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."

Nattering On


Okay, so maybe you’re thinking “Greg? Again…? You’ve posted two, no three…actually, this make four times in the last 24 hours. What gives?”

Just spring, I guess…but also, being a little fussy, I must admit to being just a little less than pleased with the tag cloud I created last night. I hadn’t realized at the time that it was going to simple scan the first page of the blog for words. I guess I imagined it would be a grand and glorious garden of words, with the names of every plant I’ve ever written about in the last three years springing up.

Instead, it captured things like “Chengdu” and assorted other words specifically related to recent events I mentioned briefly, and pulled words like “bleeding” out of the oft-mentioned bleeding heart. Not exactly the pastoral over-view of the Midnight Garden I was hoping for.

I’ve been thinking about how to fix that(as though I couldn’t easily come up with a list of a hundred things more important and/or worthwhile to apply my feeble braincells to), because I really do love these clouds of words. It’s such a fun visual thing, but I might need to customize something to work a little more color in, too.

But meantime, I wanted to get a little floral something back up on the “cover” of the blog, and so there’s some of those simple and wonderful blue pansies from the front garden, where they are responding to regular deadheading and natural overwatering by sending up ever more and more of these cheery blossoms.

It’s an overcast sort of day here. Temp is 56, so not uncomfortable, but the Cape Cod Breeze machine seems to be steadily stirring the air today, so it doesn’t feel especially warm, either. But comfortable enough to bring my coffee out to the front yard to review the troops and see what’s going on.

Four of the five peonies are looking great. The fifth, much tinier than the others, has toppled over near the tops of its small stems. I guess I couldn’t hope for a perfect 5 of 5 for the transplanting thing…but this could be an issue of the peony’s crown now being a little deeper in the ground than it ought to be, owing from the level-raising I’ve done earlier this season. But exploration of this must be deferred for another day, when work is not imminent.

Similarly, the recent flooding has given the soil of the garden a sort of smooth and hard-packed look to the surface in between plants…and I’d love to get out there with the handfork and carefully churn it all up again. Something about the flooding also manages to bring the sand to the top, as well. Fun times. Again, waiting for another day…and in fact, that project – time-consuming as it will be – will have to wait until I’ve finished the lamp-post bed and gotten some vegetables underway.

Which reminds me, I really MUST stop by a nursery soon and choose my tomato plants for the season, before the crazy seasonal hordes show up at week’s end for Memorial Day, when they’ll be opening their second homes and clogging the highways (but also, hopefully, eating at the restaurant!). I know from past experience that new deliveries of plants arrive on Thursday, and also that, by noontime on Saturday, those same new arrivals will have decimated the nursery supplies better than any locust swarm.

And speaking of them, we still have yet to see any sign of the cicadas. I’m not sure if that’s because they are not as prevalent out at this end of the Cape, or perhaps because it’s remained a little cool and our ground temperature hasn’t quite reach their trigger level of warmth for emergence. I’m not saying we’re out of the woods or anything on the subject, but nothing yet. On a slightly related note, emails from the Adirondacks have me grateful that we do not have to deal with those great flying piranhas, the black fly.

And I was looking at the columbines over at Butch’s Banter and also at It’s a Dog’s Life (those seem gi-normous!) and wondering if they get taller in sunnier conditions because they are trying to fling their seed back into shadier areas. I ponder all this because I’ve moved several columbines from shadier areas in Eastham to plunk them down in full sun here in Harwich, and I’m wondering what the results may be. Always interesting to see.

While giving things a once-over, I discovered that some of those wonderful wild daisies, with their smaller, earlier flowers have hitch-hiked to Harwich with a clump of shasta daisies…and are getting ready to start flowering, I think in time for the long weekend. Whoopee!!

I hope you are all having good days today, and finding time to enjoy the world around you. I’ll be back to natter at you about the garden some more later on.

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