up the creek

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, and some vole-hunting news, too. You may remember me from such posts as “The Ugly Garden”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. The guy I live with said that lying on the thymes he planted on my Personal Hill wouldn’t hurt them. You can probably see how “desperately gloomy” the weather here can be, with no forecast of rain. Super gloomy.

But never mind that; things are happening in the garden now. Remember the epimediums he ordered and planted last autumn? They didn’t die. There are a lot of corydalis flowering now; these are forms of Corydalis solida. Some of them still have labels. The guy I live with said that a certain purebred border collie puppy swiped a lot of the labels, so we’re not sure what all the names are, here. This is ‘Purple Beauty’.This is ‘Going Rouge’. This is “the red one”. (Not ‘George Baker’.) It’s even redder than this but the point-and-shoot doesn’t do red very well, for some reason. These corydalis have begun to seed around which is kind of interesting. They’re easy to grow, too. Unlike some of the others.

Here are the funny tubes of Allium pskemense.  Named for the Pskem River in Kazakhstan. The guy I live with said these are dug up in the wild and eaten, like regular onions. I’m not allowed to have onions. And just today, or maybe just yesterday, the guy I live with noticed a peony seedling. He planted a few peony seeds about fifteen years ago, which a friend in New York sent him, and a few came up. At least one is still left.There’s another thing going on, and this is kind of sad. Maybe not for me, but for the guy I live with. He’s decided to do some downsizing and rearranging. The three troughs near the patio, that you often see in pictures, were at one time filled with porophyllum saxifrages, and in fact there were over sixty of them here. He would read and re-read the book on them, dream of getting more saxifrages (not easy to acquire), and when they began to flower, usually in March, sometimes in the snow, that would be very exciting. And best of all, his wife really liked them, the leaves and flowers, but after she died the saxifrages didn’t get the care they should have gotten, and so there are only a few now, and these are being moved. The troughs might be filled with hens and chicks instead. Some of the ones he got last year look really great now. 

A lot of the cactuses, like in the clay dishes, are being given away, too.

And then there’s this. The green fence is new, and possibly ugly, but this little corner got cleared out, as I mentioned a while ago. Really the only thing that was done was a bunch of branches from the New Mexican privet were cut back, and suddenly this space became visible, and empty. The definitely ugly bamboo fence is now super-visible, but won’t be during the summer.

So that’s the garden news.

I decided to go up the creek and thought you might like to see me doing that.There isn’t any water in the creek, obviously, but when there was, the guy I live with let me go splashing in the water, so long as the water looked and smelled good, which sometimes it doesn’t.

Anyway I was hoping there might be voles along the creek banks. There weren’t, but it was fun looking. It’s always fun to look. That’s the trunk of the cottonwood tree you can see from our house.This is me looking for voles, but not in the creek, which is over there.You may think this is totally pointless, but it really isn’t. There are holes like this all over the field. 

What you do is jam your nose into one of the holes and sniff. The guy I live with said that when I do that, dirt blows out my ears. I think he’s making fun of me. I didn’t catch any voles, of course, but I did wind up with Vole Hunter’s Nose.A condition which is easily remedied by soap and water.

Well, I hope you enjoyed today’s update, and maybe learned a thing or two about how to hunt for voles.

Until next time, then.






This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to up the creek

  1. leereccaLee says:

    Thank you, Mani, for the vole hunting instruction. Very helpful!

  2. tonytomeo says:

    New Mexican privet is something I am not familiar with. You certainly have some strange things in your garden. It is nice that you can grow peonies. They can grow in some places here, but not everywhere. We never know if they will be happy until we try. Some people grow them as far south as the mountains above Los Angeles!

  3. Now I wonder who the “certain purebred border collie puppy” was? I bet it was fun playing with all those labels.

  4. Barb K says:

    I’ll bet those saxifrages were lovely in their time. Someone gave me a whole platter of struggling unlabeled saxifrages and I planted them in a area that has some concrete rubble along with the usual muck that passes for soil here. They look better so maybe they don’t mind. Your dirty snout looks adorable if I may say so. I felt so sorry for you when you weren’t allowed any crawdad chips that I tried to post a video of border collies seeing their first sheep. At 4 weeks old they were expected to react correctly! But the blog wouldn’t let me post a video and I guess some people might be less than sensible in the types of things they post so that’s okay.

  5. Gloomy skies, definitely, at time of posting, all the better to bring out the glory of the corydalis. Your guy can be cheered by reminding him of what he already knows — things change in a garden. We have a dozen-times-over ghost roses hovering over our garden. Mostly they’re put from memory in caring for the living plants. Thank you for taking us along on your walk up the creek. We appreciate the detailed instruction on how to hunt voles. Petey and Shredder point out noses also can be cleaned by vigorous rubbing on upholstery or second-best sheets. Is there anyone to sniff your adorable belly? I bet it smells all thyme-y, a superior scent for a border collie. Perhaps you need a passle of border collie puppies around as I understand they are excellent belly sniffers. Think about it, Mani.

    • paridevita says:

      I think the guy I live with has decided I can be perfectly happy as an Only Border Collie. Like Chess was. It was pretty nice today, after a terribly windy day the day before. So windy that the path behind the houses (the coyote path) is now blocked by a fallen tree, blown over by the wind. That’s a change. I haven’t really inspected the fallen tree trunk yet.

  6. Renato Gomes says:

    hi i know i’m completly off topic here, but i’ve found in your blog long time ago some seeds of bunium bulbocastanum do you have some spare seeds? if not were is it possible to find them?. is it a dificult plant to grow?

  7. I very much want to see a video of the dirt coming out of your ears.

    • paridevita says:

      Ha ha. You never know. We saw the muskrat today, and I guess they live in homes in the mud, so maybe it will be mud coming out of my ears.

Comments are closed.