Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Helenium

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's a beautiful morning here on the mountain. Bird songs welcome the sun rise above Peacham Pond and the honeybees are making quick flights, probably to nearby goldenrod patches that are finishing their bloom. Karl the Wonder Dog has coaxed two walks out of Gail this morning and now he sits perched on the edge of the couch, looking out the window for morning walkers, joggers or cyclists. He enjoys offering loud barks and a waggy tail to passersby who don't even know he welcomes their presence.

Last night's weather report described the pollen count as rising and mentioned the prominence of ragweed pollen. I have never had allergy problems but Gail and Alex have had a most difficult time this summer with the various pollens beginning "way back when" with maple and birch tree pollen. Right now I do think it is the ragweed that's bothering many but all plants have experienced abundant growth from this year's spring rains and warm temperatures.

A flower we grow for sale and also in our gardens is named helenium, which carries a common name of sneezeweed. Although it doesn't seem to cause sneezing in my friends, there may be something to the moniker I don't know about. Gail always has carried 3-4-5 varieties and this year she pared back her offering and they have been good sellers. They reach 3 feet, sometimes a little more in height, and they are good late summer, back-of-the-garden plants. I planted some last fall along the new river garden but the dry soil there and drought have limited height and advanced their bloom time to the point that those are about passed right now. Just the same, give them some consideration. They are long lived and make a nice cut flower too.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Gail just left for the nursery and I have to get things loaded in the truck. Alex knows he has to mow the lawn at some point and when he does, we'll see if grass pollen and sneezes prevail. Hope your allergies are under control.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
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