Saturday, May 22, 2010

Farm and Garden Weekly - week of May 16

It's been a quiet week at Windy Poplars Farm. Vegetables and flowers are growing nicely.

Finally the sweet peas have broken through the ground!

The mountain bluet has opened. Almost three years ago to the day, I did a little piece on this flower.

The lilacs are coming along, as you see in the blog header, but the heavy snow and/or the 18º F. night we had a while back did some damage. Some of the buds droop and won't open into flowers. The big oak tree we brought from our previous house was injured. The bleeding heart flowers broke off.

For the second straight year we have a crow family. I love crows. I love how they seem to prefer walking to flying, and I love the way they walk. I don't have pictures because they fly off when I open the door.

Honestly, I think plants are almost as beautiful before they blossom as when they are in bloom. The green is just so wonderful, so bright a color after months of gray and white.



And the daylilies which are all over the garden.

The big bird news is that the bluebird I showed you two weeks ago has stayed. There is now a nesting pair in the bluebird box we put up years and years ago. We've had swallows in it for ages, but this year, though we saw swallows around they must be nesting somewhere else, and the bluebirds have set up housekeeping there. What a gift.


  1. I agree with you on the beauty of the green this time of year. There is such a rich depth and sheen to the greens. I also liked hearing about your bluebirds. My husband made the nicest bluebird houses but was never able to get even one to live in them. We could see the bluebirds flying around but they never stayed.

  2. Margot, it feels like a little miracle to me that they are nesting here!

  3. We had 13 blue tit eggs this year; at least 11 hatched and we watched the fledglings grow (via the camera in the box). Then we went off to France for a week and came home to an empty nest as they've flown the coop!

  4. So love that bluebird...everything is green here too in Michigan..can't wait until the color explosion!

  5. Your header photo is awesome. Capturing that bee buzzing and the butterfly sipping. Wow. What fun to have bluebirds nesting in your garden. Lucky lady.

  6. I have had no luck getting bluebirds to hang around.
    I am on year 4 or 5 with hummingbirds. Love them, too.

  7. Green, green, green, green. Plus blue! Nature knows how to make things beautiful. Thanks for sharing your corner of the world.

  8. The Centaurea is flowering in my garden, too! It's so tough.

  9. Again, Nicole, you are SO lucky! What an experience.

    Staci, it won't be long. We've had some color in the form of johnny-jump-ups and violets and bleeding hearts. It is all so very beautiful.

    Lisa, I'm so pleased you like the picture. It only took about a million shots before I got one I liked! I haven't seen the birds since - they must be busy!

    Mare, hummingbirds are so amazing. I don't have feeders, but they do stop for an instant (!!) on the flowers in the summer.

    J.G., and thank you!

    Call me madam, it does come back year after year on this cold hill, so it must be tough!

  10. Lupine!! I keep forgetting to put some of these wonderful plants in my garden!

    What a shame about your bleeding heart. My bloomed and bloomed and is absolutely HUGE! My mom wondered if it was all one plant. Yep. I should get a photo of it...

    How great to have a bluebird nesting nearby. They are such pretty birds!

    I mentioned crows in my recent post last night. :)

  11. Les, we never had luck with lupine seeds or lupine plants bought at a store, but a few years back we dug some up at our friends' house, and planted them, and they have thrived. They get no attention, no care, and yet grow and grow and spread. As for the bleeding heart, I'm sure it will be fine. The leaves look great. It's just that the flowers were out when we got the cold, cold night and were hurt. A couple years ago, my bleeding heart was giant, and I cut it back and divided it, and all the divisions are thriving. A great, great plant! I'll come look at the crow mention. I'm so very fond of them.

  12. I bought lupine for our yard when we lived in the country and they did great. I love the foliage as much as the flowers.

    Thanks for the idea to divide my bleeding heart! I've wanted another in the front yard and this makes it affordable :)

  13. Nan, great pics this week! I'm so glad the bluebirds have returned to their box!

  14. Les, I haven't seen your garden in ages - I'd love a walk around on your blog!

    Sherri, I am too! They were out today for a bit.

  15. I love the way your bluebird is sitting so brightly and small in the wide expanse. Nice picture!

  16. Gretchen Joanna, thanks for coming by and leaving a note. Mr. bluebird was driving me crazy yesterday. We hadn't yet put the screens on in the laundry room and the living room which face the nesting box. He kept coming to the windows and pecking or just hovering there looking inside. We had a mad rush getting the screens on and now all is fine!

  17. Bluebirds were my grandfather's favourite birds. He was a big part of the campaign in Southern Ontario to get people to put up boxes when the population was crashing due to lack of suitable nesting sites, among other things. My grandmother and uncle still take care of his long bluebird trail up north. Every time I see one I feel so thankful! I'm so glad they've chosen to nest in your box -- and often, if they have a successful year in one spot, they'll come back again for years.

  18. Kiirstin, thank you, thank you for telling me that story. I just love it. What a wonderful family. What is the long bluebird trail? I'm thrilled that maybe ours will come back. We feel so honored to have them.

    Have you begun your new job?? Did I miss a posting on it?

  19. A bluebird trail is a series of nest boxes on fencerows, put up by one or more people, often on someone else's property (who has given permission!) And the same person or people who put up the boxes come back to check them every year to make sure they're all intact, cleaned out, and ready for the next brood. Sometimes people do their trail several times a year to see if anyone's nesting, but not always (usually the debris left at clean-out time is a good indication!) I called my grandfather's long because it's a mile long at least, with boxes ever five or so fenceposts! It's also about an hour and a half away from where they live.

    re: job, yes, I have started! I didn't post about it. You may notice that I'm significantly behind on the commenting -- that's because I'm trying to get my head on straight about the new job. But so far it's going very well, and I'm excited about our summer programs, if slightly overwhelmed by the new responsibilities. Thanks for asking!

  20. Kiirstin, thank you so much for coming back to tell me about this. Fascinating. I love it when people care so deeply about the natural world.

    Looking forward to more job news!


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