can't you see the sunshine….

Freaky Elephant Ear

I have been growing elephant ears for years now. This is the first time I have ever seen this.

When I first noticed this, I was inside looking at the plant, thinking this two leaves that are just entertwined. I went out to look.

So it is two leaves on one stem. Never seen that in all the years of growing these bulbs.

Elephant ear bulbs seem to do real well for me. I have grown and given away bulbs for years now. Hopefully some of them are still growing in Italy. I know that the family that bought our property in Virginia still plant elephant ears every year. Ohhh, I don’t know if that is the legacy that I want to leave….

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Happy Birthday Ben!

We recently went to a conference for the disorder that Ben has, PSP. It is similar to Parkinsons, but different. A very nice thing that the drug company, UCB, did was to bring in a professional photography company and have them pose us and take pictures. Thanks to Jonsar Studios for these great pictures.

Ben and I have been together for a long time now. We still have a lot of fun and I wish him many, many more wonderful birthdays and all my love.

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How’s the yard looking?

Very well, that is so nice of you to ask… Except for a difficult 10 days of 90 degrees plus dry weather in MAY, it is been a fairly decent Spring. A good bit of rain. Sometimes too much. But more or less spread out.

The bee balm is being a little pushy, but the day lillies held their own. I’m real pleased with them and the blue salvias.

The butterfly bush has finally gotten settled in (only took two years!). It is doing well this year.

This is where the ramp from the deck ends, at the back of our condo. The hydragenas in the pots were $5 half dead ones from Lowes. They have perked up and are about to bloom again. My friend, Jim, gave me the vinca in the two pots in back.

Here’s the deck. Doesn’t it look great! It is so nice to sit out there. Guppy now sits beside me in the blue chair. I’m waiting until she starts expecting her own glass of wine….

I finally figured out something to do about the ugly telecommunications post.

I relocated some of the elephant ear forest and the flamingos… much nicer looking than the ugly box.

I am aware that we are fortunate to have this space, the time and the means to be able to indulge in something that is just pretty. It does provide me with a huge amount of enjoyment and the activity that I look forward to every year.

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Hummingbird Heaven

My friend Debby lives near Jordan Lake. She is out in the country and has a beautiful yard. She also has two hummingbird feeders and a whole lot of hummingbirds. She makes a gallon of food a week for them.

It was great fun to stand between the two feeders and watch the 10 to 12 hummers fighting over space at the feeder.

She also has the coolest dragon flies that I have ever seen.

It is in the lower right corner of the picture. White body/tail, very flashy wings!


This and That

Sometimes I have a picture or two that I don’t have much more than a sentence to write about it. This is that colection.

The ‘color wash’ of our car.

Yes, the holly is growing out of the bottom of this pot.

A night time visitor when the parking deck was being constructed.

Evidently, the bushes out front were hosting a convention.

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Spring Reading

I just finished reading On the Bright Side, The New Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen. It is about a Dutch gentleman who lives in a retirement community.

It was a good read and I think true to what happens in those types of communities. I believe there was one book before this one that is similar. I will try to read it before the summer is over.

I was thinking about this book as I was upstairs picking out clothing for Ben and I to wear for the day’s outing to exercise class. I picked it out. Stopped at the top of the stairs to make sure I had all the pieces I needed. Realized I had picked out same style tee shirt in the same colour for both of us. How Matchy Matchy! I quickly fixed that!

Anyway, this is an entry in the book that I especially enjoyed.

I have decided to strive for being ‘in touch with perfect happiness’ at least once each day.


Gosh! It’s HOT!

Guest Post by: Guppy, The Lucky Dog 3

I was really glad that She Who Must Be Obeyed washed the deck. It was really nasty. You know I sit on it.

It is much nicer now. And She has finally finished with all those plants. At least that is what She says. I’ll believe when I see it. Seems like for months now it has been “oh, look at this plant.” Oh, I’m going to buy plants. No you can’t go!” Oh, don’t eat that plant!” “Quit whacking the plants with your tail!” Blah blah plants….blah blah plants. Seems like a lot of money that could be spent buying fun dog toys was spent on PLANTS! Not to mention all this time she spent on PLANTS! And now watering…. I don’t like it when she is throwing a hose around.

So I just get all comfy and there She is “Let’s go out and sit on the deck!” Doesn’t She realize how HOT it is!

I’m just gonna have to start dropping hair again! Don’t ask me to leave the nice cool house!

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I have tomatoes

This is an update to my tomato experiment. The expirmental plant that I am growing, a teensy yellow, has fruit. I think the fruit appeared on 5/20 but I could not see it for all the leaves. A few more have appeared since then.

I am a little concerned because this is supposed to be a drawf plant (I thought). So far it is the tallest plant of the group.

Twenty eight inches now (5/25) full of blooms.

The gardenia also burst forth this week. There are two in our courtyard.

This one gets much more sun and was just full of blooms. The summer like heat wave that we are having sort of did them in. They are fragile flowers.

Blooms are just now opening on the other side of the courtyard. Guppy stops each morning to give these a sniff.

My “imported from Oxford” vinca arrived this week. (Thanks Jim). Those were the last plants I needed. I am finished planting for the season. Unless of course a hydragena falls in my lap.

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Tomato Trials

This year I got my tomato plants from the NC Tomato Man. He is a very interesting individual. A lot can be learned from him.

I only have room for three plants in pots on the front porch. The best place for full sun and safe from lawn care folks and their weed eaters.

This is planting day, 05/05/19. The one of the far left is the experimental one. A freebie plant as long as I report back about it. The one on the right had just moved into that smaller pot so it needed to wait a week or so before planting in the big pot.

Again 05/05/19

Now 13 days later

A lot of growth! There are blooms. I don’t think the first one set fruit because we had some nights with temps in 40s and 50s. Too low to set fruit. But I am hoping for this week.

All three plants are doing well. As are my green beans which you can’t see yet.

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All Stiched Up

We have a bed of cannas in the front. Most probably started by our former neighbor, Ott. The first year we were here, I thinned them out. Giving two large bags of them to our mailman. It didn’t even looked like I had thinned them.

Last Fall I got an ornamental grass on sale. I just stuck it in by the red fence. That was a fine place for it to winter but I realized there was not enough sun for it and the beautiful red plumes that it should produce in the Fall, would be lost against the red fence. So I moved it out to a pot in the front and surrounded it by cannas for summer interest. Of all the cannas, I picked the three plants that had bugs. Or maybe they got bugs after I moved them.

It is a very industrious bug.

Can you see the white ‘stiches’ that are sealing up the leaves? These are rather strong. I tried to run my thumb nail through them and got no where. The leaf is stiched up so that it won’t unfurl until the ‘eggs’ or whatever inside has hatched, eaten the tender part of the leaf and grown big enough to fend for itself.

This is the type of damage that is going on and what the leaves will look like when what ever it is emerges

I have found the whole thing kind of interesting to watch and since I have oodles of cannas I have let the bugs be to enjoy. Maybe I’ll see what comes out…

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