West Tisbury: Blueberry Fest on Saturday

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Orange is everywhere, as daylilies line every road and mark every driveway around town. At the entry to the Polly Hill Arboretum, don’t miss the pair of orange azaleas that I covet. They bloom late in July every year in the most gorgeous, intense shade of orange. I was told they are difficult to propagate, so never at the PHA annual plant sale. Still …

Our orange daylilies came from Danny Prowten maybe 30 years ago. They were so thick that they were a bear to dig. I suppose mine would present the same difficulty now, as they have grown into a huge and beautiful island under a kousa dogwood and a ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple, both gifts from friends that were foot-high whips when they were planted. I have added some purple adenophora, a combination I always admired growing along Trudy Goff’s fence in Edgartown. Despite its reputation for being invasive, the adenophora has taken its sweet time getting a foothold, or roothold, in my daylily bed, but it’s well worth the wait, as I now have a nice pairing of those two plants. Adenophora is supposed to be deer-resistant, which could be a good reason to grow it with daylilies or lilies, both commonly referred to as “deer candy.”

I was complaining about this to Ruth Kirchmeier the other day. I had no Chinese lily beetles this year, leaving me the most spectacular stand of thick, well-budded-up lilies, and I was eager to finally see them flowering. No such luck. All I have are tall stalks eaten off by deer. Same with my fancy hybrid daylilies. Even within the fenced kitchen garden, deer have strolled right in and eaten the thick buds. So disappointing.

Ellen Reynold’s retirement party last Friday was a blast. Joyce, Tara, and Bethany put out a lovely spread in the Howes House main room, and guests spilled into the sunroom and out into the hallway. Although she’s retiring from her 30 or so years at the Up-Island Council on Aging, Ellen’s retirement means more time for her other love, photography. She has already developed a line of bags of all sizes, stationery, and other goods printed with her photographs, which she is selling at the Oak Bluffs Flea Market on Sunday mornings in the park across from the Ocean View. Everyone in town wishes you well, dear Ellen.

Mike and I had breakfast at the airport Sunday morning with Jim and Sandy Turner. Both are avid croquet players, and Sandy announced that she had come in second in last week’s Edgartown Croquet Tournament finals. Congratulations.

The West Tisbury Church will hold its Blueberry Festival this Saturday, July 21, from noon to 4 pm. It always looks so festive when the church hoists a banner across their fence and a tent and tables are set up on the front lawn, always well-supplied with pies and cobblers and jars of jam to take home, as well as sundaes, smoothies, cobblers, and pies to eat right there. Dinny Montrowl told me about the blueberry-peach cobblers she had made for the event, one of my favorite combinations. It sounds delicious. Vineyard Gardens has donated a blueberry bush to be raffled off. It is reported to be “full of blueberries.”

Dinny also told me that the Island churches are serving community lunches this summer, the way they do community suppers all winter. I have called Marjorie Peirce to find out more, and will report in next week’s column.

The Friends of the West Tisbury Library Book Sale Committee has been working all month, indeed all year, sorting and organizing books for their upcoming sale at the West Tisbury School gym. The sale is scheduled for July 27 to 30. This Friday, July 20, is the last day they will be accepting books for this year’s sale, and they are still looking for volunteers to cashier during the four days. Please sign up at the library if you can help.

At the library this week:

Don’t forget that IGI is providing free lunches every Thursday on the Children’s Room porch, from noon to 1 pm.

This Thursday, David Rhoderick and Molly Sturges will perform piano duets of dance music, from medieval to contemporary, at 5 pm.

Saturday, July 21, Vineyard Sound Concert and Ice Cream Social at 3 pm.

Monday, July 23, 11:30 am, Kanta Lipsky’s Balance Workshop. 4:30 pm, Sagit Zilberman will perform and facilitate “Songs of Peace,” an interactive global music program for kids and families. Family and teen movies begin at 6:30, with free popcorn included.

Tuesday, July 24, Tuesdays at Twilight continue at the Grange Hall. This week’s program is a “Spotlight on Youth,” featuring fifth through 12th grade students chosen by their music teachers as the “most advanced, talented, hard-working young singers and instrumentalists on the Island.” The concert starts at 7:30 pm. Josh Aronie’s food truck will be parked outside and serving dinner from 6 to 8 pm.

Wednesday, July 25, 4:30 pm, a book talk by Barbara Conroy, author of “Dear Jack: A Love Letter.”

Next Thursday, July 26, 4:30, an outdoor rock concert for kids. The Pinkletinks will play rock versions of classic children’s songs. The program will move indoors if it’s raining.

If something looks familiar in this week’s New Yorker, it might be a cartoon by Paul Karasik. Keep your eyes open.

Kara Taylor and Leah MacDonald are offering a “One-Day All-Day Encaustic Workshop” at Kara’s gallery on South Road. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, from 10 am to 6 pm. The workshop is described as “explorative multimedia, paint, wax, layering paper, fabric, drawings, photography.” Cost is $225 per person, and includes materials. Call 508-221-0314 for more information.

We seem to be having a wonderful berry season. I have been picking raspberries in a colander every day, and there are always more coming. My raspberry patch is not the tidy, pruned planting of gardening magazines; it’s more of a sprawling mess that has outgrown its bounds. Still, no complaints. The low-bush blueberries are covered with fruit, too, that’s just ripening up. The blueberries are a little tart and the raspberries sweet, both delicious for tasting as I pick them. Remember Robert McCloskey’s “Blueberries for Sal?” That’s me.