My Garden – Mon Jardin – Mi Jardin – Mein Garten – Daily Adventures & Thoughts

No matter the language, my garden is my paradise. To watch the lovely birds that nest in the trees and bushes. The bees, butterflies are such a joy to see.

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Do plants collect marbles in their root systems? I found one that did!

Saturday,  August 11, 2012

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I don’t know why I have begun to type November instead of August for the past few days!   Maybe in November I’ll start typing August!  The mind/hand/keyboard connection is a vicarious one!

Yesterday, time moved very slowly .. I really wanted to do so much in the garden but the motivation just wasn’t there … I think part of this was due to the fact that I really want to do so much and then things just start to pile up in my mind and I just need to erase my mental list and just focus on what I’m doing.

So after lunch and a few cups of Yorkshire tea, I did that.    And felt much calmer and more energized.   Sheesh . .I’m turning myself into my very own person bossy-boss .. time to stop that game!

I focused on one of my side gardens .. I’m so proud of that!  I’ll post a picture, but really want to show the before and after … in order to truly appreciate the transformation.

A few years ago I’d planted a row of little cedars and they have been growing nicely .. except that 2 of them had grown too close to each other and there was a gap between the next one in the row.  I debated whether or not to leave them as they are until the fall, when the weather is cooler.  But .. I’m feeling a little cocky now that I have lots of EM ..  so I decided to dig up the one little cedar and move it over a bit.

Lovely root system .. I carefully dug out an area and gently planted it.  And braced it up with a length of tubing and tied it with a string .. to guide it to grow straight.  Looked at it this morning and it’s looking happy.  Fingers crossed.

Lucky me .. I was digging up and moving another plant when I saw something shiny tangled up in the roots.  It was a little marble all nestled in the middle of the root system!  So it appears that I’m not the only one with an eye for sparkly things!  This plant also collects them!  Nice surprise, that was.

Went to check on my lovely garlic, drying underneath the sundeck.   And … what do I see!!! Two scapes growing happily in their corkscrew manner .. one sporting a lovely flower and the other one has gone beyond that, into seed mode.

Oh, how they must have chuckled to themselves  ..  they were able to avoid my search for them, so I could make garlic scape pesto!    The funny ways of things that grow add to the allure and mystery of nature and growing things.

Noticed Youbou & JaneE having a staring match .. cute to watch them.  They are so similar in personality and size.  Very sweet.

Not exactly sure where  I’m going to place my masterpiece of a raised bed .. somewhere in a sunny spot.  And I’ll plant some lettuce !!

The tomatoes are still growing and flowering.  I know that I should remove some of the flowers, there are too many for the length of the growing season left, but just can’t bring myself to do that.

Well .. a lovely day .. what more can I say.


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What a wonderful idea for staking tomatoes and lots of good information on this blog!!

The Small Space, Big Harvest Garden


The tomatoes are growing great guns around these parts.  Nothing turning red just yet, but another week or two and we’ll be seeing the first blushes.  I’m a little excited to tell you about my solution to the inefficient tomato cage dilemma.

The problem with conventional tomato cages are they are just too damn short. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an indeterminate tomato just two feet high.  Hell, even the roma’s will get three feet tall at least, and they really only need a stake to help hold them upright.

So my solution to the problem was this.  Rather than put a cage around the tomato plant when it’s young, I would build the cage around the plant as it grew.

I stuck 8 foot rebars into the boxes at each corner as my uprights.  Then each week, as the tomatoes grew I added cross bars of bamboo.  they…

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Time for a playing day .. in the garden.

Friday, August 10, 2012

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One think that I like about gardening is that I can spend one day working very hard outside and the next day I can play if I want to.

Playing means to me .. things like .. finally sifting the beach stones that I’ve collected, separating the tiniest stones and rounded rocks from the vegetation that has been mixed in.  Ending up with little buckets of these and a bucket of fine sand & grasses, to use on a garden bed.

And putting together a little raised bed from boards left over from a project that dh has done for the yard.   I had to get help from him in putting them together.  I won’t even go into the details of how I was trying to assemble the boards, but his way made more sense.   I am just not gifted in building things with wood.  I learn really easy, but the hows and whys are just not part of my creative bent.

So I ended up with a raised bed that is truly creative .. in that it is not perfectly square and two ends are higher than the sides .. but this will go on the ground and filled with lovely mulch and so no one will ever be the wiser.

DH looked at my results, shook his head and laughed .. I told him that it was just perfect for the garden .. a true garden is not perfectly square and in alignment.

Next in my playtime . . I separated the seeds from the dried flower pods from the white flowering sage plant.  I’ve read in one of my gardening books that sage would make a good garden border, so I’ll try that.  Free sage border, gotta like that.

Then I decided to cover up my tomato plants.  Having given away yards of Remay years ago … I wasn’t sure what to use in place of that .. so ended up fetching some Ikea lightweight cotton sheers and spent some time wrapping up some of the larger plants .. I’ll take pics later today.

I was on my hands and knees, pulling out grass and plantings from an overhead bird feeder, when I noticed a young Anna hovering above .. finally settling on the  tiny perch of the hummingbird feeder.  And the camera is at least 10 feet away.   So I quietly observe this little visitor.  I believe it must be one of the babies, there is still fluffy white downy feathers on the lower part of its body, and tiny little markings at the outer edges of the eyes.   He watches me and I watch him .. timeless magic.   One of those gardening moments that money cannot buy.


Next I mix up dilutions of EM so that I can install some perennials in one of my newly tidied side gardens.  Which gives me an idea .. one rainy day .. I will spend some time looking through photos of the past few years and I’ll show the transformations that I’ve made in the yard.  Creating areas of beauty from badly neglected spaces.   If I hadn’t taken the photos, I would have forgotten how much I’ve done.

I planted several lavender plants, carefully removing them from their plastic pots.  Soaking their roots in EM, trowelling out a space and putting them in their new home.  Gently tamping in soil around them and a final watering of EM.

Then I notice that the sunlight has disappeared .. .dusk has arrived.   I walk around this garden edging … noting where I’ll be digging in more plants and then finally decide that the time needed for this chore is going to take hours.   So might as well pack it in for the day.

Thought back over my day, what I’d accomplished .. and reflected on my playing time (that’s where creativity kicks in and time stops) and decided that I’d had yet another most wonderful day in the garden.

So, time to take a mug of freshly brewed Yorkshire Tea (the lovely loose leaf type) and go outside for another playing day.


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Thankful for the help on the WordPress Forum! They are wonderful! And also, more about my gardening life

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Thank goodness for the so very helpful contributors to WordPress.  I’d been plagued with rather distasteful ads on my working pages of my blog .. they had all of a sudden appeared and I had no idea how to get rid of them.

So I posted on the WordPress Forum: “ Offensive ads showing on my blog to stop them from appearing?” and received the most amazing help – easy to follow steps to get rid of these types of ads, which are add-ons and they are disgusting and sneaky.

If you have experienced these, then by all means, please visit the forum and you’ll find these most helpful links to get rid of them.

Now I am much happier.

So, back to gardening!

Yesterday I toiled away at the front yard  ..  completing the removal of invasive perennials that I’d let grow just to keep the area green in an easy manner.  Time to make changes and remove them.  Make room for more natural and still drought resistant type plantings.

All pulled, dug, cleared & clipped and then  top dressed with tree chippings to keep down the weeds and keep moisture in.  I didn’t take a before picture, thought of it too late.  But I will take an after picture.  This area will look a little bare  ..  I intend to pick up some woodland type plants, ferns, etc. and plant them there.

Then I began the task of pruning one of the two lilac trees that are on either side of our driveway.  For hours I clipped away at dry branches and overgrown trunks.  Some branches had grown about 4 feet over the tops of nearby cedar & bamboo plants.

At the end, I was much happier.  Noticed the chickadees flying through … and thought, oh no, they’ve lost some perching branches.   But  ..  looking around, I see thousands more of branches in our yard for them to perch in.  You see, I love the wild and natural look and am happy that there are zillions of hiding places for my winged friends.

Now the light comes through for the plants and they will grow even more!

Spent a few hours clipping away at the branches,  so that they would fit in my Rubbermaid containers, nice and tidy, so I can take them to the local municipal yard for them to compost.

And so I arranged the 3 large yard bags and 5 Rubbermaid containers into my little Echo.  How did I do this, you may ask?  Well, I pushed, shoved, squeezed and forced them all to stay in the car.  Even had one of the yard bags on the front passenger seat.  Ha ha ha …. It did look a little funny, but I was able to load the car up.

And this morning, first thing, I drove to the yard and offloaded them.   Now they will be chipped and mulched and be part of the garden dressing in the municipality.  No waste.

So now .. for the rest of the day, I can play in the back yard and be creative.   I’ll share that tomorrow!

And also for now I can enjoy a lovely mug of Yorkshire tea .. made with the loose leaves … such a very delicious treat.



A variety of things, including flying, gardening, mulch .. etc.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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So, August is zipping along.  Lots of gardening.  Lots of flying.  Now that summer is here in full force, it’s so easy to forget those cold rainy days.

Veggies are growing well.  I finally shovelled the last of the 5 yards of the miracle mulch and so the perennials have a nice soft blanket to retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

And yesterday, so lucky .. woke up to the sound of branches being buzzed and then ground up as a few neighbourhood trees were being trimmed.  These included an oak tree.

Quickly grabbed my mug of Yorkshire Tea and dashed out the door … and politely asked the working crew if I may have the chips!  Well, lucky me .. they said yes and I was ecstatic.  These are things that only a fellow gardener can understand!

So at least 1 ½ yards were gently deposited on a tarp in the driveway and I spent a few happy hours shovelling up this lovely mulching material and spreading under our first Christmas tree … the 2 yards that I placed there yesterday has nearly disappeared.

And I noticed that this tree only has a very few cones on it this year .. this means that the tree is not under stress.  Finally, I’m giving it the love and attention that it needs.

Once all this shovelling was done, I decided to clip some roses for drying.  But first, I:

–          Discovered that the branches of an old apple tree in the back were in my way, so went to find the clippers to trim away some of the ones that were at eye-height

–          Then I thought it would be a good time to drag out the soaker hoses for the recently updated side yard .. this took a good chunk of time as I sorted through the two sizes of hoses and too late remembered that I couldn’t attach the 3/8 to the 5/8 .. so undid my work and started again

–          Put aside a tarp to take to the front yard, to help when I weed that area

–          Became enthralled with the sight of the bees buzzing around flowers, so took pictures

–          Again, became enthralled with the skies up above and more time spent there

–          Took a few minutes to search for berries

–          Had a look at the various squash, basil and pea pods growing

–          Then finally I walked to the rose-bush, clippers in hand (after searching for a basket to hold the flowers) and finished what I’d wanted to start over an hour ago, that is, clipping roses

Then, time to go to the front yard and begin pulling out some invasive perennials .. they’ve served the purpose of greening up the yard, but time to remove these, fluff up the soil and then go shopping for some ferns and things to complete the woodland look along the front of our first Christmas tree.

And now I must go outside and continue what I started yesterday.

I forgot to mention that my work was stopped by a thunder & lightning storm …  heavy raindrops, thank you for watering my garden!


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Watching the birds .. spreading the Miracle Mulch .. enjoying the hot summer sun

Friday, August 3, 2012

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I almost did some time travelling into the year 3012 .. good thing that I check my typing as I go!

Anyway, continuing to enjoy these most lovely of sunny days.

Standing outside yesterday, I was thinking back to the cold snow months of January and onwards.  Snow tumbling down.  Me, outside with birdseed and suet blocks, furiously filling out the bird feeders so that the birds would have lots of food.  Tromping through the snow.

Not caring if I had warm clothes on or not, the most important objective for me was to ensure that all the birds who visited our yard had enough to eat.

Remember looking outside the basement window, marvelling at the sight of a Flicker, crouched down on the gravel by the sundeck, pecking away at some insects.   That was lovely.

But .. back to the present.  And enjoying the warmth of the sun as I took a break and revelled in the antics of the Redbreasted Nuthatches, the Chestnut-backed Chickadees .. taking turns at the bird feeders.

I was all set to write about the various shapes of leaves ..but . that will be something that I can attack at a later date.

For now .. I just want to look at the antics of the birds.  Used the motor drive of the camera to capture all kinds of flying movements of our little visitors!

Then … it was back to work.

I’d ordered 5 yards of Miracle Mulch (leaves, tiny branches, no bark, etc.) and it was sitting on a tarp in the driveway.  I’d promised DH that I’d clear this away in 2 days.  Oh, wow, that was a promise that I just had to keep.   That is, if I wanted to keep on ordering this lovely material for the yard.

So yesterday I shovelled for hours, slowly moving the mulch to  ….the front side yards, the back side yards .. and on and on.

And today, I finally finished!

This material is so lovely for the ground .. it protects the soil, and retains moisture, thus less watering needed.

I want to order 5 more yards in a few months so that I can top up everything again.  I was told of someone who ordered over 240 yards of this material .. oh, I would just be in mulch heaven if we had enough property so that I could order that much.

Today, I planted more Mondo grass, some other perennials and topped up the surface with the mulch and the one side garden looks lovely.  Pictures to follow.  Including photos of a few years ago .. when this was just a blackberry patch.  That was a story.  I so love transforming little areas of yards …

So tonight I will EM everything in the yard . .that should take a few hours.   I love this part.  A few days after treatment .. such an amazing increase in leaf colour, fruits, flowers .. just magic, I tell you!


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Hmmm… food for thought, eh?

Two Different Girls

Recently, I interviewed a man who flies as a corporate pilot. Several years ago, he worked as a contract pilot for Paul and Jan Crouch,

who are the founders of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, a 24-hour Christian religious television network. It is the most watched ‘faith-based’ channel in the U.S. and is the sixth largest over-the-air broadcaster, according to Broadcast & Cable’s 2010 report, with an estimated world-wide viewing audience of 100 million households. According to Wikipedia’s sources, with their associated satellite and internet programs, they reach over a billion viewers.

The pilot, who I’ll refer to as Tim, flew for them about eight months, in a Bombardier Challenger plane, which costs between $25 and $30 million new. Their primary base was in Orange County, CA but they had several other homes: a ranch near Sugarland, Texas; Fort Lauderdale; and Conway Twitty’s former compound in Nashville.

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Enjoying the wonders of the skies as I toil in the garden .. eye candy for the gardener!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

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Basking in the warmth of the sun, I find myself out in the garden again.  Only this time, for the past few days, I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

Pruning the buddleia’s that have been taking over the sidegarden.

Pulling out the annuals that reseed themselves year after year, claiming nearly every inch of the garden beds.

Clipping, bagging and transporting the superfluous garden branches etc.

Joy at finding garlic bulbs that were growing, hidden away among the plants.  These I will dry and replant in the fall.

Taking lots of time to just look up at the sky.   Feeling much happiness at the ever-changing vistas .. cheering me up constantly.

Listening to the tiny chirps of the chickadees, nuthatches and bushtits as they cavort around the yard.

Cavort .. not a word I would usually associate with these tiny birds, but they do seem to be to be such little sprites of cheerfulness.  They really brighten up my world and I am so glad they visit.

The bushtits seem like little whorls of energy, filling the trees with their twittering sounds as they gather together on the branches before flitting away to visit another yard.

And the chickadees .. the yard will be quiet, until, suddenly, I hear the little nasal chirps .. seeming to say “I’m here .. I’m here”.  They are so sweet.  And smart.  When the bird feeder is empty, they will tap their tiny beaks against the sides of the feeder as if to say .. “hey up .. this needs refilling”!

I’ve been noticing the variety of leaf shapes in the garden also.  Tomorrow I’ll post the pics I took yesterday.  There are reasons why nature has chosen the shapes she has for the many food plants.  I don’t know the why’s and wherefores, but, perhaps, something else to study up on.

Yesterday, being so hot .. I spread out some containers of dried seaweed … to dry them out further so I could crumble them up and thus take up less space in the downstairs area.

Then, finally, time for the 5 yards of Miracle Mulch to arrive … and so for a few hours last night, I spent the time filling up wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow .. taking each load to the side yard, to topdress the bare garden soil.   This lovely mixture can also be used in the veggie garden .. which is lovely.  I know that the 5 years will quickly disappear ….as I carefully spread it around on all of the sidegardens.   Lovely to look at and perfect for retaining the moisture in the soil.  And .. no tree bark .. just fine branches, leaves and twigs.

So .. that will be my day today .. all day . .shovelling and moving the mulch.

Time to get started, methinks!