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.
This was rather artistic and kind of sparkly, if clouds can use that adjective and in this case – I think it is appropriate!
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.
Yum yum .. thought the bee .. here is a flower just for me!!
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!!
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!
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.
One of my visits to the beach along Dallas Road .. love the designs in the stone ..
It is so relaxing to walk along the beach and breathe in the ocean air. We are so lucky.
Such a wonderful life .. so many things to do and discover!
Must dash, time to practice my vocals for my upcoming fantastic singing lesson!!
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!!
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!
This is how I start my gardening day .. A pottery mug (from dear Potluck Ceramics in Port Alberni) full of delicious Yorkshire Tea!!
And sometimes, when I feel like it .. my gardening day ends like this!
My JaneE Kat .. my garden buddy! Graciously sitting on her bench, regally awaiting her treats.
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.
Lots of potatoes planted in large pots. Potatoes are growing everywhere in the yard, even in the garlic. I love potatoes!
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!
See? Same garlic type (elephant .. i know, a member of the leek family but these are very garlic-y) 🙂
Luscious lazy lupins in Port ..
JaneE getting soaked by the sump-pump water fountain .. drops of water glisten on her fur! Krazy Kat!
Loving the light through the leaves… nature’s artistic renderings of joy …
Springtime beauties .. happy little flowers ..
Woo Hoo .. towering Cues up in Port a few weeks ago ….
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!
Well, I’ve enjoyed this little visit at playing with words .. it’s been fun so I will continue tomorrow!
Finally .. I am getting over the “lazies” of winter and energizing myself to get back into my garden! I have been visiting my little garden almost daily, making sure the bird feeders and Hummingbird feeders are topped up and cleaning them to ensure that my little feathered friends have proper eating stations. And always, I find little treasures that I’ve placed throughout the garden. Here is a glass fishing globe that I bought from Capital Iron many years ago .. the colour blends in with the rocks and oak leaves!
And there are at least 6 Stellar Blue Jays that have been visiting .. at first they loved the squash seeds and now much prefer peanuts in the shell, followed by some bird seeds. They are versatile .. and they are beautiful. Too bad they can’t sing!
They aren’t so shy now and I love how they stand so victoriously when they grab a peanut. I’ve seen one of them stuff a peanut to the back of their beak and then grab another one. Then fly back to a tree branch for a little picnic! They are clever birds.
Here is another little upside down umbrella for some little birds to perch while they eat. I took this photo from across the yard so it is a little blurry. The Junco is so sweet!
Stellar on a bamboo cane … a striking bird.
This years garlic beds (although I have a few more, just couldn’t stop myself!) I’d covered the bulbs, back in October, with leaf mulch and seaweed .. now that the greens are growing, I’m pushing the cover aside. This is one of those shape shifting gardens, temporary little walls of brick. Soon there will be tall peas growing at the edges, followed by a great variety of beans ..yum! I’ve ordered a variety from Salt Spring Seeds and Annapolis Seeds. Nothing like sipping on a glass of dry white while looking at the online catalogues Let’s just say that I’ll have a great variety of beans. Even if I had been sipping on a mug of Yorkshire Tea, the result would have been the same. Lots of pole beans, to create my little garden room! Lots of beans for eating, juicing, freezing!!
I think these are crocus bulbs, fingers crossed they aren’t bluebells, the stems seem rather strong so I’m leaning toward the crocus. Bulbs are so hardy!
Here is a rose my neighbour gave me last year .. it is anxious to start growing so I must find a place to plant it soon!
I loved watching the Bewick Wrens in this tree last year! Busy collecting the fluffy willow buds to add to their nest. It won’t be long now!
Tiny little lupin flowers .. soon they will be at least 3 feet high and the bees will be buzzing!
Our lovely little JaneE .. who celebrated her 22nd birthday the day after Christmas. We didn’t have a cake but we did have lots of fun & cuddles. She loves that! She is Queen of our Yard! Our lovely little girl!!!
And finally .. I’m turning into a sort of yard detective! About 7 years ago, when I retired, I began changing the yard again. Over the years, I’d had raised beds, surrounded by 6 yards of gravel (that I’d moved, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow from the front of the house to the back yard!) Gardeners aren’t afraid of a little work! Time for change and I’d shifted and rinsed the gravel. I also began sifting the soil and found many interesting things (I’d posted the pics, go and have a look if you like! Anyway, I’d found this glass slag and searched as I may, didn’t find much information! However, recently I’ve discovered the Archives at Centennial Library and have gone for a beginner visit. Everyone there is so helpful and I’ve begun the research for the glass factory that was here at one time. I’ve located several building foundations, partly in our yard and shared with the neighbours. I love a good mystery .. so this is a fun journey that I’ve begun!
Well, every year is the same, I’ve noticed the pattern. Highly energized in the spring, summer and fall. Finally winding down to total laziness by this time of year. This year, I decided to embrace that laziness .. knowing full well that it never lasts long. And the busyness begins. I love that!
So .. time to get on with this day! My German lesson starts soon so .. va va voom!
Magnificent skies up at Port Alberni last weekend …on Sunday, the day started off like this .. clouds obscured the Beauforts and then they started to clear away ..
and the clouds lifted .. and lifted … to reveal the mountain range ..I love this happening …
So, DH says, want to go for a flight? He knows that he doesn’t have to ask me twice, so I quickly (and oh so carefully) scramble into the back of the PWU-6, being uber careful to only put my feet where there are supposed to go. I settle in while my harness is connected and soon we are up in the skies where I love to be.
So much fun to be up in the sky .. closer to the clouds as they are slowly rising up from the mountains. I am one lucky gal, I know!
sigh … I am so HAPPY …
Entering the final glide to the landing strip .. wah .. I want to stay up there, but no thermals up there, save for the tantalizing resident thermal that always pops up on the final glide .. oh you are such a tease, you are!
Flight over and DH continues with his aviation life and I settle in to pursue my loves .. one of which is the fiddle, relaxing here with some of my favourite hats!
Besides my incredible learning lessons with my fiddle teacher, I have also purchased these books to further my knowledge ..
I’ve also begun teaching myself the harmonica .. and my pal D has generously given me the “Chromonica” German made harmonica that was her dad’s!!! So that is part of my musical education that I pursue. A week ago, the #1 Blues Harmonica player was in Port, but alas I wasn’t able to go to the show. What are the odds, though, that there would be such an entertainer up there. Bittersweet that I wasn’t able to go but there will be other times I know. Love the Blues.
Someone was practicing their chainsaw technique and wouldn’t this look fantastic in a garden!!!!!
Another one .. beautiful!! I did take some little wedge sections for my garden .. couldn’t resist doing that.On the way home, little baby girl was so sleepy .. and worn out from pacing back and forth in the car, she finally succumbed to dreamland. Love her so much.
Back home .. admiring this most delicately flowered plant that I bought, it’s an Australian plant and I need to look up the name .. tiniest little flowers so very pretty.And the great scape escape. I had a feeling, while I was hanging bunches of garlic to dry beneath the sundeck, that I may have missed a scape or two. Proof here that I did!! I could plant the seeds and in a number of years of replanting, I might receive a regular garlic. Might just do that for the fun of it … but will need to clearly label the container!!
I now know that Clematis vines are not delicate little things. Discovered this last year when I had to cut back this very vine, as it was getting mildew. After a hard cutting, it flourished and quickly grew back, the daily growth progress was amazing. Here the flowers are opening up and tumbling to the ground. Nature’s beauty is the best.I
I normally do not spend a lot of money on shoes or clothing, preferring to buy plants and gardening things. However, a few days ago, while out shopping, I stopped in to visit SoftMoc at the Hillside shopping centre. The staff there are always so positive and friendly and I soon found myself trying on some Converse shoes. And I fell in love with them. The lovely clerk who was helping me out was wearing a lovely pair of naturally weathered black Converse shoes and I immediately loved the faded look. They seemed to be shoes that were well made and worn with love. I look forward to my shoes becoming weathered little walking shoes. Anyway, after enquiring if anyone had ever worn two different coloured shoes and no, that hadn’t been done, I decided (with the encouragement of the clerks and a few customers) to wear a green and a lavender. Confidentally I walked out of the store and everytime I looked at my feet, I felt energized, daring and creative. This is what it is like to be different and I like that feeling! I sent a photo to the Canadian arm of the company and I wonder how long it will take for others to wear odd coloured shoes (of the same type, mind you!) together?
Well, I just did a bit of research, and as creative as this is, it isn’t new! However, I am over the moon to know that I am not alone in this!!! two different coloured shoes
ha ha .. .well … on with this day .. things to do and places to go .. at the end of my running around, I plan to play in the garden! And tomorrow .. I will spend the whole complete day in the garden and not go anywhere else. Sheer Bliss!!
Last Sunday, I was happy to be part of a group of HAT volunteers (Habitat Acquisition Trust) that were going to plant native plants at a turtle habitat, near Eagle Lake. Here is a link that shows the hard working HAT volunteers who prepared this site, below (at the HAT link go to near the bottom of the page and you can see that)
I must admit that I was ignorant of the life span (60 years) of turtles, that there were so many varieties .. and how they find special places to plant their eggs, which take a very long time (I think over a year) to hatch and then the babies know where to follow their correct route. Paige, from HAT, patiently educated me and a few others about turtles. I now have more respect for these creatures and I felt quite proud to be part of this event. Everything has been carefully planted and watered – the water was obtained from Eagle Lake and brought up to the planting site, bucketful by bucketful. I simply had to encircle the plants with rocks. This, hopefully, would allow passersby to understand that these plants were intentionally placed there.Important information for people to see and learn more about the turtles.I also learned that one can have one’s property noted as a Habitat Steward! The information is on their web site. This is wonderful.There are about 5 or 6 logs near the edges of the lake. These were placed there by HAT, so that turtles could bask in the sun!
Once the planting was done, we had some time to wander down to the lake, so we followed this lovely green pathway there.
And here we had a good view of the lake at more of a ground level. What a peaceful place. There were several families alongside the lake, swimming, relaxing, enjoying a quiet Sunday away from the traffic!
Some aquatic plants floated in the water, a gentle breeze created some graceful arcs around them .. in a very artistic manner.There is a cob house in the area and the owners take people on guided tours to show them how the house was built. I think that the same people built this cob building for the park. It certainly suited the surroundings. At any moment, I half expected Snow White to saunter out of a little doorway in the building, basket in hand, all set to harvest greens and mushrooms for supper. Really, that is how my mind works and I like my imagination a lot. We spend a lot of time together, and this is how it should be, for a creative person, n’est-ce pas??? 🙂
Anyway, I quite enjoyed my second outing with the HAT group. Each time was an adventure. Another day I will blog about our very special outing to Senanus Island.
On another note, last Friday was another fiddle lesson for me. I travel from just outside the grand metropolis of Victoria to get to my teacher’s home. The route entails going along Blanshard Avenue, and whatever construction is happening near downtown Victoria and so I never know if I’m going to be stuck, again, in traffic. So now I just plan to leave extra early and just relax at Beacon Hill Park until just shortly before my lesson, at which point I get back into my trusty little freckled car. It’s freckled because the red paint has been slowly lifting off of the surface of the car, leaving a bedraggled look. It doesn’t bother me at all, but I do get sneers and snide looks from people who seem to find it disgusting. I mean, really, it’s just a car with a worn out paint job, what is the big deal anyway?
So here is the big watering can at the outskirts of the park, along Douglas Street. During the hot summer months, the water will sprinkle down on lots of little kiddies and happy parents! Picture me, so not there!!So my pal, D, whom I had visited just before driving out here, packed me a little picnic treat. She’d made a delicious apple crisp (made with the dehydrated apples I had prepared from our tree!) and insisted on giving me a portion to take with me, complete with a fork to eat it with! She also gave me the Red Green bathroom book .. he is such a funny guy! And there is my watch, ready to let me know when to leave for my lesson!Back home, I kind of wandered around the yard with my camera .. and saw the Iris flowers blooming away. Beautiful, floppy, gentle, calming and graceful.From the backyard .. more pretty flowers ( and yes, cannot remember the name).Salal growing like mad at the front of the house .. and more evidence that the Leafcutter bees have been active!Darling, lovely Bewick Wren .. perched atop our First Christmas Tree … so precious. I love them. This photo was taken from the back yard, about 30-40 feet from this 50 foot tree (or maybe higher than 50 ft., it’s hard to tell, but it is tall!)I hadn’t noticed that my garlic was growing scapes, my pal D pointed them out to me!This is the first year that I had planted all my garlic in containers. They are doing well.Bizzy Bee …On one of my (too) many trip to Michael’s Craft stores, I happened to notice this Guide Dog vehicle. I have the highest respect for what they do and this was the first time that I’d seen a car with the signage on it, so I just had to snap a photo.
Life has been pretty busy, now that the rains have stopped and the sun has begun shining.
The rains were frequent and heavy. I was happy for that meant that I didn’t need to be concerned with watering the plants. This complacency continued after the rains stopped and so I lost a few precious blueberry plants. So sad, really.
And a few days ago I began paying more attention to the needs of my garden and the rest of my plants are faring well.
I’m still shaping the veggie garden and have begun planting tomatoes and other things. The peas are growing fine .. and even though I had bought seeds and inoculate, I kept delaying the start of planting them so I finally resorted to buying some starter plants.
Even if I don’t harvest any peas, the greenery looks lovely.
I’m still working on the placement of the tall bamboo poles, to create a special little hiding place for me to be, during the summer .. a place that will be like a secret garden, the mini version. A place for me to be and not see anything but greenery.
I find it to be a magical process, to shape a garden. I go outside, look around, drink mugs of Yorkshire Tea while contemplating what I would like to do. Can’t think of a thing.
The ideas appear when I’m actually digging around the garden, moving things, the creative process begins and I’m always surprised at how things turn out.
When I’m kneeling on the ground, grubby in my long sleeved t-shirt and Carhartt bib overalls and gumboots. Trowel in hand, I dig away and suddenly the ideas pop up and I dig away, reshaping some areas into mini-garden spaces. It isn’t a large area but big enough for me to move around and shape things.
Once it is all finished and things are growing, I’ll post some photos.
I find it all quite exciting!
So now, it’s off to watch that dreary Coronation Street … argh.
Tis the season of blue skies and rainy days here. Like .. yesterday! The sun was shining brilliantly in the morning. I dutifully practiced my singing exercises, followed by my fiddle session. These are easy to set aside for a later time in the day but I find that, when I do that, procrastination takes over, big time. So .. I just focus on these 2 lovely sessions.
When I did finally go outside, a slight rain had occurred and again .. there were blue skies overhead!
So my darling little Lady JaneE came outside with me. She is my gardening cat. Born in ’96, the year of the “big snow” here in Victoria, she literally rules the roost in our house. We love her so much. Anyway, she is waiting for some treats which I place on the steps beside her. One of our gardening rituals.Sipping my mug of Yorkshire tea, I wander around the yard a bit .. this also is a ritual that I follow. To see all the changes that Spring has brought to the garden. And enjoy the sweet little songbirds. Here is a little Golden Crowned Sparrow.. I love their songs and find them very comforting.
The Spotted Towhee .. another lovely bird, very shy but bold in colour. They have a wide range of sound and sometimes they sound (to me) like the Bewick Wren!
Sweet little Red-breasted Nuthatch … zooming in for some suet! The trees in our yard are tall and provide nesting areas for many of the birds that visit our yard.
The tall Oregon grape is flowering nicely .. cheerful yellow flowers brighten up a bit of the yard. The leaves on the fruit trees are starting to grow and fill out. Soon they will be accepted as a normal part of the trees but during this growth period after the winter, they are marvellous bits of magic manifesting in the yard. I like that.
Tiny little pink flowers on this perennial which I am pretty sure is an Escallonia …
Flowers of a fruit tree. I potted this up last summer, and am not sure if it is plum or cherry. Guess I’ll find out this year! More of the magic & a surprise to unfold. Love the mystery.
I discovered this idea, to cut up (organic) seed potatoes, from a great youtube video of allotment gardening This guy is just amazing! Anyway, I have potted these up now and am waiting to see if they will grow and then I’ll plant them. I have a few ideas as to how I will do that and will post when that is done! A nice surprise for me last week .. was discovering 2 sprouting garlics! Last summer I had tied up bunches of garlic to dry beneath the sundeck and these 2 must have fallen down!
I’ll pot these up in containers and look forward to harvesting them at the end of summer! They are hardnecks, so more scapes for pesto! Yumm
Last week I visited Russel Nursery in North Saanich, what a wonderful place for a gardener to be! I was there at least 3 hours, which seemed like 5 minutes. Everyone there is so knowledgeable and helpful. This is one of a few wooden structures there that I totally fell in love with. So much character and beauty. A portal to the plant world.
Another sky photo. Such beauty for us to see.
Hey, hey, hey! Have I found the perfect gardening tea mug????? Yes! And yesterday I filled it with lovely Yorkshire tea and sat on the front steps to drink it and enjoy the greenery around me. This lovely hypertufa mini-garden is the perfect place for it to be.
Many, many, years ago, I purchased all the ingredients to make one of these and life just became too hectic for me to accomplish this! So I bought this one ready-made and love it so much. Perhaps I will try again, this motivates me to think about that.
This day is starting out in a gentle fashion. Cloudy skies, sporadic rain showers. Birds singing in the yard.
Time to get on with things, Practicing my two passions. The fiddle and the singing. And then on to other things .. like the garden which is calling out to me.
Yesterday I joined some friends for a lively walk around the Ogden Point area – lovely to be outside now that the snow has completely disappeared! It was a bit of a windy day and the ocean was just rolling in waves, tossing huge logs around with such ease – nice to watch safely from above! Walking along one section of the gravelly beach areas, more logs have been tossed into a pile. Magnificent to see the waves splashing up and over any barriers in their way. Can’t stop the power of a wave.There are a number of stairways leading to the beach areas. The wooden steps were a tad slippery, so it was good to have sturdy rails to hang onto, to catch one’s step. After a cloudy start to the morning, the skies soon cleared and there was beautiful sky art overhead to brighten up our little world. Seagulls happily flying overhead. Watching their side-slips and swift turns made me long for the summer and high flights in the glider. Just a few more months and then that will happen, oh great joy! Yummy .. yummy … kelp! Good for forming baskets (keep them out of the rain, haha) or chopping up for the garden. My pal D and I will go seeking seaweed in the new year. Lovely for the garden!! Adding zillions of minerals to the soil. A couple of seagulls taking a bit of a rest between flights. Checking out the weather conditions and where is Charlie anyway? He promised to join us here! Lots of logs making their way to the beach area.Another set of stairs, the wood looking lovely and weathered by the salty air.
More people walking along Dallas Road, enjoying the beauty and power of the wind and waves. Snow covered hills in the background and there, to the left, is the beautiful walkway with (thank heavens) wire railings on both sides. A safety net for those (like me) who are appreciative of such guides in open spaces!
A closer view and lovely paintings all along the sides to add beauty to the surface of the cement walls.
There were a few Cormorants in the waters – such beautiful birds, I quickly snapped a photo before this one dove down into the cold waters.
A closer view of the wire “walls” or “fencing” that gives us the feeling of safety against the open vista of water. Now I don’t feel as if I’ll tumble over the sides. In the past I have encountered people, nervous like myself, as we gingerly passed each other on the walkway. I didn’t notice any nervous people .. .everyone walked along confidently, happy in their walks. Smiling as we passed each other. Felt good.
As we neared the end of the walk, I noticed this gull. Perhaps this was Charlie and he forgot the rendezvous location and was seeking his two pals? I wonder.
So, a lovely hour and a half in the fresh air .. what a lovely experience after having had a miserable cold/flu!
And the days are starting to be longer! Soon I will be outside in my garden. Tidying up .. as I never did finish doing that in the fall.
I even left all the bean poles up – more places for the birds to perch and hide when necessary.
My garlic has been growing greens (photos tomorrow) due to the warm fall weather. Some of the greens look pale and weather-beaten I hope that this doesn’t affect the quality of the cloves.
Every year I think that I haven’t planted enough garlic. You know, lots for home, lots for friends and the largest cloves for planting. Oh how I long for more property so I can start planting much more garlic. Soon I hope.
Anyway, about 13 large containers with at least 10 (or more) cloves planted in October. Instead of planting the various ‘stans of garlic purchased from Richters (love them!) I just planted Elephant (leek family, but, oh my, my Elephant “garlic” is very garlicky!) And a ‘stan (I think Kazakhstan, from Richters many years ago). These grow very well for me and the cloves are super easy to pull apart.
Dreaming of the upcoming days when I can be outside, watching the birds, loving the sky art above and perhaps doing some work .. I will enjoy, for now, the luxury of being inside. Playing and creating with my millions of beads. Practicing my fiddle. More decluttering (does it ever end!)
Looking forward to my clogging, practicing dumbeq with a friend, beginning my study of the German language (something I’d started years before).
I find myself delving into interests that I had for so many years … activities put aside on the shelf till a later date. And the happiness that I feel in doing so just fills me with such joy and satisfaction, that money just can’t buy!
So, here in little Victoria, we had a little bit of snow, a little bit of freezing and a little bit of sun!
I swore I wasn’t going to take any snow photos this year, however, once i went outside and saw a few icicles dripping off one of the bird feeders, I just had to go back inside and fetch my camera!!
I do clean out the bird feeders every few weeks, as I want to keep the feeders clean! This is the only feeder that showed icicles on it, so of course, I had to take a pic!
Then I noticed the scarlet red runner beans, the seeds hadn’t fully formed, so I might just leave them here on the vine, or I might just take them inside to juice them along with apples and carrots.
Strawberry plants growing in plant bags .. I really need to root these, in order to get fresh plants so new strawberries can grow.
This year, I planted all my garlic in large containers. I’ll be working on prepping the yard for a basic grassy area, so will grow all my crops (peas, beans) in containers like these. They work well.
Vigorous elephant garlic, greens growing away like crazy! Very healthy soil. And leaf mulch!
Snowy covered grass. I really should have cut the grass a few weeks ago, but, procrastination won out in the end.
Blue skies from yesterday, sparrows were flying every which way!
From yesterday also, I discovered this healthy raspberry cane growing away amidst some tall plants at the back of the yard. Don’t expect any fruit, but am impressed with the vigour of this cane, so I’ll pot this one up!!
Sweet Mock Orange, from yesterday, before the snows came. The flowers are still there today.
Well, that is it for photos.
Now I’ll tell you what else happened today!
And I seem to remember that what happened today has occurred in previous years!
Today, for some strange reason, perhaps it is due to my genes and preparing for winter! I just seemed to morph into a kind of little busy bee that was hell bent on preparing food for the winter.
For I found myself just mindlessly going into food preparation mode! This has happened before!
Oh, wait! I didn’t mention that really, my day of food preparation started off with a lowly bunch of celery!!! Organic celery. I just didn’t want to use a bit of this in soup today and wanted to dry it for use for the winter, so that it wouldn’t go bad.
Thus, I started to search online for celery powder, which led me to onion powder, this in turn lead me to garlic powder. This is how I began my culinary day today!!
I found some sites which showed how delicious it could be to combine powdered veggies would make a good alternative to salt, so that is how I began my dehydrating section of the day!
Then I found myself searching online for the best ideas for making freezer hash-browns! I had a bag of organic potatoes which had begun to sprout roots! And so I became an industrious busy bee, peeling potatoes, shredding them, putting them in a large pot of boiling water and then after a few minutes, cooling them off in a bowl of iced water. Followed by layering them in paper towels and clean tea towels, twisting them to squeeze off excess water and then layering them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. And, once frozen, placing the finished product into zip-lock bags for future hash-brown breakfasts.
Then it was time to reduce the recently baked organic chickens that I had baked a few days ago – broth for soup and chicken shreds for the soup and then for quesadilla’s for the freezer (with lots of shredded cheese and capers!)
After this, it was time to remove the bags of frozen garlic cloves (from my recent harvest of July). Prepare them for the foil squares & drizzle of olive oil & bake in the oven. Following that, time for cooling off and a few hours of time spent squeezing the garlic paste out of the cloves, mashing them and putting dollops on waxed paper on a cookie sheet and in the freezer!
After I removed the delicious chicken soup from the slow cooker, placing it in the fridge for tomorrows lunch time meal .. I began the tedious task of cleaning up my dishes and the counter.
It has truly been a day!
A day of hanging around the kitchen, preparing food for the winter. Constantly cleaning up pots, dishes and the stove and kitchen counters.
Not a day that I would repeat too often, but, a satisfying day. One that didn’t require a lot of thinking, but one which was, nevertheless, highly satisfying.
Continuing on with more photos from last Saturday’s Seedy Saturday. Here are some honey bees …buzzing away, safely inside their container! Some racks for the beeswax and there is a smoker on the top left .. used to calm down the bees I believe, when the screens are removed so that they can be whirled and twirled to release the honey. I know that isn’t the terminology but it seems to fit the activity!
More bee paraphernalia .. I don’t know much about beekeeping but this all looked so interesting. There is a little Mason Bee house beside the combs.
I just love his artwork .. very happy and carefree.
A local company .. and good to see the permaculture aspect of landscaping.
I like the name of this company …. sweeeeeeet ….
Olive trees for sale! Oh, I was tempted … how lovely it would be to have an olive tree.
Hugelkulture .. the word caught my eye so I had to stop and look at this display. Is this the best type of gardening ever? I think so.
My oh my .. someone has been very busy!
I’ve purchased seeds from this company … they have a diverse variety. And of course, all organic!
Now, this booth was quite interesting.
Their packaging was quite unique and I liked the mix of fonts.
But this is what quickly caught my attention. I love wood and was curious about these screens. Well, as it turns out, they are used in the process of seed winnowing! I participated in a hands-on session and will post photos tomorrow.
This is the winnowing machine. The hand crank (lower right) is turned at a steady, slow pace and this gets the internal parts going so the seeds can be sorted and they exit the machine via the two openings down below.Seeds of Diversity .. a seed bank.
And quite an interesting article about planting over 3,000 cloves of garlic.
It was a very interesting day and I so loving being there!
So many new ideas of how to grow plants and new (to me) plants. I’ll also be looking at my wooden items at home, wondering how they can be repurposed to hold seeds or plants or maybe just paint them for display.
The atmosphere at Seedy Saturday is very nurturing .. a great place for all of us gardeners to be!
Here is our lovely little kitty – JaneE cat! She is a Calico Manx and she was born during the “great snow storm” of ’96 (Victoria, BC) which makes her 19 years old! Doesn’t she look lovely. She came outside this afternoon to enjoy the sun. … check out the yard .. and visit with me. I was so happy to have her outside with me.
Here she is .. sniffing out the catnip plant .. and there is my shadow .. taking this photo of her.
Something caught her attention .. her hearing has greatly diminished lately …so I think a movement caught her eye. She can still hear when I tap a spoon against a glass, though.
She still plays like a kitten! I bought her a small knitted catnip mouse recently. It was knitted by a 90 year’s “young” lady from Sidney, BC and these are sold to raise money for protecting cats. I bought it at Elements Compounding Pharmacy, located nearby. Anyway, JaneE was batting that little knitted mouse around and we were happy to see her behaving in such a fun, joyful manner! So .. she still has this playful manner, as you can see in this photo. I have an airplane windshield to act as a little greenhouse. Lots of sedums propagated here. JaneE saw the little opening and within seconds, she was inside, exploring. What a Cat!
Lovely skies … so cheerful.
Ok .. I spent more time looking up ..
And feeling overjoyed at the clean beauty of these skies.
This garlic was shedding a covering .. strange .. I thought …not having noticed anything like this before.
And had to admire the sunlight showing through the strong leaves of the Elephant garlic …such a sturdy plant.
And then I started looking more closely at the garlic greens. Although I’d planted them all the same, pointy ends up .. it appeared that some leaves were growing in a different direction than others. Some leaves were facing one direction and some were facing a different direction. Now .. why is that?
I think winter is over .. it feels like spring is here. Many of my “winter sown” seeds are ready to pot up. Kale and Mizuna, fast growing .. are at the 2 leaf stage, it won’t be long before they’ll be big enough. My assortments of wild flowers and grasses .. I just threw the seeds into the milk containers .. so when they are bigger, I will just lift out small square sections of them and pot them up in 4 ” containers and when ready, I’ll plant them here and there.
A few days ago I picked 3 young daffodil stems. The flowering capsules were small .. they hadn’t bloomed yet and I thought that I would pick them and take inside to see if they would bloom. So, the magic of plants has proven itself yet again .. these flowers are nearly ready to escape the tight confines and bloom. Amazing. Magic. Plants. Nature.
I want to update some boring plastic garden pots and have spent a fair bit of time researching ideas online. I’ve come up with a few simple ideas and plan to test them out. Just simple ideas, nothing fancy, mind you .. and plan to do this over the next few days. I’ll post the results when they are done.