Friday, September 17, 2010

"Urn" for Fall Color

Friday, September 17, 2010

The outside temperature has fallen another couple degrees as bad weather is forced out by good weather. Reports this morning about drought in the south as well as serious water use restrictions on greenhouses and other floral, fruit and vegetable producers are some contrast to the water that dropped on us last night. I haven't purchased a new Farmer's Almanac yet but I always like to read other gardener's predictions about what fall and winter weather will bring. I saw a woolly bear yesterday that was "all middle" but now I can't remember what that wives tale represents??? "wide middle" means mild winter?? Truly, we watch satellites, Asian and west coast weather, NOAA and the Fairbanks Museum's Eye on the Sky for our weather.

Gail and I continue to try to show gardeners that color in the garden doesn't need to stop when kids go back to school or Labor Day comes and passes. There are many very nice sedums on the market now that can be combined with late flowering daylilies, rudbeckias, heleniums, mums and decorative kales and cabbages, and some less commonly known plants. Up top is a picture of turtlehead/chelone which also is native to Vermont in dark purples and white. This works very well with sedums like 'Carl' and 'Matrona' as shown here or with any of the dark, red stemmed varieties. Try Google Images for a sedum I really like, 'Jose Aubergine' and you'll see many other opportunities to reach your goal of "garden color in October".

Although we yearn for good garden color well past Labor Day, Gail and I have started to yearn for more garden antiquities. On the way back from Maine the other day we left a business card with an antique shop that sported this urn on the front lawn. We are waiting for the price. If anyone out there has experience pricing items like this, I'd be interested in a private email to There are three people interested in it so far and the price hasn't been set yet--one of those typical "get the price up" things.

Upon inspection of the reverse side it appeared to me that a couple bullet holes had been patched as the filler had cracked. This is not to be confused with the rusted something or other in the maiden's hand which also rusted out.

The man tending the store had a few years on me but I thought he should remember that in today's world everyone is a potential customer and a stragley beard and yesterday's clothes doesn't mean the urn couldn't end up in Marshfield, Vermont. I'm guessing that this piece has some value on the stolen garden art market too. Also figure a few zeros in the price will place it in someone else's yard but you just never know without asking. Thoughts?

Still writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the wind is coming up and Karl the Wonder Dog wants to go for another walk. Me too!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
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