Idyll #391 Beating Back The Jungle

lmcilhargieJuly 24, 2008

That's what I've been doing for the last couple of mornings The gardens are starting to look more tidy with room for some redesigning:) No time to say more now...carry on!


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Perfect timing, Eden! And I've put a tag with your name on one of the medio-pictas.

I was going to add these photos to an IU5 thread for ease of loading, but that seemed a tad sacriligious, so they'll go here. I took these photos this morning with a Canon Powershot Marty bought yesterday for his annual trek up Mt. Whitney. When he gets back in a few days, that camera is mine! Then maybe I'll read the manual...

This is a pot with a cordyline and aeoniums, with a chartreuse sweet potato coming up, left in from last year. I kept pulling it out but like what it's doing, as long as it doesn't swamp everything else. These two pots kinda float above everything else, the back pot with Yucca desmettiana (sp) is on a 3-foot pedestal:

And the succulent orb this year, a little sparklier than last year:

Here's the very end of those small-flwrd glads, I think this is Atom. They bend every which way but this one gave lots of blooms:

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 12:43PM
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Last night was a drizzly one and we didnt get above 72 for the day. We have a party to go to tonight and a floral arrangement was requested. I puttered around in the drizzle to put it together, rudbekias of different varieties, purpleleaf sandcherry for foliage, purple phlox and purple coneflowers all in a white enamel coffee pot.

Deanne, the celosia does come back true from seed and they germinate easily. I had some self-sow and I dug them up and moved them to where I wanted them. I also wintersowed some as well. Sorry about the damage youÂve been getting in the garden. Yesterday I came home and DH reported that Jaden had lain in a garden bed. Luckily it was just some annuals that could be eliminated. She is really bad this year with finding comfy spots in my garden to rest.

I was quite excited to find that Rick had rewired my garden shed yesterday. The wiring was old and it had no lights. I had an extension cord from the yard light pole to provide lamp light in there. Now I have an eight foot fluorescent light and several plug ins. Funny how you really appreciate the little things after doing without.

My orientpets are just getting started and no orientals yet. I cut one for my desk this morning and now my corner of the building is sweetly scented.

Brenda, your DD is lovely. Yes, the corn is tasseling here. My birthday which is 7-16 was spent many a summer detasseling seed corn.

Âbug, was your celosia quite tall? I had a pink one with green leaves that got quite tall a couple of years ago.

Drema, unbelievable about the lightning strike and the fire. We had a tree that was split by lightning and was very close to the house  the noise was incredibly loud.

Eden, my garden needs tons of redesigning. There are some things that clash terribly.

Denise, the succulent orb is fantastic.

Time to get back to work.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 1:58PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

So I need to rant and rave yet again, I'm having the worst day. I went outside to dump the compost from the kitchen and when walking past the new mini hostas (that I paid big bucks for) I noticed that one of them was laying over on it's side. Hmmmm.... what on earth is up with that I wondered to myself. So I bent over and picked it up and, whoops, there were absolutely NO ROOTS LEFT ON IT!!!!! Grrrrrrr.... then I checked the Blue Mouse Ears next to it and that had also been chewed to the nubbins and there were perfect little tunnels drilled right up to the new little hostas. No wonder my Sum and Substance and Francis Williams never get any size to them anymore. Anyway here are pics of what the rodents left me

As you can see there isn't a root left on this one.

The voles hadn't quite finished eating all the roots on this one. When I planted these the pots were almost rootbound.

So, thanks Denise for the terrific pics! Lovely lovely! I just love that succulent orb.

Eden, Glad to hear you are getting in some quality gardening time.

Anyway, if anyone knows a good way to eliminate rodents please share it with me. I've absolutely had it with these little monsters.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:06PM
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I was reading in the Gallery and David_5311 says his interest in gardening is waning. First Heronswood Gardens is sold and now David....

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Hi everyone. Clearly you-know-who has NOT been good about her catch up reading. I see Drema has surfaced but have no idea when.

Michelle, I hear ya on the appreciation thing. An 8' flourescent light is truly something to crow about. How much easier it must make the work you perform in your potting shed. No orienpts here, but my stands of Oriental lilies are all budded and the show should be pretty nice (except those that were trampled by Ink Boy and Pony Tail).

Deanne, several years ago I had a lot of vole damage and know well that feeling of frustration. The addition of 3 kittens to the household pride seemed to put a major dent in the rodent activity. :( We are presently awash in rainwater, are you?

Evidently, while I was touring the magnificence of the Hudson River Valley the Compound was receiving nighly deluges. The saturated soil was completely overwhelmed by the dumpage today. There is standing water in the low point in the centre of the driveway circle and to the north of the vegetable garden. It will be interesting to see how long it takes the ground to absorb nature's excess. I have patted myself on the back for planting things in that area that fare well when it gets soggy; hostas, hydrangeas, ferns, the native highbush blueberries and red maple will waste little time sucking up the moisture.

The superlative photography has brought a smile to my face several times over. It is such a pleasure to commune with people who so unselfishly share their gardens, and the wonderful "moments" of our field trip. I have yet to sort through all my shots.

Of the 4 gardens we toured on Sunday, my favorite was the first one with the lotus pond. Next was the third garden we viewed (the one with the bronze hound statuary), then came the big estate we toured last (with the croquet court), and/or the garden that trickled down into the railroad cut. All were undeniably beautiful, but the way the first garden used the topography of the surrounding land and the "lake" created by the NY reservoir project to such dramatic effect really resonated with me. It had a peaceful, natural feel that evoked the best of classic borders, oriental inspired water gardens and many areas that highlighted the natural beauty of the native ground. It was breathtaking.

Best to all!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:36PM
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David's love of gardening may wane, but it will return! Sometimes I truly believe that the state of my life can be seen in my garden....

I have faith!

My condolences Deanne! Cats are the only thing I can think of for rodent control, and you've got that covered!

I've been running out between rain storms and editing my jungle! Hacking back here, adding a plant there. Today I added Campanula Sarastro, and a white Platycodon. I added a hot pink Lobelia, too. The orange-y echinacia got moved to the bee garden, which is quickly becoming a catch all because it isn't filled in.

Time to lay some more gardens out :) Today I found a source for my cast iron inserts for my fence....

I'd better move along. Today I'm housekeeping so I'll be ready for outdoor play tomorrow. Tomorrow the computer guy will be in the office again.

Eden, the Tydll is perfect! Nice to see you Anise....stop in more often :) Denise, will you be on the West Coast tour....I want to see your place in person....something ate my aeonium....a slug?


(who is beginning to get excited because I looked at the calendar and it's almost time for overnight camp and then our week in Maine! I love August in New England....August in the South is like February here :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:50PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Y'all need to listen to this.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 4:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Gardeners may be crazy, but they're great folks! Thanks V!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:09PM
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What a nice story, V,...but, more important, what's the name of that daylily on the NPR website? Yowzers! What would I do if had 30 days to leave? I suspect I'd grab the cats and Ein, turn off the lights, and never look back. The thought of moving this stuff out on short notice...Anise mentioned David's gardening interest waning, and I'd been thinking of him. Did he go to IU5? I looked for his post on the gallery, and it does reflect a loss of interest in the new garden. It seems there's no painless way to leave a garden.

Michelle, your flwr arrangement sounds lovely. Funny, I've been meaning to get to a thrift shop to look for old enameled coffee pots to use as watering cans. Glad you're on the mend from that awful flu or whatever it was.

My gosh, Deanne, what rotten varmints to contend with. I can't believe the amount of rain that's pouring down everywhere but here, of course.

I cut my commute too close today, so had to leave the metro station with my $5 ticket unused in my pocket, jump back in the car and drive to downtown LA, where $37 to park was added to the day's toll. My rates haven't gone up in 10 yrs but everyone else's sure have. The deposition was Spanish interpreted. The interpreter's job strikes me as too cool. If I was bilingual, I'd definitely do it. Rarely have I encountered an interpreter who acquired the second language in high school or after, most are native speakers. The facility just isn't there with only 3 or 4 yrs of study. These interpreted jobs are usually nice and slow, a little too slow actually and I get a bit dozy. Before beginning, the atty told the interpreter he didn't want the translation simultaneous, like he had yesterday which gave him a headache, but he wanted the interpreter to wait until the atty finished speaking to begin interpreting. Fine, agreed. I swear in the interpreter first, then the witness, and the atty then goes on to deliver huge chunks of verbiage that the interpreter is supposed to retain before interpreting, reeling off sentence after sentence. I met the interpreter's stunned look to me with a commiserating smile, the atty was admonished at a recess to break it up into smaller increments, and things went a bit smoother. Korean interpreted depos are the worst since everyone has at least five names, their Korean and American, with various iterations in between, and all surnames are Lee or Kim, so there can be 20 people at issue in the case with the same name and no one can figure out who they're talking about. Japanese interpreters always read the question from my laptop screen before interpreting, because they start interpreting at the end of the question, syntax-wise, I gather. So if any idyllers' kids or friends are bilingual...

Slouching into Friday and off to try out a new Japanese noodle joint. Wave to all.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

"Slouching into Friday..." What a perfect description for my day! After a pretty mellow day at the office, DD and I headed off to the snazzy spa in the next town to get pedicures. (We had $10 off coupons to use!) We both have lovely feet now. After that was done, we stopped at my new fave Mexican restaurant here in town. I indulged in a margarita and enjoyed their salsas. They do the funniest thing with their salsas; they make several kinds and you seem to get a random number and selection of salsas when you sit down. I've been in there about four times now and each time have had a new salsa in the mix. But they're all wonderful, and some are hot enough to challenge even the most jaded taste buds.

I can tell that bedtime is near as the brain has gone into a total freeze. Good thoughts to all (and especially Cynthia) and good night.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Just a quick note to cynthia...I'm so sorry about Katie. How lucky for both of you to have found each other, though, when she needed you most. You gave her a grand life. Thanks for sharing her with us.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 11:39PM
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A pic of Denises orb! I distinctly remember a conversation about that very thing at IU5-cant remember if it was a touring conversation or a cocktail conversation, lol.

Deanne you just have some major crapola going on there.. can your Hostas be saved if you pop them into a pot ? Im starting to feel a little guilty ! I have no rodents, no mosquitos, no lily beetles, no Japanese beetles..I guess that is the payoff for having no rain all summer and having to survive on artificial irrigation water quality variable.

Sure am glad its Friday tomorrow. Im still not up to 100% ..Next year it will be weeks vaca with a prep day at the beginning and at least two re-coup days at the end. Already checked the airfare to Logan. Im in. PaHk the cah for the PaHty.

V, the story on NPR was great ! Bet the Idylls would do the same in a heartbeat. Margaritas and salsa for IU6.

When DS and I were in Oregon over the 4th I took some cuttings from a fuchsia that had naturalized there , brought them home and popped them in water to root. While I was off at IU , he noticed that they were looking pretty bad black leaves and signs of rot on the stems. He did some research on the internet and found some instructions for rooting tip cuttings of fuchsias. I picked up the supplies yesterday , and this evening we set up the cuttings. This weekend Ill describe the technique and take a pic. It will be interesting to see how this works. Its a bit different .

Chelone, you and Saucy both liked number one best on Sunday. I was thinking that number one would be my first choice for a vacation , and number 4 my first choice to live in. Can you imagine what all those lilies planted in the entry area must look like this week? (and smell like ) . Did anyone take a photo ?

Leaving you with some photos I took yesterday with my Ebay purchase new/used reconditioned Nikon that arrived while I was in NY.

I guess I'm into a Georgia O'Keefe thing !

Nite all.. Peace Out Cynthia...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 12:18AM
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Woo Hoo Kathy! Instead of dueling banjos......LOL! The pictures are great!

When the snow is flying this winter, I'm going to spend some serious time in a photo class :)

Denise, I think you should let the Idylls be your agent....10 years for a rate hike? Nick's already adjusted his twice in less than 2 years :) I keep a spreadsheet of every little expense that he has (right down to the shoelaces on his boots) and divide that into an hourly rate - pretty amazing when you do it that way. Funny, I guess there is some fancy name for this process? Others must do this to calculate, no?

I have BIG plans today :) People keep trying to throw a wrench in it, though. Plan: Move HUGE out of place viburnum to it's new home, and replace with the ideas still floating in my head from IU5. PROBLEM: MIL decided she needs to see grandkids for lunch which is a good haul away. SOLUTION: I asked MIL if it's okay that I'm covered in dirt and could we meet at suitable eating establishment....First problem solved (and free lunch to boot!).....Think I can move this monster on my own?

I looked out over my deck this morning and declared it a jungle! It's looking so lush. I know, I know, take a picture....I still have a few things to move around.

Well, this coffee's kicking in, so I guess I'd better finish payroll and move this operation loutdoors :)


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 6:44AM
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Also on tap for today: Beating back the yucca patch that came with this homestead.

I have a plan of Persicaria Polymorpha, Aruncus, and lots of staggered heights of grasses. No? Finding the Persicaria Polymorpha at this time of year is not easy.....

I want your approval, I really do, LOL! :)

Outside for real, now!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 6:53AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well what a crazy day it was here in NH yesterday. Turns out that the squall line that brought us the 50MPH straight line winds also produced tornados (the weather gurus are to confirm that today) about 40 miles north of here. Epsom and Deerfield NH had extensive damage with houses leveled and one poor lady was killed in her home when it was destroyed around her. They showed pics of stands of White Pines that were snapped off like toothpicks and one spot had a wooden picnic table twenty feet up in a pine tree. I guess I wont complain about my damaged flowers and containers. We almost never get that kind of thunder storm damage here. Dougs sister lives only five miles from some of the affected areas in Deerfield but all is well there.

Saucy, if you can wait I have plenty of Persicaria Polymorpha you can have. I cut that patch back every spring but I think I can give you some in the fall if you want. ~~ So wheres the pic of the tropical jungle on the deck???? Foot tapping here. ~~ Good luck with that viburnum.

Kathy, this weather is pretty unusual for us and Ive never had this kind of rodent damage in summer before which worries me for the upcoming winter when I normally get the worst of the damage. Ive popped those hostas in a vase and they still look ok and in fact the rootless one appears to be starting some root nubs so hopefully it can be saved. ~~~ Love those pics and especially that first one.

V. I need to find a good place for a pedi. My feet are a mess at the moment and Id be embarrassed to have anyone work on my dry cracked heels. ~~ Great link, gardeners are the best!

Denise you have the most interesting job. ~~ I wish I could have sent you a few inches of that rain we got in the last couple days.

Chelone, I have two kitties and they do get some voles but not enough to prevent damage. I dont think I can convince Doug to add three more to the household. LOL

OK time to slouch off into Friday!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 7:59AM
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Now I understand why there was a little teeny cyclone looking bit of wind last night .... I think Katie was twirling away!! As she probably would've wanted it, will all her new outfits be provided to other healing or "going away" greyhounds? ((((Cynthia))))

Saucy: Good luck with that Viburnum! Ask someone to help you, though. If you're interested, email me and I'll be glad to talk to you about owner-kept business records. What you are talking about (ie., shoelaces) are operating expenses -- expenses that will happen whether or not there is income (right up there with telephone, advertising, etc.) Gotta like a MIL who "gets dirt." :-)

Denise: D&)m!! Those succulents are amazing. I'm officially in love with the one in the first shot, front container to the left that looks like an obnoxiously extravagant maroon saturated water lily. If it has a name, I'd love to know it as I've managed to keep two supermarket succulents alive and am ready to dive into something "more."

Gotta tell you all that if anyone needs medical stuff done that denies most WALATing and any driving, have it right before an IU. The pics and commentary have kept me busy googling places and plants.

I'm with Woody, though, as I doubt most of the gardens are solely owner-maintained. No problem here, as it brings so much joy to so many! Wonder if garden tour folks can write off their help as a charitable donation?

Feeling some excitement for G'bug and Skyler's arrival. What a grown-up thing for him to do! Kudos to all his adults for giving him the opportunity. Can't say that I would've popped Ky on a flight across a continent at age 9, but then he couldn't go to anyone we knew without a connection :-) My clematis list is growing for next year....

Deanne: The only chemical (but not harmful to birds) that Rich has used all year on the lawn is Vole Killer into the holes. They're doing a number on the lawn and are headed toward the gardens. This Spring they took out a [finally] mature stand of Dicentra formosa so I have no qualms about taking them out (the critters) in the most expedient way possible.

Try breaking up the crown of the hosta and see if there's enough raw bulb to take. What can you lose?

First car ride to the doc's this morning and am hopeful I get the okay to do a bit more. No Pushing! Trust Me I Wont'!! but hey! I'm really feeling tons better than I have for a very long time, have an absolutely flat abdomen for the first time in 20 years (side benefit not discussed on any website I've seen), need to get a few sundresses pre-elastic-waisted or any other bottoms-rediness, so a 1/2 hour of retail therapy wouldn't be bad, right :-) Or maybe a trip to The Creamery for lunch???

Thanks for reading (or not) the ramble. Can't wait to see what my gardens are doing after the heat wave and then 4" of tropical rain. Since I can't beat it back at this point, I'll be looking for great stuff in the jungle!!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:24AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning! I'm running late, a trend a fear will continue all day.

The good news is I had a doctor's appointment this morning and he said I could start ramping back up to normal activities. No more boot and back on crutches only if I start having pain. In another month I should be able to start impact activities like walking and running again. Yahoo!

Today I'm off for another weekend of adventure. This time the destination is NH. Dinner, an overnight and no doubt a garden tour at Deanne's tonight then on to my mother's on Newfound Lake.



    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've been mowing back the jungle and will continue to do so today once morning dew dries up. I also managed to move some clematis yesterday and weed. More of same today...

I've caught up with reading and viewing IU5 material and am very much enjoying photos and conversations!!!

Georgia O'Keefe, I mean Kathy, glad you have this camera now. I'm enjoying it!

Denise, I did have an uncle who interpreted for Spanish people in court. He certainly only did it when someone else was not available (decades ago). His Spanish was dreadful to hear, but had a rich vocabulary picked up by him in his travels, never in school. He was an amazing odd bird who achieved many things in his lifetime. That DNA continues with my brother and son.

Weather...well I'm not surprised by comments fron NH and Quebec that I hear. Things there seem to have visited me a few days earlier. Today I expect will be warm and sunny and soggy still, with clouds in the afternoon.

Yesterday Phoebe hurt her ankle while playing hard with her friend Nora. I think it will get better on its own. She puts weight on it, but we are keeping her as calm as possible...for a six month old!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:38AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Deanne, I have a confession to make. I took the time to lay soaker hose under the mulch in two of my newly re-arranged beds this spring, I think that may have caused this torrential rain. Your vole damage made me shudder - I think it may be time to throw some dynamite down their tunnels.

That possible tornado in NH was in the same town where my DS was in summer camp last week. I think if he was there this week I would have had to drive right up there to see for myself that he and his fellow scouts were OK. There was also a tornado warning Wed PM not far from where DD was at an outdoor concert. DH and I were glued to the TV for an hour following that one (they cancelled the warning when the storm started to fragment) Enough is enough!

Martie, glad to see you popping in and sounding more like yourself by the day. You'll be WALATing before you know it. I'm sure Rich is taking excellent care of you.

Kathy, good of your DS to take an interest in your cuttings. I put DH in charge of watering while I was gone, and everything looked pretty good when I returned. He was careful to point out that even though we had one good downpour, he watered the "ones with the big leaves" (the brugs) daily because they seemed to need it.

I liked garden #1 from Sunday the best too. The lotus pond was especially stunning, being among the blooming lotus was a phenomenal. I'll get my pics together this weekend.

Saucy, good luck with the viburnum - you do have your work cut out for you. Please let me know the location of the restaurant that you are going to when you are covered with dirt - sounds like a gardener's paradise.

Well, duty calls - slouching off to begin the workday.

Where's Sue??

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yahoo, to Friday -- I know Im going to miss comments on lots of things I meant to -- Brenda, it was so nice to see your face and your lovely family -- your DD is beautiful and it's fun to see other idyller families.

Great to see other idyllers checking in for photos or just chat -- Drema, boy, werent you lucky about that fire but Im sorry to hear about your shed - glad you guys were home when it started though! Great to hear from Babs, Mary and others - we missed you all.

Denise -- you were definitely there in spirit as so often we all remarked on the tropicals and succulents -- funny re the Mediterranean Hemp -- Wave Hill did not have good plant i.d.s, or plant lists, and we all wildly guessed what that was - I only found it again at the NYBG w a tag and made mad note of it -- I even found online but am discouraged that it goes to over 5 feet - not sure how I'd overwinter that in my townhouse basement, LOL.... Love, love that orb, -- nybg had some very cool "dianella" that looks like the yucca in your photo. And that glad Atom -- I've never much liked them, but I could learn to love that one I think. That's terrible about not raising your rates in 10 years -- altho I guess freelance could also be problematic re competitor prices.... I've never thought about court reporter translation depos before -- what a challenge and headache material that is.

Deanne -- what terrible weather and rodent damage -- I know that can be so depressing after all the hard hard work you put in daily to the wonderland.

Kathy - great new pics -- I can tell we've got quite a few folks experimenting and perfecting new cameras -- they are amazing the photos you guys are getting.

Sue, great news on your foot and just dont overdo it.... Sounds like more NE fun this weekend; it's great you all are so close to be able to get together so often. I love IUs so much because we can really talk non-stop plants whenever we want.

Re the comment on the gardens we saw and the help they had -- I got the sense that definitely garden no. 1 had lots of help, professional and otherwise on design and upkeep; gardens 2 and 3 are really fairly small and definitely they were each a hands-on garden husband/wife team -- they made a point of mentioning it in their chats. The last garden I also had a sense that she truly was very hands-on, altho I am sure she has some assistance of some sort, but she talked about ripping out the meadow of wildflowers this spring w/ overgrown helianthus and injuriing her hands, so I do believe she's very very hands on. None of them suffered from lack of funds to support their fantasies and wants though.

Well, Im gonna try to slouch this friday too altho I still have about 12 more crates to unpack -- mostly files to refile in their new cabinet homes -- not a lot of thinking; just heavy breathing and lifting -- what skills one needs sometimes, LOL.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:50AM
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Saucy, if only I could set you loose on the agencies I work for, lol. My rates are set by others, "what the market will bear," and I should be thrilled with the rates because machines are going to replace humans anyday now, donchaknow. Interesting piece I'm reading in the New Yorker right now on voice recognition technology, where the big science guns are saying that for real, conversational human speech, no way. (My New Yorker with "the cover" was excessively long in arriving, what's up with that I wonder) And tapping my foot wating for photos of the jungle on your deck!

Hoping you get a weather reprieve today, Deanne, to sort through your garden.

Sue, that's great news. To think of you on crutches hobbling around gardens in that heat...holy mole

Nice to read the old Martie again...with the new flat tummy.

New camera looks like a winner, Kathy. I hate reading manuals...

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:57AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

(sneaky morning post from the office)

I'm in full slouch mode right now. It's an overcast day and I would love to be spending it curled up with a good book instead of sequestered in the office.

Denise, love your succulent photos. I showed DD a photo of an aeonium I saw at Wave Hill, but I told her it was an aenominium. She gave me quite a hard time once she tried to google it and discovered that there is no such thing as an aenominium.

Kathy, great photos with the new camera! I love Georgia O'Keefe's work.

Sue, what great news!!! I'm especially glad that your IU activities didn't set you back.

Deanne, so sorry to hear about the weather and critter damage. That is so discouraging. I think that hosta should root if you keep it in water.

The boss of the guy who is working on our house showed up yesterday and had a loud, profane arguement with the worker. (Per DD's report) I don't know what it was about, but when I got home the outside was much tidier than it had been. I still need to tweak the position of things, but it looks a little less like a raging bull went through the place. However, the plants in front of the house likely will not rebound this year.

Well, I'd better get something done here. Later,


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 10:36AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

I just popped in for a read while I finish a cup of coffee, but I want to make a quick mention to Bug while I'm here. I'm a little paranoid about ankle injuries with puppies. Gus had an ankle injury when he was a pup, didn't seem like much and an hour after, he was walking on it just fine, so we didn't have him looked at. He had, however injured it enough that the growth plate fused. As he grew, there was not enough room for the bone, so it grew curved. By that time, only a very expensive out of state surgery could fix it, so we have a crooked-legged dog. It's all part of his charm, but the vet said that if we had known when it happened, they could have probably dealt with it. Might be worth mentioning the next time you have to take Phoebe to the vet.

TGSIF!! (Sue Is Free) Lol, couldn't help myself ;)

Okay, I must get some weeding done. It's overcast and cool enough that I'm wearing a sweatshirt, so I'll get to work and chat more later.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Sneaking in while I eat my granola and shredded wheat at my desk ..

My new camera cost me 64$ with shipping !(Ebay) Not bad -factory reconditioned etc. It is a point and shoot with no manual ISO settings or anything fancy like that. Got a macro and some plus and minus exposure settings, but it takes really nice sharp close ups. I haven't read the manual yet either Denise !

Yay for Sue ! No wagging fingers and reprimands at the DR.

Back to work...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:05AM
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LOL, Wendy, I ended up having to take a shower because there was dirt on every inch of me....but I didn't wash my hair. Sarah spent our hour at Applebees picking sticks and leaves out of my hair.

Phase one isn't even done yet: clean out the underbrush of honeysuckle and barberry so that I can move said Viburnum to new locale.

Me and Big Blue (that's my pick up) are headed back out to the back yard! I will need a new lawn when I'm done....le sigh :)

Yippee for Sue!

I knew I couldn't be the only one who liked garden dripped green.....

back to the salt mines....or dirt mine as it may be....


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 2:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Okay, so the grass is cut. It is after 2PM and I had hoped it would be done by 11, but no.... I saw several voles scooting out of nowhere while doing that task. I think of you Saucy as I dig holes for clematis and move shrubs...

Since the rains we have seen lots of bats in the sky in the evenings. Quite neat! Today there are lots of Monarch and Mourning Cloak butterflies.

I slept poorly last night so am not sure about errands this afternoon. I tend to fall asleep while driving so really need to be on top of things for that. I wanted to collect more ping pong balls for playing in the barn should it be rainy while Skyler is visiting. I need to make lists...and not lose them either. (I'm good at that...)

Our vet says to give Phoebe a full week to mend herself. It is amazing how weak she is when she first gets up, but then after about 5-10 minutes outside, wants to run and jump and put full weight on her leg. I don't know though, I don't like this kind of situation at all...and DH refuses to spend money on x-rays. There are times when he gets ignored though...;)

The lilies here are fading...I wonder what will come next? There are buds on the Kirengeshoma palmata.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 2:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

An entry from DD:

You know those dead ducks in the tar sands?

Well, here in Canada, weve been hearing all about the flock of ducks that landed on the tar sands settling pond, got oiled and drowned back in May. The number is 500 in the news, though they dont say that since that first day reported that the number has basically quadrupled. Well, its my office that deals with this stuff directly. I work for the government of Alberta dealing with the wildlife and vegetation issues related to oil sands development.

Anyway, the latest, if you havent heard, is that Greenpeace is plugging one of the pipes!

Yesterday they broke in and put up banners. No security people or police would come deal with them for a long, long time its tough to be in a position where you want to kick someone out but security wont show up to support you!

Heres some photos on the Greenpeace web page:

And heres a couple links to the newspaper stories:

Greenpeace breaks into oilsands operation
The Canadian Press
July 24, 2008 at 2:49 PM EDT
FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. A small group of Greenpeace activists has broken into a Syncrude Canada Ltd. operation in northern Alberta to draw attention to its campaign against oilsands development.
The protesters say they have blocked a pipe that flows into the same Aurora North tailings pond where 500 ducks died last April.
Greenpeace spokesman David Martin said they have also unfurled a skull and crossbones banner that reads "World's Dirtiest Oil: Stop the Tar Sands."
Mr. Martin said that while they expect to be arrested, there was no immediate response from Syncrude security or police.
Syncrude officials were not immediately for comment.
Following an investigation Alberta is considering whether to charge Syncrude over the dead duck incident under the province's environmental laws.

And heres a really fun link that Greenpeace also put together:

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 3:44PM
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The deluge has passed and things are looking blue, if a bit hazy. All ponded water has seeped under ground.

Excellent news, Sue! It has to be a relief for you. I have wondered if a trip to NH might be in order for me, too. One of the areas rather hard hit is where our "ancestral" home is and I"m thinking it might be prudent to mosey on up and have a looky-see for storm related damage. (Just what I want to do on Saturday morning).

V., I hear ya on the inability of plants to rebound after the contractor onslaught. I'm basicall blowing this year off, too... along with the past 5. Lesigh. But NEXT year is going to be phenomenal. I can feel it. ;)

How exciting that Skyer is going to fly all by himself to your home, 'bug! He is going to have such fun and feel so grown up. I had friends who flew all over the country at that age and I was so envious. He'll receive "kid glove" treatment (couldn't resist that one, sorry) and will arrive intact. Tell Phoebles that Wrecks is moving smoothly now, with no sign of infirmity.

I don't think the slight woman with blonde hair we spoke to at the final garden was the owner (I base that on the set up for party we saw on our way off the grounds at roughly 5:30 PM). I'd wager dollars against doughnuts that there is a professional garden staff at that locale, too. I'm still wondering if they use an electric razer on the croquet court... .

Time for a quickie snooze to recharge for the theatre tonight. See ya!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:13PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Denise, that succulent orb is really cool. Every year, I intend to do something really creative with succulents, then I get all caught up in pulling quack grass and it falls by the wayside.

Michelle, your floral arrangement sounds so pretty! Congrats on having light in your garden shed. It is the little things, isn't it? My shed is still unlit, but as it also has no door, it's really not a problem ;). I guess DH's procrastinating will pay off in the long run. The shed will come down when we build the garage, and I assure you, there will be light in the garage.
Lol, what a way to spend a birthday, detasseling corn! Mine is 7-31, and there always seems to be sweet corn needing put up on my birthday.

Hm, I thought I had read everything in the last thread, but seem to have missed Drema's lightning strike and fire. YIKES! I'll have to do some backtracking.

Deanne, you are just having the worst luck in the garden this year. I have voles, too and they are just the most aggravating things. Several things were missing this spring, and their tunnels were right below the spots where plants should have been. Got all my balloon flowers, and even my big purple alliums. And here, I thought those were rodent-proof. One of our dogs, Sarah goes after them. Gus isn't much of a hunter..he lays on the porch looking disgusted with Sarah's foolishness.

V-the link wouldn't work for me, but man, I'd sure be in trouble if I had 30 days to get my stuff and be out. From the story, it sounds like people banded together and helped her out. I wouldn't expect any less from gardeners :)

Kathy, I like your Georgia O'Keefe phase :) Sounds like a great deal on the camera. My other camera is a Canon Power Shot. DD wants me to give it to her and let her take it in to the camera shop. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I guess. The zoom only works when it wants to, the batteries come out pretty warm, and last time I used it, only two of ten pictures didn't have weird blotchy color in them. That poor camera has been through the mill, though. I plan to be much more kind to the new one. I expect most cameras don't want to sit on the mulch in the sun while I "pull those couple weeds over there".

Martie, good to see a nice, long post from you. Congrats on the flat abdomen and it's wonderful to hear that you're feeling so good!

Bug, I'm so excited for you about Skyler coming! I bet he's thrilled about the trip, too. DH isn't one for spending a lot of money on an animal, either. Lol, of course, having said that....we spent a PILE of money when our dog, Guido was shot. Sarah has been to the vet a billion times in the last year, with all kinds of meds to deal with her infection/rash. I write the check, he grumbles, and life goes on. Hope I wasn't poking my nose in where it didn't belong earlier. Until this happened to Gus, I had no idea that a relatively small injury could cause so much trouble. Gus doesn't seem to mind it though. Makes him a pretty effective beggar. If we're eating something he wants, his leg suddenly becomes so crooked, it looks like his foot is on backward. I don't know if dogs can actually BE that calculating and devious, but it usually works with me.

It's only 4:00, but I'm seriously considering taking a shower and calling it a day. I got quite a bit of weeding and mulching done, and a few more plants are off the porch and in the dirt.
DS's birthday is tomorrow. We were hoping to skydive, but the place is all booked. I made reservations for us on the 2nd. of August. So far, I'm just excited. Perhaps the terror won't set in until I'm in the open doorway of the plane with an instructor strapped to my back, lol! A search on YouTube for Skydive Chicago turns up a bunch of videos of people doing their first tandem jump. I watched a lot of them, and they all made it to the ground safely :)

Ah, I refreshed before I posted, and here is something from the little Bugette! Guess I'll have a cup of coffee and check that out before the shower. One more booster shot of Joe should be enough to get me through until bedtime.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:19PM
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I missed so many posts this morning and can't figure out how unless a lightning bolt disordered the posts? Wendy is looking for Sue, who posted a good 10 mins earlier?

'bug, that's so funny about the relative with the awful accent, but I guess whatever gets the job done. I hope Phoebe mends quickly. Ein's had lots of "hot spots" this summer, something he's never had before, and I know he misses Dune & Marty, who should be at the top of Whitney by now if they got their permit to climb, which are very stingily doled out by the park service the day you arrive, and rightly so. That tar sands vandalism sounds like a hornet's nest of trouble. I just read yesterday that a gazillionaire Texas oilman is going full throttle on wind farms. I wonder what Michelle decided to do about the use of some of her property for wind production.

You guys are so sweet about the succulent orb, but I sometimes wonder if I'm not the slightly daffy idyller whose crazy whims are indulged. Please, please let me know if I ever go too far over the edge -- on second thought, my edge and your edge might be miles apart, lol, but you get my meaning.

Cindy, that furcraea is one of the slowest-growing plants I own and unlike most agaves prefers more moisture, so I would say go for it. Mine is full of snail damage or I'd have posted a pic by now.

It's so weird that "aeonominiums" have been a topic because the job I just got back from had the largest plantings of them I have ever seen anywhere, forests of them six feet high in long cement planters at an office complex. Never knew they could grow that tall. Also weird is while at the noodle restaurant last night, there were lots of folks from the tribe working at Chelone's place, heavily inked -- full forearm, calves. I was thinking this might just be the divide between me and the next generation, something I just don't "get," like sixties parents not getting the Beatles. A sensation I emphatically don't like having, lol. Well today's job was all about tattoos, and the guy was referencing Renaissance artists like Bernini, tracing the history of western tattoos back to Captain Cook, who brought it back from So. Pacific to England, etc., etc. Little did I know that Long Beach is ground zero for tattoo art, with one of the first shops in this country opened at the old Pike, an amusement park/sailor hang out demolished yrs ago. The Navy base that fed the Pike was closed yrs ago and a huge terminal for Chinese ships put in its place. The one little tattoo shop in Long Beach has been grandfathered in, but no more are allowed. The witness, whose shop is not in Long Beach, was talking about the difference between the stock "flash" tattoos, pulled off the shelf, and his custom-drawn stuff, for which he made a surprisingly good living...

My one lily that bloomed this year was 'Black Beauty,' very martagonesque style of bloom. The regales I fear were withered by lack of moisture.

The house is empty so I'm obviously way too chatty about very little. Wave to all. Any more photos incoming?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 5:50PM
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Hooray for Sue!! You were sure a trooper to boot and wheel it during IU, but I'll be next year you'll feel better than ever! Have a blast in NH. A lake weekend sounds just right.

Denise -- You're not even close to the edge, so pull me along and give me the name of the now absolutely coveted whatever it is in your container?? I've been looking around the web but haven't found "it."

'bug -- I know someone who does pet Reiki and she suggests that after any injury (no, didn't ask her specifically about the Phoebs but know in general) the limb be massaged just as the animal is lying down to rest. Don't know if it'll help, but it's less expensive than the x-rays and if your DH doesn't see improvement after "treatment" (that does work), maybe the $$ won't become an issue??????? Just sticking with my girlfriend, here. LOL

When is Greenpeace and other such groups who have great ideas and ideals but carry them out so ridiculously going to learn? What a cool job your DD has.

Good doc appt and I'm now allowed 10 unimpeded outside minutes of walking at a time. I grabbed the camera and here's some things going on :-)

Good to have you back, Mary! The Cleome in the pot is from your seeds ....

Some self-sowns -- whodathunk that Sweet Peas would bloom ONLY after a heat wave in July in CT?? The tomato is a fourth-year sprout.

Me "on vacation" according to Rich; ie., out of the house!! He caught me trying to figure out how to get the Baptisia back to upright after the rain. No go, I'm afraid.

I'm not giving up on veggie use in containers with this group ;-). Note to Deanne: if you can't do eggplants, try purple pepper instead. This was underplanted with radishes that are now munched, but you get the idea:

I leave you with this, a very special unintended spot that is now called Idyll Entry. Lilies from Deanne, roses from Woody, Guara from Mary seeds, Shastas from Sue, and if you look really closely there's a Clematis growing up through the shrubs, ala 'bug and other's inspiration:

Sheeeeeeeeeee'ssssss baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 6:26PM
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I have not read anything (but SEE Martie was here :) You look so happy to be in the garden. I'll teach you my secret staking baptisia method next spring :)

I just wanted to ask, did all of you chuckle under your breath when you figured out what I was doing? I just came in and I am not done.

Time for a cold shower and a cold beverage. My goodness. I cleared the woods all by my lonesome....Jake pooped out on me after only 2 honeysuckles.

Off to shower then post pictures? If I don't, you'll know what happened.....


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Deanne, I would love to have some of your persi-poly, as we call her for short :)

Just go to any reputable place and get a pedicure! Sleep with heavy lotion and socks on your feet for a night or two and the cracks will be gone. A good pedi with some fun color will change your life!

If you don't believe me, try it!!!

Of course it's Operating Expenses, LOL! See, I know we (I) do things pretty good because the lawyer/accountant are happy. I just don't get the lingo yet. LOL...I was talking to someone the other day, and she said, "you know, you are a business owner..." and it kind of dawned on me that I am. I take a while to warm up to things.

I know I'm blonde for a reason, and honestly, I like things slow :)

So SunnyD came over to walk Small-E (rhymes with Wall-E) and I suggested that since I've cleaned out the woods and can now see the wetlands, maybe I should plant some lotus....LOL, she liked the first garden, too. You know I'm just kidding about the lotus, right?

...but I have visions of a canoe dock :)

Denise, we adore you and your photos, and that is no lie....I'm drinking truth serum right now :) I wish I could be your agent....I'd give 'em all "what for"!

Okay...I have it in my head that I'm going to play with photos....we'll see.....

(who is eating the last of the cheese and crackers, and finishing her bottle of Grey Goose from IU5...bitter sweet)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:16PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well wudayaknow...if it isn't Martie! Hello!! How wonderful that surgery is behind you and you are already feeling better and out in the garden with actual sunshine, no less! Really a pleasure to see you up and about and smiling. I love your garden photos too. That first daylily has very attractive markings and your peppers are doing well. I love colored peppers and your foliage looks perfect too! An Idyll corner. What a great idea. That patch of Coneflowers is so full! What are you feeding it?! Glad to have you back Martie. :-)

Kathy...your new camera is taking swell photos for sure! Love that succulent!

Deanne...voles?? Brother..definitely more cats. Couldn't you at least take up pet sitting for someone with cats during the summer months. [g]

Denise....I am in love with your succulent orb. Just love it.

I did happen to catch that Saucy was digging up a Viburnum in July?! Saucy, you are cracking me up the way you came back from IU5 on a Such a whirl of activity...I wish you could bottle up some of that energy and send some this way. :-)

And Sue is out of her must be so relieved.

Hello to Anita...

No reading tonight, it's too late. I'll try in the morning. I am loving all the photos from IU5. Looks like we really missed some wonderful gardens. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get everyone to IU6 next year.

Back to the Red Sox game...

Good night!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 8:51PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

One of the benefits of an idyllunion is that I can read Saucy's last post and hear it in my head in her lovely Tennessee accent.

Beware the lotus because it will take over the entire wetland!

Denise, you are not "over the edge" you are "cutting edge". I just got an email newsletter today that succulents will be the "next big thing" in the garden center world. I'm sure that's quite shocking news to this group. ;)

Martie, you're looking good, and so is the garden. Don't tell Sue's doctor, but the boot never left the back of her car last weekend.

I've got an empty house tonight as well. DD went to meet her boyfriend for dinner and DH is on a plane returning from Vegas. Just me and the hounds here tonight.

I am boycotting the garden tonight. I looked out one window and saw a brand new area of devastation. The Geraniums, Geum and Heuchera are absolutely flattened. Crud. I don't want to see any more.

I only got to see Gardens #1 and #2 on Sunday, but I preferred the second one. The first was hands-down beautiful, but as Cindy said it was obviously the work of paid staff. I wonder how much input the homeowner actually had? The second garden was not as polished in areas but was obviously a labor of love and the vision of the homeowners.

Tomorrow I plan to beat back the jungle along my front sidewalk and trim back a few over-enthusiastic shrubs. I have some Heucheras that need transplanting, but I need to be sure they aren't in the "line of fire".

Do you think that anyone has emptied the dishwasher or folded the laundry while I've say here? I suspect not. Better get to it!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 9:10PM
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Martie, you are so chipper today -I hope its not drug induced only ! A drawback with planning a surgery just b-4 IU : no can go ! My strategy would be to have it the day after I get back which would give me the excuse to sleep for about 4 days, between posting and looking at pics . Thinkin your orb-envy plant is Echeveria crenulata . Sweet Peas in almost August ? Would not happen here-they usually look like hell by May in my zone. Mine are long gone. Name of the yellow daylily with the maroon throat ?

Denise, is your Kangaroo Paws in a pot ? I see it there hiding behind the Cordyline. Very partial to that plant, but have avoided it because it gets so huge. Tell you what Denise, when you get to the edge Ill grab your shirttail and jump right off with you bet there are some mighty interesting things on the back end of the edge ! A tasteful touch of re-purposed sparkly stuff adds just the right spacecraft vibe to the Orb. Next stop, Area 51
Boy did it ever used to be seedy down there by the Pike. It was surely way past its glory days the last time I was there, probably in the late 60s. I have Black Beauty ! Photo tommorow-just coming into bloom for me.

Okay Saucy, did Big Blue lose its hitch or is Mr. Viburnum in his new home ? One week ago tonight Mustang Sally rescued us from circling Tarrytown endlessly and deposited us acceptably close to the Salty Bass or whatever the name of that place was !

Deanne, those pedicure folk will have the cracks gone in no time flat ! Find one of the places that charges a little extra but gives you a nice glass of Chardonnay to sip while you get the feet transformed. (hopefully not just a wine country thing).

Brenda, my other camera is a Canon Powershot too. My DS is convinced its defective . Im going to post an inquiry to their website. How do you feel about yours ?

Ok, a big wave to everyone, Im going to sit my fanny down to watch the ball gameweve had lots of Idylls check in the last few days, but no word from Norma, Ei, Marianwho else ?

Later Idylls

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 11:30PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

Well the sun is out and it is Saturday and I actually slept 6 hours straight last night. Yippee! I did manage yesterday morning to spend a small amount of time deadheading Shastas and weeding my front bed. It looks neater but not better. Have a few plans this morning to try to 'beat back the jungle' of weeds...crabgrass coming up through the mulch in my newly planted alleyway. What's with that? All that nice thick mulch. My only hope is that the plants will fill in more next year and fewer weeds.

Did I read someone describe their garden in terms of 'summer doldrums'? That is where I am at, but I am starting to feel a little motivation to get out there and do something about it. Definitely a few things I have thought about that I can manage to do.

Michelle...congrats on the new wiring in the shed. I am hoping to see more photos of the secret garden soon.

Denise, I was also wondering what the name of that bloom on the NPR site was, but I thought it was a Lily and not a Daylily? Yes, I did see a post by David himself expressing a 'waning interest' in gardening. He also reported having an arm injury that was keeping him out of action. Sometimes you can get burned out when you garden as intensely as he has. No, he didn't go to IU5. Always enjoy your stories about your job, Denise and I agree with Kathy...I love your edge. :-)

Kathy, enjoyed hearing that DS helped take cuttings. How much interest does he have in gardening? Where do his interests lie? Your camera is doing a great job. I have a Canon Powershot and I am wondering if the macro feature is not working as well as it did when I first bought it. I haven't had an accident with it or any reason to explain it but when it gets cooler I will get out and try more macros and compare to my first attempts with the camera.

Gardenbug...sorry to hear about Phoebe's injury. Hope it will heal fast, I can imagine how trying it is to keep her quiet. Amazing story about Greenpeace...DD has a neat job.

Did anyone notice there is a new cable station about Green? Maybe the name of it is 'Green Planet'? I've been watching a show called 'Renovation Nation' hosted by Steve who used to be with TOHouse. All about renovating 'green'. Also...wanted to mention, I've been seeing a new gardening show called 'Cultivating Life' on the Create cable station that is about organic growing.

Cindy...are you making progress with your crate unpacking?

I have been reading and typing notes all week and I am ready for a break. Hope to spend the weekend outdoors as much as possible. Still enjoying all the IU5 photos. Who else is holding out on photos? I don't think I've seen photos from Deanne yet?

I will leave you with this to ponder. I find myself wondering, did anyone find surprises when they met each other for IU5? I know Veronicastrum mentioned how much she appreciates now hearing Saucy's Tennessee accent in her head since IU5. Was there anything that you learned in person about your Idyll friends that surprised you?

Where is Marian and Ei?

My first try with Lisianthus...I like them and will try them again...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 7:08AM
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We saw "The Producers" last night. Classic Mel Brooks, whose irreverent and ribald sense of humor has cracked us both up since Blazing Saddles. We howled with laughter even as the couple sitting next to us looked a little pinched. One of the delights of summertime is going to the theatre; we've been farting into the same seats for the best part of 14 yrs. now. ;)

I seem to recall Denise making an early appearance with that little little Sputnik orb last year. And I recall thinking anyone who viewed household items (2 colanders, right?) and plant material the way she does was going to fit right in around here.

Has anyone seen the pedicures that use fish to nibble off the old, dried skin? I used to love having the minnows nibble on my toes when I'd spend time with my aunt and uncle at the their lakeside cottage. I'll bet it would great, esp. with a glass of wine. I've never had a pedicure.

I read a cool article in an older NYT when I returned from IUV. It reminded me of Mary and alltherestayas. It was in the July 17. issue, in the Home section, entitled "The Versailles of the North"by Christopher Mason. It involves the renovation of the gardens surrounding Alnwick Castle, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland (Ralph and Jane Percy). It has apparently caused great controversy, but both the helpmeet and I thought it sounded pretty cool. If the Idylls ever manage to quit the territorial boundries of the USA I'd be all over visiting that place! I was especially taken with the idea behind the Poison Garden. Very, very cool.

I, too, would like to know if the bumber or the Viburnum won out. I spent a most industrious day on the east side of barn on Tuesday. My screaming leg muscles reminded me of the folly of my zeal for the next two day, too. :) I'm now attempting to find suitably sized and priced plain, boring concrete pavers to provide visual interest and sound surfacing for the path (would like 24" square and with a surface that is on the rough side but have yet to find the locally). We laid out the course of the path and began discussing the logistics for DIY and came to solid agreement that whatever we opt for for paths they must be graciously wide and provide safe access and solid footing; a fact I came to appreciate when Mum was with us and was reminded of again with Sue on wheels.

It's time to set upon the sinkful of dirty dishes (leftover from yesterday when I was too lazy and trying to nap to prepare for my late night at the theatre). Maybe then I'll be able to read of Drema's fire, Eden's garden redesign, Michelle's detasseling adventures, and all the other interesting nuggets I've missed for sloth.

Hi Marian!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 7:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, my experience with IU gatherings has been that they are full of surprises. People are even better in person! Somehow this forum has collected very bright, funny and talented people.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 8:35AM
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I'm pretty sure that my Tennessee family thinks I have a Yankee brogue, or so I've been told :)

I woke this morning and went to sit on the throne which has a very low window that overlooks the whole back forty - "Egads! Someone's snuck onto the property and stolen all my underbrush!" my sleepy state I was shocked at my view:

I can see it, though, I can see it.....

Big Blue is still parked in the back yard - she was too tired to move! Chelone, it's my bum that's screaming at me....I must've done a lot of squatting as I pulled grape vines out of the trees.

The viburnum mocks me.

I'll leave you with the view out my back kitchen door - it's a jungle out there:

Back to the dirt mine.....


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 8:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lazy hazy morning here for me and the temperatures are climbing! I posted photos at another site and haven't the energy to transfer them to Live Pages for use here. Perhaps try this:

I think GardenWeb does not like me posting URLs to Gardenbuddies...

I'd better do SOMETHING today, so I'm out of this chair!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 12:14PM
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Happy Saturday, everyone. I went on a huge 20 minute trip to our local grocery store this morning!! Hang out the banners!! By the time I got home Rich said I looked like paste and I immediately self-medicated, but there is still a world out there! I was even excited to see that corn is tasseling, and of course immediately thought of Michelle and Brenda.

No, Kathy, I don't think being chipper has anything to do with meds as at this point they're still bringing me to "normal" when I need them which isn't very often.

Maybe leftover energy being sent south from Terrapin Station?

I think it's much more that I felt so darn lousy for so long that I didn't realize how lousy I felt after awhile. This week has been cathartic -- living without the dull roar of a rock sitting in my abdomen is an amazing experience.

The daylily is a found re-cross of H. Siloam 'Moonlight Masquerade'. I'll be glad to send you some for your new garden! Next year will be its initial divide and you'll be doing me a favor.

Thanks for the ID of Denise's most amazing orb plant. Let the hunt begin.

PM2 -- The coneflower hasn't fully matured, yet, and I may need to move some things to make room. They take a full seven years for their strength to work up (NEVER use pharma Echinacea that isn't from seven-year-old roots) and only then should they be divided if at all, according to knowledable growers for the industry. This particular plant is a division of one I've had for 25 years and is a fav :-)

V -- Sue's secret is safe with me. At least she used the crutch ;-)

More later -- couch time.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 2:06PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Denise, I don't get the tattoo thing, either. Both of my kids wanted one while they were at home, and both were forbidden to get one until they moved out. I was hoping it was an impulsive thing they'd outgrow. Nope. DD got a small flower on her hip that only shows if she's wearing a bikini. DS (my special challenge) got blue flames around his wrist. Ask them today, and they'll both tell ya they wish they hadn't gotten them. Nooobody listens to Mom.

Martie-Good to see you out and about! What daylily is that in the first picture? Reminds me of Desperado, but I don't think mine have the dark edges. (Okay, reading that the one you say is Moonlight Masquerade?)

Kathy, I got along just fine for a long time with my Powershot. Seems like I've had it for three years or so. It started acting up when my friend and I were stalking politicians before the primary ;) I had several pictures with really weird, blotchy color, and it wouldn't zoom. Then, another time, I needed to change the batteries, and they came out really hot. It would work fine for a while, then more and more often I was getting the blotchy color. Got to the point that it wasn't worth trying to take pictures, because most of them didn't turn out right. I may take it with me when I go to the digital camera class at the photography shop and see what that guy thinks. I do like it, it's easy to use and everything and I don't know if it's issues are defects or some fairly minor abuse. I've never dropped it or anything, but like I said, it's sat on the mulch a time or two.

PM, glad to hear you got some sleep. I always have crabgrass, and of course, the never ending quack grass. I was out weeding a little bit ago, and must have pulled 10 miles of quack grass runners. They shoot along right underneath the mulch, find an opening and pop up.
I saw there's a "green" channel. Emeril has a show on it. Haven't taken the time to watch it yet, but I am glad it's on!
Love that Lisanthus picture..they're so pretty and delicate :)

Chelone, I haven't seen The Producers yet, but I ADORE Mel Brooks. History of the World is one of my all-time favorites-what a cast! For some reason, whenever I watch HoTW, I gotta watch Monty Python's Life of Brian.
I've never seen the fish pedicure, but I'm sure I could keep a nice sized school of fish happy for a while ;) I've never had a pedicure, either. It's the fear that the poor person would run screaming out of the salon, stabbing their eyes out with a nail file, lol! Hideous man-feet, dontcha know.
I bookmarked Alnwick Castle Garden, too. Buncha enablers! I should be out pulling more evil quack.
Wow, Saucy-that's a nice view from the throne. Way better than reading the back of the shampoo bottle. I've never tried to move a viburnum, but have been mocked by more than one plant and DH all at the same time. When I decide on something, though, I don't give up easily. Nice jungle view, as well!

Bug, your pictures are spectacular as always. Your place looks so peaceful and relaxing. Thanks for the link about the tar sand. Very interesting, and I've got the Greenpeace website bookmarked. I keep hoping the human race can pull our heads out of our behind and undo some of the damage we've done in the name of progress. The farming industry is certainly part of the problem. Sometimes I feel like I made a deal with the devil to be able to stay home and putter in my gardens.

I've been sitting here far longer than I should I'm hungry. Guess I could multi-task and eat while I browse the links. Even better, I could turn a sprinkler on first. We're hoping to get a nice rain while the corn is pollinating, but I don't think there's any on the way. My MIL has a bunch of green beans that need picked and dealt with. Maybe in the morning. If tomorrow is like today, I may end up freezing them. Somehow the idea of the pressure canner in our un-air conditioned house just isn't appealing.
Have a good one, all!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 3:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Martie - It sounds/looks like you're well on your way to recovery! I hope things continue to improve speedily...

Sue - it's also good to hear you're liberated from your 'boot' and on the road to regular activity levels.

gb - I hope Phoebe's foot is also getting better quickly.

Saucy - it looks like you've been busy - both creating a jungle and cleaeing up another one....

Deanne - you've certainly been having some rough times with wind, rain and voles! I hope you get a respite soon... In the previous thread, you commented on my wisteria tree/bush bloom - from what info I can find, the Chinese ones are more likely to rebloom than the Japanese wisteria. I think yours it Japanese...? Last year I planted a Japanese one at the other end of the lawn. My hope is that, when it gets old enough to bloom, I'll have the Chinese wisteria in spring bloom in about the third week of May, followed by the later-blooming Japanese one for some part of June and then have the Chinese one reblooming in July. If it works out as I hope, I should have a couple of months of wisteria blooms.

PM2 - yes, that's a big pot of Elephant Ears behind the brugs. There's another big pot on the patio - I like plants with huge leaves... The pots of petunias are a mix of Tidal Wave Silver and Blue Wave, although the Silver ones are the most visible in the picture. The Blue Wave ones have a wonderful spicy/clove scent in morning and evening so I like them at the entrance to the house. I don't do many ornamental pots and the ones I do are all mono-pots. There's a pot of acidanthera coming on now that will give me some late summer interest to the pot collection.

We had another thunderstorm roll through this afternoon. I'm not sure how much rain we got from that; it also looks like there a possibility of more to come. Not counting whatever we got today, we've had 161mm (6.3") so far this month. We usually don't get anywhere near that amount in July. We haven't had any damage from it so far (knock-on-wood) but the ground is well saturated - which has made moving and planting things possible/easy. I usually don't move or plant things this time of year but it hasn't been a problem this past week or so! I wanted to plant a couple of Luna Red hibiscus today but I think I wait until tomorrow to avoid thunderstorms!

I'm seriously annoyed/inconvenienced this week as some wasps or hornets (not sure which - don't want to investigate too closely...) seem to be taking up residence in the deck box that contains my gardening gear! I've managed to snatch some of the essential stuff in early mornings before they get too active. Since I have nowhere else to store it, the lounger and chairs on the back porch are now strewn with a mess of bug shirts, boots, and misc. 'stuff'! I'm not sure how to safely clear everything out of there and get rid of them. I suspect I may end up having to wait until winter when they are hibernating or dead to completely deal with it!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 3:55PM
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Yes, the daylily in the first pic (yellow w/maroon) is 'Midnight Masquerade.' Don't know if it's readily available, but the blooms are big -- about 6-7" across -- and it is about 4' tall. If you can find it, grab it, or wait until I divide next year :-)

PM2 -- I'm with you on the sleeping thing. 6 hours is huge and you must feel like a new woman! Your foxglove are thriving :-) My Lisianthus are toast, again. Perhaps we can work a deal. LOL

Chelone -- Summer theater brings back memories of the classics -- "Paint Your Wagon", "Oklahoma", "The Fantasticks."..... Why is it that it no matter where there's a curtain, we can get totally engaged? Oh!! Gilbert and Sullivan at the local light opera growing up was a "must"!! Nope, big screens don't do nearly as much for me. Glad you enjoyed the show, and I bet your seat is glad it doesn't have to break in someone new.

Woody -- Don't mess with those flying critters, please. Does the box have a top or could you spray (yes, I hate them that much) from afar? I get the wigggles thinking about it.

So now you're probably all sick and tired of me popping in but it feels so Nice to be Back! I'll calm down eventually. LOL


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Predicted mild temps did not come to pass today-its 91 right at the moment but the evening breezes are kicking in so hopefully the heat will blow away. Ive had a virtual WALAT to Alnwick Castle (much obliged Chelone) and I think Ill watch a movie tonight after a very light salad-like dinner. Im thinking Alnwick is a full day affair .

Reading of industrious Idyllers today-Chelones path, Saucys demolition and Marties trip to the store. Im not sure I got much done, but there is food in the pantry and fridge which was not the case when I woke up this morning.

Brenda, not having the blotchy colors etc with my Canon, just not good focus. I want to learn to use the manual settings better, maybe that will solve the problem.

PM, my DS likes plants and grows Bonsai. If you ask Im sure he would post some pics of his trees. They are all in training . He enjoys spending time in the garden, and has a solid appreciation for the natural world. Your Lisanthus photo is quite nice ! I havent grown them in quite a while. They do make great cut flowers I must say.

Ok Martie, Moonlit Masquerade or Midnight Masquerade ?? I actually have Moonlit Masquerade but its more creamy than yellow-another one of those climate variables I expect.And notice your better edgings too. See below for mine. But, yes the flowers are very large and the scapes quite tall, and it blooms for a long time too. This is one that I will divide and take with me on my journey north. So glad that you are feeling so much better ! Hopefully your household servants are hovering about to provide for your every whim.

Woody, can you access your wasp-guarded tool chest after sundown ? What you need is Saucys beekeeping ensemble !

Ok, thats it for me tonight ..Wonder what was on the menu at Deannes ?

Kathy in Napa

Moonlit Masquerade , Napa Valley version

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 9:07PM
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Yes, Woody, I agree with all posted: Point and shoot wasp spray from far away....and protect your body. Best to identify the beasties, first.....

I'm whooped.

I'm off to bed.

I made a cold salad of white beans, red onion, red bell pepper, basil, salt/pepper, topped with cold steamed shrimp. It was good.

'night all.

So glad Martie is up and about :) I've gotta put my topiary together....tonight I moved my deck around...Nick's getting ready to do more work on my tropical room....where my topiary will be happy....

My home is always undone. Good thing I don't mind too much :)


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 9:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I tried starting this post three times yesterday but it was busy here. DH pulled a lot of weeds. DD did the lawn for DH who was going to do it for DS who had to work. I feel very satisfied that we got a lot done. The sitting area was the focus all morning. I just never seemed to get to it this year, because I had other priorities so I just kept dropping random things there and never set up the chairs and table. it doesn't quite please me yet, but it does satisfy me enough that I could sit there without getting frustrated. I managed to repot two Blue Hollies into larger containers and potted up some leftover annuals into a window box which will sit on the sitting area once they sit in the shade for a couple of days.

Which reminds me...Chelone....your recommendation for Browallia was very well timed. No sooner did you mention it then I saw a whole tray of six packs of it for sale for $10. I ended up using them everywhere and they took right off. I threw them in a lot of containers and took them to the cemetery and just put the last of them in the window box for the sitting area. They have been performing really well and have perked things up. Thanks, good call! Your low point on your property sounds like a natural rain garden. I wish I had one.

The Producers with Zero Mostel was one of my DH's favorites. He likes Mel Brooks. Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles were two more of his favorites. I liked Silver Streak with Gene Wilder.

Yes, I had seen the pedicure with the fishies. Who thought that one up?? I don't think it's for When I hang my feet in the water, the last thing I want to feel is something nibbling on me. :-)

A trip to England to the Chelsea Garden Show would make a great IU with a side trip to Alnwick Castle. I would also like to see Highgrove and Beth Chatto's Woodland garden.

Michelle...your flower arrangement sounded very pretty. I never remember to use shrub foliage in one. I wonder if Jaden is trying to get in the shade? tall is your DD? She is sitting down, but she looks tall and thin enough to be a model. Such a happy time, it is great that you have family to share it with.

Brenda...we had quack grass, it is a horror. It took over our veggie bed area and we gave up on it for 3 years because it was too tiring to fight it any more. Four years ago, we decided to try mulching it away and must have covered a 40 x 30 ft area with layers of cardboard and a ton of mulch and we got lucky that it was a dry, dry, hot summer that year and it got rid of 99% of it. I keep my eye out that it doesn't come back still though. We had to leave it a whole year before planting there. Yes, I thought I saw Emeril, but just clicking past. A 'green' cooking show? I will have to check that out.

Gardenbug...more great clematis photos and the Rudbeckias are sure pretty too! I planted a Veronicastrum last year, but darned if I can find it. I have a plant potted up that I couldn't identify in the spring and it is just starting to show white bloom on the tips, but for some reason I have my doubts it is veronicastrum. I will try to get a photo. I do love it.

Hope you didn't overdo it Martie and wake up with as much energy as yesterday. I haven't found coneflowers doing much for me, now I know the reason, you have to wait 8 years?! I bought just two plugs of Lisianthus in the spring to try. I would like to get more next year for a whole pot of them. Not the least sick of you popping in Martie. It might feel like a lot to you, but I think it is just right.

Hi Woody.... :-) I like your mono pots and I forgot some petunias are fragrant. Yours sounds nice, I like spicy clove scent. Hornets can be nasty...see link below. Haven't seen photos of your garden in awhile...what's blooming there?

I want to move a Hardy Hibiscus...anyone try that? Since it blooms so late, not sure when to move it? They come up late in the spring too, so you don't see where they are.

Kathy...I would love to see DS's Bonsai pics! Our DS has an interest in them, but hasn't really attempted it yet. He's not sure he has the patience. [g] I wish I could use the Lisianthus for cut flowers, but with only two measly plants, I need the bloom in the container. It would be really great to have enough for cutting. I really love that daylily. So pretty!

We just had another downpour and I can hear thunder in the distance. I'll be back later. Wish it would stop raining!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 6:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Re my stinging insect problem... The big problem is that I don't know exactly where the nest is. The patio box has a jumble of stuff in it. There are insects flying(clearly in defensive mode) above it (the top is open now) but I assume the actual nest is buried somewhere under the junk in the box. If I can't see it, I can't spray it and I can't see it without emptying the box - and it's not safe to do that! I can't tell exactly what insects they are because I haven't seen one at rest somewhere where I can get a good look at it. I suspect I'll just have to leave it all be until freeze-up when it will be safer to attempt to clear the box to get access to the nest - or else I'll need to have a professional with protective gear tackle it before then. A royal PITA!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well we just got a few more thunder storms through here and I dont have to water today. Woohoo! I dont ever remember a July with this much rainfall. I shouldnt say anything as it will stop and Ill be back to watering 24/7 again. It really is a fantastic respite to not have to water the lawns.

The passion flower vine is gorgeous and loaded with buds. Has anyone wintered one of these? Mary, what did you do with that beauty of yours I saw a couple years ago?

The vole damaged hostas are in vases in the house and they are quite obligingly putting out some nice root growth! Im so very happy about that. I told Doug Im going to have to line that entire, new mini-hosta bed with hardware cloth before I fill it in with soil. These rodents are frustrating the h - - - out of me.

Its lily time here in the gardens and it smells divine and in the evenings its simply unbelievable. Sue stayed overnight on Friday and we had a lovely visit. So Jerry was here last week and Sue stayed in the Idyll bedroom this week so whos coming next week??? LOL Its fun to know that Marie, Marlene, Sue and Jerry have been in our Idyll bedroom now.

PM Ive never moved a hardy hibiscus but if I were to do it Id wait until just before it breaks dormancy in the spring. ~~ Your lisianthus is beautiful. That is just one of those plants that doesnt ever do well for me. I think I have to put it in a mono pot and learn its culture better before trying it again in combinations. ~~ Did you get my email?

Saucy that bean salad sounds great. I need to do more things like that for dinners here in the summer. ~~ I just love your tropical deck. Fabu-fabu!

Martie, glad to hear you are feeling so much better and Im loving all the photos. That daylily is gorgeous!

Woody, what a great idea about planting a Japanese and the Chinese wisteria so as to have a long season of wisteria flowers. Yes indeed, mine is the Japanese type. Its a beauty with huge panicles of blossoms but Id love to have a spot to put in another type like you have.

Kathy, what is that beauty of a plant with the red tinged leaves that was the first of the three photos? ~~ Im interested in hearing about the fuchsia tip cutting procedure as Ive always rooted them in water. Ive had great success except with the magellanica types.

Cynthia, thinking of you.

OK time to get a move on here and shift my bum out of this chair.

Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 9:12AM
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I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed this morning. My head is swimming from spending too much time gathering a list of wants from the UCONN plant database.

Then I saw that Tower Hill is having a fall plant sale on Sept 6th! WooHoo, I can buy all the plants I passed over in the Spring. Let me know if we want to all go again, I'll have Nick fire up the grill :)

I'm going to get some good books for this winter....that will help put my mind at ease. I'm looking at Landscape Plants for Eastern North America by Harrison Leigh Flint. Recommendations anyone? I would like to add some specimen/understory trees and shrubs along the tree line that borders the wetland....though we're on a hill, so the soil is not wet.

Deanne, my little bean salad had a lemon and olive oil, too. It would fit into the magic cooking scheme: Nick never knows where I pull food from, LOL! He was sure the cupbord was bare....Doug would wonder why you didn't starve :)

Woody, it seems hornets/wasps draw as much good advice as a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy :)

I wonder if you pull the bed out from the wall at Deanne's would you find a sort of Idyll grafitti: V. wuz here :)

Lightening hit somewhere on this property early this morning. I heard a crack right AS the light hit....sounded like a tree. After surveying for fire/smoke, I went back to bed, but I'm gonna go investigate now. Drema, I thought of you at 4 a.m. :)

I need to get back to the gym. I became very discouraged and just quit 4 weeks ago. This morning I can tell how out of shape I am - my two days of hard labor are yelling at me now.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 9:31AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! It was a lovely day here yesterday. I spent the first part of the morning getting the pots on the deck properly reset after their disruption this week, then DD and I went to town for the market. Besides some great fresh veggies, I found a pale yellow silk pillow with hand embroidered flowers for only $10.

Back at home, I trimmed a few shrubs that had gotten out of hand and whacked the two box elders that had stealthily grown up amidst the aronias.

But the best was yet to come. After some serious showering, we headed into Chicago with the kids for an early dinner and a performance of "Jersey Boys". Dinner was lovely and the show was absolutely wonderful. We all had a great time. After the show, I told my son's fiance that she looked like she would be smiling for the next three days. I found it interesting that my two kids, who both worked backstage for high school plays, had lots of comments about the staging of the play. If you get a chance to see this show, go for it. It was fun.

I saw a photo of those fish pedicures, and I don't think I could stand the thought of fish nibbling at my feet.

Gonna run for now but I'll be back tonight. It's supposed to be a bit cloudy today, so I hope to get some good garden shots.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 10:04AM
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A shaky "good" morning as the storms blazed their way through CT at about 3:30am and I watched sky to ground lightening hit between my neighbor's house and ours a few times. After the house shook I decided I was better off in bed. Rich slept through the whole thing but is dutifully vacumming out the basement. We've had a total of 7.3" of rain. In July. Surely close to if not a record.

Sorry for the confusion, Kathy. Mine is Midnight, not Moonlight. I had gotten both from single plugs and lost Moonlight but still had both tags pulled for ID and picked up the wrong one. OOPS!! Cousins, I would assume?? Definitely dig up and move worthiness.

Add the east coast Kyle to DS's with Bonsai. Since I babysit them most of the year I guess I'm officially their caretaking grandmother, but anyway ... Perhaps they should start an IdyllDSBonsai forum?? I can just imagine. LOL

And speaking of grandmotherhood -- Rich's Daughter and SiL are expecting in March!!!!!!!!!! Let the delight begin! I think being a stepgrandma will have definite attributes. All my role will be is to love the child and its parents (which, of course, I already do). We've offered to supply crib and linens and it will be fun to go on a search mission with Jen. She and I have a very special relationship. Kyle is over the moon happy at the prospect of being an uncle (purely) since they both reminded us that our marraige ceremony included them accepting and entering into a new family. "Step" doesn't come into play with them.

Life goes on!

Was thinking of Cynthia during the storms last night as I remember weather events were a big deal for Katie. Funny how Idyll-related stuff flies through one's head. I'm hopeful that you'll plant something thornless in her honor, ((Cynthia)).

Good gardening girlfriend V. is coming over today to survey immediate weeding needs and eradicate the remainder of died down bulb foliage.

Anyone starting their bulb amending lists for this Fall, yet? Or are you already done?

Sending good vibes to all, right backatcha:-)


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 10:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA are right, if you can't see where the nest is, pretty hard to take care of it. Is there something in the box that will be a hardship to do without the rest of the summer? You could just bomb the whole box, I would think, if you really didn't want to wait. Right near the house, too? I love bees and don't even mind deadheading when they are buzzing around me. Hornets make me start feeling anxious if their numbers start getting up there. Yellow jackets too. We used to always get the beginnings of hornet nests in the canopy over the front door when I had a butterfly garden in the front. I didn't get them this year, since changing it.

Deanne....the sun came out late morning here after another downpour but the is like a steam bath out there today. I am also really happy not to be watering the garden. So we are weeding instead. Glad you are rescuing your hostas. They are not cheap to replace. Glad you and Sue had a nice visit. You're getting to be quite the B&B. And I bet instead of graffiti, you have a guest book, yes? Thanks for tip on moving the Hibiscus. The lisianthus I just threw in a pot with a lot of other plants. It was a plug when I bought it and took it's sweet time blooming. It is facing West with morning shade and no special treatment.

Saucy the Tower Hill Plant it an actual 'sale' or is it just vendors selling plants? Have you thought of looking at any of William Cullina's books on native plants? He is from the NEWFS and someone on the NE forum was just saying that he is not going to be there any more. He is moving to Maine having been offered a job at the Boothbay Botanical Garden. He has some great reference books on native shrubs and trees...and a new one devoted to grasses, mosses and ferns. So Saucy, why did you get discouraged with your gym? Did you get bored with it? My DD just signed to a gym and had one personal trainer session so far, but I am waiting for the inevitable slacking off.

V...I wish I had a farmer's market as good as yours around here! The things you find there. I hadn't heard of 'Jersey Boys' will have to keep that in mind. We haven't been to something like that in awhile. My DH loves anything you can shake a ticket at. Riverdance so far has been one of the best shows we have seen. So you can see how long it's been since we have bought tickets to anything. [g] Glad you had a great time with your kids.
What could be better.

Wow, the lightening stories are getting too close for comfort. So far ours have kept their distance.

Wow Martie!! Grandbabies, step or otherwise, what great news and perfect timing, now that you are going to be feeling like a new person! :-) Yay for Kyle too! What can be more affirming than a new generation in the family. Very happy for you!! More Idyll baby photos! lol


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 2:15PM
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Stopped in here this afternoon for a pleasant few minutes with the Idylls, and wow, photo posting is in high gear today ! Decided now would be an opportune time for lunch .

Deanne, that plant is Kalanchoe thrysifolia. I had a huge one that I lost to the frost a couple years back, so now I bring any Kalacnhoes I might have into the house for the winter. This one is not getting full sun so the red is not as prominent. Below is a full plant shot. Ill try to get some pics later of the fuchsia incubation, and details on the process.

Congrats to the Martie family and pending new arrival. I warn you, they drool and are sometimes noisy.

Okay, heres the K. thrysifoliatime to check out the other threads

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 4:24PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good grief, another inch of rain and high winds here with yet another squall line of severe storms passing through. I don't remember who mentioned that we are probably going to set records for July rainfall here but I totally agree with that. Doug and I noticed yesterday on our drive out to western NH that everything is so GREEN right now. Unusual for July.

PM sorry but no, I've never had a guest book but wouldn't that be a good idea! I should paint one for our garden visitors to sign.

Saucy, yikes about the lightening strike. I hope nothing got fried. ~~~ LOL about the Idyll grafitti.

Kathy, I just love that Kalanchoe thrysifolia. What a beauty. I need to see if I can find one. Does that take full sun?

Denise I totally agree with you about the whole tattoo thing. Makes me feel old. I just keep having visions of these things on old wrinkled skin. I cant believe it will be attractive when one is 85 years old.

So how are all in the North East dealing with this latest batch of storms??? Hoping all are OK and there is no damage. The weather service said this latest batch caused a lot of damage in MA. Thinking of my friends south of here.

OK must run and get dinner on the table. Take care all

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 6:17PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

It's a full time job keeping up with all these threads. LOL Not complainind though, the photos are wonderful.

How did the weekend go by so quickly? It was hotter than..., well you know, so we went to a movie this afternoon. Dark Knight was really good. Of course it forced me to research Heath Ledgers death. Very sad.

I have to run and take care of a bunch of puppies. :)

Later Gaters,


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 6:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Deanne, I hear we might get winds and hail tonight..I sure hope not. I am still trimming foliage off my plants from the last hail storm. I think I may just go try moving a few things under some shelter just in case. I've already taken plants in plants stands down to the ground for the night. One thing that is really not happy are the cactus and succulents that were in the house all winter and now out on the patio. They are getting way too much rain. I don't really have a way to give them sun all day when there is any and keep them dry without moving them all the time.

But I am still happy overall, because the shrubs and hydrangeas are happier than usual this year.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:04PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Not to sound like I'm gloating, but we had a very nice day here. Warm but not too hot and a nice breeze most of the day.

So we went to Kimball & Bean to check out their summer sale and came away with a couple of treasures. First was this cement urn with yellow paint. Its base is chipped, but once the Heucheras that I planted around it mature, you'll never see the base.

When we changed over the HVAC system last fall, we were left with a concrete pad that used to hold the condenser. I used bricks leftover from the walkway project to build a column and then put my new rooster on top.

For those who have been asking for photos from the deck, here you go:

Finally, I couldn't resist a photo of the new pillow.

So it was a productive day here. I even got some laundry done. Now to get dinner under control.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:15PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow V. Marvelous pics of your deck and I love that vignette showcasing your pillow. Great score on that cement urn. Got to love it! The trio of Sans babies is marvelous too. A treat to see your spaces. Thanks

PM I just went outside and checked on the stuff Id taken off the stands in case of any more blow overs and all is well here. I totally know what you mean about your cactus as Im having the same problem with my tuberous begonias. They are just getting too wet and Ive got major pieces dying and falling off and the Rex begonias are looking pretty bedraggled as well. There is just too much here to move it all in and out with the rain storms so Im going to just cross my fingers and hope they pull through. I surely hope you dont get any more hail damage. Some places south of here got slammed by this last storm. The temps here have gone down to 62 degrees! Brrrr. What a roller coaster the weather has been this summer. Last weekend we were dying of the heat in NY and now its going to be below 60 tonight.

Hi Jerri, I was thinking the same thing about having trouble keeping up with all the threads out there right now. I was thinking of you today when sitting on the patio taking a break. I do wish I could bottle up that fragrance.

OK Im out of here for tonight. Have a good evening all.

Where are Michelle and Eden?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:32PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hmm... I just got around to downloading and looking at my photos from IU5. This could be very interesting. I was always behind everyone taking pictures and drooling over the gardens so I ended up with a lot of flower and bum shots. LOL

How many Idylls want to opt of bum shots?! This could be profitable! ;)

To late to size and post tonight. I'm pooped.



    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 10:31PM
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Im here Deanne! Its been a busy weekend. 2 of Ricks sisters came today to see the gardens, so I put in a good long gardening day yesterday. I also made a cold veggie & chicken pizza and an almond raspberry angel roll to serve. I also needed to clean this pit of a house. I must say the gardens do look wonderful. We had 2" of rain last weekend and the another .4" this a.m. The lawns here are nice and lush as well.

Im having my sisters, SIL and mom over next Sat. and then another bunch of ladies the next Sat. to tour the gardens. I had a bunch of requests from women from church so I decided to have a garden party.

We have been doing a bunch of mulching lately, Rick uses the skid loader to load the trailer behind the 4 wheeler and I use a grain scoop to spread it. Sounds like farmers huh?

Who else agrees with me that Vs rooster would be perfect on the top of my garden shed? LOL

Martie, its good to hear so much from, a definite indication that you are feeling better.

Sue, great news about the foot.

Pm2, Ive been watching Cultivating Life since it comes on about the time I like to sit for a bit before bedtime. We enjoy the Create channel.

Denise, we did sign the option for the wind turbines. Basically its saying we are interested if the project gets off the ground. They do give a nice check just for expressing your interest. Hey, you are no more daffy than the rest of us ;o)

Gosh, quite a few Idyllers have new cameras. It will be fun to see what they produce with them.

Here's a few shots from after the rain.

A Kenzie combo:


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 11:06PM
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Quite a busy day in Idyll-land .. one must keep current with numerous threads too !

V, chipped base is shabby -chic. You are stylin ! Lovely deck shots too. I like all the blue pots. Now is that Cubs Blue or Dodger Blue ??

Deanne, the K. thrysifolia can take full sun here with no problem, but should be let to get a bit dry between waterings, It sounds like that is an issue for you this year !

Hi Jerri ! How are those puppies ? Well accept bum shots if they are artistic. In my case this may require some image manipulation.

Waaah! I want to go to the Tower Hill plant sale. This morning I went to Annies Annuals website to see if she had Celosia spicata. I would have driven down there today (about a half hour drive on Sunday) to get a couple if so. No such luck ! I am having trouble accepting the fact that you can see actually see dirt in areas of my garden. Not packed in . Jeesh.

Michelle, it looks like you have perfected the pink daylily. And your last pic do you know the name of that one ? I love the pinks buds and yellow lily thing going on there. Fabu! You absolutely need a rooster to adorn your shed.

Ok, time for me to call it a night.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 11:17PM
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Co-worker is on vacation this week so I could be in the hot seat if the boss has a rough week. Humidity, warm temperatures and disorganization can make for a lethal combination. lol.

I ventured up to the old homestead yesterday to check out the storm damage (there was plenty!). Mercifully, the place is still standing, the windows are all intact, the electricity worked once I flipped the main breaker on and I left feeling OK. But there is so much work to do there. I now refer to the house as "the home that time forgot". It's alternately sad, funny, and a little creepy to observe how quickly Mum's life took such a precipitous turn. We simply never know when it will happen, do we?

We had a huge thunderstorm last evening, too, Deanne. The crack of thunder felt as though it was directly overhead and it launched the normally unflappable cats from their perches. Rex climbed onto the sofa to be closer to Mummy. I thought of Cynthia and Dannie, too!

I'm running a little behind right now so need to get rollin'. You can bet I'll run screaming from the building today. :)

That darling white wicker chair is screaming for a cushion, V.. ;) Great score on the urn, pillow and the whole vignette is very appealing.

Over and out.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:36AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Ahhh.... gorgeous morning but bad Deanne still hasn't finished the project she is to teach starting Friday so I'm in the basement today. Wah...

Michelle, gorgeous photos! Is that first daylily 'Wild Mustang'? Also that second lily, 'Silk Road'? Like Kathy I'd like to know what variety that third lily is. What a gorgeous stand of them. ~~~ What fun to have garden parties!

Kathy, can K. thrysifolia be propagated from leaf cuttings? Yes indeed letting things dry out between waterings lately is a problem. Just ask my tuberous begonias. LOL

Chelone, I'd love to see a pic of Wrecks in your lap! Yikes, you lived to tell the tale.

OK I've got to get going here. Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 6:34AM
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Good morning all!

I got a call from SunnyD yesterday....she wanted me to come help her rip up her garden because it didn't look like the gardens we visited at IU5 - I think she's hooked :)

Deanne, I'll be stuck looking out my office window while you're in your studio :) I'll be thinking of you....pining away for your garden :)

Chelone, what will become of the house that time forgot? Is there a plan yet?

I indulged myself in a great book: The Well Designed Mixed Garden by Tracy DiSabato Aust. I know most of you have read it, or her first book. I can't believe it took me this long to pick it up and read it! I'm inspired!

PM, I believe Tower Hill adds their plants into the mix at this sale, too! I'm adding a link.

I have made it to August and have not killed a pot from not watering! I mix gravel into my tufa pot soil mix to make it drain you guys do that for things that like sharp drainage? That's how I mix them in among other things without worrying about the amount of water I give.

Michelle, how far is it to V.s? We could do a midnight raid, and I'd help you place it on top of the shed, LOL! V., your porch is beautiful, and I see why you snatched up the yellow pillow :) I imagine you curled up with it :)

Michelle, you don't know how many times I wished for a tractor over the last couple of days....

Well, I guess I'll get this day started!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 7:08AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

How did it get to be Monday????


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 7:33AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning Idylls!

I found myself with an extra hour this AM - I got up at my usual time and showered, then I remembered I have to do a work errand before heading in today, so I don't have to leave here at 8am. I went out to putter in the garden, trying to stay clean since I'd already showered. My DS laughed at me when I came back in with dirt on my leg.

No storm damage here, just wet, wet, wet. We got another inch of rain last night. My DD is being paid to water the neighbor's veggie garden while they are away, she's only been over there once so far! Talk about money for nothing...

Deanne, my rex begonias are looking a bit sad too. I did make a special mix for them with extra perlite for drainage, and I'm keeping them in smaller pots which dry out faster. They also don't like a lot of fertilizer, so I don't feed them. I'm tempted to put them in the sun to dry them out, but that would probably fry the leaves.

Sue, such good news about your recovery. Glad you can ditch the crutches now. Don't overdo it though.

V, love your porch. Is that ferny-looking plant next to the 3 baby sans a polemonium? I never think to put perennials in pots - maybe I should start. Chelone, what color cushion? I'm thinking something with green or maroon to pick up the colors on the musa. The rooster is cool too!

Saucy, that book is a good one - I have it too. I like all the diagrams with plant name and position - I'm nerdy that way. Have you checked your local library for garden books? With inter-library loan you can probably get lots. I second PM2's recommendation of the William Cullina books - I have both, and they are wonderful (just ask Chelone!)

Way to go SunnyD! I knew we could rope in another one. Idyllunion is definitely inspirational.

Well, have to run - I need to call the orthodontist before leaving for work. One of the brackets on DS's braces came loose over the weekend. I called the Dr at home Friday PM, and he walked me through a temporary repair involving a trip to the hardware store to buy tiny wire cutters. Worked great! I told the kids I was hanging out my shingle this week.

Waving hi to all!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Deanne & Kathy, the daylily is 'Strawberry Candy' and the lilies are 'Silk Road' and 'Orania' which is a fabulous stand after only 3 years. I'll be back later, its a busy Monday.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 12:32PM
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As promised a few updated pictures of the Secret Garden.

The marigolds lining the walk are just starting to bloom. Remember she loves yellow. These are a nice clear yellow.

I thought these Tricolor convolvulous would be nice, but the rabbits did set some of them back a bit. In Kenzie's words "that wasn't very nice to me" The yarrow in the background is just getting started as well. The gourd blossoms are even yellow.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 4:25PM
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I googled Orania, Michelle, and it was depicted as all apricot in color. Yours is much more complex and beautiful. Might be a regional soil/weather difference? Kinda exciting with the wind thing, huh? Your garden looks ravishing and ready for its closeup at upcoming garden parties. Tell Kenzie her idyllette godmothers will come and take care of the nasty wabbits, just say the word! I'm in complete agreement with Kenzie on yellow.

That's gotta be the cruelest test of self control imaginable, Deanne, to have to retreat to the basement when the lilies are in full force. Or when 'bug's clems are in bloom. Any gardener in mid-summer, I suppose. Spring is bad too, though. And fall presents its own obstacles to concentration, lol. I am in some serious summer doldrums, just can't concentrate on transcripts that are piling up. Wasted serious time googling court reporting assignments in England this morning...or France...or Holland. Maybe The Hague needs me! Very light work required, heavy nursery and garden perusing a must. What a summer daydreamer. Middle of last night I wake up and wonder what happened to the Tropoaelum polyphyllum I ordered in a dreamy moment last winter, then completely forgot this morning that I remembered, if you get my drift. Nagged all morning by the sense I'd forgotten something very important. Finally, the other shoe dropped. Of course, the nasturtium! Another urgent reason, perhaps the 20th since breakfast, to leap up out of the chair again and head into the garden. I had tipped the unnamed and unremembered contents of a pot showing no growth out in a compost pile when I returned from vaca in May, having not a clue of what it was I had carefully planted in the pot. There resided the root of the T. polyphyllum, (scroll down page) which was still intact. Daniel Hinkley had just written about it on his blog which is probably why I was struck with a bolt of remembrance in the wee hours. His first sentence really brings back memories of the old Hinkley catalogue brio, doesn't it?

Kathy, the kangaroo paws are in the ground. Just pulled a phygelius from that spot which was burning in full sun. I think I'm pulling all phygelius from the garden in fall. Sun lovers but not really...ouch, that's too hot, ooh, aah, too much, oh, I'm cold now...more water, please. I'm going to check out some yarrow, maybe Terracotta again or Anthea.

Chelone, at Eden's instigation, I rented the Curb Your Enthusiasm series, and the episode with Mel Brooks hiring Larry David in the Producers so it would free Mel and Anne from the burdens of that musical when Larry tanks in the lead role, but he's then so bad in the role he's a hit....pretty funny.

Off to the salt mines...or in the general direction thereof...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:02PM
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Hello Idylls

A lot has been going on here while company visited!! I've only skimmed briefly but have loved the photos and am DELIGHTED that there are new cameras out there as we all get to enjoy the results. Cynthia - I was truely sorry to read about Katie. It must leave a huge void in your life, but no one could have done more to enrich hers. The pleasure you got from each other was very evident and a joy to observe. Hugs to you and the rest of your 4 footed crew who are no doubt missing her as well.

This has certainly been the summer for us for having people visit and it has been wonderful, and helps make up for not being able to go to England. We had a great time with SIL and neice, and I have just one week (when I hope to finish the powder room) before Ruth, Ivan now(6) and Iris(4) are here. We are also hosting a child through the Fresh Air Fund who will arrive next week for a fortnight. David came up with the idea after reading about the program which gives inner city kids the opportunity to experience a vacation with a host family and DH and I both thought it was a great idea. We have been assigned a ten year old boy from New York City. It could be an interesting experience for us all.

Meanwhile, Annie is busy taking part in a summer production of the musical Beauty and the Beast (she is a plate and a beggar woman). She has also discovered how much she enjoys being part of the stage crew, which she did for the High Schoolers musical "Grease". David is at a golf camp in the mornings and spending hours playing the guitar, inspired by his guitar course.

I have been grabbing time in the garden whenever possible (which has unfortunately not been a lot) but photos from IU5 have been very inspirational. Some things are gorgeous right now, others.... errr, a little "wild" but it all still brings me pleasure. As usual, the summer is flying by all too fast.

A big wave to one and all


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:24PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a quickie...I don't want to forget to congratulate Martie on the coming grandbaby...YAY FOR YOU! We have a fair sprinkling of steps and halfs in our family, but none of us have ever looked at it that way. As a matter of fact, when Mom had my younger sister and the postmistress referred to her as my half-sister, I was a bit miffed.
Michelle..Aw, Kenzie's right that was NOT nice to her, lol! I love the way kids phrase things. I have a niece who always said, "I can't like that" about any new foods.
Okay, I gotta run. It looks like a bomb went off both inside and outside the house. DH and I are taking DD and her beau to see the one and only JIMMY BUFFETT tomorrow! Coincidentally, I cast my magic spell on DH at a Buffett concert. 17 years later....might as well take the kids, but they both seem pretty smitten already ;)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:25PM
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The helpmeet is MIA. Wrecks is home and the stairway is "dog-proofed". The reusable grocery bags are still in the pantry. This leaves one option... the sailboat. He began excising the rotten portions of the deck one week ago tomorrow and there are two more necrotic sections to go. He cleaned up the stuff he cut out last Tuesday this morning (in time for the trash guys), ignoring my pleas over the course of the week. I will NOT clean up his messes unless they're in the kitchen. I have been patiently stepping over the waste and the tools in the house for 6 days and I just want to see it completed. Lest you fancy me a wicked task-master please know that I am mindful of the necessity of fun on days off. I am also very task-oriented (I worked for "piece rate" for many very successful years); I am organized, thorough, and like to see things finished or left neatly for the resumption of work the next day. I am really tired of patiently waiting and being "understanding". I am going to put the hugest of dogs in the wagon and go buy some wine. I need him to remind me that a ride is fun.

Not sure about the color of the cushion for V.'s prim wicker chair, Wendy. I'd rather see a long shot showing the chair against the facade of the house before committing myself... I might even pull a Deanne or an Eden and give the chair a proprietary coat of something delivered via aerosol. :) (can you say, "radical"?).

I have to quit yakkin', get downstairs and do some work, and return some calls.


PS: dogs really like to ride in the car. And the tennis ball is the best invention in the world.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:32PM
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Quick correction, the lily is Orienpet 'Triumphator' and not 'Silk Road" ;o)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 7:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Im a tired person tonight and I didnt do anything but deadhead stuff and paint. Anyway, thought Id check in before getting in my jammies and heading off to bed. The lily perfume from the gardens tried to lure me away from my painting table all day but I didnt succumb. I had a docs appointment and they have to adjust my orthotics one more time and then Im off the hook with the podiatrist until I opt for the surgery to repair the toe.

Michelle, thanks for the Ids on those lilies. I have Strawberry Candy as well as Wild Mustang and they are quite similar. SC is a beauty! ~~ That Secret Garden is looking fabulous! What a change. Youve done wonders.

Chelone you have more fortitude than I, leaving your DHs messes underfoot for a week. That kind of thing makes me CRAZY. Normally hell do something like that then go out of town for a week so he doesnt even have to look at it and Im tripping over it until I give up and clean up the mess. As I said one of those things that makes me crazy.

Brenda, enjoy that Jimmy Buffett concert. Im jealous. Id love to see him in person.

Mary, great to hear from you. Sounds like your social schedule is full! Id love to hear David play guitar again.

Denise, LOL about remembering that Tropoaelum polyphyllum in the middle of the night then finding the root in good shape in the dumped out pot. Amazing the things our brains will remember when we arent trying. ~~ Its a shame youre taking out your phygelius. I just love them! They are some of my treasured container plants here. ~~ Yes it was a test of my endurance to not wander around outside today and keep my rear end at my painting table. Im hoping I can finish up the piece tomorrow. Just in time. Class is Friday.

Wendy, I potted up my Rex Begonias in either shallower containers with better drainage or the one larger pot I did the whole bottom half is loose coco fiber and rocks and that drains at light speed. Even with that they are still not too happy but if I hadnt done that theyd probably be dead. ~~~ BTW, thanks for the daturas!

Saucy, I love The Well Designed Mixed Garden by Tracy DiSabato Aust. Great book with lots of terrific ideas.

OK I was up at 5:30 and Im turning into a pumpkin.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:05PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

For a moment I thought Deanne was a weenie, since I got up at 5:15 and am still going strong, and then I remembered that her 5:30 is an hour before mine! Goodnight, my friend.

Thanks for the comments on the rooster and the urn. I forgot to mention that the pot will hold a fern as soon as I have a second to purchase one. I plant to plant it in a smaller pot so it can be easily lifted in the fall.

Michelle and Saucy, you'll have quite a time stealing the rooster. The base is solid cement and weighs quite a bit. I can move it a bit but not really lift it. Beau Kimball found the rooster in Ontario as part of an old weathervane. There still was one directional letter attached on another part that did not survive - the letter O for "Ouest". So he's a French-Canadian rooster. ;)

Chelone and Deanne, my DH is another who doesn't put things away when he is done. In fact, he has been known to buy new tools to replace ones that he cannot find! Drives me nuts, especially when I am cleaning up after myself and he tries to push me to the next job before I'm done.

Chelone, yes indeed that chair needs a cushion. I shall have to be a bit more organized and get a couple more photos. I've been known to cut loose with the spray paint can, myself, so that's a distinct possibility...

Wendy, that is indeed a polemonium in that pot. Good eyes!

Brenda, have a great time at the Buffett concert.

We've been enjoying the pond quite a bit the last several days. The water is just warm enough to be comfortable but still cool you off. We've also been able to get by without the A/C at the same time. Storms are supposed to roll in tonight, though.



    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Quickie post tonight, my realtor will be over for a strategy session shortly..

Deanne, I dont think the K. thrysifolia will root by leaf cuttings. I will look around to see if I can find one in a small pot that might survive a US mail journey to NH. Sometimes they have them in the succulent section at Target

Hi Marywow, I am in awe of your intent to take in a city-kid for 2 weeks ! Its a good thing there are people like you in our world.

Ok, thats all I have for tonight. Waving hi !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 10:31PM
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Skimming quickly so, V, I forgot to mention how much I liked the pedestal you built up for your rooster, esp using the "found" condenser piece, as well as the little guy himself. Our garage wind vane is a proud cockerel. And I love the glimpse of the pond through the deck railings. And belated congrats to Martie too on the grandbaby-to-be. And Mary, what a great program to participate in. Since we're definitely "inner city" here, I'm not sure how much fresh air could be gained by a youngster coming here!

Nice emergency ortho work, Wendy.

Did the helpmeet manage to sneak out for a sail or just more work on the sailboat? I mentioned this tidbit to Marty, and he responded with an enigmatic Cheshire smile (thinking about his little red sailboat in the driveway he's itching to get at, no doubt).

By now Brenda is singing along to Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 11:59PM
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Oh it was definitely a sail, Denise. The mighty Cape Dory Typhoon was plying the waves of the north Atlantic for several hours yesterday afternoon. :) It was a beautiful day for it.

The deck brownies did not arrive last night to ply their trade on our property, either. I kept my lip buttoned and we had a nice dinner together. Maybe they'll be at work today?

With regard to tools and their care... We've had a couple of very bad fights over the years when I've found MY tools left outdoors or misused. MY tools are MINE, purchased by me for me with MY money, not to be used without my express permission (nor do I loan my tools). I have well over a dozen pair of shears and scissors (all for specific tasks which do not include cutting up chicken), an extensive collection of measuring tools (which are not to be used as guides when using the circular saw or highlighted with Sharpie), specialized upholstery equipment (don't leave my expensive stapler out when rain is imminentor mislay my tack hammer), and I HAD a very nice collection of paintbrushes, which have mysteriously appeared caked in dried oil-based paint in the various locations. It was the paintbrushes that caused the last one, actually. My 4" natural bristle varnish brush was appropriated to apply bottom paint (the nastiest paint in the world) on the boat and still hasn't been replaced. My workroom has a lock on the door and I pointedly began locking it for some weeks after the theft. That was a very unpopular move, BTW. Like I cared? Never, ever screw with a treadesman's tools and don't ever consider it marital property. Trust me on this.

I did some alteration work and returned some calls last night, cashing it in before wrapping a friend's birthday gift (CD by Madeleine Peyroux called "Careless Love", she reminds me of Billie Holiday). It's going to be a long day today the culmination being a much needed haircut that should revive me for a late alteration app't.. Frankly, I rather be lazily sailing today, too.

I'd best get this day underway, 12 hrs. and counting.

Michelle, go soak up some sun in the Secret Garden for me, willya? those teeny-weeny Morning Glories are precious. I hear rabbit is pretty low fat... ;)

My lilies are all budded up and should put on a nice show (except the ones stepped on by the painters).

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 5:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

Enjoying everyone's posts but no time this morning. the rooster and the Sansaveria babies...water so close to your deck? How great is that?! that is what is wrong with my tuberous begonias? I didn't think you could give them too much water. Wrong again. We had another 3 inches of rain but thankfully no wind/hail.

Michelle...the Secret Garden is really starting to look great! I relayed what Kenzie had to say about the rabbit to my DH and we both got a good chuckle out of it. So sweet. LOVE those lilies!

Thanks for the Tower Hill sale link, Saucy. :-) Looks good.

Hi Wendy...had a chance to look at some of your garden photos from a link in another post. Your garden is looking great this year!

Denise...I saw Orania combined with another lily a couple of years ago on the Whiteflower Farm site. Not sure if it is still there, but I loved it. I don't think it was a solid color either.

Hi Mary! Glad you are enjoying your summer.

That's it. Time to go check what's going on around here...

Today is supposed to be the best day of the week weather wise. Dry air, so they say, but I haven't left the air conditioning yet. :-)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:50AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well I must have been really tired as I feel asleep right at 9 and didnt wake until 6 this AM. That painting stuff must take it out of me. LOL V. truth be told I really am a weenie. Te he.

V. I forgot to mention yesterday that I love, love, love that rooster as well.

Kathy, you are a wonder! If you can find one that would be great but let me check out our local Targets. Who knows? Maybe Ill find one here. If not and you do find one Ill trade you for fuchsias after youve moved to your new location? Speaking of fuchsias, you should see my Fuchsia Christina right now. It is beyond belief! Loaded, loaded with buds and enormous. The plant is probably two feet tall and as wide and soon there wont be a pic of green showing. Got to love it.

Chelone, I so understand about the tool thing. Doug will borrow my pliers and screwdrivers because hes lost his then mine disappear into the ether somewhere. The other thing that mysteriously takes a walk is my measuring tape that I keep on a hanger in the pantry. Makes me crazy, especially when I buy a replacement because the original is hopelessly lost and then that one goes for a walk as well. My tools are all on a peg board in my framing and matting workshop downstairs so there is no way to lock them up. LOL

Okie Dokie, must run, we got another T storm through here yesterday but not enough for the containers so Im off to water then work. Hopefully Ill finish that painting today.

Have a terrific day everyone,

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:53AM
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I have no idea about the Typhoon of which Chelone speaks, but I was in the garden yesterday afternoon, when suddenly this magical southern breeze came was odd, as if someone flipped a switch and everything blew the other way :)

I would like to ride on a sailboat....maybe in Newport RI

Michelle, the Secret Garden is coming along so nicely! You have such an artful eye :) I like the clear yellows, too.

I am guilty of not putting things away when I'm done. So is DH. Together we make quite the pair. Can you imagine the children we're raising? They'll go out into the world and so on...and so on....until we mess makers finally take over the world...insert evil laugh here :)

Having said that, DH's messes are far worse than mine :)

V., thanks for the info regarding the rooster....Michelle, looks like it was intended to sit atop your shed! We're gonna need some of your heavy equipment to get it in place :)

Deanne has fortitude.

Well, first to the dentist for the children't biannual torture session, and then we're off to the zoo. I really don't care for the zoo in summer (don't all the animals sleep?) but the kids insist that they would like to do this :)

Deanne, the reason I've never seen your garden in high summer just dawned on kids are home :) I always come by when they're at school.

PM, I keep forgetting to answer you on something, but it pops into my head at the oddest moments. Know that I'm thinking of it....just can't seem to get it to the Idylls :)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:55AM
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Saucy - I'm envious that you only have two dentist visits a year. Annie is in her 4th year of monthly orthodontic visits which can be a juggle to schedule. Her crowding/misalignment was so severe in the beginning it was uncertain as to whether braces alone would be enough. I'm endlessly thankful we didn't have to resort to surgery where they would have had to break her jaw to reconfigure it. Enjoy the zoo!

Wendy - I'm impressed with your Ortho skills! We've had the odd broken bracket but nothing that has required home repair.

V - on having time to read posts at last I saw both your children have been involved backstage with plays as well. It is a whole new world for me and I enjoy hearing from Annie about what is involved. Watching plays together is soemthing we all love to do.

Add my DH to those who has been known to buy tools rather than look for those we already own. When I organized our motley collection before starting on the powder room I found many sets of multiples. For someone who tends to frugality like myself it drives me nuts!!!!

Michelle - your lilies are stunning. I've loved Deanne's thread too. I must be the only one suffereing from lily beetle this year. Its a first for me - does anyone have an organic remedy other than hand picking?

Martie - how cool to see the offspring of my cleome in your pot!! I have an ocean of self seeded purple and pink behind my raspberries I am loving right now.

I'm only half way through commenting to but this morning is actually one of the very first I've had in weeks with no one in the house or guests arriving. I should be being wildly productive and catching up on housework but instead I'm drinking lots of coffee and Idylling.

So I'll say a quick hello to Cindy, Woody, Cynthia, Sue, Denise, Kathy, PM, Chelone, Brenda, GB, Jerri, Babs, Eden, Anise, Marian and anyone else I've missed who makes this such a fun destination.

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:15AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mary...on the Dueling Banjos thread, I posted my awful foliage from Lily Beetles. You are not alone. I was hand picking because I am organic too, but this year, I just didn't have the energy. I am actually contemplating getting rid of lilies all together, which would really hurt!

Saucy...Don't worry, I can't remember I would also like to ride a sailboat around Newport's coast.

I was going to head out and do something in the garden, but it is still H&H here. Once I got out of the A/C, my energy disappeared and I am back in the house for the day. Still have reading and note taking to do. We are in the market for another cheap computer laptop, so looking for what is available on sale now.

Not having to water...wonderful!

Has anyone heard from Marian? Wondering where she disappeared to. We know what Eden is up to. Anita? Wondering how you are doing, Cynthia. It's been quite awhile since we heard from Ei, hasn't it? Wondering how Drema's brother is doing. I imagine the grandchildren are keeping Norma busy.

Ok...have to get something done.. :-)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Happy gorgeous Tuesday Morning!! It is stunningly sunny and Clear and Dry but I slept until 10a so haven't had an opportunity to go out and enjoy quite yet. Don't think I've slept that late since college. LOL

Mary -- I am so, so, so warmed by David wanting to host a Fresh Air kid. My dad was intimately involved in the late 50's/early 60's with the program and oftimes went to NYC to pick kids up or drop them off. It was during one of those summers that we had a cross burned in our yard for his participation, and I learned a lot about racism and it's ridiculousness at a very early age. To this day I keep in touch with GiGi who we had when I was 11 yo. She swears the program and looking forward to her CT 2 weeks kept her off the streets for several years. Even after she was "too old" we managed to get her out for a bit and it made "all" the difference in her life. Good for David. Good for your Family!! It'll be an experience, but a good one.

One more thing: Many, many of the kids who come through the Fund, especially their first year, have never seen stars or have had to deal with garden-type insects, etc. A huge hint is to save any yard camping overnights until the second week so they don't get terrified. Pretty shameful that gunshots don't phase these kids, but a butterfly will scare the patoot out of them.

Michelle -- I am loving Kenzie's garden and she put my feelings about rabbits into total perspective :-) Liquid Fence does work, except I've learned on white Campanulas "chips" you have to double dose since they seem to think it's filet.

V: Congrats on your finds! Can't wait to see what you do with them.

Okay, I need to get outside so hi!! to everyone I missed in lieu of getting really excited about Mary and David's new adventure :-)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:23AM
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OK how'd I get so far behind again? I've been seriously editing the gardens and am now ready to put the plants on wheels. Have to wait a bit though, we're forcast temps in the 90s the next few days. Bella's been sick all week and come to find out has strep throat so she's been keeping us all busy trying to keep her comfortable the last few days. My mom and dad are back in MI and we were all able to get together at my sister's for dinner one night. It was so good to see them!

I wish I could stay and chat but I just have time to check in tonight. I'll try to get caught up and be back soon. Just wanted to say hi!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all.... I am okay. So is Nolon. We are just working on surviving the arrival of the real summer heat and humidity.
The loss of our potable water for a day added to our discomfort. It happened last Friday. I had been outside for a little while, and when I came in there was nothing but air in our faucets. Right away Nolon walked the 600 feet of line to the meter and found no unusual wetness. There was no sign of a problem around the house, but the meter was running! He went back up to the meter and shut the water off. I commenced calling for assistance, and could find no help from the water company ! So, I called the young man who had dug our farm pond several years ago. He had done an excellent job, and the water co. lady said he was still in the back hoe business. No answer at his house, but an answering machine. I left my message. He called back in the morning, and was at our house in an hour or so. It didn't take him long to discover the loss was due to a blown pipe under our house ! He went for the needed parts, and had it fixed in no time. I was in the house writing a check, when I heard his pickup start. As he drove by the front door I called to him that I had his check. He said, " I don't charge old folks." !!!! I was shocked ! We hardly know the man ! He has restored my faith in mankind ! :-)

We are still having unseasonably wet weather. I have only had to water the outside containers a few times, and the in ground stuff only in spots that are prone to dry out fast...espacially Hydrangeas.
The deck containers are bursting with beauty. Everytime I look out at it from the utility door's window, I am delighted and amazed. I wish I could get the full effect of it in a picture.

I have been keeping up with all your activities, and all the lovely pictures, both of your own things, and of the IU pics. I espacilly enjoy the pics of the group, and the children's pics. That Reed gets cuter all the time.:-)
And Chelone does not disappoint me. :-D

I am happy to hear that Sue is free of her boot and crutches. :-)

I am scheduled to start therapy on my shoulders tomorrow. They are both becoming more and more painful and disabled. Not good, when I am the chauffeur, the yard keeper, the almost everything else. :-(
I am getting concerned that the carrying in of this winter's firewood may be a bit too much for them :-(
I was thinking that I may need surgery on them, but my Doctor says it is the arthritis in them. They have both been x-rayed.
She prescribed a less potent Lyrica. I was taking the 50 mg, and now I have the 25 mg. The 50 was too powerful, and was too hard on my system, both mentally and physically.

Susan, I got your e-mail. Thank you for your concern. I will ans it soon. :-)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 6:05PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hi Marian! Losing your water in the summer would be worrisome. Good thing you got the water shut off quickly - and very nice repair guy (even if he called you old folks - My MIL even in her 80s and with memory problems refuses to countenance the thought that she might be considered 'old' or a 'senior' :-) I'm glad you both are hanging in there - aside from the shoulder problem... do you take glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements? I do and they seem to have helped with the pain that was developing in my right hip, which is showing signs of arthritis. Certainly there has been a lot of overstated claims about what the supplements can do but they do seem to help some people with the pain - and I count myself one of those. It took about 2-3 moths though before I noticed a difference.

On the issue of leaving messes about... I'm the guilty one in this household!

On the weekend an old friend of Randy came to visit. He's been living in Mississippi for the past 20 years or so - a big change from Quebec! We don't get to see him often. Randy made a blueberry pie for dessert - it's one of Randy's specialties... The pie is gone now but it gave me a craving for blueberry desserts so today I made blueberry shortcake.My shortcake is a bit odd - I make it the way my grandmother did and I've never seen a recipe for it that is like hers. The blueberries are cooked in a layer crust of biscuit dough. It's very good, especially served hot, and doesn't last long as you can see from this picture:

Eden - it must feel so good to have your parents back. I hope Bella gets better soon

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:37PM
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Mmm - that Blueberry dessert looks yummy. Looks like a Portmeirion plate too, Woody;0) I made a pie tonight - a gluten free plum pie. I had invited the DH of a good friend over for dinner as his family are away all month. I know he is missing them and thought he would enjoy a home-made meal. We had fish kebabs on the grill, my special creamed corn, new potatoes and pie. We ate on the patio, and everything was washed down with a rather nice white wine. Not many left-overs here either.

After supper we went to our school playing fields. David had saved his pocket money for a remote controlled model plane and had been super excited about trying it out this afternoon. We thought the school had the largest unobstructed area. The plane flew like a dream for precisely 30 seconds until it caught a wind current and sailed out of control over the fence and into a tall tree. (Do planes sail?) David and my efforts were hopeless in freeing it but our supper guest had no trouble throwing some large sticks into the canopy, dislodging the plane and climbing down a sheer drop to retrieve it. A good end to the day!

Eden - so glad you could enjoy some family time with your parents. Hope Bella's Strep is soon gone.

PM - sorry you are suffering the same fate from the lily beetles. Yuk!!

Martie - how interesting to read about your father's involvement with the Fresh Air Fund, though awful that such racism was encountered. I'll let you know how our visit goes. I was talking with David about the fact that our Fresh Air kid might not be used to being on his own or the quiet at night. David offered to make a recording of traffic noises to play in bed to make him feel at home LOL!

Have a good evening everyone


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Susan, My doctor suggested that I take Glucosamine/Chondroitin, and I am glad you reminded me.:-)
I went right immediately and took 3 ( that is the dosage reccomended on the bottle). She said it would take awhile before I would notice any help.

That is funny about your mother-in-law not admitting to being old. I KNOW that I am . :-)
How is she doing? Did the minerals do her any good ?

Your blueberry shortcake looks good. I am doing very little baking, and not much cooking, lately. In town today I bought a lot of microwave food. The checkout gal commented, " It looks like you don't plan on cooking." I said , "You've got that right" ! LOL
And I don't feel a bit guilty about it. Nolon has cut way back on his food, and if I cook more than we will eat at one setting, it usually goes to waste. Most of the microwave dinners are just the right size for each of us, and there is a large variety of them.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 8:50PM
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Buenos noches Idylls Another harried day at the office, and one of my staff and I are off to Spokeane Wa in the morning for some business meetings and a preview of outdoor living stuff for next year. Hope our hotel has internet available like our IU5 hotel did so I can check in! Dont feel like dragging my lap-top up with me .

So over on Saucys photo thread PM posted the dreaded lily-leaf beetle damage pics. That is way-ugly ! It reminds me of what my Hostas look like in summer after the snails ruin them ! At least they dont eat the flowers. I guess you would need to plant them in a strategic location behind something that would obscure the yukky foliage ?

Marian ! Glad all is well with you and Nolan, and how very nice of that young man to comp you the repair job.

Denise , I pulled Phygelius for invasiveness reasons-it goes everywhere. Stuck it in a pot where it languishes. Have you started an IU6 fund ? I recommend it highly. (with the proper recuperation period of course).

Deanne, any fuchsia is my friend. A trade works for me ! Let me know how you fare on the search for the K. thrysifolia. Look at Home Cheap-o too- Ours had a pretty good selection of succulents this summer .

Eden, glad you got to enjoy some time with you Mom and Dad..poor Bella ! Strep throat is so miserable . A sore throat is one of those things that you cant seem to soothe, no matter which remedy you try, purchased or otherwise

Ok this is all for me tonite.

Where is Cindy ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:04PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hello hello from the middle of the country. We're having quite the lightning show to the south, but it looks like the rain will stay south.

Marian, I'm glad to hear all is well. I can't think of a better situation in which to be called "old folks"! Very nice of the young man, and I hope someone repays his kindness to him some day in the distant future.

Hmm, that rain that we aren't getting is sounding rather loud on the roof right now...

Woody, you're killing me with the blueberry shortcake!

Mary, yes, both of my kids loved working backstage. DD had some mid-level rolls in middle school, but decided she liked the behind-the-scenes work better. She did a lot of set construction, and probably could go head-to-head with Chelone in a power tool showdown. ;) She got involved enough to be awarded some scholarship money at the end of HS and to get some small checks for her community theater work. More than $$ though, she finds it very rewarding personally.

By the way, I forgot to mention how cool it is that you are participating in the Fresh Air program.

We had a fresh chicken and Mirai sweet corn on the grill tonight, as well as a nice bottle of white wine. And I get to start one hour late tomorrow morning - woo hoo!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 10:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This seems to be the night to share food. So I'll do my bit too. This was quick, easy AND delicious.

Here's a video for starters:
See below.

But here's the recipe I actually sort of followed because you bake it all at once rather than in stages:

And voila! I actually took a bite before I realized I hadn't snapped a photo. I used a "rainbow" collection of different tomatoes. My pesto was purchased, but it has pine nut pieces in it and is extra good. YUM!

Saturday is the day Skyler arrives, so I need to get this house organized for him and me too. There's the bedroom to fix up, kid food to buy, etc. I wish the garden would stay weeded so that I could ignore it, but is a mess in many areas.

Good to hear from both Eden and Marian. By the way, I just received my official old age security card. Gee I didn't like that word "old" applied to me....It's OK if I use it but to have the world think "old" before anything else is a bit disturbing. Why not "cheerful" or "fun" or "talented" or "silly" or "clever" or any number of things before age...I'm kidding myself I guess. I'm Methusela in the eyes of many.

Guess who is into gymnastics...OUCH!

Yesterday he decided to play in his toy box and scatter the toys everywhere. I think that just might be a smart arrangement!

Off to bed!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:19PM
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Wow, that's some prune on Reed, to use my Mom's word for it.
It might not be cheering to know a new phenom has been identified as the "groovy old man." Women, for reasons unclear, cannot be groovy and old simultaneously.

What a rotten deal to have strep throat midsummer. Poor Bella.

Food: Saucy's recent bean salad inspired the same for dinner here tonight.

Totally missed the earthquake today, 5.4, a) either in the car or b) shopping for bean salad ingredients.

Ducking out quickly, waving good night.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:31PM
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Strep throat is no fun anytime, but summertime has to be the worst, Eden. It must be great to have your parents home, too. It will be fun to see how you rearranged and thinned (?) your back yard eden, too. Come visit ME and work some of your magic here, huh?

Quick! shut the lid on that kid! :) I see he sports his war wound with the studied grace only a toddler can manage. I'm drooling over the taHt, but will pass on the creation of it. Clean up is my forte, ask the Idyllettes about my Ms. Clean routine in Les. and Monique's room. Am liking the concept of a garden that remains weeded very much.

I'm facing day two of the marathon work day. A cool 13 hours yesterday and another 10+ today, though yesterday was interrupted by a haircut. Newly shorn and feeling lighter and immeasurably better groomed I am ready to face the masses of boaters with canvas crises.

The deck brownies made an appearance yesterday and I believe they will repeat the treat today. Progress is grindingly slow, but the buttoned lip has proven a boon. A muffled message on the machine informed me that the gutters should be up tomorrow; perhaps that will put an end to the shredded hosta leaves, tattered victims of the torrential rain sheeting off the roof.

I noticed the LLBs have rediscovered the remnants of the Asiatic lilies (I smeared about 7 of them on Squishing Rock). I have to repeat the preventive dousing if I hope to spare the lovely Orientals, who's buds are swelling in the warmth and sunshine.

Much more to comment on, but alas, I'm again bringing up the rear with respect to reading, so I'll leave it at that.

Gotta go.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:17AM
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Denise, we heard about the earthquake over dinner....we could not "hear" the broadcast, but from across the room we could surmise there were few if no injuries? Everyone had smiles on during the news piece.

V., leftover marai corn goes good in the cold bean salad :)

The zoo was great! The kids had a blast. Jake got rammed in the bum while in the petting zoo, which tickled his 14 y.o. funny bone, and Sarah participated in the coolest dog show I've ever seen!

GB, we call that a Goose Egg :)

Poor Bella. Fun treat for sore throat: Jello tea. The jello coats your throat and is pretty tasty to a kid :) Nothing really works, though.....just time.

My husband has funny stories of his time with a Fresh Air kid. He and his brother enjoyed it from the kid's perspective. Mary, that is a very cool thing to do for your family. If more people would take the time to listen and get to know each other, I think this world would be better for it....

I'm so full of ideas from reading my Mixed Border book! I'm bursting to get ideas on paper and rework beds! I keep looking for building materials in the want ads....which brings me to:

Remember the statues at the 4th IU5 garden? I think there is a similar set for sale in the want ads! Anyone in the NE area want me to check them out for you?

PM, I remembered: The reason I became exasperated with the gym was this: I worked out everyday for 2 hours. Seriously lifting weights....worked with a trainer....and nothing changed for me. Not a dress size, not a pound. I felt good on the inside, but I really wanted other people to see how hard I was working....therein lies the problem! But who wouldn't want to look different after working out so hard?

I do miss being strong, and I'm going back just for my health. I guess I just needed to pout about it for a while :) If I stay the same as I am, hey, it's a pretty good body to be stuck in.....I guess I thought I'd look like Demi Moore by the time I got to 40.

It will be interesting to see what happened to my BP and heart rate at my upcoming dr.s appointment....and though I couldn't seem to lose a pound, gaining them is no problem :)


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 7:18AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, and a beautiful morning it is here. This thread is zipping along at light speed the last couple days. Neat!

Well the 'Tarragona' lilies are in their final stages with just a couple flowers left on the top. Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope to heck the voles dont eat them over the winter. The Casa Blanca are doing their thing but after the Casas are finished that will be the end of the lily season. (Pouting here). But, insert drumroll, the fuchsias are beginning their huge display and will continue to amaze and please until I take them in just before the first frost. They are so worth all the work . All the Beacon varieties are putting on quite a show and the Christina is stupendous. Ill have to grab a couple photos for you all.

Bug, that tomato thing looks scrumptious! Is is a pizza or a tomato torte? Whatever it is looks divine. What kind of crust do you use? ~~ Poor Reed, thats quite the goose egg. Good thing toddlers mostly bounce. If wed hit our heads that hard theyd be cracked.

Eden, sorry Bella has strep. Miserable for all involved. So glad to hear you got to see your parents.

Denise, glad to hear the earthquake didnt cause you any problems. I thought of you when I heard the news.

Kathy my Phygelius in pots do pretty well. Monique grows them right in her borders but of course they arent hardy here so not an invasive issue. Ill let you know if I find that plant and Ill send you fuchsias whether we trade or not. This year I threw out about 20 or so rooted cuttings because I couldnt use them all.

Mary, how terrific you are going to participate in the Fresh Air Fund. Neat! Youll have to let us know all about it.

Woody, that blueberry shortcake put two pounds on my bum just looking at the pictures! LOL

Chelone, I lol when I read about your squishing rock as I have several of them about the gardens and if none is available I just squish them between my thumb and forefinger. Hence, I always have stained thumbnails this time of the year.

PM bummer about the beetle damage. Ive found if you go out when the sun first comes up the beetles hang about the upper parts of the plants and are easier to spot. About the third year I dealt with the beasties I started pulling all my lilies out then the following year decided to just deal with the beetles as I dont want to live without lilies. So I squish bugs and do one treatment with a pesticide when the lilies first emerge in the spring and it keeps them to tolerable levels.

Mary, Ive got lots of lily beetles but I do keep after them and they havent been as bad this year as in the past. I cant believe theyve made their way as far west as Rochester though.

Saucy you do realize that you could bring the children if you wanted to see the summer gardens?

OK time to water the containers and get downstairs and pick up my brushes. Im almost done the dratted painting. Im hoping its finished today so I can get some garden time in tomorrow.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:40AM
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Walk by wave to all! Glad everything's okay with you, Denise. Can't imagine at all what an earthquake must feel like.

Goose egg here, too. Owey!!

'bug: Ky wanted to try the fried squash blossoms last night and we hunted back for the recipe. Found it -- in French :-) Since he's a Spanish and Japanese speaker, and Rich's French is crude at best, is there an English version we could use? Suppose I could Google, but thought I'd like it better from you. LOL

Good to see Marian pop in, and Eden, too. Lots of frozen apple juice for Bella coming up!! Poor thing :-(

Later -


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Good morning all,

Mary, what an interesting program, youll have to tell us all about it.

Awww, poor Reed sending virtual kisses. They always make it feel better.

Eden, I hope Bella feels better quickly. Its not fun to be sick especially in the summer. Im sure its good to have your parents back.

Deanne, Im running just a little behind you. My Casablancas and Tom Pouce arent started yet. Im glad that you mentioned that the fuchsias are just getting started as I was wondering why mine werent blooming much. Im pleased to say that I have several that are doing well this year. One that I overwintered is getting quite large (for me at least)

Im glad that I dont have lily leaf beetles here ;o)

Rick and I are taking glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and seem to benefit from it. He has bad knees from a his life of milking cows.

Marian, good to hear from you. That is an amazing young man.

Martie, whats interesting is that they have only bothered a few things this year and only in 2 areas. I have white clips campanula only 10 feet from the ornamental kale and cabbage and they never touched it.

V, if you hear a skid loader motor running, you know its me and Saucy.

I was able to score 11 glazed pots for 75% off. They are varying sizes and colors, but several cobalt blue which I love. I repotted a few things in a couple but its nice to have extras in the shed. You never know when you need one.

We take off tomorrow for our family campout. We will be back on Sunday. Kenzie is pretty excited to be able to sleep with us in our camper.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, that's a Tomato Tart. I buy the puff pastry and pesto, add the tomatoes and then the feta. You could add fresh basil on top too. Anyway, SIMPLE and very good. That recipe above couldn't get any easier.

Wendy, as to the deep fried zucchini blossoms, I suggest Google. I've never done it myself. I have a friend whose husband made them last weekend, but they are French speaking as well...

Lots of rain here today, and HEAT. All I've accomplished is exercise class, a load of laundry, dog walking, dishes...Doesn't seem like much! The sparrows are everywhere today! I wonder what brought them out on all my trellises? And the wildflowers along the roads are a delight: tansy, chicory, and Queen Anne's Lace...which is a European member of the parsley family, which also includes carrots, angelica, and hemlock.

Better get something done around here!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 1:26PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Waving hi to all -- drive by post -- totally scorching hot here - outside and in the office....Life is just too darned complicated sometimes. It's supposed to be high 90s here for a week or more -- it should all be toast in the garden pretty soon, despite any watering attempts.

Glad to hear Eden had a get-together w/ her family & parents; love all the photos!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 1:52PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Howdy, Im resting in my favorite chair (Moniques favorite chair as well LOL) with a lovely, crisp glass of white wine and enjoying the evening. What brought on wine on Wednesday night you ask? Ahhh. The blasted painting is fini! Yes done, as in finished along with ten pages of detailed instructions. Im good to teach on Friday. Phew, I cut this one way too close for comfort. Perhaps I should start working on the September class project next week?

The gardens are still smelling like lily haven and there are still some daylilies doing their thing as well. Ive still got flowers coming on the Jolyene Nichole and that is a wonder as that started blooming a few weeks ago.

Michelle, yes, the overwintered fuchsia dont really get going until end of June/July. They have a few flowers earlier but the big push of blossoms usually starts around mid July or so. Wait until you see your over wintered fuchsias in September. That is when they really hit their stride. ~~ Great score on those pots!

Saucy we are getting take outs for dinner here to this evening. Both of us worked until seven and are too tired to think about fixing dinner. Im sure Popcorn is going to be really happy bunking in with Jake.

Chelone, you crack me up. That must have been some pretty powerful blood meal for its ambiance to waft over to your BILs house.

Bug Im going to have to try that tomato tart. Also Ill have to try Woodys Blueberry Delight if she posts the recipe?

OK time to get off the computer and get some dinner.

Have a great evening all,

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 7:26PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

It's white wine for me tonight too. The patio fountain is scrubbed and refilled (a tedious job, BTW but worth it), the hot tub water is balanced. the pots are all watered and I managed to squeeze in a stretch and Pilates workout. All since I got home from work at five. Now it's time to toss a hunk of fresh sea bass on the grill, steam some asparagus and enjoy what's left of the night. Then it's off to bed to rest up for what lies ahead tomorrow. The good news is all my must do chores are done for the week. Now I can pick and choose.

Has anyone else noticed how fast daylight is fading? Not to rain on the height of summer parade but by next week it will be dark when I get up at 5:15. A month ago the sun was out. Same deal at night. I had to stop eating dinner on the patio because it's pretty much dark by 8:30 and mosquitoes come out. Boo hoo on that front.

Enjoy your night!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:13PM
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Welcome to MY world, Sue! I now have to use headlights when I pull out of the driveway at 5:30 AM. Where the hell have YOU been for the past 3 wks.?! Get with the EST program, sweetheart. ;) (if you ever need a "wake up" call, I'm reliably THERE).

Clearly, "mousie" is wonderfully reliable when cleaned of "mung", directing me to desired sites with alacrity. It's good to be mechanically pro-active.

OK, now it's time for me to go "seepy-by-lo". ("l" was intentionally dropped).


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:27PM
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I'll join you both in a glass of white too then. I've been cleaning all day. The house was a pit and still is to some extent after the marathon garden cleanup of the last week. Bella was with Jenni today and she's feeling much better. Thanks for all of your well wishes for her.

I can feel summer slowly slipping away too though it was hot and humid here today.

Congrats Deanne on finishing your project. Great feeling isn't it :)

Have a good evening!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:28PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - there isn't really a recipe for the blueberry shortcake. This is what I do:

Preheat oven to 450F. Make biscuit dough (I use my recipe for low fat cottage cheese biscuits - I'll include the recipe below...). Divide the dough into three pieces - one large and two smaller pieces. Roll the large piece out and line an 8x8 cakepan with it so that it completely covers the bottom and sides with some draped over the edge. (Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray before putting the dough in!) Roll out the smaller pieces so that they will just fit in the 8x8 pan - but set aside for now.

For the blueberry filling I used one 600g (~1.3lb.) tub (the size of a large margarine tub) of frozen wild blueberries, thawed; one pint of fresh cultivated blueberries; 2T corn starch; 1/2 cup sugar. Combine the berries, sugar and cornstarch and heat in microwave until they are very hot. (You need to have the filling hot when it goes into the pan or else it takes too long in the oven to heat up and the center layer of dough doesn't cook!)

To assemble - put half the hot berry mixture in the dough-lined pan. Place one of the smaller dough pieces that you rolled out earlier on top. Add the rest of the berries on top of that. Then put the final piece of dough on the top. Fold over the edges of the bottom dough layer that were hanging over the edge of the pan. Bake at 450F for ~20-22 minutes. The filling may bubble over so I usually put a sheet of aluminium foil on the bottom of the oven!

Serve warm or cold - but warm is better! (If the filling bubbles over, the end product may look a bit messy but it tastes great!) You can also make strawberry shortcake the same way. Wild strawberries is what Grandma used (it was my sister and my job to pick them!) Since wild strawberries are a bit(!) hard to come by these days, I use cultivated ones but chop them into small pieces. As with the blueberries, get the strawberries hot in the microwave before adding them to the dough.


Low Fat Cottage Cheese Biscuits

Heat oven to 450 F

1 ½ cups flour
½tsp. salt
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
1/8 cup cold butter
1 egg
1 cup low fat (1%) cottage cheese
~ ½ cup milk

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Add 1T. sugar if you want to make sweet biscuits or plan to make cobbler (or blueberry shortcake). Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender or fork. Make a well and add the egg and cottage cheese. Mix together and add enough milk to form a soft dough that sticks together. How much milk you need will depend on how much liquid is in the cottage cheese. The dough should be slightly sticky but not too wet. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently a few times. Pat out to ~ 1/2- ¾ inches thick. Cut into rounds using a biscuit cutter or water glass. Space biscuits slightly apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-22 minutes at 450 F. If you prefer soft-sided biscuits, place the biscuits close together on the cookie sheet or in a cake pan (which is what I do)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:31PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No headlights required here at 5:30 yet, Chelone. Maybe you should move

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:35PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Thanks so much Woody!!! I appreciate your taking the time to post that. Sorry I posted to the wrong thread! I thought I was posting to the new one. Shows how brain dead I was. So.... now I'll mosey over on to the new thread.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:37PM
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