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."

Of Middle Summer


It’s been sort of a rainy week.  These things happen and there’s really nothing we can do about it, so resistance – as they say – is useless.  : )

I know someone who takes great glee in rainy days this time of year.   She sadistically claims that nothing makes her happier than rain-soaked sad-faced tourists.  It’s pretty clear, isn’t it, that she doesn’t have a job where she has to actually deal with weather-worn vacationers, isn’t it?  Frankly, I like the sunny days, because then everyone’s at the beach or golfing and its a little easier to drive around.


Personally, I thought the rain was sort of appropriate.   Last weekend, as I marked that Smobriety Anniversary, I was a bit overzealous in my celebrations and you read here my minimalizing the accomplishment of having gotten over cigs.  All that’s a lie, sort of.   I’ll probably never be over them entirely – this afternoon I found myself thinking of my shirt pocket as I drove out of the work parking lot.   That pocket being where I always kept those cigarettes…which I used to regularly reach for as I drove away from work at the end of the day.  It surprised me how that long dormant habit tickled my thinking out of the blue.

The rain that followed last weekend’s celebratory mood helped to remind me of what this week was like a year ago.  It’s true, there was a lot going on in Blogland a year ago this week, and a lot going on in my personal secret thinking at the time, too, but I was also getting my butt kicked by the Nicodemon.  It wasn’t a fun week at all.  I’m glad to remember that now, so I’m not tempted to get cocky about it “being easy” to stop smoking.


The heat of last weekend is but a memory.  This time only the humidity has remained, in the form of showers and fog and such.   The sweet peas are thriving and blooming steadily, as you can see.   I was pleased by the deeper pink blossom that appeared…but completely taken by surprise when the red one appeared.  What a treat!

(Of course, I’m still hoping there’ll also be some purple…)

Elsewhere in the Porch Container Garden, I’m excited to share this shot of the Winston Churchill fuschia.  I bought this as a seedling last summer.  It bloomed for me pretty well, but was a lop-sided slip of a plant.


I managed, somehow, to keep it alive in a southern window last winter and now, it has grown into a relatively handsome and respectable looking plant and is going to burst into wonderful blossom this weekend.  Hee hee.   Ah, how I love a success story!

I had foolishlessly thought that the rainy Tuesday and the wet grass that followed might mean a night off from the Cat Walkabout.  I was mistaken.

Indeed, we have continued to go for walks this week, even in a light drizzle one evening.  It seems that the Catdude will not be deterred from his nightly parambulations now, which is sort of funny.


He was a bit more cautious about walking through the grass at first, but then grew accustomed to the conditions and pushed on undaunted.   All the maple trees around here are suffering from some sort of blight or something, I believe, as a result of  the excessive rain, and are loosing their leaves already.   I try to be careful about not stepping on the leaves, since the crunching sound seems to  unnerve the Mighty Hunter.


I did find that “we” climbed up on more things, I assumed as a result of the wet grass.  But it could be that he’s just trying new things and now that he knows how much of the yard he can survey from the frame of that old grindstone, we’ll be visiting that promontory again and again.

The woodpile on the southern edge of the yard was also a new vantage point for us.  I’ve been pleased to note (then and on earlier trips out) how cautious he is when we are in a part of the yard where he can see the traffic going by, and how carefully he studies the speedy gassy travelers as they pass.  I know he’s a pretty smart and resourceful kitty – he did come to me from what seemed to be at least a brief life in the Wild, after all.  But I’m glad to know that, if he did get out, that’s something he’d likely be careful about.

Amusingly, toward the end of our wet walk, my Buddy made an impressive nearly-six-foot leap onto the top of a plywood cabinet beneath our deck (which is only accessible by ladder or through the door from the dining room…or if you can leap, cat-like, from below…) and then start eyeballing the best way to make the last jump and I had to call a point of order.


This, I suggested to him, was like me having to say No to crawling under cars and some shrubs or through that tiny hole in the front of the barn.   I certainly am not trying to spoil the Good Times.   The rule is simply that we are limited by the places Greg fits…or how fit Greg is.  And while I’ve made great strides with that recently, I’m still far away from any Spidey-abilities that might allow me to leap up to the deck, as my Purry Pal apparently had designs on doing.

Shame, really, it might’ve been fun.  But then again, this evening he tried to jump up just three feet to an old table out in the back yard and totally klutzed it.  Fortunately, no one was looking at the time.


In the living room of the Nest, my “Easter” cactus (as it was labeled when I bought it twelve years ago) has quietly begun to bloom this week, the second year it has ever done so.




Hey, here’s a long shot of the fence garden.  It’s filled in pretty nicely, eh?   You can see my earlier fears this spring about this location being a little harsh for the pansies’ and violas’ longevity were a bit unfounded.  Of course, it’s possible the rains have helped them to thrive, too.

See those rudbeckia flowers – the yellow/orange ones?  That’s all one big floppy plant.  I need to get out there and give them a little twine for support, though their floppiness is also helping to make the garden look overflowingly-full, too.

The first purple coneflower has begun to bloom this week, too, sneaking softly onstage during the rudbeckia’s big chorus number.  There’s more coneflower buds, though, so this is a show that’s only just begun.



I think I have mentioned before the snapdragons this year have all turned out to be double-flowered.   This is not an unpleasant development, although I do find that the doubles seem not to have the scent of the single flowered Rocket mix, as these plants were mistakenly labeled.

I like the double flowers, don’t get me wrong, and I still feel that my glass is more than half-full here, but the doubles also are not standing tall very easily in all the rain.  I’m just saying.  They’re sort of floloppy, is all.

Still, I do like the way the white double flower plays with the blue pansies and red nicotiana.  I’ll have to remember this combination for future Fourth of July themed plantings.  The colors are just right together.



Here’s flowers for you;

hot lavendar, mints, savory, marjoram;

the marigold that goes to bed with the sun and with him rises weeping;

those are flowers of middle summer, and,

I think they are given to men of middle age: you are very welcome.”

PerditaA Winter’s Tale

William Shakespeare.



Comments on: "Of Middle Summer" (6)

  1. i love your garden desperately want my own house where i can plant what i want, this despite me not liking dirty fingernails, the heat of the sun, and despising mosquitoes.

    oh, wouldn’t your walk with badum be “purr-ambulations”? :)

    Dirty finger nails are just an excuse for mint leaf or lavendar soaps, hats will [theoretically] protect you from the sun and Deep Woods OFF is a must. And OMG, yes. You’re absolutely right!

  2. The nicodemon will always be lurking. That’s what I’ve accepted and why this time is different. The garden is lovely and when cactus blooms it’s so exciting (and brief).

  3. That is a beautiful shot of the coneflower.

  4. Even in such diffuse light your colors pop.

    Hubby said it was five years before he did not want a cigarette. Congratulations for hanging in there. We want you around for a long time.

    Thanks, Birdie. I want to be around a long time and consciously, I don’t want any more cigs. Plus, with all the cat-walking, who has time to smoke? ; )

  5. It’s good that no one saw that klutzed 3′ jump. And of course no one will ever know. That’s important to a cat, especially such a regal one as His Purriness.

    We finally put some feed in the bird feeder outside our living room window. Scheherazade has taken to sitting on the back of the chair, staring out the window, hunkering down, then POUNCING smack into the window. She falls, scrambling to (unsuccessfully) catch herself, then looks around to assure any observers that she meant to do that. She then returns to her post and the adventure is repeated. Endless entertainment!

    Hee hee…

  6. ..OH middle summer..purrdum looks well adjusted on his leash :) Greg. Been out of town..came back to my unwatered gardens :/ (forgetful ‘chore promises’ ) but most are making a comeback. Something is eating away at my leafy plants, badly and Im hesitant on chemical sprays. Anyway I did get a PTILOTUS JOEY ( ptilotus exaltatus, lol ) to see how it would do here, and its awesome for the dry spells and keeps its beautiful shape and cone’ish flowers, I think it’s a great add on to a garden and needs little water.. Send me your email addy..I’l send you the pict..
    happy to see that all is well with you…. :D…mare

    Hey Mare! Don’t know what’s eating you…your garden, anyway…but you can’t go wrong with a mild spray made of water and a few drops of dish detergent. It’s a cruddy year for some plants, but the perennials are doing pretty well!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: