By LYNNE IRONS
The Thanksgiving holiday is under our belt, so to speak. I have been thinking about all the things in my life for which to be thankful. We do live in a world of plenty. My own garden has still been producing like crazy. I was fortunate to put up a great deal of the summer’s bounty. I remembered the Henry Alford seasonal hymn from the early 1800s, “Come, ye thankful people, come raise the song of Harvest home; all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.” The second verse is of interest to us gardening types. “All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto his praise to yield; wheat and tares together sown, unto joy or sorrow grown; First the blade, and then the ear, Then the full corn shall appear; Lord of harvest, grant that we, wholesome grain and sure may be.”
It’s great that there are blooms to still enjoy, the hanging baskets of geraniums on the lampposts in Edgartown for example. I have had a lone quince blossom on the totally bare shrub for several weeks now. One thing I like about myself is that I noticed it.
The dahlias have been hit by a hard frost finally. It is now time to lift them with a fork or spade, let them cure a few days and store in a cool place for the winter. Sometimes I put them in grain bags with some peat moss or have had them come back wadded into a tarp with that promise — I’ll get to it! Nature is very forgiving. Mice are fond of the tubers, and they hate totally drying out.
I started some long-neck pumpkins from seed this past spring. I shared some with my friend Sharlee. I had a crop failure, but she reported an enormous one which was delicious. I hope I can find the source again this year.
Speaking of seed sources . . . I already have received a shocking amount of seed catalogs by way of the U.S. mail. I think they used to arrive after the Christmas holiday right when we needed distraction from January weather. I’m hopeless. I whiled away an evening perusing when I should have been attending to some financial paperwork.
There is nothing more costly in the gardening world than a proper wildflower meadow. My friend Kitty Burke and I reworked hers last week. We were fortunate to have the services of a man and a Bobcat (my favorite combination). We had him scrape six inches of matted grass and the heinous mugwort from the top. We then dug dozens (perhaps hundreds) of holes for a couple of bushels of daffodils. Get me to my chiropractor, quick. We top seeded with echinacea and lupine and called it a day. I will let you know next summer on its success.
A couple more things have popped into mind from last week’s meeting of Homegrown. Now that we are starting up some cozy wood stoves, remember to pour those ashes into the compost pile. It will neutralize the pile. It’s best not to apply directly to the garden as they can turn to lye.
Someone brought up the fact that summer squashes seem to lose steam midsummer and morning glories take forever to bloom. Abigail mentioned the global dimming phenomenon. You don’t even want to know this. All the pollutants in the atmosphere are hindering solar light getting to us and our plants. There have been studies since the fifties and apparently we get 20 per cent less light in some places. Honestly, it’s always something.
Barack Obama can’t do anything right. Apparently his bowing to the Emperor of Japan has the right-wing pundits’ shorts in a twist. Chris Matthews was heard saying, “We’re Americans, we don’t bow.” I wonder why we are so arrogant and why we focus on such minutia? Oh, and how about the new T-shirt slogan and bumper sticker, “Pray for Obama. Psalms 109: 8,9.” I hauled out the King James version and found, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.”
What is happening to our country?