Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Colorful Mornings, Noisy Ravens

June 18, 2008

52 degrees here on the hill. The sun has come up quickly above Peacham Pond and the ravens are apparently hosting a breakfast convention as they are noisy this morning as if protecting their young from an intruder. Perhaps they have just found a lazy owl and are practicing harrassment techniques. I yelled at them twice but decided to save my breath as they are intent on what they are saying.

Mid-June in Vermont has flowers coming and flowers going. I wish I had taken more pictures of the Japanese primroses this year as they were special. They are easy to grow and they naturalize well in short order. Raking the gardens in the fall moves errant seeds to new locations and the color spreads over time.

The trollius are about 85% passed now and the hellebores have of course formed fat seed pods with all the rain. Gardeners up this way don't seem to be too familiar with this flower and should use it more as coupled with some early pulmonarias it gives the hummingbirds food when they arrive here about May 8-9-10.

The tall bearded iris are coming along nicely and some of the Siberian iris are starting. Gail loves Double Delight and also Caesars Brother, which looks striking when paired with lemon lilies--the old, nocturnal, fragrant, slowest-of-all-to grow daylilies. There is a beautiful planting of this combination on Route 2 at the entrance to Goddard College in Plainfield. It just went by this week but is something to keep in mind for next year.

Poppies are in abundance and we enjoy them until they finish blooming at which time they become a problem. Dozens of people ask for poppies every year and 95% of those folks do not know what a mature poppy after a rain storm or after bloom time looks like. I should get out and take some close ups of some as they are very neat flowers (remember Georgia O'Keefs painting of the orange ones? If you cut a bud when the outer casing has just cracked and color is showing and you hold a match to the cut stem to sear it, they make a beautiful cut flower. Just make yourself toss them out when they begin to droop or you'll have a table full of black pollen.

Besides the lemon lilies, Lemon Lollypop, Eeenie Weenie and Bitsy or out for daylilies. There are probably others but I haven't really looked yet. The five foot tall thalictrums with fluffy lavender blooms are quite showy and worth the price for what they lend in color and texture to gardens this time of year.

Here on the hill the James MacFarland and Miss Kim lilacs are butterfly magnets and Miss Kim can be the location for a night time training session in entomology. The flowers have a fine fragrance which lures anything with wings, especially at night.

The list goes on but there's nothing like a garden walk in mid June when you know the snows won't return for some time and while you wish the deer flies, black flies and no-see-ums would go away and never come back. Speaking of going, I have to get to the nursery and get going.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where be have closed our nursery and continue the move to Route 2, on the western edge of Marshfield village. Come visit, and give us some encouragement to keep gardening, even in tough times. If you can't make it, try our website and order something you cannot find elsewhere. The site is old but the products are excellent.

good garden wishes.......

George Africa
The appropriately biased "Vermont Gardener"

Vermont Flower Farm
Vermont Gardens

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