Saturday, February 05, 2011

Garden Development

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2° above zero here on the mountain this morning. We must have been tired last night as the wood stove was on its last spark this morning when I rose at 5 and fired it up again. It's a Hearthstone brand and I can't recommend it enough as it starts quickly which is nice when you're still half asleep,

Karl the Wonder Dog wasn't interested in much of a walk this morning and he's already back in bed. The crows were upset about something over in the red pines and are still talking loudly enough that I can hear them from inside the house. They should be here in about an hour for their morning review of new contributions to the compost pile.

I continue working on new additions to the hosta garden at the nursery. It is progressing nicely although people who visit us often seem to expect that I will work faster than I do. I have a couple orders in progress for more plants. Visitors interested in hostas and shade plants get out of the car, give a welcome and then head down to see what has changed. I wish it was closer to completion too but everything takes time.

I'm pleased with the trees and shrubs we have planted and only one maple worries me as to whether it will make it or not. I planted maples that can handle more water but the one in question had a poor root system and I should have returned it instead of planting it two years ago. The other trees are doing well.

I have always seen lindens planted along road ways and I have admired the nice leaves, good trunk and the annual growth. Since I was looking for more shade to replace the fading box elders, lindens seemed like a good choice. I obviously overlooked the part about them being a Japanese beetle magnet but like them just the same.

Last summer I added some dwarf yellow and also green nine barks and they are doing well. They offer a different height and width to contrast with the taller maples and mid range lindens. This spring I will add some ginkos and witch hazels so I have additional yellow leaves to work against the sinescing hostas come fall.

I ran short of the stay mat for the pathways--crushed granite that packs well and provides a smooth walk for older, shuffling feet. I have the hemlock timbers to make an 8 foot wide pathway down the mountain to the garden and those steps will be back filled with stay mat too so that part of the project will come together soon after spring planting.

Since we moved many, many mature hostas to this site, the plants are well set and should provide a good display this year. They still need to be relabeled and the entire area needs a coating of aged wood chips. Until the snow got deep two weeks ago I was stockpiling chips for that purpose. Lots of work to do but by mid July I hope that those making the walk will see a big difference from last year. It's nice to be able to see what a mature hosta looks like compared to a potted plant, a label and half a guess. Come visit!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a ball of red sun pushes through the tamaracks and pines and suggests morning is here.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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