I’d kill for a nice steady rain. I know that is an unpopular statement for most people but, honestly, the pollen will be the end of me. On the job site Tuesday we were all coughing, sneezing, rubbing our eyes, and whining endlessly. Even the dog was covered in it.

Also hard-to-believe is how parched the pots and window boxes have become. They need a good soaking daily in my perfect world.

On the job sites, I have placed unreasonable confidence in the irrigation systems. Nothing ever lives up to my expectations. You would think by this stage of life I would gain a bit more acceptance.

I have a new hated weed: Galium aparine aka stickyweed or goosegrass. It has tiny hooked hairs on the stems and gets quite large­ — sometimes three feet across. The little hairs grab onto its neighboring plants and sadly for the gardener causes a rash that is similar to one received from phototoxin such as rue, cow parsnip or hogweed. Gloves and long sleeves are a must. The inch or so between the glove top and sleeve is especially vulnerable.

Also, now is the time for constant vigilance in tick protection. So far, I have only encountered the dog type and none have taken hold. I put them between Scotch tape for disposal.

Yikes, it’s time to move on to a more positive subject. There are some fabulous shrubs and trees all over the Island. This is clearly the result of a rainy spring. The Japanese maples really perk up a property. Just one, strategically placed, changes the entire landscape.

My favorite combination this time of year is Kolkwitzia aka beauty bush, next to Physocarpus Coppertina aka ninebark. The ninebark is especially nice as its leaves remain of interest after the bloom.

I saw Freddie Fisher mowing hay the other day. The edge of the field was awash in daiseys­­­ and the smell of the hay was just wonderful as I passed by. It takes me immediately back to childhood. My Grandpa Bill cut hay in June for the three or four cows he kept on the place.

I’ve been enjoying spring greens, fennel and beets from early plantings. How I wish I could report that all the tomatoes and peppers were in the ground. I’m pathetic — talk about the cobbler’s childrens’ feet! Good thing we have a long fall so I might actually get some fruits.

The difficult winter wreaked havoc on almost all the ornamental grasses. Those that did come back are but a pittance of their former selves. I’m ripping them up. This, by the way, is no small task. A person practically needs a front-end loader to do the job! I’m not really that sad to see them go. They are over-used in my opinion. The miscanthus especially are problematic. They reseed all over in the worst places ie between patio bricks. They will give grass cuts to passers-by and are very flammable. They will go up like a torch so avoid placing them near the outdoor barbecue area.

It’s probably not a good thing that I have a gun permit. I considered shooting the television last Tuesday morning seeing our president all smiles with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. This is the day after he broke up with Canada and the EU. What’s wrong with him? I cannot get past Kim ordering the assassination of his half-brother in Kuala Lumpur last year. He is a ruthless leader of completely oppressed people. We all know DJT admires strong men (of which he is not one). I’ve said it many times — how did we get to that well-known place in a handbasket?