Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hurricane leftovers

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A wet day here on the mountain. I have been up since about 4, listening to the rain pound the standing seam roof. Karl the Wonder Dog just awoke and asked to go out but the walk was short, as in seconds, and he hastily returned to catch a few more winks with Gail. Although all the computer reports suggest it's a mild storm right now, the rain is bucketing out of the dark sky and hasn't shown any sign of stopping since I have been up.

Gardening in this part of New England is beginning to slow down. Mums and asters are prevalent at all the gardening stores although I notice that people are still having a tough time adapting to adding perennial asters to their gardens. Gail grew a bunch again this summer but the cold, wet spring slowed them down and she has them on sale now to move them along. When you buy a good perennial, pot it, care for it all summer and then have to send it down the river for $5 or less, you have lost money and time. Just the same, in the gardening business you don't want to carry over anything you don't have to as continued maintenance of a smaller plant is just asking for the loss to continue. In contrast, people who grab these fall bargains get great plants that always grow well once in the ground. We continue to work at cutting labor and supply costs so Gail has quite a collection of good plants at reduced prices now, trying to limit what we carry over. Stop by and see!

The daylilies have slowed but they have been glorious this summer. Gail continues on with her bare root sales as we eliminate slow movers and overstocks. She sells roots for 5 for $15 and this is great for anyone who wants a border by the drive or walkways or wants to plant a hillside and give up on fighting the lawn mower at weird angles all summer. Sales have been very good and people often pick up another pot or two along the way. We are still seeing a number of people just getting around to planting large gardens and they arrive with a list from our website and go home with a car full of fine plants. We always try to offer planting advice and there is an encouraging number of new gardeners this year although very few younger gardeners. Plants don't seem to come with enough technological enticements to please younger folks.

This is very busy time at the nursery as we need to divide daylilies now and fill in rows that have been reduced by good sales. Austin just left to go back to UVM and Michelle is back at her teaching job so that leaves Gail and me and Gail from Peacham to finalize the work. I have from now until mid October to contribute to the process as that's when I am having my right hand operated on for carpal tunnel and trigger finger. The same operation this past January gave me instant relief and made me wonder why I had waited so long. By the time the white stuff falls from the sky, I should have both hands, not just one, working well again. If you're in the area, I can make an excellent recommendation for a hand surgeon at Mary Hitchcock Hospital in Etna, NH (near Hanover/Dartmouth/White River).

As I prepare to pour another coffee and head for the nursery, here are a few more daylily photos. We have perhaps 150 more daylilies here at the house that need to be moved to the nursery, Many are late bloomers which will help next year by offering daylilies that bloom well into September and some into early October. Yesterday I started working on a new daylily garden that's 140 X 50 and then a 60 X 10 display garden adjacent to the new hosta garden. Both should be visible from Route 2 next year and should add some more variety to what is already a good offering for area gardeners.

Miss Amelia

I really like this daylily as it blooms from July and well into the second or third frost. Right now it is flowering at the nursery and here at the house it is backed up by So Lovely, another really good match.

So Lovely
See what I mean?

Highland Lord

Elain Strutt
Registered in 1969 but still a strong variety at 38-42" tall

Talbott 1991
Actually a little darker than this picture.

Have to scoot! Writing form the mountain above Peacham Pond where this morning's wake up sounds are limited to heavy raindrops and hurricane leftovers. As the skies clear today, stop by the nursery. Lots to see and some good deals too!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm


lynn'sgarden said...

Feeling a little sad knowing the season is coming to a close. And even earlier in your neck of the woods, Goerge. So Lovely indeed! Beautiful pic with the hydrangea? in backround. Have a great Sunday;)

Jeff Branch said...

I don't have a single daylily but your photos have won me over.

George Africa said...

Hello Jeff;

You're from Alabama and one of our best sellers this year was Alabama Jubilee. It sold out early and even though Gail tried to keep a few for herself, she sucuumbed to pressure and they are about history.

I am surprised by the number of tourists from the south who stopped and asked if daylilies grow in the south. Bazillions grow down there and some of the best US hybridizers live there so I really am amazed.

The Vermont Gardener

Syble said...

As usual I am several days late with posts but your daylily pictures are beautiful. Mine have for the most, been long gone. It is starting to look like autumn on my hill side. Soon I will need to start cleanup. We could sure use some of that rain you were talking about.

Oh by the way. Good luck with the surgery.