Our first year here was one of exploration and discovery. I mentioned in my previous post that the home was only used as a summer camp before we bought it. When we signed the papers on the house the previous owner said "Well, you'll be the first humans to spend the winter there!" We had a lot of learning to do.
Over the winter and into early spring we learned that it gets incredibly windy here, the snow drifts like crazy, and we would need to put in a real driveway. Mud season is a real season, y'all.
Spring and summer were what we were anxiously waiting for. We cleared a space to put in some raised beds for a veggie garden but otherwise we let the property grow wild to see what would come up. Every trip around the property brought exciting discoveries.
The small orchard has about 15+ fruit and nut trees. It was fun guessing and trying to figure out what type they were. In the spring I collected blossoms to try and distinguish which trees were apples and which were plum. If you're ever unsure, plum blossoms have a strong, amazingly sweet smell, whereas apple blossoms don't really have much of a smell at all. You can smell the plum trees just walking past them on the right days.
As summer came on we found apples, plums, pears, cherries both sweet and sour, walnuts and chestnuts and more. We found herbs, berries, and flowers of all kinds. We also found a couple old farm treasures.
Every year I feel like I find something new, and I can't wait to propagate what we already have! Check out our favorite findings below!
Row 1: There are blackberries, raspberries, and black raspberries; The previous owner planted some grapes, these grew in our field across the road; New England's favorite springtime treat- fiddleheads.
Row 2: This is an American chestnut tree, we call them sea-urchin trees; We have daffodils in all colors, yellow, yellow and white, white and yellow, and even paper whites; So many lilacs, one of my favorite spring scents.
Row 3: Beautiful azaleas; Columbine, which I had never seen; Wild roses, I can't wait to make rose hip jam one of these days!
Row 4: I'll take any suggestions as to what berry this might be; Day-lilies; Lilies are another favorite of mine.
Row 5: An old tractor wheel from the original farm (we assume); This strip of flowers and herbs that blooms all spring and summer long, and even into fall; Stinging nettles, which were so named for a reason! Sometime I'll make nettle tea!
Row 6: The bees love the lavender patch, and so do I; We found these rhubarb plants in a damp shady spot and transplanted them to a nice sunny place; These lily-of-the-valley smell amazing!
Row 7: Comparing apple and cherry blossoms; An asparagus patch around a birch tree; A bouquet of paper whites. We're able to have beautiful bouquets on the table all summer.