March 31, 2023

Cutting Pussy Willow Branches

Like many of you, every year I eagerly await those first signs of spring. Among them, the furry catkins of pussy willows.

Recently, my gardeners cut bunches of pussy willows from a grove I planted along the wetlands behind my main greenhouse. These deciduous shrubs, Salix, naturally grow up to 20-feet tall, or even more if left unpruned. They are very easy to multiply and make wonderful cut arrangements. We always collect a good number of long, straight branches to make large, dramatic displays for my home.

Enjoy these photos.

March 30, 2023

A Gosling Hatches at My Farm

It's always such a joy when we have babies at the farm growing and thriving. Among the newest residents is a fluffy week-old gosling. It's doing so well - eating, drinking, and enjoying all the sights and sounds of its new surroundings.

As many of you know, I’ve had Pomeranian guard geese for many years. I also have Sebastopol geese, Toulouse geese, Chinese geese, and Brown African geese. Right now, it's breeding season for all the waterfowl. Once an egg is laid, it is placed in a special incubator set-up in my stable feed room. The incubation period for goose eggs varies slightly by breed. Some eggs may start pipping after 28-days, while eggs from larger birds may take up to 35-days. This gosling is the first of several eggs to hatch, and already he is the most popular bird in our brooder.

Enjoy these photos.

March 29, 2023

The Big Burlap Removal Process Begins at My Farm

And just like clockwork, this time every year my outdoor grounds crew begins the process of removing all the burlap around the farm, exposing the lush green boxwood that has been covered all winter long.

Every autumn for as long as I’ve been gardening I’ve covered all my boxwood shrubs, various winter-sensitive plants, and outdoor ornamental urns to protect them from the season’s heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures, and damaging winds. Then, every spring when the ground begins to thaw, it’s all removed and stored away. The entire process is a big undertaking; however, knowing my plants are protected in the cold is a great comfort. And seeing all the healthy, intact shrubbery and foliage at the start of a new season is an even greater delight.

Enjoy these photos.