A Year in Springs, and How My Garden Does Grow!

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My front beds have gone from bare to ongepotchket (‘Slapped together without form, excessively decorated,’ according to one Yiddish dictionary) in a month. No, not true, but I see how easily it could happen…I can’t stop planting!

EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO, I had just moved to my new home in Springs (East Hampton), N.Y. I had no heat. No refrigerator. No driveway — just a sea of mud. And a backyard that was impenetrable, due to overgrown wisteria and weeds, with a fallen-down shed in the middle of it. I was cold, scared, and lonely; I didn’t know many people in the area. The weather was foul, and I prayed for a bit of sunshine to put a more comforting spin on things.

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Greener than brown…

These days, I’m warm and toasty, with a fully functioning kitchen, a new roof, and a yard that’s at least partly under control. To be sure, there’s a ways to go: I still need a new bathroom, a deck, and a paint job. But I love living here. It’s home. I have wonderful new friends and neighbors. I no longer choke on the word “Hamptons.” I’ve even caught myself saying “up-island,” as in “Whenever I go up-island, I stop at IKEA [Costco, Home Depot…]” (Up-island is a term we East Enders use to refer to parts of Long Island closer to…what’s the name of that city again? Right, New York.)

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Still rock-hunting for those edges…only the best will do.

Today, in fact, I went up-island, to visit my cousin Barbara and pick up her birthday present to me: five big bags of compost — a most welcome gift. Yes, it was teeming, but that didn’t stop us from dividing some of her astilbe, epimedium, and liriope, which I hauled back in my trusty Honda. Tomorrow I’ll plant it, rain or shine. My front-yard beds have gone from bare to practically stuffed in about a month.

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Moving on to containers…

A very satisfying day. While the Long Island Expressway is still soul-numbing (I listened to a new Anne Tyler book, Noah’s Compass, on CD — also somewhat numbing), I didn’t mind the rain. As a civilian, I would have preferred pleasanter weather. But as a gardener, I’m thrilled that Nature is doing the watering.

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New favorite: an old concrete birdbath planted with sedum and scaevola, an annual.

About cara

I blog for fun here at casaCARA, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
This entry was posted in COTTAGE LIVING, GARDENS & GARDENING, HAMPTONS, LONG ISLAND, OLD-HOUSE MAKEOVERS and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to A Year in Springs, and How My Garden Does Grow!

  1. Coppermaven says:

    Happy Anniversary! What you’ve accomplished in just one year is very impressive! Now come back to “Up-Island”! Your city friends miss you!

  2. Quinn says:

    It looks great! Flowers make all the difference….

  3. Mary-Liz says:

    Wondrous!!! Amazing what you have accomplished!!! Congratulations!

  4. Jay says:

    Happy one-year anniversary, Cara! Your plantings look so lovely and luscious!

  5. amanda says:

    Cara,
    Are you aware that you can get primo compost at the dump for free? (the Springs dump, your dump!) My mom’s garden has exploded this year because of it. You should see her Irises this year…

    No need to go up-Island. Ever.

  6. cara says:

    I just found that out recently, Amanda. Didn’t know it was primo, though! From now on, the dump is my go-to place for compost and wood-chip mulch.

  7. amanda says:

    Also, don’t miss the Garden Club of East Hampton Plant Sale this weekend at Mulford Farm. There’s a benefit cocktail party on Friday night (May 28) and then the sale on Saturday morning. I think the best part about it (besides supporting their various causes) is that you can ask questions of some very experienced gardeners.

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