It is remarkable that we have had so little rain in the past two months and the perennials still look so wonderful. The newly planted baby annuals, not so much! I’m sure the good amount of snow last winter has something to do with it.
I have a property with no irrigation. The beds are completely dusty. The lawn actually crunches when we walk on it.
Even when the Weather Channel promises 80 per cent chance of rain, it seems to miss us. You’ll never hear me complain on a rainy day.
There is plenty of good food ready to be picked in the vegetable garden. I have tons of kohlrabi. I peel it, slice it thin and dress it with a homemade vinaigrette and enjoy it raw.
My friend Sharlee moved out to southern Indiana in the mid 1970s. She and her young family were set to farm a large parcel on the Kentucky border. She asked at the local feed store for some kohlrabi seeds. The clerk finally interpreted her Yankee accent and countered with, “You mean collar rabbi.”
It turned out to the be the coldest winter in over a century, with even the Ohio River freezing. She and the children hightailed it back to the Vineyard by January.
The multiflora rose is in full bloom. It has insinuated itself all along the roadways. It can be very aggressive. Some years ago a group of us had a community garden off the Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road. We had the bright idea to plant a hedge of the aforementioned rose to discourage neighborhood dogs and other four-legged pests. I pity the poor subsequent owners of the property. They are probably still trying to rid themselves of it.
The kousa have outdone dogwoods this year. How about the two different colors at the corner of Morrice Florist?
The Korean dogwood has been widely planted in the past several years as the related old-fashioned dogwood (cornus florida) has become susceptible to disease. It blooms later after it leafs out. It produces a showy red fruit in the fall. I sometimes have to cut a few branches that become so heavily laden with fruit I fear for them.
I’ve been thinking about fashion in the landscape world. In traveling some of the newer neighborhoods, there seems to be certain popular landscape plants. The endless summer hydrangea is one of them. It seems every newly built home has dozens of them. They are certainly lovely and oh-so-reliable. Blooming on new growth is a big plus in our uncertain spring climate. Many times I have had the buds of old-fashioned nikko blue freeze-dry after emerging. The major bloom is then lost.
I must admit, I have become rather sad to lose some old favorites. Occasionally an article catches my eye and I clip and save it. The Home section of the May 15 New York Times had such an article. Entitled “You’re Planting That Old Thing?” it was a guide to horticultural has-beens. Predictably, I have nearly every one of them. The Dr. Van Fleet rose is no longer planted as it only flowers once in the spring. If you see it flowering, it is well worth it.
The dame’s rocket is now considered invasive as it escapes the planted area. Again, one of my favorites. My children loved to collect the “money” seed pods in the fall.
The article goes on about spirea. It takes up space with only a little flower. How heartily I must disagree. I find them lovely and structural in a mixed border. Timely shearing will produce three flowerings in one season. Many times I’ve mentioned the bridal wreath cultivar, which is rarely planted anymore.
I suppose many of the plants mentioned in the article have gone for good — horticultural poodle skirts, if you will.
Even the poppy is disparaged with this description “Seeds rot under modern watering regimens.” Guess they haven’t seen my large stand of Lauren’s Grape opiums. Absolutely breathtaking.
I wish I could clone myself — naturally, a younger and stronger me . There is so much to do and the human being has built-in limits. This long daytime of year is the worst. I never come inside and stop in a reasonable fashion. Oh, well. I’ll rest when I’m dead!
I’ve been following the on-going crisis in Iraq. Every time I complain I think about ordinary life there. Say what you will about our government, but we do have stability in our daily lives, for which I am eternally grateful!