Friday, February 12, 2016

Images Help Me Remember

 Friday, February 12, 2016

A bright but very cold morning here on the mountain. The birds are feeding heavily, trying to warm up their bodies with fluffed up feathers as they pound away on the suet and peck at sunflower seed and cracked corn. It is pleasant this morning but the wind is quiet and the rising sun changes our surroundings, but with silent notice. The outside beckons Karl the Wonder Dog and me for a morning walk but the thermometer scolds us for the thought with a reading of -14.9° as we already head for 8 o'clock. Winter prevails!

So for the present at least, I will continue with reviewing images from this summer that need to come off Smart Cards and get filed away in the appropriate folders. It takes some time but it's a job fitted to an inside-the-house morning and its accompanying interruptions.

My pictures serve as reminders to what I planned but never got around to doing. To the viewer they might seem like garden pictures but as I move pictures around, I add notes to a clipboard to help prepare me for Spring. The top picture is an example. As I look at it, I notice a shovel leaning against the  deer fence. The shovel is leaning in the office building now, stored for the winter, but I had left it there one time as a visible marker that I found a patch of poison ivy encroaching from the faraway bank of the Winooski River. The ivy is dormant now, but it still needs attention come spring. It's one plant that I am highly susceptible to and if I contract it, two months pass--sometimes more-- before it leaves me. It spreads fast and has to go because visitors have a habit of touching things and it is not a plant to touch.

The picture includes a patch of yellow trollius. We received these several years ago as Trollius superbum but they are actually a wonderful trollius that we absolutely can not find anyplace on the market. This comes after asking for help from a couple of the most knowledgeable plantsmen in the world and waiting for the true identification to come to us from Europe. This is Trollius stenopetalus. It's a single trollius, 3 feet tall in time, with a beautiful flower that comes later than other trollius and it blooms for some time. I have to dig and divide these come spring and it will be another couple years before I chance to sell any despite regular comments of "Can you help? I cannot find these in your pots section anyplace." They aren't in pots because I don't have enough to sell yet and cannot find another source. We both must be patient.  If you know of a source, please share with me and others as this really is one very nice plant!

The next image is of Gold  Standard. The originator was Pauline Banyai, 1976, and this plant is an original. It has become a giant and it's on my "must do soon" list because it needs to be dug and divided. People who know hosta recognize this as different that more recent Gold Standards in the trade. Perhaps it is the impact of repeated  tissue culture that has influenced how much nicer this one looks but regardless, come on George, divide the original and sell the best!

For me, looking at my pictures serves different purposes. As snow melts and the ground thaws, my list of chores will need to be reworked a few times because it will be too long to accomplish. I am hopeful this will change this summer as I have a good friend who will be working in the hosta garden. She loves hostas, she likes to barter, and she wants to help. I think it will work fine. Come and walk with us, and see for yourself!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where blue jays and mourning doves devour cracked corn and various small seeds and hope that I will make a trip to the store today for more sunflower seed. It's on the list!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as George Africa and also as a Like Page Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
Carried on various other social media where gardening is special!

And..."Always here to help you grow your green thumb!"

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