Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blue Jay Morning

Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's a Blue Jay Morning here on the mountain. The temperature has been holding at 31.1° since 4:15 this morning, and the barometer is at 29.44 and moving in the direction of wetter weather with a little jolt provided by a 3 mph wind. The blue jays are out in force and are displaying their pushy behavior as they have moved the small flock of evening grosbeaks off the feeders on either side of the house. I like blue jays but they have all read that famous bird book, Pecking Order To The Top, and they follow its lessons well. They also eat a lot, and waste more, but where else can you find that shade of blue?

Lots to do today as I am trying to return my office to some degree of orderliness. Friend Michelle washed and painted it for me but just unloading everything in preparation for the new paint suggested maybe I should call the camera crew to come in and film a new spot for The Hoarders. Through the process I have pushed back all the books that belong to Gail or Alex and ended up on "my" shelves. I have also arrived at a bushel basket of catalogs, emails and scribbled notes that meant a great deal the day I decided to save them. At some point I have to funnel through all of them so don't be surprised if you receive an answer to a lost-but-not-forgotten year-old question.

This is catalog time and catalogs I am unfamiliar with seem to be arriving in greater frequency than before. I have spent years getting off mailing lists and asking people not to send me catalogs but I guess it's like the other day when a company told me that if they didn't send me a catalog, I probably wouldn't write about them.

Just after New Years I always think about seed orders. By this time Gail has already ordered new shrubs and trees that I have begged for and she has all the new perennial orders confirmed. But with seeds, I usually wait until New Years to insure I have a chance to review new seed varieties. We grow very little from seed compared to many places but some things are important to us.

Friends Harold and Leila Cross, daylily growers extraordinaire from Morrisville, came for dinner Christmas Day and right on target, Harold brought some winter squash. We are squash eaters and by Monday noon Gail had the squash cooked and the seeds outside on the bird feeders and the leftover parings on the compost pile. Just seeing the plump seeds made me think about High Mowing Organic Seeds from Wolcott, Vermont. This is a fine seed company that grows more and better seeds every year. Take a look at their website, newsletter and blog.

Squash are great to eat but the plants are kinda neat too. Here are some pictures of zucchini and summer squash flowers to brighten your day. They are easy to grow and provide numerous kitchen opportunities. A package of seed costs slightly more than a pound of squash at the market. The production is likely to be more than you need so your friends and neighbors might benefit from your gardening endeavors too.

I can tell from a look outside that bad weather will begin quite soon. If you have travel and/or celebratory plans, use care and think of others too. Best wishes for a pleasant evening and Happy New Year to everyone!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the town truck just passed by offering more sand than perhaps necessary. Two doves just landed on the feeder, one cooing "Peace for 2012" I like that. Bet you do too!

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
Here to help you grow your green thumb in 2012!

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