Sunday, December 01, 2013

Bloggin' Around

 Sunday, December 1, 2013
Just in from working in the woods for three hours. It seems that each day it looks more and more like snow and I know that all of a sudden we will get a big storm and my woods work will slow dramatically. This morning at 5 the sky gave little promise of anything but a build up to slightly warmer temperatures and some snow.  Here it is,  3:15 PM,  and it's snowing out, right on the money. Small flakes are dropping straight down but they are abundant enough to make the birds know things will look different tomorrow morning and as such they are really eating seeds.

I like garden blogs and try to read as many as I can. There was a time when I was attaching addresses to my blog links page all the time but then I got to the point that  I couldn't even keep up with what I had. Now I am bad about writing in the summer time but get in the swing again come Thanksgiving. Guess I am almost on target.

One of my favorites to write about is stones and stonework. If I had everything to do over again I probably would have stayed in Burlington and worked on big projects. But a never ending series of aches and pains from 1982 back surgery suggested differently and here I am in Marshfield building my own gardens and selling plants.

Hardscape is something I have come to admire even though I know it can be incorporated or left aside. To me stone softens a garden and it's something not to be forgotten. I like any stone and often you'll find me climbing mountains of it, hiking over and around it or just plain taking pictures of it in a quarry or in a stone yard.

Vermont has its Green Mountains so we have a vast variety of colors and textures to choose from. We are well known for our granite but green schist which is harder than granite is also in abundance and is used a lot. But even pieces of field stone, glacial erratics , castaways from farm days--they all have a beauty and are all very useful in garden design.

Some designers find large stones or stones broken in pieces and they display them to their positive side. Stone masons and dry wall stackers are more and more in demand now and they compete for what is probably miles and miles of wall. I prefer the drywall stacker's work but the choice is personal and it has to factor in budget and underlying soil type. Vermont is known for deep frost some times and walls will tumble if frost goes deep around a wall without a footing.

Sometimes those who work in stone like to write too. Vermont's Dan Snow from Townsend, Vermont has written two excellent dry wall stacking books, the first of which, In The Company of Stone, is also the title of a blog I really enjoy. Today, during my search for interesting reading, I turned to Don Stratham's blog Rooting For Ideas. I especially like the most recent post:  Although Don lives in New York this post was about gardens in Houston. I bring it to your attention for the fine examples of how stone can be used in a garden setting. Take a look!

As the snow drops like rain, I have a few more outside chores to complete before the sun retires. Hope you're having a nice day!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
On Facebook as George Africa and via a Like Page titled Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
Always here to help you grow your green thumb!

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