Hello GoodToGrowers, and happy Friday!

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

Hey guess what? My Experts are back and you’re gonna be so happy! (Did that sound as sing-songy to you as it did in my head? Right – probably not!)


The Experts have been on break for the last month or so and today we welcome them back. Let’s start by saying hi to them. Hi Experts!


“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Liza!”

I missed you all! 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.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be tossing questions to the Experts that are designed to help you get to know them a little better – they are remarkable human beings. For today, though, let’s just find out what they’ve been up to all summer. Here’s this week’s question:

Q. Please tell us, what’s the best thing you’ve done this summer?

Expert Andy, please start us off, will you?

A. Wow….this is a puzzler!  I’d probably have to choose going to see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (RCPM) in Mexico in early June.  Although it is an annual pilgrimage made by over 3,000 of his craziest fans, this year was quite special.  All in all my friends and I took residence about 30 ft. from right center stage on the leveled sand.  Our backdrop included the Sea of Cortez that night.  There were 20 of us, at least, together taking in one of music’s best hombres.  This year included his first guitar player Brian Blush, when they were known as the Refreshments.  In case you didn’t know it already, the Refreshments play the intro song to King of the Hill.  So the Refreshments played for about an hour followed by RCPM which played for over 3 more.  Yes, a 4 hour show inclusive of 50 total songs.  Who does that?!?!?!  Of course, Roger did his best urging the fanatical crowd to “pace yourselves”.  I did, but even if one is drinking a beer every 20 min., that’s 12 beers by the end.  I was on a torrid pace early, drinking a beer a song for the first 6 songs.  This year’s group was extra special because it included the grown children of a few of my friends.  It was their first RCPM show and they and their significant others are now hooked.  They are in their early 20s.  So another generation has been seeded with the fresh spirit of Roger Clyne and his fans in person.  I don’t quite remember leaving the concert and I ended up missing my ride back to the condo in some kind of a time warp, although I did walk out with them at the end of the concert at 12:15am.  All was not lost though, I had other good friends staying nearby who offered me their couch.  I got back to my friend Doug’s condo complex about noon the next day and went straight to napping.

This “best thing” beat out the Flagstaff Beerfest, my birthday party and last weekend’s trip to MT among other things.  It’s been a fun summer!

A. The best thing I have done this summer is take my daughter to see my mom (her grandma) last month. The 2 of them have a great time together, and I get to relax for a few days. Everybody wins!

It’s amazing to me that Wisconsin can be SO nice in the summer, and so completely uninhabitable the rest of the year. I just can’t fathom how anyone gets through the winter up there.

A. When you enter the Titanic exhibit, someone hands you a card with a name of a passenger on it. You walk past the relics and the black and white photos, past tiny tea cups and rusted rivets, even past a large chunk of glacier ice you can touch. At the end are two lists of names. On one list is names of the survivors. The other lists the names of the dead. I drew the name of a doctor. He was returning with his new bride after they had spent their honeymoon in Paris. He survived, as did his wife. Many years later, he committed suicide, one of a handful of survivors who had done the same.

A. There is no greater joy in this world than to see a dear and beloved friend receive their due recognition and to have the opportunity to celebrate their lives.  Our dear Liza, aka “The Plant Lady” was featured in the June issue of :
“Albuquerque, The Magazine.”  Beg, Steal, borrow or do what ever you have too –to obtain a copy!

It is a marvelous piece and demonstrates her creativity, many faceted abilities, knowledge of the plant world and delightful leadership qualities.

She is as loving and caring of her plant “friends,” as she is of the folks she bestows kindness and aid to, as a volunteer American Red Cross case worker.

How lucky are we to dwell in your world, Liza.
We celebrate your being and friendship! Bravo!

A. The sun shines on my face, the air is hot and humid,  RAINS have come as a blessing

My garden grows and tomatoes, peppers and eggplant overflow my basket

Others wait their turn, through the Sunflowers run riot the birds laugh and have their fill


A son shows his talent and creativity in a gallery opening and 300 come to cheer

I stood in awe and pride for a little love, a little training, a lot of beating has paid off

Just kidding


I stood at the doors of an American Red Cross shelter for those who have fled the threating fire

No homes lost just thousands of acres of forest turned to ash

The wondrous rains quell the flames, but sadly the river runs black

Great winds fall upon our city and beloved trees, many go down mightily

Parks and homes suffer for it takes a lifetime to grow a tall tree

Heavy rains turn road to rivers and yards to lakes


A family’s floor is mush the house is in ruin, “But we have nowhere to go” is often heard with despair in their voice

“You cannot stay here it is unsafe” is told to a sweet little old grandmother who walks the edge of darkness – dementia

Her daughter cares for her as she can but she too is of poor health but she smiles and thanks the Red Cross

For help in getting them to a safe place

But life is short and death is always close

Shelter is a motel and food is gone for by grandmother and granddaughter

But sadness awaits, for upon their return they find the daughter has left with the angels her life’s journey is done

I hope to think that she was at peace in a safe place, lay down in comfort and went to see what is beyond

So what is best that I have done, I walk the earth and greet the sun and smile at those I pass

Support your cherished charity there are always those in need

You do your part, I will do mine

Wow! I’m humbled by each of you. I think you’re each kind and interesting and charming. Thank you so much for being here, thanks for your time. And welcome back!

That’ll do it for our Experts panel this week. Thanks to all of you readers for being here, too.

Up next, the answer to last week’s puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

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

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

Let’s see how you answered:

Steph from Indianapolis wrote, “Hey love the Fox Family Reunion photos. That’s real!”

Steph! It’s good to hear from you!!! Missed you, girl!

Jason from Garden in a City (Chicago) wrote, “I’m gonna say real. And I like the family portrait. A silly family is a happy family.”

Thanks Jason!

Tom from Midwestern Jungle wrote, “Real!”

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants wrote, “Real. Globe or drumstick amaranth.”

Martha from Plowing Through Life wrote, “I love the family photos. What a fabulous reunion. Having a fun-loving family is great!

I’m going to guess real.”

Thanks Martha!

Joseph Brenner wrote, “Oh, so real and sooooo gorgeous.(B>{D>>”

Lynda wrote, “Lovely real & purple!”

Nancy Popp Mumpton of Arizona wrote, “Real for sure!”

That’s eight votes real, zero votes fake.

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

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

Real! And gorgeous!

I took these photos in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, outside of the local winery. I just loved their landscaping:

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

Pretty, right? Such an inviting sight at the entryway of the winery.

Fake flowers simply can’t compare to the beauty of real ones. Well done, Three Lakes winery!

Steph, you were first with the correct answer, which makes you the best answerer. Congratulations! For being so speedy, this week you’ve earned the title of “Premierest, Swiftest, Numero Unoest, Bestest, Fastest, Most Beautiful and Elegant, Loveliest, Funniest and Grandest Championette of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond.”

If you happen to be at an end of summer BBQ this weekend and meet someone new, you should introduce yourself as Steph Wehrman the Premierest, Swiftest, Numero Unoest, Bestest, Fastest, Most Beautiful and Elegant, Loveliest, Funniest and Grandest Championette of the Houseplant Blog Universe and Beyond. I’m sure it’ll lead to lifelong bonds. Nicely done! You may multiply all the prizes by 42 M&Ms. Congrats, doll!

Everyone’s a winner this week. I’d like to express my appreciation for you playing by awarding you the following prizes: Four August weekends, a grip of shooting stars, 86 red balloons, three tostadas with extra cheese, an A+, one Breaking Bad episode, 432 multicolored jelly beans, two baby baboons, 12 1/3 extra credit points, cranapple juice, five bonus rounds, a voucher good for half off a coupon, one hearty round of applause and seven shimmering waves. Congratulations, and thanks for playing!

Now, the new puzzler:

???Real or Fake???

Is this tree 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, August 15th, MST (that’s 2a.m. EST) to cast your vote. I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) after next week’s panel of Experts. 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.