Christmas Mantel

Christmas Mantel

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Morning Stroll

Good morning dear readers, we have had several days of oppressive heat here in Southern Ontario with no real relief in sight until the end of next week.  Here at the farm the ground is quite dry and we could really use a good drenching of rain. So I thought I would take you with me on a little tour early this morning before it gets too warm.



At this time of year the garden seems to change daily.  The allium are now in full bloom.



This very old honeysuckle was here when we bought the farm.  The blooms are just starting to open and look...there is a pollinator!  A project this year is to plant more flowers to attract pollinating insects and I must of course learn more about all of the different types of pollinators.


Here is a bee checking all of the buds on a peony.


Another bee on a centaurea montana.  I love the electric blue of this plant but having planted it I find it a challenge to control its marauding behaviour.  Once established it is quite hard to get rid of.  I did read that bees are very fond of it so I suppose it must stay!



Here is  a view of the back of the farmhouse on my way to Lake Ophelia. The second floor balcony off the master bedroom is a lovely spot for an early breakfast or pre-dinner glass of wine.  During the day it is too hot and sunny to use as a seating area.  Fortunately we have many seating areas including the covered deck just off the kitchen.

Lake Ophelia is really a pond named after one of our many dogs,  This pond is home to a large number of frogs and as I walked around the pond I could here them jumping into the water but I couldn't find one to photograph.  The pond is also home to a large number of gold fish and receives a lot of bird visitors including a heron.


This pink water lilies were a gift from a neighbouring farm.  



Our farm provides habitat for many varieties of birds.  I spotted this one on my walk and believe it is an Eastern Kingfisher.  



Coming back towards to barn I noticed our white lilac in bloom.  We have two very larges ones that will need to be tackled to bring them into shape.  Several years ago they were nibbled on by our pygmy goats Bob and Bert and ever since they have always looked a little wild.



The sheep and lambs were not in the mood for picture taking today.  The heat is uncomfortable for them so they spend much of their day in the barn where they can enjoy the shade and breezes coming through the open doors.


I dont think the chickens enjoy this heat either.  These two ladies are laying their eggs for the day.



On the way back to the house admiring the fences going down our farm lane.  For the last couple of summers this view has been hidden by mountains of dirt that had been excavated for an addition to our old stone house.  Much of this dirt was used this week to regrade an area around the house.  We still have a mountain or two to move!

I hope you enjoyed this quick little tour and now I will be spending the rest of today in the house with the dogs escaping the heat.  Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May Stay-cation!

Good morning everyone I am popping in with some quick photos.  We are at home this week working on various outdoor projects-more on that later!


I believe we have solved the mystery of the twig nests....it is a wren!




I am not sure why this nest is being built so close to our gazebo and house.  With 3 dogs and 4 cats I would have thought it would have selected a location further away.




Our new laying birds are comfortable in the hen house and have figured out the nesting boxes.  We are now getting 15 eggs per day.


During the day we open the little trap door so they can come outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.



The crab apple in Bailey's Garden was a profusion of pink blossoms.  The entire tree was buzzing with pollinator activity.  Two days later and most of the blossoms are now on the ground.


This lamium came from a neighbouring farm.  We also have a white variety.


A variety of allium but now I dont recall which one.  


Last year this white crab apple was just covered with blossoms.  This year we only have a handful of flowers.


A little toad visitor to our waterfall pond.  More on that later as I am still working on it!


Our little garden privvy has been liberated from the last piles of left over construction materials.  I will need to do some creative staring to come up with a plan for this area.


~Thank you for visiting!~

Monday, May 16, 2016

Springtime

Hello everyone, even though we had hail and snow this weekend I am an optimist and believe that spring is here for good!  I love this time of year when everything is so fresh and filled with promise.


Rain drops on a crab apple tree.


I love photographing this lantern.  Perhaps this year we will finally get it re-installed.  It used to be one of a pair at the end of our driveway but we needed to move them for our contractors.  Right now it is just resting against a fence.


Early morning light on maple keys.


This crab apple in Bailey's Garden is just bursting with buds.  From a distance the tree has a burgundy haze to it.



I have not planted any tulips in about 3 years but have some that reliably return...even coming up from left over construction debris.  I like to order my spring bulbs from Veseys and this year will order fresh bulbs for the gardens.  As none of the colours match I believe that these are part of the naturalizing collection I planted.



This is exciting!  Our first egg from our new collection of chickens.  For those that visit our farm blog you may recall that a weasel entered our hen house and killed several of our laying hens.  Then after moving the surviving chickens into the barn a mink scaled the fence to enter their area and killed the rest of them.  As a result for the first time in many years I have been buying eggs at the grocery store.  I dont know if it is very scientific but I do believe that freshly laid eggs from our own hens are the best!

Next week we will be enjoying a little vacation on the farm and will be using the week to continue with some landscaping and possibly extending our wooden deck.  I will share pictures soon!

~Thank you for visiting!