Friday, July 22, 2011

Sunny Summer Splendor

Ladies and Gentlemen ... we are having a SUMMER here in Keene Valley! Whew! The temperatures have been soaring into the high 80's for days and even popped over the 90 degree mark yesterday! Now all of you friends in PA, VA, MD, SC, etc. ... I know that you are probably thinking of how much hotter it is where you live and you are right. BUT remember that here in the North Country, we don't have air conditioning! So when it's 92 outside, it's pretty close to the same inside!

We are sweating it out!

Last night, in a desparate attempt for sleep, we actually crashed one of our guest rooms (they have AC)! Don't worry, there were no guests in the room that night! The inn is full tonight, so it's back to our steamy bedroom.

All of this heat and sun has done wonders for the vegetation in our yard and the town garden. The flowers around the inn look the best they've looked since we've moved in. I thought you might enjoy a little floral tour of our shady woodland garden.

Yes ... it's mid July and my pansies are still going gangbusters!

They'd have croaked a long time ago in PA!

I don't remember what these little coral flowers are called, but they provide a pretty little pop of color in several spots in the garden.

I've always loved Salvia .. they provide color even in shady spots.

Oh how I love Foxglove. Someday I'm going to have a whole flower bed of Foxglove

My bitty little Hydrangeas who have sat serenely in the shade for 3 years are actually going to bloom this year. I'm very excited!

Shasta daisies and other flowers surround the lamp post

I love Astilbe almost as much as Foxglove. And there is that mysterious little coral colored flower popping again.

Ferns and Coralbells

I love that one brilliant red leaf!

More lavendar Astilbe in the backyard

The Day Lilies have decided to bloom this year!

Hosta makes me feel cooler just looking at it

I realized that even though we live in the woods and I can't grow a lot of things, I am still surrounded by amazing beauty.

My plot at the town garden is coming along well.

Planting day! I planted sun-loving flowers like Cosmos, Zinnias, Marigolds, etc.

And here ... is my first harvest!!

My first pretty little bouquet gracing the guestbook/brochure table. There will be many more!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dreaming of Flowers ...

I have always dreamed of a garden of cutting flowers. Now that I run a bed and breakfast, it seems like the perfect time to create the garden of my dreams ... you know, the one where I meander along the garden path in a long flowing white skirt (that never gets dirty) with a wicker basket swinging from one elbow and a generous spray of gorgeous flowers tucked in the nook of the other.

It's a lovely dream ...

The only problem is that we live in the WOODS and most cutting flowers need something called sunshine.

This year, I came up with the perfect solution - a plot at the town garden! I reserved my very own plot and began to dream of armloads of beauty.

With great anticipation, we drove to the garden for the first time. Carefully following the chart, I meandered down the woodchip path counting the plots until I arrived at mine ...

I counted again.

And again.

Is this some kind of town garden initiation?

Let's uncover it. Maybe it isn't really so bad under all that black plastic.

Yep ... it's really that bad!

Not having thought to bring a scythe to the town garden, Wayne began attacking the thick weeds with the only thing he had ... his trust garden shovel! This is actually a pretty good way to take out your frustrations!

Then he tried some fancy gardening gizmo that was laying in the garden. In theory, it looked like it would lift out the weeds by the roots. In reality, it just got stuck in them!

CorrieAnne applied her muscle power using a long handled garden claw. That got stuck too.

As they pulled up clumps grass and dirt, I shook it off and bagged it to take home. One of the rules of the town garden is that you take home your weeds. Most people carry theirs out in a 5 gallon bucket. We ... had ... three ... giant ... lawn bags full!

"Did I do that?!" The long handled claw sacrificed its body for the cause ...

As we began to find dirt under all that green grass, CorrieAnne began to find critters in the dirt.

She had worked hard. She was hungry. Don't worry ... Mama stopped her in time!

At long last, we had succeeded in producing a clumpy, root-filled patch of dirt. It was time to go home and call it a night.

Those of you who are observant may notice that one family member was missing from action. Where, you may wonder, was Sodie during all this hard work?

She was across the road ...

having nice, cool, clean fun with her friends ... smart girl!

Round TWO - Several days later, we found the courage and strength to return to the garden.

Now it was time to sift through all of the dirt and pick out the dried up roots

An hour or so later ... a nicely raked dirt bed.

Then we laid black plastic and covered it so hopefully we won't have to haul any more weeds home!

Then we raked it again. It's looking like mighty fine dirt now!

And finally ... we planted the first three small flowers! It's still a long way from the garden of my dreams, and I don't think I'll be wearing any long flowing white skirts there any time soon ... but it's a start!

I've always loved the saying, "Do not despise small beginnings," so in that spirit, I celebrate the beauty of family, hard work, dirt under the fingernails, sun on the shoulders, earthworms, brave flowers and dreams.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Introducing ...

There are three reasons why it has taken me so long to post a photo of the finished Passages room.

1) It wasn't finished! We were waiting on curtains and a dresser to arrive. We are STILL waiting on the special carved headboard and a few pictures for the walls, but I haven't seen the right ones yet!

2) We have been BUSY! As soon as the room was finished, we hit the ground running with guests. The summer season is in full swing and I find myself at the end of each day realizing that I never got around to posting a picture!

3) A picture... ahhh, yes. I have felt very frustrated in trying to photograph this room! My little "point and shoot" camera just doesn't do the job. After several unsuccessful tries, I think I have a photo I can live with. Until someone with a good camera comes to visit .... wink, wink!!

So with no further ado ...

Ok... one small ado! Let me remind you what this room used to look like.

A lot of our guests loved the room and told us that it reminded them of staying at their "grandma's house." However, it didn't fit with the atmosphere of the rest of the house which is more earthy and natural in decor.

Here is our newest "baby" ... hope you think it is as beautiful as we do!

Guests are loving the rich wood floor and especially the King-sized bed with a Sleep Number mattress (one of those ones where you can adjust each side to the firmness or softness you like!)After a long day on the trail, it feels pretty good! The other bed in the picture is the daybed which works great for a third person. We have a trundle as well, so you can bring the whole family!

Posted by Picasa