As you can see below, there is no pushing or shoving. The geese file in in an orderly line while my father stands at the gate. I find this totally hilarious.
Here are some of his white geese.
Here are the newer members of the family - the Chinese geese. He has a pair of brown and a pair of white. These geese are supposed to have great personalities. They follow you around the garden, are protective, and are smart too.
Here below, are the ducklings, almost at full size. These ducklings were hatched last month. Click here to see my photos of the hatchlings! You can just see some of the parents in the upper left hand corner of this photo below.
Now that the ducks and geese are content, I turn around and check out the vegetable garden. This photo is taken from the back of the garden. You can see the ducks' area under the tree at the right of the photo. The property is 8 acres, and the pond is about 6 of those acres. This photo does a good job showing the width of the garden, but makes the length look shorter than it actually is.
A closer view of the Chinese squash growing on the trellis. Notice the bamboo - more on this later...
I'm taking a stroll down the left side of the garden. You'll see a sea of sweet potatoes below. These yield a firm white sweet potato, but my father actually grows these sweet potatoes for their greens (and pushes the sweet potatoes on me in the fall!)
Below, you see gourds on top and below the trellis. Some of the bigger ones are sitting on pots for support, and some are tied to the trellis with the orange tape.
In the photo below, my back is to the pond. There are watering cans in the blue bin, and you'll notice a hose running into the bin. My father has a connection of long hoses and pumps water from the pond to water his vegetables as needed.
Here's the view from the other side of the garden. You'll see mostly neat rows of Chinese greens and lots and lots of tomatoes straight ahead. Notice again the bamboo supports. See the willow trees in the background? This shades a little creek. My father has sectioned one area off and grows watercress in the creek. Notice also all the willow trees you see in all the photos in this post. They all come from one parent tree. My parents moved to this house in 1992. My father cut branches from the parent willow tree, stuck them in the mud and rooted all these "baby" trees.
In the area behind the shed, there are several fruit trees. Each summer, we get to eat fresh from the trees: apricots, Asian pears, standard pears, white peaches, purple plums, California (green and hard) plums, and now on the tree - dates.
Now I move towards the house and check on how the chrysanthemums are doing. The vegetable garden is behind the evergreens. Looks like many of the chrysanthemums are in bud and will be in bloom sometime in the next several weeks. I've got to talk to my father about that orange tape.
Here you see 'India Summer', the first bloom of the season. Many more interesting colors and shapes to come.
Here, a trio of plants tucked away in a corner. The red flowering plant was my father's day present to my father. Not a mandevilla, but I'm blanking on the name.
A closer pic of the pomegranate.
Here's a much uglier photo. My father spent the day scooping out algae from the pond.
Ok, so this is what she's doing today...
It does not take long for her to engage her grandfather in her activity. He's totally wrapped around her finger.
I walk towards them and to the right is the area of bamboo. My father uses this bamboo throughout his garden. It can be found staking tomatoes, made into a trellis, and in a variety of other places in the garden. My father has also made brooms with the bamboo, little cooking spoons, and other things that I'm forgetting at the moment. In the fall, he'll cut some down and put them through the chipper to make as much mulch as he could possibly need. In the spring, new shoots come up for eating. When the shoots are sticking up out of the ground about several inches high, my mom will literally kick them down. She'll cut them in half and take the heart out to eat in stir-frys, or to dehydrate for later.
To the left is this long path my parents exercise on. You can see it's getting well worn! At the very end, there is some very attractive black bamboo and a fairly young chestnut tree that is producing those delicious nuts.
I also wanted to add some earlier photos I've taken of the water lilies and lotuses, but can't find them at the moment.
In the photo below, where the water looks sort of choppy in the left half of the photo, is the large mass of deep pink water lilies. It's a spectacular sight in the mornings when they open. In the background, the blue/green horizontal strip of foliage is the mass of lotus flowers. It's a shame you can't see the depth/quantity of the flowers in this picture. Interestingly, after the gorgeous white lotus flower is done, the seedpod produces lotus "nuts" (seeds, I suppose) that can be eaten. Additionally, the seed pod itself can also be stewed and eaten. Wish I had some better photos. I'll look another time and post again. Hope you enjoyed visiting my father's garden!