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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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.


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.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.


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 …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!


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!)


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!


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Has it really been a year??? Oh, and the magic is still in the garden. And .. today I went to the Rock & Gem Show at Pearkes Arena, Victoria, BC

Well.. my goodness gracious me.  (I’ve always liked that sentence and it seems appropriate to use it today).  I think that it is a line that was used many times in the older movies and it has a kind of gracious, civilized, yet .. homey feeling I think.

I just love blogging . .it’s been a very creative outlet for me which I began when I retired and that is about 5 or so years ago.  A time in my life when I could begin focusing my energies on things that I like doing.

Gardening is number one of course and in my first year that is what I did.  I started a small business “The Dog Walking Gardener” and actually worked for a few people and then I realized that I’d never in my life had this time for me so why am I trying to fill it up with working .. so I stopped that.  And worked on transforming our yard into a funky organic place and this has been ongoing and will stop when we move.  And then I will start again.

For those who love gardening .. and here I’ll speak for myself on this, cause there are many reasons why people garden.  I should really say .. for me .. gardening equals a strong reconnection to the earth, a grounding, as it were.  A way of channeling into my most inner, special, creative being.  I’m not being spiritual here.  I’m just stating the facts.

Today, I worked in my garden in the late afternoon .. it’s been terribly hot here and the sun has been very strong.  So when I went outside, with my mug of Yorkshire Tea .. I was just really wanting to get some good energy for moving things around.  I started out with our little JaneE Kat .. she’ll be 21 in December!  She sits in the stairway that leads to the basement, waiting for me to go outside so I can put treats on the pathway for her!  She is reward orientated.

Here is JaneE in our motorhome when we travelled to Hope, BC, to visit the Vancouver Soaring Club .. so beautiful and more about that later.  Anyway, she is getting quite comfortable with being in the motorhome, as far as she is concerned ..all that is outside is like a tv!

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Then, mug in hand, I moved around the yard, listening to the most beautiful soothing music from my IPod .. and I was watering another section of parched yard at the time.  I drifted backwards in time to when I was little … when I started a circular patch of sunflowers from a 5 cent packet of seeds, into our hard packed back yard.  I clearly remember the 5 cents and the happy sunflowers on the packet of seed .. and I have no idea where the packet came from .. I just seemed to have it.  The seeds grew and were beautiful and cheerful.  I was going to do that this year but somehow .. it didn’t happen .. there is always next year.

Here is sweet little JaneE, sleeping away on the outside stairs .. yegads how I love her.



Thanks to the hungry birds at the feeder, though, there are lots of sunflowers sprouting throughout the yard .. so I guess, in reality, they are making my dream come through!

Anyway .. it was a most beautiful chunk of time, watering the plants, listening to the music, drifting back in time and being extremely grateful that I have this bit of paradise that I have created .. that reflects my inner self and a space where I can just revel in beauty and appreciate the energy that comes from the growing plants.

For I have become quite enamored of beans!  The climbers that I planted.  The tiny seeds that I nurtured, which grow most magically into magnificent plants that twirl above my head .. reaching always for a place to grow.   Isn’t it so humbling that a tiny seed contains absolutely everything that is needed to morph into a plant that will give me good food.  Everyday I go outside to check on them.  The Annie Jackson Pole Beans, Spanish Musica, Cherokee Trail of Tears and my most favourite bean, which I call “my favourite bean”.  It’s heritage and special and I forget the name.  One day I’ll look on Salt Spring Island Seeds or from Annapolis Seeds at:  as those are the two places where I’ve ordered seeds from.  Excellent quality.  Crispy long pods that crunch when you bite into them!

This photo is for me to look at in the winter so I can remember how lovely it is to watch the beans growing on my makeshift garden ..


It’s been a busy day … and more about that another time.  About computers and the time spent getting new ones to behave, many trips to the shop.

Bees and sunflowers ..


Smiling sunflowers .. same flower one day apart ..

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This rose was dying until I gave it some water .. like a little love works miracles.


A lovely bit of fluff on some ornamental grass .. ethereal and so sweet .


Comfrey flowers for the bees ..

Squash growing in some sieved compost ..what to do .. I have tried repotting one of them .. they have grown so I must try to let them grow .. in another area as there is no drainage in this container!

018This is a great year for fruit in our city .. and here is an example from one of our trees!


Picked this up at Michaels last week .. excellent!


A seed planted in a pot and lookee here!


Scarlett Red Runner Beans .. this was a surprise plant .. I had looked at it one day and saw it twining upwards, perhaps a forgotten seed from last year and suddenly … beans!  They were delicious!

Spanish Musica beans .. very tall pole beans ..


Little Anna in one of the apple trees ..


And I’ve been spending so very much time this year with creative endeavours.  Today, this included two trips to the Rock and Bead show at the Pearkes Arena.  I spoke with such creative people and took lots of photos, which I will share tomorrow.

Lived in a creative manner .. life is stupendous and amazing and energizing.


till tomorrow ….






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Relaxing times and some things that bring me great joy .. throughout the year and every day, as a matter of fact!

Oh, doesn’t the time fly by sometimes, though!  I was taking a “few days” away from my blogging and how I have missed it.  This is my chance to write my daily thoughts, my dreams, my joy … and I love looking backwards throughout the year to see how my daily life unfolded.  My photos help me out a lot.  Sometimes life is so busy and so it is nice to look back and see what was happening.

Still having fun learning how to take photos with my Panasonic 30x camera … bringing little worlds up closer to look at:16And even closer … such tiny little flowers growing away ..


While in the back yard …I think this is little Squirrely’s daughter …hungrily munching on a peanut …they have to survive.  Little Squirrely was a frequent visitor to our yard last year – we haven’t seen her for a long time.   This little one has lovely white markings .


The new eco-friendly (aka bamboo) bird feeder is a welcome addition to the yard …  below is one of my impromptu “raised beds” planted with lots of garlic.  I was going to be more moderate in my plantings of Elephant (sigh, yes, a member of the leek family) and Kazakhstan garlic.  However, I ended up just going a little crazy and began planting like mad.  More photos in the next few months showing their progress.  Also, I’d learned in a garlic class that we shouldn’t plant sprouted garlic.  I was abiding by this wisdom until I saw the many sprouting garlic cloves.  And I remembered that last year I’d planted sprouted cloves in December that grew quite well so I succumbed and planted many more garlic cloves.13More eye candy .. a fallen oak leaf .. splendid in its natural beauty and natural surroundings.  I have a billion such leaves covering my garlic beds at home …..treasures, each and every one!


And then .. DH & I went flying … thank goodness for digital cameras .. I click away as the beauty unfolds ..


This was on Christmas Day … lovely skies …


We flew over the old racetrack .. soon to be partial development, part common gardens, I believe .07

Low clouds, fluffy and soft …


Sky art … lovely and fresh ..


Such beauty …


Time to land …after a number of circuits …



Well .. that is where some of my time has gone over the past few days.

Time to get on with the day.  Things to do .. one of which is quite important and that is to make a listing of the oh so many Heritage seeds that I’ve purchased from Annapolis Seeds, Salt Spring Island Seeds and .. drum roll…. Richters Herbs.

I actually visited Richters Herbs in Ontario, during November.  Having ordered various seeds from them over the past 30 years, I was thrilled to actually visit this venerable seed company.   And …. yes .. I did take lots of photos.  That is for another day.

Speaking of another day .. another Seedy Saturday is coming up in February.  I am so looking forward to volunteering in this annual event.  This year I shall purchase more Heritage potatoes … i grew fingerlings last year in large pots and they did grow well.  I took photos of each pot’s harvest as I unearthed them.   That is for another day.

Today is here and I’m up up and away!!!