Idyll #506 The DRY season!

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)July 19, 2011

It's hard to believe that all this heat and humidity has not produced even one thunderstorm! It was actually relatively 'cooler by the lake' here today but things are bone dry and no rain or cooler temperatures in sight :-(

gb - that abour is so gorgeous! It's my favorite part of your garden.

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Gorgeous indeed !

Here in Norcal it is definitely the dry season,we will have no rain til fall-some years October, some years November. Hard to predict that first storm. I have alot of stuff that does just fine with once a week watering, Lavenders, Agastache, Oreganos etc. Even the lilys seem to do ok. I'll water all before I depart for IU , and DS will only have to keep an eye on the non-succulent containers.

It's a lovely evening here, so I will WALAT a bit before the sun goes over the yardarm...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sleep would be nice...but the noise of the fan prevents it! I'm enjoying the sound of the frogs at night.

My computer is supposed to work better/faster tomorrow after the university installs new things.

Glad you enjoy the clematis arbor this year. It has been a very good year for them. If it ever cools down, I need to weed around them.

I'm hoping the green tomatoes turn red/orange/yellow soon!

The power people have not only asked us to be careful to stay hydrated, but water is being handed out by the fire departments and banks I notice. The bottles are made of reduced plastics, so I gather better for the land fills. DS says these same type are used in Haiti. They ask us
not to use our ovens and stoves as well as being careful not to use washers and dryers. I'm willing to comply on those easily!

Poor Ivy is bothered by mosquitoes. She came back from the park with 8-9 bites on her face and then cried in the night saying "mosquito bite!" Some new lotion may help.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:49AM
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Increasingly hot and muggy here, tomorrow and Friday slated to be particularly uncomfortable. Can't wait! NOT.

The lawns need mowing, but the rapid fire growth has been curtailed by lack of rain over the past week. I see though, that the Salon windowboxes need a drink... best see that's done before the summer swelter settles in tomorrow. I see it will be a busy and early morning for me. Speaking of which, I'm already noticing the loss of light in the early morning. Until about a week ago I heard the birds begin their songs at about 4:15... now it's 4:30 and I perform my morning ablution before taking Rex outdoors. The back of summer is indeed broken. ;)

I picked up a few new specialized feet for one of my machines today and also a few pointers on the finer adjustments to my 3/4" binder, but as yet I've not located the "sweet spot" that will guarantee uniform folding and secure stitching on inside curves. More play time tomorrow and if success still eludes me I'll give a call to the World's Greatest Sewing Machine Mechanic.

Time to begin coaxing two of Pride into the house... they are still leery of Baxter... unaware that one swift cuff would settle things once and for all. Polly has already proven that!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 8:11PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

OMG it is DRY alright! Humidex of 47C, Fahrenheight of 115 approx. Very unusual in the great white north!! Things to be grateful for:

4 foot deep "kiddie"pool and a nine year old who likes to swim and share;
filtered drinking water;
a clothesline;
ceiling fans;
a finished basement;
only one 4 by 4 foot garlic patch as harvesting was today's JulieJob;
central AC that makes the house seem cool even when set at 27 C;
a husband who thinks white wine should be stored in the freezer......

Take extra care all!



    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 7:41PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh yeah, and I am also grateful for the dreadful awful really short haircut I got the other day because you can't/don't need to do anything with it after splashing around in above noted pool:)



    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 9:15PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It's still brutally hot and dry here with no improvement in sight :-(

Dawn was here most days this past week while her owner spent time with his father during his father's final days. His father died Tues. night. Dawn will be arriving shortly to spend the rest of today and this evening here during the 'visitation' time at the funeral home. Dawn is an easy guest - I wouldn't have thought a Malamute would be so interested in sleeping... Of course, the fact that she has cancer undoubtedly makes a big difference, although she's still in good shape and still up for long walks - when it's not hot!

This morning the reuphostered loveseat was finally delivered. Misty has been missing 'her' loveseat! But, now that it's back and looking - and smelling? - different, she's rather suspicious of it! Since the loveseat is across from my desk in our home office, I also had my desk chair recovered to match it. The loveseat is now a much darker color, which changed the look of things a fair bit, but I like it.



    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Wow, really, really hot here. But I can't really complain given the dire straits other areas of the country are in. The Hydrangeas flagged today and received a long drink as insurance against another brutal day of heat tomorrow. They revived once the sun was off them, but they looked pretty pathetic. We don't have air conditioning so the inside of the house is pretty warm, but it will get better when the sun drops in the sky. Another plug for the low-tech awning, you guys! keep the sun off the glass and you reduce heat transfer by up to 30%. They work!

Our little friend, Baxter, is still here (one week today) and the fact that his Daddy hasn't come to visit him once this week alarms us. He is sweet little thing, clearly in need of more time and structure. He has settled into the Compound routine nicely, responding to frequent beatings nicely. It's a good thing I hate dogs or I'd be sad to see him leave...

The heat wave has been the requisite incentive to get moving on the Salon awnings. I have the frames and the fabric but the incentive and the time to do the work have not been in alignment until now. It's been a long time since I've done anything like that and it's nigh on time to indulge that side of me, methinks.

Woody, your home is just so pretty and your plantings are really coming into their own... so, so, so very pretty. You should be well proud of yourself, girlfriend. Things are drying out here quickly, too.

Hi all, and 'bye all!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 3:56PM
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Love the new upholstery, Woody! very elegant, but I am a total sucker for the whole Duncan Phyfe thing, anyway. :)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 4:56PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks Chelone. Our place is pretty mundane, though, compared to your beautiful and creative Salon! The Duncan Phyfe style appeals to me too. The pastel colors showed it off better - but also showed dirt easily too! We acquired that loveseat from the downstairs neighbour in the place we lived in when we moved to Toronto in 1980. When the neighbours retired to their cottage they put the contents of the apartment up for sale. We bought that and a few other things. It badly needed recovering so we did the pastel look. It was a two-tone dark green stripe when we got it so this blue is closer to what it first looked like. Next up on the recovering agenda is the 15 year old living room sofa... We'll probably do that this fall. We're lucky that there's a good, reasonably priced custom upholstry business near here. That's who did the work on the loveseat. The living room sofa was made by them too. The son now runs the business his parents started. The chair in the picture above was a display model we bought on sale from them 10 years or so ago. The cost to have the furniture custom made works out to the same or less that what you'd pay in a good retail furniture store - but you can choose from a very wide range of styles and fabrics. Plus they can adjust the size of/rebuild the frame to make the furniture exactly fit the space where you want to put it. I've never bought upholstered furniture in a store since I discovered this place 15 or so years ago!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 5:47PM
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I love you, Woody.

I have very strong opinions on furniture (among other things, lol) and it saddens me to see people (esp. young ones) overlook fabulous older pcs. in favor of "new". Too often the price tag of "new" is less than reupholstery of an older piece, but the reality is the frame quality of "new" in the lower price points is really crummy.

Quality upholstery is defined by the quality of the base frame. Solid hardwood that has been pegged, glued, and screwed together is the Cadillac of frames. As frames age and see normal wear and tear they inevitably weaken and tend to get "wobbly". But if they're constructed properly all those things can be rectified at the time of reupholstery. I know that there is no way I could afford to purchase commensurate "new" quality to our many reupholstered pcs. if I were to go out shopping tomorrow. Several of those pcs. were shoved into the trunk of my car having been consigned to the kerb for trash collection! Their owners either didn't realize what they had, didn't like the lines, or never even considered having them redone. Several of my customers are shocked when I show them before and after shots of my furniture. No one ever taught them to see past present condition and envision something new and fresh.

Mum was a fan of old furniture and I have many fond memories of playing in the backyard while she stripped multiple layers of ugly paint from "finds" with "good lines". I come by the desire to refurbish naturally, I suppose. I look at absolute crap and see what could be... I've always been that way. So has my brother.

As one who works "in trade" I so appreciate people who are informed and willing to honestly assess the "price" relative to the "value"... furniture and draperies are, to me, a long term investment... both should serve you well and please you for many years! if you wish to change them in the nest 2-3 yrs. then, by all means, take the cheaper route. But if you know what you like and have a nice (but shabby and worn) piece it's well worth the time and money to reupholster.

OK, all done. (for now!)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 6:34PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Hi all. Too blazing hot outside, although Chuck is trying to paint a couple of doors. Not sure why he has chosen the hottest weather for that particular chore, but it is looking much better.

'bug, love your arbor from the last Idyll thread. You always combine your plants so wonderfully.

Woody, I love the new upholstery. That is a marvelous loveseat! Lucky you those many years ago!

Chelone, quick question. I definitely prefer re-upholstering our old pieces and have redone (had redone, to be exact)most of the pieces we have inherited. However, we have a small loveseat that my mother bought in the mid-1970s. It is a light piece of furniture, so probably not the highest quality and I was planning to have it reupholstered when I can swing it. However, I have started debating if it is worth doing. The seventies weren't exactly a high point for design, but this piece has nice lines. I am wondering if it can be changed from a loose cushion to a tightback style. In theory, is that possible? Not being at all able to sew other than a hem or seam, I don't know if that is feasible or if it would ruin the lines-the back is slightly curved.

I am enjoying all the stories of visiting canines. Our grandpup is here this weekend and I would post a picture, except it would be a blur-the little monster never stops moving! The new black chain link fence is in and I will post a picture soon. I do like it and once I plant in front of it it will not be noticeable at all. The only part that is visible now is the top bar, but I was totally wrong in thinking it would keep the dogs in better. Fence finished Thursday night...all three dogs out into the woods Friday. Annabelle came back bleeding like crazy from a cut or something on her ear. Turned out not to be anything really, but it was scary to see all that blood on her neck.

Guess I should get back to cleaning out the downstairs bedroom for my step-daughter's visit. Seems I have been working on it forever, but I get so sidetracked going through old photographs and stuff that I never seem to get much done.

Hope everyone is staying cool. Guess a lot of you are looking forward to IU-almost here!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 12:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

cyn - poor Annabelle! Is the base wire that holds the chainlink fence tight at the bottom of the fence either too high above the ground or not taut enough, or is the ground uneven, leaving gaps under the fence in places? There are a couple of places across our back fence where we have 2"x6" planks spiked against the fence base with short pieces of rebar. The ground is a bit uneven there so there were gaps under the fence that tempted the (neighbour's) dog to dig under and come over for a visit. We dug a bit of a trench to be able to lay the planks level and then spiked them in place and backfilled the trenched areas. The 6" of wood upright against the base and the elimination of the gaps under the fence was enough to prevent through traffic under the fence :-)

Heat, humidity and drought continue here...:-( The chance of rain for this weekend/early next week has vanished from the forecast... The unusually wet May has kept most things going up to this point and had staved off watering restrictions. But the local paper had interviews with the local conservation and water authorities yesterday - they said creeks and wetlands are now drying up; in the absence of significant rain in the near future, watering restrictions will soon be applied.

It's way too hot and humid to spend any time in the front garden. While it is sometimes too hot and humid to spend much time in the shady backyard or lounging on the shady back porch, the back porch and backyard remains the garden refuges. While the hydrangeas are struggling a bit and Randy has to give them a bit of water from time to time, they do suprisingly well with just the shade from the trees. Not much has changed (a few more hydrangea flowers...) in this view from the picture I posted about 2 weeks ago but it remains one of my favorite scenes in the garden and makes the garden feel cooler than it is!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:56PM
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Thoughts on furniture for Cyn.: I agree that the '70s were not a highwater mark with respect to design. BUT, overall design has little to do with the underlying framework of upholstered pcs.. Don't make the common mistake of jettisoning something because it's "era" doesn't appeal to you. In the '70s most furniture was still manufactured domestically and the quality of the frames is FABULOUS. No country in the world rivalled the USA for quality furniture until the late '80s. In fact, no country could really rival our textile industry, either. When real costs of manufacturing are factored in our country is second to none when quality is concerned, Cyn.! It's not OK to discuss the "why s" here but there are many. Hustle that piece to an upholsterer and speak frankly with him/her? about the relative quality of the base frame. You may well be pleasantly surprised!

I was not sad to see the little white idiot leave, but pangs of regret for the unfulfilled capacity of the little fool remain. Good thing I hate dogs. In all, though, my overall appreciation for the graciousness of Rex is front and center. He was so good about the little visitor; no possessiveness, no insecurity. He was a perfect "host". There was a small altercation last night when Baxter abandonned his bowl (with food in it) and the helpmeet's watch failed. A snarling encounter and squealing retreat was met with stern correction for Rex. He complied immediately and there was no fur lost. Helpmeet was apologetic, but had I been on watch it wouldn't have happened. Big dogs + food = confrontation with littler dogs. Strict supervision eliminates the unpleasant encounters. You know?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 2:47PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thought I'd pass on an update about my friend's little 6 year old with cancer. After many ups and downs, (and doctors and travel and dollars!) Will had the dreaded maxillectomy on Wednesday with a skin graft from his thigh.
By some miracle, he was home by Friday!
From his Mom:
He's home! We arrived home about 7:30pm. He's doing great. I can't believe how well he's doing.

Now to make sure he eats and drinks enough. The doctors said it's all about calories right now, so if all he gets is milkshakes for a week, it's okay with them. It's okay with me too.

His speech is great. He sounds a little bit like he's got a fat lip, but totally understandable. I bet when he gets his new obturator (Friday) it will be even better. That one might even have teeth!"

By Saturday, the very next day, Beacon became the newest member of their family of three small boys.

"Yes, yes, we're push overs. We were looking for a medium sized dog, preferably one that was about a year (so she was potty trained). But what Will wanted was a Golden Retriever, and a puppy. And we figured that since we were getting a dog for Will, then we should get the dog he wanted.
She's already curled up on the couch with Will, which is what he's wanted all along.

Will is doing great, it's unbelievable. He took pain medicine at 4pm but didn't want it before bed. I don't know how he does it."

Sorry Chelone, but I get all weepy about this boy and his dog.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:07AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kids are pretty amazing at dealing with dreadful medical things. I think a puppy - especially a Golden one! - is just the right medicine :-)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:24AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It's nice and cool out this morning - but dry, dry, dry... There were T-storms around last night not too far away but zilch here :-(

I was deadheading Persicaria polymorpha this morning and took some pictures while I was out. The 'hot' colors in the herb bed are looking pretty good although some things are still too small and/or not blooming yet so don't show up in pictures. With the heat and drought, the angel roses are not doing their usual continuous flowering - they seem to be heading rapidly into the setting hips stage so the pink end of the bed is absent. The Peachy Cream and Paprika OSO Easy roses also seem to be heading into the hip stage so they are absent in the color sequence too - I'm trying to have the bed shade from pink at the street end, through peachy tones, to darker oranges and reds at the end by the top of the driveway.

The paler end:

The darker colors:

Where they are in relation to each other:

It's got a ways to go yet but I'm happy with how it's shaping up... (I need to move those lilies to the other side of the peachy daylilies...)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 11:40AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Thanks for the advice, Chelone. I think you are absolutely right and I hope this frame, although light in weight, turns out to be good. I will probably reupholster it no matter what, though. It is a nice small size, perfect for what I ludicrously refer to as our "keeping room" which is actually just a small area off the kitchen.

Woody, that is one of my favorite views of your garden, too. All the struggles with getting the perfect color for your wonderful shed certainly did pay off. I think I could be quite happy living in it! ;)

'bug, what a lovely update. Funny how we can get so invested in someone we don't know, but I am sending all good energy Will's way. Do you know what he named the puppy? There really is nothing like a dog to boost one's spirits and they do seem to possess some healing magic for us. Goldens are just the best. Should they want another, I could be talked into shipping the grandpup to them. Ha. Oh and I meant to tell you that I think Ivy really looks like her mom. Is that true? There was one picture in the last Idyll where it just jumped out at me. She is such a cutie!

Woody, yes, there are some gaps. We had them put a bar along the bottom as well as the top and there is one spot where they had it go as close to a tree as possible, so it is a little high on either side. I thought of hammering in rebar as well. Looks like a trip to the hardware store is in order. I also heard of someone who buried cement blocks in the ground to keep his dog from digging out. Sounds like way too much work. It would force me to plant further inside the fence which would leave the dogs a place to patrol the perimeter. That could be good or bad. They might not destroy the plants as much since they wouldn't have to run through and over them, but don't want them barking at the neighbors since they are adamant about that.

Still working on the downstairs. Will it ever end???? Aarrgghh. Hi ho hi ho and whistling as I go...

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 12:32PM
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Good afternoon Idylls�

Busy the last few days tying up loose ends both at home and the awfice to clear the calendar for IU 8. I think I�m making some progress ! A packing list is in process as is laundry.

Took a break last evening to attend DS�s play �this was Much Ado About Nothing Very enjoyable at our riverside outdoor amphitheater downtown . It runs for a couple more weeks, and rehearsals for �Annie� at the Berkeley Playhouse begin shortly thereafter.

I�ve felt badly for all my Midwest and East Coast friends suffering through the horrible heat out that way. We had high 90�s earlier this month but it�s been very mild for the last week or two here. Looks like its 80�s for IU thank goodness !

Woody, I really like how that dark upholstery looks on your loveseat. It seems to show off the shape better to my eye. I have two pieces that are in need of a re-do---and you are spot-on Chelone, these are pre-China Thomasville and well worth the expense to re-cover.

Last weekend I went to Ruth Bancroft Garden for the last weekend of their annual sculpture installation. Here are a few photos .. From Ruth Bancroft Garden Jul 2011 From Ruth Bancroft Garden Jul 2011 From Ruth Bancroft Garden Jul 2011 From Ruth Bancroft Garden Jul 2011

Ok, back to the chores...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 4:59PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Our new puppy, eta next weekend. Mutt mixed with wolf. The perfect blend for us. Mother is super sweet, and both parents are so smart and attentive. I had to adjust the sharpness, to eliminate some of the faded look on the puppy pic. Cindy thanks for the compliment BTW, but I can't take credit for good pics. I thank Picasa for blow-up and un-blur capabilities. Puppy is more grey than black. Now we need a name. Always the hardest part for this family. We lost our 16 yr old husky x lab, Jagger, last August. Is August a good name do you think?




Four weeks old

Nine weeks old (puppy on left)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cyn, Will's puppy is named Beacon. She's 7 weeks old I believe.

Your 4 week old pup is sweet Yeona! You could name her Picasa, Pica for short. Then you'd have to post lots of photos of her for us. ;)

Promises of rain and thunderstorms have failed us. Annoying because I could have watered today had I guessed. Instead I mowed and grocery shopped. I even planted two delphiniums because the temperatures were supposed to drop and the sky turn cloudy. But no...and things look thirsty! DH was bit by a hornet and yesterday a friend was attacked by a wasp under his left eye. So many nests around the farm! I don't want to destroy the nests, yet I don't want friends and family attacked. Sigh. We have a battle with a red squirrel in our bathroom vent too. She has at least 6 newborns too... They are so destructive!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:30PM
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Yeona, adorable adorable puppies.

Would August feel melancholy as a name ? Or would it feel like you are honoring Jagger ? If you name her August you will call her Augie I bet. Wasn't there a cartoon dog in the 60's named Augie ?

I like bugs suggestion too !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Auggie Doggie was a dachshund I knew in Nigeria in the mid 60s. He rode on my friend Irwin's Vespa.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 9:46PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I think Augie is an adorable name for a darling pup!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 10:56PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Very interesting about the reupholstering. I'm glad that others think we should re-use instead of toss it. My sister had antique and older pieces and always got them recovered when it was warranted, but she had a hard time finding someone who did a good job. One time she got it done the couch squeaked from the foam that was used. It was very noticeable, so she had it redone by someone else. some people don't take pride in their workmanship that's for sure.

About the pup, sorry I forgot to say that she's a he. Even though we don't have the boy girl balance in our house with nephews coming and going, we've tried to keep the pets' boy girl quotient balanced. We have a boy and girl cats and with Jagger had a boy and girl dogs. I probably should vote for a girl to give me someone on my team since I'm the only human female here, but no I want a boy too. DD doesn't live here anymore and doesn't visit much even though we talk a ton over the phone. Busy busy lives.

I have such good memories of Jagger, (which means apple cart puller) that remembering him through the next dog doesn't bother me. I don't know about the rest of the family, yet, though. The name just occurred to me and I haven't discussed it with everyone else. I don't mind Augie as a nickname at all, though he'll be slightly larger than a dachshund. :) Apparently the word august means: marked by majestic dignity or grandeur
augustly adverb (from Merriam Webster online) Not a bad meaning for a wolf dog blend.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:14AM
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Yahoo everyone

Greetings! I am currently without email due to a wiring project that went became rather complicated and we have had to reset passwords etc but nothing is working yet.... If you could pass on the word that I can't wait to see everyone and have a really fun day of gardens lined up for the visit here.

The garden tour a couple of weeks ago went beautifully. The weather was perfect and my gardens held on to all their color. They are a shadow of that now due to the beastly heat and drought:0( We had over 500 visitors and served endless sit down teas. Everyone seemed to love it, and I must say, the tables under the trees with the tablecloths and flowers, and David playing his guitar made a lovely place to rest on a day of walking.

The only low spot happened later that night. I had turned off the chickens electric fence so that the visitors did not zap themselves (the chickens were a huge attraction). It didn't get put back on and around 4 AM I heard something from our bedroom window. I ran down, flashlight in hand to the chicken enclosure. I heard something rustle over the fence and found 3 of the little chickens dead. I'm guessing it was a racoon as their bodies were left scattered with just their heads bitten off @#$%^& I've been locking the henhouse at night now as well as checking the fence and so far the dispicable visitor has not been back.

Must run now as I have a friend coming over who is newly vegan and I am in the midst of vegan dinner preparation - not sure I've cooked this way before. The coconut milk rice pudding has turned out well and a chick pea and chard stew is bubbling away.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 4:34PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Egad... the newest stays the most in my head and therefore I have to comment on Mary's post -- 500 visitors thru your gardens in one day???? Egad, Mary! Do you have any grass or paths left? LOL, glad you had good weather because I bet they would not have fit in your garage! I'm sorry to hear of the accidental demise of a few of your chicks... lots of predators out there, even here in suburbia this year.

We're much excited to see you too -- hmmm I think a few of us are wondering your addy tho so you may need to call one of us - or we you.

How exciting, Yeona - a new pup -- I have never known of anyone w/ a dog-wolf mix so it will be interesting to hear all about his puppy habits, etc. No, I still must give you some credit for the lovely shots and Picasa has to have something at base good to work with,LOL!

More of that lovely daylily, 'bug that you posted on the Farm thread - it's just gorgeous and you have a great mix of perennials with it.

I'm seeing a lot of buzzing insects here too - even more peculiar, I'm finding fat bees dead or dying on the stone walk - I think it's the heat - too hot for even them ... I've found probably 5 or 6 dead singly in the last couple of days - usully I rush to get them before Stella decides it's something she should experiment with. It's been just ghastly with the humidity and heat -- and trying to drag hoses around. I fear for the time I'm gone, but nothing one can do....

Gearing up into getting ready for IU departure with lists and to-dos.....

well, now I've forgotten most of everythiing else I just read - will try to look again this evening -- just a quick sneak in before metro marathon for the evening starts.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 5:12PM
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Mary, if you check in here I e-mailed you this morning -the 1st one bounced but the 2nd one went through...will you be with us in Buffalo on Friday ? We are making some plans for that day and want to make sure you are in the loop ..

Waves to all, still at the awfice !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 5:56PM
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Kathy - won't be able to make Friday so will hook up with you all Saturday first thing. I will probably cut out a little early Sunday afternoon to come back here to pick up the socks and prepare dinner. Greatly looking forward to it. Does your hotel here include breakfast? If not I'll have one here before we start Monday.

Cindy - the visitors were over 6 hours and I was so busy knocking out cucumber sandwiches and filling the iced teas I was completely unaware of the numbers till afterwards. I must say everyone was great - nothing was trampled or picked.

Tonight's coconut milk rice pudding and fresh raspberries were delicious and hoisin tofu a big hit.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 9:59PM
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Mary, the hotel for Sunday night offers a complimentary continental breakfast , so we should be ok. It occured to me that we will see not only the garden, but the famous Mary-The -Builder powder room, and a few miniatures too ?

Yay !


    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 11:44PM
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Watering continues , and the travel staging area is open here at the Kathy house. My entire carry-on bag will be full of electronics; Kindle and charger, card readers, usb connectors , camera and extra batteries, iphone charger ,laptop, gps, etc etc. I bought a small spiral notepad that will fit in my purse and am determined to take notes this year . We�ll see how that turns out !

This is all for me tonight ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 12:08AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

And the countdown continues! Go girls go! I expect Sue et al to keep those fingers busy texting and sending photos!



    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 8:23AM
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Watering, packing, almost time to turn in. Very close to get-away day ! Such a small group we are this year-kind of ironic, I expected a small group last year because of the distance for most to Norcal, and expected lots to turn up this year . It will be fun to make the most of a more intimate gathering. I am bringing my laptop and there will be updates from the road , and even more updates for those on FB--many Idylls have smart-phones now .

OK, I will try to check in tommorow ..stay tuned !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:25AM
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I wanted to say hi to everyone. I have been pretty busy here. Skip has been gone since late May or early June, and there is an amazing amount of work to be done to keep the place up. Old house, lots of leaks, power outages, stray animals showing up. I have made good use of the time though. I feel like my house is actually in order. I have gotten rid of a lot of junk, although I still have a houseful of stuff, it feels better. I love being organized, and with no one here but me to make decisions about where things go, it is easy to make changes. Skip came home last weekend for the first time, and liked the way everything looked. Now that I have it halfway done, I'm not going back. I have been working on plans to sell plants from my house. We will see how it goes, but I have hopes. I have spoken to a few people around here who have had good success. Skip wants to get off the road. If I can get this thing going, he can work the home improvement business and I can work the plants. They will sort of go hand in hand, I hope. In the meantime, as soon as I get back from IU8, I'm going to try to find a day job for the fall, while working on suppliers, etc. I have a few lined up, and am starting to get excited. I don't want to make too many proclamations till I see how it goes, but am hopeful, and have had positive feedback. Skip's family is here from Florida, so I am hosting dinner for 24 today. He had to go back to Georgia, but I will send him pics. He hasn't seen them for a few years. That is the short (or long) version of what is going on in my world. Oh, I forgot to say Mary Kate is having a baby the day after Christmas. She had her sonogram yesterday and everything looks fine. We needed another birthday in December, LOL. The more the merrier. Every baby is a blessing, and I am definitely a lucky gal.

Yeona, your puppy is adorable. What a nice addition to your family, and your clematis is gorgeous too!

Bug, my thoughts and prayers are with Will and his family. Thanks for posting the followup story. I hope he makes a full recovery, poor little guy. Sometimes things just don't seem fair. I bet the dog will give him lots of good endorphins. The healing power of animals has been proven over and over. When my brother was so sick, and no one thought he even knew who he was, I was talking to him about Christmas candy and he smiled. And he came through that bout. Later he said that when he woke up I was there, he didn't remember anything from the past 3 months, but I always felt that the smiles sent healing through his body. And, thank you so much for posting all the pictures. I love your pergola!!! And the clematis! So many pretty ones.

Kathy, that Ruth Bancroft Garden has the coolest installations. Thanks for being so good about posting the pictures. You have a great group of gardens to visit out there. And I love to see them with you!!

Woody, the new upholstery job looks great. And thank you so much for posting the pic of the Bressingham Blue. I have been looking for it all year with no luck. Everywhere I go. I will probably have to order it online. A couple of years ago at IU, year we saw a Guardian Angel hosta, and I had to order that one online. It is still a baby this year, but I think it will take off next year.

Mary, I am so excited to see you this year! And I am glad that you had such a good turnout for your garden tour. IU will be a walk in the park after that group!! Sorry about your chickens, poor things.

Well, it is daylight outside, and I have to quickly vacuum and do a few last swipes with the dustcloth before company arrives. Hope you all have a great day!!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 6:46AM
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Little "sausage" puppies with flat faces, lol. We've often wondered what Wrecks looked like as puppy. It will be a good addition to your fam'ly, Yeona. Best of all, you can always drop kick it when you're especially frustrated about things... ;)

I'm sorry to hear of the poultry population decrease. But consider that the nocturnal desperado has to eat, too... just sayin'. 500 people is a lot of visitors, Mary! I hope you were using your very own cukes, lol. I smiled imagining your efficient assembly of finger sandwiches and what a lasting memory your hospitality must have created. Should you think of it, have you any favorite things to do in London that I should know about before I get on the flying sewer pipe to cross the pond?

I am sad that I won't get to see the gang this year, but I know you will have a grand time and I hope some pictures will drift this way, or maybe through e-mail?

My payless furlough has proven not altogether miserable. ;) I've nearly finished the awnings for the Salon and I have a couple of nice jobs (small but not difficult) to do, in addition to a floorcloth and table cover I want to get going on.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Hi Idyll's.
Summer slacker here. I'm in for the day . Things are mostly fried out there. I water but it just don't cut it in extended 100 degree days. Tell me how the weeds get so much bigger as my plants suffer?

Have had company for a couple of weeks too. Otherwise not a lot going on.

Yeona that is such a cute puppy, and will make a great addition to your family.

Bug thanks for the update on your little friend. I'm happy to hear he is doing ok, and got the puppy he wished for. I pray that things will continue to get better for him.

Woody, the love seat turned out great. Love the pictures of your garden shed and other flowers too. You were so right about the colors for the shed.

Kathy, I always enjoy the garden photos you post from your outings. I'm so looking forward to seeing some from the IU outing. I know the group will have a fun time. Tell Mary how much we miss her please.

Hi Cyn and Julie! You too Chelone,and anyone else checking in. I hope to get back into the swing of things here.
Just not spending much time on the computer with so much other stuff to get done.

Waving. Norma

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 4:20PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Yeona - I forgot to say... cute puppy (puppies)! It'll be interesting to see how they turn out. I don't think I'd be up to the challenge of trying to domesticate a half-wild mix! :-)

Mary - any pictures from the tour? It sounds like it was fun and would certainly be memorable for the visitors! Condolences on the chicken casulaties...

Drema - I hope Skip is able to 'get off the road' soon! Too bad it's not acceptable to ship plants across the border - by next spring I should be dividing some of my BB and I could have provided you with lots :-)

Chelone - I didn't realize you were heading off to London - lucky you. The British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery were two of our favorite places to visit there. Also, the V & A Museum for the fabrics and clothing. The Worth gowns particularly appealed to me!

Re IU - is anyone still planning on crossing the border? I had hoped to meet up with anyone who does at the Niagara Botanical Gardens. The forecast is looking like it may be both hot and wet. Rain I welcome. Heat I can't cope with! It's supposed to be cooler here than there so, if it's too hot for me to head there, anyone who'd like to drive an hour or so and drop by here would be very welcome. I'll keep an eye on the weather; if a meeting - here or there - looks possible, could someone let me know so we can arrange details...?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 4:28PM
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Woody, I want to see the V&A clothing exhibit, the incomparable sea clocks of John Harrison and the Tower of London. I would like to tour the Thames by boat (w/narration), too but not sure that will marry well with what my hosts may wish to do. I'm "cool" with doing things they would like to do, too.

I'm pretty freaked out by the whole airplane thing, but I'm determined to, "close my eyes and think of England", lol.

And I'm still bummin' that I won't get to meet you (kick your dog) and see all our other friends. :(

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Dealing with various stresses but also enjoying things in the garden. I hope that the rains that are promised materialize!

I'm afraid that I remember very little of London since I was only eight years old at the time. I remember the jewels and the awful tourists who elbowed me out of the way to get a better view. I remember them feeding steak to the raven at the Tower of London. I remember the enormous bathroom in our hotel room....

Phoebe chased a rabbit away from the gardens at dinner time and fortunately did not catch it. DD had a friend in highschool who owned a malamute/wolf dog. It made a very nice pet to my surprise.

Anyone else enjoying Echinacea Fatal Attraction?

I'm also enjoying the crocosmia that has begun blooming.

More lilies have opened-

A painting job awaits me. Perhaps tomorrow I'll paint the area where the raccoons nested next to the dryer. Also a new sink and counter in the back bathroom were installed and the walls need some touching up. I enjoyed watching two women trying to match the old paint color. We'll soon see how well they did. ;). The basement floor had some patching done as well but the cement needs 3 months to cure.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 8:35PM
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I saw Woody's post about crossing the border to the Niagara Botanical Gardens. I wanted to let you know that I can't do it for a couple of reasons. I am taking along a friend who doesn't have a passport, and I am not going to get to NY till later in the afternoon on Friday, the Garden walk is the next day. So sorry to miss an opportunity to visit with you. If Skip heads up that way in the future, I will let you know, and we can see if it works out for your schedule. He doesn't have anything planned, but you never know..


    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:22PM
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Good evening Idylls !I am holed up in an airport hotel, flying out to IU8 first thing in the morning. It takes forever to get to Buffalo from here.

Woody, I am not able to cross the border yet, still awaiting my mini passport.There was also some concern about the holiday weekend getting into Canada. I believe the Friday schedule will be determined tomorrow night when we all gather at our Buffalo hotel.I know at least some of us are going to Buffalo Botanic gardens 1st thing Friday am. Any chance what-so-ever of your joining us there ?It looks to be a flat level place , with paths that might accommodate you. We have a very small group this year too. I will be the latest arrival,so the plans will likely be firmed up before I arrive.

2 hour layover in Chicago tommorow, I'll check in from there

Hi Norma !

Kathy at SFO

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 1:02AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Thursday everyone! I guess IU8 is just about kicking off! I am kicking myself for not keeping myself informed enough so I could attend. But I'll be there in spirit...or spirits as the case may be! I'll toast you all with a glasss tonight!

I am surprised to find that my gardens are almost past their peak already, due to the heat. Everything grew and bloomed at once for a change so it was gorgeous for a few weeks. Now I find myself doing a lot of deadheading and watering and MiracleGroing. Yesterday afternoon DH and I sat under the new awning on the patio for most of the afternoon, entertained by a large variety of birds, especially a pair of hummers who stayed around the Monarda for the whole afternoon. Thought of Deanne and her bird photos. Several large Monarch butterflies enjoyed the Echinacha White Swan. My Lucifer Crocosmia is budded up but is not as far along as Marie's is. My phlox David and Starfire are a bit of a disappointment though - not very showy this year. However, that's the thing about gardens - there's always another season....

Woody, thank you so much for your kind invitation to spend some time at your place during IU8 to stay on the northern side of the border....Your kindness blows me away!

Enjoy London, Chelone! What a great adventure! We love our awning and you are entirely correct - the difference it makes to the heat in the house is amazing, although I didn't doubt you for a second. All the talk of reupholstering has me thinking....I would like to salvage a chair that belonged to my Mother but one leg has also been slightly gnawed by a dog. The current upholstry is wearing a chocolate milkshake.....don't ask.

Renovations are fascinating....many big changes at Brenda's and maybe Laura"s? I remember the stress but also the excitement that major renovations can bring. And the wonder when it turns out exactly as it was meant to be!

I laughed, Drema, when you noted how much decluttering progress you made when left on your own to do it! Here, with a houseful of men, it is one step forward and two steps back...although shelves installed in closets this week have made a difference!

TCS is anxiously waiting for a dip in his pool. I will say I love it too, maybe even more than he does! Have a wonderful day, all, and special cheers to you IU8ers!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:05AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Drema - hopefully Skip will head back this way sometime soon... :-)

Kathy - It's not accessibility issues that deter me from going to the Buffalo botanical (or other) gardens... I'm just not willing to take the risk of running into medical problems of any sort and having to deal with the expense of the US health system! While one hopes that the risk of needing health care during a short trip across the border would be low, with my problems there's no guarantee of that - especially during a heat wave which definitely makes me less perky than usual :-) I'm probably being overly cautious... But any Idyll who crooses to this side of the border is very welcome to drop by for a visit!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:16AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Julie - you were posting while I was writing mine, so I just saw yours now. The invitation still stands - if you're in the neighbourhood sometime, just let me know....

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:23AM
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Something must be going right this week because I had to ask what day of the week it was last night! The days have just flown by while I was sharpening my hindquarters on the grindstone of life. ;)

The weather has been just glorious; I try not to grouse too much about hot and humid weather but it is so nice to see it "break" and enjoy the string of low humidity and warm temperature days. Coneflowers in full bloom, Phlox paniculata coming into bloom, Liatris and some basic (double) orange daylilies putting on a nice show, too. Oriental lilies are puny as are clematis... stern admonishment that I've been miserly with "amendments". Hydrangeas are breathtaking!! and I have several large "layered" off shoots to carve off.

I am gratified to see the Fertile Crescent plantings begin to come into their own. My dream of blocking the road may actually be realized before I keel over. One Viburnum has experienced serious die-off on 2/3rds. of the plant, but I've not had the time/inclination to yank it out, so it remains in triage, living on borrowed time. Nothing has been done about the pile of dirt next to the east side of the baHn, but I have some ideas about a small seating area next to the door and am not feeling any urgency about its WIP "look". "Pay and you go" and DIY demand careful thought and a generous amount of patience; you tick things off the list one by one.

I've nearly finished the Salon awnings. I'm finishing the valences today, and then I will move on to fashioning the tassels. I've called my colleague who made the frames and will install them for me with the happy news. It's only been a year since I first drew up the plans... one more thing to tick off the list. I am very pleased with them. It's been a long time since I've made window awnings and it's been gratifying to know I've not forgotten how, lol. Best of all, they look the way I want them to look and I don't have to listen to any static like, "why would you want to do the valences THAT way?", "Tassels?! they will probably look gross in a year". They may well, but I like them and they make me smile.

OK, time to put the dog on his string and get back to work.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 3:16PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Misty made a new friend today. Barb is dog-sitting for a friend and brought Sandy with her when she came today. Sandy is a poodle x Shih Tzu - very cute and cuddly but a bit fat!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 3:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Who ever would have guessed that the Misty who first moved in would become such a social butterfly!

Today I discovered that a friend who made dresses for Ivy also does custom tailoring. YEAH! So she is altering a few baggy shirts for me. I saw her also busy working on a bridesmaid's dress and a wedding gown. We both had similar opinions on the strapless wedding gown look that is so popular.

Busy here writing formal letters in French relating to the visit of 2 of DS's Haitian friends who will be visiting us in September.

And surprise surprise! We actually got a few drops of rain this morning! Not much, but it is humid and wet here. Last night there were loud raccoon noises and some battle going on.

And Chelone...don't tell, but I rarely feed my clematis either. I figure plants need sun-water-food. If you give them 2 of the 3, they do pretty well.


Delighted that our Netflash people were able to improve things at our end and my computer works like never before. That means I still don't know what I'm doing, but everything happens faster. :)

I'm hoping that Kathy has left Chicago by now and that we'll get a first report soon!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 5:35PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Just for fun:

(I love them)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:24PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It looks great Chelone! I do wonder thouugh if, after a couple of years of weathering, you might want to substitute 'tassels' made of wood (painted to match the doors...?) or brass or copper...?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Even the car seems to match Chelone. The tassels are great! Frosting on the cake. The kitties are going to freak out trying to snatch them.

Today I did something I maybe shouldn't have, but you only live once. I got myself a small pocket camera and now need to learn how to use it. A friend will come over this weekend to assist me.

Big kids are still a that occupies my heart and mind as I weed...and weed...and weed some more. I'm waiting for the arrival of a few books, hoping they come before I leave for Alberta.

DH made yet another attempt at getting a refund for the ticket to Uruguay that he was forced to buy but didn't use. It is incredibly complex and stupid, but after talking to the 5th or 6th person, there is possible progress. What a total waste of everyone's time.

Ivy was on the phone with us this morning. SOO cute: "Hi Daddy Ric! Hi Daddy Ric!" "Ivy swim, Ivy jump!" "Hi Nana Marie! Ivy draw. Red pencil." - and so on. They are off to the North Country Fairgrounds this evening for the long weekend.

No contact possible with DS in Haiti for the next week or so...which is hard.

I bet those Idylls are drinking wine and laughing up a storm as I type!
'bug & friend

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Love that picture Bug. A pocket camera is handy to have. Ivy sounds so cute.

Chelone the awnings are awesome! The whole Bahn looks great.

Another hot day here. I am only watering the newly planted stuff. It's hopeless for the rest, so I took the tractor out and mowed my trails. need to kick into gear on my walking. Rebel begged to go this morning and it felt good to get started again.
The guy who puts up our hay came to say they would be doing it this weekend. They are way behind this year.

Thinking about the traveling Idylls. I'm sure they are having a good time.

Back to my book now. N

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Hola from Buffalo..lots of gardens today, but I need to sleep !Photos tommorow,

Kathy in Buffalo

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 10:27PM
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Yes, I have little doubt there was lot of fun and laughter last night. It rained last night, a lovely soft, steady one which was was most needed. This morning it's absolutely glorious as on the morning after a rain can be.

I see Daddy and his dog in the back yard, Wrecks is rolling vigorously and receiving a good rub down from his "boy". High in the Salon I have an excellent aerial view of such things; small affectionate moments intended for no one else. Like that.

The little Canadian Magpie on the telephone made me smile. Jibber-jabber, combine the words to express thoughts... so very exciting to watch, though I'm certain you wish you were closer, 'bug! Camping will be a good time, too.

Norma, you must be referring to the second cut of hay, right? is the delay due to droughty growth or too much stormy weather and inability to get the cut and cure in between rain?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 7:30AM
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I made it to Buffalo, and actually tip-toed over the border to see Niagara Falls. Woody, we didn't know until the last moment whether we'd even go, so I apologize for not being able to lay the plans out better. Niagara was really beautiful, and Sue even got me to go on the Maid of the Mist, which took us for a ride right under the falls.

I have been an absentee Idyller. I love my new job, but it takes up all my time, and I find myself just posting snippets on Facebook at the end of a long hot day. I have been bad about checking emails, too. The good news is I am learning new skills, walking miles a day, and no longer have any vitamin D problems ;)

Gotta run this morning - meeting up with everyone downstairs for breakfast and I'm already late. Mary will be here this morning, too.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 7:48AM
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Chelone our hay has timothy in it so they like to let the seed drop first, and they have a lot of other hay to do as well so are just running behind this year due to all the rain earlier this year. Our fields were abundant with wildflowers this year as a result. Lots of seed heads now.
They feed it to cows anyway and they will eat anything.

We had rain today thank goodness. I hope enough of it soaked in to do some good instead of just running off.
More of the same heat for the next week. I will be so glad to see this heat wave break.

Saucy nice picture of the falls. I enjoyed our trip there and the ride on the Maid of the Mist.
You look good from all your walking and sweating.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi !!! I hope no one has a heart attack !'s the old pioneer woman from Arkansas !
We are in the middle of the dog days here. Extremely hot and dry. The highest that our thermometers has recorded was 103F thursday.It was brief, but stayed around 100 for awhile. Today it got up to 99. Naturally things outside do not look all that great. I try to keep the most valued plants alive. The hydrangeas suffer the most. The deck plants are mostly surviving, but not thriving.
I think you all know about Nolon's 4-way bypass the 2nd of May ? He is doing as well as can be expected, considering his age, his emphysema, and other problems. I am hopimg he will perk up some more when cooler weather gets here.

I also am pretty sure you know we are now a dog owner. A female black lab moved in on us while Nolon was in the hospital, in April. she was very thin, and , of course , I took pity on her and fed her. She filled out rapidly. I named her Rolex, because I was hoping she would be a watch dog. :-) She watches all right...but that is about all she does. But we have not seen one raccoon , opossum, or skunk, here since she came. The deer are as brave and plentiful as ever. So are the rabbits, and squirrels. I resorted to putting fencing around most of what I value. :-(
I see, by way of Facebook, that the IU is in progress. How I would love to be where they all are.
I wish I could comment on each one's posts as I can do on facebook. No scrolling back and forth there. I did read all you posted, but cannot remember much of it. Actually, I was surprised at how easy it was for me to get back on here.
That is about all for me now.... Great to see all of you. Espacially great to see Susan, Chelone, and Marie. I see several others on Facebook.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 5:01PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hi Marian! Hot and dry here too - only 1/3" of rain in July :-( A Lab is always fun - but Labs are usually couch potatoes that gain weight easily too! I hope the cat has adjusted to her...?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:05PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody, she has no chance to be a couch potato. She will never be an indoor dog. But she does love to lay around. :-) The really wierd thing is...she hates having water sprayed on her. I thought they were water dogs. She will wade into the pond to get a drink, but has never swam in it. I was hoping she would. And she has never seen anyone she does not like, so doesn't even bark at anyone who comes into our yard. Trubby tolerates her now, but still is very wary of her.
We ended up getting a good shower right after I postd. It was the good soaking kind....3/4th inch !

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:49PM
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Good evening friends ! I have some photos to share from friday; we saw some fabu gardens today but will have to post later.Cindy and I did some visits to gardens in the outskirts of Buff. while our fellow Idyllers visited the falls.

Buffalo Botanic Gardens From 2011-07-30 From 2011-07-30 From 2011-07-30 From 2011-07-30

A private garden south of the city From 2011-07-30

This was on of out favorites, and we hope to take the rest of the gang to see it tomorrow. From 2011-07-30

IU8 continues !
Kathy in Buffalo

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 9:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I practiced with my new pocket camera today while you Idylls visited my birthplace. It's slow learning for this old lady!
Hi Marian!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 10:27PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - ooh... what's that one? I thought you were born in France...?

I finally got around to downloading some pictures I took a few days ago. For Drema - Bressingham Blue hosta with Summer Wine (?) daylily:

A view of the shed from a different side... This is the north side of the shed, looking down the path to the compost heap behind the shed. Those pink hydrangeas are the 'new wood' blooming type. They were here when we bought the place in 1999 and have only bloomed once before! I was going to rip them out this spring until I saw they had live buds, so gave them a one-year reprieve :-)

It's beastly hot and humid here today - 10 minutes working with Randy to prune deadwood from the mockorange reduced me to sodden mush! I hope it's better for the Idylls in Buffalo!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:50PM
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Wish I could bottle up today's weather and send it to those in need of relief. It's beautiful, mid/high 70s, no humidity but you don't want to linger in the sunshine too long.

Woody, what is the variEgated tree on the right of the picture? looks like a dogwood... special variety? It's really pretty.

I started to carve up a large patch of Artemisia stelleriana this morning but lost interest as the sun became more intense. I'm adding hunks of it around the grey twig dogwoods where I hope it will spread and provide groundcover in a very sunny location. We still have some larger things to rearrange in that area (Fertile Crescent) so I'm trying to be thoughtful about what I undertake to divide and reestablish in new places. It's tricky to transplant big items when other plantings are involved.

The hedge has become rather an issue of late. It needs a haircut and we've been looking at it critically with an eye to a more severe cutting first thing next spring. I have been lobbying for the addition of stakes that will permit a level string to be strung when it's time to prune. This has not been well received by Mr. Greenjeans, who apparently feels his "territory" is being despoiled. ;) But if we are going to make some serious rejuvenating cuts and lose the luxury of height (privacy) next year I will not be willing to accept a topline that follows the level of the ground and dips and rolls when viewed from the distance of the house. I am on board with the rejuvenation project, but I also know what I want to see in the future and this is the time to add markers that will make a nice level cut easier when it's time to trim.

Also on deck is the replacement of the fence that we lost two yrs. ago and was the support for the climbing hydrangea. We have yet to come up with a satisfactory idea there, either. But like the debt ceiling we both know it has to be addressed. ;)

Well... guess I'll wander on out and see if anything jumps out at me. Later.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 3:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Beastly hot and humid here today too. DH was outdoors cutting back burdocks which are a bumper crop this year...

I have been doing touch-up paint work indoors where a new bathroom sink was installed and where the raccoons nest was removed from a back wall. Easy-peasy work, but the hardest part is gathering materials together and cleaning them (and my shoes!) afterwards. I'm pleased with the color match the store did for me! I still have one spot that needs another coat. That will be done after dinner. Then some hose dragging activity I guess.

Yesterday we bought two very inexpensive fans for our 2 basement rooms. Can't figure out how they can make, box, transport and shelve them for $12.99 each!

DS phoned yesterday from his work in Haiti where he was teaching kids at an orphanage in the north of the country. (Cap-Haitien I believe) This morning we got another call from him. (It is very difficult to understand him with weak connections) Today being Sunday, he was dealing with airport business and preparing for his trip to the East, near the Dominican border, tomorrow. (He managed to swim in the ocean today at 5am.) In the east he will be installing solar panels on a project for a school, hoping to supply enough power for 500 laptops. There is much that could go wrong and it will be a great challenge. He also will be meeting with a government official about plans and projects. Good thing he speaks French because the fellow does not speak English. He will not be able to communicate with us for the next week or so. He sounds healthy and happy.

Woody, I was born in Buffalo shortly after my parents arrived from Providence Rhode Island just in time for my Dad to begin teaching the Fall term at UB. My brother, the oldest of us three, was born in 1939. My sister was born in New Jersey where my grandparents lived, while Dad was serving in the French army. He taught for a year at Brown University in Providence, moved to Buffalo for higher pay. ($3,000/year!)

I think I should start the watering now that some shade is appearing in places.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sorry, I forgot to mention that the pink clematis is a seedling, so has no name. It was a gift from a friend.

Do you suppose Chelone is sipping something cool on her porch under the gray striped awning?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:10PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - that's Wolf Eyes dogwood. We just planted that this spring. It's a beautiful thing!

Still terribly hot and humid here - and shade doesn't make it feel any better! One thing I find particularly weird this summer is that we've not had any thunderstorms on these hot and humid days - normally days like these would have a thunderstorm in late afternoon or evening, but not this year :-(

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 4:32PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

We, too, are in desperate need of rain and have had hardly any storms this year. We had a brief storm this evening with lots of thunder and little rain. Very frustrating.

Kathy, those pictures are spectacular. I like the last two especially, maybe because they are private and give me hope...

Chelone, those awnings on the 'bahn' are marvelous. You and Woody have done so well in choosing colors for your outbuildings.

Marian, good to hear the adoptee is doing so well. I laughed out loud at your description of her as a watch dog. Love labs.

Cute picture, 'bug!

Julie, meant to say I love your list and bet the haircut actually looks very cute and perfect for summer!

Hi Norma! Hi Yeona! Hi Drema! Hi all IU8 revelers!

Off to bed to dream of rain.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 10:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Cyn, the forecasters tell us to expect heat with no rain into September. Tough news as we have holidays in August and there is no one who can water for us as it is a full time job here. Yet, this is tonight's prediction:
Cloudy. Showers beginning late this evening. Risk of a thunderstorm late this evening and overnight. Low 18.

We'll see. They usually predict what we want rather than what we'll get.

Received DS's first lot of photos from his work in northern Haiti yesterday. See below for an update on progress teaching teachers and kids at an orphanage. He's truly in his element!

Today I'll be frantic trying to get papers notarized and mailed so that two friends from Haiti can visit next month. At the same time a workman will be at the house and need my attention and many other things going on as well.

I hope that the Idyllers manage to find time to report back to us soon. :)

Off to deal with the pets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Working in Northern Haiti

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 7:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We had a severe T-storm warning late yesterday afternoon - of course we go not a drop! If this heat and humidity with no rain continues until September, I'm likely to expire along with the garden! :-)

gb - your DS is increasingly looking like your DH! He definitely looks like someone who enjoys his work.

I, too, hope we get some more IU photos soon....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 10:11AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi everyone!

Everyone make it home O.K.?

The same old thing here - sunny, hot, dry ground and humid air. The forecast here for tomorrow is light rain all day. I'll beleive it when I see it - we have had a few t-storms but not many and not enough rain and too much wind.

To me, my front garden looks a little ratty and kind of miserable, although I still get a lot ofcompliments on it from passers-by. The backyard, though, is a disaster. The triangle shaped garden in the back corner looks drab, as most of the colour is over and the greenery is browning. The tomato plants are rusty with blight. The hollyhocks are ten feet high with about 2 blooms on top and the leaves are rusted off .The yellow beans are done and the pole beans are huge and overtaking everything. Two of the clematis are black with wilt, the rest are happy but the flowers are done. Many of the daylilies are done too. The grass is parched and crisp.I should spend a day in each of the front and the back, just cutting back, trimming,whatever. It really wouldn't take that much to neaten things up, but it is just too darn hot to be out there all day. I have kept up with watering, and my bill is double what it usually is, but it is not the deep kind of watering that nature can provide.

On the plus side, my house is looking pretty good on the inside. I have had lots of time to tidy cupboards, chuck out junk, sort through lots of things. Today's JulieJob was ceiling fans...... Come September when cooler temperatures arrive, I will be all set to get the outside in order. I have made a list of things I want to do and have warned family members that some strong backs may be needed for a day or two!

The Idyll photos that I have seen look great, just as I expected. You all look so refreshed and happy! Nine of you this year?

Chelone your awnings look fabulous. What a touch of elegance! We had a more standard type of retractable awning installed a few weeks ago and the difference it makes in the heat in the house is enormous! If I hadn't met you, I am not sure we would have thought of doing this - so Thanks!!

Nice to see Marian again. Spounds like things are o.k. with you now - it is nice to have a dog again, yes?

Woody and Marie, you guys have gardens galore! I have really loved the various shots of the plants anmd outdoor spaces. Thanks for being so faithful all summer! I agree, Woody, that Adam looks a lot like his father!

I am going to sign off for now. A trip to the library seems like just the ticket on a hot day!



    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 1:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The front fields of grain have been harvested. It is sad to see the beauty all rolled up in bales, but they too are beautiful in a different way.

"Paid for" weeding took place this morning. It is wonderful to get these things done, although it is by no means finished! I can't fathom how plants turn brown and yet weeds thrive...

It was a "Mario Day" as well, which means that upstairs windows were washed, the upper level of the garage cleaned out (think raccoon mess, dry wall pieces, metal bits, old screen doors and more.) Also a junk area of the barn is getting a similar treatment. A leak in a sink was repaired too. I LOVE this man!

I managed to get papers notarized for only $10 and DH got them sent off to Haiti. Amen! Also I got some banking done. Presently, I am watering bone dry areas of the garden. I notice that in the last 2 days my lettuce has bolted. :(

I do wonder about the storm...Like Julie, I'll believe it when I see it.

Phoebe got to play with a German Shepherd this morning. I also hear that little Will's Beacon is "growing like a weed and full of pep. It's just too bad she loves to bite everything that moves. She's received a couple of swats from our cat Brad and now leaves him alone. Too bad baby John doesn't have claws too because he's often a snack for Beacon. We're working on it, giving her lots of things she is allowed to chew on. She's getting better on the leash so that helps her burn off energy. And yes, it's what everyone has said, having a puppy is like having another child. Except no child of mine has ever bit my ankles as I walk by."

Back to work,

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:04PM
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I just got back home a little bit ago, and wanted to stop in and say hi to all of you, and also say we missed those of you who couldn't come. It really is a treat to see friends, and gardens. So nice to catch up in person and visit with everyone. I'll stop back in tomorrow, with a longer post.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 7:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Misty and 95% humidity.... No rain here.

Another busy day ahead.

I need to re-configure the hoses today to reach other locations. What a drag...literally too!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 8:13AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We got rain overnight!!! 12mm (~1/2") - A big sigh of relief from us and the garden! We can only hope that it's a sign that this dreadful weather is going to change to something more normal....

Here's a picture I meant to post yesterday. I love Veronicastrum - it makes pretty combinations with so many different things, so I have them in various places in the garden. This one is in the main front bed, across a grass path from the hydrangeas along the garage:

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:58AM
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Hola Idylls ! Back at the office today after finally arriving home at 7pm ish last evening after a full travel day. I will put uo a separate thread with photos tonight when I arrive home --I took over 700 ! We had a great time both Buffalo and Rochester --now to ponder the possibilites for IU9 !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 10:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My goodness! Look who is the poster child for the Edmonton Folk Festival this week! That's Reed! And DSIL is wearing DH's old shirt from Togo...

This years line-up includes k.d. lang and The Siss Boom Bang, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tomino Baliardo, KT Tunstall and Deer Tick, just to name a few.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:44PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Glad you got rain Woody. Hope you did, 'bug. I think we are in a "no rain" zone. It briefly poured across the street and one house down yesterday, but we received nothing (well, maybe ten errant drops, but the stepping stones didn't show a single one). Then, this morning, I headed out to give the pups their morning walk and we turned back when we started to get rained on about .2 of a mile down the road. Silly me thinking it would pick up and drench us. Again, nothing here at the house. I am watering again. This will be the last day I do it. Everything will just have to make it on what it gets from nature. I know the water bill is going to bankrupt me-seriously. SO depressing.

Can't wait to see your pics, Kathy-all 700+! Now, for IU9, I am heading to France next summer...hoping the two don't overlap-selfish and greedy for a summer of fun next year! Of course, there are some great gardens we could all visit over there...

The Veronicastrum looks wonderful, Woody. That is something I've not tried yet. It is added to the list now.

'bug, those are great pictures of your son! The link is fascinating-lots of surprises, too:"Kennedy clothes" for one. You have raised such marvelous people-thanks for sharing them! Oh, and I wish we could share Mario-ha!

Julie, I share your pain about the backyard, except mine is a disaster thanks to the dogs. Oh well. I have plans to plant near our new rear fence (black chain link). I am so pleased that it really does disappear for the most part and will totally do so once I fill in near it. Of course, whether anything gets planted depends on on the aforementioned water bill. :(

Three weeks until school starts again. Trying mightily to figure out a way to retire, but that just doesn't seem to be an option yet. Things like the water bill keep getting in the way -teehee. Also, there is the pension worry. Our governor has taken $627 million dollars out of the Virginia Retirement account (that we are FORCED to pay into even though VA is a right-to-work state and we aren't allowed to be part of a real union) and he has structured it so the state doesn't have to start paying it back until 2013 when he is out of office. Of course, with that money he has stolen, he is now claiming the state has a surplus. I am betting he will be running for president in 2016. Whatever any of you do, don't believe or vote for him (Bob McDonnell). Rant over. Did get two offers from other schools, but too late to accept with a clear conscience-doesn't seem quite fair to leave my principal with only three weeks to find another special ed teacher. *sigh*

Have been enjoying posts on FB from those at IU8 and look forward to more here.

Blowing rain clouds your way,

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 12:52PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

This is from Chuck:

Something to share with your garden group:

"I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite."
--Bertrand Russell, British philosopher and mathematician

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 6:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am so happy for anyone who got rain. There was some in Arkansas but only a sprinkle here. But at least it stayed overcast most of the day. The sun came out late this afternoon, and the temp went up to 91F. That was 19 degrees lower than yesterday's high ! We got up to 110F , and it was 102 in our house ! But neither of us suffered, with fans going all over the house. It was still up in the 90s when we went to bed, and didn't get down to 84 until morning. But again...we were okay with our window fans going on us all night. I overslept, and Nolon came in and checked on me. That was a first ! I think he might have thought I didn't make it through the night. :-)
Julie, this is the first dog that Nolon and I ever had in our 54 years of marriage. :-)
The chance of rain is still in our there is still hope. BTW, the 110 temp tied our high in 1986, for July the 30th. That was the highest we have seen here.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:20PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello one and all, Well I'm back from IU8 and have been desperately trying to play catch up in the gardens after a week out of town. Lots of deadheading and watering to be done but I'm making headway.

Good grief Marian, 110?!!!! Dreadful!So sorry about that. HOpe you get some better weather soon. I think Jerri in OK has had more than a month of temps over 100 degrees. I'm so glad we've only had a couple weeks of high temps, though we did break a record with a temp of 105.8 a couple weekends ago.

I thought I'd pop over here and post a link to one of the galleries of pics from the Buffalo Garden Walk. What a surprise Buffalo was. Not at all what I was expecting.

Have a great evening one and all


Here is a link that might be useful: Buffalo Garden Walk - Day 1

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:52PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

You're one tough cookie Marian - those temperatures and the absence of AC would do me in for sure!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I've been a busy woman lately. We had a 4 day camping trip with the whole family at the lakes. It was hot, buggy and humid. Probably the worst year we ever had. Our camper fortunately has AC.

A few days after our camping trip a tragic accident happened. My BIL and a business associate were in an accident that involved 2 young men on motorcycles. They were traveling at an estimated 70-80 mph. As my BIL rounded a curve he saw one in his lane. The cyclist swerved and hit the other cyclist causing him to wipe out. He then lost control, flew off the bike and hit my BIL's pickup. He was instantly killed. The other young man only had minor injuries. Even though he wasn't at all at fault, he feels horrible. The young man was 20 and had the same first name as my sister & BIL's oldest son.

The garden is so lush with the 7" of rain we had a few weeks ago and the lawn is just as green as can be. We spent the evening mowing. My trimmer won't start so the edges of the beds looks tacky. I may have to shop for a new one as this one has some age to it.

The oriental lilies are in full bloom and the air is sweetly scented. The potager is over flowing with vegetables of all colors. The Red Garden is looking nice with red zinnias, dahlias, cannas and salvia. There is also amaranth and castor bean that appear more maroon.

The fairies would have a difficult time getting through their garden these days. I guess I should trim things for them. In fact there is lots that should be done in the garden. We have had such hot and humid weather for quite some time that all I feel like doing is watering pots. Finally a couple of days ago the humidity lessened.

The new fence sports 2 clematis that are blooming. One is a large one that I've had a number of years and used to be by the front door and was much too big for that spot. The other I don't recognize and don't actually remember planting. I'll have to check my records.

I've been on the search for a Tri-color Beech for a few years and found one this week. I had some birthday money to spend. Now to decide where to plant it.

For some reason I'm just getting red x's on 'bug's thread. Maybe the pictures will show up later.

It appears like the IU was a good one in many ways. I wish I could have been there, but I was camping in the heat, humidity and bugs. Kenzie had a fabulous time though and my son was able to come up from Texas for it. I believe they have had 30 some days over 100 degrees.

Rick fell in the bean field today and hurt his shoulder. I think I've convenienced him to go to the Dr. tomorrow. It must really hurt for him to agree.

Marian, take care and stay hydrated.

That's all for me for the night.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Michelle, how horrible for BIL and all the families involved. I'm terribly sorry.

I hope Rick's shoulder improves with help from the doctor. Farming is such a dangerous profession!

Keep checking the photo site. The university system should shape up again tomorrow sometime!

Maybe I can help with your clematis ID?

Deanne, superb photos! Thank you so much for those! I almost feel as though I attended.

Today we got DH to the eye doctor's for new computer glasses. I made an appointment for October. I tried my bifocals for a second time and felt ill for half the day! UGH! It was wonderful though to take piles of junk to the dump that Mario emptied from the garage and barn. I LOVE cleaning up! After dinner I weeded some more! I had a day's reprieve on watering too!

The big excitement was seeing a huge snapping turtle on our bridge this afternoon. I went to get my camera, and when I returned, the turtle was climbing the bridge railing and actually jumped into the creek before I could get a photo! I've never seen such a thing before!!! That's a big drop into shallow waters! He vanished and we never saw him again.

More sun tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 11:57PM
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Dreadful for your BIL Michelle. Wrong place , wrong time.

I must say, I never saw one single mosquito while in NY..You would have been bug-free at IU8 ! You will see an e-mail from me this weekend, I have some questions about a couple gardens in Iowa.

Glad the weekend is coming, still pooped from IU, but as always it was worth it !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all, We are enjoying a beautiful day here with partly cloudy skies and temps in the low 80's. Perfect summer weather!

Wow, Michelle, that's a lot of rain! I surely wish we'd get some significant rain here. Things are pretty dry and could use a good soaking. Our oriental lilies are just about done here, only a few Casa Blancas left. So sad when the lilies are done, it seems like the beginning of the end but the good news is that the fuchsias are all looking great right now and putting on a beautiful show. ~~ How scary for your BIL. That's just dreadful.

Bug, so that is the snapper that got away? LOL Wish you'd gotten a pic of it. I've never heard of a diving snapping turtle before.

Here is a link to my pics from day two of IU8.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buffalo Garden Walk - Day 2

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:08AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Michelle, how terrible for your BIL and that young man's family. That news makes the rest of your post all the more cherished. It is our day-to-day joys that see us through, isn't it? Hope Rick's shoulder is feeling less sore and that he didn't really injure it.

'bug, love the snapping turtle story and hope he swam safely away after that leap.

Deanne, I kept wanting to hit the 'like' icon as I scrolled through all those pictures! I think what I like best, other than all your smiling faces, is that each garden is different and yet they are all beautiful---rather like ours (well, can't say mine is beautiful, but it may be someday if I keep on trying).

Marian, thank goodness for fans, huh? I do hope you get a break in those temps. I think it is very cute that Nolan came to check on you! Bet the dog sleeps the days away near a fan, too. Hang in there. I hope the cool front we have here today in VA came across Ark. first. It is cool enough that I am heading out to do some weeding in a bit. As it seems to be for everyone, the weeds are the only plants that seem unaffected by the heat and drought. Is this to teach us humility and patience or is the universe just laughing at us? I wonder.

I am going to check the weather forecast hoping to see rain on the horizon and then out to pull those darned survivalists.

Waving to all,

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 12:41PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Why didn't you IU8 folks tell us that you made a guest appearance on the Garden Rant blog?!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 8:59PM
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Good evening Idylls ! Looking forward to full recuperation this weekend as I went directly from IU8 back to the awfice . I toughed it out ! Another couple of weeks and I�m back out to the east coast again, this time mixing business and pleasure. My garden is a mess, a week away in high summer sure can wreak havoc quickly. There�s going to be heaving deadheading operations this weekend and pruning to neaten things up for the fall garden. I don�t think it is an exaggeration for me to say that almost every single garden we saw had some sort of water feature-even the teeny tinys in the cottage district. I feel really inspired to try something here on a very modest scale.

Deanne, you wouldn�t believe how many photos we took that are very similar views..yours are better of course, lol, but it made me feel like my �eye� must be improving . Still many things I missed !

Fear not Woody, I would have posted a link to our 5 minutes of fame on Garden Rant sooner or later !

Cynthia, Cindy was worried about what the condition of her garden would be when she got home with the heat you had during that time. We are having one of the mildest summers I can remember since I moved here in 1986. I�m ok with that ..but folks who are trying to grow peppers, tomatoes, melons etc are probably getting frustrated.

Alright folks, time to try to come up with some dinner in this grocery-less house.

Posting a link to the blog post I wrote about one of the neighborhoods we walked in Buffalo.

Kathy in Napa

Here is a link that might be useful: Blog post

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 9:51PM
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How I enjoyed the wonderful photographic tour of Buffalo! I particularly enjoyed the architecture and the fabulous color schemes chosen for such lovely homes. And the careful thought put into several of the plantings and annual displays. And skill and "eye" of the photographer to capture it all so nicely! It was the Victorian version of tract housing, lol. But haven't they aged gracefully? :) Evidence of Buffalo's prosperous history is revealed by such handsome homes.

I really liked the use of privacy curtains on the porches; and of course thought awnings would have been wonderful on several of the pictured homes. It reminded me that when those houses were originally built many of them probably did have awnings; another Victorian solution that was raised to "high art". ;)

Michelle, I am so sorry that your brother will have to pack that awful memory into his "life luggage". Things really can change for the worse in a split second or because of a high spirited, youthful decision. What a sad, sad thing. Things are on the dry side here, but rain is expected for tomorrow and that will be good. How large is a mature specimen of Tri-color Beech? I am still making mistakes siting things, but you don't want to get trees nicely estabished only to regret where you planted them (ask me how I know). ;)

Can't quite believe that back to school is a few weeks away. How many more years will you have to grunt it out "in the trenches", Cyn.? Here's hopin' this years class will be the most memorable ever. :)

Notes to self:
1. feed oriental lilies, also lift and replant.
2.) lift and divide bearded iris, along with the coneflowers, and phlox.
3.) take some pictures!

We've had a few oppressive days but overall this summer has been a really nice one. I do think you get used to heat, though, don't you Marian? It's kind of the same way with long cold snaps. I don't know why it makes me smile that you have a dog now, Marian. But it does. :)

Gotta go.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:09AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Kathy, I love your blog! Your commentary on Heronswood is brilliant. Hey, if you are near DC when you come back East, maybe Cindy and I could add a little more pleasure and meet you somewhere, even if just for a quick lifting of glasses. I would love to figure out some sort of water feature for our yard, too! Wouldn't it be fun to sit and chat about that?!

Chelone, thanks for the wishes for the coming school year. I do know these students coming to 4th grade-had them in 2nd grade. They are darling kiddoes. I did laugh, chuckle, snort when you wished that it would be a memorable year-there are all sorts of ways that could go, but I hope it does turn out as you intend. Didn't start teaching until I was 38, so I have 21 years in, but only 15 in my current district. I am also one of those who needs to wait until 67 to get full Social Security, so it could be another eight years if I work up until then. Not sure I can manage that and wish we had been smarter about investing. I still love working with the kids, but (and I know I have said this before, so I apologize for repeating)the rest is so tedious and there is so much playing politics and favorites. I suppose that is true everywhere and I have both benefited and suffered on those accounts. Could be much worse, so I am pretty lucky all things considered.

So far no rain again today despite seeming like it might this morning. I feel like going to a nursery to price out the trees/large shrubs I want to plant near the fence in the fall. Just a way to avoid accomplishing anything of substance today-ha.

Or...maybe a nap. ;)

Off to ponder the endless possibilities.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 3:06PM
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I have done an alteration, made a cushion for a foot stool, and very nearly completed a 2 panel window treatment. But I need a break and some exercise. I'm thinking it's time to fire up the "powy mowy" and addressing the lawns. It's supposed to rain tomorrow and it would be nice to get the mowing behind me. I'll finish the second window panel after my shower.

Capital idea!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 3:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Chelone, I'm melting...after mowing & weeding. I've dragged the hose plenty today and the job continues. "Maybe rain" just isn't good enough for me. DH even turned on the A/C downstairs which he NEVER does.

Need to think about dinner. I guess another salad from the garden along with cheese fondue. Quick & easy. Nice to use our own green peppers, tomatoes, basil and lettuce!

Bought shoes this morning. They sure aren't free...but they fit with insoles inside them and I'm told are waterproof and good for camping. Why is it that packing is dragged out for days here? I guess Kathy does some of that too?

Next week the doctors gather to decide if Skyler's 2 heart valves should be replaced soon. It is time I think, and the doctor who spoke to his father says they should operate within 3 months. His Mom will no doubt procrastinate. They chose to speak to DSIL at lunch time when his Mom was out to eat with her entourage: boyfriend, father, visiting sister and kids, etc... It may be tricky with it being his first year of Jr High at a new school and in a new rental house with his Mom - mixed with surgery at Christmas time. Never a dull moment.

Cynthia, I miss the kids that I used to teach. We had good times by and large. I remember laughing with them until we cried. (Fortunately my boss was a good guy and understood!) But the paper work, the passes to the bathroom and library, attendance records and 2 weeks of written lesson plans in my top drawer for a sub to use, meetings, constant changes in methods, parent rants, lunch monitoring, and tons more made it a wicked experience too. Also, constant interruption over the loudspeakers for announcements. ARGH! Good life long friends there though!

Better get back to it all,

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 5:24PM
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I must say �bug, I am a bit obsessive about packing ! I always start a list about a month before even a short road trip . I also have a �permanent� list too, with stuff I almost always take . This is a throw back to the days of family vacations and camping trips �I hated forgetting things. I�ve decided to replace my carry-on bag (for air travel) with a wheeled brief case. Way easier to negotiate the airports �I always carry on my camera and laptop, and if on business there may also be paperwork involved.

Cynthia, I would love to raise a glass with you and Cindy, but I'm going to Chicago and Boston. Thanks for the nice remark re: my blog. It's fun to do, and a great way to justify my compulsive photo-taking. Some of the water features we saw in Buffalo were quite diminutive, and uncomplicated. I just need to decide what I want. I may just start out with a fountain and a lotus bowl .

Chelone, If I lived out yonder on the 'right' coast I would most certainly make Buffalo GardenWalk a destination every few years (provided it didn't interfere with IU of course) just to look at the buildings. I know we only scratched the surface. We had quite a few chats on the amount of commitment it would take to maintain those houses , the gallons of paint that must be sold in that city has to be staggering !

Here are a few pics from Marys garden. She was a wonderful hostess and we were lucky enough to get a couple of private concerts by her talented DS. Thank you Mary !

Chicken digs, with new red paint ! From IU8 Buffalo

Marys front border From IU8 Buffalo From IU8 Buffalo From IU8 Buffalo From IU8 Buffalo From IU8 Buffalo

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 8:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm so glad to see a post devoted to Mary's garden! Thank you Kathy! Yes, travel lists are a good thing. DS has them on his computer according to type of trip. (He does winter camping, conferences, European visits and Haiti business, all of which require different equipment.) I don't think I've ever had two trips that were alike in terms of what to take! I write lists, then scratch things at the last minute because I want to travel LIGHTLY! Wheeled luggage is a great help indeed. This time though camping is involved and temperatures and weather very uncertain. Then there are the pets to deal with...

Just wanted to add that my pink zinnias are blooming at last, next to the multicolored chard. I'd take a picture, but I can't post these days. Maybe they'll fix things on Monday! I did take shots of clematis, hollyhocks and lilies today. Maybe I'll have time on Monday to share some of them.
OH! We had a bit of rain before dinner too!!!

Time to hit the sack...

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:23PM
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Boston, Kathy? 'haps we could raise a glass together if the stars align properly? When will the "eagle be landing"? Also wanted to note that we saw, "The Music Man" last week and it was delightful.

A lovely soft, gentle rain pattering away on the Filon roof outside the boudoir awakened me this morning. Wrecks and I did an abbreviated Compound Cruise (the brollie won't easily negotiate the Fairy Forest trail) but even with the rain it was a beautiful outside, green, lush, and monochromatically peaceful in the spreading dawn. I have hope it will continue throughout the day and into tomorrow. Just as well as I have lots of indoor things to attend to today.

Zinnias abound in Vegetable World, BTW. And the bouquet on the dining room table reminds me of the Zinnia challenges of years past. :)

Mary's garden looks to be thoroughly delightful; easy and charming but an echo of its mistress. Are there any extant shots of the poultry and the little, pushed in face of the pugster? (I love the hen house).

OK, time to ponder the day's work...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, What a treat to wake up to a gentle summer rain. We so needed this! My trees in the back gardens were very thirsty. I'm still playing catch up in the gardens after being gone to IU for almost a week. It's amazing to me how much deadheading needs to be done this time of the year. The great news is that I have a whole new batch of compost that is ready to top dress my tired looking gardens, It really spruces things up.

Chelone, Kathy will be staying at our B&B on the Friday and Sat night. I think we'll be dining at Saucy's at some point over the weekend. You should come by and tip a glass.

Kathy, such beautiful pics of Mary's gardens! You really have a great eye for a picture. BTW, You got some views of the center strips of those neighborhoods that I missed. I really LOVE your photos where you are looking at them down the center of the image. I didn't see or get that and your images are awesome!

Cynthia, I have a friend who is a special ed teacher and I don't know how you ladies do it. She had a difficult year last year and is hoping for a better group this year.

Well looks like the sun is peeking out and it's time to get dressed and out in the gardens. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 9:03AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

'bug, yes, the memories of children over the years is what keeps all of in education going, isn't it! Schools are interesting in that the bonds we forge with each other really do last-shared experiences?

Deanne, I watched the video of you on the Boston Connections show. How fun was that. I am so impressed that you are able to last eight hours a day in the garden. No wonder mine looks so pathetic in comparison! I think I may need to increase my dedication if I ever hope to be a worthy Idyll.

Kathy, Mary's gardens are absolutely charming. You are so good to post all the pictures for us. Sounds like a mini IU taking place, Kathy. Have a splendid time all of you.

Off to check on the rotten diggers-they were so funny to watch yesterday-one on either side of the stone steps going into the lowest part of the yard, sticking their noses under the top step. I pity the poor vole of chipmunk they were after. All I could see of Annabelle was her rear end up in the air with her tail wagging furiously. Clouseau is so good about coming when called, but she never lets go of the hunt unless food is in the offing-why give up a wild snack unless you are assured of an easier treat? When I walked down to pull her away, I could see they had completely dug out under the step, so that will need to be filled in again (for the third time). Jeez, can't break her of digging or jumping the fence to get into the woods. I think I will buy some chicken wire and place it into the dirt as I fix the step. May have to buy in bulk to discourage her. Too bad we don't have several acres for her to explore.

Oh, and we had EXACTLY 14 minutes of rain yesterday (yes, I timed it)-enough to wet the soil to the depth of about 1 mm. Boo hiss. Humid and hot today, so a pricing trip to the nursery is in order and then the hardware store for chicken wire!

Glad to hear some of you are getting rain. Chelone, that walk sounds positively delightful. I can't remember the last time I needed an umbrella. :(


    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 12:17PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Okay, this is no longer amusing. Thunder sounding all over the place. Skies opened. It rained for less than two minutes! Seriously not funny.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 4:47PM
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It's a beautiful day here with temps in the upper 70's with much less humidity.

Kathy, I do believe that I missed a wonderful IU. Although, I am really enjoying all the pictures posted by everyone. Thanks for the pictures from Mary's garden. It looks as fun as she is.

Chelone, the Beech is about 4'. I'm not sure how fast they grow. It is still in the pot while I ponder. I agree you must take and then post pictures. I've not seen nearly enough of your garden.

'bug, Skylar's surgery sounds like a fairly serious one. Hopefully, everyone can agree on what is best and make it as stress free as possible.

Deanne, glad to hear that you have received a needed rain. We are in need here as well. 7" was great and the garden loved it, but I'd rather get it in 4 or 5 separate rains.

Cyn, sorry that you didn't get the hoped for rain.

We are enjoying the fruits of the potager. Lunch today was tacos with fresh onions & tomatoes, roasted beets and summer squash, sweet corn and a sliced kohlrabi.

Here are the 2 clems growing on the new fence. The one with the dangly flowers was purchased as "Multi-Blue" I don't think it is. The other I don't have any record of. This one is a fairly small flower.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 7:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, the first reminds me of Blue Belle, the second of Polish Spirit. Those are just guesses, so best to check it out at the site below.

Today was busy-busy. Two friends came by at different times which is always fun, but I feel rushed now to accomplish things before we travel. DH managed to burn the things in the fire pit, which is great. I mowed some more.

I have piles more to accomplish, so away I go!

Here is a link that might be useful: COTW

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 8:39PM
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Lots of garden chores this weekend-what a mess it was out there ! Feeling much better now. I filled both 55gal yard waste toters and a 32gal trash can too. Notes were made on some serious renovations for fall, involving tree removal. I have a Birch that is on the way out, riddles with exit holes, and a Japanese Maple that is beneath a neighbors tree -double shade , no bueno. My JM is just the basic variety, so not a tragedy.

Chelone, wouldn't I love to raise a glass with you ! This is a weekend visit stuck on the end of a business trip, and as Deanne said my base of operations is the Fortnum B&B. We are going to Tower Hill at some point-how about it ? Idyllunion 8.5 !

Deanne, your Extreme Gardener segment was priceless-I kept thinking that you made 350 containers seem almost normal since you were so calm cool and collected. I'm going to try to post the link below for out non-fb friends. The comments there about �hearing your voice� made me remember my first IU and what it was like to hear voices of friends whose words I had only read.

Time for dinner

Kathy in Napa

Here is a link that might be useful: Our fave extreme gardener

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 10:07PM
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