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Friday, August 31, 2007

My Hyper Jack Russell Terrier

I was going through some snapshots of Mr. Whiskers and I realized that 90% of them show him lounging either on the bed, couch, you name it....
Didn't I read somewhere that Jack Russell Terriers are super hyper and bouncy??
That they play and bark all the time??

I keep wondering, if the people we bought him from lied to us when they said that he is pure bred...maybe he is part sloth??


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ergon BD1 Team Edition backpack

The Ergon BD1 Team Edition has been on my wish list for a while. Unfortunately am I job-less right now and don't have the means to buy one, but I can keep dreaming about it>>>
Now Elden has a competition going on his web site
and whoever writes the best story about the possible use of this killer pack has a chance to win it. COOL!!!!!

So here is my use for the Ergon BD1:

I like riding with back backs, always have. I just can't get used to drinking out of the bottle and besides XC race situations, I want more water and more stuff on me but more about that later.

My husband could tell you of my search for the holy hydration pack, because he is part of it:)
I own and have owned several different brands of hydration packs and there are some good ones amongst them. I have been using some of the Deuter packs (they are also German) and I just had a Wingnutgear Assault made for me for racing. That thing is wonderful, but really small.

Why the Ergon BD1? Well, I almost have a love affair with ERGON, yes I admit it:)
It is such a great company and they are making such great products!
, This is me after my last XC race, In my GREEN team kit, sporting my GREEN Ergon Grips, that I would never want to miss again. Those are the most comfortable grips, I have ever ridden with:)
But to make a long story short, I really like the color green and you know, how important color coordination is for women:DAnother green example! I do need the Ergon pack to go skiing this winter. I need to carry water and snacks and a first aid kit with me. My husband says, I am a little speed demon on the skis.

Well, that is actually just part of the story. My real reason for my love for Ergon comes from wanting some equipment on me or on my bike that is from my homeland.
Ergon is a German company and I am a German girl and I just get the greatest kick out of having a little piece of home with me on my ride.
Makes me less homesick:)
This shows my very first race ever, still back in Germany, a 6o km marathon. It was hard and painful, but sooooo much fun and that is something I want to do next year again. With the Ergon BD1, I would be ably to carry all my nutrition and a rain jacket, leg- and arm warmer, sun lotion and a first aid kit. (It was in the higher 30ies, when we started that race...brrr)

I am dreaming about doing one of these well organized 100 km Marathons in Germany again next year.
I would fly myself and the bike over and ride the race and as the icing of the cake, would be that I would be able to attend my parents 50iest wedding anniversary!!!!!
For that, I will fill the BD1 with flowers and candy:)))

This pictures was taken in the European Alps, The cows are real and the one behind me was VERY interested in me, maybe the GREEN jersey? It actually walked up to me to check me out.
I could have used an Ergon pack with a cow stunner.....
In that area, the trail go right though the cow pastures. I wish I had more pictures of that ride. I went out with a girl friend and we rode around the Zugspitze, which is partly German and partly Austrian.
If going back with my new BD1, I could carry my camera and could show you the stunning pictures:)

But back to my daily life.
I ride 90 % MTB and 10% Road. On the MTB, I always carry a pack, with water, gel shots, CO2, tools, some money, cell phone, after coming up on the last bike crash, I will put some first aid stuff back into it as well. TP, baby wipes, bug spray and once it cools down, I carry an extra layer of clothing with me. And I often carry a saw:)
It's a little hand saw...why, well I am member of THOR (Trails Have Our Respect) and we take care of out own trail system.
So we often have trail maintenance days and take out packs with us, so we have water, gloves, snacks and tools to work on the trail. I think it is almost as much fun as riding them and it builds a great community. Plus my dog Mr. Whiskers can come along as well.
I wonder if he would fit in the BD1??

As you can see, I have MANY uses for the Ergon BD1 and I can promise that it will be in good hands and will be much loved.
And since I will be riding through the winter, will it never have to stay at home and be bored:)

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Great Blue Heron

It's not the best picture quality, since it's been taken with my cell phone but that grey spot in the middle of the picture is a Great Blue Heron.

I saw him today on my ride around the Walnut Creek Lake in Bellevue. There is a walking/bike path around the lake and with the almost finished connection of 96th street to 370, you can reach it all the way, without spending too much time on actual roads. I like to stay out of traffic:)

I felt surprisingly good today for having had a race yesterday, that was longer than usual. They had added an extra lap for the beginners.

Anyway, I saw that Heron and I have been seeing so many birds on my rides and never commented on that. Not many of you know that I like to watch birds. I feed them all year at the house and I have books to look them up to educate myself. It's amazing how many feathered beauties we have here in Nebraska.

I always get excited when I see a Meadowlark because the Western Meadowlark is the State Bird of Nebraska. Keep your eyes peeled on your next ride. You will see them. They are easy to see, when they fly, because of their yellow "bottom".

The other night, I had to break for two Canadian Geese on the Keystone. They were hanging out there and in no hurry to get off the trail...

The funniest bike-bird encounter for me was my first ever meeting with a wild turkey, shortly after we moved here. (We don't have wild turkeys in Germany)

Martin and I went riding at Lake Manawa and I was leading. (We went actually backwards, because at the time, we didn't know any better, like I said, we had just gotten here, so it must have been sometime late 2003). Coming around a corner in the "open" field, that is actually so overgrown that you can't see over the trail was a turkey standing on the trail. I startled it and it jumped up, which scared the shit out of me and Martin said that I jumped at least as high as the turkey:D

Back in Germany, I always had a hawk feather on my helmet. It was kind of like a lucky charm. Unfortunately, one day it broke off and I haven't found a good feather to replace it. I keep finding turkey feathers, but somehow, I don't think that those would make me faster...

Recovery Ride 2 Walnut Creek Lake.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nebraska State Championships at Swanson

Veni Vedi Veci, well almost, I made second or SILVER in the State Championships.

It was a 2-lap race for the beginner class and I gave it all, but Sherri, the other NORBA license holder beat me by about a minute. Good job Sherri!

We actually had a good field of beginner women, even though I was missing some of the good competition that had been racing this season.

Martin couldn't race, so he got a few good shots of me:)
Good Sprint up the hill into the single track
(did OK for once!)

Can you tell, I am tired?
And glad to be done:)

Oh, and I was third in this race, but Jamie, who made first, doesn't have a yearly NORBA license, so she wasn't eligible for the State Championships

To make things even more confusing: I made third, second and first with this race.....

Third in this race
Second in the NE State Championships
FIRST OVERALL in my class in the PSYCOWPATH SERIES for 2007.
With that, I win free entry for all the races of this race series for the next season, but I have to move up to Sport.
It will be a good challenge

Friday, August 24, 2007

Test Crashed Swanson

Yes, crashing is good at Swanson. The wet conditions help to make it easier to crash:)

After another test walk around 4 pm with Martin and Mr. Whiskers, did we agree that the trail is ridable. We actually ran into a couple of guys riding and they didn't pick up too much dirt with their bikes.
So, with hopefully more time to dry out till the delayed race start tomorrow, we will have a sweet race going.

Since, the trail officials (Martin and I) gave the OK to ride, did I go home and got my bike to get a practice lap in. Can't beat the experience of sliding around corners and over wet roots...
Actually, I took it very easy and rode very "trail-friendly", which means, you ride without tearing up the wet spots.

Some areas, where the wind and that little bit of sun we had today, hit, dried out quickly, but there are some very slimy spots to be aware off and there was still standing water on the trail...urg!!

Oh yeah, and then there is that reverse-thing as well, as you know, the race will be run backwards, so all downhills are uphills and vice versa. For the most part, I am really happy with that, because, my down-hilling is much better, but there is that one short steep uphill going up on Tetanus-Ridge, well for this race, it is a short steep downhill and I have a hard time riding it.
I have cleared it twice before on Wednesday. It wasn't pretty, but I did it.
Well, today, with the mud and wash-out, I didn't make it and crashed hard.
Instead of riding the hill down, I fell down of it and landed in the grass on the side, under my bike.
I think, there were also some neddles, because I am itching and I will probably add to my bruise collection.
Oh well, got back on my bike and finished my lap....bruised and ready for tomorrow!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Swanson is not ridable

At least today and well into tomorrow.
Dale, Martin, Mr. Whiskers and I walked the course today to check for fallen trees (one), branches (many) and taped the intersections off where folks might get confused.
It was WET. A trail, that has Mr. Whiskers' paw prints in it, because it is so muddy, is M U D D Y !

The three two-legged persons landed a few times almost on their butt, sliding in the mud, but all is good. The trail looks good and we are really hoping that:

a) it stops raining
b) nobody will be so irresponsible to ride the trail before it is dry enough and tear it up
c) we will have a good race on Saturday (maybe Sunday, if Saturday, the trail is still too wet)

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Doing some pre race prep work STOP THE RAIN!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Ok, Jeff figured out my little play with words in my previous post.

It is supposed to be: Swanson backwards.

Saturday will be, as many of you know the last race in the Psycowpath Race Series.
Well, so God will and this endless rain stops.......

Anyway, my play on words had a reason.
I wrote it backwards, because I rode Swanson today backwards.
Yes, the race will be run clockwise and I have to say it was a lot of fun to ride it.
It's amazing how a course that is so familiar changes so drastically by just going the other way.
I think it is a great idea and it will give us racers just enough challenge to keep the adrenaline flowing:)
My first lap was a little tentative but on my second lap, I was ready to rock and ROLL, but unfortunately a thunderstorm and
RAIN moved in, so that I couldn't finish my second lap.

Tell you what all the down hills turn into up hills and there are actually quite a few of those. Then there are a few steep up hills and normally winding up hills that go down now and it is a blast to ride those down but I almost missed my line today and endoed over the bike....
Those tight twisty turns don't widen up, just because you go the other way and a bit faster:)

I will be fun, twice the fun for me, since I will have to ride two laps.
All, I can say is BRING IT ON!!!!!

If only that darn rain would stop........................................

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Can you figure it out????

No, it's not German and I am not starting to post in Russian either:)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Swanson Race

Will there be a race on Saturday????
If it keeps raining like this, the trail might be too wet. Men, we had really a lot of rain (and HEAT) this year. Isn't it enough alright?
I am all psycowed up for the race and hate to see all the rain.

We rode Swanson on Sunday and it was in great condition. Martin has put a lot of work into it, with his power tools; weed whacking, cutting down trees, refilling some wash-outs and so on.

I am ready for this race. I am actually ready for a break afterwards:)
But how do you motivate yourself to keep riding?
Well, I decided to stick with my trainer since I want to keep riding through the winter and I would love to be able to ride sport next year.
I will need his help to get my happy a$$ going and a training plan is just the right thing for me.

Plus, there are still a few lbs that I would like to shed....

On another note. Tomorrow is a big day for Mr. W. He will get his stitches pulled and we will be hopefully released from our 24hrs dog-sitting duty. The wound healed up nicely. We changed his bandage every day and it looks good.

Talking about pet-sitting. I am seriously contemplating to start my own pet-sitting business.
I am already working on the details and as soon as it is ready to lunch, I might ask you guys to to do some advertising for me. I will give you more details later.

Well, that is about all the news for now, so I better join Mr. Whiskers in his land of dreams:)

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Deutschland Tour

The Deutschland Tour finished today.
Jens Voigt won with Levi Leipheimer 1:57 min behind him.

After the drug-fest at the Tour de France, the German TV stations had pulled the plug and stopped showing the race. My Mom told me that they had only a 20 min show every night to announce the results.
I am sure a lot of German fans suffered from withdrawal...

They all got a goodie, when they announced that they would report live from the Deutschland Tour.

It reminded me of the one time that race came through my little town that I used to live in: Dettenhausen. It was the first time that I saw such a race.
I went (walked, since everything in this town is in walking distance) to the road that they came trough and waited with other spectators.
We stood there for quite a while and waited until we heard the helicopters. I don't remember how many there were, but there must have been at least four or five. All different TV station filming the race.
Then all the service cars and what not came through and for that race, I could have sworn, there were more cars and motor cycles then road bikes!
So we were standing there, one moment with the head up, watching the helicopters, next second eyes on the road again to look out for the first rider.
And then they came, since it was on a slight downhill, with probably 50/60 km/h and....gone!!
Too fast to recognize any riders, too fast to blink!

Next to me was an older gentlemen and he totally missed the riders. Right after they came trough and the helicopters started to move on, he asked me: "When are they coming?"
He had kept his eyes for too long up in the sky:))

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

chain saw massacrer

Well, that is the title that Mr. Whiskers picked for this blog entry....

Friday, before we wanted to head up to Norfolk, Martin was cutting up some of the walnut branches that had come down during the night's thunderstorm.
His favorite weapon of choice (besides the weed-whacker): the chain saw.
Thanks to THOR and all of our trail work, we have enough tools to start a lawn service if we wanted to.
Anyway, Martin was done with the cutting, shut the saw off and put it down in the grass.
Whiskers was playing with his girl-friend Daisy, a little Schnauzer and they were running around the yard.
Nobody really noticed anything until Martin put the chain saw away and saw some white hair on the blade...
I was sitting inside reading, with Mr.Whiskers right next to me. I caught him licking his right foot and saw this tiny bit of blood and then I saw it, OH MY GOD, a cut over an inch long and down to the muscle.
All, I could do is yell for Martin and we grabbed Mr. W and headed to the Vet's office.
She looked at it and said that he needed to stay to get his paw stitched up:)

The poor guy has about 7 stitches in his paw but he is taking it like a man.
He doesn't limp nor whine, the only tricky thing is to keep him from taking the bandage off.
I actually bought some baby socks and put it one him.
He probably hates me for it, but it looks really cute:)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

XC at Masquetine

Very short race report:

My new kit!
I joined the teamFIRE from Lincoln.

Jamie made first; she ROCKED!!!
Linda made third and I made second: YEAH!!:)

Jaime and I; or road meets off-road

I will write more later. Only so much for now. After struggling with medical problems and total lack of training for the last three weeks, I decided I HAVE to do the Masquetine race, so I can get at least some points.
My second place, should add another 22 points to my 106= 128. And I did it with an average HR of 175 and a max of me that was NO fun.

BUT that means I lead in the overall standings by 44 points to the second Stephanie Spearman, who is in second position.
My math is not the best, but I don't think that I can be reached anymore, which means I "should" have the Psycowpath win in my jersey-pocket.
What an achievement for me:)
Oh and it was HOOOOOOOOTTTTTT out there.............................

P.S. We had even more drama with Mr. Whiskers running in the not-running chainsaw and cutting is front paw open. He had, I think 7 stitches in his right front leg:(

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Thursday, August 9, 2007


Schwarz-Rot-Gold is German for red, white and blue, well not literally, but in national "flag-talk". Where am I going with that? Ok, the US flag is red, white and blue.

The German flag is: schwarz-rot-goldAs on my favorite had (and yes Emily, I am looking forward to wearing that one again)

Anyway, schwarz-rot-gold is: black-red and gold (or yellow)

A few months back on my long quest for the perfect hydration pack, I came across the packs from wingnutgear.
I was shopping around for a race pack, because I just can't get used to using bottles and my other pack is too big. I had bought a small 1.5 litre Camelbak, but it basically sucks for XC, because it doesn't sit right on my back and rough terrain makes it jump around:(

wingnutgear makes one pack called Assault.
It carries a 1.5 litre bladder and after asking some riders that use it, like Danille Musto and Jeff Jerkove, who used to carry one, before Ergon came out with their cool packs I called wingnutgear up and asked for colors and prizing.
Next step was to make up my mind, what color to order. Always a difficult decision...

And then, since I want to use the pack for racing, I had the idea to have it make in my national colors, IF POSSIBLE. So, I called wingnutgear again and you see the result above.
It is truly MY Assault, custom made for me and the only one with these colors in the world.

wingnutgear is a very small company and they I think they ROCK. I think, it is nice to see that a business like that making it despite all those big hydration pack giants.

Tonight was actually the first test ride, I took it for and it passed with "flying colors":))
I love the fit of it. It fits 100%, doesn't move around at all and the best part is, that it sits so low on my back, that it doesn't bother my shoulders or back at all.
It has enough room for some tools and gel shots and maybe even some more stuff. It has a sown an mesh pocket on the shoulder strap that holds a "gel-bottle" or your cell phone, or the work out description, or...
I wanted to see how it works, so I can take it to Elkhorn with me for the race on Saturday, since we have a lovely 100F predicted.

P.S. The Ergon BD 1 Team Edition is still on my wish list:)

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gotta love Google!

I have been using a Google email account for a while now and I prefer it over other email providers, but that's just my personal opinion and that is not the reason for this blog.

Anyway, if you have a Google or gmail account you've seen it: when you open your emails, it pops up advertisement on the right side of the page. I guess, that is how Google makes money and I don't care, because until today, I never really paid attention to it.

The fascinating thing to me is, that it always picks out keywords from your emails to "match" the ads, so if you have the word Kansas City in your email, a KC job site might come up...again, who cares, right.

Well, today I got an email from Kimberly.
She emailed me something about
Jack Russell Terriers. And sure enough, ads for Jack Russell Terriers (JRT) popped up.
Everybody knows, when it comes to JRT, I listen up, so for once, I did look at all the adds and almost fell off the sofa laughing.

Top Quality Dog Treadmill
"safe-simple-affordable, it's all about you dog"
I had to check it out, since it is all about Mr. Whiskers...

and he is getting kinda lazy:)
And it's a bargain, since I could probably get away with the smaller model which is only $599, plus $100 shipping. But hey, $700 and I don't have to walk my dog anymore. That's totally worth it.
Way more then a cross bike....

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

Forget chocolate, candy or home-made bread.I have something, I am graving even more: COLD weather.

Martin and I were baby-sitting a few nights ago and watched this DVD that our friends have:
Christmas at Yellow Stone.
I have to admit that it is probably a bit chilly in Yellow Stone in December, but I looked at the snow and I knew right there: I miss the cold weather!!

Yes, I admit it.
I am tired of this hot and sticky weather. I am tired of baking in the sun and sitting in the AC.
I am tired of drinking 20 liters of water just to refill the sweat.
I am tired of putting on a bottle of sun-protection before I go for a ride, not to mention the bug-juice.

I miss sleeping with my window open and hear the birds sing in the morning.

Everybody knows I love dogs, but I DO NOT like the Dog Days of Summer.
Sorry, Mr.Whiskers!
The dog days of summer fall between July and September and I thought it meant the freaky hot days of summer, but the term goes actually all the way back to the Romans. They called this period of time after Sirius, the dog star, that is very brightly visible during these months.

My love for the COLD made me actually find Jill's blog, before I realized, how wonderful the blog is AND that she writes about cycling.
I found it, because I looked for snow and cold weather.
But I found so much more. Beautifully photographed sceneries embraced by words, thoughts and empowered by her endless strength when it comes to bike riding.
Her blog is like s poem or short story to me, illustrated with pictures that draw you in even more in to the world of Jill and Geoff.

My writings can I only compare as mere stumbles has been in the last few day, finding all these incredible blogs (with all these awards) that made be think about starting a German blog (in deutsch geschrieben) to see if my writing skill can still soar....
Maybe go more into the cultural differences between young and old. Deutsche talk about there fears, excitments, etc, to live in OMAHA,NE

Monday, August 6, 2007

High Fructose Corn Syrup

I read monkeygirl's blog the other day about high fructose corn syrup (hfc) and first thing I have to admit that I hadn't really heard about it or better say paid attention to it.

Her blog entry basically said, that hfc is in everything from pop, over most breads, ketchup, to yogurts, even the low calorie ones and lots of other low-cal foods.
Then, I thought, since she was also mentioning, that it was connected to major health issues like diabetes and heart disease, I should educate myself a bit more.
Well, this is what I have learnt:

high fructose corn syrup is:
(HFCS) refers to a group of corn syrups which have undergone enzymatic processing in order to increase their fructose content and are then mixed with pure corn syrup (100% glucose) to reach their final form. The typical types of HFCS are: HFCS 90 (most commonly used in baked goods) which is approximately 90% fructose and 10% glucose; HFCS 55 (most commonly used in soft drinks) which is approximately 55% fructose and 45% glucose; and HFCS 42 (most commonly used in sports drinks) which is approximately 42% fructose and 58% glucose.
(stolen at wikipedia)

are we smarter yet?

Now we know, what it is, but the part, that concerns (or better freaks out) a lot of folks is the health effects hfc has or supposed to have:
obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes, heart problems, etc....scary shit!!

Even scarier: it is in almost EVERYTHING. Look at the labels of your favorite foods and check.
hfc is more commonly used as sugar today in the US. It's a syrup so it is easy to use. The corn-grower industry is BIIIG (surprise) and so they are pushing there "natural" product.
But from the corn to the hfc is actually a very complicated chemical process, that has not much to do with nature (some reading).

So, if you are watching your weight, your health or just trying to be a bit more aware of what you eat, look at the label and look out for the hfc.

You will be surprised and disturbed.......


Friday, August 3, 2007

Bread, Brot, Pain,...

...whatever you name it I grave it.

I go through phase without any bread or crackers and then I just have to have some bread, with butter and cheese and if it come really thick, with Nutella or Honey: YUMMM!!

I happened to stumble over a good-looking, mouth watering recipe and it seems easy enough that I might have to try it out this weekend: Jim Lahey's No-Knead-Bread
The recipe is easy enough and it looks delice.

No-Knead Bread
Yields one 1 1/2 pound loaf

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

As an idea to all you HFC "FANS". Try this bread, maybe even with whole wheat flour and you should get a pretty healthy piece of BREAD.
I will gve it a try. May be I make one for Sunday for the nutrition clinic:)

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Flower Power

I haven't taken my camera out to take pictures of my flowers and plants in a while.
Martin and I built a new flower bed. Unfortunately, the picture didn't come out, so I still owe you that one. Since the bed is mostly in the shade like all of our yard, I couldn't follow my plan to make it a specialty bed and put grasses in, since they like the sun.
Well, her are some pictures. I am very excited about the little cyclamen flower that came up. Those are tender perennials for our area and I wasn't sure what to expect. They are tiny little things. I hope I will see more. I put more in the grownd...That's part of the new flower bed.
I did plant a few grasses in there. Some helleborus and my good old Hostas.
more of that flower bed....
green color fusion

And last but not least one of my Clematis started blooming. It's a late bloomer with beautiful tiny white blossoms. Blog Directory