Monday, September 28, 2020
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Garden Notes

Garden Notes: Fall weather

The Island has been lucky so far; even luckier would be to receive rainfall — nothing more — from a passing tropical disturbance. If you contemplate donating to relief efforts, and there are many,...

Garden Notes: Golden September

Reds and russet prevail later on; the color of the present is golden. The light’s quality shifts to golden tints. Beautiful September days themselves seem golden; we sense their inherent ephemerality. Yellowed leaves scatter...

Garden Notes: Dry gardening

We wanted more — we would be at Illumination Night, the fair, the O.B. fireworks. We would be buying back-to-school clothes. We would be putting our children and summer friends on the boat. Nope. The...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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:...

Garden Notes: Spring moves in

“Anticipating spring” and “waiting for coronavirus”: There is a difference. Now both are here. One is very welcome — the other, not so much. There is something both share, though, and that is the...

Garden Notes: Getting into ‘thinking gardens’ mode

March winds blow. It is silly, chilly March — when some of us might think spring is right around the corner. It is usually dank, dark, and dreary. This year, we shall see. We...

Garden Notes: It’s February

“For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Could this serious injunction of Lent be the King James Bible’s way of referencing compost and gardening?     Lenten fare The religious observance of Lent has...

Garden Notes: Pruning

The very earliest of the spring bulbs are making their garden entrance. It is a special moment, even if it is way too soon. Luckily, deer and rabbits dislike snowdrops: all parts of the...

Garden Notes: Right bench, right place

Hens have resumed laying, branches and twigs show deeper color, and high up but visible, buds are swelling in treetops. And plenty of snowdrops! Bench warming Recall the benches you may have seen, arbitrarily set down...

Garden Notes: Don’t wait any longer for the freeze

The sun creeps back, stronger now. The witch hazels are unfurling their flowers. A turkey vulture sails a wobbling course over the backyard treetops. Tips of snowdrops are peeping out of the soil. Indeed,...

Garden Notes: Happy New Year

“Plant dreams, pull weeds, grow a happy life,” a greeting on a card sent by lovely people. Today’s edition marks the new era of the subscription-based Martha’s Vineyard Times, and a new modus operandi...

Garden Notes: Acorns and moths

“To be content with little is difficult, to be content with much, impossible.”  –Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, 1830-1916  The December whirlwind is upon us, and so we strive for balance to enter the season of celebration:...