rooting around

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 “Stuff You Didn’t Know”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. 17081713Surveying my domain. The sun was out for quite a bit, today. The guy I live with thought something was seriously wrong.

The awful smell has completely disappeared. It was only present for about three days, and then vanished. The guy I live with said it couldn’t have been something dead, because it wouldn’t stop smelling; it would just smell worse. So if it wasn’t that, it must have been something else. Ghosts, maybe.

Today the guy I live with said he was going to plant the two ‘Big Bazooka’ agastaches, but he couldn’t even get them out of their pots. He had to cut the pots to get the plants out of the pots. He said that way, way back when, trees and shrubs used to come in metal pots and when you bought one at a nursery they had a special tool to slit open the pot, and then of course you had to be careful not to hurt yourself when you handled the pot. This was sort of like that.

When the plant was removed, this is what the root ball looked like.17081801He had something to say about this. As perhaps you can imagine.

If he planted the plants in the ground, they would almost certainly die. “Time to employ the Super Genius Method”, he said. “At least the roots are growing downward, instead of circling around.”

So the roots were soaked for a while, just to make sure that they were wet. I guess you never can tell, because all those roots seem to make a barrier to getting the whole mass of roots, like the roots inside the root ball, wet like they should be.17081702Then the root ball was stood on end in the water, for a minute, to make sure there were no air bubbles.

The plan was to tease apart the roots with a root hook, but they were all so tightly bound together, as you can see, that he said he’d probably wreck more roots than he wanted to.17081703The cork goes on the tip of the root hook. It’s to keep the guy I live with from poking himself when he isn’t hooking roots. I hear that there used to be a collection of corks in a coffee can in the garage, but one by one they were lost, and so another cork had to be put in place of the lost one. So there aren’t very many corks left.

The guy I live with said that in order to get corks, especially decent ones, you have to buy the bottles that come with the corks, and then chill the bottle (for some reason), open the bottle using a special twisting motion of the hand, empty the contents of the bottle, and then you have a high-quality cork to put on the end of your root hook.17081704I didn’t know any of that until today.

And then, to get back to it, the plants were re-potted in larger pots. Maybe the roots will start growing into the sand pretty soon. 17081712The perlite floats to the top, so I don’t know why he uses it, but he does. Maybe he likes seeing the perlite, or something.

In other news, the cow-pen daisies (Verbesina encelioides) are starting to flower. The plants are a little wilted because they haven’t gotten enough water, even though it rained a little the other day. The guy I live with says it needs to rain more.

There are a lot of cow-pen daisies on what used to be called the “lawn”. Maybe some should be thinned out. 17081705That was pretty much all of the gardening that took place today. A few weeds were pulled, too.

I got to go on my walk. This is me, ready for my walk. I was really ready. 17081706The reason I was so ready is that a couple of evenings ago we walked a different way, because the guy I live with read that we purebred border collies, while we do like tradition and continuity, occasionally enjoy a different experience.

So we walked to the “frontage road”, which is a road awfully close to the highway. The guy I live with said that people drive very fast on the frontage road, going to the apartments, or to the houses across the field. About twice as fast as the speed limit. So we had to be careful crossing the road.

But there were sprinklers on the other side. Maybe you know how much I like sprinklers. (It’s a lot.) There’s a group of offices there and the landscaping includes a whole bunch of bluegrass, like most landscapes do. 17081710


17081707I got soaking wet. It was fun.

We didn’t get anything in the mail today. No one called. No one came to the door. Yesterday, someone came to the door twice, holding a small clipboard, and I barked at them ultra viciously, because the guy I live with didn’t want to buy anything and didn’t want to tell them he didn’t want to buy anything. The guy I live with always wonders why people come to the door. Sometimes one of the neighbors comes to the door, and that’s okay (we like most of our neighbors), but when strangers come to the door, I take over.

The person who knocked on the door then went across the street, and knocked on the door there. No one lives there, now. So he knew this was something he didn’t need to be involved in. Sometimes, there are people at the house across the street, fixing it up. At first, when the last owner left, the house was dark, which the guy I live with didn’t care for, because there had always been lights on at night, but now there’s a light on in the house, and it looks friendlier than it did before.

A couple of people walked down the street today. The guy I live with didn’t talk to anyone, except himself, and of course me. No books were read, no music was listened to (that’s really unusual for here). The television was on, for a while, and a show called “Endeavour” was on. The guy I live with really likes things like that.

I chased a snake in the garden for a while, until the guy I live with said not to. We didn’t take a nap in the afternoon. The guy I live with was going to make Chinese sesame noodles and discovered there wasn’t enough tahini. He forgot to buy sesame paste at the Asian market, which is what you really use. You could use peanut butter but the guy I live with said that was way too weird.


Well, that was my day. I guess, really, our day. It was pretty good indeed.17081711

Until next time, then.




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8 Responses to rooting around

  1. Barb K says:

    How about “Inspector Lewis” and “Foyle’s War”? Mani, if you snapped the head on one of those sprinklers (by accident of course) you’d get a very interesting effect. Please ask TGYLW to let us know if the Method works on those plants. They were very pot bound. I got a tool from England called the Wonder Weeder. It weeds two ways, digs holes easily in gravel, digs planting holes around fragile tree roots and loosens tangled pot bound roots. They didn’t even ask me to pay until I actually received the tool in the mail. And! I don’t need a cork.

    • paridevita says:

      Oh, the guy I live with proclaims that “Foyle’s War” is the best thing TV has ever offered. He just watched all the episodes, two or three times. After having seen them over and over again years ago. And “Inspector Lewis” is great, too. I plan to report on the really pot-bound agastaches in a couple of weeks. The Wonder Weeder looks interesting.

  2. Peanut butter is not weird! Even when used as substitute. And please do not thin that small meadow of cowpen daisies. They charm. How fortunate the pot-bound roots are all growing one way, down straight. Gives hope for the future. And, yes, we will need an update. How close, Mani, will you be to Eclipse Central? Perhaps proximity accounts for your uncharacteristic days. Such the great victory you had over the sprinklers, cheers for you. Those water swirly thingies are much more fun to go after than the black-and-white kitties. No shampoo necessary, only the towel-drying, and that’s the fun part. Does the guy you live with ever use a hair dryer? May you have a long stretch of pretty good days ahead for yourself.

    • paridevita says:

      I hear there used to be a hair-dryer here. The motor burned out. I think the guy I live with used it after washing his hair and then instead of going outside and having his head freeze solid in the winter, he would dry his hair first. But I like getting dried with a large towel. I also learned that we might be able to see about ninety percent of the eclipse, here. There is some debate as to whether or not purebred border collies would look at the eclipsed sun, or not. The guy I live with says maybe I’ll stay inside. No, peanut butter is excellent, but weird as a substitute for tahini. Especially since the peanut butter we have here, aside from the treats I get, is for baiting the Tin Cat.

      • Yes, Mani, stay inside, lest you cast a random look upward. Retinas will fry. Or something. That’s the advice from my veterinarian.

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks; the guy I live with wasn’t sure when the eclipse was. I mean he knew it was next week, because his friend has left for Wyoming, to see it there. (Plans had been made very far in advance.) I mostly look down, anyway, because I like to hunt for bugs and stuff. Though I do watch the people in those powered hang gliders; I see those all the time, in the sky.

  3. I like Endeavor. Here, it starts tonight. And Foyle’s War is just the best. I also enjoy Grantchester though I was not pleased with the end of the recent season.

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