I finally sat down and perused a few seed catalogues. I went ahead and ordered peas from Pinetree Gardens out of New Gloucester, Maine. It is my favorite for several reasons. It has simple, non-glossy paper. They don’t give too many seeds. The prices are reasonable and the package arrives within two days. I like to grow all three types of peas — English, snow and sugar snap. This year I stayed with one variety of each type. I have a sturdy fence so all the varieties are five feet tall. At my age I like less bending over. For years I grew the dwarf varieties because I knew I wouldn’t get fencing together. For several years I cut random brush and used it as supports. Beech twigs are particularly attractive and hold up well.

I decided that since the winter has been so mild, to grow some long season crops. I have tried both sweet potatoes and peanuts several years but neglected to order them last year. I use R.H. Shumway’s to get them. I am ordering a pound of jumbo Virginia peanuts. I plan to start them inside the greenhouse as they do need 120 days to mature. They are well-adapted to Northern gardens. Here on the Vineyard we are plant zone 7A which is more similar to New Jersey than to other areas in Massachusetts.

I have had both good and terrible luck growing sweet potatoes. First of all, the vines are well-liked by deer. Who knew? They eat them right to the ground. Secondly, the little plants are often stressed en route and have a difficulty reestablishing themselves.

I ordered four varieties which are excellent for short season areas — Centennial, Nancy Hall, Georgia Jet, and Beauregard. Only Nancy Hall takes more than 90 days to mature.

Lately I mentioned the Christmas decorations still remaining in various pots and boxes. I saw an interesting window box recently in Edgartown. It had Evergold grasses (a short yellow and green variegated variety) into which the homeowner had placed several spent poinsettias. It was quite striking and carried the season right into February.

I order some annuals for my customers pots and window boxes. I do like to supplement with plants I grow from seed. The ones I order come in plug trays, usually 72’s or 84’s. I then bump then up into four inch pots. I just got off the phone with the mail order company. It seems several of the plug trays are not available to me unless I’m willing to buy their specific plastic pot into which to transplant the tiny plugs, I explained, nicely I might add, that I have hundreds of plastic pots which I painstakingly clean and reuse yearly. Even though the person on the other end of the phone completely agreed with me that the policy was wasteful and, dare I say, pretty stupid, I had to cancel the order in question. We wonder why we are polluting our earth in the name of business?

Once again we are about to go into Daylight Saving Time, a misnomer if I ever heard one. How does moving the hands on the clock change or “save” daylight. This is the night people stealing from the morning people. The guys at Car Talk think the best way to make everyone happy is to move the clocks back every morning and forward every afternoon. Now that is a win-win.

I don’t want to do this but I must talk about Rush Limbaugh. I’m sure everyone knows about his disgusting remarks concerning the Georgetown law student. First of all, I don’t think he understands how birth control works. He must be confusing it with Viagra (which is covered by health insurance by the way). He seems to believe people take tons of birth control as they have so much sex. So he’s not just a jerk but a dummy.

I better get out of this conversation while the getting is good. One final comment on the religious freedom versus birth control coverage for women employees of Catholic institutions. I say let the hospitals, etc. do whatever they want but stop taking federal money.