Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

Nightfall: what are gardens for?

August 16, 2013

Post image for Nightfall: what are gardens for?

Late yesterday I walked the garden at nightfall. The atmosphere was so redolent of memory and emotion I won’t attempt to describe it. I think these photos, taken between 7:47 and 8:11 pm, do that. The air was cool, the sky clear. A bird I didn’t recognize occasionally sqawked its harsh, angry call of warning from somewhere in the tangled undergrowth.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily August 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

You can see night coming-on through the progression of the photos. I like it. I usually find a few peaceful minutes to sit or stroll in the garden just as dark is falling–it is the time when I am least likely to feel tormented by incompleted garden tasks.

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James Golden August 16, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Emily, yes, it’s hard to weed in the dark.

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william martin August 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm
James Golden August 16, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Thanks, Billy. This is the place I sit in my boxer shorts and tee shirt on many mornings–in a kind of yoga position. My meditation spot.

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Thomas Rainer August 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm

These may be some of my favorite pictures of your garden yet. They capture that moody quality you describe. Your garden is exactly what I can only hope for my designs: a place to encounter otherness, abundance, and vitality. What a special place!

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James Golden August 16, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Thank you, Thomas. You put into words what I only feel intuitively. Your words give me new eyes to see.

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carolyn mullet August 17, 2013 at 8:05 am

I really like the bench pad and pool. The geometry contrasts nicely with your kind of naturalism.

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James Golden August 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

Thanks, Carolyn. I like to think the geometry makes reference to the work of Mien Ruys. I still want to do some planting into the gravel around the pool.

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carolyn mullet August 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

When looking for inspiration, might as well look to the best. I think you’re channeling her beautifully.

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Christina August 17, 2013 at 8:30 am

Magical. The paths winding away make me want to follow them on and on through the ephemeral landscape.

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James Golden August 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

Walking those paths at nightfall is the best time of the day.

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Les August 18, 2013 at 8:49 am

I can think of no finer time of day, unless it is a summer morning. We were up your way recently visiting my brother, and I could tell the rains had been kind to the Delaware Valley. I was able to squeeze in a solo visit to Longwood, where I didn’t have to worry if anyone else was too hot, too board or if they were getting hungry. I wandered at will, without care, and managed to fill up my camera’s SD card.

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James Golden August 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

I saw the picture of your son (he’s grown up) on the Delaware and figured you were in the Kintnersville area. Yes, we’ve loads of rain and things are growing very large as a result. The down side is that the rains often come down like a solid wall of water that wants to crush the plants. Our driveway even washed away in one intense downpour. But it’s much better than drought.

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Cindy at enclos*ure August 19, 2013 at 6:37 am

Oh, just ridiculously lovely! What are the pale coral orange daisy-type flowers in photos 21, 22, 23?

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James Golden August 19, 2013 at 6:46 am

The shorter ones are Rudbeckia ‘Henry Eilers’. The tall ones are Silphium terebinthinaceum (Prairie dock). I think those are the ones you’re referring to.

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Denise Maher August 18, 2016 at 9:05 am

These photos are like experiencing someone else’s dream state. thanks, James.

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