Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coloring Up

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Layers of grey clouds slide over patches of blue and white as the morning tries to sort out what kind of a day it will present. 57° and windy with movement from 2 to 6 mph and back to quiet again. Maples drop leaves already and the bright reds and oranges we all love do not seem to predominate this year. Strange summer, early fall.

The gardens change this time of year and less experienced gardeners have already given up the opportunity for color. As the last monarch butterflies go from flower to flower loading up on food to start their journey, wild asters of all heights predominate the fields and roadways. In the gardens the cultivated asters prevail and they are a very low maintenance, welcomed addition to a garden's color palette.
Butterflies in abundance enjoy the various actaeas that offer long, bottle brush flowers this time of year. The plant's fragrance lures in all sorts of insects and it is fun to just stand and see who shows up to display their bright colors.

Annuals hold on for their last breaths not knowing when that hard frost will strike them down. The tall Verbena bonariensis that I love so much as a cut flower still stands tall and like the actaea, it lures in butterflies. The other day I picked a large bouquet of various hydrangeas and I put them in an old watering can with spikes of verbena for accent. Lots of compliments on a very quick and simple arrangement.

Within the gardens, the late daylilies still bloom and the zinnias and ageratum such as Tall Horizon offer slightly faded colors. The zinnias dull out as time passes but they are a welcome addition to a table vase. A friend brought over a nice pink daylily named Scatter Brain the other day. I assume it was tagged correctly but it was fully budded and just starting to bloom. Here at the house the ligularias still offer an assortment of bright yellows and oranges and the hostas in the lower garden senecse and turn bright yellow.

Try to get into the Northeast Kingdom if you have some spare time today or tomorrow. Rain is coming and the foliage is peak up that way but it won't last long with heavy rains. The little kettle ponds around here like Bailey, Marshfield, Goslant, Osmore, and Kettle offer incredible photo opportunities and Osmore, viewed or pictured from the picnic area on Owls Head just off the parking area is special. The climb to the top of Owls Head will make you ooh and aah but it might make you pant a little too. Give it a try. If you cannot climb, drive to Cabot Plains and from the car you can see views you may never know existed. Stops for apples, cheese, wine, maple syrup, homemade goodies--it's all part of fall in Vermont. Lacking anything else, stop by Vermont Flower Farm where Gail still has some very good sales items and will always help you grow your green thumb.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a noisy flock of Canada Geese just honked by.

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

1 comment:

Salix said...

Spectacular colours, beautiful flowers.
The Fall Anemones in your previous post are also some of my favourites.