Saturday, December 01, 2007

Blustery December Welcome

Saturday, December 1, 2007

This past week has been a blur of events at work that left me in Burlington at the close of the work day yesterday afternoon. Until I dropped off a passenger in Montpelier on the way home and he wished me a good weekend, I wasn't even tuned in to the fact the week was over. Some weeks are like this, and that's why I enjoy gardening a whole lot more.

It's bitterly cold here this morning with a temperature of 8.3 degrees and a wind that is brutal. Karl the wonder dog had to go out and out he went. My right arm is still kind of stretched out straight because when he decided to come back in, he booked for the back door like a phantom T. Rex was on his tail. It's just not nice out there.

Yesterday in 1846, a major storm hit New England and it dropped 26" of snow around Hanover, NH and White River. The weather forecasters have been talking for three days now about a big storm coming in from the west but my best weather forecaster is my wife. Gail used to work as a florist and florists are consulted about the weather more than you'd believe. People plan weddings and anniversaries and receptions and retirements and they are possessed to plan months and months ahead, even years, for outside events in Vermont. The Vermont part is nice but fair weather is not always in the cards. You know..... the nice weather, the 72 degrees and no wind, humidity or black flies weather.

Gail tells me that the first week in December has a reputation for a big storm and she says I should look for about 8 inches on this one. Guess we'll see. She has also asked umpteen times if the plow is ready to put on the truck. After last February, I sure wish she would show some interest in learning to put on the plow and move snow herself. Such a wish, George, such a wish!

I'm behind on a few things this year, actually quite a few things. The new nursery has taken a lot of time and modified some of my priorities. I'm playing catch up now and there is a penalty for some oversights. One is my amaryllis.

Amaryllis are bulbs but the ones I'm talking about are really a relative named Hippeastrum. You can quickly see by the name why the marketing world tuned in on "amaryllis" and not Hippeastrum. Kind of like the time that they changed a great daylily, originally named Jen Melon, to Starstruck because it wasn't selling well under the first name

Whatever the name, these bulbs are easy to grow. You can buy them in supermarkets, box stores and garden centers pre planted in pots and soiless mix so all you need to do is unwrap and water. You can buy bigger bulbs at garden centers and agricultural stores and plant them yourself, and of course there is the Internet where the selections really become obvious. I really wanted these ready for Christmas and New Years but there's little hope mine will grow that fast. When they do bloom, the snow will be halfway up the snow fence and new color in the house will be a welcome sight.

I better get going here this morning. Lots to do. The howling wind has taken all outside chores off my list but there's still plenty to do. If you get to a store today, buy an amaryllis for yourself or friends. Or would that be Hippeastrum?

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the hard wind shouts notice that today is World AIDS Day and I see the faces of two gardening friends who are gardening in a different place now.

Gardening thoughts,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener


IBOY said...

Well George, i suppose you're going to get this mess that's dumping on us here in Iowa right now... good luck!!

Sue Swift said...

Ah well, if it's any consolation, I hit on your post just after checking the weather forecast for this winter, and apparently we're in for a cold and nasty one here in Milan too. they say it's the effect of la Nina, so looks as if it maybe pretty general.

rosa said...

We've got the same up here in Alberta Canada. -20 degrees celcius and a forcast of two days of heavy snow. Some days being a schoolbus driver is no fun! Mind you, it's great for the other three seasons. Those hours in the middle of the day allow me to get a lot of gardening done!

George Africa said...

From Iowa to Milan, Italy to Alberta, Canada, good gardeners, poor weather. We rec'd 12-14" out of that storm but the actual amount is in question because the wind mixed it up. Here on Tuesday morning it's up to 20 degrees with light snow still falling and the birds feeding heavily. The snow is marked by lots of deer paths as they criss crossed the property last night looking for food. Can you image giving Barberry 'Rosy Glow' a try at midnight? Several did.

George Africa