gardening in the snow

Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the gentle border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such delightful and fascinating posts as “Even Closer To Spring” and “The Big Day” (when I turned twelve) among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose, looking rather sad. (But I’m not.)14031101It snowed yesterday, thus the title of today’s post. It’s mostly melted, but the guy I live with insisted on working out in the back yard today, in the snow and mud. Personally, I think mud is quite excellent, but I didn’t have the opportunity to track half the back yard into the living room.

You may recall that the guy I live with was doing some experiments with “personal greenhouses”, trying to get some winter-damaged cypresses to make new growth. Admittedly, this was only a little while ago, but he decided to abandon the project before it had even gotten seriously underway. (Those aren’t the same cypresses, if you didn’t know. It was really sunny today and so the picture isn’t very good.)14031203“I rather think that this project is going to take somewhat longer than anticipated, and perhaps we should consider an alternative”, he said. Though not in as many words. (He only used two.) The cypresses you see here have better root systems for the size of the tree, he says.

They’re also planted much too close together, but I didn’t feel like saying anything….

He got this postcard from The Temple Nursery yesterday. I think it got wet. He said they must really be having quite a winter back east. (We say “back east” here, probably because of Manifest Destiny and all that.)  He gets his snowdrops from here. 14031103The guy I live with had a gardening friend who lived near this nursery, in Ithaca, and they corresponded for many years, sometimes every day, comparing plant notes, and so on.

We have some things blooming, because our spring tends to be farther advanced than it is in that part of the country.

Crocus sieberi 'Firefly'

Crocus sieberi ‘Firefly’

Iris reticulata KPPZ 90-160

Iris reticulata KPPZ 90-160


The romantic name of this iris comes from the Kammerlander, Pasche, Persson, Zetterlund expedition to Turkey.

Here’s another one, which was in the guy I live with’s Photobucket. This Iris reticulata is from Kuh-e-Abr in northern Iran. (Wolf country, Hyrcania, again.) kuhiabr

Oh, let’s see, what else? A visitor tried to sneak into the kitchen and went in between the two sliding glass doors. It got away later.

IMG_8676_edited-1 copy

Uh huh. So that was our day. I got to take a long nap, while there was an opera on, and fill the living room with gas, but the guy I live with said he loves me and the gas is okay.
I guess that’s all for today.14031201

Until next time, then.

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8 Responses to gardening in the snow

  1. Iris bloom in snow? I suppose they would have to, given the exotic parts of the world they come from. We have Pacific Coast, and these iris know not from the white cold stuff. Chess, dear dog, I know the guy you live with provides you with premium probably organic food, but perhaps you should reconsider the diet. Through reading, I understand dogs as they grow, um, older tend to flatulence, but I don’t recall an increase in my own dogs output as they matured. OK, maybe a *little*. If you’re comfortable, all is well as the guy you live with has declared himself so as well. You had an adorable visitor, almost cartoon adorable. I suppose this is why you do not scamper in crazed fashion after him, barking.

    • paridevita says:

      The um, flatus, is due to the phenobarbital I’m taking. I had it before the guy I live with switched food; food which I super like, by the way. Which by the way doesn’t make me feel any different, just a little weak in the hind legs, so when I have Morning Hind Legs, the guy I live with slides me out of bed, with my front feet on the floor already. I might not really need the goofballs but I had two seizures in a year, and we’d rather I not have any more. Reticulate iris are mostly from alpine regions and they can’t afford to waste time waiting until the weather gets nice. Though they do then send up these long linear leaves which later turn brown. Pacific Coast iris, at least Iris innominata and douglasiana, tenax, and hartwegii, are sort of hardy here. Like we could grow them and think “Ha!”, the way gardeners do, until a winter like this last one creeps up upon us, and destroys our illusions. The guy I live with is kind of tired of illusions being destroyed, and has headed off in a different direction. Our visitor was cute, but not hugely welcome. They ate the seedlings that germinated on the shelves. (The guy I live with admits it was his fault for not making sure the seed frame couldn’t be snuck under. And it was.)

  2. petabunn says:

    You do look sad in the photo Chess, I’m glad you’re not. How could you be anyway with the sun shining, the flowers appearing and the fantastic mud, that you may still be able to track into the house. Nice to see you on your walk too as we haven’t had a walk photo for a while. So good to fnally see one of your little unwanted visitors eye to eye.

    • paridevita says:

      Yes, I look sad, but it was just because I didn’t feel like having my picture taken, when I could be eating brie or doing something else worthwhile. The guy I live with did get some brie yesterday and I had some, and it was good. I know I have to watch my fat intake, but so does someone else in the house. You can see, on our walk, that the grass is turning green. It’s smooth brome, which isn’t a native, and is everywhere. It races into the garden at top speed (the guy I live with says he can hear it sneaking under the fence), and is impossible to get rid of. There is some first-rate mud down by the Employee’s Only section, but I haven’t walked in that much, lately. I should also say that I’m not the only one who tracks stuff into the house right after whatever is being walked on has just been cleaned.

  3. Tracey says:

    Chess, you lead an exciting life. I cannot believe that mice will just walk in your house! Maybe the guy you live with should try this:,default,pd.html?start=2&q=mice

    It might actually work (or get a cat?)

    The irises are beautiful. Perhaps they will start to bloom soon in NYC.

    • paridevita says:

      Mice do just walk into the house. I guess they figure that with me snoring away in my fort, they won’t be noticed. I am leading the life I always wanted, and so is the guy I live with, except for the one huge thing, which I why I do the posting. We have pretty good days in spite of it. Today was a beautiful day. The mouse repellent looks promising. We can’t get a cat, thank goodness. The back door is always open, because there’s no screen door. My grandpa Flurry got scared by firecrackers and broke through the screen, and it was never replaced. Outdoor cats, in this neighborhood, tend to disappear “mysteriously”. I know why, but I don’t feel like saying. Oh, and, the guy I live with said we might now have pack rats again.

  4. Wish you would publish your correspondence with that other gardener. I do love books of garden correspondence back and forth.

    • paridevita says:

      Most of it was email, and I never keep email. There are some postcards somewhere, but a lot of it was complaining about the weather, the way gardeners do. No complaints here today, though.

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