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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More plants on sale .. oh, I am so lucky!

Monday, November 26, 2012

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There has been a mix of weather here lately .. a mix of sunny crisp days … rain .. frost (today).  Lovely time of the year to sort of slow down from the busyness of the year.

My landscaping course has been progressing .. learning lots .. looking at yards differently now.  Even though I’m finding the measurements, the math .. a bit rigid .. this too is progressing.  I much prefer the creative flow of looking at a landscape and visualizing the beauty of plantings, I do realize that structure is important.   So only 3 classes left in the course.   There is a part 2 of the course and at this point I am not sure if I will continue on to the second section.

There are a few months left to make this decision and so I will let that slide for now.

Anyway .. I couldn’t pass up some recent plant purchases.   I now have four of the Eucryphia – Leatherwood  for our next property.  http://www.botany.com/eucryphia.html

D has seen this magnificent tree at Beacon Hill Park … so I must go there to see it .. and it flowers in spring .. thousands of tiny white flowers.  The sales person at Capital Iron (the lovely place where I bought these trees) was a little wistful at seeing the tree leave, as she’d not  seen the flowers.  Perhaps next spring I’ll take some pictures and show them to her.

Ok, I couldn’t refuse some bargains at a local supermarket.  A flat of roses for only $5!!  And a flat of sage for $5!  Includes a purple sage.  I have lots of sage seeds (purple and white flowers)  but these little guys will make a lovely hedge.

Sigh.

D & I went for a quick shopping trip last week .. to Capital Iron …. and this time I brought my camera so that I could take some pictures of the wonderful antiques that are still there, in the lower section, tucked away in the garden area, by the Christmas decorations.

Years ago, this complete area was full of lovely antiques of all kinds, including marvellous magazines from the 40’s.  Piles of them.  Wonder where they have all gone?  Hopefully to a collector who treasures them .. and perhaps scanned them for sharing?

And vessel engine parts of all sorts.  Great memorabilia.  Nowadays, there are only a few of these antiques left and they are all for sale.

We wandered through parts of this venerable old store.  And then time to visit the local health food store.  Where we had the most delicious lunch.  I tried the spelt pizza .. very thin crust, delicious assortment of toppings .  D had the wonderful broccoli soup, with cocoanut milk base.

Shopping done for the day .. I went home to continue making soap and packaging them up.

More later .. must run …

🙂

p.s.  coincidentally, further to the photo that I posted, showing a car bumper sticker to stop testing on animals… I received a request from the Humane Society to stop cruelty for:  street dogs;  lab animals;  all animals.

Please visit:

http://www.e-activist.com/ea-campaign/action.handleViewInBrowser.do?ea.campaigner.email=jl7Tqi3wUXUFee613BZUnfgjrAliulAmNMfSQeK7kek=&broadcastId=22030&templateId=15271

 


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Enjoying watching the eagle activities high up in the sky .. and seeing the Juncos dining on the Joe Pye flowers!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quite a downpour of rain today .. the yin and the yang of weather here .. as yesterday we were treated to a lovely sunny day!  Which I spent outside, potting up lots of plants.

Lots of time spent looking up at the skies.   Saw 2 eagles soaring in a thermal ..then a 3rd, and by the time I saw the 4th, I ran into the house, grabbed my binoculars and was soon out on the sundeck, gazing skyward.

I didn’t take any photos, as I would only see dots in the sky … with my binoculars I was able to get a much closer view.

At one point, there was one eagle fast approaching the other .. so close I could see the white feathers blazing against the sky.  I know, white feathers don’t really blaze, but I wanted to put some action there!

I remember the last time I saw this behaviour, it was courting time and the eagles had locked talons together and tumbled through the sky.

But, this is November .. so I was puzzled.   They soon were out of sight, so I scrambled down the stairs, along the sidewalk, through the gate, out to the road and down to the large empty lot down the street.

Here I stood for a long time, looking at the eagles soaring majestically (ok, they always soar majestically, it’s a given!) overhead.   All of a sudden I saw some frantic activity and noticed a seagull dipping and diving .. at this point, they were flying around some tall trees and I couldn’t exactly see what was happening, but guessed that the eagles were looking for lunch and the gull was handy.  The time was in the late morning .. and this is the usual time that I’ve seen the eagles out looking for food.

Along came a flock of crows .. and I’m not sure at this point if they had any influence on the eagles flying away, but I lost sight of them.  The long line of crows continued .. there were hundreds.

Oh I just love these moments.

Anyway, back to the yard.  And what did I see there!

Juncos in the Joe Pye Weed (aka Eupatorium maculatum)

There were some lovely Juncos .. sitting quietly atop the Joe Pye Weed, happy as could be.   This plant is supposed to top at 6 feet, but my plants are much higher than that!

There is a line up already

They vied for space … preferring the top of the flower heads.  See, there was even a lineup!!

Can you see the little Junco in flight, left side?

I was trying to get some action shots .. and I like the flow of the wings as this Junco determined where he was going to fly.

This was the “height” of fine dining!

They look so happy, all nestled in place.  I’m glad that there are quite a few seeds for them to eat.  And so, there is lots of food for the birds to eat, all throughout the yard.

Here is a close up of the seeds that the Juncos loved

Here is a closeup of the fine little seeds …. along with the fluff that helps transport the seeds through the air .. ready to be planted elsewhere in the yard.  Perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to have more of these beautiful, tall flowers.  Butterflies love them.

My circle of treasured beach stones encircling the cherry tree

I stopped for a few minutes .. to admire the Calendula plants seeds strewn a few months ago … slow-growing, usually I’d have lots of bright orange flowers by now.  Notice the circle of potted plants behind .. well, I do have a lot of plants, don’t I!!

And here is the “peace sign” ..

Ok, I got this idea of a “peace” symbol from another blog site:

http://debsdiscoveries.wordpress.com/

She has a great site!  Go visit .. go on!!

Such lovely times to be had in the garden ….so many magical moments!

Always  … remembering .. to look up on the sky …for special surprises!

It’s been a lovely day!  Despite the rain .. I like the cozy feelings of being inside while the rain pelts down.

And I also love walking in the rain . . with my cheerful, blue skies & puffy white clouds lining the inside of my umbrella.  Happy walks.

🙂


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Just another lovely sunny gardening day … that’s all

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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The lovely heat stays with us … and things are growing well.

Especially the Wormwood Artemisia absinthium .. it is growing very well with the Columbine and the two are almost intertwined.  I looked up some info on the Wormwood and read that the roots secrete a substance that inhibits the growth of surrounding plants.  Well, it had no effect at all on the Columbine.

I’ll propagate it in the fall and will add more plants around the yard borders.  Years ago I included this in a moth repellant that I mixed .. might do the same this year.

Lots of steady work in the yard .. pruning, digging.  Today I dug away at the hard clay soil and scraped out enough space to place 3 round pavers for walking.  Pics tomorrow.  Then I moved some of that lovely Miracle Mulch onto the pathway in this area.  Starting to look and feel good.

I’d scattered hundreds of Calendula seeds around the base of the cherry tree and can see them growing like crazy!  I’ll have lots of the bright flower petals soon, I think!

The birds are all having fun.  Yesterday I noticed the swallows having fun up above.   They were flying en masse and then one would chase the other and would flutter it’s wings!  Maybe a flying game.

And yesterday I dug up the first of my volunteer potatoes.  How exciting was that!   They have grown up amongst the raspberry canes and so I didn’t want to dig too deep .. I’ll check for more in a month or so .. when I’m digging up and moving the raspberry canes.

I’m changing the shape of the garden again, a bit at a time.  Plan to grow lots of garlic!  And speaking of which, next week I plan to sort through my current harvest, which is drying in beneath the sundeck.  I’ll choose the largest cloves and will plant them in September.  And will use up the smaller ones for cooking.

I plan to try to grow carrots next year .. and maybe a few other veggies.

Lovely day .. back outside to work before the sun sets .. which it is doing, earlier and earlier!

🙂


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Do plants collect marbles in their root systems? I found one that did!

Saturday,  August 11, 2012

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I don’t know why I have begun to type November instead of August for the past few days!   Maybe in November I’ll start typing August!  The mind/hand/keyboard connection is a vicarious one!

Yesterday, time moved very slowly .. I really wanted to do so much in the garden but the motivation just wasn’t there … I think part of this was due to the fact that I really want to do so much and then things just start to pile up in my mind and I just need to erase my mental list and just focus on what I’m doing.

So after lunch and a few cups of Yorkshire tea, I did that.    And felt much calmer and more energized.   Sheesh . .I’m turning myself into my very own person bossy-boss .. time to stop that game!

I focused on one of my side gardens .. I’m so proud of that!  I’ll post a picture, but really want to show the before and after … in order to truly appreciate the transformation.

A few years ago I’d planted a row of little cedars and they have been growing nicely .. except that 2 of them had grown too close to each other and there was a gap between the next one in the row.  I debated whether or not to leave them as they are until the fall, when the weather is cooler.  But .. I’m feeling a little cocky now that I have lots of EM ..  so I decided to dig up the one little cedar and move it over a bit.

Lovely root system .. I carefully dug out an area and gently planted it.  And braced it up with a length of tubing and tied it with a string .. to guide it to grow straight.  Looked at it this morning and it’s looking happy.  Fingers crossed.

Lucky me .. I was digging up and moving another plant when I saw something shiny tangled up in the roots.  It was a little marble all nestled in the middle of the root system!  So it appears that I’m not the only one with an eye for sparkly things!  This plant also collects them!  Nice surprise, that was.

Went to check on my lovely garlic, drying underneath the sundeck.   And … what do I see!!! Two scapes growing happily in their corkscrew manner .. one sporting a lovely flower and the other one has gone beyond that, into seed mode.

Oh, how they must have chuckled to themselves  ..  they were able to avoid my search for them, so I could make garlic scape pesto!    The funny ways of things that grow add to the allure and mystery of nature and growing things.

Noticed Youbou & JaneE having a staring match .. cute to watch them.  They are so similar in personality and size.  Very sweet.

Not exactly sure where  I’m going to place my masterpiece of a raised bed .. somewhere in a sunny spot.  And I’ll plant some lettuce !!

The tomatoes are still growing and flowering.  I know that I should remove some of the flowers, there are too many for the length of the growing season left, but just can’t bring myself to do that.

Well .. a lovely day .. what more can I say.

🙂


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Sunday .. a day of sun .. enjoying the beauty of flowers and the joys of flying.

Monday, June 25, 2012

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We were very lucky yesterday, the weather did not turn out as predicted and we were treated to a hot sunny summer’s day!

Lots of flowers blooming away .. thanks to the previous day or two of rain.

I’ve been noticing, over the years, how randomly placed plants seem to just somehow group themselves together into a most cosy group of flowers.

Yesterday I was noticing the lively colours of the pansies were intermingled with the low growing thymes and the delicately scented lavender flowers.

And the sunflowers, dwarfed in their containers, growing quite happily with the lupins.  How sweet this will look, with the purple lupins growing alongside the bright cheerful yellow of the sunflowers.

The transplanted foxglove, which last year grew to well over 6 feet .. when it was in a richer area of soil and .. transplanted to the edge of a grassy area, in more clay soil .. grew to a diminutive height of less than two feet.

But next year, who knows?  It will acclimatized itself to the tougher growing area and will most likely resume its former grandeur.

I’d cut down the robust Lavatera plants, since they’d been rapidly going into seed .. and there are enough of these tough little plants anyway.  There’s no fear of not having lots of these plants.   In another week or so they will be tall and flowering again.

The rosemary plants are nearly 3 feet high now .. a far cry from the barely 3″ eight when I planted them, 3 years ago.

Some of the sweet peas have gone to seed … I’ll just plant the seeds and there will be another crop.

I love the tenacity of these tough plants, mostly drought resistant but they do love the water and flourish with an abundance of that.

Yesterday was a day to relax, wander around the flowers.   Spend some time up in the air, flying through the skies.  And time to read through my Compost Tea & textbooks from my gardening course.  The intricate subjects of soil and plants still unfolding .. so much to learn.  And loving the journey.

Another great day .. and on with this one.


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The wonderful magical world of gardening .. another day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2012

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The past few weeks in the garden have been lovely.   How I want to spend every moment there .. but, life intervenes.   There is shopping to be done.  Cats to be taken care of.  Necessary housework.

And .. then .. time to go outside.  Mug of Yorkshire Tea.  Sudoku.  Silence .. listening to the happy chirps of the birds.   Buzzing of bees.  Whirring of the Anna’s as they fly around the yard.

Special moments in the garden.  Such as .. I was happily looking at the bees that were very busy gathering nectar at the giant Buddleia, the one with the yellow globe flowers .. they love those flowers.  so I was watching them, taking some pictures, kneeling on the ground.   Suddenly I heard a whirring sound above me, looked up and there was a young Anna, hovering, then flying down towards me … curious as to what I was doing.

After a few moments, he/she flew over to the Buddleia, and just settled down on a branch.  Content to just observe me.  This is a magical moment in the garden.  One of the many rewards that come to us who love working with the natural processes in the yard.  Priceless, special, magical.

My wonderful gardening neighbour has given me some tomato plants, flowers and .. oh, treasure beyond measure .. lots of kale plants.  I envision tamari kale chips .. yum, yum, yum.  I’ve created another temporary garden bed, beneath the wild and crazy tree.  This was the sapling that I nursed to health, when the plum stock that was grafted onto it, many years ago, succumbed to weather or something.  Anyway, this tree now provides tremendous privacy to our yard, shade to the ground, perching places for all the birds that visit, or call our yard “home”.

Here is where I’ve been composting 10 bales of hay, so I mixed in some compost, leaf mulch, alpaca manure, seaweeds and where I’ve planted the 26 kale plants.  Plus two bush pumpkins and a large plant that will produce white “ghostly” pumpkins.

Plus an assortment of other plants.

Last fall I’d moved the garden soil around and created some oval and crescent-shaped garden areas, bordered by brick.  I love temporary garden shapes.  Years ago I had proper raised beds, and wood chip paths.  Neatly hemmed in with a tidy fence.

All that has been changed over the years and I now have that area filled with free-flowing garden beds and lots of plantings.

More about that tomorrow .. especially regarding this bed, how I’ve edged it and it really looks quite nice.

Anyway, just writing a few thoughts on my garden .. time is running away .. so am posting a few photos from my  back yard.

Tomorrow, more about my latest update to the kale bed.   I’ll go on and on about the magic of EM (effective microorganisms) .. power to the EM, really!

🙂

A.M.