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."

Friday Eve

BKW 002Like many evenings this time of year, this one was a garden-themed twilight of multi-tasking.   As this season grows around us, I find there’s plenty to keep me busy before it is warm enough to bring more plants into the deck garden and the gardens below in the yard.

Excitingly, part of the evening’s project involved one of my deck “shelving” units.  This is a rusty metal step which I salvaged at the dump a couple years ago, probably originally from some kind of delivery van.

BKW 004Since the deck is about 8′ x 10′, it’s important to make use of vertical space to host all the plants I can’t help including and still make sure there’s room to A) sit and 2) stretch out for a couple hours of sun basking now and then.  This unit has served me well, but its old black paint and growing rust needed some attention this year.  So I picked up a few cans of spray paint and commenced to have some fun.  The steps rest on an old pickle bucket, so I gave that some attention, as well.

There was a little overspray, but fortunately we are (among many other things) bluegrass fans here.  ;)

BKW 005Whilst the paint dried, I worked in another part of the garden, identifying some plants which could be divided for a cocktail party/plant swap I’m invited to tomorrow evening.  Af first, it seemed like the Shasta daisies seemed like a good candidate for this, but a quick informal survey suggested that the host and some potential attendees have a similar abundance as I enjoy.  A few bits of daisy got potted, but mostly threadleaf coreopsis and a few hardy cactus seedlings are ready to party on Friday.   And there’s the excitement of not knowing what plants other guests may bring.

BKW 006The other night I mentioned seeing the garden differently whilst working in than when I just look and that was evident tonight, when I accidentally followed the long roots of the coreopsis under one of my irises, mistakenly uprooting and damaging the leaves.  As a result, that iris will miss blooming this year, which I’m disappointed about.  Mistakes happen, though, and the iris root is fine – the bloom will be more delightful next year for having been missed this season.

BKW 003Longtime MG blog readers might recognize this columbine which is fixing to bloom not far from the damaged iris.   I discovered its blue and pink forebears in the Eastham garden that launched this blog, moved some of them to Harwich, and then this one – which may be a cross of those other two – moved to Orleans with me, where it happily blooms each spring.   Every year, I carefully collect its seed and try to introduce it to other parts of the garden, but so far, no luck.

BKW 007When all the spraying and potting was done, sunset was upon us and there was just enough time for a walk to the bay.   It was also a notable night for being warm enough that I was able to do so in just a t-shirt and jeans, with no sweatshirt or jacket or anything.  The neighborhood is a-bloom, just like our own yard.   Maybe someday I’ll have a flowering quince plant.  For now, I am happy to enjoy the red flowers of my neighbors’ shrubs.

The evening’s cloudy conditions occluded the sun as it reached the horizon, but that’s okay.  Every night is different and it was still lovely to get down to the waterfront for a few moments.   I was even able to collect some shells for the path I hope to lay down in the new garden bed soon.

BKW 001Meanwhile, the green light of Summer beckons, leading us on to warm nights, beautiful blooms and great adventures.  I’ll try to keep the lessons of Gatsby in my backpocket as we careen forward into the season before us.


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