just some things

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, on what turned out to be a very beautiful day. You may remember me from such posts as “Divers Things”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.It was a really beautiful day today. Sunny, without any dark clouds and scary thunder appearing in the afternoon and frightening me. We had a sunny day yesterday, after a cold and cloudy morning.

You can’t always tell what the weather will be like on any given day. It can be deceptive. This is what the sky looked like on a day with lots of thunderstorms.Today, the sky looked like this, but even though there were clouds, it wasn’t one of those days that send me running to my upstairs fort.

Maybe you get the idea that in the last several months the guy I live with has felt pretty overwhelmed by things in his life. He does very well with stress, though working with his mom’s estate has been a bit much. He has his ninth tax appointment of the year this week. He says it is okay to be jealous of that. (And you thought he didn’t have a sense of humor.) In fact he often wonders if some people do have any sense of humor at all.

But whatever; back to the stress business. He “rather foolishly” agreed to have the garden on tour at the end of this month and doesn’t have the slightest idea how he is going to have things look even remotely presentable. There is no one else to help in the garden now that his wife, who loved to weed, with Chess at her side, is gone. On the other hand it isn’t like he has all that much else to do, besides the tax thing and visiting his friend.

He says things will be fine, and if the garden looks really bad, he just throw drop cloths on the weedy parts and tell visitors that there are mysterious experiments going on under the drop cloths.

The garden is more overgrown than it has ever been. We’ve had lots of rain. 

A lot of the grasses you see in the picture above are ones we want to have, but a lot aren’t, too.

The “way back” is even worse. You can see a whole bunch of smooth brome growing around, and also in, the blue lyme grass.  The field full of smooth brome is just a few feet over to the right (west). It crawls under the fence and sends runners hundreds of feet away. The guy I live with says it’s like the Ultimate Weed.

And there’s the catmint. The guy I live with’s wife wanted it, and so he planted it, and now it’s absolutely everywhere. (The cinder block isn’t supposed to be there, but never got moved back where the others are, waiting to be concealed by a low fence.)“And the feverfew.” I forget about that, sometimes, but it’s also everywhere. There’s some right there in the picture, near the cinder block.

There are some things flowering, too. You can see Asphodeline damascena, in this not-very-focused picture.

The first flower on Rosa kokanica:But as the guy I live with would say, this isn’t a summer-oriented garden any more, as far as flowers are concerned. It’s mostly grasses, though native ones, not the kind you find in nurseries, which mostly need too much water to do well here.

There are some plants that are still important here, for flowers. You may remember the post “A Sad Farewell” (the one I posted, not the one the guy I live with posted before Chess took over the blog), where I talked about the desert willow, Chilopsis linearis, possibly being killed, and he was really wondering about it just a few weeks ago, even though it grew taller than him last summer, but things seem to be back to normal now.The desert willow likes heat, of which we haven’t had much of. We purebred border collies do not like hot weather at all, but the guy I live with does.

He wanted to move to Tucson when he retired (or Portland; it changed from week to week), to get away from the weather here. His wife was against moving to either place, for reasons he never understood, though there was some talk about how hot it got in the desert. He would tell her about the “clear” scorpions and spiders as big as a dinner plate (possibly an exaggeration), because she liked bugs, but it wasn’t enough to sway her.

So we have a desert willow (three, actually) which yearns for the warmth of more southerly climes. (I always wanted to say “climes”.)  But when it flowers, the whole garden is scented of violets, at night.

I guess I’m going to have to endure three weeks of nothing but weeding, and complaining that it isn’t hot enough for the desert willows, but things could be worse. I’ll leave you with a picture of me, walking along, surrounded by nothing but weeds. 


Until next time, then.





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25 Responses to just some things

  1. I have to say you look very regal in the first picture Mani.

    Weeding is one of life’s chores when you’re a gardener. I have an 86 year old widow living on one side of me, and a family that wouldn’t know a weed if it got up and bit them on the other side, so I am inundated with weeds (a bit like the guy you live with).

    I also get cricket balls over the six feet high fence from the family next door. Cricket is the national game of England in the summer. You wouldn’t understand the game (no-one much outside of England does), but you play it for five days and then decide it’s a draw. But perhaps that is too exciting?

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with says that “a nice heat wave”, complete with sun and no rain, would help with the weeds. He would be leery of having help, though; he almost pulled up some gladiolus in the rock garden while pulling grass there, and wouldn’t want to have to be stern with people who did pull up the gladiolus. He also said that one time he was in an Indian grocery store and everyone there was fixated on a cricket match on the TV. It didn’t look like anything sensible was going on, on the TV, but I guess if you know the rules things make sense. We have a similar thing here, called football, with simpler rules, maybe, but in this case, there’s about five minutes of action, yet the game lasts five hours.

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  2. tonytomeo says:

    I wish Rhody were as interested in gardening as you are. He just likes to roll around on the grass, and tinkle on the most important plants. I think he enjoys annoying me.

  3. donnasports says:

    Tell tgylw I often use the garden pictures on my desktop especially when I can embiggen them (not possible with a phone camera). They are very relaxing especially since I don’t have to weed them. What, if anything, does he do about the blue lyme grass? Lots of it creeping around my garden.

    • paridevita says:

      The lyme grass creeps a little, but nothing like the smooth brome. Nothing creeps like that. (The guy I live with says in more ways than one.) The pictures on the post this time are all phone pictures. He’s been practicing taking phone pictures on his two cell phones. (Yes, he has two cell phones. One is a backup. I know how that sounds. But he has to have phones even though almost no one calls him, except people trying to sell him spam.)

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  4. Patricia C says:

    Tell your guy, not to worry too much about those weeds. Pristine gardens that can’t take a dog romp or roll are overrated. Don’tcha think? Cheers

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says that if you look at gardening books, all the gardens in the books are pristine. It must be magic. I guess if we lived in the city there would be fewer weeds (and fewer places for me to walk and see interesting things), but this is where we are.

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  5. Elisabeth says:

    Give me a wildish garden any day. Makes you really look at things. TGYLW’s garden looks ever so inviting.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s a little wilder than maybe it ought to be, but on the other hand, the guy I live with is not much into controlling things. Except smooth brome.

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  6. ceci says:

    Its actually a public service to show a non-pristine garden; leaves all the visitors feeling good about their non-pristine gardens, and also validates enjoyment without perfectionism. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.


    • paridevita says:

      Well it would certainly be nice to think so. People who are familiar with the situation here know full well that Cindy loved to weed, with Chess at her side, and now that help, and it was a great help, is gone, and they also know that the guy I live with is not a horticultural professional, just someone who gardens, but sometimes people tend to forget that. There are plenty of opportunities in the garden here, for people who like to be critical. The guy I live with says, the stories he could tell. Maybe I should do a post on that. Though, with over 900 posts (seriously), the chances of already having told those stories is considerable.

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  7. Barb K says:

    I’ve been on a few garden tours around here and have generally stopped going. Most of the people showing their gardens are quite well off and can afford help. Their gardens are very polished and look similar. What good is that kind of garden tour to someone like me, who has to do all the work and planning? The best tours showed average houses and people just like me who loved to garden. They were so creative and each one was very different just like the people who gardened there. That’s the kind of tour I like, and I wish I could attend the one visiting your garden. I’d love to meet you, Mani!

  8. Thank you for showing the photo of Rosa kokanica in all its purity and beauty. I’m not surprised that the guy you live with has that rose in the garden. We just last weekend planted a desert willow, just one, because native plant experts say we can now grow desert plants in our SoCal gardens. We anticipate fragrant nights. Your garden displays well in photos, really, although better perhaps minus a cinder block. My own garden is made more charming, I truly believe, by rambling outbreaks of catmint and feverfew, which both go well with heritage roses, especially kokanica. The guy you live with needs to adjust his vision, is all. I would be delighted to explore your garden, Mani, accompanied by an excellent purebred border collie, tricolor saddleback type

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. There was no weeding here at all today, because I had to stay home, alone, while the guy I live with was gone. He was gone for a long time. I know where he went. He went to see his friend, and they went to this large nursery that’s going out of business. He had this fantasy that he would go there and they would have desert willows for sale, because he thought another one in the back yard would be nice. Unbelievably, there were a few there, and so he came back with one. I agree that the photo of the trough patio would have been improved by being cinderblockless. Maybe next time.

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      • Nell Lancaster says:

        Nice score! Always sorry to hear about a nursery going out of business, but it’s nice to think of otherwise hard-to-get or too-expensive plants making some gardeners very happy.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with was very unhappy when Timberline Gardens closed. He got a lot of plants there. He would see his therapist, grief counselor, and then drive over to the nursery afterwards, It wasn’t very far. Two kind of therapy on the same day. But if the nursery were still open, it would also be close to where his friend lives, and that might spell trouble. They’d be going over there all the time. So, the guy I live with is sad about the nursery, but he thinks of all the money he saves…

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  9. Lisa says:

    I think the garden, all of it, looks great as-is! So lush and green and happy. Even the gone wild catnip looks lovely. As do you, as usual, Mani.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Though the guy I live with says there’s a lot of foxtail grass that has to go. It can get stuck in my coat and work its way into the skin, which is totally icky.

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