on the mend

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest news from our garden, and (definitely more interestingly) the latest news about me. You may remember me from such posts as “Dogs”, in which I think I introduced myself, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically sweet pose.14101501If I look like I could be cuddled, it’s because I can be. My mommy cuddled me all the time, and as many of you know, I’ve been really sick, and technically still am, but I’ve been stuffed full of medicine now, and even ate some roast beef and, of course, some Brie. True, it wasn’t the most expensive Brie that the guy I live with could buy, but it was still really good.

I did hurt one of my toenails, so my walks aren’t going to be all that long until that mends, but I feel so much better that I thought a short post might be in order.

Oh, this is funny, though it didn’t really involve me. The kid across the street, who “might be in second grade” sometimes comes over to hang out after the bus drops him off, until his parents come home from work, and the other day the guy I live with was kind of at a loss as to what to do, seeing as how he was in the second grade in 1958, when all kids had to play with were sticks and rocks, but then he suddenly had the brilliant idea of letting the neighbor kid use the Pik-Stik (the “grabber deal” that he uses to pick up stuff when he can’t bend over or he’ll get dizzy), which the neighbor kid thought was “totally cool”, and the two of them walked around picking up trash; the guy I live with held the trash bag. Even the beer and wine bottles someone threw into the field, near where I walk, got picked up. The guy I live with said he was “a genius” for thinking of this. I had to listen to the “genius” business for the rest of the day ….

Today, the guy I live with got these things in the mail. They remind me of the thing that grabbed John Hurt’s face in the movie Alien, which was a really scary movie, but the guy I live with said they were eremurus, and not to worry. It’s true that these are only ordinary eremurus (E. stenophyllus), but we didn’t have any in the garden any more, because of what the guy I live with calls “trowelitis”…..14101502You plant the growing part just below the surface of the soil, and then spread out the roots very carefully (they don’t really need to be soaked), making sure that none get broken (or dusted with sulfur if they do).14101505The guy I live with says you then ignore all the stuff people write about “drainage” and things like that, because eremurus grow in a climate similar to ours, though it is important not to plant them in a place where there’s standing water in winter. We only have one place like that, where water from melting snow flows down both the paths, north and south, and into the “way back”, which of course is where there were some eremurus planted last year, and they rotted away to nothing, since the soil was frozen, but the top part was ice water, for weeks on end.

And, oh, he says if you think eremurus are cool, which they are, then there a Russian website with pictures of lots of species (can be translated), and when the guy I live with looks at that, he wonders how he could get a bunch of seed of all of these, besides going there himself.

I was also going to show bunches of crocuses blooming here today, because autumn crocuses are one of the guy I live with’s absolute favorite things (besides me, of course), but I’m only showing two pictures.

Crocus speciosus

Crocus speciosus

Crocus pallasii

Crocus pallasii

If you want to see more of our crocus pictures, there are more in our photobucket. There are still more to come, and so watch that space for the next couple of months.

Thanks for all the comments wishing me well, by the way. I have things to do now.14101506

Until next time, then.

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16 Responses to on the mend

  1. petabunn says:

    Chess we are so happy you are feeling better today, (even though you are still sick) having something to eat does make a difference too. Some interesting comments about the garden etc. But the only news we really wanted to hear was that you were feeling a little bit better and able to eat and still enjoy your walks. Cuddles from us, you cutie. I will look at that Russian site now…

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; my walks haven’t been very long because of my broken toenail (it hurts like it sounds it might), but I ate some more roast beef. The Russian site, which is called “plantarium”, has lots of pictures of very cool plants. We’re mostly interested in things from Central Asia, though the guy I live with says the places there aren’t as cold as here, because of the east-west mountain ranges, and wonders why no one builds one here.

  2. Alison says:

    I’m so relieved to hear that you are feeling better. Loved your description of the Eremurus, that is exactly what they look like. Great plant! I think I’d covet some of that Russian seed too.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with said we might watch Alien tonight. Well, he will. I ate more roast beef and so I’m sleepy. Roast beef is excellent, by the way. My mommy didn’t like it much, except for the end parts. Eremurus azerbadjzhanicanus is something else. A lot of them probably aren’t easy in cultivation away from climates that aren’t like theirs, which is why you don’t see them much. What a pity. http://www.plantarium.ru/page/image/id/115650.html Link to that species.

  3. KathyB says:

    Chess, Glad to hear you are feeling better and the scare is over. I am really liking the Salvia greggii this year, mine are still blooming but probably not for much longer. One is a particular favorite a red and white bi-color called “Hot Lips”. Also have a white and two pinks which I can’t remember the names. The Anna’s hummingbirds, which stay year round here, seem to like the red bi-color so I keep it on my patio next to the feeder so I can see them easier. I love the aromatic leaves on them also.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with said I even took my morning pills with Brie, which made him happy, because he doesn’t like to have to force me to do anything. We had Hot Lips here, but it died. Probably because the roots never escaped the root ball before winter set in. He got a lot of fancy Salvia greggiis from Flowers By The Sea. (That is, the Pacific Ocean.) Black Cherry is a nice one. FBTS has a large number of salvias, to say the least. Worth checking out.

  4. What a relief that you were able to enjoy a tasty meal.

    Thanks for the tips re eremurus. I finally had success with a few this past summer although they were shorter than what I was hoping for.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I haven’t eaten much today, though. My doctor says I can get an appetite stimulator if this keeps up. You should hear the guy I live with when he accidentally digs up an eremurus or slices through a bulb. He does this all the time, too. The growing points of the eremurus are just below the surface of the soil, and their roots spread out like spokes on a wheel. So, in theory, no digging around them. In theory.

  5. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Yay! for being on the mend!
    Those things DO look like Alien.
    I agree with the guy you live with about the genius thing — it is a special kind of genius to think about what would appeal to a particular child as opposed to what SHOULD appeal to a child. I remember an essay from 30-40 years ago in which the author talked about an older neighbor woman who gave her (a child then) a box of used carbon paper and what a wonderous gift it was. That neighbor gave me something, too, since I remember the story all these years later.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with says I’m “sort of” on the mend, because eating is still an issue. And he won’t let me go on my walks because of my broken toenail. And he stuffs pills down me. And is generally critical of my behavior. Funny thing, the day after, the neighbor kid came over again, and they watched another neighbor do some rototilling, and then the guy I live with fixed the neighbor’s fence, and then the neighbor kid said “Do you want to pick up some more trash?” …

  6. We had some kids over here this week, and I find them astonishing. I wonder if all little kids are astonishing. Your little kid sounds low-key. My two visitors were not, but still delightful.
    Enjoyed the crocus pics. Reminds me of our rose pics we take touring: Is that Albertine, that Sally Holmes from South Carolina, Petaluma, Mottisfont, Zangerhausen, New Zealand, the Mornington Peninsula outside Melbourne? Your beautiful crocus could be from anywhere in the world crocus grows. I suppose that’s the nature of most close-up plant pics.
    I wish you lots of cuddles, Chess. Sleep helps with recovery, you know, especially sleeping in in the morning, and sleeping in is even called for seeing as walks are not at this time mandatory. Hope your toenail heals swiftly and you once again discover the joys of food and all your pills go down smoothly.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with got me some prescription appetite stimulant (yes, more pills) and this evening I ate about seven slices of turkey (he didn’t tell the person at Whole Foods who the turkey was for), a little cottage cheese, and a small piece of cheddar. He tried to talk me into eating my regular gray, sticky prescription food, but I chose the turkey instead. Most of the crocuses in the garden now are from Greece, or Turkey. But I get what you mean. (Not the same turkey as what I just ate, he said. I don’t get that. Why would a food be named after a country if it’s not from there? You have frankfurter, and hamburger, from the cities of the same name, and wiener, from Vienna, and budweiser, and pilsener…German names for towns in Bohemia…, so what’s up with the turkey business?) Oh, anyway. The guy I live with says he was astonishing as a little kid.

  7. Knicky Twigs says:

    Excellent post. Thanks for all the tips from your human. Brie, roast beef, turkey the food, and cottage and cheddars cheeses over sticky gray food any day! Alien is way too scary for me. It’s one of the few movies in which the sequel was also first rate. (I put The Godfather in that category, but not TG3). Also, love the crocuses.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with likes The Godfather too. He sometimes talks to unhappy plants like that. “You come to me in your hour of need ….” (His favorite movies are The Birdcage and Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Philadelphia Story and a bunch of other movies like that.) He also says that the idea of him having to go to the store to get roasted turkey breast for me every other day is “not so great”; like there should really be a difference between “people food” and “purebred border collie food”. The crocuses are indeed excellent. The guy I live with is obsessed with them. He says if more people were obsessed by things like crocuses, actual, real things, the world might be a better place.

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