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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Bees, blue skies, the perfect wine glass and relaxing in the garden

With blue skies above and a day full of magnificent sky art above .. I finally finished all my indoor stuff and raced outside!!!

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The Spanish Musica vines are now officially beyond my reach.  Any beans growing higher than this will be dried for next years plants.   I’m going to have lots of seed for that!   Have to be careful as there are tiny little beans growing just beyond these two that I’m plucking from the vine and as each bean is so precious I don’t want to ruin any of them.

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I’ve only grown beans for a few years and am always learning from them.  Each type, it seems, flowers in a different manner.   The S. Musica has the “one bean a day” approach.  That is .. there are two flowers at the join of the vine, one matures first and grows a tiny little bean .. the second one waits a day or so before the bean starts.

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See … the bean on the right is smaller than the one on the right (which I picked and ate!)  Beans are fun to pick .. it is fun to hunt through the  vines to find them!  I like to pick them when they are mid-size .. but  .. sometimes it is challenging to find them all and quite often seem to find the larger ones tucked away out of sight.  Could they be hiding from me?  I wonder …810

My favourite bean!!!  So crunchy and delicious.  The vine is covered in flowers so there will be lots to eat and many seeds to dry for next year.  Always, for gardeners, there is next year.  We love the heck out of this year .. but there are always plans to do things a little differently, perhaps.804

Trying to bring a bit of elegance into the veggie garden .. I put this tri-screen next to the bush beans & squash plants and am training the squash vine to grow up and around the frame.  Soon the frame will be hidden and the squash will be soaking up the sun all day long.

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And day three of the clematis vine shows the rapid growth of this vine!  Yesterday I posted 2 photos taken a day apart and was amazed at the swift growth overnight.  I continue to be amazed.  The vine now is reaching for support and soon will be covering the arbour again in all of its splendour!814 (2)

Having been admired for weeks by me and much visited by the bees, the sunflower is now morphing into a feeding station for the birds.  The transition to forming seeds has begun.

An interesting thing happened just as I clicked this photo.  As I was standing up, I caught my boot in a burlap bag (I use coffee burlap bags on the pathways, to protect the earth from being trampled on).   Somehow I caught the tip of my boot under a layer of a bag and found myself floundering, arms akimbo, mind going ” ????” as I scrambled to grab hold of something.  You know the crazy feeling.  At the same time I didn’t want anything to happen to my precious camera .. so as I (gracefully??) fell to the ground I somehow found a way to gently place my camera on a soft surface.   What a weird experience.   And I vowed to pay attention where I place my feet when traipsing along.  Humbling and a reminder to be focused!807

While standing in the shade of the bean vines, happily listening to the loving music of Adam Sutherland’s music (Squall) I noticed this vigorous squash growing amongst the vines.  Quelle surprise and a nice one at that!  Where did that one come from?  The fun of gardening.  Adding to the fun are the self-seeding plants from compost spread around the yard.  Kale and tomatoes are growing everywhere – what fun!

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More quiet time … again .. standing by the pots of Scarlet Red Runner beans, background noise quiet for a time … I listened to the rustle of the leaves as a gentle breeze swept through the yard ..  the sun shone down and I just basked in the peace and joy of watching the magic of nature.   No matter what technology exists .. this is really where its at.814

On to another flower .. gonna be a busy day for this little bee ..

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A buzzing i will go .. a buzzing I will go .. hi ho the Derry-O .. a buzzing I will go ….

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JaneE sleeping .. smiling ..  happy dreams …I wonder if she is dreaming that I’ll be getting more kitty treats for her?   Cause I did do that later on!!

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Later on, I looked at the little sunflower growing in the midst of another bean patch and liked how the sun shone through the petals ..

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It’s been such a hot summer here and there are so many projects yet unfinished in the yard.  I get lost in the rhythm of watching the plants grow, listening to the birds .. and then end up (as always) getting involved in a project that I had no idea I would be doing.  The one I found myself doing yesterday was beside the house.

A few years ago I’d restructured the back of the yard (photos taken when I started blogging).   Intensive work and I’d sieved the soil from half of the yard – with the result that I ended up with quite a large quantity of stones and pebbles.

These I used along the side of the house … where bluebells and morning glory were ruling that space.  I dug up everything, put down a few layers of  landscape fabric and “artfully” added all these stones and everything looked nice and tidy.

A few years later and the accumulation of falling leaves, rose petals and assorted garden debris took its toll and what was once pretty was looking sad and abandoned.  So yesterday I began the task of changing all that.

I began removing the stones, clearing away the plant debris, repositioning the landscape fabric and replacing the stones .. and what a world of difference.  I’ll take some pics of the before and after, just to give myself a pat on the back!  Once this project is done, I have a feeling my enthusiasm to proceed on my other unfinished projects will return.

With music playing softly in background, mug of Yorkshire Tea nearby on a tree stump, aware that JaneE was sleeping away on the back stairs .. I let myself enjoy the meditational activity of the stones and the transformation of this area.

Later on .. on my trek to Michaels .. I found the perfect wine glass!!  🙂  I didn’t buy it but it was fun to imagine!

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Another fun day  …oh . and the skies were still beautiful as I walked along ..

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🙂

 


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some winnowing, some winter sowing summer seeds, some blue skies .. all is well

So I’m just posting the final photos from last Saturday’s Seedy Saturday!  Remember this winnowing machine?  First one I’ve ever seen and it was fun to see it operating!

28So I participated in the hands-on seed cleaning session.  And here are 2 of the framed screens that will be used to screen out chaff and any material that is not seeds.

40The instructor used leek seed-heads for demonstration purposes .. I think that there were about a dozen of these used.   She rubbed these vigorously against the screens.  btw, these screens are made with stainless steel metal cloth and are at least 10 years old (maybe more!) They are well made and look new.  Here is a link that shows a variety of the metal cloth:  http://www.twpinc.com/wire-mesh-material/stainless-steel

41The seeds are very sturdy and the resulting seedless flower heads look very brush-like and I believe that they could be used for making paper or something equally as useful and decorative.

42Many hands reached in to separate the seeds from their husks.

43Soon, there was a pile of the seeds and chaff ready to be sorted!  Someone operated the crank handle, which in turned, started the rotation of belts and the seeds fell through this opening and exited the winnower, sending the lighter, weaker seeds out one side and the heavier, more robust seeds out another!  This was repeated a few times ..until …

44ta da ..the cleaner seeds remained!  I gained a lot of respect for all the organic seed producers who must go through this process to prepare the seeds that we buy from them.  Quite a difference from saving seed at home!

45Back at home, a few days ago, we had the most beautiful skies!  Haven’t seen them for a few days, but I understand that they will return this weekend.  Yea!

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Oh, I am so happy that I have this Sea Buckthorn ….. it will grow to 25 feet and how I would love to plant it now .. hmmm. .. perhaps I will !!!!

54I understand that there is a male and a female plant.  The label doesn’t say so I don’t know which one I have.  The buds are quite strong.  I’d had this plant grouped in the shade last year and now that it is in the sun .. it seems much stronger.  We all need the sun, plants, animals, birds, humans!

55Here are 3 types of willow cuttings starting to grow in this pot.  If I planted them, which I might, then they will grow to 10 feet tall in one season.  Perhaps I will plant them also!  And I have a lovely story to share about where I obtained them.  But that is for another day.

53I have the most lovely coffee burlap bags to use in the garden.  They really are too beautiful to use .. each one has a history.   They are perfect for putting on the ground and on pathways.  They are organic and will break down, adding to the soil material.  I’ve also read that they are good for red wiggler composters, so I’ll cut up some sections and put them in my rw composter.

51I am also going to use some of them for growing containers .. for potatoes, beans, peas …they will stay in one place for the whole growing season.  Perfect.  Although I was tempted to try to make shopping bags out of the burlap – after searching for information online, I decided to not go down that path.  I have enough with my glass totems and my soaps.  More about those two passions on another day.

50And here is my little hard covered notebook where I have diligently scribbled when and what I have planted in my milk jug and salad containers for my “winter sown – summer seeds”   .. and here is a UK website about that:  http://theseedsite.co.uk/wintersowing.html

Also, I just had to take a photo of the latest batch of seeds that I recently purchased.  The Planting Project seeds are from the same business that held the winnowing session.49Well, it has been an overcast past few days here .. and I’ve wanted to go outside, but it looks so gloomy that I’m not inspired  However, when I do go outside,then I realize that the weather isn’t that bad and I do some type of chore .. whether it is holding up gigantic stalks of bamboo, visualizing giant red runner beans growing aloft (and hiding ugly nearby buildings) or peeking into my containers of seeds to see what is growing .. there is always something to do.  Or just stand and gaze at the sky, stand motionless and watch the antics of the birds.

Retirement has given me the luxury of doing what I want when I want.  sigh.  I’ve spent, oh so many.. years .. rushing around 24/7 and it’s kinda nice to get off that merry-go-round and relax.