a day in the sun

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to bring you yet another post. You may remember me from such posts as “Going With The Flow”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
I think you can see how sunny and dry it is here. It was seventy degrees (21.1C) with nine percent humidity.
We were under another Red Flag warning but there wasn’t too much wind.

I know everyone knows just how tough and super-deadly I am, well, the guy I live with is pretty tough, too. He says he reminds himself of someone called “Hemingway”.
The smell from next door was so bad today I thought the guy I live with was going to pass out, but, no, he just put on a mask and tried not to breathe while he worked in the garden.
“Working” often just means he goes around looking at plants, while I lie in the sun, supervising. I did a lot of supervising today.

He found a white-flowered form of Cyclamen coum, which some people say can’t possibly be hardy here (the regular ones are, totally).
It’s true that he’s never gotten the white-flowered form from the Golan Heights to do well here, but this one will do just fine.

The puschkinias have started flowering. There are thousands of them here. The bees like them, and I tried to eat a few bees, even though the guy I live with said not to.
I have to go for my physical week after next, and the guy I live with said I’d have a lot of explaining to do to my doctor if I showed up with a stomach full of bees.

There are also thousands of Corydalis angustifolia. This is scented of vanilla.

The guy I live with said that one of the cardinal rules of sping gardening is not to go poking around your plants seeing if they’re going to come up, but he was pretty delighted to see this seedling of Eremurus spectabilis.
Especially since the roots of Eremurus robustus he planted last autumn haven’t made an appearance and probably rotted, in a bed where one already grows.
The guy I live with said that Eremurus robustus was “kind of ordinary”, where E. spectabilis is not. He can be kind of a snob, if you didn’t know.

He took a picture of my Private Lawn, to show just how brown it is at this time of year. We actually should be seeing a bit of green, but some things are very late.
He thought it might be nice to plant some bulbs in this buffalo grass. Bulbs do very well growing in buffalo grass.
You can also see the broken birdbath, the big branch from the apple tree broken by snow earlier this year, and the wasteland beyond that, where nothing has ever been planted, for unknown reasons. Even the guy I live with says that. But we have a wasteland, and a lot of gardeners don’t, so that’s something.

So today, despite everything, there had to be an Emergency Snowdrop Relocation. I didn’t quite understand why, except that the guy I live with “reasoned”, if you can call it that, that a snowdrop species native to subalpine regions (Galanthus koenenianus) might be happier in a location that didn’t get completely baked, if not utterly toasted, in summer.
Even though it had seemed perfectly happy where it was.

It was transplanted into the old rock garden, but there were things in the way. Rocks. “Dumb, ugly rocks.” These were picked up on the side of a mountain road by the guy I live with’s late father-in-law, and eventually, they’re all going to go. I’m not sure where they’re going to go, but somewhere.
They were pretty firmly lodged into the soil, so the guy I live with had to get out his spade.
Not just any spade, but this:
A steel-strapped tree-planting spade that the guy I live with bought when he was buying all those tools from Smith&Hawken thirty-some years ago.
The rocks came up like nothing at all.

Obviously if all the rocks are removed, the holes with have to be filled, and something will have to be done with the rocks. But I guess that’s a story for another time.

I’ll leave you with a picture of me supervising. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

Until next time, then.

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20 Responses to a day in the sun

  1. Mee-yow iss 70 deegreess there?? Iss only 40 here…..more rain on THE way….
    It was so cold today mee cuud NOT go out inn Condo. This iss cray-cray!
    Meowin ’bout Snowdropss which mee furgot to due inn preevious post; wee LOVE yore purrsistnet an hardy Snowdropss!!!! Our poor Snodropss have tried to bloom so many timess an mee thinkss they have ‘freezer burn’. They hangin limp an beedragled. Nothin else has tried to flower here.
    That spade iss furry sturdy lookin. Glad you were abell to unearth THE rockss Guy. An Mani mee thinkss THE rockss will go to a rock farm 😉
    Take care there an bee safe!
    ***nose bopss*** BellaDharma an ((hugss)) BellaSita Mum
    Pee S: Wee sorry THE smell rom next door was so ucky! All weekend has been Crack an tonite iss Meth!!! It iss pawfull…Time to open THE windowss……again……..

    • paridevita says:

      Yep, 70 degrees. Same tomorrow, but then, hopefully, some rain and snow tomorrow night.
      I don’t know what the guy I live with is going to do with the rocks. We also have a whoe bunch of cinder blocks, that troughs were sitting on, and he doesn’t know what to do with those, either.
      The smell has just been staggeringly strong; all day long, almost every day, for four years. I notice it, of course, but it doesn’t bother me like it does the guy I live with. Sometimes he coughs so hard I worry about him.
      That’s one of my duties, to worry about him, just like he worries about me. Like the other evening, on my walk, a dog we were cautious of jumped the fence, and headed straight toward me, but the guy I lie with fended off the dog, threatening it with his cane (which he carries for that purpose), and yelling really loudly.
      We were able to continue on our walk.

      • HHHMMMMM tween THE rockss an cidur blockss you sure have a lot of heavy stuff Mani. Iss there sumone with a truck who cuud haul it away to a rock farm or some place? That seemss like THE easiest way to reemove it all
        UGH those smellss sound pawfull.
        When wee smell Meth; BellaDharma sneezess ALOT.
        When wee smell Crack; shee coffss an coffss an allmost getss sick! Dubble pawfull.
        Yikess!! There was a Poochie aftur you Mani!?!? Well dun Guy!!! Send that Poochie back to where hee beelongss!
        An Mani wee glad you got to continue yore walkie with Guy 🙂 🙂
        ***nose rubss*** BellaDharma an (((hugss))) BellaSita Mum

      • paridevita says:

        We don’t smell anything like that, though there was this weird chemical smell coming from the garage that made neighbors down the street….down the street…think about meth. I don’t know what that smells like and don’t want to know. The only other weird smells come from the fire department training station near the end of one of my walks. They burn stuff for classes. They have this big tower and other stuff for the classes.
        The guy I live with can probably find someone to take the cinder blocks.
        It’s funny; the guy I live with is partly sad and partly indifferent about losing all the alpine plants that grew in the troughs. It was a lot of work to keep them watered, and the guy I live with couldn’t hold his breath long enough to do that.
        I hear there used to be a lot of garden tours here when his wife was still alive, and maybe the plants in the troughs reminded him too much of that.
        But now there are all these cinder blocks.

      • Gardenin iss such hard werk Mani…maybee Guy iss findin it a bit much plus missin his Wife….
        Wee hope cinder blockss find a new place an purrpose.
        An wee sorry that Guy losed sum plantss. Considerin how dry thingss are out there, wee think Guy iss an amazin Gardener!
        An wee REELLY like WHITE Cyclamen….furry purrty!

        (Pee S: Meth smellss like eether stinky kitty urine or wet (dead) dog smell. Wee hope you nevurr smell it again!)

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with has been looking for someone to help in the garden, for money, but that turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
        Maybe the cinder blocks could be the foundation for a little greenhouse.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Cyclamen coum performs surprisingly well in regions of the Pacific Northwest that get abundant rain. Is it susceptible to rot if it stays too damp? I believe that I saw it growing wild in medians in Beaverton, although I am not certain of its identity. I also saw Cyclamen hederifolium there. That species can self sow here, but this climate is not nearly as damp as Beaverton. I never paid much attention to these, but now I want to plant more of what grows wild. Cyclamen hederifolium is not invasive here, but it can self sow in some situations. Anyway, they are not as interesting as the rare sort that the guy you live with grows. Corydalis angustifolius sure is pretty. It looks like something that would grow from under the snow (in climates that get snow) to indicate the beginning of spring.

    • paridevita says:

      Well, now, neither I nor the guy I live with know anything about “too damp”. We know a lot about “too dry”, though.
      (I hear that “too damp” could be an issue here, long before I showed up, but things have changed.)
      Cyclamen coum is a weed here, sowing everywhere, even in very dry parts of the garden. They grow it in England and continental Europe. C. hederifolium grows here, but has never seeded even after being in the garden for over twenty years.
      Corydalis angustifolia is also a weed here, again in the sense of sowing everywhere, but the guy I live with doesn’t mind that very much.

      • tonytomeo says:

        So, Cyclamen coum is a weed, but Cyclamen hederifolium is not? Very interesting. I am wondering if I have the names right. I believe that I know what they are. Their foliage is quite distinctive. Cyclamen hederifolium is what I prefer, and what politely self sows here. Cyclamen coum seems to do the same near Beaverton, but not here. Well, I should just stick with what I like anyway, and it happens to do well here.

      • paridevita says:

        Here, anyway. Cyclamen coum has round leaves, and flowers with the leaves. C. hederifolium has, naturally, ivy-shaped leaves (though there are all kinds of leaf forms, really), and flowers in autumn without the leaves.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, the leaves resemble English ivy leaves, rather than more rounded. They are quite variable. Bloom continues as foliage develops though. I mean that a few flowers continue to bloom with a bit of foliage behind them. Some are so pale that they seem to be almost white.

      • paridevita says:

        Sounds like hederifolium. The guy I live with doesn’t know why they don;t seed around like the other cyclamen do.

  3. Snoopervising IS a tough job, but you seem to have things under control, Mani. Nice pics from the garden. Have a lovely first full week of April. We’ve got our paws crossed for some much needed moisture overnight and hope the wind today isn’t too bad. 🐾

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. Some moisture would be very nice. The guy I live with says this spring is starting out to be really gross, and if it’s going to get down to 16 tomorrow night he’s going to have to cover a bunch of stuff. Emerging bulbs, and so on.
      The guy I live with is really looking forward to the plant sale at the end of this month, and if we get enough rain or snow to make everything nice, that will be even better. (Actually he says if it rained every day for two months he would be fine with that.)

  4. Elaine says:

    Nice to see the blooms continuing to pop up. We are going down to 14F tonight but by Easter weekend supposed to be up in the high 60’s. Yeah! The first snow crocus are out here. Question: I have a number of Corydalis starting to grow in the garage window and wondering where is the best place to plant these? Similar climate to yours just not as hot. And Mani, don’t think you’d be very happy eating a bee. They will fight back.

    • paridevita says:

      We’re really hoping for some rain or snow.
      If the corydalis are like Corydalis solida, those grow here in any old soil, with a little shade.
      The guy I live with doesn’t know anything about the ones from the Far East; the blue flowered ones, and so on. He says they probably need too much water, for here.

  5. Paddy Tobin says:

    A man in danger of developing an obsession with rocks needs very careful supervision – you have your work cut out for you! You never said what the smell from next door was!

    • paridevita says:

      These are really unimpressive pink granite rocks that the guy I live with used to build his first rock garden. Rather than spending money on “stone”.
      The smell is the strongest laundry smell on the planet (the guy I live with says like sticking your head in a box of scented detergent and trying to breathe), cleaning products, perfume you can smell a block away, etc.
      Even worse than perfumed trash bags. Come to think of it, it’s like living next to a perfumed trash bag factory.
      This is a relatively new thing.

      • Mark Mazer says:

        “The smell is the strongest laundry smell on the planet (the guy I live with says like sticking your head in a box of scented detergent and trying to breathe), cleaning products, perfume you can smell a block away, etc.”

        McGee called them “the crowd-curated fumigants of modern life”. Industrial produced molecules invented by plants”. He goes on to list “pine terpenoids, citrusy limonene, minty menthos, flowery linalool, and geraniol”.

        Laura Nyro fragranced the lyric sheet in her outstanding second album, “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession” (1968). We always fragranced HOA/Condo/Board Meeting paper handouts with lavender oil.

      • paridevita says:

        The guy I live with is getting tired of constantly being nauseated while walking around the garden. If he can even walk out the door.
        It’s probably the only house in the state you can smell 500 feet away.

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