Some Things Never Change
Lynne Irons

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.

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Bean Thyme
Lynne Irons
Bean Thyme By LYNNE IRONS

I pretty much make it up as I go along. I planted an enormous amount of English thyme from seed a couple of years in a row. Never being able to waste a single life, I tediously transplanted every seedling. Now, many of the vegetables beds are edged with thyme plants. I would never live long enough to use all that thyme so I decided to cut each plant down to tidy little six-inch globes of cuttings. I spread the bushels all over my hay mulch around the potato plants in hopes of deterring both voles and Colorado potato beetles.

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Consider the Privet
Suzan Bellincampi

“A hedge between keeps friendships green.” 

This German proverb provides a solid reason for the ubiquity of the privet hedge. Privet is easily found on a walk around West Chop, or many other Island neighborhoods, and proves that Islanders believe in the peacekeeping power of the plant.

Privet has been around for a long time, but keeping neighbors nice is a relatively recent practice. These hedges now define space and create privacy with their rapid growth and dense, almost impenetrable appearance.

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Lavender Love
Suzan Bellincampi
“We’ll keep the lavender blooming,” guarantee the folks from Sequin, Washington. They should do a sparkling job, considering that their Lavender Festival is the “largest lavender event in North America.” Claiming over 110,000 plants in one town, they have the numbers to back up their promise. They took very seriously novelist Alice Hoffman’s advice. She counseled, “There’s a few things I’ve learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can.” 
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Feeling Blue
Lynne Irons
It has been my habit for the past several years of column waiting to jot down points of interest as I drive around. This past week, it has been nearly impossible to point out beautiful plantings because there are so many. Holy Hydrangeas! They are everywhere in full and glorious bloom. I’m not a slave to absolute blue. I love seeing several colors ranging from the palest pink to deep blue on one plant. Even when I load a particular planting with aluminum sulfate, it is not a sure thing. Mother Nature has a mind of her own.
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Sweet Pea Perfection, Grown On the Vine, Eaten Out of Hand
Chris Fischer
I miss having goats on the farm. As annoying as it was to wake up each morning to milk, it was a labor of love.
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Busy as a Bee
Lynne Irons
Big doings out at Bayes-Norton Farm. I’ve been watching all week and wondering if the garden is being expanded or a if a house is on the way. Those big machines sure make short work of land clearing. I was thinking about our ancestors doing the same task with nothing but beasts of burden and pure brawn. They couldn’t stop by for take-out on the way home either.
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Spring Is Go Time In the Garden
Remy Tumin
Phil Swift is waiting for the forsythia to bloom. The yellow harbingers of spring mark when the first loads of fertilizer can go down, when the final pruning should be attended to and when home gardeners re-emerge from the winter thaw.

“My forsythia have been trying to bloom all winter, especially on the nice days,” he said on a cool March morning at Jardin Mahoney in Edgartown “I always refer to the forsythia.

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No Friend to Flowers, How to Deter Deer
Sydney Bender
The arrival of spring means longer days, budding blooms, birdsong and, unfortunately, the unwelcome arrival of deer in the backyard. Deer dig up gardens, eat tulips, and trample plants. They scrape bark off young trees and decimate backyard greenery, all in their quest to find food. Bambi is a beautiful creature, but he can be very detrimental to a garden.
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Even Deeper Roots for Friendship Garden
Remy Tumin
In May, Richard (RJ) Cage and his two sons built a handicap accessible vegetable garden at the Farm Institute. They used old barn wood to create the raised bed, making sure it was tall enough for wheelchair users to be able to lean over and pick crops easily. Over the summer more than 10 participants from the Seven Hills Foundation, a year-round day program for adults with developmental disabilities, worked in the garden two to three times a week.
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