Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Evening Starbursts!

Gardeners seem to enjoy walking their gardens in the morning or in evening time after dinner. I like the weekends when I can catch both ends of the day. This is especially true in the spring and early summer when so many things are changing. I didn't make it to the lower shade garden yesterday afternoon or this morning so this evening's walk was a surprise. The flowers are jumping through growth spurts and are amazing to watch. If only we'd get some rain, things would look so much better.

The epimediums caught my attention as they circle the standing granite stones. The grandiflorum album stand out with their star shaped flowers. The heavy bud counts mean that there will be blossoms for some time to come. The simple rubrum are heavy with flowers and even though they have creamy yellow centers that stand out, their more rounded petal shape is not as interesting as the shape of the white grandiflorums. Are they star shaped or spider shaped flowers? Look closely at the picture and try to describe the flowers. I find it a difficult task. Perhaps it would be easier if I had studied botany.

Walking along I noticed a new group of hellebores brought on by the soaking from yesterday's watering. Yellows, creams, whites, maroons, all with heavy center spots, all hanging downward
save for one curious yellow flower that looked into the camera for me. I glanced back to the epimedium, back to the hellebores. Which do I like the best?

The evening sky is blackening as a storm approaches. The sound of the fire trucks in the background is lightening a bit so the drill must be over. The local volunteers come a couple times a year and pump from the dry hydrant that enters the trout pond. They shoot plumes of water 200 feet into the air. Never once have I seen a trout go flying by and that is good because the little ones cost $1.85 a piece. I add 50 per year--25 brookies and 25 rainbows and I prefer they don't learn to fly.

The European gingers have fleshed out nicely and the tiny yellow of immature Hosta 'Green Eyes ' is an attraction with such a bright yellow. Lemon Lime and Venusta are barely poking through the earth but by week's end they will probably be an inch tall. Little hosta are nice!

Time to end the walk as darkness is coming fast. Perhaps the weeds are growing as fast as the hostas. One thing is clear though. Heavy watering up until frost time sure made a difference with the size of the hostas coming through the ground this year. If I can catch up on other chores this weekend I'll add a little fertilizer to the water and really watch them grow. In the meantime, I'll just enjoy the sights of spring and the voices and sounds of the male hummingbirds, home to Marshfield at last, to build nests in the white pines and enjoy the flowers at Vermont Flower Farm.

Enjoy the evening. Walk your gardens as often as you can.

George Africa

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