Wednesday, August 27, 2008

August Colors Continue

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's quiet now, almost 8:30 PM and an in-between time that occurs just after the sun's last rays absent themselves and before the night celestials turn on or the night animals begin to sing. There's an interruption of sorts going on in the kitchen as Alex is mixing a grapefruit spritzer--cling-cling-cling with the spoon and Gail just took a Honey Spice Cake out of the oven--the second in as many days. The recipe comes from a World War II cookbook Alex and I found at the used bookstore in Plainfield some time ago. We have cooked many recipes from it and this one served as Alex's birthday cake yesterday. Three boys came over, all friends from pre school days. They are all good guys who have learned to accept their friends autism and not forget him despite how the world turns.

Gardeners ask for help this time of year in their quest to bring more color to their gardens. For us, much of the color is accidental as everything we plant has a purpose and a place but for some, this is difficult. The top picture includes orienpet lilies from Judith Freeman and The Lily Garden, Vancouver, WA. If you like the lilies, go to her site by the same name and you'll be fascinated by your opportunities. The backdrop includes a hydrangea of unknown origin but one Gail acquired and planted several years back. It started slow this spring after begin covered by 8 feet of snow this winter but it is a champion and adds nice contrast. Look carefully and you'll note a yellow hollyhock flower which adds the contrast collections like this need.

The Lilium superbum are bordered on the left by hosta flowers and backdrops of shasta daisies. The fence post that is sticking up was salvaged perhaps 15 years ago, maybe longer from a long fence that someone was throwing out in Woodstock, Vermont. It's covered with blue and gray fungus now but it sure provides a definition to our gardens.

There are many, many cimicifugas out there now and these are an example. Gail goes for the dark one like James Compton, Pink Spike, Hillside Black Beauty or Brunette but I'll take waves of ramosa or the height of atropurpurea any time. These were renamed actea but I'll accept cimicifuga for some time.

August color is a must and this year, although our new nursery gardens are lacking in maturity, they are on their way to being special too. Sometimes gardens that reside in past memory or current mind have sufficient display to get the garden designer in us working better when we visit plant club sales and nurseries we like. If you have a question or an incomplete thought, ask Gail when you stop by. She is forever completing sentences for me so i'll bet she can help you too.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where Karl the Wonder Dog is already snoring and spice cake aromas seem more tantalizing than tv convention noise. Maybe with vanilla ice cream tonight--the spice cake, not the convention!

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
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