Farm flower gardens

johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)January 31, 2010

I am looking for some photos of "decorative gardening" on farms. I need some inspiration, and while all the perennial gardens and estate gardens are lovely, that's not really practical in my environment! Around here most farms have very little in the way of shrubs and flowers, but I've seen a couple with really beautiful landscaping -- low maintenance, pretty limited space-wise, but beautiful.

It's 15 degrees and gray outside with just a dusting of snow so the mud can show through. Brighten my day with some summery photos, please!

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm

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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, but here's you go.

Not exactly Farm Flower Garden. My orchard garden with with flowers mixed in. Photos taken several different years

Eric

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 10:09PM
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Naomi Miller

I am not certain what you are looking for because I do not equate 'limited space' and 'farms', lol..... we live on a ten acre hobby farm; four acres of fenced pasture, an acre or so of wooded acreage, about a half acre of veggie garden area and what I call the 'yard'.... when we moved here it was open space, a few trees line the drive, a few shrubs around the foundation.....and I was not happy at all with it, lol.... so I decided that I would use what is probably best described as our 'backyard' area.... there is NO more grass, I turned it into meandering paths , seating areas and large planting beds.... I also added perennials to the foundation plantings... added bulbs in non specific areas around the 'farm grounds'.... it is an ongoing endeavor.... I plan enlarge the veggie area and add some orchard plantings... so my advice is just go for it.... any small or large area you claim for your desires will be a joy to you.... nothing is written that says a working farm cannot also be beautiful... I think that the most beautiful farms are those that do not look planned; ones that appear to just have flowers scattered amongst the day to day must haves of the farm.... there is no right or wrong way to have the yard you want... it is only about what appeals to you..... and nothing is more right than what makes you happy... good luck to you in making it happen.....

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 1:05AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Eric--

Wonderful and very inspirational! Thanks!

Heartzlink --

Yeah, I didn't explain very clearly what I meant. Around here (SW Michigan, the "fruit belt") it seems that most people who have working farms barely have any flowers or landscaping. Even right up by the houses it is unusual for there to be any foundation plantings. (The ones who do have ornamentals seem to use the "limited space" near the house for flowers.) I assume it's because there is not spare time or money to care for non-cash crops. I want my house to fit in more or less, but I do want flowers around!

There is an Amish area not far from here and I love the neat, orderly quality of their gardens. But that's not my personality at all!

Boy, I'd love a duck pond like Eric's, too!

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 9:40AM
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pamghatten(wny5)

Mine is a hobby farm also, 20 acres, and my hobby is flowers ...

I have friends who have a dairy farm, and they planted gardens in front of their barns and house with hosta and other perennials that don't need too much work. And the beds were made with a mix of their manure, so grew really well. I also assume not enough time and/or money.

Here's mine:

Spring

Summer

From the other side of the pond

In front of my barn

View from the deck ...

Fall evening..

I need to think about ducks like Eric's ... they are really cute!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 12:58PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Pam--

Beautiful! It's great to see the seasonal changes in the beds. And I remember when you painted that barn (how many years ago was that?) -- I just love the color!

When the copy of your post came through my e-mail, it had the links to your photos instead of the individual pictures, so I scrolled through your album a bit. Hope you don't mind. I wonder if you know the variety of the pinker of your poppies that are posted? I love poppies, and I don't have any red in my little perennial bed but I'd be happy to expand the poppy section with something that sort of watermelon pink!

Ducks would love your pond. I would be curious how much they would "love" your flowers, too!!!

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 2:07PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Ducks are not a problem with flowers, it's those #%$#*@$ geese you need to keep an eye on. The eat everything. Bark off young trees even. I no longer have geese.

My brother has a tractor, when do we start digging?

Just ordered 20 more ducks. 14 White Layers and 6 Cayuga.

My place is more on the edible landscape design.

Fruit trees with an understory of fruiting bushes.

Eric

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 4:22PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Eric--

That's really lovely, and so practical! This may be the year that I put in a few fruit trees and some blueberries and raspberries. The first few years were just getting the veggie area established and painting the house. Now I can start having a little fun.

I have one duck among my hens, and she's great fun. Maybe I'll add a few more ducks this spring, too.

I envy your climate. I have a friend who lives on one of the little islands up there, and she gets vegetables year round. Imagine!!!

--Johanna

Here is a link that might be useful: My place: Busy Solitude Farm

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 4:39PM
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pamghatten(wny5)

LOL .. Johanna, I talked about painting the barn for the past couple of years, but only got around to it last Spring! It needs another coat, this spring.

I don't know the names of the pink poppies ... and you can look through my pictures all you want. The pink poppies are mostly an annual variety ... my frined gave me the seeds one fall that I just threw into the gardens. They self-sow really easily ... this year she gave me seeds for purple poppies. I think Eric has the purple ones.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 12:20PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Yes, dark red - purple. Part of the edible landscape theme. Poppies for seed. Ox-eyed daisey salad greens. Rosa Rugosa edible petals and hips.

Eric

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 1:52PM
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miscindy(5 SW MI)

Johanna-

Where are the Amish SW Michigan? I know there are some down Sturgis way, through Centreville. Where else? Do you know of any roadside markets? I'm in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area.

I don't have any good photos for you yet. Probably this summer I'll have a few. I planted 2 blueberry and 2 raspberry bushes last summer. I am hoping to plant a few fruit trees and a small vegetable plot. My house is only a month or two away from completion!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:35PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Beautiful poppies, Eric! But do you have the watermelon pink ones? Those are my favorite.

Cindy-- I was thinking of the Amish around Shipshewana, IN. Not exactly here, but only an hour or so away. They have beautiful gardens.

---Johanna

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:48PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

No pinks. Some light red to pink Hollyhocks.

Pink Rosa Rugosa Rubra

Eric

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:20PM
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pamghatten(wny5)

Johanna,

I've been adding trees and bushes for over 10 years now. I was lucky to find a nursery that sells trees in the very early spring bare root. So I can move and pant decent sized trees by myself. Those large dirt root balls are very heavy!

Pam

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 12:48PM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Pam--
When I moved to my current house, there were three lilac bushes that I wanted to transplant. They were 4-5 feet tall each. Don't you know I just leapt right in, dug all around them, and then was totally shocked at how much they weighed with modest dirt balls?! Lordy lou, I got them moved but it was WAY more work than I'd anticipated! Finding bare root trees and shrubs would be a wonderful help.
--Johanna

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 12:55PM
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pamghatten(wny5)

LOL ... I have a white lilac bush that is about 3 feet around, and 6 to 7 feet tall that I would love to move. I cut it back a couple of years ago, to about a foot tall ... and it took off again. Lilacs are like that .. cut them down and they produce new sprouts.

But it's just too big around for me to tackle ... need "equipment" to take this baby out ... hmmmm .. I'll have to think of that the next time there is a tractor around.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 6:23PM
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citytransplant(zone5)

Johanna,

I have an idea why many farms do not landscape. As a former city gal it took me a while to figure it out. DH and I moved back to the farm he was born on and built a house close to the original one.

Remember farmers are practical. My FIL cut down the fruit trees MIL planted after she died because they were too messy. Flowers and bushes get in the way of mowing. At the new house I cannot plant trees over there because the water pipes from the well come across that way, nor over there because the power lines are in the way, not over there either because of the septic and the septice fields, nor over there because the equipment has to have access to the crib and the tool shed and the lean to. Have you seen the new equipment?? One piece is as big as a barn!!! And there a are lots of pieces, so we have to leave plenty of room. Okay fine, I will plant in the front of the house....and did. It is soooo very extremely windy there that I felt sorry for the poor flowers and baby bushes being tormented constantly by the wind. Talked to a few farmers wifes who agreed. Flowers and bushes will be beat to death. No hanging pots or wreaths on doors or decorative items sitting around either, as they will all end up in the next county. Geeze.

If you were to drive by our place you would see about five acres that one would think could be beautifully planted out, but that is not the reality.

Being a stubborn lover of nature, I did manage to put in some fruit trees, behind the old house. Lost 2 cherry, 2 peaches and 2 plums..was it the wind? 3 apples survived... Horray!! Put in a small raised garden between the new house and old garage, a little protection from the wind that way, mixing veggies and flowers. I am so glad it is working out. This spring, I hope to have flowery paths going to our future chicken house and yard. And this too will work out...at least it does in my head.

The man who farms our place just smiles and says his wife gave up long ago and got a job in a flower shop. I remain stubborn... hope you do too.

Joan

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 8:20AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Joan--

That's exactly what I meant when I said that if there's any landscaping, it's in a very small space!

I look out the big, south-facing, sliding glass doors in my living room across my lawn to the septic mound (planted with prairie plants -- low maintenance) and a wall of evergreen trees. I think to myself "oh, wouldn't it be great to have a big border of perennials there? But I can't, because that's where the septic and the lift-station are. Between the house and where they are is where I drive from the street to the barn. I could do (and might do) foundation planting around the house, but would have to be careful about leaving space for a ladder to access the gutters and roof.

My vegetable garden is on the far side of the barn. Wish it was where I could see it better from the house because I love to look at it, but there wasn't a good place.

But that doesn't stop a girl dreaming!!!

--Johanna

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 9:20AM
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