Idyll #454 Parachuting Into a Perfect Fall

denisez10(SoCal)August 30, 2009

...getting parents settled in new digs, chopping wood, shuffling flower borders, taming Betty Corning, finding the perfect chicken coop color, taking long special walks, starting a new school year, finding new ways to approach tedious tasks/employment, mastering the art of Indian cooking, practicing musical instruments, Mendocino meanderings, checking out the new Irving Penn photo exhibit at the Getty...what am I leaving out?

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I'm back. I got about 3 hours of sleep early this morning and DH and I just came in from a morning of digging/repotting. I'm ready for a nap. [g] The sun is out again and it's less humid. Very pleasant. This morning we were trying to deal with a neighbor who ignores maple seedlings growing higher than the fence now and within a foot of our lot line and their increasing patch of Poison Ivy that is coming through our fence. Now I can even see it climbing 10 feet into one of their trees. Makes me think of Julie and her fence. We have a fence and it doesn't help. We talk to them every year but it doesn't help. We don't know this neighbor at all. They live on the next street and their back butts up to our north lot line. I used to give them a pass and DH has gone over and helped them with it many times because they've had some illness in their family, but that was at least 3 years ago and they do have young adults in the family. They've already left a Mulberry weed turn into a tree that is just on the other side of the fence and 95% of it is in our yard. It has to be about 15ft tall and reaching 8feet into our yard. If I cut it off at the fence line, they won't care, but I'll be looking at the ugly mess. They aren't trying to be a problem, they just seem to be unconscious about keeping up their property. I rarely see them in their yard. Any way, they weren't home this morning, so it will have to wait. Okay, done complaining. [g]

Denise, I like your Idyll Tydll. You are so good with words. :-) Gee, your summary makes us sound like we have very interesting conversation going on here. [g]

Sounds like many are also in the garden renovating mode lately.

Kathy, I love 'Summer Sorbet'. I saw it at Broken Arrow last year in full bloom and it was gorgeous. I almost took it home, but they talked me out of it, thinking that my zone 6 might be iffy about whether it would keep coming back for me. That TT Phormium is a beauty. Nice to have a dwarf for your garden, I'm sure. What a nice hot pink that Wendy's Wish is. The foliage on 'Purple Knock Out' is so different for a salvia. Have never seen the Acalypha offered around here. I see you have a large grass on your list. You must have big plans. Where are all these new plants going?

Marie, I enjoyed your story of DH's reunion. It sounds like he is reliving his youth a little. Usually a good thing to get in touch with our childhood selves. Sad, that he wasn't able to see the two people he was looking for. ....What a great time you've had with your latest houseguest. Is this a usual summer for you for company? .....I can't believe your Chocolate Eupatorium doesn't reseed on you. Maybe it is the zone and it doesn't have a chance to set seed? I have one that flowers every year and I have deadheaded to keep it from reseeding. It's also in part shade and it does wilt if it gets too dry.

Denise, I had to pull all of my bronze fennel, it was too big and was reseeding a lot. I did see I still got another couple of seedlings this year, even though I pulled it a few years back. I was weeding around one of the larger seedlings and I had forgotten how lovely the fragrance is when you bruise it. Made me wish to try it again.

Look at the cooks, whipping up preserves! I always wanted to do that but I never do. What else do you make after mincemeat, Woody?

Mary....Where do you get the red currants ..... I would have loved a Birthday just like David's. Breakfast times two, swimming, Mexican food, dinner and cake. What could be better. :-)

Deanne....that is a pretty vignette. I'm trying to figure out what the plant is to the right of the Echinacea and what kind of Hydrangea that is to the right of that? ....That's always the way when you are ready for the weather, nothing.....if you had done nothing, we would have had a huge mess. [g] Your windowbox is really filled in nicely. ..... Thanks for the photo settings for your hummer shots. I am also surprised if it will not stop the wing blur. I'm curious, did you take a course in photography at some point? ... I like the smoke bush, but I think I am reaching my maximum for dark foliage in the garden. I have two Summer Wine Ninebarks and I have a 'Golden Princess' Spirea in too much shade that I might try to pair up with one of the Ninebark's instead of getting the Smokebush. I wish I had a couple of acres and a full time gardener. [g]

Julie....'You worry your head off and things resolve, than another thing raises it's ugly head. ' ... Sounds about right. :-)

Hi Norma and Woody and anyone else I missed. :-)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Love the Idyll tydll, denise.

Looking forward to this scene again...

More fall signs...Slipping into comfy sweaters and turtlenecks, replacing sandals for ankle boots, turning off the air and firing up the furnace (or similar), lighting outdoor/indoor fires, steaming mugs of hot chocolate or apple cider, mums, pumpkins, goards, leaves changing colors, air so crisp you can smell it.

I was able to do a couple of those things last night when we took our DD and DGS's to the show. The temps got down to the 50's when we got out, and I was the only one with a sweater, of course. The car heat was blasted.

These are just some of the things that make me look forward to fall. I love the coziness of the autumn season, and it has always been my favorite time of the year. Although, don't remind me of that fact when I'm ankle deep in fallen leaves.

Pm2...Maybe your neighbors just need to be reminded of the weediness of those trees. If they can't do the digging, will they let you do it? Sounds like you know them well enough to strike a compromise of some sort. I was able to do so with my neighbor regarding buckthorns. Next October is the 25th annv. I've been to Italy before, but not DH.

Need to go out to mow. I have three days with an open schedule, and I plan to get a head start on fall cleanup. There are plenty of things to divide, and I'd like to begin a mailbox garden. Seeing Deanne's recent photo has inspired me!

I've never gone to a reunion, but DH and I have recently started to attend impromtu get-togethers with a small group from both our years. That's more to my liking and I have to admit, FB makes it easier to keep in touch.

deanne...The hummer photos is one of your best. Stunningly beautiful. I can't believe how crisp the colors are. Do you know that just a few weeks ago, I saw my first hummingbird in my garden? Not sure if they've been here before, I've just never seen one. It flitted away just as fast as it appeared.

Off to cut the grass, which has actually grown in the past week with all our rain.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 3:42PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Definitely a touch of fall in the temperature today....!

It was a productive day here - we planted all the plants (gifts and purchases) from our mini-vacation; potted up two big pots of strawberry runners to replace the oldest pots of strawberries; planted rooted cutting of honeysuckle to replace the one that died on the right side of the iron arbour; make a batch of tomato chutney.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 7:07PM
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Other fall activities on the dosier : Baseball playoffs, concrete removal, The Late Show Gardens, the first rain of the season, and a photography class in Oct..

Weve had word this morning that the family patriarch has passed away- he was very elderly and has been ill for quite sometime. He spent over a year in a care facility , but was able to come home in the last couple of months. He had Hospice since the 12th so his passing was not at all unexpected. DD, DS, Mr Baby and I will be flying to So Cal on Thur for the services, as will BILs.

PM , you either have a highly developed plant dictionary in your head or you googled all my new plants, lol ! DonÂt have spots for all of them yet. I think I am going to put the Wood Oats in a large pot and site it in various garden spots  this will keep it from getting too wide, and it will be happier with more water than the garden at large receives. The phormium is also going into a pot. I am very sympathetic to your tree woes. I continue to hope that the neighbor will decide to remove the particular tree that is interfering with my sun pattern. In the meantime, when I get my tree guy back here this winter I will ask him to head back some of the branches that are hanging into my yard.

Anita, IÂm not sure I Âm ready for fall leaves and jackets yet, but I am ready for some rain. !

Ok, going to try and cook something ..later all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 8:19PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Lol, well you KNOW I love that tydll, Denise! It sure does feel like fall here. I wore a sweatshirt all day, and that's just unheard of in August! It sounds like it will be a pretty pleasant week to work outside, so I hope I get a chance to do some of that.

V, that is THE most deluxe deer stand I've ever seen, and I've seen a few!

I've been spending the last couple of days trying to help get Chuck's stuff taken care of. As I'm sure you all know, this kind of thing brings out the best and the worst in people. I'll just be glad when it's all done, and everyone can go off into their respective corners and play quietly ;)

Darn, it..I know I read things in the last thread I wanted to mention, and now I can't for the life of me think of what they were. Maybe that means it's time to get off the computer, call it a day, and try again tomorrow.
I'll settle for saying a big HOWDY to everyone, and have a good evening!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Sarah is off to school! I helped her straighten her hair with a flat iron and she put on her skinny jeans with converse high tops, and all I could think was that she looked a lot like Sarah Jessica Parker circa 1982 in Square Pegs (my favorite show for a while...)....except her hair was straight!

Today Jake and I are going to pick up some new shoes that he's been wanting. He heads back to school tomorrow. I don't know why he gets an extra give the mothers fits I guess :)

Jake's going fishing with the rest of his afternoon and I am going to cast a big leaf :) I'm trying to work up a big stock for painting when the snowy days get to me :)

Soon it will be time to look in the bee hives and ready everyone for winter...not that they need much help. I do have a couple of repairs to make to some frames, though.

Time for me to start moving - Jake and I want to get to the store when it opens so we have the rest of this gorgeous day to ourselves :) Hope you're all having a great day, too!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:03AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Anita, I love your Fall photo above!

Today I hope to begin a good chunk of work around the property. There are many heavy jobs to conquer and with luck, my two gardening friends will come help too. I wish the "Parachuting" from the title would slow things down a bit. We are expecting 39F tonight, and although the week is expected to be sunny, no temperatures above 75. I love that kind of daytime temperature when working though.

I have been rethinking the planting of the Cornus kousa. It is "iffy" on my unprotected property, so perhaps I will plant something that involves reeds and grasses and our birdbath. Lots to think about there.

Today my guest departs and tonight DH returns. Thoughts will move to the politics surrounding gravel extraction and also to the beginning of classes for this new school year. For me, I am hoping for a long Indian Summer.... I see colour in the trees already which brings on a bit of melancholy, but I do love Fall plants and colours so much!

I hope to get my photo loading back up soon and would enjoy lots of colour on these autumn threads before the gloomy season begins.

Happy fresh new week!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:14AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Monday morning all!

Yesterday we turned on the pilot light in the fireplace and set the thermostat for 70 F; at 6 a.m. this morning the fire was burning brightly! The daytime temps here are supposed to hover at about 65F all week, with sunshine everyday. Autumn weather at its best!!

We had a busy week-end and absolutely nothing got done in the gardens.

On Saturday we went to a retirement surprise party for the wonderful lady who provided daycare for our children for many years. A fixture in the lives of nearly every child in our small village. I was in tears at the large number of familiar faces that we met - 27 years of memories all in two hours!

We drove by our old house also. It was one of the nicest homes in town when we lived there and it is a horror show now. We won't go by that way again.

Then our best friends in the village hosted us for dinner; that part of our village life hasn't changed! They are in the process of building a new home for themselves, so viewing the plans and discussing the new gardens-to-be was great fun. We are very happy that they will be about a half hour closer to us by next Spring!

On Sunday we took TCS into the city to spend a few hours with DS at the science museum and to get some school shopping done. It has been a long time since I shopped in a big city shopping mall and it was just bedlam! I found that every children's store or the Kids department in the larger stores was an unmitigated disaster, until I realized that in the city many of the kids are back to school today, so last-minute shopping was a priority for a large part of the population. TCS doesn't go back to school until September 8, and he doesn't need a lot of stuff, so we are pretty relaxed.

And this brings me to the "return of routine" stuff. For us, it means:

-letting TCS know that he will be required to come home after school, have a snack, and do his homework and music practice before dinner, so he will have time for bath and Harry Potter after dinner and still get to bed no later than 9 p.m.

-He will be doing his homework at the kitchen table BY HIMSELF with DH and I having our four p.m. sit down and a glass of wine in the adjoining living room or on the wine deck, weather permitting. We will be available if needed, but the homework is HIS; if there is no homework, then using the typing tutor for 15 minutes will be the thing, and we will sit down in the family room outside the office.

-As I hate to cook dinner in the late afternoon, I will be doing dinner prep in the morning so I will actually be able to sit down at 4 p.m. DH will continue to do the bath and HP routine.

-Stuff to be taken to school will be gathered and packed and hung on the front doorknob in the evening to minimize rushing around for stuff in the morning, and to remind TCS to take it when he goes out (This worked well for our two when they were about 8 or 9 years old.) Lunch will be made by Nana in the morning, but shopping for lunch stuff will be done by an adult with TCS in attendance. This will help to ensure that he has some say in what goes into the lunch, and maybe even to appreciate the whole process of planning, shopping, and prep. (I have my doubts about this part, but we shall see).

-TCS will also pick out his clothes and lay them out on his chair in the evening, for the next day. I will continue to put his coat, hat, gloves etc. on the bench by the front door so he will just put them on, take the bag off the doorknob and head out. This worked very well for us in the latter half of last year. His school clothes are such that everything goes with everything else so he can pretty much pick whatever he wants to wear.

-this week TCS has to be dressed and finished breakfast before 8:30 a.m. so he is back into that time frame in the morning.

One tip that we have found works well is the concept of immediate reward for jobs done. We do this by keeping a container of small change at the ready. When something is completed TCS gets to pick IMMEDIATELY from the bin and transfer the coin to his own bank. The coins are mostly nickles and dimes with the occasional quarter. For example, if he has four different music things to do (scales, a new song, a written theory page etc.) then he gets to pick a coin after each part is done. He has often managed 60 cents in an evening, and this adds up quite quickly for him. If everything has been completed all week with minimal fussing, he get two bucks. He gets no other allowance and is allowed to buy his own toys when he has enough. His Dad kicks in half of the cost of a Nintendo DS module if that is what TCS is saving for. So far so good with this; this is something else that we tried last year with quite a bit of success.

At the moment we are only asking TCS to be moderately neat in his work. We have completed the OT assessment and the therapist doesn't think that OT is the issue, she thinks it is an attention issue and will be recommending some things to the school. We are waiting for an appointment to further assess this. So the routine about homework may change.

Sorry to be so long winded about all of this - but Marie asked!




    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:18AM
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Good morning

We're heading west today - a family trip to the Rock and Roll hall of Fame in Cleveland, then Cedar Point. It will be fun to all be away together for a few days. No school for us till Sept 8th.

Till thursday!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:54AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It was a lovely 57 degrees out this AM. Nowhere near the cold temps at Vs. The days are NOTICABLY shorter now and the borders are really winding down for the season. Im contemplating replacing more of the herbaceous perennials with shrubs and dwarf conifers. Im getting tired of how things look in Sept and Oct. with browned out foliage. I still love the containers though, they are all looking so lush and full this time of year. Ive got to start taking my coleus cuttings this week before the night temps get any cooler.

PM, I thought Monique had a Caryopteris there but it looks like there are pink flowers on it so Im clueless. Ill have to ask her. ~~ No classes in photography, just years of hands on experience.

Anita, Im with you about slipping into sweaters. I adore sweater weather but not overcoat weather. I really love the fall for all the reasons you listed. I always try to take a hike through the Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch in the autumn. Its a gorgeous walk. ~~ How very neat youve seen a Hummingbird in your garden. They are so wonderful!

Kathy, Id forgotten to tell you that the plant you asked about in the windowbox is Coleus India Frills. ~~ How fantastic you are going to be taking a photography course!

Ive got several deadlines looming in Sept so Ive got to get off this computer and get down to the studio to paint. Waving hello to everyone! Have a great day!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 9:01AM
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Deanne...if I don't have a light system set up, do you think I can still over winter coleus cuttings some other way? How lucky that you have such a beautiful setting like the Flume Gorge in which to take a fall stroll.

Chilly morning, and it won't even reach into the 70's today. I don't mind, it just seems terribly early for this to occur. DH and I lit our first outdoor fire of the season
last night. The air was chilly but the heat warmed us up fast. I love watching the wood burn...very mesmerizing.

Julie...I'd say you have the routine for TCS down pat. Very organized and workable. I've had similar experiences driving past childhood homes. One thing that stands out is how small the house actually is from what my adolescent mind remembers. How nice for everyone to honor your friend with a retirement party. She did a great thing by taking care of other's children for 27 years. A very hard thing to do.

bug...too bad the cornus doesn't seem to be working out for you right now. I know you will come up with the perfect memorial planting for Reed, though.

brenda...What a hard chore you had to face regarding DB's possessions. I'm sure it was very bittersweet. (((hugs)))

kathy...Condolences on the passing of your family member. I hope you all have a safe trip.

woody...sounds like you've been so busy already with fall planting. I've never tasted mincemeat before, or tomato chutney. But I like how "seasonal" they both sound, and how you said the aroma conjures up a christmasy scent. I bet having Randy's retirement allows you to get a head start on your fall chores. This is his first fall since retirement, right?

Time to get outside. How nice to have an entire day to devote to outside chores, and tomorrow too. The DGS's (who I usually sit for on Tue) are in WI Dells for a few days, so I'll use the time wisely.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 11:10AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I am loving the cooler weather -- we got almost no rain that had been forewarned here and that resulted in keeping high humidity and higher temps..... Im sweated out this summer if such a thing is possible! I'd never survive in the deep South I guess - New Orleans or Alabama...?

So instead, I met up w/ DD and her husband and we saw Julia & Julie - a delightful movie and a dinner afterwards to catch up as we'd not gotten together for several months.. A busy week at the awfice and then a dinner last nite w/ stock club friends and Im not ready for it to be Monday.... but I do think Im ready for Fall....

Denise - you've got a writer's prose going on, I so admire ... I usually stumble and fumble and write way too much and meanderings...

I can recall the enthusiasm for sending the little one back to school -- even w/ the challenges, it offers personal freedom -- enjoy!

I loved seeing the WFF shots - I tried to locate mine on Friday in my photobucket acct but had big issues and it only got resolved today.... remember this one though? It's that new Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy that Im now thinking would be pretty neat addition to a border:

And look at this great combo of a fairly new echinacae and cotinus:

Or this one:

okay - back to the drudgery...


    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 1:51PM
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It continues to be a beautiful day here, too. We split and stacked about 3/4 cord of maple this morning. You could see the water being forced out of the tissue by the compression of the splitter. Very cool and the ability of the tissue to hold water is clear proof that Acer rubrum is very content to grow in swamps! We still have a pile of smaller branches that have to be chainsawed into 16" lengths before they're split. It was a perfect day to do it, too.

We also staked the corners of the new fence for Vegetable World, too. The concept is a series of wooden fence posts and rails that will run along the side of the driveway with a gate, and two more wooded posts that will define the two back corners (nearest the road). We will use green coated wire, "dog fencing" on metal stakes for those runs. The idea is that the garden will still be securely fenced, and the green fencing will recede nicely as the season progresses and the " long views" will not be too greatly affected. It's also cheaper!

I'm thinking about appropriating the arbor and moving it to the south side of the house where it could provide a transition from the Terrace to the lawn area. I have two clematis I could relocate to climb it, too. I have a ton of plant material to lift, thin out, and transplant... not the least of which are two large peonies if I opt to use the arbor. Hey, anyone interested in some bearded iris; old-fashioned, all lavender/blue, and nicely scented?

I haven't seen any school buses yet but figure it will likely be next week for BTS. I remember getting back into the school routine; I know that's where I got into the habit of getting up before dawn and retiring early. And, like TCS, I worked hard to get an easy routine in place. I had to because I had to take care of my horse before getting on the bus in the morning. I wouldn't have had any trouble with military basic training, lol.

Time to go outside, cover the splitter, empty a wheelbarrow and put up some stakes to simulate placement of the arbor.

OH! Kathy, in spite of continued neglect New Dawn has put out two very vigorous shoots from the base. One is aiming for the Terrace with deadly surety and I may cut it off and encourage another shoot more civilly aimed, the other looks to be promising. I will try to remember to get some shots of it and ask you some questions while you have a "visual". But the overall balance and shape of the place is more pleasing to me than it was before.

Are we planning any special time to remember Reed as a group? I think I'd like to haul out my Fabu-Fabu glass, fill it with something and look at Juniperus procumbens "Nana" and the little cement raccoon kit tucked between the boughs. I bought them both in his memory and planted them the day of his service. I think of TWMPT and my many Idyll friends whenever I go out to that area of the yard, you know. :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 4:54PM
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Nice to see Cindy get in the act with the WFF photos ! I think I have a single flower close-up of the cool R. Cherry Brandy, I was very taken with it, and true to form I believe I have a photo of the other combo too ! DS has spirited away the external hard drive so posting photos is more of a challenge, but if I can locate the close up Ill post it.

Julie, I remember vividly driving past our old house in San Diego when we went down there for a visit a few years after we moved up here- Definitely not the same garden I left behind ! I wish you well in your TCS morning plan you have certainly created a detailed road map- We were not in any way so organized here , I actually went to work at 6am and then came back to pick them up and take them to school. DH was in charge of getting their keisters out of bed and ready to go. I was so very happy when the days of schlepping those kids around in the morning was over.

Enjoy your trip Mary ! I wonder does one have to hire a chicken sitter ?

Thanks for the ID on the coleus Deanne, it seems hard to find the trailers, but I would sure like to have a few next year. That plant in Moniques garden looks like it might be a variegated Physostegia ?

Chelone, Im glad to hear that your embattled New Dawn is healthy enough to throw out new canes ..If its still supple you may be able to redirect the terrace-bound shoot . I plan to walk the river trail here for Reed, and may take my camera as well . I dont think Ive ever posted many photos of the river and the native plants and trees along the way.

Saucy, I really want a pair of Converse High Tops. Classic Black. Bet theyre made in China and uncomfortable as hell. !

Off to water !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 8:28PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Waiting for Doug to return from flying before turning in. He's over the moon as he was able to rejoin the flying club and is up in the Bonanza tonight. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Cindy, LOLOL!!!!

And this is even better because we had to have taken the pics at almost the same time. Notice the bee on the center of the upper left echinacea.

Did either of you grab this Aconitum shot?

I'd originally thought that was C. 'Golden Spirit' but I don't think so after looking at this again.

How about this one with the 'Copper Glow' and Cuphea?

Kathy, I'll have to get some extra cuttings of the 'India Frills and send them along before frost. ~~ Yes, you are absolutely correct that is a Physostegia in Monique's garden.

OK I'm going to get my jammies on and get ready for bed. Waving hello to all, sounds like all the children are ready for school and all the Mom's are too. Chelone and Helpmeet are getting their fuel ready for the winter ahead and the seasons are turning so Cindy won't be too hot for too much longer.

Nite all

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 9:03PM
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LOL, Kathy...comfort is not even considered! Tomorrow she is wearing white pants and a white shirt....I figure she'd better get it in quick as Labor Day is fast approaching!

Chelone, September 8th. I'm walking a wooded path on the Tufts University property that is open to the public.

Yay Doug!

Glad things cooled off down south, Cindy!

GB, are you alone yet? You had a busy month....

No leaves cast today, but I got a lot done and consulted a new carpenter! I have high hopes, folks, high hopes. Nick is just too busy and I have gardens to play in....not that I'm a good carpenter....

Hello to all! Time for me to get to bed. Both kids off to school tomorrow, I can hardly contain myself.....


    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 9:19PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Loving all the WFF pics!!

Deanne...Doug FLIES?? How did I not know that, I wonder?

Julie, sounds like a great routine for BTS! I always parked the kids at the table when they got home, gave them a snack, and got homework out of the way.

Saucy, I have a pair of high-top converse. The John Lennon ones. Lol, on my huge feet, they're absolutely hideous, but I love em anyway!

Okay, it was a quick pop-through, but I'm keeping up reading :) Have a good night, all!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 9:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Life continues to be extra busy here on the farm. Today they harvested the alfalfa field out front. It makes me a bit sad to lose all those purple flowers. Another friend came by for a visit and asked to take Phoebe for a walk by the river. So they had a date while I got some weeding done for an hour or so.

We too are expecting our winter wood in the next week or two. This will be 2 "bush cords"...and I'm not sure how many "face cords" that is equivalent to. It all depends on the length of the wood, which in our case will be 13-14 inches. I hope I can arrange a party with dessert following to help get it all in the barn! I've been offered some help in terms of carting the bark chips to the veg garden, but there's LOTS more weeding to accomplish there before the chips can be spread.

DD is keeping busy with Skyler. His school begins on Wednesday. Today she had 5 little boys playing at their house and 2 of them will be sleeping over. She said she wasn't very popular because she has rules at their place. I overheard this one: "I don't care who you are or what anyone says but NO ONE is allowed to jump over Ivy!" Oyyyy... Lots of running and screaming and wild stuff happenin' there! I reminded her of the words we used when our two were growing up. "That is not an indoor toy", "That is not an indoor voice", "That is not indoor behaviour." I then heard her announce to the multitudes: "A baseball bat is not an indoor toy!!!" and then heard a small voice say "Oh, OK" and then a door slam. Raising kids is so much work!!! I was tired just listening to it all.

Like Saucy, I have concerns about wearing white after September has arrived. Where did I get THAT from??? Not like me to care about such things. Must have been Mom that worried about being gauche.

Deanne, you are right, those golden leaves are not the shape of Cotinus Golden Spirit. Wonder what it is. Makes a lovely contrast though.

Friday it will be time for me to return to my naturopath and plan my winter activity and food plan. Things have been out of control since Ivy's birth for me, so time to get moving.

DH is expected back in an hour or so, so I'd best tidy a few things up now. One of those items is covering plants! We have a frost August no less!
I've made him a peach cobbler, which will no doubt be breakfast.

A demain!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 10:50PM
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Crikey. From Idyllunion 6 July 2009 From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

Are we simpatico or what? My Ancontium is a little blurry though . Deanne, you got me beat on the last photo to the left of the Hakone Grass and the Begonias. Don't have a single shot of that , lol !

    Bookmark   August 31, 2009 at 11:48PM
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GB, the thing that used to bother me is that when I would hear the no white after Labor Day "rule" I would wonder when the moratorium lifted. I don't think people have a true date when you can BEGIN to wear white again, and for some reason that bothers me :)

I'm known as Mean Jean in my neighborhood - but what do I care? The kids all still play at my house :)

Hmm...I see Brenda is planning a scheme of jumping out of Doug's plane, lol!

Dueling cameras is pretty funny! When I compared my shots at Coastal Maine Botanical with Deanne's, I found that we took different pictures, but I could see where she had the better eye for the shot.

Well, I'd better get is all mine!


    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 6:49AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A very quick good morning to all, One of my friends is coming over to paint today and I've got to get all the plants watered and vaccuum the chunks off the floors, get lunch ready etc.

Just had to comment that I'm so loving all the duplicate pics from WFF and I can't believe that there is that same bee on Kathy's photo as well! Tooo... funny...

Brenda, yes Doug has his pilot's license but you cannot jump out of his airplane! If you ever visit he'd LOVE to take you for a ride in the Bonanza.

OK must run, have a great day

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 8:00AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Saucy -- the custom re wearing (white) white (as opposed to winter white) I was taught was that one wore it after Memorial Day and stopped at Labor Day -- it was a summer white and hence only for traditional summer days... of course, that all went out the door many years ago - Im thinking it loosened up 20 or so - when things got "liberal" (Maybe w/ the advent of the miniskirt which makes it longer than 20)?? Altho upon consideration those dates are strictly American, so one has to wonder who,where and how the attire police established it...LOL... but for those of us who had some relative who had "standards" about clothing and knew that one, it got drilled into us didnt it? I do think it is nice to be able to change one's attire and clothes from season to season; but many folks do not; and I'll see lite cotton in winter in 30 degrees - brrr...

Considering that WFF is pretty large and expansive, I do think it's a riot we all grab much of the same shots (I have the aconitum too, LOL) -- Deanne's put all my mine to shame -- you really know how to look, frame and grab the best groupings! -- but mine were for recalling the combos....

In VA, schools still do not go back to school until after Labor Day - this year, Sept. 8 -- it has something to do w/ what they call the "Kings Dominion" reg here (that was a lobbyist successful fight to keep the theme park revenue going -- when it was proposed to have schools start earlier and longer, they were much against as it would cut into a lot of their annual income - go figure). Personally, I think we're long overdue to go to a more modern year-long calendar but they didnt take my vote...

I am seriously considering yanking my Wm. Baffin rose -- it's sprawled all against the end fence and while I like it when it's in bloom, it doesnt repeat, gets sawfly immediately, and then just throws out tons of canes that Im continually battling... it would change the entire area if it were pulled - and maybe it's time for a change there as I've never been happy with what happens the rest of the summer - spring is great but then it's kaput... I will have to ponder whether I have the energy as it will take a lot of chopping, pulling and digging....

This may be the year that pots come in a bit early too - I think they're all looking a bit weary (as I am) and things need to be dis-assembled...

More planning and thinking going on than doing right now, LOL.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 9:05AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Another gorgeous day out there this morning. Perfect weather! Not quite feeling like fall yet, Anita, but cool enough for a turtleneck this morning for an early trip to the hairdresser. I think Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons, even as a kid. I loved summer, of course, but I always enjoyed going back to school with a return to routine, seeing friends I hadn't seen all summer and the colorful leaves falling, the crisp fragrant air. Anita is that your grandchildren in that fall photo?

Brenda and Doug setting up a date for a jump, funny would that be. :-)

Also enjoying all the dueling IU6 photos.

Finding the discussion of school routines very interesting. My hairdresser was just saying this morning, her oldest is starting high school this year, and it reminded me that in some ways I'm very glad to have high school and college with it's worries, behind us. School routines seems a long time ago. [g] I've often made repeated attempts with the kids, to help them connect to their own reasons for getting things done that need doing. Self motivation can be a relief for both the parent and child from mind numbing nagging. Kids don't find it easy thinking forward, of what the pay offs will be for good choices in the present, so helping them to take the time to think it through helps. So they begin thinking, where am I going and what do I want and is this getting me there, at an early age.

Today is moving day for DD. She already called early this morning, to remind DS to bring a few tools. She and roommate found their new apartment a little late, so with Sept 1st as a move in date, with all the colleges around Boston, is a popular moving day. There was one UHaul left when they called to reserve it and it was one of the largest. They called us after they picked it up to tell us how the Employees at the UHaul place were heckling them about how they were going to handle driving this huge truck, telling the counter person to make sure to sign them up for a lot of insurance. [g] So far they managed to get it back to their place and park it. DS is already over there to help and we are going over later today.

That's all going on over here....except for digging and repotting plants to be replanted in new homes soon....and here is the last large tomato ripening on the vine. They were delicious! Still have some cherries.

OK...have a perfect day in this perfect weather. :-)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 9:10AM
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There was a ruckus at the gate just now, caused by two basset hounds being led on leashes (extendable!) past Ein's domain. Their guardian and I commiserated over the difficulty of walking dogs down this street, with so many barking dogs straining behind fences to proclaim territoriality. What cuties the bassets were, so composed and regal. Ein solely caused the ruckus, of course.

The light is very eerie from the fires still burning (and I'm ashamed to add it makes for a beautifully golden photographic light.) Slightly cooler and more humid conditions today should help the firefighters. The eaves were dripping yesterday morning, the first I've noticed, and the grape vine and smoke trees are losing leaves already -- probably from the excessive heat.

Count me as another one very glad to have school routines in the rearview mirror. Julie, yours sounds like a very solid approach. From your description of TCS, I'd be most reluctant to introduce a gaming device into the house. One of my boys fits your description of TCS at that age -- difficulty with organizational tasks, remembering to bring homework and books, etc, but focused razor-like attention on the computer and became very immersed in games -- strictly anecdotal, of course, but I'd be careful.

Saucy, I can feel your jubilation!

Condolences to you, Kathy, for the loss in your family.

Cindy, the only roses I'm currently tempted to try are ramblers like Rambling Rector, Adelaide d'Orleans, once-bloomers. Or if I could find a climbing Lady Hillingdon. Then I remember the cursed sawfly and come to my senses...

I have never once in my entire life thought about whether it is an appropriate time to wear white. My only consideration for wearing white is the size it makes my *ss look!

I've been falling asleep to the lilting tones of Penelope Hobhouse touring through beautiful gardens, an Art of Gardening DVD -- think Julia Child talking plants. The boys watched Apocalypse Now...yikes! Duncan was asking me about Heart of Darkness, the Joseph Conrad novel, so I suggested the movie based on the book. Kids always seems surprised when you know anything...

No wood to chop here, but my seed order from Chiltern's should be arriving any day. We've been making good use of our bikes. Even in very high temps it's much cooler whizzing along on a bike than sitting still and sweating.

Enjoying the farm reports and news and plans for putting gardens to bed. I'm thinking of a stock tank water garden for next summer, so will pay special attention to Norma and Deanne's water garden reports.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 12:50PM
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Welcome September! I did a lot of weeding at my DD's house down the block, and in doing so, uncovered some nice flagstones. Some of which found their way into the back of my Durango. I divided and moved some astilbes, heuchera, lady's mantle, and wax bells. Found time in between gardening to finish my book, too. Another nice day on tap, and hoping to work on the flagstone path. A rework, I should say.

PM2...Yes, those are my DGS's in photo from last year. They live down the block, so I see them often. Hope that DD's move goes well today. How far away is she from you? LOL on the Uhaul comments. Funny that you said you wore a turtleneck to see your hairdresser. Those are the hardest tops to work with...the more open the neckline, the easier to cut the hair. So I just keep moving it down and rolling it in. LOL.

I think wearing white jeans after Labor Day is fine. I won't wear white shoes, or carry a white purse, but jeans or tops are fine. I like winter white coats and vests, too.
So it depends on the item, I guess.

cindy...Good luck on the rose removal, if you decide to tackle it this year. Doesn't sound like it will be easy at all. How's Chloe been?

I'm also loving the "Dueling Photos." Amazing that so many took similar shots without knowing. Especially amazing is capturing the bee.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 1:09PM
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Very close to bedtime here, but the evening has been spent with A. watering, B. conversations pursuant to the journey to Socal on Thur , and C. FarmTown. I have dismantled the white garden and moved the cutting garden (were talking FarmTown here) and am heartlessly using close relatives to gain advantages.

I am not looking forward to thrusting myself into the air quality of the Inland Empire of Southern California during fire season, and funerals are never fun. However, as is often the case with these sorts of events we will reconnect with people we have not seen for awhile , and as Mr Baby is exceedingly cute (for a baby) he will no doubt add some entertainment value for those that enjoy Small Children.

White clothes due to my unfortunate slatternly nature , I rarely wear white . Seasonality however does not play a role in the wardrobe selection ,color-wise, only in the length of sleeves and the amount of layers. Lol Denise, the *ss issue always prevails ! Beware, those stock tanks are expensive as hell.

Cindy , I support your William B extraction love those once bloomers , but I decided long ago that I dont have the space for such things, and how many cool shrubs could you plant in its place ?

Great score on the flagstones Anita !

Ok, Back to Les and Moniques From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

See Y'all tomorrow ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 12:27AM
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White clothing is never worn before Memorial Day nor after Labor Day. This does not apply to "winter white" which is actually more ivory or cream and may be worn through out the year. One never wears white to a wedding, either, as it's the bride's color. This according to Mum, who would have celebrated her 83rd. birthday today. White was also traditionally the color of mourning in the French court of the 15th. and 16th. century. So ends your fashion primer for the day. ;)

Kathy, found a delicate worm on New Dawn the other day. Looked like an "inch worm" but was a soft brown with some delicate stripes down its sides. I've not looked it up but I did remove it from the planet with a quick squish.

Do not wish to work today and have a full afternoon of alteration work ahead of me, too. At least I have a job and the weekend isn't far off.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 5:15AM
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Denise, I'm water gardening in 3 large galvanized buckets, and I have always wanted one of those stock tanks (there's a garden using them as a feature in Garden Design Magazine's last issue). I am having fun with the plants I am growing there.

Kathy, have a safe trip with family to SoCal. Mr. Baby will be a nice distraction. Your farm town antics cracked me up....let me know if I can help. I'm a millionaire, you know, maybe I can pull some strings, lol!

Chelone, you are busy, busy, busy these days. I hope you are taking time to squish the catepillars on the roses....oh, I see that you are :) Someday you'll smell the roses, I just know it!

Nice score on the flagstone, Anita. Funny, every gardener I know in town is looking for flat rocks these days....I hope I don't need any in the future as they seem to be taking all!

PM, that was funny about the UHaul. Did she move in one truck load?

I guess I'd better go and make some coffee. Time to start the day!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 5:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ahhh! Fine photo of Les & Monique's place! I'm certain the view is different today though with the dark sedum in bloom and perhaps that green foliage is anemones that might also be in flower? Looks like Betty Corning there too. See that Woody? ;)

Ah Chelone, a pensive day thinking of Mum. I can identify with that. I love your fashion primer, yet somehow doubt you follow it...:) I didn't know (remember?) about white for mourning. My only tidbit was black being the first basic wedding colour. Well today I'm wearing scruffy, pink top and black jeans. NOT high fashion to be sure, but will serve the purpose for a day involving a quick trip to the bank and then lots of weeding while the weather is good.

PM, there are always stories involving U-Hauls. I hope yours does not involve the destruction of a bridge and wheelbarrow!!! It is always exciting to start afresh in a new home, especially when Mom & Dad come by to help or bring something special. :)

Today is a moody one, with thoughts going out to many...Woody and her medical tests, Kathy and her family, Brenda and her wonderful brother, lost pets too. Perhaps it is the melancholy of Autumn that has me in this frame of mind too. The mist rises from our pond each morning, the bird varieties change, the Agastache rupestris, the Japanese anemones, the rudbeckia and hydrangeas abound and major jobs involving shovel, mower, rake, rock, wood and grass seed must be completed in this season. But all this has its place and we deal with it and even enjoy it.

Saucy, do you need to do anything to prepare the hives for winter? You must have quite the stash by now!
Reminds me of a kids verse:
Honey on toast
Honey on toast
At breakfast time I love it the most..."

OK, I'd better get my day started!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:50AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

A gorgeous morning here, 51 degrees and 100% sunshine. Im thinking Im going to go for a bicycle ride when it warms up just a bit. Ive had lots of hummingbirds around the last week or so. Mostly juveniles passing through.

Cindy, I agree 100% with shovel pruning a rose that gets sawfly and only blooms once. Id say its time for it to be gone.

PM great looking tomato, is that from your garden? I didnt know you had veggies.

Denise, I dont have much success with water lilies in my pond as it doesnt get enough sun. Id love to fine a spot to grow a lotus in a container though.

Anita, looking forward to seeing your reworked flagstone path.

Kathy, great vignette from Monique and Les. I took it from a wider angle. Your photo really captures the sense of the secret paths they have running through the shrub brders.

Chelone, I was taught the same drill re white between Memorial Day and Labor Day and never wear white or black to a wedding.

Saucy, have you done any new castings recently? Cant wait to see pics.

OK time to go and water and maybe take a few coleus cuttings.

Have a great day

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 8:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Okay, then... onto dueling photos of M& L's...

here's that same view but farther way from their deck (I had the closer ones as well):

And speaking of their secret paths and nooks and cranies that I so adored (they are fearless in their use of color too!):


    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:05AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Wow, three days in a row of perfect weather! It's beautiful out there.

Rest day today, so plenty of time to talk.

Kathy....sorry to hear about the loss in your family. The family patriarch is a real loss. The older generation sometimes is the glue that keeps the family close. ...Yes, I googled your plant list...looking forward to photos. :-) Afraid you lost me with Farmtown. [g]

Anita....Your DD is lucky to have you and how lucky for you to have those little cherubs down the street. :-) I'm going shopping for flagstones soon. Hope you are taking before and after photos. ....I usually don't wear the turtleneck to the hairdressers, I guess I was just so pleased to be cool enough to put one on again I forgot. [g]

Cindy....My Mom always taught us no white after Labor Day. Not shoes, or clothes or bags. When I think of how often she reminded me it's pretty funny. ..... I still have buds on 'Rhapsody in Blue' and 'Golden Celebration' right now, and last year I was going to yank both of them. They are supposed to repeat but they didn't do such a hot job of it until I started the Alfalfa pellets this year. Maybe you would be happier with a repeat bloom. Is William Baffin fragrant?

Deanne....My 'Golden Celebration' finally succumbed to blackspot over about 1/4 of it's foliage. It was sudden it seemed. It had a little last year and came back clean this year, so I'll just clean up good this fall.

Julie.....I couldn't agree more with Denise about caution with those gaming devices. Having games in the house for our kids were always something I did my best to avoid and I think they are better off for it. They did have carefully selected computer games and hand held gameboys that really came in handy on trips, but never had one of those XBoxes or whatever they are called. [g] My middle boy, especially who also was forgetful of homework etc., could get very attached and spend too many hours with that type of activity. It can create a constant struggle. Plus most of the games available are violent. I did find them a couple of hand held electronic math and word games that especially my middle son really enjoyed and that seemed to mollify them. I forget the name but will try to remember them.

Denise...what did you order from Chiltern's? Your Ein is so funny. I didn't realize you had so many dogs in your neighborhood. We think Bassets are beautiful dogs too.

More later....

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:48AM
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Look at all that grass for Ollie and Emma! I love the way M&L sculpt space with big masses of shrubs and grasses, punctuated by trees. Nothing bitty about it, and I think that takes some nerve and a lot of knowledge. The ants are herding scale on my poor Betty C., the nasty varmints.

PM, a lot of seeds I ordered is stuff I'm hoping will self-sow into infinity, lol. White valerian, larkspur, various verbascum.

Yesterday I found this gomphrena at a nursery that I remembered from seed catalogues last fall, 'Fireworks.' I predict this plant is going to be huge! (size and reputation). It's a different species than the regular annual, and from what I've read online will get very large, to 4 feet tall and up. I love plants that bobble and am hoping this will seed around like Verbena bonariensis. Fabulous with grasses, no? It's already crammed in, so not much of a photo, but they were stunning massed on the nursery bench, very allium-esque. A little over 2 feet tall in 4-inch pots:

Closeup not much better, but it has little yellow filaments among the pink:

Now I know Mary grows this chartreuse mirabilis but haven't read any mention of it this summer on the idylls. Great plant, and it will seed around. Also saw it in a Portland garden this summer and everyone oooh'd and aah'd. It's in a pot here, flwrs still unopened this a.m.:


    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 11:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hmmm... I wonder if "self-sow into infinity" means something different in southern California. Things like larkspur and verbena bonariensis scare me. That doesn't mean I don't have them, but they are things that consume vast amounts of time and that I should remove from my space...somehow. This however comes from the mouth of one who is about to create a grass garden... Proof that I am crazy. I think your new gomphrena looks fabu-fabu and would look nifty in my new garden. ;)

I have mixed emotions about the computer game debate. Certainly I'd like my child to enjoy the out of doors and not stare at violence on the screen. In our case, DS tired of games quickly and progressed to programming and then on to study computer science at MIT. (He also adored being a canoe guide though!) DH began his career shooing away the students from games in order to concentrate on assignments, but he found to his surprise that they were really up to date with things in the field and they could tell HIM what was happening, where computer science was going. And part of that was GAMES! And so one of his student ended up with an Acadamy Award after working on films in Hollywood, others work for RIM where Blackberries were begun, and so on. And so like everything, there is a middle road, and knowing your child and watching as he progresses in a balanced way seems to me the best way.

I have been running errands and still have not attacked the weeds. Things like phone calls, emptying the dishwasher, walking the dog etc have slowed me down. Actually, I'm just tired.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 12:53PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hey, Denise - a 4 foot gomphrena - that sounds pretty cool -- it looks lovely at 2 feet - it does seem to offer the same effect as verbena bon.? Love that mirabilis....

I am woefully bla with seeds -- they usually succumb to the mildew or wilt somehow... I had more success as a novice; but once I got going I seem to have lost that "knack," to say nothing of room.

Meant to say to Kathy, I was sorry to hear of the family loss, despite him having been out of it the last few years, it brings to close many feelings Im sure. I hope you all enjoy the family gatherings and nothing like a lovely baby to cheer everyone up and think of life.... Mr. Baby definitely qualifies as cute.

Im personally counting the hours til the holiday weekend is upon us; weary of work and longing to work in the garden...


    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 1:11PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Not a perfect fall here... We've got some tough decisions to make ASAP re radiation that may or may not work or surgery with all the risks that entails....

I will likely be silent for a while, but counting on you all to provide lots of pictures for entertainment and distraction....

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 3:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy.... you do sound like you are in great spirits. :-) Are you childless today? I keep thinking of having a water garden in a can. I would love photos of your galvanized buckets. Can you use those in full sun? must be really getting in shape with all that bike riding. I imagine you have found a surge of energy from doing it long enough now? .... Yes that was one of our tomatoes. We only have about 6 hrs of sun so my 'crops' are minimal. I can grow cherries real well, but the larger ones have a harder time with this amount of sun, especially this year. No, I rarely post photos of our veggie area because I'm never satisfied with the way it looks. :-) I have a couple of eggplant still developing and some basil, hot peppers, string beans. It's small.

Marie....Is Woody having more medical tests? ....Also thinking of losses... remember we were just talking about why dogs don't live longer, when Sunrise passed? This morning I saw an article online reporting the death of the oldest dog in the world. See the link below. .... Your verse about 'honey on toast' has reminded me of a DB who passed away when he was 20 yrs old. It was a favorite family story of when he was about 6 years old and started kindergarten, he met a girl down the street and developed an instant crush on her. All that summer, he would bring her his favorite every morning, cinnamon toast. Thanks for the memory jog. :-)

DD has successfully moved. We had a really wonderful day yesterday. The weather was perfect. I had very little blooming in the garden that was worth cutting for her, so I brought her a vase of hydrangea blossoms. She and roommate just loved them. The UHaul was actually full but not stuffed. They made one trip. So if they had gotten a smaller one it wouldn't have worked. They told us that they got so many stares and smiles from people as they were driving it. One woman made encouraging comments to them at the gas station. I think it added some fun to their day. They had plenty of help, DS and a friend of roommate were the muscle and they worked very hard. She is on the second floor but they have a roof deck that is four flights up. She had a window box, table and chairs and a grill that had to be lugged up there. DH brought Chinese Food for dinner and we had the table and chairs set up by then. Before we left, the cable company had come and gone and the TV/computer was all set up and their beds were put together and made up. Everyone likes their new digs. Phew! Glad that is over with.

Friday is only two days away. :-)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Looks like I'll have to break out the camera and take some shots of the Wrecking Crew over the coming weekend... . I'll be thinking of you, Woody. They arrive at 1-ish tomorrow and will be here until Tuesday evening, so I'll have ample opportunity to beat the livin' daylights out of them, won't I? My greatest concern are the cats, actually. The Wrecking Crew has no idea how to behave properly with respect to the feline persuasion and the first order of business will be proper introductions that will involve fearless Vera and individual members of the Crew properly attired in training collars and sporting leashes. I have every confidence the rule of law will be firmly established in no time flat as both dogs know, "leave it". It's going to be quite a weekend.

Actually 'bug, funnily enough, the "white rule" is one of the few I actually follow pretty assiduously! It's probably a nod to tradition and my decided Neo-Victorian sensibility. I could also be a big proponent of matching shoes and handbags if I worked a job that justified "dressing nicely" and wasn't as tight with a buck as I tend to be... . I saw two older ladies in a car near the mauls who were both contentedly sucking on butts and my eyes brimmed with tears... if they only knew what difficulty cigarettes cause for those they probably love most of all.

But it's a beautiful day and I have to put my hindquarters to the coals and crank out some more work this afternoon. Having read very little and only skimmed pictures I'd best get to it before all resolve melts away. Later!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Woody, I hate to hear that your tumor has reared its ugly head. May the powers be with you.
I need to figure out my picture posting problems so I can help keep you distracted.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 4:27PM
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Not a perfect fall here either, I am really bumming about
our best couple friends. Last I heard they are 99 percent sure he has acute leukemia. That is what his father died from. They said there is a 60 percent chance they can get it in remission. Here's hoping.

Even though things are greener than normal for this time of year I feel things winding down. I still have much to do,but tend to want to go walk in the woods instead. We have been cool and dry for several days until today the heat has come back, and heat and dry don't work. So I am watering.
My Sweet Autumn Clematis, Moonflower vine and aster are blooming so that tells me it is fall too.

Chelone sounds like a busy but fun weekend for you and the critters.

Kathy, hope all goes well with your trip for the funeral. In our family we are fast becoming the patriarchs.

Enjoy the evening all. norma

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 4:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gee, I missed your post Woody, so sorry that you are having to face more decisions on the health front. Wish there were something we could all do to make it easier. :-)

Chelone, I thought I had asked about what you were doing for your Mom's BD today, but I started editing and must have forgotten to paste something back in, sorry about that. Hope you had an okay day.....Not sure who the 'wrecking crew' is. Visiting dogs? .....I was thinking of you the other day and could use your expert opinion...I was looking at a horror of an ironing board cover. What ever happened to great ironing board covers? This one has no padding. Plus, I've bought three irons in the last 10 years and have not enjoyed any of them. I figure you must have to use an iron a lot in your line of work. I wonder if you have a favorite?...

Glad you are having fun with reseeders, Denise. I tend to limit those here, but I do have verbascums, I just haven't seen much reseeding. Larkspur, yes. But I'm pulling them out. You mentioned four o'clocks and I grow those every year and collect the seed. I can send you some if you would like. I think I also have the rose color with the chartreuse leaves. These were Broken Colors from last year....

Norma, I've been trying to get a Sweet Autumn Clematis seedling to grow for the last three years. This year it finally looked great and had four strong stems that were reaching about 8 ft up the fence and along the top. The next thing I know, there is not a leaf left on it, all stems and branches. Some caterpillar had eaten the whole thing. I hope it will come back next year.

Okay, that's it from me for today. Time for the night crew. [g]


    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 5:11PM
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Looking forward to shots of the Wrecking Crew in action, with Wrecks riding point ;) Thought of you yesterday when Mitch handed me three large, pale yellow linen tablecloths from a fancy hotel that was changing its color scheme, obtained by a friend who decided she didn't like yellow after all. Rat-holed them immediately in the cedar chest...

I'll be thinking of you, Woody, and doing my best to keep up my end in the distraction dept. Lord knows I've counted on the idylls myself for much the same.

Saucy, the bucket idea might be a good way to "dip the toes" into the water garden venture. The water gardens still look so fresh and beautiful in August/Sept.

I can see how in a large garden (a farm!) the self-sowers can get scary. Mine is a tiny walled garden, all under my nose, and editing out volunteers is not a problem. With less than 15 inches of rain a year, if I don't tend to a plant, it doesn't have a chance of thriving. I even had to buy in V. bonar. this year, since Marty developed a strong aversion to it sprouting at the edge of the borders in his face and eradicated every last seedling. To me it seems the self-sowers are sometimes healthier and more bug-resistant than the parent plant, and they do arrange themselves ingeniously.

Here's a self-sower I haven't seen in the garden in at least five years, centrantherum, that popped up out of the blue this year:

Cindy, if possible, I'll collect some seed from that gomphrena for you so you can get back in practice ;)

Anita, now that we know turtlenecks aren't proper haircutting attire, how about preferences re chatty customer vs. non-chatty? Makes the time pass for me, but some haircutters seem to prefer silence...

PM, great news your DD is settled in. Love cut hydrangeas for vases. Nice four o'clocks! Re reseeding, I think you guys have much more exacting gardening standards ;) I can see how, with abundant moisture, certain plants must look like the enemy...

Sorry to hear about your friend's diagnosis, Norma.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 5:50PM
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Woody I saw this as I was surfing and thought you might get a kick seeing it. Norma

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 6:32PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Another Hummer for your viewing enjoyment LOL.... I was supposed to be working but couldn't tear myself away from the camera today. Lots of Hummingbirds around.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:27PM
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Perfect Deanne.

I followed the link above to this slideshow. A bit on the tropical side but I enjoyed the plant combos. Deanne you will love the caladiums and Woody there is even a little dog in a couple of the shots.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:31PM
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Perfect Deanne.

I followed the link above to this slideshow. A bit on the tropical side but I enjoyed the plant combos. Deanne you will love the caladiums and Woody there is even a little dog in a couple of the shots.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:34PM
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sorry, don't know how that happened

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:35PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Norma, what a fabulous slide show! Gorgeous combinations. I wish I could find some of those caladiums. Thanks for posting that.

Here is another pic.... this one you can even see the individual quills in the primary feathers.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 8:12PM
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Hi you idyllers!

Just skipped by to see pics here-and say hi of course: )

Deanne-how COOl is that first hummer pic-I can see the blue flower shining through the wing!! Such beautiful details.

Loving all the plant combos too-Cindy nice to see your pics-I agree that cotinus is wonderful-I only could find the purple variety around here...durn deer nibbled it-argh.

Just trying to enjoy the last bits of sunny warm weather-hope you all are doing well.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 9:27PM
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Denise...I love that gomphrena, it's a perfect punctuation of color. I like when clients talk, as I like to listen. As long as they can keep their head still while doing so. :) In general, we take our queues from the client, as it is their time. If they want chatter or silence, it's up to them. I try to always steer the conversation back to them.

cindy...Thanks for posting photos of M&L's garden. You captured some beautiful shots.

(((Norma))) That's never easy hearing that about a good friend.

Deanne...Fabu!! Another beautiful hummingbird photo. I love how its color matches the flower and stem so well.

chelone...I'm with PM on wanting your opinion on a great iron. I'm never happy with the ones I choose.

saucy...I googled images of stock tanks after you mentioned them, and I'm a fan now. Some of those are huge.

PM...Sounds like your DD is very organized. That's how I did moves, too. Even the pictures were hung and boxes throw out before I went to bed at the end of moving day. She'll have a good story to tell regarding the Uhaul for years to come. I bet they loved the hydrangeas...wondering if they'll dry and can be saved long term? sorry to hear of the upcoming decisions you are facing. You'll be in my thoughts during this stressful time.

Nice to see babs pop in.

Nite all,

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 10:46PM
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Hot Tamales , its Babs ! Hiya Babs ! Im afraid I dont have time to linger tonight , but I am taking the trusty laptop with me to Socal, so hope to check-in from time to time.

Loved Deannes H-birds, Denises various plant pics, Normas link and so much moreI am taking my small Nikon down- the smoke from the fires and heat of the desert dont promise many good photo ops.

Back to WFF I dare you guys to have a duplicate of this I was trying to be artistic ,lol.

Hope to check in sometime tomorrow --waves to all , and ((Woody))

Kathy in Napa From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 11:47PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Morn'n, it's dark out. The sun is coming up later and later. One of the signs of fall that I don't enjoy is losing the light. So what is on the calendar for today for everyone? We have a tree arriving to be planted today. An arborvitae. We bought one last fall and in the spring, half the tree died. They tell me it was the weather last year and it happened to a lot of arborvitaes. I still don't get how it got through the whole winter looking fine and then in April it started dying. So a replacement is arriving today and I will be happy to have that checked off the list.

Denise, do you actually have a wall around your garden? How did I miss that? I was just reading the other day that a walled garden will hold fragrance and concentrate it more. Do you have a lot of fragrant plants? ....I actually do have a few self seeders. If they are reasonable and I really really like them enough that I don't care how many they recreate I'll have them. I was afraid to use Verbena bonariensis but I liked that airy quality so much I finally broke down and got one. After hearing Marie's experience, I'm hoping I didn't make a mistake. I always had cosmos reseed every year, but I suddenly got tired of them and ripped them all out before they set seed last year. I have Aquilegia and Violas that I continue to be happy with the increase, too.

Anita....I've been going to the same hairdresser for about 12 years now. She is right down the street and I am happy with her work 90% of the time. We both talk a lot. [g] ..... Thanks for reminding me about drying the hydrangeas. I was thinking if I reduce the water in the vase to a few inches, they might dry that way.

Norma....I'm sorry about your friend's news. 60% chance of remission is pretty good. ....Thanks for the link. I also loved the Caladiums. The Yorkie hiding in the 'heads' was such a cute shot.

Deanne....what a fun day you had! Love those hummer pics. We haven't had any this year at all.

Hello Babs! :-) Nice catch on the hummer pic. I hadn't noticed the flower showing through the wing.

Very 'artistic' Dahlia photo. :-)
Have a good trip, Kathy! :-)

Have a sunny Thursday, all. :-)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 5:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

There's a pink haze on the horizon here at the moment. Another pretty day expected here!

Lovely "artsy" dahlia shot Kathy!

Today is DD's and DSIL's third anniversary. So much has been packed into those short years, both joy and sorrow. I am trying still to think of something to say or do for them today, but haven't come up with the perfect idea so far.

This week DD received the package with the very special quilt made by her friend on a forum for young mothers. Each of the Moms contributed fabric for the quilt in Reed's honour and it is "beautiful and amazing" I am told. She hopes to photograph it soon for me. They opened it together on Tuesday evening and it was an emotional time of course.

On the home front I have been asked if I would like to store my coleus at a nursery this winter! The owner would like to use them for cuttings. Seems like a FINE plan to me! Just think, no bother and fuss and new plants next spring. He's even offering some sort of payment, though that is not a factor in my decision. I probably have only about 8 plants total he'd want.

I've been given a brochure/map of about 25 nurseries and gardens to tour on the nearby Bruce Peninsula. This would be a perfect weekend for visiting a few of them, but then again, there's chips to shovel and the barn to prepare for winter's wood. We'll have to see how we feel when the time comes. I'm also thinking about the new garden bed of ornamental reeds & grasses. I seem to have more plants than space for this! I've been planning it as I weed in the afternoons. Meanwhile, DH is occupied with course preparation, but is still full of stories from his HS reunion. Obviously it fascinated him.

Time to deal with the cat litter...and so the day begins!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 6:52AM
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Good morning!

I am reminded every day that I am out in the driveway garden that I owe Kathy a shot of my upright catmint, but never a camera with me! It's not the prettiest thing after being defoliated...but it's still standing proud!

Anita, the stock tanks are pretty cool. I'm using those old galvanized wash tubs. I found them in the the basement. Hmm...maybe I should walat with the camera :)

Woody, I hope I can entertain you properly - another reason for photos. I was thinking of taking a trip out to that little bridge garden that I visited last year at this time. It's full of dahlias and puts on quite the show at the end of the season. Day trips remind me of you and Randy.

((Norma)) - I've yet to see what's on the slide show, but it's on my list :)

The hummingbird is so fun, Deanne! I love getting to see it up close and personal. I hope you will frame these (you could sell the prints for sure!!!)

GB, I like your grass garden idea and have had something similar in mind since Kathy mentioned it as an idea last year. I nixed the idea of having it close to the deck (I am afraid of fire - does that seem silly?) and have found a spot that I think will work.

Have a great day, everyone!


    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 7:21AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Woody - You know you can count on us for inanities and lots of pics - hopefully they will be diverting to you - but I find myself without words to express how sad I am to hear you've had such tough news -- I hope we can amuse and provide you with other things to think about when you wish to. We are thinking of u ...

Wow - more incredible photos from Deanne, artistic combos from Kathy....and a Babs sighting, LOL.

Norma - I loved both those slideshows; of coruse Im enamoured of the heads - I've seen them photographed in other places when browsing for head planters -- I wonder if that tropic one is the person who is now selling those creations online? Really great, great place -- a great fantasy getaway I would think. I always wonder though what those succulent planters with 5 or more together look like at the end of 3 or 4 months -- mine grow higgely piggely at different rates and always end up looking like they have hangovers, LOL...(not such great combos after 3 months together, ya know?)...

No time for pics to offer of others gardens today --


    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 9:12AM
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This photographer's blog today reminded me so much of Deanne chucking her work for the day to hang out with the hummers, the "pause for beauty" mentioned in Mr. Perry's blog. And I can't believe I remembered how to embed a link...

PM, yes, I have a walled garden. Sounds grand put that way, but in truth we're talking "fenced-in yahd. ;^) The only time I notice an overpowering scent (the good floral kind!) is when the jasmine my neighbor's house across the street!

I thought the quilt had already arrived, but the timing does seem perhaps better now. Such a deal with the coleus! Wouldn't it be great if other idyllers could find similar local arrangements with the tender stuff.

Great garden slide show, Norma. For me, a little tropical goes a long way, kinda like having a rich dessert cart for a garden instead of an entire meal, but that's a matter of personal preference, and it's all regionally relative. Maybe it looks "rich" to me because I know the water needs such a garden has. I'll bet that garden is in Florida, so choice of plants makes total sense. What a gorgeous show garden, and those head sculptures! Thank you.

Here's Marty's high-tech method of staying cool on the rowing machine:

Must make an appt to chat with a hair cutter today ;)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 4:46PM
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Good evening

Woody - would lots of chicken pictures help keep you distracted? Our thoughts will be with you with all that lies ahead. Such decisions for the future must be so hard.

Norma - sorry to hear about your friend.

Deanne - the hummers are completely, absolutely amazing.

Yo Babs!! Did you know I was just in your neck of the woods? Perhaps you could sense our presence driving through. We arrived back this afternoon from Cedar Point where David announced he had had the most fun he thought possible in one day. He and Annie rode all the scariest roller coasters imaginable and had a blast. DH and I enjoyed watching from afar, took photos, and marvelled that both children are so fearless. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was fabulous and just being away together was simply fun and relaxing.

Tomorrow I have a garden job in the AM, then I hope to find some time for my own gardens. Plus, I have the roof to the chicken coop to work on. The weather looks set to be beautiful and I can't wait.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Good evening friends, greetings from the smokey and hot environs of Socal, and a wave towards the west to Denise. One does forget how really and truly ugly some of the inland areas of southern Calif can be.
Tomorrow we have the funeral business to attend to and will then perhaps head out to visit a friend in Palm Springs, about 30 miles from here..waves to all !

Kathy in Calimesa

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 12:55AM
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Notes on the Wrecking Crew:
1.) they are very responsive and "watch me" garners instant attention and strong eye contact. Way more reliably than Rex!
2.) they do not understand that compliance with a command also entails its continuance until they are released from it. But once corrected and given the command they seem to say to themselves, "Oh yeah, I remember this one".
3.) they live in a city and they don't have a territory of their own. They will s-it anywhere and everywhere. Rex prefers to plant his calling cards off in the woods or in very tall grass... I prefer that to the middle of the lawn where I have to remove it with a shovel.
4.) they don't quite have the "sit before the door opens and remain so until the human exits or enters and then says you may do so, as well" protocol down pat. But they're willing!
5.) cats are a fascination and charging them gets a strong reprimand and a return to a "down stay". They don't understand that, at all!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 5:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

1. We never taught the "watch me" command with her. It really didn't seem necessary because unlike most dogs I know, she looks us in the eye. I find lately that she also doesn't pay attention and makes assumptions about what we want her to perhaps we should have taught her the command.
2. Continuance until released...This is a very important one! I'm working at it, but DH is not. :(
3. Phoebe is better at this than many, but I do clean up around here some of the time. Winter is worst as she doesn't travel far from the door many times.
4. I am VERY much in favor of this mannerly behaviour because it is an issue of safety, especially on stairs here. DH doesn't get it. :(
5. Cat charging is a continual issue...but lessening.

Today I must attack various household jobs (dishes, cat litter, etc), do day 2 on the treadmill, then make breakfast. After that comes a trip to the doctor and after that, photos for passport renewal. Since I don't expect the pictures to be beautiful, I'm OK with it.

Last night I managed a bit more weeding until dark.

Hi Babs! Would love to know how the beginning of school goes for your DH and the boys... and YOU! As a sign of the times, grandson Skyler has an assignment today to bring 10 photos from his summer vacation...ON A DISC! Also he is to bring a bag of 100 items, not all the same. I can't imagine what the lesson will be!!! There are 29 kids, grades 5&6, each with 100 items! OYYY.

Ivy is 4 months old as of yesterday...and teething. She has mastered the art of rolling over, so she is at the same stage as Phoebe. ;)

Morning is breaking,

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 6:50AM
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Denise, I love the row machine!!! Is that at your house? I could row the day away....

I'll have to try that method of keeping cool, lol.

One of my friends from high school is flying into Boston today for an interview and then back out tonight. I'm going to see if I can meet her for coffee. Should be fun.

That's all out of me. We're having a gorgeous stretch of weather and I'm trying to soak up every minute out of doors!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 7:42AM
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Saw this and thought it fitting.

like King Sisyphus, gardeners forever keep rolling that rock up the hill, convinced we are progressing toward the day it will stay in place up there and not roll back on us, the day our gardens will be just as we want them.
Arthur T. Vanderbilt, II

    Bookmark   September 4, 2009 at 5:08PM
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We haven't decided if we're going to call the place Camp BowWow or Heartbreak Ridge... . Since the Crew is now effectively in basic training. And having the time of their lives, I might add. They were in and out of the pond/wallow about 5 times yesterday but we had them dried off prety well by bedtime.

You ought to hear the helpmeet calling out the cadence as he and the mongrel horde fan out on a reconnaissane sweep of the Compound... . Last night he was using lines from the Clint Eastwood movie, "Heartbreak Ridge" while working with the dogs and I laughed and laughed because they were absolutely perfect. Esp. because he had the voice of Gunny Highway down to perfection. Lol.

The Wrecking Crew definitely know their basic commands though compliance is on more relaxed schedule than we expect. But, they really are creatures of habit and once they know what's expected from them they're capable of delivering the goods reliably. And that's the key to breaking through their knuckleheads. It's required 3 returns to their beds to make it clear that "down stay" means just that. (enforcing commands seems sisyphusian right now). ;)

I have been working with them individually on leash for short periods a couple of times a day, and they really seem to enjoy having the undivided attention of a humanoid. And I have studiously avoided using treats as rewards, spending more time patting and rubbing their ears and telling them what base and pathetic creatures they are. Interestingly, because they are city dogs and their owner is very busy they tend to immediately relieve themselves upon leaving the house. This is actually a very convenient thing, but I've found that leashing them and taking them to my idea of a more appropriate dumping ground is the way to keep them happy and the waste in the woods where it may decompose as it was meant to. I'm catchin' on!

Door etiquette is proving far easier than I imagined it would. It's proven an excellent exercise for maintaining a command. They want to go through the door badly and they are bright enough to understand that that won't happen until they're released, so they keep their hindquarters on the ground and their eyes rivetted on us. Everyone is released "in order" and by name... this has the added benefit of getting each one to actually listen for their name instead of acting in unison.

Haven't had much luck with training them to leave the cats alone. The cats prefer to melt away before detection and opportunities in the evening have been few. But Vera has been enjoying her breakfast on the feeding station while Spencer broke the fast out on the deck. Last night I left all the dogs inside and went out for some quiet, private time with the cats in the yard. I called for them and they all appeared within a minute. We sat on the lawn, did rollies, and a good deal of rubbing and some cuddling. Everyone was comfortably settled in with Mummy and Daddy for "lights out", so I don't think they're going to run away or anything like that.

Not much in the way of pictures yet, Woody, but I'll try to get some for you.

I loved the collection of heads in Norma's link and I'll bet that's a Florida garden, too. I don't get the whole cage thing around the patio area... couldn't detect if it was screened or what but figured it must be. At any rate it reminded me of the description of the resort hotel in "Jurassic Park", lol.

Liked Marties 'do rag, too. :)

OK, time for more coffee and some listing of mandatory errands to be accomplished before the summer people are up and mobile.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 6:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


Yesterday as I was weeding a friend dropped by and asked to take Ms Phoebe for a walk along the nearby Grand River. They spent an hour together and she came home with lots of "seed dispersal" material. ;) She particularly enjoys a car ride, and in this case she gets to sit up front because of the bike and major kite equipment stored in the back of the vehicle.

Last night was French Club once again, so dinner was "out". Handy for me! I guess we're slowly developing a Fall routine.

There is just so much I need to accomplish. Perhaps that is one reason I don't sleep well. The garden is a major thing, but then too I have a book to complete before we go see the play, another one I am enjoying (Mary's suggestion of The Guernsy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society), lesson plans to write out for DS's work, photos to organise, a photo album for Skyler of his trip here, etc etc etc... Oh well, I enjoy all of it whenever it gets done! It's the housework stuff that bores me. Then there's the treadmill...

I need to add to photos here. We definitely need MORE!

Clematis seedheads

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 7:51AM
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Good morning Idylls!

Yesterday I met my friend in Boston. I did not bring my camera because I find it cumbersome, and I think I've decided I need a little point and shoot to tuck in my purse for such occasions. We saw two girls taking each other's pictures by the frog pond in Boston Common and my friend offered to take their picture (turned out they were sisters visiting from L.A.) and they took our picture and promised to email it to us.

So it was a nice day involving leaf casts in the morning, honey collection around noon, and visiting Boston Common's public garden in the afternoon. I came home to a nice grilled chicken salad. All in all a very nice day.

Today I hope to check off some items on the "to do" list.

Talk to y'all later :)


    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 9:47AM
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Good Morning Idylls, a toasty day on the agenda here in the desert, and we are heading off to Palm Springs later today to visit with BILS and an old friend who lives there better him than me ! Palm Springs can be beautiful in the winter but its pretty unpleasant this time of year. I will try to get some pics of classic desert vignettes for yall while Im there- and Saucy, I kept my previos little Nikon for just the type of occasions you describe. That is the camera I am traveling with now. It takes very decent pics and is easy to schlepp around.

Chelone, It sounds like you will be returning the visiting mongrels in better
condition than they were when they arrived-though that sort of thing is unlikely to stick if the their parents dont care to enforce the new rules imposed at the compound.

Ok, time to go to the lobby to get another cup of the swill that passes for coffee, though I am considering heading next door to McDonalds because there is really no way their coffee could be worse that this stuff--this appears to be one of the few places where there is not a Starbucks every few blocks.

Later folks ,waves to all !

Kathy in the Desert

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 11:26AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We ad an unexpected visitor hanging out on the back porch all day yesterday!

(I need to vacuum the walls out there!)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 11:51AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

Well we are having yet another fantastic weather day here. I think the highs will be in the low 80s with low humidity. Brilliant! Yesterday evening Doug and I attended a wedding for the son of our across the street neighbor. This is the family who just lost the dad to cancer end of July so it was a bittersweet occasion but overall a very happy renewing event. The young man purchased the house from his parents last year so the young couple will stay our neighbors. We now have two young thirties couples living across the street from us and its nice to see the neighborhood being renewed with lovely young people.

Kathy, great to hear from you. I so agree with you about living in a desert. Not my thing although a lot can be done with creative xeriscaping. Looking forward to photos from the desert and I love the artsy dahlia photograph Very pretty!

Saucy, sounds like you had a great day. Any photos of the new leaf castings?

Bug, I really love clematis seed heads. They are so pretty. Great photo! Ill add some photos to the end of this post for you.

Chelone, I ROTFL over, "The mongrel horde". I misread it as "The Mongol Horde" and visualized hordes of nomadic barbarian horsemen riding down the compound.

Norma, the King Sisyphus quote is right on target! LOL

Mary, how about some photos of the chicken coop and gardens?

Denise, loved the blog about pausing for beauty" it is truly necessary to just take time to feed the soul.

How great to see Babs and hello to PM, Anita and Norma and all the Idyllers!

Here are some photos from this morning per Bugs request.

My new favorite coleus standard, this is Lancelot Velvet Mocha and it think it looks like a mini Japanese Maple.

The white brug is beginning to put on a show

This container in the driveway is looking so neat! Kathy, check out how tall that papyrus is now.

Have a great day all!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 12:12PM
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Hello Idylls

Woody - we see bats at night swooping over the pool and I always think how cool they are. Do you know what type your little visitor is?

Norma - I love the King Sisyphus quote!

GB - glad you are enjoying the Guernsy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Yesterday I read Tuesdays with Morrie - a quick and thought provoking read. I'm contemplating my book pile to decide what to begin this evening.

I came home from the market this morning with bags of lovely local produce and I'm looking forward to creating soemthing culinary. DH has requested dinner from the grill. I've had success grilling corn this season so that will feature, plus grilled Eggplant and Tomato stacks, Vidalia onion in some form and a big salad. Last night I made one with arugula and pomegranite that was a surprising hit. Summer cooking is so much fun!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 12:18PM
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I like bats! we really like going out at dawn and dusk and watching the spectacular aeonautic displays they put on daily.

Woody, do you have issues with that dreaded "white nose" fungus that's been sweeping across the bat colonies in the Northeast region of the USA? I know there are very grave worries about the long range ramifications this very poorly understood affliction may have on long-established bat communities.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 12:32PM
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Saucy, a half hour on that rowing monster and I'm completely knackered. Duncan is the rower, but we all use it. Last night Mitch did 15 minutes, after which I started chatting with him, but he said, "I can't hear you -- there's too much blood rushing to my head right now," then he turned the hose on over his head.

I don't know what you've been told, mongrel horde does what they're told! What a hilarious canine boot camp account.

Never occurred to me that if one's property is extensive enough, there would be no daily sheizen patrols. Being on a small lot, I'm religious on this point and obsessively dispose of fresh "calling cards," which Ein leaves at various favorite spots to keep it interesting for me. C'mon, with the right attitude, it can be on par with searching for seashells at the beach or an Easter egg hunt! When I fall behind on this chore, it ain't pretty. Couple weeks back, Ein tricked me and used the front walkway around twilight, the sneaky devil, which Marty's shoes found with deadly accuracy leaving for work the next morning, two days in a row, around 5 a.m.ish. I must have been "off my feed" because those same two days I plunged off the front porch, missing the steps entirely, landing on the hard bricks. Both times it was approx 6:30 a.m.ish, not a soul in sight. Made me laugh out loud and then sheepishly look around for witnesses. No witnesses, no broken bones, so I picked myself up and limped back inside to feed the cats. The original cement porch was redone in brick by the previous owner, and the steps are irregular, not proportioned to normal footfalls, but in 20 years I'd never fallen. Then, boom, twice in two days. Kind of a Groundhog Day for stepping in dog business and falling off porches...

Deanne, I'm jealous of your weather. Getting mighty tired of ours. The house stays surprisingly cool in these high temps, even with no AC, but it's just the breaking into a sweat with the slightest movement that gets tiresome. That coleus standard is a ringer for a JM -- wonderful.

Hope the little guy made it back to the bat cave, Woody, and that his nose didn't have the dreaded "white nose" syndrome. We still keep our subscription to Bat Conservation Int'l and have since Dune joined over a decade ago. A broom is now in position at the back door, since it's the season when all walkways are festooned with webs during the night and must be cleared for safe passage in the morning. Every year it seems there's more spiders than the last year.

Further along in the invader dept, Marty came home from night shift this a.m. to a massive outbreak of ants in the kitchen in search of water, the first really big attack this summer, so everything was off the counters and cleaned by the time I was up. He thinks the ants and I are in cahoots ;)

This was the best of a bunch of photos since it's already too bright, a phygelius starting to bloom. The iresine behind it stays in the ground year-round, as does that dark cordyline which is recovering from near-fatal snail damage. There's a Euphorbia mellifera barely visible behind the iresine, much happier now since I moved the canna that was smothering it a few weeks ago. The chartreusy feathery spire tied to the little support on the left is one of the three new Monterey cypresses, Cupressus citriodora, to privacy screen this side -- years down the road. Supposedly slow growing to 30 feet.

Sounds like good solid plans are in taking shape for the day in idyll households. Mary, my version of summer cooking last night was standing in front of the fridge to grab a few bites of boiled chicken, all motivation lost in the heat...

Yesterday's accomplishment was seeing my folks move closer to moving out of their multi-level condo and into a really nice mobile home park, great location near some wetlands in a good neighborhood. A deposit was made and wheels set in motion. Now they just need to sell the condo. Real estate, amazingly enough, has started to move briskly again, and another mobile home they had a deposit on was snapped up from under them for cash.

I see Chelone is worried about white nose syndrome too. How cool to see such amazing creatures every day!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Chelone. I enjoy hearing the antics of the wrecking crew. The visual of the helpmeet and the cadence of heatbreak ridge with them makes me smile.

Denise, I enjoyed the blog also and the photo of Marties cooling system. My DH uses that one too.

Bug, I am a bit overwhelmed at the things that need doing here before winter. Unfortunately my energy level is down right now. I need to work on that first.

Kathy , I love the color combo in your artsy shot. Hope you are enjoying time spent with family members.

Saucy, I didn't realize you lived anywhere near Boston. I hope you will share the emailed pic with us.

Deanne that coleus standard is very nice. Love anything with burgandy foliage. I just bought a purple smoke bush "Velvet Cloak".

Woody it took me a minute to see that it was a bat. I have seen one on our porch a few years ago.

Mary your grilled dinner sound yummy. Your trip to the Rock n Roll hall of fame and watching the kids on the rides sounded fun too. It's great to see them really let go isn't it.

Our grandson Jake played in marching band at a Cardnials game a couple of days ago.

It rained a slow steady rain here all night. I was thankful. I was awake at 2am however. I moved to the couch and turned the history channel on opened the window to listen to the rain, so was lulled back to sleep after awhile. Still raining off and on and no ambition. Tomorrow I will be wacthing our good friends grandchildren for half a day, so maybe I should reserve what energy I have LOL.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 1:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OOOH! Neat bat! We watch them at dusk most every evening. There's a bat house on our barn, but no bats live in it. I know neighbours have them in their attics but happily we don't.

Lancelot Velvet Mocha is lovely and your papyrus is even taller now. Looks like Jack's bean stalk! I'm so glad nice folk are gravitating to your neighbourhood. Maybe the wisteria hater next door should sell quick. ;)

Kathy, I think desert gardens can be very beautiful! I know I'd need to totally rethink gardening if we were to move though.

Denise, I heard another rumor about how to remove ants from your garden. They say to spread corn meal on the surface and wait 2 weeks. It seems they carry it back to the nest and then can't digest it. Sounds sad, but we have BIG ant hills here, usually under a valued plant. I'm going to try it. I'd be willing to leave a bit on the counter for them too. ;) And by the way, I have 2 phygelius that I think I'll try to overwinter here. I guess I just cut them back and wait for spring?

This morning we got various errands accomplished, some of them even indoors! One I'm very pleased with has to do with laundry room organization. After many years of frustration, we actually located a spot for hanging clothes that are dry, ironed or whatever, waiting for the trip upstairs. So inexpensive and so practical! YEAH!

Yes, I know it isn't beautiful...but I'm pleased with it.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 2:17PM
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Handsome is as handsome does!
Never was a good hoss in a bad color.

Sometimes solving the problem is the first step in figuring out how to make it more attractive. Remind me of this in the future, OK?

Received pictures of THTTF today and am horrified at the extent of the neglect... rotting sill, siding that refuses to accept paint, furniture/contents that require sifting/attention... I want to throw up. But this isn't the time to sell and even if it was we have an attachment to the place.

Feeling really muddled and out of sorts, it's probably best that I take the idiots outside for a bit... watching dogs "at work" is a pretty good reminder that there are more important things in life than my problems.

Wish my laundry room looked like that one!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 2:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm thinking that an invading mongol horde would approach the compound from the rear entrance.

V, screwing around on the computer when she should be doing other things

    Bookmark   September 5, 2009 at 3:01PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Yet another beautiful day is in store for us here. The only downside I can see is these warm temps and low humidity make for very dry conditions in the garden and Im going to have to water the lawns and borders until we get some rain. Not a problem, Ive just gotten out of the habit of the daily round with hose and sprinkler because weve had such a wet summer. This year Im letting the borders fade to brown on their own and am not feeling any need to get in there and strip out dying foliage. There is a definite fall feel in the air lately and I guess I wont be too sad to see the seasons change. Im looking forward to doing some painting and getting back into my bird photography.

Woody cool bat pic! I love the little acrobats. We watch them in the evenings here as well. Wonderful creatures. ~~ I lol to see that I am not the only one who vacuums the outside as well. I clean off the alcove on my breezeway from time to time.

Mary, how was your grill fest last evening? Sounds like it would be wonderful.

Denise, LOL about the front walk slap stick. All I could think was it was a good thing that it was Martys shoe that found Eins deposit and not your body when you took your tumble off the porch. Why is it, I wonder, that we are so embarrassed when we fall down? Even if we are hurt we leap to our feet and tell the world we are fine. ~~ Love the photo with the phygelius going into bloom. Id think that would want to take over the planet there if it is planted in the ground. Even my plants in pot send runners everywhere. I love them though and the new purple one I bought this summer is gorgeous.

Bug, love the laundry utility area.

Chelone, I often find myself out of sorts this time of the year. I think it has to do with having too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

Im loving this chartreuse phygelius (cutting from Monique) next to the Lantana Tropical Fruit.

OK time to rustle up some breakfast and get outside and water the estate. WE are having company over for a cook-out so Ive got to do a bit of house clean up as well and take a trip to the grocery. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 6:34AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A very very misty morn here. Nevertheless, I need to get out there and water things. DH is going in to work and prepare more for his courses...which means I'll get more done! ;)


    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 7:34AM
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I have some alteration work to finish up this morning and then I have to figure out how to control the mongrel horde when my customer arrives. She is very dog savvy and has agreed to help me by IGNORING the dogs completely when she comes over. I think Rex will be introduced first and the Wrecking Crew and then we will practice our "down/stays". :)

Yes, the Crew will go home better disciplined than when they arrived. But while they're here they know what is expected of them. It's my hope that seeing what they are capable of doing after some pretty minimal training and some consistent enforcement will encourage more of the same at their home. As I see it the biggest problem is that they wear harnesses, not collars. They are easily in the 80lb. range and are young and boisterous, the harness offers absolutely no control and requires tremendous strength of the handler. Hard enough with one, but then add another one and you can see how difficult control and enforcement can be! Within in 5 minutes of wearing a training collar and some basic leash work they were totally on board. No more pulling, lungeing, or attempts at jumping because it's quick and easy to put an end to it when you have control over them. And they want to please you... it's that characteristic that makes dogs the base, fawning foolish creatures they are. And it's why I hate dogs.

OK, time to finish this load of laundry, turn on the iron in the Salon, and make the call to my customer. OH, and make sure all the leashes are at the ready, lol.

THTTF has been an ever increasing worry. We have a lot to do to it and it's been hard to coordinate time off to get there and get it done. I'm not really comfortable with the approach; think my brother is too autocratic and acts unilaterally on many fronts. Which is often at cross points with achieving a pleasing, useful outcome. I am concerned that in his rush to "get something done" he often overlooks the benefit of sitting down, thinking, and planning the project more carefully. My concerns that the available square footage could be more effectively used are given short shrift and shrugged off as being too time consuming. But I would rather put the time in now and then have well repaired and comfortable family rental. So, I'm going to have to fasten my diplomatic chin strap and patiently refuse to be hurried or harried. After all, I own half of that house and half of the monies we have agreed to use for its renovation are mine, too! I am an equal partner and shouldn't be steamrollered. So, that's a source of my present tension. :/

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 8:42AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Weird day. It was cool and humid, which is an annoying combination - you think it should be great weather for working outside and suddenly you're sweating up a storm. I got a lot of things half-done as my attention wandered relentlessly.

Mid-afternoon, MIL and her husband stopped by for a viewing of the deer condo. Then we returned to the house and had a drink on the deck, and MIL nicely told me that there would be a lot more room on my deck if I didn't have all those plants everywhere. Yeah, I was over-the-moon thrilled about that comment.

Sensing my displeasure, Mystic decided to head for parts unknown. We spent a lot of time looking for him, driving around our place on the ATV and driving around the local roads, but no black lab anywhere to be found. Finally got a call from the woman across the road (that would be the very busy highway filled with semis from the local milk plant and weekend warriors bringing their boats home from Wisconsin) who had found him at their place, trying to play with their chihuahua, Rambo. (You can't make this stuff up.) She got the number off his dog tag, gave him food and water and put him in their dog kennel. I think she'll be getting a delivery of mums on Tuesday.

And I still can't believe that stinker ran across the road. Or that the other stinker told me I had too many plants on my deck.

Off to sulk,


    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 10:40PM
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We have arrived home. We had a fabulous trip! Dotti and Tom were fabulous and we all had a great time together. We were able to spend an evening at David & Jim's. Ruth who many of you know, joined us so it was truly a mini IU. It was so fun to see all their gardens and David's stunning house as well. We were able to see several other gardens while we were there. We did some other sight seeing also, but it really didn't compare. I have pictures, which I'll try to post later. The ones from David's garden didn't turn out well. First it was getting dark fast, I had a wine glass in one hand and finally I really am not all that good at photography. I got some nice ones from Dotti's and some of the other places we went.

I've only done a quick skim but I'm sorry to hear Woody, that health issues are in the fore front of you lives these days.



    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 11:10PM
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Oh, I forgot to mention how I was coerced by David, Dotti and Ruth to make a stop at Arrowhead Alpines on the way home. I restrained myself and we only had to move a tree, one perennial and two shrubs every time we got in the camper on the way home ;o)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2009 at 11:26PM
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V, that sort of remark prompts a wise-acre response like, "Yeah, but I always think without guests there'd be even more room for plants" -- not that one ever says such things to a MIL. Thank goodness the runaway lab was located at his new buddy Rambo's place. You think Mystic is lonesome?

Michelle, what a fantastic trip, and to see David's garden too. Whatever pictures you've got are eagerly awaited.

Deanne, the phygelius do run at the root here, and seem to bloom less as a consequence. The phyg in my photo are in a pot, and the growth and bloom have been more uniform. When do yours start blooming? That chartreuse phyg was trouble for me -- leaves burned and were ugly in sun, but no flwrs with more shade. Yours is stunning!

'bug, maybe you can overwinter your phyg at the coleus hacienda with the local nursery guy this winter, or just take a few cuttings yourself. Love the laundry room! I get such a kick out of solving a problem like that, simple and elegant.

Norma, we still have our vacation overhead sprinklers rigged in the back garden, just to hear the drops splash on the leaves for a brief moment every couple of days. Around twilight, everyone comes out of the house to listen and stare at the faux rain, lol. Hope the grandkids didn't run you ragged.

Chelone, knowing how you pulled the lion's share of the duty with the care for your Mum, I'd be inclined to let your brother handle the THTTF...but that's just me. I hope you and your brother get it sorted out to everyone's satisfaction.

Today involved lots of reading, a little rowing followed by a lukewarm bath to cool down, a small outdoor fire since the night got surprisingly cool (at last!) followed by quesadillas for dinner. Marty changed the clutch cable on Mitch's bus early in the a.m., baked cookies, gave Ein a bath -- basically worked circles around me today ;)

A glimpse of the front succulent garden and the killer porch steps:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 1:24AM
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I wondered if Mystic was lonesome, too. :) Bet you nearly had a stroke when you allowed yourself to contemplate the frightening possibilities that didn't occur. I chuckled at MIL's comment and Denise's snappy reply. My late MIL who epitomized a Spaniard in Mary I's court assessment of the English as, "pink, white, and quarrelsome" had a tendancey to wander over from BIL's home and launch into criticism of all sorts of things when she was feeling ornery. I am on record as looking her straight in the eyes one day and saying, "Your conversation has grown tiresome. It's time for you to run along home now". She sputtered and fumed but returned the next day and many more after that none the worse for wear. She was a real piece of work with a very finely developed sense of humor. The helpmeet and BIL are very much like her in that respect. We're all three of us, "pink, white, and quarrelsome", lol.

Has anyone seen the American Masters program on Dalton Trumbo? I've now seen it 3 times and my admiration for the bravery and commitment to the Bill of Rights has only deepened with each viewing. Eloquent, humorous, and principled, he has now been added to my list of personal heroes... . I found myself wiping tears whose origination alternated between laughter and outrage at such gross injustice. Make a point to see it.

Marvelous blue/grey succulents above, perhaps it's time to move to a gentle ramp as you move toward your golden years in the Golden State.

I do not wish to have the THTTF become more of an architectural and aesthetic nightmare than it already is. I have concerns that in its present state it will be difficult to rent. I see no point in overlooking that reality in a rush "to do something" and at present the useful square footage is severely limited by a very poorly considered floorplan. One that could be improved greatly with some judicious, albeit messy, interior work. A perfect example would be to reverse the two "staircases", which are simply construction stairs, one to the cellar the other to attic. Reversing them would be easy (I've done it before at a friend's home) and would dramatically alter traffic flow and improve the useful space in the house. My brother either does not realize or appreciate how much attention I paid to my late FIL (an architect) and that I have been playing around with layouts for some time now. We're reasonable people and we'll figure it out, but I see it will require some "selling".

Sounds as though Michelle will have many tales to tell and pictures to show.

And now it's time to consider the coming day... how to exercise the Crew adequately and still get something done outdoors. I was not a "ball of fire" yesterday, either.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 7:21AM
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When my husband's grandmother came to visit this place, not soon after we'd bought it, she visited and had a nice time, I thought.

Later she called Nick and told him to have me remove that tree with all the bees in it (Hydrangea 'peegee').

I don't know if I've told her I keep bees yet :)

I took pictures last Friday and spent yesterday hunting high and low for the camera. Seems I put it in the cooler that I had taken for honey extraction (I didn't use the cooler, so I remember NOW thinking that it'd be a good way to carry my extra stuff...) DOH!

Pictures to follow....


    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 7:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Following along here and marveling at many things...including MIL comments, runaway dog, Michelle's mini-Idyllunion and plant haul, the beauty of a succulent garden, curiosity about the Bill of Rights and opinions on THTTF.

As concerns THTTF, it is known by real estate folks that women are the ones who influence whether or not a couple buys or rents a home. It is also known that women are the ones who find TF (traffic flow) of most importance. Often they are the ones who do the daily drudgery and chasing of children about the place so it tends to affect them most. These things frequently do not occur to men folk. And so I say, a main floor laundry room with an area to fold things and hang things. [see photo above. ;)] Having proper stairs is crucial too, says I, who fell down 14 of them when holding my 2 week old child. Oh yes, I do have opinions on the topic!

I have finished reading the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and very much enjoyed the mix of history, famous authors and new characters. The fact that I am still thinking about it is a good thing. :) It is a quick read I think many would enjoy. I for one knew little about the Occupation of Guernsey or the Todt workers in the 40s before this read.

Yesterday I managed to water a great deal of the thirst quenched gardens and weed and weed and weed some more. Somehow it doesn't make a dent though... DH managed to burn the fire pit weeds and things before dinner. Today I MUST attack that huge pile of wood chips!!! The osteoarthritis in my hands is not happy about such activity though...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 8:26AM
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A sparkling good morning to all --

Woody -- All of us at the Park are sending every good vibe that can be conjured, not only for your decision but for whatever your decision brings.

Kathy -- Loss of a patriarch hit hard in New England recently, and I can imagine that such a familial reunion will bring its share of laughs and tears. At least you get to see Mr. Baby!!

To all others who have experienced sadness of any form -- ((((()))))).

Cornfield Park is thriving. The "indian" corn is a full 8' tall and bountifully producing. Four varieties of zinnias are going full bore and the herb harvest this year is amazing. Have finally determined that some roses need to be yanked and started over, but it has been five years in Z5/6 and they did yoeman's duty for as long as they were here.

And, the biggest news of all -- are you ready????? We Have a CAT!!! Yes, a real live one that was living in horrid conditions and was rescued by myself and a friend along with his five brothers and sisters. Mom is being spade next week after four litters in two years (Poor Thing!!)

Confusion with names at first since he was identified as a female. Six week old trip to the vet determined HE is not well endowed and, well, anyone could've made that mistake.

His name is Boo II (read: boo 2) after my first childhood black cat with blue eyes. "Ditto" didn't cut it :-)

Herb growing is kaput. Too close to wetlands for a structure that needs any kind of foundation, even a slab. Our house is legal by 6" with great thanks as we don't need flood insurance but nothing else can go between the house and the wetlands. It's okay, we'll make it.

Thinking of everyone and not being able to check in as often as I'd like, but enjoying everything when I can. A long winter ahead is looming and work is all consuming, but also a wonderful distraction to what could be an extraordinarily depressing financial situation. Little miracles keep happening, though, and for those we are truly grateful.

Met a greyhound the other day and thought of Cynthia. Are You Out There?

Waving to all....


    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 9:55AM
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Hi Martie! Nice to hear from you :) A cat? Wow! You've been busy :)

Michelle! What a great mini IU you had! I have such fond memories of Michigan thanks to our gracious hosts! Arrowhead Alpines was a real treat, too, and I still like to look at the catalog every once in a while.

Here's a picture of the "water garden" if you can call it that :) It is clustered in the corner of my deck - 3 large galvanized tubs. There is a pump that brings the water up and over the cast leaf and makes a nice sound.

Here's the bloom on the water canna that was cut out of the shot - this is the pink one - the purple one hasn't bloomed yet this year.

You can see more pictures in the album. Kathy, that catmint is still standing but I still need to snap a picture!!!


    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 10:37AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! I spent the first part of the morning power-washing my agaves. Seems that my large agave has a scale infestation. I now know that scale sits on the top of the agave leaves, not the bottom. Tricky little buggers!

'bug, I read the Guernsey book a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I picked it up because I've dealt with a business on Guernsey (drop Raymond Evison's name here) and I was curious to learn more about the island. What a fascinating history! I highly recommend the book.

Saucy, I love your water garden - what a great idea!

When I went to pick up Mystic last night, the first thing the woman said to me was, "He wanted to play with my dogs." She had no idea that we had lost a dog recently. I think that loneliness may have been part of his reason for disappearing. I'm not ready for a second dog (although we've already had an offer) but I will work harder at "play dates" with DIL's dog and taking him into town for socializing. Our farmer's market has almost as many dogs as people visiting.

OK, on to rearranging the stepping stones at the top and the bottom of the steps in back. The path needs to shift to accommodate maturing shrubbery.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 11:01AM
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Just a quick check in here. as DS and I spent the night chasing a bug of some sort and not much sleep was had. BIL's , who are flying home from Palm Springs today were also ill and we are blaming a chain restuarant that we all ate at one time or other during the trip. Am off to WF in a moment to stock up on yogurt, bland crackers, bland tea, rice and water with electrolytes. I feel okay this morning, just tired from interrupted sleep . Just wanted to say Hi to Martie, and tell Lisa that her water garden is fabu-fabu and I'd love to copy it !

Be back later , waves to all, jealous of Michelle !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 1:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lovely water garden Saucy!!!What fun!

We managed to weed a stretch of the vegetable garden this morning and cover it with mounds of the leafy wood chips. DH figures we attacked 1/5th of the heap. Maybe tonight we can reach the 1/3 mark? I hope so.

Martie, our friends had a cat named Ditto. There were other kittens with punctuation names too.

We played croquet last night and I was the victor. I got to play with the kid rules...namely the losing player gets two turns...So winning isn't that great a feat! A montgolfier (hot air balloon) passed close over our heads. Phoebe wanted to play too, so she got to play a game with her red rubber ball afterwards.

I seem to be delaying a return to work...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 1:36PM
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Happy Labor Day everyone

A busy one here, David has 3 boys over to enjoy a last day of pool fun. I've been cooking, preparing several lasagnes to freeze for busy work nights ahead. Annie has completed all her AP European History work, has organized her room, finished her laundry and has all the papers she needs lined up ready to go for tomorrow. She is sewing Pink Floyd patches onto her denim school bag right now.

I mention this party because I'm so proud of her, but also because organization skills have never come naturally or even seemed important. But somewhere in Middle School she turned the corner, acknowledging her natural path would lead to chaos, and finding her own system for what works. I'm sure the Idyll grand-kids with similar organization challenges will find their way too given time and encouragement.

I have that somewhat sinking, end of summer feeling right now, even though I'm looking forward to starting my new job. I'll have to keep extra busy to keep cheerful.

Michelle - what a wonderful time you must have had:0) Can't wait to see pictures.

Saucy - love the water gardens!! and couldn't help smiling at the tree/bee remark.

Martie - great to hear from you! and a big wave to everyone else.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 1:49PM
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Some photos from the desert- bad conditions for pics, very intense sun, mid day, but these will have to do !

A garden vignette From Papa 9-09

Palm Springs back yard From Papa 9-09

A neighborhood of classic 50's era Palm Springs houses. This street is named after Jane Wyman - the house next door to my friends was once hers From Papa 9-09

My friend only knew the common name of this plant, which when googled leads no where. Do you know Denise ? From Papa 9-09

Wind machines at the base of the San Jacinto mountains- this is an area desert winds and sandstorms in late fall- From Papa 9-09

Oops !!! How did that get in there ? From Papa 9-09

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 5:20PM
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Wow, a toddler Blackberry... bet he'll have Sue beat in no time flat. I love that he looks for all the world as though you've just interrupted him for about the 3rd. time, lol.

I love the neighborhood, very, very cool looking houses! OK, so give me an idea of how big the houses are and how much would one of them set me back if I were to hit town with a suitcase full of money?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 6:14PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow, a Mr. Baby (aka Aiden) sighting (LOL Saucy re the blackberry-- I think you got the 'tude totally correct!) and news from Cornfield Park --

Boo 2 - congrats, martie - I hope he'll bring you many years of joy and fun.

Incredible phygelius, Deanne -- so lovely -- and Denise -- of course, the succulent garden is gorgeous. I can't imagine having iresine in the border all year long... I guess the downside to the no rain and hot temps, is you can find great color all year long..... Enjoyed the dog hazard course compliments of Ein -- glad you didnt hurt anything more than your pride in the falls.

Saucy -- great photos of the garden!

I've been making a wreck of mine -- I pulled several rose shrubs and got ruthless and started an attack on the William Baffin - he's chopped below the knees, but I have not been successful in full lower removal - I think I may need a backhoe - I soaked it/ w some water for a while, but it's still entrenched... maybe again on the weekend...

Also moved some shrubs around and am contemplating purchase of a viburnum Asian beauty (stirred by Sue's) and some other things -- go work on more shrubs and conifers... Im feeling old these days and think I may need to plan for the future soon...

Like your area, Deanne, it's dry as toast here - altho we had a quick shower and Im hoping for some more tonite. But I dragged the hoses around to soak the newly planted stuff and a few drooping pots.

V - I was told I had a "pot fetish" by my DD this summer -- I think she was appalled by the number on the patio - Im a piker of course to most folks here, but still there does seem to be a fair amount of space devoted to them, LOL -- and they don't talk back!

Michelle - glad to hear you resurface - I wondered if you were going to have the privilege of seeing David's -- Im salivating at the thought of all the luscious pics from your vacation!!! What fun - another regional mini-IU!!

Okay, gotta go nurse my aches and pains and rips and tears -- Mr. Baffin is quite spiteful....

Kathy - I sure hope you and your family feel better soon! Yucko on food poisoning.. blech.

Well, I have a day off tomorrow and plan to triage and delouse the house.... and figure out why the new drapes in the FR are falling off the wall.....


    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 6:44PM
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Glad to see you're well enough to post, Kathy. That pretty orangey-yellow flower is a Caesalpinia. Waving to Mr. B, who looks like he just missed an important phone call.

No offense to the residents of Palm Springs, but I so do not love that neighborhood -- Yet I know lots of people who adore Palm Springs, so definitely a matter of taste -- and heat tolerance!

I haven't seen that American Masters show but know Trumbo from his searing anti-war book Johnny Got His Gun. I'll check around for more viewing times of the AM production. Sounds great.

Mary, that's so great that Annie set herself in a new direction on organization.

Saucy, love the water garden and your lush deck.

Congrats on the new addition, Martie. I was just thinking this morning what an odd bunch of cats we've got now -- all fascinating, of course, and dearly loved, but I've had lots of cats over the years and this bunch is the strangest by far. Although I have had one genius cat, Oskar, who trained himself to use the toilet, I kid you not...

Just spent at least an hour "debriefing" Mitch on his first wedding shoot. Super-lux location, a gorgeously restored movie palace on Wilshire in Beverly Hills, so lots of money spent in that area, but no wedding director for the day. So a wedding couple seemingly intent on a traditional, storybook, very formal wedding had a ceremony where no one knew what was supposed to happen next. The DJ set up his equipment without soundchecking, so the music was muddy and nearly inaudible (but DJ was so inspired he felt it appropriate to karoake along to the songs he was playing, and that made it through the sound system just fine.) There were lots of long waits and loss of momentum while everyone figured out by committee (and argument) what was to happen next. The bride, with little support from anyone else, was dashing around trying to mitigate mishaps until her wardrobe was malfunctioning, literally sliding off her. And then the coup de grace, a fight breaking out between the two families, real fisticuffs, possibly a byproduct of opting for an open bar. Mitch said by the end of the evening, the bride was in despair and couldn't muster a smile for portraits. Wowsers! Reminded me of an old Robert Altman movie from years back, A Wedding, which we've moved to the head of the queue. I think the whole event was severely depressing for Mitch, but my ghoulish fascination for all the details may have restored some luster. As V says, you can't make this stuff up!

Cindy, go easy on yourself with the garden rampage! Roses can be monsters to dig up. I'm still getting the odd shoot here and there from roses long gone.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 7:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh, at last a message from Mr Baby!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Ahh - I love seeing Mr Baby and Ivy smiling across cyber-space.

Denise - your description of the wedding cracked me up. Poor Mitch - wedding photography is exhausting at the best of times but under those conditions...

On the wedding photo front we were delighted yesterday when our one and only wedding album was rediscovered in the depths of an unused cabinet, after a decade of being AWOL. Both children were fascinated by how young we were, how blond I was, and how much hair DH had. It was fun picking out which relative was which as we have all changed in the intervening 22 years.

Both Annie and David are off to school and I'm experiencing that bitter-sweet feeling of the beginning of another school year. I have two hours to myself before my first meeting with my new supervisor and it feels a great luxury. I should probably spend the time rushing around cleaning the house but am sipping coffee at the computer instead. Sometimes solitude needs to be savored.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 7:39AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

We are being treated to a wonderful stretch of weather here and are going to have another fabulous sunny day here. Doug and I went for a thirty-one mile bicycle ride yesterday and it couldnt have been a better day for it. What fun! We were a little overtired afterwards but Im only minimally sore this AM so all is well. We are hoping to be able to do a fifty miler before the end of the season.

Michelle, Im so jealous of your wonderful visit with the Michigan Idyllers. Ive really wanted to get to see Davids new house and gardens. And how fun you spent time with Honey and Tom! They are the best hosts.

Cindy, Glad you survived the excavation of the Mr. Baffin. Dont you hate it when it takes a bomb to remove a plant that you planted and wish you hadnt?

Denise, love your Phygelius and succulents. Interesting that you grow it in a container also. That must take a lot of watering in your neck of the woods. ~~ I lol over your wedding story. I cant imagine that poor bride! The wedding we went to on Friday was small but still had a wedding planner and all went flawlessly.

Kathy, so sorry you got sick on your trip. One of my worst nightmares. Its just awful to be sick when you are away from home. ~~ I LOL over the pic of Mr Baby with his Blackberry. Too funny! ~~ Love the desert pics. I couldnt stand to live in that climate but love all the unusual plants that can be grown there.

Saucy, love, love, love your water garden with the cast leaves! So very pretty and creative.

Here are a couple pics from yesterday

Sweet Autumn Vine is looking lovely

The tropical border a lush and full as its ever been. Its so strange to know that it will all be gone in a few weeks.

Luke thinks the fountain is his personal water bowl

Hello to Martie, nice to see a post from you, waving hello to one and all, Have a great day!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 8:01AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning all! Yes, another school year has begun. TCS was nervous so he went on the bus and I raced over to the schoolyard to meet him. He was not completely thrilled with his new teacher (the school no-nonsense champ) and I was completely thrilled. Many of his friends are in his class so I think he will do fine.

I had a case of the "poor me"s this week for a few days, and then I got sick, so one was probably leading to the other. Better now, and, as Mary says - that bittersweet time when you have freedom and don't quite know what to do with it!

We spent last week preparing for the Perth Fair. TCS made an Inukshuk, some bread, a rice crispie pumpkin, two flower entries and an entry into the Large Vegetable contest. He came second for bread and third for the Inukshuk, for a total of $6, and second in the Large Veggie for $15. But the big thing is that there is a draw for a bicycle for all kids who enter, and he was the winner! How thrilling is that for a seven year old??!!

I managed first place for Hostas and Hens and Chicks, two thirds for tomatoes.

Friday I took Adrian and a friend to the fair for the day. The weather was wonderful and the place was absolutely jammed. I managed to keep them from consuming a bunch of sugary junk, and bought them ride bracelets so they could go on every child-sized ride three times! I had a splitting headache by the end of the day so I think that is where my funk and upset started.

All of your photos are great! Deanne, my Sweet Autumn is still just teeny buds, but I do have pets who drink out of the fountains and birdbaths. (Out of the birdbaths, ugh!).

Mr. B. could be the next Bill Gates and support you all in luxury, Kathy! Glad to hear you are feeling better now. Would you like to live and garden in those hot and dry conditions?

Well, the wedding sounds like one to remember. This is the stuff of hilarious family stories generations later! DD went to a wedding this weekend where 84 of those who said they were coming didn't show. Imagine RSVPing to something that important, special, and not to mention costly, and then not show. How rude.

Gee Martie, too bad about the herb dream collapsing in a cloud, well, a wave of swamp. Is there any other place to locate this? It sounded like such a good idea....And "Hi" to BooToo. Reminds me of Marie's kitty Metoo.

And speaking of Marie, hugs to you today, I'm thinking of you, and a Reed walk will figure prominantly in my schedule for the day.

And hugs and best wishes to Woody, who has a long row to hoe these days.

Outdoor work today will consist of moving the back lawn and spraying my illegal cache of Weed Out on the new invaders from the park. I am not sure what I'll do when my stash runs out. At least with the Spite Fence no one can see me performing the dirty deed....Also going to paint a baseboard (the JJob; I'm doing one each day), make some cookies for TCS, and give the dogs a spa day (they have such short little hair that the whole grooming thing takes about a half hour including nail trimming). Then, like Maagie Muggins, tra la la I don't know what I'll do tomorrow!



    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 10:11AM
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Good morning Idylls, feeling a bit more human here today, and Im not back to work till tomorrow so will have a chance to do post trip laundry and get a few of the plants Ive accumulated into the ground.

Lol, Mr Baby and his blackberrythat is actually my DSs phone, on which he has tons of music stored. He was listening to the Beach Boys when that photo was taken. He would hold that phone and occasionally bob his head for a few moments in a rock-out mode, and would become quite agitated when the phone was taken away. It was pretty funny.

Chelone, the houses in that neighborhood of Palm Springs are quite small- 1,000 to 1200 sq ft I would say though Im sure some of them have been added on too at one time or another. Most all have a swimming pool .It would be unthinkable to live in Palm Springs without one of you ask me ! This is a neighborhood of Alexander Homes, the link I provided below will provide more info and better pics of some classic examples. When my friend moved there (13 years ago I think) the neighborhood had been in decline for many years and prices were very low , conditions of the houses were abysmal , but the style was becoming very popular with the gay community who began moving in a and refurbishing these homes. Right now you could probably pick up a small one for under 250k. DS and I are going back down in November with my car to pick up several larger items and photos , mementos from his grandfather that we could not carry back on the plane, and I hope to spend some time in PS taking some pics. The weather will be much nicer and a trip to the botanical garden there will also be on the agenda (of course).

Ok , all for me this morning , Ill be back later with more comments hi to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 11:32AM
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