Friday, July 14, 2017

Early Summer at the Farm

Hello dear friends, it has been a while since I have posted.  We have had quite a wet summer so far which has put quite a "damper" on keeping up with the gardens!  We recently had 170 mm of rain in one week with 102 mm of rain in a 24 hour period alone.  The gardens have been waterlogged and the mosquitoes unbearable.  On the bright side kindred gardening spirits understand these challenges and hopefully wont judge me!

Although the allium is no longer blooming I like these two shots showing visiting pollinators.

I love the electric blue of this centaurea but for all of its' weedy nature I wonder why I keep it.

About 20 years ago we constructed a stone wall to terrace our front lawn.  Over the years the junipers we planted in front of it became overgrown so we chopped them out last year.  This year this rugosa rose thanked us by making an appearance through the newly freed up space around an evergreen tree.  We are going to have to transplant it to a more suitable location so that it can fourish.

So many years ago this borage was one of many plants I received from an elderly neighbour.  It self sows quite freely and is supposed to be very beneficial for bees.  What started out as one plant has turned into a large border which I havent mustered the energy to tackle.  😊

Here is a different rugosa rose which has been very happy at the farm.  It is highly fragrant and spreads by sending up new shoots from underground suckers.   It is not the best fit in a border but I am thinking that it might be lovely planted in swaths along the new driveway.

I have seen so many glorious photos of phlox on various blogs and have been anxious to grow some of my own.  Last year this group of plants were just becoming established.  This year....I find this.  I noticed the same situation on a different phlox plant in a different border and I squarely place the blame on 2 rogue lambs that consistently barge through a fence to graze the lawns we refer to as "The Grove".  I was able to photograph the same two criminals munching on my tulips.

My husband finished a lingering project.  This arbour has been missing a roof!  We are debating which vine is growing up the side of it, we previously had concord grapes growing here but had to remove them because our yellow labs were eating the grapes.  Grapes can be toxic to dogs and while ours seem to have a cast iron digestive system we didnt want to take any chances!  We are already far to familiar with our veterinarian!

There is nothing more comforting than a good old fashioned Adirondack chair...in my opinion!!  We have gone through several of them over the years at the farm.  These are plain old pine chairs that have been painted and dragged around.  They spend most of the time on the veranda but in the heat of the late afternoon summer we like to move them to the lawn.

Our latest two projects include the koi pond as well as working on the extensive decking that we have on the back of our house leading the a small gazebo.  Although the work is not done we have taken a few "test drives" with friends for barbecues and by all accounts it is going to be a very popular entertainment area!

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Stroll

Hello dear friends we have had a very busy weekend so sadly no time to work in the gardens.  We have another wet week with another 35 mm of rain on Wednesday.  Many parts of the province have experienced record rainfalls.  The consistency of the soil is just perfect for weeding so if I can learn to tolerate the blackflies that are out in droves at the moment I will try to spend a bit of time gardening during the evenings.

I love this mix of tulips from Veseys called "Wine Lovers".   Those that know me will understand the significance of the name!

More tulips from the same collection.  I planted them last fall in the Hercules garden.  The apple tree in this garden has almost finished blooming and the petals have left a beautiful carpet of white.

We have many varieties of apple trees on the farm and while some have already finished blooming others are just coming into their full glory.  Colours range from pure white to pink with many shades in between.

I love allium!

We have some lilacs in the hedgerows.

I believe this to be some form of wild choke cherry.  Did you notice the snail?

More lilacs with a divine fragrance.

Another apple tree.

A pair of ducks at Lake Ophelia.

Part of our old stone house.

This is a perennial bachelors button (Centaurea Montana) which has brilliant electric blue flowers but is rather weedy and a rampant self sower.

I hope you enjoyed our little bit of exercise.  Wishing everyone a lovely week.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wild Weather at the Farm

Hello dear friends, it has been the strangest week for weather!  We had a couple of days of hot humid weather with temperatures of 30 degrees followed by a big drop in temperatures with high winds and heavy rain.  

It is still early in the season but the trees are all starting to leaf out.  The many apple trees in our areas had a brief glorious display of blossoms but most of the petals have been blown off by high winds.  Lake Belwood is just visible in the distance.

After hot humid weather on Tuesday and Wednesday we had strong winds on Thursday.  By the afternoon clouds started to build and we had a brief period of heavy rain showers.  We didnt notice until the following day that the winds blew the roof off of one of our bird houses!  It is lying on the grass by our little blue spruce tree.

Heavy rain is blurring the view of Bailey's Garden.

We sat on our front veranda watching the rain come down.  In about 10 minutes time we received 8 mm of rain.

And then as suddenly as it started it was over.  I have never photographed a rainbow before!  We were not able to locate the pot of gold which is unfortunate because if we did we would retire and spend every day at the farm!

Now this is annoying.  Two of our lambs are just small enough to fit through the fences and spend part of the day grazing the lawn in the grove.  It didnt take long for them to discover the tulips and once discovered they wasted no time in munching on them.  

Our sheep have been enjoying the pastures across the road this week.  Sheep love dandelions so as they return home they often make a quick detour to nibble on some.  I think that this lamb was vocally denying any involvement in the Tulip Caper.

A view towards one of the gardens from the veranda.  Most of the tulips are past their prime now.

The koi pond is still a work in progress.  Although this week's rainfall was brief the heavy rains from over a week ago caused the pond to overflow.

I hope you enjoyed this quick update!  Thank you for visiting.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mid May at the Farm

Hello dear friends, this time of year is particularly busy at the farm. The trees are starting to leaf out, the grass is lush and green and we have birds everywhere.  The gardens change daily at the farm and I have a few quick photos to share.

Just over a week ago many parts of Ontario and Quebec received significant rainfall with many areas suffering from severe flooding.  Although it became quite soggy at the farm and we had some ponding we didnt have the water damage many other areas experienced.  Now a week later the garden soil has just the right of moisture to make weeding easy!

A week ago the crab apple trees were just starting to bud and now they have burst open with glorious blossoms.

I simply cannot seem to master the art of taking photos of the koi.  The koi pond and its' surrounding stone wall is quite a project.  This week some of the deck and step details are coming together so in a couple of weeks I hope to have some pictures of the finished pond.

A lovely spot for tea.

Pretty pretty Holly.

A view over Willoughby gate towards the forests in the distance.

Well that was a very quick peak at some of the views at the farm.  Thank you for visiting and enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Afternoon at the Farm

Hello dear friends, while we continue to work away on our farmhouse renovations life goes on outside. At this time of year it seems that our views change by the minute!  The grass is lush and green and many of the trees are starting to unfurl their leaves.  We cut our grass this weekend which seems very early in the season.  I took a little stroll this afternoon and have some photos to share with you.

I have a weakness for Vesey's bulbs. Those fabulous pictures, those enchanting names...!  How many times have I ordered extravagant numbers of bulbs in the warm sunny days of the summer only to have the  bulbs arrive in the cold wet fall when getting them planted is a challenge at best.

Our laying hens are enjoying the outdoor weather.  I have been doing some gardening and the chickens are very excited to have a wheelbarrow load of fresh weeds delivered.  Over the years we have lost many of our hens to marauding racoons so they are kept in a fenced enclosure. 

Twins at the milk bar!

An inquisitive lamb.

Staying close to Mom.

A view of the back of the farmhouse.  The stone house is the original farmhouse and the addition is finished in board and batten.  

The forsythia has suddenly burst into bloom.

More Vesey's bulbs in front of the stone wall that surrounds our koi pond.  The koi pond was a last minute project last fall to accommodate the koi that we received from a friend.  Each year we buy ornamental fish for our ponds and move them to Lake Ophelia in the fall but these koi were quite beautiful and we wanted to be able to keep them close to the house so we could enjoy them.   The pond itself is finished but the landscaping is not-when it is finished I will share pictures

This pretty statue marks the resting place of Carrie, one of our beautiful German Shepherds.  As with so many of our dogs Carrie came to us from a rescue.  When her owner passed away the family did not want to deal with Carrie's special medical needs.  We were able to adopt her and she spent many years enjoying life on our farm and working with our sheep.  She was a very beautiful girl and was even featured in a fund raising calendar! 

My daffodils need to be divided.

This lovely statue marks the resting place of Jessie, another beautiful German Shepherd.  Jessie came from the same rescue as Carrie although a few years later.  We were devastated when we lost her to cancer.

This statue is for Kodiak!  We are privileged to have been able to provide safe and loving homes for so many beautiful dogs.  Kodiak also came to us after having had a very difficult start in his life.  

Mrs Robin has chosen our gazebo as the new home for her family.  With 3 dogs and 2 cats it is honestly a mystery to me as to why birds choose to build nests so close to our house!

There is the little garden shed in the distance.  I have some finishing touches to do on the outside and if time permits this year I will paint the inside.

Thank you for visiting and enjoy your week!