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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Note to self...

Dear self,

Please remember to take more photos of the garden from the other side of the fence. Try to do this more than once a year, let's say once a season or even once a month.

When your back aches and your arms are dead, you will turn green with envy when you see the amazing view your neighbor has. Actually, all you really need to do is take a photo of her yard from your side and you will love your garden more than ever. Trust me.

Love, me
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ugh Slugs...

Still sitting here today scanning millions and billions of slides.

Ok, maybe I scanned one or two hundred today but WHEW! It's hard to look at all these beauties and not want to climb the walls.

Hurry up spring!

Tonight I only have time for a short post so I thought I bring this slide to the fore. As you can see, there's been a bit of slug activity around these Hosta.
Thankfully I took this photo at a nearby garden conservatory and not here at my own piece of heaven.

Truth be told, when I show this photo at lectures half the audience sees the slug damage and the other half shout out loud "What kind of Hosta has flowers like that?"

The reason I chose this slide? The one thing that I've been able to continue to do outside this winter is add things to my compost heap. Egg shells are always saved, crushed and sprinkled on the compost in winter. During spring and early summer, I spread those egg shells right in the Hosta beds. Yes, just another way to kill slugs.

A number of years ago the local paper wrote an article about me and my "slugaphobia". I thought it was funny at the time, until I went into the butcher shop and somebody said "Hey! Aren't you the slug lady?"

At one time I should sit down and write a list of all the ways I've tried to kill slugs. For instance, when I first began to garden I'd sneak my husband's golf club out of the shed and WHACK those slugs off the walkway. I've never been on an golf course but let me tell you, when it came to hitting those slugs, I was great! Then one day I heard a resounding 'Thunk' after one of my near perfect shots. It only took me a moment to realize that it was the sound of the slug hitting my neighbors house. Ah ha, no wonder they never said hello. OOPS!

Good thing we moved soon after that and that's all I'm going to say on this topic.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Missed you too!

Don't ask me why but only four of the ten photos I tried to send to this blog came through. Until I figure this glitch out, I'll have to post in parts.
This is part two so scroll down a bit to read part one first!

The top photo simply shows marigolds. Now I haven't grown marigolds in many years but how pretty are these babies? I just remembered that they will also attract slugs. Not a bad thing if you have a spray bottle handy with one part household ammonia and 5 parts water. Just go out early morning (foggy days are the best!) and looks for those little white blobs on your marigolds. Give them a few good squirts and shout DIE SUCKERS. Hmmm, maybe just whisper or your neighbors might be avoiding you for awhile.

Opium poppies. There's nothing like having a good friend willing to share some opium poppy seeds with you. Don't think I've seen these for sale anywhere. Wish I still had some here. Maybe they'll surprise me and pop up this year?

Simple as can be but oh so beautiful. Zinnias, hard to find in cell packs because they are so darn easy to grow from seed! Cut and Come again variety was well named. Great cutting flowers for those darling country arrangements in watering cans.

And finally, to finish off today's post is this shot of the Amaranthus (Love Lies a Bleeding) I grew many years ago. As far as I'm concerned, love lies a bleeding is to die for :-) Ok, not the best pun but I sure do wonder why I haven't grown this show stopper recently.

Off to have fun,
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Missed you

You know the old adage "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade". Well that's what I've been doing here. Last Friday I tried to get out of my computer chair only to find out that my back was totally locked. Don't know exactly what I did to it (ok, maybe too many six mile hikes that week) but I knew enough to stay home for a few days and do nothing.

How's that? Do nothing!!! Impossible, so I decided to take on a chore that I've put aside for several years now. I pulled all my old slides out of storage, hooked up that fancy Konica/minolta Dimage scanner I spent big bucks on and began to scan my slides.

Talk about a tedious, time consuming project! I've only gotten through the first few hundred but almost immediately I noticed something. These stunning plants that captured my attention 10 years ago are missing in my garden today. As I continue to search out new and wondrous plants, I've set aside some amazing performers just because they were "ordinary" or gag...annuals! At the top here is a shot of Cosmos growing by the cottage at Old Westbury Gardens. It's one of the first slides I ever took.
Here's some more beauties I find myself missing.

Amaranthus are just incredible in their weirdness! This bronze beauty (don't know the name) wasn't in my garden, I grew the deep burgundy 'Love Lies a Bleeding' variety.

How about this? Yes, for three years I had Edelweiss in my garden. If I had actually done a bit of research and planted it in the right location I might still be growing it today :-(
The hot pink blooms are masses of annual Silene armeria (catchfly) that self seed
with abandon here.

Simple Cleome. How stunning but Look, don't Touch! Wow, I was shocked when I tried to pull one out and found those teeny thorns that love to bite. Also, don't mass these under a window you like to open, phew...unless you have a affinity for gym socks.

Ok, now scroll upwards and read part two of this post.
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Ok, new year, new me :-) Time to try to figure out how to get these images here in the right size.

Let's hope this comes through ok. If so, I'll be posting more later today.


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