Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest and greatest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “‘There Will Be Mud'”, and “Nest-Building Time”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. I am aware that the postcard, which was from Malaysia, has slipped off its magnet on the refrigerator. Things like that happen here. (It got fixed later.)Hardly anything has been going on. It’s been thundering, of course, except for one day, and so I decided I needed to be fed by hand, which the guy I live with does. I even get a napkin. It’s too scary to put your face into a dog food bowl when it’s thundering.
The guy I live with says more things would happen if I got up earlier than 9:45 in the morning, but I see no reason to do that. I understand I have to get up early on Tuesday, and go somewhere, so I might not post tomorrow, but then the guy I live with said after that I can sleep in until noon if I want to.
The sphaeralceas have started to bloom here. They’re related to hollyhocks and stuff, but have fairly small flowers. They grow without any watering, here, and the guy I live with really likes them, which is why they’re all over the place. This picture could have been more in focus, I think. And the perennial pea, Lathyrus latifolius. The guy I live with has tried to grow ‘White Pearl’, a favorite of Gertrude Jekyll’s, but it’s never made it.I wasn’t going to show this allium because the guy I live with can’t remember its name, and for a person with a “photographic memory” that’s pretty sad, but he says, in his defense, that he is entering his declining years, and so that’s what we get.Some garden pictures to make the post more interesting. Or longer.
The main rock garden. Only part of it, really. The part that looks empty in the lower left actually isn’t; the plants there are just little. The “lawn”. The yellow thing at the top of the picture is a sock thistle feeder, because the fancy one blew down and got bent, and the guy I live with has to put on his “Leonardo Cap” to try to figure out how to fix it.
What he calls a lawn is a bunch of native grasses and stuff, with a strip of buffalo grass for my convenience. The back lawn. This is entirely for my personal use. The buffalo grass is filling in nicely, in the lower right. The patches haven’t filled in yet completely, as you can see; they were seeded later. Mount Lindo in the distance. Kind of one of those “zen view” things, where you get a brief glimpse of the far-off mountain. (It isn’t really that far away; less than five miles. It’s 7,814 feet high.)
The guy I live with says this is an intensely melancholy view, but only when we have a sunset, which we haven’t had since early May, I think. I also think he’s a melancholy person by nature, and has become especially so in the last five years. I, on the other hand, am a delight.
There’s the perennial pea on the left. Oh, and this. I almost forgot. The guy I live with got another thirsty mouse picture. He changes the water all the time, because I occasionally drink out of the bird bath too, and I wouldn’t want it to taste like mouse lips.
I guess that’s all for today.
Until next time, then.
Maybe the allium is A. carinatum ssp pulchellum but I am not 100% sure???
Enjoyed this post immensely.
Cheers, Marcus Harvey from Down Under
That’s it, thanks.
You *are* a delight, Chess. I could *at once* tell the difference in voice and tone when you took over posting duties. Definitely, you deserve a garden for your personal use solely on the basis of non-melancholy. You might suggest the guy you live with view distant Mount Lindo as the Japanese view Mount Fuji, as a sight imparting moral lessons, only some of which have to do with melancholy. The larger garden shows well now, especially the rock garden, and I look forward to seeing its development. You feed thistles and need a sock to do it? Whyever for? Mousie drinking photos are always appreciated, but I do shudder at the thought of your drinking water touched by mice lips. Yuck to the max. As it is seed-ordering time here, I’ve made note of both lathyrus latifolius and sphaeralcea and shall go after them. I have a mind to hunt and try the “White Pearl” too. Do ask the guy you live with to prod his memory — the allium form reminds me of my favorite kind of firework, chrysanthemum with trailing petals. May you have a successful experience, Chess, that redeems the Tuesday early-rising hour.
Thanks. I’m not hugely worried. That makes one of us, anyway. The sphaeralcea is one called Desert King, I think. They say it’s S. ambigua, but it’s S. fendleri, really. One of the best is S. incana, gray leaves and orange flowers. Picture eventually. The allium was named. White Pearl is an elusive thing. Seeds are offered, but nothing ever happened when they were sowed. Maybe they need sweet pea treatment, soaked overnight and sowed on Saint Patrick’s Day. Feed thistles, ha ha. It’s a thistle feeder for the goldfinches, aka yellow pigs. Counted 17 on the feeder one time. But haven’t seen many this year so far. Strange bird year here. No meadowlarks were heard. Only one oriole seen so far. On the other hand, a calliope hummingbird, and a black-chinned, and now the usual broad-tailed. No catbirds this year. Lots of wrens, though. The way back is so wrenny you can hardly hear yourself think. I’m kind of rambling. Mount Lindo does have a cross, in lights, which we can see at night. You can Google that, in fact. You can also Google White Pearl and see how beautiful it is, getting back to peas. They wanted to make regular latifolius an “invasive plant” (groan) but it never made it to that list. It doesn’t have a scent. There’s the blue one, you know, highly scented, Lathyrus nervosus, aka Lord Anson’s blue pea. I could make a joke but I try to keep the blog on an elevated plane.
I doubt it’s actually thistle seed — it’s most likely Nyjer seed (Guizotia abyssinica). It’s from a flower from the daisy family, and it’s treated so it won’t sprout. When I worked in the bird store, people would come in complaining that they kept getting thistles sprouting from the thistle seed. I finally made up a handout, with a photo of the pretty little yellow flower, to give to such people.
That’s what it is, “Nyjer”. There was an article written by someone suggesting that feeding goldfinches would cause thistles to sprout everywhere, but thistles sprout everywhere because they’re thistles.
Yes, Chess, you are a delight! We will all be with you tomorrow and in your recuperating days to come, waiting for you to send your charming photos and witty comments again!
Thanks; well, the guy I live with is a lot more nervous than I am. I guess it’s going to be all thundery in the mountains this week, so I might be nervous too. We can hear thunder in the mountains, echoing down the creek valleys.
I’m so sorry you don’t like thunder. I always told the guy you live with that I *love* a good mountain t-storm listened to from my sunroom.
Thunder is scary. So are firecrackers. I heard that my arch-enemy, Lola the shih tzu, is afraid of thunder too, so maybe she’s not all that bad….
Stock up on goof-balls and watch out for those mouse lips!
I think the guy I live with is stocking up on the goof-balls….. The worst thing about the bird bath is when robins take a bath. They make an incredible mess.
I love the little thirsty mouse.
They’re pretty cute. I’m sort of against this in principle. Though….this is really funny….when the guy I live with an my mommy had people over for dinner, and she got up from the table, either I or my buddy Slipper would hop up on her chair, and maybe take a bite or two off her plate, and then get down before she came back, and everybody would pretend that nothing had happened, though she could tell that someone had licked a corner of the plate.
Also pretty darn cute.
Yes, they are. Skittish, though.