I scream (for sunscreen), part 2

I am constantly on the hunt for the right-tool-for-the-job and both Gail and I have amassed an array of sunscreen that is starting to resemble a pharmacy shelf display and is draining our wallets. Last week one of our volunteers brought in a copy of a Consumer Reports article that rates all the sunscreens (Neutrogena 45 and NoAd 45 got the highest ratings) and it also brought up the question of whether nanosized particles of the minerals, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide might be small enough to enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain causing diseases like Parkinson’s. According to everything I’ve read (just a little this morning) the jury is still out on nano particles. The Consumer Reports article also said that a lot of sunscreens aren’t actually protecting us against UVA radiation. Great. And according to other sources, there’s some debate over whether sunscreen really protects against skin cancer and all the chemicals in the non-mineral based sunscreens might cause big problems too.a peek at peak in the North Garden This article from National Geographic sorted it out a little for me – at least it was what I wanted to hear: mineral based sunscreens are probably the best bet – just make sure to use a lot and reapply after sweating or swimming. (I haven’t found that they sting when I sweat either and I have canary-in-the-coalmine skin…)

Even on a fog bound, rainy day like today, it’s important to wear the screen (just in case) – it’s those UVA rays, doncha know… Juniper, Hosta, Astilbe combo in the Rock GardenThis morning the Rockettes scoured the Rock Garden for weeds, yellow leaves and deadheads while Gail and I tried to name and label all of the plants. Thank you again, Marion Murray (our Rock Garden Guru transplanted to the wilds of Utah) for keeping such great lists!!. I think we’re ready to show off at the Soiree tonight! After tea, while it rained, we all washed the sooty mold and scale off the citrus’s. washing the citrus leavesThey look so much better! One visitor (my mom, having an Alice in Wonderland sort of day) said they looked like we were painting the roses red – it was that kind of job!

Another “part 2” for today is the Tamarix is blooming again! Tamarix and AmorphaHere it is with Amorpha and a chorus line of cormorants. Another visitor (not my mom) commented that she was surprised to see it blooming so early (she was more surprised to hear from me that it had already bloomed a month ago) but she got me wondering and sure enough I had the wrong name all along. It’s not Tamarix ramosissima (which blooms late summer) but either T. parviflora or T. tetrandra. Fred, Dan – Help me out!