2020's First Sunday Stroll

Historically I've made a weekly "Sunday Stroll" farm post on our Facebook page but with the expansion of our social media to include Pinterest, Twitter, and Instgram we are finding our followers now come from far and wide. Placing the farm going-on's here on a blog of its own just seems to make more sense as we grow.

After several months away I am finally back on our Abbotsford, Wisconsin botanical farm. I've been busy working at our lab and living in quarantine while Alyssa has been away on maternity leave. 

Immediately upon arrival I noticed all of the flowering plants are several weeks ahead of schedule. Sadly, I found we lost quite a few plants this year, especially in our lavender and roses while other plants came back unexpectedly. Mother Nature is a mystery, that's for sure.
Since we will need to replant anyway, we'll be doing a lot of clean up this year and preparation for fresh new beds next Spring (provided we don't have anymore surprises in the way of babies or quarantines)!

Many of our plants are flowering early this year, everything feels like it's on the verge of explosion!

Let's Stroll!

I allowed my Chives to grow wild and now have a field of chives.

Angelica forms a windbreak border to the lower gardens. I love how prehistoric it looks.

'Southern Charm' Verbascum surprised me by surviving the Winter even though its not hardy for our zone! 

Another surprise was the return of Salsify in the vegetable garden. Of course, had I read the seed packet I might have know it would sprout up again! This gives me another chance to try using those culinary roots in a soup or stew. I thought the flowers were so pretty I had to share.

Last year I added potted (cough cough) blue Hydrangeas to our shady lane of Birch trees. I need to add some soil acidifier to their mix to try to get them back to blue. The potted plants were overwintered in the greenhouse workshop. 

Those of you who have been following the Sunday Strolls for awhile know that last year I expanded my cut flower area quite a bit. I am super excited to see all of the flowers I had lined out for cutting returned this year. The Foxglove (Digitalis) is up and blooming already. If you opt to grow this beautiful biennial know that it is highly poisonous to humans and pets. I love it's spikes but will need to rethink this plant when the Grandbabies get older.

Delphiniums, large and small, are getting ready to bloom.

Chamomile is not happy with me for not having harvested this first crop. I'll be doing a heavy cut back here.

The Comfrey is already about four feet tall and blooming. Comfrey is another plant that can be cut back and harvested repeatedly all summer long. It's also fantastic for the compost pile and improves soil where planted. 

Lemon Balm is my personal favorite. Not only does it smell great, it makes a fantastic tea.

The Sage really took me by surprise and is in full bloom! This was a new variety for us, planted last year.

Iris is lending a touch of blue to the gardens right now. 

I'll end on a sweet note with Strawberries. We grow our Strawberries in raised beds to deter bunnies and make harvesting much easier. Hoops covered with layers of netting keep birds and bugs at bay.

Have a great week!

Christine Untiedt, Founder, Brown Barn Botanicals


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