I am actually looking forward to the end of summer. There is entirely too much to do. I know this is not true for you lucky few who vacation here. I am happy for the relaxation you must deserve. We working Vineyarders have the opposite life. We have some well-earned downtime off-season.

I can’t wait to attack my own gardens and put them in order. I don’t believe I was able to weed my own perennial beds even once. Remarkably, they still look reasonably okay. This is from a distance without my glasses, however.

The vegetable garden is beginning to recover from chaos. The several beds freed up by the onion and garlic harvests have been replanted with beets, carrots, turnips, red Russian kale, radishes, and several varieties of lettuce.

I had slipped some cabbage and kale seedlings into beds of onions and garlic. They were lost for months but have reemerged and seem to be coming along nicely. I do not believe the white cabbage moths were able to locate them earlier. Perhaps the onions and garlic were a deterrent to the pests?

The zinnias and marigolds I literally tossed into some vegetable beds are great and stand out from a distance now that the paths have been mowed.

I grew a good amount of cardoon this year. It is a cousin to the artichoke. Supposedly one eats the rib which runs along the leaf. It has an artichoke flavor but texture of celery sans strings. I have not eaten it but am wild about the flower. It is a large artichoke-looking bud which opens into a beautiful blue-purple, thistlelike bloom. It is fabulous in arrangements. Be forewarned customers. I plan to use plenty in your gardens next summer.

After a bit of phone tag, I finally spoke with David Morris. He gave me fascinating advice: unchewed Juicy Fruit gum poked into vole trails every 18 inches or so will prove to be their undoing. Apparently they love it and will eat it to their peril. I will need to purchase stock in the company and buy it by the case. I am completely overrun by the little rodents. They are eating at least three potatoes for every hill I dig. I shouldn’t say “eat” as they take several bites and move on to the next. I hate that! I am willing to share but ruining so many is very upsetting. It is similar to crows putting a singular triangle bite into every ripe tomato!

There are some very nice window boxes near the end of Cooke street in Edgartown just before South Water street. They are all-white alyssum petit licorice plant, and impatiens. I think I’ll plan an all white bed for my house entrance. How very Gertrude Jekyll of me! It will be very nice at night especially during a full moon. Ghost fern would be one choice of plant as well as any of the large white-blooming hostas.

There is an orange trumpet vine opposite the parking lot for Little House Café. It has insinuated itself up into a cedar tree at least 50 feet. It is so impressive I may have to purchase one for myself. I know little about them. I know that the climbing hydrangea takes several years to establish itself but can then grow up to 80 feet. I’m glad I have developed some patience as I age. I can plant biennials and know that a two-year wait is nothing in the grand scheme.

What is the big deal about Congresswoman Michele Bachmann winning the Iowa straw poll? She received 4,800 votes, only a few hundred more than Ron Paul. This is a tiny amount considering the size of the country and the time to endure media coverage before the next election. I bet I could muster that many votes if I had some money. Believe me I have not the desire nor the qualifications to be president. I’ve often said, I need a president who is at least smarter than me.

Now that Governor Rick Perry has entered the race I will have writing material in spades. One commentator said that Sarah Palin came to the Iowa State Fair because she suffers from media attention deficit disorder.

It will be fun to have the Obamas back on Island. We here in the Northeast should be receiving tons of bad press from the right-wing talk show circuit. Can’t wait!