Monday, October 22, 2012

Back Again

Monday, October 22, 2012

Just after 6 AM. The wood stove is cracklin', the coffee tastes great and Karl the Wonder Dog and I have returned from our first morning walk. A three mph wind is trying to rustles leaves off the ground but the rains from two and three days back has packed them down and it will take another sunny day to get them flying again. That's good for me as I have to pick up a new spark plug for the leaf shredder/vac and change the oil before I get started with clean up here at the house. I'm hoping for about 10-12 truck loads of shredded leaves to incorporate in the new daylily garden at the flower farm. Maple leaves are just "the best" and I incorporate all I possibly can in every new garden. As much as I enjoy oaks, butternuts and walnuts, we don't have these trees on any of our property so we don't have to worry about their tannic acid impacting on plant growth.

It's been a busy fall at the flower farm and that's why I have been away from The Vermont Gardener. I continue to try to post to our two Facebook pages, Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also my personal, George Africa, page. I like FB because I can get some thoughts and pictures out quickly when I am busy and still not force people to think I have given up on writing and gardening.

I have reached the point in my life that I kind of do what I want to do when I want to do it. Sometimes that is true and sometimes it is off target a bit. When I retired in April 2010 I thought the luxury of free time would be ever so nice and gardening would reach the top of my "To Do" list. . Looking back on my work years (+40 years with Vermont state government) I cannot figure out how I ever squeezed in everything I did between home, the flower farm and work. So now I do things for myself, still squeezed into the flower farm and life at home. In September I returned to Maine for the third time this summer and spent time hiking and climbing in Acadia National Park. I just love that place! I spent time on the ocean and mapped out a couple more places to look for real estate. There is no place like Vermont but there is no ocean here and there's something about the ocean that I cannot avoid.

As traffic at the flower farm slowed at the end of August, I began getting back into the woods to work on next year's firewood and continue working on trails and roads in our +70 acres here at the house on Peacham Pond Road. Things were going quite well until I received a notice in the mail that I had to report for jury duty. Now there's something that can change a schedule! I reported for jury drawing and was actually picked for the three required juries. Today was supposed to be my first jury but last night when I called to confirm my appearance, the recorded notice said the case had been resolved and I did not have to report. Tomorrow I am supposed to start a two day trial and next week a one day trial. Nothing is set until the day before. I feel a responsibility to jury duty but it does interfere with personal freedom for a few days. Just the same, that's why I live in America and respect our freedoms so much.

The weather reports show that warm weather may well change to snow flakes before the end of the week so I will take advantage of today's warmer weather and plant 4 more crates of daylilies. Gail has some Red Rum daylilies to pot and I will dig, divide and line out another row of Sir Black Stem. This is an older daylily, popular with hybridizers and one of the more historic types that I like to work with. I have three more truck loads of well frosted annuals to pull and move to the compost pile and have a crate of mixed hostas to get into the display garden. There's no way I can get everything done today but a man needs a plan.

If you have time this week, get your lawns raked and get the good leaves into a compost situation, yours or another gardener's. I never like the thought of bagged leaves heading for a landfill. Many trees and shrubs benefit from fall pruning and it continues to be a great time to plant or move trees. I have 35 spireas at the house that really need to be pruned and that's just another addition to my list. I continue to look for a day stretcher!

Karl the Wonder Dog is sitting beside me talking in dog talk and asking for another walk. The stars have faded, and gray clouds pass by quickly. Guess I better get started on today!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where pond residents head for work in cars that travel too fast and a blue jay sits outside my office window asking for cracked corn and other bird-type breakfast buffet items. Gotta scoot!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
On Twitter as vtflowerfarm
And always helping you grow your green thumb...every day of the year!