Sunday, April 09, 2006

Almost 8 PM and the light is almost gone. One robin is running across the lower field looking for a last bite. It's been a busy day! I sat here at the computer at 5 this morning watching the sun rise up from the valley. The morning was clear and it had every indication of being the great day it turned out to be.

As I scanned pictures of last year's gardens, I ran across this one of our driveway. It's only a driveway when flowers aren't in season. Beginning about the first week of July when the first lilies begin to bloom and continuing on until about Labor Day, the colors are warm and inviting and pots fill the drive save for a small area we leave to handle 3-4 cars. This picture represents a time we really enjoy at Vermont Flower Farm.

This morning was pleasant but cold to start. Last night's drop in temperature caused the pond to skim over with a fresh layer of ice. As I enjoyed my coffee I caught a glance of a dark brown mink at the edge of the pond. He seemed upset that he couldn't enter the water for a fine trout breakfast but that didn't hurt my feelings. Each spring just as it did late Friday afternoon, a strong wind breaks up the last of the winter ice on the pond. The pieces tinkle as they slide into each other and then they melt away.... only to come again a few more times until May rains warm the water. This is the time we typically see mink or maybe an otter traveling overland. They are fun to watch but as they leave I always wonder how many trout are missing.

Today it was time to uncover the pots we had carried over from last year. There were about 6000 this year, too many according to Gail. In the fall we line up the pots, ten abreast in rows 50-60-70-80 feet long. Then we cover them with a spun fiber insulating blanket and a piece of construction poly to keep the water out. Tree boughs top off the plastic to hold it in place and catch and hold snow to further insulate.

I had started this uncovering project a week earlier but the woods road muddied up quickly and I had to wait for it to dry a bit. Today was a good day to remove the rest of the boughs and errant tree limbs from the bad storm back in December. It took four large loads but the task is done.

My curiosity won't ever leave me alone and I had to uncover the lilies to see how they fared. I curled back a corner of the insulating cloth and the evidence was clear that the vole population must be healthy. Some pots looked as if a strong hand reached straight into the center of the pot and grabbed out the lily bulb and soil. Voles are small but they have an interest in the sweet sugars contained in lily bulbs. I can't say that I like them even though I rarely see them. Why do they eat the most expensive lilies first? Wouldn't a $2 lily bulb taste just as good as a $20 bulb? Guess I'm not a vole. Hope you enjoyed today too!

1 comment:

Sara Hopkins said...

This is the most awesome blog! Your photos are the best. Do you have any of the fall wildflowers in bloom this month? I have been trying to identify herbs here since we arrived in March and came across your page. Thank you for incredible inspiration!
Sara Hopkins
Herbalist and writer