Friday, April 20, 2007

Garden cleanup

Good weather at last. At last! It was 21C today, and they're predicting temperatures just as nice for the whole weekend. Not a moment too soon; I'd begun to have dreams about the garden. I dreamed I had lilacs, mock orange, roses and tulips all in bloom at the same time! The fellow is coming tomorrow after noon to tune up my gas engines, and I might be able to take a cultivator out into the garden this weekend. This isn't going to last, of course, but it's wonderful to be able to go out in a t-shirt instead of bundled up against the cold and damp. I cleaned up all the dead leaves and rose prunings, and have at least 10 bags of garden waste for the first pickup this Thursday.

I've already started haunting the garden centers, though they haven't got much in them yet except bags of soil and fertilizer. Still, I managed to find two little rosemary plants I brought home; no hurry to plant them just yet. And I spread a thick layer of composted cow manure around my lilacs and the mock orange. I don't know why, but they hardly produce any flowers. The shrubs are tall and strong, with lots of leaves, but no flowers. I'm going to try giving then a fertilizer blast this year and see if it shocks them out of their trance.

Yin came outside with me too, and spent a lot of time happily chasing a ball and various dry leaves and stick, and then she finally found a shady spot to lie down and rest. I came and lay down on the grass beside her, and she climbed all over me, licking my face and nose until I could hardly breathe. I realized that if I should ever collapse from a heart attack in the garden, she wouldn't behave like Lassie and fetch help, but she'd give me a hearty sendoff to the next world.

"I LOVE you, Mummy!"


Blogger Kasia said...

LOL. We used to have a collie who was possibly the best dog I've ever known. If I would lie down immobile on the ground, he would come nudge me with his nose, and if I didn't respond he'd start barking (rather shrilly for a collie - it wasn't his usual bark). I can't even say it was training, because we got him as a puppy and we SOOO did not train him.

My mother's old Brittany spaniel, on the other hand, would look at my lying on the floor and then happily go back to whatever he was doing.

I'm not sure which dog was actually smarter, considering that I was faking...

10:39 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

It must be that collie breed - they're just smart dogs! Yin is part poodle, and they're not bad for intelligence, though I think it's more good nature that's valued for them. But the Charles II Cavalier Spaniel strain (which Dean is so proud of) just makes her a bit of a lovable dope, and I don't think I could depend on her in an emergency.

12:15 pm  
Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

Hi Dr.,

The reason your plants aren't flowering is because you have added too much fertilizer! The richer the soil, the more energy the plant puts into its leaves. If it is a bit hungry, it puts energy into reproducing, thus more flowers. At least, that's what Ed Lawerence on the CBC gardening phone in always says.

3:39 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Hmmm...that's possible. I do operate TWO compost piles, and am adding compost all through the season. But surely the plants have to use up the food, and you need to replace it? Other plants in my garden produce lots of flowers, it's just these guys that are stubborn. (Especially that mock orange - I've got two, and they haven't produced a single flower between them!) Maybe the soil is too acidic or something, I don't know. I just keep trying something new to see if I can hit the right combination. We had a mock orange when we lived in the Glebe, and you'd think it wouldn't have done well at all, as it was planted against the house facing EAST, so it only got some sun in the morning. Yet it had so many flowers, you could smell them out on the street. Just happy in its location, I guess.

9:08 am  
Blogger Kasia said...

Speaking of 'lovable dopes,' I think it must be the spaniel blood. My mother also had an English cocker who was the absolute stupidest dog I've ever met. I kid not - she would run into furniture, stop, shake off the blow, and then start running again. (I do a rather good impersonation of this...I'll see if The Canuck knows of a way to record me doing it...would make for a very good post...)

10:14 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Ooh, put it on YouTube!

11:57 am  

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