the last of the bulbs

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “One Hundred Tulips”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. You may notice that my Personal Hill is now free from cow pen daisies. I like to lie on my hill in order to survey things that need surveying, and guard things that need guarding. You can never be too careful, these days.

The reason the cow pen daisies are gone is because, as I said it would in my last post, it snowed.It wasn’t the end of the world, or anything like that, but a few plants did get nipped, and were very unceremoniously removed.

The Mirabilis longiflora got nipped (you may recall that he grew these from seed earlier this year), like the native one here (M. multiflora) does, too, and so today the guy I live with dug up the roots so that they could be planted in the garden.The weather changed after the snow. Today it was seventy-three degrees (about twenty-three Celsius) and five percent humidity. When the guy I live with says to say we live in a dry climate, that’s what we mean.

There are some crocuses and cyclamen flowering now. This is Crocus pulchellus, flowering under a yucca. I know that’s a weird place for crocuses, but they were here before the yucca was planted (at which time they had been long forgotten). Not much has been happening except for a lot of bulb planting. Bulbs have been planted here every day for at least a week, now.

Today, after he was finished, he said that was “the last of the bulbs”, unless someone sends him some.

It’s been exhausting watching him plant bulbs. But now he’s done.

It’s a nice time of year, here, even with all the wandering around looking for places to plant bulbs, and the digging. 

Some bagged soil, or maybe I should say “soil”, was spread in the “way back” garden. I’m not sure why this was done. The picture doesn’t do the buffalo grass lawn here much justice; it’s been doing very well. It’s my Private Lawn, if you didn’t know. The fence still hasn’t been fixed. Lots of Crocus speciosus in “the enclosure”. The crocuses have seeded all over the garden.The shade garden has become almost impenetrable from the east side. You know all those pictures of well-ordered, manicured gardens in garden books? This isn’t one of them. The front yard is even less well-ordered. Something was supposed to be planted in that little pile of gravel, but nothing was. I’m not sure exactly what happened there. Things here can often be mysterious.

I still get biscuits upon request. This is me looking like I need one. Or maybe two.And my walks have suddenly become much longer. We walk all over the place. Here and there. Sometimes back again where we walked before. In circles, in other words.

There is still water in the canal. Today I saw the ducks. The water level is a lot lower now. The guy I live with said yesterday that there was a muskrat in the canal, and that I completely missed it. I was looking at something else, I guess. We looked for it today, but didn’t see it. I wouldn’t mind seeing a muskrat.

We walk over to what’s called a “frontage road” and walk down the sidewalk. Though the landscaping there is what you might call “industrial”, at this time of year it’s quite nice. I think these are Acer rubrum.

At this time of year, even the deep green lawns don’t look strange. I think that’s about it for now. I’m not sure what the guy I live with is going to do, now that all the bulbs have been planted. He said something about painting the house, a while ago, and so maybe that will happen. I’m not going to help. 

Until next time, then.







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the ghost in the grapevine

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden, and all kinds of other stuff. You may remember me from such posts as “Mice In The Rice”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.That’s the “bulb frame” behind me, though there aren’t any bulbs in there, yet. The guy I live with wasn’t sure what sort of soil to put in there, and finally decided on filling the frame with pea gravel, and planting bulbs in “pond baskets” with sandy loam or something like that. Eventually this will get done.

I like this part of the yard, even though it’s pretty bare. Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, liked to lie here too. There wasn’t a bulb frame there, then. It’s one of the warmest places in the yard, especially in the winter.

The last couple of days here have been extremely gorgeous.Today it was seventy-six degrees (that’s about twenty-four Celsius) with twelve percent humidity. Yesterday, the wind came up and lots of leaves blew off the trees, but unfortunately most of the leaves are still there. You can kind of see the “mountain wave” cloud that appeared yesterday. (You can also see the spot on the camera lens. The guy I live with can’t find where the spot is. He looked online to see how to replace the lens and you have to have that done professionally, so he said the lens would have the spot.)It’s supposed to snow on Monday.

They say we might get eight inches (twenty centimeters) of snow, with a low on Monday night of twenty-two (minus five and a half Celsius). The guy I live with is not hugely happy about this, but it does happen here, sometimes, and “No one ever said this was a great climate for gardening”. Then it will warm up again. The snow will probably break a lot of tree branches and make a huge mess in the garden. But we’re used to that.

Back to more pleasant news.

I got to go up into the mountains on Thursday. The guy I live with and his friend took me up there. He brought his camera but didn’t take any pictures of me in the mountains, so I guess a photographic record will have to wait for another time.

The mountains are really cool. Literally and figuratively. There were all sorts of new smells. Smells are one of the best parts of walks, if you didn’t know. I got to see things like deer poop, and elk poop. The guy I live with’s friend used to live up there and so she was an expert on such things. I even saw deer bones. They were pretty scary, and I jumped high in the air, until I totally checked them out. I didn’t see any deer or elk, though. The guy I live with told his friend how Chess was just walking out into the “way back” and a big bull elk stuck his head out from behind the pea shrubs, and Chess went completely berserk, which I would do too, because elks are huge.

Anyway, there are things happening in the garden, even with snow looming in the future. The guy I live with was talking to a friend in the nursery business about Salvia greggii, because some people have a hard time growing it, but it’s been reseeding here. This is a not-very-focused picture of four salvias, only one of which was planted. Maybe you can see that the one in the back is slightly darker; that was the one that was planted.The trap is just there for looks, like we’re being threatening or something. The wire cages are for crocuses.

Speaking of salvias, the guy I live with bought some ‘Shangri-La’ salvias the other day, because “the leaves looked cool”.He’s afraid this will need a lot of watering here, but there’s no way to tell until we try it. Still, the leaves are cool. He said he grew one of the parent plants, Salvia moorcroftiana, decades ago. It needed watering here.

We have mushrooms coming up. Someone did say they might be edible. The guy I live with said he’s not going to try them. He ate a Destroying Angel mushroom when he was two, and still remembers the doctor making a house call. That was a long, long time ago.There are crocuses all over the place. This is Crocus speciosus, one of the most attractive, and readily available. It’s been seeding itself in the garden for years. This was just what you might call a “casual picture”. And there are lots of cyclamen. This is Cyclamen hederifolium in the shade garden. And I guess some self-sown Crocus speciosus. Not much is in focus here. The stake is to mark the boundary where the cyclamens are, so no one walks on them.

Colorado really doesn’t have a lot of red where autumn color is concerned, but the Wasatch maples, Acer grandidentatum, native to the western slope, do turn red.

Maybe this has been said before, but some botanists consider this species to be the “western expression” of the eastern sugar maple, Acer saccharum. Early settlers in Utah tapped the little trees for syrup. The sap runs in March, here.

So that’s been what’s happened in the last few days.

Today, we were just doing stuff, the way we do, when all of a sudden there was something in the grapevine by the kitchen window. I barked a lot. I was pretty sure it was a ghost, because it’s that time of year. The guy I live with tells me fairly often that we do live with ghosts, but nice ghosts, but I was sure this was the other kind. He got kind of weirded out, because I kept looking, and barking, and he looked too, but couldn’t see anything, even though I was sure there was something there. He said there wasn’t, but I had to check. You can see how super careful I was being. Neither of us could find anything in the grapevine. I had a case of the creeps for a couple of hours after that.

Oh, and speaking of weird things, the guy I live with said to say, as a public service message, that he doesn’t know why all the older posts have the “word wrap” that they do. He isn’t going to go back and redo everything, but for some reason the text wraps strangely around the pictures. Just to let you know.

So that’s it for today. For the last few days, actually. I’ll let you know if the snow wrecks the whole garden, of course, and maybe even report if there’s tons of complaining. There’s bound to be, as you might guess.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me, surveying my domain.

Until next time, then.




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