My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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Thursday, a day of cloud and rain and playing in the garden .. oh joy!

Friday, June 29, 2012

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So Thursday was a mixed bag of weather, I seem to remember sunshine in the morning and later this morphed into an overcast type of day.

Perfect for puttering in the yard.

I continued to pursue the digging around the cherry tree. Poor ole ground has been neglected for a while, it’s mostly tough and unyielding. Time for a change.

Using a lot of the composted material from an area that has served as the latest composting area, the one with the spoiled hay and all the other goodies, I began to pile on the lovely decomposing material. Lovely earthy scent. Lots of big fat earthworms.

Using my lovely Lee Valley angled hand digger, I soon have the outline perfect. And then I used the edger to score neater edges, but the soil is that hard that the hand digging works better.

Soon I’ve added in the balance of all the mosses .. some of the potted Scotch mosses have grown so well since last year that they are nearly triple in size. Then I place some geraniums around .. they always add a spot of cheer. I’m not a big fan of annuals, but they do work to add that instant colour.

Looking at my finished work (but, you know, it’s not really finished, I’ll be adding some Sweet Woodruff and a few other low growing perennials) .. I can see that in just a month’s time, this area will be just be growing so well! And of course I added a generous amount of EM .. so should be seeing some differences of new growth in a few weeks. Pics to follow!

Mixed up a few more watering cans of diluted EM and generous applications made to perennials around the yard. Noticed that some of the plastic seams are coming apart one of the containers .. uh, oh, must remember to rinse them out with water .. the busy little critters are eating away the plastic!

Checking on my garlic .. starting to wonder if these vigorous stems and leaves will also lea to gigantic bulbs, or is all the growth going to them and not the bulb? gulp … only another week or so to find out. Although, my pal D says it’s ok to pick them anytime, so I might be tempted to try one today.

I keep finding little garlic scapes! Honestly, I swear that they hide beneath the leaves! Just when I think that I’ve gathered all of them, then I find a few more! In the fridge, I have a Ziploc bag of garlic scapes, they must weigh at least a pound or so, quite heavy. Today I’ll pick up some almond chips and whir up another batch tonight .. and will store them in the freezer, in round, patty shapes, easy to lift out one and add to quinoa or whatever.

Still picking up cherries dropped by the wind/birds. See the robins vying for the best ones at the top .. too high for us to climb with the ladder .. glad to see them enjoying the fruits.

The apples are getting larger and the berries are getting closer to that ripe stage.

Loving the peace and tranquility in the yard. Listening to beautiful music on the iPod, sipping a mug of Yorkshire Tea. Watching the birds zip around the yard. A bright yellow butterfly flits by.

Entering that place where creativity resides .. leaving only space for beauty, peace and joy. The magic of the garden .. that’s empowering.

Today, after a few necessary outside duties .. it’s back to the garden.

Lovely .. lovely .. lovely


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A beautiful rainbow! Lots o healthy veggies . .What a lovely farm this is! and a vineyard, sigh.

Two Barn Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A double rainbow from yesterday. I think that’s a sign of a plentiful garden this year. Sounds good right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been planting. Thanks to my brother Dave who enjoys waking me up before sunrise to get some seeds in before work. We’ve got corn, peas, bush beans, beets, radishes, carrots, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, basil, dill, parsley, and lots of flowers to attract pollinators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini is blowing up and my tomatoes are already flowering. Shouldn’t be long now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peas popping up and the peppers are doing great. They are already flowering! The rabbits are eating my beans so I have to take steps to deter them today. Maybe some Cayenne pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Playing in the garden, making headway in decluttering. Continuing to watch the aerial art of clouds.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

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Wednesday was a treat, sunny from the start .. beautiful skies .. more interesting cloud formations.

Really made headway with sorting out my plant pots and have filled 5 large plastic bags with them, ready to give away.  More space for creative things.  I’ve decided that I don’t need to store hundreds of small, medium and large pots for future plantings.   The pots always seem to come into the yard, so no worries there.

Spent some time just moving things around the yard .. closer to the gate for recycling, composting, etc.

Observed Duncan cat sitting motionless at the edge of the side garden .. watching for some rodent or other to appear.  He glances over to me and then back to focusing on his target.  Seems I’m accepted now in his daily world .. he no longer runs away.   The trust is happening and that feels good.

I can hear the tiny chirps of the Bushtits, but they are so tiny that I don’t easily see them among the branches.

My little scotch moss plants have not thrived well .. that is, some of them have and some of them havent.  I’ve watered them, given them EM, but only a few tiny touches of the bright green foliage is seen.  So I decide to plant them, maybe the earth around their roots will entice them to grow.

I’ve been digging a circular area around the cherry tree … over the years the roots have grown up to the soil  in two places and I’m tired of tripping on them .. so I’ve decided to make a little area of plantings, a sort of canopied situation, if you will.

Yesterday, on my hands and knees, digging away with hand tools, forming a circular area, narrow trench, placed the Scottish (and one Irish!) mosses around the circle.  Feeling sad that I’ve let these plants down by not planting them right away.  Then . .my gaze moves to the lovely long tin planters that I’ve recently received from friends.   There are some very healthy Scottish mosses growing abundantly in them, I’d planted them about a month ago.

Ding!  Idea!  I’ll transplant these mosses into the circle edge and then .. ta da .. I’ll put some strawberry plants into the planters.  I love it when ideas click!  So that’s my first chore outside today.

then, some sweet woodruff .. this low-growing ground cover is a lovely plant and the whorled leaves, dried, have a vanilla scent that is reputed to repel moths.  If I were a moth would I like the scent?

The Kentucky Wonder Beans are living up to their name.  Recently planted from sprouted seeds, they seem to grow quite rapidly.  I’ve been taking pictures of their progress.  Ok, I wouldn’t make a very business like farmer . .I spend way too much time taking photos of plants in the yard.  Well . .I do have fun, though.

The skies continue to offer the most interesting cloud formations .. quite beautiful and relaxing to look at this aerial art.

Also spent some time digging a pathway in the newly created garden (spoiled hay, alpaca &  goat manure,  leaf mulch, compost).  Decided to a) remove a narrow pathway amidst this growing area so that b) I could toss some of the soil beneath the cherry tree!  This involved moving some of the kale plants .. and I discover that this large leafy plants thrive on a very small rootstock!

I’ve recently planted some squash and zucchini plants here and look forward to the long lazy growth of the plants.

This area gets the full morning and late afternoon soon .. I’ve been watching this place for days.  Good area to grow.

The raspberries are becoming pink, the blueberries are staying green ..but we were able to harvest a few strawberries.  The cherries are ripest at the top, of course, where the sun hits them.  The birds feast on these as we don’t have a ladder long enough.  We’ll enjoy the cherries on the lower branches.  As I was raking up the ground around the cherry tree .. I was picking up the fallen fruit .. enough to fill a large plant pot .. wah!!

Onwards with this day .. moss to transplant, strawberries too!  More digging, more plantings, skies to watch, birds to see.

🙂


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Oh wow …. I’m just speechless .. this looks too delicioue .. and so simple!!!

Voila!

Even though pizza on the grill may be pretty much the best way to cook pizza at home, this is a close second with no grill necessary. And a grill can’t be necessary for recipes in our house because we don’t have one. So, here’s the deal: make some dough from your favorite recipe (and if you have a favorite, can you pass it on to me?) or get the store bought kind (Harris Teeter sells the dough they use for their pizza’s), then layer up the sauce and toppings of your choice. We had fresh onions and leeks from our excursion out to a local farm so that’s what I added on this one. Pizza is a blank slate just waiting to be experimented with.

Ingredients
3 leeks, sliced thin
1 1/2 onion, cut in half the sliced thin
2 1/2 T. butter
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
salt…

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Yum .. Leek Pesto recipes!!!! (and other good foods also, looks very interesting, especially the veggie pancakes!

Lady Locavore

Pesto is a sauce originating in Northern Italy and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil and pine nuts and blended with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. The name “Pesto” means to poundto crush, in reference to the original method of preparing of the ingredients. In our more conventionally made pesto the ingredients are not “pounded” or “ground” with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar, but rather well processed in a food processor.

Ingredients in our modern-day Pesto Sauces have evolved to a wide variety of ingredients.  As long as you have the basic elements, a Pesto Sauce can be made. I love how Pesto is used in so many ways and incorporated in so many different ways as well.

Pesto spread on fresh-cut french bread and broiled for a few minutes makes a great snack or accompaniment to your favourite pasta or stew. I enjoy adding Pesto to rice…

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Tuesday was a stunner. And .. can you make pesto from leeks???

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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Tuesday started off cool and cloudy and then morphed into a wonderful sunny day, yeah!!!!

I spent the entire day outside … except for tea breaks, lunch breaks, visiting with DH.

And what a day.

The winds continued all day ..blowing the clouds around into the most amazing shapes.   So lucky I can just stop whatever I’m doing so I can just stand there and look up at the shifting shapes.

Saw a glory in one set of clouds, but the refraction of the sun kept entering the shot, so I couldn’t get a good visual to take a picture.  oh well.  I love those “circular rainbows” .. so sparkly and pretty.

At one point, a whir of twinkling colour flew back and forth above my head .. it was a dragonfly! It looked all shiny and new.  And it flew so quickly here and there that I had a time trying to fix it in my vision.  Too swiftly, it flew higher and higher and soon was gone from sight.  One of those magical garden moments.

Sitting on the back steps, Sudoku and mug of Yorkshire Tea .. I finally heard the delicate, cheerful –  high-pitched chattering song of the Bushtits!  Yeah …. I was beginning to wonder.  So I just sat there motionless …trying to get a fix on where they were. They were flitting about the branches on the apple tree .. about the same size as the small apples, so I had to look very closely.  Luckily I was able to get a few pictures.   Darling little birds.

Later on I saw them flying about a few old trees at the other side of the yard.  So happy to see them.

Another magical moment and I don’t have photos of this .. but .. I was refilling the suet holder at another apple tree and suddenly there appeared a little Nuthatch.  Sweet.  He/she just perched on a branch inches away from my face.   Then he flitted about, always settling down on a branch and seemed to look quizzically at me.  So I held out the suet filled holder, just to see if he would perch on it .. but he flew away.

The house sparrows are not nice birds, from what I’ve heard.  Bossy and shoving and pushing all other birds away.  So when I hear them making a big commotion in the trees, I make clapping noises to send them on their way.

I can’t control the birding world, but I can intercept when I can and that’s what I’ll do.

So I’m still waiting to see the Downy Woodpeckers .. maybe they come out at different times of the day during the summer.

interesting article (Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun) in the Times Colonist this morning “B.C. coastal bird populations plummet, survey shows” … 35 per cent drop in birds over the past 4 decades.  Populations of “aerial insectivores” – swallows, swifts and nightjars, all of which are in B.C. are down more than 80% in Canada.

The causes??? fewer insects due to widespread application of pesticides & climate change upsetting the timing of insect production in relation to nesting of long-distance migrant birds.

Just say NO to pesticides.  Is this a no-brainer?

Well, no pesticides in our little gem of paradise.

Anyway … I finished putting the final layer of seaweed at the base of the garlic patch.  And .. lucky me .. I found more garlic scapes.   Even more than I’d harvested a few days ago!  Plus, I kept breaking away the broken stems from the scapes harvested previously also.  They do keep on growing.

And Bridget http://arignagardener.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/the-longest-day/ wonders if one can make a pesto out of leeks?  I wonder .. does anyone know?  I’m not enough of a creative chef to have tried this.

I finally planted those Kentucky wonder beans … they are nicely settled in to their new location.  I’m so looking forward to see how they grow.

Found a stray tomato plant growing amongst the garlic .. so planted it in a sunny area.  It was very wilted so I watered it with the magical EM and so will see today how well it is doing.

Transplanted some basil into a sunny area of the garden.  More EM!

Checked out my seedlings.  This should be interesting, as the labels have flown away so I’ll have some surprise plantings.    Thy mystery plants will unfold during the summer.

Cleared away some more garden pots.   I’ll be giving away hundreds.   I’ve been storing the empty plant pots in large storage containers.  And now ask myself “why”?   It’s not like I’m planning to have a plant nursery.  Oh, that did cross my mind .. but not for now.  If I need pots, I can always get more.

Feels good to create empty space in the storage area where I keep my plant supplies.  More space where I can bring out my creative paints, beads, tiles, etc. and jut paint in the sunshine.  Let free my creative spirit and just play.

Well .. dressed for the garden.  No evening dress & high heels for me.  Just my Car-hartt denim overalls, long-sleeved shirt, bright socks and gumboots.   Outside to play!

🙂


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A sunny and cloudy Monday. Sightseeing and then some seaweed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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Monday .. continued spreading the rich, mineral laden seaweed around the garlic.  So excited, found more scapes.  Oh, yes .. going to make more garlic scape pesto .. will I ever have enough?  Greedy little me, how I love this stuff.

The new generation of sparrows are quite the aggressive little guys.  They are having little tussles in the trees.  And it’s not just the sparrows either.  Yesterday I had to duck as I watched two Robins tumbling over each other in the skies, till they each went to their separate branches in the cherry tree.

Speaking of this venerable old cherry tree …. the fruits are ever so slowly showing a slight blush of pink. The winds have been whipping the branches, with the result that a lot of fruit is lying on the ground.  I see that the birds are tasting these and they aren’t very delicious to them, as they are leaving the cherries where they fall.

I can hear the nasal chirps of the little Chickadees.  And still haven’t seen the Bushtits … where are you my little darlings!

Time for a break .. today is my DH’s birthday .. so we dash out for Won Ton soup at Dakota’s and then time for a flight.

Oh, how I love being up in the sky with him …  the day is quite quiet . .not much traffic.  So I settle back and gaze out at the mountains and clouds.   Feels rather special to be in an aerial location to get a closer look at the clouds.  We’ve had quite the interesting variety of skies in the past few days, as you can see in the pics I’ve posted.

Back home .. I continue to spread the seaweed … quite a variety, actually … all gathered from the shoreline last week.  I was going to dry them and place them in containers for the compost, but they’ve been in the bins for 5 days and have reached the stage where they are better off being mixed into the ground.

As I do this .. I’m finding more garlic scapes.  Even thin, delicate scapes from the garlic that I’d potted up last fall.

Just getting into the flow when the rains come back.  Darn. Double Darn.

So, inside …lots to do there, never stops.

Later, I take my first Seaweed Bath.  Why has it taken me so long … months.  to indulge in this luxury?   I just plain don’t know!  Whatever, finally, I prepare the bath and settle in.  There is the most amazing giant leaf of Kombu (this was a single leaf, not attached to anything when I found it!)  I’d dried it out in the sun months ago.  And now, as the rich emerald-green of this magnificent leaf becomes alive in the water .. the soft velvety indentations of the surface sheer translucent beauty shimmer as I hold it up to view against the light.

I soak in the mineral laden water for a while .. such decadence feels appropriate for this day and I just relax and breathe in the scent of the sea.

And later on, I  slept the most delicious relaxing sleep .. and woke up feeling relaxed, yet energetic.   I’ll reuse the Kombu again tonight and then it will be added to the compost .. to continue its magic powers . .sharing its oceanic values with the earth.

And so .. its early morning .. time for another pot of Yorkshire Tea and outside .. to make incredible changes to the yard . .. or just to see how things are growing and to plant my latest leafy ferns, grape vines and on and on .. with this day.

🙂