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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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!)


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!


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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Oh I Wonder Where the Bewick Wrens Will Build Their New Nest? And .. Loving the Spring Flowers in the Garden!! Also, Speaking With a Friend is Very Helpful At Times, Don’t You Think???

The darling little Bewick Wrens .. their beautiful nest has been blown out of the hangglider bag twice already … so now they are building another nest somewhere in the yard.


Last week I walked down to the Compost Center for a workshop .. loved the long walk and enjoyed the blossoms along the way .. here they are on Blanshard Street.  Spring is definitely here.


And I’d just finished crossing at the lights, passed this and had to walk back and take a photo these graphics!


Back at home .. wandering around the yard, re-discovering some beautiful plants that I’d purchased last fall .. I’d always wanted a Hellebore and had forgotten this one!   Darling little plant .. I will put this one in a colourful pottery container!


Muscari flowers .. tiny little bulbs that I’d placed in some pots last year .. flowering away like mad.  Diminutive but powerful in their graceful beauty.


And the Salmonberry plants are bursting forth in bud and flower!


Another of the many things that I love in this life .. is imagining that tiny little beings, faeries, dwell in the garden.  If this were so, then these Salmonberry flowers would be perfect for them to use as tiny hats, don’t you think?  Imagination is a fun thing.


Lovely blue skies with dreamy white clouds gently painted over.  We’ve had some massive skies recently .. gigantic cloud streets of enormous white cumulus entities soaring overhead.  This photo isn’t from one of those days.   I could only look at those skies .. my camera lens isn’t big enough to do justice to those skies.    These I can handle!  🙂P1320071

Tenacity of growing things!  These little plants rested all winter and now are growing up through the burlap-lined pathways in the veggie patch!  The burlap will disintegrate and I have more to place on top of them for this year.


The rose bush at the side of the house is sporting new growth .. this is a tenacious and lovely rose!


I’ve been a bit reluctant to get back into my gardening – spending time on practicing my fiddle – it has become my new focus, temporarily replacing my love of gardening, beading, sewing, drumming!   After all .. there are only so many hours in the day.

Time passes so quickly .. I looked at my little music notebook recently .. I’d begun taking lessons in 1996!    Then my violin stayed hidden in its case for many years until I dusted it off last July and began again with a new teacher!

And I’ve been changing a few things about my violin accoutrements.. but more on that tomorrow.

Today I am happy because:

  • procrastination overcome and I’ve blogged again!
  • I’ve just spent a huge chunk of time talking with a friend about priorities so have set some for myself.  It’s a good exercise and I feel energized already.   Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, when things are weighing a bit on your mind and you could really use a friend to talk it over .. that friend appears in your life?
  • Because of this I’ve decided to “step back” a bit and spend more time on what really fills me with joy.  And tomorrow I will blog about that!
  • It is still Saturday morning and I’ve realized that Camosun College is hosting a plant sale at Royal Rhodes so why am I still in my jammies and not in my jeans, in the car, racing to the plant sale?  Just give me 5 minutes and I’m on my happy little way!
  • and finally .. I am happy .. just because  (cause ya don’t really need a reason!)


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It was another Seedy Saturday on a lovely sunny day

Last Saturday was Seedy Saturday in Victoria, BC.  This amazing event takes place at the Convention Centre, downtown.  It is a growing event, organized by the James Bay Market Society:

Like all great ventures, this one started off small years ago and with the proper drive behind it, has grown over the years.  We are so very lucky.  I’ve volunteered for 3 years and always look forward to be there.

Now here is a great idea to mark plants in the garden, utilizing plant pot pieces.  Everyone has them!  The pots used here are glazed, so they may be re-used over and over, with different labels.


This table had lovely items used for showcasing their products.  Here is a type of wooden spoon, used as a bowl.

19This is a carved wooden cup from Finland.  I wasn’t able to get the background story, as the creative person behind the use of this and other items at the table .. was away for a bit.  She’d worked hard so deserved 5 minutes away!


The table had a lovely earthy feel about it …


Healthy looking artichokes ..

14I tasted a sample of this Japanese artichoke delicious.  One corm produces 7 lbs., I believe.

17And I love the idea of using this folding sewing box for holding seeds, etc.

20I always buy Brother Nature seeds .. last year my Kentucky Wonder Beans were marvellous!


Oh lovely lovely greens .. tasty too.  I bought a packet of the Salad Mix.  Omega Blue arms, Heritage Food Conservation.  I like the packaging and will post a photo when I take one.

13And the wonderful seed exchange!


The night before the event, I carefully packaged all of my surplus seeds!  Using my nifty new scalloped punch (from a thrift store!!) I made inserts of yellow lined paper.  There went all my saved squash, Kentucky Wonder beans, sage and lupin seeds.  Time to share them at the Seed exchange tables.  I didn’t take any seeds as I have enough, goodness knows!!

11There are quite a number of community gardens in Victoria .. this one is quite a big one I believe.


08Beautiful looking mushrooms.  I’m just not brave enough to grow them.   I could have stopped to talk with the grower to ask some questions but I was just swirling along with the crowd.  If he is there next year, I will stop and ask away.

05Many years ago, I volunteered here .. when the “Friends” began.

07And they had these lovely Hellebores on the table!

06They always have the most interesting seeds.  Quite exotic.  I’d bought some a few years ago .. some were successful, some weren’t.  I think I was too impatient or something.

04I’ve bought seeds from Full Circle before and I recently met someone who works there and have been invited to visit.  Here is their website ..quite a very interesting place to visit:

03I bought a pound of Russian Banana heritage potatoes.  They are rooting already so I will be planting them soon.  As most of the yard is given up to garlic, I plan to grow them in burlap bags.  I’ve been reading up on potatoes and they really don’t need much water.  Every year I’m learning more.


Ok .. I saw this section of seeds on sale and I had to make myself walk away.  I have way too many seeds.  Cannors Nursery had a sale on seeds, 5 for $2 .. and they are all non-gmo (I checked them online), so I chose a variety of flowers and gourds. And I already have a stash of seeds from Annapolis Seeds and Salt Spring Seeds, quite a variety of heritage peas and beans.  I seriously need more property.


I have lots more photos to share but time is fleeting and I need to do some housework and then run outside.

On Saturday I quite enjoyed wandering around the booths, seeing the results of a years worth of hard work by industrious people.  All were proud of their products and were happy to share their knowledge to others.  That made for such a wonderful atmosphere.

And Christina Nikolic of the Organic Gardener’s Pantry was there!!!  Christina is my source for all things organic in the garden.  In particular, EM ..effective microorganisms .. yogurt for the soil.  Magic for the garden.

There were many interesting speakers .. and I particularly enjoyed the Seed Preparation seminar.  Photos on that tomorrow!