West Tisbury


Everything is so green after all the rain we have had. The Mill Pond is high, as I stop to watch the cygnets swimming with their parents. I finally got out in the garden for a few hours this afternoon. Although there is already no question of catching up, at least I accomplished something, and smiled at the vanity of calling my riotous beds “a garden.”

I have a clipping on my refrigerator that says, “One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” It was said by A. A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh. It’s been there for years and always makes me laugh. It seemed especially apt in reference to my garden.

The center of my vegetable garden is an unplanned blue sea of forget-me-nots that seeded and took over, but they are so pretty. I’ll weed them out now and hope enough seed will self-sow for next year. There are the most magnificent foxgloves I have ever grown, again from seedlings that appeared on their own, among the potatoes and rhubarb. There is a clump of black iris, tall and covered with blossoms, that I must have heeled in there and forgotten about. Despite trying to grow that long-admired variety in carefully cultivated settings, I have lost every one except this. Niobe and Jackmanii clematis climb the fence, covered with blossoms, having recovered from one of Mike’s “neatening up” forays with his weed whacker, still painful in memory. There must be some marital dynamic, one partner planting, the other cutting down/mowing ruthlessly or ignorantly pruning that keeps nature in balance.

The Vineyard Gardens lecture this Saturday, June 9, will be about composting. It begins at 11 am.

If you have driven past the Polly Hill Arboretum and admired the fringe tree blooming right at the entry to the drive, come in for a closer look on Tuesday, June 12, at 10 am. Nancy Weaver and Jaime Morin will lead a guided walk around the property, focusing on the different varieties of ericacaea besides rhododendrons. You will see those, too, as well as the double rows of stewartias the garden is famous for; they are just beginning to bloom and should be in full glory by the twelfth.

Our friends Ron and Melanie Hall arrived for some fishing and restorative ocean air. They will be here through the week. Ron has already caught some keepers. Melanie is painting, cooking, reading, and catching up with friends.

Happy birthday wishes this week to: Jodi Baron Blair on June 9; Jean Wexler on the 12th, and Bill Haynes on Flag Day, June 14.

Over the past few years, I have enjoyed the company of a group of mostly ladies (we have an occasional gentleman join us) at Windemere. Next Friday evening, June 15, they will hold an auction to raise money for their activity program. The event, at the Ag Hall from 6 to 8 pm, will have live and silent auction items including: fly-fishing lessons, golf lessons, bass fishing, Alison Shaw photographs, massages, handmade quilts and blankets, dinner at the Home Port, lobsters from Larsen’s, lunch at the Galley or Farm Neck, a plane ride over the Vineyard, a week-long stay at a seaside cottage in Maine, and more. Wine, desserts, and light fare will be served.

The library’s Monday Night Movie on June 11 will be “The Usual Suspects.” It begins at 7 pm. Don’t forget the all-day Saturday craft table for kids.

Tom Dresser will be at Howes House next Tuesday, June 12, at 9:30 am, reading and discussing his book, “Disaster Off Martha’s Vineyard; The Sinking of the City of Columbus,” in the winter of 1884. He urges everyone to attend, as it is his only planned appearance in town.

The “dog issue” has engendered strong feelings among town residents. By the time you read this, town meeting will have come and gone, with some resolution, at least for the moment. As Mike and I walked our dogs this afternoon, watching them run and play together, I can’t help thinking about how sad this all is. I understand both sides of the issue and sympathize with both points of view. However, I hate the idea of living in a place where dogs can’t run around and be dogs.