more changes

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you up to date on all the changes going on around here. You may remember me from such change-related posts as “Another Change”, and “A Slight Change”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.Maybe you can see that the cart full of plants that was sitting on the patio is gone now. Everything has been planted and watered, or put into one of the frames for winter.
There was a lot of extra space in the frames because the crocuses in the pots all rotted, except for one pot, where the corms were fine. (The ones that rotted had too much organic matter in the mix; the guy I live with wasn’t thinking all that clearly when he filled the pots.)
You can also see the little trees, which will be planted later this month. They’re Juglans microcarpa, the little walnut from Oklahoma, Texas, and adjacent Mexico.

Dozens of bulbs have been planted. You should have heard the language used when the guy I live with sliced through bulbs with the trowel. There are bulbs everywhere in the garden, so it wasn’t surprising that this happened.

There are lots of crocuses in flower; the guy I live with has been watering, some. This phone picture doesn’t reproduce the color of Crocus speciosus properly, but here are the crocuses anyway.They’re all over the garden, really. Ants collect the seeds and spread them everywhere. The guy I live with also suspects that mice eat a lot of the corms.

The cottonwoods along the creek, to the north of us, are changing color.
It hasn’t rained much here. Maybe one millimeter since the first of August. So things are kind of weird here. As usual, I guess. But the lack of rain is disturbing to the guy I live with.

The really weird thing, though, is that a lot of work has been done in the garden.
The lilacs are being cut down. So now there’s the path behind the Long Border. The guy I live with transplanted a native sumac, Rhus trilobata, next to the lilacs, and hopes that he’ll be able to plant more, next year.
Of course the sumac doesn’t smell like lilacs do when it flowers, but it does flower every year, has nice autumn color, and isn’t wilted all summer.
The very strange thing is that now my Private Lawn isn’t so private; we can see right across it to the field. (There’s a big pile of branches there, too.)
The guy I live with has trouble working in the garden, since he has some issues with his legs, knees, back, etc., so I was surprised at all the work. He did come inside every now and then to rest a bit.

Well, so, that’s what’s been going on lately. We saw an owl, and every now and then the guy I live with says he sees a large snake head, with eyes watching him, when he turns the faucet on or off.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me, supervising the lilac removal business, and making sure this part of the garden is free from flying, stinging things.

Until next time, then.

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one thousand posts

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you the one thousandth post on this blog.
You may remember me from such non-thousandth posts as “Mice In The Rice”, among so many, many others. (Obviously.)

Here I am in a characteristically horticulture pose. I’m supervising, of course.
I think the trash can adds a certain something, don’t you?

Uncharacteristically, some work is being done here. I know that’s hard to believe.

A few plants have been planted, but not many. A lot of them had rootballs so packed with roots that the guy I live with used the Super-Genius™ method of getting them to root. Namely, you repot in a larger pot, surround the root ball with sand, and then water for a couple of weeks, and, usually (but not always), roots will leaves the root ball to get water.
Tightly-packed roots can only get so much water, so this helps the plants establish in a dry garden much more quickly.
The other work that’s being done is on the lilacs. The guy I live with is no longer happy with the big green hedge of lilacs that rarely flower here, and just sit there being green all summer, so the first thing that’s being done is removal of the older, larger stems, of which there are a lot, because the lilacs have been neglected for such a long time.

The guy I live with’s wife used to do this. I wasn’t here at the time, so it’s a little hard for me to understand how much he misses her, and her help in the garden. Tomorrow would have been her sixty-fourth birthday.
I guess she would work on the lilacs for about a week. She was much more of a perfectionist than someone I know is.
Maybe you can’t see the gap in the lilacs here, but it’s definitely there.
That’s Solidago ‘Wichita Mountains’ in flower. The guy I live with thinks this is just a form of the variable Solidago speciosa, but since he doesn’t know one goldenrod from another, this name is fine. It comes from the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma. Bees love it.

You can see here that the Acer grandidentatum is turning color. Not as spectacularly as in some years.
And you can see the wall of green lilacs, which the guy I live with says looks weird. Partly because of the abrupt transition from the dry border to all-of-a-sudden green lilac leaves.And you can also see the gap, right over the sagebrush.

There are some crocuses in flower. The guy I live with has been watering, a little. These are Crocus kotschyanus.
And this one, which is called Crocus goulimyi ‘Mani White’. I was very disappointed to learn that it was named for the Mani Peninsula in Greece, and not for me.
This is growing in a pot because someone forgot to plant it in the garden earlier this year. It will go back into the bulb frame pretty soon, to spend the winter there, and then get planted in the garden next year.

Speaking of spending the winter here, the guy I live with turned off the faucet last night and heard some rustling among the dry grapevine leaves clustered by concrete downsplash block.
This afternoon he went to turn on the faucet again and noticed he was being watched.
It is almost that time of year, after all, when spooky things happen, and you have the feeling that something is watching you.
It kind of gives me the creeps, though.

I guess the bullsnake–the very large bullsnake–will be spending the winter with us. There must be a huge burrow under the downsplash block. There’s a hole there, and the guy I live with said he’s often thought about filling it, but reconsidered because he also thought someone might be using it. And someone is.

We’re used to seeing burrows in the garden, since we sort of live out in the country.

That’s all I have for today. I know it’s hard to believe that there are actually a thousand posts on this blog, but there are.

The guy I live with posted a picture of me walking among fallen apples, on Facebook, but I’ll leave you with another, much more atmospheric one taken this evening.

Until next time, then.

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