rooting around

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Stuff You Didn’t Know”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. 17081713Surveying my domain. The sun was out for quite a bit, today. The guy I live with thought something was seriously wrong.

The awful smell has completely disappeared. It was only present for about three days, and then vanished. The guy I live with said it couldn’t have been something dead, because it wouldn’t stop smelling; it would just smell worse. So if it wasn’t that, it must have been something else. Ghosts, maybe.

Today the guy I live with said he was going to plant the two ‘Big Bazooka’ agastaches, but he couldn’t even get them out of their pots. He had to cut the pots to get the plants out of the pots. He said that way, way back when, trees and shrubs used to come in metal pots and when you bought one at a nursery they had a special tool to slit open the pot, and then of course you had to be careful not to hurt yourself when you handled the pot. This was sort of like that.

When the plant was removed, this is what the root ball looked like.17081801He had something to say about this. As perhaps you can imagine.

If he planted the plants in the ground, they would almost certainly die. “Time to employ the Super Genius Method”, he said. “At least the roots are growing downward, instead of circling around.”

So the roots were soaked for a while, just to make sure that they were wet. I guess you never can tell, because all those roots seem to make a barrier to getting the whole mass of roots, like the roots inside the root ball, wet like they should be.17081702Then the root ball was stood on end in the water, for a minute, to make sure there were no air bubbles.

The plan was to tease apart the roots with a root hook, but they were all so tightly bound together, as you can see, that he said he’d probably wreck more roots than he wanted to.17081703The cork goes on the tip of the root hook. It’s to keep the guy I live with from poking himself when he isn’t hooking roots. I hear that there used to be a collection of corks in a coffee can in the garage, but one by one they were lost, and so another cork had to be put in place of the lost one. So there aren’t very many corks left.

The guy I live with said that in order to get corks, especially decent ones, you have to buy the bottles that come with the corks, and then chill the bottle (for some reason), open the bottle using a special twisting motion of the hand, empty the contents of the bottle, and then you have a high-quality cork to put on the end of your root hook.17081704I didn’t know any of that until today.

And then, to get back to it, the plants were re-potted in larger pots. Maybe the roots will start growing into the sand pretty soon. 17081712The perlite floats to the top, so I don’t know why he uses it, but he does. Maybe he likes seeing the perlite, or something.

In other news, the cow-pen daisies (Verbesina encelioides) are starting to flower. The plants are a little wilted because they haven’t gotten enough water, even though it rained a little the other day. The guy I live with says it needs to rain more.

There are a lot of cow-pen daisies on what used to be called the “lawn”. Maybe some should be thinned out. 17081705That was pretty much all of the gardening that took place today. A few weeds were pulled, too.

I got to go on my walk. This is me, ready for my walk. I was really ready. 17081706The reason I was so ready is that a couple of evenings ago we walked a different way, because the guy I live with read that we purebred border collies, while we do like tradition and continuity, occasionally enjoy a different experience.

So we walked to the “frontage road”, which is a road awfully close to the highway. The guy I live with said that people drive very fast on the frontage road, going to the apartments, or to the houses across the field. About twice as fast as the speed limit. So we had to be careful crossing the road.

But there were sprinklers on the other side. Maybe you know how much I like sprinklers. (It’s a lot.) There’s a group of offices there and the landscaping includes a whole bunch of bluegrass, like most landscapes do. 17081710


17081707I got soaking wet. It was fun.

We didn’t get anything in the mail today. No one called. No one came to the door. Yesterday, someone came to the door twice, holding a small clipboard, and I barked at them ultra viciously, because the guy I live with didn’t want to buy anything and didn’t want to tell them he didn’t want to buy anything. The guy I live with always wonders why people come to the door. Sometimes one of the neighbors comes to the door, and that’s okay (we like most of our neighbors), but when strangers come to the door, I take over.

The person who knocked on the door then went across the street, and knocked on the door there. No one lives there, now. So he knew this was something he didn’t need to be involved in. Sometimes, there are people at the house across the street, fixing it up. At first, when the last owner left, the house was dark, which the guy I live with didn’t care for, because there had always been lights on at night, but now there’s a light on in the house, and it looks friendlier than it did before.

A couple of people walked down the street today. The guy I live with didn’t talk to anyone, except himself, and of course me. No books were read, no music was listened to (that’s really unusual for here). The television was on, for a while, and a show called “Endeavour” was on. The guy I live with really likes things like that.

I chased a snake in the garden for a while, until the guy I live with said not to. We didn’t take a nap in the afternoon. The guy I live with was going to make Chinese sesame noodles and discovered there wasn’t enough tahini. He forgot to buy sesame paste at the Asian market, which is what you really use. You could use peanut butter but the guy I live with said that was way too weird.


Well, that was my day. I guess, really, our day. It was pretty good indeed.17081711

Until next time, then.




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another weird day

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you the latest news, no matter how tiresome or weird, from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “Weirdly Lit”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Okay, really not hugely characteristic, because I’m being ultra serious and super good. The guy I live with took my picture, but before he did that, he said “Sit“. And this is the result. I am trained, after all. The guy I live with forgets that all the time, because, of course, he isn’t trained. I get training at Day Care, and he should know that.

I got a biscuit, of course, for sitting when I was told to sit. And cuddles. The guy I live with would rush to say that I wasn’t “told”; it was just a suggestion. I guess it really was, instead of a command.

Okay. Now on to the topics I’ve selected for today’s post. I’m not sure where to start. I guess I can skip the part where the guy I live with coughed a whole bunch because of smoke from who knows what was being burned, by someone in the neighborhood, and his voice was wrecked for the whole day (though I thought it sounded pretty funny), but being angry about this certainly did take up a lot of emotional energy. “Neighbors”, he said, gazing upward.

The other thing, and this is a really big thing, like cosmically huge, I guess, is the “horrible smell” in the kitchen. I haven’t noticed it, but it’s there. It’s been mentioned about a million times today. It was noticed just this morning, and apparently it’s getting worse. What it smells like, according to the guy I live with, who has a highly-developed sense of smell (so he says; he’s not a purebred border collie) is some vegetable matter which is rapidly going off. At first he was afraid it might be something that had died behind the refrigerator, and so we looked behind the refrigerator.And then there was the possibility that he’d put something, like say a bag of cilantro, into the pantry instead of the refrigerator, so we looked there, more than once.Nothing.

So we pretty much wrote that off as being yet another of the very weird things that happen from time to time, and though there was a great deal of talk about how that was going to be considered that, and nothing more would come of it, I bet there will be more thinking about it tomorrow, with things being moved, examined, contemplated, scrutinized, and, above all, smelled. But it does smell like a bag of cilantro or lettuce that’s gone off. The bag isn’t in the refrigerator, so where could it be?

It is kind of gross, talking about this, but it’s been the main subject of what’s been a very weird day. “The smell …..the smell …..”

Oh, well, maybe not the main subject. Because the “super genius” wanted to point out that the method of re-potting new plants in order to get the roots to grow out of the root ball actually works.So the re-potting thing works, as you can see. No real need, that I can see, to strut around talking about the “super genius”, but it happened anyway.

Really, the main subject was of course the peculiar smell, but according to the guy I live with the main subject should have been him being shown to be the super genius of all time because of the re-potting thing (as well as a whole bunch of other things which we can talk about some other time), mainly because he didn’t like the idea that people reading this post would envision him spending the whole day sniffing around the kitchen, like a bloodhound.

The other thing that happened, and something I think you will find much more enjoyable than all this other stuff, is that it rained. I know it’s obvious that it rained, since I’m showing rain movies, but, well, you know what I mean. It rained.

This truly is the best part, since we’re gardeners and all that. I should say that you can embiggen these films and watch them in high definition, if you want. We like to provide features like high definition, in order to make the blog seem a bit more classy, if you didn’t know.

It rained for a while. The sun was sort of out, too, which contributed to the effect.

I guess that’s all I have. The rain might not have been enough to get the soil wet very deeply, but it was nice to watch.

The smell is still in the kitchen, and the guy I live with gets up from his chair and walks over to the refrigerator and sniffs, and then walks back to his chair and sits down again. I do plan to tell you what we found, if we ever find anything, that caused the smell, unless of course it’s something we would rather not talk about. Nothing extremely gross, for sure. We do have certain standards of propriety here, as maybe you know.

Until next time, then.

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