1 Apple harvest time will soon be upon us at the farm. Many of the trees are laden with fruit, like these in the apple espalier grove.
2 The spectacular and complex looking passion flowers are blooming on the clematis pergola now that it's late August.
3 The edges of the carriage roads were being trimmed.
4 A taut string keeps the lines straight.
5 Three years ago, this very tall upright hornbeam hedge was pruned in a classic European fashion. I really like the way it looks and have it pruned in this shape ever since.
6 The Hi-Lo is used to expedite the process. The top rail of the platform cage is also used as a cutting guide.
7 The finished hedge looks so fabulous!
8 After pruning the hornbeam hedge, Wilmer trimmed back the nepeta, or cat mint, which will be dried and stored to use as stuffing for cat toys.
9 More pruning was being done in the azalea garden. Ryan thinned out many lower interior branches of the bushes.
10 Billie, one of the miniature Sicilian donkeys, was having a fetlock issue due to overeating rich grass in the paddock. She simply had become too fat! We decided to brown part of the paddock by covering it with dark plastic, killing off the grass beneath.
11 In the meantime, when poor Billie wasn't confined to the donkey stall in the stable, she spent time outdoors in a small pen, preventing her from eating too much.
12 The plastic sheeting was held down with bales of hay.
13 After about a week's time, when the plastic was removed, the grass was indeed, brown.
14 A small fence was installed, confining Billie to the browned area. Donkeys do not know when to stop eating.
15 Because those bales of hay got wet with rainfall, they were put to good use in the Japanese maple grove.
16 The hay was strewn beneath the maples as a mulch to keep the weeds down.
17 Once a year, when two of my horses are transported to Skylands, my home in Maine, the stable gets a thorough scrub down. The stalls are emptied and Gelbu power washes all surfaces.
18 The stall mats are removed, power washed, and dried in the sun.
19 Fresh bedding is laid in the stalls.
20 Sasa, who did not go to Maine, spent longer hours outdoors while the stable was getting detailed.
21 Sasa enjoyed Rutger's company.
22 Driving through the deep woods, bright color was found in the shade garden surrounding the woodland folly.
23 These unusual plants are arum, commonly called Italian arum. Arum flowers in the spring and in late summer, after the leaves die back, only a thick spadix, covered with bright orange-red berries remains. They are so much fun and so unexpected!
24 Another woodland beauty with pale gray berries upon red stems
25 This is the new storage unit, which looks like it's always been there. The Christmas tree field, planted three years ago, is growing quite nicely.
26 Many people don't realize that there is a small pond at the farm. Phurba and Pete cut back all the tall weeds along the banks.
27 Now the pond is visible again!
28 Large patches of jewelweed grow throughout the woods. The juice in the stems soothes many skin irritations and relieves many bee and insect bites. If you accidentally touch poison ivy and apply jewelweed juice to the affected area before the rash appears, you probably won't get the rash.
29 Jewelweed has trumpet-shaped flowers, which bloom from early summer to fall. They have three petals, one which curls, forming a long slipper- or sack-shaped spur. Hummingbirds adore jewelweed nectar.
30 Interestingly, jewelweed often grows wherever poison ivy is established.
31 This year, we moved the pumpkin and winter squash patch to the far side of the greenhouse and vegetable garden. It's growing superbly well.
32 It's fun watching these squash grow and take shape.
33 A beautiful orange hubbard squash
34 The elderberry plants are tall and the fruit is ripening.
35 Elderberries are used to make wines, cordials, pies, and jellies.