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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A Saunter through Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and temporary bling on my fiddle .. oh, it was beautiful for awhile ..

Such lovely skies above .. more sky art which I love …

July 26 03

I love the “wear two different colour shoe day” theme .. so a few days ago I did that theme again, only this time I wore the lavender on the left and the green on the right!July 26 10

I walked over to a restaurant to meet with long-standing friends of the Coronation Street variety.  And I succumbed to the sweet pleasure of going through the beautiful Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Haven’t visited there for awhile and when I first retired, I practically lived there!  A most beautiful and tranquil place to be.July 26 14

Turns out this was a good time to be there … the walkers, groups, birders had come and gone, leaving only blissful solitude for awhile …July 26 13

Little birdies everywhere …..July 26 15

Oh I would love to have a yard like this .. no buildings to mar the view, no vehicles to crowd the roads …July 26 16

.This is where my little Hummingbird nest was recovered, after terrific storms had whipped the branches, causing it to tumble to the ground.  I used to love seeing the little mama zip into her nest, to settle on the tiniest of little eggs.July 26 12

The path meanders and I follow it .. so very happy to be there once again … so calming, so peaceful.July 26 11

Love the shadows on the boardwalk .. painting a temporary design on the wooden walkway, ever changing – ever beautiful.July 26 09

Seems that not so long ago, spring had just arrived, bringing with it the start of life on the trees and bushes ….which is rampant now, so lush and green.July 26 04

Having reached this boardwalk section .. I know that the exit is just ahead and I’ll continue on my merry way on the asphalt covered section of the Goose.July 26 08

Love this rock, unexpected and adds such a strong dignity and calmness, I feel.July 26 07

Feels marvellous to be here …July 26 06

Tranquility ..July 26 05

A few weeks ago .. I just had to embellish my lovely new violin with sparklies ..July 26 19

I just had to have bling on my fiddle so I covered the surface and the sides.  Even my bow didn’t escape this madness .. knowing it was best, I removed the bling and thought I would take a quick pic as a reminder.  There must be another way to add sparkle without damaging the finish and I will figure that one out at a later date.   It did feel great for awhile though.July 26 18

My special place .. where I practise my singing sessions, with the help of my tablet …July 26 02

Tiny little red dragonflies zipping about .. haven’t seen these lovelies before ..July 26 01

Ta da .. the skies seem to say …July 20, 03

Love the Beauforts from the ground and even more spectacular from up above .. when my DH takes me flying and we soar above the earth below.July 20, 02

Such marvellous decadently beautiful sky art …July 20, 01

Another beautiful day has arrived and I’m excited to go outside to see if I configured my  water timers correctly and the yard has been watered in four areas!  Fingers, eyes and toes crossed that it worked.

On with this most awesome and spectacular day!!

🙂

 


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Life is so wonderful .. soaring the blue skies, practising the fiddle and discovering that there is a National Two Different Coloured Shoes Day!!! Yippee

Magnificent skies up at Port Alberni last weekend  …on Sunday, the day started off like this .. clouds obscured the Beauforts and then they started to clear away ..July 20, 20

and the clouds lifted .. and lifted … to reveal the mountain range ..I love this happening …

July 20, 21

So, DH says, want to go for a flight?  He knows that he doesn’t have to ask me twice, so I quickly (and oh so carefully) scramble into the back of the PWU-6, being uber careful to only put my feet where there are supposed to go.  I settle in while my harness is connected and soon we are up in the skies where I love to be.July 20, 23

So much fun to be up in the sky .. closer to the clouds as they are slowly rising up from the mountains.  I am one lucky gal, I know!July 20, 22

sigh … I am so HAPPY …July 20, 25

Entering the final glide to the landing strip .. wah .. I want to stay up there, but no thermals up there, save for the tantalizing resident thermal that always pops up on the final glide .. oh you are such a tease, you are!July 20, 24

Flight over and DH continues with his aviation life and I settle in to pursue my loves .. one of which is the fiddle, relaxing here with some of my favourite hats!

July 20, 06

Besides my incredible learning lessons with my fiddle teacher, I have also purchased these books to further my knowledge ..

July 20, 07

I’ve also begun teaching myself the harmonica .. and my pal D has generously given me the “Chromonica” German made harmonica that was her dad’s!!!  So that is part of my musical education that I pursue.  A week ago, the #1 Blues Harmonica player was in Port, but alas I wasn’t able to go to the show.  What are the odds, though, that there would be such an entertainer up there.  Bittersweet that I wasn’t able to go but there will be other times I know.  Love the Blues.

Someone was practicing their chainsaw technique and wouldn’t this look fantastic in a garden!!!!!

July 20, 05Another one .. beautiful!!   I did  take some little wedge sections for my garden .. couldn’t resist doing that.July 20, 04On the way home, little baby girl was so sleepy .. and worn out from pacing back and forth in the car, she finally succumbed to dreamland.  Love her so much.July 20, 09

Back home .. admiring this most delicately flowered plant that I bought, it’s an Australian plant and I need to look up the name .. tiniest little flowers so very pretty.July 20, 13And the great scape escape.  I had a feeling, while I was hanging bunches of garlic to dry beneath the sundeck, that I may have missed a scape or two.  Proof here that I did!!   I could plant the seeds and in a number of years of replanting, I might receive a regular garlic.  Might just do that for the fun of it … but will need to clearly label the container!!July 20, 11

I now know that Clematis vines are not delicate little things.  Discovered this last year when I had to cut back this very vine, as it was getting mildew.  After a hard cutting, it flourished and quickly grew back, the daily growth progress was amazing.  Here the flowers are opening up and tumbling to the ground.  Nature’s beauty is the best.I July 20, 12

I normally do not spend a lot of money on shoes or clothing, preferring to buy plants and gardening things.  However, a few days ago, while out shopping, I stopped in to visit SoftMoc at the Hillside shopping centre.  The staff there are always so positive and friendly and I soon found myself trying on some Converse shoes.  And I fell in love with them.  The lovely clerk who was helping me out was wearing a lovely pair of naturally weathered black Converse shoes and I immediately loved the faded look.  They seemed to be shoes that were well made and worn with love.  I look forward to my shoes becoming weathered little walking shoes.   Anyway, after enquiring if anyone had ever worn two different coloured shoes and no, that hadn’t been done, I decided (with the encouragement of the clerks and a few customers) to wear a green and a lavender.   Confidentally I walked out of the store and everytime I looked at my feet, I felt energized, daring and creative.  This is what it is like to be different and I like that feeling!  I sent a photo to the Canadian arm of the company and I wonder how long it will take for others to wear odd coloured shoes (of the same type, mind you!) together?

July 20, 10

Well, I just did a bit of research, and as creative as this is, it isn’t new!  However, I am over the moon to know that I am not alone in this!!!      two different coloured shoes

ha ha .. .well … on with this day .. things to do and places to go .. at the end of my running around, I plan to play in the garden!  And tomorrow .. I will spend the whole complete day in the garden and not go anywhere else.  Sheer Bliss!!

And lots of Yorkshire Tea!!

🙂


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I Love Surprises in the Garden!!!

Some people have billions (really!) of Lily of the Valley (my most favourite of all flowers, ever, ever!) and I do envy them!  I’ve planted them throughout the yard and this is the first year that I can see them growing in little clumps .. I am so Happy!  Here are some growing away at the base of the wild and crazy tree.  A little fern is their neighbour.  Those green chunks of glass are slag that I uncovered in our yard .. many years ago (before our house was built in about 1937) there used to be a glass factory on ours .. and surrounding properties.  I love the glass.May 6, 01Sunshine on the Lily of the Valley leaves … sweet. May 6,02

Yummy swirling .. ephermeral  .. beautiful May 6, 23

The elusive little yellow bird that visits our yard daily.  This lovely little bird was about 15 feet away and this is the best photo I’ve been able to take.  (thus far)May 6, 03

A few years ago I was part of a group that were able to save some native plants and I was surprised to find this lovely Fawn Lily growing away, quietly, in a pot.  It must have been in some of the soil that I used and I will label and save this precious beauty. May 6, 22

I must have planted tulip bulbs years ago, they keep popping up everywhere!May 6, 12

Nearby some white Bleeding Hearts (what a name for such a pretty flower!) ..May 6, 13

Blossoms drifted onto a nearby branch ..May 6, 11

I think that there will be another bumper crop of fruit this year .. more apples to share with friends.  Fruit leather to make.  Dehydrated apple slices.  Applesauce!  thank you .. trees …May 6, 17

Squirrelly .. looking for some peanuts … May 6, 07

Wanton decadence .. cherry blossoms drifted to the mulch below May 6, 04

LIttle JaneE, sitting on her favourite little bench with some kitty treats.  She loves that!May 6, 08

Nearby, little Squirrelly nibbles away on a treasured peanut.  We all enjoyed some sun and tranquility for a space of time.  It was lovely.May 6, 09

Another of my favourite flowers .. Sweet Woodruff.  Grows in whorls .. easy to type but not so easy to fit into a conversation!  Anyway, dried, it smells like vanilla.  Eons ago (before everyone had showers) people would place a few whorls into a little container so they could open it and sniff the lovely vanilla perfume.  I’m just glad that we now have showers and can just enjoy the beauty of the flowers!  🙂  May 6, 19

Little baby girl, tired out and having a cat-nap.  She’s 21 and loves being outside with me.  May 6, 10

Every year I change the layout of my veggie garden.  And every year I misplace a garden tool.  No worries, I have lots.   This little trowel lasted quite well during the winter and spring and is in great serviceable condition.   May 6, 20

Yum .. more overhead decadent beauty …

May 6, 14

Sweet little garden fairy gently sniffing a nearby strawberry flower.  May 6, 18

As you can tell, I love my garden.  Every year I change the layout and this year is exciting!  I’m getting rid of my makeshift raised beds and am creating a special little secret garden.  A place where I can sit in privacy, sipping on Yorkshire Tea or a glass of wine.  Depending on the time of day.

To do this, I’ve moved the tubular forms that I used to grow beans on.   Placed them as a sort of wall at the back of the veggie garden.  About 3 feet in front of that, I’ve transplanted some delicious tall raspberry canes, to form a semi-circle.

Around one side of this area I’m transplanting white currants and gooseberry plants.

Then some tall bamboo forms for more beans to grow.  Some chicken wire potato columns.  Giant sunflowers.

I’ll post pictures as the plants start growing.  For the present, I need to go outside and dig up the remainder of my raised beds, dismantle the lumber and move the soil.

And as the day is lovely and sunny . .I must go now and continue with  my shape shifting garden!

🙂


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Getting Lost is Fun!

A few weeks ago, I was driving through Colwood, realized that I needed to change direction so I pulled into a little strip mall that I’d bypassed for many years.   Instead of just driving away, I decided that it was time for me to visit here.  There are a number of businesses there, and two of them caught my attention.  Hmm .. there is an Afrikan Market .. must check this out!

May 5, 02

May 5, 01

There is an abundance of beautiful and brightly coloured fabrics there!May 5, 06

Delightful head wraps ..May 5, 04

Lovely displays …Maya 5, 15

It was so much fun to discover the fabrics that were displayed .. happy and cheerful colours.May 5, 08

And some different foods that I hadn’t known about .. it is exciting to learn about other foods!May 5, 12

Shea butter is always good for the skin!May 5, 13

I emptied my coin purse to purchase one of these beautiful scarves (I chose the purple one).   Excellent quality and I love the sparkly glitter!May 5, 19

 

May 5, 14

Information on African designs ….May 5, 07

This book looks interesting …May 5, 10

Oh .. la la …suis-je en la France????

May 5, 09

There is glamour for those who love to dress up in bejewelled shoes!May 5, 18

There is quite a choice of fun clothing to choose from ..

May 5, 17

A diversity of colourful baskets and the prices were quite reasonable, worth a visit to this friendly shop!1

May 5, 16

The day was lovely and sunny with magnificent skies!!May 5, 20

Before I left this little plaza, I ventured into the second-hand shop and laughed when I saw these.  They might be considered antiques, but I remember them.  Am I an antique?  If so, then I am a most happy antique!!  🙂

May 5, 03

I really had a lot of fun shopping at these two shops.  Enjoyed friendly conversation and was grateful that I had to make a turnaround in this mall.

On with this most sunny day!  Time to plant potatoes in chicken wire towers filled with straw!

🙂


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Surprises and Magic in the garden .. what a fun place to be – all beneath beautiful blue skies ..happy is me!

Tis the season of blue skies and rainy days here.  Like .. yesterday!  The sun was shining brilliantly  in the morning.  I dutifully practiced my singing exercises, followed by my fiddle session.  These are easy to set aside for a later time in the day but I find that, when I do that, procrastination takes over, big time.  So .. I just focus on these 2 lovely sessions.

april 18, 12

When I did finally go outside, a slight rain had occurred and again .. there were blue skies overhead!

So my darling little Lady JaneE came outside with me.  She is my gardening cat.   Born in ’96, the year of the “big snow” here in Victoria, she literally rules the roost in our house.  We love her so much.  Anyway, she is waiting for some treats which I place on the steps beside her.  One of our gardening rituals.april 18, 08 (2)Sipping my mug of Yorkshire tea, I wander around the yard a bit .. this also is a ritual that I follow.  To see all the changes that Spring has brought to the garden.   And enjoy the sweet little songbirds.  Here is a little Golden Crowned Sparrow.. I love their songs and find them very comforting. april 18, 09

The Spotted Towhee .. another lovely bird, very shy but bold in colour.  They have a wide range of sound and sometimes they sound (to me) like the Bewick Wren!   april 18, 05

Sweet little Red-breasted Nuthatch … zooming in for some suet!   The trees in our yard are tall and provide nesting areas for many of the birds that visit our yard.   april 18, 04

The tall Oregon grape is flowering nicely .. cheerful yellow flowers brighten up a bit of the yard.   The leaves on the fruit trees are starting to grow and fill out.   Soon they will be accepted as a normal part of the trees but during this growth period after the winter, they are marvellous bits of magic manifesting in the yard.  I like that.

april 18, 07

Tiny little pink flowers on this perennial which I am pretty sure is an Escallonia …  april 18, 08

Flowers of a fruit tree.  I potted this up last summer, and am not sure if it is plum or cherry.   Guess I’ll find out this year!  More of the magic & a surprise to unfold.  Love the mystery.april 18, 06

I discovered this idea, to cut up (organic) seed potatoes, from a great youtube video of allotment gardening   This guy is just amazing!  Anyway, I have potted these up now and am waiting to see if they will grow and then I’ll plant them.  I have a few ideas as to how I will do that and will post when that is done!    A nice surprise for me last week .. was discovering 2 sprouting garlics!  Last summer I had tied up bunches of garlic to dry beneath the sundeck and these 2 must have fallen down! april 18, 01

I’ll pot these up in containers and look forward to harvesting them at the end of summer!  They are hardnecks, so more scapes for pesto!  Yumm april 18, 02

Last week I visited Russel Nursery in North Saanich, what a wonderful place for a gardener to be!  I was there at least 3 hours, which seemed like 5 minutes.  Everyone there is so knowledgeable and helpful.  This is one of a few wooden structures there that I totally fell in love with.  So much character and beauty.  A portal to the plant world.

april 18, 03

Another sky photo.  Such beauty for us to see.  april 18, 11

Hey, hey, hey!  Have I found the perfect gardening tea mug?????  Yes!   And yesterday I filled it with lovely Yorkshire tea and sat on the front steps to drink it and enjoy the greenery around me.   This lovely hypertufa mini-garden is the perfect place for it to be.

Many, many, years ago, I purchased all the ingredients to make one of these and life just became too hectic for me to accomplish this!   So I bought this one ready-made and love it so much.  Perhaps I will try again, this motivates me to think about that.

april 18, 10

This day is starting out in a gentle fashion.   Cloudy skies, sporadic rain showers.  Birds singing in the yard.

Time to get on with things,  Practicing my two passions.   The fiddle and the singing.  And then on to other things .. like the garden which is calling out to me.

🙂


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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!)

🙂


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A lovely long walk on a sunny day! Saw some planes along the way. And I made some earrings too!

Last Saturday was a lovely sunny day and so I decided to walk downtown .. I was looking forward to an earring workshop at the most lovely Bamboo, Bead and Bling shop downtown on Fisgard Street.  Normally I drive there but .. I really do love long walks so I decided to do that and proceeded happily on the Galloping Goose Trail.  Here is a section of it, closer to downtown.  Lots of shrubbery for the birds to hide in!a02

This section is parallel to Douglas Street, behind the Red Lion.  I love this stately portion of the trail . .these trees were planted many years ago.  When I worked downtown and biked to work . .this area was one of my favourites.  When the trees are in full leaf, it is a nice shady section and feels so European with all the greenery.
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This is near the Burnside area of town .. there are paths that lead to neighbourhoods.  More brush for the birds.  There weren’t many people walking here in the early afternoon.a14Paths are so interesting .. leading to areas unknown, adventures …mystery ..

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Just had to stop and admire the play of light and shadow on these young Arbutus trees .. warm and cheerful on this sunny day ..lots of leaf mulch on the ground.a11Nests can be seen, hidden away in the trees.  So much work was done to create these little havens for the spring-time babies.  a09Lovely surprises tucked away up high …when the leaves emerge in the spring, who would ever suspect that this nest is there ..a07

I often wondered, who is this man “Tom Arkell” and why was this side trail named after him??  Well, I discovered that he was an amazing man who worked hard for his community and here is one link that shares some information about him:  Tom Arkell

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And along that lovely trail flows a stream of water .. curious as to the name of the stream, I discovered information on  Cecilia Ravine .. (my middle name so this appeals to me!) a13

And a reminder, in all this marvellous beauty that is Victoria .. the waterways are work places for many.  See the high-rises in the background.  It is a growing city.  Vital, beautiful and welcoming to all!  a06

The Selkirk waterway … lots of activity.  Looking forward to those funky ferry boats that will soon be here.  So much fun to take a little ferry around the harbour and up the Gorge Waterway.   This is one of the boarding places.  We’ve taken the ferry to the Flying Otter and you can also stop near the Spinnaker Brew Pub.  Great food and the beer .. what can I say!!  Yum! a10

This is nearing the downtown area .. lovely native plants all nestled in at the base of these rocks.  Beautiful.  a05Benches provide a place to stop and rest.  Admire the view.  Sip on a delicious coffee from one of the nearby cafes.  Relax. a04

A tribute to one of our Best!  This is near the Burnside section.   a15

Up above …gentle sky-art that graced our city .. how lovely is this.  a03

On my way home .. looking up .. what did I see!  Two Nanchang airplanes setting out to play .. that was a treat.  I think there are at least 4 now … so impressive to see the group in formation and I count myself lucky when I see them.   Nanchang

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So I had a most lovely 2 hour walk on that day.   Blue skies.  Some birds.  Peace and quiet.  Saw some planes.  And I made some earrings!!  Not a bad day at all.    This is what I made at the workshop:  a20

And I liked them so much that I just had to make a few more pairs when I got home!  a21

And these!   a23I haven’t worn earrings for years but now that is going to change!  Lovely sparkly bling to accompany me on my walks!

Another fun day in my life!