1 The past week has been very humid in New York, leading to several thunderstorms. The much needed rain has cooled temperatures and helped my plants to prosper.
2 The Gravenstein apples on my espalier are starting to turn a nice shade of red. These apples are excellent for baking, apple sauce, and apple cider.
3 The terrace garden is looking much nicer since Ryan and Wilmer trimmed it, but what I'm most excited about are my formosa lilies.
4 These large, fragrant flowers will have at least eight buds on each plant.
5 The flowers usually bloom in late August, but the heat appears to be coaxing them out a bit early. When open, these flowers will be white with blushed pink insides and be about ten inches long.
6 A view of the Winter House from the paddock
7 A view down the paddocks—the weather certainly has brought some impressive cloud formations.
8 Over at my new corn field, the sweet corn is growing well. It's about knee high.
9 The popcorn and ornamental varieties had a little trouble, on account of squirrels digging up the seeds!
10 Ryan and Wilmer resolved this issue by placing a fine mesh over the dirt, so the squirrels couldn't dig out the seeds. Now the plants finally have a chance to grow.
11 My new honeybee hive continues to succeed. Being positioned by my cutting garden provides them ample pollen and nectar to bring back to the hive.
12 Look at all that activity! The hive is still new so there won't be a honey crop this year, but next year will be promising.
13 In the chicken coop, my guinea fowl have grown quite a bit. They have lost their shorter, fuzzy feathers and have grown longer, full contour feathers with the signature guinea fowl spots.
14 I moved them from the corn crib to the chicken coop where I had raised my baby chicks in the spring. They have their own house and yard to run around in, separate from the chickens.
15 My Pomeranian geese will protect them and the other chickens from predators. They are loving their new tub, especially in the summer heat.
16 The baby chicks I received in the spring have now matured into young hens called pullets. They have started laying eggs though very small ones!
17 My roosters also keep watch on the hens. They are quite vocal and you can hear their crows across the farm. Roosters crow to announce their territory but also cluck just like the hens do.
18 In my cutting garden, many of my lilies are blooming.
19 There are over 110 species of lilies, many of which are hybrids.
20 These are an Oriental hybrid called Lilium Nymph. They are known for their large pink streaked white petals and sweet fragrance.
21 All lilies have six large petals with prominent stamens. Some face outward, some upward, and others downward.
22 Some have skinnier ruffled petals while many have large prominent petals.
23 I also have a large number of lilies planted at my other homes, Skylands in Maine and Lily Pond in East Hampton.
24 I have Asiatic lilies growing by the Tenant House. They are early bloomers and come in a variety of colors.
25 Some Asiatic lilies, like the one I have, have downward facing flowers, but not all. The markings on the petals makes this a tiger lily.
26 They come in shades of yellow, orange, red and pink and are not fragrant.
27 A beautiful white and orange lily with tiger markings
28 My Sicilian miniature donkeys love to play in the paddock, but it's often hard to get a photo of them as they do!
29 They are very social animals so they typically want to come over and say hello when anyone approaches them.
30 The two males, Rufus and Clive are fighting over a ball, as Billie, the female, looks on.
31 Once they realized they had an audience, they went back to grazing.
32 In my greenhouse, my alocasia plants receive regular trimmings. It's important to routinely cut of dead or dying leaves so the plant can put its energy towards new growth.
33 Ryan keeps an eye out on my flowers in the greenhouse, as well, and places whatever is blooming in my house for me, like these gorgeous orchids.
34 Flowers aren't the only impressive plant to decorate your house with. I also enjoy the look of many other plants, like these succulents.
35 My French Bulldog, Sharkey, running up the walk back to the kitchen.