Reader Interactions


  1. 2.

    Central Planning

    I had a scarlet tanager pass through yesterday. I’ve never seen one before in Rochester.

  2. 4.

    Betty Cracker

    @WaterGirl — nice garden!

    @Central Planning: Lucky! From what I read, that is their summer range, but I’ve never seen one, either here in FL or when visiting upstate NY.

    @Baud: Me too. Annoying.

  3. 5.


    Anne, I have coral bells and hosta together. A little for both of you to like or dislike depending on your mood.

    Lovely picture WG

  4. 7.


    Watergirl, your yard must be a beautiful place judging by all the pictures! I’ve never seen the blackberry ice heuchera, and I love it; I have peach melba heuchera and now I need to find some like yours.

    Had a wonderful celebration of my mom’s life yesterday. The girls were a bit confused about the concept of a “happy” funeral, but they started to get it at the service and luncheon. The huge Irish family and gobs of friends helped ;)

  5. 8.


    But in sad news, number 2 son in California has gone full Bern. Mother is undertaking a reeducation campaign by email, the kid flies home today. He’s very disappointed in me ?

  6. 9.


    @satby: Does “full Bern” mean “won’t support Hillary in the general”?

    I can’t believe he’s flying home just to talk to you about this.

    ETA: Ok, I need my coffee. I know get that “flying home” means he’s leaving you today to go back to his home.

  7. 10.


    Spent the day yesterday in NYC (niece had a dance recital, it was very nice) and despite losing a few pounds recently, hustling up the stairs out of the subway – trying to keep up with my brother, who lives there, and seems to hustle to get to places quickly somewhat regularly – and the steep hilly streets of the West Side, really left me out of breath.

    I thought I was in better shape, but it was a real wake up call.

    On the plus side it did not rain in NYC, where as where I live in Southern New Jersey was getting rain all day. So I got some (relatively speaking) better weather for half the weekend, which is nice.

  8. 11.


    @Baud: LOL, yes, he’s flying back to California today, and yes he’ll hold his nose and vote for Hillary by the time I get done with him. His cousins are all Berniacs, but I was gratified to hear one say “no matter who, blue in November”. But he spent a few years living in Texas with his dad, my ex-husband, who I think flirted with the sovereign citizen movement for a while (which my ex only was using as an excuse to dodge child support). I’m still deprogramming the kid.

  9. 13.



    who I think flirted with the sovereign citizen movement for a while (which my ex only was using as an excuse to dodge child support).

    While I’m sure that must have been hard on you, that’s hilarious.

  10. 14.



    (which my ex only was using as an excuse to dodge child support)

    Where there’s a will, there’s an excuse to justify it. A friend of mine embraced the lack of child support because it meant she didn’t have to deal with the asshole at all.

  11. 16.


    @Baud: @OzarkHillbilly: Joke was on him, the state caught up to him (he moved to TX because at the time it had the worst c.s. enforcement) and I still get $50/ month in back child support. The “kids” are 33 and 30. Had he just paid as ordered, he would have been done 12 years ago.
    She who laughs last ?

  12. 17.

    Ultraviolet Thunder

    Got some yard work done yesterday. Mowed the lawn and weed-whacked the edges. Pulled a few weeds. Either those yard-high lawn bags are smaller inside than they look or I’m becoming more scrupulous about pulling up stuff that doesn’t belong there. Patrolled the grounds looking for incursions of mulberry and buckthorn, and terminated those. But they’ll be back. Trimmed stray branches off of the spruce and white pine trees. Cut the old flower stalks off of the yuccas now that the woodpeckers have finished picking the insects out of them. Checked the peonies. Looks like we’ll get blooms this year. Last year the buds all died before they matured, so this year I didn’t apply fertilizer in case that’s what caused the problem.

    My wife wants triliums after seeing some in a neighbor’s garden. We’ll probably go shopping for those this week. I understand they take a long time before they mature and produce blooms, but we have time.

  13. 19.


    @Baud: The sovereign citizen movement is attractive to anybody who doesn’t want to hold up their end of the societal bargain.

  14. 20.


    @satby: I’m glad that your mother’s memorial service was nice. Although my son plans on voting for Hillary, he thinks Bernie is right about the super delegates. Why did Bernie decide to run as a democrat, if he didn’t like the rules.

  15. 23.


    The group’s members are drywallers and flooring contractors, nurses and painters and high school students, who stockpile supplies, practice survival skills and “basic infantry” tactics, learn how to treat combat injuries, study the Constitution and train with their concealed handguns and combat-style rifles.

    “It doesn’t say in our Constitution that you can’t stand up and defend yourself,” Soper said. “We’ve let the government step over the line and rule us, and that was never the intent of this country.”

    Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremism, said there were about 150 such groups in 2008 and about 1,000 now. Potok and other analysts, including law enforcement officials who track the groups, said their supporters number in the hundreds of thousands, counting people who signal their support in more passive ways, such as following the groups on social media. The Facebook page of the Oath Keepers, a group of former members of police forces and the military, for example, has more than 525,000 “likes.”

    He suspects that the United Nations, through a program called Agenda 21, wants to reduce the global population from 7 billion to fewer than 1 billion. He said the federal government may be promoting abortions overseas as part of that plot, and also may be deliberately mandating childhood vaccines designed to cause autism because autistic adults are less likely to have children.

    Soper said he could not rule out the possibility that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks. He suspects that the government and the “medical community” have had a cancer cure for years but won’t release it because cancer treatment is too profitable for pharmaceutical companies.

  16. 25.


    @JPL: Thanks JPL. It always boggles my mind that people sign on to something and complain after the fact about the rules and expectations. But then I remember how many special snowflakes there are in the world and it makes sense.

  17. 26.

    Ultraviolet Thunder


    I seem to remember you’re in Michigan. Do you hire out?

    By the Detroit Zoo. I don’t understand the question.

  18. 27.



    Why did Bernie decide to run as a democrat, if he didn’t like the rules.

    At this point I do not really care. I just wish he and/or his organization would push the youngin’s, who support him to stay engaged with the Democratic Party.

    Since that ain’t happening…I wish he’d drop out and crawl back to VT…

  19. 28.



    Alabama’s notorious supreme court chief justice, Roy Moore, has been suspended pending charges that he abused his authority, and he recently called a news conference to identify his enemy.
    “Ambrosia Starling,” he said, then leaned into the microphone for emphasis. “A transvestite.”


    “I learned to cook, and I learned my manners,” she said. “If you’re a southern child between ages five and six, you’re going to learn your manners. I was busted three times in one meal for not saying ‘Please pass the …’ and I slammed down my fork and crossed my arms. I said, ‘I don’t like good manners.’ “My grandmother very calmly put down her fork and looked at me. She said something I’ll never forget: ‘Manners are free. Around the world, war and bloodshed and chaos begin because someone didn’t have respect for someone else.’” Starling’s first schoolyard fight came when she told a boy: “Mind your manners.”

    It’s a fight that, in her mind, she carries on to this day. “Roy Moore simply is not using good manners. He is being rude,” she said. “In his mind the south won the war, and we don’t have to pay any attention to the federal government.”

  20. 29.



    Law enforcement officials call them dangerous, delusional and sometimes violent, and say that their numbers are growing amid a wave of anger at the government that has been gaining strength since 2008, a surge that coincided with the election of the first black U.S. president and a crippling economic recession.

    WaPo needs better editors. There’s no need to mention The Great Recession, which broke out under Bush, Jr and did not offend any “patriots”.

    Glad the MSM is noticing a bit.

    Just wish they’d take their blinders off and connect the dots between “patriot” movements, white supremacists, and the ability to obtain and stockpile large weapons arsenals and the gun lobby.

    The folks demanding the right to buy limitless numbers of guns, with little restrictions are not usually black or brown folks.

  21. 33.



    Just as Trump is a creation of Republican – Fox nonsensical views, so is the militia movement.

    It is presently encouraged by the nuts in the Republican Party but it will bite them in the ass just as Trump and the Tea Party did. The growth of the movement suggests this will be a crisis soon.

  22. 37.


    @satby: All the time I was paying child support, and all the extra sh!t I payed for that I wasn’t supposed to (her half of the tuition on more than one occasion, getting scammed by her because I didn’t keep past paper work, continuing to pay her child support even after they were living with me, etc etc)(I even payed the CS while she was in prison the first time) I just kept saying it was cheap insurance for the boys to have a calm home environment. And it was, for what little it did do. After it was all over I got a phone call from the state and they said I overpaid by $14,000, (actually more like to triple that amount if not more when you count everything) and that if I wanted any of it back I could sue.

    Yeah, right, like that would ever work.

  23. 39.


    @satby: Seems like a case of “humor is chaos recollected in tranquility” with a satisfying dash of “revenge is a dish best eaten cold”. It’s the best part of getting older, seeing infuriating situations play themselves out like this.

  24. 40.

    Schlemazel Khan

    Well, that should get rid of the annoying ads people are always complaining about!

  25. 41.

    Ultraviolet Thunder

    I thought you were asking for a referral for a yard service. My wife is active on our small city’s Nextdoor ™ social media thingy. The #1 question posted there is who has affordable lawn care. Nobody does. The problem with living around neighbors with high net worth is nobody’s kids find pushing a lawn mower for pocket money worth the trouble. Last month we paid a local ‘handyman’ $450 for shrub trimming and stump grinding. He was done in 2 hours.

  26. 42.


    @rikyrah: He does. He’s just in the bargaining stage of grief I think. But he’s a smart and reliably liberal kid, he’s just been misdirected by Shouty McFingerwagger.

  27. 43.


    @OzarkHillbilly: you should have sued to get that back, it was the least owed you. It’s odd how bad exes are bad in a lot of the same ways.
    Edited to fix autocorrect, and to grizzel about it waiting to do the correction as I post.

    @SuperHrefna: yes, indeed!

  28. 44.


    @Ultraviolet Thunder: The estimates I get for just mowing (with zero radius big mowers) are $110 / week. It takes them less than an hour with one of those monsters.
    When I had a regular job I used to pay a guy $50/week.

  29. 45.

    Schlemazel Khan

    @WG – nice plants! Our bluebells finished up this week but yours are looking very good.

    @child support – We used to joke that the only reason we stayed together was because of the kids: “YOU take the kids!” “OH NO, I’m not taking them YOU take them!” ;)

    There still is way too much “Shillary is Hitler” BS running around the Internet this week. It is depressing to think people are that easily confused and misled. Having had my favorite candidates come up short more than a few times I get that they don’t want to surrender their candidates chance but it would be nice if they could at least keep in contact with reality during the process.

  30. 46.



    you should have sued

    No. That would have just kept the bile active. I have not seen or talked to her since well before her 2nd stint in prison and if I never do again it will be too soon. Believe me, I am a far better person with her as far away from me as possible.

  31. 47.

    Ultraviolet Thunder

    $50/week was the rate when I lived in a small town and had a double lot. Around here it’s all small plots and large lawn service companies. They show up with a crew of 3, blast through the lawns on big mowers, weed-whip the edges and blow the clippings onto the grass. In and out in under 20 minutes. Here we don’t have a lot of grass. I can mow it myself with a corded electric in under 20 minutes. And I’m cautious to skirt stuff like ferns and lily of the valley that I’m allowing to edge into the lawn. Also I don’t mow over the low limbs of the evergreens. So I’d kinda prefer to mow myself to minimize the damage that efficient commercial lawn care can inflict.
    Once a year we get someone in to trim shrubs. I have an old tendon injury in my arm and wielding a hedge trimmer is out of the question. We rake out the leaves and pull weeds ourselves. Getting the old mulberry and buckthorn stumps removed should reduce our maintenance quite a bit because I don’t have to keep chopping down the shoots.

  32. 49.


    Water Girl, I’ve never heard of heuchera, but I want a yard so I can have some!

  33. 50.


    @Ultraviolet Thunder: yeah, my cheap guy did great with just the lawn, but he killed a 5year old crabapple I had planted for the fruit and severely damaged other trees and flowers with the weedwhacker. Had to tell him not to do any weedwhacking at all. Now I have to do it myself ?

  34. 53.


    On the garden front, I lost a few more tomato plants due to the hail storm, total now at 7 which I expect to be the last of that. My sweet peppers have mostly all recovered from whatever was ailing them. I suspect it was the fertilizer, a new type I had not used before with potash in it (Lowes stopped carrying blood meal and bone meal). Spent most of the day yesterday in the garden weeding and hoeing and other chores mixed with mowing and chicken stuff and etc. I really hate hoeing, it plays hell with my back. Been picking some beetles off my tomatoes that look like a smaller version of the Colorado potato beetle, but they haven’t gone anywhere near the potatoes…. yet. Gonna get my beans in today, then finish up the herb garden.

  35. 54.

    Ultraviolet Thunder

    I fired a lawn guy who girdled a beech with a line trimmer and killed it. Just careless. 2 winters ago the bunnies chewed bark off of a small ginkgo I planted for my wife. It survived. last winter I cut up a large plastic jug and zip-tied it around the base of the trunk to protect it from teeth. Looks dumb but I don’t care.

  36. 55.

    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)

    I love your lamium! Is that Orchid Frost? I don’t have any, but want some, because it’s such a reliable ground cover. And who wouldn’t want a plant with the common name “spotted dead nettle?”

    I thought I was the only person on the planet who hates hostas. That they’re for people who like plastic plants is perfect; consider it stolen. I like your heuchera, though I can understand why people wouldn’t. Thanks for the pics, and thanks to AL for posting them.

  37. 56.

    O. Felix Culpa

    We spent yesterday weeding, clearing out a seriously overgrown flowerbed. Still have some more weeding to do today, but we’re off shortly to buy our first batch of desert-hardy plants: agastache, penstemon, sage, etc. Much fun! We’ll need to bunny-proof the area though, since the cottontails are out in throngs.

  38. 58.

    Doug R

    Local costcos have Ketchup n’ Fries! That’s a cherry tomato plant grafted to a potato root stock. They recommend replanting into a 15 gallon pot, that’s a LOT of soil.

  39. 59.


    I envy that happy geranium — the ones I’m encouraging are taking their time and the garden boss isn’t always patient. (the local dead nettle, on the other hand, is wildly happy and my job is to battle it from invading the garage and the ac unit. I think we’ve an agreement now but we’ll see.).

    Anyonr have first hand experience with Deutzia? The boss saw one at the Botanic Garden. We’ve got a lot more shade than sun, so getting something that works there would grand, but the real thing is just what makes the plant happy (and thus not doom some poor test plant due to bad info).

    eta. and while I can understand not being wildly fond of hostas, taste being taste, they are troopers in difficult heavy shade, as are many of the purple coralbells.

  40. 60.


    Here in the DC suburbs we’ve had endless, miserable, chilly gray rain. Temps in the 50s and relentlessly wet.
    This also happens to be the year I finally built garden beds and had three yards of soil trucked in so I could plant a proper veg garden on my two acres.
    Everything I planted has gone to rot and mold. The basil is all dead. The tomato plants are turning black. Only last years asparagus is thriving, and it isn’t ready to harvest because it needs at least two years in the ground undisturbed.

  41. 61.


    Here in SoCal planting season is pretty much done. It won’t be hot for two more months, but too dry.

    One of my neighbors has a Bernie sticker on his car. He’s added a Hillary sticker, but kept the Bernie sticker. That’s okay with me.

  42. 62.


    Thanks, everybody, for the kind words! This time of year I go with close-ups because I’m always so excited when things are first coming up. But that’s really just an excuse, it’s more that I am a terrible photographer, but how can you go wrong with a close-up of a beautiful plant?

    My photo skills rival Cole’s, but even so, next time I’ll try for some photos that might give a sense of the landscaping. I don’t know why/how I’m so bad at it… I think, oh, the garden looks good today, I’ll take a photo and send it to my sister, and then a second later I look at the photo I’ve just taken and the garden doesn’t look special at all. Maybe it’s the garden equivalent to mother’s love, we all think our children are beautiful. In any case gardening makes me happy, so I do it.

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I have never paid attention to the name of the lamium – around here, they always sell the same ones – either purple or white. Mine is crazy happy this year. Next time I see it at a garden center I will check the tag.

    @Schlemazel Khan: My bluebells in the backyard (more sun) start much earlier than the ones I have on the side (dappled sun). There are a couple of weeks where both sets of bluebells are gloriously happy, but then the ones in back fade away but I still enjoy the ones on the side, which last a long time. Even those are gone now, I think I sent the photos to AL 3 weeks ago.

  43. 63.


    @scav: About your geraniums… I don’t know if this is a local thing or if everybody knows it, but this saying helps me with patience. First they sleep, then they creep, then they leap! As in, the first year you plant perennials they sleep, then second year they creep, and the third year they leap! Have faith, your geraniums will get there.

  44. 64.



    Speaking as someone with no garden, every garden is special. I’ve walked by the same gardens almost every day for 9 years now and they haven’t bored me yet.

  45. 65.


    @WaterGirl: Thanks! I will pass that along to the boss. I’m more than happy with them, but I’m technically the digger of holes, the hauler of mulch, and the doom-bringer of weeds (with a sideline in on-line help). This year might actually be the third year for some of them, so Go Team, for England and St Hardy G!

  46. 66.

    Gelfling 545

    I have a patch of heuchara in a shady triangular bed with a few hostas & fern interspersed among them that I’m guitar pleased with. They’ve stood up to our WNY winters for 3 years now. I’ve also got some lime green ones at the base of some red day lilies. I’ve been finding them to be very useful plants. I also like the old style maroon ones that you can buy for cheap potted with dinosaur kale & yellow marigolds. Very useful plants. Hostas also have their purpose in the scheme of things. I have been stealth planting in the yard next door to keep down the weeds. The landlord there doesn’t know a weed from a flower from his left foot. Orange day lilies and citrus green hostas cover a lot of ground & keep some of the weeds out of my yard.

  47. 67.


    @scav: Don’t sell yourself short – the digger of holes, the hauler of mulch, the weeder of weeds – without those, there would be no gardens! You may be the most important ingredient of all!

    P.S. High hopes for your year 3!

  48. 69.

    lol chikinburd

    The apartment I’ll be moving into faces north, so that kills my urban-herb-garden ambitions in their crib. Time to research shade plants other than “impatiens and more impatiens”.

    @satby: Good funerals are good things indeed; Irish ones are bonus.

  49. 70.

    J R in WV

    @Ultraviolet Thunder:

    Our trilliums bloomed in 2 or 3 years, and I planted tiny little roots that came in little plastic packets of peat. So it shouldn’t take too long. The plants look a lttle like Jack in the Pulpit plants without the flower.

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