The Heavenly All-White Narcissus Mixture – John Scheepers

1 Oct

A few years ago I planted this mix and it’s been pretty good.  Thinking back about my moonlight gardens this summer combined with thinking forward to the spring, I just ordered 50 more bulbs of this mix for planting this fall.

From John Scheepers

White Narcissus Mix

White Narcissus Mix

Heavenly All-White Narcissus Mixture includes: Trumpet Daffodil Mount Hood, Large Cupped Narcissus Stainless, Double Narcissi Cheerfulness and White Medal, Triandrus Narcissi Petrel and Thalia, and Small Cupped Princess Zaide. It is divine. Bulb size: DNII. April/May. 16″ to 20″. HZ: 3-7.

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day – Millennium Running 09.13.15

15 Sep

Northeast Delta Dental Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 5k, Wild Rover, Manchester at 10:15. Kilts, Irish music, a Celtic festival with Guinness, Guinness blond, Angry Orchard, bagpipe band, food &  drink kiosks, head shave for charity, even a street boxing match put on by Bare Knuckle Murphy’s Boxing Gymnasium.  Video

This was the 12th race of 17 in the Millennium Points Chase.  Still hanging in there somehow!

Wild Rover

Wild Rover

Halfway to St Patricks Day, kilt too!

Halfway to St Patricks Day, kilt too!

Logistics were easy, temperature ideal, related events more fun than I expected.  Warming up we even saw the 911 Stairclimb at the Brady-Sullivan building with firefighters climbing 110 floors in full turnout gear/SCBA.   Hearing the bell, the American flag hanging from fire truck ladders and watching the firefighters go into the building was moving.

In 2005 when I last ran this race, there were only 233 runners compared to 1060 runners this year.

Millennium Running puts together incredibly high quality races with exceptional details and extras which STILL continue to impress me.

Pre-race, Jim and I warmed up in the downtown, checked out Wadleigh Starr where his wife was starting work the next day and I enjoyed running on familiar Manchester streets.   The Elm Street start heading north was visually striking and I felt light and quick during a few pre-race strides.   As usual, I tried to catch Greg Audet in the first mile, then Jim Monahan in the second mile, and then reel in anyone I could, particularly women who might be masters.   The final shot back down Chestnut Street was nostalgic as part of my old lunchtime route and I focused on the Bridge St traffic light, which didn’t seem to be getting closer.  The quick turn to Kosciuszko Street finish is super fun and I gave a strong finish line kick hearing my name being announced by WMUR sports director Jamie Staton.  I gathered up with friends and we checked our results at big screens.  YAY!!!  Surprisingly I was just 14 seconds per mile slower than 10 years ago and pleased being 4th of 206 F masters.  (Hey, in 2005 I placed 5th in AG)

Slightest drizzle was no deterrent and after we warmed-down to Verizon Center, the festivity was inviting.

Post race, Jim Monahan, Greg Audet (in kilt & Cinco half-zip) me looking wet

Post race, Jim Monahan, Greg Audet (in kilt & Cinco half-zip) me looking wet

Results link 2015   22:40, 7:18, 4th of 206 Female Masters

Old 2005 Cool-Running Results

2005 post-race. Photobombing Dave Audet, with Jimmy Fallon & Michelle LeBrun in background.

2005 post-race Photobombing Dave Audet, with Jimmy Fallon & Michelle LeBrun in background.

Still 1st master! 3rd female and moved up to 9th overall!

MILLENNIUM POINTS CHASE: Still 1st master! 3rd female and moved up to 9th overall!

New Hampshire 10 Miler, August 29, 2015 – Millennium Running

31 Aug

I feel very grateful my body kept together for this distance and challenging race.   I’ve backed off considerably, doing minimal training and all year, my knees seem to have a tracking and alignment problem, patellofemoral syndrome.  I came here just to enjoy the experience and get through.   Memories of the course from 2011 even glossed over one particularly steep part of the hills.  Up and down!   Congratulations to all the runners who ran Saturday.

Sweet scenery

Sweet scenery

As part of NH Grand Prix, the race was very competitive with serious top runners.

Race ad… boats on Lake Massabesic… great race shirt

I saw lots of friends at this race, plus John Mortimer, Jamie Staton, Andy Schachat and the Millennium crew delivered another outstanding event.   I appreciate and cherish every nuance and the opportunity to be a part.


Millennium Lead Vehicle

My legs felt pretty beat up and I was wobbly post-race.  Later in the day, I enjoyed my race pint glass and proudly slipped on my hard-earned new race shirt.

10 miler

Post race hydration while making dinner – which explains the tiny fleck of fresh parsley on the glass

I last ran this in 2011, 7:01 pace – 1:10.  Here’s a link to blog from last time I did this race.

Race results

Scored points for GSRT team

10th F master in NH Grand Prix 1:20:29; Age grade 1:11:37

Big goal?  Millennium Points Standings

NH X-C Festival, photos 8/22/15

28 Aug
NH X-C Festival, Start

NH X-C Festival, Start

NH-XC Festival, after

NH-XC Festival, after “boomerang” turn

NH X-C Festival, finish line in sight

NH X-C Festival, finish line in sight

NH XC Festival, Derryfield Park, August 22, 2015

25 Aug

I feel so fortunate I saw the course preview and pre-ran the course before tackling this race!!   Man, it is a tough one and so I’m thankful I knew what to expect!   Congratulations to all the runners who showed up “with some guts, because cross country is not for the weak of heart!!”  (excerpt from Millennium pre-race email)

This 5k course (2 miles for the HS races) runs the traditional Cross Country Course for NH High School state meets and it is challenging.  Ski lift = hills!

“Thowback” X-C singlet. We voted on design!

Arriving at 2:00 p.m., I watched the high school waves before my wave at 3:00.    It was a hoot to warm-up cheering for the students… then race my wave… then warm-down supporting the last wave.   It was cautionary, hearing the hard breathing on the uphill start, plus accentuated the focus and effort we all put in and the relief and ebullience when done.

This was my 10th Millennium race in 2015 and even in this venue, Millennium provided their fantastically outstanding details and race organization.  For a fun twist, we got to vote on the race shirts a few weeks ago!  They were a bright version of a throwback x-c singlet (first 400 5K registrants) and my choice won!   My women’s medium felt wonderful and dry to change into post-race!

Derryfield with Uncanoonuc Mountains.

Derryfield with Uncanoonuc Mountains. Start is at the very bottom

It’s a wide starting line and grass uphill start which “gets you gassed” (pre-race announcements from John Mortimer).   I made sure I did a little uphill in warm-up getting ready and got a “hi” from TV 9 sports director Jamie Staton announcing near the start.

The second mile is trail and a tough climb with loose rocks and I exchanged a hello with Gloucester All Terrain runner, Freddi Pare.   We emerged from the woods to McIntyre ski area at 1.5 miles and as I looked up, I had been chasing none other than 2011 World Mt Running Champion Kasie Enman who was preparing for her wave!!  Seeing her just ahead on the steepest part of the climb felt like a honor :)

McIntyre ski area

McIntyre ski lift. Ski lift = hills!

We “face a 95 foot climb over the next .4 to the top of Tower Hill at 1.9 miles,” then flew downhill, described as… “the last mile starts with a big drop, from the top of Tower Hill to the bottom of Reservoir Ave you lose 190 feet in 7/10ths of a mile.”  Kasie peeled off-course and kindly alerted me so I didn’t inadvertently follow.  I yelled back “thanks, you’re a superstar, Kasie!!!!”

I smiled about “running around the door” which stood out there at the corner of the field and mentally prepared for the grassy uphill again and around the tree before the final boomerang shot to the finish line!!   I crossed, hitting my watch and was immediately greeted by friends.   I grabbed a water and Millennium also offered Powerade, Portland Pie Pizza, Stonyfield Yogurt and fruit, but I instinctively headed to the results which are broadcast on 2 big screens.  Freddi and I were psyched to see we were 1st & 3rd female masters in our wave!!!! YAY!! We were very excited and thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment!

Finish line, NH XC Festival

Finish line, NH XC Festival

For warm down, I ran to my car a few times (d’oh, brains are mush post-race… talk to people… Freddi and I try to figure out if we’re supposed to wait for awards… put on dry singlet… ) and back to 3-4 spots on the course to cheer on the competitive wave, USATF-NE All Terrain Series/Cross Country Grand Prix.

Afterwards, the post race celebration was at Shaskeen on Elm Street to hang with friends.

Race Results are posted here.   24:24, 5th female in my wave of 263 runners!  Perry pointed out that he saw my name on the “leaderboard” … monumental!

Millennium Points Chase standings were updated last night and holy cow I moved up to 3rd female overall after this race!! I just hoped to hold on as 1st Female Master.  I got very lucky and I feel very appreciative and surprised, but won’t get used to it with 7 races remaining.

I read that from the proceeds of this NH X-C Festival, Millennium Running is underwriting the cost of the NHIAA High School Cross Country Championships in October and the State XC Banquet in December.

August in NH, tomatoes !

24 Aug
Varieties of tomatoes

3 interesting tomato varieties, picked a few minutes earlier

Fabulous types of tomatoes !  One is a fascinating black cherry color.  When I Googled varieties, it might be this:

“The only truly black cherry tomato…  vigorous tomato plants that yield abundant crops in huge clusters of 1″, round, deep purple, mahogany-brown cherry tomatoes. Fruits are irresistibly delicious with sweet, rich, complex, full tomato flavors that burst in your mouth, characteristic of the best flavorful black tomatoes.”

Plus, other tomato varieties like yellow mini type, supersweet 100 (below) and a sort of paste tomato like San Marzano.

Below photo is chopped garlic, sweet onion, zucchini, basil, curled parsley and FIVE types of tomatoes !  That’s my record for tomato varieties in one single recipe :)

NH Garden August

YUM! from NH gardens in August

Sunlight filtering – cobblestone arc in back

17 Aug

View from back living room window.  The cobblestone “arc” patio is 3 years old.  I wrote a blog post back when I created it.  The Pachysandra bed separates the lawn from the woods and the urn of white impatiens float/lift up from the Pachysandra “sweep.”  Sunlight filtered through the trees.

filtered sunlight, back yard

filtered sunlight, back yard

Paeonia “Sarah Bernhardt”

13 Aug
like a painting

like a painting

From White Flower Farm

The classic double blooms of ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ are deep pink, lighter toward the edges. This heirloom from 1906 is also delightfully fragrant, and one of the strongest growers and most reliable bloomers. No wonder it received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Late midseason.

Peony, June 22, 2015 Back deck

Peony, June 22, 2015
Back deck

Peonies produce their extravagant display in early June every year, regardless of weather, because they are among the most durable and longest-lived plants. They have no natural enemies, no exacting cultural requirements beyond full sun and neutral to slightly sweet soil, and they shrug off cold. After bloom is complete, you are left with a handsome mound of glossy, deep green foliage that will happily anchor the next sequence of bloom in the neighborhood. Finally, Peonies make superior cut flowers, lasting more than a week if cut in full bud.

Close up

close up

White impatiens, tucked in woods for “Moon Garden”

12 Aug

My house is surrounded by a lot of wooded area.  I have 3 urns and one small planter, all filled with white impatiens, a vibrant, carefree annual that blooms nonstop all summer in shady spots and create a “Moon Garden” effect.

Impatiens in urn among Pachysandra.

Impatiens in urn among Pachysandra.

From Teleflora blog:

“Many people are eager to plant their own garden, but those who have busy schedules may not have the time to tend to – or simply sit and enjoy – their flowers until after dark. That’s a major reason why moon gardens have been steadily becoming more popular. By strategically planting blossoms that look best by the moonlight, you can appreciate these blooms in an entirely new way while reflecting, reading a book or savoring a late-night cocktail outside. So what does it take to build one of these majestic gardens?”

The post suggests… “all you need to know in order to create your own evening floral sanctuary… some flowers are more ideal than others for a moon garden, mainly due to the way the light reflects on their petals. For example, bright white, cream and ivory blossoms have an especially stunning effect by night because they almost appear to glow in the moonlight.”

Daylily photos from my gardens, yes more!

6 Aug

BUTTERED POPCORN (Benzinger) 32″, D., E.M., 6″ (T)
This time-tested butter yellow daylily is a real beauty, especially in a clump. A consistent rebloomer with excellent bud count gives this nocturnal a long season. Fragrant.

Perhaps: ARRIBA (Griesbach-Hardy) 32

Perhaps: ARRIBA (Griesbach-Hardy) 32″, D., E., 5″ (T)
Famous dark velvety red with very green throat gives a beautiful effect. Extended blooming. H.M. Award

Hemerocallis 'Kwanso'(AKA H. fulva flore pleno, 'Kwanzo')

Hemerocallis ‘Kwanso'(AKA H. fulva flore pleno, ‘Kwanzo’)

PIZZA (Warner) 29

PIZZA (Warner) 29″, D., E., 2 /2″
Beautifully formed, golden-yellow miniature. Excellent branching and clean compact foliage. Long bloom season that goes through July. Tops.


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