the heat wave

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the roastingly hot purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest broiling news from our garden. You may remember me from such heat-related posts as
“Not Only Roasting, But Gloomy”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.I kind of got in trouble last night. A big sphinx moth flew into the house (an Achemon sphinx, the ones that come from copper-colored caterpillars), and the guy I live with spent quite some time trying to catch it with the net. He finally caught it, let it go, out on the patio, and it flew right back into the kitchen. So the guy I live with chased the moth with the net again, caught it, let it back outside, and I grabbed it and ate it.

He was really angry with me. I thought his head was going to explode. Especially since there was another incident earlier in the evening, when his friend was here for dinner, and, well, I’m not allowed to talk about it.

I am a dog, after all.

Speaking of being a dog, we purebred border collies do not like hot weather. Right now it’s ninety degrees Fahrenheit (thirty-two Celsius), with thirteen percent humidity. The guy I live with says the weather will be hot for a while. So here I am, roasting.

I have the pool, but I don’t go in it. The guy I live with says I should, but I don’t. Unless it gets filled with water, and then I go in, when the hose is running. This picture sort of makes it look like I have the pool in my mouth, but of course I don’t. When I go on my walks I can see the ducks in the neighbors’ yard. There have been ducks there for years. I don’t know why ducks don’t land in the pool here. The neighbors have a pool and the ducks like that. Things are changing on my walks. They mowed along the canal road. The grass is already dry and prickly. In the field, though, the grass is getting higher. There are two tracks here because a truck drove through here the other day. It was driven by someone who was authorized to drive through here, so we didn’t worry. But it was hard to tell which track was the one made by Norm and Celeste, the coyotes. It turned out to be the one I’m on in the picture.Back at home, things are getting even more jungly, but it’s also so dry that some plants are beginning to suffer a little. I’ll only show the non-suffering plants. I’m also supposed to show pictures of the garden.

This is the path on the north side. You can see all the way to the “way back”. 

The mockorange (Philadelphus lewisii) is scenting the garden. This garden, on the south side of the house, is blazingly hot. The rose ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ has burst into flower. Now for a bunch of cactus flowers. 

These are flowers of hybrid echinocereus which the guy I live with got at Timberline Gardens the year before it closed. These next ones really are this color. I can’t see red, but the guy I live with assures me it’s this color.A pink-flowered sphaeralcea appeared in the garden, too. Maybe pink-purple. And the gaillardias are beginning to flower. The guy I live with said he always had a hard time keeping them in the garden (I wasn’t sure if he meant they ran away, or what), but now they’re growing very well here. Seed was sown directly into the heavy clay in the middle of the lawn. I’ve already explained how the native soil isn’t clay, and this stuff gets rock-hard in the summer. Rain never gets it very wet. 

I guess that’s it for today. I’ll leave you with a picture of me lying on the patio rug in an “Egyptian” pose. You can see that I’ve been enjoying a pine cone or two. I especially like to do this after the sun goes down, and it’s cool on the patio, while the house is still hot. 

Until next time, then.







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the tour guide

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 “Still Roasting”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with said I “looked like a loon”. I’d been naughty, and I was getting a lecture. Lectures are really tiresome, if you didn’t know.

The lecture wasn’t very long, because the guy I live with knew what a good boy I’d been yesterday, when the garden was on tour. In fact he used the term super-angelic to describe my behavior.

He fretted a lot about the tour before it happened, and worried that I might dash through the garage door, because everyone had to come through the garage, and that I wouldn’t like having a whole bunch of people in my back yard, and at first I thought it was pretty terrifying, but it turned out that I really enjoyed showing people around our garden. I’m really an excellent tour guide.

There were times when the guy I live with was on the patio, talking to his friend, who came over, too, or to other people on the patio, and he couldn’t see where I was, and started to wonder, and then he discovered that I was out in the “way back” with visitors, showing them various parts of the garden you can’t see from the patio. And also leading people away from the areas that hadn’t been weeded. The guy I live with said that Chess, the purebred border collie who live here before me, did that, too.

It was a lot of fun, but I was really tired at the end of the day. The tour lasted for eight hours. It was ninety-four degrees Fahrenheit (about thirty-four Celsius), with eight percent humidity. The guy I live with said that was “excellent weather” but it was really too hot for me.

Today was a little cooler, but overcast, and so there were complaints. The guy I live with said the weather was supposed to be dry all this coming week, and not as hot as it was yesterday. It was still pretty hot today, if you ask me. So he’s going to get his way with the weather, for a little while at least.

The garden is getting kind of jungly. You can probably see why the Asphodeline lutea stole the show yesterday.The area that’s called “the lawn” is being filled up with plants like sphaeralceas. This is one called…something. The guy I live with says it’s Sphaeralcea fendleri, or maybe a hybrid of it. It has another name, too, like “desert this” or “sunset that”. It will get much taller.

The big rose, Rosa kokanica, has completely blocked the little path called “Pooka’s Shortcut”. (The mulleins are Verbascum densiflorum.)It’s having a very good year, even if it is blocking the path, and you can smell it from anywhere in the garden. The guy I live with was very pleased with the way Salvia rosifolia looks, even if the flowers are pretty small. He grew this from seed he bought from one of the Czech seed collectors.

And this mystery salvia was identified by a salvia expert on Facebook.

It’s Salvia chrysophylla, from Turkey. Growing in “completely the wrong place”. Of course.

The biggest deal, though, and I realize it may seem like nothing, but it really is a big deal here, is how well the California poppies are doing this year. The guy I live with said he would be happy if the garden were filled with them, even if nothing much of anything else happened this summer. This one was supposed to be ‘Red Chief’, but maybe isn’t.It turns out that California poppies can be annuals or perennials, which is kind of weird. They’re mostly perennial here, but not very long-lived perennials (like most other perennials except for bindweed). We still think of them as annuals, though.

The guy I live with explained to me that annuals are really popular right now, but that he prefers the kind that just grow, without having to water them every single day.

I think that’s it for today. The patio is really cool and I like to lie outside at night after a hot day, and maybe chew on a pine cone (even though that’s technically something that I’m forbidden to do).

Until next time, then.



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