I cannot understand what’s wrong with the Vineyard. Many times every place in the northeast gets rain and it seems to miss us. I know you vacationers probably beg to differ, but honestly the ground is bone dry.
The July 4 arrival of Hurricane Arthur took the cake. New Bedford got more than eight inches and we had less than two by my rain gauge. The lovely weekend dried it all up and I was hauling hoses around by Monday. Such is life!
I picked my 50-foot row of English peas. Actually, I yanked up the plants and picked the peas out of the wheelbarrow. The plants were too dry to produce any more . . . plus I wanted the space on the fence to grow some pole beans.
Friday evening my daughter, granddaughter and I shelled all the peas (a good bushel) and I was able to freeze several two-cup packages for next winter.
We cannot figure out why English peas are so cheap to buy. They should cost about 50 bucks a pound. I often say that about my home-raised eggs. Each one is probably worth $5. Home gardens never save money. Good thing we love the process.
Note to self: buy more drumstick allium in the fall. The inexpensive bulbs are simple to plant in the fall and are worth it. Mine are just beginning to show their deep purple color and are a welcome sight following the spring bulbs and irises. They are particularly lovely in a patch of pale pink opium poppies.
They retain their shape and interest long after the color fades, well into high summer. The other alliums such as globe and gladiator are huge and show-stopping, but are gone past by now.
The drumstick is called allium sphaerocephalon. It is an heirloom from the 16th century. One can purchase 25 bulbs for $5 in most catalogues.
Another favorite is allium albopilosum or christophii (Star of Persia). It is holding its own since May, and has reseeded all over my garden. It is about a foot tall with an enormous amethyst-violet head. Pricey, but will last for years.
The Sweet William has seen better days, but was magnificent this year. Now is the time to plant some of these biennial seeds. I’ve had it behave perennially for years from some seed sown who knows when.
I’ve had very good luck with perennials started from seed — yarrow echinacea, platycodan, monarda and shasta daisies have all been quite successful. That $2 seed package sure beats $10 to $15 at the nurseries. Of course, one needs to develop a bit of patience. Gardening is the one and only area of my life where I can claim that virtue.
There is a nice row of oak leaf hydrangea at the Vineyard Haven branch of the Edgartown National Bank. It’s not usually one of my favorite shrubs, but I may learn to love it. Cronig’s parking lot also has a few nice specimens.
If you shear the Little Princess spirea now, she will reward you with another full bloom. The larger varieties like Anthony Waterer can wait a week or so before they can take a cut.
There is still plenty of time to seed zucchini, cucumbers and green beans. They mature in 65 days. Do as I say, not as I do . . . I’ll probably not get around to it for weeks. Oh, to live in my perfect world!
I’ve seen a lot of news in my nearly seven decades, but I must say the behavior towards those Central American little children is right up there with the worst.
The hatred of the demonstrations reminded me of watching the integration of a Little Rock, Ark., high school in the late 1950s-early 1960s.
Honestly, I’m just too busy in my own life to gin up that much hatred. What are we afraid is going to happen? So much for “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” (Emma Lazarus)