NOW THAT THINGS ARE BEGINNING to look less jungle-like around here — you can almost see the beginnings of a landscape, below — I’m turning my thoughts to what comes next.
That consists mainly of keeping my eyes open as I go about my rounds, observing what others in the area are growing, and visiting nurseries (though many of the things I like best, like climbing roses and lavender, won’t work at all in my shady conditions).
Below, often seen in the Hamptons: roses on a picket fence
Above: Lavender at the Amagansett Farmers Market
I’m inspired by Dianne Benson‘s exuberant, idiosyncratic early ’90s gardening book, Dirt. She’s a onetime fashion designer/entrepreneur (I still have one of her fabulous dresses) and local gardening legend.
Her house, beautifully and unconventionally landscaped, with unusual color combos (lots of purple) and dramatic, huge-leaved astilboides rimming the picket fence, is in the center of the Village of East Hampton. Her previous property, about which she wrote extensively in Dirt, was on a wooded site like mine, and the book is full of plant suggestions and, more importantly, infectious enthusiasm for gardening.
Dig that crazy conifer, above
At the moment, though, I could use a little less infectious. I’ve just returned from the walk-in medical clinic in Amagansett after finding two engorged deer ticks on my body in the past couple of days. They gave me two doxycycline pills and sent me on my way.
I’ve decided not to hate deer. They’re beautiful, and it’s not their fault. It’s annoying to have to suit up in bio-hazard gear to work in my own backyard, but shorts and flip-flops just won’t cut it.