what on earth …..

Hello everyone; it is once again I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to provide with posts of such dazzling insight that they are indeed, well, dazzling and insightful. You may remember me from such posts as “Something Completely Different” and “A Beautiful Day”, among others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose, wondering why it’s still so hot. Border collies do not care for hot weather.


Okay, so, the reason I’m posting today is because there are plants in the garden which the guy I live with does not recognize. His excuse that he’s in his declining years really won’t work this time, because I’m almost certain that he sowed seed of these, so he’s just being dumb. Here’s the first one.


He had absolutely no idea what this could possibly be, and searched his memory banks trying to remember what seed he sowed out in front, and after a few hours of thinking, came to the conclusion that this is Engelmannia pinnatifida. Or something else.

Now this one, in the back yard, growing in what he calls the sand pile, is a complete mystery. It kind of looks like a gilia, or an ipomopsis if you prefer, but then again it doesn’t.


Well, that’s really all I have today. Oh, wait, I forgot; here are some more pictures. Someone has been eating the little plants of Verbascum bombyciferum. It’s not me. I don’t know why anyone would find the leaves interesting at all, but maybe they’re just doing this because they can. This is just weird.


Just a few feet away from this is a new aster he planted this year, Aster ericoides ‘Ringdove’. He has high hopes that it won’t have to be watered and won’t get mildew. Mildew is icky.


The guy I live with says he’s not going to call this a sympohyrhticm or whatever. In fact, we were on our walk this afternoon, and there were a bunch of asters colored about the same as this but much taller and with longer leaves, and he didn’t say to me, “Look at the pretty sypmhoyphtrimcs”, he said “Look at the asters”.

He explained that Intermountain Flora conserved the name Aster in their treatment of the genus, and so that’s that, as far as he’s concerned. He also said if it turned out that this plant got mildew he’d have to dig it up and that would be a disaster.

Get it? I didn’t either. My mommy would say something like “You’ve made that joke before and it’s still not funny”, and then the two of them would have a discussion about what’s funny and what isn’t.

I’ll leave it up to you. See you next time.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to what on earth …..

  1. Very pretty photo – tell your person, Chess – of a pretty aster. Much better than the more mundane asters growing in our yard. When we moved in near thirty years ago, we scattered seed from a Monet’s Garden box the museums used to sell. The mundane aster is the sole survivor and it thrives a bit too well. For us, dis-aster would be no disaster.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with loves asters because early autumn can be a very pleasant time here, but often the ones he likes best need tons of water, and after you give them that, they respond with mildew. Even the novae-angliae types. “That silver-leafed aster in your border is very pretty; what do you call it?”
      Hoping that Ringdove, which came from Far Reaches, will not be that way.
      It’s funny, in a grim sort of way, that in Europe there are zillions of cultivars of North American asters.
      This reminds the guy I live with that he and my mommy did have a serious disagreement over the merits of Professor Kippenburg, which is a novi-belgii type, and he, who eventually turned against the professor, says that novi-belgii is really Code Latin for “mildew magnet”.

  2. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I believe that the proper response is a deep groan and a look that says “I can’t believe you said that.” Why do taxonomists hate gardeners so much that they change the names of the kids every few years?

    • paridevita says:

      Yeah, well, you do have to thank them for changing Funkia to Hosta. The guy I live with was really upset when they tried to do away with the best botanical name of all, Zingiber zerumbet, but it turns out that that’s an accepted name, and the one they keep trying to call it instead of, Alpinia zerumbet, is really Alpinia speciosa with eight synonyms.
      Okay, Veronica beccabunga is pretty good, too.

  3. There is a rampant blue aster around here that I call the Bad Aster.

  4. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    So now we are to be pun-ished by the guy you live with? My grammy says that just because puns can be funny, doesn’t mean they can be called jokes.

    • paridevita says:

      Just the one time, maybe. He says if Shakespeare did it, so can he.

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        Dear Chess–please try to break this as gently as you can to the guy you live with…but the fact is that he is NOT Shakespeare, nor is there much chance that he will ever be. What next? Iambic pentameter? This must be nipped in the bud, so to speak. Your readers and fans are counting on you, Chess.

      • paridevita says:

        Ha. Behold his poem, writ much earlier, and posted on this blog.

        O lips that sip,
        They drip,
        They drip.

        Shakespeare just ne’er a border collie had.

      • Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

        O mouth that slurps,
        It burps,
        It burps.

        I, for one, believe that Shakespeare DID have a border collie, who was always laying at Will’s feet. There’s just no other plausible explanation for Will’s prodigious output.

      • paridevita says:

        Ha. Double ha. The guy I live with has a whole portfolio of Dog Songs.

Comments are closed.