Hello everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest and most excitingly up-to-date news from our garden as is caninely possible. You may remember me from such up-to-date posts as “Hedgehogs And Dishpans” and “No Pizza For Me”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose, shortly after my slightly damp, but excellent, afternoon walk.Though my feet are obviously wet, it was not I who tracked dirt onto the recently-shampooed, and about to be shampooed again, carpet.Pretty funny, huh? Side-splitting, in fact.
If you think that’s funny, look at the fence the guy I live with “just threw together” to hide the pile of trash on our neighbor’s driveway. If this isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is. He claims that he’ll replace it next week with a real fence, but today just got tired of looking at trash bags. We’ll see.
So anyway, I have some plant pictures to show you. First off, a shot of the little cactus garden right by the front window. Things are looking pretty good, mostly because he got rid of the dead stuff. You can see how he sort of form-and-textured the garden by artistically strewing some small river rocks here and there. The little flower pot at the end fell over while he was doing that, and he forgot to right it. Now some plant pictures. You’re suppose to ooh and aah over these, he says. Whatever.
Maihuenia patagonica. I mean if you want to talk form and texture. (You can see the plant in the picture above, almost where the old-time steel edging fence ends. The old-time fence will probably be a permanent trick-or-treater-protection fence. So little kids don’t fall onto the cactus while eating all that candy, I mean.)Those little green things are real leaves, and they remain on the plant. The red on the spines is not what you might think it’s from, but it’s a tint that the spines have. He keeps his fingers away from this one.
Iris bucharica. Easiest of the juno irises. Tulipa montana. The label says “stoloniferous form”. Oh, well, this is tulip time, here. I should have said.
Tulipa butkovii. There might have been more focus on the flower itself, but, well, there just wasn’t. And kind of a lot of Tulipa tarda. I think that’s what this is. All self sown, too.
Okay, so now, I need to show you this. I may have said that one of the neighbors is getting rid of a bunch of rock, a lot of which the guy I live with has been moving, and now that he got a new tire for the new-when-Roosevelt-was-president wheelbarrow, he’s been moving a lot more, but today he was offered some real river rock, the fancy round kind, and he always had this vision of a few pieces arranged artistically underneath the pinyon, and possibly another grouping elsewhere in the garden to sort of echo it, and so he brought one home to test it out.
He says it looks like a very large egg.As you can tell, the predominant color here, that is, of the soil, the flagstone, and the gravel mulches, is a kind of reddish which I can’t really see.
Then there’s this big white egg under the pine tree there. White with gray spots. He says he’s going to return it, with thanks, but it doesn’t fit the color scheme, such as it is.
My mommy would have been in charge of things like this; like, if the guy I live with suddenly had a vision, and described it to her (kind of looking off into the distance, all misty-eyed and stuff), she would either get all excited and start drawing up plans, or tell him he was full of it and it was not going to happen.
I have no opinion. Though if it were a real egg, he could scramble it and I could have that on my breakfast, and I would have an opinion about that, for sure.
I guess that’s it for today. We have a big white egg under our tree, and yes, the guy I live with could put it with the big metal chicken, for, you know, humor and all, but he isn’t going to, because, he says, unlike some gardens, which are festive and “full of hoo-haw”, the guy I live with says our garden is rather somber, if not actually saturnine, and things like big white eggs under pine trees just won’t go here.
I’ll leave you with another picture of me, and my less-than-clean feet. It was a really good walk, as you can tell just by that. I was playing with my squeak toy and got interrupted for a dumb photo opportunity.
Until next time, then.
Chester, I must say when you talk about your Mommy it brings tears to my eyes for I understand. I lost my first husband when I was 46 and he was 49 and my dog Buffy was very sad too. I understand loss very well. I remarried my new husband 5 years later and adopted my best buddy in the world, Ralph, the golden retriever. Ralph loves the pictures of you, Chester.
Thanks. Though, it’s Chess, like the game. Black and white. The guy I live with wanted to name me Neutron, the Wonder Dog, but my mommy vetoed that. I think Neutron would have been a great name, though border collies traditionally have one-syllable names. I’m the only one of the four who have lived here who have had one of those, though. I think I’m probably less sad than the guy I live with, though, because now the whole world revolves around me. It almost makes me dizzy to think of it.
So the toy squeaks. No wonder you seem so fond of it. Maihuenia patagonica is one of the most interesting plants I’ve seen, especially now that I know the green things are leaves. Has it reached its mature height? The sweep of yellow tulips is most impressive. So sad about the guy you live with having to decline real river rock. I know his pain, although mine is of a different kind. For four long years I have been advocating for a streetside border of beach rock; you know, like craftsman style. Oh, well. I have gained my gravel paths lined with lavender. A woman still hopes. Someday I’ll wake up and a load of rock will be in the driveway.
My Lamb Chop toy does squeak, and in the event it gets excessively chewn (that’s a word, right?), the guy I live with can perform emergency surgery and sew in another squeaker. As far as the maihuenia is concerned (the other species, M. poeppiggii, is more common in the trade), look here: http://www.cactusinhabitat.org/index.php?p=specie&id=83&l=en
The guy I live with is re-thinking the rock business. White, yes, but still ….. free. He would rather have reddish kinds, but where does one acquire river rock exactly the perfect color? It isn’t like this was his idea anyway. In fact, it came from The American Woman’s Garden. Most of the gardens in those books he said were very nice, and so on, but a few he found breathtaking, and the picture on page 137 is the one he looks at again and again. The rocks there, river or not, aren’t all the same color, so ….. He told the neighbor he would take seven, or twelve. He might get them tomorrow and arrange them and then think about them so long that eventually they’re just there, you know, part of the garden.
The American Woman’s Garden, argh, I just bought that book TODAY in my library’s Secondhand Prose — oh, no, wait, it is in fact Earth on Her Hands, An American Woman in Her Garden. Page 137 shows Arisaema sikokianum. Sigh. Still. Have you thought that the rock might go elsewhere in the garden, say a more white and gray kind of place? In the photo, one bed away in a sort of rounded spot, the light shows more accepting coloration.
No, the rock needs to go back.
The American Woman’s Garden. And there’s an American Man’s, and Englishwoman’s, and Englishman’s. Available used online. Pretty nice books, though the guy I live with rarely responds to really green gardens as a defense mechanism. He started thinking about magnolias last week, and it took a considerable amount of willpower to unthink magnolias. He’s kind of weak, you understand.
The Tulipa tarda are wonderful! That’s how I like my flowers, in drifts not in orderly rows. Flowers that self sow are great for this as long as they don’t become thugs in the garden. I purchased a clove currant shrub a few years ago from High Country Gardens which seems to do fine in the rainy Northwest although it was listed as a plant for drier areas. When I purchased it was a little stick and now a few years later it is a bigger stick but does have a nice bloom on it. I have some concern as it has restrictions in some states due to it harboring white pine blister rust. Why don’t nurseries tell you some of these things when you buy from them. (I think I probably do know actually).
Think Ribes aureum is native to Oregon, too. The variety with red-tinted, scentless flowers is var. gracillimum, from California, and the guy I live with suspects it has intergraded here, because they might have been purchased as nursery plants from California.
Yes, blister rust on pinyons. There are both clove currants and pinyons in the garden here. Sigh.
If my grammy woke up of a morning and found a pile of river rocks in the driveway, well, then, she’d be certain she woke up in heaven! She never says “no” to free rocks. Well, actually, that’s not really true—sometimes a rock can be just too darned big to even think about moving, but that’s really the only factor that would eliminate a free rock from being brought to her garden. Just a few days ago, one of our neighbors, who is a landscape contractor, offered my grammy free pickins from his excellent rock pile. I don’t need to go into how excited she was–frankly it was a tad embarrassing for an emotionally restrained purebred English Shepherd, such as yours truly, to witness. She was so happy that she even forgot for a moment the growing annoyance brought on by an idiot of a sparrow that has spent the better part of the past two weeks almost constantly flinging itself at its reflection in her kitchen window. For the past week she has been asking just how much longer can this behavior continue?
Usually, birds flinging themselves at windows meet an unfortunate end. There are decals and stuff to discourage them.
Rocks are nice, though the rock gardens have three different kinds of rocks in them. Now everyone knows. One has “indigenous” rocks that were picked up off the side of the road and are ugly pink granite rip-rap type stuff; one has lichen-covered granite purchased at a stone company, and a third has lichen-covered sandstone. For some reason they call lichen here “moss”, which it isn’t.
I just read about putting Saran wrap across a window as a deterrent for birds. Haven’t tried it, but it makes sense.
You can buy decals. Not expensive. Putting plastic wrap on windows to deter birds is something some of the neighbors here might do, though.
Chess,the guy you live with missed a chance to do an excellent Easter post. He should have painted the big round white rock to look like a giant egg and positioned it among those vibrant yellow tulips. Both the red and yellow tulips look amazing, that fence less so. Maybe he should have taken 12 rocks, painted them all to look like eggs, and placed them to block the neighbor’s property.
Please tell the guy you live with that although we had snow on Wednesday AND a freeze warning, both my baby magnolias are blooming! They are little clouds of pink and white star shaped flowers (they are each a slightly usual form of magnolia free from MillionTreeNYC).
I have to go clean up tiny paw prints on my hardwood floors courtesy of my mixed-breed Maine Coon rescue and my pure-bred Siamese rescue but it is easier than shampooing a carpet. The guy you live with is indeed a dedicated housekeeper. Has he considered the washable interior/exterior carpets now available? I have a few that clean up nicely; just a spray bottle of soap and water and no more vomit, hairballs, or mud. He could get small sizes and put them in bad areas. They even vacuum well, and can be sprayed off in the tub. It might cut down on the need to shampoo.
Thanks; yes, the fence is less than amazing.
Magnolias are blooming here, too. The one down the street that was in the garden here, and is now there, is blooming, anyway.
Shampooing is kind of fun. The Kirby shampoo has a lavender scent, and what’s not to like about that?
My mommy used to tell people that she and the guy I live with lived in a dog house. We still do, just the two of us. It’s my house, too, after all. And there are very few rules.
A lone rock is just wrong!
I was sort of hoping for a picture of Chess with bunny ears. And yet not (for I know the humiliation it would entail)
Hoppy Easter from me & my oodles of poodles (who are blissfully unaware that some humans consider this day more special than others: all days are most excellent to them)
Thanks. Fortunately there are no bunny ears here. Whew, huh.
A misplaced egg in the garden seems timely for the holiday. But it can not stay… Happy Easter Chess.
Thanks; the guy I live with is thinking about the egg right now. It looks eggseptionally ridiculous in the morning sun.
i know you don’t like thunder, Chess but I had to say to the guy you live with that we had an honest-to-goodness thunderstorm Saturday! It was wonderful.
Thunder is scary. I heard some yesterday evening, I think. Maybe not.