Monday, July 22, 2013

Buy Local, Buy Vermont Flowers

Jovibarba heuffelii 'Purple Haze'

Jovibara heuffelli
Purple Haze

Monday, July 22, 2013

A quiet morning on the mountain. Light clouds float against patches of blue sky. The temperature hangs at 49.5°, the coldest morning in weeks but I love it. The humidity is low enough to notice its absence but the morning weather report suggests the humidity will be bothersome by late afternoon and the clouds will build to a storm. We don't need rain here but it is coming again.

People like to take vacations away from the state they live in.They spend hours and hours planning and saving money for trips that leave them happy but tired and often with credit card balances that detract over time from the glory of the visits. There was a time when I spent too much time on a plane or in a car and I have reduced my travel to more local visits. It works for me and I will continue. Tomorrow for example, I am leaving the flower farm in Gail's hands and traveling 90 miles to Crawford Notch in New Hampshire. I plan to hike to Arethusa Falls and then backtrack and do part of the Webster Cliffs Trail. It will be hot, it may be raining, but I will enjoy every bit of it right down to chasing away squirrels that have become begging pests at the falls.

Yesterday was a busy day at Vermont Flower Farm. The daylilies are in peak bloom, many urged on to bloom ahead of time by last week's record setting heat. Sales could have been better but we sold a lot of plants anyway. I better remember to refuel the golf cart this morning or we'll be in trouble digging plants from two different fields and hundreds of yards apart. Gail loves that cart!

Part of yesterday's plan was to close the gate at five and pack quickly to head to Glover, Vermont, +30 miles away, I had made plans for Gail, house painting friend Michelle, Alex and me to go visit Kate Butler and her Labour of Love Nursery. 

We arrived only 15 minutes later than I planned and almost immediately Gail and Michelle were letting out lots of "look at this" sounds. Adjacent to the parking area is the start of one of the finest collections of sempervivens I have ever seen and if you like the looks of hens and chickens in your dry or rock  garden, this is a must-visit place for sure. Like the named example pictured up top here, the names are tricky  but the plants-oh the plants-they are so exciting with idiosyncrasies, colors, webs.

We walked back and forth along the manicured rows of plants, often walking on patches of creeping thymes that shared fragrances with us as we walked from one exciting plant to another. As I sit here writing now I can still reflect on the fragrances that reminded me of days in Shelburne, Vermont when Gail and I grew over 50 varieties of herbs for the farmers market and we smelled those very same aromas.

Kate has a very nice collection of daylilies across the bridge and we spent some time there doing what daylily people do, talking about flower shapes and size and color and when do they open and how long do they bloom. We returned across the bridge and looked over rows of potted plants as Gail took the opportunity to add to our daylily collection with a couple we "needed". Plant collectors often get a bit obsessive and the "I need" part is questionable but a reality.

I know we could have turned around and toured the gardens all over again but  as the evening temperature cooled, our bodies reminded us that yesterday started at 5 AM and sleep was the next thing on the to-do list.

If you are out and about, think about the many fine gardens and nurseries in Vermont. They are closer than you think. Small businesses make Vermont what it is and they need your help growing on. Plane flights are fun but Vermont has a lot to offer without an airport. Ask for suggestions and we can probably help. And if you go see Kate in Glover, stop at Currier's Market. It's a part of Vermont you won't forget.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond. People are heading to work from the pond but I know they wish they didn't have to go. The weekend was beautiful and life outdoors was fun. Come visit!

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
Always here to help you grow your green thumb!
Yes, we do sell plants on-line. Lots of them!

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I have to tell you that I LOVE your Flower Farm! Our sons live in Stowe and have been in VT for quite a few years, one having graduated from UVM and the other from Unity College in Maine. We visit your Farm every summer and I have been buying 2 or 3 Daylilies each year to plant in my garden, here in SE PA. Now I am buying different colors and bloom times. We have a small backyard, but it is truly the talk of the neighborhood! And the daylilies have really made the difference. I can't wait to come in Aug and purchase a few more. I don't always remember the names or varieties, etc, but I just know that they ALWAYS do well, and it is just a real pleasure to look out the kitchen window or sit on the back porch to view my fabulous garden! I wanted to take a photo to send you, but this heat (about 100 for a few days in a row) and lack of rain has tired things out, and although it is still beautiful, the other flowers are getting tired! Thank you again! Oh, and this year, I plan to purchase a few plants to add to my sons girlfriends garden in Stowe!