idyll#394 - use this waning days thread...

ctlavluvrAugust 12, 2008

The brain seems to be waning, as well. Carry On .....

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I promise you all that I will get back to center sometime soon. The physical "better" I feel is translating into excessive energy that has no outlet for at least another few days. Being "good" is hard! Until then, please bear with me. LOL

The tour of Marblehead is so appreciated, and as always, it looks like it was an Idyll gathering of much laughter, plants and food. SunnyD is my kind of gardener :-)

Not much else. Surprise!!

On to the chaise ...


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I've been in major lurking mode. You guys have no idea how many loony tune people come out of the woodwork when you post bull/boxer puppies on PetFinder. It's just scary.
I've decided I'm taking our address out of the phone book.


Anonymous, from somewhere in the Midwest

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:33PM
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We were pleased with .62" of additional rain last night. I moved a few annuals around to bare spots last night. I had pulled a huge bunch of rudbekia hirta out and replaced with some nice sized celosia purple flamingo feather that were still living in the milk jug I wintersowed them in. In the potager where the rabbits ate all the beets I added a semi circle of marigolds. At this point in the season there no annuals to be had except what I have in the garden.

Chelone, I have to admit that I had to Google candlepin bowling. You have a pond? I dont believe IÂve ever seen pictures.

I wondered if anyone would notice the bowling ball. I sprayed it with that stone spray paint with the idea of a concrete sphere. The holes arenÂt supposed to be showing. My dad was a big bowler and gave me 3 of his and my moms as well. MomÂs is a nice blue so I left it as is but DadÂs were black and pretty beat up.

Denise, that Passiflora membranacea is very cool. Crassula falcata aka Propeller plant and youÂre right itÂs supposed to throw up yarrow looking red flowers. I doubt that mine will as the patio that itÂs on is in part shade.

My poor little urn needs some faux painting. I just bought it this spring but its peeling badly, but it was cheap.

Kathy, I think Dollar princess sounds right. IÂm really quite bad at remembering names. I usually keep the tags though. DH has been watching quite a bit of the summer games and IÂve caught some. I have a hard time sitting in the house watching TV while its light out.

The summer bounty is at its peak right now. Last nightÂs meal included sweet corn, green beans and tomatoes. Tonight IÂm thinking eggplant and kohlrabi.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 1:45PM
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Thanks for the plant ID, Michelle. I've sent myself an email with the info ;)

For the idyllers near Connecticut who nursery hop and lunch, you might want to mark your calendars for Sept 5-7. Does Hollister House Garden ring any bells? Dan Pearson, whose column I follow in the UK online newspaper The Guardian, is speaking over that weekend, not sure which or all of the dates, but contact is the Garden Conservancy:

Info via Loomis Gardens: MARK YOUR CALENDARS: September 5-7: Hollister House Garden Study Weekend, Washington, CT; a weekend seminar "Transatlantic Connections" with keynote speaker Dan Pearson, acclaimed English garden designer, plantsman & writer. Also includes a garden festival and connoisseurs' plant sale at Hollister House Garden, a preservation project of the Garden Conservancy. to register.

Linked below is a recent column of Mr. Pearson's.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 3:28PM
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Denise, now I have a conundrum....the Fall Tower Hill Plant sale falls on that weekend....and I seriously want to attend "Transatlantic Connections" and partake of the connoisseurs' plant sale!

Okay NE Idyllers...Speak up with your plans for that weekend!

I am elated! I just bought my trellis/lattice for the Goddess garden (quite honestly, I don't feel worthy enough for a Goddess Garden and feel funny calling it anything until I break ground!) It is being shipped. I did not like anything in stock around, and this stuff was discounted. I may not get my curves and swags as I had previously planned, but that's how my plans go....I was looking for a more airy feel in the lattice itself, here's one of the panels:

I had a little garden get together this afternoon in between dark clouds. We ate lots of good food and talked lots.....I'm pretty sure that SunnyD has been bitten by the gardening bug :) She and Joanne were nice sports and nodded along at my SGOG plans :)

SunnyD just emailed me this:

Can you believe they didn't let us in?

I'm excited...I'm headed up to Deanne's tomorrow for a little tour and a trip the local nursery :) It's so quiet here I don't know what to do with myself.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 7:52PM
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Ahh Saucy, If only theyd known there were Idyllers with wallets outside their fence. I guess all businesses make bad decisions once in while ! What a classic shot.

Tomorrow its off to Chicago for me in an unprecedented move Im taking my camera. Ive probably been to Chicago at least 20 times and have never taken a single photo. Since I plan on abandoning my colleagues and sneaking over to the Lurie Garden, a camera was a must. How could I not post pics ?

Martie, we may get used to your frequent posting and start putting out APBs if you dont post at least twice a day once you have cleared the DL !

Jerri , at least we see you popping in here and there from time to time ! We welcome even a brief hello..

Yeah Chelone, that beach volleyball I dunno. And whats with the short blasts of various R&R selections between serves ? You cant deny their athleticism and running in sand is hell on the calves, but every time I watch it I feel like I need to put on some sunscreen and pour a Margarita. I guess because every time Ive ever attempted play volleyball on the beach both sunscreen and aforementioned beverage was involved.

Michelle, lol, I googled candlepin bowling too. What one learns on the Idylls..! There are numerous fuchsias that have that color combo, but Dollar Princess has those round buds , and it is a favorite feature of the plant for me. Is this pot in full sun? There is no way I could have a fuschia in full sun here, it would burn up to a crisp.

Denise, I enjoyed the Dan Pearson column and have added the link to my faves. It is rather cruel of you to post the description of a "garden festival and connoisseurs' plant sale taking place 3k miles away ! Now Im jealous again. Sighwhat an unworthy emotion . Hows the gate/window thing coming along ? Is it done?
Passiflora membranacea, a wholly cool plant, and never seen here. Not surprised that you dropped $$s on it.
"I foolishly bought a Black Negligee this summer, which I doubt will last long." This comment could easily be misinterpreted by non-gardening lurkers.:-)

Okay, I better get to some packing tasks. I will check in from the road if possible.

Big wave !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 9:51PM
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I had to laugh at the shut out Idyllettes. Clearly, they didn't know what they were missing. And you'd have been impressed by how quickly Wendy pulled to the kerb when hawk-eyed Saucy spotted the place with all sorts of lawn furniture and statuary out front, lol.

Michelle, we refer to the "pond" as such around the Compound, but it really IS a stretch. In actuality, it's more of a "vernal pool"; a place gouged out of the ground to expose the ledge that collects rainwater, snowmelt, and gives the ground water a place to collect. It's maximum depth is perhaps 20" unless we add an extension to the overflow pipe that drains excess water down to the marsh behind the property. At any rate, it gives Rex a place to wade and cool off, it sustains an interesting variety of amphibians, as well as native plant material.

As a "feature" here, I've been mostly frustrated by it, frankly. I've tried to plant wet soil lovers next to it with minimal success, mostly (I suspect) because sunshine is really quite limited, esp. as the season progresses. I've decided to simply go with the native things that seem to set up camp there year after year. I'll let you know how that scheme goes. ;)

I am too serious, you guys. I read Denise's mention of "Black Negligeee" and didn't give it a second thought! lol. Good thing we have Kathy on duty, huh? Have a safe trip and be sure to sqeeze in some fun.

Saucy, I love the lattice. How large are the panels? Clean, simple, the perfect backdrop for your handsome statuary and an enticing venue for anything that likes to grow vertically. VERY nice. I can't wait to see how the project progresses.

We are on schedule to put in some more time with the splitter today. The judicious purchase of a dump trailer for BIL's (communal) riding mower has made relocation of split wood to sunnier spots for stacking and drying infinitely more palatable. I figure we have another 3 days to split the existing pile before moving on to the others on the property. I think of you often as we're working, Marian.

Also thinking of vacationers: Sue, V., and 'bug, always with a smile and the expectation that pictures and adventures will follow. :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:46AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning to all,

Im enjoying all the threads and photos and Saucys plans for the goddess garden sound marvelous. Martie, the tobacco thread is really interesting. I never knew that it was grown this far north.

I had a lovely visit with Sue Monday evening and Tuesday AM and her place at the coast is idyllic. Today Im expecting Saucy and Wendy for lunch. Cant wait! Wish Chelone, Martie and PM and everyone else could join us. Im feeling like Im in a bit of a lull with garden projects at the moment. Not that I dont have anything to do but that I dont feel like starting anything new right now. Dougs given me the go ahead to expand the container area and add a new bed to the area by the front walk but for some reason the edger and spade hasnt leapt into action yet.

WE had another batch of storms through here yesterday but today, finally, it looks like there will be no rain. Ive got mold and algae growing everywhere and the slugs are going to carry me off soon. That hail the other night knocked huge amounts of the fuchsia flowers off the plants and Ive been running around trying to get that picked up. Someday if we get a day of sunshine I might get a huge flush of brugmansia flowers but Im still waiting.

OK here is a quick pic after the last bout of storms came through yesterday. That rainbow was one of the brightest Ive ever seen.

May your day be filled with rainbows!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:50AM
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Thank you, Deanne! What a nice wish for today ....

Kathy -- It's simple. Do what you need to do in Chicago and just keep heading east. Between the seven or eight of us we can probably stir up a bed and as long as you don't mind working long distance from your laptop, they'll be no break in work. Why Not??

Saucy -- I really like the lattices. The swags and soft forms will come from the plants, yes?? Don't for one minute question your ability to have a Goddess Garden. We all do in our own way :-)

LOL at the pic. I'm surprised that by now area nurseries don't have Idyll members' pics on their wall, somewhat like restaurants have food critics' images next to their time clock. ie., "If any of these people show up, our best needs to shine through 'cause it'll be worth every effort down the road."

Looking forward to spending the day with Abigail and John Adams in the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, with brief interruption while my Dnephew and Rich practice drums. Together. In the House. I'll be several miles away poking around the JoAnn's end-of-season sale but thoroughly expect to feel the percussion, anyway. LOL

The farm wagons have been running since about 7:30, and it's such a reassuring sound! We're looking forward to the harvest across the street and our annual Jamaican soiree' that was booked during planting season. Trying to convince the across-the-cul-de-sac volunteer firefighter that a bonfire in the middle of the street is a good idea is taking some doing, though. Hope!

Add a pot of gold to Deanne's rainbow!!


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 8:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It sounds as though all idyllers have been having their usual marvelous time with all sorts of cool plans (plants?) depending on how you want to think of it.

I think I may be like Jerri - a bit in lurker mode -- I havent taken a single photo since the IU; I have managed to pull hoses around -- would you NE folks believe it's more like Denise's garden conditions in my neck of the woods? Tons of t-storms but they all seem to break up and go around my neighborhood? go figure -- I looked outside this a.m. and saw many things drooping -- and I watered 3 hours on Sat. How can that be? We have even been having lovely "coolish" mid 80s temps....

The awfice has kind of sucked most of my energy out and I limp home at nite - guess we all have periods like that -- wish Martie would send some of her excess energy to me!! Can you bottle it? I'll pay for shipping, LOL.

Michelle -- you have done such incredible things w/ spray paint -- taken faux painting to new heights - I never would have thought of painting the bowling ball and it looks perfect. I echo everyone's compliments about the potage and container combos -- truly inspired. You and Deanne are going to be having spray paint contests now I can see, LOL.

Im waiting in urgency for some salvias to bloom to give the gardens more color -- it's looking very "white" lately -- lots of kalimeris, platycodon and some phloxes, but it needs pizzazz. I'll be miffed if the salvia leucantha and others dont bloom. I did manage to yank some things that were so drooping and all over the place - now I've actually got bare spots, o my.... I seem to have a split personality between loving the formal, contained, foliage look to the wild sprawling garden gone wild -- I just cant get the right mix!

Kathy -- your garden walk that I took last nite (finally) was just lovely -- such vibrancy and colors -- the combos are terrific.

It's great to watch Saucy's plans for her "4 Seasons" (better than the goddess garden?) garden taking place -- it's this time of year that it's usually hard to have the energy (for me at leasts) of the new projects. I have some ideas and needs but cant imagine doing any til Autumn hits. (probably here before we know it).

Waving to all --


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 9:03AM
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A quick drive by this am, got to head to the airport shortly, but wanted to say Hi to Cindy ...Hi Cindy!Flad you enjoyed the tour and sorry that the 'awfice' has sucked you dry so to speak. I feel your pain !

Deanne, that photo does show a very large lawn area -Do you think Doug would notice if he came home from a trip and it was gone ?? Just think of the combos ! An island bed like the one at Wave Hill! Your restraint is admirable.

Gotta go, waving to all, plumping the pillows on Marties chaise..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:24AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Go figure! The porch crew showed up this morning. Tomorrow, my pal and I head off for our 3 day "Princess Weekend" I NEED a porch crew to tend today?? Take it while I can get it, I guess. I'll be off the radar for a few days. Today started with hacking back a HUGE Sweet Autumn Clematis to make way for the workers. I'll catch up with ya'all later...I did see a gorgeous rainbow, and Idyllers fenced out from gardening stuff??? That ain't right ;)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:45AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Deanne, your rainbow pic is gorgeous. I detect a faint one to the left. My Pretoris(sp) Canna has it's first blooms of the season. It is loving it's new big container. But I will have to dig it up for winter way can I get that tub into the utility room!

Saucy, who took the pic of the three of you looking through the fence? I would like to have some of those tall pots, but what keeps them upright? and are they bottomless ?

6 more weeks and I will have to face bringing in my tender potted plants. I am working on getting my shoulders up to doing that, and to hauling in the firewood. ( Chelone ) :-)
The therapy yesterday really made me stiff this morning, but a couple of pain pills, and an outside workout has loosened them up. My therapist discontinued the sessions since they seemed to be causing more pain in the right shoulder. He suggested I return to my Doctor for a differant type of treatment, or to see an Orthopedist. There is a new one in town who is said to be very good. I can do the exercises at home, and limit them to what I can tolerate. I am more apt to be more gentle with myself at home. :-)

Kathy, I am looking forward to your Chicago pics. I was through that city on my way to Fort Belvior Virginia, in 1952. I was riding a Greyhound bus, and we had a layover there. In my wanderings around, and my ignorance, I went out of the station onto skid row ! ( But only briefly).:-)
I hope you have a great trip.

Rejoicing with those who are rejoicing, and weeping with those who are weeping (or suffering in any way).


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 11:34AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning Idylls! Am I really the first one up? DS is in the kitchen making his own scrambled eggs, I'm waiting for him to clear out so I can go make my lunch to take with me to work. He doesn't play well with others in the kitchen.

We had a wonderful afternoon in Deanne's garden yesterday. Such a beautiful spot! A yummy lunch on the patio (bean salad with peppers and barley marinated in lemon-infused olive oil and something else I forgot, topped by steamed shrimp - thanks Lisa!) followed by garden touring and chat. The container garden is a feast for the eyes, and I am definitely having brugs envy! Deanne, I may be up next week to lie underneath the brugs when all those buds pop! After a tour of the sunny front yard, we retreated to the cool shade of the backyard, and staked out a sitting area on the lawn for a different view. I actually rotated my chair several times to take in different vistas, smiling all the while. The sound of the fountain lulled us into an afternoon Idyll of our own. Paradise found!

Anyway, back to reality today. Have to drop DS off at his computer class by 8am, then on to the store with DD to fetch 2 birthday presents and the few elusive school supplies that were unavailable at another store on Tuesday. (Do they even make a marble composition book with college rule?). A quick work errand, then to the awfice.

Tomorrow I will accompany DD and her friend to a rock concert! Oh joy, break out the earplugs. She is excited though. Anyone ever heard of Good Charlotte and Boys Like Girls?

Marian, I think what you can see inside the fence in that nursery shut-out pic are components to assemble a birdbath - but we'll never know for sure!

Waving hi to Jerri and Cindy and everyone else!

Well, I think it is my turn in the kitchen - have a great day all!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 7:29AM
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I brought this thread up expecting mouthwatering descriptions/pictures of the foodstuffs at the ladies' luncheon... but no. I expected some humorous late reports, forgetting completely that 1/2 of the contingent from that alleged state, California, is now in Chicago. The quiet is deafening. ;)

The logging operation is fully underway here on the Compound, we call it "vacation". We've been diligently putting in between 2-4 hrs. in the morning and we're actually making a dent in the pile that is out back. Here's the transport vehicle:

The lawn tractor is communal, we have a couple of accessories for it (leave removal stuff, the trailer), though I never use it to mow the lawn. We have "pimped our ride", too:
(lovingly named for my late FIL)

Our lot was mostly wooded (any project usually involves removing a tree) and we have always had a woodstove. We've always recognized the value of hardwood. The helpmeet lobbied hard for the splitter and I finally caved in, thinking he was largely out of his mind. How wrong I was!

Here's the pile of wood taken down when the garage was built. We've been picking away at it for a year now, but have gotten serious lately.

In the distance you can see the splitter and the older of the stacks:

The dump wagon is filled and I'm taking it to the site of the new stacks:

And here is a picture taken yesterday morning before we doubled the size of the stack (we'll do so again, today, too). We are closing in on two cord, with just about another 2 to go on the big pile pictured above:

It's probably something only a "modern pioneer woman" appreciates; the helpmeet informed BIL that we have enough wood to get us through two holocausts. ;)

I love the picture of the rainbow(s). You sure do have keen eyes, Marian! sure enough, there is a second one to the left. :). Is the lawn Doug's "thing", Deanne? The helpmeet loves a lawn, as long as there is white clover in it and doesn't become a water and fertilizer drain. So, if the container garden is going to be expanded what are you planning to do for irrigation? There has to be something Doug (aka: Superman) could do to make it easier, lol.

Let's hope the weather holds for the tobacco farmers, eh, Martie? Have John and Abigail gotten to Washington DC yet? does she have laundry hanging to dry in the empty rooms of the newly constructed White House?

I chuckle every time you call it the "awfice", Cindy. There are indeed times when we all feel that way. I know exactly what you mean about vacillating between the clipped, neat formal and the more casual, "devil may care" style in gardens. I noticed a changing leaf in the deep woods yesterday, so autumn is on her way. Yikes.

Princess Brenda is probably on her way to the magic Kingdom of Luxury by now. Think she'll have to parachute in?

Marian, the image of you wandering around skidrow cracked me right up. I have this image of you in a full skirt, nice shoes, manoeuvering your way around toppled drunks, the picture of country wholesomeness... . Thanks for the chuckle.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 7:39AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Far from being in the land of luxury chelone...still just a farm hand, lol! Yesterday was a stream of random tasks, none of which were exciting or glamorous :) Amazing how much stuff the work crew didn't know they were supposed to do. After they called it quits for the day, DH and I bit the bullet and went to the grocery store. I'll admit I was tired, but there were two kids in front of us in line at the checkout...yeesh! Wasn't sure whether I'd start with busting Mom's hind end or the kids'. They alternately screamed/whined/cried the entire time. Far old enough to know better, and didn't appear tired, just spoiled rotten. On the way home, I ate most of a package of chocolate covered coffee beans. I have no idea if the two incidents were related, but I have my suspicions :) Got home, put groceries away, and at 8:10 DH said, "Let's go tear down that trellis". Gas and a match would have worked for me, but we took it down and dug out the posts instead. THEN, I remembered, DD had texted me earlier in the day. She locked her keys in her car at BF's house. She rode to work with him, so there was no hurry, but if I had time to run her extra set down and put them in the house, that would be great. Oh, and don't let the dog and cat out..they'll try to escape for sure. I managed to keep them inside, drop off the keys, AND remember I had put my purse on the counter BEFORE I closed the LOCKED door. How dumb would I have looked when they got home? My phone and keys were, of course, in my purse. Came home, showered, watched the girls play volleyball and called it a day.
Today's plan is to keep the workers in line, and get ready to GET OUTTA HERE! The island is already covered with stuff to pack, and I'm cooking some breakfast food. I'm doing the Monte Cristo fritata I made when my sis was here the other day. It does nicely in the microwave. It is our goal to stay IN the suite as much as possible. We'll go out for one meal, otherwise, it's what we take, and delivery. Last night, I set out a bottle of Kahlua and a bottle of Bailey's. Add to a cup of coffee, top with whipped cream and a cherry...ah, now THAT'S what I'm talkin' 'bout!
Chelone, you have an uncanny ability to avoid getting your face captured on film. I don't know as I've seen a picture of you that didn't remind me of Wilson on the old Home Improvement show with Tim Allen ;)
Wendy, I like Good Charlotte, if that helps any. LMAO, of course, I also liked jumping out of an airplane...he he!
Marian, I hope you can get hooked up with some therapy at home that helps. I'd be far better about doing stuff at home than I would be to go somewhere and be put through the paces.
I have to get busy. I'm guessing 8 hours or so from now, and we'll be off. Nothing is simple, though. We have to take two vehicles, and drop off my friend's DB's jeep at the bus station. He and his wife are off on their the Mall of America (??) and will pick it up on Sunday. There always has to be one more errand....
Later all,

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:40AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh my ! My eyes may be "keen" but my brain sure isn't! I feel so dumb about the nursery 'pots' :-(
Wendy, I am sure you are right. They are the base of the birdbaths !!!! I have to admit, I have done very little shopping at such places.

Chelone, I love your firewood pics. The splitter is a winner. Nolon could sure use one. He is still doing it the hard way. The BIL's comment is similar to what a friend said about Nolon's stockpile of wood. LOL! A lot of ours may decompose before we use it all, espacially the slabwood. I am wondering if he will be able to haul it to the woodshed when the time comes.
Nolon is still working on the waterline. He is slowly digging down to install the new pressure regulator. The soil is mostly clay, so very hard digging. He does a little, then sits awhile, then digs some more, then sits again...:-) He hopes to have the job done by Saturday. Since there is more rain in the forecast, he may be delayed ...again. Tommy is usually up there 'helping' !

Chelone, I see you have an 'inspector'. LOL.

I want to caution you all to look towards your aging years, and plan your yards and gardens with that in mind. Unless you have the finances to hire a gardener, there will come a time when you can no longer do it all. Naturally, I am speaking from experience. Of course, some of you have had conditions that have made you aware of what it is like already. I wish I had planned mine a lot better. :-( I guess I thought I could do it forever.
Oh well, It still looks pretty good, as long as you don't look too closely. I could add a lot of pics to that thread on the not so pretty parts. :-(

Our temps have been sooo unseasonal. It has been down to around 60 every night for about a week now, and the highs have not been above 70 until yesterday, when it got to 72. ! Our house got back up to 74, and I was feeling it ! I turned on the ceiling fan above me, and opened more windows.

Are any of the rest of you keeping up with Micheal Phelp's winnings ? He is amazing ! The USA athletes are doing good in the Olympics.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:43AM
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An overcast morning but no substantial rain predicted. Yeah! Of course, tomorrow is thunderstorms all day and I have help coming to weed. Think we'll flip it to Monday, predicted to be downright gorgeous.

I hear you about the kitchen takeover, Wendy. Though ours was originally designed (by previous owners) to have two people work at once, the constant shuffling necessary to get much done takes a lot of the fun out of it. LOL

John just got the Constitution signed and reported to the colonies, Chelone. Slow reading day yesterday but today I plan to more than make up for it!

Please everyone keep in your thoughts: My nephew was on his way home from drumming with Rich yesterday and, to avoid broadsiding a car whose driver was lost and making an untoward U-Turn, front-ended a tree. Two bones in his right leg are broken and my BiL described the seatbelt bruising as "absolutely black." All else seems well, though. Really tough for BiL as he was on call for ambulance duty and found about about 30 secs before arriving on scene that it was his own son in that car. Grateful though in a way, because this meant he could stay with him in the hospital ED trauma area while he went through a battery of tests. DN will be fine, but my sister will need extra hugs for a long while.

In happier news, Rich's business line has started to ring more often. Nothing looming on the horizon that will feed us through the winter, but hey, it's ringing!!

Anyone taking advantage of Bluestone's end of season offer?

Autumn is definitely on the way here, too. Hostas are beginning to droop, Buddleia in full bloom, grasses starting to send up fronds, apple notices for start dates in the local papers, heirloom tomatos starting to color and neighbor's grapes getting plumper by the day. My favorite time of year, to be sure.

Hang in there, Cindy. Remember that your job is just a job that can be replaced. Your work in that job is what really matters.

Thinking of all the traveling Idylls and the new sights we'll hear about and hopefully see, soon.

Can't Wait to be able to make plans with the NE Idylls and know I can really go! Thinking about the Tower Hill and lecture weekend, and don't want to commit to anything quite yet until I know that a few hour ride, then walking and sitting for the day, is actually possible. Test drive to Boston to see Dniece planned for next weekend. Huge Thing for me!

With the hope that everyone has a great day .....


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:49AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Boy did I sleep late today. I almost never stay in bed until 7:30AM Well not in the summers anyway. I must have needed the sleep.

What a lovely day I had with Saucy and Wendy yesterday. Saucy came over around 11:30 and we did a quick garden walk about then went over to The Mixed Border. Saucy scored a hosta and an anemone for her goddess garden. We arrived home just in time to welcome Wendys arrival, then proceeded to have an al fresco luncheon on the patio. And as Wendy described, a lovely lunch it was! Thank you Saucy. I told her she could come up anytime with food in hand. LOL After lunch we did a leisurely stroll about the gardens then settled in to some comfy lawn chairs and finished off the afternoon with a chilled beverage and garden conversation. We discussed the gardens on the IU5 tour at some length and relived the marvelous gardens there. What fun. A conversation I could only have with other gardeners.

Chelone, great photos of the wood works up in ME. Thats a lot of work but so worth it. Looks like you all had a great time in Marblehead. Wish Id been there. ~~ Yes Doug is the Lawn Guy. He doesnt necessarily take the best of care of it, he just likes the expanse of it. LOL I have to start a year or two ahead of time to accustom him to the idea of a new bed or border in the front lawn area. He did burry a water line from the house over to the fence so as to plumb an irrigation system for that area. Next year I hope.

Wendy, you are a brave woman. You could not drag me to a rock concert these days. I am going to an Arlo Guthrie concert in a couple weeks and that type of folk music is about my speed lately.

Kathy, I did think that front lawn area would look terrific with a bed ala Wave Hill. Funny you should mention that.

Cindy, so sorry you still arent getting enough rain. Wish I could send some of this in your direction. They are predicting T storms for later on today again. You must be getting pretty tired of dragging hoses around. ~~ BTW Im finding it a bit difficult to start on the new things I wanted to get done this year too. I do want that new bed for the mini hosta garden but until I figure out how to keep the blasted voles out of there that project is on hold. I might just tackle the front this weekend though.

Thanks Martie and Marian, glad you liked the rainbow picture.

OK time to run and get the watering done. Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL on your image of 18 year old me wandering around skidrow. It sounds about right. :-)
I meant to ask you tall are you ? In the pics of you with the other gals, I keep thinking you are about my size. I used to be 5'2", and weighed less than 115. I am almost back to my previous weight, but am shaped differanly. Things are redistributed, LOL.
BTW, I like your new hair cut. I wish I looked good with mine like that. Mine is very short, and very curly, right now.

I just checked and see there are several new posts. I will try to catch up....


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Dear Idylls

Life is full of activity here in Upstate New York. We have had an almost continuous flow of visiting family and friends, every one of which we have enjoyed. At the moment we are half way through our visit with our Fresh Air boy who had been a wonderful addition to the household. He is friendly, polite, curious and willing to try new things. David has introduced him to raw oysters, bike riding along the canal and classical guitar. We have been on the Maid of the Mist, hiked, swam, played outside and cooked big meals to eat together as a family. All in all life is good!

More news when I have some Idylling time - perhaps next week.

Missing you all,


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 12:51PM
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How nice to see Mary drop in! Sounds as if you've indeed had a busy few weeks. Sometimes it takes guests to get you out doing all the interesting things in your immediate area, huh? And what has your Fresh Air boy introduced to you?

We have a galley kitchen. Two in it had best have the choreography down pat! If I had my way the whole place would be laid out more like an old-fashioned scullery... tiled from about 12" above the counter to the tiled floor that would slope to a central drain. Then I could simply hose the entire place down and "sanitize for our protection". :)

We bagged the logging for the day. Instead, we put up the canopy and screens on the deck! We vacuumed the leaves, dust, etc., I've scrubbed the Sunbrella cushions for the dining chairs, and we've set up the fake wicker couch. Helpmeet washed the sliding screen and glass on the slider. He's gone to get take out sandwiches that we're going to enjoy out there in a bit. I'm contemplating dragging out the Christmas lights and setting them up around the perimeter, not sure if the engery is going to last much longer than the meal, though.

We're back to unsettled weather; right now it's alternating between hazy sunshine (very warm) and overcast with a chilly mist rolling in off the ocean. There are obviously two fronts dukin' it out right over us. This is the sort of day when you appreciate Polar Fleece and rolling up your dungarees.

Predictably, I've purchased no new plant material. My focus recently has been to get things under a modicum of control and use the things I already own to greater effect. In fact, just last night, I planted two Perovskia over by the Concolor (near the mouth of the driveway). I dug up some Artemisia stelleriana and jammed that in between them. Neither were prospering in their spots so now they may prosper (or die) in the ground. They look pretty bad right now, but I think some prophylactic pruning will result in something not too bad in a few weeks. Or not... ;) But at least I no longer have to water the pots or watch the Miscanthus shade out the pretty Artemisa.

I can't stay up late enough to go to a rock concert. Reruns of Lawrence Welk suit me to a tee these days. Pass the Geritol, willya Marian? ;)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Hopelessly behind again...I did see Chelone's pics though. Looks like a productive yet fun way to spend your time off. You'll be cozy and warm all winter for sure!

Here's a link to the pictures I promised, was it last week? Sorry it took me so long to get them up here.

Now I'm going back to catch up and read what you've all been up to the last few days.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 4:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I did part of the mowing this afternoon. The old garden spot was so grown up it looks like I need to bale the windrows ! I did some weedeating too.
Chelone, I will try to remember to get some Geritol to share with you when I go to town LOL.
I manage to stay up til about 10:30 some nights since the Olympics came on. That is later than my normal bedtime.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:43PM
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Hi all ! Just a brief hello as this hotel charges for internet minutes used..I took lots of pics today and will post them when I return..tommorow will photo from the bar on the 97th floor of the John Hancock building- I'm sure V has been there and I always take Chicago newbies there...Wave to all !!

Kathy in Chicago

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

Good morning all,

Oh Eden!!!! I've been through your gallery a couple times and will be back for more. Your gardens are just wonderful and I know they are better in person. Thanks so much for doing that for us! I really appreciate it.

Yesterday was the day here for strangers to stop by and admire the gardens. I was out deadheading the driveway when a pair of ladies, mom and daughter with grandson in tow stopped at the end of the driveway and struck up a conversation with me about how the daughter is a bus driver and made her mom walk over here to see the gardens. What fun! Anyway, I gave them a tour of the back and a good time was had by all. Later on another fellow stopped and asked if I'd mind if he took pictures. What a nice compliment.

OK breakfast is ready, time to get my day going.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:53AM
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Eden, I am fascinated by the complexity of your garden. The longer I gaze at pictures of it the more I see in them. I know it is small, but how small? I've also noticed the difference in the light this year, no doubt losing a tree has had an impact on things. I was hoping for a quickie glimpse of Angela Lansbury, too. (still think (s)he should get to go on a roadtrip). ;)

Yeah, Marian, you and I would make quite a pair. I can see it now, sacked out in the screen room, with a lolling Wrecks at our feet, and assorted cats milling about, tossin' back Geritol shooters before trundling off to bed by 8:15, lol. I wonder if you can get them on the 97th. floor of Chicago's John Hancock building... Kathy?

I was thinking about your advice, Marian, to exercise a certain amount of caution with respect to the size and scope of gardens, esp. with an eye to ageing. We have a large property compared to many Idyllettes and while I love the perennials I prefer them in small, localized areas. I have no desire for huge, sweeping borders. While the physical challenge is still within my grasp the reality and necessity of my "career" places substantial constraints on available garden time. What I really want to achieve is a thoughtful, lush, largely "no/minimal care" perimeter shrub planting. And it's a lot harder to achieve than you'd suspect. I'm finding it challenging to beat back the weeds and chaos just to get things in the ground. I see clearly now that it will take a few years of concerted effort to keep things under control until the shrubs really take off and begin to do that work for us. I remind myself that this is not unlike starting an investment account; you have to begin small, contribute regularly before you begin to realize substantial interest accrual. Anyway, it's sage advice. ;)

I think we'll return to the woods this morning. Weather is to continue unsettled today, so a few hours before it warms up and showers appear seems wise. We also have to plan a trip to "the house that time forgot" to repair the broken septic tank stack that is leaking. Mum's estate is pretty well buttoned up, we owe some money on her last tax return, but that seems to be the bulk of it. My brother is a bit overwhelmed by THTTF right now, but that's more because he's been very busy professionally and the little things always tend to eat at you in those circumstances.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:55AM
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What a fun trip to Eden's garden! I plan on returning later today to see all the things I'm sure I missed the first time around.

I liked seeing Bud poking his head up in the garden :)

Chelone, that's a big operation you've got going on there!

Deanne, that is a compliment! I'll bet you were the topic of conversation at the dinner table, "guess what we saw today?"

It's Friday and my week without children has gotten away from me. I hope to put in a little time at the desk this morning and spend the rest of the day out of doors! Next week is our annual vacation trip to Maine and I've still got no one lined up to water....seems all the tweens are visiting grandparents this week!

Well, best get to work if I want to make it outside at a decent hour :)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 7:46AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning !

I need to get out and make a tour this morning to see if our unenvited visitor yesterday, has returned. Apparently while I was mowing, and Nolon was in his shop, a black bear moseyed through our front yard ! It left it's 'calling card' just 8 feet from the front of the house ! As soon as Nolon saw the deposit he came in and told me that it was a bear's. I went out and eyed it, then took a pic and compared it with a Google search of black bear scat. It matched. :-(
I do not think it was there when I got on my mower, which was parked in that location.
Anyway, I battened down the hatches a little more than usual last night. :-)

Chelone, the good thing about my location, my yard is not visible to the public, so if it goes to pot hardly anybody will know it. The only frequent human 'visitor' is the electric meter reader. As long as she is able to get to the meters (yes...2 of them) I doubt if she would care one way or another.

We got another absolute deluge just after dark last night. I am hoping our roads held. It was 'only' a little over an inch, but it all came down in about 15 minutes! All that I see from our house looks okay.

No container watering need again today, and more rain in the forecast ! Amazing !


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:46AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What a wonderful way to open my Friday - a walk thru Eden's garden -- a fantasical delight! Is there a plant you dont own, Eden, LOL? I will have to study each pic many times to see what all the compositions are -- I had a "bla Friday" attitude, thinking I might "slouch thru Friday" as Denise puts it, and golly, molly -- Im excited! It really is so amazing that everyone's gardens are so different, personal and fascinating.

Deanne, I find it hard to believe you dont have daily gawkers and visitors to peek at your wonderful gardens -- it IS a compliment -- and it sounds as though you and the NE mini-contingent had a great time -- what fun to sit in your Eden and re-talk and re-visit those marvelous ones we saw.

Chelone - I enjoyed your photos of your working vacation -- you are building lots of muscle that way for sure - a true modern, pioneer woman.

Glad you're having so much fun this summer, Mary - after the angst of the spring, you deserve lots and lots of it.

Well, now Im sparked - I should see what I can re-hash around my place - it needs lots of work; it's still hot and dry - more hose slogging last nite -- I guess I'll be doing that this weekend too as things have just been keeling over from a few days of heat - what's with that?

I saw the other truth in gardening thread - love those shots of Marty, Denise -- it's amazing what details men can get caught up in, LOL.

Happy Friday, all.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:04AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

It just isn't Friday without Sue's weekly to make those big multi-colored letters?

I'm ready for my big night out - DD even helped me pick out my outfit - "wear the dark jeans" and a black T-shirt. She offered to make me a shirt with one of Mark's old undershirts and a sharpie, I'm sure something along the lines of "I (heart shape) Joel" - I told her no thanks, I don't want to scare him.

I actually don't mind Good Charlotte much, she'd been playing them for me all week so I can become familiar with the music. One song called "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous" is actually stuck in my head right now. I like music and general, and I like to people-watch, so I tend to have a better time at these things than I expect I will. One thing I find strange is the cell-phone thing. Does anyone remember when the audience used to hold up lighters in a flaming tribute to the band? Well, now they use the back lit screen of the cell phones, waving them in the air in time to the music. The band actually requests this, prompting the kids into the tribute. Cell phones are also used to make video recordings for YouTube. DD actually found the back of her head on YouTube recently, recorded by the kid behind her at the last concert she attended.

Eden, I plan to tour your garden later today. I actually started yesterday, but the phone here kept ringing. I hate it when work interferes with gardening pursuits.

Deanne, how flattering that strangers want to tour and photograph your garden.

Martie, you mentioned bulbs a while back. I haven't given it much thought yet, but you reminded me that I like to try to order by Labor Day. I haven't received my John Scheepers catalog in the mail yet though, maybe a trip to their website is in order today. I've found it easier to grow tulips as annuals, and my faves are Apricot Beauty, Negrita and Spring Green.

Waving hi to Kathy & Mary!

Anyway, duty calls. I'll leave you with the Boy Scout tip of the day from DS - "When you are camping and use your pocket knife to cut your food, be sure to clean it first. You don't want to get rope hairs or wood chips on your meat."

Have a good one!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:46AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, I just now viewed your August gardens. They are beautiful. So manty great plamtings. I saw the new coleus that I bought this year. The one with red borders. It is one of my favorites, and so quick to grow from cuttings.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:46AM
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Good morning Idylls!

Things are progressing nicely with the front yard hardscaping. The landscaping part will be another story. It may remain somewhat bare until next spring as there isnt a lot of nursery stock available around here at this time of year. We see how it plays out.

My thoughts on gardening and old age are that Im living for today and what makes me happy today. At this point I love my large, full beds and borders. Im actually finding that I feel much better if I keep moving with the joint issues that Im dealing with these days. Ive also read a lot of information lately pointing to gardening as excellent in preventing or reducing effects of different diseases, including Alzheimers, dementia and arthritis. I figure that if I need to reduce my gardens at some point, Ill worry about that then. I actually have a fair number of shrubs in most of the areas, Ill just yank perennials, hire a kid for a day each spring to spread mulch and enjoy the flowering shrubs. Or as my BIL joked recently "just get out the Roundup" My cousin died yesterday at age 55. She found out a week ago that she had pancreatic cancer, contracted pneumonia and just like that she was gone. She didnt need to worry about her old age and limitations. Ive known or read about so many inspirational people gardening well into theirs 80s including my grandfather. I also know many who should have kept active and spent their days sitting and declining much faster than necessary.

I spent some time looking at Edens garden and absolutely loved it all! I will definitely use my lunch hour to peruse some more.

Wendy, have fun at the concert good thing you will be dressed appropriately LOL

Marian, deer are one thing but Im not sure that I would care for bears traipsing through my yard. Stay safe!

Chelone, I can see where the log splitter would be a huge time saver. Are you planning on selling your moms house or is it on the market already? Ricks uncle that just went to the nursing home rented so because of his finances it was imperative to clean things out asap. Since he was never married Rick and his sisters and another BIL did it.

Deanne, Im sure many people check out your front yard and have no clue what lies behind the house. Is the back visible from the front at all? You New Englanders really have it good with all your mini IUs. It really fun to talk with those who get it and in my area that is sorely lacking.
I like how the rainbow echoes the color of your canna ;o)

Kathy, the fuchsia is in a partial sun spot, but I have another one of that one in full sun.

Martie, Im glad to hear that business is picking up for Rich.

I hope Sue, Brenda and V are all getting some well deserved rest and relaxation.

Cindy, its Friday! You cant have the blahs on Friday LOL Check out the link below if you need a good laugh. This was at the Iowa State Fair.

Have a good Friday!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good morning all. In honor of Sue...


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 12:03PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Oh Jerri, thank you! Now I know what day it is.

Now, if the gas company would just stop jack hammering outside my office, I'd be pretty happy...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:03PM
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What beautiful weather we're being blessed with this week. And the weekend's forecast to be perfect too. Thanks everyone for the nice words about my gardens. I have a hard time photographing them between my lack of photography skills and how small the space is. I think it does look much different in person and there's so much that I haven't been able include or to get right in the photos.

Deanne, I can imagine many people that drive by are curious to see your gardens. I've had people knock on my door quite a few times too. They always tell me how nice my front gardens are and when I take them in back they're surprised to see how much more is back there. Your guests are really in for a treat when you take them on a tour!

Cindy, that's too bad that you've had so little rain. That makes such a difference in how happy the plants are. I've always noticed that I can keep things watered and they do OK but rain really is what greens up a garden and makes it grow. Hope you have a fun and productive weekend playing in your gardens.

Thanks Jerri for the guest TGIF. It's just not Friday without it.

Hope the vacationing Idyllers are having lots of fun and relaxation.

Wendy, oh my, have fun at the concert. You're a great mom to do that. I wouldn't mind the music but it's the crowds, both parking and in the concert that would be hard for me to take these days.

Mary, glad to hear your having such a fun summer. I look forward to hearing more about your Fresh Air guest. Living in the city as I do I run across many children who could greatly benefit from the experience of visiting a family as wonderful as yours.

Marian, I think the coleus you're refering to is Saturn or maybe Dipt in Wine. This has been a good year for growing coleus in my garden. Most of them are of good size.

Saucy, I keep meaning to mention how much I like your new statues and the design plan you've created to showcase them. So were you able to get all you had planned accomplished while the kids were away? You always seem to get so much done anyway I think.

I'm of a like mind with Michelle on growing old. I take my example from my parents. They've never let age stop them from pursuing much of anything they've been interested in doing and are the better for it both physically and mentally I think. I even notice myself at age 50 that gardening helps keep up my strength and mobility. Here's a quilt my mom just finished and gave me for my birthday last month as a tribute to what someone in their 70s can do.

And here's my favorite block. I traced Bella's handprint and sent it to my mom and she used that as the pattern for this.

Close ups of a couple of my other favorite blocks..

I think everyone here on Idylls is an good example of how to keep on keepin' on as we age too!

That's it from me today. Bella's waiting for stories before nap time, hers and mine :)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:23PM
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We now have about 4 cord of split and stacked firewood. And plenty more to go. Much of it will not be ready for a year, but that's OK since we have enough for the coming season. Maybe we'll sell some next fall. Dunno. It's pretty good stuff, mostly red oak and maple with some odds and ends of cherry and apple.

THTTF is just empty now. This is not the market to sell it, although we've received 3-4 unsolicited inquiries and could probably turn it around pretty quickly. It occupies a nice lot in a very desireable community with many recreational opportunities. My brother and I have decided to move slowly with respect to selling. We would like to rent it but on the finer points we differ. He would prefer to rent it seasonally and I think a stable long term tenant would be the better course of action. His thought is that a seasonal rental would give us time to go there and work on it in the off season and would pay the taxes and the maintenance cost. At any rate it requires attention before it's suitable to rent in either scenario. The heating system has just been upgraded (new boiler and new oil tank), there are new windows waiting to be put in the older portion of the house, and the old deck has been removed and will be replaced with an enclosed porch. After that? we'll see.

I wonder what a bear's "calling card" looks like. You didn't happen to snap a picture for our education did you, Marian? :) I know they always warn people about improper composting and leaving trash and birdseed out as the weather grows colder and the bears are working to add fat to their bodies for the winter (you may want to bring any outdoor catfood inside for a bit). That's very exciting news.

I heard a rumor about pesto pizza for "dinner" and I'm hungry!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Eden, the quilt is fabulous and what a treasure for you. My mom still is an avid quilter in her early 70's also. I love the rabbit and carrots square and the Bella square is just too precious. My parents are quite an inspiration to me as well. They just refinished the kitchen cabinets with adding extra trim to them give them a shaker style. They did an impressive job. My mom always has the philosophy that nothing is too hard to tackle or at least try.

I just returned once again from your garden. Did you see me poking around back there? LOL I really love your fairy garden. You some of the cutest accessories, especially the little reel mower. I would love to see a close up of the bog bathtub and maybe some info about what ingredients went into the mix and how you maintain it.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:59PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon... :-)

Home from another dentist appointment and for a change, it was manageable. This is a new dentist that I started with last January, but this is the first time he has actually worked on my teeth. I really liked him and was pleasantly surprised that I really liked the work when it was finished. I am not that easy to please, so that makes me feel more confident to have future work done. Still...glad to get that over with!

Wow, lots going on here, as usual. Marian has a bear going through her yard?! Wow, that sounds a little scary. I would be locking up tight at night too.

And that quilt Eden is so beautiful! That is an amazing job. I am very impressed with your Mom's talent. Did she applique the squares and macine quilt them when she was done? You must be thrilled to have something like that hand made by your Mom. Did she teach you how to quilt when you were growing up? I wonder how long it took her to make and did she machine quilt the whole thing? Tell her how amazing I think she is! :-)

I have more to say...but will have to come back later. I still haven't been able to see your garden yet, Eden.

My DH came in the house this morning before my dentist appt to say there was a large flower open on a plant near the back of the house. I had to run out to see. I just took a photo of the bud of the Plum Crazy Hibiscus starting to open two days ago and I wasn't expecting it to be so quick. Sure enough that was what it was. The blossoms are huge. I measure them to be 9 inches across. I hope there is enough time for it to set ripe seed. There are about 8 buds on it.

Be back later...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 2:17PM
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Eden, I often feel like I get a whole lot of nothing done....not much gets noticed, but I'll bet if I didn't do what I do, it'd be a jungle...inside and out :)

I went out to play in the SGOG and fought back all the bittersweet, and other unfriendlies, and then tried to fire up the chipper/shredder so I could get rid of the mess I'd made :) No such luck.

Looked around and decided the lawn needed to be finished, but I broke a linkage on the mower off to the hardware store. Needed a new wheel, too, I decided....back home again, jiggity, jig :) Fixed the linkage, added the wheel, mowed the lawn.

It's already 3 in the afternoon!

Anyway, this afternoon's agenda includes potting 3 new bananas :) I couldn't help myself :) I got basjoo, dwarf cavendish, and another zebrina that I think I'm gonna give to SunnyD.

Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your cousin so quickly. I imagine that must be hard to take. Better perhaps than suffering.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Here is the "calling card" , Chelone ...LOL

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:22PM
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Three new cordylines made their way to my doorstep today thanks to Deanne mentioning the cordyline chocolate queeen. Since I was ordering I threw in c.whiley's gold and a pink coryline that looks so similar to a dracaena kiwi that I have. I started thinking about exactly what the difference is between cordyline and dracaena and found this explaination on a blog called Brian's Garden.

"One other commonly grown houseplant that is often called a dracaena, but is NOT, is Cordyline terminalis. The plant is often sold under the names Dracaena terminalis or Cordyline fruticosa. The plant has many common names including Ti plant, Polynesian Ti, Goodluck Plant and Red Dracaena. The genus name Cordyline is from the Greek word kordyle (a club) and refers to the large, fleshy roots of some species. The species name terminalis means 'terminal' and refers to the inflorescence (flowers). Cordyline also belongs to the Agavaceae family. There are two easy ways to differentiate between the genera, and that is by examining the roots and leaves of the plant. The genus Dracaena has smooth-surfaced, orange or deep yellow colored rootstocks (inner tissue) that do not creep, whereas, the genus Cordyline has knobbly, white colored, creeping rootstocks. Plants in the genus Cordyline have leaf petioles (stalks on the leaf that joins the leaf to the stem), like the leaves of an African violet, whereas, the leaves of plants in the Dracaena genus do not have leaf petioles - like a spider plant leaf, for example."

Not to be left out, Bella had a package in the mail too. It was her children's book club choice this month...The Rabbit and the Turtle by Eric Carle. I know what I'll be reading at least a dozen times before bed :)

Saucy, will you attempt overwintering the basjoo in the ground? I was successful a couple of years ago but not last year. I think my problem was the corm getting wet and rotting and not so much the cold. I'm trying again this year in a new location with more protection and better drainage.

Michelle, sending my condolences on your cousin's passing too. I'm so sorry to hear that. I just bought another laundry sink at a friend's garage sale. She's quite a flea market hound. I always have her on the hunt for something, she's the one who found me the gate. She had neat stuff at this sale. I'm going to do another fairy garden in this sink but with mini hostas as the plants. I just need to figure out where to put it in the garden. I also scored two more chairs similar to my pink ones. I'm going to put them out in that garden area I'm redoing I think after their repainted. And I bought an old milk box to keep my garden tools in that looks just like the one we had on our front porch for milk delivery when I was a child. For the bog I used 4 or 5 parts canadian peat moss (I don't remember which) to one part perlite. That's what my bog gardening friend instructed me to do and the plants are growing, haven't lost any yet. I haven't had to add water since the original mixing due to all the rain we've had either. I'll take some closer shots for you when I get a chance. I was over looking at my friend's a couple of days ago and his bog plants are spectacular. They're a few years old now and just beautiful. I'm concerned about overwintering mine in the tub. I hope they survive the cold since they're elevated above ground in the tub. I'll pile bags of leaves around it for extra insulation and hope for the best.

PM, my mom had one of her friends machine quilt this one for her. She used to hand quilt everything but she doesn't have the strength to wrestle the quilt around since she's gotten sick. They big ones are just too heavy for her now. It is hand appliqued. That's one of her favorite techniques I think. She's done quite a few applique quilts.

Chelone, pesto pizza sounds good. I made Marie's recipe for the feta, pesto, tomato tart the other night and it was good too!

Speaking of which I'd better figure out what Bella and I are having for dinner. It's getting to be that time of day.

Have a good evening,


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 5:26PM
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Hmmm... somehow, Marian I expected it to look more like dog mess, not sure why I thought that because I know bears are related to swine. And that looks like swine manure! I am better educated now than I was this morning, that's for sure.

I mowed the lawn after "dinner" and then began going through a corner of the area under the filon roof that was packed with JUNK. The helpmeet (bless his cotton socks) will hold onto anything that looks remotely "useful". Sometimes I have to "drop the hammer" and insist that the cull take place. I chose the time after he left for the post office and the barber shop. Fully 1/4 of the garage bay that is "mine" is now full of items that will be placed kerbside Sunday evening. I am well satisified! now if I can only keep him from sneaking some of it back to his "clubhouse". ;)

Eden, that's a lovely quilt. I love the "primitive" nature of it, all the little personal things that are really the best part of quilting. Does your Mom use her machine for the longer, straight seams, and applique by hand? Tell me about the quilting; does she send the tops out to someone with a quilting machine, does she use her own machine, or does she do the quilting herself, by hand? How is she feeling these days?

There is a quilting frame in THTTF, it was my grandmother's (I have two of her quilts, both "Grandmother's Garden"; one in yellow and one in pink). It is very special to have something handworked by a loved family member. One of the more poignant moments for me was the discovery of a partially completed Mary Poppins doll, lovingly packed away until Mum felt like getting back to work on it. The remaining pieces of her attire are all cut out and marked... maybe I will finish it this winter as a way to really say good-bye. I have one she completed many years ago, it sits atop my bureau and I think of her every time I look at it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 5:39PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Eden, wonderful quilt. Your Mom rocks! ~~ Interesting info on the Cordyline genus. I wonder where the Cordyline Australis falls in there because there is no petiole on that plant. Id love to see some close up pics of your bog garden as well.

Here is the Chocolate Queen I just picked up a couple days ago.

Speaking of rock I wonder how Wendy is going at the concert.

Michelle, condolences on the passing of your cousin. So very sorry to hear that. ~~ Im in total agreement with you about gardening and keeping the old and creaking joints moving. I think it has to be a good thing to be out and moving, lifting, bending and in general active eight or so hours a day. It keeps the body and mind active and healthy. Sometimes Im astonished to realize that Im 56 years old and still able to do what I do. If Id not gotten fit and lost weight six years ago Id probably be in a wheelchair or have had knee replacement surgery. I just work through the aches and pains in the morning and keep on keeping on.

Chelone, I think its a brilliant idea to finish up that doll you found at your Mums.

PM your Plum Crazy is just beautiful! It ooks a lot like my Fascination.

OK this computer is still acting really cranky and Ive got some kind of Trojan thing that is closing down my internet explorer window randomly so Im going to sign off for now and let Doug try to figure out this problem and get rid of the bugs.

I thought youd like to see a few pics I took yesterday of the container areas and a few random garden shots.

Nite all

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Oh my gosh Deanne! Everytime you post pictures I think they're beautiful but this is definitely the best I've ever seen your gardens look. Wow! Fine Gardening would have to be crazy not to showcase them. I'll be looking at these again and again. Thanks so much for posting them.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 11:04PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Eden, thanks so much! I'm really pleased you liked the pics. It must be that new camera. LOL

Here is another set of pics I took yesterday of the back yard.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:03AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saturday again...

Doesn't it seem like summer is over already? Geez that went by awfully fast. I can't believe it is August 16th already. There has been so much rain and cloudiness all summer, that I honestly feel like we didn't have much of a summer. I can't remember when I have spent less time in the yard.

Michelle....I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin. What a shock that must have been. I have heard that Pancreatic cancer is among the toughest to overcome. Makes you think about how life can change on a dime. sorry to hear about your nephew's accident. How is he doing? So he is in a cast and on crutches? No internal injuries? Glad to hear business is picking up for Rich and hope that continues. I received the Bluestone catalog too but full price plants in the fall with 15% off just didn't seem enticing to me. I probably will make an order when and if they do a 50% off end of the season sale.

Hi Cindy....nice to see you. Sorry to hear you have been short on rain. I had that happen to me last year. Everyone around me was getting rain but it would always miss me and I was dragging hoses all season. Hope you get a break soon. The law of averages should kick in there at some point, right? I am also finding motivation to get started on pending garden projects is not there yet.

Denise.....The Dan Pearson article...I enjoyed his writing style. I have a fascination with English gardens and gardeners in general and his description of the park he was riding through had me wishing for photos to go with it. Thanks for the link. I am also wondering how the Gate project is coming along. are your plans for the garden coming along? I like the trellis/lattice you bought. Is that framework something Clematis would have an easy time climbing? I am trying to find more vertical supports for clematis and the photo you posted looks like something I could use against the house. How tall is it?

Deanne, your lawn is wonderful. Such a nice large expanse of it and it looks pretty healthy and really makes your gardens look even better. Tell Doug he is doing a great job! I'm with Cindy, Deanne...I am surprised you don't have 'daily' visitors looking for tours. [g] That Chocolate Queen Cordyline is a beauty and the name is not half bad either. I went looking for a photo of 'Fascination' Hibiscus but couldn't find one. But I thought I saw pink Hibiscus growing behind some of your pots?

Wow!! Your photos! Which container to look at Love the abutilon on the small porch with the cat planter. The black EEars with the coleus is really a wonderful combo. The pretty pot with a dark leaved canna and a very attractive coleus. Dahlia...pretty color. Looks like you had a great time with the planting around the mailbox. Love the 'white fence' garden area and I think I see a brug bud opening. Wondering what the tree in the background is? A maple? I seem to remember it turns a very pretty color in the fall?

Wendy, great description of your day at Deanne's. Sounds like you had a great time. Wondering how the rock concert went. No, I had not heard of those two groups. Amazing how many performers I am not familiar with, when it wasn't that long ago, there was very few that I didn't know. I don't think I could tolerate a concert any more either. I would be suffering from the loud music after the first 30 minutes. Funny, since I was always the one with the music turned up the loudest when I was younger. [g] Thanks for the reminder that I should get my bulb ordering going if I am going to do any this year. 'Apricot Beauty' tulip was a fav of mine and it came back reliably until the area it was in became too shady. happy to see you posting more often. You seem to be in very good spirits. Thank you for the reminder to keep advancing years in mind planning the garden. I usually try to keep that in mind, but I have been guilty of 'having to have' some plant or other that just doesn't fit that strategy. This year, maintenance issues are the priority when I am considering any new purchases. We have already done quite a bit of that in our planning, but I have a couple of areas that need to be rethought still.

Eden...just love your pink chair area and the agave collection area. Would also like close ups of the plantings in the tub. Where did you get that angel in with the lilies and coneflower? That is some amazing piece of garden art! The Eiffel Tower is cute and the face on the tree is very cheerful. Sometimes some of the 'faces' in garden art I have seen, are sort of cranky I'm sure you will do an equally wonderful job with the new chairs you have found. Did your friend find your new chairs for you? Yard sales? Love all the bunnies everywhere. Your hostas and ferns are wonderful...especially would love to know the name of the hosta that is in photo #27? A real beauty! Well...I really enjoyed touring your garden. So much detail and obviously lots of love gone into it. I'm sure your family really gets a lot out of it.

Eden, I'm glad your Mom had a friend to machine quilt for her. It really does take a lot of energy and strength to hand quilt and maneuver the quilt to machine quilt it even. She must have been so happy to finish it and give it to you. I also loved the Bella block and the rabbit with the carrots block. I would love to see photos of the rest of the blocks if you have them.

Chelone...that is an amazing amount of Pretty heavy duty equipment too. Did you get as much done as you needed to this week? You must be feeling better to get your canopy and screens up. Also think you are very lucky to have things that are handmade handed down in your family. Have a photo of the dolls?

Waving to Mary, wondering what happened to Ei and wishing for photos from her garden, looking forward to returning vacationers with photos in tow.

Well...that ought to do me for awhile. I think I am caught up at least until the vacationing Idylls return with new photos to look at. Off to see if there is anything that can be accomplished in the garden this morning. Everything is soaked. Have a great weekend...


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:22AM
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What a wonderful time touring the gardens of Michigan and New Hampshire this morning! I'm particularly intrigued by the use of Cyperus papyrus and wonder if you overwinter it in the ground or overwinter it in container or use it as an annual? I have a boggy spot so inquiring minds NEED to know. LOL

Mary -- I, too, am looking forward to hearing more about your Fresh Air experience, and am hopeful that David and his new friend stay in touch. After writing to GiGi that yet another family had entered into this fantastic program, I heard that her daughter had become a host family for the first time this year! It does help turn lives ...

Marian -- Please use rearview mirrors on your gardening hat in case the bear returns. Okay??? 8' is a little close ... I'm hopeful your road is intact.

Chelone -- It is truly impressive, the amount of wood you have ready to go. Mary Poppins' completion sounds perfect. Good for you to realize that shrub borders don't just appear. Pizza last night here, too :-)

Eden -- Okay. You need to bring Bella to MA. The Eric Carle museum, housed at Hampshire College is only about 1/2 hour away from the Suess museum. She belongs in the heart of all these childrens' masters. You can then head south to Hartford to the Twain and Beecher Stowe houses. One big literary tour with stops to view amazing gardens along the way.

Good for you to stand in for Sue, Jerri.

PM2 - That is some hibiscus!

Michelle -- I love your attitude toward your gardens, and wish I could internalize it enough to adopt it. At 51 I'm remembering the time when, at 32, I couldn't walk and watched my gardens disappear before my eyes. It was heartbreaking. So, there's a lot a Cornfield Park that is easy maintenance and long-lived, with some interesting perennials added in here and there with more on the way for next Spring.

It's funny, because this is the first garden (Park) that encompasses shrubs, perennials, edibles, annuals and what nature drops in here and there more than any other I've had. Each of the others has been decidedly slanted depending on the phase of my gardening mind. I'd never thought of it this way before.....

Since this is the last gardening plan I'll probably put together (never say never!!!!) I'm glad I have experience with all types of things so I can plant what I love, forget the most of the PIA stuff that gardening snobbery dictates (been there, done that), and still be able to keep up with everything.

Return to work is on August 27th and works out perfectly. Three days to get a September agenda together, three days off for Labor Day, then headfirst into Q4. Word has it that my clients actually miss me!!!! This is a huge compliment in my line of work -- right up there with Deanne's unexpected visitors :-)

Finished reading about Abigail Adams and am incredibly impressed with what influence she was able to accomplish, not only with John but with his peers. Decidedly good reading for any young person.

Today will be spend deadheading. I can do most of it standing up without hunching over too much. "White tornado" I may not be, but I'm going to try for dust devil, at least. LOL

Waving to everyone from coast to coast, and looking forward to vaca pics from all those in RELAX mode!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning. Another cloudy, cool, wet morning. This makes the 9th day in a row of much cooler than average temps. I am still expecting the heat to return.

I find the responses, to my cautioning on preparing for your aging when it comes to your gardens, interesting. I recall how I felt about it 15-20 years ago. I remember telling others that I would keep gardening even if I had to get down and crawl to do it. LOL
Well...crawling became no longer an option when my knees got bad, espacially the nerve damage in the left one.
I have found I frequently have to eat my words. :-)

Thanks, Chelone, and Pm2. I think you 'got' what I was trying to get across. Of course, if a person has the finances to hire help, the cautioning does not apply.

I am thinking poor old Calliecat's days with us are drawing to a close. She has taken to sleeping out in the wet grass, right out in the open, for hours and hours. She was in the same spot this morning that she was in yesterday evening. When I first looked out I wondered if she had passed on, but the next time I looked she had raised up, and sat there looking around. She didn't eat much of the dish of soft food that I gave her yesterday eve. She does not seem to be suffering, so we will let nature take it's course.

Michelle, that is awful about your 55 year old cousin. That is much too young to have that happen. I am so sorry.

Eden, your mom's quilt is beautiful. My granddmother quilted into her 80s. I never was much into any type of sewing. Just not my 'thing'. :-)

BTW, I completely agree with continuing doing all you can to keep agile into your old age. Some manage to keep going even into their 90s. Others are not able to, regardless of how much they try. :-(
Although I admire those who can work in their gardens when they are 90+, I know that it is not possible for all. Many never even live that long. My mother passed at 77, but she had cancer of the lungs. All the 'keeping going' could not change that ! My grandmother lived to be 87, and I do not remember her ever working out in her yard, or even exercising.

Am I the only one of this group that is keeping up with some of the Olympics? I like the swimming and diving best, but am hoping to see the equestrians, but they aren't even listed,(to be on the station that I see), until next Thursday.

Pm2, I 'am' in a pretty good mood. I attribute it to several things. One of them is the fact that Nolon has been motivated to do a lot of things outside, instead of sitting all day in his chair. Another is the weather. I love the cooler temps, and the fact that I am not having to drag the hose around. A third reason is the interest that I have in the posting on the other forums. There are so many differant subjects, that I check out constantly, and post on. Fourth is probably my meds and exercise/therapy...;-).


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 9:41AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Whoops, sorry PM the hibiscus is 'Fantasia' and not Fascination,


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 9:51AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

So Martie....back to work in a couple of weeks, how great! How are you feeling btw? Are you seeing the improvement that you were hoping for?

On the subject of getting older....I forgot earlier to ask....has anyone seen the new program on PBS on Takng Care of Aging Parents? Wow! We watched some of it the other night and it was very interesting to see so many people facing these same issues and how each of them in different circumstances are handling it. Both my parents have passed and DH's father has passed, but he is still helping to care for his Mom who is in her 80s. I thought many here might find this a helpful program. glad circumstances in your life are conspiring to help you feel better. Amazing how our spirits rise, when we get a little of what we need. :-)

Deanne...yes, that is a pretty pink Hibiscus too. I think it is the one I saw in one of your photos. I am really enjoying Hibiscus and trying to find a better combo that I would like better than the placement I have it in now. I hope I am going to stop moving my plants around at some point. [g]

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:32AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

So, Marian has answered the proverbial question regarding a bear and the woods...nevermind.

Michelle, so sorry to hear about your cousin, and sorrier still that I didn't see that in your post yesterday. I went back and re-read, and realized that you started your paragraph with a statement about gardening as you get older. Since I will be 25 (or maybe 29) forever, I skipped reading that part. I apologize for my negligence.

The concert went well last night. I remained seated for most of it, but DD pulled me out of my chair when Good Charlotte played the song that was stuck in my head all day as their encore. Another on-your-feet moment was when the lead singer from Boys like Girls smashed his guitar on stage (with nowhere near the energy and finesse of Pete Townsend I might add). They are a local band I found out, they lived in Taunton when they were starting out. The singer mentioned that he had previously been on that same stage in a cap and gown for his high school graduation. Maybe he was making some sort of statement.

The volume of the music doesn't bother me, the earplugs tone it down sufficiently most of the time. The band Kiss once said "If it's too loud, you're too old", and I did have one of those moments last night. The bass player for Boys like Girls was hooked up to some kind of subterranean super sub-woofer, and some notes he struck actually shook the walls. All I could think of was that movie with Don Knotts as a fish, and that sonic "thrumb" noise he made. The movie title escapes me right now.

Eden, that quilt is beautiful. How lovely that your mother made that for you, and incorporated Bella's handprint. My mother likes to quilt too, but she prefers piecing the blocks rather than the applique. She wanted me to pick out a quilt pattern for my own quilt when I was in high school, and I picked this complicated applique pattern, which she vetoed.

Deanne, love that Chocolate Queen - very pretty. I am attracted to plants that incorporate food names for some reason...

I took DD to her drum lesson today, and she brought along the snare drum from her drum set because she is having a problem with it and she hoped the drum teacher could tell her how to fix it. She hopped in front seat, with the snare drum on her lap and the sticks in her hand. As we were driving, she absently started to play the drum. Then she realized what she was doing, and said "hey, I should bring the snare drum in the car more often - it would be fun! I can play a drum roll at the red light, play a marching beat when we speed up, maybe some jazz for the highway..." Yeah, right. The snare drum rides in the back from now on. She and DS walked down to the store to buy kite string to fix the snares under the drum - I guess drummers have to be not only musicians and roadies, but repair techs too.

Well, I'm going to throw some lunch together then take DS shopping for new jeans for school. Too nice out for that really, but I have a 20% off coupon and he is willing to go, so we'll go. I liked it when they were little and didn't have veto power over their clothes. My DD is fond of telling me "I'm not your dolly" when I make clothing suggestions, so I've given up. Both kids prefer jeans and t-shirts, and as long as they are clean and in good repair I won't fight them.



    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:51AM
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My children are home from camp....a little stinky, but very happy :) Zeus is sleeping, but everytime Sarah speaks, her voice causes his tail to wag :) Jake's already in bed - late night and he's all stuffed up. Lots of tales of big bull frogs....

Sarah is enjoying a lollipop with a scorpion inside!

She's already freed his pinchers:

Here are my bees harvesting pollen (used as a source of protein....mixed with honey and fed to the brood): They remove the pollen granules with their front legs and move it back to the sacks on their back legs....all while flying! It was fun to watch.

I think I'm going to lose my mind....there is an alarm going off in the vacant house next door. My guess would be smoke alarm (but there's no smoke) and it is incessant, every second! They took down the for sale sign and I have no idea who to call. I'm "thisclose" to calling the police to see what could be done! We're on day 2....wonder how long it'll go?


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:59AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Frankly, Saucy, I would rather contend with bear scat than with a scorpion. And certainly not a scorpion in a lollipop !! Thank goodness it is dead !
Yargh ! could you !

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Wendy, The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Have to get that really important business out of the way. ;) Seriously, if we could print out what's stored in our brains...Music fascinates me, too, over the years, what it meant in my teens vs. 20s, 30s, etc. Now the boys load my Ipod, and the range of their taste amazes me. I'll ask them for the umpteenth time, since I can't read that bitty screen, Who's this I'm listening to? Oh, right, Slow Reader. That's Groove Armada? Is this Portishead or Mazzy Star? The last huge stadium concert I went to was Springsteen, in my 30s, the crowd roaring the lyrics of Thunder Road, and it felt wrong somehow. Maybe only the kids can take those huge tribal crowds, now it's the smaller venues for me. And I doubt if I ever go to any "reunion" concerts. I gave my kids Radiohead, Talking Heads, etc., and they've continued the favor. Can't believe I missed the Dandy Warhols somehow.

Hello, Mr. Bee. Saucy does you amazing justice with her new camera. Sarah, you have failed to drive your mom crazy with the scorpion pop, she just takes your picture for the world to see.

Eden, I loved seeing your garden and how you truly live in it, every inch, how it ebbs and flows up to and around the "people" areas, an amazing achievement for anyone, but astounding for zone 5. Such a sanctuary for you and your family. I'm very interested in the water/bog garden too and would like to start one for pitcher plants and perhaps a trollius. The quilt is a treasure. I can just see the glasses I'd have to wear to sew, more like a jeweler's loupe in glass frames. Before plants, as a teenager, fabrics were huge for me, so it'd take very little to get me prowling around for them again, and I still have my memere's cedar chest full of remnants.

Deanne, I especially love that grouping in the blue pots, simply amazing. And that little ruffly cuphea! Again, as with Eden, these zone 5 gardens knock my socks off!

Michelle, the snake-in-the-pants video was a hoot. That remark and my "Black Negligee" comment will just have to stand as they are. Losing relatives in their fifties is so hard, as we've had the misfortune to experience as well. My sincere condolences to your family.

Chelone, I get a satisfied feeling just looking at that woodpile. When our eucalypts blew over, we had quite a pile going, but they really burn poorly and took forever to cure, as I remember.

Martie, in solidarity with you, I did a little chaise time this week with a huge pile of books. Loved it! The hummers darting in and out, the bees on the salvias. But what a crop of grasshoppers I'm getting, voracious blighters. A nice slow slide back to work for you sounds fine. Thank goodness your nephew's injuries were relatively minor. I had a wonderful time on my new bike on its first outing, delivering your package of crocosmia bulbs to the post office. Should arrive early next week.

PM, your thoughtful posts are a treat, as usual. I think you asked about a palm, and that's one plant I've completely ignored. I think it's Washingtonia robusta. Ubiquitous, walked below them to grade school, junior high, high school, and am completely dumb about them. I do grow one desert palm, the triangle palm, Neodypsis that towers over the roof in the front garden. The gate project needs some caulking but is just about done.

Cindy, what a surprise to hear your weather has been dry! The overhead sprinkler in moderation really cheers me up. Common wisdom is it encourages disease, esp. if you grow roses, but I find it washes bugs and dirt off the plants.

I wonder what message that bear was trying to convey, coming all the way out of the woods to give you that present, Marian. I bet that gift is "ripe" with meaning, lol.

Much too long, a vigorous wave to whoever I missed. I think Jerri delurked perhaps. Woody, the Phoebe chronicles have been delightful. Happy weekend to all.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 1:26PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, this is the Coleus that I was referring to. Is it the same as yours ? I have rooted cuttings from this one planted in several container combos.( I think Tommy and/or a raccoon broke it a couple of times before I moved it to a less 'busy' corner of the front porch.)

Here is another one. in one of my 3 long containers:


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 2:23PM
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I'm in from the latest round of "logging". I was up early and quickly soaked up the two posts from Eden and Deanne (a cursory look at the usual lovely photographs) before lathering on the sunscreen and spritzing with insect repellant. We cleaned out under the filon this morning and there were some cross words exchanged about throwing things that have been unused for 6 years OUT. As usual, we reached an acceptable compromise and ribbed each other about it before heading to the woodpile. We have just about finished splitting the big pile of "rounds" (I think one more morning session will do it) and have begun filling in the newly cleared area under the filon with wood. I'm relatively certain this whole operation is about as interesting as watching paint dry for you guys but we're so pleased with the amount of work accomplished I just have to crow about it. :) To relieve the monotony of the task, I've allowed myself to daydream of winter days in the Salon with the pretty new stove stalwartly radiating heat to stave off the chill... .

I can't believe I'm on the downhill slide to the end of vacation. I'd love another week but the budget will not permit it... at least not if we want to invest in sizeable nursery stock and some well planned time with heavy equipment. RATS! I have not left the Compound since I took the helpmeet to pick up his car at the garage on Monday. Clearly, I've failed in my stated mission to come home from work, turn off the car and not start it again until it's time to go back to work. :) I've not, PM, managed to get all that I wanted done; in fact, I've ended up doing things that weren't even on the list at all! But I'm feeling really good about the wood as it's cleaned up a very messy area and prevented such a valuable resource from rotting on the ground.

This aspect of the week gets back to Marian's caution about "gardening smaht": as much as I really wanted to get rolling on the front shrub/privacy! border it wasn't the prudent use of my block of time. We need to really fine tune the plan and schedule the heavy equipment guy and the delivery of whatever loam/compost/gravel we will need. If we plan it correctly, we will have one day of heavy machinery to get the materials in place and then we may work selectively toward the long-term goal. One of the things I learned from landscape architect FIL was to curb the desire to "get going". A thoughtful plan and patience is very often the way to achieve the best, most economical result LONG TERM. And this is where I think Marian's cautionary words will be given the merit they deserve. We want a full, lush shrub border along the road. Once established, it will easy and fun to flesh it out and give it seasonal color with bulbs and judicious use of perennials.

Mum was working on that Mary Poppins until her 78th. year, when the cancer laid her so low she couldn't adequately care for herself. Had I know of its existance I'd have brought it along and set her up with a sewing machine... . As for remaining active as we age, count me right in with the restayas! Mum was outdoors nearly every single day, meandering around the yard and noting the changes from week to week. She was failing mentally but was still sure-footed and strong when she entered the nursing hoLe. It was all downhill from there. Statistically, the "inmates" die within 12 mos. of incarceration; it took Mum less than 6. I am still figuring out how to shoulder the guilt over that. Not always successfully, as you can see. :/ (she braided rugs, dying her own wools, stencilled furniture, made clothing and dolls, knitted and crocheted with great skill, and did the NYT crossword puzzle in about one day). Strokes are probably the worst affliction for someone with a bright, curious mind...

As one with a familiy member presently dying of pancreatic cancer I add my voice to the chorus of sympathy to you, Michelle. It is a swift moving cancer and the best anyone can hope is that death comes relatively painlessly. Another reminder to live life fully and with relish. We never know when our number will come up.

I want one of those lollipops with a scorpion inside! definitely right up my alley, lol. Right along with bear scat... clearly my development was arrested at about age 12. Works for me!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 2:41PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Look at the differance in the Fishnet Coleus :

This one is in the shade, with very little direct sun:

This one gets a lot of direct sun !

They are from the same original mother plant. They both have deep purple stems, but what a differance in the leaves!
I like the sunny one the best.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Michelle has been in my thoughts all day along with all those who loved her cousin. Glad the knowledge of the disease was short. In this particular case, given this cancer's horrid reputation, perhaps ignorance was bliss....

You're off a few days, Denise. The package arrived today and you can pack with the best of them! There is a spot in the Idyll corner of the garden just screaming for something like crocosmia. Do you think this variety will be hardy in Z6 or should I store until next Spring? Either way works for me :-) Thank You!! Glad you enjoyed the indulgence of chaise time. Healing, huh????

If my family is any indication, I have a long life to live. My p. grandmother lived to 83, 35 years with a colostomy and it's burdens, and only went way down hill after she sold her home and gardens. My mom is 74 and you can catch her at home you're lucky. Since no one has ever accused me of being able to sit still for long, I plan on planting annuals forever.

The quilt is superb, Eden. I hope your Mom knows that it has brought friends far and wide much happiness through your pics.

I'm starting to really feel the benefits of the surgery, PM2, and was thinking today of the Freedom it will bring. Already my clothes actually fit as there's no more five-month pregnant belly, I've made plans for October without any "we'll see how I feel" caveats, my Dad sold his stock in Kotex ("They're #1 consumer user is off the books -- why take any chances????" LOL), and the constant supply of Percocet for pain has been rescinded at the drugstore. Doesn't get much better than that at this point!!!

My Dneph is doing really well. "Just" a broken leg that has been surgically repaired and he'll be out of the hospital today. Rich graciously offered to go get stuff out of what used to be his little pickup so that no one had to go through seeing the damage, again. Ky and a bunch of his friends have set up a visiting schedule for the days he'll be confined to home when my sister goes back to school and they've even come up with lunch menus. So how much mac and cheese can one person eat without harm ?!?! :-)

It's a sunny, breezy day today. We missed horrendous storms last night -- the valley was in the middle of two storm lines so we got rain but none of the damage that our neighbors five miles east or west received. BIG sign of relief.

Rock On, Wendy!!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 4:15PM
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Wow, Im going to be typing all night if I try to comment on all the goings on while I was away ! These business trips can be so exhausting and this one was no exception, but I got some nice photos and will work on getting them viewable tomorrow. I had three people with me that had never visited Chicago before, so it was fun to show them around in the brief free time we had. I must say, Ive been going there for nearly 20 years and the city has done nothing but gotten more beautiful and vibrant.

Eden, I just thought your garden was so charming ! I will go back in the AM with coffee to tour it again. Your Moms quilt ..what a wonderful gift to you and one that will undoubtedly be cherished by future generations.

Marian, I have been following the Olympics and because of the time zone I was in for the last several days got to see a few events. I hope to watch more tonite, but it comes on pretty late in Pacific time. I got to see Mark Phelps win his 7th gold , and parts of the womens gymnastics.

Deanne, the link to your front garden gallery is my fave of all those you have put up so far this year. My jaw was open throughout and I may have drooled a time or two !

Ok, thats all I have in me for tonite ..leftovers and sleep are on the agenda

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:55PM
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I am following the Olympics a bit, too, Marian, but I keep forgetting to say so :)

I'm up folding clothes and trying to get us ready for our vacation. My deck looks hilarious with the plants all bunched together under a sprinkler that is on a timer....we're testing it out tonight.

I'm so happy to have my babies home....

I'm going to be online for vacation this year...poor you :)

Where is Cynthia? I miss her dearly. I saw some graceful greys at the Petco today.....


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 9:24PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Great to see you back safe and sound, Kathy ! I will be looking forward to the pics of Chicago. ( Did you get a pic of skidrow...LOL !)
I just saw the gal win the Marathon. Yay for her !

I am at my computer, but keep turning around to watch. I hope to stay up long enough to see Michael Phelp's swim for the 8th Gold metal.

Saucy, did I miss where your vacation is going to be ??

I haven't had a 'vacation' for 11 years ! That was my last trip to Idaho. :-(

My sis called today(from Idaho), and we had a nice visit and lots of laughs.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

OK, if Kathy is back in Napa then it must be safe for me to return to the Chicago area!

We got home about three hours ago after a great trip up to the cabin. Canada very graciously provided a week's worth of lovely weather (I think this is the first time I've been to the cabin with no thunderstorms!) and we had a lot of fun with this year's addition, a small fleet of kayaks. The cousins in the next cabin provided two different dogs for our dogs to play with and plenty of enjoyable visiting time. One morning, Mystic wandered over to their cabin, got himself mistaken for their black lab and was making himself at home in the wrong cabin. And we got to visit a great farmers market in town with a wonderful selection of goodies.

But there is a shower with real running (warm!) water that is calling my name. Until tomorrow,


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 10:23PM
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Nearly all the missing chickens have returned to the Idyll coop, things are getting back to normal. I've been wondering about Cynthia, too, was reminded of her when as I skimmed through IUV photos and saw those two lovely dog sculptures that were in front of one of the homes. And think of her whenever I see slender dogs with "pointy noses".

Dogs "sleeping over" at the neighboring cabin made me smile, and the kayaks sounded like a lot of fun, too.

I've been an intermittant 'pic viewer, Marian. I manage to fall asleep pretty quickly (do I need more Geritol?), but have caught some things on "rerun" after midnight. Michael Phelps is pretty incredible. Swimming is an upper body sport, but his flip turns and the power his dolphin kick generates leaving the wall is jaw dropping. Like the Aussies, I like the distance events but not well enough to remain awake for the 1500 meters, lol. And how about Dara Torres? a silver by 1/100 of a second; testimony to the success of keeping fit. I did manage to watch the lovely Nastia Liukin claim the individual gold medal, though. I'm not sure if I enjoyed her performance of the animated commentary by Bela Karoli more!

Martie, your Dad's stock move cracked me right up. When I broke my wrist and they gave me a 'scrip. for some pain medication the helpmeet casually said, "gee hon., why don't you simply stockpile them so we can use them recreationally", the pharmacist and his assistant cracked up. I'm sure it's a relief to have it all behind you and know that the future is going to be less fraught with uncertainty. And it will probably be about time for you to wade back into the world of work. After all, it's work that gives real meaning to play! I'm sure Dneph. is still a bit sore; how long will he be sporting his cast?

Marian, I like "Fishnet Stocking" better in the shady location; I also like the little number with the white varigation right beside it. On the whole, however, coleus basically leave me cold. Funny, huh?

What would Saturday be without a thunderstorm? Sure enough, we finished up the logging and the helpmeet took the boat out. I heard the distant rumblings of thunder, looked out the west side of the house to see robust thunderheads building. I don't usually worry about the helpmeet and the boat, but thunderstorms tend to rattle my usual steady nerves when it comes to yachting. Naturally, my fertile imagination conjured images of empty gas tanks, unfavorable winds, and a marine radio with a dead battery... etc.. ;) Within 15 minutes of that flight of fancy I heard the front door open and the "Hi Honey, I'm home!". Silly me.

As you know, we put new seamless gutters on the house this year and we had the one on the back of the house extended past the rake board. The old one had stopped just short of it and the screen room always leaked there. We watched the corner carefully and NO leaking! It was very pleasant to sit out there with my book listening to the rain bounce off the canopy. The helpmeet even commented that the house was looking pretty nice, telling me he was glad I had insisted on getting it painted. It was his suggestion that we ge the canopy up, I'm glad we made the time and put in the effort to put it up this year. Summer may be on the wane, but we'll be sittin' pretty if we have a nice "Indian Summer".

As usual, Wendy, you manage to say something that breaks me up. This time it was the bear and woods comment AND the descriptive commentary on guitar smashing techniques. Personally, I never saw the point in such a silly act of waste. My sentiments are summed up perfectly in a song called, "Perfectly Good Guitar" by a guy named John Hyatt.

Time for more coffee right now. And then a leisurely trip outdoors to unveil the woodpiles to the climbing sun. :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 7:01AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We are enjoying a lovely, scrubbed clean morning here. The storms that blew through yesterday have brought air with the tinge of autumn. It a bit chilly and damp out at the moment but the sun is shining and the sky is that wonderful deep blue of September. Yes indeed, the summer is waning. I simply cannot believe how quickly its flown by this year.

Chelone, we got those huge billowing thunder heads here too and if Doug was out on the water Id have had the same worries. Glad your DH didnt encounter any lightening and high winds on the water.

V. welcome home! Sounds like you sent all your thunder storms south. Weve had storms every day you were gone.

Saucy, eeeeuuuu that lollipop with the scorpion just grossed me out. But, I love the bee photos. Marvelous! ~~ I miss Cynthia also. Hope shes OK.

Kathy, Welcome home. Ive missed your evening insights. Glad to hear you enjoyed your trip to Chicago. ~~ Thanks! So happy you like the garden galleries. Its so much fun for me to see all those baby plants I nurtured over winter out there performing their hearts out.

Marian, I like the Fishnet Stockings in the sunlight. Great plant.

Denise, thanks very much! Ive just begun to collect the blue pots and am liking that look with the orange colors in the containers. Monique has a lovely collection of blues and Ive admired it for years.

Wendy, I lol over the Im not your dolly remark from you DD. ~~ You are a braver soul than I. Even with ear plugs you couldnt get me to a rock concert. I get claustrophobic in crowds and Id just have a panic attack instead of enjoying the music.

PM thanks so much! I told Doug you like is lawn. Im glad I dont have daily visitors! Its fun to have people want to see the gardens but it takes time. ~~ Im continuously moving my plants around and editing as I come up with better ideas. I think thats part of the process for me and for many gardeners. I have my hibiscus near a Chamaecyparis and some Echinacea and Heather.

Martie, I grow those Papyrus as annuals. I did over winter a couple of the plants in the house but they really were a bit of a pain in the neck and wont do it again. Ive always been able to find them in the spring at Lake St Gardens in Salem, NH so Im hoping Ill still be able to find them again next year. They are such a fabulous plant and I highly recommend trying them. They should do really well in your boggy area.

Im finally getting some dahlias. This is Alvas Regalia. One of my favs. Its such a gorgeous purple

And Le Baron is just getting started.

OK Im off to water the containers. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 8:12AM
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OK, is everyone sleeping late or at Sunday brunch?

Deanne, that Hibiscus is really lovely. I particularly like the leaf contrast with the chamaecyparis; would you tell me the variety of the latter? My Hibiscus are languishing in their too shady site next to the "pond"/vernal pool/muck hole/"wallow". I think they'll fare better over next to the road where it's wet AND sunny.

I think I may have found someone willing to schedule dog walking time with Rex and me. She is very active with the shelter where we adopted Rex and she has a young dog she's training. She "gets it" the same way you guys "get" gardening. We shared "war stories" and I lamented the limited availability of "socialization venues" aside from obedience classes. Her ears pricked right up and we exchanged phone #s. I am going to call her and see if we can't get something going. Her dog has done an amazing job "pimping his ride"; the door upholstery in the back seat is largely missing... . Lol.

I suppose I should go pull some weeds since everyone else is clearly busy this morning... hrrrummmph.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 10:11AM
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What a gorgeous day, here!! I was not flitting, Chelone, but rather going on my very first "on my own" food shopping run. Brunch does sound good, though. LOL No cases of anything to lift, Rich will do that later in the week, but it felt So Good to be on my own doing a usual task.

Tomorrow a 15yo daughter of a good friend is coming to help me weed and move some plants around. She had a very tough freshman year in high school, and my GF feels that spending some time with me may adjust her attitude a bit. A really nice compliment, but I doubt that three or four hours is going to make a difference. That said, if she does well and has an interest, I'll hire her for a weekly visit now through the end of gardening season since I'm so far behind. Win/Win situation to me!! When we put in her Mom's gardens, she was a little but loved getting dirty, so maybe this Will help -- us both!

My gut tells me that Cynthia is fine, but needs some time to mourn. The last I/we heard from her was on the Topiary thread, right? Just check in, mid-Atlantic friend, to let us know you're okay .....

Saucy -- Post away on vacation! Gotta wonder if the spider was de-poisoned before being placed in candy? She's a braver girl than I. How did Jake like being a Ranger? Is there summer employment possibilities for next year as a result? Wanted you to know that I'm going to be taking lots of Lav cuttings this year, and will gladly do some extra for your GoG's if you'd like. It seems protected enough that they should be okay.

If anyone likes Patty Pan type squash, please let me know as we have an overabundance. The kids around have come to call it Flying Saucer squash and I think they eat it given the moniker. Whatever works!

Thanks for the Papyrus info, Deanne. The shape of the plant is so different and I have visions of using it a lot of different ways. I know that Logee's usually has a few varieties in Spring, and one of our local nurseries has had it in the past. That doesn't mean, however, that a trip up in Spring is out of the question :-)

Have been meaning to tell you Marian, that you "sound" like you're feeling better and for that I am truly grateful on your behalf.

Kathy, glad you're home but really was hoping to get notice that you'd be flying east for a visit. Can you believe that I've not been to Chicago for any reason for 27 years? Last time I flew in for a transfer (maybe 10 years ago??) I couldn't believe the amount of development around the city. Others have said that the city is taking itself to a new level, and I'm glad. When do you leave to see Mr. Baby and family?

V: I'll betcha that was one of the best showers, ever :-) Looking forward to hearing from you some more.

Laughing yet again at Michelle's link. It's a keeper...

Have a great day, everyone!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 11:20AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Having been dog obsessed all week, Im very behind on activities here! I have been (sort of) following along, enjoying garden tours :- )

Its sort of a shame that Phoebe will be heading home just as were all sorting ourselves out. It wasnt until the night before last that I finally figured out how to get them to do their evening bathroom duties in the backyard without Phoebe pouncing all over Mistyr/chasing her. (The answer is to send Phoebe off to do her business first shes faster; Misty like to wander around a bit first and then tell her come. When she comes, tell her to sit and hold a cookie in your fist in front of her nose. Misty can then go wandering off to do her business while Phoebe sits in thrall to the cookie! When Misty is finished and returns, Phoebe gets the cookie and we all go back up in the lift together with no further problems.) Ive been using the same technique in the house last night and today to keep Phoebe from chasing/pouncing on Misty when we move from room to room hold a cookie in your closed fist in front of her nose and she will ignore everything else and follow you anywhere! Talk about being led around by your nose :- ) ! I made a batch of cookies to go home with her today

Saucy the picture of the Idyllettes fenced out of the garden center with the birdbaths made me laugh :- ) Sarahs lollipop is a bit gross! What do you do with the scorpion as it appears?! It doesnt strike me as gourmet food.!

Deanne the double rainbow (sharp eyes Marian) was very beautiful. The impromptu tour of your gardens for the people who stopped to talk to you about them would have been a lot of fun for everyone.

Marian be careful with that bear around! I quite agree re planning the garden for a potentially less active future. I intend to stay as active in the garden as I can for as long as I can. And that means Im always thinking of ways to minimize maintenance and/or make it easier to do. Simple things like paths in or along the beds and more permanent edging like the bricks with the root barrier that I installed last year, make a big difference in many ways. But you wouldnt necessarily realize that they were there for intensely practical reasons unless I pointed it out.

Kathy Im looking forward to your Chicago pictures. Ive only been there once for a conference and we didnt have much time for sightseeing. The architecture was what I remember most.

Chelone youve certainly had a busy and productive summer! Thats a lot of wood. It made me a bit nostalgic growing up at my grandparents, the house was heated with wood. It was my sister and my job to haul all the wood to the wood sheds attached to our wing of the house and my grandparents wing, and then stack it for winter use. (It takes a LOT of wood to heat a big, old, uninsulated farm house for two families!) We also had to split (by hand) any big stuff - Grandpa usually ordered a few loads of already split stuff but sometimes some of it was too big or we had additional wood of out own that needed sawing and splitting. My sister and I were pretty expert with a bucksaw and ax by the time we were eight or so!

Eden those quilts your mother made are so beautiful! Heirlooms for sure.Youll have to pass the one with Bellas handprint on it on to her one day.

Michele my condolences re the death of your cousin.

V Where was the cabin that there wasnt a thunderstorm for a week?! Theyve been VERY common here lately!!

PM- Plum Crazy is very pretty. Ive been trying to upload a picture of the seedling version of the Disco Belle so you can see what you might get from any seeds Id send but Picturetrail is not working this morning.

OK Ive concluded Im too hopelessly behind to try to comment to everyone so Im stopping here my apologies to those Ive missed.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 11:40AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning.. :-)

Well what do you know, it finally stopped raining for a day. [g] Out to the garden 7:30am to blue skies and cool comfortable temps. It has warmed up and isn't quite dry here, but much needed clear skies and sun. Three more days of this coming up in the forecast. We cleaned up our front bed that was really bugging me, this morning. Pulled out 4 huge Shastas and a 15ft row of portulaca that was multi color and driving me crazy. Cut back two rose bushes to six inch stubs and yanked a third and tossed it. There goes half of the design plan I just installed last Not all is lost though. I am loving one corner that has a Pennisetum with AJ Sedum, an aster and a chrysanthemum. An edging of Vera Jameson sedum along the street side is filling in nicely. Dianthus Siberian Blues was a surprise that looks good with the Sedum and is long blooming if it is deadheaded. The other side worked out really well with silver Dianthus and Silver Mound Artemesia that look pretty neat all summer.

As we were yanking and pulling, there was one single rose left on the DA rose and the fragrance was soooooo pleasant. I just hate that I can't get roses to work for me, because the fragrance is something I will miss. This bed would be the only place I have sunny enough for roses, but it is in the front and I need something that performs, stays neat and is not a trouble maker. I am going to yank these and I'm almost convinced to replace them with grasses and sedums, maybe a butterfly bush. I could put a Knock Out Rose there, but really it is not going to provide me with the fragrance I am looking for. This is one of those choices that Marian's suggestion of planning for not being as able to care for the garden, really applies to.

So the bed is at least all ready to be planted when it is cooler when I can move things around. I have some plants already that could fit the bill...a nice 'Karley Rose' Pennisetum, a Purple Emperor Sedum. We'll see. I would really like to end up with something I don't want to yank out next year. [g] So that's what's happening in our garden this morning.

Saucy...rushing past the lollipop [g]...your new camera is doing a great the bee photo, what is that pink flower? I am amazed you hadn't called the police yet. I don't think I could have gone two days with an alarm going off.

Denise and has always been a necessity for me and I agree, Denise, it has meant different things over the years. Our kids are music lovers too and it is my DD who shares some of her music with me. We seem to have similar taste. The two of us enjoy watching American Idol every year, despite all it's faults. Michael Buble, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, Mariah Carey are some we have in common. DH on the other hand was always a hard rock fan. Jimmy Hendrix, Cream, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Santana and strangely....Barbara Streisand. lol He is also a Springsteen fan. It would be easier to list what I don't like, and mostly it would be most country, some jazz, most hard rock, most opera. I grew up listening to my Dad play Frank and Bing and the big bands and I am a fan. Listened to all the oldies during my teens and 20s. My brother was an Elvis fan and I was not enthralled, but I became a fan to some degree due to my brother's influence. Our two sons have their own likes. Middle son is a techno music fan and oldest son loves Frank and oldies and Jazz. In the past few years, I have explored more classical music then in the past. Not ever having been exposed to it growing up, my interest is limited. I did find a CD titled, 'The Most Relaxing Classical Album in the World Ever'. Great when you are stressed. Probably half the tracks were familiar to me for one reason or another. I love the Three Tenors, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Anita Baker.

Well....don't know what got into me this morning...chatty! :-)

So...I am going to have to come back and comment on all your posts later...this is too long already.

Denise...thanks for the link to the Triangle Palm and looking forward to a photo of the Gate. Palms seem to be so much in the background for you, but I didn't see my first palm tree in person until we went on our first trip to Florida at age 12. Some of the avenues lined with palms in West Palm Spectacular. What a nice change of scenery from New England. I have not had the opportunity to spend much time in California. One quick trip for a wedding that didn't leave me any exploring time. I would really enjoy seeing more of the landscape and gardens because I do really enjoy that style too. You have some gorgeous native plants!

OK....glad to see you back V.... :-)


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 11:46AM
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Good Morning Idylls!
Coffee in hand, Im taking some time while the marine layer hovers to post a few pics from my journey to the great Midwest. Amazing how the deadheading needs pile up with just a few days away.

Martie, if I had not been on the road so frequently in the last few months it would have been a no-brainer to keep moving east and do an Idyll road tour ! Will probably head up to Oregon in October, before the bad weather sets in.

These beds run for several blocks along Michigan Ave , and similar plantings are in the median strip . This photo was taken just north of the Art Institute.

This is a little blurry because of the shade here, but these urns run all the way around the balustrade at the Art Institute. They are about 3ft diameter and head high.

Close up of the above

The Lurie Garden.. two acres, so not too large, but beautifully done.I'll put up more shots in a separate thread

More later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 12:10PM
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OMG, I'm entranced with the Chicago photos, Kathy, thanks so much. Never had the privilege to visit but mean to at some point. Gardens and cities, better yet, gardens in cities, really gets my juices going, probably because I've known little else. And so nice to have a "full chorus," with many idyllers returning.

Chelone's visiting THTTF has stayed with me since reading it yesterday, sinking in during a long shower, then still bubbling up this morning. My grandmother's house, not forgotten, but immediately torn apart by many relatives. I must have been in my late 20s. I remember my aunts disgusted with all her "junk." Everyone sorted through the appliances and "good" stuff, yet there was the gold jacquard coverlet that covered her bed as far back as I can remember, cast aside in the throwaway pile. Her bedroom always neat as a pin, really like a nun's cell since she was widowed so young, with the religious figurines on the bureaus, mostly statues of Mary, and always that gleaming coverlet. So I do have it now, and a pink McCoy vase that was always on her bureau, also rescued from the unwanted pile. That along with a ruby ring she gave me before she died. And seeing it on her hand in my mind's eye, I see I have her hands. She was a brusque woman, not a gentle grandmother, but I realize now she was the only person around me growing up who lived among plants as naturally as breathing. And was a bit of a cat lady too, in a large family mostly petless ;)

Gotta shake this pensive mood and get to work! Happy Sunday to all. Looking forward to more photos...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 1:02PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA of my favorite city gardens! Piet Oudolf outdid himself and this garden is probably one of the first things about Chicago to make me want to visit. They do create a lot of garden spaces in Chicago and I was always impressed with their efforts to create Rain Gardens to take care of run off and some of the roof gardens there as well.

[Hi Kathy! LOL Nice to see you back! :-)]

I went looking for some links...

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 1:27PM
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Going through Kathy's pics, I wondered how I could have ever missed this Park. PM2's link provided the answer -- it wasn't there when I was. Whew!!!!

Chest Pounding Alert!!!!!! I have buds on my Camellia japonica 'April Tryst'!!!! Save the coffee grounds!!!! Shut the heat source in the dining room (bright but not direct sun)!!!!! Find pot in which to boil water for adequate humidity!!!!! Hope against hope that it's outdoor to indoor transition works!!!!

Yes, for those in Z7++ this is a ridiculous hysteria, but I'm just tickled that I've kept this thing alive for the last 1.5 years, and now it's budding! I got it during a GardenWeb New England forum trip to Logee's -- must've been the good vibes!

Anyway, I know it could live outside in a Z6b microclimate, but it's still such a little thing (maaaaaaybe 18") and can't bring myself to plant it.

Okay, back to normal, whatever that its :-)


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 5:31PM
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I've got a secret to tell just you guys. Jenni and Randy are having a baby! Since she's only at 6wks. they've only told family but I had to let you all in on the secret. Due date's April 13.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 6:47PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - congratulations to Jenni and Randy!

The big, hairy beast (a.k.a. Phoebe) went home this afternoon. She was very happy to see 'mummy and daddy'. It seems quiet here without her....

For PM2 - seeds from this:

sometimes produce plants that look like this:

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Eden, how eciting! Congrats to them and you.
I also wanted to tell you how nice that quilt is your mom made and I enjoyed your garden tour.

Deanne your garden tour was scrumptious too.

Welcome back V and Kathy and waving to all the rest.

Martie we will need to see blooms when your plant does its thing.

PM, is the Dianthus Siberian Blues really blue or is that just a name?

Marian any more sign of the bear?

I miss Cynthia's post too. N

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 8:39PM
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When you are away from the garden for a few days , subtle things you may not have noticed while in-situ catch your eye upon your return. I see the beginning of a change in the pattern of light that signals the end of summer and the creep into fall. Chinese pistache trees on my street are starting to show small patches of color . Certain areas are requiring less water because of increased shade. Im keeping my eagle eye open for mildew this is the time of year when I start to see it show up on Zinnias, Dahlias, even Cosmos. I have a container planting that Im unhappy with that I think I will re-do with fall/winter stuff as soon as I start to see them turn up at the garden center. Thinking I might do some ornamental kale this year. Do you know I dont think Ive ever planted kale in all the years Ive been gardening. It stays attractive all winter here .

Viewing the various Hibiscus photos has caused me to examine my mild climate elitism regarding tropical versus cold hardy Hibiscus. Not that I have any tropical Hibiscus at the moment, having sent many to the grave over the winters here in Napa. (I tend to leave them out all winter to fend for themselves-which they dont !) I think I may have to dabble in some of the cool cultivars that I am seeing here lately, not to mention in both public and private gardens over that last few years. I loved the pics that both Deanne and PM have posted-that Plum Crazy is very cool.

Michelle hugs out to you in the event of the untimely loss your cousin- funny how 55 seemed old to me at one time , and now that I passed that mark I dont feel much different than I did when I was 40. (except for the d*%m teeth of course) . That snake video was hilarious by the way !

Saucy, so much for your peace and quiet , and uninterrupted garden time. You made good use of your reverse vacation (everybody leaves and you stay home) and I bet its almost time for your kids to hit the books again ? School starts here in a week.

Chelone, your woodpile is a study in geometry. Perfect size splits , ready to fire up the salon. Hope its awhile before you have to use it !

Wendy, unfortunately concerts end past my bedtime..Whenever I go to our local symphonies' concerts I always do the Sunday matinee, surrounded by elder folk.

Whispered congrats to Eden !

Woody, when I first visited Chicago in the late 80s there was nothing like the plantings that are there now. But you are so right, the architecture is fabulous-Ive been to many of our cities and nothing really compares. San Francisco has very unique buildings and natural beauty, but the city is no where as clean and well kept.

V, a wave went out to you as I flew over Illinois on my way home Saturday morning.

Hi Norma!

I miss Cynthia too, with her wry observations and stories of the antics of the greys.

Hi Denise,Hi Cindy and anyone else I have failed to greet today...

Time to check out for the evening. Later everyone !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 9:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good evening all...

Norma, no more evidence of the bear, but Tommy is still spooked, and will hardly go out unless he is with one of us. Poor guy...

Kathy , it is strange that you mentioned "small patches of color" on the pistache trees. We have some spots of color also. One small patch of red is in the dogwood east of the house. I am wondering if this fall will be outstanding due to all the rain, or if it will be washed out ???

Woody, I can imagine how quiet and lonely it will be for awhile, with Phoebe gone. Misty will sure miss her too.
All the pics of the hardy hibiscus are making me wish to try them again...but no where to put them to be safe from the deer. :-(

We had another cool day. The 10th in a row of 60 or less at night, and about 70 in the daytime....wierd !


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 9:32PM
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Marian, I have also seen some color on my Liquidambar tree.Often times here the vineyards will supply the best fall color. Do you often have bears around your property ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 9:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ms Phoebe is HOME! Unfortunately she was so excited to see us that she peed on Woody's floor.... She is very tired tonight and sleeping because her friend Nora showed up to play and they ran into the pond 8-10 times. They'll be stinky pups tomorrow! They ran HARD, jumped and play bit each other. Exhausting!

Oh Eden, that whispered news is exciting. You just have to believe in miracles. Let me add my non-news, that Sarah & DSIL are "working" on a sibling for Skyler and Reed. We have a history of miscarriages, so it may be a while, but I hope not given DSIL's age.

I'll never be able to catch up on everyone's thoughts and activities here, but I have at least skimmed. Our Sarah would LOVE Sarah's scorpion lollipop! She used to get BLUE slushies after every hockey game and they looked awful to me...but then I even refuse blue M&Ms.

Someone mentioned The English Patient recently...I loved the book and the film. A fellow at yesterday's wedding that we attended is an explosives expert...and that reminded me of the movie once again. He even resembles the character from the film! He is the Maid of Honor's partner. She has a 12 year old daughter whose birthday was on Friday and he put on an amazing surprise light show in her honor. She had been feeling a bit left out, not the center of attention until this took place. Here is the Maid of Honor with her partner:

And here is the bride with the MOH and her daughter, both in the wedding party.

The bride's brother played sitar while everyone gathered in the field for the ceremony. We sat on hay bales.

The bride arrives with her Dad:

The bride's dress was gorgeous and amazing!

Some of you have met Lynn, the Mom, so I am adding this happy photo complete with baby for you as well.

It was a glorious day with barn dancing and beautiful details...and lots of live music as the groom is a gifted guitar builder with musician friends.

And so, I am tired and off to bed. Hope you enjoyed.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 10:34PM
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Thanks for the condolences. My cousin did die quickly but spent a lifetime battling a rare disorder called PJS that required many surgeries and puts the people with this disorder at an amazingly high risk for cancer.

On a lighter note, we spent the day at the lakes. We played mini golf and rode on the "ocean liner" with Kenzie and DD. She really enjoyed it. Friday night we spent the evening at a tractor pull. Probably not something many of you have experienced LOL I told DH that since he is such a sport when we visit gardens that I would go with him.

I may have to eat my words someday about my big gardens, but Id rather do that than miss even one minute of the joy that my gardens are bringing to me at this point in my life. Yesterday I had a lovely morning in the garden. The weather was wonderful and as the butterflies and honeybees flitted around me I was just so relaxed and happy. I will never see a honeybee in my garden again without thinking of Saucy. Funny how other things remind me of each of you. Like fuchsia and Deanne, my black hollyhocks and Da, tropicals and Sue, you get the idea. Then DH wanted my help with the front yard project. We ended up moving or rearranging 13 shrubs and 3 large sedum, not to mention the large clematis and 3 shrubs that I had moved this spring. He is actually doing a fair amount of dirt moving with this whole project.
Sorry to say but the hibiscus Plum Crazy I bought last year was mislabeled. Its a white with some pink. I will have to look for one or Deannes Fantasia both look really sweet.

Woody, is your Disco Belle white with a dark pink eye? I have one that I grew seedlings from last year and they all came true.

Eden, I would love an old milk box. Congrats on the exciting news. How wonderful for everyone and Im sure a cousin would be perfect for Bella.

Martie, Im glad to hear that your DN wasnt more seriously hurt.

Ive been missing Cynthia too. Im afraid that the loss of Katie may have put her into lurkdom.

Saucy, that sucker gives me the creeps but how nice that Sarah is having fun with it.

Kathy, looking forward to your Chicago pictures. We did quite a lot of walking in Chicago 8 years ago before I had a digital camera.

Deanne, I feel I know your gardens from the pictures you post, but once again I am blown away. Is that fuchsia Sunray? I bought one this year and it is doing quite well. Im just amazed at how pristine everything looks. I dont believe Ive ever seen a garden where so much attention is given to every detail. Im thinking you should make the cover of FG :o)

'bug, the wedding looks so interesting and Lynn's daughter is a beautiful bride. Did Lynne have some special floral arrangements for the day?

Marian, we are enjoying the Olympics and the gymnast from Iowa has been of special interest to us.

I must end this and check out whats going on with the Olympics.

Night all


    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 11:15PM
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A trip to THTTF is order today. The stack for the bathroom in the original side of the house was knocked over by snow sliding off the metal roof last winter. Quite by accident, I discovered that it leaks, so some repair is in order. This is not really how I'd like to spend my last day of vacation but my brother can't get there because of a crushing work load so the helpmeet and I are "takin' one for the team". Maybe there'll be room in the car for a few more personal items.

Great shots of the wedding, 'bug, I especially like the one of the bride, groom (who reminds me of Donny Osmund), and her mother. I'll bet it's good to be home and easing back into the Phoebe swing.

Like Kathy, I'm noting the inevitable changes in the yard, too. Some of the maple leaves in the deeper portion of the surrounding woods are beginning to look a little tired and the decreased light is causing the beginning of the seasonal color change. The crickets are in full chorus now and I'm beginning to see the little brownish frogs in the lawn. Sunrise is now just a few minutes before 6 and the sun is down by around 7:30-40. And so it goes.

We had dinner with neighbors last night. As usual, they were very good company and the other guests (family members) were delightful, too. Lots of laughs and lots of good food. All that a dinner party ought to be. We all marvelled that it was about 2 wks. to Labor Day. This has been the summer that wasn't for us, so it hardly seems fair it's nearly "over".

I wish the helpmeet would get up and get rollin'. It's an hour and a half to THTTF and we have to hit Orange before we really set our course. I do not want this project to take all day long.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 6:34AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - The Disco Belle is pale pink with a darker pink eye. Here's a closer view of it:

The dark pink seedlings were a bit of a surprise, not only because of the color but the flowers are much bigger and a different texture. The parent ones are have fewer crinkles in the petals and the petals are fairly stiff. The big seedling ones are more crinkly and floppier. The leaves on the parent plant are coarser and a grayer green while the dark pink seedling has smoother, brighter green leaves. The seedling must be a 'throwback' to one of the parents of the Disco Belle series, but it's interesting that it's so different.

gb - that looks like a fun wedding! Beautiful dress....
I hope Phoebe didn't have any accidents this morning - I forgot to tell you that Randy puts the dogs out around 6:00am when he leaves for work. And on weekends Misty still expects an early morning bathroom break and wakes us up by walking all over us if we aren't getting up in time (we go back to bed after letting them out!) So Phoebe may have absorbed a different schedule last week! I'm sure she'll be back on your schedule in no time though....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 7:39AM
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Sunshiny greetings this morning! If there was ever a perfect CT August day, this would be it and I'm so glad that I'll be outside if only for supervising :-)

Congrats to Jen and Randy!!!! OOOPs! Pretend I whispered :-) I certainly understand the hesitation to share quite yet, but it's too exciting to keep quiet!!

I'm loving all the Hibiscus. I've yet to have one survive longer than four weeks in any garden. So, thank you for sharing all the pics. Perhaps I can print one out and pole it up and pretend?

Welcome home to Phoebe. The wedding pics are wonderful and it was clearly a joyous occasion.

Buzzing out this morning for haircut and to pick up garden helper. An almost "real" day in the life of me!

More later ----


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 8:00AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Wendy, glad to hear you survived the concert. I like "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", too. Lol @ your DD finding the back of her head on youtube...good for her! I remember when it was bic lighters at concerts. Ah, the good ol' days :)

Martie, How terrible about your DN! Can't begin to imagine being in your BIL's shoes. I've always been terrified of the kids being in a wreck, and to be the first! Yes, your DS will need lots of hugs. Let her know she's also getting some mental cyber-hugs. After DS rolled his car, I was so worried whenever I knew he was going anywhere.
Glad to hear that Rich's phone is ringing :) I wonder what we'd all do with our spare time if there was nothing to worry about, lol!?!
How wonderful that you're coming along so well and your Dad was able to sell his stock. (ROFL)

Deanne, I envy you your Arlo Guthrie tickets! He's long been one of my favorites. Several years ago, DD borrowed (and lost) my Alice's Restaurant cd. I found them somewhere for cheap and bought two. Lol, guess that's the bright side of getting older, most of the music and movies I love are easy to find in the $5 bargain bins ;) A few years ago, my best friend wanted me to go see Sammy Haggar with her. On the way to the car afterwards, my only question was, "Does it have to be so LOUD?!"

Marian, it's hard for me to imagine having a bear "wander through" the yard, lol! The occasional deer, coon, etc. are about as exciting as it gets here. What a calling card he left!
We're watching some of the Olympics, too. DH likes the volleyball, we both like swimming, and my favorite is the gymnastics. Could be due to the fact that I was never one of those itty-bitty graceful types, lol!

Michelle, I'm so sorry about your cousin. To have her taken so quickly..what a shock. I share your view of gardening. Although I have mainly low maintenance stuff, many flowering shrubs, peonies, etc. I figure when I get too old to deal with it, I'll hire help, drag the kids/grandkids over or whatever has to be done. There was a post, I think in the perennials forum, a long time ago about gardening for the winter that was an excellent read on this topic.

Eden, that quilt is wonderful, and the patch with Bella's handprint is just priceless!
Wonderful that Bella is in a book club! Little ones so love getting important mail, and for it to be a package that contains a book...well, it doesn't get much better than that!
Secret congrats to Jenni, Randy and the gang!! How wonderful!

Saucy, cool lollipop! I saw them making them on TV one time. Not sure if I'd want one, but it IS interesting!
Omygosh! You've listened to an alarm for two days???

Bug, good to know Phoebe's back home. It didn't look like she endured many hardships at Woody's, but there IS noplace like home. You go to the sweetest weddings! Love the pictures! Yay for Sarah and and DSIL-I'm sure both Skyler and Reed will be thrilled!

Chelone, somewhere along the line, I read about the helpmeet needing to cull out some stuff. DH can't get rid of anything either, and I'm forever after him about it. A few years ago, he was helping my DB do some work on his house. They needed to dig in a crawlspace. DH poked his head up and told me to run back to the house and get one of the shovels with a broken handle from his shop. I'd mentioned several times he should either put new handles on them or scrap 'em. Turns out, a broken handled shovel was JUST what they needed that day, and he's been proud as a peacock of owning one since. Now he gets rid of even LESS junk, if that's possible.

Princess Weekend was full of ups and downs, didn't last long enough, and we're both worn out. We had a good time, though, as always. We arrived at the hotel to find that you can't hook a DVD player or video game system to their tv's because you can rent movies and games from them. We REALLY wanted to watch the skydiving videos. I reached WAY back in the dusty corners of my mind and remembered a few years ago when DH mentioned in passing that it would be nice to have a small TV in the bedroom. Yes, I am PURE evil...we went and bought a small set with a built in DVD player. I will NOT be thwarted once I'm on a mission. When we dragged my stuff in the house, DH said, "You BOUGHT a tv??" I innocently said, "But, SAID you'd like to have one in the bedroom." He opened his mouth to say something, snapped it back shut, shook his head and laughed. He's an awful good sport, no matter how much I rake him over the coals.
There are many more things I would have liked to comment on, but this has gotten long enough. I see I have many pictures and links to check out, so I'll go for now. The porch crew is back, hopefully to finish today. Will chat more later. Have a good day, everyone!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Dont know if its me or them, but GW seems to be pretty pokey this evening. Whether Ill even be able to post this is questionable. Well press on and hope for the best.

bug, what a pretty wedding- I love the simple lines of the brides dress . Unfortunately I cant see all the pics tonite , they just wont load. I hope Ms Phoebe has not decided to press the limits after her vacation-the little kid comes home from camp and mommy and daddy are so glad to see her she can have her way with them-for a couple days anyway ! Perhaps our Saucy will have some insight on this

Michelle, though I have not experienced a tractor pull, I have attended a riding lawn mower race. Sobriety was clearly not required. You are so right about things in the garden that will bring one or the other of our Idyll friends to mind. Happens to me at the garden center too (Hmmm, I wonder if Denise has this? or "Hey, I saw this in one of Edens pics !" etc..) You and DH have been mighty busy with all the shrub moving who was the front yard project instigator? For some reason I just dont recall you mentioning plans for this .. maybe I was skimming that day ?

Chelone, Im glad you mentioned the rapid approach of labor day, as I will be more than ready for a 3-day weekend by then. Trade shows are great but one always comes home with a pile of paperwork and a bigger workload. And did all go well with the THTTF and the ailing stack (whatever the hell that is ) ?

Brenda, Lol how funny that you went out to get a TV when you were in your Princess mode! Do you go to a resort area of just any hotel that is central to all the attendees? Hope you can provide a photo of the new porch !

OK, guess Ill make an attempt to post this with only a few posts today I wonder if others are having problems.

Nitey nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 10:14PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'll never catch up - and I'm not just referring to reading here! Still a load or two of laundry to go, dry groceries in a couple of sacks on the counter to put away, more mail to sort, et cetera, et cetera! We had a mini dishwasher disaster that threw a monkey wrench into the unpacking/clean up plans. DS had some friends over on Saturday, and he put dish soap in the dishwasher. When he found a dishwasher full of suds, he ran it again on hot and DRY! Several loads later, we finally threw in the towel, emptied it and scrubbed all the dishes by hand. There was a baked-on soap film that just wouldn't come off any other way. It wasn't terrifically hard, but it did suck up a block of time that could have gone to other tasks.

And coming back to the office - le long, deep sigh. It turns out that there was a very bad accident last week while I was gone; a man driving a car ran a stop sign and was hit by our truck. Our driver had no chance to avoid the accident, and although the truck was very badly damaged, our driver only got a scratch. But the man who blew the stop sign was killed in the accident. This happened on a road I drive every day, and I've seen other drivers roll through this stop sign. Anyway, needless to say there is a lot of unpleasant stuff to be dealt with over the next several days.

On a more pleasant note, I read a great book over vacation; "The Lace Reader" by Brunonia Barry. It's set in modern Salem, Mass. and is a really good story with an ending that you did not see coming. Two thumbs up from this reviewer!

More sheets and towels to fold before I can climb into that bed, so a wave to all and good night!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 11:10PM
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The helpmeet was a little touchy when I asked that he "step it up" so we could get rolling. But he did see the thought behind it; we spent 3 hours in the car (round trip) and we didn't know how complicated the repair was going to be. The "stack" is the all-important vent through the roof that prevents septic/sewer gases from filling the inside of your house, Kathy. It definitely needs to be in good working order, this one was bent over (snow) and nearly fully crimped. Repair required about 45 minutes, lucky us!

I found two of my stuffed animals lovingly packed away in the cedar chest; including the Panda with the internal music box that was purchased to comfort me when I was getting my first teeth. It is the same one that my brother "operated" on when I was around 4, patiently repairing the broken music box inside (which still works). The helpmeet and I took good measurements of the house and drew up a pretty good floorplan. I walked him through the the furniture pieces I would like to incorporate into our home and requested that we get things in our own home under enough control so that can be accomplished. Sometimes he doesn't really "get" how simply having a plan can make an emotional and large project easier for me to stomach. I have about zero desire to move the contents of THTTF more times than is absolutely necessary. So, IS there a hyphen in anal retentive? ;)

I think of you guys nearly every day, too, lol. What would Deanne think of this planter? Saucy's kids would probably think this insect or that project was fun... . I'll bet Sue would know what that interesting woody shrub is! I wish Eden lived closer, I'd toss those chairs into the car for her. I shared our Idyll union with our dinner hosts the other night (they live about 10 minutes from the NY Botanical Gardens) and they were amazed that we've forged such nice friendships from our far flung locations.

V., the dishwasher was an inconvenience, but the accident is really tragic. One person dead and the driver of the truck will forever carry the memory with him. As Martie pointed out last week, it only takes the flash of an instant to change our lives forever. I'm sorry it has cast a pall over the workplace.

I'm up at my regular time (time to get back in the swing) but predictably I've been told to come in late because there is nothing organized enough to provide me with a full day's work. Like 10 days wasn't adequate time to clearly write up a work order? I shouldn't be so touchy about it, I suppose, but last week was wonderfully productive for me and it felt GREAT. This "rush hour" traffic crap is for the birds, you guys. :)

The crickets are chirping up a storm out there in the warm, velvety darkness. We went out on "safari" last night (rounding up the kitties) and there were a couple of really big, fat toads hopping around in front of the house. I love toads, always have. There is just something about their nubbly texture and those gold-ringed eyes that I find appealing. And I like their front legs, too, the way they're kind of bowed out and their "fingers" are turned in. They were definitely "on the hunt" and we allowed as how it's good to have the "night shift" takin' care of insects while we sleep. They're probably enjoying the gentle rain I hear outside.

Have a "profitable" day, you guys.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 5:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No gentle rain here....had to turn off the computers last night and watch the "light show". Concentrated on food, DH's music practice, Phoebe who is bigger, lovable as ever and begging a lot for both treats and attention. Yesterday I had to mow a great deal and she can only watch...

Sad stories like V's alarm me. As the driver, how does one ever deal with the pain? In Toronto a bus driver killed a child on his bicycle...definitely not the driver's fault...and yet he died of a heart attack the day after.

After all the humidity and noise of last night's storm, today is 53 degrees at the moment. No idea what I will accomplish with this fine yesterday's plans went out the window. But Phoebe has asked for a new Kong toy as she hid her old one and cannot find it.

Thinking of Sue's holiday and hoping it is super enjoyable. And how do you suppose Honey's summer has been? I do hope she got to travel with her DH a bit!

V, would The Lace Reader be a good suggestion for our book club this Fall?

Yes Brenda, porch photos would be wonderful...avant et après! And your shovel story! DH destroyed our inexpensive "weed whacker" not long ago and it is NOT worth repairing. A new one would be cheaper. Yet, he can't part with it so it clutters up the garage. I understand hating to be part of the throw away society, but I also hate clutter.

Chelone, I'm with you on the planning ahead. Even if it doesn't come naturally, by now I think my spouse of 40 years should understand that it makes ME happier and therefore is worth the effort. But...

OK, gotta go. Later!

PS: I have to laugh at GW's adds about sleep & menopause! 40% of women have sleep problems because of menopause according to the blurb... I'm sure the other 60% have snoring partners. Yes, sleep would be nice!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 7:10AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, my, just when I think I am going to catch up, the p.c. connection at home was down all weekend and egad -- I dont know which thread or photo album to start first! What fun -- as V notes, I'll never catch up!!!

Too cool, that I will be able to spend lunch this week in Deanne's garden, Eden's wonderland, a visit to Chicago gardens, 'bugs vacation, and some skydiving I never got around to.... wow!

Waving to all, neat to see such cool news for Jen and family - fingers crossed.

Been feeling a bit of nostalgia myself these days, yesterday was Mother's birthday - it was kind of weird to get an email from Dad saying "say happy birthday to your Mother today" - like she's listening.... the only thing I could find funny about the event (or non-event) was that Im sure Mother is happy not to add any more years onto the number of age..... I guess I will have to set my mind to a visit shortly to the PA region again, probably after Labor Day, just to see how Dad's health is really holding up - phones can be great deceptive devices, ya know?

Yes, in the saga of dry in this region, I watered for 4 hours on Sunday to try to get ahead of the 90s heat we're experiencing -- it was incredible how parched things looked -- that pretty much cured me of any desire to go plant crawling; despite some idyllers' devotion to planting and moving things in heat, I never had much success at it, to say nothing of a "fading energy, flaggin body" when Im getting cooked in it. Denise, I do use overhead sprinklers often as it seems the most productive way to cover the most ground despite the probable pest and BS and mildew issues -- it's pretty much a vicious circle; if ya dont, it all croaks. Soaker hoses get clogged up and just dont hit everything, so I just went back to the overhead sprinklers that I rotate around the various beds.

Well, it's the rooster call for the office -- I hear the gaggles arriving. Waving to all.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:01AM
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The cold front Marie had last night is over us as we speak. Yesterday felt brutally hot so we're looking forward to a respite.

Big score yesterday on huge Begonia 'Bonfire', an angel-wing type with bright orange four-lobed flowers that remind me of Clematis 'Betty Corning'. It was shoved away in a corner with some dead fuschia and was going to be a toss since they already had a mother plant (!???!). Wonderful! Cuttings will be taken for sure. Let me know if you have interest ....

V: How awful for your driver. Though it wasn't technically his fault, I don't think there's going to be a way to convince him of that for a long while. I can only imagine the upheaval it will cause in the company and am hopeful that things will smooth out as best they can.

On a lighter note, at least DS tried to wash the dishes?? :-)

Chelone kept popping into my mind yesterday as Kyle and I waded through some of his childhood stuff in anticipation of his Big Move to Independence. For some reason I think your Mom is having a blast watching you reminisce as you find the hidden treasures. Surely she knew that eventually this would happen and obviously was very selective about saving things that would mean the most to you. Congrats on fixing the stack. Not something that can be left undone, for sure. LOL

As much as I understand where your Dad's coming from, Cindy, I truly believe that aging stops when the body does. Thus, you can picture your mom as a svelt young woman in no pain and with no difficulties. Hope this thought helps ....

I'm very much the planner when it comes to work. No doubt. Very much the planner when it comes to Cornfield Park. Make a shopping list each and every time and paperclip appropriate coupons to the list. Party-making lists start weeks in advance down to what color napkins would be best. Brother's care goes to the penny and minute when filing myriad paperwork as his Conservator. Housework is an entire other story since Rich's military instinct goes far beyond my cleanliness comfort level but he's come to accept that planning for me in this regard stops at generally sanitary. Just so much Type A in the house at the same time, thank you.

Today is tri-annual "squish test" with self-supplied reward of hot fudge sundae from local creamery planned afterward. Phoebe and Misty aren't the only ones who need food-type encouragement!!

First "Early Girl" tomato is ready for munching! Really late due to rain, but huge fruit for same reason. There's truly nothing like a warm ripe tomato eaten right in the garden, methinks.

Enough rambling. Need to make some phone calls to the State (they want to take 87% of DB's Social security check to "contribute to his care"). This would leave a grand total of $61 US per month for all his essentials, including clothes, art supplies, take-out dinners arranged by the staff, etc. Will try really hard not to get angry, and just ask how they came up with the numbers, then get angry when I have ammunition. Other is to State Dept of Consumer Protection who, we've just learned, is giving out incorrect info about Rich's license (unresolved complaints going back 4 years ---- WHAT???????). I should've been an attorney.

Smiles to all for a great day!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 10:25AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O.k. - I just had lunch in Deanne's backyard -- I sipped my soup by the pond -- for some reason, that is my favorite vignette today - maybe it was the photos and the artist, but - wow.... impeccable.

Thanks for creating those links, Deanne -- I'll be sneaking looks all afternoon!!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:23PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

whipping back in to say, that the one thing I felt I really HAD to comment on from all the other important things Im missing saying, were the lovely, personal photos of that quilt, Eden -- how truly special and I think your Mom is such an inspiration -- and she has a gift for creativity - we know where you get yours from, that's for sure!!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 1:56PM
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Hi everyone

Here is another Idyller hopelessly unable to catch up but happy to be here. Fuquan, our Fresh Air boy returned home yesterday. It was sad watching him go. When I was printing up photos to take back there was a lovely one of him at Niagara Falls. He asked me if he could have a second copy, I thought perhaps to give to his Grandma. Instead he put it up on our fridge so that we do not forget him. It almost brought tears to my eyes. He is longing to come back next summer, something we plan to do for as many years as our circumstances allow. We will certainly be staying in touch, encouraging him to write and will be keeping him as part of our lives.

One of my fondest memories of the visit was hearing him sing to himself when he was engaged in something he enjoyed, especially swimming or bike riding. To see such happiness bubble over was very special. Of course, there were some tricky movements too, but I loved the way Annie and David were as accepting and tolerant and friends and neighbors universally kind. How different his life in Harlem is was brought home to me hearing that Central Park is only 10 blocks from his apartment, but he has never once walked there to visit it. Nor has he ever seen the Statue of Liberty, Times Square or much of the architecture of Manhattan. Perhaps, one day some of that will change.

Today is a big day as Annie makes her first solo flight from my sister Ruth's in DC. She was there for a few days on her own and is very excited about another step towards independence. Then tomorrow we join DH in Toronto for a couple of days. We return for school orientations and the feeling that summer is almost gone:0(

Eden - your Mother's quilt was stunning and incredibly special. What a wonderful gift that will be treasured by generations! Her courage in the face of all she has had to contend with is remarkable. Congratulations too on your wispered news - the very best best secret there could possibly be.

A huge wave to one and all!!!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:54PM
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Well, if it isnt the mias Mary and Cindy, both checking in today ! Nice to see you two.

After a hectic workday I spent some quality WALAT time this evening, glass of cheap-o Sauv Blanc in tow..Noted that the Salvia Leucanthas I planted from 4" pots in May (I think it was May) are now 4 ft tall and budding . Still not a bud to be found on the Brug, but the cherry tomato that came up volunteer in its pot has green fruit and plenty of flowers. If it seeded true it will be a Sungold. Note to self to plant twice as many Zinnias as you think youll need-essential at this time of year when so many other things are declining.Still have acouple of lilies in their last gasp , and Delphiniums that are on their third flush. Life is good in the garden .

Saucy must be off on vaca, Jerri still lurking, Norma waiting for the thread to load, Sue still out of town or else buried in her awfice,, Deanne collapsed in exhaustion from deadheading and artistic slideshow endeavors, and what kind of peer pressure could we exert to make Monique post at least once a week ?-with a photo of course(we will accept dogs-sorry Chelone- OR gardens)

I thank Chelone for the explanation on the stack no doubt we have those too, but a snow collapse is not a risk factor here. Crickets are the best. Our frog-croak season is winter, they are laying low in the dryness of late summer.

Cindy, I bought an oscillating sprinkler this week to experiment with the watering of certain areas of my yard-if I do it early in the morning it will not promote too much fungal stuff as things will dry out early here in our lack of humidity.

Thats all for me at the moment, I feel another WALAT coming on before baseball starts.

Wave to all! Martie, Marie, Marian (the three Ms ?) Denise,Brenda,Wendy,Cynthia,V,PM2,and yoo-hoo Babs and T. Have I missed anyone ?

Just for the heck of it , another pic from my visit to Spokeane..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

(sniff, sniff) Yesterday when I watered my pepper plants, I thought that my son had spilled peppercorns from the nearby grill, so I washed them off the deck. Today, the "peppercorns" had reappeared and multiplied. I got down on my hands and knees to take a closer look, and then screamed, "Caterpillar s***!" Not one, not two, but TWELVE tomato hornworms were decimating my four pepper plants. Arggh!

They've been removed, but there's a lot of damage. Hopefully the existing peppers will continue to ripen. Dang nature!

Not much else new here. The vacation clean-up process continues. DH had to go out of town right after we returned, and DD is packing for school, so I get all the fun!

I've looked at the various photo threads and enjoyed them all, but I haven't had a chance to comment on them.

Instead, I think I'll go fold more laundry. Ah, the thrill of it!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:36PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

OOh! Agave lust returns...

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Brisk and clear this morning (moon is very bright) and two thoughts are in the front of my mind: I'm glad I closed the windows last night, and the shorts I'm wearing seem mighty hopeful!

The helpmeet decided to clean the barn yesterday. Evidently Monday's purge left a lasting impression on him and underscored the many items he's used but not put away in the past week. ;) I commented that it looked great and he told me I had "no idea how much time it's taken". lol.

I was not diappointed by a similar level of clutter and chaos at work (some things never change). I arrived at 7, and did the dishes in the sink (no idea how long they'd been there), then I began putting away the tools and scraps that were left out at my usual work station. I then turned my attention to the planters by the door; doing a lot of deadheading so we will have another flush of flowers in the coming weeks. My assignment is a large deck enclosure that required the best part of 6 hrs. to cut out. I rather like jobs like this; they require a good deal of thought on the front end, but after that it's pretty much assembly and I can get "in the zone" and cruise along without a great deal of "supervision". :)

Ooohh... Tomato Horn Worms! They give me the heebie-jeebies, V., and I'm not very squeamish about insects or other garden wildlife. They're pretty impressive as caterpillars go. And they have the appetite to match, don't they?

That's it from the Compound Chronicles. I recall there was some storm damage to the house in one of Sue's final pre-vacation posts. My guess she is up to eyes in details and the usual back to work scurry, but it would be nice to hear from her. And Monique. And so many, many others.

Hope vacationing Saucy is enjoying the fine weather, Annie returned as scheduled and they're enjoying Toronto. Gotta go.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 5:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm not really pulling my share around the farmhouse these days. Must be the residue of the vacation with family that is keeping me from moving forward. Last night we worked on collecting photos of Skyler's visit and made up another booklet for him. Today we hope to get it spiral bound. It is fun choosing pictures and writing brief comments to attach to them. Sarah told me that when he was in the hospital this summer that he chose those past booklets to take with him...and it made me especially happy that they are appreciated still. Next DSIL wants photos sent to him for printing up. Then Lynn will need some wedding shots too...

DH also spent time chopping down the fully loaded burdocks in the evening. Phoebe collected some too! Today I'll need to collect them in the tractor wagon and cart them to the burn pile. Did you know that those zillions of burdock seeds can last up to 50 years and shoot up each time the soil is disturbed? UGH.

There is SOOOO much garden work necessary, with weeding, edging, mowing and even planting. Yikes, winter will be here before I can get most of it accomplished and caging against rabbits is very time consuming! The bonus of all the rain however is that the greens are super duper GREEN this August, a most unusual thing. I sympathize with V on the peppercorn incident. We returned to find our lovely crabapple tree covered in caterpillars. Yuck! They seem to have enjoyed the moist summer. The spiders are out and about these days as well as the bats. There are vole mounds in the lawn near the fire pit. Rabbits, groundhogs etc are everywhere. Phoebe has not yet learned her job!

A treat amongst the weeds! I see some Angelica gigas buds developing! YEAH! DD tells me that they spent time at a special nursery after work last evening buying up herbs. They have converted a free old canoe into an herb garden and I hope to get pictures of that one day soon.

Could someone please tell me why the fridge needs cleaning again? I feel like I've been working on it every day for weeks! Looking at expiry dates is a horrble thing....

Enjoyed your post Mary! Hope to hear what entertained you in Toronto when you return. Have you got a new book club list developed yet for this year? I'd love to hear what's on it.

It is a beautiful sunny morn...and I expect it will be a warm one today! Enjoy it!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:26AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well my computer is finally fixed! Woohoo! Doug is a genius. I had some type of nasty virus/malware/spyware/Trojan.. something that completely gummed up the works. I couldnt keep a browser window open for longer than a minute and they it would randomly close, couldnt open aol and in general, nothing on line was working. Anyway, Doug spend the better part of 24 hours or so eliminating the damned things. They seemed to propagate themselves because hed get rid of one thing and then another two would show up. What a pain in the neck. I have no idea how I picked anything up because I almost never download anything off the internet and only when Ive checked out the source. Anyhow, it appears that my computer is fixed and thats a wonderful thing.

The gardens are really going into their late summer foliage die off which makes me a bit crazy. I cant keep up with it. I just love daylilies but I wish they didnt look so bedraggled this time of the year. LOL I also had some powdery mildew explode on the lilac, heliopsis and a couple dahlias practically overnight. Id run out of my Garden Safe fungicide so Ive got to get to the store today and get something to treat this or its going to get really out of control.

Oh dear V. I just hate those hornworms! They are so huge theyre nasty and give me the willies. I hope your peppers will be OK. I had a similar but different evidence of pests in the house yesterday. I had some sawdust appear under the light fixture over the kitchen sink. I didnt think much of it but wiped it down. When it showed up again I knew there was something chewing behind there. Well, midway though the day I walked through the kitchen and had a little mouse run over my toes. Euuuuuwwwww!!!!! It ran like h e l down the cellar stairs then hid behind the bookcase at the foot of the stairs. I told Doug about the situation and he ran outside and got the cat. I said to him, it doesnt work that way, you dont just put the cat in the house and hell find and get the mouse. Well, Mr. Rahjii, made a liar out of me. Within ten minutes he started sniffing at the base of the bookcase (I thought the mouse would have been long gone) so I moved it out and the cat pounced and ran up the stairs with a mouse in its mouth. He seriously caught that rodent in less than a second after I moved the bookcase. Incredible! Well, he proceeded to bring the mouse into the dining room and drop it to play with it there and it immediately ran under the sofa. Doug moved the sofa and Rahjii caught it again, brought it into the middle of the room and dropped it again. We finally caught the thing in a colander relocated it to the great outdoors. What a drama.

Kathy, your daylilies are nestled comfortably in my holding bed here and theyd even put out some lovely new roots into that newspaper youd packed them in. They are amazing plants. ~~ Love those agaves! ~~ Ill have to grab some photos of my brugs for you. They are finally starting to bloom and it looks like they will be smothered with flowers in a couple days.

Mary, how lovely to hear from you. It sounds like you had a terrific visit with Fuquan. Thats just marvelous. It seems that your summer vacation was just a whirlwind of activities. How are the gardens doing?

Cindy, so sorry for the continued heat and drought you are dealing with. I use oscillating sprinklers here too. Ive used soaker hoses in the past but they dont uniformly wet down the borders and then I have to hand water the dry spaces and other problems. Then Ive dealt with the clogging problems too so I just do overhead watering. Its a lot more even and if done in the early morning or evening there isnt so much of an evaporation problem. ~~ Thanks much, so happy you liked the pictures.

Martie, great score on that Bonfire. Ive got three of them and I read on the begonia forum that they overwinter well! How cool is that? ~~ Marvelous that youve got buds on your camellia.

Bug, it sounds and looks like you had a terrific vacation. That wedding looks like it was fun and interesting.

Brenda, you are absolutely a scream! I love it that you went out and bought a television with DVD player. So glad your Princess Weekend was a great time.

Woody that photograph with the Disco Belle hibiscus with the Bacopa is lovely! It makes a beautiful combination.

Michelle, I agree with you 100% about the joy the gardens bring. I love it that I go to a different place in my mind when gardening. ~~ Thanks so much, so happy you liked the photos. Yes, that is a four year old Sunray fuchsia in that photo. Its an extraordinary specimen and I just love it.

Eden, lovely news for your family!

OKie dokie, Ive got to get my day started. Have a good one everybody!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning - well, at least here, if no rain, we are getting some a few days of lower heat and lower humidity -- the 90s are gone for a bit.... maybe I'll go for a walk at lunch for a change if it stays cool - there's nothing worse than walking for 30-60 mins and coming back in one's work clothes stinky and clammy for the rest of the day; it wastes too much time to have to change clothes back and forth -- Im weird, I know.

Deanne, that Rahji is a star! I would have said the same thing to Doug too about it not working that way, Wow -- I need a guard like that - Im sure w/ the empty townhouse next to me there are all sorts of critters like that living in that abode.

'bug - loved seeing those photos of Lynn's DD wedding -- another lovely "country" wedding that reminded me of your own DD's. I think it's great your priorities are in the right place -- dont worry about housework when more important things like preserving memories (photobooks) comes to the fore.

Isnt it nice to be "missed," at the ofc, Chelone? One wonders what they'd do if you were out for more than a month re housekeeping at the ofc, doesnt it?

I noticed that there's light traffic today commuting - I think lots of folks are off for the last grand summer vacation days -- this week and next should really be light.

Well, by the time I post this it will have probably exceeded our usual number for posts.... Gotta hit the papers.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:07AM
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