Thursday, September 22, 2022
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Garden Notes

Garden Notes: Watch for deer on the roads

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Fall is lawn repair time. Based on trends, it is likely that dry summers and drought figure in our future. Letting the grass attend to itself seems like a viable way to go for...

Garden Notes: Fall arrives, and it’s time to look ahead

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Ah, September! College students and summer help are melting away; goldenrod glorifies; Labor Day nears; the Derby bell rings. These punctuate the 10 weeks of Island summer. It has become an endurance race: too...

Garden Notes: Tips on our dry gardens

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We had a couple of rainfall apéritifs. Thankfully, it was enough to lay the dust, although drought conditions persist. Checking in with various gardens, it is clear that even long-planted, established material is feeling the...

Garden Notes: Hostas can help

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Meadowsong’s seasonal chorus has already begun. It is an elegy that could rightly be called “September Song.” The trilling and singing of millions of arthropods (crickets, katydids, cicadas) and tree frogs are signals of...

Garden Notes: The appeal of quiet in summer

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The latest, largest rhododendron, R. maximum, is flowering. Daylilies create banks of color everywhere. Towering oakleaf hydrangeas are like small trees, white flower trusses blushing pink as they age. The cresting of the year...

Garden Notes: It was a great June for roses

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Not sophisticated enough for the designed garden, the old-time combo of rambler roses, tawny daylilies, blue hydrangeas, and Japanese honeysuckle is a signature of Island July. They hold their own, sweetly clashing without fancy irrigation...

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...

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...

Garden Notes: Eat most locally of all

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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...

Garden Notes: Viburnums and lilacs

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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...

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...

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,...

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...

Garden Notes: Oaks are the answer

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Erin go Brách! It may be St. Patrick’s Day, but much green is onion grass, not shamrocks. Island fields appear to be wearing camelhair coats. Mourning doves have arrived. Big blooms The dormant clivia and hippeastrum...

Garden Notes: Forcing spring

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As Islanders know, to their annoyance, spring does not willingly arrive on Martha’s Vineyard. It just doesn’t (maritime climate and all), even though the hope always hovers. The added factor of each year’s phenological...

Garden Notes: Winter wonders

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“You buy some flowers for your table; You tend them tenderly as you’re able; You fetch them water from hither and thither – What do you get for it? They wither.” ~ Samuel Hoffenstein (1890 - 1947), from...

Garden Notes: Thinking globally

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Let us quiet down awhile and let winter take its course. The blizzard and dawn in the white world are the means to see another landscape, Emerson’s “frolic architecture of the snow.” Citrus indoors Potted citrus...

Garden Notes: January blooms

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Ah, January! “As days lengthen, the cold strengthens.” Find ways to celebrate winter. On a flawless, frigid day, we took a postponed New Year’s Day beach walk with friends, congregants in the church of winter....

Garden Notes: Sticking with the locals

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Many are looking forward enthusiastically to the discoveries in 2022 that the Mars rovers may make. Perseverance, the most recently landed Mars rover, has found matter containing organic traces on Mars’ rocky surface. Supposing...

Garden Notes: Season for renewal

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The Christmas wishes and New Year hopes remind us that intending to do good and be better is possible for all of us. The darkest time of year has actually passed. Winter solstice, Dec. 21,...