a bit of work

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani 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 “Most Improved”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Pretending not to look at the cabinet that holds the biscuits. 17011302Here I am actually looking at the cabinet. I know the floor in front of the stove is a bit dirty, but I don’t do floors or windows.17011303

17011304I did eventually get a biscuit, if you were starting to worry.

Things have been happening. I know this is hard to believe, but it’s true. The guy I live with decided to start painting again, and so he got some paint samples, painted the walls to see what the samples looked like, then got more paint samples, and then more. Eventually he said that he was going to spend as much on paint samples as on actual paint, and so it might be more rational just to pick a color, and go with that.

The first room to be painted was the studio, downstairs. We hardly ever go in there. And the guy I live with said that was a problem; the room seemed more like a tomb, or something, and it should look happier. It was a happy room years ago, and should still be one. He used Benjamin Moore “Cotton Tail” for the walls, a very pale yellow.

There was a lot of vacuuming, to begin with. I heard him say something about eight years’ worth of dust down there, as well as other stuff. It looks a lot better now.img_1707These are some dried arrangements, sitting by the window temporarily. roomThe milkweed one is pretty interesting. I guess it was sprayed with something called “fixative”, years ago. There’s a lot of art supplies and things like that, in this room.milkweedOne of the art supply things was gnawed. Mice got in here some years ago and tried to eat this eraser. It does sort of look like cheese. img_1717There’s a collection of tarot card decks. I guess the artwork was thought to be cool, and so decks were collected, and put in these shelves. Boxes, really. They had to go back just like they were before the wall was painted, of course. img_1716Then there was a whole bunch of fretting about “the orchid case”. It used to have orchids in it, long ago, which is why there are still lights and a thermometer, before it was brought downstairs and filled up with all sorts of things. img_1715


img_1713It was top-heavy. The guy I live with was certain it would fall over, and he would be very distressed about that. So he attached it to the wall, and decided not to try to paint behind it. That seemed sensible to me.

I hear the work is almost done, except for reattaching the posters and mounting the drawings back on the wall.

Meanwhile, these came in the mail. 17011301The guy I live with wasn’t going to order any seeds except vegetables this year, but decided to get a few other seeds anyway. The green-and-yellow labels for importing seeds never came, despite a couple of emails sent, so he just gave up. Maybe he’ll try again later.

So the abronia seeds, and some penstemon seeds, were sown in the usual manner. The seeds are sprinkled on top of this mix, which is stuff in one of the trash cans you sometimes see here, in pictures of the patio.There’s water in this dishpan, so the soil-less mix can soak up water. 17011305The seeds were covered with fine gravel, called “squeegee” around here, and then they were put into the new bulb frame. Since the bulb frame doesn’t have any bulbs in it yet, it’s a seed frame. 17011307Pretty fascinating, huh.

I guess that’s it for today. You can see the result of all the wind we had a couple of days ago; the snow is mostly gone. 17011306

Until next time, then.







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12 Responses to a bit of work

  1. Deborah says:

    Cotton Tail is an excellent name for a paint color. The name of the paint color in the room where I am typing is Baked Brie. I only know this because the previous owners left the can in the garage. Thinking up names for paint colors would be a dream job for me. I bought a couple of packets of seeds last week, but I’m going to wait a 3 or 4 weeks before I get them started. I’m envious of all the early starts you have there.

    • paridevita says:

      I have my own particular opinion of cotton tail, which I associate with creatures who should not be in my garden. The guy I live with says to say that the only newly-sowed seeds are in the flat pictured in the center, and the one in the extreme upper left-hand corner. The rest are from last year. Seeds generally only need a month or two months of cold, so it’s probably okay to wait.

  2. I’m glad you finally got a biscuit Mani, after all that posing. How tiring that must be.
    I’m about to sow some peony seeds. I have been soaking them for 24 hours first, but most are still floating in the water so may not be viable.

    • paridevita says:

      It is rather tiring. But it works. The guy I live with sowed some peony seeds about twelve years ago. He was instructed to plant them directly into the ground, which he did. The peonies were about four centimeters tall, before I had to trample them, chasing squirrels. Some things grow slowly here.

  3. hb says:

    Next time lobby for two biscuits. You deserve it, Mani.

  4. I think sand verbena will be perfect for current growing conditions — I mean after snow season. From what I understand, your snow season is not over yet. For all his explaining how lazy he is, the guy you live with cleaned, fretted over proper color, painted, fixed up a room he rarely visits? Crazy. Utterly crazy. Still, I bet the house feels lighter, and so does his heart. I wish I’d known the person who collected those objects, both gorgeous and mundane, most gorgeous and mundane at the same time.
    Ask for another biscuit, Mani. You know, while not paying attention to the cupboard.
    On the other hand, reading about the peony-trampling episode, I figure you’re lucky to still be in residence. I guess the guy you live with knows what’s important.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, the peonies were growing so slowly that the guy I live with said “Whatever”. There are a lot of objects in that room downstairs, and I hear that I would have liked the lady of the house, too, since she doted on purebred border collies. The amount of dust down there was staggering. Especially behind the bookshelves, which hadn’t been moved since they were put there. The guy I live with and his friend went to a Chinese New Year celebration, which I wouldn’t’ve liked, because it was loud at times, and when they came home, he showed his friend the room downstairs, and she said how much nicer it was. It feels like part of the house, rather than an abandoned room in a disused wing of an estate. The door was always open before, but when I came here, it was always shut. Now it’s open again.

  5. I think you can always count on biscuits.

    I loved seeing the collections in the room downstairs.

    • paridevita says:

      I certainly hope I can. Those collections are pretty interesting. The stuff in the orchid case is mostly found stuff; nests, leaves, and so forth. There are some grossly huge bug in the cigar box in the last picture. I didn’t show them, because, well, because they’re grossly huge. Those were purchased. The candle in that picture has a scent called “Havana”, and the orchid case has smelled like that for years. Very pleasant and evocative, I hear. The painting is all done and the room seems very warm and pleasant, now, instead of cold and dusty.

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