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BTD Forums  /  Golden Threads  /  Memory garden for Sarah
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, March 21, 2005, 3:46pm
Note:  Guys, I am designing/planting/landscaping/creating a memory garden in my backyard in Sarah's honor.  Her 41st birthday would have been on 3/27/2005, which turns out to be Easter Sunday this year.  I'm not Christian, but I couldn't help but be struck by the symbolism of that and feeling like maybe on that day that would have been her birthday, she will somehow shed her earthly bonds and ascend to heaven.  In any event, that is the day I've decided to dedicate the garden, and I'm working so hard to get as much done on it as possible by that date.  Considering I just started on it Friday, and I have no clue what I'm doing (as I've never worked with perennials before (, only trees and shrubs--which are perennials, but you know what I mean--and I just have no clue what I'm doing but I'm doing it *lol*), that goal may be too ambitious, but I'm trying for it; if it isn't finished by that date, I am dedicating it anyway.  I was originally envisioning a rock garden, in which all the plants and elements would be intended to create a very peaceful, reflective, soothing place.  In talking with others from the BTD community, I got some great ideas and now the rock/reflective garden has evolved to include elements of what is called an "English Cottage Garden", or at least, elements of how I am coming to understand what that concept is, which could be all wrong, but who cares if it turns out to be a beautiful, restorative place?  Anyway, when it is finished, I am going to take photos, scan them, save them, host them on (cool site!) and post them here so that you guys can see it (no pressure now that I said that for it to turn out well!).

I worked all, and I mean ALL weekend on this and I'm very thrilled with how it is coming along and turning out so far, although I had hoped to get everything planted yesterday, but not even close.  There was a lot of designing involved in this project--way more than in any other landscaping project I've done at my house so far, and there was a lot of shopping at different places for different things, etc., which took away from actual time digging in the dirt.  However, I think all the planning and taking the time to really consider the overall concept was worth it.  I just hope all these GORGEOUS flowering perennials that are sitting there, mostly not planted yet, will live long enough for me to capture their beauty on film, as again, I've never worked with perennials before and I'm scared they are all gonna die on me.  I tried very hard to select perennials and not annuals, but it can be confusing, to say the least!  I have got some extremely beautiful plants for this.  I've also got some beautiful rocks from this intense building supply place that one really has to WANT ROCKS to brave going to, but that's another story.  I even braved second-hand smoke for this--so wherever Sarah is, I know that she really knows how much I love her *lol*!!!!  I don't put up with second-hand smoke, it is UNHEARD OF...but for Sarah's rocks, it had to be done.

Anyway, I now have all these cool rocks and plants, and everything is placed where I want it, and I made two little stone benches, and bought two chairs for the bad-back set to be able to enjoy it, too (namely me).  A co-worker is making me a little wooden dedication sign to hang, and I am going to buy one of those "gazing balls", which are--the good ones, anyway, and I can't find one, only tacky ones--glass balls that have beautiful subtle color to them, placed on a stand.  Nothing (with the exception of the two chairs) is allowed in this garden unless it looks and ideally IS very natural, such as terra cotta puts, stone benches, etc.  Some of the around 75 plants I bought (I broke out the credit card for the first time this millenium!) are:

Butterfly Bush (Verna, from the old board's, idea), around four or five varieties, all will have purple or blue flowers
Honeysuckle (another idea from fellow BTDer buds of Sarah), two varieties, one with orange flowers and one that will have the traditional yellow, I think
This GORGEOUS plant with intense dark red leaves, called "Blood Leaf"
Snow Bush
Red (looks decidedly purple to me) Fountain Grass
Mondo Grass (green)
Allyson Heather (also apparently called Mexican Heather), has tiny magenta blossoms
Darlsburg Daisies (yellow beauties, the guy at the nursery says they come back year after year even though they are labeled "annual"--see how confusing this is?)
Some other kinds of yellow daisies and these gorgeous flame-orange flowers that I think are yet another variety of daisies
Sweet vibernum
Something that starts with an "L" and that I forget the name of, said on the label that it is good for rock gardens and likes semi-shade:  into the cart with you!
Two very beautiful varietes of miniature roses - my British neighbor walked by as I was COVERED head-to-toe in soil and toiling away, and said "Your garden looks beautiful!"  I told her I was going for an English Cottage Garden and she said "Roses, you need plenty of roses."  So, of course I had to go BACK to Lowe's to get tons more soil (d**n oak roots, I can't dig in one section--I have to build everything UP!) and I decided I had to go with the expert, i.e., the native British person, so I bought these minature roses.  As it happens, there are a few wild rose bushes in the back yard but they all seem sickly this year, leaf-wise, and none of them are in this little garden area I'm creating, so I had to get my token roses, per the British neighbor!  I take it as a sign that she walked past, as I usually go a good year between sightings of her, as she spends half her time back in Britain.
A bunch of other flowering perennials that I can't remember the names of
A dark green bush with shiny leaves that the pup at the nursery told me "does well" and has white flowers eventually

I'm leaving a bunch of stuff out, because I can't remember it all, but you get the point:  I took the BTD bud who told me about the English Cottage Garden concept to heart when I read this quote in a link he gave me:  ""Therefore, the cottage garden has no formal plan. It is a riot of colour and plants crammed in wherever there is a space."

Between the plants and the stone benches, it is already looking so cool and is having the desired effect of peacefulness and soothing, as I couldn't keep up my usual frenzied planting pace and found myself pausing often to sit on the bench, take a few swigs of WF mineral water, and "stop and smell the roses", only I didn't have the roses yet at that point, but I stopped to smell all the wonderful flowers and herbs, and watch the bees that have already discovered Sarah's garden.  My dog and cats love it, too.  The dog is funny and uses the little "doorway" I created to the rest of the backyard out of two big, beautiful rocks I bought (details in a sec) and red (really purple) fountain grass.  She only will go through that now, even though she could fit between some of the plants and go another way.  I get a kick out of seeing her trot back and forth through the "doorway".  I love the garden.  I hope Sarah loves it, too, and can see the "riot of colour and plants crammed in wherever there is a space" from wherever she is.

Details (in the form of pictures) sometime after Easter Sunday!
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, March 21, 2005, 3:47pm; Reply: 1
P.S.  Forgot to tell you about the ROCKS!  One type is called green glacier rock and is gorgeous striated (is that the that even a word?) pale green and white crystal.  Another is called Dixie pink and is also striated (shot through, if you will) with this sort of purple and white crystal.  Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, and it turns out that the pale green perfectly--I'm talking perfectly--matches my house color, which I hadn't even thought of whatsoever.  I have a clump of the purpley rocks arranged with the heather around it that has the little magenta blooms.  I have the pale green ones with these gorgeous yellow daisies around them.  I have one of each forming a "doorway" at the north end of the garden.  There are two "doorways", one near the house and one to get to the rest of the back yard, not that there is much "rest of it", but there ya go.  The two clumps of purple fountain grass look great behind the rock "door markers".  The whole thing is really coming together!  Oh, and the rock benches I made out of something called "plumbwood flagging".  They are flat pieces of a sort of dark rock (which perhaps is petrified wood, judging by the name...I dunno...but my friend, Stan, will know when he comes to check it out) with interesting color variation within.  I made the legs very simply out of two upside down, faux-clay pots but they miraculously match the unusual color of these stones!

Yeah, baby.  Got a lot of free weight-training by obtaining these rocks, too.  I'm feeling my biceps for the first time in years!
Posted by: 658 (Guest), Monday, March 21, 2005, 6:11pm; Reply: 2
Car that sounds so awesome!!  I wish i lived nearby cuz i would totally help out, i love gardening!  I used to do it when i lived in NH, but now i cant in the city :(

oh well, i think its great that you are doing this too, and i cant wait to see the photos soon!
Posted by: debs, Monday, March 21, 2005, 8:32pm; Reply: 3
yes it sounds sounds like it will be something of a sensory garden which i imagine Sarah would have loved.i dont know if you have the space or budget for water or windchimes? whatever you decide the plants are beautiful & there will be some wonderful smells.of course if you want an English cottage garden dont forget the delphiniums,larkspur & irises,then they're some of my favourites so i'm a tad biased ;)
More importantly you've done it for good reason with a good heart & i for one applaud you & send you a hug which is what Sarah would do too. :K)
Posted by: ISA-MANUELA (Guest), Tuesday, March 22, 2005, 6:56pm; Reply: 4
Car 54 I'll send you a little gemstone
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Tuesday, March 22, 2005, 7:48pm; Reply: 5
Isa, that is so sweet.  I sent U a private message.  U don't have to do that, dear.  I shall get one here.
Posted by: jsgrierson (Guest), Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 8:16pm; Reply: 6
Can we all come and take tea (with cucumber sandwiches) in your garden soon?
Lets have a cyber tea party when we all sip our preferred infusion simultaneously.When it's 4pm there on Easter Sunday, what is it here? Depends where you are Car!
Love, Jenny
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Wednesday, March 23, 2005, 8:37pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from jsgrierson
Can we all come and take tea (with cucumber sandwiches) in your garden soon?
Lets have a cyber tea party when we all sip our preferred infusion simultaneously.When it's 4pm there on Easter Sunday, what is it here? Depends where you are Car!
Love, Jenny

I'm in the US of A, eastern standard time.  Unfortunately, I have these just indescribably, unbelievably obnoxious neighbors (they defy all description and belief, truly...oh, I just said that...they also cause continual cortisol infusion to the brain, which burns memory cells, sorry) and I worry that their disrespectful, LOUD, destructive energy will intrude on the healing, loving, creative, peaceful, soothing energy that the garden puts out there and that I want to especially happen when I dedicate it to Sarah on Easter/her birthday, especially the QUIET, PEACEFUL aspect, but all I can do is try to wait for a moment when they are not in full obnoxious form.  If it doesn't happen, I shall just do the best I can.  But as for the real, versus virtual, tea and cucumber sandwich party in the garden, I'll tell you what I told my mom, when she said she can't wait to see it:  Let's wait until after the neighbors move far, FAR away.  Then, it's a date!  A big date!

HOWEVER, there will be pictures taken of this ASAP!  I am hoping that the flowers don't all go kaput on me before I get 'em all planted and they get their glamour pics taken!  I got a lot of planting in on Monday evening, which was an overcast, rainy afternoon/evening, PERFECT for planting in Florida.  Had a class last night.  Tonight:  Bags of soil from Lowe's, big time!  A good section of this garden has so many mature Laurel Oak roots and other tree roots that there is no way to dig a hole, so I am going to build up soil around the plants there.  I did this with one line of Mammy crotons a year ago in the front, with excellent results (gosh, they are spectacularly beautiful--I LOVE crotons!).

Gotta go.  I will keep you all posted and we will have virtual tea and cucumber sandwiches, for sure.  It feels like it is all of Sarah's BTD friends creating this garden, as I have gotten ideas from several others that blossomed (no pun intended!) into big parts of the garden concept.  It definitely feels like we are all doing this together.  I'm hoping to get it virtually finished (although a garden is never really "finished", it is always a process, a labor of love) by Easter, but the great thing is, if I don't, Sarah would understand.

btw, your idea is beautiful.  Everyone try to have a spot of their favorite tea or other beverage at precisely 11:00 a.m. EST (that way, it will be 4:00 p.m. in her native land of London, England) in honor of Sarah this Easter Sunday, which would have been her 41st birthday, and will be the dedication of her little garden.  I will shoot for doing the dedication at 11:00 a.m., eastern standard time.  Synchronize your watches, all!
Posted by: jsgrierson (Guest), Thursday, March 24, 2005, 8:10pm; Reply: 8
That'll be 2am EST Australia on Sunday morning.Will try to wake briefly. Jenny
Posted by: debs, Thursday, March 24, 2005, 8:34pm; Reply: 9
car54 no cucumber sandwiches for us cyber or not ;D
i shall make us roast beef sandwiches my dear ;)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Thursday, March 24, 2005, 8:48pm; Reply: 10
Jenny, if you don't do it at that time, I think Sarah would understand!!!  I am going to try for 11:00 a.m. but, if the situation with my obnoxious neighbors is too over-the-top at that time, I myself will wait for a quieter time (if such a time comes that day).  I think that if all of Sarah's friends from the BTD community just take a moment sometime during the day of Sunday, which is her birthday and Easter, that will be our way of being in community on that day and pausing to honor her.  The dedication of her garden is just a vehicle for that.  The exact time is not important, just the act of doing it.  It would be cool if we all paused to think of Sarah at the exact same moment, but that is probably not going to be practical for everyone, so if we just do it in the same day, that is every bit as powerful.  We are sending our love and prayers to her and her family and that is the great part.  I think it was a beautiful idea of yours to have a "cyber tea" for her and if we all do it in our own parts of the world, in our own way, at the time that is best for us, it will be like a round-the-clock, 24-hour toast.  How beautiful and what a way to honor this remarkable, special person.

I want to say thank you, Jenny, for thinking of it and I am going to do it!  I am going to drink a little tea and toast to Sarah after I dedicate the garden.

Whew, I have SO MUCH still to do on it.  No way will it be totally "ready" for Sunday, but on the other hand, it is amazing how much I have gotten done.  Tonight is gazing ball procurement night, new curtain for the garage window that faces the garden (there is a torn up thing there right now that predates my arrival at the house!), try to get more plants in the ground, get bags and bags of soil from Lowe's and a few other little things, and all not necessarily in that order!  I think some of it will have to wait until Saturday, which will be the big push.

I think it is good, when you are grieving for someone, to have a project like this, so that you feel like you are doing something.  In Judaism, there are many things that the relatives are supposed to do, as far as rituals and stuff, and I think that is so healthy and wise because you need to feel like you are doing what you are "supposed" to be doing, yet you don't know what that is and that is why it is helpful if your religion tells you at that time:  Do this.  Because if you are really what they call a "primary mourner", i.e., a child, parent, or spouse, you are very numb and fragile and being told to do a, b, c, and d really helps you not to fall totally apart.  That is one time in life--when you lose someone and are grieving--when you want to be told what to do, when you don't want to and really cannot figure things out and make good decisions, big or small.  I think even for others not in the immediate family, you can be hit hard by grief, trust me, and it is good to have some task, some ritual obligation, some rituals themselves, a project, or SOMETHING so that you don't get hit with the full weight of the thing all at once, as it would be too much.  I think this garden project has really helped me, and the scrapbook, too, although that one has been stressful in some ways, but still I felt that I was doing something, whereas otherwise I would have felt "I wish there was something I could do, I wish there was something I could do".  Ditto with the garden.  Even though that one helps no one but me and maybe some of you who are participating, and even if all the flowers wilt and go bye-bye, it has carried me through these first few weeks.

I remember in college when my friend, Robyn's mom died.  She is Jewish and I was not raised Jewish, and I remember going to NYC to be with her for a few days and being so impressed with the way the Jewish religion and community deals with death, because Robyn had so many people surrounding her and supporting her and so many things she had to DO, ritually, so that she never had time to stop and just be hit with the awful totality of what had happened if she wasn't ready.  There were all these ritual things she had to do and I know it helped her so much to have to do them, she even said so, but I had already been thinking it before she said it.  At times like death, organized religion is at its best, and the most ancient, wise traditions really understand the importance of ritual and doing things--taking actions--to honor the person who has passed away.  When my own dad died, I didn't have that except for a memorial service, and that memorial service was very important.

I really think rituals and ceremonies and symbolism are all very important.  Wow, I really went off on a tangent there, huh?  It is just that I've been thinking a lot about all sorts of stuff related to grieving and death since Sarah passed away.  Guess I'm just thinking "out loud" so to speak.  It is just that grieving brings with it this strange sense of "what am I supposed to do?  shouldn't I be doing something?".  I think it is so important to have a religion or something or someone to step in and say "here is what you do, just do this, this is what you should do".  That way, you have something to focus on to avoid becoming overwhelmed with grief, AND you feel like you are honoring the person who passed away, too.  So, I think that is a great thing about Judaism, because boy does it as a religion have lots of wise ritual actions and things that basically support the doer thereof.  And that was a great thing about David saying to Sarah's "e-friends", hey, you know how you can help the family, you can write something for her scrapbook".  And that is a great thing about this garden thing, too.  All of these things may honor the one who passed and may help their loved ones, but they also have a secret function:  they help the doer.
Posted by: 1196 (Guest), Thursday, March 24, 2005, 9:03pm; Reply: 11
What a great project Car54

All your tangenting makes me wonder how the O %'s stack up Jewishly speaking!

I can see all that activity really helping an O.

Will be willing you a peaceful dedication ceremony when the time comes and looking forward to the piccies.
Posted by: Brighid45, Thursday, March 24, 2005, 10:28pm; Reply: 12
Dear twinnie, what a wonderful idea! You have the biggest heart, full of compassion.
I will have a cup of Sip Right in hand on Sunday to honor Sarah and your memory garden.

Just a suggestion for the garden--I know you already have so many things going in, but how about planting some rosemary? 'Rosemary for remembrance,' Shakespeare said. In your climate it will be an evergreen plant that could be trimmed into a hedge (and provide you with tasty clippings for turkey, chicken and fish recipes!). Just a thought. :)

Looking forward to pictures!
Posted by: jsgrierson (Guest), Friday, March 25, 2005, 7:56am; Reply: 13
Quoted from Edna
 All of these things may honor the one who passed and may help their loved ones, but they also have a secret function:  they help the doer.

Car, you are so full of love, and  I honour you for all that.
Your words about ceremony really touched me as I've just become a marriage celebrant and have done my first few ceremonies. It is so wonderful to be part of people's 'passages' and does just as much for the celebrant as for the couple. Shortly I shall be training to extend my work to funerals and a lot of your comments above really touched me. I have so much to learn.

Sunday at 4 then.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 25, 2005, 2:22pm; Reply: 14
Sunday at 4!  Well, actually, Sunday at 11:00 a.m., here in Florida, USA.  IF the kids are not doing their thaaaang.  Again, though, I think if all of us in the BTD community who cared about Sarah just take a moment sometime on Sunday, it will be like a "24-hour moment", a 24-hour toast, a 24-hour remembrance.  Jenny, I thank you for this great idea to "kick up" (to quote a certain cook on a certain TV show here in the states) the dedication a notch by making it a real cybercommunity event wherein we are all participating in our own way, in our own parts of the world.

Twin, I shall purchase a rosemary plant when I get more soil (it is unreal how many 40-lb bags of soil I need for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and add it to the garden.  Space is at a premium and I realized last night that I have grouped/planted certain plants WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too close together for their ultimate sizes.  Prob being, I am not familiar with most of these plants and they aren't all labeled well, ya know?  PLUS, I must admit, I want the garden to look good NOW, for it's glamour pics for y'all, versus how it would look if I had spaced everything properly, with enough space so that when everything reaches its ultimate size it will look great.  So basically, it is all all y'alls fault that I planted stuff too close together!  Case in point, sweet vibernum are plants that make hedges and should be planted a few feet apart, but I scrunched three or four of them right together.  Oh well.  Things are very "scrunched" in places, but I figure the plants will adapt.  I'm not one of these anal gardeners, which is why I'm not a baker, either, I'm more of a cook if I'm anything:  I don't do measuring, weighing, graphing, preparing the beds, or anything like that:  If a plant is "man enough" to make it in my tough love environment, then so be it, otherwise, the tribe has spoken *lol*.  I water and I mulch (although I have not even begun to contemplate contemplating the contemplation of getting all the mulch for this, or even if I am going to mulch, I may leave the grass alone on the "paths" between the plants.  I may not, I may mulch and get stepping stones...I don't know.  I know I can't do all of this by SUNDAY!  I've been out there after work and running around looking for a non-tacky gazing ball (found plenty of the tacky kind that look like dementedly shiny, Cherynobyl-sized Christmas tree ornament balls, but that isn't what I want!  I want, like a blown-glass orby looking thing...I'm going to Pier One Imports tonight...if they don't have gazing balls, maybe they have something else natural and cool looking I could use instead), planting away long after dark all this week.  Luckily, there is a light that comes on outside the garage at dusk, so there is a little light out there.  But after falling into and practically twisting my ankle in a hole I had just dug the night before last, and then last night after realizing "GASP!  Survivor starts at eight!" (wrong, basketball pre-empted it  >:( ), I did eventually go inside *lol*.  But it takes falling into a hole or Survivor being on (or the misguided illusion that Survivor is on) to get me out of the garden.  As much as is humanly possible to be done by Sunday, shall be done by Sunday.  I think I shall take pics on Sunday itself, no matter what point the garden is at, as I think that is a special day in the life of the garden.  So, prepare for no mulch, no stepping stones, no dedication plaque (a co-worker is making a plaque but she went out of town for the holiday), no "finishing touches" yet.  It is amazing, for instance, how nice mulch makes things look, but it is pretty much for sure I won't have mulched anything by then.  In addition to obtaining about five zillion bags of soil at Lowe's tonight, going to Pier One, taking care of the dog and cats, cleaning up from the day's "kid situation" refuse, and trying to get some planting done, I also have to find and hang a new curtain or something in the garage window.  How I am going to get to that window is another story, as there ....oh, impossible to describe, nevermind, but I have no clue how I shall get up to the curtain rod to hang anything, as there is immoveable and yet very flimsy (as far as climbing onto it) stuff there.  Oy.

Forward, unafraid!

Sunday, 4:00 p.m., London time, 11:00 a.m. EST:  Synchronize your watches!

Twin, I have no clue where I'm going to put this rosemary!  Now you've gone and done it!  In fact, I found myself with one honeysuckle too many and walked around and around thinking, WHERE can I put this?  Well, there was nowhere, so I stuck him (her?  it?) next to the other one and SQUEEZED in next to a sweet vibernum that is already ridiculously close to another sw. vibernum.  I was going to leave a little path between where a chair is going to go and where a stone bench is, yet now I'm thinking:  WHY?  Do those two people really need to be able to walk between where they are sitting?  Noooo.  But I could put some rosemary in there and maybe some more rose plants, as my British neighbor admonished me to get ROSES (and I since got two minature rose plants, but they are kind of hidden away in a flurry of other plants) and I take that as a sign from Sarah because I NEVER see this particular neighbor, yet there she was, walking through the back alley, and saw me planting and commented that the garden was pretty.  We got to talking and I said I was going for "English cottage garden".  That's when she said "Roses!  You need lots and lots of roses!"  Again, must have been a cosmic directive because I see her at most once per year and usually we don't exchange hellos even.  Far as I know, she is the only British native in my immediate section of da 'hood.  The odds of her walking by were little and bitty, as she is never around.  So, I'll get some rosemary, standard-size roses, and maybe some more marigolds because I had forgotten how incredibly wonderful marigolds smell and they are gorgeous, ta boot.  I'll put that lot in where there was gonna be a little path.  The nice thing about the little path is that it would have completed a little circular path...also, I don't want to plant anything between the chair and bench that would preclude folks sitting in same from seeing each other.  Maybe I'd better stick to miniature roses, as once I bought mine, I went over to the British woman's house, looking like swamp thing, mind you, covered head to toe in soil, and her garden and house are so PERFECT, and showed her these roses to see if they made the grade.  She showed me her miniature roses and the plants are not as big as her standard rose plants.

Okay, this post is getting loooooooooooooooooooong...this concludes our rambling on and on session for today!
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 25, 2005, 2:38pm; Reply: 15
Quoted from Brighid45
Dear twinnie, what a wonderful idea! You have the biggest heart, full of compassion.
I will have a cup of Sip Right in hand on Sunday to honor Sarah and your memory garden.

Quoted from Jenny
Car, you are so full of love, and  I honour you for all that.

Thanks.  It is actually all for Sarah (for most people, I couldn't care a flying fig less about) because she was such a good friend and remarkable human being.  No matter what she was going through, she always wanted to know how I was, and about the stresses and strifes in my world, even though they paled in comparison to what she was going through.  I appreciated that at the time, but since her passing away, I've had the chance to really think about how great of a friend she was to me.  This may sound weird but, even though we never met face to face, I feel that in many ways she was the best friend I ever had.  So I'm just trying to honor her...and at the same time, dig into (literally!) a task of some sort so that the grieving process somehow turns into something positive and a garden.

Posted by: Brighid45, Friday, March 25, 2005, 4:18pm; Reply: 16
This is an excellent way to honor Sarah, Car. Don't worry about doing things wrong, or making mistakes. One, the plants will let you know how they like things, and two, a garden is a living entity, one that takes shape over time. Every gardener's middle name is Patience. ;)  As you go along you'll find special plants, stones, ornaments, and so on to put in the garden which will enhance its beauty. (An aside: I think Pier One has those neato swirly glass globe wishing balls . . . I *think*.)

At this point you probably don't want to hear any more suggestions, but I'll give them to you anyway and you m,ay do with them as you please. Your neighbor is right--lots of roses--but you could also put in some pinks, also called Sweet William (Dianthus sp.). They are charming little perennials that grow about six inches high, with green-grey foliage and pretty little five-petalled flowers in all shades of pink, rose, carmine, and white. They make nice ground cover around taller plants like roses. The older varieties smell wonderful too. A second suggestion is hollyhocks. They are old-fashioned flowers which add plenty of height and color to anywhere you need it.

About the rosemary: you can put it in a hanging basket if you don't have room for it in the garden proper. It will be perfectly happy there, believe me. :)

Okay, enough suggestions. You're already going meshuggah with what you've got to do. Now listen up: DO NOT FREAK OUT OVER THIS. (Unless it feels too good to stop. *g*) However things turn out will be just fine.

I don't know why I'm trying to get a Virgo to stop going over details.


Hang in there, twinnie! You're doing a good thing here.  
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 25, 2005, 6:07pm; Reply: 17
12:52 pm Fri BULLETIN:  This just in!  This just in!  Car went messhuganah on her lunch break and "thought outside the box" as far as getting a gazing ball:

Problem:  All the so-called gazing balls available locally are of the TACKY, dementedly shiny, pooey, non-glass variety and I wanted a hand-blown, solid glass orb/sphere.  Ideally, it would have been like the work of this one glass artist--I can't think of the name--who does nothing but make what he calls "worlds", which are these glass, planet-looking things that are just absolutely wonderful and gorgeous.  And they cost a few grand each, no doubt, but surely, I reasoned, there was a Home Depot version?  WRONG.  Every single place had the dementedly shiny, metallic-looking kind, except for my beloved Lowe's, however, they had just one style and it had sort of this bright, deep blue that was not right for the colors in my garden and of my house.  Hard to explain, but it was just subtley wrong.  Subtley is everything!  God is in the details!  I DID see the kind of gazing ball I imagined and envisioned on the internet, but how on earth could I procure me one of those gorgeous, spiritually calming ones by SUNDAY!  It is now Friday!

Solution:  Went to Pier One.  If you need something and you will only know what it is when you see it, Pier One is the place to go.  I hope I am not channelling Kirstie Alley here, but I really do think Pier One is da bomb.  Haven't been there in years because I'm po' and it is really for the yuppified among us, no matter how much they may be trying to appear "earthy" and bohemian, doncha know.  They pull up in their Lincoln Navigators--dead giveaway!  Yuppie alert!   Anyway....

Went cruising into Pier One on my lunch break and bought me a "gazing ball".  Well, now in reality...and please don't laugh/judge/ is a paperweight, but it is cool and much nicer than the so-called gazing balls currently being sported locally.  True, this paperweight is little, little, little, yet that might just work nicely with the scale of my garden, too, as it is small.  What do I need with some huge orb horning in there?  No, a little artist-formerly-known-as-a-paperweight might be just the meditative, reflective, evil-spirit-warding-off*-ticket.  The paperweight only cost $5.00!!!!!!!!!  The stand, however, was another story.  Had to think really outside the box there.  Ended up with a candlestick stand to the tune of $40.00.  It would like to say it is wrought iron, and it certainly is HEAVY enough to be, but I fear it may be some sort of rust-prone fake stuff, as there is a little chip off the foot of one of the legs, and underneath is not solid black like the color of this thing, but more of a brown...hmmmmm...

Anyway, let's see how she flies.  The gazing ball (artist formerly known as a paperweight) looks like this, except that the colors are different:  instead of that dark blue, mine is a pale, muted sky blue, and the green is a paler green, but the pattern is the same:

*According to something I read on the net whilst Googling up glass gazing balls, the gazing ball originated in Victorian England (again, appropriate for Sarah's garden!) and were thought to ward off evil spirits.  Let's hope that is true and it keeps the obnoxious, disrespectful energy of the bad neighbors away, allowing the loving, creative, healing, soothing energy of the garden to flourish in peace.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 25, 2005, 7:03pm; Reply: 18
Quoted from Brighid45
Every gardener's middle name is Patience. ;)

Uh oh.  And here I was beginning to fancy myself something of a gardener.  Well, another dream shattered.


"Sweet Viburnum
Viburnum odoratissimum
This evergreen shrub has fragrant white flowers in spring. Bright green leaves have a high-gloss shine to them.
Light: Performs well in full or partial sun.
Growth: A fairly quick grower that can grow to 40' high and 30' wide if left unpruned.
:o :o :o

"When used as a hedge or screen the experts recommend planting this shrub 5 ft (1.5 m) apart"

Um, yeeeah, well, here's the thing:  I kinda planted my four kinda sorta RIGHT next to each other.  Maybe I will take all but one out and put them...somewhere, I know not where, as there is NOWHERE left on my property to put such items.  I, there's nowhere!  But then Sarah's garden will not look right, right NOW.  I don't have that "patience" thing of which you speak, twin!
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, March 25, 2005, 7:13pm; Reply: 19
Hold up!  Maybe I figured it out!  Maybe I can dig up all but one of these bad boys and put them BEHIND my line-o-Mammy crotons that line the rear alley.  They are shorter than the crotons now, but in time, will be far taller than the 3 to 5+ feet mature height of Mammy crotons.*  They will thus provide a nice PRIVACY SCREEN for the alley, and if they really get that big and wide, will fit right in between the lower (in future) croton line, with it's flare of color, and the oak and Pine behind them.  YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!  Sometimes, I amaze myself!  Might have to but a few MORE of the sweet viburnum, but I will space them luxuriously apart, so that they can spread as much as they like.  I'll just have one there in Sarah's garden and y'all will have to DEAL with how weird it will look right now, with space around it.  I've braced you for the shock....

(No, Jane, I have not had coffee!  But, thanks to you, there may have been some Pamela's wheat-free cookies involved in my present hyper mood!  I'm grain-free...except for the occasional headlong plunge into Pamela's wheat-free lemon shortbread cookies!  The box forced itself into my hands and then somehow it was gone.  Don't look at me, I don't know what happened.)

*Will also maybe have to move a poor little Burford holly that has already been moved once.  It is okay, I have a spot for him.  May have to move a baby twisting juniper tree too, but all will be well.

...I may put a sweet viburnum in line with the other line, on the OTHER side of the house, too.

Man, I'm on some sort of landscaping spree to end all landscaping sprees.  Someone shoot me with a tranquilizer gun before I plant out my entire property and have to tear down the house to make way for more PLANTS!
Posted by: jsgrierson (Guest), Friday, March 25, 2005, 8:53pm; Reply: 20
Car, perhaps if there are too many plants, or if you need to dig up one or two in a few month's time (after the photographs are done, mind), you may like to keep them in plastic pots so that when Sarah's family and friends drop by (as must surely happen), you will have the best sort of souvenirs to share with them?
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, March 28, 2005, 3:03pm; Reply: 21
omg, Jenny, what a horrible thought, i.e., that anyone might actually stop by, because while, after nine years of working on it, culminating in Sarah's garden, my yard now looks amazing (except for one remaining little area, but I'm taking a break *lol*, besides, as of Saturday, it is now officially hot and humid here until early November, so I am now done with any and all landscaping projects until then, which will give my budget a chance to recover a smidge, too...before Sarah's garden, I did the entire front city right-of-way...stop the madness!), the inside of my house is an unmitigated DISASTER AREA, and I would be really embarrassed if anyone saw the dern thing.  I mean, ashamed, it is that bad.  BAAAHD.  From looking at the inside, you would never guess how much $$$$$ I have pumped into the thing in the nine years I've lived there, as it is all "invisible", like the roof (do not, under any circumstances, get me started on that subject), termite treatment, new sewer pipe, new hot water heater (again, best not to go there), new doors, etc.  None of that "shows".  The only thing that shows was painting the outside and I do love the colors and that I got rid of hideous striped awnings and instead have dark ivy/hunter green shutters, but the handyman who painted did not caulk at all or scrape properly and that is all going to have to be redone waaaaaaay too soon.  Oy vey.  What I don't like about home ownership is that, when you finally scrimp and save and get something done, it isn't done right.  ANYWAY, the bottom line is that the inside of my house, especially the KITCHEN ( :o :o :o :o ) looks like a total and complete disaster area.  In fact, I recently moved heaven and earth to get a good homeowner's insurance company which is impossible in FL with an old house and I give myself props galore for doing this, plus I thank God and my lucky stars, and I am surprised that the inspector (yup, they sent out an inspector--twice, he forgot to snap photos under the sinks the first time!) didn't recommend to the insurance company that they flee in terror and never look back.  By some miracle, he took me.  The ultimate thing was when he said "The roof looks good".  If he only knew what I've been through to get to that comment.  And personally, I will NEVER feel comfortable about this roof, but the excellent roofers I just used a while back to do a huge repair to the work the horrible roofers (who since went out of business while my roof was still under warranty  :o) talked me out of getting a whole new roof.  THAT is an ethical roofing co.!  I was saying I thought I needed a whole new roof (even though my roof is only five years old, but, trust me...) and he said, basically, no, this is a cr*ppy job, fo sho, but you "should get the life out of it, which is only going to be about 7 more years down here anyway...give it 7 years".  Well, now I think it is leaking in two other places, but he told me, if I need further repairs, they won't be as expensive as the one I just had to get in October, which was redoing an entire valley that was installed "in reverse" (tip of the iceberg, my friends, extreme tip of the iceberg), they would just be a smaller repair.  I'm just very thankful to now know of a good roofing company.  But I don't feel comfy with my roof and I fear getting the plaster repaired and the inside painted in case I do, in fact, have active leaks still going on...anyway, all this was started by your saying people might drop by *lol*:  Just be aware that the house is "not ready for primetime".  And that fact is getting really embarrassing after nine years, but, hey, my salary is that of an administrative assistant and this house requires more the salary of Donald Trump in order to wrest it from the grip of disintegration!

Time for a separate post on dedicating the garden yesterday....coming up shortly...stay tuned to your official BTD channel for details...
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, March 28, 2005, 5:45pm; Reply: 22
Well you'd better get used to that thought, twin o' mine, because I'd love to come down and see the garden someday. Maybe even bring something to contribute to it.


The plant moving sounds like a winner. Don't worry, the plants will let you know whether they like where they are or not. Plants don't mess around. They are forthright and honest. *lol* I think with all the good thoughts and memories coming your way from Sarah's family and friends, your work will shine forth. :)

I LOVE the paperweight/gazing ball--perfect!
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, March 28, 2005, 7:19pm; Reply: 23
For some reason, I have put off writing about this all morning.  I don’t know why, it just feels like, once I post about dedicating Sarah’s garden, maybe everyone will forget about her, but of course, I know that isn’t true.  Feelings, go figure.  They are wacky little animals, no?

Anyway, yesterday was a beautiful, quiet, “summer in the air” morning here in central Florida.  Due to the intolerable situation with the problem neighbors, since the early a.m. was so beautiful, I decided to go ahead with the little dedication right then and there, just in case the pack-o-wild kids would be out later.  I fully intended to also do a toast at exactly 11:00 a.m., but I decided the quiet of the very early morning was very conducive to focusing and saying what I really wanted to say to Sarah.  Turned out to be a good decision.  At about 8:00 a.m. or 8:15 a.m., it just felt like the right moment to dedicate Sarah’s garden.  I had worked so hard for about ten hours straight the day before to get it “ready”, and it ended up looking good.  I still don’t have the little plaque for it, so I shall have to procure another disposable camera, as I used up a whole roll of film already, and I want to get the plaque in there, plus I may add a few plants in one place where I thought I was leaving room for a chair, but really a chair doesn’t fit there, AND I may move one plant that I spied a mature one of on a walk and realized, uh oh, that sucka is gonna get BIG.  Plus, I’m not sure how my pics came out, due to a sitch I’ll get to in another post to do with the fact that I have realized, via the vehicle of taking those pics, that I can’t see a darn thing through my right eye except a blur…and I thought it was something wrong with the camera!  But we’ll get to that in a future post.  About the dedication:  After all my “lifting that barge and toting that bale” the day before, including 15 40-lb bags of soil, more big rocks from the rock place, planting the remaining plants, etc., I was physically exhausted, and worried somehow that the dedication wasn’t going to feel “sacred enough”, like I wasn’t up to it suddenly.  But as soon as I started heading for the garden I felt tears welling up as they have so often since Sarah passed away.  I think it is so healthy that I’ve been crying so much, as I never usually do.  Crying is good, me thinks.  Anyway, so I just said a few heartfelt words about how much Sarah’s friendship meant to me and what a good friend she was, and that I was so sorry she was taken away from her son, husband and family so soon and that Joe would grow up without her, but to remember how blessed he (Joe) is to have had her for a mother for the first all-important years of his life, and that her influence will live on in him forever.  I said that while it was no less than tragic that she was taken, I thought her family would be okay afterall and I prayed that they would, and that I hoped that she would be at peace and wrapped in God’s love, and that her family would also be at peace and wrapped in God’s love.  I guess it was around that point that I really got on a crying jag and went inside to just really cry.  Again, I’ve decided that I’m a big fan of crying, and I’m so grateful and surprised that I’ve been able to do so much of it.  I never used to be able to.

Good thing I did the dedication when I did, as just about ten minutes later, the kid situation got ridiculous and there would have been no way to do it.  Then they went away (hallelujah!) and, a while later, I was so wiped out physically and emotionally that I lay down for a while.  Next thing you know, I hadn’t really been asleep exactly, but I guess I was half asleep, but this intense breeze snapped me up with a start, and I realized, wait, what TIME is it?  It was 11:01!!!!!!!  Noooooooo!  One minute past the cyberhappening hour!  I leapt up, raced outside with my WF 365 mineral water w/a fresh spearmint leaf from the garden in it, and just did a little toast to Sarah.  Then my friend, Nancy, came over to see the garden.  We were both just totally exhausted for some reason, so we just sat there.  Gotta say that it is very peaceful there (when the neighbors from h*ll on the other side allow it to be) and with us being SO exhausted, perhaps it calmed us TOO much, as we both sort of sat there in a reflective trance, until the dog provided some comic relief by digging determinedly, with purpose, in some of the new topsoil to make herself a nice, cool “bed”.  After J got herself good and dirty, the festivities concluded.

I told Sarah I would always remember her.

As for the garden itself, had I all the money in the world, I would like to put these cool little stones they had at the rock place on the “paths”, versus just the grass that is there, and/or maybe stepping stones.  I should probably mulch everything, too, which I have not, just covered everything in a thick, rich layer of black topsoil, which looks fantastic at this moment, but within day or two it will look just as gray and sandy as the rest of the soil in the yard, and not clearly delineated from same as “garden area”, PLUS all the grass underneath will start poking through, further murkying up the distinction between “garden” and “rest of the yard”.  So, mulch I should, but I tell ya, this exhaustion thing is pretty real at the moment.  After several weeks of intense working on the garden, I just feel like giving it a rest for a little bit…but maybe by the weekend that feeling will pass *lol*!  I hope not, though, as the house, pets, bills, etc., need attention sorely.  Sarah wouldn’t want me neglecting all that too badly.  Besides, mulch might take away from the “informal riot of colour” that the English cottage garden is supposed to be all about.  Mulch seems too formal and planned.  This seems very natural.  And, if I just have to keep adding bags and bags of soil, that should keep my upper arms/biceps in condition, right?  See, it all works out!

Anyway, it isn’t the way a real “gardener” would have done anything:  Many plants are too close together, no doubt, for their ultimate sizes, and I didn’t “prepare the beds”, etc.  But it does look really lovely now at least, it was all done with a lot of love, and the interesting thing is, it DOES have a very soothing, calming feel to it.  It is a very reflective, healing space.  While it may not be her favorite garden if she could see it, I’m sure she’d be touched by the intention and care that went into it, not just by me but by all her BTD friends who made suggestions like Butterfly bushes, English cottage garden, and I think I have a spot for that rosemary now, too.  Guess what else?  A beautiful, big butterfly came fluttering around on Saturday, when I was just at the end of the final push to get the garden done.  My hands were filthy, but I went into the garage to get the camera to take a picture of this butterfly, as it was really fluttering right up to me.  When I came back out, it was gone.  I think it will be back.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, April 1, 2005, 2:19pm; Reply: 24
Garden developments this week:

1.  J (my dog) knocked over the gazing ball stand, gazing ball, and a nearby plant in a tall clay vase.  At least, we HOPE it was J.  My neighbor and bud at the end of block said "Are you sure it was J, how do you know it wasn't THE KIDS?"  As in, the wild pack of kids that has taken over our block.  Well, they usually aren't in my BACK yard, I gotta say, due solely to the little fence I put up to keep them at bay.  Before that, they were constantly back there.  And that was before the situation got BAAAAAAAAAAHD.  I'm so glad I put the fence up before it did!  But I digress.  About J, I hypothesize that, while I was out watering the front and J was out in the back, she was chasing a squirrel or the nice neighbor's cat, Leo.  Leo loves the new garden and will venture over to drink in the fragrant flowers, chew some of the purple fountain grass (my cats love this, too!  It has provided "salad" into their diets!), etc.  However, as soon as J sees this cat, she chases him out, knocking down anything and everything in her path.  Poor Leo.

2.  Speaking of the gazing ball stand, someone from our fold here suggested spraying same with Rustoleum to prevent it rusting.  I shall do it!  Meanwhile, when I water, I remove it, and if rain threatens, it goes in the garage.

3.  The two gardenias do not look good and are possibly going to go belly up on me.  Everything else is healthy and happy, including all the flowers, which I was scared about (I never planted flowers before!).  About those viburnum, I dug them all up but one, bought some more, and made a secondary hedge along the back alley, behind my colorful croton hedge.  The viburnum will get taller, thus creating (eventually...patience, right, Brighid?) a two-level hedge, with a colorful first level and a tall, green privacy screen behind it.  I left just one viburnum in Sarah's garden, that way s/he has enough room.  I think everything else now has kinda sorta enough room, except for one unidentified glossy green thing that I saw one of elsewhere in the 'hood and it is a BIG BUSH, so I don't know WHAT to do, as my yard is officially now "planted out", as in, there is NOWHERE to put this future big bush.  I have one area left to landscape in the yard, but this future biggie won't fit there, as it is a small area (won't bore yazz with the details).  That area is not getting done until next spring.  I'm done landscaping anything for a year.  I'm tapped out *lol*.  No mas dinero.  Plus it is going to get HOT soon and stay that way until mid-November.  For now, pre-big bush stays where s/he is.  There are two other plants that are called something like Cuban plants, that have yellow flowers.  Saw some older ones of those two at this holistic health place next to my HFS.  They are kinda big, but I think mine have enough room to be okay, if squished in.

I'm just suprised that the flowers are all still alive.  I mean, they seem to tolerate the occasional trampling by J in chase of Leo, and the shade they are in, even though most of their labels said "full sun/plen sun".  I think flowers like shade as much as the next guy, it is just HUMANS who prefer them in full sun so that they will have as many flowers as possible.  I say, they are beautiful even with just a medium number of flowers!

Photos:  Took one roll and realized, in all seriousness (though this will probably sound funny) that I need to get my b*tt in to an eye doctor and get glasses.  I thought there was something wrong with the camera, as when I looked through the lens, everything was unfocused and blurry.  Then I realized (after shooting 25 of the 27 photos in the roll):  It isn't the camera lens, you idiot, it is that YOU DON'T SEE A D*MN THING THROUGH YOUR RIGHT EYE!  I have known for a long time now that, if I close my left eye, I cannot read a blessed thing (or a blasted thing, for that matter) through the right, it is a complete blur.  Not good.  But still not enough to compel me to a doctor.  However, now I realize that it isn't just reading, my sight is unfocused/blurry through my right eye, period.  Time to go to the doctor.  Meanwhile, I will get a second disposable camera because my co-worker has not finished the sign yet, and I want a pic of that, plus, now that I figured out about my vision being wack, I am going to try to either look through my left eye or whatever to compensate.  Because, knowing me, it will take me at least a few more weeks to possibly months of procrastination before I go to an eye doctor.  I tried to look on line on our health insurance's site to see if a certain doctor is on our list of in-network providers, but I had forgotten my user ID and password, so that was enough to thwart me *lol*.  But meanwhile, I will snap another role of pics and pick out like the five or six best ones from all of them to post for all y'all dawgs.  I will try to get my procrastinating self to do this soon, so that I can post 'em in this thread before it expires.  I am posting this now not just to let you know when the photos will come, but to "bump" the thread back into another 30-day active period!

I wonder how the pics I took through my unfocused eye will come out!  Probably perfect *lol*!
Posted by: Brighid45, Friday, April 1, 2005, 3:16pm; Reply: 25
Sounds like you're a 'real gardener' to me, Car dear. You've got all the signs: exhausted body and sore muscles, an empty bank account, and a desire to plant more stuff! *chuckle* Well, eventually anyway.

Now you can sit back and let the garden tell you what it wants to do. Don't worry about the gardenias. They are notoriously delicate and wilt at the drop of a hat, so if they do decide to go, you can replace them with something else.

I suggest you gather up a small comfy chair, a glass of iced tea, and enjoy some relaxing moments in honor of Sarah. She would be very proud of you, a charaid.

Posted by: debs, Friday, April 1, 2005, 4:17pm; Reply: 26
For what it's worth,Penny Royal is a purple flowered scented plant that apparently cats don't like.if you plant them i cant remember if its 9 inches or 9 feet apart from each other in the area you want to keep the cats out of they'll stay away as they dont like the smell(however to us its a nice smell apparently thank goodness) at least it'll keep the cats out.Another tip Lion dung on your soil is a good fertiliser it keeps foxes out.Depending where you put it in the garden & to which way the wind's blowin it just may keep the neighbours from hell indoors.if you catch my drift? ;)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, April 1, 2005, 4:55pm; Reply: 27
Oh no, I don't want to keep the kitties out!  I love kitties!  I only wish J wouldn't chase Leo out and I mean she CHASES him out with a passion.  Makes me wonder what would happen if I ever got a, would she try to eat him/her?  She has killed two squirrels since I've had her, once from the end of her leash, before I even knew what was going on!  She likes our own two kitties, who preceded her in the household, however, she definitely asserts her dominance over them, shall we say, to a point that makes momma here cross with her sometimes.  At this point, since I've had J since 1997, she should theoretically be secure enough in her place in the family not to have to act like such a weeniebutt to the cats sometimes, but dogs will be dogs, I guess.  J is a bossy gal.  And me being inexperienced and clueless with dogs, I never trained her right, I guess, and I didn't even get her as a puppy, either, she was already a year and three months old, at least, possibly up to three years old.  So, anyway, she is a definite Leo chaser, but I have no prob with Leo coming over, in fact, I love Leo.  What a nice boy.  Then again, I love all cats.  They are all welcome in my yard.

AND I LOVE the idea about the manure and think I will apply some cow manure (they have bags of it at Lowe's) to the front city right of way between the hollies and crotons I planted, that way, if the darlings do their skateboard moves up onto the curb, MANURE!  Ha!  Too bad it has all the odor basically taken out somehow.  Where do I get me some of this elephant poo?  Too bad I can't put it all over the brick edging I put in along the edge of the front lawn and sidewalk, as they keep knocking it out and chipping it up.  In fact, too bad I can't just cover my entire property in elephant dung for the duration, until all these kids go far, FAR away.  In fact, that sounds like one of the better plans I've come up with so far, sadly.

You know, Sarah was always asking me about the kid situation (really, a parent situation), no matter how awful her illness became.  She always asked about me and sincerely wanted to know whatever was going on in my life and whatever was concerning me.  She never told me to GET OVER IT AND REALIZE HOW LUCKY YOU ARE TO BE HEALTHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She never made me feel that my concerns were petty or overblown or anything.  She was the best listener ever.  How does a person do that when confronting such an awful reality in her own life?  I'm not a good listener NOW, in perfect health!  How do you go on having such a real and sincere caring about your friends' problems that pale in comparison to your own?  The only answer I can come up with is that you are a very, extremely, remarkably loving person and even though you realize that the problems are smaller than your own, tiny and irrelevant compared to your own, because you love your friend, you want to hear about them anyway.  I really miss Sarah.

Brighid, got somethin' to say about the whole being a true gardener thaaang, too, but now I went and got myself all choked up about Sarah again, PLUS it is past my lunch time and, as we all know, O's gotta EAT when they gotta EAT, especially protein-wise.  So, stay tuned...
Posted by: Brighid45, Friday, April 1, 2005, 6:58pm; Reply: 28
Well, even if the rotted manure doesn't have a deterrent smell, you can always use manure tea for fertilizer. That DOES have a smell, does it ever. *eg*

I love kitties too, as you well know, but a word of caution: make sure the neighborhood cats don't decide to start using all your nice soft earth as their potty box. They will, if you let them, and getting them to stop is ten times harder than preventing them from starting. I suggest a water pistol. I use one on my cats when they behave badly, only as a last resort, but I do use it now and then. One harmless squirt, and they're gone. ;) You can also use a 'shaker can' to stop behavior you don't like. A pop can filled with some metal objects works nicely--a few pennies or nails or whatever. You could also use those old calcium caps you've had in the cupboard for a couple of years. Shake the bottle, and if it makes a loud noise, it'll work just fine. *chuckle* Any time you see cats digging in the earth or pottying, make noise and make them stop.

Off topic a bit here, it sounds to me as if J has prey drive. Most dogs do to some extent. There isn't much you can do to stop it; you have to catch her in the act and break the instinctive reaction fairly quickly, so she doesn't get the reward of chasing the prey before you correct her. You can't get rid of the behavior because it IS instinct; the best you can do is contain and manage it. I know whereof I speak, we just had a dog go missing because he broke down a gate going after something--probably a squirrel or cat.

Okay, I'm done hijacking the thread. Have a good weekend, and enjoy that garden Car! :)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, April 1, 2005, 7:48pm; Reply: 29
Brig, do you think that if Jamie has killed squirrels, she would try to kill a kitten, as it is as small?  She is obnoxious to her own two cats, but has never hurt them, although she does snap at poor old (19-year-old) Ollie when, after he comes to my chair, and I bend down to pick him up (he can't jump onto my lap anymore), and she (J) is there at my feet (where else) and even if I tell her "Staaaay" firmly, just as I'm picking up Tuft (Ollie), at the moment he passes close to her head, she will snap at him.  What a Miss Thing.  Dang, J, can't we all just have a love-in without you having to get all Miss Thing like?  She is domineering over the cats, but has not hurt them.  They were here first and are grown cats.  She is also nice to cats when we walk, and when we see ones we know, she walks up, tail a'wagging and is sweet to them.  But for some reason, when Leo comes into her backyard, she chases him, probably because, when she RUNS up to him, he naturally takes off running, and that triggers her "chase" drive, prey drive, or whatever in the Sam Hill is programmed in there to her ROM drive.

Getting a kitten is not imminent or anything, but I worry about it with Miss J.  I don't think she would hurt a kitten, as I think she knows the diff between a cat and what she considers prey, like a squir, but who in the heck knows.  I think she just wants to play with Leo, but when he starts running, that triggers "prey, chase".  What she would do if she CAUGHT him and he were a tiny kitten is what worries me.

Now, about the gardening business:  Hmmmm, from your description, apparently I AM one afterall, as YES, that is IT to a "T":  I spend all this money I don't have on plants (and I am not a spender on luxury, I mean, NO CABLE, does that tell you something! A/C for the past two years, IN FLORIDA, we need not go further) and I can't seem to stop, I'm HOOKED, I tell ya!  Luckily, there is NOWHERE left to plant out, just that one little area that is going to wait (as God is my witness) until next spring...or at least until FALL.  Spring would be better because I need to save money for the HOUSE, or what's left of it anyway.

I have declared this upcoming weekend a "no gardening allowed" one.  Oh sure, I can water (GOTS to, whether the plants need it or not, to keep the skateboarders off the sidewalk, although that only buys me two hours) and maybe weed and prune, but NO PLANTING and definitely no buying anything...except maybe that rosemary you suggested, for where there was going to be a chair but now there's not room...oh, forget it, I'm hopelessly HOOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, as addictions go, this is a very healing, life-affirming one.

Too bad I didn't know back a few years ago all that I know now, not that I know much now.  But I would not have sc*wed up the looooooooooooooooong edge of the property between me and the Rental House from H*ll by planting all the wrong stuff as a "hedge".  Long story, but while it does finally look good now after like 7 years of adding to it, it is going to be a prob in the long run...don't ask, don't tell, but for one example, there are 18 Italian Cypress involved in the mix...who knew they will grow to 90 feet tall?  When I told the guy I wanted tall, skinny and something that doesn't need a lot of pruning, he went a hair overboard on the "tall" front!  Luckily, they haven't grown a speck in like three or four years.  It'll take many a moon for them to reach 90 feet apiece.  By then, these renters must surely be gone (please, please) and I then will be the problem neighbor, with my tall, daft-looking trees all along one side!  And there is other stuff between the cypress.  Don't go there.  Suffice it to say, I have made baaaaaaahd landscaping mistakes.  Oh well.  No guts, no glory.
Posted by: debs, Friday, April 1, 2005, 8:56pm; Reply: 30
without a picture of your garden & whereabouts the neighbours from hell bother you most its hard to give you more precise ideas how to help you.Glad you liked the lion dung manure idea that apparently is the strongest smelling manure you can get.However chicken sh*t is good,believe me.i think the product name is called Rooster.
i know what its like to have neighbours from hell as the previous ones were.the present ones are better but there's room for improvement believe me.why is it some people seem to think the world revolves around them and everyone else is there to serve them?ggrr. good luck with the pooh though ;) i shall be thinking of you ;D
Posted by: Brighid45, Saturday, April 2, 2005, 2:38pm; Reply: 31
Sounds like you're ready to relax and enjoy your garden this weekend. I look forward to finding out how things went when you come back to work on Monday. :)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, April 11, 2005, 1:38pm; Reply: 32

I'm trying desperately to keep this thread active, present and accounted for long enough for me to get my ever-lovin' picture taking, developing and scanning act together!  This weekend, as far as the garden goes, I:

1.  Returned a dead gardenia to the nursery, where I will NEVER shop again!  I usually buy my plants at Lowes, which I love and would highly recommend to everyone.  Their prices are low, their plants are beautiful, they have a huge variety AND amount of any given plant, AND their return policy is great store-wide, not just in the garden department.  But thanks to Verna's brilliant suggestion that I plant butterfly bushes in Sarah's garden, I ran all over town to find butterfly bushes and this punk-arse nursery was the only place that had them.  They think they are so great and they come and talk, as the monthly speaker, to our 'hood association once per year and I am going to tell the prez (of the 'hood association) NOT to have them speak there anymore because they are a punk-arse company!  Witness this:  Their prices are ridiculous, they have terrible labeling on plants, non-existent in some case, incorrect in others, AND: When I tried to return this dead plant, admittedly sans receipt, I called 'em on the horn to say, hey, what is your return policy if someone can't find their receipt.  "Well, what did you do to it?"  Hmmm, let's see, I planted it, watered it every night, cooed at it, begged it not to go belly up on me, does that about cover it?  "Well, we like it if you can bring it in for an autopsy".  Fine.  In I trot, complete with dead gardenia in a bag.  "Are you the one I talked to on the phone about the gardenia?"  "No, but I heard all about it."  Like, what do you mean "all about it"?, you mean you heard that you sold me a pre-dead plant?  Is THAT what you mean, thought I, O non blood beginning to heat up.  I mean, like, just give me my money back, I spent over $200.00 in your flippin' store, this particular plant is a dud, MONEY, NOW.  So, I show him the plant, and he concludes that it wasn't getting any water and I killed it.  He also said "hmmm, that is a florist grade gardenia.  I don't think we even sell those...Bill, do we ever have florist grade?"  I'm really mad now, like, yeah, I'm really trying to pull a fast one here, dink, I secretly bought this gardenia somewhere else and am trying to return it here!  This is a scam I have run all up and down the east coast and, when the heat gets too hot, I just move on to the next city where they aren't on to me yet!
::) >:(

"Yes, we have had those in on occasion", says Bill.

Meanwhile, I acted (acting!) cool as a cuke, and even was gracious enough to say "Well, there is a chance I got this at Lowe's, as I bought a lot of plants that weekend, but I'm 99.99% sure I bought it here."  How do I remember?  Because their receipt is so LOUSY that it doesn't itemize the plants, so I remember that, the night I bought the $200.00 worth of plants, I walked around the yard with the receipt after setting them all down outta the car, and I wrote the names of each down on the receipt so that I could come in here and dutifully report to y'all the names of all the plants I bought.  I could swear that, on the receipt from the punk-arse nursery, I wrote "gardenias, two".  PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!
>:( :X

But, for some inexplicable reason, I didn't push the issue and even gave him the out that, well, maybe I bought it at Lowes, I'm just not sure now that you mention it.  He never gave me my money back, so my view is as follows:  For the ridiculous prices y'all charge versus what your competitors, Lowes and Home Depot, charge, the LEAST you could do is HAVE A DECENT RETURN POLICY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have NEVER had to return a plant to Lowes (and I've bought literally hundreds of plants there), but I've had to return a few other items and they are fantastic.  Yet this fru-fru, punk-arse nursery won't take back one belly-up gardenia out of a sale of more than $200.00 worth of plants-n-peat?  (&#*&#Fgrrr(*&#Pwhat)(&#(&???  Never will I set foot in there again--NEVER, I tell you!  It is the principle of the thing!  Later that day, I received my bank statement and there were the two sales (went back for peat!) from that nursery that one night, saying clearly the name of the nursery and the amount, so too bad I didn't bring THAT right back to the store and demand my pittance for the gardenia.  Again, it is the principle of the thing, like, how much chutzpah does this overpriced place have, to sell someone a pre-dead gardenia and then not own up to it once it is really an ex-gardenia!  Shades of the Monty Python parrot sketch of yesteryear!  So, I have a good mind to call up today and give them a piece of the ole', ever-lovin' mind, especially since the garden is in Sarah's honor and I'm darn sure that is what SHE would want me to do!

ANYWAY (rant, much?), so I attempted to return one of the gardenias.  Then I went back to the rock place, got ONE MORE of my fave, the "green glacier chunks", dug up one bush of unknown name but a relative of whose I notice is LARGE in my neighborhood, put it where the gardenia had been, and put the big glacier rock where the bush had been.  I also bought a purple-leafed plant and a purple/lavender-flowering plant to put where I had left a little room for a 2nd chair in the garden, but not ENOUGH room to actually fit the chair, as it turns out.

I also spar-varnished the gazing ball stand (still needs another coat) and spar-varnished the dedication sign that a co-worker gave me.

That is all I'll do before getting the second roll of film and snappin away, except I will do the second coat of spar-varnish on the gazing ball stand first.

But, EVENTUALLY, I would really like to do the following, which I can't do now, due to being in the worst financial straights I've been in this millenium.  I basically have less than ZERO money to survive on until April 22 and until May 6, I don't dare exhale fully.  But on May 6th, I am cashing in 80 hours of PTO (vacation/sick time) and then will be able to breathe anew!  Landscaping the city-right-of-way in the front and then doing Sarah's garden has really done me in financially--maybe that is why I'm in such a state of huffiness at the nursery about the gardenia...nah, it's the principle of the thing, I don't care if I were a billionairre, I still think that punk-arse nursery is a punk-arse nursery.  Anyway, even on May 6th, the money is all spoken for and doing any landscaping has to wait, but EVENTUALLY, I'd like to:

1.  Put a certain kind of rounded river rock all around the edge of Sarah's garden, to define it.

2.  Put a smaller, slightly different verson of river rocks around the inside areas of the garden, to define the "paths".  (This makes the garden area sound waaaaaay bigger than it is, but there are two little paths, even though it is a very small area.)

3.  Put very small, fine rocks on the paths themselves.

4.  Put more soil on everything and maybe some mulch (but maybe NOT mulch, as that gives kind of a "formal" look to things and I like the idea of a "wild" English cottage garden, sort of overgrown looking within the garden itself.

And that's all the news that's fit to print!  Looked for a rosemary bush, Brighid, but they said at Lowes that they only have those at certain times.  If it ain't at Lowes, I ain't getting it!  No more punk-arsed nurseries for me!  Do you believe that, charging outrageous prices AND having no customer service?  What is that?  Is that a recipe for business success or WHAT?  And yet this nursery seems very popular.  Me no get.  If you need me, you can find me at Lowes, no doubt loading 40-lb bags of soil onto a palette-style cart.  Again:  A husband would not go amiss here.  He could be home cleaning the house like a good husband.  Or giving the punk-arsed nursery what for.  Or sitting there with a sawed-off shotgun in our yard, daring kids to come anywhere near it.  Yes, the romanticized ideal of finding my soulmate is still there and all well and good, but if he can do all of the above, too, AND fix a kitchen subfloor, THEN, my friends, we have a winner!

Back to the garden update:  I hope to get all pics taken and in to the developer by Sunday next at the latest.  Then I'll be picking them up the next week and hopefully scanning them.  So, hopefully within two or three weeks, we should have LIFT OFF on posting the garden pics.  Hang with me, peeps, and keep this thread alive until then!
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, April 11, 2005, 2:20pm; Reply: 33
Okay Car. Take a deep breath in through your nose and blow it out through your mouth . . . relax, dear twinnie. You're doing a fantastic job with the garden, let no one say you nay. You've accomplished an amazing amount in a very short length of time. :)

As for the punk-arse nursery--there seem to be a fair number of them around. I guess people go to them because they love abuse, that's all I can figure. I'm all for buying from local merchants and putting my money back into the community that way, rather than sending my dollars into someone's corporate coffers, never to see the light of day again--but if the local merchants act like jerks, then I'll go to a chain store. Treat me nice, or you won't see me. Don't get me started on this one *lol* I was a clerk at KMart and in several bookstores, and I really hate getting attitude from employees in any business, big or small, local or nationwide. I won't put up with that kind of nonsense.

Anyway--can't wait to see the pictures of the garden! And any mods reading this--maybe you could make this a sticky thread? Pretty please? :)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, April 11, 2005, 2:54pm; Reply: 34
Quoted from Brighid45
Okay Car. Take a deep breath in through your nose and blow it out through your mouth . . . relax, dear twinnie. You're doing a fantastic job with the garden, let no one say you nay. You've accomplished an amazing amount in a very short length of time. :)

Inhale, deep cleansing breath........aaaaaaaaaaand, exhale, releasing all tension.......aaaaaaaaaaaah.

Meanwhile, true, I've done an amazing amount in a short time, but also true:  I worry that, when I get and post the pics, y'all are gonna be like:  THAT is what this has all been about, a few little plants clumped together and not even defined by a border or mulched as they SHOULD be?  You're fired! (again, another Apprentice reference...poor Dr. D., I hope he isn't reading this or he will be scratching his head anew!)

Quoted from Brighid45
Anyway--can't wait to see the pictures of the garden! And any mods reading this--maybe you could make this a sticky thread? Pretty please? :)

Actually, I'm not sure if that is such a grand idea because the pics will probably take up a tremendous amount of memory, so I think maybe we should post 'em, and then let them run their 30-day or so life, and then let 'em fade off.  Note:  I will be sending the pics to David (Sarah's husband) via e-mail, snail mail, or both, so no worries there, the family will know she is thought of, remembered and loved, not necessarily in that order.  I just hesitate to suggest stickiness because again, they might take up a LOT of memory, not sure.  Then again, they might take up NO memory, as they will be "hosted" by Image Shack or a similar site and those the photo you see on this site is really secretly just a link...right?  But I'm not sure, as Taswolf (dad, strict sort* that he is) recently asked someone gently if they would resize their guinea pig photos because they were humongous and I guess the subtext was that they took up a lot of memory?  Or maybe they just made the thread hard to navigate?  Not sure which/what/what my name is/what century this is, BUT if pics don't take up memory, stick away!  If they do, though, they might not want to make it sticky.  What a sticky wicket!

Quoted from Brighid45
As for the punk-arse nursery--there seem to be a fair number of them around. I guess people go to them because they love abuse, that's all I can figure. I'm all for buying from local merchants and putting my money back into the community that way, rather than sending my dollars into someone's corporate coffers, never to see the light of day again--but if the local merchants act like jerks, then I'll go to a chain store. Treat me nice, or you won't see me. Don't get me started on this one *lol* I was a clerk at KMart and in several bookstores, and I really hate getting attitude from employees in any business, big or small, local or nationwide. I won't put up with that kind of nonsense.

EXACTLY and EXACTAMUNDO, too!  If the huge chain store is consistently decent to me, has quality products and good prices, too, and the local darling is a tad on the SNOBBY, you-obviously-killed-our-plant-not-that-we're-even-admitting-it-IS-our-plant side, then the heck with their punk-arsed selves!!!!

(I'm cussing like a drunken sailor today, with my "punk-arsed"'s, aren't I?  Whew, feels liberating!  Well, they are, punk-arsed, that is, and I say that a punk-arsed rose by any other name still smells as punk-arsed!)

* had "b-u-g-g-e-r", no dashes, instead of "sort", but the software didn't care for it and changed it to "bu**ger...uh oh...drunken sailor, OUT!
;D :P :K)
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, April 11, 2005, 9:40pm; Reply: 35
I think Dad's ;) main objection was that big pictures take a long time to load, and not everyone has a high-speed or broadband internet connection. I know the dialup we had back at the cabin was slower than molasses on a good day, and it often took forever to load anything with a lot of graphics or piccies. I think if you can size down your pictures and keep them to a minimum, it'll be okay. Dad will help you, I'd bet. :)

As for criticism of your efforts--you surely won't get any from me, sweetie. Whatever you've done to honor Sarah, whether it's a large elaborate garden or several container pots filled with flowers in a quiet corner--it will be exactly right and beautiful. Don't you worry yourself to a standstill over this, Ms. Virgo-Is-My-Middle-Name *chuckle* You've worked hard and the results will be lovely.

As for that gardenia . . . I haven't met one yet that wouldn't turn up its roots and die if given even the tiniest little chance to do so. They're weenies, are gardenias. So there. You didn't kill it, as that idiot at the punk-arse nursery intimated; it decided to die. FEH and good riddance.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Thursday, April 14, 2005, 2:36pm; Reply: 36
Quoted from Brighid45
As for that gardenia . . . I haven't met one yet that wouldn't turn up its roots and die if given even the tiniest little chance to do so. They're weenies, are gardenias.

;D U R 2 funny, twin-o-mine!

Today after work or possibly at lunch:  Will make the purchase of a 2nd disposable camera for the purpose of photographing the lovely dedication plaque that my co-worker made (I Spar-varnished it--wu HU!), and getting more pics, so that, once both rolls are developed, I can pick and choose only the best ones (maybe 5 to 10) to post here.  They will be hosted elsewhere so, again, I hope memory won't be a prob, but I know Tasdad will let us (well, me) know if anything is bringing the house down, memory-wise.

One thing:  I have decided that, eventually, I definitely am going to get a humongous load (make that plural, loads) of rocks to do a border with.  This garden needs a border to clearly define it from the grass around it!  Ditto for the internal little paths.  So, I think those will make it look a LOT better and that won't be for ages, so won't be in the pics.  Oh well.

Meanwhile, speaking of being po', guess what?  I was just lamenting the state-o-my po'ness yesterday in a post in another thread and then yesterday afternoon:  I GOT A RAISE!  WU HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!  Just a drop in the bucket at about .50 cents more per hour, but hey, it sure beats a good, swift kick in the head, right?  Right!  I'll celebrate anything these days.

I really wonder how the pics will come out because I never realized that my "photo eye" is my RIGHT eye and it has apparently gone to h*ll in a handbasket to such an extent, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, that I can't see a blasted thing through it, other than a blur.  Any minute now, I am going to an eye doctor, but meanwhile, back at the inn, I don't know if I can take pics using my LEFT eye on the lens.  Isn't it weird how, if you are right-handed, you are apparently "right-eyed", too?  I mean, what should be the big deal about moving the camera an inch or two to cover my left eye instead of the right?  Yet I feel it is gonna throw me ALL OFF *lol*!  I don't know which will be the better roll:  The first, taken through a total blur, or the second, taken through my left eye, which I fear will be like trying to write my name in script with my left hand, for some reason.  Who knows, maybe it won't be like that at all.  Meanwhile, I wish I could remember my stupid user name and password for our health insurance's web site, as one must log on there to see what providers are ON THE LIST (dunh, dunh, DUNH!).  They make it really difficult to figure out what your benefits are...that is their system.  It is all a vast right-wing plot!
;D ;D ;D

Posted by: 758 (Guest), Thursday, April 14, 2005, 3:17pm; Reply: 37
Hi Car,
I appreciate you. If you don't mind, may I ask who Sarah is? Someone from the BTD community? And what happened to her?

I wish everyone has friends like you.

With love,
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Thursday, April 14, 2005, 4:49pm; Reply: 38
Betul, of course you may ask!  Sarah was this amazing member of the BTD community.  She had breast cancer and never wanted to be defined by it or let it take over her life, and she valiantly tried to survive it and stay alive for her 7-year old son, husband and basically the entire world, as we dearly need her strong and spunky spirit here with us.  Tragically, the cancer ultimately did overwhelm her system and she passed away almost six weeks ago.  She and I had become good friends and I miss her a lot.  Her little son is now being raised by his dad, and even though it is tragic that Sarah was taken away from him so soon, the good way to look at it is that he is very blessed to have had her as a mom for the first, all-important early years of life.  Her influence and example will always be a part of him.  And of everyone who knew and loved her.
Posted by: 758 (Guest), Friday, April 15, 2005, 9:47am; Reply: 39
God bless her family, her litle son especially.
I wished I'd joined you for the appointment on  3/27/2005, I wasn't viewing the forums those days.

Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, April 18, 2005, 2:43pm; Reply: 40
Okay, took a 2nd roll of film this weekend.  Bought a THIRD roll yesterday and will shoot tonight, as I since added a 40-lb bag of soil under one rock and that makes a lot of diff.*  WISH I could put a border around the edge of the garden and do something to set off the inner little paths to look like inner little paths, so that y'all could see it in its glory, and also most of the plants are too young to be blooming and spectacular yet.  But I just can't afford to do all that (the borders, paths, etc.) yet.  I console myself when I think "Oh PHOOEY, the pics aren't going to be how it ULTIMATELY looks" by reminding myself that a garden is always a work in progess and that, also, if anyone doesn't like it, they can, in the immortal words of the long-ago sit-com,** "Kiss my grits".

I think the garden will not come into its full spectacular spectacularness for quite a while, but I'll send y'all pics of how it is and like it or lump it, ya know?  Sorry, in a weird mood today.

Meanwhile, I am crazy in love with these rocks called "green glacier rocks" at the place I bought them, but I'm gonna ask my friend, Stan, who knows EVERYTHING about rocks, what they really are.  They are this cooling, calming, pale, pale green.  I love rocks in gardens!  Rocks rock!

Okay, dat's the update.  Hopefully, next time I post anything garden-related, it will be the pics.  After I take roll three today, I shall drop them off to be developed manana.  I hope at least FIVE pics turn out nice.  The second roll had this, like, little broken speck or fleck in the lens--NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  I hope that won't affect the pics and/or was all in my demented little head.  ANYWAY, surely I can extract five or so nice pics to share with y'all out of 81 total pics...right?

I used to fancy myself somewhat of a photog, but after this sorry display, between my right eye going all old and unusable on me and the shadiness of the area AND the kids screaming, yelling and wreaking havoc in the front constantly distracting my attention, AND the mystery speck on the lens of roll two, it remains to be seen just what I will emerge from Walgreens with *lol*.

We shall see...

*Thanks, Verna, for the idea of elevating rocks.

**Alice, famous catch phrase of character, Flo...God, I'm old.  I know things that make me officially very, VERY old.

Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, April 18, 2005, 3:01pm; Reply: 41
Quoted Text
a garden is always a work in progess

Exactamundo, my dear twinnie. Gardens aren't a one-off project. They grow and change and evolve, and that's the delight of working with them. They become something more than you'd envisioned way back at the beginning, when you put the first plant in the dirt. :)

Looking forward to pictures! Remember Dad Tas's note on pixel restrictions, and post away!

p.s. I remember Flo.  8)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 12:19pm; Reply: 42
Flash:  Garden pics will be picked up from Walgreen's today.

Flash:  Butterfly Bushes and these COOL things called Agapanthus Peter Pan are starting to bloom and put out all sorts of cool shoots and things.

Flash:  Gardenia Numero Dos holding it's own.
Posted by: Brighid45, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 1:51pm; Reply: 43
Can't wait to see the pictures Car! :)

Agapanthus and butterfly bushes . . . pretty colors everywhere! You should be getting some welcome visitors soon (butterflies and maybe the occasional hummingbird).

Wow, a gardenia that isn't a wimp! Woohoo! Go Gardenia go!

Sorry, I'm in a silly mood today. :)
Posted by: ISA-MANUELA (Guest), Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 5:46pm; Reply: 44
eeeh you both twinnies-gals ;D
is that possible?- being twins- one sechi and the otherone is a nonie???!!

Depends if you came out of one or two eggs-häää? So far I bet for three  ;D
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 7:02pm; Reply: 45
Flash: Got pics!

Flash:  Honed it down to 22 pics out of 81+*

Flash:  Photobucket S*CKS, big time, as does Shutterfly.  I'm trying Yahoo as we speak, as I usually have good luck w/Yahoo and now I can't find the post that warns me away from Yahoo for some reason that I've already forgotten.  Let's hope it doesn't apply.

Flash:  Off I go.

*The "+" referring to the 3 or so pics from an ancient roll from over a year ago I just had developed that have zip to do w/Sarah's garden, but I just thought I'd show you.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 7:16pm; Reply: 46
>:(  :( :'(

FLASH:  Figured out why YAHOO also S*O*&*R#CKS:

"JPEGs only".  PFFFFFFFFT, to quote George Baily from "It's a Wonderful Life":  "Why don't you tell a person!"  I scanned all 22 photos as .tifs and I'll be hog tied to an old oak tree if I am going to RESCAN them all as .jpg's (not even sure our scanner allows that, for some reason, although one would think it would, as that is the common form for photos, but see, we don't usually scan photos, we usually scan graphics...oh dear, shouldn't matter, any modern scanner worth its salt should allow a freakin' .jpg, right?  Why didn't I do it as a .jpg?!  I guess I figured, it knows what to default to, and it looked good, so I went with it!  EEEE-I, EEEE-I, O

Let me guess:  I am, in fact, going to need to rescan all 22 of these!  WHEN, is the question, as all the stars aligned just right so that I could use the scanner on my co-worker's desk without anyone knowing, as it is her day off today.  Man, and I thought I had done it.  Jpg.  Pfffffffffffft.  Jpg THIS, Yahoo.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 7:18pm; Reply: 47
sigh.  new plan.  i don't even have the energy for caps at this point *lol*:

I am just going to image shack these all and post them directly to a post here as an image link, individual for each one.  Image Shack hung up/froze on me, too, earlier, but hopefully it was a fluke.


Not of this millennium, out.
Posted by: Brighid45, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 7:27pm; Reply: 48
Sorry you're having a tough time of it, twinnie *gentle hug* Technology, bah. ;)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 8:30pm; Reply: 49
Excited yet exhausted FLASH:

Okay, RE-scanned all the pics as .jpgs (lesson locked, loaded and LEARNED!).  The .tifs were apparently WAY too big for any known system to handle!  I mean, omg, what is going on THERE?  Anyway, they are all .jpgs now, all 22 of them, and I got them loaded into my brand new Yahoo photo album.  Manana, if I have time (now that I blew off work all afternoon basically!!!!!), I will rename them all (it gave them the filenames) and add a description, then post the link for y'all!  I like this because, when you click a pic, you get a nice, large version, yet it doesn't affect this message board in the slightest, ya know?

Well, I'm off to take care of the dog (pic a'coming manana!), freak out over the gang-o-kids, and get into geeked-out pre-"Lost" mode!  Later, guys!  Pics 2-morrow, I promise!

(p.s.  i am now one weary, yet EXPERT me for all your photo scanning needs...)
Posted by: Dr. D, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 10:11am; Reply: 50
Hey Edna,

You could have just converted them from .tif to .jpg.

There's even freeware programs that you can download that allow you to batch-do this.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 3:40pm; Reply: 51
Well, here are the photos of the memory garden I created in Sarah's honor.  The one of the dedication sign did not come out readable in the scanned version (it is on the original photo), so here is what the sign says.  I should have included the word "brave", but there isn't enough room on all the signs in the world to include everything that Sarah was.  I should have included "brave", though.  Anyway, what the sign says is:

"This garden is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Blakeney:  mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and all around caring, plucky gal."

Sarah was such an extraordinary person and friend to me, and I created the garden as not only a way to honor her, but selfishly as a way to process my own grief into something creative and beautiful.  I would recommend gardening to anyone going through anything at any time.  There is something about it, about the doing of it.  Anyway, here are the pics (I hope!  If this link somehow doesn't work, I shall have to fling myself headlong into a vat of bubbling GMO corn syrup!).  Please note:  Click on any "thumbnail" to be taken to a full-size view of the photo.
Posted by: Dr. D, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 4:31pm; Reply: 52
Nice, Edna. I'm sure she's loving it.
Posted by: cindyt, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 4:57pm; Reply: 53
Edna, this is such a beautiful way to remember Sarah.
Posted by: Kristin, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 5:02pm; Reply: 54
What a beautiful garden/sanctuary you created in Sarah's memory. And I also know what hard work it is to landscape.

Thanks for sharing it with us...  it is gorgeous.

Posted by: 658 (Guest), Thursday, April 28, 2005, 5:21pm; Reply: 55
Aww car that is one of the prettiest gardens i have seen...i love it
and ember too yay
Posted by: Jane, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 5:57pm; Reply: 56
It's just beautiful.  It's just the perfect thing to remember Sarah by.  I know it was a true labor of love on your part and that makes it even more special.
Sarah is smiling down on you.  I just know it.
Posted by: Brighid45, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 6:47pm; Reply: 57
Edna, Sarah's garden is gorgeous. It's obvious you worked so hard on everything, and the love and memories you put in along with the flowers and bushes really shows. Sarah is honored to have such a lovely spot named in her honor. Good work, twinnie. :) **HUG**

Loved the shots of J and Ember too! :)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 7:00pm; Reply: 58
Quoted from Dr. D
Nice, Edna. I'm sure she's loving it.

:) Thank you, Dr. D.  I hope so.

Thanks Cindy, Kristin, u2dan and Jane, too.   :K) I'm glad you think it is nice.

There is more I wish to do to/with it, but a garden is an ongoing process.  I need to mulch the paths and make an outside border around the whole thing to better define it, for one.  And a few things have already been changed since some of the photos were taken.  But you certainly get the gist from those 22 photos, huh?  Whew.

I think creating this garden really helped me at the time, I mean, I really threw myself into it.  I think it is good to have something to throw yourself into at a time like that, be it your religious rituals, or something like creating a garden.  We tell ourselves we are doing these things to honor and remember the person who has passed away, and we are, but it is also to help us process it ourselves.
Posted by: Brighid45, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 7:09pm; Reply: 59
Exactly--and what better way to honor someone's memory than with a beautiful garden, which will live on for other generations to enjoy as well. Nicely done, Car. :)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 7:25pm; Reply: 60
Quoted from Brighid45
Edna, Sarah's garden is gorgeous. It's obvious you worked so hard on everything, and the love and memories you put in along with the flowers and bushes really shows. Sarah is honored to have such a lovely spot named in her honor. Good work, twinnie. :) **HUG**

Loved the shots of J and Ember too! :)

See what you went and did, Twin-o-mine?  I knew someone would post somehow just WHILE I was thanking people and thus their post would be left there above mine, unthanked and forlorn.  So:  Thank you for your warm words!

And again, I heartily recommend gardening to anyone who is sad or grieving about anything.  It is very life-affirming and it is one of those things that it is impossible to be totally sad while doing, like listening to the banjo (Steve Martin had a great comedy routine about just that fact back in the day, about how it is impossible to be depressed while listening to the banjo *lol*) or watching a baseball game (although one CAN be depressed about the actual game itself, but that is different:  it gets you outside of yourself, and that's the point).

I've never been a crier but for me, somehow, some kinda way, when Sarah died, it was like the floodgates opened.  I just cried and cried and CRIED and I think it was good.  But since doing the garden, I seem to be done crying now, and I think that is good, too.  For everything (turn, turn, turn), there is a season (turn, turn, turn) and a time for every purpose under heaven.

Meanwhile, a co-worker of mine whom Sarah once referred to in her wonderfully politically incorrect, irreverent, DIRECT way as "the old bat" just informed me that one tree in the pics is a junk tree, which I knew, but she informs me that, if I don't chop 'er down ASAP, it will somehow ruin my entire house with its roots eventually.  Well, I know it's a junk tree and, believe me, I have thought of chopping that tree down (at this point, I could do it myself) but it is perfect for hanging one end of my clothesline on *lol*.  But she probably will go next time (not this year, but next spring, so spring of 2006) I get my trees professionally trimmed out.  Just had it done before the horrendous hurricane season of 2004 and I've never been so glad I did anything before--whew, Nellie.  So it won't be for a while, but when it happens, I'll tell the guy(s), please be exquisitely careful of the garden surrounding this tree--the heck with the house, if it falls on it, it falls on it, but the garden and rocks MUST be protected *lol*!
Posted by: Brighid45, Thursday, April 28, 2005, 7:32pm; Reply: 61
She's a junk co-worker to point out the one slightly negative thing in the whole picture. Someone should uproot HER and cart her off. Bah.
Posted by: Lola, Friday, April 29, 2005, 12:31am; Reply: 62
wonderfull colors!!
now all we need is a picture of the artist and her work of art!!! ))
Posted by: 758 (Guest), Friday, April 29, 2005, 7:49am; Reply: 63
Hi Edna,

What a beautiful garden of all colors. How a wonderful idea of honoring Sarah with such a "living thing"  that will refresh other people's minds and souls as well.

I'm sure Sarah is aware of the process. And I'm sure she is wise enough to admit that you are not doing this for her only, but for yourself as well, since you need this.

Please do go on the process. And let Sarah live by this lovely garden.

Posted by: Dr. D, Friday, April 29, 2005, 12:18pm; Reply: 64
You should add the link for the pictures to your signature.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, April 29, 2005, 12:52pm; Reply: 65
Quoted from admin
You should add the link for the pictures to your signature.

Okay, done!  :)

Posted by: Brighid45, Friday, April 29, 2005, 1:41pm; Reply: 66
Btw--Dr. D had suggested freeware to convert .tif files to .jpg. You might want to look at Plenty of freeware there and no adware or spybots. :)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, April 29, 2005, 1:54pm; Reply: 67
Quoted from Brighid45
Btw--Dr. D had suggested freeware to convert .tif files to .jpg. You might want to look at Plenty of freeware there and no adware or spybots. :)

I wondered at the time if there wasn't just some easy way to convert tifs to jpgs, BUT the thing is, being at work, I am loathe to download ANYTHING, I'm so paranoid.  They really don't like us downloading anything.  People have gotten us all sent scary e-mails from on-high by downloading goodness-knows-what, so now it is to the point that were are not to download anything.  They even have it set up so that you can't see any java graphics or anything in java because somehow it is "insecure".  I've tried changing my internet java options and security settings, etc., all around, to no avail, so now I'm resigned to not being able to see a lot of things on a lot of sites (including my FAVE which would that be?  ;) ), which is a pain because we need to go to certain sites in the course of our jobs--rarely, but we do--and it'd be nice to see them in their totality, but anyhoo...scared to download any freeware, that's the bottom line there.

Dilbert, OUT!

P.S.  Speaking of Dilbert, that got me thinking of that ad for something, I dunno what, some travel thing or airline or somethin', wherein the employee in a cubicle clicks on something (a banner or something) that triggers a virus which sends some sort of LOUD message to everyone at the company she works at that pops up and says something like "Congratulations!  You have triggered the Something-or-Other Virus!  Your whole company is now being infected--brahahahahaHA!" and then the employee kinda slinks down in her cubicle and the ad narrator says "Wanna get away?"  LOL!  That is what I fear would happen if I downloaded any freeware!  Even without "spybots" or "adware", THEY (i.e., the powers that be here) would still somehow know if I downloaded something and I'm just paranoid.  Having the net open all the time is one thing, downloading stuff is another.  I don't want to push the envelope, ya know?
Posted by: Brighid45, Friday, April 29, 2005, 1:59pm; Reply: 68
Shame on your company for being too cheap to get decent anti-virus software and not upgrading their compys to handle java. I mean come ON.

Oh well. At my previous job we were the only call center in the group to still use everyone else's hand-me-downs, from chairs to computers. I swear we had chisels hanging next to the screens. :P

Nice to see the link for your garden album in your signature, twinnie! :)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Friday, April 29, 2005, 2:05pm; Reply: 69
Quoted from Brighid45
Shame on your company for being too cheap to get decent anti-virus software and not upgrading their compys to handle java. I mean come ON.

Oh well. At my previous job we were the only call center in the group to still use everyone else's hand-me-downs, from chairs to computers. I swear we had chisels hanging next to the screens. :P

Nice to see the link for your garden album in your signature, twinnie! :)

Oh no, actually, they have really good anti-virus software and a firewall and everything, AND I gotta say, they do keep us outfitted with the very latest hardware, too, although a large, flat, LCD screen would not go unappreciated here, but I digress--they recently got me a new CHAIR, which was the nicest thing any company I've ever worked for has done for me--that was my own boss of our department doing that, nothing to do with IS (the computer department), and it was very nice of them, as with my back challenge, I really need good lumbar support.  I was allowed to pick out the chair I want and everything.  Previously, I had this rickety thing and I literally had a cushion that I attached for lumber support and I had it attached with the gauze-like stuff they use to wrap donor's arms with after a blood donation *lol*!!!!!!!!!  "The old bat" called it my "contraption", as in "you should ask them to order you a chair and get rid of that contraption!"  Well, I finally did and they did and I think they ROCK for getting me a decent chair--wu HU.  Actually, my previous boss here (who is now the BIG boss of my nuBoss in her old job--try to keep up, peeps) did offer to get me a chair back in, like, 2000, when I was pre-Dr. Rod (my chiro) and walked around like Quasi Moto, could barely stand up or sit down, and had a huge bottle of Ibuprofen on my desk which I was, at that point, popping like candy.  I said, oh no, that would be too expensive, I can't ask you to do that for little old me.  Well, now I'm older and wiser.  Like Kathy Bates in "Fried Green Tomatoes", in the parking lot scene, LOL.  I'm way more assertive than I used to be even a few years ago.  Well...sorta.  

But the java thing is a mystery.  Still, they are pretty lenient and cool about people going on the net, so I don't ask too many questions, ya know?  I have tried going into all sorts of advanced options in the net tools and nothing that I enable or disable seems to do a dern thing about it, so the heck with it, red x's and just plain invisible stuff it is.  As long as I can get to this site at all and hang with my buds, I'm cool.

Posted by: Devora, Wednesday, May 4, 2005, 6:09am; Reply: 70

As I was looking though the pictures, I thought, "And where are the shots WITH EDNA IN THEM???"  but then I said, "Oh, but she must have been alone while photographing, thus, she has an excues..." Until, you showed your friend!!!!  AH HA!  You could have easily had her snap a shot of your gardening!!!  Boo Hoo Hoo!

When we room together at the 2007 conference, then I will snap all the shots I want.  Who wants to room with my mother-in-law? (Maybe Tom Greenfield?)
Posted by: 758 (Guest), Wednesday, May 4, 2005, 1:34pm; Reply: 71
Oh yes, Edna, please...
Please put a photo of yours as well. How nice it would be if there were a place where we BTDers put photos of own.

Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Thursday, June 16, 2005, 6:13pm; Reply: 72
Thank you to whoever made this thread "sticky".  I think of Sarah often and am glad her wonderful light is still remembered in our community.  Now that she is gone, I've realized that I never had a friend like her before.  They just don't come along every day or even every lifetime.  Frankly, I can't understand WHY she cared about me and my ridiculous problems, et al., so much, when she had such overwhelming and awesome challenges going on in her own life.  The more I reflect on it, the more amazed I am.  I surely do miss her, and was so blessed to have her caring, listening, practical, no-holds-barred-way-of-communicating, accepting, understanding, loving, funny, politically incorrect, irreverent, smart, and did I already saying caring (yes, I did) presence in my life.  Now that she is gone, I realize even more how special/extraordinary she was.  It was nice to notice that this thread is now sticky, meaning that this community realizes it, too, and wants to remember.  Thanks.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 3:42pm; Reply: 73
Pre-Autumn 2005 update:  As soon as the weather cools down a little more here in west central FL, I am going to get to work on the garden.  It has gone very wild and woolly on me.  I am going to do what I stupidly decided NOT to do originally and MULCH all the beds, to clearly define them from the "paths" as much as to keep the soil permeable to water underneath, etc.  That will occur AFTER I weed everything to a fare-thee-well.  It has been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too hot for this entire loooooooooooooong summer to even begin to think of working in the garden.  It is all I can do to keep up with my necessary yard work such as mowing the yard (a weekly thing in the height of summer here, or biweekly, MAX), weeding between all the crotons in the front yard, the hollies and crotons in the front city-right-of-way (my anti-skateboarder boundary--ha!), the line of plants I have going the length of the lot, and the line I have along the rear, pruning all my prune-needing stuff, edging (by HAND, literally) the sidewalks, ETC.  I'm leaving a bunch of stuff out *lol*.  In the northern part of the country, gardeners get active in the spring.  Here in FL, I think it is natural to get active in the fall...which still isn't here yet!  But it is coming.  Things have cooled down from the intolerable level to a, to me, tolerable level.  But still not enough for me to pull gardening marathons or even minithons in Sarah's garden...yet.  We are almost there, though!

The great thing about where her garden is located on my property is that it is the most PRIVATE place and thus I don't have to interact with NEIGHBORS whilst doing my thing if'n I don't want to.

Anyway, so a whole lotta mulching is in the offing, and then I'm toying with "to border or not to border", as I'm thinking of putting stone borders around the outer border and some inner borders, to further set off the garden clearly from the surrounding yard and the internal paths...but I dunno.  It is easier to mow right up to the edge without stone borders.  And another trip to the second-hand-smoke-rife rock place is not appealing to me.  The rock place is hard core, man.  Smokers, no one to really help you, nowhere to park, no signs or prices on everything, I could go on.  It is the opposite of yuppified.  But they have the coolest rocks!

Finally, I wanted to say that I sprinkled my beloved cat's ashes in Sarah's garden.  I know that his spirit has left his physical remains, but they are still sacred to me as they housed him for 20 years and he participated in the world and interacted through them.  I'm glad they are in Sarah's garden.
Posted by: Brighid45, Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 4:37pm; Reply: 74
I'm sure Sarah would enjoy sharing her garden with Ollie, and vice versa. :)
Posted by: Jane, Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 6:18pm; Reply: 75
I know the garden is a comfort to you and I'm sure Sarah would be glad to know she's sharing it in spirit with your beloved Ollie.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, November 14, 2005, 8:56pm; Reply: 76
GOING to start doing something about this wild and woolly garden this month.  It has finally cooled down enough here.  It is all very overgrown, but while watering it yesterday I thought, well, it is overgrown, but beautiful in its wildness.  I think Sarah would approve.

What I do feel bad about is that her dedication sign long ago fell down in a storm, and the chain broke.  I need to get a better stand for it, instead of hanging it from a tree.  Meanwhile, it sits in the dark garage and every time I spy it there, I think, oh, this is really dishonoring Sarah, just having the dedication sign for her garden sitting there among the mundane clutter.  But, knowing her, she'd understand.  She always accepted me for the procrastinater that I am  ...still, gotta get about the business of getting that little back sign up, too.
Posted by: Lola, Monday, November 14, 2005, 9:29pm; Reply: 77
you are a loyal friend no doubt!! )
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, November 28, 2005, 2:46pm; Reply: 78
Just wanted to pop round to say that I FINALLY put a border around Sarah's memory garden this weekend.  Boy howdy, gave my hamstrings quite the workout while I was at it, too.  Nothing like loading and unloading 163 brick pavers and then loading, unloading, loading, unloading 75 more TWICE because you realized, ooops, won't be needing that second load, back to Lowe's for the third time today to return 'em!  Oy vey.  Da pain, da pain!

Anyway, if I could impart just one item of wisdom about gardening to the masses, other than the importance of using native plants to promote xeriscaping, I would say:  When in doubt, slap a border around it!  A border makes even the most neglected, overgrown garden look soooooooo much better!

I got a bunch of brick pavers on clearance sale and did that whole thing on Saturday.  Then meant to get, like, 25 40-lb bags of soil and as many bags of mulch on Sunday and git 'er all spiffed up, but due to the aforementioned HAMSTRING situation (non-secretor ALERT!), it was contraindicated.  Will tackle that at some unspecified later point.

Anyway, she (Sarah's garden) is looking SO much better with the borders.  It is a little tad bit "busy" looking, almost like a model train track or something *lol*, because of the configuration of the garden, but still sooooooooo much better than the pre-border look.

Quite a while back now, I put brick pavers between my front sidewalk and the line of Mammy Crotons I have in the front yard.  Those I actually dug into the ground and they look really right and good there, and that whole thing (the plants and the bricks) helps with a previous problem of a lot of the sandy soil washing into the sidewalk every time it rains.  At that time, I also placed more of the bricks along either side of my front walkway to the house.  I couldn't believe how much better doing all that made my front yard look.  It was then I first discovered the wonders of landscaping borders.  And bricks, I'm all about brick borders, I can't stand tacky, cheap plastic landscaping borders.

Anyway, so I finally did SOMETHING in the way of maintaining and fabbing up Sarah's garden a bit.  I will never totally neglect it or forget about it...or her.

Next thing is the soil and mulch.  Then a new stand for the little dedication sign that predictably got blown down from the tree branch it hung from during one of our global-warming-monsterfied storms.  AND a new plant here and there to replace some of the duds.  I'm really not happy with some of the plants, such as the butterfly bushes.  I don't think they like the central Florida clime or something.  And they aren't really bushes, they are more like delicate perennials.  I am NOT an annual person and there are very few perennials I even have the patience for.  Give me a HARDY plant that will live for years and years (which you would think "perennial" would denote, but really they are "wusses" (lol), too, just a hair less wussy than your annuals).  Matter of fact, I'd rip out a bunch of the perennials I selected and put in other stuff if I had my druthers, but, dang it, can't find those druthers anywhere *lol*.  Seriously, I am the type who, once something is alive, I respect it's right to be there, if that makes any sense.  Otherwise there are two bougainvilleas that would have long since been history in the front yard.  But since they were there before I got here, and since they survive droughts and everything else, I have to respect that.  So, *sigh*, I guess I'll have to let the butterfly bushes that are still alive stay, unless they look at me cross-eyed or something.  Just give me a reason, butterfly bushes *lol*.  Anyway...that's the latest action on the Sarah's garden front.  Finally slapped a border around the whole enchilada!

To reiterate, here is the Gardening Tip of the Day:  When in doubt, slap a border around it!
Posted by: Lola, Monday, November 28, 2005, 9:12pm; Reply: 79
sounds beautiful!!)
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Tuesday, November 29, 2005, 12:54pm; Reply: 80
Quoted from lola
sounds beautiful!!)

:D Thanks!  The strings (as in, ham) are recovering enough that I'm considering having a go again this weekend and getting into new soil and mulching mode.  We'll see, though.  The dog needs some attention and it could be a dog park weekend, which she hasn't had in eons.
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, December 5, 2005, 1:54pm; Reply: 81
Garden News:  Very excited about the garden, it is finally "getting there", worthiness-of-Sarah-wise!  I worked really hard on it this weekend and it was like suddenly it feels like the "final touches" are coming together, and you know how sometimes the final touches make the whole thing?  Well, dat's what's happening here!  I spent all kinds of money I don't have (bad) on some beautiful stuff that I fell in love with (good).  There were these two ceramic little planters that are glazed with these absolutely gorgeous mixtures of colors.  I kept putting them back on the shelf because they were too expensive, but then I kept finding myself going back to that aisle and pining for them, thinking, "these COLORS would be perfect for the garden....*sigh*".  Well, of course old no-sense here ended up charging up a storm, but, dang it, I'd do it again!  A garden is about love and if you find something you absolutely LOVE then you should try your dangdest to get the item into the garden.  So, anyway, I bought these two pots and this little wrought iron (or faux wrought iron, anyway, who knows what it is...probably not iron...anyway, moving along...) item that looks like a miniature loveseat but instead of seats it has two little indented hole thingys for planters.  The two ceramic ones fit in perfectly, so I took that as a sign from on high that I was to buy both the planters and the loveseat immediately, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.00.  I just knew that if I waited until I actually had any actual money in the actual bank, those particular planters would be gone and I'd never find COLORS like that again.  I'm all about color.  Anyway, so I get this into the garden and, I mean, it is THE highlight!  What I love about how the garden is coming together is that everything is very small-scale.  My gazing ball, for example, is not a true gazing ball (the things are HUGE), but a paperweight from Pier One with a neato torpedo faux-wrought iron stand, so it is to scale with the small size of my little garden area.  The benches I made are simply flagstone pieces on top of overturned flowerpots, so they are quite small, too.  And now this little miniature loveseat planter holder with the two pots that I'm so taken with (into which I planted some "purple heart", which are these AWESOME perennials that you cannot kill and that you can just clip and stick into dirt and they grow new ones!) just somehow makes the whole garden.  OH!  AND I bought this little butterfly trellis thing that I hung the little dedication sign on, and it fits PERFECTLY and it, too, is low and small scale, whereas before a storm blew it down, the sign was hung waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too high up on a tree.  I don't know, but everything just seemed to come together perfectly yesterday.  Today I'm going to the "rock place" to get 2 to 4 more green glacier rocks (I LOVE these, they are GORGEOUS, with such a cool, calming color that perfectly resonates with my house color of "delancy green", which is a very, very pale green with lots of white in it, like I guess a pale sage green) to place in one certain spot and then I will pronounce the garden DONE! for the moment, but a garden is never, ever truly "done", it is always a process.

Anyway, it is getting there!  I was suddenly looking at it yesterday like...did I do this?  With my back?  Naaah, couldn't be...and it only took a mere 9 or so months *lol*!!!  I'm just very pleased with it suddenly!  When I was a child, I loved rock gardens, and now I have a rock garden in my own yard!  Wu HUUU!  Rocks rock.  I also put a brick border around it, like I said earlier, but I changed it now so that it is one continuous thing (except for the one tiny bit on one side of the "north doorway" (lol) to the whole garden, which has it's own little brick border.  ANYWAY:  good stuff.  The feeling I wanted to create with the garden is there:  reflection, peace, natural beauty.

Only thing I do regret is that, originally, I did not do what you are SUPPOSED to do, per the garden police, I guess, and "prepare the bed" by, like, killing all the grass with a pesticide and then tilling the whole works up and letting it lay fallow and yada yada yada.  No patience for that, I'm an O, dang it.  Besides, there are so many huge oak roots in that area of my yard that there was no way to even dig holes to plant some of the plants, and I had to build the soil UP around them anyway.  But I should have mulched everything right away, however, at the time I felt, oh, just let everything be wild, this is an English Cottage Garden feel I'm going for.  Well, the grass bit is a tad too wild, but okay.  I did try to bring in a lot of soil this weekend and I was then going to mulch the whole works, but I was fighting something wicked bad off this weekend (elderberry to the rescue!) and I kept getting so exhausted and feverish, it wasn't even funny, so every time I went to Lowe's, I only got about five bags of the 40-lb soil.  When I'm at the top of my game, I can get about 10 or 15 per trip...the Saturn sedan won't hold much more than that anyway.  But I decided long about Sunday, the heck with it, I just am not up to trucking in enough bags of soil and mulch to do this whole thing and most areas of it are so tightly packed anyway that it won't make much diff, so just give yourself a break and chill with the soil and mulch, Edna.  So I am, I'm not doing anymore on that front, it is just too daunting somehow right now.  I'm getting the two or so more gorgeous rocks and that will be that!  And I told Sarah (don't know if she heard) that I finally got her sign back up and the garden is looking way more loved than it did, so yay, team!
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, December 5, 2005, 2:56pm; Reply: 82
You have lavished a lot of time, money, blood sweat and tears on the garden, and it sounds GORGEOUS. Sarah would be very pleased and proud. You're doin' good, twinnie. Kudos to you! *hug*
Posted by: Peppermint Twist, Monday, December 5, 2005, 8:29pm; Reply: 83
I'm gonna take some more pics of it now, as y'all have to see the pots I'm talking 'bout, for one thing (I mean, they are just little pots but, I dunno, it takes so little to make my day!!!).  However, many of the plants themselves are kinda sorta half dead after a loooooooong (six-month) Florida summer of neglect and boiling heat.  I notice that some of them are coming back to life now, starting to sprout little blooming flowers.  I thought I was doing something horribly wrong this summer, as nothing was blooming.  So, a native Floridian informed me "Oh, nothing is going to bloom in the summer, it is too hot!"  See, silly me, I'm from the north and the summer is when things bloom up there on the NORMAL side of the looking glass *lol*.  Anyway, so a few things are still alive.  Some of the stuff, I think I've managed to kill, though.  It is all looking pretty war weary.  But, I dunno, I'm just happy with the whole thing anyway, although I wouldn't have chosen some of the plants I have in there if I had it to do over again.  I really don't like anything too tender.  You have to be tough in this man's army *lol*!

But, in the front city-right-of-way, I put all those dwarf buford hollies in, and it turns out that they HATE Florida and most of 'em are dying on me.  I've started replacing them with junipers, but my point is:  live and learn.  I know SO much more about gardening and plants today than I did about 5 years ago when I planted a loooong row of Italian Cypress (!) between me and what was (Gosh, I love that it is PAST TENSE) the rental house from h*ll.  Little did I know that Italian Cypress grow to be NINETY FEET TALL!  Moral:  never listen to the pup at Home Depot.  In fact, don't go to Home Depot, go to Lowe's.  Meanwhile, my Italian Cypress are still only about 3-feet tall, so all righty.

Anyway, thanks for the kudos, twinnie.  If you really saw the garden, you'd probably think:  lord love a flamingo, what an unkempt, wild-n-woolly, yet half-dead thaaaang!  But you would also notice the coolio rocks and gazing ball and everything and it does sort of kind of add up to the lovely, reflection-inducing, peace-infusing natural space I was going for.  So, yay team.  Sunday, I was thinking, forget what anyone else thinks, if **I** was looking to buy a house and I saw this garden, it is the kind of thing that might make tip me in favor of buying my house, as I am a sucker for a rock garden, like I said.  But, if I went inside the house, that could be a deal breaker at this point, as the dilapidation factor has reached critical mass!  But that's another subject!  The good news is that the garden, imperfect as it is, is finally approaching worthiness of Sarah.  I mean, it is just a little patch, not a botanical garden or anything, but I think she would appreciate the love that went into it.  I'm real happy that I found the perfect little trellisy thing to hang her sign on, too.  I like that it has two butterflies in the design, as there are butterfly bushes and other plants in the garden that are butterfly-friendly.

Anyway, that's all the garden news that's fit to print.  We don't need to go into how J, the dog, views the new brick border as her personal sidewalk and keeps semi-wrecking them up by trottin' along them *lol*, following the curves exactly.  She's a hoot.
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