Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Welcome Feathered Friends

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

On its way to 5 PM here on the mountain. Although the sun is not as warm as it was a couple hours ago, the thermometer reads 53.6 and that's fine by me. Alex and I just returned from a walk with Karl the wonder dog and I have about 20 minutes to let fly with some thoughts before stuffing a roasting chicken and getting a few vegetables ready for tonight. Gail is away this afternoon and I promised to have dinner ready between 6:30 and 7. So far we're all on target. We have welcomed the warmth of spring and I am particularly pleased that the snow plow hasn't moved in a couple weeks. Last year this time we were deep in snow and we needed a boost. Now things are looking better.

Last week I saw a couple more turkey vultures. These are the highway vacuum cleaners, the road kill clean up crew that does an excellent job picking things up and apart. They are also one of Alex's favorite birds but don't ask why. Robins that were infrequent are everywhere and this morning I almost inherited a woodcock window decoration when I headed down the last hill towards Route 2. I like woodcock and think of them as little vertical take off planes. Just like mourning doves, they refuse to move until you are right upon them. Then this afternoon on the way up the hill from work, a male bluebird flew across the road and into a tree. That color blue is difficult to describe and matches my enjoyment of the less frequent Indigo Bunting.

Color is clearly an "eye of the beholder" thing. Gail and Alex are blessed with this talent for color which is good for me because I always have a resource to consult. Last summer I also noticed that Michelle, who helps us in the summer, has a similar eye as she arranged some excellent displays down front that sold flowers for us. It's one of those "you have it or you don't" things and I guess I didn't make the grade. I can pick good flowers and plants though and lilies have been on my mind lately because a number of people at work have asked for advice about buying and planting them. This is really just another chapter in that old book Can I Plant My Easter Lily? but I feel part of my obligation as a plantsman is to share knowledge with others. Here are some thoughts and some pictures.

Way up top is a grouping of Scheherazade, a super Orienpet which has a petal border when it first opens that is almost gold even though it's really green. It's an easy plant to grow but more complicated for some to pronounce and most to spell. I am forever leaving out a letter here or there.

Next is Sorbonne, a nice pink with a special fragrance. If you can get it in sync with some Pacific Giant Delphiniums you have a nice combination that will bring lots of fine comments.

Oriana is another Oriental hybrid with lots of talent. The slight shine to the petals contrasts with the heavy pollen and the upward facing flower is nice. The pure white Siberia, below, is smaller than the ever popular Casa Blanca but nonetheless it fills the need for a workable white Oriental lily with fine fragrance and petals with plenty of substance.

Finally there is Shiraz, a slightly muted pink which heavy pollen accentuating the pink petals which flow nicely in heavy clusters. No fragrance with this one but mixed with just one Oriental stem and the bouquet or the garden takes on new interest.

Lilies are great plants and the colors guarantee a nice display on the sideboard or in the dining room. Tonight I wish I had a nice bouquet for Gail but the best we have is the red azalea, left from Easter but blooming as strong as every. Now for the chicken and fixin's

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond were three mourning doves just became five at the feeder. The magic of nature!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm


Anonymous said...

I didnt know there were turkey vultures.

Lovely flower pictures!

Puyallup florist

Jane Marie said...

Sheherazade is one of my all time favorite pieces of music. I might need to own that lily.

Cabs said...

Ah yes! Woodcocks! We used ot have many of those at our last house. I never got used to their last minute flights from the wheels of my car.

I love these lilies! fabulous!!
As for me:
I have begun following the gardens of Emily Dickinson this Spring. Her house is 3 2 doors down from mine. I'll be updating the Emily's Garden posts each week, interspersed with other ramblings.
Swing by for a visit!

joey said...

I've missed settling in with my cup of morning coffee. Nevertheless, as always it was great catching up!