Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yellow-gold Richness Rises!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just 6 AM here on the mountain above Peacham Pond. 54.3°. The heavy rains have quieted the birds and animals and so far, nothing is moving about. I suspect if I walked towards the pond I would begin to see deer and other bigger animals but for now everything mimics the anemometer--motionless, apprehensive, waiting for the opportunity to bound and spin into a sunny day.

This spring's New England rains have been well documented as farmers and gardeners share depressed days over saturated fields and flower beds. I would like to grab my fields and gardens like a giant wash cloth and wring out excess water but that cannot be. Three days of sun and wind would make a big difference but for this weekend the best we can expect is a half day of sun and then more showers. Customers at the nursery have been sparse as no one can consider planting at a time when the results will be so poor. Hosta admirers have been the exception. I notice one greenhouse advertising on television has repeated its ads with notes that the rain and sales continue. Sadly they will have to run those ads again as the weather lady says more rain most of next week.

Yesterday Michael completed his 4th day working with us. The work is some different than his studies at Castleton but he tells me that he feels fine and will be back Monday for another week. He would have worked through the weekend but with more rain coming, he'll visit friends and get a chance to dry out clothes and boots. In the past couple days we patched fences that were opened by errant moose and then put 3600 square feet of shade cloth on the three shade houses. That means a lot of up and down the ladders and pulling and tugging on shade fabric and bungie cords.

As bad as the rain has been, certain flowers prevail in their glory. You could not want a better spring to jump start hostas and ours are fabulous. Those in pots have unfurled and those in the display garden I am building are ready to open as soon as we get a little heat. I still wonder where the slugs and snails are as most of the leaves look clean so far.

A great plant to pick up where your daffodil yellows and creams have left off is trollius, the cultivated buttercup you know from the wild. Trollius come in various heights and flower sizes and whether you call them by their correct names or just call out "double buttercups", you'll find a plant that loves damp feet, flowers now for a good month, and then again in September if you deadhead after the early flower production.

I like the smaller flowered varieties but admit that Pritchard's Giant (last image at bottom), a little later to bloom here, is an eye catcher. Gail has not had the best luck with Alabaster, a creamy white, but that could be the luck of the draw and involve repeated plantings in areas too wet or too shady.

Trollius make a great cut flower and hold up well with other spring flowers. Give them some thought. You'll find ours potted for sale and located in front of the shed/office as you enter the nursery. Let us know if you have questions. Orange Princess is pictured up top, and here are two examples of typical bud count after a couple years. The +2" diameter flowers of Pritchard's Giant are at the bottom.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where fog is rolling in like a Maine morning. Have to get going. Stop by and see us if you're out and about today.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens & also as George Africa
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
Even if it keeps raining, we'll help you GROW your GREEN THUMB @Vermont Flower Farm!

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