I am like a little pit bull. It is difficult, if not impossible, for me to let go of something once I sink my teeth into it. This certainly is true in my relationship with my gardens. I will continue planting the same things in the same way long past usefulness or reason.
This behavior spills over into other areas of my life. To wit: two weeks ago I mentioned my Dad’s practice of house shingle preservation. I hope not to belabor the point but even my correction was inaccurate. By “used” motor oil I mean oil which previously served in the engine of an automobile or farm tractor. This would be Appalachian recycling. I guess my Dad could be called a Libertarian in its true meaning. He never heeded warnings of government or health officials. Please do not take this as either criticism or admiration of my Dad, I’m just stating a fact. I think I got dropped in my family from Mars. I go on endlessly about the dangers of chemicals in the environment. I’ve been known to take on Roundup fairly often.
That said, I have to comment about a particularly beautiful, but early spring. My crocuses only lasted moments. The several days with above average temperatures simply cooked them. I remember a few years ago when my tulips were in full and glorious bloom, and an unusual ninety degree afternoon ruined them in short order.
I have repeatedly mentioned the out-of-control vole population in my big vegetable garden. They are back at it. I think they happily multiplied under the weed mat and mulch all winter. I’ve noticed that only the garlic beds are safe. Someone wrote me last fall that garlic was a deterrent to the pests and now I wish I had placed it around each and every raised bed. As it is, I am crowding all my cole crops into the rows of garlic. So far I have set out kale, broccoli, and radicchio. I also am transplanting onion seedlings around rows of other transplants I hope to protect from the rodents. Anyone know a good, unemployed Pied Piper?
Monday night it was cold and windy. I have a rhetorical question about wind chill. When I was young the weather reports never spoke about wind chill and what a certain temperature “feels like,” at various speeds of wind. I understand that wind is, at times, devastating to tiny plants but is it actually any colder? If it is 28 degrees, regardless of wind chill, it is still 28 degrees. I wonder about all this since I am responsible for the lives of tiny transplants and flats set out from a protective greenhouse. Truth be told, I did not run about covering or moving anything Monday evening. I had a nice supper with my family instead. I served the rest of my winter carrots. They were a big hit. We made fun of their various shapes. Violet pointed out that hers looked like the lower peninsula of Michigan. Several had legs and knobs but all were sweet and delicious. I also picked a huge amount of wintered-over kale. It is beginning to go to seed. I have new babies coming along ready for picking in a matter of weeks.
I’ve been enjoying all the forsythia. There is a lovely stand between the Bailey and DeBlase properties just next to the house at the bottom of Edgartown Road. The magnolia soulangeana is fully in bloom at that property. The forsythia are nicely pruned; all airy and free of large spent branches. People tend to make the mistake of hacking a forsythia into shape as if it were a privet. It needs pruning from the ground level. The tips should not be cut. It wants a spraying, fountain effect.
I’m crazy about the tiny daffodils tête-à-tête. I always mean to order some when I admire them in the spring but never remember by October. There are some adorable ones on Spring street on the right just before Susan Branch’s house past the topiary boxwood elephant.
Mitt Romney is a moral coward. He never stands by or defends his remarks. He changes them to suit the audience. I wish he would take credit for the Massachusetts health care law instead of pandering to the Tea Partiers. We would not be waiting for a Supreme Court decision on the individual mandate if we had gone medicare-for-all single-payer in the first place. Oh right! That would have cut into profits for insurance companies.