Saturday, August 20, 2011

Late Summer Oldies

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Half past five this morning and Karl the Wonder Dog sleeps and snores loudly as if forgetting it's summer and time for his walk. I care not as there are many morning chores today that have to be completed before I head for the nursery. It's 55° now, and windless with a good barometric pressure so today looks like the day we were promised. Gail has already responded with her personal comments about the projected afternoon temperature. She always equates higher temperatures--those 80° or more, with poor plant sales. She is correct but this time of year, even with a terrible economy, out of state guests stop by to take things home. I am positive about today.

The daylily industry has done a fine job with mid-to-late and also late blooming daylilies to guarantee color in Vermont gardens well into September. We have not done a good job offering as many as we should to customers although we do have a nice collection still growing here on the mountain. Some are newer but some are old and have been used since around WW II.

Up top here is Autumn Red, a 36" dusky red that was registered by Nesmith in 1941. It blooms over quite a time and my only comment is that bloom count slows dramatically when the vigorous plant growth becomes too compact. It continues to bloom and it makes a nice back border hedge-like planting or a green border for walkways. It does need some help controlling its growth over time but a sharp shovel or knife will do the trick.

In 1941, Stout registered Autumn Prince (just below) , a four foot tall yellow with a lemony fragrance you'll remember. The flowers are smaller than some might like but they just bloom and bloom on tall, slender scapes that wave in the breeze. The height gives prominence to the back of the border and when planted where they are visible to foot or vehicle traffic, you'll find yourself answering identity questions from gardeners who like and want it.

Gail says we never had Autumn Minaret, another Stout registration from 1951, but there was a time when we had some here at the house. It is noticeably taller at 5.5 feet, maybe a little taller even, has good branching and the flowers are lemony fragrant too and bloom again during early fall. Prince and Minaret remind me how much I enjoy Hesperus that just finished blooming maybe a week and a half ago. I wish they had the more vigorous growth habit of Hesperus but I guess I don't need more daylilies that require periodic dividing with the "to do' list I already maintain.

We are sold out of Autumn Prince and have an order of Autumn Red leaving today or tomorrow so that's it for this year. Neither of these may compare to the modern designer types you may have come to enjoy but there is a beauty to anything old which cannot be replaced.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the back door just closed and Gail headed out with Karl for a morning walk. I have this vision that they will meet some large wildlife this morning. It looks like that kind of morning.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
Still plenty of time to let us help you grow your green thumb!!

No comments: