Thursday, September 02, 2010

Heat Wave

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Just in from an extended morning walk with Karl the Wonder Dog. He is not my favorite dog again this morning. It's not his fault. This is the third night in a row the local bears decided to visit the house and although there is not so much as a nibble left by we humans, there are just enough blackberries left to keep bringing them back. Karl runs bear control all night which means about the time both eyes are shut and I'm back into some sort of dreaminess, the howling, barking, running from window to window continues. Gotta love the great protector!

We went far out back on the woods road this morning seeking night time revenge and hoping to wake something up like we had been disrupted repeatedly. No luck at all--a few song birds singing and one distant hawk. As we got to the end of our property about a half mile from the house, there's quite a colony of wild roses. This time of year they are covered with orange-turning-red hips full of fattening seeds and vitamin C. It was obvious that the bears had made this one of their stops in recent days as the thorny bushes, over 6 feet in height, were heavily mauled and flattened and most all the hips were missing. The grass underneath the shrubs was well matted too. With a limited wild apple crop here this year, bears will be traveling wide for field corn, domestic apples, berries and any other scraps they can find.

I'm trying to get to the nursery soon as there is lots to do before it gets too hot to work much. This is the third day in the 90s so by weather standards this is an official heat wave. It feels to us as if this has been going on since last Friday. Gail and I just flipped through all the channels for the latest updates on the hurricane and I am also using a good tracker. I always park all my equipment on the highest point along the river which is convenient for me but not too smart if there's a chance of a major weather event. If you ever visit us, you'll understand the method to my madness.

Last week I wanted to mention peonies as the east was going through lots of heat. New Englanders love their peonies and they are a flower that was always found at every farm, planted around the house and also by the barn's milk house. Peonies are special to me and I have over 150 in my collection. Gail loves them too and sells a fair number potted for summer and fall sales. They are selling now and there are probably 18 left if you have any interest. No shipping on these as they are in two and three gallon pots. What I have neglected to remind folks is that it's very important to water peonies well in mid August as that is when they are setting buds on the rootstock for next June's flowers. Although we have some amount of rain inland from the coast coming by this weekend, recent dry weather suggests getting some water to your peonies now. No fertilizer, just lots of water. You'll notice a difference in next year's bloom.

I have to scoot. Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Karl just gave me a kiss as if suggesting a reciprocal thank you for his "hard work" last night. Yeh, right!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm

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