sunny, hot, and dry

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, 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 “Nothing Gets Done” and “A Post About Nothing”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with was hiding a soft jerky treat and I was waiting for him to stop taking pictures so I could eat it. 14092512Most of the time in the last several weeks has been all about me, which is of course totally and completely excellent; even when I wasn’t feeling well I got constant attention and cuddles. Some gardening does take place in between the all-about-me stuff, and I guess I have to talk about that, though I’d really rather talk about me.

I guess I like my new food. The guy I live with thinks I’m extremely wobbly on my walks, which haven’t lasted very long lately, but, really, it’s been hot the last few days. I don’t like being hot, and get tired quickly when it’s hot. He did notice today that I spent a lot of time lingering in the shade on my walks. I’m ready for some cooler weather, thunderless cooler weather, and even snow.

The guy I live with said today was a beautiful day: sunny, hot, and dry, just the way he likes it. Of course that meant it was too hot. Today would have been the guy I live with’s 32nd anniversary, and I suppose he was sad, but if he was, I didn’t notice it, because I was asleep for most of the day. That’s what aging dogs do, you know. Just lie around, and sleep.

Oh, right, gardening. This is some gardening.14092509If this looks like a salad, it really isn’t; it’s a bunch of plants sitting in a bucket of water. Close to a salad, I guess. These are plants of Salvia ringens, getting all the peat moss and stuff washed off their roots, so they can be planted in dirt. Sometimes he takes the Japanese root hook and gently teases out the roots, then washes more peat moss-type stuff off the roots. He says that if the root ball with the peat moss gets too wet, there can be a build-up of carbon dioxide which suffocates the roots, causing them to rot. He says a lot of things like that, and I only pay attention sometimes.

Here’s the desert willow, Chilopsis linearis, undergoing predictive dormancy. The leaves are turning yellow in anticipation of colder weather.  It leafed out the first week of June, so it only has leaves for four months of the year. 14092511This particular plant came from somewhere south of Santa Fe; a collection from seed, that is. Other desert willows come from much farther south, and usually don’t turn yellow in anticipation of cold, because the cold comes later, and so the leaves just freeze off (what’s called “inherited late growth cessation”), and that process is called consequential dormancy. The plants are still hardy, they just aren’t as ready for it as this one is.

Okay, that was the actual gardening section.

There are lots of plants in flower in the garden right now, lots and lots of them, but the guy I live with tends to focus (metaphorically speaking, of course) on the littler ones.

These might be Cyclamen mirabile. He couldn’t get close enough to see if the petals had erose margins. He says it looks like they do. They’re self sown. 14092501This is Cyclamen cilicium. Scented. Also self-sown. I know I’ve shown these before, but showing them again can’t hurt. There’s a self-sown C. coum in front of it, and you can see how far the top of the tuber sticks out of the soil. Sometimes the guy I live with sprinkles dirt over the top, and sometimes he doesn’t.14092502Here are some more cyclamen seedlings. We have a lot of ants. Sometimes they crawl on me and I don’t even know it. 14092503And Cyclamen purpurascens ‘Extra Fancy’ (again).
14092506Colchicum speciosum ‘Album’, in the ivy.14092510Now three pictures of Crocus kotschyanus. Yes, again. The guy I live with admits he does a very poor job of record-keeping, relying on his memory, which used to be perfect, but now isn’t. One of these groups is of the one called ‘Reliant’, and the other has a collector’s number. Or maybe not. (The labels that are there aren’t for the crocuses. They’re just waiting to get snapped in half when the guy I live with steps on them.) But, regardless, he claims, this is the benefit of being a bulb snob, because you get normal-looking flowers instead of the ones you get from corms of C. kotschyanus sold elsewhere.14092507


14092505Well, that’s pretty much it. Same old same old, as they say. The guy I live with is all excited about still more autumn crocuses, and so you can expect more pictures of flowers that all look the same to me. I say we could save time, and just do the same posts over and over again, like we mostly do anyway, but then there’d have to be the same pictures of me over and over again. New ones are much better, so I guess I’ll put up with this obsession.

I forgot to add that this marks our 600th post, if you can believe that.

Here I am again, kind of squinting in the sun. 14092508

Until next time, then.

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4 Responses to sunny, hot, and dry

  1. Vivian says:

    Happy 600th! And still, I can’t get enough of my favorite gardening DoG. Today’s characteristic pose is a screen-saver for sure. I’m very excited about your Autumn crocuses. Here on the north shore of Long Island we are starting to get the very first hints of Autumn foliage (I just close my eyes) so I wish I had a flower bed of lavender C. kotschyanus to help me avoid reality for just a few weeks more. In the continuum of dormancy, I’m in the unceasing denial stage.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with says “Go to a local garden center and buy a pack of Crocus speciosus. They’ll almost certainly have shoots about half an inch long, maybe longer, and plant them about four inches deep, being extra careful not to snap off the emerging shoot.” My mommy’s little garden has hundreds of Crocus speciosus, which start about now, and, here anyway, end around Thanksgiving. They’re bluish-purple, so I can see them. The seed capsules form underground, and the seeds are carried off by ants, so pretty soon that little pack will magically transform into zillions. Speciosus, not kotschyanus. (You have to get the latter from specialist bulb suppliers, to get ones that flower well. Odyssey Bulbs in the USA is one. But C. speciosus from garden centers are excellent.) There are some pictures of Crocus speciosus blooming at about this time of year in my mommy’s little garden here. Most are self sown.

  2. Tracey says:

    Happy 600th post! We are gearing up to a big bulb planting event at my library in October. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. No crocus.

    I’m glad you are feeling better. My diabetic cat was hospitalized for a few days to regulate his sugar. Another cat had to have several teeth removed and has been ignoring me for days. He’s part Siamese and bears grudges. At least you are well and happy.

    Good luck keeping Earl away from the sugar.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; being in the hospital doesn’t sound like much fun at all. I was there briefly this summer but then they decided not to operate on me. I had a tooth removed several years ago and that wasn’t any fun, either, so I can sympathize. The hummingbird feeders have all been taken down now, except for one. The hummingbirds are gone, which is pretty sad. There’s always a certain melancholy at this time of year (especially for the guy I live with), but on the other hand, my summer was so crummy that I’m looking forward to cooler days, and even snow. Bulb planting is fun. According to the guy I live with anyway. I’ve only watched, and it got kind of boring after a while.

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