thirty-three and a third

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 our isolated and distanced modern lifestyle. You may remember me from such posts as “Passing The Time”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.I was helping the guy I live with today. He was working out in the “way back” digging out some of the smooth brome (just to my left, there), to make that part of the garden look less awful. It’s a huge amount of work because the grass has roots that go everywhere. Everywhere except down.
He used his hori-hori for some of the digging. It’s a tool he’s used for a long time.
So in the evening this was what things looked like. He got quite a bit done even with the smell from next door. He always has a bandanna handy now. A box from Edelweiss Perennials arrived yesterday. That’s right, on Monday. It took an extra-long time to get here but everything was perfectly fine.
A bunch of epimediums and some anemones. Anemone nemorosa.
Maybe you remember the last time epimediums came to the garden, in the hilariously-titled post, “Epimedium Rare”; well, those were planted at kind of the wrong time of year, and the survival rate was not terrific. So more were ordered, and will be planted (eventually) at the right time of the year, which is now.

I’m going to digress here a bit. It’s May. The most painful month of all for the guy I live with. His wife died (very suddenly) on the twenty-fourth, and, also, he met her right about this time of year, too.
When they met, she had her own record collection (which he gave away, along with his own collection, after she died, as I said in my last post), and there are some records that remind him of that time. Naturally.
And that was the reason why he dragged out the turntable. He decided maybe he should try to find some of those records again. Ones that were never transferred to compact disk.
(If you didn’t know it already, the guy I live with is pretty sentimental.)
He found a place where he could get some of the records. Not a lot of money will be involved, which came as a relief to both of us.
I didn’t know anything at all about records, things which the guy I live with has always loved, and he explained that these were round flat things made of vinyl (sort of) that rotated at 33 1⁄3 revolutions per minute, or r.p.m., as they say.  There were earlier records that were 78 r.p.m., made of shellac, and then also, later, 45 r.p.m. (There was a struggle between Columbia Records and RCA Records as to which speed, 33 1⁄3 or 45 r.p.m, respectively, was the best, after “the 78” became obsolete, and Columbia won, though ironically a lot of audiophile LPs are now pressed in 45 r.p.m. There was also 16 2⁄3 r.p.m.)
Well, whew, anyway, when the records start appearing here, I’ll show you what he got. I can pretty much guarantee these will be nothing like what you imagine.

Okay, now about the anemones. The guy I live with had a friend, Nina, who lived in New York. I’ve probably mentioned her before. They corresponded for over twenty years, but never met. She sent him his first Cyclamen coum, and also things like Anemone nemorosa. The blue one, ‘Robinsoniana’, flourished for a while but I think has died out. (New plants are in the flat pictured above.)
Like with the cyclamen, when he goes into the shade garden on the north side of the house, he thinks of his friend.
She was the third person he called when his wife died. His friend Nina went into surgery a few weeks later; there were complications I think, and she died the following January. At the same time that Slipper, a purebred border collie who lived here before me, was diagnosed with liver cancer.
The anemones sing their bittersweet song to the guy I live with. Here are a few:

Anemone nemorosa ‘Vestal’.

A form with pink-backed petals.

Anemone ranunculoides. Like nemorosa but yellow.

I know I don’t show plants in the shade garden a lot. I don’t go in there because there’s a gate.
The guy I live with, who, like me, can be naughty sometimes, has planted a whole bunch of the dragon arum, Dracunculus vulgaris, in the garden, in hopes that the stench of the flowers will cancel out the stench of his neighbor’s laundry. It’s not likely because the latter smell is overpowering to the extent that it often makes him sick, but he says it’s funny to imagine a whole bunch of plants reeking of rotting flesh. He says he’s going to keep ordering the dragon arum until our whole garden reeks to high heaven. I can hardly wait.

Okay, I guess that’s it. Kind of an odd post, maybe, but we are living in odd times. At least I don’t have to wear a mask.

Until next time, then.


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28 Responses to thirty-three and a third

  1. bittster says:

    Epimedium rare. I think that’s brilliant!
    What a melancholy post, such a contrast with the weather finally turning nicer and there finally being a lower chance of snow. I have a few plants that hold memories for where i picked them up or who gave them to me. I think it’s one of the few socially acceptable forms of hoarding… unless you’re the negative type who lives next door and thinks there are too many plants.
    Good job on helping with the smooth brome. It looks like an endless job, but hopefully more interesting things reappear to take its place, either by chance, by root, or by mail delivery.
    All the best

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the job of removing the smooth brome is endless. It will be back quickly. It’s unbelievably aggressive, which is why it was seeded into the field behind us and on all the empty spots everywhere. Stabilizes the soil. And for cattle to graze on. (The guy I live with just realized that “graze” comes from “grass”…)
      This is indeed a pretty melancholy time of year for the guy I live with. I think he’s basically a melancholy person anyway, so it isn’t all that bad. He hasn’t seen his friend in over two months, too. (He did order some masks which hopefully will be less suffocating than the t-shirt ones he made, so then he can go out and not feel weird.)

  2. Meow meow what furabuluss plantss an flowerss! Yore ‘Guy’ is such a deddycated gardener…
    Wee still so chilley here there iss no way LadyMew can ‘putter ’round’ without freexin an then seizin up an inn alot of pain!
    Mee must meow how hansum you look inn yore fotoss Mani!! Wee lucky wee not need to wear maskss when wee go out!!
    Wishin you an yore “Guy” a guud week….
    **purrss** BellaDharma an {{huggiess}} LadyMew

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. The guy I live with definitely knows about seizing up, and pain. He says doing a lot of work is good for him, but it makes him very sore.
      We hope you have a good week too. It’s supposed to be super windy here today. That will be different.

      • Meow meow same with LadyMew Mani. Shee tries to do a bit of gardenin or go to store usin’ her walker an then shee seezess up an iss inn tearss….Shee meowed to mee it iss a vishuss cycull an once shee has her Lidocaine shotss shee will bee bettur-ish!
        Batten down yore hatchess!! Don;t want you an yore ‘Guy’ gettin blown to Kansas!
        Mew mew mew….

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks; actually the wind is coming from the north. That’s the most common, and coldest. From the west, the mountains, is the second most common. From the east, every once in a while. From the south, almost never. But sometimes, especially at this time of year.
        The guy I live with says it can hurt to get older, but at the same time, it’s more or less okay. He found something at the health food store he can rub on sore muscles, called Narayan’s, and it works pretty well.
        Oh, by the way. The reason it takes us longer to respond now is because if we do it by email there are all these weird characters, so we sign on to WordPress instead. You know, where the phone calls you and gives you a secret code.

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Oh, no, that is naughty. Someone here brought me tubers for what he refers to as ‘death arum’ because it smells like death. They moved into his garden, and spread voraciously. I don’t know why be brought me the tubers. Of course, I could not discard the, but canned them. They are doing quite nicely now, and one should bloom any day now.

  4. ceci says:

    My prediction is that the neighbors who love perfumed laundry will ADORE the arum aroma.


    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says that this isn’t like normal smell coming from a dryer, but directly from the items themselves, hanging outside. It makes him sick. I can tell. He says he can see the smell, that’s how strong it is.
      So maybe the arums will stink up the place, but not as much as the laundry. But they’re cool plants anyway.

  5. Mew mew mew gotcha Mani on THE seecret code!! Wee come rite innto WerdPress too so wee can do reeplyss’ propurrley.
    Wee are gettin SNOW an North Wind here today (Furiday) an it iss nasty outside!
    LadyMew sayss shee will see if there iss Narayan’ss fore sale here….shee has had it with so much pain!!
    Bye THE way wee furgot to meow how hansum you look inn yore fotoss! You are such a reegal an hansum doggie!! An even if you had to wear a mask you wuud still bee handsum 😉

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I like to think I’m pretty attractive, but the guy I live with says that’s immodest.
      It was cooler than a couple of days ago, here, but it didn’t freeze last night. Not much work was done today, though.
      Narayan’s is kind of like Flexall.

  6. Mew mew mew yore furry hansum Mani. An mee thinkss yore furry immdoest an humbull.
    Wee had snow last nite butt it iss melted now; still freezin out tho’.
    LadyMew still has to reesearch Narayan (shee iss helpin mee get bloggie dun) 😉

  7. I do hope Next Door’s response to the dragon arum is not to double-down on whatever it is they’re using. If the odor comes from clothes they wear, I wonder that their friends haven’t commented. I know the guy you live with has told them about the overwhelming fragrance to no avail. I suggest writing a note of protest, signing it “Not the Guy Next Door.” I love anemones. I’d give them a home in our walled garden, but we already have more than I’d like going on now. They look as if they fit into a dry wild garden. Your departing photo, dear Mani, looks this time of year as if you walk in a parkland. Your characteristic photo shows you watchful and fierce, which is as it should be. Here’s to happy weather and the eradication of broom!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the field is nothing but smooth brome so at this time of year it’s really green.
      The anemones come from Europe and the guy I live with says to check out Reginald Farrer’s In A Yorkshire Garden for descriptions of the anemones; it’s about the funniest gardening book ever.
      The smell is another story altogether. It does give the guy I live with an excuse not to work in the yard, but I like it when it does. Now that mask-wearing has become fashionable, he always has a bandanna around his neck, just in case.

      • barbk52 says:

        Funnier than Henry Mitchell?

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with said Yes. Or as funny as. Not less funny. He said when he got the book, he started reading it, and then read it aloud to his wife, and they were both doubled up with laughter.

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