Thursday, August 28, 2008

Finding Garden Color

Thursday, August 28, 2008

60.8 degrees here on the hill. The sun is long since passed and clouds hang above the fir balsams leaving wonder about tomorrow's weather. I hear the sound of water exiting the 3/4's inch line from the house to Gail, the Waterer, who is saturating next year's hostas. Perennials in this part of New England really need late summer water and the hostas that are getting it tonight are no exception. Gail said she spotted the drooping Little Sunspot when she came home tonight so she volunteered for the task. That's good because this gardener hasn't felt too sharp for a couple days now.

Karl the Wonder Dog begged for a walk and although I didn't feel like leaving the news I knew he was asking for a reason. We headed out and I decided to note tonight's garden colors. There's 700 feet difference between our home gardens and the nursery so different plants do different things at different times.

At the top of the page is a picture of gooseneck loosestrife, a disobedient plant which florists like but gardeners do not. I bought a 4" pot a few years back and the sea of wavy necks is everywhere now. It pulls up easily but don't toss a handful anyplace or you'll have an experiment in propagation not found in most gardening manuals.

The yellow trollius are a fine plant, slightly more refined and larger than the buttercups we are most familiar with. Save for the new Alabaster variety which didn't fare that well this year, all the other varieties Gail has are growing well. As long as you pinch the seed heads early on they will bloom again around Labor Day. They make a fine cut flower and work very well with zinnias which prevail in many gardens now.

Many daylilies have continued to bloom this summer because of the constant rains. This one is Jersey Spider which is blooming again. The flowers are smaller now because of the summer age of the plant but this is a nice tall daylily that grows very well. We have several in bud right now.

The daylily, Joylene Nicole, has always been admired by Gail and a friend of hers who passed on a couple years back. It has bloomed for several weeks now and is on a good run right now. I like taller scapes but the flowers are nice and the edge is consistent.

Crocosmia is a wildflower from the southern African plains. I have trouble getting pictures of the bright reds which resemble little gladiolas. The corms look like glads too and in 3-4 years time a group for 4-5-6 glads will form a large clump nearly 4 feet high and loaded with flower scapes. It's hardy here although the white, pink or yellow varieties are not. This one is 'Lucifer'.

Right now I have some reading that has to be finished before work tomorrow. The day holds great promise and that's the way I want to start a weekend. It will be more than a Labor Day for Gail and me but with bright sun and a little breeze, we will be happy. Tomorrow is Austins's last day before he returns to UVM in Burlington. It's been a fun summer at our new nursery despite the torrents of rain. Walking the gardens at night reminds us of our accomplishments. Hope you have had some gardening success too!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the little birds of the forest are bringing this night's choral event to a close.

Good gardening wishes to each of you!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Vermont Gardens

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