a nice day

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

Here I am in a characteristically horticultural pose. You might be able to see how jungly the garden has gotten with all the rain we’ve had. I mean not rain like places where it rains a lot get, but rain like places where it doesn’t rain much (like here) get.

The guy I live with has been weeding, in preparation for the garden being on tour weekend after next. Now he says he wishes he hadn’t volunteered for that, because he has to do something. He would rather do nothing. (That includes going to his ninth tax appointment of the year, two days ago.)

I guess all that can be done is just keep weeding.

The grass right in front of me, in the picture above, is Achnatherum calamogrostis. The guy I live with really wanted this one, so he got a plant about nine years ago, and now it’s started seeding all over the place. I guess there’s a lesson to be learned. Not that that will make any difference.

The guy I live with posted another picture of himself in full weeding gear, with weeder in hand, on Facebook, so I thought I would show you a slightly different picture. He does look serious. I tried to say that looking serious won’t have any effect on the weeds, but decided not to.

When he had his eyes tested earlier this year, the eye doctor said that there were little spots in his eyes which were sun damage, so he wears sunglasses as much as possible now. He wore them before, but not as much as now. He said the sunglasses create an air of mystery. I’m a little doubtful.He said his wife was against him getting the machete, but he got it anyway, and when they chopped up dead tree branches she was surprised at how efficient it was. “See?”, he said, smugly. But then he noticed the steel was too soft to be cutting up tree branches, and there were big gouges in the blade. “See?”, she said.

Well anyway. This was a good winter for weeds, but a bad one for a lot of woody plants. I’m not going to show a picture of the almost-completely-dead Kentucky coffee tree, or the half-dead honey locust, or any of the other similarly almost dead shrubs, because there isn’t much point, and the guy I live with just says “Whatever”, the way he does.
The mesquite, though is doing really well (just like the desert willows are). That’s Philadelphus lewisii on the right, in flower. 

It has thorns.You can see the house needs painting. The guy I live with was going to do the whole house last October, but his mom died, and then the cancer stuff, so it looks like this.

And the mesquite will get the dead branches removed when the guy I live with feels like spending time with heavy gloves and maybe even safety glasses.

Penstemon brandegei is flowering. There are only a couple of plants left so he should probably collect seed and sow it in the front yard. This is a huge penstemon, by the way.There are a few plants of Salvia recognita in the front yard. They’re pinker than the phone pictures show.

The rose ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ has started to flower. It had a good winter. This picture isn’t very focused at all.The seed pods of Eremurus spectabilis are pretty cool-looking. So, as I said, it was a pretty nice day today. No thunder. Plenty of sun. Even late in the day, the clouds didn’t turn into anything scary.Oh, I should also say that we got a new laptop. The other one was barely working, and eventually the guy I live with had to use another computer monitor, attached to the laptop, which made for quite a clutter on the kitchen table.

I think that’s it for today. Not really much of anything, but that’s the story of our life here. Not much of anything. Just the way we like it.

Until next time, then.

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27 Responses to a nice day

  1. Nell Lancaster says:

    Best wishes to TGYLW on weeding progress. I feel his pain in the matter of appealing grasses that self-sow too well. Chasmanthum latifolium, northern sea oats, would completely take over the east side of the yard if I didn’t remove all the seedheads in fall — thus removing three-quarters of the plant’s original appeal (gold-then-tan winter interest, particularly after a light snow). Supposedly this area is part of the sea oats’ natural range, but I’ve yet to see any growing in the wild; puzzling given the astounding germination rate.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with says that sea oats is really beautiful, though. His wife wanted that, but it needed more water than they could give it. Yes, it’s too bad the seed heads have to be removed. I guess that’s part of the “agony of gardening”, as the guy I live with sometimes calls it.

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  2. Nell Lancaster says:

    I love the picture with you and the Achnatherum, by the way; it looks a bit as if you’re worshipfully mesmerized by the yellow spike of ?mullein straight ahead. I have just that reaction to “weed” moth mullein (V. blattaria), which has sent up taller spires than ever before, ennobling the garden greatly during its regular June floral lull.

  3. Elisabeth says:

    TGYLW looks a little like a young Monet in his garden albeit with the snazzy addition of the shades and machete. Monet may have been a little envious.
    Ps lovely sky picture.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, though I would hesitate to call him “young”. (It’s okay if you do…) He’ll be 68 next month. Pretty ancient. I don’t know how many years in purebred border collie years. Maybe 200. It was a really nice day yesterday. Not to bad today, either. It’s supposed to be rainy all this weekend, though.

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  4. Mew mew mew that sure iss ALOT of garden there Mani an yore ‘Guy’!! LadyMew helped Aunty Melinda rip out Queen Anne’ss Lace plantss from THE side garden…shee werked fore 2 hourss an came back bent over an furry sore. Butt shee was happy to help…..LadyMew iss funny!
    Wee have had so much rain an so little sunshine Mani mee has bin cheezed off a lot. Mee enjoys mee Condo butt not inn THE rain!! OKay mee iss udner a balcony butt still it iss nicer with warm sun an mee Chipmunk frendss vizzin (runnin thru) mee Condo!!!

    Mee an LadyMew hopess yore ‘Guy’ iss feelin bettur now an gettin stronger!! Hee DOES look kewl inn sunglassess!!!
    ***purrsss*** BellaDharma

    • paridevita says:

      I don’t really much like rain at all. It seems to always come with scary thunder and lightning. And sometimes with worse things. The guy I live with has not been feeling hugely well lately but it could also be dehydration. He says if he feels like he’s dying then he drinks two big glasses of water and that if he feels better pretty quickly, then it was that, and not dying. The hot flashes don’t help much either. He was at a nursery with his friend and was going to take some pictures but all of a sudden began to perspire and felt like he was going to pass out, and so he didn’t take any pictures. The nice ladies in the nursery told him to go stand against the wall in the greenhouse, where there’s an evaporative cooler. That made him feel better. (Of course he had to explain about a guy having hot flashes, so he did, and then got into a conversation with someone who had had cancer. So it wasn’t all bad.)

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      • Yore poor ‘Guy’…those *hot* flashess sound pawfull. Wee are reeleeved THE peeplell at THE Nursery understood an helped him. An LadyMew asked mee to meow to you that yore Guy needss to stay hydrated bee-cause it cuud hert his body an boness to get too dried out…
        An mee not fond of lightning an funder eether Mani…..when mee had to live outside mee was scared a lot!!!!

      • paridevita says:

        They can both be pretty scary. I hide in my upstairs fort when things get bad. Yes, dehydration can be icky. Normally the guy I live with drinks a huge amount of water every day, but sometimes he forgets.

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      • Agreed Mani!!! Mee goes UTB! (Under THE bed). Mee likess yore fort tho’; furry kewl. Hu’manss are so fragile aren’t they??
        LadyMew iss a BIG water drinker butt it has messed with her bladder an kidneyss so shee has slowed down so shee not livin inn bathroom, mew mew mew….

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks; forts are excellent. I think I should have a fort in the downstairs bedroom, too. I don’t go down there very often, except to try to figure out why the guy I live with is riding on a bike that never goes anywhere. Speaking of having to tinkle, it’s raining again …..

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      • Guud greef it started rainin again there Mani??? What furry odd weather wee all havin! Did you know inn North Alberta (Canada) they got all most 2 FEET of SNOW!?!?!?!?
        Guess wee shuud not complane rite?
        An those bikess that go nowhere sure are strange aren’t they???? Like THE movin sidewalk machine that goes nowhere….Hu’manss sure have funny thingss don’t they?
        **purrsss** BellaDharma

      • paridevita says:

        It’s rained here twice today. It’s supposed to rain for the rest of the day, and then tomorrow, too. I wouldn’t mind two feet of snow, really, but I know who would. The exercise bike is weird. But I guess he has to use it; his doctor said to.

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  5. ceci says:

    I hope the tax place is at least next door to a good bakery, or maybe a pho place, SOME consolation for all the visits, time that could more enjoyably spent doing almost anything else.

    We had a dog that jumped and lunged at the exercise bike, theory was that it made a painful high pitched noise only dogs could hear.

    Amazing salvia, and the penstemon (which I had never seen until a recent South Dakota trip – really lovely….).


    • paridevita says:

      Well, the guy I live with woke up in the middle of the night one night, the way he does, and—I would say it dawned on him but we are talking the middle of the night—the specter of taxes began to haunt him. But it’s all taken care of now. Hopefully. Funny thing about the salvia. It was very difficult to grow from seed. He got maybe two plants. I guess you can see what the plants do themselves without interference on his part after twenty years in the garden. The leaves and stems are super oily, though, and smelly, in that salvia way, so he tries not to have me brush against them.

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  6. Dear Mani, I know those thorns! (I feel the preceding sentence deserves all caps because, you know THOSE THORNS.) When devices start going wonky, best action is to submit immediately and buy a new device to save oneself from bedevilment. Now, Mani, a word about the upcoming garden tour. Just before start time, your job is to calm the guy you live with. You may have to search for him in a tree. When tourists appear, I know you will prove a popular host. I would appreciate you observing carefully so you can later post tales of wonky behavior (a state not strictly confined to machines.) I promise you there will be some deviance on display. How do I know this? Two weeks ago I was onsite ticket seller for our organization’s very civilized urban garden tour, which managed to go off the rail for minutes at a time. Maybe we should exchange stories … Remember this above all, dear dog: though your garden contains a wonderful wild (weedy?) beauty, you remain the best part therein.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I have hosted tours before. The guy I live with was surprised that I was just like Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, was. Very gregarious. The guy I live with is also very gregarious. (Like he goes to meet new neighbors, which most people don’t, these days.) He said he could tell what you might call Ultimate Garden Tour Stories.

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  7. Meow meow Mani if it snowed here LadyMew wuud “flip a bearin”….what efurr that meenss?? Shee sorta growled at THE Tee V when shee saw THE newss ’bout THE snow! Guess Humanss’ have to have odd vehickless to help them keep fit….wee not need them…wee has 4 pawss. That iss their problem…onlee 2 pawss 😉
    **purrsss** BellaDharma

  8. tonytomeo says:

    That’s a cool garden tour. Mesquite looks nasty. I never met it before. I saw it only at a distance on the way to Oklahoma. Someone pointed it out to me, but not when we were close enough to see what it looked like. I saw none in Oklahoma.
    My little blue spruce here is doing surprisingly well all of a sudden. I was supposed to cut it down, but did not want to. It is not really all that little, but is quite scrawny. I hope it stays. A coast live oak grew just two feet away from it, so eventually, someone will need to decide which tree is more important. The oak grows off to the side for now, but is almost as big.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says trees are okay, but the honey locust will probably have to be cut down. (Not this year.) Someone who knows trees looked at it today. As you might imagine, this is kind of a big deal. It was about the only thing here when the guy I live with and his wife moved into this house. Not much to be done about it, I guess.

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      • tonytomeo says:

        That is sad to lose a tree with such history. There are many trees at my mother’s house, but only one was there when my parents moved in in 1976. Neighbors hate it but it stays. (I hate how the neighbors cut down their trees, but they don’t care what I think.)

      • paridevita says:

        It is sad, though nothing will happen to it this year. There are a lot of dead trees in this neighborhood; mostly Siberian elms but a lot of other trees too.

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