When It's Time to Change, You Rearrange

The ornamental grass in the corner of your garden has overgrown. The anise hyssop, its purple blossoms now turning a burnt orange, has eclipsed all else in the garden and the soil is due for a revamp. And then there are the spring bulbs to attend to. Fall, Mike Saunier says, is for fixing.

Rain, Rain, You Went Away

Will it ever rain again? It’s been over a month without anything amounting to much. Don’t get me wrong. The days could not be more perfect. Clear and crisp in the mornings with abundant sunshine all day certainly raises the spirits.

Early Frost

I could not be happier to see the first week of fall. It is so wonderfully cool and clear. The gardens are looking spectacular in this lower light. One must look, of course, with a soft eye to avoid seeing weeds and dead flower stalks. The wild goldenrod I neglected to pull now looks like I planned it. Once again, I shall take credit for Mother Nature’s work.

One more plus in the fall season — I found a parking space twice this week.

Spice of Life

I love when the previous week’s column gives me some material for this week. I talked about the extended family of turkeys in my yard and how if times really got tough I could have one for supper. I meant to say . . . “talk about local” but it printed up low-cal. I guess that would work as a sentence too! I’ve never really cared about calories so I probably wouldn’t say that.

You Say Tomato

Here we are . . . the end of another summer. I know the following sentence bespeaks my advancing age . . . where does the time go? Wasn’t Memorial Day just a few weeks ago?

Big Weeding

It’s Sunday morning in what promises to be a beautiful day. The sun is shining and, thankfully, there is low humidity. The Obamas have arrived 
. . . welcome back. I’m fascinated by all the hoopla about the inconvenience of travel. I’m happy to live in a place that attracts presidents. Riding along Middle or North Road for a week? People . . . please. Is this a problem?

Fodder for Beans

I gave it my best shot all last week — trying to develop some acceptance of the weather. As an outside worker, I would prefer rain, wind, and/or snow to the heat and humidity. Now, granted, I am grateful to not live in the southwest or a big city but honestly, who would like it? Oh I know — weeds, mosquitoes and garden insect pests.

Some Things Never Change

Since I’ve written nearly 400 of these columns, I feel justified in plagiarizing myself.

I went back several years to July 10, 2008 and found several paragraphs that could be written any year at this time.

I suggested that dead-heading is the order of the day. Blue queen salvia will continue to bloom all summer if the flower stock is cut almost weekly It is obvious on the plant to go down to the nearest v-joint where the next flower wants to start.

Bean Thyme

Bean Thyme By LYNNE IRONS

I pretty much make it up as I go along. I planted an enormous amount of English thyme from seed a couple of years in a row. Never being able to waste a single life, I tediously transplanted every seedling. Now, many of the vegetables beds are edged with thyme plants. I would never live long enough to use all that thyme so I decided to cut each plant down to tidy little six-inch globes of cuttings. I spread the bushels all over my hay mulch around the potato plants in hopes of deterring both voles and Colorado potato beetles.

Consider the Privet

“A hedge between keeps friendships green.” 

This German proverb provides a solid reason for the ubiquity of the privet hedge. Privet is easily found on a walk around West Chop, or many other Island neighborhoods, and proves that Islanders believe in the peacekeeping power of the plant.

Privet has been around for a long time, but keeping neighbors nice is a relatively recent practice. These hedges now define space and create privacy with their rapid growth and dense, almost impenetrable appearance.

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