Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Curtain Call

If every gardening season were like an opera then fall must be the final act. The soft overture of spring gives way to the intensity of summer before finally bowing to the curtain call of early winter. My gardening for the year is done.




Plants have been pulled, divided, composted, swapped, ordered, planted, transplanted, and then transplanted again.


Salvia koyame is a tough fall blooming salvia that thrives in dry shade and only grows about a foot tall. I added several more to my dry shady beds.


Rudbeckia fulgida seedlings growing in the middle of other plants were transplanted into better spots. The rudbeckia were quite peeved to have been moved but the other plants were thrilled.   


This seedling was so happy I decided to just design around it 
and let it stay in its spot.


Beds have been redesigned and photos marked to identify new plants. 



The 'Rozanne' geraniums have been blooming since spring.

Hundreds of pounds of compost has been lugged into the garden to amend soil that was weeded and mulched. 


(When I added this photo, Google/Blogger spontaneously added the frame and softened the edges.)

Spending every spare minute outside allowed me the pleasure of watching monarchs migrate through my garden.



The rain garden has been extended and more rocks lifted, heaved, and hauled. 


There are almost 1,000 lbs of rocks in this river bed but they weren't hauled all at once. 
Creating the rain garden was a two year project.


Any theatrical production in my garden would have to be a comedy.



 In the southeast, California poppy seeds grow well when seeded in the fall. I mixed these all together and scattered them over my front butterfly garden.

Seeds were saved, shared, and sown.



35 fragrant peony tulips were planted in pots near my back door, including Creme Upstar, pictured above. 120 tulips were planted in empty spots in my container garden. 

150  bulbs have been planted



Every time I opened the gate, it dug into the soil and the dogs would turn the divots into big holes. So I dug up the grass, laid flagstones, and planted Corsican mint between the stones.

Problem areas were fixed with old flagstones. 



Homegrown carrots ended up in a homemade cake and 
a plate of cookies was exchanged for permission to prune a neighbor's tree.


My neighbors ash tree shaded this bed too much and the 'Bluebird' asters grew weird from lack of sunlight. Too much shade caused weak, spiky growth. 


Holes dug by the dogs were filled and filled, and filled. When they redug them, I refilled them so they dug them again so I refilled them....


Baby - Not guilty


Lucy - Guilty


Scout - Guilty and trying to hide from the evidence.


Genie - Very Guilty



I know how you feel, frog.

*****

This is my last post for 2014 but I'll be back January 1, 2015.

81 comments:

  1. Man you rocked it! Love that you added that flagstone by the gate and I like how you marked the photos of your beds....what program did you use for that??? And how fantastic that you got so much compost down... I have failed in getting enough spread in my space. And love that you got poppies in!! I saw the best mixed border in Wyoming this summer with poppies scattered about....gorgeous! And that photo of you is perfect!!! But seriously how cool is your neighbor letting you trim the tree back...I may have to trim my back door neighbors tree as she planted a silver maple right up against the back fence! Ugh! The carrots and cake look amazing!!! As does your beautiful garden!! Happy holidays pal! See ya in a bit!! Nicole xo

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    1. I just used Picasa to write on the pics. It helps me remember where I put everything. I have amazing neighbors. They love the garden because they can enjoy it without having to do any of the work. :o)

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  2. I feel like a piker in comparison, Tammy. You've been busy! You certainly earned a little free time (and a big slice of that cake, if not the whole thing). I'm about to sow some poppy seeds myself in an effort to fill in the gaps in my succulent border. The boring work preparing the former front lawn area for planting continues - I have a sense of urgency to get it planted soon to take advantage of our short rainy season but I have yet to formulate a clear planting plan. From my vantage point, a garden break to spend time sitting by the fire, reading garden books and planning a spring garden sounds really nice. (That is how you're going to spend your gardening/blogging break, isn't it? Don't tell me no, I need to live that dream through someone.) In any case, I hope you enjoy your break and the holidays!

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    1. I had to Google piker. :o) That's a new term for me. I'm very goal/action oriented so it would torture me not to get all this done. I had a big slice of cake, for sure! It was super tasty. My break will be spent grading papers, reading, and just resting. I need to go dormant for a bit and just renew my spirit.

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  3. It's a great feeling, knowing that you've achieved so much (you, not me!) and now all you have to do is put your feet up and wait for it all to come back gloriously next year. Have a great break.

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    1. It feels satisfying to know I've accomplished what I set out to do. I like putting my garden to bed knowing everything been's done that needs to be done.

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  4. Wow, you are one organized gardener! That cake looks amazing and as do you in your 'basic black and pearls'.

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    1. Thanks! It was freezing cold and windy and I kept falling over trying out goofy poses. My friend and I were laughing like lunatics the whole time but it was lots of fun. :o)

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  5. Comedy indeed, but think of how beautiful it will all look next spring. We have been hit with early winter weather, so gardening has officially ended. I had wanted to plant bulbs, but I think now the soil has frozen. We are hovering around 0. Now tell me, do you really garden in pearls? Have a fab weekend. Pups are too cute.

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    1. I always garden in pearls. Don't you? ;o) I bet you could get those bulbs in the ground. Or put them in a pot.

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  6. Is Picasa hard to learn? I would really like to be able do that as well. I also would really like to try sowing some of those California poppies in my garden - great mix. I meant to spread compost on my back lawn but never got around to it. Maybe I still can. The pictures of your dogs are too cute.

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    1. Picasa is really easy and has an editing option called Text. It lets you write right on the picture. It's never too cold for compost, at least in my experience. As for the poppy seeds, throw them in the garden soon and you'll have poppies next spring.

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    2. I've been told that here you should wait until the ground thaws in spring. Not true?

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    3. Maybe it depends on your climate. My seeds germinated after we hit -5 and had loads of snow.

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  7. You just have to train your dogs to dig those holes where you want them.
    My gardening for the year is done also, but not because the long list of chores was completed. Along came the first arctic blast and let me off the hook until spring.

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    1. Agreed! They dig the same hole every year and look at me like I'm stupid when I fill it in. It's right in the middle of a grass path. They eat the soil, too. The vet said it just tastes good and not to worry. I finished in the nick of time. It's cold and windy here.

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  8. You got so much accomplished in your gardens! You deserve a pat on the back and a rest. Enjoy your time off from blogging and spend it with family for the holidays. See you in the New Year! -Beth

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  9. You have so many plants I am unfamiliar with.....need to investigate if some of your dry shade plants would do well in my garden. Love your formal attire for pruning. Our weather is so varied, I can't imagine 'putting it to bed' at this time of year. I am hoping to get some mulch in some of the beds before too much longer. (hahahha)

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    1. If they do well for me they should do well for you. Variegated callicarpas 'Duet' and 'Wine Spritzer' would be great additions to your garden.

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  10. Looks like a hard freeze even in the city (Washington, DC) tonight which means my garden is done for the year, but not my gardening! It will be a busy weekend for me cleaning up the garden, mulching, etc. For tonight, I left a bunch of potted plants outdoors on my deck, covered with a sheet, and I'm crossing my fingers but not getting my hopes up...

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    1. I have some plants that are headed for pots next summer that are spending the winter in temporary spots in the garden because I wasn't sure they'd survive a hard winter in my containers. But I've moved my tender lavender and some dittany into my basement with hopes of overwintering them and scattered some viola seeds. But everything else is done and it feels good to take a break. :o)

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  11. OK I'm exhausted reading this. PLEASE take time off - eat cake and hibernate. We look forward to you leaping into spring along with your peony tulips and fresh plans.

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    1. Eat cake and hibernate. I'd like that to be my new career. :) But I'm already getting itchy for next year.... :o)

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  12. I'm exhausted just reading your post, but at least it gave me inspiration to get more needed work done in my garden....not today though...too hot.
    Not one of those adorable bow wows look guilty to me.....the dug out "mole" holes gave you a lovely idea for landscaping the garden gate area....lovely.

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    1. Oh yes, and I love your tree trimming outfit....Tammy you are a hoot.

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  13. Such a fun post Tammy. I LOVE that tulip, creme upstar (strange and wonderful name--like a science fiction thriller) and the vivid blue of the geranium. Plus it's just interesting to see how you've solved various problems in your garden. I wish you luck with moving the Rudbeckia--around here they naturalize like mad and there is no stopping any of them with a single move. Oh, and I'm with Sue--you look terrific in your basic black and pearls! We've had wild and wooly weather here in Portland, awful winds crashing down from the Columbia River Gorge and giving us freezing rain and tree boughs falling all around. Makes me a tad nervous sometimes. So.....Happy holiday times to you and your family! Hope you have a beautiful sweet REST.

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    1. Thanks, Susie. :o) Cold, nasty weather here, too. I pull a lot of rudbeckia seedlings but these were so robust, I let them grow and used them to fill in a few empty spots that needed mid-late summer color. It was freezing the day a friend took that picture but we were having so much fun we didn't mind too much.

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  14. Have a wonderful break Tammy and looking forward to seeing you in the new year. By the way, I really like that idea of labelling the plants in photos. I often make lists and sometimes a graphic but this is a better way of actually 'seeing' the placement. I may need to steal your idea.

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    1. I always take notes about what I do when I redesign my garden but after a while they don't make sense and I wish I'd created a visual instead. I used Picasa and it was ultra easy.

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  15. Genie looks so very, very guilty!! Your carrot cake looks delicious. I had a piece (not of yours) earlier today with a nice cup of coffee.

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    1. To say I had a piece of cake is a bit untruthful. I had a slab of cake of such a size that it could have been used to support a major building or sports area. I enjoyed every bite. :o) Genie is super guilty. She's always shocked when I fill her holes in since she spends so much time working on them. I am truly ungrateful for her talents in excavation and lawn aeration.

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  16. Looking good in that first photo...gold clearly suits you :)
    Great work in the garden... time to sit back, relax and recharge the ol' batteries for next spring. See yer then x

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    1. Every one thinks I'm the lady in black but I am actually the woman in the top picture. I knew you'd recognize me. ;o)

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  17. Wow! What an amazing amount you have achieved. They say: ' It ain' t over till the fat lady sings' And that is what is happening in your first picture. A singing, fat lady. So it is over for this year and you certainly deserve a rest. Enjoy it. I look forward to seeing next year's projects.

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    1. Thanks! I couldn't resist that picture. It summed up what I was trying to say so I just had to use it.

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  18. I'll miss your posts but hope you'll be having a grand time! Doesn't everyone prune in a simple black velvet dress and pearls? You and your pups have been very busy and your garden will look even better next year! Enjoy the rest of 2014; we'll see you next year!

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    1. Black velvet is a must in the garden. Why do so few people realize this? My dogs are the most well rested creatures on the planet. I'm a bit jealous, actually.

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  19. I giggled out loud with that last photo and my husband asked "why." I said, "It's hard to explain." There are more meanings to my answer than just the obvious one. Gardening is done for the season. Doesn't that feel a little nice (and a little sad at the same time)? Love the photo of you clipping the shrubs in your dress. And that area with the stones by the gate is going to smell wonderful!

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    1. The frog is the top part of a hose guide that I used to keep the dogs from running through the rain garden. When it broke the frog just looked exhausted or possibly drunk from having to deal with the dogs all summer so I kept it there. By the time I was done, I was ready to lay in the soil right next to it. :o)

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  20. I'm exhausted just reading about all that hard work! Enjoy the holiday season, look forward to reading about next year's production.

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    1. It was an excellent work out, for sure! I'll be back Jan 1 with my annual silly New Years post. :o)

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  21. Gardening in pearls and a little black dress should be mandatory! Loved the photo! I think you have deserved oodles of carrot cake and hours of sitting by the fire toasting your toes, after all the work you have done.
    Your marked up photos are a fabulous way of recording what is planted where. I must learn how to do that ... especially for bulbs as I never have a clue where they are hiding themselves !

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    1. Thanks, Jane! Sometimes I don't mind forgetting where I plant things because I enjoy the surprise come spring. But I'm also very good at convincing myself my garden is completely empty and then ordering truck loads of plants I have no room for. Ooops...

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  22. Aww say it ain't so ! I will miss your posts :( . Holy doodle your gardening is Herculean in scope and effort,. Props to you my friend! Now the LBD/pearls/secateur ensemble is a great functional fashion piece. I've said it before I will say it again, I'm on Team Tammy for that Zombie Apocalyse !! Your cake looks delish too. All my silliness aside I really enjoy watching your garden change and reform and you have given all of us lots of great ideas and fresh insights in gardening. Rest up kiddo and we will see you on the flip side!

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    1. I have two excellent shovels I am very willing to use to kill zombies with so I will gladly give you one. Aim for the head. I'll be back Jan 1 for a follow-up to my last Jan 1 post about my goal to become a classier gardener. I was not successful despite the black dress and pearls. It's one of my favorite failures. ;o)

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  23. Funny how one minute you think nothing is getting done around the garden and then you get around to listing things and it's an exhausting list! Great job! I wish I accomplished half as much :)

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    1. When I looked around the garden it didn't seem like I had done that much although I was constantly busy. But when you look back, you do realize how much you've completed. I think the payoff will be worth it. :o)

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  24. I put my last bulbs in the ground today. Good thing because the snow was flying! I still have a little clean up to do, but my gardening season is winding down as well. It's good to have a break. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas Tammy. I look forward to laughing my way through new posts in the new year.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! My tulips all went into pots, which makes planting them really easy. I have a funny post in the works for Jan 1. Ya gotta start the new year with a smile. :o)

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  25. Your curtain call opera singer is a good representation of my own garden! You have certainly been busy and have earned a rest, along with your plants. Spring will be glorious after all your hard work. I wish I could say i have been as diligent. My fall garden pretty much did its own thing, except for some transplanting I lured my hubby into doing for me.

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    1. I'm looking forward to the day when all I have to do in the autumn is watch the leaves fall. :o)

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  26. I think the shady bed is going to end up being what you want this time. It can be hard for those areas, although of course Hosta and Ferns always do well in those areas too. I really like what you have done there.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. I agree. I had so many plants that needed more sun, I had to extend the rain garden, which is very sunny, just to have a spot for them. I've started thinning out branches to bring in more light to all my shady areas. I think that part of the shade garden is going to be a winner.

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  27. I LOVED that piccy of you....my how VERY glamourous you are! Good to hear how you have made so much progress, especially re-filling endless holes! I loved you pooches, what darlings they are, give them hugs from me. I do hope there will be more posts though! Marvelous post!xxx

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    1. I assure you, I am very unglamorous! But ti was fun to be so dressed up while out in the garden. My dogs are wonderful but there will be more holes to fill next fall, for sure. :o)

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  28. What a productive year, I also feel like that frog just thinking about all your work and achievements gardenwise and blogwise. Happy New Year, see you in 2015, Tammy.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I think I'm going to leave that frog exactly as it is. I like how funny and odd it is.

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  29. I smiled while I was reading your garden report and looking at the pictures! You worked hard, and results are very impressive! You deserve a break. Enjoy it!

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  30. I feel super lazy after this post. Kudos to you and all of your hard work!

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    1. I would have gone mad if I hadn't finished everything. I'm a bit of an Energizer bunny.

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  31. Great publications where jardindin shows off her beautiful and well maintained, so I congratulate you.

    Congratulations and affectionate greeting from Gran Canaria - Canary Islands (Spain)

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  32. OMG ! Tammy girl .... how can you make me laugh so much and yet feel so GUILTY at the same time ?
    You did far better than I prepping your garden ... I am so jealous .... and ? the LBD is perfect for that trimming up picture ... pearls set it all off very tastefully .... Kudos girl !! Brava !!
    Ah yes ..... there is all winter to take stock and make notes ... wish lists ... done and redone a gazillion times ... what I should have done compared to what I did do ... and a load of "OOPS!"
    I am in love with that frog ... I try to collect frogs even though they seem to try and get away from me .. it is a love hate thing going on I think.
    Great year end post girl ... but I have to deal with that guilt thing now .. argh !!!!
    Joy ;-)

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    1. No guilt allowed! I tend to have a lot of energy and if I hadn't gotten all this done before true cold hit, I would have gone nuts. Plus, it's a great workout! That frog is the awesomest. :o)

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  33. Just catching up and I am exhausted just reading about all your amazing work...don't get in your way in the garden. I managed to cut down lots and button it up but that was it...no planting, moving, dividing, transplanting or bulbs this year and I am OK with that. Love the photos with the plants labeled. I am never organized enough to do this. And I love the poppies...sadly they are annuals here...Very cold with some light snow here...have a great holiday season!

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    1. If you suddenly appeared in my garden I promise I wouldn't run you over! But I can work for hours at a steady clip without feeling it too much the next day. Poppies are annuals here, too, but they do well in early spring if I sow them in the fall. If I don't make time to label the photos I convince myself I have room in the garden I don't actually have and end up buying plants i don't have room for. Uh oh...

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  34. Wow, what an incredible amount you have accomplished in your garden this fall, Tammie! I feel like a slug, thinking of all the things I didn't get done this fall. And to think you did all this in your little black dress and heels:) Enjoyed seeing all your garden companions, too--I hope they didn't get reprimanded too much for their misdeeds because they're just too darned cute. Wishing you a happy holiday season!

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    1. I find the dress a powerful motivator. It allows me to be fabulous and productive at the same time, making me feel like a multi-tasker. My dogs have dug a new hole but I've already forgiven them.

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  35. Hi Tammy, I love the pose. It's exactly how I garden. It's been simply brilliant following you and your beautiful garden over the course of the year I'm sad to hear this is the last post of 2014. I look forward to seeing you again bright and early for next year's season. Meanwhile, happy holidays and have a well earn rest - from gardening!

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    1. Thanks so much! I'll be back Jan 1 with a ridiculous post and the possibility of an equally ridiculous picture of me. But I've already succumbed to my annual seed buying frenzy and have started ordering seeds. There is probably a psychiatric definition for all this.... :o)

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  36. A blue geranium - how have I never heard of this? Well, that's been added to my Christmas list :)

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    1. It's called 'Rozanne'. I also have 'Johnson's Blue', which is gorgeous but only blooms in the spring. 'Rozanne' blooms from spring til frost.

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  37. How do you know the name of so many flowers and plants and know how to put them and where? You are amazing. Want to teach an online gardening class? How about creating an app with me -- you give the ideas and I do the computer programming :-)? Is that you in the middle with the black dress? Then very nice to meet you at lat :-). By the way my blog address has changed from beautiful boonton to http://world-and-novice-naturalist.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks but for everything I remember, I forget something else. That is indeed me in the black dress. I just added your new blog address to my blogroll. :o)

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  38. You are right on with the California poppies. I planted them one fall and every spring they, well, 'pop' up, mostly from reseeding themselves. I tried them because not many around these parts grow them.
    Ray

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    1. They are rarely used here so it's fun to see them in the garden. But I'm a CA native and they remind me so much of California.

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  39. A wonderful post, and you work like crazy to make your garden as beautiful as it is, and your pups are adorable, but all I can really think is: That carrot cake looks soooooo delicious!

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