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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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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The beauty of nature and the magic of the garden …

One of the zillion positive items from Cannor Nursery!   Does your mind boggle at the thought of all the happy activities that can constitute a day?  And with joy and abandon?  🙂

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Jane E Kat knows!  She’s perched on her little bench, awaiting yet more treats and .. at the same time .. being, oh, so cool!  She does that very well.

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Last Saturday we went to the Beachhouse (a most wonderful, fantastic and amazing restaurant that you will ever find! )   The food is divine.  Service is sublime.  And the view .. well .. breathtaking.  Here is the website:  web site

We were so very lucky to get a window seat!  A great storm was predicted and we were looking forward to seeing the waves!  We weren’t disappointed.  The trees on the beach were waving wildly  …

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And the waves were steadily getting wilder!   Note .. this isn’t a shark fin .. it’s a branch or something.   🙂   🙂  🙂

mon-16The waves were a constant .. and slowly building to a crescendo … (what is a crescendo, anyway, 🙂   )  sounds veddy dramatic, dahling …

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So ..  back home .. today (Monday) was rainy, rainy, rainy.  And that was so fine with me .. finally .. a day where I can focus on indoor stuff.   But, again, the sun came out .. so JaneE Kat and myself went outside.  I added more food to the bird feeders, gave JaneE some treats and then ventured around the yard to see how things were going.  The leaves of a blueberry plant caught my eye.  They looked to be so strong, so textured, so beautiful.mon-20

And this hot pink geranium flower bore the droplets of the recent rain and they were just so pretty …mon-10

The skies overhead were so joyous and free .. mon-13

It was a joy to see these clouds after the grayness of the day …

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I looked around at my potted plants and saw this self seeded Tomatillo …I grew them a few years ago and the seeds are in the compost, scattered about the yard.  They started rather late this year and I didn’t expect to see any fruits.  The flowers are dainty and good for the bees.  And the pods are just so pretty and graceful.

So I was quite surprised to find this tomatillo fruit on the ground .. positivity .. I will dry the seeds and plant them early next late spring/early summer!

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Perfect place to put my mug of Yorkshire Tea whilst I am looking for pretty things in the garden .. right???  🙂mon-15

Ah .. love in the garden .. these two Kentucky Wonder beans are intertwined and look so happy .. such is the wonder of the magic of the garden!mon-14-2

Most darling Bewick Wren in the wild and crazy (Pear stock) tree!  I think this is the baby!!  So happy to see this one!mon-06

The male Downy Woodpecker .. I ran out of suet, so sorry!  But he still likes the sunflower seeds!  (and thank goodness, these are still non gmo!!!)

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One more sunflower for the road!  I have noticed that the birds prefer the unshelled sunflower seeds and avoid the more expensive shelled sunflower seeds!  So I won’t be buying any more of the more expensive shelled types!

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And the lovely Gold Crowned Sparrow .. I love their songs and welcome them to the yard for the winter!!!

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And yet more beans from the bean forest!  I’ve been dehydrating them for winter soups and stews .. what fun!!!

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The weather here in Victoria has been a delicious mix of sun and rain.  I love both so either one gives my joy.

With the rainy weather, my choices of activity are diminished  .. from “playing outside” to “playing inside” my options are clear and easy.  ( for a Libra this is great)

So, seeing the rainy exterior, I had settled in for a lazy interior day.  Then the sun came out and I would have been a crazy fool not to have gone outside.   So that is where I went.

And filled up the bird feeders.     Picked beans from the bean forest.  Gazed at the birds.  Watched Jane E.   Looked up high at the overhead sky.

Soaked up the beauty from the skies ( oh, my) and just enjoyed the heck out of being outside.

🙂

 


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The Gold Crowned Sparrows have returned. The bees are busy .. and the rains have arrived.

A few days ago we had really artistic skies .. like this one ..

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and this one ..

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Yesterday .. these were a memory as the weather was changing, getting ready for the rain that started falling yesterday evening.  sigh.

So I wandered around the yard, looking for interesting happenings that I hadn’t seen before .. this spider’s web had a lovely sheen of rainbow haze which I couldn’t quite catch .. nonetheless .. quite beautiful.

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I had scattered some French Marigold seeds throughout the bean forest and had completely forgotten about them until, searching for beans on the Blue Lake bush beans plants, I noticed this Marigold!  Ready to flower so that will be pretty to see and more nectar for the  bees!

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One of the sunflower feeding stations which evidently is being visited by an assortment of little winged friends who visit.

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I love the weathered look of this sunflower .. seeds nearly completely gone ..

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Diminutive sunflower shyly peeking out ..

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Looks like the leafcutter bees are still active .. they are good pollinators ..

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The Gold Crowned Sparrows arrived in the yard on Monday … fresh from their long trek from Alaska.  I find their loving bird-song very comforting and was so happy to hear them.  Here is a link with more information and sound tracks of their songs:  https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Golden-crowned_Sparrow/sounds

When they first return it is challenging to find them, but they soon overcome their shyness and are more evident as they look for food in the yard.  Because it is still technically summer, I don’t put out much food – but I knew it was going to rain so distributed small chunks of suet and birdseed in the feeders for them.

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Loving the light playing through the bean leaves …

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This patch of beans was planted very late but peeking through the vines I was happy to discover these beans.  More will grow ..some for juicing .. some for saving seeds for next year.

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Another surprise Nasturtium growing away at the base of the bean plants.

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And another one ..

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Simple beauty .. bounty from the bean forest …thank you my garden ..

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Loving the surprises that are tucked away!!   Exciting to see how long this little squash will grow .. it is mid-September now.  I’ve just checked several online sources for the fall frost date and it seems that Nov 5 is the start, here in Victoria, BC.  So, there is still a month of growing to happen.  Lovely mix of EM/llama manure and lots of rain with sun dropping by will result in magical transformations!

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Yet another surprise squash healthily growing away, tendrils reaching out for support – there is a lot of that in the bean forest!friday-20

Bees are busy .. glad the flowers are there for them

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Time to leave and find another source of nectar ..

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As quickly as the bee buzzed in … it was gone.  Life is busy for the bees.

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A line-up is happening over at this squash flower.  Normally I notice, when there is a bee in a flower, another bee just leaves to find another one.  Perhaps this little guy was just tired and taking a break or perhaps it sensed that there was more nectar than the first bee could handle?

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So satisfying to see such a myriad of happenings throughout the yard.  There are still other areas of the yard to finish organizing and to observe what is going on.  For now, though, it is the growing portion of the yard that attracts my attention so I will stay with that.

Rain and sun for the next few days.   I’ll take advantage of the rain to do some indoor things today!!!  Soon I  will be entering my creative world of artistic endeavours – crafting away some bracelets of beads and wire … that the sunshine and outdoors drew me away from.

🙂

 


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A Few More Pics of the Mineral & Gem Show & Back to the Garden!

So here are the rest of the pics I took on Friday, at the 2nd Annual Victoria Gem & Mineral show at the Pearkes Arena .. when the light shines through this, it is stunning!

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Who knew there was such a diversity of quartz …

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I could have asked how these were shaped – but that would have taken the mystery away.  The skull to the left of the pink quartz was intriguing.

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Purple Haze (reminds me of the Purple Haze lavender farm at Sequim!  I was all set to go there but my passport had expired .. wah .. )302

For some reason, this made me hungry!  It just seemed to be so edible, like a slice of bread or a cookie.

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Lots of love and  $$$$$  tied up in minerals …

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Now these really caught my eye .. at first I thought that these were sculpted metal .. .however, they are created with varying gauges of fine silver and gold wires.  So very beautiful .. I tried to take some closeup photos of several “works in progress” but couldn’t get clear views with my camera.  This young artist is fabulous .. I couldn’t find a web site for Drala Designs … but there is an e-mail if you would like to contact him:  icjakobll@gmail.com  .  Since I’m always curious and always seeking knowledge, I searched for the meaning of “Drala” :  A Tibetan word, “drala” means “without aggression”. When you invoke drala, you begin to experience basic goodness reflected everywhere – in yourself, in others, and in the entire world.

Here is one pic that is clear .. showing some wire in progress.

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Such beauty ..

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Bamboo, Bead & Bling …love that store.  Amazing free jewellery classes: http://www.bamboobeadsandbling.com/

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I’m not into gold but if I was, here is a bargain! 311

Sigh .. and it is back to the garden .. to watch  my beans growing.  These are Spanish Musica – delicious and a “bazillion” beans on each plant.  I plan to just keep serving these up and not freezing them this year!  (well, maybe a few!)

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It’s been a bumper crop of fruit in Victoria .. we have 3 different apple trees and I’ve been freezing chunks of apple (washed, put briefly in a sea salt water mix) spread on parchment paper on a tray in the freezer and then bagging them for tossing in a roast in the winter.  And lots of applesauce, yum, yum!!

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Bzzzzeeeee ….I will look at this photo in the winter and dream of these happy summer days in the garden.

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My s-i-l gave me this Irish dirt years ago and I must use it in a pot .. one of these days .. there was a packet of seeds somewhere .. .I’ll have to have a search for it.   Anyway, just another gardening moment .. Sometimes I have to just stop and look at what I’ve been doing … getting lost in the rhythm that is creativity ..

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My darling little JaneE Kat .. she will be 21 in December!  Little Garden Kat …

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Yesterday was quite a windy day …really strong gusts continuously . . a sky shot to say “salut”

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The joy and magic of a garden is so fun .. it seems that one day I’m planting a seed and just a short time later, as in my lovely beans .. there are 8 foot plus vines growing up to the sky and I’m surrounded by the vital energy that surrounds them.

Speaking of energy, a few years ago I heard about music for plants .. how it helps them grow.  I believe this and think my music (that I always play) in the garden affects everything that grows.   A good subject for tomorrow!

🙂

 

 


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Enjoying the beauty of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans … and other beautiful growing plants in my little garden

My pals, R & D & I went seaweed collecting last week … we carefully chose the seaweed that was battered and torn up … nothing fresh and growing.  Anyway, part of our ritual is to stop for lunch at the Little Vienna Cafe in Sooke!  Delicious food .. happy atmosphere.  We sat outside and there is the most marvellous water feature there …

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And if you happen to have an old wooden boat handy on your property and are at a loss as to what to do with it .. here is an idea!  Plant a garden!   Hmmm … wouldn’t it be lovely to see garlic growing away in this? (I love garlic!)

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Such magnificent blue skies.  I love blue skies and take a zillion (seriously!) photos .. so many, in fact, that D suggests that I create a “Cloud” blog .. well, that is certainly food for thought.

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A crow flying overhead … just one crow!  Where are his buddies?

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Definitely eye candy overhead on a sunny day …

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And here is eye candy of another sort .. out in the garden …

06There is always one in every crowd .. you know .. the one that stands out and seems to say “it’s me .. see me” .. in a nice way, though!

07Lovely Clematis flower … soon it will be time to sleep and rest during the fall and winter months.  Ready to spring forward and bloom anew in the warmer seasons.  Thank you for adding to the magnificent beauty in my backyard oasis.

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How lucky am I .. strawberries are still growing away and it is the end of September.

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With the promise of more berries to come.  Way to go, strawberries!

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More of Nature’s garden art .. how delicate and sweet ..

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Doesn’t this make you smile?  I don’t cut the sunflowers down .. just let them grow away and provide food for the birds when it is time.

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I love these Cherokee Trail of Tears beans .. they are a very vigorous plant and the vines are super tough ..and talk about fast growing!  I had put out a few tall stakes, however, their rapid growth caught my by surprise.  I was concerned that perhaps their intertwining might mean not so many beans, but as you can see, that is not the case!

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Their diminutive flowers are so gentle and calming .. funny thing for me to say about a flower, but that is the sense I have when I’m outside, admiring them.

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So I’ve learned yet another thing about planting beans!  Planting these Tiger Eyes bush beans next to the Cherokee Trail of Tears was not such a great idea as they quickly became shadowed out.  However, a few pods have grown so I will save them for seed for next year.  When I’ll plant them in their own area!

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See how the Cherokee beans grow right up through the trees!

016Yesterday was a most beautiful sunny Sunday.  And I was able to spend the complete day outdoors!   I spent so much time wandering around .. soaking up the beauty of the flowers, beans, vines, plants.  It was just such a wonderful day.

And I finally spread around the seaweed that my friends and I gathered last week .. it was getting to the stinky stage and I put lots in the compost containers and dug in the rest into the garden soil .. with lots around the pear stock tree!

I dug up a brick path that I’d installed last fall .. to create a pathway in the veggie bed.  Time for change.  My gardens are all about change and moving things about.

Anyway .. time is speeding up and I have my exercise group to join .. so more later!

🙂


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I felt like a country mouse in the city .. happy to be back in my lovely little yard ..

I love Nasturtiums and it is a good thing for they have been growing like crazy all summer.  Something else that loves them also are aphids. I hose off what I can and depend on the Ladybugs to feast on the rest.

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Some late season raspberries .. they were a surprise!  I love garden surprises and I am going to mark this plant with a ribbon so I can differentiate it from the hundreds of others that surround our yard.

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Lots of insects in the yard .. this was a strange one and I was able to take a few photos before it flew away.  Wonder what it is??

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Spider basking in the sun .. enjoying a break in the daily routine of living in the garden.04

We went to Vancouver a few times recently … I felt like a little country mouse in the big city

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I was so happy to be back home .. in our yard .. admiring the beauty of the Crown Peas (Heirloom).  To dissuade the hungry sparrows, I tied some cd’s to sparkle in the sunshine  This seems to have worked .. since they have stopped dining on the shoots.

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Dainty sprigs of Sweet Annie growing softly … graceful plants.  This year I’d started them, ever so carefully, in single cell plant pots.  Next year I will just throw little amounts of the tiny seeds throughout the sunny parts of the year.  They will grow taller I think.

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Mmmmmmmmmm … blue skies, wispy clouds .. still seems like summer .. I like it!

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Little baby squash growing randomly in the yard … I learned another lesson the hard way this year.  It is very important to rinse the soil off the squash, once picked.  And rinse in a very light bath of water and some bleach or peroxide to avoid mould growing.  I’d picked a sweet little orange squash a week ago.  Enjoyed how lovely it looked.  Of course, I hadn’t rinsed it.  And DH went to move it from the tea towel it was resting on and noticed that it had seriously started deteriorating.  Sigh.  But not this one, though.

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Sweet darling little Bush-tit .. I think this is a female, can just barely see the yellow outline in the eye.

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The yellow is more evident in this photo.  This is a bird that would not live in a cage.   Freedom in the wild (as wild as can be in urban areas).  They are the most joyous little birds, singing as they whirl into the yard .. never fail to make me smile.  Thank you …

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Teasel .. the seed that keeps on growing now matter how much the plants are pulled.  Pretty plants although the bracts along the stem are a trifle sharp!  ;l believe they were used to comb wool in long ago days.

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Loving the light shining through the eucalyptus tree …I think this was mid-afternoon.

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A close up of those lovely Crown Peas .. I love their delicate beauty.

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Cheerful sunflowers all throughout the yard .. brightening up all the corners .. lovely!

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Hearing the raucous cries of the crows flying overhead ..  stopped to look up.  They are so brave in a group and here they are chasing a hawk.  This continues for a while and then they slowly disappear from sight.

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A short while later, the hawk has eluded the crows and now soars quietly overhead.

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These are the reason why the hawk often flies nearby … Passenger Pigeons are kept nearby.  The hawks are swift.  The pigeons .. not so much.

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More wispy clouds ….

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Now it is time to go back outside .. into the sunshine while it lasts .. a marvellous day to look up at the sky … harvest beans, tomatoes, the odd strawberry.  Dig around .. and think of ways to change the layout of the garden.

Oh, and another year of learning things in the vegetable garden .. but more about that tomorrow.  I just had to come inside and post a few pics.

Time now to fill my mug with a fresh brew of Yorkshire Tea.

🙂


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Oh my where has the time gone and I’ve been having fun and now it is the eve of my 65th Birthday!!

Well .. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and will repeat “where does the time fly to anyway”?

Back in March I thought I’d take a few days away from blogging and then things started happening, days passed, I missed my blogging terribly.

This is really my precious time .. when I can let my fingers fly across the keyboard and let my mind wander and dream and think and reminisce over the day and weeks gone by.  Decadent time .. akin to indulging in a sinfully rich chocolate cake.

I really do miss this .. and so I will continue.

And share that today is my eve of my 65th birthday!  Every birthday is wonderful and I think of each celebration as a new year in my life.  I am so lucky I know.  And I am so happy .. so I thought I would share some photos of things that bring me joy in my garden!    This is a tiny little tomato .. how sweet ….

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More tomatoes ripening on the vine … I usually don’t have great success with tomatoes but with the heat of the summer plus some organic molasses mixed into the EM that I watered the veggies with .. I seem to have been having a decent crop of tomatoes.P1070553

 

 

One of the many things I’ve been involved in doing this summer is creating glass garden totems . .here is one, beside the “sump pump” fountain (to drown out construction noise) .. I’ll blog more about my totems with lots of pics .. at a later date.

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Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Now, being a gardener and loving things that grow and attract  bees and hummingbirds .. why on earth did I only clue into these lovely beans this year?  I vow to always plant these beans for these most exquisite beings .. the happiness from seeing them visiting the flowers knows no bounds!  I’ll post pics later on, for I do have them.P1070571

The power of EM (effective microorganisms) knows no bounds.  Here is a potted up Bay tree .. I’d dug it up from one area of the yard and then just left it in a pot for a few months.  And so it seemed to have not survived .. until I watered it liberally with EM and look at this vigorous new growth.  Oh, I am so happy.   I’ll have to cut away the part that isn’t thriving but that is for another day.

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Baby Scarlet Red Runner Beans .. along with the joy and excitement of veggies growing in my garden is the fact that I now have a marvellous new camera!  I bought it in the early summer .. the Swallowtail butterflies were visiting the Buddleia and I so wanted to get some good photos (I’ll share them later).  I splurged on a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 30X Super Zoom camera … love learning about it as I go along.P1070586

Squash growing in the garden … from the compost!  Outgrowing the beans I planted in this section.  The random beauty of the squash, the squash flower and the clematis caught my eye ..P1070595

ahhhh … sometimes I’ve been forgetting to look up .. at the sky art ….what I would have missed!

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I’ve been growing tri-coloured beans in pots, they have been growing quite well.  As my pal D notes … the purple beans turn green when cooked.  Eye candy to a gardener, eh?P1070610

 

Clever birds know where the food source is .. as I discovered when I noticed the empty sunflower seed heads!

 

 

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Oh the delight of the Bush-tits as they joyfully swarm around the yard … cheerfully chatting away as they nibble at the suet …P1080362

 

This smartly capped Chickadee was nestled onto a bamboo length and I discovered too late that he was chatting away to another Chickadee which was only about a foot away from me when I clicked this photo!  Oh, they must have chuckled over that, when I realized this too late and missed the close up photo.P1080399

 

Oh, the magic of a garden .. to witness up close the amazing power of a plant to grow from a single seed …into the rampant elegance of, say, this squash plant.
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The scarlett red runner beans were growing merrily up the tripod of stakes and the sunchokes were just as tall .. they tower above me and I’m guessing they are about 15 + feet in height!  What wonderful privacy plants they are, don’t you think???P1080426

 

Scarlet flowers and tiny beans .. oh, Red Runner Beans you are so amazing!  Alongside this Peppermint stick grass (I love this plant too!!)

 

 

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Buddleia still flowering away .. butterflies and the Anna’s love them.

 

 

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A circle of sunflowers .. thanks to the birds who scattered the seeds …

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Up close …

 

 

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Some of the peas that the sparrows had been feasting on .. I dug them up and planted them in containers .. see how strongly they grow?  Peas are not fragile little plants, bless ’em!

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Surprise red strawberries .. these caught my eye when I was looking at the little squash.

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Well .. there you have it!

I’ve re-entered the world of blogging and have so very much to share and talk about.

For now though .. I just wanted to share some of the very many things that bring me joy.

And to share that I’m celebrating another Happy Birthday!

🙂