Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Garden Notes

Mulch, bulbs, and bugs preoccupy Vineyard gardeners

Each spring we have the chance to start anew. We have the opportunity to take a fresh look at what we are doing in our relationship with our surroundings.

Weeds, seeds, and blossoms mean spring on Martha’s Vineyard

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Along with daffodils, dandelion tea-making time has come around again. The tea functions as a liver and kidney tonic, and diuretic.

Rake, prune, and watch bulbs light up

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Rake lawns and save the thatch for composting. Lawns are shedding dead material, from matting by snow and ice. This is some of the best material for composting.

The benefits of bees

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Various life forms responsible for pollination depend on pollen, nectar, and water for themselves and their young. Having a variety of trees and plants is a huge assist for bees.

Winter starts to relent on Martha’s Vineyard

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Dawn arrives earlier now, sunrise occurring before 7 am. On a clear dawn the SE sky is spangled with a glittering "morning star," Venus.

Some gardeners even find winter fertile

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Whether under limpid or lowering (rhymes with glowering) skies, winter landscapes are often black and white, with snow-covered ground and evergreens blackened by cold.

Planning, testing, questioning pay off for gardeners

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It is easy to have the feeling of losing one's head.

Look ahead, look down, and look after plants and animals

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Farewell to the old year and its accomplishments and woes, and greetings to the new one with its challenges and hopes.

The lure of a formal garden

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Our recent Thanksgiving trip yielded a few horticultural observations, among many other holiday experiences.

Thinking of others

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Thanksgiving celebrations in the post-war years seemed to be a refuge for spiritual urges that did not involve commercialism.

Garden winterizing on Martha’s Vineyard

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Expectantly, threat of frost loiters everywhere, for this year's gardens are coming to an end. It is just the right time to start planning for next year.

Autumn beauty on Martha’s Vineyard

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Orion, the Hunter, is a constellation of autumn and winter and has been one of the brightest features of recent starry nighttime skies.

Sour milkweed threatens butterflies

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The lively and mellow Living Local/Harvest Fest took precedence over my being able to participate in the "Goldenrod: Identification of Island Species" workshop, interesting as it was to me, which was offered by Melissa Dow Cullina at Polly Hill Arboretum last Friday and Saturday.

Harvesting fruit on Martha’s Vineyard

Miscanthus grass, a roadside volunteer approximately seven years old, has been joined by about ten more — one a stripey "Zebrinus" type! — nearby.

Late-season gardening on Martha’s Vineyard

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Upcoming at PHA: Fall Plant Sale, Saturday, Sept.

Know what you eat

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Another summer has sped by.

Trees, dogs, beans, and salt

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Our shade trees are demonstrating their importance during the increasingly hotter summers the Vineyard is experiencing.

Looking ahead

As we head into August, the Island setting welcomes a whole new cast of characters and a wholly different feel in weather, light, and garden atmosphere.

The heat goes on

The season has turned, and now the time of ripening is upon us.

Garlic, nepetas, neem

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July is here, yet it feels as if it has been July for three weeks already.