some light, some dark

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you up to date on the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “The Hair Cut”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.The shed isn’t really leaning like the picture suggests; I think it’s from what’s called “barrel distortion” from the camera lens.

I was going to suggest this picture as my characteristic pose, with my characteristic nose. I look worried, but I wasn’t. Here’s another nose picture, because I figured you would want one. Possibly a bit too avant-garde for some, I know.

It was a partly-gloomy day today. In fact our side of the city was especially gloomy, owing to a big mountain wave-type cloud.Out east, the sky was blue. This is looking northeast. It was kind of on and off all day long. Sometimes gloomy, sometimes sunny.You can see the Snowdrop Frame there, covered with plastic. Not exactly a charming effect in the garden, but the guy I live with doesn’t hugely care. The little fence is temporary, by the way.


The path does look better with the new gravel spread on it. And maybe it will be less muddy in winter. This is assuming that it ever rains or snows again. Right now it doesn’t seem like it will.A couple of plants are still flowering. This is Sphaeralcea munroanaThe guy I live with said that was nice, but he was a lot more interested in other things. Not only are there snowdrops up, one is flowering.

Galanthus reginae-olgae.

There are some other early-flowering snowdrops poking their noses out of the ground, too.So now there is all this talk about snowdrops. I have to listen to it; you’re lucky that you don’t. I didn’t realize there were feathers in this picture until just now. I prefer not to say why there are feathers all over the place.

Some people don’t believe that the gardening year here starts in late September, but it really does. We tend not to do much of anything during the summer, and the hail can be very disheartening. It didn’t used to be this way, no matter what people claim, but now it’s gotten so bad that the guy I live with said he thought it was pointless to risk having a garden full of flowers in June, July, and August, only to have it obliterated by hail. So the guy I live with mostly just putters in the garden during that season, and complains about the lack of sun.

Once the autumn crocuses start to flower (they’d really like a lot more rain than they get here; the guy I live with waters when I’m at Day Care), things perk up around here.

The cyclamen have nice flowers, but you mostly grow them for the leaves, which stay attractive all winter. Very cold temperatures and lack of snow cover will spoil some of the leaves, but the cyclamen here are growing in places where if it snows, there will be some snow cover if the temperature drops a lot. Like in shade.

These are Cyclamen hederifolium. You can see some coiled seed heads, too.  I forgot to show pictures of the leaves in another part of the garden, but I can leave (sorry) that for another post. There are also some nice Cyclamen confusum and C. mirabile.

The guy I live with spent some time taking books out of the bookcases in the living room, the other day, and replacing them with books he liked. It was very traumatic for him to do this; most of the books were his wife’s; too big for the bookcases, lying on their sides, and so those are going to be donated to the local library. I might show a picture of the way the bookcases look now in another post.

That’s pretty much all I have for today. I’ll leave you with an atmospheric picture of me sleeping cozily in the upstairs bedroom, with a candle, and my internet radio. 

Until next time, then.




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26 Responses to some light, some dark

  1. ceci says:

    Oh dear, the more I read your posts the more I miss having a Border Collie in my life – our very first and really perfect dog (back in the ’70s) was the half German Shepherd pup of a purebred Border Collie (life happens) and he had the combination of sensitivity and smarts that I think must be characteristic. Much more recently a lovely Australian Shepherd lived with us and so many of your pictures remind me of the beloved Aussie (although of course you have such a nice tail…..). I am also enjoying the garden and especially the sky pictures, all so different than mine.

    Its hard for me to part with books even when they will move on to someone who will be delighted to have them.

    So thank you.


    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, and you’re welcome. We purebred border collies are a pretty interesting bunch. The guy I live with says we’re loons, but that’s what he’s used to. Loons. I was left alone today for a while; the guy I live with went to his mom’s house and got a bunch of books to donate to the local library. As well as the books he took out of the bookcases here.

  2. Barb K says:

    Cyclamen and dog noses up close. It is not possible to imagine a better post! Are those cyclamen selected for those leaves or did they just seed around and appear like that? They are beautiful. I like the one with the dark inner ring and of course anything with a lot of silver. But they pale in beauty compared to the close up dog snoot. It has rather special markings too.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; dog noses are indeed excellent. Did you know I can smell and differentiate thousands of smells, some out of one nostril, and some out of the other? People can’t do that. The side flaps are for exhaling, if you didn’t know. I think most of the cyclamen were selected for their leaves. They are pretty easy to grow from seed, but you can get fancy ones sometimes.

  3. Lisa says:

    I like that first photo. You so often stand like a king surveying his domain! I’m a little concerned about the feather thing though. Should we just assume a pillow exploded?

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; it is a bit like surveying my domain, isn’t it? No, a pillow didn’t explode. I only say this because the guy I live with used to have down pillows until he read that the geese don’t survive the collecting of down. So he has regular pillows now. Let’s just say that on the other side of the garden gate, in the back yard, there are a great deal more feathers.

  4. tonytomeo says:

    I need to hear all about the snowdrops too, as if I am all that interested. Those who live where winters are wintry like to brag about them. I am no more interested in snowdrops than I am interested in your nose. Rhody thinks that his nose is interesting too. He is always sticking it in my face.

  5. Nell says:

    I had no idea how much I’d wanted a picture of your nose until it appeared. It was much needed.
    Snazzy Cyclamen indeed. Nice background for snowdrops, or are they too beat-up by winter at that point?

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with said that when Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, did the posts, he often featured pictures of his nose. Take a look at “Snow On My Nose”, for example. The cyclamen generally are okay during the winter. The snowdrops are planted around them, but more than a few have seeded among the cyclamen.

  6. I think it takes a subtle mind, Mani, to fully appreciate cyclamen. Those leaf designs are delightful, but too quiet a carpet for our yard. They would get lost in the general riot. As would the snowdrops, alas. Good thing we have your posts, dear dog, to appreciate what is lost to us. We’ve lately discovered Petey Dog is terrified of fog horns and trembles. He jumps on the bed to nestle, and there goes our unbroken sleep. Tonight we’ll shut all doors and windows tighty-tight, even the bedroom door with impenetrable screening. Do you have advice to offer? I’ve heard of your gloom, your snows, your hail, your rains, even your sun, but I don’t remember a word about fog. Have you ever heard a foghorn? I do think the blue of the sky today is piercingly beautiful, even if it showed intermittently. I do appreciate the long views of your garden, and the one early shot across the fields with one tree in the background. Oh, excellent nose shot

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. There is a reason why I never mention fog. We don’t have fog. Every now and then the guy I live with tells me stories about fog, from when he was little, and how enveloping and kind of cozy it was, but there’s no fog here. No fog, no dew, rarely any mist, almost never any frost (too dry), just pretty much endless sameness; darkly overcast, dry, not a breath of air moving. (The guy I live with said to put in all of that after the semicolon.) I do understand suddenly finding things scary. The guy I live with has lived with purebred border collies for about thirty years and he said that we do sometimes just decide that something is scary and that there’s nothing he can do but just accept that. Maybe what you need is an internet radio, tuned to a non-all-foghorn channel.

  7. Mani – somewhat off topic, but I’ve just noticed I have a book on aquilegias by a certain Robert Nold. Is that the guy you live with?

    • paridevita says:

      Uh huh. That’s the one with the quote misattributed to Parkinson on like the very first page. A last-minute mistake; it said Gerard all during proofreading. The guy I live with says that was very embarrassing.

  8. Nell says:

    It’s true of mixed mutts, too, at least the sensitive ones. Ours took against a particular insulated cooler after it was set on a chest in the hall, to the point where it became nearly impossible for him to move through the hall. Most unfortunate, as that’s necessary to reach almost any other room in the house, and to go up or down the stairs… We quickly relocated the cooler, but it took almost a month for our pup-with-strong-opinions to move with ease past the spot where it had been.

    • paridevita says:

      Things can be weird. That’s one of the guy I live with’s mottos, if you didn’t know. When he realized I was afraid of thunder, though, it was kind of a relief, because all the other purebred border collies who’ve lived here were, too, and so it was that continuity thing again. His retirement has been mostly totally weird, too.

  9. Hope Rankin says:

    I really love the cyclamen. Fun!

    • paridevita says:

      They are pretty great, aren’t they? The guy I live with sometimes says that a Certain Purebred Border Collie Puppy, no names mentioned of course, wiped out a few cyclamen running back and forth chasing squirrels, which is why there’s a fence around one of the rock gardens.
      I guess if you join the Cyclamen Society group on Facebook you see more different kinds of leaves, silvers and stuff, but also a bunch of leaves from non-hardy species.

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