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."

Sunday Garden Report

Through some unfortunate set of circumstances I’ve yet to completely comprehend, I found myself awake at 6:30 this morning. Not a bad thing, per se, unless you’ve stayed up until 2:00 a.m. watching the first Michael Keaton Batman movie on television.

But that’s okay, there was coffee, and I had a project I wanted to tend to before heading off to a day of fun in Happy Function Land. You see, the mails brought a treat this week, from my friend The Rhet. She’d been to an iris swap recently and, aware of the minimal show of irises currently available at the Midnight Garden, put together a small sampler box of roots from her Baltimore garden and sent them winging in my direction.

They’d arrived in fine shape, if a little parched (it was a hot week to travel in a box, after all). To prevent any nasty Maryland buggies from gaining a beachhead here in Massachusetts, I set them up for an overnight soak in water, with just a capful of bleach.

This morning, they were ready to be planted and so after that all-important first cup of coffee, out we went to the border to find suitable homes for each of the new additions.

Who knows? Perhaps numbered in this bunch will be my first scented iris, or maybe one of those new-fangled re-bloomers for the 2009 season! Already I’m giddy with anticipation…

I’m especially fond of the Rhet’s unconventional plant tags. I’m also quite fond of her unique handwriting, which I’ve known for more of my life than not at this point…but I also simply enjoy the economy of it all.

After all, once the roots are planted, the leaves should be cut right down (and wereby the way, if you’ve not already done so with your irises, now’s a fine time of year for that…it’ll tidy them up and you’ll have new green leaves by August…) to push that energy down into the roots. No doubt in a week or two, new leaves will form to gather solar energy for next spring’s show.

In the meantime, I have some possibilities to drool over. I love the one that says “Probably Purple”, but the Polish Princess with gold, yellow and lavendar sounds pretty delightful, too! Thank you, my dear!!


These happy golden marigolds echoed the color of the cloud-obscured sun this morning, as the temperature was already climbing toward the 80s in the early hours. Humidity never really abated in the night, as our tropical wave continues.

This purple hydrangea is still a bit overgrown, but certainly flowering nicely now that I’ve freed it from the bonds of the rampaging bindweed.

I know I’ve shown off these pretty portulaca before, but just look at it. What a spectacularly perfect little flower, how could you not love it?

Of course, if I get enough protests from you who are sick to death of them (yah, it’s a challenge…you wanna take me and the Nicodemon on, do you? Heh heh…), I’ll stop showing them off. Maybe.


More of the bachelor’s buttons continue to reveal themselves each morning. What’s better than a flower you grew from seed?

There are more than a few of these delicious blue guys, but some of the other colors continue to reveal themselves, like this bright rosy pink version.

Sorry the pic is a little on the crappy side, but with the tropical humidity we are also seeing a lot of gusty winds (filed under Y for “yay, a breeze!”), which make flower photography a special challenge.

Meanwhile, in another part of the garden, another variety of sunflower has joined in the great chorus of July. Purty, ain’t it?
Last evening, it was the Turkeys. Tonight, while Emily and I were on our walk around the block, we crossed paths with a family of gray ducks. Again, a momma with six young ones, no longer babies, but still not quite the size of their parent. They herded together at the sight of us and waddled off through the hedge of someone’s yard.

I didn’t have my camera with me. I think you’ll understand that wrangling eighty pounds of Herself as well as managing bags of poo is really quite enough, without having to juggle pricey electronic equipment, too. I went back with the camera when our walk was through, but they were gone.

On an unrelated note, a few of you have encouraged me to be kind and treat myself as I travel this path away from the Cigarettes (day three went well, thanks!) and I wanted to let you know about one of those treats. I’ve recently discovered the Green Machine, one of the juice smoothies from the folks at www.nakedjuice.com at one of our local convenience stores.

At $2.99 a bottle, it’s not cheap, but it’s still half what I was spending on a pack of cigarettes and so much tastier. As an added bonus, it’s got spirulina, which for some reason I just love. It makes me feel all good inside. Plus, it’s green!

Here’s the windblown garden as I returned from my half-hearted search for the ducks. It’s looking a bit overgrown just now, since the edging needs to be done, the grass is ready for mowing and plenty of the allyssum are ready for deadheading. But the dianthus are beginning a second flush of blooming and with the bachelor buttons coming on strong and the cleome taking center stage, it’s still quite a lot of fun.
In the foreground (at the base of the closest sunflower stalk) is a nearly invisible blue-green cloud of thistle foliage, which is simply covered with flower buds that’ll be opening into little purply-pink blossoms sometime this week, too.

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