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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Blue skies overhead, newly born bees .. a lovely day in March and I have the photos to prove it!

We had some beautiful days in March this year.  I wouldn’t have remembered that if I hadn’t been wandering outside with my camera –  enjoying those lovely days.  Gentle skies above .. so free.

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This was rather artistic  and kind of sparkly, if clouds can use that adjective and in this case – I think it is appropriate!Blog photos, June 5, 08

On one of these days, I was outside, potting up some pea seeds and in flew a newly born honey bee!  A neighbour keeps a hive.  I rather enjoyed watching this little bee as he slowly acclimatized to his new world.  Sweet!  A sign of hope for the flowers and the trees.  No chemicals or artificial anything in my yard!!!  Safe place for bees.June 5, 2018 01

Yum yum .. thought the bee .. here is a flower just for me!!Blog, June 5, 2018 02

Back in March, the garlic was growing happily away.  Today they are much taller and robust.  I’ve been collecting the scapes and have made the most delicious garlic scape pesto!  Some for me and some for my friends to enjoy.   This is one of my favourite spring activities to do, making the pesto.  The next is gathering peas, and when the beans become rampant ..that is fun to collect them.  And ..when the potatoes are ready .. a few will be scrubbed, boiled, mashed and enjoyed — with lots of butter and water buffalo yogurt.   Life is fun in the yard!!!  Wait .. there will be tons of raspberries to look forward to also!   And the digging up of the garlic!  And tomatoes!  My gardening neighbour has given me at least 40 or more plants!!  And I’ve created a wavy, brick-lined temporary bed for most of them.  Lots of seaweed spread around them.  When the plants are bigger, I’ll take some photos!!Blog photos, June 5, 2018 04

My dwarf weeping willow had many fluffy catkins, which the Bewick Wrens gathered for their nest .. which is tucked away on a bush in the yard!Blog photos, June 5, 06

Doves have moved into the neighbourhood … 3 years ago.  I think they have nested nearby.  They were in the yard quite a bit but I haven’t seen them lately.  My gardening neighbour was over one day, visiting, we had just been talking about the presence of these doves, when one flew overhead, landed on a branch and just looked down at us.  This photo was taken on another day.  Their soft crooning is very peaceful and calming.Blog photos, June 5, 2018 03

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One of my visits to the beach along Dallas Road .. love the designs in the stone ..Blog photos, June 5, 10

It is so relaxing to walk along the beach and breathe in the ocean air.  We are so lucky.

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Such a wonderful life .. so many things to do and discover!

Must dash, time to practice my vocals for my upcoming fantastic singing lesson!!


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It’s Been Awhile Since I’ve Blogged & Guess I’ve Been Busy .. or Lazy???

When I first retired, I began my blogging .. I meant it to be an exercise in creativity to express the many events of my daily life .. in a garden sense.   It was a way to let loose my thoughts and let my fingers fly over the keyboard.

As the years have progressed .. so did my activities and I found it a challenge to take the time out to just sit at my desk and list photos etc.

The joy of writing has never left me…it’s always there .. and I do miss expresssing my garden thoughts .. the magic of watching plants grow.  Seeing and hearing baby birds of all types flit about the yard.  Learning their vocabulary in bits and pieces from their parents.  The pure energy of all living things in my garden.  How wonderfully lucky I am to experience all of this!

I normally don’t write of things other than my garden .. but …sometimes it’s better to share things than keep them inside.

Mid-April, we had shocking news that a dear friend of ours passed away suddenly while on a walking tour in Europe.  We had visited with him a few months ago and this was hard to encompass.   Unexpected loss is painful.

That is all that I will say and so I seek solace in the beauty and growth of my little garden and begin with some lovely photos . .please enjoy!

Turkey Vulture soaring overhead up-island!!

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An unexpected surprise last week .. while waiting for the light to change at Blanshard & Hillside!  I thanked him and sadly didn’t have enough time to take some money from my purse to give him.   I’ve seen panhandlers but never a fiddler at this location!

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This is how I start my gardening day .. A pottery mug (from dear Potluck Ceramics in Port Alberni) full of delicious Yorkshire Tea!!

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And sometimes, when I feel like it .. my gardening day ends like this!

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My JaneE Kat .. my garden buddy! Graciously sitting on her bench, regally awaiting her treats.

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How exciting!!  My peas are flowering and we have an abundant supply of crunchy fresh pea pods to eat!  I had so much fun starting these peas in flats a few months ago.

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Lots of potatoes planted in large pots.  Potatoes are growing everywhere in the yard, even in the garlic.  I love potatoes!June 3, 12

Spot the scapes?  I’ve been gathering them to make garlic scape pesto, which I will freeze by the spoonful to add to soups and pasta and .. lots of things!  Scapes are sometimes elusive .. just when I think there are no more to gather, I find some hidden away.  A mystery to me is how some scapes grow faster than others.  Scapes are only grown on hardnecked garlic!

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See?  Same garlic type (elephant .. i know, a member of the leek family but these are very garlic-y)  🙂June 3, 10

Luscious lazy lupins in Port ..June 3, 08

JaneE getting soaked by the sump-pump water fountain .. drops of water glisten on her fur!  Krazy Kat!June 3, 07

Loving the light through the leaves… nature’s artistic renderings of joy …June 3, 06

Springtime beauties .. happy little flowers ..June 3, 05

Woo Hoo .. towering Cues up in Port a few weeks ago ….

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Since I have such an abundant supply of beads and things, I decided to create some garden art to share with my friends!  There were others also, where I played with colour and designs .. didn’t take photos .. maybe I’ll make more today after I’ve played in the garden and then prepared the scape pesto!  June 3, 14

Well, I’ve enjoyed this little visit at playing with words .. it’s been fun so I will continue tomorrow!

On with this most lovely day!  🙂


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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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Foggy morning equals sunny afternoon!

A week or so ago, my pal D and I travelled to Sooke for one of our infrequent trips to this lovely little town not far from Victoria.  Our aim is to enjoy the relaxing ocean atmosphere, gather a little bit of the raggedy seaweed (not too much and only that which is not home to living creatures).  Breathe in the invigorating salt air.  Drink in the sight of such beauty.  And just chill out.  Each with our own thoughts and each wandering about the beach in our own little walks.   A time for relaxing.  A treat.

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I’m not a boater but I do enjoy watching the vessels, sailboats etc., that journey across the waters.  The air and the ground are my elements.   The water is beautiful, though.thurs-09

In the distance, the remaining fog resembled earthbound clouds, struggling to get back up high (that is what it seemed to me!)thurs-08

Very peaceful indeed … tranquil, restful, all that and more …thurs-03

Here the fog looks like gauzy waves dreamily forming against the mountains .. sigh.thurs-02

The seagull has some tasty treasure to feast on ..thurs-05

Feeding over, time to just rest among the seaweed ..thurs-04

The comforting solid density of the rock … warm to the touch .. interesting in the textures formed by the years of pressure, travel and the sort of thing that happens to rocks over the years.thurs-07

How beautiful is this ….thurs-06

I love personal touches such as this … a respite for a little bird, how sweet.

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Beach time over with .. we head to our favourite Cafe ..

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Time for a decaf mocha Americana .. yum ..thurs-18

Such a restful and tranquil garden at the back of the cafe ..love the hedge of boxwood around the fountain.thurs-15

Pretty flowers, eye candy for gardeners ..thurs-19

With the noise cancelling sounds of the fountain and the lush plantings, it is difficult to remember that there is heavy traffic on the other side of the bushes and plants.  Nice!

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And there is my little red car .. my trusty little vehicle .. so practical and so fun to take on little holidays and daytrips such as this!  🙂thurs-16

How sweet is this .. colourful and fun …thurs-14

And at the front of the cafe are little tables for people to sit at, sip their drinks and ponder the world.thurs-13

So we had just a most relaxing and fun filled day.  Afterwards we went to the one thrift shop that remains in the town.  There used to be another one which was quite fun to shop at .. but for some reason, it is shut down.  So now there is a mad rush for everyone to go to the one place that exists.  Still fun and we do find some treasures.

It is fun to zip away for the day with a friend and just do some exploring .. at the ocean .. at a cafe .. at a thrift shop.

We never know what we will see or discover and we always have such a great time.

Well .. the day is speeding along .. so on with this most beautiful and sunny day.

🙂


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Loving the creative energy that Music provides. And watching the acrobatic maneuvers of the beans in the bean forest.

The skies above .. a few days ago .. fluffy and looking like cotton candy ..

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Ever changing and cheerful summer skies

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And here sits Lady JaneE Kat .. waiting for her treats.  A very patient little gal and a determined one.  She sits there till I put some treats out for her.   Listening to the lovely Scottish fiddle of Adam Sutherland.

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I have some gifted bean plants.  This one is performing the death-defying acrobatic head stand on the other bean.  A tricky maneuver but successfully done in this instance.

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And I caught a neighbouring bean, warming up to perform the same technique.  Guess I surprised them, they didn’t see me standing there!  Tricky beans.  What else goes on in the bean forest when I’m not there?  The mind boggles.

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This is a sunflower that I accidentally mowed down .. so I placed it in amongst some support stakes and the birds were still able to feast on the seeds that were forming.  That gives me joy.

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Cherokee Trail of Tears flowers ready to burst open.  I’d planted these very late and I’ll still get some beans from the plants, I saw a few yesterday.  And it is nearly mid-September so there are still a number of weeks left for them to grow.  October will share a few more weeks of growing weather.  I’ve seen people tearing down their bean plants but I’m a more optimistic type of  gardener and will  let them all grow till the frosts dictate their removal.

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“my favourite bean” .. I’m leaving at least 10 or more of the pods to let go to seed for next year.  These are very similar to the Blue Lake Bush Bean, round, firm beans that are deliciously crunchy.

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A cheerful view to cherish in the winter and to enjoy now.  Even if I don’t get a lot of squash fruit, I’m happy knowing that the bees are getting lots of nectar – as there are many squash plants flowering away luxuriously in the sunshine.  More joy.

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Same story for the Scarlet Red Runner Beans.  Many hundreds of flowers for the bees – such a lovely sight ..

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More bees .. there are many types that visit the yard ..

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Oops .. getting a bit crowded, time to leave ..

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Changing direction after departure, more flowers are sighted over there!!

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I’m being stalked by my Gardening Kat!  Sometimes she follows me around, wanting to know where I am, what I am doing.  Perhaps hinting for more treats?

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More sky-art above …

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There have been times in my life when I’ve been bored .. and when I think  of those times, I’m just amazed that I actually experienced that state.  “if I knew then what I know now”

Where does boredom come from?  I cannot even imagine ever being bored in my life, but I know that I have been.

I think that the times when I was bored – that there weren’t the possibilities that now exist.  I grew up in the era without computers .. cell phones .. digital cameras.   It wasn’t a time of self-expression as exists now.    I really like now.

And, like all kids, I dreamed of becoming a world-famous clothing designer, a ballerina, a world-traveller, brave and unafraid of visiting many countries as a way of life.  A writer and an independent thinker.  I dreamt of these things.

So now when there are the opportunities to explore new (to me ) worlds I have grabbed the opportunities as they arise.

The music, the clogging, the drumming, among other creative expressions.

Music .. is such a powerful energy, full of creative promise and dreams.  Music goads me on to work in the garden, the magical universe where miracles happen.    And Music guides me to imaginary worlds of creativity with my beads and writing and all things.  Music energizes me when walking on the busy paved streets, away from my beloved garden.

Music is a language from the heavens and speaks to us in many ways.

Gotta love music.

More thoughts on the joy of being in the garden are popping up but the morning has started and I must go and throw myself into this day of possibilities and magic.

🙂

 

 


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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!

 


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Tiny bees taking little naps, doves on telephone poles and those crazy beans keep on growing.

Joyous abandonment and seeking out the sun.  I was sitting outside with a mug of Yorkshire Tea on a sunny weekday afternoon last week .. this little sunflower caught my eye.  It was the leaning of the stem and it seemed as if the side leaves were reaching up to the skies in a happy pose of joy and so I just had to take a pic.  I feel like that when I’m happy so maybe that is why it resonated with me.

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Yesterday I spent some time wandering around my fantastic bean plants, collecting some for lunch..and was quite surprised to see these Cherokee Trail of Tears beans …honestly .. the beans are just prolific.  The growth ranges from many flowers (they are like mini-bouquets, quite pretty) to the tiny little beans and in the middle of all this .. the ready to pick beans.  Gotta love beans.416
To garden is to learn – we gardeners are aware of that.  Lessons are taught and observations are made.  This one shows the sheer tenacity of the plants seeking structure for growth.  This is a squash plant going through that process.  See how orderly nature is – the coiled tendrils are perfect – except for that wonky one .. it might have been stretchy a little too far.  Still it is beautiful.

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Bounty from the garden a few days ago.  Thank you ..  my lovely garden ..415

This is a bush bean .. dry I think.   This pod is very tiny, yet look at the seeds within.  I’ll let them mature and collect for the winter.

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Several bush bean plants had fallen over, their roots were fully exposed .. yet .. they continued to grow and were producing lovely beans!!  So I gently straightened them up, covered the roots with soil and they are happily growing away.  Can’t stop beans from growing it seems.

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This little bee is quite striking .. working very industriously and time for a little rest.

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This is such a very tiny little bee – I was just passing by this malva plant when it caught my eye and so I knelt down to take a closer look.  It also was taking a little break.   Do you think that bees get a little tired and need their naps?  I think so.

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So many flowers …it must be a little overwhelming to have such a job as a bee does!

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This blue Hibiscus plant has another blossom.  I hadn’t really paid much attention to this plant, other than to make sure it had enough water and so far I’ve seen two beautiful flowers.  Now I’m wondering if it has been flowering a lot and I just hadn’t noticed?  tsk tsk.406

A little geranium I’d planted in a cedar pot ..

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I’d planted squash seeds randomly in pots and they are flowering like mad and producing tiny fruits.  The seeds are from squash harvested last year.  I think there will be an interesting assortment of squash to pick as they most likely won’t be true to the original seed but only time will tell.

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This reminds me .. time to go outside!!

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A few nights ago I heard some cooing, thought it was an owl.  Had heard this from time to time and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. Very soothing sound.  Mystery solved when I looked high up, atop a telephone pole.  Two doves!

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It seemed as if they could see me (I took a lot of pics) and then the grooming started.

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A few things to do and then it’s outside for more discoveries .. in my lovely (work in progress) garden!

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A Few More Pics of the Mineral & Gem Show & Back to the Garden!

So here are the rest of the pics I took on Friday, at the 2nd Annual Victoria Gem & Mineral show at the Pearkes Arena .. when the light shines through this, it is stunning!

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Who knew there was such a diversity of quartz …

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I could have asked how these were shaped – but that would have taken the mystery away.  The skull to the left of the pink quartz was intriguing.

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Purple Haze (reminds me of the Purple Haze lavender farm at Sequim!  I was all set to go there but my passport had expired .. wah .. )302

For some reason, this made me hungry!  It just seemed to be so edible, like a slice of bread or a cookie.

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Lots of love and  $$$$$  tied up in minerals …

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Now these really caught my eye .. at first I thought that these were sculpted metal .. .however, they are created with varying gauges of fine silver and gold wires.  So very beautiful .. I tried to take some closeup photos of several “works in progress” but couldn’t get clear views with my camera.  This young artist is fabulous .. I couldn’t find a web site for Drala Designs … but there is an e-mail if you would like to contact him:  icjakobll@gmail.com  .  Since I’m always curious and always seeking knowledge, I searched for the meaning of “Drala” :  A Tibetan word, “drala” means “without aggression”. When you invoke drala, you begin to experience basic goodness reflected everywhere – in yourself, in others, and in the entire world.

Here is one pic that is clear .. showing some wire in progress.

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Such beauty ..

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Bamboo, Bead & Bling …love that store.  Amazing free jewellery classes: http://www.bamboobeadsandbling.com/

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I’m not into gold but if I was, here is a bargain! 311

Sigh .. and it is back to the garden .. to watch  my beans growing.  These are Spanish Musica – delicious and a “bazillion” beans on each plant.  I plan to just keep serving these up and not freezing them this year!  (well, maybe a few!)

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It’s been a bumper crop of fruit in Victoria .. we have 3 different apple trees and I’ve been freezing chunks of apple (washed, put briefly in a sea salt water mix) spread on parchment paper on a tray in the freezer and then bagging them for tossing in a roast in the winter.  And lots of applesauce, yum, yum!!

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Bzzzzeeeee ….I will look at this photo in the winter and dream of these happy summer days in the garden.

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My s-i-l gave me this Irish dirt years ago and I must use it in a pot .. one of these days .. there was a packet of seeds somewhere .. .I’ll have to have a search for it.   Anyway, just another gardening moment .. Sometimes I have to just stop and look at what I’ve been doing … getting lost in the rhythm that is creativity ..

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My darling little JaneE Kat .. she will be 21 in December!  Little Garden Kat …

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Yesterday was quite a windy day …really strong gusts continuously . . a sky shot to say “salut”

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The joy and magic of a garden is so fun .. it seems that one day I’m planting a seed and just a short time later, as in my lovely beans .. there are 8 foot plus vines growing up to the sky and I’m surrounded by the vital energy that surrounds them.

Speaking of energy, a few years ago I heard about music for plants .. how it helps them grow.  I believe this and think my music (that I always play) in the garden affects everything that grows.   A good subject for tomorrow!

🙂

 

 


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Computers, argh. Amazing artists at The second annual Victoria Gem & Mineral Show!

ha ha .. I actually wrote the “rock and bean show” and corrected that.  Do I have beans on my mind or what!

A few days ago, I trundled our poor ole computer over to have it looked at.  Turns out, at 10 years old, it had outlived it’s lifespan by 5 years so we actually had a good run.  Time for a newer model so I went that route. And blithely forgot what I go through every single time we upgrade and thus spent 2 days working on “where is that **%” program .. where is my music .. etc., etc., I won’t bore you with the details.  After a few visits back and forth, trying to explain what I was missing and where was it .. the experts at Mother Computers had our computer running seamlessly.   Yegads they are patient.   So we love that store!

Anyway, that storm went away so it was time for me to have a fun visit to the “second annual Victoria Gem & Mineral Show” at the Pearkes Arena.  It was so much fun that I actually went for awhile, returned home to play in the garden and went back to the show.  Glad I did as I enjoyed talking with the artists and came home with such good ideas for my creations to try and implement.   That is how creativity happens.  Travelling around doesn’t hurt either, but that isn’t in the picture so I’m glad the show is here.

This is rather artistic and was an accident .. I like it though.  The next photo shows what it was meant to be.

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Happy accident .. I think I prefer the one above.  Anyway, lovely garden at the Pearkes Arena.

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Sweet little JaneE Kat enjoying the shade on this hot day:

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My climbing beans provide shade and a place of mystery and privacy in the yard .. loving this.  204

I will never ever have a structured garden .. they will always be changeable and different every year .. and see how I’ve added a variety of structures for the beans to grow up .. a garden with personality.   The best thing for growing climbers is a section of cattle fencing .. perhaps in our next home.  For now this is perfect .. 203

 

And now on to the Gem show .. I took so many pictures and want to share what I learned so will continue tomorrow .. for now ..Lovely use of driftwood, very artistic.

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Millions of crystals in this one ..213

I bought some phantom quartz ..that was the reason for my second visit!  I bought the smaller one at my first visit.  At home, after I read up on the qualities of the phantom quartz,  I had to return to get another one!  And lucky me .. the one I chose was on sale (honest, that is not why I chose this one . .I just liked it).  Mine happened to be grey phantoms.  There are a variety of colours:  http://www.healingwithcrystalshtml.net.au/phantom-crystals.207

At another table, I bought these (more photos from this table tomorrow) .. the seller was originally from Russia and lives in Calgary.  He told me that a lot of artifacts are being found due to climate change.  And that China is taking truckloads of these away.

These are some of the items I purchased at Earth Meets Spirit (and she gave me one free, what a sweetie!)  More photos tomorrow .. just wanted to share these now.


I think this is an amethyst .. it sparkled so I had to have it:

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The one on the left is Serpentine (I bought this at the Sequim Lavender Faire last year.  I spoke with a sculpture (yegads, you know, the person who sculpted not the actual sculpture)  at the Gem show, who told me that it had been tumbled and would be easy to carve (wow .. I am going to learn about carving) and that it has saponification properties!  The chunk on the right is “slag” .. glass found in our back yard left over from a glass factory that used to be on our property before the house was built. Our house is circa 1941 .. so I guess the factory would have been here 1930’s.  I have lots of this beautiful glass and treasure it.  I was told it could be tumbled.  One artist shone a light through it and it seemed to come alive with brilliance.

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And one more photo to end the day. I’m still in awe that my bean plants have so many beans on them .. it seems only a few weeks ago I planted them.  Now, not only do they add interest, shade and privacy in the yard… they are supplying me with food!   This question mark bean was growing around a stake, it was determined and would not give up.  Like me.

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So .. it’s been another hot and sunny day here and time for supper …

🙂


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My Mason Bees were absolutely amazing … and I have concerns over Bees and Neonicotinoid Pesticides!!!!!!

Yesterday I finally cleaned up my lovely Mason Bee Cocoons!  I’d bought my little MB condo and about 16 cocoons at the North Saanich Market 2 years ago.

Last year was my first session of cleaning the cocoons for winter and my pal D and I sat out in the sunshine doing this!   We opened up the channels of the MB house, cleaned up the cocoons and put them away in a container for the winter.

The cocoons stayed put, in their clear container (from the Crown Bee  website) until March when I put the cocoons into the top tray of the Mason Bee house, and set them in a sunny area of the yard.

Oh the magic of seeing them hatch and fly away.  The industriousness of the 2 females (one  of the three females didn’t survive) who worked steadfastly through the warm summer months to lay eggs, leave pollen .. making many trips to do so, seal the space with clay and repeat this many times.

I was so excited .. how many cocoons would I get this year?  Well as it turns out … yesterday when  went through  the cleaning process .. I counted 57!!!! Yes!! 57 from 2 females from a total of only 16 cocoons that survived.  Happy am I??? YES!

So here is my little Mason Bee Condo .. see .. there are 8 channels filled:

02Here is the top layer, only one channel and you can see where a few eggs didn’t mature into cocoons, for whatever reason I don’t know .. and I didn’t take photos of the other trays but they had missing sections also.  Nature’s way? I need to research what could have gone wrong.  There seems to be a fair bit of pollen and, I’m guessing – mites in the empty sections so this must have been the reason.

03After 3 rinses in clear, cold water .. the cocoons are floating on the clean water.  This is a good thing, only cocoons which are alive float so I was very relieved to see this!

04I patted the cocoons dry on the paper towels and then put them all into the clear container (seen in the first photo) and now they are in the crisper in the fridge until spring.  Oh this is so exciting.

05I’ve been paying attention to pesticides and bees and have read that neonicotinoids (pesticide) have been the cause of bee deaths.   And I’ve read that some Ontario beekeepers have launched a lawsuit over this pesticide:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/canadian-beekeepers-sue-bayer-and-syngenta-over-neonicotinoid-pesticides-1.2754441

The chemical companies know full well the outcome of the pesticides which are not needed anyway.    Healthy organic farming practices negate the need of any chemicals.

I was so distraught when I finally bought some annuals (I normally don’t buy these) in the spring.   Feeling decadent and seeing these pretty flowers at two shops .. I decided to buy quite a number of flats.  Once planted .. I read about the chemical.   With a feeling of dread, I contacted the two shops and asked them to check with the growers to see if this chemical was used and I was assured that it wasn’t.  However, I do wonder if the seeds had been treated .. how would I know?  The flowers themselves look so pretty .. and I’ve watered them with EM (effective microorganisms) and this is why they are still flowering like this (plus the sunny October weather)!

06So perhaps I’m over-worrying .. but I want good plants in good soil.  The neonicotinoid pesticide lives on in the soil and when the bees visit the flowers, they are poisoned.  Oh I hope I can trust the growers who supplied the shops where I bought the plants.

07Well .. next year I plan to start my own annual flower seedlings .. I have purchased quite a few packets of organic flower seeds and so I will know for sure, without any doubt, that the beautiful flowers will be safe for the bees.

Recently I’ve been discovering the magic of my new (Panasonic 30 x zoom) camera and taking photos of the moon  … here is a shot from last night .. the moon seems like a close neighbour .. not as far away as I’d thought!  And we are going to be treated to a most wonderful red moon (I think) on Wednesday morning!!

08This tiny little squash is growing away in one of my containers .. thanks to EM and the warmth of the sun.    I wonder how big it will get to be?  There are quite a number of little baby squash growing now … I will have to keep a close eye on their growth, harvesting when the frost hits!  I think this is another volunteer from the compost soil .. how fun.

09Nasturtiums in the sun from this afternoon …

10And this little sunflower caught my attention .. with the swirling, ever-growing tendrils of a squash plant growing up the stem .. looking like one of those crazy English hats!  Quite a sight, don’t you think?

11There are so many things to do in the garden right now!  I’ve finally sorted out the Red Wigglers from the compost container.  What a job that was.  I’ve had the worm compost for three years and finally took the time to sort out the lovely rich worm castings from the wigglers.  After about a week .. I think … I’ve finally sorted them all out and now have a fresh compost containers .. and a container of rich castings for my plants .. plus a container of wigglers to give to a friend!

Finally, this was done, my Mason Bees were cleaned and put away in the fridge.  Now I can focus on other things to do in the garden.  One of these things is to figure out what plants I have and where to put them.  Imagine my surprise when I found this lovely Pussy Willow .. it needs sun, but managed to survive in the shade.  Oh lovely darling ..I moved you to the sun and tomorrow will treat you to a drink of EM ..
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Well .. it’s been a day .. and now JaneE and I are away to watch Coronation Street!

🙂