Thursday, December 22, 2011

7 Sisters

Thursday, December 22, 2011

33.1° here on the mountain with a 4 mph wind that has small bursts to 7-8-9 mph. The rains have stopped, leaving walkways and dirt roads polished up enough that I could hear the town truck's tire chains slapping long before it slid past our driveway trying to make the corner and head for Peacham Pond. As I walked Karl the Wonder Dog earlier I could hear ice tinkling on the banks of the trout pond. That means that for the third time this fall the pond has frozen and thawed, frozen and thawed, frozen and thawed. The trout may be confused but I have been elated to get so much outside work done during times when snow usually prevails. In a few minutes I'll check the weather forecast and try to reprioritize today's chores to take advantage of yet another warmer than usual day.

Winter solstice is often announced with commercial pictures of sunlight breaking through the giant stones at Stonehenge. I figured the way things have been going I'd never get there for a personal visit so in 2000 I hired a guy to help me plant what became known as the 7 Sisters and the start of a beautiful shade garden. Much has passed in those 11 years. The garden has traveled from infancy to superiority and maturity. At it's height it was a magnet, luring customers and visitors from some distance to stop and tour. The garden fell from glory when we decided to move the nursery and since then the beautiful collection of shade plants has been overrun by jewel weed that sparkles much less than its name might imply.

Just the same there is something strong about standing granite and at times like this I find myself caught up in redesign sketches and personal promises that this will be the year to reinvigorate the gardens around the stones. Last year Michael and Alex got as far as raking all the leaves and picking out the fallen maple branches but we just never got back to the real work. But the strength of the granite is reminding me that in times that have been difficult for many, I need to rebuild what people came annually to see. I have hand drawn maps of how it was and perhaps between now and spring I can rework where the swaths of Japanese primroses need to meet the hellebores and how the small hostas need to be moved away from the giants. I think it can happen this time.

Sitting and writing on the granite mountain above Peacham Pond. The sun is still a half hour out and until it breaks loose, the quiet I hear will continue. Peace and good will.

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 sending out nice gift certificates and helping every gardener grow their green thumb!

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