Idyll #388: A good year for hydrangeas

cynthia_gwJuly 5, 2008

Especially the macrophyllas!

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Good morning! Wish I could show those hydrangeas as fat and purple as they really are. Not the purple of adorable Mr. B's hat, but almost as eye catching. Hydrangeas have to be the least ornamental things in the winter landscape, but I'm always so appreciative of them at this point in the summer. And we're having an easy summer here so the blooms don't get miserable and deflate in the heat.

I decanted the Agave Americana from it's too small concrete pot Friday night. It needed to be moved two years ago, but I couldn't get it out, and this spring all manner of pot abuse couldn't set it free. I was about to slam it with the trusty crowbar Friday, but first tried to tweak out a baby blue from the side before the assault. Turned out the cone of dry roots was ready to ascend from the pot so it popped up and out quite willingly! I did manage to break a blue pot of yellow duranta in the process of moving the new pot inthough. And broke half of the stems off of the bonfire begonia I decided to relocate to the empty concrete pot So my efforts were not without carnage. To save my back, the concrete pot will stay outdoors all winter now.

Here's blue in his new home, wiggling his toes in a four foot high ample pot and grateful not to be bonsai-ed any more.

And a bit more of the Agave and uni-pot collection.
I'll take leaves that change color with light over fleeting blooms any day, but can't wait for the agapanthus to burst into bloom. I know they're weeds in California...

And I like my little orange stoney-potted portulaca in backyard this year.

Michelle, the playhouse is enchanting! What a find the gates are. And your cutting garden is looking wonderful.

Deanne, so happy that your gardens please you. You have definitely put heart and soul into them and it shows. They're incomparable. I'm glad that you took a day to enjoy what you've created. And how smart to skip a trip that wouldn't have been a good use of your time on earth.

Leslie, what fun to see a new name and lovely gardens. The narrow trees behind remind me a little of Deanne's background without the incline! You mentioned you almost cut down the Viburnum last year, is it a new place for you? Or has it simply not performed as well in other years?

Kathy that P. schizopetalum is a knockout! Wow. Thanks for sharing that. I have actually added it to my very short list of things to remember.

Chelone, I feel for you with the inevitable 'out of control' that accompanies progress. Hope things are all back in order soon and know the results will be worth it.

Baby Reed, you are looking less like a baby and more like TWMPT all the time.

I have to hit the road on Monday for a trip to the Cape. Funeral time. The hard part is shuttling dogs about to the perfect environments for their medically or mentally challenged selfs and preparing all of the meds and meals ahead of time. Dannie will go to a friends house so that she will have access to a bathtub during storms. Katie will go to ICU at her neurologists, and Monty will go to his general vet. The cats are easy as they will stay home and have meals on wheels courtesy of the neighbors. I'll pack some of Katie's Tagamet in my suitcase for the stomache ache I always get worrying about them when I leave :-(

Having broken many pots in the past few weeks, I hope I can find bargains like Denise's husband found. I'm going to waste gas this week-end checking a few different places for ceramic bargains.

Hope you all have good gardening weather this week-end! Hello to all.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:03AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We had a quiet 4th dinner with just DH & I and his folks. We started with chips & salsas, then enjoyed shrimp and scallops grilled on skewers. The shrimp and scallops had been marinated in sesame oil and lime juice. To disguise the sub-par sourdough bread, I sliced it, brushed it with olive oil and garlic and then grilled it. Tasted great! ;) We also had a carrot salad. Dessert was a black raspberry sorbet.

We didn't go to any fireworks display but sat on the screened porch listening to all the noise around us. We saw a few that were far enough away that you would see the display in the sky, then hear the low thud of the rocket being fired and finally the burst of the shell. We decided that they were about six miles away based on the light-sound delay. There's no town off that direction, so I joked that it must have been the director John Hughes, who owns a farm off that direction. It certainly was someone who had spent a little money on a private display.

GB, TWMPT just gets cuter all the time. Mr. Baby is rather sweet as well.

Cynthia, your tydll is quite appropriate. My oakleaf hydrangea is having quite the stunning year. You may force me to wander out with the camera later today.

Leslie, I enjoyed your long post. Neil Diamond is allowed as a guilty pleasure, as long as you promise me that you have never thrown your underwear at him!

Michelle, that gate is a stunner! What a great find.

DH is on the phone talking new TV's with his brother. I am getting nervous!

Time to confront the day.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well, its still misty, cloudy and humid here. It would be nice to see the sun sometime today. LOL

Michelle, those peach Asiatics are stunning! What a fabu display and the playhouse with that gate! How incredible. Kenzie must have been over the moon.

Cynthia, wonderful Tydll! And yes the hydreangeas are so lovley this year. Yours are AMAZING! ~~ Your patio display is stunning! That is Wyoming in that container isn't it? What a beauty! I wish I could have something like that but for some reason I've not started collecting agaves.... yet. ~~ I loved your sentence about not wasting the time I've been allotted on this earth! LOL Too true! Life it too short to spend it in miserable circumstances you can easily avoid. The guilt train doesn't stop here anymore. At least not to often.

V sounds like you had a great fourth. I loved the sound of that sourdough bread on the grill. Bet that was some yummy.~~ So far Doug has avoided the whole new, flat screen, High def, must have it now thing. Phew! Seems like a whole lot of moola for something we don't use all that often.

So what does one do with those old foam pots that are getting a bit shopworn but are still good enough to hold dirt? Well I found the most beautiful Rex Begonias the other day and I decided to paint the old pot to match the begonias. Voila! (No worries V. the cats weren't anywhere nearby, besides they are boys and wouldn't look good in pink.)

And here it is in its setting...

And here is a pic of Endless Summer for the Tydll

OK time to make salad and get things ready for our trip to Sue's. We are planning on christening the new patio set. Can't wait to see her gardens and drool over her mega hostas.

Have a marvelous day all

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:36AM
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Great pictures and great reading material! Mr. Baby reminds me of my Jake at that age! I knew a tux would be too formal, and he had just the right attire!

Reed is a ham! I love it. Kenzie stops for posies, but not poses! Skylar is embarking on an adventure to unchartered territory: exploration of a farm on his own! The grandkids sure are busy this summer :)

Everyone's garden's are gorgeous. I look at the projects I just started this season and wonder what they will become.....

I've got office work to do this morning (I'm way behind) and then family this afternoon. I want to be in the garden come Monday....too many unfinished projects.

Congrats to Chelone on the window boxes. I keep forgetting to snap a picture of my most excellent Browallia "Blue Bells". I think window boxes should be filled with work horses as I'd never get to every window every morning with the watering can....the key is to keep everything consistently alive :)

Cynthia, I have every pot that you showed in photos today, LOL! That would be my favorite chair on the patio, surrounded by the beauty of foliage! I find I'm often disappointed by blooms: I don't like blue-violet mixed with purple or violet, etc. Does that make sense?

I'm gonna really kick myself if I don't get to work and get this day moving along. I wish I was going to Sue's - have a great time, all!

More to say....maybe I'll poke in after I get work done as a treat to myself!


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:09AM
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I have to sprinkle some "Sluggo" under my mega-hostas. It's been a great year for slugs and snails with adequate rain and humidity to keep the slimers contentedly moist. There are telltale holes in the leaves and I've found snails competing with Lily Leaf Beetles on the Asiatic lilies! eh, they have to eat, too. I guess... . Personally, I have less trouble with slugs and snails that those wretched, -hit enshrouded Lily Leaf Beetles. Blech!

Water heater catastrophe has been addressed. I called the boiler guy and left a message, telling him there was a "issue" but it wasn't dire and would keep until Monday, but had to be addressed. He called back in about 1/2 hr. and asked if I was willing to "follow directions" and had a screwdriver. I fetched my sewing machine repair/adjustment kit and he told me what to do. I think we're all set, but will monitor for the weekend. Seems the temperature on the hot water aquistat was too high, and the High and Low settings on the boiler were a bit out of whack. Most likely reset when an expansion joint in the living room sprang a leak and was repaired last winter. I suspect the jazzed up settings were never turned back down... . I am under orders to call immediately if the tweaks don't provide the needed adjustment.

I am sorry your trip to MA involves a funeral, Cynthia. Sorrier still that you suffer such concern about the fleabags when you leave... but I do understand (even though I hate dogs). I laughed out loud at your wonderful description of the Agave liberation; the conjured images are terrific.

It's a great day for wedding; but then, any day you stand up and make a commitment to someone you RESPECT and love is a great day! Today is my second college room-mate's 50th. birthday (she isn't the one who used to tell me sleep somewhere else when her boyfriend came to town). She was my polar opposite (tall, languid, and very blonde), and her excesses definitely "opened my eyes" while (I suspect in hindsight) my commitment to doing and keeping up with the work made an impression on her.

Not terribly sunny here right now... hope it's finer at Sue's. But it shouldn't matter much for weeding and lawn mowing. And tucking the flat of Impatiens (salmon) into the "nooks of granny" in the most shaded windowboxes.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:33AM
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Perfect thread! I now get to enjoy Hydrangeas for an extended season as ours are just starting to bud up. What is the purple one, Cynthia???

The baby robins have literally flown the nest, but not before some of the neighborhood kids gave them a stern talking to about staying safe :-) Who'dathought that three teenagers would drop by daily to check on progress, and bring friends along the way who let their guards way down and were wowed by three baby birds? (Inadvertant bum shot!!)

Though I won't make it to Sue's today, will be thinking of everyone and hope it clears up!!

How brave is Skyler? And his adults? I think it's great that he's coming on his own, 'bug. Bet he's a bit of a different kid without parental units around :-) That you get to fly back with him and cuddle Reed is a super bonus!

I'd be afraid of that surgery, too. Doubt (hopefully) that the docs would do it only for very good reason. He's a trooper, though!! All good thoughts are being sent his way starting today.

Where is Bella???? And the twins??? And other absent Idyllkids???

I'm with Chelone and Denise, Michelle, the donkey doesn't quite do it. Just look at Kenzie's face on a FAKE animal. Imagine what it'd be like on a live one! How can you possibly resist???? You've got the room ...... (Says she who wouldn't have to feed, care for nor exercise the beast, much less ship it to Florida when Kenzie gets too homesick for it and cover the inevitable stable board once it gets there. LOL)

Which Cape, Cynthia??

Plunking along today with lots of 5 minute projects to do and ZIPPO motivation. I need some Deanne and V. coffee about now.



    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:34AM
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I am not in the least surprised that 'teens and their friends stop by to see things like baby Robins, Martie! What 'teens (all kids, most adults really!) need are people who are interested in them and what they think and feel. Adults who speak to them intelligently, ask good questions, and LISTEN.

Mum loved teenagers and always told me she thought they had an much undeserved "bad reputation". She had a particular fondness for pre-teen/teen kids who were teetering and struggling with the transition between childhood and the 'teen years. She loved that one moment they would be children and the next they would display a flash of adult insight.

How fortunate are you to foster it so effectively that your home is sought out? I'd puff up and preen if I were you.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 12:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Before run for cancer. Note snowball hydrangea in upper right of photo to keep to the theme.;)

After run for cancer:

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:48PM
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Those wondeful shots, 'bug, fortifying my belief in humanity. Did DD's hair go to Locks of Love?

There is hope for humanity, afterall!

:) (love Reed's exploration of the newly mown field; "green" babies are raised, not just born).

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

If not to Locks of Love, to something similar. Twelve inches.
I give credit to her college hockey coach for teaching her to dress neatly and for regularly running for cancer! I give Sarah credit for showing Skyler through her actions. They raised about $370.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 2:35PM
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Purple to my eyes is more soothing than eyedrops. And it is exactly hydrangeas' out-of-bloom appearance that keeps them on the prohibited list for me, but like roses they occasionally fall off the list and back into the garden. No dishevelment, no glory, a gardening axiom I ignore sometimes, and then the garden gets very dull. It may sound cold-hearted, but I'd rather smash up pots and durantas than maim an agave. Do any of you grow the canna 'Intrigue'? Very slim, tapered leaves, most uncannalike, dark jets of purply red. Mine came from Plant Delights and seems to like it's new home, much more shady than the last.

Kenzie's garden gets more stunning with every photo. What a gate! Your dad and I would be best buddies, lol.

Thanks to 'bug for the input re C. aromatica. So nice to have a resident clematis guru! Marty just baked his famous choc chip cookies for a coworker whose wife was diagnosed with breast CA last week. This coming on the heels of caring for their DIL who passed away from same two months ago, leaving her two small kids in their care. What a generous spirit your daughter has.

I haven't been a paragon of industry the past week, in fact, have been a complete sloth. Meaning very little housework, just garden stuff. But yesterday I attacked the dusty corners where the potting table/BBQ/garden tools languished, emptied out the garden shed, threw out amazing amounts of sheizen that once seemed invaluable, put the tools in the shed, another first, herded all the empty little clay pots on their sides on shelves, swept, hoisted, dragged, shoved, moved, and basically reclaimed a once godforsaken spot. Still not housework per se but sweaty, thankless work just the same. Waited around a corner when the VW engine rumbled into hearing range about 6:30 p.m. (Marty worked the 4th) and spied on him as he walked through the amazingly clean space I labored over, expecting exclamations of amazement, but he's oblivious, concentrating on lighting the ' which point he opens the garden shed doors to find a match for the BBQ and exclaims, "Jesus!" in astonishment, whereupon I leap out of hiding to have praise heaped upon my head. I like to get maximum glory out of those nasty, grungy projects, lol. I must confess I did buy a couple books on outdoor kitchens this spring, just for ideas to do something very simple, some built-in cabinets to hide junk, no great stone/slate/fireplace monument, but am feeling a bit project averse at the moment, as Chelone will understand. Might start planning it more seriously this fall.

Yes, Chelone, the Turkish carpet arrived! If I had a blasted working camera, I'd get a pic. It's a runner and was mailed in an amazingly tight bundle. I could have taken it back on the plane if I'd known. Marty said outright he would kill the first cat to "knead" the carpet, so it'll go in the bedroom rather than the main room, to keep the peace, since we share the bedroom only with Ein, no cats allowed...

Spent the 4th with my parents and amused them by baking a cake on my mom's 50-yr-old Sunbeam mixer, the one I baked with as a kid. Now there's a machine! She replaced the original cord last year, but that's all the maintenance it's had. Mitch whistled at me from across the street where he's housesitting, just as I was locking up the front door and heading for bed. He's standing on the porch column frantically waving at me to come over. What a fireworks show! That's the shortest distance I've ever traveled to see one. It was the Queen Mary's yearly fireworks display. Amazing to have an unimpaired view from my neighbor Holly's porch, a rare sight alley with no trees or houses interfering, enjoyed by only the two of us and her gigantic German shepherd Isabella.

Leslie, you are a quick study getting those photos up in a morning! What a beautiful garden you have. Can't wait to see July. I want to do a little photo tour of my tiny garden but discussion about getting a new photo card morphs into oh, just get rid of that old dog and get a new camera, and I really don't want the expense, so remain cameraless for the time being.

Very cool patio, Cindy, and you've got some great a couple more clematis looking for homes, it seems. Where do you put it all? Thank goodness Chloe is on the mend, how scary for you.

Great that the grain prices are going your way, Brenda. And I'm sure your project won't stall in the "horse latitudes" -- at least that's the attitude we start new projects with!

Glad to hear you're more upbeat about the bees, Saucy. Sounds like you've got a summer plan of attack with the camp activities and such. Long summer vacations off from school is right up there with the electoral college as institutions in need of a fresh look, IMHO.

Have meant to tell you, PM, how much I appreciate your selection of photos. I can't imagine your selection process. It was a shock to me the first I learned that those gorgeous Hubble shots have been color-retouched since the wavelengths are beyond our visual range...I take this science stuff on faith, lol

Chelone, I would so love it if you expounded on awnings, whenever you get the chance. The hardware on Sue's awnings is very unfamiliar to me, and I wasn't sure if her awnings were static or designed to be adjustable.

Sounds like you had a fine day with your sister and the lobbies in your gorgeous garden digs, Deanne.

Mulling over Martie's ivy challenge while waiting for V to post photos...

Hello Mistah B!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 2:52PM
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Bug, you can take some credit yourself there for raising her.

Martie - north of the Carolinas there is only ONE 'The Cape.' It once tried to legally separate from Massachusetts. Your house attracts everything doesn't it? Little kids, big kids? Hope about they all start topiaries for the holidays :-) I spend my timing killin' ivy. Or at least trying too. The macrophylla is straight species, not a cultivar. A row along the shady south side of patio is screaming hot pink, so I think I've got an alkaline thing going on there.

A special note from Katie:

Dear Chloe,

Thanks for reminding me about chewing gum! I used to look for it on walks, but we don't go to the right places. It's on my to do list and great idea to check her pockie book next chance I get. So many things to taste, so little time. Last night I tried to help Dannie with her dinner. She's scared of fireworks and storms and we had both. I knew she felt bad so I went over to her eating bed to clear her chickie out of the way. As soon as I grabbed one end though, she grabbed the other. Mama said 'drop it' and she did. (Thanks mama!) But really, I have lots of strength in the front end to compensate for the back and I know I would have won anyway. Then Mama said 'drop it' again. 'You talkin' to me?' I took it to my eating bed and she gave me daggers. I put down the chickie for a minute to explain I was just helping Dannie and she snatched it! Anyway next time I wake her up by rooing in her nostril at 3AM and she's 'waddya want sweetie' I'm gonna say 'Chewing gum.' 3AM seems to be the right time to ask her for things.

Hope you didn't suffer too much at the overnight spa. Next time EAT all the evidence. If you eat the packaging they never know til it comes out the other end. But, tinfoil can cause bad gas, so be careful Chewwy!out> Chloe!

xxxx Katie

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 3:03PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So, someday I am going to be that happy with my garden, right? [g] Wow...gorgeous, gorgeous photos! Cynthia....that hydrangea is so full of blooms with such healthy foliage! Is that one shrub? Your Agave collection is making me cry green If I at least had a nice large Sunny window, to winter them over, I would definitely collect Agave. You have collected some of the prettiest I have seen. Do you have to send away for those, or do you actually find those local to you? I love your new one and the smaller rounder ones that remind me of Hens and Chicks, but my favorite is the one to the right of the chair with the yellow borders on both sides of the branches and the most graceful curves. Just love it! Oakleaf hydrangeas finally are putting out some decent blooms. One that hadn't bloomed at all, only being two years old, made a move to a new location and has lots of blooms this year.

Deanne...that container with the new Rex Begonias in it is stunning! I sincerely just love it to pieces. The location echoing all the surrounding tones and the pretty silvers with the Japanese Maple...really well done. I love Rexes, just wish they loved me. [g] I have some of those foam pots and I found myself wondering the other day how long they would last, because the outside is starting to get faded and the inside is looking a little worn. Thanks for experimenting...great job!

Martie...I agree with Chelone...the kids only gravitate to homes where they feel comfortable no matter how many birds nests are in the yard. That is a talent to have. :-)

Gardenbug....also feel uplifted by your DD's willingness to go the extra mile and take the kids with her. Very encouraging. She is also obviously full of self confidence. I can't wait to see them both with their hair starting to grow out. She will look so cute in a little pixie cut! Very smart of her to wait for summer break. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Denise...well add you to the list of those bringing a smile to my face loved your story of the clean up and DH's reaction. I have got to work up a good head of steam and do something about our mess here soon, thanks for the inspiration, but where are the photos!? We also had an old Sunbeam mixer from DH's mother and the first time we tried to use it it broke. :-( I was so looking forward to using it because it did remind me of when I was a kid. Denise...I was also shocked when I heard the Hubble photos were color- touched. I have some vague recollection of seeing some photos that were not retouched recently...or something about them. Now I am going to have to backtrack and figure out what I am trying to remember. Selection process is just what is speaking to me at the moment I guess. I'm glad you are enjoying them with me. :-)

Cindy...did I say how much I like your myriad of plant holders on your patio? The turtle too.

The local nurseries are slow to put anything on sale this year, but I had to get something for a shady spot, so I bought full price, but I am happy with what I brought home and it still was under $10. Two very pretty NG impatiens, three small coleus and one Pretty yellow lantana that was on sale that I might throw in when I rip out some of those Shastas. On the way home we stopped at the Whole Foods and I was so happy to find an organically grown 'Sungold' Tomato plant on sale. I tried in a half dozen ways to have those this year and none worked out and I thought we would have to do without. DHs favorite. They rarely make it to the kitchen. :-)

That's our day...Marinated chicken on the grill with sliced red peppers for dinner. Simple but I love it.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 3:34PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Cynthia - Im so sorry to hear it's funeral time; I take that to mean your DF has passed away? Thinking of you and the unfun parts; at least you'll be seeing your sister et al.; it's a worry about the 4-legged kids though - glad you could figure arrangements out. Your gardens and pots are as always fantabulous; I guess I count you, V, and Denise to be the instigators of my latest obsession... agave, agave... why is it your a. geminiflora and Denise's stand up to salute and all mine does is hang over like a drunken sailor?

Chloe thanks Katie for the thoughtful get-well note -- she's taken note of the "eat all the evidence" for future use; that's usually her downfall - last time when she was 2, she left the evidence of lilies on her white face like barbecue; but Mom hadnt had any barbecue, so the lilies got found out; we still dont like the spiffy new "spa" despite their fancy new building, and eating all the evidence is a definite must from now on.

Deanne, that is the most idyllic shot of your back gardens. Eden in New Hampshire.

Ok, I agree, hydrangeas are especially fantastic this year:



    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 4:02PM
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Interrupting Katie & Chloe's correspondence to post one of the new pots, on the right with the sweet bay, taken with Mitch's Canon, which I obviously know nothing about using properly. It wouldn't have mattered what the pots looked like, it's the SIZE that counts:

(Ein says you girls are so mouthy!)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 4:30PM
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LOL, Cynthia, I know THE Cape but somehow never put together that you have family there. Ah, Duh, Me!!

Sarah and Skyler look just beautiful!

Not only am I going to California for dynamite $4 pots, I'm going where you can grow Bay like that outside!!

Off to loll with Rich ;-)


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 6:12PM
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Okay, now that I've scared everyone off. LOL

Was waiting for some sun to take these but that's not coming anytime soon. Some progress stuff with thanks to Sue for the incredible tall Shastas....

A "gift" plant that's the only Hydrangea at Cornfield Park showing any bloom:

Some long shots:

And a baby Kalmia sport ...

Martie, feeling downright soggy....

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:04PM
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We had a lovely evening last night. Grilled some bbq ribs, stewed corn, deviled eggs, baked beans - yum. No fireworks for us, we all settled in and watched a bit of TV and listened to the booms from afar. When the kids were really young we used to go to a neighboring town (where my parents lived) and watched their parade. This town has golf cart paths all through it so all the residents use GCs instead of cars. The parade was always full of fully decked-out 4th of July themed carts. Really cute and the kids loved it.

Deanne - itÂs always amazing to me how much later things bloom in your garden. The pictures you showed would be May here. Very beautiful with all those astilbes. Do you ever have to reset your stones? Mine are always sinking into the ground and I have to dig them out and redo. Re: your next post (it takes me forever to get a post - youÂve already done two!!) WOW! I really think that pot is splendid! Well, I can really see the artist coming out. I love how the silver paint picks up the silver in the heuchera leaves (I have no idea if thatÂs how you spell that). And of course the pink too. You continue to inspire with every photo!

Michelle - that secret garden is just the cutest thing. I would be opening and closing that gate with every entry too. Love the color!

Pm2 - YouÂre right about how the first year after Mom died is so hard. Especially when my garden has been prettier than before. I would call her in a moments notice and say, "come seeÂ.blooming, itÂs gorgeous", and she would jump in the car and head straight over. This summer I have so often had that moment when I wanted to call her to come see something - most recently the Stargazer Lilies. So sad. I miss her so much. Re: the drought, Atlanta has been in a drought for many, many years, but last year was the worst. It got so bad by August that they had 100% restrictions on ALL outdoor watering. Many nurseries had to file bankruptcy, no new lawns could be put in, car washes had to close - it was very dramatic. IÂll try to find a picture of Lake Lanier - itÂs quite impressive.

Above photos: Madmariner and Philhord

Cynthia - I really enjoyed your photos. That hydrangea was gorgeous. Ours were less than good this year. I read they suffered all over the area because of the unaccustomed cold weather late in the spring. Mine that had many blooms last year only had 3 this year. What a disappointment. However, itÂs the cooler weather that helped make that Viburnum bloom so wonderfully, and it stayed that way for a nice long time. I donÂt remember it ever blooming that well, however, I had been helping take care of my Mom for about 4 years and the garden suffered greatly during that time and itÂs quite possible I didnÂt even stop to notice it.

V. - (three fingered girl scout salute) I promise!!

Martie, I love the picture of the kids taking a peek. So adorable!

Denise - If I had a cold glass of lemonade IÂd give it to you, sounds like itÂs time for a break from all that cleaning! I think you should take the plunge and get that camera! I would love to see some of your garden shots!

Denise - ThatÂs a nice shot, with lots of different textures. Love that reddish, cabbage rose looking succulent.

Ctlavluvr - Wonderful shots of your gorgeous gardens. I wish I could plant myself right there on a blanket! I have been trying for gthree years to get some simple daisies. I could have grown them from see by now (sigh).

We had a small get together tonight and I ate way, way too much. Now IÂm just kind of sitting here wondering if IÂm going to have to roll myself to bed later tonight, I feel so full.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 9:16PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Spurred on by Denise's comment, I hopped up, grabbed the camera and headed over to the oakleaf hydrangea. Alas, the camera that eats batteries has completely turned up it nose at the new Ray-o-vacs. It won't even turn on for such lowly batteries. I tried two different sets... I feel like I am finally getting the hang of taking decent pics with this camera, but I do dislike its battery-munching habit.

We finally got our rain barrel hooked up today (um, yeah, we've had it for two months and have had several lovely inches of rain over those two months) and while we were involved in that Mystic disappeared. He was gone for about an hour before he turned up again. Then we went to church at 5:00 and came home to find Mystic outside; he had discovered that we failed to latch the porch screen door and went off on another adventure. I don't think I want to know...

DD is spending the weekend with friends at Northern Illinois University. She called this morning to say that they had gone out on the roof of a 13-story dorm and watched the fireworks for miles around. That area is flatter than flat - always kind of amazing to drive over there and suddenly seem dorms rising out of the cornfields - so I'm sure they had quite the show. I'm also sure they weren't supposed to be up there!


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:47PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

This getting up in the middle of the night is getting old. *sigh* But since I am up...I did look up that information about the Hubble photos, Denise. I couldn't find what I was trying to remember seeing, but did run across an interesting link that explains in detail how the Hubble photos are taken etc. Link below. Color is added, according to the link. I thought I saw untouched photos somewhere, so if I run across those, I will post them later.

V...sorry you are having camera problems. Here, it is the weather holding up the photo taking at the moment. Gray, gray, gray. Not very inspiring.

Leslie...those are amazing photos of Lake Lanier. Very sad and frightening. I haven't heard of a town with golf cart paths before. Is it a retirement community?

Yes, I find I am thinking of my mother when the garden is especially pretty and of how much she would have loved it. She was always such an enthusiastic cheerleader and her eyes would just light up. I enjoyed hearing you talk about your Mom getting a call and jumping in the car to come over to see the latest garden happening. Brought back memories which I find more and more important as time goes by because they aren't as fresh and you just don't want to lose them. I wish I had spent more time writing down memories and we never had a digital camera when my Mom was alive...oh how I wish we did. A major regret for me, is that we didn't 'interview' my Mom on video, which I really wish we had. It would have been so great to have a family record of her memories growing up etc. So for those of you who still have your Moms...there's a project for you!

Martie...your tomatoes are huge compared to I also see your fennel seems to already have flower heads. The backgrounds of all your photos are just lovely.

Denise...that pot is a great match for that plant and I also noticed the pot of dark succulents...delicious looking. Like roses on a wedding cake.

Cindy...Annabelle is one of my favorites. I just added a second one this year. Yours looks so healthy and dark green foliage.

*yawn*...sitting in front of an open window with flannel pjs, it's cold...back to bed....

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 2:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Today is Dougs birthday and we are about to get the plants watered, mow the lawn then go for a drive or goof off. Whatever he decides hed like to do for the day. Yesterday we had a terrific time at Sues and Monique made a gorgeous gateau for Doug for his birthday. After a leisurely tour of Sues beautiful gardens (see link below) we started our dinner with a lovely selection of cheeses, artichoke dip and some slow baked, sesame/ginger chicken wings (yum!) Our main course was a surf and turf of filet mignon, grilled to a perfect medium rare, with COLOSSAL shrimp, warmed potato salad and a tossed salad of mixed greens, artichoke and hearts of palm. Incredible!

This was one amazing cake, layered with chocolate mousse. Incredible! Monique is a brilliant pastry chef.

Note the satisfied grins on everyones faces as they are enjoying dessert

Martie, things are looking fabu at your lovely park.

Leslie, yes indeed, I have to rebuild the dry stone walls on a regular basis. The frost heaves things out and I re-do different sections each year. ~~ I cant get over those lake photos. How sad.

PM that latest NG photo is a stunner. ~~ BTW Rex Begonias dont like me either and I kill them on a regular basis but I love them so much I cant resist them. Ive actually kept a pot of Escargot alive for six weeks now. I usually can do OK with them outside but cant seem to keep them going through the winter indoors for some reason. Ill see with this new lot.

Denise, what a great score on that pot! Gorgeous. I so enjoy any and all photos of your gardens. ~~ I dont think Ive ever seen Canna Intrigue. Photos please? Perhaps when they mature we could trade? That sounds like something Id love to have. Such a bummer you are having camera woes.

So yesterday was a blast, as always, Sues gardens are so lovely.

OK Ive got to get off this computer and water the pots. The sun is finally out and I dont think we got as much rain here as we did in CT yesterday. Have a terrific day everyone!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:26AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It is indeed a good year for hydrangeas. For the first time since I planted it ages ago, my oakleaf hydrangea is blooming! Every year for the past 6 years or so, the buds have not survived the winter but they did this year! Cynthia those hydrangeas you have are quite spectacular what is around them? (i.e. back up and take another photo so we can see the bigger picture? Your garden is always, so lovely so showing more of it is a good idea.

Deanne great paint (and planting) job on that pot! I think I have the same pot. Ill have to keep the painting idea in mind when it starts to get ratty. Did you use and special kind of paint? Happy birthady to Doug. It looks like you all had a good dinner and visit at Sue's (I want some of that cake!)

Martie great shot of the intent kids! The park is certainly strutting its stuff this year isnt it?!

gb Im sure the run for cancer and the haircuts would be a good bonding experience for Skyler and Sarah (although it sounds like hes bonding well to her without it) I love the shot of Reed exploring bald mama that one will be a classic shot for the family Im sure :- )

Michelle I forget to say that I love the colors of Kenzies little tea house (why does it make me think of candy though?) And that gate is a perfect find!

Leslie Wow! Those are scary pictures of the lake! Its weird here when, in a dry summer, a few feet of sandy beach appear on the shore of Lake Ontario nearby. But those pictures are far more eloquent.

Leslie and PM2 Im another one who thinks of my late mother when there is something nice to show off in the garden. She died just before we moved here so she never got to see this garden but always enjoyed the one at our other house. Some of the plantings here are the things she particularly liked. And the scent of the Blanc Double de Coubert rose smells exactly like the Ponds Cold Cream that she used to use so I always think of her when the rose blooms.

The big front bed has gone more than a bit crazy this year with all the rain in June. The Becky daisies are thugs this year! I have decided that at least 75% of them will get ripped out after they finish blooming and the front bed will be substantially reworked for next year. Ive been reading a fair bit about roses lately I have avoided them in the past because they are too fussy in general for me. But Ive had some success with a few in the past couple of years and Randy and I both have a yen to try some David Austin ones. A renovation of the front bed will make room for a nice rose. A nice Rose of Sharon will likely go in too. Plus some clematis I want that Ville de Lyon Ive run out of space for new beds so I have to make space by redoing existing beds.

Jasper and Blue have gone home so were down to one dog again for a while. Theres some puppy sitting that looks like it might happen later this summer that should be lots of fun. At the farmers market yesterday there was a beautiful small cream-colored Golden that looked just like Chelsea. She even had Chelseas silky ears we miss Chelseas silky ears. Every now and then we think about a new Golden but that might mean less time for guest dogs and Id miss that I dont know how much longer Jasper will be around for visits. Hes 10 now and has had three surgeries to remove huge tumors. But hes still and amazingly energetic, happy (but lumpy and bumpy :- ) dog.

A portrait of the old gentleman:

I like this picture Randy of a garlic flowerhead against a delphinium yesterday:

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 11:45AM
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Before I forget again, Deanne that color coordinated pot is too(!) clever and creative. More art in the garden. I spent quite a bit of time staring at the pot and begonia as they're so perfect together it looks like a painting. Just beautiful!

Thanks for the photos of Sue's garden and the festivities too. I didn't even notice the boot and crutch. I don't think I've seen the red contorted filbert before, but it looks like it's been there a while. My Spigelia marilandica is done with it's first heavy bloom and will spurt on and off all summer. Great job on the tour Deanne, and the food looks well worth the trip.

Really no time left to babble, but took a little break for fun reading and pictures.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 3:11PM
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Duh! Too much travel pressure. Sue! Your gardens are looking even more stunning than ever. Love the combos and contrasts. And what is that tall glomping thing in the pot with the Strobilanthes/E.Diamond frost/tradescantia?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 3:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What a lovely birthday gathering chez Sue! I enjoyed everything, just everything..clematis included.

We enjoyed an outdoor wedding yesterday evening. It was a perfect day for it too.

The bride and groom with their niece:

They have magnificent gardens and the surrounding canola fields were in their bright yellow phase.

I took this photo there for Saucy..

Today we still have DS and his friend... but I think they'll be on their separate ways tomorrow. Here is DS with friend Lynn at the Indian restaurant the other night.

Also have some birthday and camping photos of DGS.

First time with corn on the cob...and he LOVES IT.

Enjoy the remains of the weekend!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 7:06PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Cynthia, that's Gynura 'Purple Velvet' Apparently it's a popular houseplant but last year I just let the frost take it. Deanne does a great job photo journaling the garden, doesn't she?

How could you have missed the boot and crutches? lol Don't worry, my guests took good care of me. Doug grilled all the food and Les and my friend, Alice, cleaned up the kitchen. How much easier does it get?

Looks like a busy and fun weekend at Maries. Where did a three day weekend go? I gave the native corn a try too, Reed. No taste-it's still a bit early here.

Night all!


    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 9:50PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I hope that Doug enjoyed his BD dinner at Sue's. Everything looked scrumptious! Someone really knows how to cook and the cake Monique made looks like she does know what she is doing. :-) Deanne...nice photos of Sue's garden. You've done your usual great job. Sue, that banana plant is getting huge. You continue to leave it in the ground in the winter, correct? Very pretty trellises that your clematis are growing on. Are they made of twigs? I seem to have missed the boot and crutches too. ??

Deanne...I don't think any of us need to feel bad about Rex Begonias that are finicky. I have yet to run across a grower or a nursery that didn't have the same problem. [g]

Woody....How long have you been living where you are? I remember Pond's Cold I would not have associated that smell with a Blanc Double de Coubert. I am going to have to notice the next time I am near one.

I just love that photo of your Jasper. He has one of the friendliest dog faces I can remember. Such warm brown eyes.

What a lovely busy weekend you seem to have had Gardenbug. I enjoyed seeing a photo of your son. You have to explain to him that he has to visit more often to maintain equal photo ops with Reed and Skyler. He has some catching up to do. ;-) Reed in the grass...excellent shot!

Nothing new here...looking like more gray out the window. So more NG photos while waiting for something interesting to photograph in the garden...and for blue skies. Since there are clouds here...I thought, if you can't lick 'em......

Towering lavender clouds loom like misty mountains over the coast of Scotland's Isle of Skye. Skye is one of the Inner Hebrides, a group of islands off Scotland's west coast. Photograph by Jim Richardson

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:27AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning. There's a lot to be said for a nice, quiet three day weekend. We got a little accomplished, we relaxed a fair amount and we had some nice meals. I'm ready to face another week at work now.

Yesterday we trimmed up our fledgling shrub border along the driveway. We have a long driveway, and along the front stretch we've planted several native shrubs that we got in various inexpensive ways. I just realized I don't know how many there are now - I'll have to count this morning. Anyway, most of them are doing quite well and should put on some nice size in the next couple of years.

We were having dinner late last night when I glanced up and saw a red fireball in the sky. It quickly turned into a skyrocket, but for one heart-stopping second I thought I had seen a massive fire. Wasn't expecting anything last night!

Those of you who were at IU3 might enjoy the link below.

Happy Monday!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:01AM
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What a lovely tour through Sue's gardens! They are quite the inspiration given your garage montage. Dinner looks perfect -- wish the weather had been for all of you!

I want to eat corn on the cob like Reed instead of trying to be neat. LOL The wedding couple looks like a marriage was just right for them :-) Clean plates at the restaurant! Such a comfortable feel from that pic .....

Jasper has that "wisdom of the years" look. A gentle soul, for sure.

New perspective on the southern drought with that pic, Leslie. Maybe you're glad you have shade gardens? A bit less moisture needed?

It was a rocking weekend and much gardening was accomplished. My good gardening girlfriend has been fighting vertigo and I was summoned to regain her lav and rose border from certain weed takeover. Why is it so much Fun to weed someone else's gardens?

Then came home and did my own. My hands are sore. LOL All of the wetness certain helped the "get the roots" mantra, and the work was certainly worth the time.

The official "fill in the gaps" list has been started for Cornfield Park. We're going into the realm of seeking out just the right varieties and I'm really looking forward to next Spring's forays to nurseries far and wide.

Love that you did your driveway border with native things, V. And that you did it inexpensively. Our entire investment into landscaping the Park at this point is $2,500 and there's a somewhat proud feeling that goes along with that.

That feeling will be long gone by the end of next year. LOL I'm stunned by plant prices this year, though absolutely understand the economics behind the increases.

Need to go pull the chicken out of the oven (nothing like the smell of roast chicken at 7am :-() for salad makings later on. Also need to get myself back into work mode. Today that just feels UGH!!

Have a great Monday, everyone!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:21AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Martie, the Park is looking quite filled in and coming along nicely. It's great to see the progression.

Denise -- wow, that's an amazing $4 pot -- size does matter, LOL; you could have shipped them East and doubled your money! I love the dark aeonium (I think) in the background -- just terrific combos, you've got. My sweet bay has languished as a houseplant for about 7 years; it seems to suffer continually from scale; but I just can't chuck it. Seeing your lovely healthy one though, makes me give pause.

Deanne, as always you are a faithful photographer we can count upon -- for food, party, and garden journals -- Sue's garden is looking magnificent -- it only made me yearn to see the rest of it -- it's incredible what the tropicals can do by early July there. Im guessing she's added a few more clems too.

I too forgot to mention what a spray can artist you have fast become -- those combos and colors are incredible together; I guess if I ever get thru my other to-do list, I could try to refurbish some of my weary looking pots that way. Maybe next year?

These shots will give my Monday lunch break a lot to reflect upon.

It's baaaack. Monday, that is.....le grand sigh.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 8:49AM
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It was a whirlwind weekend. Kenzie spent from Thursday night to Sunday morning with us. A barbecue at the Lakes with my parents and DB and family who are from out of state. Then guests for a barbecue on Sunday. Yesterday was incredibly humid, hot and not a wisp of air moving. You were sweating just standing in the shade. We decided to retreat to the a/c in the house.

I covet Cynthias hydrangeas. I planted them once upon a time. I now settle for the Endless Summers including the Blushing Bride and h. Limelight.

Sue, your gardens are looking amazing. You have such interesting plants. Someday I will make it to the east coast and check it out. You guys sure know how to eat too wow it looks so gourmet.

Deanne, thanks for the photographic tour of Sues garden. I love your new rex such pretty coloration. I have only one this year and its now 3 years old. I think its the same one you have in that pot on the left. Ive killed all the rest and I really dont find them much around here. I did have Escargot last year but it didnt even last all summer.

I had several dark pots that are fiberglass that have lost some of their finish. I used gel stain to refinish them. It was easy and they look great.

Kimball & Bean was a fabulous place to visit I drooled the whole time.

bug, Reed looks like he is enjoying summer living. Your DDs beautiful hair is a priceless donation.

Woody, I have had great luck with the 2 Austins I have Tamora and Sharifa Asma.

Martie, your little potager is looking so nice no weeds either ;o)

Denise, love the pots and whats in them.

Cynthia, your patio pots are fabulous.

Picture from Kimball & Bean, notice the fabulous urns.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 12:50PM
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Good Morning Idylls..I arrived home about 7pm last evening after out 10 hour drive from the coast. Some quick watering,and bonding with the cats who were very indignant at their abandonment. Filled empty bird feeders and slept. I only lost one pot and if I shear it back it may be salvageable. The heat is coming in for the next few days here.
I enjoyed a lengthy re-perusal of all the posts and pics that occurred while I was gone, most especially Cynthias very elegant patio display, and Leslies lush Southern border, and Deannes guided tour through Sues garden-and of course the food. And Denise, I cant believe you got that container for 4 bucks !

Ok, must go to the grocers and refill the gaping holes in the larder, and I leave you with my Hydrangea tour-I took these mid-June.


My blue lacecap whose name escapes me at the moment..

Variegated lacecap

Basic mophead, was here when we moved in . I took this pic a couple of weeks ago, before the heat came.

Think it's time to give up on this one ???

Two days ago, from our deck at the beachhouse.

Back again later !

Kathy, back in Napa

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 1:45PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post...

Hot here today - ick! - we've been having nice cool weather up to now and A prefer that!

Michelle - I just planted two Blushing Brides this spring (either side of the shed door.) How have yours done? I've hear mixed reviews on them. I checked those roses on the Hortico site (they are near here and that's where I'd likely get them...) They don't list either of them as disease resistant - what has your experience been with them re blackspot etc.? Anything that gets blackspot is destined for the garbage heap! They also have a warning that Tamora may be on Dr. Huey rootstock - have you had problems with suckers from the rootstock? A neighbour has a beautiful Austin rose that we think is probably Jude the Obscure. It always looks fantastic. The color wouldn't work in our garden so we'll just admire it in theirs! I like pink and I've read good thing about Eglantyne. Redoute is also a maybe as is the new, red William Shakespeare as the color sort of looks a bit like a variation on the tree peonies we have, so it might work as a companion color echo.

We just got back from a friend's place. They just moved into the house early this year and she's learning how to garden. There is a relatively large garden there - filled with weeds and invasive plants! There was a vine that I'm pretty sure is a clematis. It has tiny (about 1" long) dangling yellow bells that don't open flat. I'm waiting for her to e-mail me a picture - I'm hoping gb can identify it for me. It's very cute. I'm not a fan of yellow but I might make an exception for this one....

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 4:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Rehderiana perhaps? Gets BIG.

Woody, look into Prairie Joy rose. My pink one is huge and covered with roses this year with zero protection. I'm amazed!

At the fair, Reed and Daddy dance.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 5:40PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - it sort of is in that size range but the shape doesn't look quite right and the yellow was much more intense. I haven't got any pictures yet - I hope they turned out and my friend can send them. I thought it was a weed at first - it had that intense yellow but then I saw the silky round seedheads that definitely said clematis! If it turns out to be something as large as the one you linked, I wouldn't want it - and it would be MUCH too big for her garden too. (But the previous owner was a new and enthusiastic gardener who clearly had NO IDEA how big some of the things she planted will get! And I'm having trouble convincing my friend to get rid of anything...)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes, the sign of a new gardener. I have known several who were even reluctant to eliminate weeds...thinking they might be something glorious that I mis-identified. That was on small downtown Toronto lots. I give up and let them figure it out for themselves. Let them grow crown vetch or nettles if they want to. Grow zillions of maple seedlings too. It is their property to figure out!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 6:29PM
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Hiding in the semi-cool darkened house while the noodlehead sprinkler does its thing , and hoping for the marine layer to appear on the horizon. Its not looking good. Our weather forecast is for it to hit triple digits the next couple of days, with patchy smoke. Lovely combo. Thank goodness for Zinnias and salvias ! Time now to try to catch up on the Idylls..
Sounds like an enjoyable holiday was had by all who reported in. Thinking of Michelles photo of the Salivas and Alliums from a few days back..DBIL and I were discussing our mutual total failure with ornamental Alliums. He and I have both tried them multiple times with multiple varieties, to no avail . Last time I bought some I think only two came up and only one blessed me with a very puny bloom.

Martie, cant wait to see your creations during and after welding school. There is a metal birdbath at a local nursery that I have swooned over on numerous occasions, but its by a local artist and way beyond my budget for such things. I could not help but notice that your Aloha rose and Muumuus were mentioned in the same post. I envision you post-op decked out in your pink flamingo print Muumuu, reclining languidly on a deck chair beneath Aloha, with a narcotic cocktail (paper umbrella included) provided by the solicitous men of the house.

Sue, thanks for the heads up on the wave Torenias. I may have to give them a try if I can find them around here. Your garden looks fantastic by the way, quite a feat considering your ongoing stint on the DL.

Marian, I used to have a Hoya carnosa Tricolor that I kept for close to 20 years. It bloomed several times. The only reason I got rid of it was that it became infested with mealybug and I was able to control them with the alcohol dipped Q-tip for a few years but it started declining and decided to chuck it. I love Haworthias and I have a few of them, though mine are able to live outside year round here for the most part. I have a trailing one that was badly damaged by frost last winter. DS has a jade and 4 Portalucarias, the miniature jades.

Cindy, is that turtle a form with succulents planted in it ? I love your bowl of Papyrus.

Michelle, that gate is just the best ! One cannot discount an occasional visit to the dump ! I hope you are reviewing your b-4 and after pics of the secret garden-it should result in a pat on the back ! It doesnt seem very long ago that it was a wasteland with drainage problems.

Denise, I bow to you and the industrious shed-clean up project. Having cleaned my garage and my RV parking space more than once in the last couple of years I can imagine what might have been involved. The crapola in those areas seems to continue to multiply. Thinking of your Queen Mary fireworks viewing- I also experienced my shortest travel to fireworks this year- our rental house had a view of the bay where they were launched-all we had to do was pull up our chairs and plop ourselves down, no driving, no parking, a short walk inside to replenish the wine glass . We also set off several safe and sanes, always our personal favorites being Killer Bees and Purple Rain.

Hey V, I read a recall notice on Canons website for a couple of models of their cameras that eat batteries too fast and/or the battery compartment heats up. You should go to your mfgs website to see if there is actually a known battery issue with your model of camera.

Woody, that shot of New Dawn really captures what I find appealing about that rose. The lovely curved back petals etc. I have numerous Austin roses here, and I think my recommendations might be worthless in your zone, since I dont have cold hardiness issues. My biggest problems with Austins is the size they attain here in zone 9 and the weak necks on some of the varieties. My two best performers are Molinuex and Prospero, Mary Rose does quite well also- this from a black-spot perspective.

Ok, thats all for me , a big hello to those unspoken to

The bay at Yachats

Note: There Will Be Drool

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 9:58PM
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Sun, Sun, Sun!!! The gardens are turning a kind of jaundiced pallor and I'm thrilled to see the orb this morning!

I want to be Aiden, all ensconsed in something that keeps me upright without effort and surrounded by fun stuff to touch and see and people who obviously absolutely adore me taking me to the PNW for vacation. Yes, it's a good life :-)

Only took about 30 tries, but this is for Saucy. If it looks like one of your wanderers, let me know and I'll send him(?) home:

Why I love to use veggies as part of containers. This is solo, but in the past I've thrown in some v. lemon thyme or nastursium for a bit of Wow. Sometimes you have to look closely and quickly to see the beauty in something as simple as zucchini:

Ditto baby yellow squash. This weekend the harvest will begin -- I love the taste of the teenies with flower:

The beginnings of my "West Coast Idylls" mailbox garden. Note the rabbit damage. Liquid Fence has been liberally applied :-):

Woody: Check out A Shropshire Lad by DA. Looks tender, but it isn't.

Have a great day, everyone!!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 7:13AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - I'm embarassed... My friend sent the pictures I took - and I'm pretty sure it is a tangutica type! Interesting that from standing height looking down on it, the bells looked like they were all one piece, and none of them were open with the tepals spread. There were seedheads though so some of them had passed through full bloom. In the picture, I can see clearly that there are separate tepals so it's odd that none of them were open in the way I would have expected to see. (This spring I had Randy dig out the tangutica I had on the lattice on the back porch - it kept trying to take down the phone and cable wires!) This one at my friends house was so different in size of the flowers and, with none of them open out, I didn't recognize it at all. Take a look and see if you agree with me:

Martie - I checked the Lad on Hortico's site - it's not listed as disease resistant either, although the Lass is. The more I think about it the more I'm leaning towards the darker color of the Shakesspeare one - I think I need more strong color in the front garden. I've decided that today I will start cutting down the daisies to give other things more breathing room. They are in full bloom now so I'll end up with a house full of daisies I think - and pass as many as I can on to neighbours too!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:00AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning before the morning is over.

Kathy, lovely hydrangeas. That variegated lacecap makes my heart go pitter-pat. Ive got one here but it never does a thing. Its marginal for this zone so its going to get shovel pruned soon.

Great pics Martie, Thats lovely lavender. What variety is that? I was thinking of doing an eggplant in a pot but never got around to it this year. Maybe Ill do it next year. I really love those Chinese eggplants so maybe Ill do one of those.

Woody, have fun pruning those daisies. Ive got a double Shasta here that is pretty well behaved. Ive had it for years and have no idea as to what cultivar it is.

Michelle, I think you sent your hot, humid weather this way. Its supposed to be over 90 again today with high humidity. Im thinking its a good day to get caught up in the house.

OK Ive got to get a shower then get to work, have a great day. Hello to one and all!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:56AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It's a 90F day here and fortunately there's a bit of a breeze. I am wiped out from company, heat, mowing, exercise, etc.

Woody, looks like an ordinary tangutica to me...I planted one by the barn...and have been digging up babies for years. Can't get rid of the thing. I thought the barn was a smart place for it, but I'd rather get rid of it now, if only that were possible!

Every day new clematis are opening still. Most recent ones are Yukikomachi, Marmori, Zoin, Tango, Kaiu and Negritjanka. I'll try for pictures soon.

Hope you are comfortable wherever you may be. I'm staying indoors if possible!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 12:37PM
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It's hot here and I'm sick as a dog - a lovely cough originating in my voice box :) Dry and tickly....and keeps you awake at night.

Just checking in to read.

I'm heading up to the A/C in the bedroom to fold some laundry and make some phone calls. Hope you all have a cool place to retreat to today.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 1:09PM
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Warm here, but the humidity isnt quite as high.

Kathy, it looks like you had a lovely spot for your vacation. Is Mr. Baby worming his way into your heart? Theyll get you every time.

Woody, I got the Blushing Brides last fall so this is their first season. So far I can say they must be fairly hardy. As for the roses Tamora was another fall clearance item. She made the winter without protection. Sharifa Asma I have had for several years and havent had any black spot. Its hardy and is a season long bloomer. I dont know if you are interested in other roses other than the Austins. I have good luck with Carefree Beauty, Sunshine and Delight. Morden Centennial is another good performer for me along with the Fairy roses. I have both the light and dark pink. All these are winter hardy without protection, disease resistant and rebloom all summer. I dont have patience for anything that needs coddling.

bug, are you familiar with the clematis Bill Mackenzie"? Since its yellow I was thinking it might be a good one for Kenzies garden.

Saucy, sorry to hear you have a summer bug NO fun!

Things are changing daily in the garden. Its so nice to see each morning what has happened overnight.

Stay cool!


    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hello fellow animal lovers. :) Do cats and leather mix?

I will be getting a zero gravity recliner soon. I sat in one today at 'Relax the Back' and my back pain melted away in moments. It was amazing!

I love the leather but I am afraid the cats would be racing around the house and scratch it. Do any of you have experience with this? Thank you. :)


    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 4:51PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - interesting how experience with roses can differ so much :- ) The first rose we planted here was Carefree Beauty - for us it was neither carefree nor beautiful! It was rapidly and totally denuded by blackspot in mid-summer. I tried using organic type sprays on it with no luck and ripped it out at the end of the second summer. It was the primary reason that I gave up on roses for a few years! I gather Carefree Wonder is supposed to be better but I'm afraid to try it... I supect it must be less humid where you are - it can get VERY muggy here (today for example!)

I do have a Fairy rose that does OK - I just rescued it today from the tide of 'Becky' daisies. I've not tried Morden Centenial yet and it is not listed as disease resistant on the Hortico site. (I'm not sure where Hortico gets its disease data from - I'm hoping it's from their own rose growing. They are not too far away so we have somewhat similar conditions.) The Austins interest me because of their reputed disease restistance plus I've seen some nice ones in the neighbourhood.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've not had great luck with Austins here, but it is colder than at Woody's. I get total dieback and must wait until July at least for blooms. But their photos just make you NEED them!
Here is a shot of the Prairie Joy (with clematis Gazelle and Chinook)that I told you about.

And this is another that David B told me about, Astrid Lindgren. She does very well here too.

My excitement today was about a catalpa tree that I grew from seed several years ago. Today it began blooming for the first time. YES!

Then some other blooms that are fun:

Prince Charles with Polish Spirit:

Enough! It is so hot and humid. We had a cold dinner which was good and easy too. But when will I be able to get outside and do major weeding?

Michelle, I've never seen BK but here's some info below. Note the 4-5 METERS!
Get well Saucy!!!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 7:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - neat that you grew a catalpa from seed - you have lots of patience.... What is the silvery blue clematis in the picture after the daisy? It looks familiar so I'm sure you've identified it before but my memory seems to be hopeless these days. I will have to consult with you on appropriate clematis to grow with whatever rose we get - you've been a very bad influence you know :-) I'm up to 4 Henryi blooms on the wisteria as of today so I've got my fingers crossed that the clematis will be able to successfully compete with the wisteria over the long haul. Now that the daisies have been (temporarily I'm afraid) brought to heel, maybe I can get a picture of the clematis and weigela that we bought and planted together last summer so you can help me figure out what the clematis is (it was missing its tag...)

Michelle - my brain seems fizzled the past few days - must be the heat... The first rose we had was Carefree Wonder and it's Carefree Beauty I think that has the better reputation. I always get the names mixed up! But, in any case, it was not a wonderful or beautiful rose for us and we've been reluctant to try the Carefree group again.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, that's Yukikomachi. I believe that Gardenimport carried it last year though mine came from a friend.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, that's Yukikomachi. I believe that Gardenimport carried it last year though mine came from a friend.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:00PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Add me to the list of hot idylls, um, maybe that doesn't sound quite right? The weather is hot and sticky here, with occasional thunder storms but nothing devastating. And my stomach is making noises almost as loud as the thunder. Somewhere along the way I picked up a minor stomach bug that sent me home from work slightly early today. A little snooze and a lot of cheese have me feeling slightly better. :o)

Kathy, insert a Homer Simpson "DOH!" and a dope slap here. I did check the camera website and found that they specifically recommend AGAINST alkaline batteries. We had a different model that did use alkaline batteries, but DD dropped it in the ocean (Atlantic) and when we sent it for repair, they told us it could not be fixed but we could trade it in for credit on a newer model. Being far too smart to read the manual, I never realized the change in battery requirements on the new model. Thanks for heading me in the right direction! The rechargeable lithium batteries should arrive in time for IU5.

I had a wonderful dinner last night. My SIL (Dianthus) and I went to a local restaurant for dinner and a talk by Laura Moriarty, the author of "The Rest of Her Life". She was a delightful speaker and it was interesting to hear some of the backstory of the book. The dinner ticket included a copy of the book, which I am about half way through. A bonus was that several other women we knew were there also. (conversation with DH afterwards - DH: was it all women? V: Um, the event was called "Women and Words" so, yeah, it was all women!)

'bug, it's a good thing that Reed is morphing into TWMPT, because I think Mr. B. could give him a run for his money on his previous title.

Kathy, I chuckled to see the ice cubes in your white wine. Someone recently was disparaging ice in wine, but on Saturday I was finishing off some leftover Reisling (not one of my top favorites) and I just couldn't do it without a little ice!

We've had the very beginnings of the veggie harvest here. I have pulled a few red onions to thin them a bit, and I've gotten my first green pepper. One of my tomato plants, Cosmonaut Volkov, has three nice sized green tomatoes! Frech tomatoes can't be too far away...

I'd better try to get the house under control and get to bed. Life lesson #32,879: do not let your DD leave the house while you are groggy from a nap lest she leave a large mess behind!



    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 10:18PM
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Ice cubes are a must for really cheap white wine , and I can even confess that H2o was added as well. I think of this as a vino version of bourbon and water , which I love but can only drink about twice a year and in extreme moderation, after numerous never again mornings in my past.

Are there any of us who arent having heat waves ? Its h*#l here and expected not to break till Sat. The smoke is back and I have used my AC this year more than I have used it in the last 3 or four years put together. But, on an optimistic note, better now than IU5 right ?

I have determined that my travel time to IU5 will be similar to my journey to the coast- and without the great music that DS and I listened to up and back. Must see if he can set something up for me. Got some lengthy plane rides on the agenda

So where is everyone today ?

Think Ill watch the 8th inning and turn in.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning. :-)

I feel like I have been up for hours. Oh, wait, I guess that is because I have been. [g] My new wake up time seems to be 2-3am. I gave up trying to figure out what the reason is and just go with the flow. I have been suddenly dealing with dizziness which is new for me. I keep waiting for it to clear up, but going into week three and it is still a problem, so scheduled a doctor visit this week. Maybe the dizziness and sleeplessness go together. Regardless, my plan is to fully enjoy being up at that hour. :-) I just came in from a tour of the garden by flashlight. Surprised to see a lot fewer insects than last year. Very happy to see no earwigs, which were a real problem the year before. The Butterfly Bush has buds, and I am expecting once that starts blooming I might see a lot more. I'm also thinking of starting some kind of project, like hand sewing or embroidering blocks for a quilt or something interesting.

I was disappointed that there is nothing fragrant in the garden right now. Usually by this time there are at least Four OClocks at night. It is very hot and sticky here too. Wasn't it just a few days ago, I was cold? After all the gray days and scattered thunderstorms, I see I am still going to have to get the hose out today. The Hydrangea bed is looking dry again already. Our first Hydrangeas never bloomed for us, so I gave them away. When we started renovating the backyard, I decided to remedy that, so we added, Endless Summer, Annabelle and Oakleaf, all of which are now blooming. I don't remember what we had to look at in July before that. I'll try to get a photo soon. do you like your 'Limelight'?

Look at Kathy leading the life of Riley! What a view! I am with Martie, wishing for the life of Mr What a happy face!

Pretty squash blossoms Martie.

Hope you feel better soon Saucy! Summer is not supposed to be a time for catching things, is it? that Prairie Joy with the Clematis. Pretty combination. I like white and pink together a lot. How exciting that you have grown that catalpa from seed. I hope your family is suitably impressed. :-)

We went to see a movie yesterday. 'Wall E', the new Pixar offering. It was one of the few movies reviewed recently with four stars. It was very enjoyable and provided almost two hours of non stop smiling. Some people have such an imagination! I am not sure it is a movie that kids can actually appreciate as much as an adult can. There were kids in the theatre but I don't remember hearing any belly laughs. It has an interesting message that the plot is based on, and I think a lot of the humor is subtle and might be over a kid's head. I found some irony in the fact that creating computer animated movies seems to be contradictory to the message of the movie, but I won't say more than that, not to ruin seeing it for anyone. Their last two offerings have not been appealing to me. I tried watching Cars twice and just couldn't get interested in it and Ratatouille...well...I just could not watch a movie where the cast are a bunch of rats. Toy Story remains my favorite from Pixar.

What do you think of how close to the water, these houses are?

The uniformly whitewashed cottages of Pennan, Scotland, line up around a quiet cove in Moray Firth as boats rest within a small manmade harbor. The town has been in existence for over a thousand years but gained international fame in the 1980s as the fictional village of Ferness in the popular movie Local Hero.

(Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Celt Appeal," March 2006, National Geographic magazine)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 5:18AM
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Good morning from the house where one can barely see out the windows for the condensation. We left the A/C on last night but sleeping was still hard. No complaints, but looking forward to a break and some dry air ....

Had to LOL when I went to an upscale restaurant yesterday for a meeting, and on the lunch menu was squash blossoms (deep fried with some "lemon herb sprinkling") for a mere $10 for two. I could make a killing as a market gardener this week :-)

The talk of David Austin and hardy roses in general has me swooning for more. Since it's the perfect year for grubs and thus Japanese beetles, it'll be interesting to see if Rich's methods to eradicate them have worked.

Hmmmmmmmm, Kathy. San Fran or thereabouts to New York?? The Beatles Anthology might do the trick :-) Or the complete history of Motown. Or the entire Harry Potter series on tape. It's a rugged flight, for sure. Fuzzy slippers will help. Are you picking up V. in Chicago on the way?

Since I've been completely out of the loop, who IS going to IU5?? (No details necessary).

Off to try and get some alertness to go with "awake" and see what the day brings.

Best -


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

For some reason Ive had to log in again this morning and then I had real problems opening the page. Go figure. We are in for another hot, humid day in the mid 90s. Ugh! Youd think after I lost those fuchsias after the last heat wave Id have been smart enough to move them out of the sun when the temps exceeded 90 again, nope, Im a dope! So Ive got two marginal fuchsias again and another that is about to hit the compost heap. Le sigh! The poor Endless Summer was all wilted yesterday afternoon with its short dose of sun in the afternoons. It does OK usually but does not like the heat one little bit. Im going to have to rig a mister for it or it will get crisped in the next couple days. Im again at the point where I have everything planted except for two pots of tricyrtis. Must be time to go plant shopping again. LOL

Martie, Id like to see what a deep fried squash blossom looks like. Interesting!

PM sorry you arent feeling well. Doug had a bout of dizziness a few weeks ago and the doctor thought it had to do with allergies and fluid in the middle ear. Hes been fine since but it was worrisome. Hope you feel better soon. ~~ Have you thought of including a fragrant azalea in your gardens. Ive just planted one and it smells fantastic.

Kathy, Ive had a few of those never again mornings with my favorite Glenlivet 18 year Scotch. Yum but moderation is a must. LOL ~~ I dont envy you the trip east for IU5. I used to teach on the west coast a few times a year and the trip can be tedious. But, just think of what a great time we are going to have!

V. bummer about the stomach bug. Hope youre feeling better today. ~~ Always a neat time of the year when you can start harvesting the first veggies.

Great pics bug! I just love catalpa flowers!

Jerri, I have leather furniture and yes the cats do race around and scratch it.

Saucy, get well soon! ~~ How are the bees?

OK here are a few pretties from yesterday

Echinacea Double Delight

Echinacea Razzmatazz

Jolyene Nicole


Calla Flame


Polish Spirit

Have a great day everyone, stay cool!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Martie, I was going to post the deep fried in batter squash blossom recipe for you. It is a delicacy in Provence that I adore! Do try it!

DS & friend highly recommend 'Wall E'. They hope it sends a message to the younger folks too.

Pea soup weather continues here...but the garden is flourishing along with the weeds. An amazing year.


Madame Julia Correvon


Later folks. Exercise routine in my near future...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

For Deanne and Martie, see below for Beignets de fleurs de courgettes!

And here, I LOL at this little elf. Here's what he thinks of his first camping experience:

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:57AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

'bug - that last photo of the "elf" is priceless - a wonderful shot - it would bring a smile to anyone's face who saw it!

We're in the hots and sticky too; I forced myself to the grocery store after work as no food in the house had been making me eat a lot of PB by spoon for dinner --- eeks, things are bad when Im doing that....then after the evening jaunt w/ the dog w/ a one-legged poodle cut, I forced myself into the yard for some late hose hitting of drooping plants and dying flowers....

Kathy - I meant to say that that variegated hydrangea is incredible -- I was going to say I'd never seen one w/ so much variegation, but when I really looked, I decided it was that along w/ the lacecaps that gives it the "white" effect -- absolutely stunning - o dear, another on the wish list.... So, should we figure no bourbon should be available for you at IU5, LOL? we want to see you the mornings after ... I seem to recall that Chelone is a great bartender, so watch out! Or should we just hit a local NY store for assortments of local brewery options? It's all about gardens, plants, (some) mild drinking -- alchoholic or non -- laughter, laughter, and comraderie -- you'll overdose on all of the above.

Here in awfice world, Im trying not to stress over the fact that apparently they're moving my office next week that Friday Im gone and somehow Im supposed to have packed it all in advance, done some critical deadline work, and a client has a crisis deadline -- the inadequacies of planning by the administration never changes.... I am repeating the mantra "one can only do so much"....

Im sorry you're feeling punk, PM2, -- no sleep or waking up too early is horrible - I get that periodically but usually when Im worrying or thinking thru things. I read recently that tai chi is apparently really helpful for people to sleep -- some new study - I wonder if there's a moderate version you would learn?

Lovin lovin all the photos! Countdown to IU. Im starting to think of all the things I need to get or prep for (new memory disk for camera, list for dog walker, etc...)


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:21AM
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Well, I'm feeling human again this morning! Finally found a cough suppressant that works and I got a good night's sleep :) While researching, I found that dark chocolate (specifically theobromine) is an excellent cough suppressant (better than codeine)....I could make millions if I came up with a dark chocolate cough medicine :)

And another tidbit, I thought of for distressed dogs: 50% of the cases of dogs being frightened during storms are due to the increased static electricity in their coats: at the first sign of a storm, rub them down with a fabric softener sheet!

Sarah, Jake, and I begin our watercolor lessons today, LOL....we're learing via the internet! Our school system has an excellent art program, and both the kids are anxious to teach me a thing or two....should be fun.

Martie, those squash look so good to me....I LOVE the baby yellow squash. I'd split it down the middle, saute in butter for about a minute, sprinkle with fresh parmesan and enjoy!

I am so excited about my clematis order from chalk hill and am loving the beautiful displays here! Wow, wow, wow, GB! And Deanne! And my goodness, Martie, Cornfield Manor (sorry, it stuck....) ahem, Park, is filling in so beautifully! Sue's garden is stunning and suspiciously looks as if she's been less than aggressive in the rest department, LOL!

Kathy, I always take a shot of the view over my feet when I'm on vacation. Being the camera holder, it's often the only evidence that I was on the vacation :) Jovial describes Mr. Baby to a tee for me :)

Reed is elfish in our latest picture! I failed to say how much I admire your daughter for her bravery - I'm afraid my head is mishapen :) I have pondered the sign up sheet at the gym....maybe this time I'll sign my name :)

My neighbor is healing slowly, and I have been keeping the plants in pots alive by watering for her. She enjoys me filling the bird feeders and putting oranges out for the orioles. I spied her driving last night, so I think she is feeling better. It was nice to repay her for all that she has done for me and my family.

OH! She let me borrow her night vision monacle! It was amazing what I could see! I watched the bees fan their hive on a hot night. Followed noises into the woods (our mink or fisher cat has been spied again) and was just generally enchanted with how the place looked....kind of greenish, but magical!

The bees have been busy, and I spent an afternoon watching them. Sarah and I like to sit on the other side of the fence and watch the comings and goings. She notices new things in the garden which makes me happy.

My camera is ticking me off as Sarah and I spent yesterday evening documenting the beginning of July in the garden, only to find that every picture is ruined by big distorted blocks of color. I think it's finally time that I bite the bullet....I'd love a recommendation on a camera with zoom....

Time to get moving before it gets too hot to move....


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, I found Steve's a great camera site. This is what I researched on my camera a few years ago.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Saucy...I've had my camera for about a year and enjoy it very much. It's small, lightweight, a little bigger than a pocket size. I love the LCD screen that swivels, has zoom and a Micro function setting for close ups. Uses ordinary batteries and they last quite awhile before having to be replaced. I use mine on Automatic all the time. It is not Deanne's camera, but that would have been too much camera for me. So here is another one to consider, depending on what you are looking for.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Since I am

Deanne...thanks for sharing about Doug's bout with the same thing. Sounds like he was still dealing with it for his BD. Glad he is feeling better. A fragrant azalea in July...what a great idea! Where did you find some? I love that 'Regale' is hands down my favorite Lily. You did a great job of staking it. The buds on 'Arabella' are so cute and I love the almost black color of them. Very pretty!

Gardenbug....Glad I am not the only adult who enjoys animated. [g] 'Fascination' has such a pretty habit and covered with blooms. Love that expression on the 'elf's' face. He seems to be having a wonderful childhood already.

Cindy...thanks for that suggestion about tai chi. I imagine you are suggesting doing tai chi before bed. My primary care doctor is actually a Sleep Disorder specialist, although I didn't choose him for that reason. I have had many years of problems with sleeping and tried lots of strategies. I usually will eventually hit upon something that will get me back to sleeping six hours straight, but that is normally as good as it gets. I am always thrilled just to get that much though. Do you practice some form of tai chi?

Saucy....I like the way you research...dark chocolate for coughs! [g] BTW, I tried to find my camera model for sale and not easy to find. Canon often takes a successful model and continues to offer newer versions with improvements, though.

Haven't stepped out the door yet today. Hope everyone is staying cool. :-)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:13AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

All you dizzy people are not alone. I got out of bed at 3 AM to use the bathroom and was listing down the hallway. Figured it was because I had been in a sound sleep and was a bit disoriented. Two hours later I got up to go tend the dogs and almost passed out. Dizziness, sweating, nausea...I barely got them out and fed and had to go back to bed. A few hours later I tried again and this time managed to eat a little breakfast. Then took another break before hitting the shower. I finally made it into work at around 9:30 and feel much better now but still "off". Something must be going around but it better not linger. I don't have time for this

Did someone say dark chocolate?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:38AM
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Rick helped me last night with the veggie garden. He mowed and bagged grass and I laid down newspapers to keep the weeds down. I just can't keep up if I don't do it. Purslane is a big problem in that garden. Its hard to get the roots and any little bit of leaf left sprouts. We are enjoying spinach, sugar snap peas, onions, radishes these days.

'bug, the little elf's expression is priceless. That Fascination is wonderful. The catapula blooms are sure pretty. I remember as a kid our neighbors had several along the sidewalk. I dont recall the flowers but remember the seed pods.

Pm, sorry to hear that you are becoming an unwilling night owl. The other morning Kenzie came in our room early and said and owl woke her up. As for Limelight, I really like it.

Deanne, I love your echinaceas and that lily is a beaut.

Woody, we have lots of humidity here in the summer. Since I got rid of the few hybrid teas that I had, I have never had a black spot problem on the roses I grow. Here's what a few of mine look like now.
Morden Centennial:

Nearly Wild rose:

Sharifa Asma:

I think Id better get out of here before I catch a bug. Hopefully, everyone is feeling better today.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 12:18PM
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Hi everyone. Sounds like the high temps abound, but not here today. It's high 70's with no humidity. Turned off the a/c...until tomorrow when the heat wave going on gets to us. I need some rain, though. the vacation pic. It would make a great ad photo for a shoe company, "It's like a vacation everyday in our shoes!" LOL.The baby is adorable and so happy. Is this your grandchild? Love your variegated hydrangea. I have one, but it doesn't bloom in my zone, I just got it for the foliage.

Sending get well wishes to saucy, v, pm2 and sue.
PM2 and sue...can the dizziness be vertigo? It's a symptom of an underlying condition, so something to look into. My daughter had a case of it last summer, was checked out three times, diagnosed with vertigo. Pills helped (same type for motion sickness, but the underlying cause I believe was allergies and stress.

'bug...congrats on the catalpa blooms. It is gorgeous. It's so satisfying to grow something from seed, not that I know from experience, :.(. It's something I want to start doing more of.

I love hydrangeas and just started buying them within the last few years. My least favorite is the Endless Summer, the blooms are sparse. Last year, the late frost caused them to not bloom at all. Paniculatas and oak leaf are my favs. I did buy a couple more oak leafs from Bluestone, so I'm excited to see how they do in the next couple of years. Here's a shot of Paniculata "Quick Fire" I got this spring...

I'll be back later. Stay cool everyone.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:29PM
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Why does hot and humid in New England usually coincide with hurried and harried? The only saving grace is that the cushions I've been working on are not VINYL. But they are uniformly large (for berths on a 65' ketch) and stuffing them has generated a lot of sweat. The shop has been sweltering and the nerves of the one "in charge" are somewhat raw. I haven't had the energy to do much except come home and "decompress". ;)

I have done no reading. Hope all of you are well and I'll be able to catch up before too long. Painting should be finished tomorrow or Friday (thunderstorms, you know!). Poney tailed painter descended his ladder on Monday to come over and apologize to me for the time over-run. I was impressed. I gave him the final check yesterday, telling him I had complete confidence that he would complete the job, adding I didn't want him to have to wait or make a special trip to collect it. He's done a nice job and paid attention to details. And he knows how to chow down on the crow. ;)

Marian, I FINALLY remembered to bring the tortured Dracenia home today. It's root system is enshrouded in a plastic bag that I compressed to force out the air. I have to hunt up a suitable pot. The root system is HUGE; should I give the biggest roots a prune (they were coiling around the 6"d pot)? and how big a pot should I prress into service? In the 6" pot it had two other buddies, one of whom died, the other was not worth saving but was a succulent of some sort. ???

That's it for now, I have to read.

Cynthia, I didn't do any sort of protection for my hydrangeas last winter. Predictably, the Nikko Blue folded its tent, the variegated lacecap followed suit, but the Tokyo Delights have some buds! I am presently hatching a plan for a mesh cocoon that can be stuffed with leaves to protect those lovely plants with minimal hassle. Your's are so lovely. Hope all your critters are faring well while you're away on your sad trip.

I desperately want to share my awning expertise, too. I haven't forgotten, but you'll have to be patient. Please?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 5:27PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well, I've had something in the back of my mind for the last couple days that I was trying to remember and it finally came to me.....

Eden's Birthday was yesterday! Whoops! I think we need a new keeper of the list...

Without further ado and with apologies for being a day late

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:19PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Quickie post! Sorry to hear there seems to be a bug going around.
The pictures are spectacular as ever. I have hydrangea envy..and I don't know if I even have a good spot to grow one!
Mr. Baby and Reed are adorable. That hat is just too cute, and li'l Reed and that ear of corn.... :)
The contractor is coming tomorrow to talk about the porch re-do. I think Jim is going to be able to run wheat, so that will simplify matters. Lol, of course, it would be even simpler if I came up missing, and let Jim talk. The entire conversation would consist of "What's the cheapest way I can get by." Contractor's answer inserted here. Jim, "Do that." I shudder to think what we'd end up with.
Saucy, my camera is acting crazy, too. I had been thinking about getting a different one anyway, but now it looks like I might have to. It does crazy things with the color and part of the time the zoom doesn't work.
Bug, I think it was you that mentioned the recall on Canon that right? I just noticed a couple of weeks ago that the batteries were really warm when I took them out. Need to go to their site and check it out.
The feast at Sue's looks wonderful, and a late Happy Birthday to Doug!
I've got ribs stewing in some beer for Jim to grill, I need to fish them out and get them seasoned.
Howdy to all I missed, I know there was a bunch of stuff I wanted to comment on, but...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:27PM
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    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Happy Birthday Eden !

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday, Eden!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 9:45PM
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Man you guys are killin me with all these fabu Clematis pics. bugs Fascination and Deannes wonderful Arabella are two that have caught my eye today. How cool to grow a Catalpa from seed !

Martie, I didnt mention how much I enjoyed your squash pics..Im squash free this year , and in fact no veggies at all. Now, youve got something there with your suggestion of the Beatles Anthology for the trip ! I was going for all musicals, Aspects of Love, Company, Into the Woods, Follies, maybe Les Mis, Carousel, etc. I might have to rethink this.

Saucy, perhaps we need dark chocolate dipped strawberries, with a crisp Chardonnay at IU5 to ensure that you remain cough-less. Watching the bees fan the hive with night vision---what industrious creatures they are .

Kudos to Mr Ponytail and his fine workmanship and his willingness to admit and apologize for the slow pace at The Compound.. All will be in readiness for Labor Day !

Right Cindy, no bourbon needed for IU ..Ill make due with whatever is on the beverage menu..I cant believe its almost here ! Re lacecaps, though I love them , the flowers do become really crappy looking when they fade, and I spend lots of time deadheading .

I want to go to Penan Scotland and stay in one of those houses. How isolated that place looks ! Wouldnt it be awful if you panned around and there was a WalMart or the like at the end of that row of buildings ???

LOL Anita, your shoe marketing plan ! Hi 70s sounds like heaven to me right now. Its still sweltering here.

OK, all for me tonight ..check yall tomorrow-time for baseball.

Kathy in Napa

P.S. Norma ? Ei? Mary ? T ?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:22PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:29PM
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    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 11:27PM
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    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 12:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So on Tuesday, Grandson Skyler(9) was prepared for surgery by his doctors and then yesterday, after some delays, had his cardiac catheterization. This is a "simple" procedure, but everyone was on edge because of past medical failures which cause him permanent problems with his heart valves. DD kept us informed by phone and all along, the little guy's Mom was creating issues, among them that she wanted to spend the night in his room at their house where he was to recover. Le GRAND sigh....

So when I woke up this morning, I received this email: "This is skyler i am finally home it was ok but when i was done i had a tummy ache and i was crying hard. So have you ever had a surgery with a tummy ache?"

Of course it was so sweet that his Daddy stayed up with him and thought of something to do with a sad little guy at 2:30 in the morning! (Especially since he was the one Skyler barfed on after the surgery!) Of course I answered right away!

And so begins the day! It is sunny, beautiful and far. The birds are chirping! Looks like I'll have to garden! :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 6:38AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Today is supposed to get up to 90 yet again and even with the rain from the last couple storms Im going to have to water some of the lawn areas today. Yesterday was 92 degrees with a ferocious wind. Id swear they were gale force winds blowing through here and of course the lovely white astilbes just crisped up and turned brown in a day. Oh well theyve been lovely for a week or more and I guess that as much as I can expect from them. That combination with the white Asiatic lilies, astilbes with the variegated Nora Leigh Phlox behind is one of my favorites and Im always sad when the astilbe passes.

Bug happy to hear Skyler is home and doing well. ~~ Enjoy your gardening day.

Michelle, that Ville is divine climbing against that rough tree trunk. I love it! That view with the Babys Breath just takes my breath away. When that clump of lilies gets going its going to be beyond incredible. What a fabu combination.

Kathy, Arabella is one of my all time favorite plants for the gardens. It begins blooming in June and continues until frost and such a lovely soft blue/violet. I agree with you that Im going to have to look for that Fascination. What a beauty. I thought youd enjoy this pansy vignette. That decorative kale over wintered and I couldnt bear to rip it out. It tries to throw some little yellow flowers from time to time but its such a lovely plant it is staying there for now.

BTW your photo for Edens BDay is incredible! It looks like it came from a National Geographic. I just love it!

Brenda, great to hear from you. Stick around! Hows the back?

Anita, so please send some of that 70 degree weather our way. Love your hydrangea shots. Ive got three Endless Summers and one is glorious but the other two dont bloom as heavily and I cant figure it out. They all get the same treatment.

Sue, now Im wondering if Dougs vertigo was some kind of bug. It sounds exactly like what he had. Get well soon and be careful.

PM that Azalea came from a nursery up here called The Mixed Border. You should come up and we can go there????

Saucy, so the bees are busy and how very NEAT that you watched them fanning the hive at night. Very cool so to speak!

Cindy, I cant believe they are going to move your office when you are on vacation. Jeesh. Can you believe its next week?

Bug, yes after looking again I must have Fascination. Interesting that I have a dahlia that I love by that name.

OK time to water then I have to beat myself to force myself to get to the basement and paint. I still havent finished that project for the beginning of August class and its now getting critical. To work with me.

Have a great day!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 7:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy belated birthday, Eden! I hope it was with friends and family and very very special.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:18AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I haven't read yet but I wanted to jump in on the camera recommendation. We just got a Sony A200 and just love it! If only it came with user training. LOL


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:58AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

"Bottom line - back when we reviewed the Alpha 100, the amateur or entry-level dSLR market was pretty competitive. These days, that's an understatement. Instead of only releasing one camera in this class each year to year and a half, camera makers like Sony are producing two or more. This, coupled with falling prices has made it quite difficult for the amateur or novice users to decide on which model to buy; especially if they are just making the jump into the dSLR world. The Sony Alpha 200/DSLR-A200 is a worthy competitor in the entry-level market, offering awesome image quality, robust performance, great ergonomics and loads of useful exposure options. One feature that stands out is the Super SteadyShot option. While many manufactures (Panasonic, Canon, etc.) are starting to offer stabilized lenses with these dSLR kits, the A200 features an effective anti-shake system that works not matter what type of glass you are using. This means many of the other models in this class with require you to purchase more expensive image stabilized lenses to achieve the same level of low light shooting performance. That said, with an MSRP of US$699 for the DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6 zoom kit or US$899 for the dual lens (DT 18-70mm and a 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 lens) kit, I highly recommend the A200 to anyone who is in the market for an affordable and capable consumer level digital SLR."

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh this is too cool! I'm not a pearl person but these are nice...

Jerri ->working hard this morning. ;)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 10:12AM
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Hello Idylls!!

A big wave from our little corner of upstate NY, a warm welcome to Leslie and many birthday wishes for Eden. Fabulous that Skyler made it through surgery. I have lots more to read and catch up on, not the least some of the fabulous photos including Mr Baby and the pint sized camper.

Somehow the summer has turned out to be as busy as the school year - how did that happen? The powder room is on hold at the moment, but the floor tuned out GREAT despite my worries, wainscoting is up on two walls, everyone loves the wall color and the new toilet is installed and working (my first attempt resulted in flood all over new floor - I hate plumbing). Having first hoped to finish by Fathers Day, then in time for Mum's visit, I'm now simply aiming to complete the room before I loose my sanity.

Everything, that is absolutely everything, has turned out to be more work/complicated than first appeared. However, I've learnt all sorts of new skills including how to rip wood using a table saw without loosing any fingers. I've also become a bit of an expert on wax seals (anyone ripping out an old toilet?) I decided that spending time with Mum was more important than DIY for these two weeks so I'm getting a bit of a break. Best of all, when DH uses the new toilet instead of coming out telling me something isn't levelled quite right I hear how fabulous the room will be when everything is finished. Music to my ears:0)

Annie is away at camp in the Adirondacks this week and I was thinking back to how anxious I felt the first time she went away on her own. David is busy with a golf camp so Mum and I have been ablt to enjoyed breakfast on the patio, gardening together, a little shopping, chats over coffee and catching up on each others news. We will drive up to the Adirondacks at the weekend to bring Annie and BFF home, then leave Monday for DC to visit Ruth and David's guitar course.

I'm still mourning the fact I won't be able to join you all at the Idyllunion. David is perfoming Saturday evening in Alexandria so I need to stay to the end to hear him play. I know that doing the Mommy thing is right thing to do, I just want to be wrong for once.

I'll be back when I can.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 12:11PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Happy Belated Birthday, Eden!

It's almost time for the contractor to show up, so I have to run, but I didn't want your birthday wish to be any more belated ;) Hope you had a great one!
PS. Deanne, my back is much better, thanks. Went for a final tune-up at the chiropractor yesterday and he seemed happy. Well, except for complaining about my sneakers ;) Anybody got a source for quality size 11 WIDE shoes, lol?!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 12:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Brenda, my orthotics man also sells shoes. I'm not saying they are stylish, but heh! I can walk in them comfortably! He even sells amazing sandals.

So nice to hear your update Mary. Glad you are meeting up with the whole fam damily!

I actually like some of those tree necklaces! Talk about tree hugging....

Cindy, your birthday card shows lovely lilies, hydrangeas and clematis. This is peak season as far as I'm concerned. There's so much going on I can't photograph it all. This morning I weeded and weeded. Last night I weeded and watered. There's about 2 full weeks worth of weeding to go, but by then I'll need to begin again! Who has time to clean and cook? DH has begun commenting on the slacking off indoors. :(

Guess I should get back outdoors. Hope you are enjoying your day, with or without orthotics, crutches and boots!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 1:34PM
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saucydog(z5MA)'s an update:

Glad Skylar is doing good....not feeling good in the middle of the night is no husband hints around about the indoors, too :) To remedy that, you must spend more time outdoors....hide behind something tall!

Mary, I think we sent our kids to overnight camp around the same time....seems so easy now. Sarah is going with Jake this year, which will lessen the anxiety for me - knowing they have each other to lean on.

He's old enough to be a "ranger" to the younger campers :)

Brenda, do your ankles turn in? I wear an Asics size 12 for athletic shoes....if you're interested I can get you the exact model # :) Good shoes make my knees, hips, and back happy.....

I've been gobbling up plants at the local nursery: all 6pks are .99 - I found the light blue annual salvia (no tags) and a pretty "peppermint" portulaca. Both are good fillers for the bee garden while I wait for the perennials to fill in. I bought lots of other stuff, too....including broken bags of potting soil (the big ones) for 2 bucks each.

I had to go buy more pots.

Denise, your pot is filling out nicely, too:

Thanks for the camera info, y'all! I always lean toward Sony, because then I could interchange the memory cards that I've already invested in....but my luck has been rotten with this last Cybershot. Time for a trip to comparison shop with camera in hand....

I'll leave you with the water feature which has really been fun! How's yours Cindy? I need one of those little gazing balls for mine....


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 2:53PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quikck post for Saucy, the bee queen :-)

The follow-up artice can be found here:

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 3:03PM
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I have yet to experience "surgery", or any sort of anesthesized PROCEDURE, for that matter. I've watched from the sidelines, but even when it's a parent "under the knife" it's not the same thing. I can't even imagine the worry involved when readying a child for such a thing is involved.

I have no doubt that Skyler's dad and his estimably practical step-mother prepared him appropriately and were well able to keep their own worries suitably concealed. What a tough burden to shoulder.

But "coHn fed" babies and the delight of watching a new life experience "firsts" must be wonderful sustenance for the whole family. 'bug, those pictures are just priceless. I am surprised to see the blond character of Reed's hair. Are you sure they aren't rubbing lemons on that kid's head when the camera is safely tucked away?

And the drooly, "sticky" Aiden... . I confess, I'm jealous. I want one of those "jolly jumpers"! Our modest 8'4" ceilings would preclude them, but if we had the "cathedral" ceilings so in vogue of late, I'd be ALL OVER one of those. I think it would be a real treat to be able to groove to music in the safety of a completely supported "swing". How come the "fun is over" when we "grow up"? :(

I'm working on the awning primer.

Fondest birthday wishes to Eden (whose posts I very much miss). And who is someone I think of often, knowing how full her "plate" is right now. I so miss your posts and am saddened that you won't be at IUV, but someday... . ;)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 3:29PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

I'm back!
Bug, I'm glad to hear Skyler came through his procedure okay, outside of the sick tummy. In reading your posts (I try to keep tabs, even when I can't post) my admiration for your DD and DSIL continues to grow. They seem to take all in stride, and it does my heart good to know there are still parents who let their little ones get sticky with sweet corn. Personally, if I get grandyounguns, it's my plan to roll them liberally in the dirt every chance I get:) The baby drool, Kenzies dirty little legs at grandma's house......Have I ever mentioned that I need grandbabies, lol?!?!

Saucy, my ankles do turn in a bit, and the toe next door to my big toe is almost exactly as long as my big toe. AND, when I was little, I dropped a jar of peanut butter on my big toe, and clipped the end off. Doc kinda taped it back on I guess and I have all kinds of ingrown toenail issues with that foot. I dread/hate shoe shopping :) BTW, there were 7 of us kids, and that was back in the day when they had giant economy-sized glass jars of peanut butter..I'm glad I was too little to remember doing it, I bet it HURT! Um, have we talked about my feet enough? I think so!

Contractor has been and gone. DH and I managed to pretend we agreed on everything. He was supposed to be running wheat, but just "happened" along in time to spoil my party. I don't get quite everything I want, but didn't lose anything I can't live without-as long as we get the garage in the spring!

Woody, that was quite a story about the escaped bees! What a headache to deal with.

The other day, I was out weeding, had my MP3 player set to randomly play songs. This one came on, made me think of Saucy and smile :) I'll close with......

The House at Pooh Corner

Christopher Robin and I walked along
under branches lit up by the moon.
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
as our days disappeared all too soon.
But I've wandered much further today than I should
and I can't seem to find my way back to the wood.

So, help me if you can I've got to get
back to the house at Pooh corner by one.
You'd be surprised there's so much to be done,
count all the bees in the hive,
chase all the clouds from the sky.
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do,
got a honey jar stuck on his nose.
He came to me asking help and advice
and from here no one knows where he goes.
So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he's there,
how to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear

So, help me if you can I've got to get
back to the house at Pooh corner by one
You'd be surprised there's so much to be done,
count all the bees in the hive,
chase all the clouds from the sky .
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh,
back to the days of Christopher Robin,
back to the ways of Pooh

Later, all!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 4:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, that's downright gorgeous! I love it! Is it what you anticipated? I never would have guessed what it would ultimately look like.

Chelone, not to spend too much time on this, but readying a child for surgery is something else! I recall having my broken arm set under anesthetic and wondering why I was being killed. ("put to sleep") No one seemed alarmed about it at all which bothered me even more. With Skyler, he actually can describe dying from memory, something he did several times before the age of talking. So naturally, I think Sarah's practical approach is a help to all. ("He's 9 years old and a happy healthy kid now, not a newborn with problems!")

I'm done with gardening for the day. Dirty and tired. Bath time!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 4:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We just had the most amazing storm roll through here. The radar showed something that looked like an angry red fist headed towards us. I went out on the deck to pull in my red banana (too pretty to get badly wind-whipped) and stood there gaping at the clouds. I don't think I've ever seen such an exact replica of the radar image in the sky. This dark wedge of clouds came flying towards us, and I found myself backing up ever so slightly. Then the dark edge was overhead, the winds started to swirl, and then the rain arrived. It was blowing so hard I couldn't see to the road from the house. We got just over 1/3" inch of rain in about 10 or 15 minutes. And the banana is fine!

Saucy, as I was watching my shaking dog, I remembered your advice about the dryer sheet. I'm not sure if it helped her or not, but at least she smells better!

Bug, glad to hear Skyler made it through just fine. He's been through so much in his short life, and he still has such a winning smile. One of my earliest memories is being hospitalized for an appendix attack when I was about 2. There was a communications mix up, and my parents thought they were not allowed to visit me. I couldn't understand why I had been left in this awful place all alone, when the other kids had their parents coming to visit. My mom was amazed to find out that I remembered being hospitalized; I'm not sure she appreciated how traumatized I had been.

Yesterday was a flat-out awful day at work. I deleted my post yesterday about it, and will spare the details now. Today was a little better, but I'm still counting myself in the "Discouraged" column. A weekend getaway can't come soon enough right now.

After years of dithering, I finally have decided to be serious about losing a few pounds. THERE! I said it in public, now I must stick with it.

Although the worst of the storm has passed, there's still some ferocious lightning out there. I think I shall post and log off for the night.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:08PM
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A bad storm a brewing here in Chicagoland, so need to get off the computer. Just wanted to say I'm so glad all is well with Skylar. I have to go back and read up on the particulars, but the important part is that he is well.

saucy...beautiful!!! planters you have there. your mom visiting from England? Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's where you are from, right? Congrats on the progress you've made so far on the bathroom. I'm still filled with awe that you attempted it. Bravo!

I haven't read all the previous posts, but I did catch a new Idyller...welcome Leslie. You'll love it here.

Be back later,

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:11PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Some of my containers are increasing in beauty so I am posting a few pics of some of them :

First is a view of the pots lined up along the entrance to our yard:

Second is the deck containers:

Third is a close up of the Peruvian Daffodil that I had given up on reblooming:

And last is one of my favorites, in the roadside group:

I really love those Angelonias. :-)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:31PM
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Our heat wave abruptly fizzled out contrary to weather forecasts-no complaints here ! I have open house on Sunday, so I will spend half a day cleaning house and half a day deadheading fried flowers. I started my IU list, and will strategically get up ½ hour early each day, progressively starting Monday, to prepare for the time zone changes and the ungodly early flight time.

Deanne, I wish I could take credit for that photo, but it was the handiwork of DS..he and I did the tide pools on Saturday morning and he took some great shots. Coincidentally, my Pacific Horticulture magazine came today and there was an article on herbaceous Clems, and Arabella was mentioned as a great choice for west coast gardens. Its meant to be !

Saucy, your containers have really filled out beautifully ! I bet they all look great when viewd together in person deck-side I put a Stipa in one of my pots this year too-I love they way they add movement to the arrangement.

Marian, you have a nice collection going there too- you always have things of interest- That Peruvian Daffodil is wonderful ! Is it fragrant at all ?

Mary ! So glad you checked in, and all goes well for you..

bug , good wishes to Skylar and the family

OK, time to veg out for a bit..hi to everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The unusual storm that came through last night is called a derecho, and is characterized by a distinct "shelf cloud" at the front, which is what I watched as it moved through last night. It was interesting to read this morning that it started in Minneapolis around lunchtime yesterday; because I was on the phone with someone in Minneapolis right as the storm started there. The storm held together for over 600 miles and caused damage across three states.

We had two more storms (garden-variety thunderstorms) come through last night with another inch of rain so far, and two more in the queue. It will be a soggy drive to the office.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 6:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What a beautiful day it is today! This AM is 65 degrees out and the air is dry. Perfect for gardening but Ive got to paint in the basement. Can you see me pouting? Le sigh!

Saucy, I love, love, love your containers! That water garden is beautiful. Love it!

Brenda, glad to hear your back is better.

Woody, I cant get over that link to the escaped bees. Good grief!

Chelone, Hmmmm. Your turn for an anesthetized procedure is coming.. ~~ I miss Eden too!

V. Id love to see a pic of your red banana and your collection of containers??? ~~ Bummer about the continuing job frustrations. ~~ Wish youd gotten a pic of that storm cloud. What an amazing thing.

OK speaking of weight loss Ive got to get to the gym. Have a great day all

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 7:57AM
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Wow V! Cool phenomenon, though I'm sure frightening in the moment!

I'm guessing dryer sheets don't really work in this situation :) I think I saw that on Martha one day while I was in a sick stupor on the couch...some of her ideas work :)

PM, have you tried melatonin for the sleep problem? I tried it and it worked....of course it could've just been a placebo effect, but who cares if it works?!? It's in the vitamin aisle if you're curious.

Michelle, I don't think I told you how wonderful I think the butterfly gate is...and the colors are perfect! Sarah said she needed a clubhouse the other day....I can't show her Kenzie's place :)

Sarah has a new girlfriend in the neighborhood and they sit on a blanket under the shade of the trees and talk for hours, listening to her new "favorite" radio station. Fun to see her grow up.

Jake is just a happy guy. Next week his carpentry class begins, and her jewelry class. Yeah!

Woody! I saw that bit on the news with video coverage! You know, I think that the stress of being trucked around must be part of the problem concerning colony colapse. I feel flattered that you all think of my bees so often :) They're fun to watch, I tell you, better than Martha.....

Well, time to sign off as today is perfect gardening weather and all those .99 six packs need to get tucked in so I can go buy more, LOL! I made a promise at the beginning of the season not to let anything lanquish about and to get it in the ground far, so good. And this place looks better than it has EVER looked - and that's a GOOD THING.

Martha theme came out of nowhere....


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 8:07AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Great to hear Mary check in -- sounds like you're doing lots of family stuff that will make wonderful memories, Mary -- we'll miss you, but sometimes we need to be cloned dont we to be everywhere? You are to be congratulated on being so stalwart in the face of those reno challenges yep, thats what I said about everything but everything ending up a big deal when you start a repair project never, never fails.

V I do commiserate with you on the ofc woes its downright depressing when you have an awful day or week or month, isnt it? Thats when vacations are definitely needed. Good for you re the projected weight loss I have failed miserably this year in that area and have to renew some commitment to it maybe after IU.

I hope you, Sue, are feeling better and less dizzy and Deannes DH is also on the mend I consider myself an expert in "dizzy" laugh all you want. Ive been thru all the tests for Menieres (the chinese water torture test is what I call that one), meds, etc., and suffered w/ the affliction of vertigo on and off over 20 years it took them over 10 to figure it was connected to my allergies.

Michelle and Saucy such gorgeous photos and plants. Saucy, yes, my water garden of 2 plants, LOL, has really taken off and almost filled the pot already; guess Ill be doing some pruning and cutting back soon.

Its forecast to be hot and dry here the next few days; we havent had any t-storms pop up in my local area all week they went "around" my yard go figure. So its kind of hot and dry gee, just as Sue predicted; from wet to dry . I have to do some serious watering and prepping in the gardens this weekend, in between the monthly investment club meeting and Chloes grooming appt and getting ready for IU I have a feeling the boss is going to ask me to work late nites next week, so I have to get as much done this weekend as possible.

Kathy wow, I confess I thought that starfish shot was professionally taken and youd found it somewhere truly incredible w/ the colors, the content, etc. Id love to see something like that in person just once in my life.

Well, gotta get thru this Friday hope all enjoy theirs.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:16AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

I was crossing my fingers for the Illinois Idyllers last night. I couldn't put my finger on the map where you guys are, but it looked like the Chicago area was getting hammered! DH was running wheat, and I was keeping an eye on the radar for him. It was my job to guess when the rain would be here, and get to the field with the head carrier so we could take the grain platform off and get the combine home and in the shed before the rain. Looked pretty nasty over there, with more coming behind it. The storm fell apart before it got to us, we just got a sprinkling. It looks like we'll be able to get the wheat finished today, and DH can plant soybeans in the wheat stubble tomorrow. He's just chopping the straw back on the field. I do not miss the days of baling straw for bedding for sows...I'm getting too old/stiff/cranky to be up in the hay mow throwing bales of straw around!
DD is coming tomorrow to pick black raspberries. She wants to make jelly. She remembers me making it when she was a kid, and she always loved it. She says she wants to make a LOT. Lol, I don't think she realizes how many hours of picking you have to put in to get enough juice to make jelly. It will be a lesson in patience....and a testament to what a good and loving Mom she has. (We don't have to tell her that it's just because I'm a black raspberry junkie) It's been a great year for them here, we kept getting little rains, and they've just kept producing. DH has probably picked enough here and there to make 8 pies. Bless his heart, his favorite is blueberry, so it was really sweet of him to wade through all the brambles to get them.

Marian, your containers are just beautiful! I'm just not attentive enough to do the containers. Mine end up looking sad and pathetic by the end of the season.

I thought the starfish photo was a professional shot, too! Awesome picture!

Gotta run, I just got a text that DS is on his way over, and I'm not dressed yet.
See ya all later!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Hi everyone, Just a quick drop in to say a big thank you for all of the beautiful birthday cards! I love them all! It's been a busy summer so far and is going way to fast. Bella is at such a fun age and we've been spending a lot of time doing fun things with her. Lots of visits to the dairy to see her beloved cows, we went to Build a Bear last weekend and made a 4th of July bear, visits to the park and Dairy Queen and today we're going to the zoo. My garden is cluttered with sandbox, water table, wading pool, tricyles, all mixed in with lots of flower pots. I've gone overboard again with the containers. No big surprise there, right? This has been a great summer for the garden, lots of rain and not too hot, just right. Yesterday Jenni and I worked at ivy removal again in her garden. I know I promised you all pictures but I had trouble with my picturetrail account when I tried to add them. Maybe it's time to try again. I want you all to see what we've done!

V, I have musa siam ruby. Is that the same as your red banana? When I first got it the leaves were more green than red. But now that it's warmed up they are really red. Very cool plant!

Saucy, love your container gardens and reading about the bees too!

Deanne, as usual everything I've seen in your pictures is just spectacular! I especially loved the pot you painted to match the begonias. Thanks for the pictures of Sue's garden too!

Sue, I didn't notice the boot but do really like the way you're wearing your hair these days. Your garden is wonderful as always! One of my favorites!

Cynthia, thanks for the glimpse into your garden too. Your agaves are beautiful. I'm acquiring quite a collection of them too, thanks to the influence of you and Denise.

Michelle, I love hearing about your special times with Kenzie. The Secret Garden is really coming along and looking so cute. That gate is such a great find!

Marie, I'm so glad Skyler came through ok. So much for him to deal with. So great of him and Sarah to do the cancer run. She looks beautiful in her new haircut :) Reed is growing up so fast and is such a cutie.

Kathy, Aiden looks like such a happy baby and is cute as can be. I made your birthday card my computer background picture. Very, very cool!

I have to run. Time for the zoo! Hi Martie, PM, Cindy, Denise, Anita, Chelone, Mary (Who else have I missed?). Brenda great to have you back posting too! Welcome Leslie!

Happy Friday!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:54AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Happy belated birthday to Eden!

We're in day two of absolutely gorgeous weather here-mid 80s and dry, dry, dry. Last night I opened every window and door in the house. Let the fresh air in. Great for sleeping too. Humidity supposedly returns tomorrow so I'd better enjoy while it lasts.

Marian and Saucy your decks and containers look very lush.

Mary, enjoy the time with your mom. When were we going to pencil ourselves into her home for an IU? lol

This week I've been researching rental share houses for the upcoming ski season. For those not familiar with the concept, you pay one set price for use of a house for the whole season. Finding one that is well run and has good group dynamics is a challenge. An additional challenge for me will be finding a group where I won't be the token member over Although it will be a bit of a stretch out of my comfort zone, I know nobody who skies anymore and would like to get back into it. Meeting some new people wouldn't be the worst thing either.

OK, time to trot.

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:54AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

I started a post early this morning and that was as far as I got. I just noticed we are up to 97 posts and I hadn't posted one Hydrangea pic yet. Mine are hardly raving beauties this year and all the most common ones....but...

Here is one from last year, that I liked better....

Happy Birthday Eden..! Hope it was enjoyable. :-)

No time for reading this morning...and Doc appt later today, so I will catch up on the next Thread...

Waving to all! :-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 10:11AM
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v...interesting that the storm yesterday has a name, since it seemed like an ordinary summer thunderstorm in my area. We got the rains and thunder, but not the winds. All is calm, sunny and shimmery wet this morning. We must be pretty near each other, because we were both posting about the storm last night at the same time.

sue...forgot to mention that your gardens are beautiful. Thanks to deanne for taking all those shots.

marian...I love your deck garden. It's all so lush.

brenda...reading about your farming chores reminds me of my grandmother's farm. My uncles did all that while I was growing up, but by the time I was in high school or slightly thereafter, they stopped working the fields. They still have the chickens and a veggie garden, but at 83 and 85, it's all they can do. My DGP bought the farm in the 40's, so it's great it's still in the family. I remembered climbing up into the barn loft filled with hay and jumping down. I shudder to think all the mice and owls I shared space with. LOL.

eden...have fun at the zoo. We always get the yearly pass to our zoo so we can take the DGC as often as we like.

I must have missed michelle's post with the gate...have to look for it. Sounds beautiful.

PM2...hope the doctor's appt. brings good news.

Gotta get ready for work. Have a sunny day everyone.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 11:04AM
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