1 On Sunday afternoon, the skies over my Bedford farm were beautifully crazy, as photographed from my house terrace!
2 The clouds looked rather menacing, but there were still blue patches peeking through.
3 At one point, all that was green began to glow and the grass became a bright chartreuse.
4 A wonderful view looking east
5 A view looking towards my stable - The Cross River Reservoir is beyond in this direction.
6 Turning in the other direction, the sky revealed so much more blue.
7 Another view of the long pergola and the equipment barn beyond
8 In the vegetable garden - An early planting of spinach
9 Many varieties of peppers, all grown from seed were being planted.
10 Ryan, my gardener, planted an assortment of peas along the inside perimeter of the fence.
11 Each section of fence has a different variety of pea. This one is an edible pod snow pea.
12 Four different varieties of potatoes have also been planted in the vegetable garden. Potatoes grow from whole potatoes that have been cut into sections. Each section must have at least one eye.
13 Before planting, the cut edge must air dry and scar over. Otherwise, the potato section would simply rot in the soil.
14 Katahdin is a well-known Maine potato that has moist white flesh and thin skin - It is excellent when baked.
15 These potato sections have stems and roots and look quite ready for planting.
16 This is the perennial border alongside the vegetable garden. The white feathery flower is Aruncus dioicus -
Goat's beard or bride's feathers.
17 What a gorgeous contrast of colors - purple allium, scarlet Oriental poppy, and fuchsia peony.
18 Here's a better look at that peony.
19 And another
20 These globe-like allium flowers are supported by very long stems.
21 A papery white peony
22 A huge salmon-pink Oriental poppy
23 Digitalis purpurea, or Common Foxglove - The heart medicine, digoxin, is extracted from various plants of this genus.
24 The bluish-purple bloom of a Japanese iris - This type of iris grows wild in Japan.
25 This is the shade garden next to the greenhouse. It is thick with hostas, ferns, and epimediums. The vine growing up the tree is a climbing hydrangea.
26 Aquilegia, or Columbine, are also interspersed in this shade garden.
27 Columbines are popular in cottage gardens and are sometimes referred to as 'Granny's Bonnet,' as the shape of the bloom resembles the mob caps old women used to wear.
28 The delicate looking columbine is actually quite a hardy perennial that grows for many, many years.
29 Lamium maculatum 'Variegatum,' or
variegated spotted nettle - This ground cover's silvery-green foliage can really brighten up a garden bed.
30 A closer look at the beautifully patterned leaves of lamium
31 Last autumn, we experienced a hurricane and a freak October snowstorm and lost several trees. Ryan has been planting in those bare areas. A fir tree once grew here and now it's planted with a variety of different Soloman seal.
32 Here, Ryan is planting Triosteum himalayanum, a rather odd, herbaceous member of the honeysuckle family. It produces greenish-yellow flowers that turn into red fleshy fruit in late summer and autumn. This plant was found in China in 2000.
33 Here Ryan is planting a Tricyrtis ohsumiensis x flava, or a hybrid yellow toad lily.
34 In spring, the highly attractive leaves are shiny green with purple spots and mottlings. In fall, the plants produce large upward-facing deep yellow flowers. I can't wait for that!
35 This is the newest greenhouse at the farm where a large portion of my tropical plant collection was stored for the winter.
36 Those plants have all been moved outdoors. Next to the main greenhouse is my citrus collection and beneath the shade pergola are all the shade-loving tropicals.
37 The dump truck is used to move large tropicals.
38 And so is the loader of the John Deere.
39 A very large fig tree is set into position.
40 A bismarkia palm - These pots are really heavy!
41 The courtyard of my home has filled up nicely.
42 The tropicals have been well-positioned around the center focal point of the courtyard, an antique cement bird bath.
43 This area I call the 'sunken garden.'
44 Two phoenix roebelenii, or pigmy date palm, flank the walkway to the Summer House, which is where my library is.