Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mindful Hosta Plans

Thursday, March 1, 2005

5:45 PM and I just got off the phone with a person I cannot understand who told me that the problems I have been having with a Yahoo listserv are widespread and don't worry about it. It has occurred to me that I can't recall when in my life I first heard "They're working on it." but that is a phrase often exploited now. Hughes, our satellite broadband supplier, was chosen from a choice of one and I'd say they are about as good as any. Tonight I was transferred to their level three tech support where I was provided with a description of how my problems are being handled. If you know me personally, you alreay know how I got to level three and what my attitude is after hearing this absurd description of the problem. I guess if it involves a satellite 26,000 miles from here, there's not much I can do.

Gail and I have been mapping garden strategies for our new gardens on Route 2 and it's been a lot of fun. Everyone has their special way of doing this but Gail likes big sheets of paper devoid of restriction and lacking any formal scale. Sketch after sketch flows off her pencil and when she finishes I always make one of those "How'd you do that?" faces. This girl is good and she doesn't have any landscape academy initials after her name. If she did, she wouldn't use them anyway as they are pretentious to her---downright meaningless.

Last fall we rototilled some gardens in the main field and we have outlined what needs to be done this summer. We'll figure out a weed and grass erdication plan and then rototill the entire perimeter of the land. On the external face of that perimeter I'll install an extruded plastic fence for deer control. I haven't figured out how to deal with the Route 2 perimeter yet as I want it to look open and inviting to people but not deer.

I have already begun trimming dead trees along the Winooski River and under every bit of shade that remains, we'll plant hostas and their complimentary companions. Customers have grown to enjoy the lower shade garden here on Peacham Pond Road and it's compactness will be difficult to replicate in the first year or so by the river. A couple years back I saw a real nice presentation at Fieldstone Perennials in Maine and I'd like to use the same model. They prepared deep gardens parallel to stone walls and then planted hostas which as full grown specimens made any gardener stop in awe. With time, we can have that same large plant, widely spaced show. We'll move some of our larger hosta clumps and will plant 3-4-5 of other varieties to get some good clumps started. It still takes a good 3-4 years for this method to pan out but from that point on, growth is eyecatching.

Now that tax time is over for us, we'll take the sketches Gail prepares, check our inventories and then make metal markers for all the plants we intend to get in the ground next year. We use the markers available from EON or Paw Paw and then make weatherproof labels using clear Avery Labels printed on our old HP Laser printer. These stand up well for years. It eliminates any confusion later on if you have the plant stake ready at planting time. .....ask us if we learned this the hard way.

New gardens are just that and they'll require lots of compost and other amendments. We still don't know where all the physical energy wil come from to operate two locations at the same time. Gail has a crew that seems willing to keep coming back and that's a real nice feeling. If I stop for just a minute I can hear the laughter that comes from these gardeners who just keep plugging away in about any kind of weather because they enjoy each others company and they enjoy working with plants.

Right now I can smell a nice haddock dinner calling and that's something that shouldn't be delayed.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the temperature is holding a steady 26.1 for the third hour now. This is putting us on notice that the storm is approaching. The plow is on the truck and there's a shovel by each door.

Garden planning wishes,

George Africa

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