"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Friday, July 19, 2013

Agri-Bliss in the Berkshires

So here we are in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts, house sitting for our friends Wendy and Steve, in temperatures hitting the humid mid nineties with no AC! Holy Cow. In the past two years we haven't had to deal with heat like this, and the few days we did, we had air conditioning to get us through the night. So now, after rain for three weeks in NH, we are having a heat wave, which does happen now and again in New England. The good news is, our friends have a lovely screen porch with a bed on it, so we can sleep virtually outside in the cooler night air. Boy are we spoiled. 

The RV has been parked in the yard here for over three weeks. Seems to be happy just sitting there, and not bothered by the heat.


I'm having a great time garden sitting as well. I'm assigned to pick whatever is ready while we're here, plus I'm on Japanese beetle patrol. Every morning and evening I capture the rascals and send them on to bug heaven. They seem to like the raspberry bushes the best, then the willow bushes. Our friend Wendy is a basket weaver and she grows her own varieties of willow for the baskets. 

Here's what the willow looks like after its harvested and bundled.

The J beetles really go for one particular kind of willow, but I'm going my level best to keep them off. They're persistent little "bug"gers, and in just 12 hours from morning to evening, there's another batch after those tender willow leaves. It's a humbling enterprise.

Despite the hard work ; ) we are also managing to get out and do a few things for fun. We hit the Berkshire Botanical Gardens in Stockbridge one day. They have a lovely children's garden and a farm camp! Boy I would have loved to go to a farm camp when I was a kid. (Wait a minute, I am at a farm camp!)

Although this is an incredibly busy picture, perhaps you can make out the beautiful raised beds with specimen veggie plants in them. Everything looked lushly vibrant.

There were sculptures placed around the gardens, but I wasn't crazy about them in general. They do provide nice focal points for some pictures though.

And here's one of nature's own little focal points on a black-eyed susan.

There is also a collection of structures that all seem to be variations on the garden shed theme. Martha Stewart sponsored one, and it looks perfectly simple, just like you'd imagine. This one looks like it belongs in Cades Cove, TN.

Another morning I set out early to take some pictures and ended up at Gould Farm, where the gardens are tended by some very vigilant gardeners. 

I see them out there every time we pass by!  : )

Meanwhile, back at the house, I've taken some photos of the tools of the trade wielded on a daily basis by Wendy and Steve. Here are some intimate shots of those to finish up this post. 

Perhaps you have some of these in your home too?

When next I write, it will probably be from Brattleboro, VT. We'll see you there.
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