Town Column : West Tisbury
The weather seems to be most cooperative for gardeners, with a combination of sunshine and rain. It has been lovely planting in warm, moist soil. It already looks like summer along the roadways where trees have leafed out into green arches overhead.
Last Wednesday, I was included in a group of women invited to lunch at Harriet Bernstein's. The occasion was to celebrate the blooming of the three pink cherry trees that span the width of her front yard. John Gadowski planted them back in the 70s. Each one is perfectly shaped and at least 30 feet across. It was quite a sight and a perfect setting for a party. Tables were set out on the lawn so we could sit beneath the flowering canopy. Harriet passed around a copy of the latest Martha's Vineyard Home and Garden magazine, which featured an article about the trees written by the hostess herself, with an accompanying photograph by Randi Baird. Take a look.
It was a stimulating afternoon, with good food and excellent company. The conversation ranged from Robert Rauschenberg, who died the day before (Christine Gault grew up knowing him on Captiva, in Florida) to art, gardening, and politics, Island and national. Many of us brought our cameras. I hope to do some paintings of the trees themselves and the set-up party scene. Harriet told me that Liz Taft came back the following day to paint.
Meanwhile, the tragedies of the past weeks in Myanmar and China have hit home. Our niece, Laura Kimball, a senior at the regional high school who was born in China, is trying to raise $2,000 to send to Save the Children, the relief agency that is working to help victims of the earthquake that has killed so many, especially children. The survivors desperately need food, clean water, and clothing. Laura has already raised about $300. She plans to continue her efforts, collecting donations outside Cronig's and the Stop and Shop for the next two weeks. Anyone who wants to contribute may send a check with a note indicating it is for earthquake relief, made out to Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, PO Box 1385, Oak Bluffs, 02557. Thank you for your help.
Ben, Nicole, and Violet Cabot have a new kitten. He is a ginger and white kitten, so tiny he fits into Violet's hand. His name is Mayhew, changed from May when he was discovered to be a he, not a she. All of the Cabot family seems quite happy with their newest member.
Happy Birthday wishes to Ella Lowther, who will turn six on May 25. Her grandparents will be arriving for a family celebration.
The Polly Hill Arboretum is opening its Visitor Center this Saturday, May 24. Hours are 9:30 am-4 pm. There will be a plant sale this weekend, featuring a choice selection of trees, shrubs, and perennials. Also, Tim Boland will lead a lecture and tour on the subject of Viburnums between 10 am and noon. The arboretum is beginning its 10th year as a public garden. The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset and there are tours daily at 2 pm.
Vineyard Garden's Saturday morning lecture is "Container Gardens: How to grow winning combinations." It begins at 11 am.
Vicki Thurber is holding an art auction this weekend in the gallery space behind the Scottish Bake House. Money raised will benefit Vicki's project and passion, Rising Tide, a year-old riding therapy program for children. They currently use Susan Fieldsmith's barn, pasture, and riding ring on Red Pony Road.
This will be a big weekend for the arts. Besides the Rising Tide Art Auction, there is the Annual Family Planning Art Show at the Ag Hall, a celebration of the life and an exhibition of work by Dawn Greeley at the Shaw Cramer Gallery, and various gallery openings across town and the Island. The Granary and the Field Galleries are both open, and I will be opening my gallery, Hermine Merel Smith Fine Art, for the summer season this Saturday. Carol Craven is opening her gallery this weekend as well.
Saturday is National Sea Turtle Day. It will be celebrated at the West Tisbury Library, where children can read about sea turtles and do a craft project making a turtle. The library is closed for Memorial Day on Monday, so there will be no movie that night.
The month of May is so incredibly beautiful and so incredibly busy. Accept that there aren't enough hours in the day to take some time for yourself. Go for a walk with your dog, stop to smell the lilacs and lily of the valley blooming now, hug someone you love, give someone a compliment. Do it now.