Monday, June 30, 2008

Free plants!

One of my neighbors is giving away her massive flower garden before she and her husband move. I'd stopped to compliment it late last week on my way into work, and she invited me to take whatever I wanted. Cue heart palpitations.

So after spending all day Saturday and a little of Sunday morning putting a significant dent in my weed population and laying mulch, I trundled over there with my wheelbarrow. I took away a white geranium (cranesbill), a hybrid columbine, hens 'n chicks, an entire bag full of creeping sedum, and a few other groundcovers. Two wheelbarrows full of plants, and I only stopped because I wanted to be sure we'd have time to get everything planted right away. She's invited me to come back and take more whenever I want.

In other happy plant-related weekend news, Syl and I went with Kitten and Meimei to the arboretum yesterday. It was marvellous. Why don't I go there more? We wandered through a bunch of the garden collections, then took the 3-mile drive on our way out. We'll have to catch the maze garden next time! I could spend a whole day out there so easily. Syl and I have both fallen in love with smokebush, though now that I'm away from the heady influence of the arboretum, I'm willing to concede that it might be just a bit too flamboyant for my yard. (Syl's, on the other hand...)

Oh, and Syl? Here's that tulip I was telling you that you needed for your Dr. Seuss garden (tulipa acuminata). It's even winter hardy to zone 3!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good Eats

Had my first snap pea from the garden last night. Nummy.

Also related to the title of the post, apparently Alton Brown will be focusing more on sustainability and where our food comes from in his upcoming season. I dig this trend.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends....



Before you faint or anything that I remembered, I'm afraid I need to confess that if it weren't for The Sexy Blonde and her mad "writing things down" skillz, I wouldn't have. I'd've still been floundering around, going, "Um, it's sometime near the cusp of Gemini and Cancer?"

In any case, I hope it's a marvellous one. Wish I were there to lift a beer with you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My dad cracks me up

Okay, first, the reference post.

Right? Okay.

Last weekend the folks drove to Chicago. On the drive down, they hit flood detour traffic. But it wasn't just heavy traffic, it was the kind where you go from freeway speeds to dead stop. Which led to the following exchange:

Mama B: We're not moving at all! What on earth is going on up there?
Dad: Well, that's that. It's the rapture, and we didn't make the cut. I told you to stop sinning.

Pic for Temp

Okay, when you asked for a peony picture, you probably meant a whole bush covered in huge pink flowers, but I'm afraid this is what I have this year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Life is good

I got to meet Sam Brody yesterday, but I forgot to inquire as to why that particular name. He's tiny and wriggly and has very active toes. The Sexy Blonde looks amazing and you'd never guess she gave birth less than a week ago! And J amused us mightily with all sorts of delivery room horror stories. (Or was the "horror" part just me? I'm never sure.)

I carpooled to work today! After putting my name up on the MTC and workplace rideboards years ago (and a few nibbles that fell through), I finally have someone to carpool with. It means I have to get up an hour earlier since this shifts my schedule half an hour earlier and we're a one-bathroom house, but it also means reaching an environmental goal I've been unable to hit for a long time.

The guy I'm carpooling with seems nice enough. Puck was right: the Mama B small-talk gene kicked in right away. We chatted the whole drive in this morning, so I now know the names of his wife and kids, how long he's been married, how he met his wife, where he grew up, where he went to school and what he got his degree in, his religion, how long he was in the Army and how long he was in the Reserves, his views on personal responsibility, how he likes to spend his vacations and at least some of his hobbies. I expect to be out of conversation topics by Thursday.

Puck & I went up to the lake over the weekend, and it was sublime. Too cool for swimming, but perfect for bike rides and walking through the woods and eating outside. Had a couple lovely trips out in the canoe, though it was a bit windy the first time, which meant I actually had to work a little. A big snapping turtle swam underwater right next to the canoe, and that was really cool to see. They're so prehistoric looking. And the garden up there looks great! I took pictures that I'll post later.

Speaking of gardens, I've commited a cardinal gardening sin. I'm pruning the lilac in the front yard to try to keep it small and bush-shaped instead of 20 feet tall with blooms only up at the top where I can't stick my face in them as I'm mowing around it. The Internet tells me that the way to accomplish this is to take out 1/3 of the oldest canes at the ground each year for three years. So Friday I went in and hacked out a couple big old canes, and then stepped back, and freaked out. It looks awful! It's got big holes in it! It looks diseased, ugly, lopsided, mangy! And that's when I sinned: I panicked and quit. I couldn't make myself pick up the lopper and get back in there. Temp, I think I need your dad to kick some sense into me, though he'd probably just wonder why the hell I was pruning a lilac in the first place. I can't stop thinking, "I've made a horrible mistake, and I'm only going to make it worse." Eep.