It's a cloudy but warm day at the farmette. Have never experienced as many mosquitoes as we've had this year. Feel like I should bathe in After Bite every day. Oh well.
Yesterday was a ripper, in my world, anyway. Started with a tour of Frog Hollow Gardens, with sister Sandy. It's a two and a half acre spread perched in a scenic location just outside Thornbury.
The view was spectacular. Georgian Bay on one side, and the Niagara Escarpment on the other.
The gardens were pretty spectacular, too.
Here are some of the flowers we encountered. This one's acanthus, and it's about a metre tall. It's quite striking in a border bed, it's usually found in the Mediterranean and Asia, and its nickname is pretty cute - bear's breeches.
They had the biggest monardia (bee balm) I've ever seen anywhere. I love these alien-looking flowers which are also known as bergamot, which is the main, tasty flavour in my favourite tea, Earl Grey.
There was an impressive grey-leafed Russian olive tree that soared above the gardens. Have to admit, I had tree envy with this one.
I'm going to have to get some donkey tail euphorbia (below), because it would look great in my succulent bed beside the deck. Next year. Managed to get my toes in this one!
After an hour of touring, oohing and aahing, we drove into town and had a delicious lunch at Winnifred's an old English pub with a massive patio, which is where we met up with Sandy's daughter Erin.
Sandy and I split two appetizers - yummy calamari and an apple salad with goat cheese along with a lovely Sauvignon Blanc while Erin chowed down on a gigantic chicken sandwich with fries.
Then, it was back to the Thorntons to tour the progress they'd made on their budding ranch.
Erin, sister Rachel and their dad Brian had fixed up the paddock behind the new-build barn so the girls' horses could have more room to roam than the little corner of the field they'd been kept in while construction was going on.
Apparently, both horses were pretty happy with the bigger paddock, galloping around and bucking and rolling in celebration.
Here's Erin running with Trigger (l), who is Rachel's horse and Raven, a thoroughbred that Erin recently bought.
There are as many flies at the Thorntons as there are mosquitoes at the Wilson-Harrises.
Which is why, most of the time, the horses wear fly masks.
Here's Trigger sporting his protective gear.
All in all, it was yet another fantastic day with the Thornton family.
They've worked so hard to transform the bush that was between the house and the road to a place where animals and humans can be comfortable. While they still have quite a ways to go - installing the floors and stalls and any number of tasks - it's getting there. Here's the front of the barn.
And here's the gratuitous cat photo of the week. I give you Fred, who drinks from the laundry room tap at least four or five times a day. Until next week.