Since I’ve written nearly 400 of these columns, I feel justified in plagiarizing myself.

I went back several years to July 10, 2008 and found several paragraphs that could be written any year at this time.

I suggested that dead-heading is the order of the day. Blue queen salvia will continue to bloom all summer if the flower stock is cut almost weekly It is obvious on the plant to go down to the nearest v-joint where the next flower wants to start.

Both spirea and nepeta are looking washed out and spent. Don’t be shy! Cut the spirea with shears right back as much as a foot. If you look down into the repeta you will see nice new growth. Cut with Felcos or scissors to those new leaves. It will be blooming again before you know it.

In 2008 I talked about finishing the fava bean harvest. I completely forgot to plant them this year, sadly. They make a wonderful hummus in place of chick peas. Any white bean is a nice substitute for chick peas and are not as dry.

On July 14, 2011 I wrote “I’m jealous of the lucky folks who live within hearing distance of the Federated Church in Edgartown. On Friday the bell tower ran out Eternal Father Strong to Save. This is the hymn of the U.S. Marine Corps written for “Those in peril on the sea.” This past week I was in Edgartown at 9 a.m. and the same song rang out. I find it oddly comforting.

How about the heat this week? We outdoor workers can get mighty sour by day’s end. As global warming continues to plague us we will all need coal miners’ lamps to work at night instead.

Don’t do as I do. I decided to over-seed all my mulched beds of tomatoes and potatoes with buckwheat. I bought 10 pounds of seed. Trust me, a pound is sufficient for a good-sized garden. I’m just glad I didn’t get a 50-pound bag. At any rate, the plants emerged in a few days. It blooms in no time, is wonderful fodder for beans, can easily be pulled and replenishes the soil. It will often reseed in a few weeks from the spent blooms. It is only an annual so will not be around next year unless you replant.

I was delighted with the bit of rain we received last weekend. We were in need. I love the old country song out of west Texas:

Sow your seed in the ground below

fall to your knees and pray real slow

for the rain to come

and kiss the seed

to bless you with

all that you need.

Tomorrow Saturday, the 20th of July, the First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven is holding a Stonewall market. There will be garden produce, baked goods, white elephant items and books for sale, I believe any time between 10 and 2. Then the same evening a fund-raising chicken barbecue will take place in the yard of the church and parish house.

It never ceases to amaze me that the Republicans who gripe endlessly about the overreach of big government have no problem with inserting the government into people’s bedrooms and the doctor’s offices of women.

The big issue these past few weeks seems to be the demand that government achieve full control of the 1,900 mile border between Mexico and the U.S. The Republicans refuse to consider going further on immigration reform until as John Cornyn of Texas says, “There is 100 per cent of situational awareness: of everything that happens on the border and 90 per cent apprehension of everyone who attempts to cross.”

Good luck, Uncle Sam. They don’t trust you with health care reform but think you are big enough for total border security.

Edward Alden of the Council of Foreign Relations has written, “The most secure border in modern history was probably the Cold War border between East and West Germany. To keep their people from leaving ­— logistically much easier than keeping others from entering — the East Germans built more than 700 watchtowers, sprinkled more than a million antipersonnel mines, created a deep no man’s zone of barbed wire and electric fencing, and deployed nearly 50 guards per square mile with shoot-to-kill orders. Even so, about 1,000 people each year managed to find a way across.”