Monday, October 31, 2016

Apocalypse now…or at least by November 9

 

Image result for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Last Frontier Gardener checking in here. The kids are all telling me that the country won’t last beyond the next election. Mayhem, violence, government overthrow, you name it. I’m also reading about my fellow Americans’ opinions on our descent into doom, deviancy, and destruction. People across the land shaking their heads, clicking their tongues, and stocking up the pantry and/or gun cabinet.

Poor America, having to choose between Candidate Baggage and Candidate More Baggage. Or is it Candidate No Way and Candidate No How? But, I reassure myself, every country has its troubles, right? Right?? I don’t remember feeling quite this despondent about voting before, my thought processes running thus, “that one I’d just have to wince and hold my nose and check the box, the other one I’d gag and maybe throw up a little in my mouth.”

Perhaps a write-in campaign is in order. I’ve heard/read that, too. But whom to pencil in? I say it doesn’t matter, it couldn’t be worse than what we already have (cough, Congress, cough). You all know I love lists, so here is my top ten list to give comfort to those who fear this election may result in The End of America.

(Ten Reasons Why) America Will (Probably) Still Be Standing After Elections on November 8…

1. …because they both can’t win. We only have to have one of them as president.

2. …because we don’t have to feel bad for the loser. Speaking fees and book offers will no doubt cushion the blow, and righteous indignation will be theirs forever.

3. …because Alaska, at least, is probably safe from any looting/armed takeovers, despite high population of impulsive/reckless persons (according to my made-up statistics, 63.4% of Alaska’s population is made up of hotheads). It’s too cold out for that nonsense. It was icy and about 25F today. Stay home and watch World War Z in your flannel pajamas instead, ok?

4. …so we can all enjoy the sound of silence; the robocalls will stop. Praise the Lord.

5. …because we are a forgetful people when it comes to politics. Or maybe it’s pragmatic, or apathetic. Whatever! We will all be able to enjoy Thanksgiving on November 24, without Grandma creaming Uncle Joe with the gravy boat or Cousin Right Wing spearing Cousin Left Wing with the turkey fork. At least for reasons related to which bubble on the ballot to shade. Long-standing family vendettas and grudges, rage on!

6. …because I’m told The End will be ushered in by 4 Horseman. If we can but keep Newt Gingrich off a horse, I think we’re safe.

7. …because I predict amazon.com, in cooperation with Homeland Security, will have a big online promo November 9 to keep everyone distracted.

8. …because I still haven’t seen the last Hobbit movie. I refuse to participate in an Apocalypse until I know what happens to Bilbo.

9. …because we owe too much money to China. They are never gonna let us get away with some phony-baloney bankruptcy due to civil war.

10. …because it’ll be a Wednesday. Everyone knows The End will come on a Monday, it’s the worst day of the week.

Don’t worry, my fellow Americans. It’ll all be over soon (or is that, it’ll all be over in four years when we have to do this again?). As for the rest of you lucky readers in other countries, enjoy a Trump-less, Clinton-less November.

 

What are you looking forward to after Election Day?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

That day I never look forward to….

Look ma, frost!

Yep, we had a frost last night. A very official one, too. My lawn is silver with frost, even at 8:30am, as I write this. Fortunately, the hop vine is still perky, and my orange dahlias on the front porch are only half brown and dead. Those are my bellwether plants.

Mostly dead is a little bit alive, too

I used to plant Coleus, and that is a very sensitive plant at my place to any cold at all. And Ipomoea, the potato vine I used to buy in all sorts of obnoxious colors, was also touchy about the low temperatures. Thus those two, though very useful and beautiful, are not a part of the scheme anymore, I can’t afford the losses.

Porch plant becomes houseplant, for the third year!

I already brought inside my Carex, my beloved variegated sedge that doubles as a houseplant all winter long. The lavender plant I tried on a whim this summer got pulled into the house as well, if only to see if it would do something over the winter, which I am having my doubts about. I got one, count it, one bloom out of the thing, over the course of a record high temperature summer (so for us, lots of days in the 70’s Fahrenheit).

Dry river bed section of garden

Not much is still blooming or pretending to bloom out there. That Gaillardia blossom looks a bit too perfect for me to believe it’s not frozen to perfection, waiting for the wind, snow, and truly cold temperatures to turn it brown. Or maybe a moose will walk by and eat it. My snow-colored Alyssum, which seeds around with something quite a bit less than enthusiasm (two seedlings, sheesh!), is still a mound of stark white. A few purple Penstemon blooms ignore the cold, Achillea, Papaver, Viola as well.

Diascia lives...for now

Waiting for death, or the long winter’s nap, any day now in my garden.

 

Frost/no frost? When does your garden rest for a season?

Friday, September 9, 2016

They’re alive for now

The end of summer and it’s wonderful warmth seems to come a little later each year here in Alaska. I have no complaints. As a child, I remember thinking that when school starts, summer ends, no matter the date on the calendar. With climate change (and our increasingly hot summers and mild winters), autumn is a season we seem to get a little more of each year, and for that, I am truly thankful. It is my favorite season.

Sunshine, for now

Humulus lupulus 'Bianca'

Rosa glauca and Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Eldorado'

The birch and cottonwood leaves are beginning to turn their various shades of brown, yellow, and gold. The strappy fireweed leaves have gone red and purple. Everything is wet, because it rains nearly every day, and our high temperature has plunged down in the 50’s (that’s in the teens for you Celsius people). I will not write of the low temperature, the potential kiss of death. So far, I’ve been spared.

The Carex in the background doubles as a houseplant in the winter

Penguin says we are not amused with autumn

I have a pile of various pruned organic bits moldering in the garden cart, and an edging tool with a pair of purple garden gloves on each side of the handle like antlers, both left for a moment that turned into days, sopped on the gravel. Everything waits. For the gardener, or for the frost.

P.S. Must be topped off every other day

Physocarpus 'Center Glow' with Penstemon

Love it when seedlings match the color scheme!

How long will those dahlias bloom? Will I get another week out of the golden hop vine? Will that spirea ever get a decent shade of red? Are my garden chores going to be completed before the snow flies? The mysteries of autumn abound.

Calamagrostis brachytricha, Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'

Have you said goodbye to summer? Any plant casualties of temperature to report?

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