Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Redesigning

Looks like we have *finally* come to the end of this hellish summer, so I might actually be able to do some much-needed work in my sad neglected yard. Of course, not all gardeners are as wimpy. Here are some photos that have been waiting in the queue for some six weeks, from commentor Susie:

Here are some of my latest garden projects. This is for Lapassionara.

At the top is a barrel planter that used to be under a tree in my front yard. I managed to get it on its side and roll it to the back yard, where I put it on its side and use it for impatiens. I should have fed them more, but earlier in the summer they were full of blooms.

The top photo is about a third of the day lily bed, before I got around to digging it up. Underneath it is a photo of the bed this morning, after I completed the digging. This is deceiving, as when I go back tomorrow and dig around in that dirt, I will find, no doubt, day Lilly roots and corms lurking in the soil.

I plan to use this for sun-loving perennials, as it is just about the only bed I have that gets enough sun for consistent blooms.

These are my favorite shrubs, oak leaf hydrangeas. I planted these three last summer, and there are two doing great, one getting better, but not yet great.

The photo underneath shows some more oakleafs, these given to me by a friend. Mature oak leaf hydrangeas will put out progeny along their roots, and these are easily dug up and potted, then replanted in a suitable site.

The nice story about these is that my friend got her oakleafs from my hydrangeas that were growing in my yard in my former home in South Carolina, so these are grandchildren of my original three oakleafs. I love getting free plants, and giving free plants away.

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

190 replies
  1. 1
    satby says:

    Lovely Susie! I especially like the barrel spilling flowers.
    My garden is awaiting a huge clean out and the last lawn mowing of the season. I’m a bit torn about the tomato plants because they’re still hanging on, but I will probably pull them all and plant the mums I bought in the pots. We went from 80° highs to a couple of days with highs barely breaking 50°, now for the rest of the month it’s expected to be only high 50°s during the day. I would have liked a more seasonal span of days in the high 60-70s, but it’s still better weather than summer was.
    Still holding out against turning on the heat, so I woke up to a 60° temp in the house. Delaying turning on the heat is a seasonal competition around here for some hardy souls. But if it falls below 60° I may have to do it.

  2. 2
    raven says:

    What a corm?

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: It’s a root one plants like a bulb.

  4. 4
    A Ghost To Most says:

    First real snow of the season here (2″+ and still falling), and a predicted low in the teens tonight. Enjoy your autumn.

  5. 5
    Quinerly says:

    Cutting back hibiscus, other tropicals, coleus, dragon winged begonias, geraniums, purple queen, Lantana,
    spider plants, and some others to bring to winter over under grow lights in a plant room in the basement. Cacti, jades, and other succulents come into the kitchen to four large kitchen sills. I call the whole process “The March of the Begonias”…. have some begonias and geraniums now 6-7 years old. It’s not so much about the $. I just hate to see them die.

  6. 6
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: huh, I’ll be!

    Doggie parade this afternoon so one more day of chaos for the princess.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    I am enjoying the annual dying of the weeds right now.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @Baud: I can’t wait for the kudzu to die! Does anyone remeber who the BJ’r who lives on Edisto Beach is?

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    @Raven: It should be a lovely day for a parade. For the rest of us we’ll get to enjoy the pictures that you take
    @Baud: My weeds are flourishing.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    Susie thank you so much for sharing your pictures, and I also had not heard the term coms.

  11. 11
    Lapassionara says:

    @Baud: me too! My problem is wild violets. They are taking over everything. They will die back this winter, but nothing will deter them next spring,

  12. 12
    satby says:

    @Quinerly: I was wondering if the two I have would overwinter! Thanks, now I’ll try it. I have most of my delicate plants already inside.I was debating about the large hardy hibiscus, and one I ordered and forgot about just arrived two days ago along with my last rose attempt, a ground cover rose for the area where the volunteer potatoes and tomatoes came up. Those need to go either into the ground or pots and overwinter in the garage. Some of this work will spill over into tomorrow, but it’s supposed to rain later today and early tomorrow so it’s going to be a challenge to get it all done. Then mulching, mulching, mulching so next year is less ugly!

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @Lapassionara: wild violets send out runners that develop into corms and then send out more runners. Digging it all out is possible but a chore. I decided to just enjoy mine, less work 😝.

  14. 14
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Where is here?

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: Pictures or it didn’t happen.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Occasional commenter ljt. Last heard from during Florence.

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @Raven: Good luck and can’t wait to see the pictures. What are your guys going as, or should you just surprise us?

  18. 18
    Raven says:

    @satby: well, since she is in charge of it the costumes have taken a bit of a back seat. We’re not sure we’re going to tale lil bit but the bohdi has a Chinese jacket and the cart is decorated with flowers.

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    JMG says:

    Last lawn mow of the year today. Also, if it warms up enough, I will trim the eunonymous (spelling unsure) plants that border our front walk. They are unbelievably hardy vinelike plants that can take New England winters, including having mountains of snow dumped on them when I shovel the walk, but they also grow hardily, like across said walk if I don’t cut them back twice a year.

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @satby: and though it will be 59° today, the updated forecast is for a high of 48° tomorrow. Hope we get just a bit better weather before winter starts… Wasn’t this supposed to be an El Nino year? Aren’t those milder?!?

  22. 22
    germy says:

    We had a big catnip plant in our yard, almost a bush. I’d go outside now and then and pinch off some product for our cat.

    Last week I went outside and it was gone. I think some neighborhood strays carried it off.

  23. 23
    Immanentize says:

    Hi of 60 today near Boston, then in the 60’s but rain tomorrow. I have been pulling tomato plants regularly for a week. I still have seven in the ground — three are Romas up close to the house. I just pulled my first of three tomatillos and picked a bunch. Fresh salsa verde chicken enchiladas tonight!

    Re: wild violets. They are unbeatable (like kudzu of the north). Sometimes I like them and sometimes I go rip out huge swaths of them. Probably depends on my newsblood pressure.

  24. 24
    waratah says:

    I have started posting three times this morning and the page refreshed and I lost them.
    So I will not post about my garden and just say I love oak leaf hydrangeas too Susie.

  25. 25
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Our highs are projected to be lower here than yours there. We had a cool summer here and I feel a real winter coming. Or at least I hope I do.

  26. 26
    Quinerly says:

    @satby: The hibiscus are several years old and get bigger each year. Kinda broke my heart to cut them back to nubs. I had so many buds and blooms but they are the first to be cold hurt. I have a small room set up in the basement with banks of fluorescent grow lights on timers. Water everything about every 4 weeks. The apartment down there that takes over the rest of the space has various smaller grow lights in the kitchen, an alcove and two windows in the living area. I’m going to experiment in smaller pots to see if I can keep the begonias and geraniums actually blooming with an area in the kitchen to grow herbs and greens. I’m new to the whole smaller, wildly colored grow lights from Amazon. They look like flying saucers.💜 On timers, kinda trippy with the purple and pink lights. Have had great luck with the old fashioned fluorescent ones in shop lights from Lowe’s just keeping plants alive.

  27. 27
    JMG says:

    That weird thing where the comments cut off after my last one has happened again. I will post this in the hopes it fixes it. Please ignore this message, one and all.

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  29. 29
    Immanentize says:

    ! !

  30. 30
    Dog Mom says:

    Sharing a bit of my campaign fun from yesterday:

    Notes from the field – 10/13/2018 – NY-27, The Livingston County Dems table at the Genesee Valley Hunt Club Races.

    I volunteered to help out at the table yesterday. I hadn’t planned on the cold rain lasting quite as long into the day as it did, but the event still attracted a decent sized crowd. For the most part they were there to see horses and hounds, not think about politics. Let me just say Pocket Beagles to Irish Wolfhounds, Wiener dog races to Duck Herding, stick horses to all ages of Jockeys and their beautiful racers – what a great way to take your mind off terrible things and to enjoy the work and fun of neighbors and friends in Western New York!

    Still we got some interest and support from new faces and old. Sad, yet proud to joke that our table had the ‘un-indicted and un-investigated’ candidates. This area has a deep red past, but purple and blue are taking a stand now.

    Three things to note:

    THANK YOU to POSTCARD WRITERS! It’s working! Later in the day, one of the Vendors spotted my McMurray sticker and asked if I was with the campaign. I told her “Yes, a volunteer”. She asked if Nick was still around, but unfortunately he had left by then. She told me her daughter had gotten a beautiful postcard – personalized, and handwritten. She was in disbelief that someone would take the time, but so meaningful – I told her we had great teams of people writing from all over the district. When she got it, she had to look up Nate online right away to see who he was and where he was on the issues. She felt so good about him. She ignores all the other cardstock she gets. Her daughter, the intended recipient, is currently in France. They called and discussed the card. Shortly after, the card along with an absentee ballot was mailed to France. The whole family is inspired to vote and talking to friends about it too!

    Our Rockstar, Nate gave another vendor a hug and she was thrilled. She happily told me that she had heard about him a while ago and was watching the race closely – so thankful that we will finally have a representative of the people! She told me of her close friends – a lesbian couple that had never registered. She has been talking to them for over a year – still shocked by their inaction despite all that was at stake for them personally! She said she cried when she got a call the other week that they had registered and were ready to vote!

    Road signs out and about in the rural roads – mostly for Dems – only the Repub judges and sheriffs have any significant number of signs. More signs popping up weekly for Nate, Barbara Baer (State Assembly), and Judge Christopher Ciaccio.
    In all my travels lately, the one and only sign I saw for our INDICTED opponent still brought a smile to my face – simply black letters spelling “Collins” on a white background with a big red circle and slash – right next to a Nate McMurray sign!

  31. 31
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @JMG: Sorry to hear about these issues. I will see what I can tweak on the caching side; I assume that’s to blame. Once I can get some major changes fully enacted, things should improve.

    This past week, I replaced the Contact form and threw out the plugin behind it; this was about reducing downloads, reducing junk that has to be rendered in the background/unseen, etc. In short, today should be better than last Sunday, but clearly there are still lots of warts. I’m not doing site work today, too much else to do, but if I have an extra hour or two this afternoon/early evening, I’ll see if I can’t tweak the caching and see if this reduces the issue. If you see a change in the next day or two, please do let me know –

  32. 32

    @Dog Mom: Thanks for the news. It’s very encouraging.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: How was your event yesterday?

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    Princess Eugenie looked quite beautiful in this second dress

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    @Dog Mom:

  37. 37

    @JPL: It was fun. Mr and Mrs japa came to start with, so we had a teeny BJ meet-up. All in all I sold only 3 books over the 2 hour event, but I was pleased. My writer friends tell me you don’t usually sell much at a library event because people walk in there to borrow books, not buy them. I gave out a lot of my bookmarks while I wandered around talking to people and Mr DAW minded the store.

    It turns out that Indie Author Day was a nationwide event so the Schaumburg library wasn’t the only one celebrating.

  38. 38
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yeah, that’s a winner!

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    What autumn? It went from the 80s to the 50s in just a few hours, and it won’t be going back up according to the weatherman.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack says:

    Eek! The heating pad at the housecat’s workstation seems to have died. The light is flashing green on the highest setting. It’s not supposed to flash when it’s on (green), and I never use that setting. Plus, duh, no heat. The housecat kept repositioning herself, finally gave up and has now curled into a ball with an “I didn’t come here to work” look on her face. Looks like a trip to Target will be in order after brunch at Sighthound Hall.

  41. 41

    @Steeplejack: Best to take action quickly. Cats can be vengeful.

  42. 42
    debbie says:


    I liked her wedding dress too. I’m not a tiara person, but hers was stunning, as was Meghan’s.

  43. 43
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    47 and rainy, so I finally turned on the heat. A few days ago I had air on just for the humidity. Do I actually see a low of 33 twice this week? No wonder the forecaster talked about frost.

    I had quite a birthday yesterday. Got locked out of the house in my houserobe for 5 minutes in 55 degree weather. Amazon was out of the cat food I ordered, my phone was set on mute and missed the pizza delivery call (got it later). Yeah, 62nd birthday. I hope today is better.

    Feeling anxious about the election, but I think i will feel better once I vote tomorrow. Straight Dem, and for the first time I got a flyer I could use-a voter guide that mentioned the judges. The judges are often what have me stumped, and this time I got help!. Another thing I”ve noticed is that there are a lot fewer candidate handouts in my mail. Someone has gotten the message that most of them are useless and end up in recycling.

  44. 44
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: Not snark, but who are Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank? I have never even heard those names before.

  45. 45
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: Wow, first you leave for 3 weeks… Absentee landlord! Then you turn off the heat in her building! Are you trying to evict the tenants and turn everything into condos? :-)

  46. 46
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @WaterGirl: Princess Eugenie and her groom is the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. Turned off heat in my building is one of the many reasons why I now live in a condo. The caretaker turned off the heat on Christmas and left town. Now I control my own heat. No more begging someone to turn it on.

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: The 50s is autumn around here.

  48. 48
    debbie says:


    She’s Sarah Ferguson (Fergie) and Prince Andrew’s daughter.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Sounds like its going from summer to winter in a lot of places. The only sign of fall being the leaves quickly changing before they fall off.

  51. 51
    debbie says:


    I remember those days of no heat in my NYC apartment. Funny how every year, the boiler just seemed to die in February.

  52. 52
    satby says:

    @WaterGirl: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s daughter and new son-in-law…never mind 😂

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: :-)

  54. 54
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @debbie: Probsbly when his own bills got too high :((

  55. 55
    WaterGirl says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Thanks for the info. That can’t be legal, can it? Turning off the heat in winter?

    I ended up buying my first and only house because I got tired of people wanting to meet and interview my dog before they would decide whether I could rent from them. At some point, you just want to be in charge of your own life.

  56. 56
    WaterGirl says:

    Oak leaf hydrangeas get huge here. They are just gorgeous in the right spot — I don’t have enough space anywhere.

    You seem to have several planted very close together — don’t they get big where you live?

  57. 57
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Dog Mom: ooh, that sounds like fun! Both the horse races and the politicking! (Actually, horse races and politics seem to have a natural entwinement going on).

    Someone was posting a postcard site the other day – who was it? Sounds like a nice way to be involved from the mountains.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    Only things I’m planting today are signs. One for Casey, one for Wolf, one for Fetterman, one for Terri Mitko (state rep candidate for an open seat) and a huge 4×6 one for Conor Lamb. Go PA Dems!

  59. 59
    HeleninEire says:

    @debbie: @satby: I cannot believe I missed a Royal wedding. Somehow it was not promoted here. I LOVE ROYAL WEDDINGS. I love the pomp, I love the fun, I love the fake BBC commentators talking shit. But mostly I love judging all the pretty people as they walk into the church.

    Speaking of that, was Posh Spice there? LOVE making fun of her.

    @rikyrah: Yes. So happy for her. Her Mom was excoriated in the British press about her looks for years.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    She has retired to her faux sheepskin throw on the bed. “Working from home today.”

  61. 61
    Steeplejack says:


    It does appear to be taking a while to get back in the groove.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    She is a cousin of Princes William and Harry, and a daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson. He is her long-term domestic partner. I have no idea what either does for a living.

  63. 63
    debbie says:


    Where do you think those women keep all those hats? You’d need a separate residence just for hats! I cannot figure that out.

  64. 64
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid: I do! She’s a director (or assistant director) of some art entity or gallery, and he is a wine merchant, now employed on behalf of George Clooney’s tequila brand.

    So: rich people jobs, pretty much.

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Happy birthday! May your next one be memorable too, although maybe for better things!

  66. 66
    HeleninEire says:

    @debbie: They don’t need to “keep” them. God forbid they wear their £5,000 hat more than once.

  67. 67
    Immanentize says:

    @CarolDuhart2: @debbie:
    I grew up in upstate NY and my Dad always said:
    “Spring and Fall are the two nicest days of the year.”

  68. 68
    Immanentize says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Well, Happy B-Day plus One!

  69. 69
    imonlylurking says:


  70. 70
    HeleninEire says:

    @Elizabelle: George sold his tequila brand just recently. For $1,000,000,000. Yeah. That’s a B.

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    @debbie: @debbie: The back of her dress was designed so that the princess could show the scar she has on her back from the scoliosis surgery she had as a young girl. She also invited some of the staff from the hospital thst had treated her years ago. She and her sister have sometimes been dismissed as frivolous royals, but this was a magnificent gesture. And for unknown reasons more young girls than boys are affected by this condition.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steeplejack: It can take awhile. Not checking email, either, I think.

    P.S. I can’t believe you are thinking of quitting TV with all the shows you have recorded.

  73. 73
    WaterGirl says:


    “Spring and Fall are the two nicest days of the year.”

    I am so stealing that!

  74. 74
    debbie says:


    I had no idea. A couple of friends (female) have scoliosis, but not to the point they needed surgery.

  75. 75
    JMG says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Thank you. This is a sporadic glitch and I have found this odd workaround of just posting again.

  76. 76
    Immanentize says:

    @WaterGirl: As Ozark says, you cannot steal what is freely given.

    I miss my Dad. He died at 63 of pancreatic cancer. But he left me with a billion little sayings like that. I swear hardly a day goes by when I don’t steal one of his quips. Yesterday’s was, when some friends dropped by without warning: “If I knew you were coming I’d have faked an ache.”

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    Elizabelle says:

    @HeleninEire: Poor soul needed the money. Oh well. I think he and Amal will put it to good use.

  78. 78
    WaterGirl says:

    Just tried to book my train tickets for Thanksgiving, and I’d like to rant about Amtrak for a minute.

    They changed their website. I can no longer book tickets using Safari, but it works if I use Google.
    Senior prices (10% off) used to start at age 62; now they start at 65.
    Business class seats are no longer available if you select “senior” instead of adult.

    Having booked my tickets, I wanted to double-check that they are correct under my login.
    In Google, where I had to purchase the tickets, clicking on “my account” only gives you logout.
    So I have to go back to Safari in order to look at any trips I have set up!

    I paid full price for Thanksgiving, and then noticed the “pay with points” option.
    So while I was in Safari, I tried to “pay with points” for my Christmas trip.
    But at checkout, you can’t do that because it says you have to complete your profile with your address in order to “pay with points”.

    So I go to my profile and my address is already there, but I edit it and try to save.
    ERROR – can’t do it.
    So I try in Google, can’t do it there, either.
    But there’s a nice message saying I can pay with money, if I want!

    Are they trying to kill Amtrak, too?

  79. 79
    WaterGirl says:

    @Immanentize: Your dad and mine might have been good friends.

    My dad’s favorite joke was “If you steal a mink, it’s a mink stole.”

  80. 80

    @WaterGirl: I’m homicidal just reading that.

  81. 81
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Thank you for saying that. I was in an okay mood before that, except for the part where our democracy is going up in flames, of course.

  82. 82
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I would ha e sworn that you had a d in your last name. I have only seen your nym a thousand times. sigh.

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    ljt says:

    @@Steeplejack (phone): Raven: Yes, it’s me. Long-time lurker and Edistonian. Raven, are you coming to Edisto?

  84. 84
    debbie says:


    I misspoke. I did have a friend who had surgery. She was in a body cast for a year. I cannot imagine.

  85. 85
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: I can imagine well enough to be fairly certain that I would have lost my mind. Seriously. One year in a full body cast. I shudder to think about that. Horrifying.

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    Elizabelle says:

    Did not know that, about Princess Eugenie and the scoliosis. The Guardian had some crap ass outside writer do a poison pen on the sisters. It was so nasty, I came away liking them for having to put up with that kind of nastiness. And these are not royals that I have been following …

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    @WaterGirl: The queen misspells her name. :-)

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    debbie says:


    I follow a FB group put out by the royals, so I’ve seen all kinds of photos of the wedding. I made the mistake of clicking on a photo of Fergie in her teal outfit, and the condemnations were rampant and negative. “She’s hogging attention. So typical.”

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: You are made of sterner stuff than I am! But then we knew that already.

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    japa21 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: About as tiny a BJ meetup as is possible but still enjoyable. We got there just as it was beginning and there were several people checking out the authors. And even if you didn’t sell many books you get your name out there.

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    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): Golden, CO.

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    Raven says:

    @WaterGirl: It was a long time ago and the alternative was a year in traction on bed with screws in my skull. My wife’s surgeon said “what they did to you then was barbaric but, at the time, it was state of the art. To have a fractured t-6 and lived pretty much a normal life for 40+ years was a gift.

  94. 94

    @japa21: We got there at 10:15, so 45 minutes before the event was supposed to start and all those front tables were taken. So I was kind of tucked away at the side there. But I had a good time, and mostly, that’s enough.

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    japa21 says:


    Are they trying to kill Amtrak, too?

    There isn’t a thing that the GOP isn’t trying to kill, except the 1%.

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    When and how do I prune an overgrown wisteria? We’re talking overgrown to the point where I joke with my granddaughter about being eaten by it, by wrapping its tendrils around me and slowly being pulled back out of sight into the bush.

    Here’s the story: I’ve always liked the look of huge old wisteria plants drooping their flowers from the tops of arbors. A few years ago I decided to actually grow a few plants. They all died but one, which thrived, outgrew it’s trellis, outgrew the new trellis I built for it, and now has completely eaten the 3rd trellis which is built on two 10-foot 4×4 posts. It went past the top and just kept growing unruly new stuff on every side.

    The thing is, it does flower. Not many, but enough to make me happy I bought it. I just want to get it under control. So I know something needs to be cut back, but I’m not sure if this is the time (our weather just turned from heat of summer to cold nights) and how to select the stuff to cut, how far back to prune it, etc.

    One of these days I’m going to add two more posts and some kind of overhead trellis to achieve that arbor effect which was the real plan all along.

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    japa21 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Is this an annual affair? If so, do you think you’ll do it again next year?

    If I used Google first I would know. Seems only 4 libraries in Illinois participated. And is annual.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @Raven: As my mom used to say, that beat the alternative!

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    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @japa21: It’s been my impression, as a frequent Amtrak traveler, that Republicans have been trying to kill Amtrak since Reagan. They certainly don’t fund it. I was kind of hoping that Biden as an Amtrak guy would be a voice for building it up, but there were too many other things on Obama’s and Biden’s plate I guess.

    I read somewhere that Amtrak is working with about as much rolling stock (cars) as an average city metro system. And the teeth-rattling ride on heavily used corridors shows you how behind they are in track repair and upgrade.

    @WaterGirl: Yeah, I had the same experience. I’ve been unable to use my Amtrak account on Firefox for a year or more. I didn’t think too much about it because many companies seem to have broken websites on one browser or another. The typical symptom is that I get all the way through my purchase and then the submit button is not functional. It’s not just Amtrak.

    I was once employed in an R & D lab for a Major Aerospace Company. Being geeks, the entire lab favored Linux and Macs and turned their noses up at Windows. But Corporate designed all their sites, including the mandatory training, for Internet Explorer. So we’d all have to troop over to the one Windows computer reserved for visitors to take our training.

  100. 100

    @japa21: I was surprised that it’s annual and I think all over the country if places choose to participate. I’d never heard of it before and was lucky to catch it this time.

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    A Ghost To Most says:

    S@debbie: Wierd year. Folks in the east are fed up with rain, and we’ve had almost none. We’re forecast for 15 tonight, then 60s most of the week. I love this place.

  102. 102
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @WaterGirl: Also, the people at the 800 number are really nice and can sort out all kinds of problems like that. You’ll have to wait on hold forever of course, but I find it’s not too bad first thing in the morning. At any rate, put your phone on speaker and read a good novel while waiting.

  103. 103
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    When and how do I prune an overgrown wisteria?

    Nuke it from space. It’s the only way to be sure.

    /Former wisteria fighter

  104. 104
    KSinMA says:

    @WaterGirl: I agree, the Amtrak website is useless now. I pretty much book tickets on the phone. Yeah, the GOP has been trying to kill Amtrak pretty much forever.

  105. 105
    japa21 says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Did you try to get the library to but some of your books?

  106. 106
    Kathleen says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Happy Belated Birthday CarolD! Hope you enjoyed your day in spite of the weird stuff! I’m freezing this morning but refuse to turn on heat.
    On another note, is it my imagination or has local news ratcheted up adoration of Trump this week? It seems they all wet their proverbial pants during his visit. It’s to the point I can’t tune in WLWT at all because every 4 minutes they go into “2018 Campaign Coverage” and display a picture of Trump, who is garnering record breaking crowds everywhere he goes I guess (“people camped out waiting for him” coverage is getting tiresome). They’re like slobbering Trump zombies. Disgusting.

  107. 107
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I left that part out of my story.

    I actually DID call Amtrak when I realized that when I selected senior no business class options showed up, but when I had accidentally forgotten to select senior when I went to Chrome, Business Class DID show up.

    The woman I spoke with was quite rude and insulting and told me that what I had described to her was absurd. And did I want her help or not.

    I told her was hanging up and would call again, hoping to reach someone who wasn’t as insulting. I should have gotten her name.

  108. 108
    WaterGirl says:

    @KSinMA: But if you get your tickets by phone, they don’t show up in your Amtrak app, so you can’t use your phone instead of a paper ticket.

    When Beto is president, I bet Amtrak finally gets some funding.

  109. 109
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kathleen: It all makes me want to smash something.

  110. 110
    Kathleen says:


    “If I knew you were coming I’d have faked an ache.”

    That is fabulous. He sounds like a terrific father and person.

  111. 111
    Kathleen says:

    @WaterGirl: So you are noticing the same thing? Sometimes I think I’m so enraged that I just imagine shyte because I’m so enraged.
    Did I make any sense there? So I’m always glad to see that other people may be noticing the same dynamic.

  112. 112

    @japa21: No, I didn’t. The local library in Iowa had two of my books, but that’s because we were friends with the librarian. I could probably donate a book, though I’m not even sure about that.

    I know we have a couple of librarians here, and they can say a lot more about how libraries choose the books they acquire.

  113. 113
    MazeDancer says:

    @Dog Mom:

    What an uplifting report! Well done!

  114. 114
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kathleen: You are not crazy!

  115. 115
    chris says:

    WTF? Joy Reid has gone bald and has rude repubs on. And Art Laffer? Seriously?

  116. 116
    WaterGirl says:

    @chris: Is someone sitting in for Joy Reid?

  117. 117
    Kathleen says:

    @WaterGirl: I am forever in your debt dear WaterGirl!!!!

  118. 118
    chris says:

    @WaterGirl: Ali Velshi.

    ETA: Back to the wood splitter, this sucks.

  119. 119
    satby says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Wisteria is is one of those plants that loves to be pruned and once it’s established it’s hard to kill. It only flowers on new wood, so now that the season’s over cut that sucker back however you want, even down to just a few branches in the lower part of your trellis. You can prune that vine back every year if you want, it will come back and probably flower better.

  120. 120
    Brachiator says:

    @WaterGirl: Your Amtrak booking hurdles sound insane! And it is beyond sad to think that this administration probably doesn’t care at all.

    I would bet that some of the browser issues could be addressed if even a little more attention was focused on it. Or maybe not. I just remembered some site I went to that had been recently updated, but oddly would not work correctly with either the new Microsoft Edge browser or Internet Explorer, but DID work with Firefox.

  121. 121
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @chris: and art laffer is a nice break from the long clips of trump’s rambling and Tea Party Blondes shouting down other panelists.

    I usually like Velshi, but he is stinking up the place this morning

  122. 122
    JPL says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I’m pleased that you enjoyed yourself.

  123. 123
    Corner Stone says:

    @chris: I like Ali Velshi but obvs prefer AMJoy to have some Joy in there. This whole run has been a shitshow today. I don’t think I had the sound on at all the first 30 minutes because of that one rude ass crazy blonde lady.
    I don’t get this. They’ve had a crazy person in every single segment today. And you know the person is crazy when Jen Kerns seems like the reasonable RWNJ.

  124. 124

    @WaterGirl: @Brachiator: This is not a new thing. I took the Amtrak several times to Philly and to DC from upstate NY and from MA and yes it sucked, the booking, the food, timeliness etc and this was during President Obama’s years in office. It was still worth it though not driving on 1-91 through NY and NJ.

  125. 125
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I’m still baffled that you can’t get assigned seats?

  126. 126
    Keith P. says:


    And Art Laffer? Seriously?

    Lazy booking

  127. 127

    @Corner Stone: There have always been more than enough seats that it hasn’t been a problem for me.

    ETA: Even during the busy season of Thanksgiving and Catmas.

  128. 128
    Amir Khalid says:

    Campaign rally attendance =/= votes. Bringing down the house at rallies =/= votes. People don’t come to rallies to get converted, they come to get fired up. The media forget this after every election and suffer no consequences, but campaigners who do risk putting too much of their energy where it doesn’t help.

  129. 129

    @Kathleen: He never comes to western MA. Thank Ceiling Cat for small mercies.

  130. 130
    Elizabelle says:

    Don’t watch television. Or: note where the MSNBC show started going off the rails, and email the network about when you turned their programming off. That is not the result they are going for.

    MSNBC is not reality; it’s whatever direction the programming is taking.

    I’d say we all stay pretty well informed here, so you will not miss anything but aggravation by turning cable news OFF.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Sure, for one or maybe two adults. And I know that families are not Amtrak’s core business model but what about a single parent with a couple kids?
    I thought it was funny that people who had boarded in BOS (we boarded in NYC to PHI) all spread out and had some personal item like their purse or lunch bag on the seat beside them. So good luck finding two seats together if you don’t board at origination.

  132. 132

    @Elizabelle: I had to give up cable when I moved to a hilly town with no cable and internet. And now I don’t miss it at all.

  133. 133
    Kathleen says:

    @Amir Khalid: Ironically, Cincinnati/Hamilton County went blue that last 3 presidential elections. His support in the execrable exurbs is off the charts. The local NBC affiliate claims it’s covering the 2018 midterms but all it covers are Trump rallies. And they’re hyping the attendance and enthusiasm. It’s like NYT political coverage on steroids. I fell like these people (at the behest of their masters on the Mother Ship Comcast) have become member of the Trump Cult. This feels so weird to me.

  134. 134

    @Corner Stone: Yep having reserved seats would be nice as would having good options in the dining car. Indian railways have great food, hot breakfast, you can order omlets, there are vegetarian options, plus hot tea and coffee. This was a 4hr ride from Mumbai to Pune and tons of options for this route from early in the morning to late in the evening
    Its not rocket science, Rs are deliberately sabotaging Amtrak.
    If I want to go to NYC from western MA there is one fucking train, the Vermonter, which is always late.

  135. 135
    Kathleen says:

    @schrodingers_cat: You are most fortunate. Local media have become unbearable here. I’ve had to quit watching local news, which I usually only do for 20 minutes in the morning and an hour or so on Sunday morning. I just can’t take it anymore.

  136. 136
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Oh yes, I know about the long time, ongoing neglect of Amtrak, but I think it also feels worse as other travel related sites improve.

    I recently had to book an airline flight online, and it was easy to find the best fare, book the flight and get seat assignments. The information automatically shows in Google calendar and I was able to create a reminder a few days in advance.

    The Amtrak problems would have had me throwing my phone and laptop at the wall.

    Hmm. I hadn’t thought about it in ages, but does Greyhound bus service even exist anymore? This used to be an alternative to trains. And Continental, I think.

  137. 137
    Kathleen says:

    @Elizabelle: I agree totally, which is why I don’t watch any “news”, not even local anymore, though occasionally I will sneak a brief peek at MSNBC.
    BTW – my Twitter feed is full of tweets about this morning’s AM Joy program being off the rails.

  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kathleen: BTW – my Twitter feed is full of tweets about this morning’s AM Joy program being off the rails.

    Ha! you made me look. Jonathon Capeheart isn’t holding back

  139. 139
    Gelfling 545 says:

    With luck this link will take ypu to the Pugs & Pumpkins fair pictures we took Saturday.

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone:

    And I know that families are not Amtrak’s core business model but what about a single parent with a couple kids?

    They actually try to seat families together, and many locations even have earlier boarding for families so they can sit together.

    One Saturday train from Kalamazoo MI to Chicago had a “family” car where all the families with kids could sit to be with like-minded people.

    It’s not the people who work the trains that are the problem.

  141. 141
    Kathleen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think it’s deliberate on media’s part. Joy’s substitution/substitute are by design. Media out in force to propagate lies in Dolby Surround the weeks before the midterms. It’s spooky to me.

  142. 142
    WaterGirl says:


    Rs are deliberately sabotaging Amtrak.

    Yes, they are.

  143. 143
    WaterGirl says:


    I think it’s deliberate on media’s part.

    Yes, it is.

    The powers that be — on government and in the media — are most definitely deliberately sabotaging all that is good.

  144. 144
    WaterGirl says:

    I was just at the grocery store, and the baby in the cart behind me was crying up a storm. The mom apologized and i said “That’s exactly how I feel when I watch the news, so it’s kind of comforting to have how i feel played out in real life. It’s so unattractive when I do it.”

    The mom laughed and said thank you and said she feels the same way. The guy behind the counter chimed in, too.

  145. 145

    @WaterGirl: Even if our media better are loathe to admit it T and his R minions are pretty damn unpopular in many parts of the country. Hence the constant sprinkling or T supporting cretins in the print and broadcast media. I am looking at you fucking NYT and CNN. To make T seem more popular than he really is.

  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    The nice story about these is that my friend got her oakleafs from my hydrangeas that were growing in my yard in my former home in South Carolina, so these are grandchildren of my original three oakleafs. I love getting free plants, and giving free plants away.

    That’s how I feel about my mom’s sundrops. My mom died on halloween in 1985, but I still have her sundrops. I have given some to both sisters and also my niece.

  147. 147
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I use the heavily-traveled Northeast Corridor and almost always opt for Business Class to improve my chances of getting a decent seat.

    I was using Amtrak recently on a west coast trip and only belatedly realized they actually do have a reserved-seat system out there. So we had to take last-minute seat assignments and ended up separated. We were going to take the famously scenic Coast Starlight overnight, but it was cancelled due to wildfires.

    I do have an Amtrak screwup story from that trip: our luggage did not arrive with us in Portland and they couldn’t figure out where it had gone. As far as the Seattle people could tell them, the luggage was no longer in Seattle. Some of the passengers had been put on a bus, and I was kind of wondering if the luggage was on the bus but didn’t mention it as I assumed they’d have checked.

    A couple hours later Amtrak calls us to say “your luggage was on the bus”. When I went back to the luggage counter they explained that nobody in Seattle had told them there was a bus, and the first they knew of it was when the bus pulled in.

  148. 148
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I agree, but I do not understand the WHY. Trump is destroying their democracy, too, which they should realize in a nanosecond if they can get past the greed and the access to power. that drives them.

  149. 149
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @satby: OK, thanks. You’ve given me courage. I’m headed out there shortly. Maybe with an ax.

  150. 150
    RAVEN says:

    @ljt: I hope this catches you. We’ll be there the 25th through the 1st. We’ve rented the Barkers Meow on Palmetto where there is a gap in the beach houses and you can see the water.

    markann at the goolge email client dot com

  151. 151
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I dare you to try to kill your wisteria. I truly don’t think it can be done. So hack away with your axe, without a care in the world.

  152. 152

    @WaterGirl: They may wake up if one of their own ends up like Khashoggi, then it might be too late. Most of these Beltway bots cover T like he is a huge joke, and a lovable rogue and they are in on the joke unlike the spoilsport Ds.

  153. 153
    WaterGirl says:

    @RAVEN: I just googled that — it looks amazing. I am so jealous!!!

  154. 154
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    I’m headed out there shortly. Maybe with an ax.

    Do you have fire support teams engaged? I mean people with actual flamethrowers. Because anything short of that and a backhoe and you’re wasting your time.

  155. 155

    @Corner Stone: Your warnings about wisteria have kept me away from it. Thanks. What about hydrangeas? They are not invasive are they? Because they look so pretty, I would love them in my garden.

  156. 156
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: In many ways they are just like the Bart O’Kavanaughs of the world. They seem to live in the moment with no consequences, elites yucking it up, skating through life with nothing touching them because they have money and power and influence. at the expense of everyone and everything else.

  157. 157
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: As hard as it may be to comprehend, she’s not trying to kill it; she want to help it thrive.

  158. 158
    RAVEN says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s more than we wanted to spend, $150 per dog AND a $295 cleaning fee but we were a bit last minute after Michael and we got it Thurs-Thurs which is not that easy to do at these beach places where Saturday is their “turn day”. There is a cheaper place that we rented 10 years ago that was a real pit. I always thought anywhere with “No Pet Fee” was that way for a reason and it still is! Look up Botany Bay on Edisto.

  159. 159
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I have some photos of my hydrangeas that I sent to Anne Laurie a month ago for the garden chat. Maybe they will show up soon. Or not. Hydrangeas are great.

    I was just looking at mine a couple of days ago, and there have to be at least 30 tiny blooms, waiting to grow up. Not sure they will have a chance with all the cold weather we’re having. :-(

  160. 160
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @debbie: The style folks on TV said Sarah’s and Beatrice’s outfits were deliberately chosen to mirror colours used in the wedding. Sarah’s was emerald green (beautiful on her being a red-head) to match the emerald in the tiara Eugenie wore (loaned to her by the Queen) and Beatrice’s had something to do with the royal blue in a painting printed on the back of the programme. The press have always been vicious with Sarah and it chaps their ass that Andrew basically told them to “naff off” when he and Sarah refused to separate after their forced divorce. As one of the Royal commentators noted on Friday morning. They still live together.

  161. 161
    chris says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: In my old job I used both a hedge trimmer and a chainsaw on wisteria. Have fun!

    (In for lunch, TV off!)

  162. 162
    WaterGirl says:

    @RAVEN: It really looks lovely. If you have the money, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. I totally want to go there. Really neat that they allow dogs, and I don’t think that’s too much extra to bring the whole family. :-)

    Lots of video of the ocean, please, so I can be there vicariously.

  163. 163
    WaterGirl says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: What’s this about a forced divorce? How can someone make you divorce if you don’t want to?

  164. 164
    joel hanes says:

    As urged by the water district, we conserved water this year and let almost everything die.

    The drought-blasted yard waits for rain, which in Silicon Valley usually starts around Halloween after a five-month hiatus, but who knows what will happen this year?
    We kept the roses alive, and the lilac, and the pelargonium, and the big jade plants on the north side of the house.
    Citrus and hibiscus seemed to need no help, and it’s nearly impossible to kill an established geranium.
    The fig tree next to the fence did fine because the neighbor watered his back lawn.

  165. 165

    @WaterGirl: Just compare the dismissive attitude of NYT journalists towards D politicians that connect to people like Obama and now Beto, to their reverence for T and W before him.

  166. 166
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: In their greed and lust for power, they have lost the plot. They have forgotten the true role of the fourth estate. I HATE THEM.

  167. 167
    ljt says:

    @RAVEN: Awesome! I would love to meet you and your family when you are here. Barker’s Meow looks great. And I second looking up and visiting Botany Bay–a truly magical place.

  168. 168
    dww44 says:

    @Quinerly: I too overwinter begonias and geraniums and other. How do you prune your geraniums so that they don’t become so stalk like?

  169. 169
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @HeleninEire: Helen Royal Family just posted a link to the Youtube.

  170. 170
    RAVEN says:

    @ljt: I’ll be surf fishing most of the time except for a half-day with Jimmy at Fonatine Charter on Monday. Email me at that addy above and we’ll touch base.

  171. 171
    debbie says:


    One of the less snide commenters on FB said they were waiting for Philip to die before getting back together. Apparently he hates her very much. Diana must have driven him up the wall!

  172. 172
    ljt says:

    @RAVEN: Just sent an email–let me know if you don’t get it.

  173. 173
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @WaterGirl: Basically Sarah was misbehaving. The tabloids had pictures of her with another man acting inappropriately, whether or not she actually had an affair was a bit murky. The Royal Family (particularly Prince Phillip who had never liked Sarah) basically ganged up on Andrew and insisted on a divorce. Not wanting to embarrass the family he complied, but he and Sarah never stopped loving each other. So quietly they just went on with their lives, continued to live together, raising their girls. In fact several years ago the press had a cow because they sent out a Christmas card with a photo of the “happy family” on the front. Andrew and Sarah basically said “meh”.

  174. 174
    WaterGirl says:

    @RAVEN: Botany Bay. Photos are breathtaking.

  175. 175
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @debbie: I think once Phillip pops his clogs they will remarry.

    Speaking of pruning wisteria I was pruning the monster outside my front door years ago. I was yanking on a particularly stubborn vine and all of a sudden a possum dropped down to the ground. It looked at me and scuttled off into the garage. I yanked again and “plop” another possum. Turns out there was a family of five living up there. I went in and told my husband “it’s raining possums outside”.

  176. 176
    The Pale Scot says:

    Since UK royalty came up, 2 weeks from now the new Doctor Jodie Whittaker meets Rosa Parks. Will assholes get their feelings hurt? Who can say?

    Get it? Who?

  177. 177
    opiejeanne says:

    Nice pictures of the work we need to do with our place. I love the barrel spilling out the flowers.

    I have photos of the rudbeckia at its most effusive in September that I never sent to Anne Laurie because I’m a pest and send too many in as it is. Now all of the flowers are finished and I haven’t dead-headed them because it’s nearly Hallowe’en and the dead flowers next to the walk always seem appropriate to me.

  178. 178
    opiejeanne says:

    @WaterGirl: We had neighbors who killed their ancient wisteria in SoCal. The whole neighborhood was upset about it but especially the people who bought it after they’d damned near destroyed the house. The vine was still there but deader than the Norwegian Blue who was not pinin’ for the fjords.

  179. 179
    opiejeanne says:

    @WaterGirl: My sister owns the house my dad bought a few years before he died. In the rose garden is a Mme. Cecile Brunner that my mom started from a cutting from the one that used to grow on an arbor at a house we loved but had to sell in 1992. Dad moved it with him from place to place after she died, and my sister still has it. It was thought to be the oldest one in SoCal, and the idjits who bought that wonderful house from us dug it up and killed it. The neighborhood never forgave them, not just for that but for several other sins like destroying the large rose garden in the front yard. I don’t think there’s a rose bush left on the property.

  180. 180
    WaterGirl says:

    @opiejeanne: That’s heartbreaking; I’m really sorry. Clueless people have no idea. Bad enough that you had to move when you didn’t want to; to have someone tear out beautiful flowers that had meaning would be the awful topping on the cake.

    On the flip side, I’m sure the woman who sold TaMara her house was thrilled to find someone who loved flowers and gardening and would take care of it like she did.

  181. 181
    opiejeanne says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: In 1989 we rode the train from San Bernardino to LA to Glacier and back. There was a transfer in LA and when we got to San Berdoo they couldn’t find our luggage in the luggage car, shrugged and signaled for the train to continue.
    Mr opiejeanne wasn’t having it and he ran up to the luggage car and they stopped the train for him. He found all four* suitcases really quickly. They were right by the door and the tags were visible. The conductor was pretty shirty about us holding up his train.

    *traveling with two daughters. We pack more lightly than that for a month now, but we were gone for 3 weeks with kids on this trip.

  182. 182
    opiejeanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Hydrangeas are not invasive in the garden. They’ll pretty much stay put. We must have an ideal climate for them because they perform so beautifully here, but I’ve never found baby ones near any of them.

  183. 183
    Another Scott says:

    @opiejeanne: It’s not in the same league, but a house down the road had a gaslight pole that was painted white and had an ivy vine trained around it so that the post looked kinda like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It had obviously taken years of work to get it to look like that.

    The house was sold, and one of the first things the new owner did was rip up the ivy and paint the post black.


    (Who hates ivy with the burning heat of a thousand suns, but that was a beautiful yard feature.)

  184. 184
    WaterGirl says:

    @opiejeanne: @schrodingers_cat: Right. The plant itself gets bigger, so be sure to leave it plenty of room, but it does not spread.

  185. 185
    opiejeanne says:

    @WaterGirl: That was nice that Tamara got a house with a beloved garden. I don’t know why people can’t be bothered to water a rose garden THAT HAS A SPRINKLER SYSTEM ON A TIMER ALREADY. They didn’t save much water because they then planted grass all the way up to the foundation of the house. A friend pulled it up on google and showed me. I was devastated.
    I can’t drive past it when I’m in that town, can’t bear to.

  186. 186
    opiejeanne says:

    @Another Scott: There used to be one that was over a wishing well feature that was so overgrown that we didn’t know what the blob of ivy in that front yard was supposed to be until new owners pruned it back a bit. It was very nice (and I hate ivy with a passion too.)

  187. 187
    A Ghost To Most says:

    The people who built our house live behind us (built that house when they sold ours). They are apparently renowned rose gardeners in Denver circles. I’ve been ripping out roses here for 8 years to make room for other things. She’s never forgiven me for it. I, in turn, have never forgiven her for ambushing me with her proselytizing churchy crew.

  188. 188
    debbie says:


    You have been lucky. I’ve watched the hydrangeas in my neighborhood. Some years, after exceptionally cold winters, they’ll hardly bloom. Other years, they go nuts with blooming. After a few really tough winters, they’ve taken off again. I’d forgotten how many there were around here!

  189. 189
    Quinerly says:

    @dww44: very late back to the thread. Basically cut them back to nubs and stick the cuttings in more dirt to make more geraniums. 😈 We are kinda wild here but it works. Bigger geraniums each year.

  190. 190
    raven says:

    Well, the doggie parade is over and it looks like we made abut $7K for pet rescue.

    I couldn’t figure out why people were cheering Bohdi and me so much until I realized folks read this as “Dog of the Year” instead of “Year of the Dog. Annie made a simple tunic from some Chinese type fabric and was celebrating 2018, the Year of the Dog!

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