Friday, February 25, 2011

Epimediums and Hellebores

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just past noon and the snow is really coming down now. I finished lunch and went out to get the mail and was surprised how covered I got in that short a trip. The noontime weather report has not changed at all from this morning or last night for that matter. This is a good storm that's bringing more snow to the mountains and keeping our ski industry in high gear. Since our state of $175 million in the red, every ski ticket counts.

One of the important things about managing a business in today's economy is keeping informed about what your industry and your competitors are doing. I think Gail and I do a very good job of this although we often hear each other comment about how much time we spend reading. That is a fact as we read perhaps 9 trade magazines and half a dozen private publications as well as the reading we doing via plant, tree and shrub listservs and the Internet in general.

This winter I have noticed an increased interest in hellebores and also epimediums. Catalogs are promoting specials for both these plants and picture displays and articles encourage gardeners to the fact that these are easy to grow and worth trying. We concur!

Google up epimediums or hellebores and you'll be surprised how many varieties are on the market. Today I am featuring a few epimediums so check out Darrell' Probst's The Epimedium Page for a better over view of what's available. Worldwide more new natives are being discovered and more hybridizers are working their magic.

Spring is still a couple months off here but epimedium are early to bloom and I guarantee you will be happy with them. Continue to scout for sources and if all else fails, stop by and see what Gail has available this year. For me, the only thing difficult about epimediums is describing what the flower shape looks like. Tell me what you think!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where I'm thinking I should probably sweep off the satellite dish before too long.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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