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."

Such Sweet Sorrow…


It’s always a little sad to leave a garden. You’ve spent a year or maybe three tending a piece of earth, encouraging things to grow. You try to give them what they need to thrive. And then you season the ground with dreams and hope, visions dancing in your mind of what they might be in a year or two or three…or ten! And then magic happens.

It’s interesting to think of this place next summer, to imagine it when its gone a little wild. It would be fun to come back and see what it looks like, though I’m fairly certain I won’t.

I’m sure, from experience, that the grasses will take no time in taking the field, but the milkweed family spreads seed far and wide, too. And I have encouraged quite a colony of foxglove back there, who seem to be doing just fine on their own…and we can’t forget the Oregano That Ate Eastham.

A few representatives of each are among the ranks of the moving, tho legions remain behind.

Before work this morning I coaxed a few more of the larger plants into pots, including the Montauk daisies, a seedling burning bush, some chrysanthemums and several pots of Shasta daisies with yellow coreopsis interplanted. Some of these pots also carry some disturbed bulbs (ACK!)(Well, perhaps ‘incidentally excavated’ is the better description) in the lower decks.

It’s always tricky to decide who stays and who goes. On the one hand, you love them all. But taking everyone is really a pretty vast goal, also depending on what sort of garden conditions the next place has to offer. So you end up sorting based on who cost the most, and what conditions at the new site are most favorable for whom, and how much ground is available, too, of course.

At one point we moved into a place with little gardening space, and we transplanted many of the plants into a friend’s yard, where they remained–mostly untended, for two years until we moved into a different place with more yard. Some of those plants (or their descendents) are moving with us again this fall.

And there’s a part of me that likes to leave some of the garden behind, too. Something to grow on its own and surprise someone in the future, maybe to entice them into doing some gardening or even just to bring them a smile. That’s the coolest thing about gardening – its your chance to make the world a better place.

Since I found plenty of loveliness already here in this place, it’s kind of fun to leave some addition to that for the next person who rakes the field…or just to give the bunnies some variety of diet.


Even the most positive of moves can bring a little nervousness. There’s the upheaval of getting Life into boxes (or pots) and not knowing just where it will all go at the new place and wondering how long you can wait to pack some things…and all that stuff.

Of course, some of us are just thrilled with the boxes.

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