Stop Honeysuckle in Pike County

Over just the last 4 years, I have noticed that Honeysuckle has really taken hold in Pike County. I think I am going to blame it on people like me, who live in St. Louis and have farms up in Pike County. Someone must have brought up some plants for their farm….and the birds did the rest who dined on the berries.

It is important that we get rid of this invasive species before all of our wood are choked with them. The good news is that it is the last thing to lose leaves and the first to get them. Someone told me that you can paint the trunks, after you cut them down, with white vinegar.  There are strong things that you can find at the hardware store that you paint on trunks after you cut something down.  I think a nice herd of goats can also do the trick.

Read more HERE


Hoffman Gardens, Louisiana, Missouri

Today I showed the fabulous Stark Mansion and then ventured up to Louisiana, Missouri to check out Hoffman Gardens. I was told that now is the ideal time to select your daylilies since they are in bloom now. The Hoffmans breed many of their own strains and it looked like they had hundreds to choose.  I found 4 beauties and the owner dug them up for me. Only $5/piece. I need to carve out more space in my garden so I can buy more! 







Morning Glories

I have been so busy with selling houses, sending kids off to college, vacationing and moving into my new house that I have neglected the farm. It has been about 2 months since I have been out here. Yesterday we had a family work detail and a dinner with some friends out at the farm. 18 people with beef brisket, pork tenderloin and grilled venison. So good!

Morning glories are one of my favorite things about this time of the year.

Morning Glories

Summer Garden @ The Farm

Last weekend I snapped some pics of my garden at our farmhouse….before the 100+ degree heat set in this week. So pretty and relatively easy to maintain…as long as you are okay with a weed or two. The old farmhouse is looking great…. a little tuckpointing, front porch repair, interior woodwork painted and new shades!





Apple Trees

I used to have the best dwarf apple tree out at our farm that produced a bounty! My sons were younger and had so much fun picking them each Fall. Well a bull got loose in the yard and knocked it down. :(   I bought another apple tree and planted it about 8 years ago. It is very large now, though does not produce apples. I finally realized that it is not a self-pollinating apple tree. Now that Spring is in full blast and knowing that my apple tree was ready to bloom….I scurried up to Stark Brothers in Louisiana, MO to pick up some mates for my tree.  I have no idea what kind of apple tree I planted 8 years ago, so I bought one self-pollinating tree that will mate with any tree and then two other varieties.  Granny Smith, Golden Crisp and a Candy Crisp. Now I just need bees!

Stark Brother's Nursery

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Here is a lovely peach tree at our farm….I planted it a while ago….now I have been told it is just an ornamental peach tree….it is pretty!

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The wildflowers are in bloom:  Dutchman's Britches and Spring Beauty

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A Windy Day

Yuck…there was something large and dead in the middle of the grass stand….I stepped on it and was quite alarmed, though glad it was not alive.  I did not know what it was, though hope something drags it away before I get out there again. I bet my cousin's dogs will find it and roll it in! Ahhh…country living!


Butterlies and Zinnias….and a little Paintball

Yesterday one of my sons had a group of friends out to our farm to do a little paintballing. While they were out in the woods and fields, I had an opportunity to clean the house, do some gardening and read some of my book (East of Eden…..I love it!) We don't have AC in our house, so it was back to basics to stay cool….sitting on the porch, fans, water and loose clothing.

The butterflies were in an abundance in my garden. There are so many reasons why I like zinnias….they attract butterflies is one of them.





July 4th in Pike County ….and Hannibal

I spent July 4th up at our farm in Pike County…weeding…cleaning the house and checking out the freshly baled hay. Last night I went up to the Rockcliffe Mansion in Hannibal to see the fireworks from the roof-top deck. Spring of 2010 I sold the 14,500 sq ft mansion to a nice couple from Miami. They were in town and invited me up to see their progress. The mansion is lucky to have them as stewards. They have restored some of the Tiffany sconces and windows….including tracking down some of the sconces that were sold off. 

Rockcliffe Mansion


Hay Bales @ Rockford Farms



My Farm Garden