a post featuring me

Greetings and salutations everyone; yes, really and truly, it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here once again to delight and amaze you. You may remember me from such posts as “The Grape Bush” and “This And That”, among so many other genuinely remarkable posts.

Before I show a whole bunch of pictures of me, which in itself raises the quality of this otherwise kind of boring post to super-excellence, I should mention that we did almost nothing today, except go on our walks, take a long nap, and the guy I live with raked up honey locust pods. If I could operate the camera I could show pictures of him raking up pods, but that probably wouldn’t be very interesting.

What the guy I live with is obsessed about now is his new rock garden. This is how it looks through the not-incredibly-clean kitchen window, early in the morning.


You can see that the guy I live with hasn’t removed the wrapping he did on the Russian hawthorn. He’s so excited by this pile of gravel it’s almost all he talks about. He raves on about having drifts of Iris zaprgajewii and Crocus cvijicii, and possibly also Niedzwedzkia semiretschenskia. It doesn’t sound very promising.

So, along with that, he’s been dwelling on “the new English garden”. Planting kept to a minimum. A garden designed “to be read”. I can’t see that planting stuff like that mentioned above would necessarily make the garden readable. Sometimes when visitors came over and the guy I live with was at work, my mommy would call him and ask him what some plant was, and I could hear her saying things like “Can you spell that?” or “You’re just making that up”and stuff like that. I won’t be doing things like that.

Anyway, he was out there today making these artistic noises, so I came out to see what was going on. It isn’t very often that I hear artistic noises out in the garden, you know. The path I’m walking on was called “Pooka’s Shortcut”, because my uncle Pooka decided to make a shortcut through the garden rather than wasting valuable time running around the garden in order to see what was going on out in the back. Makes sense to me. My mommy added the boards, and made the guy I live with do all the sawing.




I got really close. Really, really close.



This is what was causing all the artistic noises.


“It looks better from the other direction’, he said.


My first impression was that he should stick to gardens with plants. Like, when he tells people he’s a gardener, and they automatically assume he means vegetables (or “edibles”, for crying out loud), when there aren’t any at all here, and he thinks it’s weird that people automatically assume things, but now, looking at this, and reflecting on current trends in gardening without plants, he says he might have to start telling people that his garden has plants in it.

Then he went into the side yard, the shade garden, to take a picture of a new form of Cyclamen hederifolium, “Arrow Leaf Silver”, or something like that. Yes, that’s really a cyclamen leaf. Only the guy I live with would take a picture of one leaf. (I know, there are two there, and some in the upper left, out of focus.)


Then, after taking this magnificent picture, he took a picture of the new rock garden as seen from the garden gate.


You can sort of see his artwork there in the distance. Distance it what it needs, don’t you agree?

Well, I guess that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the pictures of me, at least.

Until next time, then.

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14 Responses to a post featuring me

  1. Thea says:

    Break it to your person gently, Chess, but I think the garden passed “readable” some time past. It is however surpassingly lovely in the shot looking to the gate, and the gravel garden is well-placed. I do believe we saw stone artistry such as your person has created when we were in Japan walking the gardens. The gate has a Japanese feel as well, perhaps as descended from the Arts and Crafts period.
    I should love to have drifts of anything in my garden, but, alas, too small, although the lavender does make an attempt.
    I have been remembering all day the Halloween artistry shown yesterday. Perhaps it’s the sunny color of the wall behind, but I love the overall effect of your mommy’s arrangement, I who turn my head at Day-of-the-Dead stuff. I also went back and looked at your mommy’s photos posted about this time a year ago. Wowser, what an eye she possessed! I like each one. I am blown away, as I hear the kids say as they pass our garden gate.
    Thank you for the bonus Chess sequence.

    • paridevita says:

      You’re welcome. Especially excellent Nose Pictures, if I do say so myself. At least, they’re nothing to sniff at. Ha ha.
      My mommy made that arbor. Funny story here. She told the guy I live with that he was in charge of digging the holes for the posts, and so he went put a got a post-hole digger, for $19.95, which was moderately a lot back in those days, and my mommy looked very askance at this purchase. Another guy having to have tools affair. But when she saw how efficient the post-hole digger was, she changed her mind.
      Here is a website with a review of the book in question. http://www.architecturaldigest.com/blogs/the-aesthete/2013/09/new-english-garden-book-tim-richardson-blog You can scroll down for a “sample of the breathtaking photographs”, and see for yourself, at least a little.
      The guy I live with posted a lot of her pictures when he had nothing to say. (Hard to believe.) They were featured on October 3, 4, 9, 11, 16, and 18, of 2012, and probably in some other posts too.

  2. I like the boardwalk and Chess’s nose (of course) and the rocks.

    • paridevita says:

      The boardwalk was all Cindy’s idea. I’m no good at construction, but I was very good at whining about things I needed done in the garden. “Wouldn’t an arbor look good here?”

  3. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    My grammy gets lots of compliments on her rock garden, which always surprises her, because she created it by yanking out plants that were getting too fussy and needy and replacing them with a nice rock from the pile we used to have. The rocks came from my uncle, who is a farmer, and who aspires to grow more than just the rocks that seem to keep popping up in his fields. The rock pile has been moved bit by bit over the years and is now fully morphed into a Rock Garden. Minimum effort, maximum impact–that’s the way we like it around here!

    • paridevita says:

      Here it’s maximum effort, minimum impact, as is all too obvious at times.
      Here, all the ugly rocks and broken troughs and pieces of concrete and old tires and things like that had already been used to make raised beds throughout the garden, so the gravel is there because it won’t sink down too much. Also of course for “drainage”.

  4. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    2 out of 3 poodles (the males) think that putting pee rocks in pea gravel is a very good thing, indeed.

    • paridevita says:

      Chess never does that. He uses the lawn, which likes the nitrogen….

    • pamit says:

      When I walk my poodle, I’m always picking up rocks to carry home. Poodle thinks carried objects should behave as either biscuits or balls, so is rather disdainful of the rocks. –Great garden pictures! When I first moved to Colorado I thought autumn was a small, boring time for gardenscapes, but now I understand.

      • paridevita says:

        There’s a collection of rocks here from all over the world. A rock from a river in New Zealand, the Drakensberg, etc. They aren’t labeled so I don’t know which is which.
        Autumn can be nice here, and winter, too, if the snow doesn’t linger, like it has recently. Viburnum farreri is often in bloom at DBG in January.

  5. Vivian Swift says:

    Well, in the year that I spent reading nothing but gardening memoirs (actually, you can read all the gardening memoirs in the world in about two moths of easy reading) I learned everything I know about rock gardens from Beverly Nichols. And I must say, I’ve never seen a rock garden in person, so maybe you can’t believe everything you read. I also read the Sakuteiki, which has a thing or two about setting rocks in the garden. Are you doing it Saketeiki-style?

    Oh, to see the Chess-man tripping the boards…the DoG in action! When I paint my fantasy secret garden I will have to include a boardwalk and a pure bred border collie. Actually, if the guy you live with checks his email he might find a proposal about just that thing…

    • paridevita says:

      No, he says the pile of gravel will look like the rest of the garden when the gravel is covered up. Or rather, it will look like the rest of the raised beds. But without rocks (ie large rocks, aka “stone”), which is expensive and takes up too much planting space.
      Some people are fond of crevice gardens, which require a great deal of stone, and would look just plain odd, here. We try to avoid the odd whenever possible.
      You want to see real rock gardens, and I mean serious rock gardens, visit here. http://www.skalnicky.cz/skalky.php The guy I live with says the page is in Czech, and probably better not translated. (Translate and see why.) Scroll down to pictures of serious Czech rock gardens.
      The guy I live with has a book by Beverley Nichols but has never read it. Saving it for his old age, which starts in January.

      The guy I live with also says he has checked his email and nothing has happened. He checks his gmail about three times a year. Doesn’t know Facebook, or any of that social networking stuff. He has a regular email, petuniaman (at) Q.com which he checks constantly.

      • Vivian Swift says:

        Just re-sent my email to petunia man at capital Q com. I is not Spam, although I do dream of being a lumberjack and having buttered scones for tea.

        AYYY BOOK by Beverly Nichols??? AY Bleedin’ Buk by Beverly Nichols? Good lord, man, he wrote 15. And you have to read them in order [if you are a Capricorn]. He is the rare Brit who appreciated a garden walk with a martini in tow. Taught me everything I know about reading a garden.

      • paridevita says:

        Nothing by Beverley Nichols. Everything by Graham Stuart Thomas, though. My grandfather wore a coat and tie working in the garden, too, like GST.
        Everything by Christopher Lloyd, too, and Henry Mitchell, and a lot of Elizabeth Lawrence.

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