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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I’ve Been Learning a Lot About Turtles! And Continuing My Playing in the Garden.

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)  June 5, 01

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. June 6, 02Everything 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.June 6, 05Important information for people to see and learn more about the turtles.JUne 6, 09I also learned that one can have one’s property noted as a Habitat Steward!  The information is on their web site.  This is wonderful.June 6, 10There 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!June 6, 04

Once the planting was done, we had some time to wander down to the lake, so we followed this lovely green pathway there.June 6, 07

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!

June 6, 08Some aquatic plants floated in the water, a gentle breeze created some graceful arcs around them .. in a very artistic manner.June 6, 03There 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???  🙂June 6, 06

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!!June 6, 21So 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!June 6, 22Back home, I kind of wandered around the yard with my camera .. and saw the Iris flowers blooming away.   Beautiful, floppy, gentle, calming and graceful.June 6, 11From the backyard .. more pretty flowers ( and yes, cannot remember the name).June 6, 19Salal growing like mad at the front of the house .. and more evidence that the Leafcutter bees have been active!June 6, 12Darling, 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!)June 6, 13I hadn’t noticed that my garlic was growing scapes, my pal D pointed them out to me!June 6, 15This is the first year that I had planted all my garlic in containers.  They are doing well.June 6, 14Bizzy Bee …June 6, 17On 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.

June 6, 20Life 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.

🙂


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Surprises and Magic in the garden .. what a fun place to be – all beneath beautiful blue skies ..happy is me!

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.

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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.april 18, 08 (2)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. april 18, 09

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!   april 18, 05

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.   april 18, 04

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.

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Tiny little pink flowers on this perennial which I am pretty sure is an Escallonia …  april 18, 08

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.april 18, 06

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! april 18, 01

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 april 18, 02

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.

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Another sky photo.  Such beauty for us to see.  april 18, 11

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.

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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.

🙂


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Walking along Dallas Road on a windy day.

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! dec08Walking 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.dec13There 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. dec02After 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! dec06Yummy .. 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. dec-03A 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.dec-05Another set of stairs, the wood looking lovely and weathered by the salty air.dec01

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! dec07

A closer view and lovely paintings all along the sides to add beauty to the surface of the cement walls.dec09

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.dec10

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.dec12

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. dec11

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!

🙂


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I began my day today with a simple idea of dehydrating celery and this led to a whole day of cooking!!! Oh, and it actually snowed a bit today!

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!!

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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.

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Strawberry plants growing in plant bags .. I really need to root these, in order to get fresh plants so new strawberries can grow.

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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.

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Vigorous elephant garlic, greens growing away like crazy!  Very healthy soil.  And leaf mulch!

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Snowy covered grass.  I really should have cut the grass a few weeks ago, but, procrastination won out in the end.

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Blue skies from yesterday, sparrows were flying every which way!

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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!!

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Sweet Mock Orange, from yesterday, before the snows came.  The flowers are still there today.

dec-6-03Well, 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!

OMG.

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.

A happy day!

🙂

 


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More on Seedy Saturday ….that wonderful sunny day!

Continuing on with more photos from last Saturday’s Seedy Saturday.  Here are some honey bees …buzzing away, safely inside their container!
33Some 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!

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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.

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I just love his artwork .. very happy and carefree.

32A local company .. and good to see the permaculture aspect of landscaping.

30I like the name of this company …. sweeeeeeet ….

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Olive trees for sale!  Oh,  I was tempted … how lovely it would be to have an olive tree.

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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.

23My oh my .. someone has been very busy!

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21I’ve purchased seeds from this company … they have a diverse variety.  And of course, all organic!

24Now, this booth was quite interesting.

25Their packaging was quite unique and I liked the mix of fonts.

27But 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.

26This 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.28Seeds of Diversity .. a seed bank.

36Important.

37And quite an interesting article about planting over 3,000 cloves of garlic.

 

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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!

🙂


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JaneE my cat is such a sweetie .. and I’m curious about garlic ..and admiring the blue skies above

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.

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Here she is .. sniffing out the catnip plant .. and there is my shadow .. taking this photo of her.

107Something 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.

106She 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!

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Lovely skies … so cheerful.

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Ok .. I spent more time looking up ..

110And feeling overjoyed at the clean beauty of these skies.

109This garlic was shedding a covering .. strange .. I thought …not having noticed anything like this before.

102And  had to admire the sunlight showing through the strong leaves of the Elephant garlic  …such a sturdy plant.

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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?

104I 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.

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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.

Well, it’s been a day!

🙂

 

 

 


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Sunny .. sort of .. Sunday .. my “winter sowing of summer seeds” is progressing very well.

I started my “winter sowing summer seeds” at the end of January.    Guidelines thanks to Kevin:  http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/2012/11/winter-sowing-101-6/

This year I carefully labelled everything, writing the type of seed neatly, with permanent ink, on garden markers.  And I wrote the dates and details of each seed that I sowed into a hard covered notebook.  How veddy veddy mature, wouldn’t you say!   Last year I emptied the full packets of seeds into the containers.  And the seeds grew so well that I had way too many seedlings. So this year, I only sowed partial envelopes.  Except for some wild flower seeds and nodding onions (which my pal D, gave to me).   I can be constrained for so long and then just throw caution to the wind, as it were.  Here are some of my containers.  I ran out of milk jugs and decided to use the clear containers from lettuce and berries .. they worked out just as well.  Many of the seeds that I started at the end of January have sprouted already!!

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Here is a container of glass chunks that I uncovered when I was digging and sifting the ground, a few years ago.  There used to be a glass factory in the neighbourhood and our property sits on a portion of it.  I’ve uncovered a few cement foundations that I was going to use for a garden feature, but decided that it wouldn’t work out well so I covered them up.  The greenish glass is rather pretty and I’ve been thinking how best to show them off to their best advantage.  Still working on that.

301I use a fair bit of coconut coir in the garden, buying blocks of the compressed material and I leave them outside to crumble in the rain.  Far better than using peat moss, which is a non-renewable product, compared to the readiness of coir.  The plant cell flat is just waiting for the seedlings to grow a bit bigger so I can prick them out of the milk jugs and plant them in these cells.

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Ah .. garlic.  This was the year when I was only going to grow garlic in just 2 areas of the yard.  I’d created 2 temporary garlic beds, creating circles with 2 levels of brick.  Wonderful new soil, mixed with glacial rock powder, coir, compost.   I’d placed way too much organic straw on the bulbs and had to remove most of it to allow the greens to welcome the rays of the sun.  So, here are my two garlic beds.

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However, as I still had lots of garlic left, I thought, why not plant a few more cloves?  So I did just that.  I created forms with bits of wood that my DH had in his workshop.  Fastened them together with screws, filled with the above mentioned soil and planted the garlic.  Ok, thus far.

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But, wait, I had a few more garlic cloves, sprouting greens, and I thought, what’s the harm in planting these.  So, this is part of the side of the yard.  Garlic happily growing there.  Lots of seaweed tucked around them.

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Then I noticed more cloves sprouting, so I planted a few more on the other side of the yard.  After this, I planted some more by the garden gate, but haven’t yet taken a photo.  I’m hopelessly in love with garlic.  And dream of growing much more than this.

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Last fall I wasn’t able to “tidy up” the yard and thus there is still lots of things to do.  I found a container into which I had tossed a pile of bulbs and had forgotten about them.  I discovered some interesting things.  One was that this tulip bulb, thrown upside down in the pot, was still determined to grow roots and see how they have grown!

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Another thing I discovered was the magic of bulbs.  Determinedly flowering away despite the lack of soil.  No care whatsoever.  So what’s a gardener to do?

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Well, I potted them up, that is what!  I think these are Muscari bulbs, quite pretty. Grow on, bulbs!

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I took time to walk around the yard.  And I stopped by one of my two dwarf weeping willows.  One is quite strong (this one) and the second is needing a bit more love and care, which I happily supply.

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How sweet are these diminutive little willow buds.

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There are a couple of Flickers who visit the yard.  They really seem to prefer one of the plum trees for some reason.  And at this time, one was hunkered down by a suet block.  He did spend some time wrapped around the suet container, plucking out lots of the suet and now he was taking a break.

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Later on, he perched onto the trunk of the wild and crazy tree.  He stayed there for quite a long time.  Whether resting, or hiding from a raptor .. I didn’t know … I just was happy that he had a place to rest.

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A short time later, I was unloading things from my car when I noticed this eagle flying overhead, so I quickly got out my camera and clicked away.

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And he landed atop a tree way down the road.

317I just stood there for awhile, leaning against my car, clicking away, while this majestic raptor looked around, patiently, for the next meal.

319

When the eagle left .. the Coopers Hawk took up residence.

320

It’s been an interesting time in the garden again …