Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ready for July....

I have to say, July is my favorite month.  Typically our weather is more "good" than "bad".  We have a holiday.  Berries are in season.  And most important, it's my birthday.... so I take an entire week off of work to celebrate!

July also brings out some of the best in the gardens.  My hydrangeas are looking spectacular this year.

My pink shrub rose, Bonica, is starting to flower.

Look at all of these buds!  It will be putting on a show until October... can't ask for more than that I suppose.

Another shrub rose, a white one, is also covered in buds... and a few blooms.

My herb garden isn't going to disappoint.  I grow Italian parsley, sage, oregano and lots and lots of dill for pickles and dilly beans.  I've never been successful at growing cilantro in my herb garden.  Neither seed or starts.... but this year it seems to be popping up all by itself in my vegetable garden.  After all my failed attempts, who would have thought it would go crazy on it's own!

And here is a "true" geranium... also known as cranesbill.  This one is named Roxanne.

I finally got my zinnia starts out under the magnolia.  I planted two varieties of white.  They're the "profusion" variety and are a little more low growing and bushy than the regular type of zinnia.  Soon they'll fill this whole bed in.

And with the upcoming holiday weekend... how about a little fun?  Perhaps a game of croquet on the lawn?  We'll try out the vintage set we picked up last winter for $10 at our local salvage store.

The lawn is looking pretty good this year with all of our wet, cool weather.....

And that new monster mower doesn't hurt either!

Hope you can get out and enjoy the holiday weekend... the start to a FANTASTIC month!

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Monday, June 27, 2011

It doesn't get any better than this....

Free that is....  Another roadside find by my husband.  Sunday on a way to a friend's house, he spied this little gem on the side of the road... with a FREE sign.

A free cabinet.  Just what I was looking for to go in my newly painted front porch.  A little cleaning...

Of course, it does need a coat of paint... it's not the right color of green.  And the cream is well, too creamy.   Maybe a little distressing too.

But it's just right for some of my vintage pottery and little art pieces that I'd like to display in my front porch.  It's exactly the right size... my only complaint is I would have like glass doors... I guess I'll just leave one open instead!

And I won't need to wait to have one built for me!

I know I'll have a paint brush in hand this weekend,

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday: treasure hunting.........

Summer officially started this week... what does summer mean?  Long days, warm days, fresh veggies, the 4th of July, camping, vacation, beach days, picnics, birthdays, weddings and of course... my favorite... treasure hunting.  You can treasure hunt at garage sales, on Craig's list, flea markets, antique stores and of course, junk stores.

We started our day off here.  I'll have my usual grande non-fat latte please.

Then it was off to a small farming town in our county called Sumas.  Located right on the Canadian border.  We were looking at barn windows my husband found on Craig's list.  He picked up quite a few to replace ones that are in poor shape on our barn.  These four pane windows don't come up often...  and this barn of ours has a lot of windows!

Then it was time for a greasy burger lunch in Bellingham at Win's Drive-In... need I say more? 

After lunch, we were heading down to Skagit County.  We decided to take the scenic, Chuckanut Drive, route.  A winding, narrow road along the water, the salt water that is.

But it's worth the ride.  Much nicer than the interstate would have been... especially on a pretty sunny day.  I must say, we do live in a beautiful part of the country!

Our destination?  Well this little junk store we'd heard about, Bonnar's Trading Post.  It was packed full of things from pennies to thousand of dollars.  What a fun place to hunt for anything.

I came home with this.... can you guess what it is?

An old jar lifter for canning.... I think perhaps it is homemade.  I seem to have inadvertently started a vintage canning items collection... old jars, another old jar lifter that was my great-grandmothers, an old apple corer... but you can never collect too much, right?

All my treasures were $6.40 including tax.  I also got a vintage tinsel tree and an old Avon milk glass perfume bottle that I plan to use as a vase.

It looks right at home with my other milk glass that I love to collect.  I'm filling up this cabinet in my kitchen quite rapidly!

Looking forward to many more summer treasure hunts,

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fruit loops

The first full day of summer.... was a beautiful day at Red Gate Farm.  Are you up for a stroll around the place to check on the fruit trees progress?  First a little stop by the scabiosa.  I love purple and green together in the garden!

But back to the fruit trees... although some of the plants and the veggie garden may still be recovering from the long, gray winter, the fruit trees... and bushes... are doing fabulous!

It's going to be a great cherry crop in the next few weeks.  This cherry tree is an old one.  We're not really sure what kind of cherries they are.  Check out my blog header for a picture from a few years ago... do you know what kind they are?

The little tiny peach tree that was covered in peaches last year... well once again it's going to produce!  We actually had to stake up the tree... not just the limbs last year since it is a pretty small tree.  Most of our fruit trees were planted 6 years ago when we moved to Red Gate Farm.... the walnut, cherry and an old apple tree are the exceptions.

Last year the pear trees meant enough pears to can... without purchasing any additional fruit!  This year looks to be an even bigger harvest.

The plums, or italian prunes, didn't do so well the last few years but I think they're in for a change this year.  This fruit is the most amazing color of purple right before they ripen into a deeper burgundy towards the end of August.  My husband eats most of these right off the trees... with a bit of help from my dad.

An apple... gravenstein or granny smith.

The nectarine tree is one of my favorites.  The foliage turns orange in the fall and is quite pretty.  Last year we had quite a few nectarines but they had fallen off before they reached this size.  This year it is COVERED in hundreds of little nectarines... maybe this will be "the" year!

Blueberries... we have a number of different varieties all around the place.

And believe it or not... this picture was taken last night, the longest day of the year, at 8:48 pm!  The sun was still shining!  Of course, now the days are getting shorter again... bummer.

Thanks for taking a spin around the farm...

It's shaping up to be another wonderful weekend,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happiness is....

The first day of summer.... Yep, this is from my area.

When my kids were small we used to spend hours at the local beaches.  One of our favorites, Birch Bay, is only minutes from Red Gate Farm.  We'd go at low tide.... when the sand stretched far, far out.  With two young kids it was nice to not worry about the water being too close... or too deep.  They'd play in the sand and the tide pools.  We'd pack a lunch and spend the day.

As they got older we didn't do the day trips much. But we did head to the beaches, looking for beach glass or drift wood... I still have quite a collection.  And at the end of the day, we'd stop in at an old store called the C Shop for snow cones.  Fun and cool on a hot, summer day.

Looking forward to a long, hot summer...

Full of family and new memories.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fuchsias and hydrangeas and peonies....... Oh, my!

This fuchsia is a fun one.  It's called "Pink Marshmallow".... don't the actual flowers look like little princess dresses?  Like Cinderella at the ball?

I certainly couldn't resist a photo since it was looking especially pretty with the sun glowing through it.... and the barn peeking in the background.

The first bloom on one of my hydrangeas.  This is "Endless Summer", one of the ever blooming kind.  Doesn't an Endless Summer sound like fun right now?  At least for some of us in the more northern latitudes.

And I'm still loving this Blackberry Lemonade calibrochia.  It's looking so bright and pretty that I couldn't leave it out of the line up!

But the star of the show this week is this peony.  It's blooming like it's never bloomed before.  Maybe season 7 is a lucky one!  Or maybe it was our cool and rainy spring.... most of my perennials really seem to be thriving this year.

This one is called "Maxima Festiva" and I think it lives up to it's name.  The blooms are huge and looking fabulous... perhaps even festive!   I love the little touch of pinkish red in the middle of an otherwise pure white blossom.  This year I even have enough blooms to cut some and bring them inside.

The sun has been shining (mostly) on us this week.  Hopefully it can hold on until the weekend,

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