Flower Gardening

So here I sit really really tired. I’ve spent all morning putting flowers into the ground. It seems like a lot of effort for annual flowers that will only die when frost hits this fall. In a month I’ll be glad I did when the flowers have grown enough to look nice instead of looking like forlorn little souls lost in a sea of dirt. Maybe by next month my back will feel better too. 😉

I have so much work to do in the yard. Gardening work is one of the things that I completely give up on when I’m pregnant or nursing. I have to use my limited energy for other things, like retaining sanity. Since I got pregnant with Patches right after I finished nursing Gleek, it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve had sufficient energy to deal with the yard.

It is kind of startling to wander in my yard and see what has taken it over. Mostly grass and bindweed unfortunately. But there have been a few nice surprises. Some of the perennial plants have gone gangbusters and are ready for me to dig up and divide into smaller clumps. That way I’ll have even more flowers. Other perennials have wasted away to nearly nothing or died completely choked out by weeds. Sigh.

On the other hand there is something really satisfying about attacking a flower bed and pulling out huge piles of weeds. At the end of an hour I can stand back and really see what I’ve accomplished. It is much more satisfying than hands-knees-pulling of baby weeds although pulling baby weeds is a better way to run a garden.

Weeding and planting in the backyard is especially pleasant. Howard bought me a new bird feeder and bird bath. These have attracted flocks of finches and sparrows. Now our yard is almost constantly filled with soft twittering noises. Even more fun is the hummingbird feeder that I got for Mother’s Day. I’ve put that up outside the kitchen window and we get daily hummingbird territory squabbles for entertainment.

All in all our yard is a nice place to be and as I clear out and clean up it’ll be really pretty as well.

31 thoughts on “Flower Gardening”

  1. UGH!

    Who the hell cares? You and your husband post long, boring, drawn out entries! Please stop!! Why don’t you bore each other instead of posting here?

  2. Re: UGH!

    Coward didn’t even have the stones to use his own name. I’ll presume it’s a ‘him’, since I’d expect more originality out of a female poster. Y’know, there’s a setting that you can turn on in your LiveJournal to prevent Anonymous postings, should you choose to use it, under Options.

    Also, have you considered investing in one of those four-pronged weed-removal tools that actually dig into the dirt for you, so all you need to do is twist and pull?

  3. Re: UGH!

    Let’s dissect for a moment, shall we?

    Anonymous Poster wrote:
    "Who the hell cares?"

    Excellent question, if inflammatorily worded. It may be answered by posts below, but until it is, I suspect that parents, those who appreciate the finer points of a nice garden, and personal friends care.

    Anonymous Poster bravely continued:
    "You and your husband post long, boring, drawn out entries!"

    While this unassailable value-judgement can probably be made about quite a bit of the content at LiveJournal.com, I’m pleased to see that Sandra’s writing has been grouped with mine. Some 10,000 regular Schlock Mercenary readers have grown, for good or for ill, to appreciate the finer points of my work. By association, therefore, Sandra is at least as good a writer as I am.

    Anonymous Poster anonymously begged:
    Please stop!!

    And now, the key element of any well-crafted essay, the “call to action.” It’s politely worded, although the gentle “please” is somewhat offset with the indiscriminate use of an additional exclamation point.

    Anonymous Poster humbly suggested:
    "Why don't you bore each other instead of posting here?

    Here’s where the essay falls apart, tripping over not only good rules of form, but also some internal inconsistencies. Embedded in the charge to “bore each other instead of posting here” lies an implication: somehow, by posting on LiveJournal.com, Sandra and I are imposing our writing on others. Not only is it bad form to introduce new information in a call for action, but the new bit is contextually fallacious. After all, only those who choose to subscribe to the writings of others here at LiveJournal.com can have those writings imposed upon them, and the only way to so subscribe is to have an account with which to do it. Our Anonymous Poster has clearly, therefore, chosen to read the journal entry above, not by subscription, but by linking all the way through to this page. This is akin to checking a book out of the library, reading the whole thing, and then asking the author to stop writing books so you don’t have to check out and read the next one.

    Admittedly it’s possible that the Anonymous Poster is actually a subscriber to Sandra’s journal, and has chosen to post this anonymously.

    Let’s look at that possibility for a moment: typically people post anonymously because they fear reprisal of some sort. What sort of reprisal could induce such fear? I suppose Sandra or her friends might choose to post mean-spirited comments in registered user’s journal, a reprehensible act to be sure. In the face of such horror, even the most staid and stalwart would certainly cower behind a cloak of anonymity.

    Returning to the “call to action,” we see that it’s couched as a question. Questions typically warrant answers. Granted, any question that begins with “Why don’t you” can be categorized as rhetorical in nature, but contrary to conventional wisdom, great insight can often be gained from an answer to a rhetorical question.

    Such insight can be found in this case. Simply put, Sandra and I don’t “bore each other instead of posting here” because we are unable to bore each other. Even after a decade we find each others’ opinions, activities, and written meanderings fascinating. We post here because we ran out of room on the refrigerator.


  4. Re: UGH!

    Ah yes… garden claws or similar. Just did a check on Home Depot for some info there. Mom used to use one, which is why I mentioned it… especially after the last time I had to weed. Tough buggers really dig in. 😛

  5. Hummingbirds rock 🙂 Here in the East we generally have only rubythroats during the summer. In the winter, some western birds migrate east rather than south, and grace our feeders through the ice and cold. For the last two winters, our feeds have been graced by immature female rufous hummingbirds. It always amazes me how a 3-gram bundle of feathers can not only migrate that distance, but come back to the same yard year after year after year.

    What have you planted? Are the kids planting stuff yet?

    When I helped with a community garden (years ago), the kids were the best part of the deal 🙂 We’d prepare small plots and give them seeds that were large & easy to handle, and ideally, fast-growing. Sunflowers, watermelon, pumpkin, scarlet runner bean, nasturtium, flower bulbs …

  6. Plantings

    Yes the kids are planting stuff. Kiki and I spent one afternoon scattering flower seeds through a bed for which I don’t have time or funds to actually buy plants. Mostly california poppy variants and bachelor buttons, but a whole smattering of other things as well including nasturtiums and sunflowers. The seeds have begun sprouting which is exciting for Kiki. Gleek “helped” plant too. I can tell where her spots are because there will be 2 dozen seedlings in a spot about 2 inches square. She didn’t quite grasp the concept of “scatter”. Patches also “helped”. Mostly he dumped out the pea seeds and tried to put them back into the package. Link was too busy playing inside to be bothered with the whole seed thing.

    All of the kids come running when any of us spots a hummingbird at the feeder though. We’ve identified black chinned and broad tailed hummingbirds. Hopefully by the end of the summer we’ll see some rufous and calliope which are the only other two found in our area. They truly are amazing to watch.

  7. Re: UGH!

    Yup. I’ve got one of those and they really do help. Unfortunately I haven’t yet figured out how to enspell it so that I don’t have to apply any muscle power to make it work.

  8. Re: UGH!

    Need some marinade for that deep-fryer? That’s a mighty well-done (i.e. toast) troll you’ve got there, Howard. 🙂

    Yep, some people think that LJ’s a chatroom.

    It’s an electronic journal, after all.

  9. Re: UGH!

    Hmm… which one do you have? I’ve heard some of them dig better than others, though I’ve yet to (thankfully) seen a motorized one. I can almost see Tim Taylor creating one now. “More power! *grunts*”

    How dense-packed is the soil in your yard, anyways?

  10. Re: UGH!

    I’m impressed. This would have to be the most literate and least inflammatory troll-roasting I’ve ever seen.

    Of course, I didn’t understand half of it, but I’m not so bright.

    I salute thee, Great Drawer (Hmm… maybe I should form a derivative of the masons, call them the Free Artists. Alright, I’ll stop making religiously discriminatory comments now.)

  11. Re: Plantings

    Nifty – one of my favorite memories as a weeyun was helping the baby sitter (was almost a 2nd mum) with her flower beds.

  12. May I put forward my Hypothesis of Hummingbird Feeding?

    “Only odd numbers of hummingbirds can eat.”

    A single bird can partake of the feeder unmolested. Two birds will chest-butt for dominance, but a third can sneak in for a sip while two are occupied. The fourth occupies the third, and nobody eats, but a fifth one can sneak in if present.

    They are fun to watch, if not exactly “peaceful”. ];-)

    Enjoy the yard!

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  13. Maybe Gleek can help me plant ….

    Gleek “helped” plant too. I can tell where her spots are because there will be 2 dozen seedlings in a spot about 2 inches square.

    I can relate. My attempts at, um, “scattering” seed in parts of my own yard have worked out rather that way. 🙂

  14. Why I care

    I’ve been a fan of Schlock Mercenary for some years now. But I’m a fan of a lot of strips, and that doesn’t necessarily mean I like reading about the author’s personal life. As it happens, though, I’ve always enjoyed Mr. Tayler’s “open letters”. It was with considerable glee that I rushed over to LJ to friend him, as soon as I knew that he had an LJ.

    I didn’t rush over to friend you when I heard that you had an LJ, because I don’t automatically assume that the wife of an entertaining writer will, herself, be an entertaining writer. But I did meander over to take a look.

    Whereupon I promptly concluded: “Hey, she’s a good writer too. I want to read more of this journal”, and added you to my friends list. (It was the metaphor about children and gopher games that clinched it).

    So I just want to say: You are a far cry from boring. Believe me, I’ve read boring, and this ain’t it. 😉 I like your entries! I take what is perhaps a peculiar pleasure in hearing about families who are actually happy and functional.

    But beyond that, I like your turns of phrases, about “hummingbird territory squabbles for entertainment” (hey, beats TV!) and new-planted flowers as “forlorn little souls lost in a sea of dirt”. I hope you continue to enjoy posting to LJ, because I’m sure that myself and fifty-or-so other people will continue to enjoy reading your posts. Take care. 🙂

  15. Straight-man?

    It’s a subtle gag… the Troll’s principal complaint was “long-winded and boring.” Thus I chose to be as dry and as verbose as possible. You know, the old saw: “Any time you point a finger, the other three are pointing back at you.”

  16. Re: UGH!

    Dear Mr. Troll person… please drop on by my journal and mock me. I like troll wars. Trolls aer teh fun!!!

  17. Re: Straight-man?

    Yes, exactly, and it was extremely well done.

    (I often joke that for all that I’m neither, I make an excellent straight man myself.)

  18. ….
    *mugs you for your icon*

    And there was a hummingbird assaulting my curtain a few days ago – rather odd, since hummingbirds are a rather rare sight out here in the High Desert.

    …Then again, we have all kinds of out-of-place creatures around here… Mourning Doves, Quail which stubbornly refuse to migrate, the occasional golden eagle who stops by to eat any hawks harassing the place…

  19. I have a book on evolution — future evolution. It depects desert quails in five million years. Called “spinks”, they are now diggers that live underground.

    Aha! Not watching television, I did not realize that they did this as a documentary as well. Look on this page for the spink:

    Hummingbirds are surprisingly hardy and robust; all of Southern California is a desert, essentially, and hummers are all over the place. Including outside my window at the moment.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  20. “Tell-a-vi-shun”? What is this thing of which you speak?
    Seriously, the only time I ever watch it is when a video is in the DVD/VCR player. The rest of the time I’m in my room, hiding from the world until I’m forced to go forth into the world to work and such.

    I did see the thing about future evolution, though, on a website they did. Amusing concept, though the spink seems more like something you’d expect from the gophers than from the quail.

    Not that I’d trust their predictions any farther than I could throw my car – and while I’m strong, I’m not /that/ strong.

  21. Evolution is not, by its very nature, predictable. We can do “table tricks” with large-scale annihilation of large populations of bacteria — but since evolution is selections made from random mutations, and there are billions of ways to solve a problem, it’s anybody’s guess where things will wind up.

    It’s something like predicting which lottery number will win $5. A LOT of them will — but it’s still hard to pick in advance.

    I was amused at the large, land-dwelling squids and octopuses — I had written a year or so ago about the culture that the octopuses might develop once humans have left them alone.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  22. Re: UGH!

    Soil? We don’t have any of that unless I cart it in with a wheelbarrow. What I usually find in my yard is lots of rocks cemented in heavy clay. To add interest are the random piles of buried brick or spilled concrete mix that the house construction crew buried in the yard as little archeological surprises for the unsuspecting tree planter to discover.

  23. Re: UGH!

    I fear I’m not all that familiar with the sediment and topsoils where you are – though Mom tended to make sure she got some soil and fertilizer for our garden, when we had one. No wonder you need serious muscle-power for that garden claw…

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