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Woo Hoo! They Grew!

I am resorting to pictures for this week’s Tired Tuesday post, but I went outside and took a few of my backyard.  My impetus for doing so is that the rhododendron is in full bloom and is lovely.  I was worried it would not last another day so wanted to take a picture.  Naturally I could not find the Tablet.  Steven and I searched almost all of the house except for the dining room chair it was sitting on.  Eventually I found it and was thankful it had not started raining again by that time.

An old boyfriend used to call me his “little rah-d’den-DRAHN”

The bush gets bigger every year and has since a few years ago when I broke off a couple dead branches.  I suppose there’s a metaphor for life there, but I really do not feel like figuring out what to prune off myself for improvement.  Having captured this picture, I moved on and snapped a few more shots.

That’s the neighbors’ pool and house in the background.

My mom gave me the Rose of Sharon in 2011.  After Steven accidentally mowed it down a couple of times, it started to grow bigger.  I’ll have to take another picture after it blooms.  If it ever does.  And speaking of wait till it blooms, here are a couple more shots of plants that are going to look better later.

I suppose I could have pulled some of the weeds first.

I got the Black-Eyed Susans from a sale at the Herkimer County Humane Society back in 2011.  The chives are, I think, from Tripple’s Produce in Schuyler, NY.  They were in my container garden some years ago (I forget when but prior to 2011).  After the season, I put them in the garden to see what would happen.  Woo-hoo, they grew! (Hey, that might be a good title for this post.)

Ooh, even more weeds over here.

The irises are from my Mom.  She’s had irises in her yard for as long as I can remember.  Periodically she thins out the bulbs.  This is the first time I had a yard to put any in.  There are more very year, so woo-hoo once again.

You can just about see all the other stuff in the background.

This last shot is another preview of coming attractions.  These are the plants I purchased at T & J’s Fruits and Vegetables in Herkimer on Sunday.  They will eventually be part of my container garden. I hope to share some pictures of that eventually.  When I’m not too tired to put them in the containers.  Happy Tuesday, everyone.



We’re Animal Lovers, Too

Mohawk Antiques Mall must be run by animal lovers.  They house 4PetSake Food Pantry, and last Saturday they hosted the Herkimer County Humane Society Plant Sale.  Steven and I stopped by to add to my container garden.


It was a windy morning.  A flyer for the Humane Society Garage Sale next Saturday blew off a post it was taped to.  I put it back on only to have it blow off again.  I brought it to the ladies at the table.  They thanked me.


“I’ll have to go to that Garage Sale,” I said.   “I found some good stuff there last year.” (Perhaps you read my blog post about it.)  I noticed on the flier that they would be selling hot dogs and offering tours of the facility.  “I might eat a hot dog,” I said.  “But I might not take a tour.  It breaks my heart, all those dogs wagging their tails so hopefully. I just want to take them all home.”


“We have cats, too,” one lady said.


“I’m allergic.  I can’t even be in the same room with a cat for very long.”


We picked out some pretty flowers and a six-pack of basil.  I was especially delighted with the basil.  Fresh pesto all summer!


We did not go into the Antiques Mall this time, but it is one of our favorite places to browse.  They are located a Main St., Mohawk, NY. For more information you can visit their website at and/or Like their Facebook page.


The Herkimer County Humane Society Garage Sale is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 30, 2015 at the Humane Society,  514 State Route 5S, Mohawk,NY. For more information, visit their website at, or Like their Facebook page.


For more information about 4PetSake Food Pantry,visit their website at, and/or Like their Facebook page.


Not Overboard Yet

Today’s post actually took place before yesterday’s post. At first I felt a little silly about that and wondered if I shouldn’t have made it all one big post. Then I remembered it is Non-Sequitur Thursday. Perfect! On with the post!

Saturday Steven got out of work early enough to do something fun. I had seen in the paper that Ilion Farmer’s Market was selling flowers and herbs, which I wanted for my container garden. Tabby is welcome at the Farmer’s Market. Our plan was set.

We got there around three. Right away we saw the small display of plants, but first we went into the barn to browse. A few of the vendors had changed, but the historic barn’s atmosphere was still warm and welcoming. Tabby found all kinds of interesting places to sniff, and a few people petted her. I did not let her go near the cafe. I may have to come by without Tabby sometime and enjoy a little of that good food.

Back out at the plant table we chose basil, dill and two different flowers. I don’t know what they’re called (have I mentioned today that this is not a real gardening blog?), but the big blooms were red, pink and white while the little blooms were purple. The herbs looked very healthy. I sure hope I can keep them that way.

Jim Parker, the folk artist who runs the Farmers Market, told us they would be getting in more plants. I said I might be back next week. I’ll try not to go overboard (as I said yesterday I tend to do with my container garden), but what’s wrong with leaning out a little over the rail?

Sunday we decided to supplement our Farmers Market purchases with a trip to T & J’s Fruits and Vegetables in Herkimer. I’ve stopped there for produce many times, most recently finding a wonderful hyacinth for my mother’s Easter present. I had noticed their greenhouse was full. All kinds of choices. They even had the leaves that grow straight up (I’m not describing them very well, but perhaps you know what I mean).

“That’s what you need for containers,” I told Steven. “You want the thrill, the fill and the spill.” I said it with gestures, demonstrating the contribution of each “ill.” I did not purchase any thrill, but I found some fill and spill. The fill included marigolds, and the spill some little yellow flowers I of course do not know the name of (some of you are probably surprised I recognized the marigolds).

As I said, I haven’t gone overboard yet. But it’s early days. We’ll see what the weekend brings.

Me vs. the Yard

Anybody who is anxiously awaiting the return of Saturday Running Commentary (I am), keep waiting. It’ll get here. This week, I went to Curves and exercised instead. When I got home, I thought I wouldn’t waste the sweat but do some work in the yard.

Lots of stuff has been growing up around the garage, none of it pretty. Oh, we had some pretty things there earlier this year. Some lovely irises, some pink flowers whose name I never knew, some chives and parsley (maybe not exactly pretty, but yum).

Now it is overgrown with weeds, and some of them are getting quite tall and unsightly. I like to blame the inordinate amount of rain earlier this summer rather than my lack of diligence at weeding, but really, does pointing fingers get us anywhere in this situation? In fact, you don’t even need to point your fingers at the weeds I ought to be pulling up. I can see them perfectly well.

I started in back of the garage. Yikes! I rarely see in back of the garage. I like to sit on my deck, where that part is nicely hidden. Today I was confronted with a huge bush/tree/something. It comprised several different plants, I think, some of them with some nasty stickers. I was armed with gardening gloves and clippers. I strode bravely into the fray.

And was soon saying, “Ow! Ow! Dammit!” Those gardening gloves are not exactly impenetrable. And they only cover up to my wrists. It is not long sleeve weather. I did not get very far on what I now think of as the Monster of the Back Yard. For one thing, the sun had moved around and you know how sensitive I am about direct sunlight (at least, I suppose new readers, if any, don’t know, but I am).

I moved to the side of the garage, the unsightly part we see when we are sitting on the deck. The worst of the weeds were among the irises. Now done blooming, and even the greenery didn’t look too healthy. I figured it would be OK to cut or pull the green stuff as long as I left the bulbs in the ground. After much huffing and puffing, I accomplished it. I left the most of the greenery from the unknown pink flowers. It still looked pretty good, and I managed to get most of the weeds around it.

Moving on up, I came to a place where last fall Steven had planted some flowers from my container garden on the deck. We thought we’d see what happened, not being clear on if they were annuals or perennials. Some stuff had grown. It had not bloomed, so I had begun to suspect that they were not flowers. I began to pull them up as ruthlessly as I could manage (not being a particularly ruthless person).

And noticed a pleasing aroma, even penetrating my screwy sinuses. I sniffed closer. Why, yes, that was mint! I forgot I had put some mint there. The ground had been hard, it hadn’t been such a much when I planted it, well, I’ll be a ding dong daddy, as my grandmother used to say. They say mint will take over your yard. I say, have at it! I plucked some mint and brought it inside. Later I will make some mint tea. Aaaahhhh!

And that is my gardening story for the day.

Flowers, Tomatoes and Herbs, Oh My!

Saturday I took the first step toward my container garden with a trip to Brick House Acres in Frankfort, NY.

I first encountered the business at the Mohawk Valley Bazaar sponsored by Relay for Life Team Janice at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds. I was especially interested in some potted tomato plants the guy had. He said I could leave them in those very pots on my deck and have cherry tomatoes all summer then bring them indoors and have cherry tomatoes all winter. I was unable to make the purchase at the time but took a business card with a promise to seek him out at a later date.

For once I did the smart thing and called first to get directions. From Frankfort you go out Higby Road about five miles then turn left at the fire station onto Albany Road, go to a stop sign, then right onto Roberts Road. It’s a lovely drive over the hill. We once got lost in a dreadful fog on Higby Road, but no worries about that on Saturday. It was bright and sunny.

The business is housed in a very cool looking old barn. A rooster crowed the whole time we were there, disproving once again the myth that they only crow first thing in the morning.

I remember once reading a story in a children’s magazine (when I was a child) about a rooster in danger of being made into stew because he liked to sleep in and the farmer needed to be woken up. The farmer’s children get the rooster an alarm clock. Now, years later, remembering it, I wonder by they didn’t just give the farmer the alarm clock and let the rooster sleep. But I digress.

We found the tomato plants as well as some herbs. I was very excited to find cilantro. Homemade salsa, here I come! I was also happy about the basil. Love that fresh pesto. We also got a couple of flowers that were on sale as well as an eggplant for what I thought was a very good price (not that I’ve comparison shopped for eggplant recently) (or ever).

We left with two cardboard flats filled with plants. I felt that I had not gone too crazy, which I have a regrettable tendency to do when it comes to my container garden. I have a couple more places I’d like to check out before I’m done. Must spread my flower dollar around, after all.

Brick House Acres is located at 10628 Roberts Rd., Frankfort, NY 13340. Phone number 315-737-5635. You can also Like them on Facebook. You might like to take a ride out there. I found it well worth the trip.

Books and Blooms

On Saturday Steven only worked till two, so we were both able to check out the Books and Blooms fundraiser at the Herkimer County Humane Society. Knowing we would encounter dog lovers there, we took our schnoodle Tabby.

The first things we saw were some lovely hanging baskets, but I was more interested in another perennial. Two years ago I had purchased a Black-eyed Susan at the Humane Society. It has been blooming ever since. Of course I love my container garden, but how delightful it is to have things come up every year.

A nice lady told us all about the various plants they had: what needed more sunlight, what did well in partial shade. We debated a little, but then I wanted to pick out books before I decided which bloom.

You know me and books. It didn’t take long for me to gather an armful. Then I picked the plant I liked best. Its name escapes me as I write this, but I’ll be able to check before I type it into the computer. It wasn’t one I was familiar with, and it wasn’t in bloom so that will be a nice surprise for me when it does.

Steven and I are always happy to support the Humane Society. When it also enhances my garden and my library, what’s not to like? For more information on the Herkimer County Humane Society, you can visit their website at or you can like them on Facebook. They post lots of cool animal pictures.

NOTE: The plant I purchased was Coreopsis Route 66. I know I only could have edited the above paragraph to include that, but I thought it was kind of funny that I couldn’t remember what I bought.

Ambiance by Suzanne

Just a quick plug for a local business today. I may have mentioned I am in a play with Ilion Little Theatre this weekend and next. There are a number of new people in the cast, new to ILT and new to any stage. I thought I would do something special for opening night.

I remember years ago in high school, people giving their friends flowers for opening night. My mother told me the leading lady got roses, that was all. In fact, she gave me two lovely roses when I was a leading lady once, but that is another memory. I know in movies where they show plays, somebody hands the leading lady a bouquet of roses while she takes her final bow, but I’ve never seen that in real life.

Be all that as it may, I thought to get everyone in the cast as well as the accompanist and sound/lights guy a single bloom. I realized carnations were more in my budget than roses. Anyways, they last longer. I made a phone call.

I drive by Flowers by Suzanne on Mohawk Street in Herkimer, NY almost every day on my way home from work. Steven got me some lovely roses from them one Valentine’s Day (I guess I’m his leading lady) (sorry, had to say it). I ordered eleven carnations, in yellow if possible (there is something in the play about goldenrod, so I thought yellow carnations was close enough).

Friday after work I picked them up. As I walked to the door of the business I got a wonderful whiff of lilacs from a big bush nearby. I must plant some lilacs in my yard. The nice people at Suzanne’s were able to accommodate my request for all yellow and even threw in an extra, in case something happened to one. I grabbed a handful of little cards to write something nice on and was on my way.

As I sat in the car waiting for Steven (I had to pick him up at work), I wrote the cards. And realized I had miscalculated. One card short. I had been going down the cast list writing the cards, so the accompanist got shorted. I had the right number of little envelopes, so I wrote a note on a small piece of notebook paper. It turned out to be OK with the recipient, as it turns out. I had written “Well, this is embarrassing” on the outside of the notebook paper after I had folded it in half. She was highly amused

People were very pleased with their flowers, and I felt I had added to the ambiance of opening night. Anyone needing to add ambiance to any of their occasions can happily go to Flowers by Suzanne. They are located at 433 Mohawk St., Herkimer, NY, 315-866-0206.