Black Saturday

So run of the mill shoppers have "Black Friday" the day after Thanksgiving. No holds barred shopping. 

Black Saturday is the first Saturday in March when Desert Survivors Nursery has their annual sale. These are high holidays at the Quail Manor. SWITBO is always prepared and aggressively pursues the sale. This year she went to previously unseen preparedness. She built a spreadsheet. Unprovoked and on her own.

I'm so proud.

The spreadsheet was a cross-reference from their casual plant list, her desires, and the requirements for specific locations around the Quail Manor Grounds. Then, using the spreadsheet, a preliminary shopping was conducted to scout locations and inventory. The list was updated and refined to reflect optimal shopping effectiveness.

Seal Team 6 planned only marginally more when going for Bin Laden.

This is also the time of year when I detail the cars. I do the Volvo here and her car when we're back in Denver. Not much to her car, so goes quickly. But. I was informed to prepare the Volvo (of the buttery soft leather) for plant transport duty. The detailing can wait. So I can remove the inevitable thorns left in the headliner.

So the big day arrives. Gates open at 08.00. The drive from the Quail Manor is less than 5 minutes. We are parked at The Nursery at 07.59. Walk to the gates as they are opening to the first wave of what appear to be equally aggressive and prepared plant shoppers. Who could have expected that?

I saw color coded lists. SWITBO's was just a spreadsheet. Room for improvement. I had to employ some toned down basic airport survival skills to deal with the most aggressive pointy elbowed shoppers. I didn't want to actually hurt any gardeners, they could not have known they were dealing with a professional Friday Night at ORD or LGA warrior. The skills have gotten rusty, but turns out it's like riding a bike. She executed her plan flawlessly. I stood at plant nursery following distance, which is even more than grocery store or wild flower hike following distance. She makes sudden turns and stops. I've learned I can save a lot of energy by dropping back and only reacting to committed changes in pace or direction.

Leading up to the start of festivities I kept trying to get a read on who had the honor of the most important first plant. It was some kind of dwarf organ pipe-ish cactus for the guest parking wall. She know there were only two available. So a beeline was made. Not quite a run, but a VERY determined get out of my way, walk!

So I keep back. Observe the process. Until she appears to slow and drop down into a distinctive specific specimen selection posture. At that point, I move in to block aggressive shoppers and eventually accept a selected plant. Which I place onto a cart parked safely out of the way and the process repeats itself.

At precisely 09.00 we were on our way out of the lot with a Volvo load of new plants to begin the arduous hole digging, irrigation locating and installing, and planting process. Fortunately my involvement is quite limited. 

As you can see, there are a lot of digging implements. In the foreground are the beloved Barbie Shovel and Pick. They are just the right size for loosening the inevitable small to medium sized bolder in the middle of every freaking hole that has ever be dug on "A" Mountain. You can also see the full sized yellow handled pick that I am periodically summoned to deploy for the really big rocks. The flat shovel is worthless for hole digging, but quite useful for scraping away the surface "mulch" rock so the proper digging can commence on the subsurface rock. Then the surface "mulch" rock is returned. Over time she has evolved a technique where as the hole is dug, the dust, rock, and trash are graded into separate buckets and then returned or discarded appropriately.

No there is nothing special about the "mulch" rock. It's just the fines that seem to remain on the surface and won't break your ankle if you walk on them. So we kind of put it back so the surface looks undisturbed.

The quantity of trash is truly spectacular. The path taken by what has become the Quail Manor before it came into our hands involved the discarding of every kind of household garbage wherever someone was standing when it ceased to be useful and became garbage. If it was a pop-top, for those who remember pop-tops, just throw that somewhere. If it was a glass bottle, be sure it breaks as you throw it over there. Those pants, just leave them where you took them off.

We've been picking up stuff here for two years now (hard to believe) and DnT and their guests spent a fair amount of time doing the same before we came on the scene. I was walking on one of the paths yesterday that has been a real treasure trove of trash. I understand there was a shack in the area at one point. Saw some partially buried glass I had not seen before, then some more while I was picking up that one. Eventually had a handful. It just keeps teasing to the surface. Joy!

So. No pictures of the new stuff yet. In the planting it was determined that some mistakes were made during the shopping phase. A return trip is planned for today. But it will be minor by comparison.

But here are some pictures she took a couple of weeks ago of the blooming progress of plants already in inventory. We'll get a bunch of pictures this weekend to show current status. Spring has sprung with a vengeance.

Meanwhile. Dave the Welder continues. Here are some pictures of a bell turned bell/wind chime. Made from an old tank, I think propane. We decided to install it at the gate over to DnT's as a warning when we are both in residence and are crossing the compound threshold. The bell was pretty big, so we had to build an arch extension to accommodate it. And yes, that is an extreemly rare Sonoran Desert Manatee hanging to serve as a wind flag. So far not too effective as a wind flag, but very effective as a manatee.