Sunday, July 04, 2010

Kokopellis Have Arrived!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Been trying to get going since 4:30 this morning but there has already been a series of interruptions. "Someone" put the trash as far as the back steps last night and the bear family have it scattered with indignity from here to the road. Not their fault, and the trash recollector, Gail, is out there right now using uncomplimentary words pointed towards the ground as she bends and picks, bends and picks. Heck of a way to start a Sunday in Vermont!

Yesterday was a fun day at the nursery. I was there early as were the first customers, a couple heading to their camp on one of the Averill lakes up north. That's a beautiful part of Vermont and a place I wouldn't mind being today as the heat increases. It's already 66 degrees here so today will be well into the 80s I am sure. They purchased some astilbes that Gail has on sale now and said they'll stop on the way home next week for a Japanese lilac to plant at their Montpelier home.

When Gail and I work together we try to use each others skills to best benefit. There are some gardens I can plan for people but sometimes the color combinations that someone has in mind are too difficult for me to get right and I turn things over to Gail as I head into the garden to dig daylilies or cash people out. Only once in a while does someone from out of the area show impatience and although we try to accommodate people as they come along, we have an expectation that everyone should show some respect and calm down for just a bit. The world spins fast enough without trying to suggest you're more important than the next person.

With great excitement, the kokopellis arrived yesterday, delivered in the back of a pick up from some friends on the hill. If you are not familiar with kokopellis, they are said to be fertility deities from the American Southwest who overlooked agriculture, childbirth and rain. I have always been interested in kokopellis and have always been surprised that it took so long for them to be used as garden art. Perhaps 5 years back I found some beautiful sand blastings by Chris Cleary in Jericho and I have been looking for someone with metal skills to cut some for our gardens and for sale. Finding success is fun!

When you work with metal and an unfamiliar topic, there is an evolution involved. The three kokopellis shown here are about 4 feet tall, they are made from thick steel and they have a sharpened re-bar spike on the bottom for setting in the garden. The first three are each different, two are peacock house green and one is geranium red. The colors are satin finished to work well with any garden colors. We will probably have another on display that's unpainted so you can finish them off your self.

As we work along with these, we may change the flute size or the length of the hair or the shape of the body but pretty much what you see is what we have. If you are interested, we can discuss the pricing and explain how to order from us. Probably the two biggest lessons I have learned is the price of good steel and how it is sold and the workings of plasma cutters which use electricity to cut by melting very fine cuts. The end product is primed and then painted and they really do add a musical quality to an otherwise silent garden. Many products of garden art are mass produced in China now but these are sketched, cut and prepared by a friend here in Marshfield where life is guaranteed and the freedoms of Independence Day prevail.

Like our flowers, I love our new garden neighbors, the kokopellis, and I have an even greater respect for the skill of my friend down the road, her interest and her new found plasma cutter skills. Come visit Vermont Flower Farm soon and consider ordering a kokopelli for your garden. They really are imaginatively musical!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the sound of last night's fireworks has calmed to the bullying sound of two ravens discussing to gets the end of a loaf of crusty, stale bread that tops the compost pile.

If you're out and about today stop by and see the hostas Gail has on sale as well as her 3/$15 astilbe sale with +50 varieties on sale. Good time to visit, great time to get into the country where it's cooler.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Well, I've just learned something new! I've never seen the name kokopellis before, and I like the look of them in your gardens. I have a couple of metal cutout type sculptures here, of cats and crows, done by a local guy who used to make things out of recycled oil barrels, but nothing like this.

George Africa said...

Check The Vermont Gardener tonight, Thursday, July 8th and find out about our "Find The Kokopelli" contest this Saturday at the nursery. Free daylilies for prizes.