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Sixty-Something: It’s Montauk Daisies’ Time In The Hamptons

T.J. Clemente

Cindi noticed they really flourish in open spaces around mailboxes. (Photo courtesy of the author)

The circle of life and its seasons are markers of time. Full moons come and go as do the long sunny days of late June and the short daylight days of December. As a boy I would watch my mom plant bulbs in the late fall to blossom in the early spring and plant things like sunflowers in the early spring to blossom in the mid to late summer. Now in my sixties, I watch my wife do the same in our front and backyard gardens.

Until I lived in Montauk I was not familiar with Montauk daisies. In fact when my first Montauk fall season came around at the "trailer" I was renting at on Ditch Plains Beach there were these full bloom daises surrounding the trailer in October. My landlord proudly said to me, "What do you think of our Montauk daisies?" I said they are beautiful, not realizing the daisies are actually called Montauk daisies. I thought he was just saying what do you think about our daisies. Then he explained they were called Montauk daisies.

If you Google Montauk daisy it says, "Nipponanthemum nipponicum, common names nippon daisy or Montauk daisy, a plant species native to coastal regions of Japan but cultivated as an ornamental in other regions. It is now naturalized as an escape along seashores in New York and New Jersey." Not quite sure what escape means, but I'm glad they did.

When we bought our home up-island after I moved from Montauk, my wife planted Montauk daisies to remind us of when we met and I was living in Montauk.

Cindi and I would see them everywhere in the Hamptons and on Long Island when we took long bike rides. Cindi noticed they really flourish in open spaces around mailboxes.

Last fall I purchased some more Montauk daisies and planted them by our mailbox on the lawn out by the road. They are really flourishing this year.

However I remember seeing the buds start to form in early September and it was then I realized my wonderful summer sailing season of 2018 would be coming to a close sooner than later. I thought back to late May-2018 and launching the boat in the waters of Three Mile Harbor of East Hampton. I love to sail the wonderful waters of Gardiner's Bay. Now in October the sunlight hours are getting shorter. Even the boatyard has some Montauk daises in bloom. I know when they expire for this season it will be time to take the sailboat out of the water.

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