Sunday, January 01, 2012

Out With The Old

January 1, 2012

31.8° here on the mountain, windless and the only noise comes from deer, walking through the lower field and crunch, crunch, crunching through the wet snow. The sound of cars three miles below on Route 2 is absent today as people rest in preparation for the first day of 2012. There is a lazy fog hanging above the snow and no sense of urgency to jump into anything this morning.

Alex just turned off his lights and went to bed. He is 19 now but still and forever will be a member of the autism spectrum of life. He has had this thing for many New Years where he stays up well into the new day checking New Years events around the world and continuing his study of world and military history on his computer. I checked him at 1:30 and he smiled as only Alex can smile and he reminded how well 2012 was going. He also studies the actual history of alcohol as well as mixology and last night he ended 2011 with an Irish Whiskey Sour made with Bushmills, an Irish whiskey dating from 1608. I asked if he has chosen a drink to celebrate today with and he only replied "Contemplating".

I cannot recall the origin of "Out with the old" but it is an appropriate saying for the first day of a new year. As I finish writing this morning I will return the last of my garden books to the shelves of my newly painted, reorganized, freed-of-bushels-of-paper office. I never throw away a book but do recycle some here and there to where I know they will be appreciated. I also never throw away a plant even if I don't like it and that's what Gail and I have spent three years now doing with some of our daylilies at the nursery.

Daylilies are a fine perennial and appropriate for modern day gardeners who want color with almost no care needs. Gail has been taking rows of daylilies that no longer sell well and selling them each fall as bare root divisions to free up more garden space and get more people growing daylilies. I don't know the current count of registrations held with the American Hemerocallis Society but it is somewhere around 64-65,000 different registrations. Daylilies are the second most popular perennial, following hostas which have always held first place despite a contrasting registration count of under 7000 last I knew.

The very first daylily was registered in 1893. It was a cross between the species Flava and Middendorfii. It was named Apricot and here are some pictures. There are obvious characteristics that make this easier to identify but admittedly it took me years to get ours, an unnamed gift from friends, properly identified. That is understandable with so many to choose from.

So New Years has long been known as "Out with the old, in with the gold" but in the case of daylilies at Vermont Flower Farm, the "out" part only means that we reduce the number of each less popular daylily to a spot in a display garden where the name with remain as "gold" as the day it was first registered.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where my second walk of the morning with Karl the Wonder Dog spotted three sets of coyote tracks that weren't in the field two hours ago. Karl looks funny pushing his nose into the snow to get a good smell. When he identifies "coyote" his head raises quickly and he freezes momentarily before he scoots for home. Some dog!

Happy New Year!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Writing on Facebook at Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also at George Africa
On Twitter at vtflowerfarm
Helping you grow your green thumb into 2012!


Matt and Kathy said...

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Thank you for taking the time to write. We read each of your posts and are looking forward to visiting again this summer.

Mrs. F said...

Off topic question: Your blog doesn't seem to be updating in my Google Reader feed. It hasn't since early November. I have tried to delete and re-add, etc. Any ideas? =/