my garden in spring

Hi, it’s me again, the dog, Chess. You may remember me from all the really good posts; I mean the ones that were about me. I think the last one was called “Under the weather” back in February, but here I am again. The guy I live with says today is reserved for napping. I can go along with that.

I went to the Bad Place last week for something called my “annual check up”, where I got stuck with needles. It turns out that my birthday was March 4, and I’m eleven. I’m in really good shape and my muscles are well-developed from the walks, which is a lot more than I can say for the guy I live with.

Here I am back from our morning walk, which as you can see was excellent. The guy I live with says I look like a big bumblebee carrying pollen. A lot of people don’t know that you measure the excellentness of something by how much you can track into the house, but you do.


The guy I live with also says people don’t know they’re telling someone who knew the entire poem The Waste Land by heart when they tell him that April is “the cruelest month”, which they do constantly. He says it doesn’t mean what they think it means and that T.S. Eliot, who had something to do with this (I forget what), wrote “cruellest”. Not that that means anything. Most of the things the guy I live with says don’t mean anything. I’ve said before that he’s kind of a nut.

He also says that the original first part of the poem was entitled “He do the police in different voices” after something by a guy called Dickens (I forget again), and that some guy named Ezra Pound (that’s a name I would remember) said it wasn’t any good, which is why you don’t see it now. And that this Eliot person originally wanted his poem to be the poetical equivalent of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. I’ve heard that before. It’s loud and scary.

This is the sort of thing I have to live with. My mommy did too, and she didn’t like it when he read to her, except the one time when he did the police in different voices; I mean, he read Lord of the Rings out loud to her and did the characters in different voices. She laughed.

This is what he was playing when he was gardening a few days ago. Talk about loud and scary. I’m not sure what the neighbors thought.


I guess getting to go on all these excellent walks makes up for all this. My mommy said similar things.

Anyway, I’m supposed to show the picture of the agaves before it started to snow. I don’t know why this is important. It probably really isn’t, and he just thinks it is. That’s typical.


It’s about at this point that the guy I live with would forget completely why he started talking, but not me. All of the border collies that came before me designed the garden by running to places in the garden that are fun to run to. So I wanted to show off the garden, and the principles of design employed here.

This is looking toward the Way Back. Note repetition of color.


This is the Way Back. The guy I live with calls it “the lower portion of the estate”, which is a bit much, don’t you think? It has a green lawn that he wants to replace with something, but not replace it with what’s here right now. Note repetition of color.


Going back toward the house, with more repetition of color. Repetition of form and texture, too.


Looking into the Jardin Exotique, on the left, and the “wagon train” of troughs on the right. More repetition of color, form, and texture.


I guess that’s all for now. I have a lot of other things to say but it’s time for my nap. Until next time, then.

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14 Responses to my garden in spring

  1. Susan ITPH says:

    I know “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and it brings me nothing but trouble. Knowing poetry isn’t that useful, except maybe in the case of my eye surgeon who is named Richard Cory.

    Your design aesthetic of white and blobby is very sophisticated.

    • paridevita says:

      I’m already wearing the bottoms of my trousers rolled. I keep buying jeans that are too long.
      The ability to quote lots of stuff drew the attention of my wife-to-be, so it had some value.
      At least with an all white garden I don’t have to worry about color schemes. What I need to do is fit some sort of electronic tag on every plant and bulb, so when I get more plants, I can find them in the snow, before I start digging.

  2. Loree says:

    Oh Chess, thanks for the “agaves before snow” picture, it’s a good one!

  3. acantholimon says:

    Chess–tell the guy to let you do more posts: they’re much more informative and cleverly written (he can take a page or two from you any day!).

  4. Pam says:

    My dog also serves as the house humidifier now, distributing balls of snow all over the carpets. Can’t wait for the mud!

    • paridevita says:

      Fill in the blanks here. I just shampooed the carpet and ……. The thing I like best is when he brings a bunch of snow into bed with him.

  5. The part on, “repitition of color” is so hilarious…white is the sum of all the spectrum, and you have alot of it. Every week. And the National Weather Service Abq-Duluth is giddy at our weekly polar plunge, that they now have pegged us at (2) hard freezes (28F tonight and tomorrow night). Sheesh…our average last frost is past. May 1 – our new average?

    • paridevita says:

      I predict snow all summer. People here will say “it’s good for the lawns”. The average killing frost in the garden here (not counting ice in the bird baths, etc.) is about now. Denver later than that. 14 predicted for tonight.

  6. Peter says:

    Dear Chess, The ornaments on your fir are festive and look very much like real snow. Certainly there’s no such thing where you live at this time of the year. Subjecting you to scary sounds like that György Ligeti album amounts to animal cruelty and you should call your local chapter of the ASPCA as soon as possible! You should also do this if he even thinks of playing anything by someone named Mantovani. Cruellest indeed. I believe that T.S. Elliot was saying that April is a good time to eat Crullers.

    • paridevita says:

      Dear Peter. March, April, and May are the snowiest months of the year here. The guy I live with doesn’t care for this fact very much, but I think it’s terrific. I get to track mud and bird seed all over the carpet. He does, too, so it’s funny.
      I’ll have you know I’m a purebred border collie (no papers, though) and as such it is natural for me to listen to Ligeti. I even liked the Cds of Birtwistle he got a while ago. We are very progressive here. The guy I live with, and my mommy, used to play something called Nine Inch Nails on the 4th of July, as loud as they could, so my buddy Slipper and I couldn’t hear all the firecrackers. I don’t know which was scarier.
      When he was writing books he used to play a lot of Duke Ellington, things like “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo” and I really liked that too.
      We don’t have any mantovani in the house, but I think there’s fusilli and penne rigate. He bakes ciambelle and sbricciolone around Christmas and gives them to the neighbors, though.

  7. Wow, that is a lot of snow Chess collected.

    When I listened to the video tours of the rock garden, I thought to myself that Cindy must have found your “voices” very very funny!

    • paridevita says:

      Oh, I don’t know ….. there were some disagreements about how hysterical I was. One time she asked me where the Connecticut River was and I said, naturally, “France”, and she got really mad, and I thought it was hilarious. “You’re not that funny”. “Oh yes I am.”

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