“gardening can be boring”

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, in generally excellent condition, and filling in for the guy I live with, partly so you don’t have to hear all the complaining that goes on here. You may remember me from such related posts as “Life With A Nut”, and “Life With A Nut, Part Two”.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.14071105The guy I live with has been complaining about the weather again. I admit it hasn’t been to my liking either.14071101


14071106These pictures weren’t just taken today, but over the last couple of days. He says that the sameness of it is extremely tiresome. I’d have to agree, considering that there’s been an awful lot of thunder.

Today, however—and this won’t be a really long post–the guy I live with told me that gardening can be boring. I never thought he would say such a thing, until today. What he decided to do was do something he’d been putting off for quite some time: transplanting cactus seedlings.14071102Maybe you can tell that they’re not doing as well as they could be, and the guy I live with said this was because he made a mistake in the soil-less mix he used, which was part “play sand” and part some kind of icky compost. The roots weren’t growing at all.

They went into pots like this. 14071103The perlite was a mistake, and he took care of that. This is pure “paving sand”, which as you can see is comprised of different sized particles, so the cactus will be growing in a more oxygenated medium.

As maybe you can tell, the seedlings are not very big, and in fact quite a number of them were the size of a grain of rice, or even smaller. He used a bamboo skewer to move them, and plant them in the sand. Imagine planting all these grains of rice, and making sure they’re right side up.

Then imagine there are over three hundred of them. The guy I live with was kind of grouchy today.

That’s really all there is for today. He transplanted seedlings, got really irritated, and transplanted some more. He said it was boring.

I just lay in my fort, doing nothing in particular. The guy I live with said this picture was funny. He isn’t always right, you know. 14071104


Until next time, then.




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12 Responses to “gardening can be boring”

  1. Fisher, the Wonder Dog says:

    Hello, Chess! Clearly you sound no worse for wear after your recent surgery, although having to watch the guy you live with transplant grains of rice, not to mention having to listen to the attendant moaning and groaning (quite understandable, under the circumstances) can hardly be supportive of your healing process. Hopefully you are able to get out and sniff about some, rumbles notwithstanding. Dry mountain weather has made its way to our shores and is forecast (ha!) to stick around for a few days. We are all looking forward to being in a good mood for those few days, before having to slide back into the summer funk.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I haven’t had the surgery yet; maybe next week. I just went to the oncologist yesterday. (I’m not sure if you say you “just” went to the oncologist, but I guess we do around here.) The report seems to be good, but I still have to have an operation on my side. (Not insides.) The guy I live with is yearning for dry weather; ironic, maybe, in a semi-arid climate.

  2. Vivian Swift says:

    Gardening CAN be boring! That’s why I refrain from that activity in favor of more exciting hobbies: tea cup collecting, watching planes land at JFK, re-arranging the tea cup collection…

    Is it even possible to transplant 300 baby cacti in one day? What does that work out to, per hour? At least The Guy You Live With had you there for moral support either in person or in spirit.

    I think that photo of you is very funny. Because of the nose, you see. It’s off-sides. That’s hilarious. But I also like today’s characteristic pose. It seems that you didn’t stick the landing, if I read the staircases correctly. Dog-watching in your house is never boring.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s not possible to transplant 300 extremely small baby cactus in one day unless one has resigned oneself to having to focus on something that tiny with eyes that don’t want to focus on something that tiny, and to the fact that once it’s done, it’s done, when putting things off seems to be a more rational approach.
      We purebred border collies have always liked to lie at the foot of the stairs. Every single one of us has done that. It’s a thing that’s passed on, I guess you might say. Lie at the foot of the stairs, so no one can go up or down.

  3. Mystery to me how the guy you live with can complain when he has such a cheerful purebred Border Collie sitting at the foot of his stairs. Really, look at that characteristic smile agleam with charm, how can one resist being enticed into his own state of cheer? I’m sure the guy you live with feels better today, with all that tininess behind him and the seedlings on their way to healthful growth. Look closely, Chess, does he look anywhere near being fortified with a renewed sense of virtue? When we were in England, I loved the blue sky and sailing clouds. Your sky is equally lovely, and changeable, and to me not the least bit tiresome. But I’m not living with the thunder. Sweet and thoughtful Chess in the last photo, portrait of a dog who deserves cuddles.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I completely agree about the cuddles. The cactus transplanting is by no means done. He only has about 250 more little plants to move. Blue sky and sailing clouds sounds quite delightful. The weather here, except for maybe five or six days, has been the same here every day for two months. It’s the sameness of it that he says is the problem. The guy I live with says we might move to Seattle, where they see the sun in the summer. ….

  4. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    I coined a term: meteorological solipsism — for when we think our weather is the weather everyone is having (my friend, an atmospheric scientist, tells me he’s never heard the term, so I’m pretty sure I coined it.) I experience it a lot, like when I can’t believe it’s 80 degrees here & snowing in Chicago.

    The older I get, the more solar-powered I seem to be.

    It was cloudy a lot when we lived in Michigan, especially in the winter. They called it ‘the set-in’ — because the cloudiness would set in & be there for long spells. It was not puffy clouds with distinct edges; it was a solid layer of cloud, the weight of which I could feel in my body. It’s disorienting because you can’t see the sun, so it’s hard to tell what time of day it is. One year, it was 6 weeks of set-in, and then I woke up one morning with my heart pounding because the house was on fire. But it wasn’t on fire, it was just that the sun was shining and I’d forgotten what it was like to waken to sunshine.

    • paridevita says:

      There’s a standing joke around here that Denver has 3,000 sunny days a year, because people always go on about how sunny it is here, yet the summers can be quite dark. Not overcast, but “socked in” with clouds. It’s usually sunny in the morning, like today, but then thunderstorms roll in around ten or eleven in the morning (here, because we’re so close to the mountains) and it stays dark for the rest of the day. Then there’s “the monsoon”, a weather feature which didn’t exist here until about fifteen years ago, when people started talking about it. The tail-end of subtropical moisture from the Mexican monsoon season. The trouble with talking about something is that it doesn’t make it exist, and Colorado, in fact, does not have a monsoon. There is no monsoonal flora here like there is is southern Arizona and New Mexico, and northern Mexico. Horticulture is rife with solipsism, too…….

      • Deborah S. Farrell says:

        We get the vestiges of hurricanes here in Indiana (and did even up in Michigan), and we had a bona fide hurricane when Ike blew through here a few years ago. We don’t have hurricane flora, though. I don’t even know what that might be. I think the guy you live with should write a book or an article on horticultural solipsism. That’s something I would like to read.

        These hurricane vestiges feel different than ‘set-in’ (although they look very much the same). I’m realizing that weather is not just out there; I experience it in here (in my body), too. Hmmm. Something else to ponder.

      • paridevita says:

        Well, a perfect example of horticultural solipsism (not to mention just total wrongness) is “This plant needs very good drainage.” What is really meant, about 99 percent of the time, is “My garden gets too much rain for the plant to survive in the winter.” And therefore, so does everyone else’s garden. Or some variation on that theme. An accurate description of a plant’s requirements might be something like “This plant grows in highly porous soil in the wild, and experiences rain throughout the growing season.”

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