Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Rain Dancing

Peerless garden commentor & photographer Marvel:

Hereabuts it’s all fits-n-starts, weatherwise. We had a modest warm-up last week, then yesterday, a bit of rain. This mild weather has apparently done wonders to the turf grass growth — the Willamette Valley is the Grass Seed Capitol of the World & I tell you what: lately it’s also the Grass Pollen Capitol of the world. The past several days have see pollen counts above 750 parts per cubic meter (200 ppcm is considered very high).

With rain in the forecast, I considered harvesting the garlic a week early (at this point, the bulbs can’t take any additional moisture), but since the stalks were still pretty green and unlikely to close/dry properly, we decided to re-cover the bed with 6-mil plastic and wait it out.

Last year I accidentally let some dill go to seed in one of the raised beds (I was holding out for one more run of pickle-making). This year, the baby dill grew up peacefully amongst the carrots & beets we planted several weeks ago. Since I didn’t want any extra moisture to complicated drying the feathery weed, I harvested it and set it to dry in the breezeway.

With all the pollen wafting about (even folks without allergies are sneezing & rubbing their poor watery eyes), it was nice to have a little rain to rinse things off yesterday. The ornamental garden [top pic] pretty much takes care of itself this time of year (thank goodness!), but it always appreciates a shower or two.


The Spousal Unit, goddess protect us both, is Taking an Interest in gardening this year. Our landscaping preferences tend to be pretty much orthogonal, but he spends more time in the side/back yard than I do, and once I gave up on achieving anything in that space beyond keeping the grass (weeds) mowed short enough the little dogs didn’t get lost, he decided to make his own improvements. Beyond the half-dozen tomato rootpouches he’s sure will get plenty of sun tucked in the shade between the roadside oak tree and our now-flourishing cherry, his fondness for creeping vinca (periwinkle) is threatening to become a mania. He’s also determined to nurse the ailing two-story rhododendron that was here when we bought the house back to health (even though my personal suspicion is that it’s not happy because we keep blasting its roots out of our main plumbing line) and has planted a couple of lilacs where ‘they’ll beautify the shed’ (block its only window).

So, after I finished planting out most of the remaining mail-order roses, we spent a chunk of the evening with me “supervising” (trying to quell a tension headache) as he “helped” finish the improvements on the flower bed next to our front door. I asked him to help me level the new self-watering pot I’d bought for a Souvenir du President Lincoln (where the 1950s construction fill in the bed isn’t deep enough on its own). He decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to move all the bravely flowering pansy planters and tear up a bunch of the existing perennials, so he could re-seat the rubber edging at the edge of the bed as it was supposed to be… not that you can see the edging, when the pansy planters are in place, and the geraniums / columbines are growing behind them…

But now all the planters (and the furschlugginer edging) are back in place, including the new Souvenir, and once I’ve scattered a couple giant (ow my aching back) bags of mulch, at least one bed will look (however briefly) more-or-less the way it does in my imagination. Win!

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

93 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I’m getting tired of overachievers like Marvel. I need to see more mediocrity that I can relate to.

    Speaking of which, what’s the best way I can protect myself from poisen ivy while weeding? I heard regular clothing isn’t sufficient protection.

  2. 2
    Barbara says:

    @Baud: On this I can help out. There is no fail safe protection other than covering yourself well so you avoid skin contact and then getting all your clothes into a washing machine as soon as gardening is over and scrubbing yourself with soap and loofah type abrasives. When that fails, as it often does, I highly recommend a product called Zanfels. I am so allergic to poison ivy I have gotten it from petting my dog and handling clothes and towels.

  3. 3
    Jeff says:

    Had an inch and a half of rain yesterday. My yard in Philadelphia is liking it a lot. It is rapidly approaching jungle mode. If it continues to rain through the summer, not a given, it will be unreal by fall.

    I gave up trying to get it to do what I thought it should do. It is doing what it wants. I don’t fight it any longer.

  4. 4
    MomSense says:


    Get a female goat. Let the goat eat the poison ivy. Milk the goat. Drink the milk. Aren’t you glad you asked?

    Gorgeous gardens, Marvel.

  5. 5
    satby says:


    I need to see more mediocrity that I can relate to.

    I’ll get right on taking new pictures to send to AL!

    What Barbara said, including gloves (disposable ones are best) and for washing afterward I use a dish detergent like Dawn to break up the oil from the poison ivy and a strong laundry detergent. Yes, detergent, not something nice and skin soothing: the Mayo clinic has more.

  6. 6
    eldorado says:

    i keep telling myself to get that window sill herb ‘garden’ planted, but i keep not doing it

  7. 7
    Barbara says:

    @satby: Poison ivy binds so tightly with skin that even harsh detergents and abrasives are ineffective after an hour or so.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Marvel, Satby found an old greennotgreen comment, you might snicker at.

    Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest cheat..

    Lovely pictures!

  9. 9
    satby says:

    We finally got a cool down after about 10 days of high temps, it’s 70° out there now and will only get to 80° today, but it’s about to start raining again. I have one new hydrangea to plant, this week some astilbes will arrive that I forgot I ordered, but then I should be done until it’s time to plant more fall bulbs. Final tally: 2 Japanese maples, six lilacs, two ninebarks, 1 redbud, 1 Hawthorne, 7 roses (but two have died), two hydrangeas, two azeleas, 12 tomato plants, 12 asparagus, 9 sweet potatoes, about 9 blue potatos, 6 blueberry bushes, and in a weak moment, two zucchini.
    It’ll all look great in about 3-4 years. Well, the shrubs and trees anyway.

  10. 10
    Baud says:



  11. 11
    satby says:

    @Barbara: yeah, honestly when I see it I just kill it in place, even if I have to sacrifice the plants around it. I make my own soap because I have allergies to detergents, but I’m more allergic to poison ivy; if I think I’ve been exposed it’s the super grease busting Dawn for me.

  12. 12
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:

    So a woman my wife and daughter found an abandoned kitten in a park Friday, and we’ve decided we’ll take him. He’s younger than any cat we’ve ever had (maybe 5-6 weeks), and I want to make his integration pleasant and safe.

    We have two animals in the house – my youngest daughter’s VERY sweet cat (we’re cat sitting him the next 6 weeks while she’s in Greece) – he was first brought in when we had our cranky old indoor/outdoor cat, and they got along. We also have a 60 lb Tervuren who adores cats.

    My basic rule – I don’t want spraying, and chewed cords piss me off.

  13. 13
    Lapassionara says:

    Beautiful photo. The ornamental garden is lovely. I agree about vinca minor, but if my SU started “beautifying” anything in our yard, well, let’s just say, he knows better.

    Good morning all.

  14. 14
    Elmo says:

    What everybody else said about poison ivy, or as we call it in my house, devil weed from hell. The oil can be washed off with Dawn within 10-15 min of exposure, but after that you’re fucked.

    I once went after a huge patch of the stuff wearing painters overalls over my clothes, and two sets of rubber gloves, going inside to wash my hands every 15 minutes like clockwork. Because I am so sensitive to the stuff and have such a strong reaction that steroid shots and prescription antihistamines together didn’t affect me at all the one time I had a big exposure.

    It took six weeks to go away, and the only relief was scalding hot showers three times a day. The heat activates the histamines, so it’s agony for twenty minutes, but your body exhausts its supply and takes about four to six hours to generate more. Nothing else helped at all.

  15. 15
    satby says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes: he can be neutered as early as 8-12 weeks and that should eliminate spraying. Babies teethe, so anything they can get is fair game, you’ll and your family have to watch to make sure he doesn’t get at any cords until after his adult teeth are in. A lot of people swear by spray bottle training but I never bothered since once they’re adults they mostly mellow out enough for me, my standards are admittedly lax 😆

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Marvel? You suck.

    Apparently, leaving for the first week and a half of June is not a good gardening move. Baud wants to see mediocrity? That will have to wait till I till this years bumper crop of weeds under. I’ll have tomatoes, some squash until the squash bugs destroy them, some hot peppers. The rabbits got 29 of my 30 sweet pepper plants, the flea beetles destroyed my eggplants right out of the gates, my beans got burnt from a lack of moisture (I guess) in my absence, my potatoes are dying back a month early (lack of moisture again, I guess)… Sigh, at least the herbs aren’t a complete disaster, only the dill is.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: It was that heat wave… Since we had so much rain earlier I didn’t even notice some of my new shrubs and trees were struggling because it dried out so fast in the heat. I thought the redbud was a goner, but it seems to be just hanging on. A young maple the previous owner planted may not make it though… I think it’s a silver maple and if so I would replace it anyway. But it got fried and it was well established enough that I ignored it until it shriveled up.

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @satby: damn, forgot the peonies.

  20. 20
    evap says:

    I’m also very allergic to poison ivy. When I was a kid my mom took me to the doctor, sure that I had the measles. It was poison ivy :)

    I use a product called Technu. After exposure, scrub your skin with it, it’s mildly abrasive. Works like a charm for me.

  21. 21
    Anne Laurie says:

    @evap: Tecnu works for the Spousal Unit, too — he’s also very allergic to poison ivy. But you have to use it immediately after exposure!

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m not allergic to poison ivy, I could body surf in the stuff, no problemo. The price I had to pay for my immunity was eczema. Ever since reaching adulthood it has been little more than a memory, but not a very good one. Not a good one at all.

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😐😐 😐

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    Happy Father’s Day 😄😄

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    That first photo is from someone’s house?

  26. 26
    Immanentize says:

    Morning all! And Happy Father’s Day to all you Fathers and Father Stabbers! (Alice’s Restaurant).
    Gardening in near Boston is good this year. I transplanted a bunch of volunteer trees and bushes (Kousa, yew and azalea), got my veggie garden in and box-planted yellow pear heirloom tomatoes to try to beat the dreaded Wilt.

    The box-planted tomato is named “SATBY” which is spray painted on the side Everyone asks what that means…..

    The growing is good, but that includes the weeds and there is a whole corner with a climbing hydrangea, fountain bamboo and other stuff that might as well be in Africa for all the attention it’s getting. So good plants, total mediocrity of style.

  27. 27
    Sab says:

    I have been allowing the jewelweed (some sort of wild impatiens) to spread in my yard. Its juice seems to work against the poison ivy. I smear on the itchy spots.

  28. 28
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    My Santa Fe chollas (or Fort Marcy chollas, as I prefer because it localizes it further), Cylindropuntia viridiflora, are blooming. I’m particularly proud of them because they are an endangered species, and I am doing my small part to keep them alive. Several nurseries sell them, so maybe they will make a comeback, in people’s yards anyway.

    I’ll try to get a photo today. I love the coral color of the flowers, which is not well represented in the photo at the link.

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sab: Jewelweed works very well against stinging nettle, not surprised it works against poison ivy.

  31. 31
    germy says:

    Donald J. Trump ✔@realDonaldTrump

    The new Rasmussen Poll, one of the most accurate in the 2016 Election, just out with a Trump 50% Approval Rating.That’s higher than O’s #’s!

    7:02 AM – 18 Jun 2017

    This whole thing, this running for president, this winning, this nightmare: it was all about beating “O”, wasn’t it.

    “O” seems to occupy a rather large portion of real estate in herrDrumpf’s noggin.

  32. 32
    debbie says:

    I don’t know whether that’s an azalea or a rhododendron back by the fence, but its hugeness is breathtaking! Are those spirea in the foreground?

  33. 33
    germy says:

    The top photo looks like our backyard.

    In our previous house we had a big backyard that I mowed for almost thirty years. We moved to a smaller property and my wife turned our new backyard into a mow-free zone. No lawn, no grass. Just some paths with perennials, flowers and vegetables. We did the same thing to our front lawn. I dug out the lawn are replaced it with spreading ground cover. Some more perennials by the sidewalk.

    I haven’t operated a lawn mower in three years. I don’t miss it.

  34. 34
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: this is exactly why I am not traveling until the fall. If I take even a few days off in June, I return to a disaster of honeysuckle vines and bushes, poke salat sprouts, nutsedge, wild violet, oxalis, spurge, etc, etc. I should be attacking weeds right now, but it is too wet outside.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    germy says:

    Our cat is strictly an indoor girl. I tried letting her outside one day, and she heard a dog barking in the next yard and so she ran under a porch chair and shivered in fear. We rescued her from a shelter about nine years ago and apparently she’s had zero outside experience. So inside she stays, and quite happily.

    But the people who live across the street have two cats who roam the neighborhood. They visit our yard, and I’m always happy to see them because they discourage the city rabbits who are unafraid of my wife and will eat our vegetables right in front of her. But as soon as the cats show up, the rabbits are out of there.

  37. 37
    germy says:


    But but potus says it’s one of the most accurate in the 2016 Election. Who am I to believe? herrdrumpf or your fancy fivethirtyeight?

  38. 38
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lapassionara: I knew it was not a good idea, but knucklehead that I am, I did it anyway. I didn’t have time before I left, but I have 2 feet of chickennetting around the garden now. Too late for the sweet peppers but at least it will save the tomatoes and beans (if they live)

  39. 39
    ThresherK says:

    @germy: Rasmussen is the Rosie Ruiz of pollsters: Heavily falsified in favor of the Rs all campaign long (to provide braggage and headlines for hacks), then hops in a car and rides to the finish line on election day alongside the legitimate ones.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
    Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
    Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
    With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
    There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
    Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
    And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
    Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in

    (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 2, Scene 1)

  41. 41
    germy says:


    Rosie Ruiz of pollsters

    Excellent analogy.

    I remember ol’ Rosie. The audacity was astounding. I wonder if most people nowadays remember what she did.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: LOL, thanks! I think 😂

  43. 43
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: traditional recipe for jewelweed soap says it’s for poison ivy. I should find some jewelweed and make some.

  44. 44
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baud: I should send in a photo of my pathetic front “vegetable” garden then because so far all I have is a bunch of plants and absolutely no vegetables. Frustrating!! #blackthumb.

  45. 45
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @germy: Well Trump began his whole jump into politics by claiming that President Obama was not eligible to hold his office so yeah, it’s all about competing with and beating the Black Kenyan. Trump is a racist after all. That we know for sure.

  46. 46
    Lapassionara says:

    @germy: is she the person who rode the subway for parts of the NYC marathon, and crossed the finish line before any of the other women runners?

  47. 47
    germy says:

    @Lapassionara: I didn’t know about the subway part, but I remember she jumped in at the end of the race and pretended she’d completed the entire marathon.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    Marvel’s gardens are lovely.

    I grow vegetables and flowers. I get attached to a type of flower and try all the varieties, colors, and so on. So for a while it was sweet peas, then peonies, then zinnias- I spent a long time with calendula- they grow really well here. I like violas in pots for spring so I tried this one this year:

    Plant these sprite beauties in spring or fall for a delirious wave of glowing, candy colors. Each dainty flower is sublimely detailed;the maroon-rose petals delicately brushed with bronze, shading to picotee.

    The seed all came up but the plants are spindly and weak and they have to hold up a pretty big flower (for a viola, they’re big) and the colors are just weird- muddy maroon and metallic orange. Violas are almost weeds they’re so tough but these plants are so fragile they barely support the bloom- they somehow made this flower much worse :)

  49. 49
    germy says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I grew up on the east coast. I was reading about his antics back in the ’80s. His full-page ads, his housing discrimination, the whole ball of wax.

    I still can’t believe this nightmare. It’s like Leona Helmsley won the white house, or her dog.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Apparently, it would be a big seller around here.

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @Patricia Kayden: This is what I hope happens, Trump’s hatred of Obama led him to Flynn who was fired by Obama. Now that same hire could bring down his administration. That would make America great again.

  53. 53

    @JPL: The circle of LifeCorruption.

  54. 54
    Lapassionara says:

    @germy: I think the way they found out about her scam was because people reported seeing her on the subway during the race. I happened to be in NYC that weekend, and I remember seeing the news reports. This was before the technology used now, with the electronic gizmos on the runner’s shoe. She is an apt symbol of our times. Unashamed cheaters being, at least temporarily, rewarded.

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I hate snakes, and I’ve seen several this year, but as far as I know they were non venomous.

  56. 56
    jeffreyw says:

    Mrs J spotted this Red Milk Snake the other day.

  57. 57
    germy says:


    Unashamed cheaters being, at least temporarily, rewarded.

    I wonder what she’s up to nowadays, and if she voted for trumpf.

  58. 58

    @JPL: I ran into a rattler on a hike on Labor Day in 2015, it was lying on the fire road I was walking down and I noticed it when I was about 20 feet away. I encouraged it to move by throwing some dirt clods it’s way and it moved off into the grass.

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I think it was the Boston Marathon, not NYC, but that’s the one. (Of course, she might well have done the same thing in New York.)

  60. 60
    Kay says:


    Trump is tweeting that he signed 36 “legislative bills”. He figured out legislation passed is a measure- something he needs to lie about.

    It’s a lot of fun to watch him grow into this job, I must say. So glad we could provide this 71 year old man an internship in government affairs by promoting him to the top spot. Six months in he’s picked up that there are “laws”- he’s not even a particularly bright or ambitious intern. So much for “merit”.

  61. 61
    germy says:

    My wife is going through a rose phase in our garden. Experimenting with different varieties of rose bushes. Her last purchase was the Coretta Scott King variety of rose.

    One thing she noticed: roses that were pink or multi-colored last year are blooming red this year. Not the colors she expected.

  62. 62
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Too late to edit, but I got curious and looked up her Wikipedia info, and she did indeed cheat in both NYC (1979) and Boston (1980). The NYC subway ride wasn’t publicly known at the time, but came out after her Boston “win” began being questioned.


  63. 63
    germy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I see her problems continued after her marathon experiences.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    It’s Rasmussen😒😒

  65. 65
    D58826 says:

    @rikyrah: The President has woken up to news that 7 US sailors have died. He has chosen to tweet about witch hunts and poll numbers.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay: there is so much shade in this comment, I don’t even know where to begin.
    But, thank you,Kay.😄😄😄😄😄

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    Because,that is who he is

  68. 68
    Lapassionara says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: thanks for the clarification. Not the first time I have “conflated” events in my memory.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    @Kay: What is he tweeting about? Does he think that when he puts his signature on a blank piece of paper that counts?

    Pete Souza said that behind one of the cabins at Camp David, you can pick up two bars on your cell phone. Trump must have found the location.

  70. 70
    D58826 says:

    @JPL: My sisters aversion to anything reptilian extends to the point that she will sit on the benches in the hot sun at the San Diego zoo rather than the ones in the shade because they abut the reptile house.

  71. 71
    germy says:


    The President has woken up to news that 7 US sailors have died.

    He personally tweets about stuff he cares about: poll numbers and “O”.

    Later, his staff will write up a statement about the sailors for him to sign. Or maybe a staff member will tweet it for him while he watches TV.

    If a way could be found to blame HRC for their deaths you can be sure he’d be all over it.

  72. 72
    Benjamin Mays says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes: You have a Terv? We have 4 girls that provide round the clock assistance. Lovely beasts.

  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @D58826: Good point. I’m wonder if all the veterans who voted for him are satisfied right now.

    Trump has had good fortune in that the real world hasn’t much interrupted his “honeymoon.” Unlike Obama, who was faced with Armageddon on day 1.

  74. 74

    I too am hoping for rain but not for virtuous gardening reasons. I’m driving home from Minneapolis today and there’s a stretch of I35 that’s under construction and marked “expect long delays on weekends.” I’m hoping rain will make it impossible to work. Unfortunately it’s a gorgeous day.

    In the meantime, I have had my first BJ meetup. JMN and I mostly talked writing rather than politics.

  75. 75
    Kay says:


    My husband drove the Democrat’s float in the town parade yesterday. They pull a float with a truck. Both Parties enter floats and then people boo or cheer as they go by. We have a really active local Democrat, Chuck. He built the float and he and his wife decorate it. So it’s usually positive – slogans and words and pictures promoting the candidate(s)- he’s a Marine so there’s lots of flags- but this year Chuck added some homemade anti-Trump signs which he was holding up as his personal protest and they got a lot of cheers. Since this county went 70% Trump I don’t know who these people are who are cheering but the local Democrats got a big kick out of it. I wasn’t there but that’s what I heard.

  76. 76
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    …her problems continued…

    Embezzlement, cocaine. She’s qualified for a job in the Trump Maladministration, and luckily for her, they’re hiring.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I need to get you a Baud! 2020! sign for next year’s parade.

    BTW, why was there a parade yesterday?

  78. 78
    Kay says:


    All the towns have summer parades. My town is biggest so we go first. We’re a “city” and the rest of these clowns are “villages” – Ohio has local government structure based on population. I’m not sure why or when it started. Ours coincides with a festival at the courthouse square that lasts a week. It’s a carnival- rides and food. It’s famous for petty crime. Has a slightly disreputable feel which I really like. Every year respectable people say we should kick it off the square but it’s actually wildly popular.

  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @Kay: How quaint. Almost Old Worldy.

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: We took Hwy 61* on the way north, it was a dream. Of course, that means it is out of the question for your destination.

    *i have now driven the entirety of US hwy 61 (and it’s MN extension) from Grand Marais MN to Baton Rouge LA. My youngest plans to move to New Orleans soon so no doubt I will finish the southern leg to the gulf coast, not so sure about those last few miles at the northern end, which if I ever do I will have to follow it’s Canadian cousin to it’s terminus at Thunder Bay.

  81. 81
    Oldgold says:

    The “Boys,” Mooch and N.G. (a/k/a Never Graduates), emerged from their dark dank basement den early this morning. I thought it was to once again borrow my Grecian Formula.

    To my surprise it appeared they were bearing a Father’s Day gift. Mooch handed the box to me
    wrapped in newspaper (always a nice touch) as N.G. grinned with the same menacing smile he had plastered on his bewhiskered face when informing me he was changing his degree quest from engineering to leisure studies back in the Reagan administration.

    Opening the package I let loose with a primordial scream of absolute terror. There in my trembling hands was the devil’s own patented substance – a box of Miracle Gro!

  82. 82
    D58826 says:

    @Baud: Also took 12 hours to comment on the actual collision. And even then there was debate on Twitter if it was from the official WH staff account or the Trump Rage Account.

    And where it has, such as Qatar, it is far enough away thatr Trump/Russia can act as a shiny ball. The GOP can use the same to distraction to gut Todd-Frank and Obamacare.

  83. 83
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Good morning! Ms. O and I are enjoying a cup of coffee on our portal, watching the hummingbirds squabble, despite the plenteous feeders. They’re fierce little pretty beasts.

    The sun is shining and rain would be welcome. My front garden is dedicated to bee and butterfly friendly plants. The columbine are about finished for the season, the catmint and salvia are blooming, and the agastache and penstemon should start up next. A delightful buzzing accompanies our morning repast.

    I have a walled garden on the south side of the house, which I use for vegetables​ and herbs, because rabbits. I set up two stock tanks for raised bed gardening and thus far have harvested bok choy and chard. I’m growing carrots, beets, bush beans, and potatoes for the first time. The latter are in a grow bag and seem to be thriving. I’ve also got tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers in containers. Some of the tomatoes are growing nicely, while several inexplicably lost the will to live.

    How does one know when carrots and beets are ready to harvest?

  84. 84
    Karen says:

    Garden in containers and ignoring the grass growing around them, have a neighbor who come over a couple of times a week and harvests the “hay” for his rabbits. Everything was looking good, then two days of hot dry weather, watered, but had two nights of freeze. The only things not killed were potatoes and Iris; at this point I have replanted and hoping that the high grass is enough to keep pots from baking plants during next heat wave.
    So far this has not been a good year for outside plants, my herbs are doing good since they are on covered porch.

  85. 85
    debbie says:


    Aside from interminable Fourth of July parades, our summer parade is the Doo Dah parade

  86. 86
    D58826 says:

    And given the new Cuba policy I’m sure this will come as a total shock

    How Donald Trump’s Company Violated the United States Embargo Against Cuba
    By Kurt Eichenwald On 9/29/16 at 5:42 AM

    Note the date.

    From VSP’s ===>But Hillary’s e-mails.

  87. 87
    scav says:

    As this is my first full year in the upper left, I’ve no clear idea of what is normal, but everything is basically green, currently with either spent blossems or in bud. As this is an impressively foggy morning, the other half is uniformly grey.

  88. 88
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Due to our rainy spring my garden is quite lish this year. I have a few pictures I’ll send along eventually. I haven’t enjoyed it much this past week as I seem to have contracted some kind of plague out of nowhere and haven’t given it the attention it needs so when I get back to it things may be dire. The roses made a good and, oddly, simultaneous display this year but for some reason I have grass coming up in my flower beds which has been a misery to weed out.

    Periwinkle covers a multitude of sins and I’ve made liberal use of it, along with sweet woodruff and it makes me very happy in the spring to see the two blooming together.

    My mothers’ day bareroot redbud tree has leafed out nicely. Bareroot plants are always tricky for me so I’m pleased.

  89. 89
    D58826 says:

    The definition of class :
    Tweet from Barack –

    Of all that I’ve done in my life, I’m most proud to be Sasha and Malia’s dad. To all those lucky enough to be a dad, Happy Father’s Day!

    and Michelle

    Our daughters may be older and taller now, but they’ll always be your little girls. We love you.

    And then not so much from Der Fuhrer in 2013 (other than complaining about polls haven’t seen anything today):

    Happy Father’s Day to all, even the haters and losers!

    FSM I hate the 22nd amendment

  90. 90
    Karen says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: beets and carrots are ready to harvest when they are big enough to look like something, always loved the tiny carrots that get when thin the rows, same for beets I would say they need to be close to 2 inches in diameter so that after cooking and peeling you still have small beets. if you planted in rows you can keep pulling every other one until fall, though long hot spells can make the beets woody

  91. 91
    Kristine says:

    Late to the party, but @Marvel, your ornamental garden is lovely.

    Dill envy, too. Mine always bolted way too soon to get those huge fronds.

  92. 92
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Karen: Thanks! I prefer young veggies, so I’ll pull them out earlier rather than later. Plus I’m continuing to reseed, to keep the harvest going (I hope).

  93. 93
    J R in WV says:


    Hey, what region are you guys in to have such a pretty snake??

    I saw a pink coachwhip in SE AZ once, amazing creature.

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