Last Monday and Tuesday were a bit hazy. NPR reported it was a smoke plume from the wildfires out west. How is that even possible? Supposedly, it got up into the jet stream and then it’s a quick trip by that route. I remember hearing my grandparents talking about dust in Pennsylvania that traveled from the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma.

The Gazette has a funny quirk since the days of Henry Beetle Hough. A road can be capitalized but not a street or avenue even when following a proper name. For example: Main street and Lambert’s Cove Road.

I don’t know if this behavior can be attributed to the Queen of Mulch, Ruth Stout. I’ve been weeding some sorely neglected and now empty garden beds and simply placing the weeds back on top. I may weigh them down for the winter with some flakes of hay and let nature have her way with them. It seems much easier than carting them to the compost pile and them back again when it’s finished. This is a productive garden but quite unsightly.

Speaking of weeds, there are some impressive specimens in my world. Some of the ragweed is six feet tall for Pete’s sake. Don’t even get me started about the wild Morning Glory vine. Some of the vines exceed 20 feet. It’s crazy how much better the undesirables do than our favorites. One such nuisance is Japanese Knotweed (aka False Bamboo). Judy McConnell called recently wondering how to rid the Island of it. I wish I knew. I know people use Roundup but I am loathe to employ such drastic measures. If anyone has some safer suggestions I’m open to advice.

Japanese Knotwood (aka False Bamboo). — Violet Southwick

Violet included a photograph of a blooming section of the stuff and it’s actually quite pretty. Do not be fooled. A Dutchman sent some to the Netherlands in the 1840s and then in the 1850s shipped another bundle to England. Gardeners and landscapers moved it all around including to the States for its supposed beauty. So, here we are.

The other photo Violet took is the flower of Kudzu. Again, it’s a pretty pea-like flower but is an absolute horror to the property owner. It’s common name is the “vine that ate the south.” It’s also called foot-a-night vine which should give you an idea of its aggression. It’s been a problem here for a couple of decades since our winters are no longer cold enough to kill it.

A while ago I whined that rats had eaten all my late planted sugar snap peas. I found one lone plant in a thicket of weeds with three perfect little peas. I promptly ate them and marveled that they survived.

Every year I grow amaranth, both the tall reds and golds, and the lovely cultivar Love Lies Bleeding. Violet and I love amaranth as a hot cereal so I always think I’ll harvest my own. It never happens as it is entirely too time consuming. This year that freak storm a month ago blew much of it over. This week I yanked some and fed to my pigs. They were crazy about it, especially the seed heads.

The front of Morrice Florist looks especially nice this year. The window boxes over the doors are a great touch.

Once again, after an exhausting week of the Trump Presidency my mind would be boggled if I had any boggle left. What was particularly disturbing to me about the hours of interviews with Bob Woodward in Trump’s own words was how lucid and sensible he sounded about the dangers and seriousness of the Corona virus. I guess I assumed he was just talking and making stuff up as is his custom. He willingly misled the American people with full knowledge of the facts since January and did nothing to prepare us or the country’s response.

If one more person talks smack about Joe Biden — his age, cognitive ability, votes from the 1990s, lack of true progressive leanings, controlled by AOC,— I might flip out and maybe write my opinions in a garden column.