heavy sighs

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today for yet another post. You may remember me from such posts as “The Disappointments”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically pathetic pose.I suppose I could look more pathetic, but I’m not sure how that would be possible.
There are firecrackers. A lot of them.
I got some Rescue Remedy.

The guy I live with has explained to me just how inconsiderate people can be. I like most of my neighbors, but there are a few whom I don’t like at all. Not even slightly. I’d like to chomp them, but the guy I live with said we don’t do things like that.

He’s also explained to me that life can be full of disappointments. If you look at the post I mentioned above, you’ll see what I mean.
But in this case, it’s because the weather forecast called for a seventy percent chance of rain today, and we got none. A couple of sprinkles was all. Lots of heavy sighs around here.
Every time they’ve forecasted rain here, nothing has happened.
It hasn’t rained here since the first of June.

You can see from the picture below that it looked like it might rain, but it didn’t. (That’s a lonely Eremurus olgae in flower.)
The guy I live with said that very dry weather and firecrackers do not mix.

I’ll show some more garden pictures now. These are plants that have done well here without any irrigation and ten inches (twenty-five centimeters) of rain and snow a year, if even that.
This is Helianthus pumilus, which is native here.
And of course the sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata, which does well on even less precipitation.
Maybe more Melica ciliata than we really need in the garden, too.

Ratibida columnifera. And the “red” form in the picture after this one.

Sphaeralcea fendleri, just starting to flower.
Salvia greggii. Some of these are new plants which have been watered in. The salvia will flower in May and June, but won’t flower in autumn (its common name in “autumn sage”), unless it rains, like it does in its native habitat. Although it won’t die from drought.

A happy bee on Amorpha canescens. The guy I live with finally smelled these flowers after having them in the garden for over a quarter of a century, since it was covered with bees and bumblebees, and said they smelled “lemony”.

Cylindropuntia kleiniae × imbricata starting to flower.

And finally, the “gumbo lily” or evening primrose, though it’s not a primrose, Oenothera caespitosa.  This also smells “lemony” at night.

Now back to the other stuff.
The guy I live with said it’s been a disappointing year for seed-sowing, too. In general, anyway. I know he doesn’t care hugely about this, but still, he paid for the seeds, and so when nothing happens, it’s a bit frustrating.

He got some vegetable seeds, and they did come up, but grew so slowly he said probably nothing would bear fruit. Tomatoes, some Thai eggplants, and chili peppers. Of course some of these can be grown indoors, watching for whitefly in the winter.
Then there were the amsonias. Native dryland species, not the ones from eastern North America. These are mostly really easy to germinate, but then most of the seedlings die for no apparent reason.
There are some amsonias in the seed frames out in back, too. Some amsonia species just come up and some need a cold treatment and so the latter spent the winter in this frame.
You can see that there are a lot of pots with no seedlings in them. The guy I live with said this was okay; maybe they’ll germinate next year. That happens a lot.
The pot at upper left with all the greenery trying to burst through the hardware cloth is filled with Oenothera caespitosa seedlings.

(The guy I live with went to one of the big box stores looking for hardware cloth, and the person there didn’t know what he was talking about. So the guy I live with took the person over to where the rabbit fencing was, and there was some hardware cloth, and he showed them what it was. It’s that screen-looking thing in the picture above.)

The buffalo gourds, Cucurbita foetidissima, were a bit tricky to germinate, but then there were a lot of seedlings, most of which died. A few lived, and were doing well, but all of a sudden they dried up.
This plant, which is native here and to a lot of the Great Plains to the east, makes a huge underground root. Claude Barr called it a “spectacular trailing vine”, and the guy I live with said that was true. A plant growing here died some years ago, for unknown reasons, so he tried to grow it from seed, and when the seedlings’ leaves dried, disappointment set in again.
But then look what happened. This is a pretty blurry picture but you can still see what’s going on.
You can also see the formation of the gigantic root.

Another thing that almost became a huge disappointment when the seedlings dried out and all the leaves withered, but then a lot of watering brought them back to life, were the acacias.
These are seedlings of Vachellia constricta, which used to be known as Acacia constricta. You can see that they’re forming thorns.
So not everything is totally terrible. I guess that’s our message for today.
But we really could use some rain.

Until next time, then.


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the haiku

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you up to date on all the news, after kind of a long absence. You may remember me from such posts as “The Tour Guide”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
It’s been really hot and ickily humid (for us; most people wouldn’t notice it); the guy I live with has been working out in the garden, but not constantly, because of the heat.
He said there hasn’t been much of anything going on worthy of a post, and maybe there still isn’t.

Just today he did some work in the front yard. He said the mahonia, which was sown by a bird ages ago, needed to go because its leaves were “too glossy green” for the front yard, so he dug it up. Some rooted branches were saved and are in pots next to the patio.

He went over to a nursery yesterday to get a couple more Hesperaloe campanulata. You can see one of the new ones on the left, behind the Yucca schottii. The other new one is behind the existing one and I guess you can’t really see it.
It’s much different from the usual Hesperaloe parviflora you see everywhere here; the guy I live with tried to take new pictures of the flowers today, but they were closed, because it’s been sprinkling on and off.
Here’s the picture of the flowers he posted on Facebook the other day.
The Colorado four o’clock, Mirabilis multiflora, is flowering too, in the front yard. (The plant actually sprawls onto the driveway.)
And there are tiny acorns on Quercus undulata, also in the front yard.

The garden in back looks pretty good after the rain we had at the beginning of June.
That bunch of Aster oblongifolius to the right of me is going to go; the guy I live with says it’s “too green”. I guess he means too much uninterrupted green. There are dozens of other plants of it in the garden anyway. It seeds everywhere.
It’s on the left, in the picture below.
The Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica has also seeded all over the garden, and is really starting to flower now.
Speaking of flowering, the buffalo grass in my Private Lawn is flowering, too.
The hose is there because one part started to dry out for some reason. Buffalo grass really doesn’t need much water, though it does need some.
The guy I live with said he might not mow it this year. If it gets mowed, then it needs to be watered.

Oh, the title of my post. The guy I live with posted a picture of the rose, ‘Darlow’s Enigma’, on Facebook (this is a different picture), and also said something about the haiku.
The guy I live with’s wife carved the haiku into the wood. She was really into haiku. One time a nurseryman friend said he would trade haiku for some plants that were really hard to get, so she wrote some haiku and they got some plants.

There was a garden tour once where one person insisted on stopping and reading each haiku aloud to everyone else, even though they all wanted to move on to another part of the garden.
Kind of like going to the checkout line at the grocery store and asking if something is in stock, rather than going to the customer service desk, and holding up everyone else in line.
Or like shooting off fireworks at this time of year. They’re illegal, but people do it anyway.
The guy I live with says people can be self-centered at times.
But now when he stops to look at the haiku he doesn’t just think of how happy his wife was, building the pergola and carving the haiku with a Dremel tool, he also thinks of that unpleasant incident.
And when he thinks of the Fourth of July, he thinks of frightened purebred border collies, and has for over thirty years.

The guy I live with also got the new license plates for our car. He said it was a relief, because it felt strange driving around with temporary plates for so long. Not that he goes to very many places.
He says it’s a bit different, but nice, to have a car that says “See you” when he gets out of the car after parking it in the garage.

I guess that’s all. I’ll leave you with a picture of me in a very relaxed state.

Until next time, then.

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