#278~Idylls silver and gold

babs_clareAugust 14, 2006

Make New Friends

Make new friends,but keep the old.

One is silver,And the other gold.

A circle is round,it has no end.

That's how long,I will be your friend.

A fire burns bright,it warms the heart.

We've been friends,from the very start.

You have one hand,I have the other.

Put them together,We have each other.

Silver is precious,Gold is too.

I am precious,And so are you.

You help me,And I'll help you.

And together,We will see it through.

The sky is blue,The Earth is green.

I can help,To keep it clean.

Across the land,Across the sea.

Friends forever,We will always be.

As a kid I always liked this song..in fact I think I learned it in kindergarten. I'm dedicating this thread to the old friends we've made here through the years and the newer ones we've all enjoyed getting to know... and maybe even some new ones: )


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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Babs, I like your poem.

We got another nice shower this PM, accompaniied with some extremely loud claps of thunder right overhead. I just about had a heart attack when the first clap came! I am hoping none of our trees were hit, like one along the county road on the way out to the highway was a week or so ago. It is a huge hickory and was shattered about halfway up.

The deer and rabbits are sure enjoying all the new grass. I am enjoying all the new growth on my nipped plants. :-)

((((Honey)))) I pray that your pain will soon be eased.

Taryn, That is wonderful that you will soon be in your new home. How thrilling!

I hope all is well with Eileen, and her family.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 8:16PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

The wildlife d'jour tonight hellbent on torturing the dogs is a baby possum hovering under a wheelbarrow behind the garage. It took me a while to find it with my measly flashlight. Hopefully it will stay out of the yard. The thought of dead possum doesn't appeal to me. Where in the heck is all this stuff coming from?

Gotta run...I had to take my staff performance reviews home because I can't get any concentration time at work.

Hopefully I'll have some quality idyll time later in the week.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 9:41PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Once again, Sue has said exactly what I was thinking! I can't believe how busy I have been with so many little things popping up when I don't expect them. Sunday night I had to go to a visitation for a friend's mother. This was one that wasn't terribly sad; she had lived a long life and did not suffer a lot at the end. One interesting thing was that she had been a 50-year member of the Sweet Adelines, the women's barbershop singing group, and the ladies came and sang. The last song had words to the effect of "who cares what tomorrow brings because I'll always remember we sang together today" and the ladies all joined hands at the end - it was very touching.

And a group of us went for dinner afterwards. One of my friends who is 51 had a small stroke this summer. He's doing well now, but that's just a little frightening!

Then yesterday I came home from work with a "plan of attack" laid out in my mind - until I walked in the door and took a whiff. Mystic had gotten very sick in his kennel. I spent the next hour hosing things down - the kennel, the dog, the floor, me (wagging tail backlash). In between I quickly called the vet and he's going in today to get checked out just to be safe. He seems fine this morning (the vet had me give him Immodium and it is working) and he is pretty perky, but I do want to be sure.

I'm going to run now and hopefully get some laundry folded before I go to work. Hi to everyone and I will try to get the last idyll read later today!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 6:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Another magnificent day starting here. Clear and sunny.

After breakfast we need to pack up the car with mildewed grunge from the basement and head to the dump. (Joy!) Then I need to air a few more things out and see if they can be rescued. The new dehumidifier is doing a fine job and lots of water has been emptied from its bucket. The fans are still operating full time down there.

Long distance wedding preparation is a skill I am not entirely comfortable with. The flowers are pretty much organized, but all the little details that need discussing are hard to solve. Oh well, it is going to be fun...eventually!

Now here's a silly thing. Periodically you've heard me lament about a broken fingernail. I have never given much attention to feminine things like nails and polish etc...but for the wedding I'd like to give it a try. So wouldn't you know, for the first time in my life I have 10 perfect fingernails. What do you suppose my chances are of keeping them until September 4th? I think zero, but am hoping!

When I was at IU3, V pointed out some garden gloves that she really liked and I bought a pair. They are fantastic! Why didn't I buy a dozen pair???? (Maybe they are the reason I have nails!)

Yesterday I got a few hours of weeding, edging and mowing accomplished. The gardens look OK, but not as lush and colourful as I wish. I'm still waiting for my load of bark chips and wonder if it will ever be delivered. I so want to finish the paths in the vegetable garden!

Thinking of Honey and hope she is getting in some garden therapy.
Sue, taking work home is a drag...but it does get done more quickly than in the office.
Hope the people starting new jobs are all set to go! That's you Babs!
Marian, we only had a bit of rain yesterday, but at this stage, every drop is valuable!
OK, time to start the day. I hope you all have a fine one!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:27AM
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We had a sad weekend here. We had to have Abraham put down on Saturday. I miss him.

I've been spending all of my time in the garden. The pot ghetto is dwindling, down to about 30 pots, which I hope to get in the ground by the end of the week. I've also moved a lot of stuff around and yanked a lot of stuff out. I even got the nursery beds cleared out.

Great to see Saucy back! We missed you!

Here's a picture of me with Abraham last summer...


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:44AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

We are having some much-needed rain here. Things were starting to dry up in the garden, especially the part of shade garden that is not so shady anymore since I lost that big pine tree this winter. I actually had a Japanese painted fern go dormant, probably a combo of the dryness and too much sun. The dark-leaved cimicifuga are not looking too happy either - I think some plant moving will begin in a few weeks.

DH and the kids are up at the beach for a few days. I enjoyed the quiet last night, but I am starting to feel it is too quiet now.

Honey, I hope you find peace in your garden.

Eden, so sorry about your kitty.

Sue, that little piece about the dash really does get you thinking. I think the pace of the movie forces you to read the lines slowly, and give them some thought.

Saucy, nice to finally meet you! You have been mentioned many times here, and missed a great deal by those who know you. I have two kids, DS age 9 and DD age 11 1/2 (that 1/2 is very important!). My DS has finally learned to swim this summer too, complete with dunking his head and jumping off the ladder at the pool. It is a joy to watch him dive into the waves at the beach, and know he is not afraid of the water anymore.

Bug, I have always worn gloves in the garden. I have several pairs for different jobs, even very lightweight ones for summer. I think the gloves make me brave too - I would not be able to pick up and squish pesty bugs with my bare hands!

Martie, love the corn!

Well, off to work. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 9:09AM
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Good morning!

First off, Eden, I'm sorry to read that Abraham is gone. He was very fortunate to have been one of your kitties...couldn't have had a more loving home & life than he had with you.

V, hope Mystic will check out okay and that he was sick only because of his great hunting abilities (do you think he ate a rodent or bunny and was sick from that?). Hope it isn't anything serious.

Sue, hope you were able to get all of your 'home'work done. I use to bring home work if I just couldn't get it done because of interruptions...amazing how much faster it goes when you can have quiet concentration time.

Babs & Mary, exciting times coming up with the new jobs. Hey, you both get new school clothes!!! I loved getting new clothes each school year....I worked during the summers picking strawberries, raspberries, blackcaps (no money in picking those little black buggers!) and string beans so I could buy my own school clothes. I would mark up the Sears, Wards and JC Penney's catalogs with my wishes and worked hard to earn enough money to buy the clothes I picked out. It was a blessing that I didn't have to wear things that my mother picked out for me any more. Mom would dress me in clothes that she'd wear if she were thin like I was......gosh but I got teased by the other kids in some of the clothes she'd buy for me. UGH!! I can still see one green coat she bought at an upscale women's shop (big sale item). She thought it was darling and the other kids thought I was an alien. :o( They use to tell me if I stood sideways and stuck out my tongue I'd look like a zipper.....I was one of those tall and very gangly, skinny kids. Geez, too bad I ruined the body over the years.

Anyway, that was a fast trip down a memory lane that I'd prefer not to travel. LOL

I did some shopping for the twins' parents yesterday and while shopping I found a little something for James....

He thinks he is just too cool for words with those built in muscles! ;o) Oh, that is a face mask that he has tipped back on his head. He was not happy at all that mom made him remove the mask for the photo. LOL

Speaking of the twins......how about a couple of pictures. This first one was in the hospital and Jake grabbed onto his mommy's finger---melting her heart forever. :o)

Here are the boys a couple days ago (maybe Saturday?)

And this is what happens when kids get older and start getting a sense of humor..........

You trying to take a picture of me, Grammie? LOL Little smarty!

This morning I'm going to go watch James do his swimming lessons and take some photos of him in the pool for his mom (she's in the pool with him during lessons).

Hope it is a lovely day for everyone!

(Oh! 'bug, my only suggestion to keep your nails lovely between now and the wedding is to go in for a manicure, explain to the nail tech. what you need to do and perhaps she can make them short enough that they won't tear or break between now and then. Best of luck!)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 9:32AM
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I forgot to tell Saucy how wonderful it is to have her back!!!

I'd also love to know which brand of gloves that V & 'bug are talking about.....

Taryn, hope the move and unpacking continues to go well.

Michelle....hope you're having a wonderful time.

Marian....I'm tapping my foot, waiting for photos.

Deanne, I enjoyed seeing your terrace gardens when the thread was bumped back up recently. :o)

I could keep going but I'll 'shuddup' now. ;o)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 9:38AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Thanks Martie, T, Marian and everyone for your cyber hugs and condolences. Yes, Martie. I, too, cried all thru "The Dash" a couple of times. This is the most difficult and significant loss. I still hardly believe shes gone from us.

Oh, Babs, that song is lovely, and so appropriate. Thanks. As is the title to this Idyll.

What strikes me about our Idyll friendships is that we are a microcosm of life. Among us, we share the ultimate joy of new life, as well as the wrenching losses of those we love; worry about illnesses among us and those we care about; everyday life frustrations with kids, family, worklife, plants(!) and the sense of accomplishment and pleasure in each others successes. Thank you all, for being part of my life.

Oh, (((((Eden))))). IÂm so sorry about Abraham. I know he was a special kitty for you. I hope that beautiful pic helps comfort you.

ÂBug, it sounds like youÂre getting things in hand for the wedding. Yes, good garden gloves do help in the nail dept. Might I suggest that you file those nails down so you donÂt break them, use a nail strengthener on them and let them grow back in between now and 9/4.

T, thanks for the pix. Those babies are so precious. Re being hesitant about spending too much time over helping your DD, my advice is to just be a bully. Tell them they're just going to have to put up with you so that they can get some rest and be at their best during their time w/the babies. And how sweet of you to buy that outfit for James. He's such a cutie and they outfit is Way Cool, G'ma.

IÂve been gardening up a storm for a number of reasons. One for comfort  it does help. Two, I have company coming on Thurs. for a couple days. Lastly, I have a garden group coming over today to look at the garden. This is another local group. A neighbor mentioned to them that they might want to consider my garden for their tour next year. I told the gal that phoned that IÂm not sure I could get it in shape for next yr. and that itÂs definitely not at itÂs best. IÂve torn up the whole back border and havenÂt a clue what IÂm going to do with it. And the whole front landscaping is torn up or empty! Yee Gads. IÂll see how I feel about it later, but right now I think IÂll decline if they invite me for next yr.

IÂm off to rake the stuff out of the gravel path and fill in a couple holes where DH helped me shovel prune last nite. Then IÂm off to the shower. Hi to all.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 9:54AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Eden Im sooo sorry about the loss of Abraham we pet lovers all understand and feel some of your pain. He was gorgeous.

Babs - I've always loved this song too.

V that Mystic sure is a handful isnt he? Theyre just like babies -- whenever your back is turned, arent they? hope hes doing okay by later today!!

T --- those grandchillun are wonderful looking.

Honey it sounds like you have been a great garden demon I cant imagine your garden "all torn up" from the photos it always looks magnificent probably just not as perfect as you want. It is truly a trial to conquer the builder piles Ive had several spots like that in my yard and & shudder whenever I try to dig a deep hole for a shrub or tree. It soons becomes a test of strength and will to overcome it all doesnt it? Good luck youve taken on a big task, but I know it will be wonderful.

Nuthin much going on here Im "wishin & hopin" for rain... muggy and 80s.... and dry, dry, dry. Send some of those t-storms my way, Marian!! I will be hose slinging tonite if we dont get anything.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 1:38PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good news on Mystic. He just has bad diarrhea and no other complications. I think I'll just leave him at the vet's until later today - they really can hose off the floor if needed. I was sorely tempted last night.

Eden, how sad about Abraham. What a sweet photo!

'bug, I'm glad you're happy with the gloves. I bought a second pair that day to have a back-up. T, I will look up the exact name at home and let you know.

Gotta run, there's a dentist appt. on the horizon (just a cleaning).


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 1:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from the dump and other errands....Love getting rid of stuff! Next we'll need to remove the rug. Arghhh! Not good on the finger nails I imagine.

The gloves are called "Atlas 370". Mine are a medium size. They're terrific! And I hate gloves too.

Just phoned future son-in-law's parents. Figured I should introduce myself. I've ordered the wedding flowers now and also ordered some of the bulbs I want for planting this Fall. Couldn't afford to get as many as I'd like though. ;) Never enough!

Got an email from Woody and saw some photos of her late summer garden...which of course is beautiful in blues and white. Why can she grow Russian Sage and I can't?

Eden, so sorry about Abraham. He and Sweet William are no doubt discussing tuna together at this very moment.

Fruit flies are driving me to distraction in the kitchen. Anyone with a solution?


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 2:02PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

o, 'bug & V - I love those nitrile gloves too!! I got a pair at this year's Phila Flower Show (discovered how much I'd overpaid for them) & then discovered on the 'web you can buy them about $3.00 each -- I love them so much I've been tempted to buy a dozen & pass 'em out to a few friends; I think I did order about 5 more pairs (isnt that sinful) - at $3.00 a pair though, that was cheaper than a great plant -- I throw them in the washing machine, etc. They're terrific - they snag a bit; but are generally pretty sturdy. So, idyllers, check 'em out at a couple places (or, who wants to split a carton, hehehe?)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 2:21PM
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I am so SAD! Not crying sad but disappointed sad because I have so little time to post lately: (

First off,Honey you need to be my spokesperson!Lastnight I wrote this long post about friends and why I chose this idyll's title but I got chicken and thought it was too long and very mushy...but HOney you put my thoughts right in a nutshell : ) I cherish my online friends definitely as much as my offline friends-we've just been through so much together and I think that really bonds us whether we're new idylls or long-time ones(I didn't want to say 'old' ones lol).
That Dash movie hit home for me too(I even sent it to Chris-he was very moved by it). Sunday after our family reunion from my mom's side of teh family we went to visit my dad's grave.I guess I've been a little melancholy and feeling very empathetic for Honey because when you lose a friend or family member it really does take a bit of time to come to terms with the loss. So anyway an eerie cool thing happened. At the close of our reunion we always have a white elephant auction to defray expenses for the next reunion. I happened to bid and win a collection of music CD's one of which ironically happened to be a Glen Miller disc. It so happens that my dad was in a dance band that featured Big Band tunes. Dad's band played at all our family weddings and our all-time favorite tune was 'In The Mood'...I found it uncanny to get that particular CD which included 'In The Mood' on the day we planned to visit Dad...I took it as that he wanted us to play it at the cemetery so as we got ready to leave the cemetery I popped in the disc and it was overwhelming to recall the past great times our family had with Dad and the band and that music...sometimes you just don't expect the way that kind of emotion hits you...so I guess that's why I keep thinking of Honey and what she's going through. Hang in there, Hon it takes time.

A quick funny: AJ & Ryan were so cute talking at Grandpa's grave...AJ wondered out loud why the gravesight wasn't steeply mounded after all the times he has caused Grandpa to roll over in there!(my good natured catch phrase when AJ's being difficult lol).

Eden I am so sorry for your loss of Abraham. He was such a beautiful cat! I just love his coloring. I like that pic of you too.

T-new clothes? I can't new clothes until I get paid which isn't until October! I have some things I can get by with...I was looking for a green coat; ) I do need to get some sensible shoes for when I have to run and save the masses. It's funny, at the reunion a bulk of my relatives are MDs yet I,the lowly health aide, was caring for one cousin with a bee sting [the Dr. used only cold water but I had an ammonia stick which neutralizes the sting immediately-BTW all gardeners should get one-they work like magic for stings and mosquito bites]. Later Ryan burned his hand on some embers from a campfire so I came to the rescue again: ) Good field experience.

GB-my solution for fruit flies is don't buy fruit.Sorry; )lol

T-thanks for the pics-tell James he's quite a burly super hero(he's so cute!) One of the great things about a c-section baby(ies) is that they have nice perfectly round heads: ) Mine had banana heads lol. That closeup of James is hilarious.

V glad Mystic is OK(well diarrhea is no picnic either!)

The worst thing about this new job is that my head is spinning between the various workshops,etc. I've had to take and trying to coordinate child care while I'm at them plus now AJ's cross country season has started and band will be also around the corner so I feel like I am constantly in schedule mode. Last year's school health aide is now a classroom aide but she called today and has offered to help me set up the clinic- I mean, how nice is that!

Saucy-life's treating me pretty well-thanks for asking. I am finally entering the workforce after being out of it for ten years.yikes. You might have figured it out but I'm a health aide at AJ & Ryan's school. It sounds like things are going well for your kids-they sound active and involved which is nice. So are you still working for your neighbor in her garden?

Sorry that I need to go but hopefully I can check in tonight. We have to get a loan to pay for a new driveway apron that the city is making us get. We have a gravel one now.(The city wants all the aprons to be hardsurfaced and we'll get fined if we don't comply) so Chris and I will be strategizing how we'll finance this. If I have time I'll be back.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:57PM
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I did a google search on the gloves and found them for $1.99 a pair (regularly $4.21)! Link is below but it is a long link so not sure it will work. If it does not, type in www.seattlemarine.net and then search for the Atlas 370.

Thanks Marie & V (V, glad that Mystic will be okay).


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 4:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I'm pouting (LOL)...because Bab's never even noticed that I 'bailed her out' 6 hours after she started this thread, and no one had posted a follow-up! :-(
Just joshing you, Babs. :-)
I really didn't have much to post, but felt sad 'cause no one had posted. Of course, 'dumb me' didn't recognize that was a 'song', not a poem.
BTW, Babs, your job sounds like a really good thing. Good for you! I hope you find a nice green coat. One of my favorite coats is a green raincoat.

Sue...don't look at me! I'm not sending you all those varmints! I marvel at all the wild life we are providing habitat and food for.
Here is an indication of how comfortable the hooved rodents are in 'their' pasture:

Excuse the 'fogginess of the first two pics. They were taken through the double-paned thermoglass in the dinngroom. I was afraid if I opened the screen door it would scare them off...but did to take the last pic.

This next pic is also through a not too clear window, but there is no way the crows would stay put if I opened the door. Calliecat likes to lay out where I throw food for the crows...:-)

( Sorry, Teresa, these are not a very good example of my new camera's pics.) BTW, I worked in field crops to earn money for school clothes also, but it was weeding field beans,thinning sugar beets, and 'picking' potatoes. Back in those days the potato picker had not been invented yet, and 'we' dragged a burlap sack between our legs and threw the potatoes into it! Not a job for wimps!
Here is a pic of my grandfather by a truck load of those filled potato sacks:

Those babes are getting cuter every day..:-)
James is a cutie too, in his new outfit. and in the close-up..lol.

V, visitations are something I very seldom go to...(actually I think I have only gone to one!). That is interesting about the lady being a member of the Sweet Adelines. I'm so glad Mystic is not seriously ill. But what a mess!

Marie, so sorry about the basement mildew. I thought I had seen it bad here, but nothing like that. But then, we have never had a basement. I am not much for wearing gloves when gardening either, so I end up with a lot of booboos on my hands and fingers. I can't grow Russian Sage either. I have tried in at least 3 differant locations, but without success.I check Woody's posts on that other forum every now and then.

((((Eden)))), Abraham looks a lot like our Tommy... almost the same color pattern. Our Tommy is a bob tail.

Wendy, so glad you got some rain. I am amazed at how green it is here now. We have had over 3 inches over the past 12 days. I don't remember it being this green in the middle of July.And to think we were totally parched 2 weeks ago! Sorry about your losses. I have lost several plants too.

Martie, nice corn. I was expecting a field of corn! :-)
Is it the colored kernels... Indian corn? They make lovely decorations.

Honey, I have the same thoughts about the Idyll members. We have a bond that is seldom shared by off-line friends.
I understand how you feel about having a garden tour.

Cindy, I sure would send you some rain iffin' I could...lol. It has cooled off some here, but SO humid!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 6:30PM
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It Rained Here!!!!! Green has become part of the lawn coloration again and the plants are standing straight up. Yippee!!!

Re The Corn: This was the year of austerity in a few beds so that others could get some really top-shelf plant bones. I never like lightpost gardens (and I really don't like those inheirited=with-=the-house posts) so I decided I'd try to covery them up from the house side. Voila!!!! Tall Grasses!!!! But not at $20/gal when I wasn't sure I'd like it longterm. Easy solution: Plant Indian Corn to see if the look/height/coloration would work. AND so I didn't have to buy any for my door. Problem is, the neighborhood thinks it's pretty darn cool given our location in town (cul-de-sac was a former cornfield) and would like it to be a tradition. We'll see. And Marian: to me this IS a field of corn given the amount of experience I have with veggies LOL

I love the tidyll. Missing this group was tough. Who'dathunk that my mornings would seem so skewed without checking in on my "garden club?"

Eden -- this is the first pic I've seen of you and you look exactly like I imagined!!! I'll bet your Abraham is slinking around catching every critter afoot and having a Blast!

Sue -- Bummer about the work, and bummer about the critters. Is there any major development going on near you? Or, did the River flood early in the year enough to take out sanctuary space? Employee appraisals are the worst because they mean so much to the people getting them. I always wished I could say: this is Business; not Final Judgment; this is a reflection of the Work you Do, not You as a Person. But it's hard to separate the two :-(

Haven't eaten dinner, yet, and the grill is calling. Best to everyone -- Hi, Wendy!!! (I agree that that 1/2 [or .5 as Ky called it] is critical :-)


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I meant " I can't remember it being this green in the middle of August"..not July! I keep doing that ! And even worse, I think I put Sept. on some of my last week checks!Today I put Aug.14 on them. I think I need a 'keeper'. :-(

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:24PM
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LOL Marina; ) maybe it was as good thing I hadn't checked back for many more than six hours later: ). Thanks for stepping up to the plate.Pout not!(I am teasing you back.)
I'm really glad you've finally gotten some rain-it's not a fun gardening season without a little of the wet stuff. It's just magical what rainwater does. I love the pic of your GF and all those potato sacks bulging with potatoes! And the pics of the ferocious kitty,birds and deer are great too.

My sneak back here is compliments of Chris since he took the rugrats to the playground: )

Martie maybe your neighbors will start a trend and plant corn too! That would be so fun!

So two cool plants that happened to me this season that were volunteers were a sunflower(I saved seeds for next year)and now a pumpkin plant that is only just showing possible fruit-I'm sure it's too late for a decent pumpkin but I'll see what happens. OH! And I noticed a begonia seedling in one of my pots!It's the vodka tonic one I think.

Eileen-hope you are doing well! I also wonder when Michelle comes back from her trip. Deanne-whatcha doin? Taryn are you done yet? Mary how's mum? This is a pretty busy time of the year isn't it.

Um SAUCY! you forgot to visit us today!Hope to hear from you soon.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 8:59PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Eden, I'm so sorry you lost your precious Abraham. How lucky he was to have had you.

I see T is enjoying her time with the babies. Your daughter is so lucky you are close and willing to help.

Well, I had an unfortunate incident this morning involving a garage door. For some strange reason my automatic garage door started going down sometime between the time I walked through it and when I backed the car out. As soon as I hit the thing I hit the brakes. I was shocked when I looked around and saw the back of the door. Luckily I was going very slow and there was no damage to the car but I bent the bottom half of the door and it came off the track. I had to call Tom to come home from work because I was basically trapped. He couldn't get the door open and had to drive me to a workplace full of supportive co-workers chuckling their fannies off and refering to me as "crash". I should have changed those peformance appraisals. lol. Luckily the overhead door people came and were able to fix it to the tune of only $100. I was figuring much more. No one seems to know why the door triggered though.

Marian, keep your deer...lol. If you could see the overpopulated suburbia where I live you would wonder where all the wildlife comes from. It all must be relative because I do live near some very limited open land. So limited though that if that snapping turtle who visited a few months ago walked 10 feet in the wrong direction she would possibly be hit by a semi truck making deliveries in the back of the plaza behind my house. Every so often I see a fox and it just boggles my mind.

Martie, I only have two direct reports and both are excellent employees and people. It makes the appraisal process easy.

I'm glad so many of you are getting something out of the Dash movie-Honey especially.

So Babs, are you enjoying the long awaited return to the workaday world? It must be tough to juggle kids, the home and a job. I don't know how single parents do it. LOL about AJ and the rolling in the grave. Kids put a whole new spin on things, don't they?

We got Saucy back but what happened to Deanne?

Yuck, V, a sick dog. Knock on wood, my dogs rarely get sick and I don't think I've ever had one get diarrhea in the house. That has got to be nasty.

Tonight I blew off my workout and worked out in the garden for two and a half hours. If you find yourself unhappy with your August garden, get out there and clean it up-cut back the spent perennials, get rid of the weeds, deadhead and refresh mulch. I've also been tucking in some leftover annuals and tropicals where I have "holes". Most of my party guests (with the exception of Monique and Les) are not garden people but I still want things to look decent. Wendy and Martie, I sent you an e-mail about the party.

Marian I wish you were right the first time about it being mid July. Summer is almost over and I don't know where it went. Criminies, it's been almost a month since IU3.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 9:50PM
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Good, breathable morning! Dewpoint is down, sun is up, everthing's refreshed by rain. Woopee!!

This needs to be quick but wanted to keep to my vow to stop by.

T., those babies!!!! My brand new three-month-old neighbor threw up on my shoulder the other night!!!!! It's been a long time and felt So Good!! His mom was mortified but I'm just glad he's comfortable enough with me to let loose :-)

Honey: You'll have lousy, good and great days. We'll be with you through all of them.

Babs: Love your reseeding pumpkin! When Kyle was little (about 8) he wrote this verse about his grandmother's garden for a summer school reading project:

The garden grows in perfect rows,
The mud gets squished between our toes.
But really, truly, all the while,
The cool stuff grows in compost piles.

Couldn't agree more!

Marian: For us in CT it was tobacco and blueberries. I still get a bit wistful for the comraderie a bunch of 12+ year olds had while working under tobacco nets in 100degF weather. That pic is a treasure, to be sure!! (Agree with Sue -- you can have the deer. LOL)

Must really run. Hi to everybody!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 8:26AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Babs I wanted to tell you that it was not drivel what you posted & so sweet a title w/ song/poem.... (Marian Im sure it was probably a poem before it was a song).... I think a lot of us feel the transitions in life & friends now Ive lost a couple of very very close friends in the last 10 years who have moved or "transitioned" somehow out of my life and now it seems every year there is one more close friend whos moved away or died.... its really hard to "replace" those people in fact impossible! So any new friendship "found" or made is that much more precious to me these days.... I just got word yesterday of a female friend (one of my few "single" friends of old who had recently married in last 2 years) she & her "new" DH are now retiring to Hilton Head in a couple of months boy, does that take the wind out of my sails..... Im happy for her... but sad for me.... Honey, she was one of those "pj party" type friends.....

Babs also loved the story re AJ & grandpa mounded grave they are soooo amazing in their thought processes!

Sue o wow re the garage door in fact youre lucky it didnt come down on you or something! and only $100 repair is amazing for that. It must have been a bit like being stuck in a toilet stall of a public restroom anyone ever had that happen? (soooooo embarrassing.....)

Re the deer/varmints in city settings my house is also very near highway/suburbia backing up to a park/woods situation some years I feel like deer & "varmints" send out an invisible invitation and announcement of which yards/houses to hit where the gourmet buffet line is great pickings!!!! I swear they have some sort of message signal amongst them. Course their real habitats are becoming so precious in reality, they are left w/ few choices but to visit us, I guess?

Martie again, I love the individuality & coolness of your summer corn it will be particularly neat come October/Halloween time I vote for keeping it as a tradition & doing "funky" things curbside there each year that you dont have to worry about snow/cars, etc.

Gardenbug Ive been meaning to say I am also really liking my clematis Mrs. Robt. Brydon right now I positioned it near a young Vitex Shoals Creek thats still blooming & theyre lovely together I also brought some of the clem blooms to the office & everyone keeps telling me lovely flowers they are. Theyre a beautiful, delicate color.

No rain (again) here so hose slogging it is....


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:20AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Just a drive by-here today. The garden club gals asked if they could put my garden on the list for next yr's garden tour. It seems that this yr was their first tour, so they're somewhat new at doing it. I really feel I need at least another yr. to get the front landscaping in and figuring out the back border. Then there's the $ to get the plants! Of course, after gazing next door at Ruth's garden and then browsing Deanne's photos, I'm reminded what a piker I am and hiw much there is to learn and do.

I now have to tackle this inside pit before our Florida friends arrive tomorrow. I agree, Sue. It's rare that both the inside and outside are in shape at the same time!

I'm off to spot clean the carpet, go grocery shopping, etc., etc. Sorry, I don't have time to comment today. TTYL, Honey

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:32AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am beginning to get worried about Deanne. I hope it wasn't something we said? Or didn't say? Is it a computer problem? ( I see your early morning comments on GB.)

Martie...so glad you got rain and all is refreshed. It has cooled off here ( temporarily), but our humidity is still very high. More T&L storms went by in the distance early this morn. I hope everybody around here got a nice rain.
Re: field work... one of our neighbors, that hired a bunch of us teens, set out cases of BEER for our refreshment! LOL
My dad gave us siblings an allowance for our daily farm work. It was pretty good for that day and age.
He wasn't a hard man to work for, but he got annoyed every time my nose bled ( which it did often in hot weather). I guess he thought I was just trying to get out of work?
Cute Kyle poem.

Sue, what a drag...with the garage door. If it ain't one thing, it's another! Glad it wasn't a too expensive fix. Great that your car wasn't damaged.
I veiwed the Dash movie twice. It is very thought provoking.Thanks.

Blabs, I love those desirable volunteer plants. I call them "Bonus" plants. smile
Aj's grandpa in his grave comment was sooo cute. We can all treasure such childhood sayings.

Cindy, we never know what is in our future. The rich can suddenly become poor and the poor can become rich. I have no desire for either...:-)
Although I have much less than the many, I am not really 'poor', I have all that I need, and then some. The greatest 'need' in our lives is friends, or at least those we can communicate with.

Re:the wildlife problem here. It has nothing to do with the loss of habitat in this area. Lots of woods, and some that have grown up since we first moved to this area. One change here is that the bounty has dropped so low on furs that those type critters are no longer of comercial interest. When we first moved up here we could see raccoon hunters in the woods at night, with their lights on their caps. Of course a lot of it is due to the change in the attitude towards animals versus humans. As I have said before, I DO enjoy the critters. I just wish they didn't damage my stuff!

A cool breeze is blowing in this morning. I LOVE it.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Good morning!!! :oD

Overcast and gray morning but I don't care....I get to go see the little guys later today. ;o) I'm making a trip to Costco for them, as they want to load up the freezer with frozen prepared meals for the next couple of weeks when the boy's DD (dear daddy, lol) returns to work and DM (dear mommy) is still recuperating. They also put on the list big packs of batteries....guess they are gearing up for all those toys and other baby paraphernalia that needs batteries to light up, make noise or vibrate. :oD Life is sure changed & continuing to change for them. It is so wonderful to watch them gaze at those boys with love and amazement. Two huge blessings in all of our lives.

Little James had such fun in his swim lessons yesterday! I took 68 photos in the 30 minute class and most were awful. Blurry and just not nice at all. I'm trying to decide if I will go back and take my 'good' camera that is much faster and will capture those action shots (him jumping into his mom's arms from the side of the pool). I did not take it because I thought my tiny digital would take fine shots (it didn't do well on the full zoom & action together) and I was concerned about the high humidity in the pool area being not so good for the camera. There were a few decent shots.....but I'd really have liked to have caught him in mid air on jumping into the pool along with some of the other group games they were playing. I have one more opportunity to take photos (he only has one more lesson in this session) so I need to make a decision. Anyone know about the cons in using digital cameras in high humidity situations? I know professional photographers take pics at swim meets and jungles (LOL)....so it must be okay. I just didn't want to ruin my new toy.

Yesterday morning when DH was starting his van to head to work, sparks shot out from underneath. It was quite impressive and startled/scared me a bit. They shot forward and behind the front passenger tire. I told him what I had seen, he sat, thought a moment, then backed out of the garage and drove the darn thing to work! I sent him an email (he has 'cell phone aversion') asking if he made it and he finally replied, a couple hours later, that he had and would check it out when it was daylight out. Well, he either didn't check it or couldn't see the sparks in the daylight so he waited until dark then had me get in and start it while he lays on the ground in front of it. (Scary thought? I think so--but I put it in neutral and had my foot HARD on the brake pedal). He hollers "SHUT IT OFF"......then he stood up and I loved the look on his face. See! it was impressive even to him!!!! LOL He checked it a couple more times trying to pinpoint where, exactly, the sparks were coming from...and then drove the truck to work this morning. :o) He believes it is the starter that is the problem. So there! I do, too, know when something is impressively shooting sparks. ;o)

Oh goodness! I just saw a stump move! Turns out not to be a big tall stump, but a couple of elk (we have a number of very large and tall stumps decaying around the property---we think of them as 'country hick (bumpkin?) yard ornaments'. Not often I that I notice one moving though. Just so you don't think we have short elk....the stumps are usually 10 or 12 feet tall. I hesitate to call them all old growth, but they are very old and very large.

Let's see.....what else is happening other than sparks coming from cars (exciting---not) or stumpy elk moving (exciting---not) gray morning (exciting---not)........hmmm, guess it is a very boring morning here.

Hope it is a good day for all.......


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 10:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A few from this morning.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 11:46AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

No worries mates, just busy etc.

Welcome back Saucy! Wish I'd known it was computer woes. Doug has three or four old computers in the basement just taking up storage space that would have been perfect for you to use for internet access.

Eden, I'm so terribly sorry about Abraham. That's so sad.

Sue, bummer about the garage door. Doug did that once and punched a hole through one of the door panels.

Great pics Marian and Bug

Nothing new going on here,

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 2:26PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Beautiful pics, Gardenbug -- I guess I should take it that since your Brunnera Jack Frost(?) is still up and purty that the one I've got that suddenly disappeared last week is not "sleeping" due to the heat & dryness...uh? I guess some critter has gone off w/ the darn thing... I had been feeling so proud I'd kept it looking nice under the cornus Wolf Eyes all year.....boy, I do not seem to be able to keep brunnera anywhere in my yard... and it's not slugs!

Gee, Babs - I dont seem to have any mystery plants show up -- they do mysteriously disappear however!

Marian -- I think it's remarkable that your cat & the crows are so close together but ignoring one another....

T-- sparks & cars & elks (stumps) are pretty exciting to me -- I think men have a different standard for the "shock and awe" factor.....


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 5:19PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pretty pics, Marie. I need to work on my camera settings. Here is my contribution for the day:

Callicat is supervising this activity also...:-)
Can you see her on the stack of wood?

Deanne, I'm glad that you are okay.

Teresa...funny about the 'elk stump', but not funny about the sparks! I hope the cause is found before someone gets hurt.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 6:15PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good evening!

Things are very quiet here, the family is returning tonite. I have missed them! I am proud of myself: I remembered to put the trash out last night; the guys usually take care of that.

I went to the local nursery today looking for bargains, and found none. They had some perennials half-price, but they were over-priced to begin with - a gallon polemonium 'Stairway to Heaven' was originally $32! For that price I'll just wait for the baby one that Monique gave me to grow up! Monique, I am liking that plant very much BTW.

Sue, yikes about the garage - were you able to crawl out? You are very lucky the repair was low-cost and the door did not hit you or your car.

T, I can't believe your DH drove the car with sparks shooting out - hope he figures out the problem soon and fixes it! I am glad to hear that you are enjoying those babies. My mother spends a lot of time with my kids too, and I often felt guilty asking for her help - it is good to hear the Grammy's point of view.

Marian and Bug, nice pics. Marian, I got a kick of the one of your grandfather standing proudly in front of his fully loaded truck. My mom has a photo of my great-grandfather with his truck (he owned a corner store) and he has that same proud "taking care of business" look.

Babs, your story about the CD gave me chills. My grandfather always used to tell me he would find a way to come back from beyond if he could. There is a hawk that often flies over my yard and calls out; I like to think it might be Papa saying hello. The people we love are with us in thousands of small ways, even after they are gone. I was LOL about AJ's comment about your father rolling over in his grave though!

Hi Deanne! I keep going back to your photo threads - you really should do a book. Hey, I was thinking of going down to CT to see Steve Silk's garden on Sept 10, would you like to come? There are two other open gardens that day as well. Anyone else? Martie?? I remember that Sue, Monique and Les all went last year, care to go again?

Do any of you know anything about the other two gardens? The Open Days directory says that Jan Nickel's garden was in Sydney Eddison's book, I think I'll go upstairs to look!

Have a great night all!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 7:49PM
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Now I'm feeling guilty whenever I don't check in, but it's tough to make the computer a habit again.

Wow Babs! What a great job to get back into! It allows you to be close to the kids (and what's going on with all the kids in the community) but earn a paycheck, too! Good score!

I got to be "room mother" for Sarah's class this past school year which was fun and eye-opening. I'm trying to figure out how to volunteer at the Middle School without meddling. Jake didn't mind me chaperoning a few school dances (actually came over and talked to me a bit!), so maybe I'll continue that until he groans :)

Been fussing with the family alot. I feel really bad. I have PMS so bad (no symptoms other than I want to do battle with everyone I come in contact with). I can't stop myself. Jake seems to get the worst of it....he and I have been in tears alot over the last couple of days. Teen hormones and thirty something hormones don't mix.

Please tell me this will pass. We both need to order a subscription to Proactive Acne Solution :)

We're going away on vacation starting Friday and not returning til the following Monday. I can't wait. The boat has been so much fun this summer as I find myself skiing like I did 20 years ago. The first time I tried I was so afraid I wouldn't remember how....turns out it's like riding a bike, and now my kids can learn a thing or two from their mom :) It feels good to be cool :)

Deanne, I could've got myself online....I needed to wallow and feel sorry for myself, I guess. Somewhere around January I decided that I was carrying 25 lbs too many. I lost the weight and found someone I missed and got myself back on the computer.

I quit smoking, too....but that's not helping because I feel miserable around the mid section - like I'm only gaining weight in my waistline even though I'm still exercising! Oh well....at least I'm not a "secret smoker" anymore.

Eden, I'm so sorry you've lost a friend. You have a kind heart :)

Wendy, nice to meet you....you instantly reminded me of my friend Wendy from high school, and I wondered if you were her :) My Sarah is 7 and Jake is 12 (as before mentioned). Sarah is shopping for waterskis, now :)

Sue, the cool nights bring all the critters out. Pretty soon the cold nights will send them in! Your dogs are welcome to a couple of ground hogs and rabbits.

Just T, I love close up faces of young children....they're the best! Let him crawl right in the camera. I have tons of Sarah and Jake. I wonder how they'll hold up over the years.

GB, I knew your daughter would be getting married soon. He just seemed like the perfect mate for her. The only time I've ever had a set of nice fingernails was for my own wedding (I was a mechanic in the Navy at the time, so it was miraculous) and the manicurist gave me the prettiest French manicure which exaggerated their cleanliness :)

Marian, my husband stared at your pictures over and over....he's never seen such a thing. Deer practically walk up to our house in TN because there's a "no hunting" ban in the area. I saw the cat right away....my Marcy likes to work with us, too.

I've got to get things together for the big exodus on Friday....I'll try to check in tomorrow, but if I don't make it.....



    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 8:39PM
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Hello everyone

We're back from DC after a fabulous visit - the Mall, Museums, County Fair and Brookside gardens -we really packed things in. It was great all being together and seeing Ruth and her family again. Driving back this morning was rather melancholy as the children were missing their cousins and Granny. Saying good-byes are never easy. David told me his dream would be for us all to live in the same town - me too.

I arrived back to find a message on my answering machine with my first paid gardening job! Unfortunately the timing is not the greatest. The director from my old job is moving and asked me if I was interested in getting her yard in shape for putting her home the market, then designing a garden for her new house. She had visited during the summer and loved the gardens here. Somewhat in two minds I zipped over to see what was involved and decided that with half a day tomorrow I could get most of the beds into a decent shape, doing the rest after I get back from CA (we leave Friday morning). Tomorrow will be rather crazy, but working for this lady who is a lot of fun and very generous will be worth it.

Thinking about what to pack for CA puts me in a dilemma. DH and I have the weekend to ourselves while Annie and David are with their Aunt, and one of the evenings we are going out with a celebrity friend of DH's. I can't say who here but you can email me;0) I'm in a quandary about what to wear as even my best outfit was purchased at J C Penny and is somewhat lacking in glamor. I did pick up a new necklace and earings so perhaps they will do the trick. The rest of the trip will be in San Diego hanging out at the beach and zoo so my comfiest capris and t-shirts will fill the remainder of my suitcase.

Babs - I love the title for this thread and enjoyed reading the rest of the words to the song. I too can get very mushy when it comes to describing how I feel about our group here.

Eden - I'm so very sorry to read about the loss of your lovely cat. (((((Eden))))))

T - those twins are just too adorable!

Saucy - WELCOME BACK!! It was great to see you posting again.

There is so much more I'd like to say to each of you, but time is running out on me and there are a zillion things to do before I leave.

But first on the list is a good night's sleep - it was 385 miles from Ruth's house to here and that length drive sure takes it out of me.

have a good evening everyone


    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 9:29PM
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Goodness what a quiet bunch! It is lovely to see Mary back! I'm glad you had a great visit with your family and I hope you have a wonderful time on your vacation. A celebrity?! Whoo Hoo! I now know someone, who knows someone, who knows a celebrity. ;o) It is the closest I'm ever going to get to know one myself.

The weather has been cool for August but temps should be back up in the 90's for the weekend. My lawn looks awful, the only green is the dandelion weeds. Everything is toasted tan. The leaves on the maple trees, in the driveway turn around, are changing color (from green to light brown......we don't get the lovely reds on these trees) and falling off. Precursors to autumn's approach.

Today is James' last swimming lesson and I will go watch and take along the 'good' camera in hopes that I'll be able to catch some good, clear, action shots of the little guy.

Hope everyone is doing well.......


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:29AM
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Good morning. "Home Day" today for proposal prep and non-movement. There's something funky in the air and my whole face is puffy, to boot. Not an attractive sight but definitely temporary.

Mary -- if the celeb is friend enough of your DH's to take time and have dinner, I don't think said celeb will give a hoot about what you wear. Of course, if this celeb is a subject of paparazzi, here's your chance to go stark raving va-va-va-voom and have the photogs ask "who is that woman???" Who knows, you could start a whole worldwide rumor!! LOL

T. - Have fun. I'm jealous of the grandmothers in the group and am looking forward to my turn (from DH's daughter, 28; not my DS, 19, yet :-)

Wendy -- Unfortunately Sept 10 won't work, and I'm trying to work out a way to get to Sue's. I am going up to NH with Rich to see Deanne. FINALLY WE GET TO MEET!!! Isn't time alone in the house luxurious??? Hope you took time for a bubble bath with appropriate beverage :-)

Marian: Is that snake plant blooming????? How the heck did you get it to Do that? Being a succulent, I can't even keep the darn things alive.

Cindy: I'm with you on those beds. Nothing in my gardens is quite what it seems, at first. It's the result of having gardened "by the book" for many years and now just using plants I really like in spaces where they'll thrive. Some of the accidental combos in the nursery have gotten me inspired to use out-of-the-box color combos and materials with the right height/shape/color; ie., I needed something tall and viney behind some mid-sized flowering herbs and perennials, so I planted cherry tomatoes. The foliage texture and bright orange/red of the fruit is just right with the 'Shropshire Lad' DA rose, light pink with red edge recurring dianthus, winged-flowered Lavender and white blooming oregano. It's very freeing to do this and feel "experienced" enough to get away with it :-)

'bug: As always, you pics have me in awe. Is the blue plant a Phlox or is it Plumbago? If it's Phlox, what variety? I need that blue in a certain full sun spot ....

Saucy: Isn't it fun to know something your kids don't know and are actually interested in? And, being the mom of a 19yo son provides absolute empathy for that "look" they can throw. Until, that is, they need you for something :-)

Everyone else -- know I've missed something but will be back! Enjoy your days.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 11:16AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Morning all. I feel like Egor...going around all bowed up!My lower back has not been good this year.I mowed the deer pasture this morning. They are going to be mad at me...:-)
But I was getting tired of seeing the tall stuff.

Yes Martie, that is one of my snake plants. All I did this time is set it out on the deck, but they occasionally bloom indoors too...even in the winter. I am wishing it had waited until later because it's sweet fragrance is lost with the house opened up. It is espacially noticable in the evenings when the house is closed up.
I brought it in when I noticed the bloom stalks coming on.

Saucy, if your DH would like to see more of our yard wildlife you can link to my PT albums from my Member page, then go to the wildlife album. I have some really neat pics of things that visit our yard. There are some I have not had the chance to 'shot', like the opposums and skunks ( which reminds me, I haven't seen a skunk in our yard for at least 2 years...maybe more? I wonder why.)
Good for you for quiting smoking! Don't EVER start again. Adjust your diet to compensate for the weight gain. LOL on the 'secret smoker'. Nolon 'thought' he was too.. but the odor gave him away, as well as all the discarded cigarette butts!He quit 11 years ago when he had another bout with pneumonia, and was diagnosed with emphysema. That put the fear into him! And yes, he DID gain weight, but his emphysema slowed down.

Mary, that is interesting about the celeb that your DH knows. I know...I'm a stick in the mud, but I am not too impressed with the majority of famous folk. But your Ca. visit sounds fun.

Teresa, you are so right about the 'guietness' here. It makes me wonder if the Idylls are winding down? I am beginning to feel like a 'one-women' show! LOL
Sorry about your browning vegetation. A little color is coming in some of the trees here. This area is 'famous' for it's fall colors, and our yard is no exception.
I hope you succeed in getting the swimming shots of James.

Mary, I can imagine the great times you had seeing things in DC. I have pics I took of my visit in 1952. I didn't see nearly as much as I would have liked to, but toured the capitol, and saw many historical sites. I wish I had got to some gardens, but I wasn't 'into' gardens at that time. How nice that you had a good visit with Ruth and her family. The distance is similar to between us and Tim. Is has become more than I care to tackle.
That is neat that you had a job offering awaiting you.

Oops..lunch time!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 12:20PM
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Hi Marian

hope you had a nice lunch! Lower back pain is no fun - hope yours eases up a bit.

I'm just taking a quick breather from packing. Actually, throwing clothes in a case is the easy part, its making sure the pets, containers, gardens, bathrooms, fridge etc are ready to leave that takes the time.

I gardened for 4 hours straight this morning at my garden job and am feeling it this afternoon. I can easily spend the day gardening at home, but have so many interuptions I never go that long without a break. It was amzing how much I got done and the satisfaction of seeing weed free beds made up for the achy back. I too feel like Egor! I 'll hit the hot tub tonight and will try and pace myself better next time.

Well, back to the grind. Staying busy is helping me stop worrying about flying. After the arrests in England I've had a knot in my stomach thinking about getting on a plane. Its better not to let the mind stray to the "what ifs" adn think about the fun we'll have when we get there.

If I don't get back this evening, enjoy the last weeks of August. Since I last posted I bought 3 new tops and some stylish white linen gauchos (all on sale) and am excited to have new clothes to go out in.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 5:33PM
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LOL...........Good Morning!

This is just a test.

A test of the *Idyll, who really has a life and who does not* system. Those WITH a life will be busy and not able to post daily, but those WITHOUT full lives will be sitting, wondering what everyone else is doing and why the group is so quiet.

Sigh.....I'm in the camp of 'don't have much of a life and am wondering where everyone else is' ;o).

Nothing much happening here. My house is a wreck, laundry is piling up and the lawn can use some attention, so I need to stay home today so I can get caught up on *my* things instead of helping others out with theirs.

Guess I'll get more coffee & ponder how to get a life like the rest of you. ;o)

Hope it is a great day for all!

Hello everyone! :o)


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 8:43AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Where is everyone? I know Mary is off hobnobbing with celebrities and Michelle is on vacation. Taryn is moving and Babs has a new job. T is changing diapers...hmmm. C'mon Saucy, draw them out.

I've been working in the garden every night this week. Things are starting to shape up for mid August. You should see the buckets and buckets of stuff I've weeded out and cut back. Even though I wanted to just maintain everything until after the party, I did rip out a whole section of garden that was just driving me nuts. Oh well, hopefully it will look better next year.

Other than that there isn't a heck of a lot going on around here.

Wendy, Sept 10th works for me. I didn't get to many open day gardens this year except for that day Mindy came down. Steve's garden is worth a trip. I've been to Jan Nickels garden too but not recently. It's also very nice-lots of shady areas. The third garden is new to me but I've been wanting to see it. I wonder if Monique and Les will be around. Maybe we can do brunch at the Pond House Cafe in Elizabeth Park?

OK, gotta run. Yesterday my boss told me he plans to semi retire starting in January-work four days a week, three in the summer. As long as he doesn't go away for good I'll be happy.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 8:45AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, what a treat these cool mornings have been lately. I'm out and about and loving having to have a sweater on in the AM's. I've been deadheading and sprucing up the borders like crazy. So much to do. I really hadn't done much since I returned from CA and the borders were a mess. Sue hit the nail on the head. The gardens look 1000% better now that I've gotten all that nasty dead daylily foliage and stems out of there. I've put a couple of the containers in the borders to fill the voids and it doesn't look too bad at the moment.

I'm throwing a birthday party for MJ tonight and will have a dozen or so people here and really wanted things to look good. Also looks like I'm going to have Idyll company on Sat. so that put me into overdrive with cleanup. The shade area next to the shed was a total disaster, there were about a billion white pine cones on the ground, small and medium sized things that didn't mature so I finaly got that all raked up yesterday.

Good heavens, I just looked up and saw a blue jay in one of my fuchsias eating the buds off the plant. What a brat! Ok chased him out of the flowers but don't know how long that is going to last. They are hanging in the mountain ash tree and the berries are about ready for the birds to have a feast.

Oh yes, almost forgot to mention, the Nashua Garden Club hosted a container garden contest this summer and I submitted a few photos. Anyway, they called yesterday and guess what???? I won! How cool is that? The prize is a gift certificate to The Mixed Border and I certainly can use that. What fun! They didn't tell me what container they picked otherwise I'd post a pic of it for you.

Drat that darned bird is in the fuchsia again.

Mary, have a wonderful time on your trip. Hope to see photos of you in your new clothes. That always is a good feeling isn't it? I love a new outfit.

Marian, I forgot to answer the question from the last thread, that variegated plant you were asking about is Plectranthus 'Lemon Twist'. You'd really love this one and I can send you a cutting if you'd like. ~~ I used to have a snake plant that would bloom like yours. Yes, they really are wonderfully scented. ~~ I hope your back feels better soon.

Wendy, bummer, I can't do the 10th of Sept. I've got a seminar and a trip the middle and end of Sept and I've also got a magazine article due October 1st so I can't plan one more event for Sept. right now.

Martie, can't wait to meet you either. I've been planning on all this stuff I want to dig out of here. I hope you have a big car! LOL

T, did you have fun taking photos at the swimming lesson? Looking forward to seeing the pictures. How are those babies doing? How about a photo of grammy holding the twins????

Saucy, how fabulous you lost 25 pounds!! I'm really impressed, those last ten or so are a bear to get off. Good for you!

OK I've got to get out of here and get some watering done then get to the gym. I've got a wedding in a week and the dress I want to wear will look a lot better if I can ditch a couple pounds.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 8:58AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, Im just going to check to say - how 'bout half life......? I do not usually have anything unfortunately exciting to report - no celebrity dinners, etc.... Office has been a tad quiet except for fits and spurts.... the drought is continuing in this area so more hose slogging tonite
-- which makes me ask the question, Sue, -- when you "rip an area" out - is it really totally bare or have you've just "minimized" it? I've been getting home so late that I have no energy to do anything but run the hose/sprinkler around for an hour (altho it looks like no results since there is not much blooming)....

I too am off somewhere this weekend -- but to the usual place -- Penna -- Mom's 75th birthday is today & I figured I'd do dinner at the parents' house tomorrow w/ cake, etc..... so that means cooking tonite & putting in an ice chest to drag up there... it's easier than having to spend all afternoon on Sat. running to the store, prepping in a strange kitchen, etc. - Im hoping DD is going for a visit (so she's going to be my "present" since she hasnt had a chance to visit there in a year -- kind of my present too because we seldom have a chance to chitchat or "hang out" any more since she's an old married adult these days!).

Mary -- luckily NO ONE wears their clothes tags intentionally hanging outside so Im sure the "celeb" wont know where your clothes came from!! I imagine you're always impecably outfitted & unusual jewelry is always a wow (regardless again of cost). I love!! bargain shopping at TJ Maxx', etc., so I think it's the same concept re the $$ of our clothes. Just enjoy the fun time. They will enjoy the event I betcha. I feel the same way re planes these days -- I thought of your Mom re the arrests & how that must have increased your worry w/ the likelihood of her travelling return to England during all this... it's surely crazy times.

Im jealous of you NE idyllers visiting those open day gardens -- sounds like a blast (as usual) & they're such neat gardens I am sure.... I've got to try to do some that are in my area next year (what I say every year - sigh)....

Well, I hope I did a somewhat okay imitation of Ei w/ the !!! -- she must be one of the full life ones? LOL....

I think we're all dragging at the end of summer - I know I am - no motivation for much of anything --

Deanne - where's the container competition when we need it? Altho all mine are pretty much toast -- but I bet you've got lots of beauties to perk us up??

Well, happy friday too to all vacationers,, etc. -- Marian, I hope Egor leaves your place over the weekend!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:06AM
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Well I for one am about ready to trade in the real life for not having one...lol. I guess I'm not a big go getter but I do prefer being a little less hurried.

Sue that is a cool 'tgif' today-is that to signify easing into the weekend? lol

Unfortunately I get to spend my Sat. pounding on the chest of a dummy...CPR class; ) That's from 9-5. Sunday is open but we probably have to do MIL tending so goodbye relaxing weekend and it hardly got here.

Our exhaust pipe on the honda cracked so I have a very loud car today.Naturally it's on the day I have to hang with my school colleagues(it happened last night on the way back from AJ's track paractice). It'll get fixed on Tues. so at least this happened before the job actually starts next Mon.-Just where did the summer go!

I'm off to my mom's she'll watch the rugrats; ) while I'm picnicking-she lives very close to where I'm going.

Cute alert: AJ's tooth fell out. The tooth fairy came,he got his dollar. Somehow Ryan also got a dollar. I didn't do it-neither did Chris...I was starting to fear that Ryan was fibbing and just grabbed one of his own dollars. So as I'm grilling Ryan,AJ comes clean and says he put a dollar under Ry's pillow becasue he wanted him to get a surprise too...: ) Lol AJ keeps asking if the tooth fairy is real.

OK I need to make myself look perky and fresh....??huh?lolol.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:24AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi y'all...:-)
Sorry about my remark about being a "one-woman show", As anyone can see...there are several others posting. As for 'having a life', I feel we all 'have a life', but some of us have a more subdued life...lol. I am generally pretty content with mine. Of course that depends on my outlook for the day. :-(

When you ask how i've been here without you
I like to say i've been fine and i do
But we both know the truth is hard to come by
And if i told the truth, that's not quite true

Some days are diamonds, some days are stone
Some time the hard times won't leave you alone
Some times the cold winds blow a chill in my bones
Some days are diamonds, some days are stone

Now the face that i see in my mirror
More and more is a stranger to me
More and more i can see there's a danger
In becoming what i never thought i'd be

Some days are diamonds, some days are stone
Some time the hard times won't leave you alone
Some times the cold winds blow a chill in my bones
Some days are diamonds, some days are stone

Words and music by dick feller

( Where is Eileen when we need song lyrics? LOL )

Martie, I failed to give you any tips on the growing of snake plants ( Sansevieria ), my best advice is go very light on the watering. Over watering is the main cause of failure with them. They are very tolerant of all light conditions.

Re: my back, I have an appointment at an Arthritis clinic the 28th. I will see if there is any help for it. It sure makes my every move uncomfortable. Taking pain pills is such a drag. Both aspirin and acetaminophen cause my left ear to flutter! Almost as distracting as the bad back.
Sorry to hear that others of you also have back problems. Maybe it goes with the gardening????? I hope yours ( whoever you are) goes away with rest.

Teresa, you definitely 'have a life', and a very interesting one. Farm gals are more apt to be home more than city gals. Yes, we do need a pic if you holding the bambinos. Grandpa needs to be in the pic too.

Sue, funny TGIF. :-) You are very creative.

I wish I would get off my duff and clean up my flower beds. I am more apt to let the new growth, (that the rains have started), hide the debris. :-)
Deanne, I know what you mean about the day lily foliage. It almost all died down here, but the new growth is hiding it. I like to think of it as mulch. lol
I envy your friends that you give parties for. I've never had that experience...either the recieving, or the giving of such parties. ( Talk about "no life" ! ) I 'did' give Nolon a surprise party on his 60th birthday. Hard to believe that was 20 years ago!
Yargh! that blasted blue jay! They are NOT my favorite birds. Thanks for the name for the Plectranthus. It really looks a lot like mine. Mine has a lovely scent, and is so soft in texture... sort of velvety on top. Thanks for the offer, but I am too 'plant poor' when it comes to stuff to winter over.

Cindy, your mom is a year and about 3 months older than I. I hope she is in good health, and I hope your DD will go too. That is a good idea about the pre-preparation of the food.

I think I will start another thread with some pics. I have put more than my share on this thread already.

Eileen, I hope all is well with you and yours.

I was checking my list of Idyllites, and see that Lauren Lolly in Aus had a birthday the 12th. I wonder if she is 'lurking' here? If you are, Lauren, a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
And what happened to the other Lauren in Missouri? And Vegangirl in Va.? How is Jerri ? Missing are : Brenda, Yeona, Barb, Jane, DA !, Julie, Lily ( Sylvia), all of the men, and many of our 'newer' members plus many of the 'older' ones who haven't posted lately.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 11:15AM
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Hi Everyone! It is quiet here¡KI will try to add something to the conversation. We are going camping this weekend, and the best part is that I am going to Girard¡¦s Nursery while out. I called them, and guess what, the National (I think) coming out on Saturday and Sunday for a special tour. They said that they are not usually open on Sundays, but are making a special day for this group of 100. I bet Rich from Fox Willow Pines is going to be there. I¡¦ll let you know if I see himº I found out that there are a bunch of nurseries all along that road, and I am going to do my best to check out a bunch of them, as a preview in case you all end up coming to see Babs and myself some day. I already checked and they do not have the Abies I wanted, the Abies Koreana Nanaimo. I wonder if all the Abies have cool pine cones? They said that their 1 gallon pots are around $16.50. Depending of course on what you are buying. My daughter Jen is going with me. I can¡¦t wait. I also found out that Hallson¡¦s hosta nursery is about an hour and a half away from me, but south. I called Babs the other day to tell her how excited I was about my purchase at Big Lots. They were selling arches f or $3.50, and I am going to try to make that little vine tunnel from Cantigny. (Thanks Eileen for taking us thereº I don¡¦t think I am quite ready to tackle the Lock Ness Monster yet. I was looking over the plant lists they provided, and realized that they used a LOT of annuals. On another topic, Devin changed the starter in my car. He took it off, and put it back on all by himself, with vocal direction from Skip. And Skip had to make the last little crank on the bolt/nut to make sure it was tight. He was so proud of himself, and of course he told me it started much faster now. I had a crazy morning one day this week. My town lost electricity.. nothing new there, happens all the time, they own their own power plant¡K anyway, I woke up late, no lights or alarm. Decided to go to the gym to shower, etc. Car wouldn¡¦t start. Was going to drive Skip¡¦s. It was blocked in by mine, so had to wake him up at 5:30AM to push mine out of the way. His car was on empty. All the gas stations were closed because of the power outage¡KTook the back roads to find a gas station, didn¡¦t want to run out of gas on the interstate. Finally got to the gym, and since great minds think alike, my daughter was there showering too, so it ended up good, I got to see my daughter unexpectedly.

Mary how cool that you are getting hired to design a garden! You are going to be so stylish in your new clothes¡K I will have to email you to see who you are going to dinner with¡K Fun, fun! Great way to end the summer.

Cindy, I hope you are feeling better. It is sad when friends move away, or move on for whatever reason¡K but we¡¦re here:) that is the beauty of this group, and the internet in general. We can hang out all the time. I hope you have fun visiting with your family, and that you are feeling more the thing soon.

V. I bet your DD is getting so excited about starting her college career. How are you doing? One of my sons told me he is going to move out as soon as possible, and it definitely made me feel kind of strange. Not sad really, but just weird.

Eileen¡K how is it going for you? You mentioned that your son found a ring. Did she say yes? Thanks for the seed instructions. I can¡¦t wait to see if I can make them germinate.

Saucy, so nice to ¡§see¡¨ you! And how nice that you are having fun showing the kids that their mom has talents they didn¡¦t know about. It is so nice to see you posting again.

Marian, thanks for sharing the pix. I just love your new camera.

Sue, if parts of your garden are making you crazy, you can only imagine what mine are doing to me? Don¡¦t touch a thing! They are beautiful as they are.

Deanne, Congrats on winning the container contest. Of course you won! Your containers are an inspiration. I read somewhere this week that humans can eat fushia flowers, so it is no wonder that your birdie likes them. They say to put them on salads.

Eden, sorry about your kitty. How is your tour prep coming along?

Honey- how are you doing? Have fun with your friends!

Babs, hope you enjoy the CPR class.. Very useful info to have. My doctor lives out in the country and his little girl sort of meandered into the pool. He was actually able to keep her alive while the helicopter was on its way. She was just a little thing. I asked him about it, and he said he couldn¡¦t even talk about it or think about it. That happened a number of years ago. Thanks for posting the song/poem. Reminds me of being a Brownie...

T- You are too funny! Not everyone gets to save their husband¡¦s life, and have new twin grandbabies in a 2 week period. The visual on that one just cracked me up!

Okay, I have rambled enough¡K Hope you all have a great weekend!

Maybe some other missing ones can check in¡K.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 11:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Babs, I only knew the first verse to "Make new Friends..." but always liked it.

Life is overly full these days with Gravel Pit meetings, mildew from the basement, watering dry gardens and wedding preparations. Yesterday was fun because a friend and I went off to buy yards and yards of ribbon for the wedding decorations along with other odds and ends. Most of the flowers are ordered, some of the B&B rooms are lined up too. September 3rd is arriving quickly! Oh yes, one broken fingernail is being worked on this evening and my young lady will shorten all 10 so no more will be damaged before the event.

In mid September Mary is coming to visit! I've rounded up a few others too and am very much looking forward to a mini Idyllunion. The gardens will be less than spectacular, but I'm counting on a fun time! This would be a good time to share funny wedding stories...AFTER DD's is over with!

Meanwhile, back to mildew....

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:30PM
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Oh heavens!!! How wonderful to have so many posts to enjoy during my 'coffee break'. :o)

Marian, I very much liked the lyrics you shared. I don't think I told you 'thank you' for all the photos you've shared since getting the new camera. I love eye candy and have enjoyed seeing bits and pieces of your land. Nolon has an impressive amount of wood cut!! We began our winter wood collecting in late May/early June, but stopped before getting enough in for the winter. We *need* to get back to doing it or we'll be turning the furnace on more than I'd like to.

'bug sorry to read that you've broken a nail, but it sounds like you've still got it long enough to 'fix' so that is a plus. I hope you are successful in keeping them all uniform until the wedding.

My glove order arrived yesterday (the gloves V & 'bug suggested). I've not opened the box yet. 20 pairs....did I go overboard? LOL I won't be needing gardening gloves for many, many, many years (and then a few more years after that).

Well, the coffee cup is empty so I guess it is time to go back to laundry & dishes. I think I'll be Boo's best bud and let him out into the big pasture today. He's been restricted to the smaller pasture for months.....time to increase his grazing area me thinks (he thought it was time weeks and weeks ago, the darn horse has my appetite!).

Hope it is a wonderful weekend if I don't get back here!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:56PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

C'mon, you mean to tell me no one around here has anything to say? After being around many of you in person I know that certainly isn't true.

So far it looks like we're going to have perfect working in the garden weather today. I just have a bit more cleanup, a few more annuals to tuck in then I'll refresh the mulch in a few spots. It will be nice to have things in reasonable shape this late in the season. One of my brothers and his wife are coming next Friday night to stay for the whole weekend so I want to get as much done as possible before they arrive. We're going to have somewhere around 25-30 for the party-a manageable crowd.

Marian, not too many people throw parties around here either. I enjoy doing it but hate to be the only one all the time. In fact, we did not invite 5 couples to this party who we have been friends with for years and who come to our Christmas party every year and say how much they want to get together and can't believe it's been a year since they've seen us last...blah, blah, blah. I certainly don't expect people to throw large parties but they could pick up the phone occasionally and arrange to meet us at a restaurant or invite us over for burgers on the grill. They don't even do that. Lately, the friends I get together with the most are the ones I've met here.

So, yes, some of us will be visiting Marie next month and I can't wait. I'm flying to Rochester and then driving the rest of the way with Mary and possibly Deanne. We had some old frequent flier mileage hanging around so I was able to get my flight for free on USAir. It should be fun.

Marie, if I needed a manicure for something I'd have to have it done the day of the event. I've been treating myself to monthly pedicures this summer but a manicure would be a waste of money on my hands. Maybe when the garden has been put to bed for the winter I'll see what magic can be performed on these hands...lol. As far as beauty thingamajigs go I have to confess...I bought some of that sunless tanning body lotion a few weeks ago. The one I bought is actually a moisturizing lotion you use every day. I've been mostly using it on my previously pasty white legs. At first I was skeptical but let me tell you, my legs have never looked so good-a very natural tanned look and moisturized to boot. I'm hooked on this stuff and even went out and bought a face version. Sun worshipping has never been my thing and now it doesn't have to be anybody's thing. There you have it, a beauty tip for the day.

Where is Ei? Is she away or just busy with things life is tossing her way?

Have I babbled enough? Let's hope so because it's time to get motivated.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 9:15AM
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Good, lazy Saturday morning! The cicadas are humming, part clouds and humid, waiting for incoming rain ... life feels good at this point. Glad I have a day when "life" doesn't involve buzzing around, meeting clients, remembering that we need to eat dinner, battling with the power-that-be over Ky's tuition bill, etc., etc., etc. Today: Rest and Relaxation!!!

Lucky all of you visiting Marie! The wedding plans and preps sound well under control. Let it be fun!! My true feeling about weddings is ... it's just one day out of many years, so enjoy! Sounds like you are, Marie, and how nice to have many friends to help! Your daughter is very lucky.

Deanne: LOL re: a big car. Rich has a big truck. A very big truck. We will not be driving that up, though, as it eats gas. So -- it'll be my compact that I've been known to get 30 plants into without a problem :-) I'll bring the pots. Looking forward to the Friday before Labor Day ..

Marian: Good for you to keep things going, here! Showing up every day reminds me of why I didn't for awhile. We are such a busy, interesting group and I want to read every word. Thanks for the snake plant advice. As mentioned many times before -- succulents and me just don't get along. LOL

Thanks for that beauty tip, Sue. I discovered the spray-on moisturizing tan stuff and have gone through several bottles this summer. No Stockings!!!! Yippee!!!! Should it matter that my legs look like I've never seen the sun? No, but I feel better and isn't that what matters? I've managed to keep my nails fairly intact with the help of the same gloves ordered en masse. Pedicures -- that's a different story and I try really hard to wear closed toe shoes. LOL

Didn't get a chance to email Mary -- could someone fill me in on who the celeb is? I'll be watching for her on the entertainment shows.

Rich and Ky will be hacking back about 10 feet of encroaching woods next week, and they took it upon themselves to join the National Arbor Day Foundation to get the 10 "free" trees to put in there. This is/was a surprise for me. Now, I am very excited that they did this on their own, but haven't the heart to tell them that the trees will be smaller than my Bluestone shrubs. LOL My quandry: Do I tell them that the poor babies will get lost back there for the first few years or do I let them do the work and find out for themselves? Help!!!

The neighborhood get together is tomorrow and will try and get some Hibiscus cuttings. Everyone is bringing food and the field-guys are going to make authentic jerk chicken on the grill. Can't Wait! In my life I am very grateful for the neighborhood we're in and the people who have become a big part of my daily life. The corn, by the way, has been designated by the kids a standard part of the cul-de-sac and I have specific instructions to plant it again next year. Inexpensive for me -- easy -- fun -- wellllll,,,,, oK.

Babbling on here and want to get outside and do some trim.

See you all later!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 9:49AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning!
We started out the day with a trip to the local One Stop for a breakfast of biscuits and gravy. :-)
We used to do this every Saturday, but quit when our resources ran low. :-(
Nolon is back out at his slab piles, but is out of any more to cut. I think he is hoping the cousin will drive in with another load.

Hey! Drema! good to 'see' you again! I hope you are having fun camping and nursery hopping.
We have been known to go to an open eating place for breakfast if the power is out at our house when we get up. ( that isn't why we went this morn.) Glad you found an open gas station...with power before running out of gas. Thank goodness we never have to move one vehicle to get the other out. They are parked strategically around the yard. LOL

Marie, I am envious that you will be having a mimi IU at your home next month. Lucky idyllers!

Teresa, John Denver was one of my favorites, and that song was my fav that he sang. LOL on the glove order! Happy gardening....

Sue, I so agree with your first sentence. I keep thinking I have 'broke' it! Of course I know it is the season that so many are busy elsewhere. Espacially those who are preparing their younguns for school. And there are so many vacations being taken.
I used to go to restaurants with women friends, but haven't done that in ages. Since I go to the Golden Year's class most every Tuesday, I see many of my friends there, and others every Sunday. That really is about enough for each week for me.
I like your schedule of seeing a pedicurist every week. I need to do that. I 'kills' me trying to cut my toe nails. I need to see a Pediatrician too for my many foot woes.
Maybe I will try the no-sun tan on my arms and legs. They are looking very pale. It used to be that the paler was the style!

Marty, it is cicadas serenading us by day, and katydids by night. I enjoy hearing them.
Thanks on the "keep things going", that's my job..lol.
You must over water all your succulents. They are some of my favorites due to the little care that they need.
Good luck with the National Arbor Day "free" trees! Also, expect to be dunned from now on for your membership fee! I had an unhappy relationship with them some years ago. I don't know how large your Bluestone shrubs were, but their's will be tiny seedlings.

Still hot here, but somewhat lower humidity. I will be SOOO glad when fall arrives, officially.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 10:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Marian, I can't resist. You gave me a good chuckle! I suspect you meant "podiatrist" and not "pediatrician" for your feet? Maybe they are very small feet? LOL!

I have to run...clean the cat box and get to the dump and do errands. The garden is VERY dry so I need to move the sprinkler too.

Later friends!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 11:29AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie,lol ...and I thought I was doing so good! Well, they are rather small...but not that small! ( It was the 'ped' in 'pedicure' that threw me off...smile.)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 12:24PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I an needing healing thoughts and prayers for our son and his best friend. Tim just found out, ( by a call from the friend), that he ( the friend) has terminal cancer. The prognosis is just 2-4 months! It has spread all through his body. Tim is devastated. They have been close friends for 20 years or so. I am concerned as to what effect it will have on Tim. He is having such a hard time with the ex and the court isssues...now this.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 3:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Marian, of course you have my best thoughts aimed in Tim's direction. Here is my unasked for advice, for what it is worth. I find that when someone is discouraged and sad, GIVING is the best medicine. So Tim should make this his 2-4 month project. Visit his buddy, watch silly movies together (the 3 Stooges or Charlie Chaplin or whatever), talk about the past, about hopes and dreams. Shed tears together and laugh about the good times too. Send or take him his favourite treats. Do all those things possible to make the end easier. He won't regret a minute of it.
In some ways it is easier to have the chance to say good bye, a chance you don't have in many cases. Honey would have grabbed the opportunity to share with her friend had it been possible. She did the next best thing by talking to her regularly by phone.

On a more positive note, Chelone sends word that things have improved a bit with her Mum. Chelone has the firm approach to guiding her along that she responds to. Last night she was able to step out on the town with a 'baby sitter' watching the home front. There wasn't even a battle.

I also heard from Kaveh who says hi to those who remember him.

Very humid here and a tiny drop of rain- OK 3 drops- fell a while ago while I was out. Now I must go pack up mildewed books. Blargh.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 3:41PM
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[in a whining voice]...Heeeeey, how come I didn't get a personally engraved invite to the eastern IU3.5???? OK admit it-it's becasue I don't use self tanner and everyone was tired at IU3 of wearing sunglasses around me,right? It's a tough life being pastey I'm telling you. ; )
In fact if I were coming to IU3.5 you'd all be safe and secure with me because now I am certified in CPR! I passed the class today(and I didn't kill the dummy). Now I just have to take First-aid next Saturday and I'm all set.

The teachers & staff lunch yesterday at the principal's house was so fun. The principal made all the food herself and there was tons of it. Croissant sandwiches,every kind of salad you can imagine-pasta,potato,cuccumber,jello pretzel, and a tossed one too. She made Tiramisu cake(sigh) and some chocolate chip bars that had something like cheese cake through the middle-I didn't even eat dinner last night I was so stuffed. The group of faculty and staff are very humorous & kind hearted people so I imagine I'm going to like my job or at least working with them. My principal's DH is a gardener(flowers and veggies)!

I keep telling you I need a lab coat but the ones I keep seeing are very ugly so I decided I naturally need to sew my own-lol I AM crazy but I'm doing it. Hmmm I think I should have a business on the side making 'cute' lab coats for the medical world: )

I am happy that today was a rainy day here since I was cooped up in my CPR class for most of it. Our area has been an inch or so below normal so this is good.

Marian-I'm sending prayers your DS's way for his friend-that's so sad.

I wonder what Mary's doing right now? I hope she enjoys her Hollywood trip.
Where did Saucy go?
Drema have a fun camping/nursery hopping expedition!
When does Michelle get back?

I'm off to sew..


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 5:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Aw Babs, I knew someone would feel left out! But gee, I can't fit more than a few in our house! If you can fit in Honey's car, come on along! (We are PC here and don't go by skin color)
I have a friend whose sister is a nurse. She comes to Toronto every year to buy her uniforms in bright colours and patterns. She says that back in Michigan she can't get them.

Just finished a short weeding session in the rain. There is so much to weed!!! I thought I had finished, but they just keep coming back. Still getting nasty things from last year's load of compost. Really annoying. And my bark chips haven't arrived either. Grumble Grumble....

So Deanne, was DD's party a family affair or for a whole bunch of people? She's such a lovely person and full of personality. A good daughter! As I recall, PINK is her color. Right?

Time to wash off some mud and then I guess it is hamburgers on the BBQ for dinner.

An evening shot of the pond for you~


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 5:44PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Well we just had a fabu-fabu visit with Les and Monique. What fun! They had a dog show up our way and happily had time to stop by. Doug was a hero and fixed lunch for us while we were doing the garden tour thing. He even brought glasses of wine out for Monique and I while we were discussing the container corner in the front. What a peach of a fellow I'm lucky to have! Anyway, I can't get enough of visiting with garden friends who understand my 'obsession' and dont think Im just a little off because of all the plants I have. LOL

MJs party last night was also a huge success and she was totally surprised. Everyone had a terrific time. (Marie, the party was for MJ not DD but yes she is a lovely person with lots of personality. Thanks!) The evening was splendid and the weather couldnt have been better. Just warm enough to go sleeveless with enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitoes away. I dont remember the last time we were able to sit outside on the patio until 9PM without getting chewed by the mossies.

Babs, so youre a certified CPR person now. Good for you! That is such a good thing to know. I had to have my Red Cross first aid and CPR certification when I was a Brownie Scout leader years ago. I never kept it up though. ~~ So what is a jello pretzel salad??? Inquiring minds would like to know. ~~ Sounds like you are going to be working with a great bunch of people. I know you are going to really enjoy that job. ~~ Youll have to show us pics of your lab coat when youve finished it.

Marie, thanks for the update from Chelone. I dont think I could walk in her shoes. I have so much respect for what shes done for her Mom all this time.

Marian, Im so sad to hear about Tims friend. ~~ BTW, John Denver was one of my all time favorite artists. I was fortunate to see him in concert several years before he died and it was the best concert I ever went to. He gave 1000% to his audience. He only took a couple ten minute breaks during the two hours he performed. His voice was better in person than on his recordings. Ill never forget that evening. His death was such a tragic loss.

Martie, Yahoo!!! Im looking forward to the Friday before Labor Day also. Im hoping Doug can get the day off. Im thinking Im going to start tagging all the stuff I want to dig out. Are you interested in a peony??? Ive got a lovely pink peony that is in a not so happy location and it has only bloomed indifferently for me because it doesnt have enough sun. Anyway, Im going to hoik it and it is all yours if youd like. ~~ You are so lucky with your neighborhood. We have some good neighbors but then again we have some not so good neighbors. I dont think weve ever had a neighborhood barbeque except once in the 28 years weve lived here.

Sue, do you have the brand name of that tanning stuff??? I sure could use that in the winter. The only product Ive seen before gives a yellow looking color that isnt too attractive so if you say this stuff is good Id like to try it. ~~ BTW I was talking to Monique and Les today about finding a place to meet up with you guys for the VT trip. Do you have directions to where we are going so I can figure out the logistics of this?

T. I can lose twenty pair of gardening gloves in a season. I have no idea what the heck I do with them but I lose them all the time along with my pruners and trowels. When Im gardening just dont pay attention to where I set things down. So do tell, what makes these gloves so good? Maybe I need to buy a box of them also.

Drema, hope you have a great camping and nursery crawling trip. Youll have to fill us in on what you found when you get back.

Cindy, Im fortunate that MJs son took such good care of my containers when I was in CA the end of last month. They are all looking really great right now but we havent had the heat and drought youve been dealing with all summer. We only had a couple weeks of that awful extreme heat. The last couple weeks the weather has been PERFECT here! I dont ever remember having two weeks of sunny, 70 and 80 degree weather in August before. Its been a treat and the annuals in the containers are loving it. Ill have to post a couple pics of a few of the containers for you. I took a ton of photos in the last couple days but havent processed or uploaded them yet. Maybe Ill get to that tonight.

Ok I think Im caught up for now. Take care everyone. I hope all are enjoying a great weekend.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 6:43PM
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Well, pals, my excitement for the evening was clicking a new thread in the New England Gardening Forum and discovering a veiled gardening ad with sexual inuendo all over it. Immediately reported it to GW via the 'contact us' link and posted a new thread on NEGF to not open it. I went back to look at my post a minute later, and the whole forum is gone. Whooooosssshhh.

Since I didn't open the ad, don't believe I caught anything. GW has probably just shut it down to clean it up. Boy, did they act fast if this is the case!

So, all New Englanders and lurker New Englanders checking in, sorry!!! But, I hope you would have done the same. (And if anyone goes to NEGF and gets in, please let me know. Should I have a complex???? LOL)


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 7:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks gals. Marie, I like your advice, but since Tim lives so far away it will be hard for him to do those things. The friend lives in Harrison, and the distance is about the same as ours is from Tim. I am giving lots of thought to what I can tell him that may help. Apparently the friend is looking for support from Tim, else he wouldn't have called him with that info. This weekend is the GD's time with Tim. Hopefully having them there will help divert his mind from his sadness.

T&L is rumbling in the distance, but we already recieved 6/10th inch of rain...with no T&L. Hopefully we will get lots more. The thin grass was already browning again.

Deanne, John Denver's death was one of the few amongst celebs that caused me real sorrow. I still feel it when I hear him singing. How fortunate you were to have been at a live performance.

Babs, I need you close by...:-) I am frequently choking on food.

Marie, that is such an interesting shot of your pond, and very pretty.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 8:39PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

It started out to be a great gardening day - I even talked the kids into having pancakes on Sunday instead of the usual Saturday so I could get an early start. I was out in the yard by 8:15, digging away with DS's help. We were working along great for a while, then I got stung by a bee! I don't think I've been stung since I was a kid, and the critter got me right behind the knee. Ouch! After a break with some ice cubes, we went back to work and finished dividing the lady's mantle, moved a few heuchera, added some compost (free from the town), and even put down mulch. The rain will come tonite and water it all in some more, hopefully.

After that, I treated my infested hemlock trees with a systemic insecticide, after measuring the diameter of the trunks (one was 50" diameter!) to determine how much to use. The concentrate is diluted in water, then poured around the base of the tree. So here I am, circling the base of the tree (it is kinda dark under there), trying not to pour insecticide on my shoes; I must have wacked my head on the low-hanging branches at least 5 times, sweat is dripping into my eyes and I am afraid to touch my face and get insecticide on me...after that I gave up and went inside for a shower. I do love to garden though!

Saucy, we could very well have gone to high school together - I met a woman on GW who lived in the neighborhood I used to live in - I could actually see her house from my house, though we never met when I lived there. Sue grew up in the next town over from me. It really can be a small world. Did you attend HS in a suburb north of Boston, by chance? Hope you are enjoying your vacation!

Deanne, congrats on the win of the container contest. Why am I not surprised?! Do you know yet which container was the winner? I am loving that fuschia 'Sunray', I just wish I had put it a little higher off the ground so I can see it better - it needs an tall urn.

Sue, brunch at the Pond House sounds great. I have been to Elizabeth Park, but never to the restaurant.

Must run now, DS can't find his library book and he is in a panic; I think he is afraid the library police will come or something. He is in the habit of reading at bedtime like I do. Hi to everyone else I missed!


PS Martie - the NE Forum is gone for me right now too - that is scary!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 8:43PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I checked the NE Forum awhile ago...it was gone. I just checked it again...it is back !

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 8:45PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Marian, I'm so very sorry to hear about Tim's friend. Healing and supporting thoughts are coming his way from me. I dread the day I get that news for the first time or that someone gets it on me. BTW, I get the pedicures once a month but once a week would be nice.

Martie, what the heck did you do with the NE Forum??? LOL! I can get in but all the messages are gone.

Jeez, where did this day go? As usual the morning slipped by. Around lunchtime Stanley Steemer showed up to clean the tile and grout in my kitchen. Well worth the 75 cents a square foot, BTW. It takes me two nights on my hands and knees with a scrub brush and plethora of toxic cleaning chemicals and it still doesn't come out as good as it looks now-like new. I haven't done it in so long it was becoming a health hazard. They do carpet too-I wonder if they do windows? lol

We ate a late lunch at a local deli and ordered some food for the party. Then we bought fresh corn on the cob at a local farmstand and fresh swordfish at the local fish market. I worked outside til about 6 then went for an hour and 20 minute walk around town. We're still not hungry so we decided to push off the fish and corn til tomorrow night and eat a lite dinner. Mine will be cereal. Don't tell Monique and Les that my dessert for lunch was lemon cake from Max Bibos.

Deanne, Babs and anyone else who may be interested, the tanning lotion I use is L'oreal Sublime Glow. See the link below. I would consider my skin light toned but I bought the medium. No unnatural orange coloring or streaking like the tanning products of the 70s. I use it like you would a moisturizer you just have to wait 10 minutes to get dressed after applying so it has time to dry. Tom was just now commenting on how natural it looks.

Deanne, I'll forward you the directions I got to North Hill garden. It's basically in southern VT near the town of Wilmington. What fun to get together with Monique and Les. I wish you were coming to the party next weekend :(.

Well, earlier in the week they promised rain for tomorrow but now seem to be waffling. I held off watering today but it looks like I'd better get ready to drag the hoses tomorrow. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get rain in regular intervals throughout the summer?

Okay, I'm toasted. Time for cereal, then to bed.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 8:55PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Evening Idylls!

Well, I started this post 3 days ago and while I don't really feel like I have a life...LOL...it sure has been a busy few weeks. Been spending the last 2 weeks with mom and it's been pretty enlightening. For one, she didnt have a bath mat in her bathtub...it's no wonder she slipped! So I got her one and then had hubby install a grip *outside* the tub to help her with getting in and out of the tub (she already had one in the shower stall and also had a bath seat). Also, as per the PT Nurse, had hubby install another grip by the *one* step in the house to help her with getting up and down the step. I know - probably not terribly interesting to you guys, but I sure did notice a lot more while staying there with her all day vs. just visiting. I also moved a chair to where she talks on the phone (just in case she gets lightheaded). And she now has her medic alert necklace. It was pretty cute watching mom when they set it up. They wanted to test the device so she was talking to "David" and would walk through the house saying "Hi David", "Are you there David?", "Are you sick of my voice yet, David?"...LOL! David was laughing on the other end. So the machine works and is *very* loud. To me it sounded as if David was screaming on the phone and I kept on wanting to cover my ear, but its good that hes that loud think it made mom feel more secure knowing she could *definitely* hear him. So we have a visiting nurse that comes twice a week and a PT nurse twice a week both very nice and very capable. They will come for about 2 more weeks and then moms aid runs out. We also had a Home Health Care person, but we cancelled her. I wont get into it here...suffice it to say she was rather strange. Despite the weird experience with the HHC I am *so* grateful that there is something like this for the elderly and that there are people who feel the calling. It really takes a special person to do this kind of work..."pay" cant be the motivation to be so dedicated and caring. Anyway, I am very happy with moms progress. Mom also had an EMG test because she has been complaining of numbness in her hand. This has been going on for a long time - *way* before she had any troubles - at least 10 years now. Her regular doctor told me he thought it was a pinched nerve and would rather not do surgery on my mom at this age, but if it gets to the point where she can no longer tolerate it then they will have no other choice but to perform surgery. So the EMG test showed that mom has severe carpal tunnel syndrome (there are two nerves in the wrist and one of hers is basically dead). I dont know how much pain she is in, but it must be pretty bad for her to decide she wants to do the surgery. Was wondering if any of you have any experience with that surgery? or know someone who has had the surgery? The only person I know who has had the surgery was not very happy and has had the surgery performed twice. I would just like to hear others experiences with it. Sis is doing very well, but of course is wiped out when she gets home. The chemo has taken a lot out of her, plus she is very overweight and has never really exercised. She takes the train into work and then catches a cab from the train, but she still has to go up the stairs and I can imagine that could really do you in. I told sis when she is feeling more like her old self, Id love for her to join Curves with me and I think she likes the idea (especially having someone to go with her). I started back at Curves myself last week. Anyway, DS is loving being back at work, the normalcy of it all, as Michelle says and of course seeing her friends and co-workers; just being around other people (besides just me and mom). Im so happy about that and keep on praying that the treatment did its job and sis will be able to live a long and happy life.

DAY 2 - Friday
We are having rain here today and Im just loving it. Early this a.m. we had a storm...dark black clouds, with fluffy white ones racing by at a fast clip...loud thunder, but not much lightning. Ohhh....I get excited just describing it....LOL! Now the old me would have run right out to be in it (I *love* storms) but I think Im losing a bit of my spunk...or maybe Im just getting some brains in my old age. Anyway, I tried to enjoy it from the office window instead, but it really isnt the same as being in it. The storm came quickly and passed just as quickly and I dont think there was enough rain to do much good....I hope we get more! It has really sunk in for me these lasts two seasons, how key regular rains are for having a happy garden. I guess all of Pauls subliminal messages have finally worked on me...I am actually starting to like the idea of moving somewhere new (we want a smaller house). Most likely we will stay pretty local for as long as mom is around, but eventually I would really like to try a whole new environment. A sprinkler system will be top on my list for the new place. I plan on investigating the most efficient water wise systems. I know "drip" is probably the best, but just doesnt seem like it would work for me because I tend to move plants around a lot and can envision many chopped rubber hoses or tubing where there are no plant and no tubing where there should be. I have been working on my list of plants I intend to take from here. Unfortunately the list keeps getting longer and longer instead of shorter. I will take all the tree peonies, all the orienpets plus a few of my other favorite lilies, a few herbaceous peonies, a few hostas, all the woodland plants, some of the smaller shrubs and a few perennials (acanthus, dictamnus, hellebores, the newer echinaceas) and of course my 3 tree roses.
Later in the day.....

I stepped away from posting for a little while because it was drizzling outside again....big fat raindrops which made me think of that quote I posted here once:

"The next time it begins to rain... lie down on your belly, nestle your chin into the grass, and get a frog's-eye view of how raindrops fall... The sight of hundreds of blades of grass bowing down and popping back up like piano keys strikes me as one of the merriest sights in the world."
-Malcolm Margolin-

I decided I needed to go outside and test Malcolms theory. :-) You can almost "hear" the blade of grass go BOING. Malcolm is right, it really is quite merry! :-) Scout was not quite as impressed and kept on bugging me to get back into the house, so I grudgingly got up and headed in.

My girlfriends have been calling to get me to hang out with them, but Ive been so busy and just "not in the mood". So Thursday night I decided I should have them all over since Paul wasnt home and I wanted to make up for being such a poop lately. I had them all here for desserts...Crème Brulee; Pana Cotta with fresh berries & kiwi; and Chocolate Mousse with whipped crème and raspberry sauce....Yumm! It was a nice evening...filled with laughter and "life" talk and great music in the background. Sue said she was moving in and Donce & Dottie thought it was a pretty good idea too! LOL! I really enjoyed their company...girlfriends are very special and I was totally relaxed in the glow of good friendship and camaraderie. I really do love baking too and had fun making all the desserts. I have often thought how I would love to open my own little Pastaria like they have in Italy....you know, go the whole nine yards as far as atmosphere (I even have a picture of how I want the place to look) and the soft sound of great music will be in the background (of course) and I would only serve "over the top" desserts and *real* cappuccinos served in porcelain cups - not paper (except for those taking their coffee on the run). I even thought of a name for the place and would tell you Idylls, but wont say it here...just in case of other eyes...LOL! Anyway, in a few weeks we garden girls will be going to "Lake Donce". That's not really the name of the lake; we named it that in honor of our host. Im sure we will have a blast, as always. We will probably play Clue again at night (can be quite amusing when you are a little tipsy) and talk in our best "southern belle" voices while we play Clue. Dottie is from the south and she is the one who instigated this whole "southern belle" thing. For weeks after our last get together every time one of us would call the other we would talk in our best Scarlett OHara voice...LOL!

Other exciting news...next week ANITA COMES IN for a visit! :-) I had her daughter and her husband here a couple of weeks ago and it was a fun evening. Her DH is a very sweet guy, but I had always thought of him as a rather quiet type. Well he is definitely sweet and soft spoken, but I was also pleasantly surprised to find that he can definitely speak up when something matters to him like environmental and animal issues. It was a pleasant surprise to have my son show up and join us, with his Fiancé! :-) DH and son got to voicing their opinions about fuel, the environment, politics, etc. and it was getting rather rousing. I was afraid Elizabeths DH would feel uncomfortable, but I was quite tickled to see him join in on the discussion and share his opinions. He held his own very well with DH and DS. It was really interesting to hear their views and I was more than a little surprised to hear my husband voice concern about things like global warming. He has always kidded me about me being a "tree hugger" and a "chicken little", but now I think hes coming around to seeing a few things my way! :-) He has vowed that when the new better developed hybrids come out we will get one!


It's Saturday Morning and Im still writing this post....

Marian, I think youve done me proud! :-) I loved your poem, unfortunately I've been having a few more of those "stone" days than I care to admit lately...LOL! In any case the poem definitely spoke to me! :-) Have not been a lot of songs in my head or in my heart lately, but "this too shall pass." BTW your pictures are just gorgeous. I love seeing those deer, but have to admit Im glad they arent here. I have enough battles these days. The bunnies are popping out everywhere and arent the least bit shy. There are babies everywhere, which is not a good sign for next year...LOL! The chipmunks have found a pleasant summer cottage under my back deck and there is a skunk living under my front porch! He drives Scout mad and Im sure the neighbors *think* Scout has lost it. He runs up and down the front porch with his nose to the floorboards, clawing, growling and barking at the floor...anybody have any suggestions for getting rid of the skunk? Well on the positive side...I have never seen more butterflies in all the years Ive been here...its thrilling! I have identified black swallowtails, tiger swallowtails, *MONARCHS* (oh how Ive missed them), Painted Ladies, Checkered and Golden Skippers, Sulfurs, Admirals....I am totally amazed and *grateful*! I also spotted a Praying Mantis in my garden and spent quite a bit of time "watching" him. Heres a couple of pics of him:

The "praying" one is a little blurry, but you get the idea and now I understand why they call them *praying* mantises too. Oh and the toads....we have tons of toads this year. The other day I was cleaning up the garden when I happened to spot a fairly big one hiding under a rose bush. I went to move a stem over to get a better look and POP out she hops with about 5 babies hopping all around her. They were *so* cute and only about one inch long. I just wanted to pick one up and keep him for *mine*....LOL!. I *love* their little warty faces! :-) I was transported to hundreds of years ago (okay, more like 40 something) of summers spent in Wisconsin. I would play with them for hours and I guess I really was a weird little kid...but would pretend that they were my children....I bet my DS is grateful he doesnt take after his siblings...LOL! BTW, I enjoyed your separate post, though havent had a chance to comment. I was very surprised to see how *tall* Nolon is...I dont know, but for some reason I pictured him as shorter.

T I really am enjoying all the pics youve been posting lately too. Jamie is a doll, as are those sweet little twins! Sorry...I didnt realize that Jamie was their *cousin* not their brother. How was the deal on your gloves? I was thinking I would like to get a box of them myself. I have 3 pairs that I bought on sale at a Farmers Market for $2.99 a pair. Wish I would have bought more because of course, I havent seen them since. They are great gloves, good for dexterity and hold up really well.

Gorgeous pics from Bug too...I *love* the pic of the pond area, what lovely soft spoken coloring!

There are so many great photographers here. I wish I were better and would like to blame it on the camera, but Im pretty sure its just me. My pics always seem so blurry or off center and trying to get a close up is the worst.

Congratulations to Babs and Mary. How exciting (and Im sure a little nerve wracking too) to be starting new jobs/positions. In a few more weeks I will be looking for a job too. I did try to apply for one that really appealed to me (working in the library at a school). The hours were great and the pay surprisingly good.
Unfortunately, I was too late and the position was already filled. Oh well, I would have had to start by next week and that wouldnt work out with moms needs right now. I am hoping (I hope not fooling myself) that maybe mom will be able to stay home alone during the day, after all the therapy is over. She manages all the daily functions one has to do in order to get through the day and now she has the medic alert necklace too, but I dont know, the more time I spend with her, the more guilty I feel about leaving her alone. I definitely dont want her to go to a nursing home, but I would feel horrible if anything happened to her while she was all alone. Its a real conundrum. I really do need to work, at least part time, for finances as well as my sanity.

Was sorry to hear about Edens Abraham. It is *so* hard the hardest part of owning a pet, knowing that they cant be with us forever. Abraham is beautiful cat Eden (I love the picture of the two of you) and sounds like he was very special to you. Well, Im sure he knew that and what a lucky kitty too to have such a good life surrounded by people who loved and cared for him.

Honey, I have been thinking of you a lot lately. I cant imagine how hard it is to lose such a special friend. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better, but what a blessing for the both of you to have shared in this life together.

Hi Saucy...its great to see you posting! At the IU3 you were brought up more than a few times....everyone was missing you and wondering how you were and I know they are all just thrilled to have you here again. Congratulations on the weight loss...thats wonderful! I understand just what you mean "about finding someone you missed"...seems Im on that journey right now.

Hi Martie! Im anxious to start that grandmother phase myself. But, according to sons plans it will be another 5 years before I can start pestering them...LOL!

BTW, Hi Drema! Yep, DS presented his GF (I guess now Fiancé) with the ring last week. Its an vintage/antique ring (hubby says "used") but I love it and it is in unbelievable condition...looks almost brand new and *very* reasonably priced. He got a good deal. Anyway, the ring is so pretty and the DF is so happy! DS tells me shes been showing it off to everyone in her family! :-)

Deanne...congratulations on winning the contest! I am not surprised...you truly are an artist. I admire you so much and you have helped me grow in my garden more than you know. Definitely show us the pic of which one won (Im sure they could have *all* won) when you figure out which one it was. Glad to here Illustris is showing its stuff for you. I knew he would do wonderfully for you, who wouldnt with the TLC plants get at your place? I bet you anything too, that when you dig him up this fall you will find bulblets...if not, then for sure by next year. Hes a very robust grower and my favorite E.E. Heres mine doing his thing with orange impatiens and my favorite fuchsia this year Claire de Lune:

Unfortunately you cant really see her in the pic, she just got lost in the impatiens and EE, so next year I will plant her by herself in old creme colored ceramic pot next to the back door. LOL...yes, I *am* already making my container plans for next year. :-)

Cindy...you did me proud too...LOL! Be careful with those exclamation points though, they can be very contagious...LOL! I have been feeling much the same about my garden these days. Luckily the rains seemed to have perked things up a bit, but I too have been doing a lot of editing. The Verbena bonariensis re-seeded with great enthusiasm this year and I will have to do a lot of culling out, but I sure am enjoying it right now. I love the way it looks with DAs Falstaff rose. My picture didn't capture it, but the rose is surrounded in a mist of Verbena - it looks very charming in person! :-)

The Carefree roses *still* blooming. They have not been out of bloom since early June!

Anemones & Verbena in bloom:

The Verbenas are *everywhere*...LOL! I hate to do it, but I'll have to steel my heart and pull most of them before they go to seed.

Chelone just beginning to bloom:

The backyard is really getting too wild and wooly, but here are a few things Ive been enjoying...

Helenium 'Mardi Gras' and Agastache 'Blue Fortune', King Humbert Cannas, Salvia guaranitica and Rudbeckia:

Salvia guaranitica has reseeded in several spots in my garden and even though I think it will probably re-seed to return again next year, I'm bringing a few indoors for good measure. You can barely make them out but there is a large clump of them to the right in this picture, just beginning to flower:

Anyway, speaking of editing...Sue...Ive been seriously mulling over more "woody" plants and have quite a list of possibilities. Can you (or any one else who has any experience with these) tell me anything about these shrubs:

1) Abelia Golden Anniversary
2) Calycanthus Venus
3) Chameacyparis Mini-Varegated
4) Cornus alternifolia Golden Shadows
5) Cotinus coggygria Golden Spirit. (I think Monique has this one...are you happy with it Monique? Does it hold its golden foliage all season long?)
6) Deutzia Cardonnay Pearls
7) Hydrangea Midorioshi-Temari
8) Hydrangea macrophylla Cityline Berlin
9) Hydrangea Little Honey (Ive had this one on my list for a couple of years now, but hard to find locally does anyone grow this one...do you love it?)

  1. Physocarpus Coppertina (Still considering this one, but havent found it locally now there is a new one called Summer Wine which sounds even better...anyone grow either of these?)
  2. Picea mariana Nana
  3. Sambucus Black Lace
  4. Taxus Margarita (with a name like that it had to make the list...LOL!)
  5. Thuja glauca Prostrata
  6. Thuja Techny Gold
  7. Thuja Umbraculifera
  8. Weigela Eyecatcher
  9. Weigela Fine Wine
  10. Weigela Midnight Wine

Thats the short list...LOL! No, I don't expect you guys to tell me about each and every one...LOL! I really only have room for maybe 3-5 new shrubs so trying to weed through the list and hoping there are some from this list that you can recommend? BTW, I loved "The Dash".

This afternoon I didnt do anything but spend a totally selfish afternoon digging out the old cotoneasters in the island bed (what a job) and cleaning up and re-designing the island bed. I have already started to fill the empty space there with asarum europaeum, Tricyrtis 'Miyazaki Gold', Pauls Glory Hostas, Cimcifuga, epimedium niveum, a huge yellow hosta which I think is Fried Bananas (an apropos name as I *thought* it was suppose to tolerate sun, but it surely did "fry" where I had it located hope it likes it better in the island bed), some painted ferns and some other ferns (whose names Ive forgotten).. Im pretty pleased with the way it turned out considering all the plants for this area were taken from other places in my garden. The saddest comment on my gardens is that the plants that were removed from the other beds?....you wouldnt even know they were gone...LOL! I really need to edit *all* my beds. Anyway, I am also ordering some Bruces White Phlox stolonifera and I think maybe some white astilbes for the walkway in this island bed. Does anyone have a favorite white astilbe they can recommend? Im also thinking of stealing some of my Whirlwind or Honorine Jobert Anemones from other areas of my garden and putting them in this bed. Just wondering if they will do well in a fairly shady bed...mine are all in sunny beds right now, but I thought I read somewhere that they tolerate shade? Im trying to keep the island bed an all white bed and am looking for shade loving, white flowers for all seasons...any suggestions?

Im sorry I havent been posting, but life just swallows you up sometimes! That *doesnt* mean I havent missed you. I think of you all, all the time, and always wish you all the best that life has to offer. I will try to write whenever I can. Anyway, I apologize ahead of time for such an long winded post...hopefully next time I will be able to finish one short post instead combining so many of them. Anyway, I better go and post this before I reach day 4!

P.S. Hope Taryn is enjoying her new home! :-)

Bing Crosby - When Mother Nature Sings Her Lullaby

The stars come out lighting a deep blue sky
When mother nature sings her lullaby
The moon bends low kissing each rose goodnight
When mother nature sings her lullaby
Our cares and all our troubles
Will soon be put to flight
The gentle breeze of evening
Will blow them thru the night,
Each heartache gone, many new hopes are born
When mother nature sings her lullaby

P.P.S. Im linking my wish for all the Idylls. The pictures and the music are beautiful. One warning though...there is a mention of God and I wanted to state that up front because I dont want anyone to be offended, but I really wanted to post this because the words spoke to me and are "my heartfelt wishes" for you....

Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 2:33AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well we are having a good soaking rain at the moment and that is a very good thing. I can't believe that for a change the two social events we'd planned for this weekend, Friday evening and yesterday with Les and Monique, we had perfect and beautiful weather and today when we have no outdoors plans it is raining. What a treat! Speaking of social events though, between MJ's birthday dinner at CR Sparks, then the party Friday evening and yesterday's lunch with Les and Monique, I feel like I've gained 10+ pounds. Yukky! Why the heck can't I learn to eat less of everything? It isn't that I'm not aware that I'm eating too much, I just figure I'll deal with it later in the best Scarlett O'Hara fashion. Well, now it's later and I'm not too happy with that choice. Hopefully I'll remember this when I'm presented with my next opportunity to indulge in goodies. I wish I could just remember how many hours on the stairs equates that extra portion of peach cobbler. Id have to be on the Stairmaster machine for the entire day to make up for my indiscretions of the past week. Le sigh! As Da would say.

Eileen, what a treat to wake up to a nice long post from you. I really enjoy your posts so much and have been missing you. It sounds like youve really had your plate full and Im amazed at how much garden work youve accomplished with all youve got on your plate right now. It sounds like your Mom is doing better and how terrific that your DS is getting back to work. I hope she continues to do well. ~~ I totally enjoyed hearing about your evening and times spent with your girlfriends. It sounds like you have a wonderful time and are a real support group for each other. I agree that girlfriends are a real blessing and a special part of my life. Im so fortunate to have my best friends MJ and my buddy Deb U. I love your dessert evening. That sounds like so much fun and I can just see you open up a little Italian bakery. Youd be PERFECT doing that. Id make it a daily stop for my black eye coffee. Did I tell you that the ladies at my local Starbucks know me by name??? I think they start pulling my espresso when they see my car pull up. ~~ Your DS has perfect taste! That ring is a knockout! And your gardens! Oooo la la!!!! Everything looks so wonderful! Would you do me a big favor and save some Verbena bonariensis seeds for me this year. Id really love to have some for my Terrace and Sundial gardens and couldnt find any at the nurseries this year. I never get seedlings because I mulch with that composted manure in the spring so not only does it keep the weeds down it also prevents me from having verbena, columbine, etc. babies sow themselves around. ~~ Your Illustris is absolutely gorgeous with those impatiens. Mine is finally making some really huge leaves and I just love that plant. Thank you again and again for sharing with me. ~~ BTW did you check out my container thread??? The sixth photo down shows what your Illustris looked like yesterday. Also, in the 11th and 12th photo you can see that Apocalypse coleus I was raving about earlier this year. Im going to send you some of that because I know youll be over the moon with it. It has about the same substance as Blackberry Waffles and that wonderful serrated, chartreuse leaf edging that Felix has. It looks smashing next to another new favorite of mine from this year called Dianes Gold. You can see that combo in that 12th photo. Dianes Gold is shaped like Tilt-a-Whirl but is all in shades of chartreuse and lime green.

Sue, thanks for the info about the tanning lotion. I quite like all the Loreal products Ive used so Im not surprised to hear that their tanning product does a great job. ~~ I cant tell you how bummed I am that we wont be able to make it to your party next weekend :(. This wedding we are going to has been a very long time coming. Our favorite niece will be tying the knot. Dougs DS and BIL are not just family but very good friends and we MUST be there.

Wendy, what a drag about getting stung by a bee! I was stung twice last year and it hurts like the devil. Hope you dont have any residual swelling today. You put down your compost and mulch just at the right time. Isnt this a nice soaking rain we are getting today? ~~ What an absolute drag you are dealing with those awful adelgids on your hemlocks. Im dreading that day! I have to treat for so many things that I cant face having to do one more major chore like that. I think what I most resent are the da - - ed lily beetles. They changed what used to be an effortless gorgeous plant for the borders into a major maintenance nightmare. I started removing all my Asiatic and Oriental lilies from the gardens then began replanting because I missed them so much. I will have to get rid of them at some point though. I cant imagine being able to keep up with them forever. ~~ No I still havent heard which container won the contest. I probably should email them and find out so I can give that one a bit more TLC before they come and do the photos for the newspaper.

Marian, like yourself I was saddened by JDs untimely death. And I agree with you that I am so fortunate to have heard him in person. He was an amazing talent.

OK I guess it is time for me to drag my overstuffed self to the gym and work off some of these excess calories. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 8:52AM
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Good morning!!

Ei -- All good thoughts are being sent toward your mom and her new pal David :-) Sounds like you're doing everything you can for her. Don't let the guilt get to you! If you're like me, you could be with her 24/7 and still feel guilty about something :-)

And your DF's ring is perfectly stunning! I love engagement rings that are something other than diamonds, though one can never have enough of those, IMHO of late.

Deanne: Ummmm, does this mean that we're taking you to Subway for lunch on Friday? Hope Not!!! Perhaps we could do a dessert lunch??? Rich says if Doug can't get the day off that's really okay since taking two ladies to lunch is never a bad thing. I would so like to meet him, though. I've heard nothing but wonderful things. I actually have some treats to bring! It's exciting to have plants to "give back" after the long hiatus.

Yes, I must've killed the New England Garden Forum last night, but trust me when I tell you it was for very good reason. Several emails went back and forth after I left my post here and I must say that GW was very responsive with handling the situation in a timely way. Learned that it is their policy when something like this is posted to pull the whole forum and run it through to see if anything else got tucked in. Good to know for the future. Nothing more was in NE, so the forum is back up less the offending post and my warning. For a Saturday night, I can't help but be impressed with their concern to get things back on track for the regular posters. There are humans at Garden Web !!

Last night got 1" of very welcome rain. No watering for the next few days is a luxury after some very long dry spells. Also glad that it will be clearing for the get together tonight. I'll be making fruit kabobs with two dipping sauces and fresh blueberry cake from an ancient recipe that can't be beat.

My fav grocery store is under renovation and if I don't get there early, I'll be in the deli line (I don't eat the stuff, just buy it) for an hour. Will probably check back in later.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 9:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm enjoying following along with all your posts my friends! Just not much time to contribute! I've been having fun doing wedding stuff but NOT fun dealing with basement mildew stuff.
Two weeks to go til wedding day! Exciting, but getting the pets organized, packing things up etc is a chore.

Cool & rainy here, but not a deep rain unfortunately.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 9:17AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Ei, I don't think I ever told you-maybe it was because I didn't put two and two together at the time but the corporate headquarters of Paul's company are just a couple of towns over from me. So if you ever decide to come here we could be neighbors. I can see why you want to stay local at this time between your mom and sis. It sounds like things are looking up for everyone on that front.

On your tree and shrub list I have a general comment or two right off the bat. In zone 5 stay away from any Hydrangea macrophylla cultivar. Most of them are not reliably bud hardy even in zone 6. The year you buy it will no doubt be the last time you see it bloom. Check out Hydrangea serrata though-lacecap flowers and a bit hardier. I planted three this year-'Blue Billow', 'Woodlander' and 'Miyama yae Muraski'. I also have 'Blue Bird' and 'Preziosa'. Can you tell I like these? lol You may have the same problem with Abelia. In a normal winter, it's a dieback shrub for me. On the upside, the regular Abelia grandiflora is completely hardy here and blooms and prospers and fairly heavy shade. I planted Silver Anniversary this year but put it in the patio garden where it tends to be zone 7. I've had no luck with one called Tequila Sunrise. Monique found 'Little Honey' this year but my quest continues into year 3. At least now I can see how hers does-maybe it will end up coming off my list.

Sambucus 'Black Lace' is new to me this year but appears to have potential. IMO, the foliage is much more attractive than the other dark leafed Sambucus that has been popular for a couple of years. I like Wiegelas-you can't go wrong. They flower for a long time and come in all sorts of colored and variegated foliage combos. Midnight Wine is great for tucking in small places where you need a shot of purple foliage. I just bought another one on sale for $9. They don't seem to be all that vigorous but they grow and bloom.

Cornus alterifolia gets quite large and from what I understand needs alot of shade. I have Cornus controversa 'Janine' and she is doing quite well at the back of a shady shrub border.

Physocarpus 'Coppertina' is intriguing but I don't have room for another Physocarpus. Next spring I need to coppice my 'Diablo' to bring it back in check. I have been less than impressed with P. 'Summer Wine'. It's floppy unlike Diablo. If both my Musa basjoo and Crepe Myrtle make it through the winter I'll have to move it out of the patio bed anyway so I can move the banana over a few feet.

Some others you might want to consider:

Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic'-a purple leafed Harry Lauder Walking Stick. I love this one already and haven't even enjoyed the winter interest yet.

Indigofera heterantha-for me to rave about something that blooms pink says alot but this first year shrub that I got mail order from Fairweather Gardens has been blooming for months. It may be borderline hardy for you but if you have a protected spot...

Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire'-yes it does bloom 6 weeks earlier than most H. paniculatas and the flowers have now turned a deep pink/burgandy color. I may replace my 'Limelight' with this one as Limelight put out a wierd growth spurt this year and then flopped all over the place under the weight of the flowers. It's hard to appreciate the flowers on a back of the border plant when they are lying on the ground.

Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lemon Wave'-I know I said no macrophyllas but this is an exception. The foliage is so bold (green, yellow and white) you wou't care if it flowers. Due to a mild winter mine actually are flowering this year.

Kerria japonica 'Picta'-another one that grows and blooms in both crappy soil and a fair amount of shade. The usual Kerria flowers in the spring, green and white variegated foliage and bright green stems for winter.

Am I giving tou more than you asked for? lol

Good morning everyone!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 9:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Quickly for Ei:

-My Abelia is the pits....
-My Cotinus Golden Spirit stay yellow always. It is a slow grower but beautiful. I bought 2! Monique has a beauty too.
-I love my 2 hydrangea Limelight. They are still young, and if they do flop, that will be fine in my location.
-Sambucus velvet cloak is new here too. It has grown well and has very nice lacy foliage. The foliage is dark but the new growth is greenish until it matures.
-All physocarpus reseed. The coppertina is an offshoot of Diablo, just more orangy. I have not seen it, but friends who have say it isn't all that different from the Diablo.
- Still my favourite is my 3 year old Tiger Eye sumac. It is slowly increasing in size, has had no suckering at all, and is gorgeous! It is going to be changing colour soon!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 11:24AM
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Hi everyone, not much of interest going on here. Thanks for all of your kind words concerning Abraham. I thought I'd chime in with some thoughts on Ei's list...

I love deutzia chardonney pearls. And the pearls have such nice fragrance too.

I've also got the thuja techny gold though mine's still quite small but someday it will be quite a beauty.

I'm a big hydrangea fan too. I've got Annabelle, Little Lamb, Limelight, Lemon Wave and two new ones this year, Bluebird and Pink Diamond. One I'm not so impressed with is Endless Summer. It hasn't lived up to my expectations at all. I've tried to get Little Honey for the last couple of years too with no success so far. I'd add many more hydrangeas to my collection if I had the room!

I agree with Sue and love my corylus red majestic though it's new for me this year.

I can't say I'm in love with the sambucus black lace though. I have one I planted last year and it always looks floppy and messy to me. I'd much rather have a nice japanese maple in it's place instead and probably will replace it with one eventually. I much prefer my sambucus black beauty.

My favorite this year isn't a shrub but a new tree, my stewartia pseudocamellia. I also really like the cercis covey I put in this spring but am a little worried about it making it through the winter.

If I can make room I'd like to fit in one of Marie's Tiger Eyes. I need to use a coupon I have for $65 and I think that's what it will be used for if it's available.

Don't want to waste this perfect gardening day so I'm off to play in the dirt. TT"YL, Eden

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 1:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all, Doug and I are just hanging out and chilling out today. We did a nice long workout at the gym and decided to kick back and enjoy doing nothing for the rest of the day. What a concept. LOL (I never just read a book or chill out so we'll see if I can do this for the rest of the afternoon.)

Bug that Tiger Eye is a beauty and if it continues to do that well for you with no suckering I'm going to have to find a spot for one. How tall is yours now?

Eileen, I have a Picea orientalis 'Bergman's Gem' that is a gem. I love it. The dwarf spruces are all wonderful in my book. Another favorite I picked up this year is a Pinus parviflora 'Arnold Arboretum Dwarf'.

The dwarf pine is in the middle left of this photo and the dwarf spruce on the lower left. Sue and Monique have postively influenced me to include more woody shrubs in the borders and I have to admit that I love the structure it gives the borders.

Martie, no probably not Subway, LOL but I'll have to give it some thought. I asked Doug to work from home that day so he can meet you. I hope it works out.

OK I'm off to read a book or something.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 1:22PM
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For the moment I will just say "I'm Back!" Looks like alot has gone on while I was gone. We didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. this morning because of a flat tire and to think we were only about an hour from home.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 2:21PM
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Well, Deanne's container garden thread inspired me to get out and do some much needed work on my container gardens. I had to go by the nursery and get a replacement for my deschampsia northern lights too. Does anyone else have this grass and if so did yours revert to solid green? I've been reading up on it and it seems that it's quite common for this grass. I like it enough to keep replacing it every few years regardless. I thought you all might like to see a recent picture of Bella. These were taken last week.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 7:27PM
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I almost forgot, I wanted to say Welcome Back Michelle! We missed you!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 7:29PM
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Bella is a beauty, Eden!

Michelle, welcome back!

Ei, loved your post!

!!!! :o) Just one of those !!!! kind of Idylls ;o)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 8:30PM
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Eden that is a precious picture of Bella.

Marian, I'm sorry to hear about Tim's friend. My thoughts will be with them both.

Ei, I loved your long post. I know you have a lot going on right now. As Honey does, I hope you find solace in your garden.

T, those grandsons are all adorable. Did Boo go crazy when you released him?

Michelle glad you are back. Bummer about the flat tire.

I guess Mary is in CA now. I am curious who Marys DH celeb friend is.

Drema I imagine Dev was quite proud of his mechanics. What did you score at the nurseries?

Wendy , alone time is nice for a short while but I bet you will be happy to have the gang back home huh?

Cindy we had some much needed rain this morning. I took advantage of being in the house and cleaned so I wouldn't have to waste outdoor time doing it. Then like Deanne I kicked back this afternoon and read the Idylls. Took all afternoon Since I hadn't been here for most of the week.

I too have been cleaning up in the garden. I still have lots more to do, but it looks better already. We put down some grass seed in the front yard that has been a dust bowl since I started those new gardens last year. Had to fence it off from the dogs though because that had become their favorite spot to lay. It actually is growing already. It is a dappled shade area so I think it might make it,if we can get some good growth on it before the leaves start to fall.

Oh yes, the no new beds theory didn't last either. Bob was putting in a berm to divert some of the water runoff we have from the driveway and there is a big oak tree on one end and a dogwood on the other. First I was just going to do a bed around the dogwood then decided it wood be better to make it all the way across to the oak so we would'nt have to mow over the berm. LOL. Anyway it gets a little bit of morning sun and then high shade the rest of the day. Perfect for hostas and such. Just what I needed. Another bed to care for. I have it staged with several plants from the ghetto and some container flowers though and it really will add to the overall look of the front gardens so I'm happy about it.

I can't remember what all I read now, so am going to post this before I lose it. N

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 9:17PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Despite the steambath conditions around here today, we got alot done. Tom dug out an area next to the driveway and garage that has been an eyesore for a variety of reasons so we can fill it with river rock and top with bluestone squares. Water runs off the driveway into this area so we're hoping the stone will allievate the occasional muddy mess we get in this spot. I want to put some trough gardens there as well as a container or two.

I cut my way through another overgrown, weedy garden this afternoon and got it ready for fresh mulch. I also got my annual pot ghetto down to just a half dozen or so recently rooted cuttings and uppotted a couple of tropicals. This morning I browsed at the local outdoor mall and tonight I went for an hour jaunt around town followed by a quick trip to the grocery store. We had our fresh corn and swordfish for dinner. Now I'm toasted and ready for bed. Another weekend bites the dust. Where do they go? I have a busy week coming up-meetings, computer training and other scheduled events that will keep me from being productive.

Welcome back Michelle! How was the trip?

Eden, what a great bunch of pictures of Bella and the garden. Have you chosen any of them for prints? I like #79. She will be so thrilled to have these 20 or 30 years from now.

Good night everyone!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 9:35PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, I LOVE those pics of Bella! So many expressions. Did she ever get what she was reaching for on the tubs? I love the one of her splashing in the water in the leaf birdbath.
The first pic looks like the 'caught in the act' expression...:-) And the one of her getting a kiss from grandpa is great. She is a sweetie!

Whoooie, I drove home in a torrential rain this evening! Could hardly see the road at points. When we got to the Short Stop I stopped and went in to see if we were under a tornado warning. Besides, I was concerned that there may be trees down along the county road. Neither was the case, and we got home fine. It apparently wasn't as heavy in our immediate area, but we did get another inch or more of rain. The head of our driveway held...no gully to navigate.

Michelle, good to have you home and okay. Sorry about the flat tire.

Eileen, what a nice post from you! I can't add anything to the advice on your list of plants. With my poor acid soil, nothing would be the same here.
LOL on laying down in the grass to see the rain bend the blades. I would end up covered with chiggers from head to toe!
Your mom is a corker! It's great that she has such a good sense of humor. I think I see it reflected in you. :-)
Re: numbness in limbs...I am having it in both legs and feet. I will ask the Arthritis Dr about it next monday (28th). It can be very disturbing. I hope your mom gets hers taken care of. As for carpel tunnel surgery, I do know women who have had it, but I don't know how satisfied they are. ( I should have asked the one in our congregation this eve...but naturally I forgot!)
I'm so happy you are having outings with your girl friends, and that Anita is coming to visit. How excited you must be!
Neat pics of the preying mantis. I need to watch for one.
Beautiful ring for your future DIL! ( All sorts of exciting things going on in your life! ) Your flower beds are so pretty. Mine are total disasters!

I hope there are none of 'us' that are still having drought conditions. I am sooo happy with the rains we have had this month.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 10:06PM
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Thanks for missing me. The vacation was very relaxing and fun. This is probably pathetic, but the vacation ended up being fairly garden related. On the way out we went to the Green Bay, WI Botanical Garden. The highway we were on was within a ½ mile of it. We had to stop didnt we? LOL On the peninsula, there were gardens everywhere. Many of the shops had gardens out front. Some were actually quite nice. I had heard a segment on Rebeccas Garden about how Door County is promoting gardening for tourism. We went to the Shops of the Green Gables and the gardens there were extensive with a creative use of plants and more than just your more common plants. The gardener actually gave weekly tours and lectures. We went back just for that. On the way home we went to visit Ricks son in Minneapolis and since he lives just down the road from the arboretum, we couldnt just drive past. Rick is such a good sport. I actually think he enjoys it more than he admits. Maybe I'll put some pictures on a separate thread later.
My gardens look like they are on steroids. Especially the annuals. After little rain during June and July, we had over 4 inches before we left and another inch while we were gone. As I put some of the containers back in place they got a good pruning. Does anyone else have coleus Plum Frost? I pruned so much of that out, I had it in several containers and it is a monstrous coleus.

Eden, those pictures are beyond precious. Last summer I did a bunch of pics of Kenzie in my garden and got some really cute ones. I should try to do it annually. Somewhere I saw where this woman took a picture of her granddaughter on the same bench in her garden every year. The granddaughter is now grown and it was cool to see how the garden matured along with the little girl.

Marie, I must thank you for your earlier pictures of the Tiger Eyes that convinced me to get one. I bought that and a sambucus Sutherland Gold, but so far I am much happier with the Tiger Eyes. I seem to get burned edges on the Sutherland Gold, but the Tiger Eyes looks fabulous.

There is so much to comment on, but Im beat. I havent even read everything. So goodnight all. Ill be back tomorrow if I dont get buried by the avalanche that is bound to be on my desk at work tomorrow.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 11:23PM
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What a wonderful way to start a week! Bella is just beautiful and so full of curiosity. I notice a fairy garden in the making and am thrilled that you found a place to tuck it in, Eden.

Welcome back, Michelle. Sounds like you have a DH who truly "gets it" and is beyond the point of "they'll be less hassle if we stop than if we don't take the hour and go." LOL

Marian: Glad for no tornadoes or downed trees. When I see strong storm warnings around my friends' areas I hold my breath. Hope your back relaxes a bit...

Sue - Steambath describes it perfectly. I started to weed a bit and gave up. Even with the rain those roots are pulling like they're in concrete and I was in full-sweat mode after only about 10 minutes. Your week sounds, well, computer trainingish and I know you'd much rather be getting dirty. We got final word on a family gathering including out-of-towners and won't be able to make your party. Drat! One of these days!

Norma - In my old garden I had a huge oak tree and tried to underplant it, only to discover that oak roots are much like maple roots and tend to get in the way. Ended up literally sawing some of the smaller ones away to fit stuff in but it didn't hurt the tree in the least. To my mind there is nothing that says "summer relaxation garden" more than a full oak with flush hosta.

Eeks! Saw the time and must scoot. Hope to "see" everyone again, soon!


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 7:27AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well it is a lovely sunny morning today with temps in the mid 60s. Ive got lots to do today. Ive got to get myself motivated to get back downstairs and get some work done. Ive got a couple seminars to prepare for and a magazine article to paint for. I also need to have another long workout at the gym. Time to do my abs workout, an hour on the Stairmaster and upper body weight training.

Michelle, great to have you back. So sorry about the flat tire. That must have been such a drag. How neat about your garden related activities during your vacation. You have lots of pics???? Hmmmm???? ~~ Yes I do have Plum Frost and it does get pretty gargantuan by this time of the year.

Eden, Oh my! That Bella is a doll! I just love those photographs. ~~ How neat you had time to work with your containers. I find they always need a lot of deadheading and pinching back this time of the year. Im actually really enjoying my fuchsia and coleus as well as a few containers with no flowers at all this year. They are easier to maintain and still have a lot of impact. I realized that Ive got quite a few containers this year that are all foliage.

Norma, neat that you made another bed. Ive found that my foliage heavy shade area next to the shed requires very little maintenance compared to the flower filled terraces. If you do the hosta etc. plantings there it will probably be less work to take care of than lawn grass.

Sue, I cant seem to stop myself from rooting coleus cuttings. Yesterday the rain and wind broke my lovely Fireworks coleus. I lost about five or six large stems so they are all in water at the moment. Where oh were am I going to put them??? LOL

Marian, how great youve had some good soaking rains.

Morning Martie, Im enjoying reading your AM posts again. Glad you are back on a regular basis.

OK Ive got to get rolling here. Im going to post a separate thread with pics from yesterday after the rain. I love the fresh washed look of everything after a day of summer rains.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 8:22AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, things sure perked up while I was gone maybe I should go away more often....! whew....

Lucky idyllers who are visiting Gardenbug how exciting hope you have lots of fund & pics for us lurkers... bug you should have some good tales & photos of the big event by then! Maybe you guys can convince bug to show her place to a few more in a larger group one summer (hint, hint!! LOL).

Martie it sounds like youve moved into a very wonderful friendly neighborhood thats so comforting isnt it? Sounds like youre on the way to making many new friends and youll be plant swapping before you know it!

Drema I know youre having a blast camping & nursery hopping how was Girards? Ive heard so much about it hope to see it some day.

Babs congrats on passing the course, we all knew you would w/ flying colors!! I think the idea of creative, pretty lab coats are a terrific idea hope you post some pics of what you come up with.

Well, I came from the parent visit and still no rain... what is with that? Everyone else seems to get it but this area... all the big expectations just fizzle away stuff is looking very sad.

Marian sounds like Gardenbug gave wonderful advice to pass along to Tim he wont regret it & it will help him not think about his own problems, which also seem so small (the usual "life" ones) as opposed to a friend whos nearing the end and knows it...

O, Deanne I cant believe you would just "hoik" a peony! LOL theres bound to be a worthy soul around. Boy, wish I lived closer when you were into hoiking, LOL.... Martie, I hope you load up on all hoiked stuff from Deannes talk about turning "trash" into treasure!!!! Congrats on the container win how could you NOT win!! They are all so terrific.

Wendy it sounds like you were having one of those "ooops" gardening days hope nothing hurts too much today.

Ei Im so glad to hear your Mom and sis are feeling better its a load off your mind isnt it? Great to see your long post & many congrats on the new future family member the ring is gorgeous !! I love non-traditional rings myself.

Hi, Michelle
Hi to other vacationing idyllers or "tired" returnees.

Ok. off to the offc work Monday is hitting me over the head.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:23AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Evening Idylls!

You guys are the greatest...I knew you would have some helpful suggestions for me! :-) What exquisite taste all we Idylls have...LOL! Bug...I saw that Tiger Eye at a nursery a few weeks ago and almost scooped it up, but thought I should find out a little more about it before an impulsive purchase....it *is* gorgeous! Will have to find out more about it. Good to hear the Golden Spirit stays a nice yellow! Ill have to check out that Velvet Cloak too.

Sue...Wouldnt that be great, if we ended up out by you? What are your winters like? I was aware of the corporate h.q. by you. Funny, not too long ago DH was going to apply for an opening there, but found out through the grapevine that many "in house" had applied for the position as well and naturally "in house" is given first consideration. He didnt apply as he didnt feel he would have a good shot at it. Thanks so much for all your great suggestions and especially for the frank opinion on Black Lace (you too Eden)...now at least thats one I can scratch off my list. Sorry to hear Summer Wine is floppy...I definitely dont need another messy plant. Maybe I will still keep on the hunt for Coppertina though. I have added Corylus avellana 'Red Majestic' to my list...sounds like a winner, good to know both you and Eden love it. I have always admired Harry Lauder anyway. Googled R.M. and it *is* a beauty...I *love* that burgundy foliage with a sheen! :-) Do you know if you have to keep after it like regular Harry Lauder? I mean, always cutting out all the "straight" stems? Oh well, no matter...it has so much going for it that I know I would love it anyway. Is it fairly new? I could only find sources for it from England. Where did you get yours? Thanks for reminding me about the blooms and zone hardiness of Hydrangea macrophyllas....Oh well, maybe in the next house! :-) I hope Little Honey proves itself (hope Monique will keep us apprised) cause from the pics Ive seen of it I think this is a plant I could fall in love with...I love quercifolias! I will check out that inidigofera too. You gave me a chuckle cause you probably didnt notice but I actually have your Lemon Wave and 3 Kerria Pictas. Well, who could blame you for not noticing, my gardens are pretty busy...but Im working on it. ;-) Anyway, I purchased Hydrangea Lemon Wave early this spring after reading your glowing reports of it. I love my Lemon Wave (Thank You!) but mine is still pretty small. Im really happy with it and wouldnt mind getting another 1 or 2 or 3...LOL!:

I have had my Kerria pictas for about 3 years. They didnt do much the first couple of years, but once I moved them to a slightly sunnier location, they really put on a growth spurt. In fact, they are in need of a pruning. My pic doesnt do the shrub justice, it really is a very classy and delicate little shrub. I think they have and a kind of "Japanese Feel" to them. Hey, did you know they have offshoots hidden under their kind of weepy foliage? Im going to try to take one of the offshoots and plant it near the pond as a specimen shrub. I think it will really shine there. :-)...

Glad to hear that Weigela Midnight Wine stays small....it would be a perfect plant to fill the need of those "low growing" plants Im always looking for....I have a few places I could tuck that one in.

Whoo Hoo Deanne! Thanks for the gorgeous pic of the evergreens. Evergreens for the garden are right at the top of my list of "needs"! I love all your evergreens...well actually I love everything about your gardens! Have you ever considered being a photographer for gardening catalogs? LOL, I should be your agent, Im always finding to ways to exploit your talents....LOL! I cant help it...you are just too darned talented Deanne! :-) Anyway, what is that other evergreen in your pic that has the "thread like" foliage? The one in the upper right hand corner of your pic? BTW, I really enjoyed your Container Thread this a.m. :-) I couldnt wait to peek at it! Am anxious to look at your After the Morning Rain one too, but that will have to wait until I come home this evening. I want to give it my full attention and appreciation! :-) Laughed about the Starbucks ladies...yea mine know me too well too...LOL! Will definitely save some Verbena seed for you Deanne, as I have had a bumper crop! BTW that Apocalypse sure is a beauty. Thanks for offering to share, I know I would love it. Gardeners sure are a generous lot; aren't they? Every coleus you have ever sent has been "my favorite"...LOL! Although I must say Felix was my first, so he will always have a special place in my heart! :-)

Thanks Eden for all your help. I know I will love anything you love! :-) You have a Stewartia? I have always lusted for that tree it is a *gorgeous* thing, but thought they wouldnt do well by me. Cant remember whether it was an acid thing or a zone thing? Anyway, I hope you can share pics of yours and you will have to let me know how it does for you. Ive also always lusted after a Franklinia alatamaha...well maybe some day. Ive got Endless Summer and Annabelle too. Endless Summer has been floppy for me too (just when it is in bloom) and not anywhere near as gorgeous as Deannes looks. Could be I just havent found the right location for it. I love my Annabelle, although she is a monster of a shrub and needs extra watering in my garden...but those huge balls of flowers are *wonderful* for dried flower arrangements and I would keep her around for that reason alone! :-) Thanks for sharing the Bella pics! Oh that first one...she looks just like a little fairy in the garden! Eden...when you have nothing better to do (LOL) you have to make her a flower fairy outfit, with one of those cute little flower fairy hats (Im thinking Cicely May Barker) and take THOUSANDS of pics of her in the garden to share here. :-) She is just too cute for words! I agree with Marian...that picture of her splashing in the birdbath is adorable! Aww...and sniffing the flowers. Laughed in that one picture...is she yelling "Grandma!"? :-) Love all the black and white pics too...especially the last one because you cant tell when it was taken...looks like it could be a very old picture. I love that look! Anyway, they are all keepers and Bella will cherish them as she gets older.

Hi Marian! Meant to say how sorry I was to hear about Tims friend. He sure has had a couple of rough years. I hope that their will be brighter days ahead. I know his mom will look out for him! :-) Marian, if you remember next time, I would love to hear about your friends experience with the surgery. Im just concerned that it may not be worth all the trouble for mom, especially at her age. On the other hand, I dont want her to suffer with the pain if she doesnt have to. So glad you are having regular rains now...hope we get some more here! Thanks for the kind words about my garden...you are such a boost to ones morale! :-)

Norma yes the garden is a comfort and a joy...even when its work; isnt it? :-)

Hi Michelle! So good to see you and nice that you had fun on your trip. What a bummer about the tire though...how frustrating! Did you arrive home so late because of the flat tire? Thank goodness DH was riding with you! So glad you two made it home safely.

LOL Martie...you hit the nail on the head. Yep, I think we must be a lot alike. :-) Thanks about DSs DFs ring. I agree, I wouldnt mind a diamond myself. I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring about a year after we were married and it wasnt insured (at the time it wasnt something we could spend penny wise, pound foolish). Anyway DH has never replaced it, but Im hoping some day on one of our anniversaries he might just surprise me with another wedding ring (diamond or not)! :-) I hint...but I dont just want to come right out and tell him to get me another wedding ring or replace the stone in the one I have...the sentimental/romantic side of me wants it to be *his* idea. Hope springs eternal...LOL!

Well, I better be going, Im off to Curves and then to spend the day with mom. I would love to post pics of the island work Ive been doing. I can already see a vast improvement, but Ill have to wait to share until I have more free time.

P.S. Good Morning Martie & Deanne! Will have to catch up with all of you later!

Have a great day all and TTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:40AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oops! Just checking to make sure my post made it and now I see Cindy too! :-) Good morning Cindy...so good to see you and all the other early morning pals! "We're all in our places, with bright shiny faces! :-) Catch up with all of you later! Ei

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:42AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Me again...LOL! Sorry to confuse all of you...that should have been "Good Morning Idylls", can you tell I started that post last night? Okay, I'm off! Ei

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:45AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! Remember me? The last several days have just screamed by and this is just a brief drive-by. We had a great luau party here for the social group from our church on Saturday and now I am in the process of "thinning out" the household. The Urban Assault Vehicle was removed Sunday afternoon (traded in as part of the new vehicle purchase a couple of weeks ago) and the son was shipped off to school about the same time. Now we are in the process of shipping off the daughter! I take her to school tomorrow but I have today off to do a zillion last minute things.

Having said that, I need to run and shower so we can get on the way. It may be a couple of days before I'm back!

Missing you all,


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:49AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just snuck back for lunch break

Wow, Eden what gorgeous photos of Bella in the garden!! There are a few there that I thought, hmm, I see Grandma there.... So magical both the child and the garden!

Ei I just put in the abelia (Confetti/ couldnt locate silver anniversary but very nice coloration), deutzia and sambucus youve got listed this past year so far so good altho Ill say I agree w/ Eden that the Sambucus Black lace seems very floppy (altho it grew about 2 feet this summer). I had put the floppyness down to its site location Ive been debating moving it or staking it in the fall to see what happens.... I also want to locate one of the variegated sambucus again (my Pulverenta bit the dust late this summer when I moved it, bummer... so Im thinking I may try the one Trudi has in her garden, the "nigra variegata").
I also like the hydrangea serrratas like Sue (I have Preziosa and Komachi, aka Pretty Maiden); part of that is that more of them seem to stay "smaller" altho the Preziosa is definitely 4 feet tall and wide in 4 years takes brutal sun sometimes too & looks okay. Also like Eden I have Annabelle (which I love) and got Endless Summer this year which is not thrilling me either so far... maybe next year when its settled in it will be happier.

Re white astilbe I have on my "want" list "Bridal Veil" read somewhere that it was supposed to be long-blooming but cannot vouch for that. I have "White Gloria" but it did not last very long in the big blast of early heat I had when it started blooming this year... it was a bit disappointing.

Boy from so quiet, this thread has gone gang-busters I am not thru reading or reviewing or linking yet.... too much at one time!

Neat about all the "mini" unions taking place fall will be a great time to check out late garden ideas North Hill in VT should be fantastic. I think its great you manage to get together so often to hang w/ mutual "enablers"!!!

Norma, sounds like you made lots of progress in the yard! Whew, I havent done a thing recently what w/ traveling and heat!

Okie dokie I better eat & get back to work.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 1:22PM
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Good afternoon, We've had a lovely day here today. The weather is just gorgeous. I've been playing around with the container gardens and after all my pruning and chopping they're looking a little worse for the wear. That's what I get for neglecting their grooming sessions though. I know they'll look fine in a week or so. I stopped at a local nursery this morning and they have so many beautiful pots of annuals at great prices. I'm tempted to go back and grab a bunch of pots to tuck into the garden for color for the rest of the season. I was checking to see if they had a Tiger Eye Sumac and they did have some really nice ones. I hope they're still there when my coupon can be used on Sept 1.

Michelle, I'd love to see some pictures from your garden vacation. Bummer about the flat, but at least you were fairly close to home.

Martie, maybe I'll try my hand at wintersowing some petunias this year. If I could grow ones that look as beautiful as yours I'd like them better. I have a few little miniature gardens scattered around the garden Martie. I posted some pics a while ago but it must have been when you were absent. The latest one I did is a giant tea cup with a tea party in it. I have a table with a tiny tea set and four little chairs in it sitting on a mat of wooly thyme. Oh and it also has a tiny little windchime that says "My Garden" hanging on a little shepherds hook. I love little things, especially little chairs and miniature plants.

Cindy, hope you get rain soon. I don't think there's anything more discouraging for a gardener than drought conditions. That's just the worse!

Hi Norma, I'm jealous that you get to put in a new garden bed. I'm at the point where I just have to keep fine tuning the old ones.

Ei, I love the engagement ring. I'm not much of a jewelry person but I'd love a ring like that. My wedding ring is a simple gold band. That's what my grandma had and was just what I wanted and still love. Your idea of Bella in a fairy costume in the garden made me smile. She's quite the character these days. She was just loving having free rein of the gardens during the photo shoot. By the time it was over she was so wet and muddy, lol.

Speaking of being known at your local coffee shop...dd Jennifer manages the Caribou I frequent so it's not surprising that I'm known there but this summer on Saturday's I always stop at the same donut shop on my way home from the farmer's market and get a maple stick. The last few weeks the girl's had it in the bag and ready to hand to me without me saying a word. Not a good sign of weight control when someone knows your donut order by memory!

V, no kids in the house until Christmas! You and dh will be just like newlyweds!

Marian, I'm so glad you made it home safely in the downpour. I'm also glad you've been getting some rains finally, just hope they're gentle from now on, especially when you're out driving.

Sue, since you've got your gardens in top shape for your party this weekend could we see some pictures? You've been a little stingy with them this year and your garden is always so much fun to see, one of my all-time favs! Beg, beg....

T, how are those grandboys of yours doing?

I've got to be somewhere in an hour so I guess I'd better go wash some of this garden mud off of me and make myself presentable. TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 5:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am reveling in all the wonderful rain we are getting. In the past 2 days we have accumulated almost 3 inches! This is SO unusual for August. It started out today around 2PM,as a pretty blustery,noisy, storm, but settled down to a long drizzle.
Cindy, I am so sorry that you are still having a dry spell.
That isn't at all normal there is it?


    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 9:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well it is 58 degrees out this morning and Im going to have to wear a sweater to go and water the gardens. I just love it! For some reason Ive always loved sweater weather. Cool enough that you need one but not cold enough for a coat. My kind of weather. It is supposed to get up to the mid 80s by this afternoon but the rest of the week should be in the 70s. Can this really be August? It really does feel more like Sept. weather but Im not complaining as Sept. weather is my very favorite of the year.

Doug has his final appointment with the foot surgeon this morning and Im going along to see how things have progressed. Im hoping he can start PT this week and really get his mobility back.

Cindy, I cant believe you are still in a drought situation. That is just terrible. We had a summer like that a couple years ago and it is beyond discouraging. ~~ I wish you were closer so I could send some of my hoiked plants in your direction. When Im in to digging things out they are out the door. I always feel sort of bad about it but if I dont have anyone to give them to I need to compost them.

Eileen, that would really be great if you wound up near Sue because that would mean youd be near me too! And Monique and Wendy. You guys could join us for all our local get togethers. Now that would be a blast. ~~ That Kerria of yours is lovely. Im going to have to dig out the front yard just to accommodate all the new shrubs you all are exposing me to. I know youd love those dwarf evergreens but to tell you the truth, I wouldnt invest in them if you are planning on moving because they are terribly expensive. Ill appreciate the Verbena seeds. Im glad you like that Apocalypse. I know you are going to love it even better than Felix.

Hi V. how terrific to hear from you. Ill bet youve been busy with getting DD off to school.

Eden, also great to hear from you! I"ve missed your posts in the last couple weeks. I know your containers will look tip top in a short time. It really doesnt take them long to fill in once you pinch them out. Sometimes I give them a bit of a liquid feed after pinching them back to stimulate some new growth. I agree about the Tiger Eye Sumac. Im going to have to look for that and then look for a place to plant it. LOL ~~ Oh yes, I had a chuckle over your being known at your local donut shop. You are too funny.

Marian, how great that you are still getting some rain. Ill bet things are greening up and that the critters can forage away from your house now.

OK times up. I have to get things watered so I can go with Doug to his Drs appt. at 8:30

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 7:22AM
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Hi Everyone! I went to Girard's Nursery Saturday to preview it for those of you who said that it was a great place. It was very nice, and their display gardens were very cool too. Much smaller than Rich's at Foxwillow Pines, these were much shadier. Well, actually I can't say that, because it was pouring down rain, so I don't know for sure. Anyway, the people were very nice. They had a huge Lotus I wanted for $40, but I didn't get it, because Skip and I have come up with a plan, and I have to stick to that. The pond is actually in pretty good shape plant-wise, and I have so many other areas I need to work on. The main thing I need to do is get clear out the underbrush and get rid of a bunch of Poison Ivy along the sides of my lot. So I can't get sidetracked by Lotus. I didn't buy anything, because I wasn't quite sure where to start, what to get, what was right for my space. It is so much easier to buy a perennial plant than woody things. Maybe that is why I don't have many. I need help and advice. Plus I really want one of those Abies Koreana with the dark cones. They sell them at Arrowhead Alpines... Now I am thinking of going up there and pick one up. Theirs are grafted. Is that okay? Camping was fun, it did rain all the time though. Funny how it doesn't bother me like it used to. I think it is because I am outside so much more now, waiting on the train station platform, walking to work, walking all over the campus, etc.

Eileen, you are a planning woman! One thing I did buy while out there this weekend was a Peony Sarah Bernhardt. I think it was a picture of yours that inspired me.

Eden, Bella is ADORABLE. I just love little girls in dresses. They are so cute. Can you take some pics of your garden after you get it ready for the tour?

'Bug, so the countdown to the fun begins! I can't wait to see pictures:)

Deanne, I'm with you on the weather. This is so nice, great for working outside in the yard. I have a number of things I want to move, so am looking forward to the cooler temps. One of them is Sambucus Niger. I can't even see it anymore because the other things around it grew high. Perfect example of incorrect siting for a plant. (I have bunches of those) Hope all goes well with Doug's checkup. I bet you are glad that is out of the way now. I am searching at Sam's Club for your designs:)

Hi V! I hope all goes well with taking your DD to school. How exciting! New chapter begins...

Cindy, any rain yet?

Must run and be productive....


    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 8:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Re rain - no Im really bummed.... I go away for the weekend (watered heavily before I left Fri. nite); too tired to really check things late Sunday or last nite when I got home from office (Big Mistake) - go out this a.m. & find more clems browned/burned (despite the hour soak of Friday nite), more pots/plants brown, other things "keeling" over.... desperately watering in my office outfit (w/ the hose going off & wetting the entire bottom of my pants up to the knee!!) for about 15/20 mins. before I absolutely HAVE to leave for work...

it was kind of like a Laurel & Hardy episode I guess w/ the hose this a.m (me against the hose snake)..... and it probably did not do much good!! It's supposed to continue to hit 90 most days this week here, no real talk of rain (don't believe them if they do mention "chance", aaargghhhhhhhh.....

So, it will be more hose slogging tonite & before the dr's appt tomorrow - the "in-depth" kind... but stuff looks just awful! Im definitely not winning this battle against nature.....

Drema - I know the feeling of being overwhelmed about how to re-plant/plan w/ conifers; my few attempts have not gone well either (they're not thriving) but I do love them.... sorry you got rained on (wish it had been me!).


    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 9:00AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Just a quick pop in cause I'm getting ready to leave for mom's.

Just wanted to say "Hi Cindy"! Sorry about the lousy weather. I really do feel badly for you. I can hear the disappointment in your voice and I remember all too well that feeling. Sounds like you are having a summer like we had last year. Just read in the paper yesterday that our drought last year was an all time record for Illinois. I hope the pattern breaks for you soon and just don't want you to get too discouraged (I know, easy for me to say since it's not happening to me right at the moment). I'll be sending my positive vibes your way for some of that wet stuff.

Speaking of rain...I'm so tickled for you Marian! :-) I'm glad to hear the rains are visiting you with regularity.

Deanne - yes, it would be so cool to live near a group of Idylls...I'd love that! :-) We are planning to put the house up in fall and have already ordered new counters and flooring for the kitchen in preparation for selling. Even though it's fun to think I would be moving out by you guys, for now we will be staying local as long as mom is here. As per the evergreens - I was planning to take all the newest shrubs I buy with me when we move. They will be great starts for a new garden. I knew they would be expensive (evergreens always seem to be) but I would probably buy them smaller in order to keep the price down. I'm a good shopper,do a lot of comparison shopping, wait for the sales, and always keep my eyes open for great deals (I keep a wish list of plants in my purse)! :-)

Hi Drema! LOL, I have that Abies Koreana on my list too...it was the neatest plant; wasn't it? Thanks for telling us about Girard's. They sent me a catalog and have been wondering about their plants (they have quite a list). Do they specialize in woodland plants and rhododendrons? I think that's who I'm thinking of anyway. Now that I know someone who has been there, think I'll go dig out my catalog again! :-) You're going to love Sarah...she's a real beauty...I *love* her coloring and she has such an "antique" way about her...very romantic!

Eden - Bella is such a sweety and I can see what you mean about her being a character. I got such a kick out of her pics...she really does have a lot of personality. Oh and if you still have free time after making the fairy outfit (LOL) I was thinking you could keep her in that sweet little dress from her pics (I absolutely *love* that sweet little dress) and take night shots with her holding a paper lantern in her hand...hopefully near some lilies in your gorgeous garden. :-) I have this vision of her in John Singer Sargent's painting. I've added a link to the pic I'm thinking of. LOL! I can't help it, I always wanted to have a little girl too and I'm living vicariously through you! :-)

Omigosh...it's almost 9:30...I'm late!

Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:27AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Ooops! And meant to say "Hi V!" Sounds like you are a busy girl, but soon things will be quiet at home...hopefully not *too* quiet? When my only child left for college I was sad and lonely and missed him so much and worried about him, but you would be amazed at how fast you rebound...LOL! Just kidding! The adjustment was a little hard for awhile, but not as hard as I thought it would be. I always missed him while he was away, but I quit worrying cause I realized there was nothing I could do about it (couldn't keep tabs on him long distance...LOL). Of course, you've already been through this; right?; with your son?

Okay, gotta run now...have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:34AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Good morning. Flurry of activity here out-of-town company that just left, tree guys removing dead ashes and elms from the commons behind our home with huge equipment, and our digging out a 3 ft. diameter stump in our front courtyard while being dive-bombed by wasps and bees. So yesterday we had an exterminator here to remove a basketball sized bald faced hornets nest overhanging our driveway, 10 paper wasp nests in our eves, carpenter bee holes and nests in our soffits, and yellow jacket nests burrowed under our shingles! Yee gads.

Those hornets are nasty things. Theyre aggressive and are able to repeatedly sting their prey. There can be over 700 of them in a nest. Our drive is littered with the dead ones. We still need to be careful b/c some stragglers/workers are still flying around. DH is highly allergic and terrified of getting stung. Hopefully, we can return to enjoying our yard w/o being attacked.

As I write, the tree guys are back removing a couple huge pine trees from the front island and cable guys are burying the next door neighbors cable between our houses! And this is usually such a quiet neighborhood.

Sorry I havent been posting. Just busy with friends, family, neighbors, the garden, etc. This weather has been absolutely fabulous and as we know, will be gone too soon so Ive been taking advantage of it.

Congratulations to Deanne on winning the contest! You probably blew everyone else out of the water!

Marian, Im so very sorry to hear the news about Tims friend. Bug is absolutely right. Encourage Tim to spend as much time with his friend as he possibly can. It is so very difficult, but the best thing for both friends to share memories and thots. My thots and prayers are with both Tim and his friend.

Dont have time to read the last few posts and to comment. Hi to all. I have to leave for my haircut appt. TTYL. Honey

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 12:19PM
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It has been crazy here at work. Not only am I trying to catch up, but we are exceptionally busy.

Ei, I remember seeing your Kerria pictas while I was there. I will have to find some of those, I really liked them. The ring is absolutely gorgeous. She will love it.

Cindy, sorry that you are still so dry. I know the feeling. After our 5" of rain, I came home to grass that needs a baler, but it is so nice to see green grass in August.

V, I will be thinking about you in the next few weeks. When DS moved out it wasnt bad because I still had the noisy one at home, but when she left, I really noticed how quiet it was. Your DD seemed pretty talkative and fun when we met her last month.

Well, lunch hour is over and my phone has begun to ring.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 2:08PM
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Hi Eileen:

I meant to say how pretty the ring was! Beautiful choice.

Hi Honey! Glad you are having fun with friends:)


    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 3:38PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Another beautiful day on tap here. Its currently 63 sunny degrees out with a bit of mist in the air. Sooo pretty. I wish you all could see the way the dahlias around the mailbox have taken off with their growth in the last couple weeks. They sort of lingered about doing not much of anything for ever it seems and now they are exploding into growth. Ive been disbudding religiously and the Rosella dahlias are getting lovely and large. Not as large as Ottos Thrill but as large as Ive ever seen that variety. Also, my Le Baron dahlia is really going to be gorgeous this year. It finally opened it first blooms and they are so pretty. I grew that plant in a container last year and it just didnt do well. Ill have to grab a few pics when there are a few more flowers on the plants.

Honey that is just terrible about all those bees and hornets. Doug would have been more than a bit nervous with that. We were standing next to my Eupatorium Little Joe a couple days ago and it was covered with bees and he just backed away and left the area. Id forgotten about the whole bee thing. ~~~ BTW How are your dahlias doing right now? Do you still have Thomas Edision? I lost every single one of mine this spring to the rain. They all rotted. Bummer, bummer, bummer Ive been wanting to grow TE for three years now since I saw your photo of your plant. Oh well, there is always next year. Im working on Doug to expand the mailbox garden again next year so Ill have more room to grow a few more varieties.

Eileen, the little evergreens I bought already were pretty small and they were still very expensive. I guess if you got even younger plants theyd be less expensive and easier to move when the time came. YOu know what else just came to mind is what about a Microbiota decussata? I bought one last year and it is doing really well. It is supposed to be very slow growing and is a pretty plant. Hardy down to zone 2 or some such.

Cindy, Im so very sorry about your continued drought situation. I know just how discouraging that is. As I said before we had a pretty bad drought a few years back. We have quite a few mature oaks and white pines here on the property and no matter how much water I put on the gardens, the trees sucked the ground dry within a few hours. No exaggeration. You cant water anything enough with a hose when things have gotten that dry. It is like trying to wet down the desert with a water pistol.

Drema, Im really impressed that you left the lotus there. When I find a plant at a nursery that I MUST have, I have real difficulties keeping it out of my cart. How the heck are you going to get rid of that poison ivy? That is a bear to eradicate. ~~ I think every garden needs one of those Abies Koreana. They really are a gorgeous evergreen.

So where the heck were Marian and Martie yesterday????

OK Ive got to get my watering done and get to the gym. Ive been doing an hour a day on the Stairmaster machine and I think Im shifting a bit of this weight I want to get rid of. The only problem is that my bum has definitely gotten a bit larger (muscle) Jeesh cant win. ROTFLOL, at least it isnt sagging.te he

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 7:38AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Deanne...here I am! I went for my usual day in town yesterday. I got up with a headache this morning. It may be because I ran out of my BP med a few days ago, and didn't get it refilled until yesterday.

Honey, all those stinging insects are scary..espacially for someone who is allergic to them! Nolon was stung on the back of his arm the other day, but had no ill effects from it. He dug out a huge yellowjacket's nest out by the pond . He said he wasn't going to bother it, but they were getting too aggressive, so he poured a few drops of gasoline in the entrance, then dug it out when it was safe. The gasoline eliminates them pretty rapidly.
Nolon collects hornet nests, and has some hanging in the storage shed.
Sorry about the noisy activities near you. I am not too bothered by industrious sounds. It is the 'run-around' vehicles that annoy me. The 'fun' ones that aren't serving any useful purpose.

Thanks for your thoughts about Tim and his friend,Marvin. I am pondering the sad situation constantly. I feel so badly for all concerned. Marvin and his wife Carol have a 13 year old son. They are the ones I visited with Tim in July, and went out for Chinese with them. Marvin had been feeling badly, but thought he had had heat stroke!
I wish I had taken my camera and took pics of the very unusual house they built, and are living in. The outside looks 'normal' but the interior is made up of rooms that have a shop appearance. One room is a 'barber shop';another is a 'post office'; another a 'butcher shop'. The main room is filled with street items... a bench like in parks, a street lamp, a fire plug. A street light that actually is functional, hanging on a corner of the upstair's balcony. There is a very tall artificial Christmas tree in one corner. The lower kitchen is combined with a family area, with a pool table. It is entirely decorated with Coca Cola memorabilia. Some of the rooms are rented out. A spiral stairway goes up to the family's living area. It is more normally decorated, but has an L-shaped balcony that overlooks the main room down below. They also have several cabins, about a quarter of a mile from that house , that they rent out. The road in is a single-lane road, and is paved. It winds around through a wooded area. How sad that they are now facing such a terrible future. Taryn can identify with what all are going through. I wish Tim had a wife that could coordinate activities for them like she did for Bruce and Gigi. If the doctor is right, his time remaining is very limited.
I do not believe that Tim is up to doing any of the things that she did. I am praying for him and them constantly.

Hi V. I remember you...smile. I can imagine how lonely you will be for awhile. But you 'will' get over it. :-)
Tim moved out when he was 17, but remained in the same town. That sure beats what my brother and my DH did. They both left home at 17, and went to California...my DB from Idaho, my DH from Arkansas. Tim just moved into a little rent house. He was making his own living. I was working as bookkeeper at a discount store at the time.

It has started out very cloudy, but I don't think storms are in the forecast. It is nice and cool. Nolon has still found more to do with his wood...:-)
I am still 'humping' around.

I hope rain has reached Cindy's yard.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 9:18AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Marian, NEVER let yourself run out of your blood pressure medicine again. That is not a good thing at all. High BP does all kinds of damage that we can't see or detect on a daily basis. OK, end of lecture. LOL

Marvin's house sounds very interesting and I wish you'd had your camera also. I'll bet Eden would just love to see that. That kind of interesting and different decorating is right up her alley.

OK watering is done and I've got to be off to the gym.


Wonder how Taryn is doing with her move???? She must be getting all settled in by now,.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Good morning!

I'm 'working' the late shift today - so will be holding, cuddling and kissing babies from 1 pm to 8 pm. Not all is fun and games though....there are diapers, clothing changes and crying to soothe. ;o) I'm just adding those last three things to make you feel better for not getting to come help out with me. LOL I'm a bit tired, but enjoying this immensely as I know my help won't be needed all that much longer and that these little ones are growing and changing so quickly. They are 2 weeks old already!!

Nothing happening here, mainly because I'm not home much. Poor DH is having to fend for himself after working all day....I do feel badly about that. But he also realizes that it isn't going to be for much longer that DD will need extra assistance and he is quite smitten with these new little guys, also.

James & his mommy are doing the early shift today. James is quite good with his new cousins and still thinks they are fun to look at and stroke their cheeks. I wonder if and when the novelty will wear off for him---I would guess it would soon. He wants buddies to play cars with....not some little noisy bundles who need a lot of attention. ;o)

Well, you can tell where my focus is........lol. My lawn looks like heck, I don't know what the front flower bed looks like and I've not completed the new back beds yet. Nothing got done on the outside of the house this year (sugars!!) and no new barn was constructed. We've not been to the boat in months.....and DH is once again up behind the house pushing dirt. He is trying to change the drainage so that we don't have standing water up above that back wall.......I would have thought a nice ditch at the base of the slope would have taken care of the problem......but oh no, he's got at least an acre of grass/dirt bulldozed and moved. I did hear him mention the word "runway" a couple of times so I'm not positive how much of this new dirt moving was truly to divert water and how much was so he'd have a place to fly his RC planes. Sugars! I'm not happy about what is being done but I'm not being very productive around here either (don't see me painting the house trim as was planned for me to do this summer). I'm spending my free time with babies.....and prior to that I spent it waiting for babies. :o( Both of us should be fired, LOL. I keep thinking we should sell this place and move into a condo in town. Neither of us is energetic nor driven to do all that it takes to keep this huge house and acreage up. But he couldn't have all his toys in town and having close neighbors would drive him nuts.

Oh well....maybe one of these days I'll get some energy, ambition and drive........maybe not.

Hope it is a good one!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:12AM
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Good Morning, Not much going on here, another beautiful day weatherwise. The gardens are looking pretty good considering the fact that I've been doing so much plant shuffling. Everything seems to be taking in it's new spot, the weather's been perfect for moving stuff around though, more like September than August the last few weeks. I think this is the best my garden has looked in late summer. It's usually an overgrown mess by now but cutting back and deadheading these last few weeks has really made a difference this year. That's another gardening lesson learned. I started to get some pictures yesterday but didn't get too far before the camera battery went dead so I need to try again. I'm on my way back out to plant a couple more things. I'm trying to finish off the pot ghetto. Have a great day everyone and try to get out there in your gardens. Summer's slipping away!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 11:13AM
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Last night I got most of the containers back in place. At this time of year I know why I love containers so much, they look so great when the garden starts mellowing out. I need to finish mowing and there is lots of deadheading that should be done. I just hate that the evenings are getting so short.

Ive been doing some skimming of what I missed and wanted to make a few comments.

Marian, that is so sad about Tims friend. Sometimes life can be so tough.

Eden, so sorry about the loss of Abraham. I know you have a special spot in your heart for each of you pets. Nice picture of you with him.

T, I loved the pictures of all your "boys" I can understand your overwhelmed feeling with keeping up a large place. After we got back from vacation, our place looks like heck. The weeds are the hardest to keep under control. DHs father lived on his farm until his death and that is DHs plan. I love all the garden room but I need to win the lotto so I can retire and hire someone to do all the nasty jobs. LOL

I grew Cut and Come Again zinnias this year and have tons of them. The arrangement on my desk today is all pink ones with purple opal basil and sea lavender (limonium latifolium) which is a great filler for fall bouquets.
I'll have to try to post some pictures that I've been taking with the new camera.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 11:31AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hiya, idyllers. Im probably not going to be idylling much in the next few weeks. Im on the hunt for bargains for the back and front landscape. I have 2 nurseries on the agenda for today one thats advertising 50% off. I also have to get as many loads of compost from the twp as possible as well as haul bags of mulch home. And whatever I buy will have to be planted.

BTW, thank you Eden for all the books you lent me. Great reading and tips. Lots of info to absorb.

The other project well be busy with is we have to dig out next to the foundation next to the front porch down to 8 ft. so we can have the wall waterproofed from the outside b/c its under the stairs and we cant access it from inside. Also, this weekend is the subdivision picnic and were on the worker committee.

So please, please dont think that if I dont comment that Im not interested. If I stop in, itll be a run-thru.
Deanne, I meant to answer you on the tanning thing. Ive been using a similar Coppertone product Gradual Tan. Whats great about it is that it doesnt streak and you use it like a moisturizer, too.

About the bees/hornets, the gal just stopped back and the hornets are rebuilding in another spot in the tree. Shes sprayed the area again and will check back in a couple days. Shes sure she didnt miss the queen. She also sprayed the ends of 2 gutters again where there still was some activity. Shes just starting her business and wants to make sure were happy. Me, too.

The reason DH is so frightened of bees is that when he was a kid, his gma told him not to climb the tree by the bee hives. Well, he did and fell into a hive. He was stung so badly he spent a week in the hospital and almost died.

Im so sorry your Thomas Edisons all died. I only have 3 dinner plates this yr TE, Ottos Thrill and Kelvin. The blooms on Kelvin are bigger than Ive ever seen them, the plants on all are smaller. I need more sun!

Sharing one last thing. I bot a Leucothoe Girards Rainbow yesterday. It sure it pretty. Ive never seen it before. Does anyone have experience with it? The tag says for part sun to shade. Im wondering how it behaves, whether Id get better color from it if it got some sun.

Gosh, I wish you all lived nearby. Id have you over to consult on redoing my back border and front landscape!

Gotta run and get something done around here. Hi to all. TTYL.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 12:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 3:48PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

First of all:

Hope you enjoy your day!

The weather was great today, but we had to get some back-to-school shopping done. School starts in 2 weeks! Where has the summer gone? Got new sneakers for both kids, and I realized after we left the store that I never felt the toes on DD's new sneakers! That is the first time I have ever bought shoes for her without feeling the toes to make sure they fit - I just took her word for it. She must be growing up. BTW, backpacks are out in middle school, the messenger bag is the thing. DS does not liked striped shirts anymore. Jeans should be dark; not striped, decorated or faded. Jeeesh!

Honey, you definitely had a stinging insect problem! Hope she gets rid of all of them for you. Sounds like you are quite busy there with all of your projects.

V, best of luck to your DD in her new school.

Ei, nice to see your long posts again. Glad to hear that your sis and mom are improving.

Have to run, DS is waiting for his "turn" on the computer.



    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 7:03PM
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