Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Miscellany

A few weeks ago, Monica the Garden Faerie posted her first "Mish Mash Monday" post, and I liked the idea so well that I decided to join in today. I've changed the name slightly for my post to avoid any issues of copyright infringement:) Besides, I would have had to add an extra M word--"Mush"--to describe the state of my brain at the moment. Two weeks of fighting a virus and bronchitis have led to sleep deprivation, thus the mushy brain. I finally broke down and went to the doctor on Friday who gave me some medications which don't seem to be helping much. But she did reassure me that everyone who has come down with this virus and nasty cough lately has gotten over it in six weeks . . . Argh!!

But enough of my complaining. A week ago Beckie and I took a day off for some serious plant shopping, including a visit to the local Herb Society's plant sale. Our shopping expeditions and garden touring have been limited this spring, so it was fun to finally be able to find a day that fit both our schedules. This was the first time we had ever attended this event, and though neither of us grow many herbs, we both walked away with a few new purchases. I did buy some chives, but otherwise my choices were more for scent and appearance rather than cooking, such as the lemon verbena and pineapple sage I purchased.

At the same place as the herb sale, the local Hosta Society and the Prairie Plant Preservation Society were also holding a sale. All three vendors had lots of volunteers staffing them, which was great because they were more than willing to answer any questions we had about particular plants. I couldn't resist buying another hosta, of course, but I was especially intrigued by the Prairie Plant selections. All plants were clearly labelled, with large labels showing their appearance at maturity and some relevant facts about each. I was hoping to find a true prairie coneflower, but they weren't available on this day. However, I did manage to take home several other plants, including a New England aster pictured above, more butterfly weeds, an Obedient plant (which I might regret later), some Joe-Pye weed, and a spindly stalk of grass-looking plant, which the volunteer assured me would grow into a beautiful Blazing Star. If they all survive in my garden, I'll be sure to feature each in full bloom later in the season.

Outside, one of the first Farmers' Markets of the season was also being held. It was still too early in the season to find fresh fruits and vegetables, but lots of other vendors made for some interesting "window shopping." We checked out these whimsical metal garden ornaments, but they were rather pricey. Besides, there wouldn't have been room in my trunk for one after our plant purchases that morning in addition to the plants bought later at our favorite garden center.

Several of you commented after I showed a photo of my plant-filled car trunk last week that I certainly had my work cut out for me. I hate to tell you, but that trunk full was just one of several this spring. I have been buying lots of annuals for containers and a few new perennials, and I've also been buying some plants for my son and daughter-in-law to help them spruce up their landscaping.

All of this buying has resulted in what Marnie cleverly called a "pot ghetto" in front of my garage door. Nobody will be putting their car in the garage any time soon:) Part of the problem has been all the rain we have had which has kept me from being able to plant anything for some time. But that's a story for another day . . . think ABC . . . "R." In the meantime I've been trying to fill up containers; Tarzan will soon have to find another spot for his naps.


After a little over a year of blogging, you would think I would have this blogging business down pat. I just figured out last week that I can actually move my pictures around on a post after uploading them! At the same time, I still haven't figured out the spacing issues here--Blogger seems to have a mind of its own on that. Another plus--after being unable to leave comments on certain blogs, I discovered it had something to do with my internet browser. Now I open Firefox instead of Explorer, and I have no problems. That brainstorm only took about 6 months to figure out:) And finally today, I figured out why my photo never showed up on anyone's "Followers" list--I had marked the "anonymous" following when I added most people to my "Blogs I Follow" list. So if you suddenly notice my photo as one of your followers, that's why. And if you don't see me, don't feel slighted . . . I did this one dreary day in February when I was bored, but I never got everyone uploaded on that list.

I told you my brain had turned to mush . . .

I have to show you this photo above even though the quality is terrible. My husband took it--a first--one day while I was occupied elsewhere. Sitting in the easy chair in the living room, he was watching a pair of cardinals on the suet feeder and quickly grabbed my camera. Once he figured out how to turn on the power, he started snapping away, getting this photo of the male feeding the female a piece of sunflower seed. I think cardinals are my favorite bird of all, not because they're so common here or because they are our state bird, but because of the loving behavior they show each other. Now that I've shown my husband where the zoom button is, maybe he can get a better photo next time:)

My five-year-old granddaughter commented one day while visiting, "Grandma, the birds like your yard much better than ours." I explained to my little nature lover that it probably had to do with all our trees, especially since they live in a new, virtually tree-less subdivision. I only wish she had been here the day I found this little guy on the ground. Well, actually, I didn't find him . . .

. . . Coconut did. Coconut was very concerned about this little creature, and together we managed to snare it in a butterfly net. I put it up on a tree branch, and it promptly flew off to the ground once again. I don't think it was injured in anyway; it just hadn't yet mastered high altitude flying. I realized afterwards it was probably a starling, those black bullies that I wish would leave our yard, but still I couldn't just leave it alone. Thank goodness none of the cats were out that day nor Sophie, whose curiosity is less gentle than Coconut's.

Thanks for following all my meandering thoughts this morning. I'm happy to report the sun is out this morning, and the forecast doesn't hold a drop of rain in it for the week! Maybe some of those homeless plants will finally get planted. Wishing everyone a good week in the garden!


  1. I always love your Coconut stories, Rose. What a sweet dog!

  2. Hi Rose, it's so funny how baby birds look *nothing* like their adult form. That cardinal looks... nothing like a cardinal. (Well, I mean, yes, it looks *everything* like a baby cardinal, but, um, I hope you know what I mean!) And it's handy that cats plant themselves! :) I'm working on my own Mish-Mash Monday post as we speak. I would not mind at all if you use the same title! :)

  3. Hi Rose, the weather is supposed to by dry and warm this week, maybe we can get some of these plants in the ground. We had frost Sat and Sun nights so thankful I didn't plant the tomatoes out. Stole the cats blanket to cover my precious Lady in Red salvia;) Cats were not amused.

    I think a combination of topics is my favorite kind of post. I'm following you and Monica and doing more variety in each. Love the potted cat.

  4. Ha! You're so funny. I have heard others comment they don't know how to move pictures around on their blogs. There is definitely a learning curve to it. I too like Firefox for all things on the Internet, but you know what is funny? I can't move pictures around well at all in Firefox so I have to open Internet Explorer. Funny indeed. Your garden is going to be lovely with all those new plants! And I am glad you are feeling better. It's rough being sick for sure.

  5. I really enjoyed reading all that Rose!Thank you.

    I do love those sorts of garden events, it's always fun to potter around and look at everything, trying to resist buying takes some doing!!!

    Sorry to hear you're poorly, a cough and lack of sleep are horrible things to put up with, you need to take it easy! Hope the medication starts working soon,

    S x

    PS, love your great big ginger cat:-)

  6. Dear Rose....I do hope that you are feeling better soon. Mr P has a virus at the moment...three weeks on he is still struggling.....

    Dear Coconut, what a sweet little dog......and that little fledgling, it does not matter which species, everything has a right to life........

    So many plants Rose, you must have itchy fingers.....I do hope the weather is sunny so that you can start planting......

    I love garden is full of them....I use a lot for cooking. Chives is one of Riley's favourites.....Poppi loves thyme....

    Have a good week Rose and get better soon.......

  7. Loved all your photos, rose they are superb. Just like a cat to lie in a pot.
    Dog and bird picture cute and all the rest absolutely great. You are going to be busy!

    Word ver. U NEXT...

  8. Hi Rose, I do hope you get better sooner than six weeks, you'll miss the fling! Pineapple sage and lemon verbena are two of the most fragrant plants in the world, great choices! Way to buy with your nose. And hooray for hubby trying to take a photo, his heart was in the right place and next time he'll use the zoom. Men love gadgets, or mine do, anyway. :-)

  9. Sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well Rose. Hope you kick your bug soon. This is the worst time of the year to be sick with the garden calling to you. Looks like your plant grotto is getting full, at least mother nature is keeping them watered for you. ;) What a sweet photo of Coconut & the bird. I don't think my dogs would of been so gentle either especially Spaz the terrier. She's bit reckless, lol.

  10. I like herbs, but most of them aren't very showy. I do have a lovely purple sage, though and like to plant various mints in my border. They creep around an pop up everywhere and the smell is wonderful, when I am weeding. I have a variegated pineapple mint, apple mint and eau de cologne mint.
    I leave a soil filled pot outside my back door for my cats to sit in, when the sun is out. They have to take it in turns, of course!

    Sorry you're not well. Hope you are better soon. You will have to be, with all of those plants to put in!

  11. Hi Rose! Happy Monday! So glad you are feeling better!

    As a mac user I always use Firefox to write my post...There are still so many things for me to learn about blogging and using code!

    Now to gardening! I know you and Beckie had a great time ~~it's so much fun to shop with a friend. ..and your plant choices sound great. I have liatris in my less then full time sunny border and it does fine....your garden is sunny and everything will thrive!

    Now take care....have fun planting this week! See you soon!


  12. Joyce, Coconut really is a sweetie; he was very curious about the bird, but didn't harm it at all.

    Monica, Thanks for the copyright permission:) The cats love my pots; that's why I also plant forks in them later.

    Marnie, I am really looking forward to this week; today was just beautiful, though I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. I want to make a dent in all those waiting plants.

    Tina, I know I tried moving pictures around when I first started blogging but it wouldn't work then. I don't know if Blogger changed, or I finally tried the right trick. It does make things easier when I want to add a picture in the middle or at the end later.

    Suburbia, I have been taking it easy--too easy:) You used to have a ginger cat, didn't you? Tarzan is my clown cat.

    Cheryl, I hate to see any creature suffer, even if it's not one of my favorites. I think I would use more fresh herbs in my cooking if they were growing right outside my door. I know the virus will end eventually--I just am tired of feeling sick and tired. The weather looks very promising this week!

    Maggie May, Hmmm, wonder what the "U next" means--I hope you don't catch this virus!

    Frances, I won't miss Spring Fling! I just want everyone to know it's just a virus, and that I won't be infecting everyone with swine flu:) I saw the pineapple sage growing in Arizona and thought it was lovely. Lemon verbena just sounded yummy to me:)

    Racquel, Yes, I'd rather be sick in February than in May:) Sophie wouldn't have been so gentle with the bird either; she's still in the baby stage where everything goes in her mouth--ugh!

    Mean Mom, You have quite a collection of mints! I've never tried to grow them, because I know they spread so much, but I'm sure I could find a place here. The purple sage is actually a pretty plant. I'm trying not to let this virus stop me from planting!

    Gail, It's so much more fun plant shopping with another gardener, especially a good friend. We tend to enable each other into buying more than we should sometimes:) I can't believe next week is Spring Fling already!

  13. Oh Rose, where do I begin? You made me laugh. Mish Mash Mush Monday. I love it! Why not? We borrow ideas from one another and I like your added Mush to the mix. LOL!

    I didn't know you could move pics around once you've up(down?)loaded them! I have the most awful time trying to change them and then usually just delete the whole thing and start over. And the spacing! It sucks. I don't know why we sometimes get too many spaces between sentences. Ah well. I guess there is still a lot to learn. And I don't even know where foxfire is.

    You and Becky have such fun. It must be nice to shop together. I plant a few herbs - parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (really!) and basil too. We have a groundhog living under our deck and he ate all my parsley!! Will have to buy some more and put it somewhere higher up. Maybe in the birdfeeder (just kidding).

    Happy gardening! Hope your virus clears up soon.

  14. Rose, I just old Monica, these posts are like long catch up letters from a dear friend and I love them!
    How funny that hubby is getting into bird watching and picture taking-but he did a pretty good job. :)

    I wish now I had bought more herbs, but will try to have a bed ready for them next spring. (here spring is just going good and I am already talking about next year!) Will have to enjoy yours. A;so need a bed to put the native plants that we bought. Most of mine are still sitting by the back door. Maybe this week we can get most of our plants in the ground. Just in time for Spring Fling and maybe bringing home more plants!

    Don't work too hard though, you want to be rested for next week end.

  15. Cute picture of that baby bird.

    Looks like yours and Beckies outing was lots of fun. Glad to hear you got some pineapple sage. That is a favorite of mine. Love that smell and you can't beat those red blooms.

  16. You are not alone. I too have lots of homeless plants, Rose. (Like I needed more to tend!) So happy Thelma and Louise are back enjoying their fun antics ... Chicago should be a hoot for you 2!

  17. Rose, I hope you are feeling better soon. It's just not fair to be sick when it is SPRING!

    I love herbs and am so jealous of your sale! LOL! Be careful with the chives though--plant them in a pot--you can sink it into the ground, and will keep them from taking over the bed. I have rampant chives taking over my whole backyard! A stick of dynamite wouldn't dislodge them!

    Awww! Cute little Coconut so gentle with the little fledgling-- and the picture your husband got of the cardinals was so sweet. It looked like Tarzan has planted himself. I wonder if he will try to sit on your new plants you transplant in the pot?

  18. My cat was like your other one, the cream one with a grey face but then all cats are beautiful! x

  19. Wendy, I could use a tutorial in posting on Blogger:) You can click and drag pictures around--just experiment with it a little. Now I'm humming "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..." :)

    Beckie, I thought it was pretty funny, too, that Hubby grabbed my camera on his own. I'm working a little each day on the garden--until I poop out, that is. Yesterday the vegetable garden; hopefully, the butterfly garden will get planted by the weekend. I hope I don't keep you awake during Spring Fling with my coughing!

    Susie, I saw a large planting of pineapple sage in Arizona and thought it was so pretty. Glad to hear you have had success with it, too.

    Joey, Thelma and Louise haven't been on the road much this spring. Chicago should be so much fun!

    MG, Thanks; this virus is taking a long time to go away. Thanks for the tip on the chives; I'll be careful about it. The cats love my pots, which is why I also plant plastic forks in them to keep them off. I do hope Bocephus is feeling better!

    Suburbia, Now I remember. Hope things are going well with you.

  20. I have herb envy. These days when I buy plants I have to smuggle them home because SOMEBODY thinks I have too much out in the yard already.
    I love the still life of a small but richly landscaped area - that cat looks so REAL ;)
    As for the kissing birdies - love is certainly in the air. Your pic has the blurry look of a celeb photo stalker.

  21. How gentle Coconut was!

    I've been having a few Operation Aborted messages when I've tried to visit some sites; maybe I'll try using Firefox.

    Hope you're feeling much better now.


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