Thursday, May 04, 2006

Misty May Morn'

May has arrived and added confusion to the weatherman's work. It's been no lower than 51.5 degrees all night. At 3 a.m. when the dog wanted to go out, the warm mist was impressive, and made it difficult for the light from the power pole lamp to shine through.

The dog was more occupied by bouncing frogs, lazy toads and nightcrawlers everywhere than he was in doing what I suspected he had us out there for. He walked cautiously, holding his nose high as if trying to home in on a strange scent of something that did not belong around the house. Spring rains encourage many animals to travel and our home is situated in the middle of a historical animal trail. Last evening a neighbor stopped his truck in the middle of the road and got out to say a bear had just crossed in front of him by the upper mailboxes. I inquired if it was a "good one". He replied that it was young judging from its prominent ears. Perhaps the dog caught a smell of the bear looking for our birdfeeders, absent from their winter stand for a week now.

It's been a busy week for us at Vermont Flower Farm. I've been busy away from here but Gail and a couple helpers braved the rain and wind and plugged away at the plants. New orders have arrived and are potted save for a couple more boxes of hostas. Now we are settled on digging and potting from the fields and lining up and refreshing last year's plants. Most overwintered very well but the red voles raised havoc again with some of the potted bulbs and a few of the ferns.

Spring is an exciting time when each day is different from the previous one. Sunday morning I looked out the window towards the trout pond and thought for a minute a dog had jumped in for a swim. There was great and wavy commotion for such a little pond. Then at the far end, a large male otter climbed out of the water, shook for a brief moment and headed into the woods. They are a masterful critter in the water but my mind was more on the trout count than the otter. I couldn't tell if he had lunch at my expense.

During Friday and Saturday a male osprey circled overhead, eyeing the pond and trying to decide whether to dive in for a meal. He never did which is a surprise as the trout are plentiful and the water in most places isn't that deep. I enjoy watching him in flight and hope he returns.

The woods are changing quickly. Various ferns are growing by the minute with the recent rain and warm weather. The hellebores are nice and remind me I need to plant more. I'll snap a photo soon and share their beauty. I do wish they didn't hang down so much but that's their nature. The Canadense and European Gingers are refreshing themselves with new leaves, the arisaemas are sprouting high and the baneberries are well started. And then there are the epimediums, just such an enjoyable flower quite unknown to many. E. rubrum is out now and the multitudes of dainty flowers slows the garden journey to a halt. They remind me of the many varieties left to come.

Today I'll pot a dozen tomatoes and put them in the greenhouse to grow larger. Piles of leaves have to be moved out of the gardens and the rest of the hosta pots have to be freed of weeds before they catch hold, fertilized and lined up for the season. Yesterday's delivery was a 20 X 30 foot shade house which will serve to protect the smaller hostas from late August temperatures. Sure wish some good friend would arrive and put it together for me.

That's all for now. Good gardening wishes from the hill above Peacham Pond!

George Africa

1 comment:

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