Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall at the Farm ...

Fall is quickly slipping away ... most of the trees have shed their leaves and the word "snow" has been mentioned in the upcoming forecast.  Mind you, I like the cooler weather and the snow ... time just seems to go by so fast!

The gardens have now all been cut back, I trim all the daylilies back so I can do an annual inventory and see what I have available to sell the next year.  It's not necessary to cut them back in the Fall, some prefer to do their garden cleanup in the Spring.

The hoop house owned by the Buffalo Area Daylily Society and WNY Host Society is all closed up for the winter.

The hardy mums in the front garden bed are in full bloom and taking over the end of the bed .. I found the name of these, but forgot where I put it ... they are not your typical mums you see sold at all the grocery stores.  But, they've gotten out of hand!  Will need to divide and find new homes for at least half this clump next year.


The maple I put in near the hoop house many years ago is doing great ... it's a Celebration Maple and it doesn't have any of those helicopter seeds.  I have been trying to add more shade to the donkeys pastures, but I put this on the outside of their fence so they couldn't eat it  ... donkeys and horses are brutal on trees.

Here's lovely Lily sitting in the colorful leaves ........ and her buddy Rocky.


Here's one of my Dawn Redwood's changing color before it drops it's needles.  I have two of these around the pond and just love them.

Another tree that turns color and loses it's needles is the Larch, here's my larger one in the back pasture.  I also have 2 more I planted around the farm that are much smaller.

The back gardens are cleaned up too, except for the hardy mum that's back here ... interesting that both my hardy mum's are pink ... and this one is also too big and needs dividing.  Though I do give away clumps of this one every year ... it just really likes this spot!

If you can't already tell, I've been adding trees all over the farm.  I have added many to the old horse pasture in the back, many unsuccessfully.  I've tried a ginko twice, oak twice ... the oak's never broke dormancy so never even started.  This is a picture of an ornamental pear that is very happy in the back ... I love this tree, the shape is great, it flowers in the spring and has great fall color.  It's not a Bradford pear, it's a Cleveland Select.

And the last one for today, not an exciting fall color, but the story is cool ... this is a twisty willow.  I started this from a branch off the main tree that sits on the edge of my pond.  That tree was started by my Mom from a stick that was in an arrangement that was given to her at my Dad's memorial service.  I have started 3 other's from this one tree ... growing things that will always make me think of my Dad.

Be safe everyone ... hope the upcoming "Frankenstorm" doesn't cause too many problems wherever you are!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Daylily Seedlings & Parents

I was looking through my seeds yesterday, deciding which ones to put up for auction on the Lily Auction and I was struck by the differences in some of the siblings.  My friend Linda Michael's always shows the parents of her new introductions when she does a presentation.  I thought I would show you some of the parents and then some of the seedlings that came from those parents.

The first is a Diploid cross of Stack the Deck (E Shooter) X Loch Ness Monster (Courturier) - I've found that Loch Ness can pass it's ruffly edge on to it's children.

Stack the Deck
Loch Ness Monster

And then their children - my seedlings ....

Here's another set of parents:  Mystic Avalon (my introduction) X Vertical Horizon (Moldovan)

Mystic Avalon
Vertical Horizon
And two of their children, and I love both of them!
One more cross for today, Seedling X Dark Monkey (Gossard):
Dark Monkey
And a couple of their children:

You can see how dominate Dark Monkey is in this cross.  The second seedling is so close to it's parent, it's amazing.
This is what's fun about hybridizing daylilies ... put 2 different parents together and who knows what you will end up with!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Some favorite flowers from this year ...

I went through some of my photos and pulled some pictures of flowers that really stood out this summer.

This is Carrick Wildon, a huge 7.5 inch flower that bloomed Mid-late for me.  These huge blooms open well every day.

Delphiniums ... another favorite that I plant every year to keep the bloom cycle going.  I don't know which cultivar this is ...

Lilies ... a newer favorite ... this one from Ramona at Faraway Flowers, is Julie Fowlis and has a very strong scent. 
Another daylily, Black Falcon Ritual ... a Curt Hanson daylily ... Curt's daylilies do great in my zone 5 gardens.
And another Lily from Ramona ... this one is called Olympic Torch.
A Linda Michael's daylily, Mythperception ... new to me last year I think and bloomed great this year.
Last one for today is Jocelyn's Oddity .. I just love these daylilies with these funky forms!
I'll look through my pictures and post more another day.  Gotta go tend the fire, made my first fire of the season today to warm up the house .... Enjoy!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Farm Tour!

I promised a farm tour next ... in 1997 I had just finished my MBA while I was working full time, and realized after 3 years working and going to school, I suddenly had lots of free time.  I had filled my teeny backyard in Kenmore, NY - a first-ring suburb of Buffalo, with as many plantings as I could, and wanted more space.  I figured it would take me 6 months to a year to find what I wanted .... I had a signed contract in 3 months ...!!!

Here's the front of my house (and Rocky, of course - don't pets always have to be in the pictures?):

This was a run-down horse farm that had been on the market for almost a year.  A friend that lives "around the corner" (rural-like) gave me the info on the place and my Brother-in-law and I looked at it in January when the snow was up past our knees.  This is looking back to the shed behind the house and the barn (and Rocky again):

The property was owned by a relocation company at the time, but the owner was there cleaning out some things when we looked at the property, he thought I was crazy that I liked it so much even in the snow ... the house needed work, the barn needed work, but I cold see the potential.  Here's my front growing field:

The hoop house belongs to the Buffalo Area Daylily Society and the Western NY Hosta Society, they needed a place for it and I had the land.  The property has 20 acres, 5 or so around the house are cleared and used to be horse pastures and include a 3/4 acre pond close behind the house.  The other 15 acres are woods.  I wanted cleared land with established trees, out buildings, and the pond was a must.  Here's the front growing area when it floods ... but this hasn't happened in a couple of years now, so am keeping my fingers crossed!

My neighbors tell me the property used to be a swamp ... this was taken the weekend before my gardens were on tour for the Region 4 Summer  Daylily Meeting that was held in Buffalo.  I was freaking out!  The force of the water often moves the 4x4's that make up the raised beds.  It all turned out OK though.  Here's my purple barn (and Lily too) with the quilt square I made for it ... my very talented neighbor painted a daylily in the middle of it.

I can do a blog about how I made that quilt square another time.  I just took this picture a couple of days ago, the colors of the trees are just gorgeous.  So I fixed up the house (think of lots of money!) and the barn (see the metal roof?) and just love my farm now!  I fell in love with my backyard view that January day in the snow ....
This is what I see from my deck, and it is just amazing in every season.  The tall pines in the back are the beginning of my woods.  The pasture on the other side of the pond I am  planting different trees in, my own arboretum?  The donkeys have a separate pasture to the left.

This is a view from the other side of the pond looking back at the house, shed & barn ... and Rocky, of course.

A different view of the gardens behind the house, more formal with all kinds of plants, than the sale beds out front. 

This is my path down to the creek that is in the woods.  You can see the tread marks in this picture ... I had the guy that does a lot of work for me come in with his bulldozer and cut down the sides of the creek so I could easily walk over it.  I used to have a bridge and high creek banks, but the water washed the bridge from the banks and it was a difficult climb down and then back up the other side.  Now I can just walk it ... my neighbor and my hunters are thrilled too!
Hope you enjoyed the farm tour ... next post we'll look at some of my favorite flowers from this past summer!