I wonder when Decoration Day turned into Memorial Day? As a child, I believe it was used interchangeably. I thought of geraniums and cemeteries. Now, after living on the Vineyard for more than four decades, I think of traffic jams and cookouts. My thinking needs an overhaul.
It seems the honoring and memorializing tends towards those who served in our armed forces and gave their lives for our beliefs.
I tried to spend a part of last Monday thinking about all who have gone before and influenced my life.
In the garden world, the bridal wreath spirea always makes its appearance around Memorial Day. It is an old-fashioned shrub not used in newer landscapes. This is not surprising for the seasonal residents. They lose their blooms so quickly. For now, they are striking. There is a particularly lovely row at the Hebrew Center. I noticed another hedge of them on County Road with one lone light pink weigela in the line. It turned my head.
Now that the traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, has increased significantly, I found myself, once again, irritated. People do not seem to have the slightest knowledge of the rules of the road. Why, I wonder, do walkers and runners insist on using the right side of the road? There are folks even pushing baby carriages. In keeping with my attempt at a better attitude, I actually pulled over and thanked a few walkers using the left-hand side, for doing the right thing and valuing their lives. I cannot stop thinking about the poor woman tragically losing her life last summer. Drivers all need to be super careful.
Is there an inordinate amount of pollen this year? I have an annoying cough and itchy eyes. Cars look as if they are plastered with yellow mud. I know everyone thinks we’ve had plenty of rain. How come I have to keep watering my gardens? If we had a nice soaking now, it would rinse everything of the pollen!
The daisies and lupines planted at the old Humphrey homestead at the State Road end of North Road are great. They follow the redbuds blooming. Very nice. My attempts at meadows tend to end in more grass and mugwort than flowers. Oh well, such is life and all the more reason to enjoy everyone’s successes.
It’s probably a week late for this advice for the summer people who come for the big weekend but can’t come back until the third week of June. All those peony buds can be picked and taken back to New York or wherever. They will open in a few days or be held in the fridge for some continual bloom. Thanks to Amira Thoron for that information. She says she buys them at farmers’ markets in the city and they will eventually open. I think they are pretty even when still closed tightly.
The golden rain tree in North Tisbury is blooming. One of these years I should buy one. Many of the viburnums are in bloom as well. The shasta variety is particularly nice.
I spent Memorial Day morning stopping by a few local, just-opened stores. Fiddlehead Farm is back. It is the place for fabulous and interesting cheese, not to mention the produce coming in from the backyard garden.
Prudy Fisher has opened the Nip ’n’ Tuck Farm stand. She has done a great job with the place. I’m sure you have noticed the onions in the front bed? She has more planted all the way up the drive. Hopefully the place will succeed. It is so convenient and has lots of history. I raised my children on her grandfather’s raw milk.
I’m such a hypocrite. I don’t have a computer, on purpose, but make my friend, Marie, look stuff up. We have been using kaolin clay with questionable success. She googled and found it was originally used in apple orchards. Three applications are necessary. It does not kill the bugs but makes them go elsewhere. Supposedly people have been having some luck with the striped cucumber beetle. We have a huge bag of it and hopefully will follow our own advice and use it.
The Republicans ran on job creation in the 2010 midterm elections. So far all we ever hear from them is national debt reduction and antiabortion legislation. Mr. Boehner, where are the jobs? For some reason I can’t get myself upset about the national debt. They’ve been harping about it most of my lifetime. Only when more money comes in will it be reduced. I’ll say it again. I can pinch pennies all I want but I have to have them first. Repeal the Bush tax cuts, end big oil, coal and farm subsidies and tax big corporations to the max if they send jobs overseas. I know I’m naive but I did take an economics course in college. Back in the 50s President Eisenhower taxed the rich a huge percentage of their income. I recall times were good then!