Thursday, June 28, 2007

Preparing The Soil

Thursday, June 28, 2007

An even 70 degrees here today after two days in the low nineties. There were a few rain drops last night after a noisy thunderstorm that brought much fanfare but little rain. The air is heavy now and the feeling of rain is obvious.

Work at the Route 2 site is finally progressing. Michelle is able to be here and help Gail more and I am able to get away every night. The new tractor is excellent and I am so happy that I listened to my instinct, not my landscape friends, and bought the size I did. A 30 hp engine is fine for what I need and I am getting an hour and a half of work time per gallon of diesel. I don't know if this is good or not but running the PTO at high speeds has to affect the cost and I'm ok with it .
I have mowed the entire five acres twice and will go for number three this weekend. I have all the calcium sulphate spread and have tilled 12-50 foot sections three times each. I have 20 sections to go plus the 200 foot display garden section in the front. Progress is slow but obvious and just seeing where I have come makes me smile.

Today I am here on the hill. Michelle and Winnie will be helping me as Gail is in Burlington all day at an autism conference. Alex will have a friend over for the day so I have a number of directions to go in. We received a very nice daylily order yesterday from Northern Grown Perennials in Wisconsin and Michelle will get going on those shortly. They'll be potted for now and then transplanted to the new site in a month.

The shipment of deer fence arrives tomorrow and 2200 feet of fence will take a while to get up. I have yet to decide on the posts but think I'll go with a mix of 4X4X10's and some 10 foot T-bar heavy duty posts. That decision has to be made today.

The last thing to move this fall will be the peonies. We have a nice collection in excess of 135-50 types and have over 200 plants which will be moved. My intent is to have display gardens around the entire 5 acre perimeter with a walking trail parallel to the fence. This is an ambitious undertaking and will take years to bring along but it will be worth every minute of prep time.

If you enjoy peonies, get here to Vermont Flower Farm this weekend as the heavy rains and hot days are cutting the bloom time. We have peonies scattered about but if you do come, don't forget to walk through the lower hosta garden and into the field to see the peony display down there. P. 'White Wings', one of my favorites, are in bloom now. The yellow peony pictured directly above is a tree peony and that's a story for another day. If you can't get out to see us at Vermont Flower Farm, go to our website and stroll through the garden pictures we offer on the various Virtual Garden Tours. Chances are you will find something that you will want to add to your own garden.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where the low pressures of the morning have slowed man, bird and beast to a significant quietness. This weekend is Hosta Days so stop by for some of Gail's world famous blueberry coffee cake and tour with us. Come early as when the cake is, gone, it's gone for the day.

Great gardening wishes,

George Africa

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