1 With very hot and dry weather, spring came quite early in the northeast. Just when so many things, such as azaleas and tree peonies were in full bloom, the temperatures dropped and we received much needed rain. Those blooms didn't last long.
2 This is a grove of Paulownia tomentosa, a tree native to central and western China. The flowers are produced before the leaves in early spring.
3 The long tubular flowers resemble a foxglove flower, which is why some people call the Paulownia the Foxglove tree. The tree was actually named in honor of the Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia.
4 A view of the Paulownia grove through the linden allee - The linden foliage was very heavy with moisture.
5 The pair of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep have gone to live on another farm that raises sheep for wool and I'm told they are very happy. The miniature donkeys, Clive, Rufus, and Billy, who is on the other side, now graze in the former sheep paddock.
6 This view is from the stable looking up towards my house. These pink flowering trees are red horse chestnut (Aseculus x carnea ‘Briotti’) and are planted at the stable end of the long undulating boxwood allee.
7 The rather exotic-looking flowers form large and colorful clusters. The red horse chestnut is a hybrid between the Red Buckeye (A. pavia) and the Common Horse Chestnut (A. hippocastanum).
8 A view of my house over a freshly mowed paddock - The long building houses a flower arranging room, a car port, and my blog studio.
9 A view back towards the stable from the opposite end of the boxwood allee
10 This magnificent weeping red beech is planted at this end of the boxwood allee.
11 The perennial bed adjacent to the vegetable garden is looking resplendent with bearded iris and allium blooms.
12 This variegated bearded iris looks like someone drew on the petals with pen and ink.
13 The border of lady's mantle border has grown quite thick and I just love how its leaves collect water like drops of mercury.
14 Spectacular hosta and ostrich ferns
15 A really fragrant standard wisteria at the end of the long pergola
16 This part of the pergola has clean straight lines.
17 And this part curves with the drive.
18 Each post of the pergola is planted with clematis in varying shades of purple. This one is nearly white.
19 And this one, a rich lavender shade
20 I like to arrange single clematis flowers in small glasses. They are so pretty down the center of a dining table or on a shelf in a powder room.
21 Another great view of my house - this time with another undulating boxwood hedge.
22 The herbaceous peony garden is inside that hedge. There are 11 double rows of peonies with each row containing 44 of the same variety of plant. They are just beginning to open up.
23 The floppy peony heads are held erect with a web-like system of string and metal supports.
24 So beautiful and so, so fragrant!
25 Another amazing shade garden!
26 I admit to being a tree lover and a reforester. These are newly purchased red beech being positioned for planting on the side of this paddock.
27 The new red beech form a line with this more mature specimen. They'll have some catching up to do.
28 It gets pretty windy at the farm and it's important to support all newly trees.
29 Two wooden stakes have been pounded into the ground. A wire from each stake is wrapped around the tree trunk to hold it in place. Rubber tubing cushions and protects the tree from the hardness of the wire.
30 In the vegetable garden, the asparagus patch has been especially prolific this year. We've been picking steadily for a good three weeks and I'm not tired of eating asparagus yet! It's so much more tender and delicious than supermarket variety.
31 I grow a few different varieties of asparagus. Purple asparagus has a pleasantly sweet nutty flavor that is reminiscent of artichoke.
32 One day's crop - amazing!
33 Several different varieties of peas, both edible pod and shelling, are planted along the fence. A time-lapse camera sits in the little house recording the growth of the pea plants.
34 This corner of the garden has been planted with broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages all grown from seed in the greenhouse.
35 Ryan is planting this row with red veined sorrel. This attractive plant, with its bright green leaves and contrasting dark maroon stems and veins, adds color and taste to any salad.
36 You may recall the Christmas tree farm that was planted for a television segment 3 years ago. Well, it's growing very nicely.
37 This year, the red admiral butterfly has been migrating in record numbers, perhaps due to the mild winter and spring. They fluttered around the farm for a few days, drinking nectar from flowering plants, like this standard lilac.
38 And speaking of lilacs, I filled the house with beautiful aromatic bouquets from the lilac allee.
39 The wooden deck furniture, stained Bedford gray, adorns the terrace.
40 Enjoying the gardens with Ghenghis Khan
41 Plants to fill empty spaces - fiber optic grass, thymus, comfrey, dichondra, helichrysum, golden creeping Jenny, and lotus vine.
42 It's now safe to bring the tropical plants out of the greenhouse.
43 The Christmas ferns hang from the porch.
44 This load contains staghorn ferns and a variegated ficus.
45 A great shot of Wilmer
46 The staghorn ferns hang on the side of the house like antlers.
47 They have a heavy mono-filament hanger, which is suspended from a brass screw in the siding.
48 Hung the same way is this lovely Spanish moss and orchid arrangement.
49 One side of the porch
50 And the other