the usual stuff

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you up to date on all the news from our garden, which really isn’t very much at all. You may remember me from such posts as “Forty Degrees”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. I think you can see what happened here.Yes, it snowed. Weekend before last, actually, and almost none of it has melted, which is driving the guy I live with up the wall, though I rather like it.
It’s not very cold at night, but also not very warm during the day. The guy I live with said he was afraid this was going to be a winter like the last two, but maybe it won’t be. You never know.

There is some gardening news. Not outdoors, well except that Crocus niveus hasn’t given up on flowering just yet.
That cage you see, behind the crocus, goes over the leaves so that bunnies don’t nibble on them.

Almost all of the plant-related events are indoor ones.
The guy I live with’s friend brought him some seeds of Pancratium maritimum. These almost certainly won’t be hardy here but he says they’ll be fairly glorious in pots on the patio, during the summer. And anyway he likes growing things from seed.

And the little cactus seedlings have grown spines. I know that sounds like a moral judgment but they actually do get spines at a very early age. As you can see, there are a lot of cactus seedlings here. And there are half a dozen other pots, mostly filled with seedlings.

The guy I live with has been thinking about ordering some seeds (the cactus seeds were from last year’s order), but can’t make up his mind.
There are these to consider. Pretty old seeds of Arctostaphylos pungens. They can be germinated just by leaving them out for a couple of winters (though you only get one or two seedlings), but I guess the real way to do this is to soak the seeds in Liquid Smoke after doing all these other things. It simulates the chemicals leached into the soil after a fire, which is how the seeds germinate in the wild.
The bottle of Liquid Smoke in the pantry had expired, or something, so he had to get another bottle. His neighbors got it for him when they went to the store; he told them what he was going to use it for and they were a little weirded out. Like if he had asked for ketchup to feed the cyclamen.

Other than that, there’s not much to report.
Our neighbors have been pretty active. Lots of hooting on my evening walk, and at night.So that’s it. It’s supposed to warm up a bit, into the sixties, but the guy I live with says it probably won’t be enough to melt the snow.

Until next time, then.

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24 Responses to the usual stuff

  1. Paddy Tobin says:

    Ah, I have found you and happy to follow your blogs! Paddy Tobin, in Ireland. I look forward to see a photograph of that snowdrop when in flower.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says Hi. And also that ‘Theresa Stone’, which is mentioned on page 199 of the snowdrop book, came from that garden in Corvallis. The guy I live with and his wife stayed there in 2000, before my time.
      Normally they start flowering in late January but it depends on whether or not there’s snow.

  2. elisabeth says:

    Love the story of the Liquid Smoke. Again, I learn so much from reading this blog.
    The baby cacti are adorbs.

  3. Mani – I’m impressed by how much you know about growing seeds. I’m sure there aren’t any other purebred border collies who know so much on the subject

    • paridevita says:

      I learn as I go along. Of course, it helps to be around someone who talks to himself a lot. He also talks to people on the phone about things like this.

  4. Jeanne says:

    How amazing to read about Liquid Smoke and germination! I wonder if wood ashes would work as well?

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with says that there are protocols online that say that it’s something called charate, that has chemicals that go into the ground to help the seeds germinate.
      So, yes, probably.

  5. Lisa says:

    The baby cactus are so cute! It helps to call the “babies,” because that just sound like something that would be cuter than an adult. (Except purebred Border collies, who are cute all their lives.)
    Funny about the Liquid Smoke. Non-gardeners don’t understand our seemingly odd actions. My neighbor thought I was strange just for asking if I could take his bagged leaves. Speaking of odd, those sea daffodils sure have odd looking flowers. I had to look them up. Keep warm and safe.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks, I have to agree that purebred border collies are cute all the time.
      I hear that we used to take peoples’ bagged leaves, but that then some of the neighbors got the idea that we wanted all of their trash, too, so now we just use our own.
      People are always assuming that chemicals get sprayed here and there’s a lot of fertilizing and stuff, and they’re always surprised to learn that none of that goes on here. And there isn’t any hacking to pieces of woody plants, as well.

  6. HURRAH fore those hardy littel Crocus flowerss! They are so amazin Mani!!
    An well dun Guy on yore inndoor gardenin effort! You are a toetall ‘green thumm’ fore sure!!!
    Wee have snow here too; 3 feet came down, butt 1/2 has melted away…Iss 27 deegreess outside an mee sat out inn Condo on mee furry pillow for ’bout 20 minutss! LadyMew thinkss mee iss crazy butt mee likess a bit of fresh air.
    Hope yore Owlss are well beehaved (they sorta scare us!)
    An Mani yore last foto iss speck-taculur!! A Harvest Moon with my faverite poochie goin walkiess….
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma an ❤ LadyMew

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; it’s been pretty chilly here, though not extremely so.
      I don’t know about the green thumb business; he’s killed lots of cactus seedlings before.
      I like fresh air a lot. We don’t have all that much of it around here, though, unless there’s wind. The back door is almost always open during the day.

  7. tonytomeo says:

    I had no idea that cyclamen like ketchup! I should have asked them.

  8. Thea says:

    Mani, news bulletin: I am not at all surprised to learn the guy you live with *might* someday use ketchup to feed the cyclamen. Not at all surprised at the use of liquid smoke either because Theodore Payne teaches that trick. Of course, all the ash is why our areas lashed by wild fires rejuvenate amazingly. We have egrets and ibis here that I spy navigating the treetops here as I lie abed, but, alas, no owls. Handsome birds! And I am in favor of any plant looking glorious in a pot and brave little crocus showing up in the snow. Mani, dear dog, do not let your fabulous tootsies freeze on your daily/nightly walks.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; it’s not very cold at night, here. Just below freezing.
      The guy I live with had read about the liquid smoke thing for years but had never done it. The bottle that was here was never used for anything except Justin Wilson’s bean soup, a long time ago.

      • Mark Mazer says:

        Does the brand of Liquid Smoke matter? We just used up our bottle of “Chambers” brand making a batch of Tasso and the only one now available to us (Colgin) in the local market has salt in it.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with asked his neighbors to get him a bottle, when they were going to the store and he wasn’t. They bought Wright’s, which he’d never seen before. The ingredients are water, and natural hickory smoke concentrate.
        So some luck was involved there.

  9. Iss still 25 deegreess here an so chilley with North wind…no Condo time fore mee…**sighss**
    Glad it is warmer there!

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