Tag Archives: garden

“It’ll start getting cooler”

It’s 60 degrees here. Crickets sing their autumnal songs. Hard not to feel blessed, with zero hurricanes coming at us and zero fires raging nearby. The finches are feeding on the echinacea seed heads near the side door. When I come out, they fly off, startled and pretty.

K went to work today for only the second time since March 13. There were 313 Covid cases in Massachusetts yesterday, so I don’t know? Finn understood the change and stayed up in bed with me.

I am adding batting to the single-layer sections of the global warming quilt. Tricky. Fussy in a way that would be avoided if I were a Point-A-to-Point-B creator. Believe me, sometimes I wish I was.

But just look at that amaranth! It is one of the few glorious results of my seed planting efforts this year. Exactly ONE of the dozens of sunflower seeds I planted survived the rabbits.

The huge squash leaves came from a rogue seed that took root when a piece of compost fell into a yard waste bin and took off! I love how surprises arrive in the garden with a casual regularity that defy their miraculous nature.

June flourish

We planted a new bush out front — a Sweet Bay Magnolia– to block a fairly recently denuded corner.

And look how this new Arbor Vitae nearly completely screens out the neighbor’s car! This is the view out our living room windows, so it matters.

I succumbed to an ad inserted in my Instagram feed. Yikes! What’ll happen next? But look at the sweet solar powered bird bath bubbler I got for under $15. After just a little sun, it shoots up a five or six inch spray.

So many plants thriving, I’ll try not to get too hung up on the climbing hydrangea that died this year (another victim of the black walnut?). Out back, we splurged and planted some decent-sized birches and a lovely large pine. They’re all beautiful and functional as screening and, as it turns out, economical because I no longer feel any urgency about replacing our fence.

Ciao! Off to watch the Belmont Stakes.

A Temporary Guest

“Landscape has a secret and silent memory, a narrative of presence where nothing is ever forgotten.”  John O’Donohue (this and all following quotes from “Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom”).


According to the ancient Celts, “Landscape is not matter nor merely nature, rather it enjoys luminosity. Landscape is numinous”.

To “consider yourself as a complete stranger … who has just stepped ashore in your life” is to realize that you are not “the helpless owner of a deadened life but rather a temporary guest gifted with blessing and possibilities you could neither invent nor earn”.

Have a great weekend! I am off to the garden center with a friend and not likely to have clean fingernails for awhile.

Anam Cara is Gaelic for ‘soul friend’.

Just Tuesday

An early run to Salem meant traffic around the Turnpike exit. The usual. It baffles me every time how the left hand passing lane slows down while the middle and far right lanes do not, even though the stream of cars merging onto the highway are coming from the right. Does anybody understand that?

After a good effort with clutter, my sister and I ate subs from the corner shop. This shadow of a notice in reverse on the bench where I sit to wait for the order caught my eye. Had I sat on it before? Right after I got back to Nor’s, a front moved in, pounding the sidewalk with rain and regaling us with thunder. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that only the heavens let loose this morning, leaving human drama for another day. There’s been a little too much human drama of late. Seriously too much.The rain stopped by the time I headed out.

Do you see Finn’s nose?

The rain we got over the weekend helped the garden start its June show. I wish I had a pile of mulch on the driveway more than I wish I had a decent haircut. Enough said. 
I am enjoying the freedom to stitch whatever I want. Perhaps a male warrior standing on a distant planet is an odd choice. He caught my eye years ago and was incorporated into one of the two Sketchbook Projects that I participated in (you can see the entire Sketchbook here). For some reason I keep going back to these images — maybe because they addressed transitions in the boys’ lives and the boys’ lives are in transition again.

This Sketchbook page came with the question: “What borders will you defend?” The figure came from an ad promoting the video game “Lost Planet”.

I’ve been alternating between pinning scraps to the board and then pinning the scraps to a base cloth for sewing. Having used this method before and been frustrated when it came time to trim away the base, I’m happy I remembered to leave the edges unstitched.



I love the sky and the snow and even the figure, but wish the figure was “mine”.  Such is the life of a magazine collagist.

First Monday in August

rocks-deemallonIt was very hot here today. Fortunately, there’s been a temporary ‘fix’ to the van’s AC. Better yet, the horrible traffic that has plagued Route 128 between here and Salem all summer took a break today. Wahoo! Made it home in 50 minutes instead of the 1.5 hours that it’s taken the last four trips.

My sister and I went around North Salem to look at some of the low-income housing units that she is on the wait-list for. Before that, we sorted through some piles of things. Cleared off a few surfaces. I showed her how to use her Netti pot and took out the garbage and dusted a little. But only a little. If I get going too much, it sets her off. We went to the ‘Dairy Witch’ for soft-serve.

And now, a week with few commitments stretches ahead. AAAAAh. I hope to post about Portsmouth and the Hearts for Charleston Quilt.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from the weekend. It was a clear up, settle back, relax kind of time. Busy — but at my own pace with large swaths of quiet, so time took on an expansive quality.IMG_2244The rabbits devoured one Rose of Sharon transplant; left the other alone. I watered like mad because it’s been so dry and because the son I asked to do so in my absence did not 😦

IMG_2252 IMG_2257 IMG_2255Removed a long-useless soaker hose.
IMG_2282Pruned away most of an ailing laurel bush (something I’ve wanted to do for, oh, three years?), and used the old branches to supply support for morning glories.
IMG_2260As the years cycle by, I find that my attitude toward plants change. You know? Same plant. Different attitude. This year, the echinacea strikes me as so sturdy and pretty. And the morning glory is blowing my mind. Besides producing drop-dead beautiful flowers, the strength and delicacy of their climbing tendrils is something to behold. How can something be so strong and so delicate at the same time?!
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IMG_2163Off now. It’s “So You Think You Can Dance” night, but before I go, just wanted to follow up on last week and brag about successfully sharpening three pairs of scissors — including these two pair of Ginghers.