Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer Revisits

Saturday, August 23, 2008

54 degrees here on the hill this morning. It was so very still as I walked Karl the Wonder Dog who tried with great resistance to walk me instead. The animals and birds are lazy from the first consecutive days of heat in Vermont for some time. A doe and fawn walked carefully in the lower field, the doe looking straight at me with eyes that questioned our intrusion into "their" space.
It will be a busy day for many. Some get to start with breakfast.

Late August is a nice time in the gardening world and Gail and I try to explain to people, to coax people, to welcome people to the wonderful world of flowers that can prevail in late August and on into September. There is something very wrong with American advertising and it's all oriented to greed. This is my philosophy on why gardeners are now forced to believe that gardens stop with the last day of July. The other day Alex and I stopped at a store in New Hampshire and barely inside was a mountain of candy. I looked at Alex and queried, "Did I miss a month?" There were literally tons of bags of candy topped with Halloween displays of idiot phantoms dressed in computer generated colors. Before the candy pile dwindles, the Christmas displays will prevail.

Two days ago, two announcers on a television station advised folks to get out and enjoy the day because summer was over and kids had to go back to school. I did enjoy the day but I worked along in the gardens enjoying the various false sunflowers, the ten varieties of sunflowers we grow as cuts, the garden phlox, the helianthus and the soon-to-arrive late summer anemones. There is plenty to see and there's no reason not to have good color in your gardens.

Garden phlox are very popular and now that many have been bred to be more resistant to mildew and other fungus, gardeners are looking for them. Gail and I are disappointed in what has become our last attempt to grow them well in pots. Next year we will offer about 25 varieties, all grown in the ground and ready to dig and sell.

The other great shrub plant to grow is hydrangea. We have three varieties that do very well here and next year we intend to offer a variety of these for sale. They are beautiful in the garden but they also make great cut flowers, and cut and hung upside down for a few weeks, they turn into real assets for the dried flower arranger.

I hear noise in the kitchen as Gail is getting my lunch ready. She has some errands to run today so I will be at the nursery by myself for a while. Mike, a neighbor down the road, will probably stop by with Rusty, his Jack Russell Terrier, for a little rodent control exercise and I expect Eric from Massachusetts will stop by after his morning drive in search of Vermont wildlife. His moose reports have been slim this year and I know we both would like to see a few more and maybe a bear or two. Anyway, have a nice day and spend some time in the garden.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where the loons are calling. If you have some time today, drive into Groton State Forest and climb Owls Head. The wild blueberries, diving peregrine falcons, and the view at the top are the reward for a short climb.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm

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