By LYNNE IRONS
Because it has been a particularly cool June, it’s hard to believe we have approached the Fourth of July. The gardens and lawns are lush but seem behind. None of the annuals have taken off with the exception of allysum, I love that plant. It reseeds like crazy and is extremely fragrant, earning its name of sweet allysum. I seed it in large trays and just rip off clumps to fill in empty spots in window boxes, whiskey barrels and borders. It softens the appearance of other plants, covers bare ground and adds a Victorian flair to a bed.
This is the third year I need to comment about the wonderful purple rose on the State Road side of the corner of the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. Every year I vow to knock on the door and beg a few cuttings, but I forget when it stops blooming.
The kousa dogwood are looking great. Someone has a row of them in the Ocean Heights area on the way to Edgartown on the left-hand side of the road, peeking over a fence. They are way more substantial than the earlier-blooming cornus Florida variety. I’m told that cultivar suffers from a disease here in New England; one would be wise to purchase the kousa instead. It is more reliable and blooms a good part of the summer. It also has attractive red fruits in the fall. I am fond of its shape. There is a lovely one at the parking lot of the Hebrew cemetery in Vineyard Haven.
I was reading an article by Jim Hightower in the Hightower Lowdown about pot pies. He makes scathing comments about the food conglomerates that scavenge the globe for cheap ingredients from low-wage nations which have no food safety regulations. The New York Times reported that the various food giants concede that their supply chain is so far-flung that they don’t even know who is supplying their ingredients, let alone if those suppliers are screening for pathogens. The makers of Banquet, Swanson, Nestlé’s and Hungry Man have admitted they can no longer ensure the safety of their products. After reading the article I thought I would talk about how easy it is to put together a pot pie. The use of regular pie dough is one method. I prefer a shallow baking dish with various leftovers — chicken, peas, potatoes and a bit of thickened stock. I top it off with a big ole dollop of biscuit dough. I do not bother cutting the butter into the flour. I just mix salt, baking powder and flour with cream, stirring only slightly. Now that I have started picking peas I am about to toss a few packages into the freezer for use in pies this winter.
I added another layer of hay to my potato plants. They will produce on the stem if it is covered and protected from the sun. Remember it is unwise to eat a green spot on a potato. It is formed from exposure to light. Potatoes, being members of the deadly nightshade family, have poisonous leaves. That fact never stopped deer from taking an occasional munch.
Thank you, by the way, to Jean Andrews for the bottle of Bobex left at my front door. I will put it to use.
Why all the brouhaha from the Senate Republicans wanting President Obama to get involved in the Iranian situation? Let’s go over our history, shall we? In 1973 our CIA interfered with Iran’s democratically elected government and helped reinstate the Shah. Ask Terry Anderson and the other hostages in the late 70s how well that worked for us. I will be the first to admit that I am way farther left than our new president. He seems to be getting it from both sides. To quote the cook in Driving Miss Daisy, “I wouldn’t be in his place if the sweet Lord Jesus came down and asked me himself!”