Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Master Bedroom Before and After

Two or three years ago, I painted the pine dresser in our master bedroom and got rid of the huge, dated mirror that came with it.  Since then, the wall above the dresser has been empty.  I have kept my eye open for something to put there, but I haven't found anything that felt right to fill the space.  (I would rather leave a spot blank till the right element comes along, instead of filling it for the sake of filling it.)  I mentioned my dilemma in THIS blog post about how I found the lamps that are on the dresser.



Anyway ... I was cleaning the bedroom yesterday (specifically, taking all of the stuff off of our dresser and dusting) and I had a brainstorm.  We have a painting stored in the living room that might look good in this spot!  It's huge and I bought it last year at Covesville Store, intending to use it above the mantel in the living room.  I quickly scurried downstairs to get the painting, brought it upstairs and leaned it against the wall to try it out in the spot, and ....



... it looks WAY better here than it ever would have in the living room.  The light is different on this side of the house, and it beautifully sets off the colors of the trees and mountains in the painting.  I think it's perfect.

Now I just have to get out my tools and hang it properly ... maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Snapshot: Game Camera, Ruby, and Figs

My old, trusty Bushnell Trail camera died recently.  It served me well for a number of years, even though I didn't treat it very kindly.  I often left it out all year round, sometimes forgetting to latch the cover to keep out the weather.  Last week, I made a trip to Cabela's and bought a new one.  I have promised myself to take better care of it this time.

This motion-activated automatic camera is used by many people to monitor game for hunting season.  I use mine to see what kind of critters pass through parts of the property when people aren't around.  For the past week, I have had it back by the figs at the barn to assess the effectiveness of my neighbor's war on our plague of groundhogs.  I am pleased to report that only harmless varmints were recorded in the area.

Guinea hen photo bomb


All three Guineas.  They live at the farm behind us.


Ruby and me, yesterday afternoon, on our way to harvest figs.


This is the first decent fig harvest for me in three years.  We had two unseasonably-cold, awful winters in a row, that killed the plants to the ground.  Figs are produced on wood from the previous year.  No older wood = little or no fruit.  Last winter was a bit milder and the fig plants suffered little damage.  As a result, it appears that I will get a decent amount of fruit.  

This was yesterday's harvest ... 21 figs!  At this rate, I should soon have enough to make jam!!


Ruby ... this dog loves being a farm dog!  She was interested in figs as I was picking them, so I offered her one.  She carefully took it, like she does with all treats, and walked a short distance away.  I went back to picking.  Instead of eating it, she dropped her fig and the ground and proceeded to roll on it.  What a weird dog.



Just a little slice of Hartwood for you on this cloudy, cool Sunday morning.  I hope that things are just as peaceful where you are.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Little Rose in a Downtown Cemetery

Last summer, while I was spending a summer afternoon lunching and cemetery exploring with my friend Sharon, I found a small rose that I had never noticed.  I took a couple of lousy photos of it with my old iPhone 4, to remind myself to come back another day to look at it more closely, and we moved on.





A few days later, I returned with my pruners and other supplies ... to tidy up the bush and snip a few small cuttings.  One of the cuttings rooted, and the resulting plant now lives in the rose garden in our front yard.



Which rose is this?  My own plant is still too small and immature to make an accurate assessment, so I made a visit to the cemetery plant last week to see what I could figure it out.  





I was thrilled to see that the plant was much larger and healthier than when I first saw it in 2015 ... about four feet high and three feet wide, in contrast to last summer's just-over-one-foot-high size.





I think I figured out its identity.  I believe that it may be 'Clotilde Soupert'.





Bush is thick, with rounded, disease-resistant foliage.  It has very few thorns.  Flowers open pink with a darker pink center, and quickly fade almost to white.  Spent flowers turn brown and hang on the plant for a long time.  All of this definitely suggests 'Clotilde Soupert' or another rose like her.  

Do you rose people agree?

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When I opened Blogger to write this post, I noticed that it is post #1200.  Dang!  Hard to wrap my head around the fact that I have had 1200 separate things to say here since November 2008. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend Roses and an Announcement

Weather was glorious here in Hartwood over the long Labor Day weekend. The rain and wind from Tropical Storm/Hurricane/Post-tropical Cyclone Hermine stayed to our south and east, and temperatures were in the 70s and 80s for all three days ... perfect weather to slip on garden shoes and venture into the garden with my camera.  

Sit quietly, while I will bombard you with my photos from Sunday morning.

"Ruth's Tiny Polyantha"


"Lundy's Lane Yellow"


'Country Doctor'


'Pink Princess'


'Cupid'


'Prosperity'


'Joan Taylor'


"Maggie"


"Unrootable Red China"


'Homere'


"Cato's Cluster"


'Mme. Antoine Mari'


'Rhode Island Red'


'Teasing Georgia'


Unknown Noisette


'The Squire'


"Hollywood Pink Cluster"


'Marinette'


'Emmanuel'


'Tamora'


'Belle Story'


'Dorothy Rose'


"Mableton Rouletii"


"St. Thomas China"


Unknown Floribunda


"Sumerduck Cemetery"


'Tagalong'


'Lafter'


'Patty Lou'


'Fair Molly'


'Fresh Pink'


Without too much searing heat and with adequate rain this summer, and with my renewed promise to myself to pay better attention to the fertilizer and fungicide needs of the garden, my roses look better than they probably ever have.  Even though many of them are babies, either relatively newly planted or recovering from transplanting or renewal pruning, it looks as if I may finally be on the right track with most of the garden ... fingers crossed.

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... and now for the announcement part of this post ....

Want to come see the progress for yourself and support a great cause in the process?  On Sunday, September 25, 2016, 11am - 5pm, we are hosting Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg's annual fundraiser, "Roses, Wines, and Canines" ... a day-long event with food, wine tastings with Baccus (our guest winery) and at Hartwood Winery next door, raffles and auctions, vendor market, tours of the rose garden and vineyard, and educational presentations ... on our historic property in its lovely country setting.  This is a dog-friendly event, and everyone is encouraged to bring their leashed, well-behaved canine friends.  Admission is $25 per person (children under 12 are free).  Please click HERE to register in advance, so we can plan as accurately as possible, but walk-ins are welcome.  (Just so you know, my fall schedule is completely packed, and this will be the only day this year that the garden is available for visitors.)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Magic Mushroom

Every summer, this huge, orange fungus springs up practically overnight underneath one of our oak trees.  It's pretty, but I had no idea what it was till I read an article written recently by a friend.  (I would link to the actual article, but it seems to have disappeared from her web site.  I will have to let her know about this.)

This thing is huge ... 3.6 pounds huge!


Chicken of the Woods.  A mushroom that sprouts from dead wood in the summer.  This was my first experience with mushroom foraging, so I was a bit nervous.  In our Facebook conversation, Marianne was positive about the ID, and she said, "FANTASTIC!!! And very edible.  Enjoy!"



All I had to do to ready this behemoth to cook and eat, after I harvested it from the yard, was to break it apart, discard the center woody bits, wash the pieces and let them dry.  I test tasted a few small pieces, after I cooked them thoroughly in a little bit of butter.  YUMMY!!!





The massive mushroom yielded four one-quart plastic bags full of pieces ... two for me, and two that I shared with friends.  For supper that night, I made steak and broccoli stir fry, with a good-sized helping of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms added to it.

Thin slices of mushroom cooked first ...


... then I added the steamed broccoli and grilled steak.


For breakfast this morning, I made mushroom and cheese omelettes.
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