I thoroughly enjoyed the rainy, stormy weekend. We were desperate for the rain and I was able to tend to some long-neglected indoor tasks. My vegetable garden didn’t fare too well, however. It was beaten up by the wind. The early-planted sugar snap peas were torn from their trellis and many of the stems are broken.

I took the opportunity to make one more batch of bread before it becomes too hot for the oven and I have no time. In 50 years of bread making I’ve made many mistakes. This time was a new one. I used mostly oat and millet flour and failed to adjust the amount of yeast. Those two flours are gluten-free and trust me it’s really true. I ended up with several loaves suitable as door stops.

The perennial bed also took a hit. The poor oriental poppies have lost their petals and the peonies are sprawled all over the ground.

There are a few notables. The Kolkwitzia, aka Beauty Bush, is in all its glory. I have one but do not see them often in my travels. There is a large one on Music street that is worth a drive-by.

Also, I have a stand of Dame’s Rocket. It has spread over the years and is a nice addition to the spring border. It’s Latin name, Hesperis matronaliss, makes me think of my junior high school English class. I think we were required to memorize it. I actually remember this last line of the Longfellow poem: Such was the wreck of the Hesperis/In the midnight and the snow/Christ save us from a death like this/On the reef of Noman’s woe.

How I digress.

The entry to Heather Gardens has a Montana clematis. It’s one of the earliest blooming, smells like vanilla, and attracts honey bees like crazy. It has threaded itself up into a dogwood tree in a most pleasing fashion.

Another nice perennial that isn’t used much is Gas Plant. Dictamnus albus is almost a shrub with spikes of flower stalks similar to foxgloves. I wish I could remember where I got mine. Violet is away this week so I’ll have to wait until next column to include a photograph.

I finally planted my pathetic tomato seedlings. Good thing we have a long fall as I’ll be waiting until September to eat one.

Now that all the common lilacs have seen better days, it’s fun to see some of the interesting cultivars. Miss Kim is probably the most well known. It is a tidy shrub that never gets too large. I have one I think is some sort of Persian import. There are also some that will re-bloom in the fall called, of all things, Bloomerang.

I finally put in some seedlings of annual flowers. They are smaller than those found at the nurseries but the price was right. A seed packet is just a couple of dollars for 40 or so plants, whereas a six-pack runs a hefty $7. I give everything a dose of liquid fish and seaweed to give them a running start. An added plus is that it is smelly enough to deter deer and rabbits for a few days.

I confess I feel a bit naked without my mask. I do still wear it inside with unknown people but out and about without one is a new experience.

It’s astonishing that so many people around the world still do not have access to the vaccine. Here in America folks have to bribed to do the right thing. Lottery tickets, free beer, seating at sports events are just some of the enticements. I’ve said this before, what’s wrong with us?