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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Despite the short summer, it’s been a delight in the garden, busy and happy times. Spending a lot of time looking at the skies!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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August will only be with us for a few more days and I will miss this end of the summer.  Our summer was only two months long and it really was wonderful.  Once the summer heat began and the race was on to grow things in the garden.

I must admit that I hadn’t prepared my veggies for growing, depending on purchased plants.  The proverbial “next year” sounds good to me right now!  Well, next year, I will start in the spring to prepare the seedlings for planting.   And … next year .. I will prepare little plastic houses for the tender plants.

This year, though, I am quite happy with the results of my garden.  I definitely have one pumpkin and see a few others growing .. I still  have another month for them.

And my cucumber plant has one cucumber, slowing maturing.  It might be the only one. The basil plants are limping along.  The lettuce is producing daily.  Sweetpeas, late, but strong.  Flowering and producing seeds for next year.  Lovely plants.

My friend D has given me the most lovely planters … quite ornate, open metalwork, with coir linings.  I dug through the soil and found some lovely sparklies and a little yellow lizard amongst the soil .. treasures!

I’m going to dig up some kale and put them in these containers … so they will continue to grow .. and I can start shape-shifting the mulch pile where they grew all summer.

Blueberries are still fruiting .. I have some late bearing bushes.

I’ve also started decluttering my garden supplies .. and today gave away hundreds of plant pots and over a dozen propagating trays.   I had way too many .. how many do I really need!   And so it’s fun to share with fellow gardeners.

Tomorrow I plan to finish clearing out my garden work area .. to sort out what I need and what I can give away.  Feels great to do this.

I walked around my garden .. looking at the changes I made this year.   Feel amazed that I actually planted all the plants that I purchased in the past few weeks. . that is a record for me and feels like I’ve accomplished quite a lot … and I have!

Spent hours today digging up dandelions in the back yard.  Noticed that there were hardly any in the areas of lawn that were well watered and that there were so many in the drier patches.  Interesting.  I’ve put them all on a tarp, to dry in the sun and then I will add them to the compost bins.

The Italian prune plums are just dripping from the branches.  I’ve been picking quite a few.  Dehydrated some in the oven and quite a few were put on a pot to stew and then I’ll freeze some containers to use later as sauce for chicken or for a jam.

I’m quite enjoying this time of the year .. clearing up my garden areas.  Watching the birds.  I see the little Fox sparrow .. like a little sprite way up in the tree.

Yesterday and today I was treated to an aerial show of the Canada Geese as they flew overhead, en route to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary for the night.  I wonder if these are the spring-born goslings, all grown up …. preparing for their winter flight.   They sound so strong and fly so well … my heart goes out to them.  Theirs is a tough life of survival.    I know that a lot of people don’t like Geese .. but none have harmed me.    I’m smart enough to turn around and walk the other way when I’m confronted with them.  Their beaks are very strong!

I watch little Youbou out in the yard, vigorously scratching away with his strong right leg.  Hard to imagine that last spring he couldn’t walk on that leg .. for reasons unknown, despite the many veterinarian tests.  Luckily acupuncture was able to help him.  He’s no longer on Prednisone and has his acupuncture visits about once a month or so, just to keep him aligned.

The skies have been so beautiful to watch that it’s a wonder I get anything done in the yard when I’m out there!   In the spring I gazed upwards to watch the eagles and now I watch for the Geese and the ever-changing panorama of beautiful shades of blue and white.  sigh.

And finally, on Monday, I spent the day preparing my garlic for the winter.   Set up my outside working tables and began the task of untying the bunches of garlic from beneath the sundeck, where they have been drying and curing for a month.  Noticed that quite a number of scapes escaped me!  How did that happen, anyway!  I was so sure that I’d clipped every scape to make pesto!

Just like last year, I was sure that I didn’t have enough, but when all were cleaned up and put in baskets, I realized I have more than enough.  Enough to cull the largest for planting next month.  Enough to send some to my sister back east.  Enough for us.   Enough to share.   So I’m happy about that.
And the hardnecks have these little yellow cloves, they look like kernels of corn.  I’ve read that these can be planted for spring greens.  And I’ve read that they also can be grown for several years to reach the size of a garlic bulb.

Speaking about enough .. I started thinking about all the work I’ve done over the past few years.  Gathering oak leaves from properties.    Filling bags, stuffing them in my car.  Taking them home, starting the dance of moving them from the car to the back yard and then mulching them.  Ordering bales and bales of spoiled hay .. wonderful for mulching in the yard.

What if I don’t feel like doing that this year?

Well, I’m not worried.   Because I have 3 compost bins.  Lots of lovely soil already in the yard.  And I really and truly depend on my EM to save the day!    As long as I continue to prepare my batches of EM .. I will always have the most fertile, rich garden!

Well, I’ve been enjoying the days this week .. working had and accomplishing a lot.  Feeling quite pleased with the progress of my garden.  And looking forward to making more changes.  And taking time to watch the birds … listening to the cheerful little nasal chirps from the Bushtits, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Fox and other sparrows.  And the energetic antics of the Anna’s.  And hoping to get a closer glimpse of the Geese as they soar overhead.

Another lovely day!


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I drew the winning ticket! However, it wasn’t for me!

Monday, August 13, 2012

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We went to a car event on the weekend .. many hundreds of classic and stock cars of all kinds.  I took lots of photos, only to find out later that I’d accidentally smudged some sunscreen on the lens … so although I love the photos, they all have that slightly blurry effect!  Sigh.

As we were parking, dh pointed out the Martin Mars water bomber that was flying overhead, so I scrambled to take a picture and was able to take a quick one!  What a magnificent plane this is!  Wonderful to see it flying .. just for fun!

Several times on that day, Sunday, we found ourselves stuck in a long line of traffic … so during the first wait, I looked outside the car window and rested my eyes on the calming greenery of a little wooded area .. it helped me avoid the “argh” feelings of being stuck in traffic.  And eventually … traffic inched along and soon all resumed speed.

Beautiful weekend.   Lots of lovely skies.   Many birds sighted.  People in a holiday mood.

At the end of our day at the car event, we were on our way out and gave in to the volunteers selling 50/50 tickets and bought ourselves a strip of them.  We waited around to see if we would be the lucky winners.  The volunteers were busy tearing up the perforated tickets and mixing them up very well.  One of them called over to me and asked me to draw the winning ticket!  So, facing away from the large ticket container, I swirled my hand around through the tickets .. which one shall I choose?  Finally I plucked one up and handed it over to the gentleman in charge.

Woe, it wasn’t one of our numbers.  However, the money is going to a very good cause, so we are happy about that.

As we left the area, we could hear the announcer telling everyone the lucky number!  And I felt happy that somehow I was able to be a part of the connection in the outcome of the lucky winner!

It was wonderful being away and doing something very different from our everyday lives … on a sunny Sunday!

Today I spent some happy time in the garden . .visiting with my good friend D.  We spent hours and hours talking about creative things.   Good energy.

I happily showed her the changes in my garden since her last visit.  She has grown vegetables for years and so I ask question after question.   And get the answers that I add to my growing veggie gardening information bank.  I’ve really only started growing veggies last year .. so every year I get a little better.  Still haven’t tackled the whole tomato pruning thing yet.  Lots to learn yet.

Here it is, nearly mid-August .. we’ve really only had full hot summer since the beginning of July.  I feel as if I “should” be farther along in my gardening than I am.

There are half-finished projects here and there.  I have been successful in some things and have cleared away hundreds of gardening pots to give away. And washed (in the same water, so as not to waste) plastic bags that once held soil or manure.  Dried them in the sun and they are ready to take to the recycler.

Slowly, slowly, the hundreds of chores that I have listed in my mental “to do” list are getting done, a few at a time.

Recently, I’ve devoted many hours .. a whole day even .. to completing little jobs.  Like, one section of the front yard .. weeding, pruning, mulching.  Another involved one side garden .. that I am so happy with.  There are more to do.   And although I know that gardening will never be finished …I am truly enjoying the journey!

And tomorrow, I plan to get up real early and start again.

It is so tempting to just run outside in the morning, but, there are litters to be cleaned, floors to be swept, little daily household chores.  Better to be done with them first thing in the morning and then I don’t have to think about them till the next day.

It’s been a day!  Another great one, of course!

🙂


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A variety of things, including flying, gardening, mulch .. etc.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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So, August is zipping along.  Lots of gardening.  Lots of flying.  Now that summer is here in full force, it’s so easy to forget those cold rainy days.

Veggies are growing well.  I finally shovelled the last of the 5 yards of the miracle mulch and so the perennials have a nice soft blanket to retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

And yesterday, so lucky .. woke up to the sound of branches being buzzed and then ground up as a few neighbourhood trees were being trimmed.  These included an oak tree.

Quickly grabbed my mug of Yorkshire Tea and dashed out the door … and politely asked the working crew if I may have the chips!  Well, lucky me .. they said yes and I was ecstatic.  These are things that only a fellow gardener can understand!

So at least 1 ½ yards were gently deposited on a tarp in the driveway and I spent a few happy hours shovelling up this lovely mulching material and spreading under our first Christmas tree … the 2 yards that I placed there yesterday has nearly disappeared.

And I noticed that this tree only has a very few cones on it this year .. this means that the tree is not under stress.  Finally, I’m giving it the love and attention that it needs.

Once all this shovelling was done, I decided to clip some roses for drying.  But first, I:

–          Discovered that the branches of an old apple tree in the back were in my way, so went to find the clippers to trim away some of the ones that were at eye-height

–          Then I thought it would be a good time to drag out the soaker hoses for the recently updated side yard .. this took a good chunk of time as I sorted through the two sizes of hoses and too late remembered that I couldn’t attach the 3/8 to the 5/8 .. so undid my work and started again

–          Put aside a tarp to take to the front yard, to help when I weed that area

–          Became enthralled with the sight of the bees buzzing around flowers, so took pictures

–          Again, became enthralled with the skies up above and more time spent there

–          Took a few minutes to search for berries

–          Had a look at the various squash, basil and pea pods growing

–          Then finally I walked to the rose-bush, clippers in hand (after searching for a basket to hold the flowers) and finished what I’d wanted to start over an hour ago, that is, clipping roses

Then, time to go to the front yard and begin pulling out some invasive perennials .. they’ve served the purpose of greening up the yard, but time to remove these, fluff up the soil and then go shopping for some ferns and things to complete the woodland look along the front of our first Christmas tree.

And now I must go outside and continue what I started yesterday.

I forgot to mention that my work was stopped by a thunder & lightning storm …  heavy raindrops, thank you for watering my garden!

🙂