I was once again all set to complain about the high humidity leading to miserable outdoor work conditions. Then there was an article in The New York Times on Tuesday about the Bootleg wildfire in Oregon. It is so large that it is creating its own weather.

As if that wasn’t alarming enough, I caught a weather report on NPR saying that the overcast skies here on the Vineyard are the result of that same fire putting smoke into the atmosphere. It’s difficult to maintain a degree of sunny optimism.

The gardens are putting on their best show of late. I’m crazy about a combination of blue platycodon, raspberry-colored monarda and yellow Hyperion daylily. The Hyperion is a real favorite. It’s quite tall and very fragrant.

There is a lot of dead heading necessary right now. Spirea can take an aggressive shear and will bloom again. Also, the Blue Queen salvia is very sad and appears done for the season. Not so...cut the dead stalks to the next V below the flower and you will get two nice new blooms for each cut.

This, sadly, is not true of Shasta daisies. You may as well cut the dead or dying stalk right down into the foliage. The plant will look nice for some time but no more blooms.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the death of my Red Bud, aka Forest Pansy. Martha Dunham called. She had some saplings and was willing to share. I enjoyed my visit with her. She showed me her tree nursery and some of the now-grownups. She got the Red Buds from Natural Arbor Day Foundation. They often send bare-rooted trees after a donation is made.

There is some news in the vegetable garden. For starters, I pulled up my shallots. Some were the size of tennis balls. Marie had ordered plants very early this past spring. The ground was still frozen. We each planted them into flats in the greenhouse, waiting for the soil to thaw. Apparently, this is the way to go since the crop is very successful.

Conversely, the Red Southport onions started by me from seed and not placed outdoors in a timely fashion are about the size of quarters. Oops!

I planted more beans and summer squash. They take 60 or so days, so the window is about to close for getting them into the ground. Carrots, beets, lettuce, kale and spinach can wait until mid-August and still produce into the late fall/early winter.

Last week, I talked smack about Richard Branson’s space flight. I’m even more annoyed at Jeff Bezos. His non-payment of income taxes just gets me steamed.

On a lighter note, comedian Bo Burnham has written a 59-second song about Bezos. Granted, it’s a bit R-rated but Violet and her friend Cesca do the robot dance to it and we collapse in laughter every time.

The Gil Scott-Heron song Whitey on the Moon, written after the moon landing, is back in vogue.