Sunday, April 04, 2010

Vermont Sunday Morn!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A bright morning here on the hill. An Easter Sunday morning for some. The wind is coming up in companionship with the rising sun and the already 60 degree temperature is a surprise. Things may be different by nightfall as rain is predicted.

Karl the Wonder Dog was up at 3 barking at an unknown and Gail took him out after putting on her night time courage. The bears are active now looking for a nice meal and although Gail has no fear of bears, Karl could probably cause an unneeded confrontation if any bears were close by the house. The long and short of this is when it was time for our morning walk, Karl was deep in sleep. He opened one eye enough to confirm he had no interest in walking with me but I am sure that will change about the time I load the truck and head out.

I walked through the red pines this morning. The ground is now littered with freshly dropped cones. Gail has already been into the forest for big spruce cones and we'll gather up some crates and go pick up some of these. People have a habit of thinking about cones a month or so before Christmas but if you want easy picking of nice, clean cones, springtime is the right time. The leftovers from last year make great fire starters for the wood stove and the big Norway spruce cones, rolled in peanut butter and then bird seed make instant bird feeders to hang around outside the house as a magnet to chickadees and nut hatches. Probably seems strange that I speak of a season that is just passing but this is the time to gather cones.

Snow drops are a nice spring flowers. The are easy to plant, multiply well and kids like to pick little bouquets to give to grandmothers and the lady next door. These are growing near the compost pile where they probably dropped after a spring clean up. If you decide to plant any next fall, buy at least a hundred little bulbs and plant them in groups of 10-12. The reward will make you smile.
The image up top is one you have seen before. It was an Easter Lily bulb I bought at the store. It came complete with a red ant. The Easter lilies as we know them are not the lilies of the Bible but they are a beautiful flower. Growers start them almost 90 days in advance of the holiday sales period, control light and spray with growth regulators to try to match a holiday that changes celebratory dates each year. If you plant your spent bulb in the garden, it might well bloom next year but not at Easter. These bulbs typically bloom in August here but once they rejuvenate, they will bloom again. Try it!

Writing from the mountain where male turkeys and partridges are performing rites of spring and providing free entertainment for morning hikers.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook at Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens

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