Lucy at Christmas

Lucy at Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Preparing for Christmas

Hello dear friends, thank you for those of you patiently waiting for me to post some farm updates!  We have had a busy fall and with a recent snowfall I am shifting into Christmas mode.  Our celebrations will be more subdued than usual this year but we will extend the holiday season by hosting dinners for friends on alternate weekends.   We love to serve great food and wine with people that we have not seen in far too long!

Christmas decorating is underway.  I have been adding to our collection of Christmas trees and as we get closer to finishing our never ending renovations I will be able to put more of them up.

We have 2 small trees on either side of our front door.  After some reflection I think that they need some additional ornaments.

Earlier this year I bought a small metal sign that says "Please Close The Gate".  At the time we didnt actually have a gate but now we do!  And here it is lit and with a dusting of snow.  My very handy husband built the gate a few weeks ago.  One more project done!

A little burst of snow created some beautiful scenery.  This is the terrace area adjacent to our dining room.  The stone wall holds the waterfall garden that has appeared in other posts.  At this time of year the waterfall is not running and the fish have been moved to the koi pond to overwinter.

This festive tree is on the veranda on the side of our old stone house.

Here is a peaceful early morning view towards the barn.  

We have not had any time to enjoy the little gazebo this year but I thought it still deserved a tree.  

There is still much work to be done decorating the trees in the house.  I will be able to share more photos shortly!

~Thank you for visiting~

Friday, October 12, 2018

Puttering in the Fall Garden

Hello dear friends, traditionally my husband and I like to take the week of Canadian Thanksgiving as a vacation week.  We usually enjoy good weather and take advantage of the time to try to get some garden clean up done.  This year I refrained from ordering vast quantities of bulbs and instead I am focusing on preparing the gardens for next year.

A view of the little garden privy from our kitchen deck.  This little utility structure holds our recycling and trash.

We have several fenced pastures for the sheep.  These sheep are in what we call the "rams' pasture" which is just behind the section of lawn we call "The Grove". 

Several years ago we toured an organic farm.  We wanted to learn more about best practices for farm operations that wanted to focus on ethical farm practices including animal welfare and following the principles of organic farming.  We learned about housing chickens in "rolling cages" which allow the chickens to be protected from predators and the elements while being moved to a fresh section of pasture daily.  

I spotted this little "Please Close The Gate" sign at our local hardware shop.  As it happens we still need a gate for this area but I am told that one should be built shortly!

We have been enjoying fabulous fall colours.  This is a view down our country road.

An interesting fungus on one of our large maples.

A view of our old farmhouse from the road.

This arbour is a bit of an orphan at the moment.  We originally built it many years ago to form an entry from the driveway to the walkway to the house.  When we started our addition we needed to move the arbour and we havent had a proper home for it since.  Over the summer though I have been doing some creative staring and I think we have found a perfect home for it!  Next year we will move it.

We have many types of fencing on our farm.  This is a very old section of page wire fencing that runs along an old pasture along the road in front of our farmhouse.  After a great many cases of escaping sheep we built new fencing that restricts the sheep from this part of our property.  Over the next couple of years we will need to rebuild this fence as we have plans for this part of our property!

A view of our old farmhouse from the road.

The side of our old farmhouse.  The stone building on the right is the original farmhouse which dates to the early 1850s.  The addition on the left was started 4 years ago.  The exterior is finished but we are still working on the interior.

We have gone from summerlike weather just a couple of days ago with temperatures close to 30 degrees Celsius to high winds and daytime temperatures dropping to 10 degrees today.  The winds are sending the leaves flying!

When we moved to the farm over 20 years ago we had several elm trees.  Within a couple of years most of our elm trees succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease and we needed to hire an arbourist to safely cut the trees down.  We were surprised over time to find that some elms were self seeding.  This elm sprouted in our shrub border about 10 years ago and seems to be doing well.

This blue spruce was a transplant from another garden.  It has had some close encounters (and some very close) encounters with the crew that mows our lawns and is a little the worse for the experience.  After some creative staring this area will be expanded and become a memory garden for two of our greatly missed German Shepherds. 

This old apple tree is a hollow shell of its' former self.  We cant believe it is still standing.  After each wind storm we expect to find it toppled over yet here it is, still standing!

A week ago we had a ceremony in honour of my late father for close family members.  We purchased this tulip tree from a local nursery and have planted red tulips to symbolize his birth country which was Holland.

This large stone marks the resting place of our very first ewe.  Over the years we have raised hundreds of sheep here at the farm and it all started with April!  This green plant at the base of the stone is Aegopodium, a terribly invasive ground cover.  As an experiment we fenced this area and added some of our laying hens hoping that they would forage through the area and kill the ground cover but it is possibly too late in the season...we will have to try this again in the spring. 

A curious ewe.

A view towards the back of our old house.  The large tree is an Autumn Ash.  As with all ashes in our area it is only a matter of time before they fall victim to the Emerald Ash Borer.  We have had this tree for about 20 years and will need to think about other trees to replace it.

A slightly different view of the back of our home with the barbecue area and the gazebo.

Sheep swarming one of our farm tractors.

A view of the koi pond.

As the temperatures fall the koi will start to become less active.  The koi will spend the winter in this pond.

After this little photography break it is time to get back to working in the garden!  Thank you for visiting.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Thanksgiving Colours

Hello dear friends and Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!  We have been quite busy at the farm but today I thought I would take a quick little walk around and share some photos of the fall colours.

It has been a bit of a drizzly and misty weekend here but many of the colours are still glorious!

This maple is a transplant from one of our gardens.  The majestic maples that line our road are estimated to be over 100 years old but time is taking its' toll on them.  This spring one of our old maples came down in a windstorm and for the last few years we have been planting new trees as part of a succession plan.

An ornamental acorn birdhouse.  

Mosses on an old apple tree.

A barred plymouth rock hen, one of our new chickens.

Sheep in the distance.

Who knows how old this high bush cranberry is!  It seems to have been here forever.

An old ewe enjoying some solitude.

We purchased this tulip tree at a local nursery two weeks ago in memory of my late father.

Crimson leaves on a maple.

A new oak tree.  The ash trees in the background line the farm lane and were planted many years ago.  We have not been able to decide what to do next as Emerald Ash Borer has traveled to our region-it is just a matter of time before we lose all of our ashes.

Parts of our old barn will need repair soon including this little lean-to.

Our little garden arbour.

Never leave the house without a toy!

Another recent purchase.  As this tree grows I hope it will provide some dappled shade from the hot afternoon sun for our koi pond.

Wishing everyone a lovely Thanksgiving!