Town Column : West Tisbury
All the soft rains of this past week have made everything green, green, green. It's about time to start mowing the lawn, as thick tussocks of grass are sprouting up amidst the violets. I have admired the efficiency of those sheep along Music Street eating noticeable squares from their moveable pen. Maybe Murphy and Tallulah can learn to graze.
Marjory Potts sent me a gardening email. She and Robert have just returned from a visit to Arlington, Va., where they spent the week with their son, Oliver, his wife, Christina, and children, Aitken, Owen, and Ellie. A trip to the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., was something Marjory had wanted to do, so off they went to view the azaleas that are the highlight of the spring garden. Marjory said that among the riot of red, rose, apricot, and orange, she spied "one perfect low spreading white azalea. It was so lovely and simple all by itself." It turned out to be one of Polly Hill's North Tisbury azaleas, making her feel right at home.
The other gardening subject dealt with the mysterious disappearance of all of her hollyhocks over this winter. Anyone who has extra seedlings to spare, please call Marjory Potts at 508-693-3584. She is particularly looking for single flowering true raspberry or dark pink seedlings.
The Vineyard art community has lost one of its special members. Painter Dawn Greeley died last Friday evening. What was to be her annual gallery opening at the Shaw Cramer Gallery will be instead a celebration of her life and her work. Dawn painted in watercolor and had perfected a technique of waxing over the painting to create a luminous and protective surface, eliminating the need for glass. Her work was about color, remarkably dense color. The paintings are large, rich, abstracted, and evocative images based on landscapes and the human figure. The opening of the show, "Finding My Way," will be next Friday, May 23, from 6-8 pm.
It's hard to believe that next weekend will be Memorial Day. We will be busy with gallery openings, company for the weekend, lots more traffic around town, the beginning of the summer season.
The Friends of Family Planning Art Show will take place at the Ag Hall; its splashy opening Thursday evening is a place to enjoy the art, see everyone you know, and support a worthy cause.
On Sunday, May 25, Elaine and Dan Pace are hosting a reception to celebrate the release of Elaine's new book, "Island Home-Why People Come to Martha's Vineyard and Why They Stay." The 14 people whose stories make up the book will all be on hand. Books will be available for sale, the profits to be shared with the Island Food Pantry. Please call 508-696-3796 or email email@example.com.
It's not too late to attend the Martha's Vineyard Cancer Support Group's gala and enjoy an "Evening Under the Stars" at Mediterranean Restaurant. The evening begins tonight, May 15, at 6 pm.
Sue Hruby and I spent an informative hour last Saturday morning at Vineyard Gardens, attending Chuck Wiley's lecture about pruning. Pruning is a real challenge for me. Although I admire how healthy and beautifully formed my friends' shrubbery is compared to mine, I have an aversion to cutting off parts of a living thing. Unfortunately, this aversion leaves me at the mercy of my husband's occasional rampages through our yard, usually with a chain saw, and usually involving the disappearance of some tender treasure I have nurtured from a seedling to the wild, artistic presence it has just achieved.
This week's lecture, Saturday, May 17, at 11 am is about successfully growing herbs. It should be wonderful, as the herb garden there is so beautifully designed and maintained.
Following the lecture, I was talking to Chris Wiley and happened to mention that I have always wanted a copper beech tree, but was unable to spend hundreds of dollars for the large specimens usually found in garden centers. "Just a minute," she said, and disappeared. She returned carrying two lovely copper beeches about four feet tall and in my price range. I chose one, paid happily, and put it in the back of the Jeep. It is still in the pot, being moved around what will someday be the far edge of our lawn, the perfect spot outside our someday-new downstairs bedroom. I plan to lie in bed and look out the windows at the copper beech to the west and the weeping cherry I have already planted to the south. I'll be long gone by the time they reach their full height, but won't it be lovely watching them grow.