Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Blue Colors, Bright Morning

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A beautiful morning here on the mountain. 38.5 degrees so no frost last night despite the warning. A brownish red doe deer is walking through the lower garden as I write, one ear tipped to the side to try to ascertain where the keyboarding noise is coming from. I wonder where she left her new fawn? It's hidden away someplace and it will be a few weeks before she will bring it out to visit.

I haven't made it to the nursery yet to see how cold it got in the cold pocket on the north side but I suspect it is fine. Also haven't been out for a walk with Karl the Wonder Dog as he is making a slow recovery from his latest ailment and although a little perkier, he is yet to start bugging me for a walk.

This is the time of spring when colors begin to mix and change from day to day. The peonies are coming on but the lack of a bazillion buds like last year is reminder to my negligence last year when I failed to weed around them and fertilize. If you have peonies and want good bloom remember that the root should never be more than 1.5" below the surface and the plants should be kept free of weeds. They also need to be fertilized as they grow bigger and need good water in mid August when they set bud for the following year. Last summer I was working two jobs and rebuilding Gail's mother's house for sale and things like peonies never made the priority list.

Perennial bachelors buttons are out now and they are a nice blue color that works well with many other flowers. I don't really like this plant because towards the end of the first bloom they get scraggly and sometimes during wet spring seasons succumb to fungal problems. If you cut the entire plant back right after it blooms the first time it will regrow quickly and bloom some more. I like plants that show more independence--kind of like telling the kid that wants another pay raise that yes, the plant he just pulled up was another hosta....just as I had reminded yesterday and the day before.

I said earlier this week that I would pay tribute to the farmers and suppliers who contributed to Saturday night's localvore at the Marshfield Inn and Motel. Friends Tracey and Diana did a terrific job and local chef Tony Martinez brought it all to plate. They were bright stars that night just as the peonies of various shades of red stand strong among the blue bachelor buttons on this bright June morning. Enjoy today!

Localvore contributors included: crostini from Elmore Mtn Bakery, bacon and pork loin from the Cleary Family Farm in Plainfield, asparagus from Annie on Hollister Hill, eggs with beautiful dark yokes from Anna Marie Clark in Cabot, goat cheese from Vermont Butter and Cheese, crisp greens from Justin Kevnal, also from Hollister Hill, tofu and soy milk from Vermont Soy in Hardwick, cream from Butterworks Farm, mushrooms, ever so tasty, from Wild Side of Vermont/Wild Branch in Craftsbury, rhubarb from the front garden at Marshfield Inn, potatoes from Chappells in Williamstown, chives from Chef Tony's own garden, basil from Mimi Arnstein at Wellspring Farm, Marshfield, and early spring vegetables from Pete's Greens in Craftsbury.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the doe is gone but the ravens are fighting at the compost pile. How can you get excited about strawberry parings?

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm where Hosta 'June' is on sale for $12 a gallon pot
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