Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tool Time Reminder

Tueday, May 15, 2007

Way past 10 PM and gardening chores never seem to cease. I made a mistake to stretch out to watch the news just after supper and woke up at 9:30 in time to be reminded by Gail that I hadn't dug the hostas for two orders that have to go out tomorrow. Good thing our only neighbors are used to flashlights in the garden and night time expletives when I drop things in the dark.

Tonight's digging involved the last of the Raspberry Sorbet for this year and six American Sweetheart. I always run out of Raspberry Sorbet because it's a later flowering hosta with a great purple color that lasts. I'm going to have to spend some time and buy in a bunch and squirrel it away until I have a better supply. If you don't have one in your collection, buy it up when you see it.

One thing I do on these night time missions is leave tools where I shouldn't. This picture of my old spade fork laying in the Lysimachia nummularis 'aurea' represents poor behavior which I will regret. I know other gardeners are lazy about their tools too. Flat on the ground is a good way to ruin a wooden handled tool in a year or less. If you have to leave tools in the garden, buy the cheaper, plastic coated handles. These are typically guaranteed to last three years which means they will probably last two years but the cost is a little less than a good wooden handled tool.

We haven't had rain for over two weeks and today things changed a little. Although people at work made contrary comments, I think everyone knows how dry it is and how high the forest fire threat is. My man-made (that would be me) bog garden has begun to shrink and the vernal pool which usually is full of water into July has dropped two feet. When I cleaned out the little frog pond near the ligularia display garden I safely removed the various frogs eggs to a bucket and transported them to the vernal pool. I noticed most have hatched but now I have a bigger problem with the water going out of sight earlier than expected. Four days of good rain would make me happy.

Spring chores continue here at Vermont Flower Farm. We had a great planting crew this year and finished up most of the work on Sunday. Gail and I are now digging plants from the garden and I have a lot of hosta dividing to do. With this rain I have to hustle because it's a bunch easier to divide hosta when they're first out of the ground than when they begin to unfurl. Yesterday I got the lower hosta garden limed and fertilized but it is far from what I'd like it to be. I have decided you can tell what kind of a gardener you were last year by the number and assortment of weeds you have growing this year. From this springs perspective, I was too busy last year and I will pay this year.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where 55 degrees is perfect encouragement for the frog pond chorus which I hope will sing me back to sleep.

Good gardening from the tired gardener!

George Africa

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