Friday, October 22, 2004

Last gasp gardening

Despite cold rain yesterday, I planted most of the things I just got from two mail order catalogs. For the blue and white garden: Allium ceruleum and Muscari in white and two shades of blue. For the woodland, Mazus reptans, Chrysogonum virginianum and daffodils. Also Crocus sativus -- who wouldn't want their own source of saffron? Some Hollyhocks and a replacement for the Wisteris that died last winter. Still waiting are an Oak leaf Hydrangea and dwarf Fothergilla. And I still need to dig the Gladiolus and Dahlias. Maybe I'll wait for Samhain. Belinda says we need something to do while we burn the brush.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


I was held hostage in my house last night for several hours by a distant neighbor's dogs. I've never been afraid of a dog before but this doberman and pit bull are BIG and they bark as if they really mean it. So despite King's willingness to take them on, I was afraid even to open the window to try to shout at them to go away. While King and the other dogs were barking and snarling and threatening each other nose to nose through the patio door, I was reminding myself that double pane glass is probably pretty hard to break.

I called the SPCA and left a message on the line provided for "emergency...vicious animals." I've left messages about these dogs and gotten call backs from them on four previous occasions. This time was no exception. I very nice woman called back and said, once again, there was nothing she could do about it. So the dogs continued circling my house coming onto the back porch to bark at the back door and returning to the patio door where they could see us and bark. About 20 minutes into this I managed to get the cat to come in the front window while the dogs were barking at the back door.

Turning out the lights and keeping the dog and cats in the living room made it possible to ignore the other dogs except for King's incessant whining and begging to go out. Turning on the kitchen lights to try to make dinner just started everything up again. I found it's possible to make toast and jam pretty quickly by the light of the refrigerator. King finally sat down starting alertly at the doors and growling occasionally. The cats sat on my lap while I ate the toast. At 11:00, three hours after calling the SPCA, with the dogs still circling the house I took the dog and cats upstairs to bed.

I don't see them this morning, but I haven't ventured outside yet. After all the excitement, King is sleeping late. We live on 140 acres of woodland. The only time I put King on a leash is when we're going near the road. But I will use a leash when I take him out this morning -- and take my cell phone.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


My bedroom window faces north. It's the only window in the house that does. Hmmm... Maybe I should move my studio there. Anyway, I can see the vegetable garden through the trees from the bedroom. The vegetable garden is there 'cause this 50'x300' clearing is the only placein 70 acres, other than the power line right-of-way, that has more than 4 hours of sun. But this morning it's the only area coated with frost. Because it's surrounded by trees, the cold air settles there. I've always enjoyed the irony of frost warnings that include "higher elevations" and "low-lying areas." I wonder, if I cut the trees between the house and garden, would the cold air flow downhill toward the house enough to save the garden.

I brought all the plants from the deck in Sunday and Monday. I really don't even like house plants that much but now 3 window sills and the area under the lights in front of the mural are filled with plants. And the goldfish tub will come in soon.