Friday, February 21, 2014

Green Is A Garden Color Too

Friday, February 21, 2014

31.1° here on the mountain and pouring rain. I just returned from a quick walk with Karl the Wonder Dog and he is less than happy with what's going on outside. He loves the warmer morning but right now he cannot shake enough to get dry. I expect in a couple minutes he'll be in front of the wood stove sleeping.

Although it's not too nice outside, this is the time of year when we finalize plant orders and work on our list of what has to be done come Spring before those orders begin to arrive. I spoke yesterday with a great hosta grower and supplier in Michigan and since it was raining cats and dogs there, I knew it would be here today. My call was about adding some new hostas to our display garden to get more mature plants ready for customers and visitors to see in a couple years. There's an email waiting for me this morning and I'll see what they are suggesting. We already have a very nice selection but bad weather here for three years running has kept us so busy that we haven't expanded what we grow and offer. Gail spent a lot of time last year potting up more hostas to offer larger plants for instant gratification and I'm trying to get reorganized too.  This is the year!

If you have read many of my blogs you might remember that I am a proponent of designing gardens based on the size, shape and texture of the plant when it is not flowering. Although we buy plants for their colorful blooms, most of the season we are looking at foliage and to me that is an important concept to understand. Along this same line, I think we often forget that green is a great garden color too and as such we should incorporate more and more plants with leaves of different sizes, different shades of green and different textures. 

Take a look up top here and you will notice a grouping of rodgersia. This is a plant not often seen in gardens but it has an important job to serve. Heights vary and the creamy white blooms offer lots of attention. But it is those season long leaves that break up other parts of the garden backdrop and allow us to plant in front and around them. 

Hostas have always been thought of as those leafy green plants that don't do much for a garden and get carried away with self propagation until big clumps of solid green or white fringed green are evident. That may have been true a long time ago but hostas continue to be the number one best selling perennial in the world and there are over 6000 varieties on the market now. I believe the best hostas ever are being released to us now and they are so beautiful there should almost be a garden mandate to look them over and give a few a try. Old perceptions are difficult to change!

I'm not trying to prove a point, only share a message and an opinion that you consider green as a good garden color and try to work more with it this summer. If you have questions or want to see the direction I am pursuing, stop by the flower farm or drop us a note. Our new business email is Gail's personal email is  

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where wet birds are arriving at the feeders for a breakfast buffet that needs a little attention this morning. I have to get going and feed my friends!
Safe travel  this morning. If your roads are like ours, you might have a late start today.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm (Patience, reconstruction under way!)
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens, a Like Page
On FB as George Africa offering gardening thoughts
And always here to help you grow your green thumb!

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