Friday, July 31, 2009

From Berties kitchen garden

Here's Bertie Wooster the canine gardener. The temperature was about 70 degrees colder when I took this picture. Being a Norwegian Elkhound, Bertie likes the cold weather. When we first brought him home from California 4 summers ago,he spent most of his time indoors laying on the AC ducts as he couldn't cope with the Pennsylvania heat and humidty. (Sort of like me)When he got too big to fit under an end table to cool off, (we learned this when the table with him under it and various cactii and orchids on top of it, fell on its side as he tried to weasel out)he camped out next to a duct in the kitchen and still does when its hot and sticky as it is today. As a garden assitant, Bertie has some prerequisite skills being an excellent digger and cultivator. The problem is how to channel this digging to my advantage. So far I haven;t been able to work out how to train voles to reside in areas where I would like to plant perennials or vegetables that I have grown from seed. We finally had to fence off the perennial bed so plants would survive their first season-watching him, with a nose covered in mud, racing around the back yard with a lespedeza bush just obtained from the Hardy Plant society was a pitiful sight. Occasionally, he still breaks in, with the net result that I still loose plants- such as a huge heavy metal grass tipped on its side (he was sure a vole or bug was under there someplace). He then cannot work out how to get back out. Net net, I am in there in a rain coat coated with mud trying to lift him over the fence. A gate would be nice. So the weeding gets neglected because its too hard to get inside the fence. Right now Aster tatarica is blooming-they are huge and impressive, even behind a fence.

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