Monthly Archives: February 2011

When parents text

Daughter Liv is flying home tonight from graduate school vocal auditions. We’ve missed you honey! xox

More hilarity from Liv:  When Parents Text

Liv Hauck Annisquam

Liv Hauck Annisquam


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Audio recordings:

Koch and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Koch and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, part 2

From the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (2010, 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Local Reporting:

My note-This same paper endorsed tea party backed candidate Scott Walker.

Madison — Scott Walker took a prank phone call Tuesday (Buffalo Beast), and Wisconsin learned a lot about its new governor.

A recording of the call released Wednesday spelled out Walker’s strategies for dealing with protesting union workers and trying to lure Democrats boycotting the state Senate back to Wisconsin.

Speaking with whom he believed to be billionaire conservative activist David Koch, Walker said he considered – but rejected – planting troublemakers amid protesters who have rocked the Capitol for a week.

He told the caller he feared a “ruckus” would “scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has to settle to avoid this problem.”

He also described a plan to get his bill taking away union rights passed without Democrats who have boycotted the Senate. He said he talked to a Democratic senator for 45 minutes who he thought could help even though “he’s not one of us.”

Walker discussed ways Koch – a financer of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity – could help Republican legislators, presumably with TV and radio ads.

…Koch is co-owner of Koch Industries, an energy and consumer products company that owns Georgia-Pacific paper mills in Wisconsin. He is a chief backer of Americans for Prosperity, which helped stage tea party rallies in Wisconsin in 2009 and 2010 and on Wednesday announced it was spending $342,200 on advertising to persuade Wisconsin residents to back Walker’s plan.

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Damn it, my Mom is on Facebook filter

Liv Hauck

Damn it, my Mom is on Facebook filter: I have recently joined Facebook. Without the help of my darling daughter Liv I think would have been completely lost in trying to navigate. Thanks honey! xo She forwarded this hilarious video from SNL.

Liv Hauck


Redpolls Return!


Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)

The redpolls return with friends in tow. Two weeks ago we were visited by a half dozen or so Common Redpolls; yesterday and today we have a troupe of thirty. Goldfinch-sized, with crisp white and brown patterned tail feathers and velvety crimson caps, they have the winsome habit of cocking their heads and looking straight at you, as if to say (in the most conversational manner), “I am very photogenic; won’t you concur?”

Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)Common Redpoll (Male)

The female lacks the pink breast and both have the same red poll (cap). The first photo shows the male above and the female below.

Scroll down or click on link to see related post:The Uncommon Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll Wings Spread

New England Finery ~ Premier Issue!


New England Finery, Creative Director Yvonne Blacker

With husband and son sick in bed with the flu, I thought I would accomplish much work this morning in our oh-so- quiet home, but no, I spent the morning perusing the online and fabulous premier issue of New England Finery. Brimming with articles and photographs, New England Finery celebrates New England design businesses and the work that results from people doing what they love. This first issue features stories about New England-based shoe designers Michael and Allyson Ciccia of Cordani, a husband and wife design team located in Wakefield, couture dress designer Harper Della-Piano (Seams Couture, Wenham), New England Fine Living, New York Gift Show, Power of Pink, design bloggers, and much more, coupled with terrific behind-the-scenes location photos and information.

Live Link to open New England Finery Premier Issue: New England Finery

I met Yvonne Blacker, co-founder and creative director of New England Finery, two years ago at the Wenham Museum Designer showhouse and we became fast friends. Yvonne has a background in graphic and interior design and she has combined both her loves in producing this virtual “glossy,” which is visually appealing and extremely easy to navigate, with live links to websites featured. Yvonne is a creative powerhouse–and one of the most thoughtful and gracious people I have had the pleasure to know. She accomplishes all that she does while simultaneously raising four young sons!


The Pollinator Garden ~ Rescheduled due to inclement weather

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Papilio glaucus Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

The Pollinator Garden has been rescheduled for Monday morning, Apriil 18th. Updated information to follow.

Dear Gardening Friends,

Come join me Monday morning, February 28th, from 10:00 to 12:00 at the Espousal Center in Waltham, where I will be giving a talk and photo presentation about creating The Pollinator Garden for the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. Although this is a state Garden Club Federation event, everyone is welcome. Cost is free for members and $5. for non-members. My extensive pollinator planting list is provided with lecture.

Scroll down to see a short video tour of the Limonaia, along with much good information about growing citrus in colder climes, excerpted from Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!

Keep warm and cozy and–take heart–the vernal equinox and the first day of spring are officially less than one month away!


Growing Citrus Indoors

Tour the Limonaia at Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Register online for my workshop at Tower Hill Botanic Garden: Creating a Butterfly Garden, Sunday, May 1, 1:00 to 3:00. I hope to see you there!

~ Citrus ~

Growing Citrus Indoors excerpted from Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities!

We would grow citrus, whether they bore fruit or not, for the lilting sweet scents of the blossoms alone. Whether entering a room in which a citrus is in bloom or approaching the plant on the terrace, one cannot help appreciating their exquisite fragrance.

During the Baroque period, orange and citrus fruits became equated with the golden apples from the mythical Garden of Hesperides. In 1664 Louis XIV of France commissioned the architect LeVall to build the first orangerie at Versailles. It was the Sun King’s love for gardens, and in particular his admiration for the “Seville” orange, which brought both citrus plants and the conservatory into prominence. The orangerie protected exotic and tender plants during the winter, and when the plants were moved out of doors during the warmer months, the orangerie was transformed into a setting for courtly events and celebrations.

The genus Citrus is indigenous to southeast Asia, occurring from northern India to China and south through Malaya, the Philippines, and the East Indies. The earliest records of its cultivation date back to about 500 b.c. The four original wild species from which all domesticated fruits are thought to have been hybridized are Citrus medica, Citrus aurantifolia, Citrus grandis, and Citrus reticulata.

The calamondin orange (Citrus mitis), with heavenly scented, pure white flowers, is among the easiest to grow. Although the fruit is too acidic to eat out of hand, it is fine for cooking, seasoning poultry prior to roasting, or combining with honey to make a piquant glaze. The key lime (Citrus aurantifolia), has an insinuating sweet and fresh fragrance and is used for preserves, garnishes, and juice. Oil of citral is extracted from Citrus aurantifolia for use in perfumes. Highly valued in Japan and China for use in Buddhist ceremonies, the Buddha’s Hand (Citrus medica) is a thorny shrub with fragrant fruits that resemble a human hand. The flowers are comparatively large (3–4 inches across), white shaded purple, and intoxicatingly fragrant.

One of the most beautiful and widely available citrus for pot culture is the Meyer lemon (Citrus limon x Citrus sinensis), also known as the Chinese lemon. It grows to a manageable size, less than two feet, and in a standard shape with a nicely rounded-head form. Not a true lemon, but a hybrid cross of C. sinensis, an orange, and C. limon, its fruit is sweeter than that of a pure lemon cultivar. But it is for the flowers that I grow the Meyer lemon. The blossoms are thick and velvety, creamy white tinted rose. Blooming in notes of honeysuckle and jonquil-like fragrances, the tree flowers prodigally.

Citrus thrive in a well-draining soil similar to what is an ideal medium for cactus. They must be grown in clay pots to insure good air circulation. The surest way to kill a citrus is by overwatering. Wait until the soil is thoroughly dried between watering. Place your finger a full three inches into the soil and water only when it feels dry at your finger tips, and then water deeply until a bit of water comes out the bottom of the drainage hole. With regular feedings of fish fertilizer throughout the summer and an all-purpose fertilizer during the winter months (when we find the odor of fish fertilizer to be repugnant indoors), citrus plants grow strong and healthy and are less likely to succumb to insect infestations.

Citrus plants are fairly indestructible, although they will quickly let you know when they’re unhappy. A few leaves will yellow and fall off, and if the problem is not resolved immediately, the entire plant will defoliate. This is typically due to overwatering and/or a soil mixture that does not allow for excellent drainage. Do not be discouraged, even if the entire plant becomes leafless. Water less frequently and try repotting the plant in a more suitable growing medium. Usually, they can be revived.

When grown indoors, citrus are occasionally bothered by spider mites and scale. Spider mites are easy to detect because they make a visible white web. Scale is a more challenging problem to diagnose as the light brown, pinhead sized and hard-bodied pest is difficult to see. They remain well hidden, where they attach themselves to the stems and along the ribs on the underside of the leaves. Scales produce a sticky substance that coats the leaves. For both pests, spray with a solution of diluted rubbing alcohol (three parts water to one part rubbing alcohol) to keep them in check.

Considered a harbinger of prosperity and good fortune, citrus have been grown in Chinese gardens and courtyards for thousands of years. We can take a lesson from how seasonal changes are reflected in a Chinese garden. Different areas of the garden are used in rotation for social events, depending on the prominence of a particular tree or shrub in flower, and flowering plants growing in pots are brought into the current living areas. After blooming, they are moved to a less visible location, and the focus shifts to flowers that are coming into florescence.

Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! written and illustrated by Kim Smith (David R. Godine, Publisher)