It is rather remarkable that we have so many different plant zones on our tiny piece of land out here in the Atlantic ocean. There are several lilac bushes here in Vineyard Haven that have completely gone by. They are sporting nothing but spent brown blossoms. Conversely, I noticed on a recent trip up-Island that some are just getting underway. My friend Sharlee lives on Chappy. She says she is a full two weeks behind Vineyard Haven.

This phenomenon makes gardening in various towns an adventure. Also, we are totally behind the mainland. My mother used to brag about her forsythia in full bloom way before mine. Rew, Pennsylvania earned the coldest spot in the lower 48 on a couple of occasions. Go figure.

Speaking of Rew, every year when the horse chestnut blooms, I remember a childhood story. We had a giant one in the backyard. It was a fine climbing tree. One day, my Dad called us to the window to see a black bear taking a nap way up in the branches. He knocked several flowers down onto our car.

One of my favorite May shrubs is the Bridal Wreath spirea. It seems to have fallen out of favor in the modern landscape world. It really only looks nice in bloom but, so what, once a year is fine with me. Resist the temptation to prune it into a round or square shape. It is much nicer dripping its blossoms in a fountain formation. The smell is lovely and memory provoking.

My winter-grown kale, parsley and collards have all gone to seed. I have been cutting the seed stalks — flowers and all — and tossing them into the Vitamix for smoothies. I love how it uses food that is still perfectly fine and packed with nutrients. I’m a big non-waster of food.

I’m fond of growing radishes. For starters, they are super quick, both germinating and forming the edible bulb. If you are desperate for young greens even the tops can be eaten when babies. Over the years I’ve grown every imaginable cultivar but always return to the Cherry Belle. I start rummaging around the soil level for any sign of red globe and usually can find some tiny ones in a mere three weeks.

I finally got all the peas in. No matter when planted they always seem to be pickable by the Fourth of July. I wish I could say the same for the tomato plants. They are rapidly outgrowing the seed trays. Again, no matter, I’ll eventually get some fruit, maybe into September, but hey I like to eat them too.

Here we are coming up to another Memorial Day weekend. Yikes. The last of my uncles who were World War II veterans have gone on to the last reward. All of them were very proud of their military service as were we.

What is wrong with our world? The breaking news of the day is the bombing of a concert hall in Manchester, England. The performing artist, Ariana Grande, has a huge fan base of young teenage girls. Many at the concert were accompanied by their parents as they were too young to attend safely on their own.

I sincerely hope I never get used to this kind of violent insanity. One time I saw a business card that was a note from God. It said “Don’t make me come down there.”