Saturday, February 13, 2010

Patience Prevails

Saturday, February 13, 2010

11 degrees here on the mountain with a very slight wind and a gray sky suggesting snow flakes within a couple hours. Not a lot of snow, not a Dallas, DC, Philadelphia snow, just a light, "welcome to the mountain" snow. This winter has been like that with almost nothing of merit since the holidays.

The kitchen is noisy this morning as Gail wants to get out the door and get to work. She is working with her friend, Jerome the Florist in Barre today. Jerome is a very good florist and Gail is a great designer. She worked for Jerome when we first moved here from Burlington but when Alex was born, her work went to creating Vermont Flower Farm and that creativity is now obvious in a fine business and a great son. The thing about designers is they cannot stop designing and Gail helps out every now and then to keep her hands in the trade. The week of Valentines Day is always busy and this year has proven to be especially so. Unlike 2007, we are not fighting three feet of snow and whiteouts so the much needed business should materialize. Gail has sharpened her knives and she's eager to return again today.

A few days back I started a piece here about building a hosta garden. I want to end today with some images of the hostas as they reached maturity. These aren't the greatest images but you should get an idea of what happens if patience prevails. Looking back on this garden I should have prepared the soil a lot better, trimmed back adjacent tree limbs a little better and I certainly should have added more space between each planting. Just the same the garden is a pleasure to walk through and it's a challenge for even experienced hosta gardeners to correctly identify all the varieties. The issue isn't that this is a nice little collection, it's that walking into the garden now is like going back for a high school reunion. There's a guarantee that your mind will offer a few embarrassing "I know that person"s but it's a race to the the correct name before the real embarrassment surfaces. You won't confuse a Blue Moon and a Blue Angel but City Lights, Daybreak and Richland Gold on a mid-spring morning might be more difficult.

Take a look below and maybe just maybe you'll be encouraged to start a shade garden of your own. We have enjoyed ours and know others have too. In a day or so I want to start this whole process over again and show you what we're doing at the nursery as we build another display garden. The progress won't bore you, the interest should challenge!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where two red voles work quickly under the platform feeder, unbothered by chickadees and three mourning doves. I don't like voles. They are plant eaters who forget that hibernation is pleasant.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Also on Facebook as George Africa and occasionally offering abbreviated comment on Twitter as vtflowerfarm. May give Google Buzz a buzz soon.


Teza said...

This has been a wonderful series, and I can see why yours is a shade gardener that customers and friends would flock to. I enjoy when someone [a fellow gardener] can in effect turn my head to a genus that I tend to shun in my repertoire. Now, have you suggestions for any miniatures, as my sliver of space somewhat demands that?!? LOL! Thank you for inviting us along. What's next in the series?

joey said...

Your hosta post drew me in like a magnet, George. As you know, I'm an addict :) My shade garden is my favorite and brings me great joy, especially in early spring when my many wildflowers/ferns unfurl. Hostas are the perfect companion plants. Stay warm and Happy Valentine's Day!

Anna/Flowergardengirl said...

I really did enjoy this and do remember you saw a few deer track earlier. They chomped mine down last Spring but they survived. I think your photos are perfectly beautiful. Love the variety.

I do so much enjoy your comments around facebook. You help to keep my gardening friends from imploding and say things so cleverly. Bravo George!

Elizabeth said...

When I first visited VT Flower Farm (before you moved it) I must have spent an hour in that wonderful hosta garden before I ever made it up to see the plants for sale. That garden is my inspiration, and has improved my patience in my own garden spaces many times over.

Thank you for this great series.