A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Shaak Ti and her Tummy Troubles

Shaak Ti is going to the vet today for an ultrasound of her tummy area. The vet suspects that she's had pancreatitis for the past week or so. She's been in and out of the vet a few times over that span and we're hoping an ultrasound can shed some light on what's going on inside that little spotted abdomen of hers.
Shaak Ti has always been an incredibly finicky eater and has long had issues with her tummy and GI processing. She's attempting to overcome any minor health issues by relaxing and being as adorable as possible.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Shadowfax Has Had Enough of Your Foolishness

Shadowfax has been never been one to hold back her opinions. Her expressions are usually pretty entertaining.
Sometimes she's just had about enough of your foolishness and wants to get back to business. In this case her business is napping on the fluffiest spot possible. Doesn't she look comfortable?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

You Can't Kill Hostas

My stars! It seems like it's been forever since we posted anything about gardening. It's been nothing but cute dog pictures for quite some time. Well here you go, the strange saga of our hostas. 

Growing up in Southern California I don't remember seeing or hearing about hostas. Hostas encompass a wide variety of perennial plants that range in size and are generally grown for their attractive leaves/foliage, though some have blooms as well. Our hostas in North Dakota had lovely white edged leaves with small blooms that looked good massed together - we wrote a post with pictures about it way back in 2014.

Hostas seem to be one of the most versatile plants, able to grow in full sun to nearly full shade, and are one of the plants that can tolerate the acidic soil underneath a pine tree. My mother-in-law once remarked "You can't kill hostas". I inadvertently tried to test that theory over the last few years.
Back at our house in Grand Forks, North Dakota, there was a line of hostas on either side of the front walk up to the door. They received regular irrigation and grew so prolifically that they needed to be divided regularly.

My attempt to test the old adage about not being able to kill hostas started several years ago in North Dakota. I dug up and divided some hostas in the front yard, using many of them to line the raised garden beds that I built. But I wound up with too many hostas and not enough places to plant them. My temporary solution was to throw them into leftover black plastic pots until I found a spot to plant them.

A thunderstorm was rolling in as I was potting them up and they were just hastily thrown in the pots. Many pots had large voids. As rain started pouring down on me, I haphazardly threw a few handfuls of mulch into a few pots and left the rest. It was a rushed and shabby potting job.
These poor hostas languished in pots for two years. I put them up on the front steps (they really livened up the front porch - post here). They were watered when I remembered, but were also able to catch rainwater.

When we decided to move to Idaho, I tried to think of ways to bring some of these potted hostas with us. I knew from past experience that moving companies wouldn't move houseplants (spending a week in a sealed box isn't a recipe for houseplant success), so any houseplants that we wanted to bring would have to ride in the car, which was already guaranteed to be pretty full of people and dogs. There was no way there'd be room for hostas.

I waited until the last minute, pretty much the day before the moving van arrived, and gave the potted hostas a final soaking, wrapped them all in a trash bag, boxed them up. I marked "This Side Up" on all sides of the box, but assumed they might spend a week upside down or on their side. 
When the moving truck arrived at our new house there were other pressing concerns, but I did manage to locate and open the hosta box within a couple of days of arrival. They'd spent over a week in a sealed box getting jostled around, but dang if they weren't in pretty good shape. They looked wilted and a little sad, but after a thorough watering and some fresh air, they perked right up.

This brought us to the second phase of hosta neglect, where they sat in a brand new environment, still in pots, reliant on me to remember to water them. And I did water them, but usually only after noticing that they were particularly droopy and wilted. They survived though. Despite sitting on a gravel walkway and enduring 100+ degree heat and low humidity, and an environment to which they were totally not acclimated. When they made it through the winter (which was mild, but still winter), I mustered the gumption to finally plant them.
The two pictures above are the hostas in their new home, underneath the pine trees in the front yard. They get dappled sun for most of the day with an hour or two of direct late afternoon sun. They receive regular irrigation from the lawn sprinklers and seem by all accounts to be glad to no longer rely on me to water them. We'll know in the Spring if they survived their second winter, but they have been pretty tenacious thus far. This may be just an anecdotal sample of four little hostas, but for now it has been proven to be true that "you can't kill hostas".