By LYNNE IRONS
I was considering taking a garden hoe to my attic last week. The weatherman predicted four days of rain and I figured it was my last opportunity to get rid of years of collectibles before gardening chores take up all my time. The other alternative is to hope my children torch the place in the event of my demise.
We did not get that promised rain and the drizzle wasn’t enough to keep me inside. How do meteorologists keep their jobs? If I were right only half the time I wouldn’t keep mine. They get us all worked up concerning some big weather event and we usually just get plain old weather. I will confess I am slightly addicted to the Weather Channel, but only because there is nothing on the umpteen channels I pay for. Didn’t TV used to be free?
I have been testing myself on my plant identification skills. Something new breaks ground every day. I am happy to see the Bleeding Hearts and the Virginia Blue Bells up about two inches. I love their real substance amidst the bulbs. I hope I divide my Bleeding Hearts this year. More is better.
My daughter remarked how slowly spring is getting under way. If we all go into the memory bank and recall, it is like this on the Vineyard every year. The ocean moderates our spring and fall temperatures. We never complain that winter is taking its time arriving.
I am happy to report that I am eating the lettuce I seeded in my unheated greenhouse about a month ago. It is so young, tender and wonderful. The Black-Seeded Simpson is especially delicious.
My daughter presented me with a canary for my birthday. He is singing his little heart out. Years ago, I bought a canary at the stone church annual rummage sale. He belonged to Henrietta Child, who had been breeding them for ages. She and I developed a nice relationship and she taught me much about caged birds. Canaries, it seems, have been in cages for more than 400 years, ever since they were discovered on the Canary Islands by sailors. They spent time on ocean voyages. I had them for years trading with and learning from Trudy Taylor. For some reason, last year, I lost my best singer. I have been wanting and missing canaries ever since. I love to play Vivaldi, hear the bird sing along, and plant in my warm greenhouse on a chilly early spring day. Talk about great sensory overload.
They are building a new canal through Nicaragua. The Panama Canal will only accommodate vessels from China holding 4,000 containers. They are now building ships to hold 12,000, which will not fit through the Canal Zone. We need more unsafe, cheap goods produced by children in China? Those ships go back to China empty, by the way.
I hauled my huge pots of herbs outside. My aged rosemary was covered with blue flowers. Once in a while, I will have some winter over in a good location on the south side, but I hate to take chances with my old one. I have developed a real fondness for it. I usually do not cut it. It has such a great shape. I don’t really enjoy eating lots of rosemary. I think it should be used in shampoo.
Not to join the ranks of political fearmongers, but I am following our current economic state of affairs rather closely. Ford took a loss by half in selling Jaguar and Land Rover to a manufacturer in India. This is the year to throw some vegetable seeds into the ground and tighten the proverbial belt. Don’t spend that tax rebate on a big-screen TV from China.
I spent an enjoyable hour with Abigail Higgins. She encouraged me to use dandelions for medicinal purposes.
To my great delight, I noticed a honeybee in every one of my crocuses!