Posts Tagged With: photo tour

Last (I hope) Winter Blast

So I’ve sown leeks, eggplants, and peppers inside. I’ve pruned the fruit trees and raspberry canes. I’ve got a planting plan and I’m not afraid to use it. I am ready for spring.

Then this happened.

The Fraudulent Farmstead on March 6, 2013. Note the recently pruned dwarf apple trees in front.

The Fraudulent Farmstead on March 6, 2013. Note the recently pruned dwarf apple trees in front.

A thick, fluffy, wet layer of snow, with a soupçon of ice underneath. Fortunately, I was able to shovel the walk pretty quickly and then take my trusty phone out for a few snaps.

Pa Ingalls taught me that a late snow is poor man’s fertilizer. It brings nitrogen down from the atmosphere to the ground, and nitrogen is the element that has the most impact on vegetative growth.

Of course, Pa plowed that snow into his fields. I am without a plow and team of oxen. So I’m just going to hope that the snow does my plants some good.

A late snow also makes the sugar sap run longer, which would be awesome if I had sugar maple trees. And a giant cauldron to sugar off the sap. And a huge amount of time. I learned that from Pa Ingalls too.

Pa Ingalls taught me a lot. I’m just grateful I didn’t have to follow him all over hell’s half-acre in a wagon to learn it.

Anyway, the late snow inspired me to start chronicling the seasons here at the Fraudulent Farmstead. To wit:

My dwarf cherry tree in front of the Farmstead, taken May 4, 2012

My dwarf cherry tree in front of the Farmstead, taken May 4, 2012

Same tree, taken March 6, 2013. On the upside, you can see the germander I planted to edge the vegetable bed.

Same tree, taken March 6, 2013. On the upside, you can see the germander I planted to edge the vegetable bed.

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Categories: The garden year | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Fraudulent Farmstead in Summer

While I've been busy working in other people's gardens, mine has been busy growing in an insane fashion. Normally, July is kind of slow for the garden. The roses, peonies, and other May and June flowers are done, and the caryopteris and asters won't start their show for a while. Still, the daylilies are blooming, the hydrangeas and lavender are hanging in, and the first of the zinnias are starting to bloom. Plus the potager looks pretty full.

So here's a little photo tour:
The alley next to the house has all my working essentials–potting bench, hoses, trash cans, and grill–as well as hostas and hydrangeas.

The Endless Summer hydrangeas have faded a bit since the garden tour, but even their pastel shades are pretty. They're fading toward pink, though. I'll need to acidify the soil again to move them back toward blue.

As you round the corner into the back garden, the phlox in the rose border make a nice frame for my blue bench. The pot next to the bench contains three kinds of coleus (which can handle both sun and shade). There's a rescued banana plant in a pot back there too.

As for the rose border, the catmint, phlox, butterfly bush, and nigella are blooming, but the roses are long gone. Even the Knock Outs, which should bloom all summer, have fallen prey to the thrice-damned Japanese beetles. Evil, shiny little bastards.

If you stand behind the bench (with your back to the compost heap), you can see the shade border is looking better. The ninebark (that burgundy shrub in the foreground) is doing well, and the Anabelle hydrangeas have really taken off this year. Speaking of which….

They make a nice foil for Lou's cat house, don't they?   

The yellow daylilies and yarrow are blooming in the butterfly border, and the Blue Muffin viburnum is finally starting to stretch out. It even has berries!

The lavender isn't quite as gorgeous as during the tour, but lots of it is still blooming. The space under the lilac standards is mostly devoted to annuals–primarily zinnia and salvia–that are just starting to bloom. Plus I planted a big-ass French pumpkin in there that now has fruit on it. I can't wait to see if I get pumpkins from it!

The potager is full. Here you see the bean teepee, which is made from conduit left over from the trellises in back. There are carrots and lettuces in that bed too, but you'd never know it. The beans have taken over. The bed on the right is my nightshade bed–tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are all related to nightshade, and it's easier to pronounce than the family name, Solanaceae. More tomatoes in the back to the right,; pumpkins and watermelons to the left. Left of this picture, yet more pole beans are climbing a net trellis, and the last of the potatoes (also part of the Solanaceae  family, by the way) are ready for harvest. I'll replant that bed with fall veggies like carrots, radish, and spinach. 

In this shot (taken while standing next to the grill), you can see the long view of the potager. I named the pig in the front Mortimer. He's a watering can (with holes in his snout), and I got him cheap because his tail is missing. Even tail-less, he seems pretty happy in the potager.

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Categories: In the garden, The garden year | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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