Idyll #484 The Independence Idyll

cheloneJuly 2, 2010

And away we go, kids.

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I survived yesterday unscathed and with minimal irritation. My fabric arrived and I may work on some new cushions over the weekend, depends on my mood and creative propensity.

Today, however, involves paying bills, getting the the banking done, and getting home before the "people from away" begin streaming into town later today. ;) Then there will be lawn mowing, windowbox watering, and possibly some weeding (depends on when I run out of steam).

For now, though, it's time to get the inside chores under control.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 6:26AM
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So nice to see the first post of the day be from you, Chelone :)

I played in the garden yesterday, still working on getting things in the ground or in pots before the upcoming heatwave. Today I hope to enjoy the cool weather in my workshop and Sarah and I are going to create something.

I still need to catch up on the last thread. I did peruse and enjoy the pictures, however. Roguchi is beautiful.

I have been dreaming of a fence that I saw in California for myself...and it'd be perfect for growing vines upon.

Okay...Jake's going to work with his dad so I'm going to get outside early before Sarah wakes. First a little breaky. Good day, friends!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 6:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PS: An integrifolia, Roguchi is not a clinging type vine.... and needs to be attached to its support as it grows anew each spring.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rooguchi

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 7:11AM
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I wonder what special alchemy will occur in Saucy's workshop? Doubtless, it will be terrific as she is ably assisted by her ass't., Sarah. ;)

Laundy done and hung out to dry.
Windowboxes "groomed", watered, and dressed up with their Independence Day flags.
Kitchen "sanitized for our protection".
Checks written, checkbook reconciled, banking and PO business organized.
Time to head on out and finish it all up!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, here I have had my weeders cancel, without a very good excuse, but still, I understand. The sprinkler has finished its early morning task, and I am about to head out to bank, grocery store, and nursery.

Phoebe is anxious for her Saturday night date with Sparkles.

Found this the other day:
DD in 1977

Which isn't so different from this 2010 version of Ivy:


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:58AM
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'77 was the best summer of my life. I see it was a pretty special for you, too, 'bug! I hope you make the time to put those two photographs in a folding frame and send them to your beautiful, brave, capable daughter...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - we made a trip to Taylor Nursery in Milton yesterday. The driveway pot ghetto collection is growing. At the moment it includes 'Galore' (2 of them - I really liked it!), 'Gillian Blades', 'Inspiration' (I thought I might need some... :-), 'Hagley Hybrid' and 'Piilu'. And a Hydrangea 'White Moth'. There were some really interesting-looking small non-climbers. I might perhaps get some of those to fill in under the hydrangeas that will be going in the front bed.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 11:04AM
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I was just out outside on a quick, "problem solving" errand and looked at the Clematis here. Woody, they are downright pathetic... in need of fertilizer (acid soil here) and a "spa day"... never bothered to clip, prune, etc. this past spring. Oh the shame of it all... . I should dig them and smuggle them across the border to your sympathetic and healing hands. :)

The shot of Misty behind the fence made me wonder what horrible thing she'd done to find herself "in the doghouse"... looked as though she was in jail.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 11:34AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - that's the north alley fence and gate we made a few years ago from copper pipes. I wanted a see-through structure that I could grow vines on. It does look like a jail though! Misty hates being left behind if I go to work in the front garden. Usually I take her with me and leave her on the front porch, but sometimes it's not convenient, so she pouts about it :-) Those clematises on the fence frequently get 'pruned' - Misty can thread her way through them when trying to keep me in sight but if Liam or Copper or other bigger dogs are with her, damage is guaranteed! Those are tough clematises.

I think the primary reason that clematises seem to do well here is the soil. I've never tested pH but I suspect it is more than a little on the alkaline side. Acid-lovers croak quickly. I think clematises prefer more alkaline soil than is generally stated. They definitely do better where there's a nearby source of lime (e.g. concrete foundation). I am also convinced from my habit of somewhat unconventional 'improper' pruning that, in most cases, you get the densest flower show if you leave a lot of the old wood. I'm a rebel :-) I disregard wisteria pruning rules too. In both caser I just do what works/makes sense/ is easiest for me.

Here is the Chinese wisteria this morning:

gb - you said Henryi, the clematis we've been growing into the wisteria, is not a strong grower I think...? We were really hoping for a good show from the clematis this year because we could see a lot of clematis foliage throughout the wisteria in the spring. We've had some flowers but nothing showy. I think I try adding a different variety. I think a blue/purple would be better than the white. What is your most vigorous mid-blue clematis?

Many thanks, gb, for introducing me to clematis and providing your expert guidance. Clematis are such happy and generous flowers and they've become a very important addition to the garden.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 1:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, take a look at COTW for Emilia Plater, Blue Belle (dark), Little Bas, Prince Charles. See if those colors please you. I found Little Bas at WildThings nursery. Perhaps they still carry it. Phone and see. If so, perhaps I could get it for you (Mount Forest area) and you could meet me here to collect it.

I saw that Black Prince was on sale at Gardenimport this week. Do you get their email?

The weather is supposed to be up to 32 this weekend. Not a great time to plant clematis. Perhaps they'd be happiest in a cool garage for a week or two... I planted a few yesterday and expect they'll be most unhappy now. :(

This morning I picked up Coreopsis 'lightening flash'. It has yellow foliage and will look very Fall-like next to some grasses I think. We'll see how it likes it here. The web claims it reaches 6 feet tall while the tag says 18 inches. What have I done???? For some reason I am experimenting with these odd colored foliage plants this year.

Here is a link that might be useful: lightning flash

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 2:21PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - Thanks, I recognize most of those names but will have to refresh my mind as to what they look like! The clematis I'm collecting now will not be planted in the ground for a while - probably quite a while! First we have to evict the roses and prepare the swag posts to make them easier to climb on. That'll take another month at least I'm sure. I wanted to start accumulating the clematies now so I can buy most of them in bloom - to make sure I know what I'm getting! I will either keep them in the pot ghetto by the house or transplant them temporarily into the pea pots - the peas are finished now and it'll be a month or so before we need the pots to root the strawberry runners. I figured the clematis might be better off in big, deep pots rather than keeping them in the smaller nursery pots. What do you think? I meant to check/order from Gardenimport this week but didn't get around to it... I'll try to do that this weekend at some point.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 3:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, I think they'll be fine in their own pots without disturbance. Plunk them in the pea pots as is, then water. I've kept mine in their own pots over the winter, 'planted' in the veg garden. They often do really well as a result. If the roots grow through the bottom of their pots, cut the pot away so as not to disturb the root ball when you plant them in their permanent homes.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 7:48PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Sounds good gb; I'll do that.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:13PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im not sure I can make a list accomplished of any length today - I took a ride to visit the new potential puppy housemate and fell totally in love with her -- so it's a "done deal" and I'll pick her up August 6 when she's 12 weeks old (the standard age a reputable breeder releases a maltese pup; they are weaned later than most pups as they are slower to "mature" and susceptible to hypoglycemia among other issues if taken earlier)... She's a doll -- perky but already socialized enuf to demand tummy rubs -- now I'm working on figuring out an appropriate name - much dilemma, LOL - o to have such a problem.

I did manage to pick up some mulch and a couple annuals to fill in some spots in pots where they died while I was in California -- I need to get some things in the ground too with the re-surgence of major heat wave this weekend -- egad, the temps predicted.....

I've got Rooguchi and have not had a problem with mildew for some reason; it's in a bit more shade than I'd like but it has managed to wend its way to the other side of the fence and blooms quite nicely --

I keep thinking I should come up with a flower or plant name for the puppy, but can't think of anything appropriate (well, I guess I could call her Arabella couldnt I?)...(altho I have a niece who's Isabelle and folks call her Bella, so Im not sure she'd like that). At present since this bit is so tiny (about 2 lbs and will likely mature at 5 or 6 lbs), Im thinking she's a Pixie...

I've had Black Prince clem on my wish list for some time, 'bug - but there seems to be no one in the US who carries it now that Chalk Hill has gone. Bummer. Things are turning somewhat burned I guess from my absence and I imagine the clems I've got will not keep blooming - lots of hose pulling this weekend is at the top of the to do list.

I'm starting to sort thru the 600 photos I took - but it's slow going to get them uploaded to add onto the threads -- and without that filter Kathy mentions, so many seem to be over-exposed -- lots of bright bright light in California!!

Trying to do some catch up also on the Idyll wiles here w/ the various garden visits and such -- what great fun to have so much to choose from!

I'll try to get back in after some early garden work tomorrow before it's too toasty to work outside.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:50PM
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Plans for this weekend lean heavily towards nothing garden previews , no house cleaning, no strenuous garden activities. I envision a leisurely stroll with my Saucy leaf as I decide upon the all important placement, further strolls to deadhead , planting of the few remaining pots, and a trip to the garden center to see what might be the perfect plant for the cool Denise pot. Minimal cooking maybe a nice grilled pork tenderloin . I also have leftover wine and my inheritance of V and her DDÂs port for an evening aperitifÂall is well.

I too was glad to see Chelone leading the charge this morning, and the bunting installed too- an important feature at The Compound if you ask me.

Chelone, I was astonished at the result when I fertilized my Clems -after years of neglect ÂI have new growth , green leaves and it will be interesting to see if there is a fall re-bloom from any of them. I used MaxSea, a water soluble seaweed based fert, and will give another dose this weekend. I did not however, fertilize Arabella, who continues to soldier on in a very gratifying manner.

Lavender fields at Matanzas Creek From Idyllunion 7 From Idyllunion 7

Nite all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:06PM
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I wonder if all that Lavender smells as good as I suspect it does. I would love to see a better shot of the sculpture in your shot, Cindy. On quick glance I thought it looked as though she was doing a toe jam check... ;)

The helpmeet has a cold and is decidedly crabby. I understand and sympathize to an extent, but he does tend to be on the whiney side when it comes to illness...

I took Rex out first thing and then sat and observed the birds at the feeder. The finches descended almost immediately; they remind me of marauding gangs of young teenagers. A few Grackles hopped around on the ground under the feeder, the Cardinals were parked in the hedge waiting their turn. And a pair of Herons flew overhead on their way to some unknown feeding spot. Early morning and twilight are my favorite times to sit out in the yard... morning is preferable because there is less traffic.

There was a very fancy wedding across the street yesterday. Mummy and Daddy spent some major cabbage on that party! let's hope the youngsters are successful in their marital undertaking. The party went on until well past 10PM, music blaring... bet the neighbors were thrilled, lol. Living on the "cheap side of the road" has its benefits.

OK, time to fold laundry and get some of the piddling chores behind me.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 7:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The lavender smells beyond divine. One of my cousins used to live in Provence by the lavender fields there...and oh my, you'd think it heaven, except that her husband was into clear cut forestry....

Best wishes forwarded to the helpmeet. Summer colds (or ANY colds) are truly unpleasant.

The fancy wedding reminds me of the book Committed (Elizabeth Gilbert) that my friend loaned me. I began it last night and was very interested in Mai, the 12 year old Hmong child who acts as an interpreter for the author. Mai's Grandmother and friends fascinate me. The rest of the book may well be ignored by me. It is a bit like a chatty friend on the phone who goes on & on & on...about herself and why she should or should not get married. To me, that is a private matter for her to solve...and I think I'll "hang up" on the rest of this particular read.

Much to do today to prepare for a heatwave, a visiting dog (Sparkles) and a trip to the dump. Time to start the watering business....


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 7:42AM
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GB, I'm reading committed and it is perfect for me, though I know what you're saying about her going on and on about herself. It would take me a while as her friend, but eventually I would say, "hey...all we've done is talk about you!" I'll stay committed and read it through :)

Finishing up my project this is to be a hollow sphere that I've admired on an IU as well as on the cover of Little and Lewis' book. I hope to rig a trickle of water inside with the sphere to amplify the sound.

I'm off to enjoy this glorious day...I'll be back in when the swelter arrives tomorrow :)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 8:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Filled the rainbarrels and watered the veggies and a few recently planted items. Now for the cat litter cleanup etc.

Saucy, did you know that Julia Roberts is playing the lead in Committed, destined to come to the screen in mid August?

Is the hollow sphere your project with Sarah? I like the sound aspect to it! At our Book Club discussion on The Art Instinct, it was brought up that all the senses but smell are considered art. I'm trying to think of a scented art piece as I go about my day...just to be ornery and contradict the experts.

'bug, again.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 9:30AM
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Good morning Idylls! How nice to have a 3 day weekend.
Its to be hot and windy for the 2nd day in a row. I believe rain is brewing.

The lavender fields are fabulous! The orange umbrella is perfect. I'm enjoying my one extremely successful clump. It must be 3 foot across. I have one other smaller clump and the rest have disappeared from my garden.

I know little about cameras and the mentioned filters, but I do find that the only good shots I get are when the light is right. Its a bummer sometimes and I wonder if maybe a new camera should be in my future.

Saucy, the sphere sounds so interesting! We must see pictures when you are done.

Cindy, how exciting to have a new puppy to join you.

I really must get going. With a possible family commitment today, gardening will be cut short and there's much I'd like to accomplish.

I wanted to leave you with a couple shots of 'Arabella' as a scrambler. I took these as cuttings 2 years ago, so they are just getting going, but I like the result.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 9:46AM
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    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 10:04AM
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    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:01AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Saucy, that sphere sounds nchanting! You are so wonderfully creative-something I appreciate greatly since I am not!

Chelone, okay summer ever... Hope the cold is passing quickly for DH-no fun, especially this time of year.

Cindy, yippee! Isn't it fun considering possible names? My mind is full...Daisy, Poppy, Clem, Violet, ...can't wait to hear what you choose!

'bug, love the two pics of DD and Ivy. Hope DD is taking it a little bit easy. Again, looking forward to hearing the chosen name, but won't offer up any thoughts-teehee, see above. Oh meant to tell you before that I liked the shot of Skyler playing the drums.

Kathy, enjoy your restful weekend. Thanks for the tip about fertilizing the clems. I suspect I could give Chelone a run for the money in the Most Pathetic Performance in either a supporting or starring role by a Clematis.

Michelle, love your Arabella. Maybe I will try that idea. Looks so pretty scrambling around the rocks and amongst the other plants.

Happy birthday Julie and Candy! The entire nation will be celebrating with you. Would post a picture, but haven't tried my Picasa account on this new computer yet. Will try later and come back if I can. Wondering if I should try Photobucket or stick with Picasa-such a techno-idiot.

Just got a call that the Little Monster is coming to rampage with the Galloping Gardeners. Life is such an adventure, isn't it? Hope everyone (Woody, Norma, Ei, V, and everyone I missed) is enjoying the same spectacular weather we are (at least in this one particular moment).

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:38AM
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    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:57AM
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Oh spare me the damn birthdays! I struggled to find the necessary software update for my prehistoric camera when the new 'puter arrived. And now I struggle with getting pictures from files to internet. I'm not up to it today. So, accept my fond and best wishes for wonderful birthday celebrations. Let's leave it at that, OK?

I was 18 in '77. Drunk parents meant that there was no hope of attending dances/school stuff before a driver's license was bestowed. It was humiliating to sidestep interested boys, but I became adept at it. But when those boys had cars at their disposal they found our driveway with the unerring radar that tomcats possess. So it was in '77. My two best friends from HS were boys (girls never seemed to like me much). And they were regulars in the driveway that summer. We burned some serious hydrocarbons that summer, laughing, joking, and listening to 8 tracks. We hit all the tourist traps, we swam at every opportunity (a nod to me, a total water rat). It was wonderful to be young, free, and have the entirety of our lives in front of us. I had no idea I would be the only one to see my 50th. birthday. But it was a wonderul summer, Cyn.. I listened to Bob Seeger's "Night Moves" on the way home from the bank this AM. I drove the beach (the dogs likes it) and tears streamed down my cheeks. I was reminded that time passes, things change, and poignancy achieves a deeper, more mellow character over time.

It will be OK because it has to be OK. Or it will devour me alive. I am not the first person to feel so bereft, nor will I be the last. It will be OK, it will be OK... time will make it easier to bear.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 12:31PM
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The heat that has been absent so far this summer is making an appearance today, though it hasnt hit 90 yet. Im ok with that Id be happy if it never hit 90 quite frankly. I must say that in 30 plus years of gardening in California I cant ever remember still having Sweetpeas blooming and looking decent in July.

I hung around with mostly guys too Chelone, my best friend George and I grew up two doors apart . George died of AIDS about a week before his 40th birthday. What a waste.

Love the way youve tucked the fabulous Arabella in here and there Michelle.

Cindy, how exciting that you hit it off so well with your new little friend. Bet you cant wait for her to come home with you ..hope the breaking-in period will be smooth and brief.

I admit to buying few plants today- my excuse was running out of potting soil-so I was forced to go to the garden center. And at long last there were the Iochromas , so I picked one up to replace the one I performed plant-a-cide on in the spring.

Back out to move the water again

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 6:51PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)


Cindy - how exciting! I'm looking forward to puppy pictures and tales...

I ordered some clematises for the swag today - and to grow into the Chinese wisteria since the ones now are not performing. Most of the ones I ordered and have been buying are group 3, which I will likely not prune. Here're some pictures Randy took tonight of a couple of unpruned Jackmani Superba:

This one on the south gate arbour will get rough treatment when we untangle the New Dawn from it when we take the rose down. This clematis was planted in 2003 and has never been cut back! This is the effect I want to achieve with the clematises that I will be planting to cover the swag:

These clematises are on the north alley fence. There is a Jackmani Superba and an unknown - maybe the same thing, but it was supposed to be a Huldine to give me a blue and white combo. There ones have been there 3-4 years (the 'white' one was planted a year later). These ones do get cut back a bit in spring but only to the 3-4' level:

You can see why I don't feel obligated to prune clematis by 'the rules' :-)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 7:34PM
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Oooo la-la and 'bug sure know how to grow 'em 2 are my Clematis Heroes !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 8:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Happy Birthday Julie!:)

Royal Velours and Blue Rain

And Birthy Hapday to you Candy! ;)


Phoebe is now enjoying the company of a one year old Labradoodle, who oddly enough resembles her, except for the tail. This is Sparkle's first sleepover and she is doing fine. Her first trick was to drink out of the sprinkler. Phoebe is shy about such things.... Both dogs know how to jump for treats though! I'll try for photos tomorrow.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 8:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning!

If the temperatures get too hot today, may I suggest you spend a little time here taking in my friend's fun Master Gardener's tour? There are five sections to view and each one has special delights to take in.

I hope you have no problems viewing this, but if you do, let me know.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:04AM
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Sarah was not a part of the sphere project. I made her and her friend a batch of "mud" of their own and they worked on their own projects.

I am on day three of the sphere and need to go back to the store for more materials. It's taking much more than I anticipated to cover the outside. Michelle, I'll take some pictures this morning so you can see the process.

Cindy, I'm happy to hear about finding a pet! You must be tickled.

So all you bought was Iochroma, Kathy? I bought a whole pot's worth...I needed a little something to fill a little spot, you know? I am reading Keeyla's book and trying out the color principles, too...pick a color and then pick a cool version of that color and a warm version of that color. Put them all together and voila! Or no. But it's fun :) Guess I should finish the book.

Chelone my dear, you need a garden outing. Wendy and I are cooking up a scheme to distract you for a day. Look for an email soon.

Cyn, include me in the most pathetic clematis display contest :) I'm terrible with supplemental fertilizing...and I need to ammend my beds with some compost soon! to the big box store for more supplies! Happy Fourth, friends!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 7:04AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I need to do some major catching up here, but I wanted to tell 'bug that I saw an installation at the Sydney Museum of Modern Art that had dozens and dozens of lemons on the floor, with plexi glass walkways over them - the artist wanted you to experience the smell of the lemons as you walked through. Of all the installations at that particular exhibit, that is the one that sticks with me.

And yes, they replaced the lemons every few days.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 8:35AM
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What about the Culinary Arts? Doesn't count? My husband always takes a big whiff before he digs in (this used to annoy me, but now I guess it's part of his experience).


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 8:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, my friend's husband loves to cook with spices. He really gets into it with gusto, sniffing and sighing and singing through the experience. So I guess if there are sighs of contentment, we should not be annoyed. If it is smelling dinner in a critical way though, no thanks!! DH sometimes will look at dinner and ask, "what's in this"? My answer is always the same: "Taste it and you tell me!"
My Dad used to ask "How am I supposed to eat this?" He needed to know where the sauce went, whether or not to use cutlery, etc. I found that really annoying. But then, I seldom follow RULES for eating. I pick up chicken with my fingers, keep my fork in my left hand, mop up sauces with bread, etc. But I'll try to behave if you invite me over for dinner! ;)
And by the way, my artist friend who selected the book we read eliminates the culinary arts from the discussion. Phooey on her! I really like V's contribution!!!

I just finished weeding a long strip behind the garage. It was cool outside and the area was still in shade, but the 92F temperatures are expected for the rest of the week. I now have sprinklers going.

DH is concerned that Phoebe is limping. I haven't noticed this yet, but I know that keeping up with an energetic 1 year old puppy is hard to do! We'll keep our eyes on her.

Saw some little green tomatoes starting at last! Also, more clematis are starting to bloom now: Little Nell, Gravetye Beauty, Perle d'Azur, Elvan and Mary Rose. I guess I should take photos of them, but it is too bright for that now.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 10:09AM
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No luck here bug with your link, user log-in and password required.

You have my number Saucy, in fact Iochroma was not all I bought ..yet another scented geranium which seems to be an ever expanding collection-and Salvia l. Santa Barbara for the Denise-pot. Oh, and an agave from the no-tag nursery . All are planted and the only plant I still have to find a spot for are the 2 Ascelpilis speciosa I bought at Annies.

All its taken is a couple days of heat (June gloom has hit the road) and my poor variegated lacecap Hydrangea looks awful. I think its going to have to be moved or spd this fall. I need to ponder a similarly variegated shrub that can take all day sun.

Off to fertilize the Clematis !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 1:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

ARGH! I guess only those who belong to Gardenbuddies can view the garden tour. I'll ask if there's some other way.

Made a cold pasta salad for lunch. (olives, artichokes, tomatoes, red onion, tuna,etc) and then just finished preparing a cold cherry soup for tonight. I'm going to run out of ideas for cold meals before the heatwave is over.

Saucy, I picked up the Committed book once more and am reading again. (Have to be indoors at this sweltering time of day!) I'm about half done, so I'll probably finish it. I'm still dubious about lots of it, but other parts are interesting.

By the way...I don't have a regular clematis pruning or fertilizing plan here. Just so you know. But this is truly the year for them! I hate to think they'll bloom themselves to death....but who knows!?! I find it funny how fashionable even plants can be. New clematis are constantly being developed all around the world...and I like many of them. In fact, I really don't care for many of the ones that started me off on this road to clematis addiction. I suppose the same is true for dogs, furniture, house layouts, colors, clothes and names. It's a very good thing we change and evolve, even though it is sometimes a struggle.

Speaking of names, Cindy how's the puppy naming coming along? Here I play with baby names, but I have no deadline since it is really DD & DSIL's job. I just happen to enjoy thinking about it.

Back to work,

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 2:23PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Birthday, Candy!!

and Happy Birthday, Julie!


    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 8:49PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Independence Day,American Idyllers, and best wishes for our Canadian compatriots....

I thought I better manage to check back in - I think I "hit the wall" this morning... and a dizzy spell didnt help -- the heat is incredible here so no garden chores got done at all - I managed to do a lot yesterday tho and then went to see the movie Knight and Day - a quite entertaining movie... and nice diversion. The last day of vacation is suddenly staring me in the face and Im wondering why that to-do list isnt done.... aargh.... but I think I needed an R&R day -- I did manage to get to the store for milk and fruit so there will be no starving here (despite the fact that I could easily live off the lbs I gained on IU, LOL)....

It does not sound to me, Kathy, as tho you're taking much down time, LOL. - and egad, more plants..... I am trying to go stop, altho I have some empty spots in pots that got zapped during my absence... but Im afraid to go back to a nursery again for "just one or two".... You are certainly on a roll, my friend - you're an energizer plant bunny!!!

Half the garden got mulched yesterday so that was at least one accomplishment - 3 more bags to lay but I suspect it is not going to happen in 100 degree weather. We're going to be slammed with heat this week.

I meant to say to Woody that I much admire the Galore clematis - I bought one last year and potted it in a container, but Im afraid a critter got it this Spring. Im tempted to buy it again, it is indeed a very pretty clem.

I guess we do all go thru phases of changing tastes in plants and furniture and clothes, dont we.... interesting thought. Altho I confess Im quite happy with the colors of my walls in my house and have a hard time considering change there. But certainly in the garden things are continually changing and evolving, whether at my behest or Mother Nature's.

I hope Phoebe is doing okay, 'bug -- and your DD on the imaginary bedrest (I suspect that's almost impossible w/ the kiddles she's got already).

LOL, re human baby names -- I've been informed that they're working on them and it will be announced and a done deal and that's that -- no recommendations are overtly being considered. I think there's a difference of opinion between the soon-to-be parents as to names - it will be interesting to see who wins out...

So, yes, Im working on pup names -- she struck me as quite a Pixie when I met her (so that's on the list) as is Stella (at No. 1 right now) and Sophie (but maybe too close to Chloe) and Sasha -- Cyn, I like the Poppy idea as she was pretty perky....

Well, in any case, I do hope all have a lovely evening of fireworks and fun - whether indoors or outdoors!!



    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 9:09PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We are getting hammered by this heat wave and the flowers do not like it one bit, nor do the gardeners. I think most of us here in the east are suffering the same temps. Just NASTY! It makes me crazy to see the precious blooms that Ive waited all year to see just sizzle and fry. No rain here for three weeks now either so the hoses are on full blast daily. The mature trees in the back are beautiful but when we havent had any rain and it gets hot like this they suck every drop of moisture out of the ground at light speed. Id watered the west side of the back yard in the morning yesterday and it was dried out again by three oclock. So far Ive been able to keep up with it but this week will prove to be challenging.

Cindy, so very happy for you with your soon to be new addition to your household. Thats wonderful! ~~ So very true about our changing tastes for home and garden. I used to love my Stella dOros but Im gradually removing all of them. Im not especially fond of the color and deadheading them is a full time job it seems. Im trying to find ways to make the upkeep here less of a challenge and some of the daylilies had to go. They are not an easy plant to keep looking good in the borders. If it was just the deadheading I might be tempted to keep them but stripping out all that dying foliage is an exercise in futility. Im becoming fonder of variegated and interesting textures in foliage plants. The shade area next to the shed is practically no maintenance and always looks terrific. I suspect as time goes by my gardens will take on more shrubs, foliage plants and fewer flowers.

Bug, that pasta salad sounds terrific. I should make something like that for this hot week. ~~ The clematis here are looking mighty fine here as well. I didnt think they liked hot weather but they are truly blooming their hearts out Im surprised you dont have a fertilizing program for your clems. When you do feed what do you use? ~~ Thanks for the link to the virtual tours. Lots of lovely pics there.

Saucy, Im anxiously awaiting pics of the sphere project. Sounds fantastic.

Woody, your clematis are outstanding! I very rarely get that good a display. So very beautiful. Im thinking Im going to try some lime around my clems. We do have very acid soil here and seeing how yours do in your alkaline soil makes me realize I need to do something about that. RE pruning. I really must prune mine back to the nubs in spring, well except for the group 1s but if I dont, anything that grows on the older stems wilts off as soon as it starts blooming. I dont seem to have as much problem with it if I prune hard. I imagine they are all a bit different with what works depending on where they are grown.

Kathy, I so agree with you that Id be happy if the temps never exceeded 90. I absolutely HATE hot weather. LOL about plant shopping. It really is a mood elevator though isnt it? All those expectation and all that potential for beauty in a pot. ~~ Im so enjoying your photos from the IU. Many, many thanks for taking the time to document, upload and post those photos. It take a lot of time to do that and I appreciate your sharing.

Chelone, sorry for your doldrums. I empathize with you as Ive been through some pretty down times here too. Hormones dont help at all either.

Michelle, love, love, love your Arabella babies!!! Please explain how you went about doing cuttings of them? In containers, in the garden? Did you winter them outside the first winter? I need to give that a try. Its such a useful plant.

OK time to get some breakfast and get my day started. Thought Id share a couple pics before signing off. Ive been working on creating a ground cover of Hosta Blue Mouse Ears and am just loving it! What a cutie!

One of the lovely daylilies Im enjoying right now

Loving this combo

Have a great day and stay cool everyone,

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 7:04AM
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Wow Deanne! Your garden and photos always impress. I really like the mouse ears ground cover! I've been on the fence about the small hostas, but en masse, they work!

It's already hot this morning so I'm gonna go wrangle some hoses and then head out with Nick and the kids to a friend's place on a local lake. It's always a few degrees cooler there and I can sit under the shade tree if I don't want to be on the boat (I don't like a crowded lake and it's a holiday weekend).

Stay cool, friends!


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:33AM
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It was hot here, yesterday, too, Deanne. And when it's hot here and remains hot all afternoon it's pretty unusual, we can generally rely on a sea turn by 1 or 2 PM. We had a nice cook-out to celebrate Independence Day. A fancy sausage cut into chucks and grilled on skewers along with an assortment of vegetables, coHn on the cob, tabouli, and potato salad. It was lovely. We dined under the canopy on the deck and then the sick one toddled off the cool security of the Rat's Nest for a recuperative nap. He's considerably cheerier this morning (to my relief).

We skipped the fireworks last night, but made an effort to round up the pride early. Rex was less than thrilled with the distant sounds of celebration, but managed to calm himself down when he saw no one else was particularly worried. ;) I have to say, though, that the relentless circling of an afterdark airplane was a huge irritation. I emerged from the boudoir and asked, "what is this? a reenactment of Dresden?". After an entire day of "loud pipes that save lives" and relentless traffic on the road (and in the air) I was more than ready for a lull. But no!

I mean to tell Cindy how exciting her news is. Although, for the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would want a puppy... . I hate dogs.

Etoile Violette has been very reliable for me, in spite of hideous neglect. So has another one in a similar color whose name I've forgotten (along with the fertilizer!). Polish Spirit seems to have departed to the spirit world, but Daniel Deronda (always get the name wrong) wilted last year and wasn't pruned this year... but large blue flowers were still bestowed as a token of trust that next year will be better. :) I love the ruffley pink daylilies. So pretty.

I didn't feel like cutting out the new cushions. But I did locate some suitable insert for the cording that will outline them. Perhaps I'll set a goal to get the cutting done some afternoon this week. It's too hot to pull weeds or undertake any of the things that need doing around here. Just don't feel like doing much of anything, frankly, probably because there is so much to do and it seems that I'm the only one who makes an effort to do any of it. (which isn't true, but it feels that way right now).

OK, hope all birthday celebrations were fun. And meant to tell Candy that her Hostas look terrific; mine have achieved plenty of "bulk" and impressive dimensions, but slack with Sluggo they are now "swiss cheesed" and hardly the regal specimen they could be! Thanks for the reminder... ;)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh boy, just the beginnings of a steam bath week here....I'm with you Deanne, I'd be happy if it never reached 80 here! This morning I had to move a hollyhock away from the rear barn entrance. I did, but just not the weather for it, so I suspect it to collapse.

Chelone, I sure wish you lived down the road! I bought some fabric over the weekend with a pattern for a dress for Ivy. I don't even know where my sewing machine is!!! But I want this made for her soon. So I'll have to deal with it somehow. Little turtles all over the fabric. :)

DD was feeling much as you were not long ago Chelone. She felt that she was doing all the work. Well much to her surprise, DSIL was feeling the same way! So, once they talked about it, there were all these jobs they were both doing but the other didn't realize it. So DSIL was vacuuming and taking Skyler to Tai Kwon Do and washing and tanking up the cars, etc..., while DD was chauffeuring, researching medical issues, traveling for work with Skyler in tow, caring for Ivy, etc... They both cook and garden. I think just talking and sharing helped a lot.

Etoile Violette is the top bloomer for many. It has so many blooms that you often don't see any foliage! I like it very much, but frankly prefer clematis that bloom more sparsely.

Here are a few from yesterday...
Fairydust, Galore and Mary Rose growing together

Forever Friends, a new baby.

Gravetye Beauty

Semu and Mikelite

Skinner's Pink



Fukuzono with thyme at its feet.


Cindy, I like ALL the puppy names. I'd love it if DD's daughter were Poppy or Stella! However a boy wouldn't be so good with those two choices. I think I can guess their boy name though...
Time for accomplishing a few things before I melt...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:17AM
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After a hot Saturday, things have settled a bit to the low 80s. We had a couple days of heat with wind. The most horrible combination. The Endless Summer hydrangeas look horrible.

We enjoyed fireworks from the beach overlooking the lake last night with Ricks son and family.

Deanne, the Arabella cuttings have been an experiment for sure. I took the cuttings as early as possible in the season, put them in pots and they lived in my pot ghetto for the summer. Some rooted and some didnt. I did plant them out in the garden in early fall. Out of 5 that rooted, 2 survived the winter. I tried it again last winter and 0 out of 5 survived. bug might have more ideas on the overwintering process. I did mulch them heavily. Great idea with the Blue Mouse Ears. I have one of those in my mini hosta bed. Its right near our grill so I really enjoy that little area while I wait for food to cook.

As for garden tastes changing, I too have removed some Stellas. I have more that should go. Ive given mine away. I do have one combo with a variegated sedum and some veronica that usually looks pretty good and I decide it can stay a bit. I really dont have to strip the foliage on those, but the deadheading is a killer. I have only a few other daylilies. Thats why. I do find that if planted a little farther back in the border the foliage isnt such a big deal.

Chelone, several of my hostas look like swiss cheese for the very first time ever. I was so bummed. Theyve been such a carefree plant.

bug, 'Minuet' and 'Cicciolina' are fabulous.

Woody, you sure can grow them. Is the pink one Nelly Moser Ive had great success with that one. Very floriferous and hasnt ever wilted either.
Kathy, Im embarassed to admit that I kept my Iochroma alive all last winter and killed it with in a month of putting it outside. Of course I as unable to locate another one this spring. Thats one of the main reasons I try to overwinter under lights is to keep the cool stuff Ive found.

Im not sure what the day holds, but its lovely out and Id at least like to walat before we get going. I could easily stay home and garden, but Rick really doesnt have a lot of hobbies and it ends up being a work day for him, so we will probably find something to do. Im thinking that a nursery or two might be in the mix.

Yesterday Rick thought we should go up on the roof (2 story house) and take a few ariel pictures. These are a couple that show a bit of the lay of my garden. The first is the patio garden on the west side of the house and the other 2 are the butterfly garden, potager and the smokebush is on the NE corner of the house. In the last one you can see the road and fields beyond. The road is to the east of the house.

Enjoy your day

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:57AM
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MIchelle, it's lovely! What a fabulous idea to "shoot from the roof".

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 10:18AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Deanne, Blue Mouse Ears as ground cover-brilliant! I put in some Ajuga last year near the sidewalk and it is spreading nicely in a spot that was mostly weeds, but your idea is SO much better. Now, let's see, 50 x ?$ = ???$$$ Time to save up for fall planting.

Michelle, what fun to have the pics from the roof. I especially like the one of the patio garden. What a lot of space most of you seem to have. I am jealous. Re: roof climbing-If I had to be near the edge, I would have been terrified of falling (not much for man-made heights myself...or closed in spaces for that matter), but how wonderful to have a DH who would think of doing that for you!

Woody, your clems are exactly how I envisioned mine. Alas, reality did not match the vision. Still, not going to give up quite yet, so we'll see if I can come anywhere close to you and 'bug next year.

'bug, looking forward to a pic of Ivy in her turtles dress. Bet it will be adorable. Also, hope DD is getting some rest. I know it must not be easy to do.

Cindy, all those names are fun. Love Stella. It lends it self to calling her out when she is misbehaving...STELLLL-AAAAA. Teehee-along with visions of Brando in a t-shirt. Too cute. It is fun thinking about names, whether for human or animal babies!

V, the artist knew what she/he was doing. Few things smell as fresh as lemons-must have made for a pleasant walk. Next time I put lemons out, I will be sure to cut one in half for the scent.

My walats have revealed the need to move one of my hydrangea. No blooms at all. Must be too much shade where I put it. Too bad since it appears to be happy otherwise. I will probably give it one more year, though, just in case. Perhaps I should fertilize that as well as the clem.

Chelone, glad DH is feeling better. I understand the feeling of not getting anything done because there seems to be so much. DH has put all his stuff away after coming home to the residual mess from the painting. I am sitting here surrounded by my "stuff' which has no place to go since most of our storage spots are taken with HIS stuff. oh well. Maybe I'll just toss it all. Clean start and all that.

Hope everyone has a chance to run in a sprinkler, cannonball into a pool, wade in the water, or simply sit in the ac or on a shaded porch today. Tossing water balloons your way...

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 11:08AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It is hot as Hades here and likely to get hotter tomorrow... even more depressing I just heard a projected weather report that this is likely to recur throughout the rest of the summer... Wow, talk about sizzling! Im not sure a shaded porch would be much respite unless it's got a ceiling fan...... thoughts of sitting under the hoses as they water the gardens seems a more likely spot for me, LOL, if not inside...

I managed to lay a couple more bags of mulch in the shade before the heat too over and now it's time to turn back to the interior and face reality of clean up, get ready, back to the place that pays the bills for all those pots and plants, LOL.... at least it will be only a four-day work week!

Michelle, love that view -- your DH is a thoughtful one to do that -- it's amazing how the perspective changes -- you and Deanne are to be commended for daring to do those aerial shots! Interesting about overwintering your Arabella cuttings -- over at GB I wonder if they'd have any good advice for you about that? It's amazing you got so many going and a shame they did not overwinter....It's truly such a beauty.

Love the latest shots of the clems in bloom, Gardenbug. Keep them coming.

Deanne - I love that Blue Mouse Ears too altho never thought to do a ground cover with it - it's been one of the better mini hostas to withstand the seasons in my area; some of the variegated ones seem to have issues and either revert or disappear... Hope you get your workshop painting done in time to relax a bit before you need to teach.

Cyn -- that's a bummer that DH has retaken all your storage areas - I guess that's one of the eternal battles of spouses - equal storage of one's possessions - I seem to recall many verbal darts about that between my parents -- each accusing the other of overtaking the remaining closets in their house; and Mom accusing Dad of throwing her stuff out (which I think often turned out to be untrue)... I guess it's a territorial thing and a tough one to solve amicably. Too bad you didnt put your stuff back first before he returned, and stake your claim, LOL -- I'm sure he needed to weed out a lot of his own stuff as I recall you saying he was a bit of a hoarder (altho I think most of us naturally are in some form or another).... Do you get to take the rest of the summer off now that school's over and do some other projects around the house? Or do they require you to report to work regularly?

Well, gotta go move hoses and another load of laundry awaits...

(O, Norma - meant to say I saw the other post about Nikki on the moments thread last nite -- I sure hope she's doing better for you - what a fright -- and I am hoping she and you have totally recovered by now).


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 12:48PM
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No heat wave here, my sympathies to my east coast pals who appear to be heading for a very unpleasant week. The marine layer was back this morning , so it should be a fairly pleasant day here.

I have an electrical issue this morninga small lamp that I keep on as a night light took a dive when I was turning it off this morning and it appears to have shorted out the breaker that most of the downstairs receptacles are controlled by. Thank god the kitchen appliances were not affected but I now have an extension cord running into the bathroom to operate this computer. Will have to call out the electrician in the morning ! Jeesh.

Michelle, what a nice group of pics from the roof ! I dont even recognize the area in the 1st photo-what a difference perspective makes .It all looks beautiful ..

Ive decided to re-do my hell strip again for the umpteenth time. The soil there is horrible despite my efforts and so first order of business will be to dump a couple bags of the pricier compost in there , and move out the remaining daylilies after they finish blooming. Theres way to much bare (and thus weed-vulnerable) ground which I should view an opportunity right ? Guess Im going to need to buy more plants, lol.

So right Deanne, I do love dayliles but what a PIA the upkeep is. Im always so tempted to buy more, but this year I resisted-Asiatic and Orientals are really the way to go for methey do well here and pretty much fade into the background when the bloom is done. My new Silk Road Is just starting to open todaywhat a splendid specimen that any of you grow it ? Ill have to get a pic of it this week .

Ok, back at , breaks over waving to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 1:00PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Ooh, Kathy, can't wait to see the revamped hell strip. I have thought about tackling that, but with all the other yard areas in such desperate need, it is on the back burner. I am thinking I am more of a "vision" person and need an on-call crew to carry out my ideas since I do not appear to have enough stamina to finish all the projects-lol.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 1:25PM
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Happy birthdays to Candy & Julie!

Underwhelming perhaps, but this is the most hosta-ey, woodlandy plant I grow, and it's lush and easy for me, Pinellia tripartita. Snails don't touch it. Jack-in-the-pulpit flwrs can barely be seen except for the whip-like wisps of them coming through the leaves.

It seems the East Coast/West Coast are doing a yin/yang thing with the temps. We're unusually cool still and the overcast continues into July so far with temps forecast cool for a week. Go figure. We're barely breaking 70 today. My sincere sympathy on that heat. Be so careful.

We decided to ride bikes just a mile or so to see the fireworks at the port, near the old Queen Mary ship. It's always too crowded to drive and we'd rather bike anyway. But it looked like the city tipped on its side and deposited every citizen there too. It was staggering, like some emergency evacuation but exciting to be among so many people with kids and tents set up, BBQs. Hearing the collective ooh's and aah's from the throng. And I think what heartened me most, after such a difficult year economically, was that people and families made the effort to celebrate. I mean they really dragged stuff out, tents, chairs, coolers, grandmas, kids, dogs. Luckily we stood next to a child on someone's shoulders, so it was pure enjoyment to hear the little girl's exclamations. Some of the fireworks had rings like Saturn. Unbelievable.

Michelle, I'm so glad you climbed up the roof for photos. What a huge expanse. Marty was very impressed with your beautiful farm. That's so disappointing to lose the iochroma you nurtured all winter. I can send some unrooted cuttings of my red one if you want. It's not a big plant yet but there's some cutting material. Say the word.

I thought last year was 'bug's best year for clems ever. I can't imagine improving on it, but the gorgeous photos don't lie. I'm about to dive into choosing a passiflora, if there is one out there that's not a house-eater. Makes much more sense than clems here.

Cindy, good job on keeping that mimosa alive. What a beaut.

Saucy, that's a great idea to get out with Chelone and Wendy. Can't wait to see what you're working on.

My trees really sponge up the moisture too, Deanne. Your daylilies are gorgeous but I musn't stare at them too long. No daylilies here yet...

Kathy, early yesterday morning, while walking Ein, I spotted this enormous, dense shrub with gorgeous fig-leafed shaped leaves up against an apartment building. 6 feet high and 6 across at least. Crossed the street to check it out, and it was an oakleaf hydrangea, so now I know definitively it's happy here. Took a couple discreet cuttings...Good luck with the hell strip. I don't usually plant after July and wait for fall, but with this weather, why not?

Back to work. Have a great week.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 1:46PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

An odd mid-day check-in - with sweltering temps, what else can one do, LOL?

Kathy -- that's a bummer re the electrical outage and on a holiday of course, right? at least it wasnt during IU or earlier in the weekend.....

Re the Silk Road lilies -- yep, I grow them and I recall that EI had some beauties in her yard as well... this year they topped over 8 feet for me --- sadly, a bad wind broke them as I was gone for IU and I wont show you what they looked like at my return; but here they are from last year's bloom & if you can just imagine, over the height of that arbor that is 96 inches tall (maybe why they broke!):

Yes, I dont think I'll be doing much planting here - whatever's in the plant ghetto is doomed to stay there til Fall now - and the few things I planted this last week are likely going to be very challenged; it seems things I planted earlier i the spring didnt do so well during my absence either; I counted some salvias and a ceonanthus I was experimenting with didnt make it during the first heat wave I guess(or the one during IU).... c'est la vie.... I need to plant out earlier or grow them on in pots for a season I guess. That's where the weigela went the same road as well.

Odd re the yin/yang weather of the coasts -- but at least you had fun watching the 4th celebration in cooler weather, Denise! Yes, it does seem folks made a big turnout this year to celebrate our blessings, big or small as they may be -- we are truly a very lucky nation....

Determined to get one autumn bulb order in before I return to the awfice... back to the lists...


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 2:56PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It's 34C with a humidex of 40C (92/104F) so no venturing into unairconditioned spaces here today!

Michelle - I assume the pink clematis is probably Nelly Moser but I really have no idea since I lost/don't have the tag for it. It was one of the first ones I planted here - in 2000 or 2001. It's definitely a group 2 early one - it blooms with the Korean lilac. It's nice, and reliable but not as prolific a bloomer as the group 3s are. The arial shots of your garden are great. I particularly like the first one - that's a very nice space. I find the rooftop shots Randy takes very useful for giving a fresh look at things - although it makes me very nervous when he's walking around on the roof - and this is a bungalow! I'd kiil him (if he didn't kill himself :-) if he went up on a two story roof to take the pictures!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 5:06PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Well Im already sick and tired of these dreadful hot temps and weve only just begun. Tomorrow is supposed to be flirting with 100 and the fuchsias are not happy campers after two days of high 90s. It was still 98 degrees out at 5:30 and I wound up having to water the white brugmansia three times today. I need to find a huge saucer to put under that pot! The weather people are predicting another four days in the mid to high 90s. Yukko.

Wow Cindy! Those Silk Road lilies are really impressive! I believe I need to order some. Now, where to plant them that the height will be an advantage. So sorry that they broke while you were in CA. How disappointing!

Denise, LOL about sneaking some cuttings of the oak leaved hydrangea! Love it! I really love those shrubs and they are spectacular when grown well. Mine doesnt get enough sun so only blooms sporadically but I have plans for relocating it to showcase its wonderful flowers. ~~ How fun you biked to the fireworks. So happy you enjoyed them. I tend to avoid crowds of people like the plague and am afraid I could easily become a recluse. The last time we went to the fireworks someone shot off some of the smaller ones into the crowd and a couple people were burned. I didnt enjoy it or find it one bit amusing and havent been since. I surely wish people would show a bit more common sense and courtesy.

Jeesh Kathy, bummer about the electrical problems. What a PITA. ~~ You are so lucky you can grow the lilium without the Asiataic Lily Beetles. They are such a nuisance here but thankfully the Bayer product does control them. Do you ever lose any to rodents? Ive got to replace a few of my clumps to vole damage again. Frankly Id rather they ate the lilies than the hostas though. LOL The hostas came through the winter pretty well this year but quite a few of the lilies are missing or very small. Im so pleased they mostly left the Taragonnas alone though. They are about to pop and I cant wait. ~~~ Ahhh. Bare ground is always an invitation to a plant shopping expedition.

Cyn, so glad you like the Blue Mouse Ears ground cover. Im in love with it right now. I like it without the flowers but when it started blooming this year. Oooo la la. What fun. I confess, it has cost me an arm and a leg to get that many plants in there but Im thinking it will be worth it. ~~ Hope other than lack of storage space all is going well there.

Michelle!!!!!!! What absolutely fabulous shots of your gardens. I LOVE the view from the roof! Ive not done that for years and might just have to take a roof tour here again. Is that the pottager to the left of the border in the last photo? For some reason I didnt realize it was that close to the other garden. Your patio garden is so inviting with all the cool greens and pretty chartreuse plants. I really love that space. Youve done an amazing design job there. ~~~ How interesting about the Arabella cuttings. Im going to have to give that a try.

Well Bug you are totally the clematis queen. I have to confess that I love the varieties that smother themselves with flowers to the point where you cant see the foliage. One of the reasons I really love my Polish Spirit. Its such a performer. How large are the flowers on Minuet.

Chelone, sounds like you had a nice day for the 4th. I was a pretty happy camper until the renters next door decided to run a motorized dirt bike around and around the back yard right on my west fence line for an hour or so. The noise and smell was indescribable. I got beyond angry that they were ruining my day with something so obnoxious. Im sure our residential zoning doesnt allow for motocross tracks in the back yard. These are the same people who think its appropriate to park an unregistered panel truck four feet from the property line and use it for a shed. I dont talk to them and they dont talk to me. I finally called the police and the motorcycle races ended twenty minutes after I called. This is now what I look at on the other side of my garden

Saucy, foot tapping here, waiting to see cement sphere pics??? Cant wait

OK I think its now time to get the chilled potato and egg salad with a side salad of fresh crisp romaine and sweet peppers on the table for dinner. Have a great evening and stay cool everyone in the heat zone!

Later all

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 7:00PM
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Wow Cindy, I look forward to my Silk Road lilies achieving the height you describe with yours. Thanks so much for posting that photomine are in the 5 ft range this year-their 1st. I bought 3 bulbs but I might get a couple more to increase the clump. How crappy that yours broke this year- hopefully the fun IU memories helped to dull the disappointment-life is full of trade-offs isnt it ? Im also very impressed that you are working on your fall bulb order already ! Im going to order Alliums yet again this fall, and pay attention to placement and planting time.

I found C. Pink Fantasy at Joy creek, but in the description it mentioned peach tones dont want any peach tones at all, looking for a clear pink, and it seems like the photos have always shown a cooler pink tone. Any feedback here ? They have Rooguchi too..yay !

Oh Deanne, I feel your pain, and the IU visitors can concur that a have a truck parked about 3 inches from my property line here. The difference is that our lots are small , and the truck is parked quite legally in a driveway, and they are great neighbors too. I have a plan though, involving concrete removal and a shrub border and I hope I can do it this fall. Im going to get quote this month, and hope the $$ does not interfere with my plans for New England in the fall. This will also be the location of the purple and red border that Im planning.

Denise, Im good with our temps remaining this way for the duration. My garden will sure be under-prepared when the next heat wave comes along. Still have not planted the Annies asclepelis , but I peer at it daily to see if I can detect the promised form.

And wouldnt you know, I opened the local paper yesterday and there was an announcement that the garden of Freeland and Sabrina Tanner will be open next Saturday-very ironic as I tried to get us in there for IU to no avail. 25 bucks, a benefit to support the Napa Valley Museum. Pricey , but if Im allowed to take photos Im going photos will be shared both here and on FB. Its my favorite garden here in Napa and its been a few years since Ive seen it.

Ok, time to start the BBQ , Ive been marinating a pork tenderloin this afternoon , and have a couple ears of picked-today corn too

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:22PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I've downloaded my photos from the camera, but don't have all of them sorted, labeled and uploaded to Flickr. But I had to share this one, taken on our morning walk to the Mendocino Headlands.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 8:48PM
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Nice shot V !

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:18PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

V-ditto Kathy!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 8:59AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Very beautiful image V.!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 12:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sit by your air conditioner and try this!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 1:28PM
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It's really hot today. The shop was stifling and I bagged it at about 1 PM. I was very short tempered about little inconveniences and the overall condition of the place. So a good day to call it quits early.

It's coolling down a little bit and I may just wander outdoors to find a cool place and see if the kitties won't come over and hang around with me.

The Hydrangeas were flagging when I got home; they'll perk up later but they looked so sad.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 5:00PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good afternoon all... For all of my Idyll friends who do not 'see' me on Facebook, I am still among the living, but I am not sure why. :-)
The only flowers that are very attractive, here on our place, are the potted things on our deck. The flower beds are in drastic need of help, and the yard has dried up and no longer needs mowed. I am not mourning the dry yard, because it gives me relief from that job, but the watering of potted plants has to be done. I cannot just let them dry up. Also the hydrangeas and a few other yard plants. Dispite the hooved rodent damage, last fall, we had more blooms on them than usual. I have been spraying around most of the beds with Liguid Fence. It is vile smelling stuff, but apparently deters the deer.
We see their damage in places that have not been sprayed. I am beyond being able to erect fences this year. My strength has diminished seriously.
Nolon is even in worse shape. No longer able to do the wood cutting like he did last year. Our son Tim and I are working on getting Propane wall panels put in. I will still want the wood stove. Tim plans on cutting some wood for us also.
We are down to only one cat now. We lost Tommy to a dreadful sickness last November. So, we only have Trubby.

The snakes are active. We have seen rat snakes, a black racer, and at least one copperhead.
I got my first crop of chiggers last week! Pretty itchy, but, so far, not as bad as other years. Maybe because my system has changed and they are not affecting me as bad.
It is thundering in the distance, I pray that we will get a very good soaking.


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

Hi Marian! What a rough year you're having :-( The snakes is the part that makes my skin crawl! I hope things improve for you soon

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 7:21PM
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So kind of a faux Monday today-its already Wednesday tomorrow ! The electrical dude came out today worked out well to be lunchtime at the awfice-and my electrical issue is resolved . DD reports that Aiden has graduated to the toddler bed as of last night apparently the crib they were given is convertible somehow..I had to laugh, as DH and I were too cheap to buy toddler beds and our children went from the hand me down crib to the flophouse/opium den style mattress directly on the floor. A very short distance to fall ! So I guess its official that Mr Baby is now Mr Toddler.

Still no access for your link for me bug, maybe I should just register , and then I could always see what you post.

Hi Marian, Ive been enjoying your garden pics over on FBeven the snakes ! Its always interesting to see whats transpiring on your land. Im glad that Tim is able to help you with the wood chores this year, but sorry that Nolon is poorly ((Marian)).

Think Ill wander out and ponder the hell strip for awhile. The plans are formulating !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 8:57PM
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It was too hot to do the dishes, so I rinsed them in ice cold water and stacked them neatly to the side of the sink...because it was too hot to unload the dishwasher, too :)

It was a better evening for our ice cream maker...last night I made the cream anglaise and macerated the strawberries. Apparently the longer you chill both, the better the ability to whip lots of air into the mix. The ice cream is dangerously delicious. I love my old fashioned ice cream maker :)

Marian, it is nice to see a post from you on Idyll. You see, I can't really tell what's going on with each of you on's fun, but not terribly informative. Sounds like you and Tim have a good plan with the propane and firewood...the best of both worlds. Snakes are a part of living in the south, for sure. I do not miss opening the front door to sunning snakes on the stoop.

I do have a rather large garter snake who lives in my garage. This is the 3rd year that she comes and goes from a crack in the foundation. She suns herself in the area by my workshop (tent). I always talk loudly and look down when I walk through there so that we don't scare each other. We have an understanding.

Nick's been out fixing A/Cs and is just now headed home (he did come home for dinner...but back out right after) aiming for a bowl of strawberry ice cream. I'm gonna greet him and then head to bed with my Keeyla book :)

BTW, Great shot, V! Wish I was there...


    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 9:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I played move the hose while DH did dishes. We have not yet turned on the air conditioner this year. I went grocery shopping to cool off. :)

Deanne, I think it was you who asked about Minuet. So far her blooms are very small. I should go check on COTW, but I think they stay small. Do you have Juuli? She just blooms her heart out and is still going strong here.

I think tomorrow is the last day for Sparkle's visit. I haven't taken a single photo yet. Better fix that in the morning!

I have a few photos to share...once the university allows me to post once again. Supposedly they made some upgrade...

Friday DD's family is off to the Yukon for a 3 week trip. I sure am nervous about this, but heck, I guess I did things that frightened my folks too. I'm so glad they make a point of family fun. It sure could be an unhappy household if they weren't so nurturing of each other. That Skyler doesn't know how lucky he is...but that's OK. He's growing and understanding more and more about his situation. That can only help him. Hes starting to realize that there are two sides to any discussion and that his mom isnt always right (despite him desperately wanting to believe she is). As DD says, "He has come to realize over and again that just because you yell louder and accuse doesnt mean that you are right, and it certainly doesnt solve the problem. Further, being right doesnt necessarily mean that you get your way. Tough lessons for an 11 year-old, but hey, thats just what hes going to have to learn to deal with if his Mom keeps putting him in the middle."

Life is tough, but hey, here's some advice from my Sister in law:(Don't look Cyn!)

A real man is a woman's best friend. He will
never stand her up and never let her down.
He will reassure her when she feels insecure
and comfort her after a bad day.
He will inspire her to do things she never
thought she could do; to live without fear
and forget regret. He will enable her to
express her deepest emotions and give in to
her most intimate desires. He will make sure
she always feels as though she's the most
beautiful woman in the room and will enable
her to be the most confident, sexy,
seductive, and invincible...
No wait... sorry...sorry..
I'm thinking of wine.
Never mind.

(Saucy...somehow this is related to the fact that I finished Committed!)

PS: Hi Marian! I hope you get your showers soon. So sorry to hear about your well loved kitty's passing. Good to have at least one though! You need one of those 50 foot coil hoses that attach to you sink faucet so that you can water your porch plants more easily. I keep saying I'll get one, but never have. Anyone here use one? What do you think?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2010 at 11:39PM
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We got nearly 3" of rain yesterday afternoon. When it started to rain we decided to go out to dinner in the city. I spent the day and part of this evening mulching Kenzies garden. It is extremely humid here so the sweat glands get a good work out. Who needs a sauna? The gutter on my garden shed that feeds my rain tank broke under the snow load last winter. We got it fixed just before the rain.

I received the chandelier for the garden shed today. I spent some time cleaning it and assessing how many crystals are missing. Actually only one but several others are missing the top round crystal.

Interesting that so many of you liked my patio garden. It was my first and I struggled with it for a long time. I wanted a flower garden and finally came to terms with a shade garden and the flowers went elsewhere. I left it go for quite a few years while I started other gardens and now have started to revamp it. Its hard to tell but Ive added some cool plants and have plans to add more. From above its hard to see tiarellas, epimediums, tricyrtis and hellebores.

That is the potager just to the left of the long border and then to the left of the potager is the garden shed.

My daylilies are just starting and I have just a nice number so that the deadheading is not overbearing.

Kathy, I was wondering if you got any germination from the celosia I sent you? As for the clematis Pink Fantasy if you look back at the last Idyll fairly close to the beginning I posted a picture of mine. The color is true to what it is for me. It was just planted last year and I was very pleased with how fast it grew. Just how old is Mr. Toddler by now?

I was thinking I had Silk Road until I saw the height on Cindys. I checked my records and see that mine is orientpet lilium 'Triumphator', which is similar but not as tall. That is amazing Cindy.

Deanne, thanks for the additional Garden Conservancy pictures. I enjoyed them a lot. How awful about your neighbors and all their annoyances. I know the challenges of gardening with less than perfect views, believe me!

Marian, sorry to hear that you are having such a tough time. Im glad Tim is able to help out. Im quite busy with Liquid Fence this year also. It is awful smelling isnt it?

Woody, I have to admit that we were both on the roof. We get on the one story part of the house first and the go up to the second story from there. We do not have a very steep pitch at all.

Denise, thanks for the offer of cuttings but Ill survive without it. The nursery where I got it last year might have a few lurking around yet. It is quite amazing isnt it the things they have done with fireworks. I was the most amazed with the smiley face ones.

Saucy, you are right FB is fun little chit chat, but here you do find out alot more.

I went to my parents for lunch today since Rick was there helping them with their patio. They are adding an edging of pavers to make it larger. My mom was so excited to have a 9" bloom on a pink oriental lily. I guess you are never too old to get into gardening.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:02AM
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Catching up on Idyll reading is like treading water! You want to start swimming with the flow but need to get updated on the goings on while you were gone. We had a great time at the lake, hot sunny weather without this awful, sweltering humidity were experiencing at home. I detest how it zaps my energy just from going in and out of air conditioning; my body doesnt like making repeated adjustments.

Many thanks for all birthday wishes and cards! What a treat to find my name on beautiful Idyll photography. Need to mention right now though that I cant see your photos, Bug. (Love the Birthy Hapday!) Maybe something with my computer tonight as I also cant get Photobucket to work properly. Hoping your birthday was good, too, Julie and sorry I cant say it with a photo!

DH wanted me to choose a new camera for my birthday but Im undecided. Im a point and shoot girl at heart. Ill happily get in any position for the shot I want but dont enjoy fiddling with settings or attachments. Probably why I appreciate good Idyll photography so much, because you take the time to learn and master it!

Chelone, the bendy straw was a bust! During practice sessions it worked perfectly but at the fire pit the darn thing just made a soft "flubbb" which nobody noticed. I almost hyperventilated trying and at one point, DH asked me why I kept ducking my head. You suppose there was a crack in the straw or something? Finally I tossed itkind of lost the moment.

Wow, Deannehow many BME did you plant for the groundcover effect? Your neighbors make me shudder as I fear that very same type of situation. Our once established neighborhood is slowing changing as residents who lived here for years are aging.

Cindy, I like all the puppy names, too! You may come up with something different right at the last minute, who knows?! Thats part of the fun and excitement, isnt it?pet names are so important.

Love those roof shots, Michelle! Fantastic to see the gardens and the horizon from that angle. Youre obviously not bothered by heights, lol.

Marian, HI!so glad to hear from you since Im not on FB. Hope to see some photos of what youre growing on the deck! Yikes,snakes?! You dont sound upset so Im guessing this isnt a rare sighting?

Thats about it for me tonightway, way tired. I cant wait to get back into our own bed.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Looking forward to Friday with highs of 75 and nights at 60! In the meantime, in the 90s today and tomorrow and 74 overnight.

Sorry about the photo problems everyone and I hope the university gets things moving again soon!

By 6am this morning both sprinklers were already at work. Sigh.

I think today I should go to the air conditioned mall and buy some lightweight t-shirts. I've been enjoying the cold lunches and dinners though and all the fresh fruit.

I too have TALL lilies about to open. I had to tie them up to keep them from breaking. Mine are Orienpets called American Spirit. They said 4-6 feet, but they are taller than DH who is about 5'11". Their first year they were more like 4 feet tall. My Blue Paradise phlox grows near them. It is so strange how the color varies on these, but they are THE BEST. I have others on my plant ghetto bench...all of them white with mildew. :(

I too think the roof shots by Rick and Randy are great! I refuse to climb the roof, but may try for an upstairs window shot some time soon. Of course V's latest photo is moody and gorgeous as well!

Here comes the sun over the barn now, so things will heat up fast. Time to close the shades. Sorry kitties!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 7:01AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - can't believe you've not turned on the AC yet! 5 clematis from Gardenimport arrived this morning. Bad week for shipping plants, but they all arrived in good shape. Whether I can keep them in good shape in this heat is another question....!

Michelle - 3"!! We desperately need some rain; it's a bit surprising that all this heat and humidity hasn't generated any. We haven't been watering anything except pots yet but we'll have to soon water some of the front garden if we don't get some rain.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:50AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

'bug, laughed at loud at the 'advice column'-really very funny...and very true ;) Now, if I could just find a place to hide MY bottle-teehee. (btw, DH is doing great-I think the fact that he goes to meetings every day and hears that he is the only one in control of his recovery is a big part of it). Hope the family has a grand time in the Yukon. Once he is grown, Skyler will understand how lucky he has been! I think kids are meant to be oblivious to that-isn't that one of the joys of childhood-being a little self-centered?

I turn our ac off during the day until it gets unbearable. Then, I cool it down a bit and at night set the thermostat down to around 69. The house stays amazingly comfortable most of the day. Of course, DH and the dogs would like it kept at a low temp all the time, but I am too cheap to do so since I pay all the utilities.

We, too, are in desperate need of rain, Woody. The water bill will be appalling, I'm sure. I don't mind myself wilting in the heat, but would hate to lose too many plants. A couple of azaleas and a young holly may not make it despite my moving the hose all around during the week.

Marian, I am so sorry life is not easier for you these days. Sons are wonderful, though, aren't they?! I could use a couple of your snakes-not the copperheads, though! We are overrun with chipmunks this year and I am so tired of the galloping gardeners digging the gardens up to get them. Very irritating, especially since I don't think they are successful in their quest. Wish there was a humane was to get rid of them. I have used mothballs in the past, but don't dare to put those in the back yard. My idiots would probably eat them!

I also may invest in some of that Liquid Fence. Deer sightings around here have increased tenfold. Too much building across the road at the Episcopal Seminary which used to have lots of woods and now has lots of houses. So far, have only seen them in our yard once and that was before the arrival of the pups. I really wouldn't mind fencing in the entire yard, but doubt the City Council would approve that. The theme to 'Green Acres' springs to mind every time I dream of moving away to the country-not that Eva Gabor and I have anything in common!

Candy, the lake vacation sounds marvelous! It is never easy to return from a break like that. I also giggled aloud at your bendy straw fiasco-so frustrating, but very funny to picture you in the attempt!

Michelle, can't wait to see pics of the chandelier in place. I'll bet it looks wonderful and magazine-worthy in the shed! I think the reason everyone was so taken with the patio garden is the thought of sitting on one of the benches for a SALAT. At least, I found myself imaging that.

Chelone, hope cooler temps have arrived for you. It is horrifying to me that all you northerners are suffering through so much heat. I expect it around here, but hold tight to the thought that there is relief to be found elsewhere. That sound you hear is my illusions shattering!

Saucy, nothing better than homemade ice cream. My favorite part was always pulling out the churners (can't think of the right word) and being the first to taste by licking off the ice cream. Yum. Truly a summer pleasure.

Kathy, isn't is nice when problem-solving goes smoothly (electrician)? Glad it is all fixed.

Cindy, when is the new pup arriving?

Going to check on today's stage of the Tour de France. It is splendid to have so many diversions to keep me from doing that which REALLY needs doing.

Later all.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 11:15AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Name dropping (sort of) here. (Don't laugh!)

The guy who sold us my son's first bike, an orange Peugot, has a 34 year old son who is in the Tour de France now. That's as close as I can come to hobnobbing with the famous. Pathetic.

Went out, found an outfit to buy for the "Stag & Doe" party we are invited to. (Is that a local thing or does anyone else have these silly events?) Anyway, found a nice dress, jacket and necklace...and then went off to a different store and never went back. Just could not see spending $250 for an outfit for a Mennonite pre-wedding celebration. These are basically money collecting events for the "kids", the couple. I think they'll have to accept that I'm not one of their crowd and I wear pants and a top, not flowered dresses.(from my class reunion last month)

Better make the helpless one some lunch now - Icy cold curried cream of chicken soup I think.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:17PM
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And now I know someone who bought a bike from a Tour de France participant's father :)

Chelone, look for an email from me...yesterday's date.

Watering is a full time job here and tomorrow is the first Farmer's Market of the year. I'm already tired just thinking about how hot it will be. We're going to try to pack and prepare early in the morning, then shower, then sell, sell, sell :)

No break from the heat here until Saturday evening.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:57PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

'bug, who is it? I would be glad to cheer for him!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 12:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michael Berry, from Toronto

I sent some photos to Woody to share if she has time or inclination. Not possible for me to post anything here. :(

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 2:08PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Bummer! I had a post almost ready to go this morning, with pictures and info, and hit something wrong. Poof ! I will try it again.

It is so hard posting from PT. But here goes:

My only veggie....a Sweet 100 tomato:

A couple of nice plants:

And my very large combo, in a 40 gallon feed tub:

The salvias are not too floriferous right now....

Saucy, I agree about Facebook. I do add comments frequently but it does not seem that very many of my friends see them. I get more comments from Eden (Laura) than most of my other friends there.

Marie, we got a fairly decent shower after my first post yesterday. Got at least 1/2 inch. More is in the forecast. 2 inches would be great. And the temps are very nice....lower than average for the time of year.
I do all my watering either from the farm pond, or the rain barrels. I don't like to use community water on them.
I have a longhandled spray nozzle for the hose.

Candy, snakes are just part of living Saucy said. I actually like the nonpoisonous ones, and respect the others. I am not too intimidated by them.

Cyn, we have no gophers....yet, but the moles worked the yard over this spring. We have not see a chipmunk this year, but have plenty of squirrels and rabbits.
Our cousin's wife has a recipe for deer repellent that contains the same ingredients as Liquid Fence. I don't want to mess with making it. It is sort of messy to make. I think one container will do me all that I need for one year. Everyone suggests that we get a dog, but we have no desire to do so. Besides, the 2 neighbor's Great Pyrenees patrol our place daily, and we still have deer.
Both town and country living have their good points and their bad. I have decided I prefer to put up with the slithering snakes over the 2 legged kind. :-)

Candy, I appeciate your encouragement to make a fairy garden, but I am not as creative as Eden. I do incorporate rocks and small critters in some of my pots already, both indoors and out.

Okay, I am going to post this before I lose it....I hope.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 8:22PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

ARGGGHHHH!Just lost my whole post!! I am too whacked out by the heat to do it again - the gist of it was, thanks for the bday wishes, we had a great trip to the East Coast, the Idyllunion looked great, blistering heat wave, yada, yada, yada.....tomorrow!



    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 9:41PM
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Im glad Im the one who is not having a heat wave for a change, and in fact I could live with our 2010 summer temps forever- its been great .Those that are growing tomatoes and melons are probably not happy though.

The interest for IU8 at Garden Walk Buffalo continues to build and I think this will end up as the destination, unless the reviews from this years are bad- Its nice to be able to set the dates so far in advance. Im already looking into possible flights , lol !

Marian, love to see you posting photos here . Your deck looks fabu as always, and that 40 gallon number must be the most gigantic Idyll container this year ! I dont see your elephant ears though ? Did it bite the dust ?

Michelle, funny you should ask that; the first sowing was zero, but I think I planted too early. I did some in 6-paks under lights but just like my last years experience they seem to germinate and then just sulk. Last weekend I direct sowed another batch of your seeds, even though its late. At least it will give a clue as to what type of soil temps/air temps are required for germination. I dont think they like t be transplanted .

We await further news from Julie !

Nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 10:09PM
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Thanks for posting those photos of your deck, Marian! You must have just the right amount of sun and shade in that area to grow such a variety of plants or you have the touch. Is that a pentas paired up with the colorful coleus? And I think I see another good size coleus in the huge poteverything looks happy and thriving! Am curious about that particular variety of tomato plant. I have only one in a large container also and its some type of bigger cherry tomato. Have you heard anything about the Arkansas tomato crop this year? We look forward to them when they arrive in the grocery store but so far, none have come in.

My gardens are not happy with 6 days of 90 degree temps. Things suffered while we were gone without receiving rain or watering. I should have put down more mulch, there are skimpy spots with cracks in the soil. Even if we get the rain predicted for tomorrow I doubt it will be sufficient and Ill need to keep watering before adding more mulch. My eye has turned critical on a few combinations that I thought would look greatand dont. Already formulating plans of what to change. The light conditions are a big factor for me. Morning shade, early afternoon sun before the pin oak came down, however, now theres no morning shade and not enough sun to qualify as all day. I think I could make shuffling plants my lifes work without buying anymore!

Michelle, I cant wait to see your chandeliermore shed pictures, too That is going to look so cool and I know youll have added some other neat stuff also! Did you actually take the photos up on the roof or did Rick?I wasnt clear on that. The patio garden shot looks perilously close to the edgeyikes.

Hope youre just chillin Chelone and didnt have another repeat of yesterday at work. Just so you knowthinking about you.

Night everyonemay all your ACs be running smoothly.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2010 at 11:57PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning one and all,

Well we are bracing for another 90 plus day here. I thought it funny yesterday when I went outside at noon or so and thought to myself that it was pretty cool compared to the previous day and when it went it realized that it was 91 outside. I guess 91 is much cooler than 104. Te he.. As Sue mentioned over on FB, the good news about the hot summer temps is that the local produce is going to be great. The corn is really looking good this year and Ill bet the tomatoes are going to be early and great as well. On the home front the coleus are getting huge and beautiful. The big banana is getting bigger and very beautiful, in fact all the tropicals are looking great.

Chelone, the hydrangeas here are not one bit happy with this weather either. Even if I water they still wilt. Oh well the lilies are absolutely gorgeous at the moment.

Kathy, do you have any before pics of your Hell Strip? Curious minds would like to see what youre dealing with.

Saucy, that home made ice cream sounds fabulous! Ive not had any for a very long time. So who does all the cranking?

Bug, Im going to have to look for that Minuet. Do you remember the small flowered variety that was a blooming fool that David B. had in his garden in MI? Minuet reminded me of that one. ~~~ Wish I had you here to fix me some of those chilled soups you are making.

Michelle, lucky you for getting all that rain. We REALLY could use some here. ~~ Id love to wander the paths in your patio garden and see all the gems you have tucked in there. ~~ So glad you liked the conservancy tour pics.

Candy, I think Ive planted six pots of BME over the last three years in that spot. ~~ bummer about the straw failure. Ive found if ones armpits arent damp enough one doesnt get a satisfying rumble.

Cyn, so happy to hear your DH is doing great. Thats fantastic.

Marian, love the plant display on your deck! Beautiful!

Julie, bummer about your post, I hate it when that happens.

OK Ive got to go out and start dragging the hoses around, have a great day everyone.


My Tarragona lilies are opening early and soooo beautiful! My favorite lily here.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:39AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm not a happy camper in this heatwave...but what's new...

Just came in from watering some clematis, but I've given up on the rest of things. The sprinkler attachment is off and I'm using the "direct method" with no nozzle in a few areas and on containers. Hoping for thunderstorms tomorrow. This morning the internet was things were pretty bleak. What's left but doing laundry and dishes? Blargh.

Deanne, I think you are referring to TxR:
David had it paired with Hagley's Hybrid and it was super lovely. I've tried to grow that one about 6 different times and failed. Others succeed, but never me! I do fine with Minuet though!

I've submitted out of necessity: the air conditioner is on!
I'll try to return later with a better outlook.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 10:17AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Julie, I empathize with you.

Kathy, I no longer save my Elephant Ears over winter. The only one I have this year is in the tub beside the Henryii Clematis trellis, out front. It is very disappointing. So small. I added a lot of fresh potting soil, so I think it is just the bulb.

Candy, The deck faces northeast, and gets all of the morning sun.The only shading is from the Bladdernut beside the house, and the Honey locust to the southeast. The locust shade is later in the day. That will change in a few years, when the Catalpa that I planted in the bed out there gets tall. By then I will have most likely cut down a lot more on the plantings.
Yes , that is a Penta. I like them, and sort of wish I had got a red one also. The plant on it's left is an EE relative, (a colocasia?). I call it the Skeleton Plant because of it's lines. LOL. I do bring it in, and it took forever to start this year.
There are two coleus in the big tub. The other is barely visible in that pic. It is a chartreuse one, and visible in the deck pic. There is also a Scabiosa on the chartreuse coleus side. I bought it at Farmer's Market, and it was not in bloom yet. It has white blooms....not very showy, but I like it's airiness. I espacialy like the Sweet 100 tomato. As it's name inplies, it is sweet, and very productive. I bought local tomatoes at the Farmer's Market Tuesday. They look very nice, and I think there is a good crop.
Thankfully some of my beds have more mulch than they normally get from me. I dumped most of last year's used potting soil in them.

Deanne, thank you....but I know none of my stuff can hold a candle to what you grow. But it pretty much pleases me. Not very many see it other than us. I lost the lovely orange coleus you sent me. It wintered over other winters, but didn't make through last winter. Sedonia ?

I feel for all that are suffering the torrid heat in the Northeast. I don't think Nolon and I would survive that type of heat without AC. And we no longer have a One Stop that we could hang out in. Oh well, we will burn that bridge if it we get to it!


P.S. It is showering right now.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 1:35PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 3:56PM
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    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 4:30PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Happy Birthday Eden

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 6:01PM
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Well, we did not get any of the 80% chance of rain although it was grey several times to the north. I watered various garden areas but its just not the same as rain. Did some weeding, toounbelievable how they sprout and grow when we were only gone 4 days. I found a hole in the soil with some kind of reddish orange ants that were much larger than what Ive ever seen. Going to have to research that, they were fast over my feet and up my leg which creeped me out.

My solution for dinner tonight is tuna salad with crackers and fruit. DH is basically meat and potatoes despite the temperature so hell most likely grill a pork chop and Ill contribute by making the baked potato and salad. Saucys ice cream would sure hit the spot for dessert! Tomorrow is going to be deli chicken, can you tell I dislike cooking in this heat wave?

Bug Ive only tried cold soup a couple of times but it would be light and refreshing in hot weather. I can imagine your uneasiness about the Yukon camping DD and her family are doing. And that was before I remembered shes just come off bedrestooosh! I hope you perked up a bit with the AC turned on, if youre physically comfortable it should help relieve your motherly nerves as I call them.

Deanne, those Tarragona lilies are gorgeous with the creamy color and soft buttery streaks!

Marian, looking forward to more of your pix! Have to askis a "one stop" like a shopping center?

I just started Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger and have become totally immersed in this unusual ghost story! Its quite a page turner and Im fascinated with Highgate Cemetary as a result. When I finish the book I intend to visit their website and explore it further but, so far, shes tying in the history very well from her experience as a guide. And Cindy, theres a path off the apartment garden that leads to a green wooden door (locked, of course) in the wall of the cemetery. Cant you just picture it?

OK, must runEden, hope you had a wonderful birthday! Waving to Cyn, Kathy, Chelone, Woody, Michelle, everyone I missed. And Norma, my fingers are crossed Niki is doing alright.

Oh, almost forgot! I pulled out several of these while weeding todaythe leaves remind me of a redbud or is it just a tenacious weedy vine? You get my purplish blue 4th of July toenails by default, lol.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 7:52PM
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Hola my friends, Ive been WALATing this evening in our continued mild temperatures, no complaints about weather here ! I expect our days of 100 degrees will come eventually.

Im trying to map out my vaca time from now through November- so much stuff Id like to do ! The biggest chunk of time is my fall visit to NE , and the time itself is not the issue-I have to make sure I can stay in budget and still be able to do a couple of small road trips in August and Septin particular I want to go back out to the coast and I need to get up to Oregon I am determined to visit Joy Creek. Think I have the dates worked out for all, now I need to verify my PTO available and Im ready to carve it all in stone.

Oooo-ee Deanne, I sure wont forget the sight of those Tarragona lilies in full bloom in your garden IU 6.. I took some really crappy pics , so your good ones are appreciated !

Nice combo there Candy with the toe shot ! I have to tell you that a few years ago I asked Marian to post some photos of the One Stop, as it was mentioned frequently here .She kindly obliged with both indoor and outdoor pics, and as I recall one even included Nolon in a booth enjoying his coffee.I like seeing Idylls in their ordinary day in/day out surroundings so I can envision when reading posts.

And last but not least From Garden 2010 Spring

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 10:10PM
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Good morning Idylls! Happy Birthday, Eden, even though I know it was yesterday, thought I'd tell you again :)
Yesterday was beastly. It was disgustingly humid and working at the Farmer's Market was painful :) I hope we have better weather next week. Very few people bought plants and I'm guessing that is because they loathed the thought of digging a hole in this weather, lol!

What a fun itinerary you have laid out for the rest of the year, Kathy!

I don't know what you've pulled out there, Candy, but I enjoyed the toes :) My husband does the same thing yours does about dinner. I'm not sure why my cold fixes aren't enough...and as long as he's making his own, I don't really need to know, I guess. I grilled a bunch of chicken earlier in the week and have made lots of cold dishes from it.

I confess that my ice cream maker has an electric choice or a hand crank can guess which one I used, Deanne :) Your lilies tempt me every time....they're gorgeous.

GB, it's not hard to be cranky in this weather. It's hard to get one's chores done with a smile on a good day (at least for me).

I am still reading Committed, but I fall asleep after a page. It will likely take me a while as my days are full and sleep is needed badly. At least it's an easy read. I'd read during the day, but then my eyes become blurry and it's hard to do anything else. So annoying!

Okay...I guess I'd better get at it while it's cool this morning. There is lots of watering to be done since I wasn't here yesterday!


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:16AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning all -- a check in here from Calcutta USA.... I wont go into details other than to say the metro commuting this week has made me think that's where I must be living.... truly horrific and enervating (to say nothing of a bit scary)....

Paybacks are h*ll for fun vacations and I'm having my payback extracted painfully daily -- still trying to retain a bit of vacation glow however.

Love all the photos - truly magnificient lilies, Deanne!!! And Candy what a great photo of a cool looking petunia and wowzer toenails....

Havent had any time to do anything other than commute, water after dark and repeat this week.... hope to catch up here and on re-adjusting to reality and the climate this weekend, LOL.

Durn, I see I missed a birthday! I hope it was a great one, Eden:


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well things are looking up! Although it is pea soup weather with high humidity, we have had a few showers. It all began with a lot of lightning and no rain...but finally around 6am the skies opened up. The highs for today are expected to reach the mid seventies. I'll take it!

Still not possible to post photos. For a computer science department, I'd find that embarrassing, but they just carry on....GRRR.

Eden, you'll just need your great imagination for my card this time! Maybe I'll be able to send you one by private mail. :)

Yesterday I wound a skein of yarn into a ball to knit a scarf. It is the finest cashmere, rather like sewing thread in thickness! I practiced the pattern a little so now I think it should all work out well. Maybe I'll work on that a bit today.

Tomorrow friends from a web forum are coming to visit. Should be interesting considering we'll have showers all day today. No way am I going to be able to weed, mow, edge, etc....and the flowers are all sopping wet and hanging limply. Hmmmm. Hope they understand!

Off to start the day!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 9:13AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EDEN!!!! No pics 'cause this is a computer from school that wasn't originally mine-they gave me a new one which immediately didn't work, so this is a loaner without my Picasa stuff on it. Sorry.

Cindy, love the roof shot. Where is it? Too hot for it right now if it is near here!

'bug, I am sure your garden will look splendid-no worries from what we've seen!

Pretty heuchera, Kathy.

Candy, what an amazing petunia! Absolutely beautiful. Toes ain't bad, either! :)

Marian, your deck is so lovely. Puts mine to shame. Also, I always love everyone's bird and butterfly shots. The one you posted is fantastic. I need to start hanging my camera around my neck or something when I am out. We have had goldfinches perching on the echinacea lately.

Looks like Michelle and Deanne coordinated their colors amnd then to scroll down and see Woody's pink and Marian's -wow. They would all look great together in a garden.

Time to move the hose. Where oh where is the rain???

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 9:30AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Candy the One Stop was a roadside store out here in the country, where you could get gasoline, and snacks, as well as gifts, and even a home cooked meal ....breakfast, pizza, hamburgers and the like. We would stop there on our way home from church and eat our lunch every Sunday. We sure miss it.

Re : reading, I have been doing a lot of that lately. I have stacks of the old Reader's Digest condensed books. Haven't read any of them for years, so most are like reading new stories. Some are autobiographies, and other non fiction.
I believe your weed is a wild species of the morningglory family. Most of them are pretty invasive.

Good memory Kathy. You are right, that was Nolon in a booth at the Compton One Stop.

LOL, Cyn, My deck is just a hodge podge of plants. Most are those that I overwintered in the house.There are more lined up in front of our house. That is where the Caladiums are this year. Not nearly as many as last year. I wouldn't mind having a bigger variety of coleus. There is one similar to the one in the pic by the Penta, It is more of a yelowish, and is sharing the tomato pot. I am afraid it is pretty much lost behind the tomato. I had several red petunias in the EE tub by the Henryii Clem last year. They reseeded and there are even more red ones there this year. I am not too diligent with my deheading for that very reason. I like it whan plants that I like reseed. My Impatience do that a lot.

We have accumulated around one inch of rain, all together, in the past 3 days of showers. They are the good soaking type, with no wind, and only a rare thunderclap....mostly some distance from our place.
It will not be long until I will have to mow again. I had at least a 3 week reprieve. :-)


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 2:00PM
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Last night we said goodbye to my son and his girlfriend. Fort Worth, TX is to be their new home. He will be working in the racing business, so for him its a dream job. I can't help but be happy about that.

I need to continue getting the garden presentable. We are having a garden outing on Tuesday for my Bible study group. 17-20 women will tour another garden along with mine. The other garden has a shop also. Then there will be a catered meal at my home. So at least the food part will be easy.

Things are looking pretty good, far from the perfection Deanne achieved with her garden tour though.

Marian, you have a pretty impressive pot collection. The big one is fabulous!

Candy, I'm not a petunia lover, but that one is very pretty.

Cindy, how awful that the commute is sucking the best part of your days. What a fun picture!

Kathy, I like your idea of seeing what the Idylls daily lives look like. Maybe pictures of our awffices LOL
As for the seeds, they may have been from the year before last. They have self sown for me in the past but I don't see any this year. I just found 3 on clearance the other day, so I'll try to save you some fresh seed this year. So cold stratification works for them and maybe is required?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 4:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

A pic of the big container from the other side;

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 4:51PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Impressive deck and large container Marian!

We got some much-needed rain today. A nice, steady soaking-in sort of rain. 1.6" worth. It also cooled down a bit so Randy and I did a fast dead-heading and pruning of the front garden to tidy up the stuff in worst shape. It's supposed to go back to hot, humid and no rain again for the next 5 days at least. I'm really getting sick of this weather! We have so much stuff to do re the rose removal and replacement planting but haven't been able to even start it.

I'm happy so far with the changes we've been making to the herb bed - the west end of the herb bed along the south side of the driveway will gradually become a peachy-orange-red bed over the next few years.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I could have written the same thing Woody, except you didn't mention how the ornamental grasses have been knocked down nor the mosquitoes that devour us! I spent an hour or so, from 8-9, doing a really basic weed of the worst spots, preparing for the folks who come tomorrow. I could spend 5 DAYS weeding and still not finish. But I did mow and that makes things look better. Wish I could share a few things that surprised me... The heatwave has late summer things blooming! (Acanthus, sumac, Ligularia, echinacea, yarrow, Astilbe and so on) My Vitex and Buddleia are taller than they've ever been in July - but so are the weeds.

I think the nights will be cooler next week, but the humidity and heat will return in the daytime.

DS may come for a week in July which would be great! I'm going to miss hearing from my DD's family while they are gone for 3 long weeks. Michelle, when you say your son will be involved in racing, does that mean cars? Horses? Running? Other?

I hear a cardinal out there now! At 9:30PM? Strange. The frogs are making their noises too.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 9:31PM
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Hola Idylls, I am WALATing tonight in very pleasant conditions indeed, and making some plans to avoid frittering away the entire weekend Im going to head out and water down the Hell Strip shortly so that it will be dig-able tomorrow. I had planned to visit Freeland Tanners garden tomorrow but the tour is fulldisappointing ! Had I known it was limited I would have called sooner. Oh well.

Wow Marian, that is a huge container ! You must be really happy with how it turned out .. the back side looks like a whole different arrangement.

bug and Woody, I wonder are these temps usual at all for you ? Im interested in what the Idylls might expect for the Garden Walk Buffalo next year..I looked at some average temp info and it looked like 80 ish was the norm.

Cyn, not to steal Cindys thunder, but that is Keeyla Meadows studio roof, taken from the 2nd floor balcony of her house. How gracious she was to let us roam around at will , even snapping pics of her bathroom ! I am going to her GC open days in a couple weeks and hope to have more photos to share.

All for now, see yall tomorrow.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 10:20PM
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The mossies are thick here these days too. I quickly worked on more mulching in Kenzie's garden while there was a decent breeze. At least 5000 ash seedlings have been smothered by cardboard and mulch. The conditions must have just right this year for a bumper crop to germinate. I've never had a fraction of what I have this year.

Marian, I like the color of the container as well as how it is planted.

Kathy, be sure to take "before" pictures.

My son is a mechanic, so works in the car industry. He is good at what he does and has been traveling to work on cars. He has been in DC a couple of times lately as well as Atlanta. I guess out travel out of the country is possible in the future. Far be it from me to understand all this.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 11:53PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Saturday!

At last, a reprieve from the 100F heat that plagued us all week. Everyone in my house is still sleeping, revelling in the fresh cool air. I on the other hand, am heading out to dig another section of the new daylily bed along the spite fence. I have not been able to get anything done there due to the heat, and I want the whole thing completed by September. If I haven't got it finished, I will actually pay to have the rest done. My promise to myself!

It is clear to see that summer is an extremely busy time for the Idylls! All the gardens, travel, company coming, beautiful garden tours and planters.....this is the first "place" that I come to every morning, and I am never disappointed!

Happy birthdays too to all that I may have missed.

Nice to have you back, Marion! Large planters and raised beds are a great way to garden - fewer weeds!

I hope someone has heard from Mary.

Kathy you are really taking advantage of summer - so many interesting places to go!

Michelle, it is hard to see the kids fly off somewhere, even if it is to follow their drems.

Bug, I am sure the farm looks great, as always!

How are all the chickens? I really like the green roof idea V!

Woody, you are such an enabler *LOL* My Wild Horses daylily is open this morning - I now have about ten different ones for the spite bed fence. You are sure right about it being too hot to do major garden renos. Love the shed colours btw.

I have been moaning about wanting a Saucy leaf for a couple of weeks. The result is a promise from DH to help me clean out the shed for a work space so I can try my hand at making one. Wasn't exactly what I had in mind *LOL*

Notice no comments about the Juliejobs or the EAT program....September I guess!

Lots more to say as usual, but I want to get digging before the heat!

Cheers, all!


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:16AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Morning all!

Well, we have rain, too, but it hasn't cooled anything off. Not complaining mind you, just thinking that Cindy's comment about Calcutta was prescient. It surely feels like what I would expect from there.

We are heading down to the Chesapeake Bay for the day-rain or not. I do hope it is nicer there, so we get to do some kayaking or something fun.

Michelle, my son is a car fanatic. He is restoring an old BMW 2002. Racing would be his dream job, too!

Julie, too funny about the Saucy leaf. Let us know how it turns out :)

Waving to all. Off to clean the bathroom before we go-wouldn't want our teenaged dogsitter thinking I actually live like that. HA.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:35AM
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Still no rain but, its a beautiful cool morning without humidity for the first time in days. And wouldnt you know I have obligations kicking myself for the bad timing! Im about to hurry outside and get a bit of weeding and deadheading done while time allows. Need to check the forecast for the next week before making promises as I did for today. Just thought Id grab a minute to skid in here over home plate before this Idyll closes out.

Marian, thanks for the input on that weedy thing! Im finding them pushing up in quite a few places and they are tough as wirey vines. Have you found them around your place? I can see a resemblance t in the leaf shape now that you mentioned a wild morning glory species. That coleus looks enormous, enjoyed the view from the other side of the container. What a shame your One Stop closed! DH and I love finding that type of restaurant on a road trip. Sadly they are disappearing fast from the countryside instead of changing ownership. Ill have to go back and see if your album link is still somewhere and try to find the photos. Thought I went through it all last wintercant believe I dont remember them!

Michelle, even if FW is quite a distance it sounds like your son doesnt mind travel. Sometimes the farther kids live from home the more they try to get back to visit. How nice hes doing what he loves!

Kathy, yesyou must document this hell strip will photos. Then we can fully appreciate what youre dealing with and see the transformation take place.

Enjoy the garden with your friends, bughope its a gorgeous day for the tour tomorrow.

How do you like Wild Horses, Julie? I had a pot of them in my hand this spring at a nursery and then decided to assess my existing daylilies before purchasing anymore.

Time to goenjoy your weekend, everyone!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 10:08AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Candy, I deleted several of my albums and pics in PT . I am afraid the pics of the One Stop were among them. If I should come across them in my pictures, I will repost them. Our One Stop went bankrupt. A sad situation, since the one buying it was a local woman. Her family owned the little community store. It is no longer a store. Our closest community is becoming a ghost town! Only the post office is left, and there is talk of it closing.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Thank you all for the amazing birthday cards. Each one is so interesting and unique, just like each of you! It's turning out to be a busy weekend after a quiet week. Bella was away on vacation but returned Thursday and things have been in full swing since. She's waiting for me to play a game as I hastily type this but I didn't want any more time to go by before I thanked you all! Oh, and Marie thank you for taking the time to send me such a special birthday email. That was especially appreciated! Hope you all had a wonderful day in your gardens today!


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 9:14PM
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