The pool is close to an old gray fence, over which the wild vines clamber, and against which the Milkwort, with its stiff stems and smooth leaves, stands up erect, its panicled pink blossom a-top; not a very choice plant, but a sturdy one, and the vivid color "carries" well against the green, and composes agreeably with the masses of Arrowheads that are at this season full of blossoms and tall-stemmed sharp leaves, like a group of Amazons with their shafts drawn to the ear.
At the edge of the pool a mass of sedges has been left unmown, and here are clumps of the creamy blossoms of the wild Foxglove, mixed with all sorts of Goldenrod, and some budding Asters, while the flowers of the Grasses are themselves beautiful and various in their own quiet way, some with plumes and some with spears, as if ready to oppose the Arrowheads.
The wild Caraway and the Yarrow show white among the grass, and there is a wonderful rosy hue in the tall spikes of Dock that are blooming near by. The Forget-me-nots are still full of blue blossoms, and spread out into the water far and wide, the earliest to come and the last to go of all the simple ornaments of the water garden.
But the glory of the pool is the Cardinal-flower, of rich dark red, which lifts its bracted racemes proudly, and with the dignity of a true hierarch. This shows to advantage for the first time this year, having before fallen a victim to the careless scythe, so that its blossoms, which it persisted in putting forth in spite of discouragements, were only a few inches high. But this summer no mower was allowed to come within six feet of the spot, and we are well rewarded by the glow and stateliness of this superb flower, which would be an ornament to the proudest parterre. The Water-lily bulbs that we got from a nursery in the spring have proved a failure, whether because they were planted too deep in the mud or because the bulbs were defective, it is impossible to say. It may be that the spring is too cold for them, and that they require the warmer water of a pond; but they should not be difficult to raise, for I saw a pink Water-lily blossoming this summer in a rocky pool, with nothing to grow in but the ball of rich mud in which it had been tightly packed before being gently laid in its stony bed. The picturesque pool is a feature of a small terraced garden, built out from the rocky side of a steep hill that descends abruptly to the seashore of Massachusetts Bay- The terrace is approached from the level on which the house above it is built, by a rough stone stairway, that has for a balustrade a huge granite boulder, overgrown with Ivy, and surmounted with trees. Great rocks inclose the terrace on three sides, and down the almost perpendicular face of one of them trickles the thread-like Stream that falls into the pool below. The overflow wanders away in a small grassy channel, along the edge of which tiny water-plants grow, and Cardinal-flowers blossom. In the basin a pink Water-lily is blooming, dainty dweller in a fairy home, and somewhere in the shadows a goldfish has a lurking-place. On the stone curb a blue jug, and a Japanese drinking-vessel formed of a shell, with a handle of bamboo, give the requisite touch of human needs and uses to this lonely dell.