Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Southern Charm

raven bohdi in the garden

From loyal commentor Raven (in Georgia):

Here’s how it’s looking this week. She works so hard on the roses and they last a couple of weeks.

raven poppy
raven roses and poppies
raven lantern daylilies
Here in New England (where our irises are finally starting to bloom), I’ve got my first batch of sixteen lovely stout leafy mail-order heirloom tomatoes, plus a couple more from the garden center where we stocked up on fresh potting mix, so my day will be dedicated to cleaning out the planters and getting these guys transplanted properly.

What’s going on in your gardens this week?

raven daylily
raven larkspur
raven poppy closeup

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64 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    Raven, Your pictures are amazing, no wonder they asked you to take pictures yesterday.
    It’s going to be a rainy, cold day but I’m still going to the nursery to buy some plants. I lost so many last winter and it’s time to to start replacing them.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    As usual, beautiful photos Raven.

    Gonna start by taking the row covers off my tomatoes, eggplants and sweet peppers. Never did make it down to freezing but it did get close at 34 degrees Th & F nites. Back into spring for a day or 2 then into the 90’s by Tuesday. Ugh.

    Everything looks good so far. The new asparagus is coming up. I’ve already started filling in around them with compost. I would like to get my hot peppers in today as well as a few other odds and ends of plants. We’ll see. Can’t seem to find any straw for mulch. I fear this is going to be one of those years.

    Trapped a coon last week and thought that would take care of my herb garden problem (something likes the taste of bone meal). Nope. The lemon grass I just planted got dug up, so now I’ll have to reset the trap. That’s life in the boonie woods.

  3. 3
    danielx says:

    Since it frosted last night…not much happening in the garden, and I can only hope it didn’t do in all the impatiens planted last weekend. Used to be the rule was to not put anything in the ground around here until May 15, but I’m not sure what the rules are any more, in this as in much else.

  4. 4
    raven says:

    @JPL: Aw thanks, it’s pretty easy to take nice pics in our yard. Her goal has always been to make the world a more beautiful place and she does. I got most of the 100 old bricks cleaned and the path shouldn’t be too hard to finish.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Was listening to Prairie Home Companion from Atlanta last eve. Keillor and crew had quite a bit of fun at your guys’ expense. Snow… in the winter…. Whod’a thunk it?

  6. 6
    MomSense says:


  7. 7
    Chickamin Slam says:

    Not so much gardening here as I am taking photographs of a garden tour that benefits a local historical society. This year there was/is twice the amount of interest but so far not nearly the attendance of last year. Today is the second day and they hope there will be more turn out. The weather might be a factor. The forecasters predicted rain but yesterday only had sinister looking clouds that blew over to reveal the sun. Personally I think the gardens featured last year were better but its hard to get people to agree to have visitors, strangers basically, roam around their property.

  8. 8
    RAVEN says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hopefully that will help Carter but I doubt it will be enough.

  9. 9
    bloomingpol says:

    Here in northern Rockingham County NH my first planting of radishes, lettuce, kohlrabi, beets and carrots are all sprouting, lots of tiny seedlings. The daffodils are almost by, the columbines are starting, also the bleeding hearts, and seeing buds on the iris. Looks like everything made it through the very cold winter, thanks to a foot or more of snow cover through most of the frigid weather. Leaves are out, finally, grass is growing like mad, and the inch of rain yesterday helped what’s been a dry spring.
    My vegetable gardening is container, salad table and raised bed, and there are 4 EarthBoxes on the deck waiting for the tomatoes, peppers and eggplant that will come by mail and from the Northwood Farmers Market vendors starting next Thursday, yay!

  10. 10
    RAVEN says:

    @Chickamin Slam: We had ours two weeks ago and the turnout was pretty good. We’ve been involved for 10 years but have managed NOT to have our house on the tour. Maybe if the addition is done next year!

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @RAVEN: An acquaintance who depends on Fox for news, is voting for Carter because of Deal’s ignorance. I was surprised that there was lingering bitterness in his handling of the ice storm.

  12. 12
    satby says:

    Really lovely, Raven! I thought I had lost a number of rose bushes over the winter, but it looks like all but one are sprouting new growth. Don’t think they’ll ever be as lush as those in your pictures though.

    It’s day 2 of fighting with the lawn mowing implements. I’m walking the push mower over to my neighbor for help if it doesn’t start this morning, and when my little emergency compressor is charged hoping to inflate the flat on the rider. I’m on a tight timeframe, I’m going to a concert tonight and since it’s my birthday I know my friend has made a cake, so I can’t back out. By the middle of the day if nothing is fixed I’ll be in a bad mood.

  13. 13
    RAVEN says:

    @satby: You changed the air filter, right? Put in new fuel and change or clean the spark plug with a wire brush or sandpaper .

  14. 14
    chrome agnomen says:

    sarah, proud and tall, where are you?

  15. 15
    Schlemizel says:

    Beautiful pictures Raven – nice garden!

    Another of what are going to become unsung ACA victories late yesterday. Our 25 year old daughter is 900 miles away in the Mountains of Colorado cooking at an expensive resort. That means no benefits and low pay. But we still have her covered this year. Yesterday she went to the ER and was misdiagnosed. Because things got worse she went to a different ER and they performed emergency surgery that very probably saved her life. WIthout insurance she might have waited until it was too late or at the very least stuck the hospital with a large unpaid bill and had her already shaky credit ruined. Mom is on a plane to help in the recovery right now

    Thanks Obama

  16. 16
    satby says:

    Thanks Raven, I’m not at all mechanical, but I did figure out where the filter was and pulled it off to air out. I don’t even own a socket set to take off the spark plug, hence the walk to the neighbor’s.
    Now is when I’m paying the price for letting my mechanic son handle all this stuff, he moved to California in March. This old dog has to learn a few new tricks.

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @Schlemizel: hallelujah! Hope she’s better soon!

  18. 18
    RAVEN says:

    @Schlemizel: oh man I’m glad she’s ok!

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @RAVEN: Raven, is that Bohdi in the picture?

  20. 20
    gogol's wife says:


    I love that kind of rose. Bohdi seems oblivious to the aesthetics.

  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Schlemizel: Whew!

  22. 22
    Tommy says:

    @danielx: It went from 85 to 40 the other day. To point I turned how the heat the other day,

  23. 23
    catclub says:

    I thought the southern charm post would be on happenings in Mississippi senator Thad race.
    Amazingly nasty race, after Thad had ignored the upstart tea party guy for too long.

    I am hoping for critical injuries all around.

  24. 24
    Schlemizel says:

    One of the things that gives me hope is that the Randoids, baggers and Koch whores take after each other with the sort of lies and garbage they have used against decent people for 40 years. With any luck this will cause deep rifts and destroy them all as a political movement for a couple generations.

  25. 25
    gelfling545 says:

    After yesterday’s garden “party” I find myself with a bit of a blank slate after the winter killed plants were removed (and I was finally able to walk around & inspect things after we cut up the great, hulking limbs of my neighbor’s really annoying willow tree that fell in the yard. I need to find some fairly self-sufficient plants to put in the narrow & surprisingly, not damp, strip between the fence & the pond. I had some roses in there & they were fine but it was a nightmare to get in there to prune, weed, etc. Two will be relocated & two went to plant heaven.

    The pond got drained but the new liner will not be put in until next weekend. I solemnly vow never to put hardy water lilies in it again. The (over 100 lb) root system was choking the pond & when we finally got it out, looked like some kind of prehistoric monster from the primeval slime. We could never have done it without my 14 year old great nephew’s willingness to wallow in slime. This was from one potted plant put in years ago that jumped out of its pot.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @Schlemizel: Hopefully she is on the road to recovery. I’m
    pleased that your wife is able to make the trip because it seems that your daughter will need some TLC.

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    Will someone explain to me why the blog master thinks a pile of cat fur is art. (previous post)
    Is that a West Virginia thing?

  28. 28
    J R in WV says:

    We had the heat on the past 3 nights here in SW West Virginia. Our “Swamp Iris” – bright fly-yellow iris planted around a small frog-pond below a spring – are beginning to bloom, the first bright bloom showed up Thursday.

    The early bloomers are gone now, the dog-tooth violets, blue-bells, things I showed off a few weeks ago are finished, and nearly invisible. The trillium is still in leaf, and the Jack-in-the-pulpit is blooming discreetly. We’ve passed the phase of last year’s leaves being a big issue, and now the pollen from oak and pine trees is lying thickly on the windshields whenever you try to go anywhere.

    Ferns are out now, Maidenhair and other natives, along with a Japanese fern and some others Mrs JR has planted over the years.

  29. 29
    Linda Featheringill says:


    It’s a joke.

  30. 30
    Schlemizel says:

    @JPL: We are lucky that she has the time off. We got a really good deal on airfare, $248, so we could afford it. She is going to be laid up for a time so needs the help. Her BF can do some of it but when you are feeling bad everyone wants their mommy.

  31. 31
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Garden lament: No can do. Too strenuous.

    My surgeon says I’ll probably be my old self about the middle of June. She also says that one more surgery should fix me right up. We’re planning on next week.

    If she’s right, I’ll be able to extend my warranty for another bunch of years.

  32. 32
    raven says:

    @satby: It is!

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: In WV, that is as close to art as they get.

  34. 34
    PurpleGirl says:

    @raven: Echoing others, your pictures are really nice. I love your and the princess’ garden. Hope the path isn’t hard and is finished today.

  35. 35
    FlyingToaster says:

    We’re just west of Boston.

    I got the first pass of yard waste (deadfall branches and about 1/3 of the English Ivy that is slated for removal) out Friday, and we went to our first plant sale yesterday. I built the outdoor upright cold-frame (it calls itself a greenhouse, heh), and put those plants into trays.

    The seedlings are on the mats under the lights in the basement; we’re seeding the flowers’ tray today. I’ll start mowing the back-postage stamp this week (I need to dig it up, honestly), and fertilize the garden patch and hell-strip by the street.

  36. 36
    Mary G says:

    You can see all the time and love you and Princess Raven put into your garden, and the pictures are amazing too, as usual, Good to see Bohdi looking like a lion in the roses.

    @Schlemizel: Thank FSM and the incompetent diabolically clever evil Kenyan usurper, as well as the second hospital! Hope her recovery goes well too.

    @satby: Happy birthday!

    We are off to Armstrong’s where salvias are on sale, hope to get a couple for the hummingbirds and butterflies. Then a lovely day of puttering, Was able to turn off my fan for the first time in a week and woke up to blessed overcast and 63 degrees.

    Higgs Boson’s Mate is finishing up his most awesome raised bed planter yet for the driveway. He was sanding and fussing over drilling perfect drainage holes in the plywood for the bottom and I was teasing him that no one was likely to ever see it, since they’d have to lie down on their back on a mechanic’s creeper to see it.

  37. 37
    Baud says:


    I think the car in the field sculptor has more artistic flair.

  38. 38
    MomSense says:


    Wow, so glad she got the medical care she needed.

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Don Taylor says,

    The debate about whether health insurance improves health has been ushered into prominence by the need of proponents and detractors of the ACA to make their case against the other side. It is an important discussion, regardless of why is(t) has popped up.

    Now Don is a PHD so I am certainly not going to question his intelligence by asking why it is an important discussion but I do wonder why the discussion gets beyond asking the detractors, “Do you have health insurance?” If they answer in the negative, follow up with, “So when the firemen and paramedics come to peel you out of your squashed car with a can opener, you are going to say, ‘Don’t bother guys, I can’t pay for any of this.’ Right?”

    End of debate.

  40. 40
    Schlemizel says:


    I was not happy with ACA as written but agreed it was better than the alternative of doing nothing. In this case it sure as hell was.

    The first Dr didn’t do a good exam & sent her home with an Rx for a sedative and an appointment to see a doctor on Thursday. He apparently felt her intense pain was just hysteria. When the sedative didn’t do anything & the pain got worse she decided to drive 40 miles to the other ER. The Dr. there actually looked at her & called a surgeon. She was in OR less than an hour later. Might not have made it to Thursday as the associated infection was pretty bad.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: You are, of course, correct. Especially the fine touches of dried mud and rust that accumulated on it over the month that it rested there. My only complaint was one of display: It was awfully difficult to get close enough so that one could truly appreciate the finer nuances. Still all in all, I gave it an A-minus.

  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    He apparently felt her intense pain was just hysteria.

    Funny how intense pain can induce hysteria. Ever notice that?

  43. 43
    Baud says:


    Interesting. I interpreted the car in the field completely differently. ;-)

  44. 44
    Schlemizel says:

    I wonder if the fact she is young & female might have influenced the doctors decision.

    Not to be flippant but I have had many experiences with intense pain and know how to deal with it. One of the worst was after the screwed my pelvis back together. The morphine drip came out & I was getting no pain relief. The nurse basicly told me there was nothing she could do & I shout just toughen up. An hour or so later the surgeon showed up and actually checked me when I told him what I felt. He discovered the line had come out. I don’t know if being more excited would have made he more interested in actually doing her job or not.

  45. 45
    WereBear says:

    I am planning to get out to our finally-opened garden centers today and grab a few flats of pansies, finally getting my rescue mini-rose out of its pot under the sunlamp, and other fun things as they turn up.

    I try to be surprised each spring.

    And because I can’t help it:

    Rescue Kitten finds favorite toy

  46. 46

    @WereBear: Broken Link is broken.

  47. 47

    I met with my non godbothering relatives, in the suburbs of Mumbai this afternoon. There was booze, good food and great company and an excellent time was had by all. There is a lot of new infrastructure development, I took some pictures and no I was not driving.

  48. 48
    WereBear says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Augh. Thanks. Google pics won’t let me share, and that was in a post I haven’t published yet.

    I’ll work on it.

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I wonder if the fact she is young & female might have influenced the doctors decision.

    Oh it definitely did. When men get hysterical, there must be a problem.

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    Let’s see if this works, I have revived a Photobucket account:

    Mithy discovers a purple mouse

    This is my new rescue kitten and he is Highly Adorable. Ya’ll been warned.

  51. 51
    gogol's wife says:



  52. 52
    gogol's wife says:



  53. 53
    WereBear says:

    @gogol’s wife: Thanks.

    He has me practically in tears, as he is currently sleeping in my lap. We got him from the shelter 24 hours ago with some feral problems, like Fear of Touch, but he’s coming along wonderfully.

  54. 54

    @WereBear: He is going to grow into his ears and be huge kitteh! So adorable!

  55. 55
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Schlemizel: I’m so glad she got the appropriate treatment. I hope she recovers quickly and fully.

    Raven, lovely pics of flowers and the Bodhi. Will your bride rent you out? The nice landscaper gentleman who cuts our yard just weed whacked my front perennial bed. About an hour ago. It was quite weedy, but needed weeding by hand to avoid the actual plants (all marked with sticks). Sigh.

  56. 56
    satby says:

    @Mary G: thanks! I pumped up the flat on the rider mower and got 1/2 the acre done before some belt came off and now it doesn’t start again. I’m still taking it as a win, and calling it a day on all things mechanical.

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): OMG! I’ve had that happen to me. Even if all you do is ask them to cut the lawn… they have a ruthless definition of lawn.

  58. 58
    Waratah says:

    I was shopping for herbs to put in containers on the patio during the mothers day rush. Wanting to add some color looked for edible flowers.
    I lucked out and found some nasturtiums, but could not find pineapple sage that would also attract hummingbirds.

    The photos on the pepper plants caught my eye so stared looking for a tri colored ornamental. Found three plants that were tucked away on the end that looked like they were cut back and new growth starting. Decided to risk the rescue plant and found out it cost 25cents.
    Little white flowers started blooming and within a couple odays I have slim greenish yellow peppers . Now I am afraid the plant will not grow any height. I lost the tag so do not know exactly what I have.

  59. 59
    satby says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Don’t give up on them yet. That happened to me last year when my then lawn guy whacked a new peony so badly it just diappeared. I gave it up as lost and bought another during the fall sales (coral sunset, beautiful but expensive!). Damned if this year the weed-whack victim didn’t come back (and after all those freezes! Uncovered bvecause I thought it was gone anyway)! It’s even going to flower.
    So the damage may not be as total as it looks right now.

  60. 60
    Betty Cracker says:

    Pensive doggie is pensive! Handsome, too.

    We went out and purchased a food dehydrator today to deal with the garden veggie influx. We’ve got baskets of cherry tomatoes, dozens of bell and hot peppers, tons of herbs and scads of softball-sized tomatoes that are so damn good we consider them an entree. Our original cukes and beans are played out already and the 2nd crop has been planted.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    Holder swipes at Roberts on race
    By JOSH GERSTEIN | 5/17/14 9:07 PM EDT

    Attorney General Eric Holder took a swipe Saturday at Chief Justice John Roberts’s jurisprudence on the issue of race, arguing that forcing the government to be entirely color-blind isn’t the way to heal America’s racial ills.

    “Chief Justice John Roberts has argued that the path to ending racial discrimination is to give less consideration to the issue of race altogether. This presupposes that racial discrimination is at a sufficiently low ebb that it doesn’t need to be actively confronted. In its most obvious forms, it might be. But discrimination does not always come in the form of a hateful epithet or a Jim Crow-like statute,” Holder declared. “And so we must continue to take account of racial inequality, especially in its less obvious forms, and actively discuss ways to combat it.”

    Holder was referring to Roberts’s plurality opinion in 2007 case which overturned the Seattle public school system’s use of race to improve diversity. “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,” the chief justice wrote.

    The attorney general made clear again Saturday that he prefers the formulation Justice Sonia Sotomayor offered in her dissent from a Supreme Court ruling last month on Michigan’s affirmative action ban

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    Who Gets to Graduate?

    Rich students usually complete their college degrees. Working-class students usually don’t

    For as long as she could remember, Vanessa Brewer had her mind set on going to college. The image of herself as a college student appealed to her — independent, intelligent, a young woman full of potential — but it was more than that; it was a chance to rewrite the ending to a family story that went off track 18 years earlier, when Vanessa’s mother, then a high-achieving high-school senior in a small town in Arkansas, became pregnant with Vanessa.

    Vanessa’s mom did better than most teenage mothers. She married her high-school boyfriend, and when Vanessa was 9, they moved to Mesquite, a working-class suburb of Dallas, where she worked for a mortgage company. Vanessa’s parents divorced when she was 12, and money was always tight, but they raised her and her younger brother to believe they could accomplish anything. Like her mother, Vanessa shone in school, and as she grew up, her parents and her grandparents would often tell her that she would be the one to reach the prize that had slipped away from her mother: a four-year college degree.Continue reading the main story

    ‘I just started questioning everything: Am I supposed to be here? Am I good enough?’

    There were plenty of decent colleges in and around Dallas that Vanessa could have chosen, but she made up her mind back in middle school that she wanted to attend the University of Texas at Austin, the most prestigious public university in the state. By the time she was in high school, she had it all planned out: She would make her way through the nursing program at U.T., then get a master’s in anesthesiology, then move back to Dallas, get a good job at a hospital, then help out her parents and start her own family. In her head, she saw it like a checklist, and in March 2013, when she received her acceptance letter from U.T., it felt as if she were checking off the first item.

    Five months later, Vanessa’s parents dropped her off at her dorm in Austin. She was nervous, a little intimidated by the size of the place, but she was also confident that she was finally where she was meant to be. People had warned her that U.T. was hard. “But I thought: Oh, I got this far,” Vanessa told me. “I’m smart. I’ll be fine.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:


    That was a really interesting article — thanks! Raven should definitely read it — IIRC, his master’s thesis was on a similar topic.

  64. 64
    cckids says:


    The first Dr didn’t do a good exam & sent her home with an Rx for a sedative and an appointment to see a doctor on Thursday. He apparently felt her intense pain was just hysteria

    I’ve seen variations of this through the years with my son (who has multiple handicaps & medical conditions), and it is always infuriating. After one double hip surgery when he was 7, the doc didn’t order any pain meds beyond Tylenol; he said that since J “wouldn’t remember pain like you or I would” it didn’t matter. I thought my husband was going to be violent. Needless to say, that was the end of that surgeon.

    Too many docs apparently don’t get proper training about pain management, or their training doesn’t take or something.

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