Phlox Flashback


The Phlox are coming into bloom on the other side of the garden. They always remind me of the weekend summer house we shared in Westerly, Rhode Island where they grew wild and in abundance all along the drive to the house and along the road that led to the neighbouring house. You could see them from the porch and catch their scent in the air at this time of year. They also eventually became a staple in the border that fronted the house as I transplanted clumps of them over to keep company with some hostas we dragged up there and random plants from the local nursery that were able to handle the lack of watering until we came up at the weekends.

The Shy Hydrangea


I couldn't help but notice this shy Hydrangea blossom the other day. Like a powdered geisha, head tilted partly hidden by her green fan. A demure, modest beauty, half in shadow, mysterious and alluring.

Very Green


How Green is the vegetable garden? Very. Green tomatoes, green basil and green beans are currently being featured. The beans-bought in a rush from the nursery have turned out to be bush beans although we bought them labeled as pole beans and planted them accordingly -next to poles. Oh well, they're certainly very prolific. The chives are past flowering and are now a huge mass of green.The chili pepper plant is also a mass of slim green peppers. The arugula has been decimated by rabbits and the sugar peas didn't survive. There's a single purple eggplant hiding shyly waiting to join hopefully a more colorful cast in the near future.

Red, Red Wine



After being away for almost three weeks, there was no knowing what to expect in the garden. The story, as I discovered was one of wine colored leaves and rose and magenta red flowers. In particular the Achillea Millifoilum Paprika, planted last year as a late planting bargain from the local nursery. The color story is told here in a vase - a couple of stray branches from the Physocarpus opulifolius, a few magenta blossoms from the climbing rose and some leaves from the red tree that frames the left side of the beds. In other red wine colored news the Shisoh from last year has seeded it self everywhere- there are two pots of it and its growing in the lawn.

A Poet's garden


The final parting glance of Provincetown is a glimpse of Stanly Kunitz's garden. In the window of a local bookstore, I noticed a book called The Wild Braid. I discoverd that it was the reflections of a hundred year old poet laureate, a Provincetown local and made a mental note to come back and get it. I asked the landlady of my vacation studio if she knew of this poet and where his house was. She didn't but said that she would find out for me. And she did, and so I set out to look for it, and found it almost hidden from view in the west end of town. Although still well tended, it was no longer by the hand of the poet who passed away in his hundredth year. I never returned to get the book as I received it as a gift from my landlady in appreciation for my patience with her having to do some maintenance work on my deck. A wonderful surprise and souvenir of my vacation.

The Snakes of September by Stanley Kunitz
All summer I heard them
rustling in the shrubbery,
outracing me from tier
to tier in my garden,
a whisper among the viburnums,
a signal flashed from the hedgerow,
a shadow pulsing
in the barberry thicket.
Now that the nights are chill
and the annuals spent,
I should have thought them gone,
in a torpor of blood
slipped to the nether world
before the sickle frost.
Not so. In the deceptive balm
of noon, as if defiant of the curse
that spoiled another garden,
these two appear on show
through a narrow slit
in the dense green brocade
of a north-country spruce,
dangling head-down, entwined
in a brazen love-knot.
I put out my hand and stroke
the fine, dry grit of their skins.
After all,
we are partners in this land,
co-signers of a covenant.
At my touch the wild
braid of creation
trembles.

Rustic Rose



Some of the gardens here in Provincetown artfully spill out of their confines, the gardeners intentionally planting outside the fences and borders of their properties. This outstanding one showcases a clump of Rose Campion against a wooden fence additionally decorated with some rustic branches. The colors work perfectly- the bright magenta drawing your eye and the silvery leaves echoing the bleached wood. I also really like this Rose Mallow, again growing just outside the same garden on the front side.
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