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."

Catching Up With August


So now it’s the end of August.   Hydrangeas are fading, gardens everywhere are looking at little tattered and thirsty in the heat, our eyes are suddenly on the Tropics as we watch the first hurricanes of the year forming – and one of them, Bill – seems to be taking aim at our part of the world.  We’ll see what happens there; the Cape is long overdue, though hopefully we will continue to be spared.   But my point is, the sun is setting earlier, the greenhead flies are holding forth and the summer is clearly ebbing away.

And how, ” I hear you asking, “are you doing?  What about the Surgery?” you want to know.   Yes, that.   I’m doing fine, though I guess it’s no surprise that the whole experience put me a little off my game for a bit.   As the two week mark arrives, I am getting it back together, but feh.   If I had only two words to sum up the whole business, I’ d have to go with “F**king OUCH”, although I suppose I could also live with “Okay, fine”…or maybe…”Lorna Doones”.


Fortunately, bein’ a blogger, there’s no reason to go with just two words.    Really, overall, t’was not the worst experience I’ve ever had.  Though, too, I did think that it was annoying, invasive, painful, a bit of a mind-f*ck and not at all something I’d have chosen from a list of potential August activities.  But people who’ve had more of the stuff than me (and so know better) tell me that it was a piece of cake, that I’m probably far ahead of the game and I’m doing great.   So what do I know?

The whole hospital experience was a short one – we were on our way back home an hour and twenty minutes after the surgery – so at least there was no overnight time.   Mom and Dad were along to keep me company, which was just great (and they were kind enough not to eat and drink in front of me, since I was fasting).  A few well-chosen graphic novels helped tend to my good mental health (the indestructible alien Superman to fill me with hope as I waited before the surgery…and the unstoppable human Batman to power through the pain of the good drugs wearing off later that night) and distract me from tying myself in knots.

The nurse who saw me through my “induction” to the surgical waiting area was a bit of a stormtrooper, and sadly was also the person responsible for shaving me.   I think I could’ve done a more efficient job myself and it was clear neither of us wanted her to be doing it.   I resisted the temptation to offer much constructive criticism, though, since I was uncertain what access she might have to me with the shaving implements while I was out.   Naturally, she still managed to leave more than enough fur to anchor adhesive gauze onto.   Grrrr.

But everyone else there was pretty lovely and the gang in the operating room were a merry bunch.   They actually walked me into the operating room, something I wasn’t at all sure I actually wanted to see.  As we walked down the hallway I said, “Well, this addresses that irrational fear I had about being accidentally dropped while I was out.”, which the nurse and anethesiologist both thought was pretty funny.


My photo blogger instincts were trying to kick in, even without coffee, and I remember wishing that I’d brought my camera along, so I could take a picture of the operating room lights.   The configuration of the two different units (like the one pictured here) reminded me of a dried flower arrangement, but I couldn’t think of the name of the brown seedpods these made me think of.   And I remember thinking that I should start to tell a joke, that they’re not having heard the punchline would be my insurance that I’d come out on the other side, and there was a little pulse in the IV in the back of my hand…

…and then there was an icy glass of Coca Cola and a package of Lorna Doones (the name of which my mind sung in exactly the way that Lerner and Loewe would have preferred) and I was in the recovery room and almost before I knew it we were making the trip home.   I know I was doped up pretty well, because I felt great and was hungry as anything.   But it certainly was great to get back to the Nest and see my Gray Pal and you’ll recall I blogged briefly right off.


The first couple of days aren’t worth looking at too closely, really.   There was some pretty serious pain (and fortunately, vicodin) and a bit of swelling and I didn’t really want to do much more than lay around and read and snuggle with Nurse Scratch-It, who never left my side.

In between that, there were also some good times with Mom and Dad, whose visit extended through the weekend and they made sure I was fed and watered properly and they are just terrific company.  They also saw me through the twin indignities of post-surgical constipation and seemingly-endless hiccups (Thanks to all the Facebook buds who wrote with their favorite hiccups remedies, even if a few seemed a little extreme.  A couple of them even worked, for a little while, anyway.), which we managed to turn into a few laughs.   Yep, just no end to the toe-tappin’ fun around here that weekend.



Actually, on Sunday, which was Day 3 after the surgery, we did have a bit of fun, when I went out on an adventure with Mom and Dad.   Just before this visit to the Cape, Mom had learned of the existence of the Cape Cod Lavendar Farm, in nearby Harwich.   I note with some irony that the Midnight Gardener was somehow seemingly the LAST person on Cape Cod to know of this place’s existence.    But I’m happy to say I know about it now…and I look forward to going back again real soon!

And also, I hope to get there next year around mid-summer, when these fields (there’s 12 acres) are purple with blooming lavendar.   I imagine the whole place redolent with the scent which, when we visited, was mostly found in the small shop where all the lavendar and related lavendar products are sold.   Oh, what a joyous cloud of fragrance walking in there!  Mmmmmm.





This fantastic little cottage is the shop where all the fresh and dried lavendar, potted plants and related lavendar products (hand creams, body wash, lotions, candles, dreaming pillows, sashays…) were available.  It was a little overwhelming, really, but soothingly so.   I sort of took things in a little superficially, I’ll admit, and will enjoy my next visit to the place.   There’s a fairy-themed garden in the woods which I look forward to exploring next time, but really didn’t feel up to on that particular day.

Here’s Dad outside the lavendar shop as we enjoyed some sunshine while Mom collected some purchases.  Hi Dad!

[In a meager first attempt to bring the dimension of Scent to the Midnight Garden blog, one of you lucky readers has been chosen completely at random to participate in an experiment.   To prevent petty jealousy, the lucky recipient of the lavendar sashay will remain anonymous…but should hold that fragrance delivery device near their nose and inhale deeply right about now.]




After leaving the farm, we rendezvoused with our friends Tom and Sue, who’ve recently relocated to the Cape from the Adirondacks at their place (the daylilies featured above are from Sue’s front walk garden, actually), where we visited a bit before heading off to Sesuit Harbor in Dennis, where we had lunch at this terrific waterfront eatery inside the marina there.


It’s a pretty casual affair, you order your food inside, get your beverages and then pick a picnic table along the shore and eventually, they bring your food out to you.   We all ordered lobster rolls, since its apparently the thing that people go there for.   Understandably so, they were darned good.

But <sarcasm>apparently they kill and cook the lobsters to order</sarcasm>, since it took a pretty long time for that food to find us.    Still, it’s August on the Cape, so such waits are to be expected… and we were luckier than some in that we had truly good company to pass the time with and a lovely day going on around us.

I wasn’t keen on all that much sitting, so I got up and walked around a few times, snapping a few photos of things that amused me.  I was fond of these five sparrows sitting on the  rope fence, especially.


Our lunches were certainly worth waiting for (so very good) and as I said, we had a terrific time.  We even found someone to get a photo of us all to prove it to you!




Mom and Dad headed for home on Monday.   Their departure coincided with the arrival of some Serious Warm for our area, and so I was happy to just lay around quietly with The Catsby, finding breezes in front of the fans and applying ice packs and lying almost close enough to touch…but not touching, it being so warm and all.

Badum was quite happy to have my company full-time and eagerly shared with me some of the details about just what it is he does at home all day long.   As you might imagine, it’s a pretty attractive lifestyle.

In the morning, after breakfast, there’s a nap in the sun in the dining room, then another nap in the sun a little later in the front bedroom…and then after lunch, there’s a nice long nap on the bed, followed almost right away by another nap…after which there’s a bit of a stretch and a walk-around, checking out various windows to make sure the world’s carrying on the way it should…and then back for another little bit of a nap before dinner.


This, was Nurse Kitty at his finest.

And now, as they say, Tempus Fugit, baby.   Time flies.   I’ve been back to work for a week.   After all the Kitty-ing, that was a bit of an adjustment.   I’d  been trying to take it easy a bit, not wanting to do too much, but by the same token wanting to get things back to something like normal.   I miss my walks to the bay and bike rides and stuff and will be happy to reintroduce those into my regular routines as I continue to heal and feel more comfortable with that stuff again.


The hot weather’s been coming and going.   We had just enough rain to keep us from enjoying much of this year’s Perseid Meteor Showers (although I did see one or two from the deck last weekend) and now with the hot weather’s return, we track the progress of Hurricane Bill.

Next year, I swear, I will convert all my deck pots with self-watering conversion kits.   It seems no matter how often I water those guys, the hot sun just saps them and things are looking a little weary out there on the deck in more than a few of those pots, owing to the extremes we’ve seemed to enjoy.

Thank goodness for macro-focus!


One success story, though, is the planter where the  morning glories are growing.   They have been joined in the last twenty-four hours, by the first cardinal climber flowers, which you can see here (Thanks, again, Theresa, for the seeds!!).   There’s a host more buds poised to bloom tomorrow and other things are happening in the planter, as well.

Down at the feet of the vines, I seeded in some bachelors buttons, which are little more than seedlings just now, but should bring me plenty of flowers for September and early October.   To my surprise, some of the yellow violas from the other planters have seeded their way in there and have already come into bloom, as well!

Not far away, a planter full of dwarf cosmos have begun to sing a song of August.



Comments on: "Catching Up With August" (8)

  1. When laid low by surgery or illness, we rediscover the love that surrounds us. So glad your parents were there to help you!

  2. For all the discomfort, you seem to have had plenty of love and care. It’s a good thing, this love that surrounds you. A big part of that is your positive attitude about life in general.

    Badum was very good at modeling the relaxing activities you needed. He’s quite a cat.

  3. I love the people picture, such happiness.

  4. i’m glad you were able to take time to rest and recover some from surgery. don’t be surprised if you find yourself out of sorts for a while. the effects of anaesthetic can last a few weeks.

    i’m sure kitty would be happy to help in your further recovery now that he’s shared the secret to appropriate daily activity. :)

  5. Oh, gosh, Greg- I’m glad the surgery went well and all. I had no idea– I’ve been awfully negligent!! But it looks like things are going well around the ol’ Midnight Garden. I’m so glad. You are the best of eggs! :)

  6. I don’t like to even hear the word doctor let alone have surgery so I feel for you buddy. Just looking at your pictures would pick any one up however, so many colours, smiles and a cute kitty, that should do the trick Greg! :)

  7. Glad to hear your surgery went well. Your kitty reminds me of one that I use to have. Great cats! I love cats and would rather have a cat over a dog any day. Sorry I that have not been around much lately. Things have been a little crazy here too. Catch you later Greg! Thanks for the colors!

  8. Salina Inzaghi said:

    oohhh..nice! lavendar garden!
    reminds me of the lavender bush i planted next to the steps of my rented house whilst a student

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