By LYNNE IRONS
Don Brown is a marketing genius. There is a gorgeous Golden Rain Tree in North Tisbury. Don put a large number of them for sale along the road at the newly reconstituted Middletown Nursery. I practically wrecked the truck pulling in for a walk-about. There are some interesting plants for sale and it is worth stopping by.
Then, right down the road, please stop in at Fiddlehead Farm. There is wonderful local produce and an excellent selection of meats and cheeses. It is a food-shopping pleasure.
I have learned to send text messages, but I refuse to misspell and neglect punctuation. Hence, it takes me forever. It is the same rebellious streak that still makes me write letters and send hand-written invoices to my garden accounts.
The average person eats 87 pounds of chicken a year. I am happy to say I raise 50 meat birds a year so it makes me average. How comforting.
Happily, my herbaceous peonies have begun to bloom. The first to appear was the pink double Sarah Bernhardt. It is just in time. I was beginning to feel the loss of all the spring-bloomers — tulips, forsythias, lilacs and poppies. It made me think about the brevity of life. I hope I have enjoyed everything to the fullest.
I have been working frantically on window boxes and whiskey barrels for various customers. Sedum and ornamental grasses have come back nicely as well as imagination verbena, Gypsy Rose baby breath, and purple nicotiana seedlings.
I finally set myself to some weeding. I have given up already on the perennial beds. They are completely beyond hope. I worked on my American Flag leeks. I figured I would need to eat them this winter, so, therefore, they and the kale were the most important. I have such beautiful, bug-free kale for a change. I hope I blanch, bag and freeze some this week. Any day now the cabbage worms will take over and I will be too busy to apply Dipel. (I know myself. I just give advice, I don’t use it.)
Since I cannot remember what I wrote last week, never mind last year, I looked back to June of ’07 and found I wrote a horrific account of the caterpillar invasion Islandwide. I am delighted to report that, although I have seen a few of the little pests, I no longer can actually hear them chewing, nor have to run for cover while bringing the groceries into the house. Perhaps it’s the result of the extensive spraying in the past few years or they simply are on a different life cycle.
My friend Sharlee reported that she had to mow her garden in preparation for rototilling. They don’t tell you these things in the gardening books. There is the weed-wadding method. Wad the knee-high weeds, fold them over, and cover with some newspaper and hay. Dig a hole next to it and drop in a squash seed. It may not be tidy but you still eat that squash.
I do not totally hate maggots. I see their place in the scheme of things. Think how much rotted material would be around if not for them. I saw a time-lapse video of them picking clean a dead field mouse. It took only a couple of hours and the mouse was reduced to shiny bone. Where could she possibly go with this, you ask? I had a bucket of a not-to-be-mentioned substance which I neglected to bury. I finally buried it in my chicken yard and maggots found their way to the surface where they became a tasty treat for the hens.
Last Sunday morning I listened to Speaking of Faith on National Public Radio. They talked about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Hechel, the civil rights and anti-war activist. He said what we say really matters. Hate rhetoric is the first step toward war and injustice. I am fond of saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will hurt forever.”
Bear with me as I further digress from gardening. I find it ironic that there are “Obama — No More Dynasties!” bumper stickers all over the place and he picked Caroline Kennedy to help him pick a vice-president? I might have some made up which say, “Wanted Hillary but will vote for Obama.” I have hope. I hope he will make it.
Speaking of hope — it does spring eternal. Congratulations to the high school graduates. My grandson, Michael, was one of them and I am proud of him.