Every year in early May my husband and I head to the Maryland-Delaware shore. After a flurry of spring activity and before the final stretch of graduations, weddings and end-of-the-year activities, we soak up the solitude.
This spring’s beach retreat was cool, sometimes sunny, sometimes foggy and drizzling, sometimes down right cold. The weather never matters.
We walk empty beaches and residential roads. I sometimes rent a bike. We read and draw, shop in well-stocked stores, eat in half-full restaurants, sit on the porch in sweatshirts, watch the waves and look for porpoises. This year a magical supermoon appeared.
When we go to the beach, we don’t stay put. We go to South Bethany, Bethany, Rehoboth and Ocean City. We like Lewes a lot but didn’t get there this year. We still hit most of our favorite spots. Browseabout Books and Bethany Beach Books are favorite bookstores.
Nothing fancy at the beach for us, please. For eats we like Dumser’s, Grotto Pizza, Hobos and Dogfish Head. We like Fins too, but it’s always crowded no matter the season. This year, after an earlier visit with a Rehoboth regular, we went to Pig + Fish. Kohr Brothers frozen custard has been a beach staple since childhood summers at the New Jersey shore. It’s often the last thing I eat before coming home.
I like seeing what people plant at the beach. As is true everywhere, beach gardens have become more extensive, no longer confined to hydrangeas, Indian blanket flowers and an occasional rose. Native grasses and inkberry bushes are big. So are Knock Out roses. Cooler beach temperatures allowed me to chase spring again this year.
Lilac bushes and pansies there were still fresh.
The best public garden always is in Bethany where a large entrance garden and containers welcomes visitors. Pansies in the spring display were profuse.
The summer installation was in progress, being scribed with annuals like ageratum and sweet alyssum.
Garden centers and hardware stores overflowed with new arrivals. I couldn’t resist a few two hanging pots of New Guinea impatiens and market packs of standby vinca and impatiens. I picked up dusty miller too. I have to have it in Baltimore. It makes me think of the beach, where I first saw it.