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."

Morning Discoveries

I’m no morning glory. It takes only the first glimmer of morning sun on the horizon to get them to unfurl their petals and turn to golden glow in the east. For me, it really takes at least one cup of coffee…and this morning, it wasn’t really anywhere near dawn, thanks to the cat curled comfortably on my feet and the cool morning air coming in the bedroom window.

After a few slugs of coffee and a one-eyed squint at the online weather forecast to see if there was any chance of rain(none, a cloudy morning followed by sunshine), I stumbled out into the yard, cup in hand, to get the soaker hose connected and turned on.

That done, I wandered out around the fence in search of the morning’s new offerings.

There were more of those blue morning glories quietly blossomed in the lush leaves of the vines on the first post. I was admiring those when I heard something down by my feet.

Mine was sort of a delayed reaction and I suppose my sleepiness may have contributed to his mediocre reaction. Generally, the bunnies are just wary enough to not let you get all that close. This little guy, however, is apparently too young to know that yet.

I’d spotted him last evening, as Em and I were finishing our walk. She, as usual, was oblivious, despite my circling her around for another look at him, over the fence in Sophie’s yard across the street. The Little One didn’t move, nor did he seem particularly frozen with fear.

This morning, I think I nearly stepped on him and that only caused him to hop away a foot or so, before finding a fresh patch of plantain and clover to nibble on. He’s the only one of a new generation I’ve seen so far.

He’s got a lot to look out for in this little world of his. I’ve heard that feral cats in the neighborhood killed an entire litter of rabbit kits earlier this spring and the hawk was big news amongst the birds just a few nights ago. Practical Gardener wants to make a little noise, scare him off, to make him a little more wary of people. They aren’t all like me, after all, and he ought to know the difference.

But Practical Gardener comes into conflict with Poet Gardener, who’s actually already wondering about what his little life entails. Is he part of a larger family group? Is he off on his own, already, looking for a territory to claim, and where will he meet a doe? And of course, he’s already wondering if “Clover” or “Hazel” would be a good name for this little guy.

Naming wild creatures is always a bad idea, says Practical Gardener. It would be hard enough to find his little carcass without it having a name. But Poet Gardener isn’t even listening anymore. He thinks this bunny looks more like a “Henry” somehow.

As you can see, those two lilies which began blooming yesterday really are nestled pretty deeply in clouds of allyssum, which are concealing even more fully a drift of yellow and orange marigolds in the distance. Also, anyone who worries about not having time for weeding may embiggen this to take note of the witch grass and wild oxalis I’m turning a blind eye toward in this part of the garden.

Meanwhile, the tiny thistle seedling I dug out of the edge of the CSX Railroad right-of -way in Austerlitz NY a few years back has become a rather large and happy plant in this new location.

It straddles the line between good dirt and the clay soil in that last section of the garden bed, where I’ve planted more wild things.

Recently, it’s branches had grown so large that they were laying down across other things in the garden, like the purple allyssum at the feet of red rose Mister Lincoln (seen here in the lower left)and falling out the front of the garden onto the grass.

Last evening, I wove a pair of bamboo stakes around the sturdy stems of the thistle, raising them back up in the air again, to give the understory plants a chance to thrive. I’m kind of excited by how hard to spot the stakes are now, and just look at the shape of that “little” thistle plant now. Just wait ’til it starts blooming.

I’ve noticed that these yellow rudbeckia flowers are starting to develop a little of that darker color at the insides of their petals. I wonder if this coloration is a product of soil nutrients, as the color of hydrangeas is often dependent on the amount of aluminum in the ground. Still, they have a long way to go to catch up with the orange and brown flower on the far side of the plant.

Speaking of hydran geas, the one under my bedroom window turns out to be one of those lace-cap varieties. As you can see, it’s developing a lovely shade of blue.

I believe there is another hydrangea plant nearby, though to be honest all the plants against the front of the house are seriously bound up with bindweed, which I will have to address shortly.

That other hydrangea is a bit crowded between the azalea and evergreen on either side of it, and really deserves to be dug up and given some space to do its thing unfettered somewhere with a little elbow room.

Hanging from the eves of the porch is the little fuschia plant I bought last week. The variety is called Winston Churchill.

No cigars or speeches from this pretty little plant, though. Interestingly (considering its namesake), its white skirts change to purple as the blossom ages (perhaps J. Edgar Hoover might’ve been more appropriate), creating some nice variety on just one small plant.

There’s a little traffic down at the bottom of this sky shot. Not at all the focus here, as it was moving briskly and no troubles to speak of. No, it was the clouds that caught my eye here, as I headed off to work this morning.

There was plenty to hold my attention in the office this afternoon, with a few new events popping unexpectedly onto the horizon, while details for other upcoming parties began to fall into place.

At day’s end, though, I was happy to detour down to the beach parking lot for a look at how some people were whiling away their afternoons. Really, I just wanted to see the sunshine on the water for a few minutes before turning to head home.


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