when in doubt

When in doubt, I cover a problem area with rocks. The bigger the rocks, the better. No worries about watering, or winter hardiness.

The southern third of the native-grass lawn has turned into one of the ugliest areas in the garden, made even uglier by the persistence of stupid Poa annua (the green stuff), and the bird feeder hanging directly above it. I hit my head on the bird feeder just today, and half the seed dropped to the ground.

I happened to have some extra rocks handy, so I carried them over to this spot. “Carried” is an exaggeration; judging from the way my body responded when I tried to lift them, they each weigh over 150 pounds, so I rolled them by their edges.

See? Instant beautification.


The rocks had served as edging for yet another hideous area of the garden, the pool. Aside from the fact that, as I mentioned a while ago, it’s covered with algae and smells most of the year, having a pool in a climate this dry now just seems odd to me. I try desperately not to be odd.

I dug the pool and installed the liner; my success in preventing creases is quite evident in the picture below. The sides were too steep as well. I’m not sure why my wife let me do all this; maybe she felt sorry for me, since she did all the construction in the garden. The dog, who was raised on a farm and came to his new home reeking of goat poop, jumped into the pool minutes after his arrival, but he hasn’t shown any interest in it since then.


I guess the metal dragonfly can stay where it is. I was going to drain the pool tomorrow, using a bucket, but now I don’t feel like it. If it ever stops snowing (two feet predicted next week), the water will evaporate in no time. That leaf visible under the water is an unhappy variegated Iris pseudacorus, which spends the winter lying on its side at the bottom, in a slime-covered pot. The whole thing reminds me of the tar pits in Los Angeles, which I used to love to visit when very young, except that the pools of tar were even more sinister looking.

Back to the rocks, I set them in a manner reminiscent of a similar formation I saw while on holiday in the Julian Alps many summers ago. That’s how I do everything.


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8 Responses to when in doubt

  1. Cliff Booker says:

    Any garden open days planned, Bob?

    • paridevita says:

      Technically, the garden is always open, though I take so many naps not very much gets done. There was an open day last year, for the Jefferson County Master Gardeners, that was quite delightful.
      A couple of lackeys might come in handy, as well as someone who could do something about the awful weather here. I’ve been thinking about covering the entire garden with a dome of some sort.

  2. Pam says:

    Here on Lookout Mtn we just had an “emergency” water meeting where they told us if we didn’t use ANY water outdoors from now on, we MAY not run out of water within the next year. So, I am sort of OK with the “blizzard” that is coming next week. I guess.

    • paridevita says:

      Ever since I moved here I’ve thought snow in April and May was extremely depressing. It’s snowed here in May every year but one since the turn of the century.
      I should have stayed in California ……

  3. Peter says:

    It’s never too late to move back out west! Snow in May? Sounds too much like Alaska!

    • paridevita says:

      Snow in May. First year I was dragged out here, 1961, four inches of snow on September 3rd. That’s summer.
      Someone who lives in Denver got very upset at me when I observed that Denver has nine months of snow ….but if you count from September to May, you do in reality get nine months. People here (other people) like it, because it’s “good for the lawn”.
      Then there’s summer. The part of the year when it isn’t snowing. (Except for when it snows in September, that is.) Since the house is on the western edge of Denver, thunderstorms roll in and darken the sky before noon, some years. Last summer the dog counted six days between May 1st and October 1st that he didn’t have to run and hide when he heard thunder. And yet there was less than an inch of rain after the middle of July. Or the garden (and roof, and car if it’s parked in the driveway) get destroyed by hail. Check out the post for June 7, “after midnight” for a real weather story.
      My first border collie spent the entire summer of 1999 hiding in the bathtub because of thunder. He stayed there for days at a time, without once asking to go outside.
      It’s nice here occasionally, too. I usually pretend it’s that way all the time.

  4. It’s really difficult to make a pool with liner that doesn’t leave the underwear showing.

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