Monday, April 28, 2008

Welcomed by Bergenia

April 28, 2008

The two plus weeks of unusually fine spring weather turned cold yesterday afternoon and t-shirt weather turned to sweaters and sweat shirts. It started raining when I left here this morning at 5:15 and by my return home tonight the buckets along the path had well over an inch of rain. Currently it's 44 degrees and the wind comes and goes in gusts . Despite all those days of 65 and above, I can still see snow covering the lower astilbes. It is truly an interesting spring.

Gail and crew has all the potted perennials uncovered. This is a laborious task because in fall we cover the masses of pots with insulating fabric, construction grade poly and then old tires to hold everything down. The good news, however, is that there is almost no loss from freeze-thaw cycles and the plants are ready to take off as soon as they are uncovered. This was apparent yesterday when the wraps came off the section that included Bergenia 'Eden's Dark Margin' (above) which quickly spring upward and began to open flower buds.

Bergenia is an interesting plant which we only got started on a couple years back when a neighbor called us in the middle of spring garden clean up. She was tired of bergenia by her home and also some February Daphne by the driveway. We were the lucky recipient along with a bunch of iris. Gardeners are generous like that and it's not uncommon to come home with boxes of new plants. By the way, the common name of bergenia is pig squeak, a name which captivates Alex in his admiration for pigs. I don't believe I ever saw a young person so interested by reading Animal Farm and so pleased with a mounted Russian black boar I found hanging in a Williston antique center. The book is on the shelf and the boar now hangs above the couch in Alex's TV room, proudly displaying a WWII bonnet that belonged to my dad when he served in the North Atlantic on the USS Kearny. Gardeners make interesting journeys sometimes and this one took a pig detour, returning to thoughts of pig squeak which you really might want to try sometime.

Spring plants abound and everyday something else becomes obvious in grand numbers. The Forsythia 'Vermont Sun' is especially beautiful. It almost sings when you pass by as chickadees and juncos make it their temporary year round home. The Trillium erectum are well budded and the Trillium grandiflorum are following nicely in large numbers this year. The insideous colts foot weed is a yellow I dislike seeing as it means more bending and digging in an almost futile attempt to free its foothold on the gardens. The poorer the soil, the more the colts foot matures and succeeds.

Even though it's raining, I think it's time for a quick walk with Karl, the wonder dog. It's been a long day today and some silent conversations with hellebores in the lower garden is in order.

Writing to you from the mountain above Peacham Pond where wild turkeys are everywhere.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm

1 comment:

joey said...

Bergenia is a 25 year old favorite and my 'faithful friends' have never looked so lovely. I have drifts floating throughout the garden, delighted to be photographed.