A Walk On The Wild Side…Wildflowers Of Course

You expect spring to be filled with blue skies, delicate blossoms, sweet smells in the warm air and birds chirping. After days and days of gray skies and continuous rain, the sun has finally come out. I thought we should go for a walk on the wild side…I’m talking about going for a walk through our orchard to see the wildflowers, of course.

Orchard Hill Farm

Our home, which is known as Orchard Hill Farm, is surrounded by an apple orchard with over three hundred heirloom varieties of apples trees. The trees bloomed early this year and you can enjoy photos of the trees in bloom here.

Let’s meander down the old cow path that divides the orchard. Originally the path led from the barn to large grazing meadows. In later years, the meadows were turned into apple orchards.

The Old Cow Path Leading Down From The Barn

New Hampshire is a beautiful state and has so much history to be seen along its back roads. Most every town has ordinances that protect the beautiful old stone walls that line  most of the historic properties.

Spring is the perfect time of the year to visit New Hampshire if you want to see the state flower which is the lilac.

Lilac Is The State Flower Of New Hampshire

This lilac started growing at the base of an old stone foundation on our property. Nearby, the orchard is a sea of purple. It is too wet to mow so I have plenty to show you. Let’s stop over by the pond.

The Pond…Home To Hundreds Of Frogs
Purple Periwinkle Blossom

Periwinkle has planted itself near the pond and loves the shade at the edge of the woods.

A Carpet Of Violets Attracts Butterflies

Nearby wild violets or johnny jump ups as some people call them make a beautiful carpet of purple which the butterflies seem to love.

Tiny Bluets Spread Across The Orchard

The tiny bluets spread across the orchard as well and they share space with the violets.

Delicate Lily Of The Valley

I love the delicate bell-shaped flowers of lily of the valley. This wildflower would love to spread over the entire orchard as they thrive in the shade provided by the apple trees.

Let’s head behind the barn to the back orchard.

Back Of The Barn Where Mutsu Apple Trees Grow
Yellow Wildflowers In The Back Orchard
Yellow Wildflowers Fill The Back Orchard

The wildflowers in the back orchard have popped up as well but most them are yellow.

Yellow Wildflowers At The Potting Shed

Next to the potting shed, delicate yellow flowers grow right next to the steps. Should we go inside to see how much larger the tomato plants have grown.

Three weeks ago, I was amazed how they had gown but now look at them. They are more than two feet tall. I have to raise their growing light every other day.

The Tomatoes Are Over Two Feet Tall
Tiny Tomato Blossoms Forming

And do you see the tiny tomato blossoms that are forming? These will be pinched off so that the plants can get stronger. They have to stay in pots until they are planted in our garden in Maine at the end of the month when the threat of frost is over.

Before you leave, let’s pause for a close look at the rhododendron by the entrance to our home and orchard.

Rhododendron Bud
Rhododendron Blossom

Just like the apple trees, the rhododendron have bloomed early this year. It appears that April and May showers really do bring beautiful May flowers.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

181 thoughts on “A Walk On The Wild Side…Wildflowers Of Course

  1. Karen…an orchard with over 300 kinds of apples is very impressive. How wonderful to have such bounty. I am sure you are always planning recipes using apples from your orchard..I can just imagine your kitchen steamy with pots of apples cooking down for apple butter, pie fillings,apple sauce! I loved taking a walk with you through your land. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Teresa, There is one other thing to do with the apples…pressing apples for cider. I’m glad you enjoyed the walk through the orchard.

    1. Hi Joanne, Thank you for your compliment. After winter’s snow, spring flowers lift your spirits with their bright colors.

  2. I suspected.. but didn’t realize you lived on such a broad expanse of land. How incredibly wonderful to have gardens and grounds like this to wander around. (Especially with a camera in hand!) This is exactly the sort of home I would love to have next. It doesn’t even have to have as much land as yours.. but more of your lovely trees, flowers, wildflowers, lilacs.. I can just imagine how pretty it all looks when the orchard is full of apple blossoms.. xo Smidge

    1. Hi Smidge, Thank you for your compliment. I was hoping to have photos of the whole orchard in bloom but there was too much wind and rain…next year. The property is beautiful this time of the year. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. Some stunning photo – the lily of the valley are not blooming here yet – an other 7 days .. maybe. We have beautiful warm, but very windy day today – and my swan couple has got 4 chicks what I could see – didn’t have the camera with me to the hospital today. Your tomatoes are coming on strong – my favorite picture is the pond. Lovely … to walk with you.

    1. Thank you Viveka, for your lovely compliment. I am glad you enjoyed the walk. This spring everything is blooming early. I hope you will be able to get a photo of the swans and their chicks.

  4. This was a lovely post. It’s very beautiful and I know it doesn’t happen that way on it’s own. 11 acres is a blessing and a lot of work.
    I’m encouraged to try a little walk about on our property this summer. Stay tuned.
    I’m sure you’ve mentioned it somewhere but how long have you lived here?

    1. Thank you Wendy, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. We have lived on this property for ten years. When we bought it, the home and grounds were in terrible shape. You are right…it does take a lot of work to keep it up. I’m looking forward to a walk through your property.

  5. I’ve had a lovely visit with you this morning. How nice it would be to harvest those heirloom apples in such a setting. I can almost smell the lilacs along the garden path.


    1. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the visit, Bonnie. Each season is nice here…harvest time is fun. We sometimes do a harvest weekend with friends that come to visit. We pick apples, press cider and make pies and have a lot of laughs.

  6. What a lovely part of the world you live. The rhododendrons are just starting to flower here as well. I have always loved periwinkles. Not only are they are beautiful, but some of them are used to make chemotherapies, which makes me smile even further when I see them….. 🙂 x

  7. Glorious photos! Had no idea Maine’s last frost date was so late! (Ours on Long Island is now April 15 – used to be May 15, welcome to Zone 6). My tomatoes are waaaaaay behind yours….still in pots indoors…

    1. Thank you Natalia, for your compliment. The last frost date at our home here was this weekend but our cottage in Maine is two hours northeast of here…zone 4. My tomatoes aren’t going to be happy when they face the real world of cool nights, hard rains and high winds when they get planted in Maine. They live in the heated potting shed under a light and are very spoiled.

      1. Natalia, I think lights is the answer to starting tomatoes. I have them on a timer from 6AM to 10PM. It’s a good thing too since we have had so much rain. I have lots of windows in the potting shed but the light above them makes up for all the gray days.

    1. Thank you Amy, so very much for the award. It really means a lot that you thought my blog worthy…I’m happy that you enjoy it.

    1. Thank you Monique, for your nice compliment. I do love this season with all the flowers in bloom. We were very pleased with the way our sign was designed.

  8. A wonderful walk in the woods – you gave me a new look at some old,familiar favorites!
    Our lily-of-the-valley and lilacs are just finishing up down here – sadly!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the walk, Carol. An hour south really does make a difference for plants and their bloom times. Two hours north and our gardens in Maine look so bare with so many plants just budding out.

  9. This is the very first time I’ve seen a lilac! I am learning so much about tomatoes that I’m going to plant more and see how your method works first hand 🙂

    1. Hi Tandy, thank you for your comment. Lilacs are so pretty. These are pale purple but many are a much darker shade. I’m glad that I am inspiring you with my tomato growing. I’m going to grow them this way every year…so easy and good results. I’m hoping they continue to do well.

  10. This is so beautiful dear Karen, and I loved your flower photographs… You have a great and dreamy garden… My best wishes… Thanks and Love, nia

    1. Thank you Nia, for you lovely compliment. I wish I had your talent with a camera…but I think the photos did come out well.

  11. Hi Karen, what a lovely property and no wonder you are very justly proud of it. Your post gave a very nice taste of the pleasures you have within it and your photo are beautiful.

    One little humorous aside is that I met an American couple from Vermont yesterday who, as we got chatting, asked if I had any Johnny Jump Ups back home. A couple more sentences elicited the fact that they weren’t enquiring if I had some rather disreputable family members-the mind boggles with the image the name conjures up-but rather they were talking about a flower. We tried to work out what it was but now your well timed post explains all!!

    1. Hi Dragonette, Thank you for your lovely compliment. That is such a funny story about the Johnny Jump Ups. I’m glad my post helped you know what the couple from Vermont was talking about…plants not disreputable family members. LOL.

  12. Well, my bags are packed and I am coming your way. After all the wedding business I was trying to think of the perfect place to go for a sabbatical–looks like this is it! Apple orchards, lilacs, lily of the valley, a singing frog pond…what more could I need? And if I stay long enough I will be able to feast on the best tomatoes ever. I will call you when I am an hour away. ; )

    1. Hi Bliss, you might want to wait awhile…we are supposed to get lots of rain. I love your comments as they always make me chuckle. I know that the wedding must have been beautiful but also know that you must to happy that you can relax now.

    1. Thank you Beth, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. We are supposed to have rain later today and tomorrow. I can’t complain about the rain as it is needed to makeup for the small amount of snow this winter but I do enjoy the few sunny days that we have had.

  13. What a wonderful spot to live. You are surrounded by such beauty that each day must be a delight. You managed to capture my favorite spring blossoms in your photos. What a delightful post. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    1. Thank you Mary, I feel that we are very lucky to live in such a beautiful spot. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the post. Have a lovely day as well.

  14. Lovely to see the sun and the flowers on your walk Karen. The Lily of the Valley are so delicate aren’t they?
    And it’s great to see how well the tomatoes are doing – they are looking very healthy, min estill look a bit straggly, but like you it has been so grey and rainy, all they want is some sunshine and warmth !

    1. Hi Claire, It is so nice to be able to enjoy the sun since we have had so little. I think the Lily of the Valley is beautiful. Their tiny flowers are like porcelain. My tomato plants are getting so tall…I think they will have to be bent a little to get in the back of my car for the road trip to Maine.

      1. Ours went on the back seat for their trip to the allotment as they were mostly to tall fo rthe boot! So funny and comforting to know I’m not the only one doing these things! Hope you have a super day

      2. Claire, I have a touring wagon and I just measured the space in the back…28 inches in height. We can’t leave any food, liquids and even our TVs in Maine because we have no heat all winter and everything would freeze. So each summer season we make several trips up to Maine to restock and well as talking all the vegetables for the garden. I’m sure we get stares as we travel the roads with the car totally filled. When we close the cottage in the fall it is the samething in reverse. So as you can see…you are not the only one.

  15. Fabulous photos of your beautiful property Karen. Fancy having lilac and lily of the valley!!The perfume in the garden must be incredible. It’s too hot for rhododendrons in Perth so I am very envious of your beautiful blooms!

    1. Hi Jenny, Thank you for your lovely compliment. There are such sweet smells filling the air this time of the year. The rhododendrons are lovely when in bloom…wish you could see them in person.

  16. Looking good. Those tomatoes are amazing but I just love all the beautiful flowers. My lilacs are pretty much finished but I just noticed that some of my deep purple irises are blooming. It seems that as one thing finishes, something else opens up & takes it place. I really wish I could have some luck with Lily of the Valley but have just never been able to get them to grow.

    1. Hi Diane, Thank you for your comment. It is nice that when one plants blooms have gone they are soon replaced by another. It will be awhile before my Iris are in bloom. All of the Lily of the Valley are wild and grow where there is a lot of shade.

  17. What a beautiful piece of land you live on, Karen. I love bluets! Here they are the first sign of spring along with the snowdrops, and such a welcome site. Thank you for the tour of your idyllic property. What a great place to paint it would be…I can see the watercolors now! 🙂

    1. Hi Betsy, Thank you for your compliment. We really do have a lovely piece of property. The bluets are so thick in spots that they look like snow in the orchard.

  18. It was grey and overcast for days here too–we were so ready to see the sun yesterday! My walk was glorious this morning with so many flowers in bloom, much like what you have here. New Hampshire is a beautiful, thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

    1. Hi Judy, Thank you for your comment…I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. I’m happy that the sun came out and you had a lovely walk as well. We all appreciate the sun after so many gray and rainy days.

  19. Spectacular, Karen. What a wonderful assortment of wildflowers. Did you know that the Lily of the Valley fragrance is the only fragrance in the world that MUST BE synthetic? Apparently the essential oils of this lovely little gem are not enough! We learned that when we were in Grasse a couple of years ago. The tomato plants look great too.

    1. Thank you Eva, for your nice compliment. I didn’t know that about the Lily of the Valley. The tomatoes really are doing well.

  20. yes, spring is so late this year, especially in Northern areas, that needs to be celebrated! beautiful post and amazingly pretty flowers!

    1. Hi Laura, I’m glad that you enjoyed the walk around the property. We really are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country.

    1. Hi Celia, Yes this is where I live. It is a beautiful piece of property but was so neglected when we bought it. It took years to restore the house and grounds to what they are today. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  21. Oh wow – I was blown away by that, everything is so very beautiful. And lush! The light is amazing and entirely different from where I live, I feel like I have just had a very refreshing and invigorating shower! PS. Big Man is still very jealous at the thought of cider 😉

    1. Thank you Tanya, for your lovely compliment. I think you are right about how different the light can be…I have noticed that when I travel. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post. I wish that you and Big Man were neighbors…we could have a great time making cider.

  22. Gosh so many comments, but then I love your site too, mentioned it on my site because it is one of the ones that brightens my day and I got an award for brightening someone elses day. Could not wax more lyrical, about your site as seeing is believing. Well done Ann

    1. Thank you Ann for your lovely compliment. I so appreciate all the kind comments that readers leave on my posts. I’m happy to know that my blog brightens your day and appreciate that you included my blog on your list. Thank you so much.

    1. Hi Kristy, I have to agree…I think it is a little piece of heaven. Make the same comment in February when we have feet of snow on the ground and we are starting to stack snow instead of plowing it and I might have to think about it. LOL. But you tend to forget all of that when spring blossoms appear. Yes…a little piece of heaven. I’m gland you enjoyed the post.

    1. Hi Sue. You are still number one on our adoption list. Especially with your wonderful gardening experience. Yes, yes…number one on the list.

    1. Thank you John for your nice compliment. Our property is especially pretty in spring. I’m glad you enjoyed the walk today.

    1. Hi Donna, Thank you for stopping by and your nice comment. The tomatoes really are amazing considering I planted the tiny seeds March 20th.

    1. Hi Carolyn, Thank you for your nice compliment. I think we really do live in a beautiful spot…always changing with each season.

  23. Really, Karen! Your beautiful plants, flowers and trees are just showing off! 🙂 How lovely…I really do admire. Now that it may be warming up, may I pitch a tent? Of course if you let me come, I’m not sure you could persuade me to leave! Debra

    1. Hi Debra, Thank you for your comment. This is a beautiful time in New Hampshire. It might be a little spooky at night in a tent.

  24. Oh my goodness, when I first started reading I thought that this was a public garden, and then I read the first paragraph and realised it is your home garden! Wow! I always love the wild flowers and the violets were gorgeous, although I would happily love it all!

    1. Hi Southern, Thank you for your nice compliment. The rhododendron are really pretty this year. Our mild winter helped them…they seem healthier than ever.

    1. Hi Julie, Thank you for your nice compliment. The pond is beautiful…especially later with the tiger lilies are in bloom.

  25. Karen, you have such a beautiful home! All your dishes are so inspired and now I can see one of your many sources of inspiration. Can’t wait to see what your Maine garden looks like when it thaws out 🙂 ~Ruth

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Ruth. We were in Maine for a few hours a couple of weeks ago. Plants were just starting to peak through the ground. We should have the cottage opened by Memorial Day. The gardens there go from being bare to beautiful in such a short time.

    1. Hi Carine, Thank you for stopping by and your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. We do enjoy living in such a pretty spot.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Eri. I think that rose tree is a perfect name for Rhododendron as they do grow so large. Have a lovely day as well.

  26. What a beautiful place to plant your flowers and your feet! Have you ever posted photo’s of your home? I thought I lived in an old home. 1700’s wow!

    1. Hi Bead, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. Yes, you can see photos of my home. If you look at my archives, there are two posts in December and two in November. I hope you enjoy them.

      1. My heart skipped a beat when I looked at the pictures. So lovely. A beautiful home!

      2. I’m happy that you went back in the archives to see our home. It is a real piece of history that we were happy to save. It took five years but it is a museum restoration. I’m so happy when people appreciate our historical home. Thank you again for your nice compliment.

  27. Gorgeous photos, Karen! I love lilac. Both the look and the hypnotising aroma. If I had to choose one decorative big bush or tree in my garden it would be lilac.

    1. Thank you Sissi, for your nice compliment. Lilacs are so fragrant and beautiful. I forget about that bush being there as it is hard to get to but come spring it always announces its presence with its lovely blossoms.

    1. Hi Lulu, I have to agree. I think my husband and I are very lucky to have two wonderful places to enjoy…both so very different.

    1. Hi Ducky, Thank you for your compliment. It is a good thing that we are taking them to Maine in two more weeks. They are growing so big that it will be a challenge getting them into my car.

  28. I had to come and check out your blog! What beautiful pictures! I don’t have time right at the moment to look at all of your posts – do you have any pictures of the lupine you have growing there? Your tomatoes are huge! Ours never look like that indoors. Do you have any advice?

    1. Hi Kimberly, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. No I don’t have any photos of the lupines in bloom. In New Hampshire they usually bloom and are at their peak the middle two weeks of June. If I get photos of them, I’ll be sure to post them. I have written several posts on the tomatoes since I planted the seeds in March that you can read. I think the biggest tip is growing them under a light.

      1. I’ll definitely have to read your posts about the tomatoes. My husband grows tomatoes from seed every year and they are always so tall and spindly – even when he has used a light. 🙂 Thank you for the advice!

      2. I’m happy if my experience will help you. If you have any questions, I’m more than happy to help with anything that I can.

  29. Wow, Karen, such a nice property you have and thank you so much for taking us for such a nice virtual tour…love the variety of flowers…I sure enjoyed all the pictures.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂

    1. Hi Juliana, Thank you for your kind comment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the walk through our property. My husband and I do enjoy living here. Have a wonderful week as well.

    1. Hi Hunnybunny, Thank you for visiting and your nice compliment. I think we live in a beautiful part of the New England especially at this time of the year with everything in bloom.

    1. Thank you Colleen, for your nice compliment. The yellow wildflowers certainly brighten up a gray day and we have had a lot lately.

  30. The season I really loved in New Hampshire was fall. All these trees and the colors of their leaves were amazing. It looked like the whole forest was on fire. Amazing scenery.Since I lived in Manchester I did not have the chance to enjoy it to its full but from your pictures I see why you love this season so much. Very beautiful photos Karen!

    1. Hi Katerina, Thank you for your nice compliment. Spring and fall our the two nicest seasons in New England. Nice temperatures and beauty all around. Last year the fall colors weren’t as brilliant as some years.

    1. Hi Charlie, I’m so glad you enjoyed the tour. New Hampshire is a lovely place to live…we really enjoy our life here. The pond is one of the lovely features of our property.

  31. What an exquisite part of the country you live in Karen! I SOO appreciated the tour and now want to visit more than I ever knew to wish before! Love the rock walls meandering and preserved, and that pond, a piece of Eden! Thank you. What a treat for the eyes!

    1. Thank you for your kind compliment, Spree. I’m happy that you enjoyed the tour. It is so nice that the state protects the rock walls as they are one of the things that make New Hampshire so special. Antique homes and barns, rock walls, beautiful countryside…my husband and I are so happy to live in New England.

    1. Hi Yk, Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving your nice comment. The pond is a beautiful spot. It will be even prettier when the lilies are in bloom.

  32. Beautiful photos Karen – thanks for the “trip” 🙂 I adore rhododendrons – there’s a big stately home near where my parents live in England and the driveway through the estate is lined with huge rhododendron bushes… literally the size of a small house!

    1. Thank you Charles, for your nice compliment. Rhododendrons the size of a small house…the driveway must be gorgeous when they are in bloom.

      1. Oh it is, and the smell too… they have a very subtle smell, you know? My parents love to visit in the evening when the air is cool and damp and the smell envelopes you. Just amazing, and so many different colours too! I found this photo of an example of the size of some of them. The quality of this guy’s camera it terrible, but you get an idea at least:
        Rhododendron Heaven's Gate

      2. Thank you so much for the link, Charles. The rhododendrons really are the size of a small house. I can now look forward to what mine can become someday.

  33. Your pictures are dreamy, Karen:-). I miss seeing Lilacs in the spring now that I am down south. The smell will always remind me of spring. Your property is just beautiful and that cowpath is awesome. I would love to have one of my own:-).

    1. Hi Becky, Thank you for your nice compliment. The sweet smell of lilacs feels the air this time of the year in New Hampshire. I do think that we have a lovely piece of property. It is nice that the cow path has existed for so long…a lovely part of the history of our home.

  34. I’m thinking that the fragrance in the air would rival any perfumery. And all the flowers are like a painting come to life.

    1. Thank you Annie, for your nice comment. It really is a lovely time of the year when everything is in bloom. Totally makes you forget about winter.

    1. Hi Hollie, Thank you so much for your nice compliment. I know what you mean about the seasons. We lived in Florida…Coral Gables and Key Largo for years. The weather in New England is so much nicer…I love each season.

    1. Thank you Sartenada, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. The pond photo does remind me of your beautiful country.

  35. I see you are in Alstead. You are a hop, skip, and jump from here 🙂 Do you let people pick or is it just for you to enjoy? We usually go to Wellwood orchards but the crowds can drive one a little batty at times.

    1. Hi Kim, We don’t sell our apples anymore. We let our friends pick. In return, I am given lovely jars of apple jelly, apple butter, and items from our friends garden. It is a win, win situation. Oh, I shouldn’t forget about all the happy deer that roam our orchards and have a fair share of apples.

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