It’s completely understandable why the ancients feared a solar eclipse. Even though we only experienced a partial here on the Vineyard, it was a bit unnerving. Violet and I witnessed it with the hole in a box method. We neglected to find the required glasses.

It became suddenly chilly, and an odd yellow haze quickly developed. My friend, Sharlee, and family traveled up to northern New Hampshire. I am awaiting her report when she makes it home to Chappy.

Spring is all around. I took some walks around various gardens I tend. Nature is once again displaying her grandeur.

I’ve said repeatedly that gardening is all about recognition. I see so many perennials bursting their winter prison.

Some years ago, I got the bright idea to grow some cotton. I started seeds early on a propagating mat and covered them against the cold nights in May. The plants were beautiful, similar to okra with lovely flowers.

I figured with global warming and our long warm falls it just might work. Hope springs eternal but I failed to get a single bol.

At the same time I planted some plants known for their ability to produced dye (for said cotton). One was woad. It produces a blue dye. The plant, flowering yellow in late spring, has made a large impact on my garden. It is now everywhere. Give me a ring if you need some blue coloring.

It’s a little late but still possible to cut both buddleia and vitex back hard. Don’t be shy. They will come back stronger than ever. Also, Rose of Sharon can take an ambitious pruning. It’s my favorite. The wood is soft and cutting it is effortless.

I’m writing this on Tuesday so that by Friday when the paper comes out I will either be proud or shamed. The grapes need to be cut back and I have every intention. Isn’t the road to a well-known place paved with good intentions?

Perennial candytuft is blooming. Iberis sempervirens is spilling over low stone walls in a most pleasing fashion. Purchasing a few plants will reward you for years.

My long-ago planted hyacinth bulbs still come up but are noticeably different from the original. Instead of the full-rounded flower head, just a single emerges. Nonetheless, they are cheerful and fit in nicely with daffodils.

After the big change at the Vineyard Haven post office, when the daffodils and firethorn were replaced with rows of lock boxes, a few ornamental whiskey barrels were placed out front. A pansy escaped last year, apparently, and moved itself to a tiny crack in the cement. It’s blooming happily and actually made my day on Monday. I must remember to point it out when I have chance encounters checking the mail.

Some of the seasonal stores in Vineyard Haven have yet to open. They still have their, now spent, Christmas holiday arrangements in their boxes. One has a couple of nice red ornamental kales among the brown “greens.” I think they are called red peacock and are very hardy year-round even in small containers.

Also long-lived in winter is the sweet little annual, alyssum. I grow a variety, Benthami, which is larger than some of the color varieties. I seeded a package which now needs to be transplanted in order to grow properly. I use them as a border plant at the job sites. I bet there are thousands of the tiny plants. I have a problem. One can wonder if I’ll get to it.

Last week’s stunt by DJT as an Elmer Gantry-styled bible salesman was a new low for even him. If I could figure out how to operate Netflix I would look up the old 1960 film with Burt Lancaster in the title role. The former guy certainly has charisma for a certain subset of the American electorate. I’m not one of them.