Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the slightly small purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest dismal news from our garden. You may remember me from such equally dismal posts as “The Blizzard”, among at least a couple of others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. I’m extremely bored. There hasn’t been anything to do.The reason I’m bored and that there hasn’t been anything to do is because, once again, it snowed here. The guy I live with says it might snow here forever.
I’ve been able to go on all my walks, even in the snow, which is melting, but still snowing, and everything is super-wet. Things are so soaking that, well, they’re soaking. This is what it looked like yesterday, when it started to snow. Or was it the day before? The star thing there was leaning to the right after the last snow and it was straightened, but then it started to lean again. The guy I live with gave up.
The birch there, on the left, lost a couple of branches in the first, or second blizzard. He’s unhappy because a number of conifers were badly disfigured and he might just take them out. The tree on the right is a pine, but we don’t know which kind. It wasn’t what he thought he was planting, which was Pinus pumila, the dwarf Siberian pine. That isn’t what this is.
The snow started to stick in the afternoon, but then melted again. This is me, if you didn’t know, looking at something. This is what it looked like this morning. I’m not in this picture. I could have been, but for some reason I wasn’t. They predicted over ten inches of snow but fortunately we didn’t get that. I would have liked it, but I would have been the only one.
It isn’t like there’s nothing happening, but it’s so wet and cold it’s no fun to hang around outside, let alone do any gardening. There are some penstemons and stuff coming up in the little seed frame on the patio, though. If you look closely you can see seedlings in more pots than just the one at left center, which is full of penstemons. And there’s a penstemon flowering in a trough. Penstemon uintahensis. From the Uinta Mountains in Utah. (The only high-elevation east-west mountain range in North America.) It’s close to the Uintah Basin. Why the spelling changes, I don’t know. The guy I live with says for the range, they ran out of the letter H that day.
Anyway, like me, the penstemon is not very tall. I’m actually much taller than he says I am, pretty much normal-sized, but Slipper, who lived here before me, was an “incredibly huge” purebred border collie, and Chess, who also lived here before me, was “kind of a fatty, though quite squeezable”, so I guess I seem small.
Small, and very bored. We played some games indoors, though. And this afternoon we both took a nap on the bed with the Pottery Barn sheets. That was extremely excellent.The guy I live with says I might get to go to Day Care twice next week, which I really like, though it is exhausting. He also says it might stop snowing some time soon.
I’ll leave you with another picture of me being bored.
Until next time, then.
Soon it will be summer, dear dog, and you will be incredibly not-bored. And you have the promise of Doggie Day Care! I do understand the guy you live with’s mood, though, being down in the dismals. Gardeners envision their perfect garden and work toward it — and then snow happens. And happens and happens. I think your garden shows awfully well in wet conditions. He has many seedlings to coddle too. The Penstemon uintahensis is a gorgeous blue and purple. So much beauty to revel in. You might also inform him that you have long, elegant Border Collie legs, Mani. Even bored, you take an excellent portrait. I bet you are fun to hang around with, especially while outside it snows wetly.
Thanks, I do have long legs, don’t I? The guy I live with says they reach all the way down to the ground, which is probably a good thing. He also says he’s never seen so much snow in spring, and gets all gloomy and stuff. One thing we did get to do, though, on my evening walk, was pull some branches out of the creek so the path by the big willows wouldn’t flood so much. That was kind of fun. And the napping, together, was pretty excellent.
I’m sorry Mani, I would have to move. I’m a California girl.
The guy I live with says he was “dragged, kicking and screaming”, from Long Beach in 1961, and has been here ever since, probably in a stunned condition because of the lower oxygen content of the air at a mile above sea level. We’re not going to move, though. “We’ll just suffer”, he says. Kind of a lot.
Napping sounds like the most sensible thing to do (once again), but I hope a little sunshine comes your way. Napping outside in the warm sun isn’t all that bad either.
Napping is indeed excellent. It’s still snowing here ….. The snow isn’t sticking, but it’s not very warm, and definitely not sunny.
Hooray for Penstemons! Uintahensis has been on my want list for a while now. You are just getting hammered with snow! Two years now. I’ll stop complaining about the rain.
Yes, it’s been snowing now since, like, forever. You have to walk outside and feel the snow, though, because it isn’t cold enough for snow to be piling up, fortunately.
Dear Mani, clearly the not so small, I would say rather big purebred border collie, could you explain me what is the Day Care where you go so often? You know, I fear that in Italy there is not a day like that…
Oh, Day Care is a place where I go to play with other puppies. (I’m not really a puppy any more but I can still go.) “Asilo nido” (correct?), but for dogs, and outdoors, unless it’s raining or snowing. I get some training, and learn to socialize. It’s at the same place where I get my shots and annual physical. Originally it was to learn to be friends with other dogs and obey commands from the trainer, but I like it so much the guy I live with lets me go every week. They have Day Care twice a week. I usually just go once a week.
I have a question about your penstemon seedlings. When they are big enough to move out of the seed flat, what size and type of container do you use next? I have ad good luck sprouting some under lights this spring and soon they will be ready to transplant, but am not certain what’s best to do. Could you or the TGYLW give me some tips? Thanks. Yours are looking good.
I know the answer to this one. The seedlings which have been raised entirely outdoors can either be planted out, in September (I’ve seen it done), or, if the guy I live with is feeling especially lazy, left in the pots until next year. I know from all the complaining that goes on that if seedlings grown under lights are planted out now, or in summer, they fry, so everything is put off until September or even October. Nothing here, raised under lights, is put out without extensive hardening-off, because of the intense sunlight, and the potential for frying. Yes, we have intense sun, when it isn’t snowing.
As you may remember, I live in ABQ, with freeze-drying wind, harsh light, etc. (fence blew down yesterday). I planned to harden the seedlings off in their flats, maybe stating mid-May, so I guess in the late summer/ early fall I can move them to small containers for the winter. I had excellent germination in a coir/pearlite mix, and have been giving them diluted African violet food. If we have a long fall, maybe they could be planted out-but I don’t want to crush them. I really just need some verification for my plans. The hardware cloth looks like a good idea for outside protection from stomping feet. Thank you. Southwest gardening is interesting, to be sure.
Sure. If the guy I live with remembers (ha!) he might post some pictures of seedlings that overwintered in the garden. Surprisingly, when they’re planted late, and nights are cooler, the survival rate is much higher. Since I no longer remove labels (I got yelled at and chased around the garden when I was littler), the seedlings can even be identified.