Friday, June 10, 2011

Like Lupines?

Friday, June 10, 2011

A pleasant 67° here at 9 AM. A slight breeze is willowing the tree leaves and the air is thick with humidity from yesterday's rains. Here in Marshfield we were spared the 4-5 inches that fell across central and southern Vermont yesterday, downing power lines and flooding once again. It's warm enough now that you can almost see the grass growing.

This time of year lupines are blooming everywhere. They are evident in gardens but also in fields along the roadways where they self seed freely. At the nursery I refuse to grow them even though people ask for them as soon as they see them someplace else. I have always enjoyed seeing them myself but when they pass, the foliage looks ratty and aphids, specific to the lupines but aphids just the same, are prominent.

Aphids are vectors of other problems and I don't like the thought of encouraging insects that might spread other diseases around. As such I try to suggest to customers unfamiliar with a close up view of mature lupines what they might see. From the perspective of a garden, lupines are analogous to Oriental poppies which leave you with a big hole of brown when they finish blooming. Give both of these some thought in terms of where you plant them and what you expect from them. As with humans, if the expectation is clear, the product is not disappointing.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Dan and the road crew are dumping crushed stone and grading the road for the first time since February. They have been working long hours trying to clean up after the storms of the 26th of May that wiped out five counties in Vermont. Climate change anyone? Maybe, maybe not.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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1 comment:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Lupines, aaahhhh, every time I see pictures of them I remember seeing the first Moose ever in a roadside covered with lupines. Do you have moose in your area? I read on another of your posts of bear warnings. Scary. I have tried lupines here. No such luck. They look ok during spring but fry in our hot dry weather never to return.