March 6, 2015
Garden Tour Preparations
If you’re in the northeast this week, I know what you’re saying, because I’m saying it too… enough winter already! We’ve had quite a bit of snow and below freezing temperatures for much of this season. Many of us are more than ready for spring, but Mother Nature isn’t just yet. We got another several inches of heavy, wet snow today and temperatures remain in the low 20s. I took a brief tour around the property, and while we aren’t seeing spring outside, I and my staff are inside planning for spring... with our preparations for this year’s garden tours, which I agree to host every now and then.
What also gave me hope and encouragement - seeing on the calendar that daylight saving time returns this weekend. So, remember to “spring forward” one hour before you go to bed Saturday night! If you are multi-lingual, like my grandchildren, here is a fun lesson… “spring forward” written in a variety of languages… which ones can you identify?
El resorte adelante, ileri bahar, ha'aviv kadima, gwanwyn ymlaen, musim semi maju, spring vooruit, primavera in avanti, spring framåt, mùa xuân phía trước, tavaszi előre, rebbiegħa quddiem, primavara înainte, spring phambili, jarní vpřed, spring hadapan, spring pasulong, spring maju, oldinga spring, el ressort endavant, proljeće naprijed, spring naprej, wiosna przodu, spring gancang, printemps en avant, frühling vorwärts, chūntiān qianjin, vesnoy vpered, agē vasanta…
Enjoy today's photos...
1 Here is a morning view of the farm -- yes, that is definitely more fresh snow falling. This area is expected to get at least four to five inches before it's all done.
2 I always walk around the farm during inclement weather to see how the trees, shrubs and bushes are doing. This 'Sargent' crabapple is doing just fine outside my studio office.
3 My espalier apples look to have weathered the storms quite well this season.
4 If you look through the espalier orchard row to the upper branches of the ancient apple tree, you will see a cardinal, or maybe even two, taking cover from the falling snow.
5 Cardinals are from the family of Cardinalidae. They are robust, seed-eating birds, with toes that have three pointed forward and one pointed back to help in perching.
6 The snow is coming down fast, but fortunately, the winds are not strong at all - my Norway spruce trees are standing strong.
7 This is Patrick, my security guard, shoveling the front entrance. He's done this area twice already!
8 Here are my four tall white pine tree trunks - what's left of the trees that were ruined by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. If you remember, the following year, I planted five arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis 'Degroot's Spire' to help the area look better.
9 Laden with snow now, but this is the new flower/cutting garden. It switched places with my vegetable garden.
10 While the snow falls heavily outside, my executive administrator, Susan, and my head gardener, Ryan, keep busy in the greenhouse beginning preparations for this year's garden tours. This work brightens everyone's spirits knowing warm, sunny days are not far.
11 Susan organizes all the logistics for the tours - who, when, and how many, while Ryan plans out each garden tour's walking route. My staff works closely on these projects, so every detail is perfectly orchestrated.
12 One of the first steps of this process is to update the farm's maps.
13 Things are constantly changing around the farm - gardens are moved, new trees are planted and old ones are replaced. Susan and Ryan carefully assess what has been done, so the map is as accurate as possible.
14 Garden tours at my farm usually take a couple of hours each. Ryan meticulously plans what path each tour will take, so visitors see what is blooming best when they are here.
15 The garden map also tells a little history of my farm, Cantitoe Corners, and basic information on how it is maintained.
16 Here is the map for the back fields, and a list of newly planted trees and shrubs. I always include lists like these to inform and inspire those who tour my gardens.
17 As you can see, since last year, some of the improvements include a new citrus greenhouse, a new hoop house, and a new place for my flower/cutting garden.
18 Ryan goes over all the copy to ensure the information is accurately updated. Once this is complete, the maps are ready to be printed. Hopefully, by the time they're finished, we'll be well into the next part of this process - planting!