Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Chores

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A dreary morning here on the mountain. 33.4° now. Windless but damp from yesterday's rain, hail, sleet, snow. What a day!! This morning, the night's frost has already begun to melt from the standing seam roof and I can hear the drip-drip drips on the ground. Warmer weather is en route and certainly is quite welcomed. It should be up to 60° by Sunday.

Last evening I read two more emails inquiring what had happened to me since I last wrote about willows in March. I'm fine but have been ever so busy with spring clean up. I got to work in the woods much of the winter and recently I have been splitting wood for future years. I don't mind the job and usually try to work on the splitting at least an hour a day which translates to about a tank of gas in the splitter. When others go to a health club or go running, I go to the splitter. It's mindless work but you still have to pay careful attention to the moving parts and remember where your hands and fingers are. I usually entertain myself with my IPod and sing along to myself when no one else is listening. Many would not care to hear me and Talking Heads.

I stopped in the old hosta garden this morning and noted that more pulmonarias are beginning to bloom. The hellebores are well budded and the white ones, always the first to bloom, are opening. Their opening is not uncommon but to have a garden that is completely snow free on April 12th is uncommon here on the mountain. There are still patches of snow in the woods here but by and large the snow is gone.

I'm heading to the flower farm shortly and Gail will join me at 8:30. We have all the potted perennials uncovered so now have to roll up the plastic covers and the 3/8" insulating blankets and get them stored. We use old tires to weigh down the covers over the winter and they have to be loaded and brought to the storage pile until next fall. Gail refuses to participate in that job and even Alex who is way stronger than me avoids the job if possible. The tires are always filled with some amount of water that always ends up in the wrong place.

If you grow primroses in your gardens, be sure to rake last fall's leaves off to give them a good start. They are growing well now and the seeds they left last fall will be germinating soon. They are a plant that naturalizes well but the seeds will not germinate until the layers of leaves are removed. It's certainly worth the effort when a few years down the line you have great swathes of these beautiful flowers.

The call of a loon from Peacham Pond suggests that I grab another coffee and head out the door. If you haven't gotten into your gardens yet, get out soon and see what is growing, what needs attention. Take your pruners along as I'm sure there is something, someplace that needs a little attention.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where I can hear pileated woodpeckers having breakfast on the sugar maples in the orchard next door.

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

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