Thursday, May 04, 2017


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Good morning from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the temperature dropped to 28 last night but the wind and rain gave up and now the eastern sky is mostly clear with only a thin pink line at horizon level. The birds are very quiet today and even the calls of the loons at the pond are silent so maybe they moved on to another water for breakfast.

Our big plant delivery from Michigan arrived yesterday. I had been tracking it for two days and found out along the way where Newburgh, NY was. I like the tracking option as I know when I need help getting the boxes off the trailer. It was right on time although the driver did not seem that pleased with me when I told him (not asked him) to back the trailer in the yard. He asked who would handle the traffic and I said nothing, just motioned to traffic to stop and motioned to him to start backing. Too often now days there's never time to do it right but always time to do it over. I am having trouble understanding truck drivers. Some speak no English at all or act like they don't know what I am asking and many absolutely do not know how to drive....just cannot back up a trailer. My expectation is that for what I am paying for freight, I should not have to move boxes from the main road.

The delivery included astilbes which our crew will begin to plant today. Gail is building our offering of this fine plant back up to 75 varieties where it was three years ago. Interest in specific plants often changes over time based upon new hybridizing efforts/new releases and garden writers whose photographs can make a plant immediately popular with one magazine issue. (Note the February issue of Fine Gardening Magazine where Gail and I contributed to an article on astilbes)  I have always loved astilbes and I go for pumila, the short species which can handle rock garden kind of locations where it blooms late ad can handle some heat, the ostrich plume types such as Strassenfeder which grow to three feet tall and float in summer breezes, and then the taller varieties that stand sentry at the back of the gardens as if they are holding big signs that welcome pollinators to your garden. 

Our astilbes are just beginning to break ground now so if you do not know them, it will take another 6 weeks before they show color. In the meantime, take a look at and review the 11 pages of plants we offer. I'll bet you can find one you don't have.

Have a great day. I'm off to the flower farm now to get things set up for our crew. Alex will join me in a couple hours and we'll get mixes mixed and pots filled so when the worker bees appear to start potting, everything will be ready--but perhaps the coffee cake.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the pink sky is broadening. There is no doubt that the terrible rain storms that were in Missouri yesterday will be in Vermont tomorrow. We must plant late today as tomorrow there will be no outside work, just pouring rain and wind. Be well!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Find us on Facebook as George Africa and also as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
Always here to help you grow your green thumb!

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