It occurred to me as I’ve read about the dedicated volunteers working at Charlotte’s Park (formerly Demeter) and the Library’s rain garden that I’ve neglected the cause of “native plants.”
Seems in Vermont it’s almost a requirement to have a display of peonies on the homestead. Most commonly the choice is the old-fashioned herbaceous variety. We anxiously await the bright red nubs that poke from the cold soil each spring. They are just about to bloom in our town.
As we continue to practice social distancing to avoid the coronavirus, I think daily how grateful I am to be living in Vermont, and in Charlotte in particular, where most of us can walk out our doors for fresh air and a closer look at the natural world around us.
May! It’s here with its wonder and beauty of colors and fresh aromas, bird song and hope. It also brings chores as one of the busiest months in a gardener’s life. The much appreciated rain we’ve had made everything jump with growth and reminded us we need to get busy.
Did the garden understand what a tough year 2020 was going to be for us humans?
Depending on where you live, there can be a month or more after the snow recedes in spring until we see flowers. Planting spring-flowering bulbs shortens this window and packs a ton of color, contrast and liveliness against a backdrop of the slowly awakening earth. Spring- flowering bulbs are an incredibly hopeful presence in a time of cool temperatures and unpredictable forecasts.
Deck the halls! That’s what we hear as the winter solstice and holidays approach. In Vermont, natural greens, berries and cones are the norm. It’s amazing how expensive these “found” objects can be.
Lovely flower arrangements accompany each meal at the Charlotte Senior Center. Mary Lovejoy, the woman responsible for these pops of sunshine, essential now that the weather is so glum, has been creating them weekly for over two years.
To meet Cathy Wells at Unity Farm on Higbee Road is to enter the world of a true dynamo. Ordinary multitaskers would be put to shame.
The blessing of a rainy spring has brought great joy to me and my mature garden. I’ve been musing, with this “best garden in years,” about how long-lasting so many of its offerings are. We’ve been in this home for 23 years now, and some of my plot’s stalwarts have been here even before that. As we age and yet still want a beautiful landscape, we depend more and more on these tried and true warriors of the plant world.
It’s a bird… It’s a plane. No, it’s Britsue’s Greenhouse/Tenney’s Snack Bar. A fantastic treasure in “East” Charlotte. You…
The ice is gone from the lake, the buds are swelling, and the days are longer. Go out into the garden and brush away some leaves or dirt and behold the emerging buds. These buds will turn into lush growth in just a few weeks.
The forecast mentions snow and I’m hoping I’ve done all the necessary tasks to relax and forget gardening for a few months. This is a good question: what is required to set the garden to bed for another season? This very day I placed the last of my spring bulbs in their snug homes for the winter. The last of the leaves have pretty much all come down. Fortunately, I have helpers to clear them up.
The first indication I had that there was a “hussie” in the garden was the intoxicating scent of perfume as I was drifting off to sleep. How sweet it was. Could it have been the Stargazer lily or perhaps Casa Blanca? Maybe clethra rosea, aka “summersweet”?
In the past few columns, we’ve visited the finer and perhaps more colorful of the garden’s inhabitants. These are the icing on the cake, so to speak. But there needs to be structure and strength before you add icing. This is what gardeners refer to as the “bones” of the garden.
Now you see them, now you don’t. I’m speaking of spring blooming ephemerals that will be showing along Vermont’s roadsides and, if we’re fortunate, in our own gardens very soon.
The natural world is awakening. March entries from my garden journal prepare me for the vicissitudes of the month, when lions and lambs interact frequently. From 1998: Snow cover generally gone since early February. Huge snowstorm on March 22. In 2001: Town Meeting Day Storm cancels Town Meeting and dumps 30 inches of snow on Burlington, fourth greatest snowfall on record. Also three snowstorms after March 25!