I am the queen of superlatives. I am fond of always, never, best, and worst. Isn’t the copper beech in North Tisbury the most beautiful tree ever? I swear it gets more spectacular every year. I attempted to figure out the exact cultivar in Michael Dirr’s Manual of Woody Landscape Plants but I lost my patience going through his list of possibles. I couldn’t even figure out if it was an American or European Beech. Mr. Dirr’s additional notes on a species are helpful. His admiration, or the lack thereof, is always apparent. He also quotes several experts. One calls the beech the “Beau Brummel” of trees — clannish and fastidious as to soil and atmosphere, a magnificent specimen casting dense shade which does not permit undergrowth. If the word noble could be applied to only one tree it would be the beech.
After admiring the tree last week I came home with a new appreciation for trees. Because I have lived on the same property for almost forty years I have watched considerable growth of my own trees and bushes. I’ve decided to really appreciate them since my perennial beds have become a tangle of neglect. At least trees rise above it all. I have several that I purchased at the Felix Neck seedling sale years ago as tiny babies. They are now as tall as my house.
I always love the fact that Polly Hill planted the arboretum in her fifties. Since she lived to be 100 she was able to witness the fruits of her labors. We should all be so lucky.
My son, Jeremiah, took the not-too-subtle hint in last week’s column and brought me a Redbud for Mother’s Day. It has already leafed-out so I’ll need to wait until next spring to see it bloom.
My son is a fan of trivia, and we somehow got on the subject of gold. He told me that one of the properties of the metal is its ability to be stretched extremely thin. The state house dome in Boston is covered with a mere 4 ounces of gold. I totally digress, but found that trivia fascinating.
The vegetable garden is coming along nicely. I am determined to plant something every day. This past week I put in celeriac, fennel, leeks, carrots, beets, and early Jersey Wakefield cabbages. I’m still debating about my tomatoes and eggplants. If only I had a couple of clones. I do have some workers on the job sites to boss around. I love that. I need a laser pointer and a lawn chair to complete the picture.
I am trying to finish last season’s harvest from my freezer. I was pleased to find several containers of peppers and eggplant. I had sauteed them in olive oil. They hold up well in the freezer when prepared that way. When making spaghetti sauce for children, however, I take the hand-held blender to any vegetable chunks. They are never the wiser and I am smug knowing they are eating vegetables they hate or to which they are psychologically allergic.
I was happy to see President Obama take a stand on the same-sex marriage issue. For the life of me I’ll never figure out this controversy. I just cannot bring myself up into someone else’s business. I’m surprised that the hands-off government, libertarian types get so passionate about someone else’s rights. They somehow are threatened. What does that say about their own morality?
The other big political brouhaha was the bullying incident perpetuated by Mitt Romney, I do not think a person’s distant past should be up for discussion. I know my sometimes questionable teenage behavior needs to stay back there in the 1960’s.
The telling thing about the incident from Mr. Romney is his supposed memory lapse and his referral to attacking another person as a “prank.” Then he offered the typical politician’s apology. “If someone was offended . . . I’m sorry.” He may as well have said “mistakes were made.” Why can’t the man simply say, I was wrong, bullying is wrong, and I would never condone that behavior in my own sons. I’m not proud of myself. Let’s have a national conversation about intolerance and bullying.
Oh well, Lynne, dream on!