Finally, after days on end in the news we are finally done with Hurricane Dorian. Good riddance. The Vineyard had some minor weather incidents as it passed by us en route to Nova Scotia.

My corn, amaranth and sunflowers were sprawled all over their neighboring plants from all the wind. One of the sunflowers broke but all along its seven-foot stem flowers formed at every leaf and are now blooming in a perfect row at about a foot tall. How fun is that?

I started two types of dahlias from seed this past spring and threw them into the garden. They are all simply fabulous, especially the red leaved ones. Good news, I got a riot of color for under five bucks and can now save the tubers until next year.

I purchased some tiny plugs of four varieties of crepe myrtle this spring. They are all blooming now at about a foot tall. They should turn into 20-foot specimens in a few years. I am particularly fond of them. They bloom in the middle of summer, the leaves are shiny and the winter interest is a lovely exfoliating bark. There are some nice ones on Cleveland Town Road just off Katama Road and a large one at the North Tisbury MV Savings Bank.

Oops, I may have mentioned them a few weeks back but, hey, it can always bear repeating.

Both Stewartia and Heptacodium are also blooming now. Heptacodium is a wonderful housewarming gift. It will offer decades of enjoyment.

The down-Island Cronig’s parking lot is putting on its best fall performance. Between the goldsturm rudbeckia, the oak leaf hydrangea and ornamental grasses, shopping for groceries is pleasurable.

Kudos to Steve Bernier. I see him out there most mornings picking up trash and deadheading flowers. It’s nice to see a shopkeeper invested in the upkeep of his property, personally.

Another fall plant looking its best is the sedum. I have a few personal favorites—autumn joy, neon, cauticola and John Creech. They are a three-season item. They emerge very early in spring, flower for several months and still look good dried up by Christmas. The deer do like them, however, so spraying is a must.

Katy Dallam of Maryland sent me some daffodil bulbs with a nice note. “These are from my 200-year-old house,” she wrote, “and have been growing there all my life. I like thinking that they will be brightening your Vineyard yard.”

Thank you Katy and I will report back in the column how they do here on the Vineyard.

I rarely follow my own advice. I know better than to feed wild animals. However, this summer Violet and I took pity on a mother turkey. She had a gimped foot and was caring for two hatches of babies. There was another mother who disappeared. At any rate, we began by tossing a handful of chicken food and now they are our best friends. Yikes! They follow us around and are very close to eating from our hands.

The males will most likely get aggressive and I will regret my behavior. The good news, however, is that I’m a product of my Appalachian upbringing. If one of them turns on me, I’m capable of catching it and serving it at supper.

Speaking of supper, I have a first-world quality problem. The vegetable garden is producing like crazy. I’ve been slaving over a hot range most of the week putting up food for the winter. There are few more satisfying tasks in the garden than seeing the product of one’s labor lining the pantry shelves. I think I’ve been canning for nearly 50 years and have not gotten tired of it.

What I am tired of, though, is our national government. I cannot figure out what, exactly, Donald Trump has on the people around him. It is astonishing how many people are willing to adjust the facts to remain in his good graces.

The President has continued to load his pockets and, yet, he says he’s draining the swamp. How do nearly 40 per cent of Americans believe him.

Even a blatant lie about the weather turns amusing and gets dismissed except, of course, by the ‘fake news.’ He can never be wrong. His Sharpie drawn weather map was likened by NPR to a grade schooler changing an F to a B with a crayon.