Loose Ends and Answering Your Questions

Welcome to the 544th Metamorphosis Monday!

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start! For this week’s Metamorphosis Monday, I thought I’d tie up some loose ends–a few of the topics I recently shared in previous posts.

As you may recall, I’ve been trying to help my son/dil find a permanent solution to the prickly weed that’s growing prolifically in their flowers beds. Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment on that previous post identifying that super thorny weed as Field Thistle and for also identifying another plant (Mugwort) that I thought was probably a weed, too.

You may remember I had already weeded out the thistle in two areas of the garden on the front of their 1920s home.


Still have a bit more weeding to do up front but at least the thistle is gone!


I shared these pics in my previous post of the area down along one side of their home that still needed a good weeding to get rid of the thistle and a few healthy stands of Mugwort.


My daughter-in-law and I got busy on Sunday and finished the job of pulling out all the painfully, thorny thistle and stubborn mugwort. This is how the area above looks now. I cracked up this morning while going through my photos when I spotted something I hadn’t noticed when I was taking them. Notice anything slightly creepy in this picture below? For a minute there I thought I had captured the ghost of a previous inhabitant πŸ˜‰ but I don’t think most ghosts wear Foo Fighters t-shirts.

Weeding Thistle from Flower Beds


We also weeded down in front of the garage area.

Weeding out Thistle from Flower Beds


Someone asked about the rock wall that was visible in a previous post. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find that comment again to reply directly, so I thought I’d reply here in hopes the lovely person who asked sees this post.


The rock wall is an original feature of the home and there’s a matching one on the other side. I remember when my son/dil purchased their home, the real estate listing mentioned the home was built in the 1920s…I’ve forgotten the exact year, now. All the homes in this area were built during that period. Rock was used in several places on their home including the front and I love the look!  Unfortunately, I don’t have any other information about the rock that was used at that time.

Stone Wall, 1920s Home


From reading the suggestions in your comments and reading a bit online, I’ve decided to hit the weed situation with all I’ve got, hoping it will at least slow it down. I ordered Preen which I’ve used in the past in one of my flower beds at home. I purchased a large container online for a great price here: Preen. It has arrived so I’ll be using it today in the beds.


Preen for Preventing Weeds in Garden Beds


I’m going to use some of the landscape fabric in a few choice areas in hopes it slows things down a bit. If we can get the thistle/mugwort under control, we can remove the landscaping fabric later on. From reading your comments and in forums online, I know we have a battle on our hands. If the world ever ends, from what I’ve read it appears the two things that will for sure survive are cockroaches and thistle! Hopefully, I can share an update down the road on how the Preen and landscaping fabric worked.


About That Tie…

Another loose end I wanted to tie up (no pun intended) is to let you know how I got an annoying “wave” out of the end of a silk tie I gave my son for his birthday. I added an “After” photo to that previous post but wanted to share it here in case it’s helpful.

Hermes Attack Tie


I think the wave happened when the tie slid down a bit in the box in which it was stored. It crumpled up a bit at the end of the box creating a  bump/wave at the end of the tie.

Getting Wrinkles out of neckties


I ended up using the steamer I ordered for my son/dil. I have this one at home and like it a lot. You’ll find it available here: Steamer.

Best Clothes Steamer for removing wrinkles


It worked in seconds, literally took about 3 seconds and the wave fell out. I steamed it from the back of the tie and the wave mostly came out after one pass. After another couple of light passes, it was completely gone. My son wore it to work the very next day.

Silk Hermes Tie After Steaming


Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions left on my previous post about controlling thistle and mugwort in the garden. If you missed that post and are dealing with similar issues in your landscape, you’ll find the post here: A Thorny Situation and Seeking a Permanent Solution. Be sure to check out the comments at the end of that post. There were so many helpful ideas and suggestions!

Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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  1. Susan, I swear by Preen. When a bed is cleaned out of weeds, a liberal sprinkling of Preen will keep them down for three months. I try to use it three or four times a year.

  2. Slightly off subject, but weed related. Foxtail weed is extremely dangerous to pets because of its burrs. My vet warned me about this weed which grows in many places through out the United States.

    • Very true! Foxtail weeds are horrible. We were vacationing in New Mexico when my dog got one in his nose. We had to take him to a vet to have it removed.

    • That sounds terrible! I’ll google to see how it looks so I’ll know. Thanks, Joanne!

  3. That thistle is a mean plant!!! When you see it in bloom and with fuzzy seed pods on it, cover the plant with a plastic bag before pulling it so that the seed pods don’t flutter away and replant themselves. Also, don’t compost it or you’ll just propagate an already invasive species!

    • Such good advice, Janet! I did see some flutter off while pulling. Just shared your comment with my dil so she can cover any others before pulling if they are blooming. Hopefully they won’t get that far next time before they are pulled.

  4. Thanks Susan for your reply to my question of the rock walls…..I too can’t find any info on the type of ‘work’ it is. Thanks for your great blog & good luck w/ those thorny weeds.

  5. I don’t know where you got your tie but my daughter always buys her husbands ties at Brooks Bros. she/he both think they lay better than others..not so sure about that but if that’s what they think it’s okay with me.
    good luck with the weed problem which seems to never end.

  6. You have probably started putting down the fabric but my good friend, Chris (dreamgarden) uses cardboard, to block weeds, adds the mulch and Preen. I’m going to be doing this to my flower beds.

    Good luck with all that! You are a terrific mother and mother in law. Come to VA and I have some flower beds that need a little work πŸ˜‰

    • I haven’t put it down yet, but have no idea where the receipt is so can’t return it. Cardboard sounds like a good idea, though. Not sure if my son/dil have any around here. I guess cardboard boxes could work, too. Aww, thanks Mary! It’s so much more fun to work in their garden than it is in mine. lol

  7. Patricia D. says

    Looks like you got rid of a “prickly” situation. And it looked like a lot of work but totally worth it.
    What are the large green shrubs next to the house? They look so lush and healthy. Are they perennial and easy to take care of. (My kind of gardening strategy!) Like to grow something like that in the shady front of my home. Thank you. Pat

    • The shrubs are boxwood, I think…but the big leafy plants are hostas that were already growing in the backyard. The previous owners had some beautiful gardens in the backyard at one time, but as they grew older and the wife passed away, I think the garden became too much for the gentleman who lived here. That may be when the thistle took over so many of the flower beds.
      When my dil and son moved in, they hired a landscaper to come in and rework things that were so overgrown. A lot of the hostas were removed from the backyard and planted in front and along the side of the house during that time.

  8. Anne Shaheen says

    Yes, the area near Dayton/Kettering is just beautiful. Makes me homesick.
    I have found that Preen and several layers of newspaper over the area, then mulch really kill unwanted plants. Now go get one of those killer brownies!!

    • lol I bought those the first week I was here this time. πŸ™‚ The folks at Dorothy Lane probably think I live here now as much as I’ve been there recently. Thanks, Anne!

  9. Joy M Rucker says

    I have one question about your porch. I’m about to begin construction (YAY). I see you have a lamp on a table. Do you have an electrical outlet on that outside wall? My husband is questioning that I asked for one. Thanks

  10. Your link for the steamer doesn’t seem to work. I’ve been planning to order one like yours based on your recommendation.

    • Mary, it worked earlier but now I can’t even find that particular steamer online at Amazon. It must have sold out. I bet they will restock it when they realize it’s showing sold out, so try that link again in a day or two. In the meantime, here’s a link to all the steamers they have available online at the site: https://amzn.to/2Xc5MQF
      I’m eyeing a couple of their travel steamers to take along on trips. I really needed one on a previous trip and manage to steam a dress I wanted to wear by hanging it in the bathroom while I took a really steamy hot shower.

  11. Hi Susan. I am going to add a 3rd to your list of things that would survive if the world ended – kudzu!

  12. I enjoy your blog so much, and have been reading some of your past blogs as well. In one of your former blogs you mentioned that you had purchased a new vacuum cleaner and it was very powerful (can’t remember exactly what you said, but something to the effect that it would vacuum the spots off a leopard). Please, could you mention which vacuum cleaner you bought? Thanks, and I know this is a little off the topic of weeds! πŸ™‚

  13. Hi Susan !
    Yes, I too have a problem with those darn thistles, I thought the birdseed was the reason my front yard was awful with them !! I dug up everyone one of them, and what a job that was leaving my front yard looking like a minefield with off !! hahaha.
    I am going to try the newspaper and Preen !!
    Keep cool

  14. Thanks so much for hosting each week!!

  15. Happy to hear the steamer worked. Thank you so much for the update. I had wondered and now I know. Good luck on those weeds!

  16. Cyndi Raines says

    Great job Susan! I’m not too far north of your son, I’d love for you to come and help me pull some of my weeds! Lol. Gosh, all the rain we received earlier in the month has made them really grow and I’m way behind. I keep telling myself, they’ll be easier to pull. haha. Glad you were able to fix the tie bump without any damage to it. Glad you are enjoying your time up north! By the way, did you get a chance to check out /Google Mackinaw Island’s Grand Hotel 600 foot front porch? You will appreciate its beauty and parade of beautiful American flags on display. A great way to show off for the 4th of July. Be sure to Google it, while sipping a nice cold glass of lemonade after your weed pulling, you will be pleased. Happy 4th of July!

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