Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Cape Cod Lilac

A little tour of my brother and sister-in-law's garden in Arbutus, MD, May 2007

Longstanding tradition normally finds me landing in Baltimore this week of the year, to visit my brother and his wife, and to attend the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival at the Baltimore County Fairgrounds. The drive from the airport is always alight with flowering azaleas, dogwoods and assorted other blooming trees, but the most beautiful sight is the garden which greets me at the home of my brother and wife. Lots of hard work and love go in to making their garden a favorite stopping spot for passers-by, and if you look carefully into the low front hedges, there just may be a cat curled up sound asleep in his little cave he has created....that would be my feline nephew, Mikey!
There is one very special blossoming bush in their garden which we call the Cape Cod Lilac (pictured behind this blog title). About 15 years ago, my brother and wife were visiting me at my home at the time in Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod. We took frequent walks to look at gardens and the beautiful seaside views, and one day, as we passed a vacant house very near mine, we dared to walk in to the gardens, long neglected, obviously once very loved, and filled with unusual plantings. Amidst the overgrowth was a beautiful lilac bush with the largest blossoms we had ever seen on a lilac. My brother & wife have extensive knowledge of flowers and declared they must have a cutting.....did we dare to do this from someone else's property without permission??? Well, after acquiring some Rootone and a container, we stealthily returned and the deed was done. The lilac cutting was on its way to Baltimore to see if it would propagate successfully. As is evidenced in the picture above, it is now a tall tree-like bush and delighting all with its beauty and rarity. The heady scent fills the house on every breeze. Disease threatened it several years ago but new shoots continue to thrive. It is in the front garden next to Henry, a prolific white clematis winds up the trunk and displays his showy blooms on the top leaves of a brilliant red Japanese maple. A beautiful contrast of color.

This year I will miss this garden, the always-delightful visit, the Sheep and Wool, the warmth, as well as our traditional watching of the Kentucky Derby. My life has taken a lot of twists and turns this year and for many reasons, I need to stay home, work, and be here for LM.
Nonetheless, my heart will be partly in Baltimore this weekend and I know my SIL will visit Sheep and Wool and buy lots of yarn and goodies as a tribute to all our good times. The pictures above are even more meaningful this year. They will sustain me as this weekend passes.

LM had a follow-up Dr visit today and he is thriving! We are so grateful and happy. There still remains cardio rehab but he awaits an 8:30 am time slot and they are hard to come by. We are still walking through the dark forest of emotions, talking often about the impact of what happened, and trying to find a comfortable place in amongst the remaining rubble of disbelief. There is progress each day and new bricks go into our foundation, our deep love and devotion holding them fast.
If anyone reading is in the Baltimore area, don't miss the Sheep & Wool Festival. It has broad appeal with all the interesting sheep, alpacas, llama, bunnies, etc, as well as amazing exhibits of handcrafted items, showcasing the talents of needle artists/knitters/crocheters from around the country. The yarn and supplies for sale are amazing, and jewelry and other handcrafts are offered by vendors from near and far. To be able to buy yarn from the source is a very satisfying feeling. There is great food and the working/herding dog demonstrations are fascinating. Directions and more info is available...just GOOGLE Maryland Sheep & Wool.


Marie Louise said...

I never get tired of beautiful photos of one's garden. You are ahead of us here in Connecticut where the bleeding hearts haven't event blossomed yet. You remind me that I have no lily of the valleys at my new house and I definitely have to plant some this season.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Hi Marie Louise, thank you for the lovely comments...these photos were taken last year in Baltimore about May 3 and I hear this year they are 10 days ahead with things blooming. We, on the other hand, here on Cape Cod, have to wait way longer for things to bloom....we barely have forsythia now and tulips are just beginning. We do have a very late and glorious Fall, though. Lily of the Valley is a favorite of mine, too. My grandmother always had them as did my mother. Happy Spring to you and thanks for visiting Ms. G and me...we do have some amazing gardens here in Chatham which I will photograph soon. I just love walking through the neighborhoods and finding new delights.

sher said...

What a marvelous garden your brother has! And the pictures are beuatiful. I can imagine what a pleasure it is to stand among those plants.

Anonymous said...

What a pleasure to view all of these beautiful pictures of your brother's garden-just a delight! I loved the part about getting the cutting....reminds me of my two sisters and I who have no shame when it comes to this! Surely one cutting won't be missed! I still have the leftovers from the stash of bittersweet my sister and I gathered this past fall. She (a teacher) wanted to use it for an art project. The rest we wanted to use at each of our houses to fill our window boxes, drape over fences and make wreaths with. After all, it was a vacant lot that is owned by the city and only used in the summer as a parking lot for the tourists! Glad to hear of the forward motion of your life....be happy! Ann NY/CC

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Thanks....Photos were taken in a 10 minute walk....there was so much more. There are also veggie and herb gardens and, an high-yielding blueberry patch.
Happy weekend....I have a kitten story to post soon!

I love the bittersweet story...I, too, am famous for seeking out berries and other such things, often from places I probably should not be. Great fun!
Love hearing from you.

Houses for Sale in Dufferin Grove said...

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