SUMMER’S FIRST G&T

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It’s not summer yet but it sure felt like it.  The Memorial Day weekend was mighty fine.  I said to the family that it was as though we had been in a winter time warp;  then someone pulled the switch and we fell out into last August.  Bagels from the Bagel Shack; three trips a day to Murphy’s to get the food items we forgot to get earlier; fisherman and crabbers at the foot of the street;  flip-flops lined up at the beach entrance; surfers and beach walkers; the ice-cream guy’s bells; roller blades on West Avenue…

We enjoyed it while looking anxiously over our shoulders, half expecting the nice weather to be pushed away.  But, it didn’t happen even though we all remember wet, cold, Memorial Days in the past.  Clearly, the season has begun and we’re pleased that neither spring nor summer have forgotton how to do it right.  The Purple Martins know it; they returned to their condos a few weeks ago.

The celebration day was beautifully clear at Beach Haven’s Veterans’ Bicentennial Park, ready for the ceremony at the gazebo. 

The parade was “down-home” with the Mayor, our friend Professor Commissioner Nancy Davis, the Boy Scouts, the antique cars, Missy and John Maschal in their early 20th C., wood-sided Fudge Truck , the fire engines and first-aiders, and a super marching band.

During the service, veterans were invited to gather before the podium.  Feeling inadequate in the presence of those who had been in harm’s way I went up anyway, proud to have served my country.  I never fired a shot in anger but I served, helping to maintain our defense establishment with the Atlantic Fleet Seabees in Morocco, Spain, and Puerto Rico.  Here’s Bergie and his construction company of Seabees in front of a completed vital defense structure (a base commissary ;-))  (For this I had to master navigation and seamanship??)

The Memorial Day Pig Roast was fun and filling.  Fun also to see old friends again to begin the season.

Other signs of the seasonal change are here.  There’s usually a tiki of some sort nailed to the top of a post along the boardwalk from the street to the beach.  Here’s this year’s…whimsical and endearing.

And, just by that walkway are the beach roses, Rosa Rugosa, sometimes called Nantucket Roses, which are most lush and prolific at this time of year:

This is also the season for the exotic, beautiful mountain laurel blossoms.  The reddish cast, a departure from the usual light pink, is rare for the area, and is seen mostly in the nearby pine barrens.

And, finally, the regal,delicate ballerina, the iris.

The G&T?  Oh, yeah, we had a couple.

SPRING BLOOMS – 5/11/10

Rhododendron Blossom Head

This is a soft, beautiful time of year with the trees leafing out, still feathery, and the abundance of spring blooms.  This rhody was condemned to death by one of my landscapers years ago as suffering from a borer.  I refused to carry out the sentence and the rhody recovered and for many, many years it has been magnificent.  Here is a closeup of one of the flowers.

 

Here’s one of my peonies.  So beautiful and gently fragrant.  I lost every bud last year to an unknown cause.  Only a few buds this year but welcomed back.

 

Peony

 

The clematis over Marty Lou’s arbor seems to struggle every year but it persists.

Clematis on Marty's Arbor

This morning I had a real treat.  I was invited to tour and photograph the gardens of Kathy, a fellow photographer.  I was overwhelmed with this Longwood Gardens annex.

Iris

It was view after view after view of iris in all colors and all manner of blooms from stately bearded German to delicate Japanese.  In between, several varieties of clematis on attractive garden trellises, and  rosebushes beyond count.

And the first peony, just unfolded.

Peony

 And, an honor: while we stood and chatted by Kathy’s hummingbird feeder not eighteen inches away from me, up came a hummingbird who hovered, looked at us, and then proceeded to have a sip.  I felt honored.

SPRING PLANTINGS

If God had placed the flowers and plants where they should be I wouldn’t have had to work like a field hand this weekend, pulling out invasive ornamental grasses; planting perennials and annuals; and placing six yards of mulch.  But, it already looks better.  I pruned the Knockout Roses severely last fall and they’re lookin’ good.

 

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Here’s a beautiful iris which Barbara and I enjoyed in her summertime landlord’s garden while having coffee out there this morning.

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BORDENTOWN’S ANNUAL IRIS FESTIVAL

I drove up for the festival last  Saturday.  It was a beautiful day but the iris in the park hadn’t gotton the memo.  There were a few rusty-brown and this lovely specimen.

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But, there were lots to be seen in private gardens elsewhere in town, some in scenes such as this.

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There were crafters and artists along Farnsworth Avenue and a number of eating places.  A nice place to be on a nice day.  For train enthusiasts, Bordentown is a stop on the River Line.  Here’s a northbound train crossing the bridge over Crosswicks Creek.

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