another post about nothing

Greetings and salutations everyone; it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to tell you all about my day in the garden. You may remember me from such captivating posts as “A Beautiful Day” and “One Things Follows Another”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in another characteristically horticultural pose. It wasn’t very cold today. Above freezing for sure. I’m kind of balanced on this pile of snow. When the guy I live with came up to me, I fell right over. I do that sometimes. (I got up again.)010704There’s so little going on here, we’d have to do stuff for at least a week to make up for it. I mean almost less than nothing. The guy I live with said you could make a post with less than nothing to say, so here goes.

I spy with my little eye.010701Don’t see anything? Right below the Cylindropuntia echinocarpa that’s leaning up against the window there. No? Let’s move in a whole lot closer.010702If you were a bunny and scary things were circling overhead, looking for someone just like you, you’d know where to hide.

Speaking of scary, the French scare cats are on patrol. On ne passe pas, oui? 010703The cages are for irises. Not just any irises, either.

And then, let’s see. Oh, the new seed frame, in the snow. Very fascinating. There are some pots of grass seed there. Rice grass, Oryzopsis hymenoides, or Achnatherum or whatever. Rice grass benefits from a cold treatment, and so there it is, cold. 010705Since nothing is happening, and minutes tick by like hours, the guy I live with goes down and checks the baby cactus about three or four times a day. I’d say that doesn’t make them grow any faster, but he’d come right back with something like making a lot of crying and moaning sounds doesn’t make dinner time come any faster. Still, with my dinner time we are talking about something that’s actually important. The baby cactus are still growing without him having to look at them constantly.010709Here are some older ones, which are sort of more in focus, too.010706

010707He read somewhere that someone who grows a lot of cactus uses Osmocote, and so that’s what you see there. I bet if he read that someone used maple syrup he’d try that too.

So that’s it. A whole post, really about nothing. I’ll end this with another picture of me, to kind of give the post some zest, or something. All in all, a pretty good day. (Oh, and the picture of me is suitable for framing.)010708

Until next time, then.

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16 Responses to another post about nothing

  1. Those pictures *are* suitable for framing. I’ve got a close-up shot of your face from a while ago as my screensaver. Cheers me immensely, Chess, several times a day. As many times a day as someone checks on cacti growing. Love the green shade of the very baby cacti, so cute. Also like the shot of the scaredy cats on patrol, they set the garden somewhere in the cold of France. Also like the shot of the scaredy bunny — do you suppose the space closer to the house is warmer for hiding? and safer.
    Sorry about this: I have been so conditioned by the news media that any mention made from Colorado about pots of anything makes me think of something quite else these days. This too shall pass.
    Followed a link left yesterday to the “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” post. About broke my heart every other paragraph. Besides the point but true, and meaningful to me: fine writing.
    Did not know the meaning of paridevita until yesterday. Now I want to begin a blog, “parrot-faced.”

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with hastened to add that the pots of grass were rice grass. Apparently people are lining up at ganja stores here these days. He walked by the front of one the other day and suddenly realized what it was, and thought, Huh. The bunny is possibly warmer, but definitely safer. Oh, the typos. “Paridevati”, parrot faced. Fortunately WordPress changed the site name for him to paridevita, sad, what he wanted after his fingers hit the right keys, but everything sort of came together since the guy I live with still has his sense of humor. Sort of, anyway. Some of the things he thinks are funny, like showing pictures of me wearing pink boots, aren’t that funny to me.

  2. Julie says:

    Yes, that is a delightful picture of you indeed! I always enjoy your posts immensely Chess, especially the pictures. Thanks to your guy too, for the typing, picture taking and all. A very necessary part of the equation. Well done to you both.

  3. Loree says:

    Those are some darn fine baby cactus.

  4. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    It sounds like the guy you live with, like Thoreau, knows how to appreciate a life with broad margins. La dolce far niente. Going with the flow. Dogs do it in spades. Humans sometimes have problems with it.

    I’ve been wondering about the status of the trough mold he was building. And the formula for the trough material. Is it hypertufa? I have one trough, currently unused, and it is occurring to me as I write that it might be the solution to a gardening dilemma I’m facing. I went crazy last week and ordered some species tulips (blue centers) and got them Monday. The ground is still frozen. Does the guy you live with think I could plant them in the trough & set it out?

    Those cats freak me out, in a good way. I can’t quit looking at their scary eyes. Mesmerized.
    Mesmer – eyesed.

    • paridevita says:

      Hypertufa, yes. When it warms up and playing with cement sounds like fun (which it almost never does). Tulips have been planted out here as late as January; so long as the bulbs aren’t dried out, there should be no problem. Tulipa pulchella Oculata Violacea. However, the guy I live with wants to point out that bulbs themselves are not very hardy at all and need to be in a sufficient amount of soil in order to survive cold, so it’s hard to say whether or not these particular tulips would survive in a trough. This sounds counterintuitive, of course, but we’re talking about the actual bulbs, and their need to be surrounded by (planted in) soil to survive cold. There are faux French scare cats and real French scare cats in the garden; the real ones have green eyes.

      • Deborah S. Farrell says:

        Tulipa humilis Alba Coerulea Oculata is what I bought. The blue on them doesn’t look as blue as the blue of Oculata Vioacea that you mention — so now I want it, and I don’t care as much if my bulbs don’t make it. It’s supposed to be in the 40’s & 50’s from Friday on, so I think I’ll get them in the ground soon. I worried about how dry it was in the house and found that my worry was warranted: 17% when it finally occurred to me to check! No wonder I had a headache today. I’ll put the bulbs on the back porch as soon as it warms up tomorrow & hope the ground it thawed by Friday afternoon.

      • paridevita says:

        We think they can stay potted up in the garage, unless it’s our garage, which is the coldest place in North America. So, to illustrate, you can grow tulips from seed by leaving the seeds in pots outside, and the seeds can freeze, and they’ll come up in spring, because the seeds generally need the cold to break down the germination inhibitor (protects the seed from germination too late in the year), but if you leave the pot outside the second winter, the little bulbs will be killed, because the volume of soil is too small to keep the bulbs warm. They’re probably only hardy to about 15F (-9.4C). When planted in the ground, the bulbs are deep enough that the soil rarely gets that cold. It’s instructive to test soil temperature when it’s really cold outside; brush away the snow, and stick a meat thermometer into the soil, and you’ll find it’s not very far below freezing. (Helps to wash the thermometer after that.) That’s why nursery stock of hardy trees and shrubs can be killed at temperatures much higher than if they were planted in the ground. Magnolia x soulangeana, for instance, is perfectly hardy here, but the roots are only hardy to about 25F (-3.8C).

    • Deborah S. Farrell says:

      Done! Bulbs are potted up, and that’s a load off my mind. I get what you’re saying about roots/bulbs vs. top growth. In the Midwest, that becomes an issue when people insist on berm planting (not xeri plants) & they wonder why the trees or whatever keep dying. It’s because that plant belongs in the ground ground, not up in the air ground. Water runs off, the wind dries it out, it gets too hot and/or too cold, etc. Plus I think most berms look goofy.

      I was thinking the guy you live with’s next book should be on microclimates. I checked Amazon to make sure he hadn’t already written one, and found that there’s a book on microclimates coming out next month; but it looks all scientific-y, not applied garden-y. So there’s still a void to be filled. I know a guy here who raised calla lilies outdoors (no greenhouse), and he says there’s been a sort of corporate espionage with a local nursery and people from the DNR paying him visits, trying to figure out how he does it. He won’t tell them or me, but I told him microclimates are a wonderful thing & I could tell by the look on his face that I’d hit the nail on the head. (My guess is concrete blocks and hot compost.)

      I am definitely going to be poking my meat thermometer into the ground now. It’ll give the neighbors something to talk about.

      • paridevita says:

        The basic rule is, the larger the volume of soil, the longer it takes for freezing temperatures to penetrate. Cold penetrates wet soil more slowly than it does dry soil. But, at the same time, plants that don’t go fully dormant in winter, like agaves, are easily damaged in wet soil, and not in dry, because their roots are still able to take up water. By preventing water being taken up by roots, dry soil increases hardiness.

  5. petabunn says:

    Hi Chess, we all topple a bit sometimes, my mum has, as long as you get right up again it’s fine, as long as no-one sees. I do like bunnies, we used to have a pet one. I am now quite interested to watch the progress of the rice grass seed buried in the snow and the baby cactus are so green and cute, no wonder your guy keeps checking them. An interesting post today and of course all your pictures are worth framing.

    • paridevita says:

      The baby cactus are cute. They look like tiny green pillows when they first come up. Then they get little tiny spines, then more serious ones. They’d grow faster if we had a greenhouse, but if we had one, then the guy I live with would be out in the greenhouse all the time and my dinner might not come at 3:47 p.m. which it has to every day. (It used to come at 4:00, not 4:01 mind you, but after my mommy died my buddy Slipper looked so terribly sad that he got dinner time moved up minute by minute, until the guy I live with said he had to draw the line at 3:47, so he did.) I agree, the guy I live with could wallpaper a whole room with pictures of me, and I’d never get tired of it. I’m kind of self-centered, if you didn’t know already. I even hogged all the attention when my buddy Slipper was here. He finally got tired of me getting all the attention before we got out of bed so he would go to the other side of the bed, away from me, and tap on the bed with his paw, so that he could get cuddles from the guy I live with. I would sometimes climb over the guy I live with to get between my buddy Slipper and the guy I live with to get even more attention. I was an attention hog. Still am.

  6. petabunn says:

    You’re so funny Chess, I think Border collies really are attention hogs, the half Border collie in me certainly is. Guess what my dinner time is 4 also and I have 30 seconds to wait, off I go… yippee I love food…

    • paridevita says:

      I agree. Food is excellent. It’s one of the things I think about most, when I’m awake. My grandpa Flurry’s favorite food was cantaloupe. My uncle Pooka’s was hummus. But we’ve all thought about food in a very tender, loving way. When my buddy Slipper was sick, he didn’t want to eat, but the guy I live with explained to him that if all he did was drink water and not eat solid food, certain things would happen. So the guy I live with concocted various recipes, like cooked hot dogs, cheese, and hard boiled eggs mixed in a food processor, which he fed to my buddy Slipper by hand, but sometimes he wouldn’t eat it all, and I got lots extra. I gained a little bit of weight then.

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