Namaste, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to amaze you with the thrilling details of my daily life, and maybe tell you one or two things about the gardening that goes on here. You may remember me from such posts as “Gray Day, With Days” and “Stinker’s Revenge”, among so many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose, photographed “artistically”, which means, of course, that the guy I live with had the camera on the wrong setting. pglty2I’d just finished a couple of really good biscuits after a completely excellent day. When the guy I live with realized that he had the camera on the wrong setting, I came closer to make sure he was using the camera correctly. I mean, you never know with him.pgltyWell, while my day was completely excellent, with long walks in the morning and afternoon, the guy I live with’s day was not so great. He does have some bad days, but in this case it was because he spent most of it cleaning the carpet, which he said looked like a crime scene. It’s pretty clean now. Thank goodness for Nature’s Miracle. 

He cleaned and cleaned. And cleaned some more. Obviously (I guess obviously) carpets were on his mind, and so, since he didn’t go out into the garden a lot today, he decided to scan some of my mommy’s slides, and what we have for you tonight are pictures of the fringed gentian, Gentianopsis thermalis.

You may well think that a whole bunch of pictures of the same plant are boring. The truth is we’re not really all that interesting ourselves. Our idea of a good time is taking a long nap in the morning after our walk, and then another one after lunch. The guy I live with does often spoil this by listening to opera in the afternoon, but what can you do. I fall asleep anyway.

The gentian is an annual, and in late summer there are “carpets” of them in the wetlands in South Park. That’s less than an hour from our house, but I’ve never been there. It would be boring to watch someone take hundred of pictures. The guy I live with says it is, very. He also says we might go on some trips next summer; unless, that is, he clips my toenails again.

The pictures were taken near Jefferson, Colorado, in August of 1998. You’ll notice one white-flowered one, too. gt1gt2


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That’s a lot of blue, isn’t it? Some years, according to the guy I live with, the wetlands are blue as far as the eye can see, because South Park is a pretty big place.

Anyway, this is how the guy I live with told me to make a post out of an excellent, do-nothing kind of day. Lots of pictures of the same plant. I hope you enjoyed them.

Until next time, then.

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18 Responses to carpets

  1. Enjoyed them very much. Like a big swimming bath of perfect blueness!

  2. Kim Bone says:

    Gentian/South Park: Nold;carpets…
    Scheduled: Aug 2, 2014
    Wonderful! I put this on my 2014 calendar; Gentianopsis thermals. Thanks…

    • paridevita says:

      Just drive into Jefferson. There’s a road that runs to the south of the town and then back to the highway; that’s a good place to see thousands of gentians.
      It’s about a 40 minute trip from my driveway….

  3. Marcia Blum says:

    I love the South Park wetlands. I have always missed the Gentians blooming, but the Iris in June is also like a carpet. I think you should submit one of these very excellent photos to the USDA Plants Database!

    • paridevita says:

      Oh, sheets of Iris missouriensis, too, in various colors. Collected seed from there once, and dug up a flattened iris that was growing in the middle of the road. It’s doing well in the garden here.
      Just outside Como, couple hundred yards, before the bridge, on the left side, is the type locality (more or less) for Penstemon crandallii, which grows in much drier soils. Some years it’s a sheet of blue there, too.

  4. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Oh, so blue! I had bottle gentian — G. andrewsii — in my Flint garden, but it was more purple than blue to my eye & brain. Apparently 2014 will be the year of blue for me: I had already decided to grow blue potatoes next year, having enjoyed them for the first time a couple of months ago. I’ve been wanting to try to grow potatoes in a straw bale anyway. Now I’ve made a list of all the blue flowers I want (mostly ones I’ve grown before). And I’m still coveting Majorelle blue paint that Vivian Swift described in her blog earlier this year. When I learned that my cousin is going to Morocco next year, I made him promise (under duress) to bring me back some Majorelle blue.

    • paridevita says:

      Time for a sand bed and some penstemons. P. cyaneus is a contender for the bluest thing on the planet.

      “blue buds and pitchy blooms” (from Wallace Stevens’ Man with the Blue Guitar….I could have quoted more, but, you know, copyright, and I don’t really care for this kind of poetry).

      I still have a seed list selling seed of the very, very blue Oreocharis hookeri and Solmslaubachia pulcherrima collected on the Yulong Shan in China, five dollars (US) for one seed.

      • Deborah S. Farrell says:

        I’m more in Bubba Gump mode than Wallace Stevens mode with this blue thing: and I read “Blue Revolution” and I planted blueberries and I bought the new Indigo Fiestaware and. . .

        I wouldn’t think twice about paying five dollars for a plant, but paying that much for a seed seems out of my league somehow. Guess I don’t have that much faith in myself starting seeds.

        I remember reading an article about a married couple who did art together, and it said that men can only see 56% of the color range that women can see (the couple said that made for some challenge in doing art together). When I read that, I sat back in the chair & thought, “Wow! That explains a LOT of weird conversations I’ve had with my husband.” — e.g.,
        Me: “It’s over by the blue thing.”
        Him: “What blue thing? I don’t see any blue thing.”
        Me: “The BLUE thing — right in front of you!”
        Him: “You mean this green thing?”

      • paridevita says:

        Right before the first Christmas after my mommy died, the guy I live with decided to paint the inside of the house. The living room, the halls, the bathroom, and the kitchen. He mostly painted them the same color they were, since he has no imagination. He went to the paint store and asked the ladies there if the paint chip he picked out there matched the sample he brought with him, and he said they just laughed at him, and so he let them pick out the colors. So even though if you, like, were in the kitchen right now (I would be snoring away in my fort, on the Pottery Barn rug), it would look like the guy I live with had the most exquisite eye for color coordination, but in fact he had nothing to do with it at all.
        He used low v.o.c. paint so it didn’t make me and my buddy Slipper sick.

        The five dollars a seed thing didn’t last very long, so he hears, anyway.

  5. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Oh, yeah! And I have gotten involved with an American Rivers’ Blue Trails project.

  6. tombunker says:

    So if Gentians grow after wet springs and penstemon flourish in dry circumstances, ask you person, Chess, if it’s possible for both to bloom in the same year.
    Not like Wallace Stevens’ poetry! Ach!
    Your person, Chess, spent his day in carpet-cleaning purgatory because he cut your nail into the quick. Ask for more brie.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says it all has to do with the oxygen content of the soil, and permeability. What in horticulture they farcically call “drainage”. The oxygen content of the gravel in which the penstemons grow is much higher than the heavier soils in which the gentians flourish.
      The guy I live with did memorize “Domination of Black” decades ago, but basically agrees with Hugh Kenner’s evaluation, “an Edward Lear poetic, pushed toward all limits”.
      I got more Brie today. I would’ve gotten more if I “hadn’t been snoring away” in my fort, but I couldn’t help that.

  7. petabunn says:

    Really love those gentian, purple to my eyes not blue, so vibrant and of course the first couple of photos outstanding, as usual…

    • paridevita says:

      I would agree, even though I don’t see colors like you humans do. Well, blue-purple. The guy I live with would be lectured constantly by my mommy about colors. He doesn’t know anything.

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