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This Week

Hi everyone,
Yesterday I had the first flowers on Aphrodite to open.  There are seven 
scapes with a lot of buds on each.  
This week we have had our first cool nights.  I am talking about the 
temperature in the 60s.  It feels wonderful for a few hours in the mornings. 
By afternoon it is still in the upper 90s and gets rather warm especially in 
the growing houses.  This week we have removed every thing from house 3 and 
used the pressure washer to clean it.  This will be used to hold over new 
plants for this winter, my hybridizing plants that are in containers and 
seedlings that I have divided to grow on for further evaluation.  All of 
these will be removed in the spring.  Most of them will be added to the 
display area. With the house empty again I will move the new seedlings there 
to grow for the summer.  I would really feel wealthy to have 10 houses rather 
than six. My husband is most willing to build them but I made the decision 
not to add to my never ending days with extra houses so I will simply move up 
the hill under the pines and expand the water system so that there will be 
more growing space. Any way it is good brain exercise to keep planning ahead 
enough to manage with what is here.

No rain for two months now.  Things are looking bad.  The earth is cracking 
and the concrete slabs are settling again. There a few things taking place 
that have gotten my attention.  First I have noticed that the black walnut 
and pecan trees have far too much fruit this year.  Limbs are breaking daily. 
 When we do finally have rain, I feel the extra weight will cause extensive 
damage.  These trees have already been trimmed once this summer. Another 
thing is that fall must be coming early this year.  Our dogwood trees are a 
turning.  This is about one month early.

I am excited about some of the crosses that I have been able to make in the 
past two weeks.  Some late flowering Lakeside Lollipop pollen was used on 
Lakeside Knickknack, which is now into its third bloom season.  It has pods 
from each of the three bloom times. I checked the other day and discovered 
that I have about 100 crosses on this variety. L. Lollipop was also used on a 
very dark seedling that is streaked with creamy yellow.  I have visions of a 
Lollipop with a yellow border.  OK so I can dream can't I.   There is also an 
assortment of streaked Lakeside Baby Face flowering. I have had flowers 
available since May on this one.  Another thing that I feel good about are 
the pods on Thai Brass. I tried some way-out things.  Its pollen has also 
proven to be great.  It has set almost every thing that I used it on. At his 
time I am happy that all of these plants are in containers.  The best I can 
figure it will be the end of Nov before they are ripe.  This week I picked my 
first ripe seed from the May flowering plants.  I have begun to spread them 
on the counter in the utility room. All work space in the plant room is being 
used for other projects at present.  Anyway soon it will be need for planting 
and potting in there so no need to move the seed.

Next week I hope to tell you the strange story of returning cats.

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