Thursday, May 19, 2011

Around the Homestead

Making the most of a break in the rain, I ventured out onto the Homestead grounds to check on the progress of the active bird nests, my myriad perennials, and our strawberry patch.

For starters, things look good in the pond.  It is still clear (yay!) and fish-less (boo!), but we hope to rectify the fish-less-ness this weekend with a trip to the garden/pond center.  

As evidenced by all of the pink petals on the ground near the pond, there is an ornamental cherry tree right next to it.  Why the previous owners decided upon an ornamental cherry tree instead of an edible one, I have no idea.  

I walked over to the "fence garden" - a garden of perennials we planted last spring along the short privacy fence between the Homestead and Mason Manor.  Nearly all of the perennials have come back (as they should!).  I'm hoping the 2-3 plants that have yet to emerge are just slow-growing.  Maybe?  Hopefully?

Next I visited the strawberry patch in the vegetable garden.  It is going like gangbusters!  Once they are ready, I should have fresh strawberries for breakfast everyday for quite a while.  

Back at the house, my butterfly/hummingbird perennial garden is coming back nicely.  In fact, my Mountain Bluet already has flowers on it.  

Around the front of the house, an American Robin has built a nest in the Arbor Vitae by the front door.  It contains three eggs and is pretty well concealed.  I had to pull back some branches to get a good view; all the while, Momma Robin squawked at me from a nearby tree.  

Back on the deck, we have new tiki torches to light up the night.  We bought three last year (pictured first) and three more this year (pictured second).  We haven't had all six lit at night yet, but I imagine they will throw off quite a bit of light.

I am hoping to get the table and chairs out this weekend and possibly enjoy Sunday morning breakfast on the deck - a hot tea, the newspaper, and the sound of the waterfall in the's heaven!

Finally, I am so excited that my Hibiscus is already emerging!  This is the earliest it's come back yet!  I bought it at the Farmer's Market at 142nd Street in Ocean City in 2008 and was promised...promised...that it would return the following year despite being in Central PA.  It didn't come back until mid-June in 2009; I thought for sure I'd been taken for a ride up to that point.  Last year, it emerged at the end of May.  This year?  Today!  May 19th.  Hooray!!!

It still has a way to go, of course, but this is exciting!

Coming up this weekend, we are heading to the garden center to get the vegetable plants for the...wait for it...vegetable garden.  Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, green beans, watermelon, broccoli, and cauliflower are all on the list.  I also need to get some basil, cilantro, and mint (can you say mojitos?!?).

Alrighty then...that's it from "Around the Homestead" for the time being...


  1. Umm....there were 4 robin eggs in there earlier this week.

  2. Perhaps there were four eggs in there, but I could only see three!?!