Idyll #393 The Dog Days of Summer

saucydog(z5MA)August 5, 2008

Interesting read on "dog days" background....I certainly didn't realize it dated back to Greek times or tied in with the star, Sirius....

Carry on....

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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its a bit cloudy and dreary today but I wonÂt complain as yesterday I felt ill by the end of the day after working in the sun for nine hours. Chleone, no I didnÂt have a white shirt on silly me! Today I do and itÂs cloudy. LOL

Oh Eden, IÂm so terribly sorry about poor sweet Buttercup. ThatÂs heartbreaking. WeÂve lot too many Idyll furbies in the last year. ((((Eden)))))

Woody, those pies are just divine! I probably gained weight looking at them.

Kathy, your gardens are simply fantastic and gorgeous. YouÂve been holding out on us all this time. What are the blue flowers in the last photo? Gorgeous! IÂd be over the moon if Salvia ÂBlack and Blue was hardy here. ItÂs such a winner.

V. glad you are all OK after those storms.

Saucy, how neat that Jake is going to train Popcorn! IÂm looking forward to updates on his project.

PM IÂm so glad to hear youÂre happy with your garden these days. How wonderful your DH will do weeding chores.

Brenda, yes we were Âshocked by the price of the shocks. Turns out the Suburban had those expensive air shocks on them. (the reason it rides so well, duhÂ) anyway, I bought the car off the lot and never realized that it had that extra on it until I had to replace them. BTW, rides like a dream again.

OK time to get outside and take up where I left off yesterday. Have a great day everyone.

A couple views of another of my favorite containers from this year.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 8:07AM
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Slow morning but to be expected at this stage of recoup. Probably overdid it yesterday. Even the rabbits aren't quite as frisky as usual. LOL

((((Eden and family))). Buttercup looks just as feminine as can be, and the poem does suit her perfectly.

Woody got me inspired and my one "fruitful" (Ugh!!, sorry;-) thing I'll do today is make peach upside down cake. Local peaches are juuuust coming in. Hope they're freestone. LOL

Needed to laugh a bit at Kathy's take on her gardens. What I wouldn't do for so many mature plants in one spot!

Think we do all take our own gardens far more critically than others wouldd. I was lamenting over the fact that my Grosso lavs probably wouldn't reflower this year given the rainfall, and my neighbor, who has been trying to grow ANY lavender for 20 years, almost decked me. I'm afraid that "no dirt" won't happen here for many more seasons, but that's okay. (I'll keep telling myself that. LOL)

Good call, V! Ditto the mall security!!

Love the list of Skyler things to do. I might add stargazing and ID of the easiest ....

When does your Fresh Air visitor arrive, Mary? Somewhere I have a newspaper article with pic about it from about 1960 that I'll try and unearth for you to show the boys that good programs last, really matter, and that they're a part of a great social history.

Biggest News of the Week!!!! Kyle will be moving out in a few weeks as the Taxidermist wants him to work enough hours a week to pay for a shared house. Can't imagine 4 or 5 21yo men living together, but it's all part of the experience, yes?? He only has four classes left before he can walk, and decisions about what to do if the Foreign Service doesn't work out are taking interesting turns.

Still think we should get all the Idyll early-20 something DS's and DD's in the same room. The energy could probably light a town.

Chaise, here I come! Waving to everyone .....


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 9:48AM
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The last Idyll whizzed by at lightning speed. After a quick skim, I see that Skylar has arrived and is having fun doing "country" activities, Brenda made the big jump, Sues banana will make the Guinness Record book.

We had a lovely 4 days at the lakes. The whole family was able to make it. Kenzie had so much fun camping with Rick and I. She enjoyed playing with her cousins, which are actually her moms cousins. Since my DD is the 2nd to the oldest of 10 grandkids, there are some that arent much older than Kenzie. They all doted on her. It was warm so swimming, boating and tubing were all fun activites. Yesterday was our anniversary so we tried a new outdoor restaurant overlooking the lake. Afterwards, we stopped at the condo that DD, DSIL and Kenz are living in.

My sisters and 2 aunts came over and toured the gardens. They went home with plants ;o)

Last evening as I was weeding and deadheading in an effort to spiff up the gardens for the garden party on Sat. I was noticing all the fragrances, bronze fennel, basil, lilies, phlox, and the lemony scent of gas plant.

PM, my Black Scallop over wintered just fine here in zone 4b in the ground.

Eden, Im so sorry to hear about your kitty its never easy. You mentioned the rhus Tiger Eyes, mine was fine the first 2 years, but this spring I had sprouts 3 out. The place I have it is pretty big so I might just dig up the surrounding perennials to make keeping it under control easier. Its such a great shrub to get rid of it.

Deanne, what I wouldnt give for my containers to look so perfect. Watch that hibiscus container, last year I had that in a container and it kept tipping over. Verbena bonariensis is definitely a reseeder, but the unwanted seedlings are easily pulled.

Saucy, sorry to hear that Sarah is feeling so poorly. Hopefully, today is a better day.

Kathy, I love the pics of your garden. Your phlox reminds me of Laura. Its a shorter phlox with a white eye. Star Class reminds me of Tom Pouce which is blooming in my garden now.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 11:49AM
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So Sarah's sore throat came back with a vengeance and she's been swabbed: it's strep. LOL, all I could think was that I passed it on to her through Idyll :) She's on the road to recovery....

So while I was supposed to be working, I ended up shopping online at Avant Gardens and came up with this shopping cart:
Cotinus coggygria 'Golden Spirit'
Viburnum opulus 'Park Harvest'
Heptacodium miconoides
Hakonachloa macra 'Beni Kazi'
Metasequoia glyptostroboides 'Ogon'

The metasequoia was on sale and I have a gigantic hole at the back of the property where I think it will flourish! I think I'm most excited about Heptacodium. Tell me your experiences with any of've all helped me sight my Tiger's Eye Sumac in a better spot! Luckily, I've got plenty of room here.

Today the goldfinches are dancing around the bird feeders. I caught the chickadees picking at the orange halves. Even though the orioles have moved on to proteins, the hummers seem to like the oranges!

Deanne! Beautiful! More awesome combos! What is that large leaved plant? A canna? It's delicate looking for a canna....

I wonder what Woody and friends are cooking up today? What a fun get together!

Martie, Kyle will have a blast as well as getting full immersed into life, LOL! It's how you find out your true likes/dislikes :)

Make sure you take it easy and spend lots of time in the chaise. Eat well. Dr. Saucy says :)

I have to work in this office for a few more hours this afternoon so that I can play outside in the rain tomorrow :) I am going to plant the rest of my ghetto and rearrange some things. I need to mow this evening, though.

Never enough time.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 3:52PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello, Hello.... how is everyone this afternoon?

Deanne I bet you were not out in the garden for nine hours again today! I can start feeling the effects of too much sun and sweating long before 4 hours, let alone nine!! You are a hardy, hard working soul. :-) I need a hat and lots of cold drinks and frequent breaks to the A/C to get anything done out there. Not to mention a helper. What great photos you've posted today! Not only is the container just as pretty as a picture, but the background whether the containers or the Japanese Maple...lovely! I like your walkway too. You don't miss a detail, Deanne! :-)

Martie...sorry to hear you are feeling a little set back. It is very easy to do too much and not realize it until it is already done. I hope a day of rest will have you going forward again. So, I can't tell, are you good with Kyle's news or not sure? So many decisions to make at that age. Not easy to see which road is going to get you where you want to get to. sounds like you have been having a blast! lol A really memorable summer perhaps? :-) Thanks for the info on Black Scallop. I have three plants, so two can go in the containers I am planning and the other in the ground, so hopefully at least one will make it through. kids were forever getting strep when they were in school. I don't remember having it in the summer. They never got the usual symptoms with it fever, the throat wouldn't get that red...but then the swab would come back, strep. Sounds like poor Sarah was really sick with it. Glad she is feeling better. Did someone at IU5 come down with something?

Love your list...I am a Viburnum fan and have bought a few of them for the garden too. Not familiar with that one. Love the golden smoketrees too. So far I have no smoketree, but the Viburnums I have, I just love. They are growing quickly and I just enjoy them even when they are not in bloom.

I headed out to Mahoney's today. It was great because the sun never came out and there was a breeze and it was quite comfortable. I took my time, they were having a 50% off sale on perennials and I was looking for plants for my winter containers. Anyone want to help with my containers? [g]

I had no plan but just the list of what would survive winters in an outside container. It is recommended that the plant be at least two zones hardier than where you are...I brought home...

Arborvitae 'Emerald Green' in the pot
Ajuga 'Black Scallop' in the pot
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Ajuga 'Burgundy Glow'
Ajuga 'Chocolate Chip'
Sedum 'Angelina'

I can see that the only two plants that will have evergreen foliage through the winter would be the Arborvitae and Arctostaphylus. Right now the foliage together is very nice and I wanted to keep the plants around the Arborvitae low, not wanting to damage the foliage. I read they don't like anything leaning on them? I was thinking I could stick branches with berries in the pots after the first frost and then in the spring the ajugas will come up again and bloom, maybe with a few crocus in the pot?

These are just experiments and all of the new plants can be used in different areas of the garden if they don't work out. I really want more evergreen and berries, w different foliage colors and if I can find a nursery that offers those little mini evergreens, I might like a few more of those. Not sure how tight to pack it in, the containers are about 20" diameter. Now that I look at the photo, I think the Arborvitae is too small and maybe I need something else. Or a bigger container. Or both. LOL You can see how decisive I am today. Brother!

Another photo of the Lisianthus that keeps throwing out a few blooms that seem to last quite awhile. They have a pretty pink edge...

Parsley getting ready to bloom falling all over Purple Emperor Sedum.

So how was everyone else's day? Wondering what Gardenbug and DR and Skyler were up to today?


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 5:18PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Today's cooking was fairly simple. Just cinnamon rolls, and pita pizzas for lunch (with commercial pizza sauce jazzed up a bit with fresh garlic, thyme, basil and oreregano). Last night's chicken schnitzel and spaetzle went over well so this afternoon we went to the good local deli and bought the spaetzle doohickey for my friend so she can make it at home. She left this afternoon with half of each of the pies, half the cnanamon rolls, and leftover schnitzel and spaetzle. It'll be interesting to hear how much of it meets the approval of Mr. Picky (her teenage son).

We just had a line of thunderstorms go through so I'll find out later or tomorrow morning whether my brick spillways worked or not! I'm glad weather like V's is rare here so no need to hunker down so securely!

I now have had a taste of how frustrating/annoying Deanne and Michelle's fallen over pots are. The Benjamina fig that lives in the dining room in the winter is out on the driveway for the summer. Some radical pruning is required soon as the pot has fallen over at least twice a day for the past week! It never used to do that, and it has grown a fair bit (it's taking up far too much room in the dining room the past year...) So I think I'm going to reshape it a fair bit tomorrow - does that count as an Idyll topiary project?! :-)

I need to make a new batch of dog cookies tomorrow. We've been dispensing cookies generously lately and my stock is just about gone. This is an example of a somewhat typical cookie dispensing episode: when we were walking Misty last night, Zoe (just over 1yr. old Rottweiller) was out and she REALLY likes the cookies so she an Misty muched through about 6 together; then we met up with Tess (4 month old collie) who is just getting to know Misty and cookies facilitate that; then Roma (beautiful old malamute) demanded her share. Tess hadn't met Zoe before because Tess's owner was nervous about Zoe because of her breed. Seeing Misty with Zoe gave him courage to introduce Tess. Cookies facilitated that introduction too. And, of course, I want a good supply on hand for Miss Phoebe too...

(In this neighbourhood, if someone has a dog or a garden, we know them; if not, we don't...:-)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 5:56PM
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Hi Everyone, Thanks to you all for your sympathies about Buttercup. One of the great things about Idylls is how everyone here agrees and understands that our pets are such an important part of our families.

It was a dog day of summer today for sure. Hot and humid. I moved the sprinkler around the gardens all day. It's getting dry. We had a bit of rain earlier this evening and are experiencing a little more now. Not enough to make a difference though I don't think.

Deanne, I'm really enjoying the pictures of your container gardens. They really are something special.

Michelle, how great that you got to spend a fun weekend with Kenzie. I think camping with kids is always lots of fun.

Marie, waiting to hear what fun things you all are doing on the farm. Skyler must be keeping you busy. Bet you're getting excited to see Reed soon too!

Saucy, oh no. Poor Sarah. You know how we do tend to pass things around here on Idylls, from plumbing problems to strep I guess. Bella's just finishing up her antibiotics and aside from a slight cough she seems back to normal. Hope Sarah's feeling better really soon. I know Bella was just miserable for a few days.

Kathy, I think your garden looks great in the photo too! I have a few things that have gotten to tall in front in my gardens that I'm planning on moving as soon as it cool down a bit.

PM, the verbena does reseed but it's easy to pull up what you don't want. Mine's just started blooming this week too. I haven't been successful with overwintering the ajuga black scallop in the ground, but I've always just popped in what I've had in container combos in the fall and I don't think I've given it time to establish. I have a nice size one growing in the garden area I redid a few weeks ago and I hope it returns next spring. I never had luck with the chocolate chip. It seems to just fade away on me. I planted a whole flat once that disappeared. The ones I've had most success with returning are burgundy glow and caitlin's giant. I've got an ajuga mahogany in a pot that I'd like to overwinter in the garden this year too. I really like your idea of doing winter pots. I have a couple of alberta spruce that have been in pots for at least 5 years that do just fine.

Woody, I loved the story of your walk and all of the dog treats that were handed out. They must all love to see you and Misty coming.

Hi Babs. Soon you'll be back to school? What's been going on with you, Chris and the boys?

Martie, hope you got some rest and recoup time today. I haven't found the empty nest to be bad. I do have Bella here alot to keep me company though so maybe my nest isn't so empty. Believe me they still show up to visit quite frequently.

It's not late but I'm ready for bed tonight. Sleep well everyone.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 9:34PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well I spent another 9 hours outside today. (PM yes indeed, another 9 hr. day but Ive not been doing the gym first. LOL and it wasnt sunny all day like yesterday) The front gardens and container border are all polished up and Im over the moon with it at the moment. It always feels so good to have things spiffed up. I re-edged everything out there as well and that makes such a difference. I CANT WAIT until the brugs open up all those buds they are setting. Sue, the white one that you gave me a cutting for must have two to three hundred buds on it at the moment and setting out more. Its going to be awesome. ~~ The other great news is that I got an email from the place I ordered the finial for my fountain from and it will be delivered tomorrow! Too cool!

Michelle, how great you had such a terrific weekend with Kenzie and the family. ~~ The container with the hibiscus is one of those extremely heavy clay pots and I dont think a tornado could blow that one down. ~~ A very Happy Anniversary to you and Rick!

Saucy, great score on the Avant Gardens order. You are going to love the Golden Spirit. I just planted one this spring and it is a beautiful plant. Im planning on keeping it pruned to keep it at the size I want. Well see how that goes.

PM thanks so much! Im so pleased you liked those photographs. Ive been trying to get more artistic photographs of the containers with backgrounds that set them off better. Its difficult because Ive got to move the darned things around and they weigh a ton. ~~ We got that walk because when we had the cement place do the patio we had to buy a minimum square footage and we would have paid for that cement whether wed used it or not so I said just put in a front walkway and Im so glad we did. ~~ Thanks for the heads up about the Mahoneys sale. Ill have to check it out. ~~ I really love your winter containers. I need to do more of that.

Woody, your cooking extravaganzas sound delicious. I wish you lived closer.

Eden, thanks! So happy you like the containers. Ive really spent a huge amount of time and $$ on them this year and I feel that theyve repaid my time and effort. ~~ I couldnt believe that my terrace garden was dry today. After all that rain weve had Ill have to water if we dont get any precip in the next day or so.

OK time for me to hit the sack so I can put in another day of hard labor tomorrow.

Nite all,

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 10:47PM
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DD is making her own baby food out of fresh ingredients.. this is Aidens first experience with peas..looks like veggie guy in the making

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 11:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy...time to send DD bibs for Aiden that say..'I love Grandma' [g]

What a killer smile that boy has! Somebody seems to be keeping him quite happy.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 12:02AM
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Kathy, that is a happy Aiden! He's such a cutie. I'll bet carrots are coming soon :) Tell your DD that pastina is fun when the time is right :)

Deanne, I am tickled over 10 blooms on my pink brug and 1 on the peach, LOL....I can't wait to see your containers in action (that's right Idylls, I'm going to see them in person!)....see what my plants might grow up to be :)

I'm hoping to coppice the Golden Spirit....anyone treat it this way? I can't imagine what plant material looks like shipped at this time of year....guess I'll know soon enough.

While I was looking at Avant, I found Haskell Nursery....looks like a place I need to see! Anyone else interested (see link....the video was pretty good).

I like annuals that reseed, and I spend a day here and there moving the seedling around. Cosmos are always here. I miss larkspur and v. bonariensis - I used to always have those in my first garden. The seeds I sowed indoors didn't get no larkspur this growing season. I think I will sprinkle seed in the fall garden, and write my self a note that I did so :)

I went to bed with my copy of Fine Gardening. Kept looking at Steve Silk's garden (not knowing it was his) and thinking, "this looks really familiar.....I think I have a picture that I took exactly like this...." LOL when I looked at the credits. Duh, Open Days. But it spurred a thought to write down (scrapbook?) all the gardens I've been to....the list is getting pretty impressive :)

Woody, I wish I had a neighbor like you, and so does Zeus :) How many cookies do you bake at a time? LOL, you just gave me a rainy day idea for the kids! They'd love to bake for Zeus!

PM, your winter pots are going to be real beauties! Fun finds at Mahoney's. We drove by the other day, but I didn't get to stop!

Well, I've got to get this day started. I had hoped to garden in the rain, but the "to do"s are piling up fast! Hopefully this afternoon will be play time....



    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 6:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Quick review from yesterday afternoon's swim. Skyler with Sky! Sky will be caring for our 3 cats when we're away.

Today we're going to feed him to the the African Lion Safari. ;)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 8:02AM
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Yet another tropical rain morning and Rich is busy vacumming out the basement yet again. Poor guy is ready to upgrade to several of the biggest, baddest sump pumps as the one we have just isn't keeping up this year. Hope that this paticular vacumm calamity doesn't spread Idyll far and wide. 'member?????

So far the only major loss has been a bag of Holiday ribbon. Grateful for that!!

Gotta love any baby that loves peas that much :-) He is a hoot, Kathy!! Glad to hear you have reblooming lavs. In my dreams I overwinter L. dentate 'you name it' and any and all L. intermedias. LOL Bet these are no brainers for you.

How cool is it that Skyler has a buddy?? They look totally simpatico, just as boys should on a summer afternoon.

(((((Idyll strep kids)))).

Evergrowing plant lists are impressive and brought me to pull a few books for ID. Count me amongst the Viburnum fans.

Chelone, you had mentioned Clethra and I highly recommend 'Ruby Spice.' My "dwarfs" are a full 5' tall in their fourth year from Bluestone and smell like heaven. Maybe not the entire planting, but certainly a few thrown in here and there couldn't hurt??

Sorry for not clarifying that I am THRILLED that Ky will be out on his own. Sounds like a horrible-mom thing to say, but he's ready and frankly, so are Rich and I :-) He has so many options for after school, and I'm looking forward to see what path he (based on Karma, or talent or just dumb luck, or necessity) ends up on.

I really like the idea of winter containers, PM2. Ilex verticillata (Winterberry) would work well, I think. The plant is indestructible!

So yesterday was a bit down and out, but I made my cake and just after pulling it from the oven, a friend called to say that she was coming over. This is what we had for dinner. Pic is a bit fuzzy, but who can resist fruit and chocolate when feeling less than 100%????

I have firm orders to remain horizontal today, so will plunk myself on the couch and do some research on fall planted bulbs. Anyone out there waiting for anything wonderful that I should know about????? LOL

Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 9:16AM
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AAAAAAck! Did the Dog eat this Idyll???? Anybody out there??


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 5:12PM
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DH is spending a couple of days at Farmfest, kind of a convention for farmers. I elected to stay home and get the gardens in order.

Last night the crop duster came to spray the beans for aphids. It is very entertaining to watch.

PM2, sedum Angelina is evergreen for me, at least in the ground. It turns somewhat orange in the fall and holds that until spring and then greens up. Ive done a few winter containers with dwarf Alberta spruce. I usually cut spruce branches and add berries or red twig dogwood sticks.

It looks like Aiden is enjoying his veggies, they even make him smile ;o)

2 boys and a creek is a classic summer combination. Your making wonderful memories for that boy.

Saucy, around my garden shed I let lots of things self sow. There is one good sized area of larkspur. I like them a lot.

Martie, youre not a horrible mom ;o) We all get to that point when we realize that its good for our kids to have their own lives and for us to have ours. I love my kids dearly and especially enjoy them as adults.
We have 2 sump pumps in our basement to keep it dry.

After spending the weekend camping with Kenzie and seeing how excited everytime she saw "The Queen" which is a lake excursion boat, I decided that we need to take her on it before they move. She calls it the ocean liner LOL


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 5:33PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

HI all,

Well today is one of those pain in the neck days. I cant even tell you how frustrating it is to try to get all the gardens in immaculate order (Ive a special visitor coming tomorrow evening for a tour and dinner) and every time Id get one area of the gardens finished, whoosh, crash bang, another torrential deluge of biblical proportions. Ill bet we got another inch and a half or more of rain today. So the areas Id gotten finished needed to be cleaned up yet again. Youd think that after the first deluge there wouldnt be any more petals or leaves to fall off the plants. Also, things just look so bedraggled after that kind of pounding. Le sigh!

The good news is that the fountain finial I ordered on line came in and its absolutely perfect! It fits flawlessly and all is in working order. If I had to complain the color isnt an exact match but I dont believe there is any way to get an exact match with ordering a new cement piece for an old cement fountain and it isnt really that noticeable. The other great news is that I found some gorgeous, huge, coleus for cheap! I got ten plants and a gigantic fuchsia hanger for $15.00! Woohoo! Just when the gardens really needed a few splashes of color to fill in for the dying daylily foliage. I really should go back outside and work for another hour or so but Im tired and the mosquitoes are going to carry me off. I dont remember a year where theyve been this bad but this has also been the wettest summer in a very long time.

Martie, hope you are feeling better this afternoon after your day of rest.

Michelle, LOL about the Ocean Liner. Too funny! Would love some more garden pics from you.

Bug, love the photos of the boys. Is that down in the gorge?

OK Maybe Ill just go a pop another couple coleus in the ground. Ill check in later.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 6:10PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We had one of those biblical deluges last night - 46mm (1.8"). Plus the power went out for two hours (8:15-10:15) and I narrowly avoided getting stranded on the back porch lift when the power went out. I was just about to take Misty down to the patio (she didn't want to go down in the rain by herself!) when the gate locked up (which it does when the power goes out) as soon as I put my hand on it!

Kathy - that's one happy baby! Boy, peas (if they are cooked) would not put that expression on my face - unless they were raw....

Martie - it sounds like you're a bit bored - it must mean you're recovering.... :- )

gb - looks like Skyler needs some feeding up! Grandmas are good at that, right...? I'll bet he has lots of fun at African Lion Safari! We haven't been in a few years and need to go again. The last time we went with friends and their kids who were 5 and 8 at the time. We all enjoyed ourselves.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 6:30PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all!

Martie, congrants on Kyle moving out :) I cried when the kids left home, but it was time. I adjusted to the empty nest pretty quickly. DD moved back in for a few months this year, and that went pretty well. We're back to the empty nest again.

Michelle, Happy Anniversary. The lake days sound wonderful. We had a crop duster flying over again last night, too. Spraying fungicide on the corn. He was doing a really small field, with woods on two sides, so he had to do some fancy flying to get the job done. Lol, I hope Kenzie has a spectacular time on the ocean liner.

Saucy-Poor Sarah! What a bummer to be sick this time of year. Schools locally are starting next week! Seems to keep getting earlier and earlier. I guess that's one of the nice things about being an old fogie, lol! Our summer vacations lasted until Labor Day was over.

PM, The parsley looks so good with that sedum. I would have never thought of that combination!

Woody, I'm not stomach growled audibly when your pies scrolled onto the screen. If your dog cookies are half as good as your pie looks, I imagine you are quite popular among the canines ;)

Deanne, it's good to hear you're getting some nice long days in to work in the garden. I love it when I have an entire day to do whatever I want/need to do in the garden. Your containers are just maaavelous, dahling!

Kathy-A pea-splattered grandbaby!?! I want one :)

'bug, it looks like Skyler is having a grand time. I bet he sleeps like a rock at Nana Marie's!

There's not a lot new here. It's been plenty warm, we got a nice rain and none of the severe stuff from that storm that went through V's territory the other night.
I think I may have a problem. I faxed the form today to buy my second tandem jump :) If you buy the second within a week of the first, it's way cheaper. This sounds NUTS but I want to do it one more time, so I can pull the cord and help land. I was so enthralled, I totally missed out on all the cues to do my part, and I really want to do it right. Then, no more after that. No, more. (evil laugh)
DH says supper is ready. Tonight is frozen pizza :( We had people popping in this morning, then I had to go donate blood, and we both forgot to get something out of the freezer. Bummer, because I'm starving and the pizza doesn't look all that great.
Later, all!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 6:40PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello hello... :-)

Martie...I saw your post this morning, that you were going to be hanging around today and I thought I would try to post a bit, but had another dentist appointment and the rest of the day I was not in such a pleasant mood, having had to make an appointment for yet another root canal on a broken tooth for tomorrow. I am just now starting to make the smallest attempt to let it go and get on with it. 'Oh, well', is about the best I can do. Grrr!

I am really sorry to hear you have a water problem in your basement. We lived in a house when I was in high school that had a serious problem in the basement every time it rained. In those days there we had not heard of 'home inspectors' if they did exist. We had a sump pump in the basement and even with a pump, we would end up with a foot of water in the basement and all hands on deck. It was always our first thought every time it rained. I don't think they had water vacs then either. So you do have my sympathies. Two sump pumps sounds like an idea, Michelle. I wonder if there are any more permanent solutions to keep the water out of the basement? I imagine it would be expensive? Wow, and has this summer been hard for people who get water!

Your baked confection looks delicious and beautiful bouquet too. Are the roses from your garden?

I didn't notice Chelone mentioned Clethra. I have 'Hummingbird'. I've had it two years and it barely made it through the winter first year, with die back down almost to the ground, but it is looking wonderful this year. The foliage is so clean and dark and shiny. Has lots of blooms on it just getting ready to open I think.

LOVE the photos of Skyler and friend. Nice to see him having such a nice time. The view of the water and the landscape is beautiful! You all are so lucky to live in such a wonderful area. We also did Lion Safari in Florida with our kids when they were young...lots of fun.

Thanks Michelle...for the info on Angelina. I didn't know it would be evergreen. That's great.

Deanne...glad the finial fits. I am surprised you were able to match it up so well.

Woody...glad you had a near miss with your lift. Sitting in a lift for 2 hours doesn't sound like it would have been much fun. Also enjoyed your account of the walk in the neighborhood with the dog cookies. We have few dogs in our neighborhood now. Sounds like a great place for a dog lover like you. :-)

Brenda...I started growing parsley because I read it attracts beneficial insects. Of course, you need blooms and it is not hardy here, or at least not supposed to be. Sometimes it will winter over for me if I mulch it well. Last year we had a good snow cover so it was all set. I am hoping to let it set seed there and come back every year.

Another jump?! :-) Why not...may as well. I wonder if this is a new hobby for Brenda. [g] jaw is swelling up like a balloon...time to go. My appt for the root canal isn't until 2:30pm tomorrow. Brother. Something tells me I am going to be calling them first thing in the morning. Have a good evening all.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 7:48PM
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Denise-too bad Marty didn't like the Verbena-if you want some seeds I will gladly send some-plant them away from Marty though; ) Honestly,for the price you'd pay for a nursery plant it's much more worth it to find a seed source. Here the main plant is an annual. For you, you probably end up with a verneba forest!lol

Eden thanks for seeing me: ) My kids & Chris are doing great. I noticed today that AJ is as tall as my mom;He's this long lean string bean kid! Both boys are taking swim lessons this week which is a trip to watch. Ryan always cracks jokes whne he's supposed to be swimming but he's able to stay afloat so I guess there's hope. We just got back from Hocking Hills last weekend where we hiked, hit the putt-putt course and the lake. We had gorgeous weather. By this time I guess we should just buy property there: )
Chris is doing great and getting geared up to teach two stats classes this semester. I'm still nurse Ratchett for the boys' school this year.
Since MOnday I've been elbow-deep in the Houttyonia patch of my mom's garden which I idiotically created how many years ago? and have been trying to eradicate for most of them. I think I am close to beating the thug but it means digging up every inch of the garden at least 8 inches deep into the soil and weeding the roots from clay. I hope to be done in two more days. My mom has tried Round up and then vinegar and as I figured neither worked so my latest strategy is pretty much to get to the root of the problem(sorry for the lame pun-lol).

Sorry this is a 'me' post but time is precious...I have a cabernet sauvignon waiting for me-oops more ME!
May all of YOU have pleasant dreams.

ps Brenda sorry I missed your bday!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Seems like a quiet day in Idyll-ville today. I had a dentist visit this afternoon for a cleaning (Im on a four times a year program) and I must say that cleanings continue to get less painful as I progress through my treatment plan. A year ago I could not tolerate that sonar thing they use and now Im ok with it. I told my hygienist today that I was looking forward to the day when my teeth could be cleaned in a half hour-she replied that hygienists are perfectionists by nature and if they get an hour appt, theyll use all of it because they want to be certain that the mouth in question is pristine. I told her I felt the same way about weeds !

Re: Mr Baby and the Peas.. what would it be like to be that happy ?? As un-baby doting as I am , I look at that photo and think about the unconditional happiness that comes from no responsibilities and a totally loving environment. Maybe thats what heaven is.

Saucy , I think coppicing would work very well on your Golden Spirit..but my disclaimer is that I am in zone 9 ! How is our IU5 buddy Denise ?? I like that reseeding stuff too, most of them are really easy to thin out. Most of mine are love-in-a-mist, Nicotiana, and Allysum. I have had abysmal luck with Larkspur.

Martie, I will try to get some pics this weekend of my lavs. Are you saying that yours do not overwinter at all ? The Stachys types are almost everblooming here, but cultivars like Grosso, Provance ,"Hidcote, and Munstead Dwarf" get sheared back hard in fall and look pretty crappy all winter. Dont over do , ok? Setbacks are depressing especially if they are self-imposed ! Its no fun to be chomping at the bit .

Deanne, I had to re-read the sentence to grasp the fact that you have increased your inventory of coleus, lol. Excellent news about the finial and I am confident that a photo is not far behind.

Brenda, I warn you , grandbabies, peas splattered or otherwise are not cheap ! Another jump Carpe Diem, right ? I admire your embrace of the spontaneous.

PM, I send good dental vibes your way !

OK, thats all for now

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 11:37PM
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Just now: In one quiet moment at the birdfeeder I watched a hummingbird come and perch after sipping from the orange halves! I never thought I'd have hummingbird's....must be doing something right :)

Martie, your treats look scrumptuous! I agree that you sound restless, and that is a good sign.

Brenda, I love your logic! Yes, best to go and get the pulling the cord part ironed out before you go teaching us to jump :)

Hi Babs! Yes, I think it's time to get a cabin in the Hocking Hills woods! LOL, I'm only thinking of your Idyll friends..... Sarah looks like a string bean....Jake is just plain scary - I'd swear he grew 6 inches last week! He eats like a horse, and with his new voice, he's sounding like one, too :) I fear he will be taller than Nick or I....I'm not sure I like that as I have had at least "height" on my side (think tall mother looming over you :)....

Deanne, yahoo about the finial! Maybe time will take care of your color discrepancy?

My order from Avant should be here today. I did not pay that much for shipping (it is only an hour away) but one of the 3 boxes weighs 21 lbs!!! LOL....they called to make sure I'd be home. Looks like they're on top of shipping non dormant plants.

SunnyD is doing good....she lives in one of the "Main Street" houses right on the main drag and I looked up yesterday, as I was driving by, and noticed she's ripped out an evergreen and some other things, LOL! She's been bitten by the garden bug pretty hard, keeps saying that her garden doesn't look like the one's we saw in NY.

GB, What a great time Skylar must be having! You're going to need a vacation from his vacation when all is said and done :)

I'm hoping to get out in the garden today, though I still have tons to do to get the kids ready for camp....and Nick and I want to go scuba next week, which requires rentals/ is hard work sometimes. Anyway, I'll post some pictures on another thread since I have a lot.

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 6:44AM
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Okay, for those of you needing rain just drag the clouds on the internet radar out of New England and over you. How fun would it be to do that?? The grass is browning out because of Too Much moisture. My tomatos are the same green they were two weeks ago. Enough, already!!

Kathy -- I have most L. angustifolias and L. intermedias overwinter for me. Stachys, no way. They don't get cut back until Spring and then only after I have some solid new growth on the main branches -- usually early June. Right now I only have five varieties in the ground since I'm on clay and wasn't sure how they'd react. Now that I know they'll be okay, Papa Geno's will be getting a good order in the Spring. I'll also be in touch with the U. of Deleware to try and get back on their trials list.

Yes, I'm getting restless. The word "bored" crossed my mind the other day and I could hear Chelone along with my mom in my head saying: "There isn't any such thing!!!!!" For this one week, I beg to disagree :-)

So, I've picked up counted cross stitch again after several years and wonder what on earth I was thinking when I picked some of the patterns. LOL Did find a nice piece to stitch for Jen for Christmas.

On the very sad news page, Jen and DSiL had their baby pass on Tuesday. It was medically a very tough time for Jen and DSiL seems to be bearing the emotional part. We're all kicking each other for making the announcement in Week 10 rather than waiting 'til the first trimester was completed, but we were all So excited!! With good grace, they'll be other opportunities for grandparenthood. Right now we're doing what we can to help them get through.

Suffice to say, Rich has about had it with female reproductive systems at this point. Have to at least chuckle amid the tears. Yes????

My contribution to the reseeding conversation. Wish I could remember the variety of these tomatos, as if I market planted them I'd never need to put a dress on again for work. LOL:



    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 8:12AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I've got to show you all this pic :

Nolon is working on installing a hydrant, and shutoff valve,in our water line. Callicat was 'helping' him, but it was coming a light rain, so Nolon fixed her a tent !

The poor old gal is 17, and failing badly, but is till active and eating well. She is totally deaf.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Good morning all, or at least it's still morning here.

Martie, so sorry to hear about the baby. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

PM, sorry to hear you need a root canal. I dread the day I need to have something like done. I have parsley in my garden too since it's a host plant for butterflies.

Deanne, Im trying to get my gardens immaculate too but my draw back is time. Evenings are just too short. I usually throw all my extra coleus that I dont use in containers in bare spots. We certainly arent getting the rains the NE is. We did get .3" yesterday.

Babs, it sounds like you are having a fun summer (other than the houttyonia)

Hey, look at that Callie Cat is going camping!

Have a great day.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:26PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Marti, I'm so glad you're feeling better. I am so sorry about the baby. That is such a terrible thing to go through. Hugs to you and your family.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:35PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

((((Martie,Jen and SIL )))) I think I know how hard that is for all of you.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 12:55PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Martie - condolences to all of you re the baby - that is a hard thing to deal with.

awww... Marian - that's such a cut picture! Nolon is obviously a big, ol' softie... :-)

PM2 - I hope your tooth woes were dealt with promptly without too much painful waiting!

Another 1/2" of rain overnight and this morning. It actually looks odd that we're into August and lawns are still lush and green instead of crispy brown! The front garden is a mess though. If it dries off enough to do some work there tomorrow, a few things are going to get whacked down! Definitely a severe rework and editing required for next year. Round-up will be employed soon I think - I think I'll use it instead of digging things out because I want to leave the tulips intact.

With all this rain, the mosquito population has exploded - they're even a problem in the front yard now and they almost never appear there usually. I was doing a bit of pruning on the wisteria yesterday but got driven back indoors by the mosquitos.

Somebody (Saucy?) asked what a batch of dog cookies look like. It looks like this (although there was too much flour on the counter when I rolled the dough out so they are a bit too floury...):

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 2:20PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good grief,

Company is coming over around 4 and we are currently surrounded by thunder storm cells. What are the chances the rain will hold off long enough for us to do a tour? I've spent four days non-stop 'buffing and cleaning' and things are looking as good as they can the first week of August. I'm absolutely maxed out and exhausted at the moment and Doug has wonderfully volunteered to run to the grocery store for provisions for dinner. (Yes I was planning on fitting that in too in the next one hour and fifteen mintues.)He is currently finishing mowing the lawn. He hasn't been able to mow for about a week and a half because of the rain and it's a meadow out there.

So, I'm trying to chill out then hit the shower and appear fresh as a daisy for my guest.

Waving hello to all!

More later,

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Martie, so very sorry about the baby. I'd be hard-pressed to keep that info to myself, too, for three months.

Thanks for the kind offer of the verben. bonar., Babs, but I think I'll sit tight for now. Sounds like your boys are having a wonderful summer.

Enjoying all the pictures and awaiting Saucy's Avant G. order. PM, your winter-pot plants look very promising, what a nice selection. Sorry to hear there's more dental visits in your imminent future.

Woody, have you posted your dog biscuit recipe yet? I'll have to check my archives. I loved reading the 7-degrees of separation between Misty and her canine pals.

Time to run...wave to all.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 4:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hail here...and dramatic too! I don't dare inspect the garden.

Off to take Phoebe to summer camp at Woody's tomorrow afternoon...after a haircut. The big request is to go to Boston Pizza afterwards.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 7:29PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Well, I think it's safe to say that the best days of my garden for 2008 are behind me. Some sort of severe weather must have come through here this afternoon when I was at work. To get into the garage I had to stop twice and get out and move tree branches out of the way. Just about every leaf on every canna, banana, and elephant ear is shredded. Large Brug branches were just torn off. Most of my tall reseeding Cleomes and Amaranthus were blown over. The patio is a mess. Every gutter failed on the house and I have mulch all over my back lawn. Tree branches are everywhere. I made a pile of large branches in the driveway to cut up later. In the front yard, a large metal support blew over and took out a huge Persicaria polymorpha. I picked up what I could and cut a few things back but most of it will just have to wait til I get back from vacation on the 16th.

On top of that, water somehow got into a window that was open about 6 inches in my guest room, caused a river and ruined a large part of the hardwood floor. On the bright side though, I was able to get the fountain going again without having to risk electrocution in an attempt to replace a GFI socket in the garage.

At this rate I am so not looking forward to winter. Why is a condo starting to look more and more attractive all the time?


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 8:16PM
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Sue, I know exactly how you feel. The same as I did when that tree fell on my garden last year. It's so discouraging. You'll be surprised though at how fast the perennials at least will recover if you cut them back. You do have your vacation to look forward to. That's good!

Martie, I wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear the sad news about the baby. It's a hard thing to go through.

I have to get Bella ready for bed so have to say good night.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Sue, that so stinks. The picture you recently posted showed it all so lush and gorgeous. What nasty storms! If 'bug got hail, I wonder if this storm system moved upward, and if Deanne and others got hit too. Like Eden says, at least the vaca is coming up. Would be so nice if you could trust someone to clean it up before you get back. Don't go buying and selling real estate just yet, OK?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 9:08PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Holy crapoli Sue, you got that severe weather they were warning about today. Im so sorry! My stomach is in knots just thinking about it. Thats HORRIBLE.

So, my visitor came tonight and now that its a done deal Ill spill the beans. My visitor was the editor from Fine Gardening magazine I worked with for the container garden issue. How cool is that???? She took scads of pictures (in between the deluges) and we hit it off and had great conversation. She has a degree in horticulture and is very knowledgeable about plants, culture, etc, etc. Its just so much fun to talk plants with a plants person. She used to work at Stonecrop! How neat is that? Anyway, we had a great time and Im crossing my fingers I get another article from this. Wish me luck! Oh yes, I forgot to mention that it didnt rain all day today until two minutes before she got here then poured rain and I was following her around the garden holding an umbrella over her head while she was shooting pictures. Thank heavens we didnt get the severe weather Sue, Bug and others dealt with. We just had lots of rain but not much wind, no hail.

Woody, those cookies look good enough to eat! LOL I agree that things here are so lush for this time of the summer. The mosquitoes are horrible here as well. I think they are breeding in the rain gutters which Doug hasnt been able to keep clean this year. WE did them in the spring but they are blocked up again apparently. Time to get up there and dig them out yet again.

Michelle, I just dont know how you gardeners working full time jobs do it! I cant keep up and Im only working part time in the summer and I cant keep up with things as it is. Kudos to you, Cindy, Sue, Cynthia, Martie, Monique, Kathy, Denise, Wendy and all the people working full time jobs trying to keep up a garden.

Kathy that Mr. Baby pic with the peas is too funny. What joie de vivre.

All righty,

Im toasted and ready to hit the sack. Have a great evening all,

PS Denise, she especially loved the Sansevieria cylindrical and I told her it was a special delivery from my garden friend in Southern CA.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Just had to say Deanne, how cool is that? You so deserve the recognition. I'm crossing my fingers with you!

Marie, hoping you don't have too much storm damage.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 10:01PM
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Oh, and now I remember why I logged in. I'm sitting on a mountain of Solfatarre crocosmia corms, if anyone is interested. The bloom was poor this summer due to congestion, so I dug up a huge clump today, slipped a Salvia uliginosa in its spot and saved just a few corms to replant since there's another huge, poorly performing clump in the front garden. The excess are up for grabs. Sue, I bet your microclimate could handle this crocosmia.

Deanne, I had a feeling about this "special visitor" that sparked such frenetic garden activity! You so deserve such recognition for your lovely garden. That sans. still hasn't become very widespread here. I saw a couple, very expensive, at a high-end nursery recently, not nearly as nice as yours. Wonder what's on the wine list tonight to celebrate? ;)

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Deanne, what exciting news! I have no doubt that they will include you in the magazine.

Sue and Bug sorry about the storm damage, that is just the pits. I had hail a couple of years ago, but it was in September which was a little easier to take.

Good night all

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 10:59PM
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Howdy friends, glad to say that Sues weekly greeting is just around the corner. Didnt have to get on an airplane this week, but next week is Chicago (V exits as I enter) and then I am in a non travel mode for awhile. Maybe a trip to Oregon to visit DD , BILs and Mr Baby, but not till Oct.

Some cool new threads today, so I need to go hang around there for awhile-a farm visit and a stroll thorough Terrapin Station.

(((Martie))), and family. The circle of life will continue another day. I hope Jen and DSiL are able to make a successful recovery both physically and emotionally.
I have a tomato volunteer that has come up in my Brugmansia pot. Got more blooms on the tom than the Brug.

Hi Marian ! Just love Callis tent ! Cats do like to help dont they ? Too bad they cant pull weeds.

PM must be in recovery tonight from her root canal.. Ive had my share of those over the years too.

Hi Babs..I often look at the Houttyonia with longing at the garden center, but along with Bishops Weed, and numerous cultivars of Artemesia I never take the bait.

Jerri, how are things with you? Have you moved the jumbo puppies out yet ?

Woody, I have a dog cookie cookbook, and my little dog loved the balls that were made with grape nuts cereal, p-nut butter and honey. Since she resides in doggie heaven now I am thinking about making a batch for each of the other dogs in the family for this Christmas.

Sue, how frustrating your garden debacle must be. Maybe things wont look quite as dreary after you clean up- things seem to grow pretty damn fast this time of year. Im figuring I have 60 days at least till first frost and probably closer to 75 .

Deanne, working full time and keeping up a garden is not so bad if the garden is your de-compression zone ! Spending time in the garden always makes the work week dissolve for me.

Ok, I need to do some dishes and watch the D-Backs lose.

Nite all !!!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 11:44PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Friday couldn't have come sooner for me this week. :-) Thank you all for all the good 'dental vibes' sent my way. lol It must have worked, because my appointment yesterday went better than usual. I should be feeling like my old self in a couple of days. Glad to have that over with. :-) sorry to hear about Jen and DSIL's news. Hope Jen will make a full recovery soon. I can't think of anything more emotionally like a rollercoaster ride. Very sad.

I'll be back later.... :-)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 5:59AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

As Kathy knows, I am preparing for my exit from the area. Pre-vacation frenzy is in full swing. DD's boyfriend arrived last night and the dogs like him and vice versa. There's still a couple of loads of laundry to run, packing and other last minute details before we take off at 5:00 am tomorrow. I'm sure I won't have a chance to post tonight, so this will be my farewell.

I did the briefest of skims, but want to send my condolences to Marti.

Sue, sorry to hear about the garden devastation.

Deanne, you rock!

Gotta run!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 7:02AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Pre vacation frenzy in full swing here as well. I have to sit and give four performance reviews today, review a bunch more with one of the supervisors who reports to me, and put my stamp of approval on 100 pages of financial statements. It all needs to get done because I do not want to have to come in here tomorrow. I still have packing and cleanup to do at home. Is vacation really worth it? lol

Thanks for the garden commiseration. Oddly enough, I am not totally freaked out over it. Guess I'm finally learning to not obsess over things I can't control. I'll clean up what I can and deal with the rest when I get home. The bedroom floor looks better this morning. At least my roof didn't blow off, right?

Denise I love Crocosmia. Lucifer is the only variety I've tried but I haven't had great luck with it. It comes back for me but slowly fades away over time. I'm willing to give the Solfatarre a try though. Not to worry, I may rant about all this house maintenance but without it I'd be climbing walls. If I do move it will be further out into the country.

OK, time to get cracking! Those dog cookies are making me hungry and we have bagels here on Friday.

Deanne, congrats on the fruitful visit!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 8:03AM
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Good morning all.

Martie, so sorry for your family's loss. It must be very hard for them both. I'll keep them in my thoughts.

Sue, I can't imagine coming home to such storm damage. Hopefully a week of fresh salty air will take a little of the sting out of the storm damage.

Deanne, your work in the garden is a full time job :) And I'll second that you deserve every bit of recognition coming your way! You are an artist, after all :)

Denise, my plants came, and they were packaged superbly and there was an extra treat inside: Spiraea thunbergii Ogon!

I have a moral about extra plant, or chalk it up to good fortune? I'm usually a caller.....I'll probably end up coughing up my good fortune because I'm about to order Schizophragma Hydrangeanoides from them....tune in to Terrapin Station thread for more details....I need all your comments/help/suggestions with my design :)

The reason I'm so motivated to pull my garden together: Horae! I've decided to make a purchase. More info as it becomes available to me :) I feel like I'm playing beat the clock with summer winding down, but I keep telling myself that there have been years where I've been able to work up to Thanksgiving in the garden.

Anyway. Sarah's really been sick and I've been dreaming too much as a result. Eden, did Bella's sore throat last well past the fever? I don't remember it being like that when I had it....

Off to start my day!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 8:13AM
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Good ???? Morning.

I'm not quite sure what to say to my Idyll friend down the river ... I saw those storms come through on radar and we barely missed getting whacked. Last night at about 10pm made up for it, though, but no branches down nor severe damage. Wish I could scoot down to help, but providing beverages is about the level I'm at right now. Vacation will be a good thing for you. Ditto on staying put for now. You'll be like a caged animal in a condo, believe me. Good luck with the performance reviews, in my mind one of the least fav managerial things to do, good or bad.

Well, Deanne!!!! You must be pigeon puffed this morning and rightfully so! Being a true gardener I'm SURE she saw through the moisture to the beauty of your gardens and containers. I'm also sure that an article will be forthcoming. If not, we'll just lobby for a reverse decision. LOL

The whole key to work and garden is careful planning, I think. The blank spaces at Cornfield Park will get filled in by the lowest of low maintenance plants eventually. Have some good plans for next year, though.

Denise -- I'd love to try some Crocosmia. If you send some to Sue, throw some in there for me and we'll get together at some point. I've not tried it, but can see it here and there....

Thanks for all the well wishes for Jen and DSiL. They'll be as okay as they can be, but it was a bitter blow to a couple who will be tremendous parents and have been doing everything they can for a biological baby for a while. Nature Knows ....

HORRAY for Horae!!!! Good decision, Saucy. You're doing all four, right? I'll watch on the T.S. thread. Betcha the huge urn comes home, too, as part of the bargain. LOL I'm a caller, too, and the benefits usually far outweigh the uncalled-about "extra" down the road.

Sounds Like V is off to a great time! Any DDBF that dogs like has gotta be okay.

Good to see you, Marian. Nolan is a softy, after all :-)

Was also wondering if Jerri is putting on an addition for the pups or if they're on their way to forever homes....

Another possible Skyler project: Take a map of North America and pinpoint Idyller locales. Heck, for fun I just may do that myself. LOL

PM2 -- Glad your dentist visit went smoothly. Amazing how strong Idyll vibes can be, yes??? The roses were a gift from my friend and really appreciated since the ones in my garden are absolutely water logged.

I showed your potager to Rich, Michelle, and he rolled his eyes and asked when a duplicate would be installed at the Park. Told him I'd settle for another two or three raised beds since we have/had a firm deal that No More Lawn would be taken up. Raised beds don't count, Right??? Because no digging of grass is involved, just covering????

Today I'm driving. To the local bookstore. All by myself. Will have cell phone at the ready. I NEED to get outta here. My docs office is half-way. Can you tell I've been practicing my pitch to Dr. Rich????

Greetings to all!!


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 8:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Looks like a very low key day shaping up here. No energy at all this morning, but I am comfortable and it is gray and cool here and I have gardening magazines and that novel about the horticulturist in WWII Britain, so I am all set. :-) DH was very sweet and made me pudding. Plus DD and I watch 'So You Think You Can Dance' and last night was the Finale and it was really pretty good, so I have that on Tivo to watch again. I also have some garden beds in need of redesign, so I can spend some time figuring that out, if I feel like it.

Lots going on with everyone I can see. It always amazes me how many things can be happening in such a small group of

Horrors Sue, what a scene to come home to. You sound better this morning and sounds like you are taking it in stride for the most part. I think you are quite resilient! I'm sure you will have a great vacation and when you come back, maybe things will look better and you might see some way to turn the whole thing into a new opportunity. :-) Hope the floor dries out reasonably well.

Deanne...well, all I want to know is why the editor didn't come when your lilies were at peak?! LOL I am sure the photos you took yourself were of interest to her though. I was just thinking the other day, that I really like Fine Gardening magazine. I had Garden Design and FG out of the library and really like FG the best. Are you pinching yourself today? [g] FG would be lucky to have photos of your garden, hope it develops into something. :-) are you feeling these days? How long before they will give you the ok to get back to your normal schedule? I'm sorry to hear that Jen and DSIL have been trying for awhile. This must have been discouraging for them. made a deal with Rich, not to take up any more lawn??!! lol How could you? With all that space you have! Wow, Rich is really loving his lawn, huh? :-) and Nolan must be doing something right to have kitty around for 17 years! Lots of love, no doubt! :-)

Well...out of steam here....I'll check back later.

Good 'vacation vibes' going out to all the vacationing Idyllers.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Good Morning, It's a perfect day for gardening. We have blue skies and a cool breeze. We did get some rain last night and everything's looking good. I may just push my luck and move a few plants around later.

Saucy, I'm so sorry to hear that Sarah's having such a hard time with the strep. Bella's throat didn't seem to get that sore. We were actually surprised when the throat culture showed strep. She ran a fever for close to a week though, had no appetite and was VERY cranky.

Babs, thanks for the update. It's hard to believe that AJ is getting so tall. They grow up so fast. I told Bella the other day I want her to stay little and she said "I can't grandma. I have to get big so I can go to school." I'm glad to hear things are going so well for your family. I do miss you here on Idylls but I know how busy you are. I can commiserate with you on the Houttuynia. Jen and I are still working on getting rid of her ivy patch. It's hard work isn't it?

PM, glad the dentist visit wasn't too trumatic. Enjoy your day of taking it easy :)

Kathy, what a great picture of Mr. Peas! What a happy baby! I smile every time I look at that picture.

V and Sue, enjoy your vacations!

I'm going out to try and get a few garden pictures. If they turn out I'll post a few. We'll see...


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 9:51AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

PM-I've been eyeing herbs for the last couple of years. I had thought of putting in a small herb garden out back this year, then we started discussing the garage. That would go right where the herb garden would be. I love the idea of mixing them into the flower beds.
I'm so glad to hear your dental appointment went well. I've been through root canals, and an implant, and the dreading of the appointment has always been worse than the procedure itself.

Hi, Babs!! Sounds like AJ has hit that growth spurt that I remember from when DS was a kid. Seemed like one day he was this short, square kid and the next he was towering over me. I assured him I could STILL kick his butt, but I was beginning to wonder, lol! No worries about missing the birthday...this year it got celebrated a lot, and I've still got Princess Weekend with my best friend coming up. We're leaving this coming Thursday, and will have 3 nights away. This year was the best birthday in years :)

Kathy..Lol, I've been dreaming of the dental cleaning when the hygenist says, "You're a wonder at flossing and brushing..there's nothing more I can do. Get outta here." Not gonna happen, is it??
I can only imagine the amount of money and time I'll spend spoiling grandkids. I'm sure I'll irritate DD and DS. It'll probably be an instant replay of me and my Mom. She was such a softie with the grandkids, a far different woman than she was when we were kids :) Guess it's just the natural progression of things, eh?

Saucy-Yay for you for getting hummingbirds! That's been one of the most exciting things about gardening for me. Sometimes dumb luck pays off. I planted a bunch of Huskers Red Penstemon near the porch, and every morning while they were blooming, I could sit and sip my coffee and watch them sipping from the flowers.
LMAO, I think you're right. I'll work on cord pulling, steering AND landing before I give Idyll skydiving lessons. Seriously, though, I don't see me going any farther than another tandem jump. I've been looking into what comes next and A) WAY more money than I'm willing to invest in that particular hobby. B) WAY too far to drive to be able to do it as often as I would need to in order to feel comfortable. C) WAY too easy to get dead. Coordination has never been my strong suit, and I don't have the kind of luck that warrants being pushed. I need to have myself convinced before I go again, because it's really easy to get caught up in the excitement at the hangar :)

Martie, I'm of the camp that if you're bored, it's your own fault. I DO make exception when you're recouperating, though. Seems the list of things you can't do are all the things that keep you from being bored in the first place.
I'm so very sorry to hear about the baby. Our family has been through that a couple of times. It's a tough thing for a family to deal with, and even though sometimes nature knows best, it's not an easy thing to deal with, especially when there are so many people who have children, and then don't seem to care for them at all. (((Martie and Family)))
I like your logic about the raised beds, and I totally agree. I made the foolish deal with my DH that there will be no new beds until I have the existing ones under control. He is starting to really enjoy the whole gardening thing, though. Once he got out of the "crop" mindset, it's been fun. He comes up with plant combinations and everything now. At first, he was all about everything in ROWS. He still has a fit when he catches me weeding out something that's seeded beyond the boundaries I've set, and if there's a plant that doesn't do well, I have no problem moving or yanking it. He'll nurse a scrap of nothing forever to see if it turns into a nice plant. Me, I'm not getting any younger, so out it goes.

Marian, that picture of Callicat is adorable. Lol, in all I've read from you, I didn't realize that Nolon would be a tent-builder for cats :) Bless his heart for being a softie. He might just surprise you about a hot-air balloon ride, ya know?

Woody, your dog cookies look like gingerbread! I'd be awfully tempted to taste one :)

Sue, what a drag to get all the weather damage. Makes me sick to look at your pictures and think of that happening. If you could, I'd have let you send the damage my way. Maybe it would slow down the crab-grass. Can you tell I'm at the "totally discouraged" part of my season?? Have a great vacation, and don't think about it until you get back.

Bug, no fair that you got hail damage. I hope there's not too much damage. I hope Phoebe has a great time with Woody. I'm sure she will, and will come back with a bellyful of dog cookies.
Deanne! Oh, yippee and yay for you! I just know you'll get the article. Personally, I'm waiting for them to decide you get a special edition every year! I know you must have been disappointed in the weather for the visit, but I have to think your place is stunning in person, regardless of the weather. I'm with you on the folks who work full time and garden. Once the crops are in, most of the days are mine, and I still don't seem to be able to keep up.

V-Have a great time on vacation. I'll be anxious to hear about everyone's get-aways.

Yesterday, my second to oldest sister came over for a visit. We had such a good time. It's cooled off here, so we had a nice breeze to sit on the porch and gaze about. She is very much like me, and can over-look weeds all day long, and enjoy the flowers. She got HUGE tears in her eyes watching the skydive videos. My kids are quite a bit younger than all my nieces and nephews, and they got a lot of special attention from the family when they were little. She was so proud of DS for overcoming his fear of heights and taking the plunge. We had a lot of laughs over the interesting things middle-aged skin will do when flying through the air. Fun day, indeed. I made a Monte Cristo fritata a la Rachael Ray for lunch. The recipe is a keeper for sure, as it's way easier than making individual omlettes.

Today is a day for me to spend as I wish. I got a call that the disposable camera I took to Ottawa is developed, so I'll probably run in and pick that up. Knowing me, out of 36 exposures, there will be 2 that are worth keeping, but I just gotta look! I'm hoping that a few of the ones I took with the sky full of open chutes turned out well. Then, it's back out to fight the weed grasses and whittle away at the pile of late-arriving mulch.
Have a good one, all!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 9:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Im sitting here with my feet up and a good cup of French Roast in hand and looking out the dining room windows at the gardens in the morning sunshine. Life doesnt get better. There was just a hummingbird in the fuchsia right outside the window. What amazing little creatures. Weve had more regular visits from the hummers this summer in the mornings and evenings. One of these days Ill have my camera out and get some pictures of them.

Im thinking Im going to take a drive over to Lake Street Gardens today and browse. Im feeling like a little nursery crawling even though I dont need anything.

Ive got to give the containers a liquid feed today. I noticed a couple looking a bit unhappy and I think this constant rain has leached a lot of the fertilizer out of the soil.

So here is a photo of the fountain with its new fnial

Thanks so much for all the positive comments everyone. I really appreciate it! Yes, PM Im pinching myself to see if this really happened. Its all very exciting.

Brenda, enjoy your day. Isnt it great when you have a whole day to yourself? Ive got one of those here too and Im reveling in it. Im thinking Im not even going to deadhead the daylilies today. LOL

Eden, Id love to see more garden pics from you. I was telling the FG editor all about your gardens last night and told her shed love them. In fact I told her about how our group has such fantastic and diverse gardens. ~~ Wouldnt it be great to do an Idyll Garden Book? What fun that would be. I think it would be especially helpful and chock full of useful ideas to most home gardeners because weve all done our own gardens. Most of what weve done would be feasible to many gardeners.

PM yes indeed its a shame she missed the peak of the lily blooming but the timing just didnt work out. Maybe some other time. ~~ Sure hope your dental woes go away soon.

Martie, glad to hear you are getting out today and also very happy to hear you didnt suffer any of that damage Sue did yesterday.

Saucy!!!! How fabu that you are going to get those statues!!! Fantastic!

Sue and V. I hope you both have terrific vacations. You really deserve the down time.

Kathy, isnt it amazing how you can go and work in the gardens and hours just evaporate. It seems all the problems just take a back burner when youre working with the plants.

Denise, I indulged in a nice Pinot Grigio last night and Im indulging in a complete day off today. The first Ive had in three weeks and it feels great!

OK Im going to do a bit of WALATING and then head out to Lake St. Gardens. You never know, there might be things there I cant live without. LOL

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I behind again but I have to pop in and say 'You rock Deanne'! How exciting! When will you know something?
I'm sure you will find wonderful treasures calling your name today. :)

They expect me to work today. Drats. LOL


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 11:27AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, you gals...Nolon has 'always' had a 'soft spot' for cats. He spends a lot of his time making sure they are okay, and not in want anything !

Sue, that is awful about the storm damage. What a shock to come home to ! I hope most of your plants can be salvaged.

Nolon's job with the hydrant and shutoff by the deck is finished, and my rain tub is back into it's allotted spot. It has an additional space beside it for a large potted plant. :-) And the spot is already filled !

It isn't a very pretty bucket of plants...but will do for now. It contains a willow tree, (that I will set out this fall), and some small pots of plants around its base.

I am amused at one of my elephant ears. I put it in a bucket of potting soil way back at the first of warm weather. I also planted one in the black tub at the corner of the 'island'. The one in the tub came up in the appropriate amount of time, but I had given up on the one in the busket, and planted some cuttings around the inside of the bucket. Then I noticed a sprout on the elephant ear. I moved the entire contents of the bucket into a LARGE tub. Here is a pic of it now:

Every day it gets larger ! And is taking over that corner of the deck, and the opening to the steps ! I love it !

Now here is the kicker: I am certain I planted the bulb upside down ! The one out in the tub in the 'island' is not nearly as big. I think I will always plant them upside down ! LOL

I have a question for all you gardeners. Have any of you planted this Plectranthus ?:

I bought it as a small plant this spring. It had no variety name. It is a monster ! I have broken a lot off of it to try to contain it , but it just throws out more growth ! If I save any of it over winter, I will not put it in the little red wagon again ! It's leaves are velvety. It has flowers, but they are not showy. I think I will cut it back a lot more so the impatiens and other plants have a chance ! A young Bald cypress, and a Clethra are behind the wagon.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 2:17PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Our dog days of summer have arrived...:-) Phoebe is here and settling in.

When Marie and I finished walking around the garden, we rode the back lift up to the porch and Marie got Phoebe to come with us. Phoebe was fine but Marie was looking doubtful that Phoebe would want to make a habit of it. A short while ago I went out on the porch with the dogs and headed for the lift to go down to walk around the backyard. As soon as I opened the gate, Phoebe ran onto the lift! She and Misty rode down with me and when I headed back towards the lift after we had spent some time in the backyard, Phoebe was first one on the lift! Clearly she's going to be like Liam, who thinks the lift is an amusement park ride just for him :-)

Speaking of Liam, Phoebe may meet him tomorrow. His 'parents' are coming to dinner and he usually comes too....

After Marie, her DH and Skyler left, we took Phoebe and Misty for a walk around the block. A short way up the street, we ran into Tess (collie puppy) and her owner. Phoebe was a bit skittish but friendly. Tess was clearly thrilled to meet a new buddy. When we passed Zoe's (young Rottweiller) we didn't see her, although just after we passed, she came out on the driveway (her owner was working in the garage.) Misty saw her and very much wanted to go back to see her big buddy but we decided to leave that introduction until Phoebe is more relaxed.

During our supper, Marie, Phoebe laid down nicely on her mat thing and (mostly) stayed there in a down.

She's been a bit restless in the past little while but is laying quietly near Randy's desk at the moment.

She's MUCH calmer than Copper was at this age and is being very good with Misty - no relentless pestering like Copper does. She follows Misty around a lot but when Misty lays down somewhere, Phoebe goes away and leaves her alone. So far, so good... I think she'll settle in fine. Tomorrow I start taking some pictures....

Skyler is cute - and shy I think - although Randy says he and Marie's DH did a duet of Four Strong Winds for him. Syler is obviously devoted to his Nana Marie as he looked like he was welded to her side for much of the time they were here :-)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Baseball is on the agenda for tonight , and gardening for tomorrow. I am just drained tonight and not worth much-expect no scintillating repartee from this quarter !

Think we need to lobby FG for Deanne to get the cover. Think one of those fabu lily pics would sell magazines ?? Or any number of others weve seen.

Deanne , that finial is just right , scale, style etc, and with the weather the colors will likely meld over time. Some statuary suppliers out here offer touch-up paint . If the dudes who made yours did you could stain the final to match. A winter project ! Do you need another winter project along with Deannes Basement Garden Center ?

Brenda, I love to grow herbs, and continue to incorporate them in with my garden plants. So many of them make great edgings and fillers. I particularly enjoy growing different types of Oregano, though some can be invasive here.

Woody , thanks for the travel update , and pics of Ms Phoebe in her guest role will be welcome.

Marian, yes I grow P. argenta , and I always take cuttings to over winter. My problem is that no matter how much water I give it its always droopy. I think I need to rethink the container and the location.

In closing, where in h*ll is Chelone???

See y'all tommorow after about ten hours sleep-or at least 8 for a change !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 10:25PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, your plectranthus is so much neater than mine !
I don't know why I said mine is in a wagon. It is obviously in a garden cart !!! I suspect if I had done a little research I would have found that it is P.argenta. :-(

I am watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, but the reception is very poor from the only NBC station that we have access to. Quite disappointing.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 11:00PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good Saturday morning... :-)

Looking forward to the weekend. Mass Hort is having a sale of some kind today. Weston Nurseries is having a sale. Not sure if we will try to go to either, but we might. I hope we see the sun at some point, it would be very nice. This summer seems to be flying by. The butterfly bushes are just getting going and finally saw the first butterfly on it this year. I thought that was really late and the Four OClocks are just setting buds. I just checked my photos from last year and it was the 12th of August when I see my first photo of the BBush in bloom and the 14th was the first Four OClock bloom.

Got out to take these photos yesterday....first butterfly if you can see him, he is dark.

Hibiscus is in bloom and that is earlier than last year..... must have lots of Dahlias by now, no?

Saucy, is Sarah feeling any better yet?

Brenda....I just noticed that your son was overcoming a fear of heights, with this skydive?? Wow, that is very impressive! Nice you had a good visit with your sister. I enjoy herbs too...and they stick to the veggie beds for the most part. My problem here is not enough sun for many things to really thrive. I have mostly part sun everywhere. I do have a couple of plants of lavender and thyme, parsley plants and bronze fennel in with the flowers, that's about it. I would have enjoyed an herb garden too, but if you have the sun for them, they are great mixed in with the perennials.

Deanne....glad you are putting your feet up for a change! I am going to have to try fuchsias next year...I would love to see some hummingbirds here. Sounds wonderful! I love that finial and I agree with Kathy that give it a couple of seasons and you won't be able to see the difference in color. So did you get anything at Lake Street? Any sales going on there? I saw more news about severe thunderstorms up your way yesterday afternoon. They seem to have missed us.

Marian, that Elephant Ear is Hu-mongous! Wow! What are you feeding that plant? lol We watched some of the Olympics last night...fascinating, but we couldn't keep our eyes open. I tried recording it on the DVR, but I think it may have been full, so not sure how much of it I got.

Woody...I second the request for photos of Misty and Phoebe. What a life these dogs have, huh? Vacations, new friends who bake dog treats, new dog buddies, visiting grandchildren.

Kathy...sounds like you had a long week. Hope you have a relaxing Saturday.

So, I am starting to wonder, what you all did to Chelone, when you were away on IU5. She's barely been here since Ok, so fess up, what did you guys do? :-)

Eden...would love photos of the garden!

That's it from here....have a great Saturday!

Has anyone heard from Ei?


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 5:41AM
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"You rang?", PM2 (anyone remember Lurch saying that to Morticia?). I'm officially "on vacation". And I've managed to read the first half of this Idyll, having given up hope of actually reading the others I've missed (skimmed, though). Vacation weeks at work can be brutal, as there are so few of us to pick up the resultant "slack".

Bella's recovered and Sarah has succumbed. Perking up by now?

Brenda has completely taken leave of her senses as she's now signed up to plummet to earth one more time?! I have to go scope out your shots; once you were out of the plane and the die was cast it must have been thrilling to watch the earth become clear from above. VERY exciting. :)

Pea-stained baby is preferable to pee-soaked baby, yes? I actually cracked up at the site of Aiden looking so very pleased with himself.

Very sad to note the passing of the dainty Buttercup, Eden. She was darling. There is always a hole left in the household when one of the fold moves on the "happy hunting ground". We have a little cat statue over Flo's gravesite and we occassionally call to her in her special "cat voice" as we pass by... . Indeed, everyone here does "get" the importance of our animal friends; just one more reason why this is a special place.

I love Arctostaphylos, PM2. I have 3 of them that I've used behind the stonewall that runs along the road. I have high hopes that they will provide a tough, salt-resistant ground cover to fill in around 3 newly added Miscanthus sinensis "Strictus". I am quite taken with the concept of groundcovers, anyway. Another big fan of Kirengeshoma, too. I do rather well with it here; it seems to like rich, moist soil to the acid side. Mine get a fair amount of shade, but the one that does the best gets good morning sun. The flowers are interesting, rather "waxy" and don't open fully, but the leaves are the real show. Nice plant, but I've read it can frustrate.

Martie, keep your sorryass on the chaise. The vet. warned us that the time when Rex was feeling better was precisely the most dangerous point in his recovery... the time when it was easiest to "over do" and aggravate an area not fully healed. Take good care of yourself; there will be plenty of time for gardening and "grunting". OK? I have a Clethra, "Ruby Spice", too. Mine is about 4' and is not very well sited, but it does smell delicious! I would like to relocate it to the moist site along the road, but there is much work to do on the site before any of that can happen. I think this is going to go down in history as yet another "lost year" in the gardens.

I heard the news from Wrigley Field and instantly thought of V.. We've been stuck in dreadfully repetitive cycle of humid, clammy days, peeks of sunshine that fire up severe thunderstorms, and rain, rain, rain. In the first few days of August, my boss recorded nearly 5" of rain. Thank goodness for alert security people herding shoppers to safer areas of the "maul". You've certainly had your share of it, too, with regard to weather.

The new gutters are on the house! we can actually put the canopy up over the deck now (says Chelone with a snort of contempt). I completely understand the frustration with the glacial pace of home repair and the lack of understanding so many contractors have with respect to plants and plantings. Hang in there, they will finish, eventually.

Sounds as though Skyler has been having a wonderful time (you too!). Reading of Kenzie's camping adventure and Skyler's Big Adventure conjures fond memories of weeks spent with Aunt Lois and Uncle Dick at their home and at their cottage on the lake. Those times will remain with me always, just as they will with Skyer and Kenzie; years hence, you will be amazed by the minute details they will recall that you won't remember at all. So special.

Think Sue has her bikini on and is settling into her lawn chair by now?

As usual, Deanne's containers awe, and the stands of lilies are sumptuous. I have some pretty good lookin' lilies, too, but the rains have really taken a toll... seems they've managed to wash all the fragrance away.

That's all for now

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:11AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well the sun is out this AM and its a pleasant 66 degrees. This is like September weather, well except for the daily tropical thunderstorms. PM, yes indeed we got slammed with another half inch or so of rain in a half hour. Thank heavens we didnt get any hail or wind with it. When it started the rain drops were so enormous I thought they were quarter sized hail stones. Ive never seen rain drops that big before. Of course it poked holes in the Rex Begonias and knocked half the flowers off the fuchsias.. Im getting just a bit tired of daily deluges even though Ive not had to water the lawns and gardens in forever. The big brug and banana pots were actually dry yesterday afternoon so they still need watering regardless. I also gave all the front gardens and pots a liquid feed as things are looking like they need a snack. I do think the constant rainfall is washing any fertilizer out of the soil.

PM I seriously recommend growing a couple varieties of fuchsia. They are so generous with their flowers and arent as fussy as people think. The variety called Beacon is an upright and really smothers itself with flowers. It can take full sun and in fact will bloom better given a lot of light. You should consider coming up for a visit for cuttings, especially in the fall when I shear them back. I throw away bucket loads of plant material. They root quite easily and by next spring youll have a decent sized plant.

Here is a photo of my Beacon bush. Its the plant in the left foreground. This is about three feet tall and wide at the moment and will be even larger by the end of the season.

Yes, Lake Street is starting their sales with a table full of glazed pots. Id already decided on picking up a couple cement plinths (unfortunately not on sale) so didnt have too much energy left for picking over the table full of heavy pots. I did come home with four very nice ones and none of them were over $15.00. The best buy was a lovely cobalt blue pot that originally was $44.00 that I paid $11.00. I also found a Tithonia rotundifolia and a Cordyline Chocolate Queen. They had a specimen of the Chocolate Queen in the conservatory at NYBG that knocked my socks off and Id decided that I absolutely HAD to have one so I was over the moon at that discovery.

PM Love the hibiscus and butterfly!

Chelone, so great to hear from you! Enjoy your vacation!

Kathy great shot of the Plectranthus. I love that variety. I had it in my big hanger last year but couldnt find it this spring so I dont have it anywhere. I thought it too large to try to winter over and then couldnt find it.

OK the gardens are calling for some serious WALATING and I have to set some of the containers back up on their stands. I ran around last evening when we got the severe storm warning. They were predicting 60MPH winds with that cell that came through and of course because I moved all that stuff around we didnt get a bit of wind. Go figure?

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Before we leave I just hoped to post a few pictures of Phoebe and Skyler at "summer camp".

Phoebe's trick:

And then Skyler and DH playing "If I had a Hammer" with hammer and bell props:

Then Woody's garden:

She has some great veronicastrum, ghost ferns and more! Even a wisteria bloom.

More when I get a chance. It may be a week or so though. Hope you all have great holidays and summer activities!
'bug & Skyler

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Just a vague recollection, but I believe Chelone is working her tail off so that she can have a nice vacation....I will see her this weekend since we're going to Marblehead to visit more Open Days gardens....this time by the la la....and guess who is coming along? SunnyD!

Sue, have a great time at your vacation spot! You'll have lots of things to explore on your vacation walking routes.

PM, I love your butterfly bush....I killed a couple and then gave up. I think winterkill was the culprit.

I can't wait to see Pheobles visiting Misty! Did she like the dog cookies right away? We're hoping to bake a couple of batch for Zeus when the weather cools down.

Sarah seems much better. I'm glad because camp starts tomorrow and I was starting to worry. Yesterday I saw a real perking up in her spirit....she started fighting with her brother, LOL! She also wanted to play outside.

She's excited about her first trip to sleep over camp. Jake has told her everything she needs to know :) This year he is a "ranger" which means he'll help out with the younger campers.

This post was interrupted with a walk...SunnyD and Small Dog came by. It looks like a nice day is shaping up. Hopefully the lawn will dry enough to mow before it rains again.

I'd better get some breakfast in me.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:19AM
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Waaah, I want to go to Marblehead with Saucy, Chelone and Sunny D!Going to the grocery store instead.Hmmmph.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 11:54AM
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I'm indulging this Sat. morning with the overhead oscillating sprinkler, pretending it's rain. What a lovely sound, especially on the big tropical leaves. Deanne, I hear you on watering the brugs even with all the rain you're having. I don't dare keep those thirsty brutes in pots, and they get way too big in the ground. And I bet my colocasias, etc. are a lot smaller than lots of idyllers since I barely feed the pots. I did mix up a witches' brew of alfalfa and organic fert in a large Sparkletts bottle and have been watering with a diluted solution of it. Effective and stinky! I'm not going for huge, since it just means getting ahold of bigger pots, lol. By August keeping up with the watering seems impossible. The trees seem to grab the lion's share. Summer just isn't the big bash, crescendo of the garden year here, which is part and parcel of zone 10, at least perennial-wise. Color and bloom is all around ,with the bougainvilleas, agapanthus, plumbago, lantana, passiflora, etc etc, but in my little garden I've been opting more and more for year-round shrubby stuff like coprosmas and small pittosporums, the grasses and succulents, but I do see local gardens that change over with seasonal annuals, which Kathy does quite a bit of, with snaps and pansies. From approx 30 roses, I now grow two. Dahlias I grow now in containers (two!) so there's not big gaps left the rest of the year in their place and it's better use of water to keep their pot moist rather than growing them in the garden. That's always been the challenge for me, how much ephemeral stuff to grow for summer yet not have big gaps the rest of the year as the summer stuff lays dormant. That ratio of dormant-to-evergreen changes all the time, and I think I'm getting pulled more in the direction of perennials again, with echinaceas, agastache, gaillardias, like yo-yo dieting Water, of course, is a huge factor too. 15 inches is our normal annual rainfall here. I bet New England got that last week! Guess I should've titled that paragraph "Hard Choices in Zone 10." Every zone's got its issues, right? Which is why I so enjoy the accounts of all the various idyllers' gardens.

Sue, I'll mail off the crocosmia after the 15th, right? And Martie, I need your address. Eden, I haven't forgotten your agave, just getting them a bit stronger for shipping. Let me know your preference for a shipping date. My email is botanizeme at gmail. I had to get on the GW through Explorer the other day rather than my usual Firefox. It was like wandering into a cheap carnival, with all manner of mad stuff popping up. Firefox blocks way more garbage than Explorer.

That finial is grand. Is the fountain antique, Deanne? What beautiful lines it has. I've got the plec. argentea growing in ground under the smoke tree, where it looked grand all summer but is now starting to wilt in the droughty conditions.

Now I'm confused..who's Nurse Ratchett, Chelone or Babs? lol, better heed Chelone's advice, Martie, re convalescence. Did you finish or abandon the Dylan book, and what'd you grab from the book store? The recent documentary on Dylan is amazing, great for supine viewing, hint, hint...

Marty came home from night shift and made us chorizo for breakfast. Ein went to the groomer's yesterday, and our wiseacre groomer asked if we wanted to finish the mohawk on him -- he's been chewing his hide a bit the past few weeks and has some bald patches. The little highlander hates the heat. The mourning doves started another nest under the eaves, but I found it dashed to the ground this morning.

Marian, I do like the camping adventures you're providing the kitties, and your plants seem to be flourishing with all the rain. Woody, your gardens look lovely! (thanks, 'bug!) Just like the Von Trapp family, bug's DH always seems to have a guitar at the ready!

Kathy, I laughed at your childhood remembrance of your buddy's mom muttering against Roosevelt. Plenty of folks didn't think he was the "Star of Yalta," lol. So much of what we hear as kids reverberates and takes on meaning years down the road. Nobody mentioned the Exorcist re the Great Pea Adventure with Aiden, so I won't either...

I've got a brick-laying project to attend to but am reluctant to start in the heat. Seize the available Sat. morning or wait for cooler weather? The temps are close to 90, not bad, but the sun feels so intense.

Thank goodness Sarah is better in time for camp! Wave to all.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 1:12PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I don't have much going on among the in ground plantings. The biggest show is the Surprise lilies. I have them in 6-7 differant locations. Here is the best group :

They are east of the house, beneath the young Fringe tree.
The main other 'in ground' blooms are the Echinacea by the island pots:

I like the yellow coleus in the pot next to the Purple Perilla and Cleome pot.

Here is one of the latest of the deck "

I wish I had moved that plastic bucket before taking the pic. It has some seedling Cleomes in it that I need to put in larger containers. :-)

I rearranged things at the end of the deck where the new plumbing took place:

I didn't know Tommy was monitoring my activities until I uploaded the pic. :-) Can you see him on the deck?
The huge Elephant's Ear is in all new potting soil. Most of it is Miracle Grow. It is blocking my view out of the sliding door, toward the little red barn, but it will only be for a couple of more I can live with it. :-)

And last is a bird's eye view of the planting in the Radio Garden Cart :

I pinched back the plec. and it looks better, espacially from this angle. :-)

I eventually plan on arranging flat rocks around the end of the deck area where the hydrant and shut-off is.

In with my combos I have a lot of rooted cuttings from last year's Coleus and Iresine. The Iresine and a lot of the coleus are from those that Deanne sent me a couple of years ago. I also have several starts from the Fishnet Coleus that I carried over from last year. They are doing much better than the mother plant.

I hope all are having a great Saturday!


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 2:36PM
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I got them home! They're not nearly as big as I remember, LOL, and I think I have to bring the scale of my planned trellis down a bit, but hey, they're here!

Nick haggled and got a great deal. He kept pointing out discrepancies until I started noticing that only 2 of the four belong together! Still, they're all very beautiful and ready for their new home. Nick and Jake placed them in the shade garden and I was surprised at how much better they looked without a pile of junk behind them!

This time I met the wife who suddenly wanted to part with some smaller urns on pedestals....her husband had said no the last time I was there. I'm gonna have to get a part time job to support this habit :)

I can't wait to take a picture and show you all....just trying to get campers ready first since I won't be here for their departure tomorrow.

I hope you can feel how tickled I am right now....I know you've all been there.

Later with photos....


PS, Marian, I love your magic lilies! Are those the ones that shoot out of the ground with only a bloom, no leaves? Your place looks really lush :) Denise, are you putting in another path with bricks, or what....please elaborate :) Kathy, you know you can hop on a red eye and be here in time :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 4:08PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Saucy, I am so happy for you ! I can imagine your excitement. :-)
The lilies aren't true lilies, they are of the Amaryllis family...These are Lycoris squamigera. They have many common names...Resurrection lily, Surprise lily, naked ladies, autumn amaryllis. They are so easy to grow, and multiply readily, so 'everyone' has them around this part of the country. Yes, the leaves come up , then they die down completely. The flower stalks suddenly appear when you are not expecting them. Mine that are in some locations are almost through flowering. Others are just starting. A dear elderly friend gave me the start of them about 15 years ago.

We are having a light shower now, and thunder in the distance. I hope we get a good rain, but no wind. Strange that this weather is so widespread.

Chelone, I have been concerned about you. I have been seeing that parts of Maine had flooding. From what you have posted, I take it that it is not close to you.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 5:04PM
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I spent a not completely satisfying Saturday picking up (hauling and dumping) 4 big loads of weeds. I picked up a full load of broken roots, branches, recently cut saplings, too. And it doesn't really look all that different to me, wonder what the helpmeet will say?

Rex spent the day in the center of the driveway circle, lounging in the shade of the maple tree with his bowl of water. "Guarding Mummy". The cats cruised by periodically to check on progress and did some rolling in the driveway.

I want to see the statuary, too! lol about them looking better without a junk backdrop. :)

I instantly noticed Tommy hangin' out on the deck, Marian. He looks pretty content, a nice looking "chaperone". Those Surprise lilies are wonderful, do they smell good, too?

Lol, about Roosevelt and comments that we remember. There were plenty in a similar vein in my family, too.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 5:23PM
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Wow, it's quiet here :)

Sarah and Jake are beside themselves about camp! Jake's found in years past that Connect Four tournaments are the way to make friends with everyone in the cabin. They both have a game packed. Music has been downloaded and burned to CD's as at night, this camp apparently "rocks"...LOL...I wish I was going to camp now :)

No great photographic shots, but here's my favorite "goddess":

What suggestions do you all have for bases? I guess I could purchase, but I'm thinking of something I can make for now....concrete? brick? I don't like the idea of them sitting on the ground.

These ladies need a better garden to gaze upon....that's my intent for my week with no kids :)

I wonder how Mary's bath is coming? Mary, please let us know how it's going....

I've got a garden walk to get ready for....


    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 8:50PM
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Late Saturday afternoons are just the best arent they? I have my glass of cheap-o Raymond Hill Chardonnay, the Olympics are on in the background with no sound, stereo cranked up a bit . Almost time to switch over to baseball.
I bought many Lantanas today to replace pansies in containers that are over the hill (remarkable that they lasted this long with the heat weve had this summer) and also replaced some ratty looking Tapien Verbena in the hell strip out front. This morning was overcast and so I went out and took some photos and I walked through the garden, and have put together a slideshow for yall, liked below. Hope it works! It was fun (once I figured out what I was doing !)

Deanne, so glad you got some more pots- Im sure you were dangerously close to running out, lol! Ive been looking for Tithonia ever since I came back from IU5, after seeing the great specimens at Stonecrop. No luck, and I fear its too late for this year.

Denise, I was interested to see how many of the gardens we visited at IU5 were using oscillating sprinklers on pedestals of some sort for their irrigation. I use those weepy soaker hoses, but an occasional overhead would be nice, especially in our rain challenged climate. Maybe you should concentrate on drought tolerant perennials for your color splash-do you do much with Penstemon ? And you mentioned Gallardias, what fabu cultivars have been introduced in the last few years . I hope to have room for many in my next abode. We are in a similar situation , even though you get 15 and I get 35- neither of us get a drop beween June-ish and Oct or Nov.

Marian, your Elephant Ears is spectacular ! Im jealous ! What a nice display you have on your deck. Id be out there about ten times a day checking things out..

Saucy, will you put your ladies on risers to make them more statuesque" ? Cant wait for their photo-ops . Red-eyes I do not do ! Ill be halfway there next weekend when I go to Chicago ! Too bad I cant just hop over for a visit.

Chelone, about time you checked in ! Gutters are a plus, especially considering the apparently continual rain youve been dealing with.

Ok, time to hit the final WALAT and baseball is IP.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:23PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well, goodness, it didnt rain yesterday, I cant imagine! LOL We had a Fortnam family party up at Dougs sisters house in Pembroke, NH and a good time was had by all. I spent some time in the morning before we left rearranging some of the large containers on the driveway. Theyd gotten so large that all the pots were kind of melding together and I wanted a couple of them to really shine on their own. Anyway, they now have more space and are looking happy. That blue pot with the hibiscus, acalypha, canna, etc. is looking particularly neat. I did stake a couple of the hibiscus stems in there to tighten the look of things up. The large arrangement with the Abutilon Souvenir de Bonne is finally starting to put on some nice growth. I think the excessive rain just leached all the fertilizer out of the soil and it was sulking a bit until I gave it some extra food. Most of the tuberous and Rex begonias are looking pretty sad at the moment and Im afraid that there will be no great improvement before the end of the season. Ive got to look into some better draining pots and potting soil for them as they really hate being wet. Short of putting an umbrella over them there was no helping that situation this year.

Most of the lilies, except for some of the Casa Blanca are about done for the year so the gardens are looking less colorful than they did a couple weeks ago. Its always a bit sad when you know the major flush of color is over for the year. Im now planning on some re-dos in some of the beds. Some plants like my Wood Aster just dont earn their real estate. I got Doug to agree on my expanding the width of the container border by two to three feet! Woohoo. I also want to make another corner border in the front by the driveway and the front walk. Ill echo the shape of the mailbox garden on the opposite side. I dont know if Ill keep it mulched for containers or plant some shrubs in it Ill see. So many plans! Isnt it just too much fun sometimes?

So Kathy, I LOVED my morning walk with you. That dahlia Moon River is going on my must have list. What a beauty. I love those types with the dark foliage. Ive got Bishop of Cantebury in again this year but its taking its own sweet time about getting any flowers this year. Your zinnias look wonderful and of course your roses too. That Brass Band is marvelous. How long have you had your Abutilon Savitzii? Ive had mine for three summers now and its finally getting some decent size to it. ~~~ So was that a wee bit of sarcasm I detected concerning those cheap pots I just scored??? ROTFLOL

Saucy, your statues are simply beautiful! Love them and they do look lovely in their new setting. Depending on how formal a look you want you could get either a good square rock or a cement plinth. Actually, when I was at Lake St. Gardens the other day, I noticed that they had a lovely cement footing that was only about three inches high with a simple egg and dart kind of edging on it that would be perfect. I only saw one though. If you just wanted to get them off the ground you could just get one of those cement patio squares from HD. I use them for footings for my containers.

Denise, your zone 10 musings were an interesting read for me. The issues you contend with are all so different. ~~ So glad you like the fountain! No it isnt an antique but like you I really liked the lines of it. It was just lingering in a back spot in a local garden center because the statue on top had been broken. I noticed it was there over a couple years so I asked for a discount and got it for half price. Doug and I had been looking for a year for a fountain for that spot and this is exactly the right size and look for what we wanted. Eventually we want to put in a nice decorative, circular area of pavers, probably about eight to ten feet in diameter but that is a project for another year.

OK Im off to get some watering and feeding done. The plants in the back gardens need a little liquid freed boost. Then I might just get my edger out and start expanding the container area. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 6:58AM
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Oh Kathy, that was fun! I was able to really get a feel for the layout! Everything is so beautiful, and really reminds me of New England, LOL....

I've gotta run but I wanted to ask what the plant on the potting bench is (to the right as you look at it)...some sort of orchid? I have a cutting that is growing gangbusters, but I forgot what it was!

Deanne, I'll bet I can cast my own pedestals! I'm going to research doing that, as it'd be a great fall/winter project.

Okay, really gotta go....


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Could you make something out of 'tufa, Saucy? Reinforced with wire and with some sort of repeating classical motif around it to be nicely accented with moss over time? How tall are your "belles de saisons"? They're beautiful.

No kidding about the gutters, Kathy! Some of the furrows created by the rain plummetting off the drip edge of the roof are nearly 4" deep. There are jagged, torn areas in the leaves of the Hostas, too (the ones the slugs haven't chewed). It's been a great year for slugs and snails.

The arborist and his brother stopped in yesterday morning to scope out a particularly challenging red maple branch that has to be removed. It's a large branch and it's dangling over the roof of BIL's garage, not unlike the sword of Damocles. I also directed his attention to an elderly maple located in the "woods" between our house and our neighbors. It's been committing suicide for the past couple of years, dropping limbs and looking crummier and crummier. I think both will be "winter work", waiting until the ground is frozen is going to minimize the damage when the big limbs come down. Just what we need, more firewood to split!

We have been picking away at the firewood for some time now. Some of the rounds in contact with the ground are beginning to show signs of rot on the very outsides, so time is of the essence. We calculate we will have enough wood for 2-3 yrs.. Longer when the big maple comes down and the big branch is removed.

That's a great slideshow, Kathy. I am amazed by your roses. You clearly have the touch, the climate, and the "knack". Everything looks so orderly and neat. Is that really "you" or is that a real estate market illusion. Ted looked to be having a good time escorting you about the territory. ;) You could come here next week if you like; there are guest sleeping quarters.

I am regretting not mowing the lawn yesterday, you guys. The weather pattern for the coming week is just a repeat of the past two. Several parts of the lawns are like walking on a sodden sponge. There has been some pretty heavy duty flooding inland from us, Marian. Roads have been washed out and many cellars have been flooded. In more mountainous areas the sodden ground has begun to give way and there have been mudslides on rte. 112 in NH and in more rugged valleys.

I have my camera battery recharging and my only clean bra is drying in the "dryer" (boiler room), I forgot to put it in there last night. I am looking forward to some laughs with the amies amusantes, hoping the fog burns off by late morning.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 7:21AM
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Rich: "Mart, Where are you??"
Me: "At Kathy's in Napa!!"
Rich: "When are you coming back??"

I'm never posting pics of my gardens again, if this is what Kathy feels is "bare dirt". LOL

A rainless day yesterday but nothing is close to drying out. I started to feel guilty about my complaints re: precipitation, until I saw our local river churning away with a sign up that said: Dangerous Water. Do Not Swim Today. So it's not my imagination! The only people who seem to be glad about our weather of late are water damage companies.

I think GB's DH and I grew up with the same songbook :-)

Not much to report from Cornfield Park. I am trying to relax but going into Week 5 it's hard. Finished Dylan, moved to a Jane Greene trashy novel 'cause it's summer, and will be starting a 1947 biography of Abigail Adams today. Was sorely disappointed with the gardening books in the bargain bin but did get to talk to a "new" gardener who was looking for combos.

Had some fun with her and told her that one of the most experienced amateur gardening groups in the country based a lot on Kenzie combos of yellow and purple. Also told her that this same group learned through experimentation and that inevitably, plants were on wheels throughout the growing season. She listened politely and thought I was gonzo, until an older woman came up in back of me and said "if you're gonna garden, get with the mindset!!" LOL

Deanne -- Your book idea is stellar! There are so many different styles and favorites and "levels" of maturity in our gardens. We may not know it all, but we know a lot!

Please don't get me started on herbs in gardens. We could have several threads before I'd say everything I'd like to say about their beauty, usefulness both ornamentally and practically, and their ability to scent a space like no other plants on earth. A current debate amongst herbies is if Apothecary Rose is an herb or a rose. See what I mean? LOL

Okay, enough blather from this corner of the continent. Out to pick myriad squash and deliver them to my mom who will deliver them to folks who don't get fresh veggies very often. A good way to spend the day. :-)


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So, evidently Chelone, the IU5 group is all in the clear. [g] Nice to cya. :-) Congrats on the gutters. You must be happy to be done with that. So will you wait to put the canopy up until next year now? [g] Thanks for the input on Arctostaphylos. Sounds like a nice combo with the Miscanthus. I also enjoy groundcovers as long as they behave themselves. I had Vinca, that tried to take over a whole area of the yard in one area, but was perfect for another. If the Arcto works in my container over the winter, I have a few places I would like to try some. I was going to look for Gaultheria too which has nice large red berries, but not as easy to find. I love Ajugas, but I will be very careful where I try those, since I don't want them in my lawn.

Deanne....yesterday was a great weather day here too. Just about perfect most of the day. Cool last night. Definitely the most rainy/cloudy summer I can remember in a long time. Good thing I have a lot of shade plants and not so many sun lovers.

I have tried fuchsia once or twice and haven't really put any effort into them and they didn't perform for me. But if they will do well in part sun/shade, I have lots of that and would enjoy giving it another try. I can think of nothing better than coming for a visit to see your garden and save a few cuttings from the compost pile. Thanks for the offer, Deanne.

I keep meaning to ask, our son has started getting interested in growing cactus and succulents and he hasn't enough natural light. I was thinking of trying to get him a light set up for Christmas this year. Anyone have a suggestion of what to get? Some of the commercial light setups are pretty expensive these days, but he wants to grow them in his bedroom and not the basement, so a plain old $40. flourescent to hang, doesn't seem like the right idea. Would love ideas.

I was going to grow Tithonia from seed this year and I never got around to it. I would have enjoyed seeing it growing, did anyone get a photo of it at IU5?

Gardenbug and Woody....I loved seeing the photos of Skyler and all of you at Woody's and what great shots of her garden you posted. I LOVE her Hardy Hibiscus and Woody...I would love to know is that Kopper King? The foliage doesn't look bronze, but the flower looks like it. I just bought a Plum Crazy and I am waiting anxiously for a bud to open. Your hibiscus looks so bushy. Mine has four tall straight stems and I am thinking maybe next year, I will tip prune them in hopes of getting more of a shrub effect. Gorgeous it already fragrant?

Saucy...sorry to hear you lost your Butterfly Bush. Zone 5 would be a challenge for it would it not? Although with global warming, I would keep trying them and mulch heavily and see if that helps. They are pretty easy to root a cutting and grow so fast, worth a shot. Glad to hear Sarah is better and I am with you, wish I was going off to camp too. I hope she enjoys it. I went twice when I was growing up and was horribly homesick both times, but after the first week, I really loved it.

I can't believe has been sunny most of the day and I just looked out the window and it is pouring Here comes the thunder too!

Have to go check the windows....I'll be back.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 3:07PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Arrrrggggghhhhh!!!!! HAIL!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 3:56PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh Deanne! That is awful! Brother..!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 4:36PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well its still raining so Ive not run around to see if there was any damage from the dime sized hail that was raining down upon us. Id just noticed this morning that my Begonia Escargot was starting to look good again but Ill bet those nice new leaves are now full of holes. Jeesh. As Sue has said in the past, "Whats next, locusts?"

Doug was halfway through mowing the front lawn and decided to beat a hasty retreat when he was pelted by a couple especially large hail stones. Of course now its too wet to finish mowing the lawn and hes going to be going to Rochester so Ill have a half mowed lawn all week. I know, I know Im whining. Maybe I need to do one of my infrequent spins about the lawn with the lawn mower?

PM glad you are willing to try fuchsia again. Sometimes you need to try the right variety. The Beacon uprights I grow are almost foolproof. The only thing that is sure to kill them is over watering. ~~ Here is a photo from the NYBG of their gorgeous Tithonia. This specimen was enormous and perfect next to that Vitex. This was one of my favorite combinations from our whole IU5 trip.

Martie, ROTFLOL! I didnt know Rich was a comic. When are you coming back?" Love it! ~~ Glad you like the book idea. There is so much material from all the Idyll gardens it would be fantastic and weve got from zone 10 through 4 covered so lots of info there to pull from.

Saucy, way cool! If you can cast pedestals for your statues I need to come and take lessons as I really can use more pedestals for the containers.

Oh jeesh, round deux with the T-storms. Its getting pretty active out there again so I guess Ill sign off for now.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 4:37PM
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Break timeDug up or cut down all my Lysimachia vulgaris, which used to be variegated , but is now mostly green and has a decided erectile dysfunction. Needless to say , I now have more bare ground( shall I take a photo for Martie ?) and will have to put some thought into tallish annuals that will bridge the winter and wont cost me a fortune in the event I actually sell this place.

Deanne, that Moon River Dahlia I think came from Dans Dahlias in Washington . That darn Abuliton Savitzii drives me crazy ! It grows at an absolute snails pace. Ive had mine about three years too, and its puny as h*ll. I just love the foliage so I put up with it. Im feeding it diligently this year . Itll probably put on a growth spurt about early Nov just before a killing frost, lol. Glad you enjoyed the walk

Saucy the plant in the clay pot is an Epiphyllum aka Orchid Cactus . There are actually two there. Pic below.

Ok, more later , I have to move around the hose again..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 4:55PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM2 - The pink hardy hibiscus was labelled as a Disco Belle one. It was the first one I planted about 7 years ago. It's fabulous - densely bushy with no pinching and produces tons of flowers. The flowers are not as large a some types but still very showy. The leaves are a bit unusual compared to others I have - they are much coarser. I've started new plants from its seeds several times. About half come out like it and the rest are an intense solid pink, have much larger flowers, have smoother, greener leaves and don't have the bushy habit. I have are a white Luna one with a red eye that I'm not too keen on; last year I planted two Pinot Noir dark red ones that I thought didn't come back but I see a couple of stems on both of them now; I planted a Lord Baltimore a couple of weeks ago and two Luna Red ones. I don't think any of them will turn out to have as nice a growth habit as the pink one. If you'd like to try growing it from seed, I'll try to remember to save some this fall and send them to you; let me know if you want them. (My e-mail link from here doesn't work but you can get it from a few people here. I'm not sure whose e-mail addresses you might have but I think you have Marian's and she has mine...)

Deanne - oh no! More hail! We had one burst the other day but I don't think it did a lot of damage here.

Kathy - I greatly enjoyed the walk in your garden too. It's very pretty so I'll ignore all future comments of a negative tone that you make about it :-)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 6:49PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening.. :-)

Back from a walk at the Pond. Once it stopped raining for awhile, we managed to fit in a brief trip but didn't go far. We did run into two swan parents with four signet adolescents. Nice to get out and see the horizon and the wildlife. Pics on separate thread.

Deanne...that is funny about the half mowed lawn, but I bet you will have it mowed at the first dry moment, whenever that will be. That photo is a nice grouping from NYBG. I do like orange and blue together and the addition of the large flowers of the Hydrangea is a nice fit. I like the Tithonia, it looks better there than seed packet photos I have seen. I was going to try to grow it next to the Butterfly Bush, so I am thinking maybe the Vitex is a little taller from the looks of the size to the bench. The Tithonia might be the same height as the BBush. I heard it attracts hummers. where did I leave off...

Saucy was just saying she was headed to Marblehead with Chelone and SunnyD. Looking for photos....and I wonder what new plans Saucy will have after seeing more gardens today. :-) LOVE your statues Saucy! That is going to be some great project and Kudos to your DH for negotiating the price down. if you are routinely short on water, which plants do you have that tolerate the dry conditions the best? Are your agaves drought tolerant? Also wondering if California natives do better at that than other plants? I was thinking about your changeover to more shrubs, grasses and succulents and I love that look. I also am surprised at times to see a landscape that has a beautiful texture of different shapes and greens and just a little bit of color splashed in and the surprise is that I can really enjoy that too. I have a neighbor who has an immaculate property, out there sweeping every minute, never a weed in sight. Line of hostas down the front walk on both sides and green green lawn, perfectly mowed. The back has a round concrete patio and a small assortment of shrubs and trees and just two large pots of red geraniums all summer on the patio. It looks really nice and restful. It doesn't always take a lot of color, especially with such a great backdrop of grasses and succulents and the like. I am also just about ready to pull the plug on my 'rose experiment'. I tried three different roses, that were supposed to be disease resistant and they look awful this year except for about a three week period. I could have done more for them. Fertilized them more, or something, but I gave them all the care and attention I thought I was willing to do and if that wasn't enough, then I am ready to move on. I will have to love Kathy's roses from The only Dahlias I have grown were in pots. I thought it was a great way to grow them. The dwarfs I had from Brent & Becky's last year were really nice. I wished I had gotten a bolder color, but on the whole, I would do that every year, it really worked out.

Marian...that line up of plants on your deck is very colorful! Nice shot. That is a lot of containers to take care of. What are the redish foliage plants? Your elephant ears from that angle is even more What is that huge container you have it planted in? It looks like the beginning of Jack's I can see Tommy in your photo. I bet he likes the deck, feels like he is in a jungle. :-) what are your kids burning to their CDs now?

Kathy! What a great slideshow! Lots of nice plant combos there! I think I have a Rozanne geranium and it doesn't look that I would not have thought to put red zinnias with it but they really look nice together. My Rozanne always flops around, in low light. Love your Brass Band Rose. That looks better than some catalog photos I've seen. Large flowers and one of my favorite colors. What is the small blue flowers behind the Brass Band? That Finial next to the bench by your door and the dragonfly on the gate is a nice surprise. I love those little touches. Do I see an Escargo Rex in there among your begonias? I saw a gorgeous container in the Mar/Apr 2008 issue of Fine Gardening of a huge gorgeous Rex, called 'Fireworks' that was a knock out. That is on my list for next year. I was almost going to pick up one of those Abutilon the other day, but I didn't want to take care of it all winter. [g] Is that an Annabelle Hydrangea under your JMaple? Like the pot next to it...they look good together. Some nice looking citrus too, I always regret not having enough sun for those. Love the smell when they flower. What a nice looking workbench. Did someone make it for you? and Rich could pass for Abbott and Costello maybe? [g] That was a very funny interchange...that Rich, didn't even miss a Abigail Adams was featured in that HBO special not long ago about her husband...what was his name again? [g] She seemed like a very interesting person.

Kathy...that is one amazing bloom on your orchid cactus! I really like that one! Is that something that would grow here in NE, do you think? I was thinking of giving one to my son who is getting into cactus, but it would have to survive indoors most of the winter. that is a Disco Belle!? Wow, that is one of the prettiest I have seen. I would love to trade seed with you. I hope to have seeds from my Plum Crazy this year, if it will ever bloom. I really like the Hibiscus this time of year and the bushy one is quite nice. Of course, I can't place anything in my garden half as well as you do yours...[g]...but one of these days.

So wonder what the vacationers are all up to? I imagine G'bug is at her daughter's at this point. I bet Skyler didn't want to go home. :-)

Well, will take a few minutes to post the Pond Pics and then I'm signing off. Hope everyone had a great weekend!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, if you mean the tallest reddish plant on the right, it is an angel leaf begonia. I don't know why it looks that red. Actually it is only red on the back side of the leaves. Other red ones are Impatiens Sedonia, Iresine, and Caladiums.The dark red in the lower right foreground is the backside of a beafsteak begonia's leaves. I have a hard time getting the light right so that the plants look 'normal'. That was right after a rain.
The tub the elephants ear is in is one that Nolon had. I think it may have had cattle feed in it ? It had holes in the bottom, I think the former owner had used it for target practice !

I had Hibiscus Disco Belle and Southern Belle that I started from seed. I have a few left, but most have died out. I had one similar to Woody's light pink one. The ones that remain are attractive to the deer. :-(

Kathy, your Orchid Cactus bloom is lighter pink than mine. Aren't they beautiful !

Saucy, I agree with your choice of the 'goddesses'.

Chelone, I am glad the nastiest weather has not got to your place.

We had several inches of rain yesterday and last night. Since it had dried out a lot, there was no road damage, but it is highly unusual for this time of year to have so much. There is more in the long range forecast. Also, the temps are really low. It was down to 60 the past two nights, and not above 70 today. I was actually a little chilly today. Weird !


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:52PM
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Doing our best here to prop up the economy, we now have two, brand-new, shiny blue bikes, a hybrid between a mountain bike and a cruiser. First new bike I ever owned! The seat feels divine. Marty brought them home while I was out museum crawling/lunching with my mom. Her Sunday morning ritual phone conversations with her Massachusetts siblings brought wails of complaints about their weather, the storms, the rains, the hail, the soggy gardens, the mud, the blood & the beer -- wait, that last bit's happening at Kathy's house ;) (Is there a fridge under that potting bench? lol) Which brings me to your garden tour, simply divine. So much fun to see it with your captions. I love that urn where the fountain used to stand! I didn't mean to sound mournful about my garden, and Deanne's term "musing" was pretty accurate. My eyes will always be bigger than my garden ;) I really love the plants Michelle & Woody grow, the veronicastrum, Deanne's actaeas, Chelone's kirengeshoma and ferns and of course 'bug and Cindy's clems, the epimediums, the woodies Martie, Sue, Eden, Marian, Monique & Cynthia grow. But I'm pretty excited with the direction my little garden is going, modest as it is. Funny you mentioned penstemons, Kathy, which I'm just now starting to grow again, since I've grown so many and for so long the little caterpillars that blast the buds became entrenched here.

Which reminds me, Deanne, I don't recall photos of the actaeas this year or your Arabella clem. Done in by hail? Say it isn't so...

Saucy, until you find the bases, I'm sure idyllers can perform a tableaux vivant in their stead in the SGOG. Might be a fun idea for night time soiree. Toga party at Saucy's!

Martie, for a great biography, Judith Thurman's bio of Isak Dinesen is unbeatable. You kinda remind me of her with your Cornfield Park and Dinesen with her coffee plantatation in Africa, and both of you in the indomitable department...("I had a fahm/pahk..." Meryl Streep's opening lines in the movie Out of Africa)

Mitch talked me into going "downtown" to see him work last night. I had just worked downtown Friday so was not very keen on going on Sat. night, but as usual, making the effort turns out so worthwhile. He's been doing event photography "reportage" every weekend on a free summer outdoor concert series Grand Performances Last night was a chamber orchestra and then the second half was Cuban pianist Chuchito Valdez, who was amazing. The audience was really there to see Valdez. Beautiful night for it, balmy but not too warm. Standing room only, I stood the entire two hours but it was fun to see Mitch dressed in black crawling up and down the amphitheater like a thief to get photos. Barely made the last train home.

Nice to "read" you this morning, Chelone. PM, the agaves are very drought tolerant, and most everything I've planted in the ground is drought tolerant, tho some of the salvias want regular water. Summer stuff in pots gets daily watering. There's some lovely CA natives, many of which are summer dormant, since that's the rainfall pattern. The subject is vast and there's many different approaches one can take. Beth Chatto in England has designed a gravel garden sustained on approx 30 inches of annual rainfall and no supplemental water, and she's a good resource on this subject. I'm with you on the jewel tones flwrs add, and a little can go a long way. But a show garden that pulls out all the stops is great too! Roses are glorious in So. Calif but drove me insane when out of bloom. Just a quirk of mine, I guess, since they are widely planted here. I'm much more calm without them ;)

Marian, your photos are a treat. What a beautiful deck from which to enjoy your slice of heaven. Wave to all, slouching deeper into the dog days...

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:57PM
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It has been a busy weekend here. I had my garden party on Saturday and it was a fun time. Saturday night we went to the Lakes for Ricks little granddaughters 1st birthday party. Today we went to the city to pick up a few items. We were happy to have .4" more of rain. When you are in the growing business you are always looking for rain in July and August. Gardens can be watered but around here irrigation is only from the clouds.

My hibiscus Disco Belle white with a dark pink eye is just started and Plum Crazy which was new last year is ready to start. I grew several of the Disco Belle seedlings last year but only one returned, but vigorously. I gave it to my mom and she was thrilled. PM2, yours is so pretty what is the variety?

Denise, its interesting to hear the gardening challenges you have there, you put my mind at ease to know that zone 4 isnt the only place gardeners struggle. I would love to explore your "little" garden. It appears to me to be chock full of interesting plants.

Saucy, I love the ladies and glad you could acquire them. I cant wait to see what you come up with for their bases.

Deanne, I love your enthusiasm about your garden projects. The fountain is divine and I love the idea of a circular pad for it.

Marian, your elephant ears are fabulous. Mine are so puny this year.

Good to see that Chelone has resurfaced.

Woody, I love the picture with your arbor.

PM2, the hummers love my ordinary red pelargoniums.

Brenda, your son does things in a big way. I cant imagine skydiving as a way to get over a fear of heights. Im not crazy about heights but DH did get me up a 70 tall silo once.

Martie, Im glad to hear that you are feeling so good, but you just be a good girl and take it easy for a bit longer or well have to send Chelone to set you straight.

Kathy, I was blown away by the tour of your garden . Every thing is so pristine and you have so much interest to the whole garden, the gate, art and all the interesting succulents.

Well, its getting late. Id best settle in my chair for a bit.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 11:19PM
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Leaden skies have returned to the coast of Maine. We enjoyed a very pretty day yesterday, crawling through small gardens replete with stunning evergreens and lots of color. I wondered repeatedly if the helpmeet had loosed the lines of the yacht to capitalize on the break in the weather... but no. Evidently, it remained cloudy and clammy all day long in the environs of the Compound. Bummer.

My morning will be concerned with hemming two pair of trousers (w/cuffs) for a friend, following the helpmeet to the garage to drop off his "ride" for some needed attention, and then some quality time with said helpmeet and the woodsplitter (if the weather holds). It ain't easy bein' a "modern pioneer woman". ;)

I've had limited success with hardy Hibiscus in the past couple of years. Their site has become increasingly shady and they really do require a lot of sunshine. I have two Disco Belles, but their flowers are more open than the one Woody posted, they're flatter and can be up to 9" across. I have a red one and a white one. I think that pink is just devine, Woody! and I'm partial to Lord and Lady Baltimore, too.

I hope Sue is doing a considerable amount of lounging and Martie is dividing her time between the chaise and the computer, with its attendant garden travel logs. I chuckled at the exchange between you and Rich, too, Martie.

It seems hard for me to believe that anyone would be looking for rain given our present circumstance in New England, but I well understand the necessity of it for commercial growers. Here's hopin' the weather proves a useful ally for you, Michelle.

Deanne, you certainly have had your turn on the wheel this season, haven't you? Thusfar, we've dodged the hail and heavy rains but tropical downpours have been frequent. Wendy pointed out hail damage on some of her plants, very discouraging. Nice looking fountain! The arid conditions that Denise experiences are tantamount to Martian gardening to the likes of me. Still, though, what piques my interest and inspires me is the way each of us deals with native conditions to create plantings that please and work with minimal supplemental watering. I admire careful stewardship of such a precious resource.

Well, time to go fire up the iron and get the measuring and marking behind me before shadowing the helpmeet to the great mechanic in the world's garage.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 7:12AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well what a deluge we had last night. Ill bet we got another inch and a half of rain yesterday. There is flash flooding in northern NH and they are predicting more torrential rains for today. Im going to think about building an ark soon. I gave all the containers and gardens a liquid feed yesterday and Im hoping it did some good before it all got washed away.

Kathy, that beer looks wonderful. Errr. I mean that orchid cactus looks wonderful. LOL That is a seriously pretty one. I used to have a reddish colored one. ~~ RE A. Savtzii, Ive been feeding mine on a more regular basis and its actually put some decent size on it this year. Nothing compared to the other abutilons here but its definitely holding its own.

Denise, great news about the bicycles. We love ours! ~~ Yes I still have the Actaeas

And Arabella is not as fabu as in previous years but still pretty. I think the voles were using its roots as a pantry over the winter.

So does anyone else have a Passion Flower vine this year? This is my first and I just love it. Im wondering how to winter this over. Anybody save one before?

Michelle, thanks so glad you like the fountain. ~~ My Fantasia hibiscus is blooming now and quite wonderful with scads of huge flowers. One has to love anything that puts on that exuberant a show for not much work. ~~ So glad to hear you had a terrific garden party. Did you take and photos??? ~~ I wish we could send some of this rain out to the farmers who need it.

Chelone, glad youve not gotten any hail from these storms. The lightning and thunder show lasted for almost four hours last night. The storms were forming about thirty miles south of her and pumping north. I dont recall the last time we had thunder storms last that long. Glad you had a great time on your garden touring. Any photos????

All righty, Ive got to go and spend some quality time with my LifeCycle. Have a great day!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 7:54AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Monday, Monday....gotta love it. :-) A gray shroud hangs over the garden and not a breath of air moving. Blah! LOL Very comfortable temps though.

Marian...those are pretty large angel wing begonias. I was wondering about the left side of your deck photo about half way down that side. Fairly tall plant? I have a hard time photographing reds. I have a magenta lobelia that is such a pretty color but every time I take the photo, it looks cherry red. I have thought maybe I need to calibrate my monitor screen. I think that might have something to do with it? Not sure.

Gee is there anything that is not attractive to the deer? That would drive me crazy I think.

Denise...congrats on the new bikes! Shiny Blue great! So have you mapped out your bike trips yet?

I loved that movie Out of Africa.

Really nice to hear Mitch is finding photography work. Sounds like a nice job getting to listen to music while you work that way. I had not heard of Chuchito Valdez but I found him on You Tube. I found an interesting piece on Chuchito and his father you might enjoy, link below.

Beth one of my very favorite gardeners. I just love everything she has done with her woodland gardens. I haven't seen her gravel gardens and will have to look for a book on it. Hibiscus is a plain old Pink Hardy Hibiscus grown from seed...winter sown. I loved it until I saw some of the hybrids. [g] I do love the buds on this pink one. They remind me of

Hummers go for the pelargoniums...really? Well, they do say they love red.

Sounds like you had a great weekend Michelle, but you always seem to have fun weekends to me. :-) Hope you get a little more rain. Would be happy to send some your way.

Chelone...nothing I find myself avoiding more than hemming pants. Why I don't know. It usually isn't that bad. Of course, that is only if there is no cutting involved and then all bets are off. You are definitely a

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 8:14AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Lots of fog in our area yesterday. Coming home in the evenimg we suddenly hit a spot that was it was SO thick, I hit the breaks 'cause I almost lost sight of the road. Thankfully it was very brief. I am thinking we got between 4 and 5 inches of rain in our last deluge...less than a 24 hour period. I sure do not need to water the containers today. :-)

Pm2, that is an Iresine, I was squatting down to take that pic. As you can see, it is NOT the correct color for an Iresine. :-( I don't know if it is the camera, or the lighting.) What I get is not what I am seeing at the time. :-( I don't have Deanne's expertise whhen it comes to photography. :-) ( Or much of anything else..LOL )
But you get the general idea of what I am growing.
I'm glad you have some Butterfly Bush blooms. My one plant is really pitiful looking ( too shaded) and I missed the few blooms that it had. I guess if I pinch it back it will have more?

I scrolled all the way up on this thread, and saw the Canna in Deanne's container arrangement. I'd like one like that. What is it's name, Deanne?

I never commented on Kathy's little fellow, and his delight in the peas. He is so cute ! And SO happy ! I think maybe you are 'warming up' to him...Kathy ?

I enjoyed the pic of the two boys playing in the water. Reminded me of my childhood days, and the stream on our farm. We siblings spent a lot of time playing in and beside it.

I hope all have a good Monday.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 8:48AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Deanne, Great finial! I've always been fond of the pineapple shape, and your gardens just scream hospitality :)

Marian, your elephant ears are outdoing mine by far. I'm going to guess I need a bigger container, and as with most things, more watering wouldn't hurt.
I've never grown the Plectranthus, but after seeing the picture, I'm interested. If it were planted in a bed, would it seed itself around, I wonder?
The surprise lilies are great. Mine haven't started yet, but should be along soon.

PM-Gorgeous hibiscus! DD was thrilled to discover that there is one in her fiance's garden. She said she clipped it off and pinned it in her hair. I bet she was adorable until it wilted 15 minutes later ;)
Yes, DS has always been afraid of heights. I was very impressed that he chose that method of dealing with it. Lol, I don't know if he's any less afraid of heights now, but it was QUITE a lesson in placing complete trust in somebody you just met a half hour ago!

Chelone, Lurch was awesome. I have a sound clip of that on the computer that I use from time to time for an email alert.
Yup, once they've pitched you out of the plane, you might as well enjoy the trip. I have to admit, I've done a little grieving for the skydiver I'm not going to be. I'm not sure what would have happened if I had done it when I was 19. The path not taken, ya know? Fortunately, I'm wise enough to know now that I have no business being in charge of getting myself back to earth from 13,000 feet. I'll take my second tandem, pull the cord, come home and tend my flowers and wait for grandchildren. And, be more than content doing it :)
Congrats on the gutters. The posts haven't arrived for the porch yet, so we're in limbo. I've got a couple of wide-open spaces in the foundation plantings growing extravagant crab-grass while we wait.
Wow, you HAVE a clean bra?? I really need to tend to some of my domestic chores ;)

Deanne, your fuschias amaze me. Sounds like a fun and fruitful trip to Lake Street. Tithonia is one of DD's favorites. She says it "looks SO 70's". She went through quite a retro phase for a while. It was amusing to watch, having worn and seen it all the first time through.

Saucy, I'm glad to hear Sarah is back to fighting form. Always a good sign. Off to sleep-over camp..what an adventure! Connect Four is one of the best games ever-I've never known a kid (or grownup) who wasn't up for a game.
Great score on those statues.

Kathy, what a wonderful walk through your garden. The back garden gate is wonderful, and your dahlias...just superb!

I started this post last evening, and DH called me to supper. Lol, reminded me of when we were kids outside playing in the summer. When Mom called us to supper, we pretended not to hear her the first couple of times :) As DH was standing in the kitchen about 8 feet away, I couldn't pretend I didn't hear. I'll just post as is, and catch up later.
I will add....More hail for Deanne?? OH, NO! There IS no justice in the world of weather!
Off to deal with more crab grass :(

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 8:57AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good rainy morning (again!) At least the sun was out for most of the weekend. We had a great day for garden touring yesterday - we saw 3 private gardens in Marblehead. The first two were lovely properties with ocean views and a staff to maintain the place. The hosts didn't seem to know a lot about their plant material, but were quite gracious - we were greeted with champagne at the first garden, then serenaded with a live string duet in the second. The third garden was a "labor of love" by the garden designer who has a master's degree in botany - she knew her Latin! No pictures allowed in that third garden, but she had a lovely scree area, and a garden shed/clubhouse that I wanted to take home with me.

Lunch was a harbor side joint recommended by the couple manning the entrance table at the second garden. We put our name in before touring the third garden, and still had a pleasant wait for an outdoor table. We passed the time on a bench overlooking the harbor, and I see the harbor in a whole new way now after Chelone's informative commentary. We saw a sailboat that Chelone said was the same one that the helpmeet has - we thought for a moment he had cruised down to surprise us, but no, it was not to be.

After lunch, we went to a garden center in the area, but they were closing! We gazed sadly through the chain-link fence at a lovely collection of cement items and plant material, knowing they were out of our reach. Next time perhaps. After that, we proceeded to a place in Beverly called Long Hill - a formal estate in a very pretty wooded setting. The thunder started while were there, but the rain pretty much held off until we were in the car on the way out.

Deanne, I must say that your gardens are looking especially lovely and anyone who has the good fortune to tour them is in for a real treat. I'm sure the FG people loved them, and rightly so. The fountain is awesome, and I'm sure the sight and sound of the water adds a lot to that part of the garden. I've admired the Passion Flower vine since we saw a lovely purple specimen at Logees, but I was waiting until you figured out how to overwinter it before I bought one.

Michelle, tell us more about your garden party - did the guests wear floral dresses and lovely hats? I have the Plum Crazy hibiscus too, and it is loaded with buds since I moved it into a sunnier area this spring.

Kathy, I have yet to take your Napa garden tour - perhaps today if work is not too busy. We have a 19" monitor here, and I prefer it to my smaller at-home model for viewing garden photos. I noticed that the plant name popped up above when I hovered the cursor over the picture - how do you do that? Is it part of the photo hosting site, or something you program in when you post the picture?

Well, the day is beginning - the radio station we have at the office plays Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" at 9am every day, and she is just about done singing!

Waving hi to all!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 9:06AM
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We somehow managed to escape the storms that wracked Deanne, though we could hear the thunder rollng just northwest of us. Kyle was on Mt. Washington for some hanging out and hiking and said there were trail warnings for flash flooding further south. It's gotta end sometime!!

Deanne: Here's a pic of Passiflora incarnata, the Z5 hardy passion flower, that I grew one year and then spent a lot of the next year yanking from everywhere. The fruits make a wonderful addition to Autumn dried arrangements, though. A friend has a lot of success overwintering her non-Z5 hardies in a southern window on pebble trays. Since they are considered a weed at my girlfriend's house in Florida, I can't imagine they're too hard to keep.

Rich does have a great sense of humor -- he's needed it a lot of late :-)

I've no idea what to suggest for Saucy's bases, but agree that they need something elegant on which to reside.

Blasting off to the food store. More later. Good to see so many here this morning!!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 9:45AM
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Nick said he'd help me cast the bases. It might take me until this time next year, but I'll figure it out :) I just have a hard time man-handling all the concrete....and you need a large area which to make a mess and leave the mess for a few days while it begins the curing process.

I think I might put them on pavers until then, though! Thanks for the idea, Deanne!

Martie, I copied your post from the other thread...I look forward to you coming here, too :) I will have fun investigating the turtle over this coming winter

My brain has been mush lately and I'm glad to have a quiet week. I am in the process of scrubbing all evidence of children from the bathroom and will move on to other areas throughout the day.

I did use Picasa to make a slideshow of yesterday's trip. I still don't have total command over my camera, but some of the shots came out nice. I like the one featuring a birdbath at Long Hill :) I've been using Picasa on my computer, but didn't know I could make slideshows like Kathy's until this morning! This could be an easy way to share the kids with family, too....

Sorry to be all about me....I want to get my cleaning done so I can eat bon bons for the rest of the week :)


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:42AM
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As requested I've made a slideshow with more potager pictures. The gourd tepee is is actually in the Secret Garden. You can click on any slide to enlarge it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Oh, now those are cute and fun, and the polaroids even have garden "dirt" on them :)

What a beautiful potager, Michelle! Only problem is that I want one now!!!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 11:53AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The potager looks very productive Michelle! I wish I had one too - no space :-(

Saucy - the garden tour pictures were beautiful - those water views....!!

Deanne - I grew passionflowers for a couple of years until I get tired of the overwintering... I didn't bother trying to overwinter the plant. I just took cuttings and rooted and overwintered those. You overwinter so many cuttings and plants, a few more won't make any differece, right...? :-) They root easily.

This morning I planted the small pot ghetto that had accumulated on the patio. The soil in the pots was pretty waterlogged - as was the soil in the ground! I suspect some of them will not survive all the water. Misty, Phoebe and I are mainly just hanging out together on the back porch today.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 1:25PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Kathy, I loved the walk-through of your garden. Everything is so colorful, and I especially like your gate and your chairs.

Saucy, thanks for the slideshow from yesterday - I enjoyed seeing it all again.

Michelle, love the potager.

Back to work!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 2:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Deanne, sorry I missed you this morning. I couldn't refresh without losing my link. [g] I've been holding off fertilizing for a couple of weeks because every time I have a chance to do it, it is about to rain. Love that airy! Not enough sun here for a Passion Flower. I tried that once too. Very pretty one with that deep purple interior.

Marian....I wonder if you might plant a butterfly bush in a sunnier area? Rather than digging up the old one, you could root a cutting and try it in more sun. Easier to plant that way too. They grow so fast. Yes, I find it really starts pushing out the blooms when I deadhead regularly.

Brenda, I would be happy to send you seed for that Hibiscus. I don't like where mine is planted right now, but I plan to move it near Joe Pye Weed and put it with another grass.

Hi Wendy! Haven't seen you in awhile...except for photos from IU5. Looks like you ladies had a great time in Marblehead. Third person reporting to have the Plum Crazy Hibiscus. It is one of my favs. I am already thinking I have to move mine into a sunnier area. The pink one is in a sunnier area and it started blooming over a week ago already and I can just see a tip of color on one of the PC buds.

Thanks for the Photos of Marblehead Saucy....I had a LOT of favorites. You have a good eye with the camera. I'm trying to figure out how they grew Hydrangea and Dahlias together. Pretty apricot/blue combo. The water lily photo with the reflection in the water, came out really pretty. I hadn't seen that particular variety of Asarum...European Gingertoes? [g] Wondering how Chelone knew the color of ribbon needed to match the paint in that one pic. Most of ocean views. I don't think I could bare to go see those properties, I would have wanted to stay there and they would have had to drag me away. :-)

Michelle...A Potager is something I always wanted to have. We used to visit a relative in a convent when I was young and they had this huge stone walled garden with pear trees and veggies and fruits and flowers. I think that may have been my first inkling that I liked gardens. I see your Black Scallop Ajuga...nice contrast with the Elephant Ears. Lovely basil and nasturtiums. Have you had a lot of sun this year? Not a lot going on in our veggie garden. I love your bricks btw, if I haven't told you so before. :-) No pumpkins for Kenzie?

I imagine you all are about tired of hearing the NE section complaining about the rain, so I will spare you the day's report. [g] I am really seeing some nice healthy growth on a lot of the moisture lovers, so, I am over the disappointment in the sun lovers performance. Actually the butterfly bushes are blooming well. My original one has smaller blooms this year, but the new 'Pink Delight' has pretty large blooms on it. I was expecting a much deeper pink though....anyone have that one?

Hosta Guacamole....lots of blooms and they have such a pretty fragrance.

This Japanese Painted Fern 'Pictum' is much too pretty to be in this out of the way corner, but it looks so happy....

I was thinking just today about what is good about all this rain, and I noticed that it was so quiet around here lately. The neighborhood kids have hardly been out playing, the neighbors are not having any loud backyard parties. I only noticed because I had the A/C off for a

Gee Martie...'Blasting off to the foodstore'....sounds like your energy must be coming back. Wonder if you were 'Blasting home from the foodstore'? [g] sound a little out of steam after all that planting. I was just saying to DS, it is perfect working in the garden weather. Cool, cloudy....great day to plant and move. Too bad I don't have the energy. I think I am running out of steam too. Enjoy the rest of Monday....

Hellos to all the Missing..... :-)


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 2:15PM
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LOL, PM2. I blasted back from the foodstore walking a few beats slower but none worse for the wear. Since I still can't lift anything heavier than 10lbs, Rich now escorts me and though our bill has risen a bit, it's nice to have company while picking out melon :-)

Perhaps Saucy and Woody and PM2 and I can rent a small parcel of land somewhere in the Catskills (about 1/2way for everyone???) and build a potager like Michelle's. It is just stunning and just screams: Bounty, Here in all Shapes and Forms!

Deanne's fountain has been totally neglected in my notes since I'm Insanely Jealous of any pineapple ornamentation and the piece is amazing. I kind of like that it doesn't match -- there's so unique views in your garden that a one-of-a-kind seems a perfect fit.

Marian -- Are you chopping back your Buddleia in the Spring? That may help when you move it into more sun, too.

More rain predicted tonight. Batten down the hatches!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 7:21PM
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I'm hopeless when it comes to commenting on all I would like to. I get overwhelmed because I don't get to it on a regular basis. But for now I want to say to Saucy and Michelle the slideshows are awesome. Oh and Kathys and Deannes and all who posted pictures. Marians too. I know there were more. Thanks for the relaxing entertainment at the end of my day.

And Eden, the poem you posted to honor Buttercup was lovely.

Martie I hope the heartache of Jen and Dh losing the baby is easing somewhat.

Waving hi to all. Cindy where are you? N

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Wow, lots of stuff to look at on the Idylls today, a perfect antidote to the Monday blahs! Is anyone else watching the Olympics at all ? I am switching back and forth between baseball games and the Olympic coverage, this works pretty well and allows me to skip all the annoying and schlocky Heartwarming Stories that are often included in the broadcasts of The Games.

Saucy . loved your slideshow , and I became even more jealous as a result. It was sort of like viewing a junior IU. And those fabu ocean views ! You took some great photos, I can see you are becoming more comfortable with your camera and framing some really nice compositionsI love Sunny D conquering the wall to get a shot of the spider and youve read the manual , right ???

PM, thanks for the nice comments-the Rozannes have been sheared back twice already this season, and the red zinnia was an accident since it was in a mixed 6-pak so I had no idea what color the flower would be. Thank goodness everything goes with blue! Rozanne is really one of my top 5 performers, and if I were staying here I would be ripping up all the Johnsons Blue in the back and replacing them with Rozannes. They just cant compare. Yes, that is Annabelle, you do see Ecargot, and the Brass band close-was taken in spring, so the flowers you see are the ubiquitous Forget-me-Nots that breed like bunnies.

Marian, I got a yellow Orchid Cactus last year and it was very pretty too, but it bloomed during a horrible 100 degree heat wave and the flower was ruined. Its funny re: Mr Baby, he actually liked me , I could carry him around and he was happy as could be ! Well see if he still tolerates me in October (and vice-versa).

Michelle, another great slideshow. Ive wanted a Potager for years, and I actually have plans and plant lists on the ready. Its been great to watch yours develop over the last couple of seasons.

Deanne, Ive lost many a Passion vine over years to frost here. I guess the secret with Savitzii is to plant it with other stuff. Mine is a mono pot, so decidedly unimpressive. Yours looks good with some friends to give it moral support..

Brenda. Love your analogy of Mom calling you in when your playing outside juxtaposed with DH and the Idylls-kind of like Martie telling her DH that she was visiting Kathy in Napa ! I have crabgrass too. Maybe I should post a pic of it on Marties Truth in Gardening thread.

Someone asked about my potting bench ? My late DH made it for me. He also built the Adirondack chairs and my periwinkle blue trellis among other things.

Hi Norma! And yeah, where is Cindy ? Mary ? Cynthia? Come out and play !

Thanks to Woody for the play-by-play on Phoebes vacation, and Chelone, I think you made star billing on Saucys slideshow. Best Performance by an Idyller in an Open Days Documentary . And the envelope please ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 9:59PM
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Kathy, I went back and did some more looking at your garden pictures. Its fun to try to ID all the plants and scope out all the other stuff. I like your potting bench. I will need something sturdy like that for my outdoor potting area when my old cupboard fades away.

Saucy, wow you guys really know how to have fun! I'm suprised you didn't get kicked out LOL What could be better than a garden with an ocean view? Thanks for taking us along ;o)

Pm2, we have had lots of sun this summer which is great for veggies. No pumpkins though, they just take too much room. Not that we don't have it on the farm but I just hate to think of doing that much weeding. We have an apple orchard near us and we go there to pick pumpkins with her.

Wendy, no dresses or hats LOL just ladies visiting the garden. Some of them actually get it!

Rick started ripping up the front yard today. About 1/2 of the old sidewalk is out.

DD called last night that there was an airplane crash at the small airport that they are living by. They walked over to see. I guess the pilot who was alone walked away from it. A problem with the landing gear. Kenzie was pretty animated when she told me about it on the phone.

Deanne, here's to you! This fuchsia was wintered over and is finally starting to bloom. It is actually quite large.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 10:39PM
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oooh Michelle, I love this ! That succulent is just way too
cool, and the quirky vibe with the formal looking urn is very nice. Did you use faux stone paint on that bowling ball? Is the fuschia Dollar Princess?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 11:51PM
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In line behind Kathy....oooh, oooh, oooh, Michelle, that is gorgeous! Salvia argentea in a pot is an incredible idea! Mine gets snail-chewed to rags in the ground, and yours is pristine. What a beauty. And I can't for the life of me place the name of that hammer-head succulent which I just got recently too because I saw it in bloom, and it's a stunner. It gets the most amazing thick, broccoli stalk of tomato red bloom, almost yarrow-like in shape. I searched quite a while for a small pot of it, but no tag. If you got a name with it, I'd love to know it. Kalanchoe-something or other maybe?

Kathy, your DH built some really nice wooden stuff for your garden. I've yet to set eyes on the olympics this year, but my mom keeps me current. She's a huge fan of the swimmers.

I'm picking up a theme of August being the month for hardy hibiscus. I saw one at a local nursery in July and had no idea what it was, first time I'd ever seen one. Looked more exotic to me than the widespread tender hibiscus all over town. I don't grow hibiscus, inherited some large ones when we bought this house that were always infested with white fly so pulled them out. The hardy hibiscus leaves seemed more appealing to me than the tender hibiscus. Funny that passion flowers came up for discussion, since I just dropped serious coin on one from a small grower, Passiflora membranacea, linked below.

Martie, getting a tad stir crazy, are we? ;) I enjoyed your dissertation on Saucy' goddesses.

PM, I loved seeing your pond thread, and Woody, I'm carefully monitoring Phoebe's progress on your separate thread. It amazes me that the dogs actually prefer the chairlift. Phoebe is a wookie-lookalike sprawled on your den/office floor.

Saucy, thanks for posting the pics of your outing.

And, Deanne, thanks for posting the photos of the actaeas. I foolishly bought a Black Negligee this summer, which I doubt will last long. Even tho the Arabella isn't as full as last year, it's still a beauty.

Hoping tomorrow will be less sodden for those in the rain belt.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 1:12AM
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Michelle, your potager is great. I thought of you yesterday afternoon as the helpmeet brought in the first wave of tomatoes, lamenting that if we don't get some sun the poor things are going to fold their little tents and give up. Lettuce, cabbage, and brussel sprouts seems to be holding their own, however. :) And I love the urn above; esp. the big, fuzzy Salvia argentea which tickles my fondness for big, bold foliage. Very pretty. I smiled at the bowling ball, amazed by its size... consider that the Compound is in the heart of candlepin bowling, lol.

Nice to "read" you, Norma. I figure people are just busy when they submerge for a spell. I know that feeling of being just too far behind to try to catch up; even vacationing I'm still soaking up tidbits I've managed to miss.

Like the miscarriage, Martie... perhaps time will ease the loss. You mentioned Abigail Adams; have you read "Dearest Friend" (I've not)? Also, there is a fun book by Irving Stone called, "Those Who Love" that is about John and Abigail Adams. I liked that one, a nice light read.

Battened hatches were of no consequence last night. A loud crack of thunder launched poor Spencer from his happy place next to Mummy and sent him scratching around the corner to a safe place. Poor thing was out like a light and it scared the livin' daylights out of him. Vera appeared some time later and wriggled her way under the covers for a cozy sleeping spot.

Nolon's camping site for Callie reminded me of something my father would have done. He was forever creating little hangouts for the cats and when he summoned us to witness the cuteness he would proudly proclaim, "look at that cat! isn't he smart to find such a great place to nap?". My brother is the same way, so is the helpmeet. Never waste your time on men who don't like cats, is what I say.

The Passiflors are great, you guys. I always note them in garden centers but as a rule I tend to walk past most annuals. It will be fun to see Deanne's reemerge next spring and attain house eating proportions.

We put in two hours yesterday morning splitting wood. We made a pretty good dent in the unsplit pile, too. The weather is looking pretty wet today, but if it isn't raining we will go out and put in some more time. I think the pallets are going to be picked up on Wednesday and then we will level and set them in a sunny area and begin stacking the wood to dry. Thinking about getting it done is much worse than actually going out there and doing it. The wood we're splitting now will be for next season and quite possibly several after that. If that ain't a New England vacation, I don't know what is.

I managed to get the lawn mown, too. It didn't rain yesterday (some "birdsweat" but nothing major) but the grass was still pretty damp so I opted to mow high and mulch the clippings. Looks better and I'll be sittin' pretty to get it mown again in a few days.

Then it was on to more weeding, this time around the pond. My goal was to clear out the weeds enough to identify the Cinnamon ferns, the native Eupatorium, and a shrubby thing that has lemon-y scented leaves (the leaves look vaguely like those of the Magnolia stellata). I accomplished that much and have laid bare the dreadful blackberry brambles (vicious) and uncovered a stealthy move by our resident Poison Ivy population to colonize another spot. Methinks some quality time with some Agent Orange type thing may be in the helpmeet's vacation plans. ;)

I believe replacement coffee is on deck. I did something terribly wrong with the first pot, it was pitiful. So bad, in fact, it went down the drain post haste.

I have watched some of the Olympics (loved the 2008 drummers!), I like the diving, some of the gymnastics (I'm not buyin' the ages of some of the Chinese gymnasts, sorry!), the swimming. But beach volley ball? (c'mon). I'm accustomed to never seeing the events that I really like (Dressage and Driving), so much of the 'pics means very little to me. But the all night broadcast beats the hell out of infomercials or Poker (how dumb is that?) for an insomniac.

Saucy has evolved to papparazzi... it must be the camera. :)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 7:37AM
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