Monday, November 17, 2008

Mother Nature Has Closed the Door on Further Garden Chores & Archer Days 12 -16

Yesterday we got our first few flakes of snow - nothing to stay around, just enough to leave a little bit of interesting white dust in, on and around the plants. Today it was too cold for the beginning of November, -9C with the windchill. The dragon wing begonia that I know I really should have composted at the end of the drive has finally collapsed and turned into green/grey slime. More browns and tans everywhere. And my feet felt that firm solid cementy feeling, rather than earth that gives when I took my garden tour.

Thank goodness for seed heads - a bush-type clematis.
Here's the porcupine seed head of the Eupatorium purpurea 'Alba' with just a dusting of snow.

The ligularia were not as big this year - but the seed heads are really pretty - I'll probably regret leaving so many, although the seedlings are very easy to spot.Epimedium sulphureum - again with a dusting of frosty icing.

A sturdy little gaillardia.

And, yes more lysimachia....probably the last time I subject you to these leaves - the cold really has done a number on them.
This past weekend - got 120 more bulbs in - you don't want to know how many casualties there were as I drove the spade through several bulb patches I'd completely forgotten about. I've got 80 more Pirand to get in and I'm officially done. However, if this cold keeps up I'll need earth moving equipment to do it. Thought I might pot some of them up and force them instead to have earlier spring colour by the front door. Other chores included the last lawn raking and mowing which we completed in cover of darkness. We had friends by on Friday who introduced my husband to the joys of Swiss Radio on the Internet....(yes, there was wine involved) Violetta and I just sat by the fire while we heard yodeling broadcasted throughout the house.
And, it's been a while, but here is the latest installment of Archer our Foster Guide Dog. So no more gardening, here's your warning from here on in, just doggie tails:
Took Archer on a long walk this a.m. Very proud of him - there is a metal bridge over this stream where you can see down. Most dogs (smart doggies) have a bit of a problem, going across. Our old departed Saint Agatha (classified as smart-enough) wouldn't even notice the bridge and would storm right over - her best buddy Simba always had to be coaxed. Well, Archer day one - really had to be coaxed, day two - he marched right across like a real little pro.

Kevin and I are still astounded by Archer's boundless energy - here's Kevin looking for where the batteries are kept so we can remove them and get a bit of a rest.

Yesterday Archer met a beautiful wire-haired fox terrier named Olive who spoke French. Well, perhaps not spoke, but understood. Her owner said, she hadn't seen Olive play so long and so hard in years. We should have exchanged numbers for a play date.

Archer's getting better with his promise lead/haltie - not perfect but better.
He's always happiest on his walks when he can charge through a big pile of leaves. Wonder what he'll do when we've got enough snow to snorfle - it was our Saint's best day of the year when she had snow to play in - hope Archer enjoys it just as much. Should find out in a day or two...


Rosa said...

Love your garden pictures! And the Archer stories brought back memories of my Jada's puppyhood.
The only time she ever conked out was after a full day at puppy daycare romping with the other dogs.
She's four now and still has an hour long walk in the morning and most evenings spends an hour with my husband playing frisbee and visiting her best buddy Desiel who lives one street over.
We like to joke that because of her we've saved hundreds of dollars on gym memberships!

Frances said...

Oh Archer is really coming along. And knows french too, such a smartie pants! We do grow so many of the same plants, even though we are far away from each other. No snow on the ground, but plenty of hard frost from last night and this morning. A winter wonderland, sort of.


easygardener said...

Amazing how we always manage to slice through bulbs when planting nearby. I've even done it when they've been marked.
I look forward to seeing Archer in the snow!

Gardenista said...

I don't know how those big show gardens manage all their bulbs - I find it so hard to avoid them as well. Well, I think the fancy gardens have them all in removable baskets. That would make it easy, of course! It's nice you have Archer to keep you company over the winter now. Our Malamute is clearly loving all the snow we have now!

Barbarapc said...

Rosa, so true - our furry friends are good for our soul and waistlines.
Frances - Out trying to capture the magic of everything today, got 5" last night - perhaps too early - light is so flat - will junk what's on my disk and try again later.
E.G. & G.: You know I believe they just lift them every year - I knew they did at the City of Toronto. Think they do in Ottawa as well - although their bulbs come from Holland every year as a thank you for taking care of their royal family during the war.