Monday, July 31, 2006

Still Limber After All These Years

Ever try to do this?

It's not so easy to lay on the floor with your legs in the air and click your heels together!
LOL. Just couldn't resist posting that one.

And with that, I bid you all farewell.

I shall be gone until probably Thursday.

Work hard, play hard, and post like crazy about it all. ;)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Wild Thistle

This comment from Karen (regarding the globe thistle I posted)

Hm, they are pretty in your garden, but I don't think I'd convince myself to plant thistle in mine. Too reminiscent of the ones I pull out of the ground as weeds.

reminded me that I wanted to post a picture of the wild thistle I have growing just inside my small arbor leading to the woodland area.

If you click on it to make it bigger, you can see all those needle-like prickers all over it. I certainly don't want to bump into this thing by mistake!

I just think it looks so interesting that I could not bring myself to dig it out. I think it will be lovely in bloom. I'll dig it out before it sets seed.

It is quite similar to the globe thistle, isn't it?

Melissa mentioned that her globe thistle was smaller this year than last. Mine is also. In the past it has been 4 to 5 feet tall. This year, maybe 3 feet.

Most of my plants are a lot shorter this year.

The Orange is Gone

I am always amazed at how this border changes each month. All the bright orange Asiatic lilies and daylilies are now gone and it's returning to mostly purple and as soon as all the black-eyed Susans bloom, there will be a lot of gold.
I realized today that most of my flowers have finished blooming already. I only have Sedum Autumn Joy and asters left.

Another season is almost over!

It's Toad Heaven Around Here

I guess I never realized that toads live in holes like this

Until this big guy jumped out around my feet.

If you enlarge him, you can see the mud on his hind legs.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Through the heuchera to the Deck

Just a deck pic I like

Echinops Begins to Bloom

I do love round flowers.

Garden Junk

I bought this birdhouse at a garage sale for two dollars.

I hardly ever go to garage sales because I always come home with junk I have no room for. At least this stays outside. Maybe someday I will repaint it. It's a little too bright blue, but the red ties in with the red plant.

See that big sunflower on the left? Of 4 packages of different sunflower seeds, it's one of the few seeds that survived. I can't remember which sunflower it is, so it will be a surprise.

My hanging baskets are getting somewhat tired looking. Today I cut back the 'orange symphony' osteos in hopes that they will regain their former vigor.

The baskets look so different with no orange.

Friday, July 28, 2006

It's Friday and

too hot to cook!

It's in the low 90's. (I feel so petty complaining when poor Sue in CA had 110 degrees last week!) Nonetheless I am going to complain like crazy.

I've had a pretty hectic week and was in no mood to cook. So I sent DH to Subway for this take-out dinner.

Yesterday I had another of those useless training classes in a far away place. Our GSM (Guest Service Manager) and I left at 5:30 a.m. to attend a 9:00 a.m. meeting. We got home about 7:00 p.m. The meeting was useful to him, but it's nothing I have ever done, nor will I ever, so it was a waste of 14 hours for me. Except that I got a "point". Our hotel chain has a point system that must be achieved. Training is fine, but to train someone (me) in something I don't even do just to get the almighty "point" is totally useless.

Needless to say, I didn't accomplish anything else for the whole day.

Since I missed work yesterday I was playing catch up all day today. It was over 80 degrees in the office. I consider that inhumane working conditions for someone wearing these

and pantyhose.

Throw a hot flash in the mix and let me tell you, it's miserable!

Everyone in the office complains, but it does no good. Our General Manager and Chief Engineer insist that the air conditioning is working. (They are both very intelligent men. I can't understand how they think it's working when it's set at 70 and it's over 80????) I know zip about mechanical things, but even I know IT IS NOT WORKING.)

I jokingly told the Executive Housekeeper that if they didn't get it cooled off in there, I was going to walk out and go home. Of course, I didn't do it. But I am getting sick of working in an oven. One of these days I just might do it.

I haven't rebelled like that since the early 1970's when we had a sit-in to demonstrate our disagreement with not being allowed to wear pants in school. Anybody remember "sit-ins"? We all sat outside on the school lawn instead of going to class, holding signs & chanting things like "No pants, no school."

Of course we all wore our bell bottoms to the sit -in . LOL............those were the days...................

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

DH Has Been Convinced (Already!)

that we should add on another path. Last night he went and bought the last 12 pavers at Wally's World

I spent about an hour digging plants out of the new area.

the path will turn to the right at the tree.

It is so nice to be able to walk right in to the middle of this big border to deadhead, etc. I also get to experience this phlox close up. Before I could only look at it from about a six foot distance.

Now I walk right up to it, grab it, smell it.....I should have done this years ago.

I Moved One Plant

I watered a few plants tonight and decided (spur-of-the-moment)to rearrange a few containers. I thought I would just pull the Persian Shield over because the color went well with the canna leaves.

Once I grouped these front containers, you can clearly see that the big hibiscus tree needed to go.

So I moved that out and then I did not like seeing the pot the Persian shield is in. So I looked around and decided to pull a begonia over to cover it....not too bad, but now I needed a bit more of that red begonia color a little higher up.

The birds left their nest so I could move that planter over.......
Geez, all this because I moved a pot of Persian Shield .........................LOL

Here is where I left it for tonight

I can't guarantee that it will be that way tomorrow.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What's Happening to FoodTV?

Sandra Lee host of Semi Homemade on FoodTV

How does this show stay on the air?

I mean, really, look at this woman.

She dresses to match the kitchen. See the orange shirt is the exact orange shade of the toaster and the mixer? Pathetic!

Every week the kitchen decor changes to match the week's theme. I mean everything changes - new dishes on the shelves, new mixer color, new toaster, etc. Every week, Sandy's clothes match the kitchen.

NOBODY cooks that way.

Is FoodTV going downhill fast or is it just me?

I used to like Paula Deen.

In the four short years since she came on the scene they have just about ruined her. I can just hear Gordon Elliot (her producer) behind the scenes:

"Come on Paula, baby, give 'em a little more Southern charm." Paula thickens her accent and throws in a few more, "from maa house to Yeers" & "y'all's".

"Bat those big eyes a few times now, Paula."

"Take a huge bite of that muffin."

"Let the baa taa drip down your chin and coo like your in pure ecstasy."

"Good girl, Paula. They love 'ya, Baby".

It happened with Emeril, Rachael Ray, and now Paula.

Once FoodTV has an inkling that people like a host, they manipulate their good points and shove them down our throats until we can hardly stand the sight of them.

Did anyone see the recent "Paula's European Vacation"?

Michael supposedly gave Paula the trip to Paris for Christmas. If I were a gambling woman, I would wager a tidy sum that the whole Christmas gift scenario was orchestrated by Gordon Elliott and Food Network.

Last December her magazine hit the stands

I have never read it and never intend to (same with Rachael Ray's mag)

Now they have her two sons hosting a show. When will it end?

I liked it much better when she was a fresh humble personality that I looked forward to seeing once each week.

Next they will be messing with Alton Brown.

They are advertising his new show, "Feasting on Asphalt". I've never seen it, but I love the name.

I hope they don't ruin Alton,too.

I Hate...........

Wind chimes

I don't like any artificial background noise that just keeps going and going and going.

How about you?

What do you really dislike?

And do you like wind chimes?

Quilts and Callas at Daybreak

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Wonderful day

I did not leave the house. It was a productive day and I even got a nap. I went outside early and moved some plants to soften the edges of the new path. About 10:30 a.m. I layed on the sofa to watch a little FoodTV. While Paula Dean was exaggerating her southern drawl, I feel asleep. That's OK. I needed a little nap.

Shortly after noon, I went back outside and worked a bit more. I think I need another 12 pavers to extend my path across the back section. I was mentally planning where it would go. I think I have it all figured out. I just need to convince DH. So far he's not too enthused about making another one.

Look at this yellow spider with the brown stripe. It matched the flower it was on.

Does anyone know the name of this one? I don't think I 've ever seen a yellow one like this.

Yesterday we stopped at the Farmer's Market in town and bought these fingerling potatoes and green beans. DH bought the sweet cherries at the grocery store today.

The summer squash and zucchini came from my Dad's garden. I must have inherited my love of gardening from Dad. He plants a large veggie garden every year. He only lives a mile away so I get a lot of the goodies.
Ah, the foods of summer. Fresh, delicious and even healthy.

Remember the dahlia bud below that looked purple?

Well, it opened today. It's called 'Mignon Sunshine'

It's not purple, but it's not quite like the picture on the package. (You will have to scroll down a bit to see the picture. I'm too lazy to make a hyperlink right now).
I find it rather muddy and where's the red? Maybe it gets more red in the center as it ages.

I'm Feeling Good

I got about six hours of good sleep last night. I rose at 4:00 a.m. (pretty normal time for me to wake). It's 6:07 a.m. and I have scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors, and have sweet & sour pork in the oven. I like to run the oven before it gets too hot. I cooked enough for about three meals so I will have leftovers during the week.

So dinner will be cooked before I hear the pitter patter of DH's bare feet shuffling across clean floors for breakfast. That's a good feeling.

I just noticed it's raining outside. I do love to get rain. It seems we are always in need.

Echinacea, et al.

The herb that grows like a weed for everyone but me. I can barely get it to survive.
There are no big patches of it in my garden, even though I have tried and tried. I get a plant here and there to throw up a bloom or two, but that's about it.

This website extols its medicinal virtues:
"The active constituents of Echinacea work together to help inhibit the influenza and cold viruses by increasing the body’s natural production of interferon and should be taken as a preventative during flu season. Once a cold is in progress, Echinacea can stimulate your immune system to help speed recovery. Sore throats, cough, and congestion all can enjoy quick relief with the use of Echinacea.

Echinacea is available in capsule form, in teas, and in a liquid extract. Gingivitis, canker sores, recurrent ear infections, and yeast infections can also benefit from the immune boosting properties of Echinacea.

I just think it's pretty and I wish I had masses of it.

Here's another plant I'm having problems with -- the ligularia (yellow right side).

I bought two of them last year. One of them threw up two tiny little leaves and struggled for survival. It lost it's battle last week. (At $16.50 per plant, I was not happy).

This one is about three feet tall (they should be about 6-7 feet tall with huge leaves), but at least it's living and blooming.

Oh, here's my latest daylily bloom

It's a peachy color. I don't know its name, but I sure do like the lilies with dark eyes.

I think I only have two daylilies left that have not bloomed. It's hard to believe the season is going by so fast.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Should Get up at 2:00 a.m. more often

because I was full of energy today.

I have been going nonstop since I went outside at 6:00 a.m. and began removing a few Shasta daisies. By 6:45 a.m. an idea popped into my head.

Why not remove a bunch of plants and make a stepping stone path? Hmmmmm.....I dug for three hours and removed all of this

I think it was 7 wheelbarrow loads. By that time it was 9:00 a.m. & DH was up and dressed. I dragged him outside to spring my idea on him. Luckily he agreed and I ran inside to clean up just enough to look decent and we went off to buy the stepping stones. We just guessed that 12 would be the amount we needed (actually he said 10 and I said maybe we should go with 12). Guess how many we ended up needing?

Yup, that's right. 12. Exactly. LOL. I love being right.

Since the concrete with the little stones embedded is very heavy DH actually laid the path and leveled off the area.

I did not get to sit around while he did that. I got a bucket of water with soap and bleach and cleaned the white table/chairs way down at the end of the borders. It's always dirty.

When he had it all laid, I replanted a few things, hosed it all down and stood back and admired. He did a good job.

I had NO IDEA when I got up this morning that I would have a walking path by afternoon! I just love it. I must have walked it a dozen times already.

I had planned on making sweet & sour pork chops for dinner, but by the time I came inside (4:00 p.m.) there was no time or energy for that.

On the spur of the moment I called my Mom and Dad and had them over for burgers on the grill. I had the burgers all made into patties with onions and seasoning so it was no work at all since DH did the grilling.

So here it is 9:11 p.m. and I have not even had a nap. I am getting pretty tired though and my muscles are a little sore. I think I will have a little ice cream and then go to bed.
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Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Gives Zoey bags under her eyes!

After spending three hours last evening in the garden, digging and moving plants, wouldn't you think I would need a full night's rest?
I thought so, too, but I woke up at 2:00 a.m. At 2:45 a.m. I was still awake, so I got up, made coffee, and read blogs for the past 2 hours.

It was quite enjoyable, but now I will be tired all day.
I have a lot of work to do in the gardens today.

I am in one of those periods when everything looks run down and all I want to do is grab a shovel and remove plants! It happens every year at this time.

When you have a LOT of the same plant, they all die at roughly the same time. Everything starts to look like this:

I need to cut down tons of Shasta daisies and remove quite a few orange daylilies.
It's 5:00 a.m. right now. By 6:00 a.m. it will be light enough and I will be out there.

While some plants die, others are born. I did have two morning glories bloom this week. These plants self seeded in my hibiscus plants. They have been doing so for two years now. I just let them climb their way through. I like the purple shades with the orange/red of the hibiscus.

Double Duty Bouquet

Last weekend I picked a few coleus leaves and put them in a pitcher of water on my kitchen counter.

They have already sprouted roots

So today I will plant them outside.
A great way to get free plants.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Imagine my dismay

when this bloomed today.
UGH! I would never have knowingly planted that red daylily here.

All I can think of is that the deer had eaten the pink lilies so I did not know what color they were or I thought the red daylily was yellow.

No matter the reason, it is no longer there.

I dug it all out tonight and planted a pink daylily in its place. It has not yet bloomed, so I hope it is the pink one. I should never trust my memory!

This is a good example of why I prefer to move plants in full bloom!

The Truth about Daylilies

But first, here's my new bloom today

'Condilla'- a double gold.
The color is off in the pic. It's really more gold than yellow.
I like this one a lot. (I say that about quite a few, don't I?)

And here is a deformed red lily.
Isn't it the neatest thing? It should look like the red 'fan fares' I posted below. I don't know what happened to it. It's the only bloom on the plant.

I bet there are some non daylily people coming here (and to all the blogs posting all those beautiful macros of their daylillies) and thinking that they may want to grow these, too. Everyone knows they are so easy to grow -- just plant them and they bloom for years with no work. I bet some of you think maybe you would like a big garden full of them.

Well, before you dash off to buy truck loads of them, here is something to consider.
If you do no work, they look like this

Not too pretty with all those deadheads dangling about, are they?

Sure, they will grow with very little work, but if you want them to look good, it takes a LOT of work.
They need daily deadheading to look nice.

Do I do it every day?

No, not any more.

I now have so many that I would have to quit working to have enough time to do them every day.

I don't worry much about them until the weekend. I will deadhead them all on Saturday and again on Sunday. I will most likely use a pair of scissors because it's faster and my fingers don't get all sticky.

And that, dear readers, is the truth about growing daylilies.

Could it Be?

This is what I planted in this pot in May (it also has calla bulbs already in it)

This is the bud on the dahlia about to bloom

Do you think it will be yellow with a red center?
It sure looks purple to me.
We shall soon find out, I guess.

This is the container and the dahlia is growing strangley straight as can be right up the back.
If the flowers turn out yellow/red as they are supposed to be, they should look very nice with the yellow callas that are already in bloom.

This container is a fine example of how I like containers to be - not static, but evolving throughout the summer. It has looked like this for a week or so with only the callas in bloom. Soon the dahlia will add more color and should continue blooming throughout the season. If all goes well, the canna will bloom in that wonderful spotted orange in August when the callas will be long gone, though their spotted foliage will remain. The only annual in this pot is the red coleus that I just stuck in a couple weeks ago because it matched the red in the canna leaves. I will get 3 or 4 totally different looks with just one planting. I think that is so much more interesting than just filling this with one flower. It also makes me more eager to care for them as I want to make sure they live so I can see the next stage.
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