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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Sunny & frosty days …some snow has arrived to transform the garden. And the birds are happy. I think the Faeries have been partying at night!

The weather here in Victoria has been pretty normal, what with the rainy days, the sunny days and the faintest touch of snow once in awhile.  This is why everyone is drawn to this beautiful city.

Yesterday I was in the back yard .. topping up the bird feeders, tipping out the ice from the bird-baths (ok, we have had a few frosty mornings, I can live with that) … and my eyes were drawn to this (still) potted Hellebore .. which I will plant when the weather warms up a bit.  It is a tough little plant and has been enjoying the balmy parts of the day when the sun warms up the yard here and there.P1350675

Yesterday, those darling little Bushtits were hungry and so they didn’t fly away when I approached them.  They love these little ceramic and coiled metal suet holders .. this design is perfect for them and so I’ve placed several in this corner of the yard.

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Here is another chunk of slag .. left over from a glass factory many years ago.  Love how the sun brings out the blue/green colour.

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I’d bought this at a garage sale, many, many, many .. years ago.   It’s nice and chunky, someone’s prized stained glass project.  Here I have placed it upside down … it’s nicely covered with some garden soil and it could serve as a night-time party surface for the wee faeries when they come out at night to party and enjoy the solitude of the garden.  It’s placed far enough from the house so that their music and singing isn’t heard inside.  Tempting to tip toe outside on a hot summer evening to see if I can see them frolic and play.  That would be fun.

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The frosty weather is nature’s opportunity to change things up in the yard .. a chance to show us her creativity.  Here is a lovely display of ice .. so pretty, sparkling in the sun.. but not easy for the birds to drink!   Maybe .. the faeries have donned their winter clothing and skates .. perfect surface for them to practise their skating techniques during the nights when we sleep.  Perhaps the crackles were cause by a few of them, having had one too many little hot toddies as they demonstrated their triple axels??  (or whatever they do when twirling about on the ice in their tiny jewel encrusted skates!)  Can’t you just picture this?  I can!

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So I tipped the ice out and added some water for the little birdies!  To drink and perhaps have a little bath.P1350681

When I’d finished tipping out the ice, I looked at those round circles and decided to play with them and create a little ice path!  For viewing only, for beauty only.  sigh.

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Today was brrrr in the yard … I know that birds who visit our yard are wild and can fend for themselves .. however .. I did invest in a rather fair bit of a variety of bird seed expressly for them .. so out I went .. and added a generous amount to each feeder and made sure there was a healthy chunk of suet in each holder.  Good thing.  As it turned out, this afternoon we had a surprise coating of snow. Pretty to look at.  The yard transformed and magical again.

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I took some photos through the kitchen window .. I knew that if I went outside to take photos, the activity would frighten the birds away and I just wanted them to enjoy some quiet time and a chance to fill up their little bellies for the cold night that approaches.  Here is a beautiful Spotted Towhee …P1350695

Some Junco’s, sparrows .. the yard was full of birds flitting about and doing their little shuffle-shuffle dance to find sunflower seeds hidden in the snow.P1350700

Here’s another photo of that beautiful Hellebore ..looking lovely against the grass of yesterday!

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So very excited .. am I!!!  Recently received my order from Salt Spring Island seeds!!!  This is going to be such a fun summer of growing peas and beans and a few other things.  It won’t be long before there will be tunnels of these in the garden.  A little room in the back where I can sit on my bench, glass of white or mug of Yorkshire Tea (depending on the time of day!!).   A place where I don’t see any buildings .. only the green of the lush vines growing all around!P1350692

And today my order from Annapolis Seeds arrived!   Lots and lots of beans for juicing, munching and freezing!  This year will be abundant.  And I’ll be freezing the beans whole (no blanching required as the beans won’t be touching the ground!)

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My final photos is from Seedy Saturday, last Saturday, at the Victoria Conference Centre.  This is the first year that I haven’t volunteered, since I retired and I really enjoyed my time .. happy to see  garden friends there .. an exciting time wandering the tables and a choice of very informative seminars!  So many knowledgeable speakers!

Normally I take photos every few feet but this year I found myself drawn more into conversations and so ended up taking only one photo and here it is!

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I’ve really missed my daily blogging .. instead have been utilizing my time in a dozen different ways.   Busy all the day long.

This past Friday, I decided to change that.  When the weather is more conducive to being inside, I appreciate this opportunity to do those things that I find challenging when the warm weather calls for me to be outside.

Recently I decided to focus all my energies into starting to learn the theory of music.  It’s something that I had decided was way to hard to me to comprehend.   My fiddle teacher has been very patient in trying to help me understand this.  But the doors in my mind refused to open.   Then, at my 2nd to last singing lesson, my teacher and I were talking about theory and I realized that I must learn this.  No more to use the excuse and stubborness to veer away from learning.

So, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I spent many long hours, at my computer, a stack of index cards to write on.  A pile of beginner fiddle books.  Many online sites.   And the light is dawning.   The doors are opening.  The comprehension has begun.

Music is a language .. I love learning languages … and I love learning more about music!.

Well .. time for supper and I look forward to practising my fiddle and learning more!

🙂


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Enjoying the lazies .. and getting ready to energize my garden life! But first, some photos to share …..

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!

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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!

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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.jan2307

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!

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Stellar on a bamboo cane … a striking bird.jan2311

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!!jan2304

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!jan2305

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!jan2302

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!jan2306

Tiny little lupin flowers .. soon they will be at least 3 feet high and the bees will be buzzing!  jan2309

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!!!jan2312

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!

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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!

🙂


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I Love Surprises in the Garden!!!

Some people have billions (really!) of Lily of the Valley (my most favourite of all flowers, ever, ever!) and I do envy them!  I’ve planted them throughout the yard and this is the first year that I can see them growing in little clumps .. I am so Happy!  Here are some growing away at the base of the wild and crazy tree.  A little fern is their neighbour.  Those green chunks of glass are slag that I uncovered in our yard .. many years ago (before our house was built in about 1937) there used to be a glass factory on ours .. and surrounding properties.  I love the glass.May 6, 01Sunshine on the Lily of the Valley leaves … sweet. May 6,02

Yummy swirling .. ephermeral  .. beautiful May 6, 23

The elusive little yellow bird that visits our yard daily.  This lovely little bird was about 15 feet away and this is the best photo I’ve been able to take.  (thus far)May 6, 03

A few years ago I was part of a group that were able to save some native plants and I was surprised to find this lovely Fawn Lily growing away, quietly, in a pot.  It must have been in some of the soil that I used and I will label and save this precious beauty. May 6, 22

I must have planted tulip bulbs years ago, they keep popping up everywhere!May 6, 12

Nearby some white Bleeding Hearts (what a name for such a pretty flower!) ..May 6, 13

Blossoms drifted onto a nearby branch ..May 6, 11

I think that there will be another bumper crop of fruit this year .. more apples to share with friends.  Fruit leather to make.  Dehydrated apple slices.  Applesauce!  thank you .. trees …May 6, 17

Squirrelly .. looking for some peanuts … May 6, 07

Wanton decadence .. cherry blossoms drifted to the mulch below May 6, 04

LIttle JaneE, sitting on her favourite little bench with some kitty treats.  She loves that!May 6, 08

Nearby, little Squirrelly nibbles away on a treasured peanut.  We all enjoyed some sun and tranquility for a space of time.  It was lovely.May 6, 09

Another of my favourite flowers .. Sweet Woodruff.  Grows in whorls .. easy to type but not so easy to fit into a conversation!  Anyway, dried, it smells like vanilla.  Eons ago (before everyone had showers) people would place a few whorls into a little container so they could open it and sniff the lovely vanilla perfume.  I’m just glad that we now have showers and can just enjoy the beauty of the flowers!  🙂  May 6, 19

Little baby girl, tired out and having a cat-nap.  She’s 21 and loves being outside with me.  May 6, 10

Every year I change the layout of my veggie garden.  And every year I misplace a garden tool.  No worries, I have lots.   This little trowel lasted quite well during the winter and spring and is in great serviceable condition.   May 6, 20

Yum .. more overhead decadent beauty …

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Sweet little garden fairy gently sniffing a nearby strawberry flower.  May 6, 18

As you can tell, I love my garden.  Every year I change the layout and this year is exciting!  I’m getting rid of my makeshift raised beds and am creating a special little secret garden.  A place where I can sit in privacy, sipping on Yorkshire Tea or a glass of wine.  Depending on the time of day.

To do this, I’ve moved the tubular forms that I used to grow beans on.   Placed them as a sort of wall at the back of the veggie garden.  About 3 feet in front of that, I’ve transplanted some delicious tall raspberry canes, to form a semi-circle.

Around one side of this area I’m transplanting white currants and gooseberry plants.

Then some tall bamboo forms for more beans to grow.  Some chicken wire potato columns.  Giant sunflowers.

I’ll post pictures as the plants start growing.  For the present, I need to go outside and dig up the remainder of my raised beds, dismantle the lumber and move the soil.

And as the day is lovely and sunny . .I must go now and continue with  my shape shifting garden!

🙂