January 19, 2017

Building a Fence for My Courtyard

So many of you ask about my pets - my dogs, cats, canaries, horses, donkeys, chickens, and the peafowl. I love giving you updates on all of them. My youngest dogs, Bete Noire and Creme Brûlée, are thriving here at the farm. These two one-year old female French Bulldogs are extremely exuberant, and love to get into everything.

Recently, I decided it was time to build a more suitable fence for all my dogs - one that enclosed a courtyard space behind my Winter House, where they could relax and play when not out with me or on long walks around the property. I wanted the fence to be durable, and to coordinate well with my home. I discussed plans with my carpenter, John Kowalczyk, owner of JK Home Remodeling in Stamford, Connecticut, and he started work on it right away.

Here are some photos of the building process. Enjoy.

January 18, 2017

Pruning My Apple and Pear Trees at the Farm

It’s time to prune the apple and pear trees!

If you grow these wonderful fruit trees, the best time to prune them is now - in winter - or in very early spring before any new growth begins. Pruning not only helps to develop proper shape and form, but also encourages new growth, promotes high fruit yield, and maintains good tree health. At the farm, I have both apple and pear trees that are pruned regularly. My arborists at SavATree visit each winter specifically to prune the larger fruit trees, while my outdoor grounds crew helps to tackle the smaller ones. And, each summer, we see the wonderful fruits of all their labor.

Enjoy these photos.

January 17, 2017

Winter Weather at the Farm

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.