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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Noticing the little things …and having fun enjoying a few good memories!!

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!!Sam and Oreo, 2007From 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?22 Fort Rodd

The ever vigilant parent …keeping an eye on baby ..20, swallows

Baby .. see the beak is wide, as he grows, the beak will narrow …and become more pointed.21, baby swallow

How sweet .. a little Wren sings a song atop her lovely little home ..

11a, Wren

11, Wren

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!!  31, dew on leaf

Ahhhhhh .. .Nasturtiums.  So vibrant in colour, so playful in shape.  I like the light and dark tones of this orange flower .32, single nasturtium

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!19, sunflower

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.  18, cutter bee

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!

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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.

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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!12, ladybug

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!

🙂


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Blue skies overhead, newly born bees .. a lovely day in March and I have the photos to prove it!

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.

Blog photos, June 5, 07

This was rather artistic  and kind of sparkly, if clouds can use that adjective and in this case – I think it is appropriate!Blog photos, June 5, 08

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.June 5, 2018 01

Yum yum .. thought the bee .. here is a flower just for me!!Blog, June 5, 2018 02

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!!Blog photos, June 5, 2018 04

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!Blog photos, June 5, 06

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.Blog photos, June 5, 2018 03

Blog photos, June 5, 2018 05

One of my visits to the beach along Dallas Road .. love the designs in the stone ..Blog photos, June 5, 10

It is so relaxing to walk along the beach and breathe in the ocean air.  We are so lucky.

Blog photos, June 5, 09

Such a wonderful life .. so many things to do and discover!

Must dash, time to practice my vocals for my upcoming fantastic singing lesson!!


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It’s Been Awhile Since I’ve Blogged & Guess I’ve Been Busy .. or Lazy???

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!!

June 3, 09

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!

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This is how I start my gardening day .. A pottery mug (from dear Potluck Ceramics in Port Alberni) full of delicious Yorkshire Tea!!

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And sometimes, when I feel like it .. my gardening day ends like this!

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My JaneE Kat .. my garden buddy! Graciously sitting on her bench, regally awaiting her treats.

June 3, 15

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.

June 3, 13

Lots of potatoes planted in large pots.  Potatoes are growing everywhere in the yard, even in the garlic.  I love potatoes!June 3, 12

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!

June 3, 11

See?  Same garlic type (elephant .. i know, a member of the leek family but these are very garlic-y)  🙂June 3, 10

Luscious lazy lupins in Port ..June 3, 08

JaneE getting soaked by the sump-pump water fountain .. drops of water glisten on her fur!  Krazy Kat!June 3, 07

Loving the light through the leaves… nature’s artistic renderings of joy …June 3, 06

Springtime beauties .. happy little flowers ..June 3, 05

Woo Hoo .. towering Cues up in Port a few weeks ago ….

June 3, 04

June 3, 03

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!  June 3, 14

Well, I’ve enjoyed this little visit at playing with words .. it’s been fun so I will continue tomorrow!

On with this most lovely day!  🙂


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Dearest Diary .. I must share some little things that have been happening in my life ..

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)P1350609

Lo and behold, this bag does not easily fit into our pantry!  P1350612

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!  🙂P1350660

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!P1350734

The power of the waves and the majesty of this ocean has such good energy to enjoy.P1350726

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.P1350648

Speaking of smooth stones and pebbles .. love the random placement of the beach stones .. so much beauty in this .. tranquility springs to mind.P1350654

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.P1350659

Last week or so .. the beauty of the garden began to unfold… tiny gifts of delicate little flowers ..P1350791

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!P1350632

My generous garden neighbour kindly gave me a fig cutting last year .. I’ll plant it out soon.P1350627

From a few weeks ago ..  a nice surprise suddenly appeared as if to say “summer is almost here!!”P1350625This 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.P1350622

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.P1350620

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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.  P1350585

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.P1350499

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!P1350544

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.P1350511

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!

 

 


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Sunny & frosty days …some snow has arrived to transform the garden. And the birds are happy. I think the Faeries have been partying at night!

The weather here in Victoria has been pretty normal, what with the rainy days, the sunny days and the faintest touch of snow once in awhile.  This is why everyone is drawn to this beautiful city.

Yesterday I was in the back yard .. topping up the bird feeders, tipping out the ice from the bird-baths (ok, we have had a few frosty mornings, I can live with that) … and my eyes were drawn to this (still) potted Hellebore .. which I will plant when the weather warms up a bit.  It is a tough little plant and has been enjoying the balmy parts of the day when the sun warms up the yard here and there.P1350675

Yesterday, those darling little Bushtits were hungry and so they didn’t fly away when I approached them.  They love these little ceramic and coiled metal suet holders .. this design is perfect for them and so I’ve placed several in this corner of the yard.

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Here is another chunk of slag .. left over from a glass factory many years ago.  Love how the sun brings out the blue/green colour.

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I’d bought this at a garage sale, many, many, many .. years ago.   It’s nice and chunky, someone’s prized stained glass project.  Here I have placed it upside down … it’s nicely covered with some garden soil and it could serve as a night-time party surface for the wee faeries when they come out at night to party and enjoy the solitude of the garden.  It’s placed far enough from the house so that their music and singing isn’t heard inside.  Tempting to tip toe outside on a hot summer evening to see if I can see them frolic and play.  That would be fun.

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The frosty weather is nature’s opportunity to change things up in the yard .. a chance to show us her creativity.  Here is a lovely display of ice .. so pretty, sparkling in the sun.. but not easy for the birds to drink!   Maybe .. the faeries have donned their winter clothing and skates .. perfect surface for them to practise their skating techniques during the nights when we sleep.  Perhaps the crackles were cause by a few of them, having had one too many little hot toddies as they demonstrated their triple axels??  (or whatever they do when twirling about on the ice in their tiny jewel encrusted skates!)  Can’t you just picture this?  I can!

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So I tipped the ice out and added some water for the little birdies!  To drink and perhaps have a little bath.P1350681

When I’d finished tipping out the ice, I looked at those round circles and decided to play with them and create a little ice path!  For viewing only, for beauty only.  sigh.

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Today was brrrr in the yard … I know that birds who visit our yard are wild and can fend for themselves .. however .. I did invest in a rather fair bit of a variety of bird seed expressly for them .. so out I went .. and added a generous amount to each feeder and made sure there was a healthy chunk of suet in each holder.  Good thing.  As it turned out, this afternoon we had a surprise coating of snow. Pretty to look at.  The yard transformed and magical again.

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I took some photos through the kitchen window .. I knew that if I went outside to take photos, the activity would frighten the birds away and I just wanted them to enjoy some quiet time and a chance to fill up their little bellies for the cold night that approaches.  Here is a beautiful Spotted Towhee …P1350695

Some Junco’s, sparrows .. the yard was full of birds flitting about and doing their little shuffle-shuffle dance to find sunflower seeds hidden in the snow.P1350700

Here’s another photo of that beautiful Hellebore ..looking lovely against the grass of yesterday!

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So very excited .. am I!!!  Recently received my order from Salt Spring Island seeds!!!  This is going to be such a fun summer of growing peas and beans and a few other things.  It won’t be long before there will be tunnels of these in the garden.  A little room in the back where I can sit on my bench, glass of white or mug of Yorkshire Tea (depending on the time of day!!).   A place where I don’t see any buildings .. only the green of the lush vines growing all around!P1350692

And today my order from Annapolis Seeds arrived!   Lots and lots of beans for juicing, munching and freezing!  This year will be abundant.  And I’ll be freezing the beans whole (no blanching required as the beans won’t be touching the ground!)

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My final photos is from Seedy Saturday, last Saturday, at the Victoria Conference Centre.  This is the first year that I haven’t volunteered, since I retired and I really enjoyed my time .. happy to see  garden friends there .. an exciting time wandering the tables and a choice of very informative seminars!  So many knowledgeable speakers!

Normally I take photos every few feet but this year I found myself drawn more into conversations and so ended up taking only one photo and here it is!

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I’ve really missed my daily blogging .. instead have been utilizing my time in a dozen different ways.   Busy all the day long.

This past Friday, I decided to change that.  When the weather is more conducive to being inside, I appreciate this opportunity to do those things that I find challenging when the warm weather calls for me to be outside.

Recently I decided to focus all my energies into starting to learn the theory of music.  It’s something that I had decided was way to hard to me to comprehend.   My fiddle teacher has been very patient in trying to help me understand this.  But the doors in my mind refused to open.   Then, at my 2nd to last singing lesson, my teacher and I were talking about theory and I realized that I must learn this.  No more to use the excuse and stubborness to veer away from learning.

So, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I spent many long hours, at my computer, a stack of index cards to write on.  A pile of beginner fiddle books.  Many online sites.   And the light is dawning.   The doors are opening.  The comprehension has begun.

Music is a language .. I love learning languages … and I love learning more about music!.

Well .. time for supper and I look forward to practising my fiddle and learning more!

🙂


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Enjoying the lazies .. and getting ready to energize my garden life! But first, some photos to share …..

Finally .. I am getting over the “lazies” of winter and energizing myself to get back into my garden!  I have been visiting my little garden almost daily, making sure the bird feeders and Hummingbird feeders are topped up and cleaning them to ensure that my little feathered friends have proper eating stations.  And always, I find little treasures that I’ve placed throughout the garden.  Here is a glass fishing globe that I bought from Capital Iron many years ago .. the colour blends in with the rocks and oak leaves!

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And there are at least 6 Stellar Blue Jays that have been visiting .. at first they loved the squash seeds and now much prefer peanuts in the shell, followed by some bird seeds.  They are versatile .. and they are beautiful.  Too bad they can’t sing!

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They aren’t so shy now and I love how they stand so victoriously when they grab a peanut.  I’ve seen one of them stuff a peanut to the back of their beak and then grab another one.   Then fly back to a tree branch for a little picnic!  They are clever birds.jan2307

Here is another little upside down umbrella for some little birds to perch while they eat.  I took this photo from across the yard so it is a little blurry.  The Junco is so sweet!

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Stellar on a bamboo cane … a striking bird.jan2311

This years garlic beds (although I have a few more, just couldn’t stop myself!)  I’d covered the bulbs, back in October, with leaf mulch and seaweed .. now that the greens are growing, I’m pushing the cover aside.  This is one of those shape shifting gardens, temporary little walls of brick.  Soon there will be tall peas growing at the edges, followed by a great variety of beans ..yum!  I’ve ordered a variety from Salt Spring Seeds and Annapolis Seeds.  Nothing like sipping on a glass of dry white while looking at the online catalogues   Let’s just say that I’ll have a great variety of beans.  Even if I had been sipping on a mug of Yorkshire Tea, the result would have been the same.    Lots of pole beans, to create my little garden room! Lots of beans for eating, juicing, freezing!!jan2304

I think these are crocus bulbs, fingers crossed they aren’t bluebells, the stems seem rather strong so I’m leaning toward the crocus.  Bulbs are so hardy!jan2305

Here is a rose my neighbour gave me last year .. it is anxious to start growing so I must find a place to plant it soon!jan2302

I loved watching the Bewick Wrens in this tree last year!  Busy collecting the fluffy willow buds to add to their nest.  It won’t be long now!jan2306

Tiny little lupin flowers .. soon they will be at least 3 feet high and the bees will be buzzing!  jan2309

Our lovely little JaneE .. who celebrated her 22nd birthday the day after Christmas.  We didn’t have a cake but we did have lots of fun & cuddles.  She loves that!  She is Queen of our Yard!   Our lovely little girl!!!jan2312

And finally .. I’m turning into a sort of yard detective!  About 7 years ago, when I retired, I began changing the yard again.  Over the years, I’d had raised beds, surrounded by 6 yards of gravel (that I’d moved, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow from the front of the house to the back yard!)  Gardeners aren’t afraid of a little work!  Time for change and I’d shifted and rinsed the gravel.  I also began sifting the soil and found many interesting things (I’d posted the pics, go and have a look if you like!     Anyway, I’d found this glass slag and searched as I may, didn’t find much information!  However, recently I’ve discovered the Archives at Centennial Library and have gone for a beginner visit.  Everyone there is so helpful and I’ve begun the research for the glass factory that was here at one time.  I’ve located several building foundations, partly in our yard and shared with the neighbours. I love a good mystery .. so this is a fun journey that I’ve begun!

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Well, every year is the same, I’ve noticed the pattern.  Highly energized in the spring, summer and fall.  Finally winding down to total laziness by this time of year.  This year, I decided to embrace that laziness .. knowing full well that it never lasts long.  And the busyness begins.  I love that!

So .. time to get on with this day!  My German lesson starts soon so .. va va voom!

🙂


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We had a bit of snow and then we had some sun .. but the best part was that my garden had fun!

Victoria was ahead of the game last week when we had some snow.  I wasn’t going to take any photos, but decided, what the heck so I fetched my camera and took a few pics.

Some snow on the Mexican Orange shrub .. this plant is tough as nails!  I can do an extreme pruning and then a few months later, it flowers!  Nov 7 02Below, photo taken this week .. snow has gone (yea!!) and the flowers are still looking great.Nov 7 -09My little garden bench .. where JaneE loves to perch and await her treats!  I liked the way the sun brought out the shadows which always adds interest.  Nov 7 01Leaves decorating the frozen water in the bird bath.  I replenished the water so that the birds could bathe.   Nov 7 - 07Honestly, these sweet little flowers just add so much beauty and carefree energy to the garden .. love them!Nov 7 -98One of the many reasons I love taking photos in the fall .. so I can remember how beautiful nature is.  Took this photo last week.  Nothing like a cheerful sunflower to brighten the atmosphere, n’est-ce pas?Nov 7 -05And this venerable rose bush, another tough as nails plant!  I planted this – maybe 35 years ago?  I swear it lives on love as I rarely water it even during the hot summer.  It does not mind a heavy pruning and just seems to flourish.  The Anna Hummingbirds love this one!Nov 7 -10Alpine strawberries.  I do not plant these in the ground as they are tenacious and would soon cover the yard, as I discovered a few years ago!  Now I just keep one plant in a pot and that is enough.  Yesterday, this caught my eye, I loved the dainty flowers against the broken clay pot.  This .. to me .. is true beauty of the best kind.Nov 7 03A few days ago, I gathered some pumpkin seeds and scrapings, placed them on a Rubbermaid container lid for the birds to feast on.  Our lovely JaneE (nearly 22 years old now) loves pumpkin squash and I caught her eagerly dining on this!  She soon stopped and walked away to her little bench.  The Stellar Jays noticed this food and quickly made this disappear.  I noticed one of the Jays swallow a seed whole, snatched up another and flew away to rest in one of the trees!Nov 7 -06

Last year I only noticed one Stellar Jay in our yard .. this year there are 4 and they are such beautiful birds.  If only their song would match their beauty!  Happy to see them pick out the peanuts I leave for them.  Nov 7 -04

It is the first week of November and I still haven’t planted my garlic.  This week I will definitely plant a small patch just to enjoy their growth.  At one time I really wanted lots of property so that I could grow lots of organic garlic to sell.  Plans change and now I am content to just plant a small amount.

As all gardeners know.. the peace and tranquility of a garden soothes the soul and the joy of watching plants grow, the love of watching the interaction of the birds has an energy unlike anything else.

Sometimes I wander outside, a little overwhelmed by the work that needs to be done.   After giving JaneE her treats, and filling up the bird feeders, checking on the hummingbird feeders to make sure they have enough for the day .. I wander around, with my mug of strong Yorkshire Tea .. looking at the various areas in our garden.

And I truly surprise myself (time after time after time!) at what happens next.

I move a few plant pots, tie up a few wandering berry vines and soon find myself involved in changes that involve a different way of using the yard.

Loving the idea of creating private garden rooms and not wanting a permanent structure anywhere .. I am always thinking of a different way of doing things.  And so happy at the results.

This year I’ve placed two arbors (from Lee Valley .. not the expensive types) in the garden about 5 feet apart … and next year will plant a string bean tunnel!

And I have quite a few planters with bamboo and am playing with them to use as green walls in another garden place.  It’s funny how I’ve been focusing on just one area of the yard, forgetting about others and now I am re-discovering these sort of forgotten areas.

And mulching the seaweed that my pal D and I gathered a few weeks ago with straw from the summer and leaves raked last week.   This will make lovely soil for next year and also provide a place for the birds to peck away, looking for the insects that will live there.

Love being in my garden.

But now, off to practise my fiddle and my singing as I have another voice lesson soon!  Loving this also!

🙂