Yard and Garden Pictures

idie2liveMay 27, 2010

I thought we could post some pictures of the yard and garden in one place. Bring 'em on! Plants, veggies, yard art. Ours, or someone elses.

This Angels Trumpet does not bloom until the fall. I think it is because it does not get enough sun.

I think this is a 4 o'clock. I've had it for quite a while

My Mandevilla. I buy one tropical every summer for the only really sunny plave in my yard

My Clematis is not as large as yours Mama. From (you guessed it) not enough sun

My pride and joy! My Crepe Myrtle after my son trimmed the lower branches.

It is already full of blooms

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Wow, I've got several crepes, 3 different kinds, the normal one like yours, is not even showing any buds yet. I do have buds on a lavender one, and also on my Queen Crepe. Your Angel Trumpets might be too small to bloom yet. Your Mandevilla is a wonderful color and I wish I could grow clematis.

Enjoy your gardens ~ FlowerLady

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Here's a couple pictures to get started. I'll have to get out this weekend and take some pictures of our garden pond. The first picture is of a banana plant in bloom. The big red bud is the male flower, and the bananas can be seen above it. The second picture is a night blooming cactus. The blooms get up to 8" across, and close at first light.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 8:46PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Loretta, great pictures! I don't think it's the location of your clematis, I think it's just the variety. I have one that looks the same, maybe 'Polish Spirit', and it has smaller flowers than the 'Nelly Moser'.

But, omygosh, that crepe myrtle!! It's amazing! I have a pink one that freezes to the ground almost every year--right now it's about 2 feet tall. :(

I have the four-o'clocks, too. (Yellow) I love those old-fashioned flowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clematis

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:26PM
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Flowerlady, the Angels Trumpet will end up being around 5' - 6' tall by the end of the summer. It always starts to bloom around the end of September. Sometimes the cooler fall weather kills the flowers
The flowers are so pretty.

Jay - WOW! Impressive. It must be nice having a year round growing season.

Mama, I love that purple Iris. I had bad results with mine this year - very few blooms. And not one Amaryllis bloomed either.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:39PM
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LOVELY shots. So pleased to see FlowerLady on this thread, your gardens are works of art. And I have a fantasy going of Mama Goose's Buttery Retreat, snake and all.

The friend who worked on our "back 40" put a pile of debris to the street which was the size of a big pickup truck. He said a black snake rode his limb all the way to the street too, but I hope he finds his way home where he can get big and fat on the mice. A swale begins in that area and eventually finds its way down to Dog River, so we have lots of river-based critters. The only snakes I am fearful of are the water moccasins, aggressive and nasty tempered.

I have many garden albums uploaded at Webshots, link shown below to all of them. Here is the way my New Orleans courtyard patio looked LAST year, before our cold winter. Most are making a comeback thank heaven.

The "back 40" is on the far side of this fence. We'll take this fence out and put in another where my beloved star jasmine will grow to cover the chain links...just like in Italy! New fence will be where the yellow rope can be seen.

This is a different perspective, looking further through the Back 40 into my dear little neighbor's garden. What a lovely glimpse into a very well tended place.

And this is my Natchez white crape myrtle at the street end of my rose bed. Full sun for these babies, except for late shade from tall pines and oaks across the street.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moccasin's Webshots including GARDEN ALBUMS

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:37AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

flgargoyle, neat shots, I don't think I've seen a banana flower before.

Speaking of fruit, ML, the pic of the kumquat reminds me of Christmas. My aunt used to live in FL, and would bring back kumquats and other citrus fruits. I remember one called a 'poncan'(sp?), similar to a tangerine.

My grandmother used to have a flowering maple that she moved outdoors every summer, and babied all year long. You have some beautiful pictures--I'm going to enjoy visiting often.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:46AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I meant the pictures in your Webshots, just in case someone thinks I'm hallucinating.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:48AM
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First, Idie2live, thank you so much for not committing "crape murder" on your beautiful crape. That's what we call it here when someone "knuckles" the crapes thinking it will make them bloom better. The old varieties may have bloomed only on new growth, but the recent varieties will bloom PERIOD. I think yours is also a Natchez, and they claim it will bloom for 110 days, pretty good in my book. Mine has not started blooming yet, but it has been in the ground only one year. I use it as an exclamation mark at the end of the rose bed, out by the street. You'd think the bed would make our yard look smaller, but it seems to do the opposite. In the center of our circular drive I left piles of leaves and other mulch and the worms dug the bed for me--honest, I never dug the soil, just spaded a little to insert all the plants. I had to do that because it was hard as a rock to start with--clay I imagine--and now it is a great place for my lilies. And ONE HUGE STAR JASMINE on a 4x4 pole, which started out being a flag pole until the jasmine consumed the flag pole.

And Flgargoyle, Jay, I do so enjoy tropical plants. We are marginal for their hardiness in zone 8B, so I did lose a few of mine this winter, although most of them are making a serious comeback, a very pleasant surprise. When you move up to the Carolinas, make the acquaintance of the Plant Delights Nursery, part of the Juniper Level Botanical Gardens. Or maybe it is just adjacent to that? I get their printed catalog because I enjoy reading it, even plant descriptions are humorous and very well written. Tony Avent, the owner, used to be a garden writer--and still is, IMHO.

I have a night blooming cereus, which I think is a succulent and has that kind of bloom about once a year. But I would not call it a cactus since it has no stickers. You should see what is happening to the cuttings I took in the winter so I would have room for this plant in the house during the colld spell...those cuttings are putting out roots all through the spagnum moss I put in there with it to hold the moisture and not let the stems rot in water. It is gorgeous and fresh, unlike the parent plant which has grotesque shapes and no concern for orderliness. I think it would become a climber if left to its own devices.

And then I have a sort of lacy fern, the kind my grandmother kept when I was a child. Very layered looking medium green fronds. I ignored it for a while, and then I noticed it was developing THORNS on its stems. So I'm assuming that this fern can climb too, much like roses, by getting a toothy hold on some object like tree bark. I'm really into ferns, especially the ones which can survive in the ground. My very favorite hardy fern is the holly fern. I have a lot of that as filler in my tropical plant beds, along with aspedistra. Dark green strapping leaves spell TROPICAL to me. But I also have some variegated aspedistra (cast iron plant). Those dark green plants, such as aspedistra or leriope/mondo grass are the eye liner and mascara for the garden. Talk about dramatic, they can do it.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:56AM
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Night blooming cereus is a climber- they'll go all the way up a tree if undisturbed. I think your fern is what I always called an asparagus fern- so-called because the new shoots look like miniature asparagus. Ours had berries on it from time to time. I'll have to get a picture of my dragon fruit- another climbing cactus. It's starting to climb a wall even though it's still in the pot- looks like something out of a sci-fi movie! It bears an edible fruit.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 1:55PM
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Jay, do you see a lot of Loquat trees? They will grow pretty well here - Zone 8_ but need to be in a protected spot. They will also grow fruit, but it never has time to mature. I used to have one, but it died during the winter about 10 years ago.
Flowerlady, I've seen your albums numerous times. They are amazing.
ML I've never seen a fern with thorns. Is it a perrenial?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 3:13PM
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wow - you guys have very lush gardens! living in the desert, i don't see that much anymore.

here's a few from around my place:

mama bird in a jumping cholla - she's in about the middle and going to the right:

SW of me - mini monsoon coming in. the flowering bush below and left of the telephone pole is the cholla bush mama bird is in. my land goes back past that bush.

SE of me - on a clear day:

toward night:

dust storm coming - my land goes back to about 3/4" below the flag pole. it's a lot more than 3/4" in real life tho - lol!

NE of me -

mountain lion paw print (the circle around it is from the dog dish I put over it to protect the print; dish is about 9" in diameter). It was in my driveway!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 3:24PM
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I am in a new to me house ('07) in a new to me climate (from 10b to 6b), and boy has it been a trip. We bought the home sight unseen (although family members toured and sent me photos) and so I guess the previous owner thought it was OK to leave it in horrendous condition.

I've been putting together a page of how we are working to change it- formatting is still a tad wonky, but the photos tell the tale. Link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cearbhaill

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Here's some more pictures around our postage-stamp yard- nothing to match desertsteph, though! Once we move to SC, I'll have 7 acres to play around with!

The first picture is our garden pond. It used to be a small (15') pool. and we made it into a fish pond:

Here's a bigger picture, with the bridge my son and I built. It doesn't go anywhere, but we love it! There are 4 lights hanging down that come on at night. The strange metallic object on the right is a smoker I made from a stainless steel 55 gallon drum. I'm quite the cook, if I don't say so myself!

Our huge rosemary bush! The fence behind it is 6' tall, and the bush goes almost to the top of the picture. There's a big clump of lemon grass on the left.

Here's our back yard, with our overgrown herb garden in the middle. Herbs include fennel, thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram, mint, stevia, catnip and tarragon. What a delight having fresh herbs year-round!

Lastly is a little Walking Iris in bloom:

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 6:36PM
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WOW WOW WOW Every ones yards are so pretty. I am embarrassed to show mine but will. We moved here June 28, 2008. Tore up field new house nothing but a elm tree and 6 foot thistles growing in the weeds and lots of tore up dirt.

I have done as much as I could since then. I have a very long way to go. My husband does not garden. Were up to him there would be nothing here. I have a fragile back and little $$$$ to spend. I did talk to a young man 15 or so about helping me do some heavy work this summer.

I do need to get some pictures added. Will try to do so before the storm that is coming in cuts loose. I do have some pretty iris in bloom now. I will also add a picture of the bank where the new juniper plants will be going.

So such as it is at 2 years young.

First year- 2008-2009


Here is a link that might be useful: 2010

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 6:57PM
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Steph, I've never been in a desert area before. Those mountains (hills?) are behind your house? And did I read correctly - mountain lion? Do you have to keep smaller animals inside?

Jay, I think my yard is smaller than yours! I love the 'bridge to nowhere' too. It adds so much charm to the pond area.
Chris, you have done a great job in such a short time. But where is the yard 'art'?
cearbhaill, I'm dying to know what that screen name means. I spent quite a bit of time going through your albums. You have also done a LOT of work. The grounds are really nice.
Great pics everyone!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:00PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Wonderful pictures, everyone!

desertsteph, that terrain looks very similar to western CO, where we used to live, and the mountain lion tracks are too close for comfort!

cearbhaill, what a difference--your grass is perfect! I live in zone 6 in Southern Ohio, just a few miles from the river.

flgargoyle, we have a miniature iris that grows wild, iris cristata, I think, that looks similar to your walking iris.

shades, your iris are gorgeous. The color combination of yellow iris and dame's rocket is beautiful. We call it sweet rocket, and mine is almost gone. I always leave a few plants at the back of the bed, to go to seed.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:15PM
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"cearbhaill, I'm dying to know what that screen name means. I spent quite a bit of time going through your albums. You have also done a LOT of work. The grounds are really nice."

Cearbhaill is the Gaelic form of my last name meaning "warlike champion" :)
My husband is Irish, our Hounds are Irish, so we kind of naturally adopted an old Celtic persona as our identity.
My yard is my passion, so thanks. It is work, but we love being out there both to work and then to crank back and gaze upon our results. Total labor of love!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:17PM
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Golly gosh gee whiz!!
We are a true cross-section of the US.
Steph that property is awesome. You have mountains for 360 degrees. And big critters at night means they are somewhere in the area by day also. Like up in Mass, and other suburban areas are now being visited more frequently by coyotes, fisher cats and such.

Jay, my DH is discovering the joys of herb gardening. And also using herbs to cook. Unlike me, he follows a recipe exactly including the herbs, and the results impress both of us. So much so that he is now growing basil, dill, marjoram, oregano, lemon thyme, sage. I grow the rosemary. Soon I will plant some ginger, and I have a little bay tree in a pot. Given the right climate, what we call "house plants" can cover whole fences and heavily adorn large trees. Like the philodendron on the brick walls in Key West, as prolific as ivy (hedera helix( in other parts of the country. You will undoubtedly enjoy your Carolina gardening on SEVEN ACRES...wow, let nature take care of most of it.

Shades of Idaho, you have to start somewhere, and take your time with it. Be sure to have a plan. In my case, I began work here by removing all the old batteries and a/c units and car parts that the PO used to plug holes her 2 pit bulls dug under the fence. They even left the chains they used to chain up those dogs, and I use the chains to hang my hammock! I also used the leaves I raked up to define where I wanted any flower beds. And there I left them, outlined with garden hoses, for about a year. The next year it was so easy to put my plants in the ground, because the EARTH WORMS or COMPOST WORMS had done most of the work for me. For those with bad backs or aging bones, this is a revelation.

Loretta, the fern is one I assume is a tender plant, but since viewing the thorns, I may have to change my opinion. I will take a full shot of it, not just a close up. I have other asparagus fern, and they are extremely hardy and did survive in pots all winter outdoors, with a few handfuls of hay and pine straw covering them. A little top kill, but all are doing fine now. I did not realize that you were in the same basic zone as me, although we are zone 8B and you are 8A, right? I will have to show you some photos of the star (confederate) jasmine which they grew so beautifully in Italy. I plan to let it cover my chainlink fencing across the new part of our back yard, instead of putting in a wooden privacy fence. Our little old lady gardening neighbor and I both appreciate good plants. I don't want to be private from her, just have some place nice and high to let those jasmines show their stuff.

Cearbhaill, I think you are going through a culture shock moving from zone 10B to 6. But what a challenge. I also garden in 5B, at least until DH sells his home in Massachusetts. And it has been a great experience dealing with new plants and growing seasons. REAL SEASONS, too. More than plant selections, I'm sure your STYLE of planting is not like your new neighbors' style, is it? A nurseryman up there says he likes to see our yard because I plant with a different style than most New Englanders. Well, of course I do, because I'm a southerner, for pete sake. What I did was put a southern twist on the N/E style I suppose. Same with inside the house. DH's family said when they saw what I'd done to his sun porch, "Oh, it is so SOUTHERN." i DIED laughing....they found me out.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 12:10AM
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"nothing to match desertsteph, though!"

lol! and here I was looking at all of the pics you all post and drooling over the green and beautiful flowers! and clear bright pics - thinking 'they must have great cameras' - mine's just a 2mp (oldie).

"the bridge my son and I built. It doesn't go anywhere"

I love that! I've wanted one for yrs going over the wash on my land (no water in it). it's really just a dip in the land and easy to walk over... but a bridge would be so pretty!

"I have a fragile back and little $$$$ to spend. I did talk to a young man 15 or so about helping me do some heavy work this summer."

I'm the same way - you take it easy w/ the back. I can only do about 10-15 min work outside and then my back is all crimped up and I have to come in and lie down til it loosens. Get that young man to help you!

"Those mountains (hills?) are behind your house? And did I read correctly - mountain lion? Do you have to keep smaller animals inside? "

they're a cross between a mtn and a hill I guess. called mountains - but NOTHING like the Rockies or Smokies - lol! but climbing one would be a horrible thing to try (to me).

yes. mountain lion. the ranger says we have (that was 2 yrs ago) about 10 out here in the 'mountains'. They come down - and yes people have built on THEIR turf. We have coyotes on a regular basis. and very close. neighbors have had sightings of them crossing my 2 acres... one morning as I went somewhere one crossed the road (in front of my place) in front of me! and we have havelina too.

my boy dog is always out. That print was found probably not more than 30' from my boy dog and the ranger estimated the mtn lion to be about 120 lbs.! that is scary.I worry about him and jump up several times a night to check on him (when he gets to howling weirdly). the rotts across the road have been the most trouble tho. one came over and attacked my boy a few yrs ago. He was out to kill - thank God my other dog was inside howling and caused me to decide to put her outside - where we (me and girl dog) saw the rott on my boy and scared him away. the rott was over 100 lbs., my boy 70 lbs.

dbf was here to clear an area to fence in for my boy the day he had his accident... I'm trying to find someone else to do that now (dbf will tell them what to do and has most of what he'll need for it). I'll be glad to have him fenced from the other DOGS. lol! when I get my new place he'll come in (tho he's afraid to come in now...)

"Steph that property is awesome. You have mountains for 360 degrees. And big critters at night means they are somewhere in the area by day also"

thank you so much! I do love it. the mountains farthest away in the NE pic are the Superstitions over in Apache Junction. They are beautiful! (and huge). the ones closer are much smaller.

yeah, the ranger says they live out here - even before i did (tho the RE agent never mentioned them).
He also said they do sometimes come down during the day and will be seen just lying under a tree. I'd have a stroke on the spot and be their dinner! I 'spect they live in the mtns to the south and west of me. People ride their horses up into those on the west side. I wouldn't go without a gun myself - there are rattlers also.

"Well, of course I do, because I'm a southerner, for pete sake. What I did was put a southern twist on the N/E style I suppose. Same with inside the house. DH's family said when they saw what I'd done to his sun porch, "Oh, it is so SOUTHERN." i DIED laughing....they found me out."

man, I laughed at this!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 5:25AM
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"I'm sure your STYLE of planting is not like your new neighbors' style, is it? A nurseryman up there says he likes to see our yard because I plant with a different style than most New Englanders."

I find it very funny that you mention that because you are absolutely right. It's not that I am trying to duplicate tropical beds, really, but my ideas about laying the beds out come from what I learned in the subtropics about layers. My neighbors are all about huge swaths of perennial beds and don't mind winter dieback much at all while I try to keep each vista interesting all the time and tend to intersperse my perennials more throughout a mixed border of evergreens and deciduous shrubs. They do "here a plant there a plant" while I tend towards larger groupings of things- I don't buy single understory plants, I get five!

Also, people here allow ginormous trees right next to their homes and even hanging over them while my hurricane training views that as a total liability. I also see less pruning and training of smaller trees- my across the street neighbor has dogwoods and small maples that you can't even see through and they are just swallowing her house. It's all I can do not to sneak over there in the night to limb them up and open them enough that you can see their lovely bones and to let air flow so the hurricanes don't take them out :)

Very interesting topic!.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 7:09AM
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We had fun building the bridge- it's 15' long, which fit the spot exactly. My wife thought we were nuts at first, but now she says if the person we sell the house to doesn't like it, she's taking it with us to SC! Sadly, the website I got the plans from seems to have disappeared. I still have the plans for the 15 footer, but they sold plans for bridges up to 50'. It's based on the ancient Chinese woven bridges that they made of bamboo, adapted to modern 2X lumber.

In SC, I'm going to dig two ponds, connected by a stream. The bridge will go over the stream. It's so peaceful to sit out by the pond at night, listening to the splashing water and the frogs. The lights attract bugs which fall in the water, and then the fish come up and grab them. We keep minnows in the pond as well, so it doesn't become a mosquito hatchery!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:03AM
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wow great garden pics everyone, so many different plants and styles of garden here.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 11:41AM
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Cearbhaill: "It's all I can do not to sneak over there in the night to limb them up and open them enough that you can see their lovely bones and to let air flow so the hurricanes don't take them out :) "

Bwahahahaha!!!! Now AIN'T that the truth. My DH finally succumbed to removing the massive hedge hiding the front of his house, and which demanded constant pruning. It was a blessing that the sewer line took out two of the bushes, and so we had the contractor jerk the rest of them out. The front yard was a wreck anyway. DH calls it "glacial junk" because you cannot DIG even a shovel full w/o hitting a rock, sometimes boulder sized. I have serious rock envy, and wanted to load up a trailer full of them to bring to Mobile. DH saw what I meant when he dug his veggie garden here in Mobile, and only found a gravel about the size of his thumbnail. Do you realize I could be the ONLY HOUSE in my neighborhood with a SERIOUR ROCK in the front flower bed?He and I have a different philosophy about gardening--he selects plants that need high maintenance, like hedges, and I select plants with a natural shape which performs its job WITHOUT intervention on my part--i.e., no shearing!

Desertsteph, I really like to think of you standing in your doorway on a blistering hot day, one hand on your hip, the other holding a morning cup of coffee, and your gaze turned toward the purple mountains shimmering along the horizon. And music, "On The Trail" from the GRAND CANYON SUITE. It is the sound poem of the burros clip clopping down the canyon trails. Then another portion of the suite is the thunder storm. I totally recommend that you seek out this music and play it full blast while you turn around and around looking at your landscape. Have you ever thought about hay bale construction? For you, it would be fantastic because all that volume would make the interior space cool... Are you the one who has the covered kitty run? Or is that Shades up in Idaho? I can imagine that a covered doggy enclosure is the route you should go too. Even some shade cloth attached over the top wires of the dog run would be a blessing for your dog. What kind of vines preferably thornless, grow in your neck of the woods? Especially along the west side of the fencing, try some vines for heat abatement. I love vines. Or more shade cloth there too. It does not block the breeze.

Flgargoyle/Jay, they have a product I use in my tiny pond, I only know they are available from the feed store--like cattle feed, you know. They are about 3" diameter PUCKS, hole in the middle, which you put into cattle watering tanks to keep the mosquito larvae from hatching. It does not harm animals nor plants. I put about 1/4 of a puck into my little pond every month. Then it slowly releases to keep the skeeters out. I'll have to look at the packaging to tell you what they are called. You are an eclectic builder! I admire how you seek out the new and different....well, ancient Chinese is not so "new", but unique is a better descriptor.

I'm also loving this thread. What I'm hearing is a symphony of many instruments with melody, rhythm, soaring high notes, vibrating reeds, heart beat percussion, and the lovely stringed instruments giving the AHHHHHH of harmony. We do pretty good, when you think about it.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 12:58PM
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flgargoyle - my wash is only 2 or 3' across - lol! someone a few miles away has a little bridge - it's purple. That's what I want - a purple one! I guess I'd have to paint it purple myself tho. I'll just buy one after things settle down from the move etc. your bridge is a beauty tho.

moccasin - I'll have to look up that music - it sounds great. i've wanted a burro for a long time... and a goat. I think I shouldn't get either tho as the 2 dogs are a lot to take care of when I'm sick.

no kitty here, it's shades. if I had a kitty I would have one of those stairs/ ledges etc for it tho. they are so neat!

I've seen shows on using hay (or was it straw?) for insulation. if i were building i'd check into it.
my boy's run has a roof on it and fencing with a door but he broke out one end of the fencing. dbf says we'll refence that end so I can shut him in at night. but he hates being shut in. his pen as it sets now doesn't get any sun from the west. half of it gets sun from the south tho and I put shade cloth on that side and the little bit that gets early sun from the east. tho, he can get away from that. His pen is BIG. it has an igloo house in it and his swimming pool (kid's wading) and he still has plenty of room left in it. he could easily have 2 houses and 2 pools in it!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 3:45PM
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What fun, seeing pics of yards and gardens. Love the desert ones!

Here's a picture of my garden. My cat is in almost all my garden pictures because she follows me everywhere I go.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Oldgardener, that picture is certainly magazine worthy! Beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 9:50PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

oldgardener, what glorious profusion! Beautiful!

It must be summer, because my hollyhocks are blooming.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hollyhock

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 8:19PM
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desertsteph, I love your desert pictures. When you look out there, you can really imagine what the country was like 200 years ago. And a mt lion right in your driveway, yowza!

flgargoyle, I really like your bridge. How hard was it to do? I want to expand our little pond and put a bridge over it. Dh isn't quite on board with that yet.

oldgardener, your yard is gorgeous! love how your c*t follows you around too. I would be out in that yard all day if it were mine.

Notice I haven't offered to show any pics of my yard? lol It looks horrible this year and I want to redo most of it and am trying to dig out and kill out what is there now.

Now I'm off to click on the links and look at the rest of your g*rdens.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:02PM
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Cearbhaill, Oh. my. gosh! The transformation of your house is amazing, both inside and out. I don't see how you turned that yard into a lawn in just two years. Tips?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 4:15PM
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WOW I have been missing in action. So much happened here in our yard and with the weather floods, not us but close. I need to get pictures. Got into a tree sale and shrubs and and and. But I will be working most of this week. Will get pictures as soon as I can.

Really enjoying every ones pictures. Lovely yards.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:02PM
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"desertsteph, I love your desert pictures. When you look out there, you can really imagine what the country was like 200 years ago. And a mt lion right in your driveway, yowza!"

yes, there is much of that around me. unfortunately, citified folks are moving out here and citifying it! ugh... I even live a bit like people did many, many decades/generations ago - water is hauled to me in a truck (I have a huge tank for it) and I often don't have working inside plumbing...(that's an ugh tho). sometimes for months - like when I didn't cover my pump in the winter and it froze (yep, in AZ) - took forever to get it replaced. and now I have a leak at the pipes by the pump so I don't keep it on all of the time. I do have a switch inside to turn it on and off (dbf's idea) so I turn it on a few times a day, fill up the sinks, flush the toilet, fill up buckets outside for dog water and then turn it off. I do have a gravity feed water tank outside also and use that to water plants, clean outside stuff so I'm not running the pump for those. No built in heat either, just a space heater I keep in the bedroom for nights (not needed in the daytime). I clearly won't need that again until next Nov/Dec - lol!
btw, I'd have the pipes replaced except I've kept putting it off because of 'moving'. They'll all be redone then anyway.

Cearbhaill - that is a ton of yard work you guys have done! wow! you all wanna 'vacation' at a free AZ 'camp ground'? I know a good one...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:30PM
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Steph, when I bought MoccasinLanding back in 1987, I never turned on the gas heat. I was there for almost 15 years before I had a heat pump installed with all the duct work and the whole house air conditioning. WONDERFUL event!

I worked offshore then, and was home only 21 days in the cold weather in February, so why pay all year round for gas heat, sez I. I used one space heater for me, and one for my parrots.

And from years of living on a boat where the only water I had was in a tank on board, I know you have to be frugal about not letting water run. The sound of running water would wake me up from a sound sleep, and my crew knew not to do it. Running water is bad news on a boat! We also took "navy showers", where you turn water on, get wet, turn it off, lather up, and then turn it back on to rinse off. Not like when we were kids and everyone bathed in the same bath water! The cleanest person bathed first...but that was in WWII days. Electricity came to the county where I was born during my childhood also. TVA, and it was a grand occasion to have a light on the ceiling operated with a pull cord. And there was an empty room dedicated to a future indoor bath, where they kept the galvanized tub used for bathing, water heated in kettles on the stove, a hand pump used to get water from the well just off the back porch. Life was simple in those days.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:06PM
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The bridge was complex, but not difficult. The various pieces have to be made pretty accurately, or nothing lines up. Our lumber was slightly oversize, and we wound up just laying the pieces over one another and drilling the holes, since the ones in the drawing didn't line up. There are certainly easier bridges to build, but I was fascinated by the design, and it's very graceful. I wish I could find out what happened to the guy selling the plans- he had an extensive website with hundreds of pictures. I've searched- he seems to have just disappeared. I think I still have drawings for the 15'. I'll look, and if I do, I can scan them and send them to you.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 3:43PM
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"water heated in kettles on the stove, a hand pump used to get water from the well just off the back porch. Life was simple in those days."

oh I remember heating water on the stove for baths! the hand pump/well i don't - we had that but i was too young at the time to remember - my sisters do tho. I remember using the same bath water my sister did tho. i think 'ick' to that now but it was normal then.

life was simpler, wasn't it? lazy summer days and winter days of sledding on the street in front of our house...
and when you were wanted at home someone (family) stood at the door and YELLED out your name. it could be heard all around the neighborhood and someone would say 'SusieQ your mom's calling you'...

running water? yikes - what a scarey thought -lol! I had 3 pipe breaks the other yr. the same pipe - just not fixed correctly. finally dbf showed up here on Memorial day with plumbing supplies and did it himself. what a mess that was x3! He cleaned it all up too.
my sister says she couldn't live like I do... I couldn't live like she does either - always demanding things be 'just so'. I'd be a nervous wreck. I tend to just go with the flow (and sometimes the flow is WATER!) She is getting a bit better in her older age tho - i've noticed her petting her dogs without gloves on. yep, she used to put gloves on the pet them - and my dogs too. I find it so interesting that 2 people raised together by the same mother can be so different in so many ways - then alike in so many other ways. We like the same colors, styles etc (mostly). She doesn't care for antiques tho and I do. just weird. I have 2 other sisters too - they're more different than alike tho.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 3:54PM
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We did not have an indoor toilet until I was in the 4th grade (around 1964). But it was very common around here to have running water inside and an outside toilet. I also clearly remember having to pump water when we were at my grandmamas house. We did not have hot water until I was in about the 10th grade. In the late 60's the city began to require homeownwers to install bathrooms. A lot of them were located on the backporch. My aunt (who just died about 10 years ago) was the only person I knew who still had to go out the door onto the porch to go into the bathroom!!!!!!!!
Here are a few pics of plants.


Tiger Lily - a litle blurry

Giant Coleus

Rose of Sharon - they are prolific bloomers here, have lots of babies everywhere and people are always trying to give them to you, lol

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:01PM
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flgargoyle, that would be great if you can find them easily. Don't go to any trouble since I still have a lot of work and persuasion ahead of me to have a place for one.

"when you were wanted at home someone (family) stood at the door and YELLED out your name. it could be heard all around the neighborhood and someone would say 'SusieQ your mom's calling you'... "

Yup, and I remember getting spanked on the front porch in front of everyone when I didn't come running fast enough too. lol

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Yes indeed, those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end. ....that is the line from a song.

What I'm hearing from you all is that I'm not alone in having an experience which essentially bridges THREE CENTURIES. Many kids today have no idea what it was like before the Internet, before electricity, before Interstate highways, before AUTOMOBILES? They think we are kidding about that. Electricity and running water are as much a part of their lives as BREATHING!! And in many big cities, it was back in the 1800s that the modern conveniences became a way of life.

That's why I say we bridge THREE centuries. We have, many of us, bridged a time BEFORE any modern conveniences, or else experienced those earlier times as part of our lives, and then we are also embracing the other things that technology brings to us....computers, telephones, CELL phones, WIRELESS connectivity, space exploration, and now tragic disasters where man has damaged a part of nature that goes far beyond one geographic area, and may wind up affecting the whole world. I mean the Gulf oil spill, of course. But don't lets get off on that now, PLEASE, I cannot bear to think about it presently. But that IS a part of our lives today, sad to say.

Many years ago I felt I was the lone ranger who saw things and felt perhaps I was not realistic in my interpretation of events. But then my sister-in-law, my brother's wife, said, "Your brither said the same thing." My bro and I never discussed our childhood perceptions, until after that.

I mark that as a turning point, where I KNEW I was right in my vision of the past. And I also realized that it gave me a stereo view, from a different angle.
And it brought the two of us closer together. I further realized that in most cases, you are only half the same genes of either parent, but you share 100% the same gene pool as your siblings. Indeed, why do siblings from the same home, same parents, see things in a unique way? Including values and prejudices and lifestyle.
Ahhh, deep mystery of life. Yet you might say, there but for the Grace of God, go I. They are the ones in this world who are more a part of you than your parents are. Yet we have no SIBLING DAY.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 2:09PM
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"Ahhh, deep mystery of life. Yet you might say, there but for the Grace of God, go I. They are the ones in this world who are more a part of you than your parents are. Yet we have no SIBLING DAY."

so true. my oldest sister lies all of the time. She's one who will tell others what she promised never to tell. She'll tell one person one thing and another the direct opposite, etc. after 45 yrs or so of putting up with it 2 of us just quit talking to her anymore (that had to do with how she acted when our mom died in '98). That was the last straw for us. I do pray for her tho. She's spent many a yr drinking life away also. it's very sad.
my sister who lives out here now just moved out yr around about 3 yrs ago. She'd been coming out for the winters for 10 or yrs and finally made the break from our home town. I moved here in about '85 - couldn't take the humidity, rain, snow, cold etc back there anymore! i miss seeing some family and friends but i've never regretted the move. It was weird after living far from my sisters for all of these yrs (no family here) to suddenly have one around again.

i think comparing childhood memories with my sister would be interesting. we've done that a few times when one of us brings something up but nothing much really. I have often thought I should ask my kids what they remember about their childhood. that'd be interesting also!

I'm glad I grew up in the yrs I did, went to schools I did etc. a much freer, slower time. we were lucky to have a tv and even luckier when it worked. didn't have a record player til jr high, 1 old phone and party line. no bicycle, no car. shared rooms - 4 to a room at times. handmedown clothes. new dress, shoes, hat, etc at Easter only. very poor growing up. great lessons learned tho.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 6:38PM
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Yes, Steph. You did what I call "taking lemons and making lemonade." What IS that part of us which responds in such a fashion, that we are not crippled by the things which apparently "do in" some members of a family.

Reminds me of the story (I'll be brief) of the little boy who was always positive regardless. A man decided to test him on it. He piled up a lot of horse manure and gave the boy a shovel. The kid went to work whistling and smiling, to the amazement of the man. So he asked the boy, "Why are you being so happy and positive?" The child replied, "With all this manure, there's gotta be a pony in there somewhere."

I know that some folks think I am living a basic existance in a cottage instead of seeking an upscale way of life. However, I feel more at home and connected to my inner child than at any time in my life previously. Life is good.

The latest photos from the BACK FORTY, the 25 x 100 foot strip of land we added to our back yard. The first round of clearing is done, maybe enough that we can get the fence guys in to enclose it and I can plant my star jasmine to begin covering the fence. And it will...I saw how effective it was covering chain link in Italy!

An d I left this big pine tall so the vines could cover it and the woodpeckers and insect eating birds could have a feast until it rots and comes down.

The bushes to left are huge old style azaleas and then a sasanqua is the darkest green. It is very old too.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 12:03PM
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oh moccasin! that looks great! is that an old wall (w/window) on your property? I love it!

making 'lemonade' sure has come in handy in my life - from when the kids were small and money was tight to even now when money is tight and I can make up a dish my mom use to make (to feed 4 kids) and now it's also convenient. i can eat for days with only reheating it! I love that. I know I have to eat (especially with some of my meds) but many days it's such a drag to figure out what to eat. the other night i opened a can of asparagus and ate that for dinner. finished it off with a banana!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 6:20PM
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Sorry for the delay- business travel! I found the place that has the plans for the bridge! He changed to www.mathemati.ca. You can download drawings for a few sizes for free (which is what I did) The drawings aren't much help; you'll have to study the detailed directions, and pictures of various bridges under construction on his website to make sense of it- or at least I did. It's a great site for bridge fans- peruse all of the photos, and let your imagination wander.....

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 7:22PM
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Neat name change, Jay, using the .ca as the end of his site name.

Steph, that old wall is the back side of our derelict cement block garage. DH wanted to raze it, but I said NO WAY, this is grandfathered in so we can refurbish it, pour a new foundation now that we bought the BACK FORTY and cut down the old sweet gum tree that was destroying the whole structure. I first thought of a Lexan roof, but it would be an oven inside. So now I'm thinking about a low roof line for half and grow PLANTS on the top of that, then kick the north half of the roof WAY UP so vertical windows can go on the vertical space that overlooks the flat flower covered roof. Inide, that would give me an elevated LOFT-like area that would be 10 x 24. The building is 20 x 24. This will be my final project for Casa Del Sol. It will have to serve as my greenhouse shelter for the large tropicals I enjoy so much, especially in the winter time.

Today I confirmed with the fencing guy to do the job of finishing out the privacy fence and 7' chainlink around the BACK FORTY. The old chainlink 48" high fence across what formerly was our back property line will have to be removed by my friendly yard man. I hope he takes the news kindly, but I want it GONE GONE GONE. The 7' chainlink will be the new back property line demarcation. I've discussed it with our sweet neighbor behind us, who sold us the strip of new gardening space. I will plant star jasmine (aka Confederate jasmine in some places), which can cover the fence in about 2-3 years tops. Plus, she can feel free to add any vines she likes to the mix. To make sure it will stand up to the demands of vines which can get very heavy, I've upgraded the posts and top bars to commercial grade. The wire will be okay I think, since there is no way for any cars to back into it. My DH told me we got a great estimate, from a reputable firm, and to go ahead w/o getting further bids. They are giving us a senior citizen discount too. :)
Well, in about two weeks they begin that job. Hope to have a new hunting ground for my little girl dachshund, who always dreams about the grass being greener in the new space now fenced away from her.

But some of those big old azaleas will HAVE to come down.
I'm glad you like my old ruin, Steph.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 5:11PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Wow, everyone, I've enjoyed reading your memories of the good old days. My only memories of 'roughing it' are my grandmother's outhouse--a favorite spot for wasps :(, and her 'dug well', that was later filled in when they could afford a drilled well. Even then we had to conserve water so that the well didn't run dry.

Loretta, beautiful flowers! Your tiger lilies are what we call daylilies, or flags--I have an old double variety called 'Qwanzo'. It has escaped cultivation, long ago, and grows along the ditches near my house.

moccasinlanding, your 'ruin' is enchanting.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 10:00PM
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Thought I would drop in and add my new link to latest yard pictures and run but HAD to read through all the memories and comments. I lived in the era you all speak about too and it is fun to share. Would do more but my hands are so stove up from all the pitch forking I have done of mulch I can barely type.

So here is some of my progress on that dang back bank that has been giving me grief. I also planted 5 trees I bought and several I already had in containers. Raspberries and junipers,a dozen of them. Lilacs and forsythia. Not to mention finally getting the vegetable garden in and working at the city three days this week.

I know it still does not look all that great but it is a good start. I have about 10 more cart loads of mulch to haul over from the neighbors to finish the bank. What you see on the bank is already about 20 loads. I have the large size garden cart. Glad the terrain is not terribly uphill when I am coming back loaded.

Hoping tomorrow I can do some more and get more pictures. Today I had to take a break from it. Was having to use both hands just to pick up my coffee cup , For crying out loud. GGGRRRRRR


Here is a link that might be useful: Last five pictures are of progress.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 2:24AM
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I so enjoy everyone's photos of progress and expansion- it truly is always a work in progress. I have a "back forty" too- my lot is odd in that it is only a little over 100 ft fronting the street, but goes back 600 feet. I have fenced in what I need and have opted to leave the back forty undeveloped- it's such a luxury to have a place to drag the tree limbs too small to burn and too large to compost. I build little rabbit habitats in hopes that they will stay out of my yard and woodpiles where the dogs can get to them!
We do have a couple of old chairs out there and often hike out with cocktail in hand to watch birds or whatever. We work on clearing underbrush a couple of times a year but can't keep ahead of it and don't much care.

"I know that some folks think I am living a basic existence in a cottage instead of seeking an upscale way of life. However, I feel more at home and connected to my inner child than at any time in my life previously. Life is good."

I am so with you.
I opted out of the rat race several years ago, sold a big house in Ft. Lauderdale and bought a small one in the hills of Kentucky. I truly believe that the day is coming when all the aging boomers in 4,000 sq ft garage fronted monstrosities will take a look at their power bills sitting side by side with their meager SS checks and catastrophic 401K statements and rethink the way they live. I don't have much money, but I have a well insulated, economical to maintain home and all the time in the world to enjoy it. Libraries are still free, and with that and an internet connection my intellectual needs are met. I never was much of a social butterfly or traveler, and with the conglomeration of special needs animals I own and foster leaving isn't much of an option anyway.

Simpler is better- we here are just ahead of the curve in understanding it and wait patiently for the rest of the Joneses in the USA to figure it out.

Vive la smelling roses!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 8:30AM
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Shades, I revisited your Pyle Meadows album. Somehow I'd missed your front door--love the full glass--and the beginning of your outdoor shower--doesn't it feel decadent!

The amount of heavy labor involved in the mulch hauling project is obvious and awesome. Seems I recall you were supposed to be TAKING IT EASY? When was that....just about TWO WEEKS AGO? But methinks you are truly hard to keep down when you want to get something done. Just be smart about it and take care of yourself.

BACK FORTY is a term I think everyone immediately identifies as a piece of your property which is removed from the rest in some way. I too want mine to maintain a distinct identity, a little less clipped, more secluded, a place to explore its secret corners. Not as much to it as you have, but I waited until all the baby birds had fledged just in case. As it is, the friend/yard man doing the clearing found one black snake. That makes two so far who live there, and I leave them be. With our junglelike plant growth, rats and such need to be kept under control. The speckled king snake I found also eats other snakes, including poisonous ones like the dreaded bad tempered water moccasins.

Like you, Cearbhaill, I enjoy having a place to observe nature at play. Every property needs a spot for its humane pile of brush sheltering small critters such as rabbits and ground birds. We do not have chipmunks. But boy do we have squirrels. And turtles. And possums and coons. I am leery of coons and possums because they are prone to rabies. And a coon ate one of my beloved parrots except for one eyeball and the top beak. The parrot was defending its mate, and the coon grabbed it through the cage bars. The bird's mate was in shock for a very long time. I really HATE coons and will never trust them.

Cearbhaill, your extra space sort of filters the impurities of civilization from the air you breathe. It serves a good purpose just left to be natural and bring a degree of separation to your life. I love what you do with it.

MamaGoose, did you also have "storm cellars" away from the house? Wooden frames covered with mounds of dirt, seats inside dug into the clay soil, and sturdy doors to close from inside or out when the twisters came? It was generally cooler inside this "bomb" shelter, so before refrigeration, that is where my aunts kept their milk and butter and veggies such as potatos and onions and apples. But mostly they canned. Did your grandma have a tin roof on her house? Did you hunt eggs where the broody hens would hide their clutches when the urge to make chickies hit them? Did you run when a gamey rooster chased you around the yard? If you have one memory in your head, there are others too. Use the first memory to pick away at the veil obscuring the past.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Although it's way too soon to worry about, I often wonder what I'm going to do for landscaping when we build our place in SC. I want things to look as natural as possible, and I'll use natives as much as I can, although I will cheat and put flowering shrubs in here and there. The trickiest part will be the transition from the lawn to the woods. I want to keep it open enough to see into the woods, but I don't want a sharp dividing line, either. I want to naturalize rhododendrons and azaleas in the woods, and maybe a large swath of daffodils. What ever we plant, they will have to be cheap and low maintenance, since we have a large 'canvas' to work with, and limited time and energy. I'm hoping for the kind of stuff that more or less takes care of itself once established.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 11:42AM
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I wanted to naturalize azaleas and rhododenrons in my woods, too, but the heavy deer population put the kibosh right on that plan. I'd spend a good amount of time talking to others living in that area before I invested too heavily in deer food :) as you may need to spend it on fencing instead.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 12:43PM
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The deer population allows only foxgloves and ferns in my woods, plus two types wildflowers that I don't know the name of.

So, I've encouraged the foxgloves to grow, and they do look nice this time of year. I call the woody area Foxglove Glen.

Deer even eat trilliums in the woods.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 1:03PM
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AH I wanted to naturalize here too but it turned out so much dirt work was needed to get the house septic electric phone and water the whole place was stripped by the time they were done. Sigh. We also brought in several hundred yards of fill and rock sand and gravel. We had to build up the dogs yard to the house and back fill the foundation and that took a great big bunch of fill.

Anyway there is the hillside above the courtyard that has tall natural grasses on it that I am leaving and there are a few of them that have moved themselves down the hill into what we call the lower yard which is our back forty.I also planted four Scotch pines up there.

I am hoping when the trees I just planted in the last few weeks grow up it will become more of a shady peaceful place to be. Right now it is all full sun as this property was a hay field years ago After there was a house here and they tore it down.

Jay I think your daffy idea is a good one other bulbs too can be naturalized. There are places on the internet where you can buy in bulk and I even got several big bags at Walmart when we moved here 40 or so each. Not too expensive and they sure have multiplied in two years.

I just got done spraying off our edges of the property where we do mow to keep down weed eating time each week. We got the upper and lower yards mowed and I hand watered all the new plantings last night.Not to mention cleaning teh house. I wanted to work on more mulch today. I do not think I have it in me. Hands and back too sore still. Yes it was me supposed to be taking it easy. I figured I would just do the work and spend the money I would pay some one else to do it to the toe twister. I need to get through tomorrow and Tuesday for city stuff then the rest of the week is mine to move some more mulch.

Back to work the morning glory is taking over part of the court yard.Gonna get it gone before the wind blows too hard.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Chris, just reading about all of the work you've done has made me tired! lol
Seriously, you have accomplished so much and the yard looks great.
Well, I guess I have the smallest yard in the group - and the most pitiful! I have been trying to get some grass to grow in the front, which is almost complete shade most of the day. I'm having mixed results.
I planted a couple of flats of annuals before I broke my leg, and they are not prospering at all (and I haven't been able to move them).
So I'll probably stick with the potted plants this year and start over next year.

ML, I hate possums. Even though I live in town, my dogs have killed 2 of them in the yard - a great big mama, amd a smaller one too. They were probably in the yard eating the dog food. And I also am not in love with the bushy-tailed rats that some people call squirrels! I live in an area with lots of pecan, hickory and oak trees (squirrel heaven). They aren't even afraid of people! And they like to tear the heads off of flowers. grrrr!
Well it's already 94 here and the heat index is 105 degrees. Enjoy your day, everyone

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 1:42PM
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Thanks Loretta.It has been hard but FINALLY reaping the rewards of the exercise. I have lost another 2 pounds making that 17 pounds, in a year. WWWAAAHHH So slow but better than gaining.

Sadly the yard will have to wait for another day Today is council meeting final prep day and meeting tonight.Hope it holds together. I have requested a deputy again. Loose Cannon is on the rampage.

Back on happier thoughts I am starting to see a yard emerge out of the lower wasteland of yard we started with. We were calling it no mans land for awhile. There is a bit of grass,I planted coming along. Get the bank finished mulching and the raspberries mulched and new trees. Glad neighbors barn is still pretty full of mulch to use. I know it is going to grow grass on it. Darn so I will be turning it a couple of times. I can work on that slowly. It will mat together so will turn in big clumps. Hoping so anyway.

Sooooooooooooooo As much as I would like to keep playing here. I am off to work. Hoping your leg is feeling better.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 11:34AM
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Desertsteph, your bridge might look fine purple, but think about doing it a nice bluish pink. You have a lot of pink looking flowers already, don't you? Or maybe a powder blue, like the sun has already oxidized the paint.

Some of your morning glories planted to grow on the bridge railing would look like they had water nearby.

A vine I like, but they say it is invasive in some places, is the coral vine, or "rose of montana" as I first heard it called. It makes a briar-like root, and thus I figure it would be able to survive both harsh winters and dry summers. I've had one for about 3 years and it has not bloomed yet. When it does, it will make sprays of tiny pink blooms (HOT pink) like bougainvillea, and have heart shaped leaves. It dies down every winter, but comes back with a right good will every spring. Down here, they planted it on the western side of the old front porches downtown, so their swings would be shaded from the heat of a summer afternoon. That was where I fell in love with them. I did not think they were invasive at all, but they sure do create a nice shade.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 12:05PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Oh, my, I've got so much to say! Loretta, hang in there! LOL, these pictures are for you: (The furry ones--the others are my real children.)

moccasinlanding, I have many wonderful memories of my grandparents. They ADORED their grandchildren and I was THE FIRST ONE, LOL. The cellar was my grandmother's domain because that's where all the home canned goods were stored. It was built into the side of a hill with an old log cabin above. The cabin had been the kitchen in their old house, before their sons built them a new home in the late 50's. Although my grandmother was in the cellar often, she dreaded going down there because the cool damp area attracted snakes. I loved going into the cellar with Mammaw, and she was always happy to have company. My uncle still lives in the home-place, and the cellar and cabin are still standing. Yes, she had chicks, goats, cows, ponies, geese, pigs, turkeys, a succession of dogs, cats, canaries, and a flying squirrel. She was amazing.

flgargoyle, how lucky you are to be looking forward to the adventure of building your home. When you get ready to plant your dafs, email me and I'll send you a few of mine. Everyone, wouldn't that make a lovely 'yard-warming' gift? We could all send Jay a few bulbs to get him started.

shades, YAY! for you, for the progress on the yard and bank, and also for the weight loss! Your irises are gorgeous. I think the first pics I saw of your yard had snow, so to see those irises 'spring up' is wonderful.

Does anyone remember the pics of the naked baby robins that I posted? This morning I was sitting in the living room when something hit the window. I looked on the porch and found a stunned young robin. I picked him up and set him on top of the pie safe to keep him safe (haha) from the cats. He didn't put up a fight--just looked at me. When I checked a few minutes later, he had recovered and flown away. I'm sure it was one of the robins from the crab-apple tree.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 4:29PM
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"Simpler is better- we here are just ahead of the curve in understanding it and wait patiently for the rest of the Joneses in the USA to figure it out."

yes, simpler is better! but I don't want city folks moving out here. most tend to want to make country space into city type space. ugh!

I decided to move back to the country when I was looking for land for my sister. I found her land then it hit me - duh, I'm sick of city life. why am I not looking for land out there for me? dbf didn't think I'd last a yr out here - but it's been 12 now (owned it for 14). I've never even thought about moving back in.

most of my land is the 'back 40' - lol! I wanted to leave it natural. I have a few brush piles for critters also. better to house them than me haul it away... I do have a ton of moles out there making themselves a regular city... I can even see their trails from one hole (doorway) to another. they've worn the weeds away! I had 1 (maybe the same one) getting into my water bucket at night (or early morning) and I had to rescue him/her several times. the first time I thought he was done dead and went to check my boy and deal with the dead mole later. on my way back I saw the water in the bucket moving... he was treading water!! poor thing. I dumped the bucket over and he laid there exhauted as I'm yelling 'come on buddy - you can do it - get up - go home!' then he'd get up and go 6 inches or so and collapse again...he did that several times before he was able to get up, stay up and RUN. me cheering him on. he/she/it came back several times to my water bucket... he's so lucky the bucket was out of range of my dog! i started putting a small dish of water (one he couldn't drown in) out farther away from my dog but still not far from where my bucket had been. I moved my bucket in closer where he wouldn't come.

moccasin - I don't have anything flowering yet. the barrel cactus gets yellow flowers, bird of paradise gets orange. I think the jumping cholla gets tiny yellow ones. when the cactus blooms i'll takes some pics of it / them. I have some on my old HD but can't access it now. We do have bougainvillea out here. I need some of that... I noticed yesterday that my sister's was in full bloom - beautiful. I should take some pics if I go over later to put some trash in her bin. I need a few large bushes/trees to block a few sites I don't want to see...
anyway, I love to sit out/look out and see the rabbits, road runners running across the land. I don't think we have possum or coons here (will have to check) - I haven't seen any and don't want to! they can be mean and if rabid would attack/fight my dogs. I guess coyotes, havelina and mtn lions are plenty tho...lol!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 5:59PM
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Mama your fur critters are just darling. there must be possoms here but I do not think I have ever seen any. We have skunks and coons. I do like snakes but they freak my DH out. LOL

Steph. Years ago a friend gave me some barrel cactus seeds and I grew some. They are gone now due to the flood. They were on my window sill and when the floor fell out I could not get to them and they froze. :^( Was pretty fun to see them grow.

Even though we are in the city here it feels like rural because we back up to a large ranch on one side of our property. Never bothered to go exploring on the ranch but sure I could if I asked.

We had 100 acres once and I was all over that blace. It was backed by forest service and BLM so had miles of open land to explore. The rattle snakes were bad there so had to be careful. We also had a mountain lion that got my pet goat Sad day she was due to kid. Never found her. It must have taken her off a long way. I looked for weeks for her.

Well it has been a very long day and I am done in. Night ladies.And Jay.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 2:42AM
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My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest! It 11:00 am, but I think I need a drink. lol

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 11:04AM
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This morning I strolled the yard front and back, camera in hand, looking at my blooms and plants which bounced back from the winter cold. Not cold now for sure! I did not take a picture of the frameless tall mirror I stood against the privacy fence, to see if it would give me a vista of greater depth. I can see it now, and know that the movement I see of it flexing is caused by a female cardinal viewing her "rival" in the reflection near the ground. I suppose I'll have to get rid of it entirely so she can have peace of mind.

Most of my gardening is at a standstill with the excessive heat and high humidity. Walk out the door and be smacked in the face with a wet towel, like swimming in the air. Then when I go back inside, the house feels like an icebox....and I keep the A/C temp set at 79. Our unit is sized properly, the service company says, but no way can it bring the house down to 72....and I could not deal with such a temp difference either.

Yesterday I noticed that my mallow plants are blooming. Not the confederatre roses which grow tall and leggy,with their maple-type leaves, but the short mallows with the plate sized blooms. Apparently they seeded freely and are all over the place. The ones blooming are the burgundy colored blossoms about 8 inches across, and less than 24 inches tall. Either birds ate and pooped the seeds during the winter, or something, because plants similar to the blooming ones are turning up in flower pots in numerous places in the yard. So I am pleased they did not die. I also have a turk's cap blooming, and it seems to have a couple of babies near it. The coral vine is healthy and looking for something to climb. I must find some way for the vine to climb the archway over my front entry....monofilament, you reckon? Not too durable; the vine climbs with tendrils, not sucker platelets, so no damage to the stucco.

And while I cannot contribute narcissus or hyacinth bulbs to Jay's new garden up in Carolina, I sure would be happy to share some of the canna lilies and day lilies, maybe a Lily of the Nile if they are hardy. Loretta will have to help me select those. I am a big fan of Plant Delights Nursery in Juniper Level, which is not far from Jay's homestead, so I'll take their advice. Maybe some HOT LIPS SALVIA? Mine is blooming its little heart out even with all this heat. My rosemary and even two pots of lavender are doing better than I'd hoped for. Rosemary makes a huge shrub if left to its own devices, and I know Jay likes herbs.I'd give anything to attend one of Plant Delights' open houses. sigh....

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 11:21AM
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There are already a few wild rhodies in our woods, so I guess they do well there. We've never seen a deer, and when we asked the neighbors, they said you were more likely to see a bear(!) I think hunting is still popular in that neck of the woods, so the deer keep a low profile. I have plans for a lot of hosta, so I hope they stay away. There are also lots of wild blueberries on our property, as well as mountain laurel.

Everyone's gardens look so inviting! It's gotten too hot here for much of anything, and will be so until October. We hide in the house during the summer like y'all do in the winter.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 4:37PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

LOL, Loretta, we've raised 2 families of orphaned 'possums. And a mockingbird, and two cowbirds. They were all taught to eat wild foods, and were returned to the wild when they were ready. I'm not that fond of adult 'possums or cowbirds, but who can resist helpless babies? The kids have also hatched out a couple of nests of milksnakes--they used to find the eggs in composting horse manure. The baby snakes were set free after the first time they shed their skin (just a few days after hatching.)

ML, your mallows are gorgeous! We have marsh mallows that grow wild (or have escaped cultivation), and I also have what my grandmother called 'corkwood' or hibiscus. They grow about waist high.

Having heavy, humid weather here, too--feels like August.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 5:43PM
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ML- Juniper Level is near Greenville NC; I'm near Greenville SC- quite a ways away. Looks like an interesting place, though.

Y'all are so funny talking about sending plants for my new place! I feel a plant swap coming on! The Small Homes Annual Plant Swap- has a nice ring to it!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 7:30PM
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I usually post to the Cottage Gardening forum, so some of you may have already seen these, which I recently posted in a slideshow from late May 2010. We have a modest 2bd cottage on (for the SF Bay Area) is a large urban lot, about 1/6 acre. My DH just retired, and it's all I can do to keep up with what I have, about 2100 sq.ft. of mixed beds, no lawn. I'm in awe of what the rest of you have accomplished - just lovely, every photo!

Right now our roses are now resting after the first flush, the orange poppies are gone, and the hydrangeas are starting to bloom.

The sunny south-facing side of the house. Very narrow beds mean I'm always pruning things back to keep the walkway clear. We're on a double slope: front down to back, left side down to right when facing the house. If nothing else, it makes for good drainage and equally good exercise, LOL.

This is looking towards the opposite side, north-facing shaded side, from our neighbor's driveway. The orange CA poppies, our state flower, are now gone to seed, alas.

Standing at the back north corner of our house, you can see our shed. Original to the property, we renovated it in 2003 so it is 2/3 shaded seating area, and one-third storage behind a locked door. On the RH side is our other neighbor's house. Only one of their windows looks out into our yard, by happy circumstance:

We have a backyard measuring 40x80', and with the sloped lot it was simpler to create two patios. One is on front of the shed, and the other is this one of dry concrete/aggregate. The nasturtiums run rampant here; sometimes they linger until July or August if the weather stays cool enough. This back area was designed to make it through our rainless summers with a minimum of watering using soaker hoses - approx. 3-4 weeks between watering.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 9:00PM
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oh jkom51 Such a lovely garden.

ML I love your Malow. We have a different kind here very small flowers. Not sure it seeded down last year. Will have to go look.

I took some more pictures a little while ago. Finally the flowers are coming on. I certainly planted a mish mash of stuff and it is all grown together and I am just going to let it all happen as it chooses. Tried to trying to control things.

I am going to go out in the yard now but will try to get my new pictures loaded up later this evening.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 9:30PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

jkom51, beautiful pictures--such wonderful abundance! And, NO GRASS to mow! With the recent rains, our grass is way ahead of me, so I'm thinking you have the right idea.

shades, I'm giving up, too. Let the chips (or the seeds) fall where they may.

"Y'all are so funny talking about sending plants for my new place! I feel a plant swap coming on! The Small Homes Annual Plant Swap- has a nice ring to it!"--Jay

Speaking of seeds falling, and plant swapping--I have COLUMBINE seeds, mostly shades of pink, some double maroon. If anyone wants some, send me an email, and I'll try to send them out this week.

Here is a link that might be useful: Columbine

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:18PM
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I have been having a terrible time posting. Not sure why . This happened many years ago too. WWWAAAHHH

Finally some more promised pictures. My yard is nothing compared to all of yours. I do need to keep it low maintenance.

Dang DH just got something on his computer bad be back later.


Here is a link that might be useful: yard June

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 5:54PM
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jkom51 - wow, do you have color and a lot of it - beautiful!

shades - you've got lots of beautiful plants around your place - and you're just starting out!

I don't have lots of flowers or color - it's desert. I can't manage what I have growing wild. I do have a few baby bird of paradise out there - maybe they'll bloom this year.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:38PM
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HELLO JKOM51......
So very pleased you ferreted out this thread about gardens. That proves you were a born gardener!

I'm so impressed with your space. Your flowers are intense. I am pleased to note the lovely masses of nasturtium, my very favorite flowers because they know how to RELAX AND HAVE FUN. In Alabama, it is too hot and humid for them, so I had them in my DH's yard up in Massachusetts.

I do so hope you come back to visit with us often.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:10AM
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Shades, you have a lot more blooming things than I do. And they are beautiful flowers! Have you recovered from your mulching party? It takes a lot of labor to create the bones of a garden where there never was one. I think you are doing a lot of the basics now, and will be rewarded more each year. Do not fret. You have awesome iris and columbines.

Steph, I am curious about the birds of paradise. I have two white birds of paradise which survived the winter, but have not bloomed. I thought they were a jungle kind of plant, not a desert/dry place plant. So should I move mine out into the heat?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 10:18AM
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moccasin - there are 2 kinds of them. one have huge leaves - from South Africa. then there's the orange one with small feathery leaves - called the Mexican Bird of Paradise or the Red Bird of Paradise - desert plant.

in the 90's I roomed with a co-worker and he had one with the large leaves and white blooms. It grows out here also. I just prefer the Mexican one with the feathery leaves.

here's Mexican one:

South African one:

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:08PM
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it seems the one with yellow blooms is the Mexican BOP and the orange/red blooms are the Red BOP. out here we just call them BOP.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:17PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Beautiful pictures, desertsteph. I remember my grandmother having a red BOP like the South African one. She was always thrilled when it bloomed. The yellow one in your pic reminds me of a delphinium, which I have no luck cultivating. Do you also have fox-tail lilies and mariposa lilies? I remember the mariposa lilies in western Colorado, springing up after a rain.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 5:34PM
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OH Those are so pretty Desertsteph. I used to have the South African BOP when I lived in California.

ML I know I should be more patient.When I see yards like you all have I get impatient. I just want it all done yesterday so I can just enjoy it.

I redid a house many years ago and it took me three years to do over a yard that was already there. But I got it so I could stroll around in the morning with coffee cup and pluck a weed here or there and just admire the space. Watch for new blooms and what was going on. If I do that here I just get depressed.

I do feel this last couple of weeks was a big turning point in progress. Now I am working this week more than my just one day or two and we will be gone tomorrow all day. Rained yesterday. Sooooooooooooooo I get delays. Really trying to work on patience.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 12:21AM
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Jkom, that is one beautiful yard. I would love to stroll down those paths.
During my 'plant' phase, I had lots of Dalhias. They are such lovely flowers, but need so much attention. I also used to love sunflowers too. Does anyone have any?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:02AM
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if mine ever bloom, they'll look like the first pic bloom. I need to get some plant food for them or they might never bloom...

mama - we have foxtails that are weeds - sharp little suckers on them that are dangerous to pets!
I see the foxtail lilies are also called desert candle - that does sound familiar but don't know that I've ever seen one out here. the mariposa lily is absolutely beautiful! I looked up and saw one called Desert Mariposa Lily (that might be just one type of them) - but didn't see any deserty type areas for growing them. I'll have to check into it more - I'd love to have some of those!

I haven't planted much (that lived) especially up close because I've known all along that sooner or later this place would be pulled out and another put in - which also told me that someone would probably drive over / kill anything i planted unless I dug it up and replanted it. I didn't want to do that either. I am gonna lose a few big bushes - wild desert ones. up til now they've sort of barricaded me from those across the road. I'll have to plant something in that area that grows quickly...

once the new place is settled in I'll need to plant a few trees and a few more bushes - those'll be to grow up and block things I don't want to see. at least then they won't have to worry about eventually being attacked by a backhoe!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:26AM
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Desertsteph, I will be waiting to hear what plants and trees you put in the ground after you get into your new place. My college roommate lived in Las Cruces NM for a long time and they had zeriscaped yard. No grass at all, just desert plants which needed no water. Is that the kind of yard you will have too?

Such a garden would be totally foreign to me. But I've watched some gardening shows on TV which toured a zeriscaped garden, and the beauty of the place was surprisingly varied. I am afraid I would miss my lush tropical and jungle feel, but I can appreciate it for a short while. You are a special person to seek out such an environment.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 1:10AM
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"No grass at all, just desert plants which needed no water. Is that the kind of yard you will have too?"

yes, that's what I have even now. no grass. most everything was here when I bought it. desert plants that survived yrs and yrs with no one to water them. just God. I've planted a number of trees - only 1 still alive and 4 bird of paradise bushes - 3 still alive! and a cactus my sister brought over.

when the doublewide is in and dbf is down putting in cement patio or whatever he plans then I'll plant some things up closer and in view of the front of me and the back also. plus a few things out farther that will grow up high to block things from my view. that'll be next fall/winter at least. i do want some things up close that bloom so i can enjoy them each day.

no grass on my acres (none out here unless in a development). I just have dirt. my sister has a lot of stone - as do some other people. I prefer the dirt - and it's easier to walk on - and easier on the body when you fall!

I do love seeing the lushness that others have tho. It's beautiful! They both are in their own ways. Guess I lived 30 some yrs with grass and evergreens etc and enjoy the change in these later yrs.

I'll take some pics at my sister's when I go over - of some of her plants that have been growing a number of yrs. and she has some very old saquaros - I love those. they bloom in May, as do the ironwoods.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 5:57PM
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moccasin - I don't think I answered your question about moving your bop into the heat. as far as I know they all can take heat. my x roommate had the white flowering one and he had it on the north side of his house - got full sun til mid day. in AZ. it was huge!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:00AM
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Thanks for the info, Steph. I have two which survived the hard winter with a lot of top kill. I will try moving one of them out from the shade.

The north side of our house is in shade all year, except a strip about a foot wide (the roof overhang) at the beginning of summer (longest day). So against the house would essentially be shaded all year. This fall or winter I'll move it.

Oh, and Shades, you remind me of the person who lacked patience and said a prayer......"Dear God, please grant me patience...and I want it RIGHT NOW." hehehehehe

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 10:26AM
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