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Tigress by Ellen Tsagaris
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Ellen Tsagaris' The Bathory Chronicles; Vol. I Defiled is My Name
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Wild Horse Runs Free

Wild Horse Runs Free
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With Love From Tin Lizzie
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First Thanksgiving Dinner
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Black Dahlias and Rain Barrels

If anyone out there knows where I can get seeds or seedlings for black flowers, please tell me. We teach a famous cold case in school, where the victim, a young girl, was nicknamed The Black Dahlia by the press as a comment on her movie star aspirations and as an allusion to Veronic Lake in The Blue Dahlia. I always find artificial black flowers to give out to my students, but a local nursery actually had black pansies one year. I'd like to know where to find some to use for class, but I also would like plant some in memory of Beth Short, who really wasn't that fond of the nickname when she was alive.

A few tips; there was a good story on rain barrels and using them to store water for plants during drier times in the summer and fall. These cost $63.00 and also had covers and a place for a hose so you could actually use them to water. One was light blue, win paintings of bees and echinachea daisies. These were certainly an improvement over the rusty oil drum my John Muir wannabee neighbor has rigged up, no cover, mosquito breeding, etc. Cheapness and a little knowledge are two very dangerous bedfellows. Oh well.

Another tip for buying local; look for what is grown locally, or for what an area is known for. I know this is true of berry farms. Even local flea markets have great samples and examples. There are many farmers markets everywhere; I like to stumble on a few new ones now and then and watch the local news, variety, and morning shows to get ideas. It reminds me of our great trip to Boston with its open air green grocers, and of shopping for fruit in Europe when I was young.

At home, the spiders are winning the terrarium race. Let them have it, I guess. I keep thinking of the German tale of the spiders and the tannenbaum. The other pots now contain basil and miniature roses, a few pansies and violas, a marigold. Now is a good time to visit the local nurseries for bargains. The annuals are less than a quarter per plant,and the big pots are less than four dollars. The petunias and begonias fairly glow in the hazy, wet weather,and they are lovely.

I also spied a deer again,and many,many rabbits scampering about. I still like them, and forgive them what they eat. I have a mysterious flowering vine in one pot, and am contemplaint some more hydrangeas or flower bushes. I am enjoying watering and primping here and there. I have a secret desire to be the Yard of the Month!

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