Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grey Day

Today was one of those grey, misty days when all the colors outside are intensified. All the various greens of the trees, the silver of the lichen on branches, the reds and tans of dried grasses and leafless branches are deeper and richer for the grey background. I was looking out the window while weaving and noticed that the pussy willow is in bloom. The large catkins looked almost metallic in the misty light. This is a pussy willow with huge silver catkins that came from cuttings I took from a tree that was going to be cut down in town. I had a friend who knew when the old gardens were about to be bulldozed for new construction and we would go on shrub rescues. I have a gorgeous double mockorange and a Veilchenblau rose with lovely little single purple blossoms, and an unidentified old fashioned double pink rose that escaped the bulldozer thanks to our quick action. I also have some lovely old roses that I've grown from cutting taken from old farmsteads here on Waldron, most of which I've never been able to satisfactorily identify. But they are beautiful. I hope that someone rescues my roses from this place when we are gone.

Today Joel cleaned all of the old tomato plants out of one of our hoophouses (unheated plastic greenhouses) and I am going to plant an experimental short row of sweet peas tomorrow. For years I have tried to grow sweet peas only to have them taken over by aphids just as they start to bloom. It occurred to me to try them as a winter crop to see if I can escape the aphids. Elegance is a day neutral variety, meaning it will bloom regardless of the length of the day. I'll try some now and then again in the fall for a winter crop. Wouldn't it be lovely to have fresh flowers in the winter?

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