1 It looks like another great year for apples. These McIntosh, growing upon the apple espalier, are such a rosy shade of pink.
2 Across the carriage road is the espalier of Gravenstein apples still wet with yesterday's rainfall.
3 Gravenstein is a Danish variety with very sweet and juicy flesh - one of my favorites.
4 This is the long pergola where clematis bloom on the granite posts each spring. This year I wanted to try something new.
5 The clematis have finished blooming and I thought it would be fun to plant all different varieties of gourds along the granite supports.
6 This giant leaf belongs to Zucchetta Tromba D'Albenga.
7 The bulbous gourd it produces can grow 3-feet or more and will twist around itself. I can't wait to see how big they get!
8 The squash vines grow very, very quickly and their tendrils are always looking for objects to cling to and twist around.
9 The rose-of-Sharon shrubs are in full bloom and I love this shade of bluish purple.
10 It grows alongside rose-of-Sharon Ardens.
11 This week, my grounds crew decided it was time to edge all of the carriage roads.
12 It's kind of a big job since there are nearly five miles of roadway at the farm.
13 All of the cobblestone surrounds were also edged and weeded.
14 Deep in the woods, sits the little house that I call, the woodland folly. Its surrounding shade gardens have been nicely weeded, trimmed back, and composted.
15 Around the woodland folly are lots of very healthy Christmas ferns and ostrich ferns.
16 The unfurling fronds of a Christmas fern
17 Also at the Folly - These odd formations look like some kind of candy out of Willy Wonka!
18 They are the berries of Arum italicum - Their pulp contains calcium oxalate, which can be quite toxic, if eaten.
19 Growing in moist areas of my woods is the common jewelweed plant, which has been used for centuries in North America by Native Americans and herbalists as a natural preventative and treatment for poison ivy and poison oak.
20 The leaves and the juice from the stem of jewelweed counter-reacts with the chemicals in other plants that cause irritation.
21 You'll often find jewel weed growing in moist soil conditions, frequently alongside poison ivy.
22 Jewel weed, or touch-me-not, is a member of the impatien family. If you touch the little seed pods, they will explode, broadcasting their tiny seeds.
23 I was amazed at this sight! This is one of the original fruit trees growing on the farm and it has never produced fruit in all the years I've been here. This year, it's loaded with gorgeous pears!
24 They appear to be bartlett pears, which are wonderful for eating and to use in baking.
25 A swallowtail butterfly enjoying the nectar of fragrant rosemary blossoms.
27 Papayas need sunny, warm growing conditions and the soil temperature needs to be 60°F or higher. These plants live in the greenhouse all winter and outdoors for the summer.
28 The papaya leaf contains a remarkable protein-dissolving enzyme called papain, which can sooth indigestion or heartburn. You can find it in capsule form.
29 Ryan, one of my gardeners, spent a morning dead-heading the perennial borders.
30 Deadheading is an important process of trimming back spent flowers to encourage new blossoms. It also improves the overall appearance of the plant and the garden.
31 This potted cycad, outside my house, has so much new growth, called offsets. They can be removed and cultivated, forming new plants. Beautiful oxalis cascades around the base.
32 A closeup of the oxalis
33 Another swallowtail butterfly this time enjoying the nectar of an Orienpet lily
34 You may remember a couple of years ago when Shaun pruned this carpinus, or upright European hornbeam hedge, giving it a European form. It was time to prune it again.
35 Shaun and Wilmer used the Hi-Lo to aid in the process. While elevated, they also removed some of the low hanging branches from the trees above using pole trimmers.
36 Shaun used the top railing of the basket as his guide for cutting the hedge tops even.
37 Shaun continued pruning across the hedge all at the same level.
38 He likes to use a bamboo pole to make sure each of the taller hedges are cut at the same height.
39 He likes to prune in August because growth has slowed down considerably and the hedge will keep its shape right through to the spring, when new growth begins again.
40 A pole hedge trimmer is great for the hard-to-reach branches on the far side of the hedge. This looks like a real good arm workout.
41 The finished hedge - so structural and neat looking!
42 While pruning the hedge, Shaun found a bird's nest and took this photo with his iPhone.
43 The beautiful brown-speckled blue eggs appear to be those of a sparrow.
44 After pruning the hornbeam hedge, Wilmer got busy on the little boxwood hedge in the herb garden on the terrace.
45 The teucrium border also needed a good pruning.