Wednesday, May 24, 2006

more quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

From where I sit here in Command Central I can look out the kitchen window down onto a small shade garden I planted when we first moved in. A huge granite boulder sits there, providing potential burglars with a nice stepping stone in through my kitchen window, and also making a protected place behind which I planted a hosta...either 'Big Boy' or 'Blue Boy'; I forget the variety. In any event it had not shown any signs of being either big or blue sincethe pathetic little thing went into the ground. That's been ten years ago.
Some weeks back the Yummy Biker was feeling poorly, if you recall. While he was sitting here at the computer the urge to blow chow came upon him suddenly; so, he simply opened the window and, well, blew chow.
My hosta is almost 2 feet tall this year.

While the Goonybird was taking a nap this afternoon I snuck out to the garden shed to put up some special succulents I had set aside to dormant. Yes, I know I don't really have to take that kind of trouble with succulents, but these have been little bastards trying to get multiplied.
When I entered the shed I checked for roosting swallows before I ventured past the doorway. It was raining very gently, and I was afraid some were waiting out the shower up in the beams, asleep. You see, when they wake up suddenly, they wake up grumpy and confused; they fly and cheep and spin and frisbee; sometimes they disorient themselves with panic and bash into the walls, so I try not to startle them. All clear, nobody home.
While I was working the gentle rainfall ramped up suddenly to a torrent. I looked out through the door at the silver lines coming straight down, hammering the grass flat while I was dry in my little fort, and warm, with the smell of compost and rainwater, gasoline and warm metal. Then just as smoothly the rain subsided, tapered off to a sprinkle, and stopped. The swallows flew down from the neighbors cottonwood trees like tickertape streamers and whirled around my yard skimming the grass.

A flock of fat, fat geese, almost too fat to fly, flew overhead going south towards the flooded fields of Skagit county. Now that the big tulip harvest is over the farmers are turning the earth. That and the rain are bringing the large, cold angleworms up to the surface. Every beat of their wings accompanies a bleated 'whonk' as they toil past, ruddering around the phone poles, their funny triangular feet stuck out and fluttering in the breeze.
Yeah, I cuss them all winter for tearing up my grass, then I miss them in the spring.

Jett, my girldog, is shedding great wads of undercoat. I could knit a new dog out of what I pluck off her in the evening. I think it must feel tickly, because she only takes so much, then she dances away grinning and wagging like a big goofturd. Then comes back and wants mom to start all over. I must have taken a grocerysack full of fur off this thing already and the end isn't in sight. Actually the end is in sight, and it needs a damp washrag. Skanky dogbutt! Yay!

The tomato starts I bought are waiting patiently for a sunny day to go in. First time in at least 6 or 7 years I've bought in my main crop plants. I got 'Olpaka' for paste, and two big slicers...something from the 'Beef' series, I forget which one. I'll strip the leaves off to the top four pair and sink the rootball in compost, then backfill with soil and water with compost tea, cage 'em up and then let them do the rest. Around early September I stop watering and cut off all the leaves to stress the remaining tomatoes into ripening, and call it a year. And it's such a short year, dammit.


  1. Yay! I'm first!
    Succulents. I love that word.

  2. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Man. You make me want to escape to my yard.

    Sigh. I can just smell the earth when you talk about it.

  3. Lovely gardening post FN. Interesting approach to Hosta husbandry :-)

  4. mj: just about my favorite plant. anywhere it drops, it grows.
    whinger: dont be huffin right under my kitchen window, though.
    kyah: whoda thunk?

  5. that was beautiful.

    oh, and you know that giving up thing i talked about? well, fuck that.

    see you over the weekend.

  6. surly: YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    it was the dedication, wasn't it.

    dammit, you write about freezer ties, write about lint, write about fricken taxidermy; I don't care, i'll read it!!!!!

  7. Top post , Y B probably did the hosta a favour , must have kept the slugs at bay , mine looks good for about 3 hours , then every damn slimy horror in the surrounding area slithers over and has a damn good meal.I will try this technique.
    Skagit county...what a marvelous name...sounds kinda unpleasant

  8. Yes, we do suffer badly from slugs round here - and hostas are ambrosia to them. Bastards.

    I planted out some runner beans yesterday and made a "wigwam" out of bamboo canes for them. I have one solitary tomato plant, also planted out, not sure of the variety but prob. the usual medium sized red variety (got it from a market).
    Gonna look out for a cold frame for the courgetes (zucchini?). What an inspiration you are.

  9. have you tried beer traps for the slugs? Mum uses them and they seem to work.

  10. that hosta thing is pretty amazing. I have one that i transplanted from my father's yard last year. This year it pushed up two teeny tiny leaves. Very sad.

    I think i'll have to get the Boy all liquored up and make my hosta happy.

  11. beast: yup. same here. slugs are evil! evil i tell you!
    skagit (SKA-JIT) is an indian word meaning 'casino exit 1 mile'.
    frobi: you have a special relationship with your courgettes as i recall. the bean wigwam is a winner idea! i'm going to make one for the goonybird!
    noshit: yeah, it works great, too, but it isnt as fun as stabbing them with a stick and then winging them into the field next door.
    claire: hell, give it a go, it worked for me. there are discoveries and adventure around every corner in the amazing world of home horticulture.

  12. Was only ever a potted gardener but still - for warding off slugs, coils of thin copper wire around the pots worked. Hah! They hates it.
    Wouldn't want your garden to look like a building site though...

  13. Anonymous9:52 AM

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