Saturday, August 30, 2003

Blackout! This Week's Garden Report, Late Aug 2003

Due to labor strife a news blackout has been imposed on the garden.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Usurption and Team Dissent: This Week's Garden Report, Jul 2003

Well, the all-star break is over and there is much to be done in the
garden. The weeds, once again led by Creeping Charlie, are infiltrating the lawn.
I'm going to the hardware store to find some agent orange to get rid of it for
good this time. Charlie don't surf and never will.
I'm having some major problems on the field this summer. I have mentioned a
lack of discipline out there and it seems to be getting worse. The Mums are
starting to bloom almost a month early and the Shasta Daisies are pissed. There
are some hard feelings about playing time. I don't blame them, this has always
been their time of the year and they don't need to be upstaged by a bunch of
Mums who can't wait their turn. I've threatened the Mums with the weedwacker
but they know it's all bluff. I'm in a quandary, how do you discipline a plant?
Major work is being done in the Rita Reserve (my neighbor's yard). New bushes are being
installed and the weeds from Wayne's world (back neighbor's yard) are being forced into retreat. I've done
some big time deforestation in Wayne's yard under the cover of daylight. I'm
slowly taking over the neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Round 2 Picks: This Week's Garden Report, Houseplant Supplement: July 2003

I recently moved back from Singapore to Texas, and picked up some plants my mother was caring for in my absence. Well after a year long stint with their mean old foster mom, they are back with me. However, they are not so thrilled. Like any good mom, I stuffed them in the back of the car with the windows shut in the ridiculously hot Texas sun for four days with no sun. The have told me that what really upset them was that they could just see us enjoying our water and light, but they were condemned to what is essentially plant hell, the back seat of a packed Saturn. there have been more than a few requests that if there is to be a repeat performance, I should buy an SUV with lots of space for them- makes more CO2 for their outside-dwelling family. In fact, that should be the car makers big campaign. Having a Canyonero or whatever is good for the environment, cause it puts more CO2 into the air for the plants to eat....
Anyway, they are settling into their new home with an understandable degree of hesitation. I think the big tall one may have ADD (doesn't everyone these days?). He keeps changing which way he is growing. Can't pay attention to any one light stream.
The little ones are stepping out, stretching their legs and seem more forgiving. Still giving me lip though.

Sunday, July 6, 2003

The Consequences of Going AWOL: This Weeks Garden Report, Early July 2003

Before I embarked on my journey I left very clear instructions with my
little fuzzy friend Lightning how I wanted things to operate in my absence, but did he care?
Nobody listens, nobody cares!
I returned from my adventures in Texas to find the garden in turmoil.
Nothing had been watered, nothing had been weeded. The flowers are all blooming out
of turn. Yellow ones blooming right next to blue ones. Discipline has gone
right down the tubes. Lightning's excuse is that he was too busy keeping the
squirrels at bay to do even the lightest of weeding. He's always got a story!
Luckily, I have a few days off to catch up on things. The Lilies of all
varieties are in full bloom with the daylilies putting on the best show ever. All
the Clematis are in full bloom and a couple of 'em are a real spectacle. The
impatients are finally recovering from the hail storm and are lookin' good.
The new second shift, Night Litchness, seem to have run it's course and has
been signed up for next season. I'm going to start looking for other likely
candidates for the second shift.
Well, I gotta go and mow the lawn. I wanted to get up real early so I could
wake up the neighbors with my lawn mower, but I got up to late.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Suspicions Mounting: This Week's Garden Report, Houseplant Supplement: May 2003

Well, I returned home to find a full fledged lack of morale here
in the house. Last week one of the twin tropical bushes I had had
decided to commit a very noble Japanese-style suicide by
impaling itself through the middle (or so it appeared) and simply
slouching over. Plant Hari-kiri. Who knew?

Its brother in arms has take this as a sign he should rise to
prominence, but, much like Icarus, in his desire to grow
closer to the sun he has gone too high, and is now quickly outgrowing
his pot and turning brown. The favorite plant, the one that looks like
a Chinese impressionist painting, appears bitter at my many recent
absences, and appears to be despondent at its anticipated move to 'the
apartment of the guy downstairs who smells funny but helped my owner
move me upstairs in exchange for a promise I would go to him when she
left' I've been trying to keep it a secret, but I think it heard me on
the phone to the movers.

The one star of the house is my little Filipino table plant,
given to me by the maid when my other one died (right around the time
she took over the plant-care duties, calling me inept and better
suited to writing than nurturing- bodes well for kids later in life,
eh?). It knows it will go back to her care when I am gone, and it
actually seems excited at the prospect.

Labor Strife: This Week's Garden Report, Early Aug 2003

Nothing but problems in the garden this week. The weeds have made gains
everywhere and there appears to be no stopping them. The mums are not going to
wait their turn and are blooming now, almost a month ahead of schedule. Because
of the mums blooming early the Daisies are pitching a fit and not blooming at
all, they are about a week late now and don't look like they'll be producing
much action any time soon. The second shift, Evening Litchness, is refusing to
work nights and have taken to blooming during the days. Pretty damn cocky for a
walk on! The Mexican border (neighbor's yard) is in jeopardy with the death of another
forsythia. That's 5 this year, I smell a conspiracy. The last of the re-enforcements have been
brought up from the Rita reserve (other neighbor's yard). I hope its in time.
Luckily the Clematis are all having a banner season. Also the Coneflowers
have just started to bloom this is their rookie year and I am very impressed
with what I see so far.
That's about it from the garden for this week. Monday I'll start contract
talks with some of the disgruntled players and see if I can get things
straightened out.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Miracles and Dissapointmets- This Week's Garden Report: May 2003

The season seems to be flying by. Several players have come and gone
already. The snow crocuses did very well and were mowed over three weeks ago as
a reward for their efforts. The Jonquils and daffodils had a short and sad
season. Whether they are given another chance next year is still being
debated. I'm going to be scouring garage sales this weekend to look for a
golf club. Tulip golf season is about to open. It looks like it will be as
much fun as apple baseball (used to have a crab apple tree back there). Grape Hyacinths are just about played out, they
put on a pretty good show this year. If they continue to spread at the rate
they have been they will soon become a major early spring player out there.
There have been some true miracles out there the last few days. Six of the
seven Tallhedge Buckthorn that I had given up for dead are suddenly sprouting
leaves all over the place. Very strange, they are starting a good three to
four weeks after their compatriots right next to them. The River Birch
recruited late last fall has pulled a Lazerus act and popped back from the
dead. One of the two Japanese ferns has shown up, the other one is still AWOL
The Christmas fern has been found, not quite as green as you would think an
evergreen fern would be, but it appears to be recovering. Amongst all the
good news though the bald Cypress remains bald.
Coming soon will be the Peonies, and the Asian Lilies. The Iris hordes are
showing their colors and advancing across the field. Hostas are coming up
everywhere, the daring raids I pulled on my sister's and mother-in-law's
gardens last year have really paid off. This year very possibly will be the
year of the Hosta. My ferns are doing well, they are growing totally out of
control and expanding into my neighbors yards. The tide has turned in the
garden wars. My plants are finally getting the upper hand and killing off the
neighbors junk! As always the Bleeding Heart is in full Hemorrhage.
On the front lawn front the war against creeping Charlie is all but over. It
has taken years and has gotten ugly at times but Charlie is on the run and
has nowhere to hide. That with all the rain has made me look like a
semi-competent suburbanite. Charlie gone, Dandelions eradicated, life is good!

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Working the City Coffers- This Week's Garden Report: Late Apr 2003

The garden is going full blast now. Things are sprouting up everywhere. All
the Clematis survived and are climbing away. The Iris horde is lining up row
upon row and will be on the march shortly. The new Day Lily planter does seem
to keep Lightning, my dog, out, but he is doing his usual thorough job of trampling
the Day Lilies along the back fence.
Lightning has had a sleep over buddy this week, we're watching a neighbor's dog,
the miserable little fuzzball, whilst they are vacationing. The two of them
are having a blast out there. Lightning is teaching him the finer points of
flower trampling. He seems to a quick study, Apparently he is destined to
specialize in Tulips.
The city came by and planted a new Green Ash tree out front that we
requested last fall. Not bad it's about a $200 tree and we didn't have to pay
anything. Today however, in the Tribune they had a full page article about the latest invader from Asia, The Emerald Ash Borer Beetle. Just in the nick of
time. Lightning says he could pick 'em off if he had a BB gun, but I think
he's still got Squirrel on his mind.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Body Count Rising- This Week's Garden Report: Mid Apr 2003

The devastation caused by winter this year is becoming more and more
apparent. The body count is going up daily. Seven out of the twelve tall hedge
Buckthorn are out of action, the whole border with the Mexicans next door is
now wide open. Three more Forsythias woke up dead this spring, luckily the
Rita reserve (my neighbor's yard) is fully stocked with replacements. Two of the Holly bushes are
terribly wounded and not expected to pull thru.
The new River Birch and Bald Cypress picked up late last season look like
they will not be joining the team this spring after all. Even last seasons
rookie of the year, the Japanese Ferns are MIA. Oh! The humanity!!
Lightning, my dog, is in a total rage about the whole situation. Of course he blames
the squirrels. He claims they are now using weapons of mass destruction and
must be stopped at all costs. He wants to make preemptive strikes into
neighboring yards where the squirrels have their base camps. He wants to
start out by burning Rita's house to the ground because she is doing nothing
to stop the squirrels from using the power lines as a way to infiltrate into
our yard. He claims it's the only language the fuzzy tailed terrorists
understand. I think it's not only the squirrels though, I think he always has
had problems with Rita's little bitchy dog and wants to take care of two
nuisances at once. Even though I don't think he can or would act on this latest threat I am being cautious
about leaving matches laying around.
There is also good news in the garden. The Bleeding Heart appeared 3 days
ago and is already 12 inches tall, that plant is fantastic, once it gets
going you can almost watch it grow. It's liking one of those goofy nature
films they used to show you in grade school with the film sped up. The
tulips, Daffodil, Grape Hyacinth and Icicle Pansies are all doing well and
are on schedule. The Clematis' are all shooting up like there's no tomorrow
and I expect great thing from all of them this summer.
I took out the lawn mower and gave the lawn it's first cut of the year. I
love my new mower. I'm becoming a true suburbanite.

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Casualty Report- This Weeks Garden Report: Early Apr 2003

The garden has reappeared as suddenly as it disappeared a couple of weeks
ago. Lightning, my dog, of course takes credit. He claims it was him cracking down on
the fury tailed terrorists that made them cough it up. I remain skeptical.
Nonetheless, the garden is back and the excitement is mounting. The snow
crocuses are putting in there best showing ever. They have spread to about
1/4 of the front lawn, they aren't thick yet but they're getting there. The
new Icicle Pansies recruited last fall are living up to their advertising.
The Tulips, Jonquils and Daffodils are sprouting and should be reporting in
any day now.
It's too early to assess the damage done over the winter. It looks pretty
grim. The heather doesn't appear to have made it and the Holly is showing
lots of damage but should survive. The Hardy Hibiscus apparently wasn't as
hardy as advertised. It looks like all the Mums are going to pull thru. The
new tree in front is budding in a big way and the new River Birch in back is
looking good. The new Bald Cypress remains bald and is causing me some worry,
I've never had one before so I don't know when it should be showing signs of
life. Luckily we had a good rain last night, a real gullywasher, just in time
to because the gully was really getting pretty dirty.
The birds are slowly filtering back to town. There were a few sparrows
checking out the bird houses but apparently the accommodations were not up to
their standards because the uppity little assholes just moved on. Some giant
crows stopped by for a while, these things were huge, like vultures, they
could have flown off with Lightning if they had a mind to.
I discovered a good way to clean up the Myrtle I use as ground cover, I
used a shop vac. Does a great job sucking out the old leaves and junk, It
doesn't break off many of the vines themselves and it kinda fluffs 'em up too.
Sad to say it's too cold to work outside this morning, we had some snow
last night, I guess all there is to do is take a nap.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Quick Put an APB out! This Week's Garden Report, Mar 2003

Things were starting to look up in the garden last week. True everything was
still dormant but the days were getting longer and warmer. The newspaper ads
inspired me to take my little fuzzy friend over to home depot look at bulbs
and tools and such. Lightning loves peeing all over the new lawn mowers. He
also wanted to look at new squirrel traps. He says he recently saw some
squirrels come out of hibernation and he thinks they're up to something big.
He is really paranoid about those damn squirrels.
Then disaster struck the garden. The garden is missing. It has been
totally disappeared. It's like god took a whiteout brush and wiped it off the
face of the earth.
I sent my best scout, Lightning, out to investigate. He returned worried
about what happened to his Frisbees. It's hard to get him to focus sometimes.
He insists the squirrels are behind it and the whole thing wouldn't have
happened if only I would have stopped being so cheap and bought him his
damned squirrel traps. He's always got an excuse! I think we're going to have
to get a new chief of security. He has slacked off before, but this takes the
I don't quite know what to do right now so I'll use my favorite strategy.
I'll sit down pop a few beers and give it some deep thought.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Little League: This Week's Garden Report, Houseplant Supplement, Feb 2003

Well the season in the little league started off good. The plants
began their life training with the Swedes in Ikea, and were raised
strong and sensible. Two fern-ish looking things for $4 and some more
expensive ($11) mini tree thing that looks like it is from an
impressionist Chinese painting. Well the cheap
plants have been prospering in whatever light I move them too. I think
they are simply re-potted Singaporean weeds. Although something seems
to be chewing on them, despite me not having bugs anywhere visible.; I
suspect 4th dimensional invisible bugs- maybe I should call Molder and
Scully. Still, much like the economies of their native homelands,
whatever gets chewed off grows back twice as fast, although a bit
cockeyed. As for the Chinese tree, it had a rough coupla days, mini
branches surrendering like the French army, but then I gave it a
little sun, in front of the big picture window and it switched to the
winning team right quick.

Well, sadly, that's the end of the garden report. As plants go,
well have to see if there are any more cheap potted weeds at Ikea next
trip. The trees out in front of my building are looking better
and better... if I get caught though, I think they might use the
branch to cane me.......