the night rain

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 rather damp garden. You may remember me from such rain-related posts as “Misty, Drizzle, Rainy”, among at least a few others.

Here I am in a characteristic, and ultra-noble, pose. I look a bit like a show dog, don’t I? We purebred border collies have an inherent nobility, I think.

You may not know that the “border” in “border collie” comes from the border between England and Scotland, where we’re from originally, and so we purebred border collies really like misty, cool weather.

It’s been raining quite a bit here. Well, for us, I mean. The guy I live said he was beginning to worry a little about the garden, especially the trees and shrubs, but it’s rained enough that he feels a lot better about things.

It even rained last night. It almost never rains at night here. But it did; four tenths of an inch.

The other day I went to Day Care, and played in the mist. The guy I live with asked me what we did at Day Care, besides play, because one time he looked through the fence and saw me and a buddy listening very intently to something. I told him that we had lectures there. That day we had lectures on Nadja by André Breton, the flora of Ethiopia, falsi bordoni, and the benefits of having a good breakfast. I liked the last one best.

The guy I live with and his friend went to Denver Botanic Gardens, in the mist, while I was at Day Care. He took some pictures of the plains garden there, and posted them on Facebook, but he said they would look better on the blog, so here they are.

Pretty cool, huh? The guy I live with said we needed to get Maximilian sunflowers again, so I guess we’re going to. I don’t know what happened to the ones we had. I’m not so sure about the little bluestem, which contributes so much color to the plains garden; every single little bluestem (a lot) planted here over the years has died within a year.

The guy I live with said that since little bluestem is native practically everywhere in North America that there are regional ecotypes which need a lot more water than the native little bluestem does, but the non-native ones are the ones in the trade. He did grow some native little bluestem from seed and will plant it out next spring. (The grasses will have to overwinter in pots.)

Speaking of pots, the guy I live with talked on the phone to a friend in the nursery industry and she was growing agastaches in pots, and so the guy I live with decided to plant the ‘Big Bazooka’ agastaches in pots. That way they can get all the water they need. Unless he forgets to water the pots.

If you remember the horribly root-bound plants he got, well, look at the roots now. This took a little over two months. The guy I live with strutted around a bit, talking about what a “super genius” he was. I went inside until he was done with that.

Here are the plants in the pot.You see that little dish there, just to the left of the pot? That usually has water in it, often pretty gross water, which of course I drink sometimes, but the water is for the snakes in our garden. Kind of creepy, I know.

I guess maybe the blog should have a special segment, “hopefully irregular”, as the guy I live with said, not in every post, and so I’m going to introduce it now. We’re going to call it Unusual News. You may agree that this is pretty unusual.

Next door, they put up a small shed.

I guess you’ll see it, more, in garden pictures, later. We don’t have horses in this neighborhood, if you were wondering. There’s just a shed next door.

Well, whatever. That’s our motto here. It kind of has to be.

My evening walk was pretty good, though. We went a different way. A bit too close to the highway, maybe, but we just walked around this office building and then got back onto a path that leads home.

We could see Green Mountain before we got onto the path. It’s almost always brown, so must have been named after someone named Green. It’s not very high. There were some ducks in what I guess you might call a retaining pond. That’s the reflection of a utility truck in the pond. And the ducks.As we got onto the path, the guy I live with said there was one tree which was slightly different. This picture isn’t in focus at all, but it’s Populus balsamifera, the balsam poplar, which, here, is really a montane species. He said that maybe seed floated down the creek from the mountains. The leaves and stems are coated with a pleasant-smelling resin, or something like that. I’ll wait for the lecture at Day Care in order to understand this better. There’s an older, and slightly scary, regular cottonwood next to it.Then along the creek, which is the same creek as the one behind our house, there are all these new cottonwood trees. This area used to have a pond, which may sound bucolic, but the guy I live with said it was filled with old tires and stuff like that. On the other hand, there were frogs, and he said you could hear them “breeping” (his word) from our back yard, at night.

The pond belonged to a farmhouse, of which only the foundation remained when the guy I live with and his wife moved here, thirty years ago. There was a little bit of woodland, and when the apartments were built, all of that was bulldozed except for the old cottonwood, and people came in and planted a bunch of wetland plants. The guy I live with and his wife went down and looked at the plants, and the labels beside them. And wondered if they were ever going to be watered. Just because they were wetland plants didn’t mean they didn’t need to be watered. They weren’t. So there aren’t any wetland plants there. But in the mean time a bunch of cottonwoods seeded along the creek and this is the result. You can see some of the leaves are turning. I know I’m ready for cooler weather, and the guy I live with said maybe the sun would come out, now that it’s autumn. You really can’t imagine all the complaining that went on, this past summer, about the almost total lack of sun and lack of rain. Autumns here are usually very dry, so the rain we had is a nice change.

I guess I’ll sign off now.

Until next time, then.




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6 Responses to the night rain

  1. mjkeane says:

    Hi Mani! You’re lucky to have interesting lectures at Day Care. Will you be offering one too? Maybe you could give a talk on coping with the unpredictability of nature and humans, lousy weather complaints, and scary garden events. You seem to have mastered the required patience, forbearance, and courage.
    There’s nothing strange about providing water for snakes, and other critters in our gardens. It’s a kindness and im glad you do it.

  2. Barb K says:

    Why, that shed is a stunning example of the Appraisal Institute’s “highest and best use” of your neighbor’s property. Will they have a shop with loud machinery? I wonder if they got a permit. It’s kind of close to the fence. Speaking of stunning, Mani, you are! And so are those sunflowers.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with said it doesn’t matter if there was a permit or not. Based on experience. He said that in some ways this gigantic thing might help protect the garden from storms coming from the south, which are our worst ones. (They don’t happen very often, fortunately.) I like to think about the neighbors a couple of doors down, instead, whom I really like, and often get cuddles from them.

  3. You look like a show dog, Mani, and your place looks like a show garden. And I do think, looking at the rerouted downward-facing roots in pots, that the guy you live with does have evidence of deserving the “super genius” crown. That shed looks, um, intrusive. Our sunflowers that look much like yours are flowering now too. I wish they would flower later so I could use them on the Thanksgiving table, but, no, they keep to their own schedule. I’ve heard Colorado has serious mountains. Green looks like a hill. The photo with the awful water dish is one of the best photos of your garden I’ve seen. Maybe Daycare will deliver a lecture on “money shot.” With all the complaining you have to listen to, Mani, I think you should offset with bouts of silliness. Even show dogs can lose nobility every now and then, you know. Go on, try it.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Well, it’s not really a show garden, just “a place for plants, according to the guy I live with. He actually likes it pretty well, though maybe there could be a few more small trees, like oaks, here and there. Yes, the shed. That’s the same yard as where the buffalo grass lawn used to be, if you’ve followed the blog since before Chess took over. The lawn, which the guy I live paid for, is mostly long dead now. Oh, I’m getting distracted here. It’s raining, right now.

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