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."


Saturday morning began with the first blooms on the Easter cactus, their fuscia tones almost too vivid to look at.

Nearby, my bedroom window is suddenly crowded with green. In the plastic bin in the lower left, you’ll see all the cleome seedlings, their more ornate leaves beginning to show. There’s also a few recent morning glory sprouts closer to the window ledge.

On the right side you’ll see a quartet of tomato plants I picked up at the nursery yesterday…where I also acquired the two sixpacks of tall marigold seedlings you see on the window ledge, flanking the larger morning glory seedlings.

Those older morning glories suddenly put out long whip-like stems today, and I’ll be happy to get them out of the bedroom before they strangle me in the night.

With a head full of fond weekend reunions from Memorial Days past, good friends are always on my mind this time of year. So it was great to get the call from Beth and Joe this morning saying they were on Cape and headed in my general direction.

We met at the restaurant and had a great visit over lunch. It wasn’t nearly as long as we’d have liked, as I had an afternoon of work ahead of me, and they were staying in far-off Falmouth and had plenty of vacation-type plans. Still, we enjoyed what time we had!

Had to show you the beautiful bluebells of our neighbor in Harwich. I really need to get me some of these!

In was an exciting day in our yard, as Owen’s work completing some comprehensive network of fencing allowed Em to wander freely around the yard for the first time in years. She’s not what you might call “trustworthy” on the subject of staying nearby, so she’s always been on a run or a leash when she’s outside, for her own protection and that of the World At Large.

But now she’s got some open space where she can roam free (though neither you nor she should think we aren’t watching her every move, just to be sure!) and not feel so much like a prisoner. Although, to look at the way she lounges carefree in the sun, you wouldn’t think that was foremost in her mind.

That’s quite a tongue, isn’t it?

This little montauk daisy plant is one of my accidental garden triumphs. When I bought the big plant a few years ago, it got jostled in transit and the tip of one of the branches was broken. The stem appeared to have pre-root bumps (perhaps I mean nodes) along it, so I took a chance and stuck it in the ground not far from where the larger plant was located.

To my surprise, the little stem survived and even bloomed at it’s appointed time. Today, it’s grown into this. Don’t get too excited, though; this doesn’t bloom until just before Columbus Day.

Meanwhile, here on Not Wisteria Lane, the irony comes from the fact that I simply chose that as a code name for privacy’s sake. However, it turns out there’s actually a hell of a lot of wisteria growing on our street, like these vines just down the street from us.

The deeper purple of the buds is a more obvious color at a distance. Once the flowers open up they turn a lighter blue which is one of the most difficult flower colors to read from far off. They’re not so much to look at as you drive past.

Fortunately, I wasn’t afraid to get right up close.

Down the street in the opposite direction, this treetop echoes with the unison cries of baby birds demanding dinner. I didn’t spy any adult activity, so I can’t name a species, but it’s always an exciting sound.

There’s lots going on in the bird world, though. Passionate swarms of orioles and cardinals swirl past through lilac-scented air. A pair of starlings chased each other between us on the back porch this evening.

In a treetop down the street, it appeared the flickers might be educating young ones in things aero dynamic. Bluejays and catbirds rustled around in various thickets of underbrush.

Every now and then a gull or two made a pass by overhead from nearby shores.

As darkness fell, I was out in the garden, lighting some tea candles in the lanterns I’ve got hanging on the fence and heard a familiar buzzing.

I didn’t have a flashlight with me, but the camera’s flash revealed the arrival of those dumb thugs of the bug world, the May Beetle…soon to be known as the June Bug.

The graceless way they arrive on the screens of early summer almost always makes me laugh…though sometimes that low buzz can be a little disconcerting.


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