On some of the job sites I have been busy deadheading. The Nepeta and Blue Queen salvia both have seen better days. Both will rebloom nicely in a few weeks if cut now. The Nepeta can take a severe cut but needs to be watered heavily right away. It will look pretty sad for a week but do not be discouraged. You will be pleased soon enough.
I take the Blue Queen salvia down to a V where the two new shoots look promising. The plant looks fairly acceptable with spent blooms but will not bloom again unless you take the time to remove those old blossoms.
The spirea will also rebloom. The Little Princess can take a clipping with hedge shears whereas the larger dark reds (Anthony Waterer) can be done with some Felcos or sturdy scissors. They are pathetic with all dead blossoms and will stay that way unless you have at it with clippers.
I say all this because I do it at the work places — at home not so much. I’m lucky to give things an occasional nip. We’re talking the cobbler’s children’s feet here!
I swear I need to devote several columns to bugs. I’m sick of them. Why do I bother trying to go organic? My poor squashes and cucumbers! With the kaolin clay and diatomaceous earth it may be almost imperceptibly better than last year.
How about the ticks this year? I don’t believe I have picked more off myself in the past 40 years of Vineyard living. One was attached to my eyelid, for Pete’s sake! The blacklegged or deer tick is truly the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Almost everyone has actually had Lyme disease or taken the round of antibiotics as a preventative.
Once again I let the flea situation get the better of me. I treated all the animals and would be vacuuming like crazy if the vacuum didn’t break this week. It was a 40-year-old Electrolux. Wonder if it’s still under warranty?
One more time I shall quote Paul Simon, “Why am I so soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard?”
The ground-hugging John Creech sedum is blooming in the Vineyard Haven Post office bench boxes. That is a wonderful plant for patios. It takes full sun and doesn’t need much water.
It also is so close to the ground the deer have trouble munching it. They sure like other sedums.
I will spare the usual Independence Day commentary and end with the lyrics to the National Hymn. It is rarely heard or sung these days. The words were written by Daniel Roberts in the late 1800s.
“God of our fathers, whose almighty hand, Leads forth in beauty all the starry band; Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies Our grateful songs before thy throne arise.
“Thy love divine hath led us in the past; In this free land by thee our lot is cast; Be thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay, Thy word our law, thy paths our chosen way.
“From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence, Be thy strong arm our ever sure defense; Thy true religion in our hearts increase, Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
“Refresh thy people on their toilsome way; Lead us from night to never ending day; Fill all our lives with love and grace divine; And glory, laud and praise be ever thine.”
Happy birthday, America.
Next week I’ll probably be criticizing you again.