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Spring (HAH!)

  • Subject: Spring (HAH!)
  • From: gw1944@vermontel.net (Glen Williams)
  • Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 08:31:26 -0500

Dear Hosta Folk:

   A spring  e-mail. It's about 7:00 here on the frozen tundra of southern
Vermont. There remains 3 feet of snow but the promise of a spring thaw can
be felt in the air (just not in Vermont). It's now 13 degrees, but by 3
this afternoon it well may be 33 degrees. I will get my garden clothes out.
Just the thought of watching icicles actually drip, is filling me with joy.
I will warn the neighbors.

The wire of the dog run which hangs just beyond the bay window where I type
and watch my garden for signs of life, now droops so that the center is
nearly two feet closer to the lawn. The wire had been taut in November. I
figure that the extreme cold had compacted the earth and my land had
condensed. Or just possible, the glutinous birds that have lined up  along
the line for months, produced the sag. Or I suppose it could be  the
barking dog beneath the birds ,speeding back and forth and attempting
flight. The birds shift and change position  as my dog's  chain  whizzes by
on the wire. Its a game for al of them. But the birds win. My dog has not
perfected flight, unless she is leaping in the air to catch a tiny piece of
greasy cheeseburger (one piece a week...both she and I).

  Following the great tradition of wild berries growing up under the
cleared land beneath  telephone poles in the wilderness, the birds bomb the
wildlife below (which barks even louder)  with their fertilizer containing
undigested seeds and other things designed to torment a small Sheltie.

And speaking of this fertilizer, I have spent the   winter of 2002 and 2003
sanding the icy walks and driveway at least once a day. The sand goes on,
and by some miracle is absorbed into the ice (without a thaw) and is now
layered below the refreshed and glossy surface of the  new ice on top. Two
weeks ago I switched to kitty litter so  that  standing and walking on the
ice in an upright position was at least possible, if not likely(the town's
ice hockey team now skates up and down my street). This kitty litter was a
new scented variety, which does indeed attract cats. It attracts cats with
a purpose. My walkways and the driveway are now one giant litter box for
cats. Build it and they will come. Cleanup is going to be special this

I have taken my hosta seedlings from about 2,500 down to 200.  This was a
good year for for me.  I lucked out with streaked seedlings from H. 'Warick
Comet' (which should not have happened), and H. 'Dorothy Benedict' gave me
25 % variegation with extremes in color.  The old faithful breeders did
well too. I tried H. 'Ingenuity'  for the first time and two of my breeders
did well too. I got about 30% of my crosses and some of these are
promising. I expect that they are promising more than they will deliver,
but that's always the case. Like this spring,...promises...promises.   glen

PS Not a single fungus gnat to be found. :-)

Glen Williams
20 Dewey St.
Springfield , Vermont
Tel: 802-885-2839 

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