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."


I woke to another overcast morning today. We seem to be getting the less delightful weather out of the way before the long weekend starts, which is a nice change of pace.

The forecast for the weekend is fairly stellar, as such things go. Either we’re finally catching a break from the holiday weekend blues, or the local chambers of commerce have finally strong-armed regional meteorologists and said, “Look, you don’t know what you’re talking about, anyway. Tell them it will be nice so they’ll come to the Cape for the weekend.” We’ll see…

Inside, the thriving morning glories are eager to climb something. They’ll be high on the weekend’s list. There wasn’t lots to see outside in the short time I had to visit the garden before work today…just a host of things I hope to accomplish with some free time this weekend.

The money plant’s still giving us a nice range of purples, as its flowers fade, replaced with the beginnings of the papery silver-dollar seedpods that inspires their most common name.


But other things are on the way, as is evident in this recently discovered iris bud just outside the front door.

These irises predate us in this location, so the color of their blooms is unknown. I’m suspecting they’ll be some light color, like white or yellow…but I’ve been surprised before. And on this topic, anyway, that’s rarely a bad thing.

Despite being early out the door, I was later arriving to work than I expected since I met a new neighbor. As I got into the car, I spotted this long-legged dog booking down the street in my direction. She turned into our driveway and leaped up on the side of the car, a goofy smile on her face. It was like she spotted me and said, “Hey, WE’RE going to be great friends!”

She was only a pup, I could tell, though nearly as big as thirteen year old Emily. All legs and tongue. I think this may have been a mastiff, tho I’m often a little vague on specifics like that. Do mastiffs come in white and pale brown? Do their faces smush back a little like there’s a pug in the family tree? I’m not sure. Maybe she’s a distant relation of Hagrid’s dog, Fang. Anyway, her temperament was great, thank goodness–friendly as anything, slurping me through the open window as I stroked the top of her head.

I got out after a moment, when it became clear she wasn’t going to leave me or the car alone…much less get far enough away for me to comfortably drive away. It’s a long ride to Orleans, and it’d be a longer run behind the car, I thought, which seemed like exactly what I might expect of this eager girl, so I thought I’d see if I could figure out whose house she came from. At that point I was pinned against the side of the car and solidly slurped.

Once I extricated myself from that, and offered a half-hearted admonition through laughter, I must confess (don’t tell Em) that it was refreshing to walk down the street beside a dog (not on a leash, just a chain prong collar) who walked alongside me and listened when I suggested sitting and such. Everything seemed to fascinate her, though, as she noticed and woofed at each bird that flew by. Wait’ll she meets the bunnies and butterflies.

There’s a house down the street where I’ve noticed they have multiple dogs, so I thought perhaps this one came from there…but there was no human present, and the reaction through the window we got from those multiple dogs made it clear this one wasn’t one of them. We walked back to the house of one of the neighbors I know, and she told me the dog belonged to the people who’d just moved in next to her.

They weren’t home, of course. And they had apparently left their dog out in the backyard, where she’d easily gotten underneath the flimsy coated wire fencing they thought would discourage her. Just as easily, she went back under when I lifted it, sat down and grinned at me.

I don’t think I left with illusions that she was going to stay in the pen for any great length of time once my back was turned. But at least she stayed in there long enough for me to walk back to our place, two houses down. I hope she decided to be a good girl and stayed put, because she certainly was too sweet and I wouldn’t want anything to have happened to her. But as much as I was falling for her, she’s not my dog or my responsibility…and a half hour had passed since I’d first set out for work…so off I drove, fingers crossed.

It’ll be interesting to see how quickly this dog and I cross paths again.

The day continued graying as the afternoon came on, when I was able to get a break from work things to drive to the bank. I caught these clouds over Boat Meadow Creek on my way back.

I’m not sure what these low shrubs are growing on the edge of the marsh. I feel like I have known their name in the past, but if so, it escapes me today. However, their honeyed fragrance was not lost on me, as it hung thick in the air when I stopped for the picture.

It was, though, nothing compared to the scent that greeted me when I stopped a little further down the road, at a spot where there’s a great hedge of lilacs. It’s quite spectacular, stretching three or four car-lengths, along a bend in the road. There’s one pale flowered plant (like the one I showed you the other day), but the rest of the hedge is this darker variety…the shade of which was really popping on such a grey day.

We’ve had some off and on showers since late afternoon, though I noticed through the windows of the banquet hall that the sun returned, glorious and gold, just in time for sunset. But it rained pretty hard for the ride home.

At the moment, though, stars are visible everywhere in the sky.

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