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."

Closed For the Season?


It’s the Off Season now.   The sun set on Labor Day evening as the last of the summer’s tourists crept over the bridges (or into planes, or onboard high-speed ferries) and back to their working day worlds.   We year-rounders pulled in the docks, rolled up the sidewalks, shut out the lights and are all hunkered down into our shuttered Cape Cod homes, listening to the roar of the winter winds and longing for the first days of spring sunshine once again.


Ha ha.  Yes, that’s how it is.  NOT.

Although there has been a breeze blowing almost steadily since Monday.  Not a cold one – not all the time, anyway –  but the kind of steady air current that makes all the plants quiver and sway and whisper to one another.   Makes them seem alive.   Well, of course, they’re already alive (hopefully), but you know what I mean:  alive like Triffids.   It has seemed a bit off-seasony this week at that, since its been more or less overcast to go with the cooler temps and the steady breeziness.

But I hear there’s still plenty of people around, many of them down Chatham way, trying to get a look at the fins off-shore.   Perhaps you’ve heard, it’s been a national story to rival the “debate” over national health care.  Recent weeks have brought a collection of great white sharks to our shores, where they have been spotted stalking and feeding on the local seal population.

I haven’t tried to get a look at them; Isn’t it funny how I’ll go to the beach for hurricanes but not sharks?  It simply hasn’t occurred to me that I might be able to see anything by going to look.  Honestly, having bobbed around in the ocean earlier this summer, I’ve already been way closer than I’m generally interested in being to a shark outside an aquarium or the Discover Channel.

Still, it might be fun to do a little exploring if they linger in the area much longer.   Sharke Diem, and all that.

But yes, the arbitrary end of the summer season has come and now gone…and until some sense of “native American” summer kicks in, the summer weather seems to have fled, too and still two weeks on the calendar until the official start of Autumn.   Ah, well.   It’s been an absolutely brilliant summer for me, full of fun and reunions with old friends and meetings with new ones and family and new discoveries and adventures and recoveries and explorations and so much.


Here’s a rosebud to My Love, the Summer of 2009, who certainly showed me a good time.  I”ll always look back on you fondly, babe.   (Well, except for that bit where you cut me open and I had to lie around in the sweltering heat while the stitches knit together.  That part still kinda sucked, my Dearest.)

And life certainly goes on.   Last weekend, I had a chance to get myself out into the driveway garden, which was looking a little bedraggled, with rudbeckia flopping about everywhere but still happily blooming, shasta daisies to be deadheaded and cut back and of course a whole host of little bits of grass and other things which had snuck into the bed under cover of the over-growth I encourage.

Hey, remember me mentioning how big the imperial chrysanthemum plant had gotten this year?  You can see it here in this shot of the driveway garden bed.  It’s the great green mass just right of photo and fence center.   I noticed buds on it just this morning, but I expect it will still be another week or so before they begin blooming.



The allyssum I seeded in throughout the summer has now grown a full foot past the brick edging I set into place last spring, well, the white stuff has…the purple is a little tidier, still.   Thankfully, all the allyssum are sturdy plants and easily lifted up for trimming the grass beneath.

Once I’d  done the weeding and tidying, a cavity or two in the design was revealed, but that was just perfect, since I was hoping to make a few autumnal additions to ensure a variety of color over the next month or two, which is still traditionally pretty lovely hereabouts.

My favorite local nursery provided me with a pair of potted mums, a lovely purple aster (not yet in bloom, patience, y’all…I’m eager, too!) and one of those  purple flower kales, because I always think they are interesting to look at, but never think of buying any to plant until it is FAR too late in the season.   I thought the colors were a nice range and should complement the peachy-orange of the single-flowered imp mums, as well as the snapdragons and pansies which are still growing well and should bounce back from the recent deadheading to give us a little more autumn bloom.


Plus there’s all that allyssum, which smells simply heavenly on these cool mornings and in the evenings, too, on our catwalks.



Oh, yes.   That routine has been properly re-established, you shouldn’t worry about my Gray Pal.   He was so good while I was recovering from the surgery and hesitant to lift His Considerableness, but once I revealed that I was willing to start up again, he began clamoring for our regular explorations with more fur-vor than ever and we’ve been having a great time.


I still don’t pretend to have any real control over these walks, except to agree on the departure and finally to call an end to the evening’s explorations and scoop him up to head back indoors.  (Look, another tongue shot!)

For the rest, I am at his whim, following where  he decides we should wander on any given evening.   Sometimes, we don’t ever get away from the driveway and barn area.  Some nights we make a circle almost all the way around the house.   Last night, as on several other occasions, he led us around the house, through the hedge and as far across the neighbors’ yard as I would allow (One of the nice things about it being the “Off Season” is that those yards are empty for us to explore now…).

One of my favorite things about this past year has been the friendship which has deepened between the Gray Catsby and I.   When first we washed up in this Nest, he was of the firm belief that cats should never be kissed and could be regularly expected to give me the standard, “Eew, ick, stop that” response.  These days, I realize he is quite cool with a little smooch atop his soft gray head and sometimes A Great Snuzzling is tolerated, as well.

Of course, Badum’s also something of an attention whore when it comes to belly rubbing, and the recent cooler temperatures have been simply marvelous for the two of us lounging together on the loveseat in front of some silly movie (like this delightful confection) on the telly or other.   Would that I knew how to capture the photos of us arrayed like that, especially since it’s such September-y sloth that’s delayed my blogging here sooner.


Yes, it’s been a good year for both of us.   Certainly a fast one, and full of adventure and fun and love and pretty groovy times, for the most part.  Wow.   But there’ll be time for looking back on all that later on, right?  For now, there’s all new adventures and fun and love and pretty groovy times to get busy with.


And in the meantime, here’s a few more shots of that Labor Day sunset.   It was a beauty.



Peace and Love, Everyone!



Comments on: "Closed For the Season?" (9)

  1. I am continually amazed at how strikingly beautiful Badum is. It’s great that he enjoys the walks so much, and that the evening amble is once again part of the daily routine.

    Your weather seems to follow the proper order of things. It’s September, so the weather should be cool and breezy. In the middle of winter, there should be a fair amount of snow. Spring should show up during that time reserved especially for it. Summers should be enjoyably warm, but not consistently tortuous. It ain’t necessarily so ’round here.

  2. Salina Inzaghi said:

    here’s wishing you a beautiful life as beautiful as the pictures you share with us :)

    hugs n kisses for his royal grayness

  3. OK that is my favorite photo of The Gray Gatsby ever… will you send me a copy on FB so I can share? The middle one. xxoo

  4. i noticed the shift of the season (other than the shortening of the days which i noticed in august) on wednesday. we had a lovely sunny day and the sun was wonderfully warm. the wind, on the other hand, had a chilly edge to it that was impossible to miss.

  5. Lovely pics. I liked your song of gratitude too.

  6. Stunning stuff my friend, the end of the season,…that reality has followed you from the Adirondacks to the Cape. Funny feeling isn’t it?

    All the best,


  7. The driveway garden might be the only sign of the seasons turning. For me it’s a bittersweet time of year. (I like my sunshine but could do without the being roasted alive part of summer.) So the master of the house is back to taking his walks? Glad to see it. After seeing a cat introduced to the joys of outdoors, I hate to withdraw the adventures, especially if you’re around to ensure his safety.

  8. Hi
    We found your blog recently and enjoy all the pictures
    of the cape and your garden.

    You are so lucky to live on Cape Cod, A place we love.

    We will visit often,


  9. I love the turning of the seasons. Ironically we seem to be experiencing a fine sunny autumn after months of grey drizzly rain throughout summer. All of our tourists have pretty much disappeared now as they close the canal at the end of the season. You feel privileged to be still enjoying all the beauty. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures, that’s another privilege.

    I’m glad your smart cat isn’t too cool for a cuddle!

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