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!


2 Comments >

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today the weather was sunny and a bit of overcast ..but last Sunday, there was snow!  My garlic is all covered … but it is very resilient.

14

My winter sown summer seeds are safe in their individual greenhouses

13

Monday .. more snow and some rain .. here is my wonderful garden cart … I really should have put it away from the elements .. but it is a tough little cart.12

My little crop of lettuce, spinach and Mizuna and other greens were doing well, during the snow/thaw/snow/thaw routine.   And a few days ago I removed all of these containers from the old hot tub cover and took down below to my potting area.   There was lots of cilantro .. I potted some of that up .. will show later.

10

These stair photos are from last Friday .. here is a view at the top looking down (and thank goodness we only made one trip down and one trip up!)

6

This is the view from the bottom (at the beach part) .. lots of stairs..

5

Last Wednesday, as we walked briskly along .. I happened to notice this beautiful formal pond and statuary down below .. can you imagine having such a garden?  So peaceful.

7

We continued on to the most wonderful Finnerty Gardens at UVic

4

Ok, this was a bit funny to me .. this is obviously an oak stump .. talk about excess signage .. still, rather sweet..

3

 

 

I believe this is a deer tongue fern ..2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And in the city of Rhodo’s .. here is yet another …There is another park, Playfair, in Victoria, which has a forest of rhodo’s .. the park is also a doggy park and I spent many many hours there with my lovely dogs.

1

 

 

Back at home, I noticed many daffodils, snowdrops, tulips and other bulbs that were preparing to show their flowery wonderfulness .. here are some daffs …

8

 

Our neighbourhood squirrel was trying to get a drink of water out of this bucket .. however, I had emptied it .. so she was a little surprised.   There are lots of water sources in the yard for the birds and squirrels.

9

Here she is, attempting to hide her cache of peanuts .. oops .. she sees me ..

15

 

Yesterday’s glorious skies …

17

Lovely …. sky art ..20So, some snow, some rain, some sun, some rain.  Typical Victoria weather .. aren’t we lucky!

And today I went to get some lovely Llama manure .. more about that tomorrow.   Today also I attacked my triple compost bins .. emptying, sifting, mixing, spring is definitely on its way!
🙂

 


5 Comments

Visiting with old friends, watching birds … enjoying being lazy for just a little bit more

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

This brand new year is just speeding along!   Here it is the 21st day of the new year and I sometimes just have to stop and think about what is going on in my life … really .. not much!  And then my days started to fill up with activities and I suddenly felt like –  hold the phone already .. I just want these long lazy days to go on and on.  At first I fought against the lethargic laziness … it wasn’t just right to not be inspired to do things.  I found myself visiting so many creative sites for inspiration.  Many hours spent there!  I did feel the tiniest bit guilty, searching for innovative ways to garden and lovely crafty sites.  This wasn’t something I normally indulged in.

And then I just gave myself up to the sheer luxuriousness of this unaccustomed state of non-doing.  And then I remembered that a few years ago I went through the same thing.    And I know that this laziness, morphing into energized activity is a normal start to the year.  Soon enough .. I will be spending my days outside, lamenting the sunset and eager to rise with the sun the next day.  So time to enjoy this brief interlude of low activity.

Anyway, a few days ago, DH & I made the trek to the Mainland.  This involved driving to the ferry terminal, boarding the Swartz Bay to Vancouver ferry, disembarking and driving for an hour or so to our destination.   It is kind of fun to do this once in a while and I’m so glad that it is not a trip we often have to undertake.

Getting around on the newly built expressways “over there” admiring the new bridges and overpasses .. I really felt like the little country mouse visiting the big city.  It’s interesting and energizing . .however .. I prefer the slower pace of life.  Anyway  .. here is one of the new bridges .. it was a foggy morning and I just loved this dreamy effect:

02and from the middle of this span:

03

The highlight of our trip was visiting with old friends.  Old .. meaning .. .friends for a very long time!!!  It is such a joy to reminisce with such good friends.  And every time we visit I fall in love again with the beautiful items from the Netherlands.   I took many photos a few years ago of their fancifully painted dishes .. and so I couldn’t help doing so again.  These cheerful cups are so very sweet.
07 06

And this cup is designed by a famous artist in the Netherlands (sorry, I didn’t write down the name.  Such beauty makes the tea taste so delicious.

05

Their backyard entertains quite a variety of birds .. and I learned a bit more about the behaviour of the Stellar Jay!  Peanuts were carefully left out for these birds to munch on.  These birds are crafty!   They will quickly push food out of the feeders onto the ground just so the other Jays won’t know .. and then they go back to retrieve the food.  Here is a Jay who has just selected a peanut that was put on the roof for him … he’s thinking “where can I hide this”??04

Back home  …. it was time for me to check out the feathered friends in our yard.  This bird intrigued me.  He flew in a rather ungainly fashion … clumsily latching on to a branch, awkward flight patterns.  He was a bit larger than other sparrow types and his head seemed to be a bit large .. I was perplexed and watched him for quite some time as he made his ungainly way around the yard, from feeder to feeder.
18A little Chestnut-backed Chickadee stopping by for a sip of water.

14

My garlic is growing oh, so very well!!!  Loving the sunshine.13

R’s cat .. looking outside, thinking .. well, I would love to come outside and play with you .. except .. I’m nice and warm inside.    Nice fluffy cushions .. lots of food, many places to curl up on for a comfy snooze or two.    The merits of staying in far outweigh any adventures that I might find out there.  Sorry, Charlie.

11

Yes .. staying inside was a good decision.

12

Look at this most lovely lemon tree!!  R has carefully wrapped Christmas lights around the tree and has covered it with an overlay of fabric to retain the heat during the winter.    This very happy tree is covered with many flowers and tiny lemons.

09And many large lemons also!  How very exciting this would be .. to go outside and pluck a lemon from a tree!  I think I want one!!!

10

Blue afternoon skies .. how joyful this was!   I found myself outside in the afternoon … clipping branches, watching birds, admiring the garlic growing away.  Making plans for the spring.  Dreaming of garden transformations.
19All those things that gardeners think about.  Dreams.  Plans.

sigh.

🙂


Leave a comment

Want to know the most effective way to re-start an exercise regime?????

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another in a series of lovely sunny days, except today, the skies are clouding over .. perhaps we will have some much-needed rain!

DH and I are going away for a quick dash away to relax and just simply enjoy our time away from schedules and work.    So Exciting.

So I’ve been busy, going shopping for some summer clothes.   It’s been quite awhile since I’ve bought new clothes so I have been enjoying the journey.

And as I’ve been trying on clothes in those stark dressing rooms .. I’ve come to a realization that I need to ramp up my exercise regime!!!  Nothing like a reality check to get that going!

ha ha ha

In January I’d started my daily exercise program, only to stop it when we had to focus on working on the yard of our rental, when our tenants moved out.  We both worked so hard for 4 months, and my program fell to the wayside.  Then I sort of started and stopped it.

Well, no more!  I feel so very much better and promised myself to continue this simple little exercise and walking routines .. really very little effort involved and the results are so quick!

Yesterday I began (sigh) my callenetics (Callan Pinckney, she is wonderful) and restarted my lovely daily walks.

Feel oh so much better .. I’ve missed this so much.  No quitting this time!!

Anyway, not to bore anyone about my non-gardening life .. I’ll share more lovely photos from my lovely daily life!

IMGP2737

Sun and shadows … how lovely …

IMGP2828

More sky art.

IMGP2768

Oh my darling little JaneE …..

IMGP2799

Music “In a Persian Garden” .. it was a day when I really was seeking positivity and beauty outside and when this song started playing on my little i-pod, I felt so happy ..

IMGP2740

My pal D and I had gone exploring in Sooke a few months ago .. and we’d found some interesting wood formations, just small ones .. along the beach.  Very artistic.

IMGP2734

Are these Canterbury Bells?  So very pretty.  Growing randomly in my garden.  Self seeding.

IMGP2736

Calendula and rose petals .. drying in the sun.

IMGP2733

 

Fun in the sun and gardening too !

🙂

 


Leave a comment

Another day at the beach … gathering seaweed .. breathing in the fresh ocean air .. and there were seals out there!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lovely lazy Sunday … slightly overcast and then the sun broke out of the clouds, yea!!!

Friday my pal D and I ventured out to Sooke to gather some seaweed for gardening.  It was a most beautiful day.

First thing, though,  had to check on my shallots .. hadn’t grown them before and had purchased some Dutch shallots from Richters Herbs… here is one of them .. shedding the papery husk of the original bulb .. I thought this was worthy of the “magic” of gardening so thus the photo.   They are tenacious growers and I would like to plant more of them.  Maybe I’ll get into a shallot growing  frenzy as I have done with garlic!

Everything is always magical in the garden .. it just never gets old and always I am humbled at the miracle of a seed growing into a plant .. the inherent knowledge of the plant (non-GMO, of course) .. nature happening in it’s own way …

01

Here are some Valerian plants .. growing so tall .. I need to plant them soon …

02

Ok, so D and I arrive at one of the many beaches in Sooke .. what a magnificent day.  And both of us are experiencing issues near our homes, where vast building projects are ongoing and we really need some natural beauty to offset the construction issues.  This s a good start.

03

What amazing skies ..
04

The stones are placed so artistically along the shoreline … now this is real art .. the natural kind.

 

05

It was a lovely outing, escaping to nature.   No cranes.  No trucks.  No hammering.  Just the soothing sounds of the waves off in the distance .. a warm breeze swirling around us as we gathered seaweed.  Now that was a lot of work and we quickly filled some bags which I loaded into my trusty little car.   Then it was time to relax and go for a walk along the shoreline.

Such clear water on the firmly packed sand .. like a mini-pool

06

The tide was way out there …. 
09

I could see tiny crabs and lightning fast little fishes darting in all directions below.

08

And D noticed this large piece of heavy industrial  plastic .. it looked like a hatch cover.  Would have liked to have removed it from the beach but it was very heavy, so we had to leave it there.

07

Such a relaxing sight to see the myriad of stones beneath the clear saltwater.

08

D noticed the seals … out sunning themselves on the rocks … their barking noises echoed over the water and sounded quite close to us

10

And I learned from D that this is sea-asparagus.  Served in fine restaurants, imagine that.  Most likely not cheap, either.

14

This ancient log resembles a whale, don’t you think?

13

More seals …enjoying their natural habitat ..

12

11

It was a fun relaxing day trip and finally it was time to leave .  However, we did stop along the way and went for another walk in a small forested area along the highway … where the fronds of the ferns were now unfurled and the well-worn pathways were edged with fields of them.

Photos tomorrow ..  now it is time to work outside .. to enjoy the one day of the week when the construction noises cease and I can pretend that today is like the normal days of years ago .. when quiet was normal.  sigh.

🙂

 

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

I proudly marched in the anti-monsanto march in Victoria, B.C.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A lovely rainy day here in Victoria, B.C.  Good for the gardens and wow my garden is growing great!  I’ve been harvesting the scapes even before they are curling around .. so impatient, I know, but the scape keeps on growing, doing its thing .. so I have more to harvest.

My pal D and I went to the big anti-Monsanto march last Saturday .. it was quite important for us to join in this event.  As you can see .. the skies were beautiful ..

01

Many interesting signs ..

15

 

Ok .. this was me .. I was working at our rental and these are my gardening clothes and didn’t have time to change . .although I don’t normally wear a sign!  It was a tiny sign as I drew it up in my car with materials at hand.  It reads:  Grief and More to come, with little drawings of a sunflower, crying and a little bumblee … saying “help me”

14

Of course .. lots of darling little dogs attended the event.

13

Shades of Avatar …

12 11

We marched along … all together .. a peaceable group …

10

.. along the Inner Harbour, past the Empress ..
09

Interesting that it was a “no news” event .. yet see here .. lots of people

08

07

 

True .. it’s not nice …

06

 

And back at the Parliament Buildings

05 04

03

02There were many people there .. hopefully many more people will learn about the evil of genetically modified seeds.. the harm that is done to the environment, the crops, the people …..

 


Leave a comment

OMG .. I’m going to start blogging again tomorrow .. lots of photos of skies, flowers, animals and also some of the March against Monsanto

Well, I was all excited and was writing away when suddenly I somehow hit a combination of keys and lost my train of thought!  choo choo train.

Anyway, I was rhapsodizing on the end of the 4 month session of yard transformation that my DH have been working on since February.

Days, weeks, months of fixing up our rental .. the house was fine but the yard was a jungle.  So we rolled up our sleeves, began the daunting task of transformation.  And now the hard work has paid off and honestly, the yard looks like House and Garden.   Grass is growing, tall perennials (cedars, myrtles, Pyracantha’s, plus a myriad of other plants).

DH has constructed a lovely sidewalk, a retaining wall, edged with white fencing and  cement stairs that lead to the grassy area.  It’s a paradise of relaxation.  I’ll post some pics.

But as everyone who has ever done this sort of thing knows full well, it doesn’t happen easily. Lots of  hard physical work, we fetched trailer after trailer of sand, navvy jack, cement, wood, you name it.  Every day we were working hard, digging, shovelling, painting.

And as of today … just a few more things to do .. and we are done, fini …

So I will have the time now to work in our own garden (oh, wow, there is so much garlic, you wouldn’t believe!) and I can post pics of potatoes that I’m growing in sacks.

So much to share and I’m looking forward to the extreme pleasure of sitting at my computer and just “talking” away!  I’ll even bring my laptop outside.  This year I purchased a new one, by golly!  So my $85 HP can take a little rest.

I have magnificent photos of skies … to share.

Anyway, must go .. finishing details and all that .. and tomorrow I’ll start blogging.

Oh, one more thing .. my pal D and I were in the May 25, Victoria, BC March against Monsanto!!!    I took a few hours away from the work at our rental to participate in this momentous activity.  Lots of people there .. and the Blue Man from Avatar was there also ..took some pics of him.

🙂  happy days to all ….


Leave a comment

About an eagle looking down at me; icy pathways; Mallards being delightful .. and bicycle eating trees!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chilly days, some frost happening, sometimes blue skies … and still I continue my lovely daily walks.  Many years ago I used to walk and walk everywhere .. for I hadn’t a car!  Fast forward and I’m back to daily walks again.  And loving it.

So many places to go.   Things look so different compared to driving, I’m discovering streets and neighbourhoods that I hadn’t known existed.  And learning names of streets.

Decided that I’ll strive to continue my daily walks to the Swan Lake Sanctuary .. there are a variety of entrances/exits that I can take that will add variety to my walks so they don’t ever get to feel boring.

So yesterday at Swan there were still flooded paths, frozen sections.   Signage up to show everyone how to take alternate routes.

Found myself near a huge old oak with the female eagle perched atop.  Looking for lunch.  Looking down at a nearby duck-filled marsh.

Decided to walk across the grassy meadow in order to get a closer look.

03and so I decided to get a closer look

02What the hey … perhaps I can get closer yet .. ok .. I think this is close enough.  She is giving me the “eye” and I read body language enough to understand that she doesn’t like me standing beneath the tree .. so close.  Bye bye ..

01

This is part of the Sanctuary, where she was seeking a good tasty morsel for lunch … and below there was a marshy area full of Mallards .. swimming and just having a good time.  Hopefully they were ignored.

18

Some lovely colour ..

17

Ice edged the shoreline of Tuesday Pond16

I’d successfully walked through the deep puddles, I was heading to the little bridge at Tuesday Pond .. a little water wasn’t going to stop me!15

Nor was a patch of ice going to deter me.14

However, I have my limits and then I turned around ..

09

Tossed some flatted oats on the icy sections for the Mallards to feed on.

13

The mysteriously banded Mallard is still here ..  no one I’ve spoken to at the Sanctuary knows where she came from, last year.

12Party time ..

11

The eagle wasn’t out at this time .. and I couldn’t see the hawks .. so all the ducks were out, enjoying the water.10

08

Some icy covered rocks along the way07

Brrrrr06

The sun tried to shine through ..05

And the Robins chirped merrily along.04

Ok .. now I can talk about other things.  I’m still in the process of decluttering.   And discovering that hindsight is great. I had a number of Anne Perry books which I hadn’t read, so bundled them all up for donation to the Blue Box (reading program).  Kept one book …and tried to read it.  Historical novels have never held my interest.  So, although I’d collected Anne’s books, I’d not made the effort to actually read one.

Oh, well …. what can I say.  One page read, started the next and the next and a few pages in, I’m totally hooked.  Her characters are rich and she shows such a wealth of human understanding that I am hooked.  I’ll definitely be looking for more of her books at the next library book sale.   Never say never .. that saying is true.

While in the process of choosing which books to keep and which to give away .. I had to flip open the books and scan the first page .. to see if I’d read it before.   If I had (and they weren’t written by Maeve Binchy – which I keep for re and  re and re-reading, they are so very wonderful) then away they go into the box.

Now for my gardening books.   I’d already given away quite a few of them.  Now that I’m “enlightened” in my gardening ways, I’d decided to give away all of those that don’t fit my new way of gardening.  Still .. I have many, two bookcases full.  So I’ll need to go through the books again and just be firmer with myself.

As I’ve looked through some of the really old Organic Gardening books (the small format) .. I’ve read articles on soil and what lifeforms live in the soil.  Before I took my Organic Master Gardening course, I’d just skimmed over these articles  The same information is also (I am finding) written about in great detail in quite a number of my gardening books.  Ok … so the information was there all along … and I’d ignored it.  I only paid attention when I paid good money and took the course . … which I’m glad I did .. otherwise ….

And sometimes, I just wish that I wouldn’t look through books before I decided to discard them.

Case in point the 2011 Farmer’s Almanac.  Leafing through the book, saw an article on page 91 “Hungry Trees” and read that on Washington’s Vashon Island, there was a tree which grew around a bicycle.  The bike had been left leaning against the tree, decades ago.  Now the tree has grown around it and the bike is 7 feet off the ground.  Incredulous, I searched for any verification .. and sure enough, it’s true.

Although there are many blogs which mention this (and other strange tree happenings) … I found this delightful blog:  http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/vashon-island-bike-tree

An amazing blog site: http://www.atlasobscura.com/about-us  one I plan to visit!
🙂