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."

Archive for the ‘mums’ Category

Late Season

Remember when we were kvetching about all the heat and humidity?

Last night it got pretty chilly here, dipping just below forty degrees, but with winds gusting to about 40 mph, it felt like winter was arriving, even perhaps, that Sudden Deep Freeze scene from The Day After Tomorrow.   The brilliant moonlight silvered everything seen out the window, too, just to enhance the illusion.

Since the weekend ahead is the one I had set aside for such autumnal things like putting the garden to bed and (more importantly) getting the storm windows in place, last night was dang cold, with the Gray Catsby and I snuggled together under several blankets and comforters while the wind howled outside.  Thankfully, he throws a bit of  heat.

This morning I awoke to find snow…but thankfully only in photos of friends of mine who live in more northern climates.   The temperature is 49 F at 11:30 a.m., though the wind still gusts here, keeping the trees dancing and sending fading leaves swirling.   The sunshine is bright and warm, though and there isn’t much reason to hibernate just yet.

The deck garden and the yard aren’t quite ready to be put to bed, so I’ll focus on the storm windows today.

I offer these warm-looking photos as antidote to the Season Shock my friends in chillier places may be experiencing lately.

I have already brought a few things indoors, like the hibiscus that starts off this post, a pot of marine heliotrope, another of mint and a lovely hanging basket I’m not quite ready to say so long to yet.   I do hope to repot those now-two-year-old dracaenas, since they o’er-wintered so well inside last year…and there’s the asparagus ferns…it’ll be a real jungle in here once that great migration is complete.

But first the storm windows, while the deck keeps up its pretty show.

By the way, I don’t want you to think I’m all done with posts about Summer, there’s at least a Part 2 and 3 coming, possibly more.  But of course, when you just take loads of pics as the summer races along, it’s tricky (but fun) and time-consuming:  remembering just where they are saved, under what name, and the way I’d like to arrange them to tell the story.

But as they say, No Day But Today, and just to be clear, each one of these pics was taken this morning.

The pink bloom in the shot below is one of my very successful crop of agastache plants I grew this year (In the background – big surprise – is purple allyssum).    They were happy plants right out of the gate and grew wonderfully as the season progressed.   Some were gifted to others gardens, while a half a dozen stayed with me.

In the next couple of weeks, they’ll find homes in the gardens downstairs and – if my experience is true – will live almost ten years once I  find them the right spot.  But  with such a drought going on this summer, it seemed kinder to keep the plants in pots just outside the door where I could make sure they got watered.

The rain we’ve had recently is doing its work down in the garden, and the Shasta daisies by the driveway – normally long finished blooming by the end of July – have managed to present just a few more flowers this week, to join in the chorus of rudbeckia and imperial mums who’ve taken center stage for the season’s finale.

Stay warm, everyone – it’s flannel shirt and fleece season, to be sure – and have a great weekend!!


Mother’s Day Garden Report

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

I’ll add this to other greetings of the day I’ve already sent along to my own Mum and Granny, as I also offer my best to all the other Moms, mothers, grandmas, aunts and other nurturing types who make such a difference in my life and others.  I wish each of them a delightful day, and offer my thanks for all the things that being a Mom entails.

It’s a beautiful morning here on the Cape, the balance of the gray and thundery day we had yesterday and I’m transitioning back to the Nest today, so I’ve much to do and will keep this entry on the brief side.

T’was a good week here – always nice to have a little doggy time (and Peanut the cat was good company, too).  The weather’s been unseasonably warm this week, as things continue to bloom on the early side.

Scotch broom is something we usually count on to be blooming during those first warm days of June…not the first warm days of May.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen the stuff blooming at the same time as the lilacs.   And now I see that the irises have begun, too.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always excited to see things coming into bloom, especially my favorites (which long-time readers may have realized by now is like EVERYTHING…), but I can’t help but wonder, if everything blooms early, then what will happen in August, when there’s nothing left to look forward to?!   I wonder if I shouldn’t try to grow something subtropical this summer.

I’ve enjoyed being in Brewster this week, not only for the parade, but to watch the gardens’ Mugsy’s Mom has been establishing here.  I love peonies, but haven’t ever seen tree peonies in bloom, so its’ been fun to watch them coming along (again, peonies:  traditionally a June bloomer…WTF?).   They are not all scented in the same way their more fragile relations are, but a few surprised me.  One had the traditional fragrance I expected, but the purple one had a surprise citrus-y scent that’s kind of fun.

It can be fun to spend time in someone else’s garden, to watch things grow which I don’t currently host in my gardens at the Nest.   Those tiny red bells are coral bells, AKA, heuchera (if I’m spelling correctly, which suddenly seems unlikely) and this hot pink stuff is, I believe, called thrift.   Cute little blossoms.   I’ll have to get me some of each sometime, but meanwhile, here it is to enjoy.

But here’s a photo of some tiny white blooms I found in a scrawny tree arching over the parking lot at work the other day.  It was really more of a shrub than a tree, but tall enough to lean over where I was parked.

It was the fragrance of these precious branches of blossom that caught my attention, sweet like the heliotrope I’m waiting for.  But I don’t know what it is.   Can anyone help me know this one?  I’d really like an introduction.  I took a picture of the tree trunk, too, in case that’s helpful.

Of course, with all this ahead-of-schedule excitement going on, I’ve been missing my own gardens.   The house-sit is just far enough in the opposite direction that it hasn’t made sense to stop back regularly, plus it confuses my Gray Pal about whether I’m home or not.

But I was over there to spend some time with him yesterday as I started transitioning back in that direction and, of course, I couldn’t resist looking around to see what’s going on there.

In my absence, the tulips has faded, but there’s plenty more going on (though it occurs to me that I’ve missed a couple of weeks pinching back the imperial mums, which are getting rather tall.  I’ll have to give them some attention once I’m resettled), like this first of the purple globe alliums.

When I’m back at the Nest, there will be faded tulips and daffodils to cut back, but there are also great drifts of violas forming now from the tiny seedlings I tucked into the ground here and there a while back.  And that’s just the tip of the botanical iceberg.

My gardens are always trying to teach me a lesson about having Faith in what I can’t see.   I try to be good about that, but I think you all understand how tough that can be to believe sometimes.   Just about a year ago, I planted some lily bulbs, an assortment of different varieties, if my feeble memory serves.

But Life conspired to sadden sweet June and she cried nearly every day.   When no lilies appeared later in the season when the sun came out, I assumed that too much rain had prevented them from getting established and I put them from my mind.

Ah, but look how they are thriving this year!  What a treat they will be as begin our mid-summer revels (or Memorial Day, if the early blooming schedule applies to the lilies, as well)!

In the back yard, there’s an iris ready to unfurl in the next day or so.  It is one of the roots sent along to me from my gardening pal in Baltimore and so I believe not one I have seen blooming before.   I’ll have to see if I can find the tag I planted it with, but by any name, I’m sure it’ll be beautiful.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, by the front door is a stand of muscari – grape hyacinths – I planted last fall.   It’s an array of colors, from pale to dark blue and they are looking pretty cool.

I apologize for not having a better photo of them, but I’ve managed to change the settings on my camera, so that about a dozen photos fills my memory card.  I’ve tried changing it back, but I think I’ll need to consult the  users manual…which means I’ll have to find the users manual (eyeroll).

Meanwhile, there’s a full day ahead of me.  I hope that yours is sunny and flowery and fragrant and warm and happy.

Fall Colors 2