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."

Garden Day

The day got off to a slower start than expected. The new furnace decided to take last night off, so the earlier part of my day off was about huddling around coffee to warm up, and blogging as I waited for the repair guy. A loose connection was discovered and all is well now…grrr…but it took a long hot shower to finally bring me around on being good for anything.

I did finally rake much of the winter’s debris out of the garden and the bits of the lawn adjacent to the garden…and then had to take a break as the sky darkened and we had a twenty minute downpour…which was followed by a few minutes of snow flurries.

Finally, thin gold threads of sunlight began to break through the clouds and I was able to return to the task of adding some topsoil to the garden beds. Spread out, the cumulative dirt of seven bags doesn’t substantially raise the level of the garden, so that task remains. But it looks nice for spring, so a task well-done.

The grass along the street-side of the garden was sopping wet (it rained pretty hard) though you can’t see it in the picture. That’s what last year’s sneakers are for, though!

Here’s the discovery that excited me the most, these tiny red leaves of heliotrope! They are very small at this point (I heart macrofocus!), but I look forward to big things from them. I’ve had heliotrope grow taller than me, but never in this full sun location which it’s bound to love.

This clump of shasta daisy and grape hyacinth foliage is evidence of the Buddy Rule I try to encourage when moving the garden: perennials find a bulb or two as “nursery pot partners” for the travel from one yard to the next.

That way the bulbs travel underground and I disturb them as little as possible and I don’t have to deal with twice as many pots.

There are daylilies a-plenty in the border garden. Of course we’ll have to wait to see which ones are which. The growth pattern here makes me think of the one I bought at the yard sale last summer, which was yellow…but we’ll see.

The pond’s been running again for about a week and the fish are beginning to wake up. A frog who traveled from Eastham didn’t get around to hibernating, and has now gone on to swamp heaven (I assume there’s plenty of flies…), but all the fish seem well.

So, I was standing on the back deck, taking this picture of the tree out back–I think it’s an oak, we’ll know soon–to show you all the leaf buds getting ready to pop.

I glanced away for a moment, my attention captured by some raindrops on rose vines which didn’t photograph well…and I heard a familiar cheee-nk sound from the treetop and saw a single black bird.

And then, the Red-Winged Blackbirds returned from Florida, or wherever it is they go for the cold months. But suddenly, they were back, all of them singing “I feel pretty “, though no one particularly in tune or tempo with anyone else.

I quickly began counting and got to 26 before there was another rustling of wings and their number nearly doubled. They weren’t marauding like the starlings do. Each took a branch and stayed there, no doubt enjoying the sun’s warm rays before it sank below the horizon, and catching their breath after a long flight. I eventually counted 43.

They were gone again a few minutes later, but it’s nice to know they’re back and we’ll be hearing their songs again.

I picture them all flying off to check in to their trees and branches for the summer season, maybe shaking tiny sheets off of dusty little Adirondack chairs and airing out last year’s nests where they remain from winter storms, and starting fresh where they don’t.

And so it begins.


Comments on: "Garden Day" (4)

  1. flyingstars said:

    WoW..some very beautifully captured shots…lovely!

  2. Jenn Thorson said:

    It’s like seeing a little bit of hope spring up.

  3. Anonymous said:

    You have a nice blog, Greg. I was going through some of your previous entries and noticed the difference from the “floating gardens” to the most recent and much drier, picture of the same garden. Too bad you’re on the other side of the world from me
    ( we’re in the PNW )or I would kindly, ask if you hire out. ;-) I love looking at gardens but unfortunately, do not enjoy the work required in making them beautiful.

    Thanks for the lovely pictures and glad your new furnace is back to doing its job.


  4. PNW’s a bit of a commute for regular maintenance, though I thank you for the offer, Butch. I will confess that, as the season goes on, I try to keep the “work” part as minimal as possible…most of it’s too much fun for me to think of as work, though!

    The furnace is a story for another day, perhaps. ; )

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