Hello everyone, and Happy Summer Solstice for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest and most excitingly excellent news from our garden as is caninely possible. You may remember me from such canine-type posts as “A Drippy Day” and “Gloomy Weather”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristically cautious pose. The weather has been super-icky for who knows how long. Pretty much constant thunderstorms and gloom. Except on Fridays, when it’s been really hot. I’m ready for winter, that’s for sure. I’ve been poked and prodded, too, and have to take antibiotics, and get ointment rubbed on the sore on my side, and had to eat some gross, gray food (“health food”, you know), and there’s been thunder, when it hasn’t been really hot, but the guy I live with says I’m actually okay and am just making a big deal out of nothing. Look who’s talking.
Anyway, the guy I live with took some pictures, so I guess I’ll show them, though I really could go on quite a bit about myself. He says that’s immodest and that this is a gardening blog, at least in theory.
First thing is Penstemon cobaea. This is the largest-flowered species in the genus Penstemon. The plant, or seedlings of it, have been here for a very long time. It grows right by the edge of the flagstone so the soil is probably damp there all the time, which is what this penstemon really likes. Then an “orange festival”. True, some of the flowers are really yellow, but they were planted thinking the flowers would be orange. Or they came up from seed that way.
Papaver apokrinomenon. Cool name, huh?Papaver triniifolium. This usually has “zillions” of flowers, but, as I say, the weather here has been icky. This gaillardia (Gaillardia aristata) is just growing in the lawn. The guy I live with says it would like more water than it gets here, but that that’s just too bad.Now some glauciums. These could be Glaucium acutidentatum or G. corniculatum. There’s a difference, but I don’t know what it is. Well, acutidentatum means “acute teeth”, doesn’t it, and corniculatum means “having horns”, but whatever. I’ll study up on this and get back to you, some time.
A pale orangey-pink form of Penstemon barbatus.Phlox pulvinata. (Getting away from orange now.) Smells like vanilla cake. I could use some cake, that’s for sure. A nice cheesecake would be just the thing.Malva zebrina. Or whatever they call it. Malva sylvestris ‘Zebrina’ or mauritanica or whatever. It comes up all over the garden in the southwest corner. Oh, and one of the lawnmowers, “trying not to be seen”, like in Monty Python. Not mowing the lawn, as you can see. Wait, there’s more. Grass pictures. Yes, I know, but bear with me. The guy I live with is all into native grasses and stuff, so, well, here they are.
Junegrass, Koeleria macrantha. It’s June, isn’t it, so the grass is doing the right thing. I like this picture better.Silver beard grass, Bothriochloa saccharoides (the guy I live with says “that’s its name for today, anyway).And, finally, Agrostis scabra. It took him quite a while to get a halfway decent picture. I’d say this was about halfway to being a decent picture ….Okay, that’s it. Oh, well, we have a movie for you. Not a very long one. It rained here today. Briefly. And just rain, not the other stuff. Sorry about the wobbly camera.
There was a whole bunch of thunder, of course, and then it rained, and then the storm moved out onto the plains, and now there’s a tornado warning out there, which sounds pretty scary to me, since I remember when the sirens went off around here.
The place where the warning is, is where the guy I live with and my mommy went to get my Uncle Pooka when he was a little puppy. They’d gone up there earlier to pick out the puppy, and then went in the winter time, probably 1990, to get him, and the whole time they thought he was a girl, until he went into the pantry, which is where we purebred border collies went when we first showed up here, because it was cozy and safe, and the guy I live with looked at the puppy and told my mommy that the puppy had “features” that girl puppies don’t have, and my mommy was all upset and stuff, but it worked out okay (except for the part where the guy I live with explained to my mommy the difference between boy and girl dogs, at which point she “got all huffy”, especially since the guy I live with thought it was hysterical), because I hear that my Uncle Pooka was almost as excellent as I am, which is saying a lot.
I came from a long way away, too, but “in the other direction”, way down in southeastern Colorado somewhere. I only remember I didn’t know what a tree was until I showed up here.
Until next time, then.