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."

Night Falls

The Good Times ice cream truck returned to Not Wisteria Lane tonight. The last we’d seen the truck and it’s female owner/operator, Nicole, she advised me that she’d be back on Tuesday and Saturday evenings. As it turns out, I’d been here most of the Tuesdays and Saturdays the last two weeks…and no ice cream.

But then this evening, when all hope was lost, we heard the distinctive tones of the electronic “Turkey in the Straw” drifting on the evening air and we dashed around waving them down and grabbing some money. What can I say, those Strawberry Shortcake bars are a rare treat.

When I mentioned her absence, she told me she’d been working the Eastham beaches (oh, sure, now that we’re in Harwich…), but she gave me her card, “in case you have an ice cream emergency.” (Weren’t we just chuckling about the Cookie Emergency truck in Montreal?)

So now we’ve got her phone number and it almost seems worth it to have another barbecue, just to get the ice cream truck to cater dessert. She also does Weddings (picture, if you will…), Birthdays and other Special Occasions, naturally. Next time, I’ll have to ask her if the truck plays “La Cucharacha”, as I hear this is a popular choice for ice cream trucks in Baltimore.

And so we had our dessert while dinner was still cooking.

* * *

The sun sinks behind the trees, light on the garden becoming first dappled, then indirect…and gradually seeping away as the sky darkens above.

Walk with me along the garden’s edge, our bare feet in the damp grass of evening. We’ll light some candles and talk some about the various plants…whispering their names and stories, if we know them.

We stoop to sniff at one blossom or another. All the snapdragons smell like different kinds of candy, their scents growing stronger in the gathering shadows. In nearby bushes, birds chirp their young ones a nest-time story as they settle in for the dark night ahead.

Here’s a sort of group picture, the Midnight Garden Class of 2008, Spring Semester, if you will.
As the sun sets, the moon suddenly appears behind the treeline across the street. As the evening progresses, we watch it clear the treetop and light the sky, puffy cotton clouds lit sideways with it’s glowing beams.

I believe that “star” to the east/left of the moon is Jupiter. It’s elliptical orbit has it as close to the earth as it ever gets this week, thus the extra brilliance.

The Fair Orb is not quite full this evening, but it’s close enough that you really can’t tell much of a difference. It’s bright beams catch the white petals of the daisies and snapdragons and that single white cleome and set them to gleaming in the dark. Maybe someday I’ll have a White Garden for just such occasions, as Vita did at Sissinghurst (though perhaps on a more manageable scale).

For now, the daisies’ glow is enough.


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