The Fourth of July weather was exactly what I like. However, I do feel for the vacationers and would-be barbequers. Traffic was terrible and at times downright laughable. Staying home with board games may have been a better alternative.

I have three mother turkeys caring for four babies in my yard in the afternoon. Then again, Violet and I cannot resist throwing them a few handfuls of corn.

Exactly 21 days ago (Flag Day), we separated a setting hen from the main flock. We grew tired of moving her from the pile of eggs every day. Then on the Fourth, she hatched out six adorable babies. Violet tried so hard to get a decent photo but the mother was having no part of it. Hopefully it shows up okay in the paper.

I pulled a couple of hardneck garlic. I had removed and eaten the scapes a few weeks ago. They were quite large and easily separated into cloves. The paper had yet to fully form but a tough skin had to be removed. I sautéed it alongside the rest of my aggressive, mean rooster. Yummy!

Now is the time to start dead-heading and dead-leafing in earnest. It’s amazing how the removal of spent flowers perk up a bed.

Oak Leaf hydrangeas are looking their very best right now. There are some at the bank on Edgartown Road near the drive-through that are the nicest I’ve seen. Check them out.

Also, yucca is spectacular right now. I confess it’s not my favorite the rest of the year. I have tried to remove it many times as it is brown and ugly most of the time. I swear its roots are somewhere in China. No matter how far a person digs, something comes up the next spring.

I wish I were as clever as folks who name seed varieties. I love reading the reasons and histories of some names. To wit: I purchased Lazy Housewife pole beans from Shumway this year, so named because they are stringless and hence easy to prepare. They were around in the 1800s, when I guess only housewives prepared and cooked.

Another favorite that I’ve grown for years is Mortgage Lifter heirloom tomato. Introduced in the 1930s or ‘40s by an M.C. Byles, he supposedly sold the plants for a dollar each and was able to pay off his $6,000 mortgage. I hope this is true.

For more years than I can remember, I’ve had the same geraniums. They winter-over in an unheated back room. They are in black plastic pots. I place them here and there in empty spots in the perennial beds. The black pots are completely invisible so they are as if actually planted in the ground. I always thought of them as old lady plants but, hey, now I am one.

It seems early but now is the time to think about that fall garden. I rummaged through the basket of seeds to find carrots and beets. Carrots planted at this time of year give a fine crop later in the fall. The cool weather at that time sweetens them.

I think I’ll also seed some cabbages. It’s a family favorite both cooked and raw. I noticed that Grey Barn has a bumper crop of them for sale right now.

I see where we are about to feel the effects of tropical storm Elsa. While we can always use rain, I’m not looking forward to wind.

Never mind, all my complaints about life’s challenges pale when I think about the poor people dealing with the building collapse outside Miami. First responders deserve all our respect and gratitude. It takes real courage and character to serve our fellows in time of need. I hope they get paid enough.