Yesterday was such a lovely sunny day … it started out with our exercise group hiking around the hilly areas of Oak Bay, climbing some very steep stairways to a lookout and then around a variety of streets and back to the start.
At one point I saw a very noisy Blue Jay perched on a branch, screeching away at something while trying to hide a treasure. No camera with me yesterday, of course!
Finally .. back at home .. in my lovely little garden. I’ve been driving a lot lately .. traffic has been heavy and I’ve just longed for the peace and quiet of my garden. I badly needed a “fix” of just being surrounded by all the greenery that is growing lushly there.
So, mug of Yorkshire Tea, IPod playing gentle music, camera at the ready .. I just slowly wandered around .. having a good tour of what is happening.
First .. there were the lovely skies overhead:
Followed by more lovely skies overhead .. ever-changing artistic paintings ..
Then I spent some time looking at the House Sparrow and male Downy Woodpecker .. each eyeing the suet .. each waiting for the other to move in first ..
Two ways to view this – either the woodpecker was a gentleman and let the sparrow feed first or the sparrow was pushy and claimed the prize .. either way it was a sweet scene of patience and gentility.
sigh ….. I’m torn between looking up at the sky, watching the birds or looking through my bean plants to see if any are ripe enough for picking. And there is also the work factor – this comes after my play time is done (it never is really done, though!)
I’d recently fallen off the wagon ( of my firm decision to not buy more plants!)and bought a few more plants … these Burgundy Baby Weigela plants attract hummingbirds, so of course I must have a few of these.
Another year of self-sowed Sun-chokes .. there are at least 4 of them in the yard, each are at least 10 feet tall … I’m going to cut them down soon, the stalks are quite sturdy and I’m curious as to whether they will dry in a firm state and I can use them to stake up plants. Here is a good site with lots of information: http://www.canadiangardening.com/gardens/fruit-and-vegetable-gardening/you-say-jerusalem-artichoke-i-say-sunchoke/a/35286 Although I didn’t plant these, I suspect the birds did! And they are now in a variety of places .. even though I dug them all up & gave them away last year .. some of them had hidden themselves away to grow this year! And this year I will try them to see what they taste like. Just a little bit, to try.
I’d been rinsing out my seaweed gathering sacks and some water made its way to the sunflowers .. adding a sparkling look to this cheerful flower
Besides the sparrows and woodpeckers that I saw in the garden, I also saw the Bewick Wren (the juvenile) these birds are evasive and swift, so I counted myself lucky to have seen it. The darling Bush-tits were around a few times. I can only imagine what other birds visit the yard when I’m not out there (hawks, crows, eagles up high). What lovely gifts these are .. to see these birds up close.
The Cherokee Trail of Tears beans are just treasures .. I will always grow them. Prolific, with sturdy vines .. each growing an abundance of beans. They are growing into the trees so I will harvest the dried pods at the end of the season and plan to share them with friends.
Here is a young bean and you can see the round beans growing inside .. the mature dried beans are blue! I’ll take some pics when these are harvested.
Looking up (important in the garden!) I noticed a group of at least 9 hoverflies! I was able to get a little photo of one and the group kept moving about so I wasn’t able to take a pic. However, I found this clear video on Youtube, it’s just marvelous: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xh9BlbUaAU
This sky was like a summer sky … lots of gentle ripples ..
My dear Lady JaneE .. sleeping soundly in the sunshine ..
Sleepily waking up ..
And back to sleep again …
The overhead beauty continued …
And the teasel plant is flowering. Quite pretty with the delicate lavender flowers.So I did actually get to work. Washing out bags of plastic gardening items for recycling. Raking up the debris of the pear trellis leaves . infested with rust from some juniper tree in the neighbourhood. This rust is an annual issue and I had it under control 2 years ago (multiple spraying of EM got rid of most of it then) and last year I wasn’t so diligent and about half of the leaves have the rust. Next year I will be more vigilant, spraying with EM and then with liquid seaweed .. just as the leaves emerge! And then after the flowers are finished. I’ve read that the rust settles in by August so I’ll make sure that I take care of this tree.
The leaves are not compostable (so I’ve read) so I’m bagging them up for disposal. It breaks my heart to do this but it is for the best. I don’t have a hot enough compost to ensure that everything breaks down. The rust is ugly .. seen up close. I won’t post pics, it’s bad enough looking at them up close, yuck.
Finally, calling a halt to the work day .. I exited my garden and back to the house. Totally tired but happy from nearly a full day in the garden.
So .. going back out there today … what a treat!