Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Nothing Gets Done” and “A Post About Nothing”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with was hiding a soft jerky treat and I was waiting for him to stop taking pictures so I could eat it. Most of the time in the last several weeks has been all about me, which is of course totally and completely excellent; even when I wasn’t feeling well I got constant attention and cuddles. Some gardening does take place in between the all-about-me stuff, and I guess I have to talk about that, though I’d really rather talk about me.
I guess I like my new food. The guy I live with thinks I’m extremely wobbly on my walks, which haven’t lasted very long lately, but, really, it’s been hot the last few days. I don’t like being hot, and get tired quickly when it’s hot. He did notice today that I spent a lot of time lingering in the shade on my walks. I’m ready for some cooler weather, thunderless cooler weather, and even snow.
The guy I live with said today was a beautiful day: sunny, hot, and dry, just the way he likes it. Of course that meant it was too hot. Today would have been the guy I live with’s 32nd anniversary, and I suppose he was sad, but if he was, I didn’t notice it, because I was asleep for most of the day. That’s what aging dogs do, you know. Just lie around, and sleep.
Oh, right, gardening. This is some gardening.If this looks like a salad, it really isn’t; it’s a bunch of plants sitting in a bucket of water. Close to a salad, I guess. These are plants of Salvia ringens, getting all the peat moss and stuff washed off their roots, so they can be planted in dirt. Sometimes he takes the Japanese root hook and gently teases out the roots, then washes more peat moss-type stuff off the roots. He says that if the root ball with the peat moss gets too wet, there can be a build-up of carbon dioxide which suffocates the roots, causing them to rot. He says a lot of things like that, and I only pay attention sometimes.
Here’s the desert willow, Chilopsis linearis, undergoing predictive dormancy. The leaves are turning yellow in anticipation of colder weather. It leafed out the first week of June, so it only has leaves for four months of the year. This particular plant came from somewhere south of Santa Fe; a collection from seed, that is. Other desert willows come from much farther south, and usually don’t turn yellow in anticipation of cold, because the cold comes later, and so the leaves just freeze off (what’s called “inherited late growth cessation”), and that process is called consequential dormancy. The plants are still hardy, they just aren’t as ready for it as this one is.
Okay, that was the actual gardening section.
There are lots of plants in flower in the garden right now, lots and lots of them, but the guy I live with tends to focus (metaphorically speaking, of course) on the littler ones.
These might be Cyclamen mirabile. He couldn’t get close enough to see if the petals had erose margins. He says it looks like they do. They’re self sown. This is Cyclamen cilicium. Scented. Also self-sown. I know I’ve shown these before, but showing them again can’t hurt. There’s a self-sown C. coum in front of it, and you can see how far the top of the tuber sticks out of the soil. Sometimes the guy I live with sprinkles dirt over the top, and sometimes he doesn’t.Here are some more cyclamen seedlings. We have a lot of ants. Sometimes they crawl on me and I don’t even know it. And Cyclamen purpurascens ‘Extra Fancy’ (again).
Colchicum speciosum ‘Album’, in the ivy.Now three pictures of Crocus kotschyanus. Yes, again. The guy I live with admits he does a very poor job of record-keeping, relying on his memory, which used to be perfect, but now isn’t. One of these groups is of the one called ‘Reliant’, and the other has a collector’s number. Or maybe not. (The labels that are there aren’t for the crocuses. They’re just waiting to get snapped in half when the guy I live with steps on them.) But, regardless, he claims, this is the benefit of being a bulb snob, because you get normal-looking flowers instead of the ones you get from corms of C. kotschyanus sold elsewhere.
Well, that’s pretty much it. Same old same old, as they say. The guy I live with is all excited about still more autumn crocuses, and so you can expect more pictures of flowers that all look the same to me. I say we could save time, and just do the same posts over and over again, like we mostly do anyway, but then there’d have to be the same pictures of me over and over again. New ones are much better, so I guess I’ll put up with this obsession.
I forgot to add that this marks our 600th post, if you can believe that.
Here I am again, kind of squinting in the sun.
Until next time, then.