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'
Asclepias 'Tuberosa'
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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Patience, Perseverance, Pleasure

The days move forward, the years march on, and children grow up.  I can't put these precious moments into a time capsule, and the clock can never be turned back, but the lesson that gardening teaches is that tomorrow comes again, and each day or season brings the gifts of our past efforts to fruition.  With patience, and love, all the hard work and perseverance of the past turns into the pleasures of the future, and history lives on.

Garden Flashback #1:  The Sun Perennial Border has been tweaked many times, with different plants being swapped in/out, and the 1st photo is a bland sea of green.  Fast-forward three years, and the color, texture and contrast of the border is a big step ahead.  The border has now been expanded to allow for 3 full rows of plants, and the chartreuse Sedum 'Angelina' makes all the difference in the world.

July 2010

May 2013

Garden Flashback #2:  The Mailbox Garden was planted 2 years ago to replace a weedy neglected section of the garden, and to take advantage of the limited amount of sunny spots on our property.  I wanted butterflies and a joyful trip to check the mail each day, and definitely I got that with this new garden addition.  The bare earth has flourished.

April 2011

May 2013

As I walk through my garden, I'm coming to terms with the fact that my garden is maturing, and that the days of thrilling shopping adventures at local Nurseries may be coming to a close.  I am running out of space, the garden will be all growed up at some point in the not-so-distant future.  Alas, when one chapter ends, a new chapter can then begin.  It just may be time to start another garden, and somehow a seed has been planted in my head, and I'm exploring the possibility of purchasing a vacation getaway (with land) in the rural Shenandoah Valley.  Oh what I could do, to start anew...


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