First Rose of the Year

As much as I dislike orange, this one’s not so bad.  It was just there among the foundation plantings the previous owner had.  Judging by all the other roses, some I planted, and others that were already there, it should only be another week or two before the place starts to pop with blooms.

The previous owner had a thing for hybrid teas, which are nice, but generally are hit-or-miss in terms of hardiness for this USDA zone, and some are really susceptible to black spot.  I prefer antique roses — Reines des Violettes, Cécile Brünner, Sombreuil, Grüss an Aachen, etc.  Most of the ones I like in the catalogs are mosses or gallicas.

Let’s hope the damn deer don’t get them.  A deer already munched one of the roses that had been planted perhaps a foot from the house.  The telltale sign it was a deer is the clean 45 degree angle bites, roughly waist height.  I put some wind chimes out there, after I saw that, and there hasn’t been any further damage to it.  It never should have been planted that close to the house, but it’s too well established by now to easily transplant, and this isn’t the time of year to attempt it, anyway.

New Garden Post on The-Orchid-Place

It’s about veggie gardening at our new house, so skip it if you couldn’t care less.  You won’t hurt my feelings in the least.  That’s not why people visit The Rusty Nail, anyway.

I had to change the blog theme, since the one I liked a lot, and originally installed, refused to format multiple paragraphs correctly, regardless of whether I used the visual or html editor.  The new one’s not too bad; at least the paragraphs are separated, so it doesn’t look like a wall-o-text.  I’ll eventually get around to changing the header image so that it’s not a rose, even though I grow a lot of those, along with my other flowers, fruits, and veggies.


A funny thing happened on the way to the orchids.  Some of you may know that my brother died roughly a year and a half ago.  Remember all that bullshit with Nicky railing on and on for weeks about me fucking his corpse, then his ashes?

My brother used to host my orchid website for me.  The servers were left running for a few weeks, but after that, poof.  I maintained it myself, so I had all the files to upload elsewhere, but he had registered it for me in his name for 10 years, and there were something like three years left until it expired.  After dragging my feet for a long time, I decided not to wait until the domain came up for renewal, and just bought a similar domain with hosting for it.

Since these things can take two or three days to get seeded throughout the internet, I worked on it from the back end for a little while, but it wasn’t publicly available.  Then I forgot about it for a few months.

Finally, I got off my butt and pulled an all-nighter to whip it into shape, fueled by coffee and nicotine.  I’d forgotten how many picture galleries there were.  I’d even forgotten to FTP a few of them up to the site, and a couple of them had multiple index pages.  That’s a lot of pages to edit, especially since it dawned on me that they all contained cute little house icons that pointed to the old domain name, plus I had to change all the footers.

Top that off with making sure the files for the entire domain were in a subdirectory of my primary account, dictated by my web host, and yeah, it took me all night.  I ended up doing a little trial and error, then writing down where the files belong at the host, and where I pulled them off my hard drive, so I wouldn’t have to start from scratch next time I do maintenance on it.

The software I used to generate those picture galleries dates back to 2001.  No way was I about to regenerate all of them, and fiddle with the settings for each to try to make them look prettier.  Some I didn’t bother to upload at all, and probably won’t.  I had to laugh when I saw that some had the logo.gif file on the index pages, and others didn’t.  That logo has the old domain name.  I can fix that graphic later.  At least the footers have the correct domain name.

Anyway, the pages and galleries are up, all the links work, and so does the blog I decided to add for the first time.  God do those old galleries look quaint!

I’ll add more galleries when I get around to creating them.  I certainly have enough pictures to do several more, but am reluctant to keep using an eight year old copy of Arles.  There’s got to be something a whole lot more customizable, and not so archaic looking.  I’ll find something I like.

So . . . if anyone’s curious enough to go take a poke around, here’s the home page.  Navigation’s pretty easy once you get there.


It’s not the easiest thing in the world to get into their small parking lot.  Fortunately, some highway traffic stopped, going the other direction, to wave me on.  They were stopped at a light, anyway, but this never would have happened in NJ.  I gave them “thank you” waves (as I sneaked across the two oncoming lanes), which they returned.

This is my type of garden center. It’s smaller than my old favorite one in NJ, but its prices are similar (a little higher than average, but not exceedingly so).

I snagged a flat of dark snapdragons with a few other light pink ones to make up for those that had already been sold.  S saw those and practically screamed “SNAPPIES!”  At least he didn’t chide me for the other stuff I bought:  a heather, a dark red mandevilla vine (not hardy in this zone), and a few other perennials that like partial shade.  We both love snappies, so it was a good choice.

What’s one more plant to bring inside with my orchids, when it gets cold enough in Fall?  Mandevillas are cool.  The rest of what I bought will get planted tomorrow, and can live or not, on their own, over the next few years.