Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reminded of Reminders

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another fine morning here on the hill despite calls for more rain and some thunder boomers by later this afternoon. I'm scurrying here this morning en route to an early appointment and a brief trip to the doctor. Summer is a busy time anyway and trying to get a new nursery off the ground during challenging times is more work than days are long. Good friends and a stream of customers has kept us busy but still tired.

There are always things which need to be accomplished in life and with a business. Gail and I are "list people" and we keep lists which sometimes work into two or three lists and then a list of what can reasonably be accomplished. We work well together and help each other remember. When you throw a 91 year old mother in law and our work with autism into the mix, some days are too short. Today is probably one of those days.

There are a couple reminders I never got to yesterday and one involves garden safety. A lady visited yesterday who has been a customer of many years. She is a farm lady with a large family. She is so nice that hugs and good wishes are never enough. She advised yesterday that one of her sons had been caught in the power take off on a farm tractor and was seriously injured. There are no words to describe how we felt when we heard this.

Farm and garden safety are important. Operating a lawn mower, a rototiller, a chipper, a weed or brush whacker all have inherent threats and people now days don't seem to think about this enough. I am amazed to see so many people not even wearing eye protection when they are doing a task that generates flying debris. My reminder here is care about yourself, family and friends, teach young gardeners the safe way and constantly remind each other when you notice infractions. When you are tired, do not use any equipment. I have a general rule not to climb up on the tractor when I am tired--I just won't do it no matter how deep the grass is. I never operate the chain saw for more than the time it takes to go through one tank of gas. That's about 40 minutes and that's more than enough to cut more wood or brush than I want to clean up before the end of the allotted time. Think safe is the reminder here.

If you are a lily grower as in lilium--the martagons, asiatics, longiflorum asiatics, orienpets, orientals, species, etc., check again for lily leaf beetle and take necessary action. This is an insidious insect and if you grow lilies or want to grow lilies, be reminded you have to act regularly on this problem.

August is almost here and if you grow peonies, be sure they are well watered in mid August. For us that's not a problem because Vermont has set new records for rainfall this summer. Recent rains have come at 3-5" at a time so I am not worried about our peonies. If you live where it has been dry, water well as this is when peonies set buds for next years flowers. A little work now will pay dividends next year.

Make a quick tour of your gardens and be sure you have picked up all your tools. Tools with wooden handles or even the more modern plastic coated wooden handles will rot quickly. You are listening to a guy who preaches but doesn't obey and I have a collection of tools that need repairs because I have been very poor, downright lazy, about bringing tools back in after use.

Tonight as you tour your garden, take a look at how things are growing, what needs to be weeded, what needs moving or dividing. Make a plan. There was a sign by a health club the other day that said "Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail"/ Nuf said. You have your own reminders I'm sure.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Cedar Waxwings (the birds) are as beautiful to me as the daylily by the same name. See Gail at the nursery and she'll help you find one or more to purchase.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm A nice website with good information and no directions on how to get to our new nursery on Rt 2 Marshfield. Reminder..... George???

P.S: Last reminder. Pictured above is Gooseneck Loosestrife. Check your gardens for troublesome weeds and invasive plants. The is a good plant if you do flower arranging but a poor plant for the garden unless it is planted inside a container with a set of eyes trained on days when it crawls over the top.

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