About Me
My Photo
Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
View my complete profile

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Midsummer Visit from Puck

"Midsummer Visit from Puck" was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

Until the solstice on June 20th the 'Cupani' sweet peas managed to open new flowers each day, but they turned to straw over the weekend. I pulled them up today and looked for seeds but found only three small undeveloped pods on the vines - did the 'Cupani' use all its strength to bloom instead rather than make seeds?

Once the sweet peas were gone light fell on a few seedlings from last year's Blue Pea Vine, Clitoria ternatea, also known as Blue Butterfly Pea. Their growth was so rampant last year that the obelisk could barely hold them so this late start may work better. There should be a Moon Vine, Ipomoea alba, on the obelisk, too - I don't see any sprouts so am soaking a few saved seeds.

The very last flower of Hemerocallis 'Prairie Blue Eyes' opened yesterday for Midsummer's Eve. This daylily is pretty tough, opening every one of the flowers on the scapes as the blooms grew progressively smaller through the days of relentless heat.

I thought about celebrating Midsummer's Eve - but if any fairies were dumb enough to stay in Austin this summer they're lying low now! Squirrels disturbed some of the work done by the Fairy Garden consultant last spring, but until a couple of weeks ago the little pool was in place. I'm only showing you a few feathers, but one morning there were wings on the lawn of the secret garden - ripped off and left by one of the many cats whose owners let them roam the neighborhood.Finding bird wings was bad enough - what if it had been a pair of ripped-off fairy wings, instead? So I closed the pool by turning it upside down... it can still shelter a fairy from a hailstorm, or allow a toads to hide underneath.Frances of Faire Garden is a sort of fairy garden expert, who stocks her garden with plants fairies like - ferns and mossy beds and elfin thyme. Although the pink false indigo is alive, the ferns are drying up here, the sparrows keep the thyme clipped short and moss dislikes hot, dry alkaline soil. I think most fairies have moved to Tennessee or Washington State or Maryland, but it seems that the mischievous Puck has less fear of heat and drought.

Since we moved here nearly four years ago the trees behind our back fenceline grew unmolested, leafing out each spring and casting dappled shade.
In response I've chosen plants that were suitable for shade and have enjoyed the illusion of privacy provided by those leaves, especially admiring the saucer magnolia which draped down on my side of the fence, masking the bulk of the looming house on the other side, with its windows and balcony all seemingly designed to look into our yard.

Who else but Puck could have been at work yesterday, whispering into my neighbor's ear? Why else would anyone employ a tree service to raise the canopy of the trees on June 23rd with the temperatures rising to our daily 100 degrees?

From our back door and from the breakfast room windows we now see ugly bare trunks and that looming stone blockhouse instead of leaves. Since their house is on a slope the pruning allows them a much better view into our garden and windows. It looks much worse than in the photo; I'm trying to respect their privacy.

We on small lots are always at the mercy of what happens next door and this year's storms have changed many of your gardens. MSS at Zanthan is dealing with
sun on shade lovers since a neighbor's tree fell in a storm, Garden Girl Linda suddenly lost her private spaces, Zoey will soon have a view of a huge garage, and back in fall 2006 a gigantic house was built behind Ki. Several of the Divas of the Dirt have seen shade gardens suddenly exposed to sun when trees were removed on the other side of the fence and then had to scramble to redesign their gardens.

ow it's my turn to try to see a pruning as an opportunity instead of a minor disaster. I repotted the larger plumeria and stood its pot in the border - maybe it can cast enough shade to keep the plants below from dying from the sudden increase in light. I also rearranged the pots on the 'growing on' table so the most sun tolerant can act as parasols for others - and will need to monitor them closely. I will fertilize and water my young evergreens while urging them to grow taller than the fence and I'm already planning what will be planted in late fall.

Luckily the area where the 'San Antonio Rose' hippeastrum grows was unaffected by the pruning and it still has dappled shade.

Yesterday was a very unsettling day. It was good to get a few tomatoes big enough to slice for sandwiches. It was bad to lose our privacy. But it was even worse to lose George Carlin. That news put the tree trimming into perspective.

My favorite routine was his comparison of baseball and football.

There are many versions of this classic comedic comparison, including one he used for the very first Saturday Night Live show, but this one was on YouTube.

hank you, dear readers, for letting me vent about my unhappy Midsummer's Eve experience! Now if you'd like to see someone properly celebrate this ancient festival, go over to Faire Garden where Frances describes
an evening filled with whimsy and glitter.

"Midsummer Visit from Puck" was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.


  1. Oh Annie, I am so sorry for your loss of shade and privacy, a double whammy for sure. And I join you in mourning the loss of George Carlin. I loved his sassy descriptions of everyday life, especially his riff on Stuff. He also once said that everyone wants to save the planet,but the planet will be fine and will get along fine without the humans, they are the ones that need saving, with all the polluting, wars, overpopulation, etc. Please enjoy a belated midsummer night with your mead and some fairy magic. Thanks for the shout out, my dear friend.
    Water Reeddancer at Faire Garden

  2. Your loss of shade and privacy in the heat of summer reminds me of the time my neighbor (at my previous house) cut down a mature Lady Banksia rose in full bloom that draped over both sides of our shared fence. Once his side was cut off, the weight pulled the whole thing to the ground on my side, and I was out there surrounded by yellow flowers, cutting it back and sobbing. Crazy neighbors, eh?

    I like the way you're thinking though, and I hope the parasol of sun lovers does the trick for you.

  3. A ripe tomato, small consolation for all that has gone on in the last 24 hours in your garden and life, but it looks delicious.

    Yes, the neighbors' cats allowed to wander freely can cause much mischief, using freshly mulched and dug garden beds as their personal "litter box", attacking birds that we are luring to our gardens with food and water. I don't blame the cats, I blame the owners! There are ordinances here about that sort of thing, but they are ignored. Worse, one neighbor's cat has been declawed, so can't defend himself outdoors. At least once this has meant a visit to a vet and an expensive bill to get stitched up!

    Hopefully, a fairy or two still found their way to your garden, a wonderful place, and enjoyed a merry evening.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. Sorry for the loss of the shade and the privacy. Are the treecutter neighbors the same as the cat owners? I hope your tomatoes made your midsummer night bearable.

  5. Omigosh, Annie! What a summer you're having there. We have had nothing but record cool temperatures, clouds, rain, did I mention record cool temperatures?


    Those tomatoes look delicious, by the way.

    And yes, Carlin will be missed. I loved him! This was one of my favorite routines too.

  6. If you want to get back at the neighbors I suppose I can come vist and wear shorts in your yard. If that doesn't blind them it will at least make them sorry.

    I have 6 cats and they leave the birds alone. I think they're getting too old and fat to try. Or maybe they learned a lesson watching Sylvester and Tweety with me.

    Yum safe tomatoes :)

    A moment of slience for George :(

  7. Hi Annie, a delightful post as always! We spent our Midsummer's Eve planting and weeding (well, the other way around), so I guess that was an appropriate way to celebrate.

    Sorry about those trees, but it sounds like it could work in your favor over the long run, but then, I don't have Austin summers either! Those tomatoes are luscious ... we have a few set on that are about the size of golf balls now, so it will be a while for us (end July, early August). I'm envious though.

    Yesterday when I turned on the computer in the morning and my Yahoo page came up, I was just devastated to learn about George Carlin. Far too soon to lose him. Seems like we're losing a lot of the old heroes (Hunter S. also comes to mind) and I'm sad to see that. I've loved Carlin since I was a teenager, and that baseball/football piece is great, one of the classics. I hope you got a chance to see his most recent special for HBO: It's Bad For Ya! a few months ago ... it was sheer brilliance, as was Life is Worth Losing previously. BTW, both are on Youtube in their entirety, though split up into manageable chunks...

    Keith Olbermann did a nice tribute to George last night and replayed his last interview with him from last October. Worth watching!

  8. So sorry Annie that you are enduring such awful temps. We've had years like that too, and it is difficult to keep everything watered.

    Also sorry about the limbing up of the trees. Glad you've figured out some way to make it work.~~Dee

  9. I am commiserating with you....so very sorry about the heat, drought and now the loss of shade to your shade garden. If a few trees were felled my wildflower gardens would be gone and that would break my heart!

    There are people who affect us more than we know; George Carlin had a profoundly fantastic impact upon our generation's humor and consciousness. He spoke to us!


  10. Annie, trust you to turn lemons (in the way of much pruning by the neighbors) into lemonade (a beautiful post about the resiliency and adapatability of true gardeners like you!)

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that your plants aren't as affected as you fear they might be. Puck's day is done and gone, so maybe he'll lie low for a while now, eh?

    George Carlin will definitely be missed. In reading one tribute story, another comedian commented that if you took all of the humor out of his routines, you'd see be left with an essay that really made you think. And that's something that most comedians can't really lay claim to these days, that's for sure. I saw him once years ago, on the first (or maybe second) tour after his wife passed away. And he was bitter and cranky, but still funny and thoughtful... as prickly as he was that day, I wanted to go up and give him a hug and say thank you after the show. :)

  11. Annie, your garden is too beautiful - the neighbors wanted to see more of it. Maybe you should get some cheap ugly lawn ornaments & clog up their view with them. :^D I love George Carlin's routines. So did the people at our local paper. On yesterday's front page, in the weatehr forecast box, it said "Tonight's forecast: Dark." What a delightful irony that George Carlin was Mr. Conductor on "Shining Time Station" (Thomas the Tank Engine) on PBS. My kids loved those when they were very little, & I used to laugh hysterically at seeing him doing that part. (I hope that cheers you up.)

  12. Annie, I hope the limbing up of trees will result in only happy opportunities in your garden. I love that San Antonio hippeastrum ... wow. It's a real tribute to George Carlin and his talent that so many people mourn his passing by honoring his humor. I always loved his riff on over-the-counter birth control pills: PregNot and Junior Miss were my faves.

  13. Annie, I'm sorry you lost your shade. Maybe your neighbor thought the were doing you a favor by removing it from your fence and taking care of the over hang? I hope you get some relief from the heat soon. It's hot here now, but not unbearable.

  14. Thanks for letting me whine, Frances the Water Reeddancer! The trees were in their yard, after all - so the remedy must come from my side of the fence.
    I saw a YouTube of that routine and it was hilarious...there's another one where he talks about deleting dead people from address books, which was funny but morbid to see post-Carlin.

    Oh what a mental image you've given me, Pam from Digging - and the Lady Banks was in bloom, yet!
    Maybe I should be looking for one of those patio umbrellas on a heavy stand?

    There were several ripe tomatoes, Carol! We even had BLOTs one night [bacon, lettuce, onion, tomatoes].
    Although I like cats and have had a few of my own, I resent having to constantly pick up after cats and dogs belonging to other people.

    The tomatoes were pretty good, Vertie and the salmonella stories make me glad to have our own. The cats belong to several other neighbors.

    A year ago our local news was all about death and destruction from unprecedented floods, Josie - as MSS from Zanthan notes - each June we're either in flood or drought - the word normal just doesn't apply to Central Texas!

    I don't want to get back at them, Wiseacre, just erase them from view with foliage ;-]
    The cats that lurk in my garden have collars so they're not feral at least.
    I haven't seen the water bill yet - these tomatoes may be safe but they could also be expensive!

    We started planting soon after moving in but it takes time for small shrubs to get going - with any luck the extra light will make some things grow faster even if it fries some plants. The crop of tomatoes isn't large, but the small salad varieties have been steady, at least!
    We don't have cable, but have been watching the HBO routines on YouTube. Having to google Keith Olbermann probably proves how out-of-the-TV-loop I am!

    Some of my hissy fit may have been the bad timing, Red Dirt Dee - shade is our friend right now! Some studies suggest a little stress can be good for a person - maybe it will kick start my hot brain!

    Thank you, Gail - and I sure hope you stay off the list of people who have lost trees. Your wildflower garden is too lovely.
    Even if you didn't agree with every conclusion, you felt that truth was revealed by Carlin's monologues - I wonder if the Mark Twain award ceremony will have any edge, or if it will sentimentalize George Carlin now that he can't fight back?

    Hello Blackswamp Kim - that resiliency fills other garden blogs - look at Randy & Jamie in Alabama who lost their whole garden to a tornado!

    George Carlin really was bitter and cranky and funny and thoughtful. For years people would send me email forwards purporting to be his words... after one glance at the mushy logic I had to head either to his website or to Snopes to get the debunking facts and email back - no way were those sappy essays CARLINESQUE!

    Now there's an interesting theory, Mr McGregor's Daughter! Perhaps they were just employing the Japanese theory of Shakkei, and borrowing my Scenery.
    I saw Shining Time Station once in awhile and remember both George Carlin and Ringo Starr - my youngest was already in school by then so the timing wasn't right for it to be a must-see show.
    But just the idea of Ringo and George Carlin on a kid's show was amazing - could you imagine it happening now?

    Many thanks for the comments,


  15. The San Antonio Rose hippeastrum has potential, Cindy - we've been working on that bulb bed - hope next year it really takes off.
    It's tempting to watch one YouTube after another and see him in different roles, from the HBO specials to Mr Conductor.

    While I was commenting about the resiliency of your garden, Randy and Jamie, you were commenting on mine. As to motivations, who knows - maybe time will reveal the reason!
    What's scary here is that this heat and dryness seems to be permanently settled in - very frightening in light of past Texas weather history. Rain would be so welcome.

    Thank you,


  16. Annie, I understand you loss. We lost shade and privacy when our Bradford Pear was removed last winter. We came up with a plan for a "different" backyard, and I was pretty pleased. Then we lost our goldfish to a heron. He could never see the pond before, but now it is out in the open. Life is all about change though, and I have tried to just move on.
    Happy thoughts to you!

  17. Oh Annie, I know just how you feel. When our huge pine trees came down this winter our patio and garden felt so EXPOSED. All of the ferns and hellebores are now getting so much more light. When we look out our patio doors we see the neighbors roofs instead of those cool enveloping pines. Sigh~~ As you mentioned it is better than the alternative. I too enjoyed George's routines. It is like the end of an era.

  18. I think it was someone worse than Puck who came to your garden, but for lack of a better choice, he'll do. So sorry about the loss of shade, not to mention the loss of privacy. You have every right to vent! I do hope some kinder fairies come to visit your garden soon. (Maybe Frances can send some your way.)

    Thanks so much for including the video of George Carlin. Yesterday's paper mentioned this sketch, and I was trying to remember it, and now it all comes back to me. George Carlin was a true classic and epitomized the views of the Baby Boomers. He will definitely be missed.

  19. Puck was naughty, wasn't he? Like you, I feel very sad for the loss of the irreverent George Carlin. He was just so funny, and so over the top. The world is a little less joyous, though George is no doubt cracking up folks whereever he is now.
    So fascinating to see how hot and dry and exhausted things can be, while here we're still wallowing in the fog most mornings. Prairie Blue eyes and the rest of the daylilies are still quite a ways from flowering, here!

  20. Arg! Arg! Arg! How awful to lose your shady bower and in the middle of summer, an Austin summer, of all times. Do these people ever actually go outside. Or are the cocooned all day in their air conditioned house oblvious to what's happening in their yard and only hiring out the maintenance? Curses!

    Dear GC. I will miss him.

  21. Hi again Annie,
    Just when I was about to pull the plug on HBO (I can't even stand Bill Maher anymore), they had the great taste and sense to run 8 hrs non-stop of his shows from about 1977-2000 tonight. The DVR is still humming down there, despite some storms that moved through earlier (which knocks the satellite out at times).

    I'm sure you can find a lot of that G.C. on youtube, but it's going to be nice to savor them over a while to keep him fresh in our memories.

    LOL, you had to google Keith Olbermann? You are out of the TV loop ... his is the only news show I watch these days (on MSNBC), unless you also count The Daily Show. I somehow suspect you'd like him ... you can access a lot of his video at www.countdown.msnbc.com if you're interested. :-)

  22. I sympathize with your tree-pruning plight. A few months ago our next door neighbor did the same thing. She's on the north side of our lot, so it didn't affect the sun/shade exposure, but it opened up the view from my office window straight into the windows of the house behind hers. This is all in addition to our back fence neighbor who cuts down more trees every year.

    I'll miss George Carlin, but vehemently disagreed with his views on tomatoes.

  23. Vent all you want. We ALL know what it is like to not have privacy and maybe even be unfortunate enough to have terrible neighbors. Trees are good, privacy fence even better, but evergreens are the greatest! They will grow in soon.

  24. Hello, Meadowview Linda - one of the ponds on the Austin Tour last year used a big sail to deflect herons - would that work? All these comments are helping me move on!

    Thank you< Lisa at Greenbow, I was sure you guys would understand. If there were hellebores involved it would be worse!

    Prairie Rose, it wasn't a tragedy - only felt like a trick but venting was helpful!
    Local Chicago radio used to play George Carlin's football versus baseball routine every year and it was funny every time.

    Sometimes I wonder whether we're better or worse off knowing the weather in other parts of the country, Jodi! When we were insular we could calm ourselves by saying bad weather was normal - now we see what happens all over!
    After reading about George Carlin's ongoing health problems, maybe we should be grateful we had him as long as we did?

    It'll be okay, MSS of Zanthan - the neighbors use some native plants in front, they like birds and the guy does most of his own yardwork. Who knows why they ordered this? I'm starting to wonder whether this overly aggressive pruning is the prelude to a for sale sign.

    Thanks for the link IVG - I may take a look at the site. You may be surprised at how many gardenbloggers don't have cable- and some of them don't have televisions, either. But a fast computer connection? Now that's a necessity!

    Oh, Entangled - the windows are one of the worst parts, aren't they? I realized today that the house to the east of my neighbors has suddenly leapt into view, too. Oh, crap.
    The tomato story was too funny - and head cheese in my parents' refrigerator totally freaked me out as a kid.
    Did you notice that when George Carlin used a voice that was supposed to be a child's voice, he sounded almost exactly like Adam Sandler?

    They're not terrible, Tina - but we sure have different ideas on pruning! One reason I blogged on this was because I knew other real gardeners also crave private worlds and would emphasize... people who just want 'nice yards' are clueless and make all their shrubs into cubes as they shave their lawns to stubbs. We don't even speak the same language when talking about our gardens. Thanks for the sympathy.


  25. Sorry you lost your shade, but it might actually be your fault! Your garden is so lovely, your neighbors want to see more of it. Guess that will teach you to grow a beautiful garden! Stay cool, the summer is barely here.

  26. It's a real shame that they trimmed the trees and to give you no warning was very rude. I would be plotting my revenge. Even on acre lots like mine the neighbors can ruin our plans.

  27. Oh, ANNIE!! My sympathies!! I was pretty upset the other day; the city came through and cut down a mulberry that was growing against the alley fence; tis a female tree (more like a shrub, yanno?) and I was thrilled to get the berries this year since no one else wanted them. Seeing it butchered like that really upset me.

    It's part of the "crap shoot" aspect of gardening, that other people can have such a huge impact on our lives without even realizing it. My reaction was to fiercely want my own property--but of course, your experience shows that even that isn't foolproof.

    About those cats... have you tried red pepper flakes? My mom had good success making strong red pepper sun tea and watering her pots with it, also with scattering the flakes themselves in her garden beds. They work by burning a cat's (or squirrel's) paws the same way they burn our tongues when we put them on our pizza. It doesn't actually cause harm or damage, but it is a deterrent!

    If you do this, you might wish to wear gloves in the garden afterward.

    I agree with you that it always helps to talk about the shocking things that happen; it kind of takes the immediacy of the sting out of them.


  28. Oh, Annie, I understand exactly how disheartening it is to have your shade and view disturbed.

    Two years ago all the trees behind my rockwall were removed. I loved the extra light, but the view of the warehouse is a major eye sore! And now I have that HUGE garage next to the deck. I am trying to find something positive about it.

    So far the only positive is that the big garage covers thousands of dandelions that used to grow on the empty lot. That means less of the neighbors seeds floating into my gardens! :) I hope you find something positive, too.

  29. Oh, no! That's awful! Seriously, having someone else's windows looking down into my yard where there used to be trees is one of my worst nightmares. Ugh.

    Maybe the lower branches will fill in again? Man, what were they thinking?!!

  30. You've a few things to whine about, Miss Annie and for good reason. Neighbors can be great or not so... it is a shame someone wasn't helping yours do some better thinking. It is so bothersome when our shade is adjusted for us without warning but you are doing all you can to ease the shock to your border plants... I hope it works. Love the photo with the tomatoes on the Carlin announcement... so clever. I DO hope the tomatoes were a bit of a consolation they are very yummy looking.
    Hope your weekend is going well.

  31. I hadn't visited you in a long time. I'm sorry to learn about the changed situation in your backyard. Houses sometimes change owners and new owners sometimes want to make changes. When we moved here, I was so thrilled with a full backyard view of the woods. And then, within a month, a neighbor built a humongous (really big!!!) metal shed very close to the property line. Immediately, I chose to create a long, raised bed and continue in the process of planting tall items and lovely items to soften the view. I understand your predicament and know that you will act creatively! :-)

  32. Annie,

    That is the downside to living on small urban lots - our views can change suddenly. At least you have figured out ways to make the best of it.

    The fairies must love your garden ... no doubt they were annoyed with the gremlins who decided to play havoc with the neighbouring trees. They'll figure out ways to make things magical for you!

  33. Annie,

    Just popping by to say hello and see how you are fairing in the heat of summer. Things are quiet here in Nashville and we are enjoying the respite from the humidity and heat. Not sure where this cool front came from...but one mustn't question the wisdom of the weather goddess too closely!


  34. Hi WeepingSore - if this summer keeps up there won't be much to look at anyway!

    It will be okay, Apple - I'll just keep planting and watering. And in reality one bad storm could do a lot more damage to anyone's trees.

    Hello Cath - thank you for the sympathy. We gardeners care deeply about things that are invisible to many other people.
    Hot pepper didn't deter rabbits in Illinois twenty years ago but I still try it on squirrels in Texas once in awhile. The cats, however, use the whole yard. Their little presents show up almost anywhere on our 1/4 acre lot, and not just in beds but on the lawn. I'd go broke sprinkling pepper flakes ;-]

    Thank you Zoey - moving the plants around fast seems to have avoided any casualties. Maybe the extra light will make my own shrubs grow faster and that will be a good thing.
    Less dandelions will be good for your flower borders - but how to disappear a garage? Tall, billowy, see-through plants that act more like a veil than a wall?

    It must have been worse when the subdivision was new and the trees were saplings, L. My house is one of four single-story homes that share lot-lines with these neighbors, so all four yards would have been overlooked by their two-story house.
    Instead of thinking about their trees I'm shifting my concentration to what's growing in my yard.

    I'm done whining, Meems - except about the temperatures this summer! Putting the tomatoes on the newspaper was a sort of mnemonic device to help me remember it all. The crop isn't huge but there have been some great sandwiches this summer.

    Hi Shady Gardener - thanks for popping in! I'm sorry you lost your woods view but think your plan worked.
    There were never any views here - but a closed vista can be valuable in an small setting.

    Hello Kate Smudges - you've been very creative with your garden, especially with the vines and flowers mural on the garage wall. I'm still hoping to figure out a way to steal that idea!
    It appears that the fairies have a summer home somewhere - maybe they'll return in late October.

    We had one precious inch of rain on Sunday night, Gail, for which I'm very grateful! I'm glad you're getting a bit of a break, too. This kind of weather can be exhausting to the spirit as well as the body.

    Thank you all for letting me throw a hissy fit - your comments made me feel better,


  35. Hey Annie,

    I had a few moments to spare and wanted to come by and see what is going on with you and thank you for the kind thoughts. Sorry to read about the trouble so many are having in their gardens but maybe the bright side will be more new plants?

    Anyway I love the pics and always enjoy looking at your garden. I'll be back soon.

  36. Oooh, Annie, I feel your pain!

    Even though we knew that tree was going to fall and soon, it was still traumatic when it finally did. The unexpected loss of your privacy must have hit even harder. I'm sorry about your clueless neighbors. It's hard to understand their 'reasoning.'

    I've been a George Carlin fan for as long as I can remember. His unique perspective on life, politics, and society will be missed. My husband and I have spent quite a bit of time watching clips on you tube in the past week or so. There were a number of clips that seemed especially poignant now.

  37. It's so good to have you pop in, Mr Brown Thumb! You've been missed and I hope things go well for you and your family.
    Who can resist new plants?

    I think your tree was a bigger loss, Garden Girl - and when we look around at most landscaping, making everything geometric and neat seems more common than designing to add privacy. That amazes me!
    Did you see the George Carlin clip about the etiquette of removing the names of deceased people from your address book? Laughter through tears, for sure.

    Thank you for the comments,



A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.