Friday, July 16, 2010

Strike Busting: This Week's Garden Report, mid-July 2010

The blooming schedule is totally out of whack now. Even the Shasta daisies are budding and looking to bloom in a week or so. They shouldn’t be starting till late august. There is without a doubt a conspiracy afoot out there. I think it could be something as innocent as like in Cool Hand Luke, a great movie, when the whole chain gang speeds up and finishes shoveling the sand on the road in a couple of hours so they can goof off for the rest of the day. I think the plants may have gotten together and decided that they would all shoot their wad early and then take the rest of the summer off. I’m at a loss of what to do about it. I could put one or two of the plants in the Box, but not all of them, not all at once.

Another possibility is the plants might be secretly organizing a union out there. If that’s the case I don’t know what to do. I’ve never been in management before. I’ve been a loyal union man since I was 10 yrs old and swore my allegiance to Boris Badenov and Local #12 of the Villains, Thieves and Scoundrels Union. I’ve participated in every boycott and job action I’ve ever run across. I still refuse to fly Eastern Airlines until they negotiate a contract with their gate workers. If the plants set up a picket line how can I but refuse to cross? How will I get in there to weed? How will I tell if what a plant picket line looks like? I actually think Lightning dog might have had an idea of what was going on for years. Every now and then he would go on a rampage through the daylilies. My own little, personal, union busting, Pinkertons Agent. God I miss him! I really should have listened to him more; he was way more tuned in on what was going on out there than I ever was. I suspect the daylilies are behind various nefarious schemes out there. If the Daylilies are behind all of it though, they have made a tactical error by blooming so early. They have shot their wad already, so this morning I cut ‘em all down. They aren’t going to get much of a following now. That plus the weather is starting to normalize a little now. The rains have been drying up and it won’t take long for the plants to remember who controls the garden hose.

The battle between the Daisies and the unidentified sedum is still raging. The mutant Kudzu/Clematis let go of it’s trellis and has joined the fray. I went in there to clean out the dead flower stalks from the Daisies last week and found a bunch of Tickseed somehow managed to creep into the fight. There were even some Mums under there. Mums are some of the most docile, laid back plant you can find, so they must be having fun back there. It’s turning into quite a melee. I really should be filming it.

Meantime the Tickseed and Creeping Sedum match-up seems to be drawing to a conclusion. I guess I’m going to have to call it a draw. The tickseed is just growing straight up now and the Creeping Sedum is just creeping around below. They seem to have settled their differences and decided to coexist in peace for a while.

The Bastille Day celebration has been canceled this year. Nobody cared.

Coming up in next weeks Garden Report:

Mosquitoes must die!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Harbingers of Genocide: This week's Garden Report, July 4th 2010

This weeks fight match up was totally unexpected. The daisies and some type of Sedum I acquired somewhere have been living side by side since the garden reorganization last spring. Apparently the unidentified Sedum was just waiting for its chance. After the daises exhausted themselves on a fabulous blooming season and Hammerdogs constant snacking on them (he says they taste like toads, I’ll take his word for it), the unidentified Sedum smelled weakness and went on the attack. It’s been quite a brawl out there all week. The unidentified Sedum quickly gained the upper hand but my Daises are starting to show their stuff. Never bet against the Daisies!

Hammerdog's bragging about his prowess at hunting toads has got him in trouble. This week all the toads disappeared just as suddenly as they appeared. I suspect the mosquitoes carried them off. The squirrels, however are accusing Hammerdog of genocide. I think the squirrels are just using the situation as an excuse to get Hammerdog to back off chasing them. He is starting to get real close to catching them. Today whilst I was mowing the lawn I saw him sneak up on one. The squirrel didn’t see him coming till the last second and it was out in the open. It was quite a chase. I now know why they have that big bushy tail. It’s a pretty good adaptation. Hammerdog was within inches of catching this fuzzy tailed rat when the squirrel sticks its tail up in the air to get Hammerdog's attention, then flips its tail to the left while it breaks to the right, like a basketball player throwing a head fake. Hammerdog broke left and almost fell on his face while the squirrel got away. He missed him by a whisker. Then the little vermin just sits on the fence, just out of range and chattered at the dog. Hammerdog was going nuts. He just needs a little patience; it’s just a matter of time before he figures out how to catch them. It will save me the cost of a BB gun.

The dogs have been claiming they’ve seen some Chipmunks out there for a couple of weeks now. I’m beginning to think though that they are just trying to trick me into setting the live trap so I might catch a squirrel instead and save them the trouble. Stelladog always has been pretty lazy and now I think that Hammerdog is getting a little too comfortable around here too. He has been getting a little thick around the middle as of late. He really likes the AC. The squirrels are now beginning to refer to him as the big round hound. He doesn’t like it!

Lilly-fest is going strong as I write. It appears the Ditch lillies and Asiatic lillies collaborated this year to bloom at the same time. Usually the ditch lillies start after the Asiatic lillies finish their show, well into July. I like this new arrangement much better. It might leave a slight gap in the blooming schedule, but I think it is worth it.

Actually, I think all the plants are in cahoots this year, scheduling their blooming times. All the Hostas are showing off, almost a month early, but I think that’s just them bragging about beating up on Charlie. The Bee balm and Rose Mallow are in their full glory almost a month early. Almost everything is blooming at least 2 weeks earlier than normal. At first I thought it was because of all the rain and a hotter than normal spring, but now I’m suspecting there might be a conspiracy afoot. It is awful hard to stay pissed though when you look at the results. Next year however I will write out a blooming schedule first thing in spring and I’m going to enforce it! With my lawnmower!

I have some new heroes out in the garden this year. The Sparrows. They have for years been enjoying the free housing I have provided. The dogs have always provided security for them. The houses 3 each on 3 poles, 10 feet up attached to the fence in the middle of the yard. The squirrels don’t like being out in the open out there with Hammerdog and Stelladog on our side of the fence and Lucydog on the other side. Plus, from the air you have the Hawks checking out the situation, making the squirrels very nervous. These are probably some of the safest Sparrows around. It is a hoot to watch them. Sparrows are not monogamous! They are always raiding each other’s nest. They are making it with their neighbors partner as often as possible. Fighting, stealing food and nesting material, dog fur being a favorite. Ya gotta love ‘em. There is one male I saw today, he landed on the top house, serviced that female, jumped down and did the next and the next, then hopped over to the next pole and started all over. All within about 3 minutes! What a man!

The birdhouses are starting to fall apart though. They are starting to resemble a trailer park on a stick. I’m torn about what to do about it. I could easily replace them but the birds seem more active and happy the more their habitats deteriorate. I’m an avian slumlord.

Coming up in next weeks Garden Report:

Tickseed / Creeping Sedum match up; everything it was expected to be and more!

Mutant Kudzu/Clematis joins the Daisy / Unidentified sedum fray.

The delivery of Battlestar Galactica turns out to be an insidious blow to garden maintenance. Entire system nears collapse!