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."

The Midsummer Revels


A hot morning in our June garden, but there’s lots to see, so sit back and be ready for a long post. Today, I’ll kick things off with a more fantastic shot of the moss roses.


The first lychnis flowers are coming into bloom this week. I wonder if there’s a more common name for this plant I’m not familiar with.

The official name I’ve found is the Latin, which is lychnis coranaria…and in search of a warmer, friendlier name, I found it also referred to as Purpurklatt(Oh, great…German…).

I’m totally entranced by these red roses on the trellace, so you know I’m going to make you look at another one today.

Here’s an orange calendula blossom, getting a little shaggy looking as it nears the end of its life.

But never fear, not far away is a straw-colored variation just coming on. And these guys really do bloom like crazy over the summer, as long as you dead-head regularly.

The red snapdragons are currently ruling the central garden bed.

Here’s one nestled amongst the stalks of some drumstick allium, whose flower heads are growing larger each day and beginning to split out of their onion-skin pods.

The last of the peony bushes came on this morning, with only a single blossom this year. Of course, with all the others, its sort of an embarrassment of riches!


The numerous stalks of milkweed are sporting their big flower balls now. Their colors are a bit muted, but they’re pretty popular with pollinators. Actually, though, I’m a little concerned on that subject.

I’ve been hearing a lot about the American Honeybee and Colony Collapse Syndrome, and have been keeping my eyes especially peeled for some these guys. And so far, I’m not seeing them. I hope they’ll appear with the blooming of the Oregano That Ate Eastham, as they’ve swarmed that in years past.

Down at the far southern end of the back garden’s field is a rosebush, overgrown and probably too shaded by tall pine trees.

Despite all that, every year it puts out a few of these simple and delicate flowers. I hope to find a sunnier sight for this special plant. Can’t you just imagine the plant covered in these?

Doing battle against the Oregano That Ate Eastham is this fantastic sweet william, which actually looks just a little more maroon than the red the sun was bringing out here.

Over on the edge of the grape madness is this rose, which has a double blossom that always reminds me of zinnias.

After a while, I left the back garden to explore the rest of the yard and as I wandered out to the road to snap a photo of the pond, I spied a mama duck and at least four ducklings.

She seemed to be herding them into the tall pond grass at the water’s edge. I wonder if their nest is in there.

Here’s a great pink sweet william from the front garden I thought you’d enjoy. So much variety in this species.

Along the driveway are some leggy single pink roses.

And right outside the front door, our Chrysler tea rose is blooming for the first time in…sweet Gaea, I think it’s been like nine years!

Not far away, Mr. Lincoln has put out half of a red blossom. Considering we’d declared him dead last summer, this seemed a pretty terrific effort.

Meanwhile, in the living room window, it’s been fun watching the baby catbirds in their nest(Interestingly, our actual cat seems to have no interest in these goings-on).

We try to just look in on them now and again, since both parents shoot us dirty looks when they spot us checking them out. But its fun to peek in on their progress…and to watch both parents swooping in on seemingly-endless food runs.


After work, I found myself drawn back out into the garden, where I found a catbird bathing in the new birdbath.

He was really getting into it, splashing around and having a good time, but suddenly glanced up at the sky and took flight, making room for a thirsty robin.

Once she was sated and took wing, the catbird returned from his perch in the apple tree, to splash and bask a little more.

Another gazania blossom glowed in the evening light.

There’s plenty of magic in the garden this time of year, from the birds to the roses.

Tonight we also had the special effect of lightning bugs taking wing, their trademark chartreuse flashes appearing randomly around me in the air.

Here’s one on a milkweed plant.

And for good measure, a three-quarter moon rose in the south.

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