Will it ever rain again? It’s been over a month without anything amounting to much. Don’t get me wrong. The days could not be more perfect. Clear and crisp in the mornings with abundant sunshine all day certainly raises the spirits. This significant lack of rain is taking a toll on us gardening types, however. I took a hose, full-force, to a neglected perennial bed. The stream of water raised up a cloud of dust and was unable to penetrate the ground. I’ve noticed hydrangeas in various yards on death’s door. They are so limp and desiccated that I fear they will be unable to recover.

On the job sites we are busy moving and dividing. We’ve taken to plunging the newly unearthed plants into buckets of water before moving to any new areas.

I read in an old Bedside Gardener book that it is an abhorrence for the earth to freeze dry so am hoping for some moisture before winter sets in!

Everyone is once again fear-mongering about a coming hard winter. Don’t we do this every year? Supposedly the Farmer’s Almanac has made a dire prediction. There is a so-called abundance of acorns and animals are putting on their thick winter coats.

I, for one, wouldn’t mind a bit of snow this year. Last year we had a couple of storms which never left snow on the round for more than a few days. Violet kept remarking it was a rip-off and hardly got to use her sled.

Remember, I grew up in the snow belt of western Pennsylvania. We were hit repeatedly with winter storms blowing off Lake Erie. I don’t think we ever were given a snow day from school. They put chains on the bus tires and off we went. The boys used to kick the sides of their seats so the bus driver would think a chain had come loose. After several delays from him checking the tires, the most we could hope for was being a few minutes late for class. Funny how memory works, I haven’t thought of that for more than 50 years.

Where was I? Oh yes, lack of rain. Several of the job sites have turned off the irrigation systems so it’s back to hauling hoses. Honestly, life is a series of obstacles. Some days sighing is the only response.

The P.G. hydrangeas are at their peak. There is an enormous one at 21 North Road on the right heading up-Island. The beetlebungs have begun changing and are looking pretty spiffy in their fall colors. I noticed the maples around the Tisbury School playground are completely changed.

Even the poison ivy and bittersweet are putting on a fall show. Word to the wise — if you make an arrangement with bittersweet, do not toss it into the compost when done. It will reseed immediately. Bag it for the rubbish.

I managed to make some tomato sauce for the canner. The paste types all came at once. I generally stick to Romas. I never bother staking and they seem able to withstand critter attack better than the large heirlooms. This year I had several plants of taxi. This is a small yellow determinate type. It produced like crazy. The resulting sauce was light in color but quite tasty.

On Saturday I whiled away an hour on a stool picking absolutely perfect green beans. I had planted August 1 and this was the first picking. There was not a Mexican bean beetle in sight. Could they finally be done for the year? One can only hope. I was able to process 12 quarts of dilly beans. Life can be downright wonderful at times like this.

Every year I make vows in the fall to do things differently next season. Hopefully, one of these years, I’ll stick to it. Green beans should be planted in a single row. It would make picking so much easier. I always yield to temptation and do double or triple rows in a bed. It seems logical at the time and one cannot picture that tiny seed growing so large. Same with tomatoes. I cram in those few extra plants and always regret it come harvest time!

The garden at the triangle heading into Edgartown is lovely and welcoming. Also the way back to Behind the Bookstore coffee shop is quite nice with lots of plectranthus and cleome. By the way, the pastries at that shop are fabulous. I had a pistachio coffee cake fresh and hot from the oven that made starting another day a pleasure. It may have closed for the season but check it out next spring — right behind Edgartown Books.

Well, it’s happened. The government has shut down. Too bad Congress isn’t affected. They should be sent home with no paycheck also. We have to stop voting for these people. It only encourages them.