I love the air when it's fresh and clean from the night. The last of the frogs are still peeping and the early birds are singing. The trees take on an ethereal look as the sun rises over the hill and illuminates the farm. It's a great time to take a look around.
Down by the goat pen, the goats are not quite awake yet but hear me coming and poke curious noses out to see if I have breakfast. MJ, our milking goat is waiting for her turn on the milking stand and that will be soon and Aspen, her baby is jumping around like a kid will! But now is just a walk around the dawn light. I love this time of the day.
The chickens are still locked inside their coops and awaiting their soon to come breakfast, too. But gobbling Henrietta meets me at the fence. The beehives are still quiet and dew coats the foliage in the bee yard. Soon, I know the rambling roses will be blooming and the chamomile will raise their tender stems to the sky along the fence. There, in the market garden, rows of lettuces, salad blends and radishes are all up in long rows. Reminder to me! Weed the garden!
The woods are dark still with the light above. It gives them a mysterious look and I can imagine them one hundred years ago, teeming with wildlife. We still see a lot of animals around here, Over the winter, we had visits by deer and turkeys. More ominously, a fox, various owls, hawks and other birds of prey. Fortunately, we have bird netting over both of our chicken coops and sturdy pens to foil them, because all of them are interested in a possible chicken dinner.,
My walk takes me back up through the backyard and the formal herb gardens. In the Perennial Bed, Yarrow is roaring back. One small plant has become a sturdy patch 3'x2' of thriving fronds. Rosemary, Marjoram, Sage, Savory and other herbs that come back every year will also be planted in this bed. I can see it in my mind, now I just need to make it happen!
The cobblestone path is being reworked, along with all the herb gardens along it and so it's all in disarray right now. The main herb garden is finished but not completely planted yet. I love the look of it and can see what it will look like with my mind's eye. A close examination reveals new growth there, too. We tilled it and tansy, yarrow, purslane and lemon balm peeked out and up, even with all that tilling.
I replanted the yarrow in the Southwest Garden. Nothing else is planted there right now. Tender annuals like Cilantro and Cumin will go there. Everything goes out on or after April 22 - the final frost date here in SE Missouri. I'll pot up the lemon balm and tansy to give to someone who needs great shade plants.
I have lots of lemon balm and tansy in the front shade gardens, already and they both came back gangbusters this year. I'm very pleased. The Hostas, the single climbing rose, the single boxwood were all here in the front garden when we got here. The violets and dead nettle are certainly volunteers but not unwelcome as both have their uses around the home, too. My daughter-in-love makes a great dead nettle soothing balm - we call it Zombie Weed and use it on everything that irritates the skin.
And that will take me back to the front porch and the covered pile of compost waiting to be delivered to various beds as we plant. It looks like a mess right now but beauty is right around the corner here at Windy Thistle Farm! Come see what we've got growing!