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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Not directly related to gardening, but Ol’ Robbo spotted the hen hummingbird at the feeder today for the first time since much earlier in the summah, when I had seen quite a bit of her.  This makes me wonder if Port Swiller Manor is possibly just a way-station for her on her migrations there and back again.  (I am assuming here that this is the same bird, which I’m pretty sure it is. I’m also assuming that if she were around more often, I’d have spotted her, of which I’m also pretty sure.)

And speaking of birds, I was over to the local hardware store this afternoon picking up more seed for my local flock.  I buy it in twenty-pound bags.  When I got up to pay, the young thing behind the register asked me if I needed any help getting it out to my car.


I haven’t shaved this week and it’s true that my beard comes in mostly white, but I don’t think I look quite that feeble.

(The owner of this store hires only pretty young gels to work the registers, by the bye, the perv. A couple weeks ago, one of them recognized my name from my credit card – it turns out she and Youngest Gel had gone to middle school together.)

UPDATE: Turns out there are two hummers – I saw them squabbling with each other at the feeder this morning.  Doesn’t necessarily invalidate my assumptions, but makes the question a bit more interesting.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo overheard somebody yesterday saying that we received a record amount of rainfall for July in the Port Swiller Manor region.  I can well believe it.  The last week of June and first week of July were bone-dry, but it’s been coming down more or less non-stop since then, including last night.  (I was lamenting earlier that we had chosen late June to start a large pachysandra bed out by the road.  It seems the Gardening Gods heard my lament and took pity.)

Anyhoo, we’re supposed to get a break for the next few days.  Fortunately, while I have this coming week off, I am “stay-cationing” this year, so I can wait a day or two to let the grass dry out before I mow it.  Nothing more tedious than having to stop every ten or fifteen minutes in order to scrape soggy clippings out of the blade well.

Oh, and for those of you following the saga of Robbo’s non-flowering forsythia, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that maybe the real problem is that the things are just too damn old.  They were already a well-established hedge when we moved into Port Swiller Manor eighteen years ago, and God alone knows how much earlier they were first planted.  I’m beginning to think that, yeah, maybe it’s time simply to dig ’em up and bring in a new set.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ma Nature decided to cut us a break from the cycle of storms and high heat n’ humidity we’ve been enduring for the past two weeks or so.  It’s a sunny, cool, dry day at Port Swiller Manor, so Ol’ Robbo was up early mowing, trimming, weeding, and taking down some nasty chicken-wire from the top of the garden fence that I don’t feel the need to endure anymore because the deer seem to have stopped coming into the yard since we got the dog. (I’m still keeping my rose bushes penned, though. Rabbits and groundhogs, y’know.)  And to top it all off, I even took the time to whack back the forsythia hedge.  (Which, true to form, although it grows like a weed, had a thoroughly anemic bloom this spring.  I’m finally going to try experimenting with plant food to see if I can get any more lead into its pencil for next year.)

When Ol’ Robbo is that far along his list of priorities this far into the summah, you know it’s going to be a winning year in the garden.

It’s a curious thing, too.  If you’ll pardon my going all Internal Robbo on you for a moment, I should note that it’s been a very rough time for me since the Mothe died.  (It’ll be a year ago a week from tomorrow.) Although I only now and again still get those fits of the blue devils that absolutely sandbagged me for months, I still feel like I haven’t completely reconnected with the world – family, friends, church, work – and I also haven’t yet much picked up on those things that I really enjoy in life – like music and so forth.  I say all this not out of self-pity, but just because it seems (as I say) curious that I have done so well in the garden while still feeling relatively removed from everything else.  Perhaps zer ist zum gunnegshun in zee mind, ja?

Anyhoo, enough of that.  The garden itself is really coming into its prime, with the Buddleia and Joe-Pye in full bloom and absolutely covered in bees and butterflies as I had intended.**  Also going great guns is Ol’ Robbo’s Prairie Cup Plant.  Its history is rather interesting, and if I have told this story before, which I don’t recall, it was so long ago that I feel at liberty to tell it again.

As you might gather from its name, the Cup Plant is primarily a denizen of the high prairie.  (Now that I type this, I do remember telling this story before, because I recall a commenter tsk-tsking at me about the eeeeevils of introducing non-native species into one’s home environment.  I can assure whoever that was that the local ecosystem remains intact, and my garden visitors really seem to appreciate its presence.  Also, at least according to Wiki, it is native to the Great Commonwealth of Virginny, so there.)

This particular sample, however, had quite the strange odyssey, because it (or its parent) originally was discovered by Mrs. Robbo’s brother-in-law in a roadside ditch in the Boston suburbs.  (God alone knows how it wound up there.) Being a gardener himself, he stopped, dug it up, and took it home, where it thrived so well that he divided it up and spread it all along various back borders around his yard.  I noticed it when we visited and complimented him on it.  He immediately separated out a couple offshoots, wrapped them up, and presented them to me. I, in turn, brought them home and planted them here.

This must have been eight or nine years ago.  For the rest of that summah and on into the following year, they did very well.  But then they went into a decline and died away, and I saw nothing more of them for some time.

Then, about four years ago, I suddenly noticed that a cup plant was coming up again.  (Their square stalks and cup-like leaf base are easily recognizable.)  Since then, it’s got bigger and stronger each year. (About seven feet tall and six wide, now.)   And as I say, it’s going great guns this year.

The one thing it hasn’t done yet is self-seed, which is too bad, because I’d really rather like to have some more of it. Indeed, I am now toying with the idea of simply going out and buying some companion plants to put in other corners, even if they wouldn’t have the same family connection.  Perhaps I’ll wait one more year for any seedlings before I do this, though.

In the meantime, I think I’ll have another glass of iced coffee and sit on the porch watching the butterflies…..

**”Prime” is a relative term, here. My plot is still largely scraggly and under-developed, but when it comes into bloom it takes on a certain dryad loveliness, especially when, like this year, I am able to keep the morning glory and other weeds relatively at bay.  For years I have fought off successfully Mrs. R’s desire to level it and install a tennis court instead.  (No, my garden is not the size of a tennis court.) Since she has recently taken to gardening herself, however, we are now talking about plans for raised beds, balanced soils, proper groupings of seasonal plants, a formalized path, and, of course, the latest defenses against the beasties.  (And yes, I plan to save some of its current occupants, too.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Friends of the decanter will recall Ol’ Robbo’s struggles over the past few days with a recalcitrant air-conditioner? Whelp, the service people were back out this morning and are now diagnosing a shot motor. The good news is that the thing itself is still under warranty.  The bad news is that we are going to have to pay for the labor of switching it out.  The worse news is that we have no A/C at Port Swiller Manor until tomorrow afternoon, and it is plenty hot around these parts.  (Fortunately, it’s still a fairly dry heat. The old saying about humidity may be a trite cliché, but that doesn’t make it untrue.)

Anyhoo, Ol’ Robbo is sitting under the porch fans this evening, patiently waiting for Eldest to quit the basement and go to bed so that he can scurry down to its relatively freezerish precinct, and thought he would kill the time by throwing together a few odds and ends.

♦  I saw an item today wherein an Israeli company has announced it is setting out to put a spacecraft down on the Moon.  This delights Ol’ Robbo on many levels.  Mazel tov! 

♦  That reminds me that Ol’ Robbo donated some money to buy pizzas for the IDF during one of the Intifadas way back in ’03 or ’04.  I’m still getting solicitations from the local Jewish Defense League to this day.

♦ And speaking of transportation technology, if I haven’t said it here before (well, even if I have), I’m going to say it now:  Ol’ Robbo will never, ever, get into a “driverless” car.  Period. Full stop.  End of story.  I don’t mind all the bells and whistles that alert you to traffic in your blind spot or whatnot, but I’ll be damned if I ever let a machine take actual command.

♦  And speaking of cars, Middle Gel called me from the VW dealership this afternoon with the announcement that one of her headlights had been whacked somehow and needed to be replaced at a fairly hefty cost.  I don’t quite get the latter part of the news, because I’ve replaced both headlights on La Wrangler myself for no expense other than the cost of the part and one or two skinned knuckles.  Is there any good reason I couldn’t have got the relevant headlight part for the Gel’s car and done it myself? Or has German engineering successfully eliminated the self-help option?

♦  Also touching on cars, Ol’ Robbo got caught in the traffic-jam caused by Marine One lifting off from the White House lawn this morning, taking President Trump out to Andrews AFB for his trip to Europe.  (They shut down Constitution Avenue between 16th and 17th for such comings and goings.) I’ve had this happen probably half a dozen times over the past few years.  It’s always a pain in the backside, but it’s also pretty cool to see the Presidential party on their way hither and yon.

♦  And speaking of which, Ol’ Robbo usually steers clear of politicks here, but I have to note that I heard a bit on this afternoon’s NPR top o’ the hour nooz digest in which some environmental lobbyist was whinging about The Donald’s pick of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to take Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court.  The lobbyist had his panties in a twist over the idea that, get this, Kavanaugh believes laws should be made by Congress and not by unaccountable Executive Branch bureaucrats!!

The horror.  THE HORROR!!

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

♦  Touching on the summah heat again, we just would pick this week to start a bed of young pachysandra out front, wouldn’t we? No rain in the forecast for at least another ten days.  (Fortunately, I was able to strategically place a soaker hose uphill from the bed, and find that if I simply leave it on long enough, gravity takes care of spreading the water all about.)

♦  The pachys, by the bye, are part of the new arrangement for diverting rain-water Ol’ Robbo mentioned t’other day.  The landscapers have been busy this week putting in the new rock bed/run-off channels, and I’m happy to say that I am pleased with the results so far.  We shall see, of course, what actually happens the next time we get le deluge.

Whelp, that’s about enough for now.  Ol’ Robbo is headed for the basement now, most probably to see if his Beloved Nats are working themselves farther out of playoff contention.  (What a disappointing year so far.  I mentioned jumping on the Fire Dave Martinez bandwagon the other day? Well, despite their taking three out of four against the Fish this week,  I ‘ve still got my Nike Vertical Leap shoes on just in case.)



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A lovely, lovely Saturday morning here at Port Swiller Manor.  Cool, crisp, and the promise of a marvelous Maine-like day.  Fortunately, we’ve had so much heat and so little rain recently that Ol’ Robbo can get away with skipping the lawn this week, although I will have to get out with the hose and water things later on.

Middle Gel and I ran out to the wilds of southwestern Pennsylvania yesterday in order to retrieve Youngest from her term at Bible-Thumper camp.**  (We took the Gel’s VW Tiguan, which proved to be a pretty slick little mover out on the highway, btw.)  As regular friends of the decanter may recall, Middle Gel, after a considerable amount of anguish, decided to attend a different camp this summah, and so missed out on her eleventh year at BTC.  It was good for her to get to go up to retrieve her sistah, as she got to see a lot of her old friends.  She now talks about possibly applying to be a counselor there next year.

Youngest, as it turns out, had a very good term.  She took the girls’ swim medal for her age group and was the camp chess champ.  Also, if you go to the linkie, you’ll see that the camp is divided into two teams, Romans and Galatians.  Over the course of the term, the teams compete in a variety of athletic competitions with an intensity that matches many big-time college rivalries.  Youngest is a Roman, and the Romans won this year (an admittedly rare occurrence).  The Gel screamed and shouted so much that her voice is literally gone at the moment. (A very small loss, indeed.)

Aaanyhoo, upon our return to Port Swiller Manor late yesterday afternoon, Ol’ Robbo noticed that the A/C was not working again.  I say “again” because about a month ago it stopped blowing cold air.  (It was still blowing air but just couldn’t keep up with the thermostat.) When the repair fellah came out, he discovered a leak in the coolant line caused by a faulty weld that was gumming up the works. The insides, which he showed me, were a solid block of ice.  So we had to shut the whole thing down, wait for the ice to melt, and then go about fixing it.  Fortunately, since the screw-up was the company’s fault, the repair was free.

This time, the thing was just shut down altogether.  (The outside unit was still working, however.) I flipped the circuit breaker a couple times, fiddled with the thermostat, pounded on the sides.  Then I noticed that the insulation around the coolant line is sodden and dripping.  So here we go again, I think.

Curiously, the A/C is working fine this morning.  My theory is that when it shut itself off, the ice melted all by itself, so the thing could kick back in.  Doesn’t mean the leak isn’t still there, however.

I hope my diagnosis is correct, as it should mean another free repair.

Fortunately, as I said up top, a lovely day today, so having the thing offline for a while will have no real impact.  But still……..Grrrrrrr.


**Ol’ Robbo uses this term, and always has, only in the spirit of gentle teasing, not in mockery, of course.  In the battle lines of the current culture wars, I gladly fight alongside the Evangelicals.

UPDATE:  Heh.  HVAC fellah appeared this afternoon.  I rattled off my observations and explained my theory.  He listened patiently, remarked that every observation was helpful in its own way, and then proceeded to diagnose something completely different.  (The system had just shut off because of a slight clog in the drainpipe.  He flushed it out with some water and vinegar just to make sure it was clean.)  He was very polite, but I know what he was thinking because I think the same thing when laymen start arguing legal theories at me.  I suppose I had it coming.

UPDATE DEUX: Came home this Monday evening to discover the thermostat was spiking again.  (Apparently, everyone else at home was too caught up in themselves to notice.)  I went through the flush drill again as the fellah had shown me.  No result.  The inside unit sounds like it’s trying to restart, but just isn’t turning over for whatever reason.  At this point, I don’t think it unreasonable for me to bring my own theory back into play.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I trust that most all of you are partaking of the same batch of summah heat that has descended on Port Swiller Manor? Mid-90’s here today and closer to triple digits tomorrow and Monday.  Fortunately, at least so far, it’s still pretty dry, and therefore considerably more tolerable than the sauna into which Ma Nature is wont at times to turn this place.

Still, you can imagine Ol’ Robbo was up  mighty early this morning in order to get his yardwork done before it got too nasty out.   Nonetheless, today was a Full Monty (meaning I cut, trimmed, weeded, and pruned everything from the street to the little glade out behind the back gate) and took me about three hours, so I was plenty sweaty by the time I was done.  (My shirt was also spattered with blood because I ripped a finger on some blackberry thorns in my impatience to untangle a stalk from the mower. They really do try to reach out and snag you, ya’ know.)

But no mind.  Done with my chores, showered, changed, and with a tall glass of iced coffee within reach and the shank of the afternoon to idle away, I feel I’m sitting in the catbird seat.  (Speaking of which birds, as it happens there’s one even now in the tree next to the porch mewling away.)

The garden continues to maintain a reasonably civilized appearance. ( I discovered the damned wild grape trying to tangle itself in among the forsythia and hydrangea, so I detangled it, gathered all the vine together that I could, and poisoned the hell out of it.  This is the only way I know to effectively deal with the stuff, as you can never, ever get all its roots out no matter how much you dig.)  Meanwhile, the first of the butterfly bushes are starting to flower.  I haven’t seen any actual butterflies yet, but I expect they’ll be along soon.  I’m especially looking forward to the tiger swallowtails.

One thing I have seen a lot of this year is Madame Hummingbird.  (I’m sure it’s the same hen who has visited the last three or four years now.)  For some reason, she’s hitting the feeder an awful lot more this year – I’ve already had to refill it a couple times.  Could this mean we might soon hear the buzz of baby hummer wings?  I hope so.

Coming indoors after I was done, I glanced at the pile of mail sitting on the kitchen counter.  Among the letters was the Port Swiller Manor half-yearly county property tax bill, the first one we’ve had to pay out of pocket since closing out the mortgage last fall.  Wheeeee!!! Among the assessments I noticed a charge for stormwater.  Hey, where does Ol’ Robbo get a piece of that action?  In fact, we’ve got our landscaper coming out this week to put in a new path and channel to deal with the flooding down one side of the side of the house (and the concurrent erosion) we get every time it downpours.  Further, I’ve spent a lot of dash over the years fighting the fact that every time water gets into the garage, it winds up burbling out across the floor of Robbo’s study down in the basement.  All of this because Port Swiller Manor sits downhill from the street and the county’s feeble (that is to say, nonexistent) efforts at drainage mean that a substantial amount of water comes pouring down the driveway each time it rains. (Yes, I have drains, but with the water usually comes a substantial collection of leaves as well, which can quickly block them up, especially when the rain is heavy.  That’s when it overflows across the front yard and goes spilling down the side.)

But as I say, no mind.  Instead, time for moar iced coffee.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A bit too soggy in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor to do anything useful in the yard this Saturday, so Ol’ Robbo won’t even bother.  Instead, how about a little of this and that?

♦  Middle Gel (and Mrs. R) went to an overnight freshman orientation program this week.  I believe it was when she returned armed with her first semester schedule that I finally realized yes, she’s a college kid now.  Most….discombobulating.  It’s a very different feel from when Eldest went off, perhaps because then one was so caught up in the groundbreaking aspect but now the tempus fugit theme seems more present.  God know what it will be like when Youngest goes……

♦  While Mrs. Robbo and Self were away on holiday, I of course paid no attention whatsoever to any form of “news”.  Catching up upon my return, I was both interested and delighted to see the “OhMuhGawdTrumpHitlerIsTearingInnocentMigrantBabiesFromTheirMothersArms!!” meme launch, soar, and crash in flames, all in about 72 hours or so.  Surely there is doctoral thesis-level material there regarding the insanity of the modern nooz propaganda cycle.

♦ Oh, and if you’re interested, Ol’ Robbo is of the opinion that any “blame” that attaches in this matter lies squarely on the parents who drag their children into such a horrible situation in the first place.  Regardless of what Nancy Pelosi or the USCCB may say to the contrary, it is not a sin to refuse to aid, abet, or encourage this kind of child abuse.  So there.

♦ And one other politickal observation?  There will be no “Blue Wave” this fall.

♦ Ol’ Robbo saw quite a bit of “ink” on the beach this week.  I don’t mean a discreet little doo-dah on an ankle here or there, I mean elaborate designs all up and down legs, arms, and backs.  Call me what you will, but I simply fail to see what somebody could possibly be thinking in going for such a look.  Especially (yes, I’ll say it) a woman.

♦ Has any friend of the decanter seen the new Incredibles movie? Frankly, I’m afraid to.

Whelp, that’s about it.  Fingers crossed that thunderstorms don’t thwart my grilling plans later: what with various comings and goings (Eldest gets home from visiting grandparents this afternoon and both the younger gels are away tomorrow to separate summah camps/retreats), this evening is the only time in the next couple weeks when all five of us will actually be home together for dinner.

UPDATE:  Long-time friend of the decanter Sleepy Beth has a review of The Incredibles 2 which gives Ol’ Robbo much hope.  Go check it out.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yes, Ol’ Robbo and the Missus just got home from celebrating our 25th anniversary in Bermuda.  My friends, all I can say is that it is a delightful, delightful place.

Friends of the decanter will remember that Ol’ Robbo asked some time last week about things to do and see in the place.  In the end, however, by enthusiastic mutual consent, we wound up simply loafing about for three days.  Uncle Robbo did remember to bring back a few snaps for your entertainment, however.  On reviewing them, I believe you will concur that our decision was a wise one.

We stayed at a private club at Coral Beach, located on the south side of the island at roughly the midpoint.  Here is the view from our balcony:

Room With A View

We ate breakfast here each morning, and by the time we left had collected quite the following of sparrows and kiskadees (a bird Ol’ Robbo had not seen before) through tossing breadcrumbs out on to the floor.  With a full pot of java and that kind of view, why wouldn’t I linger over it?

At night, we left the double-doors open (but not the screens) so as to catch the sound of the waves crashing and the wind rustling in the palms.  The other thing we heard all night was about a bajillion tree frogs, many of which had a call that sounded like a high-pitched sonar “ping”.  Frankly, Ol’ Robbo slept very badly all three nights, but that’s because I always do so when away from home.  I could have taped this particular cacophony and made bank selling it as a soporific.

Eventually, though, we’d toddle down to the beach.  The first thing I must say is that I have never seen sea water quite like this – so clear and so luminously blue.  The second is that for all the talk of “pink” Bermudian sand (and our beach is supposed to be one of the pinkest), you’ve really got to catch it at the right time of day and without a lot of footprints and tiretracks churning it up in order to get this notion.

Life’s A Beach

Anyhoo, as I say, we’d toddle down to the beach after brekkers.  Each day, we’d set up shop under an umbrella and alternate between reading, dozing, plunging into the water (where we saw numerous schools of young Jack Permit fish fooling about), walking laps (the entire beach is about half a mile or so from end to end), and getting the nice man at the bar to bring us G&T’s and Pimm’s Cup.  Tough life.  Tough life.  (Yes, we talked about marriage stuff, too, but I won’t bore you with what is, after all, confidential.)

Actually, it was truly tough in one respect:  Ol’ Robbo, even as he types, is suffering from being thoroughly cooked by the sun.  I tried spraying on sunblock, but evidently my skills are suboptimal, because I’ve come out looking piebald, like Ransom in Perelandra.

By the bye, and still keeping on the topic of the beach, the whole time we were there, we got to watch pairs and groups of the iconic Bermuda Longtail fly up and down the shore.  An intensely beautiful tropicbird that I, of course, have not seen before. I can well see why so much of the local artwork incorporates images of this bird.

The place we were staying is set at the top of a forty foot cliff overlooking the ocean.  (Right at the top are the restored remains of an English gun emplacement from the earliest colonial times.  Idiot Robbo had forgot all about the fact that Bermuda was first settled in 1609 by Jamestown colonists under George Somers after their ship was driven ashore during a hurricane.)  During the day, as I say, we were able to get refreshments down on the beach.  In the evenings, we dined up at the top of the escarpment.

All in all, as I say, delightful.

A few random additional thoughts and observations:

♦  The Bermudians, as a rule, at least so far as I observed, seem to be friendly without fawning.  They were all of them cordial, but one was always aware of a polite but firm barrier.  I’ve no problem with that.

♦  The place is very cramped, and space is at a premium.  The roads are narrow, shoulderless, and wound about, and it’s small wonder that the island-wide speed limit is only 25 mph.  Between that and driving on the left side, Ol’ Robbo would have quickly gone insane behind the wheel had he attempted it.

♦  The place also is as expensive as hell, largely because everything has to be imported.  I’m still gulping a bit about the total damage done from our trip (not that it wasn’t completely worth it).

♦ I had not realized that the only substantial water supply on the island is rainfall, so that each resident is responsible for catching and storing as much said rain as possible via roofs and tanks.

♦  Somebody remarked here previously that landing at Bermuda was like landing on an aircraft carrier.  I dunno about that, since I don’t look out the window until the rubber meets the tarmac, but I can tell you that because of that comment, and because the flight out was rather bumpy, Ol’ Robbo found himself repeatedly muttering under his breath, “Next time, Jack, write a goddam memo!” **

** A nifty-gifty of a spotable quote.

Anyhoo, long story short, we had a lovely time and will definitely go back if and when we can.

UPDATE: My apologies if any friend of the decanter feels this post is a bit too Robin Leach-ish.  Ol’ Robbo did not in any way wish to appear as if sticking on dog about “Champaign wishes and caviar dreams” here.  This was the first vacay Mrs. R and I spent together alone and in some style in God-knows how many years and we worked like dammit to plan, save, and wangle so that we could enjoy it without worry.

By the bye and speaking of which, my favorite Robin Leach quote? “There was one room in her house that was always kept locked.  It was….the garage.”  Anybody spot the quote?


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Perhaps due to all the rain we’ve got round here this spring, Ol’ Robbo has noticed that the Virginia Creeper which festoons several of the walls of Port Swiller Manor is growing in leaps and bounds.

There are people who don’t like VC and treat it as a weed, but I’m not one of them.  (I prefer the term “native species”.) It has big, beautiful bunches of leaves that turn flaming red in the fall, it takes no maintenance whatsoever, and it doesn’t dig into masonry the way ivy does.  (True, if let out of hand it’ll gum up your gutters, cover windows, or smother other plants, but that’s true with any vine.)

So I’m happy to let it alone.

On the other hand, I was out in the garden this morning after a long absence and noted that the morning-glory was in the act of committing its annual bust out.  Again, Ol’ Robbo likes morning glory (it grew all over our neighbor’s fence when I was a kid in Texas and I sometimes think about keeping some in a pot on the patio), but this stuff I treat like a weed.  Once it gets itself enmeshed in the butterfly bush and raspberry canes, you can forget about keeping any control over the garden until the first frost hits. Fortunately, I spotted it early enough that I was able to do a major Round Up nuking of it. (It’s the only way to be sure.)

I mentioned last week that I thought this would be crisis time, the point where how things are going to look for the rest of the summah is decided.  I think, I think, that I’m doing pretty well this year, and that the jungle is going to be held more or less at bay going forward.  Of course, we shall see.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

We’ve had boat-loads of rain over the past few weeks in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor, and the vegetable division of Ma Nature’s army is responding with a whoop and a holler.  Ol’ Robbo senses that the next ten days to two week will be the crisis point of the year: Can I stay on top of all the weeds?  Or does the jungle once more take over?  (Once we get into the boiling heat of High Summah, Robbo’s will to fight crumbles considerably.)

Alas, the next few weeks are also chock-a-block with other Family Robbo activities, about which more anon, and will leave me little time for machete patrol out in the yard.

We shall see what happens.



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