Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Visitors

Monday, July 19, 2010

60 degrees this morning on the mountain. An hour ago as Karl the Wonder Dog and I were walking the woods road, the stillness was disrupted by a doe deer jumping from the brush in front of us. Don't know who was the most startled but in a flash the quiet returned until just now when the ravens are making strategy for a morning of interruptive talk. They always have lots to discuss as if no one else has anything to say.

This weekend the nursery was busy as the hot weather pushed thousands of daylilies into bloom, providing color along Route 2 and entertainment for tourists. Customers appeared as soon as we opened the gates and we hardly had time yesterday to pick representative samples of each daylily and get them on display. Both days when we closed for the night, Gail and I remarked how many visitors we had and how very few people we actually knew from before.

There are many great nurseries in Vermont and no matter where you reside or visit, the distance to another nursery is not that far. We are fortunate at Vermont Flower Farm because our Route 2 location means that we are visible from travelers moving along one of Vermont's main east-west highways. Yesterday as example we had nice conversation with a family from Georgia who were bringing their 88 year old mom back to Northfield for a visit. After a discussion of daylily hardiness in Georgia, they made choices and we'll ship out their order when we know they are back home.

When you see people enter the display fields and then wander from row to row, you know questions will eventually follow. Part of running a successful gardening business is helping new gardeners with planting instructions. Gail and I try to make sure when each customer leaves they have the information they need to be successful with their new plants. No matter how long the lines were this weekend, it was apparent that this information was appreciated as we didn't encounter one example of "I'm in a rush today."

When our friend Mike volunteered to help restore Gail's 1957 John Deere 320 U tractor, he was firm that it would serve as a different form of advertising. He was right. This weekend we met a number of people who looked it over and had questions about when it was last used and did it really run. Yes, it really runs and it is going to continue to be a part of Vermont Flower Farm. It's not shiny and new but like Gail and me, it's dependable and it has an understanding of agriculture and has dirty feet.

Out and about today? Pack a lunch and some gear and head for the Northeast Kingdom. Stop for a few minutes and see the daylilies. Kinda nice!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where blue jays and crows compete for a snack at the compost pile.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
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