Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

I DO like our winters...

Winter is (finally) here.  And I welcome it.  I find it such a relief after the unremitting heat of summer and I admire the elegance of naked trees silhouetted against the sky.  I can snuggle into bed at night, and don't become a sad and soggy mess within minutes of going outside.

We are lucky here and while (by Australian standards) we get cool weather, the skies are usually blue.  Sunshine and frost go together beautifully.  And I also love the softer foggy mornings.  Which is lucky, because I can't change any of it.

That said, I am also looking forward to spring. 

In my obsessional way I bought far too many spring bulbs.  Again.  Just as I did last year and the year before and as I almost certainly will next year.

As I have whinged, bitched, moaned often, I am as supple as a brick.  I find getting to the ground difficult, and getting up again worse.  I have crawled across the lawn before now to pull myself up using the front steps.   Not only is it difficult, it is painful.  Which makes gardening a challenge on the days I am feeling polite and multiple expletives difficult on the other and more common days.

However, I am as stubborn as stains.  I love my garden.  Playing in it eases my soul and there is always something to do.  Usually a lot to do.  So I have started rehabilitative physiotherapy.  Whose sole aim is to give me some flexibility back and allow me to play in the garden.  More safely and more easily.

I have some twenty exercises to do.  I have indicated to the physiotherapist that she must take sadistic pills with her breakfast because I don't think that the malevolence she displayed in designing them comes naturally.  She laughed - which supports my theory about sadistic pills.  Many of the exercises make me sweat.  Some make me swear.  None of them are easy.

BUT THEY ARE WORKING!!!!

I have finally finished most (but not all) of the weeding, and have squeeeeezed the last of the bulbs into the ground.  I have focussed on colour and on scent.  And lots of the bulbs are starting (too early) to poke their way through the ground.

These are photos from earlier springs.  I am hoping for bigger and better displays this year.













And today we have gentle, blissful, lifegiving rain.  Which will help the bulbs in the ground.  And will make it easier to put in the 120 liliums which the smaller portion (not me this time) succumbed to, and which arrived yesterday.  Next week perhaps...



100 comments:

  1. You are a true gardener! It's autumn and you are already thinking about spring. Lovely results!

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    1. Karen: An obsessional gardener. Not only thinking about spring, but working towards it.

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  2. I'm sorry you go through agony (plural?)for you garden, but I do know why.And, living ,as I now do, in the bloody @#***& tropics, I thank you.
    And NY in her summer greens is lovely, though very hot.

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    1. dinahmow: You put in lots of hard work in your neck of the woods too, growing things I can only dream of. I am glad to hear that NY is lovely - but you can keep her heat.

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  3. Your efforts certainly pay off...Gorgeous pics of gorgeous flowers! I especially love that purple iris-y looking one and, of course, the foxgloves! Glad that sadistic woman's exercises are working for you! You should show her your garden---what her sadism is making possible!

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    1. Molly: Thank you. The sadist did tell me that it was a worthy ambition and that she was happy to help. She smiled too.

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  4. Oh how I miss winter! And summer is just getting good & wound up. Yuck.

    I can't imagine crawling across the lawn to use the steps to get up.... wait, yes I can LOL

    Your flowers are beautiful! I don't do well at all with flowery plants... they sort of 1/2 bloom, turn brown and shrivel up...

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    1. Sherri: Winter is wonderful. Summer? No. And yes, you can imagine the MS crawl. Sigh.

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  5. Your pictures show a wonderful spring, just as you are beginning your winter season. It's always nice to think what will be coming your way, as long as you can crawl into the garden. I know whereof you speak. Love the flowers... and your determination. :-)

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    1. DJan: I am not giving up the garden any time soon.

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  6. You dear girl! Yes, no matter how difficult it is to get up, and I have perfected the rising cow method of bottoms up first, we are inevitably suckers for punishment. My bulbs are still sitting in the crisper. Did you plant anemones??Your floribunda crabapple is the perfect foil for your riot of bulbs.
    Do you know any true gardener who can resist buying too many spring bulbs even when there is no ground prepared for them and you have no idea where you can possibly fit them in?
    Glad you are doing physio to facilitate more gardening. Doing strenuous exercises for oneself is so much easier and effective than doing them because someone else thinks you have big butt. More power to you!! I have basic exercises with weights as I get out of bed. They have made a big difference in many ways.

    Your last year's spring garden makes me drool, I look forward to the wonders you bring forth in the coming one.

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    1. Arija: I do have a big butt - and the garden is more important. I too do the rising cow, but at intervals my legs refuse to play.
      Yes, I planted anemones. And ranunculas, and freesias and crocus and tulips and jonquils and alliums and sparaxis and hyacinth and... The crab apple is a joy every year. A neighbour (now deceased) used to hold morning tea parties in his lounge-room each year so that he and his visitors could enjoy it.

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  7. HOW your physio laughed, is a good indication - and confirmation - of your theory, lol.

    But, I am SO happy the exercises are working EC!
    When the garden bug bites, it is hard to ignore. So hard.
    I miss my old gardens so very, very much it hurts.

    I can at least get much pleasure from looking at your glorious images from your stunning garden.
    They make my heart sing... roll on spring.

    Though, not before we've had our fill of winter, eh? :)

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    1. Vicki: Spring will come soon enough. For now, winter is a treat in itself (though I do feel much better now the spring bulbs are in.)

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  8. Good luck with those exercises! Gardening soothes all kinds of things; I can't imagine not having one. Beautiful photos of past gardens.

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    1. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson: So far so good. And yes, not having a garden would seriously diminish my world. Fatten my bank accounts, but diminish my world.

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  9. I love love love your foxgloves! And am quite jealous of your winter. Here it is not yet officially summer, and with no a/c it is 83F degrees inside the house tonight at 10p... making the chocolate in my peanut butter cup cookies melt so they now cannot be kept by the computer for a late blogging snack, but downstairs in the refrig. Which means more exercise for me to get them, or simply doing without ... both of which are good options. I do love your flowers and one day will have a garden of my own to plant too many bulbs in...

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    1. Cindi Summerlin: Not a fan of summer. I hope yours is as mild as possible. I am not certain that there is such a thing as too many bulbs. Not if they can be squeezed in somewhere there isn't. More bulbs less weeds?

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    2. I saw a house once where the entire front yard was covered in bulb flowers of all sorts. It was amazing. When they were done for the season, the owners would just run over the wilting plants with a lawn mower and wait for next season. That is the kind of bulb garden I would like to have. One that just exploded with color and surprises.

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    3. Cindi Summerlin: 'Naturalising' bulbs that way looks wonderful. Down by one of our lakes each spring drifts of daffodils and bluebells come up through the grass underneath the trees. It is a delight.

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  10. I'm so glad your physiotherapy exercises are working for you so that you can enjoy your gardening more and do it with more ease - for the results of your efforts are lovely to behold, and the work would be a drabber place without them!

    Those two iris closeups and the foxglove are my absolute faves!

    Btw, might something like this also help?

    I must say, it's odd to hear you speak of winter's arrival. I can never get used to the idea of our being in opposite seasons! Today it was hot and humid and we had the most violent storm I've experienced since living through a Texas tornado. Sky literally as dark as night at about 4 this afternoon, torrential rain, pelting hail, 60mph wind gusts. Our front flower bed actually made it through in fair shape, but our herb garden was obliterated yet again, and other plantings suffered as well. We're supposed to get more of the same until Friday. Discouraging as we're spending so much time and money to landscape our new home, to say the least!

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    1. Laloofah: I feel for you. So frustrating to have things you have laboured over, ripped out in seconds flat. I hope the forecasts for the rest of the week are exaggerated.
      I have a garden kneeler - similar to the one you linked to (and thank you). However, I can only use it on the edges of beds. I don't like to plonk it down on things in the wider beds, so still need more flexibility. Quite a lot more.

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  11. Beautiful! I bet you will be glad when they are all planted. Hopefully the excersises will work I really should start that as it is getting harder and harder to rise from the ground with each season. I think my job does help to a certain extent though(hospital housekeeper) but the knees still don't like to be on the ground. lol. We really aren't getting any older...are we?

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    1. Teresa: No, no, no. Not older or stiffer at all. Which sadly is a big fat lie. So far the exercises are helping.

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  12. Your garden must be breathtaking in the spring. Lots of work and pain, but well worth it to be surrounded by that much beauty and sweet fragrance.

    I'm glad to hear the physical terrorist is helping.

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    1. Susan: Physical terrorist. I like that. I wonder whether that will make her smile too? (Probably). I enjoy the garden in the spring - even though the cockatoos will undoubtedly uproot some of my bulbs again. One obsession destroying another. And the cats would like to get in the act as well...

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  13. I swear by physiotherapy - it has helped me and I'm so glad it is helping you. Keep up the good work!

    It's funny to hear that it was SP who succumbed to the lure of the bulbs this time :)

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    1. jenny_o: I had steadfastly ignored the catalogues. I knew that if I looked I would weaken. I am glad he did though.

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  14. Those are gorgeous! I never find expletives difficult...and I am glad the exercises are working. I think I know quite a few people who must take sadistic pills, or at least very annoying pills.

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    1. Riot Kitty: Expletives roll very easily from my tongue. Easily and often. There are people who take sadistic pills, those who take very annoying pills and a large group of people who take big fat stupid pills.

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  15. The wonderful thing about gardens is that there's always something to look forward to. Gardening is the best therapy for the blahs that I know of. 120 liliums! Just think of how magnificent they will be.

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    1. lynners: I put in well over 1000 spring bulbs, and the liliums will come into their own when those are largely finished. Spectacular, and fragrant too I hope. The year before last we had eight foot lilium spikes with up to a dozen blooms and I am hoping for a repeat performance.

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  16. Thank you EC for sharing your beautiful garden display and I can't choose one flower as being favourite over another as they are all so delightful.
    Do keep up your endeavours with your garden.....I was OK for many years but the time has come now where I truly can't do anything in ours any more (except sit and look at the weeds I once would pull up without a second thought) but I guess at 81 I must admit defeat. My physio does her best but even she is not a magician although she tried her hardest.
    I just looked through all those lovely pics again but can't choose between them although yellow flowers always take my eye. : )

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    1. Mimsie: It is a bit sad when our medical practioners cannot wave a magic wand isn't it? There will be quite a bit of yellow come spring - and red and green as well. I have gone a bit crazy (again).

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  17. It's looking so fabulous already EC, it's going to be glorious when the new bulbs flower as well. I've thought about putting bulbs in, but worry they'll get lost when my neighbour (the walk-right-in-one)plants anything she wants anywhere she wants. I once planted a cutting of a lovely purple pelargonium and it mysteriously moved itself into her flower patch behind the roses. oh well. I took a couple of stems from it and put them in pots....which is what I plan to do now with bulbs. I'll set wide bowl shaped pots here and there between the roses at my end of the path. I'd better get busy and order some bulbs before it is too late.

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    1. River: Your neighbour doesn't know how to behave. Hiss. I have some bulbs in pots - but they will very rarely bloom in them for a second year so I try and get as many as possible in the ground. These are photos from earlier springs - there is not a lot of colour around at the moment, but the promise of magic to come.

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  18. I'm happy you're doing something for You! Such beautiful flowers. I especially love the orange-red iris with the golden center. It looks like dancing fire. And the red tulip with the black center.

    I love the beauty of the seasons.

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    1. Carol Kilgore: I am very grateful to have four seasons here - even though I don't like one of them. My favourite flowers change often, but the ones you selected are almostly always high on my list.

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  19. I bought a garden stool I can sit or kneel on. Heavy steel frame, sturdy as all get out, but folds and slips behind a cupboard. All I have left to work with is upper body strength, and with the stool I can use my arms to get up. It involves a lot of moving of the stool, but I can do that. Well worth the $49.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: As I said to Laloofah, my garden stool is great on the edges of the bed, but less useful when I want to weed/plant in the middle. And I have only been able to use it reliably since doing my exercises. My upper arm strength is ok (swimming) but the legs just didn't follow instructions.

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  20. Oh, I feel your pain. PT is a B....! but, somehow, it works and I am glad for you that it has helped you with your flexibility. I am impressed with your tenacity and your beautiful gardens. And I would love winter too if my skies were blue. It is the gray days that get me down. We (meaning Izzi and me) love the snow. Izzi loves the cooler weather and has much more energy when it is cold outside. Like you, I don't tolerate the humidity well ... and that is what we are getting now. So enjoy your winter and think of us up here in the states swealtering in the hot, humid summer. Spring and Fall are my favorites ... 70's, oh how I love the 70's:) Glad you are doing so well EC ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea: Humidity is vile. You have all my sympathies. Each year I envy your snow though. I feel more alive in cooler weather and the body tends to behave better. And it is beautiful too.

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  21. Are those lilacs? The pink ones -- they resemble them here. (Not good with my flower knowledge) but it is my favorite scent. I LOVE the autumn too! Here it's in its peak in October (I guess your June) and there is not one ounce of humidity, so it's crisp and clear and the skies are super blue! The winters here in NY are getting harder, as the snow is getting deeper and deeper. The summers here are getting hotter too. They say that by 2050, we will experience hotter summers and much more devastating storms as global warming has finally nudged us, or perhaps pushed us over for ignoring her.

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    1. Deb: I am also a lilac fan, but those are hyacinths - also with a wonderful scent. June is our winter (we start it on the first), but is a wonderful time of year. Even if the world is still here in 2050 I won't be, and the global warming issues are becoming more and more evident (to me anyway).

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  22. Your flowers were beautiful and I'm sure they'll be even better this year. Have you tried using a stick to help you get up? When I get on the ground I have to use mine and it gives me enough leverage to hoist up. If you have a cane it could be used the same way. I'm glad you're getting limbered and feeling better though!

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    1. Betty: I hope the garden is better this year. And next year. And the one after. I have some sticks, but until I started being conscientious about the exercise my legs simply wouldn't come to the party. I really needed a crane or a winch rather than a stick.

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  23. Dear EC, your flowers are lovely and must give you such great pleasure and such a feeling of being rewarded for all that hard work. So much loveliness.

    If I were someone who was hired to hand out awards for great sentences, you'd get a blue ribbon for the following: " I am as stubborn as stains." I just chortled when I read this.

    As to those exercises for becoming more flexible--what do you think about sharing them with us? I so need to loosen up this body and permit it to find its freedom! Peace.

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    1. Dee: The exercises were designed around what I can do, what muscles I do/did have and what I wanted to do. I am not certain they would be as much benefit for someone else. If you would like I could send them to you though.

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  24. I'm already dreading those long months of short, gray days and drizzle

    You don't have a flower pictured that doesn't commonly grow in the US as well.

    "I have crawled across the lawn before now to pull myself up using the front steps."

    Maybe if you put milk instead of brandy on your Wheaties?

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    1. Snowbrush: I quite like the cold, but grey days can be depressing. I think the acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder nails it.
      You think I should give up my medicinal brandy do you? You are no fun.

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  25. I love you because every time you go to plant you buy way more than you can handle but they get planted anyway. It makes me glad. xo

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    1. Birdie: Way more than I can handle, and far more than I have room for. You are right though - somehow I do squeeeze them in.

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  26. I wish you'd put the names of the flowers on the pics, because they're all so beautiful and I have no idea what they are!

    Glad to hear the exercises are doing you good.

    Oh, and I love winter too :)

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    1. Wendy aka Quillfeather: The first three are iris, then a fox glove (which I think has gone to god sadly), hyacinths, tulip, daffodils, then tulips (with crab apple blossom). When this years planting blooms I will put up their names too.

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    2. Thanks for that :) I think my favourite is the fox glove.

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    3. Wendy aka Quillfeather: I really like them too. I hope it does come back and, if not, I will buy more. Queue hysterical laughter...

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  27. You do well with bulbs, I plant them and they come up and don't flower or don't come up at all and rot in the ground but last year I got two daffodils I'm hoping for three this year if it happens I will do a big post about them.
    Keep up the exercises you will be turning cartwheels soon, well maybe not.
    Merle............

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    1. Merlesworld: It is probably a bit warm and damp in your neck of the woods for bulbs to thrive. Most spring bulbs seem to do better with a frost.

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  28. Beautiful pics as usual, EC. We had rain here the past two days, as well. It was wonderful. However, the sky is blue and the sun is out here today.

    I love our winters, too....it's still to get cold...not that it ever does get very cold here. These days I prefer our winters to the heat of summer. Also, I have more winter clothes that I enjoy wearing than summer gear...in summer all you do is sweat and sweat trying to cool down...at least in winter you can rug up and get warm if need be. Here's to winter! :)

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    1. Lee: Oh yes, it is much, much easier to get warm (if need be) than it is to cool down and stay that way. We had rain yesterday and a little today - which is wonderful.

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  29. Aha, I have arrived. Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

    You are having winter? Okay, then again, often the summer seems like winter in Britain. Luckily, its mostly been okay here this um summer.

    I know that your gardening is therapy for the soil and your soul. And beautiful photos, my human friend. I like my garden and it's a great place for a sniff.

    Happy exercising to you.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Penny: How nice of you to visit. Yes, we are having winter - but it is probably at least as warm as your summer.

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  30. --Lovely. Colorful. Vivid. Lush. Breathtaking.

    Just like you, S.

    Are you crawling because of your MS? I love your passion for life, my dear. xxxxx

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    1. My Inner Chick: The stiffness and the pain and the poor mobility are MS treats. However, I can have a life or an existence and I choose life.

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  31. Loved the garden photos! Spring and Fall are my favorite times of the year as they are neither too cold or too Hot!
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Sienna Smythe: Thank you. You may become tired of garden photos - I tend to go a little crazy with the camera when things start to bloom.

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  32. Your garden is a visual delight to us all! Your physiotherapist must have extreme patience and an iron will. Glad it is paying off.

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    1. Susan Kane: She certainly has an iron will. Not concealed in velvet glove either. Just the same, if the exercises give me back some of my mobility they are more than worth it.

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  33. Is there such a thing as too many bulbs? Only before they are planted! After planting, i find i don't have nearly enough!

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    1. daisyfae: How right you are. We put in more than 1000 additional bulbs this year, and I didn't think we could get them all in. Now, as they are starting to come up I can see gaps. Which is fine - because there are still the liliums to go in.

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  34. Lovely flowers. Keep taking the exercises.

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    1. J Cosmo Newbery: I intend to keep doing the vile exercises for as long as I can...

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  35. oh your garden must be a sight to see with all those bulbs, lovely photos and so glad you're getting some relief from summer. we are in the middle of it and it is hot and ever so humid, dreadfully so.

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    1. Linda Starr: Your summer sounds close to my idea of hell. These are old photos, but I hope this coming spring will be even more vibrant. And smell good too. Many, many scented bulbs as well as vibrant colours.

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  36. I'm so glad the exercises are working! That is wonderful. And I can relate to being a soggy mess going outside. That was me when I got done with my walk yesterday at 6pm - my hair was still not dry when I went to bed at 10pm. :)

    So interesting that our seasons are exactly opposite. I look forward to your spring, too.

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    1. Lynn: I do admire you for continuing your walk. I tend to turn into a troll in summer and only come out at night (or very, very early).

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  37. Physical therapy is very seldom pleasant in execution, but can be worthwhile in its ends. If your garden has gotten you to improve your physical state, then I wish you the best and am gladdened to read you're getting some boons from it!

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    1. John Wiswell: Not fun, but if it allows me to continue to play in the garden it is worth it.

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  38. Wow wow wow - your garden is a paradise of beautiful flowers!

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    1. ladyfi: Thank you. A work in progress.

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  39. I can tell if something is good for me- by the bad taste in my mouth- or by the discomfort I feel :)
    Sorry the wicked witch is hurtful but glad the physical therapy is helping you.

    As always your lovely flowers and gardens brighten my day an put a smile on my face ~:)

    Be well, be Happy and say Hi to SP for me.

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    1. Pam=): She is sadistic - but good at her job. Which is what I wanted. Have a great weekend.

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  40. Beautiful photographs, beautiful flowers, wonderful colours, smile appear on the mouth from the admiration:) Greetings

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    1. ZielonaMila: Thank you - I am glad to be able to make you smile.

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  41. What a wonder a flower is. Any flower.

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    1. Andrew Maclaren-Scott: Oh yes, and the more the merrier.

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  42. Thanks for the nice comment EC - have a great day~:)

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  43. I can SO relate to the cursing and pain associated with planting bulbs. All is forgotten come spring, though. Each year, like you, I buy far too many bulbs and look at the pile to plant, wondering that the *(&$ I was thinking. When they bloom, though, seeing and walking through the garden is a joy. Your pictures are BEAUTIFUL. Good luck with the exercises!!

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    1. Ms CrankyPants: I don't even think it is MS memory at fault this time. Gardeners insanity?

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  44. EC, such a joy to see your bulbs. You're very brave getting down and into it. My knees are really thwarting me but I'm persevering. One thing about our climate here, the weeds never pause in their activities. But isn't gardening just the best thing!

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    1. Carol: Gardening keeps me sane(ish). I will not let my body call the shots.

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  45. I like winter here too ... thanks for saying such lovely things over on my blog :-)

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    1. Geoff: I said nothing your beautiful photos didn't make me feel.

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  46. How beautiful is your garden, such a haven. Your cats must love it :)

    I'm not a fan of winter, but I've got used to it. I try NOT to count the days to summer.... but it's just so frosty!!

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    1. wordsfallfrommyeyes: The cats do love the garden - in the warmer months. It is full of nooks and crannies where they can see without being seen...

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  47. oh my that garden of yours is truly a paradise! and i'm glad to hear about exercises that works, good for you!

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    1. Pia K: Thank you. The exercises are a boon.

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  48. I love your posts, I do - just wonderful life and nature, but I really would love to see one of your cat! I always check her out in the sidelines - especially below, so gorgeous. Just saying...

    GORGEOUS :)

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    1. wordsfallfrommyeyes: I will do another cat post for you shortly. I think there is a video of a shopping bag - plus cats...

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