Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back: Projects Completed in 2007

Sometimes I walk around my house and only seem to notice all the little (and big) projects that haven't been done yet. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, it helps to remember all the projects that are done. While I didn't get everything on my to-do list for this year done (ok, I wasn't even close), there was a lot accomplished around here this year. It helped tremendously to have a handy boyfriend with lots of tools and know-how who also finishes projects when I'm not around.

Inside projects completed in 2007:
Outside projects completed in 2007:

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Garden Showdown: Online vs. Locally Purchased Plants

It's been awhile since I've had anything to post on Green Thumb Sunday since it's winter and I live in Ohio. But this is a perfect time to take stock of how my new plants did in 2007 and to see how plants purchased from local nurseries compare to those purchased online.

Purchased online from Michigan Bulb Co.:

  • Canterbury Bells (Campanula) - $7.99 for three bareroot plants. One bloomed, then died.
  • Bellflower (Campanula glomerata) - $7.99 for three potted plants. Saw good growth on two plants, but no blooms.
  • Double Anemones (Anemone coronaria St. Brigid Group) - $5.99 for 40 bulbs. Planted in summer so too late to see anything this year. I just read that I should have pulled these bulbs up this fall for winter storage, so I don't have a lot of hope of seeing these next season.
  • Liatris (Liatris spicata 'Alba') - $5.99 for 20 white bulbs. Saw growth on 10-12 bulbs, but no blooms.
  • Mixed Lupines (Lupinus polyphyllus (Russell Hybrid)) -$7.99 for three bareroot plants. Two started to show growth then dried up and died. I never saw anything from the third.
  • Mini Hollyhocks (Sidalcea malviflora) - $7.99 for six potted plants. Saw growth on several; one tiny hollyhock bloomed.
  • Scabiosa (Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue') - $5.99 for three potted plants. Some growth and profuse blooms.

Purchased from local nurseries:

  • Lavender - $0.99 for three cell-pack size plants. All three showed great growth, and two plants bloomed.
  • Coneflower - $0.99 for three cell-pack size plants. All three showed good growth and one bloomed just before killing frosts arrived.
  • Cosmos - approx. $3.18 for eight plants. Good growth and bloomed profusely.
  • Miss Kim Lilac, Dwarf - $10 for two plants. Little growth and few blooms. May not have watered enough.
  • Shasta Daisies - $0.99 for three cell-size plants. Good growth, but no blooms.
  • Strawberry Dianthus - $0.99 for three cell-size plants. Not a lot of growth, but blooms.
  • Veronica Speedwell - $0.99 for three cell-size plants. Great growth and bloomed profusely.
Now to be fair to Michigan Bulb Co., they have a policy of replacing plants. I haven't tried to contact them about replacing my plants because I think I may have had a hand in their deaths. We also had a very, very dry summer and I didn't always water as much as I should have.

After these results I plan to stock up at the local nurseries when they have great sales and save online plant ordering for rare plants I can't find anywhere else. Of course perhaps my winter sowing efforts will be so fantastic I won't need to buy any plants this Spring. Yeah, I'm not holding my breath on that one either.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

On the 837th Day There Was Bathroom Storage

Once upon a time this was the only bit of storage in my tiny, tiny bathroom besides the medicine cabinet. This rickety little over-the-throne number was left by the previous owner. It served its purpose for two years, but was never ideal and always seemed about to collapse on your head.

But this week my very kind boyfriend surprised me and assembled and installed the new IKEA storage cabinets I bought. I put my foot in my big, giant mouth bigtime on this one though, because the first thing I thought, and unfortunately said was, "oh my god those things are TOO BIG." Which apparently isn't the thing one wants to hear after spending four hours working on a project. Then I promptly proceeded to freak out over buying more oversized crap for my tiny 1940s house.

But I'm getting used to them, even starting to like them. I definitely love having all that storage space and being able to keep more than two rolls of TP and one extra towel in the bathroom. I've almost got things smoothed over with the boy too.

The bathroom continues to look 100% better than it did when I moved in.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Three Green Cleaning Tips

Is this a pic of:

A) The makings of a really wacky drink
B) Oompa Loompa bath supplies
C) Green cleaners

If you guessed C, you win...the self-satisfaction of knowing you're right. ;)

I'm a bit of a clean freak, so I've slowly been trying to switch from toxic to non-toxic cleaners, but only if they work. Here are three new-to-me green cleaning tips that work for me:

1. Besides the million other uses for white vinegar, did you know it makes a great stainless steel cleaner? Yup, it's true.

2. Orange, lemonade and other powdered drink mixes with citric acid make great rust removers. Even Tang will do! I doubted it too when I read this tip in Apartment Therapy, but it works. While Apartment Therapy mentioned putting Tang in the toilet bowl to clean rust stains, I tried it on the stubborn rust stain in my tub (even the Magic Eraser didn't touch this rust stain) and it worked great! I just wet the tub, put the powder on the stain, and let it work its magic for 45 minutes. When I rinsed the orange Kool-Aid off, the rust stain was gone and it has stayed gone for a week. Plus the Kool-Aid left a nice orange scent, much better than the typical chemical cleaner smell.

3. Adding white vinegar to your laundry helps remove soap residue and can eliminate the need for fabric softener.

What are your favorite green cleaners?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Does My Living Room Make the New Sofa Look Fat?

Last Saturday I ended my long, grueling sofa quest and impulsively purchased this sofa and chair. It was a deal folks.

The new furniture arrived yesterday and my first panic-stricken thought was, did they super size my order in the truck or what? The sofa and so-called snuggler recliner that looked perfectly normal in the huge JCPenney furniture outlet warehouse look GINORMOUS in my small 1940s era living room. I was thisclose to tears as I surveyed each of the various new arrangements the boy and I tried last night in a desperate attempt to help me accept my new purchases. I was also on a lot of cold medicine and only three hours sleep, but whatever.

But enough about what I think, what do you think? Should I put this set on craigslist tout suite and try to minimize my damages, or am I (as my boyfriend says) being too critical and just need to chill? Operators are standing by for your votes.

Here's another view:

And as a reminder, this is what it used to look like with my hand-me-down, lived-with-since-I-was-12 (no lie) sofa and love seat:

Notes: 1) I do like the color, fabric and comfort factors of this new set. I just hate that they look so huge even though they're surprisingly not as wide as the old set. 2) Yes mom, one of these days I will get real window treatments.

Read the rest of the sofa quest saga here: part I, part II

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Send Help....Can't...Resist Cat Pillow Much Longer....

As a cat person, I try to buck the stereotypes and steer clear of cat decor, but this time I can barely control myself. Are these cat pillows freakin' adorable or what? (if you said or what you must go now).

I found this cutie on Etsy while doing a little online pillow shopping because 1) I can't find what I want in the stores I've visited 2) I can't sew :( and 3) I finally ended my great sofa quest last night by buying a couch and chair. Which I'm now freaking out about because big purchases make me a little crazy and this was a closeout deal so once it leaves the store I'm stuck with it forever and ever. Do any of you over-analyze big purchases to the point where you almost begin to doubt your own sanity? Or is it just me?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Not to Brag, But, I Now Have Cable in the Kitchen

Thanks to my ever-so-handy boyfriend I now have cable in the kitchen. Woohoo! It's a vast improvement from only being able get four channels (which would turn to fuzz at the drop of a hat).

This should make kitchen duties much more pleasant. Maybe I'll actually start cooking and baking more and stop leaving the kitchen dirty overnight. But probably not.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kicking the Habit...

...the water bottle habit that is. I've been taking bottled water to work and drinking out of water jugs at home for years. It's not that I think bottled water is healthier than tap, I just really HATE the taste of tap water. But I also hate buying the bottled water, lugging it home from the store, bringing used bottles home to recycle and then finally carting them to the recycling drop-off center. It's such a hassle.

While I wouldn't consider myself a greenie, I do the simple things like recycling and composting. Over the past year the environmental impact of bottled water has been bothering me more and more with every article I read. My stumbling block, was figuring out what kind of filter to use instead. Pitchers supposedly don't do much, a faucet filter won't fit on my lovely kitchen faucet, and I didn't want the hassle or expensive of installing something more robust. Can you say analysis paralysis?

Last week, after forgetting to buy bottled water to take to work, I decided to just get it over with already and start drinking tap. Despite having a basic whole-house filter, my tap water still tasted quite chalky. So chalky that I couldn't stand it. So I bought a Brita pitcher last night and today at work was the big test. Could the Brita pitcher actually make my water drinkable? Could it be as tasty as expensive bottled water? I'm happy to report that my filtered water is delish. Even the boyfriend approves. So it looks like I'm finally kicking the water bottle habit.

Now I just have to figure out what kind of portable container is safe enough to carry my tasty water in. Cause, you know plastic is evil, aluminum is risky (Alzheimer's) and glass is just breakable. It just never ends, does it?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Wish I Didn't Do Windows

I remember when my house inspector casually noted that the windows and trim needed to be scraped and painted. That's something you can easily do yourself, he said, with a wave of his hand. It's important to note the only time I'd ever painted ANYTHING up to that point in my life was during craft or art projects. I ignored this and placed paint windows on my mental list of house repairs not worth freaking out about and promptly forgot all about it.

Fast forward two years and I started noticing the peeling window paint to the point where I couldn't ignore it anymore. By that time I learned to paint since during my first two weeks of home ownership my mom and stepdad helped me paint every room in the freaking house. So while I may not be able to do plumbing, electrical or even hang pictures level, I CAN paint.

I spent days and days slaving in the hot sun, scraping, painting and caulking my front porch and three lousy windows. That's all I could take for this year. The other nine windows will have to wait until next year.

Did I mention this was a loong, tedious job? Now I know why people trade wood windows for vinyl despite the expense and aesthetic issues. Here are some helpful tidbits about painting windows and trim that I learned:
  1. Although they call it scraping, a simple scraper isn't going to cut it. Do not be cheap like me and try to make the scraper work. My new heat gun is worth its weight in gold.

  2. If chunks of hard stuff start falling off when you scrape the window frame you probably shouldn't ignore it or try to fill the gaps with ordinary caulk. It's glazing, which is different, and redoing it SUCKS, but you can handle it. The glaze takes weeks to cure enough just to be able to paint it. Although the stuff in the tub is supposed to be better, next time I'm trying the stuff in the tube.

  3. It pays to do your research. I found tons of great information at House in Progress and Fixing Our Historic House. Now there are some folks who can REALLY repair a window (unlike yours truly who was kinda just patching them up).

  4. Don't paint the unpainted edges of your storm windows and windows. There's a reason they're unpainted and it's because if you paint them you'll have a hell of a time getting them back in and out.

  5. Did I mention this took a long, long, looong time? Like take your reasonable time estimate and multiply it by five. It took me around 15 hours per window, although that includes some drying and cleanup time. But that time provided a LOT of amusement for my neighbors. (look, Ethel, she almost fell off the ladder again!)

  6. Even if your windows don't need to be repainted yet, you may need to clean out all the scary gunk from the grooves in the window sill and weep holes to ensure the moisture that accumulates can get out.

  7. Paint your windows and trim sooner rather than later. Ignore the peeling paint and you might be inviting wood rot, mold, mildew or other issues.

  8. Behr has a paint with primer already in it. We'll see how it holds up, but it definitely saved me time.

Still after all the hassle, don't they look purty? Now my front windows look much better than my neighbor's. Ha! Take that Frank, with your weed-free lawn.* Only nine more windows to go. Oi.

*For the record, I like my neighbor. I'm just a wee bit competitive and he's kicking my butt in the lawn category.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Bulbs Are In!

I'm looking forward to more great views like this next spring since I planted 168 more bulbs. The last bulb went in this past Sunday.

For me the hardest part of bulb planting is not the planting itself. It's figuring out where I can fit in more bulbs that takes so darn long. I spread the work out over three Sundays so I could accomplish other outside chores too (putting away the pots, composting what remained of the tomatoes, giving my tools a good cleaning, fertilizing the yard for the first time ever, with organic stuff no less).

If you haven't planted bulbs, or want to check your technique (like me) take a gander at this video by Greengirl Connie Nelson. It reminded me that I can take better advantage of my limited garden space by layering bulbs.

Here's what I'm looking forward to seeing next spring:
  • 40 mixed daffodils (from Meijer)
  • 18 Triumph Tulips, 6 each of Holland Beauty, White Emperor and Don Quichotte (from Meijer)
  • 10 single pink tulips (from Oakland, a local nursery)
  • 5 double late Upstar pink tulips (from Meijer)
  • 25 Dutch Iris* (from Meijer)
  • 20 Grape Hyacinths (from Oakland, a local nursery)
  • 20 Chionodoxa Gigantea* (from Oakland, a local nursery)
  • 20 Puschkinia Libanotica* (from Oakland, a local nursery)
  • 10 ixiolirion Pallasii* (from Oakland, a local nursery)
  • 1 blushing belle peony* (from Wal-Mart)
The place I purchased the bulbs from is listed so I can compare the results.

* First bulb of this kind planted in my garden

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lessons From the First Frost

After the summer that felt like it would never end, it did. We finally had our first frost on Monday, October 29. Today for Green Thumb Sunday I thought I would record some of the lessons I learned from the first frost so I don't forget them next year.
  1. Don't wait to bring in the green tomatoes if you want to keep them. The tomato plants were instant goners. I thought I remembered bringing in green tomatoes last summer after a frost or two. Well, either I remembered incorrectly or those were light frosts, because after Monday's frost the green tomatoes had turned dark green and many of them were coated with a brown sticky substance. Ew!

  2. You can put annuals in the garage to buy some extra time. I have a pot with some annual herbs that I might want to take cuttings from, but I was too tired to do so last Sunday after a day of bulb planting. So I've been sticking them in the garage at night to buy myself some more time.

  3. Some flowers can take the frost. Surprisingly, not everything was killed by the many frosts we've had this week. The cosmos are still kicking (yet another reason to love this wonderful annual, along with the scabiosa, sweet alyssum, pinks and veronica speedwell. Even the lavendar isn't mush yet.

  4. You don't have to say goodbye to the annuals you love. Before I started reading gardening blogs, books and mags, I thought all annuals died at the end of the season no matter what. And since I'm cheap, er, frugal, I wasn't willing to buy vast amounts of annuals. But, as I've learned, if you have the space and desire you can overwinter entire plants or cuttings an replant them next season. So this year I'm trying to save these cute little daisies. More likely than not I'll end up killing these, but it's worth a shot right?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Right Color

One way I know when I really love a color is when I'm instantly drawn to it again and again, wherever I see it. But the gorgeous blue in the kitchen is not the only reason I love Diana Fayt's home. It's stylish, but not fussy. It looks chic, but also comfortable. Take the tour and see more of Diana's home at Apartment Therapy LA. This one is definitely going in the inspiration file.

I love THIS blue so much I used it in both my kitchen and bathroom. It's Salty Tear by Behr (great paint name, eh?) and it looks great in any light. I find myself instantly drawn to any other room that uses a similar color.

Friday, November 2, 2007

On Halloween Decor: I Repeat We're NOT Devil Worshippers

Two weeks ago, just as I finally made my mind up to skip decorating for Halloween entirely, my boyfriend decided that he wanted to carve pumpkins. So we got pumpkins and the boyfriend took over most of the Halloween decoration duties. This is when the trouble began.

This is my idea of a lovely Halloween decoration:

And the boyfriend's idea of lovely Halloween Decor: (that Michael Meyers statue is going to be worth a MINT someday, he says, just you wait and see!)

Then there's my idea of a nice Halloween pumpkin display: (I'm not much for carving, but the dead plants give it that spooky touch, don't ya think?)

And the boyfriend's idea of a lovely Halloween pumpkin:


One teenager took in the pumpkin, the devil mask and our pal Mike, and cheerily exclaimed "You guys must really love Satan!" Which couldn't have pleased the boyfriend more really, because he LOVES provoking people.

But she wasn't the only one to wonder. Two teens walked all the way to the porch before deciding it was better to turn around and skip it. Another boy stood staring at the pumpkin, perplexed, that's a funny looking star, he said. We also got a lot of weird looks and glares.

C'mon people, isn't Halloween the one night it IS okay to display this cheerfully devilish crap?

And for the record, I'm anti-worshipping anyone really.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Office Addition

I came home from work last night to find a bag filled with screws and miscellaneous bits. It was labeled Expedit. Did some catastrophe befall my beloved Expedit in the office? Nope, it just got a friend.

See, my office used to look like this:

Then my boyfriend moved in, with his enormous action figure collection. See them?

Now, with the addition of Expedit Junior which was assembled yesterday while I was at work by my wonderful boyfriend, the office looks like this:

Now we're both happy. He has an entire case to showcase part of his collection. And I have one that stays organized and uncluttered, just the way I like it. The entire office looks cleaner too. There are still some finishing touches to go. The bear and rocker need a new home (long story about those two) and as I don't love how this green turned out I really need to repaint. Someday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: Compost Just Happens

Confession time: I'm not a master-gardener, a raging environmentalist or an expert in ANYTHING related to gardening. But I DO compost. I compost because it's good for my wallet, my garden, my city's landfill, and my sense of guilt about my impact on the environment. I compost because I'm too cheap to waste garbage bag after garbage bag to throw away leaves and weeds, too lazy to pull bag after bag to the curb if I don't have to, and too cheap to buy tons of organic fertilizer. I compost because I have horrid clay soil and want to make it better.

Some articles and books make composting sound like a complicated process involving precisely layering ingredients, rigorous pile-turning schedules and strict rules. Maybe those steps would help you compost faster, but basically it all boils down to this: compost just happens.

This is my compost pile. As you can see it's not fancy. Like other garden bloggers, I don't layer ingredients. I throw in whatever I have, whenever I get it: leaves, coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, rotten or squirrel-eaten vegetables, grass clippings, planting clippings, weeds that haven't gone to seed, etc.

This is my fancy coffee can compost bucket. It sits under the sink and holds my vegetable peelings, egg shells, coffee grounds (I use unbleached filters so I can throw them in too), and tea bags until I have time to take them to the pile. When it gets stinky I rinse it out with vinegar, add some baking soda, or change to a new coffee can (which I save for paints cans and compost buckets).

I turn my pile rarely. Sometimes I water it, but more often than not I don't. There is always some finished compost at the bottom of the pile to help start the next pile. None of this seems to matter because compost just happens.

There are some things you shouldn't put in your pile: human, cat or dog waste; meat, and dairy items are some of the biggies. I also avoid weeds that have gone to seed since I doubt my pile gets really hot. This compost guide lists more dos and don't for your pile, but don't get too bothered with the rules (other than the things to avoid, I DO follow that one), because (say it with me), compost just happens.

Once you have some compost, just add it to your beds and pots. This bed received an application of compost in the Spring, and that's it, no other fertilizers.

This post is my contribution to Blog Action Day 2007.

What Blooming Now

I almost skipped this Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day because things are winding down in my garden, but considering that thing are still blooming in October, I thought I'd better document it!

So here's what's still blooming:

My coneflower! I'm still pretty excited to finally have coneflower blooms, after I just planted it this spring.

My rose just keeps going and going, and I've never noticed how wonderful it smells before. Yummy.

And I have one lone correopsis bloom left.

Also blooming:
  • Veronica Speedwell
  • Lavender
  • Pinks
  • Butterfly Blue Scabiosa (Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue')
  • Catmint (Netpeta)
  • tomatoes
And that's about it. This just reminds me that I need to plant more. Good thing there's always next year.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Neighborhood Garden Inspiration

My small, in-progress garden is winding down, so I thought I'd share some other great gardens from my neighborhood. As I drive around my neighborhood, some houses catch my eye more than others, the ones with the best gardens, of course. I buying flower 'm debating purchasing flower boxes for my house. The best flower boxes around are definitely the ones at this house. These boxes are always bright, vibrant and overflowing, even in October.

But my absolute favorite house around is this little lovely. It looks quite cottage-y and definitely provides some great inspiration for how I'd like my house to look one day. These pictures don't do the place justice (I felt a little intrusive taking them), but it's obvious these owners love their home and love plants.

There are interesting plants, ornaments and setting to look at all around the house. I drive slowly every time I pass it to see what's new.

Maybe I'll meet the ones one day and be invited beyond the gate and into the cozy back yard.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Finally, a Coneflower

It may be October, but it feels like August. This is bad for the electricity bill (I had to turn the AC back on. Boo.) but it's good for the garden. The teeny, tiny coneflowers I planted in late April are all grown up and blooming now. It's kinda sad how excited this makes me.

The cosmos I planted from seed is blooming too. With lots more blooms to come.

This is one tall plant too, around four feet. We've got one more 90 degree day tomorrow before things are supposed to cool down. And we're supposed to see some much needed rain.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Inspiration a la Apartment Therapy

If you care about home design, but haven't visited Apartment Therapy (my favorite home/design blog), now's the perfect time to get acquainted. Apartment Therapy is currently hosting their Fall Colors Contest which means a virtual jackpot of house porn for your viewing pleasure. And you can vote on your favorites!

Personally, I'd like to steal Nina's dining room:

Catiaelizabeth's living room

Melissa's bedroom:

and Melissa's sunroom:

There's even time to enter (by October 15) if you're so inclined.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Great Sofa Dilemma

Picking out my first sofa shouldn't take as long as picking out my first house, but it's looking like it might. Those closest to me know that I'm terribly, painfully slow at making big decisions, especially those involving large amounts of MY MONEY. It's taken me months to find a serious contender for my new sofa. I've been to every major furniture store (and most of the smaller ones) at LEAST twice. My boyfriend is threatening to start charging my mother for all the time he's had to spend sofa shopping because "she made me this way" (his words mom, his words). Who knew it would be so difficult, almost impossible really, to find a comfortable tan sofa with clean lines, covered in a durable fabric, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? But finally, finally, I have two finalists.

The second runner up is Macy's Corona. The lines aren't quite my idea of perfection, but they're darn close. It's quite comfortable, surprisingly so considering how streamlined it is. The only downfall, and the reason why it's my second runner up and not already on order, is the fabric. The "acrylic, polyester, nylon blend" feels a bit bit scratchy, but worse yet I'm sure our three cats will scratch and snag the heck out of it. This is the kind of fabric that would irresistibly satisfying to sink your claws in, even I can see that. And while it comes in three fab colors, it isn't available in any other fabrics. So *sniff" it's no Corona for me.

The first place contender is Macy's Kensington. It's new, our friendly salesperson told us, and isn't listed on the Web site. It's made by Bauhaus, but I can't find it on any Bauhaus site either, or anywhere on the Web period. Hence my crappy pic with even crappier Macy's mood lighting. The Kensington is comfty, although a little too cushiony for me and comes in a wide range of microfibers. The one fabric pictured above is actually a small, tasteful herringbone (unlike the hideous herringbone couch my boyfriend loved at another store - gag), not a solid tan, which is what I'm leaning towards. So the Kensington seems to be the best combination of comfort, style, durability and price that I've seen, but it's still not quite perfect. :( I'd love to find a review from someone who has this sofa!

My second big decision is whether to get a loveseat too, a Kensington chair, or entirely different chairs. I grew up in a couch-n-loveseat household, and I inherited couch and loveseat sets, so I'm kind of nervous about bucking tradition, but the chair is really comfortable. Better than the couch really.

Decisions, decisions. Did I mention the Macy's saleslady said they get totally new sofa designs in every few weeks? Maybe I should just wait. The perfect couch might be just a few weeks away! Just kidding, honey, just kidding.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Garden Isn't Done Yet

It may be fall, it may be almost October, but my garden isn't done yet. We finally got some significant rain last week, which perked up my wilted plants, and the weather has been beautiful. We're currently experiencing weather bliss in my opinion, highs in the high 70s and low 80s and chilly at night. Even weeding is a treat in this weather!

My rose (still not sure what kind of it is) i still blooming, although not as profusely as it was in June and the blooms are all clustered in these giant clumps.

The veronica speedwell is still going too and looks great next to the sweet alyssum that I grew from seed. The alyssum is looking great right now.

The tomatoes are still going strong too.

And the most exciting news, to me anyway, is that it looks like one of my coneflower plants might actually bloom this year. Last year I planted seeds that did nothing, so this year I bought some tiny coneflowers plants which haven't looked like they were doing a whole lot but in the last couple of weeks there has been some major developments. I just hope they bloom before this gorgeous weather disappears for another year and we get a hard frost.

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As the Garden Grows for more information.


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