I do not title my columns but my editor picks something appropriate. Don’t forget, I handwrite and it is picked up at my house. Some kind soul enters it into the computer. I am forever grateful for this perk.

Last week’s title was called Dusty and Sad. It is completely true of most gardens and lawns right now. We have not had measurable rain in more than a month. On Monday evening I used my windshield wipers four swipes. I had high hopes but that was it.

Back to dusty and sad. There are hydrangeas in front of the now-empty EduComp building. I’ve been watching them practically disappear from dryness. I wonder if a few rains will revive them for another year.

The same is true for some astibles. They are completely crunchy and seemingly dead. In the past, I’ve cut the death to the ground and given them a good soaking. They come back next spring, remarkably.

Now is the time for some dead leafing of the daylilies. It’s not an unpleasant task, sitting on a bucket. Also, cut the spent sticks from the blooms. If completely dry, they pull right up but are not attractive at that point.

Also, Shasta daisies need deadheading. Cut the stalks right into the foliage as they will not bloom again. The foliage looks nice late into the fall. Resist the temptation to pop the heads off.

Blackberry lilies are at their peak. They are especially nice among crocosmia and yellow yarrow.

I hate it when I don’t know everything. Last week I mentioned monarda, also known as bergamot, being the source of the flavoring in Earl Grey tea. My friend Tom Chakas, who lives in Greece, corrected me. The flavor is actually from the rind of the bergamot citrus. Now you know!

At any rate, it was nice to hear from him. He left the Vineyard for Greece some time ago.

About to bloom are the crape myrtle. They are an impressive summer-blooming shrub. There are a couple at the Tisbury Town Hall annex opposite the Park and Ride lot.

Better late than never: Violet helped me to finally tie up the tomatoes. It should be interesting since my pathetic stakes were not tall enough.

I see where my onions are ready to pull. Most of the tops have browned and they won’t grow any more. Hope I remember to avoid the area with my now-constant watering. Hopefully I’ll get them pulled in the next few days.

On Friday I got my second shingles shot. The two of them cost more than $400. I complained to the young man administering the shot. No matter, he said, it was a co-pay. Naturally I inquired about the actual cost. It seems my supplemental insurance to Medicare covered just $17.

I still work and can afford it. However, they suggest old people (of which I am one) get the vaccine and we have Medicare to boot.

We need universal health care for all in our country. I got so sad thinking about folks on just Social Security trying to swing that cost.

Our Congress people get free health care and we pay for it.

Don’t get me started. Oops, too late!