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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Oh joy .. green beans can be juiced!!

We  have had a fair bit of sun and rain this year.  Long hot spells finally cooled down lately and for that I am grateful!   The days are getting shorter  .. no longer does the sun shine till 9 pm but starts setting around 7:45 … what we’ve taken for granted as long hot summer days are slowly preparing us for fall weather.  But.  It is still officially summer until Autumn comes knocking at the door.  So I will continue to revel at the sight of the most cheerful of all flowers … the sunny Sunflower!

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For a change of pace .. here is a b/w of yet another sunchoke!  I’ve read that you cannot gert rid of this plant and I believe it.  Over the past few years I’ve dug up the knobby root and listed it for free with lots of happy people who love this.   This plant resembles a sunflower but is much taller, with smaller flowers.   Argh.  Not that I dislike this plant but I would rather have more sunflowers.  (and in some part of Victoria, someone is thinking the exact opposite!)tuesday-2

This is the largest of my squash that is actually fruiting.   It is a close up photo and the squash is actually only about 3″ in diameter.    Frosts are in the distant future and there is still about 7 weeks of growing.    Exciting to wait and see what will happen.tuesday-3And alongside this plant .. there are a few other hopefuls growing away.  I added some lovely llama manure to all the plants yesterday so hopefully this will give them a boost.tuesday-4And the beans grow steadily onwards.  These are some Scarlett Red Runner beans … growing from the apple tree branches.  The flowers are so pretty and the bees and Annas love them.tuesday-5A quick glance at these two plants and it appeared as if the squash flower was devouring the bean leaf.tuesday-6I’ve been trying to train this squash plant around the garden screen ..sort of a success .. it will be interesting when the squash start growing .. to see if they will hang properly from the frame.  Yet more beans in the background .. growing along the stakes in the ground.  More Scarlet Red Runners to the left. They are everywhere.   If you want instant privacy in the yard, grow pole beans!!tuesday-8I had placed a variety of (saved) squash seeds throughout the yard and they all grew .. along with any seeds that were in the compost.  Even if I don’t get any squash from these plants, the flowers add so much beauty and nectar for the bees.tuesday-7And yet more beans (Cherokee Trail of Tears, Spanish Musica, Blue Lake Bush beans, Annie Jackson Pole Beans) this morning I picked a basket of beans .. went inside and thought .. omg .. the freezer and fridge freezer are both full.  I cannot cram another  batch of apples or beans…. what can I do!

Then .. I wondered .. can green beans be juiced?   Yes .. the internet resounded loudly.  Not only can they be juiced .. they are full of vitamins and minerals.  So good for you.

I almost broke down and cried I was so happy!!   A bountiful year for beans and now I can juice them!!!   So I did just that!   And the nice thing was that there was very little pulp left in the juicer!

Not being someone who follows a recipe, I threw in some carrots, celery, lots of beans, a few apples .. and soon DH & I were sipping on the delicious juice!  Forgot the ginger, but will add that tomorrow.

So happy!  JaneE Kat wanted to go back outside a few hours later.  She, being a cat, envisioned more treats and so that was her motivation to meow at me to get on outside.  So I did.  After giving her about 3 to 4 sets of treats, I set about picking more beans so I could juice them tomorrow.

Despite having meticulously picked through all the plants for beans this morning, I still found even more this afternoon.  Oh I am so very happy that I won’t have to freeze them any more .. but will just enjoy them in a juice format!   DH is very happy also as I won’t be overstocking the freezer.

Despite the perfect storm for growing food this year (hot weather, lots of rain) … I know that it is the combination of the lovely Llama manure (no medicines used!) and the EM (effective microorganism mixture that I mix up) that create such happy healthy soil for everything to grow in.    Also, seaweed that I have gathered.  If I run out of seaweed, I just use liquid seaweed.  Same stuff without the bother.  🙂  Over 60 minerals adding richness to the soil.

There is nothing like the magic of a garden to focus in on the beauty of life.

🙂


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It rained .. yea!!!

Yesterday morning . I opened the curtains in the kitchen to see …. rain!!  Yea … I can go and play in my craft room today!  But .. as usual .. the rains stopped .. I went outside with JaneE Kat and spent some time wandering around the yard.   Graceful droplets of rain on the sunflowers ..

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Not sure if there will be any squash from these plants, today is the first of September, but in the garden, you just never know.  This strong flower promises sturdy squash ..

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Annie Jackson Pole Beans … the first of many .. .. growing in clumps of 3 beans ..

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… and groups of 2 beans ..

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Dainty flower of the Annie J beans ..

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Scarlet Red Runner flowers ..

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And the S R R beans growing away .. this one is a little out of focus ..and I had only noticed this one and now I see a few others in the background.  Surprise beans .. the best kind.

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A little bit of sunshine created this subtle bit of leaf art ..light and shadow .. both are powerful and necessary for contrast.  Can’t have one without the other (as the song goes)

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This Buddleia is a cutting from an original plant.  It struggled to grow in a shaded yard, reaching up to the sun, flowering at the top.   I took a cutting and planted it in the sun and oh my .. did it grow!  This plant towered in the back corner, it grew so big and flowered so much that the main stem couldn’t bear the weight so it broke in half.  I pruned it to the ground in the spring and just a few months later .. it grew to 5 feet tall, thrived and burst into flower.  Nectar for the butterflies and Annas.  I will definitely prune this soon, so it won’t become too invasive for the other plants in this spot.

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Another Buddleia … the Swallowtail butterflies just love this one and that is why I hadn’t pruned it in the spring.  As a result, it crowded out all the other plants with negative results so I really had to prune it quite extensively.  There were still many flowers for the butterflies though and I see that the one stem that remained had also burst into flowers.  I know that the Buddleias are considered invasive in some areas but aren’t a problem in my yard.

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Tomatillo plants growing in a few areas of the yard … from plants grown years ago.  I know that I won’t get the fruit this year but can’t bear to just pull up the plants.  Much nicer to let them grow as long as they want to.   The flowers are so pretty.

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The leafcutter bees have been industrious as usual.   I actually saw one a few years ago.  Buzz .. buzz and then it was gone.  I’ve had Mason Bees for a few years and quite enjoyed the process of caring for them.  Unfortunately, my last batch of them weren’t strong enough to break through their cocoons so only a few males hatched.  I purchased more from a garden store, but same thing happened.  So I decided to just go with Ma Nature and it turns out there are many bees in the yard.  The Leafcutters in particular are very hard workers.

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Love the flowers of my favourite bean .. 2 colours .. do the flowers start out yellow and end up white or are there 2 different colours??   The allure and mystery of the bean world.

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A tiny patch of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans.  There is still a month of warm weather and I have every confidence that there will be a heavy crop of these beans plus a few pods for seeds for next summer!   Dainty little flowers.

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And yet again, the daily crop of Spanish Musica beans ..

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Such a variety of sunflowers throughout the sunny areas of the yard .. always cheerful and inspirational …

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Darling little JaneE kat .. taking a break from her sump-pump showers and demands for her treats!

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Finally .. after weeks of hot sunny weather .. a day that started out with rain.  This meant I could run to my crafts room and play with my beads and wire.   As any crafter is well aware .. what starts out as a tidy work area soon becomes a muddled (creative) mess of beads as I try out one idea after another.  Lately I haven’t had much time to organize so yesterday I took advantage of the rain to do just that thing.

I have talked with other creative souls and this is the norm.  Plus it is kind of meditational to re-organize things like wire, findings, beads, etc., into a sense of order.  Labelling containers, rearranging the pegboard.   All the time .. ideas are swirling away in the subconscious which will manifest themselves at a later time.

Time spent also leafing through my old violin books .. re-reading yet again how to hold the left hand without a stranglehold grip.  Playing the fingering movements .. remembering that it takes time and lots of practice and remembering that again and again.

A busy day and a fun one .. always!

🙂

 


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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.

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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:  http://www.annapolisseeds.com  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 ..

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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 ..

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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 ..it works miracles.

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

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Comfrey flowers for the bees ..
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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!

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Picked this up at Michaels last week .. excellent!

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A seed planted in a pot and lookee here!

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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!
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Spanish Musica beans .. very tall pole beans ..

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Little Anna in one of the apple trees ..

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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 ….