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 “The Grape Bush”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.I guess I’m feeling okay now. The guy I live with got me an appetite stimulant (yes, another pill), and so now he’s been having to go get me roast turkey breast and make rice for me, because apparently the pill makes me want “people food”, but he says that’s okay with him. He even smoked a salmon so I could have some. It was good.
Oh, and the bell there? Maybe I’ve said before, but that was put in by my mommy so my grandpa Flurry could ring the bell with his nose when he needed to go outside. I don’t use it, because the back door is almost always open these days. Even in winter.
Doesn’t the light behind me look all autumnal and Halloween-y? I even have a crocus with that name, to show you now.
That’s another crocus you can get saffron from, if you didn’t know.
Hardly anything has happened around here that hasn’t been totally centered around me. So you know things are fairly excellent. A couple of nights ago, the back door was closed, and the guy I live with got all scared and stuff because there was a loud crash in my fort, which you can see from the first picture is right next to the chair which the laptop sits in front of, and what had happened was that I saw a black cat on out the patio, looking in right at me, and I got so startled I hit my head on the roof of my fort. I was okay, though.
It’s really yellow around here. I can see yellow, so I know. The biennial from Utah, Oenothera longissima, got devoured by flea beetles this past summer, and the guy I live with totally gave up on it, but look what’s happening now. (He forgot to take the fallen leaf out of the flower on the right.)The honey locust has completely turned color now.And the Wasatch or canyon maple, Acer grandidentatum, has turned too. We have a lot of grape vines around the garden. Birds sowed these, by pooping out the seeds, according to the guy I live with. They’re Vitis riparia.
The oldest one has climbed up into the “desert bamboo” (Fontanesia fortunei) almost twenty feet, but you can only really see how far up it goes at this time of year. This picture was taken looking more or less up. The guy I live with said that “a golden afternoon” might be a good title, because there’s a book called that too, and it could make us look more sophisticated if we occasionally included a literary reference.
He also said, like I haven’t heard this five hundred times before, and even posted about it before, that Gertrude Jekyll rhymed her last name with “treacle”, and that her parents were friends with Robert Louis Stevenson, which is where he got the name for his story, even though it’s mispronounced all the time. There’s not much we can do about that, according to the guy I live with. He says the same things over and over again; all the time, too.
Oh, it’s a pretty enjoyable book, by the way.I guess that’s all. The guy I live with said I’m very good at making posts out of nothing, but, to be literary again, I would remind him that when someone asked Yeats how he wrote a particular poem, he replied “I made it out of a mouthful of air”, and so there you have it.
Until next time, then.
The black cat was visiting, no doubt, to admire your Halloween crocus. Or maybe to harass Earl.
I’m glad that your appetite has returned. I hope that your guy had some of that smoked salmon himself. You look very bright-eyed and chipper.
The bamboo around here turns gold in the fall. I’m assuming that your bamboo will also change soon?
Best wishes from your NYC fans (which include a black cat).
Thanks; the desert bamboo isn’t really a bamboo but a relative of privet, and doesn’t do much. The guy I live with just planted it, to see what it was like, and had no idea it would get twenty feet tall. Smoked salmon is very excellent. He used pecan wood. I watched. It wasn’t all that interesting, though pecan wood smoke smells pretty good. The rice was really good, too, and so now I guess the guy I live with is going to have to start cooking again. He went through this when my buddy Slipper was sick, and one of the things that Slipper liked (I did too), was pastitsio, made from Mark Bittman’s cookbook. The guy I live with said there are cats out in the back yard, in the dark, at Tinkle Time. Since my left paw has been hurting from the broken toenail, I don’t go out all the way to the way back, where it’s really, really dark, and there could be a black cat lying in wait for me. The guy I live with says it’s okay to stop where I do.
Dear Chess, your estate is wonderfully decked out for autumn, all yellow and gold and orange and red and just enough green. The black cat no doubt thought he was auditioning for a Halloween role. Really, that cat should know there can be only one star around your place. I too would rise at the feline audacity. Soothe yourself by looking at those cheerful Halloween crocus. They make me smile, along with the bright yellow Oenothera longissima. We’re happy around here to know you’re feeling more the thing, Chess, which is confirmed by the look in your eyes, not to mention that totally beguiling photo of you peeping out the door at all the glory outside.
Must go now to visit one of the book sites to order the Jane Brown book. The cover art of a garden on a golden afternoon is one my book room needs.
Thanks; I agree, I’m fairly beguiling. I definitely don’t like the idea of smelly cats lurking in my yard, ready to pounce on me. The guy I live with says he’s “super stressed out” by all of this stuff revolving around me, and that’s why there haven’t been so many posts lately. Trying to remember when to give me my pills, and things like that. My mommy used to do the meds for us, and make all the big decisions, like what to name us, and now he has to be totally focused and aware, instead of just spending his retirement in a kind of daze, like he hoped he’d be able to do. That, and having to figure out where to plant 100 bulbs of Ixilirion tataricum, when ten would have been just fine. They all got planted, anyway. The oenothera, by the way, gets about four feet tall if it isn’t eaten by flea beetles. Another book we can recommend, along the same lines, is A Bouquet of Garden Writing, by Ursula Buchan. (About Jekyll, E.A.Bowles, Reginald Farrer, and Vita Sackville-West.) No fancy cover art, though.
Oh, I have the Ursula Buchan book! Excitement here. Will read it again.
When I feel dazey, I utilize the Chinese lower-your-cholesterol black tea we bought (expensively) at a tea emporium run by a Russian lady in Winchester, England. Snaps the focus to attention within three sips.
“Tea is the happy drink”, according to the guy I live with, who rarely drinks any. (That should tell you something.) I understand that the U. Buchan book is one that can be read for pleasure, which is rather rare in gardening and plant books. (I don’t read much, myself.) Oh, Tim Richardson’s English Gardens in the Twentieth Century (also quite readable, I hear) contains a few autochrome (color) photographs of the garden at Munstead Wood, which are pretty impressive.
That books goes on my list. I love that golden light on the garden that we get at this time of year. Also, Chess, I am checking up on you and glad that you are feeling better.
Thanks; I seem to be feeling much better, and have been eating what the guy I live with has been cooking for me. I understand that tonight I’m having beef stew, with vegetables, and mixed rice. (I don’t know what wine to have with that …. They say dogs aren’t supposed to have alcohol, but my buddy Slipper liked red wine, and beer, when it stopped fizzing. He didn’t get that much, though, really, and the red wine was some he slurped out of a glass sitting on the table.) Anyway, it’s been very beautiful here, dry, and golden. The guy I live with has been posting some pictures on the North American Rock Garden Society forum; some of the pictures have been posted here, too. Other than that, most of activity taking place around here has centered on me, which, of course, is quite satisfactory.