Monday, April 27, 2009

More dog shots...less flowers? And a rant...

I never heard from Ryan Scherrer (age 10?) and his photos from Sacramento KC. Where HIS dog (ok - his mom's and mine ;-), Spencer, CH EBBTIDE FINE FELLOW CD won a nice Best of Breed . FYI - Ryan was sucked into the bowels of the devil: That's right - he was playing video games on his hand-held devil-toy.
In case you missed the memo: Personally, I hate video games. So, I give kids as much grief as possible when I see them playing them. Especially kids I like. Yes, it's true: You only hurt the ones you love.

Where was I?
Right. At the dog show in Sacramento - BELOW: Spencer with his Best of Breed ribbon (and me) (and Cathy's finger? Thumb?): That's him after winning, doing his sit up trick. This trick has back-fired on occasion. Mostly in obedience training. I think it's cute. But I think I've been instructed not to tell him to sit up anymore. I think. Oh well - I'm busted.

It's cute! JJ, Ebbtide Careful What You Wish, also won a first in Bred By Exhibitor (no photo - thank you, RYAN) and brother Beau, Ebbtide Wish Upon A Rainbeau, a 2nd in 12-18 months with Judi Scherrer handling:

Judi likes to watch the competition. Free tip of the day: Better to concentrate on your own dog.

These photos courtesy Team Ebbtide member Cathy Baird (Beau's owner).

She was NOT playing video games. Thank you, Cathy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm's Spring!

As promised: More photos from the garden! The labels are ABOVE each photo.

The wisteria outside my kitchen window - turn on your smell-a-vision...ahhhhh

A tall bearded iris - blue, light blue combo - name is in a file I'm too lazy to find:

Poppies! I love poppies... orange California and one purple Poppy of Troy (Papaver setigerum)

California poppy with borage buds - I love those borage buds! I will plant many more borage seeds - will I regret this???!! They re-seed shamelessly. Stay tuned...

Below: Inside the fenced garden: The yellow area - border iris, abutilon and 'Bronze baby' sedge (Carex comans)...uhh, that cool looking "variegated " leaf in the upper left of photo - most likely chlorosis, a nutrient deficiency. I recently added compost for a long-term solution. But, I kinda like that deficient look ...

Another view of the yellow garden

OMG - this frilly tangerine iris is stupendous and, snifff, ahhhhhhhh , smells so sweet...Must find name of this one, too. I want to be this flower...

A view in the fenced garden:

Baby Blue Eyes! I love this wildflower, too! That's Verbena 'Homestead Purple' and white alyssum over-planted with a wildflower mix.

Closeup of that Poppy of Troy (Papaver setigerum) - another reseeder! I love this guy, too. Crazy stamens.

Below: Back inside the fenced garden: A new rose introduction everyone must have: Ebb Tide - we prefer you spell it EBBTIDE, of course. Too bad those Cupani sweet peas are out of focus - neat combo with the Euphorbia (green, spotty little bell blooms to right of rose). The Cupanis re-seeded, too!

Every year I take a photo like this - Tough, hardy, drought tolerant rockrose (Cistus purpureus) - I can't get enough of these blooms:

Here they are with their just-as-durable buddies: silver 'Powis Castle" Artemisia, purple wallflower (Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'), pink flowering rockrose (Cistus pupureus):

I'm not being arrogant when I use scientific (Latin/Greek) names for plants: There is a reason. And a story behind this (I knew you were waiting for a story... ). About 20 years ago, when I started this garden in Cloverdale, I brought home a lovely silver, fuzzy plant from the local Ace Hardware, that was labeled DUSTY MILLER. In my search (no internet then!!! Had to read lots of books!) to find out if it would withstand hot hot full sun and rocky dry soil (a large part of my 1 acre garden), I came across no less than 6 plants named "Dusty Miller". The problem? Some wanted shade. Some wanted moist soil. Some wanted full sun, poor soil, and heat. Bingo. But WHO was it??? Many weeks later and with the help of the wonderful garden lady at Ace Is The Place, I found out, it was Helichrysum petiolare: full sun, heat tolerant, drought tolerant. How's that plant doing, you ask? I killed it. I will share a secret with you: When you see a plant that says "Drought Tolerant" (here in California) - you MUST water it regularly through the first 2 or 3 summers before it can withstand some drought conditions (maybe water a few times in the summer - depending on your soil, conditions, etc). That doesn't mean: Put it in the ground and don't water it! There. I just saved you alot of money.
You're welcome.

I'm going back outside now. Let's go, dogs....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thank you, dogs, for behaving in the garden...

If you haven't heard, I am equally enamored with gardening as Australian Shepherds. It's a dicey fit, in the best of times. Besides training dogs NOT to play, run, dig, WALK -ok - don't EVEN look, already! through my flower beds... we walk a fine line in the gardening/dog lover scene.
Some of my strategies to ensure plant survival: a FENCED special garden area; using tough dog-resisitant plants; knowing not to even TRY to plant in a known dog trail, and lots of dog training and, ok, it's true, a heavy dog-police presence ;-). All our work pays off about this time every year.
So feast your eyes on this stunning Tall Bearded Iris - 'Smiling Gold' in the garden today:

All you savvy gardeners out there probably noticed the irony in my "dog-resistant plants" remark: Iris generally bloom just once a year on a tall, single stem that carries 1 to 7 blooms, and can snap off from a single badly placed blow (or dog foot). But Iris love the rocky, fast draining soil I have in my garden, and grow beautifully here. I have had up to 43 different varieties here. Many iris also have a softly enticing fragrance. Just so you know: this iris is NOT in a fenced area. So I'd like to publicly thank Maddie, Fern, JJ, and Turbo, as well as many former Ebbtide, for allowing it to flourish.

Cuddled up to the base of 'Viva Mexico' is this grouping I love: purple verbena, 'Worcester Gold' Caryopteris, white allysum and, almost everywhere in my garden in springtime, California poppies.

So what's so special in the fenced area? Mostly, I can fertilize with organic fertilizers (good for gardens) : bone meal, blood meal, alfalfa meal, etc - all things my dogs love to EAT! And since these fertilizers are gently worked into the soil around the dogs will UN-gently root around (and through) the plants to get every. last. piece. of. fertilizer. Not good for gardens. Hence the fence. So here's some pansies on a blood meal high. Pansies love blood meal.

So what are these so-called "dog-resistant plants"? Here's a trio of tough, low water, big impact plants: gray Artemisia 'Powis Castle', purple Erysimum "Bowles Mauve', and pink-spotted Cistus. Sadly, the bright sun washed out the color in this great combo. Maybe I'll get out there tomorrow, and get a better photo in better light. It's a beautiful group, and sturdy!

More photos to come!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Howdy & Tonic - Brothers On A Mission

Judie Howard and her two dogs, Tonic & Howdy, were at Sacramento KC last weekend, too - while we were fooling around in the conformation ring, they were working hard in the Obedience building.
On Saturday, "Howdy" - Ebbtide Good Ol' Greetin' and owner Judie Howard scored ANOTHER 199 under judge Stephanie Gomez and ANOTHER First Place. No High In Trial this time - an Open B dog with a 200 took that home! Sunday was a tougher day for Howdy - he has us so spoiled! But a Third Place in northern California's highly competitive Novice B class is certainly respectable. His average score in Novice B is .... 198! I think that's out of 8 shows. WOW!

"Tonic" - Ebbtide Effervescent Elixir UDX earned a 198 1/2 in Open B for a Second Place, which gave him 2 more points toward his OTCh (Obedience Trial Champion). Go Tonic Go!

Howdy and Tonic share the same mother: "Maddie" - Ebbtide Madam President CD. It's all in the family...

We need new photos of Howdy & Tonic, Judie!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Looks like Spencer is hot, too!

We took a drive up to Cal Expo for Sacramento Kennel Club's show on Saturday. Judi & I took JJ (Ebbtide Careful What You Wish, age 14 mos) and Spencer (CH Ebbtide Fine Fellow CD), and we met Cathy with Beau (Ebbtide Wish On A Rainbeau) there. Judi's & Spencer's 2 kids, Rachel & Ryan, also tagged along. Ryan was supposed to take some photos for us to post on this blog. However, the hand-held video game proved waaayy more interesting than JJ winning the Bred By class or Spencer winning BEST OF BREED and showing in the Herding Group competition. Perhaps I'm wrong, and Ryan will send me a photo to include here...??

Judi showed Beau to a 2nd place, and I got to show Spencer this time ;-) We had a great time despite the warm building. JJ is blowing coat right now and looks a little....sparse. He'll take a break from shows, but will continue his obedience/rally/agility/herding endeavors.

Enjoy this past photo of CH Spencer CD:

NOT!! That's JJ (Ebbtide Careful What You Wish age 14 months)!

See Ryan: You shoulda took a picture...!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yee Haw - Howdy is Hot

Ebbtide Good Ol' Greetin' "Howdy" Goes To The Gold Rush AKC Cluster, Merced, CA, last weekend:

First Place, Novice B Obedience, score 198
Judge Bill Iwamoto

First Place, Novice B, score 199 1/2
Judge Susie Osborn

First Place Novice B, score 199 1/2
Judge Dorin Ladd

First Place Novice B, perfect score 200
Judge Loretta Delinger and (are you seeing a pattern here?)

Oh. And he has his CD now...sorta an afterthought, don't you think?

Someone told me owner/trainer/handler Judie Howard was there, too.... ;-)

Nice nice nice nice, Judie!!!! She reported that out of his 6 Novice B showings, his lowest High In Trial score was 199.5.

Judie also showed older half-brother, "Tonic, Ebbtide Effervescent Elixir UDX , too, and won some more points toward his UDX2.
Criminy - that's some serious obedience.

Sizzle sizzle sssss...