Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here on this extremely chilly day to bring you up to date on the news from our garden and its environs. You may remember me from such posts as “Horticultural Invective”, among so many, many others.
Here I am in a characteristic pose. Roughing it, of course.Since I last posted, the guy I live with has been busy talking on the phone a lot, and filling out forms. It doesn’t seem like he’s having a huge amount of fun doing all of this.
I totally forgot to show the picture of the cloud we had a couple of weeks ago, so here it is now. The guy I live with said that you sometimes see spirals like this when the wind off the mountains is just right. Last week it felt like the water in the canal might stop flowing within a few days, so we looked for the muskrat a lot. Sometimes we saw it, and sometimes we didn’t. Here I am doing some serious looking. Then it snowed, and the water level in the canal dropped quite a bit. The guy I live with said that the muskrat would spend the winter either in its cozy canal-bank home, all lined with dry grass, and a tiny bed, a tiny television; maybe even wi-fi. Or it would go to a place called “Florida”. So we won’t see the muskrat again until next spring, when the water begins to flow. (I say “muskrat” but we think there are two of them.)Then the other day, the water in the canal stopped. The guy I live with said that someone shuts it off, farther west. There was some water left, in pools here and there. As the water level went down, it began to freeze, and the ice made patterns.
Down the canal road, heading east, I discovered I wasn’t the first one to go on a morning walk. Those tracks weren’t made by a dog. I didn’t see anyone except the guy I live with, who follows me on my walks.I’ve seen big hawks in the trees every single day. Sometimes more than one hawk. They sort of screech at each other. I guess they’re red-tailed hawks. Hardly anything at all is happening in the gardening, though there are snowdrops up in various places, and some flowering in the snowdrop frame. But a couple of days ago there were crocuses flowering. This is Crocus damascenus.
Things slow down in the garden at this time of year, and if it isn’t snowing, the guy I live with says it can be very pleasant in the garden.
But today it was misty and drizzling, with the temperature right at freezing for most of the day. The guy I live with said the humidity was about a thousand percent. Everything was coated with a thin film of ice. This sort of weather is unusual for here. My evening walk was a brisk one.
Aside from snowdrops, the new cyclamen are happy in the flats upstairs. The cyclamen are in “nanodomes”, which help prevent them from drying out too much. There are little vents in the tops of the nanodomes, which can be closed, though with the cyclamen the vents are open, so the cyclamen won’t get soggy. You can see that the plants are happy right now. This is Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Tilebarn Helena’. And this is the same species; a selection called ‘Silver Shield’. The guy I live with likes cyclamen a lot. I guess that’s obvious. He said he would join the Cyclamen Society, something he’s been meaning to do for a number of years, but never has. You can get seeds from the Society, as well as the various rock gardening societies.
Until next time, then.