Greetings and salutations, everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Turned Up Missing” and “Form And Texture”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. I’m a lot more nervous about the weather than I look, but that’s typical of a purebred border collie, you know. It’s been dark and thundering for days on end now, and I don’t like it at all. The guy I live with says he’s getting Seasonal Affective Disorder, and maybe I am too. They (you know, “they”) keep promising it’ll dry out here any time now, but it doesn’t seem to.
This is what it looks like here in the morning. (Not too early in the morning, of course, because I like to sleep in.) Blue skies, but you can see the clouds forming over the mountains. This is what it looks like at noon.Not that it’s been raining a lot, just scary thunder and lightning. The other day, lightning hit so close we could hear that electrical snap, and I was afraid I would see my skeleton, like in cartoons, but I didn’t. I sat bravely and nobly in my fort while the guy I live with complained about the endless darkness.
Things are going on, anyway. It’s funny how that happens. Even when you think every day is exactly the same, things are really changing.
Here’s a cactus flower picture. This is Opuntia polyacantha, I guess. And the Cotinus ‘Grace’, which the guy I live with said was sure to die over the winter, didn’t, though it’s been needing a lot of water, since the root ball isn’t big enough to support the hugeness of the plant he got. He says this has been known for a long time, but sometimes people don’t think about it, and they jump to conclusions about a plant when nothing should be jumped to. There aren’t enough roots, that’s all. Watering, especially root watering, is a great help. Since it was so gloomy, the guy I live with took some garden pictures. My mommy always used to complain about the sun, how it wasn’t good for taking pictures, but now that summers seem to be so dark and dreary here, there can be more picture taking. He says his pictures aren’t as good as hers would have been, but still, you can get some idea of what goes on here.
You might wonder why there are so few shots of the front yard on our blog. The guy I live with says it because it’s easier to walk out the open back door than to have to open the front door and go out in front. I guess I understand.
Anyway, here’s a shot of what it looks like if you were sitting at this chair. Notice that the pots have been planted with pelargoniums. The guy I live with says that makes us seem very continental. He picked these colors because he was told by the ladies at the paint store that he had no color sense at all, and so he said dark red might make the garden look less gray and drab. Penstemon cobaea on the right. He says “gray and drab” is what a garden should look like here. He says a lot of things, though.Next, looking over the rock gardens, facing more or less west. The prayer flags are old ones, and there to remind the guy I live with that there are new plants which need watering.Looking down the north path, if you’d walked a little way into the garden. Looking at the same arbor from the middle of the garden. That’s Verbascum densiflorum right smack in front. Out in the “way back”, under the arbor, the light was really weird, but you can see that the newly-sown buffalograss is sort of coming in. He’s been cutting down the dead parts of the chokecherry on the right.In other news, here I am in the garden. I don’t know what it was that I was looking at; maybe nothing. You can see the spot on my right side where I think a foxtail awn stuck in me. I get checked for them constantly, but they’re sometimes hard to find. The purple thing you see on the right is a cross between the purple-leafed sand cherry and Prunus andersonii he got at the RMC-NARGS plant sale from Agua Fria Nursery. I guess the motto here is, “If it’s weird and different, we need it for the garden.” Purebred border collies excepted, of course. I still get to go on my walks, of course, though sometimes we have to wait until it stops thundering, or go between thunderstorms, which takes a lot of skillful planning. I don’t like to go on my walk if it’s thundering, what with the possibility of seeing my skeleton and all, but sometimes there are walks that just need to be gone on, no matter what, and, being extremely tough and brave, we go on them anyway.
The county came by and mowed, which the guy I live with said was “stupid”, since the grass won’t grow back and just weeds will, and besides, now there are foxtail awns everywhere on the ground, which I pick up in my coat, and they also come home in the guy I live with’s socks. See what I mean? There are whole areas that are nothing but foxtail. The guy I live with says if they would just stop mowing, the smooth brome would smother everything.If the area above doesn’t look familiar, it’s because I’ve decided to go a new way on my walk; really the old way, before we started walking down the creek path, but that’s so full of hay now, from the mowing, that it’s no fun to walk on any more. This used to be a scary woods years ago.
I still go on the canal road, of course. If you look closely you can see where the road divides, and goes off to the left; well, that’s the way I like to go now.Because of all the disturbance of the land, there are monster thistles here now. Onopordum acanthium, Scotch thistle, is especially huge, as is Canada thistle. These are Scotch, here. There are hundreds of them, and they’re taller than the guy I live with.
On the left, a few plants of blue grama grass, the State grass of Colorado and a component of our “lawn”, and ten trillion plants of cheatgrass, or downy chess (not named after me).Huge burdock (Arctium lappa) plants along the canal road. Okay, I guess we covered everything. A few garden pictures, a lot of complaining about the weather, and the foxtail, and the mowing mentality of the powers that be, and all that. I’ll close now with a picture of me struggling through the hay and foxtail awns on my way home.
Until next time, then.