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."

After several years of not or barely blooming, our scotch broom – a red/wine colored variety – began to put on a show this morning. It’s like a whole new discovery for me, which I guess really sums up how I feel about every darned moment of this time of year outside.

I was up super early so I’d have time to run the soaker hose and do a little spot watering, and still have time to enjoy my coffee in the sunshine, before heading in to what was a full day’s work ahead.

The weather’s been fantastic and the growth that’s happening in the garden is almost happening too quickly to be able to note it all. Those sunflower seedlings are higher than that first fence railing now, thick and leafy and looking like they want to really tower for me. All those flower stalks I mentioned the other day are a little taller, and the foxglove now is showing little flower buds that’ll grow as the stalk shoots up.

Some of the roses are already setting flower buds in profusion, as this bush I’ve trained on the fence is clearly doing. Don’t know what color we’ll see here, or if its one of those species that trades scent for blooming longer. I do see that there seems to be some leaf-nibbling, but that’s insects, not bunnies.

I always hate to spray any kind of poison in the garden, for fear of what it will do to the good insects, but the roses almost require it. I should call around and see which nursery might be selling ladybugs this year.

It was a full day at work today, but a successful one, and with some fabulous weather to enjoy just outside the door at odd moments. Our temperatures got up to 80, not that I was in a position to enjoy that overly much…but I did sneak outside a few times just to look and smell and bask in the sunshine.

I swear, I just love the lighting on the Cape in summertime–sometimes it just gives you that perfect image with lighting and shadow that looks a little like something from one of the Provincetown art schools of the last century.

Embiggen – if you will – the photo below, and then take note of the birds in the lower right–the shadows were too intense for a proper ID without binocs, but the silhouette looks like a heron. Since it’s shorter than Old Joe, I think I’ll put my money on those being green herons.

This, by the way, is Saquatucket Harbor in Harwich. The parking lot of the marina is also landscaped heavily with rugosa roses. These hot pink single ones are really the ones you see just about everywhere hereabouts this time of year. It’s a cross to bear, but we try to cope.

Back home this evening, I found many more dianthus flowers opening, including this magenta one.

I also got this photo of the flowers of the third columbine plant currently in bloom.

These seem to match the second flower from yesterday’s post, but I’m not sure if it’s a little more purple…and it’s hard to know if that’s a product of genetics or just lighting.

Hey, big exciting news beyond the dianthus, though: since when I looked this morning, the corn has begun to poke out of the ground in various locations.

It not being a secret garden anymore, I mostly resisted the impulse to victory dance. And anyway, there wasn’t time for that…not with a dog to be walked.

Like just about everything else today, it was an enjoyable and visually exciting walk this evening. I use these cool irises from a yard down the street to help illustrate my point.

Knowing they might not be to everyone’s taste, depending on your color preferences, I’ll also show you the Biggest Rhododendron Ever…well, at least, one of the biggest I’ve seen. Emily was especially pleased–it’s not on our regular route, but it was a nice night for a longer walk!

It’s actually taller than the house it sits in front of. I can’t help ponder just how long that means this particular plant’s been growing here to have reached this size, and I find myself thinking about what the local landscape might’ve been like when it was new.

In that same area, my nose sudden went on alert as it was tickled with the scent of marine heliotrope (the purple, annual variety recently discussed). I didn’t see any of that anywhere nearby, so now I’m wondering what else might have a similar scent.

Perhaps it was this tree with the tiny, jasmine-y looking yellow flowers. Anyone recognize this one?

I want to describe the scent better for you, it has such a strong effect on me, nearly sending me swooning with delight. But scent’s a funny thing, and hard to talk about when you’re not currently smelling it. I think I’ll have to pick up one of those heliotropes and then take some notes while I sit with my nose against the sweet purple flowers. (Oh, the things I won’t suffer to make a nice blog post for you people.)

Back in the garden, some of the clover I transplanted in the fall has begun blooming. You can see why I fancy it enough to have brough some along. That’s allyssum in the background.

Taking advantage of the weather, and the possibility of a few days rain coming our way (with a possible heat wave to follow!), I finally got my tomato plants into their places out in the border. I never mind mixing them right into the flower border–after all, why should I make it difficult for the pollinators by seperating all the plants that need them?

This year, I’ve got four of them: 2 Supersweet 100s, 1 Burpee Big Boy, and 1 Early Girl. They’ve been living in the bedroom window for the last week or two and doing quite well with the southern exposure. They’ve grown strong and bushy and doubled in height.

To make sure that they have a good strong footing against the winds here, I snipped off all the lower branches and buried each tomato deep, so they’ll develop a good strong and deep root system off those buried stalks.

On the way home this evening, I stopped at the nursery to look around at what there was. I’ve been good about resisting temptation this year, but I was looking for some more marigolds of interesting varieties, since they are great companions for the tomatoes and may help to deter the bunnies in concert with the Liquid Fence and all.

I always like these semi-double orange ones on the right–such a terrific color balance against the purples and still not that pom-pom business. And the red/yellow ones to the left, well, they were the only sixpack of seedlings like it…and they were simply too wonderful to leave behind.

I ran out of light for planting, so hopefully the showers tomorrow morning will hold off so I can plant these guys.


EDIT: Hey, it turns out this is my 1400th (!!!) post to the Midnight Garden. Yah, it’s true, many of those were single photo posts, from before there was a layout function or I knew how it worked. But still, since I totally missed my three year blogging anniversary at the end of April, I thought I’d mention it.

Really, it just means I’ll *never* finish getting all those tags added retroactively. However, while we’re on the subject, if you hit the “columbine” tag, you can see examples of the others those new ones might be descended from.


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