Around the House
As you enter the areas around the house and studio, you will discover the following:
Hay Feeder Hügel: a reused hay feeder is lined with straw and filled to the brim with stumps and sticks from the meadow, turf, and topped with soil. It houses chili peppers, dill and coriander.
Hallway of Mirrors: Mirrors line exterior walls creating a lively visual affect. The mirrors also create a tropical area ideally suited for early season nursery growing. Whereas the odd bird would sadly collide into the house windows, birds now occasionally hover in front of the mirrors and we can only imagine what they’re thinking. Birds tend to fly horizontally through the forest from tree to tree, and they will often fly horizontally through the gardens and around the modest buildings.
Cold Boxes: Over the winter, fresh lettuces, kale and rappini are grown in the glass topped cold boxes running along the side of the house. During early spring, seedlings grow for early planting.
Cedar Swinging Chairs: While gently swinging in the cedar chairs, you may be lucky to spot hummingbirds and butterflies drinking the nectar from the surrounding beebalm and lamb’s ear.
Rocket Stove Evaporator: The rocket stove evaporator has tripled our maple syrup production capacity by allowing us to generate an impressive amount of heat with the burning of far less wood. Close by is a maple sap collection bucket on display as it would be during the maple harvest season.
Nursery: In the Nursery, tubs are filled with mycelium rich sticks and stumps cleared from the meadow, and some turf from newly dug beds. A thick layer of soil covers the top creating a robust self-contained ecosystem. The tubs are filled with seedlings ready for planting out into beds.
Playground: While the kids play at the playground swings and climbers, you may gently rock in the cedar swinging chairs and take in the panoramic views of the full gardens. Close by is a pretty bed of day lilies and colourful annuals. At the front of the playground is a youthful sugar maple tree that has continued its growth despite the scars left from equines chewing its delectable bark.
Honey Bees: On the back porch, foraging honey bees bring pollen and nectar to the hive. Foraging bees will travel a 5-kilometer radius around the hive and once their bellies are full of nectar and/or their pollen sacs filled, they return to deliver their goods. As worker bees mature inside the hive, they graduate from building the honey comb, caring for the nursery, keeping the hive clean and tending to the Queen Bee to their final positions as foraging bees.
Under the Back-Porch Plywood: On the underside of the plywood on the ground of the back-porch is a rich landscape of mycelium and a lovely ecosystem home for friends of the garden such as worms, great grey slugs and red backed Salamanders.
Milkweed: By the back porch is a growing patch of milkweed. If you notice a lot of Monarch Butterflies around the garden, it may be because they lay their eggs on milkweed. The hatched caterpillars eat the milkweed leaves and grow exponentially to reach their metamorphosing size.
Grapes: Beside the back porch are grape vines trained to run along the dog park play area.