Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Garden Shots. Also, Let Me Introduce You to the Cowsucker.

Okay, I'm finally ready to emerge from my gardening-induced stupor. So, hi again! I'm afraid my new bad habit of intermittent / once or twice weekly blogging is here to stay for a few weeks...unless anyone wants to work on my novel revisions for me. Anyone? Please? Anyway, my already-limited creative cesspool will be feeding the book overhaul, so unless I witness a parade of naked celebrities marching down my street while a brass band plays 76 Trombones or a loved one confesses to being anally probed by aliens between now and August first, this blog may suck harder than it does now.

Alternately, I may blog even more because I'll be looking for new, non-gardening ways to procrastinate. So you never know.

And here are the garden photos. When I look at them in pixelated form I think, "Huh. Doesn't look like too much work." But people, believe me. I have the mosquito bites (and probably West Nile virus) and unsightly sock tan to prove it was indeed an assload of hard work.

So let's start with some close-ups. Below is the "butterfly" section of the garden. Just a few plants are blooming now, but I'll post updates if anything exciting happens. Like me not killing anything.

And here are two close-ups of the "shady" part of the garden, where the mosquitos nearly drained me. Note the garden markers identifying individual plants. J wants me to remove them, but don't you think it's just plain good manners to leave some sort of advance commemoration for when the plants are eventually eaten by slugs? I like to think of them as plant headstones.


Above, Echinacea, or purple coneflower. In case I want a cold remedy that may or may not work. Below, a "panoramic" shot of the entire bastard. The cars in the background add a real classy touch. Oh, and that skeletal-looking bush in the second shot? It was once a rangy, overgrown, 15-foot wide, smothering-everything-in-its-path, man-eating bridal wreath bush. We chopped the shit out of it. It'll grow back, but in the meantime, it looks alot like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree before the Peanuts gang did the wavy-thing over it with their hands. See all those flowers around it? Before the foliar surgery, that space was nothing but hard dirt, sticks, rock, and dandelions. I also found an ancient, crusty three-tined fork in the soil. In case anyone from the Victorian era wanted to go eat worms all day, maybe.

The shadows are being cast by my fleet of bird feeders. I TOLD you I was an octogenarian trapped in the body of a Gen X refugee.

Below, another view of the "shady woodland" garden. Again, too soon for much to bloom. Note the gnarly Lord of the Rings tree on the left. I will tell our future children that fairies live in it, but they turn into trolls if children misbehave.

I saved the best for last. Look closely at what's circling the top of the green birdfeeder. It looks like a halo, right? Well, it IS! It's the "Magic Sparrow Halo!" Because sparrows are greedy jerks and playground bullies. They are the Wal-Mart of birds. I also bought this contraption because I'm a sucker for anything gimmicky. Oh, and because I'm a huge geek, I actually tied on the dangly wire things, too. And let me tell you. This fucker works. I haven't seen a single sparrow touch that feeder since I put up the halo. Which, I'm sure, was sent directly from angels.

Here's where I tell you about the cowsucker. This was a term my Dad would use to refer to any jerry-rigged, half-assed, goofy as hell "invention" I'd make as a kid. I don't know where the word came from, but it stuck. A fishing pole fashioned from a stick, a piece of twine, a paper clip, and a plastic spoon? Cowsucker. Anything put on the market by Ronco? Cowsuckers all. Including, but not limited to, the "Inside-the-Egg-Scrambler." I'd bet my next paycheck that my Dad would call the Magic Sparrow Halo a cowsucker. But you can't argue with results. Plus, this birdfeeder gets the best TV reception in eastern Wisconsin.

37 comments:

  1. I want the birdfeeder that flings the squirrels off. Now we're talkin' FUN!

    Sure looks to me like you worked hard! I love the butterfly-attracting plants.

    I was talking about Ron Popeil just today, as a matter of fact. Yogurt/Beef Jerky Machine. The Pocket Fisherman. Cowsuckers all. But when I was a kid, I always wanted one of those Mr. Microphone thingies.

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  2. jess...i think your gardening is friggin brilliant.

    seriously. how many people actually attempt this sort of domestication anyway??

    give yourself a pat on the back.

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  3. The aliens just let me down from the anal probe to let you know that they feel you are sufficiently creative on this blog, even with the book to work on. Now I must return to my extraterrestrial anal probe or they will force feed me Ghaak.

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  4. First, I envy you to have a yard to plant in. I have twelve bricks in the back with a fence around it. Just enough for the garbage can...gotta love city living...

    Second, you need a TON of echinacea to help your immune system. I learned that last winter. And there is an unfortunate side effect that uh, shall we say, purges your system from the lower end. :)

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  5. I'm way impressed with your green thumb. And such a pretty area!

    So does the halo thingie put out bad vibes or is it magic? What??

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  6. Awwww. Call/email me if you want revisions help.

    Your garden looks great. Better than anything I could do. :)

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  7. I love the pictures Jess. You have a nice garden and your hard work totally shows. So when you meant you had butterfly bushes, you really meant bushes/flowers/plants to attract butterflies? There is also a plant called a butterfly bush that grows like a weed here in Seattle. I was confused based on your last post. I blame the guarantee the cashier gave you about your bush. I've said too much again.

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  8. That is quite impressive. It really looks lovely. My gardening involves a plant in a pot.

    A dead plant.

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  9. Great garden tour. Makes me want to get out in mine. I love your dad's phrase invention!

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  10. So, you're one of those amazingly motivated and multitalented people, aren't you? Book revisions, a day job, a blog, a great garden.....my goodness, Jess! Nicely done!

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  11. you actually made a post about gardening funny? maybe you are a tree living fairy with magic powers.

    I'm just gonna start saying "cowsuckers all" randomly and see if it catches on on the east coast.

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  12. I am so completely, and utterly jealous.

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  13. it looks great, jess! I wish I had a garden. But I know better -- I'd kill it! I love that you call the tags "plant headstones". lmao

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  14. Being the husband of an avid gardener, I can fully appreciate the work you've put into your gardens. Very nicely done, and I imagine very rewarding as well!

    btw, I've embedded a few links into my post from yesterday that shows a little of my wife's gardening like you asked.

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  15. Your yard looks beautiful! Me? I just mow the weeds so they look like grass. :)

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  16. Beautiful! I look forward to seeing more blooms. I'm not convinced that those tags are plant headstones - remember, your bush is guaranteed.

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  17. Your garden is so beautiful!!!!

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  18. Hey, I just used the phrase "assload of hard work" on MY blog today! We must be blogging soul sisters.

    Very nice garden, and that sparrow wire thingy is a riot. We have sparrows, but I haven't noticed them being rude at the feeder. If they ever ARE I'll be thinking of you!

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  19. I am an avid gardener with no real experience with plants but the 4 years of growing I've done. I love, love, love my garden and spend roughly 3 hours a day weeding, watering, moving plants around. Here in Ontario, some things are challenging to grow, especially under a Black Walnut tree, but we've managed to turn what was a bowling alley into a lush paradise.

    Kudos to you. I applaud what you do both in and out of the house.

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  20. I was just feeling good about the sod we put in our back yard. It doesn't have a label/headstone although we could make one. "Grass."

    My creative talents seem to flourish in interior settings.

    Thanks for finding my new site. You can change your link. www.wendyboucher.com/blog. If you look closely at the picture I posted today, you'll see my Wisconsin Christmas napkins. I don't know where they came from but I thought of you when I found them. You're the only person I know in Wisconsin. Well, sorta know. We'll fix that.

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  21. beautimous! i've missed your blog. you totally crack me up with your witticisms. keep 'em comin'!

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  22. Very impressive.

    I'm jealous. My wife can kill plastic flowers. And I mow them down on accident quite frequently. Our yard is somewhere between ghetto chic and a prison walkabout.

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  23. You really do have a wonderful garden. I never get mosquito bites because i put a powerful fan behind me when I am weeding, planting etc. Mosquitos HATE strong wind. Unfortunately, fire ants don't seem to mind it. :)

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  24. Awesome. That looks like a crapload of work to me. I used to think I liked gardening until I actually started doing it and saw how bad I was at it.

    I love Cowsuckers! LOVE. I own two Chef's Wizards and I really really want that magic pasta cooker.

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  25. Jess! SUPER post! Plant headstones - priceless!

    Your blog is absolutely not sucking hard - or soft! (Geez, does that not sound so perverted?)

    I love the garden. We're trying to get something similar going at Boyfriend's house but DAMN is gardening shit expensive. And complicated. We'll see if it ever comes to fruition...

    I know what you mean about not having time to post. Keep us updated when you can!

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  26. Great job. I'm worn out just from lookin'.

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  27. "A panoramic shot of the entire bastard"?? very funny. :) LOVE the bastard - it looks great...makes me really miss having a yard and garden. One day we will...one day...or maybe in slightly over 400, or 600. damn it.

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  28. Jess, I am truly impressed at your gardening extravaganza. I have the brownest thumb in the world and am basically forbidden by my husband to touch anything in our backyard.

    And I'm still laughing at "the Wal-Mart of birds."

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  29. (clapping hands gleefully) I LOVE gardening, it's my favorite thing to do above all else. It looks great and as it grows in will look even grander. Eye yummy!

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  30. SIGH...your garden is lovely. My thumb is absolutely black, and I am always in awe of those who can garden. Also, your yard made me homesick. It looks very much like where I grew up. My mom has a very green thumb, but obviously, it skipped a generation or something.

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  31. What a beautiful garden. You will never see hide or hair of a green or otherwise growing thing on my blog (other than kids and cats) because I have the blackest and purplest thumb ever. If it tells you anything, J and I moved from a single family house on 1/3 of an acre to a townhouse with no yard. ON PURPOSE, so we wouldn't have to do yardwork or try not to kill grass and plants. Sigh.

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  32. Krissy D9:45 AM

    Jess- I think you and J have done a fab job with the yard. And don't let the Bastards, I mean sparrows get you down! It will be ok! haha
    Uncle J may give you some compitition with our newly pathetic "garden". I'll have him send pics. Nothing like planting in a giant tumbler!!

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  33. I LOVE gardening. So I can really appreciate all of the work you did here. That was some major calories burned. Good job! Your garden looks fab!

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  34. Consider me impressed...I was just posting on someone else's site (who had lovely photos of her garden) that I can't handle anything beyond a house plant...and even that's a gamble.

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  35. You have a wonderful yard! And I sooo loved the "plant headstone" concept!

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  36. Ooooh my. Can I just roll around naked in your garden?

    Glad you're making productive use of your time NOT SPENT WITH US! ;)

    Miss ya.

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  37. Holy hell...it's June in Texas and I still have leaf cover in my herb garden. Why??? Because I'm too lazy to get myself to a nursery? Because I don't mind buying but I dread the piles of weeds and the bending over and the tilling of the impossibly rocky soil?? Yes, yes and again...YES! Yours, howeer, looks mighty fine.

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