Dunn Farm... continued
The gardens are in their seventh year and are really coming into their own. Magnificent, growing in stature, maturing into what they were meant to be. So wonderful! And the perennials are surely leaping! Perennials creep, crawl, then leap in their third year, as the saying goes. What they don't tell you is that perennials come 'into their own' in the fourth year, and by the fifth year are absolutely marvelous!! They really do get more incredible each year. And the time really does fly by! Last year, many plants self-seeded here and there and their natural sense of design is the best by far. Tiny, little blue forget-me-not's hid themselves between the bricks in the walkway, in front of round, white stones, and under the shade of the walnut trees, right there at the base, in the little dip just past the gnarly root poking up through the grass, just where the sun kisses them. A most perfect planting! The flowers in the Knoll Garden are lovely, framing Dunn Farm in a charming mix of perennials and annuals, each season bringing new colors, and new shapes.
This is the second year for our almond tree and we actually harvested about a cup of almonds last fall. Tasty, tasty! This fall will be more plentiful. The Golden Chain tree has really grown but was caught in a late snowfall and will not have those dangling, yellow blossoms this year. The summer days ahead will be thick with heavy heat, the nights still and wondrous, a million stars twinkling in the warm, night sky. Mornings will come early, fresh and cool, inviting one to tiptoe into the garden to catch deer nibbling on the roses, wild rabbits in the vegetable garden, or lazy slugs oozing their way back underneath cool rocks where they spend the heat of the day. A private world, this garden world, one to catch glimpses of when one can; it's a truly moving experience!
The Four-O'clocks also bloomed early last yea r-- fragrant, white, pink and yellow blossoms opening in the cool of evening, delicate and lovely. The pink ones are not as fragrant but make up for it in their pale loveliness. The yellow, evening primrose also spreads her petals in the evening, enticing huge moths to taste of her nectar. These light, delicate flowers in the garden take on a life of their own, practically glowing in the dusk -- fragrant beacons that gently close as morning dawns. Last year certainly proved to be a cornucopia of garden delights! The gardens are just now coming into bloom this year, early June 2002. But as I go through the paths and walkways, I can see buds forming, some roses are already blooming, and the Four-O'clocks are growing taller, but no flowers yet. The Giant Yellow Columbine is fantastic already and the flowering Thyme has covered its neighboring rock in dainty, fragrant purple flowers. This is proving to be a red-letter year, too!
Huge gorgeous perennials such as the artichoke plants that did not die down with winter but grew in vigor and stature, and others that bloomed early with multiple blooms, these are the gifts that last year's mild winter left. Escaping harvest, artichokes soon flower -- huge, gorgeous blooms, sporting soft, lavender, downy spikes. Cut and left to dry, these make spectacular arrangements. The plum, apple and cherry trees greeted last spring with trillions of sweet-smelling flowers -- dainty and ruffled, with pink accenting the pure whiteness of the blossoms. Perfect works of art. The late rains this year will probably limit the number of fruit to be harvested in summer. Still, the trees are lovely.
Our plum and apple trees had a great year, too, giving us a plentiful harvest! Sweet, juicy Santa Rosa plums, tiny cherry plums, and plump, Satsuma plums. And the apples! Wow! Such a grand harvest last year. Tim made dried apple cinnamon rings, and even applesauce. The apple orchard is in two places; one is to the west of the knoll garden, sporting three apple trees and the other is down in the meadow at the end of the property. There we grow Winesap, Gravenstein, Rome, and Gala apples. The Gravenstein to me are the most delicious. Oh, to bite into a crisp, wonderful apple in October, fresh off the tree! Wow!
The loveliness of my Peace rose is unreal. Have you ever spent countless minutes just gazing into the face of perfection? The seconds creep by, time seemingly suspended, my eyes take in the sight of her petals caught in the golden warmth of the setting sun -- pulsing, breathing, they shimmer in the golden showers. Lovely pink sweetly outlines each petal, raising the creamy petals to an ever-so-perfect, singular beauty. How amazing she is! Last year was certainly the Year of the Rose! Each bush was heavily laden, festooned with countless blooms. So wonderful! The fragrance as I walked through the gardens was amazing! This year they are proving to be just as exceptional! Jayne Austin is at the head of the Knoll Garden and frames the walkway. She is an amazing rose, plentiful blooms, ruffly and fragrant, absolutely perfect.