2.24.2011

Storms And A Few Questions For The Panel

I inherited some sort of storm preparedness gene from my dad, or maybe my maternal grandfather. Today marks the beginning of a big storm for our area (maybe snow!) and so this afternoon found me outside in its harbinger: a light sprinkle, pulling tarps over things, sweeping soil off our steep driveway into the beds (so we don't lose any topsoil into the road) & muttering to myself all the garden queries I have compiled of late.
Raincloud to Me: "Catch!"
I have no idea how to do this, other than to stand large vessels out of doors in the rain. But what about mosquito larvae? Should I add a few drops of chlorine to the water to kill anything wanting to take up residence? Will chlorinated water be suitable for plants? Is our water chlorinated already, so this is a non-issue?
Um......
And then there is the cold frame. Of what should its floor consist? Gravel? Wood chips? Right now it is gravely, weedy soil and a half-smashed volunteer foxglove. Seedlings in trays are sitting above the ground on cinder blocks, which I imagine create some very nice hidey-holes for slugs and the like. So the blocks should probably go.
Potential Yuck
Also, can I plant vegetables over my septic tank? Should I just stay away from root crops?
A New Lawn, Please!
What is a drought & shade tolerant variety of grass for our latest hair-brained landscaping scheme?
Dew Point
Just what exactly is the dew point? How is it measured? (Acorn cups and fairy bells?)

And when, o when, will the spring come?

Rosa's Spoof Archives: Jane Austen Fight Club

It's the little things in life. And this week it is this.

SO much better than zombies.

2.13.2011

I Think We're Alone Now

I am alone. It is a rare occurrence, and something that I cherish. I'm not saying that I prefer a hermitage to the hurricane of activity which swirls around me daily, just that it is nice to get out of the wind sometimes.The Littles are asleep, the spouse is in an undisclosed city on the east coast, (which I will refer to as La Gran Pomme.)

The soundscape of my evening belies my solitude. I can hear appliances, and the noise of my keyboard. Typety-typety. I start to mutter to myself. I putter around in my slippers. Mutter and putter. I am going to make an awesome old lady, I can feel it. Give me some pigeons to feed and joints that can predict rain and I am all set.

I used to think that I liked being alone because I was interesting, introspective and thoughtful. This was also the era when, like Morrissey, I wore black on the outside, because black was how I felt on the inside. I wrote sad poetry. I had lunch in the graveyard across the street from my high school. I was 15, and thought Cafe Pergolesi, Oscar Wilde & the Beat poets were the height-the very outer limits-of cool. I wanted to be Winona Ryder in Heathers.
Now, in my thirties, I know the truth. I do better alone because my brain is feeble and easily distracted. I am constantly derailed by the smallest things, and lack the mental acuity to cope with more than 3 things happening at once. And I find that I cannot complete thoughts over the din of other people's vibrant personalities, brash assertions and needy agendas. And that is just the children.
All kidding aside, it is not until I am alone that I can really begin to process my life, and as I go longer and longer surrounded by people, I find myself unable to answer the following question, thrown at me often, "So-how are you? What's going on in your life?"to which I dazedly answer, "Ahhhh...finejustfine. And how are YOU?"

The youngest is awake now, holleratin' at me, so I guess my time alone is done. Lord, have mercy! (And send B home soon!)

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.