Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Summer on the Farm

Not my best season.
As I chronicle my first year here on my little farm, I will be honest about this hot and humid season.
It was not the best.  My little farm suffered.
The house stayed nice and cool, but the outside did not fair as well.

In a nut-shell I found it hard to upkeep the property.
While I am super busy with my seasonal wedding business, the farm did take a backseat.
I found it difficult to give both my attention.  One had to give, and it was the property.

Bugs and spiders were hard to keep at bay.  I sweep everyday, sections of the house and the deck.
I had a bat in the house, he was flying around the back stairway, my son eventually was able to lead him outside.....scary.

This summer we were on the road a lot.  Including our trip out East.

Good help was hard to find.  I went through three gardeners to help keep up my property.
But their prices kept skyrocketing.  Sometimes they would quad triple in price.

My son was very hardworking this summer.  Cutting the 2 acre yard weekly, digging, trimming, edging, the chickens, the house renovations.
I can't say enough how my son has helped me this summer with the upkeep of my farm.

Have a look at some of the pics throughout the summer.
While I did let it slip midway through the season, I am now starting to pay more attention.
Truth is I am getting sick of looking at how bad the yard was looking.
So have been putting a little more love back into the outside.

The back door entrance.
At the beginning of the summer, flowers looking fresh and vibrant.

And now - the weeds.
At the end of the summer, the weed population was just too much to combat.
Constant spraying with weed killer.  After a while I gave up on it, didn't want to keep using all that chemical stuff.
So it is a constant ritual to pour vinegar on the weeds in between the cracks.

Every single nursery flowerpot I bought at the beginning of the summer, were dead mid-summer.
Note to self - next year Miracle Grow.

The front of the house flower garden.
Again, another store bought floral container dead mid way thru summer.
And the weeds. I took this pic at the end of July.

Here is that same location today.
We cleaned up the weeds, trimmed the trees, added mulch, replaced the container flowers and added rocks.
Looks pretty now.

This next part, I am so ashamed.
The kitchen garden.  Now wild with overgrown weeds.
I should have started a garden, just didn't have the time to even plant one.
Shoulda, woulda but didn't.

Look at that back section, we tried to cut as much as we could but eventually realized it was not healthy for the lawn tractor.
What a shame.
In fact, I say that about most of my property.  I have approx 1.5 acres that now has gone to weed or tall grass.
All this space and it sits ugly.  Breaks my heart.

For the most part, I just don't have the know how.  I simply don't know what needs to be done next.
For example, sections of the yard that are maintained and cut are starting to get overrun by weeds.
Soon I will be mowing weeds instead of grass..
In the spring I laid down weed and feed.  But it doesn't seem to be working.
My daughter's friend suggest that the weeds are blowing in from the neighbouring farming field,
 her parents have a property similar to mine and have the same problem.

One day as I was driving home, I saw another home owner with property the size of mine and he had a big container filled with liquid that was attached to the back of his riding mower, and it was spraying out liquid.
I am thinking this is a fertilizer of sorts.  Only wish I had more info on this.
Something like this would come in handy for my property.

The old barn stilling looking majestic amongst all the ugliness of the tall weeds.
I am not doing much work around the barn as she will be coming down later this summer, if she doesn't fall down in the meantime.

 In this picture below, the section that is brown is actually part of the lane way leading to the back of the property.
I choose for it to grow over in grass instead of the gravel, I think it looks much better.
When son is cutting this lane section, he puts the blade on the lowest level to separate the lane from the actual grassy section.

Here are the areas of problem that I can define.
The overgrown grass and tall weed problem started when I was late buying my riding lawn mower,
by that time the grass had grown too tall for my machine.
The spreading of weeds is an education thing.  I think I can combat it, just have to learn the know-how.
Next spring, will get everything cut again as I did this past spring and start fresh.
I will spend the winter learning proper lawn fertilizing techniques.

I recently hired a landscaper to do this section of the property.
 The ivy that was overgrowing under the trees, plus the weeds.
This picture below is the before.

He removed all the ivy and weeds.
He then brought together the two spruce trees and the other little tree into one island.
The bottom of the spruces were trimmed and additional top soil was added.  We added the mulch.
Looking at it now, I sort of regret the bottom of the trees were trimmed, I liked them they way there were.
Sigh...constantly learning.  But overall, I am liking the look.

Looks so much nicer now.

Inside the house, it's staying relatively cool.
There is no central air.  In the late spring I looked into installing an AC system.
But because the house does not have the modern furnace ductwork,
they advised me I would have to have these little box like units mounted on each wall.
Did not like this idea, took away the integrity of the farmhouse.
But with the tall trees, ceiling fans and a mobile air conditioner unit the house has stayed fairly cool.

Don't have a lot of pics of the house this summer because the house has pretty much been taken over by linens.
Were talkin wedding chair covers everywhere!
This is my life in the summertime.

Cute country wedding in their farm shed.

However warm the evening and days get, it's not enough to stall the passing of days.
The big ol' trees on the property have just started to drop their leaves.
They are starting to switch into Fall mode.

This last season wraps up the chronicling of my first year here on my little farm.
I moved in last October, in another month I will have lived here one year.

Daughter Rachel's new puppy enjoying the country life. :)



  1. Hi Diane. Keeping up with a property that large is a big thing especially if you want nice green lawns. You can almost forget about that in the country unless you get a company to come in and do it all and maintain it. It would be expensive. We live on about a half acre in the country and we have more weeds than grass but it's mostly green except for the blooming weeds. At the first of the summer we mow twice a week and now we're down to once a week. We re-seed every year and I'm not sure if you realize that 'weed and feed' is not available here in Canada anymore due to the chemicals. (it's illegal!!) The only people that are really 'allowed' to use it are lawn care companies. You could have someone cut your areas that are long grasses and weeds with a farm mower before applying 'chemicals' to it. We've had a really noxious weed in our vegetable garden for 2 summers now and we have to pull every one out by hand!! I sprayed "Weed-be-Gone" around the outside edge of the garden but the weeds have crept in from the grass! Between the weeds and the deer we won't be doing a garden next year!! Have you thought of doing part of the back area in wildflowers? I know some are naturalized already and some are weeds. The best thing is to cut the blooms before they go to seed so they can't re-seed. You've managed quite well, all in all, with being away a lot and busy with work. Your son has been a big help to you and the updated 'island' and beds are looking much better. It takes a couple of years to work the land and make it what you want so be patient. :) We don't have AC of any kind and are in day 4 of 30 plus temperatures with high humidity. I think I'm going to melt today. LOL Take care and enjoy what you have. Hugs. Pam

    1. Thank you so much Pamela for the input, nice to know I am not struggling with this problem alone. I see my neighbours farm and their lawns are looking perfect and I wonder what I am doing wrong!

  2. Life is a series of lessons :) You'll learn, Rome wasn't conquered in a day. So that is comforting knowledge...or at least I tell myself that when I am having panic attacks :) Your home and surrounding land is gorgeous. Time is all it takes for learning, you'll get there! You have a little slice of heaven right there on your farm.

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  4. Not to worry! There's always another year!
    My vegetable garden went to weeds, not able to hoe... Going to try a raised bed next year!
    Everything looks gorgeous to me. Life is too short to worry about weeds! Just go out and smell the clean air and don't forget the roses!!