Sunday, June 27, 2010

Visiting Ayrshire

I had a special treat last weekend. My daughter brought me out to see Ayrshire Farms in Upperville, VA.
She is the landscape gardener for the farm, and I was delighted to get to see her daily world and handy work.

First she took me to see the produce fields, greenhouse, hoop houses and her herb beds. Most of the vegetable production is done by another woman, who's growing skills were impressive.

Airynee's herb boxes were in beautiful shape.

I loved seeing the espaliered cucumbers and tomato's growing in the hoop houses.

Ayrshire is a beautiful historic property, the barns, outbuildings and service areas are lovely. Espalier is everywhere you look....
I have toured this Farm in the past during the Loudoun County Farm tour. It was newly planted then. Is was amazing to see it a decade later and how it had developed.  Airynee has much to do. The gardens are not intended to be manicured. Mowing is only done occasionally.  I like the effect. It is relaxed and natural. But, I can see it easily gets out of hand. The gardeners before my daughters arrival have planted a lot of invasive species. She taking this year to access the situation and come up with a plan for how to deal.
Airynee spent the winter getting many the espaliered tree's back under control. I was amazed at the size of the wood she had to cut to restore them. They are beautiful now. She has also worked on the orchards. I am so proud of her. Pruning is such an art. She gets it!  You can't be wimpy when it comes to espaliered fruit tree's. The growth in the above photo's had extended way out from the wall when she arrived. Now they are flat against the wall and bearing fruit in sweet clusters, as they should be.

I love the antique watering trough on this outbuilding.

And this view of the lake.
We ended the tour with a feast at the Hunters Head Tavern also a part of Ayrshire Farm.
Airynee tends the gardens and planters there as well.  All of the food served at the tavern comes from the farm.  I was delighted to meet the owner of Ayrshire and Airynee's employer.It was clear they are glad to have her on their staff. 
There is nothing I like more than spending a day with my daughter, touring beautiful estates and eating wonderful food. What a perfect day!

1 comment:

Aimee Jeffries said...

Beautiful, parts look like the garden from Practical Magic :)