Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Time in Cold Spring

Just about an hour away by Metro-North is one of my favorite Hudson River towns — Cold Spring, New York. I helped my friends Janice and Adam get the porch ready before the Summer Solstice. Late afternoon hail storm, passing showers, visiting raccoon and all, Adam and I got the job done. I love the scent of freshly sanded red oak, cedar, and early summer flowers. It smells spicy like an old Indian wedding chest. But this fleeting fragrances only lingers between sanding — like most good things one must enjoy them while one can.

Sanded and ready for oiling, this porch holds the promise of many casual libations with friends, birthday parties, and tangy BBQ smoked all day on a low coals. I can almost taste that watermelon margarita.

Columbine means “dove” in Latin. This variety, Harlequin, resembles a flock of small birds bobbing on a branch. It’s botanical name Aquilegia means “eagle” — a reminder that Bald Eagles returned successfully to the Hudson River. What do you see?

Foxglove, the deadly Digitalis, is delightful in this soft shade of pale yellow — but beware its treacherous charm.

Wild Rye turns dusty blue when it rains. This variety, Lime Grass, thrives in dry shaded places where other plants might wither.

Low stalks of young Lavender greet everyone who passes. It always smells like freshly laundered sheets drying on the line.

This Golden Yarrow is ready to burst into a delicate bridal bouquet, rising high above its woolly leaves.

Pearls of morning dew dress up this small blue Hosta. I’m always amazed how a plant that looks so tropical can survive the harshest winter.

Moss roses smell like heaven on earth, its attar perfume invite everything except the local deer. In the fall they will bear their ruby-colored hips.

Dogwood Roses carpet the shady side of the house. Unlike the taller modern standard roses, these bloom all summer long.

An explosion of little supernovas — as common and as simple as Coreopsis are, they are one of my favorite summer flowers.

A garden salad can’t get any more fresh than this — young garden greens wait for a harvest. I made dinner for Janice and Adam: mesclin salad, maple-glazed pork loin medallions, and roasted russets and yams. The boys, Ellis and Jesse, just wanted pizza but they did like the ginger-carrot-leek dressing I made for the salad.

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