Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Garden Notes: Protecting your garden

Meadowsong and the trill of cicadas are the sounds of summer’s turning. Bats at dusk keep places lucky enough still to have them remarkably free of mosquitos. Flowerheads of Queen Anne’s lace decorate tawny...

Wild Side: Counting butterflies

Perhaps the type of wildlife inquiry I receive most often is about abundance: “Butterflies (or birds, or dragonflies) seem especially scarce (or especially common) this year. Are their numbers declining (or increasing)?” These are fair...

Garden Notes: Sunlit pollinator love

The heat has hit: I stand in hot sunshine near a patch of last season’s leeks. Their tall stems list crazily, spherical pink and lavender flowerheads abuzz with insects. You would not believe their...

Wild Side: Metamorphosis

Most everyone knows the basics of insect metamorphosis: It’s the way a caterpillar turns into a butterfly. We don’t often think, though, of how thoroughly the fact of metamorphosis governs the lives of insects....

Garden Notes: Oh, July!

The Fourth of July Island garden of 50 years ago was a limited palette of tawny daylilies, rambler roses ‘Excelsa’ and ‘Dorothy Perkins,’ honeysuckle, and privet. Oakleaf hydrangeas make superb hedges and backdrops, and...

Wild Side: Robber flies

Among my favorite groups of insects are the robber flies, the predatory members of the family Asilidae. Ranging in length from a half-inch or so to well over a full inch, these formidable hunters...

Garden Notes: Solstice days

Summer is officially here, with the summer solstice this year on June 20. Fireflies announced the fact a little earlier: They have flashed for almost two weeks. Trees are in full foliage, which now...

Wild Side: Fledgling season

However screwed up the world may be, certain things keep chugging reliably onward. Pandemic? Protests? Birds don’t care. Their focus is elsewhere, and their lives proceed in a totally predictable way. Mid-June is fledgling season....

Garden Notes: Lovely June

“A garden that is designed only to look pretty barely skims the surface of what landscapes can offer.”  –Toby Hemenway, “The Gardener Says” June is the month when even the smallest, unpretentious garden has something...

Wild Side: Oystercatchers

American oystercatchers have an interesting history on the East Coast. Originally, they probably occurred across much of the region, from the Gulf of Mexico possibly as far north as Maine, where John James Audubon...

Garden Notes: Kitchen garden

The Memorial Day weekend marked the beginning of settled weather, outdoor grilling, and summer. It is also freighted with solemn meaning. Graves are decorated, and cemetery baskets placed. Two suggestions for that: geraniums for sunny...

Wild Side: Summer tanagers

Spring migration is a hit-or-miss proposition for a Vineyard birder. It never brings the sheer volume of birds that fall migration brings, and to a large extent, it takes the unexciting form of the...

Garden Notes: Spring blooms

Although it is mid-May, the recent weather feels the same as when the print publication was suspended — welcome back to the much-missed Martha’s Vineyard Times print edition! The evening star Venus still burns brightly....

Garden Notes: Spring to-do list

“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” ~ T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land. Although April has been a tumultuous month,...

It’s time for Holly Bellebuono’s ‘Little Book of Herbs’

If you've thought about starting an herb garden, right now, in the midst of this coronavirus social-distancing protocol, seems the best time to try it. Vineyard herbalist Holly Bellebuono's newest book, “Llewellyn's Little Book...

Wild Side: Bee happy

As the weather starts to warm in April, one of the first and most obvious groups of insects to become active are the bees. The earliest species are already on the wing; in the...

Island Grown offers home gardening tips

Not only are home gardens a great way to create food security for you and your family, but they allow adults and children alike to connect with nature and learn more about their environment. This...

Garden Notes: Get your garden growing

Island Christmas wreaths come down on Good Friday. Being part of a shrinking cohort with parents who knew the Great Depression first-hand, I am interested in practical crops. Seed catalogues contain many options that entice:...

Wild Side: Hawks and doves

As usual for this time of year, the production of more mourning doves is in full swing in our small Oak Bluffs yard. But it’s not going well. Things did get off to a great...

Anne-Marie Eddy earns expert home staging certification

Anne-Marie Eddy, owner of Refabulous Decor in Vineyard Haven, recently earned her Expert Psychological Stager™ (EPS™) certification for home staging professionals. According to a press release, Eddy was trained by home staging expert, Kristie...