Idyll #397 Herbalissimo !

dodgerdudetteAugust 29, 2008

We've talked from time to time about a herb-themed here we go--if you don't have plants to share, I bet you have recipes !

Carry on Idylls..

Kathy in Napa

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Though I don't have a traditional 'herb garden' (another someday thing) I have them scattered throughout my beds as edgeings or accents. I love the fragrances,I love being able to just go out and harvest them for a meal, and I love the history and lore that goes along with their cultivation. I have a couple of decent books , one of which is an AHS encyclopedia that is pretty complete. This holiday weekend I'll get some photos to post. Wonder if Saucy got her grindstone ?? Wouldn't that be a cool herb accent?

See you all tomorow-time for a glass of wine and baseball...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 10:48PM
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I have some herbs in the potager, but sad to say I'm not very good about cooking with them. Cooking isn't exactly my thing. Some are just so pretty to grow. I do use parsely and purple opal basil as garnishes if that counts and cinnamon basil is pretty in floral arrangements.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm with Michelle. I love their look! I'll try to photograph some soon.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:52PM
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No herbs here. I'm just not that consistent with them, and they always go to flower on me. My mom does basil well, so when I want fresh, I get some from her. She's an excellent cook, so I go there to eat, too;)

I'm curious how every one here does laundry. I do at least two loads a day, every day, for the last (almost) 23 years of marriage. It's ridiculous, to say the least. There's only four of us now, but even with the older two married and out of the house, it hasn't slowed down. Especially with teenagers and their towels, or DH and his work clothes. How does everyone here handle it...every day, or once a week, or somewhere in between?

Hot and humid here, and will be for the next few days. So will be chilling out at MIL's pool on Sunday for sure. The only garden chore will be watering early in the day. Things are choking and starting to dry out. Time to let it go and bring on the mums.

Mary...Happy Birthday to David. Boy, that kid knows how to eat well. Oysters and Lobster...A New England dinner for sure. Congrats on finishing the sink. Nice to have a helper, too.

chelone...Glad your cut is working well for you. Definitely a sign of a good cut when it falls into place naturally. But it looks like (from the few Idyll pics floating around) that you have a head of nice thick hair. Mine is fine, so it needs some work no matter how well it's cut. On the subject of criticism (that your dealing with at work), I've come to realize that it usually reflects on what's going on in the giver's life. So it's not your problem. I'm learning not to be so sensitive to it anymore. I grew up with enough for a lifetime, so it's a hard one to let go of. I LOL on your dad dealing with Mr Chuck Chuck.

Jerri...Your quote is so true. It's like when someone mentions they're getting a stomach flu, I start fighting back the nausea. A case of mind over matter in the works there.

V...I know that feeling well regarding the hair in the eyes lady. I'm the type to want to pick lint off the shoulder of the stranger in front of me. I was at the buffet in the casino in MI recently, when the worker told me I had something in my hair. I ran my hand over it, it must of dislodged, because she said it was gone. I was surprised she said anything, most strangers don't usually go out of their way like that, and I was sure to thank her for letting me know. Us girls have to stick together:) Happy 30th Anniversary. That's quite an accomplishment.

Deanne...There must be accidents in front of your house everyday. Huge pile-ups caused by gawkers! Your front yard looks amazing. Wow! Kudos to you on those massive healthy brugs.

Regarding garden mentors. I never really paid it any attention until I was married with my own home. I dabbled in it a little when the kids were small, but it was so hard with them underfoot all the time. I never had a fenced in yard when they were young, so it wasn't easy keeping them contained. So I've slowly grown to give it more time over the years, but especially the last eight. My MIL loves to garden, and she's the closest to a mentor I have. She has a beautiful yard and home.

Gotta go now and look up the word pecuniary. (Thanks chelone.) I'm a word person, and when I see a new one, I feel compelled to look it up. That's probably why I'm always doing crosswords, my day is not complete unless I finish one, or least try to. Anyone else with this hobby? My dad and I are the only ones in my family to enjoy them, and it's nice to have that in common with him.

Hi to everyone. Happy Labor Day weekend to all.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Catch up from the previous post....

I forgot to say Mary, that I enjoyed your Carrot people. I especially thought the shoes on the mother were adorable. :-) Mop slippers, what a fun idea. I have a lot of hardwood floors and that could be entertaining. [g]

Eden...any visits to your Mom coming up? How are things going at your house? I was wondering if your Mom would enjoy receiving cards from crazy Idylls? :-)

Martie...what a nice idea to make a donation for a cutting garden at the facility where your brother is. Whose potager were you and DB cleaning up? So how are you feeling today after two days of work?

Is everyone in New England enjoying this weather? It is really the best of the summer! We are so looking forward to a long weekend. Hoping we can fill every minute of it in one way or another.

I have not had any GW problems at all. The color of the background has not changed. I have the Apple computer and I use Firefox with AdBlock Plus and it works great at keeping out the advertisements and popups. Not sure if that has anything to do with it or not.

Saucy, I enjoyed that link to the Little and Lewis columns. I have always wanted to see Bainbridge Island, where that Little and Lewis garden is. That might be a nice Idyll destination, no? I think that is one of the islands that don't allow cars. So, what are you going to carve on your pumpkins this year? I have seen Jade trees in the ground in warm climates, your Mom must have had one for a long time in a very large pot! I didn't know you went to GW plant swaps. Was it the New England forum swaps? It might have been before I started going to them. I missed a year or two also. Castor Bean leaves as castings, brilliant idea!

On the topic of nursing, I was doing some career research last week and did you know that was the #1 growth potential occupation? They are needing nurses like crazy. I think it is not the most pleasant job in the world, and it would appear other areas of work are drawing more interest.

Cindy...hope you get your day to sleep in this weekend. I am up early again, after going to bed too early and I see it has rained. I thought it was not due until Saturday afternoon and we were planning on working in the garden this morning. I may have to switch and go nursery shopping instead.

Deanne....I have enjoyed your photos of your brugs, every time I scroll through the previous thread. They are amazing! We love fragrance at our house, especially DH, and I tried them one year, but I just don't have the circumstances to overwinter them. I will have to enjoy yours vicariously. I've never seen so many blooms and I agree that the foliage looks very good too. They are heavy feeders I imagine and water hogs, so you must be getting it right. The neighbors must be enjoying the fragrance too, in addition to getting to ride by your garden on their way home every night. :-) Wondering how your hors d'oeuvres party went. Must have been so :-)

Epsom salts are for magnesium, aren't they? They recommend them sometimes for roses too.

Chelone...glad you are enjoying your new cut. Like Woody, I am rarely happy with a trip to the hairdresser. I used to go once or twice a year when I was younger and leave it long, because I could never find a cut that didn't make me feel unhappy. Now I go every month to keep mine neat, but I am stuck in the 'same old, same old' cut now. Wondering what garden the ceramic fences were found in? Really neat idea. Gardening can be such a creative outlet.

Woody, now that doesn't surprise me at all, that you have gardeners in your family. You do such a great job with your own. I would have loved that experience as a child. Jams and jellies and pies sounds home-y. I don't suppose you have any photos? Not that you could share them here, but it would be great to have.

V....I liked your 'just three' approach. :-) I do something similar with my Sometimes I just hate to get in the shower. I know it sounds stupid, but I get really exhausted and I have to manuever myself into it at times and I make it a game to see how fast I can get in and out of the shower. I look at the clock and think, I could be back here in 15 minutes all done. Of course, once I get in the shower, I really enjoy it and I take my time and use the water massage. I have speeded through it at times though and my record is ten minutes. [g] Oh, and congratulations on your 30th anniversary! We just celebrated ours this year too. I guess we were married in the same year. :-)

My parents didn't garden at all. They both seemed to have an appreciation for green spaces and my Mom loved gardens and plants and flowers. All but lilies, which she hated the smell of for some reason. Her favorites were gardenias and yellow roses. She did grow houseplants and really enjoyed them, but I never saw her start a garden ever. So funny, now that I think of it. I didn't start gardening until I was almost 30 yrs old, when we moved into this house. A new friend had a large organic vegetable garden and that was what got me interested.

Well...I am finished with my novel. I am going to have to cut it into two sections so it doesn't seem so Part 2 later...


Here is a link that might be useful: Kum Ba Ya [g]

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 5:39AM
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Good morning!

I stayed up well past the normal bedtime and got some work done, productive, but it seems to have morphed into more work, LOL.....

On the subject of Epsom salts: I wandered over to the brug forum when it was featured one month. Epsom salts once per month as I recall, directions for garden use are on the box (so are directions for human use, LOL) greens up the leaves. Hmm...I bought epsom salts for just this purpose and tucked them away never to be seen again....I will break the epsom out today and let you know my results :)

My brugs do not smell like chocolate, Wendy, they tempt me like chocolate! I was at my neighbor's and her brug smells like shampoo! I told her that she needed to come smell my brug and we got a good laugh out of how odd that sounded. The scent of my brug is very high and lemony....hers is very heady. The peach versicolor brug just gave me its first blooms and it is a beauty: opens on one day in white and deepens to a beautiful peach over a day.

Okay, enough of that brug talk :)

My trip to CT yesterday reminded me of how much I enjoy (and miss) natural beauty. We passed several picturesque farms as we drove alongside a river that passed under the road at several spots....of course we were lost, but we ended up in the right place :) Here's my haul from yesterday (please tell me what you think):

Pulmonaria Rubra "David Ward"
Cercis Canadensis Forest Pansy (good size, low $)
Robinia Psuedoacacia "Twisty Baby" (is this a big mistake?)
Heucherella "Stoplight"
Heuchera "Prince of Orange"
Schizophragma Hydrangeanoides "moonlight" (got to see one that will be offered next year with pink blossoms!)

He threw in a freebie and I chose a liriope even though I know it'll be dead come spring :)

I'm supposed to get the second half of my skylights on my (someday) bonus room. I have to move everything from the deck before it rains this afternoon....that is what is on the agenda for me today....that and digging holes for the new plants.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 7:59AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No herbs here. I shake mine out of

Saucy, had you ever been to Variegated Foliage Nursery before? I should get up there-it's been a couple of years. Stan had esophogeal cancer a few years ago and Monique told me last year that the nursery was for sale. Did he have alot of neat stuff? Did you get to Broken Arrow?

Anita, it's just me and I only do two loads of laundry a week, one white and one dark. The bed gets changed every weekend (and made every morning). I only use one bath towel a week though. It makes no sense to me to toss clean towels that have dried a clean body into the wash. Usually I only need to run the dishwasher once a week as well.

Mary, I forgot to congratulate you on the successful completion of your bathroom renovation. I've decided my half bath needs to be redecoated. It will be a winter project and not nearly as extensive as what you took on, but in order to remove the wallpaper and repaint I will most likely have to remove the pedestal sink and toilet. Feel free to shoot those insider tips my way.

Tomorrow I'm driving up to Killington, VT to check out a shared ski house situation for winter. For those unfamiliar with the share house concept, check out the link below to the actual house I am interested in joining. By purchasing a half share I'll have my own assigned bed and full use of the house every other weekend from Thanksgiving through the middle of April. The concept is quite popular and although it generally attracts people younger than me, it won't kill me to get out and meet some younger, new friends who also ski. Right now none of my friends does and skiing is one of very few activities I don't enjoy doing alone.

It's overcast and a bit drizzly here this morning-only in the mid 60s. Overnight there was a nice gentle rain. After all the rain we had in July and early August this is the first I've seen in a couple of weeks. Hard to believe but we really need it. Nick is wet and has decided he wants to nap tucked in next to me on the chair. Now my hip and upper thigh are damp as well from his feet. Gotta hate these mangy mutts.

Guess I'll go return a pair of shorts to Eddie Bauer and maybe use that DSW coupon that is burning a hole in my pocket, perhaps visit the LL Bean store, do my share to prop up the

OK, time to get moving.


Here is a link that might be useful: Killington Ski House

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:47AM
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The vacation begins today! See you all in 10 days.

As for wash we have 4 baskets on shelves in the laundry. Lights, darks, towels and DH's farm clothes. When they get fullish I wash. Probably about once a week. I'm with Sue, one towel a week.

Mary, kudos to you on the sink install and the whole project. Hey, we have a pedestal sink sitting in our bedroom just waiting to be installed - hint, hint. Happy birthday to David!

We are quite dry here and I hope we get rain soon.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Yep, first time Sue, and Stan was quite the chatterbox yesterday for sale signs that I could see! He was working in the greenhouse while we shopped and wanted to know if we'd received his mailer (everything is 30% off). I thought there were some good deals to be had.

Didn't make it to Broken Arrow. Next trip!

VFN is open through October I think he said.

I'm glad I went yesterday.

Your ski house is a really great idea, and it's not your age, it's your attitude! I say, "go for it!" Nick loves to snow ski, me....I love the water ski :)

Laundry (anita, why do I always feel like I forget to "talk" to you?) gets done every other day or so, but I have my new front loader which holds more clothes. Sue, we all have our own towels/hanging areas and get 2-3 showers out of each :) I am lucky to have a big bath upstairs (I think it was the nursery, it's a big room) and we all have hooks and towel racks to hang clothes that didn't get a complete 8hrs of wear (Nick works in a uniform most of the day, so he only wears a t-shirt for an hour or two in the evening) dream is to have my washer/dryer right in the room where the laundry is generated....right now I have to schlepp it up and down the stairs.

Too much coffee.....


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:15AM
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Had to LOL when I opened up Idylls and saw the new Tydll as yesterday afternoon (early day at work) was spent deflowering and harvesting herbs for freezing and drying!

Saucy: Don't try to overwinter the entire Aloysia. It is a white fly and mealy bug magnet when it woods up and doesn't like to be moved around a lot. Light needs to be absolutely even so out of a greenhouse is rarely successful in our northern clime. Take cuttings, instead. After that, strip all the leaves on the mom plant and dry them -- they don't freeze well. A favorite recipe for me is Lemon Verbena Berry Cake.

It'd be too much to try and catch up on everything and not miss someone/thing in the process. LOL That said,

Sue's house looks perfect and who the heck cares how old the housemates are! Just be sure you know how to text as that seems to be the communication method of choice with mid-20's crowd.

Hoping Mary has a GREAT vaca and takes lots of pics.

I have the straightest, finest hair imaginable but have a 'dresser who makes it looks like it has some body. She gets tipped really well :-) My eyebrows are an entirely different story -- bushy, out of control, cowlicked, and she does yeoman's duty getting them cleaned up. Worth every penny.

No Magnolias here. Had them before. Big mess for little "bang" and there's so many around I can enjoy them in others' yards.

Long ago I had a very formal herb garden that was built from scratch. I could look out from my dining room down on the sundialness of it and that garden earned me a place on tour.

Here, I've agonized over where I could put something similar and have decided that interspersing herbs throughout was going to have to do for now. The southern side of the house keeps most of them and eventually I'll yank everything and get some semblence of order.

I cook with just about every edible I grow, and can't imagine a summer roast chicken without lemon thyme, sage, just a touch of oregano, lemon verbena and fennel seed marinade.

Here's a [bad] pic of my current favorite herb (Pineapple Mint) for foliage:

Today is Kyle's big move day. He and Rich deposited truck-needed furniture, already, and car stuff goes today. In the midst of that, Jen and Scott will be coming for dinner (DSD and DSiL) so steaks are marinating. Fresh apple pie for dessert. It's that time! Made enough just in case Ky gets a wiff LOL

I think Skyler is just really confused at this point. His world has been turned upside down with a divorce, marraige, new brother, etc. No Excuse, though, for bad behavior. Good Excuse for rules to be established that Will be followed. If the rules are different from house to house, he certainly is old enough to understand that. Sympathy won't help him. Life is life. In the meantime, I also think that Sarah has to make it clear to her DH that it is her house, too. She gets a say in what happens in that house. While it may not always be appropriate to be involved in every decision and every action concerning Skyler (it all depends and is a hard position to be in, believe me!!!!) when she's at home she is Queen. Of course she's going to have a leaning toward Reed and Skyler clamoring for her attention by behaving badly is something She needs to deal with, in spite of what her DH says. It is Her House.

Can you tell I've been through this????? Except replace a then-24 year old with Skyler. It was only when I put my financial foot Waaaaaaaay down that Jen and I developed the enviable and fantastic relationship we have now.

All said, respect goes a long way, and it sounds like there isn't much of that in Sarah's house right now.

Now that I've succeeded in writing a post to rival PM's (KIDDING, my friend) I'm off to the grocery.

Everyone have a great day!


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This should probably be posted under Truth in Gardening, but I am still enjoying it in spite of the fact it needed better care. The hanging is composed of many herbs: thyme, parsley, various sages, etc. It also contained alpine strawberries and yellow violas. I'd love to be able to reproduce the effect next year!

Baaah! The photo site is down...Later!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Hi Everyone

here are a few powder room photos. I cannot find the earliest ones with the ugly fixtures, this one is after yanking out the old toilet, floor and scraping away the adhesive. You can see my tools of the trade. Most important, the portable radio for listening to NPR especially during the 3 days of scraping.

Site of new toilet and pedestal sink. Note the ugly plastic tiles on the walls the wainscoting is going to cover.

After putting in the new ceramic tile, before grouting.

Ta Da - Impossible to photo the whole room, but here is an after:

The tile and wall color photo a little differently but match well together in real life. The room is tiny and to me still unbelievable that so much work went into it. I rewarded myself with the trendy brushed nickel t.p. holder.

Sue and others, I'd be happy to talk you through any of what I did. Also, check out Youtube where you will find videos of just about any task. Sometimes it helps to see once what needs to be done. The most important thing to remember is that you CAN do it!!


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 12:16PM
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Good Morning Friends,
Grocery shopping done, farmers market run done, watering started time to have my last cup of coffee. The marine layer has already burnt off, weÂve had about 3 days now of temps in the 90Âs and my garden shows it. Oh well, such are the trails of late summer, along with mildew .

Sue, looks like comfortable digs there for your ski house. Though I doubt you will ever find more scintillating company than the Idylls , you are so right that after a life upheaval type experience doing something different and meeting new people of any age never hurts. Is this only a one year commitment , allowing you to exit if your expectations are not met ?

Anita, like Sue I only do laundry for one. My kids were put in charge of their own laundry when they hit high school , but when they were young all laundry was done on Saturday or Sunday, and my hubby was in charge of it. I now only do a white load every other week- I went out and bought enough socks, undies and white towels to last at least two weeks , otherwise my load is too small. DS is still home , but heÂs an adult and responsible for his own wardrobe.

Mary, I was envisioning trying to maintain balance going down my hardwood stairs here with the floor-dust slippers. Yikes !

Saucy, Epsom salts are often recommended for roses, but our soils here are not in need of added magnesium so I bagged that after a couple of years Âhowever with potting soil , who knows ? I ought to take a pic of my Brug this weekend-itÂs truly awful looking.

Ok, this is one of my haves of the various Oreganos I grow, Dittany of Crete. First pic pre-bloom, 2nd pic this morning .

Back later...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:04PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

V...and Kathy....I was asking my son about the Chicago Cubs, since I don't really follow baseball too closely, and he is very impressed with them this year. He was telling me that the Cubs are the team that has gone longer since a World Series win, then even we did! Will have to keep my fingers crossed for them this year.

G'bug, you could put those leaf tiles in cement pavers for the garden. I love the vision of the garden your grandparents managed. I had a relative that was a nun and we used to go there for family reunions once a year and one of the things I looked forward to was their walled garden. It was such a cozy peaceful place to be. They had fruit trees too. I have no idea who gardened it though. I always wanted a walled garden. I agree with Michelle, that with the locked door, it sounds like the Secret Garden. Thanks for the top five garden mistakes. Good article.

Sue, I know just where your grandparent's commercial greenhouses were and so sorry the housing development is there now. I thought there were rose greenhouses in that area too. Wow...such a small world. So you came by your gardening talents through the genes, evidently. I cut way back on containers this year too Sue and really I didn't miss them. I've enjoyed the few I did just as much with a lot less effort. Congratulations on getting back to walking! Hope you are feeling comfortable from it today with no after effects.

Hi Wendy.. :-) My DH has a double cowlick and somehow, the hairdresser managed to find a style that takes care of them and they are rarely noticeable. I don't know if I could get used to the kids going back to school before labor day. I don't know why they couldn't let people have their last summer weekend together and their traditions. I doubt the kids get that much benefit out of those few extra days in school.

Mary! you finshed the plumbing on the sink!! I didn't know Annie was helping you with it. I can only imagine how empowered you both feel that you were able to tackle that project. It seems like such an intimidating one to me. Looking forward to the powder room photos and book list. Found David's BD requests quite My DH and DD and one DS are the lobster fans here while middle DS and I hate even being in the same kitchen with lobster dinners. Not oyster fans, but steamed clams instead. :-) David's BD sounds like one my DH would just love, golf and lobster, not much better than that to him. Your new gardening job sounds very exciting! Hope you will take photos and share.

Glad to hear I am not alone in liking the yellow magnolias. I got hooked this spring, when we drove past one just opening it's blossoms. I had never seen one before. I am going to pick up a small 3 ft plant so I guess I will be waiting for quite awhile to see that bloom. I cannot get that particular nursery so someone is picking it up for me. I decided it was only $35. so worth an experiment. I may still try to go to the nursery next spring when they are all in bloom and choose my favorite and get a large one. Martie, how are they messy?

Chelone...I just read your story about your Dad and the groundhog and almost woke the household up, laughing. lol Having had the summer of the groundhog last year, I can really understand his perspective. :-) that is a heard of a clothes closet being turned into a recording studio. [g] How funny is that!?

That's the end of the novel. :-)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:05PM
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I advise against useing an oscillating sprinkler in an area where one has 6 and 7 ft tall blooming delphiniums without first verifying the soundness of the stakeing system.Jeesh. How many years have I been gardening ?? :-(

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:18PM
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Bravo Mary! What color will your towels be? I could see a nice dark turqoise in there! Nick was impressed and said we should redo ours :) You and I now share the same toliet paper holder, LOL (which BTW, the family seems to change the empty roll from because it is so easy!)

I've been doing battle in the GG - bittersweet and multiflora rose are no more and I'm almost ready to put in some plant material (I feel desperate, like I'm running out of time....I may have to move them come spring!). Jake has been a big help limbing up the trees and he's pretty excited about putting the trellis together....but that'll have to be for another weekend.

Kathy, don't you know that delphs are a magnet for anything that'll knock 'em over....if it wasn't the sprinkler, it would've been a freak of nature wind :) Can you salvage them for a nice big cut flower centerpiece?

I'm whooped. I've still got to water pots and get them moved to new homes, too....Nick needs the deck space to work on the new roof.

PM, that's a good price on the Magnolia and hopefully worth the wait. Mine's supposed to be hardy to zone 4, but I wonder if the flower buds are that hardy? I wonder if that's why I haven't had a spring show.....I think this coming spring will be year 4 or 5....



    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 3:44PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all!
Came in for a break from weeding and thought I'd catch up with you all. Wow, that last thread really got away from me. I won't catch up with everyone posting, but did want to stick in a couple of things.
(((Eden))) I am so very sorry that you feel so far away and helpless to your Mom. I know that there's no help for it, but please know that kind thoughts are being sent your way.

I missed birthdays! Happy Belated Birthday to Deanne (who shares my eldest sister's BD) and V. And, while I'm at it, Happy Anniversary, V! Nothing in my gardens seems very photogenic to me right now, so I'll spare you pictures.

On that note...Bug, it makes me sad to hear you've got the blues over the gardens. Your pictures are always so beautiful and inspiring to me. I believe we are each our own worst critic. Try and remember that if any of us came to your house, the wonder and beauty are what we would see. I've sat on my porch many times, looking at the mess I've created and wondering what in the world will happen when I get older and can't keep up...heck, I can't keep up now! It never fails, someone from "the outside" comes and remarks on how beautiful something is. I guess it's the "eye of the beholder thing". If all that babble didn't make you feel any better, go to the truth in gardening thread, lol! I've wondered what a match tossed into the whole mess would render ;) ((Bug))
Okay, back to tackling the invasion of the crabgrass. I have company coming tomorrow, and the two weediest areas are, of course, right in front of where we'll be sitting :)
PS-Mary the bathroom is great, and you have my toilet and faucet:) I did brushed nickel, too. Okay, really have to get busy now!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 3:48PM
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Finally I made it back...first off my mom's home. They've set up a hospital bed for her there and have a wheelchair and a nurse coming in every day. My sister went up after she finished her chemo Thursday and she'll stay thru next week so that's good too. Peace of mind for me! PM, what a sweet idea to send a card but honestly at this point I don't think she'd be aware. She's pretty much in a drug induced haze these days.

My two nieces are both going to school for nursing. I think it's one of the hardest jobs there is and know I'd never be able to handle it. When my mom was at MD Anderson the nursing staff was excellent. One nice thing there was each patient was assigned an advocate who would handle any problems patients had with Drs or nurses among other things.

We're having picture perfect weather here this weekend. I have Bella today but Sunday and Monday are all mine. I'm thinking it may be time to start some cuttings. I have a feeling frost will come early this year if the cool nights we've been having are any indication. We'll be doing some painting too. I hate to admit this but we still have a bit left to do in the livingroom hallway and then we're starting on the kitchen.

Saucy, I bought a few Halloween craft mags this morning and thought of you and you're pumpkin carving. I'll link at the end to one I found that I think I'm going to try. I loved VFN when we went there during IU2.

Anita, just Brad and I here and I do laundry when I have enough for a medium sized load. I'd say on average I do 2-3 colored loads a week and one of whites. Brad has his work uniforms laundered at work but during racquetball season I have lots of sweaty, stinky racquetball clothes added to my laundry.

PM, thanks for the book recommendation. I wrote it down and will look for it. I started reading the Barbara Kingsolver book Animal Vegetable Miracle a couple of days ago.

Sue, that ski house package looks perfect for you. I can really see you loving it.

V, it really bugs me when someone has a strand of hair in their eye too. Especially when they blink and it keeps getting caught in their eyelashes.

As for garden mentors, my grandpa was always out working with his flowers and the vegetable garden. We always had a big vegetable garden at our house when I was growning up too and my dad was big on planting shrubs and my mom lots of annuals that I can remember her always watering in the evenings.

Woody, yep the brugs need lots of feeding or the leaves yellow. I've been giving all of my containers a weekly liquid feeding for the last 4 weeks. The osmocote always seems to take care of things pretty much thru July and then the containers really start fading if I don't feed. I just hook up the hose end sprayer with a measured out bag of food and water as usual. Doesn't take any longer than any other watering. I think the brugs would be even happier with feeding twice a week.

Deanne, I'll take cuttings of the Purple Oak coleus for you and anyone else that wants. You'll love it, it's a nice one. You're brugs are amazing!

Marie, I don't envy Sarah her trials with Skyler. I have a friend who did her very best raising her stepson who was about Skyler's age when she came into his life. The ex situation was even very similar to Sarah's. They went on to have 3 more sons and try as she might the older stepson just never did fit into the new family completely. I think it's a very hard thing to accomplish.

Mary, you're bathroom reno is perfect. You did good! And congrats on the gardening jobs you're acquiring. You know we rarely see pictures of your garden. How about sharing a few? I'd love to see...

Chelone, I admit I looked up a couple of words in one of your recent posts too:) Glad you have a weekend for concentrating on doing what you want. Those are the best!

Michelle, have a great and relaxing vacation!

My favorite garden fragrance right now is hosta plantaginea. I got mine from my grandma's garden probably 25 years ago and they smell so pretty.

Herbs were the first thing that really got me gardening. I too used to have an herb garden but now mostly grow them in pots. I do use most of them for cooking. I have lots books on herbs too and there are a couple of excellent herb nurseries in the area that I visit at least once during gardening season.

Pot herbs: dill, common sage, tricolor sage, golden sage, purple sage, chocolate mint, bronze fennel, greek oregano, variegated oregano, golden oregano, bay tree, flat leaf parsley, loveage (which needs to get into the ground), genovese basil, purple basil, lime basil, spicy globe basil,
upright and trailing rosemary, a couple of lavenders, and a common thyme. Note to self to get a lemon thyme too!

Lemon Verbena

Pineapple Sage

And here's our doorbell

I know there's even more I wanted to say but I've been working on this post for a long time and Bud's been taking the brunt of entertaining Bella while I was doing it. Time to give him a break I think. Have a good evening. It is wine night you know!


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 7:18PM
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Me again. I forgot I wanted to post this recipe that they always serve at a culinary herb talk I sometimes go to. It's very good, especially with the added cheese tortellini.


This is the most popular recipe we have ever printed. We have so many requests for it, we are reprinting it this year.

3 Fresh Ripe Tomatoes
1 Fresh Cucumber, sliced
1 Fresh Green Pepper, and 1 Fresh Sweet Red Pepper, cut into strips
Any other fresh vegetables that you like raw - little zucchini, little yellow summer squash, and so on ...
1 Cup Olive Oil
1 Bunch Fresh Basil
1 Clove Garlic
1 Package Cheese Tortellini, cooked and cooled
1/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
We always add Pasta (one bag of cheese stuffed tortolleni is really great in this recipe) to the other ingredients, serve it with some hot bread and make it a whole meal.

Put the Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, and Cheese into a blender and blend until chopped fine. Add Lemon Juice and blend well. Pour over fresh vegetables. Enjoy! We understand that this is also good with a nice loaf of bread to pull apart and dip in the sauce.

They have some other good herb recipes at their site. The lavender cookie one is good too!


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 7:31PM
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Still watering , but have poured a glass of Sauv Blanc and have the ballgame channel queued up with no volume so I can watch the d*%m Dodgers lose yet another game (8 in a row so far).

Mary your powder room turned out fabu-fabu..I love the beadboard paneling and the wall color is great. Will you add some towel bars or the like ? Art for the walls ? Really nice jobyou rock !

Saucy, lol I splinted my delphs- isnt that pathetic ? I love them so much in the garden that I usually cant bear to cut them for bouquets-of course the answer to that is to have a huge grove of them like Marie does , but I never put out enough plants despite my best efforts.

Martie, is that Pineapple mint in the ground ? No invasiveness issues ? Love the foliage on that.
Aloysias overwinter here and actually get quite large- 6 ft or larger. I just put one in again this summer- spd my old one which was just way to huge and not getting enough sun either. Now that the gazebo is gone I was able to select a spot that would work. I use the leaves instead of lemon in my ice tea..but maybe we need the recipe for lemon verbena berry cake ? That sounds quite tasty ! It sounds like you are feeling good health wise ? Good for you ..

Brenda , hi ! Very astute observation regarding the eye of the beholder. Were never satisfied are we ? Guess thats part of the whole gardening gig.

All for now, more water to move wave to all

Joe Pye collapses on top of DA rose English Garden , while Star of Yalta/Yelta puts a chokehold on The Fairy (as if anything could bring The Fairy down) I just had to snap a photo of this today. I can barely find the end of my soaker hose in this bed.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The promised herb basket photo:

Obviously I should have used more of the thyme!

My new update of Firefox seems to have corrected several glitches that make a difference to me, and one involves posting photos here more easily.

I loved V's story about hair in the eyes....One of those little things with a clever solution.

I've copied the recipe Eden! I suspect that Skyler's presence will occupy a great deal of time (and friction) in Sarah's life. For now, she is very well balanced and has her priorities straight, and that is remarkable. If she didn't adore him, it wouldn't bother her at all. My hope is that DSIL will learn some coping strategies and not allow his son's behavior to be a divisive thing. That kind of power should not be allowed in a child. Glad to have the news on the new Barbara Kingsolver book too. I already have the Humphries book. Now I have two on my list:

The Lace Reader
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Today I managed to weed a chunk of the mess near our bridge. It makes a difference to me, but of course DH never noticed. Phoebe proceeded to dig a huge hole there when I was done. :( Yes Brenda, the eye of which beholder?! I think the perfectionist in me is not a good thing...but that someone says it looks fine when it truly does not makes me think less of the person. Something is wrong when a friend lies...! A knowing friend said: "I'm not saying anything or you'll have me weeding! Let's sit here with a drink and enjoy the view."

Later we went to town with the furry mutt and she charmed many. I got a lemon yogurt ice cream in a dish and DH chose a chocolate mint in a waffle cone. It was leftovers for dinner, which was fine. In a tiny tourist shop I discovered new pieces to a set of glassware that I adore. The owner thinks his new order should arrive next week, so I am hopeful to acquire some of them to add to what I already own! Nice to look forward to that!

Mary! The work you've done on the bathroom is stupendous! It is clean, simple, functional and lovely. Yes, a WC can be lovely! THREE CHEERS! Can't imagine the money you saved, but the pride in accomplishment has no price attached to it, not to mention what Annie has learned from the experience.

Will you be taking music lessons again this year Mary? I hope you can make time for yourself to do it!

I'm so enjoying the tales of Saucy and Chelone's garden challenges. How we solve our garden problems is fascinating to me...I too enjoyed The VFN several years ago with the Idylls.

Missing Cynthia, Honey, Ei and others, some from the distant past!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 9:18PM
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Hi again

Eden - I'm joining you with a glass of wine. What a relief it must be having your Mom at home and your sister there for a while. How is your sister doing? Your herbs are lovely and the Pesto Salad one I'm looking forward to trying.

Anita - laundry has to be my least favorite chore. Annie has done her own since she was 11 and I'm training David to do his, but boy, is that an uphill battle. DH also runs most of his own to be ready for travel though I always offer. So just mine and the towels etc. go in once a week, usually in the evening. I like to fold with something good on TV.

GB - I love the herb hanging basket and want to try one next year. My music lessons are on hold for the summer and I will have to see how schedules work out once school starts.

Kathy - yes, I have brushed nickel towel rails, and Saucy - I had the same thoughts about towels. As something fun I thought I'd do a glass mosaic for the blank wall. I have two designs I'm playing with, one of poppies, the other a fish skeleton. Annie and David have voted for the fish skeleton which they think very cool. DH is somewhat ambivalent and says I should just please myself. The neat thing about a bathroom is you can hang art you wouldn't put anywhere else in the house.

Sue - the ski house looks great and a lot of potential for fun and new people. Do you get to meet any of the other renters before you commit?

Denise - was it you who mentioned seeds for the lime green mirabilis? I'm happy to share with anyone - just let me know. They are usually quite generous setting seed.

I am dead beat tonight. I gardened this morning as a job, then came home and spent the afternoon weeding. I took care of the larger animals we are looking after (sprayed the horse with fly repellant, checked on the goats). Annie and David are sharing responsibility for the cats, dog and rabbit. Supper tonight was ratatouille from the garden, grilled chicken and farmers market corn, eaten on the patio. We followed it with a movie.

Tomorrow I hope to get more done in the garden and we are all planning on swimming in the afternoon. DH is heating the pool, something we NEVER do, but it means he will enjoy a dip with us.

First, I need a good night's sleep. Nite all!


    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 10:47PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, when looking at a house we were considerimg buying, the photos on the wall of the bathroom deterred I'd say anything you like, except when you want to sell! I'm told our present home had a painting that embarrassed many in the front hall as well, but the agent had them remove it!

Laundry here is done whenever. I do lots though because DH likes those old oxford cloth button down collared shirts every darn day. I have nothing against wearing things two days in a row, especially if I'm going to be house cleaning or gardening. Call me gross....I do a bit less laundry than in the past because DH no longer plays hockey since his hernia operation. Funny thing! I did Skyler's laundry before he left for home and Disney. Oddly enough (LOL) there was NO underwear. Are we becoming shy?

To bed!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:15PM
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I like the fish skeleton, Mary!

I wish we lived close enough to help each other out with projects. I often need a hand, and my husband is often ambivalent :)

I found a piece of bark yesterday that I put aside to cast....I also found one of those hard lichen-like things growing on a dead tree.....VFN had some interesting tufa and concrete work around and it got my creative juices flowing :)

GB, your herb basket is perfect! I guess I didn't weigh in on herbs: I put them here and there in my pots....where I needed a vertical element, I stuck in a rosemary....a spiller: some thyme. I have to say that I have my usually three and don't stray much past that: Rosemary, Thyme, Basil. Kathy, I wondered how the lemon verbena would be if I steeped it with the tea for making iced tea. I may try that'd probably be awesome for making lemon ice with the kids!

I laid in bed this morning staring at the ceiling thinking about getting plants in the ground and what needs to happen to do that. I believe that getting over my healthy fear of the chainsaw is next on the list, LOL! I need two trees to come down. Now I grew up watching my grandmother wield the chainsaw to better her view to the lake, so it must be in my genes, right?

I'm also taking ideas for welding projects. SunnyD's husband is going to take the class, so we're going to carpool together (plus, I'll know someone in my age bracket and not be the "mom" in the class of 18 y.o.!) far I have some simple plant tables and maybe a turtle project....

Eden, it is nice that your mom is in her own home. Your recipe has been tucked away for future use.

Brenda, I often look at the card I was dealt with this place and think that a bulldozer and a clean slate might be easier....but I know weeds would come out of that, too :) I hope you have fun today with your guest. I don't think that I told you, but the kids and I really enjoyed watching you skydive while we were in Maine....neither of them piped up with, "I wanna do that!" though....

It's getting to be harvest time in the the goldenrod bloom I think the saying goes. They are working frantically with this nice weather! I won't get a "real" harvest this year, but my neighbor walked me through the steps to steal a little. When I know how much I have, you'd all be welcome to a baby food sized jar, LOL! I guess I'm getting a little ahead of myself....I'll probably only get a thimble full. (You have to make sure the bees have 60-70lbs of honey for overwintering...they need plenty of pollen stores, I'll really be going into the hive to see how they're set up for the cold....)

Well, I can see my coffee has kicked in. I'm going to go walk the dog and see if I can psych myself up for chainsaw wielding....


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 8:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Trivia: I remember in those English gardening magazines a trio of people who did 3-day garden makeovers. Only the woman had the chainsaw license!

Yes Saucy, many is the day I have wished that the Idylls could come spiff up this place with me! It's not just anyone you can trust to identify weeds, no less be creative! By the way, the apline strawberries in the herb basket were so pretty! DS stole the berries while visiting....

There's sun here! I'm concerned for my friend in hurricane country. She is sticking it out..with a one year old and a blind husband.

Wonder what today will offer. It began with the sighting of a black and white warbler in our serviceberry! It certainly feels like a holiday with no noise from the gravel pit beyond.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 8:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just came in to check on a bug I found. I think it is some type of Ichneumon, an insect I've seen before in Toronto. It knew I had a camera in hand and immediately flew off. Grrrr

So here's our door bell Saucy! Have you made a decision on your find?

The Agastache is looking fine today.
Now off to do laundry! Seems the master has no black socks and is suffering...

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 10:20AM
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I was out on the Compound early yesterday, watering (can you believe it?) and enjoying the quiet of the morning (before traffic). It's a nice time of day and I actually get to speak to "walkers", joggers, and bicyclists; something I very much enjoy. More than a few actually stop and "visit" and that really makes my day. :) I put in a pretty long day, mowing the lawn(s) and then digging holes and moving or just planting two more shrubs. It all looks so puny right now, though. I watch the cars stream by and wonder if how many years it will be before they zip past BEHIND the foliage screen. Sigh.

Mary, I have skimmed ahead and seen the fruits of your labor and ability to absorb the 4 lessons of plumbing (hot's on the left, cold's on the right,"s-it don't flow uphill", and payday's on Friday). I can offer nothing that everyone else hasn't said. It looks terrific and you are an amazingly resourceful woman (what Idyllette isn't?)! It looks fabulous and I hope you spend some time in self-congratulatory preening. Also wanted to note your mention of less than inventive/informed contractors... I have a helpmeet rather like that. Hmmmm... I have spent a lot of time thinking about and studying the "shrub border" and while I'm a little insecure about the plantings on a "bad day", I've paid attention and done my homework. So, the other night when Mr. Iworkinagardencenter made his appearance I was momentarily cowed. But then, I'vedonemyhomeworkandtheassbustin'labor took over. The view from the "cheap seats" is terrific, esp. when it's Monday morning. You are an amazing and inspirational woman. Why don't you live next door to me? (come to think of it, how come we haven't started our very own sub-division? lol). If you head out the nursery with the Jap. Maples would you select one for me if I gave you some ideas of what I'm looking for? I would trust you, Deanne, Sue, (everyone else, for Pete's sake!) to select something appropriate. Please advise, because I'm absolutely serious about this.

I have several very large clumps of Hosta Plantaginaea and there is nothing like the fragrance on a warm summer's eve, Eden. I believe I will now forever remember your Mom and you whenever it comes into flower. :/ While bittersweet, it's also a very good thing.

Funny about doorbells, as we've always wanted to do the same thing here. We "live" on the second floor and it would be necessary for the bell to be mounted outside the second floor window with a long "pull"... too much like how one used to flush the john? dating myself? We're going to have to revisit the basics of the hardware required.

Old, moldy, but more than able and willing to laugh about it...

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all, Happy Labor Day eve! I had to choose the option not to download pictures until we get the satellite internet in on Tuesday.
Not only am I behind, but I cannot drool over the wonderful photos. It has been a trauma for me. Maybe I'm a bit spoiled? ;)

The puppies move on to their new foster home tomorrow. After the tears will be a celebration!
I did have a chance to check out the bath redo photos. What an inspiration that is! I will be doing both our baths
this winter so I'm taking notes.

Brenda, THANK YOU for the 'Truth in Gardening' photos! It is great to know I am not the only one. LOL
I made huge progress in landscaping here but everything came to a screeching halt with
the family issues and whooping case of depression that followed. The fog has lifted but the crab grass and Johnson grass
are just daunting now. One step at a time I suppose. Maybe we can spur each other on.

On the laundry poll; we do laundry once a week, on the weekend. It works well, especially since DH does it!
We fold clothes on Sunday evenings while watching TV. Saucy, I wish we lived close. I would love to take a welding class!
I like the idea of an Idyll subdivision. How fun that would be. :)

I know this is a rambling post but it is a chaotic weekend so far. At least we are getting a ton of housework done!

Later 'gators


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 3:21PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Does anyone know an 'easy' way to clean REALLY bad grout?


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 5:12PM
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Laundry is done once/wk. Usually it's Saturday/Sunday AM, but that depends on the weather. We don't have a dryer and I tend to organize laundry with respect to incoming high pressure weather systems, as space is limited in the boiler room. (our "dryer") as winter settles in and we use the woodstove more drying clothes becomes easier. The coming week is pretty much non-stop high pressure, so I have more latitude planning laundry loads. I do two/three loads week, Anita. One for dark/really dirty and another for just sweaty. Towels and sheets are in their own category and tend to fall into the 2 wk. rotation.

If you can't get through a week with the clean clothes provided you need to reassess your wardrobe or the way you you use it! Washing clothes requires planning, water, and ENERGY (electric or MINE). Drying them requires even more. I repeat: I run the washing machine once a week. I use COLD water. If it ain't in the hamper it doesn't get washed. End of story, don't whine to me about the fact that your clothes ain't clean! if you really want them to be clean make sure it's in the laundry rotation. TOUGH LOVE. When someone is willing to take care of your dirty clothes without complaint, day in and day out, you need to "get with the program" and make sure the dirty clothes are easily available for the laundress so she may make best use of her available time.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 5:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Let me sneak in here quietly and say that my delphiniums are starting their second flush of smaller blooms....

Jerri, I'm waiting for replies to your grout question. My answer was to replace the tiles completely...:(

Back from a nursery expedition. How nice! A dictamnus, an epimedium, a tricyrtis, another clematis (blush), a crocosmia in orange and red and a yellow hellebore. Boosts the spirits!

Time to whip up some spaghetti for the starving chauffeur.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 5:39PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The ideal weather here has lulled me into idleness instead of idyllness. I tweak the garden a bit, come in and veg, tweak the garden some more. Three day weekends are such a luxury!

I'm glad that Chelone has posted on laundry, so I sound like less of a scrooge! My kids were raised to do their own laundry as soon as they were able to reach the washer (still a top-loading model). So I only do my laundry and DH's. I only use cold water also, but I do use the dryer. Perhaps next year I'll take the plunge and get a clothes line! I do worry about the sheer number of birds we have here. Generally I do 2-3 loads a week, usually on the weekend but I don't have a set laundry day.

Speaking of birds, today we've been able to watch an egret, a least bittern, several mallards and a couple of wood ducks.

Short in-law grump here. We had a very nice dinner with the in-laws Friday night, but much of MIL's conversation was about the pig roast we are hosting next weekend. We've done this party for several years, but in honor of our anniversary we invited several relatives. Now she appears to think that we don't know how to prepare for the party. She keeps questioning what we are serving, and even suggested that she & her DH could come clean out our garage in case it rains. Um, 'scuse me, but I'm not hosting a party in my garage, OK? We're renting a tent and we have this lovely thing called a house. Can you tell I was just a little irritated by the unexpected micro-managing? Ah, well...

I'd better wrap up my jobs for the day as we have dinner plans tonight. TTYL!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 6:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

WEll I'm still having hideous computer problems. Doug had gotten the hard drive reformatted and all my software reloaded then couldn't get the wireless connection to work. Then it turned out that the new wireless driver he uploaded didn't work with our old router. So when he put the old drivers back somehow it screwed up the hard drive again and he had to reformat the hard drive all over again. Grrrrrr..... so I still don't have a computer up and running just one that is limping along. In the meantime the Doug's work computer crashed so he's having to deal with that on top of trying to fix my lap top. What a huge pain in the neck. I'm really getting jumpy about ANY and ALL pop ups and adds etc,. etc. etc. as we just don't know where this freaking virus came from.

I'm way behind as I've not been able to get on line but wanted to tell Mary what a fantastic job you did on your powder room. It looks wonderful!

RE Herbs, I've never really grown anything except some sage, thyme and now the lavender that Martie gave me. Not a plant group that has given my heart palpitations.

Sue I think that ski house is going to be just thing for you. Go for it!

Eden, so glad to hear your MOm is home and your DS is with her. Know that I think of you often and send supportive thoughts your way. ~~~ I really appreciate your taking cuttings of that 'Purple Oak' coleus for me. It looks wonderful. Your doorbell is exactly the one Jerri bought me as a hostess gift when she visited. Neato!t

Kathy, love that combination!

Bug great herb basket. so pretty.

Jerri, how great that the puppies are moving on. That was a HUGE commitment but I'm sure you're relieved to have your house back.

Boy wouldn't it be great if we had a neighborhood of Idyllers??? All those gardeners and gardens in one location. WE could have a Garden Conservancy Open Days and people wouldn't have to go but to one location. Fun...

Laundry, I do it and Doug does it and we both fold when the piles of clean laundry get out of control. Summer is about five loads a week or so. Winter not so bad when I don't have to wash dirty garden and bicycling clothes almost daily. I too taught DD to do her laundry from very early on. MJ was complaining about having to do six loads of laundry yesterday and I didn't feel one little bit sorry for her as she still does ALL the laundry for both her sons who are 17 and 21. Good grief. Time for them to grow up.

OK I've got to run and move the sprinkler.

Heaven help the people on the Louisianna coastline.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 6:17PM
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Wondering if Saucy conquered the chainsaw today. I dont think I did much today that could be described as productive-other than fertilizing all the containers and cutting back a few overgrown items. Im going to BBQ some hamburgers tonightI dont even remember when the last time I had a hamburger was, bet its been over a year. Why is it that buns only come in packages of 8 ?? For some reason I have an aversion to frozen bread so Ill have to come up with some suitable uses to fish up the leftovers. I did cut a recipe out of a magazine for chicken salad sandwiches than involves apples and dried cranberries , which I could then serve on my whole wheat burger buns.

My giant patch of Rudbeckias look like a very large dog laid down right in the middle of them ( Has Wrecks been in the transporter ??) and other floppiness is pandemic. I ordered those spongy garden ties from Gardeners supply today; theyre expensive but re-useable and I think theyll work great fot the Dahlias. Anyone else have them ?

Deanne, what a drag these ceaseless computer issues must be. No wonder we havent seen you for a couple of days. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and and ponder the beauties of your container garden. I share your concerns for those poor folks on the gulf coast. What a tragedy for that beautiful and unique city.

Saucy, maybe you could make some sort of ironwork loop-de-loop thingy to ornament the top of your panels for The G. Girls ?

Mary, I like the fish skeleton idea too- the white beadboard has kind of a coastal-cottage vibe to me, a fish would be just the thing. I have yet to hang anything on the walls in my master bath that I painted last winter. Just waiting for the right thing to come along I guess.

bug, tell me that bell is reproduction ?? I love your herb basket-I'd like to try that sometime-it must smell great.

Chelone, I wonder if there is some sort of temporary thing you could rig up that could be removed in winter to help screen the road while the fab-fabu shrub border fills in ? Like a reed or bamboo screen that rolls up for storage ?

Jerri, 2 bathrooms ?? I guess thatll keep you plenty busy during the cold months. Custom Building Products makes a tile and grout cleaner that tile contractors use Youd probably have to wear full safety-gear and air out the room , but it surely cleans things up mighty nice. Note the link below...

Time to go make hamburger patties.

Herb History: This is a pic of the espallied Vitex we saw at Wave Hill. Vitex is often classified as an herb, the fruits were used as a substitute for pepper, and a libido suppressant in monasteries, thus the common name 'chaste tree'.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 7:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh! So that's the story behind the name! Live and learn Kathy! I love my vitex, even though it has only about 3-4 blooms so far. Not the best zone for it! Lovely photo!

DH bought the bell in Amsterdam at the market. He assured me that there were many, so obviously not authentic. But whenever things go downhill around here, I wonder....

Deanne, seriously sad for both you and Doug about the computer crap. At least you have motivated my DH to start to back up his files this evening.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Happy Labor Day!

It's going to be a gorgeous one here and we are planning an afternoon in the pool with friends coming over for a late afternoon BBQ. I'm trying something different and am doing a version of the "Beer Can Chicken" but with peach nectar instead of beer. I think some sort of fruit pie might be called for too.

Deanne - commiserations to you and Doug. Computer woes have to one of the most frustrating and time consuming things to deal with. EVER! Hope it doesn't consume your Labor Day too.

GB - antique or not, your bell is lovely and perfect for your house.

Kathy - yes the fish skeleton appealed to me for the same reason. I thought it needed something with a watery feel and the simplicity of the design I'm working on fits with that of the room. I'm planning a background of dark brown glass, white opal shards for the fish bones and head with an off-white marble border.

Jerri - congrats on the puppy adoptions. Hope you won't miss them too much. Spurred on by the success of the powder room I've decided to do the kids bathroom this September while my hours are only part-time. It is a bigger room but I can leave tub, toilet and floor in place. I'll paint, replace the old vanity top and sinks with a granite tiled counter top (if I'm ambitious, formica otherwise) and a vessel sink. I also want to make a frame for the large mirror. We can talk each other through our projects!!

DH just arrived with coffe to drink outside so I need to run


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:38AM
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I am so late saying thanks to all of you for the support and caring which you shared when I lost Katie. My lack of response was not lack of appreciation. I've been keeping to myself and just digging into work and home. Anyway, you have no idea how much it meant to me. No idea. So sincere thank yous to all for understanding and reaching out.

Yesterday I wasted a lot of time making a video tribute for Katie. It started when I picked up my camera for something else, and found the last photos of her on there. She was still smiling at me even though she was so sick she couldn't move.

The video starts with her very first photo from the track, (tied to a track counter for mug shots and wagging her curly tail cause she just knows something good is gonna happen!) and ends with her last photo on 7/23, still smiling and still thinking "it's all good! ...But maybe it's been better."

Lots of cameo appearances from some of the fosters she hung out with over the years, at least three different 'cow doggies' make an appearance. The lighter brindle is Monty, and the big dark brindle (to Katie's small dark brindle) is Dannie. The expression on Dannie's face never changes, but Katie's face was always reflective, always jabbering at me or rooing in joy.

Don't go full screen in YouTube, use the small window and select 'watch in high quality.'. The combination of the quality of photos I had saved plus conversion from a WMV file to a whatever file that Youtube uses resulted in lots of shakes in the video display.

Turn speakers on and click on 'high quality' to get the full 'woe is me I miss my dog' effect :-)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 10:03AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Melancholy of course, but the Perfect seven year dance. Thank you Cynthia!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:05AM
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Cynthia, what a beautiful tribute I say with tears in my eyes. You're girl was very special. What a smile she had! You were both so fortunate to have found each other and had that dance. Take care.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:05AM
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Not a dry eye here. Beautiful tribute to Katie, Cynthia.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

WE are having a splendid day here with scrumptious weather. I've been out since 7:30 enjoying the crisp air and beautiful sunshine. Incredible.

Doug has flown up to Bar Harbor to go bicycling and I opted to stay and putter about the gardens. Yesterday I discovered the best thing for cleaning the bird baths is a brass brush made for cleaning grills. Today I'm going to tackle the fountain then all the water features in the garden will be clean. I also gave everything here a liquid feed in the last two days as things were just slowing down and I was noticing too many worn and ageing leaves on things. The fuchsias are really starting to pump out the flowers and will be glorious in another week or so. Hmmm... they'll be just about perfect when the first frost hits. LOL And so it goes.

Thanks for all the commiserations over this computer fiasco here. I wish I could get my hands on the nasty person who designed whatever caused this. I just seriously don't get it? Why do people invent computer viruses? For power, for the sake of causing total strangers a lot of grief. I just don't get it.

Anyway, I'm crossing my fingers as my lap top is working this morning and the wireless on it is working and half of my software is installed and appears to be working. Phew. The bummer is I discovered that I'd lost about a week's worth of photographs when the drive crashed the second time. I'd thought all was OK and started to upload the photos of my memory cards onto the hard drive and like a total nu-nu didn't think to back up on the external drive at the same time. Anyway, pouff, gone.

Cynthia, I'm so happy to hear from you. I'd assumed that you were staying to yourself for a while to heal. Your tribute Katie is beautiful, moving and had the tears pouring down my face.

Mary, boy do I ever wish we lived a bit closer, a BBQ next to your pool sounds just the thing for me right now. I've been a bit down in the dumps from change of seasons, family issues etc. I'd love to just hang out sip a beverage and enjoy good conversation and some laughs. ~~ I'm looking forward to hearing about all the progress on your new projects. I don't know how you accomplish all you do.

Bug, so you are growing Vitex!? I didn't think it was hardy there. Hmmmm.... That Vitex at the NYBG with the Tithonia in front was one of the most fantastic combinatons I've ever seen and wouldn't I just love to duplicate it.

So V. I wonder why your MIL thinks you incapable of dealing with a party you've hosted successfully in previous years. Good grief. I ROTFLOL over her wanting to clean out your garage.

OK, time to get off the computer and move the sprinkler. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Just a quick drop in before I head outside to say Hi to Cynthia -so nice to see a post from you this morning..we miss you ! I so enjoyed your montage of Ms Katie, and her furry friends too..

back later...
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 12:03PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cynthia - that was a beautiful tribute to Katie - and your care of her too. She looks to be one of those 'once in a lifetime' special dogs. That how the guy who owns Zoe, the Rottweiler I posted pictures of recently, refers to Hera, his previous dog, a Rottweiler/Shepherd cross who was a fabulous dog. If you want to see a 6'6" big guy reduced to tears, reminisce about Hera....

On the subject of laundry - Randy is in charge here because, while we have a stacking washer/dryer in our bathroom, the 'regular' washer and dryer are in the basement so are not accessible for me. We usually do one white wash and one colored wash. Because we have the two machines, it can all be done fairly quickly. In all but rainy or otherwise stormy weather, the laundry is mainly hung outside to dry.

Deanne - good reminder; time to back up the computer today.... :-) Actually I've been having a very annoying problem for the past month or so. When it boots up, and periodically at other times, the computer operates at a crawl and a double envelope icon appears on the bottom right. If you scroll over it, it says 'Microsoft Office Outlook is synchronizing files'. At first I thought I had picked up some nasty something-or-other but I searched the Internet for that phrase and found that lots and lots of people are having that problem. There is endless discussion on techy sites about it. No one seems to have found a definitive way to fix it and it appears to be a problem originating with Microsoft. That's not what's causing your problems by any chance is it?

Mary - that's an impressive bathroom renovation! I like doing DIY projects but that's way beyond what I'd want to tackle!

V - how old is your MIL? Maybe she's starting to feel that she's soon going to be beyond being able to help and is fighting to prove (to herself most of all) that she can still do - or provide significant assistance - a major entertainment event....?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 12:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)



September 1, 2008 at 9:00 AM EDT

LONDON Feeling stressed or anxious at an inability to access the Internet? Don't worry, you're not alone and now there's a word for it: "discomgoogolation."

Nearly half of Britons 44 per cent are discomgoogolation sufferers, according to a survey, with more than one-quarter 27 per cent admitting to rising stress levels when they are unable to go online.

"The proliferation of broadband has meant for the first time in history we've entered a culture of 'instant answers,'" said psychologist Dr David Lewis, who identified discomgoogolation by measuring heart rates and brainwave activity.

The term comes from "discombobulate," which means to confuse or frustrate, and Google, the massive search engine.

"A galaxy of information is just a mouse click away and we have become addicted to the web," added Lewis. "When unable to get online, discomgoogolation takes over.

"It was surprising to see the stress this led to brain activity and blood pressure in participants both increase in response to being cut off from the Internet."

The survey also found 76 per cent of Britons could not live without the Internet, with more than half of the population using the web between one and four hours a day and 19 per cent of people spending more time online than with their family in a week.

Forty-seven per cent of those polled believed the Internet was more important in people's lives than religion, with one in five people paying the Internet more attention than their partner.

Commissioned by information service 118118, the YouGov poll questioned 2,100 Britons during the first week of July.

From a different perspective, I'm thrilled that certain people can make great use of Google and email. Take Woody as my example! I would not know her otherwise! :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 12:22PM
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Cynthia...Katie's tribute is beautiful. I had chills and teary eyes watching it. The song you chose is perfect. I'm sure doing this for her brings you a great sense of peace. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 1:22PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all,
I'm so happy to see Cynthia, we were all worried. I am saving the Katie tribute for another day. I'm still teary from dropping off the puppies. :( Remind me again why I do this?

Deanne, so happy your computer is better.

(Commercial ahead!)
I would recommend everyone pick up the software below, or something very similar. We are both in IT so we are online 24x7. This is a great product and has saved our behinds several times!

"Symantec pulled only the tools deemed most beneficial to the general user from all its product lines. Norton 360 includes antivirus, antispyware, antiphishing, antirootkit protection, a firewall, Symantec's new SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advance Response) behavioral monitoring software, and a vulnerability assessment tool to see what Windows updates your computer might be missing. An add-on pack of online tools includes Parental Control, Antispam, and other optional features such as blocking private data from leaking onto the Internet."

(/end Commercial)

As someone who has been bandwidth limited for a few weeks, I can so relate to being Discomgoogolated! LOL

I think I will go veg out and watch TV. Sad end to an otherwise great weekend. (sniff sniff) :(


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 2:28PM
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Hope all the Idylls are enjoying the wrap up of our holiday weekend to think we are only a few weeks away from the official start of autumn . Our pleasant weekend weather here has taken a turn and its hot and windy (a bad combination for the dry hills of Calif ) though the winds arent too strong, they have been around since I got up this morning and Im going to have to spend some time watering the containers this afternoon.

Good one bug Ive found myself discomgoogolated from time to time-thats the reason I bought myself a laptop; dont have to share computer time with DS.

This pic is from my trip to the Oregon Coast this past summer and shows the Angelica growing wild on the cliffs. I looked up the lore on this plant in one of my herb books, and it says it got its name after and angel was said to appear to a monk during one of the plague epidemics of the 15th century and revealed the plant as a protection against the disease. It also was thought to have powers against witchcraft and evil spirits.

Time to go water

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 3:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's a rather warm Labor Day here, and we haven't had meaningful rain in quite some time. Yes, this is the same V who kept writing, "We had another bad storm yesterday..." earlier this spring and summer. Amazing how quickly the weather fortunes can reverse.

Overall, the yard is ready for the party. I'll have to water some this week and perhaps deadhead a few things, but the big stuff is done. And progress has happened inside the house also.

Cynthia, I'll save the tribute for tomorrow night when I'm home alone, so I can bawl my heart out. But glad to see you back and hope you stay "back"!

'bug, a while back you asked me if the book I read on vacation, "The Lace Reader", would be good for your book group. I will confess that I got skittish about answering because right about I found out that a book I recommended to my new book group really upset someone. But I have since decided that I took the last reaction to hard, so here goes!

"The Lace Reader" does have witchcraft as a significant element of the story. It is not about witchcraft, and I believe it does not endorse witchcraft, but it does use witchcraft as a basis for talking about discrimination. Having said that, I think there are a number of people who would be put off by the discussion of witchcraft in the novel. I'll say again that I really enjoyed the book, but be sure you know your group before you offer the book.

Okay, time to remove three things from the cluttered coffee table!


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 5:27PM
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So good to see Cynthia, and will visit with Katie tonight when red eyes won't matter :-)

Blast the computers!!! At least to get them better!!! (Knock on wood) I haven't lost anything, yet, but do back up, and up, and up.

Yesterday spent a marvelous day weeding. Four full hours and the exercise felt wonderful! Things actually look spiffed up and a few surprises will be pictured, soon.

Back full steam ahead at work and again, it feels good. Had a super meeting with my boss on Friday who is/was very pleased with how I had left things for my client babysitter. Gas tank is full and day book open! Yippee!

V: Phooey to those whose minds aren't open enough to at least read and Then share opinion. Even if the opinion is negative, they have something to base it on. I, for one, will be picking up a copy. Sounds interesting!

Mary -- Rich wants to know if you subcontract :-)

Kathy -- Interested to know what your herb library contains. I'm still waiting for an updated "Rodale's" to be published.

Just curious, Jerri, how many pups were left? Did the others get good homes?

Need to get some traction, here, and get moving. Thinking and sending all good thoughts to those on the Gulf coast and inland. Haven't these folks had enough??


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 7:18AM
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I was admiring the Angelica at VFN and would very much like some seed if someone is willing to share...I'll trade you anything that I have :)

Today is the first day back to school. Jake spent a great deal of time worrying....I finally got him to quickly put the backpack away (all ready to go) and go play outside. Boy, I can see how worrying could become a real problem for him....I will have to try to steer him from it. I've seen him work himself into a migraine over not doing his homework/assignment, but he won't just do the required task. Tough nut to crack :)

Sarah's got her outfit planned and is happy to move to the second floor with the bigger lockers :) I sure hope school is easier for her, for my own selfish reasons :)

Chainsaw Saucy did not make an appearance, but I did get Nick to fell one of the two trees....I started reading about chainsaw safety and decided against it :) Maybe another time :) I've decided my grandmother had a healthy dose of crazy in her....

Back to the Goddess Garden! Boy, it's really cleaned out (pictures later) and I've got a great slate to start with. I've been thinking of all the work involved in digging out a garden of this size by hand, and think I might try Kathy's rototiller fact, I'm thinking of paying someone 50 dollars to do it for me (I heard this is the going rate in town). Then I can plant! Hardscapes are nagging at me now. I'm pouring over books/magazines for just the right "look"....turns out I have access to free rocks from the community farm field.

But the office is in desperate need of my attention today.

Jerri, congrats on the puppies and a big hug, too! Want a free cat to make you feel better....LOL....Marcy's being a pain in the patootie right now (figure eights around my ankles).

It's no secret that Marcy and I have a healthy dose of disdain for each other. She appreciates my thumbs, I appreciate her determination. That's where the love ends :)

Lace Reader now sounds more interesting to me, V. I've been using your 3 things rule around're right, it makes a task less daunting!

Mary, I immediately thought (and I don't know why) the islands of Greece when you said fish skeleton....those aqua blue ocean colors would be nice and refreshing.

I got a new style collar for Zeus that allows us to walk together without his pulling my arm - it's wonderful! So I've been walking him each morning (our usually routine was a walk about the property). He just came in and poked his nose in my armpit :) He's so much more agreeable than that darned cat, LOL!

Well, time to go get the school season rolling....Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 7:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH asked me the difference between bulbs, rhizomes, corms, tubers and stolons. I thought I knew, but it is very hard for me to describe and give examples!

Saucy, is the collar a Gentle Leader perhaps? Give details please! With arthritis in my thumbs, walking Phoebe on a leash is not fun. At home she's fine with no collar, but on the road or in town, that's another story.

V, I enjoy the varying feedback on books at book club. I wouldn't find discussion any fun if others all had the same views as mine. We are only about 8 people though, so we know each other pretty well, in fact well enough to guess responses to the various reads...and often be correct.

Today I need to get moving. Lots to catch up on - and finally, payday!!! DH begins classes next week and has 8:30AM classes 3 days a week, then 4PM classes on different days. I see early breakfasts and late dinners in my future.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 8:00AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well my lap top is still working this morning. Neat! Its funny how we take things for granted, like me enjoying my morning cup of coffee sitting my favorite chair, planning my day and checking out the Idylls. It's nice to have my morning routine back. WE are going to have another lovely day here with plenty of sunshine and perfect temps. Now, if we'd only get a little rain here it would be perfect. Like V I can't believe I'm looking for some rain. The hose dragging and oscillating sprinklers will be part of my life until we get some rain.

V. I'm hoping you take lots of photos of your pig roast to share here. It sounds like such a great party.

Saucy, paying someone to dig out the new border sounds like a plan to me. So are you getting back to the gym on a regular basis? I'm planning on it myself. Time to get my fitness level back up where it was last year.

Martie, You must be so ready to be back at work. Sounds like you're raring to go.

Kathy love the photo of the Angelica. I'd really love to grow some here. Monique and Les have a beautiful patch of it in their gardens this year. ~~ HOpe your winds don't bring any fires with them.

Bug, lol about 'discomgoogolated'. So that's what you call it?

Woody, nope the problem you mention with Outlook is not what happened here. I picked up some kind of Trojan. I think my DS is having that problem though.

Mary, how did the pool party/BBQ go? I was thinking of you yesterday.

So the Mailbox Garden has been a surprise and delight this year. I had an ornamental kale plant survive the winter and decided to leave it there to see what it did. Well, it's gigantinormous and beautiful! The Datura Wendy grew from seed and gave me is perfect next to it along with the 'Fascinaton' dahlia, salvia and cleome. Anyway, it's one of those fun unplanned for combinations.

OK off to the gym, have a great day all

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 8:28AM
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GB, it is made by Gentle Leader, but it's not the silly one that goes over the dog's "nose"....Zeus spent entire walks trying to remove that from his face :)

This one sits on the chest, and if Zeus pulls, it causes him to turn toward me. After just 2 walks, he starting setting his pace with mine so that he wouldn't get a tug in the chest.

It's a bit on the pricey side....I didn't like paying 20 bucks for something I wasn't sure of, but it works for us.

I will say that Zeus is not really into other dogs/people/things on his walks....without a leash, he walks 20ft ahead of me on a steady path of marking and moving on....always checking behind himself to see if I'm still there :) Of course the leash law doesn't allow us this option :) I have noticed that my friend's Corgi, with his short legs and stout chest, can wrangle himself out of this if he sees another dog....but I think our big, long legged dogs have no choice. There's also some literature on pressure points that cause dogs to pull (think of dog sledding) and how this leash does not apply pressure to those points.

Wow...I didn't realize how much I liked this leash :)

Here's a link:

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 8:36AM
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Pretty quiet around the Idylls today . Still hot here, and we are looking at 90s for the entire week. Looks like watering will be the order of the day. Or days as the case may be..

Deanne, your mailbox garden is tres magnifique ! Wonderful combos and so nicely designed-I note the repeated elements like the Coleus, Allysum. Fuchsia (another Beacon Rosa ?) and what looks to be Zulu Wonder Plectranthus ? Fabu-fabu !

Martie, we can tell youre back in the workforce by the sudden decline in Idyll visits. But one must earn the daily bread ! Herb books, The Herb Society of America Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses, a DK book, published in 2001, Ros Creasys Edible Herb Garden shes a bit of a SF Bay Area institution , and her edible landscape series is popular here. I also have smaller reference called The Ultimate Book of Herbs & Herb Gardening by Jessica Houdret this was a book originally published across The Pond.

50 bucks to rototill that garden Saucy ? I would jump all over that in a hot minute-you cant even rent a rototiller around here for 50 bucks.

Putting The Lace Reader on the list.

Later all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:06PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good stressed-out evening to you all. Okay, I'm stressed, not you but I'll make you share my pain!

Suddenly the realization has hit that today is blasted Tuesday and the party is on Saturday. Frankly, the big stuff is under the control, but the little stuff is nagging at me big time. I think part of my issue is that DH is throwing me little curve balls. He forgot to drop off his dry cleaning, so I had to come home and then back track to town, which probably chewed up an extra half hour that I didn't have to spare. I need to take a couple of deep breaths and keep on moving.

You can all help me, though, by sending some rain my way tomorrow. I won't have time to water before dark, so if it doesn't rain, I don't know what plan B will be. One of these days, I'll teach the labs to run the hose!

Here's today's time management tip. Save your June magazines to read in September. It's so much faster to read when you can skip over those articles on summer fashion, sun glasses, beach reads.

It's hot here also. In fact, today was the hottest day of the summer so far, if you can believe that. It's supposed to cool off tonight, but I may need to turn on the a/c before bed.

OK, I have a few emails to get out, so I'd better do that pronto.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:35PM
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Doing the rain dance...

National Weather service gives you a 40% chance.
Have a glass of wine and a chocolate dipped strawberry-or two.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Get your car washed in the morning V, and don't take an umbrella to work! I'll do what I can for you! Leave some windows open in the house too.... ;)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:19PM
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Morning all.

It sure is dark this morning :) Funny, I haven't been up at 6 in a while....

I called about the rototiller....that price is for a veggie garden that just needs to be turned over for the winter. It's going to cost me $82 to rent it. It's on the list for this upcoming weekend :)

The middle panel for the trellised wall behind the Goddesses is on backorder....another 2-4 weeks before they ship! I can see that some careful planning needs to happen so that I don't have to stomp over plant material to get them in place.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning! Deanne, I'm back in the gym, but haven't gotten my consistent routine down....of course school starting will help that. I'm trying to walk as much as possible, too, so that I can drop a little of the giggly stuff I accumulated over the summer :)

I had fresh heirloom tomatoes with feta and good balsamic for dessert last night....tomato is a fruit, right? LOL, all I could think was that I should top it with basil for the sake of this Idyll, but I couldn't get my feet to walk out in the dark for it....

V., I'll do a little rain dance for you today, but I think GB is spot on with her suggestions, LOL!

I guess I'm going to wrap this up and get the day started. Have a great one!


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 6:33AM
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Good morning! As perfect a September morning as one can want. Rain is predicted here for Saturday and I think the plants will juuuuuuuust make it.

Last Friday brought some mint ('Kentucky Colonel') to work for a woman who wanted some for her garden. Yesterday, half the office wanted cuttings, too!! Is this an herb revolution???? No, it seems that a major ingredient to a popular drink called Mojito is mint. LOL Since this is one request that I can accomplish on a massive scale, an armload of mint is ready to go to work. The whole office will smell of it, but Who Cares??

This weekend lights are being re-erected downstairs for cuttings and some tenders. It seems impossible that it's that time, already. I'm doing an experiment with Willow vs. Rootone. Willow has been my fav rooting substance for years, but the thought of the smell of it boiling in my kitchen on a rainy day doesn't do much. So, some will be done with both and we'll see what happens.

What do others use?

Neighborhood kids started school yesterday and amongst the usual gathering in the middle of the cul-de-sac, it occurred to me that we've been here exactly four years. Cause for celebration!!

Yes, it is gratifying to be back at work and be greeted with such warmth and enthusiasm. Many structural changes are occuring to the hierarchy but most seem for the better. One great thing about being a seller is that typically, those positions are the last to go.

Puffing hard to make the clouds go toward V :-)

Great library, Kathy.

Later, 'gators!


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well I've had to install the hose end to the end of my right wrist again. I simply cannot believe how da m - ed fast things dry out with 84 degree temps and 20mph winds. I'm sure if we were dealing with the end of Gustaf we'd be screaming for this beautiful weather but I really wish we'd get a few inches of that rain and that another few of those inches of rain would visit V. ~~ It does look like we are going to get the tail end of that tropical storm coming up the east coast though. Hopefully it won't come with damaging winds.

V. I think Bug has nailed the "make it rain behavior". Especially the washing the car thing. If you have a sun roof on the car do leave that open to the weather as well. YOu might have a wet bum but wouldn't it be great if it makes it rain. ~~ Ummmm.... why did you deal with your Dh's dry cleaning if he is the one who forgot it? You are way too nice.

Saucy, I'm trying to do the daily gym thing again myself but am having to only do every other day to start this week. I burned myself out yesterday. Like you I need to get back to a routine. I have started daily posting to my FitDay program and counting calories and fat grams again. Ugh... ~~~ Bummer abut the backordered trellises.

Kathy, wow, 90's! Horrible. I just hate that kind of hot weather especially in September. ~~~ So happy you like my mailbox garden. There are a couple Beacon Rosa's in that garden but the ones showing in that photo are 'Billy Greene'. Also, those plectranthus are 'Mona Lavender'.

OK time to get outside and water. Have a great day

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:29AM
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Good morning

Today as our first day of school. It is always bittersweet seeing Annie and David leave to start another school year. Big changes for both as Annie begins High School and David Middle School. Poor Annie was up much of the night tossing and turning. It was all I could do not to go in and lie down next to her and tell her everything would be OK. (For a teen that would be definitely uncool LOL!). David was mildly nervous but mostly sad that summer had come to an end. He headed off on his bike with a big wave looking forward to seeing friends again.

For me, a morning spent on my garden job then choosing tile for the kids' bathroom redo. My bills for the two garden jobs will bring in enough cash to cover the bathroom materials and allow me to splurge on granite tile.

Sending rain V's way and good wishes to all.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:31AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Martie, I don't normally use any rooting medium I just stick whatever I want to propagate in a jar of water. It seems to work 95% of the time.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:35AM
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We had rain last night and some more on the way. Wahoo!!! I'm sure you got the same weather system I did, V, right? Your party is going to be a smashing success, of course it will. But I know all about those little things that can cause the stress-o-meter to reach high levels. I have a party to host on the 14th. All family, but a lot of them.:)

Another way to make it rain is to water everything the day before. That's what I did yesterday, and there's the rain this morning, right on schedule.

I can smell fall in the air. My favorite time of the year. I have to run out soon and get some more cinnamon/vanilla scented candles. Usually, I like the unscented ones, but I picked these up at a local nursery a few weeks ago, and they're my new favorite. Instantly brings on the Autumn coziness.

Deanne...your mailbox garden still looks spring perfect. How do you do it? That Datura 'Wendy' (lol) is fabulous. I love the color on it.

Saucy...I am looking so forward to seeing some photos on the GG progress. I am living vicariously through you, since I don't have any garden projects going on now, and the GG sounds great. How are the bees these days? What preparations do you need to take for the winter? Or do they die off? I know so little about one of the garden's best friends.

Mary...It's always bittersweet when the kids return to school. This is the first year in forever that I don't have one returning. Except college, but that's different. And by the way, I think teenage daughters, especially, still need a little snuggling session with their moms. I don't think Annie would have minded at all.

Hi Marion...have the color changes began in your yard? I look forward to seeing it when it does.

Just a drive by...have a rainy day everyone.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 9:45AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

Well I was just going to check to see if we have any Idyll birthdays in September and all my XL spreadsheets are GONE including the Idyll birthdays. So I'm going to have to pass the torch and ask someone with an updated list to take over the Birthday duties or email me the list. Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, mark this one down: May 3rd, 2009. It's a bit early to announce, but Eden will understand! Today is their anniversary too! At least that part isn't a secret!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 5:12PM
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Congratulations to you Nana Marie! That's great news.

It's raining here. We needed it! Hope V got her rain too.

The first day of school always seemed like more of a fresh start to me than New Years. New schedules, new clothes, even a new season. I was always a bit sad to see the relaxed pace of summer come to an end though.

Deanne, thanks for sharing your mailbox garden. Very nice. I have a p. mona lavender that's just huge this year. I just love that plant. Always reminds me of Cynthia and hers. Aren't those double daturas just the most beautiful blooms. I have a purple and a yellow. The purple really outblooms the yellow for some reason which makes the yellow seem more special to me.

Hard to believe it's September. My gardens are still looking relatively good and I don't want to face the fact it will soon be time to start dragging in all of the tropical stuff.

Martie, glad to hear your reentry into the world of work has gone smoothly.

Anita, I think autumn would be my favorite season if I didn't know winter is on it's heels.

Mary, wondering how Annie and David's first day back went. The first day of highschool especially is a big one!

Saucy, you're really chipping away at all the work of making the Goddess Garden. Seems that you have a little more done each day. So planting will begin soon? Hope Jake had a good first day and the worrying is over for him. Sarah sounds like she's much more of a free spirit?

Martie, I rarely use any rooting medium either. My method is just sticking the cuttings in a 4 inch pot of potting soil. Works 90%+ of the time for me. I do occasionally use a water bottle with the bottom cut out as a cloche over a few more difficult things, expecially if I'm trying to root them indoors. Getting cuttings to take isn't a problem for me. Keeping them watered all winter, now that's a different story... I pledge to do better this year!

Megan has to take cookies for a parent preschool meeting tomorrow night and since she's working I somehow got railroaded into making Magic Seven Layer Bars for her. I just had a taste while I was cutting them. So good but probably a million calories a bar!

Bella's waiting for me with a stack of books so have a good night everyone!

Almost forgot to mention my most favorite herb. Must be a throwback to my teenage years in the 70s. Anyone else grow it or recognize what it is?


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Is that a Patchouli Eden ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 8:32PM
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It is patchouli Kathy. I think it's a scent most people either love or hate. One of the two most prominent scents of the '70s I think :)


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 9:16PM
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I recognize Patchouli....put a little leaf in your attracts more green :)

I'm having a really bad day - hard time just moving past things - guess I need to stew :) I'm mad at this insurance jerk who wants to be stuck up my husband's behind, so he goes around me and asks him questions, and he doesn't tell the guy any different. I'm this close to calling the guy on speaker and laying down the law as to who signs the insurance check around here.

Just so you know, we're talking commercial policy, not home policies....I have very nice, well behaved agent for my home :)

V., I really believe that you should have let the MIL clean out your garage :) Will she do mine?

Eden, I don't feel like I'm making that much progress...perhaps I need a before and after picture so that I can see :)

Deanne, I did good today at the gym....plan to go tomorrow. I like FitDay, too. I'm still able to lift some pretty hefty weights even though I've been out of the gym :) Gotta get back with the trainer because that was a real motivator for me.

Anita, I'm getting ready to go in and check the bee's honey and pollen stores, as well as brood size, for the upcoming winter. The bees can overwinter fine as long as they have proper ventilation (meaning clearing their entrance of deep snows), enough food, and a wind break, and enough worker bees to keep the hive "cluster" at a temperature in the upper 80's! I want Nick to put in a remote themometer so we can see this phenomenon!

A hive of bees will starve just inches away from food (honey) if they're trying to keep the brood warm and can't leave the cluster to feed. Sad.

Let's hope this winter is kind to my bees :) There's a hive opening at Tower Hill on Sept's free with admission if anyone is in the area. I'm going to bring the kids and compare my hive.

Well....I guess it's time to end this rotten day. I hope I wake up on the right side of the bed tomorrow.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 9:28PM
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Its hot, dont like it , crispy plants , cats laying about looking blue. Welcome to September. Going to have a chicken salad sandwich for dinner , and hope the temps drop before bedtime. I would like to say, that here in Napa I could wash my car, wash the windows, water the lawn leave all windows and the doors open, and still , no rain here !

Martie, I only use Rootone, when I think about using anything . Nothing is more often the case.

So here is a pic of my Tarragon. I planted the S. leucantha and the tarragon about two weeks apart from 4 inch pots. The tarragon has disappeared into the Salvia jungle.
French Tarragon is Artemesia dranunculus, (dranunculus=little dragon) and named as such for its abilty to cure the bites of mad dogs . Chelone needs some. One never knows what the reaction of the canine will be to the administered beating.

Baseball time-

Kathy in Napa From Garden Sept 08

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 10:15PM
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anitamo(5) tall is the tarragon? I don't know anything about it. Wait...I'm gonna google...okay, I'm back and smarter than when I left. Is that the French or the Russian? The French tastes better, but the Russian is easier to grow. mmmm
And the stalks can be used as an asparagus replacement. My favorite veggie. Gotta try some next year. One of my clients was just mentioning tonight that she goes to Napa every year, and she's leaving tomorrow for four days. One of the highlights of this visit is some big party that costs 250.00 just to get in. All the good wine and food you can handle. Know anything about it? Is it near you? She loves it there.

Saucy...So interesting on the bees and their winter survival. Wow, imagine it being 80 degrees in the hive when the air temps are zero. Fantastic creatures. Hope the other side of the bed awaits you tomorrow morning. :)

'bug...If I understood it right, you're going to be a nana again? Congratulations to all of you. Come May, we will be seeing a ton more pictures. We can handle it!

Eden...I meant to ask how your mom's doing? Is your sister still with her? I'm hoping all is well.
The cookie bars sound scrumptious. What a great mom you are to bake up a batch at the last minute. Do you grow your cuttings under lights? I'm thinking of trying my hand at some coleus cuttings this winter, but don't know the first thing about doing it inside. I'm hoping you and Deanne can give me some pointers.

I didn't have much time in the gardens today, but did have a yucky thing happen. I walked right into a huge spider web!!! At first I thought it was someone grabbing my arm, that's how big it must have been, or at least it felt like it was. I was doing the "dance" in the yard, good thing it happened in the back where (hopefully) no one saw me, or heard me. I like spiders in the yard, but not on ME.

Nite all.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 11:12PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

WE are supposed to have summer temps in the 90's here today and tomorrow. Kathy, I'm going to be feeling your pain. We've had 'severe clear' in the mid to high 80's the last several days and I can't give the pots in the front enough water. Yesterday I watered a couple of them three times. Jeesh. The container gardens are all looking pretty nice right now with one exception. The large papyrus in the front that had the 'Bonfire' begonia in it has done something I didn't expect. The papyrus roots have plugged the drain hole totally and I didn't realize it until the begonia started dying off. When I pruned it back I found standing water in the pot. Oh well. Chalk another thing to experience. I'm pretty bummed as that begonia looked really wonderful in there. The coleus is hanging on still so that will hopefully provide softening at the pot edge until frost.

Kathy, love the tarragon pic. What a pretty plant and neat that it is also a useful herb.

Saucy, I never thought about how a bee colony wintered over before. How interesting. What will you do if you see that they don't have enough supplies to survive the winter? Can you supplement their honey stores? That will be pretty interesting to see the hive opened at Tower Hill to compare it to yours. Wish I could go but I'm having company that weekend. Sept. is really busy for me this year with two seminars and company on the weekends between.

Eden, glad you've gotten some rain. I love P. 'Mona Lavender' too. It's just a great plant in all respects. And, yes, I just love that double purple datura. I'm probably going to always have to have a couple of those around. I'm really impressed with how its looking in that garden. Do you have a photo of the yellow bloom? I seem to recall that Mary had one of the yellows when we visited her a couple years ago. ~~ I hear you about dragging in the tropicals. This summer went by at light speed! I'm trying to convince myself to let a lot of this stuff go this year so I'm not so chained to the house this winter. ~~ That Patchouli plant is so pretty. I wish I liked the smell but alas, I'm one who doesn't care for it at all.

Mary, your 'babies' aren't babies anymore! I can't believe how much they've grown and matured since we've gotten to know you. Amazing to me that Annie is in High School this year. How did her first day go? ~~ Looking forward to seening pics of the next bathroom redo.

Anita, yukky! Like you I don't mind the spiders in the gardens as long as they stay off of me! The thing that bothers me about getting tangled in a web like that is if that web was that large and strong imagine how big the spider was that built it? Eeeeuuuuuu.....

Here is a pic of a new favorite dwarf Canna to me this year. I finally found this plant at Manhoney's a couple months ago. It's called 'Pink Sunburst' and it really is a winner of a plant. Wonderful, colorful leaves and beautiful soft pink flowers. It's looked great from the moment I bought it and is perfect for the front of that container border.

OK off to water the thirsty pots. Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 7:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We had one of those 3 minute downpours last I'm off the hook for hose dragging! It was quite a dry spell there last week! I'm sure I can think of something to do with the bonus time. ;) Maybe it passed over V's house too?

Yesterday my friends the gardeners arrived to help out and made the barn gardens look great! They're all edged and weeded and I can begin to feel better about things. I hope they can join me here again for a day next week! Funny thing too is that I have not bought many plants this year, just because the place was depressing me. Now I have a yen to get a few things. Autumn is just the greatest time for gardening in my opinion.

DH has been having his trials at work. Universities never seem to have things properly organized, so he makes a point of checking out his assigned classrooms and labs. The computers are always a problem and either broken or locked up with no keys etc...This time the rooms AND computers were locked up and the assistance phone number could not be reached. Each classroom had a different method of getting help and he had to ask one office for keys to be picked up at yet another office. He is now on his THIRD day of trying to get things functional. You'd think that the other profs using these rooms would be inspecting things in advance too, but no...

Any sign of Drema around? Wonder how things are going for her!

Later folks!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:20AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning! I am actually looking forward to the rain forecast for this weekend, we need it! Things are pretty dry here, and I've been running the soaker hose this AM in the garden where I planted a lot of new things this spring, but I really don't like to do supplemental watering on established beds. If it can't survive, it can't stay here!

This has been a busy few weeks, it seems like the parents have more homework than the kids at the beginning of the school year. Fill out this form, read the school handbook with your child and sign off, write a check for this and that, etc. Tonite is the debut of Smart Music in our house - it is a computer program to record the kids practicing their instruments, so the teacher can listen later. The computer is in one room, and DD's drums are in the adjoining room - I'm hoping that the microphone will pick up her playing without having to move the snare drum in here. Maybe I should install a red light outside the door so nobody disturbs the recording sessions! DS is thrilled with his new trombone. He has only learned to put it together so far, not how to position the slide to get different notes. He can make some noise on it though! I'm looking forward to the sound of different notes rather than mad blowing. I guess the kids are lucky to get the opportunity to learn an instrument in school, many schools don't offer a music program.

Well, have to run, just wanted to stop in and say hello - waving to all! I'll leave you with a pic of the variegated brugs from a few weeks ago - love this thing!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:48AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning, all - woefully behind as usual - I did a 4 day decompression mini-vacation at home -- put the family room finally back to order with arrival of furniture at long last (still missing 1 piece, another story) and kicked back.. and mostly vegged -- terribly sinful. But I think my body and mind needed it and I love having a 3 day work week - if only.....

It even spurred me to go pick up some blooming salvia and agastache to pop in the front garden for some much needed color; Im still waiting for the other durned salvias to bloom - it's been frustrating.

Temps shot back into the 90s as of Monday here and so more hose lugging required -- like others here Im looking for remnant tropical storm rain at this point and will welcome it!

Lots of gorgeous pics -- Deanne, those combos are fantastic in the mailbox area; I see that Kathy & Eden are truly holding up their end by supplying pics of marvelous herbs and other peeks of their wonderful gardens.

I will try to look at Mary's renovation finals and the tribute from Cynthia -- how lovely to see you pop in again. I hope you're on your way to healing.

Eden, glad to hear your Mom is home and resting peacefully (even if drugged) - most folks so much prefer to be in their homes w/ their loved items around, much as they may have good care in a hospital - Im sure your Mom is at peace because of that. That's great to hear of some future nurses - it's certainly a tough profession and there's a huge shortage out there.

Great to see you folks! I've just been a slug a bug and too lazy to exert myself to much. But hoping to work back into some energy now both at home and office (I have to move again tomorrow at ofc, ugh) --


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am not sure exactly how much rain we have got from Gustav. It is somewhere between over 8 to 10 inches! When I came home from town Tuesday with my groceries, I miscalculated pulling up close to the house, in the rain, and ran over one gauge! It was at the very edge of the front yard flowerbed. I moved the other gauge to that spot, and set out a can in the other spot. I 'think' the one that I moved had a little more than 4 inches in it when I moved it. ( It only goes to about 6 and 1/2inches, and ran over sometime yesterday.) The can has over 4 inches in it this morning. So...we got at least 8 inches, in 48 hours. Thank goodness none of it was downpours, and I don't think it damaged our road.
We also had gusty winds, and there is debris all over the yard. When it dries off, I will get out and clean it up.
What did you Missouri folks get?

The only potted plant that blew over is the 6 foot tall Brassaia, Umbrella plant, that I set out in front of the woodshed. I threaten every year to leave it out and let it freeze, because it gets scale so bad indoors, then I always relent. :-(

I sure will not need to water anything for a least 2 more days!


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 12:30PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marian - Wow! You're lucky you didn't float away, with all that rain....!

Deane - very pretty canna (another plant I've only grown once and decided it was more trouble than it was worth for me - especially since mine never flowered!)

Wendy - it's pictures like that that lured me into trying brugs!

Signs of summer's end here today:
- We brought about half the houseplants back indoors and will probably bring the rest in tomorrow.
- we took Misty for a walk by the lake after lunch and noticed the geese and ducks are gathering, obviously starting to think of the upcoming trek south. So far, there are just lots of separate flocks but the numbers are rising. There are a considerable number of resident geese and ducks and part of the increase is that the babies are now grown up, but there are more smaller flocks there now. They were still organized into smaller flocks today so they haven't started merging into bigger groups for migration yet.

The geese were easier to get pictures of. This is just a tiny part of a much larger group. A couple had let their German Shepherd off leash (not supposed to do that...) and it was having a ball chasing geese. These ones were ignoring it:

The ducks don't show up as well. This is part of one of the small groups:

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The geese were out in our front field today, but I think it will be a while yet before they are off. Our night time temperatures are going to be cool next week, but for now they're still above 50F.

Our phone always has terrible static (or worse!) whenever it rains. Every year they patch it again, afraid to do the job properly. It would involve laying new wire from the road to the house, through some flower beds as well. I haven't been able to use the phone at all for over a week, a real nuisance. I can't even use the phone to call for repairs! DH managed to get hold of Bell today and to my surprise, they are coming on Sunday to take a look once more! Sunday! Here in the land of "no Sunday sales"!

Picked up a hosta today. They are all at least half price and there are some very pretty ones. None of them look like their tags, but they look healthy and full. Some were $33...and at half that, not a bad deal. Mine cost $8 though. ;)

Today was humid and cloudy and warm, in the low 80s. Tomorrow they predict rain...just when I'm supposed to go to a great plant sale in a nearby town. We'll see.

This afternoon Phoebe chewed my desk. I was NOT amused!!!! She was seriously scolded and caged for her misdemeanor, but the instant she came back to my room, she tried to start again! She's almost 9 months old and is going through a naughty phase. I don't know, pillows were bad enough, but furniture? Man oh Man!

The kitties are hungry, so off I go. Hope everyone is unwinding after their long days "at the shoe factory", as DH puts it. (His classroom situation has not improved yet. Day 4 of this nonsense!)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Ok, its 97, plants are sad . I watered all the containers in back as soon as I got home and Im almost afraid to go out and see what the flowers in the front yard look like. Ill wait till it gets down to 87 ! Meanwhile, cold beer and Idylling in the relative cool of the house is on the agenda.

Wow, Marian, its a good thing youre on high ground what a boatload of rain! Wed have the sandbags out here for sure. What kind of temperatures do you have in weather like that ?

Deanne, I can see why youre so taken with that Canna, and the flower color really is quite nice. Pinks can be so variable , and there are some that I just plain dont like this one sets off really well against its foliage. I jotted down the name even though I cant buy any more plants. oh, but I did bring home a 5 gal. Bambusa glaucescens Alphonse Karr yesterday. Too hot to take a pic so I linked one belowI love the stripey culms. He will live in a pot , and will probably have to move inside in winter when I become an Oregonian.

Hi Wendylove the Brug, and kudos to you in the light of my abysmal failure with variegate Brugs-of course if you check out the Truth in Gardening thread you will see my abysmal failure on Brugs in general. My DD did violin when she was in school- pretty squeaky sounding, lol !

Good for you doing that veg gig Cindy sometimes that is called for. I did my share over the holiday weekend.

Anita, that is French Tarragon, and if it were not living in the shade of the Salvia it would get about 10 or 12in tall-not a large plant. With all the big $$ in this valley there seems to be fund raisers of one sort or another going on every weekend . Im not sure what it is your client might be going to, but I bet its wine related ! Some winerys have events that are meet the winemaker type things where you get fabu food, paired with the wines and hosted by the winemaker, and 250 sounds about right for one of those .

Guess I better go face the music with the hose out in the front..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:54PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm deep into the throes of party prep but much less stressed than I was the other day. Of course, I've had several glasses of red wine over the last two days...

I thank you all for your rain dances, and I wanted to let you know it's time to stop. We've gotten about 3 1/2 inches courtesy of the remnants of Gustav and things have returned to green.

Just in time for the party I got the last thing I needed to finish off my brick path - a large pot of degenerated granite. The only way I could find to buy it was in large cubic yard bags that were way more than I needed, but a friend at a landscape supply company donated the small quantity that I needed. I hope to get it finished tomorrow night or Saturday morning. Photo to follow!

I may be scarce in the next couple of days, but I should have party pics on Sunday. Enjoy until then!


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 11:23PM
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I've always prefered my granite to be degenerate.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 11:39PM
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V., I laughed about stopping the rain dances....your brick pathway is highly anticipated!

Marian, that's quite the soaking! Glad the driveway stayed put....but it would've been nice if the rain gauge had moved, huh?

I noted Canada Geese on the lake in Maine. I didn't realize the came back together in the fall....didn't realize that they dispersed! Must read more :)

GB, it must be nice to have the garden straightened up!

Deanne, that's a gorgeous canna! The blocked drainage hole has probably contributed to the giant papyrus' sucess, don't you think? Is that the container you're speaking of? the Inta container?

Nick was at a housefire starting at 4am....I was awake at 3 to hear the alarm at 4....then I had trouble getting back to bed until I knew the fire was out. The family is fine, but I'm gonna be dragging today.

The kids and Nick are still going camping even though the rain is headed up the coast :) They've got all their usual rain gear - they're experienced at camping in the rain :) I'm going to head to the Tower Hill plant sale with SunnyD to snatch up more plant material.

I did a crazy thing yesterday :) I interviewed a cleaning service and signed them up for next week! I hope it works out for all involved because I'm pretty excited about letting that go and taking on some new ideas in other areas. The company is right here, but that doesn't make it less work, and I find my housekeeping is falling behind, LOL, to put it nicely :)

So I'm in a cleaning/organizing mood right now, and that's how I'll spend the other part of my weekend...closets/pantry/drawers.....time to get them orgainized!

Time for me to start thinking about what to wear to the or blue shirt today?


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 7:13AM
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Happy Friday. Had a chance to look at Katie's tribute and got fairly misty. She was one heck of a friend to all of us, in a way.

Big rain expected here tomorrow. Grateful for that. Established beds have been getting just spot watered to help the younger plants along, but a good soaking will do everything a lot of good. Imagine that after such a rainy June to August.

Neighborhood kid gathering last night to check on carrot progress in the raised bed. We'll leave'em in until after frost and then each kid can have one for Thanksgiving.

Also some discussion about why there is a milkweed in the middle of an otherwise organized garden. Answer from the now-6-year-old who was proud as heck to know: The fairies need a place to sleep in the winter. He rremembered and I'll be extremely careful about what I say from here on out :-)

It's been great to read of Wendy's and Mary's kids return to school. I actually miss those days, except for the check writing.

Why is it that there are more different colors in the garden now than at any other time of year? Hmmmmmmm, think some serious perennial research is in order to balance things out.

Everyone have a great day!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 7:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - yes, it'll be another month or more before the geese take off I expect, but they start gathering about now. This area is on the migration route for lots of things. When the Monarchs start migrating there are often large clouds of them going overhead! Actually the butterflies route is a mile or two west - do you remember where we walked along the lake behind these townhouses near the marina? The Monarchs' route goes over that area and the gardens there can be loaded with Monarchs in the days before they leave. Re Phoebe's chewing... watch out for wooden chairs! I know one lady whose juvenile Black Lab chewed the leg off one of her kitchen chairs! :- )

It looks like we may only get a few showers from the remains of Gustav. Most of the clouds are to the west of us - and it sounds like most of the water has been dropped over Marian and V!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 7:34AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well I'm off to CT today to teach a seminar SAturday and Sunday. As it works out I'm going to be able to stay at Sue's B&B instead of the hotel I normally stay in. Woohoo! So I get to have dinner with my Idyll buddies on Sue's patio this evening. (I'm hoping the predicted rain holds off long enough to dine outside tonight.) Les and MOnqiue are cominhg up and I believe we are going to sing a happy birthday to Les. (I think his acutal birthday is one day next week) Reminds me, I've got to get him a card.

Saucy, very neat that you are hiring a cleaning service. I keep thinking about doing that again but I've tried a couple times in the past and didn't find someone that 'clicked'. ~~~ RE the Inta container, yes indeed that is the one and I think you are completely right that the blocked drainage is why the papyrus is doing so well. You wouldn't believe it but it's actually a couple feet taller than it was the last time you were here. Amazing plant. I'll have to hack off a piece of that canna for you next spring. You'll love it.

V. I was thinking of you when I saw your area getting clobbered with rain. LOL about stopping the rain dances. Hopefully the rain will be done in time for your party. Looking forward to pics of the brick path.

Kathy, 97?! ugh! That's just nasty. I ROTFLOL when I read in one sentence that you can't buy anymore plants but did happen to pick up a five gal. bamboo! Just a little thing right?

Wendy, I'm insanely jealous here. I ditched my variegated brug last fall because I couldnt' get the darned thing to bloom. Yours is lovely!

Bug great score on the hostas!

Woody, wow, you are already bringing in your houseplants?! I'm not going to tackle that for another couple weeks. Love the geese pics.

Hi Cindy! glad to hear you had a good weekend off and your furniture arrived.

Wow Marian, that's a lotr of rain!

OK I've got to get my day started as I have to finish getting my classroom materials ready and pack my weekend bag. Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 8:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cleaning service...What a great concept Saucy! Sometimes it is important to just do what you are good at and drop the rest! I could easily drop housework! Hey, I think I already have, by the looks of things! Usually winter is when I get to drawer & closet duty.

As to the gardens, there is only one patch under control with many more in desperate need, but even just one tidy patch gives hope! Today we are likely to have thunderstorms. I don't mind really, but I do need a stretch of cool dryish weather to finish some cleanup. We have some colorful trees around already, as well as lots of leaves on the ground. Lots of fat frogs and toads, spiders too.

How's it going Sue?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 8:01AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday -

boy, count me in on the idea of wanting a cleaning service; but like you, Deanne, I remain skeptical of their quality - I hired a person for the first time ever about 3 yrs ago; and she lasted about a year until she fired me -- ostensibly becuase she didnt want to clean on Saturdays any more - Im not trusting enuf to give keys to my place to have done while Im not there - so that's an issue -- and the quality of what you get is an issue - altho Im verging on the desperate now - or the "well anything is better than nothing".

What fun to have another get-to at Sue's -- take more pics - we love pics! That canna is lovely but I confess I do like the blooms very very much...

Kathy - you had me laughing as well re the purchase of that very cool looking "small" plant. Ugh on the 97 - altho I think we hit 93 Weds....

Glad to hear those rain dances worked for you, V -- Im dying to see the finished degenerate work, LOL....

Well, I have to start packing boxes (again) for this very stupid office move, amongst the regular work so duty calls.

Hope your phone gets fixed, 'bug!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 8:59AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


A doctor's appointment has me running late this morning and I need to leave early to get home and get things ready for the idyll dinner guests tonight. Sheesh, where do all the hours in a day go?

Just took a chance and watched the Katie video. It helps the process to throw your efforts into creating something lasting like that. For Zak I made a web page. Beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl.

OK, gotta run. Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 9:20AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Whooray ! That big bright yellow thing is out, and it is so bright I can hardly see! It had been 4 days since we saw it. The ground is still almost standing in is VERY wet ! There are lots of mushrooms in the woods.

Tim said that he was without power for some time, and his lady friend was still out this morning(since tuesday). He said that is as close to experiencing a hurricane that he ever hopes to be. He is quite a bit south of me in Arkansas, at Malvern.
His power is restored sooner that many in that area, since he lives close to an industrial area.
The Little Rock area where the grandaughters live was without power a day and a half. But the schools were still open.
They, Tim and the girls, plan on coming to visit next weekend.

I am glad to hear that V got some of Gustav's rain. Three+ inches does not sound like too much to me. :-)


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 3:41PM
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Yippee....the camping train has left. Sarah wished me a good score on my plants as I wished them a good trip :)

My feet are KILLING me....this time it seems to be the whole sole and even the tops where they meet the ankle, so I'm off for a pedicure and then home for a shrimp cocktail dinner :)

Happy Birthday Les! Tell him we said so, ladies :) I'll second the wish for photos of food and surroundings....we must live vicariously!

I'll be back later with a few pictures to share, I think!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 4:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Glad you're getting a visit from Tim soon Marian! Hope he won't need to swim down the drive...;)

Saucy, a weekend alone is a treat in my opinion, however I know others don't relish solo time as much as I do. Somehow i had thought your faciitis was a thing of the past and didn't realize your feet were still troubling you. I'm all for pedicures. Time is what helped me most, but some massage and exercises were prescribed and they may have helped a bit too.

Today was a wet day and I got some planting done. YEAH! I planted more angelica gigas, persicaria Blackfield, some drumstick primulas, a white chelone ( I hope it's white! I have pink) a yellow hellebore, creeping tiarella, a globeflower and some dictamnus. Ghetto table is CLEARED OFF!

I'd really like dinner over at Sue's tonight with the ladies and birthday fellow, but since that cannot be, I'd settle for dinner OUT. Need to tell DH!
Enjoy your weekends everyone!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 4:33PM
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Tomorrow I'm going up to see my mom for a couple of days. I'm taking Bella too because my mom really wants to see her. She's in the hospital now but will soon be going to a small facility where hospice will be helping to care for her. My sister tells me it's on a farm and only has 6 patients and is a very nice place. My dad just can't care for her on his own at home anymore. The Drs say we probably only have a couple of weeks left with her now. I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to get through this but I do know I'll find a way. The next weeks will be hard. I just wanted to keep you all updated about what's going on.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 6:28PM
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Eden, I hope that your mother is comfortable, and that you and Bella have a nice visit with her. (((hugs))) Bella is so lucky to know her Great Grandmother! Emphasis on Great!

The best to your family.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 6:42PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden...I'm glad you are going to be able to take Bella with you. I'm really sorry that you have to go through this. I hope your Mom and your Mom has what she needs and I am sure that is having all of you with her as much as possible. I hope your family can reach out to each other and find comfort. I find myself thinking of you and your family often and I am sure will continue to do so. Take care.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 8:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hugs to you Eden. Having Bella with you will be good! We'll chat later. Yes, you'll get through it...somehow.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 8:25PM
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Eden, How nice that you will be able to take the lovely Isabella with you on your journey to visit with your Mom, and I can imagine how precious your time there will be for all of you. My very best wishes to you ..(((Eden)))

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 9:03PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Eden, my best to you and your family. Hugs to you all.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 9:50PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I just had time to catch the few previous posts. I suppose everyone is different but I've never had a housekeeper that I didn't like. ROFL
Great minds I suppose - I've been thinking about getting someone again. My last one was several years ago and I sure do miss her!

I've had puppy disasters with another foster that I'm too angry to even relate here. Some people are just idiots, period.

TGIF indeed! :)


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 10:00PM
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We were supposed to hit 100 today, but thankfully remained in the mid 90s, right now at 8:30ish its cooling off into the high 70s.I just got back from listening to my DSs band at our little outdoor amphitheatre downtown on the river; they have free concerts there every Friday night with various local bands. Took some pics but they turned out too dark I think. Its expected to remain hot through the weekend. September can be pretty toasty here, good for the grapes , as harvest and crush gets into full swing.

Im thinking about purchasing a one shot-deal cleaning when I go back into the multiple listing service next month. I just dont seem to be able to get out from these 10 hour days at work-today I was there from 6am till 5pmat least I have no commute , but some days Im just drained when I come home and housework is the last thing I want to do. Id much rather deadhead floppy asters and rudbeckias !

Marian, enjoy your time with your family visitors ! Will you all go out to breakfast at the One Stop ? Maybe this is not till the weekend of the 13th ?

Saucy, I think its about time we get some progress pics on all this stuff you have planted, you could even include a shot of the newly dolled up toes...

So were the heck has Chelone gotten to the last few days ? Gonna go watch the last 2 innings of the Dodgers.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 12:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, so I went to bed...but now it's 2am and I can't sleep. Grrrr. So we need a 100th post before the Friday night photos from Sue's arrive....

Here the excitement is the blooming of my two Caryopteris Snow Fairy. What a year for this it is here! Big and beautiful! I'd love it even without blooms, but the tiny little blue flowers are a real treat!

We pruned some of the bottom limbs from our Bechtel Crabapple so that I could mow around it, also needed to prune back a huge Berberis Royal Cloak and my smoke bush as well. They were all definitely out of bounds, perhaps due to the rain we had earlier in the season. Today I may cut back some peonies that look brown and horrible. No shortage of projects!

Dinner was out. We tried a different spot for variety, DH's choice. It was an Italian/Mexican place. What a combination! Anyway, the Mediterranean Pasta was really good and the Santa Fe Salad was only so/so.

Tra La!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 2:40AM
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