Sunday, May 11, 2008

Spring Fury

Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mother's Day

I bright morning here at Vermont Flower Farm. Last night's 29 degrees left heavy frost on the grass and the promise of another fine day. That's great because there's lots to do. A reader from Townsend in southern Vermont stopped by yesterday to find out what was going on. She didn't think I was writing enough and I agreed with her but pointed out that moving a nursery business is kind of like moving a family even if it's just across town. I begged forgiveness and promised that our new location would be up and running by Memorial Day. I encouraged her to walk the rows of potted plants which Gail and her crews have been cranking out relentlessly. Apparently it all worked, as she bought 11 potted daylilies and said she would see us at our new place.

During the past couple weeks, Kim and Lenny have been busy on our new building. They both work full time in the granite industry so this is a part time endeavor for them. Yesterday the rafters went up and this morning the plywood roof, Grace roof covering/waterproof sheeting and drip edge will go on. Tuesday the shingling starts, then the windows and doors slide in and then the siding goes on. I am the gopher on this project. Kim and I designed the layout based on what Gail wanted and then I finalized the materials lists and bid out the various items. We are really pleased how this is turning out. Gardeners eager to read about spring garden flowers will have to show patience too as they don't make day stretchers and my days are already quite thin. If you're in the neighborhood, do stop by. We are open for business on Peacham Pond Road as we work along on US Route 2.

Yesterday morning I noticed a red Subaru slowing out front at 5:30. I knew it must be our friend, Eric, who lives and works in Massachusetts but has a camp in Groton. Eric loves Vermont and if truth be known he'd rather be living here. I was packing the truck with tools for the job site so he accompanied me down to see how things were advancing. I got things set up for Kim and Lenny, and then Eric and I came back for breakfast with Gail. We hadn't seen each other since last fall so there was lots to catch up on.

Eric is a gardener but he's also an experienced bird watcher and he knows ornithology like no one I know. As always, I had a bird question for him. Gail and I had seen a new bird recently and it was totally unfamiliar to us. We described it as grosbeak size with the breast color of a male robin, black with white wing bars and a most odd habit of scratching the ground under the maples and the spireas with both feet. Good or bad the description was more than enough for Eric and he immediately said "Towhee" and then described the call as "drink-your-tea-ee-ee-ee-ee' Rufous-sided Towhee.

We told Eric of the annual visit last week of a mature male osprey and then fell into catching up on winter and spring events. The conversation had to end too soon as we had to get to work and Eric had some things to do at camp.

Today is Mothers Day and we want to wish all mothers a good day. We have some special things in the greenhouse for Gail, and Alex has crafted his typical card which I haven't seen yet. The day will be busy but our celebration at the end of the day will be a sincere thanks for all Gail does for Alex and me. Sometime this afternoon we'll also slide in some time with my mother-in-law, Miriam, now 91 years young. No matter how busy you are today, try to let your Mom know you care.

Writing form the mountain above Peacham Pond where 1500 plants, mostly hostas, await my presence at the potting bench. Spring sales have been exceptional with incredible astilbe sales because of a brief mention of our business name and website in the spring Better Homes and Gardens Magazine perennial issue. We'll be here at 256 Peacham Pond Road until Memorial Day and then will be at our new location. Stop by if you have a chance.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Vermont Gardens

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