Sunflower: Chianti Tuesday, Jul 29 2014 


Bzzzzz Sunday, Jul 27 2014 

There is one problem with New England summers…as illustrated in the guestbook from 1878!

Dinner Party Saturday, Jul 26 2014 

Not inspired by Esperanza, actually, but by another house in the same area built near the end of Hapgood’s career as an architect about 25 years after he designed Esperanza’s north end. It is a bit clunky, mostly because I tried to redirect it from its original!

Dinner Party
Resting in the lawn-green bowl
The pergola was wreathed
By honeysuckle and roses
And laughter rose beyond the lantern-light.
A gossamer thread leading back
To the shining house
At the dark woods’ edge
A swelling blossom
Of twilight gold

Late July, Esperanza Thursday, Jul 24 2014 

There is much I could write about, much I could take photos of…

But instead, I would ask you to consider the scent of white Oriental lilies, bigger than the span of a hand, that incredible floral scent, for some of us it reminds one at once of Easter (the promise of resurrection if not eternal than at least of the coming season) and of high summer: that time of long days and great bounty when the garden overflows and people slow down just a little.

Consider also, a path carved towards the setting sun through the high grass, this year the shadows and the short grass give the feeling of carved jade. Or perhaps a flaming orange line, set against the green hills, all the daylilies blooming and when the sun sinks all that glorious color will fail…but tomorrow, perhaps? Maybe the steel-blue hostas bowing down across the paths in the deep shade?

Or maybe the sun, golden, setting now. By the week’s end it will be setting on the western hedgerow and not on the northern hedgerow. How fleeting is this summer!

It is hot out there…. Wednesday, Jul 23 2014 

I don’t know how roofers do it. But do it they do. It sounds a bit like a cross between Morris dancers and woodpeckers at the moment. I think they are trying to get something down before the thunderstorms come through tonight.  Which would be wise, seeing as it is the northwest corner of the house that is being re-done and it is a bit large for decent tarp coverage.  It did need it….it had been closing in on sixty years before it finally really failed this summer.  Which is pretty good for asphalt shingles! Never mind exposure to countless thunderstorms, snow drifts of several feet, ice, a few decent hurricanes, and a lot of sun. I bet the new ones won’t last that long.  If they do, I’ll be ninety odd!


Sky rockets Monday, Jul 21 2014 

Lots of dynamic flowers in the garden right now: snake-root, ostrich-plume astilbe, big lilies, hostas, daylilies…I sort of wonder just how big we could get the snake-root to grow if we deliberately fertilized it. The bees adore it.




New England roads Saturday, Jul 19 2014 

I was taking an exploratory drive today, adding a few more roads in a few more towns to my ‘I know exactly where that goes and what is on it’ list.  I took myself in a wonderful backwards arc (it being cloudy and having misjudged the overall alignment of hills/reservoirs/towns) to come out in an unexpected location from an unexpected direction.  Quite enjoyable. I fully intend to do it again.

But the roads must be a little maddening to people.  Poorly signed, frequently narrow and twisting*, and in the area I was in today (dominated by state/water company land) entirely wooded. Now one tree does not look like another tree, but you know what? One green Connecticut hilltop looks remarkably like the next green Connecticut hilltop, especially when one can only see one at a time and briefly. For that matter, one river looks a lot like the next river.  And straight lines? They are an anathema.

There is only one rule in these explorations: if the power lines stop, the pavement ends, and the incline starts to exceed 10% with washing, pay attention to what an elderly Civic can and cannot do!


*A paved, two-lane road, perhaps twenty feet wide, with no shoulders is a New England staple.  And, of course, because it is a two lane, paved road the appropriate speed is precisely the same as that for a road with modern curves and double the width; furthermore the traffic load is probably the same.

Note to self Friday, Jul 18 2014 

If you are contemplating the structural integrity of the chimney while yanking vines off of it….a) there are too many vines; b) perhaps the chimney ought to be considered?

Actually, the chimney in question is just fine. Still it crossed my mind while beginning to attempt to nibble at the Green Blob engulfing Minnietrost (small outbuilding).  Something about overgrown multiflora rose*, weigela, forsythia, burning bush, strawberry bush, pagoda dogwood, and all tied together by enthusiastic grape-vine, wood-bine, and akebia vine.  The vines are especially enthusiastic because of the absurdly large (80ft) hemlock that towers over the whole assemblage.  The woodbine goes most of the way up it….and what berries the birds don’t eat, grow.  Of course, what the birds do eat and Everybody, Everybody from crows to hawks to itty bitty sparrows perch in that hemlock so lots of birds perch and lots of birds eat fruit and lots of birds….

I’m leaving the woodbine on the chimney through fall, I simply cannot bring myself to yank off what is a veritable bounty of berries before then. The grape and akebia, however, have been removed.

Soft hearted.

*I have a plan for the rose: chainsaw at the base (and yes it is that big), attach a chain to it, and then floor it in an appropriate vehicle.  Yanking it out that way means that the trimming of the weigela and forsythia will be a bit brutal (thanks the to the akebia vine growing throughout) but I think it is the only way to go.

Can’t I eat these, Mom? Thursday, Jul 17 2014 

Yes daylilies are edible, yes Deer-off works with horses too!


Twins Monday, Jul 14 2014 

Common ordinary Thalictrum makes for an excellent garden plant.


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