Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Bloom With Spring

Unlike winter, Spring is rushing by in a blur. For awhile there was sensory overload--sight and smell--with fruit trees, lilacs, and redbuds in full bloom. The grass grows tall and raggedy while I work to get the sheep on areas to mow--I refuse to use the mower first and waste all that grazing. So far no killing frosts, so it looks as if we might have apples, plums and cherries this year.

The lilacs were magnificent, profusely filled with large blooms. The scent lay heavy in the air, reminding one why they try to bottle it up into poor replicas of "Lilac" perfume. I'm blessed here on the tiny farm to have three huge old lilac bushes, that I was told were planted in 1935. I also have several smaller ones about that I've transplanted from the old ones, so blooms were abundant.

The redbuds were also amazing this year. Someone said they literally glowed, and I agree. I have four of these beauties in my yard and never cease to enjoy their Spring riot.

The plum tree out by the garage was the first to bloom and I couldn't get a good photo that justified the extravagance of blooms it produced. It's been several years since I have had plums. I do know they make jam or jelly that is very tasty. Since it always blooms a few weeks before anything else, it usually succumbs to a hard freeze.

Back in the yard, the apple tree was the next to burst into bloom. I bought this tree years ago and it was suppose to be a 'crabapple' --ornamental only. However it regularly produces blooms and tasty apples.

Several years ago, a few wild violets showed up in the backyard. Since then they've run amok and taken over many corners and crevices of the yards. Who can begrudge them though? They produce these lovely flowers in the spring and lovely green growth in the summer (that doesn't have to be mown). Win/win in my book. There are lots of different varieties in the bloom colors as well. The more common ones are the light solid purples, but these variegated beauties introduced themselves as well.

And for a 'flower' of another sort these beautiful fungus were few and far between this year. Sadly only one small batch of morels were harvested and feasted upon. My Mom actually fixed these, and I was re-warming them in the cast iron skillet. Mighty fine eatin' they were. As a side note, I saw on CraigsList where someone had morels for-sale for $30.00 a pound. I have a feeling they sold every one they had too.

Today is rainy and humid. I think it was suppose to be sunny, but what do I know? We did need the rain and got several good showers over the past few days. The sheep were pretty sure they were going to melt so it was a struggle to encourage their dirty selves out to pasture this morning. (And amazingly, the last time I looked, not one has melted away!)

I planted some shade garden seed in the rain this morning, hoping the seeds take off and make a beautiful flower bed in the expanse of my old vegetable garden. The trees have provided too much shade the last few years to grow any vegetables so it was time to find a better use for it. I also planted some Coleus in another area, as I try and transition my yard from sunny to shade gardening (as the trees have matured...). I've boughten some ferns that I would like to get planted too.

Not sure my tiny tomato seedlings are going to mature in time, but I have them started out in my 'greenhouse' (also known as the suppose-to-be-kitty-trailer). I need to pot them up as they are a little leggy. A few cabbages will go in the shade garden to see if they will grow in those conditions.

The backyard will be a corn/bean patch this year, and I'll move the pumpkins and squash outside the yard to uncharted territory. The last few years the squash bugs have massacred them on the plot they were planted on, so different plan this year. Tomatoes (when they are big enough) will again be planted in the side yard garden. I'm also toying with using some old tires for planters here and there.

This last picture is a sideview of my house taken from the road.

Guess that's it for today. A whole post without mention of kitties or sheep! (oh..well if you don't count the melting in the rain & kitty trailer thing....)
Have a great week.


Vicki Lane said...

Doesn't seem fair, does it that winter lasts for ages while spring dashes past so quick? Beautiful pictures -- and how I wish I could find mores. We had some in the orchard one years but they've never returned, alas.

Louise said...

I've never had morels, and, at $30.00 per lb, I guess I'm glad that I don't know what I'm missing,.

Those are some beautiful blooms that you have there. Here's hoping for that absence of frost, so you have lots of lovely fruit to make jams and jellies from.

Kim said...

Oh Tammy, that picture is making me so hungry for fried mushrooms! $30 a lb! Who knew? A friend gave me a huge ziploc bagfull of morels last year, grown in her woods. Yum!

We were excited to see our pear tree had blooms. Hopefully, the crop will be as good as last year. That's the only mature fruit tree we have right now. And as for your lilacs, I'm envious... we planted a yound lilac next to our front porch when we first moved in here 4 years ago. No blooms yet, but it is flourishing. I'm hopeful next year will produce some blossoms!

Enjoy the rest of your spring day. It's been raining her for a couple days. Enough to water the garden for a month or so. :)

Michelle said...

I guess I had no mental picture of your house, and thought, "Wow! Look at all those nice windows!"

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

pass the morels. Love those large windows.

Tammy said...

Vicki---it amazes me how swiftly Spring is moving along. I think our morels didn't come up as well as normal because we had a really dry spell. They thrive in warm, humid conditions. I have seen their 'seeds' (spores?) for-sale in catalogs, maybe you could seed a couple of areas? I may be forced to do that if we continue to have a crop failure. ;-)
Louise--they are great, if you like mushrooms, you'll love morels, no explaining their flavor. Thank you --it would be nice to have a 'fruit' year around here.
Kim...your friend is a friend indeed--you need to treasure her. Ha... Morel patches around here are kept secret and jealousy guarded. ;-)
Hopefully your lilac will bloom soon--it might be lacking in something though, so you might check out on the nets what they need. Rained here all day, I think a couple of inches at least.
Michelle & Joanna--I love my big windows, I have two more in the front of the house. I keep only light weight curtains on the ones I need to, as I have no close neighbors. I think everywhere I go is usually 'to dark' because I have all that light at home. The down side is, the windows are old and lots of cold air (and bugs) seep in around the edges. This was originally part of the old school, so they are 'school style' windows with the push out middle window. (also keeping them clean is impossible....)

Tina T-P said...

I agree with Louise about the morels - they grow out here, but I've never had one -

Red buds are not a common tree here - they sure look pretty from your pictures. I hope all the kitties and sheeplets are doing well. T.

Kathy said...

Oh, rub it in that you're gardening, Tammy. LOL!
A hint on your tomatoes - when you go to transplant them, if they are leggy you can pinch off the lower leaves and plant that leggy stem into the ground/pot/dirt. Tomatoes actually do well planted deep like that with just the nice top above ground. All along the stem it will develop additional roots which make the plant sturdier as well as having more roots to uptake nutrients.
I can't remember ever having morels. It looks like you enjoyed yours. Good for you!

Tammy said...

Tina, the morels and redbuds both grow wild here (along with Dogwood). Some years are better than others for eatin' and lookin' ;-)
Kathy, Morels are great--if you like mushrooms these little beauties have even more flavor and taste. I can't believe it's gardening time already (well, for SOME of us...sorry). Thanks for the tomato tip. I'm going to try and put them in a bigger pot and add soil. One thing I remember from biology class at school was the teacher to telling us to plant the tomato stalk in a trench, leaving only the top exposed, in order to develop hardier roots!