Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day Wishes

July 4, 2007

59 degrees here at Vermont Flower Farm. The sun is bright and there is a quietness that is pleasant and deserved after last evening's fireworks at Peacham Pond. The property owners seem to muster up quite a display every year that starts before the 4th and seems to lag on for days until the next holiday arrives. Some years there are more "holidays" than others.

Karl the wonder dog and I headed out early to check the gardens for intruders and enjoy the peace that prevails until Roger puts out the morning papers at the Marshfield General Store. People know when the papers make their way to the rack on the porch and the cars start heading for town, with Stan F. always leading the way. Stan always drives a reasonable speed but others have to rush everywhere they go and appear to enjoy making clouds of dust.

The gardens were absent of deer tracks and that was nice to see. I sprayed the hostas with Tree Guard last night as many of them are coming into bloom and it's very difficult for me to hybridize without the flowers. Deer like hostas and they really like to eat the flowers. There must be some kind of sweetness there that translates to "deer candy" as the flowers are the first to go. For whatever reason, no deer last night.

As we worked our way back up the steps by the road, Stan returned from town with his paper. He stopped and rolled down the car window and wished me a Happy 4th. I was glad he stopped because he is an authority on loons and I had a loon question. I told him about spotting an older male in the back cove. It seemed to come and go but spent a lot of time there. I wondered if it was protecting a female still on a nest. That theory made no sense this late but I wanted to ask.

Stan replied that the chicks are hatched and factually one new mother went by yesterday with two new family members. Stan said as long as a loon is diving it's probably fine. When they lose oil in their feathers, buoyancy becomes a problem and so does life. The big loon appears free of any fishing line or sinkers and does in fact leave the cove to dive and feed so I guess it's fine. There are many people like Stan around. If you have a question, there's someone close by who has the answer. That's nice!

Just before the first of July every year, some large allium Gail bought me years ago begin to bloom. I don't remember the name now but they are large globes of color, the size of grapefruits and upon inspection they look like 4th of July fireworks going off. They are great flowers because they last a long time and even as then begin to form little green seed pods, the drying flower heads are attractive. The plant industry is mass producing these now and there are many purple hybrids out there. They are fairly inexpensive and worthy of your garden.

As Karl and I slowly moved up the steps, a chipmunk or red squirrel must have run between the hostas and Karl and me. He about pulled my shoulder out of joint as he acted more like a Ford Interceptor police car, in his appointed role of garden warden. I won't mention the hosta leaves that are now permanently rearranged.

As I stopped to catch my breath and rub my arm, I noticed how nice the red baneberries look The red berried plants are first to color up, then the pink and a bit later the white. The white are known as doll's eyes from the days of good kid's dolls and small glass or porcelain eyes. It was really too bright to snap a picture but here is an idea how nice they look until late July-early August dormancy. For the perimeter of a woodland garden, they are special and will draw attention and comments from many. I hope I can remember to take some good pictures this week as I always want to use them on a holiday card but have yet to get that "perfect" shot.

Time to get going here. Many chores before customers begin to arrive. The weatherman has been cautious about today so I expect that people will be out and about early today. I have to be out there too. Enjoy your family and friends but never forget what independence is and what it means to live in America. For me the final step is independence in a state as beautiful as Vermont.

Independent gardening wishes,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener


Cindy Sue Causey said...

Hi, George and Karl the WD..

Been sporadically following you all for quite some time as Google delivers your posts re the key phrase "wonder dog"..

This latest makes me homesick for a place I've never been.. With my youngest sister having just returned sharing similar blurbs from a trip to New York last week, make that doubly so.. :grin:

Looking forward to reading many more..

Peace and best wishes..

Cindy Sue and George, the Wonder Dog
Talking Rock, Georgia

George Africa said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Cindy Sue. Vermont is a special place and retunring here from even a short visit out of state gives a warm feeling of peaceful welcome. There is no place like it.

Gardens abound and they add to the peace. You can find an authority on about every plant going if you just look.

If your roadmap includes Vermont, stop by and say hello. We grow hardy plants for hardy Vermonters and their friends but we welcome everyone!