Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Willy-Nilly Wednesday

Guest Post by The Iron Ant

Hello! Monica has been very busy lately, moreso thinking about all she has to do in the garden than actually doing most of it, but now she's getting a bit panicky as she offered her garden for a tour after the plant swap she's hosting on Saturday. So today, inspired by the good job Manny Mantid did yesterday for Frances, I'm doing this post for Monica.

Let me introduce myself. I'm the Iron Ant. Can you see me there in Piney?

Here I am close up (note how Monica forgets about her shadow when taking photos.) I'm made of a railroad tie stake by an artist at the Toledo Botanical Garden and came home with Monica (which is pretty amazing as she's really cheap) last summer. (I promised not to sit on her peonies.) I'm going through a list of Monica's notes to put this post together.

Monica was very happy last week to receive some Virginia bluebells in the mail from Shady Gardener in Iowa! Here's what they looked like, cut back for the journey. They had healthy roots and are now in Monica's northern shade garden. Thanks so much, Shady!

The next two photos are, with apologies for this one, for Linda who tweeted that rabbits had eaten both her tiarella and anemones.

Here is a tiarella to tide you over.

And here are some ersatz anemones. Oddly, our groundhog leaves both of these alone.

Monica also received an email asking her to review some free products on her blog. Several bloggers have been complaining about this practice, but Monica's main reaction was "Why doesn't anybody want to send me free stuff?!" (I told you she's cheap.) As it turns out, she wasn't interested in any of the items, but if she had been, she'd have accepted them with the caveat to the company that she'd review them, good or bad, and the caveat to blog readers that she was given them to review.

In other news, there may have been an incident here at Garden Faerie's Musings involving a human having to bathe a cat. Let's just say the circumstances leading to this are equally embarrassing and equally attributable to both Monica and Fiona, and that it went about 106 times better than Monica had feared. James and I stayed the heck out of the way.

We had a frost warning for both Sunday and Monday nights. Monica covered the winter-sown seedlings. They are, by their very winter-sown nature, hardened off, but they're also babies and Monica didn't want them to get frostbite! They're growing. A lot of silene had already been planted in the garden, and they are fine.

Others, like tomato, lupine, and borage have been transplanted to larger containers for the plant swap.

Finally, I'm a little worried about this guy. He seems to have followed Monica home from the visit to her mother's house. I'm just not sure about him — I mean, what's he planning to do with that mushroom, anyway?

I prefer this gargoyle. He's guarding the deck from groundhogs and you can tell where you stand with him.

Well, that's it for my guest post. I'm feeling a little rusty. ~The Iron Ant


  1. Hi there, Iron Ant, so nice to make your acquaintance! You have done a good job helping Monica while she is so busy worrying about a group coming to see her garden. I know my resident gardener would be having stress attacks into paralysis! You were lucky to have notes to work from too, I had to wing it, and thanks for the link love, my fellow metal insect blogger! :-)
    Manny Mantid

  2. Good morning Iron Ant! So nice to get a guest post and what a bunch of lovely updates. You tell Monica that if folks send her free stuff-take it with lots of pleasure! Have a good day and stay off those peonies.

  3. Well, hello. I must say you're the first ant I've every spoken with. Probably just as well Monica gave you the job and not that magic- mushroom toting gnome;)

    I don't know how anybody gets on the list for free stuff to review but I wouldn't mind.

    Tell Monica I wish her good luck with her plant sale and tour. Sure wish we lived closer.

  4. Talking ants, magic mushrooms... I feel like I'm in Wonderland!--Randy

  5. Good morning to you Mr/Ms Iron Ant! Would you please ask Monica to send me her mailing/package receiving address! She needs PPPP and maybe the Penstemon X! I do love Mish Mash Monday and Willy Nilly Wednesday...gail

  6. Good grief, talking ants - whatever next! ;)

    Here's the answer to the question you asked over at my place re where do I get the info about site searches on my blog:

    Monica - it's part of the site statistics website I use for free. See the little counter on the left hand side of my blog? That's it. Most people seem to use the one I use (Statcounter) or Sitemeter. If you find them on people's blogs, just clicking on the logo will take you to further information. Most of them are free unless you sign up for the super de-luxe all singing all dancing package, which isn't needed unless you're getting 100s of visitors per day.

  7. PS And how come Gail is now Michael?

  8. Awesome - just got back from reading about Manny and here is Iron Ant having his say!

    Your Tiarella's coming along a lot faster than mine - mine don't really do much till spring.

    I want to see pics of Mr Groundhog - I know he's your nemesis, but I bet I'll think he's cute!

  9. Hello Mr Ant, your guest post was very entertaining. You've obviously inherited Monica's knack for making me smile. :) Good luck with the free stuff, I'm sure you will give us an honest opinion.

  10. Good afternoon Ion Ant - it's a pleasure to make your aquaintance! Good grief, but that sounds SO English - it just sneaks out!!!

    I really enjoyed your post and it was very kind of you to do it for Monica so that she can get on with sorting her garden for the tour - not that it looks like it needs sorting btw!

    I love those Tiarellas - I haven't seen them over here.

    Tell Monica good luck for the plant sale and tour - I'm sure it'll go well:)

  11. Monica, Yep that's me signed in on my sweetie Mr I's account and his computer...I didn't notice it wasn't mine! Got your email and will ship it to you tomorrow! Gail

  12. Willy-Nilly Iron Ant ~ please whisper good luck wishes to dear Monica for a delightful plant sale and garden tour ... behave and don't share any secrets!

  13. Fun post Iron Ant but I must admit being puzzled by Monica having a group of people coming to see her garden. What was she thinking of? Panick stations, every one!

    Before I forget: dish the dirt about that incident that caused the cat to be bathed.

    Free stuff is good! Bring it on!

  14. If ever I go to a garden tour at Monica's I'm watching where I step and staying away from the deck. And I won't be turning my back on the gnome either.

    I always thought one of the hardest things to do was play catch with a cat. I didn't think of giving one a bath would be so hard since I have one who gets in the shower with me.

  15. Hello Iron Ant, pleased to meet you, and I enjoyed your post! Please tell Monica I like the tiarella. I wish I could come along to the plant swop, but it's a little too far even for a plant obsessive like me!

  16. So it was Bugs Bunny who ate my blooms! Thanks for the tipoff, and the link love Mr. Ant.

    I can see why Monica snapped you up in spite of her 'cheapness.' What's not to love about a cute garden sculpture such as yourself, especially one who can stand in as a guest blogger when Monica's busy - admirable job on your (first) guest post!

  17. Hahahaha! A very good post, Iron Ant! Your German siblings are not so well-mannered and are all over the peony buds!
    Uhm, Fiona? We're a bit worried, are you okay?
    Purrs, Siena & Chilli

  18. I could use an Iron Ant... especially if he does the typical digging that ants do! ;-) I'm glad the V.Bluebells arrived safely. I'll watch for your post next Spring!! Happy Willy-Nilly W.

  19. I love your sense of humor Monica.. I am reading in reverse order here to catch have another frost warning here which will set a record....I want it to be warm here...