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

Autumn 2013 – My Gardens “Last Stand”

Orange Chrysanthemums nestle next to the barn door. Due to some minor health problems this summer, I didn’t cut them down a bit in July. And that’s the reason they’ve become “top heavy”. But that’s OK – they look rather “rustic”!

Lots of people absolutely love autumn…. me… not so much… But I am truly enjoying autumn this year. The temperatures have been lovely – warm during the day, with just a hint of cold at night. As usual, one of my bedroom windows is opened a crack all night – even in winter.

Watching my beautiful flowers wither and die always makes me feel just a bit sad. Sure, my chrysanthemums are happy but most of my perennials have stopped blooming. The annuals are still “chugging along” though! Next spring (you always have to think of next spring!) I’m gonna plant a lot more annuals. This year I planted several different types of annual seeds, without bothering to start the plants inside. Many did very well…. not all… but many. As always, I take notes at the end of every growing season – writing down what did well and what is just begging to be moved somewhere else, where it will be happier.

Later today I plan to post recipes for two different types of Snackin’ Cake but, at this moment, I want to share some photos with you of what I think of as My Gardens Last Stand !

These daisy blooms were a surprise – my daisies hadn’t bloomed in weeks ! Several years ago my friend gave me a few small plants and those grew like CRAZY. I’ve given so many daisy plants away and I still have too many. Come spring, they’re gonna be divided BIG TIME and put somewhere where they can spread out as much as they want. (Like right next to the Perennial Sunflowers below.)

Last of the Daises

I brought back a small bit of these Perennial Sunflowers from our farm in Quebec, Canada. Perennial Sunflowers grow to about 5 feet and get HUGE within a few years.  I’ve had to divide them several times already. Next spring… they’re getting moved to a more suitable spot…perhaps at the far end of my property where they can grow as big as they like!

Perennial Sunflowers

I’m in love with Dahlias! (They’re the red flowers on tall stalks.) You dig up the tubers in fall and store them away until spring. They can be planted pretty early, although it takes them awhile to bloom. But once they do bloom, they bloom until frost.  And aren’t the pink flowers pretty? They’re called Double Click Cosmos and I planted the seeds directly in the ground. The white Cosmos were also sown outside. They’re just regular Cosmos but they’re still lovely.

porch and flowers

A friend of mine gave me a few dahlia bulbs several years ago. Guess what? Dahlias have “babies”, meaning that in autumn, when you dig up the tubers, you find more than what you originally planted. Which means you can give Dahlia tubers to friends and family, which makes them very happy! Just remember, when you re-plant them in the spring, only the tubers which show little sprouts (like potatoes do) will grow a new plant. (I learned this the hard way….)

Red Dahlias

I also love Marigolds. Not the orange ones – the yellow ones. In fact, my husband used to call me “Marigold” to tease me. When I was younger, I don’t think they had the fabulous, tall marigolds we can buy today. I bought these plants at a local grower… one of the few who actually still starts their own plants from seed and not plugs purchased elsewhere.

Yellow Marigolds and Deck

Zinnias can be a bit temperamental. They sometimes get “rusty” but they’re worth the effort because they’re hardy and bloom profusely. These plants, too, were begun by planting seeds directly into ground. And what a terrific surprise they were. They’re almost 3 feet tall.


I wasn’t going to bother sharing photos of my Cleome but it’s just such a wonderful annual. The plants grow really tall and lush, and look more like a perennial than an annual. And you can save the seeds from your plants to plant the following spring.  Actually, very often Cleome reseeds itself!!


I hope you’ve enjoyed your little “tour” of some of the flowers in my gardens. If, during the upcoming winter months, you miss summer/autumn – you can return to this page and it’ll remind you that planting season will return sooner than we think!