Sunday, June 03, 2007

Late Spring Flowers


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Good morning from Vermont Flower Farm! Wet and foggy but the rain has subsided for a bit and we made it through last evening's storm without any damage. It's 52 degrees out right now and that's 30 degrees cooler than it was as the thunderstorm approached last night. Gail and Alex went to East Montpelier to meet a friend and then planned to go to Barre for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean sequel. She called about 6:30 in fear that we were also in the midst of a bad storm as the electricity was knocked out in Barre, and East Montpelier had the hardest rain and hail storm Gail had ever seen. Luckily for us the storm's fury went some place else and we got by with rain. Two years ago in late July we weren't as lucky and a hail storm shredded the hostas just when they were in their glory. We spent the rest of the summer explaining what had happened to about everyone who visited. Weather patterns are changing and beautiful gardens can be decimated in minutes.

This is a great time for a walk in the garden because so much color is springing forth. Karl the wonder dog and I have already been out and it seems like every wild animal decided they'd get a better breakfast today to compensate for lost time with last evening's wet meal. We did not see a bear but scared a moose, saw two deer and one jack rabbit so that's not bad for a half hour walk out back. Gail saw a bruiser bear last night coming home from Barre. It was crossing the road in the middle of Plainfield as if it owned the town. Just another reminder that bears are everywhere and with cubs they can be a problem. Use care!

Karl was dripping wet and his tail looked skinny after the walk. I grabbed a towel and when he got done shaking I tried to dry him a little more. I knew he'd probably go back to bed as he often does after a morning walk but if I'm not watching, he makes my bed, his bed and I didn't want a dirty, wet bed. Dog's are not always man's best friend. After the walk I go about gardening but Karl refuses to follow suit.


The bleeding hearts are in full bloom now, both the common type and the ever blooming types. This one by the fence is Dicentra spectabilis. It's easy to grow, can be divided in the spring and it makes a super cut flower which too few people use in arrangements. If you want to divide an older plant, do it in the spring. Do some bending-stretching exercises first because they have a tremendous root system. Have a sharp knife ready too.


I don't have a picture this morning of Dicentra formosa 'Luxuriant' but they are in full bloom here too. These bloom several times during the summer and at 12"-15" tall they make a great border plant and look well integrated with woodland plants on tree line perimeters. I have planted some inside the woodland but they really need more sun to do well. One 'alba' planted below the mailboxes on the steps leading to the lower hosta garden has grown so fast this season that I have pulled clumps of it away several times to maintain the visibility of the adjacent hostas. If you visit, you won't be able to avoid finding it.

If you visit us over the next couple days the flowers along your route will be obvious. It's not just the bleeding hearts that are in bloom but the trollius, lupines in the fields, perennial bachelor's buttons, various crab apples and of course the lilacs in all colors. I always equate the first bloom of the lilacs with the hatch of the tiger swallow tail butterflies. The butterflies are in abundance this week. If I was really an entomologist, I'd be happy today because Gail left the back door light on when she came home last night and we have a collection of bugs on the side of the house that's a collectors dream.


Time to get going as the first customers will be here before I know it. I want to pick a nice bouquet of bleeding heart, ferns and trollius for the table. A couple lilacs for fragrance and I'll have a nice start to a better day.

Be well and stop by if you have a minute. If that's not possible, try the 06 Virtual Tour at http:/vermontflowerfarm.com

From the mountain above Peacham Pond were loons have fish for breakfast and a group of naturalists and a trailer of kayaks just passed by. They will meet in half an hour but neither loons nor people know that.

Damp gardening wishes,

George Africa
http://vermontgardens.blogspot.com

2 comments:

Demitra said...

Thanks so much! I have to draw some spring flowers for a poem illustration in school (yes i am young, but who cares?) and these really helped. Beautifu pictures.

Demitra
PS I love to garden, so advice from a gardener, great informative site!

Demitra said...

Thanks so much! I have to draw some spring flowers for a poem illustration in school (yes i am young, but who cares?) and these really helped. Beautifu pictures.

Demitra
PS I love to garden, so advice from a gardener, great informative site!