Greetings everyone, it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here again to entertain you with the most delightful and informative posts a border collie can provide. You may remember me from such posts as “He Fixes Something” and “Tick Talk”, among others. Here I am in a characteristic pose. You can also see the ancient creaky rattan furniture (even older than the guy I live with, if you can believe that, and fun for border collies to climb onto), and I would suggest that you note the colors of the wall behind me. My mommy picked out those colors, but they’re full of portent at the moment. Symbolic, even.
Well, the day started out quite nicely, with our walk and all, and the guy I live with did stuff, and then the UPS guy showed up, and guess what was in the box?
That’s right, lavenders. And some mints and stuff. These came from Goodwin Creek Gardens and the first thing the guy I live with noticed was that they sent these UPS ground because it was cheaper, which was nice of the nursery since he clicked the three day delivery box, and there was a note that some of the plants were small so they sent him a free plant.
He explained to me that small plants establish more easily because there is an equal balance between roots and top growth, so the hormone balance is good, and the plants will be happier than ones with too much top growth versus roots. An even more difficult situation exists when the pot is nothing but roots, so almost none of them can absorb enough water to hydrate the top growth. “As above, so below” he said, and while this reminds me of Hermes Trismegistus and Jakob Böhme, it didn’t have anything at all to do with that, so he wasn’t getting all mystical on me. That was a relief.
The lavenders are mostly white or pink ones, and several of them are actually what they call lavandins, rather than “regular” lavenders. Regular lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, and it has a very wide distribution, growing even in the Pyrenees, which makes it the hardiest species. A lavandin is Lavandula × intermedia, and cross between L. angustifolia, and the less hardy but even more drought-resistant L. latifolia. Some people think that one produces better oil than the other. All the guy I live with thinks about this is that you can scarcely make herbes de Provence without lavender.
There is a chicken dish which you make with herbes de Provence and lots of butter that ….well, I better not start talking about food. The guy I live with says that both Lavandula lanata and L. stoechas are also hardy here, but, he says “not if they die.”
All very interesting. And speaking of hybrids, there’s also a Buddleia ‘Lochinch’ (B. davidii × B. fallowiana) in the flat there. He already has one, but this one was in bloom, and there’s not much like the scent of a buddleia, at least to the guy I live with. They have some really big ones at the Bad Place, not ‘Lochinch’, but they smell nice. He doesn’t feel like spelling buddleia with a J like most people do now. It’s hard enough to get people to pronounce plant names correctly, like they were words in English instead of in Klingon, without having this J business to deal with.
And, oh, let’s see, it got really scary this afternoon, the way it does every afternoon at this time of year now. The guy I live with says it didn’t used to, and even though I wonder if “it didn’t used to” is real English, the good old days do sound better to me. He says that August used to average 8.3 days with thunderstorms, but I’ve heard thunder every day but one so far. I even heard it when we started out for our afternoon walk, and I had to go back inside. Those stories of seeing my skeleton if I got hit by lightning were not encouraging. We waited for a while and then the storm blew to the east and we were able to go on our walk after all. It hardly rained at all. Whew, huh.
What else? The oriole feeder is still attracting lots of orioles, but also some non-oriole visitors. You should see them when the guy I live with takes the feeders down for “rejellification”. He uses one of those grabber deals to get the feeders, even though the hornets don’t seem to have any interest in stinging him….yet…but they do follow him back to the patio to see what’s what with the grape jelly.
In fact, he got a call about having the garden on tour, and the person on the other end of the phone was shocked when he said he didn’t grow any “edibles” (what a ridiculous word), but he does have quite a few stingables in the yard, besides the hornets. Yellow jackets, wasps, bumblebees, bees of all kinds.
So that, like I like to say, was our day. The guy I live with got his lavenders, and now has to start thinking. That’s a process which makes me go into another room. One day I’ll tell you about the thinking process, and what’s involved, but right now I’ll say goodbye, and sign off with a picture of the moon this evening.