Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Afternoon Walk

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's been a long and tiring day today so being able to sit down for a couple minutes is a welcome opportunity. It was snowing on Camel's Hump when I headed up I-89 for Burlington at 10 this morning and here at 5 PM it's snowing outside. Not big flakes, not lots of flakes, just enough white stuff to chase away the warm thoughts of the two previous weeks of out of the ordinary 65-80 degree weather. Gail said that she and Diana got chilled outside after they unloaded a delivery truck so they came in by the wood stove and chatted and wrote plant labels for the balance of the afternoon. The wind is up now and I can understand why the warm stove and a cup of coffee needed no coaxing.

Between driving and sitting all day I needed a walk. Karl the wonder dog is sick again and he was not interested in the cold weather so I journeyed by myself down the road towards the pond. Spring is unfolding a little at a time and as you glance around you see signs of green and color here and there. It is relaxing after a day's work.

Trilliums have always been a favorite and the second to bloom here, the white Trillium grandiflorum, give great display as they rise close to granite stones and walls. They are preceded by the Trillium erectum, the Purple Trillium, Wake Robin, the Stinking Benjamins of my youth that kids made funny faces about. Trillium undulatum is the last of the three Vermont native trilliums, but they will be a while yet.

Cabs wrote the other day from Terra Nova Design and mentioned the New England Wild Flower Society and Nasami Farm Native Plant Nursery and Sanctuary. If you enjoy wild flowers such as trillium, this is the place to visit. Their site has a calendar so get yours out and compare some dates.

Trilliums are easy enough to grow as long as you have patience as it's not uncommon that they require 5 years before they flower. Once they start, they only grow bigger all the time. The age-to-maturity requirement keeps production low and the sell price high but if you are interested, stop by this fall and I'll have some ready. In the meantime, enjoy getting out for a walk.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where it's cold and blustery right now.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm Place an order yet?


Ki said...

Those purple trilliums are quite spectacular. What you say is true. I planted some trilliums and it took three years before they appeared. When they didn't come up in the first year after I planted the rhizome, I thought I killed the plant.

That said, I did buy a yellow trillium last year and the leaves have already appeared and it looks like a bud is forming.

Betsy said...

What gorgeous photos! George, I'd like some advise, if you have any, on what to do with stubborn thistles in my flowerbeds. They were quite bad last year and very resistant to weed killer. They have returned in full force this spring! They are the kind with the long white tubular type root that runs very deep. I believe they are called "creeping thistle". Thought I'd ask the expert gardener if he had any tricks! Thank you!

George Africa said...

Hello Betsy;

I try not to use chemicals whenever possible but when you have to open up big pieces of land quickly, sometimes you can't want for the sun to cook weeds and grasses under plastic. One thing I learned a couple years back was that vinegar is a great herbicide and it's easy to use selectively. I tried it first on thistles and it worked very well. I used it on the bull thistles common here. They have beautiful flowers, reach 5 feet high and issue forth a million seeds each fall. Miss one plant and you have a perpetuating headache that gets bigger.

Some agricultural suppliers have vinegar that is the "high test" of vinegars but frankly the regular cooking variety is what I have used and without problem. Give it a try on your problem plants.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

Regular cooking vinegar poured on the center of the plant when it is dry will kill it in a couple days. In a week the root with shrivel and can easily be dug out.

IBOY said...

George... it somehow surprises me Vermont would have only three native trilliums (heck, cornfield Iowa has four). I'd think Vermont would be trillium central. Beautiful pictures, though.

Betsy said...

Thank you, George! I have never heard of this but will definitely give the vinegar a try! I appreciate your help! ~~Betsy

joey said...

I adore trillium, George, and have a similar post regarding their beauty. I've missed having morning coffee reading your posts but am enjoying catching up this evening. Spring captures our heart, soul (and body).