Today at my Bedford, New York farm, temperatures are expected to hit the high 30s with a strong chance of rain in the afternoon.
So far, this winter has been very erratic - days have been cold and blistery, as well as warm and spring-like. We’ve also had some snow. Whenever I am not traveling or needed for an early morning appearance, I always try to tour the farm before work, especially after a storm. I like to visit all the animals, assess the property and take various photographs to share with all of you.
The following images are from a recent snowfall. The weather system was light and short-lived, but it left a beautiful coating of powdery, white snow in the landscape. Fortunately, we've been ready for winter for quite some time - plants were all tucked away in temperature controlled greenhouses, while shrubs, hedges and cold-sensitive garden containers were tightly wrapped in burlap. Enjoy this gallery.
Here is the little basket house nestled in the grove of bald cypress where I store the many beautifully woven baskets I’ve acquired over the years.
This is the front of my main glass greenhouse. I love the sky overhead as the sun tries to peek through the clouds.
Behind the greenhouse is where we grow our berries. These are the red raspberries. The upright posts are made of granite and they have heavy gauge copper wire laced through them to support the berry bushes. Raspberries are unique because their roots and crowns are perennial, while their stems or canes are biennial. A raspberry bush can produce fruit for many years, but pruning is essential.
Tucked away between the Equipment Barn and a grove of weeping willows is my pinetum – an arboretum of pine trees or other conifers used for scientific or ornamental purposes.
I try to add new specimens to this area every year – you can see the many sizes of trees I’ve planted. This area includes pines, spruces and firs, as well as other evergreens.
A stately old sycamore tree – the symbol of my farm, Cantitoe Corners. The sycamore is one of the largest hardwood trees, usually growing 60 to 100 feet tall. They are also one of the oldest trees on the planet.
Here is a look through the woodlands toward one of my lower hayfields.
And one of the winding carriage roads, with well-planted stakes marking the path for our snow equipment and other vehicles.
Here are some of the newest additions to the farm – pigeons. I am happy to report they’re acclimating to their new surroundings quite well and enjoying their time in the coop’s aviary. On colder days, they also have access to a heated room filled with various perches and nesting boxes.
The chickens and geese don’t seem to mind the snow at all – they were all outside their coops clucking away, but don’t worry, their coops are outfitted with warm heat lamps to keep them cozy.
Here is a rafter, or group, of turkeys all grown up, showing their beautiful tail feathers. These turkeys were incubated in my kitchen, right on the counter, and have grown up so well here at the farm.
This tom, or gobbler, is prancing around for the hen on the left.
I love how snow collects atop the chicken coops – during bigger storms, you can see the snow-covered coops from my kitchen window.
The majestic eastern white pines, Pinus strobus, always stand out in bold dark green over the landscape.
As many of you know, I have planted a few different allees at the farm. This is the allee of linden trees. Look closely and you can see a corner of the stable on the left.
Here is the cobblestone courtyard down by the stable and in front of the carriage house where I keep my antique horse drawn carriages.
Walking through the passage between two rows of antique fencing I found in Canada.
Visitors always comment on the fencing. It is 100-year old white spruce fencing with newer cedar uprights to support it. I love how the snow collects on the fence rails.
Here is the view down the Boxwood Allee toward the winding road through the woodland – I have photos of this winding road in every season.
Fortunately, this snowfall was light, but it’s comforting to see all the boxwood shrubs wrapped in their winter burlap shrouds. The burlap protects from windburn and also preserves the shape of the shrub from the weight of the snow.
Many of the wrapped boxwood shrubs look like snow-capped domes. This one sits at the foot of the granite pergola, which supports clematis and wisteria. The pergola also provides a wonderful lookout for perching birds.
Here’s the old corn crib, which is original to the property. It sits at one end of what I call the “party lawn” – a great spot to set up a tent for outdoor entertaining.
Across the carriage road, a group of bald cypress trees, Taxodium distichum. These are fast growing North American natives. Such beautiful trees deserve a prominent place in any landscape.
And here’s my flower cutting garden under a coating of white. This is the fence surrounding the cutting garden, located behind the greenhouse. A pair of stately Kenneth Lynch garden urns at this entrance are covered in burlap for the winter.