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 up to date on the latest news from our garden, and all kinds of other stuff. You may remember me from such posts as “Mice In The Rice”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose.That’s the “bulb frame” behind me, though there aren’t any bulbs in there, yet. The guy I live with wasn’t sure what sort of soil to put in there, and finally decided on filling the frame with pea gravel, and planting bulbs in “pond baskets” with sandy loam or something like that. Eventually this will get done.
I like this part of the yard, even though it’s pretty bare. Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, liked to lie here too. There wasn’t a bulb frame there, then. It’s one of the warmest places in the yard, especially in the winter.
The last couple of days here have been extremely gorgeous.Today it was seventy-six degrees (that’s about twenty-four Celsius) with twelve percent humidity. Yesterday, the wind came up and lots of leaves blew off the trees, but unfortunately most of the leaves are still there. You can kind of see the “mountain wave” cloud that appeared yesterday. (You can also see the spot on the camera lens. The guy I live with can’t find where the spot is. He looked online to see how to replace the lens and you have to have that done professionally, so he said the lens would have the spot.)It’s supposed to snow on Monday.
They say we might get eight inches (twenty centimeters) of snow, with a low on Monday night of twenty-two (minus five and a half Celsius). The guy I live with is not hugely happy about this, but it does happen here, sometimes, and “No one ever said this was a great climate for gardening”. Then it will warm up again. The snow will probably break a lot of tree branches and make a huge mess in the garden. But we’re used to that.
Back to more pleasant news.
I got to go up into the mountains on Thursday. The guy I live with and his friend took me up there. He brought his camera but didn’t take any pictures of me in the mountains, so I guess a photographic record will have to wait for another time.
The mountains are really cool. Literally and figuratively. There were all sorts of new smells. Smells are one of the best parts of walks, if you didn’t know. I got to see things like deer poop, and elk poop. The guy I live with’s friend used to live up there and so she was an expert on such things. I even saw deer bones. They were pretty scary, and I jumped high in the air, until I totally checked them out. I didn’t see any deer or elk, though. The guy I live with told his friend how Chess was just walking out into the “way back” and a big bull elk stuck his head out from behind the pea shrubs, and Chess went completely berserk, which I would do too, because elks are huge.
Anyway, there are things happening in the garden, even with snow looming in the future. The guy I live with was talking to a friend in the nursery business about Salvia greggii, because some people have a hard time growing it, but it’s been reseeding here. This is a not-very-focused picture of four salvias, only one of which was planted. Maybe you can see that the one in the back is slightly darker; that was the one that was planted.The trap is just there for looks, like we’re being threatening or something. The wire cages are for crocuses.
Speaking of salvias, the guy I live with bought some ‘Shangri-La’ salvias the other day, because “the leaves looked cool”.He’s afraid this will need a lot of watering here, but there’s no way to tell until we try it. Still, the leaves are cool. He said he grew one of the parent plants, Salvia moorcroftiana, decades ago. It needed watering here.
We have mushrooms coming up. Someone did say they might be edible. The guy I live with said he’s not going to try them. He ate a Destroying Angel mushroom when he was two, and still remembers the doctor making a house call. That was a long, long time ago.There are crocuses all over the place. This is Crocus speciosus, one of the most attractive, and readily available. It’s been seeding itself in the garden for years. This was just what you might call a “casual picture”. And there are lots of cyclamen. This is Cyclamen hederifolium in the shade garden. And I guess some self-sown Crocus speciosus. Not much is in focus here. The stake is to mark the boundary where the cyclamens are, so no one walks on them.
Maybe this has been said before, but some botanists consider this species to be the “western expression” of the eastern sugar maple, Acer saccharum. Early settlers in Utah tapped the little trees for syrup. The sap runs in March, here.
So that’s been what’s happened in the last few days.
Today, we were just doing stuff, the way we do, when all of a sudden there was something in the grapevine by the kitchen window. I barked a lot. I was pretty sure it was a ghost, because it’s that time of year. The guy I live with tells me fairly often that we do live with ghosts, but nice ghosts, but I was sure this was the other kind. He got kind of weirded out, because I kept looking, and barking, and he looked too, but couldn’t see anything, even though I was sure there was something there. He said there wasn’t, but I had to check. You can see how super careful I was being. Neither of us could find anything in the grapevine. I had a case of the creeps for a couple of hours after that.
Oh, and speaking of weird things, the guy I live with said to say, as a public service message, that he doesn’t know why all the older posts have the “word wrap” that they do. He isn’t going to go back and redo everything, but for some reason the text wraps strangely around the pictures. Just to let you know.
So that’s it for today. For the last few days, actually. I’ll let you know if the snow wrecks the whole garden, of course, and maybe even report if there’s tons of complaining. There’s bound to be, as you might guess.
Until next time, then.