A GOLDEN SEA OF SUNFLOWERS AT THE STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL SCHOOL STREET SUNFLOWER FARM

The brand new beautiful School Street Sunflower field is not to be missed. With gently rolling hills, abundantly planted rows, and a wide, easy path to stroll (easy enough for a two-year-old to navigate), the 5 acres of sunflowers is a wildflower lover’s dream.

Paul Wegzyn and his Dad, also Paul Wegzyn, shared their enthusiasm for this exiting new venture.

There are picnic tables for those who would like to take lunch, and positioned artfully around the fields are photo props such as tractors and bales of hay, but for the most part, the scene is straight up gorgeous sunflowers (and bees!).

The variety planted blooms in 50 to 60 days from when planted and today is day 61. Only a few flowers have droopy seed-laden heads, or have passed. NOW is the time to go as the blooms will all have expired in another two weeks.

Kissable Butterflies

School Street Sunflower Farm

At the corner of Linebrook Road and School Street (for google maps type in – 79 Linebrook Road)

Ipswich, Massachusetts

Open 8am to sunset.

The cost is eight dollars during the week, ten dollars on weekends, and the ticket covers a full day. Wristbands are available if you would like to return the same day. Children under five are free.

Instagram: @schoolstreetsunflowers

Facebook: @schoolstreetsunflowers

Thoughtful sayings posted throughout the field ~

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

CEDAR ROCK GARDENS OPENING TODAY!

You never know what beautiful pollinator you will encounter while shopping at Cedar Rock Gardens! 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Sunflower, Cedar Rock Gardens

For more information visit Cedar Rock Gardens website here and see post from earlier this week.

GOOD MORNING FROM CABOT FARM!

For Nancy Lutts. Thank you dear lady!

After collecting Monarch eggs last weekend, Nancy graciously allowed me to return to her gorgeous Cabot Farm to film and to photograph. I was there at sunrise, which is relatively early in the day for butterfly sightings however, I did see four Monarchs and two were females depositing eggs all over the field!

Bench Cabot Farm Salem ¬©Kim Smith 2015Nancy’s Pollinator Garden

Sunrise Cabot Farm Salem ¬©Kim Smith 2015View from Nancy’s Milkweed Field
Cabot Farm Salem ©Kim Smith 2015Sunflowers Cabot Farm Salem ©Kim Smith 2015Scarlet runner Beans Cabot Farm Salem ©Kim Smith 2015Scarlet Runner Bean; the blossoms are beloved by hummingbirds.

Barn Cabot Farm Salem ©Kim Smith 2015

READ MORE HERE Continue reading “GOOD MORNING FROM CABOT FARM!”

ZDF Filming at Gloucester’s Eastern Point Lighthouse

ZDF film Gloucester MA ¬©Kim Smith 2014This morning while filming B-roll and “Bee”-roll for my nature documentaries I came upon the German National television channel’s¬†ZDF¬†cast and crew getting organized for a day of filming at the Eastern Point¬†Lighthouse. They are shooting films¬†based on the Katie Fforde¬†romance novels. Not considered a mini-series, four separate¬†films are being shot all around the North Shore¬†and¬†filming will continue to take place in¬†Gloucester this week.

“All of Fforde‚Äôs stories-into-movies focus on the lead character (usually a woman) overcoming obstacles to achieve a dream. Each film runs for 90 commercial-free minutes.”

For the past several seasons the show has been filmed in and around Poughkeepsie, New York. This year, the producers wanted to change it up and film north of Boston. I hope they decide to come back next year!

Stills from last night and this morning ~

Beacon Marine ©kim Smith 2014

Gaura llindheimeri ¬©kim Smith 2014“Bee”-roll ~ Native Wildflower Gaura lindheimeri — Its¬†Common Name is ‘Whirling Butterflies’

Henry' Allen's sweet coneflower ¬©Kim Smith 2014Henry Eiler’s Sweet Coneflower¬†~ Note the Unique Quilled Petals

Sunflower ©Kim Smith 2014 copyHelianthus annuus ~ Sunflower

Good Harbor Beach ©Kim Smith 2014Good Harbor Beach Sunrise Today

Hooray for Pathways for Children’s Brand Spanking New Butterfly Garden!

Pathways for Children we ¬©Kim Smith 2014HOLY CANNOLI and WOW–look how fantastically¬†the Pathway’s Staff is¬†taking care of their brand new one-month old¬†butterfly garden–every plant looks well-loved!!!

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden BEFORE ©Kim Smith 2014 copySpring 2014 Before Photo

Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden  After ©Kim Smith 2014.

Same View After Photo ~  July 18, 2014

Elizabeth's Toad ©Kim Smith

Toads Welcome!

My sincerest thanks to Caroline Haines for her vision to create a butterfly garden for the children at Pathways. 

Thank you to the many donors who have made the butterfly gardens at Pathways possible. 

Thank you to the Manchester Garden Club for their tremendous assisitance in planting the garden.

Thank you to the volunteers from Liberty Mutual for tearing out the old plantings.

And special thanks to Bernie Romanowski, Pathways for Children facilities director,¬†for all his hard work and his extraordinary¬†care and attention to¬†detail, from the project’s inception through its continued maintenance. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Zinnia ¬©Kim Smith 2014. Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Sunflower ¬©Kim Smith 2014.Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden Milkweed ¬©Kim Smith 2014.Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) ~ Notice the pretty moth nectaring from the milkweed in the upper right. The gardens are alive with pollinators of every species imaginable, including butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, songbirds, moths, and sundry¬†insects!Bernie Romanowski ¬©Kim Smith 2014 copy

 Bernie Romanowski

Manchester Garden Club at Pathways ©Kim Smith 2014Manchester Garden Club

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Antennae for Design ~

The architectural details of the trellis and picnic table were designed to be a coordinated focal point in the garden¬†and¬†planned¬†to be stained¬†a classic¬†seaside blue.¬†Why would we want to paint or stain the trellis and not simply¬†allow it to gain a weathered patina? From an aesthetic¬†point of view, the wood used for both the picnic table and trellis are two different types and will age¬†very differently from each other. If this were a very large garden, it wouldn’t matter so much, but in a cozy garden room¬†such as this, the difference will become quite noticeable and unappealing over time. Additionally, the blue will offset the flowers and foliage handsomely and is a cheery choice with children in mind.

From a very practical standpoint, untreated wood will quickly degrade in our salty sea air and neither piece will last more than ten years without protection. An opaque stain is the best solution because as the trellis and picnic table age, the obvious differences in wood will be disguised. An opaque stain also requires the least amount of effort to maintain over time.

Rotting untreated trellis ©Kim Smith 2014The above is a photo of untreated trellis, allowed to weather, and was installed approximately ten years ago.

_DSF8394 Pathways for Children Butterfly Garden school bus ©Kim Smith 2014.

Top Native Bee Friendly Plants

Obedient Plant and Bee Physostegia virginiana ©Kim Smith 2013Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Below is a list of some favorite nectar- and pollen-rich bee-friendly North American wildflowers for attracting native bees and honey bees to your gardens. They are listed in order of bloom time, from spring through late summer, to provide your foragers with nourishment all growing season long.

Mexican Sunflower © Kim Smith 2013Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)

Wild strawberry (Fragaria viginiana)

Wild Blue Lupine (Lupinus perennis)

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Sunflower (Helianthus annus)

Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)

Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Joe-pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

New York Ironweed (Veronia noveboracensis)

New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Sailor Stan sunflower and bee ©Kim Smith 2011Sailor Stan Sunflower (Helianthius annus)

Eupatorium and Bee ©Kim Smith 2012Joe-pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)

Ironweed Bee ©KIm Smith 2011New York Ironweed (Veronia noveboracensis)