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 happenings around here. You may remember me from such posts as “Fencing Lessons”, among so many, many others.
Today was our first day without wind in about two weeks. The wind has been driving both of us crazy, with “fire weather” warnings every day. I guess it’s supposed to be windy again tomorrow, but maybe there will be some rain this weekend. The guy I live with just rolls his eyes when they say things like that; the weather here has changed from what it was last century, or so he says.
One thing that’s odd; the weather people have said there’s no evidence that it’s windier this year than any other. More rolling of the eyes. I think even on this blog I’ve reported the complaints of endless days of no wind, just the same air every day. And now the wind blows almost every day.
He says people should get outside more.
He was going to go up to Boulder with his friend, to Harlequin’s Gardens, his favorite nursery here, now, but he called her and canceled because he thought neither of them would have a very good time standing in freezing cold wind, looking at plants. She agreed.
On the other hand, he was kind of disappointed, because he would have driven with her in our “bossy” new car.
It tells him what to do. Like drive carefully and stuff. And the other day, when he went to the store, a car in front suddenly slowed down, and so our car slowed itself down. It has a camera in the front, as well as the rear.
Anyway, there isn’t all that much in flower, because the wind hasn’t been warm. We see ice in the birdbath every morning, and even though the plants haven’t been affected, much, some of them seem reluctant to grow more.
The fritillarias are flowering away. This is Fritillaria sewerzowii. Maybe not the greatest picture.
This is from places like Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
If you’re wondering how the guy I live with pronounces the specific epithet (not that it matters) he says “sev-ert-SOFF-ee-eye”, because it’s a German transliteration of the name Severtzov.
Some botanists place it in a separate genus, Korolkowia, which he would pronounce “kor-ol-KOFF-ee-a”.
This is probably the only instance where he would try to pronounce the botanical names like the people they were named after, because he took German in college. And because if the botanists who named them had been English speakers, instead of Baltic Germans, the names would have been spelled differently, and maybe more easily pronounced.
The fritillarias have been here for a number of years, and now they’re producing seedlings.
Behind these plants are a couple of Fritillaria eduardii. This is a fairly crummy picture.
The flowers have been slightly damaged by the freezing cold winds.
This plant is related to Fritillaria imperialis but doesn’t have the skunky smell. I know what skunks smell like, believe me.
We have a lot of imperialis in the garden, and the guy I live with says he can smell them when they’re in the ground, right before they emerge from the soil. I don’t know if that’s creepy or not, because I can smell a lot of things that humans can’t.
Like if we have a visitor, I can tell it’s them if they return two weeks later. You wouldn’t believe all the things I can smell, but maybe you wouldn’t want to know.
I can smell mice in the garden. The guy I live with, who now claims to have super hearing, can hear them rustling around, but I can hear them breathing. I tried to catch one the other day, but the guy I live with, as usual, said not to.
The native bluebells are flowering. This is Mertensia lanceolata. If you drove west a few minutes from our house, to Red Rocks Park, you could see them there, along the road up to the amphitheater.
It’s a dryland plant, and will go dormant fairly soon after flowering.
And Viburnum farreri is flowering. This normally flowers here any time from mid-December onward (the guy I live with used to make pilgrimages with his wife to Denver Botanic Gardens to see it in flower in winter there), but, obviously, it’s late.
Better late than never, I guess. It’s one of the few plants here that gets extra water in the summertime. The flowers are scented of heliotrope.
And the guy I live with loves it because he loves the writing of Reginald Farrer.
So, the other thing I have to report, is something I guess I only partly understand. I get that the guy I live with didn’t want to leave me alone on a scary windy day, because he likes me, and maybe this is similar.
I hear about the guy I live with’s wife, all the time. He sometimes cries when he thinks about her. I know they were happily married for twenty-seven years, and I guess I understand that in a relationship there has to be some give and take. He lets me do things he wouldn’t ordinarily like, because we also have a relationship.
She wanted feverfew in the garden, and Allium aflatunense, too. The feverfew is now a weed in the garden.
The allium is from Kyrgyzstan, and ordinarily the guy I live with would be very interested in something like that, similar climates and all, but in this case, well, let’s just say it’s worse than the feverfew.
I think someone has a lot of digging-up to do.
I know he does better, day to day, if he has something that needs to be done, although he constantly keeps telling me he has a hard time getting motivated to do things, but in this case, if the alliums aren’t dug up, there will be “zillions more”, so he has a lot of work ahead of him.
I plan to help in my usual way.
It turns out that even though there was a huge amount of complaining about the constant snow cover this past winter, it had an effect on the plants here, that of dramatically increasing the populations of a number of plants. Some good, some not so good. I may talk about that in another post.
But that’s all for now. I’ll leave you with a sort of atmospheric picture of me looking out into the garden. Yes, the pipe on the chiminea is leaning; it’s almost completely rusted out. You can also see that there’s now a baffle above the suet feeder, to keep the squirrel from stealing all the suet. It’s for downy woodpeckers and nuthatches; not squirrels. It’s my job to chase the squirrel away from things like this. I’m very good at it.
Until next time, then.