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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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 …

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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!

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

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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?

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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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Cheerful photos from those hot summer days.. to enjoy on this rainy day!

Sometimes .. there is a period when time seems to stand still .. and then it speeds up and before you know it .. a season is over and another one has begun!

Spring and Summer are like that for me.  One moment I’m all excited, planting flower & veggie seeds.  Watching them all sprout and grow.  Enjoying the enchantment of each living thing becoming what is what meant to be.  This is magic.  The long hot sunny days blur into each other, becoming an endless series of wonder.

Then the seeds, having grown into their potential, give us a plentiful supply of food, nutritious and delicious.   I’m still excited but becoming more grateful and appreciative.

Here is a spring photo of a Swallowtail Butterflying sipping at the nectar of the Budleia.  This plant I hadn’t pruned for years so it was massive.  After the flowers had finished, I cut it back thoroughly.  I know that it will again grow tall with many flowers for the butterflies next Spring.  These plants are amazingly resilient!

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Darling little JaneE Kat .. enjoying a peaceful siesta in the sun ..thurs01

A very hardy Clematis flowers over a little arbour in the garden .. the butterfly is enjoying taking a little rest on a flower .. how  beautiful and delicate this all is.   This Nature.  thurs-20

The first batch of peas ready to pick .. they were delicious!thurs-07

Dainty pea flower growing away … I hadn’t noticed before the graceful designs in the flower and now I see how gentle and magnificent this is.thurs-06

About 4 or 5 years ago, I’d planted some bamboo .. and had encircled the root system with heavy grade garden plastic.  Happy to see that this barrier worked to keep the bamboo well within this wrap and didn’t spread along the fenceline.  It was very easy to just lift the plant from where it was and then I divided it into sections and replanted them in large pots – to be replanted another day.  And I believe that this is the “clumping” type of bamboo, not the runner type.thurs-03

During the summer I participated in a few craft markets and here are some wine charms that I made for a customer.   I have many interests, thus many types of crafts, too many, perhaps.   I need a store!!thurs-05

A Spotted Towhee perches atop the wild and crazy tree.  Later he sang a lovely song ….here is a link where you can find all details of this sweet  Towhee  thurs-11-2

Hot pink geraniums in the yard …thurs-11

Hey .. more treats for me??? (of course, sweetie, all you want!)  My darling Garden Kat.thurs-08

The robust  bees love the Budleia too!  thurs-12

Wildflowers in a field … thurs-13

Translucent rainbow spheres of mystical delicacy waft towards the mountains .. are these tiny transportation orbs for the fae that dwell nearby?

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Majestic mountains .. I look forward to flying up there next spring!  My DH will be at the controls of the PW-6U and I’ll be all comfy, settled in .. happy to be soaring skywards!!thurs-14

The B-17 Bomber that visited the Victoria Flying Club in June of this year!thurs-09

During the lovely warm days of spring and the hot times in the summer, I love taking the photos of things that I love and never have enough time to stop and enjoy thoroughly.

Now is the time when I can relax, spend some time going through the photos, rediscovering all the beauty that flourishes everywhere.

And planning for next year.

Enjoying today.

Feeling a tremendous sense of satisfaction in my life and surroundings.

A great deal of appreciation, gratitude and joy.

Now .. time to go and check out my latest supply of apples, carefully prepared early this morning and distributed in the 6 trays of the dehydrator!    Treats for snacking and for sharing!

I feel like the little ant who worked so hard preparing for the winter and enjoying the process!

🙂


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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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Surprise strawberries, magic growth of the clematis, and thoughts on music

What a difference a day makes!   I did a hard prune on a clematis plant a few weeks ago. I took the photo on the right 2 days ago and it shows the new growth on the Clematis.   Compare that to the photo on the left that I  took yesterday.   All the new growth overnight (that is when plants do their growing!!)   Impressive.   Some days I feel like I’m making that kind of progress as I practice my violin ..not always … just some days and that feels great that I’m making some kind of progress and not slipping backwards.

A lovely flowering plant (whose name tag is somewhere!) in the front yard, flowering away.  I’ll bet the little Annas are visiting this one!

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Some of my garden bounty from yesterday .. all the tomatoes are self-seeded.  The green ones ripen in a day or so and taste very yummy.    A few more Spanish Musica beans .. prolific beans they are!707

 

Little JaneE Kat at her sump pump water fountain!   She likes the water that spills over and I think she really likes having her little outdoor showers in this hot weather.  Once she is sprinkled with millions of sparkly water droplets, she wanders over to the grass to stretch out for a nap or sometimes she snoozes on the back stairs.

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Here she is on the back stairs… she is so precious and sweet!   And she totally runs our household!

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I have always loved faeries .. really and truly … so I have to have them in my house and in my garden.  There are two of these silhouettes and I located one of them yesterday!

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Here is the largest of the garden faeries .. I’ve put in a huge apple that had fallen from the tree .. for the birdies to nibble away at.

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Hey watcha bean doin??    (groan, ha ha )

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What a little compost and water will do to the strawberries .. I’m rewarded with more little berries and the promise of a few more for a treat.  Thank you strawberry plant!    A month ago I was trying to be tidy (ha ha ) in the garden and had piled up containers of these plants, thinking that they were done.    A few days later I was in the process of moving them over to the compost when I noticed some of them were flowering and one had a small berry, all ripe and so I ate it and when I was done, I moved the pots back into the sun.

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Red lupines (I’ve learned) are native plants.    Yesterday I was standing beside this container .. the sun was hot ..and I heard the popping of the pods as the heat caused the casings to burst , leaving the seeds (or most of them) in the container.  Hmmm .. I thought, these are definitely related to broom as that invasive plant does the same thing.   Anyway, I’ll have lots of seeds for future lupines and won’t worry if these plants spread .. they are so pretty and the Annas will have more flowers to sip at.

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While I stood there, watching my little JaneE sleep away .. she must have sensed that I was there …she opened her eyes .. and seeing nothing important was happening (no treats being given) she resumed her sleeping.

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The joy of music as always been a special element to my life, I love the feelings that are raised by the type of music.   If I want to do the dreaded housework then I must listen to energizing drumming, belly dance rhythms, energized world music.  When I am gardening, there needs to be either the same when I need to drown out construction noise or else soothing world music.

I’ve always loved the world of the violin which ranges from passionate soul stirring  rhythms to playful tunes which get my feet dancing and then the loving soothing tunes which make me stop working away and just listen to the magic of the strings and follow the notes as they play out to the wind.

Recently I’ve discovered the world of Adam Sutherland, a Scottish fiddler who has just released “Squall” – I purchased this the second it was available.  This music is just so beautiful and I don’t think that I will ever have listened to the music on this album enough.

Music is very powerful and his music is so very magical .. here is one site which shows some of his music and more about this incredible musician:

https://www.shetlandfolkfestival.com/archive/2014/visiting/adam-sutherland-friends

So .. another world of violin for me to explore.  A little different from the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra that came here to Victoria a number of years ago.

Driving around town one day, months back, I happened to be listening to an interview with Ian Rankin (the famous Scottish author).   I love his books and didn’t know he was Scottish .. but once you hear that voice, there is no mistake.   A gentle Scottish voice is like a song.

Anyway, what he said intrigued me and I totally agree.  He talked about always having music playing when he wrote .. the music created a bubble in  which he could create, write,  think and be.   That isn’t a quote but it is how I remember his explanation.

The analogy of a bubble works for me also as a description .. I visualized a translucent gently rainbow coloured bubble creating a personal world within which I was free to create and enjoy …..

That is exactly what music is for me .. to surround my environment with music for my soul and my spirit.  Whether I am engaged in daily house activities, decluttering, doing laundry, going for a walk or working/playing in the garden.   There is always a mood enhancing bit of music I can play to encourage myself in my endeavours.

And always, as I see/listen to musicians, I think of the many hours/days/weeks/months/years they have worked in order to attain their skill.

And I remind myself of this each time I go to practice my bowing, so that I will not give up.

So .. time to do that and then get going with this day ..

🙂

 

 

 


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JaneE Kat in the sun, learning again how to drum and more about beans.

I have never given JaneE a bath and it seems that she prefers showers, what did I know?  My darling little girl (who will be 22 in December!) loves sitting next to my sump pump washtub fountain and in the process has a little shower.  Perfect in the hot summer days that we are experiencing now.  Not sure if you can see the tiny droplets of water, reflective in the sun .. but she is covered with water!  Cool Cat!

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She is mesmerized with water – outside – here she is sipping at water that overflowed when I was watering some beans …

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Those Portuguese bush dry beans are prolific …very sturdy plants.  I’ll have lots of beans for soups and stews this winter.  Or just boil, mash and put lots of butter on a bowl of them!   (with some stewed tomatoes!)

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Speaking of these Portuguese beans being sturdy, last week one of them, fully laden with flowers, had been nearly snapped off .. whether from an animal at night or perhaps it wasn’t well supported.  I tried to mend it together by wrapping that green adhesive garden tape around it and tying the plant to a stick of bamboo.  Somehow, it worked, the energy continued flowing and the plant flourishes.  I’m so happy.

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I had saved about 30 seeds of the Ram’s Horn bean from last year.  Planted them all and one actually grew!  So I separated it from where it was growing – intertwined along with a Scarlet Red Runner bean and attached it to a separate string and here it grows.   Looking forward to seeing the fruit from this one!

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Some squash growing in a pot.  They are shallow rooted so I knew they would flourish in a container.  Now they are growing, long vines are being trained up some lengths of wood.   Flowering away .. the bees are very attentive to the flowers.

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The magic of a seed morphing into a plant that provides food for the table never loses intrigue for me and it never will – I’ll always be amazed and grateful.

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Last year I noticed a clematis ( Jackmanii ) that grew up a little arbour in the yard was rapidly becoming infested with mildew.  So I simply cut it all down and it regrew.   This year the same thing happened so I cut the plant away and look at all the new growth.  In a week or so, the vine will have crept over the arbour and will start flowering again!

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And now about the drumming!  http://www.drumvictoria.com/

Jordan Hanson started teaching African drumming in Victoria over 15 years ago .. and he has brought in quite a variety of teachers over the years.

I’d begun at that time and life kept interfering with other things so I wasn’t able to commit to steady classes.

Now that I am (happily) retired I can now devote time to things that bring joy and energy into my life.  One of these is drumming.  I’ve been interested in drumming since I was a teen and had my first set of bongos!!   That was in the hippy generation.  I never did learn how to play them but did enjoy just trying to make a good sound.

So last week I enrolled for a series of workshops that involved Balafon – here is a link that explains the instrument: http://www.african-music-safari.com/african-balafon-history.html

I purchased a used balafon and have it set up so that DH & I can just play the soothing musical tones .. it isn’t in tune but sounds great anyway!

And the drums!  There are a variety of them, from Djembe, stick, and it’s fun learning how to play them.  Jordan is a fantastic teacher and is able to show us as a group, how to learn the intricacies.  http://www.drumvictoria.com/

I do love the energy and his drumming notes show that “even just a few minutes of drumming a day can contribute to a feeling of well-being and can really improve playing skills.”   Getting lost in the rhythm is meditational and relaxing.  Time literally flies by.

It is fun returning to drumming after being away for so long.

And soon I’ll be revisiting another interest from years ago .. clogging!  double up — double down .. cloggers know this one!  An Appalachian instructor demonstrated this in a workshop in Duncan years ago and I can still hear his accented voice as he led the group in a routine.  So I’ll be dusting off my tap shoes with the double set of metal clickers and putting them on once again, in a few weeks to relearn the rhythms of the dance.

And more interests being revisited again .. but now it’s time to get on with the day!

🙂