Whoa Nellie!*

September 28, 2009 old 080 (2)
There have been some surprises around the Fairegarden that would like to be shared. Some are so shocking that the title phrase is uttered aloud. Yes, some people talk to themselves and there is nothing wrong with that. To illustrate the point, the above hardy waterlily, Nymphaea ‘Helvola’ was blooming its heart out and we nearly missed it. The pond had become quite shady as the nearby planted as little baby trees grew steadily larger. Funny how that happens. Hope of blooms had been discarded like an old sock with a hole in the heel, when the light buttery yellow grabbed our attention. This must be the result of some extensive pruning of the dogwoods surrounding the pond, and the half allee of river birches that line the lower west side of the property along the fence line. Wild grapevines had invaded those trees and The Financier had to be called in to the rescue with the pole saw. The slanting sunlight of fall is now better illuminating the pond, apparently enough for a late bloom.

September 29, 2009 new 012 (2)
A cold front has blown the recent rain clouds away giving the air a much needed cleansing. Low humidity, crisp mornings and, wait a minute! Stop rhapsodizing about the weather and look at what has happened to Leo! Leo being the seed grown Leonotis nepetifolia ‘Staircase’, supposedly the shorter L. leonurus until a case of false identy was discovered. Read here to see the heights to which this giant had grown. The winds are too strong for this top heavy player so there is only one solution.

September 29, 2009 new 010 (2)September 29, 2009a 007 (2)
The tallest stems, make that trunks were severed, the tripod of birch branches removed for reuse as trellis material and Leo was relocated to the garage deck stairwell. He will get rained upon in that spot and be protected from light, early frosts to continue producing these amazing blooms. We did manage to get a photo of the bloom without being on the ladder even though it was upside down. Sitting on the top step brings us eye to eye. Thanks for this idea, MMD.

September 28, 2009 old 003 (2)
Suddenly the nightime temps have dipped into the fifty degree fahrenheit range. Suddenly the orchids are threatened after being neglected all summer and have moved to the forefront of gardening chores to be accomplished. The dip of death, click here to see what this is, has not been prepared in the Big Lots tub, the greenhouse/sunroom needs a thorough clean up and what is going on over in the far corner behind the hot tub?

September 28, 2009 old 004 (2)
Pumpkin is blooming, that is what is going on. This Cattleya Slc. (Pumpkin Festival ‘Fong Yuen’ x Naomi Kerps ‘Fireball’) normally blooms from Hallowe’en until Christmas. It seems things are not going according to the calender this year.

September 28, 2009 old 047 (2)
In addition to dealing with the orchids and preparing the greenhouse, it is time to clear out the veggie beds. Green beans and peppers have been harvested and the plants pulled. Seed packets of greens and lettuces need to be perused and choices made for fall sowing, if it is not too late already. While working up in the veggie area, it was noted that the strawberry plants, which did not put food on the human table this year but fed some critter quite well, is getting a toehold in the landscape fabric that lines the paths to keep delicate dainty tootsies dry. Whoa.

September 28, 2009 old 040 (2)
This is not whoa worthy but is being shown to see if anyone recognizes the mythological creature represented by this statue? We were looking for another concrete Chinese Foo Dog to protect our two other tree peonies and spotted this fellow. Not quite the Foo Dog look, sort of looks like a winged scary monkey, but is this considered a … what? All ideas are welcome.

September 27, 2009 001 (2)
Spotted sipping on the wild ageratum, Conoclinium coelestinum, is our first image of a monarch butterfly this season. Not much of a shot, but the camera could get no closer without frightening the flutterby so we settled.

September 28, 2009 old 056 (2)
Bringing up the rear, the caboose of this post are these two fifth instars of the black swallowtail butterfly, or is it a fifth and a fourth, written about recently here. It was not known what was happening with one larger catt taking advantage of the slightly smaller one, but it was disconcerting to say the least. Was this some sort of dominance thing, or do they practice cannibalism? (Looking up the answer to this question, yes they do practice cannibalism**.) All sorts of violence happens in the garden everyday, it is nature’s way. But I decided to intervene and shook the fennel branch to stop this action. Look what popped out of the aggressor’s front end! The Black Swallowtail Caterpillar has an orange “forked gland”, called the osmeterium. When in danger the osmeterium, which looks like a snake’s tongue, everts and releases a foul smell to repel predators. Whoa Nellie!


*The phrase “Whoa Nellie” was spoken on the weekly television series, The Roy Rogers Show of the 1950s by Pat Brady, the sidekick of my childhood hero Roy Rogers. Nellie Belle was the name of his jeep and it would sometimes backfire or bounce around on the rough terrain of the wild wild west when taking off after the bad guys and Pat’s expression became a cultural icon used to express surprise. To see a clip from the show’s opening sequence click here. My very first lunchbox, in first grade, depicted Roy Rogers astride his valiant horse Trigger who was reared up on his hind legs. I once hit Danny W. on the head with this very same lunchbox for making a wisecrack about Roy and was sent to the principal for a good talking to.

**The victim caterpillar was relocated to the parsley patch where there is plenty of food for all. And no, I did not detect a foul odor from the caterpillar, but since I am not a predator would be unable to detect it anyhow.

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54 Responses to Whoa Nellie!*

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and you’ve reminded me about my orchids in the garden. October will be a month of cleaning up, making room and moving plants around. Soon, I’ll need to move these orchids indoors for the winter. Thanks Frances.

    Hi Jackie, thanks. We brought the orchids inside to the large bay window in our master bedroom the first year we lived in Houston and a huge millipede crawled into my bed onto my arm and bit me in the middle of the night! Needless to say, the orchids were sent outside into a structure we built for them wrapped in frost cloth to winter over. They did manage to survive if not thrive and are with us still in TN but have to be brought into the greenhouse/sunroom for winter. And also needless to say we give any plant coming inside a dunk into a vat of insecticide first.

  2. Joy says:

    Frances I am fascinated by that statue .. I would have a lot more like that if I had a bigger area to nestle them into as guardians for special plants (that I might forget where I put them, let alone what the heck did I plant there ? sort of thing) .. that water lily is beautiful : )

    Hi Joy, thanks. I thought of your bench warmers when getting this weird thing. He is about one foot high, not large at all so fits easily into the garden. He is not well balanced and needs propping up with some well placed stones.

  3. The photo of the watercolour is amazing, it looks like a painting. You said “Let there be light” (to The Financier) and look what happened.
    Frances, I was wondering how far apart you planted your allee, when I was searching for spacing for the serviceberries, most sites recommended 6-10 feet. I know that they are wider then that when grown as a free standing tree. I am very prepared for pruning, I want a very tunnel like effect, with branches meeting at the side and also over the path.

    Thanks Deborah, you have figured out the routine with The Financier around here, I command, he jumps! NOT! HA The allee reference was for you, you know. Mine are about 6 to 8 feet apart along the stockade type fence of the property line. We have had to prune them up over the years and love the look of the peeling bark. It is amazing how large they have grown in the nine years since planted as 5 gallon babies on half price at the big box in late fall. You will get the tunnel in no time in yours. It will be great! 🙂

  4. Les says:

    Intervening with nature, isn’t that the definition of gardening? I removed a nearly doomed frog from a snake’s mouth last week. I wouldn’t normally have done so, but the poor critter was making the most pitiful cries. The snake just had to move on and eat something out of my ear shot.

    Yes, Les, that’s it exactly. As for nature following the food chain course, not in my earshot or vision please! 🙂

  5. ourfriendben says:

    Gorgeous photos, Frances! Love your Pumpkin and the Helvola specially, but the monarch too. And “whoa Nellie” or the equivalent is right about those swallowtail caterpillars! I had no clue that they could do such a thing. I’d imagine a predator might well be disconcerted if the caterpillar he was eyeing for dinner suddenly turned into a snake! (Thanks for revealing the origins of “whoa Nellie,” by the way. I had no idea, but had always assumed it was horse-related.)

    Thanks OFB. There are lots of surprises in the garden lately, but that caterpillar snake impression was a real whoa moment! I think before Pat Brady and his jeep came around, the English commonly called their steeds Nellie so the horse reference is apt. 🙂

  6. Janet says:

    Ok Frances, last things first or was it first? Whoa Nellie needed no explanation! It is a common phrase in our lexicon as well…we must have grown up together. (Like the old album…Sons of Different Mothers– we are sisters of different mothers!)
    Your big Leoni(o)tis nepetifolia is pretty amazing. I googled it and Leo (lion) and Otis (ear) –in German the name is Lion’s Ear. How fun.
    You aren’t close enough to Kansas for it to be one of Dorothy’s monkeys…..maybe you are in Oz?
    Great info on the caterpillars.

    Hi Janet, thanks so much, especially for setting me straight about the spelling on old Leo there. I had to go back and change it on the old posts too. How embarrassing, but sincerely I do thank you. I want to know about mistakes so they can be corrected. You did it in such a sweet way too, sisters for sure! The first guess was the flying monkeys, but after doing research found there was not even a name for them, in Baum’s book or the movie. Griffin, not Asian, but maybe a dragon of some kind. It is scary looking whatever it is. 🙂

  7. Lzyjo says:

    Frances, your water lily is gorgeous! I didn’t know they bloomed so late into fall. The caterpillar definitely do emit a pungent odor,it smells quite like house paint. It was probably just undetectable in the outside air. Your orchids are gorgeous and I think the statue looks more like a gargoyle than a foo dog. IMHO.

    Thanks Lzyjo. This does seem very late for the waterlily, but everything thing seems out of order here this year. The statue does not look very doggish, gargoyle is more like it. 🙂

  8. Dave says:

    This cooler weather is a wake-up call that the time to get ready for fall is here. It’s a chilly morning here in my frost pocket valley. The thermometer reads 43 right now at 7:30. It must be a gargoyle like Lzyjo suggests. It looks like it kind of has a beak. .

    Hi Dave, time to get moving on the orchids and other things that need protection from the cold! The statue is so odd, a mix of many different creatures.

  9. mothernaturesgarden says:

    I’m in love with your beautiful orchid. It is such a scrumptious color.

    Hi Donna, thanks. This orchid changes color as it ages, from hot pink to more reddish to orangey. A good one, a gift from the Financier one Christmas. 🙂

  10. Gail says:

    Frances, Good morning! The water lily is beautiful. Talk about intervening! Trimming tree limbs to let in light is a grand way to aid the garden flowers~~I knew those devilish cats were cannibals. So glad you were able to rescue the victim so there could be another generation of butterflies. You are so right; things are not going with the calendar this year. This very cool weather is a good example. Is it foggy on your hillside? gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. These trees are still small enough that we can do it ourselves, thank goodness. Pruning young trees is such a good way to save yourself time and treasure later down the line. The little catt was glad to be away from that bully, I believe. No fog, too windy I think, but a beautiful, splendid gorgeous sunny blue sky day! 🙂

  11. tina says:

    I can see you cracking someone over the head for a wisecrack in the first grade:) Thanks for the update and all that is going on and I like the origin of whoa nellie…

    HA Tina, since you know me fairly well, I take that as a compliment! Good thing that urge to action is better under control since first grade. 🙂

  12. Joanne says:

    Well now you are showing your age with the roy Rogers show! Even I remember that.

    Oh Joanne, my age shows all the time! I was wondering if you knew about RR across the pond. Glad to hear he was known over there as well. What a guy! 🙂

    • Joanne says:

      Just to congratulate you on your Blotanical awards and thank you for all the pleasure your posts have brought me.

      Thanks Joanne, those are the sweetest words. Congrats to you for your own nomination. I have so enjoyed reading your blog too, and getting to know you a little better. 🙂

  13. Carol says:

    Frances … you are a hoot! What an enjoyable post… your first photo is utterly stunning… award winning! You may have outdone yourself but hard to say with all your amazing photos. The light… reflection… it is other worldly and knocks me off my feet… so to speak. Now for the caters… a great portrait! … might they just have been on the same path… was the “victim” not just in the way. I ask because I raise Monarchs and they often seem to get in each others way… one might turn around or move on. As to the cannibalism of caters… I know Monarchs will eat (perhaps by accident) Monarch eggs that are attached to a leaf they are munching… the egg just becomes part of the meal… I found this out the hard way. I wonder if that is what you are referring to… all caters perhaps doing the same thing. I find they are mostly quite tolerant of each other. I love the capture of the forked gland! Your sculpture is a bit of a mystery… being somewhat clothed in armour and in chains… was there a beak… part dragon and eagle… that would be a griffin but cannot tell… it sure seems more docile. A rather sad creature… down trodden from captivity… but that might become ferocious if freed. Very interesting! Your orchids are lovely and I like the shot of the Monarch very much. Carol

    Thanks Carol, glad you enjoyed it. When I saw the vision in the pond I got out both cameras and started snapping away. The new camera has been fiddled with so much it is virtually unusable. Need to go back to default on there and start over. Research said the swallowtails are notorious cannibals! The larger one was definitely biting the other. I put a stop to it that one time, but can’t be out there playing school patrol all the time. The statue is a mystery, a little bit of everything. I could find nothing definitive online. He is scary! 🙂

  14. Dear Frances, How interesting about the monarch cats…just amazing. Thanks for bringing this to light (along with your pond!!) How nice to see a water lily in late Sept! I think your statue looks like a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz…those were strange and eerie looking creatures! Yours will be a good watch dog (monkey?) for your tree peonies!

    Thanks Jan. I thought the statue looked like a monkey with wings too, but could not even find a name for them online. Guardian might be the best term anyway. 🙂

  15. Darla says:

    You always have cool things happening in your gardens that you capture. I believe plants are so happy in your gardens they will grow anywhere. Love the Monarch photo! Caterpillars can be quite aggressive, we witnessed daily fighting in our butterfly cage. Gorgeous color bloom on the Pumpkin. Good Grief, is that at Staghorn I see? (jealous) Your statue thingy has a very intense look on it’s face. Whatever it’s name it will surely to a great job!

    Thanks Darla, what a nice thing to say! The staghorn is so large it can barely fit into the greenhouse. I had said last year that it would not get to come in anymore, but don’t know if I can let it freeze to death. The statue is an enigma. 🙂

  16. Rose says:

    As always, Frances, you have begun my day with a chuckle. I can just see you hitting Danny with the lunchbox–way to go! I remember the Roy Rogers show so well, but I had forgotten the origin of “Whoa Nellie.”
    The garden certainly has some surprises lately; a very strong wind, almost tornado-like, has caused some of my plants to grow horizontally now rather than vertically, like poor Leo. And thanks for the info about the catts; I’ll try to avoid disturbing any of mine–don’t want to get all smelly!

    I’m pretty good with Greek mythology, but your gargoyle is beyond me. Frankly, I think he looks like a Foo Frog:)
    Happy Trails to you, Frances!

    Thanks so much Rose. Happy trails to you, until we meet again! I love the thought of you chuckling! Poor Danny, but he had it coming! HA The wind continuess to blow here too. I like what it does to the muhly. I didn’t smell anything from the catt, but didn’t have my head down there close to it, thank goodness. Nose behind the camera! 🙂

  17. Darla says:

    Have you ever seen a Pregnant Onion?

    Hi Darla, my daughter in law gave me some crazy looking onions that might be the same thing. She called them walking onions, with a bulb on the top of the stem?

  18. Jenny B says:

    My first car was named Nellie Belle, and I thoroughly enjoyed the step back in time remembering Roy and his faithful sidekick. Hubby had that same lunchbox, which now holds a place of honor on top of the kitchen cabinet. Sure wish I could find the thermos that went with it…I am sure Danny W. deserved the whack he got, and going to the principals office was worth upholding Roy’s reputation! BTW, your orchids look amazing. Good luck on getting the greenhouse ready. It is hard to imagine weather that cool, but it is coming. Love the statue, whatever he is, and the lesson on swallowtail cats.

    Oh how fun, Jenny! I do wish I still had that lunchbox, it was my favorite one. I remember crying about going to the principals office, but still hold a grudge against that Danny. This cool weather snuck up on us, it was mid 80s just a couple of days ago with lows higher than the high temps now. Several of the orchids are safe and sound in the greenhouse, including Pumpkin. 🙂

  19. Great post, Frances!

    Your garden photos make me long for a mature garden! Someday… in about how many years? 🙂 Your new character has a certain look about it that should certainly help protect your peonies.

    Four of my Monarch cats are now butterflies! I feel that’s quite a success. I hope the other three make it, but I can’t find their chrysalis locations. Lots of BST cats on the four fennels in my garden. On one day, I counted at least 20, but they are difficult to see when in the first instars. I guess you read about how they change from instar stages and munch up the shedding for nourishment.

    Enjoy the cool, fall temps. It seems to have just suddenly changed.

    Hi Cameron, thanks. The garden here is nine years old. Not mature yet, but getting there. The only things with some age on them are the silver multi trunk maple and the stand of tall Loblolly pines at the east property line. Some things have grown so fast, like the river birches. Good deal on your monarchs, we only ever see one or two at a time here, not on the migration path. The swallowtails are more plentiful and should give us some flutterbys soon it is hoped. This cool weather snuck up on us. 🙂

  20. wiseacre says:

    Talk about a blast from the past. I’m keeping my mouth shut though. You just might have that lunch box still.

    I never did spot a Monarch this year and only one caterpillar. But it was a great year for Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars.

    Wise move Wiseacre! It might now be a seedbox! We rarely see more than one or two monarchs. I will check out your moth. 🙂

  21. Benjamin says:

    My wife can’t stand the smell of the blackswallowtail’s defense system, but I actually like it. Is that odd???


  22. Yep, some species of caterpillars will fight for food. It makes sense in the wild world, but most of the ones I’ve seen eat in peace if there’s plenty of food around. I love that bizarre statue!

    Thanks Meredith. There are so many catts on the small stand of fennel, this might be the way to make sure some will have enough to eat to become egg laying butterflies. Harsh.

  23. Sweet Bay says:

    What a beautiful water lily! I am glad that it bloomed for you. I didn’t know about the osmeterium — kinda freaky! I think it pays not to look too closely at the workings of Mother Nature with regard to some things, especially feeding!

    Thanks so much Sweet Bay. I agree about Mothen Nature, some things are best kept behind closed doors. 🙂

  24. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    It was pretty cool here last night too. Seeing your Staghorn fern reminds me that I better get mine into the house pretty sooon. Your orchids are lovely and that water lily is one helofa beautiful blossom. I love the composition of that photo. I don’t know what sort of creature the concrete creature is supposed to be. It looks scary. More scary than a foo dog so it should work.

    Thanks Lisa. I don’t know how cold the staghorn can get without damage but it is not at the top of the list of things to come inside. It is very difficult to dip for bugs and is usually the last thing treated, just pouring the liguid left over in the tub on it. Love your waterlily pun, it lends itself to it well. HA The statue should keep the tree peonies safe, whatever it is. 🙂

  25. I’m so glad to find your blog – what a great way to start my morning! I love your style of writing – always preferring information shared with a laugh. I can’t wait to read more posts from you….thanks!

    Thanks so much Rebecca, and welcome. I do appreciate your kind words and am glad you enjoyed your visit. Do come back. 🙂

  26. Noelle says:

    Congratulations on winning Blotanical’s award!


    em>Thanks Noelle, and welcome.

  27. Thanks for the link love. I’m glad that solution worked. The statue sort of seems like a griffin, but maybe it’s a dragon, as Chinese mythology doesn’t have griffins, but some of their dragons are kind of freaky looking.

    Thank YOU for that terrific idea, MMD. I would never have thought of putting the tall guy next to the deck, brilliant and so logical. Dragon does seem like a good guess, but it really looks like a monkey with wings and other creature’s parts. So strange. 🙂

  28. nancybond says:

    Oh my, that Pumpkin Festival is spectacular. How wonderful to have so much colour at this season of change! Congrats on your well-deserved awards, Frances!! 🙂

    Hi Nancy, thanks. Pumpkin is a wonderful orchid and has been a faithful bloomer. I will have to check into the awards. 🙂

  29. Robin says:

    Whoa Nellie, indeed! Great post and wonderful pictures! I didn’t realize the cats were cannibals.

    Congratulations on your Blotanical awards!

    Thanks, Robin. I don’t know that all catts are cannibals, but the swallowtails are bad about doing that the research revealed.

    Many congrats on your own award, too!


  30. Cherry says:

    Congratulations on your Blotanical Wins Miss Frances. ~ hugs, Cherry

    Thanks Cherry, and the same back at ya for the Best Georgia Blog win! 🙂

  31. Frances, I just want to add my congratulations to all the other that you have received. The awards are well deserved. I actually joined Blotanical today and hope that it will lead to many interesting gardening blogs and new friends.

    Thanks Deborah. Blotanical is a fantastic place to find garden blogs and make good friends. The thing I really like, besides meeting so many nice folks is having so many interesting blogs from around the world at my fingertips. No need to search high and low, they even have maps to help you find ones near your own garden. I do spend some time there every day. 🙂

  32. Congratulations on the Best Photography Award Frances! Your photos are truly stunning and the information is superb.

    Opps, forgot to say congrats on Blog of the Year too. ehehe, was concentrating on your pictures.

    Thanks Anna, and a very big hug and squeeze for your own wins as well, Best Blog Design and Best North Carolina Blog! 🙂

  33. ourfriendben says:

    WHOA NELLIE, Miz Frances, you’ve swept the Blotanical awards again this year! Guess I’m not the only one who thinks you’re the best! Congratulations on another great year and some very well deserved recognition for same!!!

    Thanks OFB, your loyal support is much appreciated. 🙂

  34. Whoa Nellie is right;-) Sending sincere congratulations on all of your well-earned and deserved awards at Blot. Go you!

    Thanks so much Jan. I really appreciate your kind words. And a hearty congrats to you as well. 🙂

  35. elephant's eye says:

    Course if it a citrus swallowtail, then the foul smell is orange blossom! My “pregnant onion” is a chincherichee, Ornithogallum, flowering now. Will write about it.

    Hi Elephant’s Eye, the smell of orange blossom is exquisite! I will check out your onion too. 🙂

  36. Jean says:

    You really had me laughing by the end! 😀 Those caterpillars were too much. But the part that really set me to laughing was you hitting your classmate with your treasured lunchbox. I had a similar experience with my transistor radio. And boy do I remember Pat Brady saying “whoa nellie!”. But back to the present – congratulations on all of your fabulous Blotanical awards. I know you were saying “whoa nellie” when you found out about them!

    Thanks Jean. Transistor radios!!! Those were really the big thing, weren’t they? I can see you doing battle with yours. So many wins was a huge surprise. I still haven’t gotten over the shock. A big hug and congrats on your Best Louisiana win too! 🙂

  37. patientgardener says:

    Hi – congrats on your blotanical award. From this post I can really see why you won the photography award

    Thanks so much Helen. Congratulations on your own Best Urban blog win as well. Much deserved. 🙂

  38. Pam/Digging says:

    Good old ‘Helvola’–it’s so dependable with just a little sun.

    Your biggest surprise today must have been all those Blotanical wins, eh? Congratulations! You really rocked the awards this year, Frances.

    Hi Pam, so true. Helvola is a soldier! I was very surprised at so many wins, still haven’t gotten over them in fact. Congratulations yourself on the Best Drought Tolerant and Best Texas wins. Texas has so many good blogs, like our small state of Tennessee of which I am so proud, winning best in state is quite an honor. 🙂

  39. Oops – I commented about the caterpillars on the wrong post. Thanks again, though for separating those little fellows! 🙂

    Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations…. on being the (deserving) winner of so many awards at Blotanical!!
    I’d not been over there for some time, so I squeeked in a few votes last night. 🙂

    Hi Shady, that’s okay, there were caterpillars in the other post. I couldn’t ignore what was happening, even trying to walk away, but went back to move the poor little one. And a big hug for coming on over to Blotanical at the last minute. Yours might have been the vote that made the difference! 🙂

  40. gardoctor says:

    Congratulations!!! Your talents are limitless; gardening, writing, photography, and cooking! Love you Frances

    Thanks dear Gardoctor. You always did enjoy my cooking better than the rest. 🙂
    Love, Frances

  41. RobinL says:

    So many interesting things going on there in Fairegarden, as usual. Who knew that swallowtail caterpillars were possibly cannibals? Congrats to your big wins!

    Thanks so much, Robin. Those catts surprised me, and so did the wins! 🙂

  42. Tatyana says:

    Frances, thank you for saving that poor caterpillar! It was very kind of you. Congratulations on the awards and many years of happy gardening and high-class blogging!

    Hi Tatyana, thanks. I could not sit by and let that happen. Congratulations to you too, most deserved. 🙂

  43. Sue says:

    Gee willikers, you did have some surprises! I am glad you rescued the caterpillars. I didn’t know they would eat each other, either.

    My husband has an old Roy Rogers lunch pail, too. He was into all kinds of westerns when he was young, and still is.

    Hi Sue, thanks. Those westerns were so popular during my formative years and I still love them all. RR was the best of the best though, IMHO. 🙂

  44. Semi says:

    That pillar pic is amazing and the lily. You should make a calendar out of your fav pics for each month. Congrats on all your awards, your blog is fantastic! Much love semi

    Dear Semi, thanks so much. A calender is a great idea and I should get working on that soon, the year will be over before we know it!
    Love, Frances

  45. Jen says:

    Congrats on your awards, they are truly deserved. Your blog is amazing.


    Thanks so much Jen, I appreciate those kind words.

  46. Congrats on all of your awards my friend. You’ve worked hard this year, and you so deserve it.~~Dee

    Thanks Dee. Congrats on your Oklahoma’s Best win too. Shall we sing? 🙂

  47. Lola says:

    Great pics Frances. Funny about you hitting on the head with your lunch box. Can you pic my little brother popping another boy on the head with his cast because the other boy had shoved me out of line for a drink at the fountain at school!!!!

    Thanks Lola, and oh yes I can easily picture that. It’s the sort of thing that standing in line at the drinking fountain brought out of us young ‘uns. My incident may have happened at the same location now that I think about it. HA 🙂

  48. marmee says:

    whoa nellie…yourself. congrats on your awards from blotanical…how wonderful.
    happy fall.

    Thanks Marmee, it is such an honor. And BTW, Tennessee garden bloggers rock! 🙂

  49. Catherine says:

    You do have some interesting things happening there! Glad you didn’t miss your waterlily bloom, ‘Helvola’ is such a pretty one. The orchid bloom is beautiful!
    Congrats on your awards, you deserve all of them, I just love your blog 🙂

    Thanks Catherine. I think you did quite well yourself! 🙂

  50. Sunita says:

    Wowee! Frances, my dear, no question about it… you’re Queen Bee among all the garden bloggers. No question!
    Congratulations on all your wins! I’m so very thrilled for you 🙂

    Thanks Sunita, all I can say is BZZZZZ! HA Honestly, I am at a loss for words by these honors, a rare thing for me. 🙂

  51. Daphne Gould says:

    Your statue looks almost like a gargoyle, but not so mean. Maybe it is a foo dog and gargoyle cross. If so it ought to be a great protector.

    Hi Daphne, it does look like a gargoyle and may be that. It was with a bunch of Asian type stuff, Chinese lanterns and Buddhas. It is scary looking for sure. 🙂

  52. Sidereal says:

    actually Whoa Nellie has a slightly older origin – Nellie was the horse of Gene Autry’s sidekick “Frog” in their old westerns from the mid-30’s through the 40s (now on streaming Netflix) – She was a white mare with a circle drawn around her left eye. Roy Rogers came along just a little later than Gene, and then they became contemporaries. Before Roy, Gene Autry was the movies’ #1 singing cowboy. Roy became #1, once he came upon the scene. I’d say the confusion would be easy and probably on purpose since there must have been some vying for 1st place between the 2 shows. To Gene’s credit, he did not make a stink about it. He went on to become one of Forbes wealhiest 400 men in the 90s. He outlived Roy, but only by a few months.

    Thanks for that. I was a huge fan of those old westerns, too. The real origin is much, much older. In England, most mares were called Nellie, sort of a generic name, and so the drivers of carriages would say Whoa Nellie to stop the horses.

  53. Jenny B says:

    Hubby had that same lunch box, and it now has a place of honor atop our kitchen cabinet. I named my first car Nellie Bell after the jeep. No, it wasn’t a jeep, although I wanted it to be so very badly. Lovely happenings going on in your garden. Mine is still recovering from our terrible drought this summer, but we received some much needed rain this weekend with a nice slow drizzly rain. I was out soaking it up as much as my thirsty garden. 🙂

    Hi Jenny, I’ll bet your husband loved that lunch box as much as I did mine. Roy, Dale and crew were good friends, always doing the right thing and saving the day. So glad to hear of your rain, we are keeping our Texas friends in our hearts.

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