Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Rain Drops and First Thaw

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Almost 7 PM here on the hill where we are anemometer-less but wish we had one. The local television news just announced the wind speeds at various Vermont towns and 55-60 mph was common. The wind continues with great ferocity here and a brief step outside with Karl the wonder dog scared both of us as a large maple tree bit the snow. That's apparently common tonight (the falling tree part) as Channel 3 reported the number of people without power. It includes 561 Green Mountain Power customers burning candles and kerosene lamps and looking for more flashlight batteries as are our friends at the Marshfield Inn. The outage extends to parts of East Montpelier and beyond. Green Mountain Power happens to be one of the better utilities when it comes to line maintenance and speedy repairs so hopefully everyone will be back to normal soon. January thaws are like this sometimes but this one is giving plenty to remember.

A week ago it was minus 15 degrees and blustery cold. Yesterday and today new records have been set and now rain and wind cut away at one of the nicest early snow packs we have seen in several years. Fifty degrees and pouring rain reminds me of mid June when our hostas are looking great. I have always enjoyed seeing the raindrops bead up on the big leaves of a Hosta 'Elegans' (above) but today the picture is only a memory.

As I sit here, letting my mind walk through the lower hosta gardens of summer, it's a calming journey. The garden I have created over the years within the walls of that old barn foundation is a peaceful place. It's easy there to pull up a rock and sit down for a few minutes to reflect on the world and enjoy the quiet.

As my mind skips through the greens and blues and whites and yellows, names come to mind. Jimmy Crack Corn, Feather Boa, Jewel of the Nile, Captain Kirk, Dick Ward, Robert Frost, Bobbie Sue, Blue Moon, Little Sunspot, Blue Jay, Olive Bailey Langdon, Yellow River, Popo, Venusta, Amber Tiara, Hacksaw, Risky Business, Royalty, Donahues Piecrust, Red October, Regal Rhubarb. There are hundreds of different hostas here and in the slide show that works through my mind.

These are some of my favorite plants and this garden is a favorite too. If winter cold begins to get to you and you aren't sold on hostas yet, take a look at the American Hosta Society site. If that shows promise try the Hosta Library Those two sites will take days to get through but if you still have some ambition, go to our Vermont Flower Farm site and try the links for
Building a Hosta Garden or Hostas A-K Those links should help you make a decision on how much you do or don't like hostas. For me there is no question......I can't buy enough!

Writing from the mountain where tomorrow's sunlight will make obvious all the rearranging tonight's winds have done.

Drive with care.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

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