Monday, April 20, 2015

Mulch Madness

Our newly established garden beds on the farm necessitated a massive load of mulch, as weeds were popping up left and right and we were in a race against time to defeat them.  My husband & I layered newspapers down thick before piling on the mulch, and hopefully the weeds will be smothered and the battles of summer will be less tiresome, allowing me to simply enjoy the pleasures and beauty of favored plants.  It will surely take a few years before my shrubs and perennials have filled out and covered ground, but in the meantime, my new best friend is...mulch.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Creating a Butterfly Garden

Flying Flowers...that's how I think of the brightly colored butterflies who grace my garden in the glorious summer months.  With their charm and whimsy, butterflies add a magical feel and ambiance to any landscape.  My goal of attracting a swarm of them to Sunnytime Farm led me to concoct the below planting scheme, composed of nectar-producing wildflowers and butterfly magnets such as Buddleia and Monarda.  My Bluestone Perennials order just arrived this past weekend, which means I'm now ready to complete the full installation of a large dedicated Butterfly Garden.

Plant List (clock-wise from left):
Coreopsis 'Creme Brulee'
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'
Shasta Daisy 'Becky'
Mondarda 'Raspberry Wine'
Echinacea 'Cheyene Spirit'
Yarrow 'Coronation Gold'
Crocosmia 'Red King'
Liastris 'Kobold'
Guara 'Whirling Butterflies'
Iris 'Harvest Memories'
Iris 'Orange Harvest'
Buddleia 'Miss Molly'
Agastache 'Golden Jubilee'   

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Welcome Spring

Winter has finally loosened its grip, and the air of a new season has blown in.  The garden has at last awakened, albeit much later than typical, and the fresh blooms of springtime could not be more welcome.  I've been a busy bee, doing all the clean-up and garden chores and tasks that in a normal year would have commenced in March, but I find it totally invigorating being outdoors again after this long harsh winter.  Tomato & Pepper seeds have now been started, and this past weekend I made my first forays to the local Garden Nurseries to check out new plantings which have hit the scene.  As the garden season gets underway in earnest, its wonderful seeing browns and whites being replaced with pastel pinks, vibrant purples, cheerful yellows and other colorful shades of the rainbow.  Birds are happily chirping and rummaging about, building their nests, and fragrant hyacinths are again perfuming my garden.  Sounds (and smells) like a slice of heaven to me...

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Simple Life

As a child, I traveled cross-country with my parents and siblings most summers to visit extended family in Arkansas.  My grandma lived on an 80 acre farm, down a long winding road, in a house built by my grandfather and his father.  The home had only rudimentary indoor plumbing, and no air conditioning to cool us down during the sticky hotness of a Southern Summer, however there were fruit trees out back and chickens and beautiful warm moments spent on the front porch with cousins and uncles and grandma.  Though at the time I had little appreciation for it, I now fondly recall those magical summers.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and as one grows older, the past exerts a stronger pull.  I often think of that farm, and dream of a simpler life where one wakes to the sound of crowing roosters and never has to hear the noise of traffic.  I am descended from a long line of farmers, stretching back generations until the beginning of time, and the need to be close to the land and connected to my ancestral roots culminated in me seeking out a Farmette of my own.

Blessed to reside in the great state of Virginia, with its gorgeous countryside of green rolling hills and fertile soil, my husband & I closed on a secluded peaceful 5 acre property 18 months ago.  Currently we use the farm as a weekend retreat/getaway only, but the eventual plan is to transition to full-time country living.  Last summer we commissioned a Landscape Design Master Plan, to begin the immediate implementation of a pleasure garden, and I see so much potential everywhere I look.  It's exciting to embark on this new adventure, and we're calling our newly found paradise...Sunnytime Farm.


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