#446-Firefly Season!

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)June 21, 2009


by Evaleen Stein

Look! Look down in the garden how

The firefly lights are flitting now!

A million tiny sparks I know

Flash through the pinks and golden-glow,

And I am very sure that all

Have come to light a fairy ball,

And if I could stay up I'd see

How gay the fairy folks can be!

We've been enjoying fireflies here lately, bats and frog sounds too. How about you?

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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, we have an all-tile shower surround that was done by our very talented tile installer. The large tiles are rectangular and a very pale dark green. He put an accent strip of a matching deep green flower pattern at about eye level. 14 years later, I still love it.

Lavender mist is number 2070-60. The rollering is done; now I must get back and do the cutting in. No fussy spots, though!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 5:30PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Chelone, now that you ask about it I recall that Doug and our friend Gerry tiled our downstairs shower surround. You could talk to Doug about it. What do you want to know? I'll email you his addy. They did a fabulous job of it as it was done in 1988 and is still looking great. We chose a plain, smooth rectangle, marble colored tile and it goes with anything.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 6:28PM
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Bug, when we were returning home from picking up DD and DSIL from the airort the other week. The fields along our road were just glittering with fireflies. I have never in my life seen so many. The frogs get so loud here at night we have to close the windows to hear the tv.

We have the air on now as we are having a heat wave, and with the humidity from all the rain it has been unbearable.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 6:37PM
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I fear that there are no fireflies here ! I do hope to see some when in NE next month I have never seen one Âin personÂ. IÂm deprived. As for frogs, they are a winter deal here, preferring the rainy season for their frolics. Our sounds now are hummingbirds, doves, geese flying overhead, crickets, and the buzz of the bees ! Many other birdsongs too.
And the poem ! Would that I had a nice place for the fairy folk to congregate. Perhaps I do if I look close enoughÂ

Âbug is the red aquilegia in your farm thread a named variety ? I love the nodding buds.Thanks for the link to the Maya Lin story by the way. What wonderful expressive work she does.

I fear I have lost Tasmanian Tiger. I cut it back severely probably in April, and it looks very unhappy. It took that plant forever to get up to size too. I ripped out all my Alstroemeria this afternoon. I love the plant but disliked the color of the cultivar I had. It was also not getting full sun and flopped even more than they are prone to . So another bare spot has presented itself ! The exposure there would be perfect for a hydrangea, although that could change when I get my Liquidambar limbed up on Tuesday.

Deanne , thanks for posting the compound picsÂI so look forward to being inside those photos ..

Welcome back Saucy ! I hope you had some fun times in spite of the sad nature of your trip. Betcha you could do a glass tile backsplash with the best of them !

Chelone, I think the only tile Mary installed was the floor-she used beadboard on the wall I think ? And it seems to me there was no shower it being a Âpowder roomÂ. I could be wrong. And where the h**l is she anyway ?

Hi Norma-sorry about the crummy weather .

Back outside to fertilize the containers before baseballÂ

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 7:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I surprised myself this evening by accomplishing everything I hoped to do in the garden after dinner! DH helped me tie up 5 clematis that were out of control. Next I trimmed the grass surrounding our well. Then I weeded a strip along the side of the house and watered there. I think I'll save the dishes for later. ;)

Kathy, the single red aquilegia is nameless as far as I know. I was given seeds by a friend in England. Two plants resulted from indoor sowing and those are the ones you saw in the photo. They have lasted about 3 years but none of its seeds have produced seedlings for some reason. My friend has asked for more seed this spring because his plants have died off. :(

A demain!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 9:30PM
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A few pics

I love this Gaillardia, in fact I would love to collect several of the cool newer cultivars. Here paired with Black and Blue From Garden 2009

Not the best light conditions, but you see here Coleus 'Mariposa' (Love the big leaves) and the frilly one is 'Jungle Fever' From Garden 2009

This is a pic of the 'Basil Orchard'. Things are still small but I'm liking the combos and think it will be very nice in a few weeks.There are Zinnias in there too.. From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:11PM
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We had a very relaxed, but full, day of visiting with family to celebrate Father's Day. Good food and lots of fun watching the kids play on the slip n slide. No garden time, but I satisfied the need by pulling a few weeds at my sister's house.

chelone...The compound is looking lovely. Deanne captured it well, especially the white garden. How nice that you get to visit with each other like that. What a great brother you have that he's willing to tackle the bath project. We've recently remodeled both of ours, and although DH knows how to do each step, he opted to get a friend to do the work this time. Here's a photo of the tile work in each...

This one is shower only and has subway tiles. Notice the recessed areas for shampoo and stuff. You can see it in the mirror. The inlay broke up the all white from getting too boring.

This is the hall bath...a more traditional style.

deanne...I will try to get a photo of the astilbe tomorrow. I see the blooms in one of your fabu pics, and while mine don't compare to yours, they are better than they ever were. I just can't grow astilbes well.

v...I just love the photo of the newlyweds. A blissful and happy picture. Their smiles are radiant. Great photographer.

PM...A whole day with DD??? And you're still speaking to each other? LOL. just teasing. I know how great it must have been to do that.

Hey to marian, mary, eden, and jerri...our missing Idyllers.

I'm sure there's more to say, but can't remember what it was. One thing, though, I always enjoy reading every single post, even when I forget to make a comment.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 12:12AM
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Well my friends, the back of summer is broken and it's all downhill from here. The days are officially starting to get shorter, so better get used to it. ;)

Anita, thanks for posting those shots of your showers! it answers the question I've had in the back of my mind for some time now... are there special tiles (with right angles) that are designed for the corners. I see there are none in your's and the tiles were cut where they meet in the corners. Love the subway tile! I'm going to use white tiles with the possibility of some accent at the top edge of the tiled area. I've also been toying with the idea of using a diagonal pattern to break up the monotony of the field. Do you have a flip up shower shower seat in either of your's?

Nice work, 'bug! you should be very proud of yourself. I just came in with Wrecks and it's so wet outside! even the ground is squishy. I've not paid much attention to the weather as I believe this pattern is going to linger for a few more days. Unh! I'm thinking of Cindy and her bumper crop of mushrooms which can be far behind for us.

The Viburnums I planted near the road last season have bitten the dust. I knew it was a marginal site for them, but all this rain has drowned the poor things. They budded up and leafed out but that's where it ended. The Nashiki willow is thriving, though. Now it's back to the drawing board there, too. The helpmeet says there are some dogwoods at work that are really starting to come on strong after overwintering in pots and they might be just the ticket, recommended for wet areas and subject to his discount. Gotta do something!

I haven't seen any fireflies this season. Tough to fly in raincoatsm I guess.

OK time to get back to my book (which is excellent). I would like to move one more machine today before we set out for Orange and then to catch a moving picture show (Up). The forecast is not looking remotely promising for anything outdoors. Sigh.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 6:32AM
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Helloooo out there ?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:15PM
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The news of the day is we can get to Florida for $29.00, so we've booked that part and will watch the return flight for a few more days. We are planning on surprising Kenzie. Actually, it will be good for her mommy and daddy too. Otherwise, she will ask a million time when are grandma and grandpa coming. We hit at least 95 today with horrid humidity. The banks clock actually said 99 when I went at 2:30.

I'd best get after some weeds in a shady spot. We leave a week from today.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Nothing much of interest happening here today...

On the subject of tiles and showers... I don't like tiles because of mold getting in the grout. What we have here - and used at our previous house too - is the white-on-white cultured marble. (Most of the cultured marble patterns are unattractive I think, but the simple vertical white-on-white pattern is reasonably nice.) The big advantage of the cultured marble is that the only seams are in the corners and at the floor (or tub) and ceiling. It's easy to clean. At our previous house there was a window in the shower/tub area of the main batroom and that posed a problem re keeping the frame from rotting and water leaking down into the wall. You can get matching moldings in the cultured marble so it was a perfect solution to making a water-tight frame for the window - we replaced the od wooden window with a vinyl one ad framed it with the cultured marble moldings.

It warmed up considerably here today - feels more like summer (but now I'll start complaining about heat instead of cold....:- )

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's a rather quiet day here on the idylls, so I'll try to jazz things up a bit. Here's Dahlia Dora in all her glory:

The fireflies are starting to come out here, but not too many so far. It's usually early July before we see them in big numbers. But the tree frogs love our deck and our pond and we hear them every night, sometimes almost more than we want! Here's a little guy that I found snoozing on a pot of lavender.

Kathy, my basil forest is in a pot:

OK, one more and I'll quit for today.

I'll make no bones about it; I'm going to complain about the weather again. It was beastly hot when I got home. DD and I were going to pot up the annuals we bought last week - you know, the ones we couldn't pot up last week because it rained all the time? Ugh - too uncomfortable outside. And tomorrow is supposed to be worse.

Time to get off the computer and pay a couple of bills.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:42PM
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I pulled out at least a million weeds today, and am one big mosquito bite. In the 90's here, too, with an extra dollop of humidity thrown in for fun. Other than that, I really did have a relaxing day, and I also mowed the lawn.

chelone...no shower seats here. One day soon, though, I'll be wishing for them. :) Sorry to hear that the viburnums didn't make it. How about a bog garden there if it has that much moisture? By the way, what book are you reading that has kept you away from your love Kirby?

woody...I don't get mold in the grout on the walls, but I have to keep up with it on the bottom where the wall and floor area meet. I'm really good about wiping it down after showering, esp. the glass doors.

kathy...hello to you, too! I'm loving your basil orchard. Is that a smoke tree in there? Such a restful area with the purple as a focal point. After looking at your Annie's Annuals thread, I ordered a catalog, and it came today. It's mainly for eye candy, but there's a couple I wouldn't mind having. I am envious once again of your zone. I will keep the catalog as a reference so that I can look up the plants you show us blooming in your gardens.

Gotta shower off the day's grime. Have a restful evening everyone.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 9:56PM
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V...The Dahlia Dora is gorgeous, and the frog isn't so bad either. I have never seen one in my yard, but I don't have a pond to lure them in, so that could be why.

'bug...I meant to say last time that I like the poem and the Idyll Title. I've only seen one firefly so far.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:03PM
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V, Dora is pretty. My dalhias are still in the pots I started them in but they are starting to bloom. I just planted a mixed bag so I don't know what I have.
The b&w wedding photo was very nice. They are a handsome couple. Should make for some really cute grandbabies some day.

Anita . those are some really nice bathrooms. Glad you had a good time on fathers day.

Kathy I like Gaillardia too. I had a ton of them at my old house but they don't do well here. It must be the acid soil. Or not enough sun.

The daylillies are blooming but not at their best even with all the rain. I think our lack of cool nights and extreme heat during the day is playing heck with them. I will say that some that didn't even bloom last year are now though.

I managed to pull quite a few weeds today by following the shade as the sun moved around. It was hot but I drank lots of water and did ok.

Michelle, wow, that is a cheap flight. I hope you can find a good deal for the return trip. Bet you can't wait to see them.

Julie, I'm thinking about you and your big project.

hey to everyone. Norma

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:16PM
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A slow news day here I see.. Since I spent the day at the awfice I fear I havent much to contribute.. I hope that Cindy will check in somewhere this evening, I dont know what her route is but she is a Metro commuter and Im sure the entire system was affected. I wrote on her wall in FB.

V you are doing nicely with cool new camera ! Wonderful Dahlia shot, and I dont see a single cucumber beetle on it !

Anita, yes , that is my smoke tree, which has been shuffled around from here to there, but I think this location will stick. Annies catalog is great just for reading material ! Im looking forward to going back there in fall (as though I need more plants)which is our best planting time here for many things.

Sorry about your Viburnums Chelone ..I guess any willow at will appreciate your damp site.

Ok, time to do some chores , and watering as we too are experiencing warm temps for the next couple of days

Wave to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I was forced indoors by darkness. I managed to weed the first of the six vegetable garden rows today. Well, just a bit left for tomorrow morning. The white Baptisia is looking so much nicer without competition from weeds. I added snapdragons (because DH actually knows them by name. I've never grown them before. I also added my zinnias, so I hope they don't roast in tomorrow's 90F heat! I planted two heliotropes and two dark leaved perennial hibiscus (which are actually annuals here). I've been removing loads of poppies and lupines which spread everywhere.

Then I deadheaded my yellow peony, the trolius and some other things after dark set in....

Phoebe meanwhile seems to have found her 4th baby groundhog which DH disposed of. :( She'd love to catch chipmunks too but they elude her fortunately.

We do not have air conditioning here except for a window unit in one room only. I wonder what will happen when DD and family come in early August. ;) Maybe we'll get a small fan for their room if the weather is impossible. Skyler, coming from Alberta has no idea what hot & humid is all about.

Anita, I forgot to add Mosquitoes to the Idyll Tityll. Also frogs & turtles. They're out there though! I'm sorry to add that my purple basil gave up the ghost in 3 separate containers. What's with that? I replaced it with purple flowering pepper plants instead. I need to buy some basil for cooking though. V, I love that variety with the white leaf borders! Haven't seen it before.

***Yeah for the surprise trip Michelle!!!!*** You should schedule your return through New England for IUVI. :)

OK, I should sleep well tonight!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 10:35PM
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The porcelain enamelled cast iron tub is now in the bahn. My brother arrived with a friend of his a bit before noontime yesterday. I rolled up the rugs, moved furniture out of the way and made sure there was a good run for them. I schlepped the 4x4 blocking up the stairs and into the john. I schelpped the tools, too. They pried the tub up, blocked it it, and finally tipped it up on its end before putting it on the dolley and rolling it to the head of the stairs. The helpmeet and Joe controlled it from down the stairs, my brother slowed its slide from the top. Then it went on the dolley and out to the bahn. I schlepped the blocking and tools back to the truck and cleaned up the trail, replacing the rugs and furniture. Total time required was 35 minutes. Surgical strike.

I would have loved solid surface, Woody, but it wasn't in the budget. It's super looking but expensive. So, like Anita I'll have to remain vigilent and make the tiles work. I know there are mould inhibitors that you add to the grouting, similar to mildewcides added to paint. The marine climate here may produce challenges, but that's how the cookie crumbles, you know?

We celebrated number 17 yesterday afternoon by ordering the shower base and then going to a matinee. We saw, "Up" and I cannot say enough nice things about the movie. We paid for the 3-D glasses, too. The helpmeet was all set to recycle them after the film until I pointed out that we'd paid for them and if we held onto them and took care of them we'd never have to pay extra for them again... . Anyway, a charming movie, though a story line that's really very sophisticated in many aspects and was definitely above the heads of many of the younger ones. It's definitely one to see on the big screen.

I did hear some talk of humidity and warmth at the end of the week, but none seems in the offing today or towmorrow... more socked in cloudy weather with showers. It will be just about one week of it by the time Old Sol shows his face on Thursday. I have managed to get the house vacuumed and some JulieJobs out of the way, though.

I love the tree frog napping on your potted arrangement, V.. This has been a sublime weather pattern for them.

I'm reading "The First Queen Of England" by Linda Porter. It's the first biography of Mary I of England to come out in 30 yrs., and it's interesting to read in depth about a very bright, generous, and kind woman whose devotion to her religion colored her long view of the politics of her time. She really did have a rather miserable time of it under the reigns of her father and her brother. I'm about half way finished with it.

OK, gotta go back to the land of chaos today.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 5:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I wondered if Chelone would be up by now...(5:30)

The tub removal sounds perfect. Very efficient. I'm reminded of several moving events involving hide-a-beds and washing machines. The poor guy at the bottom! Really, having students available for these jobs was a godsend.

DH is off to a serious meeting today, involving the tour of a gravel pit. He has his steel toed boots packed in the car. Tomorrow is yet another meeting with the ministry folk to work more on putting sustainability into the planning aspects of the industry.

As for me, a long day of garden jobs before it gets too hot. That means starting NOW.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 5:40AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

'bug, thanks for reminding me about that basil. It's Pesto Perpetuo, and I first saw it at Longwood Gardens during IU4. I was very impressed with its growth habit, took some photos and got it added to the herb line at work. No, they did not pay me for the IU scouting trip!

Anita, I forgot to mention how nice your bathrooms look!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 7:02AM
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I've got a lot of plants to get in the ground before the heat arrives :) I tried to finish it up before I left, but another box arrived while I was away: ligularia japonica, misty lace aruncus, and vernonia augustifolia "plum peachy".

I have that miniature basil, too, Kathy. I'm really liking the variegation on V.'s, though. So many basils to choose from this year!

I have the gym this morning and then Jake and I have scheduled fishing for the afternoon. I'm trying...you know? I am not excited over sitting in the rain to fish (and Jake claims it is the best time to fish) so let's hope the weather cooperates with me.

I'd like a solid surface shower stall! I hadn't ever considered it an option.

Chelone, you're moving right along there, aren't you? I really liked the size and layout of your bathroom the last time I was there....it will be interesting to see what you do with it. I have a huge bath upstairs....it must've been a bedroom before (but then I can't imagine where everyone in the house bathed?). It needs a reno, but I figure I'll wait until the kids are gone to do the big one :)

Congrats Michelle! Perfect plan to surprise her. I found airline travel to be quite reasonable....hope you'll find the same for your return flight.



    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 7:14AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just a quick check-in - as one might suspect the commuting system in my region is pretty horrific right now -- lots of folks have taken to the highways; I did take the metro -- it was a line into Maryland that was the sad site of the major crash yesterday -- and Im seriously reconsidering my daily habits as I normally sit in the last or first car of a train -- which are the ones that suffered the greatest damage in the event.... egads.

I love the basil orchard and forest -- gorgeous --

Darned if there isnt a mosquito in the office zapping around me this very moment!!! EEEK.

Gotta go to swat attack.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:04AM
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What an awful commute yesteday, Cindy. It would be very nice if planes and trains moved without incident for at least a week, wouldn't it?

Pesto Perpetuo had me reaching for the composition book/journal amidst the pile of stuff on the desk to make note. Very nice, V.

For all of those who paHk stuff in their baHns, did you know in Shakespeare's time the r's were not dropped? And the short "a" was pronounced, e.g. cat rhymed with hat, all gleaned from pronunciation dictionaries from the time (NPR report).

Gotta love those surgical-strike projects, Chelone.

Anita, beautiful bathrooms. We've got subway tile for wainscotting in our bath that are a breeze to keep clean, but the white tiles in the shower are very hard to keep mildew-free. I confess I had to Google cultured marble, Woody. Sounds like the perfect solution.

What a deal, Michelle! Seems like summer finally landed with a thud for you.

Friday's job was right on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, kinda the Haight Ashbury of SoCal. In between fighting to keep focused on the Korean interpreter, which really slows down the pace and thus causes attention to wander, I gazed down from the 2nd story onto a boardwalk overflowing with innumerable tourists, roller-skaters, homeless people, characters of all stripe, street vendors. What a carnival of humanity! The sand stretched beyond, then the ocean, sky overcast. I was told this is the second biggest tourist destination in SoCalif, just after Disneyland. Muscle Beach, where our governor preened glistening with oil ages ago, is still here. I make it out here very infrequently, once to a garden open house tour and visiting an artist cousin who lives here and swears she'd never move. Traffic was horrendous. Homelessness is noticeably on the increase, sad to report.

But yesterday's job was very nostalgic, in Manhattan Beach, a beach community Marty and I lived in a couple yrs and were evicted from when the landlord moved in a "cousin"/mistress in our apt. The videographer dropped his DVD burner and had to replace it, so we were delayed and I walked around streets I knew very well but had almost completely forgotten about. I called Marty on the cell, and he bobbed on the waves in his boat, waiting for a ship with cranes to be delivered, while I described our old haunts to him. Very upscale now, much more so than when we lived there more than 20 yrs ago, very quiet, all locals, seems everyone was accompanied by at least one dog, whether strolling or sitting in cafes, no tourists. Clear blue sky, about 70 degrees. Very, very mythical! If it wasn't for work, I'd never get to the beach...

Everyone seems to be making great progress in their gaHdens. I actually bought 2 Ammi majus last week, which must seem laughable to those who have umbellifers up the wazoo. Betty Corning has graced me with one exquisite lavendar-greyish bloom. What's really exciting is the winter bloomers, Wisley Cream and Lansdowne Gem are flourishing and should give a good show this year. The cartmanii is growing but very slowly.

Saucy, I too remember "trying" over the summer. Sometimes summer just flows and others are..well, "trying"!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We just had a weird noon-hour! I had a dentist appointment at 11:00 and after that we went to the Golden Grocery to get green chilies and samosa wrappers for making a batch of samosas tomorrow. When we left the store, we drove off and forgot my walker in the parking lot! We didn't notice until partway home! My purse was in the walker with money, credit cards, passport..! After some bad language and dope-slaps to the head :-) , Randy turned around headed back at a good clip. He went through a yellow light and guess who was watching... Yep... He got pulled over by the police! He explained the story and handed over drivers license etc. When the cop was sitting in his car checking things, Randy looked for his cell phone to call the store... no cell phone...! He went to the police car and asked if they could call. They said they'd have the dispatcher call. After a couple of minutes, the cop let us go without a ticket.

When we got back to the store, the store owner and a customer were just loading my walker into the customer's car. The customer had seen the walker and noticed the purse. They didn't find a phone number but had called the police about it! The police said to bring the walker to the nearest station and that was what they were getting ready to do when we pulled up to them. Nothing was missing from my purse.

What a morning! We've forgotten the walker like that once before but noticed its absence sooner and got back to it before anyone found it. Talk about middle-aged memory problems! I think both Randy and I are headed into dementia as we age!!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 2:12PM
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This is my 3rd year with Pesto Perpetuo, what a great plantIm going to pick up two more if I can- a repeated element for the basil orchard. Weve been having temps near 90s the last couple of days and the warm season stuff is growing fast.

Cindy, glad you were unscathed by the Metro accident. I imagine there will be a lengthy investigation complete with a lot of finger pointing , followed by lawsuits .

Did you catch anything Saucy ?

Denise , Manhattan was my beach back in the day. We rode the bus there till we were old enough to drive.There was a burger joint on the strand, and the uphill walk to the car or bus after a day in the waves. That walk was a killer even at our young age . Not upscale in those days (the 60s) , but the ball was rolling at that point.

Woody, what a misadventure , and arent you lucky that your items were retrieved unscathed.

Mary Tudor Chelone ? It sounds interesting, and it would be nice to get a better perspective there. Might be a winter read for me- Ive written it down in my book list notebook. It sounds like calling in the bro on the WC project has moved things quickly forward. Congrats to you and the Helpmeet on your 17 year journey- Heres to 17 more !

Ok gotta go, the tree guys are coming tomorrow and I have more containers to move out of harms way

Waves to all.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here I sit with my bowl of strawberries, reading up on Tuesday's activities in Idyll land. Phoebe is lying down nearby. It must be at least 5 degrees warmer up here than downstairs.

I worked on weeding around the tomatoes this morning until 10:30 at which time I was dripping with sweat. Figured a big drink of water and a shower were needed, then a trip to the dump, a few groceries and a search for basil at the nursery. Only the very plain kind was found, but even that is good! Got some curly parsley too. The snapdragons that I planted last night had their tops nipped off...looks like a bunny was busy in there! I don't know how it got inside. We have patched two holes, perhaps bunny made a new one?

DD phoned this afternoon, tired but pleased with this year's Fair. She reports that Ivy has grown a great deal, that Skyler had fun too, but that there was no time to work on the Pirate Ship. All the playground equipment was sanded and painted brightly, which was very much enjoyed by the 50 or so kids that gathered there. She is concerned about Indy dog's leg. She appears to be limping and DD fears that something could be wrong with one of the remaining pins in her leg from an injury many years ago. That is being investigated soon!

I actually had to water clematis, roses and island beds this evening. Then I mowed around the barn because the Festival people are coming on Friday to collect the staging that we store there.

Thankful Cindy is OK but what the heck went wrong? Why didn't the computerized system prevent a crash? Yep, a long investigation no doubt!

Time to turn off the sprinkler. Besides, the berries are all gone. ;)


    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:19PM
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Cindy, Thank goodness you were not involved in the wreck.
Good idea to change the car you sit in, although you just never know.

Saucy so sorry you had to attend the funeral of a friend.
So how did the fishing with Jake go? Are you still working for your neighbor? I don't know how you find the time to do all you do.

Chelone, I imagine you are getting a little excited about the bathroom remodel. Sounds like your brother is a take charge sort of guy. Congratulations on 17 years. Our son said Up was a good movie too.

Woody I'm so glad you got your walker and purse back. What a hassle getting stopped when you needed to get back there.

Denise, Nice that you got to take a little trip down memory lane. I enjoyed your description of the area.I always thought it would be neat to roller skate in an area like that. It looks like such fun in the movies.

I tell you what. It has been so hot here the sweat just pours out of me when I'm outdoors. It does save on bathroom breaks though. LOL
I worked outside this morning and then had some shoping to get done. groceries and etc.
I'm hoping to get plants into containers tomorrow.

Thats it for tonight. Norma

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:36PM
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I can't imagine having to water anything. Ever again. There is a fog rolling in from the ocean as I type and it's windy. I wore a mock turtleneck yesterday and the days before, too... and was glad to have it on. I suspect we will be weighed low when the warmth eventually hits here.

The train in question was an older model without the computer technology. But does that really matter in the final analysis... my point being that sometimes rotten, tragic things just happen and so maybe it's not such a wise idea to think that all the technologies will "keep us safe". There are no guarantees in this world and life is Little more than one giant crap shoot, regardless of what we wish to believe. Go for the middle cars in the future, Cindy. ;) Do you suppose they'll be checking to see if there was any calling or texting by the driver of that train? (this has been a huge issue in the Boston area lately, involving the T and the buslines... and that horrible crash out Denise's way).

The return to chaos wasn't too bad, but the tense vibes were back in force. I lump the little tantrums right in the same category as Cindy's office mosquito, a nuisance but not much more.

Woody, your story renews my faith in our fellow man and the genuine milk of human kindness. Though at the time I'm sure you were on edge and irritated that your return was needed and then impeded. It's it great when something turns out well that could have gone so horribly wrong?

I don't know why but I had to smile at Saucy suiting up and braving the elements for a fishing trip with "number one son". Did you have trout for dinner or are you and Jake planning on having it for breakfast this morning? (Mum loved fish for breakfast). I owe you an e-mail, and I'll deal with that when I get home this afternoon.

I want all my Idyll friends to go see "Up". Like "Wall E", I haven't stopped thinking of it since I saw it. That's what makes a memorable movie for me. And yes, Kathy, the new perspective on Mary I is fascinating; I love history and intelligent discussions based on facts. So much is lost when we only permit ourselves to view it from a single perspective.

Time to get to work and start counting the little fits of piques... how many sour little volleys will come my way before I'm able to return home to the bosom of my family, I wonder? ;)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 5:27AM
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I didn't catch anything, and neither did Jake, but we did something together - and he doesn't know it, but that was the whole point :) We had planned to go again today (he has 1/2 days of school all this week, and Sarah is still full days) but I forgot that I have an appointment, so we'll go tomorrow instead. I hope I don't catch anything...that would involve me touching the fish, and while I'm putting on a nice show for Jake, I really don't like to touch the fish (I was thinking yesterday how paper towels would be nice....that and purell).

It's just that Jake and I don't have much going on right now, and he's not wanting to work in the garden anymore. So I'll fish.

Cindy, I hadn't heard anything about the accident, but I am glad you are okay (though I'm sure you're shaken...who wouldn't be?).

I hope Indy's injury is minor and heals soon! What a worry our fur friends are. That pirate ship will be fun, but looks like major construction!

Woody, I think it's okay to lose your minds as long as they go at the same speed :) What a calamity!

Norma, my friend Troy was a good friend....and apparently I wasn't the only one who thought so :) The chapel was packed and lots of good memories were shared - lots of laughter. It'll be hard to believe that he's gone.

I am not looking forward to hot weather coming this way as I had my fill of it in TN. Summer is almost here, though...the kids are out as of Friday. I'm planning on lots of fun stuff this summer!

Norma, I was dx'd with hypothyroidism earlier this year and am finally feeling better. I have felt rotten for a couple of years - slowly letting things go that I didn't have the energy for, not knowing it was a symptom (along with other things, like always being cold!)....so when you wonder why I sound so busy this year, it's not that I'm really busy, it's that I'm feeling good :) You work circles around me in the garden :) you all do!

Well, I got up this early for a reason! I need to get an agenda and itinerary mailed to some very important people - YOU! I'm so excited about IU this year! I actually feel good - knock on wood!


    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 5:31AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Michelle's hot weather has arrived with a bang here in the metropolitan area -- my whines will turn from rain to heat, heat, heat, LOL.

That's so exciting you get to see your DD and Kenzie et al, Michelle -- incredible fare -- you'll likely pay more to pay baggag charges!

Denise -- I loved hearing about Manhattan Beach -- it sounds just like the movies and books I've heard it described by -- it's often peculiar to go back to visit an old stomping ground a decade or more after isnt it? Isnt that odd that your clematis type Is are doing better than the IIIs? I do recall Betty Corning was slow to establish -- but boy, watch out around year 3....she decides to rule the world!

I havent been able to do a thing at nite for gardening - kind of depressing and annoying, the commutes have been very long and wearing and Chloe is absolutely "rammy" by the time I arrive home. Oddly this summer, she's not much enamoured of patrolling her backyard at nite (which usually afforded me some deadheading, WALATs, etc.) -- dont know if it's a residue of the illness or what -- and of course Im indulging her every whim -- if she wants inside, inside it is - Im a bad mama...

I applaud you Saucy for doing the fishin thing and pretending to like it -- eeew, dont think I could handle having to take a fish off a hook, etc. I have a hard enough time looking at their dead eyes in the grocery store on ice!

O, Woody, what a misadventure -- one of those dope slap days for sure -- but we all have them -- and Im so relieved yours turned out so well -- isnt it nice to know there are decent caring strangers in the world who could do things like that -- from the store staff, to the customer, and police.

Re the metro crash - Chelone -- it was indeed one of the older trains -- but it's the system that is computerized so there was some sort of failure likely -- the train itself was indeed old and lacked the "black box" memory monitors so they likely cant get any data from that - that's what was lacking, among other things. So far, it sounds as though the driver may be free of blame, but it's early days yet re texting, cell phones, etc.... Frankly, it was lucky in that it was a train going against the commuter wave -- headed into the city -- and hence the fewer casualties -- otherwise, normally that head car would have have at least 75 or more passengers who likely would not have survived from the devastation shown.... It does give me terrible pause about the safety of the system, but that's been an issue for a while -- terrible lack of funding and continual maintenance issues. The summer in fact is almost worse than the winter for breakdowns -- the heat seems to play greater havoc than the ice or snow.

Norma - my daylilies are blooming as well - but it's weird, so many of them seem to look identical -- like my orientals, these plants seemed to have been merged into a single "look" -- I dont know if it's the heat/rain/soil but truly odd. I do have a lot of blooms though this year.

Love your bathrooms, Anita -- I have serious envy -- have 20 year old ones that are in need of some retro-fitting and redoing - maybe next year.... I hesitate to do any big project this year because of the economy and job woes -- one just never knows ....

Happy sizzle --


    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 9:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

About the DC crash according to 'bug...

I certainly do believe that sometimes we have to admit that accidents are just that, accidents! But an "accidents will happen" philosophy should not be used as an excuse to not think about issues involved. It is certainly too soon to know the reasons behind the Washington case. We do know that the train was on "automatic" at the time of the crash and that the brakes were applied.

In DC there are 2 computers that keep track of all train activity. But the technology preventing trains colliding dates back to the 1930s, before computers. It is tried and true.(like soap!) One big problem is that the more automated the system, the more fatigue and boredom of "drivers" becomes a serious problem. Why they don't even open and close doors any more. This means they have very little practice in emergency situations because they never get to deal with them. It is hard to train someone for things that may arise only once every 15 years.

There is also the issue of criminal negligence in train wrecks. Last year, (2008?) in California, two trains collided on a single track line heading out of LA! The flashing signal, the yellow signal and the red signal were all ignored. The "driver" was text messaging at the time.

Another case involved Ricky Gates, the engineer who was running an Amtrak engine, marijuana in his blood stream, and plowed into another train back in January '87. He had also taped up the whistle warning device because the noise bothered him...The light bulbs for the cab warning devices were missing. He had a drunk driving record too, but we must remember I guess that being a conductor these days does not require that you know how to drive. The record does show a serious attitude problem though.

Every year there are 30-50 thousand car accidents. That is ten times more losses of life that the World trade center. (And we started wars over that...)We know those are not all the fault of the cars, nor are they caused entirely by the drivers.

So all in all, I think we must pay attention BOTH to technology as well as to human error and criminal negligence. We cannot just say accidents will happen and not try to prevent them.

OK, I'm done. ;)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 12:19PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gee, is this rainy cloudy weather ever going to quit? I'm not even feeling like chatting today , but thought I would post a photo....Waving to All :-) From NG

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 5:33PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good evening -- I've been meaning to post a pic of my favorite (so far, LOL) combo of clems this year -- Emilia Plater and Jackmanii superba - this was a couple weeks ago; but it's still going strong.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 7:37PM
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Hi everyone

Whew - I think I can resurface after a gruelling couple of weeks. I've just finished work - (lots of mixed emotions) but have not found an alternative for next year yet so have put in for Cobra - Le Sigh. David and I were gone for 5 days over the weekend in Ithaca where he took part in an International Guitar Competition. He didn't place (he was very young for his division) but received the most encouraging comments and feedback. He had a blast immersed up to the eyeballs in classical guitar attending classes, concerts, playing in a guitar orchestra and individual lessons. As he still had finals that week I did some rather crazy driving back and forth which added to my exhaustion but was well worth it. David is already making plans for next year.

Annie was finished with exams a little earlier and is looking everywhere for summer employment but the bottom line is most shops, cafes etc are simply not hiring right now. She does have an interview next week at Sears so keep your fingers crossed. She is taking Drivers Ed which meets 4 days a week at 7 AM (so I will still have my share of ferrying everyone about). However, being creative and resourceful I'm sure will come up with good ways to fill her time. She has started on a major cleaning and reorganization of her room and all her belongings which is awesome adn shoudl inspire me to do the same.

Today was actually my first day of vacation and I began with a paid garden consult which was a nice way to kick off the summer. David then had 3 boys over to swim and eat supper so things were rather noisy and my free time was very limited. They are roasting marshmellows right now and I should probably check in on them.

Peeps (now small chickens), chickens and quail are all doing well and have been moved to the big outdoors. Clusseau appears in fine form, though keeping his new trim waistline despite an increase in rations. My gardens have been lovely though the recent deluge has toppled more than a few things and I need to do some quick staking before things becomne too wild out ther.

I'm super excited about IU6 and feel I can finally turn my attention to it. I'm still trying to decide whether to fly or drive and am checking out both.

I'm leaving this weekend for a few days with Ruth in DC but hope to check in and catch up with you all before then.

I've missed you all!!


    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 8:17PM
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Hi Mary, so nice to have an update from you. We were missing you too.

Pm, neat picture.

Cindy, Love the clematis combo.

I've been wanting to upload some pictures but for some reason my security device won't let me use my picture trail uploader. And I can't remember my password (or find where I wrote it down) to change the settings.

I tilled under a lot of weeds in the veggie garden today. Still didn't get the rest of the containers planted.
I think June just skipped over me weatherwise and I miss those breath taking morning walats. It just ain't happening. First it was two much rain and now to much heat. So what's a person to do but deal with it. Oh yes, the Japanese beatles have arrived to do there damage too.
OK enough whining. I have a show taped to watch so goodnight all.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 10:17PM
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It was hot today. In the 90's, but it may have reached 100 according to the reading at the bank. A big contrast to chelone and her mock turtle-neck wearing weather. I'm just trying to keep the pots watered and gave them a feeding last night.

woody...What a story! But so glad it turned out fine, and nothing was taken from your purse. We all have days like that, for sure. Good thing you weren't holding Randy's wallet in your purse, too...the police wouldn't have been so forgiving then.

michele...What a nice surprise for Kenzi. She will be so excited to see you two. Great price!

PM2...Don't let the cloudy weather keep you away.:) Nice pic.

saucy...good for you for fishing with Jake. What a nice mom you are.

denise...Thanks for the verbal tour of S. Cal's beaches. Such a vivid decriptive story that I felt I was there with you. It's neat that Kathy hung out there in the 60's. Small world.

cindy...I'm so glad you weren't on that train, but very sorry to hear it even took place. Such a trajedy, and one that will take a long time to sort out. How's precious Chloe doing? Any recent photos of her? Love your clematis photo. I only have one, a Jackmani, and can't get a good pic of it.

Mary...So nice to hear from you. Sorry that the insurance news isn't better, but the kids news is great. And what a nice way for you to start off summer vacation with a garden job.

chelone...I will have to check out that book, too. I don't usually go for non fiction, unless it's for business, but you've piqued my curiosity. My DGC loved "UP", and one I want to see, too. Maybe they'll go again with me this time.

How about a before and after? This is my side yard (I'm on a corner), and was completely covered in weeds, half chopped down trees, buckthorn, garlic mustard, virginia creeper and wild blackberry bushes. Those are all gone finally, and I've been slowly adding plants. Still a loooong way to go.

Early Spring 2008

Late June 2009

deanne...Here's my 'Peach Blossom' astilbe, but it looks so much better in person. I couldn't get the light pink color to come out in a photo. They are four years old, and have never bloomed this much before.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 10:41PM
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Hooray, a post from Mary ! Now we need to beat the bushes for Martie too !
The tree guys came today and removed two very large limbs from the Liquidambar tree in my backyard. It really brightened up the area transforming deep shade to bright and dappled , and in some cases full sun. He gave me some suggestions about what I could do to keep the thing in bounds- I think the tree service is going to be a yearly thing- the alternative being removal, which would be great but very $$.
Other developments in the Kathy World, DD , Aiden and Partner are going to move back to California for a while , to the county just north of me at the urging of all parental folk. California is broke and hurting but the situation is worse in Oregon and unlikely to recover as fast. Partner has a job lined up already and DD is hoping her contacts here might land her a job in a pre-school -she has education in this field and will get some nice recommendations. Living expenses are relatively cheap up there (for Calif anyway) so it should allow them to get back on their feet. Needless to say I will stay put for the time being , especially since I am the safety net. How our worlds have changed ! I think of former co-workers, friends, family etc who have so many challenges, and feel so lucky to be in a position to help .

bug the company I work for has mandatory random drug testing for people in safety sensitive positions-saw guys, forklift drivers, truck drivers etc, and that is quite common here in California, elsewhere too I imagine.

Well Saucy, I think its pretty nice that Jake was willing to go fishing with you-not sure my DS would have done the same at that age-unless I invited him to the theater he was always willing to go see a play. Im so glad to hear you are feeling better and sure helps with the mental attitude doesnt it ? IU here we come !

Cindy, love that combo ! Those two Clems really look nice together . Is that one of your new supports that the lighter colored one is on ? I see a lily on the verge too..

Ok all for me tonight

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 10:48PM
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Anita, that transformation is gorgeous! What a lot of space to roam and plant in. Very nice astilbe.

Which reminds me of Julie and all the shifting of plants. Hopefully, the weather cooperates to minimize transplant shock.

Kathy, yearly tree service sounds like money well spent. What fun to have new light conditions to play with. Sounds like a sensible move for your DD.

Norma, it IS rotten for a gardener when June doesn't pan out for one reason or another. Best case scenario now is a nice long autumn at the other end to make up for it, fingers crossed.

Saucy, it's great to hear you're at full strength and "buzzing" with plans. No fishermen in this house, but Marty has worked ID'ing fish species, and Duncan still volunteers at the aquarium, fielding questions from buses of school kids like "How deep is the ocean?" and zealously guarding the interactive ray touch pool -- "Two fingers only!" He says parents will lift a ray with BOTH hands by its pectoral fins clear OUT of the pool to show their kids, despite being constantly reminded to use only two fingers to pet the ray as it swims past. Oy!

Chelone, this is "Bloody Mary," right, daughter of Catherine of Aragorn and Henry, burnt countless at the stake, etc.? She definitely is not the most sympathetic of monarchs but was, to be fair, dealt a pretty rotten hand to begin with.

Mary, the guitar competition sounds like a blast for David. Hope your job uncertainty settles soon.

PM, I googled that photographer, James Larkin, just because those colors seemed so unreal, and found this: "While at Huntington Beach in Bay Village, Ohio, I saw a storm approaching fast out of the north. I got lucky and was in the right place at the right time. Within a minute of this shot, the storm unleashed its fury on the beach. It was a great day."

Woody, Marty has made those phone calls to grocery stores, hotels. I packed some potting soil in the back of my car recently, jumped in, and made it almost to the parking lot driveway with a flat of plants on the hood. Nice hood ornament! Cackled to myself quite a while over that one...I think we all process an extraordinary amount of info these days. That's my excuse anyway.

Cindy, I truly believe now that clems are water pigs. Look at your gorgeous plants thriving with all the rain you've had. Love how you've paired those two.

I've decided there will be tulips in pots next spring, which means ordering in July isn't too early for a good selection. They'll bide their time chilling in the fridge in the vegetable bin until the day after Thanksgiving, when they'll be planted in pots. Any tips on which varieties for staggering early/late bloom most welcome. I'm shootin' the moon and going for the peony-flwrd types too, like 'Dbl Beauty of Apeldoorn.'

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:46PM
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I believe spending money on trimming trees and selectively removing them is money well spent. I have to call Tree Boy and have him come here to deal with some potential trouble spots, but I'd really like to get the present pile of wood split and stacked beforehand. We planted a Liquidambar in 1992, it was barely 5' tall, now it's well over 20'! I love the leaves and we've never gotten any of the little round seed heads in all the years in between.

Cindy, your clematis are looking smashing. I love the color combination. I did a quick WALAT yesterday afternoon and noted that mine are actually looking pretty good... in spite of no fertilizer this year. I have one that historically succumbs to wilt but no signs of it this year, though another on the other side of the house has lost a stem/two.

Anita, I love the progression of your garden. I think it's hard to remember to stand in precisely the same spot to accomplish progressive shots like that. Brava!

I hear ya on the weather, Norma. Not much that invites WALATing here, either. Lately, rain, rain, rain, and then a liberal follow up with horedes of mosquitos. I hold faint hope for a glimmer of sun today/tomorrow but the threat of intermittant showers looms large and now I'm told the sea breeze will be in full force over the weekend and it will be chilly for this time of year. Lesigh. I need to attend to the lawn before it gets too ahead of me. It's loving all the rain and prospering greatly!

Saucy, great that the diagnosis you've received was correct and you're feeling perkier, nothing worse than just dragging through the days, for whatever reason. What's most unsettling is how long it took for the problem to be solved... I think the conditions involving a lingering sort of malaise are the most discouraging because they often manage to escape detection for too long, all the while grinding you down. How was the fishing? :)

Poor "Bloody Mary"... I have determined to be more open minded about a woman who was a woman of her time. We view the burnings and executions as gruesome (they were) and cruel but when considered in the light of the time they were not so much acts of religious persecution but acts of political expediency. It's worth noting that her half-sister, Elizabeth I resorted to the same thing after the first 10 yrs. of her reign when Catholic plots to overthrow her were uncovered and the Puritans began to gain ascendancy. It's often difficult to look at history without the lens of 21st. century experience and sesnsibility fogging the view. Perhaps the overarching lesson they carry is that seperation of church and state is wise political policy; there is contemporary evidence for this, too. ;)

Mary, I'm sure the past few weeks have been fraught with lots of emotion. I'm sorry you've not found a position, but that could change any time. What's important now is to focus on the lovely summer respite ahead of you. David must be making excellent rehabilitative progress which is terrific news. And you could send Annie to me for a few weeks, I could use an enterprising young woman to assist me in gaining control of the clutter that oozes from every darkened corner here.

Time to saddle up and move on out. I have a cushion job to finish today and there will be something else after that, though I know not what. It would make more sense to me to provide the worker bees with an overarching "plan", but that doesn't mesh with the "control" issue at work, so I bumble along, trying to be efficient in the face of a stacked deck. Tra La!


    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 5:29AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Waving hello to everyone. I'm burried in a painting at the moment so not much time to idyll away here. I've got to teach the darned thing tomorrow and it still isn't done. I've now crowned myself the queen of procrastinators. I've known this had to be done by tomorrow but what with the gardens etc.... Ah well.... the painting will feature some yellow roses, a Swallowtail butterfly and Fuchsia 'Dark Eyes'... I'm really happy with the butterfly but only so-so about the roses and there is no time to tweak the painting now. Anything I change has to get photographed and written up in the instruction sheet.

So very nice to see Mary pop in here! So sorry there is nothing on the job front. David is becoming quite the musician! You must be so proud of him and I'll bet Annie is so grown up now.

Chelone, I could just visualize them getting that tub out of there! What a job. You must be glad its out so now you can begin to reconstruct. We keep a squeegie in the showers and scrape it down after showering. We've never had mildew problems. It only take a mintue and saves hours of cleaning time.

OK I'm out of time for this so must run. Have a terrific day everyone!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 6:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yesterday was 36C (96F) and tough going in the garden. So today I began weeding at 5:30 and came in for breakfast around 9. I'm ready for a shower now. Just bushed!

So glad to read Mary's update! I just bought a book she recommended the other day and was thinking of her.

The clematis are really going to town. A few new ones open each day, which for me is FUN!






Pangbourne Pink

On with my day...Hope yours is cooler than mine! The frogs are making such a racket!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:22AM
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bug...Lovely lovely lovely clems.

deanne...good luck with the class. Sometimes, the best work is done with a looming deadline. Procrastination pays off well in those situations. I requested you as a facebook friend. It was in the "suggested" friend area. How did the internet connect us? Weird. I then recognized chelone's pic, so requested you too. Hope you two don't mind. I'm hardly ever on facebook, though. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

That's all for now.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 12:30PM
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Anita, theres a bunch of us on FB , you may see a flurry of friend requests !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 1:16PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im laughing at water pigs -- Denise, you're spot on -- the clems in the ground do seem to mostly have taken it fairly well and are blooming their heads off; the ones I had in pots - not so much.... shoulda, coulda, woulda gotten them in the ground but it rained.... not sure if they're still alive (will have to do the inspect roots routine). I did get a lot of yellow leaves and browning at the bottosm, but their blooms are all mag. -- As evidenced even more so by Marie's gorgeous closeups -- those are so lovely, Marie.

Mary, Im so sorry nothing positive has yet turned up in the job category -- glad you grabbed COBRA to at least offer some protection and sounds like you're starting summer off well -- that's wonderful re David and Annie. Wish we could meet up for your DC visit but likely will be crossing paths as Im off to a duty visit in PA this weekend.

Anita -- those are wonderful shots of the before and after of that corner of your garden -- it looks so lovely and lush - I love the path and how it meanders. I have pretty good luck w/ Astilbe and have quite a few cultivars but I often dont plant them in the right spots.

Does anyone remember this shot of last year's incredible stand of astilbe? It was one of my favorite areas:


    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 2:04PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The left-behind-walker is one of those stories that is begining to look a lot funnier in hindsight...:-)

Cindy - that is a gorgeous clematis combination!

Anita - just imagine what next year's view of that garden area will be!

Mary - what a drag that the job alternative that would keep the benefits hasn't turned up yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed.... It sounds like David is making a serious run at a professional career - wouldn't that be fun?!

gb - does x durandi ever become a profuse bloomer or does it just peek those dark blue flower though things here and there? I'll have to check mine to see if there are any flowers. I haven't noticed any so far this year...

Deanne - I agree with Anita that often the best creative work is done under pressure... Do we get to see a picture of the completed work?

Laurie and I made a batch of about 4 dozen samosas yesterday. And we tried out a recipe for oven baked onion bhajis. They had great flavor but texture wasn't great so I will fiddle with the recipe a bit tomorrow and try them again. We have company for dinner on Saturday and curries are the desired food. So today I made a chicken curry and tomorrow I'll make a beef curry; plus the bhajis to go with the samosas for appetisers.

It was 30C here yesterday. Today we had a thunderstorm starting just before noon which has cooled things down a bit. Hopefully I can get out tomorrow morning early and do some much-needed deadheading!

If anyone is looking for a clematis to bloom in bright shade, I recommend Ramona. It's looking very nice on the fence in the backyard these days.

I'm waiting with bated breath to see what the rose swag looks like once it blooms - the buds are starting to show color and I hope it'll be blooming by early next week.

I thought Deanne and other bird-lovers might like to see the pictures a friend sent me a link to. (see below) She's a friend from 'down home' and is a photographer. They have a nest of barred owls on their property this year and she's been taking a lot of pictures of them. Some of them are on her Facebook pages but, since we aren't on Facebook, she could only send me the link to these four pictures which are in her 'open' page.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 4:07PM
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Woody , your friend did an amazing job photographing the owls. Thanks for sharing.

I am going to try linking to my facebook album to show you my new garden buddy. I don't know if it will work.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:59PM
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Good evening friends. I will be brief tonight, I have a 6 day workweek this week and am doing some chores normally done on Sat this evening. I did want to share this link with you and I hope you enjoy itmore tomorrow !

Wave to all..

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bravo! Thanks for that Kathy!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 10:35PM
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I really enjoyed that Kathy.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 11:08PM
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Anita, I love before and after shots. It's looking good.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 11:28PM
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One of my all time favorite songs...that, and "You've Got A Friend." Thanks for the link kathy.

That's a beautiful owl. I'm hoping I get to see one in my yard one day.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 12:45AM
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Wow, what a nice way to start the day. The Barred Owls are great (love the owlette!) and I really liked that montage of "Stand By Me". One of the guys sounded as though he was channelling Otis Redding. Great link, Kathy.

I'm glad it's Friday, yesterday was no fun. the cushion job turned into a far bigger deal than it needed to be and I suspect there will be residual fall-out today, too. A mole hill that was transformed into a mountain by the wonder of insecurity and a need to vent frustration (not my own). Dear heavens, let us keep this in perspective, please! no one has died as a result of it, nor has it caused a catastrophic drop in the stock market... . It's not that I don't care but getting into a self-induced lather over something so silly isn't productive and doesn't solve the immediate problem, either. Jeez.

We moved my overlock machine last night (really heavy) and removed the tiles in the suspended ceiling in preparation for the plumber who is coming this morning. There are 4 more machines to move, but they won't be nearly as heavy as those already relocated. Though heavy is rather a relative description. You know who your friends are when it's time to relocate industrial sewing machines, lol. I'm going to research the possibility of putting casters on the heavier models, but right now that's not my most pressing project. ;)

I am always amazed by the diversity offered by Clematis. 'bug what is the peony in the foreground of the shot above with x durandii? I am eagerly awaiting the shots of the rose swag, too, Woody!

I think I may have a haircut this afternoon and I think I may cancel the app't. because we also have tickets to the theatre tonight. It's going to be a long day and tomorrow is going to be another long one. Oh well, time to get motivatin'.

Anita, I'm another one who almost never visits FB. It's slow and I guess I've just never "caught the wave".

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 5:20AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning! :-)

I thought I might check in this morning, although nothing going on here that would make for sparkling conversation. :-) There were layoffs at DD's work but thankfully, her department seems to have escaped unscathed. I have been out of garden talk lately and feeling blah while still waiting for a Gastro appointment on Monday. Holding my own though and trying to get out in the garden a little more. According to the forecast, it looks like I have plenty of time to garden in cool weather still, but the mosquitoes are out in full force. The weatherman was funny this morning. He was showing a seven day forecast of rainy cloudy weather every day again and he said, 'Monday, rainy cloudy weather and blah, blah, blah...' and that was his entire forecast. lol

Kathy, I loved that link! What a great idea someone had. Made me smile this morning and I just sent the link to my kids.

I'm very surprised we have not seen poor Marian post at all. I hope something starts to improve for you soon, Marian. I wonder if you are having this same weather there and if that makes it worse for you?

No fireflies around here. I remember seeing them every summer when I was growing up and I miss them.

Anita, I'm very jealous that you have not one, but two new baths! :-) Very pretty, I love that full glass look. We really need to gut ours and start over, but have no idea when we will get to it. .....What a difference a year makes! Your garden has changed so much. I like the new pathway and the new materials you used. Everything has grown so much! Reminds me, I need to check my peachblossom astilbe. Is yours fragrant?

Chelone, we added a Dogwood racemosa at the same time we planted the rest of the back shrubs and it's amazing how it has shot up making a very effective screen. It is taller than our six foot fence already. ....Happy Anniversary! Amazing how fast time goes by, huh? [g] Definitely want to see "Up".

Michelle is heading to Florida, how exciting! And what a bargain airfare! Hope you bring back lots of photos. :-)

Marie, you've been getting a lot of work done in the garden. I imagine you are trying to get everything done before you leave for IU6. I can't remember hearing you so involved with your vegetable garden before. I hope you will have a great harvest after all that work weeding. If the weather would just cooperate. Did you find the bunny entrance? Your clems are gorgeous! Hendryetta my fav. Sorry to hear about Indy, hope she is okay. Isn't it about time for baby photos again? :-)

Norma, sounds like you are doing a lot of weeding too. June walats are absent here too and the gardening season is an odd one this year. .... sorry, I don't have a FB account, so I couldn't see your link.

Denise, enjoyed your description of Venice Beach. I remember the days when Haight Ashbury was in the news, but from a distance. Here on the East Coast, we were listening to 'California Dreaming'. Sounds like you and hubby had a nice walk down memory lane. I have always felt sad to go back and visit places from the past especially when they don't look the same. .....Thanks for sharing that info on that photo, I seem to have forgotten to post the info I had on it again. I still wonder if the colors were enhanced with software?

Quite a day you had on Tuesday, woody! Very lucky it all worked out so well, but I think I would stick to my boring day. [g] Thanks for the tip about Ramona clematis, I could use one that will bloom so nicely in less light.

and...What a week you had too Cindy! We had a similar accident here in the Boston area and the operator was texting at the time. DD uses the T and I worry about her every time I hear of a problem. I'm going to have to remember to tell her to sit in the middle cars. ....what a pretty combo of clematis.

Sorry to hear your news on the health insurance issue, Mary. Hope you can figure something else out.

Saucy, sorry to hear Jake doesn't want to work in the garden any more. Wouldn't it be great if our kids were as fascinated as we are? Fishing wouldn't make my top 10 list of activities, either. You are a good mom. :-)

Kathy, big news at your house, wow! I think it is great that you did all that work on the house for your move and now that you are going to be staying, you can enjoy the updates. So, does this mean, DD and company will be close enough for you and DS to see more often?

I'm sorry to those I've missed, but running out of steam here. Going to try to head out back and plant a couple of rain soaked plants from the pot ghetto since more rain due all week....

Hey, it's Friday! :-)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 8:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well here's someplace that has more water then we have. [g] Pretty romantic wedding photo, yes?

Adrift in bliss, Venetian newlyweds ride a gondola down the Grand Canal. In a city with 42 boating associations, rowing is serious business. You should see no visible effort, says an aficionado, just beautiful movement.

From "Venice: More Than a Dream," February 1995, National Geographic magazine.
Photograph by Sam Abell

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, your post has made me feel guilty..:-(
I am okay....just have not felt like I had anything of interest to post here....
My arms and shoulders continue to be in very bad shape, but I am still 'going'.
The heat and humidity is horrendous... we continue to be under a heat alert. I am not getting outside much, except very early and late...then I am attacked by the accursed deer flies! They never bother Nolon.
Last week was our congregation's 2nd yearly Lectureship, from Sunday morn., to Friday eve. We went every time. A differant speaker each time.
This week the kids came Monday afternoon, and left Thurs afternoon.They spent part of that time swimming in the Buffalo River, and part of it hiking at a nearby attraction. We both stayed home. :-)
The Cartop garden is growing and all plants are setting on blooms. Should have cucumbers before long, and Sweet 100 tomatoes a little later.
Tim was going to bring us some cucumbers and squash from his garden, but forgot! :-(


    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 10:24AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well there you are, Marian! That's awful that you are still having arm and shoulder pain. Does applying ice help at all? Sounds like you haven't been able to rest your arms and shoulders much and the heat can't be helping either. But great for your Cartop garden! I'm glad you are still getting out, but what's with the deer flies? Is there a season for them that will end at some point? Oh, that's too bad no cucumbers or squash. I did that to our son last summer. I grew string beans, his favorite, more for him than anyone else and when we went up to visit him, we forgot to take them. Oh well.

Glad you checked in and hoping one of these days you will suddenly wake up feeling much much better. :-)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 11:39AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I cannot stand cold on my arms. I can't even stand the night air blowing on then from the window fan...:-(
Yes, there is a 'season' for the deer flies. It is all during the summer months. They are vicious attackers of any exposed skin..on me, and espacially my head and neck! Very painful bites. We frequently have horse flies that are much larger, and just as vicious!
So far, I have not had any chiggers...I hope I have not brought them on by saying that. :-(

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Hi Marain, good to know you are still amongst the living at least. Sounds like you have been busy with other things than gardening. The extreme heat sure takes the fun out of it doesn't it?

Pm, I changed the settings on the album in the link. Maybe you can see it now. It says anyone can see even if they are not on facebook.

Chelone , I hope the day went better than yesterday.

I mostly deadheaded and cleaned up some stuff today. I decided I wanted a white daylily near my new arbor so I moved a piece of one I had. I left a piece where it was and still have another piece in water to plant somewhere else. Just have to decide where I want it. May have to pot it up in the morning until I decide.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 9:07PM
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Happy Friday to all , though it is a Friday in name only for me ! Working an event tomorrow for my company so will be occupied there most of the day. Its supposed to be very hot this weekend but Im skeptical, the marine layer was out this morning and it seems a normal weather pattern this evening.

Im so glad you all enjoyed the Stand By Me link. It was sent to me by my BIL, and it made me think of all of you, and our supportive place here, where one may always feel free to vent .
Norma, what an adorable kitten Niki is, and your photos are great ! I love her coloring .

Anita, your side yard transformation in wonderful, and for your viewing pleasure, here is my sideyard I am dying to get this concrete removed-about 75% of it is totally wasted space. From Garden 2009

Cindy , I do indeed remember that , and I think that it was instrumental in the inspiration for the GG at the Saucy house- that was a fabulous garden. I am glad that I scheduled myself for three more days off after returning from IU, with the itinerary we have shaping up Im going to need it ! I did walk(fast) to work every day this week and my IU training continues.

Chelone, the industry at the compound continues. I guess the though of a bunch of Idyllers roaming around with cameras is good incentive..

Marian, glad to see you post here- and like PM, I hope you get to feeling better before long.

PM, Ive enjoyed the photos youve posted in the last few days, thank you for those. Yes DD will be closer, about 2 hours drive or less.

All for me tonight, I have to go do some more watering since I will be otherwise occupied tomorrowwaves to all .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 10:16PM
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kathy...Have a great time at the work event. You don't seem too bummed out that you are working an extra day, but I guess knowing that Idyll vacation is coming up soon is spurring you on. You have all that extra space there and no plants filling it up? I'm shocked. LOL. It looks like a good work space, though. It also has the potential for a secret garden.

I made a wishlist for Annie's Annuals tonight. The shipping costs are high , so I'm going to sit on it a bit, and will most likely talk myself out of an order. I did help the economy earlier though when I went to the mall. I needed more black tops and pants, since I wear a lot of black at work...hides the color stains, and just looks more professional.

Sunday will be my next day in the garden, so nothing to report on that end.

Cindy...love that astilbe photo. Where was that taken? Was it you who posted a photo from Trudy's garden a while back? She's only 20 minutes from me, so I should see if she still has tours available.

PM...nice to see a long chatty post from you again. Nice Venice photo.

Marian...Nice to see you dropped in. Glad to know you rooftop garden is doing well. Hope you enjoyed your family's visit.

chelone...Hope today at work was better than yesterday. Why do there have to be power struggles at work? Don't they understand the word "morale" yet? Did you get the haircut? By the way, Happy Anniversary to you and HM. 17 years is something to be proud of these days. We're going on 24 in OCT.

Norma...I couldn't see the link earlier, so will have to revisit it. Did you show a photo of your new arbor already? I can't remember it. I like the idea of a white daylily, mmmmm.

That's all for now.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 11:19PM
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Oh Norma, how cute is she??? I amazed you're able to keep your hands off her long enough for her to wander around and explore! Our Spencer has a similar coat pattern and I think Marian's Tommy does, too.

Speaking of Marian, it's nice to see you pop in and hear an update on gardening using the Toyota method. I'm sorry the heat and humidity are adding to the Fibro. discomfort. Here's hopin' this round passes quickly and you're able to get back to the level of activity that you like best. ;)

Yesterday was the birthday of Walter Farley, the author of "The Black Stallion" and "Island Stallion" series of books for young people. I read every single one of his books at least once between the ages of 10 and 13. But my all time favorite was, "Man O' War", a fictionalized account of Man O' War's career from the perspective of a young groom in the Riddle stable. A copy of it still has a prominent place on the library bookshelf. It sparked an interest in horse racing and the history of the American turf that has stayed with me to this day. Of greater interest is how often the names of the rich and powerful industrialists appear in the annals of the turf history.

The shower valve has been installed, the baseboard heat capped and shortened to accomodate the new shower pan, and my brother is coming today and we'll do some framing, some demolition, and possibly some blocking in the shower area. If I spend too much time thinking about all the work I can break out in a sweat, but that won't help get it done so it's best to just plod along in a forward direction. The only reason it all seems so daunting is that I don't possess all the requisite skills to do it myself and therefore don't have a complete picture of how to organize the work for my own peace of mind. But it will be OK because my brother has what I lack and I'm willing to learn.

Yeah, Anita, I don't understand why the importance of "morale" is so easily set aside, either. Maybe it's because I'm "a morning person" but it seems practical to me to begin the work day with a smile and few minutes of chit-chat before moving on to the list of things that need to be accomplished over the course of the day. A "master plan" is so helpful and keeps everyone moving forward with an eye toward meeting deadlines. I'm savvy enough to know that the snappiness is not really directed at me personally, rather it's a way to vent frustration and insecurity so I'm pretty good at "blowing it off", but it gets tiresome. I've always been pretty organized and methodical but my experience with Mum really reinforced the necessity of it and also revealed how much "more free time" I had than I thought I did! So, while I'm sympathetic to the daily stresses we face at work I am also brutally honest about high cost of disorganization, clutter, and taking frustration out on others. No time for that crap, thanks.

I WALATed last night with the dog and am appalled at the growth of the lawns and weeds, you guys. I did mow the Fertile Cresent yesterday afternoon, and hope to get to Sanitary Ridge and the south lawn today, before the next round of rain arrives late this afternoon. I haven't done ANY mulching in any of the gardens... the Compound is hardly "tour ready" but such is life. It's still a pretty good place to hang out. ;) Good vibes.

Kathy, I hope the event goes smoothly for you. I don't mind putting in long hours or extra days when it's necessary, either. The way I see it it's part of the bargain and if some elbow grease is required to make it easier in the long run then I'm all for it. I was gratified to see your concrete wasteland in all its glory. Thank you for posting that. :) What are your plans for the area after the concrete bustin' is accomplished? You must be pleased that Mr. Baby will be nearer to you, seems like a practical move for DD, though perhaps not the once she'd most like. Solidarity within families is important, what good is a "family" without it?

No haircut yesterday, for which I was grateful. Yesterday afternoon was busy and we went to the theatre last night. There was an OUI checkpoint on the way home. I'm not sure how I feel about that sort of thing... I see the practicality of it but there is something about random stops that offends a nascent Libertarian spark that glows in my core. It would be a good deal easier if people were able to enjoy themselves within the bounds of good care, huh?

Time to take care of some really basic "weekend chore" stuff before the brother arrives and the real work begins.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 7:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Last night was French Club night, a pot luck affair in a new member's lovely garden. She is Quebecoise, and outgoing and fun. She had prepared a rhubarb soup, something I've never had before, and we ALL demanded the recipe. There were all sorts of wonderful goodies: a pasta salad Greek style, a good coleslaw with pecans, a fresh green salad, my own Waldorf salad with apples, chicken, celery, grapes, pecans, yogurt and cinnamon. Then various wines, dessert squares, fresh watermelon and pineapple and of course lots of fun conversation.

Today is the last sunny dry day for a long time, so I am hoping to accomplish great things outdoors.I am hoping that DH will do the run to the dump by himself. Hmmmm. There is still no weeded area for planting the ghetto items.

I too am happy to see Kathy's cemented area. A dose of reality is sometimes a comfort on this forum with its super photos! I hope indeed to see an "after" shot one day soon! ;)

I was asked about the Durandii/peony photo. I cannot say what the name of that Peony is. I'm afraid, other than for clematis, I neglect the names of things and just plant what I enjoy. Even with clematis I am becoming lazy about that. Well lazy may not be the right word. I've had a problem with tags weathering and being "relocated".

I received (a VERY) few seeds for Angelica Ebony and must plant them today. Crossing my fingers on this!

The camera at DD's was misplaced...and recently found again. So I have no update shots on Ms Ivy Rayne, which is hard on the old lady! I hope thids is corrected soon but there's lots going on at their place, so who knows when. I'm told she weighs 10 pounds and is 22.5 inches long, chatters a lot and is at the giggle stage...all of which sounds girly to me.

I'll leave you with a 'few' more...
Integrifolia type, Lake Baikal

Peveril Profusion


The President

Dutch Iris


A favorite hardy single white rose with Betty Corning lurking behind. (Morden Snowbeauty)

Enjoy your garden!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 8:18AM
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Where has the week gone? We leave for Florida on Monday. I know its going to be hot but it sounds like they might not make it here this summer. We will surely go to the ocean and they have several pools in their complex. Since our flight leaves in the evening from the city that my son lives in, we will spend a little time with him that day.

Today I must gather all the containers and move them to my potting area so that the sprinkler on a timer can water them. Ive actually done very little watering of them as we seem to get showers almost daily.

Ive been trying to get the weeds under control and never got around to mulch yet. We get back on the 4th and leave again on the 9th for our annual family camping weekend. Then on the 16th I have a group of women coming for a garden tour. Yikes!

As Ive been weeding Ive noticed quite a few clematis seedlings. Some are getting to a decent size and will need to be relocated.

My world is becoming much more green these days as the crops begin to really green up the fields. The wild roses, which are Iowas state flower, are in full bloom. They basically only grow along the gravelly edge of country roads. Also, in abundance are prairie phlox, anemone, pale purple coneflowers, and quite a few others that I dont know the name of.

Woody, I enjoy Ramona on my garden arbor.

Cindy, the arches and columns in the picture you posted are wonderful. I love your combination of the 2 clematis.

Kathy, my burgundy gallardia mingles later in the summer with rhus Tiger Eyes

Anita, what a wonderful transformation of your side yard.

V, that variegated basil is very cool.

bug, you have so many wonderful clematis.

A few pictures of the local wildflowers.

Its a lovely cooler day so Id better go enjoy my garden ;o)


    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 4:00PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, I love your wildflower pics. The roses and phlox look like what grow here. Both of them are sprinkled around our yard.
Your method of taking a flight is like what I used to do. I would go to our Tim's house, and he would take me to the Little Rock airport. I would have to make differant plans now if I was to fly since he no longer lives in L.R.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 4:34PM
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A very hot Saturday afternoon here in the Napa Valley; I spent most of the day standing in an asphalt parking lot calling out raffle ticket numbers. I am now hiding in the house while the water runs outside-the garden looks very, very sad. Burnt up roses, Joe Pye is almost reclining, and even my Viburnum is wilted. Ill be spending the evening watering in preparation for more of the same tomorrow. I bought a 6 x 4 piece of shadecloth and am going to create a removable sun shade for one of my container areas. This time of year the late afternoon sun slants down on that area and I want to keep it from sunburning. No WALATS today until at least 8pm, hopefully temps will be on the way down by then. I even have the AC on in the house, which I dislike doing, but after standing in that parking lot all day cooling off seemed extremely compelling.

The concrete utility area is the RV parking , which for some is nice to have, for me worthless. The challenge with this space is that it lies on the north side of my 2-story house, and is fenced in, creating more shade cast by the fences, and is also open to the west which means it gets the worst hottest part of the sun. If I remove one section of fence, that divides it from my back garden I think I will have space to put in a small veggie garden, I think an 8x8 space would work fine for me. The issue of course is the expense of having the concrete removed and then probably some topsoil brought in . I have access to fall-down lumber and could probably build myself a couple of raised beds out of redwood or cedar pretty cheaply. Its fun to think about it, and knowing myself as I do, if I keep thinking about it it will probably happen this fall, if the cost is not prohibitive. Its one of those areas that annoys me every single day

And the loo project at the compound continues !

bug your Clems are fabu- I think my fave of the latest batch is Roguchi. And The President-I actually have that one, though it is bloomed out now.

Michelle, like your posting of the wildflowers that grow in your area.. The rose reminds me of the Rugosas that grow on our coast. I hope you will post a pic later of your Gaillardia-Tiger Eyes combo.

Hi Marian !

Im going to sit on my keister and watch baseball for awhile.

Later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 9:46PM
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I enjoyed the wildflowers from Iowa, too. The rugosas are trying to bloom here and a few sunny days will really spur them to action. I'll bet you're really excited about going to Florida, though no doubt dismayed that Miss Kenzie may not be visiting this summer. She must change so much in the space of so little time and I'm sure it tugs at your heart to not be able to see it with "your own eyes". It will be fun to hear about your visit, hope you have a ball.

Yesterday was another overcast, gloomy, humid day here. I mowed the lawns and the grass must have been over 6" high in some places. The mulch feature on the mower was ineffective and I suspect I may have to drive over it once more with the bagger to pick up the clumps that were left behind. No doubt about it, the grass certainly loves the weather patter that's been parked over New England for well over a week now. So do the slugs. More clammy gloom on tap today and the forecast for the coming weeks shows a chance of thundershowers nearly every afternoon!

There was no demolition yesterday, but the blocking is in place in the shower area and the shower base has arrived, along with the shower fixture. Time to get going on the tile selection.

The real excitement yesterday involved a chipmunk. It's easy to leave the screen door to the deck open since the canopy and the screens are now in place. But there is a danger in doing so since there is a cat door in the canopy screen and occasionally they bring live prey onto the deck. I heard Rex scuttling around in the bedroom and turned just in time to see Mr. Chips scurry across the floor and into the bathroom. Visions of chippies inside the walls or hopping through the hole in the floor and into the suspended ceiling below flashed before my eyes. Instead, the little guy decided he would seek refuge inside the hollow portion of the bidet's base. Where he remained for over 3 hrs. while I tried to figure out how to extricate him. The back of the bidet is 6-8" from the wall so I couldn't really see inside the hollow part. Nor could I get my hand inside to grab him since the waste line that drains the bowl was in the way. I tried salad tongs but the waste was in the way and they weren't quite long enough. I tried poking him with coat hangers from each side of the waste to convince him that the place wasn't as secure as he thought. We tried hooking the spray attachment to the compressor for the pneumatic nail gun and creating a mini-tornado inside the bidet base. No luck. I finally unbolted it from the floor and was able to move the bidet enough to get him out from under it. He scooted into the bedroom and even sat atop the bedside table for a bit. Then into the living room and under the TV table and under the bookcases and the case clock. We finally herded him onto the deck. Terrified he climbed the screens before cowering in a corner while I unzipped the corner where two screens meet. He then made a dash for the opening, raced across the filon roof and hurled himself into space landing somewhere near the pergola. I suspect he lived to fight another day but to my mind it's only a question of time before he makes a fatal error in chippie judgement and is once more seized by a cat. With a video it could have become a You Tube hit.

How thick is the concrete you have to have busted out of the area, Kathy? it would seem it would be pretty thick if it was meant to support the weight of an RV. Is it reinforced, too? I have a feeling you'll be working on that area, too. Real estate being what it is these days heaven only knows how long you'll remain where you are and that said, your space should be a place you like to be. I like the idea of adding a vegetable garden to your personal "compound".

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 6:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone's weather is about to move to our area. The clouds are here already, the rain is due at lunchtime.

Delighted to see Yeonasky peek in on the clematis thread!

Last night in the 9PM darkness, I managed to finish weeding the perimeter of the vegetable garden. Need more mulch for the back, but not too much. Maybe I can buy that later today and complete the job in the rain.

Today I'm off to a sand, stone and gravel meeting. Definitely not a pleasurable affair related to gardening.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 7:19AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Just popping in to say "Hi" to Yeona! Do come back and give us an update on you and yours.....

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:16AM
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Hiding in the house again with brief forays outside to move the water. Going to Julie-Job the kitchen this afternoon, and reward myself with a cold beer when complete. I measured my world-o-concrete this morning to , so I could draw a plan and dither over it. 1st wave of dither is complete. Im going to try to find a free-trail garden design software to download . Any suggestions ?

Chelone, Im thinking the concrete is not reinforced based on the year it (the house) was built. We also dont have the freeze-thaw issues here , so no expansion joints or the like. Lol the antics of Mr. Chipmunk. Ive had neighborhood dogs and cats stroll into my house but never a chipmunk!

OK, off to the kitchen. Might post some daylily pics on a separate thread this afternoon too

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 3:21PM
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I have a few small JulieJobs to accomplish this afternoon myself, Kathy. But I'm not getting very far with them, the world of Mary I is considerably more compelling than any of them! I'll be interested in what you end up with for software, the thought would never have occured to me, not surprising given my Luddite tendancies. ;)

I did make a cake this morning after spying two very freckled bananas that I wouldn't eat on a bet. So, it's banana cake today and the recipe recommended a lemon or orange filling between the layers with whipped cream for topping. Luck was with me and I found a couple of lemons in the crisper and some cornstarch on the shelf. I hauled out the double boiler, followed the directions and, voila! the filling was created. It was pretty easy and the combination has passed the taste test as far as I'm concerned.

Not much else to report, I'm afraid. I would rather be outdoors accomplishing something that left dirt on my clothing and my hands...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 3:55PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - the chippie story cracked me up when I pictured you tackling the bidet!

I wonder how Julie is doing with her relocating of garden plants - I hope we get pictures soon....

We had a bit of rain this morning and then it turned out relatively nice in the afternoon. So we went off to walk around the rose gardens at RBG (Royal Botanical Gardens). gb - if you have any concerns about not being able to keep ahead of your weeds, take a jaunt down to RBG and you'll feel much better! They've had financial difficulty for a number of years now and it shows up largely in maintenance - i.e. weeding or the lack thereof!

The roses are all in bloom there so I checked the swag when we got back. It's starting to bloom now but nowhere near full bloom. Here're two views from a few minutes ago:

From near the end of the south alley path in the backyard looking back towards the front:

From just inside the gate looking along the house side of the swag:

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 5:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Strawberry shortcake here for dessert!YUM!

Didn't get to all the things I hoped to do this afternoon. I hope tomorrow the weather allows me to remove more Japanese anemones to make room for some of my new ghetto items. So many weeds. ..Yes Woody, those problems at the RBG have really taken a toll. I hope they come out of their difficulties one day soon. My friend Lynn takes her judging courses there. Your rose swags are really coming along!

DD sent photos at last! Sometimes I am taken aback by Ivy Rayne's resemblance to her brother Reed.

DH is off walking Ms Phoebe. In one month, the gang will be here visiting. I'm excited for you Michelle!


    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:37PM
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It appears that pink is studiously avoided 'bug !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:46PM
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Woody, It looks like the rose is doing just what you wanted it to do. Great concept. Norma

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Ivy Rayne seems to be a happy baby. Her smile is infectious.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 9:27PM
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I took a day away from the flower gardens an worked on the edge of the woods and trails. Things were getting pretty overgrown, and I didn't want to lose all of my previous hard work cleaning it up. I water things yesterday because it was our hottest day at 97 degrees and and of course it rained last night but it brought cooler temps too so I could take the time to do something else. I need to do more weedeating in the morning then try to get an appointment at the vet for the new kitty. I'm hoping the cooler weather will stay for a few days.

I'm pretty tired so thats all for me tonight. N

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 9:39PM
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It's a big day for Norma and Niki, let's hope she receives a clean bill of health. How old do you think she is, 8wks.? I know what you mean about cleaning up areas that you've previously worked hard to get under control; nice way to keep moving forward in spite of the heat. Good for you and I'll bet you were tuckered out! How does Rebel handle the heat? it takes a toll on Rex, he finds a cool place in the grass and just sort of hangs out. When it gets too hot he goes into "the pool" and wades around for awhile.

I've been wondering about Julie, too. Maybe she'll poke her head in today and give us an update.

More gloom, leaden skies, and humidity today. I try not to grouse about the weather too much because it's pointless but the monotony of the weather pattern is really beginning to take a toll on me. Strawberry growers are now in danger of losing much of their crop, which is very sad. The town was full of tourists this weekend, though. There was a lot of very heavy traffic on the road which is common when the weather is crummy... people are constantly "en route" to somewhere and then they come back to their motel rooms.

I've removed all the toiletries from the bathroom vanity area and will go pick up the shower base this morning, too. I'm not sure what exactly is on the docket for the morning but I suspect this is demolition day. (I'll keep the screen to the deck closed today!). I'm not sure how far we'll get but will know more later today, lol.

Ivy looks like a very contented baby, 'bug. It's good to be loved and cherished. I'm certain you see the resemblence to Reed and while it must be very poignant for all of you I can think of no nicer reminder of him. Does my heart glad to see the joy on her Daddy's face and so it must be for you, too.

Isn't it about time for Eden to post a shot of Kate just to ensure we have our fix of "pink"? ;)

Woody, the rose swag is only going to get more beautiful with every passing year. I'll bet you're excited about it. I think it's a brilliant way to add interest to a narrow area and I suspect it may just make the requisite pruning and deadheading easier. I love the color of the roses against your home, too; very pretty.

Is anyone else sick of the 24 hr. news blitz about Michael Jackson? Yeah, he was talented. Yeah, he's dead. But frankly, I'm more interested in the 2 wars we're fighting, what's going on in Iran, and the state of the country's mismanaged finances... . Enough already!

OK, time to go get the shower base. Later.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:38AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I am sooo with you on the Michael Jackson news!!!!
Enough already!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:21AM
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Too much of any one thing can become annoying, no matter how necessary or beautiful or talented. Like the rainy weather-we need the water, but the sun is more welcome. Like MJ, he was a musical genius, but we can tire of hearing it. Let him now RIP, a peace he couldn't find on earth. Although, hearing about our crummy economy is something I'm getting impatient with now. If the media all of a sudden starting giving glowing positive reports, don't you think people would relax a little and look up? So the TV remains off most of the time, and the garden and reading beckons.

bug...Miss Ivy is growing up fast. She is too precious.

chelone...A funny chipmunk story. I would have needed a week off to recover from it, but I'm sure you just went about your day in your usual no-nonsense way after it was over. It sounds like you have as many running about as I do. Are you photographing the bathroom redo? Day by day? The dust is the worst part of renovations. You'll find some in a tucked away place a year from now. But have fun! At least you have something to take your mind off the rainy weather. How far are you from the ocean?

Julie...Yoo-Hoo! Where are you? Stop in so we know how the backyard is coming along.

norma...Hope the vet brings welcome news. Good for you on keeping up with the out of the way areas. It sounds inviting, though, when you speak of woods and trails. Do you have a photo of this area?

woody...your rose swag is the star of that side garden. I love how it encloses the area and gives it such a cozy feeling. Is Randy wanting to go back to work yet? Or are you going easy on him at home? LOL.

Kathy...I chuckled over your planning and dithering comment on the deck area. That is how things get done, though. First we plan, then we dither, then plan and dither some more, then the job is done. Satisfying, isn't it? There are so many possible uses for that area, and with your artistic eye, it will look great whatever direction you decide to go in. It's good to have a project to work on, though. I'm trying to come up with my next one...but there's never enough funds to match my ideas. So I have to settle on something less, and there goes the enthusiasm...until the next, less grand, idea comes to mind.

Grass cutting is on the agenda today, but a couple of errands need to get done first. So off I go. Have a great day all.

I have a taste for lemon banana cake. Can you bring a slice over chelone?

Here's some yellow with a shot of purple...

And another purple yellow combo with a favorite grass, 'Bowles Golden' sedge...


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 1:15PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good day, mates....

Lots of lovely photos on threads to look at -- oddly I can see Woody's gorgeous pics of her swag here altho Im forbidden from awfic protocols to seeing her other threads that are picturetrail and Michelle's p.trail -- my poor little mind cannnot wrap itself around the differences... weird isnt it? I think it's so neat when a "plan" comes together like that, Woody - it's really lovely.

It was a glorious weekend of weather in my region - sadly I spent it in another state -- just my luck right? I had a really hard time getting in the car to do the trek when I discovered the low humidity, great temps, and lovely sunshine.... Such is life though.

Funny chippie story, Chelone -- The Chipmunk and the Bidet -- I think it would get banned for the title alone, though, LOL...

Missy Ivy is looking suitably impressed with her new surroundings - it's amazing how quickly they progress -- it could well be in a year she'll look nothing like Reed; I've never understood how babies can change in appearance so much but they do.

I guess Michelle is winging her way to Fla -- boy, that's going to be one ecstatic grand-daughter when she sees the personal appearances.

O, Anita - you asked about that astilbe photo - it was one of the Open Days conservancy gardens last year in New York state -- another absolutely drop-dead garden I thought; it was also huge w/ several acres (maybe 6 if I recall correctly) and a huge number of "rooms" that were bigger than houses in some cases -- but her hands-on combos and personal involvement with the garden were clear in every scenario and she just had a fantastic eye I thought.

Re Chloe, so far she's recovering pretty well and we're working on weaning the meds away - about 75% of the way there so far - she's gotten a lot more energy and zip altho she seems unable to do stairs on a daily basis -- sometimes it's a good day for that; others she needs a "lift" -- at 7 lbs I dont mind at all and am glad to accommodate whatever will keep the "creampuff" happy and well. It makes my spirits happy tho to see her perky and happy and interested in life -- it's funny how such small things (like zipping around) can make one delighted with life, isnt it?

I fear truth in gardening would encompass my entire gardens at present! The weeds are thriving ...

lunch calls.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 1:20PM
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Kenzie is going to be so surprised. I think surprises like that are great.

The demolition of the bathroom is complete. The original wall behind the vanity is gone and the new one is studded in. All the sheetrock that was removed was bagged and has gone away in the Waste Management truck. All dust has been vacuumed up and the tools are neatly set aside for the next round. I picked up the shower base this morning and it fits inside the opening! The helpmeet is going to deal with moving the wiring for the electrical outlet and the lights tomorrow. The plumber needs to set the base in place and install the new waste line for the shower, move the waterlines for the new vanity, install the new waste and vent for it, and finalize the new, shortened baseboard heat. Once it's been inspected it will be time to sheetrock, install the hardibacker for the tile and move on to the tiling. I expressed nervousness about tiling but my brother said it wasn't a big deal and not to sweat about it. So I won't. I have been taking pictures but right now I might lose my nerve if I downloaded them and really looked at the state of disarray it's in, so it's best that I don't torture myself at this stage of the game. :)

Yes, there are many chippies here and there is at least one that meets a grisly end per week. Countless mice and voles, too, but that's why we have cats! Purrfect little assasins in snug fitting fur suits. I've had several live prey incidents over the years, the first one was the worst. Once I dealt with that one I realized it wasn't really such a big deal and getting my knickers in a twist over it wouldn't be helpful anyway. For those with kids, I liken it to the first serious injury your kids sustains. You deal with it and afterwards you sit back and think, "hey, I survived that one".

I love the sedge, Anita. I have tons of them here, also come really cool clumping reed-like jobs. They love the wet acid soil here, but aren't nearly as vividly colored as your "Bowles Golden".

Cindy, I'm glad to know your little creampuff is feeling better. It was a big deal when Wrecks was layed up with the ACL surgery. Hard to believe they're the same species, one at 7 lbs. the other at nearly 100! I honestly don'think there's much worse than watching them languish in discomfort. You must be feeling lots better, too.

OK, I've had my dinner and my shower and now it's time kick back and relax with my book. Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (authored the Book of Common Prayer) has just gone to the stake in Oxford and Mary I's reputation is beginning to take on a decidedly "bloody" cast. But I've developed a different opinion of her based on this book. Certainly she made a grave public relations mistake by underestimating the extent of the Protestant reformation in her country and northern Europe but she was far from the wavering and inept religious zealot portrayed in so many history books. I believe our Mary is from Kent and I've just learned that the greatest percentage of the nearly 300 burned for heresy under Mary I were from Kent... roughly 17% of those were women.

OK, time to pick up my book and relax for a bit before retiring and going to work tomorrow. Nighty-night.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 6:27PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

O.K. guys, here I am still alive and kicking!

The Fence Is In. The Shed Is Moved. The Garden was Dug Up and Plants Bagged/Boxed in Time. The Topsoil Arrived. The Topsoil Was Moved. The Garden Has Been Replanted. The Pool Is Up and at least ten kids have been in it already. Nasty Next Door Neighbour has been Barked at by Bold Bostons on Their Own Side of the Fence. I am Totally Exhausted.

This was the summer that we were'nt going to undertake any new projects....

Today I got my pre-IU haricut, bought some new Crocs and picked up a couple of little tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner for The Trip. A coupla new t-shirts and I am ready. Oh am I ready!

I think I have pictures somewhere of the Before and some During - but I am just too beat to look right now.l I think a warm shower and a good book sound great, Chelone, and I am heading that way right nowl Maybe tomorrow I will be able to read and respond to all the great posts and beautiful photos. I am ready for dreamland tonighnt.

Cheers all!


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:51PM
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Chelone, I can just picture you trying to extract the chippie from the bidet. To funny.

Niki's appointment isn't until next monday. I think she is barely six weeks old. She is awfully small. She is really coming unto her fiesty self. Jasmine still puts her in her place though. I hope someday they will become friends but I'm not counting on it.
I had been thinking of getting a couple of kittens, before Niki arrived ,so they would be companions. But after looking at vet bills for getting one kitten started I don't think I'll do two.

Rebel has three places he goes for coolness. Damp dirt under the back deck, the garage floor and the dust under the front porch. I think he goes under the front porch mostly to escape the bugs. The dust under ther is a fine white powder and when he comes out and shakes himself there is a cloud of dust to rival the cartoon character "Pig Pen."
He needs a bath but it would be pointless. He is due for shots at the vet too. But I am waiting to get my car out of the shop to haul him in. Don't want to put him in the new car and it's to hard to get him in the pickup.

It's good you have your book during all your wet gloomy weather. And with all you have going on, it's a nice escape.

I don't watch much tv so I avoid all the hype.

Anita, I still haven't figuered out how to get my picture trail uploader to work again. I mowed a few more trails today. Now I have all the ones on this side of the creek done. It was nicer doing them while they were still damp instead of dusty. I didn't get so dirty. But I still got cedar down my back and in my drawers. LOL. pretty uncomfortable. I need to do some limbing back this fall.
Looks like you are better at spacing your plants than me. I am a crammer. Sedges do pretty well here too.

Cindy, our humidity has dropped way down too. Thank goodness. I am happy to hear Chloe is feeling better. I hope she continues to improve and get off the meds. Sorry you didn't get to spend time in the garden instead of the trip. But now you can cross that off your list for awhile. The weeds are thriving here too.

Wouldn't it be fun to see a picture of Kenzies face when she sees Michelle and Rick?

I fell asleep in the hammock this afternoon and was worthless the rest of the day. So I didn't get my weedeating done and the ghetto plants are languishing for want of a home. I put in such a long day yesterday I think I was just tried.

Later Norma

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:05PM
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Julie you can be proud for handling all that and you deserve a Idyll vacation. I know you all will have a great time.

Looking forward to pictures when you get around to it.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:10PM
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Hola, my friends, another Monday has passed by- awfice wise anyway, and a 3 day weekend is on the books for this week. Bittersweet-our family for many years has spent the 4th in the redwoods at a funky little resort (term used loosely) about 4 hours north of meany of you who have ever visited the Redwoods of Humbolt County may know the funkiness I speak of and the financial situation forced us to cancel . We hold hope out for next year. We started going there when my DD was maybe in 3rd grade ? On the plus side at least I can stay home and address that damage our 4 day heat wave perpetrated on my garden.

So I downloaded a software called Garden Planner for a free two week trial. If I decide to buy it , only 20 bucks. Its very simple unsophisticated grid /plot-plan type stuff, none of the fancy 3-D action on some of the higher priced programs. I think it will work just fine for me and I am posting pic I took of my computer screen. This shows what plugged in for the RV parking space while learning to use the software. The square things on the lower right are raised bed veggie planters, 6x4. I think this would be nice to have on my computer as I an constantly revising areas and this helps to visualize and tweak a plan, and move things around virtually. From Garden 2009

Julie, glad you checked in ! what a bunch of stuff going on around your digs- Im willing to bet we will see some spectacular photos in the 2010 season- I hope you had some fun with the clean slate.

Norma, my felines also have their favorite spots for sleeping (a preferred activity for them ) and during the hot weather of the last few days they have avoided upstairs in the house completely .

Nice pics Anita. I find that sometimes just moving plants around satisfies the renovation urgemaybe you need to high-tail it to IU6 to view the new bathroom digs at the Compound ! We promise to show you a good timea really good time !

Time to try to work on some dinner and settle down for baseball..waves to all ! Do you suppose this will be a 2 week thread ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 9:46PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Last Thursday I composed a lovely little post, but it is nowhere to be found. I've been an absent Idyller for several days and have let myself fall into the trap of getting behind and then not posting because I am behind. So I have only the vaguest clue as to what is happening with everyone, but I shall jump back in anyway!

DS and his wife closed on their home Friday and moved in on Saturday. All has gone well, and our old washer and dryer moved over there last night. They seem to be very happy, the house looks great and life is good.

Things on the work front are not so happy. The cruddy June weather(torrential rains that segued into unbearable heat and humidity) have made sales evaporate and the outlook for the year is now rather grim. Late last week, the boss decided to cancel the holiday on July 3rd, so I have to burn a vacation day to avoid canceling plans with my family. My personal opinion is that it was a very shortsighted move that is causing lots of ill feeling (mostly due to the short notice) while only saving a small amount of money. I am not seeing a happy ending here

I do feel that life is settling down to a somewhat calmer level, though. Yesterday I read a book - cover to cover! It was a thriller, not high literature, but it felt so good to just sit and read! "Red Hot Lies" by Laura Caldwell, if you're curious. She did a book signing at our local bookstore and while I had another event to go to, DD went and bought a couple of her books. DD and I met up when we were both finished and had a nice evening stroll around the Square. I pointed out the name of a local law firm on one of the buildings - Caldwell, Berner & Caldwell, the author's father and grandfather. DD had never noticed the names.

The garden has had its ups and downs with our crazy weather. Things would not grow because of the cool weather, and then it got so hot so fast, plants scorched. DH thinks I am making it up when I tell him it's too hot/too cool for the plants! I gave up on the first crop of pepper plants that I planted; they never grew at all. I bought replacement plants at the farmers market on Saturday. Most of my tomatoes have started to put on size, but my lettuce went from almost big enough to pick to bolted.

Time to call it a night. Have a good one.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 9:58PM
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Julie, you are an amazing woman. I'll bet you're glad that whole project is behind you and your kind of tired is the good kind of tired. :) Good fences do make good neighbors. So does a wilderness DMZ. Have the dogs been in the pool yet?

Kathy, I remember the shots of your 4th. celebration last year! It looked like good fun then and I'm sure it's bittersweet to see a long running tradition grind to halt on account of finances. But better to be realisitic and look for fun in the coming weekend. I like the idea of the software you're trying out. It's a lot easier to move it around on paper than in real life, huh?

V., that's a drag about Friday and it's precisely the sort of "pennywise and pound foolish" decision that often plagues smaller businesses. One foot in front of the other and all that good stuff. We're still in the midst of gloom, gloom, gloom. No end in sight until at least Thursday and the helpmeet's garden is suffering mightily. I'd hoped the Early Girls might be productive for tomato, basil, and mozzarella for IUVI but I now have my doubts! Good to know the newlyweds are settled in their lovenest and embarking on a bright future. With a new-to-them washer and dryer, even!

I'll bet Jasmine will come around, Norma. Her nose is out of joint right now, but how threatening can something as tiny as Niki really be? Our Floey and Bobby Lee were a little put out for a week/two when the last 3 emerged from the carrying case but they got right over it. Interestingly, they had less trouble accepting Wrecks; but he's always had a credibility problem with felines. ;)

The plumber is calling for an inspection app't. this morning and will likely be here to finish up his end of the job on Wednesday or Thursday. I'll be glad to have that behind us. Right now I'm more concerned about finding the time to get the alterations work I have on tap finished. I think it's time for a judicious telephone call and setting some priorities to keep from being completely overwhelmed. (I was shocked by the mountain she brought).

I would love to see Kenzie's face, too. Today is going to be a very busy day for her and I'll wager she'll sleep well tonight. :)

Time for me to reload the coffee cup and sit quietly for a few minutes before heading off and putting in my time on the rock pile. I should start wearing black and white horizontal stripes, huh?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 5:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woke up to a soggy world with frog accompaniment. The cats demanded breakfast at 6am...

Last night I completed the small dark green sweater for Ivy, but still need to piece the elements together. Perhaps I can do so today, although somehow when DH stays home I accomplish nothing...

Yesterday DH spent time in our attic crawl space attempting to solve the central vac problem. He "thinks" it should be improved now, but didn't go so far as to test it. Sometimes I wonder about the professor. ?*#@!?$%&^*? But then he washed all the pots and pans that had been sitting around the kitchen for a few days (!) and that was so nice. That reminds me of a book, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. One of the languages is "Acts of Service" and I guess this one speaks to me! (Others are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch)

Last night our friend the money manager called for his quarterly report. He always gives me a (false?) sense of security. Wouldn't it be great to afford life after 75!

Tomorrow is payday for me and this has been the longest financial stretch for me in years. Could it be all those bags of mulch i bought that depleted my bank account? In any case, Wednesday will see me shopping for dog food, cat food, vet visits, groceries, etc... Old Mother Hubbard's larder is bare. That means I should clean the fridge today. (I hate the word 'should'!)

Thirty-eight years ago today DS was born. It was an amazing day which started very early! It has been a learning experience, let me tell you! My knowledge of children and their phases and stages was limited (not zero) but this child has been a real challenge. Today he is in Berlin, a place he loves with people he enjoys, working at a job he enjoys. I hope he eats something today...he's such an eccentric!

I'm glad to hear from V and her update. Neat story connected to the Caldwell name.

Julie, terrific what you've accomplished, dealing with your neighbour being the hardest aspect I'm sure!

Chelone, your brother sounds like a miracle worker, a gem. How terrific that he can help you on days when the outdoors is gloomy and make advances indoors. I had a situation in our Toronto bathroom involving a hamster escaping down a radiator pipe in the floor. I got a phone call from a tearful son while off at a dinner party... I did come home and 2 hours later succeeded in retrieving the rascal with food as my tool.

Kathy, I just love your planning tool for the new gahden space! I think squared off paper is amazing stuff and it makes the progress on projects so exciting and REAL.

Off to begin torrential Tuesday.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 7:34AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

a fly bye from me --

Anita, we must have been posting yesteday at the same time -- love that sedge - such a pretty color.

Sounds like superwoman Julie is more than deserving of a vacation very soon -- IU here you come... That's an amazing feat you did moving and coordinating all that garden work - glad your Bostons are now safe and secure to do what they will, LOL.... and you wont worry about them while you're gone.

Another whirlwind seems to have hit Chelone's house as well -- cant wait to see all these renos -- and you know, if they're not done, dont worry 'bout it...

Congrats 'bug on living thru the upbringing of that strange animal, the first child -- who is so new and totally alien to us, LOL -- it takes a while to realize they are indeed their very own person and all their own quirks and talents doesnt it? That book sounds very interesting - I'll have to look it up - despite no marriage Im always interested in the various takes on how to relate or speak to the Y gender...

V -- Im sorry about the awfice strategic mistakes -- it does sound shortsighted (esp at the last moment for staff) but firms are being very daring and bold in moves these days and sadly I find the staff are the last people they're really interested in protecting -- I've got some bizarre goings on here altho not due to economic woes - more management using the times to apply some bizarre systems and principles .... Orwellian in nature. Gotta suck it up says I....

It's hottish, dry and guess I'll be slinging a hose tonite -- summer has definitely arrived here.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 1:37PM
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Slip-slidin' into July. I miss Deanne's summer morning updates, but she's probably standing with two umbrellas in each hand over her potted plants. There's rumors that El Nino will be hitting us this winter.

Can't seem to do the brevity idyll these days, so excuse the length, written last night and shelved. I usually throw these longish ones away but this idyll is a bit on the lean side so...

Nice little program to get the garden planning juices going, Kathy. I saw a lot of driveways appropriated for garden space on the spring garden tour. One guy just covered it in gravel! Sorry your vacation plans have to be adjusted...not a clue what place you're referencing though, but I do remember your photos. Guerneville maybe?

V, I remember you writing recently that you spiffed up your resume, so you seem to have a sanguine view of the work situation. If it's not the economy, now it's the weather really fowling things up. I stopped at a nursery I rarely get to, not a chain, plopped two one-gallons on the counter, and the nice clerk said he'd give them to me for $15 each instead of $16. I sputtered $15...for a gallon? It was an arctotis whose color just isn't to be had locally. Embarrassed, yes, but I put one back. Not many shoppers, and the nursery stock looked shabby. And this a family-owned nursery that's been around decades. I bought my Chionanthus retusus from them, which they started from seed.

Very rare to have the convergence of my days off lining up with Marty's day shifts, Mitch out of town, Duncan in school most of the day. Not complaining, mind you...I worked on transcripts and tuned up the garden. The alstro has finished bloom and left a large gap. Not only do I routinely pull out the bloomed-out stalks but all the ratty leaves as well, but staring at the blank earth where the alstro used to grow brought on a panicked Google session to check if this is correct, since having no leaves between bloom cycles might weaken the plant, right? Didn't find an answer but lots of new garden blogs. Several more lifetimes needed to catch up on reading...

Deanne is right, the golden hops really has to go.

Shopping for travel-sized shampoo is one of the most blissful moments in life. Of course, one can siphon off shampoo from the bottles in the shower, but buying the travel size stuff just makes vacation seem that more tangible. Exciting for all of you heading Chelone's way.

Well, done, Julie! Last summer was the last time we swore we'd never undertake any new projects. I have to say though that the bath house, still unfinished, exceeded all of our expectations. I think even Marty is surprised. He's very methodical in approaching stuff like this, takes his time, but...wow. Base coat of paint applied, floor has to go in next. Maybe it'll be done in just a few more weeks...or a few months, depending on work schedules.

Ein's cool place is under our bed. Sounds like life is about to get very exciting, Norma. We've got a middle-aged brigade of felines here, all over at least five years of age. Joseph, aka Joe. B. Tiger, was sleeping on Marty's clean underwear last night, which was neatly laid out for the 4:30 a.m. wake-up. I'm told when Marty reached for it he was ruthlessly repelled and scratched. Maybe I've mentioned before that the cats and Marty just barely tolerate each other, so there's always these sorts of "misunderstandings."

Anita, your garden photos are lovely.

Cindy, you did a beautiful job with that IU photo. Very good news that Ms. Chloe is feeling her old self.

More clemmies and Ivy too! I'm glad 'bug mentioned Ivy's resemblance to her brother, because it took me aback too. She even has the same summery-brown glow to her face. My niece Ellie seems to be prone to allergies and congestion and has had lots of problems already, pneumonia, etc. Heck, allergies seem to be bugging so many people, lots of sinus infections. One of my nephews has had sinus problems since winter, missing lots of school, pounding headaches all the time, doctors not agreeing on what to do. (Couple days in this house would either cure 'em or kill 'em!)

Love the French Club reports! And of course all the news from those with acres of gardens to report on. Sets my head spinning, all the mowing and trimming and yards of weeding to do.

'bug's delphs brings up a bit of trivia. I had no idea that the photographerr Edward Steichen hybridized delphiniums, but he did, and you can still buy Steichen's mix.

Phlomis samia decloaked and has proven to be the real deal, not a russeliana in disguise

Full stop...(hi, Cindy)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Denise, I dare say that it would take napalm, dynamite, or an excavator to harm a plot of established Alstromerias.!

Sneaking back out

Kathy at the Awfice

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well here's a test for you Denise!

In the photos above Ivy is 1 week younger than Reed.

And this is our son 37+ years ago!

Speaking of delphs, I bought a reddish one on Sunday! And this is the first year that Phlomisw russeliana is going to bloom here...after waiting about 4 years.
The real miracle though is that I did clean the fridge!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:53PM
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It is 58 degrees right now. The high for the day was a blistering 61 degrees. Heavy overcast and fog. I am wearing jeans, a turtleneck, a fleece vest, wool socks, and my slippers. The helpmeet has caved and decided that it's time to light a fire in the woodstove. More of same for tomorrow and rain for Thursday into Friday. Pack your fleece.

I am amazed at the similarity of the babies, 'bug. Family genes and the phenotypes are interesting, aren't they? Also like Cindy's thoughts on learning about your kids... individuality is fascinating, too. Such insights warm me on a grim, chilly day. :)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 6:32PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon....

Greetings from Seattle...oops, I mean Boston. [g] The weather, instead of being aggravating, has become a daily joke. The silver lining is that no watering and no air conditioning at least. ..... This has been the longest thread! Nice to see a little more activity today.

Kathy, that software looks pretty useful for $20. So does this mean that you have decided to take out the cement? I was looking at that photo of your side yard and envisioning what a great place for a very functional work area with seating area surrounded by tons of containers a la Deanne and veggie containers a la Woody, and no weeding. :-) You could even artistically paint stepping stones across it in the same configuration.

Marie, your Waldorf salad sounded wonderful.

I was reminded of Chelone's hilarious chipmunk adventure when a chipmunk showed up at the base of the bird feeder helping himself to fallen seed on Sunday. I rarely see one. Then this morning looking out the kitchen window, I did a double take. Inside a globe shaped squirrel proof bird feeder, that has a metal cage around the inner tube of seed, I see the chipmunk! He is so cute and looking very well fed. He made several trips back and forth to the feeder this afternoon, stuffing his face. I would hate to think what problems in the garden he could accomplish if he is feeding a family. I have no idea what to do about him, with no cats or dogs at our house.

Then I had a second encounter with animals. DD stayed over last night and I drove her to the train this morning and on the way home, a cat followed by 5 tiny kittens crossed the street in front of the car. I slowed down and watched them and they went into a driveway. The mother cat was out in the open and looking back at me watching me. She stood across the driveway from the kittens who had all run under a car in the driveway and were watching me and the mom. It was so strange. I can't imagine if someone owns the cat/kittens that they would just let them roam free. Also found myself wondering about the kittens behavior. I would have thought they would have stuck like glue to the Mom. There is an empty lot next to the house where they were running around and I wonder if they were ferral cats or belonged to the owner of the driveway they were in.

Woody...your rose swag is looking great for it's first year!

Anita...I love your Bowle's Golden grass. It is one of my favorites and I keep looking for one and haven't found one yet.

Cindy, what great news, that Chloe is recovering! It's been a long haul for the both of you. Did you ever find out what caused the problem she had in the first place?

Julie, you are amazing! lol

Norma, any photos of Jasmine, Rebel and the newest addition?

V....we are still in this cool, overcast weather and I am bracing myself for when it finally quits, the heat will probably be brutal. Sorry to hear your garden is suffering.

Hi Denise! :-) I enjoy your longer posts, I hope you will stop throwing them away...lol. Very pretty Phlomis. I'm waiting for final photos of your new outdoor tub area.

Like Denise, I am missing Deanne's posts, and more photos from Eden too.

Marie, not sure I am following you, is that a photo of Ivy on the top with a photo of Reed second? I could easily say it was the same child. DS was a sweetie! Such a happy boy!

Another long one from me.....


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 6:49PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cement skies over Luangwa Valley, Zambia, set off a string of ruby-plumed carmine bee-eaters perched on a branch. Over the years, the National Geographic Society has supported many ornithological studies, from George Shirass Migratory Bird Treaty, a critical piece of conservation legislation, to Ernest Holts expedition to South America to research and photograph more than 3,000 birds representing 486 species. Photograph by Frans Lanting

We only need a couple more posts to finish off this thread. [g]

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 6:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes PM, you are the winner! The top photo is Ms Ivy, the second Master Reed. Of course all the pink clothing piled on the couch behind her was a subtle hint. I am told that has been organized and put away since.

The green sweater has been completed! It is on the ironing board with a damp cloth on top to set things in place. So I started another item already!

DH and I tested a rather new fish take-out shop tonight. Excellent fish, but I'd sure like some vegetables or salad along with it. All they have are fries, battered mushrooms or onion rings!

Gotcha beat Chelone! It's 62F here. ;) I've worn a jacket indoors all day, but Phoebe is fine in her fuzzy outfit! She needs a haircut though the instant the sun returns. I see mushrooms in the lawn...but no carmine bee-eaters here.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 8:19PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marie, that was the only way I could tell, which was which, was the clothes on the couch. [g] That is scary how much they look alike!

I forgot to ask about Saucy, the bee eaters reminded me, that we haven't heard much about the bees lately. :-)

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 8:23PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

62 here as well, with a low of 55 predicted. June 30th, eh? The poor plants don't know which way is up. My giant elephant ear, which got potted rather late, is just poking out of the pot today. At least DD and DH can stop telling me it is dead.

gb, the only way I could tell them apart was by the pink clothes in the background. What a resemblance!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 9:42PM
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Im closely monitoring my wardrobe selections for IU6 . A few weeks to go and things can be so changeable- I guess the milder temps are better than the scorchers we had last year. Most important though is getting together and enjoying the bond we share , the friendship and espirit de corp and the best WALATs one could imagine !

Our heat wave has abated, and today my Maryrotts Daylily order arrived- what wonderful grower they are-I like that they are within a 2 hour drive so I feel good about the cultural info, but get this, I ordered 3 plants, and I got 3 freebies, all double fans , with beautiful plump roots, and more $$ than the cultivars I ordered. Now I have to decide where they will go.

PM, I have a potting bench in my back garden , and only need a utility space for the trash cans , firewood etc, and of which will fit easily in the very top area of the plan. Doing it or not depends entirely on the $$ involved- if it costs a grand Ill do it in a heartbeat , but I fear it may be more in the 5k range , and beyond the top boundary is another phase of the project. Ill get a quote after IU and decide then.

Gotta cut this short , have some chores to knock out before I hit the pillows tonight

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 11:29PM
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Drive-by coming up...be on the alert! Cold here, too, but oddly, I don't mind. The flowers are happy about it, I'm sure.

Bug...Ivy and Reed's resemblance is an amazing thing. I can't imagine the heart tossing going on in S&W's world.

Pm...love the bird photo. You always manage to find the coolest ones. Welcome to the chippy world. I have plenty to share if you find you don't have enough.

Kathy, you will have fun with that program...I'm liking what you drew up already.

chelone...Brrr. Your post sounds like the beginning of winter is ascending upon your abode.

V...Of course the canna isn't dead, how can DD and DH ever doubt you when it concerns plants???

Hi denise!

'Nite all,

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 12:51AM
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