This being our first May at Northbrook, I was unprepared for the sheer loveliness of it. It was one of those perfect spring weekends, and it reminded me of the kind of May weather you read about in Jane Austen novels. You know, where on a fine day Marianne and her sister walk into the neighbouring village and bump into Willoughby on the way. That’s right, not only was it perfect at the farm, it was Jane Austen perfect. But don’t take my word for it..
All of that being said, there wasn’t much time to gaze out at the view. For what feels like the 7th weekend in a row we were hard at work. The WorkHorse spent about 4 hours cutting the grass, by which I mean dandelions. All I can say is that it’s a shame there’s no money in dandelions, because we are growing prize-winning specimens at Northbrook. Some of them look like mums! And they are persistent! We enjoyed about 12 hours of lovely tidy grass before they popped their yellow heads back up.
Other than grass cutting, we were back at the gardening very hard. If I’m being honest, I was becoming a bit overwhelmed by the non-vegetable gardening. You know I’ve been working on the beds around the house, but the state of the area around the pool was starting to make me panic. What to do? I called in the experts. My dad. a workhorse in his own right and the Master Gardener came up for the weekend, with their lovely dog Finn and worked miracles. I would have taken a ‘before’ picture, but I actually felt stressed out even going back there. It was a pile of neglected plants among weeds, and it wasn’t pretty. In a few short hours the dynamic duo created defined beds with healthy plants and improved soil. I’m incredibly relieved and grateful.
I couldn’t resist buying a Lupin for this area. I’ve always loved them but have never had space for one. Look at what the rain did to this beauty overnight – it’s like a perfect jewel.
Elsewhere around the farm progress continued. We put up the hummingbird feeder after a hummingbird narrowly missed my head zipping by early Saturday morning! The WorkHorse took even more off the lilac bushes after the disappointing show we’ve had this year. I finished the mulch around the house, added some more ferns to the woodland bed, and continued vegetable planting. Want to see a bit of the veggie progress? Here’s what going on with the radishes, lettuce mix and arugula. There are signs of happiness coming from the potatoes, head lettuce, kale, onions and peas as well. It’s hard to be patient. I can’t wait to see what will be.
The crappy shed bed was planted with sunflowers and cosmos. We liberated these old barrels from the in-laws basement and are planting edible flowers and chard in the top of them. I admit that I’ve wondered if I shouldn’t just fill a few things with flowers from the garden center, because it’s going to be a while until we see anything here.
The city week is demanding my attention so I’ll just leave you with a few images. Here are some very early strawberries and the apple tree in blossom. Until next weekend…