On this St. Patrick’s Day, a mix of sun and clouds is expected over Skylands, my well-loved home in Maine, with temperatures in the high 30s – hopefully melting more of the snow from this week’s nor’easter.
The recent storm which covered my Bedford, New York farm with several inches of white also hit the Seal Harbor area – residents there got a total of about seven to eight inches. Cheryl DuLong, who helps me care for Skylands, takes many pictures around the property, especially in winter when I am not able to visit as often. She sent me these images yesterday, showing the beautiful snow around my home.
Further up north at my home in Maine, the nor’easter dropped several inches of snow over two days. It was also quite windy, so the snow came from all directions, sticking to nearly every surface and every side of the trees.
Very similar to the conditions here in New York, the snow in Maine was heavy and wet. In this photo, one can see some of “Rockefeller’s Teeth” – large blocks of granite lining an edge to serve as guardrails. These coping stones are cut roughly and spaced irregularly to create a more rustic and natural appearance. This area includes hemlocks, spruce, and cedar trees.
This is a bench just off my back porch. I like to put the asado grill here during summer to use for our outdoor dinners.
Here is a little fir tree just outside my laundry room window. Beyond this tree is a pool where my grandchildren loved to look for frogs when they were younger.
The snow weighed down many of the branches, but fortunately all remained intact. We always try to dust off any snow where we can.
These steps are from the main terrace and join the path to my guest house. The wooden box above covers and protects the ornamental urn inside during the cold season. This photo was taken around 11am on the first day of snow.
The snow drifts made it hard to decipher these narrow stairs leading to the West Terrace. To the left, one can see some of the high bush blueberry branches – the fruits from these bushes are some of the sweetest I’ve ever had.
Here are more of these native blueberry bushes. In summer, we try to harvest as many as possible before the birds get to them.
This is one of Cheryl’s favorite views – the reflection on the dining room window showing the trees and the ocean. It’s hard to see, but yes, all that white is the ocean.
This sundial was installed when the house was built. It is above the doors of the Living Hall, which open out to the main “cracked ice” terrace. The surrounding kiwi vines are original to the house and have grown so beautifully all these years.
Even when it’s snowing, my outdoor grounds crew is hard at work. Here is our new Kubota tractor moving some old stone and debris from a current project. This tractor is so helpful around both my farm and this home in Maine – it’s one of my favorite pieces of equipment.
Even in the coldest of winter, the mountain laurel holds onto its leaves, categorizing it as an evergreen. Here, the leathery deep green foliage stands out among all the surrounding bare tree branches.
Hard to identify some of the plantings under all the snow. This is a tree peony on the main terrace just outside the living room window.
This view is of Skylands’ front circle and the center garden planted with hay-scented ferns, purple smoke bushes, and spruce trees, Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’. When I found these trees, I got many to plant here in Maine. This entire day remained cloudy overhead – everything looked very gray.
This is large black urn we use for planting small trees in the summer. It is covered to keep the inside from falling rain and snow. One can see how much snow has accumulated so far.
Cheryl also does a thorough tour of the house every day to make sure everything is in good, working order. Here, she checks the gutters. They are clear of any leaves – crucial during a storm, so water drains properly.
This is a view looking out from an upstairs window down at the Counsel Circle where my family enjoys gathering on summer nights. The snow was really coming down harder by early afternoon.
From this terrace, one should see Seal Harbor and Sutton’s Island beyond the trees, but it is so cloudy and foggy, it’s hard to see anything – but it’s all there. Cheryl says this terrace had already been shoveled once, but the fast snow quickly covered it all over again.
Here’s another second floor view looking down at the main stairs of the large terrace. I am already looking forward to my spring visit to Skylands when I plant all the outdoor containers. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.
On the calendar, winter turns to spring in just a few days. In fact, Skylands is expecting a warmer weekend with temperatures in the mid-40s and possibly some rain next week – only “Mother Nature” really knows. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!