Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back in Vermont

It's still clouded over here at Vermont Flower Farm, 57 degrees, with moisture drifting through the air. It doesn't look like it will last very long but for now the heavy dew adds interest to the morning. Spider webs become temporary garden accents. Outside my office window, hanging tightly between the two tall mullein spires I pictured a few weeks back, is a fine spider web. It's anchored diagonally to two spireas and one rudbeckia, both about 6 feet away. Makes me wonder how the spider did this. Maybe the engineers who designed the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory
in Maine studied spider web construction too.

When the fog burns off, the early fall colors will become more prominent. Right now the various native asters are beginning to display. The New England and the Purple Stemmed Asters might catch our attention first but the Heart Leaved, and the Flat Topped Asters are also nice. The Whorled Aster pictured above has been blooming for a while now. Although smaller, it makes a great start to a bouquet for Gramma when clutched tighly in a little girl's soft hand.

I took a quick walk this morning with Karl to try to organize my thoughts and figure out what deserved the most attention. If you haven't met Karl before, it's understandable. He's a very non-customer/visitor oriented dog until he sizes you up and has met you a few times. He's a Standard Chihuahua and he protects us like there's no tomorrow. He has met a black bear face to face with Gail and has also met Mrs. Moose and her young one. Things like this encourage his curious nature. When on a walk in the woods or down the road, however, so much as a passing scent or recent animal track brings him to a complete halt with all four feet planted like concrete.

A few weeks back Karl assumed one of these entrenched positons in the middle of the road. I very ungently pulled his lead and he slipped his collar about the same time as a car came down the road. Michelle has a way with him and she brought his running behavior to a halt with her gentle voice and quick hands. He melted into submission, with a waggy tail suggesting "Boy, that was fun!" I wish he wouldn't do that but he is obstinate like others I have seen here.

I need to get the hoses going on the lower hosta garden, and then will split some more wood. My sore back forced me to purchase a log splitter and I can already see I should have made the purchase some years ago.

The garden tractor needs a new drive belt installed, there are daylilies to trim and more peonies to dig and split. Leaves are already dropping and the lower daylily nursery needs one more tilling before fall. Guess I'll be busy. Perhaps you will be too.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where the monarch butterflies are hatching like we've never seen before.

Gardening wishes,

George Africa

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