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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Either in the sky or on the ground – there is a lot of beauty to be found!

Graceful dancing skies .. swirling .. twirling .. dance of joy above us ..thursday-16

Mystical – ephemeral – can you see the two faces and the arms entwined  ….dancing .. flying …

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On a more practical day – these clouds are ready to fly you away … however, we took the plane instead.

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And soon we were up in the air .. .along with all those lovely clouds!

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This plane is so happy it is smiling .. see the big cheerful grin!     Liking this plane a lot.

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4 Nanchang’s flying formation .. a beautiful sight to see .. but even better would be to be sitting in the back seat!  DH & I were able to do that a number of years ago … simply Stupendous!!!!thursday-02

 

Back home .. in the garden ..here are all the Pyracantha berries that I clipped from the gigantic leaning Pyracantha shrub that I pruned a few days ago.   That is a lot of berries!

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And I’ve spread the berries over two large drying surfaces .. here is one:  Luckily we have had sun for a number of days so the berries have started the drying process but there is a long way to go yet.   Looking at the weather forecast, rain is predicted starting tomorrow sometime so I’ll have to move these inside the house to help them in the drying process.  Once dried .. I’ll save them for the winter months so the birds will have a treat!thursday-13

A  sweet Sword Fern .. oops .. I see ivy that needs to be pulled up.  It started off as a tiny little plant many years ago .. I remember planting it!  Now it is a monster that needs to be eradicated.  We have struggled with pulling this invasive plant out but obviously need to continue.

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Nature is delicate .. I love how this fine strand of a squash plant is seeking support in the most gentle way ….

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I wish that I could wire-wrap my jewellry crafts as uniformly and tidy as these strands!!

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Some Red Delicious apples .. so pretty to look at and so tasty to eat!   And drink when juiced!  And most likely scrumptious in pies!!

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Little baby girl, JaneE Kat … sleeping in the sun .. my garden cat!

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Some of these beans are just quirky.  this bean was growing in lots of space, unimpeded by other beans, yet it decided to twist things up, as it were.

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A number of weeks ago, I’d inadvertently knocked off the flower of this tiny little sunflower.  As magical as nature is .. the plant continued go grow and is sporting a tiny little flower again!!

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One of the joys of bountiful pole beans and sunny weather!

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Summer is still officially here (I think) and I can see the signs of the approaching Autumn … which is sending us little signals that it is heading our way.

The wild and crazy pear stock tree is starting to show colours in the leaves .. no longer a solid deep green, the oranges and burgundy colours are starting to appear and the leaves are beginning to drop.   The pear trellis disease is not showing up much now .. lots of good soil, EM (effective microorganisms) and llama manure have given strength to this tree.   So much so that it is dropping tiny little round pears!   Some are tasty and some are tart.    After  about 30 years, it is nice to see that this tree is getting healthy again.

A few of the Blue Lake bush beans and Spanish Musica beans are starting to show yellow.  Some of the squash leaves are showing the spots of mildew (I clipped and discarded these).  And I trimmed back the superfluous leaves of the self-planted tomato plants so that the energy could go to the tiny fruits.  Next year, I vow, I will actually start some tomato plants early!   ( I promise .. I will do that!)

Today, while the sun shone warmly and I gathered an enormous amount of beans (for juicing) and the occasional orange tomato (to ripen inside, in a basket) .. .I realized that the days are limited for summer enjoyment of the garden.  Soon the rains will start.  There will be the warm sunny days again ..but these special hot days .. will be, for the most part, just a memory.

Autumn will take over and along with that come the chores to tidy up the garden.  Finally sort the pots.   And to decide which plants need to be placed in slightly larger pots for the winter.   Time to remove the plant saucers so that the rains will just flow through the plants and not stockpile in the saucers.

Cooler days to trim  branches.  A time to sort garden items out .. some things to give away and some to keep.

Time for more mugs of Yorkshire Tea.

 

 


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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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Something new to think about and what to do with all those apples???

Our Red Delicious apple tree has never had such a crop before, the branches are bending nearly to the ground with fruit.  I seem to remember that there is a bumper crop every few years and don’t expect this to happen next year.  It must tire the tree a lot to produce so much.

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I’ve begun harvesting the apples, ripe or not just to try and lighten the load of the branches.  Have been thinking of juicing them and putting the juice in the freezer for later.  Organic, no pesticides (never).   Have been looking at various budget-wise juicing machines to do this.   Where the apples are exposed to the sun, they are nice and red.  And delicious.

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Yesterday I spent some time hunting in my little bean forest.   Noticed the disparity of size in these beans, all on the same stem.  Two tiny little beans growing beyond the two mature beans.    Spanish Musica.  There will be a lot of seeds for next year .. I’ll share these with friends, as always.

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And again, with the tiny beans growing beyond the mature pods.  And see .. blue skies above!

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Growing happily in the bean forest .. I see a squash and think (hope) it is a spaghetti squash (love them).3337

Here again is the Clematis that I’d pruned back a few weeks ago …it grows at least several inches every night .. soon it will be climbing like crazy over the little arbour!  I can see the plant tag still there .. easy to see now that the majority of growth has been removed.

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Don’t be shy little sunflower .. it’s growing in the bean forest and knows where the sun is!  A helpful garden spider is taking a little rest on the leaves.  What adventures must be happening in this place all during the day and the night when I’m not out there to see.

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Loving the difference the sunshine makes and the leaves are soaking up the energy to help the plants grow.  3340

I have a very tall Bay tree in the back yard.  This lovely tree provides privacy, shade and flavouring for food.   Yesterday I just stopped to admire how the sunlight created  a tiny thread of light around the leaves.3341

Sun and shadow create poignant works of art .. fleeting and beautiful .. happy I was standing there at that particular moment of time to see this.

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Oh .. silly little bean .. trying to be art deco or something like that!  Definitely heritage seeds .. I guess there is one in every crowd, eh?  It was delicious, thank you bean!

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After a relaxing chunk of time hunting and picking at all the bean plants around the yard, I came into the house with a fine harvest.  All rinsed, dried, chopped and in the freezer.  Ready for some quick meals.  And I discovered later, as I was doing this preparation, that some of the beans are definitely meant to be saved for drying.  The beans in some of the pods were becoming quite firm.   I’ll pay more attention to my garden labels next time I pick the beans.  I definitely like the Blue Lake Bush Beans and will save some seed for next year.    These beans have long, round pods, quite crunchy and delicious.  Prolific also.

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Sweet and cheerful.  Planted by the birds.  Enjoyed by all.

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How lovely ….gentle skies above ..3346

The birds are spreading this diminutive flower everywhere .. plus it self seeds like crazy.   The insects love it so I’ll let it flower and then pull them out before they start seeding again.  There are many in the yard.  They started appearing a few years ago (those birds!)

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I’ve been looking at a marvellous dance site:  https://balletespressivo.com/    I was entranced with their dancing as it looks very strong and very creative.   They welcome adults, including adults who do not have ballet experience (that would be me!!!)   This type of (to me) folk-dance/ballet attracts me and if I were 3,000 miles closer, I would be very tempted to register with them.

Yesterday, they posted a fb entry which included the term “embodied cognition”.  This seemed quite interesting .. so I had to do some research and love what I found out.

There are quite a number of informative sites with information on this subject and here is a simple explanation that I found on one of them:  “Embodied Cognition is a growing research program in cognitive science that emphasizes the formative role the environment plays in the development of cognitive processes.”

Here is the excerpt from the Ballet Espressivo fb posting:  ”

From Canadian Living, August 2016: “Retrain Your Brain” by Lesley Young

” The Bad Habit – “I slouch.” …psychologists have proven there is a direct link between how tall and proud we stand and how relaxed and in control we are on the inside. It’s called embodied cognition, and it indicates how at peace we are.”

We can help you!

http://www.balletespressivo.com

and here is the link to the Canadian Living magazine article: .. http://contentsmagazine.com/articles/creating-for-the-brain-in-the-body/

 

I found this to be terribly fascinating .

Well .. on with this most marvellous sunny day!

🙂

 

 


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Musical Spanish Musica Beans, tasty tomatoes and inspiration from the garden (yet again!)

So here is a photo of one section of the area beside the house that I recently renovated – neat and tidy when I first did this area and over the years overgrown with bluebells, morning glory and fallen leaves & rose petals.   Refreshing, really, to see it tidy once again.   A lot more to go before it is finished, but inspirational to have tidied it up thus far!  And again, motivational and meditational.  05

And you know that good ole saying “stop and smell the roses” .. well I did!  This rose bush is old, I planted it about 30 years ago.  Don’t remember the type, but it does have a faint scent.     Bonus, it grows like crazy and doesn’t need much water at all …. I suppose because the roots are so deep.

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Love surprises in the garden .. yesterday it was this delicious little tomato!

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Kale growing all over the yard and letting the seeds go to ground for more plants for the winter!01

Spanish Musica seeds growing like crazy.  Kinda funny that this one resembles a musical note and I’m learning how to read music!

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I thought these were dry beans until I read what type they are.  Turns out that they will be delicious when harvested young like this.   And, as it is never too late to learn and undo a cooking habit .. yesterday I discovered (online) that beans are best  when placed in a large pot of boiling, slightly salted water and cooked for only 3 minutes, then tossed with butter.

And there are many other ways to finish off the beans but this suits us fine.  Nice and simple.  Although I may toss them with tiny tomatoes & slices of garlic from the garden.  Quite a change from the insipid way I had been preparing them – placing beans in a small pot with cold water which I then brought to a boil .. resulting in all the goodness being cooked out of them.  Never again!

DH loves them the new way which is great as I do not plan on freezing my crops of beans ..just plan to enjoy them every day!

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Tenacity of the squash .. quite pretty and very strong.   I look forward to seeing the squash when they start to appear on the plants!

Absolutely stunning are these plants in the light of the sun .. all from a little seed .. fascinating and humbling …nature has it all ..

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This year has been a bumper crop of fruit.  Here, one of the plum tree’s branches was so heavily laden that it cracked and broke .. I cut away most of the wood but this branch remains and will be removed later.  See the new growth from the branch?   Resilience, strength, renewal.

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Another surprise squash .. seems to be many of them in the garden .. nice one!12

And of course .. the tendrils are reaching out for support, beginning with the surprise sunflower.

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Some flowers on “my favourite bean” .. these grow in a group of four, and each one takes their turn to commence on the next step to create a bean.  A bean a day!

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And finally, the Spanish Musica bean .. online, the length of the vine is purported to be 6 to 7 feet.  These are at least 15 feet and still growing .. reaching out for support.  I’ll climb the ladder this morning to try and train them to grow on a neighbouring tree.  Inspirational?  You betcha!

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Time to finish household stuff, practise my violin, and then will literally run outside to enjoy the day.  It is a bit overcast today so it will be fun to get things done!