Idyll #392: High Summer

cheloneJuly 30, 2008

It's high summer here. Warm days, balmy nights, and frogs acroakin' in the pond. Next sound will be the crickets (in a week/two).

Summer time... and the livin' is easy...

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Dig this! I was all prepared to tough it out solo until 4 PM today. (I may be "barely employable" but I don't shirk when it comes to stepping up to the plate or going the extra yard for a very small business). Boss returned from the installation and said, "Get outta here. Know what? it's summertime, it's beautiful outside and we've met every obligation. If I can't lock the door every once in awhile what's the point in having my own business?". It was like Grand Central Station today; seemed as though every time I got to the trickier parts of my latest project (a large, shaped deck bag for an inflatable dinghy with multiple straps and other "features") someone came in or the 'phone rang. Progress was glacial, to say the least, but I managed to get to a good "stopping place" and early morning tomorrow will be the perfect time for the complicated aspects! THAT'S why I cherish the hours between 6 and 8 AM, no interruptions. Good thinkin'/plannin' time.

The deck brownie is sweaty and borderline unhappy. Apparently, the lack of forethought has come to a head and things are not progressing as brownie had hoped. I have been the soul of support, "make it easy on yourself, honey". Personally? I'd have made it even easier by simply hiring the whole thing out, lol. He could have spent the last 2 days sailing, too. Sometimes it's easier to "just pay" and be DONE with it. ;) Clearly, I've made the transition from new construction to the maintenance phase of home ownership very smoothly. (well, sort of!).

I forgot the toxic spray for any LLBs who have managed to evade Squishing Rock. Like you, Deanne, I am no weenie when it comes to smashing, squishing, "dealing" with garden marauders. I will even squeeze the life out of Japanese Beetle grubs when I turn them up in the garden; I use the toothpaste tube technique. (diabolical laughter) "As for you, my pretty" (Michelle)... just you wait, the LLB will find its way to your backyard, too. Introduced pests have a nasty way of doing that (Asian Longhorn Beetle, Japanese Beetles, and so many other insects and diseases... Dutch Elm Disease, and Chesnut Blight). Watch the infestation maps and remain vigilent. It's so sad when things like this overtake a region. :(

We've been getting repeated whiffs of something dead and decaying for weeks now. We've scouted every "nook of granny" (sorry, Marian) to no avail. Smell and flies are still there in spite of no carrion. Huh? Helpmeet solved the mystery today. Evidently the sealed lid on the bucket o' bloodmeal had been breached by rainwater. He scattered it "out back", covered it over with a layer of dirt and the doused it with water. "Smooth move, Ex Lax", lol. Rex has been out of his mind trying to sneak his way to the site. The warm breeze blew the smell to BIL's house. He arrived some time later asking what had died in our yard. We've agreed that all cats must be inside early tonight as we expect rather a full guest book tonight... Foxy Loxies, Mr. Coon-coons, O'possums, and heaven knows what else. Wish I had Deanne's blind and her ability with the camera, can only imagine the "photo-ops".

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 3:53PM
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I have been experiencing technical difficulties with the mouse for this computer for some time now. It was increasingly difficult to scroll down quickly, efficiently. Response was annoyingly delayed. Rather than remaining irritated I...

took it apart! When something doesn't work properly I have no fear about disassembling it. I'm reasonably mechanically "inclined" and always figure that if it works poorly and I screw it up completely it can be "put right" by someone who knows how or can be replaced. MY motto? "-uck it! GO for it. You might just learn something!".

Poor mousie-kin was full of cat hair and dust! (a poor commentary on my housekeeping skills). It was wound around the axel of the ball that allows you scroll up and down a page. There was a nasty, greasy, "mung" that had accumulated under the "right" and "left" buttons, delaying commands. No wonder it was unable to interface properly!

So, when your mousie-kin reacts sluggishly, haul out the philips screwdriver, the discarded toothbrush, and have at it, but be very gentle so you don't break the solders for the electronics. The innerds of a mouse are really pretty interesting, aside from the electronics, the mechanical aspect is simple, simple, simple.

Time to really scope out the photos now, you guys. ;)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 5:40PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh Chelone, I feel you pain! I planted bulbs with Bloodmeal once the dogs had a field day! LOL I didn't do it twice. I think I tossed the bag into the trash.
Way to go on the mouse. I operated on mine at work today. I need to trade it in for a laser mouse.
Today was a shrink day. The 'good' therapy are really crappy. LOL


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:12PM
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LOL, Chelone, I've been operatin' on mice since I got my first 'puter back in '97 :)

Fish tank is cleaned and installed in Sarah's room - they got a somewhat new decor to match her room.

Popcorn moved in with Jake.

Both kids have been keeping up with chores in order to convince me this is a good idea. Fingers are crossed here :) Jake and Popcorn already spend alot of time together, so I think this deal works out good for both involved.

Looks like we might have rain here. Time to get in the shower and get today's hard work scrubbed off. I might just clean the bathroom while I'm at it :) It's that kind of day.

Chinese is on it's way: Singapore noodles and steamed shrimp for me!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

A lazer mouse came with my Dell that I bought a couple of years ago. I used to take my old mouse apart frequently and remove the trash from around the rollers.
I got DSL awhile now I am 'really' uptown. LOL

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:53PM
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I think some corrective surgery is in order. The little spring thingy may well have be inserted upsidedown... seems we see the rolly-icon too frequently when we wish to scroll up... ;)

Good move on Popcorn moving in with Jake. I recognized instantly that the surviving bird desperately needs someone to spend some "quality" time with him! Psitticines (parrots) are very social birds and they NEED someone to give them the attention a flock would. Our Larry had to come out of his "house" in the morning and again in the evening to "bond" with us. He'd fly around, screaming and swooping before settling on our shoulders and preening. He loved to preen our eyebrows/lashes. In the morning he loved to shower with us. The highlight of his day was the blow drying after the shower, lol. Birds are too cool for words and I still miss Larry (who was 17/18 when he died).

Time to open up the mouse again. :/

(-uck it)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:55PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Okie Dokie,

Now I'm on the right thread.... and this is a good time to post for our birthday girl tomorrow.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:39PM
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Um, Hello....Chelone and Wendy! Why didn't we stop at Broken Arrow Nursery on our way home from NY??? Mustang Sally took us right by there....and I want a Schizophragma hydrangeoides "moonlight" and they have one!

I'm going to go to bed and dream up a pretty card for Brenda :)

Glad Bella's feeling better.....

'night all.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 9:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 9:18PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow - this thread already is zipping along.

I'm struggling to keep the eyes open tonight. I had a very busy day at work, but the good news is that everything got done, including a conference call/committee meeting and a board meeting. (I was quite over-scheduled today.) Tomorrow should be a tad more sane, although we are hosting a shindig after work at the "place of employment". I stocked the fridge with beer and wine this morning.

That rain I heard falling last night? It hit in town hard enough to down several large trees and a power line or two. A small hospital facility had to be evacuated when they lost their power - they have back up power but not enough to run the A/C and it was quite steamy last night.

High summer is more like high heat here. We've flirted with 90's quite a bit, and I've been enjoying the pond. The frogs enjoy it too.

Chelone, there's a terrible smell by my mailbox, but I suspect it's the dead 'coon in the ditch and not bad blood(meal). No way am I climbing down there to remove it! I'll just hold my nose...

Before I call it a night, I will say

Happy Birthday, Brenda!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 9:49PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Birthday Brenda! :-)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:46PM
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In Spokeane this evening-I wish you could see this hotel we are staying in..Fabu ! pics will follow. A very pretty little city, not bustleing by any means. Hi to everyone ! I hope to take a couple hours to visit thier arboretum tommorow before we fly home...

Kathy (in Spokeane)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:41PM
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Good morning!

I've been up since 4:30. Full of coffee and ready to go :)

I'm off early this morning to deliver the MIL to her eye doctor appt: she's having eye II cataract surgery....she had the other done yesterday. I'm lucky in the MIL department....she has lots of good friends that she relies on (and they on her) and she just tells me what she needs from me and I oblige. I am perfectly willing to let her rule the Italian roost :)

Anyway...the real reason I'm here:

Have a great day, all!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 6:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi there,

Woke up to rain. Incredible, I was just thinking yesterday that I might have to water the lawn in a few days if we didnt get any rain and voila! The air was so dry the last couple days that it dried out the bird bath and fountain. They are predicting severe thunderstorms for later on this afternoon and IÂve got to go and do the rounds of taking all the pots out from under the gutters and off the pedestals. I seriously do not remember a July with this much rainfall.

Most of the early Oriental lilies are finishing up their show and soon it will be less colorful around here. It always seems that when the ÂCasa Blanca bloom itÂs the beginning of the end. Well, that was before I did this container thing. LOL Right now the containers are growing at light speed and the brugs are going to be spectacular in a couple weeks. Nice that the containers put on their best show after the perennial borders quiet down. I need to spend some more time at Les and MoniqueÂs and take notes as they have the best fall show of color in their gardens IÂve ever seen.

IÂve got plans for digging up more of the front lawn and need to convince Doug that would be a good thing te heÂ. Who needs all that grass anyway?

Well, I hope Brenda has a marvelous birthday and everyone stays cool. I did notice on the weather today that most of the country is in the 90Âs today. Hot, hot, hot I think weÂll be high 80Âs and are the Âcool spotÂ.

Time for me to go and get my class materials assembled and packed. I also have to get the project photos done (now that the piece is finished LOL)and printed. HOPEFULLY IÂll finish that up by afternoon so I get to spend at least a couple hours in the garden.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 7:25AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(Ignore the daisies in need of deadheading :-) The picture was taken pre-maintenance!

I was asleep at the switch yesterday - Deanne - the blueberry shortcake directions are at the end of the previous thread....

Chelone - we gave up on using bloodmeal for anything when we had Chelsea! She thought it was dog food! Did you have any interesting visitors to the yard last night?!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 7:47AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:00AM
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@@ Happy Birthday Brenda @@

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:28AM
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Good Morning Idylls

Woo Hoo - I'm so excited that I actually got to post a birthday card on time!!! Hope you have a great day Brenda.

Deanne - congrats on finishing your prep for class. What is the painting of? Hope you enjoy some well earned garden time today.

Chelone - our mouse require regular cleaning. we are a messy family:0( I used to have a fun article on how to clean mouse balls. It is a rather delicate but satisfying operation.

My wildlife sighting yesterday was sitting beside the pool and looking up to see Mr Groundhog running around the other side, right next to the edge. At one point I thought maybe he had come for a dip.

Yesterday was spent getting David ready for his first long bike trip this weekend. He is riding with his friend next door and her Dad to Syracuse (100+ miles) alond the Erie canal, camping on the way. We took his new bike in for a tune up and bought paniers for carrying supplies. I must say the guys at our local bike shops have to be some of the nicest around and so helpful. If I were ever single again and looking, I would probably take up long distance riding LOL!!

We too were deluged with rain last night which the plants are loving but also the weeds. I have a garden job this summer too, continuing the work I started for our director at my regular job. She is so enjoying the small front border I put in last year she has pulled out nearly all the yews from the front of the house and I've been removing some very weedy ground cover. I have a truck load of leaf mold arriving next week then carte blanche to plant. It is hard, hard work but totally fun (I never feel comfortable taking breaks when someone else is paying me). My only problem is fitting in the time with everything else going on. Never enough hours in the day.

Have a good one everybody


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:45AM
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    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:54AM
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Happy birthday, Brenda!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Happy Birthday Brenda!!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:36AM
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Yet another soggy morning and I feel somewhat ashamed to be complaining after so many "drought" summers. Awoke at about 2:30am to huge thunder that stuck around until about 4:30a. More tonight. A bit unnerving....

Today is a HUGE day for me as I will be taking a car trip!! I haven't seen my DB for whom I'm conservator for several months but today will be going with Rich to see him at the hospital.

We all figure (Rich, me, his SocWkr and PsychMD) that since he's been doing so "well" and we'll be in the confines of the facility, we can try to have him see me without upfront concern about him going ballistic on my head, again. He knows I've had surgery and has called several times out of pure concern for my well-being.

More than anything, I'll be glad to get outta dodge for a few hours and will probably sleep for the next three days :-)

Sounds like everyone is having a good, productive week! Lesson plans, new borders, tonna meetings, garden and house sprucing up, animal care establishment, trip readiness. Woo Hoo!

For me??? I'm reading Bob Dylan's "Chronicles: Volume One" as recommended by Kyle. Nothing like getting those brain cells jump started at high voltage again! If you haven't, take the time to at least browse -- the man is genius in his own way and you could formulate a reading/listening list from the book that would last for years.

Off to make some brownies (though not Bob Dylan style ;-) as a nod to the incredible care I've gotten from my men while home, and rest up for my great adventure!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

It looks like another indoor day. Still reading a book on ADHD and taking notes. Have a few gardening books home from the library. The latest issue of Consumer Reports has a very necessary article I need to read on Internet safety. Looks like a really good issue on that topic. Surprising how quickly you can become uninformed.

Mary, what an adorable dish garden...and the cat is the smallest, cutest thing. You really love minatures, don't you? I thought of your fairies when seeing that lotus garden in the IU5 photos. I was picturing one of them in one of the leaves. :-)

Deanne, rain here too last night and more predicted for later. You mention dry air...what's that? [g] I think we are only about 30-40mins away from each other too, but nothing but heavy humidity here. The temps have been reasonable this year, but the humidity has me running the A/C non stop. I really love having the windows open and the whole house fan going, especially at night, so I am waiting for some dry air!

Martie...glad you are feeling so good! Hope your trip to see DB is without difficulty. Nice to get out of the house. :-)

I would also like to know if Chelone had visitors last night? [g] Found the tale of the birds in the shower Who knew?

Hello Marian!! Glad you are doing okay and hope the supplements will improve your shoulders.

Quiet day here.....sun keeps peeking out but need something to brighten up the day....Have a good one!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 10:07AM
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Difficult to imagine Mary trying to sandwich long distance cycling into her schedule. And there's nothing wrong with just looking, Mary, even if you're done looking...Tour de France is a huge summer viewing event here, religiously Tivo'd and whooped and hollered over, mostly by Marty & Dune. They yell at me, Come in, quick! You've gotta see this!! And it's masses of incredibly thin, sinewy men on cycles, indistinguishable from each other. Nice tour of the countryside, tho...

Around the time Deanne raised a victory glass to her lips, West Coast time, I was celebrating vanquishing deadlines as well. Pulled an icy Dos Equis from the garage fridge, dragged out the portable stereo and a handful of dusty albums (Mahler's 1st is a fave. Hope my neighbors like it), newly arrived Gardens Illustrated, and stayed outdoors until I could read no more. Moved the act inside for a lowbrow spa night, feet soaking while watching Chicago, which I'd never gotten around to seeing. Dinner was buttered and parslied red potatoes, and nothin' else. Marty was on night shift...

PM, don't you ever read for fun?..;)

V swimming with frogs, Mary swimming with guys really know how to let your hair down. High summer, indeed.

All this rain and weather sturm and drang has gotta be cutting into sail time on the Atlantic, I'd imagine. Maybe that's why Chelone's pulling 13-hr workshifts, as the boats are dockside?

Have a great road trip, Martie, and a fine summer day to all.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 10:38AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Birthday, Brenda!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:23PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Up for air and lunch...Chili w 1/4 of a corn muffin, and grapefruit juice...yum! I see everyone is busy today.

Denise...I guess the Tour de France is a West Coast thing. I don't remember noticing much interest in it around these parts. I was thinking...maybe the different climate, more useable weather where you are? You are right, I rarely read for fun, unfortunately. I used to be able to sit down and read a novel from beginning to end in a day, but I have limited ability to read now. I get eye strain and headaches fairly quickly and have to read in small blocks of time and take lots of breaks from it. So since there is always some problem to solve that I need a book for, I don't have the extra time to read much fiction any more. I did happen to bring home a novel from the library this week, actually. It has been awhile. I love a good mystery. I was at the checkout counter and saw a novel by Nevada Barr who I haven't read in a long time. She does mysteries set in the National Parks, which I find interesting. I spent a summer once, finding and reading fiction about gardening. I am trying to remember the title/author of one of my favorites. I looked in the data base and I think it was called The Lost Garden by Helen Humphreys. It was set in England during World War II, about a horticulturist who took a position with the 'Land Army' on an old estate to raise food, while London was being bombed. I really enjoyed it.

Other mystery writers are on my list...Grisham was my very favorite, Lisa Scottoline was pretty good too. Both authors keep you turning the page without offending. Many many other authors. I have always loved to read.

Saucy...I think I am short on insects this year for some reason. All except the Lily Leaf I just think there are not enough bees to pollinate the shrub blossoms because the Viburnum that should be covered with berries looks like this....only a few in every clump have developed berries.

I also think there are no butterflies around like there were last year. Last year there were tons of monarchs on the Butterfly Bush and hummingbirdmoths...every day. I just saw my first monarch today. No Moths so far. Few spiders. Has me very curious.

Maybe I should start thinking about raising bees? [g]


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:37PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

You guys are just the BEST :) Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I spent the day gabbing on the phone to all my siblings, and pulling some weeds. All in all, a day spent just like I wanted. Jim is going to grill something for supper...I think pork chops.
I mainly popped in to say I'll be MIA for a couple of days more. Tomorrow we head to Ottawa, Illinois for the great skydiving adventure. We jump on Saturday, but being the old lady that I am, I want to get the three hour drive over with, get a good night's sleep and leap to my death fresh ;) Sunday, the kids are coming over for a birthday dinner.
I'll be sure and post pics, and assuming I can figure out how to upload the video to youtube, a link to that.
Sorry for the "all about me post" I'll do better next time. Thanks again for all the beautiful pictures...the Idylls do the best birthday cards ever!
Take care, stay cool, and I'll talk to you when my feet are back on terra firma

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 5:59PM
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I was browsing for a knitting pattern and came across this which made me smile.

I wonder how Clousseau would look in one....


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 6:09PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, you just never know what you are going to find on the Skydiving Idylls and 'Robin Hood' look a like Bloodhounds. Amazing! :-)

I must have missed that little bit of news, Brenda. At some point I look forward to hearing the whole story. Wow, is all I can say. I am dumbfounded. lol

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 6:29PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I'll be thinking of you on Saturday - can't wait to hear all about it!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 7:54PM
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PM, my bees only polinate large crops of plants....whatever happens to be in mass bloom in their area and is on their preferred list :) I see stragglers in my garden, but most of the bees go back and forth to the crop de jour :)

Mary, I think Clousseau would thank you for such outerwear :) Especially during one of those lake effect snow storms you get!

Brenda, you certainly are living life to its fullest! Will you have a distint scream we should all listen for at a certain hour, LOL!?!

Well, I just have to share the new fish is certainly cheery. How'd you like to live here?

I'm tired. I feel like I've been going since, um, well, yes....4:30 this morning :) Time to get in my bed and pull out my garden book :)

'night all.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:25PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy Birthday Brenda!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:45PM
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Happy Birthday and Happy skydiving Brenda. Sorry no pictures as my connection is still to slow to upload any.

Belated birthday wishes to any I have missed.

And to Cynthia, although I never could find a post about Katie I feel your pain of losing her. I know how it hurts to lose an animal you love so much.

I have missed a lot of post and pictures because of this slow connection so please bear with me. What I could see of it the IU5 looked like a lot of fun and interesting places.

I have been out beating back the jungle during high summer. It has rained here so much this summer I am amazed.
I am not complaining after thre years of drought but it is a whole new ballgame. I'm really trying to concentrate on finishing up umpteen projects around here. Sounds like we are in for some 100 degree days soon and that will put a crimp in my activities by noon I'm sure. We have been swarmed by Japanese Beatles and now snails with so much wet. It's always something isn't it?
It's been an uneventful summer around here and that is fine with me.
I have enjoyed reading of everyones activities and ogleing pictures when they will down load. Sometimes I only get half a picture.
Michelle I'm glad you showed another picture of The secret garden so I could see the gate everyone was talking about. The garden is turning out great. I know Kenzie loves it.
Martie, I'm glad you are feeling better and congrats on the upcoming baby.

I would like to say something to each of you but my eyes are drooping and I'm to tired. Just wanted to pop in and say hello. Enjoy the summer. Norma

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:07PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Happy Birthday Brenda! Enjoy the leap. Today it is all about you. For your birthday picture I was trying to find the one of me suited up to take the plunge back in college, but that was a no-go. You'll have to settle for something garden related and right now I don't even have any good offerings in that department either. Maybe tomorrow.

Still humid here and raining just about every day. The Musa basjoo in the patio garden is turning into a Can I divide this thing? If so, when and who wants some? Last summer Steve Silk told me it was the biggest one he's seen in CT. I should send him a picture of it now.

OK, the dogs are staring at me for their "tinkle time" cookie. This morning the paper deliverer nailed the front door at 4:15 so we've all been up for a while.

Nitey night,


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 9:45PM
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Hello my friends ! I got home about 8pm tonite from my journey to Washington, and am reading up on all the goings on while I was away. I spent about 2 hours at public garden before getting on my flight, and it was pretty nice. The highlight was their conservatory (very small by NYBG standards) but it was very nicely done, neat and well groomed and they had absolutely wonderful begonias , and a small but fabu cactus and succulent collection. I took several pics in haste , and have not put them on the computer yet . I will do so tomorrow and share if they are halfway decent.

How nice to see that Norma has checked in . Mary too. (lol the hound and his hoodie Mary !)

Ok, need to wind down and hit the bed.nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:45AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well Ive been up since 5:00 and it is just now getting light enough outside for me to go and water. It rained a bit again last night but not enough for the big containers. Ive got to get that done at light speed this AM so I can be over to Mont Vernon by 8:30. This working thing really puts a cramp in my gardening style. LOL Im just really happy Ive gotten the painting finished and all is ready to go for class. I was sweating it a bit there earlier in the week.

Norma, how great to hear from you and good news that your drought has broken. We are getting lots of rain here this year as well. Ill be interested to see what our July totals were.

Saucy, you do know Im drooling over those urns you posted pics of! Are they cast iron or cement? I cant imagine what that huge urn weighs.

Sue, are you going to have a discussion with the paper person? Good grief, I wonder if he/she thinks if they are up at that hour everyone else should be.

Kathy, nice to have you home and Im looking forward to pics of your garden tour.

Brenda, cant wait to hear about your experience. Better you than I. I agree with Doug, "I never want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane."

OK must get the watering done so I can get to class on time. Here are a couple pics from yesterday. The containers are putting on quite the show at the moment.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 6:07AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


How did it get to be Friday already? And August first to boot? I've got absolutely no plans for the weekend so I'll probably spend it spiffing up the garden. Lately I've using what little time I have to just do basic maintenance. As a result there are large areas of my garden in dire need of redesign. Time to start hoiking the non and under performers and then rethink the spaces.

Deanne, this morning the paper came just before 4 AM but it didn't hit the door and whoever delivered it didn't come up the street like a wanna be NASCAR driver. Any discussion I have will probably be with an outsourced customer service rep in India. Print newspapers are struggling. I recently cut the paper back to three days a week because I wasn't reading it. Good luck with your class.

Next Saturday I head to my cottage rental for a week of ocean breezes. Between now and then I have to complete and administer performance reviews on my staff and issue the financial statements for July. Best I get hopping.

It looks like a great day. Get out and enjoy it if you can!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 8:27AM
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If anyone doesn't have the chance to enjoy today, which is just about perfect for August 1 here weather-wise, I'll enjoy it enough for everyone.

Deanne -- Just when you think your gardens can't look any better .....

Sue -- Does the paper guy throw it from your street? Heck, if so the person belongs on a baseball team. What a PITA!

Yesterday was great. My brother was SO happy to see us and Rich will take him out next week based on his behaviour. Also snuck into my fav off-price store and scored some wonderful sheets for 1/2 off their off-price. Why is it that new bedclothes always seem so luxurious??

Saucy, I have visions of that tank exponentially growing larger by the month. Looks like some of the better dreams I've had lately :-)

You GO, Brenda!!

Welcome back, Kathy. What's new in the world of outdoors? So glad you found a hidden treasure to ease the flight wait. Looking forward to pics. Also wondering if you and your RE agent are going to do anything differently? Out here the market is in negative and people are trying all kinds of kooky tactics. Definitely a buyer's market.

Off to see what's up in the gardens. Longer than 10-minute walks are now OKAY!!

See you later!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:12AM
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Good morning and Happy August 1st!

A happy belated birthday to Brenda and I know I've missed others' best to each and my apologies for doing a lousy job of being an Idyll friend (hey, I have been an idle friend.......just the wrong idle/idyll.....).

Currently I have my friend from Australia visiting here with us for a couple weeks (Karen says "Hi Sue!!"). We've been on the run for the week and have a full schedule planned until next Wednesday. I'm sure we'll find some activities to cram into that 24 hour period, too, if given just a short bit of time to think of what we'd like to see, do or need to accomplish while she is here.

In preparation for her arrival, I re-did the upstairs guest room and also spiffed up the guest bath. The downstairs powder room was looking tacky (well, tackier than normal----I am not professing to be a decorator with any talent whatsoever)so that room is in the midst of a re-do, too. I'm now thinking that the entire abode needs a new look......oh my!

We've had a cooler than normal summer so far. It has been nice in many ways. DH is in the middle of building a roof to cover our entire back deck. It is going to be a nice addition on the house, but it also means that I lost the ability to view our trees, up behind the house, from the kitchen window and the dining area. A sad trade-off, but there wasn't a way to have both the roof and the view. :o\

We're dog sitting our daughters' two beagles for 5 days. The male found a baby bunny in the back yard. DH rescued the bunny from the dog before it was injured, and now the beagle is checking the yard throughly each and every time we let him out. I hope he continues to be disappointed in his searches.

So......that is life here. It has been a busy summer, but I'm hoping life will slow down a bit soon.

My best to all.....

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Good morning

T and Norma - great to hear from you both!!

Brenda - you are AWESOME! Can't wait to hear how it went.

The cycling party left this morning.

And they're off!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:03AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Mary, that hound makes me think of Alfred Hitchcock. Does anyone else see a resemblance?

(photo courtesey of Eonline)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:17AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It's been a busy, busy hard week and Im glad to have it over --

Deanne, your front is looking amazing - I see the fountain is going and it looks wonderful; I can't believe the growth all the plants have put on -- it's so lovely and manicured too. In fact, it looks to be a world of its very own -- truly truly wonderful. I shudder to think what my yard looks like in comparison, LOL...

Neat to see hellos from (t) and Norma!

Im hoping to slouch a bit, altho the day didnt start off that way... if not, maybe I'll be slouching all day tomorrow at home, LOL.

Happy Friday - and the First of August to all (where did the summer go????).


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 1:27PM
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Awesome Deanne. I would love to browse all those containers. The fountain is neat too. What did you wind up using on top?

Mary,The bikers look full of energy at the start of their trip. I hope you get a picture at the end. LOL. That is a wonderful opurtunity for David. He is having an exciting summer isn't he.

Sue a week of ocean breezes sounds pretty good to me. We are supposed to start hitting the 100s next week. I'm all for hoiking the under performers too. I have several daylillies that are not very showy and I am putting them on the back bank of the veggie garden so I don't have to weed there.

T how good to hear from you. Sounds like you and Karen are having a good time. Bummer about losing your view of the trees. That would be a hard choice for me, but I bet you will love your covered deck.

Cindy summer is flying by except now we get the really hot part.

Martie good to hear things went well with the visit to your brother. Enjoy those new sheets, and the garden walks.

Wendy LOL the Hound and Alfred Hitchcock. I think your right.

Good to know Kathy is home safe and sound and with pictures to share.

Waving hi to all again. I have been clearing an area where 'The Fairy' rose grew and it never impressed me. The whole corner is getting a makeover. It was hot today when the sun was out and the clouds kept coming and going, so I was in and out each time. I have to get out there early in the morning and finish the dirt work, so I'm heading of to bed. Later . Norma

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sarah's aquarium has me humming the song below...

Mary, when my son was 14, he packed up his bike for an adventure and snuck out of the house at 5am. He returned over a week later with tales to tell. In the meantime, there were phone calls, thank goodness, but one was from the provincial police. He still rides his bike everywhere. I think driving it daily in Boston is the most dangerous location possible. A mother never quits worrying.

Tomorrow Skyler arrives. I bought string cheese, goldfish crackers, chocolate dip for berries, fancy shaped noodles, etc. These two old fogies are in for some lively days ahead!

Today the garden got one step more weeded. It is looking like there just might be individual plants out there! The hostas are HUGE and blooming. DD wants me to bring her plants next week... Somehow I think spending an afternoon at a nursery with her would be easier!

Yesterday DD played hooky from work and took Reed to the zoo. He loved the red panda, and the raptor demonstration (a great Harrisson's hawk and Bald eagle), got to be 1m away from an Elephant too. He also liked the harbor seals. Sarah hates the zoo though. :( The zoo is really quite lousy, everything is either single or very few of them (1 bactrian camel, 1 elephant, 2 meerkats) which is sad because many of the animals they have are social species. She does want Reed exposed to the fact that a huge variety of animals exist though. Given that TV doesn't happen at their house, she's considering a few David Attenborough films.

If I don't post much, know that I am still following along but exhausted by a 9 year old and a DH.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 10:35PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all. Everyong wondering where summer went, it is in Oklahoma! triple digits aith no end in sight. I'm just pooped but I had to post this link. You guys have to see this. I am amazed and would pay this guy huge amounts of money to do this right now at my house. ROFL
Good night all. :)


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:03PM
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Friday is welcomed with open arms, and I am trying to spend the evening doing nothing more productive than watching baseball (and Mannys 1st stint in Dodger Blue) and deadheading . Observation during the aforementioned grooming process tells me that the summer blahs have landed in my garden. Things just look sad ! Mid- summer clean up will be on the agenda for tomorrow.

Wendy, brilliant call on Alfred H !

Deanne, the container extravaganza looks just stunning. Those Brugs are just huge ! You may need to hire a traffic cop for your street once the blooms pop. Hoping class went well.

Martie, how nice for you that your meeting with bro went so well. This hotel I stayed in had beds and bedding to die for. What a rude awakening to get home and crawl into my mundane and mattress-challenged bed ! My agent and I decided to pull out of the MLS for about 8 weeks, but did not take down the sign. We will market a new listing mid-Sept , and in the meantime I will do some cleanup and maybe even some painting. I have some electrical issues too. We opted to keep the price the same for now. I will probably start to get aggressive with the sale in the latter half of the 1st quarter of 09.

T, please dont be such a stranger ! Talk continues that IU may be on our side of the continent in the next couple of years ..Our summer has been hotter than normal, I guess thats one reason my garden looks so cr*%##y this month. I waved in your direction from Spokane

Norma, I had two Fairy roses and got rid of one in the spring-it does really well for me and my deletion was mostly due to a bad location and editing duplications. Stick around will ya ? Do we get a summer photo of the pond ??

OK , here are few of the pics I took in Wa.

I really liked the foliage on this Begonia..

Yet another very cool B.

This is a climbing Rex, it went up the wall about 8ft.

And a very cool Plectranthus, that I think Deanne might have had at one point ? I have yet to see it offered around here. Took all I had not too snitch a cutting!

A long view

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:23PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Im about to zip out of here to get the watering done so I can get off to class for day two. Day one was great. These women are fantastic painters and the classes please students and teacher alike. They were very happy with the project piece which was a relief. The ladies are coming over for a garden tour tonight after dinner so Ive got to do a bit of sprucing up as well. Daylilies can be such a chore when one doesnt have the time to keep them deadheaded. Oh well, the containers are looking pretty nice and the fuchsias are blooming. what more can I ask? I did ask Doug last night if hed have time to do a bit of deadheading for me and he threw a fit. Oh well, that is apparently one of those things on the list of stuff he doesnt do like toilets. I dont do car maintenance so I guess its all fair. LOL

Kathy, thanks so much for those photographs. What a beautiful conservatory. They had that climbing Rex Begonia at NYBG and I loved it there also, I guess thats going to be on my list of things I must have. ~~ I do have that plectranthus and will take cuttings for you. Its a beauty. ~~ LOL about the brugs, they are indeed getting enormous this year and I cant wait until they burst into bloom. Its going to be fabu. They just love their humongous containers and the compost I mixed into their potting soil.

Jerri, that puppy whisperer is a hoot! I wonder how he trained them to do that? Amazing! ~~ Stay cool.

Bug, have a ball with Skyler and take your DD shopping for hosta instead of trying to dig your behemoths. I cant imagine trying to dig those enormous ones out then transporting them.

HI Norma, great to hear from you. Sounds like youve been busy. Id love for you to come and visit and browse the containers. Nothing I love better than a visiting gardener. I enjoy showing folks the gardens but Im pretty used to the puzzled expressions I get from non-gardening people. They dont get it and Im often asked why I dont just plant everything in the ground. ~~ Ive got a couple Fairy roses that might get edited soon. I dont like it that they flop so and Im not into ground cover roses. LOL ~~ So far the only thing on top of the fountain is a pile of rocks with a tube sticking out of it. Ive ordered a nice acorn finial for it and that should be here in a couple more weeks. Cant wait. It took much longer than I thought to find something.

Cindy, so happy you like the container garden. Its pretty cool looking with all those massive tropicals. Ive tried to get a photograph of the papyrus in the front of the house in the pyramid planter I bought from Inta but it doesnt photograph well. That plant is ENORMOUS! Youd love it.

Mary, thanks for posting pics of the bicyclists. Such happy faces. Neat! I surely hope the weather cooperates for them.

HI T, great to hear from you. Are you just roofing the space or are you going to screen it also?

Martie, thanks! ~~ BTW, I love new sheets as well.

Sue I sure hope you are making headway with the work load you need finished before vacation. ~~ Im looking at some redesign here in the borders as well. The Rudbeckia fulgida irritates me every year because that yellow is just a bit screaming for me. Every year I put off hoiking it and Im thinking this year may be the one where I do it. I was thinking that those areas would provide a good spot for a couple patches of annuals in that bed and perhaps large patches of spring tulips that I could remove after blooming. Theyd be easy to get to for deadheading and planting etc. Im not quite sure what I want to go with the Stargazers there but I either need to remove the lilies or the Rudbeckia and Im thinking it will be the Black-eyed Susans. Why couldnt they just be a softer yellow? Do you know of anything that is that general size, shape and bloom season thats the color of Moonbeam coreopsis? (I dont want much do I?)

OK time to motivate

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 6:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, the yellow echinaceas sometimes are a soft yellow. Then there's yarrow in soft yellow, like Anthea. Do you have Kirengeshoma palmata (or koreana)? They bloom quite late but are lovely!

Off to do a thousand things before turning into a doting grandmother.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Deanne, I was at the nursery yesterday looking for clear yellows! I wanted H. Lemon Queen, but no go at my usual haunt....time to branch out.

I bought a Tiger's Eye Sumac (thanks V., for reassuring me!) and Physocarpus "Center Glow" as well as 3 Eupatoriums: Joe Pye (that's what I wanted the H. Lemon Queen next to), Chocolate, and Little Joe. My front garden is getting "redone" into purples, clear yellows, and a pop of deep pink. Goodbye to all the soft pinks.....they're moving to their own bed. The sumac is counted as a clear yellow and going near a patch of Agastache Blue Fortune.

I've also dreamed up a sunken patio in the shade garden, a more formal garden off of my deck with 4 distint sections, and no more front yard: garden only!

This Mixed Border book is dangerous, LOL! I'm to the chapter where I begin putting my dreams on paper.

GB, that song is perfect! I'm going to surprise Sarah with a CD recording of it for her room. I'm so excited for you and Skylar. Remember "quiet time"'s very important and should be explained on day one. When we have quiet time, you're allowed to read, draw, do puzzles, etc., but you must do it without disturbing anyone who wishes to take a cat nap :)

Tell Skylar we want to hear all about his trip from his perspective!!! Take lots of pictures for us!

Jerri, that guy's voice is just perfect! It'd put me to sleep, too. Funny, some of the little pups don't look happy about having to turn in against their will :)

Deanne, it's good that your classes are fun for you as well, it wouldn't be worth it if they weren't, I'll bet. Your garden is just beautiful right now, and I love the placement of the fountain! Take it easy on one will notice a spent blossom here and there! LOL, no one but you!

Mary, I showed Nick a picture of David and his trip and I think I see light bulbs coming on over his head :) What a fun time! GB, I think I'd have to ring Jake's neck if he took off on his bike like that!

Well, I've got a helper outdoors today, Nick says he's gonna help me do some chipping (making mulch of the honeysuckle and grapevine for the newly cleared area) and spreading. In return I am going to ready the boat for a Monday trip to the lake all by myself! He's going to meet us there. I've been trying to tell him that owning your own company should have some benefits, and not all of them monetary! I like that our accountant takes Fridays off all summer, the whole office is closed....but he works on Saturdays during the busy season.

I'm really enjoying my deck's feeling really lush....though after seeing Deanne's container garden, I'm having banana envy, LOL!



    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 8:41AM
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Much activity here as DH and DS evacuate the contents of DS's storage closet. Had some fun with him remembering and it was really interesting to see what a 21yo feels is important from his past. Only thing that slipped through his fingers into mine was his HS diploma -- mixed up with a bunch of unsorted homework -- all else was his to toss or keep.

How about Digitalis grandiflora, Deanne? In my old garden it bloomed from about May to September. Bit of a different form than your Rudbeckias, but it's still be a good contrast to the lilies.

I want that guy to come sing to me at night :-) Truly amazing!!

You nailed the song, 'bug. LOL I love the idea of reading some Skylar from Nana Marie's! Also think trying to divide Hosta at this stage of the game wouldn't be fun at all.

Off to water the dumprunners.



    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 10:37AM
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Good Morning,

Just a quick drop in. Too busy as usual these days. First, Happy Birthday to Brenda! Hope the skydiving goes/went well. I start having a panic attack just thinking about doing it.

Marie, when I gave Jenni starts of my really large hostas, the ones that are 5 ft. across, I just sawed off a small piece from the back side straight down through the roots. It worked great, you couldn't even tell on mine and hers are growing well.

Regarding the Tiger Eye Sumac, anyone else who's had one for 3 or 4 years noticing suckers appearing a few feet from the original one? I'm noticing it this year with mine and also at a nursery near here where they have them in a display garden. Thought they weren't supposed to do that.

Deanne, everything is looking so good in your gardens and containers. Love the fountain too!

Gotta run. Bella's here and I'm helping Jen prepare for a cookout they're hosting tomorrow afternoon. Have a great weekend everyone!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 12:01PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy Saturday! This is such an interesting group, Skydiving, art, bicycling, garden design, cookouts... Wow. :)
My weekend has been exciting in a different way. We transported Ebony and the 6 puppies to the Vet for their 2nd set of puppy shots. The babies had a growth spurt and are now between 15-20 pounds each at 10 week old. Yikes! Time to step up the adoption process.

After that was a much needed trip to the physical therapist. LOL I will be doing some weeding today but it may be in 5 minute trips. We have a heat index of 105 today. (sigh) I'm tired of high summer.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 2:09PM
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Greetings from New England, where it is behaving much like its namesake across the pond as far as weather.

This struck me really funny today, after fuming all year about the rabbits. Note that the closer the Campanula (left side of walkway) are to the house, the less rabbit-munched they are??

Liquid Fence?? To no avail, I'm afraid. It hasn't been dry enough to really work.

So I surrender, and take it in good faith that the plants will be better for not blooming this year and saving energy for next. LOL

Here is the wide view from the patio. A lot of time has been spent on this chaise.

Some of PM2's Digitalis:

It's now deluging rain. The plant ark is under construction ;-)


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 2:24PM
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My best wishes to our skydivin' Brenda. No picture, though. My best wishes are the best it's probably going to be.

I live in thunderstorm central, or so it seems. Thursday night was unbelievable. The cell was right over us and you could feel the vibration from the thunder. Two kitties were outdoors, under the deck and filon roof and refused to use the swithcback to come up to the slider on the deck. I went down, opened the back door and they came racing in complaining all the way upstairs. Rex shadowed me into the bedroom and the loudest crack of thunder launched him onto the bed where he curled up against me. Needless to say, no computer time!

I worked on the east side of the barn on Friday. I used the mower to define what will be lawn and the helpmeet will have to use the weedwacker to knockdown the weeds nearer the stonewall and the road. There is as much as 2" of standing water in some places, the rest of the area is soggy/boggy. I feel it's important to take this into consideration selecting the hedging plants. I've got my eye on Magnolia virginiana and Viburnum trilobum (either "american" or "Wentworth"), the latter being somewhat susceptible to the Viburnum Leaf beetle. I like Clethra, too, but am not sure it will achieve enough height to really fill the bill for the site.

I wired up the exterior outlets on the barn today! It was one of those "unfinished" tasks that the helpmeet seemed to be avoiding. I called my BIL and asked if he'd show me how to do it myself. He came over and I wired all 6 of them. They work, too! It wasn't hard, at all; in fact, it was laughably simple for someone who is used to performing operations in a precise, neat fashion. Silly of me to have waited so long to do it. :)

I'm striking out locating 24" square concrete pavers, though. I can't afford something of nicer quality if I want to purchase nice, big, b&b shrubs to screen the road. So I have to either do some more "Nancy Drew" time or come up with another option for the paths.

Good to know Bella is feeling better. Sumac suckers. I don't care what "they" say... leopards don't change their spots.

The birds didn't start chirping until 5:15 this morning, but it was overcast and rather, "dark". I don't know if we had nocturnal visitors to the side of the "noxious tea". I didn't hear anything in the wee hours and none of the animals "went on alert". But the smell was plenty virulent yesterday, too. And I was "johnny on the spot" to keep Rex away from the foul wallow...


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 2:26PM
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Good news - the cycling party rode 45 miles yesterday to the first campsite and plan to be in Syracuse tonight, a day early. David sounded tired but excited. He told me his butt ached, but the new gell cover I bought him for his bike seat really helped. I must admit to having had some sleepless moments last night thinking about him, and fully understand that like GB, I will feel the same whether he is 11 or 31.

Tonight DH, Annie and I are going to see a production of the Producers. I spent the morning making fresh apricot preserves - I bought 4 lbs of slightly mishapen fruit for $2 at the market that were perfect for cutting up for jam. The rows of deep orange preserves look lovely lined up by the window.

Martie - your patio has a fantastic view!! Darn those wabbits:0(

Wendy - I chuckled over your photo. I wonder what Alfred would look like in a hoodie.

Kathy - what gorgeous foliage!! Your fingers must have been itching to pinch.

Deanne - I'm so glad the ladies are enjoying your class so much. Seeing your gardens will be the icing on the cake.

I'm taking the afternoon off from any sort of work and am teaching myself to crochet. It seems perfect for a grey, overcast afternoon.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 2:46PM
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I think you two will love "The Producers". The helpmeet and I were in hysterics (much to the consternation of the couple sitting next to us, lol). It's really funny and decidedly NOT "polically correct". Nothing (aside from abject cruelty) offends us more than "political correctness". Parody and satire are undermined by "PC". I love Mel Brooks; has Annie watched "Blazing Saddles" or any of his other films?

You wanna stamp out bigotry? make it the butt of jokes! show it to be as stupid as we all know it to be. Have a good, long laugh at its expense. Shine the spotlight on the outright stupidity of bigotry and expose it for what it is. Mel Brooks spares NO ONE in his humor, and even as I've winced, I've cracked right up. That man is brilliant!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 4:08PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon...

No rain here yet, just overcast so far. I was surprised that despite all the rain we have had, I actually had to water a few things this morning. There is one Hydrangea that I bought at NEWFS, a native hybrid, called Samantha and every year, it crisps up. The leaves edge with brown. This year it has done it again. None of the other Hydrangeas have this problem and are planted in the same area. I think I am going to have to replace it. If it isn't happy with the amount of rain we've had this year, it never will be. [g] Got a few things done out there this morning. I am starting to be happier with my containers and taking a break from 'redisigning' any beds but thinking about the fall for doing some of that.

So Kathy...we watched the first Sox game last night with Jason Bay. Very happy outcome and based on interviews I've read, at our house, we are already warming up to him. Hope #99 will be an asset for your team. He still has a lot left to give, I am sure and your new manager of the Dodgers has been known to make a few great trades and this one has potential.
Good luck! :-) LOVE the photos from your trip! Great looking begonias. Funny you should post a photo of the climbing Rex...I was just looking at the June 2008 Fine Gardening issue and they did an article on Containers and one had one of these as the centerpiece of a large container. Very different. The last photo is one of the best conservatory photos I've seen. So full and lush and well groomed. Nice.

Wonder what Brenda is doing about now? [g]

Saucy...I didn't realize that about bees. I wonder then, what could improve the bee population? I plant enough plants for them. What a neat fish tank! We haven't had a fish tank in a long time. What type of fish are you raising there? So you had a nice nursery trip there...I have been eyeing the Physocarpus 'Center Glow'. I have two varieties of Ninebark already but the flowers are a red? on the 'Center Glow' which I like better than the white. What will you pair it with? I have the 'Little Joe' Pye Weed and it's not so Looks the same height as the regular one. Another person wanting a front yard garden with no lawn. I have wanted one for a long time, but around here people would rather mow than weed, so I am making do for the time being.

Wondering how Cynthia is doing? Waving :-)

Hello Norma, nice to see you! :-) Glad to hear you are having rain this year. Sorry to hear about the Japanese beetles and snails. You are IS always

Hi...T....enjoy the rest of your visit with your friend. Hope you will come back and post again. Would love to see some photos of your place.

Deanne your photos of the front beds with your container garden are looking lush! I am sure they will look amazing once some of your late season bloomers get started. Your brugs are huge! I didn't know they got that Is that the new fountain that you just bought this year?

Hi Cindy...hope you are getting a good rest this weekend.

Martie...what good news about your visit with your brother! What a difference from the last time I read about one of your visits. Very happy for you! I thought of you yesterday when I was reading that issue of Fine Gardening. In their tips section, someone said they had good results with rubber snakes keeping rabbits away. Such a shame about your campanula. I chose Veronica for a short edger instead because I had read the campanula attracts groundhogs. It's their favorite. We had groundhogs one year and I can't think of anything I would dread more, so they are definitely off my list. Didn't even know rabbits liked them. WOW! Look at all that digitalis! You are going to have a crop next year!

Mary..what a healthy, happy looking crew you've got there! Forty five miles?! Boy, are they in good shape, or what! lol

Hello Gardenbug...interesting story of your son's bike trip. He sounds like quite an adventurer! You and DH must be getting excited to see Skyler tomorrow. I am sure it will be a wonderful trip! My kids all loved string cheese and goldfish crackers were one of my Mom's favorite. Good choices...but the chocolate dipped berries....yum!

Alfred it is, Wendy. :-) that link to the puppies getting their lullaby. So sweet. Our son brought home a cat from a shelter and it ended up being pregnant. Now he has five cats and a dog. [g] He talked about finding homes for some of the kittens, but....he's decided he's keeping them all. He is definitely an animal person, but Yikes! They are about two months old now.

Well...the rain has started...nice timing, some of the weeding caught up and the containers were needing it....look at the time, it's almost supper time!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 4:10PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm taking that "...and the living is easy" part very seriously right now. A busy couple of days has left me with a serious need to chill out.

Thursday evening's shindig at the office went quite well. The food was great, and my personal beer and wine selections were well received. After the crowd left, I sat and chatted with my boss and his wife until 11:00 pm. Then last night DH and I sat on the screened porch, sipping wine and enjoying the night until 11:00. This is well past my usual bedtime and I'm paying the price now with no energy.

Wait - I think I just heard a loud scream off to the southwest. Musta been Brenda on her way down...

I'm refusing to do any more garden maintenance until the clods working on the house are outta here. The deck has been torn apart for the umpteenth time and it's getting old. DH is on me to make a list of what needs to be done before our September party, and all I can think is why evaluate now, because these guys are destroying faster than I can fix things. I trimmed and primped all the pots last weekend, and now they're out of place with broken stems, etc. And don't get me started on the cigarette butts.

Grump over.

So glad to see a post from T. I miss hearing from you more regularly. No, your life is not boring. How are the twins doing?

DD is playing trumpet at the wedding of a friend's sister this afternoon. She's a little nervous as this is the first wedding she's playing. I'm sure it won't be the last. The rehearsal was yesterday and she had some interesting editorial comments about the mega-church where the ceremony is being held. She definitely did not care for the fact that it is more of an auditorium than a traditional church.

OK, in the spirit of nothingness, I am going to put on my swimsuit, get a cold beer and my book and head to the pond.

Later, gators.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 4:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Was the guy singing to the puppies? What was he singing? gb - does Phoebe have a particular bed-time ritual? Should Randy learn to play anything special for her? :- ) How's her foot that you had mentioned she hurt a week or so ago?

I'm really curious to know how Brenda's adventure went! That's 'way braver than anything I'd want to do. Back in the summer of 1976 I worked at the New Brunswick Horticultural Nursery (part of the NB Dept. of Agriculture). It was located next to an old military airfield that was then just being used for the spruce budworm spray planes and recreational flying. The Fredericton Flying Club used it for parachute drops so we got to watch a lot of recreational jumping. Sometimes the jumps didn't go smoothly - like the one where the guy landed in a hawthorn tree - ouch!

Martie - that lounge chair/view of the garden looks great! The neat little hedge in the background (boxwood?) really sets things off nicely. I'm glad the visit with your brothr went well.

Mary - I'm impressed with the bikers' stamina (and tough hind ends, gel seat or no!) It sounds like these long distance bike rides must be the 'in' thing these days. Two friends both have kids that have either just done that or are in the midst of it. A better activity that being glued to the computer....

Deanne - I second gb's suggestion of Kirengshoma. I don't like yellow but I like the soft yellow of those ones. They've been blooming here for a week or so now. I find they don't make a big show - but then mine are in a lot of shade so that probably makes a big differennce.

I spent the morning building another brick spillway to carry water from the living room downspouts across my bark mulch path along the livingroom wall. The downspouts were washing out the path. I did a spillway on the north end on Monday but needed Randy's help to dig out the base for the second one because it's a bit wider. I've tried to direct the water flow down into the south side of the woodland garden under the oak. The other spillway just discharges onto the back lawn. I have one more to do (under the south arbour gate) to direct the flow that comes from the front of the house. I want to divert the water to the beds on either side of the south alley. Right now the water flows from the near the driveway, down the sideyard slope, under the gate, along the south alley path, along the path along the fence and down to the 'wet corner', washing out paths all the way along! I've slowed the water flow a lot by having it fnrst drain through a big pot filled with pea gravel, but it's still washing out the paths a bit. So I'm trying another possibility. I will tilt the bricks on the edges a bit to driect some of the water to either side so it can run along the beds instead of straight down the path. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will work because I'm getting tired of having to rake the mulch back onto the paths after every hard rain - and we've had a lot of hard rain this summer!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 5:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just a quicky here, as Skyler is arriving tonight. He should already have left the Edmonton airport by now....

Phoebe appears to be fine now Woody. We just aren't letting her be super rough with Norah for a while...She seems to be playing extra roughly these days. We don't do anything special for a bedtime routing with Phoebe. She has a "playpen" where she sleeps in the laundry room. We give her a cookie, say "night night" and that's it! Of course she gets a walk first, sometime between 10-11. Then she gets up at about 8-9 in the morning, or whenever she hears us stirring, has a quick walk, then breakfast.
She is very interested in chewing these days and I have TWO damaged sofa cushions. No toys are strong enough for her....She's testing and testing, jumping on the bed, the couch, anywhere she should not be. I guess she's acting like a 5 year old!

Time to water the vegetable garden and then dinner- then the airport!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 6:02PM
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My dance must've worked because the orb was seen for a whole two hours!! Another line of orange on radar is enroute. Hrmph!

The hedge is Arborvitae, Woody. It was placed by the town when the cul-de-sac's run-off system was built 23 years ago. At that time, the Town Planner demanded (and they do to this day) that any development with more than 5 residential units be professionally landscaped. Tucked away all through town are neighborhoods that were truly thought out. Pretty cool foresight. Though I would've staggered the planting, it does set everything off as well as keep the dust from the tobacco farm across the main road at bay.

The man is singing in an absolutely wondrous voice to the puppies, "Good Night Sweetheart It's Time to Go." Imagine the sign for "calm" and that's the feeling....

I hope she won't mind me suggesting to everyone that you pop over to the Idyll Project thread and see what Cynthia found. The woman never ceases to amaze.

I want to do some grunt work! LOL I got somewhat emotional about the gardens' condition and Monday will be teach Rich to Weed Day. Point and pull? Make a sample board, ie., "If it looks like this...." He's a sweetheart for offering. The one summer I could've done without enough water to need to weed a few times a week .....

V: Want Rich to come out and set your contractor straight? He's up for a good professional facedown :-) I hate hearing stories like yours because it makes the good ones be disliked from the get go without reason. Did he pull a permit? If yes, then call your Inspector and get him/her out there with deadlines. If no, fire the hacker and call your State Consumer Protection folks. Any help we can give will be gladly sent your way!

Go, David, Go!!

Can't wait to hear about Skyler's (and Brenda's) aerial adventures.

Funny you mentioned it, PM2, I have Veronica on the other side of that garden and the rabbits haven't touched it. My only true and all out fear is for snakes. Great idea but I think I'll switch out the plants, first. LOL

Squash, cukes and roast chicken for dinner. Sustenance. Ahhhh. First of the Helianthus are blooming. What the heck happened to July??


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Its always a challenge to make the garden look nice in August-no rainwater for months, ratty daylily foliage, mealy bug on the Ladys Mantle. Its that weedy looking time of year. I hacked away at things pretty mercilessly today(including attempting to prune my little finger in a moment of careless Penstemon trimming) and there is an improvement . The Dahlias and lilies remain a bright spot, but the roses look horrid. Ive had a ton of those damnable cucumber beetles this year, and they brown up the edges of the petals. Bad karma to me for bragging about my lack of Japanese and Lily leaf beetles ! After viewing Deannes brugs in yesterdays photo I went and peered closely at mine, not a bud to be found ! My plan is to pump it up with weekly ½ strength doses of Maxsea bloom food. The water has been on all day, being moved from one spot to another.

PM, thanks for your nice comments on my photos ! Im really pleased with the pictures Im getting with my new /used camera. Ive posted a couple others below. Manny didnt have quite the glorious debut that Jason had , but I heard on the radio today that there has been a huge spike in both individual and season ticket sales since the news broke. He certainly got a rousing welcome from the crowd last night.

Deanne, our fuchsia tip-cutting experiment here was a dismal failure. I havent tossed them yet but they look really bad ! I will try it again with a different cultivar though, and if it gets results Ill report the process. I would love cuttings of that Plectranthus do you know its name ? What if you put a pale yellow dahlia or two in your current Rudbeckia spot ? Youd have the extra chore of lifting them , but I bet you could get close to the color you are looking for.

Saucy, you have become just a garden-design machine ! We all await the dramatic reveal. And that fish tank is just yet another garden no watering required.

Woody, dog man was singing Goodnight Sweetheart the oldie by The Spaniels, one hit wonders I think !
Goodnight Sweetheart well its time to go-o
Goodnight Sweetheart well its time to go-o
I hate to leave you but I really must say
Go-odnight Swe-eeheart Goodnight

Hows the rose swag doing ?? Your spillway sounds industrious. I have problems with standing water here (in winter) and it would require some serious infrastructure re-do to fix it. Ive tried to build my planting beds up a bit , but still get some rotted bulbs every year.

Martie, I murdered my ficus repens for the topiary project . Actually I guess it was manslaughter since it was not intentional- it dried out while I was in Washington, and once a F. repens dries out its a goner. I purchased a new one today, and hope to create the assembly tomorrow. Your chaise on the patio looks like a perfect spot for recuperation !

Yay Chelone , for you have conquered the mysterious electrical task . I fear electrical is the only DYI project I refuse to do.

And Mary, it will not be long before there is nothing you cant do ! Will you crochet toilet paper roll covers like the Midwest ladies ? (with apologies to our Midwest ladies of course) . Apricot preserves are the best..

Jealous of V with her beer in the pond. It was almost 90 here today . So if I were you V, Id complain to the company that sent you the plant trampling, butt tossing workers. Id be looking for at the very least a case of wine as mental anguish compensation.

OK, time to go back outside- ta ta Idylls !

Kathy in Napa

Another Begonia

Passiflora 'Batwing'

Didn't see the sign . but this has to be a 'Sharkskin' Agave

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:26PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Waving to all on what many of us consider wine night.

So-so weather here today. Much to my amazement, a couple of hours of rain once again. Last week I heard that July 2008 was the fifth wettest July on record here. I believe it. I've hardly run a sprinkler at all and my gardens look relatively lush for high summer.

On the productivity front I sucked wind though. It was just a down day. In mid afternoon I took a ride over to a neighboring town and bought fresh corn at a farm stand then parked at a ferry landing and watched the river run by. No surprise that the water is higher than usual. On the way home I stopped at the fish market for fresh swordfish and scallops. No one can accuse me of not eating Just finished the swordfish, terriyaki marinated and grilled, served with the corn and a salad. Isn't summer eating grand? A few weeks ago I found this terrific terriyaki marinade at the grocery store and have been using it on everything. It's called Soy Vay...if you see it, try it.

Hey T! Hi to Karen for me. Maybe someday I'll make it out to the Portland schnauzer walk again. How is the mood this year with Gwen gone?

Martie, it's nice to hear you sound so upbeat. Love the patio view. Tell Rich I found an excellent heating contractor and I'm confident that there still are good guys out there. Now I just have to ask a few questions and decide if it's worth spending an extra $3K for the higher efficiency system. My gut tells me the payback period on heating costs won't make it worth it.

Marie, enjoy the visit with Skyler. He's lucky to have found his way into your family.

Mary, I saw The Producers at The Bushnell, Hartford's as close to Broadway as you can get theatre, in January. Lots of laughs. Enjoy! Good for David for toughing out the bike ride. I used to love long distance biking when I was single, lived in a condo, didn't garden and had time. Maybe it's time to reshuffle the priorities.

Kathy, your pictures look like they could have been taken at the NYBG. Last year we say that climbing Begonia at just about every garden we visited at IU4. I think Monique found one around here at the end of the season but wasn't successful in wintering it over.

OK, so one thing I did do today was take a few pictures. As promised, here's the banana that threatens to eat NY. LOL! Jeez, who would ever think that there's a banana that could take over a zone 6 garden?

Deanne, not too many plants work harder than Rudbeckia, but I agree the color can be less than restful. Try the annual Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun'. It's orangey towards the center but the petals fade out to the type of yellow you want towards the tip. Plus, it blooms all summer. One of my Kirengeshomas is blooming now. For some reason that's been a so-so plant for me. I think my shade is just too dry.

Tiger Eye intriguing plant, but it seems like every one I see that has been in the ground for a few years has shoots popping up some distance away. If I had room I'd give it a go but not in this garden.

OK, enough out of me. Maybe tomorrow we'll get some pictures of Brenda in a free


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Wow Sue that banana is spectacular!

Cissus discolor, climbing rex begonia, not really a begonia at all I don't believe. I have one, but haven't overwintered it yet...

Skyler should have arrived by now. He's in for a fun time I think.

Long day here and I'm beat. Good night to you all.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:50PM
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Sue, just for the record, here in Napa County every night is wine night !
That Bannana is scary, and looks better than some I've seen in zone 10. Is that thing in a container ?? Definately F-F...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 10:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm now in Ontario and I'm having lots of fun already. I saw Phoebe. She's BIG and BLACK and likes me a lot.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 12:07AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A very quick good morning to all,

Great day yesterday again. The garden visit was a success even though we almost had to cancel because of rain but the precipitation stopped in time and a good time was had by all.

Kathy, Im not sure of the ID on that plectranthus but will try to find it. I will definitely send you cuttings. Ive had that plant for a several years and its an easy keeper. ~~~ Just love your pics from that conservatory. Some of those begonias are wonderful.

Sue, WOW! That patio and your banana continue to amaze. What a gorgeous photo. It looks fabulous. More pics please?

Thanks to all for all the advice for replacing the rudbeckia. I agree with Sue that it is just the hardest working plant in the gardens and really earns its space. Kathy, Id thought of doing the dahlia thing but I have a real problem with slugs in that garden and they LOVE dahlias. I might try it though as I know there are varieties that have purple leaves that would be good there too. Im still pondering. I might just remove half of the clumps of rudbeckias and see if less of that color will do the trick.

Martie, Love your patio! Beautiful spot for recuperating.

OK Ive got to get our of here and get to class so Im going to sign off for now. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 7:42AM
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Good morning Idylls.

Zeus is de-skunked, and I'm happy to say that the recipe worked fabulously! Zeus took it right up the nose, and I guess most of the "skunk" went into his nostrils, because he acted as though he'd been hit with mase. Poor guy. It wasn't what I wanted to be doing last night, but with all the foresight of the Idylls before me, I perservered!

A big Welcome to Skylar! You have great adventures ahead of you, I just know it!

Martie, that chaise is the perfect retreat for you! It seems Rich is taking good care of you. We'll have you ready for garden hopping in no time!

Kathy, I'm so happy to benefit from your new camera! I like that you got a shot of some Browallia for Chelone....and the color on that Passiflora is right up the new alley I'm stuck in :)

PM, according to my bee school instructor, there are no more feral bees in our area....I don't know if I believe that, but he certainly has more experience than I. I have to get into the hive soon and plan to photo it....About the'll go in the back of a new bed that borders the woods....I needed something large to transition, I think.

The viburnum still mocks me, but yesterday I moved an azalea and made a little garden in the alley between the house and garage. It came out nice. I will photo when it fills in better.

Sue, now I really have banana envy!

I saw Dark Knight last night. I loved it. I like the darker films in keeping with the original comic. It's fun to see different interpretations, much like viewing differences in garden styles :) Heath Ledger stole the show...and I couldn't help but compare his Joker to Jack Nicholson's.....funny, that brought me around to The Shining, and that's exactly the character that Heath's Joker reminded me of....someone who's gone over the edge. Too many raisinets for me perhaps......

Well, I'm off to get a weather forecast and figure out what this day holds for me.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 7:45AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Wow, what a beautiful morning! Dry, cool and clear blue skies. Lots of Cicada activity though although the weatherman say we'll only get to 81 F. I'm sitting on the patio with my laptop and coffee and it's still in the 60s and almost chilly. The dogs are on one of their multiple daily grid searches of the lawn for rabbit poop. I took them back to bed with me this morning after their breakfast and we all slept til almost 8 like a bunch of lazy slugs.

Every night is wine night here too Kathy. No, the banana is not in a container. For winter I cut it back to about 18", put a wire cage around it and fill the cage with shredded leaves. The bed it's in is south facing between the garage and the patio. It's probably a solid zone 7 microclimate. Salvia Argentine Skies is running rampant in there as well even though I thought I got it all out this spring. I also grow a Crepe Myrtle but that is being almost totally shaded by the banana now and hardly blooming this year. Next spring I need to do some shuffling. I'm tempted to move a few plants now but it's probably best to wait til I get back from vacation when I can water every day.

Sorry, Deanne, out of all the pictures I took yesterday that was the only one that came out decent. A photographer I am Maybe I'll give it another shot today.

Poor Zeus! A skunk attack would be a nightmare. Maybe I should go reread the deskunking thread. Luckily that is one critter I rarely smell and have never seen around here.

OK, time to get moving. I'm shooting for a better day today than yesterday.



    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 8:47AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, Skyler!! Wonderful to meet you, and I hope you'll tell us all about your trip.

Well, kids...DS and I jumped out of a plane, AND lived to tell about it. It just doesn't get any better than that, eh? It was SPECTACULAR and I'd love to do it again. There are pictures, and video. Today is my birthday party, so I don't have time to fiddle with them right now. As soon as the house clears out this afternoon, I'll get them posted. I think I'll need to borrow DFSILs laptop to upload the video to youtube. I'll have him bring it with him today.
For now, I'll just say that 46 year old skin is NOT pretty in free-fall. Ya know what? I don't care...I jumped out of a plane, and 23 year old skin isn't a whole lot better, LMAO!
Have a grand day, one and all. My head is still in the clouds :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 9:00AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Brenda, I don't think you could have had a nicer day for your jump. Can't wait to see the video!

DD's performance at the wedding went well. I had asked her if I could come to the church to hear her, but she said that would have made her more nervous so I stayed home. She brought home one of the centerpieces from the reception which had some lovely lilies. Perhaps I'll get a photo later today.

Sue, your banana looks amazing.

Saucy, sorry you had to deal with skunk issues yesterday. That's never fun, but at least you had good advice close at hand.

Skylar, I'm glad to hear you arrived safely and that you've met Phoebe. I hope you have a great visit to Ontario!

Time to shower and get on with the day. The pot ghetto must be addressed today!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 9:45AM
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Good Morning, same weather here as Sue's having, just perfect. If this is high summer I'll take it.

Brenda, WOW is all I have to say. And enjoy your party today.

Kathy, I have a plectranthus that looks similar to the one in your pic called Troy's Gold. I'm loving the pics with your new camera too!

Martie, love the view from your chaise.

Saucy, my sympathies to Zeus. Bud did that exact same thing one night a few years ago, right to the face.

Deanne, those ladies got a real treat touring your gardens.

Hi Skyler! Glad you made it safe and sound and can't wait to hear about all the fun you'll be having this week.

I'm off to the grocery. Then home to make a couple of salads for the cookout this afternoon.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 9:56AM
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Welcome to the EST zone, Skyler! It must be a special time for you if Nana Marie is letting you stay up and talk with us past midnight! Have lots of fun and tell us about your trip and adventures. I'm glad Phoebe likes you and why shouldn't she? You are her very own boy.

Had to gasp then LOL at Sue's banana. You have the one at Logee's beat by a mile! Go with the high efficiency system, Sue. First off -- I think there's still IRS benefits with putting it in, knocking off some of the extra expense right off the top. We switched from oil to natural gas so I can't give first-hand savings estimates, but Rich won't put anything else in when he redoes systems; it really makes that much of a difference and his customers a season later are always pleased. Not just with the cost, but with the emissions and the ease of system care. If you have a nat gas system, there's no question. Ladd's in Windham's sale is coming up. Perhaps a rendevous?

So sorry to hear about Zeus, Saucy, and the ensuing detoxification. You hit the nail on the head with the garden crawling. I Can't Wait to be able to never again be concerned about which day in the cycle it is or maybe it doesn't matter because I feel crappy, anyway. I can Make Plans! Don't wait until the new area fills in -- I'd like to see the "bones" since there's still plenty of areas at Cornfield Park that need something done.

Brenda -- So when does the runway get built at the farm? LOL So glad you loved the jump and can't wait for the video.

Okay, Kathy. I've put off mentioning Manny but must say that I gloated a bit during his first appearance :-) You'll soon start reading about "Manny being Manny" (google some Boston Globe articles for clarification if needed) and learn that he basically decides when he will play well and when he won't. Hitting into a double play in game 1 that would've enfuriated a Little League coach then wacking a HR in game 2>>> Huh?? But -- and this is a huge but -- he's one of the few remaining pro players with definitive personality and you have to hand it to him for not going mainstream. I'm already in love with Jason Bay and he got an equal ovation in Fenway. Not easy to do in crusty old New England. A side article quoted the Red Sox equipment guy as being relieved that he didn't have to deal with the "hair and helmet issues" anymore. LOL

Pulled out the High Country catalog and browsed the website in search of Agave. I need some concrete suggestions as there are just too many lovelies. Help?!?!

Could sit here and putz around the brain some more, but everyone's time will be better served by me going out and IDing crucial weeding areas for tomorrow. Ky and BGGF V. have done a tremendous job, but they can't do everything.

The Woodstock Crowd had it right: "No Rain!@!"

Waving to all from the patio :-)


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:14AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hi Skyler! Welcome to Ontario! I hope to meet you when Nana Marie brings Phoebe here to stay with us when you go home. Our little Misty will be happy to see Phoebe again. Phoebe was still small when they first met. How much bigger is she now compared to this picture? (Misty likes her doggie buddies to be big!)

Brenda - it sounds like you had a great time! Will the pictures and the video be on display at your party today too? I'm looking forward to seeing them.

Sue that banana is so amazing. Big leafed plants really appeal to me but there's no way something like that is going to survive in the ground here unfortunately.

Saucy - poor Zeus; poor you... Even with that recipe, there's usually a bit of residual smell, particularly on damp days in the week or so after...:-) Chelsea had a close encounter with a Pepe LePeu but Misty has avoided it so far. We keep the supplies in a bucket just in case because there's often that distinctive odor in the neighbourhood! Replacing the old shed got them to move a bit further away though I think.

It started off nice and cool here this morning but has rapidly warmed up and got humid. I watered some of the driveway pots, mulched the edges of the spillways to blend in with the path, raked the washed-out paths in the south woodland and swept the back porch and patio. I was dripping with sweat by the time I finished! No more garden work today...! We're forecast for maybe some rain tomorrow or Tuesday. If the spillways work properly during any rain, I'll post pictures of them.

Barb and my samosa-making friend arrive tonight for a two day stay. Cooking is the main thing on the agenda. My samosa-making friend's Canadian-born son is now in the picky teenage years and wants his mother to lean to cook some western-style food, particularly some pies! On the cooking agenda, we've got chicken schnitzel with spaetzle and fried onions, egg white waffles with turkey-apple sausage, apple pie with walnut crisp topping, ginger peach pie with pecan crisp topping and cinnamon rolls.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 12:15PM
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If this summer in my zone goes into the history books, it may be filed under the chapter "Mildest Summer on Record." We haven't been into the 90s since May, and the 10-day forecast goes into the low 80s then slides back into the 70s. Most agreeable. My BIL & SIL were over for dinner last night. They are just dipping their toes into gardening. The lure was saving the pumpkin seeds from a family vaca last summer, then planting the seeds this summer. The vines have all molded and withered, I think probably from lack of heat in this coolish summer, since they seem to be doing everything OK. It's interesting to watch the gardening flame start to flicker in others, what plants attract the first interest. A sentimental attachment to a plant as their impetus makes total sense, very unlike my cold-blooded ruthlessness when it comes to gardens...

Congrats to the high-flyin' Brenda and can't wait to hear how Skylar shakes up the farm. The microclimate effect is so interesting and what a ginormous banana Sue coaxes from it. Martie, I love your chaise perch. Saucy, I'm enjoying the dizzying multiplication of your garden plans. That book has really got you going! A book I haven't read yet either...maybe best to stay away from it! Kathy, I've got that plectran too, first saw it yrs ago at Western Hills out at Occidental in Sonoma Co. Do you ever get out that way? I hear the garden is open again by appt. I can ship you a cutting which I'll start post-haste (say the word). I've never seen such huge, shrub-like Hellebore argutifolius in my life as they have at WH, and the mature trees & shrubs must be wonderful to see even if the detail plantings aren't kept up with anymore. The Cottage Garden nursery in Petaluma is a nice stop out that way also, and they usually carry a strong selection of Chalk Hill Clematis if memory serves...

Way to go on the class and garden tour, Deanne. While you contemplate removing grass, I contemplate removing pathway...and did so on Fri. Since I'll probably never be able to move the giant blue agave pot from its central spot, I want to see stuff waving behind it while viewing from the patio under the pergola. Yarrows Terracotta & Anthea and gaura on order. Found some Verbena hastata, blue vervain, locally for this area too. Will sacrifice some more alliums here too, ever the optimist. Not a big area, maybe gained 4X4, but in a small garden every foot counts! Always amazes me how the dry-laid, brick-on-sand pathways bind together. It takes dogged attempts to dismantle them. The sand substrate laid for the bricks is going to provide some intense drainage for the yarrows. Pathway interruptus:

It's more of an access path, a half circle of narrow brick path behind the main garden bed, and all the plantings will still be accessible w/o stepping on soil. The bricks should have wheels here, never mind the plants, lol.

And a new dahlia, 'Karma Choc' bought in bud. Success builds upon success, since I'm having OK luck with the Bish of Cant:

Nice to hear from T & Norma, and waving to those I missed. What a menu, Woody!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 3:22PM
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A short break with the Idylls as I have done battle with Lady Banks ( a stand-off as usual, she will not be defeated) who is (was) casting too much shade on my red/yellow area. In addition, the sun continues to change position and this time of year areas of my garden begin to get less sun. LBs haircut will help, temporarily. I also ripped out various stands of my ever burgeoning aster population.
Denise, it seems Norcal may have gotten your missing heat. You can have it back any time ! Havent been to Western Hills since the new ownership took over. I try to get over to Cottage Gardens at least once a year- At one time the plants they propagated and carried were hard to find at local garden centers, not so much the case any more. But the garden center is beautiful to visit none the less. I DO like that Dahlia! Is the photo color fairly accurate ?

Ive noted the check-in from Parachute Brenda , returned safely to earth, Skylar who may have enough energy to romp with Ms Phoebe till she tires out, Saucys skunk woes, and continued flurry of garden activity, and am pondering Manny being Manny a common theme with sportswriters out here and still better than Barry being Barry ,LOL.

Ok, I need to cut up some fruit and get back out to fertilize containers..later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 5:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Nana Marie took my photo last night with Daddy Ric at the airport.

We made yummy pancakes for breakfast this morning and I had maple syrup on mine, Daddy Ric had lingonberry sauce and Nana Marie had fresh peaches on hers.

Then I went with DR to pick grass for Cricket the bunny rabbit and we fed him together.

While DR repaired the ping pong table I swang on the swing in the barn and Phoebe tried to catch me.

Finally we played ping pong! I beat DR!!! Later I made a schedule for the week's Ping pong tournament.

We had chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. We looked for bugs later and watched them up close in a magnifying glass. We cut flowers for a little party tonight and I made place cards for the table. Mine is the gold one! I hope we can go for a walk in the dark again tonight with Phoebe.

Woody, Phoebe is WAAAY bigger now!
Skyler & 'bug

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:01PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well class is done and everyone did a great job. Another seminar finished and I dont have anything else until September. Yea! August is garden time. (Well except for painting the project piece for the end of Sept seminar.) Im so glad I scheduled this too as its going to help pay for the $2,400 shocks my car just required. Im still gasping over that one.

Ive got a ton of garden work to do as Ive not really cleaned up and deadheaded for a week now. Things look good on the surface but I can see all the ratty-tatty stuff that needs attending to.

Brenda, You go girl! Im so impressed with your adventure because Id never be brave enough to do such a thing. Looking forward to photos and video.

Saucy, sorry about Zeus and the skunking episode. What a bother! ~~ Did you buy the tall urn yet?

Sue, Im hoping you share more pics today. How about some container shots?

Denise I love that Karma Choc. What a beauty. ~~ How neat that you are having such a mild summer there. Im looking forward to seeing pics of the finished planting in the area you removed the path. Yes, as you have probably noticed from my photos I have a good deal of grass it the front that really could be put to better use. I just have to tread lightly as Doug likes his front lawn.

Bug Ive had Anthea for several years and it just fades away to nothing for me after a couple seasons. Its the perfect yellow Im looking for but I dont like its habit here. Also Kirengeshoma palmata is the perfect soft yellow but too tall for where I want to plant it and not enough of a show of color. ~~ Looks like Skyler is having the time of his life. Love the ping-pong shot.

Ive been trying to get a decent photo of this container for a couple weeks now but for some reason I cant get a pic that really shows what it looks like in person so Ill settle for showing you all this one. This is my favorite pot from this years collection. The Hibiscus is probably close to six feet tall now and the dwarf canna not far behind. I love the Cuphea with this arrangement. Im training the Alternanthera Red Threads to climb up through the arrangement so that I have a nice S curve of dark purple running through the design. Its all too much fun!

Im really fond of this combination, love the chartreuse with the purples and the throats of the daylilies and Oriental lilies pick up the chartreuse of the Golden Spirit and heather.

A long view of the Driveway Garden looking through the Verbena bonariensis

OK nite all, have a great evening everyone

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:33PM
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I know 'bug doesn't need any ideas to make Skyler's visit enjoyable, but it might be fun to see what ideas this crowd has to keep a boy busy in summertime:

Pitching a tent (with skeeter-proof mesh flap door?) in one of the many fields close to the house. Canteens and stuff are adored at this age.

Very basic but satisfying, digging in the veg garden, unused spot of course. Duncan was a tremendous digger. May not be Skyler's forte but something to keep in mind. Generally, I find boys are earth movers, and Phoebe would probably be right alongside helping out.

Making little sailboats of twigs and stuff to sail down the creek, if it's still flowing, maybe from the bridge overhead.

Making a fancy walking stick, maybe with fancy rope work like Marty makes for his hiking sticks, turk's head knot at the top of the stick.

Kite building and flying

Drawing a map of the farm.

Kathy, the dahlia is actually more chocolatey and less burgundy than the photo shows. Deanne, that pot with the hibiscus is stunning, as is the cotinus/lilies planting, and I love the last photo with the scrim of verbena. I'm out of superlatives where your garden is concerned! Simply gorgeous, FF to the max...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Watching the Cardinals and Phillies- not really paying much attention, as Im not quite ready to settle in for the night. A very pleasant of breezy evening here, I BBQd some chicken and did a considerable amount of WALATing. It seems as though this weekend just flew by Im not mentally prepared for Monday yet.

Saucy, in your honor Im going to drag out my copy of "Well Designed" etc . I dont think Ive looked at it for at least a year. She (Tracy-with the-extremely-long-last-name) is very organized and detailed in her approach , and I must admit that the areas of my garden that Ive taken the time to draw out on paper have turned out better than my more slapdash designs I use the term design loosely, lol !

Deanne, I can see why you are so pleased with that combo, everything goes together just perfectly. Is the Sedum in pic #2 Dark Moor ? I could never get that one going for some reason.

Eden, thanks for the ID on Cissus discolor, I would have come up pretty empty looking for a Rex Begonia vine. Ive always liked the Cissus genus.

Ok, about time to settle down, but here are my photos du jour:

Really like this one, it's called 'Star Class'.

In this photo you get to see my design errors (Saucy take note !). The purple Phlox is behind the B&B Salvia, and can only be seen from the side. You can also see the white Echinacea , also behind B&B. The path is totally overgrown with waist-high Asters (this is after I thinned them !) and close to the point where weilding a machete may be the only way to travel forward. The pic does not show the Star of Yalta morning glory that is grasping everything, including the Rudbeckia and Joe Pye.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 11:14PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Im luxuriating in knowing Ive got a whole day to putter about in the gardens with nothing else on my plate. Doug is home and working on a project at a company in the Boston area this week. It looks like we will have more days of afternoon thunder storms but that just means the watering chores are nil except for the large pots. Life seriously doesnt get better than this. I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky. I do appreciate how very fortunate we are. One of my students this weekend has traveled extensively and has been to Peru and Ecuador in South America, China, Africa, etc. and we had a discussion this weekend about just how wealthy middle income Americans are by world standards and most dont realize how well off we have it here.

On the garden front most of the daylilies are ready to be done for the year and its sad to see them go because that really means the big color times in the garden are about done. Thank goodness for the containers and fuchsias. They really carry things along for the rest of the season.

Kathy, when I opened this thread and saw your garden photo I just exclaimed to myself, "Oh how pretty!" Then I read your post and couldnt believe you were picking apart your design. WE are all too hard on ourselves. Is that S. Black and Blue hardy for you? Do you ever shear back your asters? I usually do that in June and it makes them shorter and bushier. What is that phlox in the back of the border? ~~ That Sedum is Purple Emperor. I had a second clump of that and it didnt do that well over the winter last year and its not looking too good right now.

Denise so many great ideas for Bug and Skyler. ~~ Thanks so much, Im so pleased you liked the pics. This is the first year Ive found Verbena bonariensis and love the airy look of it. Great plant. I hope it seeds around for me. ~~ I'd love to see more garden photos from you. I'm always so interested to see what you are growing there as it's so lovely and different.

OK all, Im going to sit on the patio and enjoy my morning coffee. Have a wonderful day everyone.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 6:31AM
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Kathy, I too remarked at how beautiful your garden is! I was thinking to myself yesterday that I couldn't have found this book at a better time because I have a blank slate. I am going to try not to rip up my old garden too much because it has been a good garden - but it just needs a little editing....and I find I take most pleasure in the purples and yellows of high summer :) The light pinks are bugging me.....

Anyway, all that to second what Deanne said :)

Denise, I love that you have to remove a path for more plants :) Some great ideas there...they brought back great memories of doing those things with my children. We always played Pooh sticks on the bridge: each person picks a unique stick and drops it off the bridge and then head to the other side to see who's stick emerges first. We still play this little game :)

I've gotta get moving...Nick needs this computer and I've got a house to clean and a Sarah with a sore throat.....


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:50AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

I'm way behind again!
Martie, I'm so very glad to hear that the visit with your brother went well! DH and I haven't discussed the runway yet. Lol, I'll get the garage first, and see how much patience he has at that point ;)
T-So good to hear from you! One of our dogs found a whole nest of baby rescue possible, and she had to have a bath. The whole experience was pretty disgusting. She is not willing to share her yard with outside critters..she also nailed a groundhog and a vole.

The dog and the Hitchcock pics....ROFL!

Saucy, sorry to hear about Zeus' encounter with the skunk! I don't think we've ever had a dog that didn't get nailed at least once in it's life. It doesn't seem to get any more pleasant, and I've never gotten used to the smell. DS is after me to see Dark Knight. Of course, he says I need to watch the first movie before I go. He says it's one of the first movies he's seen that lives up to the hype.

V-You're right, the weather in Illinois couldn't have been nicer! Bright blue sky, little puffy clouds-it was spectacular! I didn't want to take the new camera along, as it would spend a LOT of time sitting in the hot car, and you for sure don't have enough wits about you to try and shoot pictures while you're shooting toward the ground at 120 mph! At least, I couldn't do it, lol! I took along a disposable, and I hope some of the shots of the sky full of parachutes turned out well.

Woody, we all spent a good deal of time looking at pictures and videos yesterday. My future SIL has a whole new respect for me, and seems to think I might just be crazy enough that he should be a little scared of me. I am, and he should be :)

Bug, I'm so enjoying you sharing Skyler's visit with us. I bet he's having a blast with you!

Deanne-$2400 for shocks??? I should be more kind to DH, lol! He's always handled quite a bit of the work on our vehicles. If it gets into something computerized, he won't go near it. Good for you to have a day to putter about. Those days are such a luxury-enjoy!

Kathy, I've been shooting pictures around a design error all season, lol! For some reason, I put a boltonia in front of my Purple Emperor sedum. It doesn't work, the sedum is half hidden. It's taken every bit of self control I have to keep from popping it out of the ground. It makes DH edgy when I do things like that...especially when it's hot and dry. We got rain today, though....! Lol, better just leave it alone, and remember to move it for next year.

I struck out at the local library. I was afraid I might. Now, I'm pondering whether it's worth heading to the big town and getting an external dvd drive, lol! I could swing past the chiropractor, go to wally-world and pic up my contacts and and pictures from vacations long ago that I finally got developed. Anyone want to guess what's going to happen?? It's rainy and I can't play in the yard, so..the big town it is. I'll have to see what the price is on the dvd drive. There's been more than one time I've thought about it. Must mean I need it, right. Yes, Deanne, many many middle-class Americans are far more blessed than we realize. Frankly, I'm pretty glad to have grown up without much, because I have a great appreciation for the fact that I can even contemplate spending money on skydiving and a dvd drive I don't need. Life on the farm is good, indeed!
Have a great afternoon everyone!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 2:09PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We're just taking a break from cooking lessons for my friend. Here's the results of this morning's session:

Ginger peach pie with pecan crisp topping on the left and apple pie with walnut crisp topping on the right. As you can see, we sampled... :-) They both turned out really good - the peach one is an experimental recipe I came up with after being inspired by some good local peaches at the farmers' market on Friday. Since my friend is a nervous begginer at western food, we stuck to simple recipes, hence the crisp topping instead of a regular pie crust. The bottom crust is a low fat oatmeal crust. She will take the leftovers home to see if the picky teenage son approves... :-) If he does, she says she now feels sufficiently confident that she will try it on her own.

Brenda - it sounds like your future SIL will be treating you with proper respect :-)

Wickedly good garden pictures above... I'm not feeling too happy with the front garden this year but the back is doing very well. I have to give a lot of thought to what to do with the front next year. Some significant changes are in order I think, but I'm not sure what yet. Somebody asked about the rose swag... It's waiting for the new canes to get long enough for tying in - there are lots of them but need a bit more length still. I notice this morning that there are a fair number of buds starting up so the second flush of bloom should start appearing soon. But the swag won't really be much to see until next year at least.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 2:55PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon! :-)

Everyone is having such a busy summer! Enjoying everyone's stories and photos.

That Banana tree is nicer looking then some I've seen in the South! Wow, Sue! Have any bananas? [g]

Kathy, your new camera is really producing nice photos. That Agave looks like velvet. The photo of your lilies and your and here I thought most of your garden had roses...where do you find the room? That purple phlox is eye catching, even from the back. [g]

Look forward to Bee photos Saucy...and....lots of photos of redesigned beds by fall. :-)

V...your daughter plays trumpet? Is she a Harry James fan?

Denise...I may try Dahlias again next year. I saw a photo of Bodacious that has caught my fancy. Have you seen it?

Love the photos of Skyler's arrival and first day in Ontario. Great shot on the swing with Phoebe! Sounds like Nana Marie and DR are keeping things busy there. I want updates on the Ping Pong tournament! :-) Activity suggestions per Denise's post...what about pressing some favorite flowers to take back from the trip?

Deanne...Great orangey/brown container..really great job! You're just having a great time, I can tell. :-)

Woody...No of peach pecan crisp without recipe? My mouth is

Not a lot new here. I am feeling like I have too much to do of late and just have that stretched sensation that is leaving me a little blah at times. On the upside I am getting more done DH has been on a mission weeding the garden and we are almost caught up . I've been trimming and deadheading and paying more attention to containers. Feeling better about the garden right now. Nothing is too exciting but some areas are looking pretty decent. I am working on four containers to stay out year round, through the winter. I have two plants for it already...two Arborvitae 'Emerald Green' and Ajuga 'Black Scallop'. Have no idea what I am aiming for but I have collected a long list of plants that will survive the winter in a container. I may add some bulbs in their own containers to be removed after bloom. No editing or redesigning here for a few more weeks when I hope to start moving things again. We have a trip to see our middle son coming up in the next few weeks, so that will be exciting!

Have any New Englanders grown Ajuga 'Black Scallop'? I seem to remember trying it once and it didn't survive the winter. Just wondering if anyone had any experience with it.

Waving to everyone ....I am sure I missed a lot... :-) :-)

Has anyone heard from Ei?


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 4:26PM
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Okay, maybe I can finish my post now? Nick used the computer and then got an emergency call, but I was napping with Sarah: she's so sick it's pitiful. Only complaints are a major headache, fever, and a sore throat that is absent today. She looks like a little dishrag.

Sue, you've found me out....I use Soy Vay and it's what I served to you :) I added more Hoisin to make it thicker and stay on the salmon better. We're fans of the Island flavor, too....a little fruitier. We're having cedar plank salmon tonight! Sarah placed candles and we're dining by candlelight....

Skylar looks like you're having a blast! Those are some snazzy ping pong balls you've got there :) Cool motion pictures Nana :)

Deanne, your combos are just fantastic! Beautiful. Hope you had fun in the garden today. We had rain, but it cleared and we have sun....can't beat the free watering :)

I agree that I have it pretty good as a middle class citizen....but you have to make it good! It's just as easy to see the glass half empty, no?

Jake zoomed over to the library today....our little satelite library has limited hours and he wanted to catch it open and check out a book on training Popcorn - CLOSED due to staff illness, LOL....poor kid. So far he's built a T shaped training stick and taught Popcorn to come and land on it. He also has him trained to fly to him. I think he's hoping to teach him to whistle a tune or talk....

Well, the house is bustling again....guess I'm out of here for now!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 6:25PM
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It's a sad day here. I had to have my little kitty Buttercup put to sleep today.

I ran across this poem years ago and it just suited her personality.


A kitten went a-walking
One morning in July
And idly fell a-talking
With a great big butterfly.

The kitten's tone was airy,
The butterfly would scoff;
When there came along a fairy
Who whisked his wings right off.

And then, - for it is written
Fairies can do such things,
Upon the startled kitten
She stuck the yellow wings.

The kitten felt a quiver,
She rose into the air,
Then flew down the river
To view her image there.

With fear her heart was smitten,
And she began to cry:
"Am I a butter-kitten?
Or just a kitten-fly?"

by Carolyn Wells

Goodbye my little friend. I'll miss you.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:17PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Eden, so sorry to hear about Buttercup. What a sweet poem.

This will be a short post as the lightning is flying all around right now. I'm running on battery while it lasts, but I'm trying to save some juice for the weather warnings.

DD is shopping with a friend, so I made that hard phone call: DON'T leave the mall, dear, the weather is too bad. So tough for a couple of 20 year olds to obey that command!

Brenda, the dive looks absolutely awesome, but there's no ----ing way you would get me up there! I watched for a long, long time when my son did his jump a couple of years ago and concluded I would never do it. Heck, there was a blind woman doing a tandem that day and I still wasn't convinced.

Gotta go weather the storm.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Eden, I'm so sorry about Buttercup.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Have successfully negotiated another Monday at the Awfice as Cindy would say (and where has she gotten too by the way ? ) and am enjoying some pretty crummy Chardonnay , while perusing Brendas free-fall pics. WALAT soon to follow.

So I come back from IU5 unhappy that you can see dirt in my garden and here I am complaining that not only can you not see dirt in the pic I posted yesterday, but you cant see many of the plants either ! Never satisfied, thats me. Late summer is just such a bountiful time in the garden isnt it ? And we continue to straddle that fine line between bountiful/lush and overgrown .
Deanne, I wish I knew the name of that purple phlox , Id get a few more. I just love the color (when visible, lol) but I bought it many moons ago and dont remember where, or if it even had a tag. S. Black & Blue is hardy here, though it dies back to the ground and completely disappears in winter. I always shear back my Aster Frikartiis in May but for some reason have never thought to shear back the others. They are really pretty weedy, and have spread all over the place by runners.

Woody, those pies !

PM, I have 60ish roses I think-have not taken a head count this year, and they are just jammed in with all the other stuff. That photo from yesterday has eight roses in it- Polka , The Prince, The Squire, Gourmet Popcorn, the Fairy, Buff Beauty, English Garden and Sombruiel. Buff Beauty has had a rough go this year after I chopped her down to 3 ft. and she is timidly emerging from behind the B&B Salvia.

Hey, I use Soy Vey too!

Hi to everyone, I need to perform dinner duties .

This is my island bed- which has undergone mental re-do after viewing the bed we saw at Wave Hill. 3 of the purple phlox, a clump of Casablancas, more yellow.

Kathy in Napa

A close up of the edging

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:30PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So maybe staying at the mall isn't quite so much fun when you get herded into the interior hallways by the security guards. Although it does make me feel better to know that someone at the mall was watching the serious weather and ordered precautions to be taken.

We've missed the worst of it, but it sounds like there have been tornadoes in the area.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:30PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - my condolences to you on the loss of your beautiful kitty.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:43PM
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    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:45PM
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What a beautiful poem for a beautiful cat. Hugs from me, Eden.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:12PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

((Eden)) I'm so sorry about Buttercup. What a sweet poem.

V-Glad to hear the worst has missed you. It's heading our way and does not look pretty. DH said he heard something about a building collapse in Chicago, but just caught the tail end and doesn't know what happened. I'm so glad to hear you DD and friend are safe. I'm chewing my nails waiting to hear from the kids that they're home from work. They both work second shift, and so does DFSIL. See, I can skydive, it's THIS KINDA CRAP that makes me a nervous wreck!!!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Aw Buttercup...You stayed too short a time. You'll be missed so much.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Eden - I'm so sorry to read about sweet Buttercup.

Woody - those pies look amazing. I'd love to try the recipe. What a fun way to spend a morning.

Skylar - hope you continue to enjoy your stay with Grandma. Keep us posted with all your activities!

Kathy - your gardens are stunning:0) Keep the photos coming.

Deanne - yours too are magnificent beyond words.

T - hope you are having fun with your friend. Will there be photos to share?

V - I'm with you on the Skydiving and totally admire Brenda. Given that I was scared to death on the ferris wheel at the Wisconsin State Fair (my last exposure to heights) it would not be a birthday treat I'd enjoy LOL! Glad the tournadoes missed.

Chelone - you might have heard Annie laughing all the way in Maine Saturday night. She is the most fun person to take to a comedy. We had a great evening out at The Producers and many belly laughs. Both children love Blazing Saddles, Young Franenstein and Spaceballs.

David has a blast on his ride first long distance bike ride. He said he had never worked so hard in his life! Also, that for the first time in his life, he was longing for a shower.

Today work on the powder room resumed and I have just one wall left to wainstcote. Progress is slow as molasses (I'm still painstakingly careful around the table saw) but the results ever more satisfying. I was pleased that I was able to cut out the holes for the sink pipes and drain in one go with a snug fit - yay!! I learned how to use extenders to bring out the electical box to fit flush in the waiscoting. I would never, ever have thought a tiny room would involve so many hours work.

I'm heading to bed to read for the last moments of the day

Hope you all had a good one.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:51PM
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So sorry Eden to read about your kitty.Hope you're doing OK.

Deanne-I'm cracking up a little at one of this year's oops moment in the garden. In spring I found this new weed that was everywhere in just one bed. I hesitated for a moment then began ripping the little buggers from the soil-it had to be a weed-it was everywhere. Yeah well that 'weed' ended up being my verbena bonariensis which came from A nursery plant I bought last year !!! Luckily I eventually figured it out so there are survivors. If you let the flower heads stay intact through winter I promise you will get *many* volunteers. Take a pic of the leaves so you know what your looking for in spring: ) Embarrassingly I will admit the one plant I was sure was a true verbena bonariensis was actually.....a weed! lol
On a side note,I thouroughly enjoyed your lily pics in your garden.

Summer's winding down way too fast : (

Am I crazy or did I see Brenda falling from the sky? I suppose both can be true....; )

Hi to the whole Idyll gang~


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:16PM
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Sweet little buttercup -- she does have that small, feminine face. What a beauty. Sorry for your loss, Eden. (I know you're a big fan of The Princess Bride, so I'm guessing that was the inspiration for her name.)

Brenda, I've seen the photos but haven't commented on the other threads yet. Wow! I had no idea that the price of jumping included the non-stop bear hug on the way down. I thought everyone pulled their own cords. That's slightly more reassuring than falling by your lonesome. What a great thing to do with your son. Hope you had a fine day in the "big town."

Saucy, sorry to hear Sarah's under the weather. It's so consoling to both of you to nap together when she's not well, isn't it?

That's great news about the cyclists, Mary, and your night on the town too. Young Frankenstein is probably my favorite of Brooks' movies.

Kathy, your garden is beautiful, very Oudolf-esque. I've been ever alert for Star of Yelta/Yalta (wasn't that Roosevelt? ;) morning glories, progeny of last year's mad fling. Never again. Hundreds of seedlings have been slaughtered to date.

Nice to hear you're making container plans, PM. Garden plans always pull you forward, don't they?

V, your emergency supplies must be awe-inspiring with the frequent opportunities you have to use them being at Storm Central. Hand-cranked generators and whatnot, a cleverly packed box probably sitting by the front door. Glad to hear the family is safe and accounted for.

Babs, that verbena was an exuberant volunteer for me as well, until Marty took an active dislike of that particular plant and thoroughly eradicated it from the garden. I found one seedling this year after having zip for the past few years running. It sowed into the paving, and while I love to brush by plants, that's where he draws the line. Doesn't like plants to reach out for him!

Gorgeous pies, Woody, and looking forward to hearing more plans of the front garden re-do. Nite, all.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 1:03AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Very sorry to hear about Buttercup, Eden. I'm sure you will all miss her. She looked very young and sweet.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 6:41AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Eden, so sorry you had to send Buttercup over the bridge. Making that decision is tough but it's the one last gift we can give to the pets who have brought us so much love.

Take care.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 8:07AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Eden, I'm so sorry to hear of your little Buttercup. She is beautiful and lucky to have a 'Mom' who loves her so much. (((Hugs)))


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 10:29AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy...what a fun project for Jake to train Popcorn. Very good experience for him. I wonder how difficult a bird is to train? How old is Jake?

Kathy....I really like your Garden Island Bed. I think it expands the space with all the deep shadow behind it...and outlines the plant silhouette. I just can't believe there are eight roses in your photo from Sunday. You could do a Where's What are the white flowers on the left side of the photo of the Island Bed? must be saving a ton of money doing over your bathroom yourself!! Such perseverance to keep chipping away at it. I hope it will be done soon and you will be enjoying it for a long time. :-)

Babs....I feel like the summer has flown by this year too!

I agree Denise, garden plans do keep you looking forward and even if I think I will not get to them for quite awhile, it is a very pleasant pastime.

I've just gotten my first Verbena bonariensis bloom and I hope I won't be sorry. [g]


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 7:31PM
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My Tuesday was a long one, went in at 6 and got home at 5:45an off site meeting with the IT folk. Temps continue to be mild (for a change) and I cross my fingers that it will stay coolish for the weekend.

Thanks to all for the nice comments on my garden photos ! Positive feedback from other gardeners who know the ropes means a lot.

PM, the white flower in my island bed photo is a Sally Holmes rose which is growing along the fence, and Deanne that purply-blue is Angelonia ! Wish Id planted about a dozen more, but at this point its time to start thinking about winter-spring stuff like snaps, pansies , primroses etc.

Martie, Im having a really good year with my lavs, and will get a second bloom out of at least three of them.

Hi Michelle !

Lol Denise, my friend Denniss mom had a standard line when we were growing up that we would hear frequently about FDR selling us Down the River at Yalta and Potsdam". We had no idea what she was talking about at the time. Highway workers were FDRs boys, leaning on their shovels".

Ok, Im going to have some chow and watch baseball for a bitHi to Mary, V, Babs Eden, Chelone , Saucy, etcwhat happened to our new Southern Belle Leslie ?? Are you there Leslie ??

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 10:11PM
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