So this post was supposed to be about the lovely walk from the barn to the crush pad that I’ll be taking three times a day now that we’ve had a first harvest and I need to do thrice daily punch downs and readings. I was going to amaze you with beautiful photographs of woodlands, flowers and vistas. You would almost be able to smell the fragrance of Sonoma in Autumn. See what I mean in the photo above of the road past the vineyards? Gorgeous.
Then Oscar came along for the walk. And like most terriers, he can be a game changer.
But first let’s set the scene. One of the best parts of the walk is the Insectarium. This is an extensive planting, all along the upper vineyard, of native plants that attract beneficial birds and bees. As in those good guys who pollinate the grapes or eat all the nasty vine-eating bugs . The trick is to arrange for year-round color (or a year-round buffet if you are looking at it from the insect/bird point of view). Not as easy as you would think in a place where the fierce summer sun burns everything to a crisp by July. But our landscape expert has managed to find a great collection of natives that are indeed providing color all year.
The interesting thing about our native plants is that they don’t have sweet, flowery smells like those you’d associate with flowers growing in more temperate and rainy climates. Here in semi-arid Sonoma, our flowers and plants have sort of a peppery, spicy smell.
But wait, what’s that whiff I’m getting? It’s not peppery or spicy. It’s distinctly rotten and horrible. And it’s coming from the area of our harvested lavender.