Idyll # 384...June...'I am the fairest daughter of the year.'

prairiemoon2 z6 MAJune 11, 2008

"Mine is the Month of Roses; yes, and mine

The Month of Marriages! All pleasant sights

And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine,

The foliage of the valleys and the heights.

Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights;

The mower's scythe makes music to my ear;

I am the mother of all dear delights;

I am the fairest daughter of the year."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After reading this poem I started thinking... best to enjoy every minute of June.



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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

This is much better - more positive. ;)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh no, I've killed the Idylls!
Where is everyone?


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Jerri...don't be silly, what did 'you' do? I did refresh a couple of times but I didn't see your post, sorry. Actually, isn't it an interesting dilemma, which thread to post to...hmmmm...are you enjoying June or miserable with it already. [g] I am neither, just hoping that with the forecast of cooler temps for the next 7 days, that June might be back to it's seasonal best. I also wondered, if the author of the poem, was enjoying June in pre-global warming in a way that we are not.

I was surprised that there were not more June poems.

Sorry least we both remembered the Idyll #.

:-) pm2

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

The creation of the sand art was interesting to watch. It is made using thin metal cones. There are ridges on the side of it.The process would be hard for me to describe but this photo will help:


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Jerri, the Idylls aren't dead, they're all over at your pet thread !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Returning to the mini hosta topic. This first photo is from a nursery tour I took in 2004. I enjoyed the minis in this tufa.

And this year I planted this baby near my iron gate.

Jerri, oh to have such steady hands. I hope the man does not exhale on his art!

Today my '97 Minivan died and my friend and I had to walk back home to deal with towing etc. I certainly hope it can be resuscitated. I need my moments of liberty!

My photo for today:

Good Night All!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:19PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Time to resurrect the thread!

Denise, I think your abutilon photo would make one wicked jigsaw puzzle!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:22PM
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Last night was a nice evening. Im still throwing wintersown plants in the garden. Variegated KMOGG, cardoon, caster bean and bronze fennel all found homes. Better late than never.

By the time I left for work this a.m. a thunderstorm had dropped .8" of rain on us and I drove in moderate to heavy rain all the way. Things are disastrous in quite a bit of the state and more rain will only add to that.

Marian, IÂm glad you like the gas plant and dianthus. It certainly is eye catching. Your deer are pretty bold, IÂm seeing tracks everywhere lately.

RE the wind turbine, we wouldnÂt get electricity, but they do make it fairly attractive financially. They really have to because they like to line them up for miles and need everyone to go for it.

Denise, is that a pelargonium in the corner of your paisley picture. Whatever, they look good together.

Cindy, thanks for the picture of the mini hosta bed. The hosta in the pot is very cool. Some people are so clever.

WhereÂs MontyÂs hat? Fun pictures!

Deanne, rant away, we all understand.

PM, IÂll have to show Kenzie your picture of the leatherback sea turtle. She must have read about them or seen them on TV and now all turtles are leatherback sea turtles to her.

As for hostas, I didnÂt get started with them until recently as most of my early gardening was in the sun. Mine have really put on some size this year. As for the minis I have 2 that are unnamed and Blue Mouse Ears.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 11:04PM
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I'm loving June so far. It's been fairly busy in the garden with just weed pulling to keep me going. It will get better once the mulch is down...I like to wait until mid June or so for the soil to really warm up.

The floods in surrounding states and downstate Il. have been going at alarming rates. Glad that all the Idylls are safe. I keep giving private thanks that my pocket of the world is flood free...but the rains keep coming. Had a respite for a day or two, though. Hope it stays at bay through Sunday...until after my DD's graduation party.

Lots of nepeta blooming.

shady garden

close up of solomon seal's flowers

early hosta blooms

One of my favorite plants... geranium macrorrhizum 'Bokovo"

white geranium nearby

a two year old aruncus starting to bloom

another shady bed

When I see more weeds, I'll post to other June Idyll thread. LOL.

I'm loving the pet thread, but I can't share mine. I must be the only one here without a pet, but my daughter is hounding me (excuse the pun) for a dog for graduation. Not sure I'll budge. I did have a stray cat hanging around for three days...

Nite all,

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 1:00AM
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I'm on a weird morning schedule owing to the fact that we've been shutting off the boiler (which heats the hot water) as a cost saving measure. Normally the tank keeps more than enough hot water for hands/face/bidet/dishes, etc., but a visit to the "rain locker" is too risky... at least for me! So I'm having coffee while the boiler cycles once/twice/thrice, just to be sure. ;)

I think June is my favorite month, too. I love having the windows open at night and hearing all "buzz" and conversation of the night shift workers. I love knowing that they're all busy out there in the warm, velvety darkness. :)

I'm feeling better now that there is stain on two side of the house, in spite of a trampled Dicentra, some speckled leaves, and a Clematis that has put on its best show for essentially no one's enjoyment. I arrived home in time to see the young guy tip over a partial gallon of stain on the lawn NEXT to the drop cloth. He looked nervous, but settled down when I said, "smooth move, Ex Lax!" and winked at him. The head painter (nice guy) dropped some stain on the Holly (naturally missing the drop cloth that was over it) and when he confessed I told him it would cost him a testicle. He cracked up. We noted last night that the trimwork now looks pretty dingy. If we get decent weather next week they should have it pretty well finished, too.

Sand art is amazing! I'm constantly amazed at the creativity of the human race; seems as though there is some sort of driving need to create things of visual interest that manifest itself in all of us.

Anita, your garden shots are lovely. You are going to love the Aruncus when it hits full stride in another couple of years. One of my favorites, too, right along with Solomon's Seal. I think when you garden in shady locations you automatically develop an appreciation for foliage and the contrast of leave shapes. Also, that the flowers are frequently more delicate and subdued in color.

MIchelle, they're using wind turbines in Maine, too, though mostly in the more northerly areas. Local opposition has been mixed; mostly raised on aesthetic grounds as this state relies on tourist traffic for much of its revenue. But there is growing realization that we have to do SOMETHING and state opposition to nuclear power was made quite clear some years ago; Maine Yankee was shut down and they are now redeveloping the site. Conservation/using less doesn't seem to be an option. It's a tough question, no two ways about it. (love the quarter for size comparison on the Hosta).

Time for the rain locker...

And now I'm off to the world of canvas.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 5:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

"And let them pass, as they will too soon,
With the bean-flowers' boon,
And the blackbird's tune,
And May, and June!"
- Robert Browning

Maiden's Heirloom Rose. Not sure where I got the photo.

"The hum of bees is the voice of the garden."
- Elizabeth Lawrence

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 7:35AM
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Chelone, don't you and I have the same tankless water system? We'll have to talk on the way to IU5....I think it costs more to heat water from a cool temp than it does to keep water at a warmer temp....will consult the books! Best to turn the temps down, I would think....


It is the best garden day of the week, and despite the office pile up, I am thinking I will spend my hours outdoors. Heck, I can work on Saturday in the office....that's what having your own company is about, right? Making your own hours and making life fun. I have to admit it feels wrong :)

I got my Bluestone order yesterday - 6 grasses, peroskovia, platycodon, and salvias....I had blue on the brain. I guess I'm gonna make a holding bed for these guys while I plan my lattice work (thanks Sue) and gardens (Kathy and others) around the deck! Many more plants will be needed :)

I love the sand art! Did he "rub" the instrument, or tap it? We need video next time, LOL!

I love the Longfellow poem, too. I was always terribly jealous of my sister's June birthday when we were growing up - it meant she could play in the sun and have pool contrast to my T-day birthday, it seemed like a cruel fate :)

I have some mini hostas, too, but don't know the names. I have picked them up at plant sales and I am terrible with tags. I took the same picture of the 'tufa pot with the hosta!

Nick is picking me up for breakfast after I make my bus deposit :) so I guess I'd better go freshen up before I head out.

TTYL - hope you all have great garden weather, too :)


    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 7:36AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

I know I've missed many birthdays lately and I apologize. I'll try to keep up with them now. Here is Zephirine Drouhin Rose with Clematis 'Anna Louise' for Martie:

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:36AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is 51F here this morning! Supposed to reach 78 later on. I'll only have the afternoon free to work outdoors though...

The July calender is filling up seriously....

Time to make some breakfast and get DH in gear to help me get stuff that I am car-less. I spent too long studying PM's link to pets.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:47AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

WE are finally having a lovely cool morning and I thoroughly enjoyed my outdoors time watering the containers at 6:00AM. Ive got a ton of chores in the garden and would love to be out there but Ive got some of that pesky work to deal with so Im hoping to get that done before the day is done and get some garden time in. I finally found some Salvia coccinia at a nursery in Chelmsford yesterday and Id like to get that planted soon.

Yesterday I went outside on the patio about 8:00PM and a good sized skunk ran like heck away passing me about six feet away. Yikes! It was in the corner of the house and addition so Im glad it ran instead of feeling trapped and spraying.

Michelle, love those mini hostas! I must use them somewhere.

Jerri, love the sand painting photo. How very neat!

Anita, beautiful garden photos. Everything looks great.

Saucy, what kind of grasses did you get?

Denise, I whimpered when I saw that pic of the Abutilon Paisely. What a beauty! I must find that plant and add to my Abutilon collection.

OK waving hello to all, have a great day. Ive got to get to work here.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This morning I was able to catch a photo of the Prestonian Lilac.

And closer...

And the Persicaria polymorpha is still going strong. Here with Sanguisorba menziesii in the foreground.

Oudoors I go now! Later!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I love spring on the Idylls, such wonderful photos! :)

DH is home with a cold. He just called me, panicing. Four of the puppies have figured out how to get out of the kiddy pool. This is not good. LOL


    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 2:05PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

OMG how time flies!!! The puppies are a month old tomorrow.
They drank puppy formula from a bowl tonight! I have photos I should get uploaded tomorrow. Ebony gave a sigh of relief. Those little ones have such sharp teeth coming in.

I love puppies :)


    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:53PM
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Ok, the pet thread has sucked us dry .. But how great it is ! Kudos to Chelone for the concept and kudos to Jerri for the implementation. Idyll teamwork.

Still hot here. Evenings are watering the wilted green-kids , and I think I may have to resort to the Cindy method of dragging out the hose in business garb if this keeps up.Its over 80 in the house despite my best efforts and the A/C kicked on. Ill do better tomorrow.

I expect I will loose or be set back on some of the annual bedding color I have planted in the last couple of weeks. It is not really a normal pattern for it to be really hot for over a week running, and looking at the weather report it looks like it will continue a few more days.

Michelle, I think your mini Hostas are grand ! It would take snail about 5 minutes to devour the whole plant here.

And Anita checks in with mucho pics of her garden..very nice Anita. I have that white Geranium too-wish I had it in a better location, I think I would get a bit heavier bloom out of it. Do you find the bloom to be spotty?

Yikes Deanne ! A close encounter of the skunk kind ! Someday I need to regale you all with my Skunks of Napa story. Maybe over Margaritas at IU5 ???

Nite all. Im going outside..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 11:05PM
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I managed only a portion of the first quarter of the Celtics/Lakers game last night, drifting off to sleep with a heavy heart as the Celts. were down 20-6. And this morning I learn they CAME FROM BEHIND and beat the Lakers! Maybe they'll be able to drive a stake through the Lakers' heart in the "GaHden" on Sunday. Or maybe not... the Lakers are a very tough team with a very "deep", talented squad; deadly in any venue.

It's real Maine weather today; crisp, cool and I'm wearing dungarees this morning. I'll carry my shorts with me in case they're needed later on. Last night they were talking about a frost warning for the northern counties! I'm glad it's Friday.

Last year's too close encounter with the "black and white kitty" made quite an impression on both the helpmeet and me. Not, I fear, nearly enough of one on the Huge One (who smelled for the better part of one month afterwards, lol). How can it be possible for such endearing little creatures to produce that much stink? The helpmeet watched Foxy Loxy move swiftly between the Privet and the Arborvitaes before crossing the road about 7:30 last night. He wasn't too interested in hanging around the Compound; "just passin' through, thanks". Spencer watched from under my car, and Polly from the driveway right in front of the house. Vera was already nestled into the Puffy Box Bed waiting for the Celtics tip-off. Rex was on full alert (on the sofa, Kathy) sporting the full Mohawk and emitting frustrated rumbles. (think of the Cowardly Lion).

I believe the body of the house will be completed today. The painter has made noises about starting the trim on Sauturday, we'll see. Next week is looking a bit unsettled so painting days may be at a premium.

I'm off to work, flyin' solo until late morning (suits me just fine). Be prductive today, kids.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 5:22AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylland,

Well here it is, another Friday, how can that be???? Personally Im not unhappy to see this week come to a close. Do you ever have a week where everything you try to do takes ten times longer than it should? This was one of them then add the heat beginning of the week to that (But today is a crisp 54 degrees this AM, Jeesh!) and I keep finding additional annuals that looked OK on Tuesday evening but decided to give it up and check out. So far Ive lost four mini fuchsias, a couple coleus (ones Id bought not my own) a lisianthus, dahlia and a couple of New Guinea Impatiens. The plants that were potted up within a week of the heat wave are the ones that couldnt take it. I guess just not enough root mass to support the top growth. Should this happen again Im going to try pruning the plants to reduce the amount of transpiration and see if that helps.

Kathy, Margaritas at IU5 discussing Skunks of Napa sounds divine. ~~ So sorry you are still dealing with the heat and trying to keep things watered. I feel your pain.

Morning Chelone, great to see your AM posts again. Ill never forget Rahjiis close encounter with el skunko. He smelled for a couple weeks. Impossible to bathe a cat that doesnt want to be.

Bug, I cant believe your Persicaria is fully opened and mine is just starting to open.

OK Im off to my watering duties. Have a great day all

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 6:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

48 Degrees on the back porch this Is that crazy or what?!

Keeping the garden watered is looking like it's going to be a real pain again this year. Started the sprinklers at 4:30am. Time for another sprinkler move.

Sorry, like Kathy expressed so well.... I'm feeling 'sucked dry' this week in general. :-) Really enjoying everyone's photos. Anita, hope you will post more....great garden! It's so great to see what everyone's garden looks like. Thanks for the Prestonian Lilac photos, G'bug. Nice size and shape for a lilac and late bloom, nice combo.

Some turn around last night for the Celtics, Chelone! DD/DS pretty excited!

Hang in there Deanne...losses or no, your garden still looks amazing! :-)

Thought I would give us all a little perspective this morning... [g] This is the Indian Ocean from outer space.

Friday wishes to everyone...


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:27AM
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Crisp and cool here today too and I have the day off - whoo hoo!

There's a possibility of rain later so I'd better get outside.

Have a great day

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:00AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I do think this may be the "sucked dry" idyll - or at least week - that pretty much describes it and why perhaps most of us are not posting much.... It's been such a horror show w/the heat all week that commuting to the Nation's Capital (how ironic that we have such horrible problems there? yea, political - dont go there, LOL)....but this a.m. there are now major power outages thruout the city; a fire at one of the major connecting stops so trains are being single tracked, and it's just a frigging mess.... I do count myself lucky that I did make it in on one train without being dumped off this morning -- and in fact my building has power - which means no walking up 12 flites of stairs and I have coffee... but one block over and that's not the case for any of those buildings...

I imagine all of us dealing w/ the heat, the weather and other miseries makes it hard to find time to kick back -- at least that's my excuse -- I did manage to force myself into the yard last nite for 40 mins to do some chopping, dead heading - but the place is such a wreck it's discouraging to look at -- I am hoping for the weekend to have a day (maybe Sunday) to cut the grass and pay some other seriously needed attention to it.

O goodie - Michelle gets to play today and have nice weather for a while -- glad you're not being flooded!

I did mean to say to Anita how nice to see the full shots of part of her garden - they are so lovely and refreshing and cool -- and your grass -- wow, lush and green.

It's obviously lush and green at 'bug's house too -- gorgeous combos as always -- I ordered some sanguisorba this year but I dont think it made it thru the deluges of rain we had in May...

I think I may be getting to the stage of ripping some things out -- tired of the nepeta flopping all over - it looked great the first 2 years but it's just floppy floppy any more; the monarda may go too - I love the blooms, but it's out of hand.... in fact, Im starting to feel like the Virginia jungle.

Deanne - glad you missed a close encounter -- yuck - it only takes one incident to last a lifetime w/ a skunk! That's interesting what you said about the newly potted items not able to take the heat -- it makes a lot of sense -- I know if you with all your daily diligence of watering and personal care, if you lose things, it means it's unavoidable.

Well, at least it's Friday and there's hope for cool temps next week - yeah!!!!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:24AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Better late than never.


Saw the orthopedic specialist today. I now have to go for an MRI. He says I may have a bone irritation-somewhat of a precursor to a stress fracture. He wanted to fit me for a boot but I resisted-criminies, a boot and crutches...who's going to do all my cleaning and garden work? Plus I've got a garden tour to go to tomorrow and a minor league baseball game tomorrow on Anyway I agreed to try and use the crutches, try and ice four times a day and minimize use. If the MRI shows need, I'll reluctantly go the boot route.'t heard that term in a while.

Just got into work. Talk about a week flying by. They all do that lately.

Gotta scoot.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:34AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Margaritas? Yum! ;)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

For all us 'sucked dry' Idylls... [g]

"Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our Mother Nature laughs around,
When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

There are notes of joy from the hangbird and wren,
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky;
The ground squirrel gayly chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows at play on the bright green vale,
And here they stretch to the frolic chase,
And there they roll on the easy gale.

There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower;
There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree;
There's a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray,
On the leaping waters and gay young isles,
Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away."
- John Greenleaf Whittier, The Gladness of Nature


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:21AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Nice poem, Pm2. Thanks :-)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:32AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Cindy, it could be worse. I just ordered one of these!
Talk about needing serious weeding... LOL

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cindy, time to cut back sedums and nepeta, NOW! They'll be back very soon! The sanguisorba will not will multiply!!! I understand "horror show in the garden".... I managed a couple hours in the front cutting back purple sensation, muscari etc and removing twitch grass and clover. Barely noticeable though, even though I filled two large buckets with weeds.

I have dinner guests next Tuesday. I wanted to spruce things up as many are garden people. We are expecting rain through Sunday, so I don't know if it will be at all possible, no less mowing...It would take 3 weeks of working all day to get this place in shape but then I'd need to start again. Parts of it are getting there. I'm cutting back tulips and allium, even if it is too soon. Too ugly and messy.

It is supposed to reach the high 80s here today and thunderstorm. So far it is about 80 and hard to work out there.

Busy busy....but caught up on my reading here! Fun to see our furry pets!(Last night Phoebe went to play with Nora again. What energy!)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:59AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Did somebody say Margaritas? Here's a poem for you, by the great poet Jimmy Buffett!

Nibblin' on sponge cake,
watchin' the sun bake;
All of those tourists covered with oil.
Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing.
Smell those shrimp
They're beginnin' to boil.

Wasted away again in Margaritaville,
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
But I know it's nobody's fault.

Don't know the reason,
Stayed here all season
With nothing to show but this brand new tattoo.
But it's a real beauty,
A Mexican cutie, how it got here
I haven't a clue.

Wasted away again in Margaritaville,
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
Now I think, - hell it could be my fault.

I blew out my flip flop,
Stepped on a pop top,
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home.
But there's booze in the blender,
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.

Wasted away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
But I know, it's my own damn fault.
Yes, and some people claim that there's a woman to blame
And I know it's my own damn fault.

Have been skimming lately, so I don't feel fit to comment. Waving hi to all!!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 12:14PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I like Jerri's idea -- the new metro weeding tool (flamethrower for weeds) and a margarita in hand.... aaah.... just imagine the fun! You guys are an inspiration.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 1:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My friend uses the flame weeder at her farm. She says it works fine. She's all of 5' tall, so if she can deal with it, perhaps I could too. I sure hate the weed whacker. I can never start it, mix the fuel properly, re-thread the stringer...and so forth. UGH.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 1:52PM
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It's 67 degrees here, hard to believe its June 13.

I'm still moving and dividing as long as this cool, wet weather continues. One of my beds needs to be made a little smaller as the mower doesn't fit along the one edge. Since DH quit his job he has been doing the mowing and he doesn't like it at all. I've already moved several of the plants along the edge and then I will put brick down. This is one side of the garden that I edged the front with brick last fall. Its a bummer that I am nearly out of brick.

Another area of this garden which was added last fall got another layer of cardboard and mulch as there's no way I could dig out all the quack grass that was there.

Keeping my fingers crossed, but I've not had to deal with snails or slugs.

We are trying to get our mowing done today since we are having guests on Sunday, but DH thinks the mower isn't sounding good :o(

I'm also dealing with family issues which isn't anything like some of you deal with but frustrating all the same. I have one sister who is being selfish and really hurting my parents.

We have a flame weeder, but I prefer my gas trimmer.

Deanne, I'm glad you aren't sporting a new perfume ;o)

Chelone, I'll bet the workers love working at your place.

Anita, I love the shots of your garden.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Wendy, I love that poem!
I think the weed flamer will be somewhat theraputic. LOL


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 2:44PM
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I'm not nuts about Margaritas (prefer Gin and Tonic), but my thought process ran along the same lines as Cindy's. A Jimmy Buffet lyric, a flame weeder... rather gives new meaning to "spahkin' the green". ;)

Now Sue... I know you don't want to deal with crutches or the boot, but it's time for a reality check, girlfriend. You have a bum leg and you've had it for some time now. It's presently having a major impact on your "lifestyle". The sooner you accept reality and do what must be done the sooner you'll be back to your footloose and fancy-free ways. Jeez, you're worse than Rex! And yes, (with the possible exception of Marian ;) ) I'm probably the last person on the face of the earth that still calls 'em dungarees. We still have a rotary 'phone too. Seriously, though, get serious about your injury before it gets worse. Please?

I was thinking about Deanne's observation that the relatively small root systems was unable to pump enough juice to the lush new growth of her annuals. It's the same thing with new transplants (hence early spring or fall as most favorable times to move them). However discouraged you may be by the present turn of events, your good care and culture will yield results all summer long. Today was absolutely beautiful, wasn't it?

Michelle, I laughed at your mention of DH doing the mowing and not liking the difficulty of a narrow area. For YEARS I asked that a particular Lilac and Blueberry be moved only to be told to "suck it up", they looked fine where they were. Well... I do the mowing here and mowing around them was a complete PIA. Now that we've routed the driveway and they've been relocated my mowing is a breeze. Buy more bricks!

Family stuff: thinking of Cindy this week! It's been terribly hot and uncomfortable in your area and such discomfort and inconvenience can make a poignant time tougher than it needs to be. I hope your lovely garden helps you "decompress". It's probably best that you don't have a flame weeder! but perhaps a Margarita would be nice.
Have wondered about Eden, too.
And Martie who is facing some issues in her world, too.
Anyway, I hope it all settles out and things are on a reasonable keel for all those among the "missing". I know how that stuff can be and how quickly it can demand 100% of your time. Hang tough!

Monarda: I haven't missed mine at all! it grew rampantly, the flowers were great, but it was perpetually covered in powdery mildew by mid-summer. YANK IT.

I need to rustle up a snack, or maybe just reheat the leftover burrito and call it dinner. I'm tired and don't want to eat at 7-7:30.

I know I've missed much I wanted to comment on... sometimes that's how it goes.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 4:59PM
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There's a message on the machine from my ISP that they are having tower troubles with the site we get our service off of and it may be all weekend. I'm suprised they called. So if you don't hear from me again, I'm disconnected from the world! Seems ok so far though.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 5:19PM
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Hi all, we had a big storm blow through Sunday and have been without power ever since. It was finally restored a couple of hours ago. So I'm very behind and out of touch but I'm back. Off to catch up on what you've all been up to while I've been sitting in the dark...


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:19PM
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Hi Eden! Sorry to hear about the power loss....and Michelle may plan to be without internet....bummer!

Today was b-o-r-i-n-g! I played catch up in the office and home finances after all the hot weather chased me away (don't get me started on why an HVAC office doesn't have air conditioning....)! Yesterday I played in the hives and in the garden...woohoo!

So, without further adieu, here is my freshly painted hive, complete with bees!

It turned out to be an adventure! They were very agitated (unusual) and we found no eggs (not good - it means the queen is not laying, perhaps dead) but we found larvae at a 6 day old stage. I can not imagine doing this without a wonderful mentor! I did all the heavy lifting and she just talked away with all of her knowlege....then we did it again 3 more times as we opened each of her hives. I tried to soak up as much knowlege as possible :)

My hive was puzzling to her, so we're going back in 2 weeks from now to see if by creating more room (added another box and more "clean" frames) we made my hive more hospitable to laying, or we're missing a queen. If we're missing a queen then we will add eggs from another hive so that the workers may take an egg, feed it royal jelly, and create their own new queen (I just find this stuff so fascinating....forgive me if I've caused your eyes to glaze over).

So to make up for all the bee talk, I'll show some flowers, too :)

I call this my Denise pot, came together like this without any help of the conversations between you and other Idyllers, but I began to see a theme with the stipa grass, abutilon, and the South African native that starts with an "a" (my brain is tired, too!):

The sweet potato vine just needed a home :)

And this little gem came to me by way of Deanne from Michelle, LOL! I love that I think of you each time I see it! I hope to meet you in person one day.

Anita, I love your garden! Thanks for sharing with us.

Cindy, your commute sounds awful in the heat! I'm with GB, chop the nepeta anytime/all the time! Sometimes I start cutting before it even blooms! I have an upright variety that is standing pretty erect so far....we'll see.

Deanne, your tropicals will take over soon and you'll have a jungle. For grasses I purchased: Miscanthus "little nicky" (what my MIL calls my husband, LOL), Pennisetum Alop. Hameln, and Calamagrostis Karl Forester. I have to plan well, because I hate to move grasses :) I think the cat will like her new Serengeti :)

Well folks, I've gotta get to bed. I've got fascinating bee books calling my name. One is called Honey Plants (or something to that affect) and is an a-z encyclopedia of every plant in North America that bees use for pollen or nectar or other things! It's intoxicating to someone who likes to garden....I've looked up all my garden plants and I'm moving on to the common weeds....which it turns out are the real source of honey. Seems bees have a one track mind and really hit an area hard before turning to the next crop. Our gardens are just incidentals.

Really going now....


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:00PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I am just drained too. I'm so glad it's the weekend.

Saucy, I have to ask about the bees - how interesting!
How do you make sure they hives do not get overtaken (attacked?) by Africanized bees? Is that just a southern thing? I saw something recently about bees getting some sort of disease and dying off. Is that a problem with hives?

I have to take back the kitchen this weekend! We had to abandon the kiddy pool and put up the ex-pen since the puppies grew up overnight. I think DH should just about qualify for sainthood for putting up with me and the kids. ;)

Goodnight all


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 9:25PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Sucked dry - yes, that seems to be apt lately. Is it possible to be sucked dry by too many storms? Although Eden's extended outage makes my trials seem trivial.

We had another storm hit last night. We are about halfway between two small towns and never hear a tornado siren from either town. The storm came rolling in about 1:00 am, and when it hit I thought the windows were about to blow in. But we didn't lose power and had no damage, although there was a lot of trees down all through the area.

I did try to idyll about 3:00 am when I couldn't sleep(dog panting nonstop next to me on the bed!), but our ISP's tower must have been down. Once the weather report on the radio said that the storms would last the rest of the night, I gave Sunrise half a tranquilizer and finally got back to sleep.

Cindy, I have this vision of you with a margarita in one hand and a flame weeder in the other, clearing out the "undesirables" from the metro. Take that, you twenty-something iPodder leaking Panic at the Disco from your ears! Be gone, pompous government bureaucrat!!

Sue, do take care of yourself. It may be a temporary inconvenience right now, but don't let it become a permanent problem.

The sleep-deprived brain is ready to crawl to the bed. Later, taters!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:31PM
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Greetings on a fine Friday evening here on the left coast. Our heat wave seems to have broken-what a relief . I was warm today but the breezes came up in the afternoon and it is very pleasant as I write this.

Chelone, I hope we will be treated to a panoramic view of Casa de Compound once the paint is dry. Im sure a gin and tonic can be arranged as your just reward.

Deanne, you lost way more than I did in your heat event . I have a few things that look really awful but I think will revive. Everything I lost was newly planted annual bedding. I have some crisped up foliage on Fuchsias but no corpses thank goodness.

Cindy, I encourage you to do a prune fest this always reaps benefits and things look so much better when they are neatened up-and even better yet about a week later! I have been looking at my front garden this week and plan to spend two or three hours out there tomorrow on clean-up. My Nepetas look perfect right now so Im going to try a 1/3 cut back (1/3 of the branches) and see if that helps with the flopping that I expect any day. It worked great on my G. Johnsons Blue. I cut back about a third a couple weeks ago and now the melting center has been replaced with fresh new growth.

Saucy, loved your bee chronicles ! Hive color looks very tasteful indeed.Good call ,the 'Denise' pot. All it needs is a posing Corgi.

How about some daylilies for today ?


The tag on this one has vanished into the abyss, much like socks in the dryer.

'Moonlit Madness'

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:49PM
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We had power outtages here in So. Calif. during the Enron debacle, and I was livid, outraged -- and here I find so many idyllers routinely dealing with power outtages, which really surprises me. Hope it's all sorted out soon.

The bee details are marvelous, keep 'em coming. It is amazing how the workers "choose" the next queen they are to become enslaved to, lol. That nice peachy daisy you have, Saucy, is probably arctotis. There have been some really stunning deeper colors, pumpkins and such, but I find these dark colors age poorly, going off into muddy tones, which is why I like my white one. Your light colored one looks like a keeper.

Here's another airy-fairy photo of mine, showing off the Nicotiana langsdorfii planted at the base of my little Euphorbia cotinifolia that I know some of you grow, just leafing out now. This is a self-sown seedling from another tree that snapped in half, and this one has multiple trunks, so I'm hoping it withstands the fall winds better than it's predecessor. I keep the canopy tightly clipped for the same reason, to reduce the "sail" on such a brittle tree. The creamy-colored mass to the left, under the support with the finial, is a plant I brought back from the Cistus Nursery in Oregon, Coronilla, fragrant yellow blooms unseen as yet but what a charmer. Rue-like variegated leaves.

Will read and comment more on the weekend. Last night had a blast with the Bette Davis classic All About Eve, which I've gotta see at least once a year -- if you've not seen it, put it in the queue!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:34PM
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How I love N. langsdorfii, all of whom perished in a renovation project. I swear they will rise again !
My visit to Cistus was connected with an airline trip and plant purchases were not practical.I look forward to frequent car trips in the future, not to mention the u-pick-em Marionberries elsewhere on Sauvies Island.

A yearly viewing of All About Eve is an excellent recommendation Denise. I would add an annual visit to To Have And To Have Not, American Graffiti, Cool Hand Luke and the Rear Window.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 12:26AM
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Weather's great here. I feel lucky when I watch the news. The graduation party is Sunday, so my time is consumed with planning that and work. Not much time for the garden the past few days except light watering. And pulling a few weeds here and there.

deanne...glad the worst is over for you with that heat wave. And so few casualties. Although one is too much, I know.

Wendy...I couldn't read the JB song, I had to sing it in my head. Took longer that way, but more enjoyable. LOL.

Crazy temps for everyone. First the heat wave, then under 50 in the AM' to keep up? Hang in there everyone, it's only just begun.

jerri...Do those weed flamers actually work? They only kill the top growth, not the roots, right? So they'd come right back? Good luck with that, and be safe.

Poor Sue...don't resist the boot if it will help heal you faster. Take it easy and slow down. If I lived close by, I'd gladly work your garden for you while you sat with your feet up and margarita in hand. "g>. pic of the Indian Ocean and nice poem. Great pick me ups. Good luck figuring out your watering routine. I saw your post on the other side. I don't like sprinklers, though, due to too much water on the leaves. I blame my sprinkler use for getting nematodes on some of my plants. Not sure if it's the correct assumption, but I've heard overhead watering contributes to it. I water by hand or let nature do it. So far this year, nature is hard at work.

denise...beautiful photo. I don't recognize most of the plants in there, since they don't grow here, but they look great. I love Bette Davis movies, too.

Kathy...your daylilies are divine. So colorful and the foliage looks healthy. Not so for mine most of the time.Yours look perfect.

chelone...can't wait to see pics of the finished project. I bet your elated that the painting is almost done. You cracked me up with your comments to the stainers the other day. I actually LOL when I read it.

cindy...glad you got to work with no troubles, and most importantly...had your coffee ready and waiting. What would a day be life without coffee? I shudder to think. glad you aren't having the Iowa floods your way. Those poor people. Have fun with your company on Sunday, and sorry to hear about family trouble. Hope it smooths over in no time.

saucy...I'm so impressed with you and your bee work. The hive looks great painted...I'm sure the bees appreciate their clean digs. It's so interesting to learn how it all works...but I'm happy to learn through your experiences, for now.

more later,

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 2:47AM
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Sauvies Island, yes, I forgot the name. And Thelma Ritter is in Rear Window too! THAHN also seen recently again. Amazing that Wm Faulkner wrote that screenplay. This year the N. langsdorfii has not been molested by the various caterpillars that ruined last year's attempts. That's it for today, signing off...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 2:48AM
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It's very peaceful now this is truly my favorite time of day). I've been up for about an hour (slept late this morning) and watched TWO Foxy Loxys investigating the vegetable garden, more specifically the environs of the bird feeders. They weren't very big, looked to be in good health, but I don't like that they're so comfortable with the proximity to the house. I will be relieved when Rex is given the green light to once more be allowed "off leash". They were here last night, too and they need to be served notice that this isn't a fox-friendly location.

The painters are a riot. The "head" painter is a young guy with a long pony tail. He uses 4/5 elastics to create am interesting, sort of segmented effect along its length. No tatoos (that show), but he does have a nipple ring (the thought of which makes me shudder). The "junior" painter is very young and sports a lot of "ink"; I think I've counted 7 or 7 tatoos. He has a several piercings (eyebrow, lip, assorted ear adornments) and I have casually wondered if there are more that are more discreetly hidden away... (KIDS!) They arrive at the crack of 10 AM and work until 5:30-6:30. They were surprised that we would leave the house open for them, so they could use the john and that we've allowed them to charge the stain and materials directly to our account at the local lumberyard. And were even more surprised when the helpmeet tossed them each a cold one on one of those very warm afternoons, saying it would probably make the clean up go faster. :)

I have to ask if it would be OK to put the trellises back up and if we may put up the new windowboxes. The same windowboxes I have to put together today/tomorrow. My guess is that they will be able to work around them to get the soffits painted with little inconvenience, but it seems the courteous thing to at least ASK before just putting them up.

We don't lose the power very often, but I don't think we get the big, damaging winds that many of you do, nor do we live in such a populous area that "brown outs" and crashes due to too much demand on limited capacity. I remember the big crash in 2003, the one left us unaffected, mercifully. I always worry about the elderly, alone and sweltering in stifling apartments/homes. Conditions like that would have been a fitting punishment for those greedy, smug ENRON executives. Ken Lay got off pretty easy; Jeff Skillings wants for nothing except his freedom. Can you say, sleazy?

V. your vision of Cindy on the METRO made me laugh right out loud. Too, too funny. Thanks for the good laugh.

Saucy, I love hearing about our adventures with your new hive. It will be fun to find out the reason behind the present eggless condition; hope it's easily solved. I love the blue ceramic planter, too! As for no AC in the HVAC office, lol... there are no awnings on the shop windows, either! Go figure.

I have smiled at the idea of puppies leaking out of the kiddie pool. Once they've breached its walls there will be no containing them, Jerri. I meant to comment on your attention to socializing them. Our neighbor has an American Stafforshire Terrier, who is Rex's best friend (well, his only friend). He is the sweetest dog. His daddy paid very special attention to handling and socializing him as a puppy and he made sure he was neutered. But he says the number of people who cross to the other side of the road when they see them out walking is amazing, and rather sad. I am saddened by what a lack of socialization in combination with a clueless owner can do to a breed's overall reputation. I admire your commitment to this puppy process.

Nice to see Eden "pipe up", too. Here's hoping your power remains on and you're able to catch up (I still haven't), I've missed your voice.

That's all for now.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 6:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

"No price is set on the lavish summer;
June may be had by the poorest comer."
- James Russell Lowell

Good morning. :-) I see the West Coasters were up posting late. V....reading about Sunrise panting next to you, reminded me of all the dogs we've had that had the same reaction to storms and how many times they kept me up in the night. Makes me wonder if animals in the wild find storms frightening.

Reviewing all the photos...Very cute mini hosta collection Gardenbug and I do enjoy a lot of white on hostas. Very nice little baby for your gate. I also enjoy the wilder, bell shape clematis as much as the large saucer size. Even the foliage looks a little different on that one. What is the name of yours?

Michelle...haven't heard much news of Kenzie lately. How is she doing? Is she still moving? So cute when they pick up a big phrase and repeat it like an adult. :-) Thanks for the quarter in your photos....I would not have realized how small they were. Yikes. We also had quack grass that drove us crazy...digging didn't work at all, but the cardboard mulch did. Took a whole season though. Sorry about your family issues. Hope you all can work things out in the best way.

Anita, is your DD graduating from High School or College? Hope you have great weather for the big day. I bet DD is excited. I always find myself a little sad on such occasions. Guess it is the transitions and changes of life that make me feel like the last phase has past and I feel it as a loss at least until the shape of the next phase begins to show itself. Enjoying looking over your garden photos. Have Nepeta Walker's Low here. Just moved it into a not as sunny position and paired it with a geranium and together they are starting a little 'flop-fest' too. Still looking pretty good though. Love the nice deep curve of your bed in photo #2 and what kind of tree is that with the feeder on it? Love that deep grooved vertical texture of the bark. The Early Hosta blooms photo I really like too. Nice big corrugated leaves on the hosta in the foreground. What is the name of that one? I also like the shorter flower stalks that look more in proportion to the plant then what I usually see. I also have that same geranium. I thought mine was named 'Karmina' and it is paired with a white one under the Baptisia and offers a nice long bloom. Isn't that Aruncus attractive. No pets here either Anita.

Last year's photo.....

Chelone....always enjoy your interesting conversation. :-) Hope your trim gets started today. Also ripped Monarda out many years ago and don't miss it either.

Monique....I have a new Zephrine Drouhin but it needs a better location and more attention. Nice to see what it can look like when it is happy.

Gardenbug....That first shot of the Prestonian Lilac is really appealing. Did you prune that into shape? Really enjoy that Persicaria polymorpha with the Sanguisorba menziesii in front. Very nice combo. You must have a great nursery near you.

Jerri...puppies do grow fast....are you arranging adoptions for all of them?

I still say 'dungarees' and my DD rolls her eyes at me. :-)

Hi Wendy...nice to see you. Waving back... :-)

Eden...that was a very long time to be without power. How did you manage? Hope everyone is ok. Glad it wasn't winter.

Nice job on the Bee Hive Saucy. I like that color. Where are you going to paint your turtle? Is that what you are still planning on? Very pretty patio pots! Also like the shelf unit and banana. Are you wintering that over in the house?

V. I can't believe how many storms you have had. I like a good storm and a good rain and a good wind...but just once in awhile. [g] It has got to settle down sooner or later.

Kathy...that 'Moonlit Madness' is very pretty!! Love the markings and the shape of the petals. Glad it is cooler there. the coloring of that tree and I always enjoy multi trunk trees. More airy it!

Betty Davis was actually from Massachusetts and is one of my favorite actresses. I did think she gave quite a performance in All About Eve. Also loved her in Jezebel, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The Virgin Queen, and she gave a surprising performance in the movie Pocketful of Miracles.

Saturday morning has become one of my favorites. Time to head out to the garden...


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 8:16AM
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I have been out early this morning watching the hive. The fact that bees are coming in loaded with pollen is a good sign.

I've also enjoyed watching the Cat Bird (whose call drives me insane....sounds like a baby crying to me) picking at the drone (male) cells that I removed from my hive (a sign that there is no queen....workers will take over laying in the absence of a queen and can only lay drones (and the drones are a useless bunch without a queen to "fertilize"....they just sit around munching on honey looking for love :)....anyway....the Cat Bird has been entertaining as she plucks a larvae from the cell and gobbles it down!

I had a Rose Breasted Grosbeak at the feeder yesterday. I haven't seen one since I lived in TN, but recognized it instantly. I also saw a Flicker and a Bluebird when I went to the community farm yesterday. My Oriole has entertained me endlessly with his feeding on "our" oranges.

PM, I always get sad at large events, too, but quickly recover. Jake gets "promoted" to high school a week from Monday and I feel a little melancholy about it :)

I thought Chelone would appreciate this tidbit: I was sitting with Jake at the ball field (Sarah's softball game) and I looked over and I said kind of loud-ish, "Jake, you're getting quite the 'stache!" He rolled his eyes and said, "yeah, mom, my arm pits are hairy, too, wanna see?" We both cracked up at how funny it'd be if he ripped off his shirt to show me :) Sarah would've died right there on the field :)

I showed my girlfriends the straw trick and we all laughed hysterically for an hour! Our husband's were underwhelmed to say the least :)

I laughed at the depiction of Cindy doing a flame throwing Rambo on the train, too! Good one, V.! Nick nearly put an eye out burning weeds out of the cracks of the sidewalk - hot rocks pop so be careful and wear your eye protection ladies! I have to say that it's fun :) and living right on the sidewalk is a battle, though my neighbor (the crazy one) used to just let the weeds grow knee hi in the cracks - cool look :)

Well, it's obvious that I've spent too much time with coffee looking at bees and I'd better go find some humans to talk to before I "talk" your ears off.....


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:00AM
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No time for posting as Kenzie is here and needless to say our morning isn't exactly peaceful. She came last night and had a blast exploring her garden.

Back later

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:38AM
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Too much good reading this morning! Time for just one important comment: Saucy, MORE bee talk please. It's so garden related, and I want to hear more, not less. Would never have known how new queens are created if you hadn't included that info. I was thinking you'd have to order in a new queen until you explained it. Fascinating!

Going to get hot later, so I'm off to the gardens. Cindy, I'm clearing almost a whole bed because it was afflicted with too much self seeding, and overgrown plants. It's looking much better already - so weed away, prune away, you will like it. And after I cut things back I have no issues with moving them even in this heat.

Hi to all - Cynthia

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - how do you tell which are the drone cells?

33mm of rain here overnight. Lots of thunder and lightening with it (Misty spent a good part of the night hiding under the bed....) but no power outage here.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 11:23AM
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Woody, drones (the only males in the hive) are larger than the workers, therefore their cells have to be larger, and the caps are bullet shaped (worker brood is all flat). The pictures on the included link are good....

Queen cells looks like peanut shells :) You can see on fig. 8 of the link, that's a "cup" that the worker would put an egg in and begin to feed royal jelly. After it is sealed it resembles the peanut shell.

I know nothing of africanized bees, and I think it's a southwest US occurence. Colony collapse is not as big a deal for the home beekeeper - more of a large operation problem (which is a HUGE problem since bees are driven around for me that is the must be stressful. I have my own silly theories that I can bore you with at IU5).

I have obsessed enough with bees for the day. Dad is getting a new hammock for Father's Day, so Monday I will commandeer it with my bee books :)

Back to weeding....the boys are on a boat ride and Sarah is playing with a friend.

More pictures:
This is a frame inside my hive. We're looking at a brood frame that has not been capped yet (this is where the 6 day olds where seen):

What do you think of the orange/purple combo? Lots of plants in both pots still need to mature for the whole thing to come together....


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 1:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, I'm over 65, so purple and orange appeal to me now! Used to hate it, now I love it. Things change...

Glad Kenzie is thrilled with her garden. I do hope to see pictures of her there soon!

Denise, I so enjoy seeing the plants in your garden! Lots of light and lacy plants that I'm unfamiliar with. Beautiful colors too.

I'm discouraged about lots of things this weekend: the impossible weeding tasks, the humidity and heat, the death of my car, and other garbage. I'm tired too, so maybe a rest will help my outlook!

Meet Lord Herschell, a tiny clematis.

Clematis recta with Patty's Plum:


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I am getting a LATE start. We had storms and hail last night too. I slept in this morning but I'll pay for it now. I get to mow/weed eat in the heat. :(

"It is amazing how the workers "choose" the next queen they are to become enslaved to..." Isn't that marriage? LOL

The flame thrower works well. You hold it an inch or two above the plant to boil the sap and kill it, roots and all.
I bought 'stylish' safety glasses yesterday with the new string trimmer. I got a Stihl corded since I cannot start the gas one any more. It just makes me angry every time so it's now replaced. ;) The trimmer got rave in Consumer Reports for being light but tough. I will be trying it out right now.

Later gators,


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 2:40PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I LOVE orange and purple. :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 2:41PM
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Saucy, My whole patio is themed around orange and purple with bright yellow foliage thrown in. So yes I like that combo :-) Is that Wyoming Canna? My favorite canna. I just leave them in their pots after a hard frost and drag them into basement or gh. Problem with that is they end up getting too crowded and have been exploding their pots for the last few years.

One of the few mixed pots I have is leonitis leonorus (orange) with purple tradescantia - (I think I'm supposed to call that setscretia pallida now). The leonitis blooms late but worth the wait. I see your 'mombo' tree next to that pot. Very cool looking! What's the real name of that again? I know Denise complimented you on the choice.... Which reminds me. Denise! That euphorbia and N.langsdorfi photo is a magazine cover. Stunning. The langsdorfi seeds all over my gardens but the couple of seedlings I snagged from the garden for a pot turned out to be N.perfume purple. Oh well, I like that one too.

I managed a therapeutic mud bath while trying to dig up some roses by soaking the ground. Their roots were tangled with the ever-suckering weeping cherry roots (I thought of Deanne and envied her the sucker free life she anticipated when removing her weeping cherry this spring.) The roses were 40 feet from that cherry but it's roots go everywhere. (Norma those were red knockouts and I chopped them to the ground earlier this week.) The cherry has some scary looking welts on it's trunk. But the New Dawn has climbed into it - very cool to see its blooms 20 feet up in the cherry tree. So if the weeping cherry dies I'll use it as a trellis until the weight of the ND collapses it. That's the thing I 'spose, the gardens keep changing in spite of us, and surprises or disappointments can turn out better than plan. (Not that I have a plan actually.)

Today is Monty's 13th birthday. Yeah, we celebrated early with the older girls last week. I'll have to hunt up the birthday cake stuffy that is brought out only on these occasions. Monty doesn't play with stuffys he just carries them around like an old woman with her purse. He'll give it to the girls and they'll squeak it so we'll hear the birthday song 29 times before I hide it again.

Kathy, I'm still waiting for the A.sylvestris Ravenswing seed to ripen, but haven't forgotten.

I either need to learn to make my own dark chocolate covered caramels, or clean myself up and head to Trader Joes....


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:04PM
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Orange and purple would be sedate compared to the screaming orange and fuchsia I seem to have enabled this year. This "poorest comer" has had a fine time reading idylls in between editing and the Internet fluctuating off and on. 'bug you need to give "workshops" at the farm in gardening, with participants learning to weed, mow, etc., AND pay you for the privilege! Was that a Fascination clematis you posted a few days back? The C. recta and poppies is a fabulous idea, since I imagine the clem takes over when the poppies are done. My C. recta has made a herbaceous appearance for several yrs running but still shy on flwrs.

Jerri, so true, lol, and I can't stop thinking of bees and overlaying human traits or vice versa, very unscientific. Good thing we have Saucy's stern scientific method as an example.

All our projects are on hold to help Mitch get ready for a little photo show he opens tonight at a local coffee house. Marty and Dune have been making plywood backdrops for the photos. Mitch is a huge Italo Calvino fan and has named the show "New Maps from the Invisible City." He also just started an internship sponsored by the Getty so has been burning the candle at both ends. PM, what poetess wrote that? (Ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light! -- paraphrasing ;)

So it's the Full Monty for the b'day boy today. (Actually, Cynthia's hounds are the only ones I know not doing the "Full Monty," draped in capes and whatnot.) When I get really old (in a couple years) I'm looking forward to going completely purseless -- no comb, etc. rather than clutching one desperately. AND be dressed head to toe in purple and orange. Probably would be refused admission to an idyll reunion, lol.

I also meant to ask when was the last time anyone actually saw a spiral aloe spiralling. The only one I've ever seen was at Strybing in San Fran yrs ago, when the aloes were still very expensive and rare, and I have a sneaking suspicion that all these tissue-cultured ones that are so affordable don't have the oomph to spiral. I've got three nonspiralling ones.

A blue jay screeched and chased Joseph up and down the garden until I finally put the cat in the house. My ears nearly bled from the racket. A hummingbird darted in and out to see what the fuss was, Ein barked, Joseph tried his best to look innocent, but I think he may have found the nest. What a brazen bird, stopping to nibble at the kitty kibble bowl before winging it. The bird and Joe obviously have a grudge match going.

Looking forward to a Kenzie report and what mischief Jerri's pups are up to. And when will the Rex hound be released? And will we find out exactly how many and where anatomically those painters' piercings are located? Someone needs to post some video of the "straw trick" too. Hopefully, no more power outtages too.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 4:00PM
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Denise, I'll try to get some better pictures later, but this one is definitely spiraling... It's from Plant Delights circa 2004.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 4:14PM
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Good job! And spiralling or not, it's still a cool plant. But, honestly, I haven't seen one lately that crosses your eyes and does this

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 5:07PM
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PM...I think you're right, it must be 'Karmina' since the 'Biokovo' has white flowers with pink centers. Good eye. The hosta is an old one, and long before I started caring about hostas, so not sure on the name. I love any hosta with white flowers. I started a separate hosta bed in the back with only hostas from places that I really trust that aren't selling diseased hostas. The hosta virus X is wide spread and a lot of sellers are turning a blind eye to it. So my new ones are in a separate bed. Are you referring to the tree with the squirrel feeder? It's a red old that it's hollow inside . It needs to come down, but it's hard to part with. But I don't want it falling over on the house in a bad storm! Love your pic with the baptisia and geranium. Cool combo. My DD (baby of four) is graduating from high school. It's bittersweet. Glad I have DGC to keep me thinking young.

Love all the new photos everyone.

chelone....I'm still cracking up on your description of the painters. What characters they must look like. But you obviously trust them if you leave the door open and let them charge to your account.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 7:54PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

The Sun Has Long Been Set

The sun has long been set,
The stars are out by twos and threes,
The little birds are piping yet
Among the bushes and the trees;
There's a cuckoo, and one or two thrushes,
And a far-off wind that rushes,
And a sound of water that gushes,
And the cuckoo's sovereign cry
Fills all the hollow of the sky.
Who would go `parading'
In London, `and masquerading',
On such a night of June
With that beautiful soft half-moon,
And all these innocent blisses?
On such a night as this is!

William Wordsworth

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:26PM
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Well I haven't had the time to catch up so I'm just going to jump back in. I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday morning. Scores were 4 brugs, a pink, a peach, a double white, and an apricot. Also 3 coleus and 2 of the bella abutilons. Yesterday afternoon my sister and I took Bella to see a stage production of Beauty and the Beast. She loved it! Last night it was so beautiful out that Brad and I had a fire in the chiminea, the first of this season. My garden's doing well this year, minimal flopping, and with all the rain we've had, everything is huge. I'm getting ready to redo an area under the dwarf fruit trees. Right now it's covered with reseeders, digitalis, persicaria painters palette, brunnera, astrantias. I'm ripping most of that out and putting in a large hosta called Titanic, and a couple of ligularias, the rocket and osiris fantaisie, and 2 cimicifugas, white pearl and black negligee, to start. I took some new pictures of Jenni's garden last week to show you all. I'll try to get those up soon. Off to do laundry, still trying to catch up on that from the power outage. Have a great day and Happy Father's Day to the Idyll guys.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 9:04AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We had a drop-dead gorgeous day here yesterday - so I had to work in the morning and helped DS and his fiance do some furniture shopping at Ikea in the afternoon. But a trip to Ikea is never a wasted day. The summer weekend special was a potting bench for $39.99. I looked at DH with that "can I?" look and his response was to ask if I wanted one or two. They both will go in the garage to organize my work area there. ("work area" sounds so much better than "pile of c***" which is what it really is right now.)

And who could resist a cute little Aloe vera (non-spiraling) for $3.99?

DS and DF bought 2 small dressers, 2 closet storage units, and a kitchen island cart. We helped them haul it back to their apartment and get some of it assembled. DH also helped them install a window air conditioner. Still some work to do, but they are getting settled. We ordered pizza from a place a couple blocks away, and DD and I walked over via the lakefront to pick it up.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I have a thunderstorm rolling in right now, so I am going to post this and shut down the laptop. I'll be back later today when the lightning is gone. Have a good one!

V. (fingers crossed for anita's party!)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 9:58AM
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I had a conversation w/myself , a stern edict that I need to consolidate some of the numerous mono or duo pots of succulents I have around here into one larger pot. Went and bought a nice Mexican clay bowl for the project. For reasons that remain mysterious, I also bought 7 more succulents. Consolidated 1, count em, 1 mono pot. Got 3 leftover. So much for that project.
I did however get the front garden all tidied up and deadheaded, a bit of fresh much applied and lingering weeds pulled. The dreaded spotted spurge is declaring squatting rights.

After seeing it about a zillion times I still always crack up at Pillow Talk and the absolutely classic Thelma Ritter performance.

Eden your plan for the re-do sounds most attractive. We may need some before and after pics so we can give you the oos and ahs and other positive feedback ! I have tried more than once to grow Cimicifuga here but to no avail. Think its just a bit to arid here.

Purselessness is an excellent goal Denise. I keep buying them smaller and smaller. A credit card tucked into a discreet location in the event plants are stumbled upon that may require a purchase is a much more vital accessory than a comb if you ask me !

Did someone say something about orange and purple ?

Electric Marmelade Magic and Rozanne. The daylily color looks a bit washed out in this pic.

I like yellow and purple too.

And for PM, Salvia guaranitica 'Agentine Skies'

More coffee needed..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 11:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, keep an eye on The Pearl. I seem to have a large stand of it this year and didn't before....

I have a huge weed garden...known as 'the flats'. I've had no time yet this year to deal with it. I must say that hostas, the huge type, really help in these circumstances...if you don't look too closely! I need a full time gardener. Actually, more like V's husband's so wise offer, I need TWO.

New blooms are appearing every day. It's mighty exciting. I wish I could keep up with weeding and edging and mowing to keep things looking great. Last night DH helped put a large peony in a straight jacket with me. Seriously, no peony hoop could possibly contain this one! I have dinner guests on Tuesday and hope they have rotten eyesight.

Does anyone else have more tent caterpillars than ever this year? YUCK.

DH is at a conference today which makes things easy as far as food prep is concerned.

OK, lunch break is over and I'm off to rake and finish mowing.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Interrupting dad day festivities to announce, sadly, that Chalk Hill Clematis is going out of business and all inventory is 50% off. Supplies going so fast that clems disappear from your shopping cart seconds after inclusion...My shipping bill was more than the cost for plants, and I'm in the same state :(

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 3:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The new potting benches have been assembled. Here's a photo that includes $7.50 worth of Ikea plants on top:

Since we discovered that the new benches are slightly taller than the old bench, one of the new ones will stay on the deck and the old one will go into the garage. The great move begins shortly.

'bug, I don't want you to feel bad, so take a close look at the bottom of this photo of Lysimachia Beaujolais:

The darn things are very, very persistent...

Time to move the benches.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 3:55PM
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Yowsa Denise! I had NO idea. That link was stunning. I'll compliment PD for the integrity of their on-line photo though - showing a gentle spiral, not a military one. Maybe it's an age thing and the plants have to have 150 leaves before they're that congested.

Here's mine, looking straight down on it. Looks like a palsied cousin to the specimen you linked.

The smaller I make it, the more it seems to spiral...

How about my spiral acanthus?

And if I make V's potting bench smaller?

Eden, I have a Titanic waiting in the wings here too. Picked up a couple of neat hostas at Brent & Becky's 50% off sale. I'm extending (more accurately PLANNING to extend) a small shade border near the driveway. Bug, Cimi simplex ran 3 or 4 feet the first few springs but then stopped. It's always been one of my very favorite plants, and I can't imagine anything I'd rather have take over. Does C.Simplex have time to bloom before frost in your climate?

Here's the real acanthus shot, does anyone have a birthday today?!

That's A.spinosa, A.hungaricus just starting to bloom, and A mollis too much shade to ever bloom.

I think I'll make a batch of week-end beverages now and go stare at things until they spiral.

Later, Cynthia

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 4:41PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quickie post to introduce you to the newest member of our extended dog pack... Meet Dexter, BIL's new Airedale puppy:

It looks like he's going to be a handful! He's the third Airedale they've owned so they are experienced 'parents'.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 5:20PM
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Red Tail Ale in hand I am winding down the watering chores. Cynthia, you are in rare form today ! Rarely do I actually LOL when I am LOL-ing, but you got me with the spiral Acanthus and potting bench .
Acanthus and I are not on good terms I must say, this a result of the fact that they were all over LA , including vacant lots and streetside hell strips, and the Acanthus puncture wounds I received as a child soured me. I feel the same way about Pyracantha. But your photo is splendid !

Bummer about Chalk Hill- since they are about 30 miles due north of me Im surprised I hadnt heard. I can imagine that they could sell that property to a vineyard developer and make a small fortune. Maybe even a large fortune. Re: Mitches internship at the Getty , muy bueno..was it difficult to get ? I imagine there are a limited number available.

Time to go move the water.. later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 6:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Amazing clouds and rumbles, downpours, hail, etc. Phoebe is nervous, but does not cry. She seems more obedient though! I guess she is not sure what to make of it.

Murders in Toronto this past week, people known to my friend Lynn. Two very decent young men. An incredibly sad mystery...

V, I love Lysimachia Beaujolais, but only as an annual here. Just cannot make it through our winters. As for acanthus, it grows well here, not TOO MUCH! Your new tables are simple, useful and handsome too! And assembled!

C.Simplex does bloom for me the very end of summer. It is taller than I am and, I'm pleased to say, its girth is greater than mine as well!

I'd best post quickly. Getting dfazrker and I hear the rain once more.

Over and out,

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 7:00PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Getting dfazrker - yes, we've had many days here when it was dfazrker. It's not pleasant at all when that happens!

I'm hoping that the L. Beaujolais is only an annual for me as well. I planted three rather sad looking specimens and was a little nervous when they had developed several new shoots in only two weeks. Hmm, perhaps they can out-compete the thistles?

Cynthia, you're in quite the spiraling mood today!

I potted until I ran out of potting mix today. Unfortunately, I still have some empty pots and some plants that need homes. I made a nice little succulent combo in the tufa pot I made a couple of years ago.

Time to see if Cynthia has made any summer beverages for me!


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 7:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So I got busy and snapped the succulent container.

And Dahlia 'Thomas Edison' as well.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 9:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Very dfazrk here now...and noisy and even an accompanying light show. Again.

Photo of the day...a test for Deanne to ID.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 10:12PM
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The party went great! I rented the golf course clubhouse down the street from me, so didn't have it at home...too many people for that. Good thing, too, since we lost power around 7:30 in the morning. The storm flew through, but the power never came back on until later in the afternoon. We did have to get the generator going for the sump pump. We have a battery operated one, but DH noticed a valve was broken, so it was on, but not working correctly. TG he noticed that, otherwise we would have had to clean up water in the basement before the party. I love when things work out well. All the food was catered, so no worries there, and I got ready at my DD, who lives a couple houses down. Everyone had fun, and the young ones played in the park across the street from the clubhouse. Sun was out and humidity was low. Great day, and I'm glad it's over. Will probably have one more graduation celebration this summer, but this one for my oldest DS, who just got his master's in tax law. So proud of him.

Laughing at cynthia's spiraling thought process. LOL.

V...beautiful succulent container. I may have to copy that since I have an empty container similar to yours. Love your new benches. I love IKEA. Sounds like you and DH are really helpful to your kids. That's what it's all about. your purple/yellow combos. Very cheerful. The Idylls have similar taste in movies it seems. Pillow Talk is one of my favs. I guess so many of the older films are in my top 20. Just spied Gone With The Wind sitting in my DVD collection...maybe tonight I'll watch it. But I still haven't gotten around to watching 27 Dresses or P.S. I Love You. I have the time to buy them, but not to watch them.

eden...looking forward to see updated photos of jenny's garden. Why are you taking out the astrantias? It's a new plant for me in the past two years, so I'm still unfamiliar with it. Is it a problem plant? The ones you're putting in sound like great choices.

Happy weather everyone,

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 10:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, what do bees do when it rains for a full week?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 10:22PM
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Over here yonder on the Pacific, it's still lfizt out.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 10:58PM
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Good Monday Morning from the abyss between Zones 5 and 6. This means that we've watched fronts come through and battle each other out for the past four days -- more this week. While certainly thinking of all in the midwest who wish any sky would just stay blue for a bit, it's been nothing short of miraculous. A local TV station caught the idea of what was going on in our 1 mile wide band of CT and came out and shot some footage. Very cool when the obviously fru-fru little woman intern stood in the rain because "how can I move when I can see this???" For the shots she borrowed my blowdryer. Maybe a glimmer of hope for her?? Anyway ....

I've been reading along but haven't felt much like doing more than enjoying everyone's pics and thoughts and stories.

The Park looks amazing, and it will be renamed by the end of the summer. Somewhere up above mention was made about planning accidents being the best combos. No Kidding!! The planned stuff isn't looking too shabby, but Woody's mini roses with Rosanne geranium is stunning.

Working from home today, and really really really looking forward to the "not knowing which will be good days" being over. Confirmed over the last two weeks that there isn't any other treatment that's available to me other than the most drastic measure. Researched it, knew it, confirmed it, decision made.

The good treatment news is that my particular surgery will allow for robotics to be used rather than convention laparoscopy. This means far less internal cutting and thus a shorter procedure and less anesthesia. Also, if I want, can leave the hospital the next morning. Some women choose to leave that same day but I'm probably going to opt for breakfast in bed :-)

Other huge news (to me) is that Kyle has applied to take the State Department exam for Foreign Service. This is the first step in an 8-month long application process. Provided he progresses through the steps, the timing is perfect as it coincides with him finishing college in December. He could end up anywhere, and is really excited about this. How can I not be excited for him? Diplomacy, travel, culture, languages have been his tweaks for a long time, and I'm hopeful he makes it through the steps to live his dream. If not, there's always teaching which probably combines all these things, too. LOL

How long does it take for the succulents to spiral? Amazing stuff.

Waving hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:49AM
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You guys cracked me right up this morning! Spiraling in the lfizt and dfarktz :)

GB, I would not want to go an ask the bees if they're upset....that's how upset they'd be. I think it was 2004 when we had all rain and no sun....everything was lush and green and bees were starving while they waited.

I need a life :)

Did you know GWeb has a beekeeping forum? I am monitoring it for nice knowlegeable beekeepers!

Sarah just interrupted this post to tell me that the bus is coming 10 minutes early.....

.....and I'm back!

Anita, the party sounds like it went off without a hitch! I just love it when a plan comes together. Congrats are in order for the Master's degree, too!

V., I'm planning a trip out to the lone Ikea in our state next week. I hope they have that potting bench! Those are great! I have a pile of c*** in the corner of the garage, too. I love your 'tufa pot! They're so much prettier when they're potted up.

I ordered 2 clematis, and my shipping was more, too :) I think I did good: "blue dancer" and c. diversifolia "blue boy"

Okay, time to go....the oriole just came to my office window and looked for his daily orange halve :) My grosbeak is back, too. I am in love with my property all over again....did I tell you I have a pet heron, too?


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

YES SAUCY! Blue Dancer is simple and elegant. A climber that flowers on old growth so you must be SURE that no rabbits or mice chomp it in winter or spring. I have to cage mine. Blue Boy is one of my all time favorites. It grows and grows and flops over the fence and grows back up again. Gorgeous too! It gets cut back in very early spring here.

Later folks,

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 9:08AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Great photos all -- goes to show one can never even out the pots and the plants -- Kathy, it's impossible to buy a pot to consolidate and not have plants multiple for a gardener -- simple math fact of gardening.

I did wish I'd had the flame weeder on the ride home Friday nite and it might have gone along V's imagination -- you'd have to throw in some very very loud touristas tho who seem to think their children can run and scream for 35 minutes and the other 80 people in the train car are oblivious -- imprisoned right behind them, I could not understand why my flaming gaze didnt shut 'em up.... le sigh... may go mobile w/the flamethrower yet.

Anita, wow - lost power before the big party -- lucky you -- how smart to get the generator -- glad it all went well.

I took everyone's advice & went drastic w/ the cutting and whacking yesterday in the gardens - emerged exhausted but feeling much better as was foretold -- now if things will survive another day of 90 weather - I did manage to dig some holes and plant a few things too -- including that Lys. Beaujolais, V -- what a riot -- I bought it on my plant crawl w/ Cynthia and was debating where to put it - she said hers often never made it thru winter either -- guess we can test it out - mine is in a somewhat low sunken area where water pools after rains - guess we'll see what haps.

Martie, Im sure you are feeling better now that you have a definite course of action and that's terrific it may only be a one day visit... you'll be a new woman before you know it.

Denise - that is so cool about Mitch & the internship at the Getty - Im sure that is a major kudo and I hope it is invaluable for his career -- so cool. Much as they've had some scandals of late, I think they're still a great place and obviously the money pit is bottomless.

You guys and how the world spirals....

Again, Im so lovin the garden shots - I have yet to pot or repot a lot of stuff, but the whacking seemed to be priority one at my place - just never enuf time.

Back to Monday. I can't believe IU is just around the corner.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 9:22AM
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A fun time was had with Kenzie in her garden, I'll try to post pictures later. The downside is their house sold and they plan to move at the end of the summer. The reality is really hitting me and I'm a little down about it.

Have a good day


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 10:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle...I sympathize!!!! I haven't seen Reed since Christmas and have no plans to in the near future. Lots of stuff preventing my going, yet DH is planning a second visit. GRRRRR! His first birthday is tomorrow, while they are on holiday for two weeks of camping. No phone....

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 10:41AM
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It's a very gloomy day here. A repeat of yesterday, actually, and pretty much what's forecast for the rest of the week. Something tells me the colorful, pierced painters will be on the scarce side this week.

The new windowboxes are in the process of being screwed together (the battery conked out before they were completed). The helpmeet is (I hope) going to bring home some paint for the final coats when he finishes his "biness" at the bank, etc.. He has once more attempted to tell me how I ought to do the painting and today it has annoyed me. Ummm... who primed, sanded, and painted every inch of every wall and all the woodwork in this house? just screw the damned things together, willya?! and when you've finished that how about you get busy with the railing around the Salon's staircase? NO, I did not say that. ;)

I'm presently working on a set of small panels for the sidelights at a woman's home. I should have them finished in a an hour/so and it will be nice to callher and get the cashola in hand. The new coveres for the patio set are underway and they're going to be pretty. One of the downsides to work in the shop is that it can be pretty "basic". Not a lot of imagination in color schemes or overall plans for yacht interiors, I'm afraid. "I like blue" seems to be a common refrain. I frequently find myself yearning to work on something that is fresh and aesthetically exciting. Maybe it's the state of flux on and around the Compound, the grey day, or a combination of it all... dunno.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner last night with a couple up the road. They're in their late '70s-early '80s and they're a riot. She is a "nice Italian girl" and she explained the meaning of the beads on the Rosary to me (fascinating). She was curious about my question and I told her I've been pretty well immersed in history and the ramifications of the Protestant Reformation for some time now. I will sorely miss them both when they pack it in and are summoned to the great beyond.

Michelle, the grim reality of the move must be tough for you take. Kenzie is such a sweet little girl and she's changeing so much and so quickly right now. I am confident you will put your imagination to good use and find ways to remain in the sort of contact that will allow you note those changes from "away". But I'm also certain you must be very sad... . Ditto above for 'bug and the rapid changes in Reed. How can it be that he's one day shy of one year old?

I laughed and laughed at the spiralling stairs and Aloes. never fails that you guys can make me chuckle. I am not a fan of Ikea, however, though the potting benches look like a serviceable score.

Congrats to Denise on Mitch's internship at the Getty. I recall a Victory Garden episode that visited the gardens there and was entranced. I never cease to be amazed by the creativity of our fellow man. My own tastes tend to the more traditional, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the grace and elegance typified in "modern" architecture/furniture. Good lines know no limitation.

As usual, the photos have been great. I did manage a few of the Papaver before the gloom settled over the compound but will wait until the card is fuller before disgorgeing its contents to the memory of my ageing machine.

Time to thread up the Juki and wrap up the side panels. Thanks for the fun diversion.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 12:58PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

Well Im enjoying this cloudy/gloomy weather because its 64 degrees out, very comfortable temps and no hot sun so I can garden and move things about to my hearts content. Im supposed to be working but it was so darned good for garden work that I canned the business stuff until tomorrow.

Yesterday Doug and I met Sue at Monique and Les and we had such a fabu time. I have to tell you all that if ever you even have a small chance you MUST make the time to get to see their gardens. They are amazing! I feel like Ive just scratched the surface of what can be done when I see their place. (truth be told their gardens make me feel a bit inadequate, LOL) We enjoyed lovely appetizers of shrimp cocktails and fancy jumbo olives with our beverages of choice. Dinner was a tossed salad and a lobster citrus dish that was over the moon delicious! The lobster was boiled with grapefruit juice to give the lobster meat the citrus flavor. Then the lobster is shelled and put in a casserole dish with orzo and a very light citrus sauce with fresh lemon zest. Incredible!!!! Im salivating just thinking about it. Im going to have to give that one a whirl. Then for dessert Monique spoiled us with balls of strawberry ice cream on a chocolate cookie with a fresh coating of dark chocolate with fresh, local farm grown strawberries on the side. Yum!

Michelle, so sorry about the move. I know thats going to be hard on you and Kenzie.

Denise, fantastic about Mitch and the internship! How fabulous! Congratulations!

Cindy, I ROTFLOL over your flaming gaze!!!!! I like the concept of a mobile flamethrower as a method of juvenile crowd control.

Saucy, thanks for sharing all your bee keeping information and photos. Its fascinating and Im enjoying it tremendously.

Bug, looks like miss Arabella to me.

V. love the succulents. How on earth do you have a Thomas Edison blooming already?

Waving hello to all, Ive got to get back outside and get some more work done. Check out the photo gallery from our visit to Monique and Les yesterday

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 1:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Monique! So much has changed in your gardens. I'm so pleased that clematis are part of the newer look. Your choices are lovely!

Yes indeed Deanne, Arabella it is.

Chelone, you can tell that you have not sent kids off to college. Ikea is (nearly) a necessity, like tuition.

Here, sun and storms alternating. I'm supposed to be cleaning house for Book Club dinner here tomorrow evening. It is a tedious boring task. I've done dishes, I'm on my 3rd load of laundry, threw away old t-shirts that were taking up space, played with Miss Phoebe, mowed a bit more.... The weeds outside are calling my name...much more important than dusting and vacuuming. Besides, housework is dangerous. Perhaps DH will do that tonight.

So nice to hear from Eden again. I hope things are going OK on the family front. Would love to see the gardens of your DDs.

Although Reed is off on holidays, here is a recent reminder of him as an assistant gardener:

And here, the fringe tree in bloom:

And here, although I don't care for red in the garden, are a big exception. These aquilegias are from seed sent by a special friend.:)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 2:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hail. Now who needed that the day before garden people visit? Or ever!
And 2 minutes later, sunshine and birdsong.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 3:17PM
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Monique and Les., I am just blown away by your garden! And a tip of my cap to Deanne for providing the delightful tour, too. The individual plants are magnificent, but for ME, the most arresting aspect is how you have turned a basic, "tract" lot into something with spirit, imagination, and a sense of rhythm. I have been to your home and have a sense of the space, but your inventive and thoughtful use of the property convinces the visitor that it is larger than it really is. I stand in complete awe of that single aspect of your garden alone! I don't know if I've ever asked this, but how long have you been working on your property? how did you begin the process?

Ikea. Pottery Barn. Abode. You're right, 'bug., I've never known the necessity. I was, perhaps, the only kid who moved into her first apartment with an assortment of Victorian, Eastlake, quality reproduction Federal furniture. Mum was an auction/yard sale/junk shop junkie and I rode "shotgun" for all my formative years; which probably explains my ambivilence toward "the look". I can spot quality construction and nice lines under 100 coats of ugly paint and I have sevdral pieces in our home that I loaded into the trunk of my car because I saw their worth when others did not. For me, the thrill is returning a "find" to what it was meant to be. I understand that thrill is not there for many. ;)

Martie, I totally "blew you off" first time around and completely by accident. I'm glad you've come to a decision that makes you comfortable and will put an end to the trials and tribulations you've had to endure. That's really great news and it's nice to see you resurface. Exciting news about Kyle, too. You must be "proud as a peacock". :) I've meant to tell you how pretty the Park is. Waiting for things to attain good size and provide some "mass" in the landscape is hard, isn't it? But so very worth the wait.

We have some feeble sunshine now (thunderstorms forecast for later on), and I think the rest of the windowboxes are mostly together. To paint or not to paint... that is the question!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 5:06PM
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Wow Monique and Les (and Deanne for capturing it beautifully!)! The garden is gorgeous and I'm sorry I missed it. The food sounds fabulous, too!

I want to know the name if The Park is getting renamed :) I always feel so much better after a decision is made in my head, and it sounds as though you do, too, Martie.

Cynthia, I forgot to answer you about my little "tree" - it's Cussonia Paniculata and I couldn't be happier. Do you know that he only charged me $14 for it, and I see it listed for a lot more everywhere else. He said he was happy that I got it....geez. Talk about pressure to keep it alive :) He has a massive one in the greenhouse (at least 7' tall).

I am about to get hit by one of those storms...I'd better get off here!


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:41PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Les & Monique, your garden looks stunning. I feel like should be doing my imitation of Wayne and Garth, bowing and chanting, "I am not worthy, I am not worthy!"

Deanne, your photos are fabu-fabu; thanks to you for the time and effort in putting these up for us to view.

Martie & Denise, congrats to both of you for good news on your sons. OK, so that is confusing because Denise is married to Marty.

Deanne, I will confess to a little cheating on the D. 'Thomas Edison'. I bought a greenhouse-raised plant, which is why it's already budding & blooming. The bud count on this plant is amazing.

You know it's time for bed when you doing the following: 1. note the obit for a business associate's mother, 2. email obit to work email so you will remember to forward it to others in the morning, 3. open work email for other reasons and think, "Oh! someone's already sent out the obit."



    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 10:37PM
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So I have officially reserved my luxurious digs for IU5. Im stoked ! Now I have to prepare my humidity wardrobe which I will have to drag out again when I travel to Chicago in August. I figured if I buy no more plants between now and IU5 , it will pay for 72.5% of my hotel stay . Think I have the strength of character ? We shall see.

Weather is mild and pleasant here, and Today was busy but not horrible at work a positive note.

Deanne, wonderful link to Les and Moniques f-f garden. What Clematis !

Martie, I was starting to wonder where you had got off to ! I too ask for the Parks new moniker, and pics to support your statements of amazing-ness ! Kudos to Kyle and Im glad to hear that you have made your move re: female health issue. Would that we could all come and lay horticultural gifts at your feet for the recovery periodMaybe you should come to IU5 as a pre-op swan song ???

Cindy, Im sure you feel as good as I do about the garden clean-up chores this weekend. Things look so sad after a heat wave, but a little creative pruning and some time works wonders. I think in my area that new growth after the first hot days meltdown always seems to withstand the high temps better going forward. We have the added challenege here of no rain now till maybe November and in another 30days things will start to take on that grey-brown medit look. We often experience a summer dormancy period when things just shut down for a month or so.

Wondering where PM had gotten to these last few days? Norma too.

OK, waving to allsee you on the morrow.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 12:13AM
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Will one of the left coasters please explain the "marine layer" to me? It was mentioned repeatedly during the golf tournament over the weekend. I wonder if it's your version of the "sea turn" we get here when the land heats up and the rising warm air pulls the cool layer over the water back over the land to cool everything down about 10 degrees in 10 minutes?

Need to get moving early today, and maybe sqeeze in a little nap this afternoon in preparation for the Lakers-Celtics game to night. It should be another good one.

Very humid here this morning, I suspect thunderstorms in the offing and not much painting. :(

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 5:04AM
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Reed the Gardener :) Pretty soon he'll be flossing with worms, just like Jake did!

I love the fringe tree! I want one....

Chelone, I'll bet your house is looking sharp!

I am enjoying our weather. It's cloudy and cool with high humidity and a little rain here and there - perfect for moving plants and allowing the lawn that Nick cut to short to recover....don't tell him I said that! Do all men think short grass is better grass? I like it long and green :)

While my bees are convenient for viewing, I'm finding this to be a problem. I am looking up every single move they make. Yesterday I was sure they were going to swarm and I fretted/worried/stood helplessly while I watched them do a tornado like dance in front of the hive! What on earth were they doing? I can't find an answer in my books. Can I share a photo that does not do justice to the number of bees that were in the air?

Up close and personal:

I'm off to walat in the garden before I mosey on up to the bus stop.



    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 7:09AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays:
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten...
(James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

Good morning.... :-)

I have been reading bits and pieces but just feeling blah with little to say of much interest. Enjoying just reading along. The weather here was wet all day yesterday off and on and last night we had very loud thunderstorms that woke us up. Only about an inch and a half of rain though. This morning the sun is in and out and the air is cool and dry. No watering for me today!

Had a nice tour of Monique & Les's Garden. Such loveliness. The clematis were gorgeous. The green fish and matching pot tickled me. Great containers and that garden shed looks like a fun place to work. Must be a pleasure to get out there everyday and enjoy it. Thanks Deanne for posting the photos.

Gardenbug....sounds like your life has been quite busy. Busy is good though. :-) Sorry you are having a hard time getting in a visit with Grandsons and DD/DSIL. Quite a bit of weather you've been having too. Reed is getting big awfully fast!

Loving all the Clematis photos and I am thinking I could really enjoy starting to grow more of those. My problem is always trying to figure out structures for them to climb on. I don't know why that becomes such an obstacle to me, but it does.

Your Patty's Plum is gorgeous and looks quite different from one that was given to me as seed. I thought it was supposed to be an Oriental Poppy but it didn't look like it. Your foliage does look like one.

Woody...that Airedale puppy is so cute and looks like he is full of it.

V....Lovely benches...redwood?

Kathy....LOVE your 'Argentine Skies' Very pretty color. Reminds me of the way 'Black and Blue' grows. Do you find it attracts hummers? They would be annual here and not sure if I would even get much bloom until late in the season. I did buy the 'B&B' this year but so far it isn't doing much. We have only had one week of heat, so I am sure it will wait for more. Another orange/purple fan here. I LOVE your pottery with the fluted edge on the bottom.

Denise...that spiraling Aloe is amazing! Thanks for posting that. I think I missed the news that Mitch has a Getty internship. How exciting for all of you! Congratulations!

Saucy...the color of your house siding is a wonderful backdrop for your pots on the deck. Yes, I find that melancholy with transitions sticks with me for awhile. When my two youngest went off to kindergarden I was feeling it for a couple of months. Most of my friends were excited to see them finally get off to school. [g] Are you having a celebration for Jake next week? Is he excited about it?

Michelle....I feel for you. It is tough to be away from people you care about. You will have to visit a lot! :-) Also, I was noticing, that on our new Apple laptop there is a built in camera and software to video conference. I would figure a way to set something up so you can see and talk to each other every day if you want.

Anita...Glad your party went so well. Really nice when everything works out. One down, one to go. [g] Tax Law sounds like a very useful degree to have. I hope he is doing your taxes for you every year. :-)

Martie....nice to see you. :-) I had been wondering about you. Glad you are all set with your surgery decision. So when is the big day? Really looking forward to more Park photos. Great news about Kyle, will he be traveling a lot?

Well....time to get moving... y'all have a great Tuesday!

Anyone for a lawn ornament? [g]

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 7:34AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Morning,

What a beautiful day we are having here. 60s out currently going up to the mid 70s. They are predicting more thunder storms for later on today. Apparently some had golf ball sized hail yesterday with the storms that came through. Thank goodness we didnt get that here! Did I mention I bought another Brugmansia??? LOL, I found a double white at a nursery for a good price and absolutely could not resist. Te he.Im incurable.

Thanks everyone, so glad you enjoyed the photos of Monique and Les gardens.

V. I get the same "I am not worthy, I am not worthy" sentence chanting through my head every time I visit there. My gardens seem pale and boring by comparison. ~~ Ah Ha! I just knew youd have to have bought that TE already a good size to have that kind of bloom by now. I didnt get mine in near early enough and its going to be a long while before I have any flowers. I can only do so much and it appears Im maxed out so things like getting the dahlias planted in a timely manner slipped.

Kathy, Im so pleased we are finally going to get to meet you in person. Woohoo!!!!! ~~ You would have swooned to see those clematis in person. LOL

Martie, congratulations to Kyle! You must be so proud.

Saucy, love the continuing saga of the bees. So incredibly neat!

PM those green fish with the matching pot was just fantastic and one of my favorite vignettes they did. BTW, did you see the photo of us in that collection?

All righty, time to get to the gym, have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 8:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My friend who lived in East Africa for several years tells me that the scene of the flamingos is awe inspiring but very hard on the nose!

Today a workman comes soon, I have my first exercise class also. Book club dinner is at our place too. So lots going on.

Chelone, 'temperature inversion' is something we deal with here and affects sound from gravel pits...

Sauvy, GET A FRINGE TREE. Even if it is only a shrub, it blooms!

Thinking of a year ago today...

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 8:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Storms blew thru here again yesterday and hopefully a lot of hot air (from people and things) has gone -- wow, in the 70s for the next few days - I am soooo tempted to call in sick one day so I could stay home and pot (only a gardener would know what kind of pot Im referrring to here, LOL, right?)....but I best save my time for the IU...

I agree that it looks from Deanne's vignettes that Les & Monique's gardens have changed a bunch -- thanks so much for taking the time to show us, Deanne - what a pleasure -- hope to see it in person some day - that would be such a treat.. I wonder if they change their "look" w/ pots & accessories every year? It struck me as different in tone - altho it could be just the things you photographed that were new. "Garden jewels"...

My dahlia TE is blooming - the one that has become perennial - I'll have to try to take some photos - just so I can say that early June it was blooming!

'bug - sorry to hear of your car woes - hope it can be fixed -- it's terrible to feel stranded after one has been given freedom w/ wheels.

Michelle - PM has a great idea re the video camera/computer and keeping in touch w/ Kenzie -- I guess it's great they sold their house in this kind of market, but you must feel so bittersweet about it all.

Chelone - I am with you on the old furniture altho I do think Ikea has a place as 'bug pointed out but not something you want longterm... I still cringe when I see stuff that's been painted over versus a wonderful old stain finish but it's nice to know people use old furniture -- I have a lot of it from my grandmother's house but doubt my DD will want it -- their tastes and interests are different - such is the passing of generation to generation.

Have a pet sitter coming for an interview tonite for Chloe's approval -- since DD moved into a no-pet condo last fall, our usual arrangements need to be re-vamped and Chloe gets no more sleepovers there which has been sad. But hopefully, this will work out great for future too.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 9:39AM
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Happy 1st Birthday To Reed!!!

I, too, absolutely loved the pictures you put up, deanne, of Monique and Les' garden. Wow...stunning. I bookmarked it to study later.

My thoughts are with you martie and glad you are moving closer to the solution for your medical woes.

I've got the kids today, so no time to write yet. Have a warm day with a cool breeze.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 12:31PM
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Happy 1st Birthday to Reed!

The weather here is the open window kind - I love it!

Father's Day weekend was a whirlwind with Kenzie staying over on Friday night, dinner out on Saturday with my parents, Kenzie and her mom and dad. Finally Rick's kids and grandkids over on Sunday. We spent a beautiful afternoon on the game lawn with bocce ball, badmitton, football, soccer and softball all going on.

Saucy, how fun that you have a piece of my pelargonium. I'm enjoying the bee pictures immensely.

Congratulations to all who are graduating and moving on to great things. As parents you have a right to be proud.

Cindy, I will probably get a webcam as I know they already have one.

Deanne, thanks for including us in the garden tour at Les and Monique's. The garden is stunning. Although, yours is too you know. Its neat how we all have our own style.

The flamingos are amazing. They remind me of the garden ornaments that Kenzie twisted grandma's arm to have for her garden. Both are whirly gig type. Maybe they will keep the rabbits and deer out ;o)

I think I'll spend the 2nd 1/2 of my lunch hour taking a walk.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 1:36PM
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A fine, happy birthday to Reed. I'll bet his inseam is now pushing 14"... he's getting so big.

Those of us who work in the needle trades are a fiercely loyal lot. We tend to be "brand loyal" and we tend to be VERY loyal to our preferred mechanics. I have worked with 2 (count 'em!) mechanics in the nearly 30 yrs. I've been working with commercial sewing machines. While much of my equipment was purchased "used" in the '80s when shops were "droppin' like flies" I had the same guy work on them (when the 1st. one retired I began using his "heir"). When I purchased my new Juki I bought it from the "heir". And whenever I have a problem with any of my machinery he either walks me through the adjustment/repair over the 'phone or MAKES time to fix it whenever I call. OK, so today a friend called and asked me to come look at a machine. The problem was beyond my expertise and I asked if the mechanic had been called. No. Apparently, my friend used a variety of mechanics (they all know each other and those of us who work in the trade, duh) and was uncomfortable calling someone because of that. DUH. The upshot is, he had to call someone (eat some crow and do some grovelling) and he's going to use my shop to complete his order tomorrow. He is going to have his first encounter with a fully automatic, electronic sewing machine, too. (LOL). I have adjusted it for his work, using the sample he provided. I have laid out the owner's/operator's manuals (there are 5), and all the necessary items he'll need (bobbins, needles, tools, etc.). And plenty of scrap fabric, so he'll be able to "practice" using the treadle to control the machine's ability to stop, start, lift/drop the presser foot, and backtack and cut the threads. I wish I had a camera to capture it all because I know he is going to be stunned by it all. ;)

Rex is having his post op. reX-rays this afternoon. I'm more nervous than I was the first time around. I know this surgery showed more damage to the leg than was evident on the first one, but the lameness he showed a week-week and half ago freaked me out. Aspirin seemed to help a good deal, but I'm still nervous. :(

We hired the talented young arborist to remove "the sword of Damocles", an offending maple branch that would threaten the proposed shrub border. Affectionately referred to as, "Tree Boy" he took care of it and then moved on to another tree that was victim to viscious winds earlier this spring. We now have yet more coHdwood to address. But we'll be able to plant the shrub border with confidence! A funny aside is that the Grey Tree frogs have been trilling very loudly (I linked to them earlier in this Idyll, I think). Well... the sound of the chainsaw apparently urged them to trill more frequently and loudly. LOL, the helpmeet noticed it and said the chainsaw was "big medicine" and the little guys were rising to the occasion. Too funny. And he was right!

It's "black as Egypt's night" outside right now. I have to wrap this baby up and get the hell off-line. Yikes!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 5:53PM
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