Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Promises

via Philip Bump‘s twitter account

I’m making progress on my garden, one hour at a time. This is the most hopeful part of the annual cycle, for me; the plants are coming up (or arriving in the mail), and I can see where I’m making progress and look forward to the end results. The larger two of the three ‘flower’ shipments have arrived, and I’m pretty happy with my choices (apart from the pink verbena; still can’t figure out what I was thinking when I ordered that… ) Also, the lilacs are just coming into full bloom, so the yard smells gorgeous!

By the end of the day, Murphy the Trickster God willing, I’ll have finished with *one* plot — the triangular bed next to the front door, which is the least demanding physically of the eight or ten separate ‘plots’ but also the most fiddly, because it means removing failures and fitting new specimens into an already crowded patch. Two well-established Zepherine Drouhin roses, two less sturdy but stalwart Don Juans, daffodils, achemillia, columbines, daylilies, cranesbill… I filled up three trash barrels full of oak leaves & winterkill, took out some of the overcrowded daffs, popped in a couple of muscaria and some more blue columbines, relocated an insufficiently ornamental trellis and replaced it with a prettier one. Now I need to tuck in the last three sweet peas and a couple of old-fashioned dianthus, and reseat the edging planters full of blue pansies, purple lobelia, and white allysum.

After which comes the heavy digging & relocation in the rest of the yard — everything that doesn’t need to be pruned or divided needs to be raked out or eliminated with extreme prejudice. And the mail-order tomato plants are due to show up in a couple of weeks, after which all other yardwork will have to be put on hold. Still, I’ll have my one “clean” plot to admire!

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

139 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Due to the incessant rains,,I’ve got shit tons of work to do yet in the garden but instead it’s another hallmark holiday… Blech.

  2. 2
    Mary G says:

    My wildflower seeds from 2014-2015 sprouted beautifully, but despite telling everyone not to weed, somebody “helpful” did. I do have a nice crop of regular and dark purple sugar snap peas of the same older seeds that yields a cup or two every few days.

    Most of our glorious spring wildflowers are dried up and mown down for fire control and we are back to boring brown hills again.

  3. 3
    Pete Downunder says:

    On the theory that it is never too late to have a happy childhood, I am building a G scale (roughly 22:1) garden railroad. I had HO trains as a kid but these are way bigger and can operate outdoors. The track gauge is 45mm (about 1 3/4 inches). It is a big project and the layout will be about 8 x 21 metres (26 x 69 feet) with over 70 meters of track. My wife is a keen gardener and has gotten into the spirit of the thing. I’ll try to figure a way to post some photos when it’s done. We have a goal of completion before Christmas.

  4. 4

    @Pete Downunder: My first thought was that you were building something like Walt Disney had at his house in Holmby Hills.

  5. 5

    @Mary G: Maybe with the late rain we’ve been having they’ll turn green again. My little garden has lots of color, I’m waiting for my CA poppy to bloom again(it had one bloom, but looks to have a bunch more in a day or two).

  6. 6
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Pete Downunder:

    I’ll try to figure a way to post some photos when it’s done.

    Sounds great! — model trains appeal to my OCD/miniaturist tendencies, but I’ve already got *other* hobbies that sooth my inner 5-year-old.

    Send me jpgs, and I’ll put them in a Sunday garden post! (Or send them to Alain, if you prefer, for the early-morning weekday ‘On the Road’ posts.)

  7. 7
    Pete Downunder says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Not nearly as large or ambitious – but then I don’t have Uncle Walt’s resources. My trains are too small to ride. Closer to you is the Fairplex at LA County Fairgrounds. That’s the same scale (G scale) but a far far larger layout.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pete Downunder:

    I’ll try to figure a way to post some photos when it’s done.

    I wanna see that.

    Also, kudos to you for finding a wonderful woman who shares your enthusiasms.

  9. 9
    Pete Downunder says:

    @Anne Laurie: Will do, but it will be a while as I can only work on it on the weekends.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    Good morning and Happy Mother’s Day to all jackal moms and acting as moms out there.
    I was supposed to have the evergreen bushes cut down and removed from the front garden bed today but it is supposed to be chilly and rainy, so I fibbed to the guy and rescheduled it for next Sunday. I have lots of summer dahlias to still plant so I’m getting peat pots and planting them today, next week those will go into the bed when the evergreens are gone. Trying to decide what else should go there: rudbeckia or roses.
    I still have about 6 tomatoes to plant, but since we had frost yesterday morning it was lucky I never got them in anyway.
    And I’m starting the ornamental bed grass eradication project today. That’s going to be ongoing. I’m already tired and I just woke up.

  11. 11
    satby says:

    Was it last week we were talking about getting rid of violets in the garden or lawn? Turns out several species of native butterflies rely on them for larval food. Good article here about setting up a pollinators garden for more than just monarch butterflies.

  12. 12

    @Pete Downunder: I went to the Chinese Lantern Festival there in December(featured in OTR), it’s looks like it’s about a hundred yards from the Garden Railroad(looks like it’s mostly a Fair thing).

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Yeah, last or the week before. I just transplanted some IN to a garden plot as ground cover.

  14. 14
    Pete Downunder says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: My understanding is that they only really run it during the fair, but you can see it from outside the fence and they usually have a few trains running. I’ve never been there so all I know is from the YouTubes.

  15. 15

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Hmmm, looks like they’re open every second Sunday afternoon of the month(not today, they did it last week), might have to head on over next month.

  16. 16
    satby says:

    @Pete Downunder: my friend’s husband did something similar and it was a project for decades while their sons were young. It was beautiful all year, even in the winter when they decorated around the train tracks with Christmas lights. Good luck with yours, I bet it will be really rewarding as a hobby.

  17. 17
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: you’re a man after my own heart 😉

  18. 18
    Pete Downunder says:

    @satby: Thanks, it should be fun. I’m really lucky my wife is into it also, as I have zero garden skills and she is really good at it. Christmas here is a little weird for those of us from the northern hemisphere as it is usually 85-90 F, but the Xmas lights are a good idea and with the little LEDs now available I might be able to do something cool. We’ll see how we go. We have kind of an open house (farm) between Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Day so any Aussie jackals or visitors from up north should get in touch and come visit. Adam has my email address.

  19. 19
    Elizabelle says:

    Happy Muttertag, mother jackals and you mothers.

    Early request: any interest in a Los Angeles meetup the week of June 4?? Will be in the City of Angels and thereabouts for several days. The weekend is Friday, June 7 through Sunday, June 9. Would love to meet some of the West Coast contingent if the dates work out for you.

    Will have a car. Pasadena or wherever would work. Local jackals’ choice.

  20. 20
    Elizabelle says:

    @Pete Downunder: that sounds so cool. Would relish some photos eventually. You know you have to put Babe (the 🐖 pig) and Fly (?? The border collie) in some of the setups.

    I love model railroads and dollhouses. People do such imaginative things.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: are you already back from Germany?

  24. 24
    satby says:

    @Pete Downunder: some day. Australia is on the bucket list.

  25. 25

    @Pete Downunder:

    Christmas here is a little weird for those of us from the northern hemisphere as it is usually 85-90 F

    What to you mean, this seems quite normal.

  26. 26
    mrmoshpotato says:


    What to you mean, this seems quite normal.

    Haha, no. It’s not normal. It’s weird. I was in SoCal for the ’98 Rose Bowl, and walking around Universal Studios in shorts when Alvin, Simon and Theodore are singing Christmas songs is weird.

    It’s not “I’m dreaming of surfing on Christmas.”

  27. 27

    @mrmoshpotato: I’m a Southern CA native, it’s quite normal for me.

  28. 28
    2liberal says:

    you jest – I checked !

  29. 29
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  30. 30
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I’m a Chicago native, and I like at least 3″ of snow on Christmas. :)

  31. 31
  32. 32

    @2liberal: We’ve had 85 degrees as a high on Christmas multiple times in my lifetime.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    DonL140 says:

    We are closing on our first house, Tues, in Bryan, TX. Having the incredible resources of Texas A&M should be very helpful for our gardening efforts. We may even join the thriving Master Gardener program! We are looking forward to putting together our first real garden in many years; we’re leaving Las Vegas. First time caller, long time listener, and happy to someday contribute to the thread I’ve envied for over a decade. Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women, even if I agree it’s another damn Hallmark holiday. This one I don’t mind. (along with Father’s Day.)

  35. 35
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning!
    Had to step away to make brownies and magic cookie bars for the Mothers Day morning coffee at the church.
    Now they’re cooling and I have 2 1/2 hours to relax.

  36. 36
    satby says:

    @DonL140: Welcome to commenting and congrats on the new digs, both figuratively and literally when you do start your garden. Be sure to keep us posted on how it goes!

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yea! Was hoping so.

    @ satby: still in Germany. Heading back to US in early June via Spain. Want to stay longer!!

  38. 38
    Lapassionara says:

    @satby: If wild violets are good for butterflies, then my garden is a butterfly banquet. Some day I will send AL photos. The violets are huge (not the blooms, the leaves) and are taking over the shrubbery beds.

    And with all the rain, I am not getting any planting done. I am sure I will be wishing for rain later this summer, but still . . .

  39. 39
    SFAW says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all — even if it IS a hallmark holiday, as Ozark noted.

  40. 40
    Steeplejack says:

    In other seasonal news, it is the final day of the English Premier League season. Amir Khalid’s Liverpool side has an outside chance to win the title; they are one point behind Manchester City in the standings. (You get three points for a win and one point for a tie.) But Man City is playing Brighton & Hove Albion, the 17th-place team, while Liverpool is playing Wolverhampton, the seventh-place team. The likeliest route to a Liverpool title would be for them to beat Wolves and Brighton to miraculously salvage a tie against Man City. Still unlikely, though.

    All 10 league matches will begin, by tradition, at the same time, 3:00 p.m. (10:00 a.m. EDT), so that there can be no unseemly jiggery-pokery affecting standings and relegations. But this season everything but the title is already cut and dried. The slots are filled for next season’s Champions League (top four teams) and Europa League (fifth- and sixth-place teams), and the three bottom teams have already been doomed to relegation: Cardiff City, Fulham and Huddersfield Town. (Being promoted from the next lower league will be Norwich City, Sheffield United and a third team to be determined by a playoff.)

    I always get a twinge of sadness at the end, because the long season has been a viewing habit since August. (Each time plays 38 matches, home and away against the other 19 teams.) It will take a bit of readjustment.

    Liverpool-Wolverhampton will be shown on NBC. Manchester City-Brighton & Hove Albion will be shown on NBC Sports. Other matches will be shown on other channels. Watford vs. West Ham United on the Golf Channel, anyone? That will shake up the duffers looking for their Morning Drive fix. Possibly a Trumpster will stroke out.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The rains are supposed to relent this week and if the soil temp is OK I hope to get my beans in this week but not until after I build their trellises. I also expect to finally transplant my peppers and eggplants, cukes and melons too. The maters are growing like weeds and my brassicas are doing well. No squash this year, I have to pass on them for at least 1 year to get the squashbugs to move on. I don’t like it but it is necessary. So, no Romanesco zucchini for me :-( which I will dearly miss having as there is nothing else like it.

    I expect to finish putting Phase 1 of the Zen garden together in the next week or 2, at which point I will be able to put some focus into a few other areas of need. It’s looking good. I’ve pretty much settled on the plants for this year. We’ll see how they do and adjust next year. Phase 2 next to the house has to wait till next year as I need to lay some stone work and we need a new roof. I still have to finish putting the fountain together but it will be finished in a week or more so as some concrete needs a little more curing. We will see then just how well it works too.

  42. 42
    Immanentize says:

    Welcome to Texas! I left there 18 years ago, but it is a fun place to garden. Here is my housewarming present to you:
    Neil Sperry’s e-gardening site. Buy his book,Texas Gardening, too — it’s the best picture wish book I ever had.

  43. 43
    japa21 says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all those women who are, have been, will be mothers and to those who have been, if not biological mothers, then have played an important role in some child’s life.

    Normal high in Chicago area is 70, currently 43 with a forecast high of 53. I love Spring. I just wish it would get here sometime soon.

  44. 44
    Immanentize says:

    And happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are a mother, may one day be mothers, or are just a mother from another planet (it seems most jackals certainly can swear like a mother ….)

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    Bear in mind that the once-mighty Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 draw against Huddersfield, who have been absolutely dreadful this season — they conceded the first goal of a 5-0 thrashing at Liverpool just 15 seconds after kickoff. It is entirely possible Brighton could nick a point against City. We probably lost the title with all those draws in February. I think we’ll be even stronger next season. I will be content today if we beat Wolves and finish second. We can concentrate on beating Spurs in the Champions League final.

  46. 46
    Immanentize says:

    I have decided to solarize my veggie garden area, per Satby’s suggestion, while they paint the house this summer. But I am still planning on growing all my herbs, but moved to pots. Also, I may make one or two “Satby Boxes” for a few tomato plants. But sadly the best light is near the back of the house. I will just have to work on my other beds which, as all my neighbors know, really need work.

  47. 47

    @Pete Downunder: So this model train is inside, right? Or is it in your garden? I have no sense of how big that is.

  48. 48
    PAM Dirac says:

    Almost all the new shoots in the vineyard are over a foot long now. Fingers crossed that the rain will hold off enough for a productive bloom and fruit set in a few weeks. Anyone who wants to follow along can see the details here. In the mean time there is plenty to do in the flower beds. Lots of weeding already done and more to do. It’s too cool and cloudy for the tomato seedlings to be growing vigorously, but they are making progress. Did major hacking to the lilacs. They had been unpruned for too long and a lot of the branches were over 10 foot tall. Let them bloom and then hacked the tall ones down and thinned everything. It’s nice to be retired and have the time to spend on growing things.

  49. 49
    Argiope says:

    @satby: Due, no doubt, to insufficient caffeine, I first read this as magic brownies. Made me giggle and want to attend church! I feel it could boost flagging attendance if that were an issue.

  50. 50
    NotMax says:


    At one point, besides a NY driver’s license*, had an officially issued (either state or county, can’t recall which) Matron’s license – required for a job. Does that count?


    *Which confused people when it needed to be shown, as it was issued with my Pennsylvania P.O. box mailing address on it. Yes, young’uns, there was a time when a driver’s license was more flexible and also did not contain a picture.

  51. 51
    MomSense says:

    My neighbor behind my house is on year two of taming her side of the wooded berm between our houses. They’ve been cutting and clearing everything except the large trees so now we can look into each other’s kitchens while we do dishes. Yay😬 The latest improvement is outlining every bed with irregular stones/rocks. Mowing is going to be super fun for her husband with all those rocks to edge. I’m pretty sure she’s looking at my side and wondering when I will finally tame it. Ugh.

    In happy garden news, my peonies and irises have come through the ground. I still need to do some clearing especially in my pollinator bed. My roses are nearly dead so I’ll dig out the last shoots and figure out something new for those spots. I also lost some boxwoods to winter and I’m not sure what to do there yet. Our winters have been tough the last few years.

    It’s mothers day which is not a universally happy day so I’m just sending hugs to all the Jackals today. I’m hoping to get some nice outdoor time in the dirt – have a new playlist from a kid to listen to. It’s always an auditory adventure around here.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:


    First Church of Alice B. Toklas.


  53. 53
    Another Scott says:

    @satby: (raises hand, sheepishly)

    Thanks for the pointer, and the reminder that even the most annoying weeds serve a purpose.

    I’ve got a ~ 10×10 plot in the back yard that I’ve let go fallow for several years and have encouraged some flowering plants to take up residence there as well. And we’ve got lots of parkland close by with “weedy” lawns. So, I’m feeling guilty about trying to get the weeds out of our lawn areas, but not too much. I’ll keep it in mind though!

    Rainy here, so no yard/garden work today…


  54. 54
    debbie says:

    @Pete Downunder:

    My father used to build train sets. I don’t know the scale of the train cars, but he wove the tracks in and out of forests filled with individually constructed trees and boulders, through deep craggy mountains, and tiny little towns. He and my brothers spent hours in the basement and in the hobby store.

  55. 55
    debbie says:


    I’m tired just reading about your plans!

  56. 56
    NotMax says:


    One could get quite the buzz going from the fumes of the liquid used to generate engine smoke.


  57. 57
    Currants says:

    @satby: Thanks for that link! I have lots of white and purple violets in my yard, and volunteer dill coming out my ears. Glad to know it’s going to be useful soon!

    Anybody here growing gooseberries (preferably in New England) and have variety recommendations?

  58. 58
    debbie says:


    No, for me, it was the airplane glue when they were building little houses, etc.!

  59. 59
    Another Scott says:

    OT: Reuters – Now you can explore a cave without going into a cave:


    Geo-CZ used their system in Chynovska jeskyne, a cave about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Prague, that was discovered in 1863 and opened to the public in 1868. In the 1980s, spelunkers found lower, larger parts of the cave system that are filled with water. The exploration is still going on.

    The new system will make that much easier, and more accurate, Sindelar said. “Within the 200 meters of the flooded corridors of the Chynov cave, with a drop of more than 46 meters and a very complex system, the deflection does not exceed tens of centimeters,” he said.

    When observing the cave as a whole in the computer model, the divers also can understand it better.

    “In the 3D imagery, we can really realize the connections among the corridors and of the whole system… we can get much more information from it,” Chynov cave specialist Frantisek Krejca said.

    I haven’t poked around there (just found it), but Caves.CZ looks interesting. (Google Translate does a pretty good job in the automatic translation.)


  60. 60
  61. 61
    Gelfling 545 says:

    It’s raining again. On the few days it hasn’t rained I’ve had to go and do other things so there’s a ton of work to be done. The tulips and daffodils were great this year. I paid a guy way too much money to cut off the limb of a tree not even on my property because it was going to come down in the next wind storm or the next and do damage and he did not even cut it into regulation size for city pick up.
    The firm who were going to replace the large strip of trim that the wind storms pulled off my house arrived on Thursday and went away, trim uninstalled, because a large family of birds had moved in behind the board.
    Spring clean up is NOT going well.

  62. 62
    germy says:

    R.I.P. Peggy Lipton.

    Anyone else remember “The Mod Squad” ?

  63. 63
    Quinerly says:

    Oops. Poco posted on the prior thread by mistake.

    Poco sez, “Mom, it’s cold and damp out there. I can just tell. The bed is snuggly and warm. I’ll just hold it awhile just for you in honor of Mother’s Day so don’t bother opening the door and telling me that I must go out. But in the meantime while you are up, can you bring me one of Aunt Red’s dog biscuits that she knows I love? You seem to forget how much I love them. It’s been almost 24 hours since you offered me one. On your special day, I’ll eat a couple in bed just in your honor. It would be especially nice, if we can start out with a couple of slices of that American Cheese. Aunt Red’s dog biscuits serve as a nice palete cleanser for me after the cheese and before you start your day. John Lennon, fearless rescue kitty, mentioned his litter box needed cleaning. I would do that as a Mother’s Day gift to you but the last time I did it as a surprise and kissed you, you screamed at me.”


    Have a great day Balloon Juicers and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers.

  64. 64
    germy says:

    This twitter thread is incredibly moving. Someone who struggled with anxiety and depression felt rescued by a mom cat

    So… I JUST FOUND A CAT THAT IS NOT MINE AND IT HAS HAD BABIES UNDER MY BED.— Paris Zarcilla (@ParisZarcilla) May 30, 2018

  65. 65
    NotMax says:


    Anyone else remember “The Mod Squad” ?

    Not voluntarily.


  66. 66
  67. 67
    germy says:

    @NotMax: I was about ten or eleven years old during the Mod Squad’s airing. I watched it, I’ll admit. I also watched “Laugh In” and “The Monkees”

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Scott:

    Now you can explore a cave without actually going into a cave

    First off, no, no one can’t. One isn’t exploring if one is just going where others have gone before, One is just being a tourist. Doing it digitally isn’t even that.

    spelunkers found lower, larger parts of the cave system

    2nd, NONONONONO!!! Spelunkers are tourists who get off the paved trail and inevitably need to be rescued by actual, honest to Dawg, cavers! ;-)

    As best I can tell your link goes to a tour cave site. There are a few rudimentary maps, some nice pics. I’d probably get a whole lot more out of it if I could read Czech. :-)

  69. 69
    NotMax says:


    Altruism, thy name is dog.


  70. 70
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: Unfortunately.

  71. 71
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @germy: Laugh in and the Monkees had the redeeming goal of being there to make one laugh at least. They even succeeded at it from time to time.

  72. 72
    Quinerly says:

    @NotMax: 💚
    Poco sez, “I gave up the rough and tumble street life to eat American Cheese slices in bed with you. And my balls. I gave up my balls for you.”

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    I am of a certain age such that Peggy Lipton was a real thrill and date wish role model. Who knows about these things, but maybe she had something to do with the fact I married a “Julie?”

  74. 74
    realbtl says:

    First hummingbirds showed up here in NW MT yesterday so got the feeder out. The bears should be sufficiently fattened up that I can put out the bird feeders. Yay Spring.

  75. 75
    Another Scott says:




    (“Who agrees that one has to be there to be there, but it’s interesting nonetheless.”)

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:


    Anyone else remember “The Mod Squad” ?

    Cheesy show, but goddam Peggy Lipton was beautiful. She was not a great actress, but had good tv charisma, and from some of the articles that have recently popped up, was a mature and interesting person in real life, which is more important.

    It was good to read that her daughters and nieces were with her.

    I admit that I was shocked for a moment when the obit noted that she died at age 72. The years flew by since I was a teen watching the Mod Squad.

    ETA. A broadcast digital channel recently ran a full season of Mod Squad episodes. Dipped in and thought that a few were fairly good. They really tried to ride that wave of hippie youth sticking it to the Man grafted on to s standard police procedural.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Sab says:

    @Immanentize: I am a few years younger than her, and she was definitely a role model to me. Although I was always concerned that apparently she was never fed during Mod Squad. Slender is fine, but she seemed starved.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    Beautiful 😍 picture of Forever FLOTUS 😍 😍, Mrs. Robinson, and the Wee Michelles, now all grown up 😪😪

  80. 80
    Immanentize says:

    @Brachiator: A friend of mine used to call The Mod Squad: The White Guy, The Black Guy and a girl. Which is pretty much how it was written, sadly. They could have beat Police Woman by a generation if they took the Julie character seriously.

  81. 81
    Immanentize says:

    In dead tree NYT, there is basically two whole pages dedicated to Chris Hughes’ argument that Facebook should — and can — be broken up. A flak from Facebook has a week ass response that regulation is the answer. Of course, anti-trust dissolution IS regulation.

  82. 82
    Amir Khalid says:

    Very vaguely. It was a long time ago.

  83. 83
    Immanentize says:

    @Amir Khalid: so was Alfred E. Neuman.

  84. 84
    Immanentize says:

    @Sab: remember, she was a contemporary of a model named “Twiggy.” Thin was in, although obviously dangerously so for so many young girls.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    Alfred E Neuman is still young, and so am I.

    Football is about to start.

  86. 86
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Scott: So in spite of linguistic handicap, I was right! Thanx for the English version, I am not computer competent enough to find it on my own. Will now go learn more about caves in the Czech Republic.

  87. 87
    NotMax says:


    Attended a preview of a Broadway show starring Twiggy and Tommy Tune. More thin than you could shake a stick at.

  88. 88
    frosty says:

    Rain and being away on weekends has put a crimp in my vegetable gardening, but I managed to get the second of my two 4×4 square foot gardens mostly ready yesterday. My goal this year is to get some ground cover around the foundation so I can quit mulching. I got two books from the library (Lawn Gone and Covering Ground) that I think were recommended here. Figuring out what to do is a bit overwhelming!

  89. 89
    debbie says:


    Beautiful! <3

  90. 90
    Betsy says:

    Oh phooey. I see I’m really late to the thread. I wanted to ask if anyone else has tried Hugelculture (hügelkultur) garden beds, and if you have any tips.
    Going to try build some for my raised beds.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:


    A friend of mine used to call The Mod Squad: The White Guy, The Black Guy and a girl. Which is pretty much how it was written, sadly.

    There were a few episodes that were better than that, but I take your point.

    And it is beyond ridiculous that women are still battling for more substantial roles in the and movies.

    But I suppose that Mod Squad helped spawn Police Woman, Charlie’s Angels and 21 Jump Street.

    And let’s see. Executive producers, Aaron Spelling and Danny Thomas. And Spelling was brought us Charlie’s Angels. I also forgot that the Mod Squad lasted 5 seasons. Crazy, man. Like wow.

  92. 92
    Immanentize says:

    @NotMax: Thin and thinner.

  93. 93
    Immanentize says:

    @frosty: OT to you — the Immp did not choose Harvey Mudd, but one of his best friends is going there this fall. A really good fit.

  94. 94
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @frosty: I have Covering Ground and it has helped me a lot.

  95. 95
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: Good morning! What is the best way to send you a message? Shall I reach out via a FPer? (No, nothing creepster, I promise.) :)

  96. 96
    Brachiator says:


    In dead tree NYT, there is basically two whole pages dedicated to Chris Hughes’ argument that Facebook should — and can — be broken up

    My cynicism boils over here. Breaking up Facebook accomplishes nothing.

    There are two issues here.

    Governments want to pressure tech companies to create back doors to let them spy on citizens. A side track would be for Facebook to use it’s features to explicitly help the political party in power.

    Politicians are furious that tech companies don’t pay more in tribute to political parties and factions. And so, they threaten fines and regulation.

    Concern about the public? Non-existent.

    I will note that someone like Warren seems to be sincere, but here proposed solutions are worthless and only help the scoundrels in the long run.

  97. 97
    Sab says:

    @Immanentize: Twiggy was slender. Leslie Hornby still is. Julie seemed tired and listless, although always a trouper. In chase scenes the guys always had to pick her up, one on each elbow, and carry her.

  98. 98
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The hummingbirds have finally shown up in force. They’ve been here a few weeks but now their numbers have jumped considerably. Around about 30 of them I would say, I am sure there will be more tomorrow. Went out to refill the feeders yesterday and one very fat (pregnant?) female absolutely refused to give up her spot until I took it off the hook and turned to go inside.

    Half the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks have returned as well. The female half. Very strange, never before have I seen females without the males and vice versa.

    Now I await the Baltimore Orioles.

  99. 99
    Steeplejack says:

    Crowd in Liverpool (up 1-0 on Wolves) goes crazy as it is announced that Brighton has gone up 1-0 against Man City.

    ETA: And Man City equalizes almost immediately.

  100. 100
    Steeplejack says:


    Also Twin Peaks.

  101. 101
    TomatoQueen says:

    TOON 2 up at Craven Cottage, my 2nd favorite English football ground. Apparently my owner is at the game, hurl. Hoping for minor miracles for Liverpool. In the garden, the azaleas are fading, and the foxglove appears to be rising up again.

  102. 102
    Mike in NC says:

    A quick perusal of the Sunday papers tells me that Republicans are working diligently to ban abortion and contraception across the South and Midwest. Governor of Georgia photographed signing fake fetal heartbeat bill while surrounded by approving women. So instead of Happy Mothers Day, I’ll go with Happy Handmaids Tale Day!

  103. 103
    Immanentize says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: try jjpokorak at that old Google mail thingamabob

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    City up 1-2 at halftime. Feh.

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:


    Mostly recall their oft-used dramatic ploy of the rolled-over car that, after a pause would burst into flames. So when I was in a rollover accident and the car ended upside down, the first thing I thought of was Mod Squad exploding cars! and dug the hell out of there as fast as possible. Good thing it didn’t, because it took awhile to get the driver untangled and out his side.

  106. 106
    Dog Mom says:

    Hate to bring a dark cloud to this thread, but I am now down to 2 broke-down dogs. My Lulu, one of my beagle sisters took a down turn and yesterday it was clear she just wanted to sleep peacefully. Probably cancer or a brain tumor, but she was a complicated case and we didn’t make it to see the specialists. I had no good choice and it sucks.

  107. 107
    trollhattan says:

    Programming note: USWNT begins their send-off series in Santa Clara vs. South Africa @ 1:30 PT. Final tuneup before the Womens World Cup.

  108. 108
    trollhattan says:

    @Dog Mom:
    So sorry!

  109. 109
    Kathleen says:

    @germy: She was married to Quincy Jones and is the mother of Rashida Jones.

  110. 110
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:
    Between these bills and judicial appointments, the fundies are getting their money’s worth from Trump. The rare return on investment in Trump.

    Yay, us.

  111. 111
    Kathleen says:

    @Dog Mom: {{{{Dog Mom}}}} So sorry to read that.

  112. 112
    MomSense says:

    @Dog Mom:

    I’m really sorry. Hugs

  113. 113
    Immanentize says:

    @Dog Mom: that is just rotten, I am so sorry. Hug the remaining sweet pups for me?

  114. 114
    Immanentize says:

    @Kathleen: I just learned that about Rashida Jones — who I love!

  115. 115
    Another Scott says:

    @Brachiator: LOLGOP:


    LOLGOP Retweeted Felicia Sonmez

    Agreed. Shutting Facebook down completely makes more sense.

    LOLGOP added,

    Felicia Sonmez Verified account @feliciasonmez

    Booker expresses caution about breaking up big companies like Facebook … by @costareports

    7:58 AM – 12 May 2019

    That works too. ;-)

    Seriously, as I understand it, buried in the incorporation paperwork and laws are statements about (something like) “operating in the public interest”. Companies that are actively working to, or at least doing nothing to prevent, destruction of our body politic should not have protection of the law to do whatever they want in the name of “free speech”.

    Facebook, and Twitter, are broken as they exist now. They need to be fixed or taken apart.


  116. 116
    Immanentize says:

    @Another Scott:
    Booker really is the frigging stripe in the middle of every road, isn’t he….

  117. 117
    CaseyL says:

    OK, I am gardening again. I don’t have a good track record; what i have is a gray-to-black thumb.

    One of the professors at work is a madskillz gardener at home, and he likes to share. Brought in massive bags of home-grown lettuces, which happily graced my mealtime over a number of days. Then he brought in some tomato starts, and my boss – not to be outdone – brought in some strawberry starts.

    I took a deep breath (plants mostly come to my house to die) and took home three tomatoes and four strawberries. Two trips to Home Depot to get enough potting soil, since I underestimated like whoa. Lacking a yard, but in possession of a large deck that gets good morning sun, I put each in a medium-to-large pot and put them out on the deck. One of the ‘maters is already sporting multiple yellow blossoms. Everyone is spreading their leaves to the great outdoors. I am trying really hard not to overwater.

    It would be cool beyond belief to eat something I grew on my back deck.

    Pray for me, and for the plants.

  118. 118
    StringOnAStick says:

    After a week of rain and snow, warm weather is here. Mother’s day is the official sign it’s ok to plant out the tender things around here but the fact that two days ago there was still snow visible in shady spots made me wonder. I’m going to go check my large self watering pots to see if the soil is warm enough for beans and cucumbers.

    The evening will be spent comforting my younger sister who is taking the loss of our mother last June very hard. She was not that great of a mom and really did not like having kids (ignored all the grandkids unless forced), so her loss, while a mercy because she’d become very senile, angry, and drunk starting at 8a.m. every day, is very hard for my sister. That’s probably because my sister is a type cast character for every dysfunction due to being an adult child of alcoholics, and now that parent is gone and all the emotional mess from the relationship can’t be repaired with a living parent participating. It was never going to be anyway, but closing doors just destroy my sister. When our dad passes I expect her to completely fall apart and possibly permanently so

    It’s a gorgeous day, so I’m going outside to enjoy it! We can choose to be happy and enjoy life, and I choose life.

  119. 119
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: @Immanentize: You can read the full article on his statement in the Post. It’s more nuanced than the tweet suggests:

    [H]e would encourage the Justice Department to take the lead and use “antitrust legislation to do the proper investigations and to hold industries accountable for corporate consolidation.”

    He’s not only responding to Warren; he’s also talking about Trump, who went after ATT/TimeWarner and CNN very publicly for political purposes and to score political points. Booker won’t get praise for this but given the lawlessness we’ve seen it’s actually imperative that we do return to process for things like the enforcement of antitrust legislation. I’d like to hear more about how he would do the latter. It matters a lot. But I’m glad he’s not demagoguing the issue.

  120. 120
    StringOnAStick says:

    @trollhattan: I’m so sorry. I’m sure your dog had the best possible life with you.

  121. 121

    @Dog Mom: I’m sorry. That’s hard.

  122. 122
    Amir Khalid says:

    Ah well. No title for Liverpool. In the one match we lost all season, a Liverpool shot on City’s goal fell 11mm short of crossing he goal line. That would have made it a draw, and put Liverpool in a better points position. Eleven milimetres! That’s how close the title race was.

  123. 123
    CaseyL says:

    @Dog Mom: I’m so sorry.

  124. 124
    Steeplejack says:

    Liverpool beats Wolves 2-0, but Man City beats Brighton 4-1 to win the Premier League title.

  125. 125
    Another Scott says:

    @Immanentize: Heh. :-)


    “I don’t think that a president should be running around pointing at companies and saying ‘breaking them up’ without any kind of process,” he said in a clip of an interview he did with ABC News that was posted online Saturday.

    “It’s not me and my own personal opinion about going after folks. That sounds more like a Donald Trump thing to say like ‘I’m going to break up you guys,’” he added.

    When ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked if Booker “just compared Elizabeth Warren to Donald Trump” Booker denied doing so.

    “I most certainly did not. She is my friend,” he said.

    “We do not need a president that is going to use their own personal beliefs and tell you which companies we should break up,” he added. “We need a president that’s going to enforce anti-trust laws in this country, and I will be that person.”

    He also noted in the interview that he believes corporate consolidation is “absolutely” a big problem.

    The Hill has reached out to Warren’s campaign for comment.

    Warren has called for the breakup of major corporations including Facebook, Amazon and Google.

    “To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies,” she wrote in a Medium post.

    Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes this week also advocated for the company’s breakup in a New York Times op-ed.

    While recognizing that the press loves short sound-bites, Booker is smart enough not do talk like this. I don’t think that he really thinks that Warren is advocating just marching into Facebook, Google, etc., and throwing the management out in the street on January 20. Of course there will be a process guided by law.

    They’re probably not that far apart on the issue.

    He’s trying to sound more reasonable, but he’s doing it in a ham-handed way. I think he’s done things like this in the past. If he wants to stick around through the primaries, he needs to do better.


  126. 126
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Dog Mom:
    Sad to hear it.At least she got to go in peace.

  127. 127
    J R in WV says:

    Rained hard last night here, cold yesterday, high of 60. I’ve already shifted to shorts and tee shirt summer garb, saw people layered up with down in town yesterday! I was a little cool, but being active I was OK with that.

    Cat dad tweet was finest, so happy for the guy.

    Ramps season is over, they’re yellowed out and drooped. They seem to be doing well. My own fault we only did one mess with crisp fried potatoes. Yumm. Our only gardening for food crop, ’cause they grow in the forest floor and the deer don’t eat them.

  128. 128
    J R in WV says:

    @Dog Mom:

    So sorry for your loss.You have to take care of them, sometimes that means letting go. Hard tho that is!

  129. 129
    tobie says:

    @Another Scott: I agree that Booker’s answer was a little ham-handed. I didn’t see the interview so it’s hard to know how fast-paced the questioning was but it seems like he could have distinguished himself in a more positive way if he had identified some of the issues that the Justice Dept in a Booker admin would use to evaluate anti-trust claims. Big pharma and big tech are low lying fruit but it’s hard to imagine a sector of the economy that has not undergone corporate consolidation. One example: I’ve been looking for independent living / assisted living facilities for my folks, and it’s frightening to see how many of these places have the same corporate owner.

  130. 130
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Pete Downunder: Our area has a garden railroad tour every August, and we have gone many times. I always think it is the landscaping that makes the best ones.

  131. 131
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    Facebook, and Twitter, are broken as they exist now. They need to be fixed or taken apart.

    Meaningless and empty statements. Fixing Facebook and Twitter is an interesting idea, I guess. Define the supposed fixes. Are you going to have a law that says that no future company can do what Facebook and Twitter do that you think is wrong? Are you going to have a law that says that no one can use a service like current Twitter or Facebook?

    I’ve read the articles about taking Facebook apart. I don’t see that they accomplish anything. Your mileage may vary.

    And as I noted earlier, it is very interesting that governments want to get Facebook and other tech companies to use their tech tools in service of “national security” and law enforcement. This is one of the reasons that I doubt that this scrutiny on these companies is related to public interest.

  132. 132
    Dog Mom says:

    Thanks to all for kind words of support. Snuggling with the other pups is the best I can manage for today. I had been expecting for the day to come for the very ancient Weimaraner. I have had a few times thinking the time is near for her, and then she punks me – getting a sudden second wind of puppyism.

  133. 133
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Immanentize: Message sent.

  134. 134
    Another Scott says:


    Meaningless and empty statements.

    Thank you Mr. King of Written English.


    The statements are clear and the meaning is clear.

    Of course, it would and will not be easy. But I have no doubt that FB and T will change or be forced to change the way they handle things like bots that incite violence, posters that spread damaging disinformation as a tool of national policy, and all the rest. The USA and the rest of the world is not simply going to throw up their hands and say, “Hey, it’s the Internet. Whatareyagonnado?”

    How? Beats me.

    Worrying about backdoors is a different issue and does not override the need for them to change or be changed.



  135. 135
    Immanentize says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Caught it! I will reply after a discussion with the Immp. So tempting.

    MEANWHILE EVERYONE — Check out this Peggy Lipton version of Wear Your Love Like Heaven (a Donovan song). It sorta choked me up.

  136. 136
    satby says:

    @Dog Mom: so sorry! It’s so hard when it’s sudden like that. Condolences on Lulu’s passing.

  137. 137
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    But I have no doubt that FB and T will change or be forced to change the way they handle things like bots that incite violence, posters that spread damaging disinformation as a tool of national policy, and all the rest.

    None of this is addressed by breaking up Facebook or Twitter. Nor is it particularly limited to Facebook or Twitter.

    You’re embracing solutions without really understanding the problem. This is part of what makes your statements empty and meaningless.

    From a recent news story.

    In Mexico, two people were beaten and burned to death in August after rumors spread on WhatsApp of people kidnapping children and harvesting their organs. In India, a video edited to look like a kidnapping that spread on WhatsApp inspired mobs to kill two dozen people. In Sri Lanka, the government temporarily shut down WhatsApp as well as Facebook, Instagram and the messaging app Viber as part of an effort to stop ethnic conflicts.

    WhatsApp was the main platform for messaging service misinformation campaigns in seven of the 10 countries studied in a recent Oxford University report, but it is not the only popular messaging app battling misinformation. Other services studied in the report included Telegram in Iran, WeChat in China and Line in Thailand.

    The problem is larger than just “break up Facebook.”

    And the use of backdoors is more than a side issue.

    But WhatsApp is limited in what it can police by some of its own features, particularly the encryption that is valued by privacy advocates. Because the messages are encrypted, not even WhatsApp employees are necessarily able to trace and shut down misinformation.

    Governments hate encryption, even when it is used for legitimate purposes. And it is damned difficult to separate “good” messages from “bad” messages without imposing censorship or other types of controls.

    A link to the full story here.

  138. 138
    Dog Mom says:

    @satby: Thank you

  139. 139
    Another Scott says:


    Governments hate encryption, even when it is used for legitimate purposes. And it is damned difficult to separate “good” messages from “bad” messages without imposing censorship or other types of controls.

    You know these things, but for completeness:

    1) The US Government had a lot to do with the R&D of encryption and secure communications. E.g. TOR was created by the US Navy. DARPA has funded research on quantum-based data encryption. Saying “governments hate encryption” is too simplistic.

    2) Backdoors can be put in all kinds of computation and communications equipment and software – it’s not a particular issue to the particular “social media” platform of the day. Problems with social media are different from backdoors.

    3) There’s a difference between a messenger and a message. Yes, reCAPTCHA is fighting a battle between humans and bots that will never be completely won. But social media companies have ways to determine who is using their software in ways that violate their terms of service. If their terms of service are too lax, then they should be strengthened. Governments can define minimum standards for terms of service that address things like use by foreign agents, spreading lies meant to inflame via weaponized AI, threatening others, and all the rest.

    Yes, it’s a hard problem and can be done poorly or in ways that make things worse. I’m not smart enough to say that it’s obviously hopeless. I think humans are smarter than that.

    But beyond that, we have lots and lots of examples in history of companies becoming too big and too unaccountable, abusing their power and hurting the country, and governments moving to break them up. A strong case can be made that Facebook (and potentially Twitter) are in that category.



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