Saturday, October 20, 2012

Moving On Up -- To the Greenhouse

My tropicals are lined up on the back porch, ready to begin their march through the house and up the stairs and through my little office and out to my littler greenhouse, where me budgies will have their way with the foliage until spring, when what's left of the plants will march in ragged reverse to the garden. 

There's a sprawling jasmine, a couple of hibiscus (hibisci?), the Meyer lemon and the key lime, a kalanchoe,  an African gardenia, a stephanotis, and a standard gardenia that has somehow survived for two years without being infested with something disgusting. There are also many VERY LARGE green things that probably have names, but I forgot them.  

Some, still in their pots, I just dragged up the steps. Others were uprooted and repotted. Yesterday morning's task-- I a vision in pajamas and pink flip flops, a smear of dirt under my nose -- which was pointed out by my Prince, who expressed great pleasure in seeing me sweat for a change.  

Sorry to say that his rubber plant, which I have been trying to kill for 30 years has finally bit the dirt, though he probably won't notice until February, at which time I will confess and there will be a traumatic scene.  His bachelor plant, pfft.  Ugly sucker.

The mandevilla that I discussed last week is still wearing that single lousy bud, a little more shriveled.  I don't think this is a good sign.  The plant's in the line-up with the others.

The great what to do is with the five six-foot palms I bought last spring in an excess of enthusiasm  ($12 each!). If you happen to be driving by with a truck and very large pot(s) and a lot of dirt you're welcome to a couple-- or all of them for that matter.

All of this has to happen, not because of the weather, which is still rather balmy, but because way must be made for the tulips and grape hyacinth and crocus and such that need to get in now because I just bought pansies to plant atop the bulbs, which have been stuffed in the closet for the last few weeks.  Applause here, please, for having bought bulbs before the frost.

Those pansies will shortly shrivel and die if I don't get them in the ground with some space and a little water.

Bumpity bump bump and willy nilly, things move along, one event forcing the next. If I wasn't attracted to the next shiny object nothing would ever get done around here.

Baby Restraining the Murderess
I'm thinking I want more birds. This is a not a for instance, it is an abrupt segue to another topic.

Last winter, you might recall, I lost my beloved girl Vinnie to baby's hound Lula, the murderess, and (after much agonizing) Boychik arrived as a new buddy for  Shakira, who happens to be another male.

One of the great pleasures (and major distractions) of my workday is watching the birds winging about the greenhouse -- yes, they fly free -- and listening to their extremely loud and long-winded conversations with each other and with the exterior birds that sometimes perch outside the windows. Boychik also likes to maniacally ring his little bell.  

Some years ago, the Prince and I were in London and he had wandered off (which is typical) and so having my freedom for a bit I poked about Mayfair (I think it was) and suddenly heard this chirpy cacophony. Shocked still, I rotated about on my axis until I located the source.

Boychik and Shakira

What appeared to be a three story row house front-smothered in ivy, turned out to be a three story row house front-smothered in ivy that was shrouded from roof to ground in a fine netting that contained what must have been dozens--perhaps thousands --of parakeets, all blues and greens and flitting and chattering. 

Do you know this place? Might I have been seeing/hearing things -- since no one else on the street seemed to take any notice?

Random Bulbs
Oh, how I would love to have some such, I think. But another two birds would do. A pair of girls for the boys. The mating dance of the parakeet is particularly amusing.

Last night I dreamed I had a rather large parrot -- this is neither here nor there -- and it was perched on the edge of the stove, glaring at me. And then it hopped on my arm, and my heart fluttered warmly (warmly fluttered).

In other news. When I moved the tropicals (remember them?) out of the garden I noticed that some bulbs of I don't know what had attached themselves to the dirt and are growing greenly.  Should I lift and pot them or let them be and see what happens?   


  1. Congratulations re the rubber plant. It was a long wait. Now about the birds. I used to have a parrot who would say only 'what's your problem?' but I liked him anyway, a gray parrot he was, and so sweet. When I moved I gave him to some elderly bird breeders (the breeders were elderly, not the birds) and they later reported he was a girl and happily nesting. So yes, get some girl birds. What a great idea, to have them flying free in the greenhouse.

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  3. Yes it was another of my brilliant ideas, letting the birds fly free:

    Shakira and Boychik are ecstatic at my redecorating their room, checking out the red hibiscus. I;m taking a break from planting the bulbs, grateful for having a garden where 150 tulips is a crowd.

  4. Ah parrots - brings me in mind of Larry (Bird), an old reference btw, who only had the one phrase 'Gimme a kiss' but he said it loud and often- except to prove the point. [He must have been a beloved family member because he was given to the ex as a bonus for his handiwork.] But, alas, he was not really a parrot. Of course now at my advanced age I can't remember - oh yes, the vet called him a parakeet - which is what I thought were the little guys you have. Yours would be budgies. Do get more! And what fun (spelled m-e-s-s) you will have with the cleanup. One thing about Larry, he was all about the seeds (scattered ones).
    And you're as bad as Lula the murderess, since you had every intention of seeing the rubber plant die an ignoble death! I should tell your prince. harumph (I just looked that up and the Urban Dictionary says: Comes from the word "hair" (i.e., pubic hair) and "hump". When these semantics are analyzed, it produces a word "harumph", meaning to teabag. (pubic hair hump) Notice how I am trying to pretend I can write?

  5. WHAT WHAT WHAT!!! WHAT -- sorry to be repetitive but WHAT? pubic hair and HUMP?

    Mine are parakeets and yes the clean-up would be ... formidable.


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