Friday, March 09, 2007

Thoughts of Wild Flowers

Friday March 9, 2007

A busy day here. While Gail was at the Vermont Flower Show, I labored away on a bathroom renovation. I'd rather be installing a new garden than a bathroom as I can get in less trouble moving rocks and soil than electrical wiring and pipes. We've been here 18 years and it's just one of those things that needs attention. Every year I try to update a few things in hopes they will last the next twenty years of my life or at least make it easier for whoever lives here.

Fred the plumber from Cabot was here to help this morning. We work well together and we got a lot done in about four hours. Tomorrow I'll strip out the rest of the sheetrock now that the room is bare and I'll go from there.

Monday Ed from Peacham will be here to replace a window and reframe a wall. Then new insulation and sheetrock follows. Ed's a very meticulous carpenter and the kind of guy I will wait years for because he is so good. The office I am sitting in is an example of the fine work he does.

When Gail returns home I'll be happy to hear about the show. It's tricky in Vermont trying to force flowers to get them ready for a show of this size. I heard from Dave in Stowe a few weeks back. He was forcing peonies. Now there's a tough job! Then there were the greenhouses at Claussens in Colchester where they were forcing hundreds of pots of bulbs. Trees were forced and wild flowers too to go along with the theme "A Walk on The Wild Side".

Even though there is 5 feet of show outside my window, I'm already thinking about spring and the beautiful wildflowers that we have in Vermont. The native hepaticas pictured above have become very popular now and many are hybridizing them for bigger, or smaller flowers, in pinks, blues, purples, stripes, and with and without variegation. These are one of Gail's favorites and they really are nice.

False Salomon Seal is an interesting plant with fist sized blooms in June which are like a million little firecrackers going off. They set seed and begin aging by the time July arrives and change colors on into fall when the berries change from silvery gold to red. This is a nice background plant, very hardy and easy to multiply.

Wild gingers are interesting and are usefull for their leaf foliage. Most people overlook their flowers which arrive early and sometimes are hidden by the fast unfurling leaves. See if you can find one in this picture. They work well when planted along with European Ginger, the domestic variety with the shiny green leaves. The sparkle versus the dull coating of the natives is an interesting match, especially noticed if planted in swaths.

Tiarellas are another nice plant which we know here as foamflowers. I like to ride the Lanesboro Road from the falls in Marshfield Village back around to the Owls Head turn in the spring. There are places along that route as you drive under maple canopies that are lined heavily with them.

I've written and included pictures of trilliums before on my Vermont Gardens site and I have to say they are a favorite. The picture at the start of this piece is Trillium erectum but the undulatum which bloom later and the showly white grandiflorum are plants to grow too. There's nothing like a garden walk where flowers like the ones I am mentioning burst with color and interrupt your journey with a short "look-see".

If you like flowers and especially if you like wildflowers, get to the flower show this weekend. I can't say if anyone forced any wild flowers for the show but Bill Cullina from the New England Wild Flower Society will be on hand for a great lecture. And if you want to know where to purchase some of these native beauties, that information will be available too.

Just thinking about what I missed today makes me wish Gail would hurry up and get home with the news. I asked her to buy me a couple bundles of pussy willows and I can't wait to see what colors she purchased.

Karl the wonder dog is whimpering. It's his signal that it's time for a walk. Guess I better get going.

From the moutain above Peacham Pond where the temperatures of the afternoon are cooling quickly. It's 16.2 right now but shouldn't get close to the -34 in Island Pond last night.

Be well!

George Africa

No comments: