Tuesday, May 22, 2007

...the hell?

This morning I was driving behind a truck that featured three window clings. In the center was Jesus' face, wearing the crown of thorns, eyes downcast in sorrow and suffering. On both corners there were the trucker mudflap naked woman silhouettes. I'm pretty sure the message wasn't "Your objectification of women makes Jesus sad," so I have to wonder what the hell kind of thought process was behind that particular combination of images. "I like Jesus -- and titties!" I mean, what?

Friday, May 18, 2007

I have sticks!

There was a package waiting for me when I got home yesterday. A long, triangular package with sticks in it! With luck, these sticks will someday be fruit trees in my front yard. But right now? Sticks. Not even particularly large sticks. Really, closer to twigs. I'm so excited!

You're supposed to plant them as soon as possible, so I was very rude last night at Thursday dinner and spent part of the evening outside digging. Then after everyone left, Puck and I went out with shovels and a flashlight and planted sticks. I suspect that if I hadn't been so tired, it would have felt extremely silly.

I wonder when — or if — I'm ever going to start feeling like a gardener. Because despite the fact that we've been rearranging our yard since we moved in, I don't yet. We've cut down trees and shrubs, moved stuff around, made beds, and planted three trees, ten shrubs, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and some 30 different types of perennials. I've killed more plants than many people will ever put in the ground (mostly by playing "I wonder whether this will grow under the maple"). Yet the only thing that makes me feel a little like the term "gardener" applies to me is my tomatoes. Huh.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hooray plants!

Okay, it doesn't work quite as well as "hooray beer" (which is one of my most favorite commercials ever). The Plant Sale was fabulous. Seven of us went, including J & Ang, who drove the truck down even though they weren't buying anything this year because they are awesome like that. I think everyone found almost everything they wanted. I couldn't get any delphinium for All-Knowing Jen because they only had 'compacta' and they looked pretty straggly. To me half the point of delphinium is that those staggeringly vibrant blues and purples are right up there at eye level, so I don't understand why you'd want one that only gets a foot tall. But I got her creeping juniper, and then Puck decided he liked it so much he got one for us too.

I went with a huge wad of cash and left with $5 and many awesome plants — IIRC, I bought about 25 plants, Puck bought several, and then there were the tomatoes & cucumbers. I'm especially excited about the purple rhododendron, which I wouldn't have even seen because I was so busy looking for one where the pink was light enough to look white. Yay for Puck, who spotted it. As always, it was a little crazy, with all the people and trying to find the right plants and relaying the plants from the tables to wagons and nabbing the last of the red dwarf dicentra (way to go Syl!) and trying to go against the stream in an aisle then spotting your husband further in and shouting "Hey! Are there any platycodon where you are?" because you don't want to wade through if it's not the right aisle, only to have the woman next to you say, "They're down there, but they're out of everything but blue and white" and being very happy because those are the colors you want. It's weird. In a way it's like those crazy lines that form for new video game systems or Cabbage Patch Dolls back in the day, except nobody is pushy and everyone's very nice, and if there are two people reaching for the last echinacea purpurea the likely scenario is that they'll both pull back and say "Oh no, you go ahead."

Temp, I did not get miscanthus giganteus, mostly because I hadn't figured out a place to put it. I did get a couple other ornamental grasses though, because yours was so pretty.

I totally had a buyer's rush going. Whee!

Then came the work part. Suzuri was awesome enough to help all day Saturday, and that made a huge difference. We got almost everything put in the ground, the remnants of the gas lamp taken out, and a new small bed dug along part of the south fence. Saturday night she and I went to see the Gyuto Tibetan Monks performing a chant ceremony at the Basilica, which was incredibly cool. Then yesterday I went out and picked up the blueberries I couldn't find at the Plant Sale, and Puck and I sifted the ground stump area and he dropped the last few plants in.

Slept like a rock.

Friday, May 11, 2007

My long, slow learning curve

My front yard looks like hell. All it needs is a rusty car on blocks to be Redneck central. It's about 60% weeds, 30% open dirt, and okay, the remaining 10% looks okay but that's not saying much. Hard to believe, when you look at it, that I've been obsessing over it as much as I have. It certainly doesn't show it yet!

Here's one of the bright spots: the bleeding heart that Mixologist gave me before she moved to D.C. the first time.

I learned a couple things today. Like many things I learn, they probably should have been obvious. A couple weeks ago, we moved our peonies, and the poor things drooped and wilted and looked all kinds of miserable. Then I noticed that the leaves were curling. On a rhododendron, that means they need water. But it's been raining a lot, so I just figured it was transplant shock. Today I noticed the rolled leaves again, and then I noticed that the soil was completely dry. I looked up. The neighbor's maple is overhanging the peonies. Lesson: Just because a tree isn't shading a plant doesn't mean it's not blocking rain. The sun? At an angle. Rain? Straight down (usually).

The other part of that lesson is a little more universally applicable. When we moved in, my neighbors couldn't tell me what color lilac I had in front, because it hadn't bloomed in living memory. Last year we cut down the maple tree that was shading it. This is it this year:

Lesson: Like with the peonies and lilac, if something is wrong, look around. The reason (and the solution) might be really, really obvious.

I just counted the number of plants I have highlighted to buy tomorrow. It's really a good thing the plant sale doesn't always have everything they say they will, because my list? A little on the unreasonable side.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blog Updates

The Mixologist has come back to blogging! Check out her Undiplomatic Ravings. Also, Wog has changed his location, so anyone who has him bookmarked will want to note the new link at right.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Plant Sale

The plant sale is Saturday! Who's in? Who wants to carpool? Who can't make it but would like me to pick up some plants for you? Let me know! I plan on leaving my house around 8 a.m. Saturday.

Some reminders about Plant Sale: Regular Arboretum admission fee ($7 per person) applies. Bring a wagon or sled or some other way to tote your purchases around. They will take credit cards, but they prefer cash or check because credit cards take a bite out of the amount that goes to support the Arboretum. Just because something is on the plant sale list, that does not guarantee that it will be at the plant sale. You may want to look at the list and make second and third choices. It is awesome!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Generation gap

I feel so old.

This morning Radio K played As You Wish by Aqueduct. Then the chirpy little D.J. came on and said, "I heard from a caller that the lyrics of that were from a movie called The Princess Bride? I don't know."

Said lyrics? Included "I'll probably kill you in the morning", "As you wish", "True love", and "To the pain" (including the bit about the ears). And I just thought, I think everyone I know could still quote large portions of that movie, and this college student sounds like she's never even heard of it.

Then I realized that it was reasonably likely that when The Princess Bride was released (1987), she hadn't even been born.

I'm so old.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Too close for comfort

Got a phone call from Mama B. today. Turns out their shed (which is only about 10 feet from the house) was struck by lightning during last night's storm. Knocked out the power and phone (back on now), took off the shingles on one corner of the shed. And here's where it gets impressive: the walls of the shed in that corner are bulged out. Also, the shed is on the north side of my parents' property. The neighbor to the south found shingles from the shed on the south side of his garage, a good 120 feet away. Since dad works nights, Mama B was home alone, which I gather was fairly freaksome because apparently lightning striking the shed ten feet from your house? Is really, really loud. She lit a candle and went to fetch the next-door neighbor. Other than the shed and maybe the TV, which isn't working yet, no harm done.

My dad's response? Typically deadpan, "[Mama B's first name], you've got to stop sinning."