Idyll# 383.. A Fragrant Idyll

dodgerdudetteJune 5, 2008

Fragrance is so subjective, I thought it would be interesting to see what aromas are the favorites with the Idyll-folk.

Mine: Citrus blossoms, Roses (no surprise there, lol !)Basil , Sweetpea, Honeysuckle---those would be my top 5. How about you ?

Kathy in Napa

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wild Provence of course! Tied for 1st place best is fresh hot French a Provenl bakery!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:46PM
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'bug, knowing this group, maybe I should have stated a food exclusion clause ???

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:50PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Rosemary, lemon grass, lavender, and vanilla are my top faves. I can't pass a rosemary plant without touching it. I was at the Chicago Botanic Gardens yesterday, back in the production greenhouses, and had to make a slight detour to stroke a rosemary.

And I have been inspired to go spray the lavender linen spray on the bed and enjoy some sweet dreams...


    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Lavendar, roses, rosemary, basil and oriental lilies. I picked up a rosemary on clearance at the grocery store tonight that I plan on trying as a topiary. I had lots of fun cutting off the lower leaves and smelling away in the potting shed with the rain outdoors.

As I sit here I was reading some of the book that I got from Backyard Living, one of the stories is on conifers and Rich's Foxwillow Pines in particular. This was a 2006 IU stop.

Between rain drops I found this in the garden this evening, my still young tree peony.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 11:21PM
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I should not have stayed up so late last night. But we rarely get to see the Celtics play and I couldn't stay away. A very exciting game; the stuff of which great rivalries are made!


Beautiful tree peony, Michelle!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 4:52AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Roses, Lilacs, Honeysuckle, Viburnum carlesii, Lilies, Gardenia, Agastache, Kolkwitzia, Heliotrope, Fennel, Basil, Lavender, Pine, Tomato foliage.

Chelone....a Celtics game worth losing some sleep over. Especially last night's game. Long time since they played a Championship game with the Lakers. I hear it was quite exciting at the Gahden last night.

Looking out the window at another gray start to the day. June 6th and I haven't got a tomato plant in the ground yet. I am shooting for Sunday. I remember the days when I would have them in by May 1st with Wall of Waters. This is the latest I have started the vegetable garden ever. One good result though, no early veggie garden, so no groundhog visits so far. Who besides Gardenbug grows vegetables?

Michelle....I love the 'crepe paper' look of the petals and the center is so interesting. Nice shot, too. nice to see you. I was just thinking, I don't think I have seen recent photos of your garden. Do you have a 'specialty' that you like to grow?


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 6:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, you have really missed a very special property by not viewing V's place! This is a family that takes care of mother earth in a serious beautiful fashion! Their guests too! I recall a wonderful pause for wine and treats during a prairie tour there!

Today is to be a sunny scorcher and the last day of our visitor's stay with us.

A few from yesterday...

Time to start the day! Hope yours is a fine one!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Good Morning all! I don't recall the weather reporter broadcasting 3 days of gloomy, but here we are :) I actually took advantage of the weather and did some weeding in the drizzle yesterday, and will see if it's possible to do more today. The mulch pile is looming, you know :)

Sometimes I like thick sweet heady scents that only work well on a humid night. Sometimes I like the high lemony scents like the Brugmansia I'm trying out :) Lemon thyme is the one plant I can't walk by and not "pet" :)

I don't think I have favorties because they change from year to year and situations. Japanese beetles keep my nose out of the rose :)

I must have a tree peony now! My neighbor's wow-ing me with her's too.

The oriole is a special treat for me because he showed up in our neighborhood last year, but I never really got to see him close up. Here is the view out my office window:

He and I are sharing a bag of organic navel oranges :)

Oh, Nick doesn't get results until Monday, but GB, I have a feeling that my husband's story will resemble your DH's experience. Martie, I understand a little more about what you guys went through...whew!

Not looking forward to the heat wave....Saucy is a delicate thing who likes the temperature right around 72 degrees :) (with no humidity mind you)


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 7:25AM
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Good Morning, It feels like summer here today. Hot and a bit muggy.

Top five favorite gardening smells, in no particular order...

corsican mint
a patchouli plant, the real thing, not the manufactured scent
that first deep breath when you walk into a greenhouse, especially in winter
the fresh, clean air in the garden after a good rain

Mary, my congratulations to David. You deserve to be very proud of him! Hope he's feeling better!

Have a good Friday everyone.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 8:08AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Belated BD wishes to Cindy. I took a few garden pictures over the past couple of days but have not been happy with the results so no pictures.

I like citrus smells the best.

Rain here this morning. Somehow I missed the precipitation memo but am not complaining. Heat wave supposedly starts tomorrow though and runs through the next four or five days. Yuck to that. Guess I'd better figure out a way to get my large window AC unit out of the basement and into the livingroom window. Best to try and get all my little container ingredient plants settled as well. It's tough to keep those small pots watered when it gets hot.

No yips the past couple of mornings. Unfortunately Nick went for his heartworm/Lyme test yesterday and tested positive for Lyme. Now they want a urine sample to check kidney function. I suspect a 28 day course of antibiotics is in his future.

Saucy, I tried to put fruit out for the Orioles once and the squirrels kept taking off with it. I usually get a pair every year at this time but haven't seen any yet. Maybe it's time to spend some time just sitting on the patio.

OK, better get moving. I had PT at 7 this morning and didn't get into work until almost 8 (late for me). Since the PT has only been effective to a point and the xray I had the other day was clear for a stress fracture, my physical therapist suggested I see an orthopedic surgeon. He recommended one who he said is one of the best sports medicine docs in the area so I made an appointment for next Friday. All I want is to be able to go back to my daily walks.



    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 8:38AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I definitely like fragrance in the garden! It's very fragrant out there now and has been for a week or two. The current fragrances are:
- lilacs
- lily of the valley (I don't like this as a plant - too thuggy - but wonderful fragrance. It's confined along the garage wall...)
- tree peonies
- Clematis montana
- wisteria - incredible fragrance from that thing!
- Blue Wave petunias in the pots by the front steps - very clove/spicy scented morning and evening.
- foliage of orange-scented thyme, lavendar, sage
Fragrances to look forward to:
- herbaceous peonies
- honeysuckle vines
- roses, particularly Blanc Double de Coubert
- Regal lilies
I'm sure there are others but that's what comes to mind at the moment.

Picturetrail sent their view pictures stats e-mail this morning. Apparently my account had 83825 views in the last week! Hows's that for an idea of how many lurkers there are out there?! I was looking at the stats the other day - that large total is spread across a number of pictures (almost all of them ones posted here...) but some of the pictures had a couple of thousand views! Hi lurkers:-)

gb - I'm glad you weren't closer to the tree and that it didn't come down completely!

I got some cherry tomatoes in the ground last week. They are the only vegetable I grow in the ground. Herbs are in the ground of course. Randy also tucks some garlic into some of the flower beds. Because the only sunny areas are in the front garden, flowers have pushed veggies into pots. The edible garden this year consists of tomatoes, garlic (in a pot and in the flower beds), 6 large pots of peas, 5 large pots of highbush blueberries in pots, with lettuce at their feet, and 4 large pots of strawberries. There is also some rhubarb in the backyard that is gradually getting shaded out by the trees. I'll have to move it somewhere else soon - I have no idea where I can put it! I would love to have a big veggetable garden but there is just no space for it here.

It's supposed to be blisteringly hot for the next while here - a very abrupt change from the cold weather we've had so far! What ever happened to happy medium?!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 9:04AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I love nicotiana alata & sylvestris, honeysuckle coming from the woods, Clematis Betty Corning, oriental lilies and most any others that folks already mentioned. I confess I hate the smell of boxwood (eeewww)but herbs, herbs herbs, too are irresistible.

That's somewhat discouraging, Sue, re the PT, but maybe the sports med. guy will have some high-tech, forward thinking ideas for getting comfort and back to your daily regimen. It stinks when the quality of your life is so hindered that a small daily pleasure such as walking is impeded. Just dont have surgery before IU!

T- I sure hope you feel better soon - that cold germ is a doozie!

I hope Cynthia isn't one of those folks without power in this area -- we've got the heat wave in gear & setting to put out a full steamroll with heat indexes to 110 this weekend - yucko. O, Sue, room a.c., what a pain - altho I have big issues w/ my 3rd floor bedrooom always being too hot, at least I can now take refuge in the guestroom in basement where it's an icebox to sleep. I don't know what I'd do without a.c. - allergies and being a wuss put me in the happy to have air conditioning crowd -- conspicuous consumer in that area and want to continue there!

So speaking of lilies, I will pop a photo in as they're blooming altho damaged by the storms and soon to go w/ the heat:


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 9:14AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all

Its pouring rain here at the moment and I guess that means Im going to have to go work in the studio and not outside as planned. LOL. Yesterday I hit a milestone. I finally got all the pot ghetto planted, all those billions of plants I wintered over here are in their new summer homes. Yea! I also cleaned out the garage and both cars are back in the garage. Double Yea! Doug is always so happy when he gets his garage back. What a peach to let me take over the garage for several months of the year. I dont believe Ive ever had the garage and driveway all put together this early before. It certainly feels great. Now I can concentrate on all those other projects I need to do like getting all the edging done and finishing mulching some areas. Ive got another batch of lovely leaf compost ready to go and one is cooking so I should have enough for the time being.

Let me see, scents, I adore gardenia, lilac, Oriental lilies, particularly Casa Blanca, on a summer evening when the perfume in the back garden is magic, wisteria floribunda is divine, peonies brought into the house after a rain, the light scent of daffodils in spring and iris though subtle is distinctive and beautiful, Rugosa roses.. I think Ill stop there as I could go on and on. Hmmmmm freshly mown lawn see what I mean?

PM, I only just got the dahlias in the ground last weekend and like you and your tomatoes Ive never planted them this late. I wont have flowers until August at this rate. Oh well, there is only so much one person can do and Im maxed out. I surely wish I could find someone to work for me one day a week here. ~~ I love the color of Beverly Sills too, its such a perfect pink. Here is a pic of one of mine I took the other day. I just wish they lasted longer.

Sue. I missed the precip memo as well but Im more than a bit concerned to be going from a week of 60 degree days the last four of which have been heavy overcast to 90s and Monday is supposed to hit 100! Jeesh! The plants are going to wilt like crazy. All the growth put on during this wet cloudy weather is going to fry in 100 degree sunshine. Im considering putting a tent over my container garden. LOL The roses which are finally opening are going to be toast and pass in a day. Grrrrr..

Saucy, wonderful pic of the Oriole! Good for you. Ive had them here fairly regularly. They like the bird bath I have on the ground in the container garden. I really should put some fruit out for them but Im betting the squirrels or raccoons will make off with it.

Bug, more lovely photos, what is that first columbine? I should plant more around and about. They are such cheerful spring plants. Is that a Verbascum behind it? I cant get that to come back for me at all. ~~ Thats scary about the willow breaking near you. I dont envy you the cleanup. Im glad I only have white pine and oaks to contend with.

Mishelle, Ill bet your potting shed smelled fabulous when you were pruning that rosemary. Did you take a pic of it? ~~ Love that tree peony.

So V. what are the Chicago Botanical Gardens producing in their back greenhouses?

Jerri, Hope all is well and you weathered the storms OK.

Michelle, I would love some seed from the variegated columbine. Thanks so much!

Brenda, How neat you found the Fine Gardening Container issue and were surprised! Thanks! Fun that your DH remembered seeing pics of my containers last year.

Woody, I agree 100% with you about the weather, "What ever happened to a happy medium?"

OK time to get to refresh my coffee and get to work. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 9:15AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Cindy, we must have been posting at the same time, I love that lily/clematis/rose combo!!!! Gorgeous. That lily looks like one I have here called 'Manhattan'. We are going to be in on that heat wave too. I guess we'll have to break down and turn on the AC.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 9:18AM
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Cindy, I should've brought you back one of the "evil eye" beaded bracelets from Turkey, lol! What a commute for the books that was!

Apparently, things are about to become even worse as states set their new budgets mid summer and will no longer pick up slack for the fed govt shortfalls (per yesterday's NYT). I think this must be behind my neighbor's news end of semester this year that her job overseeing special ed teachers has been phased out. And the other 25 in her position too. This when autism is near epidemic. Marty's work (City of LA) also has an eye out for cutting positions. Wouldn't it be great if we could "earmark" our taxes? lol Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride....

I'd be hard-pressed to choose a favorite scent, being a real scent hound. Scents of people, dogs, babies not included for voting? I remember Austin's rose Othello as an intense olfactory experience.

We're solidly into our "June gloom" pattern, mostly 70s, and I wish it never stopped. Lots of buzz about water rationing. Our water usage is always below average (no grass) and this year even lower than last year. Still, I'd like to do something with grey water, and that may soon become an easier taboo to break.

Deanne, it does seem you sped through the potting phase this year, at least compared to last yr. The nurseries overall this spring have had high prices and not the best selection, so you've gotta feel it's been worth it this yr. Location of work yesterday coincided with a favorite nursery, so I stopped in before the job, and this nursery looked splendid, and I told them so. Stuffed a butter yellow hesperaloe in bloom into the car before 10:30 a.m. and tucked it into garden around 8 p.m. That Eagles song Desperado always sneaks into my head and gets stuck there when thinking of these woody lilies. The hummers will be thrilled when the buds open.

Photos are smashing, keep 'em coming. Way to go on the DSL, Marian!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:27AM
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Windy, rainy and cool here today. I have my fingers crossed for Sat. being a decent day. Theres a 30-40% chance of rain/thunderstorms for the next 7 days. Im hoping to get the containers potted up. I dont believe Ive ever been so late getting the pots put together.

PM2, I grow veggies too. A few years ago I was getting really sick of taking care of the vegetable garden and I decided to make it a potager with brick edging and walkways and more ornamental looking and now Im much more enthused about it.

Sue, I hope you are planning on getting someone to put your AC put in, you dont need back issues.

Cindy, love the lily picture what a romantic combo. I think I have that same lily. The iris you sent me is ready to bloom. Its the black one, I didnt record the name, do you remember it.

Deanne, Beverly Sills is such a lovely color. Ill be sure to save you some seed. LOL the rosemary topiary doesnt look like much and who knows, it maybe never will.

Have a wonderful day!


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 12:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Love that hesperaloe, Denise! You've made such a convert of all things hot and exotic for me (plant wise that is...I've always been a "hottie" in the food dept, LOL).

Michelle, neat that my iris survived -- I believe it's called Dusky Challenger -- mine didnt bloom this year & I was really bummed because I thought I'd replanted w/ the perfect combos - go figure -- Im going to replant in another month more shallowly; sometimes that seems to be the difference -- but we've had so much rain this year, a lot of the iris are rotting - way more than I've ever had such a problem before; I think Im also getting less sun. I did get a gorgeous bloom from the white Immortality that I've had for years - it was stunning for several weeks (even had a neighbor ask me if it was canna blooming, LOL). Your iris pallida that you sent me did survive but the blue denim didnt, grrr... It is weird how some years can be sooo hot and dry and then it's pools of water the next. I should probably be ruthless like Sue and pull a lot of them -- but when they bloom, o wow, so gorgeous - so I keep them in hope for next year - if they dont flop too much either.

Deanne - I think that probably is Manhattan -- another copycat from you -- I lost a lot of my lilies last year due to the drought and the deer ate the buds while I was gone to PA about this time last year (the anniverserary of Mom's death is next week), but I've been spraying that nasty stinky liqude fence this year - so last week I was very puzzled as to what this lily was when it burst forth all over in about 6 areas of my gardens - it really thrived and I've got clumps of 10 to 12 plants in places w/ buds of 6 to 8 each -- but all I could remember was I used to have both Ceres and Casablanca and another "silver strain" - none of which seemed to be what this group was.... and lo and behold you tell me - I had not yet looked at my records to try to figure it out - I kept thinking -- geez, do lilies mutate to other colors and sizes? If you recall, the Ceres is a double asiatic -- so my ditz thinking was totally illogical - but I sure couldnt remember that I'd bought a bunch of Manhattans a few years ago... so like you, I guess this is an opportunity for me to replace the ones lost w/ new ones in the fall... I will really miss the Casablancas though.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 12:57PM
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Pine trees and Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina); they remind me of heavenly NH summer nights spent at my aunt and uncle's cottage on a lake.
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberries smell great in flower!).
Peonies, Lilacs, Oriental lilies. I also have a very ordinary bearded Iris that smells heavenly, and I love the "August lily", Hosta Plantaginea. As Deanne mentioned, on a warm, humid night the fragrance is delicious.
That lovely "fall smell" of rotted leaves that can be very earthy or rather spicey. Perfect in combination with newly split cordwood and manure.

The helpmeet is "annual man" and has a fabulous vegetable gahden that feeds us pretty much non-stop from mid-May through November. I will find out what he's planted as I am not generally allowed inside the fence; esp. if it's "that time of the month", lol (it's "big medicine", you know). Chaos rules in that area... for now. ;)

I've long admired "Beverly Sills" and have wanted to add her lovely soprano to the chorus of fragrant Iris mentioned above, the color is simply smashing and right in concert with my stand of Papaver ("Victoria Louise"). Anyone wanna share?

I have very much enjoyed my stand of Camassia this year. It's the ordinary kind (all green foliage, purple flowers), but I moved what I thought were all the bulbs last summer to a site next to the wallow and they were sensational! Bloomed for a long time and in great profusion. I'll definitely excavate the remainder of the original clump in a month/two. Wonderful plant. Anyone grow the one with varigated foliage? are the white ones worth it?

My knees are sore and so is my back, having spent a good portion of the morning doing a layout for a large canopy (20'x30'). Tonight is theatre night, too. Over-tired, sore, and going to up too late tonight, again. If the show is a bore the helpmeet will have to use the fireman's carry to haul my can out to the car. Good luck to him!

Time to contemplate a nap, I think.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 3:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, these are the two colours of Camassia I grow.:

I tried the (expensive) variegated form with zero success. They were spindly and weak and then they were not there at all after that! I have not tried the white form. I like the fact that the bulbs were roasted for food by the first nations people. They tolerate moisture too.

Hot, sticky, scratching and wilted here.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 4:29PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Still is very heavy overcast here and the temps never got over 65 today. Good grief, the plants are all going to die of heat stroke if the predicted 95 degree plus temps arrive tomorrow. I worked outside a bit in the drizzle and got my container garden area nicely edged. Then I deadheaded, primped and fussed with all the containers in the front. They are all looking pretty nice at the moment but Im dreading what Mondays heat will do. Ill bet the Red Abyssinian Banana and Brugs will all be smiling and growing at light speed in that heat though.

Bug, those Camassia are just gorgeous. I just dont have room for a stand of plants like that here so Ill have to enjoy yours.

Chelone, Id be happy to give you some rhizomes from Beverly Sills. Shes really a beauty. ~~ I need to talk to you about hemming some jeans for me. I thought we could work a trade for a consult and paints for your stenciling? Coldwater Creek has some very neat embroidered jeans that Id like to cut and make into crops.

Cindy, sorry you lost your Casa Blancas. I just love those lilies. I wish Id known that. I bought a box of super sized bulbs and had some left overs I gave away. I could have shipped them to you.

Michelle, Im betting that you will be a huge success with that rosemary plant. Im addicted to creating topiaries. Right now Ive got four new standards of a fuchsia called Galadriel started. Cant wait to see how they turn out. Ive also made one out of Abutilon megatapodium that is looking grand this year.

Denise, Im thanking my lucky stars that I spent the winter growing all those plants. After seeing the prices and selection of whats available this year I know Ive saved tons of money and saved plants I wouldnt have been able to find this year. ~~~ Love that hesperaloe! The selection of unusual plants you find and have in your gardens always amaze me. Keep those pics coming!

Okie Dokie, time to think about getting some dinner on the table. Doug and I are enjoying a lovely Friday evening glass of Cabernet and there will be swordfish and salad for dinner, perhaps an ice cream for dessert?


    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 5:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Stirfry here, followed by capuccino ice with raspberries. Our friend leaves at 4:15AM in the morning. Imagine, only 5 hours to Mexico City from Toronto! I'll be awake to see her off. Then back to bed for a bit, then I hope some time weeding before the heat starts once again.

Deanne, my advice is to water, water, water tonight or early in the morning. It is brutal for these poor plants that are used to night frosts! Everything is popping open: tree peonies, Carolina Moonlight baptisia, salvia...We cut back sedum Autumn Joy today so it wont turn into a huge floppy doughnut later on. The tent caterpillars are beyond belief. YUCK! The weeds too...

Poor Phoebe needs her fur coat trimmed badly, the frogs are making huge loud noises, I imagine lightning bugs and bats will be around soon too.

I'm wiped...

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 9:08PM
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Oriental lilies are indeed a major fragrance plant, and Nicotiana too ! So far it seems as though the OL's are a common thread, along with various culinary herbs. Like Saucys characterization of "petting" the Thyme. I do the same with Basil.

I have no veggies this year due to my house-sale situation. I usually always grow tomatos , and bush beans in between the garden plants, but things have to look 'groomed' so the gardens are all flowers and herbs this year.

Saucy, love your Oriole, we don't really have those here even though you see Oriole feeders sold to unsuspecting consumers in many stores. The closest I have are the Grosbeaks.

We are having the June gloom here too Denise, although right now it looks like the sun will be up in the am-could mean a hot day tommorow.

Got to go and cook up some grub..see y'all tomorow

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:21PM
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Unbelievable wind today, many of my plants have a easterly tilt to them now. Although, it calmed in the evening and it really was pleasant. I laid some cardboard and mulch in the Secret Garden to cover some weeds. Rick spoke to the county engineer today and asked them to "clean" our ditch, which they agreed to do. Basically this involves reshaping the ditch so the water drains in the direction that it is supposed to instead thru my garden. It will also improve the condition of the gravel road when it is wet as well.

We added three trellises along the back wall of the patio which is the side of the house. It's very tall and white. I'm thinking these will break things up a bit.

I hope to paint the shed tomorrow too. Kenzie is coming next Sat. and I'm hoping we can play in the garden. I'm thinking a tea party in the playhouse, planting some seeds and maybe picking up a few 6 packs of flowers for her to try to plant.
Deanne, that's the pits to jump up into the 90's. Mid to upper 70's are predicted for the next 7 days here with a chance of rain each day. Its ok as long as the wind doesn't blow so much.

Cindy, I added Casablanca lilies a couple of years ago after DD carried them in her wedding. I gave her some for her garden too.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 12:12AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

I thought I had covered all the fragrances that I love, but of course, all of you have come up with a few I had forgotten. I forgot about the 'air after a good rain', Eden. Love that too. Woody, I don't think I have ever smelled Wisteria. I also didn't know there were fragrant Clematis, Cindy. We have Casa Blanca in the garden, Deanne and it is the heaviest fragrance...I love it too. Unfortunately, the darn LilyLeaf Beetles are driving me crazy. Forgot about a freshly mown lawn. Saucy you reminded me of night scents. I had forgotten I love four o'clocks after dark. I've had one that I could smell 25 ft away on a hot summer night. Chelone, I love fragrances that remind me of childhood too. There are some that I never smell any more. There used to be a 'country ride' smell that I have no idea what was responsible for. It seemed to be some type of plant, but I can't remember the last time I smelled it. I also didn't know bearded Iris had fragrance. I love 'fall rotted leaves' too. Which reminded me of 'fireplaces' in the fall. I love that smell a lot. Which also reminded me of the smell of the first warm spring day, when you haven't smelled the earth for a long time. You just open the back door and it smells like spring. usual, your photos are mesmerizing. Is that a verbascum with aquilegia in the first photo? I love both of them. I've never seen an aquilegia quite like that one, it's gorgeous! And I am not usually a big fan of aquilegia. Have no idea what that blue flower is in photo #2 but I like it. Is that a grass or astilbe growing with the aquilegia in photo #3? That peony is spectacular too. That is quite a stand of Camassia you have there, it looks great. You are so lucky to have lightening bugs and bats. We occasionally see a bat, but can't remember the last time I saw a lightening bug anywhere. I miss them.

I would have loved to have seen V's garden. What is this I hear about a prairie? [g]

Saucy....I have also been seeing orioles in the garden this year. I rarely do. Every spring I see them fly by once or twice, but this year, I have seen a pair of them flitting in and out of the yard and using the bird baths a couple of times. They are so colorful, I love them. I tried oranges once, but I have the same problem Deanne does, squirrels. DH can't touch the Air Conditioners and our oldest son has been away all week, so we are going to have to scramble to get them in when he is here at the same time our daughter is today. We have one really large heavy one that needs two people. I didn't realize you were not back to your walks yet. I remember how much you enjoy them. Soon!

Woody....I am still shaking my head over the amount of hits you had to Picturetrail. That really was a shock to me. So you really think it is due to people reading Idylls? There couldn't be another explanation? that Clematis and Lily combo! I just bought Dusky Challenger as a plug. It is so small, it will probably be two years before it blooms. Also picked up one called Firebreather that is an orange. Trying to figure out how Beverly Sills is going to share the same garden. [g] I have planted with the tuber sitting halfway above ground and have been surprised to get bloom already on two I just planted in the fall. They don't even get full sun, but they are in a raised bed. Not liking the flopping either. I am new to iris and wish I had more room for them.

Deanne...nice photo of your 'Beverly Sills'. So delicate looking, aren't they? I also wish they lasted longer. :-) We had more rain yesterday which I was very happy to get. Hoping the sun will come out to dry off the roses and peonies this morning. Congrats on getting the pot ghetto planted! Deanne, would it help to mist your plants for the increased temps?

Denise...I'm sorry to hear about more cut backs and shortfalls. I have a feeling we don't know the half of it. Doesn't it seem that no one seems to know what to do about it any more? What a neat plant in your photo. Is that the hesperaloe? You find the most airy plants! .

Michelle...I did the same thing with the vegetable garden. The first 10 years we were here, that is all I did was a vegetable garden. I had a nice 25x25 ft. For a number of reasons I had to stop gardening for about 5 years, so we renovated that whole area four years ago. The vegetable garden area seems to be last on the list of priorities for me right now, having to focus on completing some other projects. Mine is so small now, only four 4x4 beds. Hardly seems worth it, but have to at least have tomatoes. On a 1/4 acre property with neighboring trees, there is not a lot of full sun. Seven hours a day in the back is as much as we get. I would love to see photos of your veggie garden, but don't ask for any of mine, this

Sorry your Mom's anniversary of her death is coming up. I am sure it will be a difficult week, are you planning anything?

Chelone....Your helpmeet's vegetable garden sounds incredible! I have always wanted to be able to have food out of the garden for as long a part of the year as possible. I would also love it if someone at our house was interested enough to take over the vegetable garden for me. That sounds like heaven. :-) I just bought Beverly Sills last fall in a quart container, so no division this year, but next year I will be happy to get a fan of it for you.

Kathy....I suppose you have plenty of organic tomatoes near you? When I was not vegetable gardening, I really missed the 'home grown' tomatoes and beans. Maybe you have a friend with a veggie garden? [g] Did you at least put Basil in this year?

Okay...time to scoot. We are heading out to a swap this morning. Hope everyone has a great Saturday!


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 6:43AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

In a weird, Groundhog Day type of deja vu, we lost power again last night. Second Friday night in a row, and we rarely have had power outages in the past. The bad storms hit in early afternoon, with lots of wind, rain, hail and a few tornado sirens. There was one tornado in the area, about ten miles north of us and close to the same path that the January tornado followed.

So after all that excitement, I was driving home after work in clear weather and got rear-ended at a stop sign. The car is still driveable but does need to be repaired, which will mean a few days of car shuffling in my future. I was quite upset and would not say very much to or even look at the other driver. I had noticed her tailgating me before the stop sign, and when she hit me, she hit me not once but twice! When the police finally showed up and took the report, I did a major double take at the driver's name. DD was with me and was talking about being in an accident when she was in driver's ed. She just had finished saying, "Poor Sara, she wasn't even 16 yet and in her first accident" when the officer handed me the accident report. Look DD, it's Sara's aunt who just hit us! I know her two brothers and her sister, and had just been introduced to her very briefly at the farmers market two weeks ago.

And the state has decided to install a moat at the end of my driveway, so the post office cannot deliver my mail... In their infinite wisdom, they are improving the shoulders of our road, which is not too bad an idea, but I would rather see them replace a couple of the crumbling bridges that I drive over every day before they put rumble strips on the shoulders. Guess I don't know how to prioritize budget items.

Deanne, I got to see a lot of Baptisia hybridizing the other day. Some very spectacular plants, but they are at the stage where there is only one plant in the world, so it will be a while before some of these hit the market. Fun trip!

pm, I do have a lot of prairie species in my garden, but I have a lot of everything else as well. I'm a typical "plant slut" whose favorite plant is the last one that I bought. I'll try to do some more photos soon. Too much rain and a busy schedule makes it hard to get photos.

Speaking of rain, I have to get a few plants in the ground before the clouds open up. Happy gardening to everyone!


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 8:36AM
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I planted tuberose and night phlox (Zaluzianskya capensis) to try some new scents this year. The tuberose were planted on 4/14 and just came up last week. The double ones first. They're in pots so that I can enjoy them on the patio. The night phlox were started from seed in early April and maybe two inches tall at this point, but with the heat kicking in everything is exploding in growth.

The scents I look forward to most each year are jasmine, nicotiana sylvestris and the oriental lilies. Right now the wild honeysuckle that I fight in my own yard is scenting the neighborhood while it strangles and climbs.

Too much to catch up on here, so I give up and will wish retroactive happy birthdays to Cindy & Sue! My gardens took a beating on that day that Cindy's car was stranded on a lift and she was stranded in the streets. The house took was abusted too with a tree sized limb bouncing off of the roof and ramming my office window on the way down. No slates on the ground, by I should have the roof guy inspect the whole roof anyway as a few probably need replacing from other aerial events over the past year.

Mary, you and David should be glowing with pride. I'm delighted and excited for him.

GB, My Asophodeline damascena bloomed early in spring since it had stayed green in gh all winter. I think you told me it would die after blooming so I composted it last week to so I could use that pot for a screaming orange 'Bonfire' begonia. Has anyone else tried that one? Flaring bell shaped orange flowers and they are prolific!

My Kartuz greenhouse order (the melianthus source) finally arrived yesterday. And looking darn good for a 4 day trip in a box with all of the heat enroute. Thet warn 4-6 weeks to fill orders, but the wait is worth it. Healthy stuff, safely packed.

Next Saturday is Monty's 13th birthday :) Two littermate greyhounds with different owners are turning 14 a few days later, so we're having a little party tomorrow for the 3 of them. (This is what women without grandchildren do!) Interesting story about the girls turning 14. It's unusal to find littermates, since the dogs race all over the country and them trucked to adoption groups across the US. Both girls ended up in Maryland after racing in Florida, and one was returned to her adoption group at age 12. The other was rescued at 13 from a bad situation in Baltimore. They were both adopted a year a part from a different grey group by volunteers with my grey adoption group. Since greys are tatooed with the litter number and month and year of birth, it's easy to check for siblings, but amazing to find littermates within 20 miles of each other.

Anyway, I made scarfs for the birthday trio :)

Monty's scarf has 'birthday' ribbon, since I don't think boyz can belong to the red hat society. Yes, we do indeed have a RHS for greyhounds :)

The visiting nurse was here yesterday to collect toenail clippings, dust, and blood for the 'Sister Study.' I was so excited when my blood pressure registered 120/64, that I think my pulse went up. My sister has been bragging about her BP and she's medicated for it, so I immediately left her a voicemail. Haven't heard from her since.

I guess I need to get a little yardwork in before the HEAT hits. Supposed to get to 98 today and the humidity has already arrived.

Loving ALL of the photos, keep 'em coming!


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 8:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just came in from weeding a row of the veg garden...the one with 30 clematis in it waiting for homes! I haven't collected the weeds for the heap yet...too hot for me! I started at 5:30 and need a bath and breakfast now.

I woke up to say goodbye to our guest at 4:10AM but she was already gone! her ride must have come early. What a shame! With the fans going upstairs I must not have heard her rise or the van coming. Back when Charlotte was around, I would have heard the barking!

Enjoy your weekend. I see that the IU gathering is fAST APPROACHING, and I want you all to know how much I'll miss you and the events.

DGS's surgery has been postponed for 3-4 months, so he and his family will enjoy a 2 week camping holiday at the end of June. Hard to believe Reed's first birthday is on the 17th! He has been taught how to get down the stairs backwards...which saves lots of tears and waiting for someone to pick him up. Another independent family member now!


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:05AM
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I've already been out playing in the garden before the heat hits! The bees are collecting water from my water garden and birdbath in preparation: they will put a droplet of water over each little octagonal space where an egg/larvae is, and then other worker bees will fan it to keep it cool. In air conditioning terms, that's pretty impressive :)

They seem to be better weather predictors than Al Roker :) Now it might take me years to figure out how to "read" the bees, so don't expect a forecast anytime too soon :)

I think I might've figured out my camera and took some pretty good shots last night. I turned off all of the auto settings and started from scratch with my tripod. The kids even posed for people pix :)

The oriole seems picky, doesn't like an orange that is a day old. The squirrel is only interested in the seed below, so I guess I'll count myself lucky :) I have been known to wing a parsnip at the squirrel and once I nailed him in the head! That's what day old produce is for, right?

Speaking of throwing produce at squirrels, I really enjoyed the article on pests and gardeners! I am happy (so far) not to have come to blows with the nature living in my area :)

I really enjoyed the link on garden myths, too, and find them a fun read when I need something quick. I saved a link.

I've got more pots to plant and want to be done before Nick starts eyeing the boat :) We're planning a picnic dinner to start off the boating season.

Have a good day Idyll friends. I'll leave you with a shot that I took last night of 'tufa turtle and Penstemon "sour grapes" since they were both mentioned recently :)

And one of Jain's iris:


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:05AM
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I very much enjoyed "Fiddler On The Roof", I was semi-familiar with the music but had never seen it performed. The sets and constumes were really great. The 5 daughters all wore pinafores, Cynthia's GH scarves reminded me! I was exhausted when we got home... lights out for me within 2 minutes of hitting the pillow. No fireman's carry required.

I've spent a profitable morning in the lab., making short work of the latest batch of alterations. I've also just secured a very tastey cushion job (9 to be fully boxed and corded, and 4 "knife edge" cushions for dining chairs). The fabric is sumptuous and the job should be lovely when completed. They were a little taken aback at the price I quoted them, but I told them to feel free to get other estimates, I wouldn't be the least offended. I came very highly recommended (a former co-worker) and they told me to just go ahead and do the job. I have 2 weeks to complete it; in time for a birthday party and the 4th. of July.

Not sure if the aspirin are having the desired anti-inflammatory effect on Rex just yet. He is downright mournful at the increased enforcement of his incarceration. Seems no amount of "visits", pats, and the occasional treat is having much effect. :(

It's clammy here. Clearly there is a front attempting to move into the area, but right now the occasional breeze is off the water and it's not much above 72-73 degrees. Our delicate Saucy would find the humidity unpleasant and I'm not uncomfortable in my jeans and long-sleeved sweatshirt (with paint spatters on it).

I have much enjoyed your shots of plant material, esp. the irises, which I love. I learned from Jain that the really old varieties have streaks of purple at the bases of their fans and the falls hang straight down, not out to the side like ballerina tutus. Mine are all "old fogey" irises, though only the "blue" on has notable fragrance.

I'll be thinking of you next week, Cindy, having had several very "down" days of late; touching Mum's things has brought it all bubbling back to the surface. I hope you have some small way to remember her that brings a smile to your face at an especially poignant anniversary. And Martie, I thought of your advice with respect to smells just this morning. I found Mum's hairbrush with some of her marvelous hair still in it. I cupped it in my hands and inhaled deeply. It smelled like her! It was unsettling and comforting at the same time. How can that be?

I seem to have missed 'bug's GS's surgery. More detective work is in the offing, methinks. And I can hardly believe it's been a year since the emergence of TWMPB. I suspect you be insufferable on that day... ;)

What to do next?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 10:55AM
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It was raining this morning when I wanted to go out early. It's only in the mid 70's right now and humid as all get out.

I just did up my first arrangement of the season. I used grape scented iris, lysmachia 'Alexander' and some lamium for filler. I'm thinking of add some chartruese euphorbia, but I'm uncertain about the sap. I have it sitting in some water alone for the moment.

I hope Cynthia takes pictures of the birthday party finery being modeled.

V, I just hate tailgaters and think it is such a pointless habit.

Saucy, I'm curious where you do your boating, river, lake or ocean? I grew up doing lots of boating and I do miss it.

Chelone, poor Rex, I hope things improve soon.

I am making progress on the containers, but I'd better get back to it.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 3:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone...Update on DGS from Sarah:

Well, on the 20th we were told that SS would have to have surgery soon. The doctor was going to consult the surgeons last Tuesday and call us (and biomom) ASAP to update on the decision. Biomom finally got a hold of him on Friday...

The Update:

The surgeons aren't too concerned even though it seems that S's atrial valve has decreased about 30% in the last 6 months. My thought is that maybe it's because he has no symptoms? The upshot is that in 3-4 months they are going to do a cardiac catheterization (go in the femoral artery to get actual pressures on each side of the atrial and mitral valves) instead of an echocardiogram. They will feel a lot more confident with those numbers especially since they all are flummoxed by the fact that SS, at 9yo, still has the 17mm mitral valve he got when he was 4mo old.

Biomom thinks that the doctor was trying to make us more nervous so that we would let him do the cardiac cath. We've been saying "no" because his estimated pressures from the echo have been coming back consistently fine. Our reasoning is, why do anything invasive if there is no reason to? The doc wants more & better info every time.

I can understand the apprehension since the whole reason that SS has a prosthetic mitral valve is due to a surgical accident in a very low risk surgery. Still, he's practically a different kid now since he was 9 days old at the time, and now he's 9yo! He's bigger, he's healthy, and heart surgery has progressed so much in 9 years!

Tonight DGS phoned to ask if he could come visit us in August! Seems he has saved some money and wanted to buy a scooter, but DD told him he could take the plane to our place for the same amount. (They'd pay the return trip) So research will be required. He'll be taught to look up the price on the web.

Tonight DD gets her head shaved...and tomorrow she and DGS run...both for cancer research. They are still interviewing Day Care people for July 1st deadline! They like several, so it will work out soon .

The best plant of the day IMHO is Baptisia Carolina Moonlight.

Alaskan Iris are fun too.

DSIL is turning into a plant addict. :) His great sorrow is the loss of several Alaskan ferns. We can't figure out what became of them. They did not return after being planted last year. Hmmm, maybe for Father's Day I could make them return???


Here is a link that might be useful: Alaskan Iris

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I forgot to mention to you that yes, that is a columbine in front of a white mullein in the above photo. I have tons of columbine that seed everywhere.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:56PM
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No June gloom marine layer this morning, so its heating up this afternoon. Time to come in and Idyll for awhile. For some reason it always seems to be really hot on Wine Auction Weekend (a huge deal here) and the week when all the high schools graduate.

Michelle, I meant to say how much I liked your yellow tree Peony-have always wanted a yellow one myself but have sufficed with my one pink speciman.I wonder if you are painting the SG playhouse today ??

Talk of Casablanca lilies has reminded me that I have none ! I used to have clumps in both front and back gardens, but I think one disappeared in the standing water of winter rains, and the other was dug up when I started the renovation on my front yard. I have since planted numerous lilies but the Casablancas remain a favorite.

PM, I have basil ( several plants, both red and green) Oregano (several kinds some culinary and some not ) Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, and Im sure I planted a French Tarragon this spring, but I cant seem to find it . It either passed-on or I planted it too close the G. Johnsons Blue and it is somewhere beneath, never to be seen or heard from again.

Perhaps Chelone, sometime when helpmeet is out of range you may sneak us a photo of this veggie garden thus making him an Idyll by proxy. I remember seeing Fiddler in LA when I was in high school.

Cynthia, very attractive ensembles for the B-day pups..I had to laugh, having a co-worker at my company who is planning a very elaborate birthday party for her fur-kids 1st b-day. No other dogs invited, but many human guests.

Many hours have passed since the above sentence, I attended a wedding of my DSs friends that he has known since middle school. Its close to bedtime now, but wanted to get this posted

Gnite all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:25AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Phew! Long day yesterday but a pleasant one. I was very good at the swap and brought home only a few small plants. Reduced my pot ghetto to a handful. It was H&H enough to be mopping the forehead all morning. Came home to find that DS/DD had gotten all the air conditioners in and had them humming. Ahhh... :-) We were told that they didn't miss our predictable admonitions to 'Use your legs' and 'Be Careful'....[g] I was quite pleased that we have created a broken record in their heads that plays every time they pick something up.

My Peony opened fully yesterday! My first Peony bloom. 'Shirley Temple' is the variety that we planted last year. Double blooms but no fragrance. It was gorgeous. I think I may have to try to add another and try for fragrance this time.

I tried taking some photos yesterday and I seem to be having trouble getting good photos on white flowers. I wonder if there is some trick to it? Also noticing that the camera is not always capturing the colors correctly and wondering if it might be because I haven't calibrated my monitor yet. Really it has only been two plants that I've noticed I am not getting the true color. The Verbascum Violette is more of a maroon but it shows as a pink, and Rosa 'Rhapsody in Blue' is a plum which is also showing up as a light purple. I am going to try the rose again today. The blooms change color so quickly. The bud, the just opened flower, and day old flower are all different colors.

We had an actual sun shower yesterday for about 20 minutes. The sun was shining and visible in the sky and it was pouring rain and the wind seemed to be blowing in every direction. It was so odd!

V....I am so surprised that your weather is so crazy. I always thought New England had crazy weather. The saying usually goes, '...if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes.' Your weather seems worse than ours and I am wondering if this is typical for you. I will be hoping the rain stops long enough for you to get photos. You have to have a record of your garden this year!

Really wild about your taillgaiting surprise. Such a crazy coincidence.

Cynthia, you could start a business with your own line of doggie

Saucy, your tuffa turtle is so unique. Did you make it yourself? Very pretty Iris and I thought 'Sour Grapes' was purple?

Chelone...loved the film version of 'Fiddler'. Glad you are having a pleasant and busy weekend. And, a new cushion job! Sounds like there is a little ray of sunshine coming through the black cloud. :-)

Gardenbug...thanks for the update on DGS. It must be so difficult to accept and forgive a surgical accident on a child. It makes it so hard to trust again, as well. I agree with the degree of caution you all take toward the testing. Some of the procedures and tests they use today are almost as risky as surgery.

That is a ton of columbine! lol I haven't had the reseeding yet. Some that I am not enjoying I plan on deadheading. I started seed someone sent me and some of them had muddied colors.

Thanks for the thumbs up on the Baptisia 'CMoonlight'. Such a pretty yellow. I would love one, but no room right now. The one I have now is so HUGE, I wish I had not planted it so close to the house. I hate to move it because it is so happy. you use your herbs in cooking a lot? I hope someone will start a thread later in the summer, on Herbs. We could share recipes using herbs. At our house, we don't use herbs half as much as we should.

Between Fiddler and the Celtics, looks like Chelone is getting a well deserved late start this morning. :-)

Happy Sunday! :-)

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 6:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Favorite lines from If I were a Rich Man...

This one perhaps in honor of the salon:

I'd build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen,
Right in the middle of the town.
A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below.
There would be one long staircase just going up,
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.

I love the use of the word 'proper' here! ;)

I see my wife, my Goldie, looking like a rich man's wife
With a proper double-chin.
Supervising meals to her heart's delight.
I see her putting on airs and strutting like a peacock.
Oy, what a happy mood she's in.
Screaming at the servants, day and night.

On a floral note, this is today's favorite flower in bloom. Human blood was sacrificed for this photo. (mosquitoes everywhere!)
Dictamnus alba

It's a H&H day here (as PM2 described it!) and I feel sorry for Phoebe in her fur coat. This afternoon is DH's voice recital with about 8 people at a distant Mennonite church. Yes, he's nervous.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 8:08AM
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Good Sticky Morning to you all!

Chelone hit it right: Saucy is delicate. I can't take this heat. I'm crying UNCLE! LOL, I ought to get some cosolation for living in New England and putting up with these winters....

I'm moving back to Ocean Beach :) Maybe I can afford La Jolla now? Nah....

Michelle, I prefer a lake myself. We have a nice little area here surrounded by State Park. It's clean and reminds me of the lake I grew up on. I am afraid to put my 18' boat on the ocean, though Nick is starting to press about taking it out to the Cape :) My dad lives on a river, but I don't like to swim in it (though my son doesn't seem to mind).

GB, a trip to your farm would be better than any camp :) I will keep your family in my thoughts as they make this very hard decision....I can not imagine.

Count me in as one who hopes we get to see the Canine Festivities! Those scarves are fabulous and I hope we get to see them modeled by the graceful greys :)

I'm off to greet the day...Sarah's had a sleepover and kids are looking for food :)


PS, was I the only one denied access to GWeb yesterday?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 8:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Regarding hits on photos: (by DH)

Many of the hits on pages or photos are by bots (robots) that are constantly indexing the web. The most obvious of these are from Google and related search engines. These are not "lurkers" as such. They systematically visit most pages on the web and record what they find. They help us find things when we type in phrases such as "yellow clematis".

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 8:41AM
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Missed your post GB - Must add dictamus to the list of "must haves"! Gorgeous. Thank you for risking life and limb to bring us that shot!

What do you suppose calls the place in between the iris and under the phlox "home"?

Why it's the North American Miniature Tigress, of course!

Sarah was "attacked" repeatedly by the tiger in the jungle....seems Marcy's been playing in the cat nip again :)

Off to find more things to do besides bore my Idyll friends with my camera shots :)


    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 9:49AM
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I never fail to be wow-ed by the very cool plants in GBs garden. Dictamnus Alba- beautiful! And surely bug you must be queen of the Columbines.
As for both GB and PMs Baptisia, Im coveting them both. Baptisia is something I dont see in gardens here at all. Having looked it up in our "bible" (Sunset Western Garden Book) there seems to be no reason I can see that it would not be grown here, its listed for all zones. Further research may be required. But really, I just cant buy any more plants !

Look Saucy, mines not tufa but we have east and west turtle action on the Idylls !

Goin outside, back later..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, you asked about a plant I posted above along with Aquilegia Canadensis. That is Persicaria polymorpha, not astilbe. It gets huge and is a great plant for drama in an area that can tolerate large plants. Mine grows with sanguisorba Menziesii and a Diablo Ninebark.
PM, really beautiful Baptisia! Yes, locating the perfect spot seems to be important because it would be near impossible to get the taproot out to move a mature plant! I have several kinds growing here and am eager to see how they all do this year. Twilight Prairieblues is the one I'm anxious about: It seems to be blooming the wrong colour, so perhaps a mix up tag situation? :( So far I really love a pure white one...but then I love white anything.

The tent caterpillers are horrendous this year. Early and disgusting. I bet the sawfly larva will be attacking the columbines soon too. ICK!

Here we have our turtles LIVE. They often sun themselves on DH's little dock on the pond. I hope Phoebe remains cautious about them. Today she acted wisely when introduced to the riding mower.

Here is a link that might be useful: Twilight Prairieblues

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:31PM
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Tigresses and terrapins and bees, oh my! Don't you dare stop those photos, Saucy. Looks like the tigress is tucking in for a postcatnip frenzy nap, lol. With four cats, I simply cannot grow catmint, they form a line and take a number to have turns mashing it. The stipa grass does occasionally incite a Serengeti silliness in them, where they lie in wait and ambush our ankles.

The helpmeet grows more mysterious by the day. Keeps a massive veggie garden and enforces weekly theater engagements. And knows his way around building equipment. And likes cats. If this isn't the ideal man...

Kathy, I grew baptisia about 25 yrs ago when I was an apartment dweller and kept a plot in a co-op public garden, so I know it can be grown here even in zone 10. Probably a case of, if it can't be sold in bloom, it doesn't get sold at brick&mortar nurseries, not to mention large, in bloom, tap-rooted plants would have a high transplant mortality rate.

NYT has a long piece on "guerrilla gardeners" that also makes reference to other guerrilla types, like "guerrilla knitters in New York and elsewhere have been wrapping traffic light poles in colorful, leg-warmer-like cozies." One of the most cheerful pieces I've read in a long time. ;)

PM, whatever the color, I hope you do post a shot of the rose Rhapsody in Blue, especially if you've got a truss in bloom. I'm completely off roses now and forever/the foreseeable future/this week, but am semi-intrigued by that one.

Seconding the request for the IG sibling birthday party photos. I can see them in their finery, delicately gnawing raw chicken necks...

I think Deanne had asked if that was a yucca bloom in a photo I posted, which it is, in back of the Agastache 'Purple Haze" (not A. 'Black Adder' which I may have called it previous.)

My excitement of the day is my francoa has finally bloomed! More aerial fizz! (Yes, just one measly stalk, but small garden mantra is, it's all in the details...) Battery ran out when attempting photo of the whole plant which is big and cabbagey.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 12:57PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Outrageously H&H here for the past three days! I keep hoping for a good thundershower but nothing yet. I did 20 minutes of handwatering this morning but only finished half the driveway area before I gave up feeling definitely sunburnt and approaching heat stroke territory!

Yesterday Randy sawed off the one low, horizoital branch on the ash in the backyard - it's been bugging me ever since we moved here 9 years ago but we just got around to it now! It made an immediate improvement in the look of the tree and the view of the garden from the lounge chair on the back porch!. I know I should have waited and done it in the winter when it was dormant but it was past time to do it and Randy felt inspired to play with his chainsaw (which always makes me nervous! No body parts missing though after the job was complete...) We need to take off the lowest branches of the red oak too but will leave that until next Feb. or March for fear of oak wilt.

The wisteria is dropping its flowers today. When it bloomed in 2006, it dropped its flowers on June 1, before the leaves had emerged so it's much later to bloom this year and looks like a totally different plant. I think it was Denise that posted the picture of the beautiful (Japanese?) wisterias...? Someday maybe I'll have a really showy wisteria display like that! Dream on... :-)

GB - I know that a lot of the 'hits' on the Picturetrail albums are not 'real' but the most I've ever had reported on the viewing stats total was in the range of 5-6,000 so that number really floored me! And most of the pictures had 50 or less hits but the ones I had posted here had numbers in the thousands....

I have a ton of columbine blooming here now too - I love to see what color combinations appear as they obviously crossbreed freely. GB - I now have lots of frilly, double pale blue ones in the north alley. I think it was you who gave me those beautiful ones - which I planted in the front bed under the white rose. I assume they dropped a lot of seed in the north alley when the deadheads were on their way to the compost heap last year...:-)

Jasper and Blue arrived this morning for a few days stay while their 'parents' attend their son's university graduation. Misty is very happy to have her 'pack' back.

Time to head out to Super Pet to get a new pair of electric clippers. We gave Misty a short shave/haircut on Friday to help keep her cool. (We had done a half-haircut a month ago but, with the heat, she badly needed to get fully naked!) The clippers I've been using for the past number of years are the ones I had for my horse! They are fine for her body but too wide to do a decent job on her legs so I want to get a new pair in a more appropriate size. I'm sure they will be outrageously expensive. The price tag is still on the box of the ones I have - $135 20+ years ago.... It'll be interesting to see what they cost now.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 1:18PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh...can we have a turtle parade...[g]

G'bug...I looked up your Persicaria polymorpha. I was afraid I was going to read it was invasive, but pleasantly surprised that it is not. I like yours, even before it is in bloom. I bet it looks good with a lot of things. Your Gas plant is such a nice form. I wonder why I never see it at the nursery? Have you tried lighting the gasses? [g]

Glad you liked my Baptisia...wouldn't yours and mine look nice together. [g] That Prairie Blues was the source of my screen name. I chose the front and back of two of my favorite plants at the time. Prairie Blues Baptisia and Harvest Moon Echinacea. The photo of the color is so different, what color did you end up with?

Saucy, 'Tigress' has the right idea. [g] I love to see cats enjoying a garden and I really think they do.

Denise, the 'Rhapsody in Blue' I bought locally spur of the moment. I was looking for disease resistance, which it is supposed to be. This is my first full season with it. Last year I got it in late, maybe about now, just as it got hot and it looked horrible all summer. So far it is looking good. The foliage is pretty clean, lots of buds. The color is a nice plum, but it fades so fast. Today all the roses look awful. The heat is really taking it's toll. The RIB has browned petals on blooms that opened this morning. It is very fragrant for a shrub rose. It is about 15 ft from the front door and every time I open it, I can smell it. I could even smell it in the rain yesterday. Here it is before the buds opened late afternoon, last week...

I managed to get a couple of photo this morning before it got hot... come up with more plants that I never heard of! I enjoy vertical plants and that is a nice one. Is that a grape behind it?

Woody...we trimmed a very large branch off a maple about a month ago too. I am with you, I hate chain saws and I am always happy when the job is done and they can shut them off.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 2:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, is that a ghost fern next to your turtle? One of my favorites. Maybe I'll get one for DSIL for Father's Day!

Off we go to DH's the heat. I'll bet the place is NOT A/C.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 3:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

G'bug....good eye...I love 'Ghost' and just bought two more this spring as plugs for $3. each. I can't imagine anyone not loving 'Ghost', great gift.

Does DH sing or play an instrument? I guess I missed that. I hope there is A/C! Good luck wishes...tell DH to 'break a leg'

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 3:31PM
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Stayin right with Saucy here, I took this pic on Friday evening-we call her "Visitor Kitty", she comes over from the block behind us, and loves to hang out here. My cats despise her, and DS and I think shes a tad pschyo. She is pretty though and looks quite comfy dozing in the lime tree pot.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My box turtle is very real..:-)

I saw her again a couple of days ago. She has shown up every year for many years.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Psycho Kitty, Qu'est-ce que c'est? ;)

PM, the RIB looks fantastic, very healthy. It seems a shade more intense than Reines des Violettes but on that wavelength. What awful temps and humidity for you already.

Woody, I've got a long-handled tree lopper parked under the smoke tree Grace, where it'll remain all summer. Took branches off last night, more this morning. Two sunflowers may now get a bit of sun on their heads.

Marian, congrats on your long-lived box turtle! Wish I still had mind to handle some of these snails...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 4:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Psycho Kitty definitely looks comfortable but doesn't seem to appreciate you taking her

Denise, we'll see how healthy RIB looks by the end of the summer. I am not holding my breath.

Ooohh Marian...a real turtle! You and G'bug are so lucky to have those. Do you have water nearby, too?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 4:57PM
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Turtle parade indeed ! Marian, without being indelicate, is it easy to gender-classify a turtle ?
Denise, how long will your Hesperaloe stay in bloom ? Isnt it more commonly seen in red ? A pic when those buds open will be most welcomeClearly, a kitty that rejects any and all advances from cat-doters such as DS and myself has got to be mentally ill. She wont let either one of us get within less than about 3 feet of her and she high-tails it over the fence. Occasional hissing and growling behavior has also been observed. She has been dropping in here for probably close to a year, and sometimes spends the better part of the day in my yard, positioned discretely out of view of the hated Ted and Doobie.
Your thoughts on Baptisia seem every logical-and I am heartened to note that you have grown it down in zone 10 land. Its now been given a place of honor on the future plant list.

Deanne, I dont know if you have ever been to web-site I have linked below, but in the event you have not I have found it to be a great resource for photos of fuchsias. I have it in my favorites-when you mentioned the standard you were starting of Galadriel I went there to see what it looked like. Seems like it will make a very cool standard by the way.

Woody, Im forever removing branches that are in reach from what few trees I have here. I have a huge Liquidambar that I had a large limb taken off of last year , and there is another I have been eyeing . Its quite high up and will require a tree guy to come in . There probably isnt much point in my doing it now with the house on the market. Wishing now Id had it taken off when I got rid of the other one.

Nice rose shots PM, Rhapsody in Blue is one that I dont own.

Pondering today while I watered that I really should have planted Salvia "Argentinian Skies" somewhere where it would be completely surrounded by concrete, and I hope whoever buys this house really, really likes asters. Looking like I will have my first Dahlias opening this week.

Kathy in Napa

Here is a link that might be useful: Fuchsias

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 6:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, the male box turtle has a red throat. We saw one along the road recently.

Pm2, yes, there is lots of water nearby. We have a farm pond back of DH's shop building. And there is a 'pour-off' down in our 'hollow'. It has a permenant pond there, and is spring fed.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 6:12PM
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Well, Saucy learned her lesson tonight....I got 3 bee stings.

I guess from now on I will try the equipment (as she types with ice on her wounds...)...I did get a little cocky and tried to "steal" the base out from underneath my hive so that I could paint it...

Hives have been painted Bahia Grass Green....a turtle may make it on top, Cynthia!

Denise (wonderful mentor) and I will be "righting" the hive situation tomorrow. I have my tripod set up for pictures...

Marian, I love the box turtle!

We have turtles here, too, PM...I'm on the wetlands and they all nest in my yard.

I like cats like Chelone likes dogs.....


    Bookmark   June 8, 2008 at 9:05PM
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GOod morning

Belated birthday wishes to Cindy and Sue. Cards to follow.

The weekend was a hot and humid blur of activity. David was well enough for his recital and played beautifully. I had the usual pre-company cleaning frenzy, much needed as any free time had been spent in the garden. Sunday were able to enjoy a clean house, plenty of left-overs, and lots of swimming as the temps hit the 90's.

This week could be hectic with the beginning of my end of year wrap-up at work, helping Annie review for finals (physics has been very tough for her) and David testing for a brown belt in Karate.

I hope to peek in when I can.

Fiddler on the Roof is one of our all time favorite musicals - Annie and David know most of the songs by heart and sing them frequently. I'd love to see it on stage. DH's grandparents fled a small town in Russia under similar circumstances so it has always had a special meaning for us.

Love all the turtles !! Saucy - you're making me want to Tufa again (is that a verb?)!

Cynthia - love the pups new scarves and birthday wishes to Monty.

The flower photos are all gorgeous!! My baptisia australis is huge and fabulous right now and I went out in the dusk last night to stake it. Roses are starting to open and I'm hoping the temps will drop soon to prolong the


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:50AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Im melllllltingggggggg.. Good grief, these temps and humidity are going to kill me not to mention frying the flowers. The roses were gorgeous for about one and a half hours then the 98 degree day hit and it was all over with. All the flowers popped open and they all have crisped edges and by today theyll start to drop petals. Oh well, I probably should become a weather person because I can predict reliably the first heat wave of ever summer as it comes the week my first June roses open. LOL ~~ Something ate three of my best fish, Bummer. Actually Im pretty heartbroken as Blue Man and Leopard were both ten years old. Pouff gone. I think it was the raccoon, or, the heron. I know they have to eat too but why oh why do they need to dine on my pet fish. Le Sigh as Da used to say. But, now for the good news, the Climbing Hydrangea is over the top fantastic this year. It has more blooms on it than ever and its gorgeous at the moment as are the Allium Globemaster. The containers are all filling in beautifully and the tropicals are basking in the heat so Im expecting the brugs and banana to put on some serious growth with these temps plus humidity.

Doug and I bought a fountain for the circular area in the container garden area. I was so pleased as I found this at a nursery in Hudson and it was missing the statue finial on it. I didnt want the statue but will find a round or pineapple bubbler of some sort. Anyway because of the missing part that I didnt want they sold it to me for half price. Woohoo!!!! We are picking it up next week. Now for the difficult site prep work. We want to lay in a circular bed of pavers for under the fountain. Doug also is going to dig in a conduit for power to the location. I cant wait until its all installed as I know its going to be perfect there.

OK here are some pics from this humid morning.

The shade garden. Im going to fill in those two spaces with other Hosta when I find something that speaks to me. Im thinking Ill probably put in another Striptease in the left space.

I absolutely love this vignette this time of the year. That Salvia May Night with the Allium is so cool.

A longer view of the sundial garden showing the Hydrangea petiolaris on the oak tree.

I couldnt decide which hydrangea pic I liked best so Im posting several.

You can see the humidity in the air in this shot toward the east.

Must get to the gym then Ive got a full day in my office downstairs so Ill have to run for now. Im hoping to find time to comment tonight. Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:18AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gee, I was just reading about the flooding and tornados in the Midwest. Isn't Eden, Ei, V. and Honey all in Michigan, Minnesota? Sounds like that area is having an awful time of it. Would love to hear if things are fine with all of you.

Haven't heard from Drema in awhile, wondering how her brother is doing. Babsclare is another we haven't heard from in awhile. glad everything worked out so well for David and it sounds like you had a chance to 'destress' on Sunday too.

Kathy....why are you wishing for concrete around 'Argentine Skies', is it a spreader? I would love to grow that plant just for the I am looking forward to your Dahlia photos. I loved those you had last you buy new every year, or have the same? I didn't do any Dahlias this year, so I will enjoy yours vicariously. :-) Also haven't seen your Begonia collection yet. are you doing in this heat? I hope you have air conditioning.

Saucy...first bee stings? Well, it was bound to happen. You'll get the hang of it. Ice was a good idea.

Deanne....Your hydrangea is spectacular! I just love seeing one of those climbing an oak tree. How long did it take to grow that high and bloom that much? Did you have to do something special to train it to the tree?

Staying out of the heat today. Watered the front last night and the back this morning. Ready for another hot day.

Enjoying everyone's photos!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:03PM
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Its a lovely fresh morning with no rain in site for the day. Iowa is really getting hit with rain and flooding. Its not bad here, but I feel for those who are dealing with it.

The only turtles I have seen on our property are large snappers, somehow they just arent all that cute. I have a lot of toads in the garden with all the rain we have had. I even found a tiny one in one of my winter-sown containers.

Interesting, but baptisias are hard to find around here. They are so easy to grow and extremely hardy. I have 2 baptisia australis and people notice them and comment on them in bloom and when they have set seed. I must look for some of the other varieties. Last year was the first year that I left the seed pods on and I see I have quite a few seedlings. I am also finding quite a few seedlings from clematis Nelly Moser I potted a few up for my mom. Persicaria polymorpha and helianthus Lemon Queen" are a couple of other plants that I cant find locally and have never gotten around to ordering. It seems like large perennials maybe arent big sellers to the average homeowner. Dictamnus is another plant that I had to search high and low to find. I eventually ended up with 3 of the pink although one was labeled as white and I was quite annoyed to find out when it bloomed that it wasnt. In town there is a house that has an amazing stand of the pink. There must be 3 plants that are each around 4 diameter.

Deanne, your climbing hydrangea is quite stunning, that is a perfect tree for it. How old is it? It is such a treat to open the Idyll on a Monday morning and see all the loveliness of your garden. Great buy on the fountain. I need a deal like that, Id like to add one near the front door area that we are revamping, but the ones I like are so expensive. How awful about your

Mary, Im pleased to hear that David was feeling well enough for his recital. I cant believe how hot it is out there already.

Kathy, pschyo or not, I think shes pretty. No painting this weekend as the can says it needs to be dry for 24 hours afterward and with rain predicted on Sunday I didnt want to chance it.

PM2, Im enjoying the pictures from your garden, Id like to see a few long shots. I love those.

bug, neat that your DGS picks a visit to you over a scooter.

Heres hoping that you all get a chance to enjoy your garden today!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 12:05PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

V and I seem to be having similar clouds over our heads lately sorry for your car accident, V glad no one was hurt and its the "annoyance" factors that are so aggravating. I did have my car freed Friday, only to get home and then have the power go out on Saturday (98 degrees) it returned by 10 pm that nite when it was about 95 degrees in my bedroom. . . . luckily we had a nice chilly basement where Chloe & Mom spent their nite. . . . it sure took the wind out of any sails I had re energy though...I made the mistake of potting some things up and felt like Id been in a sauna and that was it for me for energy.

Eeeks, Cynthia hope no terrible damahge to your wonderful house I will hope its only some slates gone. That is truly amazing about the sibling greys being re-connected locally and such a lovely birthday affair to be sure.

PM your baptisia is gorgeous ! and I also would love to see your Rose Rhapsody in Blue Im pretty sure thats the one that Helen Dillon mentioned in her last book as the only rose she is still enamored of and how wonderful it did in her gardens I believe she tossed almost all her old ones except for 1 or 2... I seem to recall she mentioned the RinB was "low maintenance" so it will be interesting to see and hear of your experience. [oo, I see You have posted it gorgeous and is definitely hinting of blue...]

Sadly, bug, I do not think either of my gas plants survived... bummer and I have not seen my Baptisia Twilight Prairie Blues either this year it would have been 2nd year for all of them... something tells me they went the way of the Casablancas last year the drought [and critters[ conquered a lot of things and may do so again this year with these terrible temps I expect a lot of my clematis are likely to keel over too I hope to hose them down tonite but things keep getting in the way. This morning before work, I lugged the hose around (in my work clothes) to hit a few things but was continually dancing away from the leaky sprayer head it suitably cooled me down for my expected hot, hard, trek on the metro, but I was glad Id worn darkish clothes, so the water spots didnt show, LOL...

I hope Rex is going better w/ his enforced repose. . . . like most of us, perhaps he just had a wee bit too much surgery back to back so to speak I will continue to hope its just taking a bit longer in the recovery dept for him.

O, Deanne Im so sorry about your pet fish Mother Nature always has surprises in store for us doesnt she? Re hostas Im not a fan, but bought my first few this past year Im liking the Touch of Class I got a lot (it could be the plant slut in me though...) it is similar to the Striptease I think, Deanne, but stripe down the middle as well. Wow o wow no one would ever think your plants are frying, Deanne! That hydrangea has really done you proud this year, hasnt she? [Sales Alert] -- And I thought of you when I breezed into Tuesday Morning store on Sat they had pots 25% off and there were several that youve got showcased luckily I do not need big ones like some of your urns I was mostly looking for some small mono-type pots.

Kathy do you dig your Dahlias out every year? Ive got several that have overwintered (I was too lazy to dig) and theyre getting ready to bloom already I think for a couple its going to be the 3rd year for them but I have no idea what I should have been doing for care and fertizling... I know a couple are the common Thos. Edison but hey, I am not gonna be choosey if they want to become perennial for me! Got any hints for overwintering them without removal from the ground?

That kitty is definitely psycho and rude too after you having such a wonderful "spa" retreat for her to use daily, she disabuses your hospitality she needs some manners, LOL! You should talk to Doobie about that.

Well, as usual, overwhelmed at the awfice and so I best get back to it. . . . my voice mail box was completely full when I arrived this a.m. w/ things to do and type up. . . . all from 1 person. . . . I think he thinks its funny well, Ive left the msgs there so I dont think hell be leaving any more until I empty them all out! Not a great way to start Monday though it required a couple extra cups of java.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 1:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've been waiting for this tree peony for two years now. It was advertised as rusty orange...a colour I am growing fond of. Well, the colour isn't what I asked for, but I like it anyway.

And for PM2, the persicaria as it looks today.

And for everyone...the sky...

It's a scorcher here!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 2:38PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Oh, boy! A turtle parade! If only I had known-we had a turtle come walking up the driveway a couple of days ago. Pretty odd, there's no water to speak of close to the house. He was on a long trip, where ever he came from/was going. The dogs were very interested, of course, but we made them come back on the porch and let the poor guy get on with his journey.
Sounds like I'm in good company...everyone seems to be H&H! Popped in to see if there was any news of our Michigan and Illinois folk. I've seen some pretty nasty blurbs on the radar lately, and am hoping no one has storm damage.
I'm working on getting my Bluestone order in the ground. I'm so good at point and click shopping, I just wish someone would invent point and click planting...better yet, WEEDING! This is my first real day to work outside, and there is so much to catch up on. The recent back pain is a fresh reminder to take it easy, though.
I've enjoyed the pictures and a light skim, now it's time to get back to work.
Hello to one and all, have a great afternoon, see ya later!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 3:47PM
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'bug, is your tree peony 'Kinkaku'? That's what mine is supposed to be and its not remotely close. The nursery where I bought is now defunct.

Here is a link that might be useful: 'Kinkaku'

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 4:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sorry to hear of all the H&H. The hottest it has been at our house is 82F. It was hotter in surrounding areas, but we are in a 'favored' spot. :-)
pm2, we do not have AC, but have been using our ceiling fan and a space fan. Will use window fans when it gets hotter.

Marie, that tree peony is gorgeous ! I like the sky pic too. How tall does the Persicaria get ? I think it is what a friend had in Idaho, and it was huge !

Today is very rainy, and the roads are washing...AGAIN ! It is only in the mid 60s. I have shut up the house, and put on warmer clothes. :-(
At least I do not need to water all my outside containers.:-)
They are getting prettier every day. I keep tucking more stuff into empty spaces....mostly rotted cuttings.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 5:45PM
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I'm pooped! It's been warm here (mid-80s) and a bit on the humid side, but nothing too terribly oppressive. I kicked in the afterburners this afternoon and mowed the lawn, accomplishing the entire thing in about one hour. I was pretty hot and very sweaty when I shut the mower off.

I finished the second coat of the sealing shellac on the windowbox pieces, too. My next move is to assemble them and then give them the finish coat of paint. And I'm really liking the work environment in the Salon!

I'm discouraged about the yard and the gardens this year. Everything I really wanted to do has gone on hold while we get the house stained and the trim painted. I wanted to rearrange a number of things that have been languishing in less than favorable locations since the bahn construction. But there isn't much point in that until the painters go away and I can readily assess the chaos they'll leave me. Baptisia is one of the things I really wanted to move, along with the remaining tree peony and a few other assorted "thises and thats". I was pleased to note that the bracts on the Kousa we planted last fall are opening up. Helpmeet is unimpressed, but I'm pretty pleased. The rest of the area looks like hell, though. :( My "best" clematis is blooming its head off, but the trellis is tilted away from the side of the house and all the flowers are facing the wrong way... . It just seems as though everything looks as torn up and out of control as it did last year.

'bug, I had forgotten entirely about GS's heart issue! I was thinking the surgery probably had something to do with his hearing. Certainly is a weighty issue for family to consider. Your gardens look lovely. I had a tree peony that looked something like the one you showed us, though not quite as vibrant. I never really cared for it and when it began sprouting from the herbaceous roots I allowed a shoot to flower... revealing a handsome bright pink single. I have it to a friend who saw it and was enchanted by it. My remaining tree peony has no buds this year, but is a very deep, vibrant magenta... I'm not nuts about it, either!

Rex seems to be better after a few days of aspirin and the crackdown on activity. I'll call the vet. and see what she says. He's due for his post-op. X rays on the 16th.. She did not seem particularly alarmed by his "gimpiness". So we'll continue restricting his movement and flexing the leg. The surgeon did say that this tear was worse than the first one. I hate dogs.

I have watched with horrified fascination the devastation in Wisconsin and Indiana... the footage of someone's home carried way by flood waters with everything they've worked so hard for inside was heartbreaking. About the worst I've seen in my little corner of the country was the ice storm in 1998.

I loved the picture of your turtle, Marian. The helpmeet commented that there was turtle attempting to cross the road when he returned from the grocery store this afternoon. This is the time of year we see the big snappers, too. Tufa, cement, or real, I think they're fascinating creatures... like lookin' at dinosaurs.

Good thoughts to Sue on the that nasty stess fracture... what a drag! maybe you could get one of the scooters or those electric chairs to keep you suitably mobile? I've been wondering about Eden, too (as well as the usual cast of characters).

Well, I'm thinking about dental floss, brushing my teeth, rounding up the pride, and retiring to bed to read for a bit; tomorrow is going to be busy, hot, and I'm still sleep deprived from the Celtics and the play. 4:30 comes early and there is a lot of noise on the compound on these warm nights, as the link attests!

Here is a link that might be useful: Turn on your speakers

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, I turned on my speakers but there was this weird stereo effect with the real frogs outside. It's been quite noisy here as well. Out here, gray tree frogs have been known to hang out on the Weber grill.

Well, in a word the weather here sucks, but it has limited itself to being an annoyance and not a disaster. Once again, I have aquatic life in my driveway (how many of you have to worry about driving over a tadpole???) as the wetlands are overrunning the drive. We have had 3.3" of rain since 11:00 pm Saturday night. I don't have to water containers, I have to de-water them! I can't believe that Lake Delton in Wisconsin has disappeared - drained away into the river when the dam breached.

'bug, what color is your Twilight Prairieblues blooming this year? There has been some color-shifting because of differences in spring temperatures. Off the top of my (tired) head, I don't recall the specific effect. Mine is a little lighter in color this year. Hopefully I can get a photo of it tomorrow - with an overcast sky, there's not enough light left tonight for a photo. Mine is placed between a late-blooming lilac and a purple cotinus, and it looks quite lovely there.

Saturday I helped plant a community garden at our church. I kept waiting for the big strong men to show up, but since they never did, DD and I had to build the chicken wire fence ourselves. I can now add fence building to my resume of skills.

Sunday, DD and I rode the train to Chicago and went to the Printers Row book fair. Lots of fun! Stalls and stalls of books to rummage through, a stray author or two, and then a wicked thunderstorm that brought a quick end to our fun. But I already had more than enough to carry. At one booth where all the books were 3 for $10, I found a 1969 book on gardening with native plants! The only disappointment was that Scott Simon was supposed to speak at 1:00, but that was at the peak of the deluge and I wasn't brave enough to leave the shelter of a building.

Toss in some planting in my own yard, teaching a seminar, attending a benefit and a graduation party, and I just don't understand why I'm tired tonight. (Actually, I think my weekend could be boiled down to: shower, change clothes, repeat.)

Sue, I missed where your stress fracture was at. Bummer about that, though.

Saucy, I meant to tell you last week that right about the time you were posting the photo of your red zebra banana, I was out buying one! I had to relocate it on the deck to give it more shelter from the winds we have had, but it's doing great.

I'm about ready to call it a night. If I don't post this soon, I'll do something dumb and lose it all!


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 9:41PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No stress fracture or that's what I've been told by the people who interpreted the xray. My physical therapist still thinks there may be one-claims they aren't always evident on xrays. I see an orthopedic specialist on Friday-highly touted sports med guy. Hopefully he'll have the answer because I'm tired of limping and would like to get back to my walks.

Day three of nasty hot and humid here again today. I think it got up to 96 or 97 F. Supposedly one more day then upper 80s but drier. I broke down yesterday and put a window AC unit in the livingroom. I'm not a big fan of air conditioners but the dogs are home all day and I can't leave windows open on the first floor. By using shades, a ceiling fan and strategic opening and closing of windows, I've been able to sleep comfortably in my second floor bedroom. I've toyed with the idea of installing central air in this house but can't justify the $8-10K expense for the handful of days we have here where you actually need it. Plus I'm a fresh air fan and most of the people I know with central air tend to become so reliant on it that they close up their houses all summer, live in a climate controlled environment and have no tolerance for heat at all.

Chelone, funny you say you had a tree peony that reverted to a single herbaceous pink. In one of the gardens I visited on Saturday there was the most gorgeous single pink peony I have ever seen. When we asked the gardener what variety it was she said it had been a tree peony that died back and reverted to it's herbaceous roots. It was stunning and coming from me that says alot because I'm not a huge peony fan.

Persicaria's a monster in my garden right now. As usual I didn't support it so it should be collapsing soon. Has anyone ever tried to move one?

OK, time to do "last outs" with the mutts then head up to bed. Tomorrow night they get groomed-canine spa night-and I can't wait. It's been almost seven weeks and they both look like bags of

Sleep tight everyone.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:18PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I am hopelessly behind. I was off work last week with a purely evil and nasty cold. Feeling much better now although I get tired too quickly. Dh just asked me where the Nyquil is. :(

I thought this was very pretty. Made entirely of sand, it took over 40 hours to create. The picture doesn't do it justice.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:21PM
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For once I am able to be in a united front with my east coast Idyll pals weather-wise. Though the extra bonus of humidity is not in the picture, it was mid to high 90s today and AC is on. Newly installed bedding plants look mighty unhealthy. Thank goodness my roses are in between cycles and the daylilies seem to shrug off the heat. I had to laugh at the vision of Cindy out in her business garb trying to water before heading off to jobville.
Cindy, I dont dig up my Dahlias, and have only lost them if standing water becomes an issue. Our ground does not freeze here. Im told when I move to Oregon that I will have to dig them up because the soil gets too cold and also wet. But you are in zone 6 and had yours survive the winter ? This leads me to believe that it I have a spot that drains well I may escape the dig-up gig? How strange that though we are three zones apart our Ds are starting to bloom at somewhat the same time. Go figure.

Deanne, that petiolaris is spectacular, and the Hostas are to die for.I mustnt swoon as there is no one home right now to provide the smelling salts.You armillary is fabu-fabu. I just cant seem to find one that I like. I do have one but want another . I keep searching.

Yes PM, Argentinian Skies is a thug. I will get you a pic in a couple of days. I really should dig it out. My begonias dont look like much yet, mainly because I left them out all winter so the dieback was pretty severe. I usually move them into the house, and I only did that with one. The rest were stashed under bushes on west and south facing walls. I only lost one . Im pretty happy with that considering what a cold winter we had this year. Fear not, a pic will come in due time !

bug that Peony reminds me of a tuberous begonia..its very pretty !

Denise are you burning up too down there ?

Glad to hear that Rex is considered still on the mend by the DVM authorities. Construction and painting chaos is indeed a trial. I feel fortunate to have gotten most of my most disruptive home improvement projects done before spring arrived. You house and the Salon will look so great that you will be able to bask in their glory while proceeding with plant moves at a leisurely pace.

Michelle, I will await the paint job with anticipation !

Brenda , I wonder if walking is the correct terminology for turtle movement ? It made me giggle a bit !

Ok thats all I have for tonight.

Stay cool Idylls !

Kathy in Napa.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V, my Prairieblues seemed truly purple yesterday. In the photo, a bit "browner", but not like on Google.

I'm wondering if it will change next year?

For Chelone, this is the flowering European Cranberry (Viburnum) I told you I liked for hiding the road from view. It will get red berries later on.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:28PM
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I semi-snuck off to a nursery after work today (and bagged an Abutilon 'Paisley'), took all of 45 min, and when I returned was met by Marty, very grave expression, saying we had an "incident" while I was AWOL. I put down the plants, shift my feet for balance and tell him to proceed, expecting tales of bodily injury. He and Dune had to run an errand, I had disappeared, so they left Ein in the house with the driveway gate left open anticipating my return. When they got home, Ein is sitting at the edge of the driveway, gate still flung wide (we have a VERY busy street) and further investigation reveals a UPS package at the OPEN back door, just inside the house. Someone obviously didn't lock the back door, and the UPS guy took advantage, opened the unlocked door, deposited the package inside and left the door open. Diligent he was, thank you UPS guy, but careless with Ein, who was told again and again what a GOOD dog he is for respecting the invisible boundary at the driveway edge. I have to sneak away after an early workday because, unlike V, I have no life on weekends, just churning out transcripts. Maybe a little bit cranky, but potting up the abutilon worked miracles -- what a cheerful plant!

Quick sympathy to Deanne on the loss of your pet sorry! And another sympathetic nod to Mary, because I truly understand that end of school year madness (and am so glad to be out of it!)

Along with mislabeled tree peonies, my Rooguchi clematis turns out to be durandii, which is fine, just surprising. Not too hot here, low 80s. Mitch just back tonight from Olympia, Wash., where the sixties seem to be alive and flourishing, brought back scads of film to develop for an upcoming show and organic coffee beans from Batdorf and Bronson where his buddy is head roaster. Tucking in early tonight, g'night.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 12:22AM
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Hot damn, I am consumed by longing for Abutilon 'Paisley" after innocently Gooleing. I swear I can't buy any more plants.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 12:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 4:58AM
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Yup, Happiest of birthdays to Martie!

I have to finish my breakfast and think about spinning off to work.

Bummer about your fish, Deanne. Did you lose that great big black job I admired at the TYNAW pahty?


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 5:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 6:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I bet you'll all want to take a look-see here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Abutilons

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 6:18AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-) glad you are not dealing with flooding. Another pond person with turtles and toads too. I used to see a toad once in awhile but none for a long time. There is no water nearby to speak of. What a surprise that 'Nelly Moser' reseeds...especially there in zone 4.

Thanks, I'm so glad you are enjoying my plants. :-) I wish I could share more long views of my garden, but between the unsightly neighbor views and the various 'under construction' areas, it will be some time before I will be able to. We keep chipping away at our list of projects and now have three small areas that are finished for the time being but many more to go.

Kathy....every time I scroll down through the thread, I continue to get a chuckle from your Psycho Kitty. I wish you had a video of her climbing into that pot. So funny how she managed to get under the string without disturbing anything. I find myself wondering why she likes that particular spot. [g]

Since I am so new to roses...I am confused. I thought they liked hot weather? So why are some of my blossoms browning on the edges with this heat? Also, what do you mean by your 'roses are in between cycles'? Some of them rebloom? Do you feed them during the growing season? I was also noticing what was tolerating the heat well yesterday and the Dianthus edging my bed seemed quite happy while even some sedums were wilting, which surprises me.

I also got a chuckle over Cindy in her work clothes watering. That's commitment, Cindy! :-)

Cindy....thanks for that info on the Rose RIBlue. It was an impulse buy, when the local nursery didn't have whatever was on my list at the time. It had clean foliage and a pretty open rose and they described it as very disease resistant so it came home with me.

I should have mentioned that our Baptisia is in shade until 11am, so I am happy that we get bloom at all. I have seen them grown in full sun and they are much more upright than mine. I used a hoop around the base to keep it better contained, which works perfectly. I am pretty sure they can be winter sown and when I collect seed I would be happy to send seed to anyone wanting to try it. It is just plain old Baptisia australis. Long wait I would imagine from seed to bloom though.

Deanne...I meant to tell you I am sorry about your fish. You kept them a long time. Unfortunately, most of the time I hear of people with fish in ponds, inevitably stories of missing fish, follow. So far, I haven't heard of a remedy. I like your sundial! It is very pretty. What kind of metal is it..and does it withstand the elements?

Gardenbug...that Persicaria is such a pretty plant. I really enjoy that kind of airy almost grassy look of the blooms. I know it is too large a plant for my garden, but just wondering how long your bloom lasts? The tree peony is very pretty too. Reminds me of a carnation...or a begonia, as Kathy mentioned. I am a sucker for picotee anyway, but the colors are really nice...remind me of sherbet. [g]

That photo of PBlues Baptisia, is starting to look like the color I thought it would be. Maybe they enhanced the photo in the catalog, just a bit? Is that expected to get as large as the Baptisia australis? Your Viburnum is wonderful! I love it! Makes quite a large screen and is such a pretty shape with all that bloom on it! Have you pruned it or is that it's natural shape?

Hello Brenda...glad your back is feeling better! are so lucky to be in a 'favored' spot. I don't enjoy A/C but our summers continue to get hotter, earlier and longer and I completely wilt in the heat. My DH has always begun to tease me that my comfort range is between 65-70. Funny, when I was younger, I always thought of myself as fairly rugged, enjoying being out in all kinds of weather. I much prefer days when I can turn the A/C off and open the windows. I also love fresh air, like Sue.

Chelone....I thought you had decided to use your old windowboxes awhile longer? Your garden will still be there in the fall, when you may have a lot of your 'indoor' work completed and can start making plans and moving plants and getting ready for a great spring/summer garden next year!

V...nice to see you! So glad you are not floating away. :-) Sounds like you had a very nice weekend, despite all the wardrobe changes.

Sue...glad you have an appt with a sports med doc. Hope they can get to the bottom of it. Has to be some problem there or you wouldn't be limping. It's nice to have an A/C for when you really need it. I have seen some new room a/c units on wheels, that you don't have to place in a window. I am planning on looking into those. There is also a new kind of whole house A/C that doesn't require all the duct work, that I saw reviewed on This Old House. Maybe you can find the episode on it, on their website.

Happy Birthday Martie! Are you going out for your BD?

Busy morning here so heading out to get some watering done. Hope everyone stays cool today.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 6:58AM
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Sarah helped me with Martie's Birthday Wishes:

Happy Birthday Martie!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 7:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Another scorcher on tap here and I believe today is supposed to be hotter than yesterday. The poor fuchsias and impatiens are looking bedraggled. Id put some of those sun tolerant New Guinea Impatiens in the dahlia garden and I think they might have bought it yesterday. Just too hot too soon after planting. Oh well, only time will tell.

Thanks everyone for your sympathy over my missing fish. I dread checking the pond ever morning lately to see if Im missing anyone else.

PM go happy you like the sundial. Its cast bronze and has been there since the mid-90s. It used to be shiny but I like the aged patina its gotten over time. The Hydrangea attaches itself to the tree with aerial rootlets or holdfasts. Its been there for thirteen years or so but has only really bloomed well the last five.

Chelone, fortunately we still have Uncle Fester. Hes getting on in years and I dont know how much longer hell be around but hes still doing OK. I think hes well camouflaged so Im hoping he survives the depredations of whatever is whittling down my fish numbers. ~~ Glad to hear that Rex is doing OK. I hope hes back to 100% soon.

Kathy, Im with you about that Abutilon Paisley. Ive got one quite like it but it doesnt have the variegation in the leaves. I can see a mailorder happening soon. ~~ RE the heat thing, you are lucky you dont have this beastly humidity to go along with these high 90s temps. I went out to do a bit of watering mid afternoon yesterday and just standing there with a hose left me dripping (literally) in sweat. I had to take another shower just from being outside. I shudder to think what those crazies I saw running are doing to themselves. ~~ So happy you like the petiolaris and the hostas. You should see Sues. They are twice to three times the size of mine. I get hosta envy every time I see hers.

Denise, jeesh! Thats pretty scary that the UPS man left your package inside your house. I wouldnt be too happy about that and letting Ein out is even worse.

Jerri, so sorry about the cold. What a bummer to get sick in the summer. ~~ Great pic, thanks for sharing that.

Wow V. sounds like youve been beyond busy. Bummer about the weather. I surely wish the rain would even itself out. I could use some more here but so far the predicted thunderstorms havent materialized.

Cindy, I didnt used to like hostas either until I found Sum and Substance and Frances Williams. Then it was Gold Standard, Golden Tiara and so on and so forth. Im going to have to look for Touch of Class.

Michelle, I believe I planted that Hydrangea petiolaris in 1995. It took a long time to get any size to it but it really is a magnificent specimen now. So happy you like the garden pics. ~~ RE the fountain, I couldnt believe it when they actually called me back and offered it 50% off as is. I did a happy dance I can tell you.

Woody, I hear you about approaching heat stroke just from standing around with a hose in hand. Wicked weather. Hope you are staying cool.

Saucy, I had to log in again on Garden Web but wasnt denied access. Thats weird.

Bug, great pics!

OK Ive got to run get some watering done and then get downstairs to work. Have a great day everyone!


Here is a link that might be useful: Hydrangea petiolaris

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 7:58AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Birthday, Martie!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 9:06AM
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Ooo, another pretty day here. I try to spend at least ½ hour in the garden each morning, just taking it all in. You just never know what you will see each morning. Right now I am enjoying the first season of bloom of the Dusky Challenger irises that Cindy shared with me they are nearly black and just so cool.

Last night we had an entirely grilled meal and enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio while it cooked.

We have been enjoying sleeping with the windows open, although I do like having central air when the humidity gets high.

Yesterday DH had a visit with a company rep wanting to possibly put a wind turbine or 2 on our land. We have mixed feelings on it. It tells you just how windy it is here on the prairie and my newly planted pots are showing it right now. They do adapt though. I think thats why I enjoy the mornings in the garden when the wind isnt there. According to the map in the link, we live in the only county that is all yellow, which is the windiest area in the state.

Martie, I hope your day is enjoyable and special. Ill be back later with a picture.

Deanne, have you tried any of the miniature hostas? They are wonderful along the edge and so cute. I only have a few but Im thinking of grouping them in a small raised bed that I have. Have you tried some kind of netting over your pond? Would it work to submerge the netting to just under the surface? Maybe if it were dark in color it would be invisible.

Kathy, I didnt realize that ablutions come with that form of flower. I had one that I kept all winter and lost it just before it was time to go outside. I can see why you are tempted though.

Chelone, I can understand your frustration about the garden. I have those same feelings on beautiful days like this when I have to go to work and then the weekend is crappy.

Sue, I hope you find some answers on your ankle/foot. You wouldnt think it would be that hard.

bug, you would never know there was a road over yonder.


Here is a link that might be useful: Wind in Iowa

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 4:54PM
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I love Hosta. I'm not particularly into collecting umpteen million of them, but I am particularly attracted to the jumbo ones. I have Blue Angel, Frances Williams, Krossa Regal, Hosta plantaginea (late, with fragrant white flowers), several varigated types that have lost their tags, and have just ventured into the realm of the minis (precious!). I think they are just the quintessential work horses of the garden. They hide bulb foliage, they battle weeds with ease, they grow in dry places or wet ones, and their handsome leaves provide interesting contrast with neighboring plants. And they're EASY. Need an instant shade garden? mix Hosta, ferns, Asarum, and/or Epimedium.

Once more, we seem to have dodged the worst of the heat. It was sort of sticky today, but mid-80s was about tops, not too bad. The sea turn is about as predictable as the swallows' return to Capistrano. There have been weather alerts for severe thunderstorms an hour/two north of here and there is chance for some here, too. I hope it holds off for us; I want the stain to have more time to "set" and I want the painters to have a nice dry day tomorrow. Sigh.

My Hydrangea anomala petiolaris is just starting to bloom, too. Another sensational plant, well worth the wait.

Time to check out some links and enjoy some pictures! Where's the birthday girl? Yoohoo... Maaarrtiee.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 5:59PM
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Just a quick Hi (or 'high' as in freaking temps) and a very happy birthday to Martie of the Park.

I had to run off to Walmart during working hours today to get Dannie a larger pool. Morning walks are short in this awful weather and evening walks are very late and equally short. The only entertainment outdoors is splashing in the water since I keep her in the upper fenced area so she won't run and die of heatstroke. I wanted to find a preformed pond large enough for her, but they were all lumpy bumpy, so went for the next size kiddy pool. She made waves with her paws while laying in it with a big grin on her face and Katie stook there and drank out of it. Monty oblivious as always :)

Glad to see the photo and talk of Prairie blues. I've had my eye on it, but not enthralled enough and needy enough to add it - yet. I'm sun poor. I did get two of the Carolina Moonlight at the River Farm sale this spring. My plain blue baptisia are from seeds I brought from my last house.

And yes! I've moved (or more accurately 'tortured') a Persicaria polymorpha. This is the first year it's looked good since the abuse. Think this is year 3 in the new and improved spot. It was a fall move - and I was probably hurried and left half it's roots in the old spot. My movement techniques always seem to leave roots behind and wonder why Druse doesn't cover this propagation method in 'Making More Plants.'

I'm living on watermelon, cantelope and blueberries. 98F today with humidity thick enough to fill bottles with AND my dehumidifier seems to have had heatstroke.

Jerri, tell us about the sand art. Is it sealed or is sneezing a risk to it?

A pat on the back to me for cleaning out my underwear drawers last night. No idea why I save the stuff that's falling apart for so long. (Not to make headbands with :)

Stay cool! And keep those stunning and fun pictures coming everyone!

Cynthia (with two turtles, or more? They all look alike except for the one with the white back. )

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 6:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

More turtle parade...


Here is a link that might be useful: Endangered Turtle Makes 657 Day Journey

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 6:57PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Warning, this is a rant alert.. this is one of those times when I wonder why, oh why the he - - I bother to do this gardening thing. Today it hit 100.6 on my thermometer on the north side of the house. The gardens and annuals are looking pretty bedraggled after four days of high 90s (and today of the 100 degrees) This is just not the thing for early June plantings. So far all the iris have blown by, the one peony I have left, most of the first flush of roses are blown, the late rhododendron flowers all fried in the heat, the late lilac had passed in just a few days, Clematis Asao dropped all its petals after the second 97 degree day, the pansies are toast, Ive lost two fuchsias and most of the blossoms are falling off the ones in bloom, the Hydrangea petiolaris is already shedding its flowers, the flowers on Ninebark Diablo only lasted two days, the columbines are likewise done and on and on. None of the early summer stuff has lasted through this heat wave. The only tender stuff that is looking good are the Brugmansia, Banana, Cannas and Colocasias LOL.. Im very happy I have tropicals otherwise Id probably feel like cutting it all down and starting over again next year. Well, I guess that is just a slight exaggeration but what total frustration. End of rant.

Michelle, Ive not tried those truly mini hostas yet. Id like to get Mouse Ears. They are such darlings. I really like the idea of grouping a collection of the minis in a raised bed. One of the gardens we visited last year at IU4 had a lovely collection displayed like that. Ill have to dig up a photo.~~ I dont quite know what to do about the fish as I dont know what critter or bird is preying on them. Could be a Raccoon or a Blue Heron and the deterrents are different for each. Not to mention I just found out there has been a Fisher Cat seen in the neighborhood. Jeesh, youd think this was Mutual of Omahas Wild Kingdom. ~~ Id be crazed if I lived with as much wind as you do. I detest the wind. Big time. If you get wind turbines on your land do you get electricity from them?

Chelone, you are so lucky youve missed the worst of this heat. Its been beyond miserable.

Cynthia, I cant believe it was hotter here than at your house today. Weird. Love the image of the puppies playing in the wading pool.

OK Ive got to run and think about getting ready for bed. We are supposed to have T storms tonight but so far it doesnt look like it. It is still 90 degrees outside at the moment so if that cold front does come through I cant imagine not getting a storm out of it. Hopefully it will just bring rain.

Nite all

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 8:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm sure glad the cooler front arrived here! Deanne is right, it was MISERABLE! Couldn't do a thing all week. Man, some poor folks nearby had hail too! Today the rains were on and off all the time. I think we get 2 good days, then more rain...I hope i can get some work done at last. It is discouraging though because I was somewhat ahead of the game back in May...Now I'll never catch up.

Deanne, fishers are really nasty! Keep the cats away!!! If it was a heron, I think you'd have seen it. We have them here. They fish from our pond and under the bridge. The coons do their dastardly deeds at night. I heard the little brats at 4am this morning...and got up then to start my day. Sigh.

I hope Martie is sitting back with a cool drink, enjoying her special day!

I am writing down everything that passes my lips, starting today. Sigh...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 9:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Happy Birthday Martie...I hope you enjoy this picture of the 2 young bucks that have been bedded down in my old garden spot today. They are developing antlers, and they are just stubs in the velvet so far.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 9:27PM
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Not quite as hot here today, but wind which is not good in Calif during heat waves-the stuff that our brush fires are made of. I actually went to Jamba Juice and bought smoothie today, as a restorative after spending 65 bucks at the gas station. 4.41 ! Yikes. Sure am glad its only a mile to work ! There was also a bit of a brown out in town today , mid-afternoon, we lost power for a couple of hours, so no computers. I went through all the piles on my desk and sorted, filed etc. Not too bad to be forced into that kind of activity upon occasion.

AC is used rarely here, maybe 5 times a year tops, some years less. Think Ive had it on twice so far this year. I usually reserve it for high 90s and over 100, since it really doesnt work that well, especially upstairs.I never leave it on over night.

PM, I have found with roses that its not so much the heat per se , but an abrupt spike , going from the 70s to the 90s in a day. People who live in places like Palm Springs and Phoenix are very adept at selecting heat tolerant roses , and I think they tend to get more hardened off there. Right now my roses are mostly out of bloom and forming buds for the next flush. I dead head quite heavily after they bloom the first time. Some rebloom faster and more often than others. I feed with Alfalfa meal when they start to leaf our in spring and Dr Earth organic rose food usually in June and once more in early Sept.

Lol Cynthia, I cant believe any plant ever survives my moving techniques which are extremely indelicate to say the least. Division is an acceptable propagation method, intended or not ! What a vision Dannie the bathing beauty swimming in her Wal-Mart kiddie pool !

Deanne, what a shame about all your lovely spring flowers ! My pansies today are laying on their sides and who knows if theyll recover, its getting a bit late for them here any way. We are supposed to start cooling off a bit tomorrow, 80s instead of 90s.

I hope Martie is not under the weather for her b-day

Later everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 9:59PM
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Happy Birthday Martie !!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:05PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Deanne, would you believe that your rant made me feel better? I sometimes feel that I'm only posting that it's too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, but this year has been totally bonkers. My spring bulbs lasted forever because it was so cool, but the iris came and went so fast, if you blinked you missed them. On the critter front, I'm dealing with the tiny ones. The pantry moths appear to be vanquished, but I'm starting to think that it was because the ants ate them all. I've got bait stations all over the kitchen - and ants all over the kitchen as well. I've sprayed outside but don't want to spray inside. Carpenter bees have moved into the beams over the front porch, while spider mites are attacking the house plants. Sue, didn't you mention something about a plague of locusts?


    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Forgot to mention! I made an appeal for free mulch for our community garden at church. (Background: we have a lot of unused land at the church, so we have planted about 625 sq feet as a community garden, with the produce to be given to the local food pantry. We checked with the food pantry ahead of time to be sure we planted things they could use.) I got a call to day from someone who knows a tree trimmer. Seems that, with all the violent weather we have had, there are a lot of trees to take down. So we just may have our free mulch! Lemons will be turned into - garden tomatoes?

V. (who had to add a positive note!)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Here are the white faced birthday triplets - Nikki and Sasha, 14, and youngster Monty, 13. We had 16 hounds and a token Weimaraner (upper left hand corner.) Greyhounds do make all other dogs look fat :)

That deer picture is beautiful Marian! How could anything be wrong with the world with a view like that :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:58PM
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The hats.The scarves. I'm speechless.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 12:12AM
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What a cheery birthday shot. It made me laugh, Wrecks would make short work of one of those hats... does not like to be made "sport of". And I would dearly love to see a shot of Dannie in her pool. Perhaps you will give us an update on Katie's wheels?

I was fascinated by the sand art, too. Wondered if they used stencils to accomplish the intricacy of the design, chuckled at the havoc a sneeze could wreak... OR a curious cat.

Wow, Deanne, a Fisher in your area? very exciting. I've seen one in my neighborhood and that was many years ago now. It was in the winter and it was coming down the hill across the street over frozen, crusted snow. I thought it was a cat at first, but it was too low to the ground and it moved down the slope quickly and very decisively. I described it as moving like oil down a slope, not the way a cat moves at all. BEAUTIFUL! My favorite nursery has one that has been stuffed; they found it beside the road where it had been hit by car. It was a great opportunity to study such a handsome, supremely adapted animal.

My smpathies to all with the 3H blues. It was 100 degrees in Manchester, NH and it hit a high of 72 in Portland, ME.; it was warmer here, but not nearly as oppressive as what many of you have described. I am especially sensitive to the early "loss" of garden plants, feeling that way myself, though for other reasons. We had a late thunderstorm that made Vera nervous enough to seek cover under the bedclothes, lol. In retreating thusly she surrended the much prized and sought out "puffy box bed" to Spencer... who is STILL in bed.

Marian, that shot of the two deer is wonderful. Very peaceful, but I was also thinkin' they'd look pretty nice strung up by their hind legs, "curing". ;) You've managed to supply us with some pretty good "nature shots" over the years.

Time to think about saddlin' my pony and gettin' to work. The big canopy we laid out last Friday is slated for installation this morning. I have a really stupid project ahead of me, one destined to fail, I'm afraid. It's designed by the homeowner, complete with very detailed instructions that indicate clearly they have no idea what they're doing (specs using 1/8" don't exist in the world of of awnings and fabric, and there is no way a canopy the size they've spec'd is going to withstand wind or rain load fastened down with VELCRO!). They were advised repeatedly about the latter, but were hearing none of it... so make it we will and when it fails (and it will) it won't be our problem. But knowing something is doomed to failure rather takes the joy out of the project!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 5:36AM
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Thanks all for the wonderful birthday pics and wishes. Had to LOL at Marian sending me two young bucks -- who can complain?? I truly enjoyed catching up with all of you yesterday while sitting in total AC with no remorse :-)

For my birthday, my parents got me a new set of wheels:


Will be back to catch up later.

Thanks, again!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 6:53AM
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We could've used those wheels at the Tower Hill plant sale, Martie! Next year.....

We were transported to the deep south for about 4 days....cold showers brought no relief because you were covered with condensation 5 minutes after exiting :) I did my best to do as little as possible. That means today will be exceptionally busy!

It is much nicer this morning.

I love the party pictures! The scarves are perfect! Those guys look like they enjoy modeling....Zeus looks pretty sullen when he has to play dress up with Sarah :)

Deanne, I loved that I could see the humidity in the air in the shots of your garden! Glad to see you found the bright side in the tropicals :) I think I shared this before, but curly willow branches crisscrossed over the pond will deter the heron, and it's pretty to boot. The floating globes accomplish the same thing....

I love the shot of the deer! Two young bucks, LOL, Martie!

Michelle, I too wonder if you guys would make out in the wind deal? Nick is exploring unique ideas for our home...

I guess I'd better freshen up the coffee and walk the kids to the bus. There is not much left of school! The kids are getting less eager to attend by the day.....



    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 7:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm caught up!

A beautiful morning here....but I must check out breakfast and give Phoebe her walk.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 8:56AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good hot morning... yes, I know the temps are lower, but I have continued to have commuting nitemares daily and it was another one today (at least there was a.c. - last nite's trip home had none and I seriously thought I was going to have heat stroke) makes me rethink what my work options are on a daily basis - guess I should buy a lottery ticket.

Deanne - thanks for the rant -- you and I seem to be on the same wave length -- my garden is toasted and I barely have any energy to walk the dog let alone go out later to see what's died or near death... I was just thinking last nite it's only the 10th of June and I've lost my enthusiasm for gardening right now - it's likely to be a very long, sad looking summer.

Again, when we started talking about hostas, I too thought of the marvelous garden we saw w/ the creative rooms and the front one where the entire mini hostas resided... I had in fact purchased Blue Mouse Ears in the spring of 07 and do love it ....

here's a pic of the minis we saw so cleverly displayed -- it was such a great small bed w/ a lot going on from different angles; this one reflects the cool 'tufa pot w/ the hosta growing out of it that we all wondered "how'd she do that?"

Cynthia -- love those parties you throw!!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:34AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone....I had one Francis William Hosta and one small NOID hosta for years and that was it, then I added Guacamole two years ago and this year I bought two at a local plant sale and was given one at a swap. I hadn't thought about what a great all around plant they are until you 'advocated' for them. [g] I am still trying to find the best locations for mine. sorry about the effect of the heat on your garden. So glad the worst of it has past. This was our first year with a blooming Peony. The first bud opened on the 7th and two blooms had dropped by the 10th. Thankfully there are still a few on the plant. I wonder if there are any varieties with later bloom dates, so you could overlap the bloom period and have them for longer? When is your main season of bloom?

I had to look up Fisher Cat...I was thinking more along the lines of a predator 'Cat'. Looks more like the weasel family. I did run across some trivia about NH though...See the link below.

Gardenbug...why are you writing down everything that passes your lips? [g]

Marian...LOVE your photo. Really reminds me of the opening shot in Bambi. :-) Good job framing the shot.

Kathy...thanks for the rose info. I will have to keep looking for Alfalfa meal. Do you ever do Banana peels and coffee grounds around the base of the plant under mulch? I've heard that recommended a lot. Pretty hydrangea!

I think your gas prices are a little higher there. I am not sure, DD, DH fill the tank, but I thought I heard $4. the last time it came up.

Adorable party outfits, Cynthia! :-)

Love your new wheels, Martie!

Nothing new to report from our house...cooler weather coming in for the next 7 it! Have a great day.


Here is a link that might be useful: The New Hampshire Fisher Cats

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:10AM
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    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:11AM
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I wonder if elementary school kids ever see demonstrations of what the greyhound can do on the school athletic fields? Seeing Irish wolfhounds running full tilt in an empty field on our cul de sac "imprinted" me on dogs forever, lol.

What a virtual Terrapin Station this has turned into!

Michelle, perhaps you can strike a deal to be allowed to grow climbing roses up the wind turbine's legs? ;) Sounds like you've got a valuable resource in your unique area of the state. That's an intriguing proposition, but is it like having an oil well on your property, generating a bit of profit for you too?

V, we chased pantry moths earlier this year and finally localized them to a bag of pecans left over from Christmas baking, so check the baking cupboard. Ants, however, are invincible. They usually come inside looking for water towards late July here.

The father's day present was going to be the hands-free head set, since cell phone use in cars will be banned this July in Calif, but now I'm hearing (via public radio) that these give a higher EM radiation dose than the cell phone to your ear. This is the wire hands-free headset, not even talking the bluetooth. The expert said Spain and England have prohibited cell phone use in children under 9, yet this issue is not much on the radar here yet, except resurfacing with the Kennedy medical issues.

Deanne, I swear, tears stung my eyes when I read your rant. That is almost too much to bear, but as you say, at least you've got the tropicals. And now Cindy reporting more of the same, Saucy too. Too much weather happening out there, T storms and whatnot! Yesterday's marine layer was so heavy it misted.

Returning for volume six today of the witness on oxygen. The local courts are hiring, and I was slightly tempted for the benefits, but this long job has convinced me otherwise, no way, no how. I've gotten spoiled with doing a different job every day, new faces, new location. If Friday's job was a total disaster (and last Friday's definitely was) Monday's will be different! Except for this multi-volume one, sigh. I

Happy belated birthday, Martie. Marine layer precluded any photos in the a.m., tho I really did try, and this is what I got duskish last night of the new Paisley abutilon in your honor. Should've moved it away from that green background...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:43AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks for the appreciative comments on the deer. I went out on the deck to get the pic, and had to hunker down to see them under the Dogwood and Fringetree. :-)

LOL, Chelone, that thought passed through my mind, but I am not too fond of venison.

Martie, your birthday gift is neat. :-)

Michelle, I love those colors in your last pic.

So sorry about the torrid heat many are suffering ( not to mention all the other weather related disasters! ). We have been very fortunate here so far, except for too much rain that washed out our roads...over and over, and a hail that damaged some of the leaves on my plants. We have had no excess heat...yet. It is rather cool today. I started out with summer clothes, but changed to something a little warmer awhile ago. The breeze coming in the window close to where I am sitting is chilly, but I hesitate to close it. I have on a t shirt, maybe something with long sleaved would be better ? This thin old skin isn't as tough as it used to be. :-(

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:47AM
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