Sunday, June 24, 2012

2012 first day of summer photo updates

The first day of summer 2012 I wandered around with my camera and took a lot of new photos..thought I'd post some on here:
Welcome to our humble home, this is the first day of summer and lots of stuff isn't growing much yet here in Michigan. We had our last freeze a week ago, June 13th. In front of the porch you can see a Halls Hardy Almond tree (baby) and to the right of it is a Contender Peach (baby) in our mixed beds in front.There are lots of vines and thornless blackberries growing up the arbor on the right. Around to the right are 6 dwarf pear trees (3 babies were put in this year). To the left of the front porch is a fruit cocktail tree as well as some other peach trees. In front of the house are grape vines and a plum trees and there are two baby hickory trees near the garage (only 3 years old). Along the fenceline are wild black currants and grapes and a beautiful crabapple tree.

But you really don't see the house much from the road, rather, when you drive up to our house this is what you'll see out in front..
There are sweet autumn clematis vines growing up over this wire in the Fall. The hedgerow in front of the house is mostly for privacy and wildlife. It is made of cedar, white and red pine, black and blue spruce, maples, honeysuckle and snowball bushes, barberry, ash, chameycaparis, and lots of other trees, vines and perennials. Wild graps produce on the lattice to the left of the doorway.

My first trail here starts out in my front ditch. You can barely see the house with all the evergreens and lattice. 7 sisters roses climb the lattice here and there in the front, along with grape, trumpet, wisteria and bittersweet vines and Mock Orange, autumn olive and other shrubs.
There are climbing roses all over the property, these 7 sisters roses were here when we bought the property 41 years ago and we have been moving them around. They are very prolific but only bloom in June. We have other roses ..climbing and bushes and prostrate ones, that bloom year around as well and have huge hips on them in the fall.

Standing behind the garage looking East in the front yard, minus our huge ash tree we had to cut down.
I pruned the grapes back hard this year so they are just now growing back. These grapes are well over 100 year old vines. The gate and fence are on our West property line.

Standing east of the garage looking down hill to the south side of our pond (still a lot of clay piles to clean up). at the left is a baby spruce, and the grassy spot is a a  baby maple tree. there is a baby weeping willow in the center with bark mulch around it and left out of the photo are two more baby maple trees. The pond isn't really visible but it is around 175' long by about 75 ' wide and in a crooked and misshapen figure 8 with an island with 2 channels around it in the center of the 8. North of the pond are several trails leading off through the woods and a small ditch runs north and south, east of the pond to drain the overflow and any flooding on the property.
Another clip from our front yard, the hydrangeas are just starting to bloom. These areas also contain fruit and nut tree babies. Just to the right of this area is a baby plum tree and across to the left and behind where I'm standing are two baby Hickory nut trees.

One of ourAyers pears in our pear garden area. This area has 6 baby pear trees (2 Ayers, one 5 on one, one Bartlett, one Red Anjou and one Buerre Bosc. ) All the pear and other fruit tree blossoms froze this year so no pears on the trees. These are under planted mostly with comfrey, daylillies, siberian iris and other perennials and are around our East and South decks. We also have at least 4 other pears growing from rootstock where the grafts died so we aren't sure what will come of them, likely a Bartlett type.

North of the house looking out under an apple tree toward a lattice enclosed garden (very old poor soil from being overworked, we are attempting to bring this area back from years of overuse in the past, building it up a little at a time as we are able). The small enclosed garden is North of the house, West of the pond, and just South of the woods we are building trails through and attempting to plant fruit and nut trees in the edges of the forest and hopefully in some small clearings and more open areas of the forest. (See pond threads, trails threads, etc. for more photos of these areas) We have several arbors on the property with climbing roses, seedless as well as the antique grapes (3 on this arbor are seedless babies). There are also blackberry, raspberry, clematis vines growing up arbors and I attempted Kiwi but they didn't grow.

Here is one of our Cherry guilds. This part of the food forest is centerd around a young Sweet Cherry tree, we have 3 sweet cherries and another one coming next spring. We also have sour cherries, bush cherries and wild cherries in guilds throughout the food forests. This particular sweet cherry guild has siberian iris, strawberries, 2 spireas, barberries, autumn olive, alberta spruce,daylillies, pachysandra, hostas, foxgloves, ferns, and many other perennials. We try to plant a variety of insectory plants, dynamic accumulators and nitrogen fixers throughout the food forest gardens. Therefore, not all plants produce food but rather feed beneficial insects, bring in pollinators, fix nitrogen in the soil to feed the plants or bring up nutrients from deep in the soil. For more information on Food forests and guilds see other threads in this blog.

Can't really see them from this photo but there are baby sweet cherry and apple trees along this side of the garden, hopefully they'll grow large and produce fruit in a year or so. The cherry is a Windsor that we put in this year but it hasn't really leafed out well, so we are having it replaced. Possibly we will end up with two Windsor if this one decides to pull through. The other sweet cherry are Bing.

Another shot of the baby garden, this is basically a young nursery for a food forest garden. We had to dig out Jerusalem artichokes that were taking over this garden (still finding more babies all the time). This garden contains 4 apple tree babies, 2 sour cherries, 2 Hansen bush cherries, the red tree is an ornamental Canadian Scarlet Cherry. There are also 10 blueberries, lots of red, black and gold raspberries, blackberries, 2 sweet chestnut tree babies, rhubarb, asparagus patches, 6 hazelnuts, 4 wild plum, 3 baby mulberry trees, 3 pink currants, 2 honeyberries, a juneberry and a serviceberry tree. There are 5 seedless grapeveines as well as lots of annuals planted in this area, and a few roses and other perennials like iris and poppies, and some new baby hollyhocks and others. North of this garden is a walnut garden with black walnut, carpathian walnut, butternut and 2 heartnuts. Also planted seeds of beech and other walnuts in the woods edges and have another heartnut coming next spring. There are also lots of jerusalem artichokes, 2 baby peach trees, 2 baby apricot, elderberries and lots of others in the surrounding areas both east and west of this garden area too. North of the garden and the pond to the east are trails running north through the woods which is about another 700' x more than 200 feet of woods that we own (our son owns East and neighbors own west and trails connect all 3 properties)
The trails are new in the past 5 years and we are enjoying building more and more trails into the deeper woods and the plan is to move more and more food producing trees, shrubs, vines and plants along the trails in the woods in that deep fertile mucky well as extending the creek and ponds into the woods along the trails.
This is one of the newer experiments in our woods along the trails, mushroom logs. I have innoculate these logs with Shiitake and Lions mane mushroom plugs from fungii perfecti. We  also have morel, shaggy mane and oyster mushrooms growing in these areas so I HOPE that the logs were not infected with another fungii before we innoculated them, we'll see in about a year. This trail goes back through the woods about 700 feet and branches off both east and west as well, at the end of this trail is the big tree in the thread below.

This is the north more shallow area of the pond where I love to sit on my swing. On Friday a deer walked out of the woods just north of the dock arbor and was walking around eating wildflowers while I sat and was swinging in my swing watching her. I love to watch the birds, redwings are nesting int he cattails. There is a field across from the pond that Joel (my son) owns and we are repopulating that with trees and shrubs.Just behindwhere I'm standing taking this photo is that nursery garden. Below is a photo of one of the baby sour cherry trees in the nursery garden, underplanted with asparagus, comfrey, some baby herbs, bearded iris, some tiny seedlings and just seeded annual and perennial crops and also rhubarb as a chop and crop mulch (that needs to be chopped and dropped).

Looking back toward the house from the nursery garden area .
Lookinig over one of the deeper areas of the pond, you can see there are still some clay piles along the banks that have to yet be moved. And you can't see the water lilies from this photo , they are along the edges to the right and left as well as in some other areas..and not yet blooming. This is the SE corner of the pond.
I guess this is enough photo sharing for one update..These photos were taken the first day of Summer, 2012.


  1. Beautiful pictures and love all the places that you used lattice especially for the arbor.

  2. Thanks. We have been recycling that old lattice for about 35 years when we first put it up. We have taken it down and moved it so many times it is falling apart now, but we still will continue to reuse it until there are no parts left to reuse.

  3. I came from the forum at permies!! I love it!! I love the trees!! More pictures please! Please!!

  4. Hi, Brenda, I found your blog through the permies forum too. It makes me excited for when my garden has had some time to mature and fill in like yours has. It's so beautiful.
    Would it be okay with you if I used your photo of your cherry tree as an example of a guild on my blog? I'll include a link back here and credit you with the picture, etc, if it's ok with you.