idyll #284--the bad plant idyll

taryn(S Ontario Z6B)September 28, 2006


We're always raving and posting about our fav plants here, and showing photos of them, which is wonderful. But I thought it was time to rant about our not-so-fav plants to balance the scale.

Okay, I'll start. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans or Rhus toxicodendron). I have it. :( Terrible rash, horrendous, merciless itching, disgusting oozing. Uggh! No redeeming features! Well, maybe the fall foliage is nice. Oh, the joys of country living, lol!

Not sure if I got it around here or at my friends cottage, but at least it had the decency to wait until after my fun weekend to make it's ugly appearance known. Thanks for the good wishes you guys, it WAS a very fun weekend. At first Sunday night I thought it was flea bites, though couldn't figure out why if the cats (treated with Advantage) weren't scratching, why would I be? Soon became apparent this was something else, and though I'm glad I don't have a huge flea infestation to deal with, I wish I'd figured that out before I laundered all the bedding and vacuumed every horizontal and vertical surface in the house. Oh well, Martha would be proud...

Okay, 25 minutes of loading #283 and I'm still only down to Tuesday. I did load it the other day and skimmed a bit and saw Brenda had popped in! Brenda, how fantastic you're back! You were very much missed here. I'm so sorry to hear about the accident, though he's very lucky no one was seriously physically hurt. You must have been devastated. Hope he's learned a valuable life lesson, albeit the hard way. Congrats on the 50 pounds! That is fantastic news! Please stick around...

30 minutes now and we are still stuck on Tuesday and apparently frozen. Hate dial-up! Sorry I missed Norma and Wendy's birthday, and will see what I can do to remedy that when I come out my Benedryl-induced haze and can get a better connection. Come to think of it, I think I missed Deanne's and V's birthdays too. Sorry! Thinking of you all, and wish I could get here more often and more reliably. Hope this will post...



(the leper)

PS Just let Gumbo in and he's gotten into the burs. Burdock, Arctium lappa, another BAD PLANT, lol!

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Quick good morning, happy birthday to the September-born Idylls, and I'm still alive a kicking :-)

Bad plant has to be Bittersweet, the imported one that folks use for Autumn crafts. I've watched it choke 50yo trees in a matter of two years and strangle entire stands of woods. Kujo has nothing on this plant. Cutting it down to the roots only encourages new growth, and the roots have their tips in molten rock. UGH!

See you over the weekend!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 7:02AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Oh Taryn, PI is a BAD plant - I got into it here before I knew any better, now I am constantly on the lookout for it. I've even taught the kids to spot it and stay away.

Deanne, I'll bring some geranium for you. I'll still come even if it is raining, I'm sure we can find something to do! The Mixed Border sounds great, I've been wanting to visit there after hearing you talk about it. I can get there by 11 or so, if that works for you.

Thinking of Sue and Steve, hope the visit goes well. Sue you know his garden was wonderful, but he had his "imperfect" areas too, remember the front yard? I know he'll love your garden.

Marian, fuchsia are easy - you should try them!

Hi Martie!

T, meant to tell you, your grandson is adorable.

Have to run now! Have a great day!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 7:40AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


I hear ya on the poison ivy, Taryn. I'm more aware of it now but in the past have had it so bad that I've had to go on prednisone.

Deanne, it looks like I'll be coming on Sunday. Believe it or not but Tom said he might like to ride along. Any idea of the time?

OK, must run. Steve Silk just called and we're meeting at my house at 9:30.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 8:52AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning, idylls--

Poor Taryn -- I get poison ivy all the time but luckily not to that degree -- I usually pick it up on my hands (no matter what gloves I have one) and get a "blister" or two; I've learned to avoid touching them & in the States we have something called "Ivy Dry" which seems to really help dry it up fast.... but it's tough until then.

Hmm, in bad plant category, I'd have to say at wild violets -- they are trying to take over my entire garden - persistent little buggers. Plus w/ all the rain we've had I have a bazillion little weedlings popping up Everywhere....

Thinking of all the little NE "mini-unions" happening this weekend and plant voyages -- know you all will have tons of fun - let us know what if any "hits" you find! I am going to veg, altho Im somewhat tempted to hit a nursery or two -- should have gone to PA but too beat to do... and gonna miss the MAG swap too as I didnt get organized enuf & thought I'd be in PA... o well. there's always next Spring!! We gardeners are eternal optimists, right?

'bug - saw your blurb about missing your chicks for holidays -- that's a bummer. Here I was thinking you'd have a more festive time w/ new GS and SIL.... I did find once my DD got married (my one & only chick) that it was kind of tough having to "share" her with new inlaws & the whole new drill of holidays, events, etc. -- it's hard to let go a bit for me.... I guess we all adjust eventually.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 8:55AM
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Sorry to be so long checking in, but things are crazy around here....broken limbs, garden work, building permits, and extra work for Nick's biz.

I emailed Wendy. I definitely want to come on Sunday! I need to email the hostess, I think :)

Nothing much going on here except craziness. I have been walking, though my foot is not good this morning. New shoes are on the shopping list.

The other thing I've been up to is sorting for the yard sale. I'm very proud of the things I have to offer - good stuff, no junk. I hope to do good. It helps that my in-laws moved from their home and dumped their stuff off on me - I don't need duplicates! I decided what to keep and the rest is going, going, gone!!!!

Taryn, I've never had poison ivy, but Jake has - it looks miserable. Hope it clears up soon!

Bittersweet is just's pretty, but damaging.

I'll check in soon!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:02AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

My nominee for the bad plant list is 'Horses Tail'. Grrrrrr. I just can't get rid of it. It just pops up in the worst places.

I'm fighting time and weather here so don't have alot of time to post. Our "Jane" magnolia arrived yesterday. OMG, it's gorgeous but much larger than it looked at the nursery!! I got the walkway sealed, but I'm unhappy with the joints. I really made a mess of them and will have to scrub/sand/fix today. And there's 5 yrds of mulch in the driveway. I'll try to take some pix when I get it dressed out.

On the discussion about teens, drinking/driving, health insurance, etc., I could do an entire idyll myself w/tales from the front. The problem is they think they are omnipotent and invinceable. Bad things happen to everyone else. Some of that is (the parent's) our fault, but mostly it's lack of life experience, judgment and attitude. My DD often still has to learn things the hard way. I'm amazed she finally grew up, is still in one piece has become as responsible as she has.

Welcome back, Brenda, and congrats on the weight loss! You go, girl!

Gotta run to the bank and then back to the project. Hi to all!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:54AM
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Good Morning, Just a quick check in. Frost advisory last night, so I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening bringing in and protecting plants. I've been so busy with the tropicals that I haven't touched the actual garden in a while. Some things are in desperate need of cutting back and I still have planting to do. This weekend, when Bella's not here, I need to get the basement "greenhouse" organized. Right now it's just a big jumble of plants and cuttings. I did get some autumn decorations up inside and out and Bella just loves them. Halloween is going to be so much fun with her this year!

Brenda, welcome back! It's great to see you posting again. Hope things calm down for you after your stressful summer. Congrats on the BIG weight loss!

Sounds like lots of fun at Deanne's this weekend. Great that you're all able to get together. Have fun!

Sue, can't wait to hear about the Steve Silk visit. That's so exciting!

Taryn, hope the PI clears up quick! Sounds miserable. I've never had it but my dad has problems with it when he's out working in his yard. Seems like some people are more susceptible to it that others.

Cindy, good that you have a weekend to relax!

More I wanted to say but Bella's here now so time to go. Have a good weekend all!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:02AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Just a quick post here this AM. I MUST get to the gym. I wound up cleaning up the back yard half the day and the other half I had to work. (I know can you even imagine!)

Anyway, Sue, sounds great that Tom wants to come along. Neato! I'll give Doug a heads up so he'll be here to visit while we garden crazed persons do the diggy thing or whatever the weather permits. I'll have to rustle us up some lunch or maybe we all could run over to Bertucchis for some salad and minestrone soup after we get done playing?

Wendy, 11:00ish sounds great does that work for everyone else?

Eden, so nice to hear from you. I've been missing your posts. Inquiring minds were wondering how you do your coleus cuttings in soil? Do you do them in flats or individual pots? do you use a rooting hormone?
~~ Yikes on the frost advisory. I'm so NOT ready for that yet. It's frightening. I'm going to wind up spending a day and hauling all the darned pots in the garage again at the last minute as usual. At least I have the orchids in the house this year.

Honey, great to hear from you too. Can't wait to see your magnolia. Sounds like you've got a ton of stuff to take care of too.

Saucy sorry about your foot. I'm looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

OK must run, I'm really really late and have a ton of stuff to do before five.


PS Sue best of luck with the Silk visit!!! Can't wait to hear all about it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 10:17AM
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My bad plant would have to be the morning glories that just wont go away. Sorry about the PI Taryn, I really donÂt ever see it around the farm. Although, I agree about the nastiness of burrs.

IÂm on the hunt for a dress for RickÂs sonÂs wedding on January 6. What does the step- mother of the groom where? It seems either the dresses are too casual or too fancy. I figure that I am the 3rd mother down the list so I shouldnÂt upstage the real moms. The local store that I stopped at last night only had 2 in my size and neither were my taste. Both were beige.

It sounds like a fantastic weekend. I hope to accomplish much. The freeze predicted for last night didnÂt happen so I can haul the pots out of the shed. I have dismantled quite a few but those that went in smaller pots are sitting in the shed also. The 10 day forecast looks good now.

Âbug, IÂm no expert here, but what worked well for me last year was to dip the cuttings in rooting hormone and pot in small pots. I kept them under a fluorescent light under my kitchen cupboard and gave just a little water each day by the stem just to keep slightly damp. When they seem to be throwing out new growth, then I moved them to some lights in the basement.
IÂm sure it is difficult to not be directly involved in your new GS life. DD talks about moving away occasionally. I try not to think too hard on that. I donÂt know how I would handle it.

Honey, it sounds like you have your weekendÂs work cut out for you. IÂd love to see more pictures of the progress.

V may be in Circle City, but I sure donÂt know where she is.

IÂm sure Steve Silk is enjoying SueÂs garden this a.m. IÂd be a nervous wreck.

Have fun this weekend all that are going to DeanneÂs.

I think all of us have a few horror stories about getting our children raised, but fortunately not as terrible as SueÂs co-worker. What a sad story.

I think Marian should have the title of House Plant Queen.

Enjoy the day

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 11:47AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Can you all hear my foot tapping waiting to hear details from Sue? tap, tap, tap....

Anyway, I was looking for more information about wintering over my tropicals and came across this article and thought you'd all find it interesting.

By Lindsay Bond Totten
Scripps Howard News Service

Wave "aloha" to those trendy tropicals that looked so great all summer in the perennial border. Jack Frost is about to remind us that they were simply "on loan," not ours to keep. Unless ... I know what you're thinking. It's too much trouble to dig them all up and store them indoors. Besides, there's not enough room in the house for all those pots.

OK, so go ahead and compost most of them. No need to bother trying to save annuals like geraniums or castor bean. They're so inexpensive or so quick to grow from seed that it doesn't make good use of precious time and space to overwinter them. But what about the costly banana tree? And the angel's trumpet that bloomed all summer on the deck? That special variety of New Zealand flax was $35, and not much more than a shoot when it arrived in the mail last March. Starting from scratch would really set you back.

You don't need a greenhouse or even a space indoors to overwinter some of your valuable tropicals, though you might enjoy keeping one or two as houseplants during the dark winter months. The tougher ones can be stored in a state of "suspended animation" that will bring them through the winter -- just barely, in some cases -- to grow and bloom another season.

The hitch is to find a place that gets cold, but not too cold. Under such conditions, a gardener coaxes the foliage of hardier tropical varieties to go dormant without letting the roots freeze. Not many houses have root cellars anymore, but if you own one, that would be a great place to try storing these semi-tender plants. A cool, dark basement, a minimally heated garage or potting shed or an enclosed porch are other options. Daytime temperatures should stay between 40 and 50 degrees F., with nighttime temperatures consistently above freezing.

Hibiscus trees, angel's trumpet (Brugmansia spp.), New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) and mandevilla vines are popular tropicals worth trying to overwinter in this fashion. Banana trees (Musa spp.) and citrus trees like it slightly warmer -- they're also good candidates for houseplant status -- but they'll start right up in spring after a winter's rest.

My husband and I are fortunate enough to have a root cellar (one of the perks of owning an old farmhouse). Our brown turkey fig bushes get carried into the cellar each October, where they fare well in all but the most severe winters. They look a little shell-shocked when they emerge the following April, but the plants recover quickly as the new buds swell.

A number of tropicals worth saving produce underground tubers or bulbs that can be "harvested" at season's end and overwintered as dormant roots. Storage conditions are similar to those described above. Try this with cannas, caladiums and elephant's ears (Colocasia spp.).

Whether digging tropical plants or harvesting the roots, wait for several light frosts to singe the upper leaves. This sends a message to the roots to prepare for dormancy. If your tropical plants are already potted -- many gardeners grow them this way to avoid heavy digging in fall -- simply lift the pots out of the soil and hose them off. Carefully dig and pot those that are growing directly in garden soil. When the tops have blackened, cut the stems of herbaceous varieties, such as bananas, to within a few inches of the soil. Woody stems, Brugmansia, for instance, can be left "as is" to lose their leaves completely or pruned to save space. Don't cut woody stems back as hard as those of herbaceous plants. Wait to see what makes it through the winter, then prune back to live wood in spring.

Carry the pots into storage before the first killing frost. Check on them once a month during the winter and water lightly if the soil is dry several inches below the surface. If your storage area is in danger of freezing, protect plants with a thin foam blanket, available from greenhouse suppliers. It's worth a few degrees of insurance.

Dig tuberous plants after frost has killed the foliage. Cut off the stems and leaves and let the tubers rest and dry for several days. Some gardeners dust them with powdered sulfur to prevent rot during the winter. Store some tubers in mesh bags filled with lightly dampened peat moss, or layer them in flats. Check the peat moss occasionally to make sure it's still damp. Remove any tubers that have visibly rotted.

In spring, check frequently for signs that the plants are waking up. Acclimate them slowly to conditions outdoors and move them back inside if a late frost threatens. Our figs were killed once when a late frost claimed the breaking buds and plants weren't strong enough to put out another set of leaves.

(Lindsay Bond Totten, a horticulturist, writes about gardening for Scripps Howard News Service.)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 2:07PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Afternoon, all!
Well, the big ugly is over. This morning was DS's court date. I can't belive how long they string this stuff out. He lost his license for 90 days, and it's already time for him to get it back. I gotta say, I'm stunned at how many people don't feel it necessary to look at all presentable (or even shower) to go to court. There were exactly FOUR of us in a roomful of people who looked like they gave a rat's behind. Seemed to be a social gathering for the rest-and they all KNEW each other. Gotta tell ya, I'm scared to get old and have these people running the show! Just glad we have the mess behind us now. DS took me out for breakfast afterward. He said it was the least he could do, and I wholeheartedly agreed, lol! He is a good kid. Totally had the know-it-all/invincible thing going, tho. While I wouldn't wish kid troubles on anyone, it is encouraging to hear from you guys that it's not just mine. I've seriously wondered about my parenting skills sometimes. And, my two kids are different as night and day. DD almost always asks my opinion about things, and actually listens...DS has always been another story, bless his heart! I think the worst part of the whole thing for him was that he made his Grandma cry. Mom crying is bad enough, but if you made Grandma cry, you REALLY screwed up!
HEY, TARYN!! Sorry to hear about the poison ivy. I'd hate to admit how long I lived on the farm before I even knew what it looked like. I must have always been either really lucky, or really prompt about washing my hands, because I've only had it once, and then it was very light.

Michelle, good luck on the dress hunt. I hate when I NEED a dress for something, because I can never find anything I like. Guess I should learn to buy stuff when I see it, instead of waiting until I need it.

I'm gonna go take a nap. I didn't realize how tense I've been for so long until after this morning was over. Then, it was like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders.
Take care, and a BIG 'OL HOWDY TO EVERYBODY!!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 2:17PM
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I'm wondering how things went with Sue too...

Brenda, glad you can relax now!

I do my coleus cuttings in individual 4" pots. I usually use rooting hormone but have been known to skip it and they still root. I think the most important thing is to make sure you have well draining soil and keep it moist but not soaking wet, to avoid rotting stems. Then keeping them in a warm place, under lights, pinching and giving them an occasional light feeding when they look like they need it will get them through to Spring. This winter my goal is to be half as good a plant mama as Deanne!

Marian, I forgot to mention how envious I am of your plant room. My dream these days is to have a conservatory where I could overwinter with all my tropicals. If only I had the space for that!

Later, Eden

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 3:05PM
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Hi everyone

work has started cutting into my Idyll time - boo hoo! And next week will be harder still as double my hours. Still not quite figured out when I'll clean and shop, or more importantly garden, but I guess we all do what we can.

Taryn - add me to the list of those who nominate poison ivy. It doesn't grow in England and I thought it would feel similar to stinging nettles. How wrong I was - my first reaction resulted in blistering all over my hands and wrists. Absolute misery.

Brenda - it is FABULOUS to have you back again. It never matters how long you've been gone - once an Idyll, always an Idyll! Congratulations on your weight loss. So glad your son is safe and all is behind you now.

Woody - how did the new dog visit go? Hope your in-laws return safely from their trip. I can well imagine what a worry that is.

Ei - too funny about the mushroom. Your Dotti is a gal after my own heart!! Tell her what a creative touch the Iris moss is LOL!!

My guess is that V is in Indianopolis;0)

Hope the North-East Idylls have a fun this weekend getting together. As always, we'll look forward to photos.

Sue - I can't wait to hear aout Steve Silk. My foot is a tapping too. Perhaps when I post this there will be news of the visit.

Deanne - interesting article!

Michelle, I'll second your nomination for Marian as "Houseplant Queen".

Cindy - hope you treat yourself to something relaxing this weekend.

This morning I had to do an emergency pond clean - I looked out of the window as I was drinking my coffee to see the water had almost completley drained out. The fish were still alive, though flapping about in the little water that was left. This has happened before when water from the waterfall somehow gets diverted from returning to the pond and I haven't perfected a solution to prevent it. Fortunately the big pump had not burned out, though the little one for the frog spitter is toast. I took the opportunity to clean the pond bottom, repot a couple of water lilies and filled her up again. I think everything has survived. Ponds can be so rewarding, but there are so many things that can go wrong and quickly go from trouble-free to near disaster.

Must run as its almost time to pick up David from a roller skating party, then zip over to Middle School to collect Annie and a friend from swimming. I'm hoping I'll think of something I can cook for dinner on the way.

I'll catch everyone else next post.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 4:08PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

OK, I'm alive and well and here to tell all of you that it is possible to survive a garden visit from Steve Silk at the end of September. After all, he's just another plant collecting garden geek and container freak like the rest of us. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate for picture taking. It went from rain to wind to sun. However, that didn't stop him from being here for over 4 hours. One of my co-workers tried to call me a couple of times because she was concerned that I was gone from the office for so long. Apparently she's never met anything but axe murderers and serial killers on the

Basically we talked plants, plants, plants, gardens we like, people who garden well that we like, gardens we don't like...etc, etc. He did ask if he could come back in the next week or so and try to get some pictures. He also asked if I minded him bring others here. Apparently he occasionally takes garden editors and whatnot around to various gardens. Certainly I don't have a problem with any of that. The last suggestion was that I consider opening my garden through the Garden Conservancy-ideally on the same day as his and Jan Nickel's in early September. He thinks it would be a good fit and would give people another late season garden to visit in the area. Since my garden has never been open to the public I'm a bit anxious about it but will probably go ahead and take the plunge. It will give me something to work towards next year.

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm glad Steve was able to get here before everything went to crap for the year. We're all our worse garden critics so it is nice to get positive feedback from someone so well known and respected in the garden community.

Brenda, I forgot to congratulate you on the weight loss. Good for you! Seeing results makes it easier to continue. So you think your son learned his lesson? What a relief.

Saucy, you're going to Deanne's on Sunday too? What fun! We'll be there at 11. Deanne, Bertucci's is fine for lunch and a trip to The Mixed Border sounds good too. It's supposed to rain but since when has that stopped us? Tonight parts of the state have frost warnings. The low here is supposed to be in the mid to upper 30s. Time to take coleus cuttings, I guess.

Honey, where are those progress pictures? Moss doesn't grow under your feet, does it? lol

Anyhoo, I'm toast. After Steve left I went back to work for the afternoon then put in a full workout before dinner. Bedtime isn't far off.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:28PM
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Wow Sue, sounds like your garden's about to hit the big time! You deserve the recognition, you've done a great job. Your garden's always been one of my most favorite. Great that you and Steve got to talk plants all morning too. There's just about nothing we extreme gardeners like better is there?

It's cold and rainy here this morning, nothing new. Seems it's been that way most of the time for the last month. I have plenty of work to do with the plants indoors. Wanted to thank you all for your encouraging words about my mom too. You guys are the best. I'm going to grab some breakfast and get started around here. Hope we have lots of posts here this weekend since I'll have time to read them for a change. Have a nice Saturday!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 7:43AM
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cannot STAND missing my idyll time!!I am going nuts-no time to blab: ( BUT....Ei I just have to tell you since IU3 I have a newfound love for mushrooms!lololol...In fact when I was at that last nursery in Chicago before the margaritas I did buy a pair of mushrooms and two weeks later while on vacation I bought ANOTHER. Your friend Dottie has a great creative mind-be sure to tell her that: )...ask what she thinks of some wooley thyme for that combo. If the rocks aren't huge, w. thyme will eventually cover them. Oooo I'm getting inspired: ) We didn't ruin your mushroom-we just made SURE you'd never forget us each time you pass the shroom by!lol
I'm not sure when I'll have time to get back here...Chris rented a video so I'm off....

WONDERFUL to see Brenda and Woody back! Brenda your story of the summer you had was unbelieveable-how scary about your son. I always hope my boys will be responsible-don't we all.

I am so bad I even still owe Deanne and I think V? a bday card...hopefully I can get into my card factory in the next couple days...sorry guys.


(Duh I posted this at the wrong this is actually from yesterday)

Off to the cross country meet...a cold and dismal day-46F!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 8:13AM
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Sue, thats incredible that Steve spent 4 hours in your garden talking gardening. It sounds like your garden is on its way to becoming famous :o)

Speaking of axe murders Sue, I love to tell people that I got together with a group of people that I met on the internet. They all get this look of horror. LOL and then I say "but their gardeners"

We actually have a beautiful day today and I plan to get much done. One of the things is to spray for dandelions. I dont trust anyone else to spray other than myself. I dont need a pristine lawn, but I hate all the dandelions seeding in the gardens.

Babs, Ive been wondering where youve been. Im sure its hard to work, be mom and Idyll. We miss you anyway.

Drema, where are you? We are missing quite a few Idylls lately, but are glad to have Brenda and Saucy around.

I must get outside.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 9:34AM
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Good morning

Somehow Saturdays are as filled as the rest of the week, fun things though. But I wanted to pop in to say Wow! to Sue. Steve Silk must have really enjoyed his visit to have stayed as long as he did. I've no doubt he found much material for future publications. I've always thought that Idyll gardens are as good if not better than many seen in books and magazines (not mine that is, though I love it just the same). And I think if Steve were hooked up with Deanne and Monique he will need to publish a whole series of new articles or books. I'm very excited to see our gardening stars rising.

Have a great day


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 9:58AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Boy things have really quieted down around here. The Picturetrail stats came in this morning and my BD cards for Wendy and Norma only got 20 hits. All the other boards I visit at GW have been quiet too. Last night when I was hanging around my house eating chicken pot pie for dinner I was thinking about how just two weeks before I was bebopping around Rochester with Mary and Deanne going to photo gallery showings and eating good food. I guess if you had that kind of fun all the time though it wouldn't be as much fun anymore. Right? Well at least I have Sunday to look forward to...

Today is a garden work day. I haven't put one in in over a month. Time to put a dent in the pot ghetto and start redoing some of the beds. Now is the time to fix the problems-when they're fresh in your mind. Steve brought me a plant yesterday-Tetrapanax papyrifer. He says it's zone 7-8 and that I should be able to overwinter it with heavy mulch in my patio bed just not with this late a planting date. So it will come in for the winter and be planted out in the spring. Last weekend I picked up one of those clumping bamboos, Fargesia rufa 'Green Panda'. Do any of you grow this? Supposedly it grows in sun or shade. I have what I think is the perfect spot but I want to heavily amend the soil first. I also decided to try my luck again with Osmanthus 'Goshiki'. Supposedly it's zone 6b. I'm going to try it somewhere where it gets little to no winter sun.

So, what does everybody else have on the agenda today? Let's hear from you!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 10:14AM
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I'm procrastinating. Sue, I don't have green panda but I have another clumper, fargesia nitida nymphenburg. I grow it by my pond. I've had it since '02 and it's grown to a 3' clump that I keep about 3 1/2' high. It throws up new shoots every year but I just prune them back to the height I want to keep it at and so far it's done great. It's a pretty slow grower. Here's a couple of pictures of mine in the rain today...

and viewed from the other side

Here's my artistic shot for the day, great photographer that I am, lol...


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 11:26AM
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I read this on picturetrail this morning. Explains why it seems we're getting so few hits on pics:

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    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 11:48AM
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Hi again Sue

as you asked.....this morning I headed out to the farmers market with a friend at 6.30 AM. Its a great time to be there and I came home laden with apples, the last of the summer fruit and the beginnings of the Autumn season (leeks, squash, celeriac). After I got back DH and I spent a couple of hours photographing the garden for a talk I'll be giving in November. Then I took Annie to the music shop to trade her 3/4 size violin in for a full size one. The bigger size makes a world of difference and I'm looking forward to hearing her play on it. On the way back we swung by our favorite Indian restaurant for a take-out for lunch. I'm just about to head outside again as DH and I are trying to get the pool closed for the season and my help is requested. At 1.30 PM we have music lessons, then from 4-6PM I'm selling popcorn with David's Cub Scout Den in the shopping plaza. For suppper I have some nice fish from the market I'm hoping to grill if the weather holds, then DH as I might try to catch a movie together.

Probably more detail than you needed, but I thought I'd get the ball rolling on the day's activities. Anyone else going to chip in?


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 12:22PM
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Oops - I forgot to tell Eden those ARE some artistic shots! I love the bamboo and heron sculpture, as well as the lovely colored leaf.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 12:24PM
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Sue -- on your way to Deanne's tomorrow want to stop in and pick up the brug that never got sent????? LOL Congrats on the SS visit -- don't think anyone has used the word "honor" yet but I sure will!!

It has been a week of 11 hours days and 1,027 miles. I know that once an Idyller, always an Idyller, but I'm starting to feel guilty. Saucy, Marian and I could start a club :-))))

Anyway -- today I pulled out the frost bitten annuals (it's really late Septembr!!!) and shook out the seeds with the hope that some will take. Have done four loads of laundry, two hours of business stuff, planned dinner for SDiL and her DH (lemon herb chicken on the rotisserie -- all are invited) and am just now sitting down to a second cuppa.

Sun is out, birds are singing, life is good.

Kyle's made the decision to forego Japan in favor of England in the Fall of '07. The Japanese university was putting some very strict travel limitations on the students and also thought that a 10pm curfew would be a good idea. I guess they are afraid for the students' safety. Won't get anywhere NEAR a political discussion here, but I'm disappointed for Kyle. He's still planning to try and get to Japan for post-Bachelor's study, and the school in England is letting him start his senior thesis while there. And life goes on .... :-)

Garden-wise -- the path is in!!! Pics to come as soon as Rich thinks it's even enough. This may never happen as an anal contractor putting in a basketweave design brick walkway could take at least a decade. LOL Our six more yards of topsoil will be delivered in two weeks, and the three yards of compost I've stored up for the past two years will be mixed in by the delivery company. WaHoo!!! I had visions of me getting buried and having to grow out the pile to be noticed.

Have started to bring in some things and have taken lots of cuttings. Tried to swap a Clethra and H. macrophylla and decided I needed more muscle than I've got to do so, so that'll happen later. Anyone for tomatoes??

It's too nice to sit inside, so will certainly check back tomorrow when the anticipated rain hits. I mean it about the brug, Sue!!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 12:47PM
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Eden, I love the bamboo with the heron and the leaf is a gorgeous color.

Mary, it sounds like you have a jam packed day. Thanks for mentioning the apples. I think we will head over to one of the orchards that are near us. We are big fruit eaters.

I've been digging like crazy. I removed a huge clump of asiatic lilies, divided and planted in the holding bed. I have so many of this particular one that I will donate these to a local charitable plant sale. First I needed to clear some area in the holding bed, so some of those plants moved into the gardens. I hope to get much more done, I think I'll grab a little lunch and head out. DH just come home with a new wagon for harvest. So he's out "playing" with it.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 12:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi Ho!

Well I'm thrilled things went so well for you Sue. Steve has always seemed like a comfortable plant addict in Fine Gardening and I'm happy that it turns out to be true! Getting a gift from a real garden friend is so meaningful too.

It is so gloomy here and I've not touched the soggy gardens much lately. I do love the muted colors and grasses though at this time, so Eden's photos were a special delight.

This morning I had orthotics moulded for my stupid feet. Romantic, eh? Anyway, next week at this time I should be able to return to exercising, and that will make a big difference to me. I forgot my purse when I was dropped off there, so had to call a friend for a ride home. I felt like a total dork, but in fact she is having a terrible time in her life and being needed was a big help to her outlook.

Upon my return home, there was a wonderful note from Chelone who is always so interesting to exchange messages with, even in trying times. Unfortunately, I sort of expect a philosophical word of wisdom still from EP every now and then, but must adjust my reality there a bit over time. I do remember missing picking up the phone and chatting with my Mom after she died...Sigh.

Much activity this afternoon, once DH returns from a very successful meeting. Off to the dump, skating, etc...and I HOPE we're off to see Little Miss Sunshine and enjoy a few belly laughs later this evening

Joy to one and all,

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 12:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Oh well, I ve just lost a post because I was going to write up something quick, broke my cardinal rule and wrote the post in the message window. Of course my mouse fell off the arm of the chair. It was one of those insightful etc. missives that are now lost to history! LOL

Anyway, Hello to all, Babs, Eden and Brenda, especially nice to hear from you.

Eden, love the pics and especially love that bamboo! I need that plant.

Michelle, I know what you mean about telling folks you are meeting up with people you met on the internet. Their shock and horror is pretty funny.

Mary, sounds like youre really busy. Id love to see some of those photographs you and Dan did this morning. Im looking forward to hearing Annie play her new violin sometime too.

Must run, Im in the middle of desperately trying to get a group of digital files ready for the company that is my rep for licensing work. I just realized that I promised these files to them by Oct 1st and that is tomorrow. Duuhhh. Anyway Ive been putting in long days at the computer downstairs and even worked until 12;30AM the other night. Im paying the price for playing out in the garden all summer. So must run.

So, Saucy, Sue and Wendy,,, have you seen the weather reports? It looks like it isnt just going to be showering tomorrow; they are talking about torrential deluges with a couple inches of rain expected. We wont be able to dig anything if that comes to pass. If you still want to come Ill dig stuff out this afternoon and you can come to pick it up and we can go for lunch. Trip to Mixed Border TBD depending on how hard it is raining. No worries if youd rather stay at home and hunker down on such a dismal day. If you do decide to venture out, as far as I remember I need to dig Wendy the pink daylily Catherine Woodbury and Saucy some of that Hakonechloa albo striata, I think Wendy wanted some of that also. Oh yes, did any of you want that gigantic pink double peony? I can also get ready to prune and repot a couple of fuchsia if you are game for that too. You can let me know. ~~ So the other news flash, the house is a disaster and there is no way I can polish things up before tomorrow but I figured out that youd all understand and overlook the chunks on the floors. LOL


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 1:07PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hey, everyone!
Sue, congrats on your visit from Steve!
Well, if DS didn't learn his lesson from all this, I'm not sure he can be taught!! I had a lady I met on the internet and her hubby here one time. They were from Iowa, visiting relatives in Michigan, and figured while they were that close-why not? DS was sure they were going to be axe murderers. Why always axe murderers....why not a chainsaw? Harpoon? Poison darts at 20 paces?? I said the exact same thing as Michelle-"But, they're gardeners!!" We had a really nice visit, and still email once in a while.

Babs-Some kids just feel their oats a bit too much when they get grown up....and haven't quite learned what REALLY being grown-up means. He's coming along, slowly but surely-much like a stubborn mule, lol!

Eden, those are some gorgeous pics! I'm still honing my photography skills. I don't think it's something I have a natural knack for :(

Gee, bug, I just picked up my orthotics the other day. I'm still breaking them in, but the chiro assures me that they'll do me a world of good, and I haven't had him steer me wrong yet. I think it'll be a little while before I'm ready to hit the treadmill with them, tho.
I know what ya mean about missing picking up the phone. There've been a million times I'd have loved to pick up the phone and talk to Dad about gardening. He's where the gardening gene comes from, and was a wealth of information. He'd be so tickled to know I ended up being a farmer.

Today, it's chilly, and supposed to rain later. So, I'm on inside projects. Have the upright freezer defrosting and have made two huge vats of vegetable soup. I'll split it up and freeze it for harvest time. Tomorrow I'm making chili and goulash. I'm going to pick all the peppers and Jim will grill them when he grills supper tonight. All my pepper did really well this year, and I LOVE roasted peppers, especially the colored ones. I've also got a whole pork loin in the fridge to hack up and package for the freezer. Found a couple of chickens in the back of the freezer that I should probably turn into stew. Gee, maybe I won't have to cook again for the next six weeks or so-cool!
Tomorrow is supposed to be just like today, so I guess I can clean house and do laundry and be ready to get outside Monday. Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be gorgeous, so the plan is to play outside both days. Let's see if I get away with it ;)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 1:47PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It sounds like GB has similar weather to here too wet to do anything out there! The cherry tomatoes have succumbed to blight foliage and stems are a disgusting mess in desperate need of clean-up.

Sue sounds like a fun and exciting visit. It also sounds like youre moving into some serious gardening circles now :-)

Mary Bailey (new dog) was here for two days this week. Shes obviously a Black Lab x ? very friendly and VERY overweight! Its a situation in flux Bailey belongs to the brother of my other helper (not the one you met). He is going through a divorce and is uncertain what to do about Bailey. He is living with his parents at the moment and they don't want the dog there. A sister was looking after her until a few days ago when the sisters father-in-law got sick and needed her to care for him. The guys job also has a lot of traveling and night shifts so, while he'd like to keep Bailey, it may not be feasible. So, until things get sorted out on his end, Bailey will be here on sort of extended daycare, with training thrown in so that, if he finally decides to give her up, she will be - hopefully - walking politely enough to be able to stay here permanently. (Bailey has never been trained to walk on a leash and, like many Labs, pulls like a train - that big, muscular neck and shoulders go to work.... I didn't even attempt to walk her because Teresa barely could! She's better on the retractable lead but definitely needs training - so we'll work on that.) She's definitely a nice dog and Misty approves of her

Eden I really like the bamboo and heron arrangement. I want a heron for my wet corner area but cant find one that (a) I like and (b) am willing to pay the cost of!

The houseplants are indoors now some got chucked to make room for things to be potted later, so the living room windowsill has a lot of bare spots. The dining room is in its winter state i.e. one side of the table is difficult to use. Only kids and thin people sit on the window side in the winter!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 3:29PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi Idylls! I have a few minutes to read finally and this tydll really sucked me in. We are in the country and are just swamped with RAGWEED! Giant 5-6 foot tall plants that are spouting pollen at a remarkable rate right now. Even DH is sneezing which is rare.
I'm overflowing with fosters right now. A doxie, corgi mix and 3 puppies, 2 Irish wolfhound puppies (what a handful!), a yellow lab and a black terrier mix. Oops, I forgot the 2 tortie kittens. It's fun but very busy around here right now.
Off to read and look for wonder pictures. :)


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 3:56PM
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Too bad so many of you are having crummy weather. We had that last Sat. Today is sunny, breezy and 71. Perfect gardening weather. We need the breeze to keep the yucky Asian lady beetles off you. I hate those things. They stink. They are actually talking 84 for tomorrow. I talked to DD and her hubby is at some Nascar race this weekend so her and Kenzie are coming for dinner and then apple picking tomorrow. It should be fun. The orchard also has pumpkins to pick so we will have to take the camera.

The excitement here today is that the bean harvest has begun. Those of you who met Rick this summer may think he is calm and quiet, but when harvest gets going, he gets wound up. Hes like a kid, hes so excited. LOL

Not much else new at the moment, just trying to give Eden something to read, boring as it is.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 4:01PM
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Thanks Michelle. I'm enjoying checking in every now and then and seeing what you're all up to today. Brad and I drove out to the apple orchard in the rain and bought 1/2 peck of apples. I'm going to make a pie a little later. We stopped and grabbed lunch/dinner on the way back and now he's napping and I'm shuffling plants around the house. It looks like the sun's trying to break through for a moment or two. We're supposed to get some of that nice warm sunny weather early next week. I hope Mon and Tues since I don't have Bella those days and I can get some gardening in.

Thanks for saying nice things about my photography. There are things I'm good at but photography's not one. I hope you can get an idea of what I'm going for in my attempts though.

Woody, Bailey reminds me of our last dog, Alice. She was a black lab. They do have a tendency to put on weight when they get older. We had Alice for 10 years. She came to us as a stray. She died peacefully in her sleep one night after a perfectly normal day. I wish all of my pets could go that way. She was a great dog. Your plants all looks so good there in the window.

It's off to the pet store with me for kitty litter.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 4:20PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hey, this thread is going like Saucy's original "Idle Chatter" thread way back when! Think that was a Saturday too, wasn't it, when she was stalling on painting Jake's bedroom? Seems a long time ago, look how far we've come! Don't think I've mentioned how nice it is to have you back Saucy--it is nice! Also Martie, you don't know how your perky AM posts were like a beacon last winter when I was in my low-thyroid induced slumber half the time. Join in whenever you can--no quota required. Wish our other MIA Idyllers would pop in an say Hi.

Sue, wow, so happy your visit with Steve Silk went so well. He must have been truly inspired to stay and "talk shop" for so long. So I missed who he is exactly--editor of a garden mag? Can we expect an article on your garden soon?

Brenda, lol, "why not a chainsaw?"! You crack me up totally!

Hey Babs, you busy girl you! I'll be right behind you once I get my plants in the ground and will be seeking outside employment for the first time in 12 years. Don't know what yet, would love something horticultural related, but would guess at this time of year that isn't feasible. Will probably seem part time office work. Would be cool to find a local acupuncturist who needed help and get free treatments. We'll see. And BTW, my Dad was definitely NOT a gardener, though HIS Dad was an avid flower and veggie gardener. All my Dad cultivated was weeds, to the tune of the neighbors complaining to the city that he had to do something about them, lol! A bit embarrassing really, lol, he had loftier things to attend to I guess.

BTW Ei, Mary, Babs, totally cracking up over the mushrooms, lol! Do you remember Jain had a whole collection of such mushrooms, lol, I should email her for a pic. Tehehe, so funny! Say hi to Dotti for me Ei, I really enjoyed meeting and talking with her.

Love the pics Eden and Woody. I really should get my house plants debugged and in the house. I think it will just not be worth heating that sunroom. For now Ive closed the screens as the coleus are shivering, and am leaving the dining room door open. Not that we have the heat on here yet, but it is warmer in the dining room than the sunporch. I nominate Marian for Houseplant Queen too!

Hi Mary! You sound awfully busy. What will you do when youve doubled your hours? Glad your fish survived. Im going to look into stocking my little pond (as opposed to the bog) with fish next season. It is over 3 deep so should be able to overwinter them. For now it has tons of frogs/toads. I dont know the difference, though sure the kids could tell me.

Honey youve sure had the medical establishment give you the gears this year, between your DM and your DD. Very frustrating dealing with inadequacies like that, and its the reason Id rather PAY for alternative CARE (in the real sense of the word) that WORKS, then fight a system that seems to be able to less and less for me, while making me wait longer and longer. My new next-door-neighbor Wayne has a 7cm aneurism in or near his heart, but though he is essentially a time bomb, they are having to wait until the specialist can get to him on the long list. An awful way to live.

So what am I up to today you ask? (Besideds totally rambling lol!) Well, it is rainy and cold, and I had wanted to start planting the pot ghetto after finishing my new lasagna bed extenstion yesterday. That was a ton of work, 8 bags of peat, about 2 yards of manure, 4 yards of garden mix. But it is DONE and ready to plant, and my back has held up. I need a bobcat with this acreage, not a wheel barrow, lol! But it is too miserable out to plant today, and will be nice tomorrow, so thats on tomorrows agenda, as well as vacuuming then closing the pool, like Mary. Today Im hosting 6 other kids from Cambridge for the boys long-awaited "old friend sleep-over party". There is Nicholas, Conner, Stephen, Sam, Michael, Megan, and of course Shane, Devin and Brennen. Yes, Megan, 12 and a friend of Shanes he likes to instant message with on MSN. She is revelling in being the only girl. I have to show her where the Lysol wipes are with all these boys using the bathrooms, lol. Also figure out where she will sleep. Currently some are playing hide and seek in the laser tag barns, some are playing video games, some watching tv and some playing upstairs. Sams mum works for Vachon and brought me bags and bags of stuff, so Im rationing the sugar, lol, after hiding most in the freezer.

Thanks all for commiserating on my misery with the poison ivy. It is finally slowing a little I think, but I have it BAD, on both forarms, and both legs and ankles. Will spare you pics, but Id be a great poster child for poison ivy meds. I'm thinking it may have come in on the free manure from my neighbor, which I was handling for a week, because I haven't seen any around here. My left knee was infected this morning and very sore but has responded to anti-biotics. Cindy thanks for the advice re what to use. I went online and found some advice so am using Dial anti-biotic soap, and Bandaid Anti-Itch Gel, which is basically spirit of camphor, but works extremely well to quell the itching and also to dry up the weeping. Trying not to cave to the Benedryl which makes me very sleepy, and also gives me a pounding headache at the base of my skull, but sometimes that too. I think Im over the worst, but it is still not a pretty site at all. I told Glenn hes lucky he didnt get it, as you know how guys like to scratch there, um, mossy stones and other nether regions, lol. I cannot imagine how horrible having poison ivy there would be! Or on the face, that would not do much for ones self-esteem either.

So Glenn is toughing out the weather and building a new insulated hut for the well-head and pump. Think well invite the neighbors down for game of pool later. Definitely a night to start a fire too. Well I had better go let Waynes dog Molly out for a piddle (they are at a wedding), then corral these kids for pizza and phone the neighbors re this evening. And anti-itch gel, that is first on the list. Have a great Saturday everyone. Its wine night, and Im going to need it with all these kids, lol! Hi to everyone Ive missed


Before and Afters, ready for the pot ghetto:

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 5:08PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Happy Birthday V!

Happy Birthday Deanne!

Happy Birthday Norma!

Happy Birthday Wendy!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 5:28PM
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Taryn, you've been busy. Makes my back hurt just looking at all the work you've done, lol. It already is looking just great. Can't wait to see it all planted up. And birthday pics too! Love the tricyrtis and the "doll's eyes". I have that actaea too and people always ask about it.

Forgot to say LOL about Ei's mushrooms, rocks and moss. I'd forgotten about that part of the brunch. I mentioned it to Brad and he said he remembered you guys getting your picture taken with the mushrooms. IU3 was fun wasn't it?

Almost time for wine night! TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 6:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I see large curvy beds Taryn! Nice balance with your home. :-)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 6:51PM
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Taryn, just a tip from one country gardener to another. When I make curvy beds, I take the riding mower and drive around what I am proposing to make sure that the mower can take the curve. You probably didn't have a rider in town? I like to do all the mowing with the rider and no push trimming. Call me lazy ;o)


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 7:08PM
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Yes Taryn, large curvy beds to INSPIRE T! She's going to love seeing what you do with these!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 7:12PM
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Taryn, I am humbled by your hard's going to be gorgeous.

I don't know what's going on tomorrow. There is chaos at this house and I understand that tomorrow it is going to rain (missed the weather with all the chaos!).

I'm down again. Nick and I aren't doing so good. Too much to say here. The hard part is that I've closed myself off so much that I don't have a mother, a sister, a friend, to call. I need so badly to talk to an objective woman. Sorry men, you won't work right now :) I am good at picking a fight, but Nick is brutal because he's done it all his life (he was born with a cleft palate for those who don't know the history). My hormones are causing major issues, but I can't stop it. Hormones and history are not a good match.

I constantly fight with myself not to do what my parents did. My mom left me with dad in the seventh grade. Jake is in the seventh grade. My husband can't comprehend since his parents have been married 35 years.

Instead of airing the rest of my laundry I'm going to say goodnight. If everyone's going to Deanne's I'll go, if the rain washes us out, I'll sit home.

Taryn, I can't believe you remembering the paint drying posts....that's what Idyll is all about, I guess. He's so proud of his bedroom.

Quick FYI....I just surmised the reason for my crying is that I am lost. How do you find what you love?

Another question: Why do you all put up with me?


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 7:18PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Saucy! Email me! with your phone number! DH and I started couples councelling this past week. Some things are worth working for, and you just can't fix everything on your own. My girls' weekend was a godsend, and sounds like just what you need. But cyberbuds can be just as good--gardenbutt/JWJ saved me in 2001. Email me!


PS Thanks re my curvy beds! And yes Michelle, they passed the riding mower test...

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 7:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, we don't put up with you, we love you! You are so special and delightful, it just shines through your postings. I'm not just saying that as comfort, though indeed I would like to comfort you, but have shared those exact thoughts with Chelone in the past. Honest!

You have asked very serious questions and they deserve serious answers. I'm afraid we each go through pretty much what you are going through, in some form or other, and that the answers are different for each of us...and yes, require work. My DH was startled that work was involved in marriage and this was late in the game too! It is not always a smooth road, but closing yourself off to others is not a good plan. Trying to review the "best thing that happened today" with your spouse may seem pretty feeble at times, but is a start to changing a gloomy outlook. Also, discuss these emotions with your doctor. The big M can really twist us ladies around in many ways. There are books on relationships that have helped at times. Making lists of what is good and what is not can be shared and worked on, not quickly, but with kindness and great thought and caring. Keep at it, keep sharing and know that you are very valued my friend! Big hugs to you! Joy is your goal.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 8:30PM
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Hey-better late than never: )


    Bookmark   September 30, 2006 at 10:47PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everone! Well, how cool is that more birthday cards!! Thanks so much Babs and Taryn. That was really sweet of you both.~~ Babs, I recognize some of those plants in my card! That's really sweet and oh so fun to see familiar 'faces' in your garden. I just love to share plants.

Taryn, wow, looks like you've been really busy. Love those curvy beds. Do you have a plan or are you just going to plant as you get things?

Saucy, Im so sorry to hear youve been so troubled. Ditto what Bug said. I dont know how long youve been married but Doug and I had some pretty rough spots in the first ten years or so. I think most couples do. Whats especially worrisome is that youve said you are isolating yourself. That just is not a good thing and all the more reason that you should come and have a garden day with us. Were still planning on getting together whether it is pouring out or not. Sometimes a change of outlook can give you a new perspective on things. I know you are going to enjoy your day with us and youll love meeting Wendy. Oh yes, I already dug plants out of the gardens for you so you really need to come and pick them up. That peony took four extra large pots. Incredible.

Eden so how did the apple pie turn out? You made my mouth water when you said you were baking pies. One of my students brought a fresh baked pie for lunch the last day of class last weekend. I saved my piece to share with Doug for dessert at dinner time and it was wonderful. Ive got a few apples left from going to the farm stand last weekend and Im thinking of making some fresh applesauce. Doug love it with vanilla ice cream. I like pie better but there is no way on the planet to make a low fat pie crust and the crust is my favorite part! LOL

Jerri!!! How absolutely fantastic to hear from you. OMG! I cant believe you have that many fosters right now. Your place must be hopping. How are things otherwise? ~~ Im so happy we dont have five foot ragweed here. I am allergic to that and Id be beyond miserable with that much pollen in the air. I guess it doesnt mind the heat. You think?

Woody, I cant tell you how much fun it is to see photos from you and recognize a place Ive been. I know I told you how much I love that window but Ill tell you again how fantastic it is. I wish I had a spot for a bay window like that. ~~ BAily looks like a nice puppy. I hope he learns to be polite and that you can keep him. Labs are such friendly fellows and great companions. If Misty approves seems to me he just needs to move in with you.

Brenda, Oh my, it really is SO GREAT to have you back. Ive reread your post about why cant they be a chainsaw or harpoon murderer about six times now and laugh every time I read it. You just crack me up. ~~ I was talking to my friend MJ last night and was bragging about how youve lost 50 pounds since I met you. We were talking about just how incredibly difficult it is to lose weight for a woman after the big M. Shed never had a problem her entire life and is now steadily gaining weight and needs to do something about it before her clothes dont fit her anymore. She was one of those people who could eat anything and everything and never gain an ounce. I always envied her. Well life has caught up and now she is having to watch things. ~~ Im amazed at the amount of cooking youve got done. I wish I could cook meals ahead like that but you cant fix salad and put it in the freezer! LOL Salad is our major food group here. LOL

Wendy, so as I told Saucy, Ive already dug the big things out of the gardens and we can nip out in the rain and get anything else you want. See you at 11:00!

Im going to post a pic of my Brug Charles Grimaldi on this thread. I put it over on my other thread but no one has been over there since I posted the extra pics and I REALLY wanted to share this with you all. Ive waited a couple years to have brug with this many flowers. Not as fabu as Sues but this poor plant was absolutely covered with mites and it stunted its growth. Ive treated it for four weeks now and have finally gotten my reward.

OK Im going to go and do battle with my vacuum. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 8:48AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

For Taryn:

Poison Ivy

She comes on like a rose
And everybody knows
She'll get you in dutch
You can look but you'd better not touch

Poison ivy, poison ivy
Well late at night when you're sleeping
Poison ivy comes a creeping all around

She's pretty as a daisy
But look out man she's crazy
She'll really do you in
If you let her get under your skin

Poison ivy, poison ivy
Well late at night when you're sleeping
Poison ivy comes a creeping all around

Measles make you bumpy and mumps'll make you lumpy
and chicken pox'll make you jump and twitch
A common cold'll cool you but whooping cough'll fool you
but poison ivy's gonna make you itch

You're gonna need an ocean
of calamine lotion
You'll be scratching like a hound
the minute you start to mess around

Poison ivy, poison ivy
Well late at night when you're sleeping
Poison ivy comes a creeping all around

Measles make you bumpy and mumps'll make you lumpy
and chicken pox'll make you jump and twitch
A common cold'll cool you and whooping cough'll fool you
but poison ivy's gonna make you itch

You're gonna need an ocean
of calamine lotion
You'll be scratching like a hound
the minute you start to mess around

Poison ivy, poison ivy
Well late at night when you're sleeping
Poison ivy comes a creeping all around

La la la la
La la la la

Sorry, but this song is in my head every time I look at the tydll! Hope the itching stops for you soon! What a lot of work you've done - love those curves.

Thanks for the birthday cards - its like celebrating all over again!

Deanne, Sue and Saucy - see you soon! Glad we are still getting together, even if the outdoor activities are rained out - I always have a great time with you guys. The sun is still trying to peek through here, but the rain is coming, I can feel it.

DS and DH spent the night in the Town Forest with the scouts, a warm-up (or cool-down - it got a bit chilly last night) for their "Great Northwoods Challenge" next weekend. They are still not back yet, which is a good sign.

I think I'll zip outside and get some coleus cuttings (Deanne, I think I have one or two that you don't have!) and put the plants in the car before it starts to pour.

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 9:33AM
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Good morning, one and all! Hre, we are just entering the second inch of rainfall and another inch after that is expected. No gardening today, but I'm glad as a "down" day is absolutely the right thing right now :-)

Having been through the easiest divorce on record, I can empathize with those of you struggling with your relationships. Yes, a marraige is worth saving, but not at the expense of your own self-esteem or safety. Every credit in the world is given to those to work at making it work, but if it gets to the point where the work becomes a struggle, give in and do what you need to do so that everyone is happier. It's not failure; it's recognizing the need to Take Care of Yourself First.

Along the same vein, here's some things to do that take less than two seconds but really can make you feel a bit better when times are horrendous:

- spritz on some perfume.
- drop a quarter into the gumball machine.
- leave a penny on the ground for a kid to find.
- hold a piece of felt.
- draw a smiley face.
- breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth.
- brush your hair then look in the mirror.
- wash a dusty vase.

You get the idea, here. First you have to remember that it's actually okay to feel okay, then you do something teeny that doesn't involve food to help yourself along.

We finally got a new digital for ourselves. Rich picked a Kodak Z650 Easy Share. Today I was going to learn how to use it. With this rain that's Not a good idea, so b-day pics owed will need to wait. I sure love it when it's someone's birthday around here!

The most recent garden hardscape decision was put to rest yesterday when we discovered a huge boulder -- the only rock on the property so far -- right where Rich wanted to put his raised veggie beds. It'll probably take him another three months to decide what to do, and I'm glad it's October and not April :-)

Despite the fact that there's no such thing as a dwarf Kiwi, I need something viney and dense to cover a 7'tall x 20'long "wall" that is the deck face. Nothing annual will cover it. Wisteria is another option -- this is one strong deck -- but I readily admit that I've never gotten one to bloom. Any other sugggestions??

Love your curvy beds, Taryn. Any decision about stepping stone material?

Will undoubtedly be checking back in later. Right now need to get to the grocery store. Lack of half and half for coffee in this house is cause for alarm!! LOL

Good to "see" everyone!!


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 9:39AM
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Good Morning, The SUN IS SHINING! Looks to be a cool but beautiful day. I'm going to do some house stuff this morning and then we're going to go walk the Paint Creek Trail, an old railroad line, to the Paint Creek Cider Mill this afternoon and enjoy the nice weather.

Somehow I missed Jerri's post yesterday. Jerri, hope you pop in again soon and tell us more about what's going on at your "zoo". How are you feeling?

Saucy, I hope you make it to Deanne's today. Hanging out with the Idylls will be good for your soul. I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a rough time. You know you can email just about any of us here if you need to talk. We all care about you!

Deanne, I ended up making an Impossible Apple Pie so didn't end up making a "real" crust. It has streusel topping though! That brug is outstanding!

Babs, love, love, love your birthday cards. The tea cup feeders are so cute. And I'm envious of those clerodendrum blooms.

Those of you going, have fun at Deanne's today. I'm off for the now daily routine of checking to see which of the plants I've brought in need attention today.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 9:44AM
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I'm heading out, puffy eyes and all.

Thanks for all the nice words everyone. I've been married 13 years....unlucky number? LOL.

Some idyll time will do me good!


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 10:01AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Jerri are all those dogs at your place?! If so, its probably both a fun and chaotic place to be!

Taryn hows the poison ivy rash now any better? I have been lucky enough either never to have encountered PI or else am not affected by it. (I suspect Ive never been in contact with it) I probably wouldnt recognize it if I saw it. Wandering around in woods and wild places was something I and my friends did all the time when we were young but none of us ever had a PI rash so I can only assume in didnt grow in our neck of the woods If you encountered it at your new place, it sounds like country gardening could have some unpleasant challenges for you!

Deanne Wow! re that Brug. One of these years, Ill get around to trying a brug I like my bow window but I still wish I had made it go all the way to the floor. In a month or so when the oak tree turns color, the view from the window is fabulous. I also like the view in the winter when the pines and the shed are snow-covered.

Martie having had my Chinese wisteria bloom this spring, Im a confirmed fan of wisteria so do consider wisteria as an option as long as you are willing to do the required pruning. I planted mine in spring 2002, moved it to a different location in August 2002. I know it had flower buds last year but they got killed by frost. But still, 4 years to bloom wasnt bad. I recently picked up a book on Wisteria at a used book store. The author was Australian and a lot of the book was fairly technical botanical stuff and detailed descriptions of varieties most of which wouldnt grow here. But there were quite a few interesting and useful things in it too. One thing he said was that the Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis), because the bloom racemes are shorter, are best displayed grown as a bush (which is essentially what I have done) or trained on things like porches. The Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) has longer flower racemes so the flowers last longer but the leaves are fully developed by the time the end of the raceme is in bloom. Because of the length of the raceme, they are best displayed on very tall arbors (to put the racemes above head height so you dont damage them walking under them) or grown as a standard. Ever since I planted the one I have, Ive wanted to grow the floribunda variety Lawrence which is supposed to be hardier and more floriferous than what I have. He didnt have any comments on the variety I have now but went into raptures about Lawrence! (With its long racemes, pale blue flowers, floriferousness and good autumn color, Lawrence is highly recommended. No other cultivar I have seen produces so many flowers per raceme.) It originated in the Ottawa area of Canada a very cold area so it is very hardy! The flower racemes have 145-170 sweetly scented flowers. Ill definitely be getting one next year to grow as a standard not sure where Im going to put it though Heres what my current one looked like on May 27th this year its filled in a lot this year so I have great hopes for next spring too

I hope the weather cooperated for those going to Deannes today. (Sunny and cool here) Lets see some pictures

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 5:01PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow! Awfully quiet here today. Oly, oly in free. Come out come out wherever you are..

Anyway, a fabu-fabu time was had by all! I cant stress enough just how much fun it is to spend time with garden/plant people. You all just get it. I can do a happy feet dance because my brug is covered with flowers and you get it. I can be excited because the coleus in the hay rack is three by three feet and wonderful and that the fuchsias are absolutely smothered in flowers right now. Most people just look vaguely interested and a bit confused when I show them around the gardens so having Sue, Saucy and Wendy here was a delight. I know that the neighbors now think Im totally cracked because we went out in the cold rain and stayed outside talking about plants and gardens for a while. Interesting enough, I didnt really notice the rain much when we were out there. After our fall-walk-about-the-garden we went to Bertucchis for lunch then sent Doug and Tom home to talk about smoking salmon so we could go to The Mixed Border. Well much to our disappointment it was closed! Whats with that? We did take a long slow ride up the drive to look at their plantings and they have a fantastic heptacodium just covered with flowers right now. Im going to have to run up there sometime this week to have a closer look. I still have my gift certificate from the contest burning a hole in my pocket.

So we all had a nice day and I cant think of a better way to spend a rain Sunday in October than with garden friends talking about the season passed and what we are planning for next year in the gardens.

Martie, great to hear from you. I can't wait to see pics with your new camera.

Eden, How was your walk on the rail trail? I think it is so fantastic that they are turning so many of the old unused rail beds for bicycling and walking trails now. The one we do often here is also an old railway. ~~I sure wish I had some of your apple pie for our dessert tonight. Seems like it would be perfect for a rainy evening.

Woody, that wisteria is just gorgeous. I agree that it would be beautiful for Martie's deck. I've got a standard of Wisteria japonica with white flowers that does, in fact, have really long racemes. ~~ So happy you like the brug. You'd love growing one. Their fragrance is incredible.

OK Im going to go and finish up a couple loads of wash that have been cooking for a bit and should be done by now and then think about heating up some leftover turkey soup for dinner.

Have a wonderful evening everyone,

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 5:21PM
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What a nice time I had today. My eyes are puffy and I have a headache nagging at me, but I shoved them to the back burner and joined in. I probably wasn't very good company, but I felt my hostess and friends would let me pass :)

I came home to clean kids, fed family, and clean house. He's trying. Why does it take such a low to get him to see? The attention I'm getting now is slightly smothering. Is he horrified at the aspect of me leaving?

I don't like drama. I like seasons of change....nice and slow easing into a garden or a favorite pair of jeans aging gracefully. NO DRAMA. I'm always sucked into his drama, LOL.

My new (we'll call it) Bay Window Garden is going to be quite lovely with the gifts from Wendy and Deanne.

Tuesday I'm going to see Eric Clapton. It's my birthday present from my MIL. See Deanne, Wendy, and Sue....she's pretty cool, sometimes :) Only thing is the kids are balking at the babysitter - she can't even cook frozen pizza and she doesn't talk much. Good thing it's a school night!

Nick and I can make it, but this is not fun sometimes. I feel pulled in so many directions and I feel like there are so many people or things that are deterrents (sp?) for our marriage. Tests are not fun.

We're smart and don't have big fusses, but I'm sure the kids notice the coldness. I do tell myself that it is healthy for them to see us work things out....everyone has disagreements. Though I think I'm doing the "right thing" I'm sure they'll grow up and blame us for some sort of parenting problem that we had no idea about :)

I've got lots to hash out. I just need to know where I'm going from here.

Well, once again, it's all about me. Gloss over my posts, please, I need to get a journal :)


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 7:40PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi all! Like Babs posted earlier, I am missing my idyll time. I thought I'd had quite a week when I realized at midnight last night that I had put 900 miles on the car since Monday morning, but I see that Martie has that beat!

What fun to see more birthday greetings. I've always felt that belated greetings just extend the celebration. I've also decided that this is going to be a good year for me, so maybe I'll celebrate every month?

Those who guessed that I was in Indy were correct - I know Marian was one, and I think Mary was the other. I really skimmed, so if I missed a guess, my apologies. Brenda, did you hear me shout at you on Thursday afternoon? When I was somewhere north of Indy I yelled howdy to you; I have no idea if I was close or not but the thought was there.

I had a great post ready to go Wednesday night but then I lost my internet connection and couldn't get it back. There were a lot of brilliant insights in that post.

Although it was crazy busy, my week was great. I went out to dinner three nights in a row with a well-known plant breeder who is a lot of fun to hang around with. Lots of good conversation and many laughs. I also learned a lot at the conference and am very glad I had the chance to go.

Saturday I had to work a career fair at a sort of local community college (well south of where Ei lives, so it was a trek for me) and then went on to a local event and later a party at a friend's house. I did nothing but eat all day. Today I am refraining!

I do need to run and fix dinner, and then watch the Bears game. I've earned a little "veg out" time. I will be here more often this next week.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 8:07PM
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Deanne: ) I hoped you would like to see what I did with your plants...all the coleus you shared with me got HUGE-it's like they are shrubs and i so don't want to whack 'em down...I just know I will kill them if I try to over winter them inside....of course I will try! I have to get a plant light though...I SO HATE that I never have time to do stuff. The weather here was gorgeous so I said phooey I am gardening today no matter what. And I did: )...luckily Chris knew I meant business and he did the laundry for me. I made a roast so i wouldn't have to sit in the kithcen and do prep and cooking. We even took a stroll(quickly)at the tadpole ponds. MY BATTERY on my camera died on the first shot-as always huh.
That brug is amazing!!!Your work certainly paid off! Thanks for putting it here since I definitely don't have time to do more than the idylls right now(it's driving me nuts).

Oh Saucy I feel terrible for what you're going through. I wish I had a good bit of advice to help you. Maybe I missed this but would you go for counseling? I know people who don't even have serious probs who go to counseling just to help them stay on the same page with their marriage-I wonder if that would help you two. Stick around here if you can so we can at least cheer you up or give you a place to get it out if that helps.

Eden-thanks for liking my cards: )...
I am so sorry that your clero didn't bloom like you had hoped. I kind of wonder what mine will do next year since my blooms probably had a lot to do with that I bought it as it thrived in the nursery. Do you treat yours as a houseplant during winter? That was my plan. I found my teacups at Pat Cataan's craft store.

Don't mean to cut this short but I need to go make tomorrow's school lunches for the kids...hi to all!!


    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 10:37PM
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Good misty morning!!

It is entrancing outside. Bundled up and took a quick scoot around the gardens to assess storm damage. Two stalks of corn came down, Papyrus literally floated three feet, one broken cane on climbing Peace rose, and -- you guessed it -- the major tomatoe arbor came crashing down on other plants and needed to pull Rich away from warm, dry kitchen with coffee to help me resurrect the structure. Of course, we were both so wet and laughing so hard that we had to pick tomatoes. The commotion caused a neighbor to come out and we ended up having a wonderful little soire' at 6:15 am. Oh, the things we do!!

Glad to here my fellow NE'ers had fun yesterday at Deannes. I will, will, will get that Brug to Deanne. Period, end, no question. LOL If she can do That with the brug, I can't wait to see Her 'Jean Pasco' next year (provided, that its, that I ever get it to New Hampshire :-)

Glad to hear you're rebounding, Saucy. The "honeymoon" periods are sometimes as confusing as the hissy fits, but enjoy it while you can.

V. - 900 miles is enough!! Not sure what you do, exactly, so could you email me with details? Sounds intriguing!!

To all who are getting used to working for money and then also working like you always have -- It Can Be Done! Things like crock pots are golden.

I Get to Have Thanksgiving!!!! Anyone from Canada who wants to partake in our extremely U.S. tradition is ABSOLUTELY welcome to join in -- just email. Since it's my fav holiday, I've already (actually several months ago) took the entire week off. Didn't even have to mud wrestle my sister with the log cabin for the ABSOLUTE DELIGHT of having the holiday here.

So far we're up to 14 but it's still early :-) Totally expect at least one international student to join us and I'm sure everyone knows someone without a place to go, so -- BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!

Had a delightful conversation with the three 11-year-olds yesterday. They were bored so ended up at our house. Cool!! Anyway -- they were talking about being in sixth grade and all the responsibilities that come with being in such an illustrious position ;-) One of the things is that they need to do project that will show the younger school kids that it's good to share. So, in the Spring they will get a Row for the Hungry in Rich's garden. After a while of perusing Pine Tree's website and catalog, we'll need to dig a 20x20 garden to accommodate what they picked, but who cares!

Rich committed to get the seeds; I committed to letting them into a garden once they learn where to step; their parents committed to getting kids and food to the local pantry each week. It does take a Village :-)

Off and running. It should be a good week financially -- Holidays are coming!!!!! and I get to meet a potential client I've been trying to see since July.

Best to everyone!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 7:12AM
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ALMOST FORGOT -- Thanks, Woody and others, for the Wisteria insight. Passiflora incarnata is another front runner and I'm glad I have the winter to decide. The pics are a strong motivator ..... hmmmmmmm.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 7:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


DH is fed and off to work, I've caught up on reading here. Good to hear about the NE gathering! Glad Saucy that you made it!(Sent you a GW email) Love seeing Babs' photos and quick messages. Oh how I remember the decades of making breakfasts, packed lunches and dinners too....:(.

Seeing Jerri back is exciting too. Photos and a little text would be so nice! Brenda, great to have you participating.

V, terrific week you had! Looking forward to having you back this week.

Yes Martie, a lovely morning here as well. The day looks complex...including a visit with my doctor, who in 8 years has never looked me in the eye.... :( No amount of training will change that, smart though he may be.

Off to shower.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:03AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Happy Monday! The sun is out, the sky is blue and we had a nice soaking rain yesterday. What more can a garden fanatic ask for in early October? How about no frost.

This will be a drive by since it's closing week. Despite the less than stellar weather yesterday we all managed to have a wonderful time at Deanne's. When you tour her garden you can see why planning for late season color is worth the extra work throughout the season. Although it's sad to think it will all be gone soon, the upside is we can start planning and looking forward to next spring. In the meantime, lets start thinking about dates for all those winter parties and get togethers we've come to expect in this group!

On the news front, the local rep from the Garden Conservancy is coming by tomorrow night to look at my garden and drop off some paperwork. Unless she recoils in horrow it looks like we'll be open a day in September next year. Only 11 months to get ready, I'd better get


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:42AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)


I am recovering from being dreadfully sick...but just had to send you a BD pic. I took it a couple of days ago, while I was still able to get around.( Wish I was smart enough to edit it, and remove the ugliness.)


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:03AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

First a very happy birthday to Eileen! Hope you have a wonderful and special day.

Yes indeed! A wonderful Monday morning (even though Im going to have to work in the basement today). Im currently enjoying coffee and looking at the sunshine streaming over my fall gardens in the back yard. I went to sleep with a smile on my face because I was thinking about walking around in the rain with my garden friends and that was one of those life moments. Even the miserable weather couldnt spoil our interest and joy in growing beautiful things. After thinking about the day I then collected from my memories all the other lovely times Ive toured fantastic gardens with this group of people and it put a smile on my face that I couldnt wipe off. What a wonderful thing this forum has been for me. It has developed my knowledge of gardening and plants and Ive made fast friends with some terrific and interesting people.

Sue, Doug was really glad that Tom came with you yesterday. He still would have gone to lunch with the four of us but he probably wouldnt have enjoyed it very much! LOL I absolutely agree with you about planning on our winter parties and Idylling get togethers. Last year we had your terrific Christmas party, then Martie planned the Logees trip in January, I think she is still planning on doing that again in the coming year (I will not miss it this year) and I was talking to Doug about setting dates for our February Thumb Our Noses at Winter Barbeque. Advance planning is always a good thing. ~~ Cant wait to hear about the Garden Conservancy rep visit tomorrow. Doug asked if youll need help with that. What a guy!

Marie, you should try to find a way to get down here in February. It certainly would be a great break for you mid-winter.

Martie, I love your story about getting out and fixing the tomato structure and having a good laugh at 6:15AM. Another one of those fun life moments that are good to tuck into your memory banks for a rainy day.

Babs, Ive found that I generally have little to no luck with wintering over existing coleus plants and that the best way to save them is from cuttings. The old growth gets so huge and woody and seems to lose vigor as it gets older. Im so HAPPY to hear that the plants did so well for you. Thanks for the quick check in with us. It is good to hear from you even if you only can say "Hello, Im really busy right now."

V. wow, 900 miles! It makes me tired to think about. ~~ Sorry about your lost witty and insightful post. I hate it when that happens.

Saucy, Im so glad you were able to make it yesterday. I did not notice that you had puffy eyes and contrary to what you think you were VERY good company. It was really great to see you again and I have to say it again how fantastic you look! So tall and slim. Keep up the good work.

Marian, sorry to hear you havent been feeling well. Doug and I have been fighting off colds here as well, What a drag. Hope you are better very soon.

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:49AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

I have to keep this short, but just wanted to drop a quick line.

Didnt want to just "disappear" and have everyone wondering or worrying. Life is pretty complicated right now, so just wanted you to know I probably wont be here for awhile.

Enjoyed all the posts, it was great to hear about everything going on with all the girls! :-) And Im sooo glad to see some faces that havent been around for awhile.

Woody your Wisteria is stunning! I remember Deannes gorgeous white wisteria too. Is there anything more delightful than a wisteria in bloom? :-)

Okay, well maybe a Brugmansia in full bloom, which BTW, your Brugmansia is just stunning Deanne! I *love* the flowers and the scent is just *heavenly*! Mine has officially become the "darling" of my garden this season. :-)

Anyway, I have a wisteria that has been growing through an old Silver Maple on my property for over 10 years now. I didnt plant the wisteria, my sweet old neighbor Mrs. Shack had one and I think some bird must have dropped seed here. I was actually hoping it would choke out the Silver Maple...but no luck...Ha! The two are growing together very happily - although the wisteria has never bloomed.

It was great reading your long post Taryn. So sorry to hear about the PI though. Luckily Ive never contacted it, though my dad had it a few times while living in Tennessee and it was dickens for him to beat the rash. You sure *are* out in the country now; arent you? :-) Hmmm...weeds we hate. Actually, I dont hate these plants (I secretly love them but would never grow either of them)....bittersweet and the porcelain berry vine. They are such gorgeous plants...gorgeous and totally aggressive nuisance plants. Every year I have to steel my heart when I see the porcelain berry being offered in the nurseries. The angel on my left shoulder says, "Dont buy will only cause trouble and escape to harm others". The little devil on my other shoulder says "Oh will you look at that beauty?" "Is there anything so lovely....nowhere in the world could there be a more stunning mix of colors - turquoise, robins egg blue, sage and amethyst all know you want it!" The angel: "Dont do it a steward of the garden and the enviroment" The devil..."Ah, what could it hurt, you could plant it in a container that you bury in the ground, you will make sure you deadhead it after the berries mature." It gets quite distracting having all these voices in my head...LOL! Well, I am happy to say, that my little angel has always won out! :-) As for a weed I hate...."BINDWEED!!!!!" Sorry, I had to say it like that, its a little inside joke between my BF Anita and I. She absolutely detested it. I never understood why she hated it so...until I had it in my garden. My one neighbor has it all over their property and I am constantly trying to keep it from entering mine. It is a pain in the butt to root out. At least 3 times a year I have to work for several hours removing it from my garden. I think Ive got it all, been careful to dig up all the root and bam...a month later Ive got bindweed again.

Sue, I am *so* tickled for you and Mr. Silk must have truly enjoyed himself to spend so much time at your house. Its quite a *deserved* are a fantastic gardener and landscaper. Someday I will have to pick your mind about that little patch of grass in my dry river bed out front. Remember? You said you would have some suggestions for what to plant there to remove the rest of the grass! :-)

Beautiful pictures all! Idyll pics are the best!

Bug...a little hug for you. I imagine it *is* very hard and one of the reasons I really am not ready to move out of the state yet. DS will be getting married in late August of next year.

Saucy, sorry to hear what you are going through. I know how tough it can be sometimes and sure hope the two of you can work it out. I wish I could think of something insightful to say, but just know Im rooting for the both of you. There was a lot of good advice here and I had my listening ears. I thought your post was very insightful and thought filled and empathetic. Good advice! Anyway Saucy, hope you enjoy the Eric Clapton exciting! :-) Oh and congratulations on the weight loss...thats something to be very proud of....takes a lot of determination and stick-to-it-tivness (Ei speak).

V I would *love* to join you on the country drive! :-) Im sure it will be lovely and Ive always wanted to do that, but with the way things are here right now, I cant even think about tomorrow. But thanks so much for asking...I was really touched.

Well, I have to go now, DS is coming soon and I am supposed to drive him downtown. I am anxious (you guys probably know about my expressway anxiety by now...LOL).

So, Ill close with a smile I got last night. I was at the grocery store in the evening getting soup ingredients. Im making chicken noodle and minestrone, to send home with my son today. Anyway, I kept on bumping into this cute little girl pushing a cart. She was following behind her dad, who was on his cell phone and totally distracted. She seemed a little "alone" and "lost". Anway, we all end up in the produce dept together (dads still talking on the phone and DD still following behind him pushing the cart...obviously very bored). I left my cart for a minute to get something in another isle of the produce section, as I walk back, dad is still talking on the phone, but has now grabbed my cart and he is dragging it behind him. The little girl looks at me and I point out her daddy and I wink at her. Dads just rolling along talking on the phone, still pulling my cart and Im letting him. The little one gives me this shy smile and we both are watching dad. She cant hold it in anymore and suddenly she breaks out in this big smile that lights up her little face and starts laughing out loud..." have that ladys cart!" Now she is just cracking up and even the dad forgets about his phone for a minute and starts smiling at his little girl. I got such a kick out of seeing the two of them looking into each others eyes and smiling and laughing....being connected. I say to the dad "I was hoping you would take my cart all the way up to the counter and pay for everything for me!" The little girl starts giggling again. We all enjoyed a little "ha-ha" together. Anyway, it made me smile for a long time after and every time we would cross paths in the store a big smile would come on the little girls face and she would start giggling again. I got such a kick out of her, cute little thing, and so happy to see her smiling and giggling! Gosh I cant wait to have a granddaughter, which BTW, I *so* enjoyed all your pics of Kenzie, Michelle. She is a little doll and those pictures are keepers...definitely framing quality.

Okay, time to get the soup in the crock pots and take DS downtown.

Ill leave you all with these thoughts...Have a great *every*day all! Ei

The little things? The little moments? They aren't little.
- John Zabat-Zinn
We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy,
even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.
- E.B. White

It is the sweet, simple things of life
which are the real ones after all.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder

P.S. I just saw your post Marian..."Hi!" What a lovely pic....Thanks so much and you remembered which butterfly is my absolute *favorite* butterfly of them all! :-) Actually...I'm trying to forget this birthday though...LOL! Yes, it's one of those ones that end in zero...I don't like those ones at all! :-) Ei

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:51AM
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Good morning....

I've been working hard to get the backyard curvy beds all done. DH helped me out by using the old bulldozer with bucket to haul my chips & soil closer to the area where I am working. I ran out of chips before completing the beds in the shape and size I wanted, which is very disappointing. I still have the soil (organic mulch/soil/compost mix) to spread over the chips and I do not believe I will have enough of that either. I am planning on placing an order to have more of the soil delivered this week so I'll just forego chips in those areas and use only soil. I am pleased to have this much accomplished this year although I still do not see how the wood chips will decompose enough this winter to allow me to do some spring plantings. Perhaps I'll be pushing the chips aside and amending the soil in those planting areas? I'm just so unsure about all of this since the lasagna beds weren't made with real 'layers' ... just one thick layer of the shredded wood chips. I hope I've not made just a huge mess to deal with.

I've been following along but have nothing to add about Poison Ivy.....never been affected by it here and I'm not sure how much of it is around. I remembered the song that Wendy (? hope I'm right) shared and there was a movie also (with Drew Barrymore perhaps?) about Poison Ivy being more than a plant. There are some 'Poison Ivy' type of people that I've come in contact with over the years.......and they can cause some instant and long acting discomfort, just as the plant can. Interesting when it happens as you don't realize you've been around PI people until you feel the sting and pain later.

Last week we had temps in the 80's all week. It was lovely and a great opportunity to get all of the last minute things done outside before the autumn/winter rains begin. DH did more bulldozing/sculpting of the area above the back retaining wall. We spread gravel for about 18" along the back of the wall and then also spread a couple loads up by the shop building. We could easily make use of a couple more dump truck loads of the fine gravel, but DH seems to not think it is a priority at this time. Me? I'd love to see it 'done' and done completely. But, since he is the one to spread it with the bulldozer and I cannot do it---it can only be ordered when he says to do so.....otherwise I'd be looking at a couple big piles of expensive gravel all winter and I've been there/done that a few times. Finally learnt my lesson (maybe).

Sue, it sounds like Steve Silk was very impressed with your is wonderful that you are getting the recognition that you deserve for the work, thought and care you take in making your property as beautiful as it is. Congratulations! :o)

The gathering this weekend sounds like it was fun. I do begin feeling a bit glum about not living within a couple hours of Sue, Monique, Deanne, Wendy, Mary, Marie, Woody, Saucy........well, the list could go on and on--couldn't it? LOL I am envious but also very happy for those who live close enough to get to visit throughout the year. Cannot understand when someone turns down invitations nor opportunities to get together with all of you. I'd jump at the chance to sit and visit---so many wonderful personalities within this group.

This is the week that I begin my babysitting duties for the twins. They are 8 weeks old this week....amazing how big they are getting (almost 12# each). They are still dealing with reflux and colic although I never see the colic---only hear it on the phone if I happen to talk with their mother in the evenings. Obviously the reflux hasn't bothered their ability to gain weight ;o). Right now I will only be taking care of them 1 or 2 days a week. That amount of time is going to be hard enough, thank you very much. Not use to having responsiblity and complete care of a baby and certainly not use to taking care of two. :oP Watch the grandmother collapse at the end of the day. ;o)

Saucy...I'm sorry you are going through a rough spot in your marriage. It is horribly hard at times in almost all marriages (was going to say 'all marriages' but I'm not positive about that). I hope you both can weather this and are able to grow together through it.....marriage takes a lot of work and sometimes you don't see or remember that the work it takes is worthwhile. My only suggestion is to remember what you love about each other and try to focus the most on that.....then hopefully you can work, together, on fixing the rest of it. My best wishes and thoughts to you---been there and probably will be there again.

Marian, I don't think I mentioned your plant room . WOWWWW! Awesome!

Woody, that bow window is gorgeous! I'm thrilled to see you posting again!!! :o)

Marie & Woody, I don't believe I said how much I enjoyed seeing the photos, of your homes/gardens, from the visit by some of the Idylls a few weeks ago. Beautiful!! Marie, I hope you can find a way to get to visit with your DD and her family during this winter. Woody, the lab sounds like she'd be a nice addition to your family if she can be trained to walk nicely on a leash. One of our daughters has a black lab and he is full of energy, even at 6 years of age....but a very loving dog when he is wore out. ;o)

I've had a tough time during the past few weeks. EP's passing blindsided me...and it kind of took me to my knees for a bit. I had gotten use to her not posting here any longer, but I was still use to having her name pop up in my personal emails. We had talked on the phone on occasion, too. I love to connect with my 'cyber friends' on the phone, at times, as it adds so much more depth and a more personal feeling to the posts & emails. I thought of EP the other day when something came up......thought "she'll be so disgusted with this behavior when she writes"...and, just for a split second, before my thought even finished and I remembered there would be no more emails from her to remark about things such as that. We are all here for such a short period of time.....and right now I have very little patience for many of the petty things that crop up. Usually I'm full of empathy.....right now I'm finding I'm just fed up and PO'd. Yep, I'd get an earful from EP on my attitude, too. ;o) LOL It would be a thoughtful earful.......but I'd be set straight.

Well, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by life right now, so I've been spending more time thinking instead of talking---aren't you glad?! LOL This was a pretty long and blah read! ;o)

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:57AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Deanne! Just saw your post as I was looking to make sure mine went through. Thank you sooo much, "Queen of the Fuschias"'s just beautiful! :-) Actually thinking of you right now, reminded me of that Mary Englebreit quote "The Queen of Everything". I mean that in the most sincere and flattering way, Deanne. Your talents know no bounds and I admire you very much! Thanks for the beautiful birthday card!

Okay, gotta go now...Ei

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:58AM
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Happy Birthday Ei! Hope you have a wonderful day!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:00AM
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Well, after the weatherman promised a beautiful sunny day today I woke up to...rain. Drats, I had planned to spend the day in the garden. Now they're saying thunderstorms all day. Looks like I'll have time for more "fall cleaning" inside. Better get started. Have a good Monday everyone.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Happy Birthday Ei!!! I hope the day holds much happiness!! :o)


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 11:58AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Happy Birthday to Deanne and V!!!! (Yeah, I'm a little slow, but it spreads the celebration out a little, lol!)

((((Saucy)))) Sorry to hear you're having a rough patch-marriage is a lot of work. Hm, OUR thirteenth year was a little rocky, too. If it's any consolation, we're thick as thieves in the fifteenth year. Be kind to yourself, okay???

Ooooh, Eden!! Apple pie sounds SO yummy! We picked up a huge bag of baking apples when we were in Michgan. I've been thinking about making some apple crisp, but don't know how my willpower will hold up against it. Wonder if I can bake it and freeze it in individual portions. There's just no earthly reason for us to have a 9x13 pan of apple crisp all at once.

Gee, Deanne, thanks for braggin' on me! I've thought of you more times than I can count along this journey. Your weight loss truly inspired me. It seemed like I had too much to lose to even bother trying, so rather than focusing on losing, I've just focused on changing my eating habits. The weight isn't coming off fast, but it's coming off, and it's not something I even have to think about anymore. I just make better choices, and concentrate more on feeling better than looking better. We eat tons and tons of salad, too-along with a lot more cooked veggies. I still eat all the things I love. I have one meal a day that I eat carbs at. The carbs make up 1/3 of the food on my plate, plus I eat a huge salad first. Most of the time, I eat healthy carbs, but once every week or two I have a really good (usually home-made) dessert. That little bit of real estate on the plate becomes pretty valuable, lol! At breakfast and lunch, I can eat stuff (mainly raw veggies is what I choose) that has less than 4 grams of carbs per serving, along with a protein. Not a lot of counting or thinking, so it works well for me. My blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are all under control for the first time in years and years. Wish I'd have found this book about 10 years ago! And, I'm getting to the age where I can feel the pressure of the big M, and SURE didn't need an extra challenge in getting the weight off!

Wendy, I had to laugh at that song. That's on of my most famous misheard lyrics of all time. I thought until just a few years ago that it said, "For the night", not "Poison Ivy"..pretty goofy, eh? I thought for a long time that Purple Haze said, "'scuse me while I kiss this guy", too :)

Martie, I love the idea of leaving a penny on the ground for a kid to find! Is the boulder a pretty one??? Buried treasure, too bad it's where the veggie beds go.

Woody, the wisteria is beautiful! It's one of the plants I mean to get, but have to really give some thought to where it goes.

Saucy, it's good to hear that DH made an effort. With my DH, it was kind of feast or famine on consideration, too. It can be really hard to explain that you just want to be valued. Don't want my behind kissed all the time, but don't want to be taken for granted, either. Sending all kinds of good vibes your way! PS-no drama for me either....the duller things are the better, lol! Most stuff "ain't nothing but a thang" as my DB would say-no need to get all wound up. Have a wonderful time at the Eric Clapton concert...I'm just pea green with envy :)
You have exactly the right idea about the kids. It's GOOD for them to see that relationships are work, and disagreements can be worked out. As George Carlin said, "Bounce that kid around a little bit...give em a sense of reality!!" Being happy isn't about not having problems, it's about how you deal with them.

DOH-V, I didn't know that Indy was the Circle City. Bad hoosier! Wish I had run into you while I was at the powerball headquarters cashing in my ticket, but I didn't win (again) so I saw no reason to go, lol! You were only a couple of hours away from me, tho-maybe not even that far, if you were North of Indy. The porch is always open!!!

Martie-HUGE applause to you for helping the kids out with the garden. What a great idea! Never fails...when I open a box from Pinetree, I wonder where in the world I intended to put all those seeds. They just have such a great selection. For the record, it's dangerous to sit in a bubble bath with the Pinetree catalog and a highlighter, lol!

Happy birthday Eileen!! If I ever get my film developed from the Mich. trip, I'll post some pics. I spaced out the digital and had to buy disposables.

Marian...I don't see any ugliness in your pic!! Sure hope you get fully recovered soon..take good care of yourself!

Ei, the grocery cart store is so cute! Just think, if you hadn't been there, Dad might have just kept talking on the phone, and they wouldn't have had that little moment. It's the little things that mean so much. WOW, I had that typed before I scrolled down and saw the quotes! Now, every birthday that ends in zero is a fresh start on a whole new decade. Lol, remind me of that when I turn 50, okay?

T-have fun with the babysitting! 1-2 days a week is plenty for a "break in period" I'm sure, lol!

Eden, that picture is gorgeous! You don't, by any chance, get your weather from Gordy Young, do you?? Cuz he lied to me and owes me a nice day, too. I cooked all day yesterday because it was supposed to be crappy out. After I was stuck with the cooking project, the sun came out and it was gorgeous. Today is supposed to be nice, and it's windy and rainy and chilly. So, I'm doing more cooking. What a rip-off, lol!

Thus far, I have veggie soup, chili and goulash in the freezer. Today is chicken stew. I've got the chicken cooking and can exercise while I'm waiting on that. Had plans to make a stuffed pork loin yesterday, but had pop-in visits that put me behind schedule, so that's for tonight. Got the recipe from Emeril. It's stuffed with Italian sausage, walnuts and apples...too yummy!
Take care all!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 12:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Brenda, I 'am' feeling better...:-)
My goodness, all that good food you are preparing and freezing is making me sooo envious! I know, from my vegetable growing days , what a wonderful feeling it is to have all kinds of home prepared foods in the freezer.

Ei, I (too) love the grocery store event. You handled it in such a kind thoughtful way.

Saucy, after 49 and 1/2 years of marriage, I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you. My first marriage was to an abusive alcholic/womanizer. I divorced him, about two years after he returned from the military. Or rather , let him divorce me .I was too glad to be rid of him to fight his lies. Nolon and I have had no "bed of roses", but we have tolerated each other all these years. I am learning to appreciate him more as the years pass, and my health deteriorates more and more. Although he also has problems, both mental and physical, he is extremely patient wth me, probabably more patient that I am with him, although I learned, long ago,to button my lip! Very%

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 12:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

From the little devil on your shoulder...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 12:54PM
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LOL Marie. I have to confess the devil won out with me on this one also. I love my variegated porcelain vine. Yours is a beauty!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Brenda, I 'am' feeling better...:-)
My goodness, all that good food you are preparing and freezing is making me sooo envious! I know, from my vegetable growing days , what a wonderful feeling it is to have all kinds of home prepared foods in the freezer.

Ei, I (too) love the grocery store event. You handled it in such a kind thoughtful way.

Saucy, after 49 and 1/2 years of marriage, I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you. My first marriage was to an abusive alcholic/womanizer. I divorced him, about two years after he returned from the military. Or rather , let him divorce me .I was too glad to be rid of him to fight his lies. Nolon and I have had no "bed of roses", but we have tolerated each other all these years. I am learning to appreciate him more as the years pass, and my health deteriorates more and more. Although he also has problems, both mental and physical, he is extremely patient wth me, probabably more patient that I am with him, although I learned, long ago,to button my lip! Very, very few times have we said anything to each other that we have had to regret. I like to think.." How would I feel if he said that to me? " I have never been used to be waited on, and even do not take it well. He has learned that, and is more apt to 'leave me alone' when I am having a very bad day. We both pretty much 'do our own thing' and have done so all our married life. But 'our own thing' takes the other partner into consideration. As Teresa said, there are very few marriages that have no problems. When I hear of one, I am inclined to think they just have 'forgotten' the rough spots.
Sorry that I have gone on so long...don't you wish I had stayed sick? :-)

PS. I accidently hit the wrong 'button' and sent that before it was done! Here is the finished version.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 1:20PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I always seem to pick weekends of "silence" to miss important birthdays!!!
a quickie to each:

Happy Birthday, Deanne:

Happy Birthday Wendy:

Happy Birthday Ei:

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

A couple more I may have missed:

Happy Birthday Norma:

Happy Birthday, V.....

Hopefully I will get chance to re-read everything going on here... busy, busy place!!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 2:06PM
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Count me as another who desperately misses her Idyll time, too! It's easy to feel isolated and alone when the responsibilities of your circumstances occupy much of your time. When faced with myriad chores it's often tough to be perpetually reminded of "what you used to do" with such ease and delight.

Fond and belated birthday greetin's to esteemed members of this august group. I have always thought the lovely photographs were a wonderful way to convey our best wishes.

Of all the things I've undertaken thusfar in my life I truly believe being married is the hardest of all. I mean that. I didn't have a particularly sterling example to follow, either. While the 'rents never divorced, in hindsight I see that it might have been a good choice for them. I remember the screaming fights and the awful tension that wrapped itself around our home too often. The story was the same at the helpmeet's home... but his parents DID divorce and after that there was peace and harmony. We've learned what works by trial and error, lol.

He and I are intensely private people. We guard "our space" with determination. We understand that about each other. We struggled with seemingly simple things like telling each other where we were going and when we'd be home! Not because we were hiding anything, but because it literally wasn't something that we thought was "important"... until we'd each experienced the worry about where someone was and were they OK? DUH.

We tend to bury hurt and resentment and simply "carry on", as though admitting you feel either or both of those things is a sign of vulnerability... duh. They are! and they ought to be treated as the important cornerstones of any loving relationship. They matter!

We have "board meetings". No kidding. And I know, I know! it sounds really businesslike, but it's the way we've found to deal with things that can sometimes be "a little too close to home". We set a time and place, usually a day or two in the future. We drop the sticking point until the meeting. We have "rules". We each have a chance to voice our grievances uninterrupted (and we have used notes, as unromantic as it sounds!). And then we go through it all point by point. In 20 years together this is what has worked best for two private, meticulous personalities. Don't get me wrong, we've has some nasty, high-volume "knockdown drag outs"... but the practical side our natures has prevailed and we've always found common ground and something worth salvaging. But it's hard, hard work for two people from dysfunctional backgrounds.

Our common intellectual connection, senses of humor, and morals have carried us when our communication was called into question. But even when we didn't want to LOOK at each other we knew and believed we OWED IT TO EACH OTHER to sit down and talk. Conquering the desire to self-isolate has been hard for each of us.

Now is the time we all miss the Cherokee maiden most of all, huh?

Une larme=a tear

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 4:29PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

In just under the wire...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:24PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Wise words Chelone, and so nice to 'see' you. But I've no time to talk today. So.....


(from Jain too) Enjoy, lol!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:33PM
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Have a blast at the EC concert. My favorite tune is "Let It Rain", though the acoustic "Layla" is pretty nice. And I love, "Cocaine" and "Peaches and Diesel"... but have to tell you that I really DO prefer JJ Cale's original. Any way you slice it, it's a great tune!

Rock right out, Dudette. :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:55PM
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Happy Birthday Ei

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 8:57PM
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Hi everyone

Whew, the week got off to a busy start put I wanted to pop in to say Hi to everyone and to send Saucy a cyber hug ((((Saucy)))). I don't have much to add to the wise words already offered. Just remember we are all here for as much or as little as you'd like to share. I'm so glad you got to hang out with the Idylls on Sunday. Enjoy the Eric Clapton concert - "Layla" is one of my favorites too, and "Knocking on Heavens door". Lots of great stuff!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:12PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Ei!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Ei!I hope this isn't too freaky for a bday card...I just happen to like it and what a perfect month to sneak a spidey in: ) I hope you've had a terrific day...what's it like to be 21? lol Oh wait you were 21 last year so now it's 22? : )

Taryn-is that the march of the fun-guys? lolol get it? : )


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I probably could have freaked you all out if I had taken, and posted, a picture of my latest houseguest. It was a small garter snake! I saw it on the table with my african violets this morning. It slipped out of sight, and I didn't care that it was in my bedroom! When Nolon came in I informed him of it's presence in case he saw it and didn't know I knew.I am not at all afraid of them, nor is he. Later on today it appeared in the breakfast nook, behind a potted snake plant. I had Nolon wait on one side while I moved the pot from the other side. It was scared of us, and rolled up under the pot. I picked it up, and put it out where it can be happier. :-)

I am so enjoying the Sedona coleus. I was surprised to notice the new coloring it has taken on, so took a couple of pics. The first is with the flash, and the second without.

It's amazing how a change of the camera's settings can make such a differance!

The next pic is of the common plectranthus' blooms.

It doesn't show in the pic, but they are very pale lavender.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:54PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Aw, hail... guess what's happening right now? A lovely hailstorm, wind, rain, thunder, lightening and a nice little zzzzzzzz-POP! which would be the sound that the GFI outlet on the deck makes just before it shorts out. Who knew that the wind would drive all that rain into the outlet? Anyone know a good electrician?

Ei, I hope you're having a good birthday!

I'm going to stop tempting fate and shut down this computer!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 9:55PM
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I wish we could all be together for a group hug. I'm thinking especially of our Idylls who are having a tough time with the loss of our friend, Ei and Saucy who are both having tough days. I think I have mentioned it before, but I look at life as a journey with valleys and mountain tops. We all must be in the valley at certain times in our life and for many different reasons, but if we perservere, we will again enjoy the view from the mountain top. Hang in there gals.

It has been an incredibly busy day at work and I am zonked. Waving and sending hugs to all and a birthday wish to Ei for a fabulous year.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:20PM
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Hi ! I'm the new kid -Deanne invited me over from another thread-wow, do I have to undergo some sort of initiation rite ??? Perhaps a 90 day probation ?
So here is my resume: I post mostly over on the rose forums, but decided a while back to check out the others. I stumbled on this one several months ago, and was immediately sucked in by the awesome photography (I may need to take a class before I'm brave enough to post any of my photos!), and then of course further sucked in by the gardening wisdom/passion I have seen here. So.. I am a west coaster-haven't seen any other pacific time zone peeps here.So maybe you need a little zone 9 perspective huh? And I always love to learn about gardening in other climates.
So, I have a very small garden (land is ungodly expensive in my area) and continue to remove lawn and anything else I can think of to get more planting space. I love major league baseball.I love roses. I work 50 to 60 hour weeks. I don't watch TV (except for baseball).I read alot.I love music (all kinds-if it's good)I have three cats, a blind and diabetic dog, and am blessed to live in a beautiful valley , with a wonderful climate.But Deannes Brugs look about 50 times better than mine.
So , the Idyll posts go to about 100 and then someone starts a new one , right? And since this is the bad plant idyll, I would like to trash sweet woodruff, and bermuda grass.They should both be torched.

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:29PM
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I hope Ei had a lovely day......her birthday cards are all beautiful (even Bab's little spider was cute, ;o) ).

I worked all day on moving the soil for the new beds. I ordered another 12 yards this morning and they delivered it a couple hours later. I've moved a bazillion wheelbarrow loads of it.......yes, a bazillion---I didn't count but it feels like a bazillion. There is still 2 bazillion loads to move. I thought the new front beds were so lovely when I did them......well, the chips are starting to break down and the soil/mulch is slowly sifting and settling down into the chips so it doesn't look very nice any more. I plan to pile another 6" of this new mulch/soil on top of what I already have and if there is enough extra I may 'plump' out the beds in a few spots. The chore and job is daunting....I'm just not looking at the big picture, just keeping my head down and the shovel moving in hopes that I can get it done without becoming too overwhelmed. :oP

Brenda, I'm so sorry that I missed telling you how impressed and thrilled for you over your weight loss. You have done an awesome job, congratulations!! It is very nice to have you back to writing to us.

Hello Chelone!

Deanne, your brug is so impressive....all of your gardens and containers are impressive.

Babs and Mary, you both are so busy right now. I hope you are able to find a comfortable balance in your days so that you have some free time for yourselves.

Taryn, you new curvy bed is pretty darn nice! You work much faster than I do...and you'll have it full of plants far quicker than I will. Next summer it will look like it has been there for years.

I know there is so much more that I should be remembering to mention.....but I cannot right now. I'll hit submit and then have a flash of memory.......hate it when that happens.

V, hail.......loved it.....hope there is no lasting damage to that outside outlet.

k, time for a shower and to melt into the chair..


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 10:38PM
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Good orange morning! Yes, orange.

"Red sky at night, sailors' delight.
Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning."

Anyway, it is all glowy outside. The just-changing trees are literally lighting the space around them. Wish Rich would teach me to use the camera *(&qlbnguv !!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Ei. Instead of a picture, I'm singing you the Beatles "Birthday" song. Trust me, you don't want a tape of That action!! LOL "Today is your birthday, so happy birthday to you!!" "Birthday, would you like me to dance. Birthday, take a cha cha cha chance!!!!"

T., you're gonna get me honest, here. I have actually turned down opportunities to get together with my cyber friends and now seems a good time to make a confession on Rich's behalf (and with his permission): When in Vietnam Rich almost got blown up and part of his injuries were to his teeth and face. He got his teeth fixed, but that was 30 years ago and for the past five years, he's had a horrible time eating. Any gathering that involves food (and what Idyll gathering doesn't?????) is a entree' to perceived embarrassment on his part. He is also JUST beginning to feel comfortable being in groups of people he doesn't know. It's a long, long process to "get better" from almost being blown up. Logee's was the one exception and yes,

"EVERYONE'S INVITED TO LOGEE'S 2007" will be planned, soon.

So why don't I go alone? Because I, too, sometimes don't do well in groups. I get this power and control thing going and it feeds on itself and I've found myself becoming a jerk without meaning to. Stupid fears when the basis of these friendships is plants. And, Rich will agree to go and then back out at the last minute. All my reasons for not going places are quite real, but not the whole truth. So here it is out in public. Enough confession before my second cuppa :-)

Rich, BTW, agreed to these words because: He is getting his teeth fixed!!!!! Four root canals, two separate surgeries, a bridge for the top and caps for the bottom. It'll take a few more months to complete, but WAAAAAHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Welcome Kathy from the opposite coast!! I think you're right -- no Z9ers, but a great group to get to know. Being a confirmed herbie, I welcome and am in awe of someone who doesn't have to overwinter ANY lavenders :-)

Today get to travel into the Berkshire foothills and am on a mission of sorts to find someone in the mountains themselves to go visit.

Love the grocery store story. I wink at kids in the store all the time and then let their parents figure out why their giggling.

Farmerettes amongst us -- Can one replant corn stalks if the corn isn't quite ready to pick? Would I be better off just completely yanking the windblown stalks and drying them? This seems quite silly to those who are in the midst of harvest, but these corn stalks have become my passion. LOLOLOLOL

Just looked at the darn time and have to run.

Hi!!!! to everyone and Thank You For the Pictures! I've made Rich PROMISE that it'll be my turn with the new camera, soon.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:21AM
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Good morning

I shouldn't really be here (I'm in the middle of the morning send offs) but wanted to say WELCOME to Kathy! How great to have another West Coaster - you and Teresa can post late at night to each other while we Midwest/Easterners sleep. Looking forward to getting to know you;0)

Have a good day everyone - Michelle I love your mountain/valley analogy and will try and think of that next time I feel stuck in a valley.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Welcome Kathy!!!! How great to see your post this morning. Everyone here is going to be so happy to see you. We're a friendly bunch and enjoy feedback from all kinds of gardens. I'm really interested to hear about the ups and dowbs of gardening in your climate. Oh yes, I wanted to tell you that it isn't 'required' to talk to everyone, every day. It can get to be way to much to keep track of and sometimes people don't post because they are afraid to step on toes. Anyway, I wanted to let you know it's OK to just stop by and say hello.

Martie, great post I LOL about farmerettes. You are too funny. Im really looking forward to the Logees trip in January. Have a great drive up into the Berkshires. The foliage should be really pretty out there right about now. So is now a good time to bring in that lavender you gave me? Does it need anything special or should I just bring it in under the lights?

T, great to hear from you! Sounds like youve been really busy. Have you taken any more photos of your curvy beds? Updated pics would be much appreciated and of course new pics of those babies would be nice too when you get a chance.

V. I sure hope there are no problems from the hail/T storm. How strange. It that unusual for you to get a hail storm in October?

Marian, You are never going to believe this one. I made a typo in your name this morning and I accidentally put a t after the r. Yep you came out Martian! Glad I caught that one because of course the spell check didnt pick up on it. LOL I thought youd appreciate the silliness of that. Anyway, I didnt know that the common plectranthus got flower spikes. I grew it indoors for years and it never bloomed. How funny about the snake. Id not have been too happy with a snake in the house but I wouldnt have freaked out about it. Sue and Monique on the other hand would have been seriously unhappy about it. Interesting that your Sedona is getting that darker streaking in the foliage now too. Mine have been darkening and getting mottling also the last couple weeks. Maybe it is the colder nights that are doing it?

Chelone, Its really great to hear from you.

Cindy, thanks for the birthday card! This is so neat I dont think my birthday has ever lasted until October before. What a lovely lily. Do you have the name of that one as Im particularly fond of pink.

Bug that is one lovely ampelopsis. Ill never get any berries on mine because I have it planted in shade but I wanted those wonderful variegated leaves where Ive planted it so that is OK. Yours makes me want to move mine to a location with more sun so it will get berries on it. Reminds me that after seeing Marys callicarpa Ive been trying to figure out somewhere I can plant one. Hers is absolutely fabu!

Brenda, you are so fantastic! Your weight loss accomplishment is marvelous and youve done it the absolutely perfect way. Making changes that you can live with the rest of your life so you havent gone on a diet youve made lifestyle changes. That is the only way to maintain significant weight loss. Now I need to take a lesson from you and concentrate on feeling better and less on looking better! Ive been a bit down in the dumps because Ive been told by a nutritionist, my PCP and an endocrinologist that I am where Im going to be weight wise and it isnt as thin as Id wanted. My body fat % is down to 24% or a bit lower (very healthy for a woman) and what I have left is extra skin etc. from having been so huge before. You cant lose extra skin from exercise and dieting. It is what it is. Im doing a bit better but Ive had a tough time coming to terms with it.

Eden, so who won yesterday, you or the vacuum? LOL Did the weather ever clear off? Oh yes I wanted to ask you. Ive brought in my Rex Begonias and so far they arent particularly happy. Does it take them a while to adjust to life indoors under the lights? Im wondering if it is too much light for them because they were in pretty deep shade on the patio.

Eileen, I just loved the grocery store story. How fun! Your patience humor was one of those random acts of kindness that smooth out the wrinkles in this world sometimes. Love it! Most people probably would have been annoyed (I know I get very annoyed at bad cell phone etiquette) and just yanked their cart away from the fellow. Good for you. ~~ So did you do anything special for your birthday? ~~ Oh yes, I wish you could see that Swingtime fuchsia that I photographed for your BD Card. It is absolutely enormous and beautiful right now and smothered with flowers. I have it in that large urn next to the dogwood.

Sue, your pic reminds me that I want to grow some castor beans next year. Yours are always so impressive.

Ok must run, water some plants, take some more cuttings then get back downstairs and get some work done on that magazine article due in a couple weeks.

Have a great day all,

PS Kathy I wanted to tell you that Sue has better looking brugs than I do. I'd like to know her secret.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:30AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

A snake in the freakin' house??? Seriously unhappy would be an understatement. Criminentlies! I'd have to move.

I have zilch for time this morning but just wanted to pop in and welcome Kathy to the group. A gardener from wine country is always welcome here. Even if you weren't a gardener, the wine factor would be a plus.

Good morning to everyone else!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:40AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

I actually started writing this post last night, but then it started storming here...the lightning was *unbelievable*! Quite a show. So since I had to shut the computer down, I decided to head up to bed and crack the window open a little, so I could go to sleep with the sound of rain and thunder. A perfect ending for my birthday. :-)

Anyway, heres the post that I started yesterday....

Hi Idylls!

Can't stay on long...a lightning show and hail here too.

When I first saw V's post, I thought she was going to announce that we had some royal visitors...LOL!

Thank you so much all for the lovely birthday cards. I know I've said it many times, but Idyll birthdays are always a special treat.

Michelle, I love your simple, but *beautiful* that dill? ou really captured that "magic" of it. Also loved your analogy of the hills and valleys. Very wise words and like Mary, I will try to remind myself of that when things get rough. In fact, I may have to find a place on my refrigerator for that quote.

Seeing your gorgeous BD card Sue, reminded me how I had been so bowled over by your container pic, a few posts ago, that I neglected to tell you at the time, how absolutely *gorgeous* your garden pic was too. You've really got the gift! :-) little stinker! :-) LOL! That *is* a gorgeous plant; isnt it? And what a beautiful birthday card...Thank you! I really *do* love that plant...the colors are so amazing! Dont you wish you could have an area of your garden made up of just that color scheme? Well I guess finding flowers in those colors would be quite a challenge. In fact, I can only think of one other "turquoise" plant; the Himalayan poppy, and that would be impossible to grow well where I live. hard is that porcelain berry to control?

What a gorgeous clematis Eden...thank you! :-) I got a laugh after seeing Bugs card and then finding out you had given into your little devil too...LOL! How long have you had *your* porcelain berry vine? Have you had any problems controlling it?........."Quiet, little devil, I am not getting least not yet!" LOL! Wish I could remember what cartoon that was from.

Cindy, I *love* the colors in your garden and all your BD cards. I hope one day Ill get to see your garden in person too.

And love your yellow and blue composition too of my favorites. Is that a perennial or an annual salvia? What a perfect blue.

Mary that's a beautiful that what they call a spider? You and Taryn and Babs and Dottie...LOL! You guys are too funny! But Babs is right, every time I see my mushroom now, I *do* think of you guys and it does make me smile! :-)

Babs...I *love* your BD card and you know what is *really* freaky? Yesterday I had pulled out my old copy of Charlottes Web. I dont why...I just had the urge to read it again. I think I need some grandchildren! :-) Anyway, that was my favorite childhood book, so your BD card was not only beautiful, it suited me perfectly! :-)

Thanks again everyone. I went to bed with a big smile on my face. Okay, so Taryns BD card maybe had something to do with that too...LOL! The Stonehenge of funguys! Yea, I got it Babs...LOL! :-) Thank you Taryn and tell Jain thanks from me too! :-) I miss that girl! :-)

Marian I love Sedona too. In fact I just brought in some of it the other day to make cuttings for next year. But I like to leave some Sedona out late in the season too. It really is beautiful all season long, but you are right, something about the colder weather just really intensifies its beauty.

Brenda I had meant to tell you impressed I am with your weight loss. Its not just the weight that impresses me, but the "stick-to-it-tivness"! It really does take a lot of will power and determination to keep at it and I admire you for it....attagirl! I need to develop more of that myself. Also so sorry to hear about DSs accident and am so relieved and grateful that he and his friend are okay. To be "invincible" is both the gift and the burden of being young...we can only hope they feel invincible enough to believe they can conquer any challenge that comes their way, but wise enough to know when not to push it. It really is hard being a mom; isnt it? I never *got* that until I had one of my own. Could never understand *why* my mom worried about me so much...LOL! I guess we moms never do stop worrying; do we? At least *I* havent.

Thanks T for all the birthday wishes. It actually was a very nice day...even if it did end in zero! :-) So have you finished spreading that last gazillion of mulch?

After reading Chelones post, I was impressed, as I always am, with the amazing, wise, thoughtful, and generous nature of everyone here. This forum is just rich with personality, wisdom, friendship, talent, caring, humanity, and humor! You are a great bunch. So welcome Kathy, you are going to love it here.

P.S. Thanks Martie for the birthday song....believe me *no one* can sing worse than "Ei", but that doesnt stop me from singing anyway! :-)


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:57AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning-

My morning send-off is done, but I have to send myself off soon...only a half-day today so I can come home and play outside later!

Sue & Deanne, here is a pic of my variegated brugs blooming. It really just got started, and the flowers are kind of hidden by the leaves, which are huge. It only gets morning sun here, maybe a bit in the afternoon but not very much.

Welcome Kathy! I was the new kid not long ago, I know it is hard to jump in - glad you took the plunge. You are in Zone 9, huh? I bet you can grow year-round all those plants that us tropical wanna-be's are clearing a winter spot in the basement for. Don't be afraid of "showing us your stuff" with the camera, we are not all experts, myself included. I got some great advice here about taking pics, which was just go out and take as many as you can - after a while you start to figure out what works.

I had a great time on Sunday, but then I always do with the NE Idylls. Deanne's gardens are fabulous, and if it hadn't been raining I might have lay down underneath that brugs to drink in its splendor. I am definitely bringing in my Charles Grimaldi, hoping it will look half as good when it grows up. Deanne, I was smiling all the way home and into the night as well. Thanks for a great way to spend a rainy day!

Martie, I can hear you singing! Thanks for saying what you did above, I know that must have been hard for you. It may seem daunting to join a group that you perceive as already being established, but our NE friends have been nothing but welcoming. It is so great to be with a group that really "gets it" about gardening, at a deeper level. Glad Rich is taking steps to fix his dental issues - brave man, I couldn't spend that much time in the dentist's chair unless I was out cold. Hope to see much more of both of you!

Saucy, you are getting some great insight and advice above, and others have said it better than I so I'll just say "ditto". You know we are here, for unloading to or just distraction, whatever the situation requires. I love Eric Clapton too, in fact I'll listen to an EC CD in the car today, and sing along loudly in your honor. No air guitar though - both hands on the wheel, LOL!

Have to get going I guess. Hi to everyone I missed!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:57AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Oh yes, Ei, someone does sing worse than you. In fact I could make money singing-people would no doubt pay big bucks to get me to stop.

Glad you enjoyed your BD.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

WOW! How did all these new posts get here?

LOL just reminded me, I had meant to comment on Marian's "visitor". You *are* amazing Marian and I got quite a kick out of your post! :-)

Wendy your Brugmansia is gouigeous too! :-)

Deanne, I *wish* I could see that fuchsia in person. :-)

I had hesitated to say anything Wendy, cause I want it to sound as sincere as it feels, but it's hard when you can't say it face to face. But, just can't *not* say anything. I am touched by Rich's bravery and strength and I wish him the healing and peace he so deserves...and from this humbled person, a deep and sincere "Thank you Rich".

Okay, off to start the new decade out right (yea, thanks Brenda...LOL!) I'm off to curves...have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:24AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Welcome, Kathy so cool no probation period here needed that I know of (or maybe Im still on probation, LOL. . . . who knows?!) there are even those of us who are photographically challenged and dont post very many photos.. but it still works. (Hoorah for me, though, w/ my o.t. loot Ive decided to take the plunge & buy a digital camera (instead of plants...). . . . it was a tough, tough choice.

Chelone welcome back life does get in the way of pleasures but its great if we can snatche em where we can and Idylls is definitely in the top 5 on my list. . . . your words re relationships are very wise and I love your "Board Meetings"! What a great idea. Dont think I have any words of wisdom in the marriage dept as mine blew up decades ago and Ive never lucked out in finding a "replacement" (LOL). . . .

We had rain here over the weekend so along w/ my enforced "veg" time, I couldnt do a thing in the gardens which was probably just as well. . . . now its shooting back into the 80s for a few days which frankly Id prefer it not Im delighted to have the cooler weather but no one asked for my vote I guess. . . .

Unfortunately I dont have time to post individual comments but wanted to say a quick WELCOME KATHY and hang around its a great group. . . .

Hope to pop in later.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:25AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh *Please* forgive me Martie, I used Wendy's name instead of yours...I feel *awful*...where is my head? Guess I *should* have just kept my mouth shut! Sorry...Ei

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

To Ei, Martie and yes, Sue too!

Use what talent you possess. The woods would be very
silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.
- Henry Van Dyke

WOW! Curvy beds and now off to Curves too! What a village we are!

Thank you for popping in Mary and Chelone!

Welcome Kathy! Hope you and other reluctant photographers will just dive in and share!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:42AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Welcome Kathy!!

((((Martie & Rich)))) and a BIG thank you to Rich for doing what your country asked you to do.
Nope, ya can't replant corn stalks. Are we talking about sweet corn that you want to eat? And, how close is it to being ready?

T-thanks for the kind words, and when ya get a second while you're babysitting...let's see some pics!!

V-I wondered about ya when the storms came through-hope you don't have too much damage!

Deanne, thanks for the encouragement! I'm wondering about how my skin is going to respond by the time I've lost all I want-I'm pretty well resigned to the fact that my tummy is never gonna be pretty to look at, but I've got two great kids so it's a fair trade-off :) It remains to be seen what my upper arms will do. The diet/exercise journey has made me much more at peace with myself just the way I am. Strange, because I've lost significant weight more than once in my life, and how I looked was always almost an obsession. I totally understand how people end up with eating disorders. I hate to hear you're down in the dumps about the skin-you've got so much to be proud of, and you are absolutely gorgeous!! You probably don't realize how much you motivated me to get my act together. My hat's off to ya,, be kind to yourself ;)

Marian-my biggest fear with a snake in the house would be how much damage the dogs would do trying to get it, lol! If I didn't mention it before, I'm in AWE of all the plants you brought in. I'm hoping to nurse 3-4 plants through the winter, and I'll be amazed if they all make it.

Ei-I think not realizing how hard it is to raise kids is nature's way of making sure the species doesn't go extinct, lol! If ya knew everything you were in for........ ;) I marvel all the time at how my Mom managed to survive raising seven of us. We range in age from 59-32, and she still worries about each and every one of us.
Nobody sings worse than Ei--lol, good one! You can count me in on the "can't sing but love to crowd"..probably a good thing I live in the country. Have fun at Curves! What kind of machines do they have? I've never been in one.

Sad, sad news from Amish country. My heart goes out to those poor families. Nobody deserves to go through what they're going through, but as a group, they are so peaceful and kind, and do nothing but go about their own business--I'm just at a loss as to WHY these things happen.

Guess I'll go exercise and see if I can't improve my mood a bit-at least the sun is shining this morning, that's a good start :)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:02AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all.
I am still trying to recover from my terrible sick spell, so will not be going to town today.

Deanne, I am not sure what variety of plectranthus that is. I have had it for many years, and thought it was the common Swedish Ivy, P australis, but it isn't an upright plant ( as my houseplant book says it is). Also, the book says the flowers are not significant, and are usually removed as they come on. I think mine are pretty. I hang it out in a tree in the summer. Maybe that is why it comes into blooming at this time every year.
( LOL...Martian! )
I feel like you do, about my skin, but it is for a differant reason. Mine is like thin wrinkled crepepaper! I am so ashamed of my arms. I know, it goes along with aging, but I see my peers who aren't as thin-skinned and wrinkled as I. I guess it was to be expected though, since I have always had 'old' hands.

Michelle, I agree with your theory on life, and I have the assurance there is something much better eventually. That is what keeps me going.

Martie, I can identify with a lot of what you have said about not going places. My DH has been toothless for many years. Now he has finally got dentures, but they hurt him, so he doesn't wear them to eat! I have a tendency to get too carried away when I am with friends. Maybe it is because my life is so isolated? Anyway, I frequently come home from my Tuesday's get-together feeling as though I have made a silly fool of myself. I feel as though I talk too loud, and laugh too loud and too often. When I appologize to my friends they assure me that they do not want me to change. I am afraid they do not succeed in convincing me. :-( ( Although I know them are sincere.)
Some of my feelings may go back to my life with my first inlaws. Some of them were always calling me down for being too loud! If I remember right, some of my own relatives did too. It's ironic, now Nolon is becoming so hard of hearing , I HAVE to talk loud!

Hey!...Welcome Kathy! We have a California Idyllite. She hasn't posted here for some time, but she will always be 'one of us'.:-) Her zone is not as warm as yours, since she does have cold weather, and dormant plants.
I am a native Idahoan, but it is coming on 30 years since we moved from there. It certainly wasn't z9 ! It was more like here, only a shorter growing season, lower humidity, hardly any rainfall, but much better soil, and NO ticks and chiggers! Anyway, I am saying all this to let you know we are from various backgrounds. Most are in their 40s and 50s, I am the oldie...will soon be 74.
If you have been 'lurking' for some time, you probably already know all this.

V, Tell about the hail! I do hope it wasn't a disaster. This has been the most weird weather year. We are having higher than average temps, both day and night. We are leaving windows open all night, and getting up in the morning to 70F indoors. We will probably get well into the 80s today, and some nearby areas are predicted to get into the 90s! Yarrgh!

(((((Teresa))))) be careful, and take care of yourself! I am sure those beds will be soo beautiful next year. Now you know why this old gal pooped out on her lasagne beds!

I hope all are having a good day...oh yes... great to see Chelone posting again!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:06AM
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A big Idyll welcome to Kathy. We love new people here.

What great pictures for Eis birthday.

We hit 88 degrees yesterday and now thunderstorms predicted for today. The garden seems to be reviving itself. I noticed several nice blooms again on the clematis Henryi last night. We went on the 4 wheeler over to the rental farm to spray for thistles after dark last night. There was a very bright moon. I told DH that it made a good Halloween scene. All the buildings are old, old, old and the house would make a great haunted house.

Cindy, that is great that you are rewarding yourself for all your OT. I can hardly wait to see more pictures from your garden.

Marian, a snake in the house??? I got freaked out last night when I took the mail out of the box and there was another spider in with the mail. He is now living in my car. He was black and so is the car interior so I couldnt find him. You are one brave woman. LOL

The news from Pennsylvania is horrific. Brenda, I just dont get it either.

bug, what a great quote.

Ei, I thought of you last Saturday when I was working outside and it just started to rain this wonderful, warm rain. I just stood there and enjoyed it.

Martie, I hope that all goes well for Rich in the dental dept. It doesnt sound like fun, but Im sure it will be worth it.

T, it sounds like you are working quite hard on your beds. Believe me it sure beats digging out sod.

Have a wonderful day, whatever you are doing.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 11:31AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I've got to make a correction...Kathy, our absentee California member IS in z9! So I guess everything doesn't grow year around where you live?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 12:44PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

First, Happy Birthday, Deanne, V and Ei!

Hi, friends. Were finally back on-line! We lost internet and phone service on Sat. during a storm and have had several false starts getting reconnected. The good thing is that we werent distracted from our projects and got a lot done outside. Then yesterday I was forced inside by rain another good thing. So I decided to look for things to wear during my friends visit next week and wound up culling out all the worn, out of style and larger sizes that no longer fit (yeah), and reorganizing and refreshing whats left. While its not done, at least I can see whats there!

Oh dear. V and Ei are having bad storms which usually means its coming our way. Waaaaaa. We just got our services restored. Hope we dont get zapped again. And I wanna get back outside again!

We had horrible news this am. Our neighbors only son, 25, was found dead in the early morning hours in his car near a downtown university. The door was open and car was running. No other details. Its every parents nightmare. Our hearts just break for them.

Thanks, Deanne, for that article. Your timing was perfect. My Brugs are in the garage in front of the window. Charles Grimaldi is blooming its head off. Both are on my huge to-do-for-fall list.

Taryn, Hope your PI is drying up. That stuff is just miserable! We have tons of PI and PO behind the garden and I have to be ever vigilant to make sure I have gloves on when Im walking the garden. I can never resist reaching down and pulling whatever doesnt belong.

Michelle, good luck on finding the perfect dress. My advice is to ask the bride what colors she would prefer that you look for (usually neutral beige, dove grey, pale rose or blue) and find one that you feel you look good in and is comfortable. Youll probably be walked down the aisle to be seated after the MOB, so your supporting role is important, too.

Brenda, Im so glad your ordeal with DS is behind you. We know the stubborn as a mule well and the know it allattitude. After our DD moved to an apt., she was picked up in early am for a DUI and taken to jail. She phoned Dad in tears and asked him to bail her out. However, the local police wouldnt let us. In retrospect, a night in jail was good for her. When she was released in the am, we told her that was her one and only. Then at court, we saw the other dregs and told her if that was the company she chose to keep, she was on her own. However, the smug/smirk wasnt completely gone. She was sentenced to a yrs. probation and if she missed any appts., shed go directly to lock-up. While at the time we thot that was harsh, it was the best thing for her. She, herself, didnt want to be identified with the dregs that had to report to a PO. And it was a costly drive and a pain to go every 2 wks. to check in and be tested. Some kids are just hard-headed. Luckily, the system got her by the tail and wouldnt let go before she hurt herself. My advice just hang in there, Mom. This, too, shall pass.

Congratulations, Sue. I couldnt imagine Steve Silk not loving your garden. Oh, and now you could be famous, too! I second what Mary said. Your gardens, Les and Moniques as well as Deannes are probably among the best in the NE. WAY TO GO, you guys.

Deanne, Sue, Michelle, I, too, have a heck of a time convincing my friends that my internet friends arent ax murderers! I always get these skeptical looks like I have truly lost my mind! The latter may be true, but you guys are the best!

Hi Jerri! Sounds like youre very, very busy with those foster kids. Glad you stopped by to say hello.

((((((Saucy))))))). Please turn to us. We love you. You cant possibly be going thru anything that one of us hasnt had to face at one time or another. With one failed-miserably marriage under my belt, followed by 29 yrs. with DH, I can say that it does take work. E-mail me and well exchange phone numbers. Id love to chat and I have free, unlimited long-distance. I also agree that you should visit your Dr. Hormones really distort ones mind.

Welcome, Kathy!!! Great to have you join us! Yep, you sound like one of us already, were all mostly Type "As" and generally do most things with gusto. This is a wonderful group and Im sure youll really enjoy becoming part of it.

Hello, Chelone. What wonderful words of wisdom from you.

Taryn and T, great jobs on the curvy beds!

Martie, congrats on your DH getting his teeth fixed. It will be an unpleasant ordeal but hell feel so much better when its behind him. As for the confessions", we all have foibles and I often suffer from foot-in-mouth disease. Whats so wonderful about this group is that we all seem to seek out the best of each other and overlook the unimportant slips that sometimes happen.

Marian, Im with Sue. Id have to move if there was even the most remote chance of a snake in the house! Im freakin b/c of a mouse in the upstairs vanity!

Sorry I havent commented to everyone. Just outta time. I promise to be a better idyller after I catch up on all the goings on here. Ill try to pop back in later w/pix of the front project. Thinking of everyone. TTYL,


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 12:45PM
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Hi everyone

Just wanted to share this. For David's book first report he chose the assignment to create a Photo Album of the book's main characters. He had just finished a Dick King Smith novel about a mouse, and we had a hilarious time posing Annie's hampster Nu-Nu in the dollshouse. The finished report was really cute. Here is one of my favorite shots - it bought out my inner Beatrix Potter!

Tonight is Annie's first Swim Meet. I think she's excited but nervous. Her team all decorated T-shirts which they wore at school today along with toe shocks and flip-flops as a "Psych". (I guess a way for the team to get psyched up for the event). This sports stuff is all new to me.

Must dash to get something ready for dinner for our return. I know nothing about swim races except how hungry you feel afterwards.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:37PM
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Wow ! Thanks so very much for all the warm welcomes ! I've been reading various gardening newsgrops, forums and mailing lists for many years and you guys are about the friendliest bunch I've seen !
Deanne- Don't know if it makes me feel better or worse that Sues brugs are better than yours !:) .And thanks for the heads up on posting etiquette .

Wendy, here in zone 9 we get frost , and sometimes down to the twenties or a bit lower at night. We western folk in fact use the Sunset climate zones far more than the usda zones because of the many micro-climates. 15 miles south of me is pretty much frost free because of the marine influence from San Francisco Bay. I have to move some things inside-I collect angel wing type begonias, have a couple of plumerias, and the rest of the stuff I can usually get away with covering.

Marian- I have never seen Theresa post-maybe she will come by when she sees a fellow zone 9-er on the forum !

Mary ,that hamster pic is a riot! LOL..

Martie, there is one lavender that will not overwinter reliably here, and that is Goodwin Creek. I also dig mine up after about three years cuz they get so woody.

Thanks again everyone ! And I will post some pics as soon as I find my cheat sheet .
Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:14PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, the zone 9-er is jain. She posted recently on one of the other threads.
Teresa is 'Just T'. She isn't z9. Actually, I don't know her zone #, :-(

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:53PM
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Whew!Ei I'm glad the spider card was Ok-how funny about Charlotte's Web!
And speaking of web-ugh(double ugh with a heebie jeebie in between)I actually walked into my garage to get into the car for work and I walked smack into a huge web with one of those large garden spiders in it!!!!! I normally see spiders as really beautiful creatures---as long as they aren't attached to me: ). Luckily it fell onto the car but I did get webbed. With the damp weather we've had I'm so paranoid I will walk into spidered webs every where I go in my yard-we have spiders everywhere.BUT there seems to be a load of flying bugs too so the spiders are definitely doing what they should be so I will respect them.(As I shiver with the willies).
[like, am I rambling a blabble here?]

I will simmer down so as not to frighten Kathy; ) Hi Kathy! It's good to have you here-don't get intimidated just go at your own pace and you'll be fine idylling. I hope we get to see pics of what you're up to-it sure will be nice to get reports of what CA is doing when our own gardens here are bare. What kinds of plants are you into? Welcome: )

Martie-I can't imagine how difficult Rich's experience has been-but what a noble man he must be. I think if there's one group Rich could feel comfortable with-the idylls would be it-he would be quite welcome and respected.

Mary I'm thinking vibes of good luck to Annie-though by now that meet is over!lol. Well the team sounds like it's got great spirit-hope they did well.
I love that idea for David's book album!!What a great book that could really be-what a fun shot of Nu-Nu and yes it sure does remind me of Beatrix Potter.
AJ is reading The Indian in the Cupboard and truly enjoying it. I keep asking him if I can read it to him out loud because I love the dialogue between characters-AJ cracks up along with me.
Yeesh even Ryan is getting homework in K-garten. We have to read a nursery rhyme and do various activities together and one is for him to illustrate the rhyme.He chose 'Hey,Diddle Diddle' and I'm interested to see what he comes up with.

I just learned today that AJ's only got two meets left!!and there are just four practices: ) : ) : ) Though it has been a blast(great group of families)I can't wait to have TIME to clean my house(I don't say that very often but it's bad here!)AJ's befriended a teammate and I really like his mom-very laid back and a great sense of humor so hopefully if/when I get the house clean I can have them over for dinner.

Deanne & Marian-that's funny, you two talking got me to check out my Sedona and it's got that enhanced mottling now too-I wish it had done that earlier but I'm pretty sure it's an end of the season thing with temps being colder.(although suddenly we are much warmer!) Oh the deer are just chomping everything here.
Marina(I'll leave that; ) How fun to have pet snakes lol. I saw the cutest sight of a Mama garter snake and her baby entwined while sunning themselves among my hostas. I so wanted to get a pic but I knew I'd startle them.

Cindy-how great that you decided to buy a camera!!!You will love it. Digital is so fun. I remember when Jain helped nudge me to buy a digital-it was one of the best investments I made. In fact I might upgrade when I get my first paycheck.

Is anyone into Halloween mode yet? I'm not sure how much I'll decorate this year with things still being crazy-Chris' mom is still in the hospital so our weekends are crazy. The boys want to be pirates...I just hope I don't need to sew much for the costumes. I even need a costume for the school staff partay. Not sure what I should be.

I hope this wasn't an egocentric post-I feel like it was! I need to go get things ready for's picture day.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:10PM
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