Wednesday, April 27, 2016

a bowl of lilacs




Now that the lilacs are in bloom
She has a bowl of lilacs in her room
TS Eliot

Ahh... one of my favorite times of year, lilac time.  Such a beautiful bloom and fragrance for such a short time.  This year I didn't miss out on cutting a few branches for inside the house...


As well as a little photo opportunity with my new acquired milk glass canister as vessel!

We have just one lilac bush... one of the few plants that were existing here at Red Gate Farm when we moved here just over 11 years ago.

The lilac a couple of weeks ago, just starting to open up all of the little blooms... the color will get to be a pale lilac/lavender color when fully open, as you can see it starts out almost a dark pink color.

And a week or so later...

Not only a change in color but soooo fragrant now too!

We've had some warm weather this month... broke a few records and even hit 80 degrees... pretty unheard of for us in April.  Those warm evenings were the best, you could step out the door and smell the lilac from across the way.  Heaven!

A couple of years ago my husband put in a new lawn in the area, including a sprinkler/irrigation system, that extra water during a dry summer has really shown in the health of this old bush... it's bigger and many more blooms this year!

And speaking of lilacs... I have a plan for the future and lilacs at Red Gate Farm.  The potted lilac on the right is one I started from a tiny little "branch" I purchased last year.  It is a yellow lilac, well creamy-yellow actually, named Primrose.  I potted my little branch and babied it in the greenhouse all spring, summer, fall and winter... now it's ready for it's new home.

And the other lilac?  I purchased this lilac, Sensation, an old variety of lilac from 1938... I'd like to think that this fits at our 1920 era home.  

We plan to create a lilac hedge to the south of our barn, along a drainage ditch between our property and the neighboring property.  To add to these we're digging up starts/shoots from our original lilac as well as two others from my son's house, a dark purple and a white (you can see more about those here).  It will take years to become a hedge but that's okay, I can practice a little gardening patience.

My cut lilacs are quickly loosing their little flowers... but not their fragrance... nor my little dream for the future.



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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

crossing it off the list... permanent home for my glider






Lately some small projects have been crossed off the list here at Red Gate Farm.  One of them was for my vintage garden glider... you may remember how this beauty came to live in my garden a few years ago... Since then it's been here on the blog many times, as a resting spot on a hot July day.


Piled with country pillows, complete with a late summer cornfield in the background.


It's held bridal shower gifts in the shade.


As well as baby shower gifts.


It's been surrounded by flowers and an addition to a larger flower bed just before my niece's wedding here at Red Gate Farm a 1 1/2 ago.  


All along the intention was to have some sort of material under the glider so that it did not sit on grass or dirt.  As a heavy iron piece all that moisture over time wouldn't keep it in it's best shape.  And of course more importantly, something to edge for the best looking grass... at least in my husband's opinion.

A week ago my husband had time to get the concrete pavers we've been looking at for a couple of years now.  At under $1 and only needing 28 it was a very inexpensive project.  Nothing is in bloom yet in the area of the garden but this was a "before" shot...




And after!


It was a pretty quick and easy project... of course I only schlepped the pavers from the truck to this spot... 28 of them... 1 at a time... 2044 steps to be exact.  But really, it didn't take my husband much time to dig the area out a bit more, level and place the pavers.  And level is key with a glider or it won't glide!  It's a simple fix for this area that someday will be part of a much larger gathering area in the garden... but that's another item on the list!


Looking forward to a shady spot on summer afternoons or a quite spot on summer evenings... with flowers blooming all around.


A nice little spot to rest a foot to keep the glider on the move.


How about you?  Any progress on your "to-do" list for spring?



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Thursday, April 7, 2016

what's up?

I'm not sure where the time keeps going to these days... a few weeks ago I was going to share what was up around my garden.  Like our last couple of springs, this one seems to be a bit warmer than normal and everything is popping up fast and furious around here... in fact these first daffodils in front of the barn are not so pretty now.

My hyacinths have flopped but certainly looked, and smelled, divine just a couple of weeks ago.  Such a fun pop of color in the early days of spring.

I ordered some seeds from a new source this year.  A local flower-farmer-florist in a neighboring county started to sell seeds and dahlia tubers this year.  Her sweet peas are gorgeous and I wanted to give them a try myself.

It was hard to pick just a few... five was my limit.

I started them by soaking them in water for a couple of days...

Making sure to get the names on each cup so I could mark them when planted.  I decided to plant them in pots in my unheated greenhouse to give them a head start before getting them into the round.  They're sprouting nicely and I'll be getting them in the ground soon.

My first ever, well in a long time, crocus came up all over too.  This variety was pretty tiny, and of course, is now long gone.

And another look at the early daffodils in front of the barn... these were an early variety.

The daffodils around the magnolia were a later variety... also this area gets a bit more shade at this time of year and isn't in front of a building so I think that made them a bit later as well.

A couple of weeks ago...

And last weekend... the magnolia was magnificent this year... and I was super happy with my new daffodil bulbs too.  This magnolia is an existing plant when we moved here 11 plus years ago.  It does so much better without grass growing around it and the watering of the lawn keeps is happy too.

And all those daffodils?  Last year I decided to buy bulbs online instead of just a bag from Costco... I had done this with my tulips a couple of years ago and was very happy with their blooms.  Last summer I waited for a good deal on Breck's bulbs and got a couple of big batches of daffodils plus a bunch of freebies (the crocus bulbs were part of my free bulbs!).

Lots of green grass but most of the plants are just waking up...

You can see these two hydrangea and the shrub rose are slow to leaf... another area that gets shade from neighboring trees until late spring/summer when the sun climbs a bit higher.

My yellow tulips (also Breck's) from a few years ago have been coming back in a nice healthy cluster around my little sign.

Love seeing these tulips in front of the retaining wall each year.


This leafless tree is a locust... believe it or not, 11 years ago this was a "shrub" and was about the height of the retaining wall next to it.  It was here when we moved to Red Gate Farm and it took a number of years to figure out just what it was.  It certainly is a fast growing "tree" but definitely a late "leafer".

Last week was the first red tulip, they are a bit later than the yellow ones... although after this last weekend of sun..

That solo one has some friends!

The red is really popping against my husband's baby... the lawn.

The nectarine tree was beautiful and in flower for a number of days... hopefully this will mean lots of nectarines again this year, although we'll be sure to "thin" them so we don't loose half the tree like we did a couple of years ago due to a heavy crop!

It won't be long until the lilac is in bloom... Tiny little flowers, can't wait until they are in full bloom and smelling fabulous!

This was 10 days ago...

And this was last night!  Getting close!

Last year I potted a little yellow start of a lilac with plans to pot up more starts this year.  We'd like to create a hedge along our property to the south of the barn... with this pale purple and the yellow I have access to white and dark purple lilacs.  Wouldn't a hedge of lilacs be spectacular!

More of my bulb freebies... short little red tulips and more daffodils.

I should have read the packaging more carefully on my freebies... these little red tulips are only 8 inches or so... great in front of my trough but...

Barely peaking over the top for the ones inside!!  Loved the little tulips in and around my "sunflower trough".

A happy view when you come up the driveway... before you know it the peonies on each side will be blooming and then on to sunflowers!

And speaking of what's up... this little girl is barreling her way to 2!  At the end of May will be her second birthday,  I can hardly believe that it's been almost 2 years and she isn't a baby anymore but a toddler.

And Miss Bee is a very talkative and curious toddler, it takes me a day or two to recover after one of our visits as she keeps me on my toes!


Finally,  just enough hair for a little pony on top!  She definitely takes after her mama on the hair or should I say lack of it.

With sunny spring days my to do list has been long, but so worth it.  Nothing better than getting outside on a nice spring day.

How about you?  What's "up" in your neighborhood?


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