Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Dry Out There!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A super still morning here on the mountain above Peacham Pond. 45 degrees, 98% humidity, windless, as the sun brightens the treeline. It's the second longest day of the year and of course our official "summer" has begun. Gail and I have been up since just after 4 but Karl the Wonder Dog shows no interest in long days as he snores loudly from the other room. I expect he'll hear my keystrokes in a few minutes and bound into a new day as if he is calling all the shots.

The temperatures for over five months now have been the warmest in Vermont since 1880 when official weather records started. This has really changed our summer around but we still don't know the real impact. The heat has required us to water the hostas in the garden more often as rain has been a missing commodity. The potted plants have to be watered every other day and the garden plants are getting to where I need to make a decision. The rows of zinnias, a flower which generally thrives on heat, have been watered regularly and they are still not meeting my expectation. Dry springs and early summers are a problem.

Sedums and the various succulents do well despite the heat and Gail has added to her small collection in recent years. As rock gardens regain popularity in America and as people travel more, the interest in these plants increases and garden centers and box stores add to their offerings. These are easy to grow plants most of which maintain their composure in your garden and offer flowers to brighten dry areas. Here are a few examples of flowers.

Glover, Vermont is the home of the famous Bread and Puppet Theater, some fine Vermont scenery and Labor of Love Landscaping and Nursery. Kate Butler offers a nice collection of sempervivums (hens and chickens) and many fine potted plants. I haven't stopped in a couple years but if you have an interest in sempervivums, you'll enjoy the collection. The local grocery store is a great place for fresh meat, a nice sandwich or a kid's delight as there are hundreds of examples of taxidermy including some full sized mounts of Vermont's largest mammals like bear, deer and moose. It's a Northeast Kingdom country store with a museum overtone.

Over the next year I want to build a sedum garden near the parking lot but in the meantime stop by and see what we have to offer. Gail is pleased with how the plants look this year as the pots are overflowing and the colors are nice. Picture updates tomorrow.

Writing from the mountain where the sun and the thermometer are now rising together. Out and about today? Stop by 2263 US 2 in Marshfield and say hello! Good gardeners love to share plants that tolerate sun.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
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