We’ve had a couple of moments of significant rain this week. We really needed it, if for nothing else than to wash the pesky pollen from the air and surfaces. Several of my friends have been sneezing and coughing non-stop.

The bad news: it pretty much destroyed what remained of my tulips. The petals are all over the ground.

This is one of my favorite weeks in garden world. The viburnum — also known as fragrant snowballs — is blooming, ground phlox is putting on a show tumbling over stone walls, and lilacs are beginning to bloom.

I know I’ve mentioned this in years past but lilacs never used to really happen until Memorial Day. There are so many aspects of climate change that we’ve lost sight of them. I remember Gratia Harrington, who was one of the daughters of Captain Eldridge. She lived for 104 years. She told me that in February of 1880 the doctor ice skated from East Chop across the Vineyard Haven harbor to deliver her.

In the 1970s I worked breakfast shifts at the Black Dog Tavern. Many times, we watched a Coast Guard cutter chop through ice to free the ferry for the morning run. This was back in the Uncatena and Islander days.

We are eating an extraordinary amount of kale and spinach. They grew in the hoop house all winter but it is rapidly becoming too warm for them. Plus, I need the space to plant peppers and eggplant seedlings. They love the heat and it will give me a few extra days on both ends of summer. They will have enough protection to survive a very light freeze.

This is cautionary advice: be very careful while kneeling in the garden if weed mat staples have ever been used. They hold down soaker hoses. Anyway, they rust in just a few years into sharp send-you-to-the-emergency-room points. Just saying!

I have a pet peeve concerning new plantings. Every plant purchased at a nursery comes with a plastic label. When planted alongside the baby plant, they catch the eye first and not in a good way. If you must, a simple, inexpensive wooden Popsicle stick will biodegrade. A local establishment that shall remain nameless has labels in the newly-planted whiskey barrels. So far, I’ve resisted the temptation to remove them. Then again, disposal will land them forever in the ocean. Sigh.

As long as I’m sighing, I have two observations from the week’s news.

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, felt the need to inform us that the people killed by a neighbor for asking him to stop shooting his gun in the middle of the night were illegal immigrants. Really, Greg, I’d rather have the usual useless thoughts and prayers.

During a hearing with Randi Weingarten, the head of the national teacher’s union, Georgia’s Republican representative Marge Greene tried her best to blame Ms. Weingarten for school closures during the pandemic. After finding out Ms. Weingarten is a step-mother, Ms. Greene opined that she was not, in fact, a real mother since she didn’t give birth.

To his everlasting credit, Joe Scarborough on his morning show the next day reminded Ms. Green and all the other pretend Christians that Jesus had a step-father.