Sunday Morning Garden Chat: The Aspirational Phase

It’s been such a crappy month — and that’s just the weather; we’re looking to set a record for the rainiest April on record — that I went a little crazy and ordered a whole bunch of plants I haven’t tried before to put in the various patches of garden that I haven’t been able to dig out yet. I actually had to sit down & make up a page-long list of everything I’ve ordered, and where I intend to put them. If everything arrives at the same time (as Murphy the Trickster God is bound to assure), I am gonna get so much side-eye from the Spousal Unit, who is well aware that I can’t manage more than about 90 minutes of yard work on any given day, assuming the weather permits, and there’s no BREAKING NEWS…

What I’m most eager / trepidacious about are the half-dozen sweet pea plants, which of course no sensible gardener would even consider given the modern climate here north of Boston. Any of you have experience with these? I’m planning on a mixture of well-aged compost and quality potting mix to bed them out, because our unamended ‘soil’ is construction fill, and also quite acid. How supportive a trellis do they need, assuming the plants don’t just curl up & die? Can I put some into a big pot with an obelisk, to make use of a sunny spot? How fussy are they about crowding?

Also, primroses — I ordered several varieties to try in a raised bed under a cherry tree, which should be workable. But how sensitive are they to crowding? Can I just dig out a clear patch in the vinca for them, or do I need to carpet-bomb the whole bed to give the primulas a chance?


Bonus plant-related content, from the Washington Post: “Sweet corn out, sweet potatoes in: Data shows fundamental shifts in American farming”:

The American vegetable landscape has shifted. Farmers are abandoning onetime basics such as sweet corn, green beans, peas and potatoes. In their place, they’re planting sweet potatoes and leafy greens such as spinach, kale and romaine lettuce.

Once every five years, the USDA Census of Agriculture provides a definitive guide to the trends behind the nation’s farms and diets. The latest figures, released last week, show broad dietary upheaval. In many cases, they show vegetables that may once have been dismissed as fads or trends are reshaping America’s agricultural landscape…

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

117 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Rain rain go away
    Come again a day in May.

  2. 2
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    On the primrose Anne, find another place for them if you can. The vinca will choke them out, I’m not sure if nuking from orbit would be enough for that stuff.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Tried my best, but the fluctuations in temperatures finally caught up with me.😪😪

    Sitting here being kept up with stopped up nose and coughing up phlegm every few minutes 😪😪

  5. 5
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: I hope you feel better soon. My nose has been blocked up since the beginning of allergy season.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @rikyrah: You and my wife, sounds to me like a ‘Blech’ from you is far more appropriate.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    It’s gorgeous here and was down at Jeykll Island. The annual garden club tour is this afternoon and they had a registration glitch and have 117 people instead of 100. Like oh well!

  8. 8
    bemused senior says:

    Just wondering if you’ve been filming in my kitchen! My Corgi Chihuahua mix is the one being dragged.

    I have had two good days i a row in my first chemo cycle. I begin to think there is a way through this.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:


    On the primrose Anne, find another place for them if you can. The vinca will choke them out, I’m not sure if nuking from orbit would be enough for that stuff.

    Pots it will be, then. I may try standing those pots in the shaded bed, though, because at least the vinca doesn’t seem to be a very ambitious climber!

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    @bemused senior:

    I have had two good days i a row in my first chemo cycle. I begin to think there is a way through this.

    Holding you (and your corgi-chihuahua cross) in the light.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Anne Laurie: Be sure to put plates under the pots, short (1′) pedestals too if you’ve got some. I put a flower bed in about a foot and half from some vinca a couple years ago and this year I found some growing in it via roots it had sent under the landscape timbers. It’s nice for some locations but damn, it is invasive.

  13. 13
    Anne Laurie says:


    It’s nice for some locations but damn, it is invasive.

    Quoted for truth!

    The Spousal Unit loves the stuff, though, which is how it ended up in places it shouldn’t, such as my carefully-bricolaged raised beds. I should be grateful, it’s colonizing the spaces around various beds & planters and (mostly) crowding out the various unmowable weed-grasses. At least none of our immediate neighbors are lawn-proud enough to hate us for letting it spread…

    (We also have ongoing problems with ailanthus, oriental bittersweet, garlic mustard, and at least one other woody invasive that runner sideways underground, so I’m used to checking our planters like I was checking a dog for ticks.)

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @bemused senior: What a good attitude, and I hope that you continue to have good days.
    Chemo sucks though.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Anne Laurie: Fortunately I am not afflicted with any of those others. The one patch of vinca was already here when we bought the place, else wise I wouldn’t have it either. I do have some honeysuckle I need to eradicate tho.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Sir Douglas Quintet, “The Rains Came.”

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: @JPL: hope you both feel much better soon!
    @bemused senior: you too, hang in there!

  18. 18
    p.a. says:

    @Anne Laurie: Ugh. I found a runner of I-don’t-know-what; yard is up against a woodlot. Was not oriental bittersweet (the Thanos plant), and pulling it up I flashed back to 3 Stooges shorts.

  19. 19
    satby says:

    The snow that fell last night is already mostly melted and it doesn’t look like the predicted freeze was that bad. I also ordered a bunch of new plants to try out and they did all come the same day, so I need to try to get them in today because it’s supposed to rain the next two days. I have three new peonies to find room for, three creeping phlox for a corner rocky area, and three heirloom roses to replace my dead ones. And if these roses don’t take it’s the last time I try.
    All my apple trees are just beginning to show flower buds too!!

  20. 20
    Pete Mack says:

    No wonder sweet corn has become so horribly expensive.

  21. 21
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Good morning! Sending healing thoughts.

    @JPL, @bemused senior:

    And to you!

  22. 22
    Raven says:

    @Pete Mack: they charge a buck an ear at the farmers market.

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have seen pots of colorful flowers in a bed of vinca though, and it’s a pretty look.

    I took a good look at my raised beds and as soon as my iris are done blooming and the daffodils greens are spent I need to salvage them and just till over the entire bed because the grass in it looks better established than my lawn. Then I can replant and mulch the beds this time. I’m already dreading that project.

  24. 24
    satby says:

    @Pete Mack: @Raven: From my time surrounded by corn in the country I learned that sweet corn and feed corn have to be some distance apart or they cross pollinate and it ruins the taste of the sweet corn. So most of the bigger farmers around where I used to live only grew feed.

  25. 25
    evodevo says:

    Sweet peas? You can’t kill those things with a hatchet lol – If you don’t train them to a trellis/fence, they will go crazy like wisteria and take over everything. Mine have survived everything winter can throw at them and more. I use a weedeater to confine them to a smaller area.

  26. 26
    Raven says:

    @satby: Detassling was a big job opportunity in Central Illinois. Even the feed corn was good if you ate it right away but that Illini Supersweet! We would take seeds when we went to Negril and trade them for other plants.

  27. 27
    JR says:

    Sweet pea grow incredibly easily.

    It might be a little late to put them in though.

  28. 28
    Raven says:

    Detasseling corn is removing the immature pollen-producing bodies, the tassel, from the tops of corn (maize) plants and placing them on the ground. It is a form of pollination control,[1] employed to cross-breed, or hybridize, two varieties of corn.

    Fields of corn that will be detasseled are planted with two varieties of corn. Every corn plant has both male and female parts,[2] so if both varieties of corn were left intact, some of the resulting seeds would have non-hybrid parents. Removing the tassels from all the plants of one variety leaves the grain that is growing on those plants to be fertilized by the tassels of the other, resulting in a hybrid.

  29. 29
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Pete Mack: “Have a potato.” – The Old Dark House (1932)

  30. 30
    satby says:

    @Raven: yeah, when I was much younger my friends and I would swipe ears of corn to roast immediately, and fresh feed corn was good. There wasn’t the crazy variety of sweet corn back then that there is now.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    After the morning rains stopped yesterday, and my midday nap, I went out and weeded a couple flower beds and transplanted some stuff I had started into them. All I had time for after that was to sort a bunch of flower seeds and decide where to put them all.

    Today is all sunshine with a predicted high of 61, perfect for me at least, then the rains return. So I got a lot to get done. I’ve got one more flower bed I need to strip of it’s weed infested topsoil, then fill it and it’s companion bed with new soil and compost. There are 36 plants I need to transplant into the veggie garden (I built the mounds on Monday or Tuesday, and it has rained every other day since, never drying enough to do anything more than look at it and say, “Maybe tomorrow…”) I need to get my melon and cuke seeds started in peat pots so they are ready to go into the garden 2 or 3 weeks from now. I have to get all those sorted seeds sown in the various beds. PLUS…

    I have more rocks to move, cut, and set in what my wife now calls the “Zen garden”. It’s got a long ways to go before it starts propagating any Zen.

    I get tired just thinking about it all. Maybe I should just start with a nice nap.

  32. 32
    satby says:


    I get tired just thinking about it all. Maybe I should just start with a nice nap.

    Me IRL every time I think about all the projects I have to do!

  33. 33
    Gretchen says:

    Spinach instead of green beans? Written by a non-gardener. Plant the green beans after the heat made the spinach go to seed.

  34. 34
    Immanentize says:

    @bemused senior:
    Hang in there on the chemo. It is a tough haul, but your doctors know that. Don’t hesitate to bother them for anything no matter how small.

  35. 35

    I’ve let my flowerbeds go the past couple of years. The winter of 2017-18 was horribly dry, and I allowed that to kill some plants I didn’t want anyway. This past winter was nicely wet, and we’ve had rain the past two weeks. I got out some wildflower seeds just before this Wednesday’s rain, and I see plants coming up where I scattered seed last fall. Plus there are still some left from past years’ seeding. Did you know it’s almost impossible to kill giant snapdragons? They’re not invasive here, and they have such a sweet scent!

    I have quite a bit of natural area in my yard, with built-up flowerbeds in the front yard and some rockwork, pebbles between. I had the pebbles replenished last year and some additional rockwork done.

    Yesterday I went to our local native plant nursery and bought a number of plants, including three cactuses. I haven’t entirely decided where the cactuses will go, but more cactuses is always a good thing. I reworked one flower bed yesterday. Still have some flowerbed plants and think I have places for all of them. In the flowerbed I reworked, there’s room for one more plant or two. I’ll have to go back to the nursery and see what I can find.

    I am thinking of sliding away from the native plant standard for another flower bed and putting pansies all around it.

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: ugh. Colds are bad any time of year but they seem particularly mean when the weather is just getting nice. Stay hydrated!

  37. 37
    Immanentize says:

    @Anne Laurie: One sweet pea tip — they hate being moved, so plant them in the ground where you want them, (instead of pots)

  38. 38

    @bemused senior: May you have many more good days.

    It snowed all day yesterday. From my study window, I can see the raised garden plots that building residents can claim if they’re so inclined. You’re not supposed to plant until May 15, and yesterday showed why.

    I’m going to an author fair at the Gail Borden library in Elgin today. If you’re in the area, stop by. We’ll have a micro-Bj-meetup.

  39. 39
    PST says:

    Bit of snow on the ground here in Chicago. That let’s me off the hook for thinking about flowers this weekend.

  40. 40
    Immanentize says:

    On the garden/yard. I laid down dehydrated cow manure in the garden and I tilled it in last week. So, planting next weekend at the earliest. Cleaned up the yard because we had our first leaf pick-up of the year. My neighbor has a huge black walnut tree which drops walnuts all over half my front yard which then seem to self-bury half way. They are a bear to take up each spring. My only hope of payback is that if his tree ever falls down, it will fall my way and I can sell the wood….

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    Rainfall here is 50% more than last year at the same time, and last year was the wettest on record. The week ahead is rain every day. I’m afraid of what this will do to farms around here — and my farmer’s market.

  42. 42
    donnah says:

    Corn for a buck an ear! That’s piracy!

    SW Ohioan here, and they can plant all the kale they want to. I ain’t eatin’ it. We get some wonderful sweet corn from local growers and it had better be here this summer, or my husband will kill himself. It’s delicious, sweet and flavorful, and he will eat it literally every day it’s in season.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I can sell the wood….

    You probably won’t get much for it. Yard trees are notoriously hard on mill saw blades and walnut sucks donkey d in a wood stove.

  44. 44
    debbie says:

    @bemused senior:

    I hope your days continue as well as they’ve started!

  45. 45
    Steeplejack says:


    What’s the problem with yard trees?

  46. 46
    Skepticat says:

    Sweet peas do very, very well on an island on the coast of Maine. So well, as a matter of fact, that they take over the world. They’ve engulfed my lattice and porch railings and have spread into the lawn. In a few months, I’ll be back there for the first time in two years, and I expect to have trouble getting into the house.

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steeplejack: Nails, screws, bolts, and everything else people tend to attach to them that then get buried as the tree grows around them. I don’t know how much 48″ saw blades cost but $1,000+ would not surprise me and a single nail in a $200 log can ruin one.

  48. 48
    chris says:

    Rain! Drove down to Maine last Friday in the rain. Rained all weekend and most of the way home on Monday. Tuesday I came home in the rain which stopped long enough for a brief hike in the woods. Took a picture a picture of what I call mayflowers (wild arbutus)with bonus cat’s paw courtesy of Steve.

    Two trips in the rain to the hospital 100km away for cataract surgery. Done except for the post-op eyedrops and I can see! It’s a little weird because I am no longer shortsighted after 64 years but I’ll get used to it because cool cheap sunglasses! And it’s a beautiful sunny day!

    (Any word on the new site? This one is FUBAR again.)

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    @bemused senior:
    Sending you positive thoughts 🙏🙏

  50. 50
    NotMax says:

    Expect smoke to shoot from Dolt 45’s ears in May. Netflix will be premiering two items – one about the Central Park Five (“When They See Us“) and one about women running for Congress, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“Knock Down the House“).

    Also, FYI in case it might be of interest, leaving Netflix on May 1 is the hard look at West Virginia coal mining feature, “Blood on the Mountain.”

  51. 51
    Mary G says:

    Here in coastal SoCal we have millions of sweet peas growing wild. Whatever color they start out as, they revert to dark purple and the scent is strong. My mom would go out and pick big bouquets for all over the house, which was a bit much.

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That may be true — hadn’t thought of it that way. But a guy already offered my neighbor 10K for the tree.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:


    Many, many moons ago awaited with bated breath black walnut being Baskin-Robbins’ flavor of the month.

  54. 54
    JPL says:

    @Skepticat: Bring a machete with you. I was imagining what type of story Stephen King would write about the house.

  55. 55
    normal liberal says:

    Detasseling-my all-time least favorite summer job, so much so that I quit and spent that summer working at Steak ‘n Shake instead. (At the original location in Normal, thank you very much. It’s a pizza place now.)

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    sweet pea plants

    Reminded of a charming and moderately controversial at the time Italian movie from the early 80s, Pisello (Sweet Pea). Dunno where to find it now but it must be out there somewhere. Played in select art houses in the U.S. for a very short time and then fell off the map.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:


    … and one about women running for Congress, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“Knock Down the House“)

    “Knock Down the House” is playing in at least one movie theater in the Los Angeles area. It got some rave reviews on all the local film review shows.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    @normal liberal

    Not religious but if ever there was a place to locate an abbey….


  59. 59
    charluckles says:

    My roses are looking sad this spring. I think they will all survive, but I have never had so many canes die. We had a pretty mild winter followed by some extremely cold weather in early March. I am wondering if that might be the culprit.

  60. 60
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: He should take it.

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    AL, it’s too late to plant sweet peas where you are, so save the seeds and plant next year. They’re tricky in northern OH because of the short spring and hot summers. Start them indoors in peat pots in February, three seeds to a pot. Let them get about 6 inches tall them pinch out the central leader (the highest point on the plant). In May (doesn’t have to be frost free- they’re ok with some cold nights) dig a shallow trench in the bed and fill it with compost. Plant the pots. I trellis them on what is plastic chicken wire, zip tied to stakes. I’m growing them to cut flowers not as a garden flower so they’re in a vegetable bed. I think they’re worth it because they’re my favorite flower. They grow and flower for about 4 weeks then just dry up and turn yellow when it gets hot- just pull them out.

    There’s a perennial sweet pea that grows rampantly- a muddy blue/purple- yours are not that.

  62. 62
    satby says:

    @charluckles: It looks like I lost four roses even though I had mulched and then covered them with Styrofoam cones. At least 3 survived. I have 3 older varieties I’ll plant instead, but it may be that my light sandy soil heaves too much in winter for them. Or mole tunnels were around them, I don’t know which but it was spongy all around the dead ones. My whole yard was spongy; I’ve never dealt with such loose soil in my life so it’s a new experience learning it.

  63. 63
    Al Z. says:

    I had to put down my Jack Russell Terrier in January and I’m still broken up about it. But we visiting a rescue yesterday and once my daughters started fawning over dogs – well these things have momentum that’s out of my control. Anyone with experience with German Shepard mix breed pups? We are considering adopting a 16 week female or a 25 week male. Both are sweet and friendly to humans and dogs of all ages and sizes. Is that going to hold as they get older?

  64. 64
    Kattails says:

    What’s going on in my garden is dead leaves. Lots and lots of brown, leathery dead oak leaves which I did not have any time to clean up last fall. The poor daffodils that manage to push through them end up roped together like prisoners. Last time I started my little mulching lawnmower, sparks were shooting out the top (mouse nest?) so gotta get that in. Maybe I can sneak out later today and do some raking. The chives are up and it looks like some tiny chervil plants made it through, so I’ll have some nice omelets soon.
    I have fairly extensive old beds but they’re all in need of rejuvenating.
    And speaking of noxious weeds I have Bishops weed, which is a nightmare to deal with. It started with one tiny runner from a traded plant and now would take over the yard. Is my only option something like Roundup?
    @bemused senior: So sorry you are having to deal with this, yet at least there is some path through. I hope you have some supportive people around you. Sending good thoughts.

  65. 65
    sukabi says:

    Hoping to get a garden in soon…

    John, if you’re around, I found this DIY nerd camera that would work for capturing stills of your birds.

    It’s got it’s own twitter page.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    OK, on clicking on your link those are sweet pea plants not seeds so you’re still good for this year. Put them out now. Maybe not this second, but soon :)

    I didn’t even know one could buy sweet pea plants. Yours are already 3 to a pot so just put the whole plug in, about a foot apart.

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    In their place, they’re planting sweet potatoes and leafy greens such as spinach, kale and romaine lettuce.

    Wasn’t it Dukakis who suggested doughty midwestern farmers ought to plant Belgian endives? Foreign plants!

  68. 68
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Al Z.: My only experience with German Shepherds was a sweet female that all the neighborhood kids would stop to pet and play with on their way to school. She was trained to never leave her yard. She turned to mean side when the father of the family died, defending her pack.

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    I’m trying these as a cut flower this year:

    Irish Poet Tassel Flower
    (Emilia javanica) Beautiful bright orange variety for naturalistic gardens. This annual has long stems and small, bright orange flowers in clusters. These flowers have once been described as the windswept hair of an Irish poet. Suitable as a specialty cut flower, it is a colorful filler for summer bouquets. Grow in full sun on a soil with good drainage. Tassel Flower was introduced to England from Asia in 1799 and was also known as “Flora’s Paintbrush” in Victorian times.

    They’re filling the space that went to zinnias – I’m sick of zinnias.

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    @Al Z.:

    One of my brothers rescued a German Shepherd after he had been tossed out of a car on the freeway. About a year old at the time, Rex never stopped being grateful for the almost 13 years he was with my brother. He had a fierce bark, but was a total wuss; he abhorred squirrels, yet tolerated the two small children born into the household with zen-like patience. Never one nip.

    Go for it!

  71. 71
    LivinginExile says:

    Have managed to work around all the cold and wet in West central Illinois. 100 bare root strawberrys, 2 pecan trees,1 Chicago fig tree, tomatos, lettuce, chard, spinach, radishes, bell peppers, and onions. Stark nursery sent the strawberrys a month ago so I had to get them in the ground. They are already blooming. I don’t understand how the plants are doing so well with the crappy weather.

  72. 72
    moonbat says:

    In search of climbing, flowering vines that aren’t too aggressive for the chain link fencing surrounding our community garden. Does anyone have any experience with Hyacinth Pea vines?

  73. 73
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Al Z.: I have had both a full blood German Shepard and a half Labrador/half German Shepard and both were the sweetest dogs you could ever want. There is a very good chance for a very strong territorial instinct in any GS/mix. GS also are very protective of their “pack/flock” so that is another trait to be on the watch for.

    Neither of these traits are bad, they are just things that have to be monitored so that if your dog does have them, they don’t get out of hand. With mixes it is hard to say what traits they will inherit. My Lab/GS mix was almost all Lab in behavior but he did have a strong flavoring of the GS territorial instinct..

  74. 74

    @Al Z.: We got a shepherd mix male puppy when our son was 4. The dog was a sweetheart. We never had a single problem with aggression.

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: @Dorothy A. Winsor: When my oldest was born the first thing we did when he came home was lay him on the floor so Hoss could get acquainted. He circled around him several times, getting a good sniff, nosed Bob a few times and then flopped down on the floor next to him and let out a great sigh of resignation.

  76. 76
    Al Z. says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Dorothy A. Winsor: @debbie: Thanks! But you’re not doing a good job talking me out of this. I was at a bar’s trivia night last month and someone had brought their German Shepard and she was one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met. Certainly reset my exceptions for the breed; horrible at trivia though.

  77. 77

    @OzarkHillbilly: I swear they can smell that the kid belongs to the pack.

  78. 78
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I’m sick of zinnias.


  79. 79
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: We video taped it so we could share the moment. My MIL wigged out when saw it. Pretty sure she didn’t have dogs when growing up.

  80. 80
    JulieM says:

    I love sweet peas but they always die here (OK) when the summer heat comes, which will probably be in about a week, unfortunately.

  81. 81
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The sun has finally made an appearance. Time to get busy.

  82. 82

    I take pictures…

    I went out to Lockwood Valley Friday night/Saturday morning. After 3 1/2 hours of shooting I managed to capture one photo and one video.
    The photo: Star trails over Mt. Pinos. I’m a bit torn about the plane trails, whether to leave them in or remove them.

    Last night, off to LACMA(LA County Museum of Art): Lights.

  83. 83
    normal liberal says:

    Not even the Church could afford it, but I’m amused at the idea. We do have a tiny convent, notable for the large crucifix on the side of the garage.

  84. 84
    raven says:

    @LivinginExile: Forgotonnia!

  85. 85
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Ugh detasselling corn: Without question the worst summer job I ever.
    I preferred walking beans for friends parents. They paid cash and fed us. 😉

  86. 86
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Those are amazing. It’s lucky you didn’t get stepped on when you were taking a picture of the lights. Your pic is much better than the images on the google search.

  87. 87
    Emma says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: i like the plane trails. Create a contrast between curved and straight that I like.
    Since you are around, I’d like to ask a question (all you photobugs chime in). I have been invited on a cruise of the Danube next year. I am terrified to lose pictures and I’d like to carry external storage. Any suggestions for something easy to carry where I can copy my memory card each night?

  88. 88

    @JPL: It was pretty crowded, I went with the leader of our photo group and he couldn’t shoot the shot he wanted because all the people. I just put on the fisheye and shot up. I darkened the skies and rest of the background so it’s just the lights; btw, that’s actually a color picture.

  89. 89
    Jeffery says:

    I’ve done sweet peas in Philadelphia Pa for years. I soak the seeds overnight then put them between a damp paper towel that is folded up to fit on a saucer cover with clear plastic wrap in a sunny window. I check them daily and put them out in the ground when they germinate. I do this in late March or early April.

    Sweet peas like to be crowded.

    I’ve used wire V shaped tomato cages to support them. I wire two cages together making an hour glass shape.

    They last until the heat rolls in in July.

  90. 90
    Steeplejack says:


    Ah. I was thinking there was something about the wood itself.

  91. 91
    JPL says:

    Sally Yates was on Meet the Press. If you are interested, tr to find the clip.

  92. 92
    Another Scott says:

    @Immanentize: I feel ya.

    My west neighbor has a huge sweet gum in his backyard. Beautiful tree, but it drops those spiky seed balls all year round. All over our yard. It’s do annoying…

    Walnuts are probably worse though.


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    Luthe says:

    @Al Z.: I won’t comment on temperament, but all the vets I know have a saying “What can go wrong will go wrong in a German Shepard.” I would advise you ask about the parents’ health before you adopt just in case there are any hereditary conditions you need to be watching for.

  94. 94
    Currants says:

    @Anne Laurie: hear, hear.

  95. 95

    @Emma: Thanks.

    Here’s a couple of solutions(they’re not cheep): WD Passport and LaCie DJI Copilot BOSS.

  96. 96
    J R in WV says:

    My experience with German Shepherd dogs is that they can be fiercely protective in a good way, are loving and friendly with family/pack and friends of the family. Somewhat short lived, pure breed tends to have hip problems, mixes much less so.

  97. 97

    @bemused senior: Make sure you get enough nutrition, when you are getting chemo. That really helps with the healing process. Make an appointment with the hospital nutritionist if you haven’t done so already and good luck! {{{ }}}

  98. 98
    Emma says:

    @J R in WV: Thank you! This will help a lot.

  99. 99
    J R in WV says:

    I think you could download photo files from a camera to your smart phone or tablet. Just need the right cable(s) and software tools on the tablet. I take a laptop with for that, I already have it so no added cost. And SD cards your camera uses can also be backup devices.

  100. 100
    JeanneT says:

    For the past week I’ve been replacing the wood on my raised garden beds; four done and two more to go. I had hoped to use white cedar, but couldn’t get any locally, so the sides of the bed are just heavy duty pine from industrial pallets. It’ll be interesting to see how long they last.

    Today, I’m meeting my sisters at our home town cemetery to plant pansies in front of my parents’ headstone. The soil there is basically sand, so I’m taking some compost to add; I always wish I were planting carrots or potatoes or some other root crop there (which would have amused my dad, but not my mom).

  101. 101
    Amir Khalid says:

    The only English Premier League result today that matters: Burnley 0-1 Manchester City. Pout.

  102. 102
    StringOnAStick says:

    Gorgeous week of spring weather, and 5″ of snow predicted for tomorrow. That’s pretty late for here, but “normal” is broad and also changing here. I’ve got a bunch of perennials coming next week that I ordered before I knew I was going to get a knee replacement but tomorrow is 7 weeks and the pots are small so I think I can do it, just maybe not all in one day. I can walk a mile now as long as I know there’s an ice pack waiting at the end.

  103. 103

    @J R in WV: You might be able to use a OTA cable(only on Android, IOS doesn’t support OTA) to back up the SD-card on the camera. I’m confused on how the SD-card on the camera will act as it’s own backup unless you have a high end camera that has two sd-card slots.

  104. 104
    zhena gogolia says:


    I just watched a couple of clips. She was great. Yates for president!

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    Barbara says:

    @bemused senior: Wishing you the best. Chemo is tough.

  106. 106
    zhena gogolia says:

    In church there was a moment in prayers to pray for “what you’re hopeful for.” I prayed for all the Democratic candidates by name (note I said “Democratic”). It made me feel better.

  107. 107
    Tazj says:

    @Al Z.: I had a shepherd/ husky mix that I took home from the SPCA at a little over 8 weeks old. He was a lot to handle but he was very good with kids, my own and the neighborhood ones(loved Halloween). He was also good with adults, he barked a lot and was occasionally jumpy but never nipped anyone or even attempted to since he got me as a young puppy. I took him to dog obedience training and that helped a lot.
    The one problem I had with him was taking him to the vet. He would get very nervous and bark and this would scare other dog owners. This was my fault as I was an inexperienced dog owner and I should have socialized him more around other dogs besides obedience classes. I was busy and sometimes pregnant and not feeling well.
    He was so sweet and lovable. However, shepherds are big dogs and need training with plenty of exercise. They also can succumb to some diseases at an early age like other large dog breeds.

  108. 108
    Barbara says:

    @Al Z.: I think German Shepherd mixes of any kind will benefit from a group obedience training class. As a breed they are known to establish loyalty to a single person so it is important that they get used to being around lots of people, and that the whole family goes to the training classes.

  109. 109
    LivinginExile says:

    Raven- forgotonnia – Hancock County aka red neck wet dream. When I met Pegisu 36 years ago in New Orleans she asked where I was from. I told her dogdyck Illinois. She asked what part of Illinois that was in. I said across the river from peckerwood Iowa.

  110. 110
    scav says:

    Lucked out here: was gifted with a tarp-full of some old-school (the tall ones) primrose, plus some Spanish bluebells. The local sweetpea starts are vertical agiain after yesterdays wind so I’m feeling less guilty about moving them out. It’s going to be windy all year so they’re just going to have to get used to it.

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    scav says:

    @LivinginExile: Tri-County Scribe land!

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    thebewilderness says:

    We always string thread on twiggy branches when we seed sweet peas.
    If you want to be able to see the primulas next year you will clear out the vinca.

  113. 113
    Another Scott says:

    @Al Z.: Our first dog together was a German Shepherd / Border Collie-ish mix. Around 50 pounds, amazingly smart. We got her at 7 months or so from a local county shelter. Very empathetic, loved to play, chewed up some kitchen cabinets while she was still teething, and destroyed many of her beds when we left for work when she was young, but grew out of both. And scared to death of women with belts (she would roll over and pee)… She outgrew that, too. She got along with other dogs, but didn’t really search them out to play. She was very much a people person.

    “Collen, go get your elephant!”… and she’d come back with it. :-)

    Just a great, great dog. Very healthy, great hips. We lost her far too young (~ 10.5) to hemangiosarcoma. :-(

    Good luck.


  114. 114
    trollhattan says:

    Sound advice. German shepherds are super smart, very owner-centric and warrant lots and lots of socialization (people and dogs of all sizes) as they grow to adulthood.

    You also need to enjoy vacuuming. :-)

  115. 115
    Cathie from Canada says:

    @evodevo: Yes, this is what I was coming here to say, too. My mom used throw in some sweet pea seeds near the chickenwire trellis when she planted the garden at the farm, and with no special treatment or thinning or even extra water, they grew up just fine. They did like the direct sun.

  116. 116
    Gravie says:

    Last fall I planted some foxtail lilies — a new plant for me — in a difficult spot in my front yard, where nothing else has taken except a lone Oriental poppy that comes up every year but shrivels up before producing a single bloom. But it keeps coming back. Anyway, we were gone pretty much the entire month of April and returned home to find all the foxtail lilies up and thriving. Now for the challenge of keeping them alive. We moved to the Oregon high desert six years ago and I’m finding it really challenging to figure out the right amount of watering, not too much, not too little. I also have to fight off the hungry chipmunks, ground squirrels, rabbits and mule deer, a neverending battle.

  117. 117
    Dan B says:

    @Gravie: My neice and family moved to Bend, OR several years ago – high desert. It’s a beautiful area to explore. This winter seems to have lingered. Foxtail lilies love dry summers and good drainage. It may be best to stop watering when they go dormant. That is de rigeur in Seattle.

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