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!


Leave a comment

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!

jan 2303

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!

jan2401

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!

jan2308

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!

jan2313

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!

🙂


Leave a comment

Oh I Wonder Where the Bewick Wrens Will Build Their New Nest? And .. Loving the Spring Flowers in the Garden!! Also, Speaking With a Friend is Very Helpful At Times, Don’t You Think???

The darling little Bewick Wrens .. their beautiful nest has been blown out of the hangglider bag twice already … so now they are building another nest somewhere in the yard.

P1320036

Last week I walked down to the Compost Center for a workshop .. loved the long walk and enjoyed the blossoms along the way .. here they are on Blanshard Street.  Spring is definitely here.

P1320078

And I’d just finished crossing at the lights, passed this and had to walk back and take a photo ..love these graphics!

P1320077

Back at home .. wandering around the yard, re-discovering some beautiful plants that I’d purchased last fall .. I’d always wanted a Hellebore and had forgotten this one!   Darling little plant .. I will put this one in a colourful pottery container!

P1320087

Muscari flowers .. tiny little bulbs that I’d placed in some pots last year .. flowering away like mad.  Diminutive but powerful in their graceful beauty.

P1320085

And the Salmonberry plants are bursting forth in bud and flower!

P1320084

Another of the many things that I love in this life .. is imagining that tiny little beings, faeries, dwell in the garden.  If this were so, then these Salmonberry flowers would be perfect for them to use as tiny hats, don’t you think?  Imagination is a fun thing.

P1320083

Lovely blue skies with dreamy white clouds gently painted over.  We’ve had some massive skies recently .. gigantic cloud streets of enormous white cumulus entities soaring overhead.  This photo isn’t from one of those days.   I could only look at those skies .. my camera lens isn’t big enough to do justice to those skies.    These I can handle!  🙂P1320071

Tenacity of growing things!  These little plants rested all winter and now are growing up through the burlap-lined pathways in the veggie patch!  The burlap will disintegrate and I have more to place on top of them for this year.

P1320069

The rose bush at the side of the house is sporting new growth .. this is a tenacious and lovely rose!

P1320057

I’ve been a bit reluctant to get back into my gardening – spending time on practicing my fiddle – it has become my new focus, temporarily replacing my love of gardening, beading, sewing, drumming!   After all .. there are only so many hours in the day.

Time passes so quickly .. I looked at my little music notebook recently .. I’d begun taking lessons in 1996!    Then my violin stayed hidden in its case for many years until I dusted it off last July and began again with a new teacher!

And I’ve been changing a few things about my violin accoutrements.. but more on that tomorrow.

Today I am happy because:

  • procrastination overcome and I’ve blogged again!
  • I’ve just spent a huge chunk of time talking with a friend about priorities so have set some for myself.  It’s a good exercise and I feel energized already.   Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, when things are weighing a bit on your mind and you could really use a friend to talk it over .. that friend appears in your life?
  • Because of this I’ve decided to “step back” a bit and spend more time on what really fills me with joy.  And tomorrow I will blog about that!
  • It is still Saturday morning and I’ve realized that Camosun College is hosting a plant sale at Royal Rhodes so why am I still in my jammies and not in my jeans, in the car, racing to the plant sale?  Just give me 5 minutes and I’m on my happy little way!
  • and finally .. I am happy .. just because  (cause ya don’t really need a reason!)

🙂


Leave a comment

The Darling Little Bewick Wrens are setting up house again ….

The amazing Beaufort mountain range just outside of Port Alberni …We were up there recently and I took a lot of photos and decided this one was the fluffiest for posting!   So beautiful!

05

Back at home, wandering around the yard with some sunflower seeds and suet for the birdfeeders (I only put out a little at each feeder) .. I noticed that there appeared to be a little nest being constructed in the old hang glider bag.  Some Bewick Wrens had built a nest there a few years ago, but abandoned it in favour of another location.   So here they go again.  I don’t know if these are the same pair or whether the young ones have found mates and are starting a little family.

01

I’d noticed two of them perching in the dwarf weeping willow a few days ago  here is one and the other wasn’t far away.

09

They are so very tiny and they were intently looking at something.  I found out today what had caught their attention!

08

Our cat, JaneE, insisted on going outside ..when all I wanted to do was practice my fiddle for today’s lesson!   Guess who won out .. cause ya can’t argue with a cat.  In particular, a deaf, 22 year old princess who rules our household.   I noticed what looked like a straw bowl, resting bottom up on the lawn … curious .. I turned it over and see what I found!  A Bewick Wren nest .. and notice the yellow flowers from the dwarf weeping willow!!!

02

All that very fine weaving in the construction of the nest!  I noticed a small piece of plastic film at the bottom of the nest … funny .. there was also a thin piece of plastic in the nest that I found a few years ago.  I wonder how long it took them to build this nest?  I carefully replaced it into the hangglider bag, tucking it in firmly, unsure as to whether they will return to this next or perhaps build another one?    This is so very precious, I feel honoured to hold something so fine, true nature.

03

And this is from a few days ago, perhaps the little Bewick was continuing to search for fine items to build the nest!

06

In another corner of the yard, the Downy Woodpecker is looking for food in the bark of the old apple tree.  Hard to believe that the tree can be termed old, when it just seems a few years ago that I planted it .. but it was over 30 years ago.

11

Here is our little princess .. the ruler of our household!   Little JaneE Kat!! 🙂

12

And little Squirrely came by.. searching for peanuts .. I threw a handfull of them around the yard.  And I chased them out of 2 of the bird feeders!!  The yin and the yang of it all.  Glad to see that this one is eating the peanut and not hiding them!

04

A few days ago I went for a walk that lasted for at least two hours, it included a visit to Lifestyles Market where I filled two bags with healthy groceries .. they seemed to get a bit heavier as I walked along!   Anyway, I’d never paid attention to this street sign before and it would have been perfect for March 17!!

10

It is now officially Spring!    And typical weather in Victoria is:  Sun, followed by rain, followed by sun … etc.,   Personally I adore the rainy days and find them to be comfy and relaxing.

There is a tremendous amount of tidying up to be done in the yard … I had the flue a few times and lost months of being able to do anything .. so now is the time to start at point A and work my way around the yard.  Accompanied with JaneE Kat, a few mugs of strong Yorkshire Tea and my music!   I love world music especially when in the yard .. and have lots of Nae Plans, with  Hamish Napier and Adam Sutherland to listen to .. over and over and over .. and also some new (to me) music by Kiran Ahluwalia …..

I look forward to spending a lot of time outside and have decided that I need to get up early so I can practice my fiddle for an hour at a time and then outside and then inside and then outside!  Whew, am getting tired already.

Well .. it’s Friday night and time to relax a little bit so that is what I will do!

🙂


Leave a comment

Sometimes it seems that the most interesting things happen in the garden when I don’t have my camera with me!!

Like so many other people this year – I have had a few bouts of the flu – which left  me uncharacteristically devoid of energy for quite a long period of time.  So I lived in my pyjamas … of which I have a few sets, which include a lime green  Sponge Bob Squarepants (I think these are my  favourites!!).

While the frigid winds took over the city, the snow made  a few visits and the rains poured down, there I was, all cuddled up in my favourite faux-quilts, alternating between bouts of coughing, sleeping, drinking more water than I have ever drank  in my life and wondering when I would be back to my normal over-active life!

Dreaming away of how I would change things in the garden .. move this, dig that etc.

Well, it finally happened …the flu worked through its course and I am once again feeling some of my normal energy … enjoying walks and watching the birds of all types.

Spent some time outside – just being still and watching a Bewick Wren .. 2 different days .. wonder if this is the baby from last year?  I don’t know enough about their habits so must look up that information.

One day the Wren appeared quite suddenly, a few feet away from where I was standing in the front yard.  He hopped around one our lilac bushes, just a few feet away from me .. flitting from branch to branch, pulling away mossy bits .. perhaps digging out some insects.  Then he went to the ground and pecked away .. back to the branch, a little stroll on the fence and then away to another yard.

The second time I was in the back yard, replenishing some bird suet when I saw him again!!  He (she??) seemed to accept my presence and so I just stayed and watched him for a precious few minutes.

Both times I didn’t have my camera and then I wondered .. is it a coincidence that I don’t see these shy little birds when I have my camera with me?  Of course, I don’t need to take photos of all the birds in my yard but I do like the happy memories when I’m looking through my camera at the end of the day.  So much happens in the yard and I don’t keep track of everything nor would I ever want to.

So I’m back to being my active self.  Exercising.  Clogging, working on my German language skills and practicing my fiddle.  Binge watching Acorn & Netflix (when I find interesting series) and playing away with my beads.

Currently I’m having lots of creative fun making chained beaded links – a very absorbing art form and I love playing around with the many ideas that keep popping up.

Loving life .. ever thankful and appreciating the happiness and joy that comes from pursuing interests that I love.

Just a few words to keep up my positive thoughts on my most interesting and magical garden world.

So maybe tomorrow I’ll bring that camera outside with me when I wander the yard, replenishing the bird feeders.  Who knows . . perhaps that little Bewick will come by to visit where I am .. that would be lovely.

🙂


Leave a comment

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?  🙂

mon-24

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.

mon-28

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  …

mon-19

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 …

mon-17

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 …

mon-12

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!

mon-08

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!!!)

mon-14

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!

mon-07

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

mon-04

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

mon-01

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.

🙂

 


Leave a comment

Happy photos taken during the sunny spring …..great memories and more to come! Yippee …

I was going through some photos that I’d taken during the year and the sweet memories started popping up .. my visual diary of happy days and things seen during my daily life!

Saw this sign posted at a garden shop and it pretty well sums up my gardening life when I’m out in the world, away from my garden!    I’m a magnet for perennial plant sales.

frid-01

From last spring .. beauty in all things ..frid-05

Cannors Nursery at the Sears Mall .. loving the decadence of their whimsical decorations.  Course I would never ever do that to my violin!!  🙂  This one looks like it has had a lot of adventures, wonder where it was played, by whom and what lovely music has been made when it was being used for its true purpose?  Did it go travelling or just stay in town?  Did the owners love it to death and practice every day?  So many questions.  Still, I like that it is a focus of the garden area.

frid-04

Last spring, Gold Crown Sparrow resting near a blue Camus flower – at Fort Rodd Hill.

frid-02

Miners Lettuce at Fort Rodd … lush and beautiful.  Great for snacking on .. .or make a salad .. lots of natural nutrition ..frid-03

Darling JaneE Kat .. sitting on the back stairs, her favourite catnip plant right beside her, ready for nibbling on ..frid-06

Salmonberry blooming away .. these plants are easy to propagate, grow quite tall and are very resilient.  The orange berries are tasteless and I think the birds love them as I rarely find any to munch on when I go searching.  That’s all right by me!   More food for them.   I do love the flowers though.frid-07

Sweet little baby Bewick Wren .. elusive little bird and happy to be able to get a quick photo.  They are nesting somewhere in the yard.frid-08

A few seconds later, he was perching on a branch of the apple tree .. listening to his parents calling and soon flew away.  Love these precious moments in the garden.frid-09

Delicate Rock Rose flowers …frid-10

Diminutive little flower growing along the ground ..frid-12

.. and a tiny little winged creature is dining out on an early Saturday morning in the sun ..frid-13

Magnificent Beaufort Mountain Range  and the stately clouds adorn it like a crown, how very fitting!frid-11

And so DH sweeps us away up to the clouds in the dear blue skies above … flying in the PW6-U …frid-23

Woo Hoo .. this is living …. miss this and looking forward to the spring when we can go flying up there again .. and again .. and again …frid-20

Travelling in the air is so magical .. it is truly another world and I am so very happy that DH takes me away to this special place .. Let’s see .. garden .. sky .. garden .. sky .. oh I have the best of both mystical and magical worlds I am so lucky!frid-20-2

Here is a great explanatory interview of the  PW6-U   The Pawnee is the tow plane, they were used for crop dusting years ago.

And this is truly .. truly .. so beautiful … enjoy this beautiful flying video, it captures the essence of ..sailplane flight up in Port Alberni … my most favourite video ever ..so perhaps you can see how magical this flying is and why I love it so much.

Anyone can go on a Scenic flight and have a taste of what it is like to glide high in the skies at the Beaufort Mountains ..

Sigh …

The fall winds have started and the leaves have started to rain down to the ground.  A change in scenery, wild and free.

I’m looking forward to going outside to see how the bean forest is doing .. and today will start leaving out a little bit more seed and suet for the birds who visit.  Yesterday I saw my first Junco so I’ll start leaving out the flax seed that they love.

The baby birds hatched this past spring will soon be experiencing their first winter.  I know that they are wild birds and will survive.  However, I can’t resist a little picture in my mind, of knitting them the tiniest of little scarves and sweaters from silky spider webs to keep them warm!

They will survive.  And I will support them by ensuring that I keep their feeders clean, give them good seed mixes and make sure there is a steady supply of water, even when the temperature goes down.

Well … time to go and start this day!!!

🙂


Leave a comment

Fall is approaching but there is still a lot of summer beauty in the garden ..

A lovely big dragonfly was zooming around the yard a few days ago so I thought that I would provide a drinking dish for it.  Pretty marbles in a dish with a bit of water.  I waited around for the return of the dragonfly but alas wasn’t able to see it.  Hoping it returned and, liking the colourful display, rested there for awhile.  There is a lot of activity  in the garden when I’m not there!w01Sweet little JaneE Kat patiently awaiting her treats!

w02

A fresh new birdfeeder is welcomed quickly by the birds.  Here is a little sparrow  – he has ventured inside and is now perched in the opening, checking to see if other birds are nearby.   He owns the feeder for now.w03

Give us this day our daily beans.  Non stop growing of all the beans.  I’m juicing these like mad as there is no more room in the freezer.   Maybe I could set up a road-side stand in front of our house??  🙂w04Fall really is approaching.  The daily dance of the wild and crazy tree (pear tree stock that has grown like mad over the years) results in a potpourri of the leaves being scattered throughout the yard.   The pear trellis rust is nearly gone.  Thanks to all the healthy foods I’m feeding the tree with.  EM, llama manure, seaweed, nothing but the best for my garden.w05Lots of self-sown tomatoes.    So dainty. w07More sunflowers ready to burst into bloom.  w09Lots of flowers everywhere for the bees.  w10Lovely to see the flowers of the Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Prolific beans and tasty.

w11More of my “favourite” beans .. pole vines that grow up high, into the trees.  Nice crunchy beans & delicious cooked or juiced.  There will be lots of these seeds for sharing so others can enjoy them  next summer.

w12

Just a handful of beans picked – Spanish Musica, Blue Lake Bush, Scarlet Red Runner and my “favourite” beans.  I like using these round baskets as my “picking” containers, have had them for years and have no idea where I got them.    Anyway, some days I go outside and pick 2 full containers of beans.  Morning and afternoon.   I’m honestly so surprised at the bountiful growth of these beans.   And I swear they hide on me sometimes.  I feel like the great “bean hunter” as I carefully search for them in the bean forest.   There will be a great supply of the Spanish Musica beans also, for sharing.  There must be at least 30 pods (with many seeds in each one) hanging way above my head, too far to reach so I’ll just let them stay on the vine and let the pods dry .

w13

Eye candy for me to enjoy during the cold winter months – inspiration to start planting as soon as the spring starts.  Next year I’ll plant the squash and beans a little earlier than I did this year (mid-July) so that the squash plants will have a chance to grow more fully.

w14

More aerial looping by the beans.  Now why on earth is this bean doing the twisty thing?  No obstacles in its way.  Just being silly I think.

w15a

ta da!  Very strong tomato plants that grew from the compost that I put here.   A very sturdy plant with lots of tomatoes.  I’ve been clipping away surplus leave so all the energy will go towards the tomatoes themselves.  Last year I grew those tiny patty pan squash in this oak container and they grew very well.  This year tomatoes  are growing here.  Next year .. potatoes?  tomatoes?  who knows.

w16

I know that the season is nearly over and I won’t get tomatoes from these flowers, but the bees will savour the nectar.w17

This is the time of the year for gardeners to tidy up the yards and get ready for the cold weather.  So I’m doing all of that also.

And I am also spending a lot of time just wandering around the yard, admiring the growth of the plants.   Thinking about where to move this and that.  Mixing up the rich compost with poorer soil.   Gathering up all the plant saucers that were so needed during the hot weather, so that all potted plants watered would retain some moisture for the roots.  With the fall rains coming these are no longer necessary.

Watching the bird activity – welcoming the fall visitors, like the Gold Crowned Sparrows back to our yard so I can enjoy their beauty.  Placing some seed in the feeders .. not too much as there is a lot of food available to them naturally.  Enjoying the Nuthatches as they dig out insects from the trees.  Listening to the Bewick Wrens as they sing their unique songs from hidden areas in the trees.  Loving that.   I still have their abandoned nest from a few years ago ..and know that they are nesting somewhere in the yard.    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bewicks_Wren/id

Such an interesting place is my garden!   So many things to see and enjoy.

Magical, energizing and fun!

🙂