BenTha'er-Horizons

Gardens

Parterre 2020 Version

This past 2 years have been difficult to work on our garden areas and keep them clean up from weeds and grass. Many are a bit overgrown. Age and medical issues have caught up to us. I will say that our parterre area is looking particularly nice and mature this year. One area to enjoy and be pleased on how it has turned out from our small version of an English type of garden. Enjoy the view!

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Nicolas' Apple Tree

We went to an Oregon Farm Day a few years ago with David and Renee and the boys. There were free plants and Nicolas received a free apple tree for planting that was probably only 6-8 inches tall at the most. Here is a comparison of growth from 2014 to now with Nicolas and also the tree.
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Scott's Firepit First Phase

Scott and Bob work on the fire pit and surrounding patio today. Here is an example of the first phase of the patio. There will need to be more stones placed to fill in the corners.
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Apples Nibbled

Ryan likes to take our beautiful large Honeycrisp apples and nibble around the middle where they aren't as edible for others.
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Honey Crisp Apples

Our apple tree gives us absolutely sweet delicious honey crisp apples every year. We do love this tree. We also get Fujis and Pink Ladies but not as many.
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Elk and Corn

Bob and I had a big surprise this morning when we drove on our driveway past his garden. The elk had moved through over night and had a field day eating corn stalks and corn. Even squash plants. The driveway was disturbed and big hoof prints in the dirt. The following photo is an example.
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Herbs and Roses

Our two lovely rose bushes with apricot and mango/peach colors along with our herb beds sure look lovely. The creeping red thyme ground cover is also growing and blooming!
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The Parterre Look

Our English garden parterre looked quite lovely last night while sitting on the deck and enjoying the twilight.
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Strawberry Shortcake

I love this time of year where we have fresh strawberries from the garden and one can make homemade shortcake from Bisquick. Yum.
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Atomic Gardens

I came across an interesting article that seemed to take me back to being a child in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Much of the photos were in black and white. LIFE magazine was big in those days for capturing what happened in our world. This article describes how at one time people were encouraged to buy irradiated, "atomic-energised" seeds to plant for gardens in their own backyards. Read more here and look at these striking old photos from those days.
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Apple Tree

Renee posted a photo of the apple tree Nicolas got as a start at the AgFest day last year. The tree has grown and of course Nicolas is growing. Here is a photo from last spring.
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Ryan and First Ear of Corn

We had the first ears of 2015's crop of corn from Bob's garden. Yum. A bit on the early side but still great to have. Ryan let us know that he didn't want his corn stripped off the cob but to eat it on. Here he is enjoying the garden bounty and with a big smile.
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Rhododendron Splendor

Our white rhododendron with slightly yellow highlights is looking spectacular as always. Here is a view of it in full bloom at the time of the party.
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Watermelon Loving Boy

We were invited over for late afternoon today for a Lewis backyard barbecue. It was also Michael’s birthday too. Really nice evening being sunny and warm, not too cool nor too hot. The Thayers brought produce from their garden. The hard grown spoils of Mister Thayer. Can you tell from these pictures that his grandson, Ryan, loves his watermelon?

What watermelon are you talking about?
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This watermelon!
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Raised Gardening Beds

It is the time of the year to start thinking about planting..........new shrubs, vegetables, new trees, new berry bushes, etc. Sunset Magazine always seems to have great articles to share and here is one on building the perfect raised bed.
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Regrowing Herbs

Bob is the gardener in the family. He does a wonderful job with the corn, beans, and tomatoes. I am more the herb grower though I admit I don’t spend much time taking care of them. I came across this article about 10 vegetables and herbs that one can supposedly buy once and regrow forever (likely story when it comes to me). I wouldn’t mind having one of the Aerogardens where I could grow some herbs during the winter with the UV lighting as part of it. Each item in the article has a description and link on how to keep them going. One of the list is cilantro which I have a terrible time maintaining so here is hoping the ideas are good here.
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Garden Parterre

Our garden parterre is looking a bit more established or older. The boxwoods still have some issues of parts of the plants dying for some reason and then coming back. Here is a view of it this summer.garden parterre
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Garden Bounty

We have learned over the past several years as we plant a bigger garden and add fruit trees that our bounty of food types keeps increasing. This year we have done less in the canning arena and more in freezing. Currently, we have gotten out the Excalibur dehydrator and started dehydrating fruit. Kathy showed us how she dehydrated watermelon so Bob has worked at getting a batch done. I like the results. He also worked at doing several trays of Fuji apple slices. Dehydrated apples are a great treat. The biggest issue is the time needed to cut up the items into the right sizes. It can be tedious and we need to find easier ways to do it quicker.
On another note, I am adding in a photo taken just outside Goldendale of an old, unoccupied house. The surrounding ground was interesting and there was a squirrel sitting on top of the chimney too.IMG_4209
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O' Canada

Now that I have better internet access, I am going to work on catch up for the blog. I will probably enter days or interests in different blog entries so it does not get too long.
Sunday, July 1, was Canada Day. We decided to participate in the local town’s festivities (Annapolis Royal). We first went downtown to visit the shops and see the local museums. The first one we visited, Sinclair Museum, was small yet interesting. It was an example of an Acadian tavern from the 1700’s that showed the wood and stone structure through cut-outs of the walls and floors. Just outside we saw one of the town cats strolling the sidewalk greeting people.

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Or observed two Westies and a Scottie checking out the wooden boardwalk with their owner.

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At 11:30 a.m., we were at the town hall steps listening to the Town Crier and his two young apprentices, along with the Mayor of Annapolis Royal, read the Canada Day proclamation. We joined in to wave Canadian flags and sing O’Canada. While I respect the Queen and wish her all health, I cannot sing God Save The Queen since we did have a Revolution to not have royalty as our head of government. Bells were rung, proclamations unfurled, and a flag raised.

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We followed the crowd from the city hall along the path to Fort Royal to the Canada cake cutting and hot dog grilling area. The local band played several wonderful songs under the shade trees near the battlements. In another area, there were try outs for a future town crier. “Hear Ye, Hear Ye, my name is “Oliver Stephen Bonnington” was firmly shouted while ringing the bell.

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The people were very friendly and as we were leaving, Oliver’s Dad came over and wished us a wonderful rest of our vacation. It was very special to see how this little ceremony demonstrated the pride and enjoyment the Canadians have in their traditions. They were supportive of each other and their community. We visited Fort Royal’s museum before we left the festivities and learned about its function as a military fort for the area. There had been 13 major battles there and the fort had changed hands 7 times over its history.

Later that afternoon, we ventured off to the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens. The Gardens are highly regarded and a wonderful place to view. The roses were so fragrant, especially one variety, the Mrs. John Laing, from 1887. It had a tangy, sweet smell. (VT)

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