Sunday, May 26, 2013

What's keeping them down on the (Geaudrault) Farm: a beautiful meander among the (mostly) annuals.

A friend of mine and I braved the pre-holiday drizzle to explore a local New Hampshire enterprise, The Goudreault Farm. I had been there last fall when everything was pumpkins and wreaths, but I was nearly blown away by the carpets of annuals they have produced for Spring.
 The Goudreaults have been farming since 1962, and are approaching their 80's.  Hard working, strong and friendly, they told us they get up at 4:30 am and are tired by 5:30.  PM.  I would think so!  We found them sorting sold plants from available ones.  The saddest thing, I think, is that they've had the farm on the market for several years but haven't come to a deal.  I hope they can find some one, or even a group of people who will keep the farm going.  I understand that there used to be more animals, but now it is mostly annuals with perennials and vegetables for good measure.

 We observed the horses from afar as it was very muddy and slippery.  I didn't see the goats or chickens on this visit.
 This horse might be "special."  He was at the top of the hill and watched us warily.

 An outbuilding is full of garden accessories-- mostly sculptures, signs, and whimsies.  They also have locally made preserves (my favorite is lime-ginger marmalade!)  I'll show them in my next post.  This one is mostly about the flowers.
My husband put up some extra hooks on our porch.  I do believe I'll have to get some more baskets of petunias (or maybe fuchsias) to keep me and the hummingbirds entertained.


 Mandevilla (?)
 Tree Peonies

 Peonies are new to me.  
I understand now why so many people love them.  
They are showy, and splendiferous.

 I felt as overwhelmed as one can feel in a big fancy bakery.  And for me, considering these aren't edible, it's pretty amazing.  My hungry eyes were made hungrier even as they were sated.
 Impatiens were doing well in spite of worrying notices in some nurseries about a moldy fungal plague.

 Dahlias.  Another flower new to me.  The first time I saw a lot of them was at a judged, juried show at the Topsfield Fair.  Who knew that there were flower growing contests?  Well, I knew... I just hadn't SEEN any!
Aren't these pink ones magnificent?

 They had hanging baskets of Lantana.  I like looking at the flower domes from the under side.
 The magenta and vermilion of the verbena(?) and Gerbera practically made the air vibrate.  It must be an optical convergence or something.
 Then we saw balletic fuchsias.  Bountiful baskets full.  And in several color variants.

 I am thinking of painting silk scarves.  The colors and shapes of fuchsias would be fun... even if they don't turn out to be 100% botanically accurate.

My husband loves ANY kind of key lime pie.  He might draw the line at these, though.
Did you plant coleus as a child?  
I did, but because it was actually in a flower bead rather than pot-bound in pots, it was never as wildly exuberant as this display.

 More Dahlias and them some Morning Glories ready to climb.

 Only Nature or maybe Andy Warhol would combine these colors!
 I think the plant I bought last week that I couldn't find the name of might be Angelface.  What a great name!

 Rusty orange Heuchera.  Another painting possibility... or scarf inspiration for the fall.

 Mandevilla's galore.  I hope people managed to over winter them indoors! 

 Textures in contrast.

 In one of the "hoop house" green houses, I was startled by a hummingbird flying laps back and forth from one end to another.  FAST.  I felt like a person in a tennis match watching cartoon.  Left. Right. Left. Right.Sometimes he'd stop at the purple spikes above, and sometimes he'd stop on an empty plant hanger at the far end of the tent. He moved too fast for me to shoot AND focus.  The little lump below is the best I could do. 
 I don't suppose they are thinking about discarding any of these pots.  I especially like the blue and red one.
 Bleeding heart.  
More painting/dyeing inspiration.  
I can see green leafy shapes with highlighted hearts on black silk, can't you?

 I guess that the heuchera can bloom! 
The flower spikes alternating with varied leaf colors created another textural complexity.

 I don't know if this is something special or some sort of blight.  (Don't worry, that's how Tulips got to be so expensive in the 1600's... nobody knew what they'd look like when they bloomed.)  At any rate, these petunias looked like they had glitter sprinkled on them.

 And more Lantana.  We DID have these in Texas, but mostly the orange ones.  Probably because most everything in Texas is UT ORANGE.  I prefer the pink and yellow.

Go plant something!

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