Friday, February 15, 2008

Kind Comments

Friday, February 15, 2008

I returned home to a quiet house this afternoon. Karl the wonder dog, was happy to see me and there was a sandwich in the fridge for a snack. The answering machine light was blinking but Karl wanted to go out and I had some packages to bring in. When I got back to the message it was unusual but welcomed. It was a message from a woman in Michigan who thought my Vermont Gardener blog on June 17 was very nice.

I couldn't even remember the events of June let alone something I had written then. I had to go back to find it. I had titled it "Two Friends". As soon as I started reading the first paragraph I remembered the day well.

Take a look:

This is the start of President's Weekend and the news reports that the number one travel destination in the US is New York City followed by Las Vegas. Just so you understand my place in life, I will be traveling to Cabot, Vermont tomorrow to get some milk and eggs and to East Montpelier if the hardware store in Cabot doesn't have the 14 quart bucket I want. No NYC or Las Vegas for the Vermont Gardener! Until then......

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where limited stars light the sky as the temperature continues to fall. Below zero readings are predicted for daybreak but the woodstove will keep us warm.

Be well!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Vermont Gardens

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Garden Romance

Valentine's Day 2008

Today is a classic red day like the red Asiatic lilies pictured above. It's Valentines Day and a day to remember, not a day to forget. Here at Vermont Flower Farm things are in their usual upside down winter state. I just got home from work and Gail and Alex just returned from Burlington. We could have used one of those wizard's wands you see on television cartoon shows where a little flick here and there and things fall into place. We don't have one.

The groceries are in, Karl the wonder dog has been out, Alex already grabbed a snack and his new book and is squirreled away in his room reading and Gail is mixing up some sauce for the shrimp. I have the woodstove cleaned out and will get it going in a few more minutes. There are eleventy seven other things to do but I have to let readers know The Vermont Gardener has been busy...and it's Valentines Day!

The woods are pretty as the trees hold the latest snow and ice and glistened in today's sun. It's getting darker now but today's peace is very much unlike last year's 46 inches of snow in two days that closed down Vermont and drove florists looking for cliffs to jump off. This year has been different and travel today was much easier. Hopefully you visited your florist and helped make up for last year. If you live locally and know you messed up, stop by our friend, Jerome the Florist, North Main Street, Barre first thing tomorrow morning and he'll help you out. Guaranteed!

Many of the flowers that I really enjoy are not even available on Valentines Day. Fresh roses that are so very expensive often actually come from South America although there are a few American companies that produce fine product. Potted plants are popular with me. I like pink or white cyclamen, red azaleas, or tulips. Cut flowers are also nice and a spring type mix heavy on iris, tulips and daffodils makes me happy. Gail agrees.

One perennial that is a great cut flower is one which is enjoying dormancy right now. Dicentra. Bleeding Heart. Long about the first week of May here at Vermont Flower Farm they bust through the ground and then stop to catch their breath. They raise questions of "What's that?"among visitors who stop to see how we made it through the winter. Fortunately, they grow quickly and by the end of the month they are looking bright and sophisticated.

Later in the summer there are lilies that remind me of the cold days of February and the Valentines Day that passed. A couple Oriental lilies that bloom in late July/early August but could be Valentine flowers are named Kiss Proof and Hot Lips. I know these are good ice

breakers because I once gave a talk to a garden club where the average age of the 50 or so ladies and one church janitor was about 68. Even the janitor's yellow lab was white with age. When I got to Kiss Proof they giggled and when I got to Hot Lips the laughter even made me redden up. I could have made 51 sales that day if only I had thought about bringing some Hot Lips.

As for you this late on Valentines Day, just one kiss, just one "thank you for being you", just one handmade card or homemade poem might do the trick.

Happy Valentine's Day from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the salmon is about ready.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
Vermont Gardens A popular site to check when The Vermont Gardener forgets which
blog he is supposed to be writing