July 3, 2008

My farm after a rain

We’ve been receiving significant rainfall around my home in Bedford, NY.  Because of that, the farm is growing beautifully – so green and lush.  One day, recently, right after a storm, I couldn’t resist exploring the grounds with camera in hand.  Here’s another tour of the property.  Please enjoy!


The willows are the brightest, happiest green and the grass a slippery emerald.

Even the area where we store all the building materials and compost piles was shiny and clean after the heavy rainfall.  The piles of building stones, manure, and topsoil were steaming after the cool rain.

This is a good view of the sweet peat piles - this organic material is what remains of hundreds of ground up tree trunks, roots, and branches.  A big tub grinder does the heavy chore of grinding fallen and dead trees into a rich, dark 'black gold' compost we use to top dress all the beds and tree pits.

This pile is the last of the first year's sweet peat - now five years old.  You can see why it's prized as soil enrichment by gardeners.

The carriage roads were magical after the rainfall.

Here's the woodland cottage, newly refurbished after a lot of storm damage.  It has recently been 'landscaped' with dogwoods, azaleas, and woodland plants.  Shade-loving trees are planted and I'm just waiting for them to mature.

The far field and the winding carriage roads were so beautiful and lush.

Even the run-in field is almost green again after a winter of being trampled and munched on by the five friesians.

All the trees are leafed out and healthy looking - very few problems this year.

This is a red beech and a hickory on the road to the tennis court.  I had the court built last year and have finally begun to enjoy it.

The newly planted trees on the roadside, next to the azalea beds, have finally started a growth spurt - I find it takes most trees, planted in any size larger than a 2“ diameter, at least three years to take hold and then take off.

Mature ginkos - sports of the massive mother ginko in the background - shade the new boxwood garden.  Parrotias, hornbeams, and some gum trees are intermixed in this area.

The boxwood, especially, like a refreshing rainfall.  The leaves of these shrubs are cleaned of dust, the bright dark green becomes more evident, and they seem to grow an inch or two in diameter overnight.

These iron trees were affixed to the sides of the cellar entrance and the electrical house - early 19th century artworks, they hold an assortment of weeping and leafy greenhouse plants.

On an old marble table that I found in Palm Beach, FL, we've arranged a collection of cacti and succulents.

A bowl of succulents sits on the back stair wall - this kind of mass planting makes everyone look.

This epiphytic bromeliad, sits in a marble urn - these odd plants are great - just make sure they don't sit in water or they will not thrive.

The second of the two iron trees - this one holds a collection of begonias.

As you can see, the plain little electrical shed is greatly enhanced with the plant tree.

The corn crib and white cedar fence accentuate the green, green pastures.

The old apple trees are really laden with fruit this year - September should see a great harvest!

The mounting block in front of my house - it's become very weathered and looks more and more like it's always been a part of the farm, even though we positioned it there just last fall.

The equipment barn looks almost dwarfed by the very fast growing allee of pin oaks.  Planted just two years ago, these are looking very, very good.

Here's a good view of the 'black gold' or sweet peat that we use for mulching.

Brittney is Carlos Villamil's beautiful daughter, who is visiting her father in Connecticut from South Carolina.  Like her Dad, Brittney a great dog walker - she just loves the Frenchies and they love her too!

The boxwood allee that leads to the stable is verdant and lush.  All problems that existed the first two years - a bit of yellowing, browning, etc. have disappeared, thanks to the advice and help of George Bridge.  LINK TO PREVIOUS BLOG He discovered that some of the shrubs were planted too deeply, and that we were over watering one side of the allee.

It's most magical at twilight with a pink sky and glorious clouds.  This reminded me of the old seafarer's creed - Red sky at night, sailor's delight.  Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.