Monday, June 30, 2008

Crawling Home

'Pup and I haven't made it home yet. We were both so tired, that we decided to stop short of Houston (Schulenburg) and stay the night, wake up early and go home. From there, I would have scooted to go pick up the dogs before going to work and 'Pup would have just gone into work.

Our plan was working perfectly until about 3:40 am this morning when I woke myself up sneezing.

"Why is that a problem?", you ask.

Well, see, I have this idiosyncratic response to things I'm allergic to, especially when I eat them. I don't know what it was that I ate that didn't agree with my system (nothing from the Blown-star meet), but evidently my system wanted nothing to do with it.

I finally felt stable enough for us to travel around 8:00.

'Pup called his boss to tell him he'd be there when he got there, and that he'd stay late (he was planning to do that anyway, as today is the end of a cycle and he's got data out the kazoo he's been asking for, that now has finally come and has to be input and reports run by July 1.

He dropped me off at the tutoring center. My lucky students. They are going to have it kinda easy today.

Me? Not so much, maybe.

But the worst is behind me now.

Good thing I work so close to the only bathroom.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If I Could See Me Now

'Pup and I both got new eyeglasses last week. His prescription didn't change a bit, but he'd lost his pair of glasses. We think they might be in the compost heap. Not very helpful.
I, on the other hand, have gotten considerably blinder in the last two years. Yeah, I know, we should go in every year, and usually we do, but somehow, we forgot to do that last year.

With the coverage we had, we both were able to get two pairs of new glasses. Me, in case I can't find a pair (it's happened) and 'Pup, in case he loses a pair (composting eyeglasses--remember?).

So, which pair do you think I look best in:
Pair A
Pair B

Identity Crisis

'Pup used to wear a medical alert bracelet on his wrist. When he went into surgery for the gastric by-pass, he had to take it off. He's not put it back on since then.

Still, I think we may both need to be wearing some medical jewelry. We're both allergic to some common antibiotics, pain killers and even some common ointments. We're also both diabetic and I'm asthmatic. Yah, we need to be able to tell someone kinda quick not to give us penicillin.

On the other hand, I'm not sure they make anything big enough to carry all the information. Sometimes, I wish we could have a med alert tattoo, to alert someone to scan for information on an implanted chip. Then again, do I really want it to be that easy to access my medical history?

Uhmmm, probably not

Writing the Old Fashioned Way

I like composing on the computer. I can type fairly quickly, but not so quickly that I get ahead of my thought process. My "lag time" while typing allows me to compose, edit and rephrase faster than if I were writing with a pen.

But there are somethings I just like using a pen. Now, not just any pen will do. I like nice pens, especially fountain pens with nibs. When I write a poem, I like the way the pen feels as it goes across the paper. It's a tactile experience that is part of the pleasure of writing the poem for me. Writing a story sometimes starts with a paper and pen too. The drag of a fountain pen is like a feed back for me. The sight of my handwriting (when I use the fountain pen, I usually use my best handwriting--my 3rd grade teacher would be proud--and it pleases me to go back and reread my words.

Then, the real fun begins. I go back and cross out and edit and write and rewrite. About that time, I usually switch to writing it on a computer. If the concept of the poem or story has made it through the "pen", then it probably has the legs to make it on the computer.

How do you compose your articles, stories or poetry?

The Cutting Edge

Who'd a thought it? I don't think there is anyone that hasn't heard of Swiss Army knives. I have one and have had others in my life. Good tools they are, indeed. But Swiss Army has more than knives. In fact, they have luggage. Now, why the Swiss army would have need for luggage that seems ultimately most appropriate for a long vacation...well, I'm not going to speculate.

Speaking of knives, that reminds me. Now, I carry a knife with me most of the time. Often it's a very small one, but sometimes, it's, well..not so small. And, I'm not unusual in doing that. Most men here in Texas carry a knife, either in their pocket or stashed in their cars when necessary. I never carried one into a school, for example, nor a church.

But in most situations, I'd feel kinda...strange without knowing how I could get my hands on a knife pretty dang quick...preferably by reaching into a pocket or into my purse. But I've come to the realisation (not recently) that many people don't carry knives, and may not even own one, other than kitchen knives.

So, as a quick survey: How many of y'all have a pocket knife, or carry one?

The Balancing Act

We've recently passed the first anniversary of the start of 'Pup's new job. We've had a lot of things to celebrate this year, not the least of which will be the eighth anniversary of our marriage. We married old, folks, but we got'er done. The eighth is significant because, when we met, 'Pup had been told he might have only five or so years to live.

The doctor that gave him that prognosis is no longer our doctor.

It was a long wait for us when he was searching for his job. We sometimes had to be somewhat...creative with financing our lives. We stayed above the water, though sometimes, we got kinda...splashed.

And throughout the whole time, we'd get offer after offer for credit cards. They'd offer 0% interest for a year, 0 balance transfer offers, and even offers for us to "write ourselves a loan" with a horrendous interest rate.

And they're still coming.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thank You Sparrow!!

Back on May 19, Sparrow sent out a Meme that one volunteered to complete. Now, embarrassingly, I'd forgotten about it. Sparrow had not, and today, I received my gift from her. I'm in awe. It is not only perfect for me, it is also perfectly done and beautiful in execution and design. Thank you Sparrow. I will try to match your generosity with the gift I send out.
Yes, only one gift. Only one person seemed interested in signing up. Since there is no expiration date, I'll open it up again. The rules of the game are: I offer to send three of you (plus my one who signed up, Esther in the Garden) a chance to become part of the "Pay it Forward".
You'd be responsible for sending out three gifts of your own, to people who are willing to take on the same obligation.
Any takers?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Better Some, Than None

Now, would you look at this. The Lily that decided to bloom late, is the best lily of the season. A prime example of "better late than never".
This is my newest Canna. Yeah, I know, like I need another Canna. Well. Of COURSE I do. Everyone does. And besides, I got this one as a clearance rhizome (package) orphan. What could I do but adopt it?
I can't remember the name of this plant, and I didn't check the tag. I bought the plant for its pretty leaves, but if I'd known about the blooms, I'd have been even happier with it.
It's planted here in this black pot. I bought the tree plants in this pot as tiny little babies, for under $2 each (There's one plant you can't see, but it's there). One nice thing about having a humid, shady garden. "House Plants luuuvvvvvvv it and grow crazily well.
This generic torenia is blooming, and some other smaller plants I got in that flat are finally pepping up and blooming, too.
Another of the canna I took out of the half barrel (I wanted to plant the fig tree in it --oh, it's doing fine, no fruit, but lots of growth!), that had never bloomed much there. They seem much happier now that they're divided and in separate pots.

About three days ago, I planted some radish seeds where I'd had a Cherokee Black tomato plant that was just sitting there looking pitiful. I have the worst luck with that variety. In three years trying to grow it, I've gotten exactly TWO tomatoes. But I keep trying.

Oh, yeah, three days does seem a short time for sprouting, but then, it's been hot and I've been watering every day.

At the same time, I planted some bush cucumbers in another pot. I don't like them much, but 'Pup does. Hopefully, they'll do well.

I did get some sets of cucumbers too. This is a Chinese type (so says the tag) and is supposed to produce long, whitish cucumbers. We'll see.

My okra bed is doing very well indeed. They're growing well and strong. I do want a little more sun back there and I'm going to ask 'Pup to help me prune back some of the Ash branches from our side of the fence and some Oak branches from the back neighbor's side of the fence.


Good News: It RAINED!!

Bad News: For about 3 minutes.

Then the storm went south and poured out about 3 inches in one hour over some spots of the city. Sigh, I wish it had stayed a little longer here and less time down there. We'd all be better off if it had.

Oh, well, better some, than none.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Bud of Possibility

Remember this little bud of possibility?

It opened.

Now is that gorgeous or what?

Oh, and the canna from yesterday? Yep.

It's red.

Sometimes, the coolest things happen on the hottest days.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

(Edited: Y'all. It was 99 degrees here today. YIKES! No wonder I didn't want to go out front to take pictures of anything there. All these pictures are from the back yard.)

Nothing brightens your day more than a blast of color in a shady place. Like a vivid orange/apricot Croissandra .

Or a Plum Orchid Torenia

Even a little gumdrop of a bloom from a Toothache Plant is good to see.

It's been hot enough and bright enough that even these begonias who say they'd like full sun, are doing just fine in some shade.

That Flowering Maple is about to bloom.

And the Butterfly Weed is blooming. No monarch caterpillars are in residence, but some aphids have found it. Now, where are those lady bugs?

Humm. Between several of the two of these and some anoles and some toads...I think I know where the lady bugs might have gone. Sigh.

Click this one and look at the back of this frog. It has gold speckles!

Sometimes, the color comes from the leaves I love so much.

The Hibiscus are still blooming.

And an Asiatic Lily seems to want to flout convention and bloom! Such cheek.

But oh, what a blessing this will be...a waterlily bloom!! I wonder what color it will be. I honestly have no idea.

It's a little easier to tell with a cana lily. It's going to be red.

And the Strawberry Shrimp plant is blooming. Yum.

As you can see, I'm still waging a war with the snails. We've reached an agreement. If they stay hidden, I won't step on them.

The Maid d'Orleans Jasmine is blooming this year. It's still a small plant, but someday, it will be big enough to scent the whole end of the garden.

And the star of this Bloom Day is the Heatwave Tomato!!!

Thanks again to Carol at May Dreams Gardens. It's the time of the month for us all to pause and take a look....a real our gardens.

Tomatoes Still Off the Menu? The Recall Hasn't Ended

Tomatoes are still an iffy thing to find, though, as more producers are cleared, they are coming back on grocery shelves. So far, it seems that only producers in Florida and Mexico are still on the suspect list.

The economic implications of this recall have yet to sink in, I think. Tomatoes will probably be more expensive and harder to find, as many of the tomatoes that would have been harvested in many states are unharvested and rotting in the fields.

I tell ya, the thought of that much food (probably most of it untainted!) is enough to make me sick. I'm sure the farmers that planted the crops and the workers who would otherwise have been employed to pick, clean, pack and ship the produce aren't feeling too happy either. I wonder, if even the canneries were affected?

Tomatoes here, grown in Texas are among the produced cleared for consumption. But I suspect the damage has been done. I'm going to guess that the only company that gained from this is probably the one that produces the "tomatoes on the vine", Eurofresh. I will admit that they're the ones I most commonly buy as they taste more like real tomatoes than the plastic ones.

I am going to get some tomatoes today. I want a tomato sandwich. It's summer. It just has to be a tomato sandwich. My new bushes are still too small (I had to pull the ones planted in my raised beds, something bad was killing them) to have produced anything. There is hope, however, as one of them is beginning to bloom.

Speaking of post is Garden Blogger's Bloom Day!

See you later!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Jump on June's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

A giant THANK YOU! to Carol May Dreams Garden for starting this wonderful tradition. It's a great way to remember to stop and take stock of things as they change from month to month, and to see what other gardens in other places are up to.

This is one of the Flowering Maples that my niece picked out. You can see why I'd want more.

My Moonflower vine over wintered last year and I didn't have to plant a new one. It was slow to take off at first, but it's beginning to open its blooms. This was the first time I was there in the evening as it opened and even so, I had to go in the house to get the camera. I'm happy to see that most of the other former blooms are making seedpods. I do wonder what insect pollinates this wonderful flower. It has to be a moth of some kind.
Recently, as I was watering, I realized that just about all my plants, other than the ferns and some taro are in pots. It will make moving them to a central place and then making a shelter for them in .....December or so, easier, but it means daily watering, even of my very shady garden spots.

Torenia, transplant droop recovered and beginning to flower. This is the Plum Orchid Torenia, I'll take some pictures of Susie Wong tomorrow.
This is just a few, I'll take pictures and post tomorrow.

Autumn Travel Hopes

Right now, Houston is experiencing the slowdown in the garden. We're harvesting some tings, and pulling out others, but mostly, were pulling weeds and watering.

Now, I like weeding as much as the next gardener, but as blog lacks a certain "punch".

And, it's HOT, and HUMID. Seriously, y'all. A friend of mine lamented her heat (legit, as it was in the 90's) and her humidity. I asked how humid it was...and she answered 47%! Y'all. 47% counts as a dry day in Houston. It's usually in the 80 to 90% level, and I swear, I think it's been about 99% and it wasn't raining. It's like breathing through a wet sponge, and in Houston, it's a dirty sponge. Sigh.

On the other hand, while uncomfortable, life down here means fewer wrinkles, as your skin is well hydrated everyday. Every. Single. Frick'n. Day.

One thing is giving me hope. During the Spring Fling in Austin, another gardener's get together was mentioned, and Chicago was going to be the place. Chicago in October...imagine. Colorful leaves, cool air and a chance to see gardens that grow different things that I can't grow.

I'm looking forward to a possible foray into the world of Chicago travel. I've been there once when I was 18, and I didn't get to see much, as I was ill at the time when my family was traveling there. I wanna go....I just have to save up the pennies.

Ah'm a'Cussin'?

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Created by OnePlusYou

I guess I'm just not good at cussin'. Ah 'spects that thar upcomin' blogmeet might take care a'that...

Fer that matter, so might the third part of my birthday story...

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Birthday: Part the Second

Okay, now, where were we?

Oh yes. The car was backing up and I'd nowhere to go.

The car was a large luxury car, not new but nice. I got a very good, close up view of its back end. Before I could even honk my horn, we were hit on the front driver's side bumper.

Now, I have to tell you, it's not easy to damage a Saturn. You've got a steel frame under a polycarbonate outer skin that tends to "pop out" any dents. She hit just right, and damaged the polycarbonate, peeling a small section of the color applied. The only good thing about this is that at least it won't rust.

After the hit, the car pulled forward, back into her parking place. Normal, right?

Then, she started to back up again.

By that time, 'Pup had gotten out of the car ( a WHOLE lot faster than he usually does--adrenaline does that for you), and was close enough to the woman to get her to stop before she hit me again.

I think his words were something along the lines of "Lady, What thinkest Thou?"

(Okay, translate that into something a little more current and perhaps a little more...scatological. Perhaps a lot more.)

"Don't yell at me!", she said, "I'm 87 and I'm sick."

Somehow, that didn't impress 'Pup all that much. He doesn't take kindly to people hitting cars his Bodacious ('dat's me) is driving.

"Well, I'm 56 and I'm DYING!" (Technically true as several of the things 'Pup lives with will kill him someday, and a lot sooner than 87.)

We started exchanging insurance information and soon the mall cops joined in on the fun, gathering information. They asked us to move my car, as it seems we were blocking people from going down that aisle. You know, considering what happened to us, and the fact that the lady was still sitting behind her wheel, they should have been glad we were.

After 'Pup took the car and parked it nearby, the mall cops moved in and parked right behind the lady's car.

Then, we'd finished exchanging the needed information and the lady announced that she was going to go home. She started up her car and started backing up.

Remember who was parked behind her?

Oh, don't worry, we stopped her before she came into contact with the SUV. You'd have thought the mall cops would have been more appreciative of that. On the other hand, perhaps this was the highlight of an otherwise rather boring day. Who knows?

We helped the lady leave, after first stopping ALL traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, in both directions. We did have a little concern for the cars parked in the spaces behind her, but there was little we could do for them. It was close, but she left without causing any more damage. I hope she got home okay.

Then the mall cops told US to drive more carefully. US?? I pointed out---not yelling, but anyone who knows me would have been backing up---I can use "teacher voice" with the best of them.

"We. weren't. driving. WE were stopped. What are you talking about??" (okay I was a little testy at this point. And hungry. Let us not forget hungry. It plays a larger role in the coming incidences in this adventure.)

The mall cop did show enough intelligence to back away from me (a five foot tall, round red-head, and he about 5'10 and somewhat muscled--he liked himself, I think, but that's only speculation and I wouldn't want to be accused of slander or anything), and lamely say, "Well, sometimes you have to drive more carefully by watching what other drivers are doing and you know, uhmm..."

Then he started walking away. I don't think I was growling out loud, but I could feel my blood pressure rising. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

After all that, we thought we were pretty much done with the drama for the day.

We was wrong.

The Joys of Aging, By a Woman Staring at 50

Ahhhh. Getting older.

It sucks don't it?

On the other hand, there might be a few perks to it all. Stay with me here, and don't go grabbing that shovel.

Not yet. I mean, it gets a little deep in here sometimes and I'm not sayin' that a shovel ain't called for every once in a while... but put it down for just now. Really. Put it down.

Okay. The Top Ten Benefits of Getting Older... (for women. Men are encouraged to submit items for the men's list.)

10. You get to yawn during ads and commercials touting the best acne treatment in the world.
9. Hot flashes save energy during the winter.
8. That "special friend" doesn't come around anymore.
7. If you feel grouchy, you have an excuse that lasts all month, not just one week.
6. Men your age get smarter. They stop arguing with you, as they want to live longer.
5. Senior discounts. (That's assuming you look your age and are willing to admit your age)
4. AARP is now your advocate.
3. When you forget stuff, you can blame it on your age.
2. If you're not listening to your boss, you can blame deafness.
and the number ONE benefit is:
1. You get to exercise sitting down.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Birthday Story: Part the First

I told you that I'd try to explain about the list of things that happened to me on my birthday. It's not going to be easy, nor short.

First, y'all click that link and look through the list, things will make more sense that way.

Went to work at 9 am. Well, we tried to leave that early, so we could get a quick kolache and a cup of coffee. We didn't make it. Instead, as we got about 1/2 a mile from home, the temperature gauge in the van pegged it's way to the right. Not a good sign.
We made a U-turn and headed for the mechanic. We called ahead and they were sitting and waiting for us. They're getting to know our vehicles rather personally. Sigh.

The gents at the mechanics were kind enough to give us a ride home so we could pick up the Saturn. Driving the Saturn means two things: 'Pup has trouble getting in because it's so low and I can't carry my scooter without taking it apart...and that wasn't going to happen that morning. No time.

I had tried to get the day off, but someone had beaten me to it. Also, I have some special students on that day that most of the other tutors aren't used to handling (tho we just hired one that can! YIPPPEEEE! I can get time off!). I was through with my students by one o'clock anyway.

Pup picked me up, and we went to Memorial City Mall to pick up my cookie cake (picture on that other post). I'd never had anyone buy me that sort of present and I liked the idea. I like cookies too, and I was hungry because I'd not gotten to finish eating anything. One bite of a kolache does not a meal make. I was beginning to feel more than a little hungry. I suspect my blood glucose levels might have been lower than they should have been. Which might begin to explain a little of what happened later.

So, we're in the mall parking lot, looking for a handicapped slot (none available) or one close enough so I don't have too much trouble walking from the car to the store door. We went down one aisle, towards a spot, only to have to come to a stop because of a Target employee with the unenviable task of gathering shopping carts in the hot Texas mid-day sun.

As we waited for him to gather the stray carts, some other cars filled in behind us. Then, 'Pup noticed (I was looking the other way) that the car we were sitting behind (as in it was parked and we were perpendicular to it.)

"Uhmm, Nancy...that car is backing up and isn't stopping." said 'Pup.
"Oh, surely she'll stop." said I, fumbling for the horn I never use. (really, I can count on one hand the times I have used it.)

She didn't stop.

And I didn't have anywhere to go.

To be continued....


This will probably be cross posted on my poetry blog: Small Things . It's here, just because I want it to be.

Silence golden,
(so it is said)
Yet, sometimes,
the silence kept
hides secrets
that should,
be shouted.
Too often those secrets
keep only themselves safe.
They put their bearers
in danger by hiding
potential harm
too close to their keeper's
fragile heart and mind.
A secret silenced
is gold turned tarnished brass
a parasite living within
a worm hidden in a perfect rose.
Kept too close,
it smothers
the brightest flame of hope.
With no air or life,
it withers
bright wings
before potential flight.
Kept secrets can poison
Secret dreams.
Nancy France June 12, 2008
this poem may be used only with the expressed permission of the author

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A New Love Affair

I am loving Amazon books. When I heard about the Garden Blogger's Book Club, I was happy to know that other's had books to recommend, and would be discussing them. I've fallen short of actually writing about my reading, but I am reading.

I did, in fact, read the latest book in the club before it was assigned. It didn't hurt that the latest assignment was written by someone I'd spoken to in Austin during the Garden Blogger's Blog Meet.

People with Dirty Hands: The Passion for Gardening by Robin Chotzinoff is the book for June and July. I liked the book very much. It is a series of stories about different people and the different ways they garden. I got it on Amazon when I'd bought the book for April/May.

I'm going to have to be careful with Amazon. It's just way too easy to shop and buy.

Traveling into the Future

I am very thankful for my new laptop. It's made everything easier, now that 'Pup and I don't have to compete for computer time. What can I say? 'Pup and I MET on the Internet, so we're most assuredly connected.

I have a friend, a teacher I used to work with, who is going to have to get a new computer. She's operating with one from 1995. It's.......slow.

I think she needs a notebook computer. She has to use the computer from home and one at school and she needs to be able to travel with one so she's not tied to one place.

It's a new century, time for a new computer.

Medical Insurance

One thing 'Pup and I have been very thankful for with his new job, is avoiding the possibility that we'd either be cut out of, or be forced to go to medical insurance that would be hideously expensive, or impossible (for us) to get. We did keep some of his retirement package (from Very Large Bank of North America) insurance, and at first, the premiums weren't bad, but they're going up hideously fast. However, now that 'Pup's been employed by the new company for a year, we're feeling safe enough to give it up. We'll wait until the new enrollment period at his job, and then be down to one insurance.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

If I Could....

If I could, I would find a jet charter and fly everyone who wanted to go visit their dad, but couldn't get there. I wish I could go and really see my dad. Not his headstone. Him. Instead, I'll be going Friday to visit my mom (to celebrate my birthday a little late) and we'll probably swing by to see my dad's resting place.

My sister S, has been putting golf tees next to the headstone when she visits. I've found a small pen that looks like a golf putter, and I'm going to leave it there too. It's not the Father's Day present I'd want to give, but then, I'd rather have my dad back for my birthday more than I'd want any other present.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Surreal Tomato Traffic: Tomato Recall

It started out with a five minute mini rant on a news story about a tomato recall.


Yesterday I had about 900 visitors looking for information about this. My average reader rate, including a fair number of Google visits was about 70 to 80. Most Google visits were brought here about disappearing fountains. I'm proud of that post. I don't do many "how to" posts, but I thought that one had turned out pretty well. This deluge is different. There are better and more informative places, like Tomato Casual who can give you more and more specific information and advice.

Mostly, all I can say is to keep raw fruits and veggies in sequestered from any and all surfaces that might be tainted with salmonella (via the juices or inadvertent drippings, or contact with uncomposted manure), throw away tomatoes that are cracked or compromised...and buy from some local vendors, or grow your own. I'll be buying from local fruit stands that buy from local growers, as my tomatoes are iffy, at best, this year. (The squash and okra, on the other hand are looking promising!) Don't be afraid of cherry or grape tomatoes, and the tomatoes sold as "on the vine" are also deemed safe.

It's a crazy world.

Update: over 500 and it's only noon.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Happy Birthday? It's a Long Story.

06-07-08. My birthday. And a memorable one it was too. 'Pup bought me a cookie cake. It was one of the highlights of the day. Thank you 'Pup.

The day was ........interesting, annoying, infuriating, exhausting and had some good parts here and there.

The events of the day included:

1. leaving for work at 9 am.
2. getting and having one bite of a sausage, egg and cheese kolache. (this is an important detail, keep it in mind)
3. A van in the shop
4. new glasses for 'Pup and I
5. a car backing into me in a parking lot (seriously, I was stopped behind something and couldn't move on, and someone backed in to me!)
6. A mall security guard telling me that I SHOULD DRIVE MORE CAREFULLY (see #5)
7. a rude (hideously rude) couple of employees of a place called Thirsty's in Memorial City Mall...more about that at length, later.
8 a search (in vain) for the mall management office
9. a four page, front and back complaint letter, written by me. (see #6)
10. me deciding that the satisfaction of going over the counter and wrecking havoc with my cane wasn't worth it--so I didn't, but it came close.
11. a kindness at a cookie store
12. a balloon heart and kitty.
13. the wrong steak, overcooked.
14. finally getting home at 11:30 or so.

I'll explain later. I'm tired.

Happy Birthday to me.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Hello, My Name is Nancy...and I'm a Plant-a-holic

It's the talk of the garden.

There are some terrible gossips out there.

I got a Pesto Perpetuo Basil. I'd seen this in the seed catalogs and considered getting a packet, but wasn't sure, so I didn't. Next year, I will.

And a vivid orange/apricot Croissandra joined me in the basket. Yah, I was at Nelson Water Gardens and I, maybe, love that place a little too much.

Then I found a cute little toothache plant. I remember this plant from when I was a Girl Scout. It was one we learned to identify. If you chew a leaf, it really will numb your mouth. "It's a handy plant to have around", thought I.
Uhmmm. Is it a bad thing that the people at Nelson's know me by name? 'Cause they are so very nice when they see you have a hand full or a basket full of plants, they come and say, "May I take that up for you ma'am?" Only with me, it's "Hi Ms France! Here, let me take those up for you."
Then they offer to help me find things. And we do.
For example, I'd gotten some flowering maples earlier this spring, when Hot Stuff Niece was visiting. They were the plants she picked out. I liked the blooms so much I thought I'd see if there were more.

There were. I got two, both "Bella Red". They didn't stay long in my hands before they, too, disappeared from my view.
All in all, I ended up with another mint, this one an Apple Mint, two more Thymes (I WILL be able to grow thyme someday, yes I will!), some portulaca, a burgundy colored Torenia, another called Suzy Wong , and one called Plum Orchid Torenia.
Then I made the acquaintance with a White Butterfly Ginger and by the time we'd bonded, it, too, was whisked away.
Now, this did not happen quickly. I was happily wandering around and admiring the plants and the water features and the ponds with beautiful koi, sitting happily in the shade now and again.
I just kept finding plants I liked.
The total wasn't terrible. The plants are very reasonably priced, and all in all it was an inexpensive and pleasant way to spend a hot afternoon.
(sorry the picture's blurry)
I got most of them potted up today, with just some portulaca and some begonias that I'd bought earlier and haven't yet found a perfect home for, still left to pot up. I think the begonias may end up in the front yard, in the cast iron kettle.
Yes, I have a cast iron kettle cemented into the ground in the front yard. It was here when I got married to 'Pup. I like it...and make it work. It does tend to hold water, but if it continues to be as hot and dry as it has been, then the begonias should be really happy there.

We're one big happy family her in Nancy's Garden Spot.