Saturday, July 15, 2017

SATURDAY in the GARDEN | Look At Them Roots!

I like to garden and generally putter around in my yard and my Saturday in the Garden posts serves as my pseudo- garden journal, plus a round-up of my week in reading, watching and blogging.  Occasionally, I'll whine, rant or gush about something in a GAK section. 


You may have heard before that prairie/prairie plants are fantastic at holding soil, preventing erosion, loss of topsoil and improving water quality by keeping the soil out of streams, rivers, lakes and ponds.  This is why:

Holy roots, batman!  Prairie plants have prodigious root systems!  That little squiggle on the far left is Kentucky Bluegrass, the most popular lawn grass.  Buffalo grass is a prairie grass often suggested for lawns because it stays quite short, like Kentucky blue, but it's root system does not - it's the plant on the far right.  One of my favorite prairie plants has one of the longest root systems and it is having a spectacular year in Iowa this summer.  It's Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum) and is 5th from the left in the diagram above.

It's tall, has a bright sunflower like bloom and staghorn shaped foliage.  They make me happy everytime I see them looming over the prairie at work or in the prairie roadsides.  Definitely a plant I will try to establish if I ever have a sunny yard, though I will need to be patient - Compass Plants take a few years to mature to the point of looking like the above but once they do each plant can persist up to a hundred years!  Now that's a perennial.  By the way they are called compass plants because their leaves tend to orient in a north-south direction so also useful for navigation in case my yard is so large or I get so dotty that I get lost easily:). 

In my vegetable garden, I am excited, as I often am, about root vegetables. I am actually, for real, getting some edible beets for the first time, ever!  They aren't huge but I have 5 at the moment that are of a size I can cook and eat. Wow.  I gotta get excited by the little things.




I finished the K Drama I was watching, Faith - it was okay but not one of my favorites.

I started watching some episodes of Shetland on Netflix which Greg at A Book Haven brought to my attention. This is a British crime drama set in the Shetland islands.  Doug Henshall is the lead actor who I last saw chasing dinosaurs, and looking, quite frankly, awkward about it, in Primeval. He is a much better fit here.


Finished Since the Last Time I Posted:

  • Checkmate (Lymond Chronicles #6) by Dorothy Dunnett:  The last one *sobs*!  
  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson:  YA epic fantasy that has been on my TBR for ages. It's pretty good though I do agree that the body image/eating disorder stuff is a little on the sketchy side which was the main complaint I heard about it going in. Overall, though I found it to be mostly kind of generic so not sure what the buzz about it was?  It's fine, just nothing special in my book. 
  • The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud:  A middle-grade novel about ghost fighters in Britain.  This book is great  - gave me some Jackaby feels.  Will be continuing with this series.
    • Intuitive Eating by Tribole and Resch:  Non-fiction about eating psychology and biology.  I've been dipping in and out of it for the last few months!
    • The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima:  Epic YA fantasy that sounds super duper amazing!  Starting to make some headway on this one though I am having a little bit of trouble engaging.  Problem isn't the book, I don't think, but the fact that my mood right now is for mysteries.
    • Career of Evil  (Cormoran Strike #3)by Robert Galbraith: Listening to in the car.  I think Robin may be a target in this one (to get at Strike) and I am not sure I feel good about this?  But so far liking it.   
    • A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn: A mystery set in the Victorian Era in Britain, featuring a pair of Natural Historians as the amateur sleuths.  Book one was one of my favorite reads during the first half of the year.

    Added to the TBR:

    This is a list of books that I have added to my Goodreads TBR list this week.  It helps to burn the books I want to read a little more firmly into my mind, maybe get them on some other folks TBRs and gives me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!
    • Merivel: A Man of his Time by Rose Tremain:  This was on sale on Kindle and it looked like an intriguing Historical Fiction novel about Robert Merivel, who was a courtier to Charles the II during the Restoration period in England.  He apparently made an appearance in one of Tremain's earlier novels as a side character.  
    • They Found Him Dead by Georgette Heyer: Got this through Audible's sale this week.  I love Heyer's mysteries almost as much as her Regency Romaances. Almost.
    • Berkley Street by Ron Ripley:  This was free on Kindle though I found it through the Audible sale.  It sounds like a mystery but more on the horror/suspense side?
    • A Useful Woman by Darcie Wilde:  Another through the Audible sale.  This is a mystery with a female sleuth, set in Regency Era England.  Yay!
    • Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier: A retelling of Beauty and the Beast by one of the masters of fairy tale re-telling.  Recommended by Fine Print.
    • Time and Time Again by Ben Elton:  An interesting looking time travel novel recommended by Mogsy at The Bibliosanctum.
    • The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss: Also recommended by Mogsy at The Bibliosanctum.  This is a YA novel that features a gang of some of the daughters of historic "monsters" (such as Dr. Jekyll, and Dr. Frankenstein). 
    • All System's Red by Martha Wells: A science fiction novel about a "murder bot" who achieves sentience and independence.  Recommended by Greg at A Book Haven
    • Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner: I've never read anything by Ellen Kushner and since I recently read an article about how she is one of the authors that is a huge fan of Dorothy Dunnett, I decided I need to.  This one was recommended by my favorite podcast, Get Booked. 
      On the BLOG since I last Posted:

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