almost normal

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 “Mostly About Me”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I’m getting ready for my evening walk. Walks are really excellent, if you didn’t know, with lots of extremely interesting things to smell and look at, though sometimes there are scary things, too. Today we found what I would call an interesting thing. Or things, maybe. On the canal road. Those are red rose petals. There aren’t any red roses flowering around here, so something must have happened here. The guy I live with speculated a bit, like maybe there was a tryst, and then we kept on going.

And late last night something interesting happened, too. I think it’s that time of year when the five-lined sphinx moths fly into the house. (What do you want to bet that the guy I live with will spend hours looking for his favorite blue pencil now?)He took this kind of ultra-scary picture after the moth was caught and put outside. The guy I live with watched this movie today. He isn’t what you would call a movie buff, but he does watch movies like this, at this time of year.

One of the main reasons why he watches movies like this is that they take place in California, where he grew up. The guy I live with said he hoped to be able to “conjure up summer” with movies like this, because we don’t always have nice summers. Nice summers are summers with sun, and no storms, according to him. He said he spent some time looking through the blog posts for 2014, and that Chess complained about thunder in almost every, maybe every, post, in his last summer. The guy I live with told me that he estimated about two hundred and seventy-five thunderstorms passed over or by our little neighborhood here that summer. That’s a lot. One is more than enough for me.

Of course, people often ask him why he doesn’t move. They did, especially, after bad things happened here. Two obvious answers are that he never would have gotten me, and he never would have met his friend, and those are enough.

He did say that there were years after the lady of the house died when he would spend hours looking at real estate websites in places like southern New Mexico, southern Arizona, small towns in California, and so forth, and then look around the towns using Google Street View. He pictured himself buying a house in one of these small towns, moving there, with Chess, and sitting in the living room, with all the moving boxes piled up, consumed with the most intense and bitter regret for having done something like that.

So that’s why we’re here. In case you wanted to know. (Lots of people wonder.) Even though the weather can be awful. Besides, he has to be able to go out for sushi with his friend. It’s even supposed to snow later this week, with more storms. You can imagine, possibly, the moaning and groaning when he learned that.

Not very much has been happening lately, except an awful lot of weeding. The garden is going to be on tour in June, and the guy I live with says there’s no way for people to get in the back yard because the shade garden is overgrown with hellebores. There’s no way to get into the south side of the back yard either (there’s a fence with no gate). He doesn’t know how he got talked into this tour.

As I said in a comment to my last post, the guy I live with and his friend went to Denver Botanic Gardens last week. They went twice, actually; once just to return a book to the library, and the again to the plant sale last Friday.

The Gardens had hail, the day that we did, though it was much worse there. It was like hearing that a good friend was really sick. The guy I live with loves the Gardens to distraction. The dwarf conifer garden was unscathed, and so was this (as he said) magnificent specimen of Agave utahensis.

And also, the guy I live with went to the doctor last week (I had to stay home); it was to check blood pressure and cholesterol, and the doctor said he was “almost normal”. The guy I live with said he was going to get a t-shirt that said that. Almost normal. He’s very proud of that, for some mysterious reason.

You can see how green the garden here is. The guy I live with says it’s mostly because of the weeds. The “way back” shade garden is looking “okay” (what he said), though once again, like last year, part of it has been dug up. There’s some issue around changing the way the garden curves out in back, and I don’t really understand it, but basically he hasn’t found a way “not to wreck it”, so I guess every year this one area will be dug up, and look like this for the rest of the summer. I just don’t know. I guess it just has to have the curves that it does, and there needs to be some “inspiration”. That’s a whole lot of Geranium macrorrhizum there, by the way.Allium pskemense is about to flower. The leaves are these weird-looking green tubes. The guy I live with says that it its native habitat, Uzbekistan, the plants, the bulbs really, are used in cooking. They are onions, after all.For the first time ever, the mulleins have grown huge. These are Verbascum bombyciferum

The guy I live with finished up one of his wooden troughs. He claims that wooden troughs are going to be the “new wave” of trough gardening and that we’re going to make a fortune. How this fortune will be made, I have no idea. You may recall that he made wooden troughs last year, but he decided they were too deep. Rock garden plants can have their roots frozen solid in winter, so the troughs don’t need to be enormously deep. And if you look at the post called “Trip To Jerry’s Nursery”, you’ll see that even the conifers there grew in very shallow wooden troughs, and stayed outside all year.

He made this one for his friend, and it has a wooden base, too. (I was looking at something on the roof in this picture.) That clamp is about a hundred years old. No, seriously, it really is. Here I am waiting for the glue to dry. The bases are made from whatever wood is lying around.Also today, more pots went out on the patio. so they could get sun. He says that seedlings need sun, but they have to get accustomed to it slowly. Some flower pots had to be moved to make room for the flats. You may well say that there are a lot of flower pots. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason for the number of flower pots (there are more in the shed). Sometimes I wonder.The guy I live with said suppose someone had a contest for Most Flower Pots and he could enter, and possibly win, The prize would of course be more flower pots, but I felt like it would be bad form to suggest that.

I guess it’s time to wind this up. I’ve been awfully rambling and philosophical tonight, haven’t I? Possibly even excessively prolix. What can I say?

Until next time, then.



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13 Responses to almost normal

  1. Karen Cox says:

    Mani I learned a new word–prolix! thank you cutie!

    • paridevita says:

      You’re welcome. I;m always trying to expand my own vocabulary. Of course, if I listened to You Know Who at this time of year, the words I learned wouldn’t be the kind for a post.

  2. Mani tell your “almost normal” housemate I wish I could be on the garden tour. I visited the “Trip to Jerry’s Garden” post and I now know the name of the disease I have. It’s called H.P. Plus I got the wonderful idea of making wooden troughs to put around the edges of my garden to foil the gophers. Ask TGYLW if a baby pinyon pine would keep to a dwarf size if kept in a trough 8 or so inches deep. Maybe I need to keep pruning the roots. Bonsai time?
    I love the moth picture and the pictures of you of course. I’m glad time rewarded TGYLW with your presence Mani, and with his friend’s presence,

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, I agree. About the pinyon, the guy I live with says he doesn’t know. Dwarf pinyons like Jerry’s ‘Farmy’ and ‘Trinidad’ would work very well. He also says that visit would have been a good time to have a zillion dollars in the checking account. He didn’t have that much.

  3. One picturesque agave utahensis and the mulleins look robust. So good to have a photographer around to document. Those able to visit your garden on the tour, Mani, are lucky folk. We leave tomorrow for another kind of tour, the kind where we lurk in cemeteries and look at heirloom roses. Takes place in Fredericksburg, Va., so not exactly high and dry country. The moth is scary and the movie looks the same even if it is set in California. I like to take our own doggies on walks, Mani, because each walk is different with its own share of terror and delights. You look like you walk very well. I suppose it’s a break from watching glue dry.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, I do like my walks. Sometimes there are scary things, like dumpsters being emptied, but mostly there aren’t. The guy I live with said it sounds like you’re going to hide behind headstones and wait for roses to open. That sounds half scary and half fun. The people who come to the house are going to have to go through the garage. The guy I live with said he could show off the new garage door springs.

    • Nell says:

      Am afraid you’re visiting at an especially scorching moment in our more-than-usually-psychotic Virginia spring. But there’s often plenty of shade in those cemeteries.

      Those rose petals on your walk, Mani, look like ‘Dr. Huey’, notorious for showing up from rootstock when the top graft dies off. Which I bet happens a lot in your snow-hail-sun-snow spring; I officially concede that Colorado springs are way more psychotic than ours.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with says that’s possible, though there aren’t any plants of ‘Dr. Huey’ anywhere around here, that he’s seen. We’re under a Winter Storm Watch for tomorrow night and the next.

  4. Nell says:

    [First part of my comment above addressed to Thea.]

  5. Fascinating post. Love that allium. You have the coolest plants. “Almost normal” made me chortle. I’d love to be able to go on your garden tour.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says you could help weed, beforehand …..We had two inches of rain in the last couple of days. Some of it turned into snow, of course.

      • I’d help weed for sure if lived close by. It would be fascinating.

      • paridevita says:

        There’s so much bindweed and smooth brome here that it would probably become less than fascinating very quickly. (The field where I go on my walks is a sea of smooth brome, and it spreads by underground runners. Very fast runners.)

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