Friday, April 13, 2012

Walking the Dogs

When the weather is nice, I love to grab the leashes and take Daniel and Ruby for a walk around the property.  We have 9 acres, and access to Hartwood Winery's acreage next door, so the dogs and I can take a really nice walk in the country ... without leaving home.

On this particular day, there was a light breeze, and a beautiful blue sky with cottony white clouds.  Come along with us, and I will show you around.

In the corner of our pasture, we have an ancient apple tree.  I like to think that it's the last survivor of the orchard that I know was here in the 1890s.  (We have a copy of an advertisement from when our house was sold at auction at that time, and it specifically mentions an orchard.)  The tree bloomed better this year than it has in a while.

As I was looking at the apple tree, Ruby was distracted by something ... it was a pile of some sort of small animal poop.  Fortunately, I noticed what she was doing before she rolled in it.  (Remember last year when I found the bear poop?)

The ramblers on the back fence of the Rose Field are really big now ... too big, to be honest.  This year's early spring cut into my window of opportunity to prune these before they leafed out.  On the bright side ... there will be a whole lot more flowers on them like this ... I can't wait!

That's "Peggy Martin" in the foreground, and 'Erinnerung an Brod' farther down the fence.

This is my view from the back of our property toward Hartwood Winery's vineyard.  (There's something on my lens in these photos, and I didn't notice it until I was processing the photos for this post.)

The grape vines are all pruned and ready to grow and produce the grapes that will be this year's wine.  It was an early spring here, too, and the winery's crew of two raced to finish pruning as the vines broke bud and began to grow.

Here is the view of our barn from the vineyard.  The neighbors have the BEST view.

My back neighbors have a horse farm ... which is still for sale, if you or someone you know know wants a great horse operation.  As I stood at their fence talking to these two guys, I heard a low growl beside me.

It was Ruby ... hackles up, tail at attention, growling under her breath.  It's the first time I have heard her growl at anything!  I guess she doesn't care for horses.

While we are back here, let's head toward the barn.  See that little yellow building on the left?

It has the worst of the damage from last year's earthquake ... which, fortunately, isn't really all that bad.  I can fix it.

The two new gardens by the barn are still empty.  The Labyrinth is still staked out, awaiting paths and edging and plants.

The Miniature Garden is in the same condition ... but with the underlayment on the paths in place.

The English Garden is doing great!  These roses were planted a year and a half ago, and most of them are thriving.  A few are struggling, and I plan to replace them as soon as I can with others that I already have on hand.  That's what I was doing when I found the cannonball earlier this week ... right where the arrow is.

The weeds you see have already been shot with herbicide  and they're beginning to look a little sickly.

The bottle trees at the entrance to the English Garden didn't stand up to the winds this winter.  They're still firmly anchored in the ground, it's the metal 'trunk' that bent over like that.  Fortunately, none of the bottles broke.  I need to run next door, get some empty wine case boxes, and store the bottles until I can straighten and reinforce the trees.

The figs I planted on the south side of the barn are looking really good.  This bed is an experiment ... planted with eight different varieties to see which does best without irrigation or winter protection.  These two are thriving, but I don't know which ones they are because the tags are lost.

At this point, it was getting late and it was time to turn for home and give the dogs their dinner.  I don't think I've shown you this view of the back of our house before.  The green building is our detached garage ... the dormer is a storage attic.  The little white building to the left will eventually be a studio/workshop/I-would-love-to-put-an-antique-shop-in-there-one-day.  It's a dream to work toward.

As I predicted, the cool weather of the past few days has pretty much stopped the progression of bloom in the garden.  This is a good thing, because I don't want everything to be TOO early, and I'm definitely not at the point where I can open the nursery and garden to visitors quite yet.  It's getting close, though.


I remembered that I have a photo of a 'view from space' of our property that I used in a post in 2010 (which was about burning the brush pile, which is why the brush pile is noted on the photo).  With a couple of modifications to highlight landmarks mentioned in this post, this should help you get your bearings.  Pretend the red property lines are straight.  :)


  1. Connie, I enjoyed this walk with you. Your property is so pretty. I didn't know you had so many buildings. We got way too hot too early last month and now have gotten much cooler this week, but the warmer weather is creeping back in. Everything came out so early this year.

  2. Loved this brisk morning walk with you! The vineyards are really a nice view from your property! So close...

    Enjoy your week-end!

  3. Re: your apple tree, the people at Big Horse Creek Farm (in NC) specialize in heirloom apples. Wonder if they could help you figure out what kind of apple tree you have.

  4. What a wonderful walk with the dogs. My grand daughter is a volunteer dog walker for the greyhound rescue here in Vermont. I was wondering if you ever let Daniel go for a run somewhere.

  5. Thank you Connie for that lovely tour! You really have been busy haven't you! I can't wait to see how the labyrinth and English Garden turn out. Your Peggy Martin is huge! I just did a post on her myself. Are you planning on selling your wine locally, online, or just for personal use? HOw on earth do you do it all?! :)

  6. Ellie, we have two areas fenced to be dog safe, and Daniel and Ruby get all the running they can handle in there. Ruby is actually teaching Daniel how to play fetch!

    Meghan, the winery is owned and operated by neighbors ... the BEST neighbors in the world, BTW! He is one of the folks who called me the other day to make sure I didn't blow myself up with the cannonball. They are online, click the link at the top of this post, and they ship nationwide.

  7. What a gem of a farm you have there... LOVE your big ole red barn, and the idea of the antiques shop!!! YES!! Why ever NOT???....

    Call it something like "Yesterdays Roses"... Or "The Vintage Rose"

    Living next to a vineyard and a horse farm, perfect neighbors.

  8. I loved this tour. I can see all the work you have done and your dreams of what you still want to do. I say that antique shop can become a reality someday. I have not lived in the country since I left home at 18....but there are times when it calls my name. Love it- xo Diana

  9. Connie, thanks for the walk-along.
    Ok, in the second cloud photo, in the empty space between clouds, I see a puppy, running, ears flying in the wind. Anyone else??? Or am I nuts? hehe
    You have an excellent property! :-)

  10. I love your place. If I could take that walk every morning it would turn me into a morning person, I swear! I wish we could buy the horse property and start a boarding business--just can't talk Pat into it for some reason!

    I missed your post about the cannon ball -- how cool is that?!

  11. Enjoyed the walk around the property. Great garden designs that are so much easier to understand before the flowers flourish.

  12. You are one busy lady-that is a lot of ground to take care of! My "patch" is only two acres where the house and yard are. The rest is pasture grass that I mow so it won't get waist high and be a fire hazard. Did you make the bottle tree yourself? I'm trying to save some bottles to do something with. I think it will be rather simple, though.♥♫

  13. You have such a beautiful location and property, I would love to buy that horse farm. They can leave those two equine beauties too.

    The new gardens as so well prepared.

  14. What a wonderful walk, I love to see Ruby has fit in like she has always been there! I too was grateful for the chill off, unfortunately another heat wave is coming our way. I have roses and clematis blooming. I cannot believe it, but rolling with it. I'll be bringing in Iris today, in April... unbelievable. Have a wonderful day! donna :)

  15. Connie, I love your property. It is beautiful and so interesting with the old buildings and history. The barn is wonderful! Who knows what treasures you will find. Thanks for the tour.

  16. It must be so nice being able to walk around your own land like this. You have such beautiful, and interesting, surroundings. I have to smile because your English garden looks about the size of my entire garden!

  17. Connie, my wife and I just returned from the Rose Lovers Gathering in Alachua, FL. Peggy Martin and Ruth Knopf were guest speakers. Your donation of a gift certificate to the raffle was a nice addition.

  18. drogers, it was my pleasure. I sure wish I could have been there with you. I would have loved to meet Ruth and Peggy in person.

  19. What a fun, huge place you have Connie-- it's nice to see it all-- would love to see more!

  20. What a fun, huge place you have Connie-- it's nice to see it all-- would love to see more!

  21. You are one busy woman!! And what a wonderful way to take a walk and while away an hour or two or maybe three?? ;)


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