Sunday, July 13, 2008

Perennial Tired Gardener

Sunday, July 13, 2008

An interesting morning here on the hill as morning breaks through presenting a mackerel type sky with red hints and an accompanying wind. The temperature is 63 degrees and the morning ground is dry for a change making flower picking a bunch better. The weeds outside my office window are so tall they obstruct the view to what is left of the lower daylily nursery, much of which was moved to our new business location. It's a big assortment of weeds with the predominant bloom coming from Queen Anne's Lace.

Karl the wonder dog and I made a quick walk as I have to get going here. Gail is already banging pans in the kitchen as this time of year she has a super good blueberry coffee cake available for early morning customers. Yesterday she made two large pans but I noticed as the first one arrived at about 9:30 that the berries were absent, suggesting a tired mother, gardener and business woman trying her best to please all. The second cake, so hot that pot holders were in order, had the berries and had a quick following that dispensed it before I had much of a taste. The recipe has appeared on this blog before and probably should be reposted or have the link referenced. It's a very good cake and serves just as well after dinner with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This time of year is the crossover time for major sales moving from hostas to daylilies. The new nursery has been a challenge on a number of levels but if you forget the economic ones, learning the new climate and soil has probably been the biggest. There is a 700 foot difference in elevation and that means it's warmer in the valley. The adjacent Winooski River creates its own micro climate and the clay soil, once warmed, appears to hold the temperature longer. That means daylilies which were late bloomers here on the mountain are already in bloom or bud in the valley. An example is Chicago Apache which is a later bloomer here. Yesterday I noticed it had set buds and was about a week away from flowering. Alna's Pride on the other hand (pictured above), a Barth daylily I purchased on 9-11 at the farm in Alna, Maine, is about as close to on target as can be. Lots to figure out.

Gail bought a poster from the American Hemerocallis Society to hang on the shed and help people understand the difference between lilium and daylilies. We have come to be known as the "lily farm' because of all the bulbs we grew and sold so for some reason, many neophytes think all "lilies" are bulbs. This infuriates some hemerocallis growers but to us it is a responsibility to be better educators. Many are getting into gardening for the first time now and they need and want answers.

Already six here and I have to get going. I want to mention this book that I found at Borders the other day. C. Colston Burrell's Perennial Combinations:Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right From The Start. It's one of the few books I have located that has a section on growing in clay soil. It mentions some good combinations. When I get a minute, I'll explain some more. For now, it's off to work!

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where does with new fawns teach bad hosta eating habits to their young. Deer lettuce.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm

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