One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

So Thursday’s arrival saw me facing facts: it’s been eight days since exposure. Between the rash continuing to spread to new parts of me, and my waking up scratching (!!!) around 3:30 this morning, this is no minor case of poison ivy.

Suffering is the word of the day and so it was time to make an appointment with a doctor, which I have done for tomorrow morning.

Treating the rash, and coping with the torment of it all has really sort of sapped my interest in doing any active gardening, beyond a half-hearted wander around to see how things were growing. And I’m happy to say I found some distraction there.

Many of the foxglove have begun their climb toward the sky, as you can see here. In this shot, there’s an oriental lily seedling (Stargazer, if memory serves) coming up just behind the foxglove.

Except for the wild daisy setting bloom in the lower left corner, the rest of the shot is pretty much full of oregano and clover.

In another part of the garden, a Johnny has Jumped Up, as a result of seeding in that area. I hope to encourage him and see if we can’t get him to thrive and grow into the plural.

In the upper right corner, you can see the foliage and one of several flower buds of the yellow Atlantic poppy I planted a few weeks back, and there’s some allyssum.

In this bed, where I anticipate the most action this summer, things are thriving. This spring saw the removal of lots of the oregano from this bed, though I’ve strategically left some here and there (I actually wanted to write hither and thither at first…ridiculous! Shall we blame the itch…?).

In this shot, visible are iris, boltonia, goldenrod, purple drumstick allium, snapdragons and maybe a leaf or two of beebalm, though it’s hard to be sure. I even spotted the first cosmos seedling, the result of recent seed scattering.

While at work today, a few of my native Cape Coddah friends suggested that a dip in the ocean (if it was warm enough yet) might bring me some relief. It was pleasantly warm today with a high temp of 66, so the idea wasn’t immediately out of the question, and I was feeling a bit uncomfortable as I left work around 9 or so…and I decided to give it a try, figuring I could always back out if the water itself felt too cold.

I decided Rock Harbor was the right place to try. First, it’s on the way home. There’s a nice smooth boat launch ramp, and enough light to guide me, without too much light to reveal me in only boxers. I found the water warmer than I’d expected, if still chilly enough that some convincing was required to encourage me in deeper than my knees.

Still, once I was in, I did feel some relief (if still a little bit of concern about what that underwater shadow was–this is the same place where the horseshoe crabs were having sex last week, after all), and after the salt water dried (naturally, no towels), I wasn’t feeling particularly itchy–yay! The relief only lasted for a couple of hours, but still…it worked.

It’s still 57 degrees tonight, with some real heat forecast to arrive tomorrow. We’ve got the windows open, and I’m realizing that the peepers have stopped their peeping over the last few days. It’s not quiet, exactly, though: I can hear at least three other different frog voices out there in and around the pond, and still the occasional peeper joining in, too.

I’ll wrap things up on a high note, with this pic of the creeping phlox, which is now also blooming in one of our whiskey barrels in the high shade around the house.


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