I was all set to complain about the heat and humidity when I heard on NPR this morning about the heat wave in western Europe. An airport in the U.K. had to close because the runways were melting. I thought someone was making that up but it seems like it was true. Most folks do not have air conditioning there. Yikes!

I will say: plants love this weather. That is if they get enough water. Speaking of which: we could sure use some significant rain. The hauling of hoses is the bane of my gardening existence. Even properties with irrigation systems are dusty and sad.

What’s not sad is the inordinate number of goldfinches in my garden. They seem to congregate on the echinacea. Usually sunflower heads are their favorite, so it’s surprising to see them elsewhere.

Monarda is making its annual show. I have several varieties: Jacob Cline, purple rooster and panorama mix. Also known as bee balm or bergamot, it is the flavor in Earl Grey tea. A simple rub of a leaf gives the distinctive smell.

I’ve been busy doing the mid-season cut backs. Nepeta, blue queen salvia, spirea and allysum will all bloom again if cut hard now. Don’t be shy: just take charge, clippers in hand.

The new garden at The Larder in Vineyard Haven is very nice. It has a meadow-esque flair to it. It’s hard to get used to Jefferson Munroe having moved but I see that the new owner is still doing fried chicken every week. Sunday is the day. They sell out very early in the day. I was smug to get the tomatoes mulched with hay. Smugness never is becoming. Some critter rummaged around in it. Most likely, it was looking for voles. Sigh!

It’s difficult to keep up with the vegetables. Lying in bed in the morning, I have great plans for the day. Too bad so few of those plans take place.

I did manage to make a batch of refrigerator pickles. I have tons of my favorite cuke, Boothby blonde. It is pale yellow with a thin skin that is never bitter like some of the dark green varieties. I use my basic dilly bean recipe: three cups water, one cup apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons kosher salt and a couple of heads of dill and a few cloves of garlic. They can stay in the fridge unprocessed for some time. By the way: never put your fingers in the jar as it will spoil the pickles. Use a fork or tongs to retrieve the item.

My mother was a knitter. I can knit; I just don’t. When we took apart the family home after her death, I took an enormous tote of her yarn. Violet has used some for various projects and I always have some handy in the garden.

I use it often to tie up some errant plant. It weathers and disappears in a few years. A stake is always available. I use woody sticks from nearby hydrangeas. They look natural in a garden and are always replaceable.

I cannot think of one single policy issue on which I agree with Liz Cheney. However, you go girl. She has become the face of the fight to save our democracy. I have several Democratic friends who have contributed to her Wyoming primary campaign. Since Wyoming is the reddest of the red states, the primary winner will be the 2022 Congressional representative. The state voted by 70 percent for Trump. They think she is a traitor. While, again, I disagree with her politics, she’s not crazy.

I loved when she said “President Trump is a 76-year old man. He’s not an impressionable child.” Wonder if anyone has informed him of this fact?