Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nice Shrubs!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Already heading for 7 AM and I cannot seem to shake off the Stanley Cup cobwebs. I have always loved watching hockey and admittedly spent a lot of time and money over the years with my son Adam who began playing at age 5. He played the sport on the rink and a couple times in the emergency room. The Bruins victory was special to me because I have been watching the goalie, Tim Thomas, since he first skated onto game ice at the University of Vermont. That seems like a long, long time ago, especially today, as Adam awaits the birth of his third son.

Yesterday's sunshine was special but customers were absent for most of the day. When the sun shines after a long period of rain, people have personal chores to tend to. The forecast looks good and we expect some visitors for Fathers Day weekend. Hope you can find time to get out too.

This is the second year we have sold shrubs and lilacs are included in the offering. They are especially good looking this year although they have about bloomed out at the nursery. Here at the house, the butterflies and honey bees are in their glory and the main bloom time has just started. The fragrance is noticeable as soon as you exit the car and people stop to ask the names and if we have any for sale.

5-6 years ago I bought Gail a lilac named Primrose. It was supposed to be pale yellow with a nice fragrance but it disappointed us as it turned out to be white and had only limited fragrance. Gail was bothered some and I was not pleased with the "special" price I paid for the wrong shrub. It's over six feet tall now and covered with white blooms but it will never be the one we wanted. When you think about the volume of product that each nursery puts out in a year, it is a miracle there are not more "white is not yellow" problems.

We are also selling hydrangeas again and they look great because of the weather. They are a way from blooming but the plants are thick and nice and even the newer Pink Diamonds that started only a month ago are putting out lots of new growth. Someplace in the hundreds of shrubs is my favorite hydrangea, White Moth. I need to find those today and be sure they are out where people cans see the name. Because of the widespread advertising by the big guys, customers ask for the pink and blue hydrangeas. We don't sell those yet because I haven't had the time to grow them here and insure they do well. Keeping them blooming the right color is not as important as making sure they will live through Vermont's changing winter-spring seasons. .....kind of analogous to the Knockout Roses that received so much publicity a couple-three years back. Great looking roses but they do not live in Vermont despite the zone classification or the hype.

Today is a work day for most but there's nothing wrong with taking a day off to enjoy sun after the spring we have experienced. If you can find some time for yourself, bring some friends and stop and see Gail today. She has some great flowers that will add some sparkle to your gardens. As for me, I'll probably be replacing more storm damaged fence, still trying to keep one step ahead of Mrs. Deer and the kids.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where three ravens are talking loudly as if everyone needs to be out and about by 7. Have to get going here!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
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Growing Hardy Plants for Hardy Vermonters and Their Friends!

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