I want to say that fall might be the whole reason for living on the Vineyard. We have had a series of beautiful days; the humidity has finally lifted, nights are cool for sleeping and I can find parking spaces.
The garden is putting in its final effort. I am actually preparing meals again. I’ve mentioned before the sorry state of my life mid-summer; to spend a day canning tomatoes and then sending out for pizza simply boggles the mind.
I spent last Saturday afternoon in Cambridge. I felt as if I were in Italy on some of the side streets. In the tiny slots outside the houses people were growing tomatoes, basil, collards and some wonderful assortments of shrubs and perennials. They didn’t take the salt-laden wind from Irene so the leaves on trees were still green and intact. I was actually covetous of the small gardens; they seemed completely manageable. I, on the other hand, always take on more than humanly possible. More is better has been a recurring theme throughout my life.
I’ve never been crazy about the Montauk daisy but I did see some beautiful stands of them on the Woods Hole Road. I have found them to be too woody, unpleasant smelling and a favorite of deer. I know landscape architects love to use them for their structure. I imagine if they were cut back often, they would perform better for me.
It is worth a trip to Vineyard Gardens to see the fall crocuses blooming. I’ve planted them many times but must plant over them as I never seem to have them come along for me. If you want saffron, that crocus will bloom in the fall. The tiny red threads are picked for cooking.
The crepe myrtle are still blooming. There is a nice white one at the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank in West Tisbury. I am fond of the purple one — it reminds me of lilac. Speaking of lilacs, I purchased a rebloomer at Eden in July and, sure enough, it is blooming. We’ll see if it comes back reliably next spring.
I read an article recently, memory fails me as to where. It said now is the time to plant spinach for a spring harvest. I think that must make sense. No matter how early I plant in spring, my crop seems to bolt and go to seed quickly. Naturally, I ran right out to SBS and bought several seed packets. I planted them all. They germinated in three days.
Now is the time to begin dividing perennials. I swear I have clumps of phlox as big as my dining room table. Daylilies, irises and monarda are just a few plants that can be cut apart and shared with friends now.
I finally purchased some garlic bulbs. Several of the catalogues were sold out already. I’m not quite ready to begin planting but soon enough the days will get away from me. Last year I planted a few elephant variety and loved the results. Some of the individual cloves were as large as ping-pong balls. They are much milder than either the soft-necked or hard-necked types. They are awesome in the crock pot with some meat item and potatoes. I rarely see them in the market (not that I look!).
Rick Perry is fast becoming a flash in the pan — hopefully. Haven’t we already had the experience of the arrogant macho man from the state “uh” Texas?
I came across a quote from Dwight Eisenhower in an article by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Gene Lyons. This is from a letter written by President Eisenhower (a Republican) in 1954 to his ultra-conservative brother Edgar: “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs,” Ike wrote, “you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H.L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” Poor Ike would be rolling in his grave by now.