Broken glass, dead kiwi

I was responsibly putting away clean dishes this morning, stacking two glasses together prior to shelving them, when one of them exploded.

Well I suppose it got bumped by the other glass but still.

These tumblers are made of a kind of special material which breaks into tiny pieces, because big shards of sharp easily-located glass are a lot more dangerous than unfindable, hopelessly-small chunks which can show up in your food for the next month or so and also get lodged in every crevice inside of the open dishwasher so probably the dishwasher is ruined too.

But enough of that bleak broken-glass story.
Really I wanted to share with you about the dead kiwi vine.

dead kiwi

It was the girl vine, so now the other one is a widower.

Which brings up the question: why did just one of the two identically planted and watered vines perish?  Now in the interest of full disclosure I will add that, just prior to the female vine’s miserable death, I treated BOTH pots to some appropriately diluted liquid fish fertilizer.  Nourished one and decimated the other? Perhaps male kiwis are from Mars and female kiwis are from Venus but in any case I won’t be doing the “treat” thing again this year.

When I removed the Deceased I noted that the soil was NOT dry, just damp, aka perfect, but an autopsy revealed that some of the roots looked less than vibrant which is to say squishy.

The very tan woman at the plant nursery suggested an underground virus, which I found troubling but which could be a great premise for an HBO apocalyptic gardening series. (Creepy side-note: I replanted the dead vine in a new pot to see if it might inspire a botanical zombie series.)

The male kiwi has taken the loss remarkably well.

healthy kiwi

In fact he has already remarried.

kiwi couple

The new bride is a little stressed looking– I think, at the nursery, she was given drugs for growth but not for color.  I replaced all the suspect soil in and below the rusty raised bed and I envision the new Mrs. Kiwi getting greener or at least not dying right away.

I will not write today about birds except to note that there is a robin’s nest in the grape arbor and whenever I put laundry out to dry on the nearby line the robins yell at me and I am just so glad that I don’t understand a single word of Robin– although I sincerely regret having so little formal study of French.

nest in grape arbor

Now here is something. The new blue penstemon, of which I purchased two plants…

blue penstemon…and they are called “Electric Blue” although when I look up “Electric Blue Penstemon” on Google images the flowers shown don’t seem to have the lavender element but it could be they just forgot to plug them in, I don’t know.

red penstemonI’ve also added to the garden one plant of this nice red penstemon which I call “Francine’s Penstemon” although I am not talking about hummingbirds today, at all.

In other news, there has been a blessed event in the Fern Department. See the baby?

baby fernI’ve had this thick, lacy fern for years, a gift from a gardener who propagated it from a fern that was a gift from another gardener… So you see I have every reason to not know what sort of hardy fern this is and actually I’ve always just called it Leif’s fern.

Leif's fern closerI feel certain you know the actual fern common and Latin names and will alert me to both which I promise to note in my excessively complete and detailed Garden Journal. I will.

By now you have likely almost forgotten about the dead kiwi and the broken glass–isn’t that nice?

We will finish today with a short movie (57 seconds), kind of a general garden movie just for your viewing enjoyment and also to introduce you, briefly, to the perspective of The Six-inch-tall Person. (This could be important later.)  Perhaps too, consider the movie as a light ending following the sometimes nightmarish content of this post which you must at least admit had something to do with gardening and very little to do with hummingbirds and was really hardly at all concerned with hedgehogs or even dead hedgehogs.

About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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27 Responses to Broken glass, dead kiwi

  1. kininvie says:

    Dear Linnie; it looks as though Mrs Kiwi has suffered kiwi wilt, which is like clematis wilt, but worse. Either that, or you have vine weevil, which is worse still.
    I found that your movie was delicate,but lacked some of the gritty realism that made Hummingbird for Dinner such a delight. Also I feel that you should reinstate your previous musical director. There’s a certain discordancy….maybe you should pay more?.
    But I did enjoy the penstemon.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Kininvie
      I looked up “kiwi wilt” and can only conclude that you made that up or at least are guessing. And it seems vine weevil is more a primula issue. (I looked at the roots and nothing was looking back.)

      The first movie wasn’t hummingbird for dinner it was crocosmia for lunch. So really you are not paying attention but still I will note that I have given considerable effort to the music issue and have not yet conquered the how-ness of using my own music instead of the iMovie’s little assortment which as you obviously know is free. Still a movie is a complete piece of art and needs to be considered in its entirety so please give it a second look and a little more thought after all you named the chick Fluffy, it is not my fault.

  2. I, too, feel the score to this feature a bit discordant; and with the beginning, feared I had stumbled into a horror flick AKA Paranormal Gardens. So glad that was not the case although it does leave certain questions for the viewer to ponder. What is the mysterious event which caused the premature death of Mrs. Kiwi? Is the “magic fish elixir” more on the same plate with Soilent Green?

    Max did exceptionally well with his lines (line?). Does Max know why Mrs. Kiwi died? Did he see the killer?

    Is it possible that Mrs Kiwi is of a different species, same genus as Mr. though? Possibly taking a cutting and trying to clone her (making your movie a SyFy drama like Resident Evil, and more in keeping with the opening scene. And, more importantly setting up a long term movie franchise.

    • linniew says:

      Well Rachelle I quite like “Paranormal Gardens” but then I like paranormal everything so that’s not unusual. As to Mrs Kiwi’s death I will whisper confidentially that I suspect Mr Kiwi. An investigator is coming on Thursday and we will leave it up to him but it certainly looks fishy and I’m not talking about fertilizer.

      I will let Max know that you feel he executed his line well– it will mean so much although I’ve had to explain to him that there are no dog Oscars, so disappointing.

      Regarding the first Mrs Kiwi and her species I can only say that since I moved her to a new pot she is actually looking a bit better and I begin to wonder if it was just a bad marriage and she wanted out, such drama–and yes maybe a sequel is in order if we can get the sponsors– so expensive these movies [right, Kininvie?].

  3. b-a-g says:

    I like the way it zooms in, out and around. I don’t usually watch the videos that bloggers attach, but your titles are intriguing.

    • linniew says:

      Thanks for bending your video watching policy b-a-g. It’s kind of a fun thing to add to the post, now and then. Hard to get a good director though.

  4. David says:

    You are having waaaaay too much fun with these movies! But I’m guessing that the movies are a relaxing way to forget about the broken glass and dead mama kiwi. I loved the dog part. As to speaking Robin, I’ve listened to our robins a lot and only know the words for ‘let’s leave because one of those big walking things has come out of their house and they look creepy’ and ‘the sun is coming up…oh boy, oh boy!’. I’ve not heard the Robin word for ‘get away from my nest of cute little babies’. Enjoy your his and hers Kiwis. David/:0)

    • linniew says:

      I think you are very generous with your interpretations of Robin–if I were translating the words might not be so polite. Except for the morning song, which you captured perfectly! Yes the movies are fun to make. I wish everyone else would make some so I could watch. Unlike b-a-g in the earlier comment, I don’t find video clips much on gardening blogs. Don’t you wanna make a movie David?

  5. Katie says:

    Hi Linnie!

    Way back in the day when I was the very freckled woman at the garden center (the tan thing never happened for me), I had a theory for sudden death syndrome like the one that afflicted poor Lady Kiwi. Growers often dowse their plants with preventative fungicide treatments. The plants sit at the garden center for a while and over time the fungicide is washed away. Most garden centers are fungal hotbeds, so those spores just move right in. The plants look good, but transplanting stress plus fungus does them in. Your garden is like a little family with birth and death and home movies, and broken dishes everywhere.

    • linniew says:

      Your theory (freckles and all) makes perfect sense Katie. I’ve also read that male kiwis are tougher than females and who knows what that means. We’ll see how wife #2 does– I love your characterization of my videos as ‘home movies’– that’s it exactly! Somehow that kind of takes the pressure off: no oscar expectations etc., such a relief, thanks!

  6. Susan says:

    I’m writing to you from a locked room, and before kininvie makes some unkind comment, I chose to be here. I would never eat a hummingbird for dinner but in this week of moving I could easily eat my young.

    • linniew says:

      Breathe, Susan. This too shall pass… One morning soon you’ll awaken and find yourself settled in your new house in the country with all the furniture in place and, surely, your offspring still in fine health–and lovely gardening to do.

      But locked doors can be useful until then.

  7. Grace says:

    Not trying to be a know-it-all here but in regards to Kin’s comment, you wouldn’t notice vine weevil larvae this time of year because all of the children have grown up and are busy chewing the likes of Bergenia and other luscious things in the garden.

    My condolences for the loss of the Mrs. I’m glad you didn’t relegate her to the compost yet because you never know about these things. She could resurrect and then you’ll have two sister wives and a lot more things to write about.

    The cleaning lady where I work stacks the glasses and I always cringe when I reach into the cupboard to grab one. I’m afraid they’ll be stuck and break into a bazillion tiny pieces and… well I’m afraid you know all too well what I’m talking about.

    Love the robin’s nest and the baby fern. And the video is beautifully done and total eye candy. Even Max with his handsome white coat.

    Enjoy your garden my friend. And the video making. You’re very good at both!

    • linniew says:

      Thanks Grace, I knew Kininvie was just sending a shot across the topical bow. (We do that sometimes, he and I. Just for fun. Like pirates.) But it’s excellent to have confirmation. The Bergenia is fine so really I think I have no vine weevils…

      I love “sister wives” for the kiwi. (I KNOW what series you’ve been watching Gracie.)

      I’ll tell Max he has another fan in his new movie career!

  8. Great video, and I love your penstemon! Did you buy the new Mrs. Kiwi online? Then she would be a mail order bride.

  9. The dead/undead vine thing is a bit weird. I wonder if one spot had better drainage than another spot. Your penstemon are beautiful. I have killed so many of those. They can be tricky to grow here. Great video!

  10. Alistair says:

    Linnie, here was I feeling sorry for the widower in the knowledge that they don’t cope as well as widdows. Tut, tut what a cad. Thats 1950s language for what a rotter, (hmm still haven’t moved on)

    • linniew says:

      No reason to abandon perfectly good and useful expressions, Alistair. (I feel the same way about clothes. And furniture. And books…I gotta get rid of some stuff.)

      The new lady kiwi is growing like crazy and really I think she is an improvement over the other one, so I have forgiven that other vine his indecent behavior.

  11. Peter/Outlaw says:

    So much in this great post, death, the shattering of your peace, and new life. The males are just plain insensitive oafs who only care about themselves so I’m not surprised that he seems fine. On the other hand he might still be in shock at the loss. Or maybe, he did her in for the fish fertilizer. Did you feed her first?

    I’ll wait while you get your garden journal. Waiting. Are you running out to the store to get one or what? And a writing utensil.
    Still waiting. The fern looks like a Polystichum setiferum ‘Plumosomultilobum’ or soft shield fern aka Plumosum Densum.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Peter
      Thanks for bringing me back to real world of blogland. (Life is so distracting.) Interesting thought, that the male kiwi killed the girl one, for the fertilizer. Does that mean we should fertilize less or more? As to my journal, I do of course have an actual BOOK, and I do write in it. But of course there is a sort of erradic (that’s erradic, not erotic) nature to my recordkeeping. I often feel certain that I recorded a name while in reallity I only kept the tag for a very long time but then it got lost… I shall enter the fern name instantly. Thanks Peter!

  12. Alberto says:

    To be honest I was going backwards as a ‘pickles: plan B’ suggested a ‘pickles: plan A’ to me, and then I got curious about this kiwi, I guess that HBO title could be ‘the Climbing Dead’. I’m glad to see your movie making skills are still fresh like the first day (not that they never improved….).
    As for that out of topic broken glass thing, I totally understand your shock about it, watching a glass disappear into a billion round grains has something magic to it. Never stack warm glasses one into each other, I guess this is the lesson.

    • linniew says:

      Nice to have you back Alberto. Of course Plan A was to make “real” pickles, in a crock with weeks of various treatments and aging and then preserving in jars. I like The Climbing Dead, very original and I will suggest it when HBO calls. The glass was just a variant on the other disaster, sort of a foreshadowing you know. But I think that dead kiwi isn’t really dead. When I cut it back (it’s in a pot) there is green in the stems. Maybe around Halloween it will grow again.

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