Sunday Morning Garden Chat

Blessings to you, Ozark Hillbilly!

If nobody else will… I guess I’ll send you some more garden pics.

You can see magnolia blossoms beyond the extravagant forsythia and I’m damn lucky to have a few of their blossoms to enjoy this year. Last Sunday night the lows hit 27. That was OK but Monday night it hit 25. I thought I’d lost them all, again, but as it turned out about 1/3 survived.

The daffodils didn’t care, and the frost did not stop the hydrangea from budding or keep the purple coneflowers from sending up their first tender shoots.

This weekend’s expected mid 30’s lows has convinced me to wait till after the weekend to plant my tomatoes tho.

Bonus pic: The Woofmeister and Percy. “drinkin’ wine, eatin’ cheese, and catchin’ some rays, you know.”

We’ve got daffodils like that, now starting to bloom along the south-facing front yard. There’s a rotation every year — first the old-school yellow daffs that were here when we bought the place, next to the heat-leaking basement window; then the specialty multi-colored daffs along the same axis; next the ones along the north-side chainlink (which are coming up nicely but not yet flowering); and finally the ones in the shaded side yard.

The Spousal Unit is taking an interest in the garden, this year. Which is good, because I can use all the help I can get hauling bags of compost and mulch. But it’s also slightly scary, because his ideas of what makes a good garden are… not always in harmony with mine. He has, for instance, an inordinate fondness for groundcover, and anything with blue flowers; given a free hand, our yard would consist of an expanse of vinca with some species iris and a few lilacs fighting for their lives above the wave — six weeks of early-spring color followed by six months of ‘why does everything look so drab out there?’

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

168 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    A sumptuous Sunday serving of sprightly sonority. Once watched a musically gifted friend play this while he was wearing steel-toed work boots, no mean feat considering the deft footwork required.

    Wind-whipped rains outside. Chilly enough to seriously reconsider the decision of unplugging the space heater and stowing it away.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😊😊😊

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning to you.
    Stormy weather will be arriving in a few hours. The Masters will start earlier today with coverage starting on CBS at 9:00.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    46 degree high, nonstop rain all day.


  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I guess everybody else had a little too much fun last night.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    Eyes under assault – watching a bizarre 1950s movie which was filmed with the Technicolor turned up to 11 20. Someone must have impishly spiked the studio’s water supply when they cranked this one out.

  7. 7
    Lapassionara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Depends on what you mean by fun.

    Good morning, everyone. About those vinca, mine have been blooming away, as have my daffodils. The hydrangeas are starting to leaf out. So, here comes spring, at last.

    Anyone have a remedy for wild violets?

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    After nearly 20 years our bakery decided to open an hour early, 8 instead of 7. I’m fucking lost, I guess I’ll drive our to Home Depot and see if they have a mower like mince so I can look at the handles and see what I’ve done wrong when I replaced the cables.

    Not a peep from the neighbor yesterday, all the destroyed shit is in his yard and I picked up everything that was in the street.

  9. 9
    Raven says:

    Crap, HD doesn’t open till 8 either.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    our bakery decided to open an hour early, 8 instead of 7.

    Needs moar coffee…. ;-)

  11. 11
    NotMax says:


    wild violets

    Couldn’t help but recall a certain Violet.


  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lapassionara: At my age, late night fun means actually sleeping, as opposed to tossing and turning for an hour or 2, followed by surrender to the demons of insomnia, getting up to prowl the internet.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    (best Jimmy Durante impression) It’s a conspiracy, I tells ya,. A conspiracy!


  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Same, since I didn’t catch that.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  16. 16
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: The owner and I had a conversation and it just business. They have always had staffing problems on the weekend and this may help. We still only pay $50 a month for coffee every day so we can’t bitch. I just had such a set schedule. . .

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning rikyrah and everyone else 😊!
    @OzarkHillbilly: 😘 so jealous of your flowers being open already! I have the same daffodils, and they’re a couple of weeks away from opening. We’re having the same weather as you today, with potential frost overnight. By Wednesday though I am going to start on moving some of my tomato plants out to a new raised bed I am making on the south side of the house. I think they’ll get more sun there. And I got a smaller raised bed (both are like long grow bags) for the dahlias I bought because I figure I’ll have an easier time lifting the tubers from it in the fall. It’ll take a month to get the original raised beds back in shape, the grass and weeds took over last summer.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @satby: Good morning.

  19. 19
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    We still only pay $50 a month for coffee every day so we can’t bitch.

    Oh sure you can, it’s your right as an American to bitch about any and all inconveniences no matter how trivial they may be.

  20. 20
    Baud says:


    For you.

    Riding momentum, ‘Mayor Pete’ to make 2020 presidential bid official

    (Reuters) – Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has enjoyed a surge in opinion polls and a torrent of media coverage, will formally launch a bid on Sunday for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @Raven: after so long a routine is hard to change, sympathy because I’m pretty rigid on my morning coffee routine too.
    Good luck with that neighbor. Sounds like he needs treatment.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Adam L. Silverman alert:

    Three naked Florida women lead police on 21-mile chase

    Authorities said three naked women who were seen applying suntan lotion at a Florida rest stop led police on a 21-mile chase, drove a car at one deputy and threatened another with a bat.

    The Florida highway patrol said that when a deputy approached the women at the Interstate 75 rest stop on Wednesday in Dade City, Pasco county, they started dressing. The women told the trooper they had been staying at a relative’s home but went to the rest stop after an altercation and had nowhere else to go.

    The Tampa Bay Times reported that the women claimed they were “air drying” after washing up. They then fled in a car, with troopers giving chase.

    The women were caught after police managed to blow out their tires and repeatedly rammed their car. One was subdued using a stun gun and marijuana was found in the car. The women were charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, fleeing to elude and indecent exposure.

    In the words of the Tampa Bay Times, “though Pasco has been dubbed the nudist capital of the world, the arrest reports do not indicate the women are linked to its many nudist or clothing-optional communities”.

    Well hell, I like to air dry too. What’s this country coming to when a person can’t air dry without a cop hassling them?

  23. 23
    Baud says:


    “Follow that ass!”

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Our first irises bloomed yesterday. Really surprised me as none of the others have even put up a bud.

  25. 25
    satby says:

    @Baud: I know. They had to move it inside because it originally was going to be outside downtown. I’m not going, but I know many who are.

    My record of not recognizing potentially important people continues, because they have shopped at my booth at the market. Chasten likes my soap. And I didn’t know at the time that was the mayor, because he looked like a college kid. I thought they both were. I can be so oblivious.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:


    The Maltese falchion, poised to slice through the field like a sickle through corn.


  27. 27
    Baud says:


    I’m sure the VIPs appreciate your discretion.

  28. 28

    @OzarkHillbilly: When that article says police blew out the tires, does that mean the cops shot at their car? And then they rammed it. That seems kind of a violent response to public nudity.

    marijuana was found in the car.

    Well, yes.

    I think the cops needed some.

  29. 29
    raven says:

    @Baud: Here’s the link. I joined an informal Vet for Mayor Pete FB page for the hell of it.

  30. 30
    p.a. says:

    Had a nice chat w Mrs EFG yesterday, she has a nym chosen, may stop by soon.

  31. 31
    tobie says:

    Beautiful pix, Ozark. I got it into my head yesterday that I could clear all the wild rose and grape vines that had overtaken a corner of my garden in a day. Got about a third done and have the splinters and scratches to prove it. I think I should go out and buy a pair of rose gloves. There’s a reason they exist.

  32. 32
    Lapassionara says:

    @NotMax: LOL

  33. 33
    Baud says:


    “Special Announcment.” Why do they always play coy about these things?*

    *That said, a while back, Chris Hayes had Sherrod Brown on for a “big announcement,” which I’m sure Chris thought was going to be him announcing his run, but instead it was only him announcing his listening tour. Chris Hayes had the most disappointed look on this face. It was funny.

  34. 34
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Probably spike strips and the “ramming” was most likely a maneuver where they come up alongside the fleeing vehicle and “nose” them into a spin by nudging the rear end of their car sideways. Not completely safe, and certainly a prurient over reaction and escalation to what is otherwise fairly harmless behavior, but not as inherently violent as the word “rammed” implies

  35. 35
  36. 36
    NotMax says:


    Somewhat more sedate than saying the police rear-ended them.


  37. 37
    satby says:

    @Baud: The mayor probably did, looked like his husband had dragged him out at the crack of dawn to hit the market before it got busy. He needed a shave 😆!
    They’re both nice guys. Nice people are just such a relief lately.
    Yesterday I had someone taste a hand creme, after I had gone through a whole explanation of it being a hand and body cream. And then she was annoyed with me!

  38. 38
    satby says:

    @p.a.: that’s nice. I hope she’s doing ok.

  39. 39
    JPL says:

    @satby: That is a cool story.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Ouch. Someday you will pay for all your sins, punny and otherwise.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: You need to put up a sign: “NOT FOR ORAL CONSUMPTION” or maybe, “DOES NOT DOUBLE AS A TEETH WHITENER”.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @JPL: it’s a bookend to my story of basically handwaving future President Obama, back when we were both community organizers in Chicago (different orgs) and he came to our office for some flyers and stuff. He was already making a name for himself locally. Oblivious, that’s my m.o.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:


    Heh. Fully intend to order one of these in the near future.


  44. 44
    PAM Dirac says:

    Finished the pre-bud break pruning in the vineyard. Lots of cleanup to do but the vines get pretty much left alone until bud break, which will be 2-3 weeks. I decided to get a SmugMug account and my learning project is a journal for the year in the vineyard. No growth, no grapes yet, but probably more than you ever wanted to know about pruning choices. It is very good to have things waking up, including me. I think I’ll have a cup of tea and get back out there before the rain comes.

  45. 45
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: except people don’t read signs. And it already says right on the label “Hand and Body Cream”.
    Even her husband was a bit freaked out she did it. Kind of funny really.
    All food grade stuff, it wouldn’t have hurt her.

  46. 46
    p.a. says:

    @satby: She seemed well. In my experience (only child, both parents gone) you get through this stuff, and after that things get worse. Think she has A+ support around her, so that’s excellent.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    NotMax says:


    And now she has the softest, most supple tongue in town.


  49. 49
    satby says:

    @NotMax: I love that! We’ll need to coordinate so we don’t wear them to any of the same meet-ups 😉

  50. 50
    Barbara says:

    @satby: I have seen some little molded soaps that look a lot like candy or chocolates, but I don’t think yours does. I mean, it is in the size and shape of soap. And who would ever taste hand cream? What edible product looks like hand cream?

  51. 51
  52. 52
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: I need one of those, I can alternate it with my “SARCASM, it beats killing people” t-shirt.

  53. 53
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: It’s not for them to read, it’s for you to point to when customers do stupid shit like spreading hand cream on a ham sandwich.

  54. 54

    @OzarkHillbilly: They call it the pit maneuver out here.

  55. 55
    satby says:

    @Barbara: I used to make my chocolate mint soap with lots of cocoa and with the smell it looked like fudge. One of our long time commenters (no longer here) ordered it and left it on her counter after opening, and someone else cut it to eat a sample, thinking it was candy. So now I make it lots lighter.
    Problems I never imagined I would have!

  56. 56
    Baud says:


    I did prefer the picture with the poles removed.

  57. 57
    Baud says:


    Probably should add “NOT FOR ANAL USE” just to be safe. It is Pence country after all.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:


    Y’know those ReaLemon squeezy things? At one time, at least, they had a tag attached which read “PLASTIC LEMON. DO NOT SLICE.”

  59. 59
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @p.a.: Oh, you went up there? We should have arranged for green balloons or something, so we could have had a meetup. I spoke with AL, because she spoke and I put two and two together to figure out who she was, but wasn’t about to go up to random other people. Were you there for Kate’s presentation/speech/memorial? I gave a brief synopsis in an evening thread yesterday.

  60. 60

    Yesterday was our son’s birthday. We took them out to dinner, then went back to their place and watched the sixth episode in the Fast and Furious movies. Only two more to go.

  61. 61
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Good idea. I would add some ghost pepper to it just to drive the point home.

  62. 62
    JR says:

    Trying to establish native perennials along my driveway. Great success with woodland geraniums and dwarf iris, less with king’s solomon seal and the jacob’s ladder have been a dud so far. This year I’m trying to add cardinal flowers and spiderwort to the mix.

  63. 63

    @Baud: You’re going to lose the vote in Chicago with that attitude.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: What will you do after your bucket list is complete?

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Trump called Iowans stupid. They still voted for him.

  66. 66

    @Baud: Yeah, he didn’t call for them to “be removed”.

    I kind of liked it without the power lines, so printed out that version for the bathroom.

  67. 67

    @Baud: I’d like to think we’ll watch something less car-crash driven.

  68. 68
    satby says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: that one took me a minute. Must need more coffee.

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JR: I am working in the same direction in a couple of plots.

    ETA: where’d you get your spiderwort from? been looking and haven’t found any reasonable

  70. 70
    JPL says:

    @p.a.: Thank you for keeping us informed.

  71. 71
    p.a. says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Got there prolly 2:45. Went up to a random person and was about to say “Is this the EFG thing?”, caught myself, and then DID EVEN WORSE, got a brainpanic cramp and asked if it was the BOB Ross (the pbs painter!!!) memorial. He was quite nice and pointed out Mrs PETER Ross to me. Jeebus.
    Do you know how they met? Cool story, I’ll save it for her to tell.

  72. 72
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: What thread? I want to go back and read it.

  73. 73
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    World’s largest aircraft takes off and successfully lands – video

    A manned giant six-engine aircraft with the world’s longest wingspan – surpassing Howard Hughes’ infamous Spruce Goose – took off from California on its first flight on Saturday. The behemoth, twin-fuselage Stratolaunch jet lifted off from Mojave Air and Space Port and climbed into the desert sky 70 miles north of Los Angeles. It successfully landed two hours later. The aircraft is designed to carry as many as three satellite-laden rockets under the centre of its enormous wing, which stretches 385ft, or 117 metres. It is hoped that – at an altitude of 35,000ft – the rockets would be released, ignite their engines and soar into space

    It’s pretty damned impressive.

  74. 74

    @OzarkHillbilly: Back when it was in Long Beach, I saw the Spruce Goose.

  75. 75

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: It’s in the bathroom now, looks pretty good. I also took out the pic from Glacier Point in Yosemite and put in one of my Bald Eagle pics.

  76. 76
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @JPL: It was the Seattle meet-up thread. What, you don’t see the connection?

  77. 77
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @p.a.: Ah, I’d left by then. Got there about 1:30, in time for Kate and Marilyn to speak. She told the story of how they met, Kate showed the “Who’s on first?” routine and the Monty Python dead parrot skit, and recited the infield fly rule, among other things, so it was completely fitting for EFG.

  78. 78
    Soprano2 says:

    Son of a bitch, it’s snowing here in SWMO this morning! I hope my tulips don’t wilt away. This is why I don’t plant anything in the flower garden until May.

  79. 79
    JR says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I buy from Etsy — weird, I know! But you can get bare root stocks and they are much more vigorous than starts. Plus, cheaper. Most roots were < $1 per plant.

  80. 80
    Another Scott says:

    @Lapassionara: Don’t tell Satby, but I let our lawn go without care far too long and have a huge patch of wild violets in it now. I sprayed about 4 gallons of 2,4D (Spectracide and Otho and Bayer) on it yesterday. The spectracide jug had a decent battery powered sprayer wand on it, so it wasn’t as horrible as it could have been, but still took a couple of hours or more. I figure it will take multiple sprayings – I hope I can knock it back before it goes dormant in the summer.

    I may have to dig it up. :-/ We’ll see.

    If you find something that works well, please report back.


  81. 81
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JR: Thanx. I am trying to start cardinal flowers from seed this year. Been a week and still no green but it’s supposed to take 2 weeks. Fingers crossed.

  82. 82

    @Soprano2: It was supposed to snow 2 to 4 inches here overnight and then this morning, but there’s nothing out there now.

  83. 83
    zhena gogolia says:


    I think Pete should hire you on his media team. “The Maltese Falcon” is a great slogan! “The stuff that dreams are made of . . .” (should be “on,” but you can’t end a 1940 movie with that).

  84. 84

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Oops. I take it back. It just started snowing.

  85. 85
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Thanks. Let me add fuckem

  86. 86
    germy says:

    My wife has gone rose crazy. It’s roses, roses, roses all over the place. Front yard, back yard, both sides of the house. She buys them and sometimes they thrive and sometimes they don’t make it. Sometimes she’ll buy a variety because she loves the color, and then the next year it comes back in a different color.

    She’s starting a bunch of vegetables in our house, in preparation for the outside garden. Every morning she talks to them, encouraging them. Once, I turned to the cat and said “She talks to her plants!” and then I realized I was talking to the cat.

    She had big sugar snap peas last year, and she froze some and they lasted most of the winter. We’d eat them in January and they tasted like summer.

    There’s a rabbit who comes around in the backyard and stares at her boldly while she gardens. She covers everything with mesh to discourage him, and hangs some vegetables out of his reach. She yelled at him once to go away, and instead he walked toward her, with one paw on his crotch. He’s unafraid.

  87. 87
    debbie says:

    Beautiful photos, OH! This is the first spring in at least three years where magnolias weren’t frozen in mid-budding. Sadly, there was heavy rain.

    Spring started out 2 to 3 weeks behind schedule, but has now caught up, and the first of the azaleas, a beautiful purple, are in full bloom.

  88. 88
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @satby: You mean you don’t moisturize your esophagus? Naturally baby-smooth windpipe? What’s your secret?

  89. 89
    lahke says:

    Thanks for the pointer to efg’s service, would love to hear more about it.
    And that let me see SiobhanDunne’s Meetup request for this weekend in Watertown, MA. I’m in–anyone else going to be around? I don’t know of any places to suggest that are large enough or quiet enough to work as a location, though.

  90. 90
    debbie says:


    Give Sherrod credit for deciding not to run. Politics is such an ego trip, it has to be hard to know when to stop.

  91. 91
    debbie says:


    But it’s not like they were armed or anything.

  92. 92
    Kristine says:

    @Lapassionara: I use a chelated iron solution that kills broadleaf weeds. It’s considered organic. Bought it for years from Gardens Alive (their product is called Iron-X) but this year the price soared, so I hunted around. Found a paper that contained some info, and learned about the same stuff sold under the name Fiesta. It’s available from the ‘Zon at about 1/3 the price.

    Since it’s organic, it won’t kill everything the first or even the second time through, and it’s more expensive than conventional. But it doesn’t hurt people or pets–though don’t spray it around ponds–and I still have the snakes and frogs in my yard. It kills dandelions fairly readily, creeping Charlie a little less readily. Handles broadleaf plantain.

    Here’s the link to the paper from UofM extension.

  93. 93
    JPL says:

    @germy: The hawks have helped with lowering the bunny population in my yard. I haven’t seen chipmunks this year either.

  94. 94
    satby says:

    @mrmoshpotato: much moisturizing via a near constant infusion of coffee. Bonus: antioxidants!

  95. 95
    germy says:

    @JPL: Nature is one big restaurant.

  96. 96
    Baud says:

    @debbie: Agreed. He did good. He’s too valuable where he is.

  97. 97
    debbie says:


    Do people still talk about a “50-state strategy”? If so, they to add “and all three branches of government” to the slogan.

  98. 98
    debbie says:


    Am I the only one who think they look lovely scattered about the lawns?

  99. 99
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @satby: Oh! You take your coffee with lots of cream! I get it. Glad you’re looking after the ol’ esophagus.

  100. 100
    satby says:

    @Another Scott: 😂😆😂!
    I just enjoy the violets, but as long as I have four dogs + neighborhood cats and dogs peeing and pooping all over the lawn I’m just happy for it to grow anything. I did use heavy chemical weapons on the poison ivy and English ivy though. That stuff is EVIL.

  101. 101
    Kay says:

    This is pretty smart. It’s a Pete For America design toolkit. You can design your own signs and print them, although I imagine the main goal is for people to make and share on social media.

  102. 102
    Kristine says:

    In other news, waiting for the storm here in far NE Illinois. I can see the first flakes falling. Could get 2-4 inches of neutronium snow by the time it’s over, but I’m close enough to the lake that I may get lucky and wind up with mostly rain instead. Here’s hoping. Wet snow likes to break things, and my daffs in the sunny parts of the yard have finally opened. They’re so pretty. I don’t want to find them mashed to the ground.

    No veggies for me this year. I will work on neatening up the yard, planting more native plants and shrubs, and nursing the ones I have. So far, I’ve pruned some of the smaller shrubs, and bought my first pruning saws so I can work on the small trees. Crocuses, hellebores, and some of the daffs have opened. Gaby is currently outside, wondering when we will go out for our walk. Not today, little girl. I am so over snow.

  103. 103
    Kristine says:

    @debbie: I actually do leave them alone in my lawn because yes, they are pretty. But I keep an eye on them because they will expand to fill all known space–they’re trying to take over the shade garden and so far we’ve played to a draw.

  104. 104
    satby says:

    @germy: I have put in multiple rose bushes, all growing zone appropriate, and I lose about 1/2 each year. I planted two in fall, they’re not looking good, and I have to let the supplier know by May 1 if they come back for the warranty, which is absurdly short. I’m not going to plant more if these don’t take, I’ll just move on to different plants, but it’s disappointing. Totally random which roses do well and which croak, so I don’t know how to fix whatever is wrong.

  105. 105
    germy says:

    @satby: Same with us. And I don’t understand the rose color change.

    My wife will fall in love with a specific rose variety, plant it, and then next year it’s a different variety.

    My guess (I’m not an expert) is that the seller grafts something pretty onto an ordinary rose bush? And then the next year the ordinary bush returns?

  106. 106
    Baud says:


    I think 50-state strategy has temporarily taken a back seat to need-to-visit-Wisconsin.

    All of it is only about telling Dems they’re doing it wrong anyway.

  107. 107
    Kay says:

    Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris will be the keynote speaker for the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party’s 2019 Annual Dinner.
    “2020 will be the most important presidential election in our lives. Cuyahoga County will be pivotal to turning Ohio blue and that is why we are thrilled to welcome Senator Harris to Cleveland,” said Party Chair Shontel Brown.
    Harris, a Democrat from California, will speak Sunday, April 28 at 5 p.m. at the Hope Ballroom at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.

  108. 108
    Baud says:

    @Kay: Are you going?

  109. 109
    Kristine says:

    @germy: My mom had roses for a while. Many if not all are grafted onto sturdy root stock, so you have to take care when pruning because you’ll cut away all the showy stuff and wind up with the rootstock flower. Mom tended to prune waaay too much–as in all the way down to the ground–and after a few years those lovely Peace roses disappeared, replaced by little pink-red blooms.

  110. 110
    debbie says:


    There are a few yards around here where crocuses seem to think they’re violets. They were popping up all over. I fear one homeowner went the chemical route because this year, they only showed up in flower beds.

  111. 111
    satby says:

    @germy: if you prune down past the graft bud, yes that can happen. Or plant too deep and bury the graft bud. Burying too deep used to be my mistake, but I haven’t done that since I learned not to years ago. Roses are fickle. Some people like that as a challenge, but I like the results of gardening, not the battle.

  112. 112
    Kay says:


    No, but I’m glad she is :)

    Our county party will send a young, new guy to the state dinner with his wife. By “send” I mean we covered his costs. I’d like to do more of that – pay for the youngs/newly active and have them attend instead of the same people going year after year. I think it will take some of the mystery out of it- make it less likely they will believe there’s an all-powerful secret tribunal making decisions, which isn’t true.

  113. 113
    JPL says:

    @Kay: I was invited to a fundraiser for her in Atlanta, but household repairs have drained me. I was tempted though.

  114. 114
    Gretchen says:

    How do you keep the rabbits from eating all the coneflowers?

  115. 115
    Raven says:

    Pilot’s Death Likely Caused By Flying With Large Dog In Passenger Seat: Report

    A small plane crash that killed the 90-year-old pilot was likely caused by the man’s dog in the passenger seat making contact with the flight controls, according to a National Transportation Safety Board report that was released this week.

  116. 116
    satby says:

    @debbie: crocuses can naturalize, which is one of the reasons I plant them in my lawn deliberately, along with squill. It’s so pretty in the spring, and the greenery will blend with emerging grass and normally will be spent by the time you have to mow. And even if you mow over them it won’t affect the next year’s flowers unless you scalp your lawn. Mowing an average 3-4 inches barely trims the leaves.

  117. 117
    NotMax says:

    @zhena gogolia

    Actually, if you look again was making a play on words and dubbed him the Maltese Falchion.

    Too esoteric for the MSM?

  118. 118
    Zippity says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Snow is supposed to start here in the Quad Cities in a half hour. It looks like we’ll be on the northern edge of this band. I’m planning to go see Julian Castro this afternoon in Davenport. I need to start taking advantage of living just across the Mississippi from Iowa and see the candidates in person.

  119. 119
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Raven: Kinda surprised a 90-year-old guy cleared his FAA medical.

  120. 120
    Baud says:


    make it less likely they will believe there’s an all-powerful secret tribunal making decisions, which isn’t true.

    Exactly. Not true. Not true at all.

  121. 121

    @Zippity: I heard Castro being interviewed on Pod Save America. I liked him. I hope his rally goes well.

  122. 122
    Baud says:

    Britain’s ruling Conservative Party cannot let itself be defined solely by Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy said on Sunday, as polling showed failure to leave the European Union on schedule has badly damaged its support.

    Good luck with that.

  123. 123
    WaterGirl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: From that photo, it looks like The Woofmeister might have had the most fun of all, not to mention his share of the wine. Love The Woofmeister, and Percy is so beautiful, not sure I have seen a Percy photo before.

    We are more than halfway through our 12 hours of rain. I think I can hear some of the grass seed I put down coming to life.

    Anne Laurie, happy to see a garden thread! I should have taken photos of my spring stuff before the brutal rain started!!!

  124. 124
    Barbara says:

    @satby: I would special order that soap, just saying . . .

  125. 125
    Kay says:

    I was reading the local coverage of Bernie’s rally in Michigan and I maintain Sanders should be doing better than he is. If their argument is he would have won the primary and then the general but for the interference of the shadowy power brokers at the DNC (and it is- they all still talk about “superdelegates” as if superdelegates are a government entity- like CIA operatives) shouldn’t he at least be beating Biden in polling?

    I don’t get the Michigan approach. He’s going after the 20,000 Trump voters when he has only 20% of the D base? It’s like a general election campaign.

  126. 126
    Raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: No kiddin!

  127. 127
    Barbara says:

    @JR: Even though cardinal flowers are native to where I live I have never had success with them. Monarda (bee balm) has done really well.

  128. 128
    Juice Box says:

    I had a Shin Deshojo (say that out loud without sounding drunk, I dare you) Japanese maple growing near my front door. It was supposed to grow slowly to 8-10 feet in ten years, but chose to shoot up to 14 feet in three years instead. They’re grafted on seedling rootstock, and I apparently got an extra vigorous example. This winter I lopped off a good chunk of the top so that I could maneuver it and relocated it to a roomier location on the opposite side of the front walk. It appears healthy, so I am cautiously optimistic. It’s in a somewhat sunnier location, and its spring color is sadly a bit more conventionally red than the neon pink it sported in the shade. I am still recovering from the various wounds that I gave my aging body during the move (the smashed fingernail is still really gnarly looking).

    I had my kneed replaced 18 months ago and I can finally kneel again without fiery pain from the scar. That makes gardening easier, but I have also transitioned to more hired help and more old-lady joint friendly techniques. I wish that I had found someone to hand dig my maple.

  129. 129
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: Yep. Neither one of us can prove it, but by the logic of having run before and having name status, he should have more support. It is similar to Clinton in 2008.

  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @p.a.: That made me smile and then the tears came.

  131. 131
    Layer8Problem says:


    Bonus pic: The Woofmeister and Percy. “drinkin’ wine, eatin’ cheese, and catchin’ some rays, you know.”

    I have to delurk and ask, do they drive tanks as well as do dog impressions? :-)

  132. 132
    debbie says:


    I also love squill. People around here put lots of money and effort into their front yards and I wonder how they deal with these “interlopers.” Squill and crocuses popping up randomly appeal to my sense of subversion!

  133. 133
    Raven says:

    Sometimes picture don’t load for me. Love them pups!

  134. 134
    WaterGirl says:

    @debbie: Respect. All respect to Sherrod Brown for his decision, and I say that as someone who SO hoped he would run in 2016 and would love to have him as president if not so badly needed in the senate.

    Without the senate, we are still in grave trouble.

  135. 135
    JPL says:

    @WaterGirl: Manchin is thinking of running for governor of WV. Although I often disagree with him, I don’t want to give up another Senate seat.

  136. 136
    oldgold says:

    Yesterday, I trudged across the tundra to inspect West of Eden. I was filled with trepidation as to what I might find, given a St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm had prevented me from doing my Fall gardening clean-up work.

    To my delight, I found the weeds were emerging nicely and that the rodents had been busy fertilizing my horrific horticultural tribute to procrastination.

    Looking across the neighborhood at the sulphurically scented DeeDee Plorable and the coy Tall women busily working in their gardens, with a spring in my step, I retreated to the house for a nap.

  137. 137
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Kay: It’s definitely not true. Of course there may be folks behind the scenes urging someone to run or desist from running, but county and state parties (and their officers) are prohibited by rule from endorsing or in any way giving support to individual primary candidates.

  138. 138
    Miss Bianca says:

    @p.a.: Somehow, I find that news immensely cheering. Yay, mrs. efg/New Nym To Be Disclosed!

  139. 139
    Miss Bianca says:

    @PAM Dirac: Oh, yay! And you’re a mead maker/fancier too, I seem to recall?

  140. 140
    MagdaInBlack says:

    It’s presently snowing sideways here in the NW suburbs of Chicagoland. I’m not thrilled.
    Neither is the cat: yesterday basking in the sun, today looking at me like “wtf? “

  141. 141
    Ohio Mom says:

    @p.a.: Now I’m going to be scrutinizing every unfamiliar nym, wondering, “Is this Mrs. EFG?”

    I am glad to hear Balloon Juice was represented at the memorial service. A full service blog indeed!

  142. 142
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: LOVE the Kelly’s Heros/Donald Sutherland reference!

  143. 143
    Miss Bianca says:

    @MagdaInBlack: We have been having intermittent snow/sleet/SUNSHINE!/Moar snow! fest here in CO. I am so, so, sick of snow and cold right now – but then I remember Chicago weather and say, “oh, it could be so much worse.”

  144. 144
    NotMax says:

    @Miss Bianca

    Going back some years, a gigantic liquor superstore opened up here which stocked probably 30 or 40 varieties of mead. After a year or maybe two they moved to digs 10% the size and essentially became a 100 brands of beer store, then disappeared altogether.

    I miss the original. Fond memories of a blueberry-based mead purchased there. I do still get a small bottle of apple cyser at holiday time from a mead making friend here.

  145. 145
    m.j. says:

    “drinkin’ wine, eatin’ cheese, and catchin’ some rays, you know.”

    No one is being hit with any negative waves.
    I like Donald Sutherland too…and that movie.

  146. 146
    debbie says:


    Manchin already took care of that for you. He is not a reliable member of the party.

  147. 147
    WaterGirl says:

    @satby: I do that with squill, too! Plant them right in the lawn. I have never planted even a single rose because they are way too fussy for me.

    I hadn’t realized we were going to (potentially) get a frost for the next two nights. Ugh.

  148. 148
    Kelly says:

    Fawn Lilies are blooming here in the Cascade foothills.

  149. 149
    WaterGirl says:

    @Barbara: I would special order that soap, also. Just don’t give it to anyone who has kids! (not sure about whether it would be a risk to pets)

  150. 150
    WaterGirl says:

    @JR: I planted a bunch of baby iris (irises?) last year and they are totally adorable! I tried cardinal flowers 3 times and they never did particularly well, but they are so striking when they really take off that it was worth trying 3 times.

  151. 151
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    It’s almost over , I tell myself ☺️

  152. 152
    J R in WV says:


    Am I the only one who think they look lovely scattered about the lawns?

    In my family anything to bloom in the yard was strongly desired. Violets, Ajuga, etc. We have both white and purple violets blooming right now, and dog-tooth violets are up with a couple of blooms so far. I can’t imagine wanting to spray poison on violets… so much more attractive than just grass! Everyone to their taste so far as gardening I guess.

    The Maidenhair and Ostrich ferns are up, tho the Ostrich ferns came up a few days early and got frozen back, but they came back from that OK. There’s Japanese painted ferns, I think that’s the right name, in a couple of spots. And a big planting of Autumn ferns along the steps are coming up well.

    Bluebells up and blooming in the rocks out back.

    Daffydills are about done after a great bloom along the driveway, hundreds and hundreds if not thousands. The old farmstead had a huge thick patch of them too thick to bloom any more, so we dug most of them up when we moved and scattered them along the bank above the drive for several hundred yards. They’re the double-stuffed bloom sort, partly.

    My swamp iris are coming back, the F’kin’ Deer eat them down to the water every winter, they come back in the spring. They bloom sparsely as they’re in the shade a little too much for a really profuse bloom, really bright yellows. And there’s little starts of something coming up in front of one of the big boulders, which will have to deal with the dog-tooth violets next year, those little guys spread all summer undergound, after the blooming and foliage dies back come summertime.

    We have a nice big patch of something called Fairy Moss, really a type of ground pine I think, out by the road up to the shop. It took root from a pot that got dropped and abandoned out there beside a parked vehicle one year. Wife wants to transplant that into spots closer to the house, it is a very pretty low growing plant. But it’s growing in among driveway gravel, and looks to me to be hard, hard to dig up. I guess kneeling and picking out the gravels until I get to the roots under the rocks…

    So last summer I got some really strong plant killer, and sprayed the Autumn Olive we have invading this country, spreading from the strip mines where it was strong enough to be used for reclamation. Will grow anywhere. Will also come back from being totally brown burnt up dead last summer. So now I guess I will mix it stronger, chainsaw the brush, and spray the bare stubs left after the chain sawing. As much as I can anyway, not as athletic as I once was. Bummer. I understand some folks make jelly from the berries… yuck!

  153. 153
    GregMulka says:

    The tulips we had in containers were starting to open until late yesterday afternoon. They apparently felt the pressure drop, said, “Screw that,” and have retreated until the weather stops being insane.

  154. 154
    J R in WV says:



    Ours has been in bloom through all the freezing and snowing ever since February. It’s more invasive than it was sold as, so I’m gonna weedwhack a lot of it. It can even choke out the solomon’s seal~!!!~

    The ramps are up, we’ll be eating some of those pretty soon now!

  155. 155
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Signs point to the triffids being prolific this year.


  156. 156
    Jeffg166 says:

    The crocus are done, the daffodils are fading, the tulips are getting going. Lots of weeds everywhere with little time or energy to deal with them.

  157. 157
    Marvel says:

    @Lapassionara: Re those pesky (and kinda pretty) wild violets. I bought a flat or two of mixed sedum at Costco and planted slips of it around/among the violets. It took 2-3 years, but the sedum finally overpowered the dainty brutes.

  158. 158
    Miss Bianca says:

    @NotMax: Sigh…100 shades of mead! In Hawaii! It is to dream…

    I’d like to try a blueberry mead…haven’t done one of those yet! We have brewed a peach mead, kind of like a cyser in that we used peach juice the way you would use apple juice, and that is quite tasty, I must say.

    @J R in WV: I too, love violets – they are one of my favorite flowers – and find myself appalled that anyone would want to poison them. But I think the same about dandelions. They are one of the first flowers to bloom that bees can snack on, so I am constantly urging my more house-proud suburban friends not to spray them!

  159. 159
    J R in WV says:


    I was reading the local coverage of Bernie’s rally in Michigan and I maintain Sanders should be doing better than he is. If their argument is he would have won the primary and then the general but for the interference of the shadowy power brokers at the DNC (and it is- they all still talk about “superdelegates” as if superdelegates are a government entity- like CIA operatives) shouldn’t he at least be beating Biden in polling?

    I don’t get the Michigan approach. He’s going after the 20,000 Trump voters when he has only 20% of the D base? It’s like a general election campaign.

    Forget it Kay — he’s crazy and he’s getting crazy advice from his Russo-phile handlers. There’s no real intention to win anything, just to shit all over everyone who might win. Despicable, but there it is!

  160. 160
    StringOnAStick says:

    Our xeric yard doesn’t require much attention anymore, just patrolling for cheatgrass seedlings. Therefore I expanded my area of responsibility to the traffic control islands that lead to our street. I figure if I keep the weeds down then the city with spray less. Last fall I scattered all the chocolate flower and blanket flower seeds I could collect the added in a few packets of blue flax. It’s been a cold spring so things are barely sprouting but I saw blue flax babies in the bed that gets the most Sun yesterday.

    I’m up to 20 minute walks post knee replacement so I casually pulled a few weeds in the islands. It will be awhile before I can squat to weed so for now I’m limiting my weeding time just so I don’t piss off my back. The local city councilman thanked me last year for my efforts.

  161. 161
    Kristine says:

    @J R in WV: My Solomon’s seal haven’t broken ground yet. I like them, but I will have to thin them out because they’re taking over.

    I have only two hellebores, an Anna’s Red and a Pink Fizz. I’m fine with them spreading–they’re in the shady east side yard that gets little if any sun in summer. Any color is appreciated, which is why I let the wild violet run a little rampant.

    It’s snowing like mad here in far NE Illinois. Grass is almost covered, and all the branches are white. Temps are supposed to dip below freezing tonight–I’m hoping I left enough leaf cover on the astilbe shoots etc. 50s expected tomorrow. Bloody weather.

  162. 162
    J R in WV says:


    “Fawn Lilies are blooming here in the Cascade foothills.”

    Those are very similar blooms to what we planted as dog tooth violets – which are not violets at all, but are related to trout lilies. Ours are a bright yellow, but dangle just like that, 3 or 4 inches tall.

  163. 163
    Kelly says:

    @J R in WV: My wife calls these trout lilies. My Mom calls them Fawn lilies. Yellow and white violets puzzled me as a child. Souldn’t violets be, well violet?

    Here’s a salmonberry blossom and a spray of currant blooms.

  164. 164
    zhena gogolia says:


    I thought it was an autocorrect error!

  165. 165
    LivinginExile says:

    @Miss Bianca: My back yard, about 1/2 acre, became a dandelion forest after a few years. I was going to spray them, then I noticed they were the first plants to bloom and were covered with bees. Honey bees have a hive in an ancient hedge (Osage orange) tree in my yard. I can live with the dandelions. Early last summer the hive split and swarmed and were hanging out by our back door. I made a call and they found a good home.

  166. 166
    Barbara says:

    @J R in WV: I have divided my original hellebore a couple of times. Love, love, love how easy it is to grow.

  167. 167
    Miss Bianca says:

    @LivinginExile: Good for you! : )

  168. 168
    PAM Dirac says:

    @Miss Bianca: (answering late as we visited a few wineries and nurseries) Yes, I have made a number of meads. In 2017 I made what I think is the best mead I ever made; a pyment (grapes + honey) with Norton grapes and buckwheat honey. Two strong flavors that went together beautifully. Unfortunately in the stress leading up to my retirement, I let things get away from me and no I have about 6 gallons of the best vinegar I’ve ever made. Fermentation, like growing things, is something that you only have limited control of and you have to deal with the surprises, both good and bad.

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