Apr. 25th, 2010 09:08 am
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I'm woefully behind in garden work this Spring. We've had unseasonably warm weather and little rain until this weekend. Suddenly plants are growing, when I should be dividing them. I was late with my pruning, have two beds that are still full of maple leaves and need to be raked, and a mess of Lily of the Valley I want to dig out.

This week (the last week of April) will be my last full week of work. It looks as if I'll continue working half time for a few months instead of retiring on May 3rd. I will still have more time for the garden than I've had in the past.
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I just opened an account at Dreamwidth, since so many of my friends have accounts there.  Since I'm retiring soon, I'm looking for a good place to blog about my garden.  Could be LJ, could be Dreamwidth, could be someplace else. 

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Some of my LJ friends blog at dreamwidth. I'm here to experiment - this might be a good place for a garden journal.


Apr. 13th, 2010 06:12 am
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Fourteen workdays left.  There's the possibility of part time, limited term employment - but my inclination right now is to decline. 

My life

Mar. 4th, 2010 07:38 pm
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My official retirement date is May 3, 2010.  I am so looking forward to cleaning my house, sorting through the pile, reading all the books that I've bought and all the books I want to borrow, and gardening!  And cooking again, and exercising, and having enthusiasm for the rest of my life instead of having all my energy absorbed by work. 

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Arbor Day

Apr. 24th, 2009 09:37 pm
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I had an afternoon meeting at a site near home, so had decided to go home after the meeting since my day started at 7am.  Bonus - the meeting ended 45 minutes early! 

So I stopped at my favorite nursery to look at plants, and found a gorgeous little tree for the bare spot in my yard.  It's a weeping spruce - think "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" but still alive.  It grows slowly, and the branches curve sharply downward about a inch from the trunk.  The lowest limbs drape across the ground. 

I brought it home and spend the rest of Arbor day planting it all by myself - and that root ball was heavy!  

It looks great nestled between the variegated euonymus. 

Maybe tomorrow I can post a photo. 

silly meme

Jan. 29th, 2009 07:09 pm
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And what does this say about me? 

Snagged from katycat

1. Bold the shows you watch/used to watch.
2. Italicize the shows you've seen at least one episode of.
3. Underline the shows you own on DVD (at least one season).
4. Post your answers.

50. Quantum Leap
49. Prison Break
48. Veronica Mars
47. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
46. Sex & The City
45. Farscape
44. Cracker
43. Star Trek
42. Only Fools and Horses
41. Band of Brothers
40. Life on Mars  (British version only)
39. Monty Python
38. Curb Your Enthusiasm
37. Star Trek: The Next Generation
36. Father Ted
35. Alias
34. Frasier
33. CSI Las Vegas
32. Babylon 5
31. Deadwood
30. Dexter
29. ER
28. Fawlty Towers
27. Six Feet Under
26. Red Dwarf
25. Futurama
24. Twin Peaks
23. The Office
22. The Shield
21. Angel
20. Blackadder
19. Scrubs
18. Arrested Development
17. South Park
16. Dr Who
15. Heroes
14. Firefly
13. Battlestar Galactica (new version only)
12. Family Guy
11. Seinfeld
10. Spaced
09. The X-Files
08. The Wire
07. Friends
06. 24
05. Lost
04. The West Wing
03. The Sopranos
02. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
01. The Simpsons
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My results:

1. Forensics Specialist

2. Oceanographer

3. Chemist - My college major was chemistry, and I worked as a chemist for 5 years.

4. Pharmacologist

5. Chemical Engineering Tech

6. Materials / Metallurgical Engineer

7. Operations Research Analyst

8. Physicist - One of my college minors was physics.

9. Professor - I've always been fascinated by the academic life, I just haven't had the wherewithal to pursue a PhD.

10. Agronomist

11. Communications Specialist

12. Market Research Analyst

13. Medical Lab Tech

14. Writer - Three published novels, but not much lately.

15. Pharmacy Technician

16. Translator

17. Print Journalist - I wanted to do this when I was younger.

18. Petroleum Engineer

19. Political Aide

20. Mathematician - My second college minor.

And my current career is . . . something completely different, but technical in nature.


Apr. 30th, 2007 08:17 am
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I'm on vacation this week (yay!) and the weather is perfect for gardening.

The dying maple tree on the south lawn has been removed, and I'm waiting for the landscaper to come back with a plan for that area. All the grass will go, and the old junipers, to be replaced with a variety of trees, shrubs, and shrubby perennials. When we did the front yard two years ago, I had a year to design the plantings, hire a landscaper to do the prep work, then buy the plants and install them with Larry's help. This time it's happening too fast - I gave the landscape designer general ideas, but not a specific plan. I'll see her design on Friday.

On Sunday I removed some old Russian sage in the back garden, moved the Goat's beard, one daylily, and the meadow rue. Planted some Raspberry Wine bee balm. Filled the bird and chipmunk feeders. Pruned the service berry bush, which is becoming more like a multi-trunked tree every year.

There are a few daffodils and tulips in bloom, survivors of the week of freezes followed by the heavy snow. Grape hyacinth are blooming, and the Korean spice viburnum is putting on a nice show this year.

Most of my plants survived the weird winter and spring. Some things are starting slow this year, and a few things have yet to make an appearance. I think some of the tiarellas and variegated polemons didn't make it. Don't know about the toad lilies yet.

More plants to move today - cimicifuga, golden tiara hostas. Then fertilizing, general cleanup, and weeding.


Apr. 1st, 2007 01:36 pm
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Too many of my friends are experiencing significant health issues. They are all in my thoughts. There is little I can do but hold them in my heart and think positive thoughts for them.

For Katie - a complete recovery, and strength to dance at Beltane.

For Barney - breath, and respite from the fever, and fortitude to keep on fighting until the foe is vanquished.

For Dick - the knowledge that you are loved and honored as an elder of your tribe, and the strength and persistence to weather the coming trials so that you can hold your new grandchild and that we may laugh and dance with you again.

For Nate - reassurance and comfort, and a full recovery.

For Kyril - years and years - a very long lifetime - of dancing and laughing and loving.

Above all, for each of you, health.
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This is a Spring 2006 shot of the shady garden. Japanese painted ferns, a ghost fern, ostrich ferns in the background, with heuchera Plum Pudding and Green Spice, tiarellas, a Japanese toad lily, assorted hostas and columbine.

This garden borders the sidewalk, so I use a complex mix of plants to make it interesting for people walking by.
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It's been a busy summer in my gardens. I don't have photos from the entire season, but I do have lots form last May, when the iris were in bloom.

This is a large clump for dwarf indigo iris that I divided this Fall. It won't be nearly as impressive next year, but these iris spread quickly so it will look great again in a couple of years.

I'm still planting - 7 Siberian iris plants arrived in the mail on Friday, and need to be planted today. And I'm expecting some exotic lily bulbs in the next few days. I'm not planning to plant tulips or daffodils this year - I put in lots last Fall.


Apr. 15th, 2006 07:25 pm
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In bloom today:

Siberian squill
red-violet hyacinths
grape hyacinths
miniature dwarf purple iris

I filled bird feeders, set out bird baths and garden ornaments, connected and tested the hoses, and moved a few plants. The weather was perfect - 65 degrees and sunny, with almost no wind.

Next I need to spread seed suppressant and fertilizer, and put liquid fertilizer on the roses.


Apr. 9th, 2006 03:50 pm
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It's been a lovely afternoon. After working this morning (software upgrade happened overnight; I went into the office to test for a few hours) I got to spend some time in the garden.

I pruned the big burning bush that every year threatens to push people off the path. Think of the big wild tree in the Harry Potter movies, but on a smaller scale - a deciduous shrub 7 ft tall and wide, grown from a stubby trunk.

I pruned the Joseph's Coat climbing rose, and tied it to the trellis. It was lovely last year, and it seems to have kept some viable branches through this last winter so it may be even more beautiful this year.

I cut down the grasses, planted a half-dozen cold-hardy pansies for color near the patio, pulled the stray baby chive plants in the herb garden (bad, bad Kris let the chives go to seed last summer) and spread insecticide on the iris. I had a bad problem with iris borers last year, and made the difficult decision to try chemical control. I use a granular insecticide that contains Merit (white grub control) which is effective against iris borers. I put it in a little plastic container with holes punched in the lid, and carefully shake it very lightly around the iris. The Merit is taken up by the plants, and kills the tiny larvae when they munch on the leaves. (Normally they hatch in debris - I clean up carefully around the plants - and climb the leaves, chomp a hole into the center and then eat their way down to the rhizome, where they feast until big - little finger size - and then transform into moths to lay their eggs and start the cycle over again.) I applied the insecticide last autumn also, and will check for borers throughout the summer. I'm hoping two applications will be enough to get the problem under control, because I don't like to use insecticides.

I found a lovely planter today - it's shaped like a teapot, in sort of a Japanese raku glaze, and it's just the right size to plant with rosemary, curry, and thyme and leave on the patio table.

Still to do - spread seed suppressant (I use corn gluten) and granular fertilizer, and liquid fertilizer for the roses.



Mar. 26th, 2006 08:23 am
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Gardening season has begun, despite continued cold weather and snow flurries. Last Sunday I pruned the roses and barberries. There is now a large bag of yard waste in the garage, waiting for pickups to start in late April. (I have a composter for small stuff, but twiggy things go to the city yard for composting.)

Today it's sunny and temps should be in the high 40s this afternoon, so I intend to do some garden clean up - raking out leaves and debris, and cutting back plants I left standing in the autumn.
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If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want, either good or bad. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people remember about you.
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You fit in with:

Your ideals mostly resemble that of a Humanist. Although you do not have a lot of faith, you are devoted to making this world better, in the short time that you have to live. Humanists do not generally believe in an afterlife, and therefore, are committed to making the world a better place for themselves and future generations.

0% scientific.
60% reason-oriented.

Take this quiz at

silly test

Aug. 14th, 2005 05:05 pm
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Very Well-Rounded

You have:

The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored above average on emotional intuition and above average on scientific intuition. (Weirdly, your emotional and scientific intuitions are equally strong.)

Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the sciences.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 99% on Scientific

You scored higher than 99% on Interpersonal

The 2-Variable Intuition Test

Still here

Jul. 30th, 2005 07:58 am
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Very busy with work and gardens.

We had the 35-year-old overgrown foundation junipers removed from two sides of our house, and the lawn stripped. Also had a circular patio installed - wonderful textured pavers in concentric rings, with a flower bed all around. I've been busy designing and planting all the new beds, and since we're in a drought this summer, I spend lots of time watering. Larry designed an irrigation system that has helped a lot. (Thank goodness we get our water from Lake Michigan, so we don't have watering restrictions.) Larry also dug holes and helped plant the major shrubs, including sculpting two low mounds into our flat front yard for the trees.

Here's a partial list of the major plantings:

Korean spice viburnum
Rose-glow barberry
dwarf globe blue spruce
6 icee blue ground-cover junipers
dwarf Japanese garden juniper
garnet Japanese maple tree
2 Holmstrup eastern arborvitae
Blue Mist spirea
Bushy Blue Bell clematis
The President clematis
Gipsy Queen clematis
Etoile Violette clematis
purpleleaf sand cherry
3 gro-low fragrant sumac
Wentworth American Cranberrybush
5 Frosty potentilla
Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (contorted hazelnut)
Isanti dogwood (for the wonderful red stems in winter)
Flower Carpet Appleblossom Rose
3 Green Velvet Boxwood
3 Ebony Knight Mondo Grass

Also dozens of perennials - daylilies, 3 kinds of geraniums, blue clips, Irish moss, purple coral bells, bleeding hearts, variegated spurge, sedums, creeping phlox, 4 kinds of hostas, tiarellas, and about 30 new types of iris. I'm hoping to plant the last of the iris this weekend, and next weekend I can start moving daylilies from the shady spot they're currently inhabiting into the new front yard garden.

I had hoped to redesign and replant the North end of the oldest garden this summer, but I don't think it's going to happen. Perhaps I'll do the design work over the winter and take a week of vacation in the spring to do the digging and planting.

Most of the other gardens have been easy to care for this year - the shade garden and the sunny corner garden need minimal weeding and occasional dead-heading. The herb garden is weedy and out of control, and needs a complete redesign. That's another project for next summer.

And I really enjoy sitting on the patio, watching the birds and butterflies and bees, and looking at the gardens.


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