Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vermont Daylily Season Begins

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Overcast and 61 degrees here on the mountain today. There is a little sun over Peacham Pond and as noisy as the ravens are this morning, it seems as if they are calling out morning greetings.
I have been up since 4:30 and only forced my way out of bed when the voice next to me asked "What bird is that?" In a half daze wanting desperately to squeeze out just a few more minutes of rest before finding out where arthritis landed last night, this was an interesting introduction to morning. Gail is like that. Her whole family is like that. Speaking in exclamation points that stick out from the rest, even if "the rest" is supposed to be "real rest".

I have been crazy all week with non gardening problems. Chevy truck blew an engine, got that rebuilt for $1800 and radiator was shot too for an extra pile of money. As I wrote the check the service manager said "Oh, we gave you new spark plugs I didn't mention," I scanned the bill and reminded him "Thanks, I see you charged for your generosity too." I was thinking that for that money they could have at least run it through the car wash but that's asking too much in today's world.

Last night I noticed the truck's temperature gauge is still critical which means yet another trip back to the dealer. In between truck problems I started on a dental implant. I never had one before and since my insurance company avoids mention of them, there's good reason not to want another. There are several zeros in the cost and I don't like anything about it save for the thought of the outcome which is 6 months down the road. Even bad gardeners need good teeth so check into this process as you age and you'll be ready for the surprises. No George Washington style teeth for me.

But the gardens, yes the gardens, how do they fare? Rain has been absent despite threats of major storms, hail and high winds. I am not complaining about the weatherman's inaccuracies because those bad sounding meteorological events often send small farmers into bankruptcy. The gardens are doing well and even the hostas, nailed by concurrent Mondays of 25 and 26 degrees, are beginning to come back from their brown leafed frozeness. I suspect we have lost sales of somewhere around a 1000 hosta so far because of Mother Nature's new hosta image but there is little convincing many gardeners that the bad looking leaves resulted from heavy frost but the plants in the pots are fine. Hopefully there will soon be a fine resurgence in hosta sales.

Daylilies are looking special this year and some have been blossoming for over a week. Chicago Gold Coast (above) surprised me yesterday as a contrast to Lemon Lollipop (next down) which has been out for a week. Diane down at Marshfield Inn reminds us that Lemon Lollipop is the first to bloom at the beginning of each season and the last to say goodbye after heavy fall frosts. Gail sells this one for plantings around schools because it is sure to be in bloom when kids are returning to school in late August and early September. This is a very good and also inexpensive daylily for some nice color.

Carefree Peach (2d below here) is a great daylily because it blooms a long time and starts early too. I don't know what happened this spring but many of our daylilies are just covered with dozens of scapes this year. They were all planted in the fall of 2007 and maybe they have just settled in. The color in a couple weeks should be incredible as you travel Route 2.

Another daylily that I have always enjoyed is Mini Pearl. It starts early and blooms all season and always maintains a high bud count so it is very noticeable. The color and bloom size allow it to work with many companion plants and the glossy foliage is different than many daylilies and adds a sparkle to plantings. This picture (below) shows the flower color. Try it with delphinium or campanula blues, oranges and yellows from trollius and some later reds. You'll think this color recommendation is off the charts until you see what I mean.

The clock is ticking and I have a truck load of hostas to get to the nursery. There are epimedium still blooming here but they are about finished at the nursery which is 700 feet lower than here. The new hosta garden at the nursery has about 125 hostas in their new digs. This represents about a quarter of what I want to have there in the next month. If you stop by the nursery and have a couple minutes, take a tour of the hostas. If by chance you find my missing key ring, lost someplace in the fields, return it and I'll reward you with a plant you'll remember. I don't know what plant that will be but I don't know where the keys are either.

Writing from the mountain where the back and forth calling of two barred owls last night has been replaced by small sounds from a chickadee each time she enters her house to feed the kids.

Good gardening wishes!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm A very nice place to visit, in person or by Internet

1 comment:

Carol said...

If these are so early as to bloom with the peonies ... I must come visit you and buy some! Beautiful!