Sippican Cottage

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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

In The Garden

My wife pointed this out to me. It captured her imagination, apparently. It’s on Benefit Street in Providence, like all the others from this week.

We garden poorly here at the Sippican Cottage. We have our successes of course; but they remind me of bad wine on the list in a good restaurant. They are familiar, so they get ordered more than the exotic.

We stick to the familiar here. Rhododendrons and azaleas, euonymous and pachysandra, geraniums and tall phlox; a rose or two. We arrange them inexpertly, and tend them intermittently, and mourn our losses as regularly as any undertaker.

Somehow, because we do not lift our sights up too high, and never strain too hard to put on a show, the yard creeps about into the aspect of a barely tended glade. That’s when our inattention yields its dividends. Give people the sense that they are entering something, like this gate does, and then let all get out happen inside, a kind of controlled madness — and you have done your job.

Our lawn needs mowing. It does not require paving.

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