#328 A Week of H's

ctlavluvrJuly 29, 2007

Aside from hot and humid, let's hope for happy, too!!!

Carry on....

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Quick jump in before DH and I head off to White Flower Farm in search of certain daylilies ;-)

Denise -- Welcome!!!! I have a fondness for Eucs and have been known to overwinter them inside here in Z6. Also really like succulents and am amassing a collection hardy to here. Good for you to take the Idyll leap!!!

Sue -- Man!!!!! Perhaps you should just Stop Moving for a few days to see what happens. Wine sounds like a good choice for me, right now. Agree that a massage might be a wonderful idea. Thought of you when I pulled my dead Stewartia out. It never took well to its site and is now composting. At some point I'll just need to enjoy yours :-)

Deanne is traveling for teaching, isn't she??

Yikes!!! Will need to catch up later since DH is ready to roll. No, he hasn't yet discovered the coleus website to beat all coleus websites, but did sneak a peek at WFF catalog and is convinced he's found coleus nirvana. Fine with me!

Bella is Too Cute!! Reed sounds like just the right size and it amazes me, Marie, that his brother has most marbles intact with a mom like his. Same Block????? EWWWWWWWW!

Best to everyone north, south, east and west.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

H is for HEAT, HEALTH and much more.
H is for HEART and HAPPINESS. In this case, Reed's brother becoming more responsible and trustworthy. It make HIM happier too!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:28PM
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Big brothers rock! (even when they have to have their feet held to the fire and are "mean" about the inconvenience).

My big brother was humbled by my steely reserve under pressure today; he even told me so twice!

Today, I reminded him of how he used to "help me" with my ice cream cone when I was a little kid. Like all littles I lapped the top and the sides dripped down over the cone... he used to ask if I needed "help" to clean it up and get it under control, lol. I always said, "yes!" and offered it up willingly... he'd lap the melting sides down and return it to me. And repeat the procedure as long as it took. :). Mum laughed at the mention of the anecdote, remembering the scenario clearly. Perfect solution, she remarked... more ice cream for a young boy and just enough for a little girl. I love my big brother so much. If Reed feels 1/4 of what I feel for my brother... well, he'll be one lucky kid!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yeah Chelone...I know. I have big bro too. :-) Yet at the moment I feel it is little brother teaching Skyler so much! He needs siblings so much!
Today he asked for photos of Reed before he left for his Mom's place. I know it is ever so hard on his Mom. But Skyler has a new family that he needs too. He's benefiting from all this a great deal.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:19PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well we are going to have another hot day here and the Oriental lilies are passing at light speed. It seems so sad this time of the year when the Asiatics are done, some of the daylilies are finishing up and the Actaeas (I still prefer Cimicifuga) are getting to the end of their bloom time. Wah. The gardens are beginning to look a little shop worn and every year at this time IÂm thinking I need to plan for a bit more fall color but there doesnÂt seem to be room anywhere to tuck anything else in. I need to go and study Monique and Les gardens in September as they are masters of fall color.

Speaking of Âhappy and ÂhealthyÂ; Anyway, Doug is happy because itÂs done and healthy because everything is A-OK. He had his first colonoscopy yesterday so I sat in the hospital waiting for him for three hours. Poor fellow wasnÂt scheduled until 2:50PM so he was mighty hungry by the time they finished up. We just took it easy last night, had a very light snack for dinner then went out for an ice cream. Anyway I took the opportunity of the down time in the waiting room to bring my computer and process a bunch of pictures. IÂll post a couple here and make a separate thread. When photographing the gardens yesterday I decided that itÂs a good thing I have all the containers as theyÂre all still looking pretty good right now even though the borders are getting tired.

Chelone, you rock and roll girl!!!!! Picture me giving you two big thumbs up here. I canÂt tell you how much I envy your ability to be assertive, calm and on point in a confrontational situation. IÂm so completely opposite that. Anytime IÂm in a situation like that I canÂt seem to think straight and express myself . ~~ LOL about the ice cream cone and your big brother "helping" you.

Martie, I was traveling the last week of July but am home now.

Saucy, hope you feel better soon. I wish weÂd gotten some good rain from that front yesterday but it only sprinkled a bit.

Sue, glad to hear you are getting your appetite back. I surely hope you are feeling a lot better very soon.

Cynthia, that Katie is stunning in her pink had. What a cutie!!! ~~ So sorry you are dealing with such dry hot weather. I was lucky that it rained a few times when I was out of town so the borders didnÂt get fried. Thanks about the pics. The best part about doing photos is that I only show you the parts I want you to see! LOL

Denise, stunning, stunning photograph!!!!

Mary, How do you winter over your Oriental lilies in pots? ~~ Neat that youÂre the moderator of your book group. IÂve heard that Menopause is hysterical.

Michelle, Happy Anniversary!!!!! And many, many more.

OK Babs, now youÂve done it, I really need to get that book. I put it in my shopping cart at Amazon but held off buying it and now IÂve got to go and get it.

Cindy, IÂm looking for something with a softer color than the ÂScheherazade although thatÂs a super duper lily. ~~ IÂll bet your lily problem is a culture issue and that all will return to normal next year.

Wendy, yes, please do come up for a visit really soon. ~~ Your photography skills continue to amaze.

Michelle, my fuchsias are beginning to look sad right now too because of the hot weather. They just donÂt like the heat. My ÂLena in particular is dropping buds at light speed but itÂs been blooming up a storm for six weeks now so IÂm going to prune it back so it can put on another display for the fall. ~~ So happy you like the ÂStargazersÂ. I just wish they were a tad softer in color.

Brenda, thatÂs an unbelievable story about the guy on the motorcycle. How awful. Every time I see anyone on a motorcycle without helmet and leathers I just cringe.

Hi T, thanks for checking in. It sounds like youÂve been incredibly busy with the grandbabies.

OK here are a couple more pics from yesterday.

Looking at the Sundial and Terrace gardens toward the east.

This tall lily in the right of the photograph has been in this garden for about twenty years now. I almost lost it to rodent damage three winters ago but itÂs come back and is full of flowers again this year. What you canÂt see in this photo is the foliage on the pink astilbe in the foreground got a bit fried when I was in CA. (See I only show the parts I want you to see. LOL)

And I thought youÂd all enjoy this one of a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth.

Have a great day everyone! IÂm off to water.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 8:38AM
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Deanne It really is interesting that your stargazer asiatics are still blooming. Mine finished about three weeks ago. It fascinates me since we are both in the same zone-but where I have mine is a SE facing hill so I'd guess that is more like a zone 6 microclimate??? I know what you mean about their coloring the only thing is,I can't get enough of their scent! I had Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' in the vicinity of the Stargazers and I think the two together might soften/compliment the Star gazer. If you want seeds I have them. Also I have a red Gaura(it's close to the deep pink in Stargazer-also have seed of those. I definitely plan to get more asiatics though. I think I will move my Stargazers to a less sunny setting-maybe that will help them last longer. Mine are getting morning/midday sun.
Big question: Do you move asiatic bulbs only after the foliage has died back?
You crack me up about that book! Just get it.
Your gardens look so great Deanne. I feel mine are getting to be a lost cause right about now. My hydrangea blooms and ferns are frying no matter how much I water them. I am bummed because if we had just gotten some normal rain this would have been a great garden year-so many newer plants are at their three year mark. Funny how one variable(rain)can give a garden the whammy.

Denise that really is a great pic you posted-not an easy plant to get such an interesting view of!
Deanne I liked your hummer moth too-did you just happen to have your camera with you?

Saucy how good that you feel better.

All this talk about ticks has me a little uneasy. a few weeks ago Chris was pretty sure he found a tick in our bathroom(that's where I shed garden clothing). I wish he had shown me since I would have known what it was right away. To be honest I have never seen one in person. How scary that you can be bitten by one and not have a reaction until many so years later. I hate the idea of putting on DEET each time I garden but I'm just not fond of wearing long pants when it's hotter than Hades. Maybe shorts and lovely white knee-hi's : )

I'm going nuts. As I've mentioned I live across from an elementary school and they gutted the entire grounds. New play ground,new drop off drive,new and larger parking lot. All this equals--jack hammers,bulldozers,dump trucks,not just dusty dust but muddy dust... The constant drone of machinery is so annoying and they are working overtime to get it complete by the start of school. I so miss tweeting birds and relative quiet. And the soundof rain woul dbe sweet(that would stop construction lol)

Marie-Just love that naked little baby and now your DGS looks so grown up-funny how that works.

Mary I too have heard that Menopause is really good-the play,that is; ) You crack me up about skinny dipping!

I'm not looking forward to this Friday...I have to take Chris for an endoscopy(right term?) It's the scope that goes down the esophagus to see what's brewing-he's had trouble with GIRD so they want to make sure it's not becoming a hiatal hernia. I'm almost more worried about how loopy he will be on the way home. :-/

Time to get movin'

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Still a bit hung over after seeing the new Bourne movie last night. Arrived late, third row seating all that's available. Entire movie is shot hand-held. I closed my eyes for the last hour and applied pressure to my forehead to keep from throwing up. Sit waaay back in the theater for this one.

Mary, you asked about the camera on the restio/Chondropetalum photo. You have no idea what backstory is involved, involving thievery of DS's photo 4X5 camera & equipment, uncooperative insurance agents, but I'll spare you. He's trying to get a "book" of his photos to shop around for work this fall, and thievery has thrown things into a tailspin. The new dig camera is a Canon EOS-1DS, arrived just this week. Here's my DS's own words on choosing it, writing on a blog to some photo buddies. His buddies prefer Nikons, so he's comparing the new Canon to Nikons (I gather):

"well, to get this kind of depth of field
i needed a camera with a full-size 35mm chip
and there are only two in the world
because Canon "invented" the chip
and won't tell anyone else how to do it.

the 5d has a full chip but the optics are
so bad that it vignettes the corners of the frame
if you shoot wide open, and there's really
no point in shooting anything but wide open

so that left the 1Ds. so here we are.

the nikons have a much more ergonomic feel
than canon -- you can learn a nikon in 5 minutes
but i've worked cameras all my life and the 1Ds
took me 36 hours. your d40 is probably a really
good choice for you. the full-size chip only matters
if you like things out of focus, and that's usually
not the reason most people take pictures.

i think i'm still going to shoot a lot of film, tho --
these digital images are way too perfect. i've tried
introducing grain in photoshop to make them
more organic, but the algorithm is a sham. if you
want it to look like film, shoot film.

information overload stops here."

He sent me this email yesterday:

"i shoot constantly. film and digital. the film (tho as yet unseen) is layering an emotionality onto the images. the digital sensor can accurately render reality, no question, but the film is actually macramé-ing nostalgia and a physical, organic presence onto the image. how do we
get the pixels to understand this."

Comes in handy to let the kids talk sometimes! I think I'll need a Bloody Mary to shake this movie hangover. Will check in later, hopefully more clear-headed.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 12:58PM
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OK, I have a new appreciation for those newcomers who jump right in on this forum, lol! I'm about 1/2 way through my THIRD READING of the last Idyll and am just about overwhelmed, lol. So here's my "take" on all that no one cares about anymore...

Cynthia, great link to the Diamonds in the Ruff site. I've known the peeing thing was submissive, but too many people DON'T. Rex did that when we first adopted him. It freaked me out at first, because he was a full grown, "adult" dog. But I saw it for what it was and affectionately greeted him as my "little tinkler", lovin' him up, and ignoring the wee-wee until later. Our strict regimen of "beatings" aka: "Obedience" put an end to it in about a month. Sometimes the quickest way to put "undesirable behaviors" by the wayside is to simply overlook them, but you have to make an effort to understand the behaviors FIRST.

Michelle, my best wishes for continued marital bliss. We passed 15 yrs. in June and I truly believe the key to success is a good sense of humor and similar intellectual propensities. Long after the ardor has cooled and the anecdotes grown stale you can begin to tap into the reservoirs of humor and mine the veins of intellectual commonalities. I'm delighted the garden tour was such fun! I have little doubt your guests were impressed with your "spread"... everything I've seen has been just so, SO pretty. but I confess that I tend to look past your gardens to what I suppose is an endless horizon; rather like looking east, over the ocean, only with more grass/corn? :)

I hate dogs and kids only slightly less. My take on brats on planes/anywhere else? At 48, I've EARNED my "seniority". When a bratty kid really irritates me, I say something! That said, I'm ever mindful of the age of the miscreant and the time of day of the infraction. Noon-ish, late afternoon get's a "pass". Hungry and tired is a bad combination, esp. when te years of "experience" and "practice" are so few! I deal with kids in the shop a lot. Long range "cruisers" have great kids (pretty much). You can't live on a boat at sea and get away with temper tantrums and touching stuff without permission! Not safe and not allowed. So I'm amazed at what passes for acceptable with customers who live on land! LOL. I have NO PROBLEM telling a kid to "sit down here" because I'm working on a large layout on the floor and don't want them walking all over the fabric. I frequently have to tell them to keep their hands to themselves, scissors are not to be touched, nor is anything else. I regularly get irritated looks from Mommy, but I don't really care fig. When I'm working, it's NOT my job to supervise someone else's kid and keep them "out of trouble" in a shop full of potentially dangerous equipement. Yet, I very much enjoy the kids who come in who are POLITE and curious... I love answering their questions and quizzing them on what they're "learning" and READING.

LOL about Kraft Mac.'n'Cheese, 'bug. ICK. But wow! I think your daughter has it totally wired... I'll bet it's way more fun for Skyler to be there than somewhere else. And, I suspect you're right about what littles teach older siblings; esp. those with rockier beginnings. :/

Denise, what month of Horticulture was that letter in? I have to say, as a reactionary gardener I'd get NOWHERE if I didn't "go for it" and then GO BACK. I love history and I love preservation but even in terms of preservation you can't ever allow yourself to be "static". That's not "real life". It's not "honest" to what a garden, a decor, furniture, photography, art IS. What's the fun in a Jeffersonian garden that looked exactly the way it did in, say, 1787 when Jefferson himself clearly had "improvements" in mind in his diary after watching it all unfold over the course of the season?! That guy's a KNUCKLEHEAD. We're leagues ahead here on the Idylls, lol. I have to snap a shot of the HUGE one in a post that mimics your Corgi... everytime he's "assumed" it I've thought of you and your fool dog. ;) Your plant list (and that of Kathy) are like "latin" to me... :) so unfamiliar and so not suited to my humid, moist, Maine maritime locale... like gardening on the MOON, I say!

I was appalled and unnerved by what I found at the nursing home. Mum is atrophying by the moment. She knew me and my brother instantly, but she is retreating into her "own private Idaho" daily. I hope for a swift end to her trials on this planet; not because I don't love her, but because what she's become is the antithesis of what she was and all she so very much feared.

Advocacy. Deanne, don't praise me. I have a very stongly and deeply held belief that we rise to the occasion. When the reality lands on your doorstep you find a way to DEAL WITH IT. Something, way down deep in your core, takes over for you. You "get over" your fears/phobias and you somehow find what's required to get the job done. Several of you have told me you could never do what I've done. But I disagree! you do what must be done when circumstances dicate action. You truly do find depths of strength and resolve you had no idea you possessed. You have to trust me on this, you guys. I'm nothing special, and when you have to deal with a crisis you will be equally well-equipped.

Mum read to me a great deal with I was "little". Ditto my brother. And my father. Reading was a HUGE part of our lives. Mum was a librarian for 28+ yrs.. As soon as I was reading it was part of our family's routine to read aloud. I read countless to books to Mum and Dad while they prepared dinner... . One of my firmly held beliefs is that an ability to read and follow instructions allows anyone to learn and master just about anything!

When I was Annie's age there was no "cable TV" at our summer house. But there was a library and I gobbled up books on average of 3-4/wk.. We only "got" AM radio, too! how did we ever survive?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 2:03PM
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Nice afternoon here. The humidity's gone but set to return tomorrow or Monday. We need rain, it's gotten to the point that no matter how much I water in the 90+ heat we've been having it's not enough. The plants are really starting to suffer.

Plant talk...I have the ornamental oreganos mentioned. Love DofC and Kent Beauty, but I'm close to yanking the Hopleys. Maybe I should move it to one of my new full sun areas and give it another chance. All it presently does for me is flop.

Someone mentioned collecting salvias, maybe Denise. I'm up to around 20 that I haul into the basement to overwinter. I love them!

I must confess that I occasionally eat mac & cheese from the blue box and like it!

I was relieved to see Sue's post. Glad you're feeling like eating, that's a good sign! Hang in there.

Chelone, I had confidence that you would handle the nursing home just as you did. I agree that if we have to we all have it in us to step up when necessary. You did good!

Happy Anniversary Michelle & Rick!

Marie, sweet pic of Reed and Skyler. With my kids, the girls were older and were always very protective of little brother. They still watch over him.

Babs, I hated to hear that AJ had a bad experience with that store clerk. I like to think that people will most always help and I mostly find that to be true, but there's always the exception. Glad the next store reinforced that and that you pointed it out to him. You're such a great mom!

Jen and I worked on her gardens all day yesterday. We replaced shrubs in the front gardens and ended up just mulching along the driveway. She's going to use the area for container gardens, a la Deanne. She has a few containers that we put together from some of my leftovers and my fav nursery had most of their 4" pots of tropicals for $1 so I picked her up some things this morning and she has some annuals to mix in so she's going to put some containers together this afternoon. I'm interested to see what she does. I've filled her in on thrillers, fillers and spillers, lol.

I'm off to look at Deanne's thread while Bella's still napping. Only 19 more minutes of "juice" left on my computer battery so I have to hurry!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 2:51PM
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Chelone, ouch! I'm feeling your elbow in my ribs ;) Can't put my hands on that Hort issue at the moment but I'm guessing June/July issue. Protest as much as you like, but some people step up to the plate and some don't. Your mom is very fortunate indeed.

I know you know these two, the hibiscus and the Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost.' If only everything looked this good in August. (And I don't have to mention who took this pic.)

You'll all be gratified to know we're climbing up into the mid 80s now. Deanne, lemme know if you're interested in that pencil Sansiv. I've gotta deliver on Mon. and can stop by that nursery.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 2:59PM
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The Huge One and I just came back from some "errands". I've left him "home" for a month now because his "bionic" hind leg wasn't ready for road trips, too unsteady. But I took him today and he got to pee on the stonewall ACROSS THE ROAD! He is now on 1/4 mile "walks" ON LEASH, that will continue for a month. After that we are to increase the distance by 1/4 mile/wk.. And you guys wonder why I hate dogs?!

I managed to "miss" the unpleasant encounter with the store clerk, Babs.. Would someone give me a nudge in the proper direction? I hate kids, but if you're mean to them how are you ever going to teach them anything about how to get along in the world? DUH! (unless you want them to learn how to be mean). I lived in a teeny-tiny town when I was a teen. The population of the town was elderly. They all knew me. The majority of the kids on the school bus lived "on the lake" and weren't remotely involved with the "Village". The bus kids were so incredibly mean and relentlessly cruel to me I used to throw up when I heard the bus downshift to come up the hill to my "stop". I kept gum in my napsack to cover the smell of vomit. But every single day those lovely "Village" residents smiled and waved to me on my way to the barn or when I passed by on my horse. When the school honor roll was in the paper they'd open the window and tell me, "I saw your name! good work... high honors tells me you read well and pay attention...". I have ZERO patience for mean people, you guys. I had a bellyful of it when I lacked the self-assurance to "fight back". And now I nail "mean" people immediately. Bratty kids, bratty ADULTS... no patience, at all. I calls 'em as I sees 'em. Maybe THAT'S why I am so nonplussed by smug beaurocrats... dunno. But that crap doesn't "wash" on my turf or on my shift.

And when you have to deal with that crap in your own lives you WILL find strength you never suspected you possessed. Believe and trust in that.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 4:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today DH and I did errands and ended up at a great nursery, then out to lunch. I ended up buying only a few things (honest!) one of which was Leucanthemum X superbum 'Old Court variety'. I planted it in front of my very dark Berberis, Royal Cloak. I also bought some Crocosmia 'venus' which has me dangerously close to adding red to my gardens.


Two kinds of gentians followed me home and a few other items as well...
We tried a new spot for lunch, then came home to plant. More planting will have to be done tomorrow too. I fear the heat and humidity will be rising by then.

On a more serious note, Chelone is right. Much as I resent it, we rise to the occasions that jump in our path. Life is about HOW we face these situations. It can be aging parents, sick friends and relatives, marital woes, child rearing, finances or a combination of several of these and more!

DD has me participating with her on another forum with lots of mothers of newborns. Lately there's been lots of whining about lack of sleep and lack of husband sensitivity and help. There's one amazing lady, (aged 27!)who just delivered her eighth child. Instead of whining, she said: "Which hotel should we meet at tonight? Leave the baby with a note to DH and we'll all sip wine together in the hot tub. I'll bring the chocolate!" I just love her approach to things. I asked her to post how she manages. I'm adding her response because I think it applies to any of us at times:

"Funny, I don't feel so "all together" lately... I have good days where the kids are happy, the house is reasonably clean, I cooked a few nutritious meals.
But there are days when the kids are bored and start picking on each other (which REALLY gets to me!) the house has toys and laundry all over the floor and all we ate that day was cereal. But I sit on the couch and all I can do is breastfeed Gabby, b/c she needs it.
What helps is experience and perspective. I KNOW that newborns outgrow their needy days, so I don't get depressed about it.
My older kiddos are great helpers, if I use a nice approach, they will help with cleaning, laundry and they will hold the baby... They love being appreciated, who doesn't?
My DH works a lot of overtime lately, but he is really great with kids, when he is home! He gives them interesting projects to do. They are never bored when he is home!

I have computer time, but I need it! I usually post around 3 P.M. and late at night. I'm addicted to this forum! It has been a tremendous learning tool and a source of support. You ladies are great!

Sometimes I don't post about things so I don't sound too 'Been There Done That'. We are all still learning!
Thanks for asking!
--Mom to: Matthew,Phillip,Timmy,Karolina,Julius, Kasia,Chloe and Gabby
Ages: 11,9,7,6,4,3,20mos,and Gabby born: 07-05-07"

What a gal! Patience, perspective, appreciating family help, gentle attitude to asking for it, praise for her husband, alone time for herself for her forums, her socializing. Accepting that some days are better than others.

Enjoy this lovely evening!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 8:03PM
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We surely do have a boatload of threads going right now.One could spend many hours perusing and responding. Here in Napa its been a hot day, but it is cooling off thanks to the evening breeze that has come up. I did all my garden chores before lunchtime and actually did some housecleaning this afternoon for a change. I started in on some major pruning, and took another chunk off of Lady Banks. With a few exceptions my roses have sure been ho-hum this summer. Im cutting them back quite hard this weekend and will feed them in hopes of a nice flush next month.

Deanne, re: your comment on the need to plan for late summer/fall color I am really trying to pay more attention to this. I tucked in a few more asters last year, but really could use morethey look so great with the rudbeckias. Grasses are great here for fall, but I dont have any to speak of right now. I have zero mums .Glad to hear that Doug got a good report card from the doc. I like the stargazers too-they pop out nicely in the photos. And speaking of photos love the h-bird moth ! We dont have them here so it is a treat to see the pic.

Babs, I also have frying hydrangeas, although that has to do more with tree removal on adjoining yards that the heat . What a pain to have all those construction folk shattering your peace and quiet.

Denise-row three !!! Good God, no wonder you felt like throwing up-I cant imagine the headache that would give me. I always try to sit in the back row if possible when I go to the movies. Bela is fairly tall Id say the scapes got up to about 3 feet or a bit more. He is also deciduous here-completely vanishes over the winter. I have another called Purple Rain that has similar color but is shorter.

Michelle-hoping you had a lovely anniversary celebration .

Chelone, nice job with the LTC folks. I hope you see some positive results. I wonder what kind of issues those that come after us will face 30 40 50 years from now-advances in medicine keep people going , but in many cases quality of life is the trade off.

Hope Saucy and Sue are feeling better .

bug, as I was reading your post about the Mom forum , all I could think of was how much it would cost to have 7 children ! I think back to when I was a child and large families were quite common , but I was a Catholic kid . There is no way I could cope with that many little folk. That lady has fortitude I must say !

Eden Im sure pics will be forthcoming on Jens container extravaganza ?

T, so glad you dropped by did you notice we have another Pacific Daylight Time poster ???

Okay, baseball game comes on in a bit so I need to get myself situated. Waving to everyone

Some pics from me:

This is Voodoo, one of my all-time favorites. I almost lost it this winter but it came back albeit slowly.


And for Denise, Purple Rain, with Doobie napping.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 10:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's wine night here. We finally had a cooler morning and I spent a few hours weeding around the waterfall. I finally id'd one of the weeds coming up in the contractor's black dirt as yellow nut sedge, a scourge I have not had in my garden and one that I'm quickly trying to get rid of before it can get established. I also was given a tray of purple wave petunias (okay, the label says blue but c'mon folks, they are PURPLE!) on Wednesday, so I've been plopping those into spots that could use a little mid-summer pick up.

The update on my brother is interesting. His wife called last night to say that he had been discharged from the hospital early, and she really didn't want me to come to the house today. The excuse was that they were in the middle of having the powder room renovated and the house was too disrupted. Umm, 'scuse me but I wasn't coming to look at the house? The polite second request did not fly and I am supposed to go visit in two weeks. At this point, I'm really hoping that she told my brother that she was the one who asked me not to come. (Recap of the family tree - the two SIL's who came to IU4 with me are on my DH's side of the family. My brother's wife and my mother never got along well, and once my mother passed away this SIL was always cool to me, although I tried not to make the same mistakes that my mother did. But there's never been a strong relationship there.) Anyway, his prognosis is not good and I hope that the next visit does not get canceled.

On a happier note, we did have a pleasant Saturday. I did make a stop at Homegoods, but no containers caught my eye. Trader Joe's, though, had a very nice garlic parmesan baguette and a lovely Francis Ford Coppola Pinot Noir. I love the smell of pinot in the evening...

We have a visitor this week - Penny, my future DIL's dog. She gets along well with the other two dogs and is a real sweetheart. The only problem we are having is with the male dog, who is marking his territory! Hopefully, he's done now...

Tomorrow, DD and I will cross the cheddar curtain and go to see The Merchant of Venice at "one of the top two outdoor theatres in the country". Looking forward to the show but not the late night! I also may pass a nursery or two on the way up. My agaves are crying out for pots!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 10:16PM
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Thanks for the anniversary wishes. We had planned to go to one resturant, but it was very busy. We ended up at one that has deck seating over looking the lake. It cooled down and was so pleasant. We got 1.2" of rain last night and we were overjoyed. It looks like more for tonight. We had a family reunion this noon and another picnic tonight, so the day is shot.

That's all from me tonight except to LOL at V's crossing the cheddar curtain. It took me just a second to catch on.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 10:40PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good beautiful morning all,

I woke up at 5:30 and the sun wasnt up yet. Yikes! We are losing daylight at a rapid rate these days. ~~ The morning is beautiful here at 63 degrees with lovely dry air. Bug must have sent her weather this way. ~~ Poor Doug has to get packed and ready to head out to Rochester tonight after being home for a couple weeks because of cataract surgery and the colonoscopy. Not vacation! Anyway, Im hoping to be able to tackle the gardens here and finally get the bulk of the cleanup done after my two weeks away. ~~ Im in heaven right now because Ive got two, four x four x four bins of FINISHED shredded leaf compost ready to go! Gold, gold, gold for the gardens. Im rubbing my hands in anticipation of all I can do with it. Have any of you ever made compost tea? Im thinking of fixing some up for my roses and see if that helps with the black spot.

Hi V! So sorry to hear about your brother. Thats so strange that the SIL is keeping you away. Thats just not right. My SIL has also distanced herself from us and as a result I dont see my DB either. I dont know what the problem is with her but for some reason I guess I rub her the wrong way. ~~ Hope you find some pots for your Agaves soon. Looking forward to pics.

Kathy, that Purple Rain is gorgeous! What a beautiful daylily and of course Doobie is perfect. You could do a series of photographs like the Wheres Waldo things only have it Wheres Doobie. LOL That Wannabe dahlia is wonderful. Ive been thinking of trying one of those types but my heart belongs to the dinnerplates and Voodoo is marvelous. What a gorgeous fuchsia. My friend in Willits had a beautiful specimen of Voodoo and I itched to take a cutting but I dont dare after hearing of your mite problem out there.

Oh yes, count me in the group with frying hydrangeas. My Endless Summers are all toasted after a week in the 90s. Like Babs I cant seem to put enough water on them to keep them from burning.

Denise, that Hibiscus with the Diamond Frost is gorgeous! Love that combination and Im going to have to do that next year. Yes, yes! Id love it if you could pick up that Sansiv for me! Thanks so much for offering. If they have a small plant that would be fine and less expensive to ship but whatever you can do is great. ~~ How awful your DSs camera was stolen! That Canon EOS 1Ds is a great camera. Id love to upgrade to it but it currently is out of my price range. I was actually thinking of the 5D as that isnt quite as pricy and could probably live with the limitations. I dont shoot film at all anymore as Im in love with the crisp, ultra sharp images digicams provide.

Eden, Id love to see photographs of Jens container garden! How neat.

Babs, the Stargazers I have are Orientals and not Asiatics. All my Asiatic lilies finished blooming a couple weeks ago. Yes that Gaura would look terrific with these but Ive not had good luck with it returning for me. I was thinking of planting some Lysimachia clethroides near them as the white flower heads would tone down the red of the Stargazers. ~~ RE moving them, Ive moved Asiatic lilies after blooming with no problems. ~~ Yes, I did just happen to have my camera handy when that moth showed up.

Michelle, great to hear you got some rain finally!

OK Ive got to get to the watering and enjoy this lovely cool morning. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 7:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well I woke up early like Deanne did this morning..and have been watering already. I picked two gigantic zucchinis and pinched blooms off the basil. My hands smell wonderful as a result! I have plans to accomplish a great deal outside, but oddly enough, it is cold out there so far..51F! It is expected to reach 83F later on. I MUST do something about the huge delphiniums that are no longer in bloom.

I can only nod my head and sigh about the SILs who veto visits from blood relatives. I don't get it. They don't have to love you, but denying any sort of relationship? Mystifies me.

As for the parmesan baguette..Oh yum! I think I'd best go grab some breakfast and then get busy.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Good morning

Glorious here - sunny, low humidity. I've been out in the garden since 6 AM savoring every moment. I did a lot of ruthless cutting back - my Heliopisis Lorraine Sunshine are hacked to ground level. I've never done this before but they were covered in red aphids and black mildew and looked awful. The kids will be disappointed as they have competitions squashing the aphids to see who can look the most like someone from a horror movie (the aphids leave a stain that looks just like blood). I'm hoping the plants will rebound with clean fresh growth - they were given a nice helping of compost and water. If not, I always have seedlings around to grow on. Its such a great plant I'd not be without it.

This morning was one when the garden just filled me with joy. I was able to overlook the weeds, bugs, deer damage and dry soil and revel in the abundance of color and fragrance. My orientals are at their peak right now and the annuals are pumping out blooms especially the mirabilis, sages, zinnias and ageratum. I have my first blooms on the datura and my brug is only a few days away. I'm still harvesting sweet peas by the armful and I'm hoping for the first ripe tomato this week. What heaven! I love, love, love to garden!!!!!

Hard as it is I need to turn my attention to other things as the family are up and we have company for dinner tonight. I have my favorite spice rubbed lamb marinating in the fridge ready for the barbie and am about to make a flourless chocolate cake. Annie is out jogging, David practicing his golf and Dh and I about to have coffee together in the adirondack chairs.

Enjoy your day


    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:43AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! It's beautiful here this morning too. Sunny, cool and most importatnt dry. Maybe I'll be able to sneak in some garden chores. Yesterday it was just too hot and I wasn't feeling well enough to deal with it so I stayed in and cleaned up mounds of paperwork. We ran sprinklers all day and only watered about a third of the gardens.

Denise, I love that Diamond Frost Euphorbia and used it in a bunch of my containers this year. It seems to go well with just about everything.

Here's an story for you all that captures the essence of the type of friendships I've made through this group. When we were in Philly a couple of weeks ago I kept seeing this neat orange flowering begonia. It was at every garden we visited. I just had to have it but didn't see it for sale anywhere down there and have never seen it around here. Well last weekend I was out watering the containers on my front stoop and lo and behold there was a big pot of it nicely situated among the others. Wow! A gift from above? No, a gift from Monique and Les. Is that great or what?

Like V, I'm stuck right now with plants and no containers for them. I've got my eye on this really nice urn at Home Depot that would be perfect for between my garage doors but I'll be damned if I pay 100 bucks for it. Lately I just can't seem to find any deals when it comes to containers.

OK, time to get cracking.



    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:52AM
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Thank you GB! I checked Joy Creek and found they had the Crocosomia Solfaterre which Denise posted a stunning picture of a few weeks ago. I'm sure it won't be as gorgeous on the East Coast as it is in Denise's garden, but I still want to try. I was about to humbly ask Denise for seeds of hers, since I'd googled and found neither seeds nor plants of it. Now I can harvest my own seeds in a year!

So while I was at Joy Creek I ordered a Clematis cirrhosa var. purpurascens 'Jingle Bells' which may be evergreen and should bloom in 'winter' - which I suspect is Feb/Mar when the hellebores start to bloom. Has anyone grown this? I'll use it on the new arch which is supporting the Cecile brunner.

Also ordered a couple of interesting sedums for huge troughs that I've been growing tomatoes in. They get early blight every year. I harvested buckets last week and then ripped out the plants and swore to buy my tomatoes at farmers market next year. Interesting to hear Mary expecting her first tomato soon, while I'm eating them daily and giving them away. But Mary will have tomatoes next month too, and I'll be visting the Farmer's market and truck gardens for them.

I've decided to share my pleasure over a well grown weed! I was trying to take pictures of Dannie (like the youngest child in any family, I have few of her!). And this one shows the purslane type weed that I allowed to fill the cracks on the patio this year.

That weed withstands foottraffic, drought, dog pee (foster is a bit of a marker and I have to keep him on leash to train him OUTdoors.)

Here's Foster Fudge:

Most of my hydrangeas are all in heavy shade so I don't have the crisping thing going on, and just lay the hose down when I see the wilts happening. Those out of hose reach are in clay so holding up very well.

Chelone, I hope I never end up in a home, but will tatoo your phone number on my arm in case I need an advocate. Well done.

Spent too much time ordering plants from Joy Creek and now can't remember what else I wanted to comment on!

I need to get back outside, it's decent here today too at just 80F and the humidity has let up a bit. I have not mowed the lawn in 3 week-ends for fear it would brown out. Looks like a skipped one w/e as it does not grow with zero rainfall. Officially a drought here, but haven't seen any water restrictions yet.

Have a good day all!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 1:12PM
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Oh yes! I like the gifting approach of just hiding the begonia among Sue's pots and wondering when she'll find it. Very cool Monique.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 1:16PM
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For gosh sakes, if anyone wants some Solfatarre bulbs, please ask! Didn't even occur to me it would be hardy for you guys.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 2:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm sure there's no doubt,everyone knows...but I love Fudge! I'm sure Fudge has a history, but I'd like to think it is a sweet and happy one. ;-) Imagine, Fudge doesn't look overweight either...

And so, speaking of food, I just listened to the most amazing interview on the radio as I returned from grocery shopping. I'm a bit unnerved. Ruth Reickl was the featured author and her personal tales about her mother, being abandoned by her family and sent to boarding school, her first husband, the loss of her adopted child, her own son's birth...all these are woven into her books. Her many adopted disguise characters as she reviews restaurants...Somehow it touched me deeply, making me think of my parents, my family, etc... Perhaps Mary's book club has shared some of these? I'm off to buy Comfort Me With Apples...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 4:38PM
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I spent some time this afternoon cleaning up my photo files on the computer. I sure had a bundle of crummy pics that needed to get the heave-ho. Then I finished up a column I had to write for the local yokel newspaper, then went out in the wind to re-mulch the front and water and fertilize the roses. Thats the story of my day. The weather today has been quite uncharacteristic for August-marine layer this morning but it didnt really ever burn off all the way and then this wind came up and looks like the marine layer is blowing back in already. We usually dont get a lot of wind mid-day like this in summer. I had doors slamming all over the house !

Deanne, I know several people who swear by compost tea. Ive never tried it either. I also know a couple of people who are into worm-composting, another thing that would be fun to try sometime. I magine having a never-ending supply of worm-castings. I got that Wannabe Dahlia as a freebie with my order from Swan Island a couple of years ago.I like the bigger flowers too, but the color is so unusual on this I keep it around. The bush has been really puny this year.

bug , I had to laugh when you spoke of deadheading the basil. I love to deadhead the basil-I do it at least once a day whether it needs it or not because I just am wild about the fragrance. Of course this time of year its putting out flowers faster than I can keep up with even going out there daily.

Eden, I meant to comment about the Hopleys Oregano yesterday- mine flops horribly too. I moved it to an out the way place till I figure out a good location. I think the more direct sun the better. The other problem is that it travels here so its best in a confined area. It makes a great bouquet filler too as does regular oregano. I went out and counted my salvias.I have 9 different varieties , most of them I have at least two of. Would love to have more. Of course all you need is three to be an official collector lol!

V, I hope you are able to visit your brother soon.

Mary, is there anything more festive than zinnias?? I always said I would never grow ageratum, but the variety Blue Horizon" gets about 18" tall and makes a great cut flower.I have a bunch of them in front. I cant imagine harvesting sweet peas this time of year ! We usually plant the seeds in fall here for spring flowers. They go to hell fast in our hot dry summers.

Sue, glad your feeling a up to a bit of gardening today. Probably stuff of the puttering nature I bet . What a cool story about Monique tucking that begonia in with the other plants.

Cynthia, my tomato crop is miserable this year. Im growing Black Krim , Ive had one tomato , and it was so cracked that only about half of it was edible. Wont grow that one again. Dannie looks very attractive today amongst the purslane . Im assuming what you have is the same stuff I have growing around the PG&E utility box in my hell strip out front. I ve been pulling it diligently !

Im going to make some enchiladas and watch my latest Netflx, The Good German.

Hers another Dahla pic from this morning. This one is called Candlelight. The flower is quite large, probaby about 6 to 7 inches in diameter on a nice compact bush

And some Zinnias !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 7:22PM
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Good evening

GB - I have heard Ruth Reickl interviewed on NPR and thought she was fascinating. Thank you for the book suggesiton - I think her work would be a great read!

Kathy - I ONLY grow the tall ageratum - Blue Horizon is a fave but Red Seas is pretty good too. The tall white was not so successful - the faded blooms turned brown very quickly and the whole plant looked messy. I do indeed love Zinnias and yours look wonderful too. I probably only have another week of sweet peas left - they are browning out from the bottom but still pumping out blooms so I'll enjoy them while I can. I have a vase full by my bed and they are the last thing I see each night and the first in the morning.

After reading about GB pinching her basil I went and did exactly the same and thoroughly enjoyed the process.

I love Origano Kent Beauty, especially as I grew up in Kent, England from where I believe it was named. I added a second this year next to some purple sedum and it's looking wonderful right now.

Deanne - to overwinter lilies in pots I wait till frost, cut back the stalks and throw the whole thing in the garage. In spring I bring them out again and so far they have always regrown.

Hey Cynthia _ I have that same purslane too but not as well grown;0) WOuld you mind sharing your delicious chicken salad recipe sometime?

Our BBQ this evening was really run - our neighbors and their two children came over for grilled lamb and a flourless chocoalte cake with cherries. While the kids, especially David, are constantly running between our two homes it's not often the adults get a chance to sit and talk. The weather was lovely, there were hardly any bugs, the young folk swam in the dark and the wine bottle made several passes. A perfect summer evening.

Well, wine night has diminished my typing skills so I'll call it quits. DH is cleaning the kitchen so I think I'll retire with my latest book.

Nite all


    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 9:43PM
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V., I'll take the smell of pinot in the evening over napalm in the morning any day ;) Funny that Coppola turned to wines. Ridley Scott also is a wine grower now, in the south of France. Lives that have scope, second and third acts, now that's the ticket.

I took my sainted mom to a local town's food-in-the-park soiree, where restaurants set up booths, music, ferris wheel, etc. So we noshed on crab cakes, artichokes, fish tacos, ceviche, and then toured the old Victorian lighthouse, Pt. Fermin. I brought a camera to provide roving reporter footage of the lighthouse gardens but forgot the chip at home. Mostly hydrangeas and roses and not much terribly photogenic now.

The moss baskets are miserable upkeep, except for the ones with succulents. I gave up and moved the hay rack from the west wall of the house. It bloomed a bit at first but just couldn't handle that sun-blast exposure. DH was admiring it the other day, and I had to inform him that it was a complete failure. Failure? he says. I tell him, See this plant? It's called million bells. See any bells? I'll have to show him Deanne's photos. He also called out a couple nights ago, Your spiral aloe is spiraling. He's sitting on the porch, having an after-work Guinness and brushing the corker. I thought poor daft man trying to chat me up about plants, how sweet, but that aloe does not spiral. He says, No, sit right here and look. Sure enough, it HAS started to finally spiral. I always gaze directly down on it, but if you look at it sideways, the spiral is beginning. Nearly killed it last winter trying to grow it in the ground. When I gave it a tug, it came up like a cheap toupee, the roots just rotted away. Amazingly, the stump rooted again, sitting in pure sand for a few months.

Kathy, those are some sexy colors on your dahlias. I just read the old saw about sowing sweet peas now for bloom by Christmas. What crank perpetuates these myths? (Now, don't tell me you've always got SP bouquets on your holiday table!) I may have some Winter Elegance seeds stowed somewhere and will dutifully give it another go.

I repeat the offer of crocosmia, so please let me know. I thought you guys were just being polite when you admired the photo ;) Wonderful photos of Dannie and Foster Fudge, what regal animals. Eden, your photos of Jen's garden are a treat. What a fun project to do together. When I get asked to help with gardens by neighbors & relatives, I just don't know where to begin. It's usually a request for nonstop bloom, bulletproof, foolproof -- amazes me how garden designers are able to bridge that gap.

We're solid into drought here too, the worst ever. Something like 3 inches fell this year. This morning a couple hummingbirds played in the hose stream as I watered, just inches away.

Finally get to tackle the garden in earnest this week. Will probably remove the rose Variegata di Bologna, a striped bourbon, and put it out of my misery, free from having to look at the wretched thing anymore. The Plant Delights catalogue is coming and claims to have a purple gaillardia!

g'night, all. (Hi, Mary -- just crossed posts. Wonderful that you still have sweat peas. And Kent is smack dab where Sissinghurst is, no?)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 10:21PM
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Sweet Peas at Christmas ?? Hah ! Maybe in Honolulu .But when I lived in San Diego a couple hundred years ago I bet I had 'em in February. It's an April thing around here. Pt Fermin, that's in San Pedro right ? I have a 'Night Ride Home' memory of San Pedro.

Back to the movie, intermission is over..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 10:42PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So who knew that ER's have free internet access these days?

All's well that ends well, but the Bard had a surprise third act for us during the performance of Merchant of Venice. DD got stung by a wasp and then had a first-ever allergic reaction. She is resting comfortably right now and we are just waiting for her BP to stabilize a bit.

Of course, we're two hours from home up in Wisconsin, and when we first left the theater I had directions to the hospital but no certain idea of where it was. As she started to react more, we finally called 911 and were met by an ambulance and EMT crew in the next little town. I felt a lot better about her making the trip with better help than I!

Okay, I'm going back to check on her, but this helped me wake up a bit.



    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 12:59AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

We are in store for a cloudy, muggy day with probably thunder storms later and Im all for it! A week of working in the full sun has me a bit tired and we really can use the rain. Im crossing my fingers and hoping. Id like to get over to Lake Street Gardens today for a couple things and want to do that right after finishing watering the containers. I really made some progress yesterday and got the entire front yard and gardens polished up. All the borders have a fresh edge and I even mulched the corner and mailbox gardens with some of that newly finished leaf compost. That stuff is just gorgeous and absorbs water like a sponge. I told Doug we are going to have to stockpile leaves this fall so we can cook them all down. Last year we filled the two huge bins on the hill with shredded leaves and pine needles and after they were full we had no more room to store any more leaves so they went to the composting set up the city has at our landfill. This year Im going to save them all. LOL. If I had more leaves right now Id get another batch cooking. A person can get as addicted to cooking compost as gardening.

V, how frightening for you and DD. Thats just awful! Ill never forget Dougs episode and we never figured out what stung him. The doctor at the ER said that its possible and probable that hes just allergic to the venom in whatever particular species of wasp or bee that stung him and others wouldnt cause a reaction which is why hed been stung in the past and had no reaction. I sure hope she is feeling better today. What a scare.

Denise, I LOL at your comment with helping others design a garden. Ive made the mistake several times of telling a neighbor Id help them and when we talk about what they want its exactly what you said, "nonstop bloom, bulletproof, foolproof". Well if anyone ever figures out how to make bulletproof gardens that provide armloads of flowers with no work or upkeep theyll become a millionaire. That situation just doesnt exist. Even if you just planted Rudbeckia fulgida youd still have to pull them out in the fall or spring, divide occasionally and they only bloom mid summer to fall and that is the easiest plant I know. Maybe someone should figure out how to create an Astro Garden kind of like Astroturf. LOL ~~ good news about your spiral aloe. Sometimes plants just amaze me.

Mary, sounds like you had a lovely evening with the neighbors. Wish Id been there. ~~ Oh yes, Doug is out your way this week. Give him a jingle if youve got some time free. ~~ I loved your post about loving your garden.

Kathy, wonderful pics! Im never happy with zinnias here as the Japanese Beetles just decimate them and what the beetles leave gets powdery mildew so Ive given up on them which is a shame as I just love them. Yours are beautiful. That dahlia is a winner! What a great color.

Monique, bravo! How long did it take Sue to find the plant?

Sue, you lucky person you! Im jealous as Id love to get that begonia as well. Ill have to beg a cutting from yours. ~~ Glad you felt up to a bit of gardening. ~~ BTW our HD has a couple really nice urns that are on sale here. Which one were you looking for? Their $99 one is marked down to $79, I know still pricy and they have one that was $79 marked down to $49. The $49 one is a lovely warm tan color and the more expensive one is gray. Anyway, Ill pick one up for you if you want.

Cynthia, love the pics of the furbies and that purslane makes a great ground cover. I have that here and am constantly weeding it out of the cracks in the driveway.

OK Im off to get a second cup of coffee and start my day.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 6:28AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ya'll have been a chatty crew this past weekend!

V- so glad to hear your DD is recovering - what a scare -- hope you get to see the bro in a few weeks; it could be his not wanting to see people in general, do you think? Some guys are just like that, no matter what the circumstances when they're ill?

I love everyone's stories of their lives -- and it so nice to hear how we all manage to find some delight in our gardens, even in 100 degree heat (like we had here on Saturday - I worked for 2 hours outside & finally came in feeling nauseous & headachy; it finally dawned on me it might actuall be the heat).

Does anyone here belong to a stock investment club? I went to a meeting of some ladies yesterday who are setting one up - I know them from a friend who's probably going to join -- it was interesting to hear about -- I have always told myself I need to be better educated on this area and am seriously considering it - probably will end up w/ about 10 to 15 women in it; they've got papers, etc., they're using from another club. It's a serious commitment though - you have to show up at meetings 3/4 of the time or get booted out; you have to actively investigate to follow and/or find stocks to watch & buy, etc. They seem particularly interested in "emerging markets" or the up&coming stocks. How the heck do you pick those out, LOL? If we all knew that secret, we'd be using our big bucks, right?

Neat, Sue that you got a get-well present lurking in your yard. That is very cool. Hope you continue to feel better & not go too fast or strong, but make a good even comeback.

I did pinch my basil back too & have a couple of lovely caprese sandwiches over the weekend (tomato, fresh mozzarella & basil for those who are unfamiliar with the term). Yum. That's about in the veggie dept at home for me - I did not attempt tomatoes this year after the failure of last year; probably a wise decision since I havent been around much to water them.

We got some rain last nite but it's going to be swamplike conditions today in this area w/ the heat spikes going back up. It's hard to get anything done after work at nite when temps are upper 90s or 100.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phew! Is it ever muggy but so far no rain. That means I'm still on hose duty. It's expected to reach 90F today.

This morning DH decided to shower with the dog ! Charlotte stank so badly....having rolled in death all weekend. DH found and disposed of the ancient groundhog carcass. But since I had just given Charlotte her topical parasiticide, we could not wash her for a couple of days. He also had to deal with a mouse upstairs that the cats had been playing with. So Charlotte is now outside drying off. DH tried combing her, but I think he'll have another go at it later when she's drier. He's practicing his singing with her...and that is why I'm indoors!!! ;-)

Cindy, my ex neighbour belonged to a womens' investment group and took it slowly as she was a novice. She just loved it! I learned a bit when DH got irritated by the high fees of our former investment guy. This fellow was always pumping DH for info on the tech world and not feeding us the kind of info we wanted. So DH took the brave "total immersion" step of researching things himself. That was about 10 years ago, and was VERY time consuming. We did have Nortel problems to deal with (DH worked with them for a while and had invested with them) but we recovered. Many have not. In my case, I learned what I know mostly with my brother's help. He lives in NJ and we had to deal with my ailing mother's finances. So when I say (along with Chelone) that big brothers are wonderful, this is the period of time that I think of first in that regard. Heck, dealing with the retirement home, doctors, etc...was easier alone. But I'm really a case when it comes to forms, math, money, taxes.... If your group gives half the help and support that my big bro gave me, it will be well worth it! Getting your finances in order is very satisfying, especially when your future becomes more secure.

Today is the August holiday weekend here in Canada. DH had a meeting scheduled for this afternoon, but fortunately the American contingent eventually realized this and canceled. And so we have a quiet, though HOT, relaxing day ahead of us. Unfortunately, I can't work in these conditions, so I'll end up doing other indoor stuff.

Happy today everyone!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:31AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all! Wonderful to have some time to read and get caught up.

V-love the cheddar curtain..too funny :) Terrible about the allergic reaction..how scary! My DD had a lot of allergies as a kid, and I was always terrified of her being stung by something and having a bad reaction to it. Glad the EMS met you and took over.

Michelle, I'm glad you got some rain. Bet you couldn't have asked for a better anniversary present, eh?

Sue, I'm glad to hear you're up to doing a little gardening. The hidden gift from Monique and Les is so cool!! I just love doing stuff like that. Maybe it's a gardener thing?

Cynthia, I've got that purslane pretty bad in one of my beds. Wish it wouldn't spread so obnoxiously, because it's a great plant for hot and dry areas. Nice looking, but I learned the hard way what will happen if I let it go. Everybody Loves Fudge :) What a beautiful animal!

Just had to laugh at the designing the bulletproof garden. I couldn't tell you how many friends and family members have asked me for help with that, and they ALL want constant bloom, no upkeep, no weeds, and no need to learn anything. They all seem willing to do the initial planting, but from then on want it to look good with no effort. And, they've ALL been to my house, and SEEN the unpleasant side of gardening...4' lambs quarters, acres of quack grass, etc. I have to wonder..if they think I know of a way to make a work free garden, why wouldn't I be DOING it, lol!?!

Ew, bug..sorry about Charlotte-yuk! Anyone know WHY dogs do that??? Sarah will find any carcass within a ten mile radius. And, on the farm, it's not too hard to find something nasty to roll in.

We're in for serious heat and humidity this week. Temps in the 90s, heat index around 100s. We did get some rain last evening, about 7/10ths and were tickled to pieces to get it. Most of the heavy rain went elsewhere, but we won't complain. Plus, there are chances of rain for most of the week. Some afternoon thunerstorms would be great, I almost forget what they're like.

I've finished the new Harry Potter. I was trying not to rush through it, and had done pretty well until Saturday night. Ended up staying awake until the wee hours to finish. I thought she did a fine job. I hope she does more writing, I think she's an excellent storyteller, and I'd hate to see her get the "Gilligan Syndrome" and have no one want anything but HP from her.

I've got to get upstairs and exercise. Should have done it as soon as I got up this morning, but here it is almost 2:00. The exercise room should be nice and toasty by now. The bright side of that is that I seem to be able to get much farther into the yoga poses when I'm really warm.

Hi to everyone I missed, and have a great afternoon, all!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 1:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just a passing by here...
Charlotte smells so nice..baby shampoo smell! YEAH!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 2:23PM
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V that has to be such a frightening realization when you need to get to a hospital quick and you don't know where you're going! I'm so glad you called 911-not a situation to waste time in. I hope she's feeling better soon(and your nerves calmed too!). Will she need to carry an epi-pen now?

Deanne I haven't used compost tea but it's supposed to be really useful for fortifying plants against bug attacks beside just being a growth booster. I'd be interested to know if there's a specific recipe to follow. I know I once had a bucket of garden clippings that got filled with rain water-I let it sit for a couple weeks then poured it on plants-not sure if that's like having compost tea: )
Deanne I always laugh when people lament that they can't break down pine needles via compost. I always add them to my compost and they never fail to disappear by the time the compost is done. I've been very lax about building my bin pile this year-I need to work on that.

That was so sneaky-sweet of Monique & Les to cheer up Sue!

Fun walkway pics,Kathy!

I did a bad thing. Joann Fabrics has stone pots at 70% off and I didn't buy ANY. I debated because they are so heavy to lug around(my back issues). I will probably have to go back to resolve my guilt...: )

Our sick car just has a radiator leak-fixable for not too much $$. We're still looking into a new set of wheels. I think I want a Honda CR-V. I hate dealing with car salespeople.

Denise-I wouldn't mind some of those bulbs if you are looking to get rid of some. Would you like some Talinum paniculatum 'Kingwood Gold'(Aureum)? For you it is a perennial and reseeds too. It has neon green leaves and shocking pink flowers-very summery looking. I can post a pic later.

Ugh it's hit me that school starts in less than three weeks: ( I don't wanna go back, please don't make me.

Chelone the post Eden had been referring to was on the previous thread. It was about a printshop receptionist who was extremely rude to Chris & AJ when they asked to use a phone when our car broke down in the middle of the heatwave we were having. The sixty-ish woman was very reluctant to let them in the place and wanted them to look for a phone somewhere else in a really bad neighborhood. Chris had many thoughts he wanted to share with her but sometimes the context dictates that things be left unsaid-I just really think the rough neighborhood had much to do with her actions. Seeing how upset AJ was I wanted to give her a piece of my mind though.

Ok I better move...


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 2:32PM
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I always think that I should make some compost tea but never remember to do it. I think my rex begonias need it LOL

Purslane is the bane of my veggie garden. Cynthias looks prettier though.

Id like to see a picture of the orange begonia.

Another basil scent lover here.

Brenda, glad to hear you got more rain. We supposed to have 90 temps this week, although there is a chance of rain late this afternoon. It is horribly humid right now.

Kathy, you sure have some yummy colors in your garden.

I have to say my tomatoes are doing wonderfully this year. I have romas that must be 5" long. My mom took some yesterday just to show her neighbor.

No hydrangea crisping here either. Mine are all planted in partial shade to full shade with lots of compost.

Tonight I have 3 women coming over to see the gardens to be "inspired" Oh, the pressure LOL


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Hi everyone

Reading Babs post that she goes back to school in 3 weeks confirms my biggest complaint of this summer - it's flown by way too quickly. I'm doing a quick clean up today for Ruth and her two children who are arriving tomorrow for a week. Then we leave next Monday for England, coming back on Labor Day. The rest of our vacation will be wonderful and no doubt pass in the blink of an eye.

I just love the pace of summer. We've had just the right number of activites for the kids, plenty of time to catch up with friends, linger over coffee in the morning, garden and read. I have the vague feeling I should have been doing something wildly productive like painting the house or reshingling the roof. Instead our days have marked by achievements like making 7 pints of blueberry jam or an experiment to get a hard boiled egg inside a glass bottle. (Want to know how?!) Or making a miniature garden with a cemetry, complete with tiny gargoyles and gravestones.

Todays accomplishment was thoroughly cleaning the tops of all the kitchen cabinets - yukko. It's amazing how much grime accumulates up there. Tomorrow I might attempt the back of the fridge (if I can find that hazmat suit).

Laundry as ever needs my attention, then David has a bass lesson but first I think a cup of tea.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 4:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Randy came back on Friday after visiting his parents out west for a week. He says his mother is getting very frail and finding it hard to walk for more than 100 feet or so at a time - she used to be an active walker. She's complaining about unspecific pain in her legs but won't go see a doctor
- she hasn't seen a doctor in about 20+ years! One of Randy's aunts is a nurse and says it sounds like it could be
a potassium deficiency. Marian - what were your symptoms with that? How much difference has the medication made?

It continues very dry here - Randy said it felt like he came back to the Gobi Desert! Some (many!) things are looking pretty bad in the garden - particularly things in the backyard where it normally stays cooler and damper. I broke down and actually ran the hoses in a few places on Saturday. I've been buying a few drought tolerant things on sale that will go into the front beds - when it's possible to work out there again! My paver-brick edging project has stalled until it cools off a bit. I can't work out there in this heat. I have resolved to evict from the garden permanently anything that doesn't make it through this weather.

The main watering I've been doing is the fruit and veggie pots on the driveway and a couple of plants that were planted in the last few weeks. We put the 'Lawrence' wisteria in the ground about 10 days ago. We like the other wisteria tree a lot so decided to see how well it will work for a Wisteria floribunda. (The current one is a Wisteria sinensis) When we took the 'Lawrence' out of the pot, it didn't have a lot of roots so we were a bit worried. So far it has settled in well and put on a lot of new growth so it's looking promising. I've bought some orange-scented thyme to use as a groundcover under it. The wisteria is planted in a separate little area just off the NW corner of the front bed. I'll be enlarging the area to include an Emerald Gaiety' Euonymus behind the wisteria. The lawn in that area will turn into a grassy path between the wisteria bed and the main front bed. Here's what the wisteria looks like at the moment:

The hardy hibiscuses have started to bloom now. My favorite is the one in the driveway border that blooms with the Pink Beauty potentilla shrubs.

I had planted some hibiscus last fall at the end of the driveway border. They got moved earlier this summer when I reshaped the end of the driveway border to swing around under the current wisteria tree. I was afraid they wouldn't survive but kept them reasonably well watered. They now have flower buds so I'm waiting to see what they look like. I have no idea what color they are - they were half-dead sale plants last fall.

At this time of year, the Pink Beauty potentilla shrubs are the mainstay of the driveway border. I find them fabulous plants - drought tolerant, pest and disease free and bloom like crazy for a long time. Here they are with an unknown variety of lily - usually the lily beetles decimate this one but they left it alone this year for some reason.

GB - I have something that appears to be a non-climbing clematis in the south alley. The other year you gave me a seedling clematis whose name I have forgotten. Was it a non-climbing one by any chance? I'm pretty sure I planted it by the south gate arbour on the backyard side. That's were this plant is so I'm wondering if this is the seedling...? It has turned into a rather large plant that is wandering down the alley. It has flower buds but they're not open yet so I'm waiting to see what appears when the buds open!

Mary - If/when I 'perfect' the onion bhaji recipe, I'll pass it along. But you might want to experiment on your own. The basic recipe is simple - we started with about 1 1/2 cups of Gram (aka Besan aka Chickpea) flour plus about 2 tsp. of baking soda and a bit of salt. To that you add the spices - which is where you get to experiment with quantity and variety. Then you add water until you make a paste that is not too wet or too dry - wet enough to stick to the sliced onions. The bhajis were deep fried in small batches (so they don't stick together in a large clump) until they are nicely golden. Drain on paper towels. When you look for recipes, the spicing varies from pretty plain to more elaborate. My friend says chopped green chilies and fresh coriander leaves need to be there for best flavour and then play with adding tumeric, cumin, coriander and whatever else appeals. It would probably be a fun thing for your kids to experiment with if they like onion bhajis and you have a deep fryer. (I don't have a deep fryer of my own but I still had my friend's from the samosa session...) Interestingly, the Gram flour was made in Ontario although the packaging looked like it came from somewhere exotic.

V - the sting incident must have been pretty scary! I hope your DD has recovered completely now? Re your DB and SIL - Cindy might have it right. Your SIL could be acting as 'gate keeper' at your DB's request. In the immediate aftermath of my surgery, when I was feeling a wreck, I refused to let anyone other than Randy visit. I appreciated people's concern but just did not want people to see me/remember me like that (I wasn't too sure I was going to survive the experience...) Perhaps your brother is feeling like that. Can you talk to him by phone or e-mail and get a feel for it? If the reluctance is coming from him and not the SIL, assure him of your affection and concern but respect his wishes. Keep in gentle touch and he'd probably relent eventually :-)

Cynthia - oooh - love that Fudge!

Brenda - We're Harry Potter readers here too. Randy read it when he was out west and brought it home for me. I finished it yesterday. I suspect she's going to have a tough time coming up with something new that won't seem like a letdown unfortunately.

I know there was other things I intended to say but my mind has gone blank again.... I hope some rain is on the way for all of us soon!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 5:33PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from getting a new shower head for the main bathroom. Just happened past another nursery where Asclepias 'Hello Yellow' jumped into the car.

I find the heat exhausting...and just reading about Mary's summer activities makes me want to take a nap! But the miniature is so clever and cute -if a cemetery can be called "cute"!

This is DH's sabbatical year...so the panic over 'back to school' is rather the reverse. Believe me, having him around ALL the time is also something to panic over. Fortunately I now have the use of a car. Also, he still attends conferences...

Don't know how Brenda exercises in the heat...

Denise, we've had lots of hummingbirds lately, but also lots of monarch butterflies. Kingfishers have been diving in the pond too. In the evenings, DH has enjoyed taking the canoe in the pond as well. Can't get too far, but at least it is relaxing.

I found a small patio set that I wanted, but DH wasn't convinced. Might have to go back later...

Time to think about dinner. What are YOU preparing?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 5:43PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Susan, I have just been 'coasting', but will answer your question about the leg problem. I had got so bad I could hardly walk the length of the WalMart supermarket, or the 600 feet to our mailbox. My legs were both weak and hurt. I am not sure if it was the potassium defeciency, but it did improve when I started taking the OTC tablets. Then I was diagnosed with a D deficiency. I am now taking both D and Potassium, and not having anymore of that problem. I hope your MIL will get tested to see if that is her problem. I also have a numb feeling in my feet and legs, but I think it is from the fibromyalgia.

We have entered a hot dry spell. Temps are predicted to get up to 100 Wednesday in surrounding areas. So far it has not got up to 90 at our house, but we are in a 'microclimate',apparently. Being surrounded by lots of shade trees definitely helps keeps our temps down.

I went out rather early and watered the plants, then mowed the worst of the yard. That last job will slow down now that it is getting dry. I will leave the grass rather high now. One neighbor mowed theirs down to the nub, and it already looks rather brown! Not a wise move.....

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 6:15PM
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I am so far behind reading everyone's posts.

Sue-my sympathies go out to you. I had a tick bite about 9 years ago. Thought it was a spider bite. Started as a welt the size of a quarter on my thigh. My the next morning I was delirious with a fever and in excruciating pain. There were red lines radiating from the welt. After a week of painkillers and antibiotics the typical Lyme Disease ring formed.

Martie-Have to laugh....White Flower Farm (WFF). OK I receive a catalog from them every year. Haven't ordered though a little pricey. One of these days I'll get up there.

Deanne-Your container garden is magnificent. Where did you ever acquire all those containers? I go to garage sales looking for them but haven't had any luck yet. Maybe I should go to estate auctions.

Chelone-I think you handled the situation with your mom with great aplomb.

Kathy-Your Dahlias are stunning...love the colors so bright and cheerful.

Well, the voracious groundhog has been back and made short work of a few more plants. I don't even want to look at my front garden. I'm not a violent person but if I had a shotgun I'd probably shoot it.

My little sister is having a thryoidectomy on the 22nd. During an MRI of her spine they found a mass. Luckily, they found it before it became much bigger. She has MS, is in a wheelchair and lives in Arizona. I've asked for donations from my siblings so that I can have food delivered for her. One of the local grocery stores has on-line ordering and delivery. She is a very difficult person to be around even before the MS was diagnosed. I waffled back and forth about going out there. My DH and daughter raised issues which finally brought me to my senses. I am doing what I can from here and I am at peace with my decision. It's amazing how long family issues linger....

Have a good evening everyone,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 6:54PM
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Hi Mariann, and best wishes for your sister's surgery. I'm getting a premed education from all of you! Good to hear you've sorted out those leg problems, Marian.

Babs, shoot me an email. I've got some bulbs with your name on them.

Last summer Wayside Gardens was the only source of Digitalis 'Spice Islands,' so I took the plunge and ordered it from them. Decades since my last order with them. Might as well order Clematis 'Fascination' and Coreopsis 'Autumn Blush' too, one-stop shopping. It's humiliating to be played, know it, and do it anyway. Months after planting the foxglove, I happened to come by the tag, and it was not Spice Islands. They substituted a D. thapsi 'Spanish Peaks.' Definitely didn't have my glasses on when I planted that day. Yanked them out of all-day sun in late spring, cursing Wayside. A few weeks ago it occurred to me, didn't I order a clematis from Wayside ages ago? Searched through email, saw that I did, called them up, and they said that clematis shipment never came thru and I had a credit. This is a full year after ordering. No emails came regarding switching plants on the foxglove or leaving out the clematis all together. With the credit I ordered Arabella. Just a bit of info now that it's catalogue season. (And yes, I have a memory like a sieve, but that doesn't mean Wayside should take advantage of it!)

Deanne, I've emailed you re the Sanseveiria. It had 4-5 "spears" only, and I wasn't sure you'd still want it. Let me know. There's a link below with more info on the plant. What a trippy plant! Apparently, this batch that was lining the walkways has just arrived, having been grown for 20 years in Thailand. The curator of the cactus garden at the nearby Huntington Gardens comes over to have a gander and says, Well, no, this isn't just S. cylindrica! This is S. cylindrica v. angolensis! Blows everyone's minds. Stop the presses! Plant people are slightly nuts, no doubt about it.

Kathy, guess which song I've been humming all day, thank you very much. Just a couple days ago someone mentioned to me that she hasn't written another song since finding the daughter she gave up for adoption decades ago.

Michelle, your photos are a treat. What a cutie on the jet ski. I just lopped branches off my E. cotinifolia today, lol.

GB, I've got "retirement anxiety" for the very reasons you delicately allude to ;o)

Woodyoak, you've got a great thing going with the potentilla and hibiscus. Looks lovely yet ironclad.

Here's a link for Chelone. Beast of Dartmoor mystery solved! Mary, doesn't one stone equal about 20 pounds?


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 8:42PM
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I have an urge to paint acorns orange and drop them into Mary's Tuffa-ween garden.

Yum on the Candlelight Dahlia's Kathy. And the Wannabees too! Very shocky. Your gardens must be such a treat for people out walking.

Woody, the potentilla is very soothing, nice to hear of something bullet proof in drought. Though in general I see shrubs do hold up pretty well. My big wilters here are a row of shasta viburnums on the property line. They are smothered in berries this year.

Denise, I wonder if you 'll have seeds of the c.solfaterre to share later? I did order 2 plants from Joy Creek, (they rate them as good to zone 7), but I'm a compulsive seeder. Nothing feels better in the middle of a long cold winter than germination going on in the cellar, and I need 'special'. I think there are of few us here with the obsession.

Katie was acting like a fool tonight and it warmed my heart so that I let her have a little walk. Hope we don't regret it in the morning.

You are a good sister Mariann, I think the idea of having meals delivered is excellent.

Speaking of supper, how did it get so late?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Thanks to all for your good thoughts. DD is doing much better now. We didn't get out of the emergency room until well after midnight, so I used the free internet to find a hotel nearby and we crashed. I, um, never checked into a hotel without luggage before, you know? But it was a far better choice than trying to drive two hours when I was so worn out.

Up until the wasp incident, we were having a lovely outing. We had gone up to Spring Green, Wisconsin and stopped first at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's former studio. We had a very interesting tour of part of the property, including the studio that is still a functioning training program today. (Funny story for Deanne - at the end of the tour, one of the kids in our group who was about 10 exclaimed that he saw emus! Turned out to be a couple of sandhill cranes, LOL.) Then we had an early dinner at their restaurant that overlooked the Wisconsin River.

American Players Theatre is just a short distance away, and they have a lovely setting in the hills above the river. The play was wonderful; we are both sorry that we missed most of the second half.

And if there are any lurkers from Arena, WI, you folks have got a great crew of EMT's there. One even offered to ride with me to the hospital, since I didn't know where it was.

I think I shall prep coffe for the morning and go to bed. I'm pretty beat!


    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:33PM
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Hi everyone, just a few comments from me tonight as I am behind schedule ..

V, DS and I are going to take in As You Like It next month on our driving trip to Portland. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is in Ashland which is close to the Oregon-Cal border and lasts literally for months with performances of other playwrights material as well-some modern some not . They have built an Old Globe style outdoor venue for the Shakespeare. What a bummer that your evening turned sour !Hope you get a chance to re-visit in the future..

Cynthia, I got pretty bold with my front garden color scheme ! I have one Dahlia that has not opened yet-it is in a spot that gets too much shade so I will have to re-position it for next year.

Denise, the shot below of my Begonais includes two that were cuttings taken from a friend who lives in LB ..he has something of a begonia collection. Interesting about Joni and the song writing- I had no idea that was the case. ..

Mariann, glad to see you check in. Sounds like you have done what you can for your sister.Do you have many siblings ? Good that they are all pitching in.

Hi Marian-I was starting to wonder where you were ! Do you mow on one of those sit-down contraptions?

Mary, I love the mini vignette, graveyard and all!

Woody, wish I had room for a Wisteria. Its just not a happening thing in my small garden..

Ok, I dont think Ive ever posted a pic of my begonia collection, so here it is

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 10:41PM
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Good morning

Love the begonias Kathy - a cheeful way to start the day!

V - so glad All's well that ends well with DD.

Denise - a stone is 14 pounds - I used to only know my weight in stones. And yes, Sissinghurst Castle is in Kent, in fact only 10 miles from my Mum's house. Christpher Lloyd's Great Dixter is less than 15 miles from us too - we are spoilt for amazing gardens. Have you ever been?

Woody - I only water new plantings, veggies, containers and my one Endless Summer hydrangea. None of my perennial beds (or lawn) have EVER had supplemental water and I've rarely lost anything. I think the roots are sent deeper and even in our current drought things are hanging tough. The thick layer of leaf compost I throw down in the spring really helps. It's very much survival of the fittest. I'm looking forward to experimenting with the bhaji. Annie gave the latest Harry Potter a big thumbs up but her favorite was the Prisoner of Azkaban (sp?)

Cynthia - I love the idea of some acorns dropped into the mini cemetry. Perhaps I could find a teeny, weeny model of Sue to pose behind them! Glad Katie girl got to have a little twirl yesterday.

Still in cleaning mode here (groan) but the results will be worth it (at least that's what I'm telling myself).

Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 7:36AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good humid morning here,

The air is so thick you could cut it with a knife this morning but the tropicals are loving it. I just cant wait for my gigantic Charles Grimaldi to begin blooming. Its currently smothered in buds and will put on quite a show when it gets going. Yesterday the wind blew the darned thing over so I had to wedge a few more bricks under the behemoth (seriously, its eight feet tall) to get it more stable. The Black Magic in the arrangement with the Mariposa coleus is growing at light speed now. I really do love it when the tropical plants hit their stride and grow at light speed. ~~ I scored big yesterday I was at a nursery looking for some Chelone and I found a sale rack that had all these annuals in four inch pots for .50 a piece!!! Like I need a dozen more annuals, but who could resist at that price?

So I think everyone NEEDS to get this Eupatorium Little Joe. It started blooming last week and now the Purple Emperor Sedum is blooming along with it and Im absolutely in love with the combo. I also have a Rosy Returns daylily in front of the sedum. The center zone of the flowers have that same purple in them and Ive also got a Bishop of Cantebury dahlia next to the sedum with dark ferny foliage and purple flowers. I love it when a plan comes together.

You can also see how tall that Charles Grimaldi is here. That fence in the foreground is four feet tall. The fence post to the left of the brugmansia is five feet tall. That thing dwarfs you when you stand next to it. What a hoot!

Kathy, I just love your begonia collection. Where do you grow them in the winter? Ive gotten addicted to the large angel wing types in the last couple years and have one enormous specimen that I have no idea where Ill put it this coming winter. It went in the guest room last year but its too big for that now.

V glad to hear that your DD is feeling better. What a scare.

Cynthia, you are a scream, Tuffa-ween. LOL

Denise, yes indeed Id love to get my hands on that plant please. I didnt receive your email but Ive sent you one so hopefully one of them will connect. Thanks so much!

Mariann, thanks! So happy you like the containers. They really are a passion of mine. Ive collected the containers over the years and most of them now are resin/fiberglass or foam so they dont get ruined by the cold weather. Ive gotten quite a few of them at Home Goods and Home Depot. ~~ So sorry about your sister. Im sure thats tough to deal with.

Bug, ROTFLOL over plants jumping into your car. That happens to me all the time.

Lovely pics Woody! Bummer about the drought. ~~ I just love my wisteria tree! Glad youve planted another. Mine is having a great time shooting out suckers this year and Ive got to get after it soon. Its worth all the pruning though.

Mary, Just love the miniature garden! Where on earth did you find those gargoyles and gravestones??? ~~ I completely agree with you that the summer has flown by way to fast.

Michelle, how much sun do your hydrangeas get? Mine only gets a couple hours of sun but even that is too much when the temps soar. I do have it mulched with lots of compost too. Oh well, I can either deal with the burning or move the plant which I really dont want to do. ~~ RE Compost Tea, I found a recipe that requires an aquarium air pump and molasses? Id like to give it a try since I have quite a bit of finished compost right now. The roses really need some help this year.

Babs, the pine needles I add to my compost piles dont completely break down but I dont see that as a problem. We have so many Im sure thats why I still can see some when the compost is done. Im sure if I added more greens to the compost and cooked the batch again theyd eventually break down but I dont see a problem with some pine needles in the texture of the compost. Ive included a link on how to brew compost tea.

Brenda, no kidding if you knew how to create a work free, bulletproof garden youd be doing it. LOL

OK Ive got to get my day started. Ive been reading and on this computer since 5:30 so I guess Id better get dressed and get something accomplished.

Later all

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 7:50AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Deanne, I had been eyeing that brug behind all your containers & trying to guess how high it is - it's truly a glorious monster! I've noticed I have several of the same HD pots as you do, LOL - we shop at the same store! I thought some of them were really quite reasonable & I was told them came from their "decorator" division, whatever that is - the old cement looking decorative fiberglass ones. I wished I'd bought more of them. Re another favorite shopping locale for pots, I will say that when I stopped at Home Goods last weekend, I was startled to see that they had almost NO pots or containers - they'd obviously had a clearance sale & almost all the garden stuff was gone - I guess lucky for me, 'cause I really need to halt the shopping now. I even went cruising for more succulents last nite, but think I better start see how the ones I got from Yucca do first! It's all very addictive - as we can all attest, right?

Kathy - I had meant to mention what great eclectic colors you've got going in your front yard -- it all looks wonderful; I dont know how you do it; whenever I try to do multi color, it just ends up looking like a mishmash of something - maybe it's that all your plants look very bright and crisp too -- I should try zinnias again; I used to use them but got away from them. Your begonia collection is lovely - another mono-pot addiction!

Galium - sorry you're having the family issues - it sounds like you have come up with a wonderful way to help your sister while resisting being immersed in her problems. Sometimes we just have to do that for our own physical health.

Mary - that tiny tufa for 'ween was wonderfully creative and I bet your kids got a big kick out of helping out -- Im envious you have relatives in England and go back yearly [altho Im sure you miss seeing them more frequently because of the distance] -- but what a treat to have a chance to see such glorious gardens - we definitely need to plan an IU trip there!! Wouldnt that be soo cool? Im saving NOW, LOL! I hope you have a chance to pop some more photos while you're there. And you do the hypertufas already - I have really been studying the IU4 garden shots of those & decided I need to learn how to do some for my patio & gardens.

Well, it's as Deanne says -- you could cut the air w/ a knife here today - slated to go over 100 and tomorrow even worse -- I am actually loving it at the office - their a.c. works terrific and I am not missing any opportunities for garden work, that's for sure - it's downright dangerous out there.

Hope everyone stays cool and healthy today.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 8:38AM
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The women that came over spent 2 hours exploring my gardens. They were really interested. They only left because it was dark LOL Its really fun to share with those who are really interested.

Deanne, I have hydrangeas in various spots but most dont get a lot of sun. My Endless summers are all on the east side of the house so only get a.m. sun. I put in a Limelight last fall in full sun in my zeriscape garden and it is doing wonderfully. Interesting link to the compost tea. I have heard about the aerating thing.
That Charles is shrub like. Do you cut it back to overwinter?

Cindy, do we need to have an Idyll intervention?

Kathy, I love your begonia collection. I especially like the silvery ones.

Mary, the tuffa trough is so creative! Some day I will try my hand at it.

Woody, your potentillas are lovely. I have some of the white ones that look poorly this year. Have you ever cut them all the way back? I love the hardy hibiscus. I just bought a new one. I get so many comments on the one that I have.

Mariann, I wish all the best for your DS. I think you are being very thoughtful. Funny but my DH has a difficult DS in Arizona too.

bug, I told DH to grab something to eat in town and I ate leftover eggplant. Hows that for exciting. Sunday I did bake some fish and added tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, baby onions and beets all from the garden.
I always think Id like a canoe. We have our pond as well as many small lakes in our area. The nearest one is only 3 miles away.

My best source for cheap pots is Sams club. The last urn I got there was only $35.00. They also have 18" fiberglass pots for I think about $9.

Stay cool!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Michelle - if I came to your garden I would stay at least three hours and then sleep in the potting shed LOL!

Gorgeous Deanne - Charles Grimaldi has always been the best bloomer for me.

Enjoy your AC at soemone else's expense Cindy:0)

A bit of girl talk here - male lurkers skip to the bottom. When you shave your legs, do you shave all the way up or just to the knee? I noticed Annie was shaving her entire leg and I suggested she should really weigh the pros of doing so (she has very little hair) with the disadvantage of committing herself to a lifetime of shaving her thighs. Of course, the last thing a teenage girl wants is that sort of advice from her middle aged Mum (although I tried to be tactful). What do you ladies think? I've only ever been a below the knee shaver and couldn't contemplate coping with anything more than that, but I guess times (and fashion) they are a changing.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:26PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Holy moly!!! It is unbearable today. You'd think we were in the bayou in Louisiana. I don't recall the last time we had a day that was this humid. I was working outside in the sun in the front yard pulling the blasted violets out of the lawn (I cringe when I see violets for sale at garden centers, they should have warning stickers)Anyway, I stood up and nearly keeled over and it's only 85 degrees out so far. Yikes! Decided to get in the air conditioning, cool off and get hydrated. I don't even want to think about what its like where Cindy and Cynthia are with this humidity and 100 degree temps. As Cindy said, dangerous.

Cindy, yes indeed, I've been buying those decorator containers from HD and lately they've been on sale so an even better bargain. Did you see the shell shaped ones???? Well they were originally $24.99 and they had them marked down to $9.99 - well I had to buy two of them. I also found a lovely new calathea so of course had to buy that to put in the new shell planter. LOL - Addicted you say????? Not me..... ROTFLOL

Michelle, interesting that you have your Endless Summers on the East side of your house. Mine get afternoon sun and I'll bet that's the problem. Even though it doesn't last too long that afternoon sun in the summer is a killer. ~~ That must have been fun for you to share the gardens with some people who were really interested. Nothing like it! I always am amazed that some people who come here in the summer barely look at the gardens. I guess some people have no interest in growing things. ~~ RE the Charles Grimaldi, yes I do cut it way back to bring in for the winter but I've not figured out how to get the behemoth in this year. Previous years it was in much smaller pots. I'm thinking of getting it out of the pot and taking a chain saw to the root mass and getting into a smaller pot for the winter. I'll see how Doug feels about helping me with that project! LOL

OK I'm thinking the east side of the house should be in the shade by now so I'm going tackle that garden on the side. I'm going to rip out all the peonies except one. They've gotten terrible mildew this year again and that's it for me. The space is going to go to something that has a longer bloom time and isn't prone to mildew.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:52PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

A few quick comments/questions...

It's raining out there! It looks like GB is probably getting a good rain but it looks like all the heavy stuff will have got rained out west of us - but anything is welcome! I was doing a bit of work on the brick edging for the front bed this morning. I have got to the point where I need to shift the edge out around the magnolia tree roots. I was quite literally chiseling the grass out! The ground is that dry and hard....

Deanne - how old is your wisteria tree? How tall is it? Is it on one trunk or multiple trunks? From the pictures of it, I assume it's a W. floribunda...? Come fall I'll be wanting to hear what to do with the two brugs I bought this summer at the farmers' market. There's no way I'll be bringing the pots indoors! (They're plated into two of the pots I use for veggies.) I'm assuming I'll be taking cuttings and root pruning the mother plants to move them into smaller pots...?

Kathy - the great thing about growing the wisteria as a tree is that you get the beauty of the wisteria while keeping its ambitions for world domination well in check! Even a small garden could find room for a wisteria tree I think. I've seen pictures of them as bonsai. We're letting the W. sinensis one get fairly big - it's about 10' tall now. It's growing more as a bush than a tree - it has two main trunks with branches coming out low down. The new one I'm going to try to keep to one main trunk and keep it limbed up higher once it puts on some height. The wisteria book I have says the W. sinensis, because of the shorter flower racemes, is best displayed as a bush while the W. floribunda, which has long flower racemes, needs the taller height of a long straight trunk to best show off the flowers. So it should be interesting to have both kinds and see how they compare.

Michelle - I have both Abbotswood White and McKay's White potentillas (although I'm not sure which is which in the garden any more!) Neither of them do as well or bloom as long as Pink Beauty. Pink Beauty is late to leaf out (near the end of May) but starts blooming in mid June and blooms non-stop until October! In cooler temperatures, the flowers are pinker; they fade to creamy white in the heat. (Notice that the color in the picture with the lily is a definite pink while the ones in the picture with the hibiscus are faded. Those pictures are only about a week apart. The ones with the lily also get shade from the garage by early afternoon so hold their color better because it's not as hot at that end of the border.) I remove about 1/3 of the branches each year, cutting low to the ground. That seems to keep them a nice neat mound and perhaps helps encourage a long flower season.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 1:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WOW! Morning came late today! ;-)
I started the day weeding around the perimeter of the veg garden. Some really nasty weeds there in between clematis. Because the soil is like concrete these days, it was no easy job and I only got one side done. From there I went inside the garden and whacked at dead stalks until I'd stuffed the fifth bucket and then gave up. I heard thunder and hoped for the best!
Once indoors I hit the shower and started laundry. DH was off to have his annual med tests. He promised a friend (who is no longer living) that he would have annual prostate tests. I think the only reason he even sees a doctor is because of Ken, and I thank him and miss him. He was one of those drop dead gorgeous hunks...but also a professor and very interesting man. But what a terrible body he inherited. The ailments had him at death's door too many times....
So it DID begin to rain- but the very gentle kind which did not last. The sun keeps shining while it is raining. Very strange! I need an autumn like day or two so that i can weed and edge and plant and generally try to catch up. This summer's garden has been way too much work with little success. I'm really sad about it too. I waited all winter for THIS? I need a gorgeous work free bulletproof garden NOW!

Woody, all I remember is giving you a blue clematis, and now I have no idea which kind even. I thought it was an Alpina, but perhaps it was some non clinging one. I guess we'll both be surprised.

Mary, ROTFL! Truly, my daughter has NEVER shaved anywhere! Not even for her wedding. That is the "vogue" she grew up with! It really grates with me, a generation thing no doubt, but I must say that intellectually I do understand her position. We agree to disagree on this. A compromise to the knee sounds terrific from my viewpoint!

Mariann, no need to explain to me about difficult sisters. Fortunately for us both, mine moved to England years ago and now lives in France. Even mail from her makes me nervous. What a shame! I'd hate for my children to have that kind of relationship. My biggest fear is her needing me as she ages. My brother and I do everything we can to encourage the wise use of her money for "later on."

DS phoned and has a new boss. It seems this may be good news, but it is always tense in these times... This makes me think of Honey and Tom. I hope they are managing well with all the things on their plates. Their puppy must be a delight compared to their other issues.

Well what's with the workmen? I hope Chelone's are busy working up a storm. No sign of our basement crew (remember last summer's mildew disaster?), our house painter, our driveway gravel guys. They'll probably all show up on Friday when Lynn cones to visit!

Calls from DD and DS make life cheerful!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 1:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 5:09PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Woody, my wisteria was labeled as a Wisteria japonica 'Alba' and was trained as a standard when I got it. It is currently about ten to twelve feet tall and as wide and is a single trunk.

Its been planted there since 1995. (might have been earlier than that but I'm not too sure)

Re winterizing the brugs you can take cuttings and in fact that's a good idea in case you lose the mature plants during dormancy. I'd get them out of the pots, root prune, top prune, strip all the leaves and hope for the best. LOL I usually just bring mine in after pruning them back by half to 2/3s and letting them dry out and lose all their leaves. I then hose them off really well, spray them for bugs, let them get mostly dry again then bring them in the basement. Last year I left them out in the garage just until it was going to go below freezing in the garage then brought them in the basement. I think the cold helped them go dormant.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 7:31PM
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Out on my first vacation nursery jaunt, I greeted a nursery employee who I see often and whose opinions I respect. He was pruning some cape fuchsias back, saying how they looked a bit ratty this time of year. That was all the pretext I needed to launch into my own tale of woe about what seems to me an excessive amount of chewing pests this year, that I've never sprayed before but the agastaches, the penstemons, the nicotianas have been decimated. What about BT? He brought me over to the spray stuff and pointed out Spinosad. Seemed too good to be true. Rose slugs too? I asked hopefully. He nodded and said he uses it about once a month on his roses. I found this on the web later at home:

"Spinosad is a relatively new insect killer that was discovered from soil in an abandoned rum distillery in 1982. Produced by fermentation, Spinosad can be used on outdoor ornamentals, lawns, vegetables and fruit trees, to control caterpillars, thrips, leafminers, borers, fruit flies, and more. Spinosad must be ingested by the insect, therefore it has little effect on sucking insects and non-target predatory insects. Spinosad is relatively fast acting. The pest insect dies within 1 to 2 days after ingesting the active ingredient. Will not persist in the environment. Sunlight and soil microbes break it down into carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Classified as an organic substance by the USDA National Organic Standards Board. OMRI Listed for use in organic production. Mix 4 tbsp. / gallon of water."

Unique features:

⢠Organic active ingredient, produced by fermentation

⢠New chemistry for insect control

⢠B.t. replacement, more effective pest control

⢠Can be used on vegetable & fruit crops, ornamentals, and turf

⢠Controls caterpillars as well as beetles, leafminers, thrips, beetles and more!"

I also found that bees are affected up to three hours after application, so I need to keep that in mind. And you don't need to catch the worm pest (in my case) at a certain point in its life cycle either. Anywhere, anytime.

Tomorrow will probably be the last day for the Magnolia liliflora nigra on the west side of the house. Has been surprisingly tough in that strong sun exposure and not much water but copes by succumbing to severe mildew and whitefly infestations. We'll miss the shade so I've gotta think of a substitute. Maybe a nonfruiting Russian olive. Is anyone interesting in cutting material of this magnolia? This would be the time of year to give it a go. Or maybe I'll attack the pergola, readying it for paint. Teeming with garden plans, some fairly ambitious for this time of year, others just wacky. Hope my tail holds out!

Cynthia, I'll earmark the crocosmia seeds for you. Kathy, we're heading up to Oregon too, late August, to its cool, foggy coast. Might be neat to stop by Ashland. Got any other tips for nurseries/gardens? Hello to all.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 8:25PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We got 15mm of rain (a smidge over 1/2"...) I sure wish we had got lots more but anything is welcome at this point! GB - did you get more? On the radar, it looked like you were probably getting a fair bit more than we were....

Marian - I keep forgetting to say thank you for the info re the potassium deficiency. Randy has passed the info on to his father and his father is going to pick up potassium and Vit. D supplements to see if they will help. It would certainly be better if his mother would see a doctor and get tested and a proper diagnosis. But that's not going to happen so they will 'wing it' this way and see if there's any improvement.

Deanne - wow! That's a very impressive wisteria tree. It's a very different look than my W. sinensis one. I suspect the W. japonica label is outdated - W. floribunda is what is commonly called Japanese wisteria and there is an 'Alba' cultivar. Thanks for the brug winterizing details. Hopefully I remember all that in a few months! I didn't realize that you had to let them go so completely dormant. Here's what they look like at the moment. They were pretty pathetic when I got them from the farmers' market but are doing well in the pots. (The pots had peas in them but the peas were finished so I ripped out the peas and stuck the brugs in... The pots are WAY too heavy and ugly to bring indoors for the winter!)

(The pot on the right has baby elephant ears growing on with some acidanthera bulbs.)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 8:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Woody, RAIN! It was amazing not having the hose attached to my arm for the whole day! I no longer have a rain gauge, but I'm sure we had a good amount. It was mostly gentle rain, the best kind. I went out and took some photos too, but I can't post here tonight for some reason, so I'll give the URL below for seeing them on another forum. I wonder, how long before the grass turns green?

I was worried about Jenn's container garden at the side of her new house. Looks like the rain misses them under the roof overhang. I guess Eden taught her that she'll have to water them often! Maybe Bella will help her out?

Michelle, I just love eggplant! I have a few ripening in the garden now. Perhaps we'll grill them for dinner some time this week. We love them with peanut sauce. We need to get a good quality small grill. Every year we waste money on inferior goods. The grills never fail to rust with use. Anyone know of a good one? (One that might be sold in Canada?)

Time to fold the stuff from the drier.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 9:14PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Funny you should mention the bayou, Deanne. I have crawfish in my driveway right now. Yes, real crawfish swimming in my driveway. It seems that monsoon season came last night and we received over 4" of rain. Driving to work was a challenge because of flooded roads, and our office email ISP lost his servers when he got 5 FEET of water in his basement. We have lots of water flowing over the driveway right now, and based on past experience we can expect our wetlands to continue to fill for at least another day.

And speaking of filling the wetlands, DH (the D in this case stands for Dumb!) drove the ATV into water that overtopped it completely. He is now pulling it out with the tractor. I have tons of confidence that he will not do something dumb with the tractor.

Well, I think I am going to do some serious fretting over his whereabouts. Please send me a day free of drama!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 9:52PM
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Hot and muggy here too! But we did get much needed rain!!!

LOL Marie, Jen and I did have that conversation tonight. They'd taken a night off from going to work on the house because the last coat was put on the floors today so no walking on them. She said it was good it rained or she'd have had to go water and I told her she'd better go check on those containers.

Mary, I shave to just above my knee. Not sure what my girls do. It's always such a treat for me to see your miniature creations. That one was just great and I was thinking how cute it would be decorated for Halloween too.

Deanne, that brug's a real beauty. I only have one pink , Isabella,and one variegated this year and neither is doing spectacular. I've had a few blooms on the pink. I haven't been keeping up with feeding the containers the way I usually do. Just not enough time in my days this year.

V, glad dd's ok. Hope dh is too!

Kathy, great begonia collection. Thanks for showing us!

Denise, it's great having you here. You feel like an old timer already!

Can't remember what else I wanted to say. Bella was here today and I'm tired. Talk at you all tomorrow:)


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 10:51PM
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Sorry to hear about all the yukky temps and humidity that some of you are experiencing. I cant imagine trying to function in that. Next week Im going to be in Vegas on business and it will be hotter than hades but dry .Anyway, there is really no reason to go outside in Vegas unless its to hoof it between casinos.

Deanne Im having a had time accepting the fact that your Charles G is so much bigger than mine..Boo-hoo, whine-whine! Of course I did leave mine out all winter and it took quite some time for it to bounce back. The plant looks great but hasnt got a single bud .
My begonias all come in the house, the big ones go in the family room, I put some in the kitchen and some I haul upstairs to master bath which has south and west facing windows. They usually look pretty crappy by the time spring rolls around but they recover quick.

Cindy, I went through a period in my front yard with a highly scripted color scheme, which just looked boring as hell. I decided to go for drama and excess ! The only way this works is to repeat elements..the Zinnias are in five groupings, I have geranium Rozanne repeated 5 times along the path , also multiple Silenes, multiple Lambs ears (Helen Von Stein) and a couple of the rose are repeated . I also have the shrubs in multiples-but they are all dwarfs because that front garden is very small..

Michelle, anytime I see a silvery begonia the wallet comes out ! Isnt it fun to have people interested in your garden ? Hopefully they will find the enrichment we do some day.

Mary, I always shaved my entire leg when I was a teenager-I spent all summer at the beach , and hair was not acceptable ! Oddly I have very little hair on my legs now, and dont even bother to shave them during the winter unless Im going to wear a dress a rarity I assure you.

Woody, my DS took a couple of pics of a Wisteria Bonsai at the SF garden show in March. Ill have to see if I can find them in the plethora of photos on the computer. But you are right, I bet I could make a spot for a Wisteria tree.

Denise, most of my Oregon nursery experiences have been in the Willamette Valley or Portland area. Fergusons Fragrant Nursery is very cool-its near Aurora, Ive been to Swan Island Dahlias in Canby, and Heirloom Roses in St Paul and the very cool Cistus on Sauvies Island in the Portland area.

Ok , gotta go for now
See yall later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 11:12PM
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Wow! I woke to a gentle rain (must've been sent by GB!) and it thrilled me to know that everything was getting a good drink. I think it is supposed to stick around a bit, too.

I have been very busy and I am very happy. The kids are at camp and Nick has been helping me tick off a punch list of things I've been wanting done. My deck is stained. My front porch is looking like somewhere I'd like to drink a cup of tea while reading the paper :) I've added another lasagna garden across the front, ready to plant in the spring (which means catalog shopping through the winter :) We finally broke down and bought the big patio set for the newly stained deck and put it all together last night.

Today I am going to pull out Sarah's trundle bed to make a king size bed for Friday's company - Nick's best friend and significant other. My friend comes in on Thursday night and I can't wait to see her! Best buds from the Navy - boot camp until I left Cali. She's now in Wyoming and the last time we saw each other was about 8 years ago. She's never been to the East Coast. We'll have a blast :) Lots of sitting up late and talking, I suspect :)

Anyway, I'll make Jake's room up for her today.

V., what a terrible scare with your daughter. Glad she's okay and you guys are back home. It took me a minute but then I cracked up about the cheddar curtain. Husbands have a way, don't they? Do let us know that he and the tractor made it out of the flood waters, okay? I love crayfish/crawdads....poor man's lobster.

Denise, what a great find. I'm not a chemical sprayer, either - I don't want to have to worry about storage, and frankly, the smell really bothers me. I did break down and use round up on the sidewalk cracks this year :) I'll be interested to hear how your trial goes.

Mary, I shave to just above the knee. The hair any further up grows in different directions and is not really visible with the eye (at least for us blondes :) Don't fight her on this one....there are bigger battles :) Really, kids today have it rough, I think. I see young girls with waxed eyebrows! That was a luxury I couldn't afford (nor did I need) until I was 30....thank god for Brooke Shields....wild and wooly was in style, LOL!

Eden, your daughter's place is so cute. What a wonderful job you're both doing. I loved her pots. I need to fertilize, too, but other things have won over my time.

Deanne, I'd love to come up....I'll email Wendy and see if we can shoot for the same day. As soon as my company leaves, I'm going on vacation to Maine.....hmm....hear that Chelone?

And we have 'tufa class to think of Wendy and Chelone (and anyone else who wants to join in!).

OH WOW! The flood gates just opened. Guess I'd better get to work in the office and get my day started....I won't have to water!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 7:37AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good RAINY morning here. We are supposed to get rain all day today and that is a good thing. Weve had adequate rain this year but hadnt had any for a couple weeks and thats when the trees in the back yard just suck every bit of moisture out of the gardens. I was having to water the raised beds in the back yard daily and even that wasnt enough so let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Kathy, Im blown away by the size of the CG Brug this year. Ive never had one get this large but finally figured out that it has to do with the size of pot they are in. Do you grow yours in the ground or in a pot? I know I love coming through San Francisco to the Golden Gate because of the many beautiful specimens people have in their gardens. Ive wanted one like that for years and finally it looks like success has been achieved. Sue usually grows them to these proportions and either puts them in the ground or in very large pots. I wish you could have seen her garden last September. It was like a tropical paradise. Between her twelve foot banana and all the other tropical plants it did not feel like CT. ~~ I LOL about going for "drama and excess" Im all for that!

Eden, a couple of my brugs were showing a lot of yellowing on the leaves and dropping foliage and it was because they didnt get fed while I was away for two weeks. Ive gotten them back on a daily liquid feed when I water them in the mornings and they are all bouncing back. It amazes me just how much supplemental feeding they take. Most of my other pots only get a liquid feed once a week.

V, isnt this the DH who burned his shed down????? Crawfish swimming through your driveway? Good grief. Thats a lot of rain.

Bug and Woody, horray for the rain!!! Bug, those are some beautiful photographs.

Woody. Thanks for the heads up about the japonica now being called floribunda. Ive had that plant so long it doesnt surprise me. RE the brugs, I dont have enough room to grow the brugs in winter so I let them go completely dormant so I can store them in the dark in the basement. They look like pitiful dead sticks in pots then bounce back to life in spring.

Denise, that Spinosad sounds interesting and its always a good thing to have something new that the bugs havent developed a tolerance for. Ive not seen it around here yet.

Saucy, sounds like youre going to have a ball with your friend! ~~ Hope you and Wendy can some and visit soon. Let me know. The only times Im not available is this Saturday and all of next weekend Im teaching.

Here are a couple pics from the other day of the driveway garden. The Fantasia hibiscus has started blooming and is going to be putting on quite a show this year. I LOL because the info says that this variety only gets to three feet. Kathy, thats my Helen von Stein in the foreground of this pic. I really like that variety of Lambs Ears.

Some of the ground covers in the driveway garden. I really love that Ajuga Burgundy Glow

Sedum Purple Emperor with Preppy Pink daylily

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 7:43AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

No rain - not one stinking drop here... already stuff is looking parched and more desert like.

Kathy -- thanks for the info re your front yard; I think we have somewhat similar sizes - I've resisted the multiple groupings because Im such a plantaholic, but as they all say, plants of one dont make much impact. I look at disgust on how it looks in front and know I should know better..... It's really a challenge to get true "dwarf" shrubs and conifers isnt it? as most eventually really outgrow a small space. Im trying to take some time now to re-think and perhaps re-plan the "look" in front; I know that one thing I've read is if you have a good "border edger" that will pull it all together - but so far, nothing in my area really works too well in all the heat & humidity except for that ole lambs ears. I've got Helen too and definitely prefer her over others; it does not "mug" out as much as others.

O, you mentioned Cistus Nursery near Portland - I was just cruising their website the other day & downloaded their catalog - what a terrific looking place (& website too) for tropicals, and the unusual. I have a friend in Portland & I was trying to find a nursery I could get a gift certificate for her birthday; sent her Joy Creek last year & she adored them as well. Cistus was looking good but I dont think they do the gift cert. thingie. I'd love to see them in person though - Denise you should check 'em out.

Well, I got an early a.m. surprise - a friend who moved to SC 3 years ago, called me at 6:00 this morning to say she was 2 hours away from me & could she come stay at my house.... I guess there's trouble in river city so to speak - I dont have a clue what's going on but left her the key. Now sitting here, I realized that she's got 3 dogs that she'd gotten w/ her boyfriend & I dont know if I'll be having 3 canine guests as well or not! The only thing is they're big dogs & poor Chloe is liable to have a heart attack by 3 strange BIG dawgs coming into her castle... I left my friend a voice-mail but sure hope she knows enough to handle the situation okay.

As usual, Deanne, you have brightened our mornings w/ yummy pics of your luscious gardens. Love that sedum/daylily combo!!

Saucy - good to hear you're feeling better & over the cold, etc., and looking for some more fun! I sure am hot to learn how to do tufa -- so when do your classes start? Hmmmmm - I was looking at the PA garden photos where IK had all her wonderful pots & trying to figure out how she got the "streaks" in her pots - I wonder if they are branches embedded in the concrete or if she traced them in & colored them or what? Im sure an expert like you probably know all the ins and outs. I have got to learn how to do them!

Allright, it's the Hades Day here in the Big City -- I suspect few people will be going out; the heat is so bad they're running the Metro trains in a special way so -- much slower so the rails do not overheat; and they have to use the brakes manually (usually computer operated) -- all in all another fun commuter challenge -- it's been tough going to get home every nite as many trains are overheating and breaking down. They were not designed for hot temps (or cold - or rain -or....)....


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:18AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Well, CRUD! I posted a nice, long post yesterday morning. When I hit "submit" I got the "page cannot be displayed" thing. In the past, the post has always showed up, so I closed the window as DD was here to use the computer. Apparently, it didn't make it. As there were no great words of wisdom, and no earth-shattering news, I'll just carry on from here.

V-Sometimes I worry more about DH than I do the kids. He has more power at his disposal, and if possible, thinks he's more indestructible.

Mary, I shaved to the knee until I was around 40 or so. Then I discovered long, black hair on the backs of my thighs (butt fringe) and started shaving all the way up :( TMI?? DH got in trouble because he was letting me walk around in shorts, and never mentioned the hair. I gave him a quick run-down on things to get me off to the side and mention....eye buggers, nose buggers, stray hairs, stuff in my teeth, etc. Good luck getting DD to stop, though. My DD has shaved her entire leg since she started shaving, although in her defense, she's got dark hair, so she probably needs to. 'bug, I admire your DD for NOT shaving. I've always wondered who decided women should be hairless...too much to keep up on, especially as I get older. Legs, eyebrows, and moustache....gimme a break! I could never pull off the Brooke Shields look, unfortunately.

Sounds like some folks really got hammered with rain. We got 7/10 here. I heard on the news that Rockford, Ill really got nailed, and I've read a poster who said they've been getting missed most of the season. Guess I'd rather settle for 7/10 than 5" all at once. Seems to be feast or famine on the rain this year.

I need to get upstairs and exercise. It's not too bad up there if I do it before the sun gets around to the west side of the house, after that, forget it. We're in for more crazy heat and humidity today-hopefully, it will bring some more rain.
Have a good day, all!
PS..Did anyone see Mike Rowe on the Mackinaw Bridge on Dirty Jobs last night? That guy is such a hoot! It was all I could stand to ride across it last year, let alone change light bulbs on top of the crazy thing!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:30AM
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Impossible to keep up but just popped in to wave hello to you. Mary, I hope you have a wonderful time on vacation! V, scary business about your daughter & the wasp sting -- thankfully she is okay and you can now worry about DH ;o).

James spent the night, just heard him come out of the bedroom and the cat howl a greeting. The day begins.....


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:36AM
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Congrats to all getting rain. What a blessing. After posting the bug killer stuff, it occurred to me, Maybe their bugs only bite people/mammals -- the ticks, skeeters, etc. I presume it's so bad for me this year due to the drought. On the way home from the nursery, there was the familiar drought-season display of the fire truck by the side of the freeway, putting out a roadside fire.

Mary, shaving legs, lord, don't you just want to shout, You'll have your whole life to do that! Take it easy! Maybe just the ankles for now! My primal memory on that includes fish-net stockings being the rage in grade school, and it was a subversive way to dress up our Catholic school uniforms. Had to have a clean line for the fishnet, so off with the fuzz. I do remember one of my boys shaving his chest for swimming class in 10th grade! Seems he was getting teased quite a bit. (Remember the Seinfeld/werewolf episode?)

And, yes, I'm going to definitely find my way to Cistus. Thanks for the tip. I'd love to dip into Vancouver to see Thomas Hobbs' nursery. It may not be possible to do too much gallivanting. It's going to be an extended family vacation, all ages. Most are flying into Portland, but DH and the corker will be driving up the coast, bringing extra supplies. I was going to be part of the driving contingent up the coast, stopping in San Fran (where there's a wonderful Matisse exhibit now, Kathy!) but I may have to fly in.

May you all be "busy and happy" today, as Saucy puts it. Nothin' better than that.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:59AM
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Little Morgan Kay entered this world at 6:59 p.m. August 7. She was born to DH's son and DIL. We now have 3 granddaughters and 7 grandsons.

Busy here so no time to make comments.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Brenda, I am sorry you lost your long post from yesterday. I always enjoy both your and Norma's reports on your farm life.( I do have that right don't I ? You do live on a farm?).
Anyway, I was musing about the threads here, and am amused that the majority of what is discussed is perennials, even though this is the "OFF TOPIC" forum!
It often seems that the other topics are 'sneaked' in so it won't look like 'we' are getting away from the Perennial forum....
Norma, what is going on on your farm now? Has the year been good to you? Are you getting in any crops?
The same questions for anyone else who farms. Pictures would be wonderful.
Also, for all the employed...tell us more about that aspect of your lives. And those who do volunteer work...I would love to hear about that.
I would love to hear what you do on Sundays, besides work in your yards/gardens.
And shopping experiences, other than for plants.
I enjoyed Deanne's report on her flight experience. I would have moved to a differant seat if one was available.
I have never had to contend with a child or children on a flight...but then, I am not a very seasoned flyer.

V, I loved your post about the excess rain, and your DH's snafu. I hope he got the submerged vehicle out safely. Did you catch those crawdads and cook them? They are a delicacy here.Harrison has a yearly Crawdad Day. I have never attended it, but would enjoy it I'm sure.

I am envying those who are getting rain. We have entered a dry spell...and the heat is climbing. I spent about 1 1/2 hours watering this morning. It was nice out until the sun cleared our trees. A nice breeze is blowing....too bad it is removing so much moisture!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 11:41AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Michelle -- many congrats on a new addition to the grand-family count! Lovely name too.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 1:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Welcome Morgan Kay! Some day we'll see a photo of all ten of them Michelle! I've always loved that kind... This is one of my Dad and his brothers and sister. (The bottom one is my parents' wedding in France.)

(Sorry that's so big...)

I hope V's DH has surfaced safely by now and dried out!

This morning I weeded behind the garage. I need to plant some clematis there but it is just too hot for it.

DD's family is trying to coordinate a visit here with DS's. That would be amazing. The crazy thing is DH has a scheduled trip to Croatia then, so we'll see what we'll see! Also the airlines no longer accept dog travel...and that is a problem. So much planning involved.

Marian, the hay has been harvested, the corn is high and tassled, the alfala is a purple haze of bloom. The first local corn and Ontario peaches are in the stores, but expensive. I saw the corn at $4 a dozen! I think I'll be joining others at the farmer's market for tomatoes. I'm tired of the many problems and constant attention for them. No denying it though, fresh tomatoes can't be beat!

Time for some lunch!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 1:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Brenda, you said it well about DH's. Deanne, yes, this is the same DH who burned down his duck blind (and who put the ATV into a snow-filled ditch in April). He did manage to pull the ATV out of the water, but then he flipped it while towing it and had to right it again. Anyway, it's now back in the garage but not running (go figure!) and he also dunked his mega-flashlight in the course of his adventure. I'm thinking that the ambulance trip and 4 hour ER visit will cost less than his experience!

OK, back to work - I hear a whip cracking.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 1:54PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhh...alfalfa ! My dad always had fields of it. I loved to eat the fresh juicy stems and leaves. :-)
I know the purple haze of blooms is beautiful.
Do you ever get a second cutting there? Most of the hay here is grass and clover. A third cutting is possible.
I love the smell of alfalfa hay, but it was sure a job pitching it onto the hayrack and into the barn...espacially back into the mow ( pronounced mou ).

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 2:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

So what perennial, Deanne, is that in your last photo -- behind the rock & ajuga? Yellow & green variegation it appears, some sort of sedum?


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 2:09PM
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I have always shaved all my legs. Heck the upper part is the easiest.

Oh, no V, that sounds like a serious misadventure.

bug, thanks for sharing the pictures. I love seeing old photos. At least your parents appear to be smiling. So many old photos are so serious. Did you hear about the man that smuggled the monkey on the airplane under his hat?
We are looking for a new grill as well, so Ill be interested in any comments.

Brenda, I wasnt too crazy about crossing the Mackinaw Bridge either.

Deanne, it is always such a treat to see pictures from your garden. You have such great combos. Everything seems so well planned. Burgandy Glow reverted on me and Helen Von Stein up and died this spring. I had it for a number of years.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 4:33PM
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Good evening everyone,

It has been miserably hot here. Rained with thunder and lightning all night. I showered this morning and haven't been able to dry off because the humidity is so high.

Mary-I shave my legs to just above my knees. Use to shave the entire leg. I lived in Scotland for 3 years. When you mentioned weight in stones it brought back memories. We speak the same language and yet there are totally different names for many things. I had a few embarrassing moments.....

bug-I understand exactly what you mean about fearing your sister may become dependent on you. I have the same fears. Both my parents are gone now and I'm the only one she keeps in contact with on a regular basis. She's always looking for someone to take care of her.

Michelle-Maybe your SIL and my sister can get together and make each other miserable. Actually my sister has very few if any friends. She has a habit of being extremely defensive and it puts people off.

Deanne-I'm still loving your photo's. The 'Fantasia' hibiscus is beautiful.

Denise-Is the spinosad that you were shown marketed by Dow AgroSciences? They market more than one calling them Naturalytes. Just curious which one was being used.

Kathy-Your begonias are beautiful.

Have a good night

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Have just had a chance to skim pics, but you all played a huge role in my day:

Left the house at 7:30 to catch express train into New York. An hour drive to station on an excellent day. 3/4's of the way there learn that NO trains are going into New York and I'm on the wrong side of the state to go in the easy way.

Plan B: Call parents to look on internet for alternate train plans. All trains, ALL, from everywhere are suspended because of flooding in the Bronx.

Plan C: Stop, have a double espresso, and drive into Manhattan by way of getting lost in Queens (no map) and arrive at 12:24 p.m. and find parking, another 15 minutes.

Everyone else is late, too, but lunch was great and got to meet new clients.

On the Way Home: Almost cried out of gratitude that I could leave Manhattan and come home to the Park. Thought of the pics posted here and the beauty we all bring in more ways than one. Thinking this made a very long day (NEVER get lost in Queens) bearable for the last 3 hours.

Keep those pics coming!!!!

Best to Idyllers, family members, and particularly older brothers :-)


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 7:46PM
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Hi yall. Sounds like some of the rain dances came to fruition. We can rain-dance to a fare-thee-well in August here and its no dice.

Saucy, A-ok that you are happy today! Getting the punch list done always feels so good. I made a list of stuff I had to get done last month and so far two are done.Some are family financial stuff and others are infra-structure items. I have given myself 6 months to get it all done. Boo-hoo, Im too far away for tufa class !

Deanne, My Brugs are in pots, but they always send roots down through the drainage holes because the pots are set in beds. Once again I peered closely at Charles this evening and no flowerbuds are to be found. Itll probably set flowers about 2 weeks b-4 our first frost ! Love that Sedum Purple Emperor

Cindy, plantaholia is a truly noble disease ! I have to admit that when my dwarf shrubs get too big I dig them out and re-plant them. I do always try to find a taker for them so I'm not totally wasteful. In my front garden I have dwarf Mugo Pines (which keep getting set-back size wise because Ive moved them so many times), and dwarf variegated Euonymous, and the boxwoods. I particularly love dwarf conifers , but they can be a challenge here so I only have the mugos and an Alberta Spruce. You should try Portland Nursery for your friends gift-very nice,very large garden center, though not as edgy as Cistus, but I bet they have gift certs. They are in SE , kind of near the Laurel Hurst Park area.

Hi T !

Denise , I might swoon if I were to visit T. Hobbs Nursery. Would I ever love to see his garden . One of our wineries here has a Thomas Hobbs designed garden-it is in fact in the same neighborhood as the aforementioned Silver Oak and Groth. There is no way we would have been allowed to wear fishnet stockings at St Marys. Theyd have looked pretty strange with navy blue wool blazers , pleated skirts, Windsor knot ties, and white oxfords !

Michelle.. congrats and welcome to another Grand-idyll

Marian, I like your gentle challenge to those of us who have not shared a lot about our business or non-gardening lives. I work between 50 and 60 hrs a week for an independent family owned company that sells lumber, hardware , building materials , vineyard and landscape irrigation products, and also plant material, mostly to contractors, landscapers and winery/vineyard managers. I have worked there for 20 years. We have 5 locations . I manage the hardlines and agricultural purchasing departments. I am a volunteer with the Napa County Master Gardeners of which I am a past president . When I am not gardening I like to watch baseball, (summer) read, (winter) and I write for my own enjoyment. If I had more time at my disposal I would be taking classes at our local college. I also enjoy producing forgeries of paintings that I dont have enough talent or imagination to think up on my ownunfortunately I dont have the time to devote to this right now. My children are adults. DS is 23 and still lives here with me, DD lives in Oregon and is 25. DH passed way of cancer in 03. There you go !!!
Martie, what a day ! I learned to drive on the freeways of Los Angeles, and my late DH always made me drive whenever we went down there-he hated trying to navigate the city. Always nice when everyone else is late as well ! Vindication feels good.

Mariann, interesting that you lived in Scotland for 3 years can you share with us how that came about ?

OK, time to go
See yall tommorow..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 11:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Can't pass up a quick comment on the fishnet stockings! I wore green ones with my green plaid uniform at Catholic grade school. The times they are a changing - my 8th grade class had 150 students (in 3 classrooms), and I recently found the school's website and saw that they graduated a whooping 24 this year.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 6:51AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good gorgeous morning here,

Its currently 65 degrees of beautiful dry air. Nice, nice, nice! A perfect garden day is in store for me today and Im going to try to dig out the east garden and get rid of those peonies that are a mess of mildew. Shovel prune them and send them to that big compost pile in the sky. ~~~ So yes, the facts are in and Im totally afflicted with plantaholia. The sad news is that I went out yesterday and actually bought a couple new ANNUALS of all things! Im addicted I tell you. But Loews had the most beautiful spiky purple celosia that will look great as a filler for a few areas in the borders where some of the early perennials are dying off. What else could I do? ~~ I went shopping yesterday because I had to run a few errands and it was just too hot and humid to work outside. Cindy is completely correct. I checked Home Goods and there is no garden stuff left. Nada. I also went to JoAnns and they didnt have anything left either. All the plants at HD look pretty lousy and one of my favorite nurseries had stock that had seen better days also.

Cindy, you are right and that is a sedum, sedum sieboldii mediovariegata a beautiful plant that the slugs just love for some reason. I went out yesterday and realized that the drasty things had eaten about a third of that plant since the last time Id looked. Arrgh!!!! What a pain in the patootie. Every year I think its going to really get some size on it and every year the darned slugs reduce the thing to stems but I really love it so I keep up the battle. ~~ How are you doing with the company? Did she bring her dogs?

Kathy, yes, that PurpleEmperor is a beauty. The first couple years it struggled a bit and had quite a bit of die off but its done really well the last two seasons. Its the only tall growing sedum I dont prune. I like the height next to the Eupatorium so I just stake it. ~~~ What do you feed your brugs? I gave mine some of that Mazsea for blooming plants that you recommended and they threw buds soon after that. ~~ How neat that you like to paint! Do you work in oils, acrylics or watercolors?

Marty, bummer about getting lost in Queens! That happened to us once and I wouldnt care to repeat the experience. Glad you made it home safely.

Mariann, thanks! That Fantasia is a beauty and gets prettier every year. I hope youre getting this lovely weather weve got here today. Yesterday was brutal.

Thanks Michelle! So happy you like the pics. I really enjoy sharing with people who understand the plant addiction. ~~ RE A. Burgundy Glow, It tries to revert every year and I edit out any plants that go solid green. I dont have a huge patch to keep after so it isnt a huge chore. I find when I weed out the green ones the variegated ones fill in the holes fairly quickly. ~~ Congratulations on the arrival of Morgan Kay! Ten grandchildren, wow!

Brenda, you are toooo. Funny, I LMAO over the "butt fringe" comment! I suffer from that same affliction and was horrified when I realized that I had these very noticeable, long black hairs on the backs of my legs. Ugh So Im a to the knee shaver in the winter and a to the knee and back of thighs in the summer.

OK time to hit the gardens. Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 7:54AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Deanne, I succumbed to 4 large Celosia plants just last week. Not flashy, but lovely! Why can't they be perennials???

Cool and overcast, so I'm off to weed before doing errands and looking forward to friend Lynn's arrival for the weekend. I'd better collect some blooms for her room!

Looks like DD and family may come for 2 weeks around the 20th! HURRAAAAY!!!! DS's visit will overlap too we hope!

Later folks,

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 8:40AM
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A proper good day to everyone! Just spent a wonderful hour going through and catching up.

Sue -- The only time I ever had a tan in my life was when I was on Doxy for Lyme. I knew when I was bit, but it took the medical establishment 3 months to bother with a titer. It was the most miserable three months I've ever spent.This was several years ago so I'm glad, glad, glad that you got diagnosed sooner than later. I still have days when I "feel Lymey" and know to just stop moving. Make yourself do it!! Count me in to help in your garden if you need it. You have my email ....

Chelone: Hip, Hip Hoozah for you and your brother! Love that your mom had a good memory and a moment to share privately with you both. Do you have a followup plan to be sure everything that was "promised" is done? How is construction going?

V: It never stops, huh? I'd ignore the SiL and just go. He's your brother!!!! Crawfish in the driveway?? Get the water boiling, IMHO :-)

Deanne: The gardens look great, as usual. When anyone asks me about foolproof long-blooming gardens, I give them the Stella d'Oro, Campanula carpatica 'Blue Chips', variegated Euonymous, Roseann geranium combo. It works every time.

Mary: I'm living a young person summer vicariously through your kids. It sounds just right to me. Didn't realize that your Mom was so close to Kent!! Kyle has a tripped planned to there during his semester so he can take pics of the gardens for me. I shave to just above the knees, but only when absolutely necessary :-)

Saucy: The visit sounds like just what you need! Have fun with your girlfriend.

Marian: Sunday mornings are reserved for an hour of meditation that can take many forms depending on my mood and then food shopping. As far as working, read my note above. LOL It's not for everyone.

Monique: I like the way you think! The orange begonia WAS at Woodland Gardens earlier in the year.

Michelle: Welcome to the new grandbaby! Glad you got your rain -- we're still getting excited about mist out here. Too Dry!!

'bug: Since your car is obviously really a plant magnet gone nutso, perhaps you should drive around more often! Love that Skyler is getting into being a big brother. Pootuey on his Mom.

Galium: Scotland!!!!!! Tell us more ....

Cindy: And the world wonders why our leaders are so out of touch ...... I truly muse if they realize how different it is for them rather than the common folk. Am relearning which buildings I can cut through in NYC to get out of heat. Not fun.

I know I'm missing something I wanted to say to someone but must get myself into the shower and out the door. Would much rather spend some more time here!

Later, all,


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 9:03AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

g'morning --

Visitor report -- she only came w/ 1 dog (her 3-yr black cocker) and 2 changes of clothese & a few piles of other things - so sad. Domestic violence situation - which is what I had been afraid of as well as a financial con artist. Same age as me but seems to have allowed herself to be talked into buying all the stuff "they" bought in the last year; so she's got almost nuthing - frankly I dont know how to advise about settling that. But I did convince her it was a burning building she left & not worth trying to go back to retrieve her furniture and belongings (assuming they still exist in any fashion by now, as he was threatening to trash them all today). I am selfishly glad to be healthy, gainfully employed - and frankkly single - at present. Relationships, sheesh -- tough, tough. But am so glad she thought to just get in the car & come to my house rather than remaining there. Life will go on and I strongly believe she will recover from this. So I may have a visitor & canine friend for Chloe for a few months.

It was painfully hot, hot, hot here yesterday.

Deanne, Im glad to hear that I can pass the shopping torch to you for present, LOL -- and it's always good to know there's nothing good out there right now to pursue, heehee. I was selfishly fearing the arrival of 3 BIG dogs (who have been living outside in their yard in SC = wild)and thinking o my, my backyard will be mowed down in a day. But the cocker seems to be better behaved (once having been an inside puppy), altho I suspect at present she's just tired and mystified by the strangeness of events of the last week. I was relieved to find Chloe behaved herself and we let them meet in the backyard and get acquainted on their own terms and all was well. Whew!

Well, Im painfully behind here at work so I best get going.

Kathy, thanks for the info re the OR nursery - terrific idea. Very interesting to hear what you do re the conifers when they outgrow their space. I may resort to that, as I do love them, altho a lot are challenged in my area as well w/ the heat & humidity.

Fishnet stockings - o my - yes, I had some lime green ones to go with a "twiggy" quilted mini-dress - hot, hot... Today Im lazy & wear pants most of the time - hence shaving is at ad hoc adventure I endulge in only when I feel so inclined.

- off to work to appreciate my paycheck today.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 9:17AM
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Good morning

Thank you to all the Idyllers who bared their legs to reveal their shaving secrets. Brenda - "butt finge" LOLOL! You totally crack me up!! I hear the collective wisdom of the experienced.

Mariann - before kids we had several vacations in Scotland when we were visiting my family. It is DH's most favorite place in the world - he loves golf and collects Single Malts. One of my fondest memories was the fortnight we spent in a little fishermans' croft on the western coast of Scotland, hiking and following the whisky trail.

We are enjoying a fabulous holiday of a different kind right now with Ruth, Iris(3) and Ivan(5). The little ones are just in love with the pool and swimming and we have spent hours splashing around with them. Both still need a foam "noodle" to get across the pool but I think they are only days away from swimming independently. And they are soooo cute!

Yesterday was also the first performance of Annie's summer production of "High School Musical". The play was such a huge success for the first time ever they sold out of tickets for the huge school auditorium and had to turn people away. The students sang and danced with amazing energy everyone came away charged.

My idylling might be a bit sprodaic with company here but I'll peek in when I can adn will be thinking of you all


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 10:18AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Morning everyone! We woke to thunder and lightning in the wee hours, and ended up with another 4/10ths of rain. We're on the light side as far as local rain amounts go. Some places have been getting a deluge! Personally, I'd rather have a few small rains as to get dumped on. More chances for later today, another hot and steamy one on tap.

Michelle, congratulations on the new grand-baby!! I love the name! DH was telling me that they're closing down one side of the Mackinaw bridge so people can walk it on the 3rd of Sept. in celebration of it's 50th year. I imagine that would be quite a workout. I think it's 5 or 5 1/2 miles long, and I imagine all of my muscles would be pretty tense, walking that high up over the water, plus the fact that it sways back and forth. I'll just stick to my yoga and hand weights upstairs, I think!

Martie-I can't imagine navigating that area on a GOOD day, let alone everything that was going on yesterday. We watched it on the news...what a nightmare!! Here's hoping for a better day for you today. Lol, I've been avoiding going to the tanning bed and the bank in our one-stoplight-town because they've got the main intersection all torn up. Am I backwater, or what??? BTW, when people want a no work garden, they seem to also want it to include tea roses and delphiniums...the big ones. And, everyone loves the big ornamental grasses, but don't want to fool with cutting them back.

Deanne, I'm glad to hear that the Purple Emperor sedum has picked up for you in the last couple of seasons. I love mine, but wish it was more vigorous. This is it's second season for me. It looks good, and I love the color, just wish it would really take off for me. Maybe next year. The pink daylily with it is a wonderful combo. I love to gaze at all the gorgeous pics and shake up some new plant combos.

Marian, Sundays are family day here. Peace and quiet and spending time with those you love. Every once in a while, there is enough time pressure that we have to work on Sunday, but not often. Sunday is the one day both of the kids can make it over, and we get a lot of pop-in visits. I try to have "grazing food" on hand, so no matter who or how many pop in, no one goes away hungry.

My camera found it's way home, and DH had it out last night shooting some of the interesting cloud formations. Next week, we're going to re-shingle the porch roof, and I'll get some shots of the yard from up there and post them so you all can get an idea of the lay of the land around here.
Have a good day, one and all!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 10:26AM
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What an amazing photo, Brenda. Reminds me of the "star factories" we were watching on the Science channel last night. Bit of an astronomy jag going for the youngest DS ;) I really enjoy the farm reports too. My favorite eating this summer is squeezing fresh lime juice on summer corn.

Mary, re England, yes, I've had the good fortune of visiting a few times but only really did the garden tour thing once, where I had my dog-eared list, joined the National Trust, rented a car, and just knocked out gardens and nurseries day after day. Complete plant-lover bliss, except it was the first time I had been separated from my kids, who were 5 and 10 (Sept '93) and I think we changed our tickets to leave earlier than the planned 2 wks, amazing as that seems now! We went as far as dipping into Wales for Powys Castle and barely into Scotland for the Logan Botanical Gardens. I mean to make it back in June one of these years.

What a day in NY that must have been, Martie. Believe it or don't, but LA finally has a metrorail system, which I always ride when working downtown. It runs on the "honor" system as far as tickets. There are no turnstiles, and you either buy a ticket or pay a hefty fine when the "bulls" catch you riding without one. Parking my "plant magnet" downtown starts at $30 a day, and it's always so humiliating if it's valet-only and I haven't vacuumed out the remnants of weekend plant purchases. Plus, I get a solid hour of reading on the train, which seems hard to find elsewhere.

The Spinosad is made by Green Light, and when googling it I found that Amazon carries it. What don't they carry nowadays?

Deanne, the package is in the open! Love the photos.

Sundays here are usually spent working on transcripts. My DH's job requires 24-hr coverage, kinda like a fireman. He cycles 4 days on, 4 days off, so we've never had the 5-day workweek schedule, with weekends off.

Kathy, how'd you get from LA to Napa? We've never been able to manage that trick ;)

Just a quick skim. Bought materials at the Home Despot last night, so will start prioritizing projects. Here's to more rain for all! (except NYC)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 11:40AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Time to relax and catch up here. I have all the watering done except for the spinkler going on beds and moving it from one to another.More of the grass is mowed...that job will be considerably slowed with the lack of rainfall.

I appreciate the responses to my queries, but am hoping it will be more than a 'one time' occurance....:-)

Kathy, that is a great post on you and your activities. Your job sounds interesting, but my! what long hours!
What do you do for the Master Gardeners.... bookwork?
Even at my advanced years I would not mind taking classes at our community college. Over 20 years ago I took a computer class ( it was free, for me). I live too far from town, and have the responsibility of staying close to home for my DH, so it is out of the question.
If I were more motivated, I think I would be interested in painting. I have never delved into it, but did have some talent in my grade school days. All 3 of my sisters, and my mother were/are artists. One sister works, or worked, with various materials...oil, water colors, and even pen and ink. I haven't kept up with whether they still paint, since I have been gone from Idaho since 1977. Athough I talk with one frequently on the phone, I never think to ask about the painting.....
The sisters are also musicians. That is one talent I never showed any expertise in. :-(

My only child, a son, will be 50 in January. I have 3 granddaughters, Savannah-13, Brianna-12, and Hannah-10. Unlike many here, I seldom see them. They live too far away, and are too busy with life to come very often. :-(

I remember that you lost your DH to cancer. I am so happy that you are coping well.

My brother lives in Oregon. He lived in Portland for about 47 years ( I think). He lives in Albany now. I have not been to his new home. He moved there last year.

Martie, I certainly do not envy you the trip to New York. I have been hearing the news on the excessive rain and the tornados! Yikes! Thank goodness you got there and home again safely!

Cindy, I feel for your friend...been there done that,( only I went home to my folks). I hope it will work out for both you and her.

Of course I sort of know how many of you spend your days. Those who have young children at home are very busy all day, even if they do not work away from home. A few of you are 'employed'at home, espacially the farm wives. Deanne's work is mostly at home...when she isn't off for a teaching session. ( Have I got that right, Deanne?)

Brenda, you are so fortunate to have family that is close enough ( in distance) to visit so often. Many moons ago we were like that...even with the drop in friends.
I love that cloud pic. I took one of a thunderhead the other day, but it isn't nearly as spectacular!

Back to visting with friends....mine is mostly limited to about 2 hours on Sunday morning, another hour and a half or so on Sunday evening, and 2 hours or more on Tuesdays with the Golden Year's folks; plus whomever we see at the One Stop.

I hope I didn't miss anyone that I should have 'spoke' to....


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 11:55AM
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We need more rain here, but things are staying somewhat cool with mist and sprinkles each day. It also stays overcast with slim chances of rain each day. A predicted high of 88 along with all this humidity makes me glad I have an air conditioned job.

bug & Deanne, celosia is very easy to grow from seed. I grew one very similar to yours c. Flamingo Feather last summer and just sowed in spring. I am growing c. Purple Flamingo Feather this year. I saved the seed from plants that I bought last year. It has fabulous purplish foliage with dark purple flowers. They are great cut flowers as well. It sounds like what Deanne might have picked up. I have it in the potager, a container and in a couple of beds.

Deanne, I picked up ajuga Silver Queen recently. Hopefully, it doesnt revert.

Cindy, what a tough situation your friend is in. How nice that you are there for her.

Martie, it sounds like you had quite a day. Did anyone see how the Early Show got flooded out of their studio yesterday? They ended up moving to the evening news studio.

Mary, what fun you are having this summer. Your pool appears to be very popular. How cool that Annie's production was sold out.

Awesome picture Brenda. I would love to see the lay of your gardens. I'm getting envious of all your rain.

Fishnet stockings wouldnt have been allowed by the nuns at St. Josephs either. I do like that coleus though ;o)

Im getting "The English Garden" magazine and am amused by some of terms used in it. I think of Mary quite often when Im reading it.

Tonight Im going to help my mom paint in the new house. I took the video camera and the other camera to take some shots of the house that I grew up in before they sell it.

Have an enjoyable day.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 11:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No fish net stockings at my private girls school. Although we had no official uniforms, we might as well have. Everyone wore pleated wool plaid skirts, white McMullen collared blouses, wool pullover sweaters, knee socks and loafers. (1956-1960) It was tough as we didn't really have the money, but since Mom taught at the school, she soon understood that these clothes were a social necessity.

Just received my favourite thing...photos. Here are a few of DD and DSIL with Reed, taken last week. The weather was hot the day they went to a fair but since then has cooled and their furnace is on today! Ah! Canada!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 1:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I don't think I was ever familiar with fishnet stockings. They do not ring a bell.... In grade school we wore cotton stockings, held up with a garter belt with 'hooks' hanging down front and back that clamped on the stockings. In high school nylons had came out. I believe the first ones had the seam in the back that had to be lined up. That was so long ago.... I can't remember if I had nylons then. If I did, they were very scarce. They had to be hooked in the same way that the cotton stockings were. I have no idea when I first had panty hose.
So many of you went to Catholic schools. I went to public schools. I don't think our area even had a Catholic school, or a private school.

Re: shaving legs....I did briefly in my earlier years, but never had enough dark leg hairs to warrant much shaving. I would occasionally pull out any noticable long black ones.
I only shaved up to my knees, when I did shave.

Great pics, Marie. Happy, happy family! Reed gets cuter with every pic.

BTW, I do realize that most of you share your every day activities... I was just seeking something to fill in the emptiness of my days....:-(
And you have been supplying it all the while !

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 2:54PM
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Marian, don't get me started on chit-chat! I'm having a hard enough time being concise as it is! Just came in out of the sun to have a peek. I'm staining the fence blue today...(lucky the Despot was out of purple, lol)

GB, your DD still has her pregnancy glow! They all look to be flourishing. What a great little seat too.

Since I don't have any grandkids yet, here's my photo contribution for the day. Haven't seen my cats this energetic in a while ;>)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 4:11PM
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A few pictures from our sun and water filled day. Iris loves her pink Dora bikini and foam noodle.

A little more cautious in the water Ivan likes to pretend he is a deep sea diver in his wetsuit.

The ladies warming up in the hot tub.

Since my off-topic posts for some reason run to including polls on leg shaving, lime green undies and flashing the Fed Ex guy I sometimes think I should talk MORE about perennials. For the moment I'll just leave you with some photos.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 4:44PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, since we're all garden geeks it stands to reason we have to surround ourselves with what we know and love - or dont know.... it would seem the lurkers love it too (whether it's garden photos, lime undies, leg shaving or such) if my photo album "hits counts" of the month are anything to account for -- the lurkers are lovin it! My vote would be they stop by for garden photos.

Such happy happy faces - great fun is had by all; can't give you a pic of my ofc face here today -- not so sunny or shining, but lovin the coool.

Kung fu cats - how do they do that? (interrobang)....
So where did Chelone, Babs, et al drop too? is it our August last-ditch get-aways? Im ditched here at the office.

Denise - I wonder if your blue fence looks anything like Sue's Caribbean Blue Shed she had her DH do earlier in the year (which we have yet to see pics of either) - show us le coleur (hopefully no blue cats got involved).

Cheerio, all.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Denise I'll bet you have never seen those pics of Deanne's Rahjii ( cat). Maybe she will post them for you ??

Wow, Mary. I would sure love to join that group ! It is hot, hot, hot here!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 5:29PM
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Cindy, voila. (still have to paint under the hops, though)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 5:32PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

One end of the porch on house I was born and raised in was covered with hops! It is one of my favorite memories of it. I can almost smell them !!! I have often thought of growing it here. Thanks for the pic, Denise.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 5:47PM
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Good Evening,

For the first time in days I was able to get some gardening done. It was in the high 80's with a nice breeze that brought in cooler temperatures. It's now 78....Yeah. I'm moving some Echinacea's to the back of the house. Haven't had groundhog problems in the back. The problem is I have almost no Full Sun. Everything is either Part Sun or Full Shade. So many of my plants get leggy.

Marian-what was your question? questions? I must have missed them somewhere. I try and make notes while I'm reading until I get to know everyone. Taking courses is fun. We have Adult Education-through the county. My DH and I have taken Tai Chi and Astronomy. I was 45yo when I received my B.S. in Horticulture. There are a lot of on-line courses too. I've been thinking about taking Spanish.

Good Grief....Fishnet stockings now there's a blast from the past. I had a drawer full of those. Did anyone ever wear those little bows in their hair? How about teased hair with a flip.LOL

Marti-Next time you have to go to NYC I'll loan you my DH. We are about 1 hour away. My DH drives around NYC like the taxi cab drivers. He's spent so much time over there, when he was younger, that he knows the streets like a native. When we go in to the city I close my eyes and put my head down because he drives like a maniac.

Mary-My grandfather used to golf whenever my grandparents were in England. Don't remember where; maybe St. Andrews. I'm not sure.

Kathy-I lived in Glasgow for 3 years. My first husband was from Scotland. Did a lot of sightseeing but never got to England. One of my favorite places was the botanical gardens in Edinburgh and the castles. As I mentioned some of the words are different from the ones we use in the U.S. Once a girl, I was working with, asked me for a "rubber". I was so shocked I couldn't speak all I could get out was HUH...LOL Rubber=Eraser over there. Another time a friend of mine brought me a bag of potatoes when I asked her to bring Potato Chips......Chips=French Fries over there. I guess she thought I was going to fry up a bunch of potatoes.

Brenda your sky photo is wonderful. It looks like I can reach out and touch the clouds.

Hope everyone has a great evening,

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 6:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here's an update for the Angelica gigas lovers.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 8:43PM
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My friend is stuck on the tarmac (SP?) at JFK!!!! All I want to do is drive down and pick her up....Chelone, where are you when I need a ride to NYC? Is JFK near Queens (IU4 joke....I got us routed/lost in Queens...though not as bad as Martie's day)

Just wanted to pop in....love the Angelica and pool frolicking and blue stain!!!! Really, Denise, that is so cool!

When I am in SoCal next year can I meet you? We still have friends to visit in SD.

Gotta go make my friend's bed....what a goof....I did everything around the house but wash the sheets for her bed (they smell like cedar from my closet)!!!!

I'm out of my mind but will be fine when she arrives. Nick has graciously volunteered to pick her up no matter what time she arrives as I freak when I have to go to the big city :) and Sarah is sleeping in her room home from camp (she's talking all "funny" and acting all grown up....)


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 10:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Mantra update: my agaves are now in pots! Just plain vanilla terra cotta pots, but I bought them at the grocery store for $0.24 each! Couldn't pass that up. So they are "contained" until I can find cool pots.

Lots of flood clean-up going on in town. We didn't get hit as hard as Rockford, but we weren't far behind. Our driveway has finally dried up and the crawfish have moved on.

Cindy, I'm also glad that you can be there for your friend. What a hard situation for her.

We will be packing for vacation tomorrow night, so I will be scarce for a week. Hope all of you stay cool!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 10:21PM
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Friday will not come too soon this week. I had meetings on top of meetings , and cant seem to reduce the piles o paperwork. Every meeting of course results in more tasks to perform ! Furthermore , I think my fridge is leaking out of the ice-maker connection in the back. Time to visit the Sears appliance store.

Cindy, so great of you to help your friend in need. I hope she can get her life straightened out and get back on a better path. Sometimes all we need is a breather.Twiggy ! I had a Twiggy haircut for awhile, however was not quite able to duplicate her wardrobe due to chest issues. As I recall she basically had none.

Brenda your cloud pic is wonderful! Thats the type of thing that is so difficult get on a photo-for me anyway !

Denise, Portland has the same honor system on their lite rail , thought the have afree zone downtownI got to Napa by way of San Diegomy DH and I moved to San Diego when we were first married so he could take a position with a company there. We really didnt like San Diego that much even though we lived there 10 years-it seemed kind of provincial in a way. We knew that we wanted to raise our kids in a smaller city, that was no more than an hour from a major one, was reasonably close to a major league ballpark , and number one consideration for me was the growing season, and what could be grown.We spent many a vacation checking out small cities in the west. We picked Napa, subscribed to the newspaper , and up we came. Ive never regretted it. Ive been here 20 years. However, who knows if I will stay . Many of my family members continue to move to Oregona gardeners paradise !!! I will always be an LA girl at heart though , wherever I go. People make fun of it, but growing up there in the 50s was pretty damn cool. Love the blue fence !

Deanne, I started with acrylics but I didnt like the drying issue so I switched to oils. I cant draw very well at all so I only paint things that require very little of that skill. Some of my paintings are pretty bad-those are hanging in the garage ! I only have a few that are actually in the house. I really enjoy painting but dont seem to have much time for it right now. I know Ill take it up again.

Marian, I do lots of different activities with the Master Gardeners, which usually involve teaching classes on gardening to the public , writing newspaper columns , manning our booth at the Farmers MarketSorry you dont get to see your family as often as you would like. I dont either

bug the family looks happy as usual, but what the heck is that blue plastic thing that Reed is in ?? I guess Im not current on the latest baby accessories !

Mary that pool looks mighty inviting!

Mariann, yes to the little bows (ala RoseMarie) and the flip, though my flip was just not as good as Shelly Fabares.

OK , time to sign off-where the heck is Chelone these days ???

A big howdy to everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 10:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Kathy, the world of giving birth and acquiring baby equipment has certainly changed! In Reed's case, there is a special sling for carrying him, seats to support him even before he can sit, all sorts of things besides the mobiles and things we knew way back when. He sleeps with his parents, doesn't use diapers...and is happier than ever. So basically, it isn't about the products used but about the family around him I think.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 11:33PM
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