It is beyond me why I bother writing, or why you, dear reader, put up with me. I observe the same things year after year and make the same comments. I should simply recycle the same 52 columns.
Anyone who has spent any time weeding a perennial garden simply must believe in evolution. Weeds have the annoying habit of insinuating themselves into plants that look just like them. Golden rod gets up into phlox, purslane into ground-covering sedum, and regular lawn grass into expensive ornamental grasses. Close attention is a must.
Take my advice — I’m not using it ...
I have learned to live with all my weeds. This is a liability of working other people’s gardens for a living. The cobbler’s children’s feet.
In the vegetable garden, I make a vain attempt to keep up. Between wild morning glory and lady finger, I have lost the battle.
Even my reseeded cosmos have smothered the broccoli plants, at least they are pretty.
My friend Sharlee cut into a store-bought organic tomato last winter to discover several sprouted seeds. She tossed them into a houseplant; two lived. She is growing them in her garden and anxious to see if they will produce the same fruit. Again, much is possible if we pay attention.
Speaking of paying attention, I was on the ferry this week and I confess I eavesdropped. A couple of young women were speaking with an elderly gentleman. They were describing shopping for and preparing a paella for supper the previous evening. The man was clearly entertained and pleased with their detailed description. I began thinking about how our words have the ability to bring happiness or grief. It is really all up to us, the speakers. I often changed the old adage for my children . . . sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can hurt forever. Forgive my digression.
The crocosmia are in full, stunning bloom. A member of the iris family, they are natives of South Africa.
The bright red Lucifer cultivar is probably most striking and popular. After a couple of years, the one or two corms will grow into an impressive stand. They are renown for attracting hummingbirds.
I have a couple Emily McKenzies (bright orange) and a nice yellow whose name escapes me.
All three are great with drumstick allium or snow fairy caryopteris. Their sword-like leaves are attractive both before and after blooming.
The Cape Cod rambling rose has been holding its own all along the stone walls of Chilmark and Aquinnah. It can be problematic in your garden. It only blooms once and is quite intrusive. It does best on its own, undisturbed by us.
I spent some time cutting the seed pods out of baptisia this week. They are attractive, but will pull the plant to the ground. They work as filler in an indoor arrangement.
Last Saturday afternoon I was fortunate to attend a gathering at the Tim and Ellen Guiney home — simply lovely setting with perfect weather. We were there to hear Don Berwick, candidate in the Democratic primary for governor of Massachusetts. The primary takes place Sept. 9 and I urge you to cast your vote for Don. He is a big advocate of social justice, equality and compassion. He encouraged us to stop apologizing for our liberalism. He gave a great economic justification for a single-payer health system, aka Medicare for all. Ending child poverty and homelessness is a win-win for all of us, both financially and morally. Don was engaging and down-to-earth. Even 12-year-old Violet understood and repeated some of his ideas on the way home.
He left us with this humbling thought: Not all are as lucky as we are.