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."

Sunflower Sunday

I can’t resist a little visual deja vu tonight and so I’m starting off with the same photo as yesterday, taken about the same time of day…but with a much more interesting array of clouds in the sky.

Weather-wise, it was another fantastic day, to complete a full weekend of them, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. Instead of just boring blue skies, we saw a cool variety of cloud types to make things a little more interesting.

Also today, this latest sunflower, now measuring in a little better than seven feet tall, has fully unfurled its giant flowerhead. You’ll find I’m featuring it throughout today’s post.

Can you blame me?

Down low at the feet of all these sunflowers are an ever-increasing array of bachelor’s buttons.

I’m really pleased with how well they are growing this year and I will be sure to sow some of these seeds every year, now.

Remember last weekend, when I predicted that the seashell cosmos would probably start blooming by the start of last week? Ha ha, well, that shows you how much I know.

I guess I should have started these inside when I was getting the first sunflowers germinated. Perhaps they’d be well-blooming by now if I had.

These guys seem to have been hit with some sort of alien slow-motion ray…and while the buds seem to be puffing out nicely know, I’m hesitant to make any additional predictions.

I’ll keep you posted.

Another seed success story has certainly been these morning glories. There’ve been so many different color combinations and these plants are so prolific and eager to draw everyone and everything around them in to sweet entanglement.

I guess it is late enough in the season to declare that the everlastings and statice were not to be counted among the season’s successes.

I was sure I’d seen a few seedlings, but it seems they didn’t pass that all-important survival test. Perhaps in a different setting they’d do better.

I spotted this little grass hopper flitting about inside the fence border this morning. While I wasn’t able to get close without him leaping away, he did indulge me enough to hit his lighting mark on this shasta daisy leaf so I could zoom in for a better look at him…or her.

Emily and I had an enjoyable walk this evening, after a few nights off due to commitments at work. It was a beautiful night and she was eager to set off on our walk around Not Wisteria Lane.

We saw a few bits of early fall color as we made our way. Little reminders that the season before us is reaching its final days and the changes of a new season will be on us before we know it.

Which is to say it was just the right time for a walk.

A pair of pugs decided to come out to greet us this evening. There’s a black one who paces back and forth across his yard as we pass by on a few evening’s recently.

Tonight, that dog was joined by a second and it became clear that – while they are little dogs – two pugs is all they need to have together in order to think they can do the impossible. I was sort of incredulous as the two of them came marching out, shoulder to shoulder, to approach Emily (and probably give her a piece of their little minds about having poo-ed across the street from their house).

I was able to keep her back from them – no easy feat – as she would probably consider the little nuisances little more than a cocktail frank. Their person came out to encourage the two of them to stand down and we were on our way again.

Although the sun was sinking when we returned from our sojourn, there was still some nice light to look at a few things in the garden.

The sunflowers are just getting out of hand, now, but it a great way. They are certainly grabbing hold of my multi-colored color scheme and making it seem overly- yellow.

Of course, the cosmos continuing delay in blooming is enhancing that, as well.

I’d just like to point out that in this photo above, the latest sunflower is taller than the sun.

The cleome flowers are wonderful, but I don’t find that they last especially long. I have been collecting seed from them for next year, as they have been very easy to grow and I am a big fan of these open airy flowers.

This flower represents the start of a second wave of blooming; you may recall I seeded these guys into the garden in waves back in springtime.

Tonight we saw the flash and the spectacle of the Closing ceremonies of the 23rd Olympiad in Beijing. It really was an exciting and spectacular two weeks of games this year. So many world records broken.

I didn’t get to watch much of the coverage yesterday until pretty late last night, as I enjoyed one of those Midori coladas at the restaurant bar after a busy night of work.

I guess it makes sense they save Table Tennis for the last night, but really, that’s not one of the sports they could make available online, instead? It felt like a little bit of an anti-climax. I’d be much more interested in the equestrian or kayak/canoe events. But the cross-country mountain bike race was pretty interesting.

I wasn’t able to watch the Men’s 10M Platform Diving, but I was excited to hear the news that Australian diver Matthew Mitcham won the gold medal. Mitcham is the only one of over 10,000 athletes competing who has declared himself as gay.

I’d like to think his success in Beijing may make it a little easier for other athletes to consider being more open themselves.

Anyway, it was cool news and, I thought, a nice way to bring the two weeks of excitement to a close.

It’s a little bit of a relief that the games are over. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble sleeping through the Democratic convention after all the Olympic late-nights.

Back in the garden, this clump of yellow snapdragons has begun a second wave of blooming, it’s yellow flowers sweetly scenting the air nearby with a tasty citrus-y fragrance. I was amused by this tiny spider hanging out inside one of the flowers, no doubt lying in wait for some even smaller insect pollinator.

I enjoyed these clouds as they reflected the light of the sunset these evening. Really fantastic looking, although they are the sort of thing that puts us all – our persons, our homes, our neighborhoods – into perpective, as these grand beautiful moments happen on such a large scale overhead.

Of course, the dusky clouds were a great backdrop for that new sunflower. And the chance of rain in the forecast for tomorrow would be a wonderful boost to all the other sunflowers still only just starting to bloom.

A break from the watering schedule is always nice. I do the best I can, but really, my best efforts just can’t compare with a nice natural fall of rain.


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