Idyll #450 - IU6 Fun!

Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)July 24, 2009

Hello? Is anyone here? Carry on folks...

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Here I am Jerri ! Great day of garden viewing, and now is 'rest time' before heading to the Compound for this evenings festivities.

We visited the Fuller Rose garden today near Hampton NH, and the rain was light enough for us to enjoy the garden and take pics too-we were also the only hardy souls there so we had the whole place to ourselves--we did behave ourselves however.

Next we visited a wonderful private garden on the coast of Maine, and recieved a private tour from the garden owner...what aspectacular setting, and the rain stopped for nearly our entire visit.

A few pics :

Just to prove I was really there...

As great as Deannes photos of her garden are, it is really remarkable to see in person.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 5:45PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks for the pics Kathy. I suspect the climate there is very differant from what you are used to?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 5:51PM
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Good to hear the rain is giving you gals a few windows of walating.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 6:17PM
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Think I could WALAT at Deannes for about 3 days.Jerri will concur..
We had lobster at the Compound--I met Rex, Helpmeet, entered the Salon and The Lab. Peeked into the new bathroom. My camera battery went dead. Damn.

Kathy in Maine

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 9:57PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning.....

I was just wondering if I was the only Idyll who hadn't met everyone?
DH and I had a great time at Deanne's on Thursday night. It was such fun to put faces to everyone. Chelone, Sue and Wendy, were the only Idylls I had met before. I had seen photos of most everyone else from past Idyll reunions except Mary and Julie. When we arrived there was a group forming in the driveway and as introductions were being made, as soon as Mary started to talk, I knew who she had to be, by the accent. [g]

Deanne's garden is even more fabulous in person! As you would expect, everything was perfectly groomed and artistically staged. Luckily the rain held off and we all were able to tour the gardens to our heart's content. The lilies, clematis, cimicifuga and all her pots, were at their peak. Perfect timing! The driveway garden was a study in contrast, color and texture. Deanne has designed a wonderful garden space. She took advantage of the lay of the land, which slopes toward the house from the back lot line, and built her raised beds with rock herself, which I hadn't realized. That's a LOT of work! They have a wonderful family room facing the garden with wall to wall windows and the effect of the raised beds and the slope is that the garden is at eye level and has quite an impact through the windows. Both Deanne and Doug are gracious hosts who make it easy to feel comfortable in their home. I'm so happy we were able to go. I was camera-less, but fear not, Marlene and Kathy have that covered. :-)

So, I wait to hear more about the weekend. I think today and tomorrow are supposed to be better weather. I would love to be waking up in Maine and traveling to Boothbay today. It is a wonderful area on the ocean.

Wondering how everyone else is doing?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 5:09AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

So, Pm2, where are you today? You didn't say.
You were already way ahead of me on the meeting of the group. I have not met any of them. I have talked on the phone with Eileen more than once, but that is it.
I 'have' seen pics of most of them,but have a problem putting the name to some of the ones in the pics. Aren't some of the ones at this gathering not Idyllites?

I can imagine how lovely Deanne's place is, both inside and out.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 8:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marian, I'm home today. I hope you will get to meet everyone at some point. It does add another dimension. Most everyone was an Idyll, or a guest of an Idyll. Deanne had a few of her friends there, as well. I'm sure next week we will hear and see all about it. :-)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 9:38AM
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PM, how nice that you got to meet more of the Idylls and see Deanne's garden to boot. I met quite a few of them 3 years ago in Chicago. I hope to go again sometime but the 3rd weekend of the month falls pretty much in line with our billing at work and all hands need to be on deck for that.

We have no where to go today so I'm enjoying a day puttering. I unveiled my first leaf castings. One turned out fabulous, one pretty fabulous and one not so much. The tufa trough looks quite nice and I can't wait to plant it up. Rick got me 2 wagon loads of mulch this week, so I will spend some time doing that as well. Fortunately its not as hot as yesterday. I just can't work that hard in that kind of heat. Our temps are doing a real roller coaster ride this summer. We went to the lakes last night for dinner. Since its a resort area, there are tons of restaurants ranging from inexpensive to very expensive. Some have been around for many years and new ones pop up every year as others fade out. So its fun to try different ones. Last night it was the Taco House. Its been around for years and most of the time its packed. Its good food, homemade and no more expensive than McDonalds. We ate on the patio which I love to do in the summer.

Next weekend we have an out of town wedding and tomorrow a birthday party for our land lady (we rent farm ground from her) She turns 90. So that limits the amount of gardening for a while.

I'm just in for a snack and plan on a beer can chicken for later. I think I'll mix up a rub with some fresh herbs from the garden.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 2:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It looks like everyone is having fun. I'm jealous of those lucky enough to be there! And waiting impatiently for lots of pictures.... I'm particularly looking forward to seeing 'The Compound' because Chelone doesn't post enough pictures! :-)

Rainy day here although it was dry enough this morning to plant the hostas and dicentra we bought at The Potting Shed last week. We planted the dark daylily the day after we got it because it was dug and bagged, not potted, so needed to go in the ground as soon as possible. All this rain is good for settling things in so the timing of the visit there was good :-) I got lucky on the hosta 'Rosedale Barnie' because there was two complete plants in the pot so I got two for the price of one! And I found the label with the complete name buried in the pot so I was able to find it on the Internet. The lovely dark purple buds open to a paler lavender color I gather. I planted it in front of a dark bugbane and the dark purple buds look good with that.

We made a few small jars of stawberry jam this afternoon with the strawberries Randy has been collecting from the European Wild Strawberries that are scattered through the front bed. He's been collecting and freezing the ripe berries in hopes of getting enough for a few bottles of jam. We made 3 1/2 small jars. The flavor is much wimpier than 'real' wild strawberry jam in my opinion! But nice to have nonetheless....

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 3:36PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am having a rather groggy day due to the med I am taking for the neuropathy in my feet and legs. I am willing to tolerate the side effects if it works. It is harder to take than the 'normal' pain from fibromyalgia.

I am enjoying the pics that Sue is putting on Facebook of th IU6. But am sorry some of you cannot see them. I am sure they will make up for that when they all get home.

We are having an overcast day, and the possibility of rain. That will be fine with me.

Jerri, I am glad you started this thread. Good title. :-)

Good of Kathy to take time to post here. I know she is having a great time in the NE, and her two pics are great.
So glad she and Pm2 got to meet a lot of the Idylls.

Michelle, we want to see the castings. Good for you for doing them.Your trip to the lakes sounds wonderful, and so does the place you ate.Is your landlady still active?

Woody, I am about done with any planting this summer. I still have gobs of the coleus seedlings to do something with. I had said earlier something about a hundred of them. It is more like 3 hundred! There may be more variations than I thought.
Your wild strawberry jam sounds good. Randy's picking and saving them sounds like something Nolon would want to do, but this is the first year he has not brought in blackberries and blueberries that he picked. I think there were some, but the local bear(s) probably got them all. They have left their 'calling cards'. :-(

I guess I have rambled on long enough. I am making more mistakes than usual.....


    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 4:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Here is a pic I posted on Facebook that is pretty good so I will put it here too, since my thread is overloaded with pics.....

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 4:47PM
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Halloo Idylls ! A beautiful day in Maine , and an outstanding visit to the Maine Coast Botanical garden. This garden is located at Boothbay a couple of hours (scenic) drive up the coast from our base of operation here. This garden has only been inexistence for a few years, and I think we all agreed that there are obviously some very talented people involved in the operation, from design to maintenance. I took at least a couple hundred photos there and god only knows how many Deanne took ! Thanks to Les and Monique who scooped us on a great lunch spot, the Lobster Dock and I felt pretty happy to be eating crab cakes, and drinking my Sat afternoon 2pm beer while looking out at Maine seacoast village and some cool sailboats.

Marian, in the pic I posted starting at the left, Julie is seated , Cindy, Marie, Sue, Les , and Cindys SIL .

And from todayMaine Coast BG..fabu-fabu !

Idylls being entertained by Les, a frequent occurance...

More tomrrow..
Kathy in Maine

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 11:32PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Instead of sleeping, I'm wide awake tonight. I think I'm hungry so I'm making a snack. Spelt pasta and peas with grated cheese. A treat, since I haven't had it in awhile.

Michelle, it seems like you have not had that much puttering time this year, so I'm glad you had a day to do that. How exciting that your leaf casts came out well. Just to get one is a major accomplishment. I hope you are going to take a photo and post it. I enjoy eating outdoors too. Sounds like fun. Hope you have another relaxing day tomorrow since you will be so busy next weekend. Imagine reaching the ripe old age of 90! Gosh that's like two lifetimes for some people. I enjoyed that photo you posted somewhere of the Potager when it was empty. Great to see the shape of it.

Next weekend, DD will be bringing the BF home for dinner for the first time. :-) It should be interesting. It's going to be a busy week. It would be nice if I could buy a camera before then. We caught up with a few things in the garden today, nothing all that interesting. Some of the four oclocks I started this year are just starting to bloom. Late this year. String beans are up and starting to climb the tripod where the peas were. We finally have a couple of tomatoes turning red. Not one eggplant even forming, not one summer squash. Such an odd year!

Woody, homemade strawberry jam sounds delicious! I never think to look to see if a new plant can be divided. Good idea. It's sunny here this weekend, but Friday we had two and a half inches of rain overnight. I can't remember the lawn ever being this green. Especially in July.

Kathy, what a good sport you are, posting photos for us in the middle of all that fun! [g] It does look impressive there at the Botanical Garden. I am sure someone in the New England group mentioned that Bill Cullina moved there from the New England Wildflower Society. He has written a number of books on Native Plants. I'm sure he is going to do wonders with all his specialized knowledge and talent. Glad you are having a great time and thanks again for the photos.

Can anyone believe that it is almost August 1st?! I feel like I missed the summer this year. I just saw one of my asters opening a bloom. It is SO early. I am not thrilled. I was hoping for a good fall season after such a dull summer, but the usual fall plants are undersized and now it seems they are a bit confused to boot.

Well, I'm off to bed. Another sunny day due tomorrow before thunderstorms tomorrow night.....


    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 1:28AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

oohhm...oohhmm....oohhmm...Oehme & Van Sweden, Oehme & Van Sweden....

Aloha Idylls...I have escaped to a magical tropical island where cool blue waters...what do you mean there are no succulents on a tropical island?!?! Well, okay, maybe it's not a tropical island...but I am most definitely *not* sitting around the house watching Nascar with hubby & in-laws on *Day 10* lol....just kidding! They are very nice people.

Sure am enjoying the IU pics! Everyone looks happy and relaxed...and I know all the gardens are just beautiful....wish I were there....such a great group of people!

Marian, I remember our phone conversations...those were wonderful chats...makes me smile just to think about it! So, everyone has moved over to Facebook? I haven't ever used it and would be paranoid to sign up with another chat room.

I plan to catch up better later on tonight after everyone goes to bed. I want to check out yours and Michelle's separate posts too. I've seen your beautiful pics Marian, but haven't had a chance to comment.

One last pic....The Pink Petunia that Ate Mahattan:

That is a very large pot and just a few short weeks ago there were geraniums, 3 dill plants, 15 creme marigolds and 3 pink pentas in that container too...LOL! Oh well, I'm happy the petunias are happy! :-)



    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 5:46PM
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Good Evening Friends unbelievable it seems that the IUers are dispersing this evening, but how great that some of us have a few more days together.. We had send off at the Compound this evening and tomorrow Cindy and I deaprt Maine for CT , and we have Deanne and hopefully Mary joining us for the IU6 CT add-on . We will rendezvous at Tower Hill for lunch and then head off to Sues.

I want to thank Chelone , Saucy , and Wendy for putting together such a fun IU, great it was to visit the Compound-the Helpmeet was stoic in the face of our shenanigans ,Wrecks was a perfect gentleman, I discovered that Chelone has a chair fetish, the Salon is awesome, the boudoir has red walls and we shared the various interpretations on how to pronounce WALAT. We concur it is wall-ott.

Some photos from today :

The Majestic Rex

The modest joint across the street from Chelone, including gawking Idylls..

The owner of one of the gardens we visited let Saucy harvest some leavesstay tuned for the way cool leaf casting..

So far I've taken 537 pics ...good thing I have that big fat memory card !

Kathy-in Maine till tomorow

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 7:32PM
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Ei, what a neat viganette.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:58PM
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Ei, there are succelents on tropical islands. I remember lots of wild aloes on Aruba. Your tablescape is very fun.

PM, I believe you asked if I had a garden tour. Well, a lady from my church along with 5 friends asked if they could tour it. Two are master gardeners so I was a bit nervous. They were all so nice. A week later I had another group come through.
My eggplant are just starting to bloom.

Kathy, you are doing a fabulous job including us in the Idyll activities.

Marian, our land lady still lives in her own home. Her grandson who is in his early 20's lives in the basement and helps her out. She does pretty well.

At the party they had a cake with candles for her to blow out. She gave one puff and blew out a few. I guess she thought she would blow a little harder the second time and here her teeth popped half way out. She made a quick recovery and sucked them back in. Needless to say I had a really hard time keeping a straight face. The lesson here is make sure to use extra denture creme before attempting candle blowing LOL

On the way home we went to check out the work being done at Hawkeye Point which is the highest point in Iowa. It is very near where we live. Interestingly it was always the hill outside of town and a few years ago it was determined that it should be this spot. So now they are developing the area.

That's all from here.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 11:00PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, thanks for the ids on the Idyll pic. I recognized Marie,Sue, and Les. Add me to those who are appreciating the pics that you have shared, and even during the IU, both you and Sue..Very thought of you both. I love your pic of the Maine Coast BG. And your Saturday pics are great also. Good one of Wrecks. And the other pics are great also.

Pm2, I can imagine you anticipation of your DD's and her boyfriend's visit. I wish I had a retired camera that I could send you. I am glad to hear that vegies are slow to produce for you and others. I thought mine's slowness was due to their location, but maybe not. I AM gathering Sweet One Hundred tomatoes now, and pickling cucumbers.
I agree Summer has been very weird here also. I was thinking it was because of my problems that I feel that way, but maybe not.

Speaking of problems, I hope you did not have too much of a problem with your digestive woes while on your trip. I had a very weird attack of acid reflux, accompanied with regurgitation right after I got home from our evening sevices last night. Man did it burn! I was forced to take meds although it is recommended not to use antacids with the Neurontin med, because it diminishes it's effect. Maybe I am a wimp?

Ei, I love your table arrangement. And your petunia puts all of mine to shame. I have never had one look like that!
LOL on your escape to a magical island. I can identfy with that need, but I lack your imagination. :-)
BTW, the other pot combo is very pretty, too.

Michelle, your landlady makes me think of dear departed friend of mine. She lived alone all her life, up to past her 100th birthday. In her latter years a granddaughter lived in her basement, and helped out. She continued to do some gardening in her steep yard right up to the last. She had serious disabilities too, so I try to keep her in mind as an inspiration, when I am having a hard time.
That is interesting about the higest point in Iowa. I looked all of the State's highest points up some time ago. Was surprised at how low some of them are.
And speaking of Iowa, one of our main active couples were absent from yesterday's services because they were in Iowa for a grandson's wedding. I think it was in Waterloo....although the location was mentioned several times, but my pea brain forgot...:-(

I have checked, and rechecked in a attempt to catch my many mistakes. If you find something I missed, just consider the source. ;-)


    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:15AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm certainly looking forward to more pictures of the Maine Coast BG - that looks very appealing indeed!

We've been getting a fair bit of rain in the last week or so - we're now pretty much equal to last year's 5" for July. I wonder if that will become the new 'normal' - does two years make a trend? :-) Most of the garden is pretty happy with the rain although a few things are a bit the worse for wear. The purple coneflowers are mostly now in bloom and I see some flowerbuds on the hardy hibiscus. Those things always seem to signal summer nearing an end - and it doesn't feel like it ever really began this year! Here is a - somewhat fuzzy - view through the arbour in the main front bed - too many things saying summer is winding down....

Randy went out for an evening walk yesterday and ended up having to take shelter in a gazebo in a park by the lake as a big thunderstorm passed through. He said there were quite a few pelple got stuck there but the atmosphere was quite 'summer party'... :-)

After the storm passed and he walked home, the reward was a very nice rainbow:

(you can see some of the summer blooms on the Chinese wisteria in that picture...)

And I finally got a picture of one of Misty's newer friends. Meet Dawn:

Dawn is a young malamute, a replacement for the beautiful Roma that died of cancer last year. Dawn was rejected by the breeder after giving birth to her first litter because there was some sort of 'incident' with another dog in the kennel and the breeder feared it was a sign of temperment issues so rejected her from the breeding program. She is very cuddly/friendly with people but her owner feared at first that she might kill Misty if Misty got too close! We walked thom together - keeping the dogs on opposite side of the street but walking level with each other. After several walks Dawn relaxed and now they are buddies and Dawn has also made several other canine buddies in the neighbourhood too so I don't think there's an underlying temperment issue. She's a beautiful dog - I like the color of her coat.

Michelle - I got a chuckle out of the candle-blowing incident :-)

EI - nice petunia!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 8:04PM
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Dawn is a beautiful dog Woody. Our oldest son has had two Malamutes. The first one came to live with us when our grandaughter was born because he was a little to protective of the baby. He got another one when the girls were older. I like them but have issues with all that fur and undercoat in our hot weather. Fuzzbuster, aka "Fuzzy" that lived with us loved to lay in the snow.

Niki had her second visit to the vet today. We had a battle before we went when I was trying to put a figure 8 harness on her. She kept getting it in her mouth and I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to go so I chucked it and put a collar on her. I was looking for a battle at the vets office, but she did very well.
Rebel was supposed to go too, but DH was called away today and I can't get him in the car by myself so I had to rescheuld him. They said it was just as well as they were behind this morning anyway. Someone had to say farewell to there pet. I think a dog. I've been there, so felt sad for them.

I spent the rest of the morning watering and did some laundry and dishes. It got rather warm this afternoon.
I picked some zuchinni and tomatoes. Need to check the pole beans in the morning. I passed the neighbor lady on my way out this morning. She had taken the day off work to take her sick baby to the doctor. Any way she said she has blackberries needing picked and I should come and pick some tomorrow. Yea! I can taste the blackberry cobbler already.

That is quite a house that Chelone has for a neighbor. I should have gone to this IU. I've always wanted to see that coast and area.

PM, When they bring them home for dinner it usually gets serious. LOL

Michelle, funny about the candle blowing incident. Dentures can be the pits sometimes. I have had them since I was 18 years old. Why didn't my parents make me brush? I did have very crumbly teeth though.

I feel like summer is winding down too. The late daylillies are still going though. I have so much I want to get done yet this year so I hope August is not unbearably hot. I have three more areas that need redoing. The daylillies there need dividing and the ground needs some work because it has become so compacted.

First thing in the morning I need to feed some containers and then I will go pick the berries.

Hope to hear from the IU6 bunch soon. Norma

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 9:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Home again! A quick hello to all.

Somehow customs managed to confiscate my special toothpaste, obviously a terrorist threat.

I was delighted to meet new friends, PM & her DH (who enjoyed Deanne's husband's smoked salmon-of course!), Wendy with her humor, charm and smile, Kathy and her excellent photographic skills, V's daughter who is gorgeous and obviously a pet lover too...and of course Cindy's SIL Sandy who is so charming, bright and congenial.

Meeting Chelone and the helpmeet at last was so exciting, checking out their home and hard work, and marveling at Rex's accomplishments were all part of the fun! The tile job in the bathroom is so well done...and there are many details to admire besides Bruce (the new range) such as the hidden love notes penciled into unfinished projects. My DS appeared to say hello, have dinner and spend the night. I think he enjoyed the cat ramp construction up to the salon and then exploring access to the storage area above the salon by pulley and a lowered staircase.

I'm wiped out...and hope to see more photos when I next return.

Good night mes amis!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:22PM
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Good morning my Idyll friends!

Yesterday some of the gang blew through my area on their way south to Sue and Monique's. We did a little garden tour and lunch and then they headed out for southern destinations - I was sad to see the fun and laughter go :)

It is hot and humid here. Hopefully the tropicals will put on some real growth now that summer has finally arrived. I am planning on getting back in my outdoor studio (my screen room, lol) and casting lots of large leaves as they're all looking so good right now.

I plan to read and catch up on my breaks today, but this morning I'm headed to the gym where I'm sure lots of push ups will be in my immediate future :)

Talk to you later....


    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:34AM
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Having emerged from renovation pergatory I find I am once more woefully behind in my reading. But that happens and over time the missed details will reveal themselves.

I see I am not the only one with a new "wash up" area, though the So. Cal. interpretation is more meditative than is the New England version. No place for for a book or wine stem in the shower... .

Woody, Wrecks was suitably impressed with his bag of treats... what a thoughtful thing to send along. After a beating one of those takes his mind off the senseless cruelty I dole out regularly. Dawn is a handsome animal (for a dog). Good move on the breeder's part to remove her from the breeding program. If more would do the same breeds would be less inclined to decline in quality as their popularity rises.

Norma, Spencer always wears a harness when we go the vet.'s. He is more comfortable that way than he is when in a carrier (he knows how to break the doors and escape). It's a frightening thing to be put in a car and lugged into a strange place and minimizing the trauma is always a priority for me. Niki is a very lucky kitten to have someone like you to minister to her needs. I wish you'd come, too. :)

I don't feel as though summer ever arrived here. Everything is about 2 wks. behind, maybe more, and I'm not sure some of the stuff will be able to make up the lost ground. The tomato crop is terribly behind as is the basil. While the hostas are doing beautifully the slug damage is increasing daily. I think liberal use of Sluggo would help, but at this point I'm not sure I care enough to start the regimen... slugs gotta eat, too, after all. Right?

At Julie's insistence we did a quickie weed of the Terrace yesterday morning. It looks 100% better and it was a nice way to while away the morning. We trimmed up New Dawn and tied her to the trellis. We put the lovely Dahlias in the cement urns and strategically placed the beautifully planted urns for greater effect. I now have some of Deanne's magic in my overgrown corner of the east coast.

Not sure what to do with my day today, actually. There is laundry, there is a LOT more weeding (lol) and if the lawn dries out enough I may even be able to mow. I passed through a huge thunderstorm yesterday evening on my way back from the airport (how was the flight, Julie?) and I'm beginning to think there will never again be a stretch of nice, dry high pressure directly over the area.

More to say, but for now I think I'll get going on some chores.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:38AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

Hi Norma! It's great "seeing" you. Are you still playing guitar? Whenever I think of you that's what I picture, you're strumming a guitar. :-) Thanks about the vignette...I call that the serenity's in the Hippie Den of Tranquility. :-)

I know what you mean about summer winding down PM & Norma...I can't believe my mums are starting to make buds...every time I pass them I say "Stop That!"...LOL![

I have to give my thanks to Kathy too...that was so nice of you to include us in pictures...I know you all had a wonderful time...I love the east coast. I've only been to Conn., Boston, & Rhode Island...but can imagine Maine and Chelone's place...I really feel like I missed a great experience there. And seeing Deanne's, Sue's, Monique's and now Saucy's too! :-( Well, one of these days....
I'd love to see that MCBG sure does look Fabu, Kathy...thanks again!

I agree that Maine neighbor's home is impressive...but I think His Majesty Rex steals that show! :-)

Thanks too Saucy for your pictures. Where are you guys at on that long path? I love the fact that you can't see the end of the path...I'm always drawn to path's like that...guess I'm nosey and always wanting to see where it will end...LOL!

Woody...Dawn *is* a beautiful dog...does she have blue eyes? I have to tell you, Misty is a wonderfully self asurred dog...I know a lot of the credit goes to your great training. Still, I'm always so impressed with the way she handles all those big dogs and all the varied personalities that come to your home. That's great! I think your gardens are beautiful Woody. I remember pics of when you first planted the front has filled in nicely. You are such a thoughtful gardener. I wish I did a little more planning when I *first* started my gardens.

Marian...I knew you would understand! :-) Thanks for the compliments! :-) I love the color combo of your plant picture Marian...It *is* very pretty.

Michelle...I didn't know succulents could grow in tropical learn something new every day...well at least *I* do...LOL!

Well, the visitor's are making sounds like they're getting up, so I best get off this machine...

"Hi" to all and "Welcome Home" GB & Saucy!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We had a 3am thunderstorm but now all is lush and green. I'm rather glad I can't mow. So now I must be off and begin a day of Julie Jobs. I hope Julie did not meet up with the airport delays that I faced yesterday. I think something must be done in general about air travel. At the Toronto airport yesterday one of those new 500 passenger double decker planes arrived from Saudi Arabia at the same time as about 4 other international flights. Now imagine the Customs experience after that!!! Not enough agents, whining children, language difficulties, no bathrooms. UGH! I don't see it improving and yet it is hard to walk or swim to certain destinations. Le sigh.

Saucy, is that first photo your garden? I so wish I could have tagged along for IU6, Part Two. I will be waiting for photos of a Cow Parsley leaf casting. (please!)

And just a short tale about Rex. Chelone did a fine fine demo with him going through his routine of roll-overs, heeling and circling using only the hand sign approach. Mom and dog were proud of their accomplishments, as they should be, and Rex received his first Woody-treat as a reward. Monique and V's daughter also put him through his paces and gave him the attention he deserves. :)

I must be off but will no doubt check back for updates from traveling Idylls.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:39AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi everyone!
Well, the mosquito has landed! (I am not a seasoned traveller so the planes being tiny ones kind of freaked me out).

I arrived at my house at about 1 a.m. this morning, having left Chelone's at about 2:30 p.m. on Monday. What a silly iternary I had - I had to fly south from Ottawa to Philadelphia and then fly back north to Manchester, and reverse on the way back. Interstingly, when I got to Philly on the way home, I checked in with my connecting flight and then rambled around the airport a bit. Heard my name on the pager, went back and the agents at the desk wanted to see my passport, boarding pass, and travel docs again. O.K. Back to over the pager again, required to show passport, boarding pass and travel docs a third time. Might be because for some oddball reason I set off the security scanners all four times I went through security on this trip. DH thinks it was combination of my amazing passport photo (those are never nice!) and the fact that he tried all week-end to get me on the no-fly list. HaHa, very funny.

I cannot thank you hard working Idylls enough for the fabulous week-end, and especially Chelone and the Helpmmet who had to suffer my presence for four whole days! I hadn't gotten any dirt under my nails for 72 hours so weeding at Chelone's was a desperate need on my part to avoid going into complete withdrawl! I think it was the guided tour of vegetable world that got me going.

I have to run for now, but I am safe and sound at home, full of inspiration and seafood!

Thaks again my friends!



    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 10:10AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Now that people are home from IU6 we expect a stream of pictures shortly... right guys?! :-)

Chelone - I'm glad Rex enjoyed his treats. You really have gb to thank for the treats - I had made them for Phoebe when they were here last. It was Marie who suggested that she should take them along to Rex - a dope-slap moment for me... I thought it was a brilliant idea and wished I had thought of it myself :-) Phoebe will get a replacement batch delivered next month when we're vacationing in her area for a few days.

Norma - two malamutes would be a LOT of work. They need lots and lots of excercise. Apparently a working malamute can eat - and burn off - 12,000 calories in a day! Think of how much walking you'd need to do to exercise a dog like that! Dawn's owner goes on long walks with her 3-4 times a day. He had a long battle with cancer over the past few years. He wasn't looking too good a year or so ago but is looking much better now after his chemo last year. When Roma died, he was deeply distressed and we were all worried about whether he had given up or not. Dawn came along and now he's much, much better. He's been good for Dawn and Dawn's been very good for him!

Saucy - that first picture along the path's a particularly nice shot of the Idyll-infested garden :-) Is that a bust on a plinth I see? Nice touch - who is it?

EI - Dawn's eyes are a sort of spooky amber color - looks great with her coat color but makes her look like the wild ancestors are not too far back in her lineage :-) Misty is not all that self-assured - or well trained! But she does seem to have a great affinity for large dogs. She does like most dogs but still, after all these years, cannot meet a new dog without a display of lunacy! If the other dog's owners take the leap of faith and let the meeting process work itself out, she soon settles down and adds the new dog to her 'friends' list of dogs she meets happily and without a fuss. And my garden planning was minimal at the beginning! I'm doing a much better job of it now I think and need to rework more of the first areas planted....

Julie - it sounds like you had a fun time at the airport!

My objective today is to find a weigela 'Suzanne' to replace an under-performing 'variegata' in the front bed. (After several years it has not managed to grow taller than the perennials around it and I don't like the yellow in the variegation so am going to yank it... - actually Randy will do the yanking... :- )

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 11:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Update fly by news here:
1. Myrtle the snapping turtle has been here recently and Phoebe now must be leashed. We are dying to know if it is one of 'our' babies that we raised in the bathroom! We'll never know the answer though.

2. On the clematis front, Perle d'Azur and Dominika have opened. Both are so beautiful!

3. My long awaited Veratrum nigrum shot up a long stem and is now in bloom!What a thrill. It is very hard to photograph, but I will try. Otherwise, here is a site to check:

4. DH helped tie up my Orienpet lilies this morning and they look super by the barn door, next to Blue Paradise phlox. When I say that DH has a poor sense of smell I mean it. He could not detect any of their scent!!!

5. The orange and white garden is finally filled with colour and soon will have Angelica gigas in bloom. YEAH!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 3:54PM
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It was not my intention to give anyone the impression that the Idylls were in my garden! In fact, we had a little change of plans and instead of Tower Hill Botanical, we ended up in a private garden....I found the write up on the Garden Conservancy site:

Designed around a late-eighteenth-century Cape Cod-style house, Maple Grove is framed by mature sugar maples. Located within the historic district of Boylston, the garden is adjacent to an eighteenth-century cemetery, giving it charming borrowed scenery. A true collectors garden, Maple Grove has a wide assortment of choice woody and herbaceous plants in a connected series of borders, beds, and islands, with sculpture and water features.

Yes, Woody, that was a bust (good eyes!) and there was quite a lot of statuary in the garden. He gave us permission to take pictures, so I suppose I could put a thread together :) He was quite a plant collector and I made quite a wish list while there....and a list of plants to identify. I think I just repeated everything that was in the previous paragraph, lol!

GB, I am sure they are your snapper babes come by to say hello :) I need more clematis in my life.

Julie, how smart to use one of those mosquitoes from Chelone's yard to fly home on :) I'm still scratching my ankles....and it reminds me of Idyll fun!

Ei, that garden was very thoughtfully laid out and it was sort of a grid system running around the perimeter and then through the middle (on the breezeway of the house he explained)....I really liked the paths.

I just gave all the plants some blue water. I had planned to do other things, but just can't find the energy today. Tomorrow is a new day.

I'm off to rinse the filth off and find something to munch can bet it won't be as good as what the straggling Idyllers are having at Les and Monique's :)


    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:33PM
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Saucy my plan was to give the containers blue water today, but by the time I picked two gallons of blackberries ( Easiest blackberries I ever picked. They have two nice rows of thornless berries mulched and mowed), watered newly planted plants and made a berry cobbler and then supper I was tuckerd out. I also made enough juice for a batch of jelly, but didn't have evrything I need to make it so will have to run in to town in the morning.

We are getting a little rain. I hope it will be enough to do some real good.

GB , I want to see the orange and white garden. Please?

Julie, What a fiasco at the airport. Happy you are home safely. Everyone else too.
I have just started getting the guitar out a little again. The arthritis in my fingers is pretty bad right now from all the gardening though. Are you the one with dark hair in the IU pics?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:05PM
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Woody when we had the malmute I had horses so he got lots of exercise. I am happy that Dawn has made a difference in your neighbors life. I think pets are very therepudic.Sp?
I'm happy Rex was able to sample your dog cookies. I would have like to see him work. Norma

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:21PM
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Ei re your post on Michelles thread.
I have Caryopteris 'Snow Fairy'. It gets huge here. I have two actually. One I have had to cage and trim this year. I am going to have to try and move it where it has more room. I wonder what the root system is like. They are a nice addition to the borders. I would like to see yours by the arbor. Norma

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:53PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma - I'm wildly envious of your success with caryopteris! I have tried growing that many times and it has yet to survive in my garden for more than the summer it was planted!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Some late evening photos...

The orange garden near the bridge:

The red delph

The barn entry:

Clematis Dominika:

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 9:29PM
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ooooh la la Bug. Those are pretty.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 10:48PM
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I'm back to a "toad in the hole" and a cup of coffee since it's back to work this morining. I have dim memories of shortening a cushion but hope there will be a note of some sort to provide guidance.

'bug, that clematis is just lovely. I'm very partial to that color, all of mine are deeper, though pretty much all in the same purple color family.

Norma, the blackberries here are a ways off yet, and they're the wild variety but pretty tastey. We used to have a dog who'd eat them right off the canes. VERY daintily, I should add. ;)

No need to add blue water here, I'm afraid, another shower the night before last took care of that, though I'll have to keep an eye on the Dahlia in the full sun area between the bahn doors.

I actually weeded yesterday (in between loads of laundry) and it felt good to finally get it done. Though it did make me really sad because it would have been nice to have the gardens sort of weeded when you guys were here. They actually are sort of pretty and I do have some nice specimens. Lesigh. Oh well, you'll never believe me now, anyway. ;) Think I'll get to put down some mulch to day??

My car died on Thursday afternoon, and the mechanic was on vacation. It went to the garage on Monday and I picked it up yesterday. New starter and now it's right as rain. I was surprised that it showed none of the classsic signs of a failing starter, no cranking and cranking before "catching". It just "up and quit". And I left my handbag on the counter there, too, so will claim it on my way home this afternoon.

OK, gotta scoot.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 5:19AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! DD and I made it back from our IU6 extension in Boston late last night. We had a WONDERFUL trip all around. No time yet to download or upload photos yet, and since I have a meeting right after work it may be Thursday before that happens. But I wanted to wave hello to everyone and let you know I'm here!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 6:59AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good cloudy morning!

I love having a day off in the middle of the week, though I'm spending it running errands and catching up on the laundry.

DS is off at an Engineering Design class today; they are designing and building towers and bridges out of balsa wood. He says he spent a good part of the class yesterday "waiting for the glue to dry" - he'll try to plan better today.

My DD is going to high school in the fall, and she has joined the marching band. She is a drummer, and she will be marching with a big 'ole bass drum strapped to her! I tried to convince her to play tymphani (they bring those in on a trailer and you don't have to march) but she really wants to be on the drum line. They gave her the smallest drum, but she is pretty petite so I imagine it dwarfs her a bit. She says she has to put the drum and harness on the floor and crawl into it since she can't lift it above her head. They will unveil their marching routine for the parents at the end of band camp in a few weeks. I am tempted to drive by the field during practice and peek, but I'll be in trouble with her if I get caught!

'bug, such pretty pictures! Is that phlox 'Blue Paradise' under the yellow lillies? I had to have that after seeing it in one of your photos, but the woodchuck family chomped on it this year so no blooms. Maybe I should rent Rex for a while?

Chelone, your gardens were beautiful when we were there. I'm able to see through the weeds, I do it here too, as Kathy and V will tell you. I wish I had more time to devote to gardening, that stupid day job really gets in the way. Glad you car is fixed and you have wheels again. I hate when they don't tell you they are not feeling well.

Julie and V, good to hear you made it home! Even though I was there and took some pictures of my own, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's pics too. Mine are in the computer, I'll try to edit and post some today if I can.

Julie, I meant to pick your brain about Nova Scotia while we were together, and I never got around to it. We are going there on vacation in a few weeks, and I wondered if you had any recommendations for places to see. We are planning to go whale watching and to the state park, but any other suggestions would be welcome.

Well, have to run and switch the laundry and plan my next move. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 8:44AM
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I completely forgot that the keys to the shop were in my handbag which was securely locked in the office of the garage where I'd left my handbag yesterday. I arrived at work at 6 AM and realized I had no keys (and had to pee). What to do? couldn't find the hidden key (well hidden key) so determined to simply break in. I found a window that wasn't all the way down and managed to open it the rest of the way, removed the screen and hoisted myself over the windowsill with the aid of a lawnchair. :) Ain't nothin' that can keep me from work!

I picked up some cookies for the greatest mechanic in the world and left those on the desk in place of my handbag. Some family member is getting married this weekend and he's evidently had a dreadful week... busy, hot, and everything you expect when self-employed and taking a day off. I thanked him again for squeezing my car in and was rewarded with a big smile and a "thank you, dear". He likes me.

I COULD do some mulching but it's hot and very sticky today. Maybe I'll just pull some more weeds while Rex lounges in the shade nearby. Dunno.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 2:55PM
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Hello Everyone

I arrived back late this afternoon after the most fantastic week away. At the last minute I added on another two days which allowed me to enjoy Monday and Tuesday in MA and CT. The generosity of this group is unbelievable and I thank every one of you for making it all so special. I have enjoyed gardens, wonderful food and drink, conversation and laughter every inch of the way. I am only sad it is all over.

Much is calling my name here but will be back tomorrow.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 7:29PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

One of the last idyllers to check in I guess -- home safe, tired, but still stunned by all the wonder I was this last week -- the extreme generosity, cordiality, creativity, and humor of this group still amazes me. I finally achieved my fantasy goal of visiting the master IU gardens and they are even better in person -- Thanks soo very much for such a wonderful, fabulous time -- I think Im out of superlatives.... fabu-fabu-fabu....

Decompression and reality now sets in.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Good evening my friends ! Still in eastern daylight time tonight, and Im loosing speed fast..thank god I have a 3 day weekend when I arrive in Nor Cal, and a time change in my favor. What a fabulous trip I had ! The gardens, the food, the company..all just outstanding ! Everyone was so helpful in getting me to all the places I needed to go- starting with Wendy who was kind enough to pick me up at the airport and transport me to Deannes, Cindy who gave me a lift to Maine and CT, the Les and Monique -mobile got me (and other s) to Boothbay, and Sue carted us around CT and got me to my rental car. You guys are the best ! Hope I didnt leave anyone out.

And the food !! Not a bad meal to be found (other than the Best Western continental breakfast and the horrid swill that was allegedly coffee) and I have a new appreciation for Idyll culinary skills.

I am retuning to Napa with a treasure trove of photos, ( varying quality) and so many ideas --wish I had written stuff down like Cindys SIL, but I hope the photos (hundreds of them ) will help jog my memory.

It was great to meet bug. PM, Julie , and Mary too, wish I had had more time to spend with all of them- we were delighted that Mary was able to join us for IUCT-the sequel. In spite of the on-again, off-again rain showers, I think all of us would agree we had much nicer weather than last years torrid heat wave, and Chelone has a lovely mosquito & bug proof area that allowed us to enjoy evenings outside.

Here are a few misc pics, I will post to official threads when I get home tomorrow night and can get my photos organized

Best to all !

Kathy in Mass

A lovely combo from Wendys

She was thinking about it, but showed strength of character and walked away !

Stonewall Kitchens fabu veg garden in York Maine..this was just a small garden but beautifully designed..

And guess who this is ?

I know Deanne got a better shot. I think Sue is starting to get attached.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 7:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh! I have one of those plants (it is a coleus, isn't it?) in the second pic. Mine was eaten back by the deer, and has never recovered to nearly the size of that one.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 8:27PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

My grill mouse! lol

I want to echo the sentiments already expressed by all the other IU6 attendees. What a fabulous time! Too much to eat, too much to drink and I'm exhausted from all the late nights and running around but I wouldn't miss it for the world (and apparently I'm the only idyller who has been to every idyllunion). Liz and the helpmeet were the host and hostess with the mostess. Looking forward to Napa '10!

For those of you who are not on Facebook, I've attached a link to the album of candid photos I took with my phone and provided as real time updates. The quality isn't always the greatest but my goal was to include those who weren't able to attend.

Mary, how did you like the gluten free bakery?

Gotta run. it definitely sucked going back to work


    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 8:31PM
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Aww...the gang's all here checking in....

I'm off to bed...tomorrow is the farmer's market! I heard sales weren't as good in my absence last week - was it me or the weather?


    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 9:40PM
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The grill mouse... mice don't last very long around here thanks to the triad of assassins in snug fitting fur suits.

I pulled more weeds yesterday and can't wait to be sprung from the world o' work to do more of it. No mulch was moved yesterday, too hot and muggy for that nonsense.

It was great to see everyone check in and I know what you mean about letting it all just soak in. I've found myself doing just that for the past few days. I'm still thinking about "massing". And I'm thinking about that wretched "gold" foliage evergreen and how the hell I'm going to do ANYTHING to make it sort of acceptable to my eyes. ;)

I'm making a series of roll up shades for a screened porch and the directions are typically unclear but it's given me some time to think about what I want to get done on the home front. Time to think about boogyin' on outta here.

Have a good one all!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 5:03AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, I'm well and truly tired out! I'm just imitating a vegetable in my favorite chair and going through photographs and putting image galleries together of the fabulous IU6 extravaganza. I made it home from Monique and Les' with a fast and easy drive, no heavy traffic on the Mass Pike or Rt. 495 which was a treat for a change. It's a good thing I didn't linger in CT any longer than I did because Doug has been pressed for time with work this week and didn't have time to water all the pots before he left for work so I had several disasters in the making but I think I caught them in time. For some obscure reason he thought that if the sun wasn't out he didn't need to water. Hmmmm.... Oh well all is OK.

We are getting a nice soaking rain at the moment so I'm content to remain where I am and look at pictures.

Many, many thanks to all the hosts and hostesses, drivers and planners for this trip and a special thanks go to the unsung heroes of the trip, Wendy and Saucy who organized much of the weekend and put together a fabulous lunch and the Lobster Diner for Friday.

OK I'm off to do more photo editing but I thought I'd share my 'Grill Mouse' pictures and a link to a gallery of photographs from Cynthia Hosmer's gorgeous gardens and estate on the Maine coast.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 8:34AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - thanks for the link to the pictures. What a fabulous place!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 9:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We interrupt this broadcast for an important message.

Ms Ivy Rayne has returned from camping in BC and will soon be leaving to visit Nana Marie. There she will meet Myrtle the turtle.


We now return to our coverage of IU6.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 1:53PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I see a PINK dress!! Looks good...:-)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 3:50PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

'bug, Ms Ivy is beautiful - I'm sure you can't wait to get your hands on her!

Sue, I showed the grill mouse pictures to my family, and DH suggests that you change the drip pan - they sell replacements at places like Lowe's and Orange.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 6:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Miss Ivy Rayne is a sweetheart. Great pics all.

The Grill Mouse may be cute, but I hope I have seen the last of it's kind in my house for a long time!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 7:03PM
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I'm pleased to see that pink isn't totally banned from Ivy's wardrobe. What fun she must be having. That first picture is quite stunning.

How exciting to see the IU pictures start rolling in. It appears that it was another smashing success. I look forward to all the pictures.

I need to get in my garden now. I think a photographer will be here sometime in the near future.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 7:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I got greedy and decided to upload all of my IU pics at once. Then I realized I have 1 gigabyte of photos and this will likely take all night. Oy!

So I'll settle for word pictures right now. IU6 was a lot of fun and DD and I have a great trip. Lots of generosity all around by the various hosts and hostesses, drivers, garden owners and fellow idyllers. The gardens were lovely and inspiring. The weather - well, we had a great time no matter what the weather decided to do!

DD and I had a great couple of days in Boston. She had a very nice meeting with a music prof at BU who even took her to lunch (and who knew that BU had a lovely little garden with a waterfall where I had my own lunch?) and gave her lots of great information. The next day she visited Simmons but was not as impressed with their program - she says sorry, Liz! But did you know there are three wild turkeys running around their campus? Strange but true.

She also wanted to see the campus of Harvard, so we took the train to Cambridge, had lunch and had a nice stroll. I couldn't figure out why there were cops EVERYWHERE in the neighborhood, but I delivered a nice healthy dope slap to my forehead the next day when I realized we were walking within a block of Prof. Gates' home. That's what happens when you disconnect yourself from the news for a few days.

So now it's back to work. If the weather cooperates, I should have a healthy chunk of garden time this weekend. Some weeding and some editing are overdue here.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:00PM
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Lol Deanne, your pics of grill mouse are great- maybe Sue needs to put that on the front of her Christmas Card this year !

I'm home and currently uploading my photos- I'm beat up from the feet up ! Took me 6hrs to fly from Boston to SFO and then another 4 almost to get home, by the time I waited for the shuttle, picked up my car and inserted myself directly into rush hour traffic.

I'll check back later...wave to all

Kathy, back in Napa

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:01PM
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Tonight I planted up my hypertufa pot. Here's a shot of the leaf castings I made also.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 11:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, your leaf castings are great! And I love the hypertufa planting too. How long has it been planted? Do they last a long time?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You tempt me to make a mini-hosta filled hypertufa Michelle! I'd think slugs would hesitate to climb up the sides.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:31AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Friday morning everyone!

First off, I want to say a huge "Thank-you" to all who attended IU VI, for the super holiday, and especially to Deanne and Doug for rounding me up at the airport upon my arrival, and Chelone and Helpmeet for providing the plush accommodations and return airport journey, and Kathy (I think) for the wine glass memento; and not to forget all the rest of the Idyll group for welcoming me here and sharing your gardens, your jokes, your peasures and your sorrows. What a genuinely wonderful bunch you are!

I arrived home chomping at the bit to get into my gardens (I sure didn't need any more food!). DD took TCS camping at the beach for the week, and DH was happily entertained on the golf course, so I had two blissful days to induge myself. The front of the house was weeded, trimmed, fertilised and mulched on Wenesday (that hsn't been done all at one time since I put that garden in four years ago) and Thursday the back yard got the treatment. I spent three hours in my version of vegetable world, which is mostly a forest of tomato plants, pruning them all. My version of tomato pruning is looking at each branch and if there are no fruit or flowers on it, lop it off. It does not look nearly as lush and green as it once did, but boy! Do I have a ton of tomatoes, now that I can see them! I also took down the makeshift fence that was keeping the Bostons off the grass seed and out of the garden, weeded the garden, topped up the whole thing with triple mix, cut the lawn, and then fertilised. Whew! Makes me tired just thinking about it! But it does look good. I guess I needed a good swift kick where it hurts to get my self in gear. The gardens I saw in Maine were a huge inspiration.

DH had commented on the way to the airport that removing the parts of the lawn on both sides of the house would make more garden space and remove irritating mowing areas, so I psyched that out a little bit too. After seeing Chelones standard PeeGee Hydrangea, and sitting under it for a spell, I decided that I would also get one for one of the new garden areas. I didn't actually get a Pee
Gee but I have to go out and read the tag to tell you which one I got. I know my men would be more than willing to help get this started, but when is the question, so I have started by moving one patio stone to it's new home. In a few days I should be able to acually plant the tree - Always something fun to do in a new garden!

Today's JJobs are to pay the bills (groan) and to clean the fridge (double groan). So I had better get to it, or I will languish on the couch with a book all day and then beat myself up for doing nothing.




    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 9:06AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

I'm way behind, but company leaves tomorrow morning, so I hope to catch up then.

Haven't had a chance to really enjoy all the IU pics, but plan to do that when I can sit and relax awhile, but wanted to thank all of you for sharing it with all of us who couldn't make it. Did get a chance to look quickly (want to do a better lookey later)at Sue's pics and I can see everyone had a wonderful time, no suprise there!:-) I *love* the nail color pic! I would definitely want to frame that one and put it on the wall...the "circle" was perfect and the colored nails and varied pretty feet really make it a piece of art! Love the mousey too! :-) Thanks again all for sharing the joy. It was wonderful to see all your faces...Mary you have such a great really glows from within. More to comment on, but will have to wait till later when I can really take it all in.

Norma...I'm sorry to hear about your arthritis. :-(
I'm including a couple of pics of the 'Snow Fairy'. Every year they look like they're dead in late winter, but by spring they're lush and beautiful. I think they have a nicer habit then other caryopteris I've grown. I really like that they shear so nicely too. They may look a little droopy here, as I haven't had a chance to water anything and I can see now that they could do with a little shearing. I have so much gardening work to catch up on this year. I hope to do some of that this week-end after MIL & FIL head for home.

Here's the one in the white garden...sorry if the pics are too large...I still haven't figured out how to adjust them at PB:

And here are pics of the ones by the arbor my dad made many years ago:

Michelle the leaves are wonderful and so is your hypertufa container. I love what you planted and giving it a stone mulch. :-) Mine is a bit overflowing this year...I need to learn control...LOL!

Lovely little Ivy...what a sweetheart! She looks pretty in pink, though I'm sure she'd look lovely in any color! :-) I agree with Michelle that first pic is breathtaking.

Well, I guess I'd better go...hope to be back this week-end...really looking forward to seeing all the separate IU posts.

Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 9:46AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ei, your pics are beautiful, and just the right size, in my opinion. The 'White Garden' is espacially pretty, and all the others are lovely too.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 11:14AM
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Ive spent the morning so far punctuating frenzied deadheading sessions with downloading batches of IU pics. My garden looks horrid- hate to think what it would be like if Id been gone another week ! DS did a great job watering, nothing is dead though the Tithonia tried to go to seed, so I topped it.

Its great to see everyone checking in, and the great photos from Michelle, bug, Ei, Woody etc etc. I hope to comment more this evening.

Michellemore details please on the photographer visit ?

Back outside I go

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 1:15PM
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I've been driven indoors by yet more rain. Not quite as bad as last Friday, but still heavy. The helpmeet and I returned the beds to my BIL's home this morning and then turned our attention to some much needed yardwork.

I weeded around the Arborvitaes and Vaccinium while he trimmed the hedge. It began to rain just as we finished putting the trimmings in the gardenway and hauling it out to the debris area. The hedge looks really nice and several cyclists commented on it, too. I thought to myself how nice it would be if you could be here to see it, too. But alas, it was not meant to be. We both lamented that it's tough when busy season at your job coincides with gardening season. Also that tough choices about home projects often put gardening further down on the list than you'd like... but such is the life of a "modern pioneer woman".

I've begun addressing a nasty case of bindweed near the stonewall that runs along the road. The stuff is awful and I'm not sure how to really eradicate it effectively. Attempts to eliminate it when fence and garden area in front of it were removed for the bahn's construction were unsuccessful and it piggybacked to a new site when the Baptisia was relocated. I weeded around a few prominent clumps of it and then zapped it with some Finale but was wondering what you've done in a similar situation. I loathe using herbicides in general but do understand that they have their place in controlling tough customers. Thoughts?

I've not had time to really read but wanted to comment on Michelle's wonderful leaf castings and hypertufa and Ei's pretty gardens. All looks so neat and tidy.

I think Ivy looks grand in her pink dress with the polka dots. And I would like to know how big the snapping turtle in the picture was?

I laughed at the mention of the Prof. Gates fiasco and Cambridge, V.. Talk about a perfect storm of egos, huh? can't you just imagine how it all went down? Give me a break! :)

OK, time for some reading and a nap since we're going to the theatre tonight. I wonder what we're going to see?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 3:44PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I understand the moving of an undesirable with a transplant. I have done that. I am afraid I have no advise for you.
And then there are the things that I have bought that turned out to be thugs!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 5:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

One very classy area nursery introduced a special invasive violet to our property. Grrrr. Instead of apologizing or eradicating it there, the fellow denies it.

Today I bought 2 Anthony Waterer Spireas. They were $8 each! I was inspired by all the handsome ones at the various IU6 gardens, ESPECIALLY the ones combined with Clematis Hagley Hybrid! I also picked up 2 Hydrangeas and a Lorraine Sunshine. You guys are all to blame!

Today we vacuumed together. What a chore! DH and I rotated the DR rug which was a big task but it sure looks better. I cleaned out the guest bedroom closet and gave three armloads of clothing to the "opportunity shop". At last that chore is out of the way. Yesterday I bought a used baby swing for Ivy to use while she's here. I'm amazed at the deals at that particular shop! They had really nice baby clothing for $1.99. Why do people feel badly about buying used clothing? They also sold ice skates and such things.

Chelone, Myrtle's carapace is about 12" long. I haven't seen her today, so perhaps she has laid her eggs and left. And as for Phoebe, I don't know what happened to her while I was away but she is ever so naughty and nippy too. She forgot how to roll over and now is at least back to rolling in one direction.

Ei, your gardens are a real delight! You've changed things since I was there! I too love Snow Fairy, mostly for the foliage. The flowers are intriguing but not all that showy.

I am still readjusting from my travels, but tomorrow I must do lots of stuff before the gang arrives. Can't wait! Tonight? Grilled sausages, corn on the cob and salad.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL...Speaking of you guys being to is what I brought home from HD yesterday:

They are each in 10 inch pots, and were only $2:50 apiece. Of course the Zinnias are what you are to blame for...LOL, not the rose moss.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 6:00PM
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Im moving the bio-rhythms back into Pacific time, but I have fatigue issues as well. I expect to feel chipper by tomorrow which will help as indoor chores must be done. The suitcase is sitting,(still full) on the chair in my bedroom, and electronics are strewn on the dining room table. No laundry is done yet, though some is gatherered. I still havent downloaded all my pics ! That will be accomplished tonight.

So Chelone, did you trim New Dawn to the specifications we discussed ? I should have just asked for your pruners and done it while I was standing there ! When one has 70 plus roses, trimming , pruning and deadheading needs to be done fast, and in our winter between rain storms. I guess you can appreciate that with the crazy weather on the E. seaboard this summer . Another thank you for allowing us to descend on the compound . You have a beautiful piece of property there, and I know you will solve your traffic barricade dilemma in due course.

Wendy, I really liked your DSs robots ! I know everyone here would enjoy a photo .

bug, I LOVE the polka dot rig on Ms IvyI hope it fits her for a while ..

Julie, Im glad the Phils all got along without you, and that you had a couple of days to recuperate. Last year was my freshman year at IU and I sure do remember how fun it was to meet everyone for the first time. I did a JJ fridge cleaning thing too- but there was almost nothing in it so it was a very easy task for a change. Did you loose a pair of stretchy- over the glasses shades ? I seem to have come home with an extra pair.

Eileen your photos are beautiful and I dont think they need re-sizing. I wish I had been around in the olden days and could have seen your garden.

Marian, I have been enabled to the max on my trip ! I sure came home with lots of ideas and hope I can implement at least a couple.

All for me this evening

Mary, check in !!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 12:11AM
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Kathy, I trimmed New Dawn a bit more radically than you suggested. I removed the one very long cane and then cleaned up the the base. I removed the long cane because it was laced in behind the trellis and would have been a pain to keep trimmed, and I figured improving the air circulation behind her wouldn't hurt any. The shorter, younger canes have been tied loosely to the trellis ans spent blossoms have been removed. I have yet to feed her but that will happen shortly as I want to work in that bed in the coming week/so; I'm not interested int he heavy chemical fix so any suggestions you may have with regard to an improved diet would be appreciated. Seems prudent to document the reclaimation photographically, too. As I told you, I'm willing to do something more radical to bring her into line before deciding she's outta here for good. I remain unconvinced but will give it the old college try...

We received another solid inch of rain yesterday afternoon and there was standing water in Vegetable World yet again. The helpmeet has determined to look into a saddle fitting with drain that could be added to the subterranean 12" black plastic drainage pipe that runs from the culvert under the road to the cement drainage pipe that drains the the environs on the bahn. The standing water drains away in under an hour but it would be nice to be able to hasten the process if possible. Maybe today I'll be able to put some of the mulch on a bed/two? Ya think?

We've decided that Rex is a very social dog. He really seemed to enjoy all the activity and "company" and he would love to have Catherine come back and minister to his needs. He has not taken to the Kong ball at all, though, 'bug, so it may be regifted to the Wrecking Crew on their next visit to the Compound. Nope, his preferred toy is a tennis ball (preferably two of them) and I think that's how it will be until he's no longer able to run after one. He will do ANYTHING for a tennis ball. Life should be so simple for us all, huh?

Time to mosey into the kitchen and think about some clean up. Then a trip to the store for some laundry detergent, a necessary ingredient to banish the final load of laundry and capitalize on what is supposed to be a a sunny, dry day.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 7:14AM
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Today is looking so promising - sun over freshly watered lawn and garden....ahhhh!

I pulled something in my back though, and it will be hard to restrain myself on such a glorious day!

Kathy, that's a tough flight across the country. I hope you wake feeling refreshed today! Your pictures are coming in gorgeous...I think you've nailed it! I am having a love/hate relationship with my camera right now...and have put it down for the most part. Maybe I'll start accosting the family for photos again - a new muse might waken the spirit!

Michelle, your leaves are beautiful. Great job casting! I think of you a lot in your little "workshop" and dream of having such a space. Did you plant your trough up or is that an older one? I have never planted one up right away...if that is what you did.

I want to hear more about this mysterious photographer, mentioned it as if we wouldn't notice :)

Ms. Ivy is going to get her cheeks pinched :) What is that beautiful body of water in the first picture? Why is it that color (if there is an explanation)?

I am planning to come in today when I get hot or need a back break and upload some pictures...I've got them in the computer now, so they just need to get moved to picturetrail.



    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 8:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

As Saucy said we are looking at a beautiful, sunny summer day and with the two inches of rain we got yesterday I dont need to water. Yea! I need to get caught up on my deadheading and cleaning up debris from the gardens today and have to feed the Brugmansias.

Kathy, Hope you get back on your west coast schedule soon. Youve really gotten some fantastic shots from IU6. ~~ I miss seeing you every day, you just live way to far away!

Eileen, I really loved seeing the photos of your gardens. They are looking awesome!

Michelle! Wow, your leaf castings are fabulous! And your hypertufa planting is beautiful.

Marian, great plants from HD. Such great colors.

OK Im off to putter around the gardens and spruce things up around here.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 8:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I must start my day today by digging out Japanese anemones from a spot where I thought I had eliminated them already. :( Then there's a long list of chores and errands before the gang arrives. :) It is sunny and going to be HOT out.

Last night I received a call that offered me a $100 plant gift certificate, a gimmick that a nursery owner is using to entice people to shop there. Well how annoying that I can't use it! I had to use it today...and just can't fit it in. My friend who works there is bringing me a baby Cornus alternifolia for $20! She says the owner doesn't know what it is and had no idea how to price it.

I am wondering where Chelone's new holly is going to be situated. I'd love a photo of it planted in its new home. Anyone have suggestions for the best spot, now that you've been there?

OK, I'm off to find my shovel. Please keep adding photos and I'll try to check back often.

Looking for PM and Mary and others too!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:07AM
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A quickie here. We are supposed to leave for a wedding near the capitol city. I woke up with what I believe is shingles on my leg, exactly where I had them before. It's been very stressful at work so it probably is. I'm waiting to call the clinic and get meds before we go.

I'm hoping to take in a garden on the trip.

Ei, I love the picture of the arbor with the blue, white and chartruese. How special that it was made by your dad.

Saucy, the tufa is 2 weeks old. I don't know if it was good to plant it or not but I've had these succelents all summer waiting for a home.

As for the photographer, my garden has been chosen for an award, more on that later.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Someone explain to me why I did not have the presence of mind to jot down the names of plants seen on IU6? Sensory overload must be the answer. In the gardens of Sue and Monique were collections of shrubs that created wonderful tapestries of color and form with only punctuations of flowers. This would work quite well for areas of this left coast garden that has exposure issues relative to trees on the lots of adjoining neighbors.

I finally got all my pictures loaded onto the computer and will put up some this afternoon of Les and Moniques and our trip to White Flower Farm. This morning I need to hit the grocery store and do a WALAT at the garden center.

Cant wait to hear about MIchelles award, and look forward to a leisurely evening looking at all the pics being posted both of IU6 and gardens of others Idyll folk.

Later all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 12:11PM
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I am sorry to hear that some of the Idyll sisterhood is feeling under the weather... not the time of year for that nonsense now, is it? Do take good care of yourselves and Michelle, put that stress behind you, please!

I can't wait to hear about the "major award" (a line from "A Christmas Story" that's a family standard here), Michelle. I am not the least bit surprised as several of your combinations have dazzled us all. What fun! and I hope you preen appropraitely as all your hard work is lauded by other appreciative people. :)

I'm in for a short break (to hang laundry) after a busy morning toiling along the road. I reek of sunscreen (remember that stuff?). My weeding frenzy has paid off and I've put down a thin layer of newspaper, soaked it well, and topped it all with several wheelbarrow loads of "dahk bahk", the preferred mulch here on the Compound. I am preparing to mulch between the Stewartia and Dogwood next, but will skip the newspaper layer since I want to be move plants around in there in the coming weeks. Feels good but it's really just a drop in the bucket and when I lift my head and look to the north and gaping maw of road I want to cry. Oh well, looks better than it did so I'll focus on that.

While I dearly love beautiful perennial borders I'm with Sue, Monique, 'bug, and several others who have established shrub borders. They're beautiful and they minimize the effort required to keep things looking nice. But the devil (as always!) is in the details and getting shrubs established and underplanted requires patience and real diligence to keep weeds at bay/under a modicum of control. This, I believe, is where the concept of "massing" fits nicely into the equation. I'm struggling toward more of that, resolving to use the mega horde of Hosta and daylilies I have readily available to effect a better representation of the overall concept.

I am disappointed in the yellow Hemerocallis I have, you guys. It is some sort of hybrid that was passed along to me by my BIL. It came from a friend of his who does the daylily thing. The blossoms are lovely, large and a very soft yellow but the scapes are too wimpy to support the blossoms and they fall over. I've decided they're OUTTA HERE but I would appreciate your thoughts on a sturdy, reliable substitute for the color. Bear in mind that I am looking for a clear color, no contrast in the throat or on the edges of the petals. I could be persuaded to move into peach but I'm not really interested in that "pink" that always looks sort of dirty to me. Fragrance would be terrific but not requisite.

I've not decided where the charming, "Sky Pencil" holly will be sited. I think on the south side of the house (the Terrace area) where it will be more protected from harsher winter winds and would fit nicely into the more formal feel of the area. I have wanted to rework that area for some time now but it always falls off the list as there are bigger "fires to put out" around the yard. Julie and I thought it might look nice next to the stoop that leads into the Biddy Suite, but that will require relocating a pink peony that presently lives there. It would then be next to the New Dawn that I'm trying to resurrect. So not sure.

OK, time to get the laundry hung out and move some more mulch.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 1:19PM
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Good evening all, temps are mild here and Ive spent the day watering and cleaning up the accumulated results of a week away from the garden. The inside still needs attention, but outdoors is far more to my liking.

There will be a visit tomorrow from DD and Mr. Baby ..those requesting photos and info will be pacified at last. I intend to show restraint- Im pretty sure I cant compete with Ms Ivys polka-dot dress !

Chelone, I think Wendy might be an excellent resource for the daylily thing. I would hesitate to recommend anything , as they seem to be so changeable relative to soils, climate etc. Your neighbor had these: From Idyllunion 6 July 2009 From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

I am posting this pic here, because the other IU threads are loaded down with photos, and I wanted to share the awe we all felt when Les beckoned us into the Begonia House at WFF. I have been getting the WWF catalog for years and even paid for it a few times, but always thought the tuberous Begonias prices to be ludicrous. I think I can safely say I have never seen begonias the likes of these- the flowers were massive , 8 inch diameters at least on many. The photos I took dont really capture how enormous those flowers were. I looked around for a catalog to check the prices of the tubers ;I may spring for one next year if I can get one under 20 $ From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

Nothing more to report this evening, laundry and other mundane tasks continue---and are Deanne and I the only ones who took pics at IU ?? Lets see some more photos !

Till tomorrow, Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 9:30PM
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I did not take many pictures at IUVI and I've not bothered to even upload them yet. My pictures have been more in the "home improvement" category and even those are still riding around on the card inside the camera.

That yellow daylily is just about the color of the one I have with the wimpy scapes, Kathy. And that's just about the color I'm interested in, too. I'll have ask about it. Funnily enough I've always looked askance at the pricey Begonias, too. I'm not sure I'd be willing to fork over that sort of pork for something I'd have serious doubts about carrying over season to season. Probably best to admire from afar, methinks.

I suspect there will be much activity at the Farm in the coming days. Probably way too many gratutious shots of a very young humanoid, too... here we go again. ;)

Time for my coffee and maybe I'll even go out and sit under the big top in the still of the early morning, while hatching the plan of attack for the day. Which will involve more weeding and more mulch and perhaps even some judicious chainsawing!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 5:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You got it Chelone! I'm up early to process photos before the day gets started. What a treat they all are!!! Family is what it's all about.

Skyler and DD have built monster toys, the dogs have finally met and romped, DSIL clobbered DD at ping pong, Skyler read us a story before bed, we all had strawberries and cream and most important we all got cuddles. :)

I used to get the WFF catalogue but after they stopped shipping to Canada, I received a catalogue from Cynthia for eye candy purposes. I sure miss her!

Those are FABU begonias! I'm partial to yellow. I am not Deanne though and would worry about keeping them alive.

Mr Baby? Ivy'd like to meet you!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:00AM
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What a happy family photo montage, gb! I love the picture of you inspecting Ivy's perfection :)

Jake always liked those Chicken Soup for the Soul books, too :)

I woke to a huge dog mess...ugh. Not the way I imagined my day starting! I then tried to upload photos but picturetrail keeps saying they're too big....did they change the process on me? Very odd. Not looking good for today if this morning is any indication.

Anyway...I'm going to go paint some more. This will be known as the summer of maintenance, and it was a bad summer to attempt because of all the rain delays....hopefully I can wrap it up soon.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:13AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning! Cloudy day on tap here, but no rain until tonite. This AM we are scheduled to clean the turtle tank (DD has a pet turtle, and we have this system of tank cleaning whereby I get to dump the bucket of yucky water and scrub the algea from the rocks, and she does the rest, including bailing, washing the glass, and re-filling).

Later on we visit my parents for swimming and a haircut for DH. DS had his military cut before scout camp, so he is all set until school starts. My father is a barber, and he cuts my DH and DS at home. My DD and I go to a salon where we are coiffed by a hairdresser. I've had his "regular boys" haircut before; from the ages of 7-10 many strangers mistook me for a boy.

Kathy, glad to hear you are recovering from your right coast jaunt. You were smart to take the extra days to relax. I am enjoying your pictures so much.

Michelle, a "major award" (LOL Chelone, we love that movie too) - how cool! Please tell us more when you can. Hope the prize is something better than a leg-lamp - beware of prizes shipped in a huge wooden crate!

Since you asked, I'll include a picture of one of Matthew's robots. It is made from the Lego mindstorm, which includes a programable module, along with various sensors. This is one version of the "camera bot". He programs this robot to drive on a set route with the camera in movie mode, documenting all action at floor-level. He probably has oscar-winning footage of the dust-bunnies that lurk in the corners.

He had another camera bot that was a sort of stationary guard; it had a motion sensor that triggered the camera to take a still picture of anyone who entered the room. He has also made various robots that walk upright, sweep up lego debris and solve the rubiks cube (I'm not kidding, he found the program on one of his lego forums).

Chelone, I have a daylily that color called "Ice Carnival", it looks very much like the one in Kathy's pic. I also have "Gloria Blanca" which is that color, but has thicker, fancier petals. Gloria came from a daylily farm near you in Berwick, Maine run by the Vicentes. Ron Vicente hybridized various cultivars that he named after Maine coast landmarks like the Nubble Light. His hybrids were very expensive at the time ($75 yo $200), prices I can't bear to pay for a plant. He has passed away now, I'm not sure if the farm is still in operation. Your neighbor Harold mentioned another daylily woman he knows, the name escapes me now. The fragrant yellow in his yard was called "Cool One".

Well, DD informs me that she is ready to begin turtle operations so I must go assist. She claims that the turtle gets restless when his tank is too dirty, he bangs around a lot and gets underneath the submersible filter and lifts it up so that it squirts water into the air. We can't have an unhappy turtle!

Waving hi to all I missed! Enjoy the day!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Good morning

Wow, so much to look at this morning - babies, gardens, robots, colorful flowers. What a treat:0)

How wonderful to see more glimpses of our fabulous week, not to mention Grill Mouse!! I hope to have a few pics to share soon. So many fun memories.

Things as usual have been quite busy since my return. On the poultry front our two chicken families are now sucessfully blended. The three younger Aracanas were put in with the big girls and there has been minimal pecking. They all pile into the one small henhouse at night so I need to get going on their permanent housing.

This morning there was a lot of clucking going on and when I sprinted down to see what was happening the chickens were fine but the quail had completely disappeared. There was no sign of anything entering their pen, but I could hear them calling from different parts of the yard. I spied two quail wandering about on the patio, but the odds of rouding them up and catching them are slim to none. I'll keep their pen open with food and water and hope perhaps they will find their way back:0( They are such pretty birds, I'll miss them a lot.

I'm desparate to spend some serious time in the garden, inspired by all I've seen but it continues to be wet, wet, wet. I've done a quick round of staking and dead-heading and can't wait to put in some serious garden time.

I cast my first concrete leaves with a friend on Friday. It was fun and they seem to have turned out OK so far, though there are lots of little air bubbles on the hosta leaves we made. Do you guys use acrylic paints to color?

Today we are hoping to take a family trip to a Renaissance Fair but the weather looks iffy. If we don't make it I might be able to post pics.

Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Baby warning ...

Aiden likes this combo From aiden

At least I didn't make him cry ! From aiden

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 5:20PM
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You need to try harder, Kathy. :) The wrestling petard looks sharp!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 5:54PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Great pics and goings on today. So we get pics of Ivy and Mr. Baby (Aiden)....

I see Marie is inspecting the sweet Ivy ever so carefully and Aiden is already helping Grandma in the garden. Very cute.
That robot is pretty clever Wendy! Amazing piece of work.

I'm looking forward to hearing about Michelle's award.

Mary, so sorry about your quail. What a bummer. Do you know how they got out?

So I was feeding the fish the other day and happened upon these sweet little garden sculptures that weren't there before IU6.

I just love them and thank whoever left them so artfully placed by my pond!

OK I've got to go and start some dinner. Have a great evening everyone.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 6:02PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - everyone looks happy there! I particularly like that first picture of Sarah and Ivy. You're going to have to get Phoebe a permanent canine buddy by the looks of things :-)

Mary - I hope your quail find their way home again!

Michelle - waiting impatiently to hear more about the award.....!

Wendy - neat robot! I feel very technologically dated :-)

Kathy - Mr Baby looks like he's going to be useful :-)

Lazy, pleasant day here today. Liam is in residence again - he was here Wed. and Thurs. and came back last night, staying until Monday afternoon. Lots of Frisbee-playing and walks by the lake going on here these days.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:16PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

I thought Kathy would like to see these couple pics of the side garden. I took this special for her after she said I never took any photos of it. LOL

I just love the Hosta 'Golden Tiara' in this garden. It always smothers itself with flowers.

Nite all,

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:23PM
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Good evening Idylls..
DD and Mr Baby have departed, we had a very pleasant afternoon , and MB was happy and well behaved at all times. The only issue we had was his excitement at seeing Ted and Doobie-he apparently loves kitties and has a special squeal that he performs when seeing one, and the felines here did not find it to their taste. They retreated to their hiding places.

So tomorrow I return to the awfice (think Cindy does too) and I am not excited by re-entry. I could spend all year tooling around between gardens of friends , with frequent stops at mine for over haul. Speaking of which, I started a re-do this morning on the hell-strip. Mostly the demolition portion of the project. Fall is a good time to plant here so I am trying to plan and prepare for the design I want and then will do the install in late Sept.

Deanne, I wonder who your secret gifter was ? Thanks for posting the pics of the side garden ! I love seeing spaces like this that can be a challenge to keep looking nice. Since it was overcast and Im on the wrong coast, I have no clue what the exposure of this bed wasplease advise .I was turned around the whole time until I got my rental car and started driving.

Wendy, thanks for the robot pic ! I would expect numerous bum-shots as well provided there was the right crowd If your DS took that to a Botanical Garden he may end up with a raft of keisters, lol.

Mary, so sorry to hear that your Quail escaped !

All for me tonight, Im finishing up with laundry and household chores so I can be ready to hit the awfice tomorrow.

Wave to all, and missing my IU6 friends !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 10:00PM
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I am charmed by the addition of some pondside pals. I'll bet you were surprised when you noticed them and whoever placed them has been waiting eagerly to see when they'd be discovered. Love stuff like that! Your borders are so pretty, Deanne. Is that an Astilbe or a Liatris at the head of the border in the second shot? I'm asking because I found a rather good sized Liatris lurking near the birch tree... I have NO idea how it got there since the Liatris I had years ago petered out in less than ideal conditions.

I wonder how many of Mary's AWOL quail have survived the night? it would seem a grim prospect. They're probably not the brightest bulbs on the circuit but let's hope some of them managed to scratch their way back to their coop and relative saftety (at least until Farmer Brown gets hold of them!).

The robotic camera and it's potiential to deliver bumshots made me chuckle... and reminded me of "Wall E". It's always so nice when kids use their minds instead of just settling back and being passively entertained. Gives me needed hope that the world will not, in fact, be taken over by a legion of obese, slack-jawed mouth breathers! Go Idyll kids. And a pat on the back to those of you who've decided to procreate.

I have to work today as my co-worker's mother is in the hospital and quite possibly very ill. We have a big restaurant canopy to get finished this week and it's time for me to "step up to the plate" and help take the pressure off. So I'm going in late today and will stay late, too. In fact, it will probably be that way for the remainder of the week... all this at the same time my 'phone is really ringing with a variety of more interesting private gigs. Never fails.

We saw "Guys and Dolls" on Friday night. It was fun, the costumes and the sets were terrific, but the story didn't really jazz me. This season has been a bit of bust but I suppose that's to be expected every few years. Still, it's a night out. We have a dinner date tonight, too.

The helpmeet helped me limb up the oak tree to the left of the privacy fence that supports the climbing hydrangea. It should allow more sun to the increasingly shaded terrace and allow the Magnolia to grow more evenly. I have not yet broached the subject of removing the oak tree altogether as that might just put him over the edge. ;)

OK, time to get a few chores out of the way, fill my face, and twiddle my thumbs until it's time to leave for the land o' chaos.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 7:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


Off on a day trip.
Barely keeping up but worried about chickens and delighted by Deanne's pond critters!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:22AM
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Good morning

Mr baby - good to see you again!! You are beautiful.

Two of the quail returned to the pen yesterday evening which I'd left open with food and water. I secured them in for the night but can't for the life of me figure out how they escaped. I can hear the others calling - perhaps it is just a matter of time.

Deanne - what a lovely addition to your already lovely pond. And wonderful to see the side garden again. Dead-heading in there was such a treat - you could charge people for the experience:0)

I just finished one of those projects that qualifies me either as a good Mum or a total nutcase. We have two new pets bought with David's pet sitting money - Templeton and Basil. You can probably guess what they are from their names though I wonder if anyone else knows where Basil came from? David begged me to make them a hammock and I just whippped up a nifty one out of old jeans. Sue - do you think Grill Mouse would like a mini version?

Just incase anyone was interested here is a link with instructions and other fun toys you can make at home. LOL!

(nutcase I think)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:27AM
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GB - what fun pictures from you too. Skylar is a horseman? Everyone looks as though they are having a great time. We play lots of croquet here too - it really unites all the generations and is a favorite with neighbors.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:32AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am so behind on this thread!
I hope all of the IU6 folks are getting rested up ...and espacially the hostesses.
And I espacially hope Saucy's back is okay.

Marie, I love the family pics. Ivy gets more adorable every time I see pics of her. I like the pic of Skyler reading the book. Looks like a good choice.

Ugh! Saucy! A "huge dog mess", not what you needed with a bad back! Cat messes can be bad enough.

Wendy, Matthew's robots are amazing! Can he patent them? Do you mean anyone can make them from the programs on the lego forum? That IS amazing! What next? !! I sure do not envy you the job of cleaning out the turtle tank.

Awwww, Mary. I do hope the quail come back. That is sad.

Kathy, Aiden is so cute. He is a little blondy like our son was. (Ours is still quite blond.)

Deanne, what neat gift ornaments to find in your garden. The upper frog looks very real.
Just as I figured, your side garden is just as perfect as all the rest.

Kathy, LOL on the retreating kitties. Ours always did that when our GDs came, but now that they are larger , and calmer, the cats have accepted them.

Chelone, Liatris grow in the wild here, and reseed readily. We have 3 or 4 differant varieties.

Okay, I think I am pretty well caught up....


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:40AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Wow! I'm so behind here...been busy dreaming away on the IU threads! :-)

Mary glad to hear some of the quail have returned...I hope they all return soon!

Thank you all for the nice words about my garden. :-) Thank goodness it's been a fairly nice gardening season weather-wise. I felt pretty down about how behind I am in all the gardening chores...but you guys inspired me with your nice words to get out there and get busy. I worked on the north garden on Saturday & Sunday we were out all day. I did a little more clean up this morning, but now it is raining. I am not complaining, however, I am always grateful when Mother Nature waters my garden! :-)

Kathy...LOL! You cracked me up about Mr. Baby...I'm sure he adores Grandma. And what a cutey patutey!

I can see special times going on at Bug's place and omigosh...that last picture of lovely little Ivy is irresistable! What an adorable smile!

Deanne...aren't the Idylls...the neatest people? How fun that someone left you that sweet surprise. They look great in your pond!

Michelle...hope you have recovered? Sorry to hear about the reoccurring shingles. I too can't wait to hear about your garden exciting and how well deserved! Please tell us all about it when you get back; okay? :-)

Wendy the robot is very cool! I was at an Art show last week and there was an artist who did mixed metals and had made a bee with antique bundt pans, and old oil can, antique funnel, etc. It was the most charming thing and I wanted it very badly...but couldn't bring myself to spend the money right now. I know its not the same thing as your son makes, but really reminded me of it! The artist does make robots too, but I especially love his insects and nature mixed metal stuff...maybe you can talk your son into making you a little garden sculpture? ;-) He did an awesome job with his robot.

I've added a few links so you can see this artist's stuff...unfortunately the bee I want isn't on his website.

I have lots more I want to talk about, but the rain has stopped for now and I need to get back out in the garden...

TTYL! Eileen

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:27AM
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Like others here, I am hopelessly behind on commenting. The computer is up again, it completely crashed and is empty except for XP, but my photos will be installed later. Thanks be to computer-talented nephews. That said...

The Idyll reunion photos are breathtaking. I especially love the ones from the Idyll homes. I've enjoyed them so much.

I've got an orange & white garden area stuck in my mind after seeing 'bug's photo of hers. Adding that to the fall project list.

We've been so dry here lately, all of July, in fact, and things are sort of blah. Keeping busy with work and family functions, though, so I don't have time to lament all the dryness.

Loving the Idyll DGC. Ivy and Aiden are adorable and growing up fast.

Thanks to all the photographers who have been so generous with their reunion photos. It lets us all share in your fun. So glad it went well and you had such a great time.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 5:40PM
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I agree with Anita and other posters, that the photos have been so much fun. While in the PNW on the family vaca, I managed to inveigle myself into one day of a Northwest Horticultural Society's tour of some amazing Portland gardens, and when I reached for my camera before boarding the bus had the sinking realization that I'd left my chip in the computer at home, and it was too early in the morning to buy a chip, so it was board the bus without a camera or not go at all. Portland had record-breaking heat that day in the low 100s, and we ended the tour at Cistus Nursery, which was a steambath...almost too hot to shop for plants! The NHS group were wonderful -- gardeners all come from the same tribe. The NHS group were returning to Seattle with an astonishing amount of plants to cram into that bus. I was thinking if everyone took a seat, then if the plants were passed hand to hand to the back of the bus and the center aisle filled up, they just might fit them all. I've been thinking about growing tetrapanax for some time, and this trip cinched the deal. I expect it will reach monster proportions here, and it does travel at the root quite a bit. Another one I've had my eye on, dichroa, an evergreen hydrangea-ish shrub, was growing in Lucy Hardiman's garden, so I got to see a mature specimen, and best luck was Cistus had it in stock.

On the way to the Portland airport to drop off some family who flew in, the teenagers wanted to stop at Voodoo Donuts. The maple bars draped in -- not a typo -- bacon are a huge hit. And of course the little man donuts in the shape of voodoo dolls. No, I didn't have a taste. That way lies madness...

We just got back late Sat night, time enough to count cats (still four) and tuck in. My neighbor Holly has ripped out the grass in her front yard and we're going to get her some sort of garden before she goes back to work in Sept. She has an Unsinkable Molly Brown streak, so we just may succeed.

Stopped by my folks today with a bunch of lilies, Stargazer and another kind, which dazzled them -- "Ooh, what kind of flowers are those?" No gardeners in my family...

Ivy, Aiden, Indigo, lots of fun stuff happening, and Michelle the recipient of a "major award" too. Ei's garden is stunning. Quick wave to all, and don't stop with the photos!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 7:08PM
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So much to comment on I'm not going to be able to cover it all. I seem to be exhausted for some reason. I do love the babies and family happenings. The IUVI pictures have been great. Such lovely gardens. Both public and private.

Serete surprises and awards too. You guys all make my day.

I have been doing summer clean up in the garden and the grandsons have been here several days and will be back this weekend. We picked more berries for jelly. Jake helped me make a batch and raved about how good it was. He was interested in the whole process.

It got hot here today and I'm thinking we may have to turn the air on to get a good nights sleep. Which I need.

Ei thanks for posting your garden pictures for me. I like your style.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 8:54PM
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I e-mailed the garden center today with a list of needs- I fear that this late in the season I might have limited success procuring them. I am rethinking more than one area in the garden.

Nice to see some of the recently absent check in; Denise and Anita, and where has Julie been ? The JJs must have piled up in her absence.

I must say Mary, you have outdone yourself in outfitting Templeton and Basil in luxurious digs. Maybe grill mouse would move to more convenient quarters if Sue rigged him up a hammock. As far as Basil goes Im having a Monty Python thought, but that doesnt seem quite right . One hopes it has nothing to do with Benny Hill.

Lovely shots of the family bug !

Ei, I have not commented yet on your lovely pics posted a few day s ago, and I finally had the chance to view them more closely this evening. I had snow fairy on my list but had to sub Worster Gold as SF was out of stock at the time. I love your blue/white combinations with the glimpse of pink in the distance, and everything is framed nicely by the trees and shrubs in the background. Very nice !

Marian, more Zinnias are always welcome, especially when they are a bargain ! I felt that I was too conservative last winter in the quantity of seed I started, and have made notes to double itI still have seed leftover .

Sleep tight Norma- hope you get the needed shut-eye

Hi to all, Im going to put together a slideshow for the awfice as they all want to see photos of my tripBuenos noches my friends ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:44PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We are in for a summer day, temps to 90 or so. I think this will be the first day at these temps since April. What a strange summer.

Mary, you are a scream! Hammocks for the mice?! Yikes! (Rahjii would make short work of them)

Kathy, that side garden faces east so gets morning sunshine.

Marian, the top frog in the pic IS a real frog! LOL

Love the link Eileen I cant get over the prices for that sculpture.

Anita, glad your computer is up and running.

Denise, what a bummer about not having the memory card with you. Wish youd had it so we could see glimpses of those gardens. ~~ the Voodoo Donuts is a hoot!

OK Im off to the gardens while the temps are still reasonable. Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 7:29AM
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Close Kathy - Faulty Towers with John Cleese, a family favorite. This morning when I came into the mud room I found the cage empty - eek!! Close inspection showed there to be a hole in the mesh just big enough to squeeze through. Rodents in a cage are one thing, but two rats roaming the house quite another. Fortunately they had not strayed far - they were both tucked up under the futon. The pair were escorted back to their quarters and the hole plugged. Perhaps I should make them a mini futon.....

Denise - Voodoo donuts look amazing. Just as well they aren't gluten free - I can admire them without temptation.

Marian - there can never be too many Zinnias can there?

Ei - did I mention how lovely your gardens are looking? I picked up a Snow Fairy at one of the Idyllunions and it has become a favorite. Very late to leaf out but stunning around this time of year. I had a few all greeen shoots this summer I had to trim off - has any of yours reverted?

Deanne - hot and sticky here but only low 80's. Stay cool. I have had so much fun looking at wool and choosing a Crewel pattern to try. If it storms today I hope to make it to the fabric store for linen.

Hi Norma!! and Anita!!

Off to the garden.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 11:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Finally starting to get back to reality for me, but it's tough.... I did upload a bunch of photos from IU and ordered my hardcopies for trips down memory lane in future years but havent done much in my own yard what w/ rain, etc.,, and the dog days of August are now upon the region...

I loved seeing your gardens, Ei, in full swing - the're glorious as usual and you've made a lot of changes - but I think change is constant in our gardens isnt it, LOL?

Cant wait to hear what award Michelle has rightfully gotten -- but the prize of "shingles again" is not one I would wish on anyone! Geez, I hope you got your meds in time; Im seriously starting to think I want to try the vaccine for them....

Great to see the latest uploads of the various grand-babes... and sideyard gardens....

When I get a chance, I hope to look over the IU threads to see if there are a few things I could add, altho I hope most have been covered by now - but some of the places one could never take too many photos or vignettes.

O, and the one private garden in VT I saw is definitely worthy of sharing -- gorgeous setting and a 90 yr old widower still lovingly attending it 5 hours a day -- something to aspire to.

Denise -- glad to hear you got some gardens in in Portland despite family commitments, but sad you didnt have your camera with you - I guess we'll just have to go there ourselves...


    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 1:15PM
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Gonna close this puppy out..time for a new thread !

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 9:17PM
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