Idyll #487 The Hot Papaya!

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)July 31, 2010

Time for this red hot Tidyll!

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Looky! Looky!

Here is a link that might be useful: Many Hot Papayas

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 3:52PM
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ICKY. At least to me.

I prefer my Echinacea to be more traditional. I like pink, white is OK and I love the reflexed petals. It's part of the charm for me. It's a wildflower and I like that.

Another infrastructure failure today. I went to the small engine repair place to pick up the repaired mower that belongs to my BIL and drop our's off (again). Our's had a major motor malfunction and was basically toast. BIL's was not repaired because the message the helpmeet thought was that it was ready to be picked up was really to call and get the bad news about the cost of repair (he clearly needs to brush up on "listening for comprehension"). I left the place with a brand new Toro "personal pace" mower...

Works really slick, too. No priming the motor... pull the cord and it starts. The bagger is easier to use than the old style, the mowing height is easier to adjust, and there is a hose hook up that allows you to basically pressure wash the inside of the mowing deck if you've had to mow in moist, sticky conditions. 5 yr. warrantee and the guys that sold it will pick it up after January 1st., service it, and drop it off when it's finished. NO charge. The model is cheaper at Orange, but the warrantee is different and there is no pick and delivery for yearly service.

Time for the washing machine to -hit the bed, methinks.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 4:22PM
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2pm beer, today the old stand-by Red Tail Ale , and only minor guilt that I have spent about zero time on indoor concerns today . I drove up valley a bit this morning and took some photos at a restaurant garden. I had a second photo stop on the agenda but I had a bit of a nursery spree (imagine that !) and I was anxious to get home and plant some of the stuff while it was still overcast. I also scored a lovely light blue pot that matches some of the tiles on my fabu IU pot , and of course I had to buy some plants for it..on and on it goes ! Ill be digging up the C. ÂLongwood Blue that is looking so dreadful for whatever reason, and I have a mature Lavender that has been in-situ for quite a few years and its starting to get woody , so time to ditch it and start with a fresh specimen. Between those 2 and Fredric Mistral I will open up quite a large area to replant. IÂm not going to plant till fall though, since IÂm going to Joy Creek and Cistus in August and Digging Dog in Sept. And I have started the replant of the hell strip, IÂll get a pic in the morning, though the plants are small so theres not much to see.

Âbug, I took the Âpink photos in spring , so no new techniques were used. IÂm going to have to perform a few Âpractice sessions .

Saucy, IÂm looking forward to reports of the progress on the GG , and glad to hear all my NE friends are at last getting some relief from the oppressive heat .

Chelone, positive news on the gardening front is nothing but good ! It sounds as though youÂre on a roll with your drainage project- this will facilitate the shrub border to screen the road , right ? A very worthwhile pursuit .

Ditto what Deanne said on the previous thread Michelle, a virtual garden tour from you would be most welcome ! The style of your garden has always appealed to me .

Hot Papaya would be a good candidate for my red/purple border that I have been scheming about.

Well, I need to run to the grocery store or there will be no dinner tonight Âhate going at this time of day. Suck it up and get it done.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 6:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yesterday I visited my friend at the knit shop and picked up a simple project for the new baby. That has been started and is fun! It is a bunting bag in Autumn hues, done in a basket stitch.

In the evening we went out for sushi together and then off to the bookstore for books for the grandchildren. My favourite kind of evening! We only found two for Ivy, nothing suitable for Skyler. He's a tough one to please. Where is Chelone's Mom when I need her?

Chelone, this is the echinacea that is top of my list these days. I'm heavily enjoying orange flowered plants!

Tiki Torch (brighter than the picture shows)

This morning I've managed to fertilize containers and the tomatoes, and also acidify the Katsura and hydrangea. Then I soaked the young apple tree roots. I've taken cuttings of a special clematis (12 of them in 6 pots!) and a miracle will be needed for success. It is exciting to try...

Many tasks still to pursue today, among them filling the feeders, mowing before it rains (?), prepping the bathroom for the workman, preparing meals, potting up clematis seedlings for a friend and more....

The bailing took place yesterday and that is somehow exciting for the viewer. The alfalfa field is full of multi-coloured blooms...but I'll put those photos on a different thread.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend! Ours continues until Tuesday.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:08PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - I think you commented on Tardiva hydrangea on the last thread... I have one, but it has never bloomed. I think it needs more sun than it's getting but I'm too lazy to move it because it's now a substantial shrub!

gb - I've ben debating about adding an orangy coneflower to my 'hot' bed/herb bed on the south side of the driveway. I've read so many comments though about their iffy hardiness that I'm hesitant to add one. Also, I wonder if they seed as much as the purple ones and, if they do, what color the seedlings are. How long have you grown orangy ones and what has your experience been with them on hardiness and seeding?

Randy picked up uome crabapples at the farmers' market yesterday. We were doubtful about them but I stewed some for dessert last night.

We were right to be doubtful about them! They were watery and bland :-( Good stewing crabapples have peachy colored skins; have thick skins and dryish, peach-yellow flesh; and are tart enough that, eaten raw, they make your mouth pucker! Very disappointing... The last time we found good cooking crabapples was in the late 1990s at SIL's first house in Banff. There was an old crabapple tree there that had wonderful fruit on it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 1:20PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

What a FABULOUS weather weekend weve had! Beautiful gorgeous days! One doesnt appreciate a day in the 70s until one has lived with 90s for weeks. What a treat. Yesterday Doug and I took a road trip to RI to The Farmers Daughter and had a lovely day finishing up with a lobster roll dinner at a great restaurant on the water in E. Greenwich, RI. Found some terrific plants on sale and just had a lovely time. Today we went for bicycle ride then did a bit of gardening and I planted a few of the new plants from yesterday.

Here are a few pics from yesterday

Woody those stewed Crabapples look wonderful! Hard to believe they were a disappointment.

Bug, love the Tiki Torch, what a beauty! And I love, love, love Hot Papaya! Im going to get some as soon as I figure out where to plant it.

OK Im going to finish watching this movie then get ready for some shut eye. Have a great evening all.


For anyone who wants a few more pics here is my gallery from the nursery trip yesterday.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 8:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, I have yellow, white and orange echinaceas, as well as the pink and dark pink. I shy away from the "double-decker" types. In my experience, the White Swan really expand after a while. Nicely! The Fragrant Angels, also white, do not appear to spread so far. The yellows (Sunrise) return each year but are late to rise and are well loved by the bunnies so I end up caging the plants. I love pastel yellows! As to the oranges, I love them all but find that the petals tend to turn pinkish with time...except for Tiki Torch. So far this one has done best for me. This is the second season, so I have had no spreading so far. Again, the plants are late to emerge. They are also expensive, but maybe now that they have been around a couple of years, the price will go down? I have Harvest Moon now too, new this year.

The big disappointment are the variegated echinops which I got last summer but which revert. I loved then last year but what a waste this year.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 8:18PM
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I did battle with lady Banks (again) this morning she was just throwing too much shade on my succulent area, not to mention my Pelargonium display. Ive had to reconsider thoughts of having her removed , I seem to have created a bird habitat, there were 3 nests (all no longer in use) and it does provide quite a bit of cover and perching space. I moved some plants too-something I typically would never consider doing at this time of year, but the cool weather is persisting the marine layer was around till 11ish this morning I think. Ripped out the last of the SweetPeas too..I cant remember once in my 30 years of gardening in California that I had Sweet Peas and Dahlias blooming at the same time. Unbelievable. The SPs are usually toast by the end of May at the latest.

Woody, they do get pretty riled up over on the discussion side re: Echinaceas dont they ? The only one have right now is White Swan , I had all intentions of adding Coconut Lime this year but it was nowhere to be found. Maybe I will come across it when I go up to Oregon later this month. Ill be interested to hear bugs comments on her experiences. They dont reseed at all here, I think they must need more cold than we have. I usually leave the seedheads on all winter.

Deanne, Im going to pour a glass of wine and go to the Farmers Daughter with you and Doug !

Later friends !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 8:25PM
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We're whooped. We worked on the paths but ran short of stock - we'll have to take a trip to the supplier later this week. Nick put in a little stone dust so that we could see what it will look like. I am pleased.

Goodnight friends!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 9:47PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WOW! I hope when you have energy you'll explain a bit about the process and future weed control. A peaceful wonderful hide-away.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:16PM
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That looks great Saucy ! The Goddesses will be pleased .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Projects at my mom's interrupted the paint process, but Marty is back at it, we've nixed the blue and settled on tans. What an improvement and really suits this bungalow, which strikes me as serious, not whimsical. Two walls of the blue had to be painted over. We are keeping a deep purple for accents, and everyone is happy with the colors at last!

I grew the Green Envy echinacea last year, and the color disappeared for me, didn't make an impact at all. This year I'm growing the white and pink, and I think I prefer the white with the golden center, very cool. This is really my first experience with echinacea ever.

Wonderful trip to FD, Deanne, and glad to hear you're finally getting a break from the heat. I got a first-hand report on the wonder of those lobster rolls at the Napa IU.

Kathy, I thought the sweet pea/dahlia synchronicity was pretty amazing. Sounds like some great nursery trips you have planned for fall.

Saucy, wow, look what you've been up to! Waves to all...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 10:50PM
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Denise, cough up the photos of the bungalow paint-job if you please. We insist.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 11:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Denise, our front door (on the verandah entry) is "Desert Sunset" or some such name, a nice purple seen in this photo..

Well you'd never know I guess from that shot, but honest! It's purple!

OK, your turn!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 12:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What a treat! Aother perfect gardening day and I get to garden with MichelleD helping. Should be a productive day here.

Saucy, LOVE the paths in the GG! Looks fabu!

Woody, I'm in love with the double Echinaceas, particularly Double Delight and Coconut Lime. They are both superb performers, the flowers last for weeks and in the case of Double Delight it has been here for three years now and looks better every year. One of the reasons I want to find space for Hot Papaya. I'm thinking it will be as good a plant as the other two.

Denise, I'm really looking forward to seeing finished photos of your paint project.

Kathy, Sounds like you are having a lovely cool summer. I'm jealous! It's supposed to head back into the 90's this week for a few days.

So not only are the trycirtis and blue plumbago blooming the chelone opened its first flowers yesterday and the fall blooming anemone are ready to pop! Incredible!

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 7:08AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A busy day ahead...

Deanne, to add to your list a fall blooming things I have Monkshood ready to pop as well as crocosmia and the white Fall anemones. Even the ornamental grasses are showing off their influorescences already. Weird. But in the vegetable garden I have not yet had any zucchini or tomatoes. I need to check the beets though. The chard never grew well, I expect because of the heat.

Off to prepare for various visitors....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 7:19AM
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While I was down taking pictures in the GG yesterday, guess what I spied? The groundhog spying at me! I trapped one...but I wonder how many live in that hole? It's time to find out, I guess.

My husband asked about weed control, too. I'm assuming I can pull them, or even use a stirrup hoe. My neighbor uses beach sand in the aisles and it is easy to weed (and funny, but good things germinate in sand and it is easy to move). My whole garden is a mess of weeds, it seems. I see lots of newspaper and mulch in my future :)

On the other thread you asked if my deck is always so tidy...well, for the most part, yes, because I am always there picking up behind myself and my family :) It's the most used room in the house. Yesterday a game of monopoly was played on the table, and the folding chair is used for guitar strumming. The door to the kitchen is usually open and the dog comes out to lay in the sun, too.

Woody, my granmother had a crabapple tree and always made crabapple jelly. Her apples didn't seem quite so big, though. I think the hard larger apples that were harvested this time of year were called June apples and we made fried apple pies with those. I'd be really interested to do some taste testing with you :)

I loved the borders at the Farmer's Daughter, Deanne, and you capture them so nicely! I love the sculpture, too! Thank you for taking us along :) Did you see they're having a sale next weekend?

Denise, I agree with Kathy, you'll have to show us the photographic evidence of the new color choices (which sound great) can have a serious house overlooking the whimsical garden :)

I think the problem with echinaceas in the garden is the rich soil. They're a wildflower liking poor soil conditions. That's what I've always given myself as a reason for their petering out. I can't even keep the purple variety alive for more than two years!

My berm garden is looking bad this year. Time for a total rework. I have been avoiding a large zebra grass that needs to be removed to free up some real estate and be more pleasing to the eye. If only the working conditions had been better :)

Okay, on the menu for today is weeding the area between the house and garage. What do you guys do to keep the weeds out of the patio pavers? I'm thinking of sweeping preen into the cracks...


    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 7:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, I've been known to use boiling water from the tea kettle on those weeds. Lots of trips though....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 8:12AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ahhhh, another week gone by -- this was one that went whew whew tho.... our baby shower was a succcess and it's on to the next "big" little thing for me -- arrival of the princess pup on Friday. Im quite whipped right now -- it was a good thing the shower event was at DD's MIL's house and I could let my own house be bombed by the Primo Slob - me.... I'm a "creative" cook shall we say, LOL? DD was able to show up and enjoy herself - altho I havent checked on her today I suspect she's mighty tired. But it was fun and we had a good turnout.

I missed great weather for gardening tho - isnt that always the way? I was only outside for errands and commuting to the location; otherwise I was inside cooking and doing flowers. But friends here have been busy enjoying the yummy cooler weather!

Chelone - congrats on the new mower - it's so amazing when we finally take the plunge on things that we use or "endure" on a weekly or daily basis and then finally break down and improve the situation -- and wonder why we didnt do before isnt it?

Like you, Chelone, I have been hesitatant to embrace some of the new echinaceas and find some of their shapes odd. But I have to admit, if you see the Hot Papaya in person, you cannot but be impressed - those photos do not do it justice - really -- its colors are very neat (and something different from the "pink") but very pleasing to the eye and as it ages it transforms thru many permutations. It is definitely "tropical" looking in vibrancy and color.

Deanne - what a treat to see the Farmer's D again - I can see why you all keep going back there -- the display gardens are incredible and I do love love love that sedum roof!

Kathy - I'm so glad to hear you had a "wing-it" and just let R&R move you weekend -- I keep going back and forth about whether planting my roses are a mistake or not - love 'em in the beginning, but the ugliness of pestilence and pests does uncharm one....

What great photos, Saucy -- your patio is lush and inviting; and the GG garden is coming along - those paths are going to be lovely too. Cant wait to see more.

Denise - I'm glad to hear you and the rest of the family are happier with your new colors -- what an undertaking to repaint, but still, it will be worth it in the end if you all are pleased.

Okay - just thought I should check in - gotta get back to the labor here; welcome to August - wow, incredible.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 1:52PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

In case you noticed a shadowy form lurking around your garden, fear was only me. Everything here is hidden in weeds, and it's too hot to do anything about it. The summer seems to be getting away from me, and I'm already in "maybe next year mode"! So, I thought I'd come and stroll through some of the prettiest gardens I know of :)

Saucy, the GG is looking wonderful! It looks like the perfect shady place to hide on a day like today.

It's been busy in a slow, farmer-type way around here. Jude is growing like a weed, rolling over now and has found his voice.

After MUCH deliberation and back-and-forth in arguments with myself, I've started learning to skydive. We went last weekend, and I did 4 jumps. At this point, my instructor has ahold of my harness to help me learn body position in free-fall. He holds on until I deploy my canopy and am pulled from his hands. I steer and land myself, with him on a one-way radio in case I need instruction. No broken bones or concussions, but I did have line-twists once. Fortunately, the emergency procedures they taught popped right into my head and I dealt with the situation and landed without too much hullaballoo, lol! The last jump was the best free-fall/worst landing. I couldn't find the landing area, and was forced to land in a cornfield. The wind had switched, and they were dropping us on the other side of the river. MOST unfortunate, as I had been using the river for orientation. On my other jumps, the river was on my left side. Well, if you're on the OTHER side of the river...let's just say I've found new landmarks to use for orientation. I landed in the cornfield without any major problems, gathered my parachute and my wits and walked out. Someone came along to pick me up, and take me back to the dropzone. The biggest injury was to my pride. Jim was recounting the story from his point of view, back at the dropzone. My instructor radioed the DZ manager and said, "We've got an older student landing off in a field." HUH!? ME!? Older??? HMPH! I'm having a grand time with it, and can't wait to go back.

Duty calls...Jim is trucking grain today (somebody has to pay for these adventures, lol!) and I'm in charge of cooking dinner tonight. No grillmaster :/
A BIG howdy to all my Idyll friends!!!!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 3:11PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow, Brenda -- great shots! You look like you're having a blast! LOL re "older student" -- sheesh - were they wanting to compare you to Pres Bush or something, LOL? I can't imagine being off like that and keeping my bearings - but I guess that's what all those classes are about. Great to hear the practice becomes routine in your head. I'm shaking my head...... amazing.

Also, it appears that you're growing something besides weeds there -- a very handsome young lady-killer in training -- what a cutie! He'll be ready to drive a tractor in no time flat!

Okay, that's 2 in a day for me... gotta get back to shoveling out the bombed areas in the house...


    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 9:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So happy to see your post Brenda! You covered all the basics!: Jude, the dives, and PHOTOS! Come back real soon please!!!

Deanne, I have to say that The Farmers Daughter has one spectacular shed with a growing roof. What fun colours, and the beautiful wide open spaces are just gorgeous. YUM! Almost as nice as V's! ;)

The schedule around here has changed about 15 times today...which really annoys me. I need a plan and a schedule. This has been ridiculous. I did get some knitting done, edited a paper for DH, organized kayak pick-up for a friend, made meals and weeded and edged and watered. None of it what I had planned however. I feel like I work for Chelone's boss some days... I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

The daylilies are coming to a close...

Better turn off the sprinkler,

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 9:54PM
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Zooming in for a brief visit , stayed up too late last night so I need to get a bit more sleep in ..I feel so unproductive when Im tired at the awfice, and the work load is expanding ..need to be in top form .

Deanne, those photos form FD are so fabu ! I wish I could figure out how to get full sun shots like that without the yukky glare and over the top contrast. I noticed the long shadows so I assume it was late afternoon when you were there . Could you share with me the settings you had on your camera for those shots ?

Cindy, I have a big cluster (so to speak) of business travel coming up in the next 6 weeks, and am fitting in personal travel too. Im trying to cram in as much gardening as possible before that all kicks in. Next week is Chicago-I had thought of visiting V and even talked with her about it at IU , but I just wont have time. The following week Im driving to Oregon on a business-pleasure combo, and it goes on till mid-Oct. So right about now a homebody weekend is pretty enticing. How great that all the pre-baby festivities went so wellwe better get a boatload of pics of that new little canine when she arrives ! You must be so excited !

Ok, all for me, waves out to all..and hugs to Julie with her crappy ear stuff going on .

And Brenda rocks.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 11:37PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Ive gotten all my business stuff taken care of and the fish tank is cleaned and the orchids are watered so I can spend the whole day in the gardens today. Woohoo! I want to get all the new stuff from FD planted and settled in. The cheap coleus sure give the late gardens a face lift this time of the year and will look good the rest of the season. One of my favorites is this little plant called Nuclear Fushion. Such a pretty splash of color for the front of the border. So happy you all liked the pics from Farmers Daughter. Wish you all lived closer so we could meet there for lunch and a nursery crawl.

Saucy, what a pain to have to deal with woodchucks! They are so destructive. Hope you can get rid of them. Yes, I did take note of the sale at FD and am considering going back to check it out.

Cindy, how wonderful your shower was a success! But what a bummer you werent able to get outside and garden in the beautiful weather. We are back in a warming trend here I imagine you are too. ~~ Ill bet you cant wait to the arrival of your new little puppy! Cant wait to meet her!

Brenda, fantastic pics! You rock and roll lady! ~~ Love the Barf Vader T shirt! Too cute!

Bug, the daylilies are almost done here too and the Oriental lilies finished up yesterday so all my lilies are done for the season.

Kathy, glad you like the pics. Yes it was full sun When I took the FD photos.

I most always shoot in Apeture Priority as that gives me control over my depth of field. I just have to pay attention to my shutter speed and adjust the ISO settings if the shutter speed is going to be too slow.

I always get much too strong contrasts in full sun situations but edit the photos in Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is a fantastic and easy to use image editing software and is also what I use to create the web galleries. Im posting an image with the original and edited image side by side so you can see how Ive brought up the dark areas without overexposing the rest of the image. There is a control in Lightroom that is called Fill Light and you can adjust this to bring up detail in the shadows and it does not affect the light areas of the image. There is also a Recovery setting that can be used to adjust the light value areas without affecting the darkening the shadows any further. It will bring back detail in an overexposed sky area and is especially useful for bringing out detail in the clouds.

Camera settings:
Color Representation sRGB
Shutter Speed 1/83
Lens Apeture F/226
Focal Length 24mm
F-Number F/22
Exposure Time 1/80th
ISO Speed ISO-250
Metering Mode Pattern
Exposure Program Apeture Priority
Exposure Compensaton 0 step

The White Balance was set for sun

OK Im off to have a bit of breakfast and get outside in the gardens. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 7:41AM
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The other night we were coming home around midnight when a large bird flew in front the the headlights and then landed on the road. I thought it was a hawk until he turned his head and it was an owl. Luckily we were on the gravel road and probably only going 30 mph. He looked at us and the flew away.

This morning I went out to cut a few flowers and there was a deer eating in my Butterfly garden. I flew around in my bath robe chasing it.

We have been going to our neighbor's house to take care of his dogs. It's been interesting. He has 2 black labs. One is quite old named Jake and one about a year old named Max. Max is outside in a dog house. Jake is in the house. When I went to unlock the door I was a bit unnerved when Jake was growling at me. I have a lot of respect for large dogs. Once I called his name he came out and warmed to me. He didn't pay much attention to Rick.

Deanne, I told the full tour of the Farmer's Daughter. What fabulous display gardens they have. That just blows me away since most of the nurseries that I've ever been to really don't have anything like that. Great photography by the way. I was noticing how beautiful the sky is in the pictures. Especially the first shot.

As for echinacea I only have 'Magnus' and 'White Swan' I tried a variegated one a few years ago which didn't come back. I haven't been overly tempted by all the new introductions.

Cindy, wonderful that your DD could come to the shower and enjoy that step in motherhood.

We found out today that Rick's son and DIL are expecting after a miscarriage and some infertility issues. She's 3 months along.

Brenda, glad that you "dropped" in. I'm in awe of what you do. Gosh I think some of the Idylls thought I was crazy for getting on our 2nd story roof for garden photos a few weeks ago. I love the picture of Jude in his Jeep.

Chelone, yours sounds like the Cadillac of mowers. I'm sure it will make the task easier.

Kathy, Joy Creek, Cistus and Digging Dog - I'm jealous!

Saucy, things are really taking shape in the Goddess Garden.

'bug, my chard is growing like crazy of course it gets cut back regularly by deer. We've been eating beets and will have tomatoes with in a day or two. The only monkshood I have is a very early blooming variety and has been done for a couple weeks already.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 7:50AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Cindy, I can't wait to hear tales of the new Princess Pup. Perhaps she could be the mascot when Diane and I go on Princess Weekend, lol! I think we pretty well shot our summer PW in California, and what a wonderful way to use it!!
I'm very much you know if you're getting a grandson, or granddaughter?

Love the color of that daylily, 'bug. It reminds me of 'Indian Giver', but seems a little to dark to be.

Aw, Kathy! It's too bad you don't have time for a layover in Chicago. I could really multi-task..come see you and V and get another couple jumps in ;)

Deanne, thank you for explaining some of your "magic". I am completely ignorant about camera settings and software. It always looks like I could just step right into your photos.

LOL! Michelle, I can just picture you chasing deer around in your bathrobe. Just so you know, in my version, you have curlers in your hair :D Congrats on the pending new arrival!! Less worries now that she's hit the 3 month mark, I hope?

I'm puttering about in my robe (no curlers) avoiding laundry. We're getting a really nice rain that was much needed and I'm just enjoying the sound of it. I think we'll be back to heat and humidity once the rain is over. Maybe a cup of coffee on the porch will get me in the mood for housework. Okay, we all know it won't but I'm going to have one anyway ;)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 10:36AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Michelle - LOL - how many times have each of us run out in inappropriate attire to chase away a varmint in our beloved gardens? I've had a few runs in my bathrobe as well - Brenda, I think mine was likely with curlers.....a very uncool sight.

Deanne - that's a neat photo lesson - what a difference you made in the clarity and brightness.

Brenda - it's gonna be another female in the "clan" -- this is my first grandchild and expected to be a girl, which I am much delighted about. DSIL's family already has 6 grandchildren -- all girls except for 1 boy. I heard he was very disappointed to learn he wont have a male cousin at long last, LOL...

Boy, I can wish for some more rain now - most of the predictions for the last week came to a little dribble here or there; the cooler temps helped, but it's back to deciding to drag some hoses around I do believe, if there's no rain by Thursday....

I too took the full tour of Deanne's photos of Farmer's Daughter and can honestly say we do not have any nurseries in this area either with such wonderful displays.. those annual beds are quite amazing; and such inspired plantings in the containers - I must make notes for next year -- foliage, foliage foliage I think for containers.... some great ideas there. I'd willing drive 2 hours to shop at such a place.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 12:13PM
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Brenda , Jude is really growing. What a cutie.

Saucy, good to see you are making progress on the GG paths. I hate it when I run out of materials and usually over buy. DH on the other hand always tries to get away with less and has to go back for more.
Your deck is looking wonderful too, and is a nice extension of living space. I use my back porch the same way. It really is hard to send the kids off on their own isn't it?

I have really enjoyed hearing about everyones activities and great pictures.

Didn't like hearing about ear infections for Sarah and Julies DGS. He really has a doozy. I hope he has had some relief by now.

Looking forward to Cindy's new puppy and arrival of grandbaby. Two very significant events.

Deanne I would love to shop at the Farmmers Daughter. Do show us a picture of Nuclear Fushion. I would have to go back and look which picture it was, but I was wondering what the orangey trailing coleus in one of your pots was.
I wish I were more into taking care of plants in the winter. I would keep tons of coleus too. They add so much color when the flowering plants are past.

Was it Candy that had the disapearing shrub? Well I have had a mysterious disapearance of an Twilight Echinacea. I planted three and went out one day to find something had been digging in the area with dirt flung everywhere. I cleaned the plants off and looked for remains of of the third Echinacea. Nothing to be found not a shredded leave or root anywhere. I began to doubt that I planted three, so I looked at a picture I had taken and zoomed in to find that yes there were three. Beats the heck out of me what would have drug it off.

I hope this round of heat doesn't last to long.
We are having a hundred degree day here today. I really wanted to weed eat this morning but by the time I watered I gave up the idea and did a bank and grocery run. I was thinking of where to have lunch in town when I spied DGD's car at a little resturaunt so I swung in and was surprised to see both local GD's and their mom and grandparents, so I joined them for a fun lunch. And happiness is having your GD say "Mimi you are looking good!". Jake told me that last time I saw him too. I hope I never gain that weight back again. I always do, but I think I have the eating right thing down this time.

Bob has been working a few days and I am having a mini vacation with the place to myself for a change. LOL

I get the feeling summer will start winding down soon. So enjoy it.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 5:23PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Well,here we are now, day 7, in what I fondly refer to as the Ear Infection from He**. After 4 hospital visits and a ton of medications, we are hoping to get a full night's sleep tonight, the first since last Wednesday. DGS has so much stuff to take that the Children's Hospital told us how to make a chart to keep track, so that is what we are doing. Still suffering but I think we have the tools to win the battle....Gee Saucy, I simply cannot imagine what Sarah must have had!!

Tonight I am going to trim back my daylily foliage and fertilize and water to encourage some new growth. I have done quite a bit of research and I find that most people around here do cut them back with no ill effects.

I am not happy with my backyard garden now although I was thrilled in the Spring to see that most things had survived last summers renovations. I realize now that most of that garden is green foliage plantings that I brought from my other house, where I had more shade. I also have too much of a few things and need to add some paths so I can properly care for various things. I have access to flat fieldstone so the path materials will be easy, but I think I will take a teensy page out of some of your books and do about six very large planters, each with a colour theme probably. I would like to have a banana there as the one I grew from seed this year is crowding us off of the wine deck! I have a large and gorgeous pelargonium to start off a red theme, and I may use Pretoria Cannas as a centre for a yellow-orange base. Purple might have Heuchera, Ajuga Caitlin's Giant or a red leaved Canna or Purple Majesty Millet. Just sort of brainstorming at this point. In the fall I will do the paths and then we'll see. I am grateful that I don't have Saucy's GG garden, Deanne's two zillion pots, Bug's farm, Chelone's Compound, Michelle's farm...just my little suburban lot! I could use tips and thoughts, guys! Do you have a pot dolly or do you plant in situ?? I want to start stuff indoors so I can have beautiful plants "instantly" in the spring.

I always hate my garden this time of year as stuff begins to look tired and I start to get tired too *LOL*

BTW, good jumpin' Brenda, and Jude-boy is like, well, a weed, albeit a very handsome one.

Waving a hot and humid hello to Norma, Kathy, Cindy, V.,Woody, anybody else I might have missed!



    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 6:13PM
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Aaargh, the humidity is back with a vengeance! Its a sweltering 94 degrees and the only thing keeping it from being utterly oppressive is the HOT wind. I dont know which is worse. Busy schedule the last week complicated by road construction and repair on our street. They left off in front of our driveway last Friday adding the weekend to the total of days we cant use it and must park elsewhere. Elsewhere being 4 houses down and the street around the corner. Groceries, dry cleaning, etc. have to be lugged homesuch a pita! Concrete is to be poured in the next day or two, if not, Im ready to transform from cranky lady to disagreeable wench without further notice.

Hiya Brenda!wish youd spend more time in your robe Idylling around. Gosh, Jude has grown and hes still as handsome as he was on day one! Ive never used the word handsome for a baby boy but, he is just that. Older student, lolyou look as jaunty as a college kid coming off that field!

Kathy, get plenty of rest at night, it really sounds like things will be fast paced and back to back on your agenda. Keep your camera handy though, wouldnt want to be without your photography for too long.

Chelone, I honed in on your new mower especially the ease of changing mowing height. It irks me how a simple mechanism can become stubborn. Last year Id been cursing and flailing away at it with a rubber mallet when DH came home and took over with more muscle and a can of WD oil. We both ended up panting from exertion in patio chairs by the time all four wheels were raised. This year were just leaving it set high to keep the grass thicker. Hope this one performs well for youlet me know in a couple of years, lol.

So happy your DD could make the baby shower, Cindy! Wow, the excitement of a new granddaughter and new puppy must be keeping your adrenaline at high levels. Did you make a definite decision on the puppy name? I should go back and see if I missed that somewhere in your post.

Saucy, your paths look fantastic! I can get a better sense now of everything coming together. Your deck is wonderful too, what a great setting for the family to relax and be together. Even better news was Sarah not having mono. My kids got so sick from a couple of those "viruses " Id be terrified there was an underlying cause when the symptoms lingered. Such a relief when they bounce back!

Deanne, love the Farmers Daughter photos. I do wish we had a nursery like that locally! As always, thanks for sharing your talent with photography. I confess my eyes glaze over at the settings and terminology but I dont need to understand it to enjoy and admire the fabulous results, lol.

Julie, that sounds like a very nasty ear infection. Crossing my fingers everyone gets a much needed good nights sleep and he improves quickly now.

Waving to Michelle, Cyn, Norma, Woody, bug, Denise and allyou still out there Marian?

Candy (trapped in a jungle of humidity and roadblock of concrete and sawhorses.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 6:52PM
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Glass of cheap white wine by my side, waiting for the sun to dip a bit more for some deadheading in the back garden. I have a concrete contractor coming over on Thursday to discuss the various removal projects I need to figure out what my drop-dead budget is for this which falls into how badly do I want it done ? Im hoping he will concur that it can be done in 2 phases, and though I would love to do it all at once I fear it will be a budget strain.

Deanne, thanks you so much for the photo info you took the time to post ! I am also using aperture priority now, so your explanation was really relevant. I use Picassa as a photo editor and it has some lighting functions but I dont think they are particularly powerful, and would not do what you showed in your before and after pics.Its also slow, but part of that might me my ageing computer. Last weekend I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Elements, which I believe is the entry level PS product. I have to say that not only did your photos lead me to the Idylls, but they also prompted me to try to take better pics myself. It sure is fun !

Lol Michelle in her jammies running off the deer..

Good for you Norma with your new svelte self. My intent to start my walking regimen has been back burner-ed all summer so far , and that is really key for me. I have two wardrobes in my closet and would like to be wearing the other one. Hows that pond ? I think its about time from some more pics from you !

Julie, between the neck thing , and tcss ear and the horrible weather out your way what a summer youre having ..better get that Banana off the wine deck , it sounds like it needs to be available at all times . I usually hate my garden this time of year too, but the cool weather has kept things looking far less bedraggled than is typical for August. I think your plans for paths sound splendid., a good bones kind of thing that you wont regret Im sure. Id love to remove every path and patio in my back garden ad replace it with brick but dont think thats in the budget anytime soon. I like the way brick looks with plants.

Well Candy, I hope your weather improves next week for my business trip to Chicagothough I will be inside McCormick place 90% of the time. My plans include a stroll from my hotel for a visit to the Lurie GardenI have a better camera than I had the last time I went a couple years ago.

Ok, all for now waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:24PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well the temps are supposed to be back up in the 90s again today and tomorrow but the four day reprieve from the oppressive heat has been most welcome. Doug and I have really enjoyed the last few evenings on the patio with a glass of wine. We got a dribble of rain last night but not enough to wet under the trees so Ill be lugging hoses again today.

Kathy, glad you found the pic info useful. I almost always shoot aperture priority unless Im going to get hummingbirds in flight in which case I really need to go for a very fast shutter speed. Speaking of computers, I finally ordered a new laptop. My old Dell is dying a slow death and Im hoping it hangs on until the new one arrives. Dell was having a sale on a discontinued business model so I added lots of memory to it and still paid a lot less that I expected. With 8g of RAM memory it should be fast! Cant wait to get it in and set up.

Candy, I dont think there is anything worse for the gardens than over 90 degrees and a hot wind. It just desiccates things. So sorry about the aggravation with the construction. Id be worse than a cranky lady. Id be a raging banshee, witch! If I had to walk that far to get into my house in this heat Id be ballistic.

Julie, hope DGS is all better soon.

Norma, that happens to me in the heat, I have plans to do things then after watering just give it up for the day. ~~ Here is a pic of that new coleus. Nuclear Fusion are the two small pink coleus in the foreground of this shot.

Cindy, so when exactly are you getting your new puppy? You must be so anxious to get her home.

Brenda, we could use a bit of that rain please. ~~ So when are you going back for another jumping lesson?

Michelle, I lol over the image of you chasing the deer in your bathrobe. Ive done the same only it was squirrels or woodchucks. Thank goodness we dont have to deal with deer here. ~~ how very cool about the owl! Do you know what species it was?

All righty, time to get my day started, have a good one everybody

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 6:54AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning - we actually got a wee bit of rain last nite; enuf that I still havent mowed - I guess that's a tonite project - need to get it down before the new family furried one comes home -- "Stella" is scheduled to come to her forever home on Friday - Im taking off and going to pick her up and bring her back. Stella is still the #1 name in mind (I like the idea of it meaning "star") but it may end up something different after a few days. I look forward to introducing her to my real and imaginary friends -- both virtually and in person.

Gosh, I concur, Deanne -- that new fusion coleus is lovely -- for some reason I just love the really fine leaved ones.

Norma, you are to be congratulated on maintaining your weight loss; it's something I continually fail at - and yoyo year after year -- it makes such a huge difference to one's mental health, to say nothing of physical health -- that's great when folks notice it -- you should be quite proud of yourself! I understand the too hot/too humid issues that wear one out for gardening - we've had way too much of it this summer.

Kathy - Im gonna keep my fingers crossed your concrete guy decides to cut you some sort of great deal so you can just get the whole thing ripped up -- it would be such fun to have it up and out and gone and not to worry again; but I totally understand about blown budgets!

Hoping Julie's DGS is doing better today -- ear aches are just terrible painful things to have to endure.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sooo very humid and 31C (88F). I do not function well with it. We are getting estimates for a new furnace today of all things!!! The bathroom painting has begun. The fan installation will be tomorrow. The 11 year old roof with the 25 year guarantee is being checked. It is not doing well. House maintenance is never done I guess. Then there is body maintenance and that is a nuisance as well, especially with this swell new system of making doctor appointments. I've still not seen my doctor after a month of trying now...and my eyes are not getting any better. Is it eczema or diabetes??? Oh well, he couldn't care less.

Things are supposed to cool down by Friday. I can't wait to plant some of the ghetto things at last, burn the stuff in the fire pit, finish up on the mowing etc.

Deanne, glad to see that you too are still using Salvia Black & Blue. I just love it!

I'm excited to meet Stella! I wish DD had zeroed in on a name for baby, but last time it took a month after Ivy Rayne was born. This time she says she'll put a 1 week deadline on the decision. I bet...

DSIL is quite enchanted by Ivy's curiosity these days. Ivy wanders around the deck trying to get the towel to go around herself, climbing on the lawn chairs and trying to use the towel as a blanket, trying to fold the towel, trying to unfold it, hiding things (and herself) in it, etc... He's amazed at how much she is doing. Makes DD wonder whether Skyler never did much exploring of spatial stuff as a kid, or if DH just didn't get the opportunity to watch him. Ivy's definite favourite thing in the world is "SHOES". First thing she wants in the morning is shoes.

Ta Ta!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 11:18AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Fly-by post here... We just came back from inspecting the tuteur! Mario called this morning to say it was assembled but not the finial because he didn't think the one I had picked looked right for it. He was right... so we picked a new one. The tuteur should be ready to install sometime next week! Not as exciting as sky-diving (Brenda!! :-) but pretty exciting...!

Tuteur in process:

Topping off (looks like putting the angel on the Christmas three :-)

The chosen finial:

The craftsman with his work:

It's a little over 8' tall - it's standing taller at the moment because there's ~18" of post that will get buried underground as it will be set in concrete. I couldn't stand back far enough in the shop to get the base in the picture.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 2:37PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well I have given up working outside for the day. It's back up to 92 degrees and very humid. On top of the temps it's windy.... Grrrr.....

Cindy, I'll bet you can't wait to pick up Stella on Friday! Can't wait to meet her!

Bug, that S. Black and Blue is one I wintered over in the basement and is getting enormous. It's rapidly approaching the height of the Miscanthus Morning Light. They must get to be shrub sized where they are perennial. ~~ Good time to have a furnace done and not when it quits in the middle of winter!

OK I think I'm going to get off this computer and do something productive inside!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Wow Woody! It's impressive and well worth the wait! I can't wait to see it sited.

Deanne, I gave up working out there just before eleven. I came in and prepared a lunch for SunnyD and I and we stayed inside where it's cool...just did a deck tour after lunch. Too hot.

Tomorrow will be the worst with the Farmer's Market to work. Ugh.

I'm cleaning house today....trying to look at each room and clean up those piles of things that collect on tables and in corners. The sheets are going for the whirl in the washer.

I'm going to get back to work...back later friends!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 3:01PM
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Hi everyone. Had a few minutes, just sitting here melting, thought I would write a little note. Haven't jumped out of any airplanes or anyting, but it is nice to know people who do... Thanks Brenda for sharing your trip!

Woody your tuteur is going to look great in the garden. Great that you could find someone to bring your vision to life! Can't wait to see it in place. I have never seen large crabapples around here.

Cindy, how is your daughter doing? Glad the shower went off well, and how exciting for you that you are getting your new puppy soon! Hope she brings you as much joy as Ginger has me ;), LOL. Are you still commuting on the train, or driving to work? Hadn't heard anything lately. Can't wait to see both of your new family additions!

Speaking of babies..Bug, when is Sarah due? I couldn't remember.

Saucy, your paths look great! How nice that you have Sunny D close by to hang out. I wish we all lived closer together. Once a year is not enough.

Deniez, I wanted to comment on your garden pic from one of the other threads. It has stayed in my mind. I really like it. Thanks for posting.

I have been trying to help out the girls with the babies a little bit. Jenny is worried about getting back into shape, and I know it is good endorphins if you can work out, so I told her I will come over every morning so she can go to the gym. I should stop by myself on my way back home. Mary Kate went back to work two afternoons a week, and Brandon watches the babies one of the days, but I do Mondays. Who knew when I lost my job I would be so busy? It is hot here, my garden is looking a pretty beat up and an old friend from high school contacted me, wants to come over. As soon as I finish helping Skip today at 4 I am going to go to a garden center that has 80% off plants to try to spiff things up a little. I think my Oak Leaf Hydrangea might be dying. It's branches are peeling. Any ideas? I feel like I should just yank it out.

Hope you all have a good evening. Stay cool!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 3:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WOW Woody, looks great! Getting the tuteur you want at the height you want is not an easy thing! Exciting indeed!

Here the excitement is at the "things look worse before they get better" stage. There's a coat of primer in our bathroom, the electrical fellow comes tomorrow however. The furnace guy will be sending along an estimate soon. In an old farmhouse, certain things simply cannot be achieved though. Now we know! But likely a new furnace will be installed in September or October by this father/son team.

Phoebe is off on a walk with her buddy, and DH is preparing for his dinner meeting. (That means he's taking a nap!)

Here's a photo for you to study:

What you see is an old laundry line fixture where a bird has built her nest recently. See it at the top?

And here is the first time I have seen the "chicks"! They are Phoebes. How appropriate!

Drema, the "guesstimate" for baby's arrival is September 19th. Who knows! Skyler wants to spend the entire month of September at their house so he can be there for the birth. His mother disappointed him when Ivy was born and he fears she'll do a repeat performance. She'd never let him stay a whole month...but it sure would be nice!

My garden friends may be coming to weed on Friday when 70F temperatures are expected. Sounds wonderful!!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 4:57PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Just back from grocery shopping and a trip to Loew's and thought I'd check in.

Woody, that tuteur is absolutely fantastic!!!! Wowza! picture me green with envy. Wouldn't I just love that. Can't wait to see it installed and with clems growing on it.

Saucy, I don't envy you working outside tomorrow. It's going to be another brutal hot, humid day. Make sure to drink lots of water.

Bug, love the baby birds! so cute.

Drema, you are one terrific mom!

Time to get something ready for dinner so I'm out of here for now,


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 5:26PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Woody, so glad you explained about the pole-I was thinking that Mario was a hobbit judging from the height-teehee. He is quite a craftsman, isn't he? Can't wait to see the tuteur in place.

Michelle, so cool about the owl. I would love to see one around here. We do have bald eagles down on the Potomac, so that is neat, but I think owls are wonderful birds. Funny about chasing that deer-I would have done the same!

Candy, I would be beyond furious about the road/driveway debacle. Hope by now all is finished and back to normal.

Brenda-woohoo! Way to go, lady and you definitely don't look like an "older" anything!!! Jude is certainly a cutie. His pictures made me grin from ear to ear.

Cindy, How exciting! Only two more days to wait. Can't wait to see pics of Stella and maybe meet her in person :) Sounds like you had more rain than we did. I am hopeful that we will have more tonight and maybe some will soak in.

'bug, sounds as if Ivy is at such a fun stage now. Makes me giggle picturing her with the towel. Fun for all.

Drema, I have so many things dying now. I watered like mad last month, but finally decided I just couldn't keep that up. The only things flourishing are the weeds. Why is that? Maybe I should learn to love them and just tell people, "that?..why, yes, it is a very rare species...I am redoing my yard" Ha. I would definitely hit that 80% off sale. Wow. Can't wait to hear what you bring home.

So how's the mower working Chelone? All we have now is an old-fashioned push mower (no engine except me). I thought it would be a great idea, but I think it requires pretty flat land to work well. We have too many uneven spots, dips, etc.

Deanne and Saucy, hope your inside Julie jobs were easy. It is again hot here, too. Those cooler days were just a tease, I think. Oh, and thanks for The Farmer's Daughter pics-I love that shed.

Norma, I think I am the one with the disappearing shrub (azalea). I PROMISE that the marauding pups did not have directions to your place, but I will keep an eye out for that echinacea! Isn't it fun to have an impromtu luncheon and get compliments to boot! I would love to lose about 15 pounds-unlikely as I am sitting here with a bag of m&ms next to me. Oh well. Maybe if I go cold turkey on the sweets.

Kathy, once you learn how to photoshop, I'll post pics of the yard and you can add in all sorts of beautiful healthy plants for me, hehheh. I am anxious to hear how things worked out with your contractor. Favorably for you, I hope.

Hope all the young ones and old ones are healthy now and enjoying the summer.

Time to feed the pups. DS dropped the monster off, so he could go to lunch with a friend (DS works from home). Hmmm...seems to be quite a long lunch.

Oh, talking about DS reminds me-I am now on Facebook. Can't believe it. It is kind of fun, though. Still,I am not sure I need another addiction and I can see it turning into one-not unlike GW ;)

Oops. Didn't send this before feeding the pups and then us!

I know I have missed commenting on so many of your posts, but I have read and savored them all. Happy trails everyone.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:00PM
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Cyn, you can friend us on FB. I went to the sale, but the only things they really had were typical shrubs that take a lot of sun, nothing for my shady garden. Most of the perennials were toasty, but I did pick up a cool Thalium for the pond that has red stems. The other things I got were 5 Big Blond coleus, $1.00 each. I am going to use them to fill in a spot that is bare from me pulling out the Eupatorium which LOVES my garden. I can grow that, LOL. There is a better nursery close to Jenny that has all perennials 50% off and hydrangeas 60% off. Went there the other day and couldn't find just what I was looking for, will try again tommorrow, LOL. What I really want to do is come up and go with Deanne to Farmer's daughter.

Bug, do you know if they are having a boy or girl? Mary Kate didn't find out either time, Jenny likes to know. I like to know too:) Neither would tell me the name ahead of time.

It is so hot here. I am melting. I think I am going to go to bed and turn on my window air conditioner. I am reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I just happened on the movie one day while I was bored, had never heard of this book. It is pretty violently graphic, but I haven't come to that part in the book yet. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't have a strong stomach. I had to close my eyes sometimes and I think I will skip over that part when I come to it in the book.

Hope you all have a nice evening!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I need to go move the hose again..

No Drema, we have no idea whether boy or girl. Skyler and Sarah say BOY, but DSIL says GIRL and has a $5 bet on top of that with Skyler. ;) Ivy doesn't know what she's in for!

I made strawberry soup for myself tonight. A treat while DH is off eating fancy stuff at the Aberfoyl Mill Restaurant. Know it Woody? Anyway, while it sat in the fridge for 2 hours, I mowed and mowed.

Bonsoir mes amies!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:18PM
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Cyn, so it was you with the missing shrub huh? Yes to bad we can't just photoshop perfect plants into our gardens. LOL.
I weedeated and mowed today despite the heat. I did have to take a break for awhile during the worst part of the day, but I am so happy to have that done. Now I have to water first thing in the morning. The plants are just cooking from the heat. Doesn't matter how much water they get.

Woody the tuteur is pretty impressive. Will he be painting it black? I'm glad he was able to do it for you. I'm anxiuos to see it in your garden.

Deanne the new coleus is a cutie. I shuffled a poor Black and Blue Salvia around the garden for half the summer still in it's nursery pot. It looked so pitiful. I finally planted it about a week and a half ago and fertilized it so it has greened up and is blooming, though I fear it is in to much shade. I hope as the sun comes back around it will be ok.
Kathy, I hope the bid for the concrete removal will be in budget.
Drema, enjoy those grandbabies. Nice that you can help out. I imagine your friend will be impressed with your garden. Do you know if she gardens?

Cindy,The name Stella makes me think of the Bette Middler movie Beaches. Wasn't her name Stella in that movie?

I'm fading here so am waving to the rest of you. Wishing all cooler weather soon.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:36PM
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Toads and mosquitoes are abundant in my garden these days. We are over 9" above the average rainfall for the year. It rains nearly every other day. Talk about unusual weather. It is also hot and humid and no breeze to speak of. I'm not a fan of wind, but a nice breeze does help with the skeeters.

Rick's sister from Arizona is in the area and "might" stop in on Sat. morning to see my garden. In the 12 years I've been gardening she's never been here. So I'm trying to spiff things up as she sees with a fairly critical eye. Probably why I've never invited her before.

Things at work are crazy with a big project in the works. We are going in as a competitor for phone service in one of our cable/internet towns. There's lots of red tape to be waded through along with lots of software changes. It keeps things interesting.

We leave on vacation soon as well. This summer is moving along at light speed.

I cut down 2 large yarrows in the raised bed that shouldn't be in there. I'll have to remember to remove them. It will open up quite a space for something new. I am rethinking that bed. There's too much in there that looks good for a time and then gets ratty about this time of the season. I'm focusing on plants that look good spring through fall. This is the bed that looks so pretty in the spring with all the tulips, dwarf irises etc. The 'Stella 'd Oro' daylilys need to be removed from the gardens too. They require too much work to stay nice looking.

Deanne, your mailbox garden was fabulous before, but I love the addition of those coleus. I agree heat and wind is the most impossible conditions for the garden.

Woody, the tuteur is wonderful. The height is perfect. My tuteur is around that height as well.

Norma, way to go on the weight loss.

Cindy, Stella is a very fun name for the new little one.

I know there's more to "talk" about, but its 11:15 and I should hit the sack.

I'll leave you with a picture of what I call my tropical garden. This year I have several varieties of amaranths in there. Along, with colocasia, a couple kinds of castor beans and some cannas. I was disappointed that I didn't get even one seedling of the variegated Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate this year. I usually have some in this garden. They don't reseed nearly like the non-variegated variety. They are a wonderful foliage plant. I'll have to order seed next year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 12:27AM
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Heading out the door to Jen's so she can go to her spinning class, but wanted to say to Michelle, Your garden is gorgeous!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 7:14AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Michelle, I so know what you mean about Stella D'Oro needing too much work to keep looking good. I've removed most of mine and the rest will be gone this fall. Like you I'm shifting things to try and find plants that look attractive all season. As a matter of fact, I'm removing about 3/4ths of my daylilies for that reason. LOVE your tropical border. That really has pizzaz! ~~ Wish you could send me some of your rain! They are predicting some for this afternoon and I have my fingers crossed.

Drema, I'd love it if you could come to The Farmer's Dughter with me. That would be so much fun!

Bug, recipe for the strawberry soup please?

Cyn, great to see you over on FB!

OK time to water, later all

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 8:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ever heard of schizophrenic rain? well, we had that here -- I was out doing some necessary errands last nite for the pup arrival and dashed home as the skies grew dark so I could mow the back lawn that is likely going to be her little "area" for a while when outside -- as it's supposed to be 105 heat index here today, somehow I didn't think I would be doing tonite.... I furiously pushed the thing around and got it all down and the first drops fell -- HA, victory - a score for my side I thought...... and ran inside w/ the mower/grass clippings and all... only to look outside an hour later to see that the furious dark clouds and high winds produced what amounted to a thimble of rain -- it never even totally wet the bricks on the patio -- aaargh...... it parted somewhere around my house and went north and south....

Geez, Michelle -- you're getting all our rain this summer - 9 inches above normal - no wonder you've got the lush tropics exploding at your house! Looks fantastic.

Drema - DD is feeling pretty good altho extremely bored and cranky at home; she's got one more week to go on the meds before they take her off (which will make me very happy because I dont like the side effects she's been having, altho the drs are not concerned)... just to keep their lives "more interesting" they decided to put an offer in on a house they've been watching since May... and lo and behold it appears the offer was accepted and the seller wants a quick close - they're talking 30 to 45 days!!! and then she got a response to a job application she threw in - they wanted to interview her next week, LOL.... I believe she's convinced them to have a phone interview; but I told her at some point after that if they/she were still interested, she'd likely have to fess up to being 8 & 1/2 months pregnant and not having expected such a quick response from the employer - they'll either be tremendously impressed by her work zeal, or think she's nutz (and a new mom and make the quiet discriminatory decision....)... Life is not dull at my house lately! But I love that they're buying a house, becuase it means they're really putting down roots here - selfish of me, but I love it.

Re the commute, Drema - I am still metro-ing - the car drive is at a standstill here these days and was more frustrating (along w/ car issues I just had); altho the metro isnt any better. I just figured there's no point to continually whining about it here - altho there are new challenges every day that are so incredible one has a hard time believing them -- the latest being they just put in a fare hike (the 2nd one in 5 months) that has a rush hour surcharge - and it necessitated new software for their machines (turnstiles and machines) -- well, apparently they're not working or not working in sync. The last 2 days have had most stations with long long long lines of folks whose Smartrip cards wont work or dont read the info... the parking station garage for the last two days has had one single line for people/cars to exit the 4 story garage.. you can imagine what that looks like at rush hour.... as I say -- always a Challenge..... Now, arent you glad you asked, LOL? Enjoy that near time with your family and relatives! Such fun.

Woody - that tuteur is amazing - both beautiful and sensible - can't wait to see it erected in the garden.... that's one of the hardest things to find I think -- beautiful strong stands for vines - especially clematis.

Okay, gotta get this show on the road ...


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 9:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Strawberry Soup

2 pounds sweet strawberries
7 ounces sugar
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (from Modena)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or orange juice
17 ounces thick yogurt

- rinse the strawberries and remove the stems. Choose about 20 of the best ones, cut them in half and sprinkle with half the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate for 2 hours.(Longer is fine! I keep it overnight too)

- Combine the remaining berries, sugar, vinegar,and orange & lemon peel in a blender together with Grand Marnier or juice. Puree. Transfer to a large bowl and stir well. Whisk in the yogurt. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

- Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with marinated berry halves and a few drizzles of the marinade.

- This dish makes a great starter, but can also be served as a dessert.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 10:05AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow Bug that soup sounds fabulous. I'm going to have to try that this weekend. Thanks for the recipe.

Cindy, we've had that same thing happen with the rain parting around Nashua.... All summer it seems But..... It's finally raining, even as I write this. A nice steady rain that we desperately need. I sure wish this would continue for a couple days. We are that dry. ~~ Soooo sorry about the continued commuting woes. I don't know how you deal with it.

Thought I'd post a pic from today. I'm finally having some success with Rex Begonias and the Caladium and big hanger are looking pretty nice at the moment


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 4:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Confessiom time: I went past the nursery today. OK, I stopped. Picked up another agastache, a short vernonia with fine pine needle type foliage, and a new heucherella. I bought some grit for under the agastache too. Turns out you get the third perennial for free these days. I like that. They also told me that new plants are coming in this weekend. It's dangerous when they know you by your first name at these places....

Our bathroom is all painted and has a new fan. YEAH! We aren't supposed to use the room until the weekend though, so I guess we'll be busy putting back towel racks and light fixtures then. It's great having a NEW room though.

It is windy out there now...and such a relief! It's supposed to go down in the mid 50s(F) tonight and only reach 70F tomorrow. I hope I can garden ALL DAY LONG! I do need to go to a birthday party tomorrow evening though, so will need to tidy up early for that.

Tomorrow is TGIF everybody!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 5:23PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all! Just so you know, I'm starting this post on Thursday night. I'll just about bet I won't get it posted tonight, though. Jim and I need to make a trip to town, and he's running late getting home. I'm guessing I'll get good and involved in this and he'll show up ;)

Cindy, congrats on the pending granddaughter! I can imagine the boy cousin's disappointment, lol! Poor guy ;) I have certainly chased critters-namely pigs-in less than appropriate attire, and am very glad that chapter of our career has come to a close. Okay, I might jump out of planes, but I'll tell you right now..the very thought of navagating your commute to work terrifies me! Guess I'm just plain country, but I'd be having a nervous breakdown dealing with the metro and what-not. BTW, I love the name Stella for the new Princess Puppy! Such a pretty name, not to mention you could call her a'la Streetcar Named Desire...STEEEELLLLAAAA!

Norma, I've always found it's SO much easier to lose weight than to keep it off. I keep trying to make good choices every day and hope for the best. I've still got some to lose, but am just going at it slowly. I brought a few extra pounds back from California, but it was totally worth it!

Julie, I'm hating my gardens at the moment, too. It was SO dry, then the heat and humidity set in, and the whole place just looks ratty. Hope DGS's ear infection clears up soon, and full nights of sleep are soon the norm.

Candy, that sounds just plain miserable. I fear I'd be beyond disagreeable wench by now. Lugging and toting are not my favorites, let alone in the heat and humidity.

Kathy, I have to wonder exactly what constitutes cheap wine in your neck of the woods ;) Did it come out of a box?? I was very pleased to pick up a case of the Kendall Jackson Summation that I fell in love with and couldn't get shipped. I haven't opened a bottle of it yet, but there's one in the fridge...right next to that bottle of Boone's Farm that Fred gave me, lol!

Deanne, I'm loving that coleus! I was finally able to get my hands on the Salvia 'Black and Blue' this year. I think it must sell out fairly early around here, and I don't do much plant shopping until we're close to having the crops in. I love it, and it seems to be a favorite of Jim's, too. Oh, geez...he was asking me if I could bring it in over the winter, and I see you overwintered yours. I assume it needs light and water and all that,rofl!? We'll see ;)

Woody, the tuteur is awesome! Lol, that's the kind of "long-term exciting". Skydiving is over pretty quick, and I can't grow vines on my rig ;) Can't wait to see it all situated!

Drema, I am always amazed at how busy I can be kept when I'm not working. I like your idea of stopping by the gym on your way home! I'd never make a special trip to go, but I was really faithful about going after work when I worked in town.

Bug, I hear you on the old farm house. I have a serious love/hate relationship with this one. As you said, some things just can't be done. I'm still muddling around in my head about what the best way is to deal with this one. I'm currently leaning toward building on. Seems the most logical. I'm terrified of getting an estimate, though. It's time for a new furnace here, too. After this summer, I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist on central air. Not something I'd use all the time, but when it's as hot as it's been the last few weeks, a person needs some relief.
Phoebes!! How cool is that!?

LOL, Cyn-another FB addict is born ;)

Michelle, that tropical garden is so cool! Hm, I hope your SIL doesn't come to my place, lol...NOT good ;) From your pictures, I can't imagine much spiffing needs done.

Jim is leaving tomorrow for a week of fishing in Minnesota. I'm going to be living on peanut butter sandwiches, and playing in the yard when the weather permits. I think there are supposed to be some fairly tolerable days coming up. I've also got plans for a BIG load of stuff to go to Goodwill. Time to put the house in order before harvest.
I may go do a few more jumps toward the end of next week. I could drive over, then Jim could get dropped off there when the guys come back home. It's pretty much right along their route. The next jumps will involve the instructor letting go of me in freefall, and then exiting the plane without him holding on to me. Then, it will be time to learn to do turns and stuff. I'd like to get at least 5-6 jumps in while I'm there. LOL, I can't believe I'm doing this. Who would have ever thought, at this point in life! I'll try and stay out of the cornfields this time!

Wow, all that, and Jim JUST got home! I'll get this posted tonight after all :) Have a good evening, Idylls!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 8:05PM
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Hola Idylls, from the left coast..

The concrete guy came over this morning and I showed him the project. He promised me a quote within 48 hours. He also made some suggestions that he felt would save me some money, and give me more garden space. I have a number in mind , and well see how close it comes, though this kind of stuff often costs more than I expect it to.

Brenda, jeesh, when you took those pounds back with you at least you could have taken some of mine too ? I designate anything under 7 $ a bottle to be cheap . I buy the big 1.5L bottles of Raymond Hill Chardonnay at Trader Joes for 6 bucks a bottle its very tolerable for an after awfice glass or two. So will this be a sneaky Goodwill drop of stuff Jim refuses to part with ?

Woody, that tuteur is just fabu ! I can just imagine it covered with Clematis I had no idea it was going to be so tall ..looking forward to the in-situ pics.

bug, love your Phoebes. Thanks for posting the soup recipe, Im thinking of taking it to the awfice for our next birthday pot luckwhat would you think of using Greek yogurt ?

Deanne, good for you with the rainfall today..not an option here, though it would be nice .That a wonderful grouping, and the Begonias all look just perfect ! I have no Rexs this year at all, the one I tried to winter over didnt make it.

Love the tropic zone Michelle..I cant imagine that SIL of yours could find anything negative in your wonderful garden..and what a bad guest if she does !

A wave to all, time for dinner

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 9:44PM
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Deanne, I sent myself an email with your full-sun photo instructions so I'll always have them for reference. Thank you!

Norma, the name Stella makes you think of a Bette Midler movie? What about Brando bellowing Stella? Stella for starlight, Streetcare Named Desire. Funny, all our little references. Hope you're keeping up with the guitar.

Woody, I'm speechless! What an undertaking! This kind of metal work thrills me to pieces.

Michelle, I can't believe I'm growing a plant that you're not, the variegated annual polygonum. I bought it in 4-inch pots. Judging by your experience, I shouldn't expect many volunteers from these plants. Your tropical border looks fabulous.

Cindy, so excited Stella will be joining you soon! (And the baby too, of course.) But appalled at the morons in charge of your metro system, what dunderheads.

Cyn, welcome to FB, I got your invite. I'm not spending a lot of time there, but you'll find the friend requests multiply like rabbits. Hope you have fun.

Brenda, what a life of adventure you'll be leading the coming week. I can't believe Jim dares leave you alone!

Ein has cataract surgery next week, and we're all trying to be very brave for him. He has to wear the "cone of shame" for 6 wks afterwards, which will be such a nuisance for him. So hoping the surgery restores sight in his right eye. The left one is already forming a cataract, the doc said, but not impairing sight in that eye yet.

Hi Drema -- don't know which photo you're referring to but I'll take the compliment.

Kathy, fingers crossed the crete man comes back with a doable estimate. Good for you taking the plunge.

Glad you're getting nice temps, 'bug.

Take it easy in the heat, Candy.

The bird and cats situation is nearly intolerable. One baby mockingbird has made it through the gauntlet, and we've been keeping the cats indoors in the daytime while it's a fledgling, a situation no one is happy with. Why the parents would choose our fringe tree to nest in is beyond me. Today we got a hummer out of Evie's mouth. The little guy sat up in the smoke tree for such a long time afterwards that I thought he was a goner, with just enough life left to get away. But he finally whizzed off after 30 minutes.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 10:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy and Deanne, Greek yogurt was in fact recommended.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 10:50PM
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What a nice place to come, sit, and read! I've got my cup of coffee and no kids - good weather is on the horizon. A day all my own is ahead of me, and I'm considering a leaf creation. Who lives better than me?

I've heard from the kids and they're having a blast in TN. They'll meet us in Maine next week. What a summer they're having.

Brenda, your week sounds about like mine, except I won't be jumping from any planes :) Have fun in your garden! I'm trying to get rid of all the weeds before I leave on's a goal.

Strawberry soup sounds like fun! I might whip that up while in Maine.

Stella is the name of Sarah's friend's dog (got that?)...and Stella was the reason Sarah and I had to have a long talk about why she couldn't have a tiny dog in a purse just like her friend. I've suggested rabbits instead. Argh. I hope rabbits are easy :)

Stella is a perfect name, though. It rolls off the tongue nice - perfect for when you have to shout, "Stell-A!" :)

I love the Phoebe nest. What a neat bird. I think they like porches and overhangs for their nests. Some birds choose the oddest places to start a family, Denise. My cat prefers rodents to birds, or she's just retired from the bird thing. In fact, I'm beginning to think she retired from rodent chasing and forgot to let me know. Perhaps I should talk to Sarah again about a little cat friend for Marcy :)

Lots of road construction going on around here to and getting to and from errand jaunts is proving longer than expected. Luckily my chauffeur is away so we don't have to worry about when to push the clutch in at each site of demolition. They tore a large old building down in my neighborhood just yesterday! They're planning a parking lot, I hear, which does not please me.

Well, it's time for me to start this lovely day! Coffee on the deck sounds nice, but I'll have to dry a chair first.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 6:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, I highly suggest a kitty friend for Marcy! Rabbits are rodents and destructive. They chew on many things: wood, stairs, mattresses, tennis rackets, shoes, just to name a few. If they don't chew a great deal, their teeth curve and grow inward into their brains. Sorry to be so gruesome, but it happens often enough. We gave our rabbits hardwood pieces to chew, but they were mostly caged in our barn and not the pets we hoped for. They are supposed to be litter box trainable, but ours were unsuccessful at it. Cleanup was never ending. Yet another time consuming thing for Mom to do...

I'm headed outdoors now.
Later gators,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 9:10AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning, all!
I'm thrilled-the humidity has left. I think it'll be back, but today is gorgeous. Everything is still dripping wet, so I haven't started weeding yet, but it felt lovely having coffee on the porch this morning. While I'm waiting for things to dry off, I'm doing some of Jim's laundry. I don't want to be too obvious and have his bag packed and sitting by the door, but I'll be as helpful as I can ;) They're not leaving until this evening. There are 11 guys going. 3 pickups pulling boats..what a caravan!

Kathy, are you kidding me?! Those pounds I lugged back didn't help you out?? Probably plucked em off of a total stranger, lol! I have new incentive to lose more weight. The less I weigh, the smaller canopy I can jump. The smaller the canopy, the lighter the rig. I'm told the one I'm jumping now weighs 35-40 lbs. I was hoping there was one of the kids' old backpacks around, so I could put some weight in it and do squats. Apparently they've already gone to goodwill, lol! Yes, I am being a little sneaky, but very little of the stuff will actually be Jim's. Just odds and ends of stuff around the house, and he can't let go of anything, even if it's not from "his department". He will lose some clothes, but nothing I'd risk insulting someone by giving it to them. He wears his clothes until they're rags. I've seen some really odd tan marks on him from holes in his clothes. I think it reflects poorly on me when he walks around in tatters, while I'm flying across the country, and taking skydiving lessons. I'm pretty sure people think they know why poor Jim can't afford clothes :) Okay, we're on the same page with the cheap wine. Everyday stuff is around $8-9 a bottle for me.
I hate waiting on an "alien estimate"! I usually assume something I know nothing about must cost a zillion dollars. I'm spoiled-I know a lot of people with heavy equiment. I can usually get something done for a meal and a few beers. My biggest hurdle is usually getting Jim to go along with a project. Here again, a meal and a few beers usually helps.

Denise, Best wishes to Ein on his surgery. There is nothing more pathetic than an animal in the "cone of shame". LOL, I'm pretty sure Jim's got reservations about leaving me alone, knowing that I'll probably go skydiving.I got a "talking to" from him last night. I'm supposed to make sure I give someone at the dropzone my insurance card, and BE CAREFUL! LOL, I know people can't help but tell me to be careful skydiving, but it does make me laugh. There is NO ONE more anal about their gear check, and they've got me backed up in every way possible. There's a device to deploy the main parachute if I just say screw it and don't pull. There's a reserve, in case I have to cut away my main. If I cut away my main and don't pull the reserve in like 3 seconds, there's a device that deploys that for me. My canopy is 230 sq. ft. That's huge, so it's very docile and forgiving of newbie steering, and makes for very slow landing speeds. I think there were around 30 people killed last year in skydiving incidents. Worldwide. That said, I take this VERY seriously, and am ultra conservative. I will skydive like a little old lady and have a spectacular time floating slowly around the sky. Leave the crazy stunts to the kids, I say. I just wanna fly :)

Saucy, have a wonderful day. There is nothing better than having a beautiful day to yourself to do exactly as you please!

I'd better get myself busy. There's a breeze blowing, so outside work is near at hand, and I'd better make good use of the day. I'm going to have Jude tomorrow, and keep him overnight. Probably not much will be accomplished once he arrives :)
Have a good one, all!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:15AM
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Weve been enjoying a few days of cooler temps. I worked in the garden a bit before work yesterday and it was so cool even the mosquitoes werent out. Last night Rick helped me apply some mulch. I never seem to get it down until mid-summer, but those areas should be good for next year so actually Im working ahead right?

Deanne, I hope you got a nice soaking rain. I believe we have a chance for tomorrow. I should say you are having success with the rexes. Is that Escargot in a container or in the ground? I've had that one and it failed to thrive for me. Acutally the only one that did well was a purple one of which the name escapes me. I had it for several years.

Denise, you are so funny you grow so many cool plants that I cant. Good wishes on a successful surgery for Ein.

The sad thing is there is so much flooding around here along with water and in some cases sewage in basements.

Yesterday we had the carpet in our living room restretched to remove a wrinkle. We moved our furniture out the night before. This was not a good thing for my back. While the furniture was out I thought about how easy it would be to paint. So I think we will leave most of it where it is now and tackle that job. I dont like to do house jobs in the summer though.

Saucy, I'm envious of your day to create. I need one of those. It seems like there's just never enough time.

Brenda, I kept my Salvia Black and Blue over the winter and it must not mind neglect since that is the standard treatment here.

Back to it only 45 minutes left

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 4:50PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - can you help me please with a French translation? I'm reading a book about the gardens at Versailles. It mentioned that mar de vigne was used as a soil amendment but didn't translate what that is. The best guesses that Randy and I can come up with are dregs of wine or perhaps the waste after the grapes are pressed. Do you know what it means?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 8:19PM
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TGIF from out west.. Im right on the cusp of several weeks of travel , and this weekend I need to try to get some house chores accomplished around here, as I will be on the road part of next week and the weekend. The Oregon trip follows close on its heels. I have had another possible driving trip, this time to SoCal added to the fall itinerary to take care of some family matters.

Brenda , I must say I have had a flashback to the I Love Lucy episode when Lucy and Ethel try to get rid of Fred and Rickys old clothes. I confess that my gardening clothes are pretty horrible, and ancient I have always sported them in public when shopping at the local garden centers the employees and other customers look every bit as disheveled as I do- but now Ive taken to wearing them on grocery shopping trips too. It seems so pointless to change my clothes when in the midst of a gardening day !

Woody, far be it from me to try translate French-I leave that to GB- but here we have what is called pomace which are the seeds, stems and skins that are the residue after crush, and it is often re-applied in the vineyards as a compost of sorts. There are companies here that also bag and sell it to the consumer.

All for me tonight waves all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 9:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, I agree with Kathy's suggestion on the grape residue as compost...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 10:43PM
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Kenzie is here this morning. She is thrilled with the fairies and fairy horse that I found for the fairy garden. She's not ready to go out yet as she thinks its too cold. Its 71 lovely degrees with some breeze.

She went to day camp at the lakes this week. She told me she went horseback riding and now she wants a horse.

Yesterday's swimming and hot tub soak seem to have helped my back alot.

We are planning to leave late next week for a trip to Glacier National Park. Anyone been there? Any tips? I'm not nearly as good at research as I used to be. I used to send away for information. Now with the internet it should be so much easier.

I'd best get going for the day.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:41AM
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I suggest you take lots of photos Michelle !

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 10:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, DS did some very serious hiking in the mountains there with 2 friends several years ago. It was BEAUTIFUL, strenuous and there were loads of wildflowers. Maps were essential, as were good shoes, (take blister bandaids!), food and water. It is vast, so they saw no one. I believe they needed permits to enter as the number of people in the area they visited was limited.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 2:51PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Kathy, ROTFLMAO! I thought I was the only one who has started going out on errands in my gardening clothes! I did draw the line at the ones that split, although I continued to wear them for a while in the back yard. Being afraid of forgetting the situation, I finally tossed them before I embarrassed myself in public.

Brenda, I wish I had the spunk to skydive. I think it would be the most amazing, exhilarating experience-once I was out of the plane and falling, but I fear they would have to pry my hands loose from the side of the door and shove me out the first time-teehee.

Michelle, so glad Kenzie is having fun at camp. I think it is a rite of passage for every little girl to want a horse after her first in-person encounter. Heck, I would still love to have one. Glad the back is better. That should make the trip more enjoyable. I've never been to Glacier National Park, but would love to go someday. I am putting together a (bucket) list of places I want to go. Must really be getting old, even though I don't feel it. I second Kathy's request for photos!

Denise, Brando is always my first thought when I hear the name Stella. It is hard to say it normally, isn't it? Poor Ein. Hope the surgery works and the other is a slow forming one, if there is such a thing with cataracts. I love mockingbirds. There used to be one that would sing down our chimney when I was young and we would whistle back to it. Great fun for those of us who grew up without all the electronic distractions we have today.

Saucy, too bad about the parking lot (Joanie Mitchell comes to mind). Hope your vay-cay this week at home is ever so wonderful and I have no doubt that Maine will be splendid. Oh, and don't worry about those weeds-I am sure they will still be waiting for you when you get home ;)

Well, today is one of those perfect summer days. I planned to work in the yard this morning, but DS came by and sat and chatted for a couple of hours. Nice. Do need to accomplish something today.

Grinning and waving, all.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 2:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This is "a little of everything" day. We are gradually re-installing fixtures in the newly painted bathroom. DH has started work on a grant proposal. (These take months to prepare...) I have made meals and started some weeding once more.

DD phoned in the midst of weeding, and we chatted about having professional family pictures taken. She has been working on selecting just the right person to do this. I'm thrilled. This is so unlike her....but I am happy about the way she has gone about selecting this person. I hope all goes well.

I took a few photos and have also been dragging the hose about. Yesterday I located Echinacea Fatal Attraction which I've decided to try.

Is Stella on her way Cindy????

OK, here are a few from today:
The patio

I'm thrilled that the Vitex is early to bloom!

Only ONE zucchini plant is necessary:

Rose Marie

Reed Garden


    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 3:46PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sorry for the late check in for folks who wanted to know about Stella -- she's kept me Quite busy.... we're both busy bees. She arrived safe but woeful yesterday - poor thing got car sick on her first long car trip... and has not been terribly interested in eating altho I've now managed to get one good meal in her. But she's pretty and sweet and frisky.... one forgets like babies how tiring puppies are, LOL; I'm sure that's for a good reason.

Denise -- I hope Ein's surgery goes well and he bears the shame cone with stoicism and dignity (I know that's hard wearing one of those things)...

Michelle - have a fantastic trip - what a glorious place to go -- it will certainly be cool there and the sights - o my.

I hope Kathy has a great and not too cruel, gruelling road trips... and manages some gardens to relax in!

I havent done a lick of gardening this weekend - Im afraid my next weekend visitors are going to have to wear blinders if they step outside - the sight is pretty icky! And there's lots of puppy chaos - how does it affect the whole house? I dont get it - except for having to remove the baskets and plants from puppy contemplation and nibbles, and gates galore to safeguard the fast flash thru hands that miss to areas of new fascination and exploration....I do crate her, but hate to do it for very long... We had a great nite last nite tho as she was soooo tired...

Here are a couple pics:

Stella - when she decided she needed some down time:

Earlier when she was having a hard time choosing:

And a better one of her sweet face:


    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 7:21PM
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When August rolls around I always find myself peering critically during the WALAT and beginning the process of deciding what gets the heave ho , or the relocation orders in fall. 3 poor performing roses are on the hit-list as are 3 Spireas . Some of the new things I out in this year were planted in poor locations and need to be moved. And then there is the issue of the Liquidambar which continues to be a thorn in my side.-and a sticky ball beneath my feet.

Lol Cyn, I keep a clean chambray workshirt in my car , and throw it on over my holey and usually not too clean gardening t-shirt when I go to the grocery store-it covers the worse sins, and its always freezing in Whole Foods so it serves a dual purpose.

bug, the Reed Garden is sure coming along nicely . I was trying to figure out what criteria you used to select the plants ? Lovely pics from around rhw farm today, but I especially liked the patio scene which gave off kind of a Deep South vibe to me for some reason.

Denise, my BILs are having cataracts removed from their mini Austrailian sheepdog later this month- he was diagnosed with diabetes. I wish Id done the same for my dog , though she did pretty well with her failing sight for many years. Hope all goes well for Ein .

And speaking of dogs, what a cute little thing you have there Cindy ! Will she be left on her own when you go to the awfice on Monday or are you taking a few days off ? How much does she weigh ?

Back out to put the tools away !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Close your eyes Chelone...The first of the travel pictures are in.
This is my very favorite!

And this is super! He's getting more brave I think!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, I wanted the Reed garden to have grasses and reeds in it. So that's where I started. Then I found Amsonia and decided I loved it and that it would look nice with the grasses. I had extra Sedum angelica and moved it there for brighter color. By then I decided to add oranges and yellows to go with the blood grass and the Sedum, so that's when I added orange Echinaceas, orange Agastache and Coreopsis 'lightning flash'. There is a hydrangea in the back right which I hope to turn from pink to blue! I couldn't resist the Plumbago 'My Love' even though I'll need to overwinter it indoors. Also there are white bulbs there in spring.
We'll see how it goes next year...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 10:31PM
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Things went well and we had a nice time this a.m. with Rick's sister and BIL. Kenzie was present as well. Afterwards Rick, Kenzie and I took a 4-wheeler ride to inspect the crops. Then Kenzie and I went to Grampa's Fun Farm, the country nursery not far from here. They have a petting zoo of farm animals. So we saw pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, a peacock, horses, goats and calves. She loved feeding the horses which really reinforced the fact that she would love to have one. Oh, I found an agave and another succulent. They do overwinter well indoors for me as they thrive on neglect. I looked at 'Hot Papaya' again but didn't pick it up.

This evening was a birthday party for Rick's 3 year old granddaughter. So it was a full day.

'bug, I like the simplicity of the round shape of the Reed Garden. The pictures of the kids enjoying vacation are wonderful and bring back some special memories for me. Vacations were every year when I was growing up so I was determined to give my kids a yearly vacation. We maybe didn't always go far or spend a lot but we had fun.

Cyn, I think spending time with your DS is a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. I'm envious.

Cindy, Stella is just as sweet as can be. She'll keep you on your toes for sure.

I'm thinking that the way we tour Glacier will be much differnt than 'bug's DS way.

All my grocery shopping and running errands is done on my way home from work, but when we went to the Fun Farm today we kept our gardening clothes on. They are used to me there.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 11:47PM
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Great vacation pictures, GB! It looks like a good time.

What a nice time Kenzie had yesterday, Michelle. Don't you have room for a horse? lol! Sarah went through that phase, too.

Cindy, Stella looks sweet as can be. You must be having a blast.

Speaking of pets, thanks for the advice, GB. My husband had said he'd prefer not to have another cat, so I thought maybe outdoor rabbits might be fun. I could use the compost materials, no? Of course my husband has flip flopped and is now considering a cat. SunnyD thinks we should get a dove cote, lol. I think I'm ready to be pet free for a while...

I am headed up north for 2 weeks of vacation. I don't think I recall us taking 2 weeks since we've had children. I am a little worried about my plants - especially after Michelle's forecast. I have a friend from high school who might drive up and meet us for a weekend. That would be fun.

All right....time to finish the last bits of packing and get this show on the road. I am going to have to photo our vehicle and will share husband has outdone himself with packing this year :)


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 6:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is wet out there this morning. I think I'll put on my yukky garden attire anyway and try to continue the weeding I began yesterday. I wore those sweat pants yesterday too when I took some lady's mantle and Tradescantia over to a friend's house. I wonder where the tear in the left leg came from? There is definitely mud on the seat of those pants... Of course they invited us for dinner as well. Mom is rolling in her grave I'm sure.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 6:48AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

'bug, I am grinning like a fool at your pics of Ivy and Skyler. They are both growing at leaps and bounds in their explorations and discoveries. Must be so wonderful to watch from close-up. I am loving it from afar! That picture of Skyler looks like something right out of Huck Finn. Reed's garden is lovely. It has such a soft, gentle, ephemeral quality to it. Switching gears, it is beginning to sound as if there may be more of us who are relaxed enough to venture out wearing our garden badges of honor proudly-well, maybe not proudly, but with only a modicum of embarrassment! I'll bet dinner was fun. Oh, and that zucchini-wow.

Saucy, I'll bet the packed car is something to see. Can't wait for updates on the trip. Hope it is a fantastic vacation for you with lots of rain at home, but not where you are!

Michelle, it was wonderful to spend all that time with DS. Sounds as though your Saturday was great, too.

Need more Stell-aaa pics, Cindy!

Time to get ready to head to the Apple store-the new Macbook isn't charging any more. Took it in last night (yep-that's what we old folks did for excitement on a Saturday night-lol), but they were so busy at their "Genius Desk" that we had to make an appointment for today. It is a fun place to go. All those kids working there really do seem like geniuses to us and they certainly seem happy. They are all quite patient with us, too.

Sunday smiles for everyone. Wishing for you all the same perfect summer day we are having-makes two in a row!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 12:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I weeded and got muddy, soaked and sticky. After over an hour of that I got cleaned up, ate some breakfast and went out with DH to buy him shoes and underwear. I bought some groceries- fresh corn, bread, milk, fruit. We also stopped at the nursery to pick up my free $20 bonus for getting their card signed 12 times. I chose a new Ligularia and some garden stakes.

Some more favorites:

Made friends with Fred Penner, whose music my kids were raised with.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 3:08PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

AW-those last two are the best!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 3:26PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I agree - the last two are the best. Being a big brother again is probably good for Skyler - and Ivy and ?.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 3:56PM
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I think they are all pretty special. Does my heart good to see these Bug. Ivy is a cutie and Skylar is a good big brother.

The special moments thread has great pictures too.

My moment came this morning. Our youngest grandaughter who just turned 21 last week has been very sick in the hospital since thursday. They treated her for viral colitis with no success, so this morning they did a colonoscopy and found she has ulcerative colitis. not a good diagnosis as it is thought to be auto immune and a lifelong thing, but at least it is not cancer. She has been so sick an unable to keep clear liquids down. I am worn out with worry. With meds she should be sympton free most of the time but with occasional flareups. What a bummer so early in life.

I spent the morning watering as it was neglegted for a few days and things were looking pretty sad.

Michelle Kenzie must love being at the farm. I think horses are a lot of little girls dreams. I am so glad I got to realise mine, although not until I had a little girl of my own. LOL

Eden I love Kates picture at the zoo.

Cindy, keep the Stella pictures coming. Nothing cuter than a puppy, unless it is a kitty or a baby or a little kid and so on.

I'm ready for some cooler weather.

Wyatt is here and getting restless so I guess I'll go do something with him.

Hope Saucy is having a fun vacation and Michelle yours sounds great too.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:01PM
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Oh dear Norma, how scary for you and your family will your GD need to restrict her diet as well as taking the meds ? I feel badly for those who have to deal with chronic illnesses, but as you say , at least its not cancer. ((Norma))

bug it looks like the gang had a splendid time in beautiful surroundings. I love the shot of the family together in front of the Artic Circle marker.

I did the grocery thing today and putzed around with laundry , and hose hauling. Off to Chicago on Wednesday so trying to set things up so DS will only have to deal with the containers. Ill only be gone a few days in any case.

The quote came in from my concrete guy and it looks like it will be do-able. Its a little higher than my number , but I had in mind 1 phase of a 2 year project and he quoted me for the whole thing, including the building of a new section of fence. Im hoping he can do it in October- only one business trip that month . Yay ! This will give me a couple hundred square feet of new garden space !

Lol Michelle, I expect theyre used to me at Whole Foods too, not to mention the local garden center-though most customers there look a little rugged anyway unless you hit it the same time as the after church crowd .

All right Idylls, enjoy your Sunday evening

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:20PM
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Norma, sorry to hear about your granddaughter. Hopefully, medication will control it without cramping her lifestyle too much.

Kathy, the news from the contractor sounds like overall a better deal than what you thought - how fun to gain the extra space. Oh, the possibilities.

'bug, it looks like a fabulous vacation for all.

It was beastly hot and humid today. We are having a thunderstorm now. of course Kenzie wanted to be outdoors. The last time she was here we had a campfire. This silly grandma didn't have the makings for s'mores. So I told her we could do it today. Rick stayed indoors. Picture this 95 degrees and we are sitting around a tiny fire roasting marshmallows. What I won't do for that child. It was so hot that by the time she wanted to use the last piece of chocolate it was nearly liquid. She and I both were a chocolate mess.

Rick just brought me a big piece of watermelon. That along with the sweet corn that we had for lunch really says summer to me.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 9:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Norma...That is so unfair! That isn't exactly the kind of special moment we had in mind you know. I'm sure over time she'll take all this in stride, but for now, IT STINKS.

Good news from your contractor Kathy. I certainly hope he can stay withing budget. It certainly sounds exciting. Back when I was a city dweller I always wished that somehow everything could be just one yard wider. I was convinced that just a bit more space would be true happiness. Now you can tell me the answer!!! (I'm hoping our furnace estimate comes close to expectations too.)

So Michelle, I guess Kenzie isn't going on holidays with you? That would be fun in a way too. Please take your camera with you. I'm sure she'd enjoy post cards from your various destinations. I guess she's young for collecting stamps.

Our summer dinner was steak, corn on the cob and fresh garden tomatoes. We also had a dessert that was chocolate and whipped cream stuff (hard to explain). I'm glad I didn't need to roast anything over a fire though!

I've been working on my knitting project and think it should be completed soon. There are many more projects waiting to be started.

We're going to really miss Saucy here. She's off for a long time. Lucky lady. I hope her garden gets rained upon often...or that Sunny D can stop by frequently! And where are Zeus and Marcy?

And now what do you suppose Brenda is up to tonight? Hmmmm


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:25PM
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Well, GB, Zeus is with me and Marcy is living the life of luxury at home (with someone attached to a thumb to come and do her chores). I am connected - after all, reading along here is relaxing and fun and that's what I'm supposed to be doing. SunnyD's family has a house about a mile from ours...we'll meet up for dog walks.

Zeus and I got up and took a walk this morning. Later we will go for our long walk where he can go off leash and hunt for turkeys to disrupt.

Michelle, I think Kenzie probably learned a valuable lesson during her s'more experience. Something along the lines of chocolate melts and fire is best reserved for those cool days, lol. She also learned that her grandmother would do anything for her :) and that's the best lesson of all!

On the menu for this week is a trip to Peak Island to bike around oceanside. I'll include a link. I would like to try to find a good river to go kayaking on...I do enjoy floating down the river :)

((Norma))I see lots of people with colitis on the gluten free boards that I read. I do hope that she feels better soon and that the doctors can help her get it under control. You're right, it's not fair to be so young and have to deal with such a condition.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 7:34AM
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Wow...I know what it feels like to think you killed Idyll, lol!

I saw 4 loons together today...last year I saw my first loon ever and today I see 4. Count myself lucky.

I'll include a link to the video...not great, but if you're interested, click.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 8:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We saw lots of loons in Algonquin Park. They used to ask people to take part in surveys each year for loon counts. They are wonderful birds and VERY photogenic. They give photo workshops for loons as well as moose and other animals.

Ultra muggy day here. I did a bit of edging by the barn before the rains came. Drizzle was on and off all day. So I was forced to do laundry and knitting.

I hope to get more weeding accomplished tomorrow, which is supposed to be a dry day. Let's hope!

Giant beaver and friend:

Off to edit one of DH's masterpieces...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 8:57PM
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I tried to post this morning but the connection went bad and I lost it.
We went to visit Callee at the hospital this afternoon. She didn't have to have any morphine today and got to eat something besides "freakin jello". Her and papa were giving each other trouble so I guess she is on the mend for now. Hopefully will get results of her tests tomorrow and be home soon.

We took Wyatt home this morning and went for a jet boat ride on the river in his dads new used boat. It felt good to have the wind in my face and be carefree for a little while.

The heat and dry is back in force, so gardening is not going to be fun this week. Probably will be lucky to keep the containers and ghetto plants watered. I have zero energy right now.

Saucy keep us entertained with vacation pics. Michelle too, and Bug post as many as you want. All of these trips are interesting to me.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 9:26PM
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Isnt it great that we get to go on vacation with our imaginary friends ? My trip to Oregon is coming up next week how did that happen ?? Im also taking my camera to Chicago on Wednesday with the sole purpose of more photos of the Lurie garden and the fabu plantings along Michigan Ave.

Norma, encouraging news from your household, and so glad you got to spend some time on a boat too.

Cooking some sweet corn tonight and opening the staging area for packing laundry is done thank goodness.

Im heading over to visit Michelles garden tour

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 9:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good evening, idylls. I'm going to try and squeeze in a post before the eyelids crash. The 4:00 am thunderstorm cost me my last hour of sleep this morning.

I visited someone on Saturday who called this "The Lost Summer" and I think I agree with him. The heat, humidity, heavy rain and plentiful mosquitoes have made outdoor work downright miserable. Even by "work clothes" standards, my garden clothes are trash by the end of one day. OK, so maybe I really threw my jeans in the trash Saturday instead of washing them, but as someone else suggested, the rips are now just big enough that I don't want to chance running an errand while wearing them.

Anyway, I keep looking at the gardens and now find myself thinking, maybe next year! I do need to get an updated pic of the green roof as that is doing quite well.

Vacation has come and gone. We had a nice time, although it was a bit more hectic/more work with so many family members at the cabin at once.

Things on the awfice front are just that. A new round of pay cuts have been announced and overall morale is at rock bottom. One coworker just up and walked out of the office today in late afternoon, announcing that she was making more money when she was in high school and if she didn't leave it would get ugly. Wonder if we'll see her tomorrow? I guess since I was only making $1.25 an hour in high school, I still have a ways to go!

Great reading and great photos on this thread. I enjoyed all the grandchildren, and was very impressed by Woody's tutuer.

My coach is about to turn into a pumpkin. Oh yes, speaking of pumpkins I have an enormous vine with four or five good-sized pumpkins growing - on my compost pile, where I dumped my pumpkins last year! Makes me smile every time I see it!!! G'nite,


    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 10:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK Norma, here goes!

We have a reader already. In Whitehorse Ivy decided to read to DSIL about Yukon Wild flowers (babababababa, turn page, babababababa, turn page, babababbaba)

There was lots of driving. Lets read in the car says Skyler. Ivy's book was the Alaska guide. She LOVED it and would flip through it for hours on end!

She "needed" a polar bear license plate.

And here they are at the land of the midnight sun...looking down from a fire watch tower.

DSIL tried to capture the mood, but was disappointed.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 11:07PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning Idylls,

We had a terrific time last evening. Michelle Gervais from Fine Gardening and a friend came up for a garden tour and dinner. I just love being with fellow plant addicts. Most peoples eye glaze over when you talk about "Persicaria polymorpha" or "Agastache Golden Jubilee". We happily sipped wine and chatted away. Doug was our grilling guru and produced perfectly grilled chicken tenders and summer squash. Id made a tossed salad and potato and egg salad earlier in the day so we had a lovely summery dinner. The only unhappy event of the evening happened when I went into the front bushes to find a plant tag and got a nasty spider bite on my left cheek and Im not talking about my face! OUCH!

Bug great pics of Ivy and family! What fun! They look like theyre having a terrific vacation.

V. so sorry for the continued job woes. Not fun working in an environment where folks are so depressed. ~~ I like the term The Lost Summer. Here Im calling it the "Summer from Hell" because its just been too darned hot with essentially no rain. Ive said it before but I just cant get over the perennials blooming this early. It amazes me to see the Chelone and Tricyrtis in full bloom in the beginning of August. September will be very quiet in the borders. ~~ I love pumpkin vines on the compost pile! They really grow well there for some reason, LOL

Norma, so very sorry about your granddaughter. What a bummer to have such a terrible medical condition at her age, let alone at any age. Glad to hear shes improving.

Kathy, safe travels and bring us back lots of pics please.

Saucy, it sounds like you are having a great vacation! How fantastic about the loons! Very cool!

Michelle, I cracked up over you making smores over a fire in this weather for Kenzie. I guess thats what grandmas are for. ~~~ Have a fantastic vacation! Cant wait to hear about it and see your pics. Its a beautiful place.

Cindy, that Stella is a doll!!!! Such a sweetie. Cant wait to meet her in person.

Ive had lots of hummingbirds here this summer and its such a treat to watch them zipping around. This photo is of a juvenile male Ruby-throated

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 10:00AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I made a Saucy leaf!!! Well, no, let me put this another way: inspired by Saucy, I have made a cement casting of an elephant ear leaf. Far from perfect, but still exciting enough to encourage me to keep trying. Given our harsh winters, I think I will cast the leaves until fall and then do painting and finishing in the basement during the winter. Wow, a new hobby!! Thanks Saucy, I may be calling you for much needed advice!

Ha ha, I had to laugh at the discussion of garden clothes. Since that is all that I have, my sometimes snooty neighbours have had to get used to the lower property values caused by my wardrobe. The fact that I have a great front garden compensates...

Sounds like you are going to be a busy girl Kathy, with a new garden to contemplate. Lucky you!

Love the photos, Bug! What a happy time for them. And what a great experience for Skyler, the land of the Midnight sun!

Not much gardening here the last three days. We have rain, rain, rain. Our whole summer's worth at once. The lost summer indeed.

Sounds like you had a wonderful evening Deanne....espeically with some one else doing the cooking *LOL*

Lousy work conditions abound it seems. ((hugs)) to all who need them.

Running off now to take DGS to the doctor, renew ADD meds before school starts and get the ruptured ear drum checked. We are considering changing schools for him - his last two years were miserable in his current school. There has to be something better....



    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 10:39AM
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We had an inch of rain this morning early. Unbelievable since we just got 1.3" on Sunday evening. We are very fortunate in our area not to have to deal with the flooding, but much of the surrounding areas

Julie, congrats on the leaf casting. The process isnt rocket science but to get them done well and the painting is where Saucy has excelled. With practice Im sure yours will be wonderful. The ones Ive done are far from great and I dont have a lot of time to work on them, but people who see them are impressed.

Deanne, extraordinary shot of the baby hummer! Great salvia as well which one is it? Hobnobbing with FG editors maybe another photo shoot is in the works. Regardless, what fun to talk with other gardeners.

V, welcome back! I have several vines growing in my compost this year. One is gourds and the other is to be determined. I mentioned to Rick how lovely the pile looks and maybe we shouldnt turn it this year. There are also a number of flowers that have seeded in there. Sorry to hear that things are so tense at work.

Norma, it sounds like Callee is feeling better spunkiness is a good sign.

Saucy, Peak Island would be my kind of vacation spot. We have loons that spend the night on our pond during migration.

bug, Kenzie will be camping with us over Labor Day weekend along with my parents, siblings and their families. That beaver is fantastic! What a great family vacation.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 4:46PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Saucy, love those loons. Peak Island looks wonderful. We really do need to plan a summer trip north next year or the year after.

'bug, Skyler is looking so happy in these latest pictures (love the 1 am shot)-like a completely different little boy and what a terrific big brother! Ivy is, as always, completely enchanting.

((Norma)) Glad Callee is feeling a little feisty. It is so hard to have one of your kids or grands go through something like that. Sending good thoughts her (and your) way.

Julie, congrats on the leaf project! I have been tempted to try my hand, but never seem to get around to actually assembling the materials. Let's see a picture-I need inspiration! Of course, if yours are half as nice as Saucy's, I may be too intimidated!

Michelle, send some of that rain east...pleeeeze.

V, I am so sorry about the awful awfice stuff. No one needs a pay cut these days!

Deanne, hope there wasn't too much swelling around the spider bite-teehee. Your summer dinner sounds delightful and I do love your hummingbird pics. Lots of talent there, lady!

Kathy, where has the summer gone? Hope the trip to Oregon is lovely. That is one place I'd love to go. Don't think I'd object to living there, either!

Time to cook the steaks.

Hope everyone's evening is relaxing and tranquil.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 6:59PM
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Nice Hummer shot Deanne. How nice to spend an evening with gardening friends. Looking forward to seeing what you gals cooked up.

We had a brief thundershower. It figures since they were getting hay out of our fields.

I stayed in this afternoon and did a couple loads of laundry and paid some bills. Also took a short nap, which I usually do in the hammock but it was 102 on the back porch so I opted for the air inside.
I think another hot day tomorrow and then just a tad better.
My Sweet Autumn Clematis is about to start blooming.
Seems early for that.

Cyn steak sounds good.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 9:22PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A really hot and humid day again here Norma. I was only able to do a bit of gardening after dinner tonight. I cleaned up the patch of mini Lady's Mantle under our crabapple tree. The awful Creeping Charlie was a mess there and the tree had lots of suckers. Looks fine now, one of those jobs you'd never know was done if you didn't see it before. Tomorrow is supposed to be around 82, but more like 95 with the humidity.

DD is off in Fort McMurray for two nights on business. This is a first for Ivy. I think she and DSIL will do fine. She'll have her regular day care in the day time and she enjoys that.

Time to unwind here, maybe read Fine Gardening.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 9:42PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well I woke up and it had rained overnight! What a gift rain is when youve not had any for a long time. I think we probably got a half inch or so, enough so I wont have to water the lawn today, just the pots. The temps have dropped back into the 80s so that is a major relief as well. Yesterday was 93 with about 90% humidity it seemed, just nasty hot. Have I mentioned that Im really sick and tired of gardening in the heat this summer? Hopefully the drop in temps will help the fuchsias. Many of them have been doing poorly this summer because they just dont like it this hot. The plants either dont set buds or the buds drop or fail to open. A few are up to the challenge of the weather including this fantastic Jack Shahan

Michelle, that salvia is Wendys Wish new to me this year but one I dont want to be without in the future. Love the color of this one and the Hummingbirds love it as well. ~~ Sounds like you are going to have a great Labor Day weekend with family! ~~ Its hard to believe that your area is dealing with so much rain and flooding and weve been so dry here.

LOL Cyn, my butt is already swollen enough I didnt need any more swelling but the site of the spider bite is indeed swollen and itchy as heck. I just have to be careful not to scratch in public!

Norma, holy cow, 102!!!!! I guess I shouldnt be complaining about our mid 90s. Yes, that seems early for Sweet Autumn vine to be blooming. I noticed that mine is also setting buds here.

Bug, how mini is that Ladys Mantle? Ive not heard of a dwarf variety.

Julie, how terrific about making a cement leaf casting. Would love to see pics?

The brugs are really starting to grow like weeds and my white one is absolutely smothered with flowers. What a treat.

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 8:32AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Holy moly - that brug is amazing w/ the number of buds on it Deanne!! I bet the aroma is amazing too.

Here, trying to get into the new "routine" LOL -- Stella survived her first day of long alone time -- she's gonna have to take up modelling I think to pay for her walker fees.... but I know she'll benefit from it -- it breaks it up at least. Poor Chloe - I was too poor to attempt to afford.... One forgets the antics of a a puppy tho... I know all you folks w/ newer ones are rolling their eyes now at me... I was exhausted by 9 pm last nite after a couple hours of entertaining her and playing and running around.... she's still not much interested in her food tho. I had to tape a couple of electric outlets as she seems disposed to want to lick them.... til I get to a store again for more puppy/toddler proofing supplies -- outlet covers - I guess this is a trial run for a new toddler event too eventually, LOL. I've had puppy runs at least one a day to go get something I hadn't thought of before....

Great to see lots of vacation photos - mine was the IU this year - it seems so far away now!

Cant wait to see some more - and Kathy's trip to Chicago and then Oregon - I'm green w/ envy that you will see Joy Creek in person..... one of these days.

Norma - I'm glad to hear your GD is feeling a bit better - I'm glad to hear they figured it out, serious as it is - at least she has the diagnosis and can go from there with it -- young adults do seem to adapt amazingly well.

Rain... what does that look like? I think we were almost 100 yesterday and today feels the same..... things are burnt and drooping.

V -- nice to see you check in -- I like that phrase The Lost Summer too - because I dont much feel like I've done most of the things I normally do in a summer - tooo danged hot and miserable.... and o my the metro... more steam heat... Last nite was another horrible hot train - I moved thru 3 cars - all as bad as the one before ... so then you try to endure -- the thought kept entering my mind - I think I'm gonna lose it... and be arrested for erupting...

That makes at least 2 folks who walked out at your company just like that, doesnt it, V? It's weird how folks are doing that so much these days... thinking wacko Flite JetBlue attendants, here. I do commiserate with them, but one has to pay bills too... suck it up, right? I've been working on my sucking skills this year.

Well, not sure if I'll be able to check in or take any photos this week... lots to do and no routine yet.....


    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Cindy, I'm sure your baby changes daily. I hope you find a few minutes to take Stella's portrait. You'll be sorry not to have a record of her puppy days! (Don't really want to make you feel guilty, I'm just being selfish because it would be fun for me to see them!)

Deanne, I took a few photos for you. I'm sorry I don't have the actual name for this Lady's Mantle but I've had it for years now. The leaves are smaller and darker than the regular variety.
Here is the smaller type:

This is the regular version:

You can see where creeping Charlie is similar.

I worked hard on the barn garden this morning before breakfast.

I deadheaded some roses and weeded by the dining room window garden too. Barely made a dent there. It is hot for that sort of work, but at least the humidity is better. I collected beets for our dinner too. I'll roast them with olive oil later on.

Back to mowing.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 3:05PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Oh, my! This Idyll (and my week of solitude) are slipping away from me! Just a quick post before I forget a couple of things.

Bug, the picture of Skyler hanging from a log made me grin from ear to ear. It's so good to see him let go and have a good time. The pictures are all wonderful and the one of he and Ivy sleeping is just precious!

Aw, Norma-so not fair for your granddaughter :( I hope meds keep things under control.

As for the tattered gardening clothes..oh, yeah-I've got them, too. I have to make the call to throw things away for Jim. It depends on location and/or how many holes. I am not exaggerating when I say that he was actually going to go to the fertilizer plant in crotchless jeans one day. Said no one would notice. Someone has to draw that line in the sand, lol! And, once in a while it's nice to see him in "whole" clothes. He tends to dress every day as if he's "gardening" ;)
The housecleaning/inventory reduction project is going well. I'm going through room by room and doing it up right. I've pretty much decided to wait until next week to go skydiving. From now through Saturday, they're forecast for chances of thunderstorms every day. It would be too frustrating to be stuck on the ground over there when I could be getting stuff done here. So, I'll be a good grownup and do my work before I go out and play. Besides, Monday is supposed to be really nice here. I'd hate to be too sore/tired to get out and do something in the yard. "The lost summer" sums it up for sure.

Okay, back to work. If I sit too long...well, you know how it goes!
Waving cheerily to all as she goes back to work, Cinderella signing off...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 5:20PM
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It was a beautiful sunset to end a gorgeous day. Nick and I took the boat over to Frye Island and had dinner and an ice cream and then we drove the boat to the spot where the loons are and watched the sunset with them. I got some really poor shots of the loons and the sunset :)

Deanne, I don't know how you get that brug to perform! Wow! Your place is loving this heat, I see. I fear my garden looks tired.

I was thinking of Martie lately and wonder how she is. I have a begonia that she gave me a cutting of, and it is doing well.

Brenda, I thought of your husband on the boat today...actually while I was swimming. LOL, I wondered if my freshly painted toenails might look like fishing lures, and wondered if Jim might be trying something similar :)

Have a good night all....tomorrow is kayaking for us, a 7 mile trip. It's supposed to take 3-5 hours.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 9:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, we had a beautiful sunrise this morning...but your sunset is just wonderful! Dinner & ice cream on the island sounds perfect.

Our friend keeps his kayak in our barn, but this evening around 5 he collected it to do some exploring. Phoebe wanted to join him but she'd be no help at all. She doesn't even go in the water. Charlotte did. All she does is drink water. Actually she likes ice cubes too!

Planted a couple of plants after dinner, which required moving other plants around. Musical plants time.

Cloudy with sunny periods and 30 percent chance of showers. High 27. (About 81F) But we are off to the dentist. After that we are taking a whole bunch of old paint cans to the town of Guelph dump. If time, I'll renew my driver's license too. Exciting you think? (No....)

Sweet dreams,

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 10:01PM
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In Chicago,past my bedtime ..waving at V !

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 11:58PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Deanne, if that is an unhappy fuschia, I can't imagine what yours are like when they are happy! Wow.

Kathy, how are things in that toddlin' town? I have never spent any time there, but hear it is a grand city.

'bug, our dogs like ice cubes, too. Annabelle crunches them and eats them. Clouseau is not quite so sure what he is supposed to do with them, so he takes them and then drops them. The monster pup actually fishes them out of the water dish with his paw and then plays with them.

Norma, don't you love taking naps! It feels so indulgent to me, which is lovely!

Saucy, sounds like your vacation is turning out exactly as a vacation should. Lucky us that we get to enjoy it, too!

Cindy, sounds like life is full(!) of fun these days. Stella must be so much fun. I know John's puppy keeps me laughing and I suspect Stella does the same for you. Waiting for more pics.

We had a thunderstorm this morning. Not enough rain, but at least we did get some.

DH is home from his meeting. He has been doing great, but I need to talk him into buying himself a computer-he has appropriated my new Macbook and I am stuck with this stupid one from school.

Lost summer is right. Oh and where are the lost Idylls these days? Missing you!

Later, all.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 2:24PM
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I'm going to finish out this thread with a welcoming wave from Ein to Stella. Cataract surgery went well and now it's just keeping up with his meds and helping him get "unstuck" out of tight quarters. Just six more weeks...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 7:32PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Awwww.... poor Ein! the 'Cone of Shame'.... Glad to hear the surgery went well.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 8:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I prefer the term "Victorian Collar".

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 8:19PM
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