just another post

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to provide just another post. The guy I live with said why not, and I agreed. You may remember me from such posts as “The Ghost In The Grapevine”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. It’s been so dry here, it’s dry. The guy I live with has been watering, some, but it doesn’t seem to help all that much. Maybe it does and he’s just being negative. You might be surprised to know that he can be negative. Sometimes he is.
You can see here how dry it is; this is me (if you didn’t know) on my walk. I’m looking at something. The other day it was kind of drizzly, which is like totally weird for here. He said there used to be drizzle, and mist, sometimes, but not any more.
I think we got about .000001 inches of water from the drizzle that day.
But the sunsets here have been very nice. This is one of them. I’m actually in this picture but you have to look hard. There are a lot of unhappy plants here right now. This is an agastache. The guy I live with planted them for the hummingbirds but the agastaches wilt every day. And one of his favorite plants, Stachys byzantina ‘Helene von Stein’, or ‘Big Ears’, looks like this:
Well, it did before it got watered. Afterwards it perked up. I guess I would too.
This is a Salvia greggii that the guy I live with dug up from the garden because it wilted every time it got dry (so, a lot), and it turned out that the roots hadn’t left the nursery root ball, so he gave it the “super genius” method for a month or so and the roots grew into the coarse sand you see there, so today it got planted again.Here are a couple of plants of Holodiscus dumosus he got at the plant sale a couple of Fridays ago, and they need to be repotted for a while before the go into the ground. There was a big plant of the holodiscus here, for years, but it died. The guy I live with looked on the Forest Service website and it said there that the shrubs only live for about thirty years, and that seemed about right, so for once he didn’t think he had done something wrong. And then something a bit more interesting, maybe: Hyacinthoides (or Scilla) lingulata emerging. It’s an autumn-flowering bulb from like Algeria which probably isn’t hardy but we grow it anyway. The guy I live with said it’s kind of cool to think of autumn-flowering bulbs from North Africa. There are a few species of cyclamen from places like Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, that flower in the autumn, but they’re not hardy here. (There’s also a cyclamen from Somalia.) There were more bulbs but he dug them all up so he could share some.

Several days ago the guy I live with went out to the “trough patio” to go through the seed pots there. Not too many had survived the hail of last year combined with the total neglect they got this summer, but there were some seedlings left. All penstemons. He said he might not grow anything from seed again, except maybe for grasses and wildflowers, but when he says stuff like that I always think he’s just saying things.

Speaking of cyclamen, they’re starting to flower too. Mostly Cyclamen cilicium. Maybe you can’t see them in the picture here but there are some. Colchicums too. Oh, that conifer, the little limber pine with two trunks, is growing in one of the troughs. That came from Jerry Morris, with no name. The very blue, even though the camera makes it look super blue, dwarf blue spruce, also came from Jerry, and had a tag that said ‘Blue Beaut’. Just to the right of this is the locust tree, which is going to have to be cut down this winter. It’s being killed by “borers” or something like that. About half the branches are dead. Aside from the expense, the guy I live with is kind of indifferent about this. The tree was here when he and his wife moved in, but he always thought the pods were a nuisance. I like the tree because squirrels like it, and they’re fun to bark at. Oh well.
If you go back to the picture of the cyclamen you can’t see, maybe you can see the condition of the fence on the left. Squirrels have chewed it to shreds. Maybe you don’t think of squirrels as fence-destroying chewing things, but they are.

I have a couple of pictures of the garden here. The “lawn”, really. At least this one is.This is the “rain garden”.  You can see the spindle tree, Euonymus europaea, is totally wilted. It’s actually behind the rain garden.  Bluish Quercus grisea on the left. The iron owl came from his mom’s yard. I guess that’s it. There was probably something major that I was supposed to say, but I can’t think what it was, and the guy I live with has no clue at all. As usual. 


Until next time, then.





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ducks in a row

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here this evening to tell you partly that the guy I live with has not lost his mind trying to create posts in the “classic editor” instead of the new way, which he detests, and also to talk about some more interesting things.  You may remember me from such posts as “Colchicum Time”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The Abies lasiocarpa ‘Compacta’, or whatever its name was, that you used to see in pictures all the time, died and was cut down.
So now the view is like this:The guy I live with really liked the little conifer, which was about twelve feet tall, but the garden became too dry for it. So that was that. You can see the stump right at the bottom of this picture.
And you can also see the new roof. The guy I live with got all teary-eyed when he saw the new roof finally in, with new vents and stuff. He feels very strongly that this is his wife’s house, as I’m sure I’ve said before. It’s my house, too. The guy I live with felt pretty bad about the fir, which is what an abies is, but there wasn’t much to be done about it. It started dying a couple of years ago.
The garden is really, really dry. Lots of plants have died this year. Plants that have been here for a very long time. Especially ones in the troughs. So there have been a lot of changes here, this year. But some things stay the same. Like the view of the studio window downstairs. The windows are very dirty but the guy I live with’s wife wanted them that way because of the light, for her drawing.And what he calls the “Wardian case” out on the patio table. That stays the same. There isn’t much of anything in it besides some feathers and snake bones. Yes, I know, but he thought it would be cool. We found those on one of our walks.

The guy I live with and his friend went to the bulb and plant sale at the botanic gardens last Friday. He bought a bunch of stuff, but almost all of it was for her.
They didn’t wander around the gardens much but here are two pictures of the steppe garden and Leonotis leonurus. I guess it used to grow here, as an annual. 

I don’t think these pictures are much in focus. The guy I live with should start using his regular camera more.
Which he does for the owl pictures, like this one. Still not in focus much.He thought this was the same owl as always, because of its left eye, but then found a picture of an owl taken seven years ago, and it obviously isn’t the same owl. That really is pretty much it for now. My walks have been good.I guess I’ll let you go with a picture of me, and ducks in a row. We’ll work on getting the pictures more in focus.  He does take the pictures while we’re walking, so there’s that. 

Until next time, then.

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