the ground shark

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about the weather. You may remember me from such similarly-themed posts as “A Rainy Afternoon”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
Here I am looking the other way.
You can see that the flagstone is wet.
This is what happened yesterday morning. The rain woke the guy I live with up out of bed. It was pretty nice, but I had to wait a while to go outside.

The garden has become pretty jungly, like it often does at this time of year.
This really is our “normal” weather, not the super-dry springs we’ve had lately, like April of last year, when there were high winds and fire warnings. Maybe not so much rain as has been falling along the Front Range (more up north), but still, June is often a rainy month.
This is me again, if you weren’t sure, looking at the path on the north side of the garden.Me once more. The hoses haven’t been used since they were attached to the faucet.
The water in the creek was pretty high, but not as high as it was a while ago.
And we have these:
The guy I live with took a picture of Daphne giraldii with a bug on it.
And this was supposed to be a Persian yellow rose, but it turned out to be an Austrian Copper, which is a sport of the yellow rose. The guy I live with said that the other rose he planted in the “way back” border must be the Persian yellow.
So about the title. The guy I live with ordered one of these, to deal with the tougher weeds, and all the chokecherry seedlings. It’s called a ground shark.
It has a pretty serious blade.
He says this works really, really well. And the ground is so easy to dig in.
It was kind of expensive, but the pointed blade does a better job of getting deep into the soil than the tree-planting spade does, and it’s less work to dig out the chokecherry seedlings which are all over the garden.

Well, that’s all I have for today. In between the rain, the guy I live with has been pulling weeds and playing with the ground shark.
We still haven’t figured out why WordPress doesn’t send us notifications of comments. Maybe they’re getting lost in all the rain.

Until next time, then.

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the secret compost pile

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to tell you about the work that’s been done, as well as some other things. You may remember me from such posts as “Film At Eleven”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I’m not even paying attention to the fancy alliums from Afghanistan in this picture. (Allium jesdianum Per Wendelbo.)

First of all, the guy I live with wants to thank everyone who commented on yesterday’s post.
I think he had a more difficult time today than he did yesterday.

It was a rough day for me today, too. There was a lot of scary thunder, and the guy I live with kept looking at the radar to see if hail was coming our way. There wasn’t any; it just rained. The rain was nice, though.

But before that, he decided it was “high time” to do some work in the garden on the south side of the house. It had become terribly overgrown.
I should back up a few days and talk about the yuccas and agaves in the front yard. He removed some of the leaves from the really big yuccas, using a pole pruner for trees, and pulled out a dead Agave parryi var. huachucensis, which had been in the garden since last century, but this past winter was too much for it.
He cut up the yucca leaves and put them, with the leaves of the dead agave, into cardboard boxes.

Today he decided to tackle the side yard. He used the word “carnage”, but since even I know that word refers to flesh, I wondered if “plantage” wouldn’t have been better.
I wasn’t allowed in that little garden, because of all the spiny things, but I could see that the mesquite was mostly dead, and behind it was a large and very dead Cylindropuntia leptocaulis¬†(the “Christmas cholla” called that because of its bright red fruits), which he pulled out from behind the mesquite with a hoe.

So there was a huge pile of spiny, pointy, stabby things, as well as what was in the cardboard boxes.
The guy I live with is pretty brilliant, almost as smart as I am, and he thought and thought and thought about this. The stuff couldn’t go in the trash.
What he decided to do is make a secret compost pile, which few people would ever see, and put all this spiny stuff at the bottom, so that, in three hundred years, it would decompose.
Here it is. If you remember how this garden looked before, it looks pretty bare now.
That green stuff in the middle is some kind of aster that seeded itself from who knows where, and needs to be removed.
The shrub at the back is Philadelphus lewisii, about to flower. The secret compost pile is behind that.
And across from that are some new plants, now.

The rain has made everything green.
Especially the weeds. The guy I live with has been pulling weeds constantly.

The seakale, Crambe maritima, is looking really good this year.
There’s a story behind this little raised bed, by the way. Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, used to tinkle on this spot constantly, and the grass was killed, so the guy I live with made this little raised bed. I used to use this bed as a place to survey my domain when I was little. And now there’s seakale and a whole bunch of other things growing on it.
The seakale on the right is growing in the gross heavy clay that was spread over the native soil by the developer.

The cotoneaster, Cotoneaster multiflorus, is in full flower. The flowers smell awful; to humans, anyway.
And so is Rubus deliciosus. The yellow things are the new growth on ‘Taylor’s Sunburst’, a lodgepole pine found by Allan Taylor, who passed away recently, along the Peak-to-Peak Highway. Allan gave this plant to the guy I live with.
Speaking of conifers, there were a couple of dwarf ones that needed to be moved. The guy I live with was very uncertain about moving them, but so far they seem to be doing okay.
Some years ago, the guy I live with and his wife visited the late Jerry Morris, who told him that when conifers have fewer roots than needles, the needles need to be watered since there aren’t enough roots to hydrate the needles, which then need to be given a weak solution of something like Miracle-Gro, so that’s what’s being done.
The conifer on the left is one introduced by Jerry.

The last thing is about the seedlings, from the seeds that were stratified.
These are seedlings of Calochortus ambiguus:These are erythroniums:
The guy I live with is really put out that he didn’t order more erythronium seeds from Alplains in past years, considering the successes this year, but he says that’s the way things are.

I guess that’s all I have for today. Kind of a lot, really.
I should say again that the guy I live with appreciates all the comments on yesterday’s post.

Until next time, then.

Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments