Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Unearthing history.

While dismantling the wall on my current project, a small retaining wall in varying degrees of collapse. The face stones became narrow to the point of having no structural cohesion.


When I began to dig out the soil behind the wall, the reason for these narrow stones became clear.
Intersecting the repaired wall at a 45 degree angle, was a previously built and superior retaining wall.
Possibly out of respect for a previous craftsman, the builder of the second wall had simply walled across the face of the existing wall with the above narrow stones.
Altering the line of the wall was not an option, so I dismantled a small section of the original retaining wall and reused the stone in the repaired wall.
I hope the next builder finds the existing wall as fascinating as did I.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Another successful drystone wall building workshop

This last weekend brought together a diverse group of participants from far and wide. Minnesota, New York, Maine and all parts of Connecticut. Stonewell Farm in Killingworth CT was the venue for our Spring Drystone walling workshop, and, as you can see from the photos, glorious weather, and good humor inspired another successful weekend.
Our next gathering will be the 26th and 27th of September.






Friday, April 24, 2015

Michelle hung out the hummingbird feeders on Wednesday and sure enough we had our first visitor today. As is usually the case, these first arrivals are passing through to breeding grounds further north. The resident hummingbirds should be here within the week.
Get out those feeders.





Saturday, January 17, 2015

Feed the Birds

With the turning of the year and the lengthening days, our minds are drawn further still, to the warm spring days which beckon us to another year of outdoor in the garden. Here at Stonewell Farm, we are now firmly in the camp of leaving last year’s growth to overwinter in situ. This provides some succor to the feathered or fur clad wildlife that inhabit the gardens throughout the winter months, be it through protection from the weather, or our ever present kettle of hawks as with this Autumn Clematis and Boxwood.  Seedheads and dried stems can provide a source of food in their own right, as well as sheltering insects which provide another source of nutrition for wild birds.
                                                                                                                   
                                          

                   Autumn clematis (above) and Boxwood (below) grow densely enough to provide shelter from persistent wind or predatory wing,
                                 




Berries and seedheads provide wildbirds with a much needed source of nutrition in winter.


By leaving last years growth intact, some plants, like this grass,  create a layer of protection for the new shoots waiting patiently for spring to return, while at the same time giving some visual winter interest.

 

 Occasionally a snowy display of florescences result unexpectedly, as seen on these Hydrangeas.


 Ligularia


Monarda