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!


Leave a comment

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!

300

Who knew there was such a diversity of quartz …

301

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.

308

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.

303

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

307

304

305

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.

314

Such beauty ..

313

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

312

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!)

316

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!!

317

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

318

319

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 ..

322

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

315

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

320

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!

🙂

 

 


Leave a comment

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.

200

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

201
Sweet little JaneE Kat enjoying the shade on this hot day:

202

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.

215

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:

208

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.

206

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.

205

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

🙂


Leave a comment

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 ..
12

 

Well .. it’s been a day .. and now JaneE and I are away to watch Coronation Street!

🙂