Best Gardening Tip EVER, from the Heart of the Home! MUSICA. (a little garden music, think: swaying happy dandelions: ♥)
I’ve always liked dandelions. I like the wishes you can make on them before blowing all the seeds into the wind. The yellow flowers are pretty and perky — they make our lawn look like a wildflower meadow. Wild dandelion greens and flowers, unsprayed of course, are a delicious nutritious addition to salads too.
But everything in moderation, and “wild” is the operative word. Seems like we get more and more of them every year. Sooner or later, those charming yellow flowers form a puff ball made up of a zillion seeds that are dispersed, with no help from me, in the slightest breeze. What you see in this photo is just one small part of what we are facing now! The feathery part of the puff acts like a parachute which gently guides the seeds to the ground (heaven forbid one should crash-land) and the next year, you get MORE. I like SOME yellow flowers in my garden, but I’m not crazy about having a lawn made up of dandelion greens with their eighty foot roots as-thick-as-carrots you can never get out. I actually have all the dandelions I ever want. I’ve gone out to try to collect the little furry heads before they can disperse, a terribly nasty job that I would not wish on anyone, plus it doesn’t work. Yesterday, talking to Joe, in a moment of Morning Science, brilliance occurred! I had to show you! But suddenly I’m thinking that maybe everyone isn’t familiar with Morning Science, so before I tell you his brilliant idea, for those who don’t know, here’s how I described Morning Science in my AUTUMN book:
So now you know. We are obviously not scientists, but we do like to ask questions, we’re always trying (weakly) to figure things out. So the question of what to do with the field of dandelions came up. And this time Joe outdid himself. He said, “Get the dust buster.”
At first I laughed, the dust buster? He was suggesting we vacuum the seeds right off the stems! You can’t do that. But then I thought about it and went and got the dust buster. See the stem of the dandelion leaning into it? It wants to go in there! I just put the tip of the vacuum next to it, and it jumped in! Once I actually did three flowers at once! Rather interesting don’t you think?
Voila! I mean Voi-friggin’-LA! Can you believe that? De-nuded, in one fell swoop. So I went and did the entire area.
We went from this . . .
to this! I missed a bit here and there, a few weren’t quite ready to let go, but see all the little stems? That, plus more, took me about 10 minutes of extremely satisfying vacuuming. Then we mowed, everything smelled like heaven, and the stems all disappeared. Yes, we will still have plenty of dandelion leaves for our salads, but next year’s crop just got wiped out by the two geniuses and Morning Science! Well, one genius and the other person that hangs around with him.♥
So, there you go, garden hint of the day — I bet you never heard that one before!
Every day now something else blooms here in my Martha’s Vineyard garden. The tulips are still going strong, and now the clematis is blooming on the picket-fence garden. I love this plant, it’s taken a long time to get established here, but I think we finally made it.
Isn’t it romantic? Clematis is a vine that comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. This one is Clematis Montana, var. rubens ‘Pink Perfection.” They like their feet (roots and bottom of plant) in the shade, and their heads in the sun.
I have to go soon. I have a meeting at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore here on Main Street — a famous little independent bookstore here on the island — the same store where I had my very first book signing all those years ago. I’m going to meet with the owner and show her our book! (Excited! What shall I wear?) Kellee has printed it all out for me now, and although the pages are only printed on one side and not bound, everything is there, it looks beautiful and it gives me something good for show and tell. But I have a quick question for you before I go:
See this? My girlfriend sells these bracelets and the little hand-blown Venetian glass beads that go on them. I had never seen one before but she tells me they are very popular and that many people collect the beads, which come in a huge number of colors and designs. They collect them the same way they collect charms, when they travel, or have a life event, like a new grandchild or a graduation. She says it’s the “new charm bracelet.” (This is the only charm bracelet I’ve ever had … so far!)
The beads come in a sweet little box, all with different quotes — I think they would make a lovely gift. Here’s the bead she will be selling this summer for Vineyard Haven, our town on the island. Her website is not up yet, but when it is, if you like this bead, I’ll let you know where you can get it.
They can be manufactured with any words on the side. She thinks I should have a bead made that says Love and Kisses on one side, and Susan Branch on the other. Or something like that. Or all hearts.
But since I never saw them before, it’s hard for me to understand if anyone would want them? Do you have a bracelet like this? The beads sell for around $30, so I figured out, for a bracelet like this
It would cost around $350 for all the beads including the bracelet itself. Of course you would gather the beads one at a time, so it wouldn’t be all at once (unless someone wanted to do it that way), you’d just get them at special times. I really think they’re gorgeous. And the beads aren’t all in blue — there are other colors — my girlfriend has all blue because hers are all Martha’s Vineyard beads, and with the ocean all around, the roses and green fields and trees, you can see it all reflected here. So, my question is, have you seen them before? Are they your cup of tea or not? Am I the last person on the block to know about them?
So, off I go, but I will leave you with one last lovely picture … this wild-looking parrot tulip. I was talking to my dad on the phone yesterday. We were talking about you, and the beautiful comments you left on the Mother’s Day post (like all the others, by the way). He was saying how NICE it is to go into the comments and read them, that when he is done, he feels like all’s right with the world. I feel exactly the same way. Each of the comments is meaningful, but when you put them all together, they’re even more powerful, it’s the accumulation of the love, and the connection to things that really matter. ♥ I just wanted to say thank you for making my blog such a loving, funny, thoughtful, heartfelt place to be. You are the perfect example of what’s right with the world.♥
Hopelessly devoted to you, bye for now, xoxo, me