Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Just in from my first morning walk with Karl the Wonder Dog. He was exceptionally late this morning showing interest in going outside but once out he didn't want to return to the house even though my coffee cup was dry. He didn't listen. We walked the pond road until he turned himself around because the mud and water didn't set well on his feet. The time it took him to figure out how to avoid puddles gave me time to look at the scenery and think through what plants would pop out as soon as the still-deep snow melts.
Gardens offer an interesting curiosity this time of year. Spring 2015 in Marshfield is even more interesting because the deep snows of winter are only now leaving and it will be another two weeks before anything other than brown sparks attention. Just saying that we lived through the coldest January through March in 121 years says it all.
Gardeners themselves are usually the curious ones in spring as they seek out which plants lived and which did not. Four perennials I'd like to mention as gaining in garden popularity are epimediums, hellebores, primroses and trilliums. None of these have shown widespread popularity until recently and now each has thousands of fans.
Epimediums have never been popular here at the flower farm because they don't bloom at a time that encourages their interest. They are like tall bearded iris in that respect. They are beautiful flowers that have yet to sync themselves with Vermont gardeners and their gardening schedules. This is apparent during home and flower shows when you rarely (never for me) see one on display. These are mid May through June blooming flowers with annual bloom time impacted by snow and cold.
I enjoy epimediums because they are slower growing ground covers here in Vermont. They stay under 18" tall and in time are covered with bazillions of small, spider-like flowers that sometimes bloom again come Labor Day. Their foliage is as much an interest to me as the flowers because the leaves of many are variegated , some mottled in color that intrigues.
As you tour garden centers or hidden nurseries such as our flower farm, stop and take a look at what is available for epimediums. They are not cheap but they do reward the gardener more and more each year with an abundance of flowers, some smaller than a dime, some larger than a quarter. Monetary reward, monetary requirement.
Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the small birds of the woods are cleaning up leftover bird seed that is becoming more obvious as the snow continues to melt down. Stop feeding the birds now, avoid problems with black bears and prepare to rake the spent seed soon. Clean is good.
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens, a Like Page.
Also on FB as George Africa, a page full of garden pictures.
Employing social media to spread the word about gardening in VT.
Always here to help you grow your green thumb!