For the first half of summer, I tried to take a pic of the garden each day, either when I left or came home after work. My neighbors probably think I am the eccentric garden lady with the two large dogs who is forever trying to haul two dogs and a large briefcase on wheels through the garden path in the morning and home again at night. It can be quite a sight. Especially when we have the hose across the path and I can't get the rolling briefcase over the hose and the dogs are rubbing their faces in the lavender.
Yes, my dogs love lavender and it helps disguise the disgusting urine-y smell they come home with from doggie day care. (Or the urine-y smell + cologne-like wipers they use on the dogs when I complain about how much they are smelling. Then they smell like eau de pimp dogs.)
As I take the photos, with two dogs pulling on one arm, I imagine ithat my neighbors are are thinking that I am certifiably crazy and they are right. So when I want a non-blurry photo, I throw the dogs into the house and then they jump on the sofa and bark at me the whole time I am trying to discretely snap pics with my cell phone.
You can't hide the insane moments of your life. They always tell. And that's cool cause really, when you come down to it, I am barely in control of the dogs, the garden, or any other aspect of my life.
Mr. Pom and I have done a good job on the front garden. The best part about it is that after 8 years of planting, mulching, enlarging, and more planting, the garden is pretty well established and needs just a good weeding and mulching in spring, and then a thinning of the perennials come July. The black-eyed Susans (I'll show you those tomorrow) just want to take over and they got a good thinning over the weekend, along the "volunteer" sunflowers that sprung up from some I planted 5 years ago.
I wish I could do that with life in general. Thin it out to allow parts to grow and breathe.
I not only like to keep track of what is growing when, I am a painter and I take a lot of photos for reference for painting later Do I have any paintings to show you of my garden? Well, no. But summer is too busy for painting. Just think of how bright and gay it will be come January to paint the gorgeous Russian Sage that is almost taller than I am and the amazing oak leaf hydrangeas that have about 200 blossoms that have gone from the brightest white to the most dusky rose.
Succulents are all the rage this year. One of my paralegals found tiny little pinch pots filled with tiny little succulents. The pots had magnets on the back and he stuck them on the shelf of his cubicle. He bought them at the Stop and Shop next door to the office. I told them if he finds them missing not to look in my office (because he will find them there). He got the last ones, he told me. I told him there goes his Christmas gift.
I haven't gotten around to repotting the one above at twelve o'clock. I gave the same ones to one of my sisters and she repotted hers and even bought special potting mixture for cactus and succulents. They grew enormously and put mine to shame. And then they all died. And mine are thriving. Some things are meant to be and some are not. I love them because they remind me of my grandmother's front porch where she always had hens and chicks in a giant pot. I also love them because they hide where the porch boards are rotting although we had the whole floor replaced a few years ago.
When I am not in the garden, I am on the side porch. It was just a slab when we moved in, but Mr. Pom and Mystery Man bought this kit from Home Despot and screened it in. I must admit, I never thought it would still be in perfect condition 12 years later, but it is. We use it constantly. I don't think I've sat in the living room since Memorial Day.
On the left is the chaise lounge waiting for me to recover it. It best be used to waiting cause I'm thinking it will be a worthy winter chore. That yellow box was fished out of my neighbor's garbage when her family was clearing out the house to sell. The tablecloth on the little table was my grandmother's.
The Christmas cactus was The Empress's. She kept it in a little white pottery cat-shaped jardiniere under her pink bathroom sink. I released it from the bondage of the Christmas tin pot it came in and I hope it is settling in nicely on the porch. It looks a little scraggly from that view, but it is fuller on the other side. Hopefully, it will acclimate on the porch and start growing. Of all the things that I inherited from my mom, this old Christmas cactus reminds me the most of her. It's not just that she used to call me to tell me that it was blooming and how enormous it was. Somehow when I see it sitting out here, it is sort of like she is out here with me. I talk to it. So far it hasn't talked back, but I'll let you know. If it actually blooms this Christmas, I will water it with my tears.
I am very proud of my orange coral chair cushions that I got on Overstock. com. If you haven't used that site, you should. I buy nothing that I haven't first sourced on Overstock. (Hey, Overstock, how bout throwing me a little swag - we could use a new living room couch. I promise to talk it up and do a sponsored post. Who I am kidding.)
I never tire of these. Hope you haven't. Wait till I'm at the Cape and post pics of the mansions with the hydrangeas up and down Shore Road in Chatham. (BTW I got the scoop on where Harry Connick's house is. The Bride tried to find it, but the description of double chimneys on the pond is matched by about ten houses. I'll be sleuthing, never fear.)
Do you see that big ol' bee? This was taken with my Iphone 4s. This is why I no longer carry my Canon around.
This planter is all Mr. Pom's doing. He does it every year. Sometimes he uses impatiens (has anyone even noticed that there are none this year? Has anyone even missed them? Not I.)
They are just screaming at me to paint. I may have to actually take the time to do it en plein air instead of en snowy day.
I am headed to the Cape at the end of the week. It is time for our vacation and I am going up before everyone else. The 5 weeks since the Fourth of July have flown by. I had no wish for it to go quickly as I have no wish for summer to be half over. I know that once we get back from the Cape I will feel as though the season is gone even though there will probably be another 6 weeks of hot weather.
Right now, though, it is just dark enough to light some candles and plug in the porch fairy lights. The sky to the north is t the most delicate shade of a bruised, smoky blue. Whispers of it drift across my view, with bands of eggshell white illuminating what is left of the day's light.
Dusk is the most delicate time of day, the cusp between activity and dreams. It is the moment when all that was not done is naught before night falls. The young night is all promise and fireflies, smoky air and mystery, a subdued gentle first act before the glamour of lamplight.
It is the time to drop everything - filling the dishwasher, throwing in a load of wash, watching The Newsroom on demand - and meet on the porch. We add our exhalations to the sky's dusky blue of longing, of languour, of secrets and bittersweet desire.
The evenings are cool. They have the first touch of woodsmoke, just a light perfume, like the passing of an elegant woman on the street whose scent is more imagined than real. The harshness of the day's renderings fade into into silhouette and we sink into the soft black of a charcoal rubbing of our lives.