Garden Notes

Do you know what this is?    This is a hell of a lot of iris.

I had a day off today, so I tackled the iris bed.    They’ve been there about ten years now, so it was quite thick in there.     About an hour and half later, I had the above, nice and clear.

As you can see, I added some back at the front of the bed (the peas now being gone by), and I’ve covered the area where they were with a modified lasagna garden layering of newspaper and leaves.    I’ll be leaving that there for the rest of the season before I decide what to do with the opened up space next year.

I do still have iris left.   They’re curing the garage.    I’ll reassess if I can add more in a few days, and give away the rest.


The Dark Reaches – Kristin Landon

The is the final book in the series that began with The Cold Minds, in a universe where humanity has had to flee Earth after it was taken over in an alien invasion.    They found refuge in the Hidden Worlds, but in the last book, the Cold Minds have found them there.

Also in the last book, they’ve realized that the Cold Minds ships are piloted by humans, and these humans clearly were once free.     Linnea and Iain decide to make a jump back to Earth to see if they can find these people.

What they find is two groups of people living around Neptune and the other outer worlds of the solar system, always keeping one step ahead of the Cold Minds on Earth.     There’s tension there, and Linnea and Iain must figure out their secrets, and how they’ve managed to survive near Earth so long.

This was a good end to the series.    A few questions were answered, and a decent ending was achieved.   I’ll admit I’d have liked to have seen a little bit more of some events that the ending hints at, but I’m overall satisfied with the series.

Sir Thursday – Garth Nix

Arthur Penhaligon is back in the House, and this time, he’s been drafted into the Army, which happens to be run by Sir Thursday, the next in line of the keeper’s of the Architect’s Will.   Arthur and Dame Primus are quite sure it’s a trick, and that he’ll be in great danger if he goes, but there’s no way out, and so Arthur ends up as a recruit.

Meanwhile, in the Army’s training ground, a group of Nithlings have been able to gain entrance to the House, and unlike regular Nithlings, these ones are organized, and following a single leader.    It would seem that Arthur has arrived just in time to save the House from continuing danger.

I’m still very much enjoying this series – Garth Nix never disappoints.

Princesses Behaving Badly – Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

This is a cute little book – there are lots of short stories about various princesses (or pseudo princesses in some cases), grouped into categories like Warriors, Survivors, Partiers, etc.    There are a fair number of non-Western women as well, which was nice.

The only thing I’m not quite sure I totally liked was the tone – it was a little flip at times.   Not that this needs to completely serious, but it felt weirdly, overly chatty in some places.

Charon’s Ark – Rick Gauger

A little background on this one: back when I was in middle school, my older brother got this book for Christmas (I’m guessing when it was new, and probably on display in the bookstore so it caught someone’s eye).    It was still laying out later that day, and I read the first couple of chapters.    And then, it disappeared.   (Probably because ew my little sister was messing with my things…)   I’d only gotten as far as the beginning of the kidnapping, and I really wanted to know what happened.    To the point where I would actually think about it every once in a while.     And one of those times, I had the computer on, so I checked Bookmooch, and lo and behold, someone actually had it.    So I’ve finally been able to find out what happened.

In a nutshell, a group of high school students are on a plane for a school trip when the plane is taken by an alien spaceship, and brought to Pluto’s moon Charon.     Turns out Charon is also a spaceship, a kind of space ark, and the aliens that run the ship have preserved dinosaurs there.

The meat of this story if figuring out who the aliens are, and why they need these kids to help them.    I kind of wish I had been able to read this when I was still young, as there was a bunch of school drama going on there I would have enjoyed on a different level than reading it today.   It was also a fun little nostalgia trip – it was written in the late 80s, so technology levels certainly weren’t up to what they are today.

All in all, I’m glad I tracked this down, but I’m also glad I didn’t pay that much for it.    Definitely more of a fun popcorn book.

The Quiet Gentleman – Georgette Heyer

The set up of this Heyer book is complicated – a new Earl with a step mother and bitter half brother, a cousin, the Earl’s best friend, a local neighbor girl who’s far too practical for her own good, and the beautiful local heiress.     Can you guess who marries who?    And have I mentioned there’s attempted murder involved?

So the set up was long, but I did enjoy this Heyer book.     There was plenty of action, and it did take me quite a while to catch onto the whys of the murder plot.    So really, it was a good, diverting read.

The Hero of Ages – Brandon Sanderson

In the final book of the Mistborn trilogy, the world is more or less coming to an end – the ashfalls have increased so much they’re choking out the sun by day, and the mists at night have turned sinister, and are making people fall ill.    But Vin and Elend have found that the Lord Ruler left refuges in some of the empire’s cities, filled with supplies, and clues about what might be causing all of the disasters.

You absolutely can’t read this book without having read everything that came before, because there are so many clues that lead up to this book.   I pretty much can’t describe anything without giving something away.    All I will say is that I completely didn’t see the end of this series coming, and it was great.    I’m really loving Sanderson’s work – he’s got great, original ideas, and man, can he tell a story.