Saturday, June 23, 2007

Iris Bloom in Vermont

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I was out the door and onto the tractor by 4:20 this morning, heading for a day of work at our new site. The morning was a chilly 42 degrees and I layered two coats and a sweatshirt before embarking on the five mile ride. Last night's rain must have encouraged the critters to sleep in this morning as I didn't see anything on the ride down. It's downhill most of the way but still takes more than half an hour. I leave early so I can avoid traffic and just after I pulled off Route 2 this morning, a stream of tractor trailers headed west.

Gail picked me up at 6:40 after I had mowed the first quarter of the property. This is the second mowing and I think by the third it will begin to look like lawn instead of hayfield. There will be a ten foot by 200 foot display garden at the entrance and then 32 plots 50 feet long for the daylilies. I don't know how things will work out today because there is so much to do. It will take about 5 hours to mow the rest of the field as there is one piece I have never done before and it's thick with grass. Then I break out the new Wood's 5 foot power tiller and drive around in circles for a couple more hours. There there's more lime and manure to spread before tilling everything all over again. We have a group coming at 9 for a tour and then I have to pack the truck and head back for the balance of the day. Tomorrow will be shorter still as I have a project with the Friends of the Winooski River going on.

As I drove in circles this morning I remembered what I forgot and that was to tell people to go visit Phil Cook at Poker Hill Gardens in Underhill. Phil has a masterful collection of plants and he is espcially fond of all varieties of iris. He has dwarfs and tall bearded and Japanese and Siberians and of course species. He also has quite a collection of epimediums and an interesting assortment of perennials you might not find elsewhere. This weekend would not be a great time to visit as he has the American Iris Society there but other times are fine and he is a very knowledgeable gardener and a great person. He also can make one heck of a chicken pot pie which I heard followed his mother's farm days recipe. E-mail Phil at and arrange a good time.

It's not warming up too much here but I have to get going anyway. Alex is leaving for the day and night and we will have lots of customers here by 9. Michelle will be with us all day to help with customers and I expect hosta sales will be very good. If you haven't beeen by 256 Peacham Pond Road, Marshfield, you better stop by and see one of Vermont's nicest hosta collections! I'm biased but have to say it does look fine this year.

Have to go!
Good gardening wishes;
George Africa

1 comment:

Carol said...

An impressive amount of work for a day, and quite the early start. I can't believe it was 42 degress. Does it ever warm up in Vermont?

I visited the public sale held at the National Hosta Convention in Indianapolis this week... so much variety in one genus!