Thursday, May 26, 2022
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Garden Notes

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,...

Garden Notes: Island grown

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“Winter does not come until the swamps are full.” This adage is still borne out on the Vineyard, despite climate disruptions. Winter moth males are in flight, looking for mates; caught in headlights at...

Garden Notes: Life depends on plants (and animals)

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The woods are beginning to look bare now. At nighttime, the moon shines through the cathedral of trees in a wintry way. Is this a mast year? Acorns are numerous and cause for caution on...

Garden Notes: Native grasses

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Seasonal changes are taking place, including killing frost and the time — clocks set back one hour to Eastern Standard Time. Swamp maples and sumac are ruddy in the landscape, and native grasses, especially...

Garden Notes: Fall colors

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Fall colors are slowly emerging from summer’s greenery. The many ripening berries, deepening oxblood-to-burgundy beetlebung trees, and festoons of gypsy scarlet Virginia creeper do point the way to elusive winter. True to late 20th...

Garden Notes: Fall gardens

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A week ago an impressive dragonfly flight was swarming soundlessly over a wide, sunny up-Island lawn that would mostly qualify as a “Vineyard Lawn.” “Vineyard Lawn” is the education program of Vineyard Conservation Society...

Garden Notes: Protecting the environment

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Last Monday’s spectacular harvest moon and the autumnal equinox have ushered in a new season to garden in. Photons diminish daily, nighttime temperatures drop, heavy dew falls most mornings, while daytimes can be surprisingly...

September song, or silence?

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Late summer meadowsong, September’s insect chorus, is swelling. Its leitmotif surrounds us, day and night. Remove your earbuds and listen for it. Uncountable crickets and katydids whirr and chirp their way toward summer’s end. The...

Garden Notes: North and south

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Weather-titillation buildup? As I write, it looks as though New Orleans is headed for another fearful, Force 4 bashing. Simultaneous with this column’s appearance, H. Ida or its remnants may be tracking nearby us. Going...