Monday, June 10, 2013

Tahilla on my mind...


Red tape fever.


Tahilla has been on my mind...day in and day out these past weeks. When I left Tahilla Farm at the beginning of May, the property was a sea of red tape, marking trees and shrubs to be removed and ones to be pruned. On my last drive to the house, I looked at the red tape forlornly...I think if I had stayed I would have dragged my feet on this project for years. 



A new view to a meadow.


We have a plan, the landscape designer, the forester, the arborist, the project manager, the grounds keeper...and I...to selectively clear trees and shrubs to expose mountain views, stone walls and hidden meadows. The plan is to bring the property back to it's origins..to regain what has been lost over the years and return it to the beauty and grace it once held. I think it is working....


Men at work...stone walls emerging.


I was fortunate enough to have wisdom and experience around me on my last visit and could see that it was the right thing to do...all of those mentioned above were patient and kind and answered every single question, even when I asked the same questions over and over again. I do things like that...I reckon if I ask the same question ten different ways, I will trip someone up. They were all on to me...their patience never wavered.


'Martha' in her early spring glory.


In an earlier post about Tahilla Farm, I mentioned we were advised to take down our 150 year old 'Martha' tree. (The realtor for the property, Susanne, called it the 'Martha' tree after Martha Stewart and it stuck). At the encouragement of readers and specialists, we decided to get a few more opinions. Perhaps more than were necessary but as I mentioned, I do like to ask the same question, ten different ways. The good news is that 'Martha' is staying...with careful pruning and cabling she should hang around for a few more years, possibly outlive us all. I believe Martha Stewart would say 'it's a good thing'. 

'Martha' showing her spring colours.

One of the tasks at hand was to clear and prune the trees below.


Red tape gone crazy...the before.

and below, what it looks like now. I would say it is starting 
to show it's beauty and grace...


Vision accomplished.

This week a raised garden bed will take shape around the barn.
Planting it will be my summer project. 


A barn and a garden.


Removing one tree with plans to plant another.

We still have a bit more to do,
there is a mountain view to contend with at the end of the summer.


The 'before' picture and later this year, the 'after' picture.

and I plan to sit right here...

Keeping it simple at Tahilla Farm.

at the end of each day this summer
taking it all in and thinking on those ten questions for the forester.
:) 

With thanks to Gary, Susan and Gordon for many of the photos above.
Wise words by Henry David Thoreau
via

If you are new to Collage of Life and would like 
to know more about Tahilla Farm... 
the story begins with the search for a house down a dirt road.

Welcome and thank you for reading!

35 comments:

  1. Jeanne - It's so wonderful when a plan comes together...it's great to ask the questions over and over again, but sometimes you just have to hold your breath and go for it. I am sure Tahilla will be everything you have always dreamed of! When do you arrive for the summer?

    Have a beautiful day! xoxo

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    1. Sandy..you are so right! I am still holding my breath. We arrive the first week of July, 24 days to be exact. :)

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  2. Paradise.
    Pure paradise.
    I'm looking forward to sitting in that meadow with you one day. Perhaps in our bathrobes.
    xo

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    1. P...bathrobes for sure..and wellies! I am counting on it. :)

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  3. Hi Jeanne, it is so exciting to see your progress! I'm glad you decided to keep Martha. I have an enormous Box Elder in my yard that must be a hundred years old and it practically makes me weep with joy every time I see it, morning and night, four seasons a year. People actually stop in their cars to admire it. The problem is that the old dear has box elder borer, which it will succumb to eventually. I was also advised to remove it by many well-meaning folks. Funnily enough it was the man who cuts down trees for me, a good 'ole boy from West Virginia, said, "Why?" He told me to keep the sucker branches trimmed off so the tree gets plenty of air circulation through it, and cut off the limbs that die or look really bad, but that my tree could fight off this bug for a long time. Lol. He said, "She'll die eventually, like we all will, but no sense in hurrying it up none."

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    1. Sounds very familiar Nina...I am glad we held off. I plan to make it a personal project and be there for the trimming and cabling. You tree sounds like a beauty! :)

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  4. there's nothing more hopeful (and exciting) than planting a raised garden bed. I can't wait to see more.
    xo
    Leslie

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    1. Agree Leslie...this one will take some careful consideration to match our lifestyle. An expat garden..this should be interesting! :)

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  5. Jeanne, your beautiful new house is beginning to look like a home! I am so looking forward to seeing all of the changes both inside and out. Martha looks beautiful! So happy se has been saved and will be around for some time. Imagine your children and grandchildren picnicking under her beautiful shade.

    What are your gardening plans? Vegetables, herbs?

    Have a fabulous week Jeanne! I hope you are having a wonderful time with your daughter. If memory serves Claire has returned home and Christine is visiting!

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth...good question on the plantings. Most definetly herbs, perennials and veggies if can get them to grow quickly! I should be safe with seven weeks...at least for lettuce. You are right...Claire has returned to the USA and Christine is here for a few more weeks...Girls still rule in our house, our dog, Tika, counts as one too! :)

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  6. How exciting. It's all starting to come together. The landscaping is so beautiful.

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    1. Thank you Loree...I am looking forward to seeing it in real time! :)

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  7. Tahilla Farm is getting a nice watering tonight and tomorrow Jeanne and let me tell you everything looks so lush around here. It was the perfect winter and now spring for the outside. Glad to read you kept Martha hanging about, as long as she isn't leaning towards the house or falling apart she's fine. We have several old maples that just had their shot of vitamins, try it Martha might like it. I look forward to seeing you!

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. I have been hearing about the rain Debra...when I left the leaves were still in bud. I can't wait to see the summer flush. Yes...Martha will need some TLC...especially in reagards to leaning towards the house. A vitamin shot sounds good, for both of us. I look forward to seeing you as well! xx

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  8. ooh.. its looking great Jeanne.. well done on 'governing from a distance'.. bet you can't wait to get there yourself.. sooo pleased about Martha.. she's a beaut indeed!
    Happy days ahead there I feel it in my bones.. x j

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    1. Thank you Jean..'governing from a distance' has it's challenges. I find your property is only as good as the team that manages it...we lucked out this time around. :)

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  9. It's terribly difficult to cut down trees - gasp! We've all learned that along the way. But we often forget that treees get planted inadvertantly, like by blowing seeds and the birds, and lots of ways. Mother Nature has lots of built-in survival for plants. So, if we are not careful, even trees can run amok. Am so glad you and your advisors have the courage to do what needs to be done to return to earlier plans. Am sure it is easier to do in absentia, but you will be so glad later.

    It's looking great!!

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    1. Thank you Webb...I am not sure what my reaction will be when I drive in this time around. I am sure I will be pleased based on the photos but I know already I will be missing a few spots. I am sure once it all settles, I will have no regrets.. :)

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  10. Very wise choices Jeanne of keeping Martha and removing those other trees. It's starting to look better at Tahilla Farm.

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    1. Thank you Pamela...and we have yet to start plans for the house itself. Stay tuned... :)

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  11. That's comfy looking chair for taking it all in. Enjoy!

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  12. I seem to fall more and more in love with this place. Can't wait to see how it ends.

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    1. You will have to plan a visit one day Carina...it is a must! :)

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  13. I just know all you + your team will produce such a Grand outcome. Cheer's to sitting and surveying your beautiful farm soon! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  14. It's really coming together. I can't wait to see it all take shape. We'll be up in Maine in July. I cannot wait!

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    1. We will have to share New England pics in July Stephanie...my New Hampshire views and your Maine views. It will make for an interesting contrast. I am sure you will have a wonderful time!

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  15. Looking very good, Jeanne! It will be nice to be able to continue my conversations with Martha.

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    1. I am sure she will be happy to oblige Joe... :)

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  16. Extraordinary!

    I do hope you are familiar with my friend Craig's blog, "Reggie Darling?" He and his husband have furnished a country house in New York State perfectly. You might enjoy their design choices.

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  17. A very huge project that's worth doing. Your clear vision begins to show its fruits.

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  18. As I learnt on South Acres, one has to approach things gently - especially old trees which create a magic all of their own..

    Looking forward to seeing the Summer progress! Jenny

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  19. Jeanne
    You are approaching it with such a soft hand...and it is paying off. I imagine everything you do you do well...it is looking lovely

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  20. About 8 years ago I bought 58 acres with a log cabin on it that had been abandoned in 1964. Overgrown it was. Bit by bit I've been able to find a meadow, some rock walls and a limited view. These were hard fought for because the vegetation had taken over. I can support your progress toward all the goals you have named and offer the opinion that the more vegetation you get rid of the happier the remaining vegetation will be. Its a dog eat dog world out there for the plants.

    Laying dry walls of stone has become one of my favorite pass times. Its hard on the back but rewarding to the mind. An apple orchard has also begun to be beautiful. That started 4 years ago so it is really beginning to take shape now. I got a ride on mower and keep the ground that has been cleared free of weeds and over growth which is easy and fun. It doesn't take much time and just like laying stone it renews the soul. Order counts. Ann

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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