Lilactree Farm

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

I’ve got several deadlines on tap, a chipped filling that has exposed something that should not be exposed, and a bad case of writer’s block, so today’s post will be nearly wordless. These photos were taken on a trip to Shelburne several weeks ago to visit Brian Bixley’s garden, Lilactree Farm.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved
Brian and his wife purchased the property, a former cattle farm I believe, in the late 1960′s. They’ve divided up the land nearest to the house into garden rooms that are surrounded by tall hedges and filled with trees. It was open and treeless originally. Many of the rooms radiate from this bird bath.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

They’re waiting for me to stop taking pictures and catch up. We haven’t even entered the property by this point. I could have spent my life exploring the flora on that road!

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Perennial sweet peas and geraniums have self-seeded alongside the road just off of the property.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Gorgeous and easy to maintain, but they don’t have that signature sweet pea scent.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

When the country road was expanded, Brian tossed seeds of thyme and other drought tolerant plants into the ditch. That ditch is nicer than my street garden. If I had it to do all over again….

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

On the way out of town, I was told about how Brian underplants his apple trees. Hardy pink blooming geraniums live there until late summer when he mows it all down to make room for a mass of fall blooming colchicum. Smart. Wish I could be there to see that. I only have space for one plant — I look forward to it’s wispy blooms every fall.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Hard to gauge scale here but this is actually a woodland lily with very tiny blooms. I just caught the tail end of its season. Brian had a white flower as well.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

They have several large pieces of art on the property, including this light reflecting piece.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Nodding Onion

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

There were more clematis than I could count. But that’s another post. I leave you with these two.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

And on the way out…. Not the best for the environment, but a stunning view none-the-less.

Photo by Gayla Trail  All Rights Reserved

Thanks for your hospitality Brian.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

Subscribe to get weekly updates from Gayla

14 thoughts on “Lilactree Farm

  1. So glad I just now took a work-break to see if there was anything fresh in my Google Reader.

    This post is exactly what I needed to walk through to get me to the other (harder) half of the morning. The photo are gorgeous — so summery — & the few words to go with them, just perfect.

    I love the clematis and the two photos of buds/seed pods (?) that follow — so delicate.

    Thanks so much for this. It was nice to ramble a bit.

    (PS. Hope you will soon be unblocked & the tooth taken care of.)

  2. These pictures are beautiful!! Wow.

    Considering I will be using whatever new camera I buy to take pictures mainly of flowers and gardens, may I ask what kind of camera you have?

    I’m sure people have asked before, and if anyone can point me to that info I would appreciate it.

    Thank you so much!

  3. Some posts you see once and say that’s nice, but then there are posts like these which I will return to again and again and study. Thanks for a terrific post and an inspiring garden.

  4. Melanie: Probably canola but could also be mustard.

    Laura W: I know! Because the geraniums always start to look scraggly by then.

    Susan: Thank you.

    Meg: I use a variety of cameras; however, these were shot with a Nikon D90. I quite like it.

    Elaine: They’re buds but I don’t know the plant.

  5. I love all your pictures and the video really helped us feel like we were right there with you. How did you train your steady hand used to take such clear photographs?

  6. Van: I am simply too lazy to use a tripod so I’ve have years of practice learning to stiffen my muscles like a human tripod.

    I often worry about what will happen when I am older and can no longer hold steady.

  7. Gayla…….absolutely fantastic pics…..you captured that day to a tee………well done……….

Comments are closed.