Posted tagged ‘front garden’

“I am alive, and drunk on sunlight.”

June 15, 2017

Okay, I am distraught. My post was just about finished. It was being saved. All of a sudden Safari shut down, and with it went my post. The saving never happened. Trust me when I tell you the post was spectacular, Pulitzer worthy. Now it is floating in limbo, words without structure, a story without an ending.

It mentioned pizza and a peanut butter cupcake, a new record for the number of errands in a single day and the highlights of my trip to the hardware store. The weather too was mentioned. I used the word glorious twice. I know that may seem repetitious, but the weather the last two days deserved the accolade.

I described the new, sort of snake, I bought at the hardware store. It is yellow plastic, pretty in a way for a tool, especially a snake. My upstairs sink and tub take forever to drain so something is blocking the water. The man at the hardware store highly recommended my new tool. He even gave a quick demonstration as to how to use it. He told me the results could be gross. I am glad I am not a plumber.

This morning I was busy with cleaning some weird spots like the cat’s dish, the dust on the cable box, and the dog’s area. I watered the plants. I watched MSNBC for a while but decided enough was enough. I’m watching The Longest Day.

Later I have to plant a few flowers in the front garden. I did ask my landscaper, but I suspect he forgot. There are only five of them so they shouldn’t take long. Afterward, I can boast I planted my garden.

I was taking Gracie to the backyard yesterday when a car stopped almost in the front of my house. I didn’t recognize the vehicle or the woman who got out of it. She waved. I said hi the way you say it to strangers, with a bit of question in the saying. She asked if the little library was mine and then gave me a thumbs up when I said it was. She told me her daughter had come upon it on one of her walks so the two of them have been by a few times. I was thrilled to learn that my little library has had visitors. She took a few books. I replenished the supply so the library is full again for the next passerby.

Today is cool and sunny. The air is clear and the sunlight is sharp. The day is glorious. I know, I know: that’s three times, but I did say I was distraught.

“Every flower blooms at its own pace.”

August 21, 2016

Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day! It is cool and sunny with that clear light of morning. Last night I didn’t even need air conditioning. Tonight we’re getting rain, but not just rain; we’re getting a thunderstorm. I don’t even remember the last time it rained.

I have noticed the darkness creeping in earlier now. We are losing two and a half minutes of light every day. According to the weatherman,  a couple of nights this week will be in the high 50’s, a warning that cool nights and crisp mornings are getting closer. They are harbingers of fall.  I love when it when late flowers color the front garden. The white clematis are starting to appear on the sides and tops of the front fence. Black-eyed Susans are still in bloom. A white flower whose name I’ve forgotten is budding in the garden next to the house. Soon it will bloom. That unnamed flower has spread across one whole side of the garden. When it blooms, it looks so lovely with the green house as a backdrop.

Tonight we are having our first movie. I have chosen Dick, but it is on order from Amazon prime, and they are saying by eight tonight. I’m hoping for sooner or we may have to choose another movie. The main dish for this evening is hot dogs. I have a hot dog machine which rolls the dogs over and over and also warms the rolls. It needs no tending. I’m going to pick up an appetizer or two, popcorn and some movie candy. We have birthday cake for dessert. I’m hoping my friends find Dick as amusing as I do.

I have two errands to do which makes this the third day in a row I have joined the outside world. Goodbye to comfy clothes.


“A flower blossoms for its own joy.”

July 19, 2015

This morning is oppressive. The air is perfectly still. The sun has disappeared and reappeared. The humidity is 84%. Rain is predicted for tomorrow through Tuesday. We’ll just have to survive today.

Movie night was perfect. There was a breeze keeping us cool, and we had plenty of appetizers to stave off hunger. We didn’t even eat the hot dogs, linguica and salads I had bought for dinner, but we did manage to eat the apple pie for dessert.

I can hear only birds. My neighborhood is quiet. The other day I heard the buzzing of saws most of the day. My neighbor’s huge tree from her front yard was taken down. Now the yard looks bare. You know something is missing.

Every morning I checkout my front garden. New blossoms pop open every day. Today there were tall purple like daisies standing by the fence. Some white flowers are also blooming and two huge clumps of flowers are just about ready to open. I do love watching the progress of my flowers.

Last night, around 1:30, I sent Gracie out for her last time before bed. She stood perfectly still at the top of the stairs then took off like a flash. It was her intruder run. I put on my shoes and was going to the yard to grab her, or even save her, when the rustling of leaves just below the deck told me Gracie was already on her way to the stairs. It was then I heard the hoots of an owl, the first ever here. After Gracie arrived on the deck and stood beside me, we stayed a while.

“Everybody likes a roller coaster ride.”

August 11, 2014

This morning I have already cleaned off the deck and filled the bird feeders. I also tried again to attach the fronds to my new palm tree, but they are just too heavy for me to hold with one hand and attach with the other. I’ll have to wait until Thursday when Lee and Roseana come to clean. Lee is always happy to help.

If you want to know the weather, check yesterday’s Coffee because it is the same today, the same gorgeous day. I see a deck day, and I also see a dump run as I have already loaded the car. Gracie will be glad. Weekends are no longer dump days as the traffic is lined up along the street to the dump and inside is a mad house. Mondays are quiet.

My front garden is beautiful so I’ll try to take some pictures today. I always wanted a garden filled with flowers, and this garden is exactly what I dreamed. Not being a gardener, it was hit or miss with the flowers I chose, but I did well. I noticed some bare spots and a bush is going to be moved this fall so next year I get to buy more flowers, perennials in the front. I’ll do a bit of research first then make my list. Some I may have to get on-line as rare flowers aren’t at the local garden shops. People tend to buy the familiar.

We never came down the cape when I was a kid. All our vacations were in Maine or Vermont. On weekends we went to local beaches on the North Shore. When I was really young, we went to Revere Beach. I remember aunts and uncles and cousins being there with us as well. I also remember the adults would take turns. Some would watch us while others would run across the street for a drink or two. Revere Beach back then had all sorts of food booths, bars, arcade games and rides. We kids never left the beach. There was always plenty to eat and drink from the various baskets. We’d whine and ask to go on a ride, but I can’t remember ever taking one though maybe we rode the merry-go-round, but that is a hazy memory at best.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would go to Revere Beach on a Friday or Saturday night. We’d buy sausage subs with peppers and onions and eat them as we walked along the boardwalk. We rode the roller coaster. I remember that roller coaster more than any other ride because when I was young I could see the top of the coaster from the highway on the way to visit my grandparents. It was a sign post of sorts as to where we were. I loved that old wooden coaster. I remember the anticipation and maybe a little fear as the roller coaster slowly climbed that first hill. I remember the sounds of the coaster. It made squealing noises around corners, the wheels clicked on the track for the whole ride and people always screamed, especially down that first hill. The brave ones didn’t hold on but raised both arms in the air in a show of bravado. I wasn’t one of them. I always held on.

“…it was so rich and exotic I was seduced into taking one bite and then another as I tried to chase the flavors back to their source.”

July 22, 2014

The morning has been a busy one around the Ryan homestead. The huge pine branch which fell is gone as are several branches and a dead pine tree or two. I had to keep an eye on my landscaper as many more trees would have gone on the chopping block. He loves to cut down trees. All the ground brush was also cut down then everything was blown clean, including the deck. The yard looks great. The deck needs a bit of washing because of the birds, and I’ll do that later.

Finally we have a glorious summer day, sunny and cool, and in the 70’s. It rained again yesterday so the grass is staying green and the flowers are tall and filled with buds. My front garden will soon be awash with brilliant colors. Every morning when I get my papers I check on the garden. I stand and marvel at how fresh and beautiful it all looks.

I really have nothing to do today, but I thought I’d go to the library and Agway. A few of my deck flowers need a boost so I’ll buy some annuals which didn’t find any homes and supplement the ones on my deck. I ate tomatoes yesterday, cherry tomatoes, straight from my garden. They were sweet and juicy.

When I lived in Ghana, I had a bowl of fruit for lunch every day. The bowl was filled with oranges, pineapple, pawpaw, mango and bananas. I never tired of that same meal. The fruit was as fresh as any fruit I had ever tasted. Ghanaian oranges are green and on the small side, but they are the sweetest of the fruits. I used to buy one or two to eat when I was on the road traveling. Aunties and small girls would come to the bus window to sell oranges from trays on their heads, and I always bought a couple.

My love for pineapple comes from Ghana. Before eating the fresh Ghanaian pineapples, I had only eaten Dole’s cut up pineapples in thick juice from a can. I’m not even sure we could buy fresh pineapples when I was growing up. Had I seen one in the flesh, I would have thought it a strange fruit with all the nobs on its skin and the green sprouting top.

Sometimes I think about the foods I ate when I was a kid. Most vegetables came from a can, corn in the summer being an exception. The fruits were apples, oranges and bananas, nothing exotic unless you count green apples. I don’t remember farm stands anywhere near we lived, and farmers’ markets were a long way off in the future.

I know it was Ghana which totally changed my palate. The fruits and vegetables I ate were fresh from the market. Some I hadn’t ever seen or heard of before, but I tried them and mostly liked them. The chickens were still alive when I bought them but the beef wasn’t. It was iffy. I didn’t really care. I ate it anyway.

I found out there was more to the global world of food than just Italian and Chinese. Though I didn’t think about it at the time, one of the best side benefits of being a Peace Corps volunteer was an educated palate grown out of a curiosity about trying and liking new foods.

“…I don’t just wish you rain, Beloved – I wish you the beauty of storms…”

March 23, 2014

More croci and snowdrops have bloomed in the front garden which gets the first sun in the morning. The purple crocus is the newest one. It sits among the many yellow croci. More snowdrops have bloomed beside the steps. Their white flowers are brilliant against the dark of last year’s mulch. Every morning the garden seems to have a new flower, a surprise for me.

A light grey cloudy sky hides the sun. When I look out the den window, the bare branches look stark. The sun usually softens the look of them. No buds have appeared yet, not even on my forsythia always the first to bloom.

When I was a really little kid, I didn’t notice the subtleties of the world around me. I noticed the changing leaves in fall, the trees full of green shading the sidewalk on my way to school and the snow and the rain. I didn’t notice the smell of summer rain or the strange color of the sky before a snow storm until I was a little older. I always wondered how I could have missed them, the wonderful pieces of the changing weather.

I remember how the sky would start to darken and the darkness would deepen and spread. I knew a storm was coming, a huge storm, and I got to watch it from the very beginning. My heart would beat a little faster as the clouds, dark, threatening and scary, moved above me. Sometimes I could even see the rain coming at me, and I’d run into the house. I’d sit by the window and watch it all unfold in front of me. The drops were heavy and there were so many the rain ran like a river in the gutters along the street. The houses near mine became indistinct, hidden by the rain.

I stayed and watched. Sometimes the rain stopped slowly small drop by small drop. Other times it just stopped, finished in its fury.

“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.”

October 1, 2013

My mornings are leisurely. I brew the coffee, get the papers from the driveway, grab a cup of coffee when it’s finished brewing then sit down and read the papers. I generally read everything from the headlines to the sports pages. I do two crossword puzzles and one cryptogram. I check the local weather. I seldom know anyone on the Names page in the Globe. Today I knew two, actors who are in town for filming. With each paper, I drink a cup of coffee. Every now and then I drink a third. This morning, though, was a bit different. I had a strange burst of energy caused, I think, by the broken planter and the dirt all over the floor of my dining room which I noticed right away when I came downstairs. It must have fallen during the night, and I never heard it. Obviously Gracie didn’t either as she didn’t bark at the noise. I cleaned up the mess and found a new pot for the plant then ended up watering the rest of the plants, all before I my usual morning ritual. While the coffee was brewing, I swept the kitchen floor and lemon oiled the small wooden whatever it’s called on my kitchen counter. It has two drawers. That’s my only hint as to what it might be. Then and only then did I get my coffee and sit down with the papers. I feel as if I have put in a whole day’s work. Not only that but I also finally dusted the shelves in this room. I did that last night. For some unknown reason, I have become Sally homemaker. I am hoping there is a cure.

According to the Cape Times, it will be in the 70’s every day this whole week while the nights will drop to the 50’s. That sounds ideal to me.

Already I can see the sun has begun its fall journey and has shifted to shine at a different angle than it had all summer. In my garden, the autumn flowers have bloomed, and they are lovely. Purple ones are the newest. The anemones I bought and planted seemed to have settled into the garden and a couple are blooming. Every time I looked at that front garden, I am tempted to buy more flowers, especially with the warm days still coming. Today I’m going to the farm stand for tomatoes and whatever else catches my eye. If, by chance, I happen upon some more flowers, I might just buy them. Let’s face it: I probably will buy them. I am a sucker for flowers.

“Time is an herb that cures all Diseases.”

June 2, 2013

The morning is cloudy and cooler than it’s been. Thunder showers are predicted for this evening and tomorrow, but I won’t complain. I love thunder showers, and the flowers and the grass can use the rain.

Yesterday was to be my sloth day. It wasn’t. I ended up planting flowers and herbs in some of the deck pots, and I did two loads of laundry. My back is screaming from two days of hauling and bending. Today will really be a sloth day. I’m thinking about a nap. The cats and dog are already asleep.

The Cape Times has entered its summer mode. The paper uses just about a whole page to list events, shows, musicians, speakers and farmers’ markets. I check every morning for something interesting and then plan my day. Perhaps this will be another tourist summer, something I haven’t done for a while. I’ll go up Cape this year. My last tourist season I went down Cape. It’s always fun to answer the docents who want to know where we’re all from. Usually I’m the only one who says Cape Cod.

My front garden is so awash with color I wish I were a painter. The irises are in bloom, in purples and golds. A blue flower has also bloomed. I don’t know what it is but there are two, one on each front side of the garden. They stand tall in huge clumps. The wild rose bushes have buds, and the small lilac has bloomed in light purple. A white columbine sits daintily in the back of the garden. Lilies of the valley from my mother’s house have covered the ground on each side of the driveway, and the white, fragrant flowers have bloomed on the side which gets more sun. A few baby forsythia bushes, offspring of my oldest one which was a house-warming present, need to be dup up and passed along to friends for their yard. That will give me some space for a few new flowers, for more perennials. I’m going with red.

In addition to the flowers I planted yesterday I also planted basil and rosemary. I so love the smell of fresh rosemary that I run my hand up the whole plant then breath in the wonderful aroma. When I take scissors to the garden and cut fresh herbs for my recipes, I feel like a professional chef giving a tour of my garden in front of a camera which isn’t really there but then again neither is my audience.

I need a few more herbs for the garden, and I also have to plant the thyme I’ve already bought in its deck box. Oops, a pun jumped into my head here, a really corny pun, but I won’t submit you to it. I’ll leave that to Ben.

“Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, A box where sweets compacted lie.”

May 7, 2011

The morning is beautiful, sunny and warmish. I woke up to the sound of the lawnmower next door. It reminded me of every Saturday morning all summer. The lawn now is lush and green, the way it is only in the early spring before the heat of the summer sun finds it. As I write, it is being mowed and trimmed. Gracie is an interested spectator.

Last night from the bleachers I watched the Red Sox get thumped by the Twins. I ate a Fenway frank and shared some popcorn. It was fun being back at the ball park under the lights, but I would have preferred to see them win or even stay close. They have one more game to impress me as I have tickets in August.

I had Rice Krispies for breakfast this morning. I should have been sitting on the rug in front of the TV watching Saturday morning cartoons instead of reading the papers while I ate. They still snap, crackle and pop.

I can see the leaves on the oak trees. They are finally catching up with the other trees in the yard. In the front garden, many of the perennials have appeared. They make me want to buy my flowers and my herbs. That’s always a favorite shopping spree. I walk along the rows of flowers dragging my little red wagon behind me as I fill it. This is a red and pink year. I have plenty of white flowers. My friend, the garden maven, gave a list of plants to add to my garden this year. She has well over a hundred varieties in her various gardens so her advice is welcomed.

Later, I’ll venture to the deck and sit in the sun. The few errands I have can wait until the day is cooler in the late afternoon. I just can’t imagine wasting a warm day with blue skies and a gentle breeze.

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