I just took today as a “fun day” in my garden. I brought some of my jewellery supplies outside …. set up some little folding tables. Started the water features (a sump pump in a galvanized washtub, and two others) ….
I brought out a mug of Yorkshire tea (kept in my Starbucks reusable cup with lid).
Set up my tables with supplies, tea and my folding stool.
Turned on my lovely little Ipod, relaxing music playing in the Diggit speakers!
Looked around me .. so happy to be in the atmosphere of growing plants .. feeling the energy of the vines, the flowers .. of the Scarlett Red Runner Beans .. the bees love these .. it is such a treat to watch them in the flowers!
The volunteer squash are just flowering like crazy. I don’t expect that I will get many squash, but am so happy that the bees are having food sources on this first day of September.
Hour after hour .. I spent .. enjoying creating these braided bracelets! .. I lost myself in the timeless decadent world of creativity.
Bliss … happiness .. joy .. contentment ..
As I began to create the bracelets, it was early in the day .. the sun moved around me and I enjoyed the beauty of the translucent light in the green leaves of all the growing life in the yard.
The beauty of sight and sound as the water pumps created a peaceful background, hiding the city “noise”.
I look around my garden .. at the temporary structures that I created, to allow climbing plants to grow freely and happy that I did this.
Am always delighted and surprised at how the garden shapes up in a different fashion year after year!
Where the garlic once grew, in two shaped areas, is now entirely different. Two solid pvc arches (thanks, hubby!) now create aerial formations to which I’ve attached those extendable trellis shapes and along which the volunteer squash and pole beans grow up.
The garden is once again, a beautiful lush place … and a continuous learning place. “Next year .. I will …” 🙂
I’ll post photos later … just wanted to share the joy of being in my garden again .. and not gardening!
So …today .. in the later part of the day .. I was able to spend some time in my garden.
My happy place .. where I am so lucky to see the life around me .. the baby birds learning to sing their songs. Patient parents.
Bumble bees and bees .. of all types .. swiftly visiting the flowers of the plants, vegetables and fruit trees in our yard. I thank them for the food that results .. and I am so excited to pick the raspberries and plump peas, that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the bees. (hey, isn’t that almost a poem, it rhymes, right?)
And the Dragonflies and the Damsels!!
I fastened tall flowering pea plants that needed support. At one point, I was in my home made tunnel that the peas and beans were going to grow up and cover with their vines …and realized that I was so very grateful and happy just to be there. Kneeling on the wood chips from the 100 year old Oak trees (so lucky to have this material in our garden) and creating supports for the beans to grow up.
I am growing a variety of pole beans and am super-impressed with their tenacity. A few of them have been slightly uprooted, I see they are still growing, despite most of the root system having been displaced! So I place more soil around them to keep them in place!
The slight noise of the wind and my ipod music covered the vehicle noise and neighbour noise and I was content. At this moment in time .. there weren’t any wood chippers running, no stinky gas mowers polluting the air! So I counted myself lucky!
Tomorrow I aim to plant more tomatoes, sunflower seedlings, acorn squash and such endless squash seedlings from the compost. It’s a good thing that I love squash, as I think there might be a lot of them growing in the yard.
I have many containers of potatoes, fingers crossed that they will grow well, started off in a few inches of soil and then straw ! Funny thing about potatoes, we try to be so careful in growing them .. and yet .. they self grow all over the yard!
I was just looking through my photos taken during the winter, when we had snow here!! I remember thinking, how lovely to have this time to get things done, plan my garden, declutter! Well, that ship has sailed!!
Now, summer is approaching, we are experiencing spring and I’m really wondering just where “all that time” has gone!
I’ve actually done a lot of decluttering (much more to do) and have been spending time doing what I love doing! Gardening! Playing with our lovely cat Spoiler.
He’s so very sweet .. and, like all cats, cannot resist a paper bag (or a box or any kind of container) … he saw this bag on the kitchen floor and quickly went into the safe world of paper bag:
Once inside … he noticed “feather” .. he has many of these. They used to adorn my desk displays, but, he preferred them to be on the floor so he could play. He’ll throw them up in the air, then he goes into all kinds of crazy contortions, as he plays with them.
Suddenly, inspiration struck and just after I clicked this photo, away he went .. on some other adventure!
Brrrr .. outside in the backyard …a few months ago. This is my Favourite Tea! Yorkshire Tea!!
Lovely blooms in March …
Wow .. .I was so happy to see these growing! A few years ago, I salvaged some native plants (I belong to a group who salvage plants when changes will be made to areas) I cannot remember the name, thought they were Fawn Lilies, but not able to find any photos. I’ve kept them in the same container since the day I brought them home. It has sat, quietly in the side of the yard. Happy to see they have prospered. I should find out what they are in a month or so.
Around mid March I prepared flats of coir for my peas .. here they are, nicely labelled. Such a sophisticated gardening setup .. don’t you think? I’m composting in Rubbermaid garbage cans, they work really well!!! And here are some bamboo lengths that I use to create structures for the garden.
More excitement in the garden, the peas have started their magic!
This photo was taken a week or so ago and the seedlings are much bigger now .. still, there is that magic! The magic never goes away …
Spotted Towhee .. love them ..
White Crowned Sparrow ….We have so many birds visiting our yard all the time .. a joy to watch. A Barred Owl spent the day in January … I’ll post photos later .. I was over the moon as I’d never seen one and had been thinking about that when suddenly .. I saw him!
This years garlic bed layout! A few days ago, I dug up self-seeded garlic (about 30!!!) and transplanted them into some large circular planters! Yum .. yum .. garlic!!
Not sure if it is clear, but here I am forming “tunnels” that will run perpendicular to the back of the garden. I use the bamboo lengths and various extendable fencing items to create “walls” and a “roof” for all my vining plants to grow. It’s really cool! The tunnel isn’t straight, it curves slightly, adding mystery to the garden. In my mind’s eye .. I see what this is going to look like this summer.
Those large containers all contain the most beautiful compost!!!! I’m adding this to the tops of the beds that I’m preparing. Sheer gold!! Can you see the bricks .. these are my little beds for the peas that I will plant in a few weeks. Since this photo, I’ve created more “walls” where all the vines will grow!!
I’ll be planting a variety of beans, squash, they will be growing happily in the sun .. transforming this bare skeletal structure with lush green and delicious flowers for the bees to feast on!! In the middle of this area I will create a little seating area where I can sip Yorkshire Tea, do a Suduko and have little Spoiler Kat outside with me.
Every year it’s the same thing. I dismantle last year’s growing area and think .. what on earth can I do to create a different layout. And every year … the new ideas appear .. from somewhere and I’m always so excited.
Once the actual layout has been determined .. then I will fill in the walking areas with some beautiful Century oak wood chips. Right now they are patiently waiting at the side of the yard. Once they are installed, this will brighten everything up.
Also, I have some lovely unsprayed straw that I will use for topping up my container potatoes.
Oh my goodness!! Look at this date .. it is already November 18, 2019 and I haven’t blogged since July!
Unbelievable .. yet true.
Each day has been full, start to end .. of busyness!
Our little Spoiler is now 16 lbs and growing still .. he’s such a joy in our lives and we love him so much.
The garden .. my lovely paradise .. is resting for the winter. Still chores to do and with a chunk of sunny days predicted for the next 4 .. I plan to go outside, with my little garden helper .. and do some clearing away of “stuff” .. you know the kind of buildup that remains after a busy summer!
Last Monday, a week ago today, we had the honour of a Barred Owl’s presence! He perched in the cherry tree and stayed there all day! Occasionally hopping to another branch as the crows (enemies from birth, crazy, eh?) to avoid them.
About 5 pm, I looked for him and thought he was gone when .. zoom .. he (she?)flew from the tree, eyes alight with focus, wings outspread, he flew at an angle to the house so I could clearly see his face … wow .. I felt so lucky to have seen this raw power.
Most likely this tree or others in the yard, are his home and we have only been able to see him this one day.
Have been madly making leather cord and bead bracelets .. spending hours on each one .. I’m starting to wonder about why I do this .. but, I love making them so won’t quit!
Feels good to have my fingers tapping away at the keys! I’ll post pics later today.
Oh my how time does fly …. at one point in time, it was January and now, the days, weeks and months have spun quickly and we have now reached the grand old month of July.
I’ve really wanted to blog every day .. however .. every day I found an excuse to put it off till later.
Today, a few minutes ago, actually, I found myself slip-sliding into doing things. It all started with looking at my socks that I wear for gardening … I found that I couldn’t stand staring at the holes in the heels (this is not the only pair in this condition, I’ve been putting them aside till that time “later”!)
Deciding it was time to fix this, I marched into my sewing room .. found my trusty old Husqvarna .. the one that I bought with my first craft sale monies so many years ago.
I made some room on my beading work table and plugged the machine in. Just the activity of doing that .. brought back many happy memories of sewing, creating things, with that machine. The good feeling that I earned the $$ to buy it was good energy.
Quickly I put my brown/tan socks beneath the needle, set the zig to zag and boom .. socks were ready to wear again.
I’m feeling good .. accessing that long forgotten creative energy. Productive, you know!
We now have our little cat, Spoiler, he is the King of the Garden …we still feel the presence of our darling JaneE Kat .. and he is our new little one. Because we have such a variety of wild birds, he will only be outside, escorted, wearing his adventure harness.
He has glommed onto our hearts and we love him dearly .. here is a pic:
No explanation needed as to why Spoiler is wearing his Adventure Cat Harness .. this is a strong vest for the back yard!
Now, he has taken over my little cd desk . .I had to remove my Singing Bowl so he can perch there in a royal fashion. Already, he is eyeing up where he can jump to!
It’s been a busy spring! Started my peas outside in March and now am harvesting lots for the freezer. Last year I hard-pruned the Pyracantha, there were millions of blooms that attracted a great variety of bees and hoverflies .. I took many many many photos and here is one: Well that garlic scape wanted to be in the photo too!!
For the first time ever in my life .. I heard a parent Robin patiently teaching the baby to sing! Over and over and over again, the adult would sing a short tune and my heart lurched to hear the baby try, haltingly, over and over. Then, last week .. the baby sang .. so proudly .. from different areas in the yard. I felt blessed.
Last week we saw the baby Swallows, fledged during the past week .. one is taking a short time out. Such joy to see them soar and do aerobatics and lovely to hear their watery sounding little warbles … their language sounds, to me, like silvery strands of water vibrating .. so pretty.
Thank you little bees for all your hard work resulting in yummy raspberries for us to eat.
Now, fully garbed in my garden outfit, I must run outside to play in the yard ..yards and yards of mulch to spread around the yard .. berries to check .. sunflowers to plant .. looking forward to being in my paradise .. my garden.
It’s been nearly 4 months since our most beautiful JaneE Kat, Queen of the Garden, left us here for the mystical magical Rainbow Bridge … to join our other special pets and it makes me happy to visualize them cavorting about, having fun .. no more pain. I’m content to be away from the “now” pain when it happened, I longed for the faraway future to comfort me and broaden the distance. And now the future is here and I can think of her and be happy about all of our time together. But I still “see” her here .. you know what I mean .. a flash where she used to sit by the front door, patiently waiting for who knows how long .. till we came home. Thousands of those happy memories. As long as they exist, she is here. Along with our other lovely furry pets .. those memories don’t fade.
Just last night, I was roasting cauliflower, dusted with spices and a little olive oil – I hadn’t made that special dish for many years. And up flashed my memories of Samuel T Dawg, a most handsome black and tan dog, I’d just begun fostering him (I’m a foster flunkey, btw) and he needed to lose a “few” pounds so he learned to love carrots .. and this one night, I’d prepared the cauliflower for me .. but as I took the roasting pan out of the oven .. his eyes lit up and he genuinely smiled .. a big goofy grin. He was ecstatic with happiness .. and so we took turns eating the cauliflower. One for him .. one for me .. and soon it was gone! Oh we had such fun!!
And here, via all the magic of cameras, time and the incredible computer .. is a blast from the past .. Samuel T on the left and Oreo on the right! We were camping at Salt Spring, 2007 .. whoa, that is a “few” years ago! Happiness abounds!!From time to time I volunteer at Fort Rodd Hill, in the Learning Meadow and surrounding areas. It is such fun to participate and learn new things. Here are a few Swallows, the adult and a baby … how picturesque is this, heh?
The ever vigilant parent …keeping an eye on baby ..
Baby .. see the beak is wide, as he grows, the beak will narrow …and become more pointed.
How sweet .. a little Wren sings a song atop her lovely little home ..
Beauty surrounds us everywhere .. the morning dew sparkles on the underside of this leaf …forming jewels of varying shapes and sizes. To an ant or a ladybug, they would be like huge mountains of water. Luckily, there is lots of room for tiny insects to walk around these features!!
Ahhhhhh .. .Nasturtiums. So vibrant in colour, so playful in shape. I like the light and dark tones of this orange flower .
I have a packet of giant sunflower seeds that I have been meaning to plant but just haven’t done that yet. It is my belief that this gorgeous giant sunflower was planted either by one of the many birds that visit the feeder or perhaps a squirrel had one too many of the seeds in its little mouth and one fell out. For whatever reason, I am grateful and happy to see this one growing strongly near the fence, during the summer. There were a few other surprise sunflowers also and they were of a smaller stature. The bees are ecstatic, buzzing all over this one!
Speaking of bees, I was happy to see this little guy, am pretty sure it is a Leaf Cutter bee. I’ve seen the telltale circles removed from leaves all throughout the garden and I once saw one zip to a leaf, swift as lightning, cut out a circle and gone in a flash! I’ve often wondered where they nested. And suddenly noticed this one, look at the bottom area of the space between the 2 sections of sidewalk. It was challenging to even get a photo! Then I noticed another bee, a few feet away, doing the same, preparing a nest. This was late summer and I had been busily tidying up an area where I store my gardening supplies, when I took a little pause and that’s when I noticed this activity.
And I discovered my first “digger bee” .. these bees are just amazing and there are many varieties of these bees. My bee knowledge is increasing, thanks to the wonderful Learning Meadow at Fort Rodd Hill!! Tomorrow I’ll write a bit more about bees!
And these little guys are big bad bullies! I’ve seen them hunting wasps for protein, they are swift. I’m very very respectful of them.
Little Ladybug .. I didn’t knotice many of them in the garden this year. And the climbing Nasturtiums were quite infested with aphids, towards the end of the summer. My pal D tells me that Nasturtiums are grown in gardens to attract aphids and thus they won’t be drawn to the rest of the garden. So next year I will plant them away from my veggies!
And taking the time to notice things .. today I was in traffic, waiting for the light to change and I happened to look at the grass growing on a nearby traffic island. The invisible wind manifested its prescence by causing millions and millions of the blades of grass to sway in various directions. And for some reason this struck me. Something unseen that causes such motion to happen. Later that day, driving another route, stopped at yet another light .. I started looking at the various shapes of tree branches, uplifted to the skies above.
Then I made myself stop thinking along those lines and focus instead on my driving! Lovely as these nature thoughts are that trickle through my mind .. that activity is best left for my walking!
We had some beautiful days in March this year. I wouldn’t have remembered that if I hadn’t been wandering outside with my camera – enjoying those lovely days. Gentle skies above .. so free.
This was rather artistic and kind of sparkly, if clouds can use that adjective and in this case – I think it is appropriate!
On one of these days, I was outside, potting up some pea seeds and in flew a newly born honey bee! A neighbour keeps a hive. I rather enjoyed watching this little bee as he slowly acclimatized to his new world. Sweet! A sign of hope for the flowers and the trees. No chemicals or artificial anything in my yard!!! Safe place for bees.
Yum yum .. thought the bee .. here is a flower just for me!!
Back in March, the garlic was growing happily away. Today they are much taller and robust. I’ve been collecting the scapes and have made the most delicious garlic scape pesto! Some for me and some for my friends to enjoy. This is one of my favourite spring activities to do, making the pesto. The next is gathering peas, and when the beans become rampant ..that is fun to collect them. And ..when the potatoes are ready .. a few will be scrubbed, boiled, mashed and enjoyed — with lots of butter and water buffalo yogurt. Life is fun in the yard!!! Wait .. there will be tons of raspberries to look forward to also! And the digging up of the garlic! And tomatoes! My gardening neighbour has given me at least 40 or more plants!! And I’ve created a wavy, brick-lined temporary bed for most of them. Lots of seaweed spread around them. When the plants are bigger, I’ll take some photos!!
My dwarf weeping willow had many fluffy catkins, which the Bewick Wrens gathered for their nest .. which is tucked away on a bush in the yard!
Doves have moved into the neighbourhood … 3 years ago. I think they have nested nearby. They were in the yard quite a bit but I haven’t seen them lately. My gardening neighbour was over one day, visiting, we had just been talking about the presence of these doves, when one flew overhead, landed on a branch and just looked down at us. This photo was taken on another day. Their soft crooning is very peaceful and calming.
One of my visits to the beach along Dallas Road .. love the designs in the stone ..
It is so relaxing to walk along the beach and breathe in the ocean air. We are so lucky.
Such a wonderful life .. so many things to do and discover!
Must dash, time to practice my vocals for my upcoming fantastic singing lesson!!
When I first retired, I began my blogging .. I meant it to be an exercise in creativity to express the many events of my daily life .. in a garden sense. It was a way to let loose my thoughts and let my fingers fly over the keyboard.
As the years have progressed .. so did my activities and I found it a challenge to take the time out to just sit at my desk and list photos etc.
The joy of writing has never left me…it’s always there .. and I do miss expresssing my garden thoughts .. the magic of watching plants grow. Seeing and hearing baby birds of all types flit about the yard. Learning their vocabulary in bits and pieces from their parents. The pure energy of all living things in my garden. How wonderfully lucky I am to experience all of this!
I normally don’t write of things other than my garden .. but …sometimes it’s better to share things than keep them inside.
Mid-April, we had shocking news that a dear friend of ours passed away suddenly while on a walking tour in Europe. We had visited with him a few months ago and this was hard to encompass. Unexpected loss is painful.
That is all that I will say and so I seek solace in the beauty and growth of my little garden and begin with some lovely photos . .please enjoy!
Turkey Vulture soaring overhead up-island!!
An unexpected surprise last week .. while waiting for the light to change at Blanshard & Hillside! I thanked him and sadly didn’t have enough time to take some money from my purse to give him. I’ve seen panhandlers but never a fiddler at this location!
This is how I start my gardening day .. A pottery mug (from dear Potluck Ceramics in Port Alberni) full of delicious Yorkshire Tea!!
And sometimes, when I feel like it .. my gardening day ends like this!
My JaneE Kat .. my garden buddy! Graciously sitting on her bench, regally awaiting her treats.
How exciting!! My peas are flowering and we have an abundant supply of crunchy fresh pea pods to eat! I had so much fun starting these peas in flats a few months ago.
Lots of potatoes planted in large pots. Potatoes are growing everywhere in the yard, even in the garlic. I love potatoes!
Spot the scapes? I’ve been gathering them to make garlic scape pesto, which I will freeze by the spoonful to add to soups and pasta and .. lots of things! Scapes are sometimes elusive .. just when I think there are no more to gather, I find some hidden away. A mystery to me is how some scapes grow faster than others. Scapes are only grown on hardnecked garlic!
See? Same garlic type (elephant .. i know, a member of the leek family but these are very garlic-y) 🙂
Luscious lazy lupins in Port ..
JaneE getting soaked by the sump-pump water fountain .. drops of water glisten on her fur! Krazy Kat!
Loving the light through the leaves… nature’s artistic renderings of joy …
Springtime beauties .. happy little flowers ..
Woo Hoo .. towering Cues up in Port a few weeks ago ….
Since I have such an abundant supply of beads and things, I decided to create some garden art to share with my friends! There were others also, where I played with colour and designs .. didn’t take photos .. maybe I’ll make more today after I’ve played in the garden and then prepared the scape pesto!
Well, I’ve enjoyed this little visit at playing with words .. it’s been fun so I will continue tomorrow!
Awhile ago, I think it was a few months ago ..I was visiting the Yorkshire Tea fb page and saw that my favourite brew was available in a variety of sizes! Since these were not available in Canada (sob) I discovered that they are available via Amazon! So I quickly ordered two of the 480 bag size. I might have written about this before, Dearest Diary, but seeing these photos again made my heart beat a little faster. I recognized this feeling as joy so I just had to post it. One of these bags is now happily living with a friend (who is actually a Brit, so she totally loves and appreciates YT)
Lo and behold, this bag does not easily fit into our pantry!
I’m continuing with my fiddle lessons …making tiny progressions and now I find great pleasure in getting lost in the learning. The journey continues. My teacher is patiently teaching me the theory behind the music and that door is opening and the light is coming through. Some tunes which I found to be high mountains when I began to learn them are now tiny little pebbles .. the journey for those is the work to make them sound melodious and this will happen I saw a funny cartoon on facebook recently! 2 characters in each scene. One person bemoans the other .. saying “I wish I had talent” “I wish I could play like you” and steadfastly, the other person says, each time “I practice” “I practice” I practice” And so it goes with me! I practice!!! Sometimes painfully, sometimes joyfully, but .. I practice!
Anyway, I went to my first ever fiddle workshop and this is a tune we Beginners were taught in one of the sessions! Usually I’m a little shutterbug, taking many photos of my experiences, but .. that day was full of learning and dancing so I took just this one! It’s a good memory of my first workshop! 🙂
On the days that I have my German lessons, I sometimes have my fiddle lessons also and in between these two learning sessions .. I have time to visit the ocean at Dallas Road. I sometimes meet lovely dogs and have great chats with people. Sometimes I just watch the mighty Pacific Ocean .. oh I am one very lucky gal .. I know!
The power of the waves and the majesty of this ocean has such good energy to enjoy.
And the ducks ..here is a link to the ducks of the Pacific Northwest. It is very peaceful to walk along the beach and enjoy the antics of these lovely winged beings.
Lovely bundle of twisted kelp along the beach .. all whirly and twirly and graceful. I think of how this kelp arrived at this location on the beach! The power of the water tossing it about and finally just bored with playing with it .. leaving it nestled on the smooth rocks … till the time comes for playing again.
Speaking of smooth stones and pebbles .. love the random placement of the beach stones .. so much beauty in this .. tranquility springs to mind.
I look at my watch and realize that it’s time now to continue on my way .. back up these stairs, to my little red car and off to my fiddle lesson. I’ve enjoyed this oceanic break to my day … this is such a beautiful place to be and I welcome the opportunity to visit again and again.
Last week or so .. the beauty of the garden began to unfold… tiny gifts of delicate little flowers ..
Polyanthus flowers, planted years ago and forgotten! Remember me? …. sings this little one, growing strongly through the mulch! Polyanthus .. Primrose .. potatoes .. patatoes .. here is a link for more information on that subject!
My generous garden neighbour kindly gave me a fig cutting last year .. I’ll plant it out soon.
From a few weeks ago .. a nice surprise suddenly appeared as if to say “summer is almost here!!”This city, Victoria, is simply mad with Snowdrops popping up everywhere, gracing the tiniest of spaces with these delicate flowers… as soon as the snow disappeared, they emerged from the earth. Silent reminders of beauty and joy.
Aha .. the dwarf weeping willow … the Bewick Wrens choose the fluffiest buds to line their nests. This is the third year I’ve seen them nest in our yard. This year, I saw them gathering these and am mystified as to where the nest is being built.
Lady JaneE Kat .. Queen of the Garden! She’s actually meowing at me right now … “let me out” shes cries “I want my treats and I want to sit in the sun” .. ok, ok, as soon as I finish my blog! Then it’s on with my gardening outfit and va va voom to continue my decluttering in the garden .. creating lovely gardens, planting up all of my potted plants.
There are about 6 Stellar Jays that visit the garden ..looking for peanuts and birdseed. I discovered that they make the most gentle little crooning sounds, that are similar to the European Starlings that visit during the summer. Lovely music to my ears.
Oh darling little Chickadee! The Nuthatches also visit and I’ve been lucky enough to observe them quite close .. as they peck at some dead tree branches, looking for bugs. They were like tiny little woodpeckers at work .. this was a delight to see!
And the little Junco!!! Sweet! I have a large supply of birdfeeders and quite like this style. Easy to disassemble to clean. Provides a place for the birds to rest awhile.
Well .. my little boss demands to go outside now. Time to make a quick YT brew and put on my Carhart bibb overalls, gather my gardening supplies and outside!
Today the weather is a mix of gentle rains and sunshine .. perfect for being outside!