fencing lessons

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 today to bring you right up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “A Bit Chilly”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. This is my interpretation of how things have been going lately. Just like the post I mentioned, from last year, it’s been chilly and not very pleasant here lately. “Snowing way too much”, according to someone I know. 

The muskrat is back; the guy I live with said it seemed bigger than last year. I looked for it but couldn’t find it. Maybe on another walk. I looked for voles too, but I think it was too cold for them to poke their heads above ground. The wild plums are flowering. The guy I live with said that back in the last century they were a sign of spring along the Front Range, but the last few Aprils have been so cold that you can hardly ever smell them. Here they are, along the canal road. I was ready to keep going but the plums needed to have their picture taken. The guy I live with said the plums make a really good jam, but he’s never made jam. Just eaten it. It’s best on toast with lots of butter. So much butter that it gets the toast soggy before you spread the jam on it. The sun hasn’t been out much, lately. It came out later today, and we could really smell the plums when we got close to them.

There’s a “weird tulip” flowering in the front yard.About twenty-five years ago a bunch of ‘Queen of the Night’ tulips were planted in the front yard (along with the orange ‘Dillenburg’ which everyone said to plant with it), and this is what had become of them.

Today an order of plants arrived, from Edelweiss Perennials. Mostly cyclamen. The guy I live with was very happy to get them. He likes cyclamen a lot, if you didn’t know. There were some other plants, too.The box came right in the middle of a big project, so we took some time out to look at the plants and water them.

Remember this fence? Hideous, isn’t it? (Ignoring the equally-unattractive bamboo fence behind it, I mean.) This was the big project today. There was a lot of hemming and hawing about the fence after it was put up. Most of the materials were already here so it didn’t cost much money at all, but it was really, really ugly. It was necessary to have a little fence here to mark the end of the sand pile and sort of wall off the little corner in the northwestern part of the garden, but doing it with an ugly fence didn’t seem right.

Last weekend the guy I live with went to Denver Botanic Gardens and walked around the gardens with his friends, while it was snowing. He remembered the fences around the Bill Hosokawa Pavilion, a Japanese-style garden with bonsai in a greenhouse, and really handsome fences and paving, and this week he went and bought some lumber to make his version of the fences.

At first he had the idea that he would use cedar, and then when he looked at the various wood that was available there was oak, but all of these were sold by the linear foot, so he settled on pine. Much, much cheaper.

It might need to be stained later, so it hasn’t been thoroughly fastened to the uprights.

And you can see through it.

So we have a new fence. At least the other one wasn’t there for very long.

That’s all I have for now. Maybe things will get busier soon, but that all depends on the weather. I do know what to do when it gets chilly, though.

Until next time, then.




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20 Responses to fencing lessons

  1. Nothing like visiting a public garden to get inspired by the hardscaping. Last time we went to Anderson Japanese Garden in Rockford, IL, almost all the photos we took were of fences. I think your solution is well done.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    What is the fence for? Does it keep something out?

    • paridevita says:

      We needed a demarcation between the sand pile and the empty corner of the garden, that’s all. And a much less ugly fence.

      • tonytomeo says:

        We have a tall fence to keep deer out. It is not easy to see at a distance, but I hate that it is necessary.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with said he was unhappy about the fences he had to put up, around the rock garden especially, but I do like to chase squirrels. He said he had never had a border collie interested in squirrels. Their loss, of course.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Rhody chases squirrels, just like Bill and Privet did. I am not certain if they really like squirrels or really detest them. Any ideas?
        Why was a fence needed around a rock garden? Do rocks chase squirrels too?

      • paridevita says:

        The fence is because there was a lot of running back and forth, and there are cyclamen in that garden. The guy I live with said that running on cyclamen was not the best thing for them. This is funny, though. Just this morning there was this little hole in the ground where a cyclamen (from Edelweiss) has been planted, and there was a huge amount of (let’s say) verbiage about squirrels. Later it turned out that the hole was next to the cyclamen tuber and nothing had been dug up and carried away.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Someone was telling squirrel jokes? That does sound funny. It is good that they cyclamen was not damaged.

      • paridevita says:

        The only cyclamen which were damaged were some large tubers growing slightly outside the area which were removed, according to the guy I live with, by a certain nameless border collie puppy, who ran around the garden with them. The tubers didn’t survive.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Oh my! Puppies can be so naughty.

  3. How does such an accomplished photographer forget his camera, ask the guy you live with, Mani. He evidently does know how to construct a handsome fence and how to properly prepare toast. I’ve found charity sales the best source for jelly and jam made from local fruit, and the spring garden club sales are happening RIGHT NOW. Of course, by the evidence, you are still held hostage by winter. I envy you your plum trees. What a very lucky border collie you are, with trees in bloom, voles and crawdads and muskrats to keep you entertained, and then second-best Pottery Barn sheets in which to nestle. Ms. Lambchop looks unmolested, and does make a sweet spot for head-resting.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I am pretty lucky. The guy I live with tells me so all the time. The plums are Prunus americana; fairly common even along the Front Range, which is drier than most of its habitat in North America, but you can see how well they do growing along the canal (and nowhere else). It isn’t so much “hostage to winter” as “hostage to spring”; it snows in spring here, too, even though this sounds really wrong. The reason the camera was forgotten—two days in a row—is because there were plant sales at the botanic gardens. Plant sales. Talk about a mind turning to jelly.

      • Oh, yes. Bought, bought, bought at a native California plant sale today. Denver’s would be splendid.

      • paridevita says:

        This was the local rock garden chapter plant sale, which is a really good one. There’s another sale, the Mother’s Day one, at DBG, though I guess now they call it “Spring Plant Sale”, in a couple of weeks. I hear that one is astonishing. (No purebred border collies allowed, though.)

  4. Barb K says:

    Did someone tuck your Lambchop up under your chin? You look very sweet. MMM Edelweiss! I got something special from them this year, a plant I’ve been wanting. Anemonopsis macrophylla. It has just the prettiest little flower ever and it’s always sold out. This year I was on it! It was sold out soon after I got mine. Most of the time I let things slip away while I dither. Wild plums would be good, but we have blackberries here which are very tasty too. Some dogs like them too.

    • paridevita says:

      I tucked my Lamb Chop under me. (By the way, the guy I live with had a second Lamb Chop which he wasn’t telling me about, and was going to give it away—if you can believe this—to some visiting friends who had a part border collie—so maybe it should have been a part Lamb Chop—but they didn’t take it so I wanted it, but the guy I live with said it had to be washed first, and it exploded in the washing machine.) The anemonopsis has never been grown here. There was a time, a long time ago really, when there was talk of woodland plants (there are some erythroniums and epimediums here but not much else), because of Cuttings from a Rock Garden by the Fosters, and how nice all those woodland plants sounded, but the ones that were planted here, trilliums and so forth, never lasted, and so that was that. One of those things from the past that the guy I live with thinks about and sighs.

      • Barb K says:

        How’d you get along with the part border collie? There are a lot of sighs here, too. It seems like woodland in the spring, and then summer comes with 110 degrees and smoke.

      • paridevita says:

        Oh, I didn’t get to meet him. (He stayed home.) I kind of like other dogs, sometimes. I especially like dogs I get to play with at Day Care. We’re not hugely looking forward to summer, if it’s going to be as stormy as last year.

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