Jun 032015
 

Odd spring.  Cooler than usual. if there is such a thing as “usual,” but my roses and peonies bloomed a little early. Here’s a pic of a favorite but somewhat tender rose – even planted next to the house on a south wall it dies way back every winter.  But the last two winters have been brutal.

scenty

It’s a pretty rose, though, a floribunda, heavily scented and delightful.

 Posted by at 8:33 am
Mar 202015
 

There’s some sort of kerfuffle amongst the barbarians because some Italian clothing makers deviated from the party line and wound up some Brit pop singer who reflexively called “Boycott!”  Now it’s the easiest thing in the world for me to boycott these guy’s clothing – I’m no where near their target audience or for that matter, size – just as I wouldn’t voluntarily listen to the singer’s product.  But why on earth we should be expected to look to either for moral instruction is beyond me.  Even more mysterious, that they should expect us to.

 Posted by at 7:13 am
Mar 172015
 

A  very little thought, maybe.  I’ve been reading The Everlasting Man for the first time in ages.  I’m struck by two things.  First, that criticisms and complaints haven’t changed much since Chesterton wrote.  Second, that it might be interesting to read this very closely along with CSL’s The Abolition of Man.  Three things.  Third, that it might be very interesting to use these two books as texts for a discussion with a group of, say, 18- to-20-year-olds, to learn what equipment they bring.  Hmm.

 Posted by at 7:35 am
Jul 282014
 

It seems that a lot of folks are not too happy with the President.  His tendency to try to rule by decree (they’re called “Executive Orders” now), his reluctance to actual deal with Congress (part of the job), and his deer-in-the-headlights approach to foreign affairs (hint:  Vladimir Putin is NOT AN AMERICAN “PROGRESSIVE.”  No sir, not one bit) seems to be wearing folks down.  All of this was utterly predictable.  The President’s political background is entirely within the strange world of the Illinois Democratic Party, and specifically Chicago, where the Mayor rules, the City Council approves, and everyone shares the moola.  As a state senator, his job was to do what he was told, which he did quite well.  It’s not a world where one has to engage other powerful leaders, negotiate, listen, and compromise.  Lousy training for the Presidency.

 Posted by at 7:13 am
Apr 302014
 

I am sitting at my writing station, looking toward the garage over a long bed full of daffodils.  I look east, where the sun in rising.  It’s a golden sunrise, pouring through bands of grey clouds touched with cream on their eastern edges.  Overhead, the clouds are solid, but rough-bottomed, the lower ruffles variously cream and very faint pink.  We are still mostly leafless; the trees are weeks behind the norm.

After the snow melted, after the air had begun to warm, I feared I had lost as many as 17  roses to the bitter winter, even the 23 year old Constance Spry at one corner of the house, an immense rose – even the unkillable Dr. Van Fleet that came as a cutting from my father-in-law.  The roses had not only the bitter cold and the three months of snow cover to deal with, but also rabbitty predations, with bark stripped up to three feet above ground level.  But now, life seems to be creeping back into some of those dead canes.  The mortality is still considerable, but I’ll take my time uprooting the losses.  Where buds start on the old canes, I’ll prune back and suppresses bloom this year – no matter what happens, it won’t be a very rosy summer.

The mortality amongst the herby perennials is harder to guess.  The clematis seems gone.  The peonies were reluctant to start but are moving right along now.  Some of the hosta have vanished, simply vanished, and in others the center of the root mass seems to have died but left behind the orbiting daughters.  Even in the depths of winter dormancy, I believe, there is a certain amount of sleepy metabolism that goes on below ground.  I suspect that the icy conditions reduced the oxygen exchange down at ground level, but maybe I’m guessing through my hat.  I’ve been thinking of converting the garden to daylilies, coneflower, phlox, and carefully selected hardy roses, maybe concentrating on the wonderful Griffith Buck roses that need little care beyond food.  The coneflowers don’t seem to have made it, though.  Gonna be a slow replanting.

 Posted by at 8:05 am