Since early April we have now received more than 13″ of rain and counting. Everything is so green and the flowers are huge. Everything is so soggy and muddy! Yesterday we had a sunny warm day that was the perfect spring day. After weeks of cloudy wet weather it was quite a welcome day.
Last fall we had a killing frost that was brutal on the health of many plants. Things that normally are bomb proof for us in terms of weather extremes suffered greatly…many plants just died that would normally be completely hardy here. Others, like our fruit trees, suffered major damage and are having a difficult time re-grouping and coming back to health.
One of those fruit trees is an heirloom red delicious apple tree that we brought with us to the farm nearly 20 years ago. As with many of the trees and shrubs here on the farm, the only way to save this tree was to prune it dramatically. Chris began the process last week of pruning trees and shrubs to help restore them to good health. Here is our poor little apple tree, all pruned. Hopefully, now it can begin to recover and grow strong again.
The rainy weather has put the field work seriously behind schedule. The field is too muddy to work in and the weather has been too wet and cold. Last Wednesday the weather was slightly improved for the day, but only a little bit, so Morgan and Elisa worked at weeding and pruning in the White Rabbit Garden instead of working in the field. This garden is mulched and has cement and flagstone paths so they could work without bogging down too much in the mud.
It is really nice to see some work happening in the gardens, which would normally be delayed until June when more time allows. This area along the seed room wall used to be a munstead lavender hedge, which was about 14-15 years old. Many of those old lavender plants died in the harsh winter we had last year, so they have now been removed. They are one of the perennials that was hardest hit in my garden, and one of the plants that most surprised me that they were affected, since they are extremely durable to weather extremes. But they were very old plants, so perhaps that was a factor. Regardless, Mother Nature will have her way and many of the lavenders died or seriously died back. Elisa did “surgery” on them to remove those that were dead and prune back the ones that are showing new growth from the roots. Now I have big gaps in my hedge, so soon I’ll plant some things in to fill the open spots. Certainly, I’ll plant back several Munstead Lavenders, as they are perfect for this very hot dry wall in the garden and I love how they look when they are blooming. Below is a picture of that same hedge last June, so you can see what is possible and what an extreme impact the winter temps had on these plants.
Today, is an Open Farm Day here and I’ll be teaching classes on fairy garden plants, herbs for soups/potatoes/bread on Saturday, and herbs for digestive health, along with how to handle wildlife challenges in the garden landscape on Sunday.
It’s Memorial Day weekend and a traditional weekend for gardening and buying plants to add into the garden. I hope you will have a grand weekend that has gardening as a part of the schedule. Hopefully, we’ll see you here at the farm to shop for a few new additions to your garden, or maybe take in one of the workshops. We are hoping for some partly sunny weather this weekend, but rain or shine we’ll be here and Open Farm Days will be happening, all with smiles and good cheer.