sowing seeds

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, your popular host, Mani the purebred border collie, here, on this chilly day, to bring you up to date on all the latest happenings here. You may remember me from such posts as “Horticultural Invective”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.It was chilly today; freezing, actually. They said it might rain last night, or even snow, but I think you can tell that neither of those things happened. So we’ve gone 110 days without rain.

Mostly all we did today was make a quick survey of the garden.
There were still some crocuses flowering.
The ones in the last picture look kind of frazzled, and maybe they might be, but some years we still see one or two in the middle of December.
Here I am, returning from the survey.
I had to make sure there were no squirrels stealing sunflower seeds from the feeder, which is supposed to be for the chickadees.
You can see the feeder here. I guess the hose can be put away for the winter.
You can also see it from here, and also how we can now see the “way back” from the main garden. The guy I live with said when the lilacs are removed, he might put up a fence there, like the one in the left of the picture.Maybe the main thing that’s gone on here is seed sowing. The guy I live with got a bunch of seeds this year. Some were sown directly into the garden, on the days when rain was predicted that night or the next day (and nothing happened), but he decided to do the rest in the usual way, by sowing them in pots, and putting the pots into the frames.These are all native plants. Dryland plants. The guy I live with likes other plants, of course, but getting the seeds requires more effort than it used to.
And if it’s going to be this dry, maybe these plants are a better choice.
Of course it needs to snow for any action to take place; the snow will keep the seeds from drying out, and cool temperatures will cause the germination inhibitors in the seeds to degrade, so that, eventually, the seeds will be ready to germinate. Warm weather in spring will take care of the rest.

The gravel on top of the pots, if you didn’t know, is called “squeegee”, for reasons I don’t know. I know I’ve mentioned this before. It’s becoming harder to find. There used to be a couple of nurseries that sold it in big bags.
It prevents the seeds from drying out.

The dishpans are important too. “A valuable addition to our modern lifestyle.” The dishpans have been here for about thirty years; they sit out on the patio. That was the only color he could find, at the time.

Anyway, since it’s been cooler, some other things have changed. I wanted to go look at the cottonwood, and so we did.
You can see its huge roots, growing into the creek bank.
Another thing that happened was that the water in the canal stopped flowing. This may be the latest that’s ever happened. I’d have to look through my records.
There were fish in the canal, but I think someone, or something, caught them. And we also saw crawdads. There were a lot of them in what was left of the water in the canal.
The guy I live with said he thinks the crawdads burrow into the banks of the canal and go dormant in the in winter. We saw these two days ago. But today we didn’t see any at all in the water.
When Chess, the purebred border collie who lived here before me, went on walks by the canal, he used to scare great blue herons fishing in the canal; maybe they returned for a crawdad snack, but the guy I live with said the crawdads probably went into their winter homes. They probably don’t have TV or Wi-Fi.

So that’s it for today.

Until next time, then.

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

planting more bulbs

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 what’s been happening around here, even though it isn’t very much at all. You may remember me from such posts as “The Haunted Toaster”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose. Looking at something.It’s frightfully dry here, or so the guy I live with says. “They” keep saying it might rain, but nothing has happened. This has been going on for over a month. The guy I live with gets all excited about rain, and then there’s nothing but disappointment.
He says that’s a metaphor. He says that all the time. This is a metaphor, that’s a metaphor, on and on.

At least the cottonwood out in the field is pretty.
You can see right into the field, now that the lilacs have been mostly cut down.
A bunch of bulbs arrived last week. They were late, but I guess a lot of things are late, this year.
He had forgotten how many bulbs he’d ordered. There were a lot. Way more than he said he had room for, so there was all this wandering around with bags of bulbs and a trowel, then wandering some more, then deciding on a place, then realizing there were already bulbs there, then looking for another place.
Eventually all the bulbs were planted, but it seemed like an ordeal to me. I just watched.

Even though it’s been so dry, this has been a really good year for the autumn-flowering crocuses. The guy I live with thought he might have lost some of them, until one day, there they were.
The thing is, what with every day being the same, no rain, the guy I live with has become sort of disoriented, though not as much as I was when Daylight Savings Time ended. Talk about an ordeal; I had to wait an extra hour for my dinner. It was horrible, all that waiting, but I survived.

Anyway, the guy I live with looked at the “memories” thing on Facebook, and on our blog, at posts from the same time in years past, and the crocuses were in flower then, so it wasn’t that the crocuses had disappeared, he just couldn’t figure out where he was, calendar-wise.

There were a bunch of Crocus speciosus in flower a while ago. Maybe you can see them here.There are, or were, hundreds of these crocuses in the garden. Only a few are still flowering.
This species has a reputation for flopping over, but they didn’t do that here, maybe because it’s been so dry.
The saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, is also in flower.
You can see some of the orange styles, which are saffron. The guy I live with picked the saffron and gave it to his neighbor.
The key to keeping this species, and others that have overwintering leaves, is to put cages made from hardware cloth around the crocuses, so that rabbits don’t eat the leaves. The cages get held in place by a kind of spike, made from old tomato cages.
I keep telling the guy I live with that the back yard is free from rabbits, but every now and then one hops by the kitchen door, and I have to chase it out of the garden. Maybe they can fly over the fence. Whatever; it’s good exercise.

We haven’t seen the owls in a while, but occasionally hear them hooting, and every now and then, on my evening walk, I see them silently gliding down the field.

I guess that’s it for today. It has been kind of boring around here, with no rain day after day, but at least most of the grasshoppers are gone, and there are fewer flying, stinging things to bother me.

Until next time, then.

Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments