Hello plumikens, and happy Friday!

Welcome back to the Good To Grow site, and thanks for being here.

Just about every Friday, I gather my beloved Panel of Experts for some silliness on this blog. It’s awesome. Sometimes, though, I give them a break since they volunteer their time to join us week after week. The month of July is going to be one of those times when they get a much-deserved break. Today’s question will be the last we hear from them for awhile.

So let’s get right to the action by saying hi to the Experts. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

You’re adorable with your sunflowerness! From left to right, that’s Andy Williams, Tim Thackaberry, EZ Ed Johnson, Dottie Correll and Lewis Casey. If you’d like to know more about them, please click here.

Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Before we break for Independence Day, do you have any thoughts or stories you’d like to leave our readers with?

A. Good old Independence Day.  I want to implore all of our loyal readers to sit back and ponder the hard work, sacrifices and loss of life it took to make this beautiful land of opportunity what it is and what it has been for the last 237 years.  July 4th is America’s designated birthday, after all and I take birthday’s seriously.  I used to throw an all weekend party with my AZ friends and in honor of my best man and friend’s birthday as well as mine.  We had 9 of those and called it 10 just to be done with it.  It was a lot of fun but a lot of work to plan and organize.  We called it “Riverfest” and it was a 3 day event in the 1990s. That’s how serious I take birthdays.

Anyway, July 4th should be celebrated by doing all of the things that make America great for you.  Drive a car, drink a beer, have a hot dog, watch a baseball game, shoot a gun safely into a target proving that you can and should protect yourself should the time come, smoke some ganja, eat a steak, eat a sweet ear of corn, play your favorite tunes, jump in a pool or favorite swimming hole, kiss a loved one and by the grace of God watch a kick-ass fireworks show run by professionals.

That’s one hell of a 4th of July!

First of all, thank you, Liza, for this platform. I have been an “expert” panelist for a while now, and I know for a fact that I brought 1 additional, regular reader to your blog. On a related note: thanks, Mom, for all the feedback. I’ll try not to embarrass you.

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for all of life’s blessings, Christmas a time to express the spirit of generosity, and Arbor Day a time to express our appreciation for trees. Independence Day is a time to express our appreciation for the United States of America and to pay homage to the band of rebels who took the time, for the first time in human history, to codify the notion that all men (swing and a miss on the rights of women, but no one’s perfect) are created equal. That was a radical notion in 1776, and we still struggle today with fulfilling the mission statement the Founders laid out for us 200+ years ago. SCOTUS moved us a little closer yesterday with the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings, right after pushing us back a bit the day before with the VRA ruling. (Sidebar: we will never again see Roberts, Scalia, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan on the same side of a 5-4 ruling like we did with Prop 8). But that’s how change happens, slowly, and never in a straight line.

Some of you will likely disagree with the politics implicit the last paragraph, and that’s okay. Open, honest debate is at the core of this whole grand experiment, and I don’t doubt for a second that people all across the political spectrum truly love this country. I know I do, and that’s why I want to see us live up to the ideals expressed in the Constitution.

Happy Independence Day, everyone, and God Bless America!

A. Watching the big bold moon the past few days reminds me of far away summer nights spent in a cottonwood, telling my cousins ghost stories, real and imagined. Will life ever be so simple again?
Keep cool; stay safe, good people of Liza Land.

A. Thinking back on all the Independence Day Activities during my life, I would choose the “Down Home, Small Town of Olmsted Falls, Ohio Celebrations” as the most memorable and meaningful!   Covering activities that lasted for at least two days:  Parades that all my children participated in –Boy Scouts, Indian Guides, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, 4 H—ers, Horses, Dogs, Pigs –all matter of wild life — a proud mother, so excited that she took all the movies of the parade with the camera upside down—making watching a little uncomfortable; you either had to stand on your head or turn the projector upside down.  

Fun and games at the Village Green.  Treasured prizes to be awarded and won.  Some welcome at home and others not so much –especially the bossy gander won by oldest son who took over the entire acreage –directing everyone’s activities and then there was the pig, proudly won in the “Greased pig race” – not so welcome at home.

The image still in my mind of youngest daughter who desperately wanted to enter the horse jumping contest with her little Shetland Pony.  We had out of town “In-law” company and I told her I wouldn’t be able to help her this year.  Determined, she decorated her pony, Sonny, with paint and ribbons, donned her Indian head dress and costume and off she went on her own.  (She had been teaching her pony to jump by obtaining different size boxes from the grocery store.)  Late that afternoon as we were all sitting around the yard enjoying a libation or two, she came riding down the driveway, head dress askew, wearing a triumphant smile and balancing a huge First place trophy on Sonny’s back.  Independence Day indeed!

The coup de grace, however, was the 4th of July fireworks, put on by the local fire department with funds donated by the community.  This amazing display took place near the high school athletic field.  We all spread our blankets on the ground, watching the electrifying display –00hing and aahing with our families and friends.  Then the delightful walk home under the stars – happily exhausted after two days of non- -stop frivolity never forgetting that this was to celebrate the birth of the greatest nation in the world.

Those were the days my friend,
We thought they’d never end!
We could celebrate anyhow and any where
Without worry or a care
Let us always remember and not loose sight
Of the Gift of Freedom and Independence birth right.


Oh New Mexico what a wondrous part of the world, if you wish you may ride the past or stand in prayer hoping for the relief of rain.

A steam train will carry you from now to yesterday’s of long ago, the Cumbres / Toltec rail road carries you from Chama NM to Antonito CO.

A beautiful train ride that carry’s you across  62 miles of awesome NM / CO mountainous splendor.

When that steam whistle blows you can almost touch the past, I caught it on my IPhone.




Sadly we watch the sky in despair

Clouds come and clouds go but lo not a drop do they stow

and signs at trail heads and forest edges warn of doom


My garden loves the hot and grows with a passion for the sun

The drip system works wonders to help us waste not a drop of life’s treasure


If you have an extra drop or two save it for us, we may have to come get it

But I hope for the sky to darken and the rain to fall
PFR just in case

Pray for Rain indeed!

Excellent, excellent job, everyone. I loved all those answers – you’re so funny! Thanks so much for bringing smiles to the faces of my readers! Again!

You rock!

So that about does it for the Experts. Thank you again for your time and hard work for this blog! We’ll miss you! (They’ll be back in August.)

Up next, puzzler action:

???Real or Fake???

Last week, I asked if this flower was real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Let’s see how you answered:

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “That’s fake. and just for the record, i did not have pie for dinner because I ate all the pite for breakfast, so I’m substituting strawberry shortcake, with whipped cream and a little speing of cinnamon on top because I’m feeling festive.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “That looks so fake! FAKE…”

Joseph Brenner wrote, “The very essence of fakeness.”

Ivynettle from Letters and Leaves wrote, “Fake, fake, fake!”

Jason from Garden in a City (Chicago) wrote, “It is exemplary in its fakeatude.”

Terrence from Dynamic Gardening wrote, “This flower is fake, it lacks characteristics that a real flower possesses.”

That’s six votes fake, zero votes real.

What’s the correct answer? Let’s take a wider view:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Fake! Cheap! Ugly! Clutter! Real flowers are always, always going to be prettier and better than their plastic counterparts. There’s no contest.

Everyone nailed it this week – well done! You guys are all so smart!

Claude, you were first with the correct answer again this week. Nice job! For being so fast, you’ve earned the title of “Premierest, Bestest, Firstest, Swiftest, Speediest, Grandest Champion of the Houseplant Blog Universe for TWO WEEKS IN A ROW Ooooh, Ooooh, That’s Right, I’m a Two-Time Champ and All Around Plant Badass Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” Congratulations! You may multiply all the prizes by fairy dust. Also, because you crack me up, you can help yourself to a side of hasbrowns.

Everyone wins. To show my appreciation for you playing, I’d like to award each of you the following prizes: An end-of-the-month clearance sale, eight taquitos, fresh air, 14 1/3 bragging rights, three free car washes, a pinch of salt, one lomas boulevard, fuller hair, six jumping beans, a pair of puzzled hamsters, four honeycombs, and an Itunes gift card good for 45 minutes of mariachi music. Congrats, and thanks for playing!

Up next, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Let’s do another flower. Is this flower real or fake:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Think you know the answer, smartyplants? Leave your best guess in the comments section or on my facebook wall. You have until midnight next Thursday, July 4th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) next Friday. Remember, the prizes may be imaginary but the link to your site and the glory of winning are oh-so-real.

I’ll be back tomorrow, hope to see you here.