Wednesday, February 23, 2011


With March only a week a way, I become tantalized by the on again off again warm weather. Oh the warmth of our longer days! Such a beautiful time of the year. A time to reflect on the beauty of our town. During the summer I scurry back and forth through town negotiating the throngs of cars and pedestrians. Hardly a moment to take your eyes off the road. Now I find myself looking at the beauty of the river, tidal pools, wet lands even our four legged friends that find their way next to our homes munching on our favorite fruit tree! It is all so beautiful. For those of us that have the good fortune to be living here year round what a wonderful gift to wake up in such a pretty quiet world.
 With spring now on our doorstep I am full of wonder…what will our spring be like? It can be a very challenging time for growers and gardeners. The news laments over the weather forecast everyday. It never sounds to me like it’s a good time because if it’s sunny today …wait tomorrow will be horrific. Huh? I ask myself as I walk out the door , can’t I just enjoy today?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Office

We are now in the process of removing a wall and refinishing the upstairs guest bedroom into an office for Helene.

I didn't take any pictures of the upstairs before the removal of the wall, but i will be sure to post before and after pictures of the work as it progresses. So far we have knocked down two walls and removed one section of superfluous ceiling in order to create a more open, spacious area with which to build Helene's new office area. Hopefully she'll be able to pick out a color she likes and a laptop to use before we get into full spring overdrive mode.

I'm also responsible for getting these renovations done in time for her to get a desk and laptop in there. My hope is that this will will be finished in the next few weeks, but I've learned that things always seem to take longer than I think they will.

Check back for some images of the work, hopefully in the next couple of days.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter shapes

There is probably no better time to think of sculpture than winter.
This is the time to look at the shape of the land, to see outcroppings of stone and look at the shapes of trees and evergreens, even to enjoy the shape of your poodle.
We are fortunate here at Blackrock to have some of Albert Raitt's beautiful stone sculptures.  There is really no better time to look at them then now. The snow swirls around them and makes unusual shapes and the colors of the stone take on a purity that only winter can provide. These next photos and the photos of chairs that were inadvertently left out for the winter were taken Anne Boginski.

But not only are sculptures important.  Some of our cheapest sculptures are the $39.95 shrubs and trees that we bought a few years ago or the fence that was put up to keep in the animals.  The snow brings the shapes to life.

Friday, February 18, 2011


It's beautiful out there right now, and boy did we need it! The driveway here at the farm has been covered in ice for weeks now, which makes walking out to feed the horses or check on the greenhouses a dangerous trip. Now, with the temperature up around 50 degrees, the icy spots are very slick, but at least in some places the ground is beginning to show through.
I did the chores this morning without a jacket for the first time in months!
The sounds of running water are everywhere, and quietly listening to them along with the rhythmic chomp of the horses on their grain provides a feeling of spring, and a welcome relief from the deep freeze.
Sadly, i hear we're supposed to get more snow in the next few days, and the temperature is supposed to drop again, but as for now the doors to the greenhouses are wide open to keep the temperature down and the China Goose named Ike is patrolling the grounds as if spring were already here. His aggressive behavior and incessant honking are the only things spoiling this beautiful day.

enjoy it while it lasts, and get excited for spring.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dog Show

The Scottish Deerhound just won best in show at Westminster. Helene and Eileen obsessively watch the dog show every winter, insisting on stopping work on these two days to oo and ahh over canines. In fact, they even fled the office today for the quiet of Eileen's house to escape the constant barrage of phone calls and visitors we always seem to get. It's certainly a bizarre subculture, but when it's freezing cold outside it's a welcome change of pace to sit in front of the television and listen to that strange narrator inform you that certain dogs "champion fair play", whatever that means. This year it was almost a home-shopping type experience, as Eileen is in the market for a new dog.

Also, it was a year in which the poodle did not make it into the final group. Blackrock Farm is home to two standard poodles, Leo and Magdalena, and one miniature, Sebastien. However, these farm poodles are quite a bit different from the traditional show dogs of Westminster. Here's one now:

Anyway, in honor of the Scottish Deerhound Anne decided to create a greenhouse rendition of the breed. Due to space constraints and fog building on the camera lens in the ultra-humid greenhouse we were only able to provide you with a head on shot:

It's kinda hard to make out, but the magnifying glass is the snout, the rocks the eyes, and the fuzzy potted plant (Upright Club Moss) standing in for the Deerhound's scruffy face. The thin body is made from a wicker chair, and the fuzzy tail and hind legs by one of our many beautiful Upright Black Elephant Ear plants.

Yeah, it's a stretch, but winter at a nursery sometimes leaves us with a bit of free time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Poem

This will be my first time posting under my own name on this blog, and despite our relative obscurity it is still intimidating to be posting my writing to the public. With this in mind, I suppose the best way to go would be to get the most embarrassing notion out of the way first. I am going to post a short poem i wrote several years ago; one that was inspired by this beautiful place and the times i spent here simply growing up and not working. Over time, and as my maturity level has grown, this place has become as much my job as my home, but I wanted to start off my writing on this site with a more pure, idealized, unclouded memory. I'm a poor excuse for a poet, but I hope everyone will hang with me, and that as I write more you will perhaps find a few words of mine to your liking.

A Walk to the Back Field's Bench

Fifty-five steps
In the misty morning,
Over the damp grass,
Barefooted through puddles
Whose mud seeps between my toes.

Across the piled rocks
Slippery from the dew,
Which is our bridge over
The small, slow moving stream.

The trees drip with water
As rain begins falling faster.
In huge drops it falls
The first few making
Their tapping sounds before
It becomes a constant hum

The last ten steps are on a path
Mowed in the fire-weed.
The cut stems stab my feet.
When I reach the bench I sit;
In the downpour, I check
To see if I am bleeding.


As you know time is a fleeting thing. I get so busy that I can't seem to find the time to do all the things that I know I should.
I am determined now to keep up our blog and I hope that you will have some renewed faith that I will and share it with some of you friends and please make comments or suggestions about what you want me to write about.
But time is essential when we are talking about starting seeds. They need to be started at the correct time. If we start them too late they won't make it here with our short growing season, start them too early and they get leggy and weak.
Now is the time to start quite a few and if you are doing that yourself we can help with a few ideas.