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Garden Notes

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:...

Garden Notes: There are still native centerpiece materials about

The Thanksgiving afternoon cold front, steely gray cloudscape pierced by peachy sunset rays, was beautiful. It gilded treetops from Christiantown to Lobsterville. Even though it is now winter, it is good to dress warmly...

Garden Notes: Our freeze-dried gardens

From “The Gardener Says”: “Don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there, riotous.” –Rumi (1207–73) The Winter Farmers Market at Agricultural Hall on Saturday was a...

Garden Notes: Alluring alliums

It is hard to believe we are in November already. Fallen leaves have blown everywhere, and the autumnal atmosphere increases as the nights draw in, even while days of beautiful weather continue, and frost...

Garden Notes: Hydrangeas, Island dream flowers

The Columbus Day weekend nor’easter was a big, prolonged blow: two-plus inches of rain, masses of stranded seaweed for those energetic enough to collect it, and many plans for the long weekend’s festivities aborted....

Garden Notes: Poison sumac

Poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak! These are the feared plants that visitors to the Vineyard want to know about. Only the first two are known to occur here, according to “Flora of Martha’s...

Garden Notes: Fall is here

The Gardener Says: “Gardening involves the incredibly complicated alchemy of life, involving not just plants and animals, but the entire cosmos and the microcosm.”  –Wolf D. Storl, Princeton Architectural Press   The above quote evokes aspects...

Garden Notes: Cutting back

Dewfall is heavy. Aloft at dusk, bats find plenty to feast upon. The meadowsong chorus swells as early fall approaches — the chorus of myriad stridulating insects that is backdrop to these last days...

Garden Notes: Ahoy, Labor Day!

The season winds down, and containers often look it, with lanky stems short on flowers. You can toss them, or — you can practice your gardening arts by propagating next season’s container plants. Many...