Long Night into Morning

“Let us decide on the route that we wish to take to pass our life, and attempt to sow that route with flowers.”
— Madame du Chatele via The Happiness Project

I’M NOT SURE I EVER ACTIVELY DECIDED on a route, but nevertheless, I am attempting to sow it with flowers. I was out in the garden at 6 this morning, and not because I woke up early. I never went to sleep. I tried; it just didn’t happen. I listened to music, watched some great tap and swing dance videos on YouTube, and thought about getting out of bed as early as 4. Instead, I lay awake dreading the garden chores I had sketched out for today.

As usual, the dreading took longer than the chores. And with the early morning sun backlighting the red leaves of my new Japanese maple, below, and setting the baby dogwood’s blossoms aglow, below that, I didn’t mind bagging more of last fall’s leaves or hacking back the unruly leucothoe or clipping off faded daffodils.

On the contrary: I felt most fortunate to have this lovely work to do.

I forget what the shrub with the yellow pompom flowers, above, is called. It was a buy at a roadside stand upstate. My burlap wrapping last fall helped. The bushes are leafier than they would have been otherwise at this time of year.

Lilies of the valley around a driftwood sculpture will soon flower.

Everything is bursting onto the scene at once, with visible changes each day. Tiny new flowers here, ferns unfurling there, the pink bloom of the epimedium, below in foreground, making its brief appearance.

I noted the wood poppy, above, that I was given in a paper cup on a garden tour last summer, spreading all over the place. Whether that’s going to be good or bad remains to be seen. You can also see a few giant aliums and some lilies (semi-deer-resistant) coming into their own.

The May apples, above, are back, mysteriously. Last year I saw none; this morning a few, though still far fewer than the profuse stand of two years ago. I took down a tree in the vicinity. Perhaps the change of light affected them?

I saw where the deer bedded down on the foliage of spent snowdrops, and a pair of cardinals going in and out of the branches of my contorted pine, right. I heard chirps and cheeps, whistles and caws.

A new season and a new day are dawning here on the East End of Long Island. I’ll probably crash by noon.

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 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Long Night into Morning

  1. Stephanie says:

    Lovely commentary. I was there and walking the garden with you.

  2. cara says:

    To Steph: you are sweet:-) Re the mystery shrub with the yellow pompoms, my friend Mary-Liz says it may be a kerria japonica. I’ve read that they are deer resistant, so… could well be!

  3. GAP says:

    Yes, bad news: sleepless night; good news: great post came of it. From the one photograph the other day it was clear that your yard there has been transformed. The paths, the different beds with all sorts of interesting stuff in them–it looks beautiful. My son had one of those pom-pom bushes half buried in overgrowth out at the lake. (They are common out there; I remember them blooming as a kid when we went to “open” our bungalow in the spring.) He has spent the past couple of years cutting back/wedding out that overgrowth around all four sides of his property, and once he cut away all the stuff choking that pom-pom bush, it came roaring back and is gorgeous right now. It makes sense that they are deer resistant because deer are a big problem for him too.

  4. lexi says:

    Wow, your garden looks amazing this year!

    Do you have a secret to finding good listings in Bed Stuy, beyond NYT, Trulia, and Zillow? I’ve been idly looking for a 3-family house in Brooklyn for under $700k and the ‘renovations’ I’ve seen in Bed Stuy have been so disheartening…

  5. cara says:

    Thanks, Lexi. Garden’s only just getting started:-) Re real estate sources, I don’t have any secrets! I look on Trulia and Zillow myself, as well as Realtor.com. They’re all the same. But how about Brownstoner.com? They have a lot of real estate listings. If you’re serious about buying in Bklyn, you should read it every day anyway, to stay up to date on real estate and neighborhood news.

  6. fran says:

    you have garlic mustard weed- it’s in the photo w the may apples? is that what you called them? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliaria_petiolata
    it’s a terribly invasive weed that is harmful to the environment. didn’t know if you knew about it. your garden looks fabulous and i love all your columns!

  7. cara says:

    Good weed-spotting, Fran. Yes, I have garlic mustard (and a lot of other nasty things, including agepodium, wisteria, and poison ivy — but all in lesser quantities than I did when I first got here three years ago, thanks to diligent hand-pulling efforts, and a little Roundup). I pull out the garlic mustard and bag it before it goes to seed. The spot with the May apples is way in the back near the woods so I haven’t gotten to it yet. Thanks for being a fan:-)

  8. BrooklynGreene says:

    You’re not the only one up!
    :-)

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