Idyll #326 Keep the home fires burning

gardeningmaryJuly 18, 2007

In packing mode here but wanted to tell Eden how much I've been thinking about her and her brave Mother. (((Hugs))) More hugs for Honey too.

We'll miss every one of you who can't make it to IU4 but am sure you'll do a good job carrying on without us.

I had fun today splurging on cheese - does anyone else enjoy a really fragrant (stinky) French type? I won't be offended if you don't as I'll be quite happy to sit and eat it on my own. What I do need though is to find my cooler and ice packs or you'll be able to smell me driving down the PA Turnpike.

Well, off to hunt up my favorite enormous lime green you know whats.

In a state of anticipation and excitement


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I washed the coolers today and put 30 bottles of water in the frig to cool. Then managed a little grocery shopping for the trip. I need to find more cold packs. Thought I had more than 4, but the downstairs freezer yielded zero and a complete reshuffling of the upstairs freezer didn't turn up anything but dried up frozen peppers and a bottle of peppermint schnapps that had leaked and left an interesting goo on the bottom.

Chelone, leave the nose prints, I'm not cleaning my car and there are more nose prints and drool on my windows than Rex could accomplish in a life time.

I do need to make a list, that's easier than the last minute urgency. If it cools off a bit I'll make cookies tonight. Cookies for lunch sound good with the water?

Mariann in NJ, IdyllUnion, (IU) is our annual get together. Stick around and talk with us, and maybe you can participate next year!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:03PM
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PS: Sorry, I have the mind of a flea somtimes. Eden, thinking of you and hoping things go well for your mom.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:05PM
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cynthia, thanks for the invite. I'd love to stick around. As I said I miss the friends I had with my other group. I'll post a little more tomorrow morning and sort of introduce myself.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:11PM
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Eden, hugs to you and a sincere hope that a good slumber falls upon you tonight!

Cynthia, the mind of a flea - I think not!

Mariann, Idyll is for the idyllic chatter that goes on here on a daily basis - please join us.

Mary, I haven't even started packing yet. Chelone's gonna be here bright and early, so I'm getting a move on. I do, however, have my trusty list already written :)

I am bringing vodka, italian soda, and various crackers for stinky cheese....OH, two bottles of Maine wine, too. What was my faux pas at the first IU? Didn't I think I brought a wine from my area, but it was from somewhere else? Am I dreaming this?

I am so excited I could burst. My life really needs an IU right now. Honey, I'm almost in the boat with your daughter (I'm sure it is painful to watch this happening). It's the reason I lost so much time here. It's the reason for a lot of things.....and after a long evaluation of my life, I'm finding that I wasn't so innocent, either. Luckily we don't have mental illness to throw on the fire (at least no diagnosis as of yet!). I feel like this has been hanging over my head here....hard to say in a public forum. I'm sure many people relate.

I hope we survive....and sometimes I wish for the quiet peace that being alone would bring.

Well, there, I said it.

So Honey and DH, I see your sadness/fears in my in laws (they're here, my family is in TN) and I am sorry for your daughter. I hope things clear up in your world soon.

Now, I'm turning my frown upside down and getting ready to GO!!!!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:20PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - I hope you find peace without being alone.

It's dry, dry, dry here - and has been since spring. Things are struggling out there. We've been on watering restrictions since mid-June - first no watering allowed and now odd/even day watering - the rain that has been just missing us obviously has been falling close enough to make a difference for the water system. I haven't been much motivated to take pictures this year but I went out this morning looking for something to say:

(I hope your birthday was sweet as honey, with no stingers in sight...:-)
That coneflower was one of the batch in the front bed here:

The wisteria 'tree'didn't bloom this spring other than one or two flowers that survived the late cold in spring. But it's trying to make up for it now. It usually produces a few flowers in July but there seems to be more than usual this year. The 'tree' is filling out nicely now and the flowers make it extra nice at this time of year. Here's a closer view of some of them:

Here is some orange and purple for Mary - the view into the south alley from the office window:

And for GB a couple of the unknown clematis on the garage hydrangeas are still blooming. I checked my tag book and I don't have any tags for them. I bought them last summer at a going-out-of-business sale at the local fruit market. I thought there was a tag for one of them that was Warsaw Nike but I don't have it now. So I'm not sure what these are but they're pretty whatever they are!

Chelone - Briards are a French herding breed. They can be as small as 55 lbs or as large as 100 lb. I gather 70-80 is average. Copper is currently about 58 lb. but is very skinny still and has lots more filling out to do. I'd guess she will end up around 75lb. The European herding breeds are quite different from the British ones. The European ones were bred to be more protective and responsible for keeping the flock in the smaller, unfenced fields. Think German Shepherd.... So Copper looks like a clown but Briards in Europe are used as police and protective dogs in the way that German Shepherds are. Bouviers like Charlotte come from the same background. Briards can be black too and a black one would look a lot like Charlotte. Briards are sort of non-shedding. They 'blow' their coat instead, especially in spring I gather. The 'blown' coat has to be combed out because it doesn't fall out. If they aren't combed, the coat mats badly. Copper has a shaved belly at the moment because it was badly matted. The puppy coat is soft and mats easier than the harder adult coat. Trying to comb her belly is like trying to wrestle an octopus!
I totally sympathize with Rex's current frustrations - including his early removal of staples. I had staples in my left leg once. When the skin was starting to heal, it wanted to flatten out and those staples had no give so they HURT! I ended up going to my family doctor and having some of them removed early. What a relief - even though part of the wound opened up. It healed up OK and it was worth it to get those cursed staples out :-)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:39PM
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Mariann, it began as Idle Chatter for the regulars on the Perennials forum. After several threads devolved into silliness, Spike gave us a place to chitty-chat. Idle rather quickly became Idyll...

Idyl or Idyll: n. 1. a short poem or prose work, describing a simple, pleasant scene of rural, pastoral, or domestic life: the literary tradition of the term goes back to Theocritus, who described pastoral life in Sicily for sophisticated readers of Alexandria. 2. a scene or incident suitable for such a work. 3. an extended narrative poem: as "The IDYLLS of the King." 4. in music, a simple, pastoral composition. (from Webster's New World Dictionary, World Publishing Co., c. 1951). I'll bet you're really glad you asked, huh? ;)

I have a Spinach Artichoke dip, a Pate de Campaigne (not, sadly what I'd hoped to bring... this one is "packaged"), and Olive tapenade along with some good crackers. Pinot Grigio, Gin, tonic, and limes... also a fruit offering. Be prepared to eat, I'd rather not nursemaid it all weekend, OK?!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:47PM
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Yes, Eden, I am sorry to read of your Mom's woes. Sorrier that I was so caught up in the coming weekend that I failed to mention my concern for both your Mom and YOU. Thinking good thoughts for you and hoping you get a good night's sleep; bet you need it!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:53PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

In keeping with Chelone's definition:


So long I had forgotten
The intricate pattern of a leaf,
The veined beauty of a rock,
The perfection of an acorn cup,
The comforting feel of moss,
The rugged strength of tree roots,
The delicate beauty of a wildflower.

So long I had forgotten
The soothing sound of wind through trees,
The elegance of boughs and leaves
In skyward silhouette, on looking up;
And languid passage of cloud ships
Over the sky's blue waters...
Oh, blessed peace!

I feel the quiet power of earth
Flowing into me,
Strength from rock and sky and tree
Oh, blessed rediscovery!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 9:08PM
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I want to wish you all a good trip and a super fun weekend! Wish I was going to be there. You're all going to have such fun!

Saucy, I remember a little about the wine you brought to IU1. Wasn't it something to do with coming from the cape?

Woody, your garden looks beautiful. From the pictures you'd never know you're in a drought.

Welcome Mariann. I look forward to getting to know you.

Thanks for the kind words you guys. I feel bad telling you about my mom all the time. I hate bringing the Idylls down like that. You're all just great about it though. Sorry!

I'm going to miss sharing cheese and wine with you all this weekend not to mention the great gardens you're all going to see. Hoping to see lots of pictures next week. Have a safe trip everyone and enjoy being together!

Off to bed for me!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 9:42PM
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LOL! Yes...and when we all looked closely at the bottle, it came from a cape in S. Africa!

OKAY, this is IT! I'm shutting it down and heading to bed. Work is done and packing is almost done (save it for morning), so I'm gone. Eden, this is where you should talk about your mom. To not do it here means YOU won't be here.

My .02


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 10:19PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ok, this is really freaky = Mary, great minds and on the same wave... I thought of this very phrase as a good one to start a new thread with... how weird is that?

no time to post -- Miss Chloe has been delivered to her slumber party/campout w/ DD & SIL... I have laundry and packing to do. A dentist appt tomorrow a.m to start the day; then, zoooom, zoom, Im heading north!

Eden -- you know I am right there with you.... I will hope and pray your Mom's recovery continues w/ hearing she's out of ICU.....thoughts, and feelings are jumbled w/ you. I will miss you & Brad the next few days, but we'll be thinking good thoughts for you. Try to keep your spirits up....but the homefire keepers here will be a good source of comfort when you need it.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 10:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I haven't starting packing, so this will be very brief.

Mariann, jump on in! Anyone who uses the screen name galium has to be sweet. (Ouch - I'm the one with the bad jokes...)

Eden, on a serious note I will be thinking of you and your mom.

Woody, it was dry here until about 3 hours ago. We then had 2.2 inches of rain in under 2 hours. It is now wet - very, very wet. We will need to re-engineer an area near the pond to improve the drainage in future deluges.

Time to throw clothes in a suitcase!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 10:38PM
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Hi again

Hi Mariann and welcome - it will be nice to get to know you. Not completely packed yet - I actually spent the evening playing quartets. However the car is filled up with gas, I have some new bank notes, I found the cooler and my cell phone and camera are charging.

Woody - we've had gentle rain several days in a row and even the grass has greened up. Wish I could send some your way and to Brenda. I love the red clem and white lacecap.

Babs - have a FAB time on your vacation.

Saucy - sorry to hear things are tough relationship wise right now. We can talk more this weekend.

to bed!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 11:03PM
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Eden, I am so sorry to hear that things are so tough for your mom. I care and want you to share your joys and sorrows, thats what friends do. Hugs to you, your mom and your whole family.

Thanks all for the wonderful birthday greetings. Each is so special. I have saved them all in a folder.

Brenda, we finally got a little shot of rain ½", but we are hoping for more.

Ei, very cool Illustris leaf. Maybe you can get rich off it ;o)

Welcome Mariann, I see you celebrated a birthday just yesterday. Belated happy birthday.

Saucy, as I mentioned to Eden sharing joys and sorrows are what the Idylls are about. I hope that this weekend gives a break from life and that you have much fun. I know you will. I wish the best for you. As someone who was divorced with young children I think I can somewhat understand where you are.

No packing of clothing going on here :o( IÂm feeling a little sorry for myself, but I do wish you all tons of fun together. Remember lots of pictures are required for those tending the fire ;o) Have a glass of wine for me.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 11:32PM
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chelone thanks for the definition for Idyll.... Marion the poem was lovely. I felt the words.

michelle-I appreciate the birthday wishes.

I hope everyone attending IU has a wonderful time. Where is it being held this year?

A little bit about me. I'm married (second time around) and have a beautiful daughter. She's been married for almost 2 months now. I fell in love with her when she was born. That love has blossomed into a wonderful relationship. My DH is my best friend and staunchest supporter in all my undertakings.

I've always loved gardening, starting with veggies. My greatest influences were my dad, grandmother and an aunt. To this day I am awed by nature and am still thrilled when I plant a seed and it grows. I have a medical background and am a Respiratory Therapy Tech. I became a little burnt out and decided to go back to college to study Horticulture. Most of this info is on My Page. Anyway, I ended up with 2 degrees in Hort. an AAS in Orn. Hort. and a BS in Hort. I worked full time then part time while I was attending college.

In early 2000 I was diagnosed with an incurable disease. I spent the next 2 1/2 years in and out of the hospital. I took me several more years to regain some of my health. I am disabled but to look at me you'd never know. I do most of the things I use to IE. gardening, crafts, etc. I live each day to it's fullest. I have to many hobbies and interests to name them all.

I have 6 foot tomato plants this year. Yeah... Also put in a shade garden. No pets though although I have rescued stray animals. I take them to a Shelter that is no kill. I also go there to feed treats to the cats and dogs.

I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone.
Who is it that has Shingles??? I've had them too. Very nasty and painful.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 6:16AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning!

This will be short because I'll be seeing many of you later today or tomorrow morning. It's too bad we can't get a year when everyone can come. Wouldn't that be fun?

Welcome Mariann! IU4 is actually in the greater Philly area this year so right in your neck of the woods. I'll wave as I drive through NJ this afternoon.

Anyway, safe travel everyone! I'm bringing my laptop and photo downloading cable so we should have regular updates and photos throughout the weekend.



    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 6:56AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Like Sue I've got to keep this short as we've got to finish packing and hit the road. (got to get the watering done too) There are going to be some thunder storms in the NY/NJ/PA area this afternoon and I'd like to have the drive behind us when they hit. We're going to pick up Wendy on the way so it will seem like a party right from the start!!!

Welcome to Marianne!!! Glad you are joining us. I've thought for a while that I'd like to get a degree in Horticulture so I'm interested to hear your experiences. Great pictrures!

Woody, love your photographs. Neat that your wisteria tree is blooming right now.

((((Eden))))) Thinking of you and your family.

(((Michelle)))) I'm so sad you won't be there and I won't get to meet you in person again this year.

Brenda, I'm praying for rain for you and Michelle.

OK I've really got to run. Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 7:17AM
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A quickie here too. A little worried as DH is flying in from NYC and the storms are looking bad. I have a back-up in place for Annie and David incase is doesn't make it back tonight. Fortunately a good friend is picking David up from camp, taking him and Annie home for dinner and can keep them overnight if DH is stranded. Another neighbor is willing to feed and let pooch out. Thank heavens for cell phones (and girl friends)!! I have a bit of time this morning till I collect Annie from play rehearsal then I'm hitting the road. Freedom!!

Mariann - it sounds as though your life has had some rich experiences, some good, others challenging, but you have kept a wonderful outlook. I think you will have fun Idylling. Too bad we missed your birthday as they are highlights around here.

Time for another coffee, organize breakfast and pack up my cooler.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning!

Showers and thunderstorms have passed by since 3:30 in the AM. When thunder and lightning flashed I woke up enough to turn off the computers. Then I couldn't get back to sleep so knitted and did laundry. :( They say there will be more of this weather through until tomorrow noon. Just yesterday DH and I were off to a small town playing tourists and eating frozen yogourt in the hot sunshine. What a mixed up planet...

I imagine everyone in a flurry, trying to organize pets and family, meals and suitcases and gifts. What a wonderful weekend you are going to share!

I've been thinking of Eden and her Mom a great deal. Many of us here have been through similar tough times and know how it affects the spirit! As a Mom though, just knowing your warmth and caring nature Eden, would be a comfort and blessing.

Saucy, to quote your own words, "this is where you should talk ... To not do it here means YOU won't be here." You have shared with us through time, perhaps in a subtle way at times, but I've always felt that your putting words down helped with your demons. Your sharing has been wonderful for me, making you such a real vibrant person, not just a shadow. I'm so glad you are having this special weekend at this time! You are right, things are "hard to say in a public forum." And yes, I too can relate in a big way.

Mariann, glad to meet you. Welcome! We share the same wildlife visitors I see. Hunting season always infuriates me even though I'm not fond of some of the critters.

The birds are all about, chirping and fussing. I've noticed more of them in the past 2 weeks than ever before. Hummingbirds and young orioles are everywhere.

The sprinkler malfunctioned AGAIN last night before the rains descended. I guess I'll have to go buy another today. Even though it rained, it will never be enough I'm afraid after the weeks of drought. I got quite a few plant ghetto items in the ground yesterday, hope to get more accomplished between storms.

Happy today to one and all! I'll be checking in to read about the goings on in Pa! I really wanted to visit Swarthmore this year...Sigh.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:31AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mariann, Welcome....I'm glad you liked the poem. It was on a church bulletin that I got last week, and I think it is very nice ( and no religious referances--:-) ).

I am wishing lovely weather for the IU goers. I know you will all have a great time.

We have the possibility of severe storms in this evening's forecast. I hope all who are in need of rain will get some, espacially Woody and Brenda.

Woody, your pics are so pretty.
I have had no blooms on our native wisteria, and not too many of our purple coneflowers escaped the deer. More will some on later, since I fenced them.
The Balloon flowers have recovered nicely behind their fence...

I bought some bird net last week, to drape over hydrangeas, but haven't put it on yet. So far they have escaped damage, but when all this wet weather comes to a halt I think they will hit more of the yard plants.

The deck plants have not yet been 'hit' by the raccoons:

I am enjoying this Alocasia. Nolon calls it the Skeleton

All of my orchids are putting on new growth. I finally started fertilizing them, and it is paying off. I even fertilized all the african violets!

Good thoughts are going to all who are suffering...regardless of the cause.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:31AM
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Just wanted to pop in to give Eden a very heartful hug. Wish I could do it in person, my friend!

Michelle, I join you in wishing that I were doing some traveling today to meet everyone.

Mariann, welcome and a belated Happy Birthday to you!

I hope everyone's travel is safe and that your time together is enjoyable beyond anyone's expectations! I will miss those of you I've met and also those I've never met but still treasure your friendship through this group.

Yep, feeling a touch emotional this morning. Wonder if I took a baby aspirin instead of hormones last night ;o)....

Enjoy yourselves!!! Safe journey!! Oh, an tip a glass for me! ;o)


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:39AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, I am glad you got some rain, and hope you get lots more. This has been the rainiest July (here)that I can ever remember. Even those who have lived here all their lives ( 70+ years) are saying the same thing.
I hope you are not finding any losses in your gardens.
I am enjoying all your bambino pics. I sure understand your excitement. I was blessed with my 1st grandchild 3 years younger than you. It is a shame that neither of us are close enough to see them often.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:44AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mariann,I read your Member page. You've had an interesting career. I am sorry you were struck down with a chronic illness. I can sure identify with that!
Your list of wildlife could very well been written by me.
Here are some of mine:

( Guess you don't have these! )

There are lots more in my PT album ( link below).
I hope you enjoy them.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:03AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Wonderful to read of everyone's preparations for the trip. Wish I was able to be there. Someone have a couple of glasses of wine for me, will ya?

Mariann, good to meet you! You'll fit right in around here.

Eden, don't be sorry for talking about your Mom on here. All part and parcel of the Idylls. ((Eden)) Thinking of you and your family.

Saucy, I'm sorry to hear things are so trying for you now. I'm glad you can get away, an IU sounds like the perfect thing for you right now. ((Saucy))

Woody-lovely pictures. You'd never know that there was a shortage of water in your gardens.

Michelle, I thought of you as soon as I opened my eyes this morning. We finally got our rain last night. 1 1/2", which brought our total for the last three days to about 2"!! Couldn't be more thrilled. When I woke up, I wondered if you had gotten any, and thought a picture of the rain gauge would be as beautiful as anything I could post for your birthday. Alas, the camera hasn't found it's way home yet. Note to self....ask DD for it back, lol! Wish you had gotten more than 1/2". I know every little bit helps, but if you guys are anything like us, 1/2" wasn't going to cut it. I'm hoping for more rain for you!!!

Marian, great pictures. I love the Alocasia!

We got very lucky on the rain last night. Just a couple of counties west of us, they got blasted with 70MPH winds ahead of the storm. We just got a nice, solid rain, and a cool light show to go along with it. I didn't realize HOW tensed up I was about the whole thing until the rain actually settled in, and we could tell it was going to be a rain, not just a dribble. Plopped down on the porch and cried my eyes out. Lol, Jim thinks I'm totally bonkers ;) There is more rain to the west, don't know if it will make it to us or not, but I'm content with what we did get. I'm wishing a good soaker for all who are needing it!
Gotta run, someone is here!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:24AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - I don't know how I missed seeing your last post... How's your mom hanging in there? Sounds like stressful times for all.

The great things about photos is you can be selective about what you show. Perhaps this view will make the drought more evident:

We got a grand total of 3.5mm of rain overnight (0.14" for the metric-challenged :-) Not much but anything is good at this point. Mary, you're definitely living on the right side of the lake at the moment! And Marian we're probably close to the dryest July here instead of your wettest one...

For your amusement, here's a cute image of Randy that he brought home last night from a company event - some of it got cut off on the scanner unfortunately:

To the traveling Idylls - Enjoy the weekend and have a safe journey.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:44AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh dear, Susan. Your grass looks like ours did during our drought.
LOL, neat picture of Randy.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:56AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The oddest day here weather-wise. Heat, sun, rain, winds....not able to garden but DH and I got many errands accomplished, one of which is pricing new gravel for the laneway. Not glamorous, but necessary.

And because I'm missing my gardener's get-away, we are having steak and wine for dinner. So I'll be thinking of the gang for sure!

Thinking of Honey & Tom, DD & DGD, and Missy! This is what family is about! Hugs all around!

Just to show that things are normal here, an update (one month birthday!) photo:

Happy busy weekend dear friends, both away and at home.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 6:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bigfoot located in Canada....;-)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 6:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Marie...I don't have any pics of my grandchildren or their feet...but here is one of the Dorky Dude :-)

And a Black and White Warbler that hit the window and was recovering on the storm door's screen:


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:32PM
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Marian-I enjoyed your wildlife pictures. No we don't have armadillos. I would rather have one of those than the nasty groundhog that plowed through my Echinacea bed. So sad seeing a few flowers sitting a top of a stem without leaves.

It's going to take me time to get to know everyone so bear with me.

Eden-I don't know all of the details about your mom. Just suffice it to say that my dad was very ill last year. It was painful and sad to see him in that condition. I talked about it with everyone I knew. It helped to ease the pain and helplessness I felt.

gardenbug-what an adorable baby...Like that foot. When my daughter was a baby I loved to kiss her toes. Now I'm waiting for a grand baby.

I spent the day with my daughter. We went out for breakfast and then to a movie. Don't know who here likes SciFi....but Transformers was great. The special effects were awesome. I actually wanted to jump up and down. I like it when the good guys win. When I came home there were two birthday boxes for me. I'm in a birthday swap on the RR Forum. Opening presents is always fun.

Hope everyone had a good day...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mariann, I am curious, what is the RR Forum? I googled and came up with at least 3 differant ones.

At least your Echinacea still have flowers. The deer ate off most of my flowers and just left the stems and a few leaves. I fenced the larger bed,and am waiting for new flowers to come on. I hope I am smart enough to fence them earlier in the year next year. :-(

How long have you been reading these threads? It shouldn't take you long to learn who we all are.

Are you saying a grandbaby is on the way?

I used to be an avid fan of science fiction. Before TV I read all those type books that I could find. I was a fan of Star Trek. There have not been many such movies on our TV lately, and we don't go out to movies. We do watch lots of videos, but I don't have many SciFi videos.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 8:57PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Greetings from PA! I just got back from dinner with Wendy, Saucy, Mary and Cindy. We found this great little Mexican place in a plaza across the turnpike from the hotel. Deanne, Doug and Chelone opted to stay back and chill. Before dinner we did have a bit of a party in Chelone's room-wine, pate, and all sorts of other gourmet delights on crackers.

I was up at 5:30 this morning, drove for close to 5 hours through metro NY traffic and now it's time for me to chill as well.

"See" you all tomorrow!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 9:36PM
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Hallo all Idylls still presentI am way behind this weekI havent even extended birthday greetings to Michelle..what a slacker (me, not Michelle !!) And I concur with Brenda-Its fun to hear of the trip preps and the anticipation. Wishes for a great trip to everyone, and cant wait for the first set of pics to come in---

My garden requires lots of deadhead maintenance at the present, so once I get off work I make my way outside with the trusty floral snips and the felcos. And , of all things, we had rain yesterday morningvery unusual for us in July. It wasnt enough to really water anything, but its nice to get the plants washed off !

Eden, best to you and Mom.

Saucy ! The great thing about the Idylls, you can spill the beans or beg off the details, but the support and warmth is here either way ! Have a great time at IU4 , if I was going I would be right there with the stinky French cheese with a vodka chaser. And wine from Maine ..Ill try any wine, any time !

Woody, love the Clem pics, mine are long gone , though I have one (Ramona) that reblooms a bit usually in Sept.

Mariann, welcome to the Idyllsyayyy, that means someone is newer than me, so I now declare myself a sophomore instead of a freshman. I need to go back and peruse your garden pics at a slower pace. I admire your steadfastness in the face of your heath issues. You appear to have appositive attitude , which I am sure manifests itself in your ability to live to the fullest even in the face of illness.

Marian what wonderful pics youve been posting ! I better get the camera out if Im going to keep up with youYour deck display looks wonderful- I even see a Hibiscus there-will you move it inside over the winter or grow it as an annual ? I had one two years ago that I lost because I didnt protect it well enough. The house I grew up in had a couple of huge Hibiscus, as tall as the house (this was in LA) one was pink and one was red. Looks like Dorky Dude has set up camp he looks pretty young and chipper.

Hi to everyone, Im off to cook dinner and watch some baseball

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 9:49PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well we've made it safely to PA after a very L - O - N- -G drive here. It was one traffic jam after another topped off by getting completely stopped for a half an hour just eight miles from our destination. It turns out there was a head on colision and they had to block both lanes of traffic to get the accident cleared. Yikes! awful. Anyway, cured me from wanting to take a cross country drive. LOL The high point this morning was having an opportunity to tour Wendy's garden and they are lovely! She has a beautiful Hydrangea 'Nikko Blue' that I drooled over and her variegated Brugmansia is marvelous.

We came in to find we are across the hallway from Chelone and Mary, Sue, Saucy, Cindy were already there. Woohoo! they were waiting to pour us a glass of wine which I really wanted right about then. I was a bit frazzled but Wendy was still cool as a cucumber. Nothing seemed to bother her. She'll be at the top of the list of preferred travel companions from now on.

Anyway had a great visit with everone and we are currently tucked into our bed and ready for a snooze so we can hit the road in the morning. I sure wish everyone was here! WE are going to miss all the absent faces.

Here are a couple pics I took yesterday figuring it would be a while before I had time to get any garden time until August.

I can't get over how much the container garden has filled in in the last three weeks.

Nite all!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, I almost asked about you!
Thanks..on the pics. Yes, I move the Hibiscus in, ( all 4 of them ), and almost all the rest of the potted plants from on the deck. :-)
I have a good sized utility room with windows on 3 sides. That is where most of the potted plants winter over.

Great that you got an unexpected shower. I dragged the hose around this afternoon and evening. Most plants didn't really need it...just some of the potted ones, but I watered some of the beds anyway. Instead of soaking in, most of it ran off. I guess the ground is still wet from the rains.

I will be taking Nolon in for a checkup in the morning. He hasn't had one since last November. We will be eating breakfast in town after the blood drawing. That is always a treat. I think we will go to a regular restaurant this time. :-)


    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 10:18PM
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Good morning everyone...I'm an early riser hence the 5:30 am post.

Marian-The RR Forum is the Round Robin Exchange here on the Garden Web. No grand baby on the way yet: I'm just waiting patiently. I'm a Star Trek fan too. The only one I couldn't get into was Deep Space Nine. My DH called it Deep Space Yawn. By the way, I spray my plants with a mixture of raw eggs and garlic. It seems to keep the deer at bay.

Deanne-Those pics are beautiful. Wendy's gardens are spectacular. I use containers for annuals. Mine can't compare though.

My plans for the day are potting up some tropicals, weeding, pollinating, etc. Don't know how much I'll get done.

I want to thank everyone for their kind welcomes.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 5:42AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I was up earlier than usual this morning. Got up at 6 and took a shower. Now I have to wait more than 2 hours, without breakfast, before taking DH in to his appointment. Of course I could eat my breakfast, but I will wait until he can eat his. I quess I can at least make a pot of coffee. :-)

Mariann, I never cared for Deep Space Nine either. "Deep Space Yawn" , LOL, good name.
I've never tried the egg-garlic spray. My plantings are too extensive to make it a thing I'd feel up to doing. My plants and beds are scattered over about an acre.
BTW, I don't know if you are into wildflowers, but I have 4 albums in PT of the ones I found on our land.

I wonder if the IU gals and guys are up and at it yet.....
Probably up to all hours last night, and sleeping in...?

Yep, Deanne's pictures are gorgeous, as usual. I still maintain, she has much better growing conditions than what we have here. Nothing grows that beautifully here. I espacially love her container garden.

Shoot. No rains came in last night, and this morning's sky is almost totally clear. We 'are' in for a slight cool down, and dryer air. I can live with that! Naturally it means more hose dragging. :-(

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 7:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Marian, your weather seems to parallel ours. How odd!
Dude is very appealing. I used to find that Black and White Warblers were among the first to arrive at spring migration time. Black throated green warblers were first. The yellow ones came next...all very confusing to identify and I needed to re-learn them each spring.

I wonder if Sue will be up to her Friday task today? :-) I'm sure everyone is up and on the way to one of many fantastic places.

Hope to weed for a good portion of the day, then French Club tonight.
Later folks!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 8:58AM
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My back hurts, and I have a rash, so I'm qualified to do a reasonable imitation of Sue's standard Friday greeting while she's busy touring the first garden at IU4:

*T*G*I*F* color)

I know, it's just not the same. Ok back to slicing and dicing for Saturday's picnic.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 9:12AM
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Great job of filling in Cynthia! Wondering about Katie? Maybe I missed an update. I'll have to go back and look.

IU4 should be in full swing now. And they should be traveling .to their first destination. I can't wait to hear the tales of IU4!

7 loud men came and reduced my fallen tree to a pile of wood chips in my driveway. Now we only need to disassemble the shed and haul it away. My mom had a good day yesterday and may be able to come home this weekend.

Mariann, she has been battling lymphoma for about a year and a half now. I enjoyed reading your intro post. People like you, Woody and my mom are such an inspiration to me. I've been thinking about such things alot lately and so admire people who are able to live and enjoy life to the fullest even through adversity. On the down side, seeing how hard my mom's fought to keep going, I've gotten so I have little patience for doom and gloom and complaining from others. That's NOT a good side of my personality, I do admit.

Marie, it's hard to believe that Reed's already a month old. That little foot is just precious. We have pictures of Bella like that from when she was an infant, her foot, her ear, hand, etc.

Brenda, great news that you got rain. Hope Michelle did too!

Deanne, Wow! Everything looks just great. I can understand why it was hard to leave it. I hope to get my container gardens "arranged" over the weekend. Right now their all in a jumble on the deck and in the driveway where they've been out of the way and hopefully out of danger.

Kathy, my daughter's fiancee, Randy, is a big baseball fan. He has season tickets to the Tigers here. They were busy working on their house and decided to opt out of one of the games a few weeks ago and it turned out that the Tiger pitcher had a no hitter that night. Randy was so bummed that he'd missed seeing it.

Miss Bella will be here in a few so time for me to say make it a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 9:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Aw Cynthia, be well! Thanks for the imitation!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 9:48AM
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Did a turbo skim~ !

Eden!I'm so sorry your mom had a crisis. As always I pray for her and all of your family. Initially I was thinking I'm glad I can at least keep you company here this week-but duh I realized I'm leaving too,just not in an IU way : (
You'll be in my thoughts often this coming week.

OK so I am supposed to be packing but instead I'm almost done cleaning like a fiend for tonight's dinner here with a teacher friend of mine. Tomorrow I have a funeral to attend then I guess I'll 'turbo pack' for vacation since we leave Sunday a.m.---which translates we'll leave in the *afternoon* lol.

MARY! I LOVE stinky french cheese!! Hmm maybe I will have to take a detour to Philly...I'll just tell Chris to nap...for 8hrs ; ) I'll find you Mary if I just follow the stinkin' car lolol.

Please Idylls have fun,be safe,and take pics!!!!

Love the pics everyone!

It finally rained here!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 9:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, baguette,fromage et vin!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:14AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning to all the "left-behinds", lol! I'm sure IU4 is in full swing, and everyone having a wonderful time. Can't wait to hear details and see pictures.

'Bug-I love that little foot! I can't believe Reed is a month old already. Time sure does fly. We also need to get some stone, for our driveway. It's needed it for a few years now, and it's one of those things I just hate to spend money on. We're hoping to install an outdoor wood burner this year, and once we agree on where it goes (read: "Once Jim sees reason and puts it where I want it, lol) we can decide what happens with the drive. For the most part it won't change, but it may need to make a bit of a hook to get to the wood burner. He currently has to drive through the yard to unload wood in the coal door at the house, so we have some really nasty ruts in the yard. He believes that a lawn "heals itself", but I don't count filling in with dandelions and buckhorns healing itself ;)

Mariann, my DS is a SciFi nut. He was so excited that they were making a transformer movie. He fondly remembers the toys from his childhood. Happy Birthday, BTW!

Deanne, gorgeous pictures as usual. I am in awe of the container garden.

Marian, I hope Nolon's checkup goes well.

Cynthia, thanks for filling in for did a fine job!

Eden, I'm so glad to hear that your Mom may get to come home this weekend. That is wonderful news. I share your impatience with complainers, from watching my Mom fight her way back from some of the stuff that she went through with her health. She was always upbeat, and battled hard. Sure puts the minor every day aches and pains into perspective.

I would be inclined to pass on the stinky cheese, lol! I'm not a big fan of the "feet cheeses" as we call them around here.

Babs, hope you have a wonderful vacation. I seem to "turbo pack" any time we go anywhere, and spend most of the vacation feeling that I left something vital behind, lol! I need to do some cleaning for company this weekend, although I doubt that I'll get fiendish about it. A family friend is coming from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Oddly, he's gotten enough rain to cause problems. Water in the basement, etc. Seems to be either feast or famine on the rain this year.

It has cooled way off here since the rain. This morning having coffee on the porch, I was wrapped up in a blanket. Felt very much like our get-away to the UP of Michigan last September. Better enjoy it, because the heat is coming. Good for the corn. It's pollinating right now, so the rain came at a perfect time, and the heat will really get things popping.

I'm hoping to hear today that my new glasses are in. While I'm not excited to be getting bifocals, it WILL be nice to be able to read again. The words just keep getting fuzzier and fuzzier. I haven't even attempted to cross stitch for quite a while.

Well, here it is, 10:30, and I'm not dressed yet, so better get moving. I guess if I haven't heard from the eye doc by the time I get done exercising, I'll switch to plan B and do some work outside. Company is not coming until Sunday, so I see no reason to clean would be pointless. Since it's breezy, I WILL open the windows and let nature chase the dog-hair tumbleweeds out from under the furniture so I can capture them. That in itself is entertaining..Gus growls at them as they go skittering by. I'd have a really clean house if it wasn't for the dogs, and the DH, but it sure would be lonely ;)
Have a good day, everyone, and you kids on the careful out there and have a great time. Have another glass of wine for me!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:36AM
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Babs, enjoy your dinner and have a great vacation. I know you'll be making wonderful memories with Chris and the boys. Can't wait to hear about it when you get back. Didn't you mention something about a kitchen remodel? I hope we'll get to hear more about that too and maybe even a few pictures?


    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:43AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - I'm glad that your mom is doing better and might come home. Getting out of the hospital is always a good thing - they are very boring, depressing places with bad food :-) On the issue of illness and complaining - my experiences have made me more tolerant of that, not less. A serious and/or chronic illness is very hard to deal with and it is often hard for people to imagine/understand exactly what it's like even when they are empathetic people. Sometimes you just need to vent, rant, cry or get angry for no apparent reason (from the observer's point of view) because otherwise you're just going to explode from trying to rein it all in. I have a friend with macular degeneration. She's very frightened of what the future will bring - she's already gone through numerous medical traumas with it. She regularly blows up at her husband when she's feeling scared because of new pain or apprehension over an impending check-up. She vents a lot of her fears and frustrations in e-mails to me but needs a verbal outlet too. Her husband didn't understand why she appeared so angry at him and so unreasonable at times. Fortunately he e-mailed me during one of these episodes. He had got to the point where he thought she wanted him to leave. (In fact she was afraid he was going to because of her behavior but still couldn't control her outbursts...) I was able to explain to him what was going on and they got through it. Now when I see signs that she's getting ready to blow up, I warn him. It helps him deal with it to know he's not the real reason for the anger and he vents to me too. I still periodically have unreasonable outbursts too when I'm nervous about health issues but I have had 10 years now to learn how to mostly present a calm exterior even when I'm not so calm inside! One thing I learned early on was that knowing someone else 'has it worse' than me does nothing to make my own situation more tolerable. So my plea to everyone who gets impatient with those who appear to complain too much about apparently minor things is take a deep breath and hold onto your patience because the other person may be having a harder time than you think. One other thing I learned is that pain can often be endured because you may have no choice, but discomfort can be more difficult to live with because it's something that you think could/should be fixable and, if/when it isn't fixed it can be enough to send you ballistic!

Enough of that stuff... It's sunny and cool here so I was able to get some work done on my brick edging I'm putting in. Copper harassed Misty when they were left alone while we were in the garden. Misty went under the bed after, by the looks of the duvet cover, Copper did a dance around (on?) her on top of the bed!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Good morning to the at home Idylls and the lucky ones who are together at IU4 ;o)

We are having some friends over tonight for dinner and then maybe some gardening this weekend. Of course today is cool and a predicted high of 81, but the next 6 days are supposed to be 90 and higher.

I need help with my rex begonias. I had one last year and it seemed quite easy to grow, I even overwintered it. That one is doing pretty good, but the 2 that I picked up this spring are looking pretty sad. The leaves are dying back and they arent shooting out any new ones. Im wondering if Im overwatering?

Babs, enjoy your time with your family. Definitely special times.

Cute little baby toes.

Im usually up by 6:20 and spend about a ½ an hour in the garden each morning.

Deanne, stunning garden shots.

Thanks Deanne and Sue for the IU updates. After meeting some of you last year, I can just picture you all together.

Mariann, I havent had a chance to check out your pictures, but I will. We love pictures here. Im one of the people with shingles and Honeys DD also has them. Mine were very mild and are nearly gone. I did get on the anti-viral med early and I think it helped.

Marian, you have an amazing collection of annuals (I checked out your coleus thread too)

Brenda, great that you got such a nice rain. We still are hoping, but at least the ½" gave a little something to go on.

Woody, our lawn isnt that brown, but it is in the town where I work.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Woody, those are wise words that give me much to think about. Thanks for taking the time to post that. Funny about the dogs. Poor Misty! It's cooled off here too and perfect weather for some heavy duty work in the garden.

Michelle, glad your shingles are abating. I wish I could give you some advice on the rexes. Mine are pretty care free when outside. I think overwatering would be the first thing I'd suspect though. If anything mine usually have the opposite problem. Especially this year.

Brenda, lol on the lawn healing itself. I like your attitude about housekeeping. It's very similar to mine:)

Marie, have fun at French Club and even more fun with those weeds today!

I'm having a totally unproductive day. Don't feel like doing anything and I just may not, well maybe just a little laundry and mostly playing with Bella. Tomorrow is our local garden tour. I think I may go, even though I'd rather be touring gardens at IU. Bet they're having fun. Michelle, I can just imagine being there too! Hope we get another update from them tonight.

I'm posting a link that I ran across. It's kinda cool but I couldn't help but think how the garden would be damaged, lol.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 1:03PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Back from the checkup for Nolon...but mums the word from now on, on ailments..past , present and future ( I hope). Thanks Susan, for the wise and compassionate post.

Thanks for the comment on my annuals collection,Michelle, but I haven't edited those this year. Those are from a couple of years or so ago.
I'm glad your shingles are better and not as painful as they can be.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 1:40PM
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Fire's starting to flicter :)

I have done everything I can at this point! Car is gased up and tires checked, oil changed. Directions are on the front seat. Dratted mechanic washed my windows so there's no 'badge of pups' visible anymore. Last errand of the day was drugstore. Katie has 6 more pills a day to take. As it is, I go through 3 pounds of raw hamburger a week just pilling this crew. (The source of all illness is probably a red meat allergy.)

So the PA idyllers are just about ready to leave Longwood (should I say that? It feels like a breach of security) and head off for a garden reception where the cheese, wine, vodka and other goodies will flow! Yum. We should all join them virtually :)

Woody, I hear you, and believe venting and talking about fears and problems is one way to deal with those problems. But blowing up and making unkind remarks to innocent bystanders is not acceptable. I live by the rule 'is it productive.' We all know people with serious illness and life problems who do manage to deal with their suffering without damaging the quality of life for others. These are the people who will have unending support from their spouses, friends and relatives when the going gets rough.

It's a beautiful day in Maryland, and expect this cool dry weather is in PA as well. Can't wait to get there.

Best to all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 4:51PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

I've managed to accomplish very's been a good day :) DH needed to go get a new power washer. He's cleaning the pig house for a new batch of babies set to arrive on Monday, and the old one has not been well for a long time. So, I went along for the ride, and to check out the 75% off rack at Lowe's. I don't know if they don't understand the nature of Russian Sage, but as soon as it starts getting a little floppy, they mark it down to $1.22 for a gallon pot. I have a friend who would like some for a dry bank, and I couldn't pass it up at that price. All they need is a bit of a trim and to be planted. Also got 3 Postman's Pride Sedum for the same price..and for the same reaon-they had gotten leggy. So, I'll clip them back, try and strike the cuttings, and see how they do. This is a new one for me, but I'm a sucker for purple foliage, and for sedum. DH really surprised me on the Russian Sage. I put a few on our wagon, and he said for that price, we should get all they had. We ended up with 13 of them, lol! That's okay, my friend has a BIG bank to fill.

Woody, thanks for the perspective. My Mom was so tough and strong through all of her health problems..and I have a DS who has no tolerance for discomfort of any kind. Constantly complaining about very small stuff. That's where I lose my patience. I think it's mostly a cry for attention on her part, and I'm sure I should have more patience than I do.

Yes, Eden, I believe you and I would be very comfortable at each other's houses :) I do admire people who keep a neat, clean house. I'd LOVE to have a clean house, if I didn't have to make it that way ;) I would GLADLY hire a housekeeper if it was in the budget. If the toilet is clean and the dishes are done on a fairly regular basis, I'm pretty happy. It drives DH nuts because while I'm not a housecleaner, I am a bit of a germophobe. Comes from cooking in a nursing home years ago. So, while the house usually looks like a tornado followed by a herd of elephants have been won't get sick eating here, lol! That IS the main thing, right?

We did a crop survey on the way home. For those who have never been, it consists of driving the longest way home at the slowest possible speed. The rain has helped things a lot, and I don't think the situation was quite as dire as DH had made it out to be..he is a bit prone to drama. The only thing of ours that looks bad is the corn on the sandy ground, and that's to be expected. To hear him tell it, I was expecting a complete crop failure. It didn't make sense to me, because what I could see around our house looked okay. I'll admit, I gave him a good smack in the arm for getting me all wound up. He just laughed and said, "Well, we WOULD have been in trouble if it hadn't rained." Geez, you could say THAT every year. I was expecting to see corn fired up all over the place. Looks as though we got the root worm beetles under control, too.
A crop duster plane went down last week, killing the pilot. They've been logging a lot of hours lately, and they don't know yet what caused the plane to go down. The kid flying was only 24. We've known the guy who owns the business for years, and he's just heart-broken about it. He was talking on the radio off and on to the young man that day, and he doesn't have any idea what happened. If you've never seen one of these in action, it's something to see. They dip down so low to get to the crops, then pull up at the last second...often near power lines and trees.
Okay, enough babble for now. I've got a few loads of laundry to take care of, I want it all caught up before the heat sets in again. Then, I may just have coffee on the porch, and take in the view. It is a beautiful day!
Take care, all!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 5:15PM
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Marian, I'd love to see your wildflower pics. Post the link. I've been thinking about putting in a shady Native Plant garden. I live about 25 minutes from Well-Sweep Herb Farm and they have a terrific selection.

Eden, I really feel for you. Believe me I was a mess for about 5 years. That's when I realized that instead of dying I was still alive. Once some of the debilitating medications were discontinued I actually felt better. I was fortunate to have a wonderful caring doctor who pulled me through time after time. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

Brenda, I remember my daughter watching Transformers. When learned that a movie was being made I couldn't stop singing that silly song. I hear ya about the cleaning, hate it. Love for things to be clean but I'd rather be out playing with my posies. DH doesn't help so let the dust gather who cares.

woody-it's interesting that you mentioned your friend's outbursts. I went through the same thing. One of my doctors suggested a program at our hospital. It was called Symptom Management. Everyone in the group had either a life threatening disease or chronic illness. The program dealt with the Mind, Body, Spirit connection. It was very helpful.

Michelle-I had a fairly sever case of shingles. Both sides of my abdomen just underneath my breasts and it wrapped around to either sides of my spine. I took the anti-viral meds and my doctor's PA spent about 15 minutes applying Lidocaine pads on the areas. The pads helped a little with the pain but ended up pulling off to much skin. Had to stop using them. Months afterward I still had postherpetic neuralgia and he put me on Neurontin for a few weeks.

I did manage to get some of my tropicals re-potted today. It was lovely today with a nice breeze. Not to hot. I did have to water my containers though they are always so thirsty.

Have a good night everyone.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 6:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mariann, I have 6 albums in PT of the wildflowers that I've found here. The link below is of the 1st one. The rest can be found by going to the lefthand top of the page, to "more albums"
I have some of the prettiest growing in a wildflower bed back of our house, and some in other beds.

How fortunate you were to have the Sympton Management program. I went to a Fibromyalgia Syndrome support group a few times. This was after my worse symptoms had abated. Otherwise I have had no support, except tolerance, from those closest to me.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Boy it's not easy keeping these home fires burning. Come on those of you who are home and post a little something...please!

Cynthia, have fun tomorrow. I have some lemonade and vodka so I'll join in on the Idyll party tonight too. I like your rule to live by and agree with it. I also believe that we reap what we sow when interacting with others throughout our lives. One of my grandmothers was a miserable person, always having excuses why she couldn't do anything to improve her life, always complaining, and she lived a lonely life in her later years. My other grandma had much less, was in worse health but was a wonderful lady and was dearly loved by many. I had to laugh about the red meat allergies. That's quite a bit of hamburger each week.

Brenda, good deal on the russian sage. I wish I could grow it here. I just don't have the right conditions for it. I saw some on my way up to my moms earlier this week and it looked like purple clouds, so pretty! Good to hear that the crops are coming along well too!

Mariann, nice to have another tropical lover on board. What ones do you have? I need to repot some of mine. At this time of year the roots start filling the pots so much that they just can't get enough water. I think it's great that there are programs out there to help people deal with illness. You were very wise to take advantage of that. You sound like a very positive person.

Bella's bouncing a ball in here and it's come dangerously close to bouncing off my head a few times (must be the effects of the pop). So I'm going to go read to her for a while and see if she unwinds a bit. Half an hour until bedtime and then I'll join Cynthia and those at IU in a drink.

Good night, Eden

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 7:54PM
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Well, here we are , thinking longingly of our buddies who are on the road !

Eden, I have the Direct TV satellite baseball package and get many games every day-I was so bummed that I missed that no-hitter ! There is nothing I enjoy watching or listening to on the radio more than a no hitter-they are so exciting. I don't even care what team is involved. . Im lucky that my own team has thrown so many. Glad tidings that your Mom may come home.

Cynthia, nice job with the Sue-impersonation. Im sure she will be happy with your efforts in her behalf. By the way if you get a really short dog it is harder for them to drool on the windows. Unfortunately my little dogs drool was the pre cursor to the up-chuck.

Ok Mariann, I looked at your pics and it is clear you are one of those Daylily People!.do you hang around on that forum?? I lurked over there for awhile and they were a bad influence. I now have numerous specimens courtesy of the Lily Auction, Maryotts and Ebay ! And I want more.

Babs, did I miss where you are headed on your vacation ? I still have one left and will head up to Oregon in Sept. But Im telling you all right now that I am planning on attending IU5 . If I plan in advance I can make it happen.

Michelle-overwatering is indeed an affliction with Rexs. They rot so easily. I always plant mine in a clay pot to get more aeration in the soil, and with a very light soil mix..

Woody, your observations were of interest to me, and very though provoking. As one who is blessed with extremely good health (I have only been out sick once in the 20 years Ive worked for my current employer, and that was actually an injury to my ankle that prevented me from driving or getting up stairs, and only for 1 day) and tend to be suspicious of some folks sicknesses. I am trying to be more tolerantyour post was helpful to me..

Hey Brenda, I could use a friend that would bring me 22 plants ! What a shame about the young man in the crop duster. Here there are many freeways that bisect the fields and crop dusters often zoom over as we drive along the interstatenot in Napa Valley, but to the east of us are many agricultural areas with corn, tomatoes, rice etc.

Ok, thats all for nowmaybe well get some pics from the IU folk tommorow ???

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 9:24PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden's mother's illness has evoked memories of my dear mother. She had breast cancer that was successfully treated, with a mastectomy, but nine years later was diagnosed with lung cancer, and given only a year and a half to live. She opted to not have any treatment except to have the lung drained as needed. She never complained, and lived those last several months to the fullist....traveling to other States to visit children, and other relatives. When she was finally reduced to having to have oxygen at all times, she still did not complain. The nearest she came to 'complaining' was when she said " The Lord is sure making it hard for me". She stayed with us at the last,until she had to be hospitalized. I was 43 when she passed.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 11:21PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

Well I'm exhausted but I wanted to tell you all that we've had an AMAZING, FABULOUS, INCREDIBLE day!!!! Wonderful! I shot about 500 photographs and Ive just taken an hour or so to review them and only deleted a handfull. The gardens today were so amazing that you could not take a bad picture. What a treat to be able to tour the gardens with this group. Marvelous! I'm going to try to find a few pics to downsize and upload for you all but I might not be able to get to it until tomorrow morning. Until then all my friends, you are all in our thoughts and we are missing all of you who aren't here with us this weekend.

Night all

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 11:39PM
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Well Eden I tried. But I lost my post. Drats!
To tired to try again tonight. Norma

Thinking of all whether at home or traveling.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:03AM
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Kathy, you will surely want to attend an Idyllunion after you see the pictures and hear about the fun they have.

The more I think about how I treated my one rex last winter, I probably am overwatering. That thing stayed pretty dry.

Brenda, how sad about the 24 year old. We have alot of ariel spraying around here too. They were seeding the hiway ditches this spring. Interesting when you are driving and they zoom over the ditch.
We usually do the crop tour on the way home from church on Sunday, but we add a little weaving to the drive too LOL
I picked up a sedum 'Purple Emperor' that was dirt cheap. It was one tall stalk. I cut it in half and stuck it in the pot with the plant and watered about a week and then planted the whole thing. Too bad all plants aren't as easy to propagate as sedums.

Do you guys think Deanne is having a good time???? LOL

My son called and told us to tune in the news tonight as his GF was doing a live feed from Barnes and Nobles at the Harry Potter release party. I believe it was her first time going live.

We had 2 couples over for supper and a garden tour. I made chicken enchiladas, lettuce salad with strawberries and poppy seed dressing, garlic bread and a chocolate macroon pizza for dessert. Now its time to turn in.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:10AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning!

In a few minutes we're off for another day of fabulous fun. The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous and today appears to be no exception-sunny and dry-70s-80s F. If Deanne is true to her word she is posting a couple of pictures from yesterday as we speak. We visited three incredible private gardens and spent the afternoon at Longwood. Last night there was quite a party in V's suite. It was a laugh til you cry kind of time. We carried it over into breakfast this morning. The other guests here at the hotel must think we're all nuts.

Thanks Cynthia for subbing for me yesterday. I totally spaced on it. I was just having too much fun for it to be Friday.

Anyway, I'll catch up later. Wish you were all here. Cynthia joins us at some point today. More laughs to come I'm sure.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 8:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

HI all, not much time here but wanted to post at least a couple pics from yesterday.

OK I don't want the 'bus' to leave without me so I've got to run. have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 8:20AM
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Oh, you all look great. I wish I was sitting in that empty spot next to Monique in the last picture. Have fun today!


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 8:30AM
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Thanks for the e-postcards. It looks like there is no lack of fun there, I wish I were there too.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 9:19AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am sick at heart today. As we went out for breakfast, there was a herd of goats in the road. They all moved to one side and we passed with no problem. Coming back home, they were all bedded down in the road. I approached them honking the horn. I THOUGHT they had all jumped up and moved out of the way....well one hadn't, and I ran over it's legs! Keep in mind, this is the place where the fence is in the road, and the road is hardly wide enough for one vehicle, let alone a herd of goats! It made me feel as though I was having a heart attack. I'm sure my BP shot sky high. We went to the cousin sheriff's house and reported what happened. He was very supportive ( even though the goatman is his brother) and said he would take care of it. I am still sick about it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 10:11AM
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Good morning everyone. Another beautiful day here; it was 64 degrees when I got up. Brilliant blue skies with a few wispy clouds. The birds are chirping and twittering.

I've been to Longwood Gardens at least 5 or 6 times. No matter what time of the year there is always a spectacular display. During Christmas they string lights all over the trees and there are decorated Christmas trees every where you look.

Eden-I have some of the typical house plants also Star Jasmine, Night blooming Jasmine, some Orchids, Night Blooming Cereus (desert cactus-blooms only for one night). I have a problem with low light in my house. Some plants I keep under lights. Others I put outside during the summer.

Kathy-I do lurk around the Daylily Forum on occasion. I only have about 35 named daylilies. That's a pittance compared to those folks. I can't afford to buy daylilies from Maryott's or Marietta Gardens. Have to admit though I'd love to have 'Rainbow Over Marietta'. I do buy daylilies from Oakes, Ridnaught and Woodside. Darrel Apps is selling Woodside so they won't be around next year. He was very helpful by identifying a daylily for me. The daylily was given to me by my dad before he passed away.

Marian-I'm enjoying your Wildflower pics. I actually put the site in my Favorites so I can take my time looking at them. How much land do you have? To many people overlook the significance of wild flowers. It is part of our country's heritage. It gives me the willies to know that people treat them like weeds. I sympathize about the Fibromyalgia. Before I was diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Disease a Dr. diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. As it turned out I didn't have it but I delved whole heartedly into educating myself about the condition. I joined the YMCA so that I could do an exercise program in the water. Non-weight bearing exercise is suppose to be good for it. I was surprised how prevalent it was in this country. How debilitated are you with this?

I hope everyone has great day. I'll be out digging up the lawn today and trying to tie up my huge tomato plants.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 11:27AM
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How appropriate that Deanne would start with a bum shot!!!! LOL

Thought of you all heading in the opposite direction from me (heading back from New York City) and hoping that no one had drank copious amounts of liquid before leaving.

Isn't Longwood amazing??? Was there sometime back with Herbie friends and missed two other visits in favor of staying there to linger. It's such a peaceful place.

And hey, IU4ers, remember that it isn't truly an internet garden national gathering without leaving patches of potting soil and stripped leaves from cuttings around on the hotel carpets. Learned very early on that a tip the First Night will endear the cleaning crew to not report you to the management. For all HerbFests we just invited everyone on the floor to our parties and met some pretty incredible gardeners along the way.

So glad you're all having a good time.

Sorry, Marian, about the goat. Things like this just happen despite our best precautions. Was thinking about your red bluffs the other day. Not sure why, but the image of their peaceful being helped me through a calamatous moment.

We finally got more than a sprinkle of rain and am letting everything settle a bit before I go out to weed and deadhead. Good excuse, right???? Actually, I'm tired and am giving myself a break this morning LOL. Despite the dryness, everything looks okay. The benefits of mature plants is something I'd forgotten!!!!!!

Can't remember exactly who here experienced straight line winds at some point, but they came through Connecticut on Thursday and the damage was horrendous. I have a renewed respect for Nature all of a sudden.

Just got a call from a gardening girlfriend (The Best!!!!) and we're off to an impromptu Master Gardeners Group gathering for lunch. Guess everyone else wants to take a short break, too. YIPPEE!!!!

Thinking of all at IU4, and Eden and mom, of course. Good thoughts being sent to all.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 11:28AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am so glad you are enjoying all my wildflower pics, Mariann. I had been giving a lot of thought to deleting those albums, but they took so much time researching each flower in order to have the correct identification. We have 20 wooded acres. Only one of it has been cleared...where our house and yard is,( well, more than another acre was cleared under the powerlines! Yargh!).
I must do a search on that lung disease. I am not familiar with it. I appreciate that you have researched Fibromyalgia. It is a very misunderstood condition. You are right about the exercise. It does nothing to cure it, but does help keep one able to move, as long as it is not over done. I have never reached the wheelchair disability, but close. The new gal at the One Stop told me this morning that her mother has it so bad that she was in a wheelchair for awile. She ( the mother) lives in Louisiana, but is coming to visit next weekend. I hope to meet her at the One Stop. We can compare notes, and perhaps I can give her some encouragement, since I am still mobile after haivng it for at least 40 years.
I was diagnosed with all sorts of things before the Fibro diagnosis ( I had already figured that out from my own research). At this present time, the fatigue and cognitive problems are my worse symptoms.

Thanks Martie. I appreciate your comforting words, but still feel terrible. So sorry for the poor goat. I hate the fact that there is absolutely no way for us to go out or come back in without running that fence and goat obstacle course, and passing the owner's house!I am hoping some good may come from this terrible thing...but why did it have to be me.. the inlaw relative, and perennial scapegoat( no pun intended) that brought it about?

We got a little better than a quarter of an inch of rain yesterday evening. Great for this time of the year!

Martie( again) I love those bluffs. It would be a good place for me to go today to find peace, but I've have to go through the obstacle course to get there!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Spent a pleasant morning at the Farmer's market where we joined the throngs devouring the fresh hot deep fried apples for breakfast. YUM. Then while DH checked out the musicians, I scoured for ...well you can guess! I came home with a large blue delphinium and several other things to fill in some blank spaces. DH also bought some fresh peaches.

Thinking of everyone's tough moments...but also the joys we find here too.

Dumb me has a question: I can't identify who is standing between Drema and Les in Deanne's 3rd photo. Can you help me? I should be able to guess but can't. Drema's daughter?

And now it is time to make DH a sandwich. I'll be thinking of your busy day in Pa!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 12:31PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(Marian) - what an upsetting start to the day! Hopefully some good will come of the experience - maybe the owner will do a better job of keeping them confined plus do something about that fence. Is there an appropriate official body to report the incident to? Clearly the goats + the fence are a major road hazard.

We stopped at the local farmers' market this morning and picked up our first local corn to have for lunch. When we got home Misty had taken refuge under the bed again and the top of the bed had lots of Copper-sized footprints!

Randy is off to buy hooks and misc. hardware to start arranging the inside of the shed this weekend. Since its been so dry I haven't got around to planting anything by the shed yet. We picked up our portable dog pen panels this week - we had loaned them to a friend and finally got them back. We're intending to use the panels to set up the new compost heap behind the shed. The panels are 4'x4' sturdy wire. There are 6 of them so we can make two compost bins, using the chainlink fence for the rear wall.

Also on the agenda for the weekend is planting another wisteria 'tree' on the front lawn. We like the first one so much we decided to do another with a W. floribunda 'Lawrence'. The current one is a W. sinensis which has shorter flower racemes. 'Lawrence' is supposed to be really hardy since it originated near Ottawa. Since the flower racemes are longer, it will need to stand tall as a tree. So I'm planning to tie the main stem to an 8' bamboo pole to see if that will help train it to have a taller trunk. It should be interesting to compare how the two grow.

Still no rain here and none in sight in the forecast.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 2:02PM
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In for a little cooling off break. Thursday night is the garden tour here, but things seem to be in pretty good order. I dug out a large clump of bearded iris and 2 large Stella d'oro and fed my compost pile. I'm getting less tolerant of things that get ratty foliage at this time of the year.

The oriental lilies are just getting started. I have some 'Casa Blanca' that have just opened for my morning tour today. 'Tom Pounce' and some 'Stargazers' are also blooming.

I do believe that must be Drema's DD in the picture. There are quite a few Idyll guests this year, but I believe she would be the youngest.

Marian, what an awful experience with the goat.

Martie, we had straight line winds that did a fair amount of damage to our farm 6 years ago. Were they in your area?

I'm trying to keep the home fires, the sprinkler and the washer/dryer all going today.

I think I will go and find a shady spot to paint the windows to the garden shed. The rest of the shed is fine, but the windows didn't hold their paint very well.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 2:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, Glad you are having a good day. I hope it continues.

Susan,thanks. Yes the cousin that we went to is the County sheriff. He would be the only one to complain to. I am wishing he would get back to us, but he may not. It is a very uncomfortable situation.
LOL on the " Copper-sized footprints" on the bed, and poor Misty underneath! I had just been commenting to Nolon that the cats have never slept on our kitchen table...then lo and behold, the same day I said that, there was Trubby snoozing on the table! So, I have GOT to put a stop to that! I will not tolerate that! I feel like making some 'Chelone' comments on that cat ...LOL.

I will need to see pics of the inside of the shed when Randy gets it set-up for occupancy. Sorry that it is too dry to plant the exterior beds. Our rainy period has come to an end, according to the long range forecast.
I hope your new wisteria 'takes' and gives you years of pleasure.

Michelle, I don't envy you on the garden tour.
My Stargazer's one remaing stalk had 3 blossoms, but 2 have already fallen off.

Ooops, nap time!


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 3:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Such a lovely day, but not much energy! I did plant this morning's purchases, swept out the garage, and tested a lock on the back of the barn for DH who is trying to keep the raccoons away there. Also threw away some hopeless things that I have no room for, mostly cuttings I took last year, old bulbs the squirrels played with, last year's mums that I never got to looking presentable. So that pretty much leaves me with my typical plant ghetto, clematis and coleus and shade plants yet to get in the ground. But first, weeding spots for them! Oh! I found three tomato plants I'd entirely forgotten about too. They were mixed with cleome plants while I was away.

I noticed a good deal of road kill this morning. Always unpleasant. Makes me think of Marian's experience. When it is pets I always feel badly for the children involved. Wish owners would try harder to keep their pets safe. Last night we had near misses with a deer and a cat both. :(

The Fall plant catalog arrived yesterday. Think I'll sit down a bit and take a look at it.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 3:19PM
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Woody, I just wanted to share a picture of the tool holder that I found for my shed. I love it. It is very sturdy and holds alot in a small amount of space. You buy the rack and then select the hooks that you desire. There's quite a variety. I like the longer ones since I can stack tools on them, putting the lesser used ones on first. I use it for my weed trimmer and edger as well. You can find them at the big box home stores.

Marian, the tour is only for our Bible study group and spouses. Could be up to 50 people but I'm sure will be less. Maybe I should say I'm sharing my garden with them.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 3:22PM
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Good Morning, Busy day planned here. No Bella today or tomorrow so I'm concentrating on getting my garden back in order at least a little. I've got a big pile of wood chips to spread and due to lack of space, I must finish that before I can order a dumpster for shed demolishen. But first things first, I need to go check out a nursery that always puts their coleus at bargain prices around now. Like I need more of those, lol. I went on the garden tour here yesterday. There were only two that I was wowed by. Honey, the lady who owns Detroit Garden Works had her garden on the tour. It was a quite formal garden with lots of cool containers. It doesn't look like my mom's coming home this weekend. Her white blood cell count is down to almost zero. They've determined that 3-8 hr. days of chemo in a row is too much for her to handle. You think??? So some reevaluation needs to be done. She's in good spirits though feeling better. I have to get started here and my computer batteries running low so I'm going to post before I lose this. Hope to hear some news from the IUers soon!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 7:51AM
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Yaaaaaaaaaawn. A perfect lazy morning here. Cool, dry, sunny and no inspiration to go food shopping. DH on a long motorcycle ride to Vermont and DS off to the beach with a bunch of friends. Think I'll add a quick stop at an overpriced but really good material nursery around the corner as impetus to move. LOL

We had a great lunch yesterday with old Master Gardener friends that extended into the afternoon. A few of the folks came by to look at the gardens and, I must say, there were actually oooos and aaaaahs. Got some really good suggestions for moving next Spring and placement of the remaining shrubs in the nursery. One of the gentleman is an original student of CT Master Gardeners, won't reveal his age, but when he saw a missed weed he was on his hands and knees in no time. Very cool to have perspectives of 20 - ?????90's year olds and the different ways we look at the same plants and plot. Got me thinking that I need to use my MG certification more often than I do.

Don't know if anyone remembers, but I sponsored a group of neighborhood now-12-year-olds for a garden to help the local food bank have fresh produce. Since May we've been delivering something each week, and the boys have really gotten into the whole thing to the point where we are third and fourth sowing leaf crops for Fall delivery. The garden ended up behind our local Senior Citizen center rather than in my yard -- a mixed blessing since there's always lots of help to identify weeds vs. edibles!!! The boys have really taken to the whole thing, as have the folks who have gotten to know them at the center. I'm really proud of them and if there's ever any doubt about the next generation, let it be known that there will be good people taking care of us all.

Today will be spent finishing up deadheading and planting the remaining 30 Campanula carpatica seedlings. When that's done, all babies will be in the ground! I vehemently refuse to have a ghetto this year!!! Yeah, right, until I hit a few more sales. LOL

Looking forward to more IU4 news. Think they were having too much fun to post last night?

Don't fret the garden visit, Michelle. Enjoy your friends enjoying your garden. If they're coming to you, they must believe you do something above and beyond what they do. They'll be wowed no matter what, and the gathering of any community is always time for celebration :-)

Marian -- Is there anyone in your town that you're Not related to? I'm sure, given the circumstances of fences in roads, that the owner will understand.

Eden -- Glad that cleanup is progressing. I don't envy you one bit at this point.

Yes, straight line winds came through Connecticut but not near me. Miraculously, they hit hard but there were no injuries. Didn't realize that they're just like tornadoes without the rotation. Scary!!

Woody -- the roses are still blooming their little heads off, and promised some seeds to a MG visitor yesterday. And the beat goes on!

Best -


    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:21AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - What Randy got looks something like that. It is called Smartrack. It came with two types of hooks. I'm not sure if there are other ones that fit it too or not. Hopefully he'll get around to starting to put it up today. We also need shelving too. We've got lots of that lying around in various places so we shouldn't need to buy any. Our shed is much smaller than your lovely 'cottage' :-) Ours is only 8'x10' and will, no doubt, look crammed full and messy shortly after we get it set up! (Right now it's the half of the garage where all the shed stuff has been stored that looks crammed full and messy!)

Martie - my little roses haven't been doing much in the way of blooming lately. It's the drought I think. I've taken a tough stand on water this year so have only given them water now and then. I think they are in survival mode and are busy setting lots of hips! I didn't collect any seeds last year because I didn't need any more roses but I'll be collecting seed this year because I want to use the roses as a sort of ground cover under the wisteria trees. Neat that one of your MG visitors wants some seed - it makes me think of the long chain of seed collection and exchange that goes back to China in some previous century.

We did get the 'Lawrence' wisteria planted yesterday. I'd better remember to keep it watered through this drought...! I'm sure it will be happier in the ground. It was a reasonably sized plant in the pot but there wasn't a lot of roots when I took it out of the pot. I put lots of the mycorrhizal fungi planting supplement for woody plants in the planting hole. I use the mycorrhizal supplements every time I plant and it really does seem to help things get established quickly. I hope this wisteria does as well as the one we currently have - and doesn't take too many years to get to blooming size! I don't think the floribundas produce and late summer flowers like the sinensis does. I planted two Henryi clematis on the current wisteria a few weeks ago. I'm hoping they will grow into it and add another show of flowers. If it works for that one, I'll do the same for the Lawrence wisteria when it gets big enough.

We had a nice walk down by the lake with the dogs this morning. The lake was very still . There was a sailboat anchored just offshore with the sails down - looked like they spent the night there. It was a very peaceful scene. Of course, as soon as we got home and there was not other interesting distractions, Copper went back to harassing Misty for amusement. Here are the feet that dance around (on...) Misty:

(for scale, the strips in the floor are 2 1/4" wide...)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 11:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sudden company expected in a little while so DH and I are tidying up the pig pen. He's on vacuum duty (you know how dangerous that is!) and I've poofed pillows, washed dishes, started a load of laundry, mopped the kitchen floor. At 7am I was weeding the clematis arbor and planted 2 roses and a clematis in permanent homes.

Thought about Michelle's well organized shed. Ours has good hooks from that yuppy hardware store...darn I can't think of the name when I need it. It will come to me as soon as I sign off....Anyway, you can order them on line. I'll try to photograph them for my next posting.

Now it is time to shower. I'm sure the travelers are sadly getting ready to part until the next gathering takes place. I hope there will be many more photos!

I think we are going out for dinner this evening, so I'd best phone in some reservations soon!

Happy sunny day here. Hope yours is the same!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 11:04AM
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Thought Id drop in early today-though most of you are probably thinking about lunch by now ! I having my coffee, did a little stroll about and will sit down and read a bit of the paper before doing my Trader Joe run at 9:30. That place gets so crowded I always go shortly after they open.
I started working on my Lady Banks rose yesterday. Every few years I give her an extreme new hair-do, shearing her locks back by half or more. If I dont do this she will eat my house in no time., plus she starts to throw too much shade .

Didnt all the Idylls look perky yesterday ?
Marian, how awful your tale of the errant goats ..Hope you are feeling better today. I also enjoyed looking at your wildflower album. How great to have a reference like that. It was interesting to see some plants that we have out here on the west coast too. When my children were youg we used to camp quite a bit and I always took my wildflower field guide with me.

Michelle, Im kind of jealous of your garden shed-wish I had one ! But what I really want is a greenhouse. Just no room to be had. Is it just my imagination, or have you had multiple tours coming through your garden this year ??

Eden, its always appropriate to prioritize plant purchases over and above any sort of manual labor , lol. Who cares if you already have about a zillion coleus- I have a pic I took yester day that Im going to post over on Marians coleus thread sometime today.

Martie, kudos to you on the garden for the food bank. Many of our restaurants here in Napa County have gardens for growing their own produce and herbs and the food bank here benefits from those. I didnnt realize that you are a Connecticut MG ;Im one too, Napa County class of 1999. Were a pretty active group, there are only about 115 of us but we like that number , and it seems appropriate for the size of our county. I get involved mainly with the educational seminars we give .

Hi Woody, bug, Mariann , and anyone else who is not gallivanting about in Penn.

See yall later..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 11:28AM
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Hi again everyone, I hope this link works. I came across this over on the Cottage Garden forum gallery---yowzers!
Is this drama or what ?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 4:07PM
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Hello everyone,
I just finished picking a bunch of green beans for dinner. My DH promised me steak when the first crop of beans were ready. Yummy

Marian-I really enjoyed your wildflower pics. I looked at some of your other albums too. You may know this by now: your double orange daylily is Hemerocallis fulva var. 'Kwanso'.

I have no shed nor do I have a greenhouse. Our shed fell down but we haven't replaced it yet. I'm saving for a greenhouse though. I'll probably be 90yo by the time I get it.

I dug some perennials and a few small trees from my holding beds and planted them in pots today. I want them to get a few more roots before I put them into their permanent beds. All of the perennials are from seeds that I winter sowed.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 6:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I just know Marie was in the shower screaming "Restoration Hardware!"

I'm home from IU4 and had a WONDERFUL time! Great gardens, great meals, great laughs with great friends.

Good night!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 9:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Just popping in for a second to tell Mariann .... I got the start of that double Daylily from an elderly friend several years before she passed away. ( She has been gone several years.) I never figured it was a named variety, and if so, it would be a pretty old fashioned one.
I haven't looked up the stats on the variety that you mentioned.

TTYAT, I need to hit the sack now.... it has been a rather trying day.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2007 at 10:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V, it was Lee Valley Tools. So glad the weekend lived up to expectation!

Here we had good friends and good food as well. It's the garden part that I just can't catch up with! I'm still plugging away at it though, and dragging the hose about too.

Thinking of Babs and her holiday. Also wondering about Ei and the selling of her home. Then there's Honey and little Missy! I hope we hear from them as well as long absent friends!

One month old:


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 5:22AM
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Good gracious morning!!!!! Got up to an entire clan of baby rabbits bouncing around the lawn. I'd wondered where they were this year, and POOF! Just got back in from Liquid Fencing everything in sight.

Reed is just happy to be around, huh??? He is so alert!

I really like that red garden, Kathy, though I don't think I'd do it myself unless I had tons of room. One of the best one-palate gardens I've seen was purple, about 10'x20', to the point where the stepping stones were purple glass inlaid in concrete. It sure brings home the "I need just the right color _____" It's out there!!

Did hit a few sales yesterday and was thrilled to find some good quality PW annuals on sale for 1/2 price! Is that legal????? Anyway, also took a good look at my very sad container collection and decided this just wasn't the year. I do have bunches of stuff to winter over so 'next year'... I'm saying that and it's only JULY!!! Good Grief !!!!

Took some time and made a list of gaping holes in the garden and what I thought would work. Going into the fall with an actual list of what I need is a bit frightening. LOL

V - Good to hear from you and really glad you had fun at IU4. Still waiting for full reports and pics.

RECOMMENDATION REQUEST (In the "what the heck am I asking" category :-) Tall mid-pink (not shocking, not true pastel) daylily to mix with white coneflower and unnamed shasta-type daisy. Willing to spend $$$$ as this is a focal point. Will be interplanted with Iris to be determined.

Mary - Was thinking of you and Annie when an older sister neighbor came to tell me that she and her violin were elected into the regional youth orchestra, and would I be interested in having DH's business be her sponsor?? Of Course!!!

Thinking of everyone not heard from in a bit and looking forward to catch-up posts!

See you all later!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 7:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Martie - Hemerocalis 'Catherine Woodbury' If you don't mind waiting for it to get some size I can dig you a couple fans after it's done blooming this year.

Doug and I had a lovely drive home yesterday. Wendy NO traffic!!!! smooth sailing all the way through.

IU4 was awesome and then some. Ditto what V said. I took pretty close to eight hundred pictures and I'm still sorting through the stacks of pics. I've got to get ready for my seminar in CA as I'm leaving Wed. so I don't know when I'm going to have time to post any photographs. There were some terrific group shots taken at Chanticleer on Saturday that Monique will hopefully be posting. What a fabulous weekend!

Later all

PS I want to rip out all my gardens and start over again! LOL

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:55AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

G,morning - another IUer checkin. Not so easy a drive home; sat in the usual Wilmington backup for over an hour last nite....
but glad to be home.

Fantastic gardens, company, diaper-dependent laughter (serious! we never stopped laughing I dont think except at sleep time). Gardens that made even Deanne & Sue want to do some ripping (isnt that amazing? I felt like that last year too!). It was so cool to meet other Idyllers I'd not yet met. And Deanne has one super-perfect DH who did stellar chauffeuring and forebearance of a lot of estrogen, to say nothing of just one heck of a guy!!!!

I've started downloading some of the pics & will put on a separate thread, altho my photography will not be anything to compare to some other Idyllers... but as Deanne said, it was impossible to take a bad photo at any of these places.

Gotta lug hoses around; no rain has hit here and things are looking pretty sad.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Glad to see IU4-ers checking in! Looking forward to photos!

Here's the URL for the hooks we use in our garage. I hang brooms, rakes, shovels, hoes, etc on these. Letter A is the type we use. We must have at least 20 of them.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:52AM
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david_5311(Z 5b/6a SE Mich)

Just wanted to apologize to all the IU4ers for not being able to say goodbye on Sunday AM. We had to rush out to try to make a standby flight at the airport at 930. As it turns out we got lost returning the car rental (I keep telling myself, DON'T rent from Thrifty even though they are cheaper since they often have off-airport locations) and there was only ONE standy spot on that plane. So I went home and Jim ended up waiting in the airport almost all day (the next flight was cancelled). Oh brother, nuf said.

IU4 was different from some of the past but had absolutely amazing gardens. Not often that one gets to see the best private garden (Inta's) and the best public garden (Chanticleer) that one has EVER seen. I too came home wanting to just rip out big areas and start over. I have never seen such imaginative displays of art in the garden on any trip. Totally inspiring.

And as usual, was BOATLOADS of fun.

Thanks to all for making this such a good time, and sorry we didn't get to wish our goodbyes to most people

David and Jim.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 11:15AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Another wayward idyller checking in. I decided to come home last night as well. Tossing caution to the wind I chose to drive right into the Sunday night frey and take the NJ Turnpike and cross over the GW Bridge. I lost about an hour in bridge traffic but because I was actually stopped on the bridge I had the opportunity to take in the sights you don't usually get to see like the NYC skyline backed by clear, blue sky.

At any rate, I didn't take all that many pictures but here's one for you all from the ruins at Chanticleer.

Name the idyllers...


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 11:28AM
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Good Morning, Good to hear that IU4 was a smashing success. So did you all discuss any ideas for IU5??? If David, Sue and Deanne came home wanting to rip out their gardens and start over you must have seen some pretty spectacular ones. I too remember feeling like that after past IUs. Can't wait to see pictures!

I came home with 18 new coleus yesterday. They were buy one for 3.50 get one free. I then began working on my gardens. I decided since everything was in such disarray to do what I do in the spring. So I started at the front and am working my way back. I did get all of my container gardens placed and today will be in the process of rearranging garden areas that were damaged and reducing that huge mountain of mulch in my driveway. I've started spreading some, not an easy task in my crowded July garden. I've got some new ideas. Now that the tree's gone and the shed must be demolished we're thinking of doing a lean-to design shed along driveway side of the house and putting a little greenhouse where the old shed was. Also we've decided to continue with the pavers out where we now have an area of just woodchips in front of the old shed. It'll be a much cleaner and neater look I think and there will be room there for more containers, lol. I think when we get everything redone the gardens will look even better. It'll probably take the rest of this summer and all of next to achieve that though.

Marie, Reed is such a cutey. I love those big eyes!

Kathy, I love the red gardens. I don't think I could live with that much bright color in my garden but love seeing it in others. I don't have much red and no orange. I keep seeing Idylls with orange in their gardens that I love though, so that may change.

Marty, I'm not a huge daylily fan but one that I do have in my garden and really like is Strawberry Candy. It's a pretty pink, not too pastel, not too bright.

Cynthia, wondering how Katie's doing?

I've got to get back to work. This is my last day until next weekend without Bella so I need to get as much accomplished as possible. Have a good one all!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 11:48AM
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Hello everyone

arrived back this afternoon after a good drive (no traffic!) thinking about all the wonderful things I'd seen. What a fabulous weekend it was! The gardens were spectacular, the company great and my sides are aching from so much laughter. We have company here tonight so I'll have to wait till tomorrow to post more about our adventures. I was pleasantly surprised to find the house cleaner than I left it so I just need to shower and make myself presentable.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 4:24PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I've got my fingers crossed for a bit of rain tonight - looks like Mary is trying to send us some as it's coming across the lake from the south. It'll probably miss us like all the rest has this summer. I spent two hours dragging hoses around this morning. I should let more of it just survive or die on its own perhaps although most of my hand watering is limited to the pots and the new plantings.

Yesterday we finally got the compost area behind the shed set up using three panels from the portable dog pen. So we were also able to dump a bunch of sod we removed in the spring that had been stored in various containers waiting for the compost heap to get back in business! It's none too exciting but here's the compost arrangement:behind the shed:

While working around the shed to set up the compost, we concluded that we better not plant around the shed this year as we need to make sure the drainage improvements we made this spring are effective.

Yesterday we also picked red currants at a neighbour's. They have lots but never use them so we've been able to harvest them for the past few years. So today we made 6 little red currant pies. I'll take most of them to the long term care facility. Two of the residents there that we've gotten to know quite well really like desserts so I take them things when we do an excess of baking. I have enough currants to make another 6 pies tomorrow too. The pies are great - the currants are embedded in a in a merangue on top of a sort of lemon shortbread crust. Here's what it looks like:

The Idyll reflections picture is great - looks like a good time had by all!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:40PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Admission to Longwood: $12

Admission to Chanticleer: $5

Garden chat and many laughs with Idyll friends, Priceless.

Haven't had a chance to read above yet. DH fixed a nice dinner for us tonite, DS helped me download my pictures, and I'm not sure how much longer I can keep my eyes open.

Back later!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 8:43PM
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How did it get to be Monday again? Didnt we just have one ? At least I can spend the evening on a leisurely tour of IU day one over on the thread that Cindy put up. Got a nice cold beer and leftover BBQ chicken , and no chores(ok well, postponed chores anyway) so I will bip over there after I post this. I looked at it for a few minutes at my office today and realized I needed uninterrupted time. Sounds like you guys had a blast !

On the red garden link I posted yesterday, I could never do that either, but oh how it made me long for the space to try ! I have a red and yellow garden that I started last year,but it isnt quite there yet. Part of the problem is the exposure and too much shade from a mature crepe myrtle.

Mariann, my late DH and I built a home-made hoop greenhouse several years ago, whicj I just dis-assembled this year. We used ½ pvc pipe, left-over and fall-down lumber, bender board and I ordered greenhouse poly sheeting that repels UV rays for up to three years . It lasted about 5 . However , my heating system was c-9 clear Christmas lights under the benches, and our winter temps here dont usually get lower than the high 20s, so it worked great for me. I would love to have something more permanent and climate controlled some day.

bug, what funny faces that young man makes !

Eden, 18 coleus ??? Will we see some pics? Were they 18 different varieties? I just strted putting some orange in my garden last year-I had that 60s shag carpet aversion ! Try it next to something purple

Okay, time to hit the IU4 thread , hi to those missed

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 9:07PM
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I'm home too.

I've been over the pix and I have to say that I'm a bit bummed....looks like half my pix are ruined. The thing is they look ok on the camera LCD screen, but have a problem transferring to the computer.

I quit for the night and will try again tomorrow.

So much to say, but I'll save it for tomrrow.

Wendy summed it up in her post. What a good time!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 9:18PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

LOL,Saucy -- who paid you to say your pics were ruined?!! Heehee... here's hoping you can recover at least your garden pics......

Glad to hear every one is home, we hope Chelone as well? She had a long long way to go.

I was so tired today I did nothing but drag some hoses around and unpack and pay a few bills. Uploaded more photos -- the beta feature on photobucket is really really fast - it uploads 100 pics in about 10 minutes.

But I think it's time to check out the bed again.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:22PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A few quick shots before I finish cleaning up the house.

Several of us were wondering what this plant at Chanticleer was:

I discovered the name is Gossypium herbaceum nigra and that it is not very common. Very cool, though.

I have always loved umbrella pines (always as in ever since I saw Les and Monique's a couple of years ago) so here's my extreme close up for the day:

We saw one oak tree on Saturday that was over three hundred years old, but I'm wondering how old the tree was that dropped these acorns:

Okay, time to clear the kitchen. I'd rather be laughing with the idylls!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2007 at 10:31PM
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It seems that everyone had a great time at IU4. To bad I didn't find this group sooner. IU4 was in my neck of the woods. I'm only 1 /12 hours from Longwood Gardens. I'm enjoying the photos.

Kathy-I did have a portable greenhouse for a while. It lasted 2 years. What a great idea heating your GH with Christmas lights. Clever.

Martie-What is a PW annual?

It rained here all day yesterday. I gave my car a poor man's car wash. My DH was concerned about me standing out in the pouring rain scrubbing down my car. Then when I was finished he wanted to know why I didn't do his. Hummmmm

Woody-those pies look scrumptious.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 6:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

YUM! Woody and I share the same Portmeirion dishes!

Glad to hear that Saucy enjoyed the break she needed. I hope Chelone did too, but perhaps she's already stitching away? She hasn't checked in yet. The contractor may be keeping her busy too!

Had a very few raindrops here last night. It sounded lovely and gentle, but it didn't begin to solve the drought problem. So hose moving it will be once more today.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 7:23AM
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Hi! Thought I would try to make the 100th post so my birthday cards wouldn't seem quite so late!!!

Happy Birthday Michelle!!

Happy Birthday Eden!!!!

I came back from idyllunion and I have lilies popping all over... those were some of them.... I hope you both had wonderful days! And we missed you at Idyllunion...

I have a pic to share. I don't think anyone posted this yet.

We had a lot of fun!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 8:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Drema, the tradition carries on! I don't see any green polish though....

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 8:57AM
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OK - This post is my "maiden voyage", but the weekend was spectacular and I am compelled to say THANK YOU to my new perennial friends. I am so lucky to have a sister-in-law who is willing to share her passion for plants and her delightful Idyll friends... and I'm HOOKED! I appreciate the way you all welcomed me to the fold and my gardens and I will grow with your support. The pictures are incredible and I am inspired by all of you... thanks, too, for the laughs and for the knowledge and enthusiasm you shared. You are ALL wonderful!!

I've realized my gardens need an injection... too many daylilies and hostas and not enough "punch" or design. I'm looking to make a plan and start with a small area to develop something stunning. You'll hear about it! I also want to get some containers going... Thriller, filler, spiller~

Thanks again!!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 9:20AM
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