On weekend mornings, coffee cup in hand, I have a 'walk-about' through the gardens. I make my way slowly through the gardens, following the paths, noticing the new blooms, making mental note of chores I still need to do, while daydreaming of summer's bounty, and the magic yet to come. The air is fresh and cool, the heavenly smell of the pine trees lingers in the air. A breeze stirs up the fragrant wild violets, deep purple spurs looking so dainty against the deep green of its leaves. Their scent is just delicious! The morning light gently awakens the gardens, peering around the Sweet Olive tree, its sweet warmth piercing the dew drops, shades of green reflected in its orbs. Oh! I must remember to plant some jaunty pink carnations just there where the sun hits first thing, right next to the pale, green striped grasses. They would make lovely neighbors! During the colder months, the smoky fragrance of wood burning in the fireplace is especially nice. The tendrils wisp out into the crisp air, whispering promises of Spring to sleeping gardens. Now that winter is on the way, the gardens are turning colors, the foliage becoming luscious shades of russet, burgundy, and yellow. Each turn of the path reveals new wonders. Light plays among the trees, highlighting a singular beauty. Autumn arrived in a blaze of glory-- gold, russet, burgundy and brilliant reds charging the fall air, electrifying! Winter then slips in, freezing autumn's glory in a strong, icy grasp, blanketing all, quietly, with her soft, white shawl. And so the seasons will play out, each one bringing its own delights and struggles, and I will keep its memories alive in my heart's mind along with my other treasures. This is our home, this is our haven; this is Dunn Farm. Welcome to our home.
Fall nights are nippy, cold, snappy! Clear, night skies are studded with a zillion stars and you can smell Winter coming! The pansies of all colors pop up all over with the cooling nights, their faces sporting various markings. White Crape Myrtle flounces her blooms in the sun, casting a light shade over the Paprika yarrow. Few perennials bloom this late, but make up for that with their brilliant fall colors. The mums have burst out in their fall dress, yellows, golds, orange, and some lovely little white ones. They will bloom for quite a while, until frost kills them.
The English Walnut trees continue to provide welcome shade, cooling and refreshing, completely changing this environment to one of serene peace, and harmony. Their nut harvest last year was good, so tasty! The Black Walnut is huge, providing a luxuriant, shady canopy over the grounds, holding center stage, totally magnificent! In the fall, its leaves will gently fall into masses of yellow and gold. Gardening is, of course, slower as fall arrives, but with much to do before winter sets in, including applying mulch to roses and perennials. Tim prepares the vegetable bed each spring and fall, adding the rich, home-made compost as he does each year and tilling it in well. The vegetable garden has produced well for us each year. We harvest tomatoes, squash, melons, beans, corn, basil, cucumbers, peppers, and eggplant. Some years we try new things, like golden eggplant or purple tomatoes, and one year we planted lemon cucumbers. That was a delightful surprise! They were mild, round, yellow cucumbers. And so plentiful, not even bitter! Of course, the gophers have had their fill of our harvest also each year, the continuing battle between them and my man!
So, Welcome to our home! Try some of the recipes... truly tasty! The Chicken Tidbits are wonderful! The recipes are all family favorites, and some are from friends; all are guaranteed to be delicious! Meet the family, the grand-kids, and the relatives, on the Family Album page. Learn to garden from our experiences, benefit from our gardening tips, learn how to propagate plants, and read about all the roses that thrive here, on the garden pages. Most of the plants, flowers and shrubs grown at Dunn Farm were purchased at the Ridge Road Garden Center, formerly the Pine Grove Nursery, in Pine Grove, CA. They have just celebrated their first anniversary! I am always impressed with the quality and health of their plants and shrubs. Friendly, caring, they are always happy to answer any questions. I was jazzed to create their website; it was great fun taking all the photos of their garden center.
They have a wonderful selection of plants, native plants, ground covers, perennials and annuals. Even some really special plants like the ones you read about in 'Horticulture' magazine and 'Garden Design', and are itching to get for your own gardens! There are water plants now available and oh, so much more! Salye is the Manager of the garden center and her parents are the owners. They have made major improvements since the last owners, such as the wonderful water grotto just outside the front door. Lights at night cast a wonderful, special look. Salye loves plants and runs a terrific garden center. If you can't find it there, she will be glad to special order it for you; they aim to please. Please visit soon, you will be glad you did. And tell her Eva sent you!
I have not had the energy to plant anything new this year as I have been off work most of last year due to diabetic problems. But you could never tell it by looking at the gardens! The Perennial gardens are living up to their name, all coming up effortlessly on my part! Everything is flourishing, lovely, and healthy. The Rodo is magnificent this year, carrying many perfect, pink blooms atop the wide, evergreen leaves, fanned out so lovely, filling the corner of the deck. The Daylilies are gearing up for another perfect show of peach-colored blooms, brilliant yellows, soft gold's, deep russets, and light tans. It will be a wonderful show!
Almost overnight, the Peony developed an amazing number of blooms that the ants scrambled over all day long. Her tight buds have been gently coaxed open by the heat of the sun, and such lovely flowers!! Huge, light pink flowers, almost like roses, stood atop long, sturdy stems, surrounded by deep green leaves. She looked incredible! This year she has found a home with Pastors Bill and Andrea Smith, at a lower elevation in Sutter Creek. I know they will love her as much as I have. Most of the summer months are spent watering the various gardens, although some of the drought hardy gardens I planted are proving to be winners, requiring little water as planned. Only the roses need the tender, loving care of weekly watering and deadheading. This is the best time spent in the gardens, looking at everything, checking them for bugs and problems, admiring their colors, moving them if necessary, weeding, keeping them fertilized. This is our special time together!