Thursday, June 12, 2008

Weeding and Thinking and Dogs and Roses and the Moon, Oh My...

Ahhh...the heat has broken, as much as it was ever unbroken for us, anyway. We didn't ever crack the 90 degrees that so many inlanders suffered with, thanks to those ocean breezes.

It certainly felt hot as blazes here as it was, so my greatest sympathies go out to those who were melting in temperatures well above ninety.

I'm usually okay with a few days of such weather. My lazy nature is always happy for the excuse to do less in the name of self-preservation, but there's plenty to be done in the garden this time of year, so I end up merely adjusting schedules to do that stuff in the earlier and later parts of the day, when that fiery globe isn't burning down on us. Watering early in the day is key, especially since it's been some time now since we've had any rain.

That's paying off nicely, as I'm beginning to see the evidence of the marks I made on the ground, as I sketched out shapes and letters and secrets and dreams in the dirt with seeds. Little green seedlings of all different shapes and sizes are appearing throughout.

Also, that witch grass that Sophie's dad warned me I'd "never get rid of" when I was first digging the garden bed last November has indeed taken the triple blessing of heat, water and fertilizer to its advantage, the tiniest scraps of roots setting up little tufts of green nearly everywhere throughout the garden.

This morning, in the cooler temps, I took some time and began to carefully tug at them. The key is to loosen the soil a little and grab hold at where the leaves and roots meet. To yank too hard only breaks off the leaves from the roots, and doubles their underground efforts. The slow and steady tug most often rewards with the roots pulled out mostly intact.

You can choose to be angry at the grass for being there, but that feels pointless to me. I try to focus on how impressive Nature is about reclaiming open ground and beginning the sucession of species and instead I appreciate the time to work carefully at a mindless task, the sort of thing which leaves your mind open to race over a thousand other equally important things to think about.

It was exactly this Zen-like state that kept me unawares this morning, until I realized I heard a sort of galloping sound coming at me, and then, I was knocked sideways and slurped by my new girlfriend, that friendly and playful boxer pup, Bosun, from up the street.

Of course we played; she wouldn't have had it any other way. But of course this attracted the attention of my Own Girl, who'd been peacefully lounging on the couch inside. At twelve or thirteen, she doesn't have too much interest in being outside for much of the heat...but Em does like to play, and the best way to get her attention is to give some to someone else. Before long, they were standing and sniffing on opposite sides of open (but screened) windows, whining at one another.

Feeling adventurous, I decided to attempt a meeting between the two of them, and brought Bosun into our fenced backyard...and then let Em out. They were both pretty excited, but Em overly so...and her agression concerns me sometimes, so I seperated them probably too soon, for the puppy's well-being...but also for Em's. After all, part of the responsibility for rescuing a somewhat-incorrigible-but-still-lovable dog like Emily is protecting her (and the world) from situations where she might get herself into trouble, right?

But she has had a few good dog friends over the years(most recently was her pal Lucy, a little free-range dog who Em used to send out into the old neighborhood to find out what was happening and Lucy would report back to Em with all the details, and then come inside and steal our cigarette lighters and hair brushes and other things that intrigued her), and I know she'd enjoy the occasional bit of canine companionship. After all, how much fun can you really have with a cat?

Anyway, we'll trying another introduction another day. It was time to calm them both down and get Bosun back to her place, where I discovered her parents were not home once again. I was starting to get a little annoyed with them for just leaving her to fend for herself out in the world when they left, until I spotted the tiny open window leading out to their screen porch, and the pushed-out bit of screening.

Ah ha, she's an escape artist...and probably just twitterpated like the rest of us, it being Spring and all. Her parents did return while I was there and we had a bit of a laugh about it. To be honest, I'm glad she seeks me out when she gets loose; maybe that'll keep her from wondering further afield than our quiet street.

And by the by, since this IS still a garden blog...they have a delightfully over-grown yard, full of all sorts of wonderful things like lilies and columbines and lychnis and irises and coreopsis and sedum and bunches of other things there was hardly time to identify at a glance. Hmmm...if I play this right, I could get me some divisions...if I play it wrong, I could end up doing too much work in someone else's garden. Those are thoughts for another day.

In other news, these wild white roses have begun blooming this week (these are outside the restaurant). They are considered a bit weedy and invasive here on the Cape. They are a reversion from the seed of fancier hybrids which the birds spread far and wide and the plants grow like crazy.

But they also are nicely fragrant and because they are everywhere, you can often get the scent of them on the air through your open car window...just one of many delightful fragrances drifting on the air these heady June days.

As for their invasiveness, I can't help but admire them, along with the grasses and yes, even the dreaded poison ivy, for the way they have their way with broken or fallow ground and help to renew it. In the case of the roses with their thorns and the poison ivy with it's own special powers of darkness, you could almost make a case for these being plants that actually protect the land from self-serving humans.

But it's late, and I might just be projecting super-heroic qualities onto the plants now. Still, it's not too late, as tomorrow is actually my first day off for this month of June. I'm off to sleep now, with plans to do some more weeding and then planting some more seeds (tomorrow the beans and also some zinnias), before a well-deserved massage in the afternoon.

I leave you with a look at tonight's moon.


Jess said...

So you finished by mooning us? :)

I think you should make this a dogs-and-gardens blog! What better combo?

Greg said...

And aren't you pleased I decided to moon you the way I did?

(Aren't you in the air for Ireland yet??)

Butch said...

What a playful dog! Boxers can be a blast especially when they are still young. Your dog being older and wanting to dominate the younger one is natural. Em will set the "rules of engagement" and the pup will learn how to act. It's fun to watch as long as they don't get too defensive.

Nice moon in June.

Anonymous said...

I read the date of today's blog and I was wondering how you could be going to bed at this hour, have a pitch-black sky and moon. But it was posted after midnight which would have been your last night. I hope the heat has waned and turned out comfy today. You mentioned weeding which I have to start doing. Who knew those "twirlies" from the maple trees would start growing already? Beautiful photos you have provided us (as always!).

Curt Rogers said...

"...I'm beginning to see the evidence of the marks I made on the ground, as I sketched out shapes and letters and secrets and dreams in the dirt with seeds."

What a wonderful sentiment. That is exactly what a well-tended garden should be, a place to plant hopes, make goals and watch them come to fruition. I have been a writer nearly all my life and have countless books of journals, as well as the numerous books filled with favorite quotes from other books. It seems, to some degree, that your garden is a journal of sorts, but one that you're able to share with the world. There are things you know about its planting and nurturing that we will never knows, reasons for arrangement and splashes of color that speak directly about the nature of your spirit, your desires, your dreams.

Thank you again, as always, for sharing them with us. They are truly remarkable, and your love of them even more so.


Greg said...

AFOD, I can assure you that most of my posts are indeed late night projects (daylight hours are for gardening and other stuff!), which is part of the reason for the name behind the blog.

Curt, I have shelves of about 80 journals I have kept during different points in my life, in addition to the blog and the garden itself. I guess I just journal all over the place!