the new berm

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 “When Border Collies Attack”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I guess you know where the biscuit is.Pretty much less than nothing has happened since my last post. Quite a few days go by with nothing happening at all. Sometimes the guy I live with rakes up leaves and things in the back yard, or takes pictures. Sometimes he just sits inside because the smell from the neighbor’s laundry is so strong. Sometimes he goes to the store.

Then the other day, when we came home from Day Care, the guy I live with discovered that all of the crocus flowers had been shredded by birds. Some language ensued. He said the birds, probably robins, were looking for bugs in the flowers.

There was a tiny bit of rain one night, but mostly it’s been extremely dry. But it was weird to wake up and see things all damp. It was about a millimeter of rain. Or it could have been snow, even, that melted in the morning before we got up.

When the sun shines through the birch (Betula occidentalis) in the afternoon, the sunshine on the twigs makes these peculiar circular patterns. Kind of cool, huh? The birch has been here a very long time, and would be happier growing next to water, but this is where it lives.

A few things are flowering, despite the cold nights and the birds. (And whatever else is chomping on the plants). This is a “regular” form of Iris reticulata. The point-and-shoot makes the flowers look too blue; they’re really purpler. A few days ago, the guy I live with decided to do something he’d been wanting to do for a while, and so he did it. What he did was rake up all the dirt and gravel that was strewn around in the middle of the lawn, and make a berm out of it. If it looks like a pile of dirt and gravel, that’s because that’s exactly what it is.

It was a berm a couple of years ago; maybe you saw me lying on it was I was extremely miniature. Over time the berm got flatter, for some reason.

A dwarf conifer, Pinus monophylla ‘Tiny Taylor’, was transplanted into the berm. Plants get caged for their first year in the garden. (This cage is a bit too tall.) “To keep them in place”, is what he said. And because of the various rodents that might do harm to the little conifers. I know it doesn’t look like much, but not looking like much is kind of one of the garden’s mottoes, and so there you are.

Someone had to protect the berm, just in case. This is me, protecting it. The black tub is a liner for a half-whiskey barrel (half a barrel that used to hold whiskey, not half-whiskey), but we don’t have one of those here. There used to be half barrels in the garden, but they weren’t here when I showed up. Except for the one at the end of the patio, which never has anything planted in it. Someone talked him into taking the tubs and he’s been stuck with them ever since, but they are useful for covering bulbs on freezing nights.

Here I am again, protecting the berm, and keeping a close eye on my stuffed hedgehog lying on the flagstone. You never know what might happen.If it gets windy, which it has, lately, at least part of the berm can be held down securely. This is how you do it. I guess I was lying on some sedums that had been planted there (Sedum rupestre, I think), but I didn’t hear anything about it later.

I understand that some grass seed, buffalo grass seed, will be sown on the right side of the berm (the north side), and that it really won’t look as dumb as it looks now. I’ve heard that before.

So I think that’s it for today. We have a new berm. Or, the berm that was has been made new again. There’s a pile of dirt in the middle of the lawn, really. 

Until next time, then.

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4 Responses to the new berm

  1. Susan ITPH says:

    You should get a guy to build you s crevice garden over that berm. That would hold it down really really well.

    • paridevita says:

      I guess a lot of rocks would do that. The guy I live with says that rocks cost money, and would take up room which could otherwise be covered with bulbs. (Translation: this will be a pile of dirt for a very long time, with maybe some weeds growing in it.)

  2. You look positively psychedelic, Mani, in your first portrait, the kind of dog best able to appreciate circular patterns in a birch tree in afternoon sunlight. Thank you for showing the lovely iris, whatever its true color. It was my belief the garden had excellent rodent protection, but perhaps the protection is engaged in holding down the dirt pile. One can be busy about only so many tasks at one time, after all. Love the hedgehog. Petey and especially Shredder are jealous. You are a very fortunate border collie.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I guess I am lucky. The guy I live with says that maybe there is a new “crop” of baby bunnies around somewhere and that I ought to be more vigilant. He even set up the big Havahart trap and put some carrot tops (the green parts) in it, but didn’t think anyone would really go into the trap. Just as a gesture, you understand. The birch is kind of weird with the way it does that. I think, though I’m not totally sure, but I might be, that there’s a new hedgehog in the back of the car. That would make three, for me. At least one, or maybe both, were owned by Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me. That continuity thing, you know.

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