The definition of irony: a raccoon ripping up your plants next to a cute raccoon statue, after you caught the last one and released him.
Here’s the story. We caught the last little varmint. His brother or sister are back. Instead of borrowing the neighbor’s animal trap we went to Rural King and bought our own safe “catch & release’ trap.
Big Daddy said buy sardines for the trap. How was I to know the fine print said gourmet sardines in hot mustard? Anyway at 6:00 AM this morning I went out and something was in the cage having a fit.
‘Big Daddy had slipped the cage inside of a lawn & leaf bag and all I could see were angry eyes. So I ran in to get Mr. Fox and said “Get-Up, Get-Up! You got him and he’s spitting mad.
So after he backed up the truck to drive him to the edge of our woods and we got our cup of coffee and a fishing pole we took the cage out of the bag opened the cage only to discover we had bagged the neighbor’s Tom cat!
And Big Daddy said he didn’t even get a meal out of the deal because he refused to eat Gourmet Sardines in Hot Mustard! So The Cat’s Out Of The Bag! We bagged the neighbor’s Tom Cat!
The story of Barb Kingery’s potting shed went viral. Why? Because Miriam Illions of Hometalk saw a picture I posted of it on Twitter. She tweeted to me and asked me to post it to Hometalk, her network, the largest home and garden social network on the Web. Its been pinned 7.8k times and shared 10k times.Â Now Barb says, “Susan, we live on the edge of fame.”
The Power of A Well Timed Tweet & A Photo
Barb reflected, “Susan, wait a minute, I think I am famous, just Google Barb Kingery.”Â
At Miriam Illion’s request I joined the network and subsequently also became a spokeperson for Hometalk. I then posted the complete series of photos at that timeÂ at www.hometalk.com/gagasgarden. Since then Barb’s ‘”Teacher’s Dream Garden Shed” with an antique crystal chandelier has become quite famous. A few weeks ago Hannah Vaughn of Hometalk contacted me and asked if Country Living Magazine and Good Housekeeping, a Meredith CorporationÂ could reprint my photos and the essence of the story. Barb now happily lives “on the edge of fame.”
Here’s her story as I posted it:
A 35 year career 2nd grade teacher, Barb Kingery from Illinois designed her dream potting shed herself. The potting shed design is an adaptation of plans that were in the 2005 July/August Handyman magazine. Barb purchased the red door at an antique store, and the builder turned it into a Dutch door as well as building the carriage doors. Every item including the brass and crystal chandelier was bought at garage and yard sales driving out in the country hunting for gardening themed items. The interior items cost her around $300.00. She contracted the work that had to be done by any outside labor. Functional in every way this potting shed coverts into a playhouse for grand kids to play school and store when not in use planting the fall bulbs.
*Reflection notes for Diary of A Marketing Mom: the discussion Master of the Marketing Analytics Universe, Michael Fox and I have been having is this, let’s say Meredith Corporation tracks their new readership data with Google Analytics. They have to have this data to sell advertising. Trust me based on the 10k Retweets and the 7.8k pins I had on Hometalk for my post ‘Teacher’s Dream”this article is going to boost their readership. The new readership they gain all due to Barb’s “Cute Potting Shed”. The true source of this data actually would be Hometalk, viaÂ Twitter. Side note about Twitter is although enormouslyÂ popular Twitter struggles to show value to advertisers. Our mantra in the departments I managed was if you can’t measure itÂ it’s of no value. Change your strategy until you find what works, then be able to track and measure those results. Â Its essential to source true data of what works, more than ever because of the disparity in the understanding of management of ‘what is’ and ‘how does it add to the bottom line’. the social media activity department within marketing departments must prepare them self with case studies and be able to account for every dollar spent. Budget line items the ‘C’sÂ often times cannot equate to the bottom line are the first to be cut are quite frankly social media, and public relations.Â A bit more of a challenge are the companies who haven’t seenÂ how ‘social media’ is really just a strategic arm of the marketing department. Use this case study for your marketing department to show how a social media works and single tweet can result in a measurable ocean of data and trackable new readers, prospects, customers.
at The Biltmore International Rose Trials, May 30, 2015 Asheville, NC
Guest Post By:
Senior Public Relations Manager
“Savannahâ€ takes Best in Show at the 2015 Biltmore International Rose Trials
ASHEVILLE, N.C. â€“ An international jury of rose experts awarded â€œSavannah,â€ a dusky pink rose bred in Germany, the George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose/Best in Show during the third annual Biltmore International Rose Trials competition on Saturday, May 30.
Growers, distributors and all-around rose appreciators joined the jury for the event, the culmination of two yearsâ€™ growth of roses submitted by breeders in 2013 to be cared for and tested by Biltmoreâ€™s expert gardening team. Rose breeds from the U.S. and several other countries made it through preliminary judging rounds for Saturdayâ€™s final contest, held at Biltmoreâ€™s 120-year-old Rose Garden.
â€œSavannahâ€ is bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany, and also captured the categories for Best Hybrid Tea and Most Fragrant. Two roses bred by Bill Radler took three categories. Radler is creator of the breed called Knock Out Roses, well-known in both home gardening and professional landscaping circles.
Pat Shanley, international jury member and president-elect of the American Rose Society, said trials like these provide an opportunity to not only admire the beauty of roses, but to eradicate the long-thought notion that roses are difficult to grow and need to be treated with pesticides. The roses trialed at Biltmoreâ€™s contest are bred especially for the casual gardener to grow and nurture.
The trial roses are on display amid rose specimens that have been growing in Biltmoreâ€™s Rose Garden for more than 100 years. Guests at Biltmore are welcome to stroll through and judge for themselves.
Here are all of the winners of the 2015 Biltmore International Rose Trials. A photo gallery of all of the winning roses is available here.
Â· The George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose of the Trials (Best in Show): â€œSavannah,â€ bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany
Â· The Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea: â€œSavannah,â€ bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany
Â· The Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose: â€œSavannah,â€ bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany
Â· The Award of Excellence for Best Established Rose: â€œQueen Elizabeth,â€ a Grandiflora rose.
Â· The Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda: â€œTequila Gold,â€ bred by Meilland in France.
Â· The Honorable John Cecil for Open Group: â€œPopcorn Drift,â€ bred by Nova Flora, a breeder in West Grove, Pa.
Â· The Gilded Age Award for Best Climber: â€œFlyingKiss,â€ bred by Ping Lim, based in Portland, Oregon.
Â· The Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub Rose: â€œPeachy Keen,â€ bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.
Â· The William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit: â€œPhloxy Baby,â€ bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.
Â· The Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant: â€œPeachy Keen,â€ bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, Americaâ€™s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt familyâ€™s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the companyâ€™s licensed products division. More information is available at www.biltmore.com or by calling 877-BILTMORE.
LeeAnn Donnelly Salem Bombace
News Release Written by LeeAnn Donnelly Guest Post
The George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose of the Trials
Best in Show
â€œSavannah,â€ bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany
The Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea:
â€œSavannah,â€ bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany Â
The Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose:
â€œSavannah,â€ bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany
Savannah | A Kordes Rose | Photo credit New Flora
The gardens are managed by horticulturalist, Parker Andes. The International Rose Trials were created and coordinated by Paul Zimmerman of Paul Zimmerman Roses and author of Everyday Roses. Today Paul introduced the newly appointed rosarian of the rose gardens at the estate, the delightful and talented Emily Wilson pictured above ready getting ready to announce the winners along with the former head of the rose garden Lucas Jack. Here are the other winners:
The Award of Excellence for Best Established Rose: â€œQueen Elizabeth,â€ a Grandiflora rose.
The Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant:
â€œPeachy Keen,â€ bred by Bill Radler of Milwaukee, WI
The William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit:
â€œPhloxy Baby,â€ bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.
Brad Yoder of Star Roses Conard Pyle, practically stayed up front to receive his awards for Star/Bill Radler’s Roses. It was an exciting Day for all.
One of the most unusual roses we saw that Debbie and Dr. Keith Zary | Jackson & Perkins | Wikipedia and I were judging at the same time was this delightful creature that truly has the look of phlox and we said so before we knew its name and low and behold its name is ‘Phloxy Baby’ It’s truly delightful. That’s all for now folks! Until next year and a new hat. Love from the Biltmore Estate.
â€œMother always took flowers to Daddy and his brother Danielâ€™s grave, both WWII vets on Memorial Day and we spent time tending the graves and remembering the families that are left with only memories of their loved ones that paid the ultimate sacrifice.” ~ Susan Fox
Every Memorial Day Mother cut our peonies and put them on Daddyâ€™s grave at Mt. Olivet.
Peonies were her favorite flower. They bloom long before roses in northern Illinois, one mile from the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. And peonies are bountiful in Illinois. The first rose usually blooms around Fatherâ€™s Day. Before rose pruning we would apply a cup of bone meal around every peony bush to ensure a lush bloom each year. The list is long of what we learn from observing the actions of our parents. According to the theory of learning styles, students who have a predominantly kinesthetic style are thought to be discovery learners: they have realization through doing. Kinesthetics learners are also commonly known as “do-ers”* Since I am happiest ‘doing gardening’ or moving about, this feeling of the importance of a simple act of ‘doing something’ to honor those warriors that willingly paid it all seems important. Reverence, honor and respect for the memory of those that sacrificed for us and paved the way for our success is something we cannot put a price on. Itâ€™s intangible yet very real.
Memorial Day Traditions
The impact of watching Mother cut peonies, and call anyone in the family that wanted to go visit the cemetery on Memorial Day every year, including my sister-law served to leave a deep impression on me to â€œdo somethingâ€ out of my reverence for those that served in the armed forces that instead of coming home from war could only leave their family with memories. The human need â€˜to actâ€™ is strong. My mother passed away in 1994, and when we can we visit Salem WI on Memorial Day, where my sister-in-law, Martha lives. Salem is about 25 miles from where Daddy, his brother both WWII vets and my brother are laid to rest. Martha had been married to my brother Larry when he had a car accident coming home from work in a rain storm that cost him his life at 24 and left her with 4 year old daughter to raise.
The High Flyers
Â We Placed Wreaths of Yellow Roses on Their Head Stones and Another Peddle
We saw the little pebbles that we placed there the last time we visited as is on old custom I learned. We sat on the ground and gently, quietly pulled weeds around the headstones and I remembered Daddy playing his clarinet and tapping his foot to the metronome along with famous clarinetist and Jazz Musician, Pete Fountain. or the Lawrence Welk show and we danced in the vision of my mind. I thanked him and all the other soldiers that had served and died for our country.
Inevitably I thought of my mother and how she loved peonies and would take them to spend time tending the head stone quietly remember Daddy on Memorial Day.
Our Soldiers Are at Mt. Olivet, Illinois
Mother would have loved Moss Mountain Farm and every detail that I could tell her about my experience there. So in honor of Memorial Day here are the most beautiful peonies I have ever seen that Allen had arranged in his home. Together Mom we can symbolically lift these peonies up in remembrance of the WWII vets. I know Allen would be pleased. And I can tell you she would have adored Allen. He epitomizes in appearance and manner the essence and style of aÂ Southern Gentleman.
Diane is is one of those few people that you meet in your life that you feel you have known all your life although my dear friend Teresa Byington, of The Garden Diary, introduced her when we all agreed to meet at the airport in Little Rock: #ARStory | The Beginning of My ARStory. She is an amazing and beautifully talented woman who grows many herbs, greens and fruits organically on her property only two hours from my family in Virginia. I keep seeing people linked like the parlour game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
*”Margaret H’Doubler wrote and spoke about kinesthetic learning during the 1940s, defining kinesthetic learning as the human body’s ability to express itself through movement and dance. â†’(Perhaps Gardening)
According to the theory of learning styles, students who have a predominantly kinesthetic style are thought to be discovery learners: they have realization through doing, rather than thinking before initiating action. They may struggle to learn by reading or listening.
When learning, it helps for these students to move around; this increases the students’ understanding, with learners generally getting better marks in exams when they can do so. Kinesthetic learners usually succeed in activities such as chemistry experiments, sporting activities, art and acting; It is common for kinesthetic learners to focus on two different things at the same time, remembering things in relation to what they were doing. They possess good eyeâ€“hand coordination. In kinesthetic learning, learning occurs by the learner using their body to express a thought, an idea or a concept (in any field).”
For a complete list of bloggers/writers invited to P. Allen Smith's Garden to Blog 2015 Reunion Visit:
Who Is P. Allen Smith