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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
So I tipped the ice out and added some water for the little birdies! To drink and perhaps have a little bath.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
Here’s another photo of that beautiful Hellebore ..looking lovely against the grass of yesterday!
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!
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!)
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Stellar on a bamboo cane … a striking bird.
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!!
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!
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!
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!
Tiny little lupin flowers .. soon they will be at least 3 feet high and the bees will be buzzing!
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!!!
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!
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!