Monday, June 15, 2009

Night Walk

Monday, June 15, 2009

Incoming thunder and heavy rain drove me away from the nursery almost 2 hours early tonight. By the time I got home and got things unloaded, the rain stopped and Gail yelled that sustenance
was waiting. The cod tasted great but I almost felt like one I was so wet when I got home. By the time I had finished eating, the rain stopped and the temperature began to fall, leaving a little time for a quick walk.

The gardens here are an embarrassment as I was reminded today when a lady from Florida drove up to the house not knowing we had moved. I think she was gracious in her description of the weeds and the missing plants. This was a lot more apparent to me tonight as I walked around. One can only do so much in a day's time and Gail and I are operating close to maximum warp speed right now.

As I looked around, there were reminders of what to move, what to relocate, what never to buy again. The thalictrum up top is a fine plant. There are many from the rue family available for sale but it sure is nice to have such a firecracker of a plant in mid June. Gail has used it before as a foundation plant in floral arrangements but I can't answer as to its vase life. I really do like it just the same. I think we have a couple varieties in the lower shade house at the nursery--probably surrounded by astilbes about now.

There are many, many columbines on the market now. Some are just too big for me as my favorites growing up were the small red ones native to New England. One time prior to Internet days I searched for a good seed source and finally found one in Colorado as I recall. No recollection of the name now ("A....." something or other) but the available color combinations were extensive. Leaf miner is a problem here as the little insects mine through leaves, offering a skinny trail and a weakened stem. Deer will nip the flowers but if they don't, the seed pods each provide sufficient new seed to get a good sized bed going in 2-3 years.

Tradescantia was for one brief time in my early flower career a plant I sought to collect. That was a short lived affair when I determined that once you plant it, you cannot get rid of it. One small piece becomes a new plant and it takes over gardens in short order. Just the same the color contrasts nicely this time of year with the various peonies that are opening. It's safe for now as I have too much going on to be pulling up anything.

Peony buds are everywhere here on the mountain and with that abundance comes an onslaught of peony questions. I wish people would get over this "My peonies don't have ants yet, maybe that's why they don't have flowers?????" syndrome, but I guess we just need to do better with the garden education program. The crop looks especially good and the first peonies for cut flowers should be in about a week.

The Siberian iris are out everywhere at lower elevations than our 1500 feet. Their flowering time is short but they are beautiful and fun to work with. I have to remind myself who took over the late Currier McEwen's work in Harpswell, Maine. He was just the best and he left some beautiful plants to serve as reminder to what he enjoyed. Here in Vermont, Phil Cook up Cambridge-Underhill way at Poker Hill Gardens has some very nice Siberian iris.

Four or five years ago, maybe a little longer, Gail liked this geranium (directly above) named 'Samobor'. Others liked it too and it was well documented in all the journals at the time. The flower color is very nice and the leaf pattering is an eye catcher too. When folks found out the price they immediately liked it less and I liked it a great deal less the next year as about every seed germinated and the plants were everywhere. Now, years later, the plants are scattered about and are 28 inches tall. I give some away with the caveat that people won't hold it against me. Some guarantee they won't and others, upon hearing that it is free, decide they don't want it after all. Maybe I should charge a dollar a plant and move a few thousand down the road.

There are good plants and great plants and plants that are great to get rid of. Each of us is different in what we like. If you haven't made your mind up yet, stop by Vermont Flower Farm and ask for help. We must have something here that you'll like.

Great gardening wishes!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm


Carol said...

Love the 'Samobor' Geranium! It sounds like it would survive my garden thugs!

George Africa said...

Hello Carol;

That geranium will survive without doubt. Yes, it is talented, but if I sent you just one, you would remember me forever--and probably not with a smile.