Monday, June 08, 2009

Strange Spring

Monday, June 8, 2009

A bright sunny morning here on the mountain with an abundance of large, gray clouds floating by and a temperature of 67 degrees. Last night's rain was a marginal, two drops (literally) in the bucket storm and a disappointment to farmers like us who need to see spring rains at the right times. The ground is dry and the forests and pastures worry us in case a fire starts.

Despite the recent dryness, the spring flowers are nice. The bleeding hearts are well under way and they remind us of grandmothers gardens. The old fashioned varieties so common to us were joined a few years back by a gold leafed variety that has been expensive to buy. Gail has ordered it twice this year because of demand and although many say $17.50 is too much to pay, dozens already have. She has one planted by the back door that is in bloom for those who cannot wander to the split rail fence that has a bunch I planted years ago.

Along the path to the lower hosta garden is a patch of Dicentra eximia. We typically carry the creamy white 'Aurora' as well as the pink-red 'Luxuriant' and 'Stewart Boothman'. 'Luxuriant' drove me nuts last year because it was featured in a number of gardening magazines and people were ordering it right and left. Our supply remains better than I thought but will be a challenge in a few more weeks. I really like all the eximias because the foliage is light and nicely cut and at 14" tall it works as a nice contrast to many other late spring colors.

I have never been a fan of perennial bachelor buttons but I have to say that the blue of this flower is something you'd like to maintain all summer long. If you take a single close up picture of one flower you will be amazed at the beauty that prevails in the design. By afternoon it's difficult to get a picture here as the bumblebees love them and can often be found bouncing around from flower to flower. This happens to be a flower that contrasts well with peonies and as this photo shows the contrast appears as if it belongs in a painting.

I wish I could stay here this morning and get caught up on writing but my favorite sport--the dentist--beckons.

Best gardening from the mountain above Peacham Pond where a loon calls loudly from an overhead flight.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Gardens
Vermont Flower Farm A web site in need of interested gardeners


Barbarapc said...

thanks for stopping by my site. I've been away from the computer and just starting to catch up. Our family used to visit friends who had a home outside of Middlebury - we were Montrealers at the time. Vermont is a gorgeous State. I feel the same way about perennial bachelor buttons - so much room for weedy looking leaves and flowers that are done in a flash. D. eximia can be a little inconsistent for us in our dry sandy soil. My favourite dicentras are the Dicentra 'King of Hearts' and 'Gold Heart' (lucky for me they were both gifts).

George Africa said...

Hello Barbara;

Gold Heart has been very popular this year and just yesterday I heard Gail comment that she wanted to buy King of Hearts for next year. She was conversing with a grand mother who was apparently succeeding at getting her grand daughter interested in gardening and specifically at using dicentra.

For years I had a summer house near Basin Harbor on Lake Champlain and on rainy days like today I'd go to Middlebury to the book store or a local event. It remains one of the nicest communities in Vermont and is one others should try to visit.

Despite what Google Maps tries to tell some, our new address is 2263 US Route 2 now so if you are out this way, stop and say hello.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener