Friday, February 05, 2010

Hey! Surprise! It's still raining.

It's raining again, which means that it's obviously time for me to do a garden update so that I can post pictures from a time that didn't involve myself and the dog wearing raincoats to go outside.

Yes, I put a raincoat on the dog.

No, she is not a Chihuahua and no, it's not for fashion reasons.

It's so that her absorbent back and shoulder areas don't cling to every drop of moisture during the microbursts that explode enthusiastically during our walks causing me to then spend 1+ hours in the laundry room toweling off a dog that does not relish being toweled.

Just so you know. I'm not one of those fruity dog owners who dresses their dog. I need to be very clear about this. If you need proof of my not-fruitiness with the dog, just look at her worn collar and ask yourself, "Would a fruity dog owner let her dog's collar, the easiest item of dog fashion to replace, get ragged and sad like that?" To which the answer would obviously be, "No way! The owner of this dog is obviously very practical and level-headed and would also never dress the dog for Halloween."


Anyway, whatever - I hate walking the dog in the rain and the raincoat makes me hate it less. But it makes the dog hate it more, aside from any fashion POV, so this whole diatribe was pointless.

Like I was saying, though - it is raining again and I'm reminiscing on some rain-free moments from the weekend when I, and all of my neighbors, emerged from our homes, rubbed our eyes against the light emanating from the unusual bright ball in the sky, and proceeded to figure out what the hell was going on with everything and everyone.

During my post-run neighborhood catch-up session, and while I managed to pull all the weeds in the front yard while exposing the better part of my rear end to the neighbors thanks to my not-weed-pulling-appropriate running shorts (score!), I discovered that shit was, indeed, alive and growing in the front yard.

What bulbs are these? Who the fuck cares!

Hell - we even had daffodils in bloom! In January!

You know what these are because I just told you. Cheaters.

I know, this place is mad.

Plus, and even more affirming, a good number of the 800+ wildflower bulbs were coming through the mulch, which I pointed out triumphantly to the group - especially those who looked upon me with expressive doubt when I was tearing out our lawn for my Crazy Meadow Thing.

Crazy Meadow THIS, people.

Yep. No idea what this is.

I also managed to prune our Bloodgood Japanese maple tree so that it didn't look like it had its own flag sticking out of its head anymore.

Something I should have done a long time ago but didn't because I was afraid of destroying the tree somehow with poorly placed prunage, something I've been known to do.

Thankfully, with one carefully (and totally at random - nice) placed cut, the flag was lobbed off and TEE DAH the tree looks normal.

I didn't take any pictures of it, because it's all depressing looking without leaves, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Just imagine this:

Before: Smallish Japanese maple that looks normal but for a long spindly branch waving around above all the other branches.

After: Smallish Japanese maple that looks normal but for the fact that it's way smaller than the Coral Bark Japanese maple we planted nearby and at the same time. Pffffft.

In other Get With The Program news, the drought tolerant grass plugs have apparently gotten a good dose of watering thanks to our recent (and perpetual) storms and many of them have decided to do me a solid and put on some green.

I will admit to photographing one of the finer specimens. Can you blame me?

Some of them decided they saw their shadow on February 2 and have gone back into their holes to come up with a way to explain to their friends how they managed to be mistaken for grass plugs when they're obviously groundhogs.

Which means that these particular grass plugs still look brownish and smallish and aren't doing anything to make my case to the doubtful neighbors that I'm not a complete loon. Thanks, fellas.

For that, I didn't take their picture. HA! I win!

Against grass life is small.

After watching my neighbors step back from me in conversation as a result of my post-run aroma, I retired to the backyard to continue weeding because what better way to completely exhaust already exhausted hamstrings than to bend over for the better part of two hours to pull rampant oxalis out of the flower beds?

You know I have no control over this.

You also know that I walked like a pirate all week because of this behavior even though I didn't say "Arrrrrrr" once and now I'm regretting that.

Thankfully weeding wasn't just all pain, exhaustion and me flashing my pasty parts to over-the-fence-lookers (I see you, shitty neighbors! No one believes you're trimming your palm tree!). I actually found some stuff back there, too, so that now I can look at their pictures while rain beats down on the roof and I worry our porch will fall down before it's finished.

Oh, and let's not forget that my Post-Run Snack Break was a complete success this weekend because:

1. I actually had a post-run snack instead of just letting my stomach shrivel into a nauseous knot
2. My post-run snack was kumquats from my tree:

Yes! That means the kumquat tree is now a realized dream, which, in my opinion, is the best kind of dream. A sweet and sour one that looks cute on the patio and gives the squirrels some place to dig because oh those poor things the garden, front yard, side yard, lawn and landscaping aren't enough.


Fuckers. I hate squirrels for that shit. I found an avocado pit in the pot this time and I hurled it at a squirrel running by along our fence. I'm badass like that. Even though it didn't even come close to hitting the squirrel. Gave the dog a good jump though!

(It didn't hit the dog either. Calm down.)

Since it was still sunny when I was done feasting on kumquats and throwing shit at squirrels, it just felt right to take part in my favorite spring/summer/fall/time when it's not raining activity - going to the nursery to shop absentmindedly for things.

And since I managed to weed an entire corner of the garden only to find that there wasn't anything there but weeds and now it was, sadly, bald, I realized another dream: to have my very own lilac bush.

So, witness ye, the beautiful future lilac, which, right now, looks like an unkempt and spindly hydrangea but is not.

The immediate need for this lilac occurred when I was under the influence of the latest issue of Sunset magazine and my neighbors had said their own lilac was starting to set buds.

Which gave me a legitimate reason to go to the nursery even though all I really want to do is go there and walk around all the twigs stuck in pots.

Which is what the nurseries look like right now. Bare root this, canes of that, evil rosebushes, leafless bushes like that lilac and The Mystery Section.

See, I know the lay of the nursery land for most times of the year. Like, in summer, I can walk into the nursery, blow right past all the sun perennials and eyeball my way along the foliage to lay my hands on the specific variety of tomato I want.

No problem. I wager I could do this blindfolded. Or at least really drunk.

This time of year though? Late winter? It's a little harder. Everything's a stick in a pot.

Sometimes a stick with thorns (rosebushes) or a stick bush with two leaves (lilacs) or a stick with some little sticks wound around (raspberry canes) it or a really tall stick with some littler sticks making a crown at the top (fruit trees).

I find it hard to get too wound up about a stick in a pot though, so shopping absentmindedly at the nursery for things this time of year isn't usually very dangerous.

Until I ventured into The Mystery Section and found out that HOLY SHIT we can grow rhubarb here.

 So, I bought one. And not because it was the only thing at the nursery with leaves on it.

I guess we'll see how that goes since I can't harvest fuck all off of it for, like, two years, but I have hope. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie hope.

Lawdy. I think I just wet myself. Doesn't that sound good? The pie, not the wetting. Nevermind.

And that is how I come to the end of this wildly swerving post. I planted rhubarb and a lilac bush. We have early spring bulbage. The grass plugs are mostly not lame. My entire neighborhood has gotten a good look at my rear end. It's raining.

Have great weekends, all.


  1. Seriously- having you as a neighbor must be the bestest, most entertaining thing. I thought living near pedophiles, drug dealers and nazi's was fun but I think I'm wrong. ;) Olivia wants a pet squirrel. I told her it would kill her new kitten. She cried. I think I won.

    I also just posted about my nightmare of a laundry room. It might put your porch situation to shame.

  2. Death to squirrels!! Another valiant crusader for garden protection!

    I tell ya...reading your blog last year got me hankering for a garden which I plan to actually have this year! It's such a process deciding what to plant! I wonder if we can grow rhubarb in Texas. I am but a lowly gardening grasshoppah, garden sensei...

  3. Oh Finny....

    My food comes from the grocery store because when I pick it up there I can pretend it never had bugs and things in it because I hate bugs and things and I can't pretend that when I go out in the garden and discover my lettuce is crawling with things so I give up and go to the grocery store anyway.

    The end.

  4. One should always take every possible opportunity to say "Arrrrr!"

  5. I know there will again come a time when I can do that blissful wandering-around-aimlessly-outside-because-the-weather-is-nice puttering. That time, however, has not yet come, and seems impossibly far away still. But I'm glad someone gets to do that in February.

    I applaud the lilac purchase. Our many huge lilacs all need to be pruned in a pretty drastic way, but they make me so happy every spring I can't bring myself to cut off any of the branches that might bear delicious-smelling flowers.

  6. Hey! Surprise it is still snowing! After reading this post I definitely am missing living in Georgia....I look forward to seeing your wild flowers in full bloom....the only thing blooming here are my allergies!

    Digs Mama

  7. Ooooh. Flowers and growing things. All we can see here is snow and more snow. And if you turn around there's even more snow.

    I plan to plant rhubarb this year. If I can afford it. I've seen it for $30 a plant!!! That's insane for something that can't be harvested for a few seasons.

  8. sounds like you have another amazing garden going Fin!

  9. Where'd you get the rhubarb? Inquiring minds are, umh, inquiring.

  10. Everything is gorgeous!

    And that one plant that you don't know what it is... the bulb? Well, I think it's a hyacinth. Did you plant any of those? Those have always been my favorite, but Jeff hates the overwhelming smell when I bring them in the house. The big baby.

  11. SHIT, Wendy. I had the opportunity to be all smarty pants and then you had to go and tell her it was a hyacinth. Hope you're happy.


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Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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