Thursday, April 25, 2019

Easter Weekend

Hello dear friends, I hope everyone had a very pleasant Easter  weekend.  We hosted 2 small dinners here at the farm and when it was all done it was time to do some cleaning up inside and some exploring outside!

We have had a significant amount of rainfall.  Not as much rain as people that live further east but enough to cause flooding and ponding all over the farm.  The ground is absolutely saturated and Tuesday we received another 20 mm of rain.  We will need some wind, sun and warm temperatures to help dry out our fields and pastures.

Here is the dreaded aegopodium which is often referred to as goutweed.  What a terrible decision to bring this highly invasive plant to the farm!  It seems impossible to eradicate.  I have had fantasies of fencing areas with this horrible ground cover and letting our chickens have a field day.  I am convinced that after a week or two the chickens will be able to peck and scratch it to death.  My husband however has been rolling his eyes at this idea.  I have tried constantly forking it out, smothering it with black plastic and in desperation I have even used round-up up it is impervious to all attempts to kill it.  If anyone has had any success in getting rid of it please let me know!

I love the old windows that we used in my little garden shed.  Everything will need a fresh coat of paint this year.  The windows were the original windows for our old stone farmhouse.  Some are cracked and have the wobbly old glass look.  They have an energy efficiency rating of....approximately zero!  We replaced our old windows in the house several years ago with much more efficient reproduction windows custom made from a local manufacturer.

It seems that I have years in which I binge-buy bulbs.  I like to order all of my spring bulbs from Veseys.  Binge buying also means binge planting and that takes a lot of discipline!  I havent ordered new bulbs for the last two years and now it appears that I have a lot of tulip foliage but no expectation for flowers.  The crocuses and daffodils on the other hand flower and multiply reliably year after year.  I do love the tulips for additional colour and form in the garden and am looking forward to browsing this year's catalogue for new bulbs to add for next year's spring garden. 

For many years we have wanted to have a flagstone terrace and admired photos of stone walkways planted with mosses.  Some of the instructions provided details on pastes to be made to applied to the stones to encourage mosses to grow.  As it turns out we have not done anything to our terrace-the mosses appeared, have been growing and seem to be quite happy.  I love the subtle greens in the mosses that grow around the farm.

A couple of weeks ago the cover was removed from our koi pond.  There was still a lot of ice and the shallow section of the pond was frozen solid.  The ice has now all melted and the fish are coming out of their winter hibernation.  Each year the koi reproduce and have been growing larger.  We quite enjoy watching the fish while having a glass of wine at the "koi bar".  This pond is a work in progress and still needs to have some finishing work done on the stone wall that surrounds it.

We have 3 different bird's nests in the gazebo.  The construction is fascinating!  There are many swallows nesting in our barn and our cedar hedges and trees have collections of next as well.  Every now and again the strong winds we have been experiencing will dislodge a nest which I will find on the lawn.

The grass is greening up quickly.  The sheep are enjoying being outside.  In a couple of weeks we should be able to move them to neighbouring pasture across the road.  Rotating pastures is important to keep the grasses healthy and give them an opportunity to regrow between grazings.  Although the sheep are nibbling on the grass the pastures will still need about 6-8 weeks to be ready for full time grazing.  At this time of year our sheep are still being fed hay and grain.

The chicken coop is still a lonely place.  After the chaos caused by the mink, the skunk, the coyote and the fox our surviving rooster and old hen are the only residents.  We are anxious to get more chickens but only after we take strong measures to predator proof the coop.  As this is a fresh start I am trying to convince my husband to purchase different varieties of hens to produce different colours of eggs.  It would be so much fun to have green, blue and chocolate brown eggs.  Although eggs may have different colours of shells the nutritional value eggs are the same.  We do love our fresh eggs!  

I did a little decorating for Easter.  I love finding old silver teapots at thrift shops.

This is a Venetian Oil Lamp which was gifted to me by my mother and was in turn handed down from her grandmother.  One day I must ask her to relate the history of these items so I can document the stories.

This is the handle.

The plate rack and dishes are also gifts from my mother and come from her grandparents.  The plate rack is elaborated carved which each rail having a different motif.  I am so pleased that my parents were able to bring so many family treasures to Canada over the years.  While not everyone is interested in these old pieces I think they are fascinating and love to have them in our home.

I hope you enjoyed our quick visit.  My thoughts are with the residents of Eastern Ontario and Quebec that are struggling with flooding.  I hope the rain stops soon.

Wishing everyone a great week!

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