Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tropicanna Black Put out Its First Bloom

I like the color--vermillion, I think best describes it--a bright red tinged with orange.

I am not yet overly impressed with the foliage color.

It's pretty much just a plain old black leaf. In my opinion it's a little boring to be called a "Tropicanna". Sometimes the foliage color improves with age, so I am reserving the right to change my opinion.

I am used to the gorgeous leaf coloring of my other Trops. Somewhere I read that the original Tropicanna was the "Howard Stern of plants". It's so outrageous that it makes people stop to take notice. I liked that description.

I did bring in some of my own original Tropicanna tubers to add to this container, but so far nothing is coming up. I think the mix of foliage and flower color will be much more impressive (as any container with Tropicannas should be!)

This particular container will dramatically improve once the other trailing plants have filled out. I have designed it as a contrasting foliage container. There are very few flowers. I am waiting to show the full container until I feel it's worthy of world wide web viewing. At the moment, it's not. So shape up, baby! Your big audition time is drawing near! (Sometime I have to speak a little harshly to get these guys to behave!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Allium, Phlox and Iris buds

6:30 a.m. today (you will be able to see them a lot bigger if you click on them)

Dianne, These are the Persian Blue we both bought. As you can see mine are very short and small this year and some of them did not even return.

I must say that I do like allium and phlox together. By now you have all probably figured out that I like creeping phlox with just about everything, except grass!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hey, Zo, Whatcha Readin'?

Well, thank you for asking, Kris (even it wasn't in those exact words). :)

I am reading Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews.

This is my first Mary Kay Andrews book and I am finding it quite an easy enjoyable summer read.

The central character, Weezie, is a recently divorced southern gal who lives in the carriage house directly behind her EX and his new love who share the historic townhouse that Weezie so lovingly restored. She is also a " picker".

What’s a “picker” ? I hear you all wondering out loud.

In the antiques trade it’s a person who goes to garage sales, flea markets and estate sales hoping to purchase (or "pick" out) the good stuff to resell to dealers. If you like to do such things you will get to share in the thrill of the hunt with Weezie. The author was an antiques picker at one time in her real life.

Weezie has a hunky chef for a boyfriend (who happens to have been one of her first sexual conquests well before he was hunky or a chef), a friend with the hots for a mortician, an ex-priest for an uncle who is now her gay lawyer. She needs a lawyer because her ex husband’s new lover’s body just fell from the closet door of the mansion she broke in to because she needed to use the bathroom. And I’m only about a quarter of the way into the book!

If you’re into deep thought-provoking reading material this is one book to skip. If you just want a fun read while sipping an iced beverage in the sun, you may want to get a copy of Savannah Blues.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Poppies and Phlox

First I must address a comment from quiltingkim, who wonders how I got my zinnias to bloom so quickly while hers are only a few inches high. Easy, Kim, I bought them in bloom! :) Thanks for asking and thanks for stopping by.

Long view.
The poppies that are blooming are way down at the end.
Look at the grass. It's already beginning to turn brown. We need rain!

All the beautiful creeping phlox and ajuga will be gone very soon. I wish it would last all summer, but at least it will stay a nice dark green color.
It's kind of interesting taking a picture up through the poppies.
These poppies are all doubles. I like the singles much better. I find the doubles too big and heavy which causes them to fall too easily. As soon as we get a rain, they will be lying on the ground.

The smaller rockwall garden has some spring phlox (dame's rocket) growing with the poppies. It's really quite a weed and I have tried to remove it from most of the gardens. I do like the purple/orange color combo, though, so I've left it in this area. There is a ton of it growing behind this wall so there will be lots of purple in the next few days.See the rusty wheelbarrow in the background?

It's sitting where I left it last week after dumping a load of weeds. I thought it looked rather artistic, like a piece of garden sculpture. :)
I have more flowers growing in back of these rockwalls than I do in front of them. When weeding I toss shovel fulls of stuff over the wall. Every now and then I find something that I didn't mean to throw out and I just go around back and dig it up and move it back to the gardens.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I Read that Sleeping is one of the best remedies for the common cold

Thank you all for the concern and best wishes.

I spent most of Friday and Saturday in bed with a sore throat, cough and congested head.

I had my book and TV remote by my side.

Every two hours I took a cold tablet in an attempt to mask the miserable symptoms. On Sunday my body finally won the viral slugfest and felt somewhat human again.

All weekend I kept thinking of that tall grass with the seedheads swaying in the breeze. I kept seeing all those seedheads laughing at me as they dropped thousands of their next generation all over the ground while I coughed and sneezed my weekend away.

Although I still sound like I have a clothespin attached to my nose, I feel fine and went to work today. I should be outside right now working on the weeds, but I am no longer in the mood.

In between all that sleeping this weekend, I did get a full novel read and started on a second one. Now that I am into the second one, I want to spend my free time reading.

This is the bed I was working on Friday. I removed all of that sedum album 'coral carpet'(the reddish color stuff) that was edging the entire bed. It may not look like a very large bed, but it took 10 wheelbarrow loads to get it all out. I took this picture when I was only about half done. I actually did remove it all. I still need to haul some topsoil in to finish it.

Over the weekend my poppies started to bloom.

Oh, yea, remember that orange/purple color scheme for the hanging baskets?
Well, two of the waves have bloomed and both are hot PINK!!

This year is just not going well. It can only get better. Right?

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Violation of the Principles of Justice

The last day of my vacation and I get sick.

It's just not right.

I am fairly miserable. I know I am miserable because I just drank hot tea full of honey. I drink this only when I am miserably sick--sore throat, cough, stuffed up--all around YUCK.

I was working outside for about two hours this morning. About 9 a.m.ish I was feeling terrible and came in and went to bed. I slept on/off for about 3 hours. Then I got up, made the sweet tea and alternated between reading and watching some old taped decorating shows.

It's only 4 p.m. and I am already quite bored! I hope I get over this quickly.

It only took 6 months

to get this sunflower arrangement put back up over the china cabinet. Remember I took it down for Christmas and a few weeks ago I brought it back in from the garage and washed all the flowers.

See this robin's nest? I've had it for a few years. A robin abandon the nest. It used to have 3 eggs, but two have broken. I like to stick in in the arrangement.

There. The top is no longer bare!

Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat. I went to bed with a box of Kleenex by my side. Today it's even worse. I think it's this sinus stuff I seem to be developing in my journey toward old age. All of you who are cursed with sinus problems, is a sore throat a symptom?

I've got too much work to do to let it get me down today. I see we did not get rain overnight. Now that it's light enough,I am heading back outside to begin weeding on the small gardens near the road. I hate to have them a mess as everyone that drives by can see them. I can knock them out with a good hour's work, I think. The weather channel is showing rain by 9:00 a.m., so I'd better get moving.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's Hot and Muggy Today

I was outside at 6:30 a.m. digging out more grass, daylilies, etc. from this area where I removed the asters early this spring. I dug out 7 wheelbarrow loads while wearing long pants and a long sleeved shirt to try to keep the bugs away. They bit right through the pants and I have a butt load (and I mean that in the most literal sense!) of bug bites.

I hauled in two loads of top soil and then planted a bunch of different varities of sunflowers.

I have gotten so used to digging this week that nothing even hurts the next day. I am slowly making a bit of progress.

I forgot to plant my old watering cans. Since I used all my flowers yesterday, I just stuck some Sedum Autumn Joy in that I dug out from the area above.

See my shoes? Do you remember how these were all the rage years ago? I found them in the basement in a box of summer casual shoes. They are just as comfy as I remember them.

This is my big old appletree which is useless for apples, but very valuable for the shade it provides.

It got to 86 degrees around 4:30 this afternoon. I took a shower and went to sit under the apple tree with an ice cold glass of water and one of my new books.
It's the perfect spot to read on a hot day. I hope it rains tonight as everything is getting dry already.

All in all I had a good day. I hope you did, too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I Got a Sunburned Neck and about 40 Containers Planted Yesterday

I planted six hanging baskets. I used one ipomoea ($2), one wave petunia ($2), one asparagus fern ($2)and a couple of orange zinnias ($1.00). So each basket cost about $8.00 (I am including the cost of the 8 bags of potting soil). That's much less than the $20 - $25 each I would have paid. They do look pretty ugly though. Hopefully they fill out soon. I've already lost track of what I've spent. I think I am around the $175 mark. I also think I am about done planting containers. I've only done about half as many as I usually do, but I think that's enough.

I want them all in purple and orange. I went to three flower places and could not find anything orange that would not be overtaken by the wave petunia. Finally at the last place they had 1/2 a flat of poor quality orange zinnias. I bought them out of desperation.

The wave petunias are not in bloom, so I don't really know what I am getting. They should all be some shade of purple.

This is a wall planter with marigolds, a dark sweet potato vine and some red celosia.

The 4 planters that flank the deck entrance are planted with the same colors.

I am getting so many hits from people who want to get rid of their ajuga. It amazes me that anyone would want to be rid of this spring beauty. It's by far my favorite ground cover.

(Ajuga is the darker purple behind the creeping phlox). Here it is close up.

I guess if it's planted in a small area I can see where a person would want to remove it. It does spread quickly.

I spent Monday afternoon digging the grass out of the phlox. It's about the worst weeding job of all. Digging in the mat of flowers in full bloom is not the best time to do this chore, but I have to do it when I have the time. I have the rockwall gardens almost finished. I still have phlox in the other gardens that need the same treatment. I am in fact, still overloaded with garden tasks and not particularly in the mood to do them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

How Many 2:00 P.M.'s on a Tuesday are there in One Year?


Maybe 53 if it's a leap year and Feb. 29 falls on a Tuesday.

How many Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. am I not at work?


That's it. Just 4.

I thought about that as I came out of the library just before 2:00 p.m. today and had one hour before my nail appointment.

I drove to the small boat harbor which is near the library.

I turned around and stopped at Toddler's Park. As the name implies, it's a park for toddler's to play in.
I glanced around and nobody was there. I remember my son loving to go to Toddler's Park. I think I pushed him on this exact swing set. Everything else seemed to be different, but I really think this swing set is the same.

Where are all the mothers with toddlers? I think they are all working.

I open one of my books to read until it's time to go to my appointment.

I can't concentrate on my book because I keep thinking about a world where there are no mothers left to push their toddlers at 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon.

Monday, May 21, 2007

What do you do when you Want an Ice Cold Pepsi

But you forgot to put any Pepsi in the refrigerator?

Well, if you think like my dear husband, you put the can of Pepsi in the freezer for just a little while so it will chill fast.

And then you forget about it...........


The next day.

When Very Compassionate Wifey opens the freezer the next morning, this is what she finds:

As the freezer-on-the-bottom drawer is pulled out, all the exploded frozen particles of Pepsi fall to the floor.
Everything must be removed from the bottom freezer drawer.
The entire drawer must be taken out and washed. Very Compassionate Wifey (VCW) must crawl on the floor to get underneath the refrigerator to get all the sticky Pepsi particles. The floor must be washed. Then VCW must put everything back into the freezer drawer and wash down the counter where all the sticky items were sitting.

VCW doesn't even drink Pepsi.
I think Dear husband is very lucky to have such a Very Compassionate Wifey.

Pea Saved me From Wasting Food

Almost every two weeks I throw away milk. For some reason we never drink it. Sometimes I have to toss it out unopened. Sunday I checked the expiration date of these eggs--4 to 6 weeks ago. Tossed them. Tossed the soured milk. I was going to toss the two bananas (I like them less ripe--with no dark spots), but then I remembered seeing Pea's banana bread recipe. (I can't seem to link to the actual recipe, but it's from May 17th)

It called for just two bananas! DH bought some fresh eggs yesterday and I had everything else to make it, so I did. We enjoyed it for Sunday morning breakfast.
It was not too sweet -- just 1/2 cup of sugar for the entire loaf. I did not put the chocolate chips in mine.

Thanks, Pea - you saved me from wasting two bananas!

I also ended up going outside in mid afternoon. I got about two hours of weeding done in cool, but good working weather. It was cold enough that no bugs were out. Hopefully I can get back outside after I go into work for a couple of hours this morning. After that the remainder of the week is mine, mine, mine!!!! Woo hooo.........I have the whole week to do whatever I want to!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

This saying adapted from a line in “To a Mouse,” by the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, fits my day perfectly.

I had big plans to work outside today, but at 10:00 a.m. it's still only 39 degrees
with a light drizzle. It looks like I will be inside all day.

Luckily I have a lot of energy today (I've been lacking for the past few weeks). I have accomplished quite a bit already -- a big pot of chili on the stove for later in the week, Petite steaks in a Vidalia onion/tomato sauce in the oven for tonight's dinner,and I have scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom floors.

DH just came in the door from church and this is how he found me.

He cracked up laughing and grabbed the ever present camera and snapped this shot (It's a little blurry because he does not know about using a flash indoors).

So what am I doing here?

Well, I had just grabbed my laundry bag and was heading down to the basement to throw in a load. Along the way, I grabbed a beach towel to put under my foot to dry the kitchen floor as I skidded over to give the chili a quick stir. Now that's what I call multi-tasking!

God, I love when I am energetic! Back to work I go.

I am still Tiptoeing Thru Those Tulips!

Thanks everyone for the comments on the new header. I decided on a whim to experiment. So far I think I have changed it 4 times. I can see I will be playing around with the header now just as much as I do the profile picture!

Does the header expand across your whole screen? It does on my computer, but I saw on a different computer that it was 3 or 4 inches short of spanning the entire top.

I got a bit more weeding done in the rockwall garden yesterday. It's tedious work getting the grass out of all that creeping phlox. I have just one 12 foot section to finish today.

I am so enjoying my tulips this year!! Most of these tulips were planted in 2004 and this is the first time I've seen them bloom because the deer eat them EVERY year. I believe I planted something like 300 tulips that year. There are so many that I just love. I grabbed my binder with the saved packets, so I could tell you the names.

Like these 'Greenland' pink/green striped ones:

I've always thought the "Greenland' were beautiful and was very happy when I found them at Kmart in 2004. They are from the Martha Stewart collection. In fact all 3 of these that I have deemed favorites happen to be from Martha's collection. Interesting.... Here are the 'Greenland' in the landscape photo.

These violet/pink doubles are 'Blue Diamond'. They remind me of a peony.

Oh, and just look at the spectacular color of these 'Texas Flame' parrot tulips. These are the ones I showed in the last post that were not yet opened.

And last, but certainly not least, another primrose/blue hyacinth shot. The thick green foliage in the back is colchium (for all you searching for 'what does colchium foliage look like in the spring?')

Sylvana, you have a good eye, because those orange tulips in the back that I like so much are indeed, 'Princess Irene'.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sub Freezing Temps again Tonight

My sled planter is all wrapped up for the cold night ahead.

I am so glad I did not plant all of my containers last week! After nearly 20 years of gardening, I have finally learned to hold off planting the annuals until the end of May. No matter how warm it is during early spring, it ALWAYS frosts in mid to late May (sometimes even in June).

Well, now, how did that dandelion get right in the middle of my creeping phlox? I really MUST get out this weekend and get the garden shaped up.

I have a ton of creeping phlox almost in full bloom. This is just a small portion of it.

I really need to get a picture after the sun goes down, but I wanted to make a post now, so these pictures will have to do.

My apple tree in the front yard is full of white flowers . The bees and I will enjoy it until they all fall to the ground in the next few days.
I think these red and yellow tulips are 'parrot' tulips. I am anxiously awaiting the grand opening of the flamboyant petals. Parrots are very showy flowers and I really must get more of them. I am so into showy and dramatic these past few years.

That's about all I have for today. I have not been doing much of interest this week--just working. Since I haven't posted in a few days so I wanted to get a little something done tonight. Hopefully I will do something postworthy this weekend. :)
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