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."

Green Hydrangea Days


The year doesn’t matter. Somehow, it’s always a surprise to look up from whatever it is you’ve been doing and realize there are only a handful of days left in the month of August.   There are treats specific to this time of year, though, such as these blue hydrangeas, which turn briefly to this lovely shade of green before moving on to the fading browns of autumn.


August this year fled especially quickly for me, with so much time lost to laying about, taking it easy while I’ve been getting over the whole surgical experience.    That’s been kind of tough for me:  the earlier part of the summer was a pretty busy and active and fun time and I’ve been impatient to get back to all that.  By the same token, I’ve no desire to undo the repair work done by the surgery with trying to do too much, too soon.   Wasn’t it just a year ago that the Universe was teaching me to slow down and study patience?  I guess some lessons never get old.

The recovery’s going along well, and yesterday I got my clean bill of health from the surgeon, who told me I could get back on the horse, as it were.  Primarily, it will be nice to get back to the nightly Catwalk, as lifting 15 pounds of Purr was one of those things I’d had to be careful about  and was missing.  To his credit, the Catsby hasn’t complained once about the break in routine, and seemed quite pleased to resume our thing last evening.


I’m not sure if you can actually find a yarrow in this wonderful shade of purple.  This one, discovered on a recent walk in the direction of the bay (haven’t quite made it all the way yet) was a reddish-pink when its bloom was new…and like the hydrangeas above, this sweet tone is a sign of the flower’s fading.  Go figure.

Greg's Farm

It is nice to get out and do a  bit of a walking and I look forward to next month, when I will be ready to make good on a passle of gardening plans to put some beds to rights and prepare for next summer.  

 It’ll be nice to get back into the fray and get my hands in some dirt.   With the exception of potting up some new iris roots from the same gardening pal who sent me this past spring’s Gypsy Princess, the sum total of my gardening lately has amounted to working on my little virtual plot of land in the Facebook application, Farm Town, which is both fun and frustrating.


I did enjoy the close pass-by of Hurricane Bill last weekend.   It didn’t amount to much of a storm for us, which is certainly a blessing.  Nobody wants a direct hit from a tropical storm to up-end their lives, after all.   But I don’t mind a bit of wind and drama and I was truly looking forward to a nice solid soaking of rain for the gardens and potted plants, which didn’t materialize for us.  

Local ocean beaches were closed as the storm passed by, particularly around the times of high tide, which were already astronomically high before the appearance of a hurricane on the horizon.   I was lucky enough to be given directions to an undisclosed location whereby I was able to gain access to the Outer Beach to capture the photos I’ve already shared.  Finding the right spot involved a bit of trial and error, but in the process I found this lovely field of wildflowers…which is much nicer than saying one got lost.  ; )


It was low tide as the storm whirled past us heading north, but even so I was sort of impressed with the surges of water that washed so far up the shore.   Not as impressed as I was by the high tide mark from the night before, though, when the tide waters flooded up well past the barrier dunes that normally appear to keep the ocean “at bay.”


Here’s a pair of shots I overlooked in the earlier blogpost which I thought you might enjoy.   What a treat it was, storm or no, to walk barefoot on the beach and enjoy the water washing up around me.   Mmmmm.



And how quickly the weather changed, too!   By the time I’d gotten home from the beach, our western skies were turning blue and the sun began to peek through the thinning clouds left in the storm’s wake.    There was a special treat for me, in fact, when I got home and discovered a pair of dragonflies cavorting about the container garden on my rickety little deck, a green and a red one.  

The green one fled beyond the reach of my camera and I, but this sweet red fellow perched on the twig supports of my sweetpea vines (the recent heat has impacted them and I don’t expect any more blooms, though I continue to water…and Hope springs eternal.) and allowed me a few snapshots.



The day continued to blossom like the most lovely daylily and late in the afternoon, I made my way through seasonal traffic to rendezvous with my cousin Dave and his family for dinner in Harwich. Helianthus-and-Verbena-B

I got there a little early, which freed me up to enjoy the garden outside the restaurant and as I took a few photos, another treat fluttered in on the breeze to enjoy the buffet provided by some verbena bonariensis.





Dinner was a treat, too, though.  

Dave and I met when we were fairly little, but somehow have never managed to spend any time getting to know one another before.   Facebook had recently brought us a little closer, but this was our first chance at really hanging out and getting to know one another and we had a great time.  As a bonus for me, I also had the pleasure of meeting Dave’s wife, Kris and their sweet little Amanda. 


After dinner, we strolled along the waterfront a bit and happened upon a local fire engine to pose with, which allowed us to participate in an ever-expanding family in-joke, which might take too long to explain here. 

But still,  “Fire truck, we win!!”




Comments on: "Green Hydrangea Days" (5)

  1. I love the drama of a good storm, but I like the drama to fall short of disaster. I know you know what I mean.

    Amanda is precious and adorable in equal measure. They’re so cute at that age!

    Glad you and the Catsby can resume your walk schedule. Tell him I said for him to take good care of you, and not to let you push yourself too hard before you’re ready.

    I know exactly what you mean about storms, Jav! I love the crash and the boom, as long as its not the sound of the house falling down about me.

    Amanda _is_ an absolute cutey – we’re meeting for dinner and another sunset walk this eve and I can’t wait. Of course, Dave and Kris are great fun, too!

    Me and the Purrypants are being careful to take things easy. He also still loves the Laying About and Snuggling thing, too, which is handy.

  2. Great shot of the lacy wings on that dragonfly.

  3. Please excuse my lack of comments in the past. I’m glad to hear the recovery is going well. It’s indeed strange that fading things are often most beautiful (to a certain point), and I have to smile when I could see you are also a friend of exciting weather. You have made some really lovely pictures here again (esp. the last monarch shot and the Nantucket picture). Best wishes.

    Thanks for the lovely comment, Martin. It’s nice to hear from you!

  4. Greg . . . what happened? We go to Michigan and Illinois for a wedding and family visits and you have surgery whilst we are gone. What happened? Glad you are feeling better.

    A bit of hernia to deal with, is all, my friend. No catastrophe to report, just a little bump along the road. ; )
    And I can lift the Cat again, now, so you know I’m recovering well. Hope you had a great time at the wedding.

  5. Love the photos of the sky that you took! It’s looks almost tranquil. Will this latest tropical storm cause you any grief. It looked like it might be headed that way.

    Lots of wind and rain from tropical depression Danny, Charles. But it’s good for the garden and even better for the soul!

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