the irises

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to talk about the irises, and some other things. You may remember me from such posts as “A Bit Of Work”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. (Whether my mouth be open or shut.)
I think you can see how terribly dry it is here.

You may also wonder why there’s another post so soon after Christmas. Partly, I guess, because one of us can’t stop talking, but mostly because the guy I live with decided to hasten hurriedly on, and talk about other things.
We didn’t do anything for Christmas. There weren’t any decorations. The guy I live with thought about this a lot in December, and decided to ignore people who said he should “at least do something”, because, the way he saw it, trying to recapture that lost magic would result in just more unhappiness.
So it was just the two of us, going on walks, and taking afternoon naps. We had a good time together.

He did go down into the studio for a while, where he says there’s still some of that magic, but then he came back upstairs.
More work was done on the enclosure fence, and this is what it looks like now.
I think all the posts will have to be reset in the ground. It will be interesting to watch all of this.

It rained here the other day. Not a whole lot, about 0.02 inches, but better than nothing, except for the fact that it never rains here in the winter, so this was “totally weird”, according to the guy I live with. He said it was good, regardless.

There’s a snowdrop in flower here. One called ‘Barnes’. This was planted some years ago but the guy I live with found the bulb lying on top of the ground this summer, and it was replanted.
Kind of pathetic, I know.
There are a lot of snowdrops up in the shade garden.
There was an early-flowering one there, called ‘Potter’s Prelude’, but the flowers were all shriveled when he went to look at it today. Maybe picked apart by birds.
The guy I live with said he was going to move all the early-flowering ones to a place where they would get more water, so there’s another project for next year. There are a lot of them to be moved.

Sternbergia lutea still looks pretty good.
Since he had the camera, he decided to take a picture of this little oak.
It was grown from acorns collected in Palo Duro Canyon in Texas, and has grown maybe three leaves since it was planted about ten years ago.

The birds didn’t get the fruit on Mahonia fremontii (the one growing in the back yard), and so it looks sort of seasonal now.
And so now to the subject at hand. The irises. They arrived in the mail very late this year, which would have been distressing to the guy I live with except for the fact that he actually had a plan. That surprised me, because usually things like this involve a lot of frantic thinking and then rethinking and then re-rethinking, and the plants almost always die because of that.
You see (I know no one says “you see”, any more, but I thought I would say it), these are forms of Iris stolonifera (as well as a couple of rhizomes of Iris lineata). I talked about them a few posts ago.
Like I said in that post, these irises need to grow leaves in autumn. You can see that another species in Subgenus Regelia, Iris korolkowii, out in the garden, has leaves.
The guy I live with gave most of this iris to Denver Botanic Gardens, and kept just a small rhizome for the garden here.

The new rhizomes were potted up, and set under lights upstairs, but the guy I live with noticed fungus growing on top of the soil-less mix, and wondered why on earth he had used that mix (I can’t print what he really said), and so repotted all the irises in a mix that’s mostly gravel, sand, and scoria, so there’s plenty of oxygen for the roots. The mix never stays soggy.
After quite a bit of careful watering, every single rhizome has now produced leaves. There was one, ‘Caligula’ (the Iris stolonifera are collections from near a village called Sina in Uzbekistan, and named for Roman emperors), third pot back in the left row, that wasn’t doing anything, but it produced a leaf a couple of nights ago. There were no leaves during the day, and then the next morning there was a leaf. Just like that.
I guess there was a brief March of Triumph, with maybe some singing, upstairs.
The irises can sit up in the bedroom all winter and spring, and then they’ll go dormant, and be planted out late next summer.

Well, so, anyway, that’s what I have for today. I hurt my carpal pad and have been busy washing it, the way we dogs do. The guy I live with inspected it and said it would be okay.
I’ll leave you with a picture of me eating a biscuit on the newly-shampooed carpet, which is one of my favorite things to do.

Until next time, then.

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26 Responses to the irises

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Christmas is overrated. Although most people enjoy it, some of us do not. I find that those who insist that I enjoy it as much as they do only make it more difficult, because I feel obligated to comply, or that I am wrong for not enjoying it. I think that Jesus is probably rather annoyed by how His birthday is celebrated, and that some of us are made to feel unhappy about it. Anyway, I do not mean to get carried away on that.
    While it is so dry there, it was unusually rainy here. There was a wicked thunder storm, with more thunder and hail that I can remember in a very long time. I thought that Rhody would be afraid of the lightning, but it did not seem to bother him. He was afraid of the dry lightning that started the CZU Fire, which was relatively quiet. I do not know why it was so scary while this much louder and stormier thunder was not. Rhody has not explained.

  2. Mee-yow Mani yore place iss so dry mee wantss to send you bucketss of water!!! THE Iris babiess are lookin so guud. (Sorry mee not guud with techie termss!)
    An yore wee Oak iss so cute….
    As fore THE hole CATMESS Hollyday wee AGREE with you Guy an you two Mistur Tony! Over rated!!
    BellaSita Mum iss allso widowed an shee has NO ackshuall furamillee. An with Covid shee can not go up to THE Farm with Aunty Mary-Ellen an her peepss.
    So aftur last yeer’ss deesastur of a Hollyday wee deecided to cellybrate BellaSita’ss Birfday an that started Fursday nite with suppurr from Aunty Sheila. Furiday was BellaSita’ss Birfday an wee have had a wunderfull 3 day weekend watchin Football an reedin cardss an openin giftiess an snuggellinn an watchin Bird Tee V outside.
    What allwayss got to BellaSita iss peepss sayinn shee shuud cellybrate Catmess butt shee iss Jewish-Mewish……
    So wee did thingss OUR way an are still havin a grate Hollyday!!!
    Wishin you Mani an Guy an Mistur Tony an all reederss here a furry Happy Mew Yeer…….
    ***nose bumpss*** BellaDharma an {{huggiess}} BellaSita Mum

    • paridevita says:

      When the guy I live with’s wife died, everyone wanted things to be as though nothing happened. He went to Christmas dinner that year, and there was an empty chair beside him… That was too much. And it’s been that way most Christmases since then. He did ring bells with his friend a couple of weeks ago.
      He said he would have gotten a wreath, but I think all the wreaths were blown into Kansas with that windstorm we had.
      It was a pretty good day for us, actually. Neither of us had taken an afternoon nap in a while.

      • Mee-yow Mani mee can tell you BellaSita went thru SAME thing with her so-called furamillee. Mistur Kevin died July 13th, 2003 from Suicide~~ once sirvice was done July 31st no one meowed ’bout him again. Efurry time BellaSita went to furamillee they purrtended Mistur Kevin an even Mistur Paul her hubby b4 Kevin nevurr xisted! Empty chair two…this went on for 10 yeerss efurry Catmess. BellaSita was engaged inn 2004 thru 2006 an furamillee REEFUSED to have Mistur Jon there. Can you imagine how hert shee was??? Aftur 2006 assault BellaSita still went down an from 2006 til 2013 shee gotted treeted more an more like an outsider! An even when shee an Mistur Jon ree-newed frendship her furanillee wuud not furgive him 😦
        Catmess 2013 shee cried herself to sleep Birfday an Catmess nites an shee vowed to nevurr go back! Shee allso has moe-bility issuess so travel iss diffycult butt no one caress. Now so-called furamillee have lots of xcuses to NOT innvite her an you know BellaSita does not care.
        From Catmess 2014 til 2019 shee went to ‘angel’ Unkell Siddhartha’s birthplace: Aunty Mary-Ellen’ss farm. Last Catmess shee was alone here an it was B-A-D.
        This yeer BellaSita vowed wee wuud cellybrate two-gether an wee did!!!! Sorry mee just told a hole story….Deer Guy wee due understand……it iss NOT easy beein alone.
        Mee an Mani are here fore you! An mee here for BellaSita Mum two!
        **purrss** BellaDharma =^..^=

      • paridevita says:

        Stories are okay.
        It’s not easy being alone; situations that make you uncomfortable make it even worse, because of limited emotional resources. The Christmases that the guy I live with spent with his wife were hectic, to say the least (lots and lots of driving), but at least she was there.
        The guy I live with took his friend to Christmas dinner some years ago, and that was nice, but the pandemic has made everything icky.
        The worst Christmas was the one after his wife died. He decided that instead of trying to pretend to be festive, he would paint the inside of the house. He even painted the “popcorn” ceiling in the living room (but he couldn’t say “popcorn” because Slipper, the purebred border collie living here at the time, with Chess, would go crazy if he heard the word and would expect the air popper to come out, so he could have some).
        He spent months painting, and enjoyed it. (He’s still not done with it, though.)

      • BellaSita Mum agree with you Guy! THE ferst Catmess AFTUR losin a beeloved one iss hardest! Shee allso told mee fore her it gotted werser beecause her Steppy-Sistur wuud make snide commintss about Mistur Paul an Mistur Kevin. Steppy-Sistur HAS NO clue what it feels liek to lose a Hubby….
        So BellaSita Mum deecided to stay home at Catmess time was an still iss best. an Covid iss a GRATE reeson to NOT see Steppy-Sistur an so-called furamillee.
        Wee one step from full lockdown. Covid sure has changed our old werld….
        Wee hope an purray 2022 will bee kinder.
        Happy Mew Yeer Mani an Guy! Thanx fore yore frendship ❤ ❤

      • paridevita says:

        Thanks. The guy I live with says all the Christmases have been hard, but just thinking about how much she would have loved them.
        Though I understand that if she were still here, there would be more than one purebred border collie living here, and I might not get to hog all the attention the way I do.
        (He certainly would not have had so much trouble with his neighbor. I thought he was going to pass out from the perfume today.)

      • What iss with yore STINKY nayburr Mani??? Due they have to bee so perfumey??? UCKY!!!
        An pleese let Guy know BellaSita Mum all so feelss like him….
        Shee said shee iss sorta glad Catmess iss dun…. 😉

      • paridevita says:

        Strongest perfume you’ve ever smelled. Enough for ten thousand people, according to the guy I live with.
        We’re ready for the new year (though the week after Christmas is kind of nice). It’s supposed to get cold this weekend, and ….maybe….even snow.

      • Pawss an other partss crossed up here in wet Catnada that youss’ get sum nice white snow there Mani an Guy!
        Iss so chilley here with North wind….no point inn goin out!!!
        Today iss BellaSita Mum’ss Bankin/Grocery Storess/Pet Valu shoppin with Aunty Sheila…..
        BellaSita all reddy had 1 panick attack…..s o mee iss givin her a wider birth…umm wait, no…wrong spellin berth iss what mee meenss. Poor BellaSita shee getss upset so easylee…
        **purrss** BellaDharma

      • paridevita says:

        They now say “100% chance of heavy snow” on Saturday, with the snow starting tomorrow. (Then warming up next week.)
        It can’t come soon enough. It’s really windy again.
        Maybe you’ve heard about the fires north of us, about 25 miles away.
        The guy I live with knows about panic attacks. He started having them after his wife died. The grief counselor he saw said that they get worse when you try to fight them, which is the natural thing to do.

  3. Paddy Tobin says:

    I am only gradually coming to appreciate the dryness of your garden as it is quite beyond my experience. We certainly have dry periods during the summer but not such as would cause concern for our plants – only a very few suffer badly; some will flop from lack of water but generally recover with ease. We don’t water the plants in the garden preferring to grow what suits our conditions rather than introducing plants which will demand undue attention and care.

    Christmas seems to reinforce the sadness of loss dreadfully and there are few things so intolerable as forced happiness. A past pupil tragically lost his fiancé last Christmas and took his own life shortly afterwards. His sister, another past pupil, has found this a dreadful sadness to bear. It has been a very hard struggle and Christmas seems to make it all the worse.

    Here, it was just the two of us, the Head Gardener and myself. Our son, wife and two grandchildren visited on Christmas Day and that was a very happy time. Christmas on our own is a much quieter time than it had been previously and I expect it will continue along those lines in coming years. In these situations we can only do what best suits us and make the most of what comes our way – a biscuit on the carpet, for example.

    Best wishes for the New Year.

    • paridevita says:

      The guy I live with is an expert at feigning interest in things, having had so much contact with people when he worked for the phone company. (The vast majority of people were extremely nice, but there were some weird situations. “The government is beaming death rays at you? How very interesting.”)
      But the “forced happiness” is really an issue with him. The last two Christmases have been spent at home with me, which made him perfectly content. Me too.
      I guess that’s the real message here. To do things that make you happy.
      It is frightfully dry here. Most of the plants in the garden are adapted to this, and very little watering is done, normally, but this year autumn has been so dry that some extra watering seemed appropriate.
      (And it’s one reason why the guy I live with says planting snowdrops “in the green” is better here than planting dormant bulbs in autumn.)

  4. Mark Mazer says:

    FOREVER LOVED: “He did go down into the studio for a while, where he says there’s still some of that magic, but then he came back upstairs.”

    “The green love in the world
    Strollin’ at ease
    In the great green harmonies”

    Best, m

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I was going to write “went down into the studio for a while, and cried,” but the guy I live with said that might sound maudlin or something.
      The studio is almost exactly the way she left it.

  5. This year, this particular year, our meager concession to the holiday is a Poinsettia for the table. A friend sent an Advent calendar, so there was a bit of a moment for a succession of days. And, Mani, our terriers enjoyed special crackers –biscuits, to you–from a local bakery. The real gift around here is rain, several days now, and more to come. Just an hour or two each day, though. We’ve been almost as dry as you, but with a slightly more liberal watering policy in place. The downstairs is a moment caught–I remember when the fashion came around for the throw which covers the chair. Of course, the art is extraordinary. Two last things: the little oak after ten years is going to shoot right up and astonish everyone around. And I’m very sure the reason your mouth is open in your characteristic photo is because you are truly aghast at how dry your plot is. Looking forward to seeing the snowdrops in flower someday soon, and the iris too.

    • paridevita says:

      Rain sounds pretty nice, though it wouldn’t be good for some of the bulbs here. They say it could snow this weekend. It better, because it might get down to nine degrees.
      You’ve met Ambrose, the teddy bear, before, I think, on this blog. I grabbed Ambrose once and got in a little bit of trouble.
      There are lots of books on art, his wife’s pencil drawings, including the wolf (first drawing she ever did), the crocus that hung in the Smithsonian for a while, the collection of tarot card decks from all over the world (purchased for the artwork), and the slide magnifier made out of a coffee can.
      I sometimes get fancy cookies, but there aren’t too many bakeries for dogs around here. Pre-pandemic, he and his friend would go to this ramen place (he would have the ahi tuna poke, with surimi and Cajun mayonnaise, with lettuce and stuff, which he says is one of the best things he’s ever had at a restaurant), but anyway there was this bakery on the same block, and sometimes they would stop there and get things for me. (He says I have plenty of biscuits, and there’s a bag of Fruitables on top of the refrigerator. I like those a lot.)

  6. OMC Mani an Guy pleese stay safe!!! Wee saw on THE mewss what iss goin on an wee came rite over to see if youss’a re all rite!!! 25 miless away iss not far fore FIRE to travel…wee are purrayin fore youss’…
    An BellaSita Mum sayss to meow to Guy shee understandss 150% ’bout panick attackss. Sumtimess they come out of nowhere an shee has to sit down an sorta talk to herself….
    Wee hope ALL of Colllyrado getss LOTS of snow to quench THE ground an help put out FIRE!
    **nose rubss** BellaDharma an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum

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