED that plant! LOL ~~ Have a great trip!

Michelle, I just LOVE that photo of Kenzie and the horse. That needs to be framed and on the wall. And your garden pics are divine. What cultivar of allium are those? My seed heads arent that good looking. Do you have a photo of your copper tuteur now? Id love to see it with the clematis on it.

OK Doug is waiting for me to go for a long bike ride so Id better get off this computer. We are hopefully going to get to Ayre today which is our 32 mile trip. Ill see how my bum holds up. LOL Ive not done a lot of bicycling this year so dont know if Im up to the distance right now.

Im also in the process of spray painting an old pot to match the new Rex Begonias and want to get that finished so lots of projects as usual.

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hey there Cindy, we were posting at the same time, thanks for the great pics of your patio. I love it all. Looks great! I really love that turtle~~ Bummer about the gum incident. Is Chloe speaking to you this morning? She is probably very confused as to what caused that irrational behavior in her person.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:23AM
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Thanks guys for such a warm welcome, gardeners are just the best!

Okay Gardenbug, here goes: I have 4 cats (Annie, Momo, Ozla, and Doozi), one adorable 11 month old dog named Juri, and one big ol ball python (well, technically, hes my sons, but since I have to have his delectable furry dinner in my freezer I claim some ownership). Oh yeah, we also have a parakeet. I am still mourning the loss of my little dog Champ last July. Some things are just so difficult to move on from. I remember your beautiful Charlotte,( and am soooo proud of your pretty little Phoebe!).

Thanks Chelone for the great advice. Ill probably be able to post regularly until school starts. I work with EIP ( Early Intervention Program) children here (its the greatest job ever!!). After we go back to school on August 6, (we start really early here), I will probably not be real consistent, but Ill try.

Jerri, LaGrange is really close to me, as a matter of fact, its where we will be going for our annual Christmas breakfast the weekend before the big day. Hope your back will be improving soon.

Denise, what a great score on those pots. I am always looking for some pretty pots ever since I began drooling over Deannes unbelievable combinations (wish I had her talent).

Wow, Marian, that Hoya carnosa is wonderful, Ive never seen anything like it. Do you just have your houseplants placed here and there? Do they all need to be close by a window to get that filtered light?

Saucy, one of my favorite things is to see a table dressed in vintage tablecloths and dishes. It just says "summer" to me. Unfortunately, I own not a one!

Pm2, For so long now, I have enjoyed your gorgeous pictures! You havent taken a picture since June 12? Well, I am embarrassed to say, I take about 50 pictures, EVERY DAY, as though it really changes that much from day to day. Still, it gives me so much pleasure during the winter months that I just click away - easy to do with these digital cameras now.

Hi Martie. No, Im actually just about 30 miles south of Atlanta. Newnan was spared the burning of Shermans "march to the sea" because he used it as his headquaters. Lots of history here and there are many beautiful old southern homes. I have actually always thought of myself in zone 7, we are farther north than zone 8 implies.

Cindy, love the peek at your "addiction". Im so glad your Chloe is going to be okay. I did not know that about the gum.

Deanne, I loved the purple pot you painted - I really loved the flat color and it looked so pretty with the Clematis. Re: the clematis - do you pot up your perennials you buy after the temps get so warm and save them to plant in the fall? I have that same square grayish pot - its one of my favorites.

Okay! Done! Wow, that wasnt too bad. I typed this up on my WP before posting so I could take the dog out a gagillion times and not risk losing my post. What a great idea, I think I read it here! Later I will do a shorter post and include some pics. I know you must be tired or reading by now (are you even here still?). Youre the best! Leslie

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 10:44AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi, Leslie. Nice to see some one here from the deep south :-)

My houseplants are placed (in the wintertime) in the locations where they get the amount of light recommended for them. We have lots of windows on the sunny sides of the house, but most of them are shaded by large trees, including the bay window in front. We also have a utility room that has windows on three sides, and I keep lots of my plants in there in the cold months. A lot of my houseplants spend the warm months outside, mostly on the deck, that faces the Northeast.

I am looking forward to seeing your pictures. If an old gal like I could figure it out, I am sure you can too. I did have help from a very dear member, to get me started.:-)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 11:04AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning, all!

'Bug, I had to laugh that Reed's first "real" word was flashlight. DH always has to ask where the flashlight is, because he never puts it back where it belongs. It's such a routine by now that all he says is, "flashlight?"
BTW, you solved a mystery for DH and I. There was a plant growing in a ditch along one of the fields, and we couldn't figure out what it is. Turns out it's Angelica. Thanks, that was driving me nuts :)

Marian, our lawnmower has one of those "dead man switches" in the seat, too. I think all of them have it now. I used to bag grass to use for mulch, and boy, was that a pain in the neck. Our "lot" is probably close to 2 acres, and if you can imagine how many times you have to get off the mower to dump bags. DH finally disabled it because he figured I'd burn up a starter every season, lol! I once got caught by a twig that hooked in my ponytail holder because I didn't lay down far enough..yeouch. I got unhooked, then looked around to make sure no one saw me, I'm sure I looked hilarious :) Thay hoya bloom is gorgwous!

Michelle, I love the tuteur! I've always meant to get around to playing in Jim's shop and making some interesting pieces for vines to climb. You did a nice job, I'd love to see pics with the Clematis on it. Kenzie and the horse...just adorable. Makes my "grandma hormones" kick into overdrive!

Kathy, I feel for you with the dental implants. I had a tooth with a root canal that went bad, and had an implant done. I'm very glad I did it, but it was sure no picnic. Being the sadistic mother that I am, I brought home a picture where they had the whole thing opened up, stuck it on the fridge, and used magnetic letters to spell out "FLOSS YOUR TEETH". I think it made an impression on the kids.

Hi, Leslie, and welcome! I'm never able to keep up around here, just do the best I can ;)

Saucy, I don't know that I've commented on the bee project, but I've been following along avidly. What a cool thing to do!

Jerri, sorry to hear there are back problems. Personally, I think I'd rather have another dental implant than to have more back problems. Dental work rarely keeps me out of the garden, and a painful back is SUCH a PITA...I have sciatica, lol...kinda localizes the pain in the gluteus maximus sometimes ;)

As always, I love browsing all the pictures. It's probably a good thing my memory is failing, or I'd spend a lot more money on plants. You guys are such enablers. If I don't make a note, I forget I wanted a plant. I did see a photo that Woody posted, I believe it was persicaria polymorpha and I immediately made a note of that one. If you haven't seen the post, it's really cool. Shows the plants in different light situations. Awesome post, Woody.

It's getting somewhat exciting around here. Given the fact that grain prices are crazy good, DH has loosened the purse strings, and I get to have some work done on the porch. If THAT isn't enough, it sounds like it's finally time to build on a garage. That project will include removing the little add-on that contains the laundry room. We'll get not only an attatched garage, but a whole new utility room. Be still, my heart! In my 46 years, I have never had a garage. I can't imagine the luxury. Being farmers, it seems like we always do our grocery shopping in the rain, and we shop for a month at a time. Ah, the smell of damp grocery bags.........
Gotta get busy doing something. We got a little rain last night, so it's a bit too tacky to get any work done. Hey, I know...I'll go snap a few pictures!
Have a grand day, one and all!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 11:13AM
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Okay, I give up! I can't find any information anywhere about how to upload pictures. I tried copy and paste from the WP, and it would take the writing, but not the pic. Help!!


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 11:46AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, Leslie! You need to use an image hosting site to upload your pictures to the internet. I use and I think others here use
You upload your pictures to their site. The instructions are on the page, and it's pretty cut and dried. Then, there is a line of HTML code that you can copy and paste into your post. It looks like this
[img src="";] except that the [] at the beginning and end are symbols. After you've pasted that line into the post, and click the preview message button, you should see the picture, like this:

This is the part of the house that will be torn off for the new utility room and garage. Ugly cement shed will be gone, as will the deteriorating raised beds.
Hope that helps. Sounds complicated, but really isn't :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 12:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Leslie...I don't use a photo hosting site, I use You can choose photos off your hard drive from their site and choose the size photo you want to post and it provides the HTML code that you paste into your post. Pretty simple and if I remember right, they explain how to do it on their site.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 1:16PM
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Good cool morning. It was 54 degrees here this morning at 6:10 when I went out for my morning stroll. We havent turned our a/c on yet this year. We just havent had the humidity that usually gets us to turn it on.

A hearty welcome to Leslie! Pets, kids and gardens it sounds like you will fit right in.

Deanne, the alliums are Purple Sensation. I added quite a few to this garden just last fall. I think you have found a new medium to create with spray paint ;o) I really need to get a picture of the tuteur.

Cindy, what a great assortment of interesting plants on your patio. I also really like the herringbone brick pattern. Poor Chloe, Im glad you caught it in time. The salvia in my picture is May Night and I believe there is another kind that is quite similar in there too. Since they seed around a bit it becomes unclear whose who after awhile.

Pm2s picture reminds me of why I would love to get to Maine someday.

Saucy, you should be able to make a trellis or such out of copper as it really is just all small pieces soldered together.

Denise, your DH sounds like mine, he is always scoping out clearance garden items for me.

Brenda, great news about the garage and utility room.

We are heading to the fireworks tonight with Kenzie. They have lots of other activities going on and I believe pony rides are a part of it.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Ahhhh. Lunch at the office followed by ice cream sundaes courtesy of the local reps' slush fund. What better way to spend a work day? (A $1m order would be nice :-)

No storms here yesterday, Deanne -- they must've all headed northeast and will be to Chelone in no time! Take cover...

I need to pull out some wayward Rugosa canes, and have coveted a Rugosa standard since I saw Deanne's. How did you get it started? Same as I would any non-tipped cutting?

Cindy - is that a mossy turtle? How cool???!!! Did you use a yogurt mixture on it or did it just 'happen.'?

Should get back to work but hanging with the Idylls is so much more fun.

I leave you all with a special site for Michelle in particular to visit. Chelone and Deanne will like it, too:-)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 1:55PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good morning all. I know it's after 1:00 P.M. but the medication worked well. LOL
My back problems started in 2007 or so. Some arthritis, a slipped vertebra, and a suspected autoimmune disease. DH helped by leaving an empty pot dolly sitting in the driveway one night. I found it of course. I am glad it was dark; my driveway surfing must have been a sight to see.
I have nerve compaction problems so, on any day, I may have numb and/or on fire fingers, hands, right leg or left foot. I hope the procedure yesterday will help with the pain and sciatica. I go back in 3 weeks for round two .

Makes life interesting but has brought my gardening to a halt. I have decided I will have to hire someone to regain the front flowerbeds so I am not ashamed to live here anymore. ;)
I am gardening vicariously through relatives as well as Idylls this year.

I will absolutely be at the Idyllunion! Just do not expect me to do any weeding. ;)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi everyone (waves).
I can't believe others want to take a welding course too. I had one all picked out before my folks passed away last year. I think it's time to look up that information again.
How fun! :)

Hi Leslie! On the subject of picture hosting (TinyPic, PhotoBucket, etc.); some internet providers give free disk space with your internet account. If that is the case, you just upload your photos there. I hope that makes sense. :)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 2:30PM
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Okay, here we go, I think I've got it (it only took me three or four hours!).

April Garden:

May - I am looking to add lilies and clematis for May. I just found an HF Young clematis and was so excited!


A pot inspired by the pot queen - Deanne

A picture from the kitchen window:

Late June - not much happening in the garden on the left, it's my project for next year.

Luckily I had all day to get this post done! It's a good thing, because that's just about how long it took me! Hope you like the pics. I post July soon.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 3:16PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Leslie, your gardens are just lovely! And you got in a shot of the kitties! Who are we looking at? I love the containers and stone edging too. I am a rockaholic. :)
I'm so glad you posted.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 4:34PM
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When I was a senior in high school I really DIDN'T want to go to college. I wanted to either: go to France for a year as an exchange student, or learn how to shoe horses and weld (I wanted to learn to shoe American Saddlebreds, Tennessee Walkers, Morgans, and Arabians; all the breeds that are shown Park Seat and have longer hooves to accentuate the high, "trappy" nature of their gates). The 'rents were adamant that neither of those would be acceptable. I went to college and I loathed every stinkin' minute of it. Fire alarms on Friday and Saturday night/morning, a room-mate who told me to sleep somewhere else because her boyfriend was in town (I was too freaked out to tell her to "get a room"). My brother is a master metalsmith, with all the equipment and talent to boot. I watched him work one day and remarked it was just "sewing with metal". He lifted the mask and grinned, "that's exactly right!". I think you should go for it and now you've got me thinking about it, too, lol. Meant to comment that your tuteur is wonderful, Michelle, and I know exactly what you mean about the supports being too far apart. My father was a plumbing/heating contractor; did you know they make copper "Ys", too? (half S P traps with inverted nuts, too, lol!)

It's very warm today and rather humid, but the breeze is just unbelievable, stong and steady from the south/southwest. Great day for sailing, but my more squeamish sensibility would require reefing the mainsail. I am definitely NOT into white knuckles or "dipping the rail". We didn't get a thunderstorm yesterday, Deanne. It looked as though it might happen but they must've passed us by. More are predicted for today, but we'll have to wait and see. I'm unsure if there was painting activity today... the tall extension ladder is gone from the south side of the house, and the fan was on in the bathroom (evidence of a "stinky" sent to the septic tank earlier today?)... I just don't know for sure! :)

Leslie, I use Picturetrail and probably ought to look into free services. I have a very hard time with how a computer talks to other ones, but I only use it for recreation so don't spend too much time on the subject. And this one is old and slow by today's standards. I think my next move will be to a Mac.. I want to hear about EIP. As you no doubt already know I hate dogs and kids and the helpmeet and I are proponents of "regular beatings". I've had to learn to share my roof with canids, but have pointedly avoided procreating. ;) Too selfish and too lazy!

UPS was just here and I was stunned to see the driver not only pull into the driveway BUT DRIVE THE CIRCLE! I told him so, too. We layed the driveway out to accomodate delivery vehicles comfortably (UPS, oil and gas trucks). It was gratifying to see how easy it was for him to negotiate the curves. There is a reason for "architectural standards" and opting for the more "gracious" one was a good move on our part. I thought of my late FIL who was a landscape architect and was very involved in planning and exectuting many state parks. It was he who started me thinking of the greater good and beneficial sacrifice.

Sue, I didn't not have time to adequately study your linked album last night. But wanted to extend gratitude for photographic sympathy, as well as profound admiration for such a lovely project. It's just beautiful and it has bouyed my spirits. I guess there really IS hope.

Brenda, you are WARNED about building projects, lol. The "seepage" can be very dispiriting and once the thrill is gone the grim reality of the "details" can be daunting. Still, though, I'd never, ever had a garage before last winter, either. And not having to clean snow off a car to go to work is too luxurious for words. In fact, it's downright obscene when you think about the selfishness of it in the BIG, worldwide picture. I've decided to add it to my list of "guilty pleasures"... Barry White and Michael Jackson, cocoanut covered marshmallows, a soft-serve vanilla cone dipped in chocolate on a hot day, and ONION RINGS (need to indulge that one soon).

I particularly love the little Agave wannabe you posted, Marian. I've seen them before and thought they were precious. I forgot to bring home the Dracena (sp?) that has been tortured for 5 yrs. now. I hauled it out its pot yesterday and was shocked by the root system... wound around the base of the 6" pot. I snipped the roots back and put it in a container of water. It had slurped up about 1/2" of water in under 24 hrs. and it clearly needs a new home. I'll go rescue it tomorrow morning and give it a second chance (there IS green growth). If it dies, it dies, nothing ventured, nothing gained... right?

10-4, good buddies!

(My co-worker was thrilled to have Monday with her BF. And it looks as though next weekend will be my 4 day weekend with my co-worker picking up my "regular" Friday. It's a very small shop and we work really hard to accomodate each other. Even when it gets "tense" each of us understands that we're all in it together. "All for one and one for all!")

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 4:43PM
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OUTDOOR kitties; I just love having our pride convene as soon as they hear a car pull into the Compound. I love working in an area and hearing the chirp/mew or just feeling one of them rub against me as I work.

Nice job on the picture posting! introduce the kitties and your kids (if you feel comfortable posting their faces, some don't for good reason, sadly).

What a lovely, sylvan setting! the warm, humid breeze is blowing the fragrance of the woods into our home. I wonder if you experience the same thing in your home?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 4:52PM
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Saucy.Mr Baby wears a purple beanie with tassels to the beach !

Kathy (in Yachats)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:11PM
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He may not pee when you touch him as puppies often do, but he likely drools.

Chubby, obviously loved and fussed over, a stern upbringing and frequent beatings will round him into a good, honest, TAX paying citizen.

"Flashlight", huh? yeah, RIGHT. ;) Of all things, I think being able to get into a baby's head would prove most beneficial to our species. I look at the way babies observe the world and am amazed. I think our species loses a most visceral experience of our natural world at the same time we "gain" speech. Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle, and talk, talk, talk. Every single moment you spend INTERACTING with them is one more brick in the wall of a world-wide, loving humanity. Beatings, frequently administered feature prominently, too... never forget the beatings!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:35PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Leslie, you are a fast learner ! What a lovely place ! Do you have lots of rain there? I see that your location is a long ways from the ocean. Our son vacationed near Stone Mountain some years ago. He brought me a spoon holder from there. :-)

Chelone, you gave me a scare when you said you like my Agave wannabe. I first thought: if you were near I could give you a start. Then I thought:...good heavens, do I even still have any of it ! It had over-flowed it's pot and I divided it a year or so ago,( that was not this year's pic). A lot of it died due to too much water in the container that it was in, that didn't have any drainage ! I rushed out on the deck and searched for any remains ! Thank goodness, there is a nice little one out there, and it is putting on a new shoot. Whew ! What a relief !
( Ei, are you noticing all my exclamation marks ? )

While out there I took some pics of 2 differant Dracaenias, and an Aglaonema.

The first two are Dracaenias:

This is an Agleonema, ( a kumquat is growing with it.):

And this is a completely differant Dracaenia (the speckled plant, the other one is a Peperomia...another easy plant.)

This last Dracaenia is not as easy for me to grow as the other three that I have pictured. Which one does yours resemble?

Norma, we(I)need some pics of your farming operations. :-)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:55PM
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LOL, Marian. The specimen I forgot to bring home today, for pottin' up, is most like the first photo. But there is a pink streak down the very centre of the leaves. I HAVE to go get it tomorrow and post a shot of it because it is clingling to life, even as we speak. You will be appalled even as I'm amazed by the plant's ability to cling to life under the most adverse conditions. Stay tuned.

Proper spelling is "Dracaenia", ?

Winter conditions here are rather warm and dry (woodstove!) and "sunny" can be dicey as the southern windows can get rather crowded. But I need to take advantage of the knowledge your masterful stewardship provides.

Ride herd on me, willya? there is every liklihood I'd blow this advice off since there is activity OUTSIDE the windows.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 7:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, well...another country heard If it isn't Mr Baby! OMGosh...what a darling, darling! He looks so smart, Kathy. He has an expression on his face that he has something on his mind and is getting ready to say something. [g]

Leslie...great job posting your first photos! I especially loved your Deanne-esque pot. :-) What is the snowball shrub in photo #2? Love your garden and glad you included the kitties in the photo. I hope you will post close ups of the kitties on the Idyll Pets thread. DO have some great houseplants! That first photo almost looks like you have tied a bow in the middle with a couple of the stems. Looks cute. [g]

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 7:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yep, that is the proper spelling. :-)
Keep in mind, most of my plants survive dispite me ! They get very benign attention. :-(
Maybe if you 'beat' them they will grow, LOL . ;-)
The only heat we have is a wood stove, and it is in the livingroom. Well, actually that isn't the only heat....I use an electric heater in the utility room.

Kathy, Mr. Baby is so sweet ! Are you going to call the poor fellow Mr. Baby all his life?

Pm2, I don't know why that plant looks like that. I haven't investigated, but maybe a bug did that? :-)

There are more rains in our forecast for tonight and tomorrow ! Wonderful, long as there is no hail, and the driveway holds !


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Brebda, I am getting bad at not recalling who spoke to me.:-(
I can identify with you about almost getting your head jerked off when you ducked under a tree, I had a straw hat on that tied under my chin. I ducked under a redbud limb, but not far enough. You can get the picture !!! I laughed and told myself that one day I was really going to hurt myself.

BTW, we need pics of your farming operations too. :-)
You all know, I am still a farm girl at heart.

Marie, I noticed you have similar mowing problems. I keep threatening to do more really drastic pruning, but don't want to spoil the shape of the shrubs.

Kathy, I forgot to tell you how pretty I think your daylily pics are. One of mine, in the east flower bed, finally escaped the deer enough to have a bloom this year. It was sort of the color of your second pic.

Michelle I have 2 packages of the netting (I forgot I had the first, and bought another), but have yet to open either. I am still putting fences around things.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:29PM
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Just a quick 'hi', I'm in the upstairs loft area which looks out to the ocean. We had a beautiful sunny day today, but the fog has rolled in and the temps have dropped now. BBQ chicken for dinner and maybe some poker tonight.

I wanted to just say Hi and welcome to Leslie, and say that I enjoyed your photos. Also a thanks to Sue for posting that interesting documentation of her garden building project..I'm sure that gave Chelone a mental boost !

And Marian, as usual you have wonderful houseplants . Mine are always so pathetic looking !

Cindy, I will be having 3 crowns put on over my implants and my next appt in two months is for a torque test ! I feel like a used car . I guess they test the implants to make sure they are securley attached..What fun !

Signing off from the Oregon Coast...

Kathy in Yachats

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:21PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What did Chelone say about keeping up? Once again I am behind! I shall pledge to read all that I missed over my leisurely coffee tomorrow morning.

I am SO looking forward to not working three days in a row! Slowly, with little baby steps, some of the annoying little issues are getting resolved. My car is now all better, and best of all they totally CLEANED it inside and out! Who knew?

And this week we started getting mail delivery again. The road project is not done, but it's far enough along that I no longer have to make suicide turns into my driveway, adn the mailman again can get to the mailbox.

Best of all, I hired a new person to replace the woman who walked out in mid-May. So the workload will reduce drastically in another week or so.

DD is off visiting friends for the weekend, so we have a relatively quiet weekend planned. I'm hoping to get a few things caught up. I've been so tired after work that I've accomplished little or nothing most nights.

I'll sign off for more, but promise to read tomorrow,


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 10:31PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Fourth! So looking forward to the weekend. DD is away for the weekend also. One son home, one away. We are planning to be 'spontaneous' this weekend. lol First things first, though, into the garden this morning, to put some Idyll suggestions to work. Found a whole tray of six packs of Browalia on sale for $10 yesterday, no Angelonia to be seen. I will look again today. I am planning on adding some to my containers that are not doing well to bulk them up some. Also repeating the fertilizer routine I have started with the pots. Thanks for sharing your container tips Deanne, I had never heard of your Algoflash fertilizer, but I am going to look for it. In the meantime, I am using Neptune Fish/Seaweed Emulsion. I was skipping the fertilizer for the first month they were planted, so maybe if I use it every time I water, it will start to make a difference. Next year, I am going to have to get with the program and use fertilizer from start to finish.

I think we are going to try to fit in as much shopping as we can, I find it a good weekend to find final sales on clothing, Joann Fabrics usually has their garden related items on sale. Nurseries have reductions. Maybe head to Maine for the day on Saturday.

So what are everyone's Fourth of July plans? We used to take the kids into Boston to the Esplanade for the Fireworks and the Fourth of July concert. We had the best times. We haven't done that in about 10 years though. I loved fireworks when I was a kid but even then I thought it was a lot of build up for such a short burst of entertainment. The Boston fireworks were worth the build up though. They would last for almost a half hour and having the 1812 Overture playing while they were going off, certainly made them more special. Now I am spoiled. We never watch fireworks on TV. My Mom used to watch them without fail every year as she got older and I just could never see the attraction. lol So what are your favorite Fourth of July memories?

We had another burst of wind and rain last night, but it didn't last long. I am not complaining, it is saving us from watering, which is a real break. Oops! I see out the window it is raining again this morning. Change of plans, guess we will do the shopping first.

V....I am happy to hear you have time off and some replacement help to look forward to. I hope you will have a chance to relax as much as possible this weekend. :-)

Kathy...your trip is already sounding wonderful! Ocean out the window, Barbecue Dinners and Card games at night...what could be better! Reminds me of some of my childhood summers. Our family loved to get together around the DR table and play cards. We would laugh our heads off. My mother was the queen of the wild Seven card stud, Rolling Ladies. All for nickels and dimes. It was a lot of fun. When I was older and there was not a gang around we learned bridge and looked forward to every chance we could get to play. Last year, DH and I found instructions for playing bridge for two people and that was fun. Maybe we can fit that in this weekend too. Glad you are having a great time. Hope you get a good night sleep too! ;-)

Marian...I had a good chuckle over your joke to Chelone. Still sharp as a tack! :-)

I am also on the tuteur train, but have no interest in My son has done some work welding and I would wager he would enjoy that kind of a project. Did I read correctly Michelle that you would improve upon the first one you made, if you made another?

Chelone...we bought tickets on a really small sailboat in Maine one weekend a few years back. It was just a short trip out for maybe an hour. Just happened to be getting darker as we were waiting to board the boat and by the time we got out there were some strong winds. We were all a little 'white knuckled' by the time we got back. I think when I was a kid, I would have enjoyed it more. I don't want to give up on it though. I thought we might try again on a larger sailboat.

Sue....I have seen photos of your garden before and loved it, but how fascinating to see how the whole thing started. Great photo journal of the process. Thanks for sharing that!

Leslie....I meant to also say, that for a shady garden, you have a lot of color.

Martie...add me to the horse lover's group. Loved your link, thanks. have a great area for that new garage/utility room. That would be a project I could get excited about too. [g] We need a utility/mud room. Our problem is the garage was placed on the opposite side of the house from the kitchen back door. So inconvenient. Will you include laundry in that utility room?

Well...that is getting far afield of a holiday mood, thinking about utility rooms and

Enjoy the day off everyone! Have a day filled with....


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 7:41AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

So whats with this rain that they did not predict? The weather people are off their game lately. Maybe they should say Maybe it will rain and maybe the sun will be out then theyll have it right. We got another afternoon of thunder storms yesterday so its been a very wet week here starting with that two inches on Sunday. I cant imagine how much more weve gotten in the last three days of additional storms and now this heavy rain this morning. As PM said though, its nice not to have to water.

Today Doug is going up to his fathers camp on Lake Horace for a family thingy but Im not going. That place has way too many very bad associative memories and I really dont plan to ever go back up there. His father gets his kicks or something from ridiculing overweight people and its even worse when they are wearing bathing suits. I have no intention to ever provide fodder for his sick sense of humor again so I refuse to EVER be around him in a swim suit again. The place is a camp on a lake, they will be sitting around eating hamburgers etc all day so if I dont go swimming there is absolutely nothing for me to do all day but sit on my duff and try to make inane, polite conversation with people I dont get along with. Doug doesnt get it; he thinks his father is just trying to be funny. Not! One of those things weve had to agree to disagree on. I refuse to put myself in a position to be emotionally abused by his father.

Anyway, my DSister is coming over and we are going to have lobster on the patio and enjoy the gardens. We originally were going to go for a bicycle ride but it will be too wet not to mention Im a bit sore from yesterdays jaunt to Ayer, MA. Doug and I did a nice 25 mile bicycle ride yesterday afternoon but my butt is a bit on the sore side this morning. LOL

PM, unless you use a potting soil with some kind of supplemental food like the Miracle Grow Potting Soil Id recommend starting on a feeding program for the containers right from the start.

V. glad to hear that many of your issues are getting resolved.

Hey Kathy! Great to hear from you from the beautiful PNW! Mr. Baby is pretty darned cute! The tasseled hat is way at the top of the cuteness chart.

Leslie, beautiful garden pics! I love seeing the seasonal progression and how interesting to see your red soil. Your containers are so pretty.

Jerri, so sorry about the back problems. Driveway surfing is not a good thing for bad backs. ~~ No worries, no weeding expected.

Martie my rugosa standard started out with a very long cane sometime around 1995. After it got about five feet I started tip pruning it and just kept at it until I had a good head on it. So yes, its the same as any other non-tipped cutting.

Brenda, great news about the garage! Now youll need to get an automatic garage door opener and youll never get wet bringing in the groceries again. (except, of course, when you have all those tender plants in the garage instead of the cars, LOL)

OK time to get a move on here and tackle some indoor projects until the rain stops.

Have a great 4th everyone!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 8:39AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hi Leslie! Pretty garden you've got going there.... You mentioned a dog I think? What kind? and a snake...?! I assume it's kept well away from the furry pets!

I forget who commented on the size of the New Dawn rose flowers... They're not really huge but are a good size, come in clusters and are wonderfully scented. The buds in a cluster don't always open all at the same time so some fade faster than others as you can see here:

Jerri - that back situation sounds painful -and frustrating if it's keeping you out of the garden and other things (must be hard to play with all those puppies...)

Kathy - that kid is going to be quite old I think before we stop calling him Mr. Baby... :-)

V - I'm glad things are starting to look up a bit for you!

It's very cool here at nights but very pleasant for gardening. Things are looking very lush. But I suspect we'll be heading into the usual summer drought now. The wisteria is into its summer flush of blooms - I figured out yesterday that pruning off the whippy new growths equals ~ 3-4 flowers at that location about 2-3 weeks later:

I hope you all enjoy your holiday weekend.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:02AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

After the usual "freaky friday" Im drooping this a.m. but need to perk up as DD is coming to aid her sloppy Mom and sort and move more things back to the basement - so work of another sort today, but much needed.

Leslie -- your gardens are gorgeous and soothing -- I imagine you feel terribly lucky to have all that shade in GA, otherwise gardening in the sun there would be baking a lot of stuff? Definitely saw the Container Queen influence in the lovely white pot -- very lovely. You'll be picking up a can of spray paint in no time, LOL... Keep the photos coming! I didnt have a good chance to really examine, but I love the colors and the mood.

Deanne, all that rain we were supposed to get in t-storms came to you instead I guess; things are drooping here; they say t-storms before the fireworks but I better not wait and need to water some things. You should be congratulated on your stance against enduring any more tortuous "family" outings -- it's still confusing when great guys like Doug dont get it though, right? I suspect that's more because he doesnt want to recognize how mean spirited his Dad really is and feels the need to "deny" - we know all about that, right? But one can only endure and do the family obligatory stuff but so long and realize one day that they dont even appreciate it and it's just agony - boy, kind of like getting that crown on, eh? You're a smart, great person and it sounds like you'll have a much better day; nothing wrong w/ a few separate holidays.

Brenda, how exciting about your garage and projects -- o no, more mess, but a great mess -- I was thinking that at least farmers generally are having a good year re the market basket prices even if there's pain at the other end for the consumer - assuming you're not one flooded out like in Iowa.

Mr. Baby -- love your beach wear. Sounds like a great time to enjoy with your family. Kathy, he's adorable, dont listen to Chelone, and thanks for sharing an update - they sure grow quickly dont they?

V, glad you're getting some much deserved rest - I think holidays are meant to be for that sometimes - I think we enhabit the same frenzied work lifes... and they are so draining.

Ok, well, no more time to linger, just wanted a quicky pick me up to look at the photos again - gotta get the energy bag on and get to work. Gotta take free help whenever you can get it.

I hope everyone has a fun, relaxing day.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:38AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning! Like Deanne I'm sitting here looking out at a cool drizzly day and thinking "what the ____?". For weeks now it seems like it rains at some point every day. The dogs stink because their faces and feet are constantly wet. No complaints though. It will likely stop for good soon enough and we'll be complaining that it's too I plan to do some cleaning this morning and then hopefully some garden cleanup for the get together tomorrow. With all this rain the lawn needs to be mowed every five or six days. There's this teeny baby rabbit that's been hanging around for a couple of weeks and doing some serious damage to the gardens along my side walkway. The damn rat must eat ten times it's weight in plants every day. He's cuter than cute but I'm about to declare open season on baby rabbits.

Welcome to new idyller Leslie! What a beautiful and private backyard garden view. Once you get the hang of posting pictures you'll be unable to restrain yourself.

Thanks for all your positve comments on my project link. I like to document projects and that summer was a doosie. Also in my Picturetrail account is an album on the kitchen redo and the garage from hell project. Unlike the garage, the kitchen went smoothly and on time.

Yikes, Chelone, another! LOL Sounds like Kathy is enjoying her beach vacation.

Well Marian you convinced me. Last week I cleaned the screen porch and tossed the most gawdawful looking fake plant. Today I'm going to replace it with something real with colorful foliage and low light requirements. Lowe's and Home Depot usually have decent selections.

Cindy, I love your patio set up. I have one little Agave that was given to me by a co-worker. She's Polish and smuggled the mother plant back from a trip to Poland a couple of years ago. I kept it under lights all winter and now it's out on the patio and appears to be doing quite well. When I was visiting my dad in the Orlando area a couple of months ago I saw Agaves being grown as foundation plants. A couple I saw actually had jumped the border edging and were popping up in the lawn.

Well it's raining steadily again. Time to go start the cleaning. If I remember correctly last year the fourth was cooly and drizzly as well.

Enjoy the holiday!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Certainly one trait shared by all Idylls is Independence!! Thus, Happy Independence Day to one and all in the US or not!!

Buggy day here. Already.

Sue, Liquid Fence works wonders with baby rabbits. So do cats ;-) I tried fox urine a few days back since the LF was exhausted, but no luck. Picture me running and screaming "You Don't Belong Here!!!!!!" as an alternative for the time being.

Deanne - Thanks for the Rugosa info. There are three good cane possibilities and I think I'll start them all to be on the safe side. I'm with you about not going to horrid family gatherings -- one of the many reasons I ended up divorcing myself from Ky's dad and his family. Lobster on the patio sounds like a MUCH better alternative :-)

So, Chelone, I'm talking with a rep from the Cape yesterday and they mention that the sailing weather is better than it's been in a long time. I don't understand boat/sailing-talk but I do understand the thrill of zooming. Is that how it feels?

Mr. Baby is too cute for his own good. Very appropriate shirt, I might add!!

What a great place, Leslie! "Nothing going on...."?????? I think NOT! Love that you have Coreopsis 'Moonbeam' -- a fav filler of mine.

Off to my sister's for a burger and old-fashioned sparklers, caps and snake thingies.

I'll leave you all with this: Kiss the ground we walk on once in a while. Having lived in a dictatorship and watching the atrocities commited by the "leaders" in other countries, I believe we can all be truly grateful to those who fought hard, and continue to fight hard, for our ability to be an Idyll and say what we want to say.

Happy Fireworks!!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 10:29AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Independence Day to all the Americans, and a belated Happy Canada Day to the Canadian members. A few years back we happened to cross the border on July 1st, and the border guards gave us Canadian flag pins and magnets. I thought that was quite a nice thing to do.

As promised, Im catching up on reading and so have some belated comments.

Chelone, I understand your crankiness with the painting project. Last year, when we had so many things done around the house, there were times that I felt I was living in a group home for unruly teenagers (even though all the workers were past their teen years). It is the little things that build up and send you over the edge. Yes, some day the work will be done and peace shall reign again at the Compound! And just so you know, the guy who was supposed to be here first thing in the spring, before the plants grew up, has yet to show his face. DH sent him a down payment many moons ago and I am being very nice and not questioning his judgement. Well, at least not out loud!

Denise, a late weigh-in on Baptisia. My favorite is Purple Smoke. Its slightly lower than the others but I love the smoky color of the blooms and the darker stems. Every year I tell myself I will get a photo, and every year it blooms when I am so burned out at work that I dont want to look at a plant at home. But I still like looking at it! And I love that Pelargonium.

Cindy and others with dental woes, just remember how far we have come with dental treatment. My mom had full dentures in her early forties!

Welcome, Leslie! Glad you decided to dive in. Great photos, by the way. Photo posting does get easier with practice. (says she who is always so lax about posting photos!)

Cindy, glad to hear Chloe is okay. I had a thick-headed lab eat two dozen brownies one time, but he was too thick-headed to know that chocolate was bad for him, so he was just fine.

Well, I made it as far as my last post last night. I still have todays to read, but perhaps that will be my lunchtime break. Im off to rescue two Asclepias tuberosas that seeded themselves into the lawn, then we are picking black raspberries for this evenings dessert. Later!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 10:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Again, caught up on reading. (skimming really.)

DS is here with his Austrian friend and I am running a B&B it seems. We had lemon/ricotta pancakes with blueberries for breakfast (at 11AM).

DS is repairing his car, the friend is reading and sun bathing, Phoebe is chewing on car parts....Well, if they leave them lying around, I don't blame her.
The friend:

My friend Lynn will be arriving in a while and we are escaping for haircuts and manicures later today in preparation for a wedding tomorrow. Tonight the entire gang will eat OUT at the Indian restaurant. This truly wrecks the diet...

New clematis emerge every exciting time of year for me.

Plans have been made as of last night for DGS Skyler to travel here on his own and spend a week and then we'll take him home and visit for a few days with TWMPT and his flashlight. (The World's Most Perfect Toddler) Next week Skyler is to have a cardio catheter shoved up his femur...and in spite of it being a no-worry situation, most of his past problems and 67 blood transfusions, plastic heart valves and multiple death experiences are a result of medical accidents. So of course his parents are very concerned.

Must go but thinking of all the 4th activity and long weekend for all! ENJOY!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 12:37PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow! I finished reading. I feel better now. :)

We dressed this morning in long pants, long sleeves, socks and hats, sprayed ourselves with lemon eucalyptus bug spray and headed out to pick black raspberries. They are JUST coming ripe; some canes yielded only one or two ripe berries, but since we have plenty along the edge of the tree line, we gathered enough to make sorbet. It's still straining at the moment, but it should be yummy.

Time to brush the yellow dog for the umpteenth time this summer.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 1:01PM
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Good morning everyone! Its going to be a beautiful, but hot and humid, day here in Georgia. I was beginning to get used to the cooler temps we were having for about 10 days. We had a very nice, cool spring too, which is why my tulips did so well this year. Last year in March we were having 80 degree temps, and in April we were already hitting the 90s. The tulips lasted about a day, or didnt bloom at all - very disappointing. This year I was reminded why I make myself get out there and plant those bulbs (we have to treat them as annuals).

Some of you have asked about the family, so I will post a picture of us all at my DDs wedding. Her name is Sally (named for my dear Mother who passed away last June) and her DH is named Elijah. My DSs name is Bonner (named after his paternal grandfather who served in 3 wars - WWII, Korea, and Vietnam). DHs name is Don. He is a first class gentleman. He spoils me rotten (I havent bought gas for my car in 23 years, he knows what to get me for Christmas - one year gifting me with a load of manure, and has on occasion written me a poem when we were too broke to buy Valentines Day cards!).

Brenda, thanks so much for the information about posting the pictures. It was not too difficult.

Jerri, I love the rocks too. Everyone of them came out of that garden. Garden building is for much younger folks than me. Thank goodness I dont have to do that anymore! I do have one garden I need to get the soil conditioned in. Ive been reading about lasagna methods and may try it. I believe that kitty is Annie. She was a stray that followed DD home about 5 or six years ago. She is very loving. Im looking for pictures of the other animals and will post later.

Youre funny Chelone! EIP is Early Intervention Program for struggling academic students. We try to get them before they end up in special education classes (we call them Resource here). My school is called a Title 1 school because 90% of our students are on Free or Reduced Lunch programs. Our students are disproportionately behind the nation/state. I love, love, love my job! Hey, what was that about guilty pleasures? I will admit musically mine is Neil Diamond (shhhh, dont tell anyone).

Kathy, that is the cutest baby - and I just love that headwear! And purple to-boot! Sounds like youre at a lovely place there. Were heading to Florida on Monday and I cant wait. By ourselves, too!

Marian, no, NO rain. We are in a second year of drought. The city of Atlantas main drinking water comes from Lake Lanier, and it is soooooo low that they cant even boat on it anymore. It is down 20 something feet, I think. Luckily, I am on a very deep well system so I am not hampered by the watering restrictions. Still, I try to not be wasteful.

Pm2 - That big white snowball is a Viburnum. It does not have a scent and grows in that wild way. I almost cut it down because I had decided I didnt like it, then it bloomed like that this spring. So glad Im a procrastinator! The cool spring helped it to be so beautiful. Last year I experimented with putting in some annuals for color and wow, was I happy with it! They are just simple annuals (impatience and begonias), but they have really made a difference about the way I feel about my garden. I plop them in where the tulips were growing. When I sit on my deck and look at the garden, the angle is the same one as the kitchen picture. The only thing I hate is that the daylilies in the garden on the right all point away from me (they all bloom facing SE). Sometimes I try to tweak them a bit and turn them (have lost a few blooms doing that J ). Im trying to get some pictures of kitties and kids .

Deanne - Ive always heard tale of how horrible it is to garden in our red clay soil, but honestly, I havent found it too difficult. I just try to give it some " good stuff" every year. I must confess though, when I see all your black soil (well, early in the spring when your black soil is still visible!), I get jealous! I have never tried mulching , and with all these leaves around me it seems almost criminal!! Ive got plans for all that this winter.

Woody oak - Our little dog is a mix - terrier, dachshund and Chihuahua. The snake is a ball python named Sgt. Slither. Hes about 5 or 6 years old and stays pretty much in my sons room or on his arm. DS hates our cats because one of them killed a snake he had when he was younger. Im still trying to get pictures sized and loaded. Where are you located? Your wisteria is beautiful - ours bloomed months and months ago.

Cindy, thanks for your kind words. I LOL when I read about the spray paint, and dont think I havent already been wondering! My DH is going to forbid me from looking at Deannes posts! My only worry regarding the shade is that these huge trees are just going to keep growing until their limbs stretch over the gardens. I have one little pocket of sunny area - it used to be a much bigger pocket 17 years ago! I also have a defunct shade garden which I dont know what to do with. Ill try to get some pictures of it too. It looks like a lost garden. I just dont have the energy to do the whole thing anymore.

Martie - I love that coreopsis too, and doesnt it do well in a shady garden! I usually have terrible deer problems here and will remember the liquid fence you mentioned. When they pulp-wooded the woods behind our home (sooooo sad) it had one great benefit to me - it scared the deer away, and they havent been back. That was last June.

Veronica - thanks for the welcome. I didnt have too much trouble with the photos once I got directions from Brenda. Its the finding them and reducing them that I find a pain. Is it faster to reduce them on my computer, or let the hosting site? Ill have to experiment.

Wow guys, not even a picture, and look how long my post is. I promise to get shorter!

Happy 4th. Were grilling ribs and Im making stewed corn. Yum.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 1:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just received photos of TWMPT. This is the (flash)light of my life who has learned to ham it up for the cameras. I wonder if he'll have a TV carpentry show before he's 21....

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 2:19PM
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A GARDENING show, 'bug. Gardening!! LOL

Great day. Lots of weeding. Burgers were the best and so was the company.

How would everyone feel if I organized a project everyone here and lurking can do, involves plants that can be grown in any zone, and the culmination is the creation of all the pics of the project becoming a Winter Solstice card? Can't argue with the shortest day of the year.

(No, I haven't been hitting the wine :-)


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 7:03PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Great day here too. I made progress in the de-clutter/organization area. I just bagged up two XL trash bags of clothes I never wear. There is room in the master closet! YEA! It's probably due to the 'What Not to Wear' maration this weekend. LOL

Maybe it the pain meds but I don't understand the project suggestion Martie. However, I'm always game, sign me up. ;)

Hmm... What else can I send to Goodwill?


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 7:37PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Yes, Martie, tell us more....

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 8:17PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

This photo reminded me of fireworks.. Happy Fourth ...!

When the red supergiant V838 Monocerotis suddenly brightened for several weeks in early 2002, it showed it was cloaked in a never-before-seen cloud structure. The burst of light reflecting off the clouds, called a light echo, was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. Photograph courtesy NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 8:32PM
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Marian, I thought I commented on your beautiful plants. I really love the Dracaenias with the stripes. Are these little trees? I can't get a feel for how they look from the top angle. Do they flower or just provide that beautiful pattern? I have no place in my home that gets any light, all my windows have a big 3 foot eve that shades them. My sister grew this really interesting plant that is all stems and its huge and no leaves at all. Unfortunately, she goes to Nova Scotia for two months each summer and it died. I was so disappointed.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:36PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

I hope all had a happy Fourth. Lobster on the patio was divine, especially since we started with some bleu cheese on whole grain/rosemary crackers, a petit filet mignon, tossed salad and finished with a lovely Mousse au Chocolate Bombe and espresso. Yum! We also took a bit of time and went plant shopping while waiting for the grocery to steam our lobsters. Here is a pic of the gardens on the fourth. Sometimes I can't believe I live here. LOL

A view from the patio

These white Asiatic lilies are particularly lovely at the moment

OK time for bed, nite all

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 9:43PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Leslie, they do end up with sort of a trunk. They are members of the Agave fanily, and are common in the tropics. I think I have 5 differant varieties. One that I didn't picture is anything but pretty. It has a long (about 2') stem/trunk, and just a tuft of leaves at the top. I don't know why I keep it, but I hate to throw any living plant away. :-(
Probably if I cut it back I could root the top and the bottom would regrow. That is what I do with the others, except the one in the last picture, on the table by the agatized rock.

pm2, I love pictures of the outer space. :-)

We didn't do anything unusual today. Our power went out just before 7 this morning and stayed off until 12:15PM.
I didn't want to open the refrigerator to get anything out, so we ate plain canned tuna sandwiches, and pork n' beans. Then I called the 800 number to report the outage, and within 5 minutes it was back on. I think the elecrical storm had threw a switch at the main plant. We had lots of rain very early this morning, and into the forenoon, and there was thunder and lightning with it.

I watched the fireworks on TV. then stood on our frontporch and watched the cousin's through the trees. There is an terrible lot of rumbling going on in the distance. I don't know if it is fireworks or thunder. It seems to have just now stopped, after going on for well over an hour.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 11:22PM
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We just hung around the farm today since we went to the fireworks last night. Fireworks are just the most fun with a 3 ½ year old. Normally we always go to the lake and watch the fireworks over the water, this year we decided to take Kenzie to these as they have a lot of other activites as well.

Im exhausted though, we spent all morning in the garden and then I gardened while she napped for 3 ½ hours. She picked lots of flowers good thing I have lots to pick ;-)

Mr. Baby is absolutely adorable in his beachwear.

Martie, Ill have to show Kenzie your link LOL

Leslie, I enjoyed the pictures of your garden. Its fun to see the monthly progression.

Marian, I have 3 Dracaenia that I bought in past years for use in container plantings. They must be easy to grow as Im not real great with houseplants. Mine are burgandy, yellow/green stripe and green/white/pink stripe.

With all this talk about houseplants I remembered that I still have a large plant upstairs that never made it outside. Im sure it hasnt been watered for weeks. It appears unaffected and has now been moved outdoors.

I tried to put together an arbor that had a bench under it this afternoon. Needless to say Im returning it. One hole was drilled in the wrong place, on piece had a kink in it and one of the bars was attached crooked. I guess thats all you get for 100 bucks. Ill have to keep looking or make one out of copper.

As for the tuteur, PM, the clematis need the bars closer or something added between the bars. The one I want now will be for my grapevines and then I think the farther placed ones would be fine. Closer means lots more copper though. I think I built mine for about $60.

Reed certainly has turned into a little ham. At least he poses, Kenzie doesnt have time for what in her opinion is foolishness.

Deanne, lobster on your patio with your lovely garden to gaze at would certainly be my choice over the family option. The variegated plant looks great as a backdrop to the white lilies.
Clematis tuteur today. The clematis in the front is very slow to take off. I believe it's Elsa Spath.

The newly painted playhouse. She was thrilled. The gates are from my Dad. He found them at the dump. Again she was thrilled and opens and closes them each time she comes and goes.

Close enough Chelone and Martie?

All these lilies are from one orignal plant that was on clearance for a dollar. I have several other clumps just as large and have given many away. This is the cutting area of the potager.

Happy 4th!


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:02AM
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Hear ya on avoiding the unpleasant "family scenes", Deanne. My late FIL was "old school" and never had any daughters so the "chauvinist" thing was right up front. He'd been through a divorce before remarrying happily, had watched one of his sons go through one, too. Mix in a dollop of two very selfish step daughters in law who loathe each other to this day and well... it becomes clear that I was viewed with great suspicion. I hated those family dinners/get togethers. I lucked out, though, I earned his respect and affection by just being myself and making a decision to focus on what we had in common, love for his son (it took close to 4 yrs.!). I never had to withstand the withering criticism of "my person", though. Sometimes the family dynamic can be excruciating and very unfair.

TWMPT seems to gain more facial maturity with every picture. Ditto Mr. Baby. I recall being amazed at the change in both Bella and Kenzie, too. It's amazing how quickly they grow up; do you think it's more evident when you aren't around them every day?

The playhouse and the gate are just great. I smiled at the image of her opening and closing the gate every time she passes though. Fun to note the importance of the routine involving something as cool as a butterfly gate takes on in her imagination. I don't think the donkey is going cut it, though, Michelle. I think it's going to have be a pony, maybe a Pony of America (Appaloosa), or maybe a nice Welsh pony, or maybe a Connemara? ;)

No fireworks for us, to tell you the truth I'm not even sure what night they were/are scheduled. We went to the theatre and saw, "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", a musical based on the music of Neil Sedaka (let's add him to the guilty pleasures list, too). It was a fun evening out. I always liked the slower more contemplative version of "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" and "I hear Laughter In The Rain". I've always been a bit of sucker for songs that convey sentiment and images convincingly. I love Cole Porter for that very reason.

Our holiday fare was nowhere near as luxe as the offerings at 'bug's B&B or Deanne's (grilled chicken, potato salad, green salad, and cocoanut cream pie). But it filled the void satisfactorily after a full day of pulling weeds and (drum roll, please) planting the windowboxes!!! The helpmeet came home from a half day of watering and finished putting them up for me. We put in new potting soil (Coast of Maine, has some compost in it) and put in the plans and the flags. Historically, I've always used soluble fertilizer and fed them with every watering (about 4-5 days), but we may opt for a slow release, pelletized product this year. I'll what comes home with him this evening. Feeling a little bit better about the general state of things, the windowboxes are very dear to my heart as the originals were the first "beautification" project here on the Compound and my very first gardening success was with windowboxes (way back in 1986). The contents are nothing all that special (sorry Deanne), just old-fashioned geraniums (salmon), browallia, and trailing vinca. Bullet-proof is good.

What is it with dogs getting into things they shouldn't? Chloe and gum, Wrecks and the anti-inflammatory pills, Phoebe and automotive parts? Had the helpmeet and I deigned to have kids we'd probably still be on probation for failure to take adequate care of them; leaving too many hazardous things out where they could be used/consumed inappropriately. I ended up using an ear syringe to fire the hydrogen peroxide down the canine's throat, worked slick, too! I imagine the smaller they are the greater the danger and sense of immediacy.

The hot water heater experienced a failure yesterday involving a serious spew from the overflow valve that flooded the boiler room, and soaked the pad and carpet in Mum's room, as well as the one in the Rat's Nest. I am NOT pleased. The warm, humid weather and a lot of furniture is going to make removing them difficult and the helpmeet will fight me tooth and nail about doing it (I'll probably capitulate). Both carpets are bound on the sides and therefore removeable. I should thank my lucky stars for that, I suppose. :) (or I could vent any frustration by administering a beating to the dog!).

Denise mentioned a Turkish carpet in an earlier post, I'd like to hear more about that.

I don't think I'd say that sailing offers a great deal of "zooming" potential, Martie. It is impossible to sail into the wind, but you can sail "close hauled" (about 45 degrees to the wind). Sailing close hauled can be scary if you don't understand the physics involved, the back pressure on the sails and the function of the boat's keel and rudder. That's the point of sail that will make the boat heel over and put the gunwales at water level. It's important to master it, too, because without knowing how you can't tack and you can't really get anywhere. It is my least favorite point of sail, frankly, and was the source of several extremely unpleasant sailing experiences with the helpmeet. I took a sailing course and understanding the necessity of sailing "close hauled" removed a lot of the fear. Helpmeets can do many things but teaching spouses to sail is not one of them. I still don't really like the feeling of a strongly heeled boat; helpmeet and BIL love it.

Time to tend to the morning chores and think about happy cyber friends enjoying weekends with loved ones and friends. I'm hoping the early morning overcast will burn off the way it did yesterday.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 8:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Leslie...enjoyed your chatty post. It was nice to get to know you better. I was sorry to hear you lost your Mom just a year ago. We lost my mother 10 years ago this past May and I remember the first year was very difficult. Many here have been through that experience too, so feel free to talk about it any time.

I was very surprised to hear that Atlanta has had so much drought. How did that happen, with so many with more rain then they know what to do with?!

Your Viburnum certainly did give you a spectacular bloom this season. Glad you didn't cut it too. I have added quite a few viburnum to the garden and enjoying watching them grow.'ve lost me too. [g]

Deanne...enjoyed your garden pics. Looks like you have a great display just in time for a Holiday celebration. Really pretty lilies. Is that Nora Leigh Phlox behind the white ones? Thanks for the suggestion for trying to feel better about the garden. Adding plants doesn't seem an option in the areas that are not pleasing me. I am dissappointed that a couple of areas that I had finished and were finally blooming were not giving me the effect I was hoping for. Having combinations bloom together in an effective way is very elusive to me. I try to get the timing down...find plants that are supposed to bloom together, colors that will look well together, then it just won't pan out. I moved a lily next to my Delphiniums this year, because I saw them in bloom together in a photo, and now the Delphiniums are in full bloom and no sign of the Lily blooming. I had a ton of seedlings of Shastas that I added to a front bed that were supposed to be under 15" tall that I planted around a center of three roses, to give them good air circulation and they turned out to be between 24 and 36 inches tall. Plus the roses and some dianthus mixed in to the combo stopped blooming before the Shastas and now there is nothing but Shastas blooming and I am about to rip half of them out. lol That seems to be how it is going for me this year.

Marian...I have found the Hubble Telescope photos really amazing to see. Hard to believe when you look up at the sky, that there is all that there. My DH was a Science Fiction fan when we first met and I never was, but because of his influence, I did get more and more interested in it. He has a real interest in Space travel and wanted to be an astronaut when he was younger, so we both find anything to do with that fascinating. I have always loved the sky.

Michelle...great photos! You all must be so satisfied to be seeing progress in the Secret Garden. I love the color combo on the Playhouse! It looks like a new building. Really shaping up over there. Thanks for posting a current photo of the tuteur. It makes quite a difference to see it with the netting on it and the darkened copper. So I assume that once the clematis fills in, you won't see the netting. We have some of that netting that I never use. I am going to have to figure out a way to put it to good use. The Butterfly gates are an amazing find, wow! I would send your Dad to the dump any time! He must have been so excited to find them.

Reed appears to be very comfortable with having his picture Look at his sweet little teeth!

Chelone...another Cole Porter fan here and I never met an 'oldie' that I didn't like.

Hot dogs and Hamburgers, Corn on the Cob here. No fireworks here either. Didn't miss them. :-) We had tons more rain over night and everything is soaked. So off to see what we can get done...


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 8:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No time to post but so enjoyed the update on Kenzie's garden and the GATE! I would have been in heaven at her age if that were mine.

Today we have a wedding event to attend and the weather is perfect!

Later friends!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 9:56AM
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