NIGHT GARDEN – Photos and a Poem

I honestly believe I was a Native American in an earlier life because I don’t like coming inside once dusk has come and gone. It’s so quiet, peaceful and beautiful outside that I wish I could stay all night!  And there’s been more than one night (crazily,  considering the bears..) I’ve dragged a few cushions, pillows and blankets outside so I didn’t have to go inside – at all. And I’ve always slept like a baby – never waking up ’til the sun shone full in my face.

I hope to have a little bitty house built on my property just so I can sleep outside – and and it would look something like this. (Uncle Mikey – are you listening!?)

++ I had no idea writer Jane Yolen (who I had once the pleasure of meeting) wrote a poem called “The Night Garden” !!  See below for my poem “My Aunt’s Twilight Garden’.

A little house in Arkansas... so much like the one I dreamt about...!!!

Tonight, as I watched the clouds scuttling across the sky… I moved where I was sitting so the ‘Intruder Hummingbird” could have his late night snack….(The ‘Intruder’ is very wary because the Resident Hummingbird, who got used to me very fast, is always chasing away the ‘Intruder’, who’s still too nervous to feed when I’m close….. )

In any event, I decided I’d try to capture the beauty of my gardens after the sun goes down. I hope you enjoy both the photos and my poem.

Night Garden - My Yellow Farmhouse 2014

Night Garden - My Yellow Farmhouse 2014

Night Garden - My Yellow Farmhouse 2014

Night Garden - My Yellow Farmhouse 2014

 +++   My Aunt’s Twilight Garden   +++

 Crickets would chirp merrily among the Bachelor Buttons and Zinnias in my aunt’s twilight garden.  I would tiptoe out to their hiding place, and bending low, whisper goodnight.

Viewed from my childhood window, trees would rustle and sigh gently, silhouetted against the darkening sky.  The sounds of older children at play would drift along the breeze, arriving muted but gay.

God was in his heaven during those lazy summer twilights.  The world would slowly close its eyes until darkness and peace descended

Unknown and unseen, but felt deeply, something beckoned to me in the moonlight.

In adolescence I learned the world was not asleep but had only changed into its nightly coat of jet black and diamonds. And I began to realize the night sounds had somehow hushed their voices so I could no longer hear them in the moonlight?

I had arrived at the future.

The bright sun of day leaves but little time for dreams.    And yet…..

May all your twilights be full of magic and may you always hear the crickets whispering to you in the moonlight !    Cecile Hamel-Roy – –  My Yellow Farmhouse

Night Garden - Aug. 2, 2014 018

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22 thoughts on “NIGHT GARDEN – Photos and a Poem

  1. Hi Cecile, thanks so much for sharing a glimpse of your moonlight garden through your beautiful
    photos, thoughts, and lovely poem. I feel like I just came back from a peaceful mini vacation!


    1. Thank you so much Jeanne. I was very frustrated with my gardens and then – magically – towards the end of the summer, everything just seemed to ‘kick in’…. I can’t wait for next year !!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love night in the garden, and for that reason have a fondness of the evening fragrances, and white flowers that reflect the moonlight. But you have so wonderfully captured nightime colours I might have to re-think that 🙂


    1. Hi EllaDee – thanks for your lovely words about this post. It certainly was a totally spur-of-the-moment idea to take those photos – and then I remembered my poem! ++ I so agree with you about how any type of white flower shows up beautifully at night – I’ve been trying to incorporate more white flowers every year. And I really love your phrase ‘..white flowers that reflect the moonlight’!


      1. Thought of something else. For the last several years I’ve been using solar powered lights, strategically placed, to highlight areas in the garden. Those lights really help to ‘pop’ the darker colored flowers. I’ll try to photograph the front of my yellow farmhouse showing how those lights not only show the colors of the flowers in the dark and also make delicate shadows.


  3. Celia – thanks for dropping by !! Actually, I haven’t slept outside since finding 1. bear paws in the snow (going over my deck and around my yard) two springs ago. And 2. finding BIG bear poop next to my barn this spring – the barn in the first photo of this post. And get this – my neighbors took a photo of a bear not far from that door in my barn – and he was ‘a big-un’!! I guess I’m gonna have to get me that little house !!


  4. Bears go through my yard – occasionally I hope – to cross from one large wooded area to another very large wooded area. I haven’t seen any bears myself but apparently I missed one running through my yard (in suburbia!!) when I was sitting out on my big front porch. Some guy yelled, “Hey lady. A bear just ran down the road and went through your yard”. Since that – and finding bear scat this spring and bear paws in the snow going across my deck – I haven’t slept out! Hence – the need for a little ‘house’!
    ; o )


  5. How interesting. I don’t really like staying outside after dusk let alone dragging a few cushions, pillows and blankets and sleeping like a baby… with bears lurking somewhere in the background. You have a beautiful garden with beautiful flowers. Thanks for sharing the beautiful poem. 


  6. John – I JUST LOVE YOU !! Here’s my ‘tale’ (pun intended). The cat food and water I used to leave out for the stray cat ended up being nourishment for Mrs. Skunk… and then her babies! More than once I’d walk up next to the barn where I have some outdoor furniture to throw my gardening gloves on the table…. only to hear ‘crunch, crunch, crunch’ and there would be Mrs. Skunk! Once she and I ‘hung out’ when I was having a few drinks on the outside couch. She was a very good listener… !!! ; o )


  7. What a great post, Cecile! The photos are beautiful and the prose conveys the wonder of the nighttime garden. When I worked at the bar, I often came home and sat out in my yard until daybreak. Without any mosquitoes to harass me, I’d just sit out there and watch the goings on. Well, until the cat I was watching would turn out to be a skunk. All good things must end.


  8. Thank you so much! That poem means a lot to me & I really love it. Like you said ‘memory of a more innocent time’! But, as I say at the very end – “The bright sun of day leaves but little time for dreams. And yet…..” There has to be a time for dreaming…. even during the day and even as we get older. If not, we’re just existing and not really living!!
    Tell me, what small-sized city to you live in? (The only bad thing about having my lovely old farmhouse in Western Massachusetts is the MOSQUITOES !! Other places we’ve lived did NOT have the problem that we have here with those nasty, biting pests…)


    1. It’s a Canadian city (pop. ~210,000) across the border from Detroit, Michigan. I can’t be more detailed for reasons pertaining to my work as a teacher.


      1. So – that location leaves out Quebec – where we lived two different times. Where you live, are your winters as bad as Quebec’s – I have a feeling they probably are.


  9. Regretfully I stay up until all hours of the morning but inside in front of the glow of my computer monitor. Your much more romantic midnight garden wanderings and enjoyment of humming birds, moonlight and flowers makes me wish I lived in the country rather than in the heart of a small sized city.

    The poem was lovely as well … a memory of a more innocent time.


  10. Thank you so much! I’m happy I was able to share the poem, which I wrote quite a while ago. Actually, I think I’m going to begin publishing a few more poems….. here & there. And thanks for your comment about me ‘sleeping under the stars’! I know my sons think I’m crazy… along with several other people. They’ll all be happier if I get that tiny house built !! (I’ll have to call it a ‘shed’ – or I won’t be able to get a permit to build it!)


    1. Good idea..a shed. 🙂 I have to say I’m too scared to sleep outside with the spiders! Ha! Well, thank you for stopping by my blog today too. I tried to answer your comment but for some reason wordpress is not allowing me. It’s not even allowing me to “approve” your comment. Ugh! Well, nice to “meet” you Cecile. I’m Seana, however, when I was little my dad called me “Cecil” !


      1. Hi ‘Cecil’ – I have a twin brother and we used to be called Beany & Cecil, after a cartoon on during the 60s. I just changed the ‘main photo’ for ‘Night Garden’ and added several more photos. I was supposed to be grocery shopping…. Oh well – I’ll leave in a few minutes. And it’s very nice to ‘meet’ you too !! ; o )


  11. If I remember correctly – you’ve posted beautiful photos of your outdoor space! My husband’s favorite thing was watching the sun set over the St. Lawrence River when we had our farm in St. Antoine de Tilly, Quebec. He had wanted a farm his whole life and, even though he died relatively young, he achieved his dream of having a farm in Quebec which overlooked the St. Lawrence, complete with the sun setting in the east! It make my heart smile to remember those days.


  12. Nighttime is magical, I agree! What a lovely poem and great shots of your garden. I love the night, too. We sit on our deck way past dusk just to watch the owls come, the stars come up and to listen to the night sounds.


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