Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Gardens among friends

Collaboration makes the Family2Family’s huge holiday food giveaways run smoothly, according to organizer Betty Burton. Three times a year, this Vineyard Committee on Hunger program gives away all the makings of a celebratory dinner,...

Wild Side: Our Vineyard bioblitz

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For centuries at least, there has existed a tradition of amateur study of nature. During the 20th century, observing nature achieved real popularity as a hobby, first in the forms of birdwatching and botany,...

Garden Notes: Boxwood is a lifetime plant

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The height of the garden year has already come and gone: summer solstice. Not to worry; there is plenty of action still to come, although solstice energy reminds gardeners that everything on earth is...

Wild Side: The Breeding Bird Survey

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For about 20 years now, I’ve spent one morning every June running the Vineyard’s Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) route. Coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey, the BBS is a continent-wide, long-term monitoring program for...

Garden Notes: Pollinators needed

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The spring solstice approaches, the summit of the earthly year. The roots from the seed, the chick from the egg, the graduate from the infant: None are assured results. They bravely dare to grow...

Wild Side: Hitchhiking grasshoppers

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My friend Margaret Curtin is a top-shelf naturalist. I closely follow her posts to the “citizen science” platform iNaturalist.org, where she helps me and many others identify plants and where I’m no longer surprised...

Gardens of Love: Catherine Keller

I was trying to remember when and where Catherine Keller and I met, but am not wholly sure, except we've been friendly over many years. Catherine Keller has lovingly overseen the gardens at the...

Garden Notes: Eat most locally of all

Despite the fluctuations of the weather, Memorial Day is almost here. We can be thankful we do not live in leafed-out Denver, where within a 36-hour period a heat wave, wildfire alerts, and a...

Wild Side: Face to face with bees

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You probably think about bees from time to time. Their role as pollinators has come increasingly into the public eye in recent years, while apparent declines in bee numbers and diversity have focused public...

Garden Notes: Viburnums and lilacs

Mornings are light by 5:30. Birdsong is increasing, as staking out territories intensifies. Suddenly, vernal greenery surrounds us. This happens every year, but is inching earlier and earlier each year, too. Climate Action Week started...

Gardens of Love: Deborah Buress

Spring was in the air, and I was ready for flowers. Finally, on a chilly day in the car — without the dogs — I stopped at Vineyard Gardens, looking for deer-resistant flowers, and...

Wild Side: One for the books

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There is some really weird stuff out there. Take the insect order Strepsiptera, commonly known as “twisted-wing insects” because of the bizarre wing form shown by adult males. The front wings are knotted up into...

Garden competition introduces judges

The 1st Annual Martha’s Vineyard Islandwide Garden Competition, opening June 1 and continuing through July 31, 2022, has announced judges for the upcoming event. Donna Arold, board member and vice president of communications for the...

Garden Notes: Consider camellias

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April’s chilly, drying winds still blow, but flowery May is around the corner. Polly Hill Arboretum’s camellias are a flash of red while driving past on State Road; visit now to see them and...

Wild Side: Eastern carpenter bees

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Pretty much everyone, I expect, has at least a nodding acquaintance with our large carpenter bees. Our sole species, Xylocopa virginica, the eastern carpenter bee, is a conspicuous beast, resembling a very large bumblebee....

Garden Notes: The garden and Earth Day

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Gardeners are doing lots of planting from here on out. Time to think about soil (bit.ly/SoilTipsNewGardeners). A soil thermometer says soil temperatures are still cool, for the most part. Absent an errant cold spell,...

Gardens of Love: Roxanne Kapitan

Roxanne Kapitan is a regenerative backyard garden goddess in “that carpe diem phase of life.” She is landscape manager at Oakleaf Landscape, where she has worked with clients for the past 10 years to...

Wild Side: The willow

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Saturday, April 2, could have been disappointing for an insect photographer. True, an early overcast gave way to a strong, early spring sun, and the day looked warm enough. But a cold, persistent northwest...

Garden Notes: The work is picking up

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.”  –William Cowper  The rainstorm last week delivered two inches to the rain gauge. Tokens of early spring are evident: pinkletinks, when preferred temperatures occur; diminutive bulbs (rock...

Wild Side: It’s here!

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The ebb and flow of the seasons ranks among the most predictable aspects of the natural world. Astronomers can pin, to the second, each solstice and equinox for decades or centuries into the future....