practically nothing

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular (and modest) host, Mani the purebred border collie, here today to fill you in on all the fascinating things that have been going on here. You may remember me from such posts as “Next To Nothing”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.
You can see how furiously busy I am.
In fact, hardly anything has been going on here, except a lot of weed-pulling, and even more smooth-brome digging. The guy I live with seriously detests this stuff. But you can see some progress has been made in the “way back”. The buffalo grass lawn does look fairly awful right now, but when the cool-season grasses that aren’t supposed to be there anyway go dormant in the summer things will look better.
The blue lyme grass that was where the trash can is was moved across the lawn to its place by the owl posts. Some of the smooth brome that had invaded the blue lyme was removed. The grass might not stay there if it keeps getting swamped by the smooth brome; that makes a terrible and unsightly mess.

It rained day before yesterday. In the evening. About a third of an inch. The guy I live with had to get out the ladder and clean pine needles out of the gutter before it started to rain. It’s been a very dry May.
The shade garden is still green, though when the colchicum foliage turns brown the whole area will look a lot less green. The snowdrops, on the left, are already dying down for the summer.And the dragon arum, Dracunculus vulgaris, is still growing. That’s a Solomon’s seal, behind it, that came from his mom’s garden. She got it from her best friend who passed away years ago. None of the plants he ordered have been planted yet. They probably should have been three days ago, to enjoy the rain. But they weren’t.

The guy I live with still hasn’t gone anywhere. He said maybe when they life the “Safer at Home” advisory he’ll go up and see his friend, because he really misses her.
And he misses being able to go out to lunch, all that stuff.
He’s having groceries delivered and totally freaks out washing everything, though he was sort of that way before. Not a germophobe, really, but someone who washes his hands a lot.

The LPs have begun to arrive. A total of four. There might not be that many more. You never know.
This was the first one. His wife had it when they first met, and it so strongly reminds him of that time he was afraid he couldn’t listen to it, but here it is anyway.

He ordered some headphones, but they have an adapter to use with this laptop and with the phone, so that’s about all that’s happened.

Really not much of a post. I went on my walk this evening, and a truck backfired or something on the highway. I got scared, but the guy I live with said for me not to spoil my walk, and he betterized everything by taking me into the sea of smooth brome (some of which has been mowed) so I could look for voles and stuff.
And even explore along the creek bed. There’s a whole lot of sand in there, and interesting little holes, or I guess you might say caves.

Until next time, then.


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thirty-three and a third

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here to bring you up to date on our isolated and distanced modern lifestyle. You may remember me from such posts as “Passing The Time”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.I was helping the guy I live with today. He was working out in the “way back” digging out some of the smooth brome (just to my left, there), to make that part of the garden look less awful. It’s a huge amount of work because the grass has roots that go everywhere. Everywhere except down.
He used his hori-hori for some of the digging. It’s a tool he’s used for a long time.
So in the evening this was what things looked like. He got quite a bit done even with the smell from next door. He always has a bandanna handy now. A box from Edelweiss Perennials arrived yesterday. That’s right, on Monday. It took an extra-long time to get here but everything was perfectly fine.
A bunch of epimediums and some anemones. Anemone nemorosa.
Maybe you remember the last time epimediums came to the garden, in the hilariously-titled post, “Epimedium Rare”; well, those were planted at kind of the wrong time of year, and the survival rate was not terrific. So more were ordered, and will be planted (eventually) at the right time of the year, which is now.

I’m going to digress here a bit. It’s May. The most painful month of all for the guy I live with. His wife died (very suddenly) on the twenty-fourth, and, also, he met her right about this time of year, too.
When they met, she had her own record collection (which he gave away, along with his own collection, after she died, as I said in my last post), and there are some records that remind him of that time. Naturally.
And that was the reason why he dragged out the turntable. He decided maybe he should try to find some of those records again. Ones that were never transferred to compact disk.
(If you didn’t know it already, the guy I live with is pretty sentimental.)
He found a place where he could get some of the records. Not a lot of money will be involved, which came as a relief to both of us.
I didn’t know anything at all about records, things which the guy I live with has always loved, and he explained that these were round flat things made of vinyl (sort of) that rotated at 33 1⁄3 revolutions per minute, or r.p.m., as they say.  There were earlier records that were 78 r.p.m., made of shellac, and then also, later, 45 r.p.m. (There was a struggle between Columbia Records and RCA Records as to which speed, 33 1⁄3 or 45 r.p.m, respectively, was the best, after “the 78” became obsolete, and Columbia won, though ironically a lot of audiophile LPs are now pressed in 45 r.p.m. There was also 16 2⁄3 r.p.m.)
Well, whew, anyway, when the records start appearing here, I’ll show you what he got. I can pretty much guarantee these will be nothing like what you imagine.

Okay, now about the anemones. The guy I live with had a friend, Nina, who lived in New York. I’ve probably mentioned her before. They corresponded for over twenty years, but never met. She sent him his first Cyclamen coum, and also things like Anemone nemorosa. The blue one, ‘Robinsoniana’, flourished for a while but I think has died out. (New plants are in the flat pictured above.)
Like with the cyclamen, when he goes into the shade garden on the north side of the house, he thinks of his friend.
She was the third person he called when his wife died. His friend Nina went into surgery a few weeks later; there were complications I think, and she died the following January. At the same time that Slipper, a purebred border collie who lived here before me, was diagnosed with liver cancer.
The anemones sing their bittersweet song to the guy I live with. Here are a few:

Anemone nemorosa ‘Vestal’.

A form with pink-backed petals.

Anemone ranunculoides. Like nemorosa but yellow.

I know I don’t show plants in the shade garden a lot. I don’t go in there because there’s a gate.
The guy I live with, who, like me, can be naughty sometimes, has planted a whole bunch of the dragon arum, Dracunculus vulgaris, in the garden, in hopes that the stench of the flowers will cancel out the stench of his neighbor’s laundry. It’s not likely because the latter smell is overpowering to the extent that it often makes him sick, but he says it’s funny to imagine a whole bunch of plants reeking of rotting flesh. He says he’s going to keep ordering the dragon arum until our whole garden reeks to high heaven. I can hardly wait.

Okay, I guess that’s it. Kind of an odd post, maybe, but we are living in odd times. At least I don’t have to wear a mask.

Until next time, then.


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