Friday, October 26, 2007

Pragmatic Solutions

I am all for pragmatism. Why screw around when the simple, easy solution is good enough for who it's for, as I have heard some say around here lately. So, I took those words to heart today and decided on the pragmatic solution to a couple of ongoing problems around here.

Problem 1:
Giant DIRTY dog NewfHead wants to sleep on our bed whenever she pleases. She is HUGE and immobile when she wants to be. Since the dirtiness of her paws is the *real* problem and the nice Pottery Barn comforter is a royal pain to clean, and I don't feel like getting up to reprimand her every time she sneakily gets on the bed, I came up with this.

Solution:Put an easy to wash sheet on the bed after I make it in the morning. EASY.

Problem two:
The jasmine I planted outside this summer made it through our 100 plus heat even though it's only rated to 90 degrees. It's also only rated to about 20 or so degrees for the winter. It has been shooting out new growth and is doing very well, and I'd hate to see her die. So the problem is, do I dig it up and "overwinter" it inside or do I turn her lose on the world and see if she's hardy enough to make it on her own?

I'm thinking if she was tough enough to make it through the brutal summer, she might be a fighter. But maybe asking her to tough it up for the potentially below zero winter may be a bit much.

Solution:Leave her where she is; mulch with leaves
and observe. Call it an experiment.

If she makes it - fantastic! If not, we've got another indoor jasmine plant who can go outside next year and be next year's winter experiment (making a little greenhouse for it to overwinter in). If that fails, we'll stop experimenting and treat the jasmines as indoor annual plants.


Anonymous said...

RE the jasmine, cut it back but not too far. Vines like to be cut down once they're established; she should come back in the spring.

Re the dog, it could be much worse! See Biggest and Smallest Dogs:

Field Notes said...

A little light pruning would probably be a good idea, if there's anything worth pruning! My jasmine is still pretty stumpy..

Field Notes said...

Also found this out, which along with the googling I did, makes me think there is little chance the jasmine will survive the winter here. Not only has it already frosted here, but we also get snow & occasionally some below zero temps.

"Woody-stemmed tropicals, such as jasmine, brugmansia, tibouchina and bananas, should be brought indoors before the first frost. Let the plants rest in a cool place (40 to 50 degrees F) with little or no light—they'll get the message that winter has arrived and their leaves will gradually yellow and drop. The plants can then spend the winter in an unheated basement, root cellar, unheated garage, or even a cool closet. Make sure the area is relatively dark (try enclosing the whole pot loosely inside a heavy black trash bag) and that the air temperature stays above freezing. In most cases, woody-stemmed tropicals should not be cut back until early spring (unless you can't fit them into the house!)."

On the other hand, maybe this plant is hardier than people think or have bothered to find out *or* maybe we'll have a mild winter. I am still going to experiment because a little botany experimentation is fun :-)