Friday, July 20, 2007

Bright Days, Daylily Days!

Friday, July 20, 2007

This mornings' walk with Karl, the wonder dog, was brief as the rains continued to pound down on us. Now two hours later, there is a slow drizzle as the sun creeps up from Peacham Pond to chase away the clouds and bring drying to the saturated earth. This is such a contrast to what is going on in other parts of America where the forest fire index has reached new highs.

Today begins Daylily Days here at Vermont Flower Farm. This is time we designate for folks to join us in seeing new-to-us varieties and thousands of pots amounting to hundreds of different plants. As I have mentioned before, Gail loves older varieties so "new" to her might mean something that was registered or released to the market 7-8-9 years ago. Her choices, however, are impeccable and the pricing is most always in the $10-$15 range, with a few plants on either side of that. Daylilies are indestructible and their color and bloom period are worthy of your investment.

I cannot stop talking about hostas because the weather has cooperated for a plant that too few in Vermont know about. Our display gardens contain hundreds of varieties and despite selling thousands so far this year (no exaggeration!!) we still have 150-180 varieties available for sale. If you don't get a chance to stop by, then you really don't know how great our selection and display gardens are. I have not been able to keep up with the web site over the past couple years so a visit is almost a must. If you happen to be looking for something you don't see on the site, e-mail me. Just like our daylilies, we don't maintain the newest varieties until their pricing is reasonable to what we feel people will pay.

If you look closely at these pictures you'll notice some are current versions of gardens on our
Vermont Flower Farm site. Go to the page entitled Stone Steps: A Garden Journey and you'll be able to see how the walkway to the lower garden has changed over the past 4 years. I'm really proud of the transpiration despite the fact that Green Mountain Power saw fit to cut down some maples that provided shade and one that they "trimmed" has since died too.

The standing stones in the lower garden are becoming the attention grabber I knew they would be when Gail and I had Kevin Hudson help us Kubota-ize them into the ground with his tractor in the year 2000. The epimedium circles around the base of each stone are maturing nicely. The backdrop of Lilium superbum, Hosta 'Tall Boy', Hosta 'Lakeside Cha Cha', Lilium henryi and various aruncus and rodgersias are now maturing too so that an 8 foot tall color display with plants of lesser heights should begin to show color any day now.

If you can possibly stop by and see this garden, I know you'll be pleased you did. Yes, the slugs and snails and weevils have made hostas such as Celebration look like Swiss cheese but the glory of the masses from afar brings awe and encourages even the neophyte gardener what can be accomplished as a low budget, dynamic affair. Hostas rule, and good gardeners with new ideas make it happen.

As I look out the office window I can see daylilies opening to the morning sun. Eeenie Weenie, Golden Chimes, Wayside Greenlamp, Hyperion, Lemon Lollypop, Mauna Loa, Watson Park, Chicago Rainbow....dozens more. I'll get some pictures coming soon but a personal visit to Vermont Flower Farm would be the greatest. Stop by if you can!

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where a gentle wind has begun to dry things as I prepare to head for Burlington. If you do stop by during the summer, consider buying a ticket for a raffle Gail is sponsoring to help support a fall conference on transition for young adult Vermonters with autism. If you know me and Gail, you know autism is a subject very dear to us. With 1 in every 150 newborns diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and with autism currently being "forever", there is no better time to help. If you win the raffle, you win a gift certificate of $100 in hardy plants from Gail. If you don't win the raffle you still win by helping a great cause and feeling good that you care about others.

Great gardening wishes,

George Africa

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