Your Neck of the Woods Chat Summer # 2 Count Down to Fall

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Have been really biding my time to make a new chat continuation thread. We came from here

where we were discussing rain gauges, rain . lack of rain, too much rain and the effects of extended periods of dryness on the well being of our plants and selves. Did I mention rain?

Yes, indeed, Sissystars has discovered a new weed hiding amongst her day lilies and shrubs that regenerates itself as fast as she can pull it up! We are awaiting a fuller description and photos of this NOID 'grass'

I played outside today in the cooler drizzle, It has been forever since I've actually done anything with my plants after putting them in hunker down survive the heat and drought mode!

Happy to say that most have survived but not without lots of wear and tare. Who knows what the long term effects might be??? My yard is mostly shaded by multiple large oaks. When I looked up today (because I could do so without being blinded !!!!) the canopy seemed less dense as if in spring before the leaves fully unfurl. Leaves that have fallen are skeletonized, or munched upon and not healthy looking. Acorns are puny. Rain would help but not much left of this season to put away stores for the winter.

Speaking of stores for the winter, I have yet to harvest a ripe tomato! Count is 4 cukes, 6 eggplant, chard, 18 assorted squash, 14 potatoes (a size down from fingerling) and 3 melons attempting to ripen before being dicovered by some critter. Also missed filling my heating oil tank while barrel price was down. Even if the winter is mild again things will definitely be hard in other respects.

So, how is it by you? Give us an update or just say 'hi'....we all read much more than we post!

And remember to get all of your wearing of the white done in the next two weeks cause after Labor Day will be too late to make that fashion statement.

Oh, and one last shout out to PippI Happy, Happy Birthday!

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Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

OK! I posted a reply on the Rain gauges---guess I forgot to send it is not there any more....
So--I shall re-type it....

Home Depot carries Rain Gauges. Nothing fancy--just a calibrated, narrow, plastic tube/container.
No fancy frogs or critters holding it....That is just extra $$$$....These may cost $6-$7.

Assuming most HD's planograms are the same---you can look for them along the racking wall behind the
Patio furniture--Gazebos displays. It will be wherever the outdoor temperature "clocks" are.
It may be hanging on a Chip Clip on one of the beams....

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Me I'm still using an old can,But it still holds water as a useful idea,IT was also quick and easy.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Sissy's nasty grass sounds maybe like the same perennial grass thats always vexing me. It makes deep runners and long too. I don't know the official name. Wire grass? Seems appropriate.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Wire Grass---same as Bermuda Grass---that nasty grass that cannot be destroyed.
Not by pulling it up--not by digging it up----It has to be treated with Round Up (or the like)
in spring while it is fresh and newly growing. May take several treatments.

Mind you--it would also kill all your other grass and anything else nearby.

One of the worst grassy weeds! Gita

This message was edited Aug 19, 2012 8:17 PM

Mount Pleasant, PA(Zone 6a)

I still need to find a rain gauge. Not too high on my priority list. Rain keeps passing over Mt. Pleasant & hitting down the road. Though I think we're gonna get some tonight! It def. felt like rain when I got home from work.

My plants haven't committed planticide yet so that's a plus. Some dead leaves, some droopage. I might lose 1 of my mazus keeping an eye on & will prob. need some TLC.

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Off topic but it appears 'anything goes' on these great threads....back from visiting my folks in SC....thought I'd share a few pics...will update with the ones from the garden down there tomorrow....plants/yard aren't looking like it rained much while I was gone...yikes...

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Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

couple more...

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Mount Bethel, PA(Zone 6a)

Those pics with those girls are every bit as lovely as all of our blooms, Chantell. Thanks for sharing.

I'm just starting to spray with "Grass Getter" for the Bermuda Grass. Supposedly you can spray the whole garden several times which would finally kill the Bermuda Grass and not harm all but a few perennials. There is a special schedule for spraying over edibles, but I'm not one to try that.

Mount Pleasant, PA(Zone 6a)

Oh Chantell what beautiful pictures!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Chantell, this is the perfect place for all your summer chat.
what GORGEOUS girls, all of them!!!! You forgot to include your gorgeous self, silly! Looks like everybody had a great time.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh Chantell, What cuties they are. Such nice pictures thanks for sharing.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

So here is a pic of a small project that Ric and I have been working on. We have been tiling the base of the Birdbath Pond. We have been talking of doing this for years as the base is just poured concrete and we had some old tile laying around. It isn't quite finished yet, there is a small section around the back that we won't do till fall when we cut back the plants for the winter. We haven't grouted it yet and that may wait till fall as well so it can all be grouted at the same time.

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Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Holly & Ric - Your tiling the base looks really nice, the tile choice goes well with its surroundings.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Love the frog just sitting around wondering "What the heck is going on here????

Very appropriate pose--and seems to just fit! Beautiful project!!!!

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I love it when things just sitting around for years transform into things of beauty like your tiles!

Paolo Soleri once said "Inertia is ultimately the disproportion between the validity of the individual reach and the energy necessary to make that reach possible" You all seem to have caught on to the overcoming inertia thing as beauty is evident all over your place! When is your garden tour scheduled this fall?

lol, hosting a swap or being part of a garden tour I'm sure helps with the inertia thing as I am sure Sallyg is experiencing right now!

Happy Birthday Pippi and Sissystars. And Joyana!!! Gotta love those Leos! They are as lovely as the 'bloomers' in Chantel's family.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I just posted this on another thread here but chatting and comments would be more appropriate over here, so I'm re posting it. Thanks

Holly, Greenthumb, Gita et al

Each year the corporate big wigs from lowes, hd, walmart etc get together with their contract growers/suppliers and contract based on previous years sales for "product' to be shipped to any of the stores that grower/supplier has in their ballywick. Profit margin, not zone hardiness, variety (except for nationally advertized 'sellers' like 'Knock out roses or Proven winners) customer preferences, good common sense(lol), size of store, weather, or ability to keep plants alive til sell thru gets factored in ...
So, there is a sameness to what gets shipped to every store by region with the overlap being the Philly area where supplies come from growers in the north or growers in the south. Growers in the south have warmer weather earlier on their side profit margin wise even though shipping costs and loses may be more. Growers in the south also have the margin advantage of being huge huge volume producers and lesser costs to import their growing stock from central and south america...

I could go on and on, but will repost this over on our designated "chat" thread" for comments .

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh you are so right Coleup, having a tour or swap gets you moving on projects that have been slowly coming together. Our tour is Sept 8th. It is a small group about 35 or so will be coming. The HGHA we belong to is having their business meeting and then doing a road trip to 4 members gardens that are loosely in our area. We are one of the stops. I think we are going to provide refreshments at our stop. Usually about the end of August I get neglectful about weeding dead heading and general up keep but this year I have to keep after things. The new water feature is almost finished, Just need to add some more rocks and arrange things a bit. I'll post a pic of that when it is finished. It always surprises me that no matter how much work I put into the gardens there is always so much more to do.
I love your Paolo Soleri quote.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)


I have a particularly bad case of inertia this year.

I've written about this before, but it seems every summer here, I shut down. When temps hit 80 s + I'm out of oomph before I start so any validly determined or necessary 'projects' sit on the shelf awaiting the energy to do them or better weather...neither of which has been forth coming. In fact, the dog days of summer have been vastly expanding their grip and duration here in Annap.

Deferred things have a way of queing up and "complexifying" (Where did I stash that @#%[email protected]?). So, while I am in a holding pattern (read "waiting for Godot" ???) the needed reach for me to accomplish certain goals increases and what seemed 'in reach' or doable several years ago now appears more unlikely to be done if I was placing bets! Like many stressed out plants it takes me a good while to recover and I may not fully recoup to a high thrive level.

Of course, there is always the asking for help option!!! Making that option Plan A instead of Plan B.


annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

If any of you reading my post above hear what I am trying to get my mind around, please check out this DG thread which I read just after posting my lament on inertia above. about 11 posts down...

Guess this Plan A ask for help thing really works! Feeling really blessed right now...will nurture this.

"Manna, the stuff of life , cannot be bought or stored, only shared and must be gathered every day."

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Beauties they are, Chantell

Nice tile work.

Glad to hear I am not the only one without the oomph this time of year. Being gone all of July and coming home to beastly heat and humidity many things have gone by the wayside. I WILL have to get in gear though for the get together in May 2013. The Saturday after Mother's Day. Put it on your calendars now. Heehee. I have been thankful for the cooler last couple of days.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I have often said how lucky I am to have Ric with his interest. I'm not sure at this point that either of us alone could / would keep this going but between us we seem to do pretty well. Each stepping in when the other is burned out or just supplying the extra push when needed.
I will say that I just loved the person we had to water when we were gone. Since there was a good bit of rain she spent many of the hours I paid her for weeding in stead of watering and the gardens looked so much better than in past years when it took us weeks to catch back up.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Woot, woot!!! Well done interim waterer/weeder!!!!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

THat tile job- FABULOUS!!!

Mount Pleasant, PA(Zone 6a)

Holly & Ric I am in *love* with that tile work. It makes me want to go tile things. Which I would have to build first :/ summer since job #1 started back up today & this is going to be a 65 hour week between the two.

On a different note: IT'S RAINING!!!!!!!! A wonderful, beautiful, fantastical thunder/lightning storm. I get to watch from my front porch instead of from the windows at work. Yay! For being off tonight.
Boo to my inertia after work & not getting to the snapdragon seeds, or the moss rose, or the dahlias, or the neighbors pretty red/orange climbing flowers with the very tempting seed pods on our side. If it's on our side I get to steal it right? Good thing they're still blooming their bottoms off.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

We're having a rain sprinkle here too. Before that it was a very lovely evening to be out--except for the MOSQUITOES! Holy Cow!

Mount Pleasant, PA(Zone 6a)

No skeeters here thank goodness! Today was nice here too mild instead of burn your brains out hot. Then our director let us leave an hour & a half early & paid us for it! Unheard of and super cool.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I had to recover my inertia--10 times over today. It was hard--and i was exhausted...

My Niece sent me an e-mail yesterday that they were heading home from NC to NJ
and asked if they could spend the night here. Of course! BUT--it is 5 people.....Niece and Hubby--
and 3 young kids. Ages (?)--6, 7 and 9.

I have been preparing sleeping quarters for all of them. Re-arranging plans and making up all the beds.
If I was not such a slob about keeping my house presentable at all times--I would not have had to clean
all the Bathrooms and the toilets and the kitchen--and vacuum the floors everywhere.
It took a lot out of me--but once it is done--I am SOOOO happy about how my house looks.

Originally--I was expecting them no later than 9PM. We are keeping in touch via e-mails as they drive.
They got a late start-(????WHY???) and now will not be here until about 11PM. This is killing me!
I usually go to bed between 9:30-10PM.
I cut up cheese and Pepperoni and put out crackers for munchies for when they get here.
Have a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge...
NOT gonna happen! The kids will be zonked out and will get carried to their beds.
I will be zonked out--but hanging in. Who is going to carry me to my chosen, alternate bed?

I am giving up my bed to the couple. Two of the kids will sleep in the 2 twin beds in my spare BR.
The oldest--a boy--will sleep on my LR sofa. I will sleep downstairs in the BR there. Have a bathroom there...

All is well! All is cleaned and done! Now--I just wait...............

They will leave tomorrow--late morning....after a breakfast of French Toast, bacon and OJ.
Coffee--Fresh fruit--grapes--Cantelope--etc...Whatever they want!

It is only 3 hrs. to NJ. I only see these people once a year--when I drive up there for Christmas....
Any of them are more than welcome here as a "pit stop" if needed....


Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

BEst thing sbout cleaning- Knowing you can forget it for a little while afterward!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

sallyg' LOL !! Girl I like that reply!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Well--I wanted to post here today on the topic of "inertia"....
That is what I have today--total inertia----NO desire to do anything......tired....recovering from my guests.

My "company" and I went to the IKEA store to say "HI" to my daughter who works there.
They just wanted to stop by for a short time. Of course--it was NOT short!
While they were talking to Aina (my DD)--the kids were running around and playing on all
the furniture and sofas in the display rooms...Having a Ball!

When we were done "visiting" Aina--we all went to the lower entry level--and Kurt (the Dad)
bought everyone a soft-cone. ($1) We all sat down so the kids could eat it in peace---that took another
half hour...They finally left from here at about 12 noon.

I went home and, pretty much "collapsed" from all the work and arrangements.
Stripped all the beds---Did a load of laundry---hung all the sheets out to dry---gathered them up when dry--
brought them inside and that was that...

Tried to nap-but i never nap...just laid there in limbo....NOT wanting anything else to have to do.

Inertia-----what a hiccup in one's. usual busy life! BLAHHHHH.....Yawn......

Wanted to do something--so picked off all the seed pods from my Perennial, Red and White Hibiscus
and removed all the seeds.......while watching Andrew Zimmern Bizarre Foods... My fave Show on TV.

Now I am, totally, fading...and it is only 8:30PM. Get to sleep in my own bed....
Sleeping in the downstairs, double bed made me realize that I REALLY need new mattresses for that bed!
So thin--and so hard.....have to start searching for a set...

Tomorrow--I have other plans....maybe while the weather is cool, I could demolish my rotten landscape
timbers from the corner of my front bed and start the process of building a retainer/ edging with all
the rocks I got from Rick--and my old Manager, Donn. UGH! So much heavy work--not sure I want to do it!
The inertia is setting in.....Maybe---Magnana!!!

Need to do it sooner or later......I vote for later....and so it goes.

I need to catch up on some lost sleep. My Niece and family did not get here until 11PM last night.
The kids were zonked out. They were carried in, and deposited in their beds--and they never woke up.
We sat around another hour--drinking wine and munching on goodies....talking.....
Went to bed around 12:30AM....

I am TOOOOO old for all this.....Need my "beauty sleep"....

YES! Today was a total inertia day!!!! Need it now and then...... Gita

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

you earned some inertia!

I got a ripe fig from my bush today YUM and a not qute ripe (still pretty much yum!) and the ants got two other ripe ones (darn)

This message was edited Aug 21, 2012 7:57 PM

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Gita, Company is a lot of work. You deserve a day of inertia. Sounds like they had a really nice time visiting. President of the HGHA is coming today with his wife. They try to visit all the members homes to see their gardens and GH. Just a nice friendly visit very nice people.
Ric, finished up the rocks around the new water feature yesterday and I will take some pics as soon as we reposition the bowl, I think it sits just a bit too low. Looks great though.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Yea Sally! Two yums and a darn ain't bad. My harvest tally now includes one ripe cantalope that I'm hoping will be a yum.

Lol Gita. your day of inertia had lots of activity! Sun and line dried linens are the best. Did you know that many communities ban hanging out clothes? It is termed 'visual polution'.

I have often looked at wall calenders and considering how much they resemble Bingo cards, I think all of us deserve and should declare a free spacefrom all todos,etc.

Holly, enjoy your mini visit tour today. I love when people notice what I've worked hard on and like it, too. Usually visitors also give me a chance to discover things about my surrounds that I really haven't noted yet. Yea for surprises and fresh perspectives. Let us know if you send them home with any plants!!!

PS, Jill's hypertufa Party article is featured today. Can't wait for part two.

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Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Right with you, coleup, on anticipating part #2 of Jill's article.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh we had such a good time. Ric got to talk about the little details like extra screws and special aluminum supports that would glaze the eyes over on most visitors. Tom was very interested in all those little special details that make the GH work well. They really enjoyed the gardens, June and I felt it was late enough for Peach Sangria and I set out some snacks for us to enjoy under the gazebo. June noticed my beautiful Brazilian Plume Flower and mentioned how she has wanted one for so long now so I whipped out an extra one I had gotten from Gita that was with the house plants. Boy was she so happy.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Thought you all should look at this Thread.....They ARE working on the picture uploading problem...

Seems the picture uploading is now in the "new format" for real.
Do not freak out---it really will work Adm. says.

If you read the last Post on this thread--you can now hold down "control" and just click away at
multiple pictures to add--as long as they are in THE SAME FOLDER.

Also--delete any ones you change your mind on.

Here are 5 pictures I chose at random from my August, 2012 Folder.

edited to say ALL 5 went INSTANTLY!!!! Not even a blink of an eye to wait....


This message was edited Aug 22, 2012 2:06 PM

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Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I put up a new thread with pics of the new water feature. It's been awhile see I have seen your water features so please join me and post a few pictures of your own.

Mount Pleasant, PA(Zone 6a)

I need an inertia day! Between yesterday & today I've put in 28 hours @ work (that's between 2 jobs). I only work 1 of them tomorrow, but have Mom duty tomorrow night @ the HS. They don't have open house, they have welcome back night. Friday is a 14 hour day between the 2 jobs & I have a trainee Fri. night so I need to be on top of my game. I can't wait until I have a day off so I can sleep in & get some cleaning done! Plus I have seeds to harvest, that will have to be a Saturday morning project.
On a different note the classroom I moved to has older kiddos & I ran a science project idea past the teacher. We're going to be doing a project with amaryllis! Plus he wants to run with it & do a whole unit on things like soil & plant cycles etc. I'll get tapped since I'm the gardener in our group. Soooo excited! I cannot wait to see the faces on the kids when those huge blooms burst open. We're going to hand pollinate to produce the seed pods. Yay! I love love love sharing things I enjoy with these kiddos!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

wow what a work schedule--- and wow cool teacher!

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