Taking Time To See

Taking Time To See

On this early June morning I went out to the front porch with a cup of coffee and my phone. But instead of checking my email, or sending a text to one of my sons, I put the phone down on the arm of the Adirondack chair and watched the landscape. The sun was just coming up, but so much was already happening in the garden. Had I been focused on my phone, I wouldn’t have heard the chorus of bird song that made my front yard a concert hall. Had I been checking my text messages, I wouldn’t have seen that the first climbing rose has opened, and that a hummingbird was busily feeding on the Nepeta in the perennial garden.

In early June the roses suddenly burst into bloom. The foliage is still fresh and clean, and the multiple buds promise many more days of flowers.b

Had I been checking my calendar on the phone, I wouldn’t have seen that the ladies mantle was displaying the drops of morning dew like diamonds in the jewelry cases at Tiffany & Co. Had I been answering emails, focused on tapping out the right letters on a very small keyboard, I wouldn’t have noticed that the fragrance of peonies was drifting through the garden and onto my front porch.

A cell phone camera isn’t the best tool for capturing a hummingbird in action, but if you look carefully just above and to the right of the plant with the largest leaves in this photo, you’ll see the ruby-throat that was working the Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ that morning.

Had I been scrolling through postings on Facebook, I wouldn’t have noticed how much the annuals that I planted in my urns had grown in just two days!

Peonies are more delightfully fragrant than any expensive perfume.


It’s astonishing how quickly annuals grow when you plant them in fresh potting soil with some time-release fertilizer. The tiny plants I put in over Memorial Day weekend have doubled in size.

Had I been opening the weather app on my phone, I wouldn’t have experienced the feeling of the slight morning chill, but the promise of a warm day sun on my bare arms. In other words, I wouldn’t have appreciated the start of an early June day on Cape Cod. Had I been focused on my phone, I would have missed the miracles that were right in front of me, in the garden. As I slowly sipped my morning coffee, I also drank in the splendor around me. Once the cup was emptied, I finally picked up the phone, opened the camera app, and recorded these wonders as a reminder for us all.

Lady’s Mantle not only has stunning lime-green flowers that are beautiful in bouquets, but the foliage shows off the morning dew like jewels displayed in a diamond store’s window. 

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