Hostas have so few drawbacks — they are beloved by rabbits, deer and slugs. Otherwise, they will serve you well. Shade-loving as well as handling a drought, they come back reliably for decades. They can be divided every few years and shared with friends. There must be a hundred varieties.
There is one old-fashioned, plain, nondescript variety that comes into its own mid to late summer. There is a row of them along the split-rail fence in the Little House Cafe parking lot. They are blooming happily and have been for weeks.
All the expensive cultivars have lost their bloom right when we could use some extra color. Many of the summer perennials have faded — phlox, monarda and daylilies all need serious deadheading, if not cut right down to the quick. So many gardens did not get sufficient water in August and show it.
I pity the irrigation people. Their phones probably never stopped ringing.
By now, you should know me. I’m a nutcase about conserving water — short showers, fixing leaks, turning it off while brushing my teeth and doing dishes.
I watched a movie about Ruth Stout years ago. She was into her 80s at the time. She disconnected her kitchen sink, put a bucket under the drain pipe, and hauled it out to her garden several times a day. Wow! I’m not that crazy, but I did admire the idea.
It’s so difficult to settle on a favorite plant. There are so many in the running. The one this week is Euphorbia marginata, aka snow-on-the-mountain. It is an annual, but reseeds all over the place in a pleasing fashion.
It emerges in the spring with semi-succulent blue-green leaves. By mid August, the top of several leaves turn a perfect white. The flower is nondescript (similar to poinsettia). It is lovely as it covers all the death of earlier perennials. It’s great as a filler in an arrangement. It is completely simple to grow from seed. Word of caution: the milky sap could cause a rash.
I finally got around to weeding my strawberries. They were in a newly prepared bed. I came upon some large objects and to my surprise and delight I found some enormous potatoes. They had grown from a spud I must have neglected to harvest last year. There you have it. Isn’t nature grand?
For the first time ever, I planted some cotton. After caring for it for over a month in the greenhouse, I planted it outside at the end of May. Most of the plants promptly froze during a late unusual spring frost. A couple lived, however, and are blooming. The flower is very pale yellow and looks like a Rose of Sharon blossom. Apparently, the flower will fall off to reveal the boll. I can’t wait to see if I actually will get a tiny harvest. Supposedly they make nice houseplants.
For several days a rooster has held up traffic on the Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road. Most motorists seem amused. I suppose he sets off rounds of chicken-crossing-the-road jokes!
Beautiful field of buckwheat, Krishana! It’s wonderful to see Tea Lane Farm working once again. I prefer taking Middle Road on my up-Island trips.
How did summer come and go so quickly? Soon we will be able to move plants around, get the winter rye planted, haul out the socks and sweaters, and settle in for some well-deserved down time.
In a twist, however, Labor Day brought back the heat and humidity. We had experienced some cool evenings, great sleeping weather, and totally pleasant sunny afternoons. I was lulled into believing it was all behind us. How I wish a weather complaint could change it!
I’m determined to keep a positive attitude this week. The news from around the world is distressing and downright horrifying. It is so frightening that there are people with no regard for human life.
All I can do is be nicer in my own life — perhaps let more folks out into traffic and be eternally grateful I don’t live in Syria.