# 400 Idylling Under the Same Moon

dodgerdudetteSeptember 16, 2008

400 Idylls times 100= 40,000 posts ...wow ...on to 500!

Kathy in Napa

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You made me open up 399, just to tell me you were closing it?!? LOL....Kathy, your tydll is perfect!

Okay, I'm getting frustrated with Tower Hill, though according to my voicemail, I will meet them tomorrow. Geez, I've got money, I want to take a class....how hard can it be? This is the second year in a row that I've had trouble signing up! Good news is that they're resurrecting the Master Gardening program that has been defunct in our area....I want to get in on that one, too.

So my doc says that I do look flat footed and she gave me a referral to see a podiatrist. I see orthotics in my future.

I signed back up with my Personal Trainer...Tuesdays will be changed to Tortures :) Honestly it is good for me to have to show up and be challenged once a week....and boy does she challenge. When I am by myself, I won't do half of the things we do together, because I worry about how I look.....now I know everyone is going to tell me I shouldn't, but when my butt is stuck up in the air in some funky position, I have to wonder what the other patrons of the gym think :) At least when she is with me, they know I have to do it :)

I hope to work in the GG a couple of days this week....I want the sod removal to speed up! That's back breaking work with no help and no heavy equipment. I will be able to put Jake to work once I have a good outline. I do have nice soil at this place, don't I? It's full of earthworms, too. I've been saving my kitchen scraps and think I need to get back into composting.

Ei, I answered you somewhere else, but no, that wasn't a sumac, but a viburnum that has been mocking me...I was supposed to move it earlier in the summer, but life ended up happening.

I never get half the stuff done that I want to do.

Michelle, it's me reading The Shack. The first part was hard for me to get through, but I'm to the part where he's first returned to the shack and being greeted. I'm very intrigued, and this seems like it'll be an interesting concept. What are you thinking?

I couldn't find the Lace Reader....I'll keep looking. Anyone want a book from me? I can send them book rate, and you could just pass them on from there to whoever might be interesed. If anyone wants to see a list of books, I'd be happy to email it to you.

Kathy, I tried to use this darned camera to take shots of the moon, but it was quite frustrating. I'm glad you shared your picture!

'night all.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:45PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

400! Wowza.

Here are a couple pretties to start off the thread


    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:50PM
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400?! I can barely believe it, Kathy. And I can't think of better standard bearer than you. Wow!

I'll share who gets the top bunk when we bunk up for Idyll CampI.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:57PM
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The title is a comforting thought, but does the full moon affect anyone besides mine , sleep? N

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 8:26PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Ahhhh Deanne, do you have any idea how pathetic you make me feel?? (smiling). Those photos are amazing.

I love the new spot for the magnolia - it is sure nicer to look at than the road. I bought one once and killed it within three weeks. I like to blame it on the climate.

Who said they were starting to play guitar again? I did that too - didn't touch it for thirty years, then picked it up again and took lessons from a super teacher. Told myself that if I played for a year I would buy a new guitar - which I did and which I still have. I have been plinking away a bit lately too. If you don't play everyday you lose it fast.

Funny, if you stop eating every day you still don't lose weight fast...

Got the grapes from the museum, but ours taste better even if they are smaller. Got out out the crusher today and crushed them for the juice to make jelly. You are supposed to put the crushed fruit in a jelly bag to drip. After I had crushed them I remembered that I didn't have a jelly bag. Necessity being the mother, I cut up some clean panyhose to strain out the juice. Worked great. Do you think my jelly will have a certain....um....earthy flavour??

Also let the purple and sugar concoction boil over on my stove - delightful mess. I have enough juice to try it again tomorrow. Kitchen floor really needs a wash but I'm not doing it until I am done with these grapes.

Went to send something to Marlene today, sat at the table to write a note, Inter P had dinner and left something sticky on the table. Not amused. Hope the envelope doesn''t stick to the mail box !

School barbecue and open house/meet the teacher night was tonight. Adrian's teacher is younger than my daughter. She made me feel like I was a hundered years old just by standing there. But her classroom looks nice; and since Ontario capped the number of kids permitted in the primary grades, there are only 18 kids in the class so she gets to know them pretty well and can give them lots of help.

DH went to play golf this morning and was back home in a couple of hours with a big bandage on his hand. I think he might have a stress fracture. I wanted him to go up to emergency (we live a block from the hospital) for an x-ray tonight, but he doesn't want to miss the season opener of House. So he'll be seeing a doctor anyway - just that a doctor won't be seeing him:0)

Oh Saucy: I never get half the stuff done that I want to either. I want my yard and gardens to be ready for winter, but I probably have about two more weeks before it gets cold, and I just can't get my butt in gear. If DH has an injury, I won't be getting much help from him either. There is a neighbour here (she of the expensive gloves) who works for many in the area doing general garden chores, so I might hire her for a day or two and get my back gardens put to bed.

This neighbourhood is interesting. All of the houses are two bedroom two bathroom bungalows, most on quite small lots. Nearly everybody who moves here is elderley, giving up the big old family home in favour of a retirement home. What happens is that they wait too long to give up the bigger house, so they are all about eighty when they come here. Ususally they last about two or three years, then have to give up the bungalow too. So there is a large turnover in the neighbourhood with houses for sale all the time. Everybody watches the house prices to see who gets what and why. It can be quite interesting. Also nearly everybody here has a little dog - you know the kind, a mop on a string - and we always know the names of the dog before the name of the owner. We even had a dog on wheels here for a while - it was paralyzed after being hit by a car and his owners bought him a doggie wheel chair. We also have one (and this cracks us up) whose owner doesn't like to scoop, so she has trained the dog to poop in a plastic bag that she puts down on the grass in the park. Then she just has to pick up the bag and toss it in the garbage at home.

He would be a good hot-tub companion Sue - no poop *LOL*

The orchids are happily under lights in the basement now, and I've found my plastic cups and markers so I can do my geranium cuttings. Maybe tomorrow...No, I have to make more jelly and wash the floor. See what happens? Never enough hours in the day..

I had better stop rambling and sign off for today. I want to check out Photbucket, and I don;t want to miss House Either.



    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 8:30PM
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Kathy's moon was instantly "my" moon, too, Norma! thrilled to know it was your's, too!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Julie, I play the guitar a little, no lessons though and just for my own pleasure. What kind of guitar did you buy?
I agree with the weight loss theory too.
What grade is Adrian in?
I hope to make a batch of pepper jelly soon.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 9:12PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What a busy group tonight!

I went to a "sandwich supper" this evening - every brings one sandwich and they are cut into halves or smaller and you get your choice. Always a fun and tasty event, and fun to catch up with folks after the summer. Our table actually got a little political when we realized that we were all in the same camp, and we had some fun discussion.

DD called last night to say she is buying a train ticket to go visit her boyfriend this weekend. She sounded a teensy bit lonely since she had not seen him since we returned from vacation. You know what they say about absence?

Funny that guitar should come up on this thread. I was thinking this morning that I wished I knew how to pick a guitar. Since I can't sing worth a darn, knowing how to strum is rather boring. But if I could finger pick...? Maybe in my retirement.

When I drove home tonight, the idyll moon had my back. Norma, I didn't think about the moon at the time but I got up twice last night, and for a long stretch lately I've been sleeping through the night. We'll see what tonight brings.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Good evening everyone..not much going on here tonight, DS is back from Earthdance and he gave me a capsule review laundry is going and I have skipped the evening meal courtesy of a very late and very large lunch.

For those who asked about my DSÂs moon photo, I asked him how he got the photo and must report that used my telescope (I have a 4.5 inch Orion reflector) and I have posted one of his lunar eclipse pics below. His camera is a Ricoh and has no manual settings, but he takes some fantastic pics with it. I canÂt imagine what he would do with a more powerful camera.

PM, Babettes Feast is absolutely a favorite of mine. Beautifully acted, beautifully photographed and a wonderful story. Not much more you can ask for.

Marian, I have always wanted a Seth Thomas-when my DH was still alive we had decided that our next clock would be a Seth Thomas schoolhouse type . I actually bought one clock after he died, it was not a ST but it was on sale for a really ridiculously low price at a local antique store and I couldnÂt resist.

Chelone, I must report that it was VÂs team that had the no hitter and not mine ! V and I are going to be in playoff heaven quite soon , and perhaps at odds . Mannys dreds were chin length tonight and donÂt know if he did additional stuffing into his cap or if he visited the rasta-stylist.

Saucy , re Towver Hill, I imagine you are dealing with volunteers and sometimes the follow up is not what it should be, nor is the customer service expertise. Remember the napkin ring caper at Wave Hill ? No doubt all volunteers and none of them could give Deanne a price. This is also the gig in Master Gardeners of which IÂve been a member since 1999. All volunteers, and some are just not as competent as others.

CanÂt decide which of those close-ups is my fave Deanne. IÂll continue to ponder.

Not much else from me tonight-except for the other side of the field to Chelones pic, and a link to more moon stuff..

Pleasant dreams to all

Kathy in Napa From eclipse

And by the way, there is an opposing view to Chelones pic.I was at the top of the stairs, she was at the bottom. From Idyllunion 5 July 2008

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 11:25PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I had a busy day yesterday and finally managed to get to repotting ALL the orchids which hadn't been done in two to three years. They were in a sorry state but starting to put out some lovely new root growth and leaves. Hmmmm.... They stayed more on the dry side than I'd like to admit, like I only watered them about once every three weeks, Eeeekkkk.... and several had gotten to the floppy leaved stage where one thinks it's probably time to hoik them. Well, I started them back on weekly watering and they are surging into growth. I'm thinking that they hated and loved their dormant time and once the 'rains' returned they are growing for all they are worth. Several of them are even throwing spikes and this is earlier than I usually get spikes on them. The reason for this 'rambling thoughts on orchid abuse' is that I'm thinking that in the future I should keep them on the dry side (not as dry as my neglect caused this summer) but not on their weekly watering schedule then return to weekly watering in September because to be honest I've never seen such a surge of new growth. So perhaps, phalaenopsis have a normal dry/dormant phase and I inadvertently replicated it?

Kathy and Chelone, I'm loving the IU5 pics. What fun!

Kathy, loving the moon photographs. I took some with my spotting scope a couple years ago and they surprised me at how much detail could be gotten. ~~ LOL I was thinking the other evening when I had company that perhaps I should have waited for a real price on those napkin rings as they would have looked fabu on my table. Maybe I just have to go back to Wave HIll.

Chelone, I'm all about IU summer camp at your place. WE could have Saucy do tufa classes, you could do some sewing classes, (BTW I've got a great gardening apron I designed that we could market, LOL) I could do some painting/faux finish classes, Sue could lead the exercise sesssions. Sounds like a plan. Hmmm... so if we get tired of our artsy/craftsy stuff we can go do a bit of garden touring or go to the beach and in between all these activities we will LOTS of good food as every person on this forum can cook, well except for you. Har de har...

V. I've never heard of a 'sandwich supper'. Interesting concept. ~~ OH yes, I do finger picking so I could show you that at Chelone's summer camp.

Julie, I play guitar as well and in fact used to sing and play at coffee houses back in the day. I've not been good at picking it up and practicing for some time but I actually did play a bit on Sunday. Interesting that you mentioned it. ~~ I LOL at the term 'mop on a string'. ~~ Hope your DH's hand is OK.

NOrma, Yum! pepper jelly? one of my all time favorites. Do you make the hot pepper kind?

OK, I've got to get off this computer and get to the gym. Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 6:35AM
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With everyone's talk of jams and jellies I've decided that this will be a perfect peach butter weekend. Only seconds and thirds are on the stands this late but they're the ones for this job!

WHEN we have summer camp at Chelone's I'll take a low bunk. The memory of rolling over once too many times over the guard makes me think that earthbound is better :-) I can "do" lavender wands.....

For those of you out of the immediate area: White Flower Farm is looking for a Retail Store Manager that is far more than that. CareerBuilder has it listed if you want to check it out. If anyone knows anyone ..... Litchfield isn't a bad place to be on a daily basis!

Ahhhhhhhhh, la Luna! We can watch it rise from our bedroom and, well, who needs mood lighting???? LOL

Waving to all...


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 7:20AM
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Good morning.

Norma, yes, the full moon keeps me up, but not in a bad way - I usually drift right back to sleep. I have skylights right over my head at night, so it can be quite bright!

Kathy, the guy who's not calling me back gets paid (yes, I'm wearing a smirk on my face)....hey, I'm the most understanding person these Yankees are ever gonna come across....I make excuses for everyone! I'm just anxious to get it done, that's all.

Julie, I can't wait to hear how your grape jelly turns out. I'll trade you a jar of honey :)

Big pepper jelly fan here, too. We always put it on our beans. LOL...I ate a lot of beans growing up, didn't I? I'm always bringing up beans.

Deanne, your pictures are gorgeous. I love the color combos in the first shot.

I am envious of anyone who can sing, much less play an instrument. Shoot, I can't even tap my foot to the beat most of the time.

I'd better get some breaky in me and head to the gym. I'm hoping to go to THBG after and then who knows what today will bring (I'm trying to avoid the office work at all costs....it's too pretty outside).



    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 8:52AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello everybody! You are all a busy bunch of folks! And I can tell from the camp proposals, also very talented!

Deanne, I have this year had a similar orchid experience - mine got too hot and dry in the solarium window and I thought I'd lost them. I put them outside under the table on the deck for protection and we had rain almost every day this summer so it was very humid. They have absolutely thrived (throve? thriven?) and they are now under the lights in the basement. I know they'll get less water there - I don't have to walk past everyday so, out of sight, out of mind as they say. We'll have to compare notes again in a few months.

My guitar is a La Patrie "Collection" classical, with a pick-up as well,as DH used to take it to the local pub to play. He is also a finger picker - but he can sing too. Lucky man. Although not today - we'll see what the hospital says about that hand!

Sue, you had mentionned a long while ago that you loved to ski but not alone. Have you ever thought about joining the ski patrol? Lots of company, lots of social life, lots of freebies. Just a thought that came to me in the middle of the night as I looked at the moon....

Well, now, Saucy, I suggest you hold off on the honey. The grape jelly looks very pretty, but isn't very jelly-like. Of course, it would probably have been much better if I had followed the instructions. I am going to do batch #2 today, might recook batch # 1 to see if I can save it, and then we'll talk!!

Peach butter, red pepper jelly - I love it all! And I love making it too. Never tried the peach tho...

I am pleased to report that I now have a Photobucket account and have tried to move photos over. Is there a way that you can move a whole bunch at once? We have only manged to move them one at a time - not so great if you have a few hundred or more....I'll learn, I'll learn...

Maybe I should get going if I'm going to try that today...



    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 9:20AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

In response to Kathy's request for a close-up of Nolon's clock:

It is in a rather dark corner. so I had to use the flash. It reflected off the glass over the face.

( That is my dad in the photo on the left.)


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 9:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Just a quick post here. His Nibs was too funny this AM and followed me around like a puppy dog even more than ususal this moring. I thougth you'd enjoy these shots on the link below.

Julie, very interesting about those orchids. WE'll have to see how they do from here on out.

Great clock Marian!

Saucy, let us know how you made out at Tower Hill. Inquiring minds would like to know. LOL


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 11:37AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning all!
I'm on the computer to finish plotting out our vacation ;) We're taking off Friday afternoon. We'll make a stop at my brother's house to pitch out the dogs. He lives in the city, and the dogs will be pampered and spoiled rotten. They don't ever seem excited about turning back into "farm dogs" when they come home, especially Sarah. She wants to be a princess, too! Gus gets homesick for us, but DB reports that Sarah adjusts quite well. We'll head from there to Ottawa, Il. for the next skydive. I'll jump on Saturday, then from there we're going to Madison, WI. We're going to spend two nights there. For sure we're going to Olbrich Gardens, and whatever else strikes our fancy. From there, it's off to Marinette, WI. to do some waterfall tours. We'll spend two nights there, then head to St. Ignace, Mi. to spend 3 nights. DH dearly loves the area, and there's a tiny restaurant, Java Joe's where we like to hang out. Last year, he had a constant loop of Jimmy Buffett concerts on tv. We'll go out to the island, eat fudge, and attempt to walk it off :) Lol, so our vacation goes from falling out of the sky at a screaming 120 MPH, to the reality of putzing along like the ol' farts that we really are. We both like a slow-paced vacation, do whatever you're in the mood for at the moment.

For the anal and detail oriented in the group, I have printed off Map-Quest directions and maps for each leg of the journey, and have them stapled to the hotel confirmation :) I just printed the last, and slipped them all into a big "vanilla" envelope, along with my log book and skydiving confirmation. DD thought for a long time they were vanilla envelopes, and that's what they've been ever since.

40,000 posts..how cool! Perfect title, Kathy!

Saucy, I have orthotics, too, and I think so does Bug. They do make a difference. Good for you, getting back with the personal trainer. Lol, every garden season, I plan about 50 more things than I can possibly get done.

Deanne, the pictures, as usual, are gorgeous. I love the last one-it looks like it's floating in outer space.
Aw, geez! You have musical talent too?? Lol, no fair! I can't sing, dance or play anything, and can barely keep time. At the concert the other night, when the crowd was clapping in time with the music, I kept thinking of Steve Martin in The Jerk, when they were playing music on the porch. That's ME!

Idyll camp just sounds like TOO much fun :) Lol, we could start the day with light yoga and all look ridiculous together!

Julie, when the kids were younger, I canned grape juice and made jelly. I had a huge pot that had two sections. You put the grapes in the top, and it steamed the juice out of them. There was a tube with a shut-off thingy and you just ran the juice right out of the pot and into the jars or whatever. Big time-saver. Lol, I once strained black raspberries with your method. Worked just fine.
Yikes, hope DH's hand injury is minor. My DH will avoid medical facilities for as long as I'll let him get away with it. I'm pretty sure he broke a finger years ago..he accidentally slammed the livestock trailer door on it. He absolutely refused to get it looked at.
Lol @ the dog pooping in the bag! Now, that is a well trained animal!
Photobucket does have a bulk uploader, so you can do a whole batch of pictures at a time. At the bottom of the "Upload images and video" box, there is a line that says "use our faster bulk uploader or old uploader." Click on bulk uploader.

V, the sandwich supper concept is a great idea. What fun!

Marian, that clock is just wonderful!

Nothing terribly spectacular going on in the garden right now, but I was pleased with where this Echinacea planted itself.

And, bees are alive and well here

Today I need to get more stuff from the pot ghetto into the ground. Time is running out fast, I had hoped to get everything planted before we leave. It might help if I got off the computer, eh?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 11:40AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Idyll camp --
dont forget straws....
lots of straws...

each camper gets a certificate upon completion.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 1:18PM
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Woo Hoo!

I start my classes tonight, Deanne, at the New England School of Gardening (they make it all fancy sounding, don't they?) - first course is Perennial Garden Design from 6-9 pm. Instructor: Michael Nelson.

When I'm done with 5 credits (this class is 1.0 credit) then I get a Certificate in Gardening. Something to put on the resume.

I'm so excited!

Magic happened today, too!

Brenda, that sounds like such a fun vacation! Nick was just talking about our annual getaway, and I'm stumped. I should hire you to plan mine and send it to me in a Vanilla envelope :)

I am seriously excited :)


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 3:00PM
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Yes Deanne I add Jalopenas to my pepper jelly. It's great with a lot of things. Raj is to funny.

I was just thinking today while deadheading the butterfly bushes that I should tell the neighbor I should get at least a small jar of honey for providing so much nectar for his bees.

Brenda, I wanted to get things planted before we take off this weekend too, but I feel to lazy. Guess I will just water well and hope they hang on or get more rain. It is supposed to be dry for a change though. Area rivers are now cresting above flood stage from the last rain.
Enjoy your vacation.

Saucy I would be excited too. Have fun

Has anyone heard from Eden? I'm wondering about her mom.

Thinking we will have fried green tomatoes for supper.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 4:14PM
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Pooping in for a disjointed post, I hope you dont mind.

Brenda, enjoy your trip.

Marian, the clock is quite a treasure.

Patiently anticipating Julies pictures. I cant believe you are talking about putting your garden to bed. Here it is much too soon for that.

Stained glass classes anyone?

I remember Deannes fabulous moon pictures. We had a moon conversation on our way home last night.

I like the calla lily and caladium combination.

Saucy, "The Shack" is certainly interesting. Im quite a bit further in the book and Im reading slower than ever. I read a lot of the lines twice to get what it means. Im already thinking Ill reread it as its like movies that are complex, I like to watch them again to get it all.
Good to hear that your day is going great.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 4:28PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon...

Another great moon photo! Impressive, Kathy. :-)

Is that a begonia in your second photo, Deanne?

Love the dueling photographers...lol.

Jellies and butters...I am always wanting to do something like that and never do.

Another skydiving planned?! Brenda I thought you had made your last jump?

A sandwich supper sounds like a nice idea for a gathering. And easy!

Saucy...seems like you are overcoming the end of summer blues. I'm tired just reading about all you are doing. [g]

Idyll Summer Camp sounds like it has potential. I was trying to think of something I could do and I can't think of a thing. I can cook though. :-)

I finally have a full container now that summer is about over...lol. A little too much sun to get the colors well, but at least it has filled out.

Interesting reading here as usual....


    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 5:26PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

I just got home from work and can't stay, but I've been thinking of Eden too.

I have so many things I want to comment on, but it will probably have to wait until Friday.

Marian the clock is wonderful and as Michelle says a real treasure....

The main reason I wanted to pop in was to mention that I (like PM2) was trying to think of something I could do for Idyll camp....

I could show you how to make those birdbaths, but then you would have to have all the supplies....

Instead I was thinking maybe I could teach you all how to do a fan dance my grandma & aunts taught me when I was a little girl...I can only teach it to "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" though and I think I'll need to brush up! Wonder if the costume lady, Babs, could rustle up some large feathers?

Oh and Norma...I would love to know how to make fried green tomatoes...what do you use for the coating?



    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, is that Torenia? I tried it a couple of times and didn't have any success with it. If that is what yours is, it looks great. ( It looks great even if it is not Torenia.) ;-)

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 5:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Actually I found the photo from May 18th of what it looked like and thought that might be fun...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Wow pm, That basket really filled out, and it is just right for the gate.

Ei, I dip the tomatoes in beaten egg and then then crushed crakers. I like Town house or Ritz type best.
They hit the spot and I ate to many. LOL, N

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Hello friends,
Just a brief post from me tonight , The plant buyer for our upvalley garden center today told me she ordered orn. Kale , pansies etc, to be delivered tomorrow.I had meetings up there today so I was a day early and a dollar shy. I will go up this weekend to do a little purchase to get my containers in shape for winter. I dont expect frost for at least 6 weeks

Marian, thanks for posting the pic of the clock-does it have an alarm? Many clocks of that style do.

PM , always love a good b-4 and after pic. How nice that container turned out ! Do you have anything inside it to help with water retention ?

Looking up The Shack on Amazon.

Beautiful portrait of His Rajii-ness Deanne !

Gnite all

Kathy in Napa

And in honor of football season (which I barely follow) this is an Idyll Tailgate event.No beer though-that came later...note that virtually everyone is chewing ! From Idyllunion 5 July 2008

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 11:17PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marian...Yes, that is Torenia, 'Blue Wave', which took it's sweet time to start looking like anything. There is also quite a bit of blue Browalia and a bit of Heliotrope in the basket. I also planted tuberous Begonias, but they never grew.

Kathy...this was my first time with a Hay Rack and I have to say I like them. I used potting soil with extra perlite mixed in and I could water it every day and it would not get too waterlogged. I didn't add anything to retain moisture, but I put some bark mulch on the top. It is also not in a full sun location. Morning sun and maybe a touch more in the late afternoon. It was at Deanne's encouragement, that I started fertilizing it more than usual. I used organic fish/seaweed emulsion. I'm quite happy with the final result, but four months of growing before it got to this point seems a lot. It does make a nice late display and the Heliotrope is very fragrant still.

So now what I am I supposed to do with it? [g] I suppose I could take the whole coleus in, or should I just take cuttings? What about the Helichrysums?


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 12:23AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well today is supposed to be lovely but I'm going to be stuck inside painting again. I had an anxiety dream last night about showing up for a class in a foreign country with no materials for the students so now my procrastinating is affecting my dream time so I guess I'd better get this painting done. LOL

I took bucket loads of photos yesterday and I think its my way of saying good-bye to the 2008 gardens. This time of the year is so sad at times. The containers are all incredible this year and its difficult to stand back and watch the frost take them out. They are predicting possibility of frost here for tonight hence the melancholy. I don't think it will happen as it's really early for us here. WE havnen't had a frost this early in quite a few years but you never know. I do have to run around and take cuttings from the coleus I can't live without. (which is most of them, of course) I'd cut a stem from one of my 'Ragedy Ann' Acalyphas for a flower arrangement a week ago and it has roots on it. I done' recall them rooting this easily last year.

Yesterday Doug worked from home and he took a long lunch so we could go for a bike ride. I'd not been on my bicycle for a month or so and we went out and did fifteen miles. I was surprised that I wasn't more tired. I guess the gardening is keeping me fitter than I'd thought. It was a perfect day for a ride though, temps were around the high 60's and partly cloudy skies with no wind.

PM that hayrack is lovely! I'd just take cuttings of the coleus and replace the other plants next year. I don't normally bring the whole coleus plants into the house as they never really do well after being outside and if they do decide to grow well they get too darned big for in the house. ~~ Yes that white flower in the second photo is a begonia.

Michelle, yes, yes!!!!! It completely slipped my mind that you can teach us stained glass. This "Idyll Camp" idea is getting better and better! Speaking of stained glass have you done any new pieces lately or is that just a winter project?

NOrma, Yum! I sure wish I lived close enough so I could come and bum some spicy pepper jelly from you. Doug makes this great smoked salmon and believe it or not that jelly is great with it. ~~ I've not had fried green tomatos for a long time. Sounds wonderful.

Saucy, way cool! HOw was the class? ~~ and magic too???? double way cool!

Kathy, LOVE the IU luncheon pic. As I recall it was about 98 degrees in the shade that day which was why we were eating our sandwiches in the shade on the sidewalk.

Eileen, I've always wanted to know how to do a fan dance to "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles". ROTFLOL!

Brenda, love the Russian Sage with the Echinacea. ~~ YOur vacation sounds like its going to be fabu-fabu! Take lots of pics for us.

OKie Dokie time to get this day started. Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 6:31AM
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Wish I could pic you all the yellow color the sky -- it's definitely Autumn here!

Butters are really easy, friends. Peel, seed, chop up desired fruit. The only fruit I've tried that really didn't work were plums -- not enough pulp. Peaches, apples, pears, apricots, anything pithy is fine.

First make a rough sauce by putting the fruit in 1 cup of water for every 8 cups of fruit in saucepan or pot until the fruit is disintegrated. Yes, you can make less using the same formula. Mash well, or put it through a sieve to remove lumps. Leave all liquid in the sauce. I have a specially designed grinder thing that's worth it's weight in gold to do this.

Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice or whatever to taste. I've gone so far as to use fennel seed in a little spice bag for licorice flavor with pears.

Turn oven on to 250degF. Put sauce into a baking/broiler pan (not a casserole dish) so that it is about 1-2" deep and covers the entire bottom. Roast without opening the oven door for about 1 hour. Stir. Roast until it's the desired consistency. Think good, thick frosting. It'll solid up a bit when it cools.

It can be canned to keep in the normal water bath way.

Now the bakers of the group can make us great scones and crumpets and away we go! I've also used it in the middle of layer cakes.

Time consuming, yes, but your kitchen will smell wonderful and fruit butters aren't something one sees every day, so they are really special as gifts.

Indulge and enjoy!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 6:59AM
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Well, class was challenging, and that is good! It's going to be fun, because we have to do four designs to be judged by each other (wonder what kind of critiques I'll get on the design of the SGOG). It's a class of 7 + instructor.

Magic didn't last long....Jake walked in after school with clods of mud caked in his shoes...what on earth? As soon as his shoes were off, we quickly restored/admired Magic. LOL, the boy is messy, but he recognizes clean :)

My we're a talented bunch....I thought Julie was joking :) I've always wanted to do stained glass.

Michelle, I'm reading slow because I'm falling asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.

Kathy, I look absolutely GiNormous in that picture. I hope I am standing on the curb at a funny angle, but alas, I recognize that girl from the mirror! Funny, I'm really petite inside.....we all look ravenous :)

Great basket, PM, and better yet that you have a before and after....I used more fertilizer than ever this year and I actually watered when they needed it....It's amazing for me to get to this time of year with all of my pots alive! I have 4 bananas to overwinter......I must admit I went a little nuts when I found sales here and there....

Brenda, I too like the combo! I can't wait to see more when you return.

Well, it's still early, but this day seems to be shaping up to be a good one. I've got lots of work in this roll-y chair, then I'm going finish up my 'tufa "how-to" write up (I'm mostly done) and then off to remove more sod!



    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 7:08AM
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Hi everyone

My biggest garden job was was suddenly brought to the forefront when the owner decided that rather than putting in new perennial beds in the spring they needed a plan now for drip irigation. They would also like ideas for a woodland area and to make use of the heavy equipment etc thay have on site at the moment. I'm thinking winding paths, spring ephemerals, redbud, shadberry, hawthorn, halesia. Then some whimsical touches for the children (there are 5 kids) - a fairy garden, elf house, giant wood spiderweb...

Now all of this I feel somewhat comfortable with. The biggest challenge is that the owner would also like a "grotto" with a statue of Mary. There is no natural stone there but anything can be brought in. I imagined lots of lily of the valley but am otherwise drawing a complete blank. It could easily become incredibly tacky instead of being place for contemplation and reflection. Do any creative Idyllers have any ideas?

(who is feeling somewhat overwhelmed)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 7:44AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Just a quick not as I'm waiting for some landscape folks to show up any minute to do some modifications to the patio to fix some drainage issues....

I just wanted to tell Saucy how I go about removing grass to make beds or paths. All the beds and paths here involved removing grass by hand. The way I do it is use a half-moon edger to cut parallel lines, about 4" apart and the depth of the edger, the length of the area of grass to be removed (I have someone else do the cutting of the lines since I can't stand independantly to do that part.) Then I my handheld flat bladed crack weeder tool (like the one Lee Valley sells - but I can't get their page open to show it to you...). I can slide it neatly/easily under the grass roots to loosen them. Then you can just peel up the grass in neat strips. If I want to plant immediately, I leave the grass, root side up, for a day or two to dry out. Then I shake off the dried soil and discard the rest into the compost heap. You can then topdress the area with compost and plant immediately. If you can wait until the spring to plant, I turn the grass strips root side up and leave them in the bed area, sprinkle them with compost accelerator, cover them with several layers of newspaper, add lasagna materials on top and lots of chopped leaves when they are available in the next month or two and leave it sit until spring. I've never had any trouble with the grass regrowing and everything breaks down quickly. I know that you can do the lasagna without lifting the grass but I find this to be ready faster - and I usually want to plant right away so I end up most times removing the grass and letting it compost in the compost heap!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 7:58AM
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Mary, last night in class, we discussed that Colchicum Autumnale is perfect when planted with LOV.

What is the lay of the land? Will the grotto just kind of be "out there" all by itself? If so, I'd vote for some sort of vine to help blend in all that rock.

Google images was no help to me.

It'll come to you Mary! You're the most diverse in your creativity!!!

(who'd never seen a grotto before moving here....unless it was on Victory Garden and they were in Europe :)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:03AM
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Still pondering what to use for paths in a woodland area...

Love the vine idea Saucy! The word grotto threw me too when the owner suggested it.

Need to find the Ken Druse Woodland garden book. Now, who wrote one on Grottos? LOL


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:18AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all...

Pm2, no alarm on the clock.

I have a question. How do you (and others) post another post right after your previous one with out changing the title? This forum will not let me do that. :-(

Chilly here in the morning, but after starting the stove earlier in the week, I am toughing it out now. It is to warm up to 70 or higher, and if the sun shines , the house will warm up. I am in sweats.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:29AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning Idylls!

I am trying to come up with a unique skill to teach at Idyll summer camp - somehow I'm not sure I can top Ei's dance routine involving large feathers! Worth the price of admission, I'm sure.

Deanne, your Rahjii is too funny. He is so expressive, it is as if he knows that he photographs well and he poses. I'll be sad to say goodbye to the garden this year as well. My containers are the best ever, thanks in no small part to all of the Deanne cuttings. I've yet to photograph them successfully though, I'm too lazy to drag them to a spot with a neutral background. I am trying to decide what to try to winter over, and the answer will probably end up being most everything. I'll try to get an earlier start this year though, and do it with more care to avoid bringing in the bugs with the plants.

Does anyone remember seeing a funny email regarding bringing in plants, and there was a snake in the pot, and the husband ended up with some broken bone? Maybe I'm dreaming.

Saucy, your garden class sounds great. I've gone to seminars, but never a class like that where you attend regularly. They'll love the GG design. Keep us posted!

Kathy, I have to say that streetside shot of Idylls stuffing their faces shows us at our most attractive - NOT! Luckily SunnyD is blocking my no doubt full mouth from view.

DS had some middle school stress yesterday - he was one of the last to exit the school, and he was very upset because he'd lost his daily agenda book. He ended up bringing home the entire contents of his locker so that he wouldn't forget any books or notebooks necessary for homework (the agenda is where that stuff is written down). After calming him down and getting him to retrace his steps, he figured out that he had grabbed a classmate's agenda, so we called the classmate and sure enough he had DS's agenda. A quick drive and a swap and problem solved. Later, he went to practice his trombone and realized he had grabbed another kid's trombone! There was a name tag, but no phone # - the last name was a common one, 6 of them in the town phone book. DS informed me that the kid had nicknamed the trombone "Susan", as if that would help. We called them all, and were not able to locate DS's fellow band member. Hopefully it will get resolved today. DS is worried about foreign "water" in his mouthpiece (I guess the band teacher doesn't want the kids saying "spit"), I told him to ask the band teacher how to clean it. And the moral of the story is to label everything in large letters with a brightly-colored sharpie!

Mary, I have no experience with designing a grotto, but I'm trying to think back on places we've seen an past Idyllunions. Just don't put Mary in a bright blue bathtub and you'll be off to a good start. The woodland area sounds lovely - be sure to include some ferns and groundcover to take over when the spring ephemerals die back.

Brenda, enjoy your vacation! Did I catch mention of another skydive? You go girl!!

Anyway, off to spruce up the kitchen - it looks like "who did it and ran" - it seems like the whole house got off to a late start today and had to rush out the door. At least nobody cooked eggs and left the pan on the stove to solidify! (My DS, unlike Saucy's, would not know clean if it kicked him in the...nevermind.) Too bad I have to spend the day in my wheely chair at the office, it looks like a good one for plant-moving.

Enjoy the day everyone!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:31AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Mary - is the grotto in shade or some sun? If sun -madonna lilies would be an obvious choice to plant near it!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 9:11AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Another short post...I need to research laptos today among other things. My DH needs to get a second one for himself that is not an Apple. Has anyone been shopping for one lately?

Glad you all liked my hay rack. :-) Thanks Deanne for the suggestion of taking coleus cuttings and letting the rest go. I know I tried saving everything one year and I was trying to remember how it worked out. I had the same experience with bringing in the planted coleus, now that I remember and I tried wintering over an impatien that just developed some sort of aphid, I think. Despite really looking forward to as much of a rest from plant responsibilities in the winter as possible, my frugal nature is always pulling at me to 'save' everything. [g] So when you take cuttings of coleus, do you put them in water and then pot them up once they have roots? Rahji still reminds me of a 'wild' cat. Gorgeous!

Deanne, I can only imagine how sad it must be to watch all your 'creations' get frosted. I am trying a winter hardy container this year as an experiment. It is a work in progress as I couldn't find what I needed, but I like it so far, it, but some of the plants will die with frost...ajugas...so I am still on the lookout for more evergreen items hardy to zone 3 or 4. I will try posting photos as it goes along.

Marian, I always have to change the title also, which I simply just add the number 2 to the title. I think it didn't require me to this time because someone else posted between my first and second post?

Saucy....I also used more fertilizer than ever and had less pots too. It seems to have made a difference. Where are you going to put 4 bananas?! lol Maybe they are little?

Loved the tailgate Idyll lunch photo. Wendy, I was wondering who that was next to Chelone and who was blocking the view, now I can actually recognize everyone. I thought you all looked great!

Thanks for the Apple Butter directions, Martie, sounds yummy!

Ei...? A fan dance...well now you have me curious to what a fan dance looks like. Maybe you could just do a demonstration at Idyll camp? Do you have the fans to go with it? :-)

Mary....I have seen a few of those grottos around here. Old Italian families often have them. I think there is still one in a church yard in the North End of Boston. I don't remember any particular landscape style associated with their placement. In my mind, a grotto would be a place of meditation perhaps, so I would be thinking shady area. Would they be planning on sitting in that area and would need seating? I haven't seen seating near one. I am picturing a calm, peaceful area, maybe a lot of ferns, maybe small bulbs for the spring. No ideas for summer/fall season coming to me, except the ferns.

Idyll Camp....I'm still working on coming up with something, then it occurred to me.....how many classes could we all take? LOL Some have to be the attendees, right? If everyone taught a class, we'd be there a month! Some additional classes that would interest me to take....All the ideas already mentioned sounded great to me and I add these...

Making dried wreaths for the door or the house.
Building twig trellises
Building a copper obelisk
Making garden art either with tiles or glass etc. [Bird baths would qualify]
Repotting an orchid
Making a wind chime
Bringing one square cushion form and material and learning how to turn it into an outdoor cushion with piping.
What about learning to play Bridge, Backgammon or Cribbage or some such thing

Logistics would have to be considered though, since materials for any projects would have to be delivered or brought along. Also finished projects would have to have a way of getting home, which would preclude someone flying home from creating a trellis. [g]

Do you notice I started off this post with the words....'short'. Never works for me...*sigh*

Thinking of Eden and family and wondering if Gardenbug is headed home today....


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Just a quick drop-in here. I've had lots of migrating juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the gardens in the last couple weeks and this morning there were more than usual so I made a dive for my camera. I thought you'd all get a kick out of this.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:33AM
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We are having temps this week in the mid-80s so summer is back. Last night involved pot watering, mowing and watering the moved shrubs and the newly planted grass in the front yard. DH mowed most of the summer but now hes in high gear getting things ready for harvest and has totally forgotten that we have a lawn.

Tonight is the night we say "goodbye"

Wendy, LOL on the foreign water. It sounds like your DS learned a valuable lesson yesterday.

Mary in a blue bathtub reminds me of when my parents moved last summer, the house had Mary in a glass fronted, lighted box surrounded by shrubs. My mother was almost afraid that if she removed it she would be excommunicated. I assured her that no one would even notice. The shrubs are gone and Im not sure where Mary is now.

Marian, Ive had the same issue when trying to do one post after another. I noticed the other day I was able to do it. I wonder if a certain amount of time elapses that it will allow it.

Deanne, sadly the stained glass is way down on my "to do" list. I was always going to make a window for my garden shed, maybe this winter ;o) Rahjii seems to be an incredibly entertaining cat. Fabulous pic of the hummer!

PM2, love the hayrack. I always feel that way too that it takes too long to get the containers looking great and then its time to dismantle them. Im in zone 4b nearly 5. Plants that are evergreen for me are sedum Angelina, candytuft, eunoymus fortunei, bergenia, hellebores, heucheras, blue oat grass and probably more.

Mary, the grotto sounds like an interesting challenge. I did a little on line searching of garden grottos and found a few ideas. Below is a link to one I liked that was simple, you could replace the cross with the statue. I also saw some with vines on the rocks and plants such as ferns softening the whole thing. I think the key is to incorporate plant material to help it blend with the garden. A contemplation or prayer bench would be nice. I like the idea of a semi-circle of rocks. When we were at the DBG a few weeks ago, they had a scripture garden. I got this picture from their website, but I could see using some type of arbor with Mary on a brick or stone pedestal under it.



To work with me.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:14AM
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Mary -- Here's another link with an amazing plant list. It does site scripture passages to authenticate use of the plants in "Biblical" gardens, but they can be used or not as the Idylls wish.

I think, though I'm not certain, that my sister and b-i-law have been to retreats with the folks who do this....


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:32AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Lucky duck Deanne...no hummers here! Is that a Salvia? LOVE seeing the photo...great job!

Michelle...'gulp'...hope you already have the computers set up with the webcams and ready to go. :-) :-)

Thanks Michelle for the list of evergreen plants, I have the Angelina in the pot already. I have most on your list in the garden somewhere, I guess I haven't been noticing if they were evergreen here. Of course, last winter with all the snow we had, I guess it wouldn't have mattered much, but a couple of pots to have the snow brushed off would be manageable.

I just finished my research on the laptops....not like I haven't done that recently. [g] Yippee, I thought that was going to take longer. I have it narrowed down to two and just checking prices and deals now.

Bye again!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 11:45AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

For anyone who needs a chuckle today... Remember the big Copper beast that we dog-sit from time to time? My friend who owns her sent this in an e-mail this morning:

Last week I did some painting up north at my parents' place. I had a dog related paint catastrophe. Copper had been sleeping in the bedroom. I was painting with the roller in the living room. She came into the living room, lying down and in the process backing up into the paint tray, with the full length of that feathery tail landing completely in the tray. I screamed, she stood up, waving her tail with paint drops flying, and when I tried to grab her, sat down, putting paint all over the carpet, etc. I finally chased her into the bathroom, filled the tub and then literally hauled her against her will into the tub and made her sit down so I could wash her tail and tummy. I was by myself and it took all of my strength to get her into the tub as she weighs 65 pounds and does not like having a bath that is why I take her to the breeders to be bathed and groomed. She strained to get away and did scratch my leg while she was splayed out, trying to resist, but despite all my yelling and frantic behaviour, she never so much as growled, or snarled, or was in anyway threatening to me. She must have thought I had gone totally mad as I dont normally yell or chase her. It took me nearly 2 hours to clean up all the paint spilled and marking the carpet, kitchen and bathroom floors. There were spots and smears everywhere. The other day, when I yelled in frustration at David for watching TV when he was supposed to be upstairs studying for a math test, she put her tail between her legs and took off! I think she will be watching me with caution for the next little while. The same thing happened when Les accidentally fell over her with a huge crash. She was very cautious around him for months afterwards wondering I suppose whether he would without warning fling himself at her again! My episode would have made a great home video for one of those funniest video shows but at the time I was beside myself the flying paint was not good for her skin, fur, or the house and its contents, and being by myself, I was in panic mode! Thank goodness it was latex and not an oil based paint!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 12:52PM
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My mom passed away this morning. Just wanted to let you all know. I'll be back in a few days.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 1:27PM
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I'm not supposed to be here. To much to get done today. But have to thank Woody for the chuckle at Coppers expense.I'm glad it wasn't me cleaning up that mess. Norma

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 2:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 2:20PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

(((Eden)))My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 3:32PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

((((Eden))))) So very sorry for the sad news. Thinking of you and your family.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 3:50PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Eden, so sorry to hear about your Mom. You and your family are in my thoughts.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 3:55PM
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(((((((((Eden)))))))))I'm so sad to hear about your mother. She was so courageous. My thoughts are with you all. Wish I was close enough to give you a hug in person.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 3:57PM
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((((Eden)))) I'm so sorry to hear the news. My thoughts are with your entire family.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 4:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden...very sad day for all of you no matter how much you were expecting it. Sorry you all have to go through it. Also thinking of you and your whole family today.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 4:16PM
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Eden, I'm so sorry to hear the news. My thoughts are also with you and your family.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 4:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My sympathies go to you too, Eden.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 4:50PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Eden, I'm thinking of you and your family.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 5:48PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh Eden, I'm sorry. Even if your mother wasn't well, and you were expecting her to pass away, you are never ready. My condolences to you and your family.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 6:44PM
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(((EDEN))) Thinking of you all. She is at peace now. Norma

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 6:58PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Eden, I'm so very sorry about your mom. She had such great spirit. You are a lucky woman.

I'm keeping your family in my thoughts tonight.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 7:55PM
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(((((Eden)))) I wish you peace,companionship and the comfort of your family around you. Thank you so much for thinking of us at such a difficult time-we do worry don't we? We'll be here for you when you return, all of us under the same moon.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:30PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So sorry, Eden. She had a wonderful spirit.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:30PM
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Good Evening Idylls, hoping Thursday evening sees you all well , though not the best of times for some of our friends.

One of those odd kind of days at work-you drive into the office having mentally prioritized your day (mind you my drive is 1 mile) and it took me about ten minutes after arrival and two sips of coffee to realize that what ever it was I had planned for myself was not in the cards. I felt ok about by the end of the day because I had helped several people with problems they were having and that can be pretty gratifying even if you dont get much of your own stuff done.
One of my outdoor temp transmitters read 39 this morning ! I decided it was defective., but it was pretty nippy out when I left for work.

For those of you who commented on my IU5 tailgate pic, you must admit that there was nothing uncharacteristic about us stuffing our faces ! It was hotter that h&*l wasnt it ? And way more humid that what Im used to . But wasnt the food at that little place great.. I still remember my tarragon chicken-salad sandwich on croissant. That was the best sandwich I had all summer, though Im sure the company had something to do with it.

Im thinking my contribution to Idyll camp will be a homemade Tamale cooking event,(this can be quite a lengthy process) culminating in the eating of same, along with margaritas, salsa, guacamole, etc etc. When does the kitchen get installed in the salon ??

Saucy, your class sounds very fun .. bet you are the Valedictorian ! Go Saucy !!! Not GI-normous, but Statuesque ..an important disctinction.

Trying to comment on Marys grotto.. I looked on Ryan Gaineys website this morning because his was the first garden I thought of , but he is a merchandising machine and you cant get much info out of him unless you buy something. At my high school we had a BVM grotto, and to me I just think of a recess, rocks or stone may be involved , but it is shady, lush and green. It should also be segregated from the main garden in the interest of meditation.

Marian, if I shut down my internet browser it seems like I can post again the same day. If I get the rejection notice I just add a word to the tile and re-post it. I think I agree with Michelle also that if a few hours have elapsed there does not seem to be an issue.

Wendy, I find that kind of sweet that your DS was so worried about his assignment agenda. Im sure mine would have just said oh well, who cares . LOL Mary in the blue bathtub.

Thinking of you Michelle, saying goodbye to your Kenzie. Too many goodbyes around here of late.

Thats all for me tonight. Sweet dreams to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:01PM
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((((Eden and Family)))) I'll be looking for the new star ...


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 6:36AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Eden...I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. She was a special woman with an amazing spirit. I'm so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Ei

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 6:59AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Brrrr....46 F here this morning. No more chasing the dogs around the yard to get them to come back in. The containers are starting to get tired. It's dark by 7:15. Goodbye summer, see you next year. Has anybody else been really tired this week? I know I'm getting enough sleep. This morning was better-perhaps the promise of the weekend is energizing.

Busy weekend coming up. Tomorrow morning I have to go pick up a couple of rescue dogs and transport them an hour away, swap them with another and then bring him to a nearby foster home. Hopefully I'll be back in time to dig plants for the CT plant swap on Sunday morning (also an hour away). Why did I volunteer to bake something for that? lol

OK gotta run, work has been crazy. My desk is turning into the black hole. Had my annual performance review this week and got relatively high marks from the fairly new boss who said he has been accused of being a "tough grader". Guess he likes my brand of boss abuse...lol.



    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 7:35AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good morning all!

Waking up to frost on the pumkins these days so I am spending all day outside with multiple layers of sweaters, rubber boots and gardeng gloves working in ernest to get things at least kind of shaped up for the winter. I bring in quite a few plants so I treat them with a home made garden mix to make sure that I don't bring in little critters or mold and stuff. It works very well for me. In case any of you want to give it a shot, here's the recipe:

1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon insecticidal soap
1 tablespoon cooking oil
17 cups of water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Mix and spray.

I use this weekly on all of my insect and disease-prone plants and reapply after rain. Makes a difference. I water the soil and spray the plants that are in pots before I bring them in.

I have another mix that I use when I remember - and next summer I'll remember a whole lot more often, believe me! This one is to repel rabbits and deer.

1 litre of water
2 tablespoons of Murphy's Oil Soap
1 capful of yellow mouth wash.

It is important to buy the yellow mouthwash as the pretty coloured ones taste nice and minty and the animals love that. The yellow ones usually taste awful. I use Listerine or Cepacol and I keep it in my cleaning cupboard so the Philistines don't use it all up! When I use this the local wildlife don't use my gardens as a salad bar. But again, it has to be applied weekly and after rain. I now keep a big jug of each of these in my garden shed and keep a chaeap spray bottle of each in the garage near the front gardens and in the shed near the back.

Yesterday was bright but chilly. I dug in a lot of bricks I think I will have all of the gardens done by freeze up - one of my personal goals at the beginning of the summer. I drained and cleaned Adrian's pool and hung it on 4 chairs to dry. Today it will be bundled up and moved into the basement. I cut most of the lawns, cut down the peonies, and Monarda, and ripped out a ton of Ajuga and Creeping Thyme making the front garden look a little neater. Today the peopny is coming out, being split and trotted off to it's new homes. The huge Hostas in front of the boulder are coming out too, and going to DD's to live in a shady garden there. She is a whole zone warmer that I am (I'm talking about her weather you guys *LOL*) and the Hostas should really flourish there. This will leave a huge ugly gap right in front of the massive boulder that sits in the middle of my front garden. After seeing Deanne's beautiful creations, I have decided that beautiful Cannas flanked by huge Taros will go in this space, with a riot of Coleus in front. This will have to wait until Spring. But there are some huge and gorgeous Cannas in the community compost so as soon as the frost hits them, I will dig them, dust them and store them for next Spring.

Ahhh, I love gardening. Always something new to look forward to!

Speaking of Deanne - our library didn't have the May issue of Fine Gardening...I will have to check with a friend whom I think has a subscription. And you posted a fabulous Hummer shot - what a little beauty!

Michelle, hugs to you. THis must be a very difficult time for you.

Somebody asked what grade my little one is in: He feels very grown up to be in Grade 2.

DH can do nothing this fall to help. He has torn some sort of little gristly thing shaped like a cup that holds his wrist together, so is splinted and medicated, and armed with a stack of library books. I told him the house would suffer because I would have to do everything inside and out, and he smiled and said that the place always looks great any way and not to worry.

Well, DGS is here hanging over my shoulder, and it's time to start our day!

Keep Smiling!'


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 7:44AM
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Good morning

Ugh! Ice on the car windscreen this morning:0(

I have to change gears and head to my regular job this morning with a meeting with my supervisor to map out teh year ahead. It will be a change of pace from yesterday spent at the new house site.

Grotto ideas are emerging - thanks for the input and chuckles. Kathy - yes, definitely segregated. In fact I marked out winding paths in the wooded area and the grotto will be located off one, in a secluded corner that already has the remains of an old stone wall.

Michelle - thoughts to you as you say good-byes to Kenzie.

Deanne - that is an AMAZING shot of the hummer. Fabulous lighting.

Gotta run - have a good one everyobody.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 8:06AM
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Julie, you have mail :)

It certainly is cool this morning.

I plan to work in the GG and continue with sod removal. Woody, I am following your exact plan! I will have Jake come behind me and remove several more inches of soil so that I can have a good base for the decomposed granite.

I'm being shoo'd from this computer....it is needed for work purposes, drat :)



    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 8:38AM
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I've been really busy one the Compound, blissfully toiling away at the many tedious tasks that overwhelm when they loom ahead but prove a real joy when you can cross them off one by one. I haven't "finished" the lastest Idyll, but...

Eden, I am so very sorry to learn of you mother's death. I really mean that. Even as I felt great relief when Mum died I was deluged with memories of all she was to me and how largely she figured in my life. She'd always "been there" and regardless of how "compromised" her formidable intellect had been since her stroke there were still traces of the insight and searing insight that was her hallmark on the development of my brother and me. I shed tears now reading your sad announcement because I know how it feels. All I can do is tell you how sorry I am because I really do understand. We're here when you need us and when you feel like participating. (((Eden)))

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 9:47AM
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(((((Eden & your family)))))) My thoughts are with you despite the miles between us. What a special soul your mom was.As always, you are in my prayers.


p.s. I haven't been able to read but a certain hummingbird caught my eye! Deanne that hummingbird is absolutely beautiful!!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 10:29AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

(((((((Eden)))))), I'm so sorry to hear this awful news. May all the love,laughter and closeness of the past comfort you and your family now. Love and hugs,

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 10:41AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi Idylls,

Just a quick note before running to the airport. DH is flying in today from Frankfurt. So we'll be quite busy catching up and getting him ready to leave next week for Italy. I'll try to jump in if DH and DD aren't on the 'puter and I have a free moment. I'm just reeling from all the awful news and great loses here and at home lately. I think of you guys all the time but have been like a gerbil on a treadmill these last few months.

Back soon,

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 10:51AM
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    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

For those with posting questions:

You cannot post multiple messages with the same subjust within a certain amount of time (I forget the time - just a few minutes). This was implimented a year or two ago to stop duplicate posts.

If you want to post two messages within a few minutes you have to change the Subject line.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 11:34AM
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Well the goodbyes and hugs are over. DD has set up a website to put pictures on. Kenzie was thrilled with her travel gift. I even put a gardening magazine in. Shes probably the only kid that likes to look at gardening magazines. I was unable to get my DVD burned but put it on a memory stick and DSIL was able to quickly accomplish the task. We went to a nice local restaurant for dinner.

Im thinking that some fall garden projects will take my mind off things. Ive been making a list of plants that need to move. Either they clash with their neighbors or they are too tall and hide those behind. I will need to wait until next week when cooler temps are predicted. I have about 15 of brick edging that still needs to be installed around the butterfly garden. In the Secret Garden I started edging it with rocks but that isnt working very well with the mower. Id like to find more bricks or maybe some concrete edgers to use instead. Of course all of the normal garden cleanup, cuttings etc.

This a.m. I watered containers and did a count. Im an amateur compared to some here with a mere 103. Some of these are small and mono pots. There are also the topiaries that Im trying to do for Marties challenge. I started a number hoping to have one that survives and looks decent.

Julie, sorry to hear that your garden helper (DH) is laid up. Since my DH farms fall and spring are his busy seasons so I never have help then. Mid-summer he will help with projects.

A quote for the day:

No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth,
no culture comparable to that of the garden ...
But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.
- Thomas Jefferson, Garden Book, 1811


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 11:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lurking here.
:) to all.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 1:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I too want to tell Eden how sorry I am that such a special person has left our lives. I say "our" because you have been so lovely to share portions of her with us from time to time and she was indeed a lovely, valiant person. Thinking of you and your family thru the next phase of life's challenge.

Michelle, I hope you are able to keep your mind well occupied w/ making those gardens of yours even more special to share with your Kenzie and family to keep coming back to visit. I LOVE that she enjoys garden mags!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 1:30PM
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So... I've "finished" the Idyll du jour and my heart is heavy. Not that there has been a lack of much that is fun, exciting, and light-hearted, but because so many souls near and dear to me are so saddened. I've drawn a deep breath, exhaled slowly, and shed a tear/two for those grieving now. I know, from experience, that the pain will dissipate, but right now it's "real". Doesn't matter that the sun is brilliant, the sky is blue, and the day is beautiful, but it makes it easier. I understand. I feel it, too, my good friends. :/

Sooo... we're adding stained glass to the arts and crafts program, are we?! Well, guys, I'm all for that. I'm dazzled by the proposed curriculum, frankly... think we could get Mary to lead the assault on the temperatmental septic "mix-master" that comprises the "business end" of a below grade sewage ejector? How many cots/bunkbeds do I have to rustle up for this affair? How many days do you think we'll need... sounds like a full week, if you ask me. I can't think of better company or a more fulfilling way to fill Idyll days.

Brenda, I can't even feature jumping out of plane ONCE, but you're going to do it AGAIN? But, as one of the "sisterhood" the size of your "chesticles" is unquestioned. I will laugh again at your humorous mention of sagging 40+ yr. old skin. You crack me up regularly. I hope this "drop" is every bit as thrilling as the first one was. You amaze me.

Mary, I'm a bad one to ask about grottos for the VM. I've read way too much Tudor history lately to provide anything useful. I was going to suggest some kerbside cruising on a big item collection day and a can of bright blue spray paint... , NOT "pc". Unrepentant, however. Mostly because I think "pc" is stupid and dulls the edge of rapier wit. If the "grotto" is to be cool, shaded, etc. (which is what a grotto conveys to me), I'd be all over Hostas, Polygonatum, FERNS (esp. the native sort), Leucothoe, etc.. The effect should be quiet, respectful, unassuming, and reflective. But what does someone as iconoclastic as I know of such things, anyway? I know you will deliver a lovely result with your own special touch.

Pantyhose is a much underused resource! Julie, you are a natural for this group, lol. Mum used them as filters for the washing machine. I can see them bulging with accumulated lint with every load. At the time she used them the washing machine was the sort with the open basin that you operated with the "manual shift". It had a wringer on it, too. I was about Kenzie's age when she'd have me feed the clothes through the wringer... . "Careful, lamb... don't get your fingers near the rollers... it could break them and it that would be very painful". Seems so long ago right now, but also as if it was just yesterday. (((Eden))) and (Michelle). LOVE, love, love that both you and Brenda have put them to such good use. The past week/nearly 2 has found me reflective and frequently melancholy, your mention of pantyhose made me smile at our common memories. Needed that, thanks!

PM2, I watered the windowboxes yesterday and while I've never used hayracks (except for horses!) I understand the necessity of watering regularly, more importantly the necessity of feeding them with every watering. Keeping our little Annual nitrogen junkies "hooked" is how we keep pretty displays until Jack Frost finally steals his forever kiss. Soon, for us, I suspect.

I've been remiss is comments to Babs., Saucy, Wendy, "t", and newly, Julie, and everyone else who regularly interacts with kids. We need to hear more from you guys (even though I hate kids, as you know). Wendy, what's with not callin' "spit" , SPIT. Puleeze! call it what it is... and willya pull my thumb while you're at it?

I very much look forward to the vim, vigor, and fun you offer to my virtual window. That's because you're all very dear to me, you know.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Lurking is good.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 1:59PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

'bug!!! Very good to 'see' you.
It's so nice having everyone posting again. It's like a family reunion - only with people you like! ;)

Hugs to all the Idylls who need them right now.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 2:07PM
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Jerri, I really have to dig some of these Iris, interested?

They're really "old fashioned", but they smell great. I think I can resurrect your address, if not I can contact you via e-mail. BUT: how should I package them for transport? I need help with that, anyone?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 2:26PM
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Chelone, when Jain sent me iris, she let the soil dry, shook it off the rhizomes, cut the fans down to around 4-6" and then packed them in newspaper, I believe.

Worked like a charm :)

Chelone, we'll need cots for at least 30....you know there will be stragglers of all kinds clamoring for a bed :)

Deanne, I missed the hummingbird this morning....it's a beautiful shot worthy of a frame! We enjoyed a hummer while we were eating al fresco the other day. The kids got to see it light on a branch and we all thought that was special.

Michelle, it sounds like it went as well as could be expected. I'll bet Kenzie is excited about her new adventure, and she'll always have her special place with you. I hope you get to visit her soon. Hugs to you, friend.

Jerri, it is good to "see" everyone :)

I've been thinking a lot about grottos, but I wanted to tell Mary that I love my woodchips for my woodland paths....this year we used the wood chips that were the by-product of the old maple from my back yard....they've held up great and they blend into their surroundings.

Anyway...I didn't get much done today that I wanted to do, so I'm going to go see about playing in the GG now.
TTYL....or not....


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 3:45PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Gotta run, we're off on vacation. I just wanted to pop in and say, "See ya when I get back".
Figured at this point, everyone has one coming :/

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 4:14PM
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Hi guys!

aww,Michelle I KNEW Kenzie was special-you reminded me that when I was a kid I loved to read the Burpee seed catalogs that my dad would get when he veggie gardened. I would spend whole afternoons deciding which seeds I'd buy-they were usually any of the unusual types like purple string beans or blue potatoes...funny that I didn't know then that I too would become a gardener.Cool. Kenzie and you have such a great connection that no matter where she lives you're still with her. Which mag is her favorite?

Chelone did you just pull your *own* finger???lol

Jerri-I just happen to be going to a family reunion tomorrow...I sure wish it would be as fun as an Idyll reunion-for sure.Maybe I'll take a straw; )

Hi(('Bug!))-it's good to know you're there.

Brenda-how cool that you're going to plunge again! I just watched your video again a few days ago and it's just such an uplifting experience to watch. To see how pumped and energized you were by it was neat to be able to see.

Mary I only did a quick skim-do you need plant Ideas for the grotto or more of an actual design layout?

I hope to come back-the lawn needs mowing..


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Chelone, I love the old fashioned iris - the fragrance is wonderful :) Yes, I want some. I'll email you.

Hmm... I'm not sure about my contribution to the Idyll boot-camp at Chelone's! I'm a great cook. I also make soap. It's really cool. I'm very good at oh-ing and ah-ing over the garden and spoiling any 4 legged critter around. :)

Have a wonderful weekend all.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 6:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I want to hug Eden.
Honey, so good to know you are out there with Tom.

I want to thank you all privately...and simply can not, but support has been kind and heartfelt. Thank you for letters and cards, full of sentiments I cannot begin to express. The messages on the Edmonton obituary page too. The donations to Sarah and Wayne's causes...All are a great comfort.

There are many stages to go through, misplaced guilt being the top one these days. Yesterday was a good day, with DSIL singing in the shower again for the first time, planting bulbs, etc. Today was filled with the incredible void as they bought a child's gift for someone's birthday and saw the perfect tricycle...And so it is a yo yo game...with no fixed time for a resolution. They will make it. Right now I don't want to speak much about this, but eventually will be my typical open self, OK?

Today friends gardened for me and lots was accomplished. Always more of course. It was lovely out.

So we are making small steps.
Phoebe peed with delight upon my return. She is a goofy joy for us these days. ;)

I'm around. Is summer camp a virtual dream or an actual planned event? Pardon me for not understanding. Folks on DD's forum are making her a quilt. These ideas and projects together are wonderful...

A bath sounds right just now. Cheers to all.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 9:13PM
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Back at you bug. Chelones summer camp may be a whimsy, but one can never tell with this group ! Always glad to see you, 5 words or 50. And by the way, thanks for sending Julie over to join us. :-)

Came home from work, watered my nemesis the Brugmansia, and helped DS burn CDs for his bands gig tonight, and will settle down for baseball (Dodgers vs. Giants, big rivalry thing) and an adult beverage or two. Time to settle down with the Idylls.

Really Julie, you are just too industrious and organized ! Can I possibly catch up with your whirlwind of activity ?? I have no Phils here to interrupt and get in my way. That FG issue was not the regular monthly by the way, it was a special Container Gardening issue, and subscribers had to buy on the newsstand. Poor DH !

Michelle, 103 containers is pretty impressive Maybe I should count mine tommorow- I might have more than I think I do. It sure seems like a lot when Im hose and watering can hauling. I hope to do a fall renovation on a couple of them tomorrow too.

Lol Jerri "It's like a family reunion - only with people you like! ;)

30 people at summer camp, Chelone may have to rent some porta-potties and erect some sceen houses on the grounds of the compound for the overflow. Maybe those rich folk across the road will let some of us bunk down there ? We can bring them some tamales, and a tufa pot with cuttings of Deannes coleus.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 9:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

It does my heart good to see your last post, Marie. I understand....

Now it is my bedtime. Hope to see you all tomorrow.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 10:23PM
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It's so good to see you, GB.

Kathy, maybe I could talk my MIL into letting us use her house in Maine....we'll have to keep Sue out of the hot tub, though :)

Sue, you know you're going to be as infamous as Mary and the lime green undies, right?

Time to shut the computer down....but before I go - Jerri, I keep forgetting to tell you how disgusted I was by that episode of Oprah that you mentioned. John Kerry got an email from me....sorry to hear that email is not the best method of communication, but it was the best I could do.

Tomorrow is 'Tufa Workshop! I hope it's fun for my guinea pigs :)

Don't everyone go flooding Julie with FG....I had an extra copy and sent it to her this afternoon.

Well, off to bed for me. I'm gonna have to throw on an extra blanket tonight :)


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Just back from vacationing on the Cape and have been skimming.

Eden and GB, so sorry for your losses. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 10:50PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

*Yawn*....2am....not liking being up at this hour again, second time this week. We do have a couple who cleans for us and have had someone for over ten years now. It is a running joke around here that once they have been here, watch out....lol. It hasn't happened in awhile, but we have a new couple and they dust the alarm clock in the bedroom and for some reason they manage to set the alarm? It went off at midnight. *sigh* DH got back to sleep, but I got tired of tossing and turning and figured I may as well get up. Last time it was the answering machine. They somehow managed to press the button on the base that shuts off the answering machine. We didn't notice until I missed my hair appointment. [g] I think while I am thinking of it, I will set a calendar alarm to check the phone and alarm clocks after they are here next time.

So...hello 'bug! Glad to see you checking in and so nice to hear that your friends have been helping you in the garden yesterday. The weather has been perfect here with clear skies and comfortable temps for the past couple of weeks, pretty much. Although I think my middle of the night excursions into the garden are done for the year. Too cool out there! I love the fall weather...a little cooler and drier is nice. A nice fall day in the garden with friends, sounds very soothing.

Well...the hot chocolate has kicked in and it is too cool here, so back to bed with me. I'm sure I will be checking in tomorrow...


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 2:51AM
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I wanted to pop in and try to post something. I have been mostly skimming the idylls, but have seen some great pictures. Hi to all of you!

Deanne, LOVE the hummingbird. You have a gift!

Brenda you said it well when you gave all the idylls a hug. By the way, hat's off to you for taking the jump!

Lots of people said it, but I want to ditto that this is an exceptionally special group of people who have found each other. Love the power of the internet.

Saucy, I wish I could come to your tufa class. My one experiment with tufa didn't turn out so well. I tried to make a trough as we saw at Inta's, but the sides sort of mushed in and it is unplantable. We will have to have a tufa class at the next idyllunion.

Michelle, I loved your quote from Thomas Jefferson. I am going to have that printed on a sign for my garden. Or maybe I will stick it on the front of my greenhouse when Skip gets it built next spring. Well, you know a trip to the tropics is in your future! There is a Florida gardening forum on GWeb. We were thinking of moving there a few years ago, and they sound like a great group. A lot of them are transplants from the north. There was a funny thread that said you know you are a Florida gardener when... it gave me some laughs.

Bug, so nice to "see" you.

Jerri, I did not know you made soap. My daughter and I have been making soap, because she has become very aware of parabens and other chemicals. She is trying to buy organic dish soap, Burt's Bees shampoo, etc. We thought maybe we could make it a business. My daughter would love to have a shop like the one in the movie Practical Magic. SIL is working on our website. If you have any great recipes you would like to share, feel free to email me privately if you don't want to take up Idyll space. So far we have used Olive oil and Lye, then hand milled it last weekend. I made some with lavender from the garden, sage and cedarwood, milk and honey, and oatmeal. Do you put fragrance in yours? We used essential oil instead of fragrance oil to keep with the organic theme. It takes a long time to cure it, but we hope to have a usable batch soon.

Monique, I wanted to tell you that I finally got an Abies Koreana, this was a Siberlocke. Ever sind we went to Rich's Foxwillow I have wanted the Nanimo, but we don't have any around here. Anyway, I had a $50 rebate card from my cell phone which I used to purchase the best Abies I could find at the nursery. He lost one or two needles, so I thought maybe he needed water. I watered him every day, because I know that is what they do at the nursery, but he now has no needles at all. I even purchased special dirt for him. Must have done something wrong. I love conifers, and want to have a whole section in my garden for them, but I may not have the touch for them. Not ready to quit yet.

For those of you who bring plants in for the winter, should I cut back my salvias or try to treat them as a houseplant under the lights? I know they are annuals, but I can't always find the same ones every year, and thought I would try to save them. Ditto on some of my geraniums. I have scented geraniums that I would like to keep, and don't know if the best way is to cut them back, or put them under lights.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 10:11AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls!

Bug it *is* good to know youre here. We have had beautiful weather this last week; sunny and in the 70s-80s....just my kind of weather. Im glad you had friends to work with you in the garden....gardens & friends are always very comforting to have around. I know we all wish we could be there with you too, but we are all there in spirit.

PM2...sorry you couldnt sleep last night!
Thanks for the kind words about my garden! :-) I wasnt sure which plant you were asking about in the photo from my garden at the old IU, but in that pic there is a Sutherland Gold who is not looking too gold at the time, a Vanderwolfs pine, which unfortunately died and has now been replaced with Pinus strobus Fastigiata; Clematis Lasustern (I think), Monarda Raspberry Queen, Verbena bonariensis, and Calmagrostis Karl Forester.
Since you asked :-) Here are some pics of the birdbaths. I stink at taking pictures. The colors are off, except for the red bird bath. The blue one looks more green than it really is and the purple one looks like it is pink and blue, but is really more purple.

The red one:

The blue:

and the purple:

Denise that Clematis florida is gorgeous and probably *not* hardy here! :-( Anyone in Zone 5 have luck with it?

Michelle...thinking of you and Kenzie! I think it was Martie who said she could see Kenzie as some important horticulturist when she grows up....I think so too! It will be nice to say; "Ah yes, Kenzie....well *I* knew that girl when she was knee-hi to a grasshopper! :-) Truly though, how wonderful it is that Kenzie shares your love of gardening.

Chelone - Do you call your kitty; Pan? :-) I love that pic of him gazing upon his reflection...or is that a girl? Anyway its a very neat pic and I love that his reflection was captured in the photo. Your gardening projects sound wonderful! The painted outline and bare soil sure does make a gardeners blood start pumping! :-)

Hi Marian...how neat that you have a bald cypress! Ive always wanted one and just got a weeping standard one a few weeks ago...it was a deal that I couldnt pass up. I have it planted by the pond. Has your bald cypress started developing knees yet? I read somewhere (I think) that they will only form knees if there is a lot of standing water where they are planted. If so, I doubt mine will ever develop knees. Which Clethra do you have? I have Ruby Spice Clethra, but they arent thriving. I think maybe theyre getting too much sun or maybe not enough water?

Speaking of which, Sue, if I never told you before, Thanks for telling me about Hydrangea Lemon Wave. I planted it a couple years ago after your recommendation. I was so surprised this year when it actually bloomed a kind of a mauve-pink....I *love* the variegation.

Mary...I like Susans suggestion of the Madonna lilies...I think thats perfect! If it *is* kind of tucked away in the distance and in shade; have you thought of making it an all-white garden with silver and green highlights? I admit Im partial to white gardens, but I also think it would light up the area and flatter the Madonna and give the Madonna a more regal and soothing presence. I liked the colchium suggestion (sorry, I forgot who said it at the moment). Also, what about white snowdrops and pulminaria Excalibur (which is all silver and seems pretty resistant to mildew for me); definitely some Dicentra spectabilis Alba, Bruces White" Phlox is one of my favorite scented spring bloomers, some white toad lilies, Cimicifuga The Pearl, Veronicastum, Variegated Solomons Seal. Summer is the hardest for white bloomers in the shade, Ive found, but there is always white impatiens, caladiums, tuberous begonias and wax begonias! :-)... and of course; hostas and ferns, some white tulips and daffs for the spring, white hellebores, etc., etc. Well, whatever you decide, Im sure it will be beautiful ...she is lucky to have you. Ill stop now...I get carried away, I know.

Have a wonderful vacation Brenda....speaking of which, I will be going on vacation in a few days too, so will probably have to catch up when I get back.

The sun is shining and it 74 degrees right now and I plan to get out and do some more garden clean up. Have a lovely day all!

BTW Thanks Deanne for IDing some of my succulents. If you would like the variegated one or any others, just email me and let me know and I will send them along. They are easy to send (according to Anita). You just send them bare root in moistened newspaper.
The hummingbird pic is *stunning*. Did you tell him to move over to the coral colored salvia?...LOL! What a beautiful composition...I've saved him to my "Deanne's Birds" file...hope you don't mind! :-)

Have a wonderful day all!

P.S. V...please check your email. I sent you a note last night and am biting my nails waiting for your response! :-)


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh shoot! I *knew* there was something else I wanted to say....Thanks so much Norma for the fried green tomato tips! My dear old neighbor Mrs. Shack use to make them for me and I *loved* them. Luckily (or unluckily) I have plenty of green tomatoes to practice with....Thanks again! Ei

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 11:10AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

GB - great to 'see' you! I wish you were closer so I could come help you weed... It's perfect weather for working outside - I'd better get out there soon! By the way, I was showing my friend who owns Copper pictures of Phoebe. She thinks it would be fun to introduce Phoebe and Copper sometime - they have very similar, playful personalities and look a fair bit alike in body shape and size. They could be hilarious together I think! (Did you see the funny Copper and paint incident I posted earlier on the thread? If Phoebe had a tail, I can picture her in the same situation!)

Ei - I love those birdbaths, especially the last one. I have no birdhbaths here because West Nile Virus is still an issue, so standing water is a concern - and I'm too lazy to be changing the water in a birdbath every day! I change the water in the dogs' outdoor bowl on the back porch everyday.

A couple of other ideas for Mary's grotto - I gather it will be in a somewhat shady/wooded location. I wonder if it is possible to site it somewhere where the canopy is open above it to allow shafts of light to strike it - both for effect and to allow planting of things that need a bit more light. Someone suggested a vine to climb over it and that made me think that the perfect one, if light and space permitted, would be 'virgin's bower' clematis!

The Queen Elizabeth rose in the driveway border has grown very tall lately and is putting out its late summer flowers. Last year it bloomed into November. It never seems to be bothered by any diseases or pests and has been very hardy for me so far - it's 3-4 years old (I can't remember exactly when I planted it...) If anyone is looking for a tough, healthy rose, this one would be good to try.

I commented earlier when I posted heptacodium pictures that it is planted close against the cedar (because I didn't want to have it take up too much space in the bed - bad of me I know....!) As I said, it is totally flat on the side against the cedar but the main viewing points are in the other direction (you can see it in the background in the QE rose picture...) Here's a view that shows the back - its odd growth pattern may eventually mean that the weight of south the branches pull it down but, until then, I like it where it is!

This picture is for Julie - she wasn't sure what pasqueflower foliage looks like at this point in the year:

And this picture is for PM2 who I think earlier in the year was debating the merits of cutting back Silver Mound artemesia...? I cut mine back regularly (should have done it again a few weeks ago but forgot, so it's a bit too tall...) I use SM as part of the edging in the front bed:

Sorry to slow things down with too many pictures - I'd better go work outside and stay out of trouble on the computer!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 2:43PM
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Bought plants today but no groceries. I have my priorities. Looks like lunch will be tapenade on crackers since thats about all I have left in the house at this point. I finally switched out the plants in the container arrangement I didnt like. Now I like it again ! I took a before pic and will take an after when the suns not so bright later today.

Ei, I really must say those birdbaths are just fabu-fabu ! So creative. You are on for Bird-Baths 101 at Idyll summer camp.

Drema, nice to such a nice long post from you I have several scented geraniums and though I keep them out all winter, most of them die back to the ground and I have lost them in the past even in our mild winters here. I always take cuttings from all of them just in case and keep them inside over the winter. I usually end up giving a few away every year. Ive had luck rooting them in water. I have a couple that are in small pots and I bring the whole plant in and site in a sunny window.

Back later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 3:17PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello to everyone!

What a perfect day it was out there today! It was so great for working in the garden, that we spent more time out there then usual and I can feel it already. I wish I had more energy and I would have stayed out there the rest of the day. I remember waiting too late last fall to get the garden work done and working out there in the cold and I'm getting too old for that, so this year, I am determined to get things done when it is comfortable working weather.

Julie...that is a great recipe for getting the containers 'critter free' to come in the house. I hate to admit it but I don't use anything at all, but a nice strong stream of water and a good soaking. So far, I have gotten lucky. I am so happy this year that I only have a half dozen plants to bring in. I cut way back last year. Two large asparagus ferns, two Boston ferns that look gorgeous after a summer outdoors, a begonia and a Hoya. The Hoya hated the summer outdoors and looks awful. I think it has to be from all the rain. That's it and a few cuttings of my one coleus and I will be done with that job. Yippee!!

Who said they had a hundred containers this year? Michelle, was that you? I also cut back from about 25 outdoor containers last year to six this year. I really did not miss them. I put the six where they would have the most impact. We definitely didn't miss the work. We are concentrating on making the garden as full of bloom and interest as much of the year as possible instead of so many containers. That doesn't include two large containers that I am filling with year round plants and two large whiskey barrels that I hope to do the same thing to.

Woody...that was a really funny story about the dog and the paint. I can't imagine the work of getting the paint up though. Your poor friend. [g]

It was 40 degrees on the back porch early this morning Kathy...how come we are having similar temps to you? I thought you would be warmer.

Martie....I am missing your more frequent posts since you started back to work. :-(

Congratulations on your work review, Sue!! Always nice to know where you stand with the new boss. :-)

Chelone....you were certainly in rare form this morning, as my mother used to say. :-)

Drema....I am very interested in the soap that you and DD are making. I actually bought a very large bar of organic soap that was on sale at Marshall's of all places and put it in my DD's Christmas stocking. She reminded me she prefers liquid soap in the shower, so she declined it. I usually use Ivory but I put the huge bar of soap in the shower and it sat there for two months with no one using it. So I finally broke down and decided I better give it a try. Well....this is the best bar of soap I have ever used in my whole life! lol I could kick myself, because I threw out the box and I don't remember who made it or where I can get another one. I am pretty sure it was oatmeal, calendula. It lasts so long! I lather a face cloth once and it lasts me the whole shower unlike my Ivory. It also rinses off really well. Nice fragrance, but not artificial which I am very sensitive to. I was almost thinking about trying to make my own.....how hard is it?

Ei....really one of a kind Bird Baths, you have there! My favorite is the red one. What is that in the middle of it? Did you do the piercing and is that copper? The blue one...could that be a lamp base and a ceiling light globe? Very ingenious. Lucky birds! I am in need of two more bird baths, but I am not that creative. I bought a ceramic pot saucer and put it on top of an old bird bath bottom, that's as good as it gets. :-)

Oh... and I am planning on buying Lemon Wave Hydrangea in the fall for a shady corner. I really don't even care if it blooms, I love those leaves!

Woody...thanks for remembering me with your photo of Silver Mound Artemesia. I did actually cut mine back a few weeks ago and I have nice fresh little mounds. I really love the fluffy soft silvery mounds, but I do like them best when kept short. They start flopping and opening up on me even in the sun, when they get taller.

Idyll camp....sleeping bags and tents?

Well....I could have gone on for another half hour, but a long enough post. Love to see everyone posting and find all the comings and goings very fascinating. Missing everyone who cannot post right now.

That's the end of Saturday here. :-)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 6:04PM
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Today was fun! I am beat, though. I was telling SunnyD, my lovely assistant, that I've never worked so fast at making 'tufa! I was able to teach 8 people in one hour, though! It was a great fair. Next year I will do leaf casting....I've already thought out my supplies....

Drema, my neighbor makes soaps, and everyone swears by them once they use them! I love the shop on Practical Magic - I would shop there! I will ask my neighbor about some of her recipes....she likes to share :) She's got some great knowlege about herbs and their uses, too.

Kathy, I'm having a little eggplant spread to go with your tapenade :)

Ei, I want one of your birdbaths....I am still too afraid to try your table painting technique :) Some projects cause me mental block....but I want to try!

I'm going to curl up with a blanket and veg out. I am physically zapped. I'm already planning a New England Tufa session, though :)


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 7:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ei, I love your birdbaths! I want some pics of them with birds in them. :-) My Bald Cypress is still just a baby.It is only about 8 feet tall, and very skimpy. It is in standing water only after heavy rains. It had more than usual this year. The Clethra is one I got from Vernon Barnes, and was unnamed. It has white blooms. It's leaves have turned a nice purplish color this late summer.

We had an unscheduled mad dash to town this afternoon. Nolon decided his hole at the water line was dry enough to install the new pressure regulator. He was attemting to do so while I was taking my afternoon nap. When I woke up he was coming to the house from the mailbox with the mail. I stepped out the door to inquire how the installation was going, and was asked to take him to the local hardware store. The waterline had sprung a leak in the metal pipe that connected the regulator with the plastic water line! Well, we got to the local store and it was closed! Nolon seemed to be at a loss as to what to do. I said get in the car, we will go to town. (It's about 20 miles farther to town, but we sure did not want to be out of water until Monday!) In town, the hardware store that we wanted to patronize was also closed ! Sooooo, on to Ace Hardware, where he got the parts, for at least twice the price, plus all the gasoline it took to go to town ! But, there is plenty to be thankful for.... Espacially the fact that the hole in the line showed up while it was dug out, and not after Nolon had the deep large hole all filled back in ! Needless to say, Nolon is pooped. I suspect he will retire early tonight.

Chelone, I have gobs of those light blue old fashioned iris. They are much more dependable than most of the modern ones. I have thrown excess tubers into the edge of the woods, and they grew and bloomed, with very little sunlight.

Julie, thinks for the recipe for the spray that you use on your plants before bringing them in. I have copied it down and will get some insecticidal soap when I go to town next week. I am not even as careful as Pm2. I 'may' spray mine with a house and garden spray, but am more likely to do nothing before bringing them in. I 'do' bring in problems. :-(
I haven't counted the containers that I will be bringing in, but I suspect it is close to 100....well, maybe not, but I have a lot that never went out. I have more than that outside, but a lot are hardy things waiting to be planted into the ground. I am going to 'try' to not bring as many in as I usually do. That will work better if we have a killing frost as soon as I get the main ones that I want to keep inside. ;-)

Woody, how nice that you have those lovely roses in bloom. No evidence of any fall blooms on any of mine....and very few leaves. :-(

Saucy, I keep meaning to tell you....you look fine in the tailgate pic. I am sure you are standing higher that the others. You are 'not' that big. :-) Your tufa lessons sound like all had a good time.

Okay...I am running out of grey matter...ttyal.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:44PM
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Excellent to read of Saucys Tufa Triumph, with Sunny D providing essential support services. Saucy, if you decide to try the leaf castings I insist on full photo-documentation. One does pine after the pricey Little and Lewis creations. Oh but for a Gunnera leaf birdbath !

PM , we do not usually get 40ish degree nights in Sept and in fact the grape harvest is in full swing and the more heat the better- the red varietals love heat to ripen fully. We are having a pretty mild spell right now, which is ok by me , but the vineyard managers are probably wishing for higher temps.

Woody, I had a QE rose when I lived in San Diego, really loved it. For some reason I never did put one in when I moved up here.

I counted my containers..86 ! Way more than I expected! I did not count the holding area where I have stuff I dug up for potential transportation the new garden, nor did I count the Cymbidiums. I guess Im just as bad as the rest of you , lol !

Im going to whip up some veggies with some pesto and throw it on top of some raviolis. Then Im going to watch some baseball cuz V s team has clinched and I dont want to be too far behind.

Waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 8:47PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I guess I am the only one with that few outdoor containers. Marian, I was surprised at how many you have too!

Marian....Poor Nolon...so glad he was able to finally get it fixed. Isn't it always the way that something breaks when the stores are closed. Glad you were finally able to find one open. That would have been awful if you would have had to wait until the next day.

Kathy....so you have already potted up a lot for your move? Has there been any activity on the house front? Waiting for the before/after pics on that container. :-)

Saucy....do you have any photos of the Tuffa pots you worked on? I am surprised you could create them in an hour?!

Drema....I forgot to say that I used to keep Scented Geraniums in the house all winter. They seemed to do fine for me. I wish I had a South facing exposure and I would bring more in for the winter. I never had much luck getting a cutting started from them, but the original plant made it through quite a few winters.

Woody....I love your Queen Elizabeth! What huge flowers and nice long stems to bring in for a vase!

Ei...I was looking at your red bird bath again...I love the red glass pieces in it...but at first I thought the basin was 'pierced' but of course, it couldn't be....lol. How did you get that effect and hold water?


    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 4:26AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls! Up at the crack of dawn, actually before the crack of dawn...it's still dark out.

You guys give me too much credit...LOL...but Thanks! :-) The birdbaths are almost embarrassingly easy; really! It's basically the same principal as you have done with your birdbath PM2...a top and a base, whatever you choose. I didn't do anything to the bowls themselves (they came pierced/designed) from the clearance shelves at the Maxx. They were $12.99 or less. The large candleholders to place them on were also from the Maxx (under $10.00) and I did paint those to match the bowls (using paint we already had) and then sealed them with an outdoor waterproof sealant that we also had down in the basement. The only one I did anything to really was the purple one and I used some of my jewelry making beads to embellish that one...my idea was to kind of make it look like a chandelier. There is a flaw in the design of the birdbaths though...I epoxyed the bowls directly onto the candle holders. I know there is a better way to do it than that... and I'm sure one of you smart Idylls will figure it out (hint...hint)! I wish I had come up with a way to use something epoxyed to the bowl and then to the candleholder that would allow you to take the bowl off the candle holder when it's time to put them in storage. With the way I've done it I'll have to store them as a whole piece...not very practical. So does anybody have any ideas? DH says I can remove the epoxy that is on them now if I want to change it, but I haven't come up with a clever solution yet. I'm on the hunt for a peach bowl now to make a birdbath for the peach and pink garden. :-) BTW, the glass beads at the bottom of the bowls are called glass gems. I use them in my fish bowl and for holding dried flowers in glass vases. I put them in the birdbaths because I was afraid that the water would be too deep for the birds otherwise. They really don't like to be in water more than 2 inches deep. I'll try to get a picture of them at the birdbath Marian. :-) Probably a long distance shot as they are still a little skittish about the new baths!

Boy Nolon is a very handy man; isn't he! :-) My dad was like that, could fix anything...make anything and all self taught...he was brilliant! My dad is the man I admire most in the world (please don't tell the DH...LOL). Although I have to say Paul is very handy too! :-) Anyway, sorry that you guys had so much trouble finding something open. I know what you mean about having a store you like to patronize. Out here there are only Home Depots, Menards, and Aces, etc. No "pop-type" hardware stores....I really miss that...they were always so helpful and I loved the sights and smells! I blame myself as much as anyone that they are out of business. I should have *never* started patronizing the big guys...:-( I fear we've chosen convenience over quality! P.S. Marian...where are your Clethras located? I was hoping you could give me a few tips! :-) Are they in shade/sun a dry area/a moist area? I'm trying to figure out how to make mine happier...LOL!

Oh PM2...another thing I forgot to say yesterday was how pretty your basket turned out. I was wondering if your torenia is one of the "wave" ones? I think those are the cascaders vs. regular torenia which is more upright?

Woody...the rose is gorgeous! Brilliant idea about "the light shining thru" suggestion for Mary. I can see the effect. I never can remember the name of Heptacodium...I think yours looks great! I planted one a couple of years ago and it was so tiny...I was afraid it wouldn't make it....boy was *I* fooled. I didn't know they could get so big and wide spreading. I think you were smart to plan yours that way. Mine is at the back end of the east side of my garden so so far it's working cause it give me privacy but with the spread it almost touches the arborvitea and lilac that are on either side of it. Eventually I'm definitely going to have to do some pruning.

I can't get over all the containers you guys do...I'm definitely not up to snuff...LOL! But you all did have me wondering, so I went out and counted. I have 2 hanging baskets and then 21 containers. I don't count the rose standard containers cause I don't really do anything to them. :-) If they count then I have 24. This year the only thing I'm saving out of my containers are coleus, 3 fucshias, 1 mandevilla vine and a couple of houseplants.

Saucy...I'd love to come to one your classes too. Hey, if you can do hypertufa (which I think is challenging) then the table would be a snap for you! :-)

Kathy...I'd love to see a gunnera leaf birdbath too! That would be so cool. Do you grow gunnera? I was wowed by the size and substance of those plants when I was visiting a garden in England, but fear I don't have the space or the right conditions to do them justice in my garden.

Well, I best be off...the Morning has Broken...

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

Have a great day all...Ei

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 8:01AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Ei - I love that song! On sunny mornings when I'm walking Misty early, that song runs through my head...

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 8:54AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I am so excited to find other soap lovers!
Here is my favorite site for all things soap:

Miller's Handmade Soaps

Her directions are very good. She has information on essential oils and fragrance oils. I love to use lavender and herbs. There is a lavender farm close by. It is a wonderful place to visit. :)

My current favorite is all-vegetable soap from her site called "Sweet Grass and Clary Sage Soap (Kathy Miller)". I like this with Pear Glace FO or Lavender EO. The recipe is on this page:

Sudsy Vegetable Oil Soaps

I am still learning and have not tried them all.

Molding glycerin soap is fun too. It is great for dry winter skin, easy to use, and versatile!

A chart on the Miller site shows the SAP properties of different oils. I want to try to make a good soap with Sesame Oil. It is ancient Indian healing oil.

Even the non-soap Idylls should check out the site. She shows pictures of her gardens in the pacific northwest.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 1:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ei...thanks for the directions on how to put one of those birdbaths together. I will have to look around and see what they have in the stores. I can see where you felt you needed to attach the bowls to the base. Since my bases are cement, I seem to manage to just sit the top on the base. I wish I could think of another solution for you. I am wondering if caulk would do the trick and be more easily removed at the end of the season. I am ignorant about how well it would actually hold it together. I have also added the glass beads to one birdbath, but I have two that are deep pot saucers and the larger birds love to jump in there and put their heads under water and have a good ole' time.

Glad you liked my basket, Ei...and yes the torenia was a 'Blue Wave' I think I had three or four plugs of it that cost me .55 each in the spring.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:33AM
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