Thursday, June 30, 2016

Late Afternoon Garden Stroll

Hello dear friends, we are enjoying a fabulous vacation week.  As always we have projects and farm chores galore!  While waiting for my parents to stop by for a quick visit I thought I would take some photos to share.

We have 4 large dogs living with us and yesterday they mastered the art of the photo-bomb!  This is Holly's back end and Drakk's front end.

Hello again Holly!  She is a very pretty girl.

Several years ago I created a shrub border running along the road side of our property but over the years it became overgrown.  Earlier this year we removed many of the large and overgrown junipers and have been cutting away at the virginia creeper which has been appearing everywhere.  This little rose bush has emerged from the wreckage!

Painting the trim on my little garden shed is still on my list of things to do this week.

Garden statuary.

One of the great things about a large property is that there is no shortage of seating areas!  These 2 Adirondack chairs are next to a Turkish grill which I bought several years ago from Lee Valley, one of my favourite stores.  The grill is made of copper and we use it as a little fire pit but can also use it as a grill for cooking.  It is made of copper and has a decorative lid to protect it when not in use.

Many parts of our province are being impacted by drought-like conditions.  We have had less than 20% of the rainfall we would expect to have since the beginning of June and many plants are starting to show signs of stress.  Not only has it been very dry but we have had some very warm days.  Some of our ferns that are planted in a consistently moist part of our garden are also starting to turn brown and wither.

This lovely plant is Matricaria Feverfew which self sows freely in the garden.  At the moment we have white clouds of blooms everywhere.

This statue is the newest addition to the gardens and will soon be part of one of our memory gardens marking the resting spot of our beloved dog Kodiak who passed away last year.

I love our new water gauge!  We have a large gauge on one of the fences along the driveway which is very practical and most unattractive!  Now we need some rainfall.

Now we are off to work on more of our current projects.  If all goes well I will have additional updates shortly.

~Thank you for visiting!~

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hello everyone, we are enjoying a week's vacation at the farm.  Of course, for us vacation means we are taking a week off from our jobs in the city...there is always much to do around the farm!

It appears that the bird bath makes a great water bowl for Horatio.

The sheep always make a quick right hand turn on the way home from the pasture across the road to munch on the apples trees.

This old girl is April's grand-daughter.  April was the very first ewe we ever had on the farm.  Her progeny have black mottling on their faces.  Some day I will relate the story of how April came to our farm.

This is a view down farm lane towards the road.  We have 12 ash trees lining the farm lane-although they still appear to be healthy Emerald Ash Borer has been identified in our area so sadly it is just a matter of time before we lose these trees.  We are carefully watching another large ash tree close to the farmhouse which we suspect may already have been infected.

We have started cutting and baling hay...the first bales to go into the barn are beautiful!  The bales have a lovely green colour and a fabulous sweet hay smell.

A snail visitor at the bird bath.

~Thank you for visiting~

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Early Summer Evening At The Farm

Hello dear friends, this evening some of the sheep were fretting so I went for a walk to see what was amiss.  I thought that perhaps our newest lamb had been separated from her mother so while I was walking around the fields I took some photos.

We have had some challenges with the weather of late.  Very warm temperatures, drying winds and very little rainfall have stressed the farm.  The water level in Lake Ophelia is down at least 2 feet and the bullrushes are becoming invasive.  In my walk I did however spot this very handsome frog!

And it took a bit of careful observation but I did spot a number of pink water lilies.  I did not see any sign of the yellow lilies that we had in the past.

The bullrushes have been growing aggressively.  They naturally help to trap sediment and clear the water and also provide natural cover for the goldfish and frogs that live in the pond.  You can see how low the water level is.

 There was still no sign of the missing lamb but this one agreed to be photographed.

This is our newest hay field which was seeded last fall.  It looks good, we should be able to cut and bale next week.

This is crab apple grove.  The pasture is this area is struggling and really needs some rain to help it recover.  Fortunately our sheep have access to other pasture across the road which they can graze for a few hours per day.  As those fields back onto a river and are surrounded by hills they provide a great habitat for coyotes.  Sheep have many predators and coyotes are a problem in our area.

We read an article which suggested that it is good practice to build piles of shrubbery and twigs to provide habitat for wildlife.  As we have a large property we made a pile from fallen tree branches and some old junipers that we cut down.  As I approached the pile I could hear lots of rustling...

And this little fellow popped out!  

The sheep like to spend time between grazing resting under these apple trees.  We have many old and gnarled apple trees on the property.

And in case you were wondering I later saw the ewe with her little lamb so all is well.

~Thank you for visiting!~

Monday, June 13, 2016

Early Morning

Hello dear friends, I have been rather absent of late not because we havent been working on anything...but because nothing has progressed far enough to be able to properly share with you!  For those of you that are curious though I thought I would pop by with some quick photos from early this morning.

I stepped out this morning to see what Willow was up to and why it always takes her so long to come back from her early morning stroll and the light shining onto the deck was glorious.  In the few minutes it took to get my camera though the time had already passed.

I think every gardener has at least one of these nameless pink peonies.

This peony is almost a neon pink.  It is a shock of colour that stands out even at the road!  I am disappointed though that my camera is not taking photos true to colour...perhaps I need to re-examine the settings.

The sheep are out for their morning stroll.  We had a surprise lamb born on the weekend I will try to get photos of her this week.

Here is a project to report on.  We are adding one more deck to the side of the house that will connect to the gazebo.  It will also solve a rather tricky fix that we need to do with the grading around the house.  

There is the little gazebo in the background.  We hope to have this done before the weekend before we host a little dinner for friends.

In a previous post I had mentioned that Emerald Ash Borer has now been discovered in our area.  This Autumn Ash was planted several years ago and we just noticed that the crown of the tree is noticeably more bare on one side.  At first I thought that the tree was just slow to bud out this year but now that we are watching it carefully we fear that we may now have the ash borer on our farm.  Although this is our largest ash tree our farm lane is lined on both sides with ash trees. Sadly it will just be a matter of time before we lose them.

This is a very pretty little perennial geranium.  The blue variety freely self sows absolutely everywhere but this one little plant is very self contained and doesnt even spread.  I wish it would!

I just noticed this pink columbine in a weedy section of one of the gardens.  I wonder where it came from?

These irises are actually purple.

And this columbine is also purple.  I really need to find out what happened to the colours!

~thank you for visiting!~