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Garden Tour

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

At this time of year, the planters I started in late April are overflowing with blossoms and growth. This is the part of the yard next to the Bird Spa, and my big north-facing studio windows. It might otherwise be kind of dull , but I've made sure it isn't.
I love those chartreuse sweet potato vines. Did you know that if you dig in the pot after frost, there are little potatoes in the soil? You can save those in your refrigerator over the winter, and you won't have to buy a plant next year. Plant propagation: Bill calls it my only vice.

The geranium in the blue pot is "Vancouver Centennial," a true dwarf with a lovely cushiony growth habit. This particular plant hasn't bloomed in three years, but it's the gorgeous small bronzy leaves I'm after. As an added bonus, it roots like crazy from cuttings, and never drops a leaf when brought inside for the winter. It's a good, good plant, a Victorian treasure. The tall fuchsia in the blue pot is "Gartenmeister," an erect fuchsia that hummingbirds adore.

The pot under the birches has coleus, Gartenmeister fuchsia, sweet potato vine, and a new begonia called "Bonfire." I loooove this begonia. Here's a spring shot of a planter just getting going.
A closeup of the hot-orange flowers.
The same planter, in August.The silver-leaved begonia in the upper right of the planter is "Looking Glass," a Glasshouse Works treasure that's all over my house now. It's the perfect turtle terrarium plant, the perfect bathroom adornment. Gorgeous and willing.

Some gerania, viewed from the top of our tower.

Thanks to the rotten lousy rabbits that infest our yard, I can no longer plant my beloved gerania in the ground. I must keep them in pots at least two feet off the ground, clustered like refugees. If you're a geranium, you have to be on a bench, pedestal, or in a hanging basket. The leporids have thus decreed.
Who are you looking at, Mether?
You, with the spotty tuxedo and the Michael Jackson glove, who said you would keep the bunnehs under control.

But the bunnehs cannot be caught. I try and try, and I patrol the property tirelessly. But the bunnehs run into the briars and I cannot follow them there. You would not want me to scratch my eyes.

That is true, sweet Chet Baker. I did not mean to be harsh.

I have to tell you a Chet Baker story that happened today, on the first rainy day in about a month. Chet had been sleeping, swaddled in blankets, all morning on the bed. I had to leave the house at 11 AM, and I'd be gone until 7, and I wanted him to go out before I left. So I took him outside. Here is a transcript of what happened.

Zick: Go pee pee, Chet. Just go.

(Shakes and looks up at me miserably).

C'mon Chet. Just go pee pee and you can go back inside.

(Dithers, flaps his ears, looks around, shivers.)

(raised voice) GO PEE PEE, CHET BAKER!!

Moves over and hikes his leg on my pants.

You want pee? I'll give you pee.

I jumped out of the way just before the stream started. And laughed hysterically all the way back inside. What a goofball! He's never done anything remotely like that in his life. But oh, did I laugh!


I do believe you've had a form of baptism, Julie, and are now irrevocably Chet's Own. As if you weren't before...

Oh Julie--giggles all around. (Before I forget--I love the flowers. They absolutely knock my socks off--and that's saying a lot as I am currently barefoot.)
Anyway, Baker sounds like my dog. I take her out at midnight, before I turn in, and there I stand in this suburban neighborhood saying PEE PEE. I have visions of middle-aged men all over the neighborhood suddenly being seized by their hypertrophied prostates arising to pee, and wondering why then.

Your geraniums and garden are glorious as is your relationship with Mr. Chet Baker. Perhaps Bacon is relaxing a bit in his pursuit for bunnehs. After all, it's August already. Serve him a popsicle.

Ha ha, I love a dog with a sense of humor! We had a dog that was so adamant about not peeing in the rain that we had to keep a small pile of leaves in the carport for his rainy day use.

I love that begonia (bonfire). I planted one in a tall pot this spring and it's gorgeous and hanging to the ground now. Well work the $7.99 I spent for it. Love the Chet Baker stories. I just want to hug and kiss him. So loveable....

Tee hee! That'll teach you to RAISE YOUR VOICE at Chet Baker!

That ID'ed it for me a while back, when I had bought a bunch of plants I was clueless about. We lost it last year during the Long Dry Summer. : (
If we get together next weekend, I might show up with rooting hormone and scissors.
: )
Our word for dog-pee around here is "Go Potty!"
As in, "Come ON, Nellie! It's cold out here...GO POTTY!"

It sounds like Chet will soon be accompanying the family when you tour in a performance role?

That is a smart, smart dog. I can't stop laughing! And don't feel too bad about the "pee pee" stuff. I've said "make a pee pee" to three female springer spaniels over the years, and it's worked every time.

Never did with my boy-dog, Max, though. I miss him terribly.

Your garden is beautiful Julie. LOL at Chet's nonverbal response!

Beautiful plants Julie. Perhaps that is what I should do is propagate. Your Chet Baker story is a good one. Yes you were nearly Christened.

I'm looking forward to meeting you at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. Yep I'll be there. Will you or the Institute be selling your book?

Julie -- We teach the dogs to do their business by saying "hurry up, please" as they are housebroken. Bella is 11 and, if I'm in a rush, saying "hurry up, please" still works.

New puppy coming to my house in a week or so. What was I thinking??

I love Vancouver Centennial! I have one in a pot with a red Dragon Wing begonia next to hummingbid feeder. Hummers like to sit on the birch twig I put in the pot to support begonia while it was getting started.
Gartenmeister is a favorite as well, it does ok early summer, but takes a beating in August heat and 12% humidity. That's just about the time the hummers migrate through the Black Hills.
Caroline in South Dakota

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